UNWRAPPING NOEL AUTHOR: Jennifer Theriot
Noel Calabrese hates Christmas as much as she hates her life. While in the Napa Valley on a business trip, she meets Leon Hallas. Could this sexy, silver fox be her ticket to happiness? Will she learn to trust again?
Noel Calabrese, PR
Public Relations or Pathetic Relationship?
Gaww! I absolutely hate this day—December eighth, Catholic holy day, feast of The Immaculate Conception, and my sister, Holly’s, birthday. Did I fulfill my holy obligation today and go to mass? No, I did not. I’m a faltering excuse for a Catholic. Did I call Holly this morning and wish her happy birthday? Did I send her a card? No, to both of those. My parents are probably cursing me from their graves for the way I’ve turned out, not to mention the deity above.
It’s freezing cold. Drizzling rain and the bad weather make for a horrible commute home on the freeway. The approaching holidays make it even worse, so I shake my head and spew out a few, choice, cuss words. I flip my middle finger at the plethora of stupid drivers who believe it is their right to drive like idiots.
Tapping impatiently on my steering wheel, I look at the mall parking lot and wonder how people actually find joy in buying shit, just to be giving it away. Half the time, what you give gets returned anyway. I sound jaded, but it’s the truth. Think about it. You spend countless hours wandering around the stores, buy a gift you think someone will like, for the sake of giving, spend time wrapping it, and then the day after Christmas, everyone is clamoring to get to the mall to return their presents. A futile waste of time. Stores are open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The whole world is after the almighty dollar instead of focusing on the reason for the season. Growing up, my sister and I were lucky to get a doll from Santa. These days, I think people just buy gifts to be buying them. The whole meaning of Christmas is pissed away by greed and material things. Isn’t Christmas supposed to be about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ? It’s His birthday after all. Why do we need gifts? I swear, this gets worse every year, and I keep telling myself that I’m not buying any more presents for anyone. I’ll just give them a card that explains the true meaning of the season and be done with it.
The red brake lights of cars, and the annoying sounds of horns honking, coupled with the blaring of an ambulance trying to meander its way through the congested traffic, have me wanting to scream. I pull into the right lane, letting the ambulance pass, and make the sign of the cross, hoping the person in the ambulance is safe.
On the other hand, I’m angry, and I’m tired. I’m stressed out, and I just want to get home, peel off my clothes, grab a glass of wine, and unwind. Pounding my fists on the steering wheel does nothing to expedite the process, so I talk myself into taking a deep breath, turn on some classical music, and deal with the anxiety.
Traffic opens up, and I push my foot on the pedal—bumping me ten miles over the speed limit to get to my safe haven. Finally, I pull onto my street, stop my car in front of the mailbox, and reach in to grab the day’s stack. I see Dave’s Mercedes parked in the driveway, but the damn front lights to the house aren’t on. So typical! It’s dark, and the floodlight on the driveway must be out as well. I get out of my car, grab the shitload of work files out of the back seat, and proceed to slip on the wet, slick driveway, falling forward.
USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Theriot hails from the Great State of Texas. She is a career woman, working as CFO of a Texas based real estate investment firm by day and does her writing at nights and on weekends. In her limited spare time, Jennifer enjoys being outdoors; preferably somewhere on a beach curled up with a good book. Spending time with family and friends, listening to music, watching a baseball game and enjoying a good bottle of wine are usually on her to-do lists. She’s mom to three grown children and ‘MiMi’ to three (soon to be four) grandkids – all of whom she adores!