The Christmas season to me means cookies. I know that’s kinda funny to say, but every year, I go to the store and buy loads of ingredients to make cookies. Growing up, we always made cookies, but now, since I don’t have any kids and it’s just my husband and I at home, I still make cookies—I just have to deliver them to people around the area. Otherwise, I’d be buried under baked goods!
So, what’s better than a short Christmas story about two brothers who own a cookie shop? Here’s the blurb and excerpt for EXILES FROM CHRISTMAS. It’s the first book in my Holiday Magic series. I’ve also brought you a recipe for one of Landon’s favorite cookies! You can find out more about this series by visiting my website: http://www.sandrasookoo.com Be sure to click on the Holiday Magic tab.
Santa’s nephews have come to Crystal Falls to run a cookie business. If they fail, they’ll have to go back to the North Pole and fill their uncle’s black boots when he retires. But sick of toys, elves, and the North Pole’s influence, that’s the last thing Landon and Aaron want. They’re looking for love.
Jayne isn’t much for sentimental family holidays and she certainly doesn’t believe in magic. Working in the Crystal Falls post office, she is mystified when she handles mail bearing a North Pole postal mark.
When Landon and Jayne meet, their attraction for each other is undeniable, but will the truth about Landon’s life make Jayne a believer, or will it be his love that finally melts her heart?
“Here.” Jayne thrust the small stack of envelopes into his hands. “I’d better get going. The closer it gets to Christmas, the busier we are.” She took a step backward then stumbled when she teetered off the porch.
The man chucked the mail onto a wicker rocker and rushed forward to clutch her upper arm. “Careful now.”
“I’m fine.” As Jayne regained her footing, the man held her closer than necessary. “You can let go now.”
Someone cleared his throat at the door. “Hi again.” She recognized that voice.
“Hi.” When she spied Landon Bernhart, Jayne’s cheeks heated anew. He leaned a shoulder against the door jam, an amused grin lifting the corners of his lips. However, Jayne’s heart fluttered when her gaze fell to the 1950s-style white ruffled apron tied around his lean hips.
The man in red dropped her arm and stepped away. “I see you’ve already met my brother, Landon. I’m Aaron.” He retrieved the abandoned mail. “I don’t think you’ll need to bring the next batch over. I’ll be sure to make time to come see you.” With a suggestive wink, he vanished inside.
“Don’t mind him.” Landon moved from the doorway. “He’s got an unresolved Casanova complex.”
“Most men do.” Recovered from her lack of grace of a moment before, she allowed herself a tiny moment to admire him. Dark-wash jeans hugged his legs like an infatuated lover while a cherry-red mock turtleneck graced his solid upper half. But Jayne couldn’t get past the apron. “What’s cookin’?” Her lips twitched in an effort to stifle her laughter. “Nice outfit.”
With a laugh, Landon undid the strings and whipped the piece of fluff from his waist. “It was the only one I could find on short notice. My manly apron collection is at the shop.” A small grin lit his face as the tips of his ears turned pink. “So… Dropping off the mail?”
“Yes.” She let her gaze travel down the long, tall length of him. “I’d better go now.” She remained rooted to the porch, reluctant to move. Whereas Aaron exuded a powerful physical presence and an over-the-top sexual appeal, Landon had a quiet dignity and gentle reserve that hinted at masculine strength. She stifled a sigh. Not to mention a chest she wouldn’t mind exploring with a bottle of lemon-flavored massage oil…
“Why don’t you come in for a cup of coffee? It’s cold out here.”
With a mighty effort, Jayne focused her attention on his face. The sensual curve of his lips sidetracked her and a sudden rush of desire slithered through her gut. “Uh, I’m afraid that won’t be possible. I’m still on the clock.”
This time, Landon’s smile was slow and dazzling. “Then how about dinner this evening? I’m sure you need to eat.”
“True. I’m usually at the diner around six-ish every night. You could stop by.” She ignored the heat in her face. “I really have to go.” North Pole postmarks danced through her brain and she narrowed her eyes in suspicion. “I’m curious about where you’re from, actually. Maybe we can discuss that tonight.”
The smile slid from his face. “You’re just like all the rest of them, aren’t you?”
“The rest of who?” Jayne’s earlier warm fuzzies evaporated in the face of his erratic behavior.
“Every woman—actually, every person I’ve decided to share this part of my life with. You label me a freak before you know anything about me.” His lips set into a tight line.
“Then explain instead of flying off the handle.” What was this guy’s problem?
“Forget it. I thought you might be different.” He yanked open the screen door. “Well, I don’t need your mockery or your teasing.”
Jayne ended her visit to the Bernhart house much as she started: with her mouth open, confusion swirling through her mind.
Landon’s Coconut Snowballs from Exiles From Christmas
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small bowl, combine the coconut, sugar, flour and salt. Stir in egg whites and vanilla; mix well.
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 325 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Don't forget to check out the holiday extravaganza at Pelican Books. Either a new book or special offer every day til Christmas.