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Jane Porter QUOTES

3 " Harley Diekerhoff looked up from peeling potatoes to glance out the kitchen window. It was still snowing... even harder than it had been this morning. So much white, it dazzled. Hands still, breath catching, she watched the thick, white flakes blow past the ranch house at a dizzying pace, enthralled by the flurry of the lacy snowflakes. So beautiful. Magical A mysterious silent ballet in all white, the snow swirling, twirling just like it did in her favorite scene from the Nutcracker—the one with the Snow Queen and her breathtaking corps in their white tutus with their precision and speed—and then that dazzling snow at the end, the delicate flakes powdering the stage. Harley’s chest ached. She gripped the peeler more tightly, and focused on her breathing. She didn’t want to remember. She wasn’t going to remember. Wasn’t going to go there, not now, not today. Not when she had six hungry men to feed in a little over two hours. She picked up a potato, started peeling. She’d come to Montana to work. She’d taken the temporary job at Copper Mountain Ranch to get some distance from her family this Christmas, and working on the Paradise Valley cattle ranch would give her new memories. Like the snow piling up outside the window. She’d never lived in a place that snowed like this. Where she came from in Central California, they didn’t have snow, they had fog. Thick soupy Tule fog that blanketed the entire valley, socking in airports, making driving nearly impossible. And on the nights when the fog lifted and temperatures dropped beneath the cold clear sky, the citrus growers rushed to light smudge pots to protect their valuable, vulnerable orange crops. Her family didn’t grow oranges. Her family were Dutch dairy people. Harley had been raised on a big dairy farm in Visalia, and she’d marry a dairyman in college, and they’d had their own dairy, too. But that’s the part she needed to forget. That’s why she’d come to Montana, with its jagged mountains and rugged river valleys and long cold winters. She’d arrived here the Sunday following Thanksgiving and would work through mid-January, when Brock Sheenan’s housekeeper returned from a personal leave of absence. In January, Harley would either return to California or look for another job in Crawford County. Harley was tempted to stay, as the Bozeman employment agency assured her they’d have no problem finding her a permanent position if she wanted one. "

Jane Porter , Christmas at Copper Mountain (Taming of the Sheenans #1, Copper Mountain Christmas #4)