Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 10 - Christmas in Coyote County

Every weekday (Monday through Friday) for the month of December I will spotlight a story here on my blog. Yes, this is 17 days of Christmas book browsing. And on Christmas Eve I will announce the lucky winner (at least two that I know of right now). The person who leaves the most comments throughout the month will receive their choice of any one of the books spotlighted. That's from me. Other prizes are being offered by the individual authors.

Oops, I forgot to let the author know I was spotlighting this cute, little story. So I'm sending a big howdy out to Mary Briggs as we take a peek at Christmas in Coyote County. I hope she can stop by...


In Coyote County, Christmas means festive lights, the town parade, hot coffee and cinnamon rolls...not creatures from another planet.

While a glowing green Peeping Tom with two antennae is a little hard to buy, Libby Hawkins doesn’t believe her former school teacher suffers from either dementia or a runaway imagination. There’s a logical explanation, and she intends to discover it before the older woman is placed in a nursing home.

After a twelve year absence, Sheriff Jackson Carter returns to Coyote County to clear his father’s name. He never expected to be waylaid in his quest by alien sightings, and it doesn’t help that stubborn Libby Hawkins--his former girlfriend--is determined to meddle in the investigation.

He hurt Libby when he left town after his father’s death, but it was for her protection. Now Libby’s stumbled on something dangerous. Can he keep her from harm this time? He doesn’t know, but one thing is certain: Christmas in Coyote County has never been so interesting.


The bright yellow headlights revealed Maddie standing on the front porch of the ranch house, her skinny white legs bare under the old blue robe she had wrapped around her tiny figure. She cradled a shotgun in her arms.

Libby took a deep breath and touched her forehead to the steering wheel. Thank you, Lord. Just seeing her standing there was a wonderful sight. She switched off the truck and grabbed the rifle. Just in case.
She stopped at the bottom of the steps. “What happened? Are you all right?”

Maddie ignored her questions. “Hurry up and get on the porch! It might still be around.”

Libby’s hair prickled on the back of her neck as she stepped up. “What might still be around?”

Maddie shook her head. “I’m not sure what it is. All I know is I scared it real good.”

“Did someone try to break into your house?” A police siren keened in the distance. At least the law would be here in a minute.

“I don’t know if it intended on coming in or not. It was looking in my kitchen window right there when I saw it.”

The siren drew closer. Libby glanced at the window, then down at the floor of the porch. They were standing in pieces of the window pane. “Maddie, you’re barefooted! You’re going to cut yourself to pieces. You stand right there while I get something to sweep up this mess.”

She returned with a broom and an old pair of house shoes that had been inside the door. “Put these on,” she shouted over the sirens. A truck turned into the driveway. From its dashboard, red and blue flashed like strobe lights in disco fashion across the white siding of the house. The sirens stopped and an officer exited the truck. He aimed a flashlight at the porch.

“Is everything OK, Miss Thompson?”

Jackson? Please, please don’t let it be Jackson. “Fine. She’s fine,” Libby answered. If she’d known he was going to show up, she’d have taken time to dress. Or maybe stayed at home. What was the sheriff doing on duty at two a.m.?

There was a long pause. “Libby? Is that you?”

She took a deep breath. “Yes. I came up to check on Maddie. Are you just going to stand out there in the shadows?”


Can you imagine the heart pumping fear of being awakened by a shotgun blast? And would you have the nerve to jump in a vehicle and rush toward that sound to help someone?

Well, that’s just what Libby does. She jumps out of bed and rushes to find out what’s happening, uncaring of her own safety, her concern is all for her elderly neighbor who lives alone. And Ms. Briggs makes it seem like it’s the most natural thing for someone to do - makes us believe that we would do the same thing under those circumstances.

The fact that it brings Libby into contact with a past she would much rather forget is beyond her control.

This story is full of little twists and turns. What wonderful characters Ms. Briggs introduces us to, and the story line is great, too.

A very sweet story – I loved it!


  1. Welcome, Mary! Sorry to spring this one on you, but I bought the extravaganza and just couldn't resist spotlighting this story.

  2. I loved the title of this! I've already downloaded the Holiday Bundle and now I can't wait to read it. Sounds just too fun to wait! Thanks, Donna, for spotlighting it and thanks, Mary for what looks to be a fun time!

  3. A big howdy back to you, Donna! Thank you so much for featuring Christmas In Coyote County! I certainly appreciate your kind words about the story and am glad that you enjoyed it and hope others will,too:). I'm so thrilled to be part of the Pelican Book Group--thank you for the special welcome! I'm having a great time reading the other Christmas stories in the group!

  4. Thanks for popping in, Mary, and it's great to have you as part of the Pelican family of authors. It's a warm and loving bunch.
    Tanya, I'm sure you're going to love all of the stories in that bundle. I'm sure enjoying them. You'll see a couple more here soon - matter of fact, another one is scheduled for tomorrow.

  5. I plan to settle in with the Extravaganza between Christmas and New Year's. It will be so much fun. And this cover, Mary, is such a hoot!

  6. Oooh, LOVE the excerpt, Mary! I can't wait to sink my teeth into CHRISTMAS IN COYOTE COUNTY. Congrats and Merry Christmas!

  7. Thank you, Tanya, LoRee, and Dora! I hope you enjoy it! I love the cover, too~Nicola did a great job!! Merry Christmas to all of you:)

  8. Thanks, Mary, for stopping by. Have a very Merry Christmas!