RISE OF THE SNOWMEN
Enjoy this excerpt from my upcoming novel!
This is a sequel to Those Bloody Christmas Elves, which you can read about here. The excerpt below will give spoilers to Those Bloody Christmas Elves, however, it is not a requirement to read the first story in order to understand or enjoy Rise of the Snowmen :)
Where the angels creep and the snowmen feed…none survive.
Twas the season, once again, of blissful ignorance and peppermint. Of flashing rainbow lights and warm apple cider. Of spruce and spiders inside homes and sugary delights that ended most often with stomachaches. Not to mention too many presents, off-key carols, and trash. Oh, so much trash.
Too cynical by half.
Taylor frowned into his burnt coffee and shoved his other hand deeper into his jeans pocket. That’s what Greg had said at the start of the drawn-out holiday season, long before turkey had been carved or costumes put to good use. Too cynical by half.
As if the man couldn’t remember how he’d almost lost his little girl last year to an elvish kidnapping and thought the world seemed greener now that days had dulled the terror. As if she had never been in danger of being dragged off to the North Pole in the clutches of the cruelest lie parents told their children.
In fact, that was her laugh now, Mandy Westmill tugging her mother along in her wake as she filled a bag of reindeer food, spilling oatmeal and glitter across the gymnasium floor.
Even with her black hair braided over the crown of her head, Mandy held a hint of her father in her manner. That stubborn set of her jaw. Those dark eyebrows. The way her lips twisted slightly when she grinned. And, of course, that single dimple that popped inward and seemed stuck there in her contagious happiness.
Truly her father’s daughter in so many ways.
Taylor caught her winking at him from across the gymnasium, her finger to her lips in a hush sign and her shoulders hunched forward in a cute attempt at subterfuge. Taylor smiled at her from behind his coffee and returned the wink before casually turning in case Mandy’s mother, Katie, might send a glance his way.
She might not recognize him. After all, they’d only met the few times when Taylor had lingered at Greg’s house during a drop-off or pickup between the two, but Greg wanted to avoid a confrontation. Reason enough why Greg sat safely out in the parking lot of Reynald Elementary school while Taylor cased the place, searching for signs of elvish infiltration.
In years before, elves had nabbed kids right out of the parking lot or snatched them during solo bathroom breaks. Once, during a warmer December, they’d even joined a game of hide and seek out on the playground. Yet Taylor had been there each year, thwarting their efforts and rescuing children from elvish clutches, normally all without parental involvement, or even knowledge.
But last year the elves had struck early and strong, using laced sugar sprinkled on top of the cookies. Mandy hadn’t been the only child nabbed, but she’d been the one Taylor had noticed. And with Mandy had come her father and Greg Westmill wasn’t like any of the other parents Taylor had ever stumbled into dealing with. That man’s stubbornness, his absolute refusal to leave Taylor’s side, not even to go to the police, had spawned a whirlwind of emotions, some of which Taylor still wasn’t sure he understood. Continue reading →