Saturday, December 13, 2014

Dillon's Gift

 By A.J. Hawthorn

Gifts. Though they aren’t the primary reason for the holiday, they are one of the first things that come to my mind when Christmas approaches. What do the kids want? What in the world do I get for my parents?
I love to find that perfect gift for people. Accidentally stumbling onto something unexpected that you know is perfect for someone else makes me ridiculously happy. Finding one of those gifts that cries out “I am perfect for so-and-so! You must buy me!” is pretty rare but always makes me so happy.
In Dillon’s Gift, Stacy draws Dillon’s name for the company gift swap. Unsure what to get the boss, she chooses a “nice, normal gift.” She buys him a safe, personalized pen. But there’s a mix-up and that’s not what he opens. Dillon’s a determined man with a plan and not above using any opportunity to get what he wants. All he wants for Christmas is Stacy.
What is the most memorable gift you’ve ever received? Mine is my copy of Acheron by the always awesome Sherrilyn Kenyon. My son who was maybe 11 or 12 years old at the time was determined to “get Mom that book that she really wants.” The poor kid must have asked me for the book’s title twenty times. I finally wrote it down for him and pretended I didn’t know why he needed it. He was so proud to give it to me and he insisted that Gramma buy dark chocolate candy to go with it, milk chocolate just wouldn’t do. This kid really knows my weaknesses.

So why don’t you share your most memorable gift with us? Good or bad, given or received, what gift memory will stay with you forever?

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Stacy hasn’t celebrated Christmas in years and has no reason to change her ways. Dillon can’t understand why the most giving person he knows refuses to join in the holiday cheer. He cooks up a plan that will leave them no choice but to spend the holidays together.
Yet, he doesn’t know Stacy as well as he thinks, and there is an equal chance that things could backfire.
Will a gag gift mix-up, a game of Truth or Dare, and a blizzard ruin the holiday for them both or bring two friends together for a Christmas to remember?

 “I know, but the prank wasn’t intended for you. I wouldn’t do something like that to a friend. If I could go back and fix it, I would.” His friendship meant the world to her, and she was terrified of acting on the simmering attraction that increased each time he came near. The urge to run her hands through his hair and burrow into his warmth quickly consumed her every thought.
A thread of unease unraveled inside her as dark satisfaction transformed his features into those of a male ready to claim a long-awaited prize. He acted as if some certain victory was at hand. As much as she trusted him, she couldn’t help but be wary.
Pressing farther into the door was pointless, but there was no controlling the instinctive response. The wolf had come for Little Red Riding Hood.
“You can’t change it, but you can make it up to me. I need a big favor.”
She recognized the ruthless light entering his eyes. He wore the same expression whenever he entered the boardroom with a plan. She imagined he plotted something dark and sinful. Stacy never dreamed she’d be the focus of such a wicked look.
“Anything.” She hoped her offer wouldn’t backfire, but more than anything she wanted to make it up to him. The heat of shame burned her cheeks and her palms sweat each time she remembered the incident. Oh God, no. What if he fired her?
“Pack your things. You’ll be moving in with me for a few weeks.”
“Excuse me? You want me to move in with you? I don’t understand. I work for you. What about the office?” Maybe she misheard him. Surely her imagination had gone wild. She’d made his life hell, and he wanted her to move into his home?

Find A.J. Hawthorn:  Website || Facebook || Twitter: @ajhawthorn || Goodreads || Tsu: @ajhawthorn

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