Teaser: That First Christmas

Since I have the christmas story cleaned up, I thought I’d post an excerpt for it. The story goes ‘live’ on December 7th at Alinar Publishing .

Meredith Gunter has always been Daddy’s little girl. Spoiled all her life, she’s never had to ask for anything and expects to get exactly what she wants. When she wrecks her car on the way home from college for Christmas break, she finds herself stranded on the mountain in the middle of a snowstorm, in a one-room cabin with a man she can’t help but want.

Travis Gregory has lived alone on the mountain for the last four years. He has little contact with the outside world and prefers it that way. When he spots a girl on the side of the road, his conscience won’t let him abandon her. The redhead captivates him instantly.

Worlds collide when Travis and Meredith try to co-exist in his one room cabin until the storm breaks. Can they fight the growing attraction when the nights get longer and the storm isolates them from the rest of the world? Can two people, from such different worlds, ever truly be happy together?


Meredith Gunter sat stunned, staring out the front window of her car. The tree she’d run into laid across the cold, bent metal of her brand new car. Smoke billowed from under the crumpled hood and when she looked behind her, up the steep incline she’d just driven her car down, a bubble of hysterics surfaced and she let out a series of ear shattering screams.

With her lungs aching, her throat hoarse, and her entire body shaking, Meredith took deep breaths to try and calm down. She closed her eyes, hummed quietly to center her thoughts, and felt better when she opened them.

A quick glance around the interior of her car and she spotted her purse on the floor and reached for it. Digging her cell phone out, she dialed her father’s number and waited.

Three long beeps later, a scream of frustration filled the air. “No signal” flashed on the screen and she threw the phone back to the floor before looking out her driver’s side window.

“Nothing but trees,” she mumbled while she stared out at the surrounding forest.

The day was overcast; the sky was gray and thick with heavy, low-lying clouds. Meredith glanced up, squinting as something fluttered by the window and her eyes widened a moment later. “Oh, please tell me that isn’t snow!” she said, watching the small white flakes dance in the breeze. “This is just perfect.”

Oh, take the short cut Meredith. It never snows this early in the year. The words she’d thought earlier mocked her now and she frowned before turning her head to look up the hill.

She unlocked her door, opened it, and climbed out, wrapping her coat around her body to protect her against the wind.

The climb up the hill was difficult. Her high-heel boots sunk into the soft ground and she grunted as she slipped and fell to one knee, cursing her now ruined white slacks, and was out of breath by the time she made it to the road.

There was nothing but wet pavement and trees as far as the eye could see.

The small furry animal that darted in front of her, and caused her to swerve to begin with, was nowhere in sight. “Figures,” she said to herself, turning to look back down the hill at her car. The back of it wasn’t even visible from the road unless you knew where to look. Trees surrounded it on all sides. It was dented and long sections of paint had been scratched off to the metal where she sideswiped the trees on the way down.

Her graduation present was now nothing but junk.

Meredith nibbled her bottom lip, looking at the surrounding forest. The last town she’d seen was at the base of the mountain and there was no way she was walking the now, snow covered roads.

She tried to remember if there were any houses near by. It had been almost a year since she’d taken this short cut. She cursed her stupidity. Why had she been in such a hurry to get home? She couldn’t even remember, now.

The wind gusted and she shivered, pulling her coat tighter around her. She needed to do something. She couldn’t stand on the side of the road all day. “I can’t very well sit in the car either, can I? No one can even see it.”

She groaned, her shoulders slumping, and felt tears burning the back of her eyes. “Dear God,” she said, looking up and blinking the snow catching on her eyelashes away. “If you can hear me, it’s Meredith. I know I’ve been kind of bad lately, and I really did want to go to church every Sunday, but if I had missed those parties on Saturday night, no one would have liked me, and you wouldn’t want me to be a social leper now, would you? Anyway, I’m in trouble. Can you please send someone to help me?”

Meredith smiled into the heavens (just to be safe) and waited. The wind blew harder as the minutes ticked by and she bounced on her heels to try and keep warm. Her fingers were numb, her nose frozen to the point it was starting to run, and the snow on the ground getting deeper by the second.

Glancing at her car, she gave the road one last look before darting to the edge of the grass and started back down the hill. She’d made it half way down when she heard it. A vehicle barreling up the road.

