Since this is a 'Christmas in July' celebration, I thought what better time than now to share my Christmas novel--The Spirit of Christmas.
This was my first published book back in December 2006 and it still love reading it. It's a feel-good Christmas story that anyone can enjoy.
Smart, yet stubborn, Kathryn wants more than anything to be a serious reporter, even to the detriment of her personal life. Her best friend, easygoing coworker Nick, realizes she has lost her Christmas spirit, and he is determined to help her find it again. And maybe in the process, she’ll find him too. After the pair is assigned to work together on a story covering the toy drive for the downtown children’s home, Kathryn begins to receive anonymous gifts from a Secret Santa. But will any of this really make a difference in Kathryn? And what happens when she begins to fall for her Secret Santa, making Nick jealous?
Kathryn Graham peered over at her friend and co-worker, Nick Pringle, as they strolled back to their office after lunch, sensing he wanted to say something to her. She instinctively knew he found the Christmas décor charming as they walked through downtown, and understanding him as well as she did, she knew she was on the brink of hearing all about it…and that was the very last thing she wanted to hear.
“Doesn’t the Christmas season just leap out at you, Kat?” Nick glanced over at her, enthusiasm evident all over his handsome face.
“Leap?” Kathryn shaded her eyes with her hand. For a December afternoon, it was decidedly bright and sunny. “I couldn’t put it any better myself, Nick. It jumps at you forcing you to take part. It…it’s like you don’t even have a choice in the matter,” she said, lifting her arm up for emphasis.
Nick only smiled at her. She wanted to scowl back, but she never could ignore that irresistible smile of his.
“How can you deny the feeling of Christmas? It’s in the air. Look at the decorations everywhere and the city tree lit up to the hilt. Even the kids made snowmen today,” he said as they passed a couple of clumsily crafted snowmen off to the side. One wore a blue and white knit cap; the other wore the matching scarf.
Kathryn turned her eyes forward again as they proceeded, annoyance rolling over her. “Yes, and for what? What is the point?”
“Yeah, the point.”
“Where is your Christmas spirit, Kathryn Graham?”
“I think it died with my childhood, and even then I had my doubts.”
“Well, maybe someone needs to reawaken something inside of you.” His eyes didn’t appear as amused as they had a few moments ago. Instead, they narrowed on her as he stared in deep reflection.
“Well, that would take a miracle,” she replied lightly, turning away from his scrutiny.
“Come on, Kat, look at everyone. Can’t you feel the Christmas spirit?” He gestured toward the crowds of people gallivanting from store to store.
“They’re shopping. Is that the Christmas spirit you so fondly bring up whenever you can this time of year?”
“It’s fun to shop at Christmas time with the carols pumping through the mall speakers and the smell in the air as you walk outside. It’s invigorating.”
“Well, all I see is commercialization. The big conglomerates fooled everyone into believing that they have to buy Aunt Sue and Cousin Larry something or else…well, I’m not sure what they think will happen, but it must be something big to spend as much money as everyone does. It has nothing to do with coming from the bottom of their hearts.”
“You don’t believe in that, huh?”
“Not for a second. I always thought you were smart, Nick, but when it comes to Christmas you’re as much of a fruitcake as the rest of them.”
“Good afternoon, Mr. Pringle,” said the Salvation Army Santa who stood beside the entrance to the Redburn building, the headquarters for Redburn Weekly Magazine where Nick and Kathryn had worked together for the last two years as colleagues and occasionally writing partners. With his full white beard and cherry red cheeks, he personified the essence of the Christmas season.
Nick smiled at the elderly man dressed in the red Santa suit who had been frequenting this spot for the past two weeks. “Good afternoon to you, Santa.”
“And how are we doing this afternoon, Miss Graham? Almost ready for Christmas?” asked Santa, turning his attention to Kathryn.
“Sure, aren’t we all?” she said with sarcasm and then motioned toward all the holiday shoppers.
“I’m not sure Miss Graham is as excited about Christmas as we are, Santa,” said Nick with a wink sent Kathryn’s direction.
Santa gave Nick a knowing smile as he nodded his head. “I’ll have to send my elves in to wave some Christmas magic on her. Starting tomorrow only twelve more days until Christmas.”
“Terrific, twelve more days and it’s over for another year,” said Kathryn. Looking at Nick she continued. “I don’t know about you, Pringle, but I have work to do.” She grasped the handle to the door and waited impatiently for him to follow her into the building.
“Well, I got to get going, Santa. Duty calls.” As if on second thought, Nick turned back to the man in red. “The twelve days of Christmas…yeah. Thanks, Santa.”
Kathryn sighed loudly and walked through the doorway in quick, deliberate strides toward the elevator, feeling her dark hair flapping against her shoulders. Nick raced inside the building and made it into the elevator before Kathryn could leave for their fourth floor office, giving her a beaming smile as he stepped inside.
“What are you so happy about? Don’t tell me, you have another moving Christmas anecdote from your childhood.”
“So, what is it? You look like the cat that swallowed the canary.”
Nick gave her another Cheshire cat style smile as he placed his hands in his pockets. “Wouldn’t you like to know, curious Kat? And you know what curiosity did to the cat, don’t you?”
Joyfully Reviewed: I loved The Spirit of Christmas.
Coffee Time Romance: This story gets 4 cups because it enthralls you to the end…Ms. Green is a fabulous writer who can write a heartfelt story.
The Romance Studio: (5 Hearts) The Spirit of Christmas jumped from the pages and straight into my heart… Cindy K. Green sketches a moving story that grabs and doesn’t let go even after the story is over.
The Spirit of Christmas is available for purchase at By Grace Publishing and .
Merry Christmas All!! I'll be back in a bit with some more of my stories.