Every town needs a bit of Christmas spirit. Joy is trying to bring it back to Pinecone.
Pinecone has lost its Christmas spirit! Santa Claus tasks Paisley, a spirit Elf, with finding a true believer, the one resident of the town capable of inspiring everyone to delight in the spirit of Christmas. Hmm. Tricky? Not… really.
One touch of Christmas magic later and local storekeeper Joy Blake’s on a quest to revive Pinecone’s Christmas Festival, bringing back the beloved community event of her childhood. Her obstacle is Ash Montgomery, the handsome town mayor who’s focused on the fiscal, not the festive.
Convincing the sexy Ash to bring Christmas back to Pinecone is a challenge Joy can’t resist, any more than she can stop testing the gorgeous mayor’s resolve to never date residents. She’s determined to get what she wants. What he wants is her. Christmas in Pinecone is heating up.
Publisher’s Note: Christmas Joy was available previously for a short time at another house that has since gone dark.
“You’ve prepared a budget?”
“I have.” Joy handed him a copy of her proposal and passed out copies to each of the council members. She returned to the podium and waited while Ash quickly scanned the document she’d spent hours preparing. His two cronies didn’t bother to turn a page.
“Your budget puts most of the burden onto the town,” Ash said. “You haven’t accounted for the additional costs to our police and emergency services for a weekend event.”
“Volunteer citizens would assist with parking and traffic.”
“Volunteers can’t replace trained officers, firemen and paramedics. You’ve only recently returned to Pinecone, Ms. Blake. Because of financial mismanagement, this town was driven to near bankruptcy. I’ve spent the last three years digging Pinecone out of a deficit and I won’t allow you to put it back into the red.”
While chatting with her fellow shopkeepers, Joy had realized the residents of Pinecone liked Ash. He’d done a good job getting the town back on its financial feet, even reducing his annual salary to a dollar, but Joy wasn’t giving up. The town wasn’t in debt, but it was still dying. Few shopped locally and the once-thriving tourist business was gone.
“I’ll find the money. Pinecone is hurting, Mr. Mayor. Storefronts are empty and our Christmas spirit is gone. The festival brought people together. Pinecone brought Christmas to the whole county.”
“Thank you, Ms. Blake. The opinions of new residents are always enlightening.”
Joy bristled. “I am a new property owner, but Pinecone was a special part of my childhood. My grandparents, Harland and Mary Temple, loved this town. I love this town.”
“Thank you, Ms. Blake,” Ash said again.
One of the shopkeepers on the council spoke up. “Mr. Mayor, I move the council take a vote on Ms. Blake’s Christmas Festival proposal.”
The voting went quickly. Joy’s project was voted down three to two.
Ash tapped the gavel. “Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, our business is concluded.”
Joy stared at Ash. “What happened to your Christmas spirit, Mr. Mayor?” Ignoring her question, Ash left the room.
Christmas Joy – available at Changeling Press, Amazon, Kobo, B&N and iTunes