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Sunday, December 15, 2019

A Historical Christmas Event with Callie Hutton

Callie Hutton, USA Today bestselling author of The Elusive Wife, writes both Western Historical and Regency romance, with “historic elements and sensory details” (The Romance Reviews). She has also recently delved into the word of the cozy mystery with her upcoming release (May 2020) of A Study in Murder from Crooked Lane Publishing.

She lives in Oklahoma with several rescue dogs and her top cheerleader husband of many years. Her family also includes her daughter, son, daughter-in-law and twin grandsons affectionately known as “The Twinadoes.”

Callie loves to hear from readers. Contact her directly at or find her online at Sign up for her newsletter to receive information on new releases, appearances, contests and exclusive subscriber content. Visit her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Ms. Hutton has written more than 40 books. For a complete listing, go to

This short story is a follow up to my book, The Bookseller and the Earl. It’s Christmas Eve and Lord and Lady Berkshire (Grayson and Addie), are on the road and hoping to make it to their home in Bath from their country estate before the babe arrives. She wants to be home and near her friends and family for Christmas and the baby’s birth.

Twenty miles outside of Bath, England
December 24, 1885

Leaning heavily on Grayson’s arm, Addie entered the main room of the coaching inn. Thank goodness a strong fire had been built up and the place was warm. She stiffened as another pain shot from around her back to her belly. She glanced up at her husband to see if he had noticed and breathed a sigh of relief when he seemed focused on the innkeeper who approached them.

“Ah, good afternoon, my lord. ‘Tis a nasty day out there for sure, and I see from your coat that the snow has started.” The innkeeper made a quick bow, the directed them to a table near the fireplace. “Will you be needing a room?”

“I don’t believe so. My wife and I are on our way home but it’s taking longer than we planned. She is feeling poorly and we thought to stop for some tea and perhaps a light meal.” Grayson helped her into the small wooden chair, which she eyed skeptically, not sure if it would hold her bulk.

“Yes, I can serve ye a fine lamb stew my wife has simmering in the kitchen, along with a nice pot of tea and warm bread. ‘Tis a good thing you aren’t in need of a room because we don’t have one available at present.” The innkeeper glanced quickly at Addie’s protruding stomach and said, “Looks like you have a little one on the way.” He narrowed his eyes. “Very shortly.”

Addie held in the groan as once again her stomach muscles tightened. She hadn’t really wanted to tell Grayson the true reason she wanted to stop. It appeared the babe was anxious to make its appearance, and she did not want to give birth on the road. She feared if she told him the real reason, he would have panicked, and made things worse.

“Are you feeling all right, sweetheart? You look a little pale.” Grayson hovered over her as he helped her remove her cloak. Addie glanced at her belly and marveled once again at the life contained therein. As she was wont to do of late, tears gathered at the thought of the babe. A white linen handkerchief appeared in front of her eyes which she used to wipe her wet cheeks.

“You are certainly a watering pot these days.” Grayson took the chair alongside her and clasped her hand in his. “I know you felt the need for a short respite, but I want to make sure we arrive in Bath before the roads get too bad.”

She patted his hand. “Yes, I know. But I wanted to—” Addie sucked in a breath and gripped Grayson’s hand with such force he winced.

“What?” Panic already graced his voice.

Addie let out a slow breath and said, “I think the babe might be eager to meet his parents.”

His eyebrows rose to his hairline. “Now?”

She nodded.

Grayson jumped up, knocking his chair over. “Innkeeper!” He ran his fingers through his hair. “Are you sure, sweetheart?”

Addie gave him a slight smile and nodded once again. “Yes, I believe so.”

He waved at her belly. “Well, tell him he can’t right now. I mean, you’re his mum, make him obey.”

Despite her fear and pain, Addie burst out laughing. “I have no control over this.”

The innkeeper hurried in, a stout woman wiping her hands on a stained apron behind him. “What is it, sir?”

“We need a room. A bed. And a midwife. Now.”

The innkeeper stood before them, wringing his hands. “I’m very sorry, sir, but I have no more rooms.”

Addie covered her face with her hands and groaned.

“What? What?” Grayson was near hysteria.

What in heaven’s name had happened to her clear, calm husband?

“Do you not see the humor in this?” Addie bit back her laughter at the tense expression on Grayson’s face. She doubted he would find humor in this at all.

“What are you talking about, Addie? What’s funny?”

She placed her hand on her aching back. “It’s Christmas Eve, I’m about to deliver a baby, and there is no room at the inn. The only thing missing is the donkey.”

He stared at her as if she’d lost her mind. She could almost see him re-playing the words in his head, trying to make sense of it. When he continued to stare, she waved at him. “Never mind. I’ll explain it another time.” Where was her strong, always-in-charge husband when she needed him?

The innkeeper’s wife stepped up to her. “I am terribly sorry about the lack of a room, my lady. ‘Tis not my intention to insult you, but you are more than welcome to use—“

“The stable?” Addie burst out laughing just as a pain hit and her mirth turned into a very loud groan.

“Not at all, my lady!” The woman gasped. “I would never put you in with the animals.”

“And it has already been done,” Addie mumbled. Did no one except her see the irony of the situation?

“I can let you make use of our bedroom, behind the kitchen. ‘Tis not much, and again I apologize, and don’t mean to offer you insult, but at least you can have privacy. I shall change the linens immediately.”

Grayson gripped Addie’s elbow and helped her up. “That would be fine, madam. My wife and I appreciate your consideration.”

