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Snowflake Secrets

Snowflake Secrets by Sherry Derr-Wille,Christie Shary,Lorna Collins

ISBN10: 1603131981
ISBN13: 978-1603131988
Author: Sherry Derr-Wille,Christie Shary,Lorna Collins
Book title: Snowflake Secrets
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press (February 1, 2008)
Language: English
Category: Short Stories & Anthologies
Size PDF: 1648 kb
Size ePub: 1677 kb
Size Fb2: 1532 kb
Rating: 4.9/5
Votes: 417
Pages: 344 pages

Snowflake Secrets by Sherry Derr-Wille,Christie Shary,Lorna Collins

Can a simple crocheted snowflake contain magic? The Sullivan sisters think so. On Christmas Eve, 1958, Great Aunt Maude gives a unique snowflake ornament to each of them: Allegra-thirteen, Sonata-twelve, Melody-nine, and Carole-eight. Years later, they learn she might have crocheted a little something extra-a bit of magic and wisdom-into their gifts. In Snowflake Secrets, each sister, now grown, uncovers the magic of her unique ornament. As they confide their revelations to each other and their dying mother, they discover the secret they all share. Every narrative is unique and told in a different voice by four authors: Allegra by Lorna Collins; Sonata by Christie Shary; Melody by Luanna Rugh and Carole by Sherry Derr-Wille. Yet all their stories are woven together into the tapestry of Snowflake Secrets, an inspirational tale of family, love and finding that special joy that makes life worth living.


At times, SNOWFLAKE SECRETS is a delightful trip down memory lane with the Sullivan girls. At other times, a second chance at love with passion and trust fills the reader's heart with a sense of joy and hope.

Allegra, Sonata, Melody, and Carole, the Sullivan girls, are loved and nurtured in a Christian environment that includes their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even a Great-Aunt Maude that give each girl something more valuable than material goods. She gives them a sense of self-worth and purpose that influences their adult lives.

Carole, the baby and tomboy of the family, born on Christmas Eve, flounders for months when she is widowed after 36 years of marriage. Feeling dejected after decorating the Christmas tree, she notices the starched, glittering crocheted snowflake that Great-Aunt Maude gave her the year she turned eight years old. She seems to hear Maude's voice with a note in it that indicates the old woman is not pleased with Carole's behavior. She urges Carole to start living again because something special is out there just waiting for her to notice it. Remembering the poem that came with the snowflake that Christmas, Carole takes her great-aunt's advise and goes from a 55 year old moping widow to being an assistant to the manager of a prosperous company then moves on to a relationship that brings meaning and joy to her life. She learns to enjoy the moment.

Allegra, the oldest Sullivan girl, abandoned her college education to marry a gorgeous hunk studying to be a lawyer. Young and in love, she did not see his self-absorbed, manipulative ways. However, after years of being married and helping him gain wealth and social status, Allegra recognizes him for the liar and cheater he is and gets a divorces. With her self-esteem in tatters, she returns to Aspen Grove, Colorado to take care of her terminally ill mother. In the attic of her childhood home, she finds her starched glittering snowflake and its companion poem. Like Carole, she recalls her special times with Great-Aunt Maude. Life takes a positive turn. She realizes she has allowed someone else to define who she was and to abuse her. At church with her mother, Allegra meets Andrew McDonald, an acquaintance from high school. He helps to reaffirm Great-Aunt Maude's message that Allegra is precious, beautiful, talented, and destined for special things.

Sonata, the different Sullivan girl, carries her starched glittering snowflake with her through her years in the Peace Corps and UNICEF as she ministers to the poorest of the poor around the world. It gives her strength, courage, and reminds her of the times with Great-Aunt Maude that truly understood her and her deepest desires. Sonata's story takes the reader into heartbreaking situations as well as into experiences that are incredibly rewarding. The mystery of Sonata is compelling.

Melody, the family peacemaker and always like a song and ray of sunshine, lives with her husband Mike in California. Their children are grown with lives of their own so Melody takes up writing again--a talent and love she'd put aside for many years. When a package arrives for her that was mailed 29 years earlier, she is reunited with her starched glittering crocheted snowflake and its attached poem. It brings calm and comfort along with the memory of her mother saying she was like Great-Aunt Maude--a writer and a caregiver. With renewed courage, she overcomes the "empty nest" blues, pursues her writing, and builds a revitalized life.
As the four girls and the extended family gather at their old home in Aspen Grove for the Mother's last Christmas, the girls reconnect in their maturity as they never had before. The resolution of many issues makes poignant reading.

