Monday, November 14, 2011

Sleigh Ride Giveaways

In order to celebrate the arrival of the new winter anthology, Sleigh Ride, there will be lots of giveaways going on this week

I've already given away a copy on Magical Musings, and today, there's another giveaway over at the Girlfriends Book Club blog. Just click here to comment and be entered.

To celebrate our launch, we're doing several great contests including the 7 Sleighs/7 Days of Giveaways contest (now on day 4) as well as the Big Stuffed Sleigh Contest that ends Nov. 30th ($150 value.)

Sleigh Ride is a collection of short stories, all involving a sleigh ride. My story is titled Noche Buena and is of course, a romance, which was lots of fun to write and involves characters from my next work in progress (to be titled later!). Here's an excerpt:

North of Havana, the town’s only Cuban restaurant, was the last trip on Maggie’s “Goodwill Tour of the Fruitcakes.” Every December 23rd, a representative of the Daughters of the Spanish Explorers (the town’s most prominent women’s club) brought a fruitcake and a Christmas card to all the local merchants. This year, as the club’s secretary, the task had fallen on Maggie. She’d purposely kept North of Havana as her last stop. It had given her something to look forward to.

The smell of simmering pork and sofrito made Maggie’s mouth water. She scanned the empty dining room with its scrubbed down Formica tables and brightly colored walls with the mural scenes of old Havana’s Malec√≥n. Nestor had painted those murals himself.

She would never forget the first time she laid eyes on Nestor Vega. It was two years ago that she’d taken Lily, her Bison Frise, for her nightly stroll through down town when she’d spotted the lights in the abandoned restaurant building. Greg, Maggie’s brother-in-law and president of the First Coast Bank and Trust, had mentioned someone had bought the building, but he hadn’t given her details. As a past president of the Chamber of Commerce, Maggie’s curiosity had been aroused. She had put on her best “welcome to Old Explorers Bay” smile and prepared to greet the newest member of the business community, the Cuban immigrant from Miami who’d moved to Old Explorer’s Bay to open his own restaurant.

Faded jeans. No shirt. No shoes. Standing on a ladder and painting the restaurant walls fast and furiously to the sounds of Celia Cruz blaring from a portable CD player. Nestor, with his rough good looks and suave voice with the accent. He was Javier Bardem and Antonio Banderas wrapped up like the finest tobacco leaves to form the perfect Cuban cigar.

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