Holiday Haunting



When Annabel meets Cal, it’s love at first sight. But after a strange dream, she starts to wonder if perhaps there’s something more than destiny bringing them together. She knows in her heart that she loves Cal, but will that be enough for her to get the one Christmas wish she wants more than anything?


Available at:







All Rights Reserved.
© 2010, 2020 Jessica Coulter Smith

I hurried out of the store.  For the third time that week, I had stayed late at work, and I knew my mother would kill me if I didn’t make it home for dinner on time. Glancing at my watch, I didn’t see the hulking giant in front of me.

“Oof!” My feet slid on the icy sidewalk and I would have gone sprawling if the guy hadn’t caught me.

Clinging to his arms, I looked up, struck dumb by both his size and good looks. I’d never seen a guy as gorgeous, or as intimidating as him. Compared to my five-foot height, he was a walking mountain.

“Are you okay?” he asked, his voice deep and rumbling in his chest, sending shivers through me – the good kind.

I nodded, not able to trust me voice to work. I’d never been great around guys to begin with, except for my best friend, Sean. But Sean most definitely didn’t look anything like this guy.

“I’m sorry for bumping into you,” he said with a grin.

I finally found my voice. “No, I’m the one who ran into you. That’s what I get for not watching where I walk.”

His hands slid down my arms and he took a step back. I had to crane my neck to look up at him, but found it worth the slight pain. He looked like a god with tousled shoulder length brown hair and bright blue eyes.

When he smiled a moment later, I realized I’d been staring. I felt my face heat in a blush and ducked my head. “Sorry. I should be going.”

I skirted past him, but he grabbed my arm, making me look up at him in surprise.

“Don’t I at least get to know your name?” he asked.

“Annabel,” I answered softly.

“A beautiful name for a beautiful girl.”

I felt my blush deepen, my whole face feeling as if it were on fire, and I just knew my face resembled a hot chili pepper. “I wouldn’t go that far.”

The smile slipped from his face and his brow furrowed. “Which part?  Your name isn’t beautiful, or you aren’t?”

Is he really going to make me say it, I wondered. After staring at him a moment longer, I realized he did indeed expect an answer. “I’m not beautiful.”

“Says who?”

Everybody. “The senior class at Waite Hills High School.

He looked surprised. “You’re still in high school?”

“Only for half a year longer, then I’ll be set free.” I could have kicked myself. Of course, the hottie in front of me wouldn’t be in high school.  After all, we only had one in town and I hadn’t seen him around.

He chuckled, his eyes twinkling. “So you’re eighteen?”