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.
Once upon a time, Good battled Evil and won, because the Good Guys always won.
Kris Kringle now looked at the world through new eyes. Sometimes the Bad Guy wore a plush red hat with a white puff-ball dangling from the end.
With Joost in tow Kris stumbled through St. Nicholas Square, his palsied hands brushing cat hair from his parka. Unprepared for what to do with the cat after it accomplished his dirty work, he’d given chase, fearful Erik would find it and connect it, not Brannoc, to the sleigh’s destruction. He’d been forced to end his search when Mary-Jane Giften’s calls could no longer be denied. Not for the first time did he want to throttle Holly for assigning him to Sponsor Hell right on the cusp of Eve Delivery. There would be coal in Mrs. Claus’s stocking this year, that was certain.
He’d destroyed Santa’s sleigh.
He—Santa Claus—had destroyed his sleigh!
Choking on manic laughter, Kris ducked into a brick-paved alley. A thrill skittered down his spine. Shocked that he could feel anything but horror, he thought if Sheryl Crow knew what he had done, she’d write a song. He noticed Sheryl perched on a trash can outside Poo Ping’s back door, strumming her guitar.
“Santa-man, he let me down.
Turned my child’s world upside down.
Destroyed his sleigh with jealous spite.
Now how he gonna deliver toys on Christmas night?”
“I did it to save my marriage,” he told Sheryl, but her order for Lo Mein was up and she went inside.
“Is there another way to make Brannoc pay?” he asked Joost. “Is it too late to un-do what I’ve done?” Joost shrugged. “I could go back. Clean up the hair and catnip. I could discover—” He made finger quotes. “—the sleigh. Blame the Mystery Saboteur. The sleigh would be added to the list of torched trees and jumbled doll parts. No one would ever suspect that I…
“Eve Delivery is fifty-two hours off. The elves can repair Santa’s sleigh. Elfin magick, yah. Brannoc works wonders with leather. I could—” A fresh wave of penny-lemon saturated his tongue. “I could choke Brannoc for putting a fairy-whammy on Holly. It’s not her fault. At her age, the old girl can’t help herself. She claims Brannoc has no control over his sex appeal. Moose pucky. That brazen tomcat knew what he was doing. And I know what I have to do. Destroy him!”
Empowered with self-righteousness, Kris marched down the alley. “I did what my ancestors would have done. I sacrificed Santa’s sleigh to stop Mrs. Claus from being kidnapped. The evidence I planted will implicate Brannoc and rip the blinders off Polartown. With Erik focused on Brannoc for destroying the sleigh, it’ll be easy to link him to the ripped stockings, the O-O-G candles…the poisoned oats. He’ll be banished. Or executed.”
Alarm plastered Kris against the wall. Brannoc had not poisoned the reindeer. Townies passing the alley glanced at him. He smiled and waved. He felt like throwing up. Had to move, look innocent. He would hide in his office until his appointment with Mary-Jane Giften.
Ultraviolet E-Light cast a weird psychedelic hue over St. Nicholas Square. Kris wondered if the Elfin Light Committee was experimenting with a new recipe. Comprised of frustrated artists, the ELC never achieved satisfaction with their work, always tweaking dawn or pinching dusk to manufacture an impossibly natural atmosphere.
He noted the time. Noon had long passed. On cue his stomach rumbled. His hunger changed his mind about hiding in his office. Comfort and Joy’s Grille served a late lunch, but getting there required crossing the crowded Square. Icy sweat trickled down his spine. He braced a hand against Ping’s wall and locked his knees to keep his legs from melting out from under him. Was agoraphobia a by-product of guilt? Would his sudden paranoia over open spaces cramp his style during Eve Delivery?
Will I slide down a chimney and want to stay there?
He put one leaden foot in front of the other. Each breath comprised of a sharp, shallow gasp, he forced himself to act normal, make eye-contact, smile and wave. When no one smiled or waved back, he stuck out his tongue.
Though warm enough to ditch his coat, Kris felt naked. Exposed. Guilt clung to him like goat stink. He didn’t wear it well. He preferred the blanket of child-like innocence, a virtue he would never have again. Ever. Panic put a chokehold on his insanity.
What have I done?
~ * ~
Holly Kringle has a very full plate. She is Highest Mayor of Polartown and President of Kringle Enterprises–the company that puts the ‘Merry’ in Christmas and the ‘Happy’ in Holidays. She is also the mother of teenagers and wife to Kris Kringle–the World’s Biggest Kid. When the reindeer are poisoned three days before Eve Launch, Holly adds amateur detective to her resume. With just about everyone in Polartown under suspicion, she doesn’t have time to dwell on employee problems, personal family issues, her 50th birthday, or investigate her husband’s highly suspicious behavior. If Dancer dies, her soulmate Dasher won’t want to live without her. And like a pod of whales beaching on the shore, the remaining Famous Eight will surely follow.
10 KRINGLE chapters will post Monday through Thursday until November 16th. Naturally there is my hope that you will be caught up in the story to want to buy the book, either paperback or ebook, and to make it so much more enticing to you, I’ve dropped the prices. Plus every penny of profit will benefit cats from a local colony. All of my fur babies, except for Herman, came from that colony. While I cannot afford to adopt another cat — when I took in Candy, Elly and Chevy over the past 12 months with Els and Chev being FIV+, that brought the Wonderpurr Gang up to 13 — I would never turn away a hungry animal who wanders into my yard, especially in winter.
Hope that sounds enticing to you Christmas novel readers. And if it does, I have created three ways for you to purchase KRINGLE, if you so desire.
KINDLE eBooks – If you enjoy ebooks, KRINGLE is available on Kindle for $3.99 with a generous royalty profit of $2.73 for the kitties.
Amazon.com – You can purchase the paperback for $7.95 where the royalty is .54 (grrr) and shipping is about $4.59.
CREATESPACE – I’ve set up a Createspace store specifically for KRINGLE readers. There the book is priced at $7.95 with a royalty of $2.13 and standard shipping is about $3.59.
I hope you enjoy the ten free chapters. And if you do, please tell your friends. Better yet…buy a book, either as a gift for yourself, or for someone on your gift list who enjoys campy, funny, holiday mysteries.
Love to you all!
Kim, Herman, Dori
and the Wonderpurr Gang