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Authors: Donna McDonald

Tags: #Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy, Humor

McDonald_MM_GEN_Dec2013

BOOK: McDonald_MM_GEN_Dec2013
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Table of Contents

Cover

Mistletoe Madness

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

More About Donna McDonald

Excerpt from NEXT GAME I PLAY

Contemporary Books

About the Author

Mistletoe Madness

A Christmas Novella

 

by

Donna McDonald

 

* * * * *

 

Copyright 2013 by Donna McDonald

 

Cover by LFD Designs for Authors

Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should delete it from your device and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author's work.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is coincidental.

This book contains content that may not be suitable for young readers 17 and under.

Chapter 1

“The thermometer at my house showed twenty-three before I came to work. Looks like we’re going to have a cold holiday this year in Kentucky, even if not a white one. Hi. I’m Evelyn Jade. And in case you’ve just joined us this evening, you’re listening to
Delight After Dark
. We have a new caller on the phone with us and she has a brand new romance question. Hello Cassie. Tell our listeners about the dilemma you’re facing.”

“Hi Evelyn. I’m calling into your show because someone I considered a good friend recently told me he was in love with me. Now he wants us to date like a regular couple. I don’t know what to do. We’ve known each other for years and this is the first time he’s said anything remotely intimate to me.”

“How is this a problem, Cassie? Is your friend a nice guy worth dating?” Eve asked.

“Oh yes. He’s a great guy. I just never thought of him that way before. Has anything like this ever happened to you?” Cassie asked.

Eve laughed at the question as much as the absurdity of it happening to her.

“No, Cassie. It has never happened to me. But rather than talk about my boring life during your time, let me ask a question about your new dating dilemma to help our listeners out. Is there any love magic between you and your friend?”

“Love magic? What do you mean?” Cassie asked.

Eve grinned when she heard disbelief as well as confusion in her caller’s reply. “Love magic, Cassie. As in, does his touch make you weak in the knees? Does his kiss make you want him? Or is the man destined to never be more than just a friend because there’s simply no chemistry between you?”

When the silence went on for too long, Eve groaned a little and drew out the sound to fill the airwaves. In her fifteen years hosting live radio shows, she had learned that any sound was better than no sound when you were on the air.

“Silence is not a good sign, Cassie. I want to remind you that you can tell us the truth about your feelings. No one knows you or your friend here at
Delight After Dark
. We take special care to make sure callers’ true identities are kept secret. But real help can only happen if the
Delight After Dark
listeners know what’s honestly going on in your situation.”

“It’s just that I really like my friend and I don’t want to hurt him,” Cassie said quietly.

Eve breathed out a long breath and groaned again for dramatic effect. “That doesn’t sound very promising in the romance department. You know that, don’t you, Cassie?”

Eve heard her caller sighing and knew all the listeners to her show were hearing it as well. It made her smile at how the person on the phone almost always answered their own question before other listeners ever got involved. Cassie wasn’t very interested in dating her friend. However, reality did not make a good show. Showing the process of making a decision did.

“Cassie, in case you’re wondering, we’re still waiting for your answer,” Eve said firmly.

“My friend is very handsome and extremely nice. Any woman he asked would want to date him. But why would he want someone like boring old me when he could have any woman he wants?”

“Hold on now. Didn’t you say he confessed to being in love with you? That has to count on the plus side, doesn’t it?” Eve demanded.

Silence again.

“Cassie?” Eve prompted.

Eve heard her caller take a deep breath.

“Yes. Yes, he said he was in love with me.”

Eve smiled. “Then I think you have to go with trusting his words. Now tell us—do you date other men?”

“No. Not yet. I take care of myself physically, so I do get asked out occasionally. I’ve been divorced for two years, but just haven’t been interested enough in anyone to date since then,” Cassie explained.

“I can certainly relate to the non-dating thing,” Eve said. “It takes a long time for some of us to be motivated to let someone new into our life. Sounds like your friend is not that intimidating though. Are you attracted to your friend, in a way that makes getting closer an idea worth pursuing? If you’re a long time fan of our show, you’ll have heard many listeners saying that without the initial chemistry, a relationship is just not worth pursuing.”

“I’m forty-four, Evelyn. How is someone my age supposed to recognize chemistry? I’ve always thought he was an attractive man. I just never thought of us as a matched set. Our kids are in band together—high school band. We serve on the same committees. Sometimes he comes to hang out at my house when our kids visit, but . . . I don’t know. Dating is different. That’s why I’m calling.”

“Tell you what, Cassie. Let’s take some calls and see if anyone listening has faced this problem. In the meantime, I’m going to queue up the first song dedication of the evening. This one is for Nina from Frederico. They’re celebrating their eighteenth wedding anniversary today. Congratulations, Nina and Frederico. Staying together is a huge accomplishment and one you definitely should celebrate. We’ll be back in a few minutes with more songs and maybe some help for Cassie. I’m Evelyn Jade and this is
Delight After Dark
. Please stay with us.”

