Hey, InspyRomance Friends! Isn’t December grand?! Of course, it’s currently the 3rd as I’m posting this, and I’m spending the first four days of the month with Ginger Solomon at a writing retreat – where we’re doing more retreating than writing it seems – at least the first day and a half at least. Both of us had crazy, crazy Novembers, and we needed the down time! One thing I did manage to do is get Manuscripts & Mistletoe to her so she could proofread it so I could get it posted! YAY! It released December 1! I do love this story and hope y’all do, too! Here’s the first little bit!
Manuscripts & Mistletoe
Missy Solomon tapped her finger on the table. Her idea of “on time” was ten minutes early, but this was getting ridiculous. The Christmas party committee meeting should have started eight minutes earlier, but no one else had arrived.
Suddenly uneasy, she pulled her phone out of her pocket and checked the email forwarded to her by Mrs. Diablo.
Third floor teachers’ workroom, 245pm
After deliberating a few more seconds, she went back to the classroom to find Mrs. Diablo packing her things for the long weekend. She’d be out the door as soon as three o’clock hit. Apparently, the admins were hawks about who left early on a holiday weekend.
“Is the meeting over already?”
For all her supposed academic prowess, the not-quite-elderly teacher was grumpy enough for the whole building.
“There’s no one else there. I wondered if it got moved or something.”
“I forwarded the email an hour ago. It’s not my fault if it didn’t show up on your contraption.”
Missy pressed her lips together to hold back the retort she longed to give. Cell and data reception in the building was terrible, and Mrs. Diablo told her she wasn’t allowed on the faculty Wi-Fi – or to use the computer.
Just a few more weeks, Missy told herself. Three more weeks until she was done. Three more weeks until she had her degree and teaching certificate. Three more weeks until she found out if she was taking over for the retiring-before-spring-semester Mr. Gunderson four doors down and across the hall.
“The meeting was moved to Mr. Smithton’s room.” Mrs. Diablo glanced at the clock. “You better take your things with you. The door will be locked when you get back.”
Missy grabbed her already-packed bag and headed for the stairwell on the other end of the building. Despite her recent workouts, she was out of breath by the time she reached the second floor. Three teachers walked out of the classroom, all going the other way and didn’t see her.
She’d missed the whole thing.
The door was propped open, so she walked in. Mr. Smithton looked up from putting a folder in a bag.
“Can I help you?”
Missy shifted the strap higher on her shoulder. “I’m Mrs. Diablo’s student teacher. She assigned me to take her spot on the committee.”
“You missed the meeting.”
“I know.” Missy held up her phone. “Reception is terrible, and I didn’t get the email update yet. I was in the workroom.”
If possible, the frown on Mr. Smithton’s face deepened. “You’ve been assigned to the food and decoration committees. You’ll need to see Mr. Wyatt.”
Mr. Wyatt? Missy didn’t think she knew him. “Which room is his?”
Right. Directly beneath Mrs. Diablo’s room and on the other side of the school. “Thank you.” She turned and walked out before hurrying down the hallway and around the corner where she wanted to groan at how much further she had to go.
As she passed room 208, a young man, about her age, walked out of the next room, bag slung over his shoulder.
He looked up from locking his door. “Can I help you?”
Missy tried not to suck in a breath. How had she not met him before? “I’m Mrs. Diablo’s student teacher, Missy.” She held out her hand, but he held up both of his full hands. “I’m apparently on committees with you for the Christmas party.”
“You missed the meeting.” He shrugged. “And I’m the newbie on the committee, so we got stuck with food and decorations.” He pushed his glasses further up his nose with the back of his wrist. “Meet me here after school tomorrow, and we can go over it then?”
“Um, there’s no school tomorrow.”
He glanced up from where he was putting his keys in his bag. “Right. But it needs to be done ASAP. We only have about three weeks before the party.”
“Monday then, I guess.”
Mr. Wyatt sighed. “Do you have plans tonight? We can go over the notes Mr. Smithton gave me?” He tipped his arm to look at his watch, nearly dumping the water out of his cup as he did. “I have a couple errands to run. Meet me at Cee’s Bakery at 5:30?”
Missy blinked. “Sure.” She didn’t have plans, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to spend the first evening of a long weekend planning a Christmas party either.
At least he was cute, and she’d heard the kids liked him.
He turned and walked off, waving the hand with the cup in the air. “See you then.”
All righty. This could be an interesting night. Or it could be the most awkward hour of her life.
He was cute, but this could turn out to be a nightmare.
Here’s me and Ginger at Lambert’s Cafe in Sikeston, MO. Sikeston’s not really a tourist town or anything but it’s about halfway between for both of us, so it works! My second cousin and I also plan to meet up here for a girls’ weekend next year, but we met doing family research and some of our family tree is from this neck of the woods so…
What’s your favorite part about Christmas? Honestly, I’m not sure what mine is. There’s a lot that I love and a lot that’s fine. I think it’s probably reading the three books we read Christmas Eve (The Night Before Christmas, The Three Trees, A Marine’s Night Before Christmas), reading the Christmas story, and going to Christmas Eve service. Christmas Day itself tends to be fairly chaotic and I don’t love chaos so…
Let me know your favorite part of Christmas in the comments and one lucky commenter will get a Kindle copy of Manuscripts & Mistletoe!
So what’s Manuscripts & Mistletoe about?
