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Christmas in Cedar Cove

Cover of Christmas in Cedar Cove

Christmas in Cedar Cove



First, drop in at 5-B Poppy Lane, where you'll get a chance to visit with Helen Shelton, her granddaughter Ruth and Ruth's husband, Paul. They'll offer you a cup of mulled cider and the story of how they met--and they'll share Helen's breathtaking adventures during the Second World War.

Then drive out to Grace and Cliff Harding's place. They have a small horse ranch not far from Cedar Cove. Mary Jo Wyse and her little girl, Noelle, will be there, too. Join them in reliving their memories of the Christmas Mary Jo came to Cedar Cove, pregnant and alone, and had her baby in the Hardings' stable (well, actually the apartment above it). That's the night firefighter Mack McAfee began to fall for Mary Jo and the idea of a family--with her.


First, drop in at 5-B Poppy Lane, where you'll get a chance to visit with Helen Shelton, her granddaughter Ruth and Ruth's husband, Paul. They'll offer you a cup of mulled cider and the story of how they met--and they'll share Helen's breathtaking adventures during the Second World War.

Then drive out to Grace and Cliff Harding's place. They have a small horse ranch not far from Cedar Cove. Mary Jo Wyse and her little girl, Noelle, will be there, too. Join them in reliving their memories of the Christmas Mary Jo came to Cedar Cove, pregnant and alone, and had her baby in the Hardings' stable (well, actually the apartment above it). That's the night firefighter Mack McAfee began to fall for Mary Jo and the idea of a family--with her.
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    Ruth Shelton hurried out of her classroom-management lecture at the University of Washington, where she was completing her master's of education degree. Clutching her books, she dashed across campus, in a rush to get home. By now the mail would have been delivered to her small rental house three blocks from the school.

    "Ruth," Tina Dupont called, stopping her in midflight. "There's another antiwar rally this afternoon at--"

    "Sorry, I've got to run," Ruth said, jogging past her friend and feeling more than a little guilty. Other students cleared a path for her; wherever she was headed must have seemed urgent--and it was, but only to her. Since Christmas, four months ago, she'd been corresponding with Sergeant Paul Gordon, USMC, who was stationed in Afghanistan. There'd been recent reports of fighting, and she hadn't received a letter or an email from Paul in three days. Three interminable days. Not since they'd initially begun their correspondence had there been such a lapse. Paul usually wrote every day and she did, too. They emailed as often as possible. Ruth had strong feelings about the war in Iraq, although her opinions didn't match those of her parents.

    Earlier in the school year, Ruth had been part of a protest rally on campus. But no matter what her political views on the subject, she felt it was important to support American troops wherever they might be serving. In an effort to do that, Ruth had voluntarily mailed a Christmas card and letter to a nameless soldier.

    Paul Gordon was the young man who'd received that Christmas card, and to Ruth's surprise he'd written her back and enclosed his photograph. Paul was from Seattle and he'd chosen her card because of the Seattle postmark. He'd asked her lots of questions--about her history, her family, her interests--and closed with a postscript that said he hoped to hear from her again.

    When she first got his letter, Ruth had hesitated. She felt she'd done her duty, supported the armed services in a way she was comfortable doing. This man she'd never met was asking her to continue corresponding with him. She wasn't sure she wanted to become that involved. Feeling uncertain, she'd waited a few days before deciding.

    During that time, Ruth had read and reread his letter and studied the head shot of the clean-cut handsome marine sergeant in dress uniform. His dark brown eyes had seemed to stare straight through her--and directly into her heart. After two days, she answered his letter with a short one of her own and added her email address at the bottom of the page. Ruth had a few concerns she wanted him to address before she could commit herself to beginning this correspondence. Being as straightforward and honest as possible, she explained her objections to the war in Iraq. She felt there was a more legitimate reason for troops to be in Afghanistan and wanted to know his stand. A few days later he emailed her. Paul didn't mince words. He told her he believed the United States had done the right thing in entering Iraq and gave his reasons. He left it up to her to decide if she wanted to continue their correspondence. Ruth emailed him back and once again listed her objections to the American presence in the Middle East. His response came a day later, suggesting they "agree to disagree." He ended the email with the same question he'd asked her earlier. Would she write him?

    At first, Ruth wasn't going to. They were diametrically opposed in their political views. But in the end, even recognizing the conflict between their opinions, she did write. Their correspondence started slowly. She enjoyed his wry wit and his unflinching determination to...

About the Author-
  • Debbie Macomber, with more than 100 million copies of her books sold worldwide, is one of today's most popular authors. The #1 New York Times bestselling author is best known for her ability to create compelling characters and bring their stories to life in her books. Debbie is a regular resident on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times (70 times and counting), USA TODAY (currently 67 times) and Publishers Weekly (47 times). Visit her at www.DebbieMacomber.com.

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Christmas in Cedar Cove
Debbie Macomber
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