Wednesday Book Excerpts

Make sure to read and comment today and you might win a copy of one of these books.

Can a nearly 100-year-old woman still have time for a final adventure? And if so, what kind of last hurrah could she possibly have?

A blizzard rages outside Elinor Montoya’s window. Watching it from the comfort of the home that she has lived in for her entire life, she feels neither frightened nor lonely. She has her memories to keep her company.

As the snow falls, Elinor recalls the years that have passed so quickly. She considers the mother who died giving her life, the doting father who was called from her just when she expected they would have more time together, and the cousin who she’s held closer than a sister for nearly a century.

Elinor revisits, through letters and in her mind, the chapters of her life that are as varied as the snow that drifts to the ground outside her window. She thinks of her husband, who went off to War and returned a changed man. She thinks of the truest joy in her life, her son Jamie. She wonders if, on such a bleak, snowy day, there isn’t time for her to have one final adventure…just one last little thrill before moving on to what surely can’t be too far in her future.

Snowdance is the story of a life well lived, and the possibilities that are open to us every day of our lives, if we only open ourselves to seeing them. Elinor Montoya? She sees.

The excerpt:

Elinor watched the steam drift away from her nose as she sipped her cup of Earl Grey. The snow fell outside the window in large, fat flakes. She leaned forward in the rocker, halting the familiar creaking for a second as she craned her neck to see the mailbox. Not as easy to stretch as it used to be. The green metal box had at least three inches of fluffy white snow on top of its curved dome.

The creaking of the rocker began again as she settled back with a small grunt of satisfaction.
Yes, it’s really starting to come down. The weather channel might have it right this time. I hope they do. We just don’t get as many snowstorms as we did when I was a girl, and that’s a shame. A crying shame. Why, I remember that Sara and I would make the most perfect snow angels.

Goodness, but I miss Sara and those angels.

Her gaze drifted toward the stream that wound its way through the property. The water was quiet and still now, hidden by the falling snow. A scattering of large rocks stuck up through the new covering, with a few even larger ones near the center of the stream.

The flat, smooth stones had made excellent spots for the endless games she and Sara had played so many years ago. Sara, her cousin, had been her closest playmate. Separated in age by a mere five months, they had always felt a bond akin to sisterhood.

Goodness, I miss Sara—never mind the angels.

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Blurb: Friends…the best of friends.

Smart, yet stubborn, Kathryn wants more than anything to be a serious reporter, even to the detriment of her personal life. Her best friend, easygoing coworker Nick, realizes she has lost her Christmas spirit, and he is determined to help her find it again. And maybe in the process, she’ll find him too.

After the pair is assigned to work together on a story covering the toy drive for the downtown children’s home, Kathryn begins to receive anonymous gifts from a Secret Santa. But will any of this really make a difference in Kathryn? And what happens when she begins to fall for her Secret Santa, making Nick jealous.

Kathryn walked into the office that morning ready for some coffee. She’d failed to wake up on time this morning—even with her alarm; so, she’d had no time to make her usual pot. Now she was dragging.

Thoughts about her Christmas assignment kept waking her all night. Her introspections were merciless. She couldn’t let it go. It was as if it was taunting her – 'you’ll never be any better than to write those puff pieces – never – you’ll never be a serious journalist.' And when she finally fell asleep at two am, she was so tired she’d slept right through the alarm. Therefore, as she neared her desk, the one thought on her mind was that she was so looking forward to a strong cup of coffee.

After falling into her desk chair, she opened her usually empty left hand bottom drawer. But before placing her purse inside as she always did, she stopped and pulled out a petite package. Her fingers trembled as she touched the shimmering red paper. With her fingertips, she slowly traced over the glossy, green ribbon which was curled up beautifully. Then her eyes darted over her cubical wall and around the newsroom. No one was looking her way.

Who sent this? Someone is playing me, I know it.

The package seemed perfect sitting on her desktop, but her curiosity - which was more than piqued - wouldn’t allow her to wait any longer. She pulled open the paper gently, trying not to bring attention to herself. Inside, she found a luscious piece of chocolate sitting in its paper cradle. She also found a printed note:

Dear Kathryn,

The Twelve Days of Christmas are supposed to begin on Christmas and continue

through the New Year, but how much more fun would it be for you to get a gift

everyday until Christmas! That is sure to get you into the holiday spirit.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…one raspberry-filled

chocolate truffle. Enjoy.

Until tomorrow.

Your Secret Santa

Kathryn took another guarded look around the room. She stood to gain an unimpeded view over the cubical wall, placing her gift and its wrapping onto her desk as she peered. Since no one seemed to be watching her, she sat down and thought about popping the chocolate into her mouth.

“So, you do believe in Christmas,” said a voice out of nowhere.

Kathryn shot out of her seat once more with her package and contents spreading across the surface of her desk. Her heart pounded as she turned her body violently around to face the speaker.

“Nick Pringle…you scared the living life out of me,” she said as she quickly grabbed the present - wrapping and all – and threw it back into the drawer.

“So, what was that?”


“Nothing? It looked like a present to me.”

“So, what if it was? I said I didn't plan on buying any presents. That doesn’t mean that someone else might not want to give one to me.”

