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Authors: Liz Curtis Higgs

A Wreath of Snow

BOOK: A Wreath of Snow
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Praise for
A Wreath of Snow

“I loved it.
A Wreath of Snow
is a wonderful story of redemption and restoration that will warm your heart during the Christmas season—or any time of year!”

—F
RANCINE
R
IVERS
, author of
Redeeming Love

“When
A Wreath of Snow
arrived at my doorstep, I settled down to read just a few lines and instead devoured it. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys heart-tugging stories of forgiveness and grace.”

—T
RACIE
P
ETERSON
, author of the Land of the Lone Star series

“A delightful Christmas jaunt through bonny Scotland in the Victorian era—complete with snow! I was drawn in by compelling characters who struggle to find love, joy, and belonging, only to discover the real meaning of Christmas. A heartwarming story!”

—M
ELODY
C
ARLSON
, author of
Christmas at Harrington’s


A Wreath of Snow
charms from first page to last, and Gordon and Meg will capture your heart. The story might even make you long for snow. Don’t miss this delightful novella. It’s a keeper!”

—R
OBIN
L
EE
H
ATCHER
, author of
Betrayal

“Journey to a time and place where hearth, home, and honesty are the gifts beneath the candlelit Christmas tree. You’ll find yourself lingering in the glow of this winsome tale that brims with comfort and joy.”

—R
OBIN
J
ONES
G
UNN
, author of
Finding Father Christmas

“I look for a richly textured story that draws me in and lets me become a part of its world. Liz Curtis Higgs has once again provided that kind of beautifully written and thoroughly involving story.
A Wreath of Snow
glows with warmth, charm, and grace. A wonderful read.”

—BJ H
OFF
, author of The Riverhaven Years series

“Like a perfect afternoon tea,
A Wreath of Snow
is sure to comfort, delight, and surprise. It offers the savory rewards of repentance tendered and forgiveness received, the liquid warmth of family affections, and a perfectly delicate setting in Victorian Scotland. A charming Christmas read.”

—S
ANDRA
B
YRD
, author of
To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn

Praise for
Mine Is the Night

“When a beautifully written, well-researched romance filled with intelligent, complicated characters comes along, it is definitely cause for celebration.”


C
ROSSWALK.COM

O
THER
B
OOKS BY
L
IZ
C
URTIS
H
IGGS

H
ISTORICAL
F
ICTION
Thorn in My Heart
Fair Is the Rose
Whence Came a Prince
Grace in Thine Eyes
Here Burns My Candle
Mine Is the Night

C
ONTEMPORARY
F
ICTION
Mixed Signals
Bookends

N
ONFICTION
Bad Girls of the Bible
Really Bad Girls of the Bible
Unveiling Mary Magdalene
Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible
Rise and Shine
Embrace Grace
My Heart’s in the Lowlands
The Girl’s Still Got It

C
HILDREN

S
The Parable of the Lily
The Sunflower Parable
The Pumpkin Patch Parable
The Pine Tree Parable
Go Away, Dark Night

A W
REATH OF
S
NOW
P
UBLISHED BY
W
ATER
B
ROOK
P
RESS
12265 Oracle Boulevard, Suite 200
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80921

All Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version.

The characters and events in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to actual persons or events is coincidental.

eISBN: 978-0-307-72956-9

Copyright © 2012 by Liz Curtis Higgs

Cover design by Mark D. Ford; cover photo of woman by Laurence Dutton, Getty Images

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Published in the United States by WaterBrook Multnomah, an imprint of the Crown
Publishing Group, a division of Random House Inc., New York.

W
ATER
B
ROOK
and its deer colophon are registered trademarks of Random House Inc.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Higgs, Liz Curtis.
    A wreath of snow / Liz Curtis Higgs. — 1st ed.
         p. cm.
 1. Scotland—Social life and customs—19th century—Fiction. I. Title.
    PS3558.I36235W48 2005
    813′.54—dc23
                                                                2012028073

v3.1

To our daughter, Lilly
,
a brilliant artist, a gifted storyteller
,
a fine traveling companion
,
and an exceptional encourager

Contents

Christmas …
the season for kindling, not merely
the fire of hospitality in the hall,
but the genial flame of charity
in the heart.

W
ASHINGTON
I
RVING

Chapter One

Christmas is here:
Winds whistle shrill,
Icy and chill.

W
ILLIAM
M
AKEPEACE
T
HACKERAY

Stirling, Scotland
24 December 1894

I
n all her twenty-six years, Meg Campbell had never been this cold. Shivering inside her green woolen coat, she passed the crowded shops of Murray Place as the snow fell thick and fast.

She could only guess when the next train would depart for Edinburgh. Why had she not consulted her father’s railway schedule posted by the kitchen door? Because she left
Albert Place in tears. Because she left without even saying good-bye.

Meg lowered her chin lest a gust of wind catch the brim of her hat and wrench it from her head. Another minute and she would reach the corner. Two minutes more and—

“Mind where you’re going, lass!”

Startled, she nearly lost her balance on the icy pavement. “Beg pardon, Mr. Fenwick.”

Her former schoolteacher, now bent with age, merely grunted in response.

“I’m Margaret Campbell,” she reminded him, knowing how many students had passed through his classroom door. “Have you heard that I’m a teacher now? In Edinburgh?”

“Aye.” He stared at her for a moment, then tottered off without another word, the tip of his cane drawing a jagged pattern in the snow.

Meg turned away, slightly stung by the elderly man’s rebuff. Perhaps Mr. Fenwick believed unmarried women should reside at home with their families. If so, he was not alone in his opinion. But he didn’t know what life was like beneath her parents’ roof.
I tried to stay, Mum. Truly I did
.

Gripping her leather satchel, Meg headed toward Station Road, glancing at the shop windows with their mounds of fresh oranges and brightly colored paper bells. Her two dozen students would be home by now, celebrating Christmas with their
loved ones. Just picturing bright-eyed Eliza Grant holding up her chalk slate covered with numbers and Jamie McFarlane shouting out the alphabet with glee renewed Meg’s confidence. She was living in the right place and doing the work she was called to do, no matter what the Mr. Fenwicks of the world might think.

The heavy snowfall muted the clatter of horses’ hoofs in the busy thoroughfare and washed every bit of color from the sky. Was it two o’clock? Three? She’d been so upset when she left her parents’ house that she hadn’t checked the watch pinned to her bodice or arranged for a carriage. Now she had to send for her trunk and hope it could be delivered to the railway station in time for her departure.

She turned the corner and was relieved to see a host of arriving passengers pouring into the street. It seemed the trains were running despite the weather. Easing her pace to manage the downward slope, Meg held out one hand, prepared to grasp a hitching post—or a stranger’s elbow, if need be.

Few pedestrians were moving in the direction she was. Instead, they were flowing upward into the town. Gentlemen returning home from the city, cousins gathering for Christmas, young scholars toting ice skates instead of books—all were tramping up snowy Station Road with joy on their faces.

BOOK: A Wreath of Snow
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