Shannon here: Contemporary romance author, Rose McCauley shares an excerpt from Christmas Belles of Georgia and a chance to win a copy. Every time you comment on any post dated Dec 5 – 9, your name goes in the drawing. Deadline: Dec 10, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Rose:
I need to preface this scene with the reason my hero and heroine are dressed like burglars! They have decided to make Christmas brighter for a young single mom with two little girls and are taking them a gift each day for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. In the midst of helping others, they realize they are falling in love.
Excerpt from Nick’s Christmas Carol in Christmas Belles of Georgia:
Nick arrived at seven. Also dressed in black down to his ski mask and gloves, he pulled another ski mask from his pocket. “I love the golden streaks in your hair, but we need to cover it tonight.”
“Thanks.” He’d used the word love again. This time about her hair. Would he ever say he loved her? She took the mask and pulled it over her hair, only leaving her eyes, nose and mouth uncovered.
When she turned to face him, he kissed her on the tip of her nose. “You sure make a cute burglar.”
“I guess that’s better than a cat burglar.”
“I’m allergic to cats, so I’m glad you’re not one.”
“Me, too.” She had a lot to learn about this man, but she already knew the important things like his love for God and others.
He helped her into the truck.
“Thanks.” She looked at the tree filling up most of the truck bed. “It’s beautiful, so full and green.”
Nick hummed then began to sing, “Lavender’s blue, dilly dally. Lavender’s green.” His eyes locked on hers. “I’ve been humming that song ever since we met again this fall. I see your lovely lavender blue eyes every night when I go to sleep and when I awake in the morning.” He moved closer to her. “But tonight, in the dark, your eyes look lavender green.”
“Maybe it’s the reflection from the tree.” Me and my wise mouth. Right when he might have kissed me.
He scooted back to his side and started up the truck. “Maybe.”
The young mom’s home was only a few blocks from the Warren House. They drove the dark streets in silence. Nick shut off the engine and coasted to a stop two doors down in his minister friend’s drive.
“Stay warm inside until I get it untied.” He hopped out of the truck and spent a couple minutes unloading the tree, then brought it around to her door. He tapped on the door—two shorts and three longs.
“I’ve got the heavy end. You get the top of the tree.”
“Okay.” The light brown bird nest near the top glowed in the moonlight. She wished she could be inside when the children noticed it.
They quietly situated the tree on the small front porch. Nick motioned her to go on and hide behind the neighbor’s bushes. As she did, she heard the sound of a doorbell then felt two strong arms around her as he slid into place beside her.
The front door opened. A child’s high-pitched voice hollered out, “Mom, come look what’s on our porch.”
Another child began to clap. “It’s a Cwismas tree, a Cwismas tree.”
Phyllis stood on the porch, her arms around each child protectively.
The older girl pointed up. “Look, Mom, a card.”
The young mother picked off the note and read, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights.” Her gaze searched the yard, and Carol could see the woman’s tears glistening. “God sent us this gift through His helpers.”
“Like Santa’s elves?” asked the younger child.
“Only better.” Phyllis motioned to the taller girl. “Connie, if you get hold of the treetop and pull, I think I can get the rest of the tree inside.”
The shorter child began to jump up and down. “Can we decowate it tonight? Pwease?”
“Yes, honey. God has given us this tree, and we will decorate it to be the prettiest one on the block. I’ll even pop some popcorn and teach you—” The mom’s words faded as the door closed on the happy family.
Carol lifted one gloved hand to wipe at the moisture in her own eyes. Surprised to find her other hand warmly held in Nick’s, she wondered when and how it got there. Although he might not know it, he also held her heart. She loved him.
Nick loved the wonder on the faces of the two young girls, and the joy and pleasure he read on Carol’s face. I love Carol Peterson. Now what am I going to do about it?
You’ll have to read the rest of the story to find out!
About the book: Surprised by Life—and Love—at Christmas
Four letters are mailed from Monticello, a small antebellum town in Georgia. Sisters once, now heirs to a historic plantation, each young woman must come to terms with the circumstances of her birth. . . .
When she learns in a letter she’s adopted, Holly feels betrayed by her parents—and she books a flight out of Missouri immediately. Will she ever be able to love again?
Raised in a wealthy, loveless home, Carol rushes to Monticello from college in Atlanta when she receives her letter. She’s searching for family, but finds instead a boy she once mistreated. Will he remember her? . . .forgive her?
In one year, Starr has lost her parents, boyfriend, and job, so she’s sure her letter is more bad news. When the attorney flies to California to offer proof, Starr takes a second look—at the message and the man.
Noelle always knew she was adopted—and she’s always loved the foreman on her father’s Texas ranch too. But he’s so distant. . .perhaps a trip to Georgia is the break in life she needs.
Will the sisters receive a traditional Christmas gift. . .of love?
About Rose: Rose has been writing for over ten years and has been published in several non-fiction anthologies and devotionals. She is happy for this to be her first fiction anthology because Christmas books are her favorites. A retired schoolteacher who has been happily married to her college sweetheart for 43 years, she is also mother to three grown children and their spouses and grandmother to three lovely, lively kids with one more on the way! You can reach her through her website www.rosemccauley.com or blogsite at www.rosemccauley.blogspot.com.
Come back Dec 12th for Liz Tolsma.