Good morning and welcome to another Mid Week Tease. Now that December is here, it’s fitting to entertain you with a snippet from one of my five Christmas stories. This year, along with Holiday Magic and The Perfect Choice, I have three new ones including two short stories–Her Christmas Hero, it’s follow-up piece, The Best Day Ever, and a novella, Come Home For Christmas.
Her Christmas Hero was released this week and is available from all Amazon retailers for less than one USD, and is part of the KU program. http://www.amazon.com/Her-Christmas-Hero-Susanne-Matthews-ebook/dp/B017TGEVAC
Widowed mother of four Laurie Wilson gets a shock when a check that was supposed to have been destroyed is cashed, leaving her in a financial lurch just days before Christmas.
Leland Ostler packed his heart in ice years ago and goes through the Christmas season paying lip service to the holiday. When he discovers Laurie Wilson is the girl he was fascinated by in high school and discovers her plight, he determines to make sure that family has the Merry Christmas it deserves
“I have to go over to Caswell’s and pick up the tablets I ordered for the kids. Since the price was so good, they’ll sell like hot cakes, and Mrs. C. promised to set four aside as long as I got in there before five today.”
“That was nice of her. You’re such a good mommy,” Cassie said. “Don’t forget to grab a sandwich or something while you’re out. You’re losing weight again. The one thing those kids of yours don’t need is a sick mother.”
“You’re preaching to the choir. I’ll be fine. Christmas this year is important. It has to be the best one ever, and you know it.”
“Frank was a jerk. I won’t speak ill of the dead, but those kids are better off without a father like that, and a man who beats on his wife, don’t even get me started.”
“He wasn’t always like that,” Laurie said, falling back into her abused wife persona and defending the man. She shook her head. No. Months of counseling had taught her not to make excuses for him. “Be nice; without Frank, I wouldn’t have those kids, and I can’t imagine life without them.”
“Fine. The sperm donor did do something right, even if it was for the wrong reasons since all he wanted to do was keep you under his thumb, but I’ll never forgive the man for treating you and those angels that way. Dying was the best thing he ever did for you guys. You’d better get going. You’ve only got an hour. I’ll cover for you if you’re a few minutes late.”
“Thanks, Cassie. You’re the best.”
Laurie hurried to the closet, took out her cornflower blue coat, slipped it on, tying the hot pink scarf around her neck, and jamming the matching cap down on her head. She rushed down the hall as quickly as the heels on her boots would allow and turned the corner, running right into a solid wall of muscle and fine wool.
“Whoa, there. Where’s the fire?” he asked, holding her upright.
“Sorry, sir,” she said, avoiding eye contact with the man a good six inches taller than her own five-foot eight inch frame. He let go of her arms where the skin burned beneath his touch even through the three layers that separated the flesh. She bent down and grabbed her purse, noting the strap had broken. Damn. Something else that would need to be replaced. Why was it she constantly ran out of money before she ran out of things to spend the money on?
She nodded and mumbled a second apology, escaping into the elevator as soon as the doors opened, making sure to keep her eyes averted. Of all the people to run into: Leland Ostler, the firm’s CEO, and Mrs. Colter, his administrative assistant. No doubt the woman would be clock watching until Laurie was behind her desk once more.
Moving as swiftly as she could along the slush- covered sidewalk, Laurie kept her head down watching for icy spots that could end up in an embarrassing spill. Cassie was right, it was much worse out here than she’d imagined. The possibility school would be over earlier than expected worried her. Mike had a key, but a ten-year-old wasn’t an adequate babysitter for his nine, eight, and six-year-old siblings. It was only for a couple of hours, but who knew how many things could go wrong in that short time period? Marcia, the neighbor’s teenage daughter, usually went into the house and stayed with the children until Laurie got home, but the teen had finished school last week and gone south with her family.
Stop borrowing trouble. It’s Christmas. The sleet will stop. Think positive.
Turning the corner, careful not to run into anyone else, she stepped into the electronics shop. The place was deserted.
“Hi,” she said, walking up to the counter, and forcing the teenaged clerk to set aside her magazine. “I’m Laurie Wilson. I have four tablets to pick up.”
Buying the android tablets for the kids was an extravagant purchase, but most of their friends had electronic toys and computers. She’d love to get them each a laptop, knowing Michael would need something better than the dinosaur PC she had at home, but this was the best she could do.
The girl returned to the counter with the four boxes in her arms. “You’re lucky you came in when you did. These have been flying off the shelves. That’ll be $695.79,” she said, keying the amount into the cash register.
Laurie slipped her bank debit card into the machine and followed the instructions.
That’s it. Please take time to check out the other incredible authors who participate in this weekly blog hop.