Santa for Hire (Excerpt)

 

Tablo reader up chevron

Santa for Hire (Excerpt)

Santa for Hire (Excerpt)

by Asta Idonea

The awful moment had arrived. Not long ago he’d felt there was plenty of time in which to prepare, to steel himself for the agony ahead, but somehow the dreaded hour had snuck up on him. What had one day seemed far off was already here the next.

Richard Barratt took a deep breath. He tugged at his collar and straightened his tie. He brushed off the already spotless arms of his suit jacket and glanced down at the perfectly tied laces on his leather shoes. Then, unable to put it off a moment longer, he pushed open the swing door and emerged onto the salesroom floor.

Overnight, while he failed to get a wink of sleep, crews had been hard at work. The Homeware department of Langley & Giles’s Oxford Street branch had been transformed from the pristine section he managed like a well-oiled machine to a hideous winter wonderland. Christmas had been infiltrating the store for weeks. The cards had started appearing downstairs in Stationery as early as September. Wrapping paper and labels had followed in October, along with Christmas puddings in the high-class Food Hall on the lower ground floor. And now the rest, signaling six weeks of Christmas-cheer hell.

Richard couldn’t understand why it had to be his section that bore the brunt of the deluge. Surely Toys and Games would make more sense. Christmas was all about children’s presents, after all. But upper management had been firm. Toys and Games required more space at Christmas, not less, and Homeware had the best layout to accommodate the monstrosity that formed the centerpiece of their annual Yuletide displays: Santa’s Grotto.

He walked over to stand in front of the plastic log cabin and grimaced. The tinsel festooned around his floor was bad enough, but this thing made his blood curdle. Cute to the point of vomiting, it represented everything Richard hated about the holidays. What was wrong with just a plain log cabin? Why did it have to be covered in glowing candy canes? And as for the flea-bitten model reindeer that looked stoned out of its brain—

“Morning, Mr. B. Ready to get into the holiday groove?”

TO CONTINUE READING, GRAB YOUR COPY ONLINE!

AVAILABLE FROM MANY RETAILERS, INCLUDING:

Dreamspinner Press:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/santa-for-hire-by-asta-idonea-7983-b

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MZZUYYI

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MZZUYYI

Comment Log in or Join Tablo to comment on this chapter...

Also by Asta Idonea

Fire Up My Heart (MM Sci-Fi Novella)

London bartender Fane thinks he’s hit the jackpot when he finds a rare and expensive service Bot discarded in a dumpster, and he takes it home to get it working again. The Jo-E brings some much-needed companionship to Fane’s lonely life, but there’s something different about this Bot, as indicated by its odd behavior. Fane’s developing feelings toward Jo-E trouble him, and things go from bad to worse when a robotics engineer arrives on Fane’s doorstep, demanding the return of his property. Fane is forced to choose between a hefty reward and following his heart. Giving in to his forbidden desires might get him killed—or change his life forever.

Dreamspinner Press:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fire-up-my-heart-by-asta-idonea-7012-b

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F9A00QY

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01F9A00QY

 

Wish You Were Here (MM Contemporary/Paranormal Novella)

The death of Oakley’s sister has left his family broken and buried beneath their grief. In an attempt to get out from underneath their pain, they rent an isolated cottage in the Cotswolds. For Oakley, it’s an exercise in futility. He doesn’t see much hope for things to get back to the way they used to be, and he’s bored and restless as he waits out the time until he can return to the city and university. All of that changes when he meets local boy Bobby, and the connection between them is instant. Within a few days, Oakley is ready to walk away from everything to stay with Bobby. However, Bobby has problems of his own, and they might be more than the budding romance can survive. But they might also give Oakley a new perspective on his own situation.

Dreamspinner Press:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/wish-you-were-here-by-asta-idonea-8131-b

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MZZUYYI

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MZZUYYI

Comment Log in or Join Tablo to comment on this chapter...

About the Author

Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.

Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!

As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel, all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.

Blog: http://www.nickijmarkus.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NickiJMarkus

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NickiJMarkus

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nickijmarkus/

Pinterest: https://au.pinterest.com/nickijmarkus/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+NickiJMarkusAstaIdonea

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4567057.Nicki_J_Markus

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicolamarkus

Amazon Author US: http://www.amazon.com/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO

Amazon Author UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO

Comment Log in or Join Tablo to comment on this chapter...
~

You might like Asta Idonea's other books...