I’m so thrilled to be included in The Twelve Days of Christmas with Josee Renard. I adore Christmas —the songs, the shopping, the cheer, the mistletoe, and the sporadic cold weather we get in my corner of Texas. But my favorite part is the holiday music. There’s nothing better. One of my all time favorites is the tried and true “Jingle Bells”.
Dashing through the snow, In a one horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go, Laughing all the way
Bells on bob tails ring, Making spirits bright
What fun it is to laugh and sing, A sleighing song tonight!
A day or two ago, I thought I’d take a ride
And soon Miss Fanny Bright, Was seated by my side
The horse was lean and lank, Misfortune seemed his lot
He got into a drifted bank, And then we got upsot.
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh.
Snow. Laughing. Fun. Sleigh Ride. Romance…and misfortune! Sounds like the recipe for a great holiday story to me! What do you think?
A Very Russian Christmas
By Krystal Shannan
For most of her adult life, bodyguards have shadowed Ksenia Sharanov, daughter of a Russian mobster. Needless to say, her sex life has been non-existent. The last guy she dated broke her heart when she found out he was only with her for father’s power and money.
A long-standing family feud between her father and the Petrov family has made her father overprotective, to say the least. In a spontaneous moment of generosity, her dad tells her to take her NYU roommates on a Christmas ski vacation. She jumps at the chance to have a weekend with just her girls…and of course her bodyguard.
Unfortunately, her father’s enemies have been following her more closely than anyone could have anticipated. The mistake will cost a life…but will it cost her heart? Or will she find love in the arms of a complete stranger?
“What is wrong, Yuri?”
“Not sure, baby bear, just being cautious. The SUV behind us has been following since the lodge.”
“They could be headed to the airport, too.”
“No, I already took a detour and they followed us instead of staying on the main road.”
“It’s probably nothing.”
Yuri sighed. “I hope so, but I should probably call your father anyway.” He reached for the cell phone in the passenger seat next to him.
Ksenia glanced to her left and shrieked for Yuri to watch out. A huge white pickup truck barreled from a side road straight into the driver’s side door. Ksenia was thrown against an airbag on the wall of the limo and thudded to the floor. Her head swam and black spots clouded her eyesight.
Ksenia pulled herself back up onto the seat. She tried to focus her blurry vision on Yuri. He was unconscious. Blood trickled from his ear and a gash on his head. She pressed two fingers to his neck and found a strong pulse. Thank God. With concentrated effort she slid her torso through the privacy window. Yuri’s phone lay on the floorboard. One button. She only needed to press a button to speed dial her father. The back passenger window broke, and the door opened. She tried to scramble forward faster, but her foot caught in the seat belt.
“Suka! Come here.” A rough hand seized her feet and dragged her backward. She tried to grab the steering wheel, but he was too fast and her fingers barely grazed it.
“No! No! No!” Ksenia reached back and clawed at the man’s hand as he hauled her across the limo floor. Her fingernails scraped across his skin and drew several lines of blood. She received a stinging slap to her face for the effort.
“Stop it, Ksenia.” His voice trailed across her body like oil, registering multiple alarms in her mind.
“My father will kill you.” She spat back in his face, not willing to come off soft in his eyes. The burn of his slap still warmed her cheek, but it didn’t stop her from kicking the asshole in the chest.
He grunted through the kick, captured both legs again, and pulled her the rest of the way out of the limo. She twisted and writhed against his grasp, refusing to make any part of this kidnapping easy.
“Sharanov will do exactly as we say when he knows his last and only child’s life is in jeopardy.”
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Have a Merry Christmas!