In my Roaring Twenties holiday novella, Erin's Gift, my heroine is a lowly paid shop girl who stumbles into a position in a home far above her upbringing. The cook prides herself in traditional recipes, which she is reluctant to share. However, Erin has a way of getting people to open up ... even with a family recipe.
Erin's favorite? Traditional shortbread. And she's willing to share.
About the Book
Prohibition Era, Chicago
Caught in a raid at an illegal speakeasy, good girl Erin O'Mara loses everything: her job, her home, and her reputation. Handsome and so out of her league attorney Seth Harrison, her best friend's brother, rescues her not once, but twice. He bails her out of jail and offers her a job as nanny for his son.
Seth has no intention of falling in love after the death of his wife. But despite his better judgment, he can't help being drawn to Erin's innocence. This Christmas, letting go of the past and embracing the future may be the greatest present of all.
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“Well, well, well, what have we here?” The desk sergeant stared down over the huge wooden barrier, his thick Irish brogue filled with amusement. “Miss Harrison, Mr. Packard.” Glancing in Erin’s direction, he added, “Don’t tell me these two have roped another of their Hyde Park friends into skirting the law?” He shook his head and rubbed a meaty hand across his whiskers. “What’s your name, girlie?”
“Erin. Erin O’Mara.”
“Saints be, they’ve drawn a fine Irish lass such as yourself into their sordid business.” The officer turned his attention to Abby.
“I suppose you’ll be wanting to call that shyster brother of yours, now won’t you?”
Abby nodded. “Yes, Officer O’Malley, if you wouldn’t mind.”
O’Malley motioned toward the single phone on the table opposite the desk. “You can give him a call, but you’re going into the tank with the rest of lawbreakers until he gets here. No more special treatment just ‘cause your father’s a councilman. Understood?”
“Yes, sir,” Abby said. She started toward the desk and then turned back to ask, “Did Mrs. O’Malley have that baby yet, Sergeant?”
“Not yet,” the man acknowledged, shaking his head. “You’d think after ten, they’d just walk out on their own.”
The “tank” as Officer O’Malley had called it was made up of three jail cells, side by side. Women were housed in the first, the middle one sat empty, and the men were placed in the third. The young officer in charge of escorting them to their cells opened the door and motioned them forward. “Miss Abby,” the man said, “I’m surprised to see you back so soon.”
Abby laid her hand against the officer’s smooth cheek. “Oh, Tommy, you know I couldn’t possibly go more than a week or two without seeing your handsome face.”
The cell door had barely shut behind them when two women of questionable virtue began whistling and making wild moaning noises. The older of the two laughed heartily, her amusement ending in a rough-edged cough. “Oh, Tommy,” she whimpered, “I missed you so much.”
“Leave it alone, Kitty,” Officer Tommy warned. “And don’t you be trying to steal anything from these two young ladies.”
The woman called Kitty shook her head. “Don’t want nothing from these swells, Tommy-boy, ‘cept maybe a ciggy if they’ve got one.”
“Not us,” Erin said, shaking her head. “We don’t smoke.”
Kitty snorted another half-laugh, half-cough. “Well, la-de-da, aren’t you a couple a good girlies.”
I'd like to take this time to wish everyone a safe, healthy, and happy holiday...no matter which you choose to celebrate! And, please, feel free to share your favorite holiday cookie recipe in the comments.
Until next year,