Good morning. This week has been a wild ride. Monday saw the release of my new book,The Price of Honor, and unfortunately, sales have been dismal. In fact, it hasn’t sold a copy yet on Amazon.com. So, maybe historical romances aren’t what I’m meant to write. lol.
Since we are getting closer to Christmas each day, I thought this morning I’d share another snippet from Coming Home, Book 1 of the Taking a Chance on Love Series, on sale this month at Amazon for only $3.99. The problem with working for publishers is that they set the price, not the author. I hope the book’s sales will improve at this new price.
Home is where the heart is.
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?
Ten minutes later, she was downstairs waiting for the child of the hour, her mother by her side ready to take the requisite pictures.
“Here we come,” Melody said.
Alana looked up and smiled. Melody had dressed Isabelle in the most beautiful little outfit. The white organza dress was speckled with small red velvet hearts while the coordinating red velvet bolero jacket would keep Isabelle warm while giving her that festive look. The child’s dark blond hair had been tamed into short pigtails tied with white ribbons, and her black patent leather shoes gleamed in contrast to her snowy white socks.
“Isabelle, you look beautiful,” Alana said.
“I’m going to see Santa Claus.” She smiled, showing off her shiny white baby teeth. “Mommy put makeup on me, see?”
“Clear lip gloss,” Melody added, “because she wanted to be ‘fancy’ like me.”
“You look pretty good yourself. I love that shade of red on you,” Alana added commenting on the sweater she wore.After her mother had taken at least a dozen photographs, they left the house with Alana getting in with Melody and Isabelle, while Mom and Dad followed in her mother’s car.
Seeing all the excited children made Alana feel like a child herself again. She’d always loved the Christmas fair, another memory she’d ruthlessly suppressed. They walked around the park listening to Isabelle exclaim over everything she saw. The costumed figures were particularly thrilling, especially the Little Mermaid, who was Isabelle’s favorite. Mom had taken pictures of Izzy with her as well. While they visited the various booths, local talent had taken turns entertaining the crowd. It was hard not to sing along with Christmas carols—even those she found annoying after a while. At the moment, Isabelle sat enraptured by the puppet show.
“Can you see my hat?” the character asked.
“It’s ahind you,” Isabelle cried.
“Ahind?” she asked Melody.
“Yeah, you know, ahead, ahind.”
Alana laughed. When the puppet show finished, a magician entertained the crowd, his tricks mystifying his young audience. He was followed by a one man band who had everyone singing and clapping along. Watching Isabelle dance around with the other toddlers, making up their own version of the popular lyrics, had Alana joining them on the dance floor. Being with this child was an incredible experience and she knew she’d miss her something fierce after the holidays when it would be time to leave. Dad sat beside Alana watching as Isabelle decorated the tree. They’d purchased five ornaments—one for each of them, but Izzy would hang them all—two balls for Mom and Dad, an angel for Alana, a candy cane for Melody and the toy soldier—something that had momentarily distressed Melody, but Isabelle insisted on having. They watched as a fireman lifted Isabelle high in the air to place her toy soldier midway up the tree.
“Are you having a good time?” her dad asked.
“The best,” Alana replied. “I’m so glad Mom talked me into coming home.”
“More like brow-beat you.” Dad laughed. “I’m glad you’re here. Real glad.” She thought he was going to say something else, but Isabelle’s squeal pulled their attention back to her.
“Aunty Alana, look! Reindeers!”
Alana rose and took Isabelle’s hand to lead her over to the reindeer pen.
“Where are the wings?” Isabelle asked inspecting the animals as closely as she could.
“They don’t have wings. Santa sprinkles them with magic pixie dust, and they eat special magical food.” She was probably messing up a couple of fairy tales here, but the look of wonder on the child’s face made all of this worthwhile. Alana purchased a bag of magical reindeer food for Isabelle to spread on the lawn Christmas Eve to make sure Santa and the reindeer didn’t miss her house. The little bag filled with oatmeal, cinnamon, cloves, and star glitter was a huge success, and every kid in Chance no doubt purchased one.
“Come on. We can go and buy Mommy a present over there.” Alana pointed to the tent marked Santa’s Mall. Gifts for Moms and Dads. Isabelle was an astute shopper looking over several things before making her selection. Alana was amazed at what a dollar could buy a toddler these days. After the secret shopping expedition, Alana and Melody took Isabelle to the craft shop where she made a Santa face using paper plates, cotton balls, and almost an entire small jar of white glue.
“Grandma,” Isabelle cried clutching her gooey treasure. “I made this for you.”
“It’s the best Santa face I’ve ever seen,” she said reaching for it and giving Isabelle a hug. “Thank you. I know exactly where to put it when we get home. Alana was certain by this time tomorrow, it would have a place of honor amidst all the Stewart Christmas paraphernalia.
Now, please take time to check out the other Mid Week Teases: