Saundra Staats McLemore is back again on Wednesday Writers with another book in her Christmas Hotel series. Today we have an excerpt from Christmas Pact, book number four in the series. I’m part way through this story, and enjoying I so far. I think I like this cover best of all the other Christmas Hotel books. So, without further delay, here’s a sneak peek at Saudra’s newest release.
By Saundra Staats McLemore
Carrie Emeline has a loving and trusting heart. Is it a blessing or a curse? Innocent and naive Carrie Emeline meets the man who can help her conquer her dilemmas…or can he? Following the marriage, she discovers she’s been deceived by her husband who deliberately wheedled himself into her life and her heart with an unthinkable lie. For four long years, she lives with the deception, and his nightmares. The nightmares lead to drunkenness and violence. It’s not until the violence threatens her children that Carrie Emeline wakes up from her own nightmare. Divorce is unthinkable in her Christian family, but she files the papers, and applies for a restraining order. Her grief-stricken life has spiraled into a downward tailspin. She feels she is no longer able to forgive and has become judgmental. She heads to Christmas Hotel. Others have found their Christmas miracle at Christmas Hotel, but can she?
At the pond they sat on a huge rock to remove their boots and put on the skates.
“By the way, this is also the rock everyone uses in the summer to sit on and fish,” said Carrie Emeline.
“You know, I always wanted to live on a farm. This is the life,” said Andrew.
They glided around the pond, doing their best to miss the uneven spots. Andrew was the first to hit a bump and fall. Carrie Emeline laughed as she helped pull him back onto his feet. Of course he hooted with laughter when she fell, and he picked her up off the ice.
He drew closer to her and took her hand for a trip around the pond. “I hear a Strauss waltz in my head,” he said. “Can you hear it?”
“Hear the waltz?”
He hummed the music in her ear, and they glided around the pond, carefully missing the uneven spots. After a while, he broke apart from her and headed toward a low hanging tree branch. From a short distance, Carrie Emeline watched as he did something to the branch. A moment late, he asked her to skate toward him. “Look up,” he said.
Hanging over their heads mistletoe dangled from the branch. He drew her close and looked into her eyes. “I’m enchanted with you, Carrie Emeline. You are the woman I’ve been waiting for. May I kiss you?”
This time he sounded serious, with no impish crooked grin. She didn’t answer, but reached up to him and brought his mouth down to hers. They drew apart and stared at each other with no words, and then they kissed again.
Finally, they broke apart. Carrie Emeline smiled. “That mistletoe hasn’t been hanging there all by itself. You put it there,” she accused.
The crooked grin formed. “Guilty as charged. Are you going to report me to your father?”
She laughed and cuddled in his arms. “Only if you report me for liking the kiss. Where and when did you get the mistletoe?”
“Your brother put it above all the doorways at Christmas Hotel. I stole mine.”
“I love my little brother. He’s going to make a great manager for Christmas Hotel when the time comes.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” and he kissed her again.
Want to read more? Saundra’s book is available on Amazon.
About the Author:
I was born and raised in the Dayton, Ohio area, and I am the daughter of Warren and Christine Staats. My father is deceased, but my mother lives close to me in New Carlisle, Ohio.
I have been married to my husband Robert for thirty-three years, and I am the mother of one son, Anthony. I have one sister, Joy Staats Lightcap, and a deceased brother, Gerald Martin Staats, who was killed in the Vietnam War in 1970.
Since 1984, I have served as the President and founder of McLemore & Associates, Inc., a nationwide sales and marketing business for the performing arts. My passion has always been history, and I enjoy reading historical Christian fiction. I attend Huber Heights Baptist Temple in Huber Heights, Ohio.
I also reside in Huber Heights, which is a small town nine miles northeast of Dayton, Ohio. The other two members of our family are my cat Charley, and my Cocker Spaniel Daisy.