Addie walked slowly behind the woman, Grayson’s arm wrapped securely around her shoulders. He leaned in close to her ear. “Couldn’t you have waited just a few more hours, my love?”

“Tell it to the babe.”

It had been hours since the midwife had arrived and remained cosseted with Addie in the small bedroom at the back of the inn. Grayson walked the boards under his feet in front of the fireplace, amazed he hadn’t worn them out. Over time, Addie’s moans had turned into screams and cuss words he had no idea his wife knew. He’d decided two hours ago he and Addie would have a celibate marriage going forward.

The front door of the inn opened and Addie’s best friends, Lady Pamela, Lottie and her husband, Carter barreled through. “We left as soon as we received your message. Has the babe been born yet?” Lottie shrugged out of her snow covered coat.

“No.” Grayson rubbed the back of his neck. “I don’t know how much longer she can last.”

She rested her palm on his arm. “It is terrible to listen to, but all will be fine. Trust me.” She pulled off her gloves. “Where is she?” A loud scream echoed through the room. “Never mind. I believe I can find her.”

Lottie and Lady Pamela hurried to the back of the inn.

Carter slapped Grayson on the back. “Let’s have a bit of whiskey to celebrate the arrival of the babe.”

Grayson shook his head. “No. I have to keep a clear head.”

Since Carter was anticipating going through the same event very shortly himself, the two men sat in silence, with Grayson hopping up and down to pace for another hour before Lottie lumbered out of the room, her face beaming. “Grayson. Go meet your child.”

He jumped up, and once again his chair went flying. “It’s over?”

When Lottie nodded, he shouted. “Praise the Lord!”

He entered the room and Lottie, Pamela and the midwife left them to their privacy, closing the door quietly behind them. Addie rested against the propped-up pillows, her hair plastered to her damp forehead, but with a smile on her face. She held a small bundle that moved as he stared at the sight. Cupping the babe’s body with one hand she held out her arm. “Come say hello to your son.”

He sucked in a deep breath. “A boy?” He felt the sudden need for the handkerchief he’d given her before.


Grayson sat alongside her and gazed at the face of the beautiful child he and Addie had made together. Truly a miracle.

The door to the bedroom eased open and Lottie, Carter and Pamela returned. Each carried a brightly wrapped gift for the child. Addie shook her head. The entire night was becoming surreal.

The snow had stopped and even though it was the middle of the night, and since there were no rooms available, the visitors returned to Bath with a promise from Grayson that he would bring his family back home as soon as they were able.

The innkeeper’s wife insisted they stay in their bedroom until the next day when two rooms would become available. She and her husband were more than happy, the woman said, to sleep by the warm fireplace in the kitchen for the few hours left to the night.

About an hour after things had settled down, exhausted, but unable to sleep, Addie gazed at the face of her child tucked in between her and her sleeping husband on the bed. She ran her finger over the fuzz of the baby’s head, then glanced out the window. A lone bright star shone overhead in the sky, winking down at her.

No room at the inn.

A son is born

A lone star in the sky.

Three gifts

The end of a perfect—albeit very strange—night.

Bath, London

Miss Addie Mallory is finished with the husband hunt. After six London Seasons as a wallflower she convinces her parents that she should be allowed to use her dowry to buy a bookstore in Bath where she can live her life the way she wants.

Lord Grayson, Earl of Berkshire has never gotten over his deceased wife’s betrayal with his own brother. He plans to make his life all about his son, Michael, who is deaf. When Grayson’s sister-in-law serves him with court papers declaring Michael incompetent with the intention of having her own son named as Grayson’s rightful heir, he turns to Addie, a dyslexic bookstore owner for help.

Addie takes a powerful interest in helping the boy. However, as time passes, Grayson’s and Addie’s joint venture to keep Michael from being declared incompetent leads to places neither one of them expected.

Or necessarily wanted.

Purchase: | Amazon |


Up For Grabs:
  • 1 signed copy of The Bookseller and the Earl
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  1. What an interesting plot! Can’t wait to read how they join forces to save Grayson from being declared incompetent.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. It's a challenge but they do it!

  2. Addie sounds wonderful--I love stories with smart heroines and heroes who are smart enough to appreciate them!

  3. What a lovely story. Thank you for sharing it with us. Happy Holidays.
    Carol Luciano
    Lucky4750 at aol dot com

    1. Thank you, Carol. I appreciate you stopping by

  4. Sounds like a book I will enjoy reading.

  5. Sounds really good. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thanks for sharing

  7. I always enjoy reading new authors, sounds good!

  8. What a lovely Christmas story! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Wow I love the creative plot. Did you have to do much research on deafness at the time?

    1. I did quite a bit of research on deafness and what was available and known at the time. Thanks for coming by

  10. Thank you for all the wonderful books you write! Happy Holidays!

  11. How fun! Did they name him Jesus? ;)

  12. I definitely need to go back and read The Earl and the Bookseller.

  13. The Merry Misfits of Bath series sounds great. Thank you

  14. I have given birth naturally, well with some nice iv drugs,but damn those woman back in the day were ABSO-FANTASTICALLY AMAZING

    Women are can endure anything!

  15. I know I was remiss in picking the winner, but with the holidays and a few family bumps along the way, it got pushed aside. I am happy to announce Carol Luciano is the winner of a signed copy of The Bookseller and the Earl. Thank you all for participating and happy new year!