Thursday, October 31, 2013

Jennifer Snow



Author Jennifer Snow


Title of the book -The Trouble With Mistletoe


Series Title -A Brookhollow Story



 




The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jennifer Snow
[Excerpt Choice #1: 628 words]
Victoria’s gaze fell to his left hand. No wedding band. Her relief both irritated and confused her.
            “Well, we’re not actually interested in owning this store,” she explained. “My company’s client ran into complications obtaining a permit to build one of their own, with Legend’s still doing business nearby.”
            “Well, I guess they’re out of luck. I just bought the place and I plan on keeping it.” Luke collected the discarded packing paper from the new stock boxes. He crumpled the sheets and tossed them into a wastebasket near the counter.
She narrowed her eyes. “I’m surprised you’re interested in owning a run-down sporting goods store.” The Luke she used to know would rather remodel the old-fashioned buildings in the downtown core, not own a retail store in one of them. He’d always had a talent for designing and building things. When they were kids, his derby cars were always the best in the race and she remembered the lemonade stand he’d made for her from the wood left over from building his sister’s treehouse.
            “We haven’t spoken in a long time. Maybe I’m not the same guy you remember.” Pulling a Swiss Army knife out of his jeans, he tore into the remaining cardboard boxes, breaking them down.
Victoria had noticed the changes in him, despite her best efforts. Time had been good to him. He was bigger now, muscular and slightly wider around the waist. No longer the physique of a struggling, young, architectural student. His face showed signs of maturity, but the fine lines around his mouth and eyes only enhanced his looks.
Luke straightened and his gaze met hers. “Besides, this store has a history in the community. That means something to most of us.”
            Of course. Luke had worked in the store every summer when they were teenagers. His interest in preserving it made sense. “Okay, well I guess we should get to work.” She faked a smile, forcing her professionalism. She didn’t need or want any more time to get to know this man over again. What she wanted was for him to sign her contract so she could get out of Brookhollow. “I’ll have an offer by Wednesday, but we should go over the preliminary paperwork as soon as possible.” She scanned the store for a place to lay out her documents. “The major chain store interested in purchasing Legend’s…”
Luke turned off the lights and unplugged the strand of multicolored Christmas lights draped across the window. Only the glow from the pole lamp outside illuminated them.
 “Do you prefer we do this in the dark?” she asked sarcastically.
He slipped his coat on and wrapped his scarf around his neck. “I have dinner plans.” He stood next to the door.
The familiar scent of his musky cologne made her pulse race. She suddenly remembered the nights she’d fallen asleep in his T-shirt, when he’d been away at college. “Tomorrow, then.” She stepped out into the frigid air. “I’ll come by in the morning,” she said through the icy burst of wind and snow. Reaching into her purse, she pulled out a silver monogrammed cardholder.  She popped it open with her freshly manicured fingernails and slid one of her cards free. Her hand shook as she handed it to Luke.
“Your card?” he asked.
 “It has my cell number on it.” Victoria’s teeth chattered.
“Victoria, this is Brookhollow.”He laughed. “I could stand in the center and call to you, and wherever you are, you’d hear me.”
The rich, deep sound of his laughter caught her off guard. Not at all the boyish laugh she remembered.
“What?” He asked, giving her a puzzled look.
Her cheeks heated and she looked away. “Anyway, let’s not test that theory. Use the cell number.”
Excerpt choice #2 (598 words):
“Oh, relax. I saw him earlier today, replacing the burnt out bulbs in Ginger’s Christmas lights and he said he was looking forward to seeing you again, so I invited him to dinner.”
            “Mom, he is my ex-fianc√©, in case you’ve forgotten, and we haven’t spoken in twelve years. Not to mention my company is working for the store trying to buy out Legend’s.” Victoria paced back and forth in the kitchen.
            “Business is business, honey.  I’m sure you two will figure that stuff out. But can’t you just put it aside for the evening and have a pleasant dinner with an old friend? I’m sure Luke has long gotten over the fact you left him at the altar…. Even if his mother hasn’t,” she mumbled, rolling out the pie crust.
“I didn’t leave him at the altar.” Victoria stopped pacing, wondering how many times she’d had this conversation with her mom. Too many. “I called off the wedding two weeks before,” she added, “and, besides, he certainly didn’t try to stop me.”
Memories of those last few weeks before her supposed wedding day were painful to recall. The stress of the preparations—her mother and Luke’s mother forcing her to taste wedding cakes and try on dress after dress—even though her heart wasn’t in it. The entire time, hidden in her bedside table drawer had been the acceptance letter for a position with Clarke and Johnson Acquisitions. When she’d applied the summer before she’d never imagined the big firm in New York would accept her application based on her two-year business diploma. But they had and she’d had a month to decide. Keeping the offer to herself and struggling with her conflicted heart had created tension between her and Luke and had made her question her commitment to him. Their ideas about a life together had seemed worlds apart.
She’d chosen an unpaid internship with a dream of a future so different from the one he’d been planning, and left him behind. And whenever she wondered about her decision, she forced herself to remember that he hadn’t tried to stop her.
            Her mother waved a hand. “You know what I mean. Anyway, it’s in the past. At least I’ve learned to keep it there…unlike some people.”
            Victoria shook her head. Her mother was impossible, and Luke’s mother would be furious if she found out. The two women, once best friends, hadn’t spoken since the day Victoria left town. According to her mother, she’d let the feud between them die, but Luke’s mother still held a grudge.
Ding Dong!
Her heart skipped a beat. How was she supposed to sit at the same table with him, after everything they’d been through? She was here to do battle with him over a store. And this was supposed to be a pleasant evening? She peered through the glass opening of the kitchen door.
Luke shifted from one foot to the other on the front porch. Wearing clean jeans and his leather jacket, his short hair gelled into a spiky, controlled mess, he’d obviously gone home to shower and change.
Victoria made no move to let him in. Why couldn’t he have gotten fat? Or bald?Or both?
            “Victoria, go take off your suit jacket and brush your hair, while I get the door.” Sheila removed her apron and straightened her sweater.
             Victoria held out an arm to block her mother’s escape. “I have a better idea. You go get pretty for Luke, and I’ll let him in. He may as well get used to seeing me at my worst.”



Email address where readers can contact you:Jennifer@jennifersnowbooks.com


Links:
­­­­­­­1.www.jennifersnowbooks.com
2.@jennifersnow18
3.http://brookhollowseries.blogspot.ca
4.www.facebook.com/jennifersnow’sstreetteam

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