With Christmas fast approaching, I thought why not ease you all into the spirit of the holiday with ten chapters from my novel, KRINGLE. Yes! Ten free chapters for you to enjoy running Monday through Thursday until November 16th. Hope you enjoy!
To catch up on the story I’ve added the Links to the end of this post.
High atop Kringle Enterprises—the company that puts the ‘Merry’ in Christmas, the ‘Happy’ in Holidays—Bruna Tannenbaum stood in the presidential tower boardroom before the Ornamentation committee, defiant to their disinterest. “Tradition is der backbone of our industry, but too many of our traditions haff been cast aside in der name of progress.”
This morning she had tortured her lavender hair into a pompadour. Her green jacket had leg-of-mutton sleeves with padded shoulders, and her purple skirt accommodated a bustle. I think of Bruna’s fashion-sense as Late Victorian Power Dressing.
“First vee allow electric fairy lights to replace tree candles. Next, fake trees replace live.” Her bird-like eyes peered down her hawkish nose. “But vot I cannot accept is plastic to replace silver in der tinsel.”
I glanced at my watch. Bruna had clocked twenty-one minutes on the tinsel topic and showed no sign of stopping. I sympathized with her desire to use real, wafer-thin silver, but the tarnish factor is too high, plus the lead is lethal to children and pets. Regardless, she brings up the issue every year. Bruna lives in the past where toxins had yet to become a big deal. My supervisor’s anesthetized expressions urged me to interrupt her. Around the table, amid cookies and cocoa mugs, I’d spotted Bruna Bingo cards. As often as she’d used tinsel, tradition, plastic and progress, someone would cry ‘Brunie Bingo’ at any moment.
Fleur held a potpourri basket filled with such intense aromas, I wanted to throw up. Berries from Martee-Kay’s pepperberry wreath had loosened with her hummingbird-like impatience and rolled across the table to Iluminada, whose broad, Chippewa features had frozen over her candles spelling J-O-Y in six languages. Poised to discuss stockings, Sukka crocheted her flaxen hair in with the yarn.
Noak Lundegaard stood beside a life-sized topiary of Dancer, arms crossed, expression crosser. Noak could pass for Kris’s brother instead of his best friend. As he had just completed his third stint in rehab, Noak stood to avoid the temptation of baked goods strewn across the table.
Bruna droned on. “Real tinsel is magnificent with der silver and pewter, its drape perfect across each branch. At one time every home used tinsel, but no longer. Vhy? Vhy? Can you tell me vhy?”
“I’ll tell you vhy.” Noak crisscrossed his arms. “Pets eat the stuff. It’s pretty spendy to unwind it from a cat’s tonsils, you know?” Read More