Waiting for a Miracle by @JWilck is a Christmas and Holiday Book Festival Pick #romance
Title: Waiting for a Miracle
Author: Jennifer Wilck
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance
Benjamin Cohen, widowed father of six-year-old Jessie, is doing his best to hold it together through order and routine. The last thing he needs is his matchmaker mother to set him up with her next door neighbor, no matter how attractive she is.
Rachel Schaecter's dream of becoming a foster mother is right within her grasp, until her meddlesome neighbor tries to set her up with her handsome son. What's worse? He's the father of her favorite kindergarten student! She can't afford to let anything come between her and her dream, no matter how gorgeous he may be.
Can these two determined people trust in the miracle of Hanukkah to let love and light into their lives?
Benjamin stood outside Rachel’s door and wiped his sweaty palms on his pants legs. He could do this. Knock on the door, smile when she answered, apologize, as always, and ask his question. Simple. Except he hadn’t asked this particular question in more than ten years. Hadn’t considered it until yesterday.
And then he’d royally screwed up their conversation. It started so well, progressed so naturally until he’d asked about her fostering plans. He ran a hand across the top of his head. God, he had to fix this.
Maybe it was too soon. He stuffed his hands in his pockets. No, it wasn’t too soon. While he hadn’t mapped out a complete plan, he’d made the final decision yesterday. He’d made significant tweaks to it after their argument. And now it was time to follow through.
Removing his hands from his pockets once again, he knocked on Rachel’s door and paced until she opened it.
“Hi,” he said. He smiled, but he suspected it was more like a grimace. It felt tight and unnatural. Should he stop? How long did you leave a smile on your face before you let it fall? And who asked these questions?
“Hey,” she said. Surprise made her brows lift. Her voice was quiet, her expression wary.
He ignored his face, his thoughts, and his plans, and focused on her. “Hi.”
“You said that already.”
Great. He raised his hand to...he didn’t know what to do with it. “Can I come in?”
She stiffened. She was going to turn him down. But then, she stepped away from her doorway and motioned him inside.
He stepped over the threshold. “I thought I heard you!” His mother’s voice over his shoulder made him turn. His stomach dropped. Just what he didn’t need. She peeked out of her doorway. “I thought I heard your footsteps on the stairs, but when you didn’t come to my door, I figured I was mistaken,” she said, walking into the hallway. “And then I thought I heard your voice, and I was right.” He clenched and unclenched his jaw. “Hi, Mom.
I’m here to see Rachel.” God, it was like high school all over again.
His mother’s face brightened. “I see. Where’s Jessie?”
“She’s at a friend’s house for a play date.”
“So you’re having your own?” His mother’s raised eyebrow set his teeth on edge. She’d never been this excited, or sarcastic, about his dates back when he lived at home. Not even with Lauren. Guess this was her idea of progress. In his opinion, it needed work, preferably back in her own apartment.
“We’re going for a walk,” he said.
“We are?” Rachel asked.
He turned toward her. “Please?” The last thing he needed was a witness. Especially when the witness was his mother.
Her brown-eyed gaze shifted between him and his mother. “That’s right, Harriet, a walk. It’s a gorgeous day.”
The sleet and cold were miserable, but he wanted to kiss her for going along with him. Not in front of his mother, though. And certainly not until he settled what happened between them.
“You two have fun,” she said, her voice filled with glee. He clenched his fist so tight, it was a miracle his hand didn’t shatter.
He waited for his mother to close the door, but she remained stationed in her entryway like a guard at Buckingham Palace, minus the stone face. Then he waited for Rachel to go inside and get her jacket. He’d never been a fan of waiting. He was less so now.
After the longest thirty seconds of his life, Rachel was bundled. She looked like the sexiest abominable snowman he’d ever seen. Once again, he wanted to kiss her, and once again, he’d have to wait.
“Bye, Mom,” he said as he descended the stairs.
“Bye, Harriet,” Rachel said right behind him.
“Bye, kids!” His face burned. It reminded him of the time he’d asked Lauren to the Matzah Ball when they were in high school. He was too old for this.
Outside, the cold wind made him catch his breath. Sleet slapped his face. There was no way they could walk in this. He turned toward her, shielding her from the brunt of the precipitation. It was his fault they were out in this weather anyway. “Want to grab a coffee?”
She nodded, and he seized her hand. Her fingers flexed like she was surprised. He kind of was too, but it belonged there. Besides, they needed to sprint to get out of the cold, and he didn’t want to lose her. Not before he fixed things and asked her his question. So he kept his grasp tight around her hand and let her get used to it.
Two blocks away was a coffee shop. It took one block before her fingers curled around his palm. Finally. Against his bare skin, her gloves were soft. They might be deep purple, or navy maybe. He didn’t want to take the time to look. Not now, when he was in a hurry. Not when any attention he paid to her hand might cause her to let go of his.
Share a holiday family tradition:
Since Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of the oil in the synagogue lasting eight days, when there had only been enough to last one day, traditionally, we are supposed to eat deep-fried foods during the holiday. Usually, that means jelly donuts. But my family doesn’t like jelly—not even on peanut butter sandwiches—and while we could, and do, eat regular donuts, instead, I make fried Oreos. My husband and I first ate them at a county fair one summer many years ago, and we loved them! I found a recipe online, and now every Hanukkah I make them during one of the nights of Hanukkah. They’ve become so popular, that our friends ask me to make them for their Hanukkah celebrations as well.
Why is your featured book perfect to get readers in the holiday mood:
It’s a quick read, which is perfect for the holiday season. It’s a Hanukkah book, which is one of the December holidays. And it takes place in New York City, which is always a great place to visit during Christmas and Hanukkah.
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Runs December 1 – 31.
Drawing will be held on January 3, 2020.
Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.
In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.
She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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