A Love Valley Christmas
Step off the pavement, onto a dirt road and join our fictional characters celebrating Christmas in Love Valley North Carolina, a real western community.
When Susie Aleman isn’t running Spurs, a mercantile in Love Valley. She’s raising her sixteen year old son, Zam. She’s content with life, and relies on no one but God. Then Ty Porter moves to Love Valley and stampedes into her heart.
Ty Porter has given up on women. All he wants is a fresh start, and a new pair of cowboy boots. That is until he meets Susie.
As Christmas Eve rolls around can he convince Susie that love after thirty-five is worth the risk?
Will Susie lead Ty to see that the Lord can be trusted?
Susie Aleman pressed her lips together until they formed a thin line. She crossed her arms and eyed the stranger in the worn jeans, sitting on the bench. Customer satisfaction was her utmost goal, but this shopper frayed her patience. He tried on a pair of cowboy boots, frowned, and tossed them aside, adding to the accumulated pile. She squelched her desire to stomp over and gather the shoes. Instead, she hustled to the cash register, determined not to let anything spoil her day.
The man picked up a box of boots and stood. He then placed the unwanted stack back in its designated shelf. In an easy move, he reached the top and added the last pair of two-toned cowboy boots with the others. She grinned at his efforts. The merchandise wasn’t in perfect order, but at least he’d made an attempt.
With a glide in his step, he approached the front and laid the shoebox on the counter. She rang his sale. He handed her cash, grinned, and lifted the rim of his wide-brimmed hat. “Ma’am, nice store. Like the rest of the shops in town, it’s up to date on the inside.”
“Thanks.” Susie returned his smile. Her breath caught as she looked into eyes, which reminded her of the candy bar she’d eaten earlier. “Everything in Love Valley mimics the west, but with modern conveniences.”
“Yeah, sorta resembles where I’m from.”
“Is it nearby?” She handed him the purchase.
“No. Several states away, a small Texas community. Unlike this area, though, it’s surrounded by a big city. Too much annoyance if you ask me. I like the way Love Valley is nestled, miles from everything. The kinda place a cowboy needs. I own Porter Training. It’s the place on the south end of town next to the mountains. Plan to teach horseback riding and roping to the visitors and residents of Love Valley.” He stretched out a calloused hand. “Please, call me Ty.”
She returned the handshake. “Hello, Ty. I’m Susie. So, you bought Ferguson’s acreage, the one with the log cabin and barn. I’ve always admired the place. It has wonderful views.”
“Yeah, the way it sits up on a hill does make for some good scenery. It belonged to my old college buddy’s granddad.” His nose wrinkled as he smiled. “Thank you, Susie.”
“You’re welcome. And I’m sure you’ll find everyone in town friendly.”
Ty started toward the exit, turned, and touched the brim of his hat again. “Already have.”
Mary L. Ball is a multi-published author and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She resides in the heart of North Carolina.
When Mary isn’t working on her latest story, she enjoys fishing, reading, and singing with her husband at church functions.
Visit Mary’s singing ministry site:http://heirsofsalvation2.webs.com