The Priceless Gift by Anna Kathryn Lanier
He adjusted the Stetson on his head and stepped further into the small municipal airport waiting room. He was fifteen minutes late and hoped Jacob’s sister didn’t mind the delay.
Michael Martin Murphey sang Two Step 'Round The Christmas Tree through the overhead speakers as Gavin scanned the waiting area decorated with holiday greenery. The other six occupants were either male or too old to be the woman he’d been sent to pick up. His eyes landed on the long-legged blonde. She had to be Christina Scott.
His boots pounded out a tattoo as he crossed the concrete floor. The attendant behind the information desk turned his way, an appreciative look in her eyes. Gavin tipped his hat but turned his attention to the blonde. The familiar scent of lilac swirled around him. He closed his eyes briefly and thought of Lynn. Shaking his head, he pushed away the memories and concentrated on the present.
“Christina Scott?” he asked a moment later.
She turned and his back stiffened. It couldn’t be.
Hazel eyes widened in surprise. “Oh, my God. Paul?”
She threw her arms around his neck and hugged—tight. He wrapped his around her waist and held her
close, the feel of her body against his awaking memories he’d relived many a night in the past six months.
Her lips brushed his neck, then she pulled back to look into his face. “What on earth are you doing here?”
When I wrote this story, I left out a bit of the Christmas atmosphere. I believe my editor wanted me to add a carol playing in the background. But, it’s a western, so I went looking for something ‘westerny’ and found Michael Martin Murphey’s song and added it to the story.
A couple of weeks ago, my friend Denise gave me a cookbook, THE ALL AMERICAN COWBOY COOKBOOK: HOME COOKING ON THE RANGE, which I’m really trying to decide if I’m going to keep or give away as a prize some day. In the meantime, I’m scouring it for interesting recipes. And guess what? It has a recipe in it by Michael Martin Murphey, the above named singer. Sok, yeah, I had to put in the excerpt and hook ya'll into the story, then post Michael's recipe. See below the recipe for a chance to win a copy of THE PRICELESS GIFT.
LAND OF ENCHANTMENT SALSA
Michael Martin Murphey, singer/songwriter
2 onions, chopped
5 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 16-oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 10-oz can chopped hot green chilies or
10 large fresh chilies, roasted, peeled and chopped
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
Sauté onions and garlic in oil until soft. Add tomatoes and chilies and simmer until thick. Add cumin and salt to taste. Cool and serve. Freezes well. Makes approximately 6 cups.
CONTSEST: I’ll give away a copy of THE PRICELESS GIFT (ebook) to those who leave a comment, and include telling what the “Land of Enchantment” is. I know this without looking it up, cause I used to live there (hint). I’ll draw for the winner on Friday.