Snowed In is one of four novellas in Cariad Romance’s Love Under the Mistletoe Collection
Firstly, let me start by extending a massive thanks to KD for hosting me today. It was great fun writing the story for the Christmas anthology, but what was even better was getting to know the other awesome Accent Press writers KD Grace, Demelza Hart and Elizabeth Coldwell (although I already knew Elizabeth – she was the editor of my first book, and the person who ‘spotted’ me and got me signed up! Thanks again Liz!)
For this blog post I thought it might be fun to write a little prologue to go with my story from the anthology, which is called ‘Snowed In’. This wasn’t included in the actual book, so it’s an exclusive FREE chapter! Enjoy!
Something was ringing. And ringing. And ringing. Groaning I rolled over in my cosy duvet den and rammed the heel of my hand down on the alarm clock beside my bed, but it was still ringing. What the heck? Usually a swift whack with my hand did the job, but apparently not today. Blinking my bleary eyes I pushed myself upright and fumbled around in the dark until I found the switch to my lamp. Illuminating my bedroom in the soft glow I picked up the alarm clock and stared at it in puzzlement. It was the school holidays today so it wasn’t even set to go off, but it was still ringing … after a few long, slow blinks my brain became marginally more alert and I finally realised that the alarm in my hand wasn’t the source of the noise. The cheerful trumpeting sounds that was driving me crazy was actually my mobile phone ringtone.
Glancing at the alarm in my hand I frowned, it was 5:34am, who the heck would be calling me at this time? Slamming the alarm down I slithered from the bed, cursed as my feet hit the cold wooden floor, and then looked around for my phone. Conveniently I saw that it was on the dresser by the door right next to where I dumped my slippers the night before. Crossing the room I simultaneously shoved my feet into my warm furry slippers whilst grabbing my phone, clicking ‘answer’ and then lifting it to my ear.
‘…ello?’ My voice was dry and gruff from sleep and barely audible, so I cleared my throat and tried again. ‘Hello?’
There was a symphony of wet, spluttered coughs down the line which caused me to grimace and hold the phone away from my ear before I finally heard someone speaking. ‘Allie?’ Crikey, I recognised the voice as Sarah my best friend, but she sounded even rougher than I had a minute ago.
Shivering I pulled my dressing gown down from the back of the door. ‘Sarah?’ I asked with a frown as I shrugged my arms into the sleeves of the fleece dressing gown.
‘Yeah, hi Allie.’ She croaked.
‘Blimey you sound rougher than a badgers arse.’ I commented as I made my way through the chilly house towards the kitchen. Brushing my hand along the frigid radiator I grimaced – it was so early the heating hadn’t even come on! Sarah better have a seriously good reason for calling this early.
‘I need a huge favour, Allie.’ My best friend whispered in a low gravelly tone which sounded more suited to a porn star than my best friend.
Propping the phone between my shoulder and my ear I clicked the kettle on and lifted down a mug from the cupboard. ‘I kinda guessed that much, you know, seeing as it’s still practically the middle of the night and you’re calling me. Come on then, what’s up?’
‘I’m really sick.’ More coughing resonates down the line, ‘I was wondering if there was any chance you could cover a shift for me today?’ I’m a primary school teacher, Sarah is a house cleaner; they aren’t exactly interchangeable careers are they? As if sensing my hesitation Sarah spoke again, ‘Please Allie, I can’t lose this job. I just can’t.’ she begged with a sneeze. Besides the owner of the house is hotness personified.’ Cough, cough. ‘I can’t remember the last time I saw a guy this good looking. I mean he’s sex on legs. You’ll love it. You’ll love him.’
Closing my eyes I stood for a second, literally able to see my day plan of a Christmas shopping spree disappearing before my very eyes. ‘Please?’ she added beseechingly as I felt my resolve crumbling.
‘I don’t know, Sarah, I’m not exactly a professional, am I?’ I argued weakly, knowing full well that I was going to end up doing this bloody job for her in the end regardless what I said now.
‘It doesn’t matter, it’s just a quick clean round and knock up a casserole. The owner’s away so it doesn’t matter too much.’
My eyebrows shot up and an ironic smile quirked my lip, ‘A second ago you were trying to tempt me with the hot owner, but now you’re saying he won’t even be there!’
There was silence at the end of the line, then a wet sniffle which made me roll my eyes. Sighing heavily I shook my head, ‘Go on then, give me the bloody address.’ I acquiesced reluctantly.
‘Oh my god! Allie! Thank you so much!’ Sniff, sniff, cough. ‘If you … come over I’ll give … you the key.’ Her words were broken up by such loud wheezes and coughs I could almost feel the germs permeating through the phone line and held it away from my ear in disgust.
‘Fine. I’ll be over in an hour.’ I replied with a huff. ‘Hot man or not, you owe me big time for this Sarah.’
To find out if Allie does meet the ‘hot house owner’, read the full story of ‘Snowed In’ which can be found in the Accent press Christmas anthology ‘Under The Mistletoe’ – out now on Amazon!
Alice Tells Us about Alice:
Where to start? I’m really a lot more boring and normal than my steamy books might suggest. It may disappoint some to know that I’ve never had an illicit affair with a domineering pianist, nor have I ever met or dated a man who frequented sex clubs in London… I have however, always had an overactive imagination, which may in part explain where my stories come from! My books may be fiction, but the setting of London was a deliberate choice, I was born and raised in London and as such it holds a special place in my heart which I hope comes across in my writing. Some of my best times have been spent with friends wandering the markets of Camden or sipping beers in Covent Garden.
I moved to Manchester to study, where I ended up living for over ten years. Originally I qualified as an archaeologist, but I soon realised that jobs in that sector were minimal and decided to put my enthusiasm to use by becoming a teacher. Now I split my time between teaching, and engaging my wildly over active imagination by writing. Currently I’m living abroad spending my days exploring, teaching and writing. Where ever I find myself I live with my ever suffering, but hugely supportive husband, our dog and a crazy half-wild cat who keeps the whole household on its toes.
Music is a huge influence in my writing, I listen to everything from Snow Patrol and Linkin Park to Evanescence and REM, in fact, those of you with a good memory for lyrics might even spot one or two lines popping up in my writing as you read. I enjoys writing a wide range of genres including comical real life stories and youth paranormal fantasy, but my first published novels are the adult themed trilogy series ‘Untwisted.’
Find Alice Here:
– Twitter: @AliceRaine1
– Pintrest: http://www.pinterest.com/alice3083/