A NEWPORT CHRISTMAS WEDDING – On sale December 2, 2014
About the book –
New York Times bestselling author Shelley Noble returns to Newport with this lovely Christmas tale featuring all the characters you fell in love with in BREAKWATER BAY.
It’s Christmas in Newport. The mansions are decorated and the streets are filled with excitement. Across the bay, preparations are in full swing for the wedding of Meri Hollis and Alden Corrigan. A year ago, Meri never imagined that she would marry her best friend, Alden, or become step mother to his two teenaged children, Nora and Lucas.
But as the wedding day draws near, tension and emotions run high and Meri’s happiness turns to uncertainty. Nora is suddenly acting sullen and withdrawn, Alden is preoccupied, and Meri wonders if marrying Alden will bring the family closer together or tear them apart.
It seems like this wedding might be doomed before it begins until a special Christmas surprise brings home the meaning of family and the joy of the holidays.
But Nora just stood there, looking like she was about to burst into tears.
“You’re very graceful,” Gran said. “We’re none of us at our ease these days. It’s bound to happen when big changes are coming. Good changes,” she added.
A audible gulp escaped from Nora.
Meri frowned and glanced at Alden. He was concentrating on the chicken.
The spill was quickly cleaned up and the dishes replaced. Alden brought the chicken to the table.
Meri dropped a big chunk of butter on the beans, and gran brought wine glasses for the three adults.
“Milk or juice?” she asked Nora.
“Nothing, just water.”
Meri looked more closely at Nora. Was she getting sick? Was something bothering her? Something at school? Should she try to have a girl to girl talk with her after dinner? They’d always been able to talk before. But that might change, too. Being step mother to two teenagers was unknown territory. Would Nora still want to talk to her?
Maybe she should mention something to Alden. Sometimes he could be so clueless, she thought, exasperated. Just as she thought it, he stepped behind his daughter and gave her a quick squeeze.
Okay, so not so clueless. Actually, to be fair, he was usually very with it. Gran was right. They were all a little on edge. Meri knew she was. Big changes.
Nora thought dinner would never end. Gran had made her favorites and she barely remembered eating them. And to make it worse, everybody kept asking her if she felt alright.
Well, she didn’t. But she wasn’t getting sick. It was something else.
She went straight to her room when they got home. Meri hadn’t come with them. She said she wanted some alone time with Gran. But Nora heard her tell Alden that he should spend some time with her, Nora.
She groaned and threw herself on her bed. Now she was a chore.
She didn’t give him the chance to spend time with her. When they got home, she said she was tired and went to her room. She even locked her door, not that he would ever come in without knocking.
He was good that way, not like her mom who used to pop in at the oddest moments. Nora knew it was because she was trying to catch her doing something wrong. But her dad wasn’t like that He trusted her.
She tried to imagine Meri sneaking up on her. Searching her drawers and backpack for contraband. Putting her on restriction for her bad attitude. Taking her cell away because she talked back. But she hadn’t done anything to make Meri or her dad angry . . . at least that she knew of. But that might change.
Especially if Meri had a baby.
Nora turned over on her stomach. A baby. Of course they would want to have their own family. Then it would start all over. But she would be gone by then. Another few months and she’d be eighteen. She could get her own apartment. Or maybe she’d go to college. Then it wouldn’t matter . . . except on holidays. But what about Lucas?
She reached in her jeans pocket and pulled out her cell. Opened the text app.
We nd 2 talk. Pressed send.
Five minutes. Ten. Where r u.
Another ten minutes passed.
She broke down and called him.
“What? I’m busy.”
Nora waited for him to bubble up from whatever thing he was thinking.
“Is anything wrong? Are you okay? Dad? Nothing’s wrong with dad is there?”
Okay he was back. “I needed to talk to you. What if Meri has a baby?”
Silence at the other end.
“She’s pregnant? Is that why they’re getting married?”
“No. At least I don’t think she is. But what if she does?”
“She probably will. And soon. Statistics show that second families are often in a rush to start again.”
“Why do you know about marriage statistics? You’re only thirteen.”
She could hear him breathing. Finally he said, “Cause I looked it up.”
Then she got it. “You’re worried, too.”
“I am not.”
“Yeah you are. You think they aren’t going to want us around when they start having their new family.”
“Well, they won’t, will they?”
A heavy expulsion of breath. “Haven’t we already lived through that once? Mark and Mom did the same thing. Started having babies and revolving their lives around them.”
“Oh. I didn’t think you noticed.”
“I noticed. I just chose to put my energy elsewhere.”
Nora frowned. Her little brother was sounding like a jaded old man. “Is that a quote?”
“From the therapist they sent us to. Pretty good imitation, huh?”
“Yeah.” Too good.
“So is that why you called? To tell me Meri isn’t pregnant.”
“No, I just needed a second opinion.”
“Whether they’ll want us—me—around once they’re married.”
“You’re just worrying about that now? Kind of late don’t you think?”
“So I’m not as smart as you. I didn’t even think about it until this lady asked me where I was going to live when they were married.” Nora sniffed, her eyes were stinging and she wanted to burst into tears but that would be such a lame thing to do. Especially in front of her brother.
“Well, think about it. They probably would like some alone time.”
“They get alone time.”
“Real alone time. Privacy.”
“They have privacy. Meri stays here sometimes. They’re at the other end of the hall. You don’t hear anything . . . or anything.”
“Well, you don’t.”
“What if they want to mess around in the kitchen and you show up looking for a glass of water?”
About the author –
Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer. She most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America.
There are ecopies of A Newport Christmas Wedding up for grabs – go and check it out right over here: a Rafflecopter giveaway