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Once Upon a December

Amy E. Reichert

Top 10 Best Quotes

“You're reading Outlander?" Steph said, pointing to the book cover. Astra loved that book, about a woman who had escaped into the past to live another life and find true love. She had reread the entire series three times and here he was reading it. Such a surprising choice. She would have expected him to read something by Tom Wolfe or Stephen King, maybe even some presidential memoirs, but certainly not a time-traveling historical romance. She should know better than to try to predict a person's reading preferences--- they were never what you anticipated. Jack shrugged and set her kringle on the countertop. "I like how even time can't keep two people who belong together apart.”

“You say hope leads to disaster, but I say from disaster comes hope. You were married and I thought I'd never learn your name. Now I know you love sea turtles and snorkeling, you're fiercely devoted to your friends, and you take your coffee with a lot of cream but will add sugar when the mood strikes. Before you, I didn't think life could get better; a great family, the best home, and so much time to enjoy my life. What more could I want? You've upended my world and become woven into every part of it. I can't carve a nisse without thinking about what might amuse you. Every time I make a kringle, I wonder if you'll like it. I never want to look at the stars again without you to guide my gaze.”

“They stepped out of the trees, which opened onto a large meadow that appeared to be in the middle of a mountain range, large boulders scattered around like a giant had dropped them like seeds. Bernie dashed between them, kicking up snow and leaving a twisty trail of tracks. The nearest boulder stood right next to them, taller than Jack. Most of the sides were straight, but the one facing the mountains had a seat carved out of it. Astra imagined some ancestor had created it as a convenient place to rest. On the horizon, the sun glowed orange in the space between the low-hanging clouds and the mountaintops, covered in snow-topped pines. Astra was stunned into silence. There was no explanation for this. The faintest breeze kissed her cheek, the air scented with pine and newly fallen snow. Jack set his hands on her shoulders behind her, and she melted into him, sharing this moment. A sight he had surely seen a thousand times, but could it ever get old? "This is the most beautiful..." She couldn't find the words. "I know." They stood in silence until the sun completely disappeared and the night sky turned from orange and red to purple to a deep black only broken by more stars than Astra had ever seen.”

“There were so many things Astra would miss from the other three seasons: the first crocuses bursting through the still-cold soil, robins hopping around in the thawing snow, the sun beating down on her face at a Brewsters game, the air sticky but bearable because she knew it would end when the season shifted into fall, the noticeable change in August when the humidity evaporated and the night temperatures dropped, the inevitable morning in October when she woke up to the world iced in frost, like a giant baker had sprinkled everything with powdered sugar.”

“The tiny red-hatted gnome held a stack of books, the titles delicately carved onto the spines and painted in gold. Each book represented a different part of her. Outlander for their love across time and because it was one of her favorites. Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen because she had found it in the bookstore. A Christmas Carol because they both loved Christmas. Lily and the Octopus, presumably because of Bernie, and lastly Circle of Friends, which seemed self-explanatory.”

“The memories kept coming. She remembered the polka with Jack and the way his arms felt as they danced, the year he bought her hot chocolate. She remembered how her heart seemed to recognize him every year even though her brain hadn't--- an invisible string that kept tugging her back to the Julemarked, to him. She had known he was the one who gave her the nisser, but now she remembered receiving every single one. She couldn't believe the history they had together, which was all coming to her in one long rush. She hadn't just been falling in love with Jack for the last month; she'd been falling in love with him for fifteen years.”

“The girls met at least one Saturday a month for brunch at Blue's Egg in Wauwatosa. It was a nice middle distance between them all and had the most incredible hash browns.”

“The TV was still on, but now they were watching Moana. The princesses had definitely gotten more badass since she was a little girl.”

“She took another bite of the kringle, appreciating how she tasted just the right combination of flaky, tender pastry and scrumptious filling in each bite. She could see the layers in the dough, but they didn't flake off like a turnover or croissant. The almond cherry filling and cream cheese glaze were the perfect balance of sweet and tangy. With a man who could bake like this, she could almost see herself in another relationship.”

“She took a deep breath and turned her face to the sky, where large white flakes drifted down, landing in her auburn hair, winter blooms on a field of red. She closed her eyes and let the flakes kiss her cheeks, eyelids, lips. Never before in his life had he been jealous of snowflakes.”

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Book Keywords:

relatable-relationships, mountains, snowy, christmas-gift, realization, snowflakes, feminine-beauty, pine-trees, pastry, landscape, feminine-power, seasons-changing, disney-princess, hash-browns, dream-man, symbolic-meaning, confession-of-love, red-hair, wisconsin, time-travel-romance, outlander, weather, brunch, books, figurine, christmas-romance, sunset, gnome, flavor-combos, moana, falling-in-love, bakery-romance, memories

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