Friday, December 26, 2014

A Helping Hand

by Tracie Rae Griffith from the December 22, 2014 issue

Tagline
Alison needed help decorating her tree this year. Fortunately, her handsome neighbor was happy to oblige...

In a Nutshell
Alison broke her arm and is trying to decorate her house for the holidays. To her great surprise, the EMT who helped her shows up to shovel her walk.

Observations
You know, maybe Johnene was putting all those neighbor stories in the magazine to throw us off and make us nod our heads knowingly when we read this story, only to have our expectations turned on their ear. I don't know if that was your experience, but it sure was mine.

I thought for sure that the guy shoveling the walk was her neighbor, but when it turned out to be the EMT, I was like AWESOME. Then, when he was the neighbor, I was totally fine with that. Griffith had already surprised me, so the "tired" neighbor scenario didn't bother me at all. I really loved that as the EMT who treated her, it was logical and very plausible that he would know she was incapacitated. (When I thought the mystery shoveler was the neighbor, I predicted that he'd observed her wearing the cast and surmised she needed help.)

I loved the humor.

"I'd been wondering who Mrs. Morgan had rented her house out to when she moved to Florida. After last night's snow, I thought maybe you'd need a hand. Pun intended."

Ha!

I also smiled when she realized his house was the one with the inflated snowman family in front. That's the type of guy I want for my heroines. Someone who has a sense of fun and who isn't afraid to throw himself into the holidays. You see a guy like this in the story and you automatically hope the heroine hits it off with him. (Unless the author didn't do justice to the female protagonist, which makes the reader not really care as much.)

One last thing. I thought I'd point out some of the tried and true Woman's World themes that are in this story.


  • Man to the rescue
  • Neighbor love interest
  • New to the neighborhood because of a job


Terrific story!

5 comments:

Julia said...

I thought it was charming and warm-hearted, Kate . . . like you. Happy new Year and may you sell WW many, many of the wonderful stories you write. (I just got my 29 Dec. issue, can you tell? I LOVE your story!)

Pat said...

Great story, Tracie Rae. I loved everything about it from the heroine to the humor to the surprise hero. Congrats on another romance sale.

Sandy Smith said...

I did not get to read this one. It sounds cute.

Chris said...

Super story with a nice snowy theme for the lead up to Christmas. You're right, ladies, humour is always a bonus. Works for me.

Melanie D said...

Maybe I’m just a distrustful cynic, but I’m wary of stories where the man finds out where the woman lives and shows up unannounced. I remember another WW story where a cop returned to the woman’s apartment and that gave me a bit of a creep/stalker vibe. The humor and craft here redeemed my objections, however. Well written and lovely, seasonal details. I guess when I read stories like this I ask: what if the neighbor was ugly or a jerk or unkind or a control freak? That is, what if his gesture, however well intentioned, was not welcomed by a single woman living alone? A moot question in the idyllic land of WW, I realize. And I would not mind if a Christmas-loving, hunky EMT landed on my door step, either.

Melanie