Enjoy the magic of the holidays this season.
If you have some spare time on your hands (yeah, right! lol) here’s a quiz you can try: https://www.questionstrivia.com/category/christmas-trivia-questions/
Enjoy the magic of the holidays this season.
If you have some spare time on your hands (yeah, right! lol) here’s a quiz you can try: https://www.questionstrivia.com/category/christmas-trivia-questions/
The quote above is particularly apt as the years go by.
When I was a child, Christmas meant decorating the tree we went into the forest to collect. My mom would pack up a lunch and bundle us in warm winter coats, mitts and toques, and then away we would go, my dad driving us deep into the woods where the very best trees were hidden.
We’d traipse through deep snow, broken only by Dad’s footprints, until we found the perfect tree. Not too big, not too small, even branches and a crown made for an angel.
A few days later, we could finally decorate. Lights first, then garland, tinsel, and ornaments- some we made and some passed down through the family. Then Dad would add the tree topper and our living room was transformed into a magical place!
Years later, when I married and had my own family, we switched to an artificial tree for the holidays. They’re convenient; you don’t need to fight with the lights, and it’s better for the environment.
But, the magic was gone.
Other traditions took its place- family breakfast Christmas morning before the exchange of gifts. Afternoons spent outdoor skating or tobogganing while the turkey cooked. The passage of time marked by those who joined the festivities, and family members we’d lost.
Then my grandson was born.
Christmas is made for children. The wonder on their precious faces fills our hearts with love and joy. They remind us of the magic of our youth and the importance of family.Tweet
Then, my daughter was given the opportunity to gain her masters degree, but it was across the country and suddenly Christmas was down to DH, Mom and I.
I’m not complaining, many people spend the holidays all alone, but I have to admit I’m floundering.
We went to look at lights last night, DH and I, (Mom stayed home) and it was nice- quiet, but nice.
It’s so different looking at lights without snow on the ground and freezing cold air in your lungs! lol
What do you do to allay depression during the holidays?
I’m trying, really, I am!
Kelly Collins invites you to celebrate a small town Christmas in Aspen Cove, where North Star wishes and love’s first kisses have the power to heal.
It’s been a decade since veterinarian Charlotte Parker has been home to Aspen Cove. After the death of her mother, she hasn’t been able to bring herself to face her painful past. But if ever there’s a time to start over, it’s Christmas. What she doesn’t expect is to find the man of her dreams staying in the room next to hers at B’s Bed and Breakfast.
War hero Trig Whatley is looking for a place to call home. Since losing his leg in Afghanistan, he hasn’t found a place to fit in or a woman who can see him for the strong, whole man he is. When he accepts his friend’s invitation to come for a visit, he discovers so much more is waiting for him in the tiny mountain town than just a good time.
Will Charlotte and Trig find their forever under the mistletoe or will they go their separate ways by the time everyone in town is singing Auld Lang Syne? Find out in One Hundred Christmas Kisses.
Love, Christmas – Movies You Love
(The Holiday Series, #2)
Publication date: October 16th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance
Sprinkle a little Christmas magic into your life with 25 ALL-NEW, never before released romances. Each title – exclusive to this set – is inspired by a favorite holiday movie, spun into a fantastic love story by a NY Times, USA Today, and/or award-winning, bestselling author and delivered to you in this wonderful collection full of cheer for the coming season.
Mimi Barbour – A Wonderful Life – Though Rylee works with troubled teens, can she and an angel help a man living a nightmare?
Leanne Banks – A Royal White Christmas – Can a secret prince be a Christmas wish-come-true for a small-town girl?
Joan Reeves – Brianna’s Season For Miracles – Her seductive persona hides what she’s ashamed of… What will happen if the man she’s fallen for discovers her secret?
Mona Risk – Jingle With My Princess – The doc and the princess… He saves lives, but she may save his heart.
Rebecca York – Can She Get Home for Christmas? – Will a killer stop her from getting home for Christmas?
Jacquie Biggar – Mistletoe Inn – A grieving man finds the greatest gift is love.
Alicia Street – Miracle on Christmas Tree Street – A single mom discovers her business partner is more than he seems.
Nancy Radke – The Holiday (Christmas) – Jodi’s house-swap to Maui came with a small dog and a shipwrecked sailor.
Katy Walters –Letters from the Snowman – The snow revealed a precious love.
Stephanie Queen – Holiday Affair – Melissa goes from riches to rags but will she find gold in a holiday affair?
Aileen Fish – Christmas in Connecticut – Can a wounded warrior learn to trust her celebrity chef crush after discovering his secret?
Rachelle Ayala – A Christmas Creek Carol – A reclusive writer is given a one-star review on her life by characters from her past, present, and future.
Dani Haviland – The Polar Xpress – She prefers dogs to men…until she rescues the doctor.
Traci Hall – Love, Actually (By the Sea) – Two strangers. One intimate night. Reunited a year later, can it actually be love?
Taylor Lee – The Ref-er-ee – With a family this discombobulated, it will take a referee to save their Christmas.
Donna Fasano – Her Mr. Miracle – It’s Christmas Eve and Veronica is stuck in a nearly deserted seaside town… She needs a miracle.
Cynthia Cooke – A Christmas to Remember – A Christmas storm. Wedding plans in peril. Has a lost love been found?
Susan Jean Ricci – A Joyous Holiday Inn – Can Twigg restore the joy of Christmas to Chloe’s indifferent heart?
Tamara Ferguson – Two Hearts Home for Christmas – Can a long ago promise of love bring two lonely wounded warriors home for Christmas?
Suzanne Jenkins – Christmas with the Clouds – Tracy isn’t interested in love until an unexpected Christmas visitor changes her heart.
Natalie Ann – How Gavin Stole Christmas – Can Jolene help Gavin find the Christmas spirit when he’s the epitome of Mr. Bah Humbug?
Ev Bishop – A Sharla Brown Christmas – For single parents Sharla and Jake, Christmas is the loneliest time of the year…until it’s not.
Alyssa Bailey – In the Spirit of Christmas – Chase can protect Tara from danger, but can he protect his heart?
Stacy Eaton – Finding Love on Christmas Vacation – Christmas isn’t the same for Lucy without her father…until she meets his friend Maverick.
Jen Talty – The Christmas Getaway – A mix-up in reservations leaves a mother and her son to share a cabin with a broken-hearted stranger.
Melinda De Ross – Boyfriend Wanted for Christmas – A thirty-something singleton’s desperate yet humorous quest to find a boyfriend in the seven days before Christmas.
A Wonderful Life by Mimi Barbour
“Clarence, you haven’t stopped watching Noel Bradford for days. What in the world is happening to that young man?”
“I’m glad you noticed my preoccupation, Sir. I’m afraid he’s not doing too well. Do you remember a man called George Bailey?”
“Certainly, I do. Wasn’t he the reason you got your wings?”
“Yes, that’s him. Well poor Noel Bradford is heading in the same direction; he’s on the bridge right now, ready to jump. I’m thinking it’ll take the same interference to stop him from killing himself that it took to prevent George from doing the same thing many years ago.”
“I see. Then what are you waiting for, Clarence? You must go and save him.”
“I suppose you’re right. I just hate the thought of that icy water. It took me forever to warm up the last time.”
“Clarence, if you stop that poor fellow from ruining all the lives of the people who will one day love him, I’ll send you the wherewithal to get warm, now off with you. There’s no time to waste.”
Noel Bradford never believed himself to be a coward, a weakling who gave up in troubled times, a man whose shoulders were so narrow they couldn’t bear misfortune.
He was wrong.
Four days ago, when the police had knocked on his door to give him the horrifying news that his parents and their driver, his only brother, had all been killed in a car accident, he’d thought nothing could get worse.
They were heading to their favorite resort in Aspen when their car careened over the bank of the mountainous road, dropping into a lake probably 400 feet below. The back end of the car, where the license plate could be seen through binoculars, proved it was their vehicle and the chance of any survivors was nil.
A Royal White Christmas by Leanne Banks
A baying howl cut through the early December night, even through the walls of the cottage Brice rented. He glanced up from the material he was studying and the baying howl echoed again. The fireplace crackled, and Brice knew the snow was still falling.
Again, the baying howl broke through the quiet.
Sighing, Brice rose from his laptop and peered out the window. The floodlights revealed nothing. He was going to have to brave the cold, he supposed.
Tugging on his boots, jacket and gloves, he opened the door and trudged outside. “Talk to me beagle or hound,” he muttered.
Another howl cut the air. Several moments later, Brice found the beagle wagging its tail, its leash wrapped around a tree trunk. The beagle whined and barked. He immediately noted that the dog was female. “Well, good evening to you, Miss. A fine mess you’re in. Let me help you out.” He unwound the leash and waited for the beagle to run for freedom. Instead the dog came at him and licked his hand.
“I know you have an owner,” he said. “That’s a nice leash.”
The beagle continued to nuzzle at him and whine.
“I guess you can stay the night. It’s a nasty one,” he said and looked at a tag. “Brandi,” he read. “I’ll give your owner a call, but you can stay the night.”
Brice pulled off some chicken and rice from his leftovers and offered it to the dog. She gobbled it up quickly. “You have a good appetite,” he said and dialed the number on the dog tag. The number rang and rang then disconnected. Brice frowned. “That’s not good,” he muttered to himself and punched in the number again.
She’s ready to deck the halls…
But not with wedding decorations.
