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The Santa Trial

The Santa Trial

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The Santa Trial

5/5 (2 évaluations)
118 pages
1 heure
Oct 23, 2017


In this standalone holiday novella, USA Today bestselling author Tess Thompson weaves a tale of winter wonder for two lonely hearts at the expense of a common criminal who just might be the real Santa Claus.

Neither Ryan nor Rena is thrilled to be called for jury duty. He's a widower with a small daughter who needs him. She's a struggling single woman who can't afford to miss a day's pay. But when the two spot each other across the courtroom, suddenly jury duty doesn't seem like such a burden after all.

Together with their fellow jurors, they must decide the fate of a defendant who believes that he's Santa. It's a seemingly unromantic task for two infatuated strangers, but love could find a way with a little help from the magic of Christmas.

Like a stocking stuffed with all the special treats of the season, this novella is as sweet as sugar plums and as satisfying as a batch of cookies fresh from the oven.

Oct 23, 2017

À propos de l'auteur

Tess Thompson Fiction...hometowns and heartstrings. Tess Thompson is the USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author of contemporary and historical Romantic Women’s Fiction with over 40 published titles. When asked to describe her books, she could never figure out what to say that would perfectly sum them up until she landed on, Hometowns and Heartstrings. She’s married to her prince, Best Husband Ever, and is the mother of their blended family of four kids and five cats. Best Husband Ever is seventeen months younger, which qualifies Tess as a Cougar, a title she wears proudly. Her Bonus Sons are young adults with pretty hair and big brains like their dad. Daughters, better known as Princess One and Two, are teenagers who make their mama proud because they’re kind. They’re also smart, but a mother shouldn’t brag. Tess loves lazy afternoons watching football, hanging out on the back patio with Best Husband Ever, reading in bed, binge-watching television series, red wine, strong coffee and walks on crisp autumn days. She laughs a little too loudly, never knows what to make for dinner, looks ridiculous kickboxing in an attempt to combat her muffin top, and always complains about the rain even though she chose to live in Seattle. She’s proud to have grown up in a small town like the ones in her novels. After graduating from the University of Southern California Drama School, she had hopes of becoming an actress but was called instead to writing fiction. She’s grateful to spend most days in her office matchmaking her characters while her favorite cat Mittens (shhh…don’t tell the others) sleeps on the desk. She adores hearing from readers, so don’t hesitate to say hello or sign up for her newsletter: http://tesswrites.com/. You’ll receive an ebook copy of her novella, The Santa Trial, for your efforts.

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Aperçu du livre

The Santa Trial - Tess Thompson


Part I

Hi Santa,

This is Morgan Scott. I’m seven years old and don’t know how to write that great yet, so I’m sending this videotape instead. I’m in my room here in Seattle, Washington. Daddy is still asleep because it’s Saturday, so I borrowed his phone to make this video. I looked up your email address on the internet. I really hope this gets to you. Aunt Rosie says you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.

Could you please consider this my official letter to Santa? If you could ignore the one I sent in asking for the Barbie Townhouse, that would be great. If you could put that one on hold until next year, I’d appreciate it.

What I want this year is very big, maybe the biggest thing any kid has ever asked for—so big that it cannot be made by your elves. In fact, I believe you’ll have to work with Jesus to make it happen. But working together should be easy for you two. You guys have a lot in common. Sometimes I think you might be the same person. When I mentioned that theory to Aunt Rosie, she laughed and said, You might be onto something, Sweets.

I would like a new wife for my daddy. My mommy went to heaven when I was just a baby. I don’t remember her, but I have her picture. Daddy doesn’t talk about her much. When I ask questions about her, his face goes all still and his eyes stare out into space like he can’t see what’s right in front of him.

Grammie told me Daddy used to be full of life like my Aunt Rosie. She said he always believed something amazing was about to happen at any moment, but when Mommy died, it was like the spark went out of him. He doesn’t have much fun because he’s so worried about his business and all his employees and taking care of me all by himself. Grammie says it’s not easy for a man alone. Aunt Rosie says a little girl needs a mother.

