Thanksgiving Prep

My house smells so amazing right now. I have the bread machine going with the second loaf of sage and onion bread for Thursday’s stuffing. I did the first loaf yesterday while I was doing laundry and running errands, and I get to do one more tomorrow while I deal with day-job stuff, so three days of that delicious aroma is a big tease well before we get to actually enjoy it. And I am totally okay with it. I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Good food, family around the table, and a reminder to be thankful for all the good things. I try to be grateful year-round, though some days are harder than others, as you all understand.

Right now, I’m grateful for the bread machine doing most of the work so I can do other things on the to-do list while I’ll still get to enjoy the end result in a few days. I’m also grateful that after we get through the next two day-job days of crazy-busy, I will have five days off. My normal routine is to take off the Wednesday right before and then the Monday after Thanksgiving. This year, since we had schedule shift at the day-job, I took back my Monday so I don’t leave my teammate to deal with that crazy by herself, and so the sales reps we work with don’t have added stress. And I’m okay with it: I still needed to schedule some PTO that couldn’t be carried over to next year (which somehow turned out to be more than I realized ), so now I will have a four day weekend next month that I hadn’t anticipated. Yay!

My Wednesday off will be mostly spent in the kitchen–baking the apple cake for Thursday’s dessert, making the cranberry sauce, prepping the corn pudding for the crockpot for Thursday, maybe even chopping up the celery and onions for the stuffing if I’m feeling motivated (I’m trying to talk myself into that because it’ll mean I get to sleep a tad longer Thursday if those are already done).

This doesn’t sound like a good writing week, does it? But I have Friday through Sunday, too, and since I am not a shopper (way too many years working retail to want to join shoppers on Thanksgiving weekend!), that means even with the normal weekend to-do list, I will still have plenty of time left for writing. I also have plans for the first few days of the week on my Facebook page with some Thanksgiving gratitude posts that I hope will be fun for everyone.

I have a little snippet for you today from Hunting Medusa.

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Andrea rested her head on her folded arms on the kitchen table, only half listening to Kallan typing on his keyboard. She didn’t want to die just yet. She knew for sure she didn’t want to be mutilated before she died.

But she didn’t look forward to killing the Harvester either.

She never should have had sex with him. She knew it. She’d known it beforehand.

And she should definitely not still want him.

When the phone rang, it was a relief. For a few seconds. Until she realized it was Thalia. “My cousin.” She didn’t think she needed to explain her mental caller I.D. to him.

Kallan held her gaze for a long moment. “Don’t try to let her know what’s going on,” he said at last. “I know where a lot of your cousins are located, and I’m not the only one.”

Her heart pounded harder at the implication, but she got to her feet and picked up the receiver. “Hello, Thalia. How are you?”

“I’m fine, Andi, but I think you need to get away for a while.”

She frowned, feeling Kallan’s presence behind her. Close behind her. Close enough to hear her conversation. “What do you mean?” His body heat teased her.

“The Harvester are out and about. I’m afraid for you.”

Andi shut her eyes for a second, then opened them again when he put his hands on her shoulders. She shot him a glare and moved away, back toward the table. “I’m fine.”

“Please don’t ignore this, Andi. You know I’m hardly ever wrong.”

That was true. But she wondered if her cousin realized she was very often late with her flashes of intuition. Far too late in this case. “Okay. I’ll give it some thought, all right? Mom said something the other day about visiting.” Gods, had it only been two days ago? “And Aunt Lydia just called yesterday too. I could go to see either of them if anything seems odd.”

His hands settled on her shoulders again, massaging the tense muscles there.

She didn’t bother to shrug him off this time. He was persistent. “I could even come visit with you,” she teased, forcing a lightness into her tone.

Her cousin cleared her throat. “I actually have company right now,” she said after a moment, and Andi could almost see her blushing. “you remember I met someone in Athens last summer? Well, he’s come to stay for a while.” Even over the phone, the emotion in Thalia’s voice was obvious.

One more cousin safe–none of the cousins who’d fallen in love ever had the curse land on their heads. A tiny bit of relief made her relax further under Kallan’s touch. “That’s terrific, Thalia. When do the rest of us get to meet him?”

“We’re talking dates,” the other woman said, a hint of a smile in her tone now. “I’ll be sure to let you know.”

“Good. And thanks for the warning. I miss you.”

“I miss you, too. I’ve got to go, Andi. Talk to you soon. But promise you’ll be careful. Danger is coming from more than one direction.”

She pushed the off button on the phone and shut her eyes, ignoring the slight sting in them. She was not envious of Thalia’s good fortune. She was just in an impossible situation here.

His warm breath brushed the top of her head a second before his lips. “That was good.”

She wanted to tell him to go screw himself. She wanted a weapon to swing at him. She wanted him to wrap his arms around her and carry her down onto the nearest flat surface.

Her eyes popped open. Damned hormones.

His hands slid down her sides and wrapped around her, settling her back against his chest as if he’d read her mind. She hoped he didn’t have that ability.

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If you’re in the U.S, have you started prepping for Thanksgiving dinner, too? What’s on the menu at your house?

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