Kringle – Gift to Readers

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Kringle Chapter 8 Part 2
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Kringle Chapter 8 Part 1
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Kringle Chapter 7 Part 4
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Kringle Chapter 7 Part 3
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Kringle Chapter 7 Part 2
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Kringle Chapter 7 Part 1
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Kringle Chapter 6 Part 4
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Kringle Chapter 6 Part 3
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Kringle Chapter 6 Part 2
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Kringle Chapter 6 Part 1

Kringle Chapter 8 Part 2

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.

~*~

Hauling a triple-tiered coffee caddy, I hurried through Kringle Enterprises’ colossal atrium with its hundred-foot glass walls and ceiling. Amid potted evergreens and thousands of poinsettias, this year’s Adornment Committee exhibited dioramas of Hispanic Christmas celebrations. I would have liked to admire their efforts, but the doll workers were waiting.

“And you’re okay with your mother’s malarkey?” Despite his ill health, Dad was in fine voice this morning. Uncaring how far his outrage traveled. He shouted, “I knew you were behind her divorce nonsense.” That’s the gist of his character. If you disagree with him, you’re at fault.

I entered the hall of elevators, gleaming silver and gold. “Call me Switzerland. I’m staying neutral.” The doors opened to a crowded carriage. They squeezed to make room for me.

“Switzerland!” With no room for him, Dad hollered, “How can you stay neutral when your mother has destroyed our family? She’s fuc—” The doors shut.

“Sorry ’bout that,” I told my employees. “Dad’s having a bad day.”

“That’s understandable,” said Martee-Kay, “since your mom’s having a great day.”

I looked at my Wreath Supervisor. “She is?”

They all chorused, “Ohhh yahhh.”

It had been fifty minutes since I’d left Mom with red lipstick, wolf coat and a free latte. How great a day could she be having? Before I could get details, the doors opened. Read More

Kringle Chapter 8 Part 1

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.

~*~

Perched atop Petra Lundegaard’s desk in Elfin Resources, Joost drummed an old-school rap pattern. Each beat increased the tension knotting every fiber in Kris’s being. He had come to think of Joost as Scrooge thought of Marley’s ghost: ‘an undigested bit of beef, blot of mustard, crumb of cheese, or fragment of an underdone potato.’ Nauseated by the penny-lemon coating his tongue, Kris shouted, “I’m Santa Claus, dammit. I know things. He’s guilty. Off with his head!”

Petra laughed. “Your accusation is idiotic. You chose Brannoc to replace Scotchie when he retires.”

Kris struggled to appear sane. “I haven’t made my final decision.”

She produced Brannoc’s promotion form with Kris’s signature. “I can’t imagine why you’re out to ruin him, unless it has to do with Candy’s engagement.” Holly hired Petra because she wasn’t besotted by the Kringle legend. He knew the moment he left, she would call his wife.

“Distract her with small talk,” Joost suggested.

Good idea. “I passed the Baked Goods department on my way here. Smells bad.”

Petra shrugged. “Holly’s Ban has Valda in a snit. The sugar substitutes aren’t to her liking.”

“I can understand why. The lemon is bad.”

“How do you know?”

“Val left a sugarless figgy pudding on my desk.”

Petra checked her day planner. “I didn’t receive notice you’re back on OTT.”

“It’s sugarless.” He saw Joost slice a finger across his throat. Read More

Kringle Chapter 7 Part 4

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.

~*~

I’d had a restless night with dreams of dying reindeer, divorcing parents and surly Santa’s, so to savor my unexpected work break I walked to the coffeehouse to enjoy Polartown’s streets and homes decorated like Victorian Christmas cards. Quaint boutiques, gaslight lamps and horse-drawn sleighs rimmed St. Nicholas Square, alight with trillions of twinkle lights. The seventy-five foot Colorado spruce, however, remained dark in preparation of the tree lighting ceremony on Christmas Eve. Pausing beside two street vendors to appreciate the aromas of roasting chestnuts and grilled brats permeating the air, I smiled at the brat vendor, but he scowled and pointed to where ketchup and sweet pickles were slashed from his condiments sign. My Sugar Ban.

Now aware of every glare, bump, rude gesture and comment, I felt especially bad when a children’s street choir, singing “Away in the Manager,” stuck out their tongues as I passed.

In the Square, Flurry Michaels spoke to WGRM’s camera. “There’s something scary-bad going on with Polartown.” I paused with a dozen others. “Our normal high this time of year is minus fifteen. Currently, Polartown registers—” Her expression twisted with fright. “Minus nine!”

