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.
Accompanied by Joost’s big beat style drumming, Kris careened off walls and people as he stormed the East Wing corridor. Whatever Valda put in the figgy pudding had opened his eyes to the world and its ugly deceptions. Holly’s cutesy pocket note was the final straw. He wanted his Smooch back and he would get it, or there would be heck to pay.
A squeal broke his manic rant. Realizing he’d knocked the Décor & More committee’s head designer off her ladder, he caught her with profuse apologies.
“What do you think of my tribute to Brazil’s rainforest?” Jessica gestured to the sixty-foot kapok trees, waterfall, exotic ferns and thousands of butterflies.
Kris looked into the leafy canopy. A dozen capuchin monkeys gazed back. “What’s with everyone wanting monkeys? They’re worse than cats.” Joost nodded from his shoulder. Kris noticed one monkey gnawed on a bright yellow frog. “You brought in frogs?”
Jessica opened a box of assorted colors. “Just a few. For drama.”
The frog-eating monkey fell dead at her feet. Jessica screamed. Kris confiscated the box. “Drama we don’t need.” His stomach gurgled. Tasting sour metal, he hoped the figgy pudding wasn’t life-threatening. He didn’t have time to be sick, much less dead.
He again struck out for Holly’s office, but as he rounded the waterfall, flocked with exotic parrots, he slammed into Kingston. The box flew into the air. The frogs leaped for freedom. The birds swooped in for the kill. Jessica’s screams hit 130 on the decibel scale.
“Glorious day, Nature Boy. You really outdid yourself.”
“Shut up, Toy Boy. Holly threatened me if I harm Cooper.”
Usually he loved to watch the egomaniac come unglued, but with birds dying and Jessica freaking, Kris moved on. “What’d you do?”
Kingston followed. “Nothing. He’s my heir.”
As red fog seeped into the room and swirled around them, visions of stabbing Father Nature with a sharp candy cane danced in Kris’s head.
“What?” Kris blinked. Kingston had changed into a purple muumuu, flower lei, and sipped a Mai Tai. “Slight miscalculation,” he said. “Done with. Moving on.”
“I know about your miscalculations. It took years before Holly showed me her leg. I can imagine what Oahu entailed if she threatened you.”
Kingston dunked a blue frog into his cocktail. “Nothing happened.” He bit off its head.
Kris felt oddly unfazed by his frog-eating father-in-law. “Regardless, if Cooper comes home with anything more dire than a hangnail, I’ll kill you.” To prove he was serious, Kris whipped out a candy cane and fired. Through the cannonball-sized hole in Kingston’s gut, he saw Jessica transform into a giant pink monkey. He also saw Cooper walking toward him with a Vamp-red envelope. His son had had a growth spurt since breakfast. He was now seven feet tall.
“Hey Dad. Didja hear about Mémé’s party?”
Kingston scowled at the envelope. “Come on, Coop. Nature awaits. We’re burning E-Light.”
As Kris watched them leave, time stood still. His mind shut down. He had achieved Nirvana. Then Candy slammed into him, and dissolved into a torrential downpour. Literally. Her tears created a salt-water pool at their feet. The more she cried, the larger the pool grew. Candy had perfected the art of crying while still in the cradle. The smallest injury, a critical tone—sibling mockery—Candy howled with mortal outrage. Tears would pool, brim, and cascade down her cheeks. A deep guttural moan, followed by a high-pitched wail, would shift into dramatic keening. Sometimes she hugged herself, and rocked.
“Ye gods, are you mutilated?” Kris checked for missing limbs.
“Br-Bra-Brannoc.” She slumped to the floor. Tears splashed her hips.
“What did he do?” He pulled her into his arms, ready to shake the awful truth from her. “What did he do to you?” She wheezed. He clutched her to his heart. She needed help. Kringle employed over two thousand workers. Usually he couldn’t take a step without tripping over someone. Today, he could have fired a canon and hit no one. Of course the tear deluge had everyone running for cover. As the corridor flooded five feet up the walls, he flung Candy over his shoulder and swam for the elevators.
“D-daddy put me down.”
He stabbed the UP button. “I’m taking you to the nurse.” He dog paddled into the carriage. The doors shut on Joost.
“I’m not sick. I’m upset.” She slipped from his shoulder.
Her lip quivered. “I-I can’t t-talk about it.”
He envisioned the worst. “Why? Why can’t you tell me?”
She covered her face. “B-because it’s too horrible.”
His gut twisting, Kris punched the wall…and watched his bones explode into powder.
The doors slid open. Candy escaped. Nattie Blather stepped in, speaking into a microphone. “An emotional Candy Kringle just fled the East Wing elevator, her eyes swollen; her chubby cheeks flamed with mortification. Inside I found her father, looking…guilty.”
Kris chased after his daughter but she had vanished, leaving him to imagine the worst.
~ * ~
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