For the most part, Melanie Harper has made her peace with her negative feelings toward Christmas. Thanks to her fiancé, she’s even learned to enjoy the holiday. But that doesn’t mean she wants to share it with her wedding day!
He’s dreaming of a white Christmas…
Complete with a wedding!
Ever since they first met, Josiah Stone has done his best to show Melanie how magical Christmas can be. He’s gotten her to participate in parades, decorate trees and even celebrate the holiday, but asking her to marry him on Christmas Eve just might be more than she’s ready for.
Will this be a very Merry or very Married Christmas?
Add A VERY MARRIED CHRISTMAS to your Goodreads shelf HERE!
“What?” she cried.
Josiah knew he was taking a big risk in presenting this to her—after all, Melanie had grown up hating Christmas. Hell, he’d only gotten her to have some good feelings toward the holiday in the last two years! But he knew if she’d just give him a chance, he’d be able to prove to her how a Christmas wedding would be amazing.
Jumping to his feet, he looked down at her shocked expression and did his best to keep his tone light and encouraging.
“Just…hear me out, okay?”
The look on her face said she would, but she certainly wasn’t happy about it.
“What could be better than getting married during such a festive time of the year?” he began but didn’t give her a chance to reply. “Think about it—everything, everywhere is already beautifully decorated. Any place we go won’t require much from us because it will already be decorated! The Poinsettias, Christmas trees, the lights…all that work will be done for us.”
“And everyone will be in town already so there won’t be a need for them to make a separate trip.”
“Who’s everyone? My dad is already here; he’s the only family I have and your family doesn’t live that far away. It’s hardly like they’d be making a huge sacrifice to come to town,” she countered.
“But all of our friends will be here too. You know how most people we know tend to travel either before Christmas or after the new year because they love all the festivities here in town Christmas week.”
Melanie let out a small sigh. “Look, I get what you’re saying. I really do. But…you know my feelings on Christmas.”
He immediately sat back down at her side. “And we’ve come such a long way, Mel! When we first met, you hated the holidays and everything about them. But after that first Christmas here, you changed. You saw how it all wasn’t so bad and—admit it—you even enjoyed it.”
She gave him a sour look. “I know that first Christmas was amazing but only because you made it that way for me. You went out of your way to make up for every single crappy Christmas I’d had since I was five!”
“And what about last year?” he prodded.
Another sigh. “You proposed last Christmas so of course that’s going to make for a great memory.”
“So you see…”
“But,” she quickly interrupted, “that doesn’t mean I want to get married during the month of December or anywhere near Christmas!”
He silently admitted to himself that he knew there were going to be some challenges in getting Melanie to see his way of thinking, but he was kind of hopeful that she wouldn’t be quite this hostile toward the idea. How was he supposed to convince her that this could be good for them? Great, even? What could he possibly do to show her how wonderful a Christmas wedding could be?
Samantha Chase is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller of contemporary romance. She released her debut novel in 2011 and currently has more than forty titles under her belt! When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook, wearing a tiara while playing with her sassy pug Maylene…oh, and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.
A CHANCE THIS CHRISTMAS
Road to Romance series, book 3
by Joanne Rock
We Need a Little Christmas by Leanne Banks
When hard-edged, Christmas cynic, Justin Dane Burgess encounters Christmas fan, Lilly Johansen, he doesn’t know what to think. Can this Christmas cynic fall for the human equivalent of a Christmas angel? More importantly, can he be the man she needs?
Frosty the Snowman by Mimi Barbour
Stranded in an Alaskan snowstorm, strangers Hali and Terry are forced to rely on each other for survival.
Due to a freak snowstorm that forces him to land his small Cessna, strangers, Hali and Terry, and a cute but mischievous Samoyed puppy are stranded in the Alaskan bush. From the beginning, she’s never known a man so independent and rigid in his need to have things done his way. And he’s never known a woman so willing to help, stepping on his pride in such a lovable way that he can’t take offense. The frigid temperatures are brutal and when he falls through the ice to save a puppy, the stakes for survival become enormous. Can their blossoming mutual attraction withstand their multiple challenges?
Last Christmas by Joan Reeves
Annabelle fell in love at first sight with a mysterious stranger. After a week of unforgettable passion, he walked out of her life.
A year of heartache accompanied by the dirty tricks life can serve up finds her back in her hometown, determined to forget the man who still haunts her dreams.
Who should walk into her grandmother’s Christmas party? Why the man who seduced her, lied to her, and betrayed her. He has a new name and a new identity, but his effect on her is as old as time.
Rick Lassiter thinks he can woo Annabelle back to him—and his bed. But, he didn’t count on the passionate sweet-tempered woman he remembered as having a will as strong as his and a desire to make him pay for breaking her heart.
Holly Jolly Christmas by Mona Risk
This novella is a prequel to the Holiday Babies Series
Heather and Jeff have always been in love. But to find herself pregnant now, at eighteen, before she starts college and he joins MIT for a master’s degree… Talk about the wrong time. Besides, the news might kill her father, who is battling cancer.
Although the decision to give up her baby is breaking her heart, Heather contacts an adoption agency. Except that Jeff absolutely refuses to consider her solution and their perfect relationship is slowly deteriorating.
How can they revive their loving bond and protect their baby’s future?
Do You Hear What I Hear? – Patricia Rosemoor
The song “Do You Hear What I Hear?” was written as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the middle of the Cold War. Now Christmas is just around the corner, and live-in-lovers Shelley and Jake are in a cold war of their own. Detective Shelley Caldwell has all wonderful memories of Christmas, while Jake DeAtley, born of a mother turned vampire while pregnant with him, has none. They’ve come to a compromise inthat she can decorate “her half” of every room, but no Christmas tree. Then a case of hit-and-run leaves a dead body and a magical Christmas tree that Shelley can’t resist bringing home, heating up the war between her and Jake. There is more to the tree than either knows. When they discover the truth about it, will it bring them together or keep them farther apart?
White Christmas – Rebecca York
The snow is coming down so fast, Amelia Parsons doesn’t see the speeding car until it’s too late. One moment she’s crossing an ice-rutted street in St. Stephens, Maryland. In the next, she’s flying into the air, and the world goes black. She wakes, confused, in what appears to be Santa’s workshop during the holiday rush. If that’s not strange enough, a hunky FBI agent named Daniel is there, demanding to know why she’s involved in a plot to ruin Christmas. Can she convince him she’s not the villain and then work with him to find the real saboteur?
So This is Christmas – Denise Devine
Annabelle Lee—is looking forward to a weekend of catching up, munching cookies and enjoying Christmas cheer with her childhood girlfriends. She hasn’t had a vacation since this time last year and desperately needs the time off. Her business has taken a toll on her life, leaving her exhausted and questioning the price of success. She arrives early at Ellie Stone’s family cabin to relax and decide the direction of her future, but to her dismay, she’s not alone. Ellie’s twin brother is also there and declares he isn’t leaving until Friday.
Christopher Stone—is the boy who mercilessly teased her when they were kids. He has grown into a handsome man with a career in professional baseball and a pop-star girlfriend. He appears to have an idyllic life, but the longer they talk, the more Annabelle suspects his love life isn’t as perfect as he claims. She can’t deny her attraction to him and knows he’s attracted to her as well.
Best Friends Forever—will this week be like old times or the beginning of a new chapter in her life?
Grown Up Christmas List – Donna Fasano
Dina Griffin is on the run and wants only one thing this Christmas—to feel safe. However, Officer Gav Thomas tries to arrest her. Arrest her? Yes. But the two become friends, and soon the attraction they feel is unmistakable, even though Gav senses Dina is hiding something. Is he really a local cop… or her guardian angel?
Blue Christmas – Traci Hall
Librarian/waitress Tamsyn Lee is all about accepting change, while Evan Hawke must do everything just the same in order to find his muse. He hopes the seaside grill he wrote his first mystery masterpiece in will kick-start his third book before his publisher drops him. Tamsyn has zero tolerance for divas, but she’s read Evan’s novel and knows he has the talent. Besides, helping him takes the focus off of spending Christmas without her family. Evan realizes he needs a miracle—could feisty Tamsyn be an angel in sneakers and a ponytail?
Santa Baby – Taylor Lee
Dancing to Eartha Kitt’s sultry list of all goodies she expected Santa Baby to put under her tree, Lily slid down the pole and stifled a sigh. A blue convertible? A sable? A Tiffany ring? Right! Like Lily could expect anything remotely like that under her tree! How about first making sure she had a tree.
At that moment she saw him. The big man with the shaggy blond hair and gleaming dark eyes was leaning casually back in his chair. His narrowed expression was hard, knowing. It was clear that he was studying her. Stunned, she quickly looked away, her carefully honed rules fleeing in her panic. The imposing man had “cop” written all over him. Squashing down her terror, Lily pasted a professional smile on her face, waved to the screaming crowd, and fled the stage.
Anyone who’d ever tangled with dirty cops knew that the hard blue line protected the most egregious acts committed by one of their brothers. If anyone doubted that was true all they had to know was that Aiden was a free man and Lily was on the run.
Lily’s only hope was that this time she and Gabriella had run far enough, fast enough, that he wouldn’t be able to find them.
If he was any judge of women who shed their clothes for a living, and Zach most certainly was, he recognized her startled wide-eyed expression. He’d seen it far too many times in his line of work. It was fear, pure and simple.
The Vice Cop reminded himself all that meant was that the beautiful woman had something big to hide.
