Mainstream Romance: Contemporary, Holiday (Christmas)
Cover Artist: Red Rose™ Publishing
Editor: Michelle Ellis
Word Count: 23,080
Release Date: December 03. 2009
A tragic fire has put a major damper on Laura Payne's holiday spirit. She'd just as well skip Christmas all together. A series of circumstances brought self-imposed bachelor, Justin Carron to care for his sixteen year old niece, Richelle, whom he'd never laid eyes on.
A winter storm, and an unexpected turn of the wheel, on their way home from the airport, changes all three of their lives forever. Each one is faced with their own mortality, the prospect of becoming a family, and the kindness of strangers.
Mr. C. is a kind old man, who lives alone, and tends to a stable of deer. There is something different about the jolly old man with a white beard and suspenders. After a series of unexplained incidents, he shows them that all things are possible, if they'd just let go of the past, and believe in the magic of Christmas.
Justin paced back and forth in front of the Christmas tree. He never bothered putting one up before today. Luckily, he had an extensive collection of antique ornaments stored away. Glass prism ornaments—hand blown Venetian Italian art icicles, reflected the light from several strings of blue lights wound from top to bottom. The occasional glass ornament from the 40's, he placed sparingly from the pungent bows. Completing his efforts, a vintage angel, outfitted in an elaborate white and silver gown with silver wings, evergreen garland, and sheer organza ribbons, sat atop the tree. Being an antique dealer had its perks. The man at the tree lot readily agreed to deliver the tree and set it up—an extra fifty dollars this time of year, the perfect bribe for his services.
The scent of evergreen and wood burning filled the house. He perused his living room, and hoped Laura would like his hodgepodge collection of mismatched furniture. Most of which, had never been sat on. In fact, now that he thought about it, he hadn't one guest or visitor in the seven years he'd owned the house. His work took him to the far corners of the globe, attending auctions on behalf of rich clients, or adding to his own extensive collection.
The doorbell chimed. His heart raced as a teenagers might on a first date, and he smoothed a hand over his freshly shaven head. It had been a long time since he felt this attracted to a woman. Something intrigued him about the shapely tutor with a mane of auburn hair. He rolled back his shoulders, and took a deep cleansing breath. Life as I know it is about to change drastically.
He opened the door to find Laura dressed in an emerald green, over-sized parka. Snow swirled around her ankles, giving the illusion of a small woodland nymph stepped off the pages of a children's fantasy book. She smiled warmly, and her gaze flitted from his face to the room behind him.
"Please, come in out of the cold." He stood to the side and let her pass before closing the door behind her. "Let me take your coat."
"Thank you." She shivered and rubbed her upper arms.
"A well written story with deep conflict." ~ Jasmine, Complete Heart Reviews
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