Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Feelings she’d thought were gone forever – #HolidayRomance #MatureRomance #MFRWHooks #Giveaway

Gray Christmas cover

Welcome to this week’s Marketing for Romance Authors Book Hooks blog hop. Today I’m sharing a bit from my senior holiday romance, Gray Christmas. Can characters in their sixties stir up some holiday heat? You’d better believe it!

If the book sounds like something you’d enjoy, leave me a comment. I’ll give away a free copy to one randomly drawn commenter.

re never too old for some holiday naughtiness

Widowed author Emma Granger has reconciled herself to spending Christmas Eve in snowy Boston, with a bottle of wine and her cat. A crash from the apartment above overturns her plans for a quiet evening at home. When she investigates, she meets Nick North, an energetic iconoclast with a gray ponytail, a silver earring and bright blue eyes that kindle feelings she’d thought were gone forever.

The Hook

I peered out into the gathering gloom, blinking away tears. Velvety fur brushed my hand, drawing my attention from the wintery scene to the unblinking green eyes fixed on mine.

Yes, I know, Vronsky. I shouldn’t feel sorry for myself.”

Mrreow,” he agreed, as I stroked the underside of his chin. Cats are so wise. Plus, he was probably hungry.

Don’t worry, I have plenty of cat food. Would you like tuna for your Christmas Eve repast?”

In answer, the sleek gray feline leapt to the floor and headed for the kitchen. Half way across the room, he paused, swiveling his ears in my direction.

Okay, okay. I’m coming!”

Trying to ignore the twinge in my hip, I unfolded myself from my cramped position on the upholstered sill and followed Vronsky toward the back of the apartment. I was emptying a can into his dish when a loud crash from overhead made us both jump.

What the heck?”

Another sound came from the apartment above, a solid thud as though something heavy had hit the floor. The Russian Blue and I both froze, listening intently, but only silence followed.

I should probably go upstairs to check on what’s going on.” The cat stared at the bowl in my hand. Taking the hint, I set it down in front of him. “Bon appétit. I’ll be back in a minute.”

My narrow brick building had once been a single family home. Now it contained three condos, one on each floor. Though I’d been in the second level unit for more than five years, I didn’t know the third floor occupant. There was a name on the mailbox, but whoever lived there was so quiet that the apartment might as well have been empty. That made the ruckus from above all the more alarming.

With as much speed as I could manage, I negotiated the winding staircase and knocked on the red-painted door.

Hello? Is everything okay?”

Humph—um—yeah.” A man’s voice, muffled, possibly in pain. “Yeah, I think so. Come on in. It’s open.”

The brass knob turned easily. I opened the door to a scene of chaos.

The living room had the same layout as my own, and like mine, was lined with bookshelves. Where I had my worn but treasured Persian carpets, the wooden floor here was bare. Across the planks, its base near the front window and its top-most needles almost brushing my sneakers, stretched a fir tree so tall and bushy I couldn’t imagine how it had gotten there.

A tinsel garland looped around the top, then trailed off over the furniture. A few ornaments still clung to the branches, but most had been scattered to the far corners of the room. Fortunately they appeared to be wood or clay rather than the fragile glass confections I recalled from my childhood.

The scent of balsam hung in the air. Evergreen needles littered the floor. A coffee cup, apparently knocked off a table by the falling tree, lay in a brown puddle near the fireplace.

Made quite a mess, haven’t I?” A chuckle came from the far side of the room, an area hidden by the massive tree. “I should know better, at my age.” A male figure rose from behind the curtain of green, shaking his head and rubbing his elbow. “Banged myself up a bit, too. I always tend to overdo things.” He flashed me an apologetic smile. “Sorry to disturb you with all the noise.”

That’s okay,” I replied automatically. “I wasn’t disturbed.” But I was disturbed, profoundly so, as I surveyed my upstairs neighbor. He had to be at least my age, but he exuded a kind of vitality rare even in men decades younger. His lean, wiry body seemed ready to leap into action. He’d pulled his gray-streaked hair into a low ponytail. The style gave him the look of an artist or maybe a revolutionary. His silver earring, Che Guevara tee shirt and faded jeans heightened that impression.

Webs of wrinkles at the corners of his eyes and his mouth suggested he smiled often. Certainly he was smiling now, as he righted the metal step-ladder he’d been using to decorate the tree and used that to maneuver his way over the wall of bristling green that separated us.

I’m Nick.” He offered his hand. I just stood there, speechless—me, the wordsmith who always had something to say—transfixed by the bluest eyes I’d ever seen. Sensations I’d almost forgotten flooded my body. My cheeks burned. My nipples knotted under my sweater. A sweet pressure throbbed in my pelvis. My sensible cotton panties might even be damp, inside my sweat pants.

Uncharacteristically nervous, I ran my fingers through my cropped gray curls. If only I hadn’t listened to Jacquie. She’d insisted that long hair looked silly on a woman of my age. How did I end up with such a conservative daughter?

Are you all right?” my companion asked, his voice full of warmth and concern. I shook myself out of my trance. I didn’t want him to think I was an idiot.

Buy Links

Amazon UShttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6JJIQD/

Amazon UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N6JJIQD/


Barnes and Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gray-christmas-lisabet-sarai/1125380853?ean=2940153925790

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/gray-christmas

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/x/id1189334886

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33550862-gray-christmas

Don’t forget to visit the other authors participating in today’s hop! And do leave me a comment if you’d like to read Gray Christmas



Larry Archer said...

"My sensible cotton panties might even be damp" - Sounds like the cat lady and the revolutionary may be ginning up more than a blow against the man!

Sounds interesting!

Adriana said...

I'm in love with this guy already! "He had to be at least my age, but he exuded a kind of vitality rare even in men decades younger. His lean, wiry body seemed ready to leap into action. He’d pulled his gray-streaked hair into a low ponytail. The style gave him the look of an artist or maybe a revolutionary." I don't think I've seen this one, looks like a yummy read

Janet Lane Walters said...

Love the cat. Great character and the comment about her daughter is interesting

bn100 said...

was interesting
bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Helen Henderson said...

As the group at the retirement home used to say as they waited for the cute, young mailman, "I may be old, but I'm not dead." Great hook. the story sounds interesting.

Daryl Devoré said...

She had to good sense to feed the cat before she left :-) Tweeted.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Congratulations to Larry, who won the free book! It's a bit tame for you, but I hope you'll enjoy it anyway.

Fiona McGier said...

You're always surprising me, just when I think I've read all of your stuff! Guess this one goes on my TBR pile!

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