On this fine wintery day, the best place to be is inside the house with the heat on and a hot cup of coffee in hand. Thanks once more to the lovely ladies who participate in this blog hop each week. Please remember to visit their posts today too.
It’s hard to believe that Christmas is only 30 days away. While I have my outdoor decorations out, my living room is buried in bins full of what makes it Christmas indoors, and despite the cold outside and the snow on the ground, I’m not feeling motivated to decorate. That’s unusual for me since I love Christmas. Last week, I gave you a taste of my two holiday books, so this week, I thought I’d share a little bit more from Misty Matthews’s new release, Coming Home.
About the Book:
Motorcycle riding, attorney Alana Stewart is a far cry from the shy, teenager who left Chance determined never to look back. Family obligations force her to return to the town that only holds bad memories for her. A stop at her former sanctuary brings an unexpected surprise…the new manager just might be what she needs to get her through the holidays.
When sexy, leather-clad Alana walks into the bookstore, Connor Tate, has a feeling he may be in for the ride of his life. Despite the fact that their lives are headed in different directions, they are drawn to one another. Connor is determined to prove to Alana that Chance isn’t the place she remembers, but will his efforts fail when she discovers he hasn’t told her the whole truth about himself?
Can they trust each other enough to take a chance on love?
This week’s tease:
Ten minutes later, Alana opened the door and noted her mother had been busy putting the final touches on her Christmas wonderland. The house was decorated more or less the way it had been for as long as she could remember, and the sense of nostalgia she experienced surprised her. Santas of various sizes, shapes, and styles posed in corners, wreaths hung on the walls, and fake snow—not a flake out of place—lay under the miniature Dickens Christmas village which had grown substantially in size since the last time she’d seen it. A short, white, wooden fence surrounded the village, no doubt to keep curious little fingers from playing with the breakable figurines.
Christmas had always been her mother’s favorite time of year, and she loved all the glitz and decorations that went with it. None of this had come to Austin when the family had come for the holiday. Alana noticed a number of familiar items as she moved through the room, but there were several new things too. A waved of guilt flooded her. What a sacrifice it must have been for her mother to leave everything behind for the sterile confines of Alana’s condo. A fake, designer tree, no matter how expensive, didn’t stand a chance against all this.
The empty corner of the room had been cleaned and awaited the tree, a real pine, not an artificial one. Christmas Eve, the whole family would gather to decorate it together. It was a Stewart tradition, one she’d tried to continue in Texas, but it hadn’t been the same. Pine-scented spray couldn’t compare with a natural evergreen’s aroma. When she’d been a child, once the tree had been decorated, they’d all gather in the kitchen to bake and ice cookies. Afterward, her father would sit down to read A Christmas Carol, until she and her sister, buried in a mountain of blankets and pillows on the floor, fell asleep. Melody always crashed after the Ghost of Christmas Past, but she usually managed to make it through the Ghost of Christmas Present. That particular tradition, the one nearest and dearest to her heart, was one she hoped she could persuade her father to revive this year. How could I have forgotten all this? God, I hope I’m not turning into a female version of Ebenezer Scrooge, putting my job above everything else.
The thought sobered her. Grasping what she’d ignored selfishly over the last few years, Alana realized why her mom had insisted she come home for Isabelle’s first real Christmas, one the child would understand and remember. She wanted her grand-daughter to experience a traditional Stewart Christmas with all the bells and whistles that made it great. Letting the memories wash over her, Alana thought about the past. And when the scene shifted to include images of future Christmases with Isabelle, she knew she couldn’t ask the family to give them up. It would be wrong to deprive that beautiful little girl of what she herself cherished. Since Melody was a single parent, they were all the family Isabelle had. Her sister adamantly refused to disclose the name of the child’s father, insisting he never learn of her existence. Alana disagreed. Although she was prepared to dismiss the thoughts of Melody’s secrecy for the moment, she did plan to have a heart-to-heart talk with her before the holidays were over.
Spotting the ugly snowman she’d made in third grade, she couldn’t believe her mother had kept it all these years. Gently reaching for the fragile decoration, she picked it up, remembering the day she brought it home. Her mom had made such a fuss about it and had displayed it so that everyone who came into the house could see how talented her daughter was. Alana had been so proud. Tears pooled in her eyes at the memory. When had she become so self-centered? Putting the snowman back where it belonged, she moved deeper into the house knowing where she’d find her mother at this time of day.
Check out the other teasers.