Friday, December 9, 2011

The Gift of Belief with Willa Edwards

My mother loves to tell the same Christmas story over and over. Every time she tells it, it makes me cringe. I know it’s not that bad. I was only five or six at the time, and my excitement can be understood, but still, now in my late twenties, when she tells it I want to hide under the table.

Since this is one of my mother’s favorite Christmas memories, it’s also become a long standing tradition that we hear the story at least once, and definitely several if we have guests over or attend a few Christmas parties.

So I decided today to share it with all of you. This is the way she tells it each year. I have very little recollection of the night myself.

One Christmas Eve, while in pajamas and being obstinate about going to bed (I was a night owl from conception). I was sitting on the bench we kept in the living room by the big bay window, looking out to the front lawn and the open sky above us. A red light blinked from the sky, and I became convinced I’d seen Rudolph’s red nose. A few minutes after I heard the bang of Santa’s Reindeer hooves on the roof.

As all parents do on Christmas Eve, my mother was eager to get me into bed. She played along with my fantasy. And being the oldest it wasn’t hard for me to convince my two years junior brother that he’d heard it too. We scampered to our beds, quickly got in, and tried to go to sleep; convinced if we didn’t Santa wouldn’t leave us our presents. She always says it was the cutest thing she’d ever seen.

My mother’s version of the story ends here, and since I don’t really remember it myself, I don’t know if we actually went to bed or merely lay in bed so excited for Santa we couldn’t move.

Now do you see why I cringe?

In my defense, I will say we lived by the airport. So I probably did see a red light in the sky, though it’s more likely it was the light of a commercial plane than a reindeer. And I probably did hear noises after seeing that light, though it was probably the sound of the plane overhead like I’d hear on any other day Jolly Old Saint Nick wasn’t supposed to stop by.

And even though I cringe at this memory every time my mom tells the story, I know I should be proud of it. After all it’s that over active imagination that allows me to do what I love most, write. If I didn’t have the imagination to believe a red light in the sky was a reindeer or that Santa was on his way each year, how would I have the strength to believe in true love or that love conquers all, as it does in the books that I write. It’s that writers imagination that allows us to not only dream up these stories and characters that readers can relate to, but to believe they could actually come true so much we can make hundreds or thousands of people believe with us (just like I did my little brother).

So I know this year, when my mom tells this story, I should smile with pride and say, “Yup, that’s me. Always the fantasizing writer.” But I have a feeling I’ll still be under the table, with my fingers in my ears, inwardly proud.

Here’s a quick look at my grown up Christmas fantasy, Naughty List.

*** Leave a comment with your email address and be entered in for a chance to win a copy of Naughty List***


Eric has been in love with Callie since the day they met, one month after someone else put a ring on her finger. Since her engagement ended Eric has been biding his time, waiting for her to be ready. Until he finds a naughty list of Christmas wishes hidden between her couch cushions with his name on the top.

He's willing to do anything to make Callie happy, including take on the role of dominate Santa Claus and spank her to blow-your-stockings-off orgasm. But is she ready for everything he wants? Does she want his love?

“I’ll just be a minute,” Callie replied, her hand brushing along his arm as she stepped behind him to her bedroom. “I’m going to slip into something less comfortable.”

“Take your time,” he called, holding his breath as he waited for the bedroom door to click closed.

He’d fantasized about that bedroom so many times. The dark navy comforter, the soft baby blue sheets decorated with smiling snowmen she used all winter long. He imagined them so many nights. The smell of her skin along the sheets, the feel of the fabric wrapped around him as he perched above her, soft against his back as she straddled him, keeping them warm as they drifted off to sleep, Callie tucked into his side.

The doorknob snapped shut and Eric jumped to attention. He wouldn’t have long. Callie was always quick getting ready. If he wanted a chance of finding any evidence of what Callie wanted for Christmas, he’d better move fast.

Callie and he had an ongoing bet to find the most heartfelt present for the other. The loser had to be the other’s designated driver for New Year’s Eve. And Eric had lost for the last three years.

If she hadn’t been newly engaged he probably would have lost four years ago too, but when he’d found the picture of her parents’ wedding he’d had the brilliant idea to have her friend Amy make a duplicate of her mother’s veil. Callie had cried when she opened the box and had worn the veil for the rest of the holiday party. Eric had never done anything so right as commissioning that frilly lace train.

It wasn’t that he minded losing. Callie was funny when she had too much to drink. She told racy jokes and got overly touchy, which as long as she was only touching him, was worth being sober to ring in the New Year.

But after all she’d been through this year, calling off her wedding and finding out the truth about Josh, he wanted to make all her Christmas wishes come true. Starting with the perfect present, even if he had to snoop to find out what she wanted.

Eric looked around the room, frantically searching for something she might need. He tipped his head to look into the trash, inspecting the contents for clues, hoping to find some recently broken appliance or family heirloom he could repair that Callie’s elementary gym teacher salary wouldn’t allow.

A sliver of light green between the arm and cushion of Callie’s mocha-colored couch drew his eye. The bright color protruded from rich leather, one of the few pieces of furniture in the room besides an inherited coffee table and elaborately decorated Christmas tree. Taking two steps to the couch, he gripped the spearmint object between his thumb and forefinger, pulling the folded holiday paper from the crevice. Why would Callie shove a piece of paper between the couch cushions? Why would she need to hide something in her own home?

