New Release and Giveaway! CHRISTMAS AT THE LAKE by Charlotte Blake (Great Escapes #2)

Christmas at the Lake
Charlotte Blake
(Great Escapes, #2)
Publication date: September 12th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Sometimes love gets forgotten …

Hugely successful Lexi Stuart is used to guys pursuing her, but for all the wrong reasons. Sure, she’s beautiful and rich, but the men in her life never seem to want anything more serious than just sex. It’s a stark reality she’s become used to.

As a code writer in Silicon Vally, Adam Hunt doesn’t have to worry about money. And as a heartthrob in general, he doesn’t need to worry about attracting women, either. But when he meets Lexi during a Christmas holiday in Lake Tahoe, he’s floored that she won’t give him the time of day after one wild night together.

Now, this sports bum is about to take Lexi on the ride of her life. All she needs to do is hang on!

NOTE: This STAND-ALONE romance contains very steamy love scenes. All of the books in the Great Escapes series can be read in any order.

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EXCERPT:

She knew she should have waited to drive over the pass to Lake Tahoe, but she just didn’t have that sort of patience. The snow was practically a blizzard now, and she pulled off to the side of the road where men waited to put on chains for motorists. She rolled down the window of her Tesla SUV, the crack just wide enough to slip the man a couple of bills.

“Chains are in the back.”

She rolled the window up again, wiping the snowflakes off her leather seats.

She was so ready for a break that she’d ignored the weather warnings and driven up on her own, purposely leaving her laptop at home. Now, if she didn’t get over the pass soon, she’d be sleeping in the car.

The hatch opened, and two men took out the boxes of chains she had stashed there. It was illegal to travel up this road without them; her brother, Jack, had reminded her of this, and she’d sent her assistant out to purchase a pair for the trip.

A frigid breeze blew through the car as the men closed the hatch, making her shiver a little. She pulled out a scarf from her bag and, wrapping it around herself, cranked up the heat.

The men finished quickly with the chains, but the rest of the drive was not quick at all. She had been listening to Christmas music, trying to get into the mood of the holiday. But as the storm increased in intensity, she switched over to the channel broadcasting road conditions.

“Highway 50 is open for the time being, but is expected to close within the hour. Blizzard conditions are expected to worsen for the next twenty-four hours. Motorists are advised to exit off the pass as soon as safely possible to allow snow clearing crews to plow the roads.”

Her wheels had more traction with the chains, but the going was slow, and the whole car vibrated from the rough mountain road.

She tapped her fingernails against the steering wheel, a nervous habit she had when she was stressed. Now she could only see a few feet in front of her. She knew that just off to her right was a deadly drop-off. She squinted at the windshield, trying desperately to keep her eyes on the tire tracks and red lights of the cars ahead.

She drove like this for over an hour. Shoulders hunched. Neck tight. The radio silent now.

Finally, the road started to descend from the mountain, and, just visible below, the lights of South Lake Tahoe came into view.

She drove through the town, signs for ski and snowmobile rentals winking down at her. Finally, the sign she’d been looking for popped out.

Black Bear Lodge

She held her breath as she turned down the uncleared lane, hoping that the SUV would be able to make it to the other side of the narrow drive.

The chains were what saved her. The car plowed through the snow, which accumulated along the front bumper and blew across the windshield. But the chains held traction all the way to the lodge. She pulled the car into the small parking lot, where just four others were parked, each made nearly unrecognizable by the snow piled on the roofs.

She parked, but left the car, and the heat, running. She pulled off her knee-high boots and replaced them with the snow boots she had bought at the last minute. Then came a puffy, silver jacket, which she zipped all the way to the top.

She looked around. No bellhop.

Sighing, she shut off the car and opened the door. The snow was so deep that it went above her protective boots. She trudged along to the back and retrieved her two large suitcases. Trying to roll the bags through the snow was nearly impossible, so she resorted to simply dragging them along. She was lucky; they were both light, one with clothing, one with gifts for her family. Gift cards and candles could only weigh so much.

As she passed through the lot, she saw that none of the cars were those of her family. They must have not made it over the mountain yet. They wouldn’t have unless they’d been right behind her on the drive. The news had told her that the pass was closed now.

She struggled with the suitcases up the steps to the main entrance of the building, spitting out the snowflakes that landed on her lips. By the time she got up the small flight of stairs, she was covered head to foot in heavy white flakes.

