Saturday, December 22, 2018

Christmas on My Heart: The 12 Gifts of Christmas by Lena Nelson Dooley

Excerpt from Chapter 3 of Lena Nelson Dooley’s book, 
The 12 Gifts of Christmas:

“Let’s all sit down,” he said. Alanza sat beside him.
“MacGregor here came to ask me if he could date you.”
Her eyes widened, but she didn’t look upset. That was a good sign.
“Oh, he did, did he?”
“I did not want to give him my answer until I knew if you in fact wanted to date him.”
Now a blush crept up her cheeks, making her even more beautiful. And her green eyes sparkled. He’d never noticed the tiny golden flecks in her irises before. He tried to keep his face neutral, but it was hard when he wished he had the right to pull her into his arms right then and there.
Her smile widened. “Sure. I’d like that.”
He hoped she didn’t feel pressured. “How about tonight?” he asked. “Would you like to go out to dinner?”
Alessandro clapped his hands softly a couple of times. “Bravo. Now, that’s settled. Do you need anything else, Malcolm?”
He pulled his attention from Alanza toward her father. “No, sir. Thank you.”
They shook hands. “Now, please excuse me, I must finish this.” And Alessandro returned to his paperwork.
The bright smile Alanza flashed him went straight to his heart. I praise and thank You, Lord, for this beautiful woman You have created for me.
“What time?”
What time? When does she get off work? As soon as possible would be good. Calm down and think straight!
“What time would work for you, Alanza?”
“How about seven?”
“Fine. Where do you live? I’ll come pick you up there.”
After Alanza gave him the address, he said his goodbyes, then went out to his car, unable to stop smiling. It’s going to happen!

Alanza had a hard time keeping her mind on work. Malcolm MacGregor asked Poppa if he could date her! Wow. She didn’t think he realized how often she gazed over at him while he was in the restaurant. It had become a habit for her to glance at the door every time it opened between one and two p.m. Even though she knew she’d see him tonight and he had no reason to come back in for lunch, she still looked up every single time the door opened. She hoped no one noticed… especially not Poppa.
When it was almost five, her father stopped by the cash register. “Alanza, you can go home and get ready for your date tonight.”
“But, Poppa, the evening rush will start soon. I could stay at least an hour longer.”
He gave her one of his special smiles. “No, I want you to have plenty of time to get ready.”
That’s all it took. She whipped off her apron and headed to the employee break room to get her things out of her locker. In less than ten minutes, she drove toward her apartment, her heart singing.
While getting ready, she thought about all of the things she liked about Malcolm MacGregor. She loved him being so much taller than she was. At five-foot-eleven, not many men were. She could even wear high heels and not be as tall as he was. He had to be at least six-foot-three—maybe more. He looked strong, but not too buff. Not like those crazy guys who worked out so much that they were musclebound. His sky-blue eyes held intelligence, humor, and warmth. She’d never been interested in a guy with red hair before. But his was a rich auburn with just enough waviness that she’d never seen it in disarray. And when he’d leaned on the counter and talked to her while paying his bill, he smelled very masculine and woodsy. It lingered in the air for a few moments after he left the restaurant.
Alanza sang along with the playlist on her smart phone while in the shower and blow drying her hair. When she went to her walk-in closet, she couldn’t decide what to wear. Why hadn’t she asked Malcolm where they were going? She didn’t know whether to dress up or dress down.
It had started to get chilly before she left work and it would get really cold after the sun went down, so she decided to dress in layers. Navy slacks with knee-high black boots. A rich green, long-sleeved blouse with an attached scarf that tied into a bow near her throat. On top of that, her favorite sweater in shades of green and navy. Then she pulled out a long wool coat with a quilted lining.
Alanza glanced at the clock. He’ll be here in fifteen minutes. Will he be early or late? Maybe just on time.

Author Bio:
Multi-published author Lena Nelson Dooley has had more than 900,000 copies of her books sold. 

She is a member of ACFW and the local chapter ACFW - DFW. She’s a member of Christian Authors’ Network and Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

Lena has been on the ECPA and CBA Bestseller lists, Publisher’s Weekly bestseller list, and several Amazon Bestseller lists as well as a reviewer’s Top Ten Books of 2011. She has won over a dozen major awards.

She hosts “The Lena Nelson Dooley Show” on the Along Came a Writer Blogtalk radio network.

Blurb for Lena's book, The 12 Gifts of Christmas:

Malcolm MacGregor is a descendant of Scotland’s Clan MacGregor and a successful young businessman in Fort Worth, Texas. Alanza Cantalamessa works at a gourmet pizzeria owned by her Brazilian artist mother and her Italian Poppa. 

Both of them are smitten with each other but Malcolm is too reserved to do much more than make small talk—until a promotion at work that will send him away to Australia for six months. It’s December and he has to do something—fast.

Praying about the situation, Malcolm decides to give her twelve gifts leading up to Christmas. Their families and friends think they are moving too fast. And a gold-digger who tossed Malcolm aside in the past has now decided he’s the man of her dreams.

Can Malcolm and Alanza overcome their obstacles before he has to go abroad? Or is it really not meant to be?

Book Review from A. R. S. on Amazon about The 12 Gifts of Christmas:

4.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary old-fashioned romance
October 20, 2018
Format: Paperback

This was a cute story that takes place in modern day about a man who has found the woman he wants to marry and pursues her. Malcolm has set up a time schedule for himself and is intent on making Alanza, whom he has only ever met at her parent’s restaurant, his wife. He wants to be married before he leaves for Australia for a 6-month stint for his job.

Although this story is a bit out of the box, I really enjoyed watching Malcolm’s pursuit of Alanza. At first, he did come off a bit strong, but as I got to know him along with Alanza, he became more romantic and a true Scottish hero. I was pleasantly surprised as there were a couple of surprising twists and turns to the story of a man giving twelve gifts to a woman he barely knows but wants to marry.

This was a cute and fun recommended holiday read. I received a complimentary copy of this novel. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

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1 comment:

  1. The saying that the older you get the less that is on your Christmas list because the things you want can't be bought is very true.

    I'm reminded of my Mom when she was asked what she wanted for Christmas and she replied "Just don't get me anything that needs dusting". :)

    What I would love for Christmas is just to be with the ones I love and that others could know the love of family and of the true meaning for the season. May everyone have as much to eat as I know I will and that no one go hungry or without and may they be able to share that food with someone that cares.

    May you have the merriest of Christmas' and the happiest of New Years!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net


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