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Homeless for the Holidays book cover

Sneak Peak: Homeless for the Holidays

“Gladdening and humorous assurance that the best things in life have nothing to do with things.” ~ Richard Paul Evans, number one New York Times best-selling author of 43 books including The Christmas Box

Homeless for the Holidays is a delightful read aloud for the family. Here is a sample of the book and the audio version read by talented voice actress, Katie Leigh. You may know Katie from My Little Pony, Dumbo, Dungeons and Dragons, and Adventures in Odyssey (Connie Kendall).

Listen to an audio sample of Homeless for the Holidays HERE

Homeless for the Holidays Chapter One

“Here they come!” Jack Baker elbowed his slouching son. “You know the drill. Assume your positions.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Twelve-year-old Adam twirled his elf hat on his index finger. “Where would the community be without the Baker family’s annual Christmas display?”

Jack’s wife, Sheryl, looped her arm through her husband’s. “People tell me all the time that we are part of their Christmas tradition. Their holiday is not complete until they see the Baker residence.”

In the dinnertime darkness, a light sedan turned down the quiet subdivision street and slowly drove toward the Baker’s house.

“Everyone smile!” Sheryl licked her thumb and rubbed the remains of hot chocolate from the corner of her daughter’s mouth.

“Gross, mom!” Nearly ten, Michelle pulled away and wiped her long sleeve across her face. “I’m not a little kid anymore.”

“I know, dear.” Sheryl knelt in front of Kim and brushed dark bangs from the preschooler’s forehead.

Through his teeth, Jack blew a warning whistle.

“Did you spring a leak, Dad?” Adam returned his dad’s elbow to the ribs.

Jack nodded toward the car. “They’re nearly here. Get ready everyone. And smile.”

Sheryl quickly surveyed her family. “Be sure to wave big for the photo.”

Dressed in elaborate Santa and Mrs. Claus costumes, Jack and Sheryl Baker proudly posed with their three children between the stately pillars on the front porch steps as the car drew near to their address. Fresh fallen snow blanketed the ground on this cold November night in Wooded Falls, Michigan, proof that nature had harmonized with Jack’s decorating efforts to create the postcard perfect effect. As perfect as could be with squirming offspring.

Dressed as an elf, Adam’s eyes crossed as he watched his breath turn to small clouds. Also in an elf costume, Michelle shivered. Bundled in a snowsuit under her costume, three-year-old Kim balanced on tiptoes in front of her beaming parents. Peeking out of a brightly decorated Christmas box, she tugged at the bow clipped to her straight hair and peered expectantly at the approaching visitor.

Known as the Crown of the Cul-de-sac, the Baker house was a brilliant display of Christmas splendor. For the past decade, the Bakers had received the town’s “Best Christmas Décor” award and this year would be no exception. Jack spent every dime of his annual $5,000 bonus on the holiday and each year the photographer cruised by to take their picture for the feature section of the newspaper.

“Daddy, I’m cold!” Heavy snowflakes collected on Michelle’s hunched shoulders.

Jack spoke through his frozen smile. “Just a few more seconds, Sweetie. Is everybody waving?”

On cue, the Baker family waved energetically as the car braked in front of their house. Slowly, the driver’s automatic window inched down just far enough for the oversized lens of the camera to brave the cold and focus on them.

“I’ll bet you a pair of mukluks he has his heater on full blast.” Adam spoke through chattering teeth.

Then the camera disappeared inside the warmth of the photojournalist’s window, followed by a friendly toot of the horn, and the vehicle swung around the cul-de-sac. Stopping briefly for a second look, the car left the way it had come, red tail lights blending with the lights that illuminated the Baker’s walkway.

“And that’s just the beginning,” Adam predicted.

“Opening night.” Jack glanced at his wristwatch. “After the dinner hour, this street will be bumper to bumper with sight-seers who consider our Baker extravaganza the eighth wonder of the Christmas season.”

“A drive by.” Adam saluted as the photographer’s car turned the corner and disappeared.

Jack rubbed his gloved hands together. “Okay, that’s enough. Everyone inside.” He scooped up Kim in her oversized box, and trailed Sheryl as she retreated into the warmth of the house with the children close behind.

Adam brought up the rear. “Where would the Baker family be without our yearly holiday display?”

(Excerpt from Homeless for the Holidays)

Click HERE to hear chapter one of the audio version of Homeless for the Holidays!

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Meet PeggySue

We’ve heard of soccer moms and stage mothers. I’m a writer who trailers my kids and horses across the nation. My Apple computer, fondly christened MacBeth, is the essential I bring along.