She turned back, rushing up the hill and looked both ways, trying to see where the car was. She saw it seconds later. Only it wasn’t a car. It was a truck. If you wanted to call it that.

A large, beat up, red pick-up truck was flying up the road. A roll bar jutted up over the cab and blaring music disturbed the stillness around her. It was missing the front bumper and the hood was a different color than the rest of it. She raised one eyebrow as it approached. If the truck were that ratty, what would the person inside be like? “Oh lord. It’s probably some snaggle-toothed mountain man who hasn’t seen a woman in years. Hide, Meredith, before he spots you.”

She didn’t have to worry. The truck flew past her like she wasn’t even there, a wave of wet earth and snow slush splashing up and covering her in its wake. She gasped in shock, looking down as the brown water dripped off of her and shivered when she felt it soaking into her clothes. Her hair hung in long, wet tendrils in front of her face and she felt goosebumps pimple her skin as a sudden gust of wind chilled her to the bone.

Meredith stood stunned, staring down at her self before she blinked, raising a hand to wipe the gunk off her face and finally screamed in frustration. She looked to her right, the direction the truck had gone, and straightened her spine, yelling, “You asshole! I was standing here!”

The taillights flashed red and the truck slid to a stop. It idled in the road for long seconds and Meredith’s temper flared hot by the time it started the slow, backward trek to where she stood.

When it stopped in front of her, Meredith raised her hand, pushing her wet hair out of her face and looked up.

The tires were huge. It lifted the entire truck up in the air, preventing her from seeing who was inside through the window.

The passenger side door opened a moment later.

“Are you all right?

“Do I look all right to you?” she snapped. “Look at me! I’m soaking wet, thanks to you, and probably catching pneumonia as I speak. What kind of backwards hillbilly drives past a woman on the side of the road like she isn’t even there?”

“I didn’t see you until it was too late.”

“Obviously,” she spat. “Now, I demand you take me to town.”

He raised a brow at her. It was then Meredith took a good look at him. It was her first mistake. She’d seen many good-looking men in her life but never once had any of them made her pulse quicken with just a glance.

The man in the truck looking down at her was beautiful. His onyx locks brushed his shoulders and she could see a few curls where it lay on the collar of his coat. Big, bright blue eyes stared back at her, cheekbones she would have to pay to have graced his square face with a full, sensual mouth that looked like it was made for kissing. A shadow of dark stubble covered his chin and she tilted her head when a flash of straight, white teeth gleamed at her.

“Hey, I’m just trying to help, lady. What are you doing out here?” he asked.

“Huh?” she said, dreamily.

“On the side of the road? In a snow storm?”

Meredith felt warm all of a sudden and almost sighed at the perfection in front of her. How could any one man be so gorgeous?

A chill wind snapped her out of her stupor. She blinked when a cold drop of water hit her cheek and glanced down at her clothes. She was soaking wet. Standing on the side of the road looking like a drowned rat and what was she doing? Ogling the Adonis who ruined her clothes when she should be pissed at him instead.

She straightened her spine, lifted her head, and tried to give him the best, irritated, stern look she had. It didn’t work. When she opened her mouth to give him a piece of her mind, a wave of dizziness weakened her knees and caused the world to spin.

“I don’t feel so good,” she said, dazed. Her vision blurred suddenly and she managed to say, “I wrecked my car,” before the world tilted on its axis.

Meredith blinked several times, lifting her hand to the side of her head. It was throbbing all of a sudden. She heard the man say something and looked back at him. His eyes were wide, his lips moving, but all she heard was loud, screeching sounds inside her head.

A glance at her hand and her own eyes widened. Blood. Her blood. She looked up, startled. “I’m bleeding,” she said.

The last thing she saw was him reaching for her.


The story ended up at 30,000 words so, we have a novella. A novella I wrote in 13 days!!! I might add. I’m still shocked at that one. It’ll never happen again, folks. Trust me. *wink*

All material &copy2005-2012 to Lily Graison
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About Lily Graison

Lily Graison is a USA TODAY bestselling author of historical western romances. She also writes a variety of genres under the name L. R. Grasion. Most all of her stories lean heavily to the spicy side with strong female leads and heroes who tend to always get what they want. She writes full time and lives in Hickory, NC with her husband and a house full of Yorkies

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