Mary Jones is recently widowed and lonely…very lonely. Although the people of the small town of River Oak, Tennessee, call her Grandmother Jones with much affection, Mary yearns for the family she was never blessed with.
When a stranger named Teresa appears on her doorstep with her four-year-old child, claiming to be the daughter of her deceased husband, Mary’s world is forever changed.
Even though Mary suspects Teresa is hiding a terrible secret, she takes her newfound stepdaughter underwing, determined to help her. Soon, the young woman garners the attention of Tom, the single and very handsome sheriff of the town, and Mary can’t help but play matchmaker.
When Teresa’s daughter is kidnapped by her dangerous ex-husband, Mary and Teresa are forced to rely on the young sheriff, each other, and more importantly, God. Will Teresa’s daughter be rescued? Will Mary receive a special Christmas gift this year—the one thing she has always wanted in her life?
A Christmas Gift for Mary Jones is an inspirational story of faith, family, and love.
As she walked around the old farmhouse, she smiled at her prized pumpkins. What a crop. Soon, they would be making their yearly appearance for the town’s annual pumpkin festival. With a turn, she focused her attention on the cabbage and broccoli planted in the next rows. Taking her hoe, she rooted out the weeds along the two lines of winter vegetables.
A fast worker, in no time she had finished and moved on to the row of cauliflower. In an hour and a half, the whole garden had been weeded. Picking up her supplies, Mary strolled toward the back door of the house.
“Hello!” screamed an unfamiliar voice, that of a young child, causing Mary to trip on her own feet and her legs to go out from under her body. She landed on her rear with a thud. As her heart beat in triple overtime, she couldn’t help but think she could see it pulsating through her dress. Regaining her composure, she pulled herself to standing. Slowly, Mary eased into the house, thinking perhaps she’d imagined the sound. “Hello?”
“Hello,” came the voice of an angel.
Sure enough, there sat a redheaded child at the table.
“Who are you and what are doing in my house?”
“I’m Emma. Who are you?”
Precocious little thing.
“Emma! Emma! Where are you?” A woman’s voice penetrated from the front hall. Within seconds, the two ladies stood face to face, as if both were meeting at an intruder.
“Excuse me. I’m looking for William Jones. This is his home, isn’t it?” the brown-haired, cocoa-eyed female asked.
“Yes, this was his home.”
“What do you mean was?” the puzzled, young lady asked. “Did he sell it to you?”
Clearly, there was some sort of misunderstanding. Since she seemed harmless enough, Mary proceeded into the living room and motioned for the young woman to follow. “Sit, please. Now, first thing, tell me what your name is.”
“It’s Teresa and you’ve met Emma.” She stroked the girl’s hair.
“Okay, Teresa, why don’t you tell me what brought you here?”
“I’m looking for my father, William Jones.”
Mary’s stomach leapt into her throat. “Your father,” she choked out. William? How?
But Teresa had named him, specifically.
“Yes, my father. Do you know him? You must, since you are in his home.”
The information rambled through Mary’s mind. William couldn’t have a daughter and a granddaughter. He would have told her.
Although…he had mentioned needing to talk about something shortly before his passing. A sigh released some of the tension in Mary’s body. “I’m William’s wife. I’m afraid he never informed me he had a daughter.”
“Of course. I see.” A look of sadness came over Teresa’s face. “We’ve only just started to communicate with each other, after the death of my mother. Growing up, I never knew who my father was, at least not until eight months ago. I found his name on an old letter my mother kept in her dresser drawer.”
Several thoughts raced through Mary’s mind. How did this young lady know William—her William—was truly her father? If this information was accurate, why hadn’t he told her sooner? What did the letter say?
Refocusing her attention to the woman sitting in front of her, along with her little girl, she found it ironic that William secretly had the daughter she’d ached for. If only…
“How long have you and my father been married?”
“It was a good couple of decades before…before…” Mary stopped, unsure how to inform this sweet dear sitting in front of her, who looked no more than twenty at the most, that her father had left this world.
“Before what?” Teresa asked.