In Where Love Once Lived, Christmas is the cause for the break up between Brian and Karen. Well, sort of. Thirty years earlier, Brian went home from the university because his mother wanted him there to celebrate Christmas with the family. It was while he was in California that he was tempted and failed.
In the current time of the book, Karen tells her daughter Julie the only gift she wants is for Julie to go to church with her. Although the ploy didn't work, Karen is eventually rewarded for her efforts.
Julie goes on a ski trip with her father and his new family and leaves her mother for the first time during Christmas. But Karen doesn't stay home alone. She goes to visit her brother in Iowa. However, after a short visit, she wishes she had stayed in Austin.
Meanwhile, Brian is in California with his family after the head librarian shuts down the bookmobile service. He is shocked to learn his mother has Alzheimer's and there is no mention of a joyous Christmas.
In Vengeance Is Mine, Chris and Tex borrow the bookmobile to go to Galveston searching for some terrorists on Christmas Eve. They get arrested for breaking and entering and spend Christmas Eve in jail. It is a turning point for Chris so I've included the manuscript of that night in jail in the next three posts.