Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Fun Christmas Stories

My 17yo and I are both huge Lucy McConnell fans. When she has a new book come out we fight over the Kindle.
His friends tease him about reading romance but Denver just laughs and says it'll help him get more ladies. Ha! Thankfully he's much more shy than he pretends to be.
I can't wrap my mind around it being November and Christmas coming so quickly. I haven't bought one present. Are you preparing for the holidays or procrastinating like me?
I hope you love this delightful Christmas romance as much as Denver and I have and it helps you get into the joy and festivity of the holidays.


Find Marrying Miss Kringle on Amazon

Book Summary:
Christmas Magic is changing and the Kringle Family scrambles to keep up in this fun and romantic, sweet Christmas romance from Author Lucy McConnell.

When Ginger Kringle is branded to wear the magic red suit, she has to fall in love and get married before Christmas Eve to save the family business. After being given a list (Santas love lists!) of potential Mr. Kringles, Ginger heads off to Clearview, Alaska, where she embarks on a mission to save her family, their home, the elves, the reindeer, and Christmas for children across the globe. In her quest, Ginger finds that checking a list has much more to do with her heart than it does her head.

Excerpt:
Ginger reached for the front door.
She must have been more nervous than she let herself believe, because when she reached for the door, a gust of wind shoved it open, slamming it into a man’s face.
He stumbled back, holding his chin. “Whar?”
Shocked, Ginger turned her hands palms up. “The four winds,” she said in astonishment.
“Uncle Joseph!” a young girl cried out, tugging on the man’s elbow and tugging Ginger’s thoughts away from the developing Santa abilities and into the crowded cafĂ© that had gone Christmas Eve quiet.
Ginger’s good list radar did a whoop-whoop, taking over her actions. Pure of heart and filled with a love for all things Christmas, this kid was Hark the Herald material. Ginger scooped her up into a hug and soaked in her wholesomeness. “I’m so sorry I frightened you, Layla.”
Layla. Ginger marveled that she knew her name. First the four winds and now names. Her wrist tingled.
“That’s okay.” Thin arms encircled Ginger’s neck. “You smell like cookies.”
Ginger laughed. Splaying her hand against the girl’s back, she hugged her tight. Layla returned the gesture. Pulling back, she asked, “Can you tell what kind of cookies?”
Layla’s nose crinkled. “Gingerbread.”
“Yes.” Ginger nuzzled Layla’s nose as she giggled. Filled up to the tip of her slightly upturned nose with the child’s laughter, Ginger marveled at how quickly her nerves had disappeared. In their place was a sense of purpose. Layla, and every child like her, was the reason she was here.
“Ex-cuse me.” Joseph—Layla’s uncle, Ginger surmised—reached for Layla. He blinked several times.
“Oh!” Ginger set Layla on her feet. She’d been so caught up in the magic that she’d forgotten about the door. “I’m so sorry. Can I help you with that?” Stepping closer, she put her hand up to move Joseph’s arm down so she could inspect the damage.
Joseph jerked back at her touch. “Your hands are like ice.”
Ginger had a moment of panic. Where were her gloves? She found them poking out of her pockets. Playing off his comment, she smiled sweetly. “I hadn’t noticed.” She really hadn’t.
Ushering Joseph to the worn wooden bench, she kicked the door shut as he sat down. “Here.” Ginger pulled an emergency ice pack out of her magical Christmas purse—no Kringle left home without one. She popped the inside pouch to cause the chemical reaction, which made the pack instantly cool. Stepping right up next to him, she pressed it to Joseph’s chin, cupping the back of his head with her other hand to make sure he held still. His hair was silky and thick against her palm. Her gaze traveled from his bearded chin, over a set of perfectly plump lips, a straight nose, and intense blue eyes gazing up at her with curious wonder.
Ginger’s stomach did a tornado dance and the blood rushed to her head, leaving her knees awfully weak. She leaned into Joseph for support.
“Thanks,” he said in a low voice, the kind of inviting voice that had Ginger leaning closer to hear him. This time, he didn’t back away, which made it all the harder for Ginger to concentrate. She took a deep breath and found that Joseph smelled of soap and pine needles and burnt turkey of all things.
“I think I’m going to be okay.” Joseph pulled her hand and the accompanying cold pack away from his chin.
“I’m glad to hear it.” Ginger smiled shyly as she continued to gaze into Joseph’s becoming eyes. She twirled her fingers though his hair, and he shivered.
“Miss?”
“Yes?”
“I’m going to get up now.”
