I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving Day. And I really can't believe that Christmas will be here in four weeks. I say this every year but this year has flown!
One thing I am thankful for every year is how the holiday season tends to slow us all down. We notice our surroundings - family and friends at the dinner table, light displays, an afternoon to build a snowman. I like that we're nicer to one another, even the strangers, this time of year. I'm also thankful that I started taking part in the #30DaysOfThanks meme that starts going around Facebook and Twitter November 1...it's fun to think of one thing each day for which I'm thankful.
Some days have silly thanks (like whoever invented those ice cube trays in the shape of sharks and strawberries), and some are more serious. Most wind up being slices of my life - memories of board games we played as kids, memories of people who have touched my life in some way...traditions that are so familiar they are part of my family.
Today, in addition to my 'thankful' post over on Facebook, I'm thankful for shortcuts - I know, doesn't sound like something you should be thankful for. But, in the course of my life, I've found that in some cases shortcuts are the best options.
My dad, for example, taught me how to skip a step in Long Division by cutting off a zero (or two, depending on the numbers being used) to come to a problem solution.
My brother (shout-out, Trently!!) who taught me how to bait a hook. Not that I actually bait hooks (too messy...and I don't like to look at worms as they're dying).
And since we'll all be cooking like maniacs, the best short-cut of all: My sister-in-law (shout-out, Janell!!) taught me how to cook a turkey (upside down, thankyouverymuch) so that its the juiciest meat you've ever tasted. Seriously, people will poo-poo you and you won't be able to use that stupid turkey thermometer (but it doesn't work 95% of the time anyhow)...but your turkey will be G.O.O.D.
What are you thankful for?
Some loves deserve a second chance…
Coming back to Gulliver Island after a ten-year absence to take care of his father should have been simple. Emmett Deal would fix and sell the family home, and return to Cincinnati with his ailing father in tow. Yet something compels him to stay a little longer. The beautiful, bright eyes of Jaime Brown.
Ten years ago, traumatic events changed the course of Jaime's life forever, catching her in a small-town life she can't escape. Emmett's return stirs up the memories she wanted to ignore…and dreams she had forgotten. Now she finds herself with a rare opportunity—a second chance. Only this time, it's not just for love…
Kissing Emmett was different and the same at the same time. Different in the way it had made her feel as though she’d never been kissed before. The same because it was Emmett and kissing him had always been familiar. Like coming home.
“God, you’re so conceited. I kissed you as much as you kissed me. Women are allowed to kiss men, you know. We even sometimes have the audacity to start the kiss all on our own.”
“Emmett.” She mimicked his tone, wondering why he was so annoyed when he’d started this in the first place. She actively wanted the same things, and it was a little scary, but she wasn’t about to turn away from any of it.
Jaime didn’t say anything so she marched to his side of the room. “Kiss me.”
“No.” He shook his head.
“I don’t kiss women who don’t know what they want.”
“Okay, now you’re pissing me off. Since when do I not know what I want?”
He reached out and tugged a lock of her hair. A Canadian Soldier, a tiny insect that came out of the lake during the early summer months, alighted on Emmett’s shoulder. Jaime flicked her finger at the mayfly then smoothed the material.
“Have a nice night,” she said, her voice sounding rough to her ears.
Neither moved. Emmett tucked the same strand of hair behind her ear or maybe he was caressing it, Jaime couldn’t tell. And she told her hand to let go of his shirt three times, but the order seemed to short circuit somewhere between her brain and her hands.
“It was good to see you, Jaime.”
Was it her imagination or was his voice slightly more husky than normal?
“I’m sure we’ll run into one another a few more times before you leave.” No guessing about that, her voice was definitely huskier than normal.
“Probably so. It’s only a mile-wide island.”
“Two miles across, three miles around,” she said, hating the words even as they passed her lips. Emmett knew the size of the island; he hadn’t been talking literally. Just making conversation. And when had he stepped closer to her?
No, wait, she was the one doing the stepping because his glutes were still very much attached to the porch railing.
Not smart, Jaime. Step away. Walk away.
But she didn’t step back.
Jaime swallowed and so did Emmett. She watched; her attention focused on the way his Adam’s apple slid down and then up along the strong column of his throat. He needed a haircut, she decided for at least the tenth time since recognizing him in the diner, but hoped he didn’t get one. She liked the way the longer hairs tangled against his neck. Wondered what his hair would feel like now compared to the short spikiness of it when they were kids.
“I should go.” She didn’t want to, but she should and maybe saying the words aloud would force her feet to obey.
“But you’re already home.” This time her feet obeyed and Jaime stepped away from him.
Just then Emmett stepped forward, bringing his chest up hard against hers. His heat seemed to wrap around her and her hands crept over his shoulders. He leaned in, his lips brushing her cheek, singeing her. Jaime gasped at the contact, wanting more and less at the same time.
“We should try that again,” he said and didn’t wait for her reply.
Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police--no, she wasn't a troublemaker, she was a journalist. Her career took her all over the United States, writing about everything from a serial killer's capture to the National Finals Rodeo. Along the way, she found her very own Knight in Shining Cowboy Boots and an abiding love for romance novels. And just like the characters from her favorite books, she's living her own happily ever after.
Kristina writes sassy contemporary romance novels; her books have appeared on Kindle Best Seller Lists. She loves hearing from readers, so drop her a line!