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 took the sleigh back to my office. Kris’s distress had to be ten times mine. Santa’s reindeer could die on his watch. My every step delayed by citizens begging for news, I was thankful to find no one in my office. As my pants were destroyed by Valda’s mousse, I changed into spare jeans kept for such emergencies.
On my desk I found six chocolate Madeleine’s on a white plate with OTT scripted on the rim. With my waistband a wee bit snug, I wished for a nanosecond I’d not fired Kris as Val’s Official Taste Tester. I nibbled one cookie, checked ‘Excellent’ on the form, and gave the rest to my secretary, Nerissa.
With the reindeer under Thorne’s arrogant but expert care, I forced my attention to Noak Lundegaard’s latest fall off the sugar-wagon. His return to rehab would require a substitute in Topiaries. Whoever I moved to Topiaries would need a sub in their job, and so on. Also, the vacant chairs at this morning’s meeting indicated supervisors were fed up. I had to address Bruna’s tinsel rants.
My job isn’t 9 to 5. It’s 24/7. Aware my workday would not end until Christmas Day, I ignored a four-inch stack of phone messages to step onto my terrace, hoping the chill would clear my mind.
Winter is the darkest time of year within our Sphere. You’re familiar with the glass terrarium biome, Biosphere 2? That’s similar to our snow globe-like atmosphere, except ours is living and breathing. Transparent on the inside, invisible from the outside. Above me wispy, noctilucent clouds hovered a little more than five miles above Earth. The night-shining clouds are a by-product of the Sphere, created to shield Santa, the reindeer, elves and workshops from discovery. Kids we would welcome, parents not so much. I’ve seen what Kris goes through when he makes personal appearances and think the Santa myth, invented by his great-great grandfather, is a stroke of genius.
I have watched parents who Believe! shove children aside to be near Santa.
With no natural sunlight or twilight since late October, darkness would last until March if not for artificial elfin light—E-Light—created by the Elfin Light Committee to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder. E-Light is crucial to keep spirits high and business running at a premium. Imagine Santa Claus with such a severe case of the blues, he cannot give more than one ‘Ho!’
I forced my attention to the spectacular view. Nestled at the bottom of the Sulka Sika Mountains, Grimm County is located on a ‘mitten-esque’ peninsula concealed within sixty thousand acres of majestic, magickal, woodland. Pristine beaches and crystal cold waters sculpt the western shore where Sinterklaas Harbor separates Polartown from Ever Autumn, my home town, to the south. Fullmåne and Feverden lay northeast and southeast respectively, their borders defined not only by our Sphere, but also by Grimm Forest, where fairy tales and fantasy shun the 21st Century.
I guess by now you’re thinking, Santa doesn’t live at the North Pole? Surprise! The idea behind the North Pole was a publicity rumor started over two hundred years ago by an ambitious but sleazy real estate developer, anxious to dump worthless property when his plan for an arctic snow domed-style master-planned community called Latitude 90 didn’t pan out. He was way ahead of his time.
Polartown is laid out in the six-arm stellar dendrite, or “tree-like” symmetry of a snowflake. Each dendritic branch has smaller sidebranches. Kringle Enterprises dominates Vier, or branch four. The Kringle home overlooks the harbor off Zes, branch six. The residential streets off the sidebranches are narrow and crooked, which makes me wonder how much nog the cartographers had drunk as we’re habitually covered with snow and ice. From the ground it has a chaotic tangle feel, but I’m told it’s pretty from the air. Not that I’d know. Kris has never taken me up to see it.
Yep, I’ve never ridden in the sleigh. I’m Mrs. Santa-freakin-Claus and I’ve never gone joyriding. Kris says tradition dictates only Santa drives the sleigh, and Kris is traditional to the core. It also goes without saying our town prohibits transportation other than the four-legged kind since auto exhaust would cloud our Sphere, not to mention asphyxiate us.
Our architecture is a mix of Cotswold cottages with thatched roofs, the cylindrical corners of Old World Dutch and Danish half-timbered with colorful wood-shingles and cross-beamed bindingsvaerk. We have two lighthouses and a two hundred year-old windmill. Kerstmis Hall is our town hall, located between Een and Twee branches on St. Nicholas Square. In addition to serving as the seat for our town government, Kerstmis Hall contains the Klokkentoren, a clock tower that counts down to Eve Launch. With a heavy heart I noted we had approximately seventy-eight hours left.
~ * ~
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