Friday, 31 December 2010

Spotlight on Romance: Romantic Christmas - Guest post by Kristie Cook + Giveaway


Today to finish the Spotlight on Romance guest posts in December with a bang, I welcome Kristie Cook, author of the fantastic new romantic paranormal series: the Soul Savers series (Book #1: Promise and Book #2: Purpose). Those loyal blog followers who have been following Ex Libris already in the summer know how much I fell in love with Promise (as I couldn't stop raving about it).

As a late Christmas present Kristie shares with us an "enhanced deleted scene" of Book #1 Promise. Enjoy! :-)

PromiseIn Promise, Tristan and Alexis spend their first Christmas together following the traditions Sophia, Alexis's mom, started years ago. It's a relatively short passage in the book, but reveals some insights into both Tristan and Sophia. The passage ends with the trio doing random acts of kindness on Christmas Day. Here's what happened later that evening. This is sort of a deleted scene. Parts of it were in an early draft, but I've also added to it, so not it's not exactly polished. But, keeping with December's theme on Ex Libris, I brought in some romance, which we can all use a little more of, right? *wink*

After spending the day helping others and our bellies full with way more food than three people should be able to eat, Tristan and I snuggled lazily on the couch while Mom sat curled up in her chair. Mom's cottage remained dark, only the colored lights on the Christmas tree lit, creating a warm glow on our faces. Mom had turned on the radio tuned to a station playing only Christmas carols. I leaned against Tristan's side, my head on his shoulder, and his finger twirled a lock of my hair as we gazed at the magical beauty. I sighed, the breath full of satisfaction.

"I think this has been the best Christmas ever," I said, my voice barely more than a whisper because I didn't want to totally ruin the peace.

"Hmm…yes, I'd count it right up there with the best of any day ever," Tristan agreed.

"I can't believe how much money you gave away today," I said with a little giggle. He'd really gone over the top with all the Benjis he randomly handed out.

"They need it much more than I do," he said, lifting one shoulder slightly in a shrug. Then he tightened his arm around me. "I have everything I need right here. Besides, it was…fun."

"Well, that's what Christmas is really about."

"Too bad not everyone realizes it. The world would be a better place," Mom said. "We do what we can and, hopefully, someone is paying attention and pays it forward."

"It's much better than I ever imagined," Tristan said. "Especially compared to an old man dressed up to get little kids to sit on his lap. That's just wrong."

I chuckled again. "That's not supposed to be the premise of Santa Claus. He's supposed to be good, too, you know, giving to little kids, especially the needy ones, without expecting anything in return."

"Yeah, well, the guy at the mall needs an education then." He thought for a minute, his fists clenching and his eyes narrowing. "I think next year I'll give lessons."

I put my hands over his and made him relax. "Um, let's lead by example, okay?"

He sighed reluctantly, although I could tell he was exaggerating, especially when he rolled his eyes. "If we must."

Mom rose from her chair, stretched and said goodnight, leaving us alone. Tristan and I sat quietly, the melody of Silent Night drifting on the airwaves and wrapping its peace around us like a cozy blanket. I fingered my pendant, still amazed that he'd given me something so beautiful and special.

"Thank you for my gift," I whispered. "Again."

His head turned, his lips against my ear. "Thank you for a wonderful first Christmas."

I tilted my head to look up at him, his face only an inch from mine. The lights reflected in his hazel eyes, making the usual gold sparkles a rainbow of colors.

"Is this really the first time you've ever celebrated Christmas?"

He didn't answer at first and I thought I might have crossed the line in asking about his past. I held my breath, hoping I hadn't upset him. But his eyes remained bright.

"I've witnessed Christmas celebrations around the world," he finally said. "But I've never participated in it. Much of it, especially here, is so material and seems so wasteful and silly."

"That's why we do it the way we do," I said. "It's not supposed to be about us."

"I like it this way."

He closed the small space between us and his lips pressed against mine.

"Me, too," I agreed as I lay down on the couch.

He hovered over me, his lips curling into a sublime smile. "Would it be okay if we made right now about us, though?"

"Definitely." I wrapped my arms around his neck, pulled him down to me and whispered, "Merry Christmas, my sweet Tristan."

His lips traveled along my jaw and he murmured against my neck, "Merry Christmas, ma lykita. I love you."


Here's to more romance this Christmas and into the New Year!

You can reach/follow/contact Kristie at her website, on Twitter, Goodreads or Facebook.


GIVEAWAY:

For every meaningful comment you leave on any "Spotlight on Romance" post (like this guest post by Kristie Cook) you receive 1 entry into the Mystery Romance Giveaway which will be revealed later.

Giveaway is open worldwide.

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