It’s the time of the year for flickering flames, fireplaces, hot chocolate, apple cider, hoodies, and the smell of wood burning. I’m working on three new Christmas novellas. The first one is Let it Snow, and it has a sequel titled When Snowflakes Fall: Wrapped in Love. The third one is When the Snow Comes. Get in the mood for Christmas season as you relax and cuddle up with a Christmas novella. Remember the reason for the season and enjoy Chapter One as a preview of what’s to come. If you’d like a copy of Let it Snow, here is the link. http://www.amazon.com/Let-Snow-Home-Sweet-Snowflakes-ebook/dp/B01696227W/
If you enjoy it, please leave a review. Thank you for taking the time to consider it. I hope it will entertain you and bring you some Christmas cheer.
I pray all of my readers and their families have a blessed Christmas season.
B. J. Robinson
Excerpt for Let it Snow
Ashley Camille Jacobs dreamed of a cozy Christmas spent in a cabin in the woods, with a roaring fire crackling in the fireplace, hot chocolate, and a rocking chair by the fireside as she watched the flames leap and crackle. A cedar tree, like old times, to adorn the picture window. The lights on the tree blinking and glowing with the flickering firelight. Christmas music filling the air, listening in peaceful solitude as she rocked by the fire. Better yet, a soul mate to cuddle with on the sofa or the rug by the fire. A white Christmas full of joy, hope, love, and snow. Would that dream ever materialize?
Christmas should be kept simple. Simple was good enough for her. Enjoying the simple things in life brought the greatest pleasures. Life was about learning how to enjoy them and taking advantage of them.
Too bad, her life was anything but simple. Those days were long gone, and she doubted she’d ever see such again. Her heart longed for an isolated cabin in the woods, but living demanded that she live where the jobs were. There was something to be said for days of the past when people slowed down to enjoy life and holidays with their families.
Ashley bundled up in a heavy coat and gloves as she glanced out the window at the icy yard and road. Her old clunker was broken again, and she
had to trudge to her teaching job in town. She lived just outside the city limits. The walk wasn’t that far, but in the freezing cold, it felt like it took forever. The only bright spot was the donut shop on the way. She’d stop and briefly warm up while she ordered hot glazed donuts. At least it wasn’t snowing. She’d be out for the winter holiday break this weekend. Only a few more days to make it to work in the cold before she’d get a break.
Frosty air slapped her cheeks as she stepped from her mobile home and inhaled brisk, fresh air deeply into her lungs. She smelled the pines and firs and couldn’t wait to adorn a Balsam fir to get into the true Christmas spirit. She wanted to relax and listen to Christmas music, both carols and country.
Her heart pumped, and her breath puffed white smoke as she shoved her hands into gloves and began her morning routine to get to work. At least she got exercise.
By the time she made it to the warmth of the donut shop, her nose was red and felt frozen. She yanked off her gloves and shoved them into the pockets of her jacket. The coffee would warm them. She loved to feel its warmth seep through the cup into her hands. She placed her order for two hot glazed donuts and a cup of hazelnut coffee, paid the ticket, grabbed the white bag of treats and coffee, and turned to exit. Nearly spilling her coffee on the hard body that blocked her way, her eyes widened in surprise. Scott Wyatt stood a head taller smiling down at her with a twinkle in his brown eyes that glistened with amber highlights. His spiked auburn hair brought them out even more, and she couldn’t tear her gaze from his.
“Careful, that coffee is hot. Babe, it’s cold outside, but I don’t hanker to be warmed up that way,” he drawled.
She smiled up at him. “So sorry. I’m glad the lid kept it from spilling.”
“Me, too.” His beaming smile was like glowing headlights on a cold, dark night. She felt drawn to it as a rabbit caught in the glow. Even white teeth sparkled, and a five o’clock shadow showed he hadn’t shaved. Was he planning to grow a beard? Why should she care? Well, she did like men clean-shaven, but sometimes beards made them cute. Scott didn’t need to hide his handsome face behind whiskers. She sighed.
“On your way to work?”
“Yes, see you later. I’ve got to hurry. Don’t want to be late.”
He glanced at his watch. “We’ve got time.”
She hurried through the door knowing he didn’t realize she walked to work. Ashley had made it about half a block down the road when Scott
pulled alongside of her and the passenger window slid down. “Didn’t realize you were walking. Hop in and let me give you a ride. It’s too cold out there.”
He shoved the passenger door open, and she climbed in. “Thanks so much. I really appreciate it. Once I hit the donut shop, I don’t have much further. Knowing that, keeps me going.” She smiled and took a sip of coffee.
He lifted one of her gloves. “I found this left behind on the counter. The clerk said it was yours, so I told her I’d see that you got it back since we worked at the same school.”
“Thank you. I thought I’d shoved them in my pocket.”
“Figured it wouldn’t take you long to miss it.”
