FREE Kindle Book! “The Reluctant Belsnickel of Opelt’s Wood” by Kathleen Valentine

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Novella (23k words) – Folklore / Romance – DECEMBER 6th IS BELSNICKEL DAY! Story #9 in The Whiskey Bottle in the Wall: Secrets of Marienstadt series: When Father Nicholas Bauer becomes the pastor of St. Walburga’s in a rural Pennsylvania Dutch community he makes it his mission to revive some of their Old World Traditions including Belsnickel. According to local legend, Belsnickel was an old man who lived in the woods and visited children on the evening of December 6th to see if they’ve been bad or good. He recruits his childhood friend Gretchen Fritz who owns a quilting shop called the Calico Cuckoo. Both of them grew up with Oliver Eberstark and Father Nick is determined to get Oliver to play Belsnickel for the local children. When they were young Oliver was a popular athlete and local heart-throb but now he is a recluse who lives alone at his grandfather’s sawmill deep in Opelt’s Wood. As the plans for Belsnickel and Christmas progress Father Nick hopes to understand what happened to Oliver and why he is now a hermit and Gretchen rediscovers why half the girls in town had crushes on him.

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