SNOWFLAKE SECRETS, a gentle story chocked full of human failings, desires, new beginnings, and continuity of family strengths, takes the reader through some memorable times of the `60's, `70's, `80's, and `90's that many will identify with. This book has a special charm all its own.


Lorna Collins

The scene was Christmas 1958, Aspen Grove, Colorado. A family has gathered for Christmas. Each family member arrived, bearing gifts and food. Allegra has special permission to wear a little lip color. Great-Aunt Maude gave the girls each a snowflake crocheted ornament with a poem attached. The snowflake would remind them that God uniquely created them.


Sherry Derr-Wille

Christmas Eve 2005, Mountain Glen, Colorado

Loneliness was over whelming for the recently widowed woman. Bittersweet memories flood her mind. As Carole looks at the decorated tree, she focuses on Aunt Maude's snowflake. She could hear her aunt's voice urging her to enjoy the holiday and to be prepared for something or someone waiting around the corner. The next morning, she received an unexpected call offering her the position of administrative assistant at Janish Industries. She would be working for Paul Janish, the owner's son. Mark Janish, owner of Janish Industries, was attracted to Carole the moment he saw her. It was a whirlwind courtship.

Carole is a beautiful love story. The plot is well-written and heartwarming. The characters are delightful. Sherry Derr-Wille is an extremely talented author. Fans of romance will enjoy Carole.


Lorna Collins

February 12, 2007 Palo Alto, California

Allegra had married Tom while he was still in law school. She put her degree and her life on hold, so that he could finish school. Tom could be cruel. He mentally and physically abused her. His extramarital affairs were multiple. Tom's latest girlfriend was pregnant and insisting he marry her. When Allegra learned that her mother had a brain tumor, she decided it was time to move back home. Her mother needed her, and she needed to escape her life. As she begins to go through her old things at home, she finds the snowflake, hand crocheted by her aunt and the poem her aunt had included in the Christmas gift. At church that evening, she was reunited with Drew McDonald. She had not seen him since high school.

Allegra is a charming love story. Lorna Collins has a talent for bringing her characters to life. I felt Allegra's pain when she thought of her unhappy marriage. The plot is beautifully developed and could be expanded on to create a standalone book.


Christie Shary

February 12, 2007 Morocco

As Sonata traveled in her work with UNICEF she always took her hand crocheted snowflake with her. She still fondly remembered when her aunt gave it to her as a Christmas present in 1958. She had just delivered a baby when her sister Mel called about their mother. She had a malignant brain tumor. Sonata was needed at home.

Sonata by Christie Shary is beautifully written. I questioned why it was included in this anthology. While all of the stories were delightful, this one has more depth. As Sonata remembered her life, fought illness, and struggled with the heartache of leaving Jamali, I wanted to reach out and hold her hand. Again, I believe this story could be expanded to stand on its own.


Luanna Rugh

After all this time, Melody had her hand crocheted snowflake. It had set in an undelivered package for years. When Melody discovered that her mother had an inoperable brain tumor she turned her grief inward. After speaking with her pastor, she opened up to her husband. She discovered they both had a secret. She was writing a romance novel, and he had hung on to his mustang.

Melody is an entertaining story. As Melody writes her romance story, she incorporates bits and pieces of her life or what she wishes was her life. I like her husband. He read her book and tried to fulfill her idea of romance.

A hand crocheted snowflake is the common thread in each story. The three sisters have unique personalities just as God made them. Each lead character matures and grows stronger as the story develops. I like these stories. My only criticism for this book is for two of the stories. Derr-Wille and Shary use church attendance to enhance their story. "If she had not gone to church, Nancy would not have offered her the job....etc." Allegra renewed her acquaintance with Drew at church. If the authors wanted to bring church in to the foray, I wish they had stuck to Christian values--abstinence before marriage. I realize this is a minute point but it does distract from the plot. The intimate scenes are sensual and well-written. I just wish they had not mixed the two. All in all, this is an excellent read. Fans of romance will enjoy Snowflake.