Dear Santa by Brandy Chambers, MOON OVER ALCATRAZ

000009In order to kick the holiday season off right, The Writer's Life will be hosting authors from December 1-23 with a fun way to celebrate the season called “Dear Santa.” Yep, lots of crazy, fun, sentimental, what have you, Dear Santa letters by authors of all genres. Only, this will be a little different as the Dear Santa letters won’t be from the author’s POV, but from their character’s POV. What a fun way to get inside the minds of some of these characters during the Christmas season! Today's guest is Brandy Chambers from Patricia Yager Delagrange's new romantic women's fiction, MOON OVER ALCATRAZ.

Dear Santa,

I know I’m much older than the children who write you Dear Santa letters; however I’m writing this letter for my unborn child. In that sense, I think you won’t mind me taking up your time. I know you’re extra busy right now. It’s mid-December and you’re in the throes of making sure you have enough toys for all the children around the world. It’s such an honorable job you have, Santa.
Granting the wishes of young children and spending all year keeping track of those wishes and making sure the Elves make all the toys, is a job beyond my comprehension. Do you ever take a day or a week off? You and Mrs. Claus could come down to California, where I live, and visit us in Alameda. It’s a man-made island, believe it or not. We have only 80,000 residents but there are tons of chimneyed Victorian and Craftsman houses. You’d love it.

Anyway, I’m an author and love to write and, as you can see, I think I’ve gotten a bit off-track here. I wanted to tell you about my wish and hope you find it in your heart to grant it. It’s not for me. It’s for the baby growing inside of me. You see, I lost a child at birth. The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and the doctor was having a hard time getting her out and she was without air for so long, she passed away before we could even meet her. I’ve struggled with my depression over her death for months. The experience put a rift between me and my husband that I don’t think can ever be fixed. But, I’m pregnant again and if you can find it in your heart to grant my baby her very first wish from Santa, here it is:

Santa, please let her live. Let her come into this world healthy. She’ll have a wonderful life with her family. She deserves to see the world and all it has to offer. Yes, you could consider this my personal wish and I’m to old to be writing you. But I’m doing this for my baby. If she lives I know she’ll be writing you plenty of letters in her young life. You’ll do your best to grant them, I’m sure. But this wish here, that I’m writing about, is one of the most important wishes she’ll ever make.

Thank you, Santa. I look forward to seeing you drop down out of the chimney chute into our front room.


About the Author:

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Patricia attended St. Mary’s College, studied her junior year at the University of Madrid, received a B.A. in Spanish at UC Santa Barbara then went on to get a Master’s degree in Education at Oregon State University. She lives with her husband and two teenage children in Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco, along with two very large chocolate labs, Annabella and Jack. Her Friesian horse Maximus lives in the Oakland hills in a stall with a million dollar view.
Her latest book is the romantic women’s fiction, Moon Over Alcatraz.
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About the Book

Title: Moon Over Alcatraz
Author: Patricia Yager Delagrange
Publisher: Ravenswood Publishing/Black Hawk
Pages: 308
Genre: Romantic Women’s Fiction

Brandy Chambers was looking forward to the birth of her first child. She and Weston move from San Francisco to the small town of Alameda to start a family, she’s writing her second book, and Weston has a fantastic job working on the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge project. Having this baby would make her already-wonderful life perfect.

But when the baby dies after a difficult birth, Brandy’s perfect life blows up in her face. Stricken with grief, she and Weston pull apart. This new distance leads them both to disaster. Not until a chance encounter with her high school friend, Edward Barnes, does Brandy pull herself together. Brandy and Weston agree to recommit to each other, striving to forgive infidelity and recreate their previous existence.

Everything is once again going according to plan—until Brandy discovers she’s pregnant. While she struggles to cope with this new obstacle, Edward Barnes returns to town and discovers she’s having a baby, while Weston is torn between his love for his wife and his anger at her betrayal. Can Brandy manage to keep her marriage to Weston together? Will Edward be a part of Brandy’s life if she and Weston separate?

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Book Excerpt:

While sipping my coffee, a gentleman dressed in an impeccable dark grey suit, red tie and baby-blue shirt approached my table. 
“This is the only unoccupied chair. Do you mind?” 
I looked over at the empty seat and nodded. “Go ahead,” I mumbled then continued reading. I turned the page and noticed his hand reach across the small round table, handing me my keys. 
“Oh, my God! I must have dropped them. Thank — ” I looked up at his face. “Edward? Edward Barnes?” My eyes widened. “Is that really you?” 
He pulled out the chair and sat down, his blue eyes snagging me with an intense stare. “Brandy Donovan?” 
“Brandy Chambers now. I don’t think I’ve seen you since high school graduation.” 
“I left for NYU two days later and — ” 
“Law school, right?” 
“You remembered.” He smiled, revealing beautiful straight teeth. “Then I came back here and I’ve been practicing law ever since.” 
“What type of law?” 
“Criminal. What about you, Mrs. Chambers?” he teased. 
“Well, I married Weston after I graduated from Cal. He works as a structural engineer on the San Francisco Bay Bridge project.” 
“And you? A mom? Two point five kids?” 
I looked down into my paper coffee cup, fiddled with the top. “No, no kids yet.” Feeling too raw to discuss it now, I changed the subject. “Do you work here in Alameda?” 
“Yeah, I do.” He glanced down at his wrist watch. “I’d love to continue our discussion but I’ve got a meeting in ten minutes. How about lunch soon? Remember how I was planning on becoming a chef some day?” 
I laughed, recalling his regaling me with the list of applications he’d received for culinary institutes all over the world. “I remember all right. And you were always demanding I taste your latest creation, asking if I thought it needed more spice or a little less olive oil.” 
He stood, pushing the chair back toward the table. “I’ll have to cook for you one of these days. Sometimes I think I’m a better chef than I am a lawyer.” 
“Well, most of the time you were a fantastic chef.” 
He grinned mischievously. “And you were always a bad liar. Some of the dishes I served you should never have made it onto the plate.” 
I laughed again. He’d always been nice looking but now he was older, he’d matured, no longer a gangly teenager. He’d filled out but was still slender with long legs and he appeared to be at least six foot five inches tall. He turned to leave. 
“Wait!” Grabbing the corner of his sleeve, I smiled up at him. “It was nice seeing you again, Edward.” 
He looked right through me with that blue-eyed stare. “It certainly was, Brandy. You take care now.” He tipped his head once in acknowledgement then wended his way through the crowd toward the door. 
“Edward Barnes,” I whispered to myself. “I’ll be darned.” 
I threw my cup in the recycling can and speed-walked out of Peet’s, jogging home in less than ten minutes. What a surprise, meeting Edward after so many years. I plopped down on the front room couch and gazed up at the ceiling. 
Edward Barnes in the flesh, I reflected. He looked so different than when we’d known each other in high school. He’d become a strikingly handsome man, a perfectly shaped nose widened a bit at the bottom, a dark mustache hovered over his now-straightened teeth, an impressively square jaw, crescent-shaped eyebrows, and the bluest eyes I’d ever seen without contact lenses. 
He reminded me of the guy who played a private detective in Magnum, P.I. — Tom Selleck — in his younger days! And he’d always had a fantastic personality, funnier than hell, joked around a lot. I’d enjoyed hanging around him in the classes we shared at St. Joseph’s Notre Dame High School. It would be fun to catch up on old times, along with playing guinea pig to one of his homemade meals. 
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