Let it Snow – Stephanie Queen
Guilt and sorrow eat at ex-special ops legend Dane Blaise like kryptonite until he can’t remember why he wanted Shana, his ex-Scotland Yard partner and former balm for his soul.
Shana can’t reach him and she’s desperate until a stranger, a padre from South America shows up in a snow storm on Christmas Eve. The stranger claims he’s there to help, but what can he possibly do…
Merry, Did You Know? – Jennifer St. Giles
MC Love has decided to give her soon to be born baby up for adoption. In her experience, the cons of growing up in the Love’s family dynasty far outweigh the pros. She wants her baby to have stable parents and a normal life, far from her family’s dysfunctional insanity and the paparazzi that hound her and her seven sisters, all of which are step except one (Her mother, True Love, is still looking for the love of her life). None of the Loves are lucky in love. Her sisters Pure and Sweet had a reality TV show, Love’s Truth about the Loves’ romantic tragedies.
MC does not want her own misfortune in the gossip columns or on her sisters’ show. She has kept her pregnancy a secret as is currently hiding on St. Simons Island, Georgia while her family thinks she is vacationing in a villa in France. She has a week to choose the parents for her child which is due in one month. Everything is on track.
What MC doesn’t plan on is Doug Warren, the man who lives in the condo next to her. The man whose music in the middle of the night makes her heart sing and weep. The man who changes everything.
Doug Warren is trying to breathe again. After the tragic loss of his wife and daughter three years ago, he has his head down, focused on surviving one day at a time. Christmas is the worst time of year. He can’t afford anything to shake the fragile balance he has gained. Two things happen to throw him into the deep end. His family tells him they are descending in mass at Christmas and his neighbor’s adoption papers smack him in the face.
Once he meets MC, he is unable to go back to his status quo. How could she give away what he would die over and over again to have back? He sets on a mission to find out why. And as she helps him prepare for his family’s arrival, his mission changes as the impossible unfolds. Doug’s not only breathing, but his heart is beating, stronger than ever for a woman and her unborn child.
Can he convince her to believe in miracles and trust in him?
O Christmas Tree – Alicia Street
Blaming himself for the collapse of a storm shelter that took the lives of his wife and son in a violent tornado, Cody has spent the last three years running, moving from place to place, taking whatever odd job is available to sustain his empty life.
Piper knows what it takes to endure and hope in the face of the odds, especially at Christmas, so when the ruggedly handsome man with the desolate look in his face steps into her cat cafe to deliver a box of stray kittens, something tells her it’s going to be a very interesting holiday.
Sleigh Ride – Katy Walters
Having lost her father, The Reverend Stuart Vale, the third son of an Earl to yellow fever, Miss Sophia Vale, faced a life of genteel poverty. Not for her the whirl of balls, routs and clandestine meetings in Vauxhall Gardens, nor for her the thrill of meeting that special beau. Yet being of strong will, she determined to banish such frippery dreams and help her bereaved mama to rear her brood of six daughters and one young son.
However Baron Jude Hawsley, a lecher with a penchant for young maidens has other ideas for the unwitting Sophia.
Enter Lord Wells, the Earl of Breconbridge, renowned as a rakehell, his saving grace being a conscience. Yet he guards a secret life, involving much danger for himself and those close to him. Will his conscience win the day? Will he save Sophia from the horrors of enslavement to the baron.
Deck the Hearts – Rachelle Ayala
Holly Jolly lives for Christmas. It’s the only time of the year, as far as she’s concerned.
Gordon Gills doesn’t need a reason to hate the holiday season. He doesn’t see the point.
Gordon returns to the mansion he inherited and finds Holly making a mess with her Christmas decorations. Unfortunately, his great-aunt’s will stipulates that he must make merry every Christmas if he wants to keep his inheritance.
Holly is determined to infect the grouchy Gordon with every dose of Christmas cheer she can muster up and show him what Christmas is really about, while Gordon doesn’t believe Holly can be truly that cheerful. He’ll make the entire ordeal anything but jolly for the redheaded elf, if only he wasn’t so attracted to her.
Will Gordon prevail and turn Holly into a Grinch, or will a sprinkling of Christmas magic show Gordon that there’s no fighting love, especially when it’s wrapped up in a gorgeous red-headed package of jolly holly?
Silver Bells – Jacquie Biggar
Mystery writer, Joel Carpenter, has no time for romance. He has a deadline to meet, and too many skeletons in his closet to trust the slightly spinny artist renting his house.
Christy Taylor has her hands full dealing with an ailing business and a diabetic daughter, she doesn’t need the temptation that is her landlord, Joel Carpenter.
Can a Christmas wish bring two stubborn souls together and give a little girl the gift she wants most?
A family of her own.
Hark the Herald Angel Falls – Michele Hauf
To earn her halo, angel Merit must convince the person who holds her earthly soul in limbo—her husband—to stop loving her.
Little Drummer Boy – Dani Haviland
Reduced to becoming a drummer boy at half wages, the young scout shows his worth when a small band of post-Revolutionary War soldiers and citizens become lost in the worst winter storm of the late 18th century. Will the unexpected arrival of his malcontent father help or hurt their situation?
I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Nancy Radke
Fleeing an invading army in the Middle East, Sofia Morgan and Lee Trahern meet in a rowboat in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. They have barely enough water to make the trip across, and when bullets fly, most of their containers are shot full of holes. Can these two make it to safety, and even be home for Christmas?
Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Cynthia Cooke
Santa Claus is coming to town, and so is Nicole Flattery. When this big city girl must return to her small hometown, she runs headfirst into the handsome boy next door—who is none other than the town Santa. And he needs an elf. 1.Nicole better Watch Out for her father has taken a fall. 2.She better Not Cry when she has to wear an elf costume and be at Santa’s beck and call. 3.She better Not Shout even when she has lost it all. Santa is making a list, and he’s checking it twice. He’s going to make sure she’s naughty and nice. So, hold onto your heart, because Santa Claus is coming to town!
Leanne Banks is a national #1 best-selling author with over fifty romance novels to her credit. Leanne was born and raised in the wonderful town of Roanoke, Virginia. Growing up in “the star city of the south” had a huge impact on her outlook and her writing. Her B.S. in Psychology only qualifies her to treat fictional characters and she began writing when her two children were very young. Leanne believes in the transforming power of love, so writing romance novels comes naturally to her. Her muse is a 4.5 lb Pomeranian who is happy to snooze beside Leanne while Leanne creates. Leanne loves travel and trips to the beach, but what’s most important to her is family. Leanne’s home on the web is www.leannebanks.com. To get the most up-to-date scoop on Leanne, visit her on facebook.
New York Times, USA Today, Best-selling author – Mimi’s been heard to say: “I’m an author who loves to write uplifting stories about romance. Add in some time travel, or maybe an angel, or even a little romantic suspense and it makes the story more fascinating because of the incredible possibilities.”
Mimi is an Amazon best-selling author who’s sold over 500,000 copies of her books world-wide. Her five romance series: The Vicarage Bench/ time travel at its best, Angels with Attitudes / angels love romance, Vegas / fast-paced plotting, Elvis / make a song a book and her newest, Undercover FBI / with sizzling conflicts and lots of humor.
Joan Reeves is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. Available as ebooks and audiobooks, her romance novels all have the same underlying theme: “It’s never too late to live happily ever after.” Joan lives her happily ever after with her Hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. Sign up for Joan’s email list/newsletter for readers.
A tireless traveler, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mona Risk writes contemporary romance, medical romance, and romantic suspense novels, all simmering with emotion. Sprinkled with a good dose of humor, her stories are set in the fascinating places she visits— or in Florida, her paradise on earth.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Patricia Rosemoor writes “dangerous love.” She has had 98 novels with 8 publishers and more than 7 million books in print. Patricia has won a Golden Heart from Romance Writers of America and two Reviewers Choice and two Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times BOOKreviews, and in her other life, she taught Popular Fiction and Suspense-Thriller Writing at Columbia College Chicago.
NY Times & USA Today best-seller, Rebecca York, is the author of over 150 books. She has written paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her new romantic-suspense series, Decorah Security, is set at a detective agency where agents have paranormal powers or work paranormal cases. She also writes an Off-World series where each story is a science fiction romance taking place on a distant planet in the far future.
Denise Devine has had a passion for books since the second grade when she discovered Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She wrote her first book, a mystery, at age thirteen and has been writing ever since. She’s been a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) since 1991 and has won or placed in numerous writing contests. In 2008, her contemporary inspirational romance, This Time Forever, was a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart contest for unpublished writers.
Denise lives on six wooded acres in East Bethel, Minnesota with her husband, Steve and her three problem (feline) children, Mocha, Lambchop and Tigger. She loves to read, write, study and travel.
USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR DONNA FASANO is a three-time winner of the HOLT Medallion, a CataRomance Reviewers Choice Award winner for Best Single Title, a Desert Rose Golden Quill Award finalist, a Golden Heart finalist, and a two-time winner of Best Romance of the Year given by BigAl’s Books & Pals Review Blog. Her books have sold 4 million copies worldwide and have been published in two dozen languages. Her novels have made the Kindle Top 100 Paid List numerous times, climbing as high as #1.
Donna has a website, and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. Contact information can be found inside Donna Fasano’s books. She loves to interact with readers.
With an impressive bibliography in an array of genres, USA Today bestselling author Traci Hall has garnered a notable fan base. She pens stories guaranteed to touch the heart while transporting the reader to another time and place. Her belief in happily ever after shines through, whether it’s a romantic glimpse into history or a love affair for today.
