Sneak Peek - Santa Honey
It's Christmas in June time! Here's the very first sneak peek of my humorous contemp novella "Christmas Unplugged" from Dorchester's upcoming October Christmas Anthology SANTA HONEY.
Christmas Unplugged: 2 Brothers + 2 Sisters + 0 Electricity = 1 Unforgettable Holiday
Casey’s little sister Emma, having dumped her cheating boyfriend, is left with a fully paid, non-refundable Christmas getaway for two at Dutch Gorge, a remote Adirondack lodge.
Casey agrees to come along to nurse Emma’s broken heart...just as long as she can bring her laptop and catch up with some work over the holiday. Except Emma neglects to enlighten her big sis on one important detail about the weekend…
Casey reached into the trunk for one last bag.
"Might as well leave that one," Matt told her.
She glanced up at him. "What?"
"That's a computer, right?"
"Then why bring it in? You won't be able to use it."
She straightened, setting one hand on the open trunk door and trying to grip both her bag and his flashlight in the other. The beam bounced wildly.
"You mean because this God-forsaken crack in the Earth's crust is in a satellite blind spot? I already know that. My GPS lost its signal even before we started down the mountain. So I'm guessing there'll be no Internet, either. But that's okay. I can work without it."
He snorted. "Can you work without electricity?"
She froze in the act of slamming the trunk. Her eyes jerked to his, and even in the darkness, he could tell they were appalled.
"Without electricity? You can't be serious."
"Perfectly serious, honey. Dutch Lodge is off the grid."
Her head swiveled toward the house. "But...there are lights--"
"Gas light," he said. "And oil lamps. Don't tell me you didn't notice? It's usually the first thing that guests comment on."
"No." Her voice was barely more than a whisper. "I didn't notice. But...what about TV? Hot water?" She sucked in a breath. "Heat?"
"Sorry, no TV. But there's plenty of hot water, courtesy of a mountain spring Uncle Fred piped in years ago. A large propane tank out back takes care of the gaslights and water heaters. And there's a fireplace or wood burning stove in every room. Don't worry, you'll get your hot baths, and you won't freeze."
"But--no electricity? How can anyone live without electricity?"
He laughed. "It's not so bad. I grew up here, you know, and managed to survive."
The sounds of her sputtering shock made him wish for a stronger flashlight. "Didn't you know about the electricity? It's all in the brochure your sister was waving arou--" He cut off, and laughed outright.
"What's so funny?" she demanded.
"You didn't read that brochure, did you? And your sister didn't tell you."
Casey slammed the trunk. The crash echoed off the sides of the gorge like a gunshot.
"No," she ground out between clenched teeth. "She did not. But she is certainly going to answer for it now."
Still clutching her laptop case, she flung herself in the direction of the house, her footsteps hard and fast. Well, as hard and fast as footsteps could get in six inches of new snow.
"You know," he said, juggling the baggage as he fell into step beside her. "Most guests at Dutch Lodge consider the lack of electricity a good thing. In fact, it's the reason most people come here. To get away from civilization."
"Yes, well, I like civilization just fine. I don't want to get away from it. No electricity," she added under her breath. "This is insane. That brat is going to die. Painfully."
That repressed violent streak again, Matt thought, impressed.
"She's just lucky I've got some battery life. If I make it to tomorrow morning, I might let her live."
"Why?" Matt asked. "What happens tomorrow morning?"
She spun toward him, stumbling, then catching her balance. The flashlight beam glanced off the white ground. "What happens in the morning is that we're leaving. Whether Emma wants to or not."
Matt couldn't suppress a bark of laughter. "Leaving? Sorry to disappoint, but I really doubt that's gonna happen."
"Oh, it's going to happen, all right. The instant the sun comes up, I'm outta here."
The wind chose just that moment to kick up a wintery blast. "I'm curious," Matt shouted over the rising wind. "Did you happen to check the local weather report before driving into the gorge?"
They'd reached the house. Casey stomped up the three steps to the porch before turning to glare down at him. "No."
Trepidation crept into her voice. "Why do you ask?"
"Because I was listening to the update on the shortwave just before you got here. This storm's turning nasty, and it's going to last all night. They're predicting two feet."
"Two feet?" Casey's mouth fell open. "Of snow?"
"Well, not of rose petals," Matt assured her. "So I'm pretty sure no one's going anywhere tomorrow. Least of all you."
Joy's Countdown to Summer's final week of prizes...
Three readers will receive winner's choice of any book from my backlist, including hard to find small press releases.
- Alien Encounters (my novella is "Dream Guardian" in this futuristic anthology which also features stories by Ashley Ladd, Dominique Tomas, and Jane Toombs - New Concepts Publishing)
- Ultimate Warriors (my novella is "Heroes Incorporated" in this superhero anthology which also features stories by Jaide Fox, Breena Lyons and Michelle M. Pillow - New Concepts Publishing)
- Crystal Shadows (full length fantasy romantica novel from Ellora's Cave)
- Or...the winners can choose any one of my first six Dorchester books, Celtic Fire, The Grail King, Immortals: The Awakening, Deep Magic, Immortals: The Crossing, Immortals: The Reckoning Anthology.
- Check my website - www.joynash.com - for more info on all my books!
Comment on any post from Monday June 15 until Saturday June 20 for a chance to win. I was going to choose the winner at the precise moment of the Summer Solstice on Sunday June 21, until I googled it and found out that's 1:45 AM EDT! Since I'll most likely be sound asleep at that time, I'll pick the winners sometime after I wake up on Sunday, and post by Sunday night.
A Little Light Magic
Summer at the Jersey Shore has never been so hot!