Promo: Twelve Dates ’Til Christmas by Jennifer C. Wilson
Today, I'm particularly delighted to share a snippet from a fabulous new release by fellow Ocelot Press author, Jennifer C. Wilson. Her new contemporary romance, Twelve Dates 'Til Christmas, is now available.
Twelve Dates ’Til Christmas is currently on blog tour with Rachel's Random Resources. Make sure to check the other tour stops.
You'll find an enticing extract below. I'm sure you'll want to read more afterwards!
Twelve Dates ’Til Christmas
Jennifer C. Wilson
From Chapter One:
The dancefloor in the centre of the ballroom was starting to fill up, as drinks flowed, loosening inhibitions, and music summoned a nostalgic vibe to the evening. Callum smiled as Lexie and the girls from their table abandoned handbags to the care of the remaining gents, now deep in conversation themselves, and headed to the floor, arms raised in excitement at the intro to a nineties ‘classic’. He always loved the carefree version of Lexie that could be conjured up by a dose of nostalgia from their student days. It was a version that wasn’t always around, far too often buried beneath the pressures of work or worrying about other people. Not tonight, he was glad to see. They really did need to get together with their university friends more often, if this was the result. The same had happened at his thirtieth, as they had played almost exactly the same music, and she had danced with the same group of girls, plus her best friends from work.
He paused for a moment as the bride’s sister was distracted, swept into a hug by someone who Callum presumed was an uncle. Ever keen to keep Lexie happy, he set a reminder on his phone to bring up the subject the next day, not even pausing for a moment to consider whether he’d be seeing her. It was Sunday, so of course he would be seeing her. That was how things worked. Nothing was planned, it would just ‘happen’ once they were both up and about.
Twenty minutes later, having kept one eye on the dancefloor, Callum could see something was wrong.
Even from across the room, as he gave as much attention as he could spare to the Chief Bridesmaid-to-be, he could see a shadow darkening Lexie’s previously-bright face. A man Callum didn’t recognise was trying to separate Lexie from the rest of the girls, keeping himself in her eye-line, as much as she was making it obvious she had no interest in his attentions. This wouldn’t do.
Callum didn’t hesitate. Lexie might be one of the most independent woman he knew, but being independent didn’t mean a bit of help wouldn’t come in handy now and then.
Abandoning his drink, and making his apologies, Callum made his way through the crowd, not once taking his eyes off Lexie, wanting to be absolutely sure of her thoughts before wading in. She was looking even more uncomfortable now, still trying to dance her way away, but the guy, whoever he was, was being persistent. In that moment, Callum wished his friend wasn’t always quite so stubborn, risking messing up her evening to prove the point that she was out to enjoy herself, but then, that’s what he admired about her.
As he drew near her side, Callum reached out his hand, the slightest of touches to Lexie’s, just so she would know he was there. If Lexie wanted to ignore him, that was her choice, but if she was after his help, she would know exactly where he was. Her fingers entwining with his was the sign he had been hoping for, as she glanced up at him, her eyes wide in a silent request for help. In one smooth movement, almost balletic, Callum spun Lexie into his arms, gripping her tightly around her waist, whilst she reached up around his neck, the two moving in time to the music, naturally in-sync as always.
“I was wondering where you were, sweetheart,” he said, directly to Lexie, but loud enough that her unwelcome suitor would hear it. “Everything all right?” This last, he all but breathed into her ear, keeping up an appearance of romance between them.
She pulled back to look him in the face, her brightest smile lighting up her face. “All the better now you’re back with me,” she replied, also loud enough to be overheard.
Callum grinned back at her, pleased to see his favourite version of Lexie back, and happy that it was him who had achieved it.
Her admirer, seeing himself beaten, disappeared into the crowd, as Callum kept his grip on Lexie’s waist; it would be good to keep the pretence up for a couple of more minutes, to make sure the guy got the message. Besides, the music wasn’t that bad, and he could already see the buffet being brought out, so they’d all be heading back to their table soon enough anyway.
“Sorry I distracted you,” Lexie leaned in again, and whispered in his ear, as the music changed, and they stayed put, swaying together in perfect harmony. “I think you’ve lost your bridesmaid.”
“Ah, it’s all right. I suspect, if I’m honest, she has half an eye on the best man,” Callum replied, glancing back to where he had already been replaced. “Although, I see my glass has been cleared away already, so you do owe me a replacement.”
Lexie laughed and clung onto him even tighter. “Fine. Give it a few more minutes, then you grab us two plates of dinner, and I’ll refresh our drinks. I’ll get my bag.”
When the next song ended, they finally separated, their fingers staying linked as they walked away from each other, until Callum noticed the smirks on the faces of Sam and Emily, already sitting at the group’s table, plates loaded, and watching him and Lexie. He didn’t let go any quicker than he would have done if he hadn’t seen them. Let them watch, he thought; there was the same to see as usual: nothing. Two friends who kept an eye out for each other, and that was all there was to it. He and Lexie would laugh about it the next day, as they did every time anyone ever suggested they were anything more than friends.
Twelve Dates ‘Till Christmas
Callum and Lexie are perfect for each other - at least, that's what everyone tells them. But they're just good friends, aren't they? And neither wants to ruin the solid friendship that's treated them so well since university.
But when an old school friend of Callum's asks Lexie for a date, and passions overflow on a work night out, could it be the trigger to show each of them what they have been missing out on all this time?
With twelve weeks until Christmas, that's a lot of opportunity for romance - and for misunderstandings...
Buy Link: https://mybook.to/12Dates
About the Author:
Jennifer C. Wilson
Jennifer C. Wilson stalks dead people (usually monarchs, mostly Mary Queen of Scots and Richard III). Inspired by childhood visits to as many castles and historical sites her parents could find, and losing herself in their stories (not to mention quite often the castles themselves!), at least now her daydreams make it onto the page.
After returning to the north-east of England for work, she joined a creative writing class, and has been filling notebooks ever since. Jennifer won North Tyneside Libraries’ Story Tyne short story competition in 2014, and in 2015, her debut novel, Kindred Spirits: Tower of London was published by Crooked Cat Books. The full series was re-released by Darkstroke in January 2020.
Jennifer is a founder and host of the award-winning North Tyneside Writers’ Circle, and has been running writing workshops in North Tyneside since 2015. She also publishes historical fiction novels with Ocelot Press. She lives in Whitley Bay, and is very proud of her two-inch view of the North Sea.
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