Sunday, December 12, 2021

Read an Excerpt from Santa's Gifts of Romance by Mimi Barbour

$0.99 or FREE for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers

Amazon International

Features three Christmas love stories:

Santa has three wonderful gifts of romance to warm your heart this holiday season. Add puppies to the love stories, and Christmas bells will ring. 


Frosty the Snowman 

Stranded in an Alaskan snowstorm, Hali and Terry are forced to rely on each other for survival. Two strangers, a puppy and multiple conflicts they must overcome will keep you spellbound. 


 A Perfect Storm 

Can Jenna let her son be home-schooled in the very house of the girl who put him in his wheelchair? And can she trust the handsome father of that unhappy child and a tiny puppy to teach her son? 


Alone at Christmas 

Being alone is Tara’s worst nightmare, especially during the holidays. Her wish comes true when she finds a tiny puppy protecting Mr. Right who's injured and stranded, but will they all survive the dangerous storm? 





Frosty the Snowman – Chapter One 


Ice shards blew against the Cessna’s windshield and vision became limited. Suddenly stress seeped into the confined space of the tiny plane. Previously relaxed, the pilot straightened, changing into a man with a mission. Tension ramped up and the earlier warm atmosphere turned instantly cold. Fear constricted throats that were unable to swallow.  

“We’re going down, aren’t we?” Hali Gibson’s voice hadn’t risen from her normal tones. Not even a little. But inside, hidden deep in her emotions, lived a wild spirit that screeched and then whimpered: I don’t want to die! Not yet. Not now! 

Clutching the leather panel in front of her, as if by sheer want and personal influence she could force the noisy plane back up into the blanket of white sleet that had suddenly appeared, Hali clung and bit back her screams. 

The pilot bellowed over the plane’s roar. “I’m afraid so. Hold on! There’s a frozen lake we might use as a landing strip up ahead. Maybe we’ll make it.” He aimed his voice toward her and issued orders. “Just don’t panic.”  

“I never panic!” she screamed back, her eyes feeling like they were protruding two inches from their sockets.  

That got his attention but only for a second. He glanced over, his expression fierce like that of a warrior pitted against an enemy larger than life. “Brace yourself!”  

In comparison to her own instability, she noted the giant-like man behind the controls appeared ridiculously steady. As if he’d force-landed his small Cessna in the middle of the frozen Alaskan outback any number of times. He kept speaking into his earphones, giving their particulars, and using the word “Mayday” to get attention. 

It had certainly gotten hers. Who could blame her for thinking two voices might add more impact? Her screamed maydays certainly had more force than his. 

With only a thin layer between them and the thickened white sleet that had enveloped the small aircraft unexpectedly, the fragile windshield seemed totally inadequate.  

For a few seconds, Hali wished herself back at the small airport in Ketchikan and pictured putting a sock in her mouth to stop her from insisting she needed to be his passenger. Why in hell had she fought so hard to be here now? God must be punishing her for being so pushy.  

As she listened to the roar of the small engine working as hard as it could, fighting against the elements of nature, she decided that when one faced death, seconds lasted longer. Which gave people time to reflect, Why me, Lord? Forced to endure, she tightened every muscle in her body and prepared to die. 

A crooning noise from the pilot caught her attention. Watching him maneuvering the small plane, she’d seen the skill it had taken to manipulate the controls and hold the aircraft steady. If, by sheer will, a human could force this bird through the white wall of hell, this man would be the one to do so. But damn, did he have to sing them to their demise? 

What the…? He was singing Frosty the Snowman. Of all the crazies in the world, trust her to beg this particular looney tune to let her come with him so he could serenade her last moments on earth with a children’s Christmas song.  

Without realizing she would, her voice melded with his, only she used the words. If singing helped calm his nerves, she was all for it. 

He hadn’t yielded to their dilemma, in fact, quite the opposite. As if in hand to hand combat with the devil himself, he fought like a man who never gave up. Continuing to fly blind, his only source of information was the control panels that gave him the instrument readings he needed to keep the plane from plunging out of the sky.  

As they tipped from one side to the other, Hali held on, her stomach reeling, fighting against the nausea. The roar of the engines, harsher than earlier, revved to ear-splitting levels. She supposed the reverberation had risen because of their increasingly fast descent. 

The sudden howling going on from the crate in the rear of the plane ripped at her soft heart. Guilt hit her hard. Because she was a wuss for driving long distances alone, she’d decided to take this bush plane into the wilds of Alaska, from Ketchikan to Juneau rather than drive the 300 miles to deliver her cousin’s new puppy to a man she’d never met. Now, because of her cowardly decision, the gorgeous animal was going to die.  

My fault. All my fault. At the airport, after she’d been bumped from the regular flight, she’d beseeched this pilot to let her and the dog come with him. Seemed there was a pecking order in Alaska. If you owned the airlines, you were first in line and could change the route anytime you wanted, even if Christmas was only a few days away. Which left the paying customers angry but with no choice. They were forced to wait for the next flight. 

Hali, unexpectedly stranded, had pleaded with this pilot, initially to no avail. In her excitement, she’d even dropped her suitcase, which had flipped open, scattering her belongings everywhere.  

Like a gentleman should, he’d helped her collect her property, had handed her over skimpy, lacy underwear, sweaters, even her going-away gift from her newly-married cousin, which had softened his stubborn expression slightly, but he’d still refused her pleas.  

It hadn’t been until the person who’d originally bumped her had had his say and a large chunk of money had changed hands that the tall man had agreed to the arrangement. Within a few minutes, he’d rounded her and the puppy up, got them belted into place and they’d taken off.  

Now she was locked in a sardine can, with a complete stranger controlling her life and… go figure. She’d begged to be here.  

While her mind was travelling through time, the pilot had pulled off a miracle. They were speeding along a stretch of ice, hovering slightly above the surface. Battering them on both sides, the winds didn’t like being robbed of their prey. As the man in charge searched for a place to safely set the little plane down, he fought valiantly to keep them from tipping or veering. 

Visibility was much better at this low altitude. Up ahead, Hali spotted the same miracle he did. There was a sheltered bay surrounded by trees. The lake looked to have less snow. And, cleared from the driving winds, the visible frozen surface invited them to drop in and stay a while.  

Singing louder now, her voice blending with sobs of joy, Hali swiped at her eyes. She blinked repeatedly and watched the pilot set the plane down as gently as the buffeting wind would allow. Finally, he drove it closer to the shore and brought them to a complete halt.  

In seconds, he’d shut off the motor. As if the turning of the key had stopped their nightmare, it cut off their mingling voices also. At last, silence reigned. 

Hali watched him drop his face into his now shaking hands. Without realizing her intentions, she reached over to touch and pat, wishing she could hug. Finding her hand enveloped in a tight grip, she didn’t move. For her, connecting in this way with another human being was a normal action. She allowed them these magical moments before voicing her relief.  

Truthfully, she’d choked up. Words couldn’t be forced through clogged emotions. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for your support, Amy.
    Take care and stay safe ovee the holidays!!


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