Friday, December 22, 2017

Cozy Christmas Reads: Deb's story

Excerpt from Texas Christmas Twins by Deb Kastner: 

Feeling awkward at having to let himself into a cabin he was unfamiliar with, he opened the door and stepped inside. He didn’t immediately see Miranda, or the twins, either, for that matter.

His attention was instead captured by the insane display of Christmas decorations, red and green, silver and gold, everywhere his gaze landed.

It looked as if the North Pole had exploded in her living room.

An enormous eight-foot Christmas tree stood in one corner, the flashing angel topper just barely clearing the ceiling. Presents wrapped in colorful aluminum paper were piled high underneath the tree.

She’d arranged a large Nativity set, complete with a stable and an angel proclaiming Peace on Earth, on the end table.

Shiny red and gold garland adorned every wall, with evergreen garland gracing the fireplace where the stockings were hung with care, as the poem went. Homemade stockings with Hudson and Harper’s names written in flourishes of red and green glitter glue.

This woman was clearly obsessed with Christmas.

And apparently, shiny things.

It took him a moment to focus and find Miranda. He supposed he’d expected to find her changing a diaper or feeding the twins as the reason she couldn’t answer the door.

Instead, she was right there in the middle of the living room, stretched out on her stomach underneath a card table that she’d draped with sheets, holding a flashlight she was beaming on a picture book as Harper and Hudson cuddled on either side of her.

Of all the crazy, unexpected scenarios, this one took the cake.

Or the Christmas fruit cake as the case might be.

The tent was ingenious. She’d used stacks of hardback books to fasten the edges of the sheet to the sofa on one side of them and an armchair on the other, with the card table holding up the structure in the middle.

She shined the flashlight at his face, momentarily blinding him, and he held up a hand to block the light.

“Simon?” she questioned, surprise lining her tone. “Simon West?”

He was astonished she recognized him. He’d added a few inches to his frame in the years since they’d seen each other last, not to mention a few pounds.

“Uncle Simon,” he corrected her tersely, nodding toward the twins. “It’s an honorary title.”

Of which he was very, very proud.

“Well, Uncle Simon, you’re more than welcome to join us.” She shifted herself and the twins to the side to make room for him in the tiny, strung-up tent.

“I’m welcome to—” he repeated. He’d walked into her house out of the blue. She had no idea why he was here, and yet she’d immediately offered him the opportunity to join in their…adventure.

"What are you doing here, by the way?" she asked curiously.


Her offer completely threw him off his game, and for a moment he was fairly certain he was gaping and couldn't remember his own name, much less why he had come.

Eventually, he shook his head. There was no way he was going to get his large frame under that small table, no matter how hard he squeezed. And honestly, he didn’t even really want to try.

“We can make it work,” Miranda insisted, clearly not taking no for an answer. “I’m sure the twins will love spending quality time with their uncle Simon.”

She flashed the cover of the book at Simon, as if finding out what she was reading would somehow convince him to crawl in.

“We’re reading Little Red Riding Hood. Hudson likes the wolf, don’t you, buddy?” she asked the baby, making a growling sound and tickling his tummy.

Hudson squealed and giggled happily.

“Tell Uncle Simon you want him to come on down,” she said to Harper, giving her the same affectionate tickling treatment Hudson had just received. “I think he’s being a little bit stubborn, don’t you?”

Simon balked at her words. He wasn’t being stubborn. He was being practical.

And this was definitely not how this confrontation was supposed to go. This whole scenario was mind-boggling.

“But this is—” he started to say.




She raised a jaunty, dark eyebrow. There was no question about it. She was outright daring him to make a fool of himself with the twinkle in her pretty hazel eyes.

There was no way he was going to get out of this with his dignity intact. But he’d never been the type of man to walk away from a challenge.

Not now. Not ever.

Grumbling under his breath at the ignominy of it all, he dropped onto his belly to army crawl into the mixed-up files of Miranda’s imagination makeshift dwelling.

Author bio:
Publishers Weekly bestselling and award-winning author with over 1.5 million books in print, Deb Kastner writes stories of faith, family and community in a small-town western setting. 

She lives in Colorado with her husband and a pack of miscreant mutts, and is blessed with three daughters and two grandchildren. 

She enjoys spoiling her grandkids, movies, music (The Texas Tenors!), singing in the church choir and exploring Colorado on horseback.

Book blurb for Texas Christmas Twins:

Christmas on the Ranch

Miranda Morgan’s Christmas will be twice as busy now that she’s guardian of her sister’s sweet twin babies. But the celebrity photographer is happy to trade a glamorous LA lifestyle for motherhood in her small hometown of Wildhorn, Texas. 

Unfortunately, the twins’ handsome godfather, Simon West, is unconvinced. The brooding rancher isn’t thrilled about letting sunny, spontaneous Miranda into his carefully managed world. Though they disagree on almost everything, Simon and Miranda discover common ground as they work to make the twins’ first country Christmas cozy and bright. 

Could this holiday transform Miranda and Simon’s tentative friendship into a forever love?

Book Review of Texas Christmas Twins:

"Miranda was absolutely precious with the twins. Her antics and joy with them was fun to read. I was always thinking, "What will she be doing next?" Simon was lovingly overprotective, but had it all wrong. His care of his dogs and his love for the twins were touching. The mystery shenanigans added such a fun twist to the story. Again, exciting to see what was coming next. A very sweet read. I would recommend to anyone who loves babies, fun antics, dogs, and a sweet budding romance!" ~Kelly's Review on Goodreads

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  1. What an unexpected gift! Twins for Christmas! I think the most exciting part of this story will be how the main characters adjust their lives and ultimately form new ones around these precious babies. Here’s a secret, I’ve always wanted to be a twin! 😊

    1. Twins were so fun to write because of their special connection to each other.

  2. The sentence which says that it looked like the North Pole had exploded in the living room sets the stage for the delightful situation as a lady reading to 2 children talking with an unexpected "uncle" sounds intriguing to me!

    1. Simon finds it difficult to keep up with spontaneous Miranda and the precocious twins.

  3. I like the holiday theme with the twins and the Texas setting since I lived there a long time ago.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

    1. Nearly all my books these days are set in Texas. It's a wonderful background in which to place my characters. Merry Christmas!

    2. I love writing Texas-based stories. Merry Christmas!

  4. ohh I have to put this book on my list. I liked how she was making memories with the twins. She invited Simon into her world of making them and even though he wanted to resist he was joining them.
    quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

  5. I love the card table tent. That's intriguing because I used to make these when I was little.

  6. What intrigues me about Deb's story is that not only is it a Christmas story, but it also has twins!!! I enjoyed this excerpt and look forward to reading this book!

  7. Texas twin babies, how precious. schmokercarol(at)yahoo(dot)com


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