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.
From inside a janitor’s closet Kris listened at the door. He had lost Nattie Blather after she had chased him from the elevator, pelting him with questions designed to provoke a reaction:
“If the reindeer die, how will you deliver toys? Rumor has it Candy’s knocked up with Brannoc’s love child. Is it true you caught Holly in bed with Brannoc?”
Nattie didn’t care what kind of reaction she got so long as she could distort it into headlines. He understood her need to print titillation in each edition. All in good fun. Usually. Then he envisioned Brannoc alone with Candy.
“I-I can’t t-talk about it,” she had wept.
“Why? Why can’t you tell me?”
“B-because it’s too horrible.”
He had to find Holly. She would know what to do. He opened the closet and ran into Nattie.
“I don’t appreciate your games when I’m on deadline, Kringle. Now, answer my questions or I’ll publish whatever makes good scandal.”
He gestured to the closet. “After you.” She scooted inside and he locked the door behind her. “Nothing personal,” he said through the crack. We’ll laugh someday. Not today, of course.”
“The gloves are off, Kringle.” The carpet muffled her outrage. “I’m making it my personal best to roast your chestnuts over an open fire!”
He saw Petra and Valda walking toward him. Since he didn’t want the Tattle Pandora released from her box too soon, he ran toward them shouting, “Take the North elevator. Someone lost their breakfast down the hall. The stench is memorable, so be quick-like-a-bunny.”
Valda punched his arm. “Why did you tell Holly I gave you OTTs?”
“Ow. You did. Whadidya put in it? I’m on a trip right out of the Sixties.”
“I gave you nothing. Hear me? Nothing!” She punched him again. “If I wasn’t so full of holiday cheer, I’d sue.” She stormed for the elevator.
Petra shook her finger. “No more OTT’s.”
“Did Mary-Jane call you?”
She’d left nine messages, the last more threat than message. “Have you seen Holly?”
Petra looked momentarily uncertain. “She’s in her office. Listen. There was an incident. Holly was attacked by elves.” She caught his arm. “She’s fine.”
“What happened? Were they constipated?”
“Erik hasn’t concluded his investigation yet, but… Constipated? No. We think it was a semi-synthetic drug of the egoline family that may have triggered a psychosis-like reaction in the elves, possibly due to their SuperNatural DNA.”
Kris bolted for Holly’s office, taking two stairwells and one shortcut through a ladies room. Petra spoke like a living Wikipedia. He didn’t need the hoary details. He just wanted to see for himself that his wife was okay.
Finding Holly’s secretary’s office thick with humidity, he rubbed a peek hole into the condensation on the side panel to her inner office. There he saw her pressed against Brannoc with red fog enveloping them, and a rotten fruit stench permeating the air.
Perched on Holly’s desk, Joost drummed a slow sexy beat.
“Here I go again.” Red fog. Fruit stench. Joost. Whatever Val put in his figgy pudding was responsible for the weirdness tripping through his brain. Hoping to sweat the OTT, he ran around Nerissa’s desk before he returned to eavesdrop. The judge would want details when he testified at their divorce hearing.
“I’m done with this blouse,” Holly said. “First my hair gets caught in the buttons, now I’m caught in your Oraltranslator. I’m sorry.”
Kris frowned. Was she speaking in code?
“You’re hot,” Brannoc said. “I’m burning. Gives me ideas.”
Kris clenched his fists. “I’ll give you ideas, fairy man.” He punched the air. “Straight to the moon.”
Holly purred, “Do you have protection?”
Kris bit his lip with enough force to warrant stitches.
“Move to the left. I’m almost—” Holly’s voice caught the way it did while lovemaking. “There!” Kris pressed his fist to his heart. “Be careful, Ken. You wouldn’t want to ruin your reputation.”
“Too late, Barbie. It’s already in tatters.”
Barbie? Ken? They had cutesy pet names? Holly called him Kringle. She had never given him a pet name.
“We can’t risk discovery,” Holly said. “If Nattie found out—”
“It’s Kris I’m concerned about. If he knew what we were up to…”
Aware he held his breath to the point of suffocation, Kris released a shallow breath just as his cheeky wife of nineteen years, three hundred sixty-one days said, “I know. I’ll distract him with a cookie so we can make our getaway.”
Brannoc grinned. “And I’ll hitch Rudy to the sleigh. He’s always game and it is, after all, sudden death.”
Holly’s laughter plunged knife-like into Kris’s heart. “If you weren’t Santa,” Joost said from his shoulder, “she wouldn’t have the sleigh to leave you. Holly had been fun before she married Santa. You would have had a fun marriage if it wasn’t for Santa. Santa drove Holly into Brannoc’s arms. Maybe Krampus has the right idea. Santa must be destroyed.”
~ * ~
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