Congratulations to "Cris", the winner of Patricia's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!
Shelby rose with caution, telling herself that as long as she didn’t make any sudden movements, she’d be okay.
Odd that no one had noticed she’d passed out in this office. She’d heard someone leave, so the party must have ended a short while before. She followed the glow of twinkling colored lights into the main reception area. That they’d been left on at all was curious. The tree was still lit in all its glory. A giant balsamic fur, it was traditionally decorated with the same glass ornaments and icicles, and a gorgeous tree topper that had been used for decades.
The hallway beyond was dark. Her purse was still in her office or she would have her Smartphone, which had a built-in flashlight. Maybe she should call Edgar Siefert. The older security guard would have a good laugh at her predicament, but she preferred being teased to having her neck broken by a fall down the stairs. The phone—where was it? Shelby could see the bulky outline of the reception desk. Relieved, she was heading straight for it when her foot tangled with something on the floor. She tried to catch herself, but her other foot got caught as well and she flew forward, landing with a jolt on her hands and knees. The room tilted crazily. She shook her head to clear it, then squeezed her eyes shut when pain exploded through her temple. Wrong, wrong, wrong. It took a moment for her equilibrium to adjust.
Crawling around to see what had tripped her, Shelby froze, the breath caught in her throat.
“Oh, Lord!” she croaked hoarsely, unwilling to believe her eyes. For before her, the Christmas lights danced across a ludicrous scene: Santa Claus lay sprawled on his back next to her, eyes open and staring, mouth slack behind the fake beard and mustache.
Welcome to HOLIDAY IN CRIMSON, the first of two related holiday books from Entangled Publishing’s Dead Sexy imprint. NIGHTMARE IN CRIMSON will follow in early December. I, um, took the opportunity to kill Santa twice. A little black humor to contrast with the red and green of the season.
If you’re thinking I’m a grinch, that I’m a bah-humbug kind of author, you’d be wrong. Christmas has always been a big deal holiday to me. It’s the time of year I see long-lost friends and get to play with all the sparkle and wear all the glitzy I want.
When I was a kid, I was allergic to everything, including Christmas trees. I remember we had this poor little table fake tree (the fakes weren’t pretty in those days), and Mom and I did everything we could to dress it up and make it look real. And in my heart, I knew that, given the chance, I didn’t care if it killed me – I was going to have a REAL Christmas tree when I grew up.
And so I did. Not only real pine trees, but parties to decorate them. In the early, lean years, I bought plain bulbs, glitter and glue, and made my friends personalize an ornament each. I still have the ones that didn’t break from...well, let’s just say sometime in the last century :)
Every year, I would find one special ornament to add to the tree, so eventually, the tree was decorated with memories.
We write what we know. So my heroine Shelby is Ms. Christmas like me. She decorates trees in this order – lights, ornaments, tinsel (one strand at a time!). But finding Santa dead and thinking if anyone finds out, she’ll be suspect number one, kind of ruins her festive mood. It takes my hero Rand to make her appreciate a very strained holiday season.
So tell me your holiday memory for a chance to win a digital copy of one of my backlist romantic suspense titles.
Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Nov. 21st. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.