USA Today Best Selling author Taylor Lee writes Suspenseful Mystery Thrillers – with a heavy dose of Sexy to Sizzling HOT Romance.
In the four years that she has been writing, Taylor has written more than forty books. Her eight, series track her Special Operatives, Covert Agents, Cops, Firefighters and other iconic heroes and heroines, through the harrowing situations that make up their lives. From human trafficking rings to corrupt politicians, Taylor investigates the underbelly of society and the criminals who flourish there.
Taylor says: “From the residue in my personal blender of mixed races, cultures and world views, my characters emerge. It comforts me to know that while evil slinks in the shadows, the “good guys and gals” of the world sniff it out – and snuff it out.
My characters are arrogant alpha males and the feisty women who bring them to their knees – and vice versa… They fight hard, love hard and don’t mince words. They are dangerous men and women in dangerous times. Love, passion and ridding the world of evil? What’s not to like?
A romantic at heart and a writer by nature, Stephanie Queen has the enthusiastic soul of a cheerleader. So of course she loves creating stories where the good guys always win. Although she’s lost count of all the jobs she had before she settled on being a Novelist, her favorite was selling cookies as a Keebler Elf. She is a graduate of UConn (go Huskies!) and Harvard U and lives in New Hampshire with her family, her cat, Kitty, and her (real or imagined?) chauffeur, Myren.
Jennifer St. Giles
USA Today Bestselling author, Jennifer St. Giles, aka Jennifer Saints, J.L. Saint is a Golden Heart, three-time Maggie, two-time National Reader’s Choice, Marlene, RT Reviewer’s Choice and Daphne du Maurier award-winning author. Jennifer writes in multiple genres, including: romance, paranormal, contemporary, historical and military and paranormal crime. She is a nurse in a surgery center and the Vice-President of a charitable foundation which helps women and children’s causes. Jenni believes fervently in following your dreams and never giving up.
Alicia Street is a USA Today Bestselling Author and Daphne du Maurier award-winner. She writes both sweet romance and sexy romance and sometimes collaborates with her husband, Roy. Her years as a professional dancer, choreographer and teacher provide the inspiration behind her Dance ‘n’ Luv contemporary romance series. A compulsive reader of every genre, Alicia loves watching old black-and-white movies and inventing new recipes for soup.
I began with a publisher but loved the freedom of Amazon and so I am an independent author living on the South Coast of the UK. Previously, I enjoyed a career as a research psychologist and psychotherapist, As the children grew and flew the nest, I decided to write about my experiences to help others, but as I began writing, my pen spelt out a different course and I was soon writing novels. These are historical romance suspense, with an underlying theme that I hoped inspire those who long to overcome their inhibiting fear, and reach their goals. From the reviews and private emails from readers, this has worked and I am so glad. It makes my writing even more worthwhile. I am now on the twentieth book and love it.
I get a lot of my inspiration for plots whilst walking with my dog Lily along beaches and in the nearby woods. She features in all my books under pseudonyms and is portrayed as her own wonderful zany self.
Rachelle Ayala is a bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her foremost goal is to take readers on a shared emotional journey with her characters as they grow and become more true to themselves. Rachelle believes in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feels that everyone should find love as often as possible, especially if it’s within the pages of a book. Her book, Knowing Vera, won the 2015 Angie Ovation Award, and A Father for Christmas garnered a 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award.
JACQUIE BIGGAR is a bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males who know what they want, that is until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them what they really need is love. She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls.
She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters.
Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. 🙂
Michele has been writing romance, action-adventure and fantasy stories for over twenty-five years. Her first published novel was DARK RAPTURE.
France, musketeers, vampires and faeries populate her stories. And if she followed the adage ‘write what you know’, all her stories would have snow in them. Fortunately, she steps beyond her comfort zone and writes about countries she has never visited and of creatures she has never seen.
Dani Haviland, an Alaskan recently relocated to Oregon, loves writing, gardening and photography. She’s ‘stuck in the 80’s’ – the 1780’s,that is – where many of her colorful characters struggle and/or survive, love and/or argue, but always persevere.
Author Nancy Radke, started out writing full-length, modern romance and suspense stories, then switched to novella length for her western series, The Traherns, and now writes both, usually two or three books at the same time. She has published ten Sisters of Spirit books, thirteen Trahern books, and one book of a new Brothers of Spirit series. Born on a wheat and cattle ranch, which included riding, shooting, and milking cows, she has lived in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington state. When she went through the Peace Corps outward-bound program, she learned to rappel off mountainsides and survival swim in the Atlantic Ocean. Her books are G-rated, no sex, no swearing.
First published in 2003, Cynthia Cooke is an award-winning author who has published 18 novels in 12 different countries with Harlequin, Entangled, and Amazon Kindle Worlds. She has a deep affection for romance stories and playing in the ocean. On her best days you can find her on the beach with her notebook, a novel in hand, and her dog, Angel, by her side.
Embrace the Seduction and prepare to get a little naughty and have a fun!
Welcome to the Sneak Peek at my contribution to the Love, Christmas bundle. Love, Christmas will launch this fall, just a short month from now. Grown Up Christmas List will be dedicated to reader Leann Griffiths. Congrats, Leann, for winning the Authors’ Billboard Love, Christmas contest put on by Fresh Fiction! I want to send out a huge thank you to the thousands of readers who entered. And now, on to the Sneak Peek:
Lively strains of Christmas music floated from somewhere in the rafters as Dina Griffin let her gaze rove over the rows of shampoo bottles lining the shelf. Lemon yellow, bright purple, jarring chartreuse, the plastic containers came in a rainbow of colors, each competing to catch the eye of shoppers. There were products that guaranteed help for damaged split ends; others promising shine and curl; and still others offering to clarify, volumize, or medicate. The abundance of choices astonished her. And to think, all she’d ever expected from her shampoo was clean hair. It wasn’t as if she’d never been shopping, but her busy life usually had her running in, snapping up her tried-and-true bargain brand, and going on her way. Studying the bottles closer, she read phrases like moisture milk, herbal escapes, essential oils, vitamin-laced, and tea therapy.
A few steps further brought her to the matching conditioners, also in a mind-boggling, kaleidoscopic variety. Then came the specialty shampoos for dandruff and hair loss and itchy, scaly scalp conditions. And nits.
Dina shivered inside her bulky winter coat as she ambled along, feigning great interest in the items on display.
She reached the end of the aisle, and just as she stepped out to make her way around the shelving unit, the electronic doors at the front of the store slid open, drawing her attention.
A cop entered the pharmacy, and adrenaline shot through Dina like a high voltage jolt. Perspiration broke out on the back of her neck and her heart began to thud. She turned her head away, dipping both her chin and her gaze as she sunk back as far as possible into her wide-brimmed hood. Mustering a calm nonchalance she certainly did not feel, she skirted the tall, end cap display of hard pretzels and slipped into the neighboring aisle. She stopped halfway down and perused the first-aid section with enough focus to lead anyone who might notice her to think her life depended on finding the perfect band-aid.
The officer wasn’t here for her. He wasn’t. He couldn’t possibly know she’d run from the police in Baltimore. He couldn’t.
Dina dared not chance looking behind her, but her stomach sank when she sensed someone approaching. As the person got closer, she could feel the mass of him. It was the cop. Had to be. And the man must be built as solid as a brick wall.
He wasn’t here for her. He wasn’t. She repeated the silent mantra, bending at the waist and grasping the first package within reach. Tweezers, she realized. Silver. Pointy-tipped.
Her fingers were trembling, so she released the plastic and cardboard container. However, when she pulled her hand back, her coat sleeve caught the edge of several packages and tweezers went tumbling like inept circus acrobats. Dina scrambled, snatching them up, and hurrying to re-hang them on the metal display hook.
The cop stopped directly behind her. She straightened, closed her eyes, and drew in a breath in an effort to calm her anxiety. And that’s when she smelled him.
The scent of fresh cut sandalwood tickled her nose. Warm and slightly spicy.
He cleared his throat and her eyes flew open.
Could he have picked up a splinter on the job somehow? Be in dire need of a pair of pointy-tipped tweezers? Maybe he’d cut himself shaving and needed one of those small circular band-aids. That would be her luck, all right. A splinter-laden, razor-nicked cop in need of first-aid supplies, and she just happened to be standing right in front of the display.
Her only goal in walking around the pharmacy had been to warm up a little. Although the day was sunny and the outside temperatures on the mild side this morning, it was still winter, and the damp concrete she’d slept on had left her chilled to the bone. Her hips had been aching and her feet had felt like brittle bricks of ice when she’d arrived, and she’d just wanted to limber up, work the cold out of her joints and toes in a heated environment.
“Miss? I need you to come with me.”
How could he possibly have known…
Dina hesitated, nerves forcing her to swallow even though her mouth had gone as dry as course sand. She was not going back to Baltimore. Not until she absolutely had to. What compelled her next action, she had no idea—fear, panic, sheer survival instinct—but she spun on her heel and glared into his face.
“I’m not going anywhere with you. This is a free country, and I’ve got rights. I’m staying right here, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.”
An instant of shock registered on his face. But his jaw quickly set, his lips flattened, and he seemed to grow three inches when he squared his shoulders and straightened his spine.
Oh, Lord, save her. Had she really just gone all rebel on an officer of the law?
