Last Christmas season, I was part of a 10 author holiday anthology titled CHRISTMAS COMES TO DICKENS. The series received such amazing success and reviews, Christmas is coming back to Dickens in 2021 with another series of stories set in the fictional New England town. This year, each story will be longer and published individually.
As such, many of the authors are doing prequels to their upcoming stories, myself included. SANTA BABY ( Dorrit’s Diner) will be released in july. It’s a novella/prequel to the full-length story, FIXING CHRISTMAS, that will be published on November 9th of this year. Here’s a little tease from SANTA BABY:
38 years ago, on a cold Christmas Eve morning in the tiny town of Dickens….
Amy Dorrit considered it one of life’s simple gifts that she didn’t have to commute to work each morning. She could jump out of bed five minutes before she needed to be ready, and, courtesy of the shower she religiously took each night to rid her of the day’s clinging aromas of grease and coffee, could simply run a quick washcloth over her eyes to rid them of the sleep nestled there. A dab of deodorant, a speedy dance with her toothbrush, a tug of her shiny, waist-length, honey-colored hair into a ponytail, and then she threw on her work uniform of old and much-loved jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers, before skipping down the thirteen steps from her apartment to the diner.
As the owner and operator of one of Dickens’s favorite eateries, and the only one opened 364 days a year, Amy turned the closed sign to open each day and then reversed the act every night. A dedicated work ethic had been drilled into her from the time her parents brought her home from the orphanage at the age of three.
As a child, she’d completed her homework sitting at the lunch counter every afternoon while her mom poured her a glass of milk and her dad cut her a slice of the day’s pie. As a teen, she’d filled out her college applications sitting in one of the booths with her mother and her mother’s best friends, Corrine and Matilda, looking on, giving sage advice and opinions. She’d bussed tables and learned how to brew a delicious cup of coffee before she learned to ride a bike. She’d washed dishes, and when she could be trusted not to burn herself, learned to sling hash and grill a mouthwatering Dickens Burger the locals still asked for by name.
In the two winters since her parents’ deaths within days of one another from the flu, running the diner and serving the citizens of Dickens consumed the bulk of Amy’s life. To honor the parents who’d loved her unconditionally, and to keep their memories alive, Amy kept the diner flourishing.
On this cold Christmas Eve morning, Amy bounded down the stairs, her lips lifting at the knowledge Santa would visit the children of Dickens tonight. The smile broadened when she considered how long she could linger in bed the following morning since the diner would be closed.
And who she’d be lingering there with.
As she moved through the breezeway connecting the diner to her apartment, Amy heard a mewling sound at the back alley door. Her cook, Willie, often left scraps out for strays, especially in winter, and sometimes when she took the trash out at the end of the day, Amy would find a mamma cat searching for something to feed her kittens.
When she opened the door, expecting to see a hungry animal looking for a handout, Amy got the shock of the century when she found a baby carrier, complete with a bawling infant nestled in it.
And so begins the tale…hope this intrigues you! hee hee