Aunt Rosie told Daddy he should try online dating. I don’t know exactly what that is, but it sounds like you can just order a date from the internet. That got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be better to go through you? I mean, you’ve been around way longer than the internet. You know everyone. You know who’s naughty and who’s nice. So, you would know just the right woman for us.

As you know, my daddy is on the nice list and deserves a special person in his life to give him his spark back. Since Grandpa died and Daddy had to take over the agency, it’s been a huge responsibility on his shoulders, but he’s never once complained. That says a lot about a person. Daddy treats his employees with respect and pays them well, plus he always gives them a Christmas bonus and a turkey. I think the turkey thing’s kind of weird, but people seem to love it. He’s handsome and smart and a good dresser, mostly thanks to Aunt Rosie. She helps him pick out all his clothes. Also, he gives the best hugs and reads bedtime stories with all the voices and everything. Sometimes I laugh so hard I almost fall out of bed. He always tucks me in and reminds me to say my prayers. Even though he has a big job, he never misses my soccer games or stuff at school. He tells me how much he loves me every single day.

I hope this won’t put me on the naughty list, but the other night I snuck downstairs to listen to Daddy and Aunt Rosie talking when I should’ve been asleep in my bed. I don’t know if you’re aware of this or not, but all the good stuff happens after kids go to bed. Anyway, Daddy and Aunt Rosie were talking on the couch, and Daddy had his head in his hands, and I think he might have been crying which scared me a whole bunch. She said she understood how lonely he was, but that he had to at least try and stay hopeful.

My daddy sacrifices everything for me. Could you work a little of your magic and send Daddy a new wife?

I’ve thought about this a lot and have come up with a list.

One—she must be good with children, especially high energy ones because, apparently, I’m a handful. My teacher, Mrs. Green, told her assistant that I’m too smart for my own good. This might sound like a compliment, but I can assure you it’s not. I ask too many questions and read ahead in our assignments and finish all my work before the other kids. That bothers her for some reason, even though I try to sit still and wait for the others to finish. I’m not as good at sitting still as I am at reading.

Two—if she could be a great cook, that would be awesome. Daddy and I like to eat. A lot. But, between you and me, he’s not too good at cooking. At least we always know the fire alarm works.

Three—I don’t want to sound shallow, but could you make sure she’s pretty? Grammie tells me pretty is as pretty does, but Aunt Rosie tells me men are visual, and I want Daddy to notice her right away.

Four—a kind heart. Maybe a little like my best friend, Sierra? She’s one of those girls who thinks of others before herself. Grammie says that’s a really good quality and maybe I should try it more often.

Five—likes dogs. That one’s self-explanatory, given my Christmas wish from last year. Thanks again, by the way. Tinsel’s doing great. She’s the best dog in the whole world. Even Daddy says so.

Six—she doesn’t mind being my mom. I already mentioned that I might not be the easiest kid to love or take of, so this part might be a little tricky. She must love my dad and me too. That’s a tall order. I’ll do my part and try to be extra good and not so precocious. That’s another word Mrs. Green used to describe me. I don’t know what it means, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a good thing.

Seven—loves Daddy for exactly who and what he is. She doesn’t try to change him because she knows he’s perfect for her.

And lastly—so special that my daddy falls hopelessly in love like they do in the movies.

This is a lot to ask. If you can’t do it, I understand. I know there are tons of kids out there who don’t have a nice house or many toys or even enough to eat, and you must look after them first. But if you have a little extra time and a direct line to Jesus, maybe you two could work something out? I promise to be the best girl I can be.

Signing off now. Your friend, Morgan Scott.

Part II

No one would ask Rena Burke to cast a courtroom drama. But if they did, she would choose an actress exactly like the real Judge Warren. With posture like she carried a book on her head and world-weary expressions that seemed a split-second shy of an eye roll, she was just right. The attorneys, however, were all wrong. They were too young. No older than Rena. She guessed late twenties at best. The defense attorney’s complexion was like a baby just out of a bath—pink and plump. He was way too young to have this kind of work. Not that she would know. Her work was a job, not a profession. She was a potential juror, not a judge or an attorney. She might not even be chosen for the final

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  • (5/5)
    This is such a wonderful story about the faith of a child who believes that Santa/Jesus would answer her Christmas wish to bring her father a woman to be his wife and a mother for her.