Widow Marnie Haywood wants Christmas hosting her in-laws to go smoothly. And it would – if her handsome neighbor and his friendly St. Bernard would stop coming over, mooching food, and stealing kisses.
Heat level: PG
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“The abominable snowman is in our backyard!”
Marnie Haywood kept stirring the gravy. She had a few days to perfect her gravy-making technique before Christmas. She wasn’t going to burn the gravy this year, especially since her in-laws were coming for the holiday.
Besides, the likelihood that a live snowman was in their sunny San Diego backyard was small.
Five year-old Alex jumped up and down next to her. “Abominable! Snowman!” He made claws with both hands and dropped his voice to a monster snarl. “A-bom-in-a-ble! Snow-man!”
Maybe it’d been a mistake to allow Alex to binge-watch Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and sample the baked goods she’d made to share with their friends and neighbors. He was supercharged, bursting with enough energy to power Rudolph’s nose through a foggy all-nighter.
No fictional snowman was ruining Marnie’s gravy. She stirred as vigorously as her son jumped.
And then they both stopped, because something growled. Something in their backyard.Alex gripped her jean-clad leg. “I told you.” He pointed to the glass slider behind her. The one leading to their condo’s backyard.A thin sheet of glass separated them from a huge white dog. A pony-sized dog. A slobber-on-the-slider, paws-as-big-as-softballs, jaws-as-big-as-bear-traps dog.
Story Behind the Story
I was asked to participate in a sweet romance collection featuring a pet. I sat down to a family dinner and proclaimed my story well dry. All I could think of was my son’s lovable St. Bernard and perhaps a hero and heroine who shared a backyard along with a condo wall. My son casually mentioned that it’d be fun to have the dog talk and play matchmaker. And Snowy was born!
I have a small dog – half Yorkie/half Shitzu. Tally is a talker. I’ve never had a dog talk to me so much. I can tell what mood she’s in and what she wants. There’s a difference between her I need to go out and her I need what you’re having voices. And then there’s her grumpy morning grumble and her don’t ever leave me again bubbly half-growl/half bark. Her broad vocabulary led to Snowy’s talkative nature. I’ve had a few readers request more Snowy stories and hope to release another installment for the 2016 holiday.