One of the recurring themes around the holiday season is home. Songs sing us home for the holidays. Many of us go to often extreme measures to make it home to celebrate with our near and dear. Sometimes we like to return to the place where it all began for us – our hometown, a relative’s house, a special place. Somehow we seek something more than bright lights, pretty decorations, presents, and delightful food or drink. We long to be cuddled and cradled, to reconnect with the oldest or deepest bonds we’ve made. We look for a little burst of holiday magic to bring past and present together as we celebrate and sometimes we realize home is truly where the heart lies. Sometimes we’ve been home without realizing it. It’s not always a place but a mindset and a feeling.
In my last release of 2012 (but don’t worry, readers, there is much more to come in 2013), Home Fires of Christmas, the story – and yes, it’s a short, not a full-length novel – delves into the concept of home. It takes us to one home, one woman, and the hopes she carries within for Christmas. It’s a love story, after all, but it’s a Christmas tale too.
Here’s all the details and two excerpts:
Lela may be the wife of a famous singer but on Christmas Eve, she finds herself home alone. As she waits for Shane to come home for the holidays, Lela wonders if fame has changed their lives too much. Shane's out on the road almost all the time while she keeps the home fires burning. Shane's failure to arrive sends her into a bout of self-pity but when he finally makes it home, she learns things are much different than they seem.
Excerpt 1 – G rated
“Keep the home fires burning for me, baby,” he told her every time he left.
At first she didn’t mind. Lela loved decorating the twelve room house, finding antiques and the right accents to make it into a home, their home, stamped with their style and personality. She enjoyed trying out new recipes to cook when Shane got back and baking the desserts he loved so much, but when his career really took off with a chart busting monster hit, he lived on the road and came home when he could, which wasn’t often. And Lela waited, sometimes patiently but most of all lonesome.
He still loves me, she thought as she curled up in bed, alone, her bare feet cold. She knew he did. Most nights Shane called her when the show ended and often phoned her throughout the day, quick little calls to tell her where he was or what went down around him. The florist’s van made frequent stops at their address delivering dozens of roses or special daisies or plants. Sometimes they marked an occasion – their first date, her birthday, but most of the time his cards were signed, Just because I love you, Shane.
Until now, he’d never missed Christmas at home. In past years Shane cleared his concert schedule to be back by mid-December and together they picked out a tree, brought it home, trimmed it, and went shopping arm in arm. Maybe because they grew up blue collar poor with moms who made ends meet with a lot of beans and meatloaf they gave generously. Family and friends always received beautiful gifts, things they wanted or needed, often things they’d never dreamed of owning. Shane and Lela also usually shopped for the local children’s home delivering a truckload of Hot Wheels race track sets, Barbie Doll houses, and board games, but this year she’d done it alone, all of it.
Excerpt 2 – R -rated
He tasted of peppermints and a fainter hint of good bourbon, pleasant and familiar. Heat kindled between their lips and fire ignited between them as his mouth teased hers into desire. His kiss pleasured her mouth but evoked waves of want in her body, sweet thrills of delight rippling with need. As her body eased into the familiar tension, the yearning just one thing could relieve, Lela curled herself closer against Shane until she felt his hard cock move against her.
He pulled away her robe and stripped her flannel nightgown away. Shane’s large hands roamed over her body, caressing and fondling. He knew just where to touch to evoke her reaction, how to stroke her to increase her desire to a fever pitch. Lela’s hands jerked at his shirt, fumbled the buttons until she could take it off. When she did, Shane unzipped his jeans and stepped out of them, bare as the day he came into the world beneath the denim. She admired his shaft and reached out to take it into her hand. As she began to caress him, Shane pulled his mouth away from hers to latch onto her left nipple where he suckled. Extreme pleasure flowed through her body as she arched her back to get maximum reaction. He switched to her right breast, hand cupping it as he tongued around her sensitive nipple until she whimpered with need.
Shane’s fingers moved to her mound where he stroked until her inner pulsing increased so much Lela thought she’d die if she didn’t get satisfaction soon. Her own fingers tangled in his hair, longer than he’d once worn it then moved to rake his back with her fingernails like a she-animal. He groaned with pleasure and maneuvered her toward the antique couch. Lela sprawled on it, legs spread open and he entered her fast and harsh with the power of a river flowing into her body. From the first connection she spasmed with glad satisfaction as each ripple grew until waves of erotic enchantment bewitched her.
He worked her and she gave back, moving beneath him to offer the release they both sought. At last they shuddered together in a climax powerful enough they slid from the couch onto the hard wood floors with a crash. Still connected, the final spirals of bliss spinning them through a rush of delight they burst into laughter, a happy sound carrying them the rest of the way. After he caught his breath, he scooped her into his arms and returned her to the couch where they lay intertwined, firelight playing a game of light and shadow over their nude flesh.
Where to find me:
From Sweet to Heat: The Romance of Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Blog: Rebel Writer: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy