Well, today I’m sharing a cute excerpt to go along with that cute cover. And better yet, Tracy’s giving away another $10 Amazon gift card! So take a moment to hop on over to her rafflecopter giveaway, then come back here to give the excerpt a read.
Ready? Let’s get started.
About the book
Love? Second chances? That crap is for romantics, not realists like Juliette. She has a bad attitude about love and an even worse one when it comes to second chances. And she may dress like an elf for a few weeks out of the year, but that doesn’t mean she loves Christmas.
Stability? Purpose? Landon is surfing a pleasant wave of both until he’s fired. Devastating news from his sister certainly doesn’t help. At least he has the holidays to look forward to.
When Landon shows up at the mall and Juliette prevents a disaster, he can’t stop thinking about that sweet elf. Juliette doesn’t believe in the spirit of Christmas, but she can’t help but wonder why Landon was in her line that day. Could Landon deserve one of those second chances she’s so unwilling to give?
We’re nearing the front of the line, and I’m grateful everyone seems to be quick with their requests of Santa. Santa and the elves win points for their efficiency.
“Uncle Landy, my tummy hurts.”
And there it is. I’m not surprised she’s complaining about her stomach, but I’m a little shocked it took this long for it to bother her.
“Maybe we should head home.” I hate to say it, but it’s the best option.
“No!” The disappointment spreads across her face like a storm rolling in at fifty miles an hour. “I want to see Santa. You promised.”
Her hands are pressed against her tummy, and her face is a shade whiter than a ghost. If we don’t make it to the front of the line in a matter of minutes, she’ll leave a present right in the middle of the North Pole.
“Abby, I think maybe we should do this another time. I’ll make it up to you.” I hate being the bearer of bad news but I’m sure she feels terrible. I have to hand it to her for sticking it out, though.
I can’t stand it when she cries. Sometimes it’s annoying, other times, like now, it’s sad and makes me sad, too. I know how bad she wants this, and it’s hurting her that it may not happen.
I crouch down next to her, allowing the bags to roll off my arms and onto the ground. I take a hold of her hands. “Abby, listen to me. That cinnamon roll was a little too much to eat. You should get home and rest. Standing in line won’t make you feel any better. Lying down will.”
She doesn’t answer me, only stares at me with those big eyes, her painted-on smile now erased and carved into a frown. Her skin is becoming paler by the second, her huge eyes now drooping. I know this look. She’s about to lose it.
“Here!” An arm swooshes past me with a bucket. As soon as it reaches Abby, she throws up right into it.
When Abby finishes bringing up her dinner and the Cinnabon, I pull her close to me. I don’t care if I get some on my shirt or my pants. She needs comfort right now.
“Thank you,” I say as I look up to thank everyone’s hero because let’s face it, no one wants to be standing in line with someone’s puke.
My eyes float up the black leggings, past the green and red fabric with arms so wide she could use them as wings, to the beautiful woman underneath the pointed hat with a bell. Her red lips hypnotize me as she smiles, her blue eyes sparkling enough to make me believe in Santa Claus.
“Thanks.” That’s all I manage to say. I seem to have lost the ability to speak as I’m entirely fixated on her. I can’t break my gaze from this woman in front of me.
She holds the bucket behind her back, doing us all a favor and removing the smell as fast as she can. “No problem. I’ve worked here enough years to know when it’s about to happen. I always keep a bucket handy.”
Prepared, gorgeous, and not afraid to handle the puke monster. I’m already impressed.
“I’m sorry. She ate a little too much, and I guess her stomach couldn’t handle it.” There. I found the words.
“Don’t worry about it.” She leans down so she’s eye to eye with Abby. “How do you feel now? Better?”
Abby shrugs, and I’m not sure if she still isn’t feeling well, or if she’s being cautious with a stranger, which I appreciate. Even though she’s with me, you can never be too safe these days.
“Tell you what. I think you should let your daddy take you home. Come back tomorrow, and I’ll be here. You can skip the line and see Santa right away. I’m giving you a sick pass.”
Abby releases her hands from her tummy and smiles at me. Neither I nor Abby correct the woman dressed as an elf that I’m her uncle.
“Really?” Abby asks. She glances up at me and back at the woman, not sure if she should believe her or not.
“You bet. I’ll be right next to the big guy. I promise.” This time the elf winks at me, and her smile widens, her cheeks so rosy against her creamy skin.
I’ll have to clear it with Courtney but I don’t suspect it will be a problem unless she’s upset Abby is sick. “You can do that?” I don’t want to disappoint Abby and if what this woman is saying is true, I can still save the day. Uncle Landy to the rescue.
“Sure can. I’ve been working with Santa for years. I’m probably his number one elf. So, six tomorrow?”
“Six tomorrow.” I nod at her, trying not to exaggerate my appreciation. “I’m Landon, and this is Abby, by the way.”
“Sugar Plum,” she says as she pats Abby on the head. “Glad to meet the both of you. I’ll see you tomorrow, six sharp.”
Abby squeezes my hand with a little squeal to accompany it. As Sugar Plum heads behind Santa’s Village with the bucket, I remain focused on her, smiling inside as the bells on her shoes ding. She may be the cutest elf I have ever seen.
About the author
Tracy Krimmer loves coffee, popcorn, Drew Barrymore, and the movie Saving Silverman. She enjoys reading great books (of course) and writing realistic characters for you to enjoy. When she listens to music she prefers the 80s and 90s music she grew up on. In a typical day you’ll find her writing at one of her favorite spots–on the couch, at the kitchen table, or at her favorite hometown coffee shop.