CHRISTMAS IN CUPID FALLS is officially out in the world. Reviews are coming in and I'm thrilled that people are enjoying their first visit to Cupid Falls! For all you Nana Vancy (Everything But…) fans, today's teaser is from her cameo. And for those WLVH fans, a disc jockey at Erie's favorite radio station get a cameo, too! (Speaking of WLVH, Lovehandles is on sale for $1.99
<<He (Mal) glanced to make sure that Kennedy had zipped up her parka against the cold.
She caught him at it and glared at him. He didn’t need the words to know she was telling him she could look after herself.
He sighed. This time it wasn’t only Kennedy who looked at him, but Nana Vancy, too. She pointed down the street at a big man with two dogs. A large black one and a much smaller white one that had a very sausage-like build.
Mal looked at the big man smile as the tiny woman approached him. He wasn’t a romantic by any stretch of the imagination, but when Nana Vancy’s Bela joined them with the dogs, Mal could see how much love there was between them. It reminded him of Clarence and Joan. Or his grandfather and grandmother.
Nana Vancy walked up to the big man and their bodies brushed, as if drawn together like magnets.
“Kennedy, Malcolm, this is my Bela.” There was pride in her voice . . . and love.
“Bela Salo,” he said, shaking their hands.
“And this is Madame Curie.” At the sound of her name, the black dog sat down and offered them her paw.
Kennedy knelt down awkwardly and took the paw. “Aren’t you a beautiful girl?”
The little white dog, not to be outdone, jumped up at Kennedy, anxious for some affection, too. But Kennedy’s center of gravity was extremely off because of the baby. The small dog hurtling in her direction was enough to topple her, but Malcolm sprang forward and grabbed her under her arms, steadying her.
She looked up. “Thank you,” she said, then turned her attention to the demanding sausage-like white dog.
Nana Vancy shot him a look that made him feel like a bug under a microscope, then she said, “And that rude dog is Clara . . . Clara Barton. She has no manners and very little brains.”
Bela looked slightly insulted on the dog’s behalf. “But she is all heart, that one.”
As if to prove his point, Clara was busy kissing Kennedy, who hadn’t asked Mal to remove his hands, so he continued to steady her as she continued to kneel by the small dog.
“I love dogs,” Kennedy said, as Clara continued on her love-fest.
“Maybe I’ll find your dog at the adoption day?” Nana Vancy said. “I’ll find you the perfect dog.”
“She’s very good at it.” Bela laughed and added, “Better finding dogs their match than people.”
“Now, Bela,” Nana Vancy scolded, “I always managed to make things work out.”
“Ask the people she matched if it was easy.” Bela guffawed.
“Love isn’t easy,” Nana Vancy said very seriously. She looked at Mal and continued, “It is not supposed to be. Because if it was, you wouldn’t appreciate it half as much. Look how hard Bela made things on me, and all these years later, I still appreciate that he’s mine.” She turned her gaze back to the big man.
Kennedy kept petting Clara as if she thought Nana Vancy had forgotten the idea of her adopting a dog, but the older woman obviously hadn’t. “I will find you the perfect dog, Kennedy.”
Kennedy started to rise, with difficulty, but Malcolm gave her a tug and righted her easily.
Kennedy rested her arms on her stomach. “Nana Vancy, I’ll come see you in a few years. I don’t think it would be fair to a dog to bring it home and then introduce a new baby. I don’t think I’d be able to give it the attention it deserved.”
“Well, maybe if someone were to give you a hand?” Nana Vancy looked directly at Mal.
Kennedy obviously caught the look, because she said, “Mal’s a friend and neighbor, but helping me with a dog isn’t in the cards. He will be going back to Pittsburgh soon, and I’ll have the baby, the flower shop, and a town to look after. In a couple years I’ll get the baby a dog. I promise.”
Nana Vancy didn’t look convinced, but she nodded and dropped the issue.
They stayed and visited with the older couple.
Mal watched Bela as Nana Vancy spoke. Bela was a quiet man and seemed happy to let her do the talking for both of them, but he watched her every move. And it was easy to see he was enchanted by her. She’d spoken of their children and grandchildren, which meant they’d been together for a long time, and still Bela watched Nana Vancy with love in his eyes.
Mal realized he’d been watching the older man watching Nana Vancy so intently that he’d lost track of the conversation. But it was obviously over, since Nana Vancy kissed Kennedy and said, “I’ll be here early on for the event. Me, Bela, our helpers, and all the dogs. And thank you for the helpers here. Oh, Angel is coming from the radio, too.”
“Radio?” Mal asked, feeling as if he were playing catch-up.
“It’s on the event listing on the computer,” Kennedy said. “The Everything But a Dog portion of the day is being covered by WLVH in Erie.”
“WLVH, where love is more than just a song,” Nana Vancy said with a chortle. “It took me a while to learn that.”>>