TDS ButtonDear Santa,


It’s the first of the month, and I feel like I’m not going anywhere.

Why do I always feel this way? Why do I abhor the holidays?

Sometimes, I wish I could be a little girl again. The Christmas spirit wasn’t lost on me then. I remember being so carefree, so open to believing in you.

I guess I still do, ‘cause I still write to you every year, but why does this feel so meaningless? I wish I knew what to do!

Have I been nice this year, Santa? I know I’ve been naughty. Sometimes. Can’t help myself, it’s just . . .

Please, Santa, tell me where I went wrong!?


Yours Truly,





Mom called me again today. She’s insistent that I go back to Hartford. The family is getting together at her place this year. Last year, we’d gotten together at Dad’s place. Mind you, he lives in Puerto Rico. In San Lorenzo, in fact. The trip there wasn’t cheap, but seeing Dad was a much needed vacation from this hectic life I lead. I’m an assistant advertising manager for Buckley’s Media in downtown Meriden. In my family’s eyes, I’ve got it made.

Truth be told, I hate my job. Why you ask?

My boss is a male chauvinistic pig who thinks he’s God’s gift to women. I think he’s part of the reason why I abhor the holidays. The man has loose hands, and likes to touch anything and everything he comes across. He makes me feel like I’m not good enough to be on the team quite a bit, too. But that’s neither here, nor there, I guess.

A swift knock on my door draws me out of my reverie. Pushing myself to my feet, I stumble toward the door, knocking over every box I come across. For someone whose lived in this apartment for the past six months, it sure as hell doesn’t look like it. There are boxes, electronics, and the occasional discarded clothes scattered everywhere. If Mom were to see this place as it is now, she’d have a heart attack. She’s one of those neat freaks who can’t stand the sight of junk anywhere.

I pull the edge of the curtain aside, and take a peek. My best friend, Radley, is standing on the other side of the door. He’s shuffling from foot to foot, occasionally blowing his breath across his hands to ward off the cold. I’m sorely tempted to leave him there, but soon think better of it. I’m already known as the Christmas Grinch. There’s no need to take on another mark against me.

I plaster a smile on my face, and yank the door open. “What on earth are you doing here?”

Radley brushes past me without uttering a word. He heads toward the roaring fireplace, shedding his thick leather coat as he walks along. I groan inwardly, and push the door closed, flipping the lock in the process. With no other choice but to follow him, I make my way over to the living room, and watch as Radley drops his six-foot-two frame onto the patched leather recliner in front of the fireplace.


He glances in my direction, his green eyes narrowing slightly. “Marcia bade me to come.”

I purse my lips, and feel the start of a headache coming on. Why can’t Mom take no for an answer? I wonder.


He nods. “Yep. We’re all going there for Christmas, Babe. You’re gonna come, too.”

A nervous laugh bursts from my lips. “Umm . . . No.”

His nostrils flare outward, a sure sign that he’s getting pissed. “Why not?”

“Mom and I are like oil and water, Rad. We don’t mix!”

“You got along last year,” he smoothly points out.

I plant my hands on my hips, and shake my head at him. “We were at Dad’s. I barely spent that much time with her as it was.”

Radley’s right leg starts to shake. That nervous tick of his when he’s angry never ceases to annoy me. He’s preparing to rip me a new one. I can sense it. If he thinks that I’m going to . . .

“I’ll go with you.”

Surely, he did not just say what I think I heard?


“I said –”

“I heard you.”

“Then why –”

I raise a hand to silence him, gently rubbing my right temple. The headache is going to be a doozy. Once he’s gone, it’s off to the kitchen to pop a Tylenol or two, and then I’m off to bed. Why can’t he leave well enough alone?

“I don’t think that’s a good idea, Rad.”

“Why not?”

“‘Cause, it’s just not. I’m not in the mood to spend Christmas with the family this year.”

He stands up, and makes his way over to me, pulling me into his arms. Against my better judgment, I lean into him. There’s something about Radley that I’ve always found soothing. Ironically, I can never figure out just what that is.




‘Tis the season to be merry . . .

Johanna Rivera isn’t that fond of the holidays. She does everything possible to spend them on her own, enjoying the fact that she’ll have no one to answer to but herself. In her mind, the less time she spends with her family, the better off she’ll be. With Christmas just around the corner, she’s not looking forward to mingling with the family. Most especially, her mom. Deep inside, she knows she shouldn’t treat her mom the way she does, but she can’t help herself. The two of them clash at every turn, intent on winning the battle of wills that exists between them.

Her world is soon turned upside-down when unexpected news arrives on her doorstep. Things in her life have been spiraling out of control, and she’s not sure as to how to fix what’s wrong. Never-the-less, she’ll grapple with the changes coming her way. Deep inside, she’s hoping for the best. Intent on making the holidays something worthwhile, she hopes its one her mother will remember fondly. It’s the least she can do to make her feel better during the time they have left together.

Determined to find meaning in the life she’s led, Johanna puts her trust and faith in the one thing she used to believe in – her beloved Santa. It’ll allow her to immerse herself in the spirit of the season. Recalling the letters she’s written to Santa ever since she was a child, letters that to this day she continues writing, she comes to the realization that her life is not what she’s made of it. She’ll need to find it within herself to forgive the past if she’s to succeed in setting all wrongs to right. Only then, can she get past the obstacles that keep coming her way.




Release Date: On/After December 25, 2013
Available Formats To Be Available: Ebook & Print