On Tour with Prism Book Tours.
Nobody is going to hurt her—not on his watch
A DEA stealth mission has brought coast guard Lt. Commander Eli Pelletier home. But when he ends up aiding rescue swimmer Aubrey Wynn during her own harrowing mission, powerful emotions reignite between them. Except Aubrey doesn’t want Eli’s protection. She wants answers.
Twelve years ago, Eli broke up with Aubrey without telling her the real reason he was leaving Pacific Cove. How can he try for a second chance if he’s forced to deceive her again? Amid suspected drug trafficking and a sabotaged Christmas contest, Eli must find a way to regain Aubrey’s trust without compromising his career or endangering the woman he loves.
“I’m not sure I’ll get a tree this year, anyway. I’ve been so busy and I go back on shift tomorrow. It’s nice to be able to enjoy yours and Mom’s, though.”
“Aubrey, you have to get a tree. Even if it’s just a small one. Once you start letting traditions slide, you’re this close—” she pinched her thumb and finger together for emphasis “—to skipping midnight mass and eating Rocky Road ice cream and drinking peppermint schnapps while watching The Christmas Story twenty-four-hour marathon.”
Aubrey barked out a laugh. “I’ve only missed midnight mass one time in my life and that was because I was on a rescue. I don’t drink, and I don’t like Rocky Road, so I think we’re safe there.”
“Okay, maybe that was me I was talking about. The dark holidays, I like to call them. But you get the idea. Trust me, no tree is no bueno.” She added a breezy laugh.
(Excerpt; Christmas in The Cove by Carol Ross)
Each and every holiday season of my childhood, amidst the decorating, shopping, baking, travel arranging and party planning a most serious drama played out in our home. An epic power struggle, a battle of wills, a division of opinion that makes even our recent election seem tame. It was…the Christmas tree fight.
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest with a dad who worked in the logging business, Christmas trees were never in short supply. You’d think with this variety to choose from; grand fir, pacific silver fir, Douglas fir, spruce, noble fir, pine etc. that the choosing would be a fun family activity. Nope. And with a family of seven, this debate got heated. Mom and her camp liked the wide, full, thick-branched look of Douglas firs while Dad and his side preferred the thinner, symmetrical, shapely elegance of the noble firs. Mom didn’t like being able to see the light cord wrapped around the “scraggly limbs” of Dad’s choice, while Dad argued that there was no place to hang ornaments on Mom’s “shaggy tree.” (I can’t remember exactly where everyone aligned but I fell into Dad’s bloc where I firmly reside to this day.)
Unfortunately for Team Mom, Dad often surprised us all by cutting and bringing a tree home he’d discovered (often weeks or months before) while working in the woods. Upon his arrival, Mom, my siblings and I would gather eagerly and nervously around his pickup waiting for the big reveal. Dad would wrestle the tree out of the pickup bed while Mom stood with her hands clenched on her hips waiting to see who would be the winner that year. Our collective breaths held, excitement and anticipation swirling in the air, we’d wait for Mom’s verdict. If it was a noble fir her response would go something like this, “Well, it could sure use a few more branches, but I guess it’s kinda pretty.” Every few years Dad would appease Mom and her faction by bringing home an obnoxiously large and full Douglas fir. Mom would be giddy and annoyed at the same time. “It’s gorgeous. It’s huge!” she’d exclaim. “It must be 20 feet tall. It’s going to take up the entire living room.” And, even after dad executed his Clark Griswold trim, it would.
But the fun part, the fantastic wonder of a Christmas tree is that no matter the shape, size or species after we got the lights strung and those ornaments on, we loved them all the same.
Do you have a favorite type of Christmas tree? Or maybe a special ornament or a specific way to decorate it? I’d love to hear about your tree tradition.
Carol Ross lives with her husband and one loveable miscreant of a dachshund in a small town in Washington close to both the ocean and the mountains. She adores the Pacific Northwest because it provides her with endless opportunities for the activities she loves—hiking, running, skiing, and spending time outdoors. Although she enjoys reading in many genres, she writes what she loves the most—romance, especially light-hearted stories about the fun, flirty, and often-tumultuous path toward a happily ever after.
Other Books by the Author
– 1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card and a copy of Christmas in the Cove (signed copy if US, ebook if international)
– Ends December 24th