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Christmas Once Again by @dk_deters is a Christmas in July Fete pick #99c #holidayromance #giveaway
Title: Christmas Once Again
Author: D. K. Deters
She's dead broke. And eviction looms. On Christmas Eve antique consultant Madison Knight takes a phone call from local rancher Zach Murdock. Through a mix-up at an estate sale, Madison's company purchased his grandmother's beloved painting. He offers double the money for its return. Madison risks her job to track down the artwork, but success falls short when she's stuck in a blizzard. Stranded, she seeks help from a frontier family. Are they living off the grid, or did she somehow travel through time? Zach's the only person who knows her plan. He also knows a secret about his gran's painting. It's up to him to rescue Madison, but maybe he's not cut out to be a hero.
Madison Knight read her bank balance for the second time. Dead broke.
Until now, holidays in the Colorado Rocky Mountains had always been her favorite time of year, but that was before the money ran out—before facing eviction.
She didn’t believe in windfalls, at least, not from long-lost relatives or lucky lottery numbers. Any serious chance of getting ahead came down to her New Year’s bonus from Once Again Antiques. Today, December twenty-fourth, starting at nine a.m. until closing, twenty percent of all sales generated from the client wish list contributed to the bonus—if she held onto her job until New Year’s. One more misstep, one more unsatisfied customer, and there’d be no ifs, ands, or buts—the owner, Savannah Charm, would terminate her employment.
She slid a quilt over her shoulders and slumped back on the couch. Fresh snow swirled on the balcony, and a bitter north wind pounded the sliding glass door. On days like today, working from home was ideal, but it took discipline. Her morning latte remained untouched on the coffee table as did the hand weights next to the couch. Frustration had kept her from an earlier workout, and it was already nine a.m.
A computer reminder caught her eye: December twenty-fourth - Happy Birthday Spencer. She pressed delete, remembering his betrayal—remembering their plans for a wedding that never happened. It still hurt and not long ago, she would’ve burst into tears.
An upbeat Christmas tune blared from her cell phone. She set the laptop on the coffee table and tapped the phone’s speaker button. “Once Again Antiques. Madison Knight.”
“Ms. Knight, this is Zachary Murdock.”
With those few words, he had, by far, the sexiest phone voice she’d ever heard. “Yes?” she prompted, pushing her unruly locks behind her ears.
“Savannah Charm directed me to you.”
Madison sat up straight. It wasn’t unusual for her boss to refer customers with issues; troubleshooting, no matter how unpleasant, came with the job.
“My grandmother had an estate sale last week, and she didn’t want it sold, unfortu—”
“Oh?” She should’ve kept quiet. Run-ins with greedy family members happened in the antique business, and a judging attitude didn’t increase revenues.
“It wasn’t on purpose,” he said. “The day was chaotic, and someone had shuffled around the artwork. We didn’t realize it was missing until a couple of days ago, and it took this long to sort out the mix-up and discover your shop bought it.”
She felt guilty for jumping to the wrong conclusion. “I see how that could happen. It’s obvious the piece is treasured by your grandmother. If it becomes necessary, we have the resources to find a similar style. Is there a specific artist or significance?”
Held hostage by the slow computer response and trying not to rush him, she picked up one of the hand weights, intending to fit in a few curls.
“Keep in mind Gran’s ninety-two, and she thinks…”
“Uh-huh.” With her free hand, she grabbed the latte and took a sip.
“Gran thinks it holds a special power.”
Madison chose that moment to swallow, and the creamy espresso went down the wrong pipe. A dry, hacking cough followed, and she dropped her hand weight, which thudded on the carpet. For heaven’s sake, he didn’t hear her, did he?
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What I love most about the holiday season:
It’s hard to pick just one thing, but I love it when all of my children and their families can make it home for Christmas.
Why is your featured book a must-read to get you in the holiday mood?
Christmas Once Again is a magical story for the season. Hold your breath as the heroine puts her life in peril to search for a missing painting. Will granny convince her grandson that she’s a time traveler? This romantic fantasy delivers an emotional holiday ending. It’s a quick read, but you won’t find it predictable.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card.
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.
Runs July 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on August 1.
D. K. Deters is an award-winning fantasy and historical romance author. She was a communications consultant before turning to a writing career. Like many historical romance authors, she's always had a deep interest in history, and the nineteenth century is her favorite. When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with her adult children and their families. D. K. has many hobbies, but her favorites are restoring old dollhouses and secondhand furniture.
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