The Far Side of Heaven
by D.L. Gardner
Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance
Charlene survived a deadly fire that swept through the hills of a quiet mountain town. With her ranch home destroyed she lives above her gift shop struggling to make ends meet and still recovering from a vile divorce. Three days before Christmas, a blizzard pounds the already despondent community, blowing in snow and with it a stranger.
With roads closed to the ski lodge, Dallas, a successful entrepreneur who is on a mission to promote his ingenious line of ski jackets, is stranded in the township of Meritville. Lured by the charm of the community, he soon learns that all is not well. When he meets the owner of a failing gift shop, he loses his heart and is thrust into the turmoil.
With all the forces against them, is it possible to spread the Light and Love of Christmas?
What the two of them were doing on this trip, besides taking a vacation, was introducing their jacket to skiers and anyone who might enjoy an ultra-warm, streamlined wrap that lit up at a touch. An Awareness Trip, Lew called it.
“Then you tell me. Where are we going to sleep?” Lew took another drink of water. “Comfortably, that is. Because if you suggest the Jeep, I’ll roll you across the street and make a snowman out of you.”
They had paid a heavy price for two rooms at the lodge, and now they had no way to get there. Granted, the reservation was good until after the first of the year and they had already enjoyed a few days of skiing. Meritville had simply been a day trip to satisfy their curiosity, be it an untimely one.
“I suppose we’re just going to have to trust that something will come along,” Dallas suggested. He could try the spaghetti, but he wasn’t that fond of tomato sauce.
“Trust?” Lew shook his head and snickered. “Trust what? Your god?”
Dallas shrugged. “Yes.”
Jill returned to take their order.
“Well, boys, what have you decided?”
“I’ll take the meatloaf, and—,” Lew flipped the menu over. “A coffee, and a room.”
Jill wrote the order down on her receipt book with a smile and turned to Dallas.
“Same,” Dallas said.
“You want the room over-easy or scrambled?” she teased.
“Sunny side up,” Dallas laughed.
“Okay,” she said and picked up their menus. “Coming right at ya.”
“See?” Dallas said.
Lew gave him the finger.
The meatloaf came steaming hot with a pile of mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans on the side and a fruit bowl. Jill returned to pour their coffee and Lew frowned.
“The room?” Lew asked, his hands spread wide, palms up.
“It’s still in the oven,” she said and winked at Dallas.
Dallas had not tasted a better meal in a long time. What Meritville didn’t have in prosperity, it had in cookery. Both he and Lew forgot about conversing, they were so involved in the meatloaf and potatoes. Once they devoured most of their food, Dallas slowed down.
“I need to not eat too fast,” Dallas said, coming up for air.
“Impossible,” Lew argued, sipping his coffee. “I could almost forget that we’re homeless, this food is so good.”
“Let’s not remind ourselves,” Dallas snickered.
Before they finished eating, Jill returned with their tab and set it on the table.
“Here’s the deal. If the temperatures are what they say they’re going to be, you can’t sleep in your vehicle. Meritville doesn’t want anyone to freeze to death because the mortician’s out of town.”
Lew nodded. “Seems reasonable.”
“So, one of you can drive me home. I walked to work this morning not knowing we were in for a blizzard. It came a day early. I have a spare room. It’s not big enough for two people, though, and one of my nephews is on the couch. So, I arranged for the other of you to stay the night with one of my friends. I already talked to her so you’re cool. She lives across the street in the Cozy Home Gift Shop.”
“A spare room with a bed?” Lew asked, anxious. They both knew the gift shop had no such accommodations.
“You go ahead, Lew. I can sleep on the floor.” Dallas said. That, and he’d like to see Charlene again.
$10 Amazon giftcard, and an audio book of The Far Side of Heaven – 1 winner!
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
About the Author
D.L.Gardner is an award winning author and screenwriter, taking home the Book Excellence Award for her Amazon’s best selling Ian’s Realm Saga as well as various other prestigious awards for her audio books and screenplays. Her young adult adventure fantasy and historical fantasy novels are loved by youth and adults all over the world.
“Dianne’s wonderfully descriptive writing style will have you so involved in the story that in a sense you will have forgotten that it was just a story.”
Dianne is a columnist for Amazing Stories Magazine, one of the most popular science fiction and fantasy magazines of all time. She’s taught workshops and participated on panels at conferences and film festivals. Her concept film for Ian’s Realm has won numerous fantasy short awards in L.A., New York and New Zealand.
Dianne was born in Ohio and raised in southern CA. She attended Northern AZ University and later continued her education in the Pacific Northwest. She’s an oil painter, book illustrator, screenwriter and filmmaker.