The founder of Honey & Home, Brandi Bowman Putnam wrote a book! A Christmas romance novel available for preorder now (shipping November 1st)! But we are giving you an exclusive look at the book through releasing an excerpt today! But first, a little about the book....
Peppermint & Pine is set in an idyllic & charming small town, where the characters are inviting, colorful and warm. At the last minute, the planning of a long standing Christmas festival gets dumped on Lucy West, an already busy boutique owner. In comes a handsome and mysterious stranger, Ford Montgomery, who out of the blue offers to stay to help her with the festival. His motives are unknown to Lucy but his charm is irresistible.
Keep scrolling for an exclusive sneak peak!
An exclusive excerpt from Peppermint & Pine:
A busy day, a quick lunch and Donna’s arrival means it is time for me to head to Lola’s. As I find parking on the street, I see the Ivory Inn truck up the street a little ways. He must be already here. Glancing in the window, I see him take a sip out of a big Lola’s mug. He smiles at me when he sees me walking up. A smile that makes my heart skip a beat.
Inside, he stands to say hello. The familiar scent of pine surrounds me as he moves closer. He almost looks like he wants to hug me. As I look down we both laugh at the awkwardness as I realize this is our first time alone, unchaperoned by Nancy. My stomach flips at the thought but before it can register, Lola greets me.
“Your usual?” She says, with a smile and an inquisitive look that I cannot possibly address sitting across from Ford.
“Yes please!,” I say, smiling back.
“You come here often?” Ford asks.
“Lola knows everyone’s order. But yes, I really do. Her chai lattes are magical,” I say, finally making eye contact with him for the first time today. His eyes meeting mine for a brief moment, and it simultaneously sends chills down my spine and fills me with so much warmth.
“You got here early?” I ask, trying to distract myself.
“Yeah, Nancy showed me the cottage and I wanted to come explore the town a little bit.”
“How did you like the cottages?”
“It was nice. Small but cozy. I will say I’ll miss the Christmas décor but the privacy will be nice,” he says, with a devilish grin. Making a mental note of the Christmas décor comment, I tuck that away for another day.
Lola returns with my latte. “Who is your friend?” She asks, as she sets my cup down in front of me. She must have thought of a way to ask that the entire time she made my chai.
“This is Ford,” I say, as he extends his hand to her. She takes it and smiles at him while I continue. “He is helping me plan the Commons Festival of Trees this year.” To my relief that explanation satisfies her curiosity.
“Oh, I am so glad that event is getting an upgrade! I can’t wait to take the girls this year! Enjoy your lattes.” And off she goes.
My focus returns to Ford. I notice his focus is already on me, I smile and look down at my latte. Shit, am I blushing again?
“Okay, so where do we start?” He asks, pretending not to notice my blushing cheeks.
“Well, I have a meeting with the Commons business owners Friday. So, the first thing is choosing a theme for the trees in each store so everyone can start to prepare.”
“Do you have any ideas for the theme?” He asks.
“Well not really. I was thinking about doing it a little differently. Maybe like two themes to give people a little more creativity. But still keeping it traditional Christmas,” I say, sipping my latte.
“Oh that’s a good idea. What do you think of when you think of traditional Christmas?” He asks.
“For me, it’s pine. The scent, the sight, the traditions surrounding it. It just feels like Christmas. I had an idea for the tree in Homebody with gilded gold branches, touches of silver and lots of white lights. Gold ornaments mixed with textured snow ornaments that look like little snowballs, kind of like the tree at the Ivory.” Realizing I am getting carried away, I clear my throat and lift the latte to my lips. “What about you? What do you think of when you think of Christmas?”
Without hesitation he answers, “Peppermint”
“Peppermint?” I ask, to clarify. That was specific, and fast.
“Yes, peppermint. Specifically, the smell.” A playful but dark look appears in his eyes. I shift in my seat.
“Peppermint and pine, the perfect duo,” I say, marinating on the thought.
“It’s got a good ring to it,” he encourages.