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Friday, January 2, 2009

A Hard Sell

I wish I hadn’t done it. I’ve put myself into a bad position here, and I don’t know if I can sell this to you or not. What am I talking about? My book. The Best Selling Toy Of The Season. Yes, I know that the title and the cover scream Christmas, but I promise you the book won’t make you think of the holidays every time you pick it up. The book has 153 pages, and the last mention of Christmas is on page 25. So, if you haven’t had a chance to read it, please don’t hesitate. I promise it’s more than just a Christmas story.

My heroine’s name is Nikki Lane, and she could easily be someone you know. She works at Super Mart, the local discount store and lives in a single wide mobile home in a trailer park that doesn’t have a very good reputation.

She hasn’t been very lucky in love. As a teenager, she fell hard for her first love, Tim, but he abandoned her after she got pregnant the second time. Nikki doesn’t trust men-with the exception of her cousin Dan. If not for his help she’d have to move back in with her parents, and her Dad drinks.

You probably also know someone like my hero Tommy Price. He’s everything Nikki isn’t-wealthy, socially acceptable, and prominent in community affairs. That didn’t keep him from losing the woman he wanted to marry, though. Tommy’s looking for love, but he’s tired of cookie cutter women who’re more interested in his money and his family name than they are him.

Unfortunately, when you’ve been hurt as much as Nikki has it’s hard to trust again. In this excerpt Nikki is talking with her friend and reveals her confusion about her relationship with Tommy.

Nikki counted the hours until Saturday. It had been a long time
since she had wanted to go out with anyone, and of course she felt
flattered that a handsome, wealthy man like Tommy Price had singled
her out.

It felt odd not to discuss her date with Dan, but in this case she
couldn’t. Hopefully, if everything went well, Dan would see that he
was wrong about Tommy.

No, she couldn’t talk to Dan about Tommy, but nothing
prevented her from discussing it with Mandy Wingo, her best friend.
The girls had met at Super Mart where they both worked and had
immediately hit it off.

Mandy wasn’t as pretty as Nikki, but she still had lots of dates. In
fact, more. Both Dan and Mrs. Lane approved of Mandy very much.
They felt that she was a good influence on Nikki, for she had a level
head on her shoulders.

On Friday afternoon after the girls got off work they lingered in
the Super Mart employee break room to discuss Nikki’s date. “I feel
bad about keeping secrets from Dan,” Nikki confessed, “but if I tell
him about Tommy he’ll be so mad. I know that Tommy isn’t
interested in a long-term relationship with me, but Dan’s afraid that
I’ll either get hurt or get pregnant. I don’t blame him; my track record
isn’t too good.”

“Oh, Nikki, I don’t know. Dan’s awfully good to you, isn’t he? I
think you should tell him about Tommy.”

“No way. He’d lecture me for days if he got wind of this.

Anyway, my mother thinks its okay for Tommy and me to go out. She
told me to marry him.”

Mandy shrugged. “I think it’s a good idea myself.”

“Dan said a man like Tommy would never marry somebody like

“Maybe Dan’s wrong. If you like Tommy, Nikki, go after him.
See what develops.”

“Dan’s usually right,” Nikki said gloomily. “Why would a man
like Tommy Price be interested in me? Millionaires don’t marry girls
who work at Super Mart. Anyway, what would he and I have in
common? I don’t know anything about opera and ballet and stuff like
that, and I don’t have bunches of glasses and forks on the table when I
eat either.”

“He might not like opera or ballet either, and anyone can get a
book to find out which fork to use.”


“Nikki, stop making excuses. I’m thrilled for you, and you should
be thrilled too. Your mother’s right. Remember that movie, Pretty
Woman? She got a fairy tale ending; why shouldn’t you?”

Nikki scowled at Mandy. “Because that’s a movie. Real life isn’t
like the movies.”

She decided to keep that thought in mind. She’d made a lot of
mistakes in her life; she didn’t want to make another one.

On Saturday, Nikki hadn’t thought to ask Tommy where they
were going for dinner, but it seemed safe to assume that she needed to
dress up. She spent an hour going through her closet, but truthfully,
she had very little to wear. She couldn’t afford it, but she’d have to
buy a new dress.

So, the next afternoon when she clocked out at work Nikki made
her way to the Super Mart ladies’ department instead of her car. Super
Mart had put their Christmas finery on sale several days earlier, and
customers had picked it over. She hoped she could find something
anyway, for shopping at a more expensive store was out of the

After perusing the racks, Nikki found one dress she liked, a
simple, form-fitting garment made of forest green crushed velvet, and
even though the neckline did plunge a bit, she thought it would do.

She went into the dressing room and tried on the dress, turning
critically from side to side to see how she looked. I like it, she
thought, and with a surge of happiness, she kissed her reflection in the

The lipstick on the glass brought Nikki’s spirits crashing down.
She was an idiot. Tommy paid her a little attention, and she spent
money she didn’t have to impress him. She needed to remember that
fairy tales didn’t really come true. Michael and Teddy proved that,
right? If only he didn’t give her butterflies in the stomach every time
she saw him.

She quickly changed into her own clothes and went through the
checkout to pay for her dress.

The Best Selling Toy Of The Season was reviewed by LASR and is up for book of the week. I'd appreciate your vote. That address is Voting is 1/3-1/4.

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

LuAnn said...

Oh, but Elaine, I love Christmas stories, no matter what time of year it is!