Hump Day Hook: Christmas Eve in Chance

IMG_0565humpdayhookMerry Christmas. Tomorrow’s the big day, so any last minute shopping needs to be finished pronto. I’ve got things to do to get ready for tonight, and one of them is to give everyone who comments one of my books. You can go to my website and select one of the books available, then comment on the post. Be sure to leave your preference of format and your email address. While I can’t promise the book you want is available in the format you prefer, I’ll do my best to meet your wishes. This is my way of thanking you for your loyalty and support in 2014. So, check out my website and pick your present.

My family has special Christmas Eve traditions which include attending the children’s service at 6 to watch my grandkids sing in the Cherishing the Children’s Choir. Alana’s family has Christmas Eve traditions too. This morning’s hook is From Coming Home, Book One of Taking a Chance on Love by my alter ego, Misty Matthews, which includes my good friend Misty Cail from Newfoundland and myself.

Here’s your hook:Coming Home cover

Alana, excited by this, her favorite part of the Stewart family tradition, was the first back downstairs although she could hear Melody upstairs and knew she wasn’t far behind. Before going up, Alana had made a makeshift bed of pillows and blankets on the floor where they’d sit for the traditional reading of Dickens’ famous Christmas story. Although the story was a little complicated for a child her age, the sound of her father’s voice reading the words penned almost two hundred years ago would no doubt have the same magical effect on her niece as it had on her. Melody came into the room with a freshly washed bundle in her arms, a bundle holding her favorite toy and blanket, and already rubbing her pretty blue eyes.

As her father settled into his favorite chair and her mother sat on the sofa with her knitting in hand, Alana and Melody, with Isabelle between them, stretched out on the floor.

“Are we ready?” he asked, and they all nodded eagerly.

“‘Marley was dead: to begin with,’” he read, the words resonating in Alana’s memory. “‘There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge’s name was good upon ‘Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail…’”

Dad had barely started chapter one when Alana heard Isabelle’s gentle snores. Making sure she wasn’t crowding the child, she snuggled into her pillow, listening to her father’s smooth, velvet-like voice. As she listened, she realized how much she’d missed hearing her dad’s voice. When she was younger, her bedtime ritual had included him sitting on the side of her bed, reading a bedtime story from one of the books now belonging to Isabelle. In his voice, she’d discovered the magic of books, and it had inspired her love of reading. This was another Stewart tradition to be passed on to Isabelle. What of her own children? The ones she hoped to have one day. The ones she’d pictured with dark hair and green eyes. Would they ever get to hear Grandpa read to them like this? Shaking off her melancholy, she got lost in the tale, the sweet baby-powder scent of Isabelle, and the clicking of her mom’s knitting needles.

May your Christmas Eve be filled with tradition and joy. For more Hump Day Hooks, click here. There are some wonderful writers  waiting for you to read their hooks and another Christmas surprise waiting for you too.

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