The crowd wheezed. I rolled my eyes. Flurry has a severe weather phobia. Ice storms, tornadoes, thunder, lightning—rain—triggers her alarm.

As I approached the Café PolarCap’s twelve-foot-high red doors, the empty showcase window, habitually filled with a scenic wonderland of baked goods, attested to the seriousness of my Sugar Ban. I joined the long line, typical for the PolarCap. Hearty PolarTownies don’t mind queuing up for twenty minutes in the cold. Sometimes it takes that long to decide what to order. However, without jeweled tarts, Artisan pastries and brownie towers iced with Dutch chocolate to occupy my attention, within minutes I fought impatience. I would also have to be deaf not to hear the comments:

“For breakfast I craved oatmeal with brown sugar before I remembered I’d die if I ate a bowl. Plus, I’d be executed for eating sugar.” Read More

Kringle Chapter 7 Part 3

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.

~*~

The moment he hit the workshop floor the party disappeared. Instead, the table was filled with doll parts. “How’zit goin’?” he asked, as though he felt sane.

“The dolls were tampered with,” Holly told him. “Lucy’s putty nose is attached to Marilyn’s face.” She used a Jane doll with Obama biceps to gesture to Brannoc peeling Marilyn’s dress from Johnny Depp. “The Carrie body has Harry Potter’s head. Jennifer has Lennon’s glasses.” Lucy, Kris noted, looked like a pirate.

Brannoc nodded for Holly to release his hair. It fell in a feral cloak around his shoulders, snagging the glue-covered Depp doll, along with her bazillion shirt buttons. While she worked them free, Brannoc said, “Last night, the bins were in order. What happened?” Read More

Kringle Chapter 7 Part 2

I am posting ten free chapters from my novel, KRINGLE through November 16th to ease you into the holidays. To catch up on the story I’ve added the Links to the end of this post.

~*~

“You don’t look so good.” Perched on Dova’s shoulder was an apple-red monkey with purple-grape eyes. Kris frowned. She should not have brought Joost to work. His monkey farts were stinking up the joint. “Want to lie down?” she asked.

“I’m fine. Uh, Erik, this morning Sukka discovered…” An odd tap underscored his words. “Discovered the stockings were destroyed with holes. Considering the reindeer oats have been poisoned, the stock—” The tapping had rhythm. He looked at Joost, drumming Dova’s head with her sparkly red pencils. “Stop it.”

Dova blinked. “What’d I do?”

“Not you.” He pointed at Joost. “Him.”

Dova and Joost turned to look behind them. “Him who?”

“Could you take dictation the regular way? I can’t think with him drumming.”

“What drumming?”

“Are you deaf?” Read More

Kringle Chapter 7 Part 1

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.

~*~

“You’re ruining my life, Daddy. You don’t love me anymore.”

With Candy’s lament ringing in his ears, Kris returned to the Reindeer Complex where nothing had changed. He wanted to wait, but Robinson reminded him the sentient creatures sensed when he was near. His anxiety could keep them from the REM sleep required for healing.

Again of no use, Kris entered his office in a fine steam to see his Production Manager and Stockings Supervisor staring at a figgy pudding on his desk. A strong sweet stench reached his sugar-sensitive nose.

“Holes,” Sukka shrieked. “Poked into every stocking scheduled for delivery.” She clutched a ruined sample.

Scotchie looked to have aged a century overnight. “Who would do such a thing, Cap’n? I was up half the night worrying about my reindeer. Now this.”

“Do we have a disgruntled worker?” Kris asked. “The elves were happy when the Board voted to use the Fountain Funds as a Merry Makers Merit Award. We gave bonuses. We bought a cappuccino machine after complaints about long lines at Café PolarCap. What am I missing?”

Scotchie’s eyes flashed. “Until this mystery is solved, I’m putting off retirement.”

“No. You’ll retire as scheduled. I’ll call Erik Rayner.”

“You think I’m too feeble with my gimpy leg?” Scotchie raised his cane, making Kris brace for possible assault. “I’m not yet packed off to the home for the no longer needed, Cap’n. You keep Rayner out of my workshops.” Read More

Kringle Chapter 6 Part 4

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.

~*~

I debated whether to follow. Kris had been gone when I awoke that morning, but returned just as we sat down to eat. My decision to remove most of his Eve route weighed on my mind, but I needed to focus on whatever drama the day had in store for me. Besides, he said I was no longer fun. Was it true? Had I become so entrenched in my job—jobs!—the fun part of me had died?

Note to self: Have fun. Be fun. But after the reindeer had recovered.