“Yeah,” he said, his tone soft but firm, “this is a free country. And you do have rights. Just so long as you don’t take things that don’t belong to you.” He pinched the sleeve of her coat between his fingers. “So put back whatever it is you’ve stolen, and come up to the front counter with me. We need to have a chat with the manager.”
“Wait. What are you talking about?”
He muttered under his breath, then said loud enough for her to hear, “Being uncooperative is only going to make matters worse for you. Your parents are already going to be upset when I call them. It’s bad enough you’re cutting school. Shoplifting is a serious offence.”
She looked at him as if he’d suddenly sprouted a grotesque, green beard.
“All right.” He sighed. “We can play this any way you want.”
Her bravado withered like a sycamore leaf in the dead of winter when she felt herself being propelled toward the front of the store. There must have been only an inch of her coat fabric in his grip, but it was enough to force her to toddle along beside his long-legged stride like a twelve-year-old.
I’m thrilled to participate in the Love, Christmas Anthology, and I hope you’ll look for our holiday bundle later this fall.
USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR DONNA FASANO is a three-time winner of the HOLT Medallion, a CataRomance Reviewers Choice Award winner for Best Single Title, a Desert Rose Golden Quill Award finalist, a Golden Heart finalist, and a two-time winner of Best Romance of the Year given by BigAl’s Books & Pals Review Blog. Her books have sold nearly 4 million copies worldwide and have been published in two dozen languages. Her books have made the Kindle Top 100 Paid List numerous times, climbing as high as #5.
This week I wanted to share an excerpt from bestselling author, and funny lady, Stephanie Queen’s holiday romance titled Let It Snow. This will be one of twenty brand new, never-before-seen novellas featured in the Love, Christmas collection releasing October 18/16
Was it strange that a grown man—scratch that—middle-aged man should feel like impaled gutter trash, so devastated by the death of a mother he’d seen only a handful of times in the last decade?
The bullet that killed Dane’s mother may as well have hit him. It left a cannon hole in him, obliterating whatever had been left of his heart and soul. Maybe there hadn’t been much there anyway. How could there have been? Seemed he’d spent a lifetime fighting the soul killing hurt in all the most hellish places on earth to no end. Saving people, but not saving everyone. Never saving everyone.But he’d survived.
In body anyway.
This wasn’t about his past catching up with him. No. Dane knew what the devastation, the pain and now the numbness was about. It was because he felt responsible for his mother’s death. Any shrink would have told him this.
The problem was—he was responsible for his mother’s death. She’d been murdered on his watch. At the hands of his enemies. It didn’t matter how much of the devastation he felt was guilt. It should be pure gut-gnawing guilt. He deserved to feel guilty as hell.
He should have been able to protect her. Least he could have done. She’d protected him all those years. Without his father. She saw that he got to adulthood when it was not at all a likely thing.
He stared out his kitchen window again. This time snowflakes filled the sky, obscuring his view of the bay and the ocean. Didn’t matter. He wasn’t going anywhere. Or maybe he should pack his bags and leave this place. Head for the next hellish place and destructive mission. Leave a mark. Try to make up for allowing his mother to die by saving someone else’s mother.
He may as well leave. It wasn’t like his beach shack or Martha’s Vineyard held the solace for him that they once had. Too many things happened here. Too much violence. And now death.
“I invited Cap over for eggnog.” Shana’s strident voice cut him.
Dane turned around to face her standing on the threshold of his kitchen. The glint of her beauty cut into him further. She stared him down with her arms folded like she expected an argument. Like she expected to win the argument.
He didn’t bother arguing. He’d retreat to his bed. Bring a bottle with him. Then he remembered she’d hidden or tossed all the bottles. No matter. She could celebrate the season with innocent eggnog and Cap if she wanted.
The thought of Cap—Captain Colin Lynch—and Shana together stirred an ember in him, but not much. Nothing like the spark it might have created before. There was no fire to be had in his belly. Not today.
“Go for it, girlie.” He smiled. It cost him to muster that much for her. But she deserved whatever he had. She tried hard. Probably too hard. He walked by her and headed to his room half hoping she’d follow him and he could seduce her, lose himself in mindless sex with her. But he’d drawn the line short of letting her put up her body for his use to cure him of his self-pity. Besides, sex was never a simple matter with Shana. He’d end up feeling guilty about it. More guilt. If it were possible.
She’d been trying to save him from himself ever since she’d come to the island. It was a matter of time now—a very short time he’d guess—before she realized the futility. Then he’d be left to himself. The only company he was fit for.
He shut his bedroom door behind him and didn’t bother pulling the blinds. It was barely mid-afternoon but the storm had darkened the sky to near nightfall proportions. It suited him. He’d sleep through the storm. Maybe when he woke again all the darkness would be gone.
Shana wished she had some kind of miracle to get Dane out of his depression. She looked at his closed bedroom door. There was no way she’d go that route. Then she’d end up as depressed as he was and there’d be nothing left of Beachcomber Investigations. Or her. Or him.
Cap thought Dane needed a shrink or heavy medication. But short of hitting him over the head and dragging him bodily, Dane couldn’t be convinced to see a professional. Now weeks later, Shana had hoped the Christmas season would cheer him, but if anything he was worse.
So far, today being Christmas Eve hadn’t cheered her much either. Anxiety had moved into her bones. She’d never worried over anyone or anything the way she worried now about Dane. Cap wasn’t the only one who felt the same way. The governor—his special ops unit commander and friend–called almost daily. Acer, a member of their special ops unit and as far as she could tell, his closest friend–texted her every other day. Sassy and Ronnie, their local twenty-something junior investigators came by often and she was lucky they did. Sassy brought pies from her shop and Ronnie brought pilfered food from the restaurant where he worked. If they hadn’t brought the food and forced her to eat, she would have diminished to a stick figure by now. As it was, her clothes hung on her.
And Dane didn’t notice. Nothing stirred him. Nothing made a difference to him. If she left now, would he care? Would he notice? Would he be better off?
Would she be better off?
No. She’d never forgive herself. It was just as much her fault that his mother was murdered. On her watch. She should have been able to protect Dane’s mother, to prevent the murder—should have seen it coming and have been able to do something.
A rap on the back door saved her from sinking further. She’d hidden the bottle from herself just as much from Dane. She hoped she could enjoy a splash of brandy in her eggnog tonight without succumbing to sobbing. But Cap had been a shiny spot in the bleakness, like her north star, for this past month.
Cap pushed open the back door and stepped into the kitchen with a rush of fat wet snowflakes riding on the cold wind.
Behind Cap, in a bright red snow covered sweater and white knit hat, a stranger stepped forward. Shana jumped back and automatically felt for her gun on her hip and then the back of her waistband.
“Don’t worry—he’s with me.” Cap smirked and moved forward. The man stepped inside behind him and pushed the door closed. Shana shivered. Then she remembered she ought to smile at her guest. She was turning into her crazy aunt Shirley and she wasn’t yet thirty years old. She noticed the man had a bag. She looked at Cap for an introduction or an explanation or something.
“This is Father Pedro.”
She looked closer at the man. He had wet graying hair and dark eyes. Maybe they were kind eyes, but right now they were non-committal. Intelligent and searching like he was looking into her soul and sizing her up.
“I’m Shana. Have a seat. I’m about to put the final touches on the eggnog.”
“Do you have anything hot?”
“Of course—you must be cold.” He had no coat and his sweater was wet.
Cap took off his coat and looked around. She knew he was looking for Dane.
As if by thinking about him they had some cosmic pull, Dane’s door banged opened and a second later he appeared on the threshold of the kitchen. Shana was surprised he wasn’t aiming his old Glock at them, but the look he leveled was threatening enough.
“Dane—“ she said.
“Who the hell are you?”
Padre Pedro stepped around her and his face transformed to warm beautific saintliness. He went to Dane with his arms extended. He had to be nuts.
Dane put his arms out too—to stop the man in his tracks.
“Whoa there, fellow—answer my question. Who the f-ing hell are you?”
The padre stopped an arms distance away as Shana went to Dane’s side—or as close to his side as his porcupine mood would allow. She might need to step in to protect one of them.
“Dane—“ Cap began.
Dane glared at Cap to silence him. The Padre stood and took his time studying Dane—brave for a man with Dane the Demon expecting an answer. All the while Shana figured what kept the Padre safe was the new look on his face. It was like he was heartbroken, like seeing Dane made his heart weep. In fact he looked like he was about to cry when he spoke in a sad, deep ominous voice.
“Oscar sent me.”
About USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Queen A romantic at heart and a writer by nature, Stephanie Queen has the enthusiastic soul of a cheerleader. So of course she loves creating stories where the good guys always win. Although she’s lost count of all the jobs she had before she settled on being a Novelist, her favorite was selling cookies as a Keebler Elf. She is a graduate of UConn (go Huskies!) and Harvard U and lives in New Hampshire with her family, her cat, Kitty, and her (real or imagined?) chauffeur, Myren.
Since tragedy estranged defense attorney Jenna Macintosh from her family, she’s done her best to pretend Christmas doesn’t exist. Not so easy this year when she needs to work with client Lacey Gallagher, who is living on her brother Sawyer’s Christmas tree farm. All those fragrant pines dripping with twinkling lights are bad enough, but when disaster strikes, Jenna is stuck alone in a wooded cabin with Sawyer, the hottest man she’s ever met.
Experience has taught Sawyer Gallagher that smart city women like Jenna don’t want men like him, but when Jenna falls ill, he must abandon his plan to keep his distance and soon he’s trying to work out ways to make her his—and not just for Christmas.
