Guest Blog: Jane Wakely
Christmas is only one week away, and while I am excited about the holiday, I am even more excited for the New Year…but not in the way that you think!
This New Year’s Eve will be spent in a hotel with hubby, kiddo and puppy—yep, the whole family! You see, we are moving! After the New Year Weekend, we will make the four hour drive to our new home!
We are a military family and this will be the third time we have started out the year in some place new!
The first time, we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to fly to Hawaii. We lived in Hawaii for five years. Many good friends and memories were made there, and it is an experience I will never forget.
At the beginning of this year, we moved to Virginia. Virginia is a beautiful state. There are many trees, parks and lakes that we enjoyed exploring. This is the first time in my life I have truly seen the beauty of all four seasons. Unfortunately, the neighborhood we chose wasn’t a perfect fit, and while there are small things we will miss, we are ready to move on to our next home.
In January we make the move to Pennsylvania. We did our research, and focused on three cities we wanted to live in. There were things I liked in every city, but our choice has things I love.
The first thing I love about this small town is “big town convenience.” The drive to Wal-Mart or the mall is 15-30 minutes away, depending on where I am going. That means that I don’t have to shop somewhere new if I don’t want to, a huge plus when I know exactly what I want and where I want to get it.
Second, there is a Main Street. I know many towns have a Main Street, but this Main Street has a hometown nostalgia that I have never felt outside of Disneyland. There are many small “mom and pop” shops that have me wondering how they stay in business when competing with the big stores that are close enough to be contenders.
Main Street is only half a mile from my new home, which means that the library, post office and fancy chocolate store are all within walking distance. Guess what? That is not the best part! The very best part of this small town was the Christmas tree right in the center!
The only place I could be happier, is in the small town I created for my winter short story, Christmas Hope. Christmas Hope is set in the small town of Woodland Springs. Every year at Christmas, they too, put up a huge Christmas tree in the center of town!
Christmas Hope is a sweet romance, and one of nine stories, you’ll find in Winter Wonders (Winter Anthology 2011) from Whimsical Publications. This is a multi-genre anthology, featuring nine authors’ short stories, all with a winter theme.
Here’s the blurb:
Karen loves Woodland Springs, the town she grew up in. While her dream of owning a bakery in her home town came true, she doesn’t know if she will ever reach her dream of having a family of her own to share it with. After the humiliation of her ex-boyfriend, she doesn’t think she will ever find someone to love.
Jason Matthews moved to Woodland Springs to fill a veterinarian vacancy. After years of school and interning, he is ready to start a family. When he meets Karen, he knows she is the one.
After a misunderstood Christmas present, will these two be able to have the family they both hope for?
Here’s an excerpt:
Thankfully, the weekend was finally over. Thanksgiving weekend was always packed, so she was extra tired. Delightful was only open in the mornings from seven to noon and then again in the evenings from five to eight, but sometimes she had to bake during her off hours. Usually she baked in the mornings when she had Janice out front helping, but over the busy holidays, they were always empty up front by noon.
She sat down with a cup of coffee, doing a mental inventory in her head and planning out her Monday. She was happy Delightful was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays; she could sleep in tomorrow. She closed her eyes thinking about it and heard the bell on the front door ring.
She must have been really tired; she’d forgotten to lock the front door.
Karen opened her eyes, and her heart skipped a beat as she looked at the most handsome man she had ever seen. He was tall, she could tell from her sitting position, and he had hair so black it reminded her of the wigs the children had worn on Halloween. His eyes were a smoky grey, and when he smiled, she saw a dimple on his right cheek. Though covered in a jacket, she could tell that he was lean and muscular. She opened her mouth to say something and nothing came out.
He smiled. “Hi.”
Somehow she found her voice, though she didn’t take her eyes off of him. She had never seen him before, and she liked the view. “I’m sorry, we’re closed. I–I forgot to turn the lock.”
“Oh. Do you think I could get a quick cup of coffee? I just got into town, and I don’t have a coffee machine yet.” He smiled again, his expression hopeful.
“Okay. Why don’t you sit down, and I will pour you one to go.”
“Thank you so much. It’s really cold out there. I think I need a warmer coat.” He laughed as he said it, and his dimple showed prominently.
She looked at his coat as she made her way back to the table. It was thin, especially for this weather. He hadn’t been wrong when admitting he needed a thicker one. “It’s going to get colder. You really do need to get a warmer coat, and fast. Cream and sugar?”
“No, black is fine. Thank you so much. I’m Jason,” he said as he stood and pulled out his wallet.
“Don’t worry about it.” She waved her hand. “This one is on the house. I’m Karen.” She sat down at the table as she said it, and he sat down too. Delightful was closed, and she was tired, but she didn’t want him to go just yet.
“Are you visiting family?” she asked as she sipped her coffee, curious about where he came from.
“No, I just moved here for work. I don’t know anyone in this town. Well, except you.” He smiled again.
Thank you, Lucy, for hosting me today! 🙂
You can find me:
On my blog: www.janewakely.blogspot.com
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/janewakely
On Twitter: @JaneWakely
You can find Winter Wonders (featuring Christmas Hope):
At Whimsical Publications: http://www.whimsicalpublications.com/Winter_Wonder_2011.html
At Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/114132