Friday, December 4, 2015

The Storytelling Chair

Stories at bedtime were a big part of life during the thirteen years Jonathan and I helped raise our grandchildren. We lived on Vashon Island in Washington State most of that time.

Our five-acre place at Center Island had – among many other kid-friendly features – a storytelling chair in a notch at a fence corner between two trees. Those trees began at the bottom more than far enough apart to fit a chair or the wider loveseat that preceded the chair but disintegrated. A casualty of the Pacific Northwest’s persistent dampness.

I would sit on the seat with a grandchild beside me or on the ground in front of me and I would read. One day my grandson – ever inquisitive and curious – asked me something like “What’s the story with the trees Grandma.” As he stared at the place where the trees grew almost together over my head I told him my theory.

“These trees were born very close to one another under the ground and they fell in love there. When they grew above the ground and saw each other’s beauty they fell in love even more deeply. So much so they couldn’t stand being apart and grew toward each other instead. Until they were side-by-side and kept on growing together to the sky.”

I’m not sure whether or not my grandson believed my story. Or the similar one I told about why the quince bush next to the driveway meandered through the branches of a lilac bush with unusually dark purple blossoms. He always appreciated a good story and seemed to accept what I said as such. A tale with a mood to it and a heart and – because it was me – a bit of romance too.

Stories at bedtime were told indoors of course and I read them most of the time rather than fabricating. I had a storytelling chair there too. It was bright red and sat between the dormers of the children’s upstairs loft. The sides of the ceiling leaned toward each other much like the trees in the fence corner outside.

On Christmas Eve I had a stack of books to read in the same order each year. I’d read in a droning voice designed to put two excited children to sleep. They’d be almost there when I reached the last on the pile and began.

“Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house…”

Alice Orr –

A Vacancy at the Inn – coming soon – is the first Christmas Novella of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series featuring the Kalli family – and now the Miller family too – in stories of Romance and Danger. A Wrong Way Home is Book 1 of the series. A Year of Summer Shadows is Book 2. A Villain for Vanessa will be Book 3.

All of my titles are available at

Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Christmas Novella
Luke & Bethany’s Story by Alice Orr

On a cold December day Bethany Miller and her son Michael arrive in Riverton.

She grew up on Riverton Hill in remote upstate New York where her complicated family still lives. She moved away to escape all of that and more. Now she’s back because of complications in her present life with what is best for her son. She hopes the Miller family will be a Christmas blessing for Michael. She’s less hopeful about what this homecoming will be for her.

The last thing Bethany wants is further complication. That means the last person she needs to see is Luke Kalli staring down at her from the roof of Miller’s Inn. They shared a glorious connection before she fled from here. The power of that encounter and the deep feelings she experienced came at a tumultuous moment in her life. They were yet another strong reason to leave Riverton Hill on Riverton Road and never return – until today. She has no idea this place will put her son in peril.

Alice Orr – Bio

"Alice Orr is a brilliant writer who has a Number One best seller hidden in her pocket. I look forward to more of her work," says one Amazon reviewer. I say “Thanks!” I love to write. Especially romantic suspense novels and blog posts. I’ve been a workshop leader, book editor and literary agent. Now I live my dream of writing full-time. I’ve published thirteen novels and four novellas – both traditionally and independently – plus a memoir so far. I wrote my nonfiction book, No More Rejections, as a gift to the writers' community I cherish. A revised edition is now in progress. Amazon says, "This book has it all." About my romantic suspense, Amazon says, "Alice Orr turns up the heat." Most of all, I like to hear from readers. Visit my website at I have two grown children and two perfect grandchildren and I live with my husband Jonathan in New York City.

1 comment:

Esther Hampton said...

Lovely post, thanks for posting.