From Sarah’s website: http://www.sarahmayberry.com/
Well, you asked for it (or maybe you just accidentally clicked on the wrong tab…)
I grew up in Melbourne, Australia. I’ve pretty much always wanted to be a writer. In pre-school I was always rifling through the craft cupboard, looking for paper to take home and turn into “books”. And I’ve always loved reading. As a teenager, I perfected the art of walking home from school while reading at the same time. (Okay, occasionally I tripped.)
After I finished high school, I did a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing. I started trying to write my first romance novel around that time. Thanks to Georgette Heyer, my early attempts were all Regency romances. They will never see the light of day. Enough said. Then I tried contemporary romance. Again, no joy. But I was building an extensive collection of rejection letters, so there’s always a bright side.
Since no one was banging down my door offering me a publishing contract for a gazillion dollars, I took a job in trade journalism writing about…wait for it…hardware. Nuts and bolts and electric drills. Six years of them, in fact. From journalism I moved into corporate communications for a major retailer, launching a new consumer magazine for them, and finally I wound up working in television on Australia’s longest running serial drama, Neighbours. This was a great job, and it taught me an enormous amount about character, story, structure and emotional story telling. It also helped me see where I’d been going wrong with my romance writing.
I went back to the drawing board. I wrote. I submitted. I waited. More than a year and a couple of revisions later, I got The Call. Much dancing with underwear on head and champagne swilling ensued.
Sarah has this amazing talent of drawing readers into the hearts and emotions of her characters and before you know it, you’re almost as deeply invested in the outcome of the story as they are.
I haven’t read a book of hers that I haven’t enjoyed and many are on my keeper shelf as re-reads-yes, she’s that good. 🙂
A large part of this story is turned over to non-relationships. Jenna blames herself and is estranged from her father because of a horrific accident in which her sister died. Sawyer lives with the guilt of not doing more to protect his younger sister from bad mistakes that ended with her serving time in jail.
This is a second chance novel- my favorite :)- but it’s also a story of promise and new beginnings.
Perfect for the holiday season, don’t you agree? 🙂
I give His Christmas Gift 5 lovely kisses
Release Blitz and Blog Tour!
Raising funds and awareness for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund
Ring in the Holidays with a Helping Hand
November 1 through December 24, ten percent of the net proceeds from all Shanna Hatfield book sales will be donated to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. The JCCF is a non-profit organization that assists rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to work for an extended period. Every book purchased during this promotional period adds to the donation total. Don’t forget to add books to your Christmas lists!
A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a bestselling author of sweet romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”
To enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card, Wrangler Tote Bag, Rock & Roll Cowgirl T-shirt, autographed books, chocolates, and more fun goodies, fill out this form. Winners will be randomly drawn and announced Nov. 16.
Ring in the Christmas cheer with sixteen all-new sweet and heart-warming romances from New York Times, USA Today and National bestselling authors. Don’t miss out on this romantic collection of Christmas tails…uh, tales as adorable pets with fins, paws, feathers, and hooves bring holiday magic with the gift of true love.
Golden Christmas – Helen Scott Taylor
Every Christmas Vicky hides so she doesn’t have to celebrate the date she lost her husband and son. She doesn’t want to see anyone but when she finds a dog’s lost ball she meets Jon, a wounded ex-soldier who’s struggling with his own problems. This brave man touches Vicky’s shattered heart and makes her realize she can’t hide forever. With his support, can she find the strength to love again?
Two Loves for Christmas – Mona Risk
Tabloid pictures of charming laywer, Josh Dutton, threaten his father’s senatorial campaign. The family decides he needs a sweet ‘temporary fiancée’ to repair the damage. With only her German shepherd for friend, Emma struggles with problems. Attraction sizzles between Josh and Emma but no one mentions the ‘fake fiancée’ detail. When the truth surfaces will Josh be able to prove that his kisses were not part of a charade?
Dog-Gone Christmas – Melinda Curtis
Widow Marnie Haywood wants Christmas hosting her in-laws to go smoothly. And it would – if her handsome neighbor and his friendly St. Bernard would stop coming over, mooching food, and stealing kisses.
His Christmas Promise – Alicia Street
A stray dog with a penchant for giving warm and fuzzy love finds refuge with an ex-Army helicopter pilot and helps restore his bedridden grandmother’s will to live. It seems like a Christmas miracle until the bachelor war vet discovers the mutt belongs to a little girl who wants him back—and a single mom who makes him rethink his freewheeling ways and maybe even believe in love.
We Wish You A Ferret Christmas – Nikki Lynn Barrett
Widower Lance Rossiter wants nothing to do with the pet ferret who caused his daughter to be hit by a car. Widow Cara McLean is shocked by the ferret her son finds and wants to keep. When Lance and Cara meet, sparks fly and love suddenly seems possible. Can a lost and found ferret bring two fractured families together?
Christmas Lovebirds – Rachelle Ayala
Melisa Hart has a soft spot for her brother Connor’s ex-best buddy, Rob Reed, who slept with Connor’s girlfriend. When her pet lovebird is mixed up with Rob’s, Melisa discovers he’s always cared about her. Can two little lovebirds and Christmas cheer open Melisa’s heart to giving Rob another chance?
Christmas on Cougar Mountain – Nancy Radke
Hard-working Zoey is dedicated to helping children learn, and has built her business to the neglect of having a family. When she rescues a dog on the freeway, she discovers that the escape artist brings a family with him, including a boy she would like to help, and as love grows, a man she would like to keep. But will Kellen ever trust her to help his son, much less give her his heart?
The Vet’s Christmas Pet – J.L. Campbell
The last thing Toni wants for Christmas is more responsibility, but her daughter has other ideas. A near accident not only brings them a dog in need of a home, but Matthias Laing, who Toni would prefer to keep in the past.
Tails, Time, and St. Nick – Mary Leo
Kris Timemaker has inherited a magical clock. Using the clock’s magic for anyone other than St. Nick on Christmas Eve has some grave consequences, but when his daughter’s beloved Westie goes missing, and his estranged wife asks for his help, Kris has no choice but to take a chance with time and try to win back his family in the process.
Graced – Jade Kerrion
Connor Bradley doesn’t have time for distractions, not while juggling single parenthood and his clinic on five hours of sleep a night. He most certainly doesn’t have time for Noelle, the high school flirt, who is prettier and more irresistible than he remembers. When Noelle’s father’s heart attack derails Connor’s plans for his first Christmas without his wife, Noelle wants to save the day for his adorable children, but can she also find her way into Connor’s guarded heart?
Unexpected Gift – Chantel Rhondeau
Aspiring decorator Cali Johnson moves to New York City—lonely, afraid, and far from home during the holidays. When she finds a lost cat in her apartment building, she strikes up an odd friendship with his reclusive owner, Marcus Ritz. If only she knew what he was hiding.
Minty’s Kiss – P.C. Zick
When newly divorced Molly retreats to a family cabin with Gracie, her ten-year-old daughter, she’s surprised to find her childhood crush, Nick, still living in the area. Can a small kitty named Minty help Gracie accept the love developing between Nick and Molly in time for her first Christmas in the mountains of North Carolina?
The Christmas Wish – Michele Shriver
Ashley McLaughlin is struggling to move on from her husband’s infidelity. Brennan wants to make amends for his transgression. Their young daughter, Hayley, has only one wish for Christmas- for her family to be together again. When Hayley suffers a head injury after a fall from her horse, will it help her get her wish? Or do the wounds from Brennan’s betrayal run too deep for Ashley to forgive?
Dante’s Gift – Aubrey Wynne
Seventy years ago, a collie mix brought two hearts together in war torn Italy. Will their story help their grandson find his own Christmas love?
Mavy’s Christmas Miracle – Sharon Coady
Anne Hurd returns to the Pocono’s to help her elderly grandfather. Six years earlier Kyle Shafer disappeared from her life. She rescues a kitten, takes her to a vet who turns out to be Kyle. Kyle can’t believe Anne walked back into his life. Will he scare her away, or will she give him another chance? Kyle decides to take a chance and try for the love he gave up on.
An Impossible Rescue – Annamaria Bazzi
Christmas is no joy for Julia who’s gambling husband comes around only to ask for money. When a handsome stranger and his cute Pomeranian puppy moves in next door, Julia feels guilty for their mutual attraction.Michael’s not the rescuing type, but when he spies Julia’s husband haranguing her for holiday cash, anger flares and he is determined to rescue Julia from another miserable Christmas.
Helen Scott Taylor
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Helen Scott Taylor, had her first book released in 2009. The Magic Knot, won the American Title contest, was a Golden Heart® finalist, and was chosen as one of Booklist’s top ten romances of 2009. Since then, she has published other novels, novellas, and short stories in both the UK and USA. Her published works have been finalists in a number of contests including the Holt Medallion, the Lories, the Prism Contest, the Write Touch Award and the Maggies.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Mona Risk, recently received an Outstanding Achiever Award from Affaire de Coeur Magazine. Her name has often been posted on the Amazon.com 100 Most Popular Authors in Romance list. She’s a two time winner of Best Contemporary Romance of the Year from Readers Favorite; a winner of Best Romance Novel of the Year from Preditors & Editors Readers Poll; and an EPIC Award finalist.
Melinda Curtis is an award winning, USA Today recommended, Amazon best selling author. She writes the independently published, steamy Hollywood Rules series as Mel Curtis. Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: “Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood’s Golden Age except a lot hotter.”
