Books, Writing

Mistletoe Latte is Coming

Did you know that Mistletoe Latte is coming on November 1st…because I didn’t! I thought it was being released on November 30th, but you can get it an entire month early and I’m totally not panicking. NOT AT ALL!

My small-town, age-gap romance is included in the collection Wanted: Mistletoe. You can buy it and dozens of other books for only $0.99.

Excerpt from Mistletoe Latte

After handing a no-fat praline latte to the customer, Emma turned to find Skylar behind her instead of Nick. “Where’s—?”

“So you’re staying for a whole week?” the girl asked, looking more sly than Emma would have thought possible from a teenager.

“I’ll be helping out, yes,” Emma said, uncertain of what the arrangement would be.

With broom in hand, Nick swept by and looked at Skylar. “You’ll be working too.”

“Ah, come on… What do you need two of us for?” she whined as he looked to the growing line of customers.

He handed her the broom and caught Emma’s attention. “Most of these are locals, I can handle them. Why don’t you make sure the pouting princess here actually cleans up instead of shoving all the trash into a corner?”

“I did that once,” Skylar shouted at him. She locked both hands to the broom and began to push.

“Two months ago,” Nick said before catching the next customer’s eye. “Usual?”

“Without cream, trying to cut back.”

Emma slipped past to gather up the scattered wrappers and napkins. While slapping the broom’s head under the bench as loud as possible, the girl glared at her uncle, but he didn’t rise to the bait. When that didn’t work, she sighed just as Emma passed.
“What are you gonna make for dinner? The carrots were good, but broccoli’s blech. What about pizza?”

“I don’t know…”

“Pizza can be fancy and have veggies on it.”

“That’s true.” Emma tried to keep her hopes low. “I don’t think I’ll be with you for dinner.”

“Why? Is he making you work through dinner? Viva la revolution!”

“You’re not a French peasant, and I sure as hell ain’t a king,” Nick grumbled before greeting the next customer.

“It’s not that. Your uncle’s been very kind and…pleasant.” Emma’s voice drifted away as she watched him serve regular after regular by calling out their order before they could. How could he be so nice to someone he barely knew?

“By pleasant you mean…?” Skylar prompted, elbowing her in the side.

Blushing, Emma shook the thought away before Skylar pried worse from her. “I shouldn’t impose on you both. I’ll look for a rental place or a cheap room.”

“I wouldn’t if I were you. Anyone renting out a room in Lake Holly has bodies inside the walls and under the floors.”

“You’re kidding.”

Skylar gripped her shoulders and twisted Emma around. “Why do you think Sam keeps listening to the police scanner? It’s so he can run if they find the victims.”

Feeling the stares, Sam turned from his hobby and, rather than wave, shot finger guns at both of them. Emma jerked in her arms and Skylar smiled wider. “It’s best to stay with us. There’s no room to hide anything in that house.”

While she appreciated the sentiment, Emma knew better than to impose on her boss so personally. Maybe he knew of a room or…? Nick, with his square jaw gritted and lips in a sneer, caused her legs to wobble. Maybe it’d be better if she looked on her own.

“One mistletoe latte, please.”

The growl managed to rumble over the chatter of the patrons and Emma braced herself. Nick slapped a hand to the menu board, pointed to the sign, then asked the customer behind him for her order.

“I don’t know why he doesn’t just make the damn thing again. They aren’t gonna stop,” Skylar said.

Despite not even knowing him for a day, Emma doubted he was the type to give in easily. Stubborn as a mule would be the impolite way of saying it.

“Hey.” The girl passed over her broom and eyed up Emma. “Why don’t you ask him? I’m sure he’d listen to you.”

She scoffed at the idea. “He doesn’t know me from a hole in the wall.”

“Mmm-hmm,” was all the girl said. Skylar transformed from a fresh-faced teenager into a fifty-year-old pack-a-day gossip hound with just two syllables. So maybe Emma enjoyed the touch of his hand on hers, and she had leaned a bit closer when they’d washed dishes. But that didn’t mean Nick thought anything of her beyond an extra pair of hands for the breakfast rush.