“Okay.”
A smile played at his lips. “So I need you to let go …”
Ginger dropped her hand and backed two steps away. With the distance came a rush of embarrassment. She’d never initiated such familiarity with a man before. But she couldn’t seem to help herself. Joseph was …
As Joseph came to his feet, her eyes travelled up and up and up his lean and well-built body to the top of his six-foot-one frame.
Crumpets.
Layla tugged on Ginger’s hand. “Are you here for Thanksgiving dinner too?”
Ginger had eaten so much her pants cut into her middle. “No.”
Layla’s face fell.
“Are you lost?” asked Joseph.
“Of course not.” Ginger scoffed. “Kringles don’t get lost.” But they can do some pretty amazing things. She twirled her fingers, feeling a soft breeze dance across her palm. So cool! And the way she’d connected with Layla in an instant—amazing! And Joseph’s steel-blue eyes—wowza!
“What’s your last name?” Ginger asked, thinking of the list in her pocket.
“Bear.”
“Bear?” Ginger made claws with her hands. “As in grrrr?”
Layla giggled, but Joseph wasn’t amused. “Yes. As in grr.”
Ginger’s cheeks heated up. Look at that, a Kringle could feel the difference between hot and cold—all it took was a heavy dose of humiliation. Joseph’s name wasn’t on her list. How … disappointing. She tossed the cold air from her palm into her face and turned to find a room full of men staring at the trio.
“Don’t make any sudden moves,” said Joseph out of the side of his mouth.
Ginger bit back her chuckle. “Sorry to interrupt your dinner, er, folks.”
A woman with leathered skin and a salt-and-pepper bun perched on the very top of her head burst through the swinging door. Taking in the scene faster than a hawk, she waved to Ginger. “Come on over here, you three, and I’ll get you settled.”
Ginger glanced at Joseph. “We’re not together.”
“Well, you’ll have to sit together because I only got one table left.”
Trudy, as her name tag said, seated them at the table right next to the kitchen.
Ginger sensed some kindred, if not busy, spirit in the hostess. As she wove between the tables, the men’s gazes followed. The attention didn’t bother Ginger as much as it would have bothered Lux. She thrived in crowds, though she preferred crowds of children to groups of flannel-clad men with flirting on their minds.
Trudy pounded her hand on a table. “Now look here, gentlemen. If you plan on eating here, you’d best tuck your chins to your plates, ya hear?”
“Thanks, Trudy.” Ginger felt only a few stares, but they were from under hat brims. No one dared tick off Trudy—that is, no one who ever got hungry. Ginger took the seat by the kitchen door and let Layla and her uncle take places across from her.
“You three want the turkey plate?” Trudy asked.
“Yes, ma’am.” Joseph reached into his coat pocket and produced canned goods, which he turned over to Trudy.
“Actually, I was looking for someone. Maybe you could help me?”
“Sure. If ya hurry. I got corn on the stove and I don’t want ’em to boil over.”
Ginger recalled the first name on the list. “I’m trying to find Patrick Greggory Scott. Do you know him?”
Trudy wiped her hands on her apron. “You his wife?”
“Me? What?” Ginger’s giggle was high-pitched and strained. How was she supposed to answer that one with a straight face?
Not yet?
I hope to be?
With any luck …?
“Of course not.” She stopped. “Is he married?” Dad’s info sheet didn’t say anything about a previous marriage or divorce. He wouldn’t have ignored something that big, would he? No, if nothing else, Dad was a stickler for details. He wouldn’t have put a married man on her wish list.
“Not that I know of.”
“But up here you never know,” added Joseph.
Ginger leaned her arm on the table. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, Clearview is far enough away that a man can leave behind his past life without having documentation. We have more than our share of runaways and lost boys.”
Was Joseph one of those men who had left behind another life? Ginger frowned. She wasn’t looking for a husband from the Isle of Misfit Toys. Not that Joseph was husband material. He lived in the same town as her top five, and he hadn’t made the list. There must be a reason for it.
“Where ya from?” asked Trudy.
“North,” she replied without thinking. The North Pole software didn’t track things like marriages. 
“Ha!” Trudy slapped the table again, jolting Ginger out of her thoughts. “There’s nothin’ north of here ’cept polar bears.”
Ginger cringed. She needed to pay attention to her answers if she was going to fit in.
Trudy leaned back, considering Ginger. “Well, your secrets are your own, and I won’t pry.” She pointed at Joseph. “And neither should you.”
“I wouldn’t.” Joseph held up both hands, offended and quite debonair.
And quite off the list.

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