a.m. How do I know this? I’m often still up writing or playing around with graphics for bookcovers. I’m lucky because my day job is in shifts so often I can grab a few hours’ sleep and still get to work on time.
old candlestick among the discarded props in the company storeroom, she never
imagines it will grant her dearest wish. There’s something mysterious about the
carved candlestick, but Simi is drawn to it. She’s saved a red candle from a
box she bought years ago in an antique shop, and intends to use the candlestick
to hold the last candle and make her solitary Christmas lunch more festive.
It’s Christmas Eve, there’s sleet in the wind, Simi slips, but Jason catches
her. Who is Jason? Where has he suddenly appeared from in the night?
this gorgeous man and sparks fly …
romance from Siren Publishing and Elodie Parkes
Simi opened the door to the small room where the props and items for events were stored. She flipped on the lights and cast a quick glance around with a sigh. Carl left a mess yesterday. She made her way through the jumble of items dumped close behind the door to the compactus storage on one side of the room. When she’d retrieved the office Christmas trimmings a couple of weeks ago, she’d seen some table decorations. Simi wanted them for the buffet trestles. She was in charge of refreshments for the staff party, and as usual, absolutely everything was her responsibility. She heaved on the handle of the storage and set it sliding along on the tracks. I just wish we didn’t have our party on Christmas Eve…The day before would be good…maybe.
The public relations firm had events going all the time, and even over the holidays, one or two of the employees would be off working at various types of events for short periods of time, but on Christmas Eve, theyalways had their own staff party. It was tradition, as was the summer picnic in August and the team-building “getaway” in February. For a brightly creative company, this was a stodgy way to behave, in Simi’s opinion. Not that I have anywhere to be…not that there’s anyone waiting for me to celebrate Christmas. I ought to be grateful I have this party, but I wish I had a boyfriend who would show up looking delicious in a tux. He would dance with me, kiss me under the mistletoe, and help me pack up when everyone went home. We’d take a taxi home instead of the subway and snuggle up. I wish…
Simi squashed down the sudden rush of misery at her solitary status. Most of her colleagues would bring a partner, girl or boyfriend, husband or wife. She was notoriously alone. Three years of having no “plus one” at the staff party and picnic had designated her “the person who fixed it all.” She organized, set up, and cleared away. Simi got in a crew for the staff
picnic because of weather and environmental concerns, but the Christmas party would see her coping alone after delivery of the catering.
She looked along the shelf where she’d seen the huge pinecones, all their scales tipped with red, gold, or silver glitter. The cones themselves were spectacular and shone as if they’d been polished. There were squat, transparent candleholders, too, to take lovely, thick candles. Gold threads had been woven into the glass as the candleholders were made, and Simi already knew they looked lovely shimmering on the tables when the candles were lit. She’d used them in the open evening in October when prospective clients were entertained and wooed.
As she carefully heaped her haul into a plastic tub she’d brought into the storeroom especially for the job, she noticed more candlesticks at the back of the shelf. Simi placed the tub on the floor and reached in to check them out. Mostly damaged, one had the chrome peeling from it. It looked to Simi as if these were old event items and she pushed them
back, but as she did, a glimmer caught her eye from the far end of the shelf. She foraged through the bundles of bunting and soft, tasseled ropes to grasp the glistening item. With a small sound of surprise, Simi pulled her hand back. The thing was warm, almost as if it was alive. She peered along the shelf and reached in again. Her hand clasped the item and she drew it out from the back of the shelving.
It was another candlestick. Simi held it carefully. The intricate carving all the down the stem and onto the base gave it an air of antiquity, but it was clean as if new. A tiny white ceramic bowl was set in the top of the stem for the candle. The only indication that the candlestick had ever been used was a residue of wax inside the bowl. The glow Simi had seen in the back of the shelf was no longer there, but the wood had an uncanny warmth, and as Simi stooped to place it in her basket, it gave a strange pulse against her fingers. Simi dropped it into the basket in alarm. She stared at it. It neither glowed nor pulsed under her scrutiny. I must have imagined it.
to your TBR:
Elodie’s blog for other distributer buy links http://elodieparkes.blogspot.com