Santa Baby releases into the novella-reading world today via all digital markets.
This little story was a joy to write and it sets up the full length FIXING CHRISTMAS that comes out on 11.9.2021.
As part of the Dickens Holiday world, SANTA BABY is set 38 years in the past on a snowy Christmas Eve in the tiny town of Dickens – somewhere in New England. Amy Dorrit, owner of Dorrit’s Diner, discovers an abandoned baby -literally – on her doorstep before opening her eatery for the day. What happens next sets up the rest of Amy’s life – and the future Dorrit’s Diner books.
It’s Christmas Eve morning in the tiny New England town of Dickens.
Santa’s arrival is imminent, and a hint of snow is in the air.
Amy Dorrit is just about to open her popular diner for the breakfast rush when she discovers an abandoned baby on her back doorstep.
Amy knows she should call the authorities and turn the infant over to them, but she just can’t. Thoughts of her own abandonment as a baby flood through her and she wants to keep the little one out of the hands of the authorities until the mother – hopefully –returns.
But will the mom come back? And if she doesn’t, what is Amy prepared to do about the baby who has, already, claimed her heart?
Here’s a little peek inside the covers….
“What in the name of all that’s holy are you holding, Amy Dorrit?”
Willie Jackson stood at her office door, a lit cigarette dangling from a corner of his mouth, his leather jacket hanging open and his eyes as big and round as his county-famous blueberry pancakes.
“What does it look like?” Amy dug around in the carrier searching for a bottle, pacifier, something, to soothe the baby’s cries. “Lose the cigarette. It’s a baby and I’m pretty sure it’s hungry.”
He lifted those shocked eyes to Amy’s face. “Girl, you been keeping secrets from ol’ Willie?”
“Oh for Pete’s sake. Are you nuts, William Jefferson Jackson? It’s not my baby. I found it at the back door when I came downstairs.”
“Whose is it?”
“What is it?” Holding the small bundle like a football in one arm, she shoved the piece of paper she’d found at him. “Same answer. I haven’t looked yet. Here, read this. I found it tucked inside the blanket.” Once he had it, Amy placed her pinky finger over the baby’s lips. It immediately rooted, then latched on to suck.
“I knew it. It’s starving.”
“ ‘I’m sorry,” he read aloud, ‘but I can’t take care of her—’ well, we know it’s a girl –‘I have no job and no way to hold on to one with a baby. Please forgive me for leaving her like this, but I saw how kind you were yesterday and I know you’ll take care of her like I can’t.’” Willie scratched his head. “Well, shit. We got us a real abandoned baby, here, Ames ol’ girl.”
“Don’t curse in front of her.” She shot him an annoyed glare, her left eyebrow inching up her forehead to her hairline.
“It ain’t like she can understand me. She’s a baby, fer Chri-” Her other eyebrow followed its twin. “Er, pity’s sake.”
“I need something to feed her with.” She glanced around her office. “Can you get me one of the cake decorating bottles? The ones with the plastic tip? I think that’ll work.”
“What’a’ya gonna feed her? Frosting? You ain’t got no mother’s milk and you can’t feed her coffee creamer.”
“Dam-I mean, drat. You’re right. I can give her a little water to hold her over until I can run out and get her some formula.”
“Shouldn’t you call the police? I mean, she’s been abandoned, ain’t she? You can’t just keep her.”
Fellow Sistah-Dickens author Nancy Fraser has a Dickens prequel releasing, too, on June 14th – Making Christmas, that’s available for preorder now.