On Tour with Prism Book Tours
(Northern Lights #2)
by Beth Carpenter
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
December 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming
It’s the season for giving…and starting over?
A reindeer farm without Santa wouldn’t be Christmas in Marissa Gray’s Alaskan hometown. Luckily Chris Allen’s there to pinch-hit, although for Marissa, seeing her ex-fiancé again brings back memories of what might have been.
Ten years after their breakup, the feelings between the wildlife biologist and blue-eyed fisherman are stronger than ever. Only now there’s a foster kid in the mix, as well as the shocking crime that cost Marissa her job and her family’s security. She and Chris need to find their way to a meeting of minds and hearts to make this truly a season for second chances…
Eight-year-old Ryan’s first visit to the reindeer farm:
“Caribou are reindeer. Chris told me,” Ryan said.
“He’s right about that.” The look on Ryan’s face made Marissa suspect that in his opinion, Chris was right about everything. “These aren’t caribou, though, they’re European reindeer.”
“I know. Chris said.”
“This is Snowflake. Do you want to give her a treat? Hold your hand flat, like you did with the goats.”
The joy on the boy’s face when Snowflake nuzzled him, hoping for another crabapple, had Marissa pulling out her cell phone to take a picture. She’d just planned to have Ryan feed the animals and let Becky stuff him with cookies, but he was so fascinated, she ended up showing him how to harness one of the reindeer and hitch it up to a little red wagon. He led the reindeer in a loop around the barn and toward the house, as confidently as any of their teenage elf helpers.
“Hey, Chris. Look. I can lead Belle.”
“I see that. Good job. I think Belle likes you.” Chris returned a hammer to his tool belt and picked up some sort of power tool. “Did you have fun seeing the animals?”
Behind him, Marissa noticed the strong new bottom step. They wouldn’t be able to paint it until the weather warmed, but at least she didn’t have to worry about someone breaking a neck. Chris had reinforced the handrail, too.
Ryan’s eyes roamed over the porch and Chris’s tools. “What are you doing?”
“I was just working on this step, but I’m done now. I’ve got an idea. I want to fix that broken board on the corral. How about if I put my tools in the wagon, you and Belle transport them over for me?”
They loaded up the wagon, and Marissa accompanied Ryan and Belle to the corral. Chris followed, a long length of timber slung over his shoulder. Ryan held the reindeer’s lead while Marissa unloaded the tools and nails. He looked up at Chris. “I’ll help you fix it.”
Chris started to shake his head, then paused. “That would be great. I’ll tell you what. You help Marissa unharness Belle and take care of her while I measure this board and cut it. I have to take it to the barn to get power for my saw. But when I get back, you and I can nail it in place, okay?”
“Okay.” Ryan hurried to follow his instructions.
Even with Ryan helping, the repair didn’t take long, and soon the three of them headed for the house, where Becky was waiting with hot chocolate, Christmas cookies and peanut butter sandwiches cut on the diagonal and garnished with pretzel antlers, raisin eyes and candied cherry noses.
“Reindeer sandwiches!” Ryan took one on his plate, but couldn’t seem to make himself eat it. “I’m gonna save it to show Granny when I visit her tomorrow.”
Oliver laughed. “You can eat that one. I’m sure Becky has another one to take to your grandmother. Did you like the reindeer?”
Ryan happily filled him in on all the details, including the names of every animal on the farm. The kid had an amazing memory.
“Hey, Ryan.” Chris rubbed his thumb and forefinger over his bearded chin. “If a triceratops has three horns, could we call a reindeer a biceratops? Tri means three, and bi means two.”
Ryan shook his head. “No.”
“Marissa said reindeer don’t have horns, they have antlers.”
Oliver’s deep booming laugh rang out. “He’s got you there.”
A sense of longing seeped into Marissa’s heart as she watched Ryan and Chris laughing and talking with Becky and Oliver. If only Chris wasn’t so stubborn, they could have had a son this age, born before the accident that left her unable to have children. Chris said he wasn’t father material, but look at him. That boy slurped up his attention like a strawberry milkshake.
Sometimes, when she was feeling discouraged, she wondered if she should have married Chris anyway, hoping someday he would recognize in himself those fatherly qualities she saw in him. But that wasn’t how she did things. It wouldn’t have been honest. She made logical decisions based on the information at hand, not on some faint possibility. She wanted kids. Chris didn’t. It was as simple as that. But as she watched him laugh at something Ryan said, and then reach over to wipe a hot chocolate mustache from the boy’s face, it didn’t seem so simple anymore.
Other Books in the Series
(Northern Lights #1)
by Beth Carpenter
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
August 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming
Where life's currents take you…
Dana Raynott just traveled 3,600 miles to reunite with the brother who changed his name and fled to Alaska nineteen years ago. It's impossible not to be moved by this wild, breathtaking state, even if Dana's no closer to finding the answers she came here for.
Her brother's best friend, Anchorage engineer Sam MacKettrick, might be able to help her. He's strong and kind—a six-foot, irresistible blend of diverse cultures. He's also haunted by a tragic family history with a startling connection to Dana's past…
About the Author
Once upon a time ...
when Beth Carpenter was a little girl, she read everything she could get her hands on, and entertained herself on the school bus by making up stories in her head. Not a lot has changed. She's still consuming books like M&Ms, and spends her days creating happily-ever-afters for her imaginary friends.
She lives in Alaska and Arizona with her husband and an aggressively affectionate fifty-pound lap dog. She loves to hear from readers.
December 2nd: Grand Finale
Reindeer Prize Pack (US only), which includes:
- Large handcrafted quilted reindeer tote bag
- Signed Copy of The Alaskan Catch
- Reindeer Cookie Cutters
- Inflatable Reindeer Antler Ring-toss Game
$25 Amazon Gift Card (open internationally)
Ends December 6th