A Texas Christmas Carol Read Online Karen Witemeyer

Categories Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Tags Authors:
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Total pages in book: 36
Estimated words: 33273 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 166(@200wpm)___ 133(@250wpm)___ 111(@300wpm)
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From the talented pen of bestselling author Karen Witemeyer comes a charming Christmas novella inspired by the holiday classic The Christmas Carol.

After the Panic of 1873 ruined his father and impoverished his family, Evan Beazer set a single life goal for himself–security. He would never allow joviality and dreams to send him to the poorhouse. Now a successful businessman, Evan runs a dozen inns throughout Texas from the privacy of his home, keeping locals away with the perpetual scowl and gruff manner that have become his natural disposition.
Felicity Wiggins is in charge of distributing church Christmas baskets to the less fortunate, and she is determined help as many families as possible. In an attempt to gather more donations than past years, she must convince the wealthiest man in town to participate and sets forth on a campaign to pester him into cooperation.
As Felicity tries to bring Evan out of seclusion–and he does everything in his power to avoid her–can she convince him that true riches lie not in bank accounts but in bringing joy to others?

FULL BOOK START HERE:

The joy of the Lord is your strength.

—Nehemiah 8:10

one

DECEMBER 1895

LONDON, TEXAS

“IT’S A FOOL’S ERRAND, I tell you.”

Felicity Wiggins shrugged as she collected the list of needy families from last year’s Christmas Basket Committee chairwoman. “Marching around Jericho for seven days probably felt like a fool’s errand to the Israelites too, but their persistence paid off. The walls eventually fell.”

Margaret Talley made a clucking noise as she closed the storage closet on the dozen oversized market baskets that had just been delivered for their congregation’s annual community project. “Yes, well, the Israelites had the captain of the Lord’s army giving them instructions. So unless you have an angel directing you, I’d recommend harkening unto the words of our Savior instead, and cast not your pearls before swine.”

“Don’t worry,” Felicity said with a soft chuckle, “I won’t let Mr. Beazer trample over me. My backbone is strong enough to withstand a few snaps and growls.”

Margaret headed toward the stairs leading out of the church basement, tossing a frown over her shoulder. “It’s your time, I suppose. If you choose to waste it, that’s your prerogative. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. Evan Beazer might be the wealthiest man in town, but he’s a Scrooge of the worst order. Not only does he refuse to donate to any of our causes, but he insults anyone with the temerity to approach him.” She paused at the top of the stairway and braced a hand against the wall as she turned to face Felicity. “He called me a blood-sucking leech and threatened to have me brought up on trespassing charges should I ever darken his door again.” Margaret, her face usually placid and lovely, scrunched her nose as if the memory were so rancid, she could smell it. “The gall of him. He might dutifully leave his tithe in the collection plate every Sunday to keep his conscience clean, but he refuses to donate so much as a penny to any cause beyond that obligation, no matter how worthy. He’s a tight-fisted, coldhearted man. Completely void of compassion. Why, you could wring him like a dishrag, and not a single drop of Christian charity would fall out. His soul is as dry as a bone.”

Mrs. Talley was a dynamo when it came to getting things done and a blessing to any committee she served upon, but she had definite opinions about how things should go and didn’t react well when thwarted.

Felicity patted her arm. “There is nothing the least bit leech-like about you. You probably just caught him on a bad day.”

The deacon’s wife arched a brow. “Every day is a bad day for Evan Beazer.”

Not every day. Felicity ducked her head, recalling one day in particular when Mr. Beazer had been in rare, heroic form.

Pushing the distracting thought aside, Felicity winked at her friend as she marched past. “I recognize the challenge he presents, but I’m determined to try anyway. With the passing of dear Mrs. Humbolt this year, our donation total is down by a third. I can suffer through a few insults if it means more shoes and winter coats for the children. Besides, forewarned is forearmed. Thanks to you, I know what kind of reception to expect, so I can plan accordingly. And, believe it or not, I can be rather devious when I put my mind to it.”

“You? Devious?” Margaret shook her head, a huff of a laugh escaping. “Felicity, you don’t have a dishonest bone in your body.”

“Oh, I don’t plan any trickery,” Felicity said, turning to face Margaret while continuing to walk backward down the hall to the main sanctuary. “In fact, my strategy comes straight from scripture itself.”

“Really?”

Felicity nodded, a grin spreading across her face. “Remember the parable Jesus told in Luke 11 about the man who kept knocking on his neighbor’s door in the middle of the night, asking for bread? The neighbor kept trying to turn him away, but the man persisted, and eventually he got his bread. I plan to employ the same technique.” Mischief swirled in her belly, stirring up an excitement she couldn’t quite contain. “I’m going to pester him into cooperation.”


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