Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Christmas in Silver Birch Valley by Lorri Moulton

Release date. December 23, 2018
Subgenre: Romantic fantasy

About Christmas in Silver Birch Valley:


A man spends the holidays in a small Northwestern town that may not be exactly what it seems...and rediscovers the true meaning of Christmas.




PrologueDecember 1913

Two Native-American boys raced through the forest as the snow fell silently around them.  The older one glanced over his shoulder at the tracks they left behind.  Even though they knew the men would find them, running was their only option.

The three men riding horses followed the prints in the snow.  The one in front was angry, kicking his horse to make it go faster.  It would soon be dusk, and he didn’t want to lose the trail. 

“Come on,” he yelled to the others.  “They can’t be far ahead of us.”

The boys ran as fast as they could until they reached the water.  It was too cold to run down the creek to lose the men, so they splashed across it instead.  As the older boy, almost twelve, reached back to help his brother up the hill, the men on horses caught up with them.

“What are you two doing out here?” demanded one of the men.

“I’ll ask the questions,” the angry one said.  “You know that was my deer, don’t you?”

The boys said nothing, which only made the man more upset. 

“Answer me!” he said, bringing his horse up even with the boys.  He leaned down to grab the smaller one, who looked about ten.  Trying to protect his brother, the older boy slapped the horse’s rump.

The horse reared, catching the man off guard.  The reins slipped out of his hand and he fell, face first into the snow.  As his horse ran off, the other men laughed.  The boys glanced at each other, then started running again.

“Help me find my horse,” the angry man demanded, sitting up and wiping the snow off his face.  “Then, I’m going to teach those boys a lesson.”

Silver Birch Valley is a peaceful town, set in the mountains just south of the Canadian border.  The founder of the town had come from Scotland and stopped in the valley to rest his horses.  He and his wife had fallen in love with the landscape and decided to stay and build their home.  The town quickly grew around them as more people stopped to take in the view or rest their horses.  In a land of beautiful vistas, this one took their breath away. 

Silver birch edged the creek, which started as a waterfall coming down from the mountains.  As it made its way into the valley, the creek ran between hills covered with evergreens until it reached the flat.  There, the water wound its way quietly between the clumps of silver birch.  Grass pasture stretched on either side until it met the hills.  Beyond, there were mountains all around except for the two narrow passes, leading in and out of the valley.

When the boys reached the top of the hill, they saw the town below.  The older one grabbed his brother’s hand as they hurried down the other side.  Twice, they almost slipped, but managed to stay upright.  The street lamps of the town could be seen through the snow as they ran across the valley.  It was almost dark, when they finally reached the livery stable.

The men on horses followed the tracks to the livery and dismounted.  Open up!” the angry man yelled, banging on the closed barn doors.  One slowly slid open and a man walked out.

“Can I help you?” he asked, looking around at the other men.

“I want to talk to those boys,” demanded the angry one.

“What boys?” asked the owner of the livery stable.

“You know, who I’m talking about!” the man exclaimed.  “Bring them out here or…”

“Or what?” asked the sheriff, walking up behind them.  It was 1913, but he still carried his rifle, when strangers rode into town.

“Or there’s going to be trouble,” the angry man replied.  “Maybe not today,” he added, glancing at the rifle, “but soon.  You can’t protect those people forever.”

“What people are those?” asked the sheriff, taking another step towards him.

The man glared, then looked over at his friends.  “Things are changing around here.  There’s more moving in, who think the way we do.  It’s just a matter of time before we’re the ones making the rules, then all those Native people will be out of this valley and these mountains.”

“Maybe,” the sheriff replied, “but today is not that day.  Get on your horses and ride out of town.”

As the three men rode past the Christmas tree, the angry one yelled, “You boys can’t hide here forever.  I will find you.”




About Lorri Moulton:

“You know what the issue is with this world? Everyone wants some magical solution to their problem and everyone refuses to believe in magic.”
--Lewis Carroll

Fairytales are simply stories that remind us to be our best selves. If we do this, we can be successful. Good will triumph over evil. True love is possible....and dragons can be tamed.

The need for fairytales is just as important today as it has ever been. True love is romantic, but it is also means considering what is important to someone else and when necessary, to put their needs before your own. To work together to accomplish the goals that matter to both of you. To be open to the idea that magical and miraculous things happen everyday. And to build a future that will make the world a better place, at least in your little corner of the kingdom.

So, take a step back in time and enjoy an Everyday Romance. Real life fairytales happen all the time. You just have to believe in the possibility…and look for magic in the most unexpected places.

My name is Lorri Moulton and I live on a farm in eastern Washington with my family and our five horses. I have a Master’s degree in History and grew up hearing so many wonderful stories about our own family tree. My grandparents spoke of a more simple time, when people loved each other and helped their neighbors. I hope these stories share some of that beauty of the past, with all of you.

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