She grinned. “I would’ve in the morning when I got ready to walk to work, but I take them off when I have a warm cup of coffee in my hand.”
“You don’t have a car?”
“It’s not running.”
“What’s wrong with it?”
“No clue. There’s always something going on with it. I’m just thankful I live close enough to walk to work when it acts up.”
He parked in front of the school and dashed to open her door, but she was out of the car before he could get to her side. “Thanks for the ride. I love your Mustang. Blue and white is such a pretty color.”
“It’s fun to drive.” He grinned and reached into the back seat to pull out a briefcase. “Had to grade papers last night.” He sighed. “Breaks almost here. I’m going to have a country Christmas with the folks. What are your plans?”
“To stay warm and enjoy my break from walking in the cold.”
“You’re not visiting family?”
She hung her head for a split second before answering. “I have none anymore. My father died when I was very young, mother died a few years ago, and I lost my sister a few years afterwards. Christmas has never been the same for me since.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry. I have a huge family and always spend it with them. They have a cabin in the woods where we gather for it every year. You should come with me. They have plenty of room, and I know they’d welcome you. No one should be alone for the holidays.” He smiled, and his honey-brown eyes welcomed her as much as his lips.
“But I don’t know them, or you very well either.”
“We could get to know each other better, and having one more won’t make a dent in their Christmas plans. Mom cooks enough to feed an army.”
“Well, I don’t know. I’ll think about it.”
“You don’t have much time. Tomorrow is our last day, and I’m leaving as soon as school is out, so if you decide to go, have your bags packed. I’ll pick you up in the morning so you won’t have to walk with them. We’ll be ready to hit the road when the bell rings. I can’t wait.” He grinned as they strolled to the building together. “How about it? It’ll be fun.”
“It would be something different. I’ve always dreamed of having Christmas at a cabin in the woods.”
“Let me make your dream come true.” He winked.
Her heart stood still. If he only would.
Ashley’s pulse raced. His eyes pulled her in, and she felt like she stared into the eyes of her soul mate, but they’d worked together for years and he’d never noticed her. She couldn’t let herself think that way. He just felt sorry for her. She wanted love, not pity. Yet, she couldn’t say no to his tempting invitation. She had no better plans, and she dreaded spending another Christmas alone. “Okay, you’ve talked me into it. I hope you’re right about your Mom not minding.”
“It’ll be fine. I promise. Have a great day. Perhaps I’ll see you at lunch.”
She smiled and whispered, “Thanks, perhaps,” before she turned and followed the hall in a different direction. He taught math, a subject she detested. She was in a different wing and taught English. Ashley felt like she floated down the aisle as she turned into her room. Her spirits lifted. Maybe this Christmas would feel like the holidays again. Nothing would ever bring back her lost loved ones, but at least she wouldn’t be alone. Her heart yearned for company. The holidays could be so lonesome alone. Yet, she didn’t want to get her hopes up too much about Scott. Pity was far from love.
Her mind raced with thoughts of his honey-colored eyes and spiked auburn hair as she taught her seventh graders. One more day to get through. She never thought she’d be thankful that her car wasn’t running, but if it had been, she would’ve never gotten an invitation from Scott. Maybe she should be glad she drove an old boat that stayed parked in her drive more than on the road these days. She did love her large vehicle and disliked today’s smaller ones. Too bad they no longer made Ford LTDs. She’d keep her yellow and brown one as long as the motor didn’t go entirely out because it couldn’t be replaced. At least not with a new model. She couldn’t afford a new one anyway. Ashley was used to making do.
That evening she began her trudge home. She hadn’t seen Scott at lunch as she’d hoped she would. She knew she shouldn’t have gotten her
hopes up. She hadn’t gone two blocks before the blue Mustang with the white stripe pulled alongside of her and the window slid down.
“Hi, sorry I didn’t get to see you for lunch. Decided to stay in my room and grade papers because I want to be caught up before the holidays. I don’t plan to bring work with me to Mom’s. Hop in. You never gave me a definite answer.” He grinned, and his eyes lit up as he winked at her. “Are we on?”
She climbed into the vehicle and sighed before answering. “I don’t want to be a burden, though I do thank you for taking pity on me.”
“Are you kidding? You are the one taking pity on me and keeping the only son with no date from showing up without a woman on his arm for the holidays. My two brothers are married, and Mom keeps asking me what I’m waiting for. I keep telling her, the right woman, of course, and she hasn’t come along yet.” His gaze locked with hers. “Maybe she has. This holiday together might give us a chance to find out.”
Ashley’s heart fluttered, and her hand went to her throat. She tried to answer him, but her voice wouldn’t work. She felt so shy and awkward around Scott, but she tried to make light of things and smiled. “So, you’re using me then.”
