Emma Collins has always believed that the world is divided into two kinds of people: those who love fruitcake and those who don't. She's firmly in the second category, so it's ironic that her first major assignment for the Puyallup, Washington, Examiner is a series of articles about...fruitcake. At least it's a step up from writing obituaries.
Her task is to interview the finalists in a fruitcake recipe contest, and that means traveling around the state. Actually...flying around the state. Local pilot Oliver Hamilton, who's starting an airfreight business, has agreed to take her wherever she needs to go, in exchange for free advertising. Unfortunately Emma hates small planes -almost as much as she hates fruitcake.
But in the weeks leading up to Christmas, Emma falls for Oliver (who's not quite the Scrooge he sometimes seems) and his mutt, Oscar (who's allergic to her perfume, which makes him sneeze repeatedly). And she meets three wise women who know a lot about fruitcake -and even more about life.
It all reminds her that there's something about Christmas. Something special...
A smalltown Washington reporter learns to love fruitcake in Macomber's chick-lit take on A Christmas Carol. Emma Collins ("kinda cute in an uptight sort of way") hopes that writing obituaries and selling ads for the Puyallup Examiner will lead to a journalism career. Instead, her first plum assignment-interviewing three finalists in a national fruitcake recipe contest-lands her in the cockpit of devil-may-care pilot Oliver Hamilton, whose good looks and charm remind her of her shiftless father. Despite Emma's fear of flying, Oliver takes her to Yakima, Colville and the San Juan islands to meet three women who all figure that when life gives you lemons (or anything else), make fruitcake. Emma tastes the thrice-married barmaid's liquor-laden concoction, the tender-hearted widow's chocoholic dreamand the struggling young mother's no-bake graham-cracker confection. While she tries to capture in print lessons learned from the three cooks, Oliver's plane is grounded by a snowstorm, Emma and Oliver kiss, she gets thrown out of her apartment trying to rescue a stray dog, he falls in the water trying to rescue her and she decides Christmas isn't as bad as she thought. It all adds up to another tale of romance in the lives of ordinary people, with a message that life is like a fruitcake: full of unexpected delights. (Nov.)
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November 01, 2005
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