Trouble at Christmas

Mason doesn’t want to visit his grandparents this Christmas. His grandad never shows his face because he’s too tired, and Mason is convinced the real reason is that he doesn’t like him. But his grandad has a secret, one that Mason can’t know until he turns 18. But secrets have a way of being discovered, especially when there is one careless elf and a whole lot more who are ill…

Here’s a sneak peak of the first chapter:

The North Pole

Father Christmas sniffed and wiped away a tear.

“What on earth’s the matter with you now?” sighed Mrs. Claussen. “Honestly, it’s the same every year – you have to go to work, there’s no way out of it. So pull yourself together, get the elves to sort the reindeer out and get those presents on the sleigh before it’s too late.”

“It’s all right for you,” Father Christmas snapped. “You get to spend the happiest time of the year with our grandson while I’m out doing all the work. It would be nice to be able to see him open his presents is all I’m saying.”

“You didn’t say that when his mother was little, did you? Oh no! Then it was all, ‘See you later, try not to let her open them all in one go – wake me up on Boxing Day’, wasn’t it?” Mrs. Claussen put the finishing touches to the ribbons that surrounded the final gift she’d had the elves make for the boy. “There,” she said with satisfaction.

“That was because Christmas Eve was the only time I got away from you both,” Father Christmas muttered under his breath.

“I heard that, darling.” Mrs. Claussen put the gift to one side and thumped on the table with a small fist, making her husband jump. “If you’d only go into the real world more than once a year, you’d see more of both Mason and Lili, wouldn’t you!”

Father Christmas squirmed in his chair. “You know I can’t do that – I’d be too easily recognised.”

“Pah!” said Mrs. Claussen. “By who, exactly?”

“The children, of course!” Father Christmas stared at his wife in astonishment.

“The children who all think you’re a big, jolly fellow with white hair and a long white beard?” Mrs. Claussen raised an eyebrow.

Her husband was currently sporting a pair of jeans and a white tee-shirt with a rude slogan on it. He had been on a diet during this past year and had lost so much weight none of his Christmas clothes fitted him any longer. He’d also taken up weight lifting and running, shaved off his beard, cut his hair and dyed it a rather snazzy chestnut colour.

“I still think you’re having some kind of mid-life crisis,” she said, even as she admired his biceps.

“You have to be middle aged to have that kind of crisis,” her husband told her. “And as I’m only one-hundred and sixty-six…”

“Seven,” his wife corrected.

Father Christmas tutted. “Sixty-seven, then, I’m nowhere near the middle of my life, am I?”

“No,” Mrs. Claussen agreed. “Not unless you’re planning on living to three-hundred and thirty-four, you’re not.”

Father Christmas jumped to his feet, sending the kitchen chair he’d been sitting on skidding across the floor. “I’ve had enough of this!” he shouted.

“There’s a good fellow,” Mrs. Claussen ignored his mini-tantrum. “Go and put the toys on the sleigh.”

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Due for release 5.12.2017 for less than the price of a cup of coffee.

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