The second winner in our 2014 Christmas Fiction Writing contest was Shauna V. Brown’s “Because of Love,” which releases on Oct. 14.
About the book:
For Christmas, all Phoebe Brown wants is to give her daughters new shoes to replace their heavy leather boots. But because they have very little money, her husband refuses to pay for them. Inspired by true events, this Christmas story shows how the power of love can change even the most begrudging heart.
“Because of Love” will be available in bookstores and from online retailers once it’s released.
Hanging his hat and jacket on the welcome post by the door, Byron greeted us with his traditional, “Well, how was the day for my four sweet beauties?”
The girls quickly surrounded him for their daily dose of hugs and kisses. Without hesitation Ida informed him, “Oh Father, you should have seen how mean the children were to Josephine. They were making fun of her again. We were on the way home from school this time. You’ve got to do something!”
“They made her cry,” added Sadie.“ They danced around her and made up a song.”
“They what?” he asked, sounding surprised.
“A stupid song,” said Josephine with a grouse look.
“A song about you?”
“They made up a song about her bony legs and those big boots,” informed Ida.
“Josephine was so upset that she couldn’t even walk. She sat down in Gardener’s Field and wouldn’t move, so Ida and I ran home and got mother. When we got back to her, she was sobbing and curled up in a ball. She was covering up her legs and those darn boots!” said Sadie. “Mother, Ida and I chased them away. You should have seen their faces when they saw Mother. They all took to running even though she yelled for them to stay put.”
Byron met my eyes. It was easy to see he was upset. He stooped down, picked Josephine up, and held her close. Once again Josephine began to cry, and he comforted her quietly as he thought.
Almost duplicating my earlier intensity, Ida ventured a comment, “ Father, Josephine needs to have shoes that are her size, not big, ugly boots. No other girls wear boots like ours! They’re heavy and big, and we should look like girls and feel pretty. Metal toes and thick leather–”
“Ida! Stop this at once. You don’t hear your mother complaining, do you?” Byron interrupted, while looking at me intensely.
I looked at him and my cheeks heated. “As much as I would like you to know of my appreciation for the boots I must admit that I did complain today. When I saw those children making fun of Josephine, all I could do was get upset, and not just with the children.” Byron looked even more concerned. “I know I should be grateful for these Hibbard boots, but they don’t make me feel much like a woman. I know you–”
“Your mother and I will discuss it – later,” he said. He must have sensed my displeasure, and his eyes turned sad. We all knew the topic was no longer to be addressed in his presence.