Eric unfolded the paper, expanding the corners into a large, flat sheet. Twirling red ribbons and shiny gold ornaments decorated the page and snowflakes dotted each line. The written words stopped his breath. Callie’s tight, neat script whispered his greatest fantasy.

His throat closed, trapping the oxygen in his chest. His eyes blurred as he read the words over and over. His vision must be playing a trick on him. Callie would never be interested in this kind of sex, and she would certainly never be interested in him.

He’d been in love with Callie since the day he’d met her, which happened to be one month after Josh had slipped a three-carat diamond ring on her finger. He could still remember the bite of that hard rock into his palm as he shook her hand, thanking her for volunteering at the special needs event for thirty kids with physical handicaps, several his cases, that her fiancé’s team was hosting. The small pinch reminded him their meeting was not a dream. This funny, interesting, beautiful woman was real.

He may have denied his feelings at first, but he’d long since accepted he’d never have her, and forced himself to become just her friend. In all that time he’d never imagined she could return his affection.

He wasn’t her type. Callie went for athletic pretty guys. Hell, Josh had been a professional baseball player. How was a social worker supposed to compete with a guy like that? Awkward, gawky, and broke to boot—what a catch Eric was. She deserved better.

His stare remained glued to her naughty Christmas list. His gaze drifted to the top of the page where she’d written his name. He reread each increasingly kinky line. How long had she been thinking about him like this? Since she’d broken off her engagement? Before? If he’d only known, he would have already fulfilled all these wishes and then some.

A wicked smile curled his lips. His body burned stronger than the fire in the chimney Kris Kringle would soon be coming down. His cock pressed against his jeans, hard, hot, wanting. The confinement was a sweet pain he’d become used to after years of being so close to the woman of his dreams but unable to touch her.

There was no time like the present.

“Ready to go?” Callie asked from the bedroom door. He raised his head, cramming the list under his thigh as he drank in the poinsettia red sweater hugging her curves. His mouth watered at the rose blush staining her cheeks. He’d do better than that.

Eric nodded, his tongue no longer working properly. Callie’s curls fluttered as she pulled on a white puffy jacket, making the most adorable candy cane he’d ever seen as she walked to the door. One he couldn’t wait to taste.

Eric trailed behind, stuffing the holiday page into his back pocket. Christmas suddenly looked a lot brighter.


  1. Please enter me in this contest. Thank you.

  2. Merry Christmas and wishing you a Happy New year!
    I have a rare day off and had a chance to actually read the post in the SweetNSexyDiva's Yahoo group this afternoon. I so miss reading all the post, and being back at work I've missed a whole lot in regards tot he author I love and the ones I haven't had the chance to enjoy yet...*S*
    Wonderful post abut your own Christmas experience. I have one that I remember with my younger brother when I was 11 and he was 10. Being th eonly boy in a house with 2 sisters he held his own. But that Christmas he and I received bikes, and he and I went to fill the tires early Christmas morning. Well he over filled the tire unknown to both of us, and we placed them back in front of the Christmas tree and we went back to bed. An hour later there was a big bang noise from downstairs and the whole house woke up and fled down to see what was going on.
    My bike sitting on its side with a blown tire, and the tree was laying on its side on top of it. The biggest thing was the cat Kiki, a part Siamese female standing on the mantle above the fireplace hissing at the Christmas tree. My Mom was laughing her head off and thank goodness they didn't get mad.....*S*
    Thank you for giveaway and I loved the excerpt! Definitely putting this on my gotta have list!


  3. Hi Willa,

    Great family Christmas story, Don't ya just love parents version of Christmas stories. They never get old just more entertaining. LOL
    Please add me in your contest.


  4. Sounds like a fun read and just in time for Christmas.


  5. LOL, I think that is a cute Christmas story!

  6. Nice Christmas story! Thanks for sharing! cheryllynne(at)rocketmail(dot)com

  7. My cringe worthy Christmas moment, doesn't get drug out every year as a fond story told by my mother, but I am cursed to remember it very well. It was Christmas morning, mom & dad didn't want to get out from under their warm covers, so they had my sister & I bring all the stockings upstairs to their room to open. For some unexplicable reason, my mom throught it would be festive to light candles along the cabinet/headboard of their waterbed. I climbed up on the bed next to mom, leaned back against the headboard, dangling my hair in one of the candles & catching it on fire. I saw the smoke in the mirror across the room & freaked out big time. Mom shoved me forward, away from the headboard & smothered the fire on the back of my head, with a pillow. I will never forget the sickening odor of my burning hair as long as I live.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at

  8. Wow, love to win this. Thanks for the chance.

  9. Your Christmas story is sweet and I am sure it is a wonderful memory for your mom. I would say with all the craziness of the holiday you sometimes wonder if it is all worth it but to have a child who believes in the magic of the holiday must have been great.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  10. wow i love the way you did the book cover and the word wow i could read it and then blogon it

  11. Great Christmas story, Willa, and I can't wait to read Naughty List, too! Hope you're having a warm and happy time this month!

    f dot chen at comcast dot net