Every week on First Sight Saturday I welcome a guest author to share an excerpt of a first meeting between two characters. Today Patricia Kiyona brings us a portion of her sweet contemporary romance, Christmas Wishes. An interesting fact about Patricia: her grandparents came to America from Japan in the 1920s. Since they and their children were the only Japanese family in Michigan during WWII, they were not sent to the internment camps, but were allowed to stay in their home under the watchful eye of local federal agents.
I’d say that it a wonderful piece of family history! And look at how pretty Patricia’s cover is.
Mitch Carson studied the nutrition labels on the boxes of cereal in front of him, wanting to choose wisely, but six-year-old Angie kept pulling on his arm.
“Daddy, I have to go to the bathroom.”
“There’s no bathroom here, sweetness. You’ve got to wait.”
“I can’t wait, Daddy. I need to go now.”
Mitch threw a box of cereal into the cart, hoping it wouldn’t taste too much like cardboard. He took Angie’s hand and headed toward the checkout lanes. “I’m sorry, honey, but I can’t go in the bathroom with you, and you’re not going in there alone. Besides, we’ll be home in just ten minutes.”
“Daddy, I can’t wait ten minutes.” She hopped up and down, her face strained with discomfort.
Mitch grimaced. Why did this always happen when they were out of the house? He was searching for the words to reassure her again when a gentle feminine voice spoke.
“The bathroom is right over here, behind the meat counter.”
Mitch looked up into a pair of wide green eyes. Exotic and enticing, yet capable and compassionate. The eyes were set in a small heart-shaped face and surrounded by a cloud of honey blonde hair. He closed his mouth before he embarrassed himself by drooling. And he tried very hard to keep his voice from squeaking as he answered.
“Thanks, but I can take her home.”
“Daddy, I need to go!” Angie continued her hopping, clearly uncomfortable.
“It’s a nice bathroom, and they keep it very clean,” the blonde told him. She disappeared into the doorway she’d indicated and then came right back. “No one’s using it now, so you can go in and help her if you want.”
“Daddy? Please?” Angie’s face was starting to turn red. “I can do it myself.”
Mitch swallowed. If the restroom was empty and he stood outside the door, nothing bad could happen to her, right? “Okay, sweetness. I’ll be right here.”
Angie dashed into the restroom, and the blonde started to take off.
“Uh, thanks for your help,” he called after her.
The blonde curls tossed as she turned back to him with a grin. “No problem at all. I’m Sophie Gardner, by the way. Are you just passing through Zutphen, or are you new here?”
“New, I guess. We moved here in August. Mitch Carson.” He held out his hand.
She placed a tiny hand in his. “You’ve been here over two months and I haven’t met you until now? The small-town grapevine must be rusty. Welcome to Zutphen. You have an adorable daughter.”
“Thanks. I can’t argue with that.” He’d been welcomed by other residents, but for some reason, the words from this particular woman made him feel almost giddy with pleasure. He turned when the bathroom door opened, and Angie came out, much happier than when she’d gone in. Her gap-tooth grin made his heart swell with pride.
Strange, but his usual apprehension when his daughter was out of his sight hadn’t seemed so intense with this lady by his side. It would be so nice to share the parenting responsibilities with someone. No
, he reminded himself, I’ve got to do this myself. At least, I’ve got to try.
The blonde — Sophie, she’d said her name was — went on her way, and he fought off the urge to call her back. In a town as small as Zutphen, he’d run into her again.
END OF EXCERPT
To get your copy of Christmas Wishes, please visit one of the following links:
Barnes & Noble
Patricia Kiyono can be found at her website, blog, facebook, Amazon, and twitter @PatriciaKiyono.
Patricia and I both welcome your comments and questions. Please come back next week for a fresh new excerpt from another visiting author.