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Holiday Gift Ideas

Sheila Roberts

Merry Ex-Mas

Sheila Roberts Merry Ex Mas
$6.39 New
 
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Series:

Life in Icicle Falls

Biographical note:

Sheila Roberts lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her novels have appeared in Readers Digest Condensed Books and have been published in several languages. Her book Angel Lane, was an Amazon Top Ten Romance pick for 2009 and her holiday perennial, On Strike for Christmas was made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network. You can visit Sheila on Twitter and Facebook or at her website (http://www.sheilasplace.com).

Excerpt from book:

Once in a while, if a woman is really lucky, the perfect day she envisioned turns out to be just that. This was going to be one of those days, Cass Wilkes thought as she set the platter of carved turkey on her dining table.

She surveyed her handiwork with a smile. Everything was Martha Stewart-lovely from the china and crystal to the Thanksgiving centerpiece she'd bought at Lupine Floral, and her old Victorian home was filled with the aroma of herbs and spices. The dining room window framed a greeting-card-worthy winter scene—her front lawn with its trees and shrubs draped in frosty white and the snowcapped mountains looming beyond.

The snow had done what all good snow should do; it had stopped in plenty of time for road crews to clear the way for travelers. Unlike Thanksgiving last year, the town of Icicle Falls was humming with visitors looking for a holiday getaway. Great for business, especially when you owned a bakery. This weekend, gingerbread boys and girls would march out the door of Gingerbread Haus in droves and money would march right into Cass's bank account—a good thing since she suspected she was going to have a wedding to pay for in a year or so.

A whoop of male excitement came from the living room, followed by cheers. The football game on TV was nearing its end and obviously the favored team had scored a touchdown.

"Okay, that's everything from the kitchen," said Dot Morrison, Cass's mentor and former boss, as she placed a serving bowl heaped with stuffing, along with another full of mashed potatoes, on the table. Normally Dot would have been celebrating with her daughter, but Tilda was on patrol, keeping Icicle Falls safe from…who knew? Their town wasn't exactly a hotbed of crime.

Dot had dressed for the occasion, wearing jeans and a white sweatshirt decorated with a turkey holding a sign that said "Think Outside the Box. Serve Ham." Dot, who owned the town's most popular pancake place, Breakfast Haus, had encouraged Cass to think outside the box years ago, even lent her money to start her bakery. Cass owed her Thanksgiving dinners for life.

"Get those clowns in here," Dot said. "There's nothing worse than cold food."

Cass could suggest a few things—taxes, yeast infections, exes.

Oh, no, she wasn't going to ruin a perfectly good holiday with even a hint of a thought about her ex-husband. That man, that self-centered, undeserving rat who'd tried to lure the kids away this weekend with a trip to Vail, who…

No, no. No thoughts about Mason. It was Thanksgiving, after all, a time to count her blessings.

Three of those blessings were sitting out there in the living room—her kids Danielle, Willie and Amber. Dani's boyfriend, Mike, was there, too, tucked beside her in an overstuffed easy chair.

Twenty-year-old Dani was Cass's oldest and her right-hand woman at the bakery. She'd inherited Cass's passion for creating in the kitchen, and after a year of community college had opted to work full-time at the bakery. Cass had hoped she'd put in at least another year, but she'd had no interest. "I can learn more from you than I can from any college professor," she'd told Cass. When it came to baking, well, what could Cass say? Dani was right.
"Witty characterizations, slapstick mishaps, and plenty of holiday cheer." -Publishers Weekly on The Nine Lives of Christmas


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