Books

Noelle by Emily Mims

           Music is an important part of just
about everyone’s Christmas, whether it’s Christmas carols at the church
Christmas program, a rerun of Bing Crosby singing in ‘White Christmas’, or the
incessant Muzak playing at the malls.  As
a singer and musician, Christmas music is an especially important part of my
Christmas.  I have been making music for
the holidays since I was a teenager playing the organ in a little Baptist
church, and it continues to be an important part of my Christmas celebration
every year.
            I have made Christmas music just
about everywhere.  In that small church,
at the school where I taught for many years, in the televised choir of a large
suburban congregation, in the back of a truck on a Christmas caroling hayride,
on a barge floating down the San Antonio River with the Boy Scouts, for church
senior groups, in the dining rooms and halls of nursing homes.  I’ve made Christmas music in every one of
those places.  My opportunities to make
Christmas music grew exponentially when I learned to play the dulcimer and
ukulele and joined The San Antonio Riverpickers, a mountain music band that
features dulcimers and old-time Appalachian tunes, and Ukulele Ladies and
Gents, which plays all kinds of music including lots of island songs.  With these two groups, I have expanded my
holiday repertoire beyond the usual Christmas carols and radio and movie
songs.  I also find myself playing in
venues that are an adventure in themselves.
Riverpickers does a lot of street festivals around
the holidays, most notably Christmas in Comfort and Dickens on Main in
Boerne.  We mix in a few Christmas
numbers but play mostly mountain tunes, as very few carols sound all that good
on a dulcimer.  Our audience seems to
enjoy the old mountain tunes as much as they do the carols.  Playing for a street festival can get
interesting in terms of weather, however. 
After all, we are playing outdoors. 
We’ve played with the sun shining in our eyes on a stage facing a
setting sun, and under chilly cloud cover with rain threatening.  We’ve played in the hot-this is Texas and it
can still be hot in December.  We’ve
played in the cold.  Really cold.  Our record cold-weather performance was an
hour-long set in Boerne a few years back. 
The sun had gone down, it was twenty-nine degrees and the wind was
blowing.  It was so cold the instruments
all had to be retuned, not a problem unless you play a hammered dulcimer with
forty-plus strings.  (My fingers burned for
a solid hour afterwards.)  We promised
ourselves afterwards we’d never again play below forty degrees, but I honestly
don’t think it would stop us.  Street
festivals are just too much fun to pass up.
The ukulele group is just the opposite.  We stay inside where it’s nice and warm and
play Hawaiian Christmas music, complete with hula dancers and red and green
Aloha shirts.  And we sing them in
Hawaiian!  Of course, we do other
Christmas songs also.  The ukulele group plays
many different places, including churches and libraries and a lot of nursing
homes.  Although we play for someone or
something every month, the holidays tend to be our busy season.  So far, we have one performance scheduled
right before Thanksgiving and four during December.  And that’s so far.  There may be more.
Making all the performances can get hectic in an already
jam-packed season.  Occasionally we must
skip a party or another event to play and sing. 
But making music, especially Christmas music, deeply enriches our
holiday.  I cannot imagine Christmas
without it.




Noelle
The
Smoky Blue Series



Book
10



Emily
Mims






Genre: Contemporary Romance



Publisher: Boroughs Publishing
Date of Publication: Nov. 20,
2018
Word Count: Approx. 74,000
Cover Artist: Boroughs Art
Department
Tagline: Ike and Cassie love each
other. But her daughter stands between them.
Book Description:
He’s found the wife who’d run
from him five years ago. But it will take a Christmas miracle to keep her in
his life.
A terrified Cassie Jeffries fled
Tennessee to protect her newborn daughter from her father’s wrath, abandoning
her young husband in the process. Ike has tracked her down-not because he wants
her any longer, but at the behest of her dying grandmother. Her love for Ike is
still strong. He still loves her, too-but wants no part of her daughter Noelle.
Ike is beyond shocked to learn
that the child he thought was his is in fact the child of his wife’s rape. He
still loves Cassie, but every time he looks at Noelle he’s reminded of his own
failure to protect the woman he loves. And Cassie is adamant. She will have no
part of a man who can’t love her daughter. But danger lurks for Cassie’s child.
Will Ike be able to protect Noelle from the threat that seeks to destroy
everything his wife holds dear?
  


