Let’s check in and see where Santa is. Norad.
We have a great giveaway from Kay Springsteen.
Just released in time for Christmas!
Secrets, secretsâ€¦ Christmas secrets, that is! Who decorated the Orsonâ€™s Folly City Hall with thousands of lights? Whoâ€™s the Secret Santa leaving presents all over town? And whoâ€™s sneaking out to the barn at three in the morning fetching even more gifts?
Justin McGee might have been able to resist the holiday mysteries, but with Christmas closing in, his sons Ryan and Sean are off in Jackson on ranch business, leaving Sandy and Mel to worry about their husbands with a major snowstorm brewing. Justin sets out to keep their spirits upâ€¦ and finds himself contemplating a second chance at love when his childhood friend Charlotte Hains, abandoned by her own adult daughters, comes to spend the holidays with the McGees.
Will all the secrets and surprises work out right? Will everyone make it home for the big day? Whoâ€™s got the best memory of a Christmas past? And will Justin ever bring himself to pull that little square box out of his pocket long enough to pop the question?
Gentle laughter and the rise and fall of murmured conversation and random teasing set the mood as Justin finished filling his plate.
The kitchen in the old ranch house had always been a natural gathering place. Didnâ€™t matter if the occasion was happy, sad, or in between. It seemed like they always gravitated there. The old oak table had been in the family since long before heâ€™d been born, built by his grandfather at the old homestead. It got a facelift every generation or so, but no one had seemed eager to replace it.
As his family gathered around that table now, a sense of satisfaction filled Justin. Life didnâ€™t get much better than seeing it continue in children and grandchildren.
â€œWhat about you, Dad?â€ asked Ricky, stirring Justin from his musing. â€œWhat Christmas do you remember most?â€
A chuckle slipped out. â€œBoy, when you get to be my age, they either all blend into one big holiday, or your mind starts making stuff up.â€
â€œBah!â€ Seated next to him, Charlie poked him in the shoulder. â€œDonâ€™t give me that. Your mind is sharper than a wood tack and just as prickly.â€
Tingles raced along his arm from the point of contact, and Justin masked his shiver of awareness by sprinkling some grated Romano cheese over his lasagna. He set the canister back on the table and paused. His hand ached to reach over and take hold of Charlieâ€™s, just to see how sheâ€™d react.
Or how anyone would react, for that matter. He slid his gaze to Ryan and then Sean, both engaged in conversations with their respective children.
And he chickened out. Again.
Better to take the safe road. So instead of taking Charlie by the hand, he reached for a fresh-baked roll, making the total count three of them lining the edge of his plate. â€œI do have fond memories of one particularly eventful Christmas when I was a boyâ€¦ back in fifth grade.â€
Charlieâ€™s gasp told Justin heâ€™d struck gold on the memoir scale.
â€œWhat happened in the fifth grade, Dad?â€ asked Ricky, gesturing with his fork before spearing a bite of lasagna.
â€œI kinda want to know that myself.â€ Sean eyed him with a speculative gaze. â€œBeing as youâ€™ve mentioned something about the fifth grade before but never explained.â€
Since this new release is book four in the series, my giveaway prize will be a boxed set of the first three books.