Friday, December 10, 2010

Winter Reads

Every summer there's a lot of attention given to Beach Reads--books deemed perfect for reading while baking under the sun in a beach chair. What about Winter Reads--books that are enjoyed while sipping hot chocolate, bundled up in an afghan in the overstuffed chair by the fireplace?

I've written two books where the action occurs during the cold of winter. The Company You Keep begins in January with plenty of snow.


The snow had crusted two days ago when sleet had
covered everything with an icy glaze. With slippers on her
feet, she broke through the hard coating and sank into the
soft snow beneath.

The sharp sting of the frozen crystals on her skin did not
stop her from scrambling after the disappearing spirit. She
caught a glimpse of the lantern’s glow waiting by the
gnarled maple at the edge of the woods. Fear prickled
along her neck, but an odd compulsion propelled her
forward.

The light dipped, swayed, and moved on into the woods
until the gleam became feeble and indistinct. By the time
Jennifer leaned against the twisted trunk of the old maple,
the light had disappeared altogether, and she did not have
the strength to go further. Her own battery lantern
flickered and went dark.

Her lungs hurt as she panted in the cutting air. The
wind had swept the snow away from the base of the tree
and she sat on one of the tree’s bulging roots while a wave
of desolation washed over her. Surprisingly, as suddenly
as it began, the bitter chill in her soul ended. The opening
to the portal must have closed.

She shivered violently. In the stillness, clouds of vapor
from her breath trailed high in the air. She found she
couldn’t stop shaking. She knew she should keep moving,
but wracked by the dreadful trembling, she remained
huddled at the foot of the ancient tree.


Are you cold yet? You probably will be if you read the book. The snow hangs around through most of the book.

However, if you'd like to be not only cold but wet, here's a scene from Sea Of Hope, which starts off with a nor'easter.

She glared out over the crashing waves with her lips pressed tightly together and realized how numb and heavy her heart felt, as though it had been weighted down with lead sinkers. Alone with her grief for the first time since her father's death, she relished the blast of the gale. It pumped some of its power into her thin frame and woke her from a weeklong nightmare.

"How could you do this to me, Dad?" she cried out over the howl of the storm. "You made a promise to me." But the tempest tore her words away and the only answer to her question was the shrill scream of the wind and a shower of salty spray that stung her eyes.

Sheets of rain pelted her and the pier shuddered as the waves slammed into it, but Doria stood her ground. With a Nor'easter battering the New Jersey coastline, conditions on the pier were hazardous, however what she intended to do would only take a moment.

Keep your ereader charged just in case the power goes out. Bundle up, stay warm, sip hot drinks, and download a good book. There's no better way to enjoy winter!

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