He grinned and patted her shoulder. “Call it what you will, but I don’t feel sorry for you, and I’m not using you.” He grimaced. “Well, maybe I do feel a bit sorry for you walking to work in the cold when I have a nice warm vehicle. We’ll have to do something about that at least until the winter is over. I live in town, so my apartment can’t be far from you. I’ll drive you to and from work until you can get your car running or until winter is over.”
“That’s awfully nice of you, but I can’t let you do that.”
“And just why not? I want to. Who wouldn’t want the company of a beautiful redhead?
Ashley felt her cheeks grow warm. “I’m not redheaded. My hair is the same color as yours, auburn.”
“It’s beautiful hanging long and wavy down your back. I love it.”
“Thank you.” She hung her head and gazed at her lap knowing her face had to be red as a Maine lobster.
“It’s wicked cold, too cold for you to be trudging up and down the road and what will happen when it snows? You’ll be buried.”
She laughed. “I’ve managed so far.”
“Like I said, I don’t feel sorry for you because you are no spoiled, pampered woman. It’s plain to see that you do what you need to in order to survive. You’re going to love Mom and Dad’s cabin in the woods.”
“I know I will. It’s what I’ve always dreamed of.”
“Told you I’d make your dream come true, and I’m just beginning.” Scott glanced at her as he drove past the donut shop. “So how about directions so I can bring you home?”
She explained the way to the trailer park and held her breath, hating for him to see where she lived. Though hers was decent, many of the trailers were rundown. She had one she was renting to own instead of one the landlord rented. A private owner had allowed her to buy it that way, and she was glad because though it was small, it wasn’t falling down like some of the others.
As he pulled into the gravel lane that ran between two rows of small yards and trailers, he asked, “Which one is it?”
“Second one on the right.” She let out a breath and watched his face.
“I hope you’re safe here.”
“Of course I am. After all, it’s Maine. I’ve lived here about three years with no problems.”
“I’ll get your door.” This time he dashed around to open it, and she waited. He took her hand and helped her out. “You’ve made a nice little sitting area for yourself under that oak. Must be nice in the spring and fall, but not very cozy for the winter.”
“No, I’m afraid not. The yard stays a muddy mess during the winter months, but it does look nice during my two favorite seasons.”
“Let me guess. Fall and spring?
“Yes, summer is okay, too, since I don’t have to work those months, but I love the spring flowers and the fall leaves.”
“I know what you mean. Always visit Mom for Thanksgiving and even Halloween. It’s more fun in the woods for both with the trees sporting their vibrant holiday colors. Of course in the winter, the only colors are vibrant evergreen or bare branches.”
“Would you like a cup of coffee or something?”
“No thanks. Like I said, I need to get caught up before tomorrow morning. I’m headed to my apartment to do lesson plans and grade papers, but I’ll see you first thing bright and early and don’t try walking. Wait for me. It’s supposed to snow tonight, and I don’t want to have to dig you out of some snowbank.”
Her eyes met his. “Thanks so much, Scott. You’re sure making my life a lot easier, and you’re already making one dream come true, a Christmas in a cabin in the woods. Somehow this trailer park doesn’t put me in the Christmas mood, but tucked away in the woods, I know my spirits will be lifted.”
“Good. I aim to please.” He strolled with her to the steps, and she wondered if he’d try to kiss her, but felt it was way too soon. Instead, he just stood there and watched as she unlocked her door. “Mom never locks her place, but she lives in the woods in the middle of nowhere.” He grinned, and their gazes locked again. She noticed something in his, promise. He stood below her on the last step, and she stood on the top one, yet he was still taller. He lifted her chin and gazed deeply into her eyes. “This is going to be a Christmas to remember with an auburn-haired beauty. Thank you for accepting my invitation.”
“Thank you for the kind offer.”
He winked. “See you tomorrow. I wasn’t just being kind. You’ll see.”
She stood in the door and watched him climb into his sports car and scoot out the drive. His car was a beaut, and he was a hunk. Ashley wondered when she would wake from this dream. Everyone knew dreams didn’t come true, wishes either, when you lived in a dumpy trailer park, not even Christmas ones. She had to keep her hopes from climbing too high, or she’d be too disappointed to survive and function after having a Prince Charming like Scott in her life. No way did she want a fancy fiber-optic Christmas. Ashley looked forward to a country Christmas in the cabin in the woods with Scott and his family. Nothing could top that. She couldn’t believe at least part of her dream was coming true.
Dear Reader, Thank you for taking the time to consider Let it Snow.
About the Author:
B. J. Robinson writes inspirational fiction from Florida, where she lives with her husband, a shelter cat named Frankie, a golden cocker spaniel named Sunflower, and a golden retriever named Honi. Her children are grown and have made her a grandmother twelve times. She promises to take her readers on a continuous journey to another world. B. J. has been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). She believes belonging to a good critique group and reading books by other writers is the best way to hone your skill and craft.
Visit her at http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com. B. J. Robinson makes her home in Florida with her husband and pets, blessed with children, grandchildren, and faith. Visit her author page at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBJRobinson.