Authors: Tonya Kappes
Tags: #Romance, #C429, #Extratorrents, #Kat
Also by Tonya Kappes
Carpe Bead ‘em
Something Spooky This Way Comes
Believe Christmas Anthology
Olivia Davis Paranormal Mystery Series
Color Me A Crime
Magical Cures Mystery Series
A Charming Crime
A Charming Cure
A Charming Potion
Grandberry Falls Series
The Ladybug Jinx
Happy New Life
A Superstitious Christmas
Never Tell Your Dreams
A Divorced Diva Beading Mystery Series
A Bead of Doubt Short Story
Strung Out To Die
Small Town Romance Short Story Series
A New Tradition
The Tricked-Out Toolbox~Promotional and Marketing Tools Every Writer Needs
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without the permission in writing from the author or publisher.
Edition: November 2012
Copyright © 2012 by Tonya Kappes
All rights reserved
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to the publisher and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
What others are saying about Author Tonya Kappes
“Full of wit, humor and colorful characters, Tonya Kappes delivers a fun, fast-paced story that will leave you hooked!” Bestselling Author, Jane Porter
“Fun, fresh, and flirty, Carpe Bead ’Em is the perfect read on a hot summer day. Tonya Kappes’ voice shines in her debut novel.” Author Heather Webber
“I loved how Tonya Kappes was able to bring her characters to life.” Coffee Table Reviews
With laugh out loud scenes and can't put it down suspense A Charming Crime is the perfect read for summer you get a little bit of everything but romance. Forgetthehousework blog
"This book was fun, entertaining and good to the last page. Who knew reading auras could get Olivia in so much trouble? Sit back, smile and cozy up to Splitsville.com, where Olivia does the dumping for you. There's heap loads of humor, a dose of magical realism, sprinkles of romance, and mystery when someone ends up dead!" Author Lisa Lim
“This book was funny and clever with a unique premise. I truly couldn't put it down.” Author Diane Majeske
“I loved this book. Grandberry Falls is my kind of town and I for one would love to live there and get to know all the local folks. I enjoyed reading this book and can't wait to read the next book about Grandberry Falls by Tonya Kappes. I have added Tonya Kappes as one of my new favorite authors.” Jean Segal
“The fantasy world that Kappes introduced came to life. This is definitely one series that will be on my To Be Read list as subsequent books come out.” author Andrea Buginsky, A Magical Cures Series
About the Small Town Romance Short Story Series
I came up with the idea of writing a series of short stories because as a reader, I read them. I have found short stories to be a perfect fit for my busy life. They are perfect for the wait at the Doctor’s office, kid’s sports practices, and car line…practically anywhere.
Finding a good short story was hard for me. I like a sweet romance set in small towns. Then the idea hit me. What if I wrote a series of sweet romance short stories where each story comes out on a holiday and each set in a different fictitious small town?
I ran it by my editor and a few beta readers and they all felt the same way I did. Short stories are great for on-the-go, but not replacing the longer novels.
I’m very excited about this series and hope you will be too.
Come on in, sit back, relax and enjoy your visit.
“Are you sure you don’t want to come? “ Jenna asked, packing up for the early pre-holiday filled night. I watched as she gathered all the goodies she got from her Secret Santa gift exchange.
“No thank you,” I smiled, turning around and peering out over the city lights. They lit up Main Street like the white lights on a Christmas tree. A Christmas tree that I would not be decorating this year. This was the first Christmas that I was going to be alone. ALONE.
“I don’t know.” She leaned against the door frame of my office. Her normally straight blonde hair was off-set with curls that framed her face, as worry set deep in her hazel eyes. “It’s not healthy to spend Christmas alone when you have a slew of girlfriends that want to be with you.”
“I will be fine.” I turned around and picked up the stack of papers sitting on my desk. “I have that big conference call with Walter Bassett. Plus, my date with Audrey.”
“Mr. Bassett can wait until after the holidays.” Jenna crossed her arms. “He has made us wait plenty of times.”
She was right. Mr. Bassett was a big pill to swallow when it came to business. He owned several casinos around the world and used our little firm to help decorate them. Help, as in help with a little light fixture here, another there. But the day had come when Mr. Bassett finally gave my little firm, The Design Studio, the entire account on the new gambling boat in Biloxi, Mississippi, and we were going to finalize the deal on Christmas morning during our Skype meeting. That in itself was enough incentive to spend Christmas alone.
Granted, the boat casino wasn’t Vegas, but it was bigger than any job we had gotten in Mulberry End, Connecticut. And with the wonders of technology, Mr. Bassett had no clue he was doing business with a tiny business located in a town of ten-thousand people.
“The gang is going to meet around 7 PM down at the Rum and Monkey for the honky-tonk Christmas Eve party to ring in Christmas. And it’s not too late to have our annual Audrey party before we meet.” She referred to our annual watching of Breakfast at Tiffany’s where we all dressed up in our finest ball gowns and tiaras while sipping wine. “Tomorrow you can come to my family Christmas dinner. We’d love to have you.”
The gang consisted of five of my best friends who all grew up in Mulberry End. Of course we all went our separate ways when we went to college, but came home shortly after graduation. It was slim picking in Mulberry End’s single men department, which explains why none of us had a husband or boyfriend.
