For Day 14, I'd like to introduce an author who I recently discovered, and who I loved getting to know better. Here to share her feelings about the holidays is Ms. Mina Khan!
For me, the holiday season runs from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day, and is all about spending time with loved ones. It’s not about creating the perfect experience or lots of gifts, but being present and letting people you care about know that you love them. It’s big, boisterous family gatherings and quiet, one-on-one moments.
When I was single, I loved going Christmas tree shopping and decorating it. If I was dating, I’d rope in the boyfriend. If I wasn’t, I’d call a few friends together. Some of the people are no longer in my life, but I still have wonderful memories.
I married into a large family and when both our families show up with all the kids and their spouses and the grandkids, it’s about fifty people. A full house. Gatherings are loosely coordinated chaos. I have learned to go with the flow, laugh a lot, and appreciate the blessing of an entire family working together to make great memories.
When I decided to write a Christmas story (A Christmas Wish coming Dec. 20…yay!), I wanted to share my sense of my family. So I brought together two wounded souls who both deserved a better life. It’s hard for them to trust, it’s hard for them to stop being loners, and they dance awkwardly around each other as they fall in love. But in the end, they’re family.
Here’s an excerpt from A Christmas Wish:
Selene returned home from Paula’s and stood on her threshold gaping. The apartment was put back together in better condition than before. She now had a deep red, comfortable looking couch. Her throw, neatly folded and placed across the top of the middle cushion, added a nice homey touch. Ella Fitzgerald crooned “Baby, it’s Cold Outside” in the background.
A carved cherry wood coffee table, a thick, ornate Persian rug, and a restocked bookshelf were some of the other new additions. Nice.
Then her heart plummeted. Instead of their small, crooked tree, the room now boasted a majestic 7-foot tall beautiful Douglas Fir decorated with exquisite ornaments. “How? What?”
Rayez, who’d been sitting on the couch reading a collection of Rumi’s poems and enjoying a glass of white wine, blushed. He put the book down and got to his feet.
His short-sleeved black tee-shirt and worn blue jeans showed off his manly assets in all the right ways. “Since Cade wasn’t around helping, I cleaned the rest of it up using djinn powers,” he said, stuffing his hands in his pockets and rocking back on his heels. “I hope you don’t mind me making some changes. If you don’t like them, I can put it back as it was.”
“Um, if you could just turn the tree back to our tree that’d be nice. It had a lot of homemade decorations.” She gave him a sheepish grin and a shrug. “It’s special to Cade and me.”
He waved a hand and the small tree with its crooked star popped back into existence. “Done.”
“Otherwise, it’s all very nice,” she said, glancing around for the umpteenth time since she’d walked in the door. “Thank you.”
The best improvement was him. He was still there. And at the moment, he looked like a normal guy. She could pretend she was just a girl returning home to him. The yearning for that simple life left her with a hollow ache.
Selene walked over to the book shelf and perused the titles. All her old favorites were back—Little Women, Good Earth, Pride and Prejudice, Around the World in Eighty Days, Frankenstein and more. A contented smile slipped onto her lips. She turned to Rayez. “Thank you.”
“My pleasure,” he replied gruffly. “Thanks for using your books to help me out.”
She laughed. “What a night, huh?”
“Want a glass of wine to toast our survival?”
His gaze lingered on her, dark, intense and so very male. A striking contrast to his teasing tone. She should decline, walk away from temptation. But her feet refused to move. It was just one glass of wine. Nothing wrong with that. “Sounds like a great idea.”
He magicked another glass of wine into existence and presented it to her with a graceful flourish. “For you, madam.”
“Thanks.” She took the glass and raised it. “Here’s to surviving the rest of it.”
A Christmas Wish Blurb:
Rayez, a smoking hot chef and fire djinn in exile, lands himself in deep trouble when he tries to help a mysterious beautiful woman.
Selene is pursued and desperate. She'll do anything to keep her brother safe—including capture a djinn.
While deception brings them together, dangerous enemies make them unlikely allies. Can one gigantic wrong lead to two rights and true love?
*This is an expanded version of the story previously called Sealed With Kiss, which was part of the Alphas Unleashed anthology.
Mina Khan is a Texas-based writer and food enthusiast. She writes about djinns (genies), dragons, hunks and whatever else sparks her fancy. She also writes a weekly food column for her local newspaper. Originally from Bangladesh, she is now a proud West Texan.
Her first published work, The Djinn's Dilemma, won the novella category of the 2012 Romance Through The Ages (published) contest. A Tale of Two Djinns won the 2013 Readers’ Crown for best paranormal romance. Wildfire won the 2014 PRISM for Best First Book.
For more information check out her:
Blog: Stories by Mina Khan
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