USA Today bestselling author Pauline Baird Jones never liked reality, so she writes books. She likes to wander among the genres, rampaging like Godzilla, because she does love peril mixed in her romance. Learn more about Pauline and her books at her website.
One of the traditions that I share with the characters of Open With Care is going home, of the need to be home with loved ones for the holidays. I can still remember singing, “Over the river…to grandmother’s house we go” as a child. I was so excited it was painful, and as we’d sing, I’d peer out the car window and wonder if Santa was flying by overhead. Oh yes, I believed.
Now, I grew up close to both my grandmothers, so our “over the river” didn’t take that long. But our Christmas Eve was for my “over the river” grandma. As a child, I remember clambering out of the car, crunching across the snow toward a light square of welcoming warm and being met with loving hugs and a holiday treat—not a big one because my “over the river” Grandma had a lot of grandkids. That’s the other part of the memory. Lots of cousins and chaos.
And then back in the car and home for the long night’s wait for Santa’s visit. Then my closer Grandma would join us for the unwrapping. She’d settle in a chair and exclaim over our presents and return our thank you hugs for her small gifts so carefully wrapped and so ruthlessly unwrapped.
But wrapped in all the memories, in the heart of them all is the love, so much love and joy at being together.
Going home for Christmas was both harder—and more special—after I married and we moved a long way from home. I remember one Christmas in particular. We lived in New Orleans at the time and had had the trip planned for several months when the weather turned on us.
It was feared that it MIGHT snow in New Orleans—yes you read that right; it didn’t actually snow—but they basically shut the city down and cancelled all the flights. Yeah, on a might.
Luckily we were able to get out the next day, but it caused problems all along the line. I can still remember the face of the car rental agent when we explained why we were a day late. This was in Salt Lake City where it had snowed. And snowed. And snowed. It had snowed so much, they were hauling the snow out in trucks.
And we were a day late because of a “might” that didn’t happen.
That trip was defined by record-breaking snow (and our no snow beginning) and record breaking cold. The below zero kind that makes your jeans stiff.
And family hugs. Family love. Family time and the chance for our kids to experience an honest-to-goodness white Christmas.
In Open With Care I tried to capture that feeling of anticipation, but anticipation tempered with an adult perspective and with adult problems waiting for my heroine when she gets home.
Of course, because this is fiction, there are more problems waiting for her than an aging parent to be dealt with.
Open With Care
A collection of two sci-fi romances inspired by the spirit of giving
Unexpected guests come bearing gifts. This interstellar Christmas will be one for the ages…
Gini won't let her bickering family or the incoming blizzard dampen her holiday spirits. But nothing could prepare her for the uninvited houseguests. She's not sure if she's ready to exchange gifts with the man who broke her heart or the little green aliens on the roof.
But the intergalactic visitors have a gift for Gini… a taste of the youth and love she left behind…
Jane MacKenzie has never opened a Christmas gift that transformed her world. At least, not until she accidentally opens a box to find a man who was lost in a blizzard over 100 years ago. Jane isn't sure how to handle the strange visitor and his otherworldly agreement…
But the Christmastime encounter may just open her heart to a love that can stand the test of time.