Christmas is a magical season because our hopes and wishes turn towards love, family and friends. No matter how the rest of the year has been, we can always look forward to wishes come true. I grew up paging through the Sears Christmas Wish book, dogearring pages and wondering what my father would wish for. I even looked through the Craftsmen tools and the “boring” adult sections. While I wished for rock tumblers, hula hoops, bead and craft sets, my sister wanted a dog, and my brother wished for electronic sets. Some years, we wished for my dad’s job or his health, and the year my grandfather was sick, we wished for him to get well.
Sometimes, it’s not the wishes that came true that are important, but the ones which spurred you to take action or make changes to improve yourself that make a big difference. When I was invited to participate in the Dear Santa: A Christmas Wish set, I thought about a wish that didn’t come true. My grandfather still passed away, but the many hours praying and wishing for him to recover changed me from a girl hiding the Sears catalog under my bed.
My story is called “Toy Soldier Christmas”.
One of my unfulfilled Christmas wishes was a Nutcracker toy soldier. I thought it would be cool to have one that could really truly crack nuts. When I sat down to write my story, I thought about the theme of the Nutcracker, where broken toys are to be cherished and not discarded. An image of a broken soldier came to me, a man who lost parts of his body returning home and dreading the holidays. My friend who I walk with works at a place fitting prosthesis for breast cancer survivors and that inspired me to write about a woman who also believes she is broken.
Both Nutmeg Brown and Craig Brockman are facing their first Christmas after their traumas and are in denial. They wish someone can fix their broken lives, but they turn away from family and friends. Nutmeg heads to Christmas Creek and finds a broken Nutcracker soldier under her Christmas tree. It’s the one she lost long ago and thought her mother threw away. She tucks her broken nutcracker doll in her bed, but when she wakes up the next morning with a real soldier, the fun and games and the healing begins–but not without a few failed wishes and a change of heart.
I hope you will enjoy Nutmeg and Craig’s Winter Wonderland of Wishes. May all your wishes come true or lead to another wish. Looking forward to sharing all of the Dear Santa stories with you this October 27. [Pre-order our set today so you don’t forget and join us at a Dear Santa Party on Facebook, October 28. Please Join the ABB Party Place beforehand.]
Rachelle Ayala is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her foremost goal is to take readers on a shared emotional journey with her characters as they grow and become more true to themselves. Rachelle believes in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feels that everyone should find love as often as possible, especially if it’s within the pages of a book.
Her book, Knowing Vera, won the 2015 Angie Ovation Award, A Father for Christmas garnered a 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award, Christmas Stray received a 2016 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award, and Playing for the Save got the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in Realistic Fiction.
She is also a writing teacher and founder of the Romance In A Month writing community. She lives in California with her husband and has three children and two birds.