Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Alice Orr's New Christmas Novella

Today author, Alice Orr joins us with her new Christmas novella, A Vacancy at the Inn. 

"Alice Orr is a brilliant writer who has a Number One best seller hidden in her pocket. I look forward to more of her work," says one Amazon reviewer. 

I say “Thanks!” I love to write. Especially romantic suspense novels and blog posts. I’ve been a workshop leader, book editor and literary agent. Now I live my dream of writing full-time. I’ve published thirteen novels and four novellas – both traditionally and independently – plus a memoir so far. I wrote my nonfiction book, No More Rejections, as a gift to the writers' community I cherish. A revised edition is now in progress. Amazon says, "This book has it all." About my romantic suspense, Amazon says, "Alice Orr turns up the heat." Most of all, I like to hear from readers. Visit my website at I have two grown children and two perfect grandchildren and I live with my husband Jonathan in New York City.
Alice – to share this story with you.


      I once had a friend named Marjorie. We've lost track of one another but I remember her well. Mostly I remember hours spent at her Formica-top table which was designed for a kitchen but stood in her dining room because the kitchen was too small and cluttered to allow for table space.

     The Formica was not the finest grade and bore visible evidence of hundreds of coffee chats. Nests of circles linking and overlapping and intertwining. Each circle was a memory left by one of the many women who trekked from near and sometimes fairly far to sit at that table.

We came to talk to Marjorie and be listened to in a way we might never have been before.

     Listened to as if what we had to say – and ourselves as well – were worthy of the serious consideration and respect not always accorded to virtually powerless single moms. We would speak our piece and drink our coffee and leave behind a cup ring no amount of scrubbing could erase. Always we walked away less burdened than when we arrived.

Too often we neglected to consider the burden Marjorie herself bore. Primarily because she carried the weight with such grace and good humor. She had several children with multiple problems linking and overlapping and intertwining into a thicket of trouble pretty much impenetrable for a mother alone with few resources beyond her own generous nature.

Yet I only once saw her allow the bramble scratches from her thicket to show. The details of that day's dilemma and why it was more of a calamity than the many dilemmas before it were lost in time long ago. The indelible part is the image of Marjorie and what she did.

She sat still for a while – apparently calm. At last she rose from her chair slowly and deliberately. She turned without saying a word or looking at any of us and walked to the window. She struggled with the sash which was swollen closed by years of moisture and disrepair. I started to move toward helping her but something in her manner told me I shouldn’t.

I watched as she forced the window upward and leaned out. It was a brisk autumn day. The wind whipped her short reddish brown hair as she turned her face to the sky. She stayed like that for a moment – halfway in the room and halfway out – before uttering a single word.

"Help," she almost but not quite shouted. She pulled her head back in then. She shoved the window down and returned to her chair.

"Does that really work?" I asked mostly because I didn't know whether to laugh or cry and needed to say something so I wouldn’t do either. When Marjorie looked at me her eyes were clear. Her face was free from tension. "I think so," she said.

I’ve been known to tell this story as an amusing anecdote but I don't really think of it as funny. I think of it as one of the most elegant exercises in faith I’ve ever witnessed. I have also used it myself many times – with or without a window. I encourage you to do the same.

New Christmas Novella

A Vacancy at the Inn  – available now – is the first Christmas Novella of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series featuring the Kalli family – and now the Miller family too – in stories of Romance and Danger. A Wrong Way Home is Book 1 of the series. A Year of Summer Shadows is Book 2. A Villain for Vanessa will be Book 3.

All of my titles are available at

Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Christmas Novella
Luke & Bethany’s Story by Alice Orr

On a cold December day Bethany Miller and her son Michael arrive in Riverton.

She grew up on Riverton Hill in remote upstate New York where her complicated family still lives. She moved away to escape all of that and more. Now she’s back because of complications in her present life with what is best for her son. She hopes the Miller family will be a Christmas blessing for Michael. She’s less hopeful about what this homecoming will be for her.

The last thing Bethany wants is further complication. That means the last person she needs to see is Luke Kalli staring down at her from the roof of Miller’s Inn. They shared a glorious connection before she fled from here. The power of that encounter and the deep feelings she experienced came at a tumultuous moment in her life. They were yet another strong reason to leave Riverton Hill on Riverton Road and never return – until today. She has no idea this place will put her son in peril.

Check out this new novella.

Thanks for joining us, Alice.

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