When I was doing some research to write a Christmas blog post last year, I learned that the popular Christmas song, “White Christmas” first hit the American music charts in the autumn of 1942. It had been released in time for Christmas the previous year but only began to be noticed by listeners as Christmas 1942 drew around. Not surprisingly, it was especially popular with U.S. servicemen and women posted overseas who were longing for home. The Armed Forces Network was flooded with requests to play it.
The image of all the lonely servicemen and women stationed far from home, who remembered where they came from and those they had left behind when they heard “White Christmas”, caught my imagination and I knew that I had to work the song into a future story for The Yankee Years series.
I released a couple new stories in the series this year, as well as working on revisions for a novel that will soon be part of the series too. While I worked on these stories, I let my subconscious mull over the idea of a wartime Christmas story that would feature the song, “White Christmas”. Ideas gradually popped into my head and the story began to take shape. By the end of the summer, I had the outline figured out and started to write the story. The result is The Christmas Cure. It’s a Short Read that will take 90 minutes, or maybe a bit more, to read.
Here’s the gist of the story:
During the Second World War, one song familiar to American servicemen and women around the world conjured warm, comforting memories like no other. But, for some “White Christmas” unbearably deepened their longing for home.
December 1942: Lieutenant Marjorie Baxter is an intelligent, competent U.S. army nurse newly posted to the 160th Station Hospital at Necarne Castle, Irvinestown, Northern Ireland. Preparing to spend her first ever Christmas away from home, she appears aloof as she struggles to hide her homesickness. And everywhere she goes, she hears “White Christmas”.
Reverend Herbert Lindsay, the widowed rector of a nearby village church and a keen herbalist, is rebuilding his life after his beloved wife’s unexpected death two years ago. Exempt from military service after a childhood accident left him blind in one eye, he is dedicated to serving his parishioners as well as the Allied military personnel he encounters in his community.
The pair cross paths when Reverend Lindsay brings a civilian woman, injured by a U.S. army vehicle, to the U.S. military hospital. Although they intrigue each other, the nurse’s determined reserve stymies the minister’s friendly overtures.
As they continue to be thrown together during the Christmas season, can Marjorie open her heart to Herbert’s friendship, homespun remedies and advice, and maybe more?