Come home this Christmas to…
CHRISTMAS TOWN, TENNESSEE
Where everyday dreams come true!
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Ginny Baird brings you the start of a brand new holiday series…
THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE SHOP
(Christmas Town, Book 1)
Hannah Winchester is down on her luck and disillusioned with love, but her fortunes are about to change. When Hannah inherits a defunct bakery in East Tennessee, her first thought is to sell it and settle her substantial debt. Then the townsfolk welcome her warmly and she’s taken with the joyful spirit of the place, where stores employ holiday themes and residents have surnames like Christmas and Claus. After a handsome lawman comes to her aid dressed as Santa, Hannah learns he’s more than a hot guy in a red suit and shiny black boots. Sheriff Carter Livingston has joined in the cause of rejuvenating the town, and he’s encouraging her to do her part. Hannah’s great-grandmother, Lena, sold special holiday cookies that brought hope and renewal to the people of Christmas Town. Yet Hannah has plans elsewhere and isn’t looking to stay. Can she possibly reopen the shop known for kindling romance–without sacrificing her heart?
The last turn she took was supposed to lead straight to the town roundabout, the one that connected with South Main Street. Hannah had been told to watch for a flagpole, the courthouse, a library, and a big town sign. But all she saw ahead of her in these near-whiteout conditions was more snow! That’s when a flashing blue glimmer in her driver’s side mirror caught her eye.Thank goodness! Help has arrived. It had to be a cop figuring her for a distressed motorist. Hannah certainly couldn’t get any more distressed than this.
Hannah hadn’t journeyed to Tennessee for a leisurely visit. She’d inherited a business she knew absolutely nothing about, and she was determined to sell it at the first opportunity. She tried to imagine herself running a cookie shop, but just couldn’t. The only picture that came to mind involved huge plumes of black smoke curling out an open doorway. Where some people had a brown thumb in the garden, Hannah wore a charred oven mitt in the kitchen. She couldn’t even microwave popcorn without the bag catching fire.
Hannah spun in her seat to better view the approaching figure in dark clothing. No, wait. It’s a matching red tunic and slacks worn beneath an open field coat. The full silhouette of a man emerged from a snowy swirl and Hannah’s heart thumped. It wasn’t just any outfit; it was a Santa suit. Though she’d never seen Old Saint Nick looking quite like that. Rather than being short and stout, he was tall and built, with an obviously solid chest and a manly jaw thinly disguised by a fake white beard. A Santa hat sat slightly askew on his head, partially covering short brown hair. He strode to her driver’s side window in shiny black boots and tapped on the glass. Hannah goggled at the apparition, then lowered her window a crack.
Evergreen eyes peered in at her and Hannah caught her breath. She didn’t even know eyes came in that color. They reminded her of Christmas trees: the really fresh kind, not the plastic sort that normally stood on an end table in the corner of her apartment.
“Everything okay in there? I saw that you’d pulled over. No wonder, really.” Little lines crinkled around his eyes, lending them warmth beneath the wind’s chill. “Given the weather.” He tugged off his fake beard and stuffed it in his pocket, exposing a rugged face.
Whoa, he was a good-looking Santa. She judged him to be a few years older than her but not more than five. As if his age mattered! Hannah wasn’t in Tennessee to stay and she certainly wasn’t in the market for a man. She’d had enough boyfriends to last her, thank you very much. And every…single…one of them had let her down. Love. Just one more four-letter word that had been canned from her vocabulary.
Copyright © 2016 Ginny Baird