Sneak Peek from Winter Wonderland Inn

I’m working on this year’s Christmas story, Winter Wonderland Inn. Noelle is sunshine, and Kristopher is grumpy. A call from an ailing uncle brings him to the Winter Wonderland Inn, and is subject to Noelle’s sunshine. Kristopher’s grumpy heart doesn’t stand a chance when he joins forces with Noelle to make it a Christmas worth remembering. Here’s a sample from the story.

Kristopher pushed the curtain aside to investigate the cause of an infectious laugh outside his window. 

A woman and a little girl wriggled around in the snow and rolled away from what he guessed was a snow angel. He leaned to catch a better glimpse beyond them. The young girl laughed again, and Kristopher found himself grinning.  

She rushed into the woman’s legs, and they hugged. 

Despite his inability to connect with any beyond the occasional date, Kristopher admired women. They had a gift of bringing out the brighter moments of life. 

The woman connected her mittened hand with the child, and they walked toward the inn. A  beam of light fell through the break in the clouds, landing on the woman and her child. The wash of curls around the hat pricked at Kristopher’s awareness. 

What are the odds?

Her familiar gait and posture sent chills that broke through his trickles of disbelief. 

It was Noelle. Kristopher steeled his heart against the want of her company. He didn’t want to admire the pink hue on her cheeks, her soft maternal smile, or second guess his bitterness.

What if he was wrong about her? 

His gaze drifted to something safer, the child. 

The air caught in his throat, stifling his murmur of disbelief.

If he weren’t sure of the year, Kristopher would have sworn he entered a time warp and was sent back thirty years. Noelle’s child, dressed in pink ski pants and a rainbow-colored down jacket, was a reflection of when Noelle was five. 

He was nine then. He’d been tasked with walking her to the bus on a snowy day. She held his hand. Before she climbed the stairs, she said, “I’ve decided I’m going to marry you when I’m older.” 

He laughed. 

Then she wagged her mittened hand at him. The shake was so precise it was easy to imagine the pointer finger in place. “You’ll see.” Then she scurried up the steps leaving him standing there thinking, She’s a sassy little thing. Heaven help the guy that falls for her.

Winter Wonderland Inn will be available on December 20, 2022.

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