I stood at the threshold of the church. A pine scent wafted toward me. Tied at the end of each pew was a simple evergreen wreath with a velvet bow. A smidge of worry tickled my brain. What about those with allergies? Would they be bothered by the smell?

“What do you think Grandma?” Faith bounded up to me, a wide smile brightening her face.

I pushed my concerns away. My granddaughter Faith and my best friend Cheryl had upgraded the plastic wreaths the church owned to real ones so the Christmas Eve Service had some special touches for the wedding. My wedding. Once by beloved Joe died, I never dreamed of having male companionship again. A husband. But here I was, about ready to walk down the aisle again. My beautiful granddaughter, the treasure of my life, insisted I deserved a special day to celebrate my nuptials to Randall Moore.

“Don’t you like it?” There was worry in Faith’s voice.

I hugged her. “It’s lovely. Perfect. Just the way it is.”

I spoke the last sentence louder as I spotted Cheryl trying to adjust the Christmas tree at the front of the sanctuary. The pastor would not be happy if she knocked it over, and she might get hurt. “Sweetie, I think your other grandma needs some help.”

Faith’s brows furrowed down. She turned and heaved out a sigh. “Grandma Cheryl, I told you I’d help you.”

Cheryl snorted. “I’ve been putting up Christmas trees since before you were born. I think I know how to do this.”

Faith ran to the front. “You’re not putting one up, you’re trying to move a fully decorated tree.”

“It’s in the way.” Cheryl huffed and puffed, tugging the tree to the left. “We won’t be able to get good pictures if the tree is in this spot.”

Maybe my choice of a Christmas Eve wedding wasn’t such a good idea. Originally, I thought it was perfect. I wanted a simple event with an open door policy for anyone who wanted to take part in my and Randall’s celebration. All I wanted was an exchanging of vows during a church service and refreshments in the fellowship hall. Randall and I had agreed we didn’t want a big to do. That would be saved for when my granddaughter—now our granddaughter—was married in March.

And frankly, at our ages Randall Moore and I were more likely to remember our anniversary if we were married on a holiday. Christmas Eve was perfect as Randall’s children and grandchildren had already planned a visit for the Christmas holidays, the church was decorated, and most of the residents of Eden would be at church that night. The candlelight service sounded like the perfect night for our wedding.

I hadn’t envisioned Faith and Cheryl believing Christmas was overshadowing me. There was one way to distract them away from the Christmas tree and trying to find other ways to make me the highlight of a night that should be about love and goodness for all of mankind.

“I need help finding my dress. It’s gone missing.” I added a little woebegone to my voice.

Faith and Cheryl spun toward me, shock on their face.

“Your wedding dress?” Faith practically screeched. She ran for the office we were using as my dressing.

Cheryl gasped and rushed for the door. “I’ll check the car.”

Now, I knew exactly where my dress was but I knew Faith always loved a good mystery. It would be a god distraction for her. And Cheryl, even though she fussed at our granddaughter for involving herself a pursuit best left for the police, I knew she secretly admired her—and was thrilled of Faith’s meddling.

As Cheryl liked to remind me: At least Faith got a man out of it.


You can read more about Hope in Altered to Death, the sixth book in the “Faith Hunter Scrap This” mystery series, coming November 28, 2017.

Even knee-deep in planning her wedding, Faith Hunter finds herself distracted by the town scrapbook she was commissioned to create. Eden’s oldest mystery, the founding family’s exodus nearly a hundred years ago, remains unsolved. When a search through the family’s abandoned mansion leads to the uncovering of bones on the property and ex-boyfriend Steve Davis announces a surprise heir has staked a claim, Faith is determined to dig up the truth left behind.

Meanwhile, family friend Wyatt Buford asks Faith to look into his deadbeat father’s disappearing act and his connection to the murder. Her quest for answers unearths secrets past and present that some would prefer stay buried at any cost. Faith’s resolve to present the facts and nothing but about Eden’s history could lead to her own future being cut short.

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About the author
Christina Freeburn started jotting down stories on her bus commute to high school and never stopped. The Scrap This Mystery series is a mix of crafty and crime, bringing together her love of mysteries and scrapbooking. Her New Beginnings series is an inspirational romantic suspense featuring heroines and heroes willing to risk their lives to find hope, promise and a future for those struggling in a world that’s set against them. Christina served in the JAG Corps of the US Army and has worked as a paralegal, librarian, and church secretary. Currently, she is plotting two new series and waiting to see which one wins over her muse. Connect with Christina at christinafreeburn.com.

All comments are welcomed.

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