 “Yeah, it’s easy to love those blue-eyed
blonds, isn’t it?” Wade gibed. “Those dark ones, man. They’re a lot harder to
love.”
            Ike felt his temper spike and tamped
it down. “It would be hard to love any child who looks like the man who raped
my wife,” he replied softly. “It wouldn’t matter if they were white, black, or
purple with stripes down their back.” More was on the tip of his tongue but he
bit it back. He already sounded enough like an ass.
Wade gave him a
go-to-hell look and glanced to one side. Cassie stood there, her face pale and
her expression one of horror. Ike felt himself cringe. She’d heard every word.
He started to
say something but clamped his mouth shut. He couldn’t defend a statement like
that and he knew it. But it had been the unvarnished truth. Noelle was a
visible reminder of Cassie’s violation. He didn’t know how to get around that.
Cassie
disappeared into the house. It was time to make his case one more time and then
get the hell out of here. Ike nodded to Wade, thanked Angie for her hospitality
and followed Cassie inside, where he found her in the kitchen by herself. “You
leaving now?” she asked as she transferred leftover vegetable sticks into a
plastic bag.
“Not until you
agree to come see Granny Mae.”
“Then you better
wash your clothes and buy another tube of toothpaste. I’m not going to let you
pressure me into a decision that’s not in Noelle’s best interests.”
“Damn it,
Cassie, what about Granny Mae? Your grandmother’s dying. The only thing she
wants before she goes is to see you and Noelle. Are you really going to deny
her dying wish?”
“That’s right.
Play the guilt card.” Cassie snapped the bag shut and practically threw it in
the refrigerator. “I told you last night. Granny Mae is a woman of the holler.
She’s not going to want to see Noelle. And even if she did, what part of ‘Hugh
Siler will kill her’ did I not communicate fully to you?” She turned to Ike,
her eyes blazing. “I’m not the sweet, gullible girl you knew before. The one
who could be persuaded or guilted into doing just about anything you wanted me
to. So don’t try that crap with me. No way in hell am I giving you any kind of
answer today. Don’t ask again.”
“All right. All
right. Calm down. No answer today. I get that.” He paused. “But I will say it
again. Granny Mae will want to see you both. Your daughter will be in no danger
from your father. So please, Cassie. Will you at least think about coming? Will
you do that much? You could come for a few days, maybe a week after ‘Wizard of
Oz’ finishes its run. Please, Cassie? For Granny Mae? Please?”
“I will think
about it but no promises.”
“Thank you. I’ll
need your contact information and would like you to have mine.”
They exchanged
phones and entered the necessary information. “I guess I’ll be going,” he said
as she handed him back his phone.
“One more
thing.”
“What’s that?”
Cassie
hesitated. “Never mind.”
“No, say
whatever’s on your mind.”
“Noelle. She’s
not responsible for the circumstances of her conception. She’s a beautiful,
wonderful child. Everyone who knows her loves her.”
“I’m sure she is
and I’m sure they do. I’m not proud of my feelings toward her, Cassie. Just so
you know.”


About
the Author:
Author of thirty-six romance
novels, Emily Mims combined her writing career with a career in public
education until leaving the classroom to write full time.  The mother of two sons and six grandsons, she
and her husband Charles live in central Texas but frequently visit
grandchildren in Tennessee and Georgia. 
For relaxation she plays the piano, organ, dulcimer, and ukulele.  She says, “I love to write romances because I
believe in them.  Romance happened to me
and it can happen to any woman-if she’ll just let it.”
Website Address:   www.emilymims.com
Twitter Address:  @EmilyMimsAuthor
Instagram Address: mims_emily


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