Skip to main content

A Splash of Christmas by Mary Manners


A Splash of Christmas

Blurb:
When Faith O' Fallon’s best friend ropes her into attending a popular reality show audition, the last thing she expects to find at the studio is the love of her life.
Ben Ward resents his family for coercing him into holding auditions to snag a date for the holiday episode of their reality show, Poolside Oasis. But when a studio mishap accidentally matches him with the lovely, rambunctious Faith O'Fallon, he finds that sometimes family knows best.
This holiday season is filled with the perfect blend of heartwarming surprises splashed with a dose of sweet romance.

Excerpt:

I should have worn flat heels, Faith thought as she neared the antique shop. She’d walked a good five minutes with Ben at her side, and still she felt wobbly from his kiss. He had a habit of doing that—surprising her with unexpected kisses. She should mind…but she didn’t.
            She wanted more.
            Faith chastised herself. The very thought was ridiculous. Remember, this is Ben Ward, the same fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants guy who blew off you—and the kids.
            Trusting him once again could prove dangerous.
            Not trusting him would prove worse.
            Faith turned, wondering who had spoken. The voice rang clear, steady. No one lurked behind here, simply Ben at her left side.
            “Did you hear that?”
            “Hear what?”
            “I thought there was a voice. You didn’t hear it?”
            One eyebrow arched as Ben slowly shook his head. “I didn’t hear it, and ventriloquism certainly isn’t one of my talents. Maybe it was the wind.”
            “Maybe…” But it wasn’t, Faith was sure of that.
            Soft lights welcomed them into the shop. The scent of cedar mingled with vanilla from coffee service counter in a cozy corner. Faith drew in the scent, sighing as her equilibrium found its footing once again.
            The clerk—a woman in her sixties or so, dressed in pressed navy slacks and a white silk blouse complimented by tasteful costume jewelry—stepped forward to greet Faith.
            “Hello, dear. How may I help you this evening?”
            “I’d like to see that music box in the window display, please.”
            “Of course.” She nodded slightly. “Make yourself comfortable. Pour a cup of coffee and I’ll fetch it right away.”
            “Thank you.”
            The slight rustling at Faith’s heels caused the woman to glance up and over Faith’s shoulder. She paused slightly before exclaiming, “Ben!”
            “Hello, Mrs. Parker.” He stepped forward to enfold her in a bear hug. “I didn’t expect to see you here tonight. How are you?”
            “Back up on the horse, so to speak, and doing much better now. It helps to keep busy.”
            “You look good. I’m glad.”
              “You always did have a knack for flattery.” Mrs. Parker fanned herself with one hand. “I couldn’t have done it—done this—without your help last March. You helped me in my greatest time of need. You’re an angel, son.”
            An angel…son?
            Faith waited with all the patience she could muster as Ben and Mrs. Parker caught up with one another. Questions whizzed like runaway tennis balls through her head.
            What does March have to do with it? What help? Could this be the reason Ben backed out of the fundraiser?
            No. Faith shook her head. Her imagination was running away once again.
            “And who is this lovely young woman?” Mrs. Parker’s voice drew Faith back in.
            “Faith O’Fallon. She’s going to guest with me on the Christmas episode of Poolside Oasis.”
            “Is that so?” Mrs. Parker’s gaze fell twinkled like sunshine. “Well, Ben, I believe that’s merely the beginning. Faith here is going to do much more than that.”


How I spend Christmas:

Now that my kids are all grown, I begin Christmas morning with a slow cup of coffee while Christmas music plays and the tree twinkles with light. When my family wakes, we enjoy a huge breakfast with all the trimmings and dig into our stockings (the hanging kind) for a little candy dessert. Then it's off to church and then the exchange of gifts followed by a delicious Christmas dinner with my extended family. My husband and I finish the day with a glass of warm cider near the Christmas Tree with the jubilant song of carols and a bit of happy conversation.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Tuscan Legacy book one - That's Amore

THAT’S AMORE A Tuscan Legacy Book 1

When Rafaele and Jayne meet again two years after dancing the night away together in Tuscany, is it a matter of fate or of faith? After deciding to take a six-month sabbatical, Italian lawyer Rafaele Rossi moves from Florence back to Villa Rossi in the middle of Tuscany, resigned to managing the family farm for his aging nonna after his father’s passing. Convinced a family get-together is what Nonna needs to lift her spirits, he plans an eightieth birthday party for her, making sure his siblings and cousins attend. The Keswick jewelry store where Jayne Austin has worked for seven years closes its doors. Jayne takes her generous severance pay and heads off to Italy—Tuscany to be precise. Choosing to leave her fate in God’s hands, she prays she’ll miraculously bump into the handsome best man she’d danced the night away with at a friend’s Tuscan wedding two years ago. She hasn’t been able to forget those smoldering brown eyes and that rich Italian accent. J…

A Tuscan Legacy book 4 - Ti Amo by Marion Ueckermann

She never wants to get married. He does. To her.
The day Alessandra Rossi was born, her mammĂ  died, and a loveless life with the father who blamed the newborn for her mother’s death followed. With the help of her oldest brother, Rafaele, Alessa moved away from home the moment she finished school—just like her other siblings had. Now sporting a degree in architectural history and archaeology, Alessa loves her job as a tour guide in the city of Rome—a place where she never fails to draw the attention of men. Not that Alessa cares. Fearing that the man she weds would be anything like her recently deceased father has Alessa vowing to remain single. American missionary Michael Young has moved to Rome on a two-year mission trip. His temporary future in the country doesn’t stop him from spontaneously joining Alessa’s tour after spotting her outside the Colosseum. And being bold enough to tell her afterward that one day she’d be his wife. God had told him. And he believed Him. But Alessa shows …

Justice - Emily Conrad

Blurb: Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she's pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it. Brooklyn can’t bring herself to name the father as she wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake. If Harold Keen, the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake's coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both.
Excerpt
The door opened, and Brooklyn ducked through. The only mascara left on her face was a faint smudge below one of her eyes. That could only mean one thing: she was pregnant. She took an uncertain step toward him. He wrapped her in his arms, but even so, she’d never been further out of his reach. “I can’t do this,” she said against his shoulder. “You can.” He leaned his head to look at her face. Her closed eyes seeped tears. “We’ll do it together.” Liar. He couldn’t help her with a baby. That job belonged to Caleb. Yet, he had the sense that the promise answered his prayer. It …