“It sounds like a great time, but it’s not every year that I have the opportunity to spend the holidays alone.” I took the Breakfast at Tiffany’s DVD out of my computer bag and held it up. “This year, Audrey and I are going to be spending Christmas
Not that I didn’t enjoy Christmas with the Englehardt’s (my family) and my tradition with my friends, but us being apart one Christmas wasn’t going to kill anyone. Besides, it wasn’t like I didn’t see my family on a bi-weekly basis and my friends on a weekly basis.
Plus, I didn’t have to hear about Aunt Edna’s new dentures, Uncle Bill’s bunions, or cute baby Sally’s first green poopy diapers.
Yes. Those were the conversations we had around our Christmas table. And I am determined that this year is going to be a relaxing one.
Before she left, Jenna turned around. “If you change your mind, you can stop on down at the Rum and Monkey.”
“And is your cell phone charged?” Jenna was almost as good as my mother. “I don’t like you traveling to that remote hunk of woods with five inches of snow on the ground.”
“It’s fine.” I assured her. “And my dad made sure the cabin was stocked with plenty of firewood before they left.”
“I can’t believe they left you alone on Christmas. The Englehardt’s love Christmas.” She stomped back to her receptionist desk just outside my office door. With her hands full, she called over her shoulder, “The girls are going to miss your rendition of Santa Baby during Rum and Monkey’s karaoke hour.”
“I won’t be alone. I have Henry.” I pointed to my little white Persian cat curled on the brown leather couch in the corner of my office. Yes, I named him Henry after My Fair Ladies’, Henry Higgins.
“You can only watch so much Audrey Hepburn.”
She didn’t just say that! No one can ever have enough of Audrey! “Please don’t tell me you packed the Audrey outfit.” Her gaze darkened when she realized that I had, in fact, packed the black dress and tiara I love to put on when I watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s. “Really, I think you need help. I mean professional help.”
“I did buy a new book on my Kindle. It’s charged and ready to go.” I knew that I would fall fast asleep before I got in a few pages. I had been working so hard on the Bassett deal that when my head hit the pillow, I was out.
“I will call you tomorrow. Now get out of here.” I glance down at my watch. Noon. If I hurried, I could be at the cabin by two. Just in time to start a fire, put the small turkey and all the fixings in the refrigerator and fix my annual salmon dinner for tonight. Just because I wasn’t having Christmas with my family didn’t mean that I couldn’t have Christmas dinner with Audrey.
“Tell your parents Merry Christmas if they call you,” Jenna said before heading out of the office.
This was a once in a lifetime trip for my parents. Recently, my father had retired from the lumberyard. He started out sorting nuts and bolts for Mr. Baker, the owner of Mulberry Lumber, at the age of eighteen, moved up in the company and retired after forty-five years.
As an appreciation for all dads’ hard work, Mr. Baker’s family gave him and mom an all-expense paid trip to London, England. Mom had always wanted to spend the holidays abroad. Since I’m their only child and grown, I encouraged them to go this year. I had the meeting with Mr. Bassett coming up on Christmas morning through Skype. He had insisted it be on Christmas morning. It shouldn’t have surprised me, because he was always as cold as ice in his emails. Scrooge!
I was looking forward to seeing him. Of course, I had googled him, but he was nowhere to be found. I had heard through the grapevine that he never attended the openings of any of his casinos or the parties. He’s a bit of a recluse from what I understand.
I’d put money on it that he was on some beautiful Caribbean island where everything you could possibly need was at his fingertips. And I wanted a piece of that pie. I was going to have to work hard to get it. That was why I was more than happy to head to our family cabin in the woods for a relaxing couple of days with Audrey.
Even with new tires on my old 1994 Mercedes, the roads were as slick as gopher-guts, making the trip a little longer than the two hours I had anticipated.
It was the first time in ten years we were going to have a snowy Christmas. And spending it at the cabin made my soul feel warm and fuzzy.
Baboom, baboom, Santa baby
,” I sang to Henry, who was sleeping in the passenger seat, at the top of my lungs when Eartha Kitt blasted through the speakers. I was going to miss my annual karaoke at the Monkey, but there was always next year. “
One little thing, a ring
His ears popped up along with his head. Unimpressed, he laid it back down. One of the gang, Macey Ellery, works at Mulberry End’s SPCA and immediately called me when someone had brought Henry into the shelter. The SPCA really never had many animals, but when they did, Macey was always able to find them a good home. Lucky for me, Henry was the perfect size and companion I needed in a roommate.
A couple years ago, I had bought the building where the Design Studio was located. There were two studio apartments above the office. With the talent and expertise of my dad, he and a couple old co-workers knocked down a couple of walls and transformed the two small apartments into a large one. So getting to work was never a problem.
And I don’t mean on the phone. Santa baby, hurry down the chimney tonight
.” I gripped the stirring wheel, making sure I had complete control around all the twists and turns of the road. It was much easier to get to the cabin when there wasn’t snow all over the ground. I was sure these roads were never plowed. Or at least they didn’t look like it. I glanced over at Henry, who was now sitting up. He seemed a little nervous. I rubbed down his back. With a sigh I told him, “There won’t be a Santa coming down our chimney.”
Easing around the winding country roads, the trees looked like a painting with their branches outlined in the newly fallen snow. The silence of the day hung in the air. The grey sky was even so beautiful that Thomas Kincaid couldn’t duplicate it.