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Let There Be Snow
Charlotte Rains Dixon
Publication date: November 3rd 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Holiday, Romance
Christmas isn’t Christmas without snow.
So Dixie Dunham believes.
But she’s about to experience a Christmas with nothing but cold, gray rain after taking a job at the Starlight Winery in Pineview, Oregon, smack in the middle of wine country. Dixie likes her new job at the winery and she’s hoping owners Jamie and Ernest will soon name her to the position of national sales manager. She’s certain the proposal she’s working on for a city-sponsored contest will cement her claim to the job. That would be something to impress the friends and family she left behind in New York.
And Dixie is desperate to impress them, seeing as how she fled after her fiancée jilted her at the altar in favor of her maid-of-honor best friend. Now as the December days shorten and darken and Pineview celebrates the season with lavish decorations and festive events, it’s hitting Dixie hard how much she’s lost. All she has left besides her job is the company of her loyal dog, Bo. And a Christmas without snow.
When Jamie and Ernest introduce her to their good friend Max Pettigrew, who has just moved from Paris back to Pineview after a wrenching divorce, she’s instantly attracted to him. But Max Pettigrew never met a woman he didn’t want to flirt with. All in the strictest of innocence, of course. Too bad what he thinks is charming flirtatiousness is off-putting to Dixie. Ridiculously handsome he may be, but he’s also ridiculously annoying. And she does not need more annoyance in her life. When the two of them turn out to be vying to win the same city contest, her annoyance turns to anger. But Max grows more determined to win her over, inviting her to the Pineview Christmas parade and holiday parties, and turning to a stream of self-help books to help improve himself.
Can Max mend his entitled bro ways? Will Dixie get her promotion, and perhaps more important, her snow at Christmas in rainy Oregon? Let There Be Snow, a novella, launches November 3, 2022. Stay tuned for pre-order information.
Two steps remaining, someone appeared at the bottom of the stairs and startled Dixie. Her foot slid and she missed the step, landing awkwardly in front of the human who stood waiting to walk up.
The human who was a male in a brown wool coat dripping with water. The human who had rich brown eyes that smoldered as brightly as the tasting room fire, a graceful long nose, and a mouth that was now wreathed in an ear-to-ear smile. The human who had a thick head of chestnut hair, with one lock that fell over his forehead in a boyish way. The human who now reached out a hand to steady her and said, “Oh, I’m so sorry, I startled you. Are you okay?”
He was tall, really tall. She batted away the comparison to Tate, who had been short, shorter than Dixie herself, and for whom Dixie was always slumping so as not to be taller. Beneath this man’s overcoat a starched light blue shirt draped his broad shoulders and chest in a perfect fit, and his tan slacks fell from his waist in a sleek line.
He was ridiculously handsome. Stupidly handsome.
Except then she realized. He was Jamie and Ernest’s next appointment. Most likely a rival candidate for the marketing director job. Her job. She shook off his hand. “I’m fine.”
“You sure are,” he said.
Oh, for God’s sake. Really? Had he really just said that? She rolled her eyes.
But he still gazed down at her. “Really, really fine.”
“What are you, a relic from the dark ages?” she snapped. This man was totally riling her, despite his good looks. Maybe even because of his good looks.
His smile didn’t waver. “Just a man who appreciates the finer things in life.”
“Me too, which doesn’t include jerky men.” Dixie moved to step around him. She had to get away from him. She was being rude, and that was unprofessional. If her bosses heard her, it would be another black mark against her.
“Oh, don’t go without an introduction.” Unfortunately, his voice was as rich and deep as his eyes. He held out a hand. “Max. Max Pettigrew.”
She sighed and shook his hand, then withdrew it as quickly as possible. “Dixie. Dixie Dunham. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do.”
Luckily, Ernest’s voice called from the top of the staircase. “Oh, there you are, Max, you’re just in time.”
“For what, the vampire ball?” Dixie asked.
Damnit, she’d done it again.
“Oh now, do we have to be so harsh?”
The words came out of her mouth before she could stop herself. “Oh now, yes. Yes, we do.” She couldn’t help it. She’d had enough of men, especially those of the handsome, entitled, arrogant variety, to last her a lifetime. “We really do.”
Footsteps sounded on the steps and Ernest called down. “You ready?”
“I thought I was but now I’m not so sure,” Max said, then zeroed in on Dixie again. “I’ll have you know I’m attending the Christmas play that the Mapson twins are appearing in.”
“Try not to spoil the holiday cheer. I’m outta here.” Dixie made her escape.
“Was it something I said?” Max called after her.
“Damn right,” Dixie muttered as she stomped away. Air, she needed air. “Taking a quick break,” she called to Kate, and grabbed her coat and Bo’s leash. Outside, the rain had stopped but judging by the black clouds along the western horizon, it looked to be a brief respite. She led Bo up the path that snaked alongside the vineyard plantings to the top of a small rise. For the moment she could catch a glimpse of the spectacular view from the winery—green rolling hills, many covered with now-brown vineyards, others featuring farmhouses snuggled into them. It was a view she never tired of, even if she did wish the green would turn to white once in a while.
She inhaled the fresh Oregon air. Damnit, she’d done it again—gone apeshit irritable over nothing important, just a stupid man. Stupidly handsome man. She swatted the thought away. Dixie took another deep breath, trying to shake off the stress that her therapist said activated her PTSD. If one believed she had PTSD, which for sure Dixie didn’t. Nope, she wasn’t going there. Not a chance. No way. She’d tried, she really had, but Dixie couldn’t help thinking that all that psychological self-help crap was just mumbo jumbo. What she needed was some good old-fashioned revenge.
The great-granddaughter of pioneers who walked across the Oregon Trail, Charlotte Rains Dixon considers herself a westerner through and through. Many of her stories are set in her home state of Oregon, where her characters reside in fictional versions of her favorite wine area and coast towns, as well as Portland, where she lives.
When not writing fiction, Charlotte teaches writing in England, the south of France, and around the Pacific Northwest. She also coaches writers privately. She is Director Emeritus and a current mentor at the Writer’s Loft, a certificate-in-writing program at Middle Tennessee State University. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Spalding University and is also the author Emma Jean’s Bad Behavior.
Charlotte lives with her husband in Portland, Oregon, in a multi-generational home that is by turns boisterous and exuberant but seldom quiet. She believes no breakfast is complete without a crossword puzzle to work and no Happy Hour can actually be happy without popcorn. (Wine goes without saying.) Despite frequent stays in France, she regularly fractures the language. She is, however, fluent in Carney.
Charlotte writes stories about places you long to live filled with people you’d love to know.
Learn more about Charlotte at her website, charlotterainsdixonauthor.com and be sure to sign up for her author newsletter here.