“Who was it from?” A curious smile appeared on his inscrutable face.

“Does it really matter? It was just a trifle.”

“A trifle? It looked like a truffle to me.”

She sent him a glare. “Do you have a lead for the orphan story yet?”

“Not yet. I thought we should head down there today and check it out ourselves. You might even get that new angle.”

He handed her a paper cup from her favorite coffee shop. She loved the creamy, chocolate-caramel scent way more than was right and proper. Before taking her first sip, she breathed deeply of the delicious fragrance. Then she let the beverage slip down her throat and warm her body and soul. While giving Nick a look of thankfulness, she thought about saying something nice, “Well come on; I haven’t got all day.”

Walking with Nick to the elevator, her mind descended upon her mystery gift giver. Who had left the present? It had to be someone who knew she wasn’t interested in Christmas, but everyone in the office knew that. And they had to know she loved chocolate, but just about everyone did. She glanced at Nick and his nicely combed, light brown hair. She couldn’t remember a time when he’d had a hair out of place or a wrinkle in his suit.

Could it be Nick? He knows me better than anyone. He met her blue eyes with his hazel ones and then smiled. No, Nick wouldn’t. He couldn’t pull it off if he tried. He’s just too transparent.

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Buy the e-book (on sale for $1.74)

If you want to read about my other holiday title Winter Wonders, visit my website to read an excerpt.


ddurance said...

Sweet memories and a best-friend romance sound wonderful, ladies!


Anonymous said...

Oh gosh these both look fabulous! I love Sarita's cover. We have a 95 year old granny who sits and thinks all day. She has some stories, let me tell ya.

Wish list getting fuller each day *G*

robynl said...

what wonderful books for this time of year. Both sound very interesting.

tigger9 said...

Both books sound great. The excerpt was awesome, it definately got my attention.
Happy Holidays!

Rose said...

Sarita and Cindy,

Both blurbs are intriguing!


Jeanette J said...

Thank you for the excerpts. I'd like to be included in the drawings please

Kara Lynn Russell said...

I'm really enjoying the jubilee. It's really a feast for readers. And you've found some wonderful authors to feature.

Sarita, as always, I enjoy being one of your readers!

Cindy K. Green said...

Thanks to everyone for coming by. And Sarita I have to say that I love your cover. :)

Cherie J said...

These sound like some wonderful stories. Great Blurbs and excerpts!

Sarita Leone said...

Deidre, thanks for the kind words. I love Cindy's excert. The note is perfect. :-)

Sarita Leone said...

Nan, I'll bet that granny has some stories to tell. I love to listen to those who are older than I and richer in experience and wisdom. I love to sit beside them and learn.

Thanks for visiting!

Sarita Leone said...

Hi Robyn. Thank you for your kindness, and for stopping by! :-)

Sarita Leone said...

Happy holidays, Tigger! :-)

Sarita Leone said...

Thank you, Rose. :-)

Sarita Leone said...

Hi Jeanette. Thanks for coming by!

Sarita Leone said...

Oh, Kara, you are so kind! I am so happy to see you here. You're right about Cindy's jubilee; I am having so much fun reading all the interviews, blurbs and excerpts. I am so honored to be able to join in the fun.

Thanks so much, Cindy!

Gina Marie Pettitt said...

The excerpt from Sarita's book made me cry because it sounded like my gramma did just a few years ago. Now at 102 senile dementia and a bad heart have taken away her ability to tell us if she does remember.
The other excerpt was the opposite I sat and laughed, visualizing the scene as though it were happening in front of me. I enjoyed reading both.

Sarita Leone said...

Cindy, thanks so much for having me here today. I'd hoped to come by earlier but we are under a winter weather advisory so I had to move my shopping day up a bit. It appears we are going to be snowed in for the next few days!

I'm so grateful you've included me in your jubilee. What a fabulous way to add pleasure to an already joyous season.

And I love that cover, too. Jinger Heaston has done all my Whiskey Creek Press covers and she is incredible. She truly matches the cover to the tone of the story, as well as the author's personality. She is so talented, and I am very, very thankful for what she does for my stories.

Sarita Leone said...

Thank you, Cherie! So glad you enjoyed them. :-)

Cindy, you've got me intrigued with that excerpt. I'm definitely going to have to find out what happens next! Thanks for sharing part of what I know will be another excellent tale.

Sarita Leone said...

Oh Gina, I'm so glad I touched you, and brought back memories of someone special. Your comment warmed my heart.

You're right about Cindy's excerpt. I sat here and grinned as I read it. Such a sweet story! Perfect for holiday reading!

Thanks for stopping by!

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Wow Cindy and Sarita...with books like these I'm humbled for sure and pleased to be in such a good company of authors!


Julie Robinson said...

Both of these books look awesome. I realize I've been posting on the wrong section. I joined the party a while a go and posted there. If you think I'm lost in cyberspace, you ought to see me in person! Yes, I must laugh at myself.

Julie Robinson said...

BTW, I also love that shade of blue for the cover, Sarita. And Cindy, the quote at the beginning of your book is just perfect to base everything else on.

Cindy K. Green said...

Thanks Julie! Glad you caught up with us. :)

the author said...

I love the timeless quality of the cover of the book Snowdance... makes me want to read it...