Title: A Drakenfall Christmas
By: Geralyn Corcillo
Tour Dates: November 13th – 19th, 2016
Mark and Maisy, ahem, that is, Lord and Lady Shiley, get ready to celebrate their first Christmas together at Drakenfall, their renowned estate-turned-resort in the heart of the Cotswolds. The energetic and very un-aristocratic couple spreads holiday cheer as they conspire in guest shenanigans and staff kerfuffles.
In an uncharacteristic turn, unflappable house manager Glynis Ferry seems to be getting her duster ruffled every time she catches sight of Shaun Fletcher, the new head groomsman. Pippa Taylor, a whirling dervish of a domestic, works below stairs to make the magic of Drakenfall happen for everyone else. But will there ever be enough magic left over for her? There will if most worthy valet Kafi Diop has anything to say about it, as he tries to spin holiday enchantment every which way. But his best laid plans always seem to go cataclysmically awry, even with Maisy helping out as his faithful sidekick.
And what about Kafi’s grandest of schemes, set to take flight at the Drakenfall Christmas Ball? He’s depending on guest Jamie Tovell, who’s depending on his secret crush Lea Sinclair.
But even if everything goes off without a hitch, will the secret Maisy’s been hiding from Mark all season pop up at the most inopportune moment to set everything asunder? It’s a Drakenfall Christmas … topsy turvy, but generously sprinkled with laughter and lavishly frosted with romance!
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On the morning of the ball, Lea relaxed with what looked like perfect repose. For the second day running, she'd taken breakfast alone in her room and Jamie hadn't tried to ferret her out. He hadn't even knocked. Not once.
Lea sighed as she turned a page in the old book. The small room she'd discovered behind the gallery was snug and relaxing, and best of all, she had it to herself.
“You look cozy.”
“Oh!” Lea jumped when she heard his voice.
“Sorry,” he said. Jamie smiled as he came into the room and took a seat on the opposite couch.
“Jamie. Please.” Lea resolutely ignored the zing she felt skating through her now that he'd tracked her down. “I don't want to talk.”
He kicked off his shoes and stretched out along his sofa. “Me, neither.”
Lea sighed. She took a strawberry out of the bowl and bit into it as she picked up her book and read on. In less than a minute, she looked across to the relaxing Jamie. “What are you doing?” she demanded.
He stretched his arms above his head. “Nothing,” he said on an irrepressible smile. “Absolutely nothing. And it feels fantastic. I never get to do nothing.”
Lea angled her head. “You came to find me just so you could do nothing?”
“Sure. I like doing nothing with you.”
She rolled her eyes. “Now there's a compliment for my hope chest.”
“It is, really.”
“It is what?”
“A compliment,” he said. “To like doing nothing with someone.”
“It is,” he insisted. “Or else how do you know someone likes spending time with you? If you're doing something fun together, then they might really like doing something fun, but you're just the gravy.”
Her brows shot up. “I'm gravy now, am I?”
“Come on, you know what I mean. You must know people who seemed so perfect for each other when they were dating, but then they fell out as soon as the courtship phase calmed down and the merry-go-round stopped. Sometimes doing nothing with the wrong person can make life pretty tiresome.”
“But we're not dating.”
“I'm just giving an example. Do try to keep up.”
“Don't be a brat.”
He closed his eyes, smiling. “You bring it out in me.”
“I push your buttons, do I?”
“Something like that.”
Lea's mouth felt dry suddenly, so she poured herself some water and drank. “Jamie … how is it that you're here, doing nothing, in the first place? I would've thought you'd be in Barking and Dagenham, celebrating the holidays with all your … people.”
“You know,” he said, opening his eyes and looking at her, “I help a lot of people. Not for any payback, but just because it's what I do. People tell me I'm their saviour, I'm an angel. Some people tell me to just ask if I ever need anything.”
“Yeah, okay. So?”
“So, I called in every single favour I could to make sure the Family Centre is well staffed and festive over Christmas. All so I could come here.”
“You called in every favour?”
“You cashed in all your chips?” she said, still trying to clarify.
“I did.” He turned to lay on his side, to face her more fully. “Two weeks to do nothing at one of the most beautiful spots in England? So many people never get to do something like this. Ever.” His voice got softer. “This is a once in a lifetime chance. I wanted it, so I made it happen.”
Lea popped another strawberry into her mouth, green leaves and all. “Hm.”
About the Author
When she was a kid in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo dreamed of one day becoming the superhero Dyna Girl. So, she did her best and grew up to rescue animals and constantly pick up litter. At home, she loves to kick back by watching black & white movies, British mysteries, and the New York Giants. Corcillo lives in a drafty old house in Hollywood with her husband TV writer Ron, a guy who’s even cooler than Kip Dynamite.
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