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.”
“Are you deaf?”
Dova held the elfPad to her ear. “Maybe it’s the air conditioner.”
“It’s minus twelve! Where was I?”
She checked her notes. “Considering the reindeer oats have been poisoned…”
“The stockings may be linked. Please investigate, but do not alert Scotchie.”
“I feel funny.” Sweat dotted Dova’s face. Joost, he noticed, now held a snare and launched into a classic 80’s gated drum pattern.
Kris covered his ears. “That drumming!”
“I don’t hear it.”
He rubbed his dry eyes. Could the monkey be a figment of his imagination? His apple-red body might be plausible in Nature, but the weird grape eyes were not. He peered between his fingers. Joost grinned, and waved his monkey fingers.
“You okay?” Dova asked.
Kris cleared his sore throat. “Uh, Erik, we may have a disgruntled employee problem. Check with Elfin Resources to identify possible grievances.” Nausea rolled through him. “I feel funny, too.”
“That pudding has a weird copper-lemon taste,” Dova said.
“Yah, like a penny.” He clutched his head. “And that drumming is driving me crazy.” He punched the air. “That’s it! He’s drumming a Fine Young Cannibals song.”
“You’re hearing things.” Dova’s feverish complexion made her lipstick appear clownish. It didn’t take much for him to picture her with a big red nose and a flower pot hat.
“The lemon might be rancid.” He struggled past his sore throat to finish dictation. “Print it,” he finally rasped. “I’ll sign after I toddle on back from toddling on over to the Celebrity Doll workshop.”
Dova abruptly bent over. “I think I’m gonna hurl.” Joost jumped to Kris’s desk as she bolted for the door.
Gotta be the lemon, Kris thought. His office did an abrupt cartwheel and threw him to the floor. Around him the walls rippled, the ceiling breathed. Nausea, dizziness, rabbit-fast heartbeat. Havelock said those symptoms indicated heart problems. No! Not with Christmas fifty-seven hours away.
Fresh air would help. With Joost on his back, Kris crawled outside into his courtyard. There he paused with newfound appreciation. The cold air looked opaque and chaotic and pleasant and tasteful, all at the same time. The snow never looked whiter. Beyond the Sphere, the sky was starry even in E-Light. Evergreens were multifaceted sculptures filled with knowledge. If only he could speak Nature. He would ask Father Blowhard for translation. Meanwhile, Polartown felt electric. Immeasurable. And groovy!
Minutes later—tongue tingling, heart throbbing, head spinning—Joost drumming like Mötley Crüe’s Tommy Lee—Kris climbed off the hundredth step onto the East Wing’s observation deck, and flopped against the rail. Maybe Dr. Havelock wasn’t blowing smoke up his chimney when he’d proposed a diet and exercise program. Thirty feet below, Kris saw the Celebrity Doll workshop had been transformed into a lavish dinner party. He scowled. Why hadn’t he been invited?
At the table sat Johnny Depp dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow, Michelle Obama in her one-shouldered inauguration ball gown, John Lennon in his trademark round glasses, a putty nosed Lucille Ball, American Idols Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson. Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Jane Seymour as Elise McKenna from Somewhere In Time, and Marilyn Monroe in her famous white dress.
“They’re talking about you.” Joost pointed to Brannoc at the head of the table. Holly stood behind him, her hands filled with his notorious hair.
As Kris reeled with jealousy, the light turned foggy red and he smelled an evil, rotten fruit-stench that warned Holly was in danger. “First, I’ll rip the fairy’s head from his shoulders. Then I’ll ask questions.”
~ * ~
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