Welcome to the Scintillating Sunday Showcase blog hop. For those of you who are stopping in for the first time, this is a weekly hop open to all romance and erotic romance authors. We get to showcase excerpts from our books or works in progress that we feel are scintillating. We can choose 8 words, sentences or paragraphs to tease you a bit and hopefully entice you to want to learn more. I’m excited to share the first 8 paragraphs from my holiday novelette Meet Me Under the Mistletoe. I’m releasing this one as a stand alone next month.
Enough yapping! Here’s my eight…
December 22nd, Present Day US Coast Guard Air Station
Cold Bay, Alaska
“Pon pon, pon pon, pon pon, this is COMSTA Kodiak. An unknown distress call was received on channel 16 FM. All mariners transiting the area are requested to keep a sharp lookout and report all sightings to this or any Coast Guard station. This is COMSTA Kodiak, out.”
Petty Officer Steve Sanders grabbed his gear from the ready station to check through it once again. His gut told him this wasn’t going to be an average day for the crab fleet. Starting in the middle of the night, the US Coast Guard Communication Station in Kodiak picked up multiple calls from vessels throughout the King Crab fishing grounds. Up until now, none had sent out a distress call, but with another storm building up strength over the Bering Sea, it was only a matter of time before his unit would be sent into action.
Glancing over his shoulder at the teddy bear dressed in a Coast Guard swimmer wet suit, he smiled. In less than a month, he’d be a father and his team never let a day go by without reminding him. Once he found a pack of diapers along with his own “survival kit” complete with nose plugs, tongs and thick rubber gloves stuffed in his locker. Another instance it was a box of chocolate cigars, half with pink wrappers and the other with blue. The day before he left for his current three-month stint in Cold Bay, his unit on Kodiak threw a couples’ baby shower for him and his wife Jolene. The teddy bear was a gift from the Commander, and Jolene made sure to pack it in his duffel when he wasn’t looking. It was simply her way of reminding him to come home safe for her and their child.
A handwritten gift tag dangled from a red velvet ribbon tied around the bear’s neck. It read, “Meet me under the mistletoe and I’ll make all your Christmas wishes come true.” Every single year since he was a fifteen year-old freshman in high school and he dared a then thirteen year-old Jolene to meet him under the mistletoe, they’d never missed a chance to get that first holiday kiss. Of course, if the fiery brunette would’ve punched him instead of kissed him that first time, who knows where his life would be now?
That first kiss began an annual tradition neither of them ever dreamed of breaking. To them it meant as much as their wedding vows during their handfasting ceremony on Christmas Eve. At the stroke of midnight, they had been pronounced spouses for life under a large bouquet of mistletoe of course. Now here he was only three short days before another anniversary with his soul mate and expecting their first child. Life couldn’t get much better than that.
The SAR alarm sounded off, piercing his quiet moments of reflection. His heartbeat quickened as the adrenaline surged through his body. It’s go time! The rest of his search and rescue team hustled as details of the emergency sounded over the address system.
“Fishing vessel Northern Star has sent out a mayday. Vessel is taking on water. Eight crew members in survival suits boarding two life rafts. Last known position twenty-five nautical miles east of St. Matthew Island. Repeat. Fishing vessel Northern Star listing and taking on water. Crew evacuating into life boats.”
He slung his equipment bags over both shoulders and jogged toward the waiting helo. If luck was on their side, the impending storm would hold back a bit longer and the rescue should go off without a hitch. However, the Bering Sea had a life of its own, and at any moment their luck could change on a dime. As part of his routine on each mission, he bowed his head in prayer. Goddess, I ask you help us find these sailors and bring them home safe. Please hold back the waves until all are safe aboard with us and headed home.
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