Welcome to A Writer’s Mind’s third annual WHAT EVERY WOMAN WANTS BENEATH HER CHRISTMAS TREE blog event! Just popping in for the first time? Here’s the scoop. This event runs now through Christmas day, featuring over twenty-two authors, an editor and tons of giveaways!
YULETIDE NOTE: I encourage you to leave a comment for a chance to win each featured author's given prize. Their individual winners will be announced in a comment after their post. In addition, be sure to enter the Rafflecopter provided after each post as often as you like for a chance to win the grand prize, three $30 Amazon Gift Cards, 12+ ebooks and over six print novels. Three winners drawn and announced December 26th, 2012.
Today it's my pleasure to welcome over author Meg Mims to share a little Christmas post with us, including a scrumptious holiday recipe.
Let's hear from Meg...
Who doesn't LOVE a dog at Christmas time? Okay, cat lovers maybe -- but seriously, I just attended a tree lighting ceremony in Reston, Virginia, and saw a lot of dogs with their loving owners. If I'd brought my dog, I would have put his jingle bell collar on! Anyway, because I love dogs, and because I took in a rescue dog (a Lhasa Apso-mix) to be company for my Malti-poo, I wrote SANTA PAWS as a Christmas Novella.
Here's what it's about:
The last thing Lacey Gordon—divorced with a teen daughter and two cats—needs is a rescue dog coming into her life. To top it off, she's rooked into a "Get Under the Mistletoe by Christmas Eve" dating contest. Since Buddy the dog prefers to be the only "new guy" in Lacey's life, will Santa Claws ruin her holiday for good?
Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook, Smashwords) and leave a comment if you want to win a copy! If you don't win, hey! Download your copy for only 99c!
Merry Christmas and may blessings abound for you in 2013!
NUTTY CHOCOLATE "TOFFEE" BARS
2 sticks butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
CREAM butter and sugar together, add vanilla and mix in flour and salt to make "dough" -- spread on bottom of jelly roll pan. (Line pan with foil if you wish)... BAKE for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees, till golden brown. IMMEDIATELY TOP WITH 1 pkg semi sweet chocolate chips (milk or dark, your choice! Nestle or Hershey) -- SPREAD WHILE COOKIE LAYER IS HOT. Top with 1 cup finely chopped walnuts. Let cool before cutting into squares. YUM!!! These cookies will freeze beautifully too.
The afternoon wore on, and the only bright spot was a cryptic text message from her daughter. She preferred talking on the phone. Texting was convenient, although she had to chunk up their cell phone plan to unlimited messages and web access for Deena. The girl seemed to spend hours on that Smart phone. Was that a good thing, being so hooked into the ‘net? Lacey’s guilt was already high given the divorce. She had no idea if Deena did her homework in the hours between getting home and Lacey’s return from work.
Lacey eyed the phone’s screen, skeptical, trying to puzzle out the message’s meaning. ‘Dad drove me home from skl, brt sprize, cant wait 2 see u & him 2gthr.’ Why would Deena be excited for her to see Todd? She understood and sympathized with Lacey about the reasons for divorce. She never made excuses for her father, and seemed disappointed when he didn’t come through for her. Odd that Todd drove Deena home. But what did ‘brt sprize’ mean? It couldn’t be ‘bought.’ He didn’t usually buy Deena any surprises. Unless he brought a check for his belated child support. She hoped so.
Lacey could go grocery shopping Saturday—uh oh. She’d promised to think about attending the ‘dating contest’ at Fresh Grounds. She did love their mocha lattes. Hm. She hurried through the rest of the paperwork piled on her desk, turned off her lamp and computer, then ran into April on the way out to the parking garage. The elevator’s chill set them both shivering.
“I’ve got you down for noon at Fresh Grounds.”
“Why so early? I thought you had the whole afternoon reserved.”
“You’re quality, remember.” April dashed to her truck.
Lacey clutched the top of her coat together to shield against the bitter wind. Two days till Saturday. Anything could come up and sabotage her plans. She hurried to her car in the growing dusk, grateful to see the sunset courtesy of Daylight Savings. Then again, mornings were pitch black. Lacey drove toward home, half-listening to the news, hoping Todd wouldn’t ruin her evening. And that she didn’t get stuck in traffic. Pure luck she zipped home in half an hour.
And nearly ran down a burly man in a Sherpa jacket and baseball cap, walking a dog across the street. Not just any dog, but a beige and white pit bull. Lacey shivered. She pulled into the condo complex in relief. Home, sweet home. Even if it was a bit cramped compared to a house in the ‘burbs where she’d spent her marriage. The frame and brick condominiums, surrounded by tall oaks and maples, had four two-story units joined together with a one-story ranch on the side. Most neighbors here were retired, walking their dogs through the narrow streets and parking lots to the woodier paths beyond the complex.
But she cursed aloud seeing Todd’s car in her sheltered parking spot. Lacey warned him the last time not to do that. He never listened. Not now, not back when they’d been married—until she dangled a satin thong in his face. Lacey had found them stuffed in his jacket pocket, and refused to listen to his half-hearted, lame excuses. He hadn’t fought the divorce. Perhaps he preferred running around, since he’d been doing just that since high school. Why hadn’t she realized that long ago? Trust was important to her.
Not to him.
She slung her briefcase over one shoulder and walked around her condo to the front door. Lacey fumbled for her keys in her purse. Her briefcase slipped off her shoulder, its hefty weight dragging her down, and her feet burned inside her new pumps. She heard an odd scratching sound. That couldn’t be the cats. They weren’t at the window as usual, watching for birds.
“Deena? Is that you?”
Lacey unlocked the door. Once she opened it, a hairy beige dog barreled into her, knocking her onto her bottom, spilling her briefcase and purse into the snow. She shrieked, her backside aching, one shoe on and one shoe off. Lacey stared in horror when the dog lifted his leg and piddled in an arc over her leg. A few warm wet drops dribbled on her pantyhose.
Deena appeared in the doorway and clapped a hand over her mouth. “Buddy! Bad dog—oh, Mom, he’s really very sweet. Just wait till you—no, Buddy!”
Lacey watched the dog snatch her purse and duck between her daughter’s legs, then race inside the house and up the carpeted steps. Leaving a trail of muddy footprints.
Meg Mims is an award-winning author and artist, who loves Christmas time -- the lights, the carols, the family time, the tree decorating, but not the shopping!
Purchase SANTA PAWS at -- Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook, Smashwords.
Visit Meg Mims at her Website ~ Facebook ~ Blog
SKY HERE. Meg, thanks so much for spending some of your holiday season at A Writer's Mind. I'm actually considering 'saving' a dog this Christmas so I found this post especially touching. And that recipe? YUM!!! Wishing you and yours a very Happy Holiday!
Readers, don't forget to comment for a chance to win SANTA PAWS. Then be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win even more!