Christmas Countdown 2018 #Day 1


Lauraine Henderson lives with her husband, dog and cat on 68 acres of woodland 40 miles north of Portland, Oregon. After growing up in Oregon, they moved their family of three children to Utah. From there they moved to Hawaii and Arizona, finally coming back to Oregon in 2015. Their three children, two girls and a boy are all grown and live across the United States. 
After being a professional bookkeeper for over twenty years, she turned her hobby of writing into her first published novel in 2016. She loves to write inspirational romance and romantic comedy and hopes her readers will be both entertained and uplifted by her stories. When she’s not writing, she’s working her way through online university, loves to paint (watercolors, oils, and acrylics), sew, knit, crochet, make beaded jewelry, and read (of course!).
George Stone can’t wait for the Christmas season to be over and his employees, especially his executive assistant, Kathryn Gleason, focused once again on their work. When a missing report requires George to stop in at Kathryn’s parents’ home the day before Christmas Eve, he ends up as an unexpected guest. Between the haunting journals of his late grandfather and the unsettling dream of an unhappy future, George is swept away by the magic of Kathryn’s charm and her family’s love. 


Will the Spirit of Christmas show George the happiness he’s missing and will Kathryn’s warmth and beauty melt his cold heart?


Kathryn awkwardly squeezed past George to leave the room. The electricity between them was almost palpable and he would have bet money she felt it as much as he did. The buzz while she passed him emphasized the emptiness he felt at Kathryn’s departure and added to his emotional strain.
It wasn’t until he started undressing that he realized how out of place his shirt and slacks from work appeared. The elegant cut of his business wear shouted ‘stranger’ in the make-shift bedroom of the back pantry of an old farmhouse. And until this very moment, George would have agreed and embraced the ‘stranger’ label. Now he wasn’t so sure he liked it for himself.
Loosening his tie, he slid it off his neck and rested it on the end of the bed. Pulling his shirt tail out of his pants, he unbuttoned a few buttons and then unhooked the waistband of his slacks. He looked around for a hanger, but the cupboard in the wall held only shelves and he couldn’t see anywhere to hang his pants and shirt. 
“Oh!” Kathryn’s voice surprised George and he grabbed the wall to keep from falling over while his heart jumped around in his throat.
“I’m so sorry. I should have knocked. I didn’t know you would get ready so fast,” she said. The merry twinkling in her eyes as she looked him up and down in his disheveled state brought back that crimson rush.
“Did you want something?” George asked in his most boss-like manner.
Kathryn swallowed and her eyes burned into his. He hung his hands to his side, feeling exposed, even though he was still completely dressed. Had he said that wrong?
Kathryn recovered before George could answer himself. “I brought you these,” she said, holding out a pair of plaid pajama pants. “They belong to my brother-in-law so they should fit. I thought you might be more comfortable in case you had to get up in the night…or something.”


George couldn’t stop the smile as he watched Kathryn’s embarrassed face match his own for color. “Oh, uh, thank you.”


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