Holly & Humbug
To get you into the spirit of the season, here are the first three chapters of my holiday romance Holly and the Humbug. If you love holiday romance flicks on Hallmark, you will adore this story.
HOLLY AND THE HUMBUG
November, 15 years ago, Flint, MI.
The man in the overalls picked up the boxes, as instructed. He knew the situation. It was no surprise that the lady of the house wasn’t at home. Looked like a nice family. It was too bad, it really was. He left the check, safe in its sealed envelope, stuck through the crack in the door, then carried the final armload to the truck. Just as he shoved the boxes into the back with the others, a hat fell out. It rolled past his feet in a most unusual way. He went after it, but it kept rolling, and then just as he bent to grab it, a big gust of wind came out of nowhere, and swept it up, way, way up. It was carried away, over a house’s roof and out of sight.
The man in the overalls rolled his eyes. Hell, an old worn-out hat like that wouldn’t have brought much anyway. He returned to the truck, pulled the door closed, and secured the latch. Then he drove back to the secondhand shop with the dead man’s clothes.
November, 15 years ago, Flint, Michigan
“You sold it? All of it?”
Matthew stared up at his mother in blatant disbelief. Wasn’t it bad enough that Dad had to die the day before Thanksgiving? That they had to bury him the day after? That their big meal on the day in between had consisted of deli meat, rolls, and about six casseroles brought over by neighbors and relatives?
She had to go and sell his stuff, too?
His mother blinked down at him. She seemed kind of in a daze, not all there, mostly numb. It seemed to him she could hear just fine, but what she heard wasn’t making its way to her brain.
“I had to, Matt. The money situation isn’t...it isn’t good.”
Yeah, he’d picked up on that much. He was twelve, not two. And he resented that his mother didn’t seem to think he could understand things. He did understand. He heard and saw and understood. Dad had died broke. He’d racked up debts that Matt’s mom hadn’t even known about. There was no money. There were bills due. And the funeral had cost a bundle. He got all that.
“I know the money situation isn’t good, Mom. And I could see selling the