USA Today bestselling author Alicia Street is a Daphne du Maurier award-winner. She writes both sweet and steamier romances and sometimes collaborates with her husband, Roy. She spent many years as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher and is a compulsive reader of every genre. Alicia grew up with dogs and cats and could not imagine living without furry pals.
Nikki Lynn Barrett
USA Today Bestselling author Nikki Lynn Barrett
I’m an avid lover of books. I’ve been writing as far back as I can remember, completing my first “book” by fifth grade in one of those one subject spiral notebooks. I have a passion for music, photography, jewelry and all things creative. I live in Arizona with my husband and son, but dream of being somewhere much colder and stormier. For now, I’ll have to live that life through my characters and stick it out with the summer heat.
Bestselling author Rachelle Ayala I love the magic of the Christmas season filled with family and the spirit of giving and helping others. From romantic suspense to sweet contemporaries, I write from my heart and love to include children and pets in my stories. My stories range from steamy to sweet, so be sure to check the reader’s guide at my website.
Amazon Best-selling author, Nancy Radke, writes modern romance and suspense as well as a Western Pioneer historical series. A former special education teacher, her education background shows when she includes history in her books, or in the case of her novella for this set, reading problems. Her books are G-rated, no sex, no swearing.
J.L. Campbell is an award-winning, Jamaican author who writes romantic suspense, women’s fiction, new and young adult novels. She has written thirteen books, three novellas and two short story collections. Her novels include the Island Adventure Romance series, which currently has four exciting, stand-alone stories and features feisty women and determined men. Campbell is a certified editor, who also writes non-fiction.
USA TODAY bestselling author Mary Leo grew up in a complicated Italain family on Chicago’s Southside where she developed the art of storytelling. She writes with ironic humor, a bit of whimsy, some serious drama, and has a longstanding love affair with the American cowboy.
Jade Kerrion writes award-winning and occasionally best-selling science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary novels anchored on unlikely romances you will root for and happy endings you can believe in. Her favorite romance is the Double Helix love triangle between Galahad—the lab-created perfect human being; Danyael—an alpha empath and Galahad’s physical template; and Zara—the woman who can wreak more havoc with love than most people can with hate
Chantel Rhondeau is hooked on romance and suspense. She thinks there’s nothing better than a great mystery, but basically an optimist, Chantel loves a book to end ‘happily ever after.’ When she isn’t writing, Chantel enjoys playing cards with her family, bowling, and snuggling with her four kitty ‘children.’
P.C. Zick began her writing career in 1998 as a journalist. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction. Today, she writes romance and contemporary literature with her pen drawing plots filled with love, hope, and forgiveness.
Michele Shriver writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance. Her books feature flawed-but-likeable characters in real-life settings. She’s not afraid to break the rules, but never stops believing in happily ever after. Michele counts among her favorite things a good glass of wine, a hockey game, and a sweet and sexy book boyfriend, not necessarily in that order.
Award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding and all things Christmas.
Her award-winning short stories Merry Christmas, Henry (2013) and Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies (2014) won the Preditors and Editors Reader’s Choice Award. Aubrey’s latest Christmas story, Dante’s Gift, is part of the boxset Christmas Pets and Kisses and will also be sold as a single title.
Sharon Coady lives in Florida with her husband, three of their daughters and five of their eleven grandchildren. She wrote two books before discovering Romance novels. She has now written a romantic suspense, a romance novella and is currently writing a Christmas novella. She has two published novels. When not working as a nurse for the Veterans Administration or writing she enjoys spending time with her family and riding behind her husband on their Harley.
Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish. Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond, Virginia with her small family.
I’m happy today to introduce you to a fellow member of my local chapter of RWA, Pat Amsden.
Pat was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions I
grilled asked her for the blog.
What do you write?
I write cozy mysteries. My latest release, A Ghostly Affair, is the third in my Death By Chocolate Series. They’re based around a chocolatier and caterer, Maxine Peters and set in Victoria, BC. I’m having great fun writing my alter ego, Maxine. I like cozy mysteries because they keep you wondering who did it without the excessive violence and gore found in some thrillers.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I can remember writing stories in grade school. They were mysteries with clues such as big feet and fantasy. The Hobbit inspired me to write my own adventure. Thankfully it’s forever lost.
Are you published?
Yes. My son published a romance, Better Than Chocolate, on Amazon for me at the very beginning of ebooks. I had no idea on how to market and it disappeared into oblivion. Last year I took the plunge again. I published one romantic suspense, Lost In Vegas, which I love and it did make the Amazon top ten a couple of times. Then I started the Death By Chocolate Series. A Ghostly Affair has just been released and I’m putting the first book, Chocolate Worth Dying For on for free this Friday and Saturday.
Where can you be found on social media?
I’m all over it although I don’t have much time. You do get to know people around the world which is the good thing. You can find me on my blog, FB, Twitter, Pinterest and Linked In.
Website or blog: Blog.
I’ve just started a FB author page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pat-Amsden/625861690758718?ref=hl
Pat Amsden, Writer
What do you think is the best way to publish these days?
Indie publishing has worked for me but I don’t rule out working with traditional publishers. There’s good and bad with both. I love the idea of a traditional publisher that takes care of everything but the writing. I’m not sure they exist anymore, though. Every writer I know has a platform and is busily marketing themselves. And I’m leery of giving creative control to a publisher for ten cents on the dollar, which most authors end up spending in marketing anyway.
I think authors have to be very careful not to give up too much starting up. That doesn’t mean a publisher shouldn’t expect your best work or to make a profit on it. But if by chance I create an iconic character that resonates with readers I’d like some control over what happens with my work and where the money goes.
What are your favorite genres to read? Why?
I read everything. I love mysteries, romances, thrillers and literary works. I also read small local papers, gossip magazines, and papers such as The Huffington Post and the Times Colonist. Then there’s Buzz Feed and cat memes.
Just recently I started a new series by Bev Pettersen. It’s set in the world of race horses. My dad used to be a show jumper and worked on the track for a few years. Then my parents bought a ranch. We always had horses growing up. I helped break one when I was nine and spent endless hours brushing horses as well as cleaning tack and riding. Now I talk to people who have horses and they talk of snoods and horse physiotherapists. I’m sure a racing horse having difficulty today also has a therapist to help get him back in form as well. It’s a different world, but when I read her books they resonate with me. Plus they’re filled with mystery and romance. What could be better?
Do your characters talk to you?
Talk, scream and yell sometimes. Mainly they tell me to stop going one way and go another way. Not him! She’s not that innocent…
How do you approach starting a new book?
Somehow everything I do and read, swirls together giving me ideas. Really, who doesn’t love chocolate? And when I was younger I worked in professional kitchens and as a waitress. Now I love watching Food Network shows.
The latest in my chocolate series has Maxine helping a friend who’s starting a dating service. She wants her friend to succeed but has worries about the matchmaking service as does Detective Patrick Shannon.
When someone dies at a matchmaking affair she’s catering Maxine is right in there trying to solve it. In doing so it becomes a question of what is a person willing to do for love? How far do you trust and how do you overcome your fears if you’ve been betrayed once? Twice?
Maybe just as important, how can someone betray the trust of another, what makes a con man tick and why do women believe they can change a bad boy?
What is your writing process?
I like to have an idea of the characters and what makes them tick along with an outline of the plot a theme. Usually I try to write between 500 – 1000 words a night and after a book is finished I’ll take some time off before diving into another.
What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?
Word painting with Rebecca McClanahan which was used as the basis of a course I took in writing. I don’t know if you can still get it through Writer’s Digest books but if you can, buy it. I also like Emotion Thesaurus, for when I’m furiously writing a scene and I’m stuck.
For a blog I’ll give a shout out to Jo-Ann Carson’s Loving Danger and the Unexpected. She gave me my first guest post on her blog and has done so for all my books except the last one. She writes thoughtful blogs on writing filled with wit and insight as well as being a good friend and fellow RWA member.
What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?
Spending time with family. Walking, yoga, shopping. Really I’m a pretty boring person.
What was your best date ever?
A bottle of wine and pizza. Then we spent half the night talking.
Navy SEAL or cowboy?
Cowboy. There’s something about a man who’s as comfortable on a horse as he is at the dinner table and cares about animals.
Chocolate or chips?
If you could have a superpower what would it be? Why?
To instantly heal everyone. We take our health for granted unless we don’t have it. But, really, without health we can’t enjoy all the people and things in our life we care about.
Fancy restaurant or picnic?
Fancy restaurant. I want to be spoiled a bit.
Beer or wine?
Depends on where and when.
I don’t really have a favorite author. I have two favorite books; Michael Ondatjes Anil’s Ghost and Billie Letts, Where The Heart Is
Smooth or hairy?
A Ghostly Affair by Pat Amsden:
Maxine is catering a Halloween party in historic Craigdarroch Castle But when a ghost scares a guest to death Maxine doesn’t know what to think. Is it one of the Dunsmuirs, haunting the castle, or perhaps something more sinister?
Add in a dognapping and maybe more, self-defense lessons that are heating thing up between Maxine and Detective Patrick Shannon, a friend left grief stricken by the death of her boyfriend and Maxine’s got her hands full.
But the boyfriend may have been involved in bribing local officials for approvals to go ahead with his development. Does a First Nations Indian intent on protecting his people’s heritage have something to do with his death? And how do a ghost drone and local teenager fit in?
