Well, the weather outside is weird. There’s no other word for it. It was -19C with the windchill yesterday, that’s -2F for my American friends, and today it’s 0C, 32F. During the night we had a dusting of snow, and between now and noon, we’re expecting it all–snow, ice pellets, rain. I thought Mother Nature had gotten over her hissy fit last year by giving us the longest winter and no summer, but apparently I was wrong.
Welcome to this week’s Hump Day Hook. It’s December 3, only 21 shopping days left until Christmas. I need to get at that soon. This morning, I’d like to share another snippet from Coming Home, Book 1 of the Taking a Chance on Love series, which I co-author with Misty Cail, a writer who lives in Newfoundland, roughly a thousand miles away from where I am in Eastern Ontario. Misty and I have never actually met, and do all out writing and collaborating over the Internet. Isn’t the 21st century wonderful?
Coming Home is not only a Christmas story, it’s a coming of age story with Alana facing the personal demons of her past and finding love where she least expects it. The last thing Alana wants is return to Chance, Arizona even for the holidays, but Mom makes it clear she has to. Packing all her concerns about what’s happening in Austin where she works as a lawyer, Alana climbs aboard her motorcycle and goes back to the town where she was miserable throughout her teen years. She can’t wait for the holidays to end, but then, after she meets Connor Tate, all bets are off.
Coming Home is on sale for $3.99 for the month of December on Amazon
This week’s hook:
Alana pulled on her helmet and mounted the bike. The engine’s vibrations soothed her frazzled nerves, and she eased her ride back onto the road, leaving the town sign in her dust. No turning back now.
Cruising along the main street, she scanned the town square decorated for the holiday season, and noted nothing had really changed in the ten years since she’d been gone. The oldest shops, festooned in greenery impossible to find anywhere near the Arizona desert, lined the sides of the street just as they had years ago. While some of the stores might boast a new coat of paint, for the most part it looked as if time had stood still. The twenty-five foot pine tree, ordered each year from Vermont by old Mrs. Coulter, the last living member of the town’s founding family, sat in the park at the end of the street waiting to be decorated during Christmas Fair Sunday. There would be a formal tree lighting ceremony after dark. People were already hard at work erecting the booths for the event, especially the mock North Pole where children would have one last chance to visit Santa.
A few newer shops were buried between among the bastions of the past, including her sister’s coffee shop/bakery. The only other business of interest to her was Tate’s Bookstore. It had been her favorite haunt as a teenager. In Tate’s, she could escape to new worlds and enjoy wonderful adventures. Bullied and broken-hearted, reading had been the only thing to get her through those awkward, unhappy teen years. The store sat where it always had, and if the sign was to be believed, was still owned by the Tate family.
After easing her bike into a parking spot across the street from the shop and turning off the engine, she removed her helmet, shook her long hair from side to side in imitation of a model in some commercial for a full-bodied shampoo, and ran her fingers through it in an effort to unflatten it. In concession to the heat of the day, she pulled down the zipper on the black and hot pink leather jacket she wore for protection, exposing a few inches of her chest. Stretching her arms out to the side, she indulged in a cat-like stretch to ease her taut, aching muscles. Faces pressed against store windows showed her arrival hadn’t gone unnoticed. No doubt they’d heard the bike and wanted to check out the rider. Unless things had changed—and she very much doubted they had—a girl dressed in skin-tight leather, riding a motorcycle was bound to cause a stir. Smiling, proud of the way she’d transformed herself over the years, she wondered how many of them realized who she was.
See you next week!
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