So excited to share my latest (unofficial)Men of Gilead book, WELCOME HOME, SOLDIER! You can preorder it in the Dreamspinners’ Stocking Stuffer Holiday Advent Calendar. Enjoy a tale of men in love with men every day throughout December, including my book WELCOME HOME, SOLDIER.
A holiday story will be delivered automatically to your bookshelf each day in December. More than 400,000 words of romantic fiction in 31 stories that would sell individually for a total of $85.69. Buy the package early and save:
October – $39.99 November* – $49.99
*Sale of packages for daily delivery ends Nov. 25.
Beginning December 1, stories will be available individually as priced or as a bulk package for $64.99.
Welcome Home, Soldier by Deanna Wadsworth
Clay and Daniel fell in love as enlisted men during Desert Shield, but Don’t Ask Don’t Tell meant they had to keep it secret. After Clay’s convoy was ambushed, PTSD changed him, and their relationship ended in a horrible fight on Christmas Eve.
Twenty-five years later, they’ve reconnected on Facebook, and Clay finds out Daniel will be alone on Christmas Eve. Impulsively, he sets out for Daniel’s hometown of Gilead, Ohio—where Daniel is now the mayor—to surprise him with a visit. But a blizzard strikes and Clay wrecks his car. All hope of seeing Daniel is lost—until a mysterious old man named Nick offers Clay a ride.
The weight of past wounds and the scars of war might make their reunion awkward, but Clay is willing to take the risk to win back his lost love. Despite a lifetime of disappointing holidays, Clay hopes that this soldier is finally coming home for Christmas.
Enjoy this excerpt from my upcoming Gilead Christmas story, WELCOME HOME, SOLDIER
“This is where you get off, soldier,” Nick announced.
Clearing his throat when the truck stopped, Clay offered, “Listen, Nick, I don’t know how to repay—”
Nick raised a hand. “No need. Just go in and make up with your friend.”
Clay studied the cabin, hunkered in between tall pines on one side and a barn on the other, bundled up against the elements. Smoke spiraled from the stone chimney, quickly captured in the storm and whisked away. Golden light spilled from the large windows and onto the white snow. Even through the storm, Clay could make out the colorful twinkling of a Christmas tree inside.
I don’t know if I can do this.
He looked at Nick. “Are you sure you shouldn’t come in? I don’t think Daniel would mind. The roads are getting dangerous.” It was ballsy to invite a stranger into Daniel’s house, but basic human decency wouldn’t allow Nick to go back out into the storm, right?
“No, no,” Nick assured him. “I’ve done this a time or two. I got it all under control.”
Clay nodded but didn’t move.
“Go on,” Nick encouraged. “I have more gifts to deliver tonight than just you.”
Chest aching, Clay let out a weary sigh and zipped his jacket. Then he shook Nick’s hand, engulfing it in both of his own. “Thank you again. And please be safe out there.”
Nick gave a rumbling, deep-belly laugh. “Oh, ho-ho! I’ll be fine. Don’t you worry.”
Hesitating for another moment, Clay said farewell, then climbed from the truck and shut the door. He waved goodbye and hunched into the weather. Leaving fresh tracks, he hurried toward Daniel’s porch. The wind swallowed the sounds of the truck engine, and when he glanced over his shoulder, Nick had already disappeared into the storm.
Godspeed, friend, he thought, grateful for his guardian angel tonight.
He hoped that same good fortune would stay with Nick on his route.
Clay stared at the ominous green door—Daniel’s favorite color. With a fortifying breath, he pushed the doorbell. When he didn’t hear anything, he knocked on the door with a fist. On the other side, a dog barked.
His heart gave a pang at the sound. His white German Shepard Lola had died too young, only seven. Damn, I miss her.
Clay raised his hand to knock again, but the rumble of a man’s voice followed by the switch of a deadbolt stopped him. His heart skipped. This is it.
The door opened.
“Clay?” Hazel eyes met Clay’s, wide with shock.
At least he recognizes me. That’s a start. Shoving his hands into his jacket pockets, Clay offered, “Merry Christmas, Daniel.”