Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. Readers have the chance to jump from one author to another who share hooks from their current WIP (work in progress) or any previously published book.
For this week’s edition of Book Hooks, and because American Thanksgiving is on its way, here is a teaser from my Thanksgiving short story Thanks to You, story #1 in my Thanksgiving series.
She’s from the boundary waters of Northwestern Ontario, and he’s from a place his people call Waiekwakitchigami in northern Minnesota. Neither expects to meet, much less spend Thanksgiving together.
Desperate for a Minneapolis getaway to prove she can break out of her by-the-numbers and by-the-book, disciplined life, divorcée Paulina Natawance doesn’t expect to have her truck break down outside the casino in Cloquet where she’s had lunch. Nor does she expect to encounter a handsome man with long, flowing black hair, ebony eyes, and a smile that could melt the ice cream she’s holding.
While finishing up his shift at the Big Bear Casino, widower Tripp Beargrease isn’t looking forward to going home to celebrate Thanksgiving alone…again. But when he encounters a stunning Anishinaabe-kwe with legs to her neck, a tiny waist, and a pink, wet tongue licking an ice cream cone standing helpless at her dead vehicle, he’s more than willing to paddle his canoe to her rescue like a true warrior should.
With the garage closed for the holiday and the hotels booked because of Thanksgiving, Tripp generously offers his dinner table for Paulina to dine at, and his spare bedroom for her to sleep in. And maybe, just maybe this proper woman can repair his broken heart. But her truck is ready the next day, and Paulina has a big decision to make—return to the boring, predictable life she’s created for herself, or throw away her day planner and take a huge gamble on Tripp.
Genre(s): Multicultural, contemporary romance, adult.
Heat Rating: Level 3
Publication Date: November 8, 2019
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Before Tripp could stop himself, the offer spilled from his big mouth that he should keep shut. “Don’t take this the wrong way, okay? But you’re welcome to stay at my place.”
He gave himself a good fictious whack across the jaw.
Paulina tilted her head, her long nail resting on her mouth, once again contemplating. No doubt juggling the pros and cons like a true number-cruncher.
“I mean…I mean…err…you don’t know me. Hey, I’m not a serial killer. Ask around the casino. Everyone knows me. I grew up here.” He raised his arms as if Paulina had pulled out a gun and told him to stick ’em up. “My wife, she passed away, she’d say the same thing. She’d tell me, Tripp, you gotta help her. We got two spare bedrooms. Let her stay.”
Paulina’s eyes widened. “I’m sorry, sorry to hear you lost your wife.”
The saliva drained from Tripp’s throat, and for once his heart didn’t fall to his stomach. The I’m sorry words and sympathetic gaze, something that had driven him batshit crazy after Michelle had died, failed to fire his blood in annoyance.
“It’s okay. You didn’t know.” He wet his mouth.
Paulina still wasn’t exploding about her predicament, and she seemed more concerned about his loss than her dilemma.
“Or if…if…if you want, I can drive you to Duluth to find a hotel…” He ought to call his aunt so she could stitch his stuttering trap shut with her sewing machine.
“It’s just that…” Damn, Paulina kept peering at him. Now he knew how a frog felt being dissected under a microscope. “I have a chicken in the roaster. Y’know? Nothing fancy. Everyone’s going to my cousin’s place for the big meal, but I…well, uh, I worked, so I was gonna have some supper and crash. Err…I should shut up, hey?”
Paulina continued to study him with an expression Tripp couldn’t quite fathom. “Food sounds good.”
“Food?” Trying to swallow was impossible.
“Sure. I’ve never celebrated American Thanksgiving before. I planned on ordering up a sandwich for room service once I reached Minneapolis.”
“Then food it is. I’ll take you to my truck.”