Thursday, December 13, 2012

Write A Holiday Short Story - Maxie by Rosemary McCracken!

Happy Thursday!

I am excited to share the next story of Write A Holiday Short Story Contest with you! It is written by author Rosemary McCracken. Rosemary's book Safe Harbor is a great book!

Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Rosemary!


By Rosemary McCracken

Pat Tierney from SAFE HARBOR tells us how Maxie, the Tierneys’ Golden Labrador Retriever, joined the family.


A chorus of barking greeted me as I entered a room filled with cages. A dozen pairs of hopeful eyes stared at me.

The Toronto Humane Society’s animal shelter was the last place I expected to find myself a few days before Christmas. December had been a hectic month, a constant round of meetings with my clients and strategic talks with the top brass at Norris Cassidy, the investment firm where I work. Before I knew it, Christmas was just days away and I still hadn’t bought gifts for my daughters.

Tracy, my eldest, was easy. She’s a young lawyer in her articling year at a Bay Street law office. I planned to give her the handsome leather briefcase I’d seen at Grey Owl, the swanky leather-goods shop in downtown Toronto. And I lucked out—the sleek oxblood model I’d admired was the last one in stock when I got to the store.

Laura, her younger sister, was another matter. At seventeen, Laura is particular about her clothing and accessories. But I don’t dare assume whether her tastes on any given week run to punk chic or preppy co-ed. What to do? I didn’t want to put a gift certificate under the Christmas tree. I don’t even know what shops Laura currently likes.

As I left the Grey Owl, I spotted a small black terrier tied to a parking metre. He looked up at me, his eyes pleading. “Woof!” he said, clearly anxious for his master to finish shopping.

I thought of Max, Laura’s beloved Golden Labrador. He’d been killed by a speeding car in front of our house the previous summer. Laura had cried for days.

“Woof!” the dog repeated.

That’s it! A pet for Laura.

“Woof to you, too,” I said. “And a Merry Christmas.”

I hailed a passing taxi. “The Toronto Humane Society,” I told the driver. “On River Street.”

At the shelter, I scanned the cages, trying to avoid eye contact with the occupants. “I can’t take all of you home,” I murmured.

In the last cage, a Golden Lab sat up and gave an enthusiastic bark. I sucked in my breath and approached her. She could have been Max’s younger sister!

“Isn’t she a beauty?” a twenty-something attendant said behind me. “Came in yesterday. Three years old and in perfect health.”

I let out my breath. “I’ll take her.”

I called a taxi, and Maxie and I waited for it outside the building. I was scanning the street when figure in a black hoodie—with a woman’s purse clutched football-style under his right arm—knocked me over as he dashed past.

My grip on Maxie’s leash loosened and she bolted after him.

“Help! Thief!” a voice called out

As I stood up, I saw an elderly woman a few doors away struggle to her feet using a cane.

I hurried over to help her. “Are you all right?”

She nodded. “But we need to get him. There’s five hundred dollars in my purse.”

Up the street, we heard the thief yell, “Get off me, you mutt!”

Maxie! She’d knocked the man down, and he was trying to swat her away with the stolen purse. She had her front paws on his shoulders, pinning him to the sidewalk. She was licking his face.

The woman and I laughed. The purse snatcher didn’t realize that Maxie just wanted to play.

Good dog, bad dog, I thought as I pulled out my cellphone to call the police. Good dog for stopping a thief, bad dog for running off.

Like Laura, Maxie was going to be a handful.


Pat kept Maxie in a kennel until Christmas Eve when she presented her, with a big, red bow around her neck, to Laura. It was the start of a grand Christmas for the Tierney family: skating in the park, a turkey dinner shared with good friends on Christmas Day and getting to know Maxie.

But as the new year approached, the season turned not-so-merry. On the thirtieth of December, a stranger visited Pat’s office and told her something that shattered her world. Read all about it in SAFE HARBOR— available as an ebook and a paperback on, and

Thank you, Rosemary, for sharing your story with us! It is highly appreciated!

Author Bio:
Rosemary McCracken is a Canadian journalist who lives in Toronto. She has worked on newspapers across Canada as a reporter, arts reviewer, editorial writer and editor. She is now a freelance journalist who specializes in personal finance and the financial services industry. Safe Harbor, published earlier this year, is her first published novel. It was shortlisted for Britain's Crime Writers' Association's Debut Dagger Award in 2010.


Reviews of SAFE HARBOR:

"McCracken’s first novel offers a coherent structure, an exact feel for the Toronto locales, and, in Pat, a hugely attractive sleuth figure." — The Toronto Star

"With Safe Harbor, Rosemary McCracken proves why she's already won international acclaim. This is an absorbing page-turner you won't want to miss." —Rick Mofina, bestselling author of The Burning Edge

"Rosemary McCracken has a deft touch for writing believable relationships, especially among families. These particular characters will soon feel like people you know and don't want out of your life. Add to this an exciting plot and you'll be ready for a great read." —Maureen Jennings, author of the Detective William Murdoch mysteries

Thanks, Rosemary!

Watch SAFE HARBOR’s trailer here.

There is a giveaway connected to the Write A Holiday Short Story Contest. We will randomly choose 1 comment amongst all the comments posted under the published stories and this winner will receive amazon GC of 20$!

To enter, leave a blog comment below the post and you must enter the RC form below.
Open internationally!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy commenting and happy reading!


  1. What a warm holiday story. Loved it!

    1. Thank you, Christine! The Tierneys are very close to my heart.

  2. What a lovely, heart-warming story. We have 2 dogs that we got from the Humane society, too. They add so much to our family, and we love them, dearly.

    1. Maxie is my dream dog, the dog I wish I had. Unfortunately,I'm terribly allergic to dogs and cats. Can't live with them. So I write about them.

  3. W.C. Fields was right. Dogs and kids always steal the show. Maxie is a definite scene-stealer.

  4. That was a sweet story.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  5. What a great blog post! Thank you!

    Happy Holidays!
    Julie K

  6. Thank YOU for your comment, Julie!

  7. great post *_* your blog is very good and interesting. im glad if you visit my blog, too <3 keep in touch!