When she cut to the song, Eve swung the boom microphone up and out of the way. Her phone board was lit and her show producer was already taking incoming calls.

As an forty-seven year old widow of almost three years herself, Eve had a lot of empathy for her lovelorn callers. She just didn’t envy them. After the horrible first year of adjusting, the last two had been simple and peaceful for her. She liked her routines, her family times, and the freedom she had now to do what she wanted. When loneliness came knocking at her door these days, she pushed it away with friends. In her opinion, most of the time that was all a woman really needed. But she couldn’t say that to her caller. Could she?

“Hi. We’re back. I’m Evelyn Jade, and in case you’re just tuning in, you’re listening to
Delight After Dark
. We’re still talking with Cassie whose best male friend now wants to date her. Should she change things between them? Or tell him no? Let’s hear what some experts have to say on the matter. We have Wayne on line one. Hi Wayne. What do you think Cassie should do?”

Eve mediated the first incoming call, and soon took two more in rapid succession. Her producer held up all his fingers, opening and curling his fists to show a multiple of five that had her eyebrows arching. The subject matter was soliciting many more incoming advice calls than she or her producer had anticipated. Obviously, the quandary of whether or not to turn a friend into a lover was way more common than most people realized.

***

“Mom, this is important. Are you not dating because you’re still grieving for Daddy? Or are you just not interested in sex anymore? I want to know the truth so I can help you.”

Evelyn Jade Kingston lowered the tinsel she was trying to hang on a tree branch to stare at her daughter. Two seconds ago she’d been humming along to her favorite Christmas music and counting her blessings that both her children were home for the holidays. Now she was being grilled about her love life. It was something she routinely got during call-ins from her radio show listeners, but rarely from her children.

“What brought all this on, Megan? During our discussion at Thanksgiving, you swore you were on good birth control and made me promise that we would not talk about our love lives or lack of them anymore. Have you changed your mind so soon?”

Megan shrugged. “I guess I’m starting to worry about moving in with Nathan and leaving you here all alone. Nathan said his father is dating. His mother hasn’t even been dead for a whole year yet. Daddy’s been gone for over three.”

Eve laughed. “Men are different, honey. They don’t really like being alone. Plus Angeline was sick for a long time before she died. Tell Nathan to stop worrying about getting a stepmother. Sam still comes over for coffee every morning and so far he’s never brought a guest.”

Megan finished hanging the last ornament in her hand before looking at her mother. “Nathan says his dad will never find a woman he likes enough to sleep with because he’s too picky.”

Eve laughed again, mildly uncomfortable at hearing dating commentary about a man she’d known for over a decade. But she had to admit that hearing Sam was being picky might just be the best thing she’d heard about any man in ages. She was a firm believer in it herself.

“Sam’s a natural flirt and it’s not surprising that women would jump at the chance to date him. I’m sure he’ll find several he likes before he settles down with just one again.”

“You didn’t answer my question, Mom. We were talking about you—not Sam.”

“I didn’t answer it on purpose,” Eve said.

She stopped decorating again when Megan put a hand on her arm.

“Mom, this is me being serious. If there was a big ball of mistletoe in the doorway and some good-looking naked guy stood with you under it, would you let yourself genuinely kiss him back? Or would you run away from that level of personal engagement?”


Level of personal engagement?
Listen to you. Okay—I’ll stop teasing. I don’t know what I would do, honey. Does the man look like Vin Diesel? Or maybe Dwayne Johnson?”

“No, but he’s handsome and rumored to be a good kisser. He has a great sense of humor. Plus, I hear he likes being naked. This man seems
exactly
your type,” Megan insisted.

“Tempting then, especially the naked part, but no I probably wouldn’t kiss him back. But Megan, I’m being realistic here. Everyone is looking for love. I’m just looking more slowly. People rush into relationships way too fast these days.”

“Mom, I’m not looking for a textbook lecture on the subject. At Thanksgiving, I told you about my first time with Nathan so you would know what a great man I’m marrying. Even in Evelyn Jade’s book, that should qualify as an exchange of personal info. Now just answer my question—woman to woman. Can you imagine letting some guy other than Daddy kiss you under the mistletoe like it was the best thing that ever happened to either of you?”

“Who is this guy you keep harping about, Megan? You can’t expect me to get turned on by a fantasy about some random naked guy dancing around in a Santa hat waiting to be kissed. I will not be falling prey to some bad case of mistletoe madness over the holidays.”

Megan shook her head. “There’s no real guy, Mother. It’s a rhetorical question.”

“I see that English degree is finally starting to pay off. Good thing your student teaching starts in January. Maybe I should warn all those eighth graders about your expanded lexicon before you show up.”

BOOK: McDonald_MM_GEN_Dec2013
6.25Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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