Linda Wood Rondeau

View Product

It Really IS a Wonderful Life
An Iraq war widow finds new life in a smalltown


Midville newcomer and Iraq War widow, Dorie Fitzgerald, despises the frigid Adirondack wasteland that has now become her home. After twenty failed job interviews, she questions the wisdom of moving to be near her parents. Desperate to belong, she joins the local Community Theater, in production for It’s a Wonderful Life.

Jamey Sullivan has put his professional life on hold in order to run the family business and to help his ailing father. He signs on for Midville’s production of It’s a Wonderful Life, although he hopes to receive a Broadway casting call any day now.

When these two meet, they are instantly attracted to one another. However, ambition, demanding children, and a romantic rival threaten to squash their growing love for one another. Each must discover that the best things in life are found where your heart resides.

It Really is a Wonderful Life is set in the beautiful Adirondack mountains, a perfect backdrop for a Christmas romance.


This is a story you can read any time of the year, not just Christmas time. Sweet romance with believable characters, settings, dialogue and story line. Some Christian influence without being preachy. Very enjoyable. This is the first story by this author for me, but it certainly won't be the last. I am a fan from here on out.

Well written, clean, interesting book. Thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the characters and didn’t want it to end! Thank you!

Super characters so thoughtfully brought to life. I loved both the storyline but the Christian purposes built in.

A romance that isn't typical. The characters were real, the problems were real, and my smile at the end of the story was real too!


Chapter One


Dorie threw the letter and shrugged as it landed on top of the leftover peanut butter sandwiches. Maybe she should finish reading the letter, just in case she’d misunderstood the opening paragraph. She picked up the memo again and flicked off the residue along its edges, skimming the next few lines. When done, she subdued the urge to scream. The kids were asleep—finally.

As she read, she mouthed the words with clenched jaws. “Thank you for your interest in Bargains Galore. I am sorry to inform you that the position for which you applied has been filled. Blah, Blah, Blah. Sincerely James Paul Sullivan.”

Regardless of the perfumed words, they still stung.

“What is it with this town?” She ripped the rejection into pieces and tossed it into the trash. “I can’t even get a job at the local dollar store. Somebody, somewhere, must need someone with a business degree.”

Focus on the positives, Dorie. Mom’s voice echoed in her memory. She’d spent a great night with the children—her favorite people. A read-a-thon and Fern Gully and bedtimes with no rebuttals from Josh or squalls from Emma … all huge positives.

When the kids went to sleep, however, the night resembled a desert crossing—interminably long and arid. She settled into the recliner—Devon’s chair—and flipped through the television channels. Nothing of interest. Just news, reruns, or cartoons.

She clicked off the television and picked up the newspaper. With a discordant sigh, she skipped over the first seven pages and turned to the classifieds. Scanning the five employment ads, she screeched an entire sonnet of Midville condemnations, then threw the paper at the wall.

Now her tirades beamed toward her late husband. “Devon, you had no right to get yourself killed fighting a war nobody cares about anymore. How do you expect me to raise these kids on my own when I can’t even get a job?”

Boomer’s bark brought her back from the edge of uncontrolled rage, a precipice she teetered on all too often these days. He nudged the crumpled newsprint in her direction. Some people believed Irish setters could read minds. But last she knew, they couldn’t read newspapers. Maybe he sensed something there—something good.

A breeze from the open window stirred its pages.

She bent over to pick it up. A jelly smudge brought attention to the announcement, Midville Players casting call. Who would have thought a puny town like Midville would have a drama group?

Curiosity numbed her anger. “Midville Players will hold auditions for their upcoming Christmas production of It’s a Wonderful Life—”

Did she dare? She’d played an angel in a Christmas pageant once. That was a lot of fun, and her teacher said she was the best angel. This would be different, though. Still, what was the worst that could happen?

You’d look like a fool and find new depths of rejection.

Discretion warned her to avoid any more opportunities for failure.

“Now don’t let your mind go there, Dorie,” she said aloud. Talking to herself was becoming a bad habit. Then again, who else did she have to talk to besides Boomer?

He barked as if to say he’d heard her.

She gazed at the article again. Why not go for it? Devon had always encouraged her to try new things. Besides, didn’t Daddy say the best way to find a job was to network? Since moving to Midville four months ago, her only networking had been with her parents’ retired church friends. Time to find a circle of friends closer to her age.

She picked up her cell and called her lifeline. “Mom, will you watch the kids for me tomorrow night?”


Buy From: Amazon