I’m still in Thanksgiving mode, and as I post this, it’s already Dec 1… December! There is still a crumb or two of homemade stuffing in the fridge… I worked so hard to toast the bread, season the onions, and simmer the fresh herbs, I just can’t bear to toss even a speck of leftovers out.
As hard as it is to let go of leftovers, it’s really tough to get back into the grind. I love Thanksgiving—the focus is on food and gratitude. Not even presents and a jolly red man can top that in my book. So lest we too quickly speed from thankfulness to shopping-card-sending and depending on where you live—weather-cursing season, I’d like to take a moment with some of my characters to reflect on gratitude.
Kaia, Blue Suede Boi
Kaia has a master’s degree and a dead-end job. She also has a fiery crush on a woman she can’t have. Or at least she thinks she can’t have her… until Amanda walks into the lamest shoe store in the most bland strip mall in town. What is Kaia thankful for this year? Sizzling, suddenly-requited lust and blue suede shoes.
Allie, One Exquisite Night
Allie is a 38-year-old single mother of two who didn’t come out—to herself—until late. Too late, she’s afraid. For just one night, she doesn’t want to be a remorseful ex-wife, stressed mother, and awkward lesbian. And so she trusts her fragile heart to Madame Eve and a 1Night Stand— a high-end matchmaking service. Allie thanks Madame Eve when Terra walks through the door… and into the bathtub with Allie. A second chance, someone who understands her flaws, and a burgundy box filled with first date ice-breakers make for a very thankful Allie.
Eryn, Slammin’ Sunday (Don’t Be Shy, Volume 1)
Eryn is thankful she came across a flyer for a poetry slam. With the memory of her poetry instructors voice (and eyes and legs) resonating in her mind, she collects her courage and shows up to slam. That Sunday morning in Q’s Coffee, her poem “Closeness” inspires the real thing with poetry fan, Dani.
Cleary, Fixin’ Biscuits (First Ladylove anthology)
Cleary is methodical and precise. She serves Denver omelets and never forgets a side; she matches her lipsticks to the coordinate with the Fixin’ Biscuits’ uniform. She learns to rely on no one to fill the void of the people she’s lost. But a customer turned co-worker evokes in Cleary needs that she’s long suppressed. And when she holds a miracle in her arms, Cleary’s gratitude may just fix the breaks in Cleary’s heart.
I am thankful for readers, reviews, and for the gift of storytelling. Welcome, December! And goodbye, Stuffing…