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It really is a wonderful life by Linda Wood Rondeau

Midville newcomer and Iraq War widow, Dorie Fitzgerald, despises the frigid Adirondack wasteland that has now become her home. After twenty failed job interviews, she questions the wisdom of moving to be near her parents. Her latest rejection for a clerk’s position at Bargains Galore sets her nerves on edge. Dorie’s faith has been a composite of expectations, first those of her parents, then later her husband’s. She wonders what a faith of her own would look like. Desperate for the towns acceptance, she joins the local Community Theater, in production for It’s a Wonderful Life

Jamey Sullivan has put his professional life on hold in order to run the family business and help his ailing father. He signs on for Midville’s production of It’s a Wonderful Life, although he hopes to receive a Broadway casting call any day now. Civic minded, Jamey is a Boy Scout leader, Sunday School teacher, and baseball coach. Helping people is a natural extension of his friendly nature, something he inherited from Pop in addition to the family business.

When Dorie and Jamey meet, they are instantly attracted to one another. However, ambition, demanding children, and a romantic rival threaten to squash their growing love for one another.

Dorie threw the letter and shrugged as it landed on top of
the leftover peanut butter sandwiches. Maybe she should
finish reading it, just in case she’d misunderstood the opening
paragraph. She picked up the memo again and flicked off the
residue along its edges, skimming the next few lines. When done,
she subdued the urge to scream. The kids were asleep—finally.
As she read, she mouthed the words with clenched jaws.
“Thank you for your interest in Bargains Galore. I am sorry to
inform you that the position for which you applied has been
filled… Blah, Blah, Blah. Sincerely, James Paul Sullivan…”
Regardless of the perfumed words, they still stung.
“What is it with this town?” She ripped the rejection into
pieces and tossed it into the trash. “I can’t even get a job at the
local dollar store. Somebody, somewhere, must need a computer
Focus on the positive Dorie. Mom’s voice echoed in her
memory. She’d spent a great night with the children, her favorite
people, a read-a-thon and Fern Gully, and bedtimes with no
rebuttals from Josh or squalls from Emma, all huge positives.
When the kids went to sleep, the nights became a desert
crossing, interminably long and arid. She settled into the recliner—
Devon’s chair—and flipped through the television
channels. Nothing of interest. Just news, reruns, or cartoons.
She clicked off the television and picked up the newspaper.
With a discordant sigh, she skipped over the first seven pages
and turned to the classifieds. Scanning the five employment
ads, she screeched an entire sonnet of Midville condemnations
then threw the paper at the wall.
Now her tirades beamed toward her late husband. “Devon,
you had no right to get yourself blown up fighting a war
nobody cares about anymore. How do you expect me to raise
these kids on my own when I can’t even get a job?”
Boomer’s bark brought her back from the edge of uncontrolled
rage, a precipice she teetered on all too often these days.
He nudged the crumpled newsprint in her direction. Some
people believed Irish setters could read minds, but the last she
knew, they couldn’t read newspapers. Maybe he sensed something
there—something good.
A breeze from the open window stirred its pages.
She bent over to pick it up. A jelly smudge brought her
attention to the announcement: Midville Players casting call.
Who would have thought a puny town like Midville would
have a drama group?
Curiosity numbed her anger. “Midville Players will hold
auditions for their upcoming Christmas production of It’s a
Wonderful Life—
Did she dare? She’d played an angel in a Christmas pageant
once. That was a lot of fun and her teacher said she was the
best angel. This would be different though. Still, what was the
worst that could happen?
You’d look like a fool and find new depths of rejection.
Discretion warned her to avoid any more opportunities for
“Now don’t let your mind go there Dorie.”
Devon had always encouraged her to try new things. Besides,
didn’t Daddy say the best way to find a job was to circulate?
Since moving to Midville four months ago her only
networking had been with her parents’ retired church friends.
Time to find a new circle of friends closer to her age.
She picked up the phone and hit the first number on her
speed dial. “Mom, will you watch the kids for me tomorrow

Ms. Rondeau has written a charming Christmas story with 3D characters that linger long after the last page is turned. I haven't seen the film that kept being referred to, so all those references were lost. However, it doesn't detract from the story itself. Dorie makes a wonderful heroine as she tries to make a new life for herself and her children after the death of her husband. Jameey as the hero, is also trying to do what is right for him, while doing right by his father and the business. Definitely a book to curl up with over the long winter nights.

Winner of the 2012 Selah Award for best first novel (The Other Side of Darkness/Harbourlight),  LINDA RONDEAU, writes stories of redemption and God’s mercies. Walk with her unforgettable characters as they journey paths not unlike our own. After a long career in human services, mother of three and wife of one very patient man, Linda now resides in Florida where she is active in her church and community.  Readers may visit her web site at  Her second book, written under L.W. Rondeau, America II: The Reformation, Trestle Press, the first in a dystopian trilogy, is a futuristic political now available in ebook on and Barnes and Noble.  Also with Trestle Press is her serial story, Rains of Terror which can be found on Amazon.Com. A Christmas Adirondack romance , It Really IS a Wonderful Life, is now available through, published by Lighthouse of the Carolinas.   


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