I looked at Brannoc, abandoned by Candy. Now there was someone known for fun. His exotic gorgeousness lightened my mood. “Join us,” I invited. I had concerns about Candy’s marriage, but they had nothing to do with his alleged reputation.

Cookie poured Brannoc juice. Cooper offered peanut-buttered toast. Edda declared he was “Too much skin and bones. I cook you oatmeal,” and scampered to the stove.

“Your volcano lessons,” Brannoc said to Cooper, “how’d they go?”

I’d been caught in the middle since Dad recruited Coop. I wanted to support my son, but didn’t want to betray Kris. Instead of answering, Cooper said to Mom, “Are you divorcing Grands because he ignores doctor’s orders, or because he’s a show off?”

“Both!” Her eyes glittered. “Tell me, what did Monsieur Flaunt-and-Flash do yesterday?”

“He got carried away with the volume of lava flow and almost took out Oahu’s northern half.” Shrieking, I half-crawled over the table to check his wounds. He fought me off. “I’m not hurt. Grands diverted disaster. Claimed he had deliberately created too much volcanic pressure to see if I realized the consequences of his actions.” Read More

Kringle Chapter 6 Part 3

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.

~*~

“Dad, pass the peanut butter.”

Kris snapped out of his reverie to pass the jar. Across the table Holly dug joylessly into her grapefruit. Beside her, LaRoux sprinkled a yellow packet into her bowl. She had spent the night in their guest room, and probably would move in. His patience would be tested with her underfoot, but with Kingston out of the house, he would keep all comments about his ditsy mother-in-law behind locked lips.

Meanwhile, Cooper slathered enough peanut butter on his toast to mortar a wall strong enough to restrain any tsunami Father Nature might concoct. Kris wanted to ask his son about his day with Grandpa and the volcanoes, but the breakfast table vibe seemed fragile. Better to save interrogation for later.

He noticed Cookie writing in her day-planner. Among his thoughts last night had been his insensitivity when she offered to be his Santa heir. He should have considered it, mulled it over. Thanked her. Instead, he’d stomped on her heart like a barbarian.

Miss Joyous Noël was conspicuously absent. Read More

Kringle Chapter 6 Part 2

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.

~*~

Kris poured them coffee. “Moore never met them, but he did meet my great-great grandfather, who influenced the poem. As you know, Dasher is my sleigh lead. Commander of the Famous Eight and the Six-In-Training.”

“I had no idea back-up reindeer existed.”

“We’ve never had to use them. The SIT’s, Nutmeg, Custard, Clover, Bonbon, Delores and Nancy are trained, but often do personal appearances in place of the Famous Eight. Dasher is…well, dashing! Handsome with velvety eyes, he moves with a grace that belies his awesome size. As with any leader he is on duty every waking minute. Dasher’s soul mate is Dancer, a petite sweetheart with a warm laugh who loves to frolic in the playground to Madonna’s Greatest Hits. She has a bond with Scotchie that Dasher envies, though he’s too secure to put the kibosh on their relationship. Even so, Dancer would never end her friendship with Scotchie.”

Robinson nodded. “I’ve heard Dancer is no shrinking violet.”

“Where Dancer is effervescent, her twin is cantankerous. Prancer isn’t a bad guy, just wired differently. When a warm breeze drifts over Grimm County, he’s funny and charming. Why his mood swings are dictated by climate is anyone’s guess. Winter is when he regurgitates his familiar gripe over Dasher being sleigh lead. Prancer thinks the guys should take turns.” Read More

Kringle Chapter 6 Part 1

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.

~*~

December 22nd ~ 60:00 hours to Eve Launch

Through sour eyes Kris hunched over a bowl of what looked like what a woodchuck might chuck-up if a woodchuck ate oatmeal. No raisins, nuts, honey, brown sugar or gumdrops to sweeten the vile mush. Despite his distaste for oatmeal, he tried to choke down a bowl twice a week to stay regular. When he was regular, he was a better Santa. Cheerful, able to perform his job. But this stuff… Holly had offered him a banana, but he’d declined. She had him by the Pfeffernüsse with her divorce threat, though after tasting her oatmeal, he wondered if twenty years wasn’t enough and it was time to call it quits.

Across the table his wife struggled to unravel her hair from one of the dozen buttons rippling her plaid blouse. When the strands refused to unwind, she unbuttoned until it released. The glimpse of her cleavage reminded him of their passionate dance the night before. Yes! Of course. Holly was worth any sacrifice. Though devastated by her decision to remove all but North America from his Eve schedule, her tears had dissolved much of his resentment. He would make her happy, even if it meant eating the offal she called oatmeal. Read More

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