Hey there, all you Christmas Elves and Gingerbread Men. You’ve reached Lisa Burton Radio, the only show on the dial that brings you the characters from the books you love to read. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl.
Snuggle down in your easy chair, drop an extra cinnamon stick in your cocoa and help me welcome this week’s special guest. “Welcome to the show, Chloe Upshaw.”
“Hi, Lisa. Thanks for having me on today.”
“Now, Chloe, my bio indicates that you are in the middle of a huge job search. One that could see you moving during the Christmas season. How did that all come about?”
“Well, Lisa, I know you’ve got a pretty sweet deal here with Craig. I’m sorry to report I’ve not been as lucky. I’ve curated for two different museums now, both small, although I left my mark. But a girl can only stare at a glass ceiling for so long before she’s sick of her faint reflection and the dirty soles of shoes. There’s nothing keeping me in my current job or town. I’m ready to move on.”
“I get it. Things get stale and people need a change from time to time. My bio indicates you’re well qualified for a job at any museum.”
“True, but my options are limited. With respect to curating, none of the big museums are hiring at the moment, and I don’t want to work at another small one. And as for joining an expedition? I haven’t been on a dig in a while, so no one will hire me to run one, but I’m too experienced, and therefore too expensive, to assist on one. That doesn’t leave me with many choices. So I figured if I can’t do what I love, I’d try teaching the next generation, let one of my students find the career that I missed out on. I thought I’d be a shoe-in at the university, but noooo. What I thought was the last interview to discuss terms turned out to be notification that I was in a heated competition with someone else.”
“Aw, Chloe. I’m sure you’re amply qualified for the position, but I also believe in kismet ––”
“Stop right there. I know all about other civilizations and their belief systems. Do you know what ‘kismet’ is? Superstitious mumbo-jumbo. I should get the job because I’m the most qualified person for the position, not because of some mystical force of luck. Now I’m struggling to figure out how to beat my unknown competition for a job I probably don’t even want, and what happens? I run into Brett Garris. Talk about a mystical force of luck—bad luck. The last person I wanted to see is the poster boy for my field. He didn’t even have the decency to let me avoid him. Nope, he came right up to me like he never broke my heart, and he stands there, flirting with fans and signing autographs all the while acting like I’m the most important person in his world. What a bunch of—but I digress.”
“Oooh, Britt sounds interesting. Tell us more.”
“What’s to tell? We were in the same classes at school, but Mr. BMOC got a television gig after graduation and is now the face of our industry. He steps into millions of living rooms once a week, and I can’t even step one rung up the corporate ladder.”
“Can we circle back around to the broke-your-heart part?”
“Tch, If we must. Despite Britt’s reputation, I fell for him. And I became just another notch in his college bedpost. You’d have thought I’d have learned my lesson, but no. A five-minute meeting at the airport, and next thing I know, I’m traveling to Gettysburg with him and visiting the Jennie Wade house, hearing some role-playing guide tell me he’s destined to be my husband. More ridiculous folklore nonsense. The guy’s no more responsible than he was in college, for Pete’s sake. As far as I can tell, he lives out of his suitcase and still has wandering eyes. And more. Can you just imagine me telling my mother I was marrying him? Not that he’d ask. Or that I’d agree. But can you imagine? Me? The consummate professional? With someone like… him?”
“Maybe you’ve grown, I mean look at the job you just applied for. The one you’re well qualified for. Maybe Britt has grown some too over the years.”
“Unlikely. Possible, but unlikely. Hmph. I’m picturing my mother’s face as I tell her I’m with Britt. Seeing her shock would almost make it worth it. She’s disappointed in me already, not being married and living so far from home. If I told her I was going to be traveling around the world with a Lothario? A bourgeois cable TV star? She’d probably threaten to remove me from her will. Like I’d care. At least if I was with Britt, she’d have to stop forcing Preston on me. She’s been calling me a million times a day, trying to convince me to come home and spend the holidays with him. If she had her way, I’d be married, barefoot, and pregnant, living in Preston’s ten-bedroom mansion and planning charity events. No, with my luck, she’d find the idea of me being with a television celebrity exciting and Britt charming. I don’t know that I could resist the two of them if they ganged up on me. Almost makes me want to spend the holidays with boring-old Preston, just to shut everyone up for a while.”
“I’m sure she loves you and thinks she knows what’s best for you. She probably doesn’t, so you have to blaze your own trail. You’ve made some big steps, applying for a new job. Revisiting an old relationship. What will the new year bring? Any final thoughts you’d like to leave our listeners with?”
“Lisa, I’m not much for new year resolutions. I think I’m just going to hope for a better year than this one has been, and let the fates I don’t believe in guide me. Thanks for having me on, and happy holidays to you, Craig, and your followers.”
“You can learn all about Chloe and Britt in the novella, When We Finally Kiss Goodnight, by Staci Troilo. I’ll post all the important details on the website.
“You can help your favorite radio host out by using those sharing buttons today. The more people who learn about my show, the more guests we can have. I’m sure Chloe and Staci would do it for you when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”
Chloe Upshaw suffers from what she calls the trifecta of awful—unfulfilling job, disappointed family, bad luck with love. Just before Christmas, she travels to Pittsburgh hoping to land a job that will change her career. But not only is she in stiff competition for the position, she angers her mother by rejecting her matchmaking efforts and not going home. Worse, she runs into the guy who got away—and this time, no matter how many lies she tells to protect her heart, she leaves herself vulnerable to hurt.
Britt Garris’ callous and careless behavior in college cost him his dream girl. When fate crosses their paths ten years later, he thinks it’s serendipity. And he launches into one deception after another to win her back, including an auspicious trip for the two archaeologists to Gettysburg. Britt plays on Chloe’s love of history to spend time with her. He doesn’t count on the local lore and legend predicting their future—a future his duplicity puts at risk.
When their lies finally crumble, their budding relationship is threatened. Their dishonesties and disillusions may be impossible to overcome. But maybe the magic of the season can make their dreams come true.
Universal Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/STkiss
Staci Troilo Social Media Links