Missy Solomon just needs to get through the next few weeks of student teaching. Then she’ll graduate and, hopefully, land a job at Serenity Landing High School. Maybe, somewhere in there, she could even find time to work on her Great American Novel – or at least her attempt to write one.
Shane Wyatt noticed the student teacher, but hadn’t talked to her. Ever. Not even when they went to school together. But now they’re on the Christmas party committee together, and somehow, he’s invited her to spend Thanksgiving with his family.
Christmas committees. Thanksgiving. Ex-boyfriends. A secret they’re both keeping. All of these get their first few days of friendship off to an interesting start. Toss in some mistletoe and there’s a Christmas story with an ending that would make the Happily Ever After Television Network proud.
I am from South Africa and here there is only sunshine and summer rains at Christmas time.
I live alongside the South Coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal which is next to blue seas and white sands.
I think my two girls would love to have a white Christmas, but I am partial to the sunshine!
Jill Weatherholt says
Thanks for sharing the excerpt, Carol. I’m excited to read it. As for Christmas, I love everything about it, especially time with my family. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Jennifer Craig says
There are so many things I like about Christmas. One of my favorites is baking with my kids when they are both home from college. Thank you for sharing a little bit of your book with us. It sounds great.
Karen Hadley says
I love Christmas. I enjoy Christmas lights.
My favorite part of Christmas is baking (and eating Christmas cookies throughout Advent season–mom used to want to wait until Christmas and we’d be stuck with tons of cookies for the new year.. then we manage to convince her that Christmas cookies are meant to be eaten during the season, not after; and we won!) and going to Christmas Eve service (it is mostly filled with music and readings, which makes for an interesting evening since everyone that plays an instrument is invited to join the mini orchestra they put together; my sister and I always play with them and now we’ve got our husbands involved too; it is really fun to see kids and elders–and everyone in between–playing together every year, some families have many generations involved; I’m looking forward to see my kid playing someday).
Valerie Comer says
Hmm. Favorites…. Christmas Eve service with its candlelight and carols. The grandgirls’s eyes when they open their Christmas stockings. The get-together with my sister’s family.
So jealous you and Ginger spent a few days together! Next time, invite me! Yeah, I know I don’t live anywhere near the SE quarter of the USA.
Nancy K. says
Carol, I love how you gave your character, Missy, Ginger’s last name. I have this on my Kindle and looking forward to reading it. This Christmas will be extra special since it will be the last Christmas for awhile that our daughter and son in law will be in our area to celebrate Christmas with us. Today my 37 year old son in law enlisted in the Air Force. This is a dream come true for him. He has worked hard towards this goal. We are very happy for the two of them. Sad to say his parents aren’t taking it as easily. I can understand their feelings but we are happy for them since this is something they both really desired and wanted.
Carol Moncado says
Hey all!!! When I set this to post, today wasn’t scheduled to be nearly as hectic as it’s turned out to be. I’m currently in the waiting room of the orthodontist… :p
I’ll be back to reply more later but I love reading these!!!!
As a retired teacher, I enjoy this series about teachers.
Christmas is my favorite holiday and I enjoy seeing the season daily through the eyes of my grandchildren – ages 11, 9, and 3. My three year old granddaughter is enjoys making crafts. Today was her day for treats and we took applesauce snacks and added eyes, nose, and antlers for reindeer.
I enjoy celebrating German Christmas traditions – Advent wreath, Advent calendar, and today is St. Nicholaus Day. The family was on the nice list and we all got treats. Looking forward to our family celebration on December 23. This year we are having a gingerbread house contest (new tradition this year). Also instead of ugly sweaters, I use fun colorful socks as stockings and we all model them at our family Christmas (new tradition last year, but continuing this year). Fun to see our grown sons having fun. They enjoy the fact that mom comes up with something new and is young at heart.
Kimberly Rose Johnson says
There are a lot of things I enjoy about Christmas. I love the music, and try to attend at least one Christmasy concert each year. I also enjoy the Hallmark movies and reading Christmas stories. But mostly I enjoy the general feeling I get this time of year and the time I get to spend with my boys.
Gail Estes Hollingsworth says
Being with my family, sharing the story of Jesus birth. Seeing the faces of my grandchildren as they open their gifts.
I’m looking forward to reading the book. I love Christmas, the time away from work, catching up with family and remembering that Jesus humbled himself to become a baby, just for us! We had our high school graduation last night, so nice to see my awesome year 12’s (senior) graduate.
Carol Moncado says
Thank you all so much for stopping by today!!! Day ended up crazier than expected – I was gone from 1015-515 then erm took an unexpected but much needed 3 hour nap…
I love reading your favorite parts of Christmas!!! They’re awesome!!! Winner announced Sunday!
My favorite part of Christmas is having the family together and celebrating Jesus’ birth, which we really do every day. You are a new author to me, but I enjoyed this blurb, so I look forward to reading your book. Have a merry Christmas!!!
My favorite part of Christmas?? MOVIES!!!! Seriously, I love watching the same ones every year….George C. Scott’s A Christmas Carol, White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street and the original animated The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. I’ve heard of a new (old) one called Holiday Inn that I’m going to be checking out from my libraries DVD collection. I don’t know what it is about the old-timey movies, maybe it’s the wholesome entertainment and music like it’s suppose to be :-)
I’ve also discovered a few new Hallmark Christmas movies that I’ve enjoyed watching. Since we don’t have a TV subscription, I’ve been able to watch them on YouTube :-) So fun!!