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THE 13TH GIFT OF CHRISTMAS
A Novel of Faith & Magic
BY LINDA MOONEY
The greatest joy is giving joy to others.
Being the daughter of THE big man in red, Nicolette knows the power of faith and magic. The power of believing. But according to her father, when that faith is lost, there’s no hope left. She doesn’t believe that, though.
When Nika encounters a soul so dark and depressed it breaks her heart, she’s determined to fill him with Christmas cheer once again. What she didn’t expect was to fall for the human along the way.
Terry Janssen’s life has been a lonely struggle. Raising his sick sister alone and working two jobs to pay the bills, the holiday season just isn’t looking too bright for him. But a chance meeting with a beautiful soul has helped left his spirits. There’s just something about her…
Is Nika part of the Christmas magic, or a Christmas miracle?
Warning! Contains peppermint hot chocolate, Mollie Dollies, a rich reward, eighty-six thousand four hundred, a unique ringtone, and a priceless donation that unites two families with endless joy.
NOTE: This is a sweet romance, but readers can get the love/consummation scene for free by clicking the link on my website. This scene is NOT included in the print edition.
That afternoon, Terry took the subway to the hospital to visit his sister. She was asleep when he entered the semi-private room. The TV mounted on the wall was on and tuned to some game show, thankfully muted.
He sat in one of the chairs by the wall and was making himself comfortable to catch a few winks himself until she awoke, when a nurse came into the room to check on her. The activity awoke her, and she blinked sleepily at him.
“Hi. How long have you been there?”
“About thirty seconds. How are you feeling?”
“Tired.” Perri never hid anything from him. Not even on her worst days.
He eyed the gauntness. The dark circles under her eyes. “Any pain?”
“Not at the moment.”
The nurse marked her stats on the small portable computer she’d wheeled in on a stand. Without missing a beat, she refilled his sister’s water jug and set it on the bedside table, then exited the room to let them have some privacy.
Terry pointed to the empty bed beside her. “What happened to your roommate?”
“He got to go home.” There was an unmistakable quiver in her voice, which Terry understood. She wished she could go home, as well, but it was not going to be. They both knew that, unless a suitable donor could be found, Perri would spend the rest of her days here inside this hospital. The last thing he wanted was for this visit to be tinged with sadness. There was enough of that already.
“Hey, you are not going to believe what happened to me yesterday.”
“I got to work an extra shift at Shelsby’s this morning. And when I got home, I discovered a Christmas tree sitting in my living room.”
Perri’s eyes widened. “A Christmas tree? You bought a Christmas tree?”
“No, no. I didn’t buy it. Someone else did, and had it delivered to the apartment.”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. That’s the thing. There was this envelope sitting on the branches, with my name written on the outside. Inside was a note. Or rather, it was the first line of a Christmas song.”
“The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
Perri adjusted the pillow behind her head. “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree. Except, in this case, it was a Christmas tree.”
Terry laughed. “It has a partridge, or what I think is supposed to be a partridge, sitting on the top of it.”
“And there was no name on the card? Nothing to let you know who gave it to you?”
“To us, Sis. Not just to me. To us,” he emphasized.
The young woman rolled her eyes. “Yeah, right. Like I’ve got a ‘true love’ who’s going to give me a tree for Christmas. Come on, Ter. ‘Fess up. Have you got a girlfriend on the side you’re not telling me about?”
This playful banter felt good. It was almost as if time and her illness hadn’t stripped away that relationship between them. Again, Terry laughed. “Geez, Per. When do I have the time?”
“Hey, I don’t have any way of keeping tabs on you once you leave here.” A puzzled expression crossed her face. “You know, that’s so odd.”
“Tell me about it.”
“No. I mean, the Twelve Days of Christmas, according to custom, is supposed to start on the day after Christmas, the twenty-sixth, and end on January sixth, the Epiphany. Theday the three wise men arrived at the manger to give Jesus their gifts.” He saw her counting on her fingers. “Hmm.”
“Today’s the fourteenth, right?”
“If you count today as Day One, the twelfth day falls on Christmas Day. Odd.” Perri took a sip of her water. “I wonder what your true love will bring tomorrow? What’s the second day? Two turtle doves? Gee, what if you get home and find two pigeons from the park shitting all over the place?”
Her wry comment made them both laugh aloud. It was a rare moment Terry knew he’d cherish forever. He was about to remark on her comment when the nurse re-entered the room.
“I hate to interrupt, but I need to wheel Miss Janssen downstairs for her treatment.”
Terry stood and went over to give his sister a quick kiss. “Have fun, Per.”
“Oh, yeah. Loads. Thanks for coming by. Let me know what your true love gives you tomorrow.”
Linda loves to write sweet and sensuous romance with a fantasy, paranormal, or science fiction flair. As the author of over 100 books, her technique is often described as being as visual as a motion picture or graphic novel.
She’s a wife, mother, grandmother, and retired Kindergarten and music teacher who lives in a small south Texas town near the Gulf coast, where she delves into other worlds filled with daring exploits, adventure, and intense love.
She’s had numerous best sellers, including 10 consecutive #1s. Also included in her achievements, she’s been named Author of the Year, and her book Lord of Thunder is an Epic Ebook “Eppie” Award Winner for Best Erotic Sci-Fi Romance.
In addition, Linda also writes naughty humorous romances under the name of Carolyn Gregg, horror under the pseudonym of Gail Smith, and elementary teacher workbooks as L. G. Mooney.
For more information about her books, upcoming and new releases, contests, and giveaways, and to sign up for her newsletter, please visit her website:
Links to Linda’s website, blog, books, etc.
**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Linda will give away one ebook copy of THE 13TH GIFT OF CHRISTMAS to one lucky reader and an ebook copy of one of her other books (winner’s choice) to a second lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog.
Thanks, Linda, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!