“Finding Love in Big Sky, Montana” by Angela Ruth Strong (Meridian); Mountain Brook Ink ($10.99)
Bright Star Ranch led him to her — but will he stay? Josh Lake is forced to head home for the holidays after he’s suspended from his job in the city, but running into Paisley Sheridan could be exactly what he needed. Not only does she board him at her ranch in exchange for his advertising expertise, but spending the Christmas season with her in Big Sky, Mont., brings more joy than he’s felt in a long while. Is he willing to give up the lavish lifestyle he’s worked for in exchange for the gift of love? The last thing Paisley wants for Christmas is to spend time with Josh Lake—the guy who broke her heart in high school—but until her bank loan goes through, she has to take all the free help she can get. Unfortunately, Josh seems to want back in her life again, and the town’s quirky coffee shop owners don’t help by hanging mistletoe at every opportunity. Will Paisley succeed in driving him away, or will she find the healing needed to have hope for a future together?
“The Dash of Dr. Todd” by Howard Adkins (Boise); Xlibris ($19.99)
Eighteen twenty-five dash eighteen sixty-eight: a man’s life summed up on a gravestone, as though his birth and death are the only cardinal facts of his existence. Certainly, a Mozart concerto is much more than the first and the last notes or even the total number of notes contained in the work. It is the manner in which Mozart arranged those notes, the themes they demonstrate, and the sentiments they elicit that give the composition its beauty and importance. In the same sense, the dash on the gravestone really represents the whole fabric of the life of the deceased and consists of a complex weft and warp of events, emotions and actions — all the threads that produced, day by day, the cloth of that man’s life. At least some of those threads are undoubtedly worthy of note in the existence of any man. The story that follows is the dash of Daniel Locke Todd, M.D.