As we continue our Countdown to Christmas, I am happy to host author Alicia Dean!
Not your usual warm-fuzzies, feel-good Christmas post…
Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love the decorations, the music, the weather (when it cooperates, but it looks like it will be around 60 degrees, ugh… I love cold weather, especially at Christmas, but it appears I won’t get my wish), and mainly, the warm, loving family gatherings. One of the best things about Christmas is that, even though my kids are grown—32, 30, and 23—they spend the night with me on Christmas Eve, every year, even now that they no longer live with me. ‘Santa’ still fills their stockings, and we wake up together on Christmas morning and open gifts. However, it looks like this year, that will not happen. My two girls (the eldest of the three kids) are not speaking to one another. They weren’t speaking at Thanksgiving, and the holiday was a bit of a disaster. They worked things out, but, just in time for Christmas, they are at it again. As I do each holiday, I spent a small fortune on groceries at Thanksgiving, and worked my derriere off, cooking and cleaning for everyone, only to have the holiday ruined.
Guess what I’ve decided? Rather than try to play referee and make the holiday a traditional gathering, I am going to not buy groceries, not cook, and not have the family over.
I will invite my son to spend the night on Christmas Eve and Santa will bring him a stocking, but since the girls are on the naughty list, perhaps they’ll get that proverbial lump of coal. Then, my son and I can go visit my mother at the nursing home. And, that evening, we can have dinner together at a local, elegant steak house that is featuring a special four-course dinner on Christmas. My extended family can hang out with us at the nursing home, dine with us at the restaurant, or whatever they wish to do. I will save money on groceries, no cooking, no cleaning, no trying to play mediator and STILL receiving the brunt of the conflict.
Since I made that decisions, I’m feeling relaxed and looking forward to the holidays. What do you think? Am I being too harsh? What would you do?
a Knight before Christmas:
The last thing Heath King wants is to return to Kansas City for the holidays. Being in his home town holds too many bad memories, and now there are new bad memories in the making, among them a sister he never knew about–proof that his father was unfaithful. But the most difficult thing he’ll face is running into Nicolette, his best friend’s widow—the woman he’s loved since the day he met her.
Before Nicolette Morgan has time to fully grieve over her husband’s death, a blackmailer enters the picture, demanding she pay him or he’ll ruin the lives of everyone she loves. Nicolette sees no way out until she unexpectedly encounters Heath King. When she turns to him for help, old feelings are rekindled and she realizes she never stopped wanting him. As Christmas approaches, Heath must find a way to stop the blackmailer…but can he also rescue the love he lost fifteen years ago?
Nicolette seemed at a loss for what to say next. She glanced around the room, then back up at him, a worried frown tugging at her brow.
He reached out and took her hands in his. They felt like she’d been ice fishing without a pole. “Is everything okay?” he asked quietly.
She smiled, but it was small and forced. “Of course. I mean, I miss Rudy like crazy, but other than that, everything’s fine. Why?”
Heath searched her eyes, noting a hint of fear before she let her lashes fall over them. “You seem upset, distracted, maybe a little scared.”
“Scared?” Her laugh was as forced as her smile. “What do I have to be scared of in a room full of people?”
He moved his hands up her arms and felt a shudder run through her body. Something was definitely not right. He made his voice hard, authoritative, and tightened his grip. “I don’t know, Nicolette, why don’t you tell me?”
She flinched, and his guilt increased. Damn. He hadn’t been around her for five minutes, and he was already making a mess of things. He tried again, “If there’s something bothering you, if you have a problem, I want to help.”
“I’m fine,” she insisted.
“You don’t seem fine. I think you’re lying.” He didn’t know why he was so certain she was in some kind of trouble, but he was.
The right side of her mouth lifted in a humorless smile. “You always did say what was on your mind, didn’t you?”
Not always. I didn’t tell you I loved you before it was too late.
Aloud, he said, “Just remember—if you need me, I’m here.”
She lifted a hand, running her fingertips down the side of his face, and his heartbeat sped up. “You always were, weren’t you?” she whispered.
You can purchase
a Knight before Christmas
at the following links!
Barnes and Noble:
The Wild Rose Press:
WOW!!! a Knight before Christmas is only
A perfect Christmas gift!
A little bit about Alicia….
Award-winning, multi-published author Alicia Dean began writing stories as a child. At age 11, she wrote her first ever romance (featuring a hero who looked just like Elvis Presley, and who happened to share the name of Elvis’ character in the movie, Tickle Me), and she still has the tattered, pencil-written copy. Alicia is from Moore, Oklahoma and now lives in Edmond. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals. She is a freelance editor in addition to being an editor for The Wild Rose Press.
Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (she usually works in a mention of one or all three into her stories) and watching her favorite televisions shows like Vampire Diaries, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Haven, New Girl, The Mindy Project, and Dexter (even though it has sadly ended, she will forever be a fan). Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.
Find Alicia here:
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12 Days of Christmas
Holiday Giveaway Contest!