The Twelve Days of Christmas #11 by Kathy Kalmar Genre: Contemporary Romance Print Length: 56 pages Publisher: eXtasy Books Publication Date: December 20, 2019
A magical Christmas wedding set in the Great Smoky Mountains is a mere week away for the polar opposite but identical twins, Storme and Sunny Weathers. Mistletoe kisses, promises, and every wile Sunny Weathers had finally inspired Jesse Days to put a ring on her finger. Now that he's committed, he
promises nothing will delay this long-awaited wedding day. So when a winter storm creates holiday havoc in their small town, will the Snowmageddon blow their chance at happiness or create a Christmas miracle?
Meanwhile, Storme Weathers has literally hooked her hubby-to-be Craig Knight, and he’s chomping at the bit to wed his commitment-phobic fiancée. But when a series of mishaps befall their Christmas wedding theme, Storme begins to fear their wedding is doomed. Craig’s hot kisses keep the flames burning, but are they enough to warm her cold feet and hold her heart for good?
Storme was singing, well, up a storm. Her song of choice? Deck the Halls. She and her twin, Sunny, were decorating the family Lodge for Christmas and talking about her upcoming wedding. She picked up a piping angel and placed it among the evergreens swaging the fireplace. Her singing stopped while she sent out a quick request. Gram, please be with me this Christmas, and oh yeah, show up for my wedding. She knew Gram would be there, if only in spirit. She sighed, then shook herself back into the holiday spirit, resumed singing with more vigor, and added a red bow to the garland. She was interrupted by the televised weather report.
“Severe Winter Watch is issued for the entire lower Midwest through the south, including the ten-state area. Blizzard-like conditions and freezing rain turning to snow expected. Wind chills reaching record lows. Stay tuned for further developments. Download our free weather alert app to your phone. This is WBIR Channel Ten Tennessee TV.”
Storme muted the small flat screen television in the office of the family-owned Sugarlands Lodge as both girls downloaded the app.
“Great,” Storme muttered. “Just what we need with the wedding…”
“No worries. Come hell or high water, the wedding is a go,” Sunny chirped.
Storme felt gloomy and downcast as she grumbled, “You mean high snow.”
“You can use Papa’s sleigh to get you to the church on time. That’d be cool.”
Their conversation was interrupted—again—by Storme’s cellphone ringtone Stormy. She warily answered.
“This is Belle from Happily Ever After Bridal…”
Storme sank to the floor, legs outstretched, back to the wall of the family Lodge, and said in a low voice, “Tell me my gown is ready, right?”
Storme noticed Sunny was all ears, so she put the phone on speaker.
“It is…” Belle sounded less confident than Storme preferred. “How do you feel about a high-low hem?”
Storme’s voice rose. “Not good. My Gram’s veil was supposed to be a high-low, not my gown.”
Sunny whispered. “At least you’d be stylin’.”
She frowned at her sister.
Belle spoke in a rush, “I don’t suppose you have gold sequined leggings?”
Storme couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “No, I do not!”
“Thigh-high boots? That’ll work too.”
Storme swallowed hard. Just breathe. “Two months ago, when I had my fitting, you said all it needed was a tuck or two! Now, my gown is that short?”
“Just in the front. Somehow the alternation slips were pinned on the wrong pieces. How about I bring the dress over now? I have some ideas…”
Agreeing, Storme ended the call. “That woman is lying like a sidewalk.”
Sunny’s voice rose an octave. “Yeah, she might be…wait. You’re using Gram’s veil? Yesterday, you said you were wearing a white satin turban.”
Storme grinned. “With a peacock feather for color. That was yesterday. Today is a different story.”
Sunny tapped her foot, scowling. “I thought we said neither of us would use Gram’s wedding gown.”
“We did. I am not using her gown.”
Sunny raised a brow. “Same difference.”
Storme windmilled her arms. “Shut up! Just stop! I have a wedding crisis.”
“We’ll figure it out. Think happy, positive thoughts.”
“If it’s not one thing…”
“…at least it’s not our mother. This time. Thank God she’s listening and is helpfully gathering plenty of mistletoe.”
“And holly. I loved decorating with it.”
“I like the kissing Jesse part. But Craig is right up there. That ring! “
“Yup. I love the design. How sweet was that? Topping that with giving me the little furball of a kitten, Holly. Who gives a kitten ring around the collar?” Storme fingered a sprig of holly, recalling the moment from last Christmas Eve…
Craig seemed so serious. “I know it’s not Christmas yet, but my peace offering…uh…your present needs you.” Rising, he brought the bag to me.
A loud purr came through as the bag was placed in my lap.
“Let this gift do the talking. It literally speaks for itself.”
“What on earth?” I said, stunned with relief. Craig still wants me! Wahoo! What more can I ask?
I did, and a snow-white kitten with a green rhinestone collar and id tags attached to a sprig of holly looked up at me with eyes as blue as my own.
“Looks like the cat’s out of the bag,” Sunny quipped.
She thinks she’s so funny, but she so isn’t.
My breath caught in my throat. I was surprised and confused. “Who’s this?”
“Her name is Holly, and she has something for you. Check her collar.” Craig nodded toward the kitten.
Sunny gave her a nudge. “Check it out.”
I did. Attached to the collar was an engagement ring flanked with two emeralds and garnets. It looked like a sprig of holly.
Craig went down on one knee. “This isn’t how I planned it, but I want to marry you.”
Storme smiled at the memory, then her sister’s grunt snapped her back to the present.
Sunny rolled her eyes. “Not remotely funny. Gawd, ring around the collar from an old detergent commercial? Seriously, give me a break.”
Storme snickered. “It’s funny to me.”
“That proposal was a Christmas miracle. I thought you’d blown it with him big time.”
“I sure did! Pushing the best man ever away! I was so afraid of love, my feelings, and I didn’t want to just, well, live together. I wanted a real commitment, one I was scared to admit to, much less give. Makes no sense, does it?”
“Your bad. Technically, when you fell and broke your leg on the path to his house and had to recuperate there or face living in a rehabilitation center, you did live with him. Just saying”
Kathy Kalmar ,born in Detroit Michigan, lives with her husband, Larry and her Bichon-Maltese mix dog, Valentino. Mother of two adult children and Grammie to three, love and family influence her writing. Like her heroine she got her second chance to love when she married Larry in 1981.She writes non-fiction for teachers and parents and children's fiction. She reads contemporary romance and enjoys to writing them. She prefers to write in her Smoky Mountain cabin in Tennessee. Although she enjoys reading, walking, and writing, she excels in hot tubbing and in sampling generous glasses of wine preferably on Waikiki Beach.