Sleigh Ride: A Winter Anthology includes seven wintry tales of romance, adventure and drama. Each short story includes a sleigh ride and is sure to put the reader in the mood for the most wonderful season of all. Stories are written by Samantha Wilde, Maggie Marr, Maria Geraci, Malena Lott and debut authors Jenny Peterson, Dani Stone and Megan Barlog. Called "beautiful" and "touching," this collection is a Good Read/Good Deed project with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the domestic violence prevention cause through the Alpha Chi Omega foundation.
Malena gives an overview of the book:
Monks and Musicians by Samantha Wilde Years after the sleigh ride, Jeff and I would debate who came up with the idea. He claimed I suggested it, that I’d been browsing through the paper some Saturday morning in January and found an enticing advertisement. I do remember the listing in the paper, how cozy and darling it made it sound: “Snuggle under our thick, soft blankets and ride through the breathtaking woods. Hear an owl. Stop for hot chocolate. Gaze at the stars.” But remembering the ad doesn’t make it my idea. I would never have voluntarily gone on a sleigh ride. I don’t like the cold and I don’t like the snow, and—quite unpopularly, I know—I don’t like horses. That infamous sleigh ride certainly didn’t improve my feelings for the animal. Besides, a seven-o’clock ride ensured corruption of Bessie’s nighttime routine—something I never did. It was Jeff’s idea. He showed me the ad, which I looked over and said nothing about. Then he showed Bessie the ad. She stared at it curiously before asking: “Where’s the pictures?” However smart a girl she may have been at three years old, and she was as clever and articulate as a defense attorney, she could not read. “A sleigh ride!” Jeff exclaimed, and then he powered up his laptop, found the company on the web and showed Bessie pictures until she jumped up and down with a rallying cry of “Sleigh ride now!” “This is what people do for fun in the winter,” he told me later, during Bessie’s nap, while we shoveled the walkway from the latest snow, and I protested that I did not want to go out that late, that I was tired, and what if the blankets were dirty or smelly or itchy and woolly? Jeff laughed at me. The piles beside us were belly button high. The day before, Jeff and Bessie made a couch out of snow long enough for Jeff to lie on while I stayed in, feeling dour and cold, sweeping the floors grudgingly, feeling sorry for myself. “It will be fun,” he promised. “I grew up in California,” I reminded him. “Until last fall, we lived in Atlanta where this much snow would mean a national disaster.” He tossed a snowball playfully in my direction. That’s how it was then: I was heavy, he was light. I was somber, he was jovial. I was burdened, he was free. Not that I think of it so much any longer, except when it snows, which it seems to do all winter, and when Bessie, now a recalcitrant older child who pleads on a regular basis for a horse, asks if we can go on another sleigh ride because the first one, sprinkled with the magic fairy dust of early childhood that colors everything in goodness, was so much fun. “You slept through most of the ride,” I point out to my ten-year-old. “I remember everything!” she protests, and it always makes me smile, an ironic smile, one Bessie is still too young to read. She remembers nothing, nothing at all, and I remember everything. I remember the color of the blankets, which, as I feared, were woolly and scratchy and dark. And our driver, Luis, who wore enormous ear muffs and claimed to be hard of hearing long before Jeff and I began arguing—a fortuitous disclosure, as it turned out, so we never had to worry that he was pretending, out of politeness, not to listen to our regrettable conversation. “We were lucky to get a nearly deaf driver,” I said to Jeff that night after we arrived home. He carried Bessie inside, holding her over his shoulder the same way he does the kitchen cloth when he cooks. “Does it really matter if some stranger knows?” Jeff asked. “So you hoped for public humiliation?” I said as he slipped inside the door like a snake into our garden rock wall. The outer door slapped into the doorframe with a hollow thud. As it happened, I ended up liking the actual sleigh ride more than I thought. The woods were peaceful, and at some point, a tiny snow fell on us. Bessie ate a flake off her nose.
Malena Lott is the author of several novels including DATING DA VINCI, THE STORK REALITY, FIXER UPPER. Her ebook novella LIFE'S A BEACH was released in May 2011 and her short story, "Snowflakes and Stones" is featured in SLEIGH RIDE: A Winter Anthology released in November...