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Veronica Scott: It's a pleasure to welcome our friend Diane Burton to Here Be Magic today, to share thoughts on the holidays and an excerpt from her upcoming new release Romance Rekindled!
Diane: This time of year, people rush around like crazy. They descend on jampacked malls as they track down bargains like hunters after deer. At grocery stores, they fill their carts to overflowing in preparation for extended family banquets. Last-minute shoppers feverishly rush through stores for forgotten gifts.
While I admit to rushing around in past years, I’m getting better about thinking ahead—not my usual modus operandi. In seasons past, I would see a perfect gift in a catalog, dogear the page, then forget to order. I became one of those feverish shoppers trying to find that last-minute gift. This year, I’ve already gotten many gifts. Again, not my usual style.
For me the holidays, especially Christmas, is a magical time. We celebrate with meals, gifts to our loved ones, decorations, especially a tree with lights and ornaments. While many enjoy color-coordinating their tree—e.g., gold ribbon, gold ornaments, gold lights—ours is filled with ornaments our children and grandchildren made and souvenirs from visited locales. Most ornaments have a history, a memory attached. A reminder of fun times.
When I rush around like a mad woman, I forget the true meaning of Christmas. I forget the magic. This year, I’m diligently working at slowing down and planning ahead.
With staying away from the madness in stores and ordering online, I’m better able to enjoy the holidays. My youngest granddaughter, Toddler Girl, helped put out the Halloween and fall decorations. This week, she’ll help with Christmas decorations. I can’t wait to see her face when she sees how many stacker dolls I have. As if you couldn’t guess, she is fascinated by stackers. Her squeals of delight in new things makes me smile and fills me with joy.
At two and a half, she’s so aware and quite vocal. Since our son and his family lived in Arizona until this summer (when they moved near us) this will be our first year enjoying the Christmas season with her. The wide eyes and excitement remind me of those times with her daddy and his sister. Of their delight in the magic of the holidays. While our older grandchildren did the same when they were small, at the time, they lived too far away for us to see. We visited them on Christmas day, but we didn’t get to experience the lead up, as we’ll do this year with Toddler Girl.
This will be the twins’ first Christmas. At two months, they won’t be as animated as their sister. Another couple of years and we’ll get to experience the phenomenon again.
Slowing down and taking each day as it comes allows me to escape the madness and enjoy the holidays. Seeing them through the eyes of a child makes me experience the magic again.
In my upcoming novella, Romance Rekindled, a kiss under the mistletoe on Christmas day awakens a driven shopkeeper’s suppressed emotions and reminds her of what’s important in life.
Romance Rekindled blurb:
Abby Ten Eyck likes her life the way it is. She runs a successful business, has a well-adjusted teenage daughter, and has managed to keep men at bay since her divorce fifteen years ago. Just before Christmas, she’s hit with change. Her mother decides to sell the family home. Then she’s arrested, with an unknown man. Could this new man in her mother’s life create more upheaval? Or could his handsome son be just what Abby needs to revive her dormant feelings?
Sam Watson embraces transition from frenetic Wall Street to a small Michigan resort town. His health is worth moving close to his dad who seems over the moon in love. But it’s the daughter of his father’s girlfriend who fascinates him. Abby Ten Eyck reminds him of his driven self. He must help her slow down before she burns out. Like he did.
“If the folks do get married, that would make us brother and sister. Here’s to getting to know us better.” Sam glanced up at the mistletoe. “Who’s the thoughtful person who hung this?”
Without waiting for an answer, he pulled her close. Oh, no. He was going to kiss her. Mesmerized by his gray eyes turning as dark as storm clouds over Lake Michigan, she didn’t, couldn’t move.
He wrapped his arm around her waist then kissed her. “Merry Christmas.”
That wasn’t a brotherly kiss.
* * *
Abby lay awake long into the night.
Sam Watson confused her. His kisses made her feel. Feel things she hadn’t felt in ages. He brought her senses alive. Not just the surge of lust when he kissed her. He made her feel like a teen on the cusp of womanhood, when hormones raged. She got all hot and bothered just thinking about him.
She’d resigned herself to forgetting that part of life. After her ex destroyed her confidence, Abby let her feelings for a man dry up. She didn’t need that grief in her life. She had Bethany, for whom she was grateful. She had her mother, who drove her crazy. And she had friends. What more did she need?
A man’s arms around her.
A man’s kisses.
A man’s lovemaking.
Abigail Louise, get your mind off that subject.
Romance Rekindled will be available at online bookstores on December 4th. The cover art is still pending!
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and five grandchildren.
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com
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