Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Prelude to Christmas: Carrie's story, "Moonlight Over Manhattan"

Welcome Carrie Turansky to the blog today! She's here to share an excerpt from her Christmas story, Moonlight Over Manhattan.

Book Blurb: Professional organizer Sarah Montgomery is hired to organize her elderly neighbor’s cluttered apartment by Justin Latimer, her neighbor’s grandson. Sarah believes free-spirited Justin is a lazy, unemployed poet who is taking advantage of his grandmother’s generosity. Though attracted to him, she guards her heart against her growing feelings. As Sarah and Justin work together to help his grandmother and enjoy Christmas events in New York City, romantic sparks fly. When Sarah discovers who Justin really is, she must decide if she will continue to hide behind her protective wall or open her heart and embrace love. Moonlight Over Manhattan (formerly titled Moonlight and Mistletoe) was originally published in "A Big Apple Christmas". It has been updated for new readers to enjoy.

Reader Review of Moonlight Over Manhattan (published on 
5.0 out of 5 stars
Sweet Love Story
By Anne Rightler on October 10, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition

Moonlight Over Manhattan is an engaging novella by Carrie Turansky. Sarah is a professional organizer who seems unable to commit herself to a romantic relationship. Then she bumps into the neighbor's very good-looking grandson, Justin. Embers of love begin to flame and yet suspicions and fears have a hold on Sarah's emotions. Can she overcome the fears and give into the growing attraction for a "song-writing, Bible quoting poet"? Will she find the strength to follow God and trust Him with her future? The author has given readers a captivating love story set in New York City at Christmastime, the most magical time of the year. With realistic and likable characters and a sweet Christmas love story, Moonlight Over Manhattan will not disappoint.

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Story excerpt from Chapter 1 of Moonlight Over Manhattan:

Later that afternoon Sarah sat at the desk in her apartment. She glanced at the calendar on her phone, mentally calculating the time she’d need to leave for her first appointment tomorrow morning.

Molly whined and nudged Sarah’s leg.

“You don’t have to go outside again, do you?” She felt a little strange talking to a dog, but Molly seemed to understand. When she heard the word “outside” the dog’s ears stood up, she barked once, and the expression on her face looked like a doggy smile.

Sarah laughed and picked up the leash. “Okay, come on.” Molly dashed to the door, dancing with excitement. As Sarah clipped the leash on Molly’s collar, the doorbell rang.

She looked through the peephole and saw the back of someone’s head. They had shoulder length, light-brown wavy hair. With the distorted view, she couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman. A ripple of apprehension traveled up her back.

She opened the door but left the chain lock in place. Better safe than sorry in this city.

The person turned around. Sarah immediately realized he was a man—a very good-looking man with a long straight nose, strong chin, and golden-brown eyes. He looked about thirty. She glanced at his clothes, and her eyebrows rose. He wore a dark-green baggy sweatshirt with a torn neck, worn black jeans, and slip-on leather loafers with no socks. She kept the chain in place and stood back a little.

He smiled, and a deep dimple creased his left cheek. “Hi. I’m Justin Latimer.”

Surprise rippled through her. She’d pictured Lillian’s grandson a little differently when they’d talked on the phone earlier.

He lifted his brows, reflecting her hesitant expression.

Heat radiated into her face. “Oh . . . yes. I’m sorry.” She unlatched the chain and opened the door wider. “I’m Sarah Montgomery.”

Molly lunged past her and leaped at Justin. Sarah hung on to the leash.

Laughing, he squatted to greet the dog. “Hey there, Miss Molly. What’ve you been up to? Giving this lady a hard time?” He scratched behind her raised ears and let her lick his cheek.

“How’s Lillian?” Sarah glanced down the hall toward her neighbor’s door.

He stood to face Sarah, and a serious expression replaced his smile. “She sprained her wrist, and they think she has a concussion.” He frowned and glanced away. “Her blood work came back with some strange results. The doctor wants to run some more tests. They’re keeping her overnight.”

“I hope she’s not too upset. I know she thought she’d be coming home today.” Sarah glanced down at Molly. Keeping the dog for one day had been a challenge. She’d had to rearrange her schedule and cancel two appointments. She wasn’t sure how she’d manage working and watching Molly tomorrow.

Justin held his hand out for the leash. “Don’t worry. I’ll take Molly.”

Sarah’s face warmed, surprised he’d read her thoughts, but she didn’t release the leash.

