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Fixing Christmas by @peggy_jaeger is a Black Friday Deals pick #holidayromance #99cents #blackfriday
Title: FIXING CHRISTMAS – A DICKENS HOLIDAY ROMANCE (Dorrit’s Diner)
Author: Peggy Jaeger
Genre: Holiday RomCom, Later in life romance, Small-town romance, Coming home, Home for the holidays
Christmas has never filled writer Abra Charles with undiluted pleasure. If you’d been left on a doorstep on Christmas Eve morning, you might have a few issues with the holiday as well.
Abra’s avoided her hometown of Dickens for the past twenty Christmas seasons, but now she’s returned in an attempt to get her writing mojo back. Twice-divorced and with her third engagement ending in heartbreak, anger, and blackmail, Abra is now six months behind on submitting her current book. She hopes renting Copperfield House and immersing herself in solitude will cure her writer’s block and get her life back on track. The house she rents isn’t helping her achieve her goal, though, as one thing after another breaks, collapses, or floods.
Colton Bree, Dickens’ very own Mr. FixIt can’t help but wonder if the new resident of Copperfield House is cursed. After being called to repair a broken window, he’s then needed to fix an exploding coffeepot, an overrunning toilet, and a washing machine that has a mind of its own. Bree doesn’t mind all the unexpected repair jobs, though, because the sexy renter is something to look at and dream about, despite being a little neurotic and whole lot of snarky.
Can Abra get her book done with all the distractions and craziness of her life, the biggest distraction being the flannelled hunk with the bedroom eyes and scowling yet oh-so-kissable mouth? Or will Dickens’ Mr FixIt have to step in and save the day and in so doing, fix Christmas for Abra forever?
“I wondered when you’d get around to me.”
Abra winced at her father’s words, even though they were said in jest and with a loving smile attached to them.
“I’m a horrible human being and a worse daughter,” she told him, returning the bear hug he enveloped her in.
“Don’t talk about my little girl that way.” He patted her on the back and when he let her go she had the urge to pull his arms back around her.
At seventy-four, Andy Charles gave the appearance of a man approaching his sixtieth year. Age hadn’t robbed him of his straight back, lean physique, tawny blond hair, or quiet manner. Some of Abra’s fondest moments of her childhood had been when Andy had taken her fishing during her summer school vacations, or taught her how to ride a bike and hit a baseball. Perpetually calm and soft-spoken, she’d never heard him raise his voice or offer a word of harsh rebuke, even when she or one of her siblings had done something stupid.
She had no idea the kind of man her birth father had been, but if she could have special-ordered a father from God, it would have been someone exactly like Andy Charles.
“Amy told me you arrived earlier than expected. Everything okay out at the Copperfield house?”
“It is now.” She gave him a short run down on the issues that had plagued her first few days.
“Only you, Abracadabra. Only you.” His soft smile warmed her heart.
After accepting the cup of coffee he handed her, she glanced around the kitchen. “When did you do the remodel?”
“’Bout three summers ago. Your mom finally gave in and let me update the appliances her parents had installed before she was born.” He shook his head and sipped from his own mug. “Some of them should have been displayed in the Smithsonian, they were so old. How they ever kept working is beyond me.”
“I always loved this kitchen,” she said. “And this house.”
Andy nodded. “So does your mom. She could never bear to part with it after they died. Even during the three years she lived above the diner after she lost them. Once we adopted you, she finally opened it back up again.”
“And the rest, as they say, is history.”
He returned her grin. “Three kids of our own and two dozen fosters later, and here we are.”
Abra’s heart turned over at his words. From her first memory of him, Andy had always called her his child. No adopted clarifier in front of her name. And she was his daughter in every way but chromosomally.
“So,” he said, rocking back on the ancient rocker set in front of the stone kitchen fireplace, which was lit and roaring. “You’re back for Christmas for the first time in twenty years. What’s up?”
“Why does something have to be up?”
“Because I know you, young lady. You’ve stayed away all these years for a reason - one you’ve never shared - but that I’ve always had a pretty good idea about.”
Her hands, which were wrapped around the steaming mug of coffee, turned to ice.
“You’re here for more than simply to finish a book you’re late delivering, aren’t you? Something’s going on with you.”
If Amy was the parent who could read Abra’s mind, Andy was the one who knew her down to her soul.
“Things have been...tense,” she admitted. “Between Frank and me.”
Andy’s eyes went flat – cop flat. “Define tense.”
She dragged a hand through her hair and after taking a bracing breath said, “He’s threatened to make public the face behind A.B. Cards if I don’t pay off his gambling debts.”
“What about the non-disclosure agreement you had him sign?”
“That’s the problem. Things...developed so fast between us, I never got around to having him sign it.”
The disappointment in his voice had her wincing again.
“You make everyone who comes within ten feet of you sign one of those.”
“I know, Dad, I know. I could kick myself now, but at the time when we first met he just...dazzled me, made me forget everything but how good I felt with him. Which, I realize now, was probably his intention from the beginning.”
“Do you think he knew and that’s why he pursued you?”
“No. He found out totally by accident, I know that for a fact. But now that he knows and we’re no longer together, he’s using it as leverage for me to keep giving him money.”
“There has to be something that can be done to stop him. He’s basically blackmailing you.”
“My lawyer says since he never signed an NDA he can do what he wants with the information.”
“What about your publisher? I’m sure they don’t want the truth to come out, since they’ve taken such pains to keep it hidden. They must have an entire office building of high priced lawyers who can come up with some kind of defense against him going public.”
“How much.” Abra swallowed. “Almost six hundred thousand.”
Andy whistled and shook his head. “He’ll ask for more and more until someone puts a stop to it.”
“Which I’m leaving in the hands of the multitudes of lawyers I pay and those my publisher pays, to figure out.” She leaned forward and rested her arms on her knees, the coffee now cold in her cup. “But I couldn’t work at home. There was too much tension surrounding me. Blocking me. I figured coming back here for a while would not only remove me physically from all of it, but emotionally as well. And, I’m hoping, get me back on track to finish the book.”
Andy looked at her a good, long time. So long, she started to squirm in the chair.
“First of all, young lady, this”—he lifted a hand and twirled it in the air—“is your home, not that huge empty palace you occupy space in out in Las Vegas. Second, you should have told us from the beginning.”
“There was nothing you could have done about it. Truthfully. It was my own fault for neglecting the NDA.”
“But you shouldn’t be carrying a burden like that alone. Not when you’ve got people who love you, unconditionally, and have your back no matter what. We’re your family, Abra, and family helps one another through the bad times.”
As humbled as she was by his declaration, shame consumed her, because if she wasn’t mistaken, a bit of censure was mixed with hurt in his voice. Tears pushed to the surface of her eyes.
“I’m sorry, Daddy. So sorry.”
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
If you love heart-warming, slightly zany rom-com heroines with plots centered around family and the holidays, this book is for you. Filled with humor, sadness, angst and hope, FIXING CHRISTMAS hits all the heartstrings for a classic holiday love story you’ll enjoy again and again.
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Peggy Jaeger writes contemporary romances and rom coms about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.
Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all aspects of life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness, and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.
As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at peggyjaeger.com where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go "What??!"
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Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0