Do you love holiday stories? I do. When we read about a character’s crazy holiday shenanigans, we can relate. We connect with them. The stress and craziness of the holidays in real life is humorous and engaging in fiction.
While writing JINGLE HELLS, the sequel to WITCHES ANONYMOUS, my light paranormal romance about a bad witch trying to go good, the timeline fell over Christmas. I don’t usually incorporate holidays into my stories, but this time, I couldn’t resist.
Amy, my main character has never celebrated Christmas, but this year, her boyfriend Adam, who just happens to be THE Adam (as in the original Adam who’s back on Earth for a redo) does. So on top of trying to complete Step 2 of WA, solving her latest biblical mystery, and running her ice cream shop, she has to become Santa to Adam. The tagline for the book is: “Christmas is going to be hell this year” and that sums it up exactly!
I had a lot of fun writing this sequel, the holiday element adding a nice bonus to the story and an extra layer of fun for me. For today’s blog, I’m including an excerpt and giving away a copy of JINGLE HELLS to one lucky commenter. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!
My name is Amy Atwood and I slept with the Devil.
Two days before winter solstice, Christmas lights blinked red and green on the snow-covered sidewalks of my hometown of Eden. Bing Crosby’s voice assured us he’d be home for Christmas. The air was brimming with anticipation.
Anticipation and, at least for me, lust. Deep yearning drove me to stare into the brooding, sexy-as-hell eyes of the Devil through the plate glass door of my ice cream shop. His evil energy beckoned to me like the Dove chocolate stored in the pocket of my orange and black, anti-Christmas apron. Blazing heat rose in my cheeks and spread through my veins, rich, tantalizing and blissfully delicious. A tiny wisp of magic unfurled in my chest, reaching for him.
Lucifer’s magic seized on it. One corner of his mouth rose in a familiar, cocky grin. “Let me in, witch.”
With every ounce of willpower I could summon, I shook my head. “I’m not a witch anymore. And we’re closed.”
“It’s seven o’clock. You don’t close ’til ten.”
“Witches Anonymous meeting here tonight.” I flipped the sign on the door and tapped it for good measure. “Now go away.”
Drawing back my disobedient magic, I forced my hand to turn the key in the lock. The sound of the deadbolt snapping into place broke the enchantment Luc had on me. My body moaned in response. It wasn’t going to rock around the Christmas tree with him that night.
One thing about the Devil, he’s persistent. Luc could have shattered the glass or flipped the lock open without moving a muscle. Instead, as I turned my back on him, he invaded my personal space in a much less direct but equally strategic way. His voice now registered in my head, tingling the nerves at the base of my skull as if he were breathing on my bare neck. I know Adam left you.
“He didn’t leave…” I stopped myself from finishing. Adam, my hunky heaven-sent boyfriend, had left me, but not the way Luc made it sound.
I glanced at Keisha, the shop’s manager and my best friend, who was leaning against the stainless steel sink behind the counter. She was there the day I met Luc in Paris, at the base of the Venus di Milo, and she knew our torrid history together. Knew how he’d broken my heart. Still, her attention was riveted on him, her mouth open and her eyes glazed with merry lust.
Another tingling sensation lifted the hairs on the back of my neck. He’s not coming back to you.
I whirled around and pinned Luc with the snake-eye look I practiced in the mirror for just such occasions. Get out of my head. Get out of my life.
For a single heartbeat he tried to enchant me again, but I can be as persistent and stubborn as he is. I braced the wall I’d built around my magic and stood my ground.
His face hardened, his eyes went cold, flat. My pulse kicked in reflexive fear, but in the next second, he shimmered out of sight without a sound.
Yep, Christmas was definitely going to be hell this year.