“It’s okay.” Amusement shone in his eyes. “I stay with Molly whenever my grandmother goes out of town. That was part of the deal we made when I got Molly for her.”

“You bought Molly for Lillian?”

Grinning, he nodded. “Yes, I’m the guilty party.” He leaned down and ruffled the hair on the dog’s head, his expression growing pensive. “She was lonely after my granddad died. I thought a dog would be a good companion for her.”

Sarah’s heart warmed as she watched him. “That was thoughtful.”

“Well, I’m glad it helped. Now Molly is one of the most pampered pooches in Manhattan.” He gazed at the dog with affection. “And my grandma has someone who needs her and a reason to get up in the morning.”

Sarah nodded and studied him. Even though he needed a good haircut and new wardrobe, a man who cared that much about his grandmother deserved a measure of trust. “Why don’t you come in, and I’ll collect Molly’s things.” She opened the door wider.

“Thanks.” He followed her into the apartment. His gaze traveled around the living room and dining room. “Wow, this is nice.” He hesitated and glanced at her. “Spacious and very . . . neat.”

She smiled. “You sound surprised.”

“It looks like the same floor plan as my grandmother’s apartment, but it’s a shocking contrast to her . . . housekeeping style.”

Sarah held back a chuckle. “Yes, I saw her apartment for the first time this morning.”

He lifted his hands. “She wasn’t always like this, but since my granddad died, it’s gotten out of hand. Hopefully, I can sort through some things and clean up while she’s at the hospital.”

Sarah tipped her head, considering the possibilities. “Maybe I could help you.”

His dark brows rose. “You want to help me clean out her apartment?”

“That’s what I do.”

“You’re a cleaning lady?”

She pulled in a deep breath and stifled her initial response. “No, I’m a professional organizer.” She reached in her suit jacket pocket and handed him a business card.

He took the card and read it, but the question in his eyes told Sarah he could use a little more explanation.

“I help my clients develop and implement plans to simplify and organize their lives, homes, and offices.”

He nodded, but still looked uncertain.

“I help them discover why they struggle with disorganization. Then I teach them how to overcome clutter, get organized, and realize their dreams.”

His eyes lit up. “That’s exactly what my grandmother needs.” He rubbed his hands together. “When could you start?”

Author bio: 

Carrie Turansky is the award-winning author of seventeen inspirational romance novels and novellas. She writes both contemporary and historical stories and has won the ACFW Genesis Award, The ACFW Carol Awards, and the International Digital Award. 

When Carrie is not writing she enjoys traveling with her husband, working in her garden, walking around the lake near their home in New Jersey, and cooking healthy meals for friends and family. Carrie loves to connect with reading friends through her website, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Connect with Carrie:
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  1. From the title, I think cold but sparkly big time city.

    1. What a title, right? Really sets the scene for the story! :)

    2. Hi GMCT, you're right Moonlight Over Manhattan includes lots of fun Christmas sights and sounds from New York at Christmas.

  2. Sounds like a great story. Love the cover.

    1. Hi Ola! Yes, it does seem like a great story. The beautiful cover makes me want to open the book and begin reading it.

    2. Hi Ola, I loved writing about two opposites in this story. I hope you enjoy it!

  3. The title Moonlight Over Manhatten sounds modern and youthful. When I saw the original title of Moonlight and Mistletoe, I liked that title better. It does sound Christmasy. If Carrie wrote the story, it will be wonderful whatever the title!!!

    1. See, I like "Moonlight Over Manhattan" a lot better. Maybe because I'm a city girl! :) Thanks for visiting my blog. God bless you!

    2. Hi Jennifer, I found there were other books titled Moonlight and Mistletoe, so when I reissued it I decided to change the name. I hope you'll enjoy it!

  4. The title is very romantic...what's better than moonlight? I'm intrigued by the premise, and am always on the lookout for quality, non-cheesy Christian fiction. It seems like I'm in the right place!

    1. Hi, Kimmie! Yes, the title is very romantic. Makes me want to see how the hero and heroine's story will unfold. :) Yes, you are in the right place because every book that I'm featuring for "A Prelude to Christmas" is quality Christian fiction.

    2. Hi Kimmie, thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy reading Moonlight Over Manhattan. I'll give you a non-cheesy guarantee. Blessings and Merry Christmas!

  5. Great cover, and the story sounds really good!