There’s a unique atmosphere to Christmas Eve, a mixture of anticipation, anxiety, and resignation. What presents will I get? I wonder if those weird cousins are going to turn up? Too bad the store is out of cloves; now the ham won’t look so good. When I worked in IT, Christmas Eve was a great day to be at work. Everyone was already in holiday mood, there were no deadlines, people left early and the boss didn’t mind. Of course, Christmas Eve is also when those last-minute gifts are bought, usually over-priced perfume gift sets or the last cookbook on the shelves or the standard fallback of a box of chocolates. (Hey, that’s fine. I love chocolate!)
Why are supermarkets and grocery stores so packed on Christmas Eve? It seems people go berserk at the thought of the stores not opening for a couple of days, and they have to buy truckloads of food in order to survive. It’s like Christmas Eve is a prepping exercise for a doomsday event, and everyone needs to hoard enough food and drink to feed an army. Here in Sydney, the fish market stays open for 48 hours straight so that everyone can get their salmon, tuna, lobster, and prawns. I’m not a big fan of seafood, so I don’t see the attraction of spending Christmas Eve in a crowded, fishy market.
I prefer to treat Christmas Eve like the calm before the storm. It’s the last opportunity to get some quiet time to myself. I can finish up a bit of writing, tidy up my inbox, maybe even read a book or two. I can take a stroll around the neighborhood and check out all the Christmas displays that people love to do. Christmas Eve is like standing in the shallows while that giant wave rolls inexorably toward you. Just enjoy the moment and let everything wash over you!
Just in time for Christmas, my latest release is LOVE, DOGS, AND OTHER CATASTROPHES.
He knew everything he wanted…until she showed him everything he never knew he needed
Dog person, cat person: Joel Winslow is a money person. PetzBizz is facing bankruptcy, and it’s his job to fix it. Shoring up a business often means hard decisions, but Joel knows that short term pain leads to long term gains, and it is in everyone’s best interest to keep the doors of PetzBizz open. If only he can convince Andrea, the prickly part-time clerk determined to get in his way.
Andrea Ho understands jargon, and ‘restructuring’ means ‘slash and burn’. The last thing PetzBizz needs is some corporate drone coming in and making decisions based on money instead of compassion. But Joel comes with three adorable if unruly dogs, and Andrea is desperate for some extra cash. A side job doing something she loves seems like a perfect solution—and it allows her to keep an eye on Joel and PetzBizz. Unfortunately, Andrea likes what she sees just a bit too much for her own comfort—and it looks like Joel feels the same way.
Opposites may attract, but different values aren’t the basis for long-term happiness. When it comes to a choice between love and money, only one can win.
Coleen Kwan has been a bookworm all her life. At school English was her favorite subject, but for some reason she decided on a career in IT. After many years of programming, she wondered what else there was in life — and discovered writing. She loves writing contemporary romance and steampunk romance.
Coleen lives in Sydney, Australia with her partner and two children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys avoiding housework, eating chocolate, and watching TV shows like Criminal Minds and Bob’s Burgers.