By the time Maxine’s got it figured out she won’t be the only one wondering just how far is too far when it comes to fighting for what you believe in.
A Christmas Wedding to Die For by Pat Amsden:
Maxine is making the wedding cake for the Christmas Wedding of the season. And it’s to be held in one of her favorite places, Butchart Gardens. But before the day is over the bride lies at death’s door and it’s up to Maxine to find out just who wanted Julianna dead.
Could it be something to do with the rivalry between their parent’s two gaming companies? The two founders started off together, fresh out of university. At some point they’d started fighting with Julianna’s dad, Zeke branching off with a new game.
A game, Amoury, Rohan’s dad, had always claimed was stolen from Zone 2 Gaming. The two had gone on to become wildly successful in their own right, while remaining fiercely competitive.
And then, Rohan, for whatever reason, had quit university part way through to take an entry level job at AC Gamers, instead of finishing university and going into Zone 2 Gaming. Maybe Julianna had been the draw from the beginning.
Maybe once Rohan started working there, they became closer working on projects together, where Julianna’s love of social translated into marketing success, while Rohan’s gaming skills resulted in a brand new game and huge success in the online gaming world.
And then they decided they were in love and wanted to get married. Tension didn’t begin to cover the situation. But was it enough to cause someone to try offing the bride?
Will Maxine be able to stop a killer from striking again so Rohan and Julianna can have their own Happily Ever After?
Chocolate Worth Dying For by Pat Amsden:
Chocolate Worth Dying For—Maxine is the brand new owner of a chocolate shop and catering business ‘Au Chocolate’.
She figures with a lot of hard work and a little luck she’ll be able to make her dream a reality. But for crying out loud, people aren’t supposed to die holding one of her chocolates in their hands.
It’s up to her to find out what happened and make sure justice is done. Before people decide even chocolate isn’t worth dying for.
To do that she’ll have to dig into the lives of some of Victoria’s richest, most powerful people.
And in the process a killer may decide the only way to stop Maxine is to kill her. There are a lot of suspects to choose from since the victim died at one of the premier social events of the season.
Hopefully Maxine will be able to find the killer before she becomes the next victim!
These all sound wonderful, Pat. Thank you for sharing your writing process with us today. I enjoyed getting to know you a little better. 🙂
Pat loves talking to her fans. What do you think of her scrumptious covers? Do you like cozy mysteries, or something more heart pounding?
I’m very happy to have as my guest today, romance author Mimi Barbour, USA today best selling author!
I first met Mimi last year when I joined a local branch of the Romance Writers of America. As you can see by her mischievous smile and bright eyes, Mimi is a sweetheart. She’s done a lot to make me feel welcome within the branch, and thanks to a guest spot on her blog a few weeks ago I’ve made many new friends on social media. 🙂
Mimi is the author of five series: The Vicarage Bench, Angels with Attitudes, Vegas, Elvis and the brand new sizzling romantic suspense series called Undercover FBI. Mimi lives on the East coast of Vancouver Island and writes her romances with tongue in cheek and a mad glint in her eye. “If I can steal a booklover’s attention away from their every-day grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”
My website: http://www.mimibarbour.com/
My blogspot: http://mimibarbour.blogspot.com
Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/MimiBarbour
Or on Facebook
Is it better to be in a group than to promote alone?
Thank you for having me as your guest, Jacquie. It’s lovely to be here with you on your blog.
I wanted to tell you a little about this story. This is the book that I submitted to the collection – Ten Christmas Brides. A lovely holiday tale that I knew would delight the readers. It’s actually an Elvis song that I used as the plot for the novel.
The months it took to write this book was a fun time for me. The song echoed in my head periodically to remind me of where the plot line needed to go. I’d even play the tune just to get in the mood.
Of course, writing about this holiday is always special. I enjoy trying to get the mood just right so that it comes through the pages for the readers to experience. You know – those festive touches that bring the season close and makes one feel, taste and smell Christmas.
When I write my characters, I have a vision in my head, and at first, for the hero, I saw Elvis himself. But then Jesse Parker emerged and became his own man. I’m glad, because he’s a sweetheart and a shadow to no one. Locked into an old, dead romance, this guy needed to wake up and let go of his memories. Then he wouldn’t miss the lovely woman right in front of him – my heroine Belle. In the song it said – And it’s just breakin’ my heart cause she’s not you. Maybe not, but what if she’s better?
Belle Foster soon became real to me also. As a mother myself, I felt her worries and fears for her little girl. She’s a woman who’s had so much to overcome, most of all a belief in her own worthiness. Sick and alone at any time of the year is difficult, but when you have a small child who relies on you, and the season is Christmas, then who wouldn’t yearn for that special person to share their world.
And Layla, the child, could be anyone’s daughter or granddaughter. Mischievous and cute as a button, she gets into your heart, digs a hole and won’t be shook loose.
Put these three people together in a love story and you have a delightful tale that will warm your heart and brighten the holiday season for any reader of romance. Add a wedding, and it can’t get much better…
Actually, it can get better. This is just one of ten books in the
Ten Christmas Brides
Collection available for only 99cents at:
Excerpt: She’s Not You by Mimi Barbour
Jesse felt as if he’d been shot. A crying three-year-old was one thing. A dead woman was completely not acceptable. What the hell was he to do?
He watched the screamer run frantically from the entrance of one room to the other, calling for Kimmy with a hysterical puppy jumping up and down alongside.
The only way he could stop the child was by swinging her up into his arms. Not knowing what to expect, when her arms wrapped a choke hold around his throat, it utterly destroyed him.
She buried her wet face into his neck and hiccupped her words, “I want Kimmy.”
“Sweetheart, Kim’s away for a few days. I’m Jesse, her big brother. Now, tell me what’s happened.” He kept his voice soft yet firm. While he talked, he carried her toward the apartment she’d just left.
“Mommy fell down and won’t move.” Anxious eyes, globby with tears, wrenched at his heart. Green! They were the same green as Kim’s babied Persian cats. Deep, dark irises surrounded by velvet.
Jesse’s heart thudded into higher gear without him being able to do a thing to stop it from happening. His arms tightened instinctively around the small body as if to protect her from any horrors awaiting them. Once they arrived, he lowered her onto a chair nearby and patted her head. “Stay here while I help your mom.”
Then he ran to the woman’s body on the floor.
Reaching toward her neck, he jumped when she groaned and moved. Thank the good Lord! The woman was alive.
Yaya, who’d left the chair the moment she’d seen her mommy shift, struggled past his reaching arms, flew around to the other side and faced her mom. Her little hand gently gathered the sweat-coated blonde locks and pushed them away from the thin face of the young woman trying desperately to rouse.
Not stopping to think about the right or wrong of the situation, Jesse gathered the slight woman in his arms, lifting the lightweight as if he carried a fragile parcel too precious to be manhandled.
In the meantime, Yaya pulled back the cover on the sofa and waited for Jesse to lay her mother down. Then the precocious sweetheart covered her groaning mother, tucking the hand-made afghan around her body.
Her tiny hand reached to pat her cheeks and Jesse watched as the woman took the hand and gave it a kiss.
Her voice throaty and wobbling, she said. “Mama’s okay now, Layla. I’m sorry I scared you, honey. I shouldn’t have tried to stand up when I was so dizzy. I guess I fainted.” She pushed the wildly unkempt hair from her daughter’s face. “Who’s your friend?”
Layla crawled up beside her mother on the sofa and cuddled. She sniffed and said, her little-girl’s voice heartbreaking, “Jesse’s weally not a stranger, mommy. He’s Kimmy’s brother.”
Jessie watched the byplay, amusement filling up the space where fright had resided only moments earlier.
He braced himself to be interrogated. But he didn’t ready himself for the effect of the biggest, cat-like eyes of soft emeralds highlighted by diamonds he’d ever seen—like mother, like daughter. The surrounding face appeared colorless which, no doubt, greatly enhanced the beauties under her thick lashes. The woman’s feverish appearance worried him, which had him reaching for his cellphone.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m calling for an ambulance.”
“Don’t! Stop!” Her arm reached his way and her hand waved at him.
So, she wasn’t that far gone. He lifted his finger before pressing send. “No choice. You were passed out. I’m not a doctor but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know you need one.”
“I went to my doctor this morning. He’s an idiot with a diagnosis that’s ridiculous.” She spit the words toward him while struggling to sit upright and not disturb Layla.
Impressed with the kind way she behaved toward her daughter, he watched her caring maneuvers. Until her assertive nature flashed annoyance in his direction, then he began to fear for his safety.
Jesse’s hands lifted automatically with his palms facing her. He stepped back once and then again, careful to get out of the path of her raising ire.
Shoulder-length blonde hair, caught under her chin and spread over her shoulders, looked neglected and not at all attractive. In fact, nothing about this skinny broad looked appetising to Jesse other than her eyes.
A voice inside nudged him to leave, get out while he still had the chance.
Thank you for joining me today Mimi, it’s been a pleasure. Mimi would love to hear from you. Tell us, what traditions do you have in your families during the Christmas season?
I read lots of books, from mythology retellings to literary fiction and I love to reread books from childhood, this is a place to voice my thoughts for fun. I also like to ramble about things such as art or nature every now and again.
How to make it
A guy hunting for thrillers across the world, and a firm believer in the power of tea
Spirituality & Beautiful Musings
Original Nature Photojournalism
Where Authors Welcome Readers To Just Hang Out!
tales and tips from a writer