Even though she hurried to get inside, it was impossible not to notice that the lodge was spectacular. Long wood beams jutted upward, supporting the great vaulted ceiling. It was a large home, really, run by an older couple as a bed and breakfast. There were only a few rooms, and it was this privacy her dad had wanted when he’d had her book the vacation for everyone. In a day or two, when the storm ebbed, she would be joined by him, her two brothers, their wives, and one niece.

Secretly, she was happy to have a little time on her own before family descended upon her. They always had more questions than she felt like answering.

When was she going to settle down?

Has she been dating?

Work wasn’t everything, you know …

She sighed, her breath blowing out of her mouth like smoke from a cigarette.

Every light in the place was lit, casting a warm glow over the snowy landscape. She didn’t knock, and instead walked right in. Immediately, a gust of warm air washed over her.

“Hello?” she called.

She hadn’t seen them, but two men sat in front of a huge fireplace at the far end of the room. They turned at her voice.

“Hi,” one of them said, getting up and walking toward her.

“Hi,” she said. “Am I in the right place? Black Bear, right?”

“This is it.” He opened his arms.

The front room was huge, even bigger than it looked from outside. A staircase descended from the second floor, curving down toward a ten-foot-tall Christmas tree, its star soaring high above. It was decorated with what looked like family heirloom ornaments. Her own mother had built a collection over the years, and it looked like the owners here had done the same. The tree was a sparkling wonder that seemed to never end. Its scent filled the room, and she took a deep breath in.

“It’s wonderful, isn’t it?” the man said.

“Mmm. How do I check in?” she asked, stomping the snow off her boots onto the mat.

“That’ll be Mary and Edward. They’re the ones who run this place. But I think they might’ve gone to bed already. It’s pretty late.”

She hadn’t noticed the time. It was already past ten.

“Mary left a note for you on the table. Can I help you with your bags?”

“Sure,” she said, leaving them where they stood.

She walked over to the entry table and picked up the note.

Ms. Stewart-
Sorry we haven’t been able to stay up to meet you. Your family’s rooms are in the east wing of the house. Please feel free to choose from the four of them. If you’d like wine or hot cocoa, there is a table close to the fire. Breakfast starts at seven and runs until ten. If you’re an early riser, you’ll also find coffee available at six.
Your father called to let us know that they have been unable to make it over the pass into Lake Tahoe. The roads have been closed, and it may be a couple of days before they reopen.
We look forward to meeting you in the morning.
Mary and Edward Holden

She sighed. “Can you help me upstairs, too?”

“Sure.” He outstretched one hand. “My name’s Adam. Over there is my brother Jake.”

Jake sent a wave in her direction.

She took Adam’s hand. “Lexi. Thanks for your help.”

“Anytime.”

For the first time, she got a good look at him. He was tall and broad, his brown hair cut short. Green eyes, too; her favorite. To her, he looked like he might be good for a fun night. Or maybe a few fun nights.

Yum.

Author Bio:

I am happy to call the San Francisco Bay Area home, where I lives with my husband, two kids, one dog and three cats. I started writing at an early age, but have only been writing novels for the past five years. I love the idea of love conquering all, and that is what drove me to begin the Great Escapes series, where the reader follows couples meeting up in exotic locations around the world. In this series, each book is a stand-alone, and each can be read in any order.

But readers, be forewarned, there is a healthy amount of steam in these books!

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy Great Escapes!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Cover Reveal! CHASING CHRISTMAS EVE by Jill Shalvis (Heartbreaker Bay #4)

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes the next sexy, standalone novel in the Heartbreaker Bay series…

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About CHASING CHRISTMAS EVE:

Meet cute…

Run for the hills—temporarily. That’s Colbie Albright’s plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie’s so over it that she’s under it. She’s also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she’s pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won’t be a stranger for long.

Make merry…

Spence’s commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn’t have to worry about the powerful—okay, crazy hot—chemistry he’s got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself… just because she’s gorgeous and a great listener…just because she “gets” Spencer immediately doesn’t mean he won’t be able to let Colbie go. Does it?

…and hope for a miracle.

Now the clock’s ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime.

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 Pre-OrderCHASING CHRISTMAS EVE in ebook or paperback, releasing 9/26/17
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EXCERPT:

The bathroom door opened, and even better than his fantasy, Colbie emerged from a cloud of steam, her willowy body wrapped in one of his towels, her exposed skin gleaming and dewy damp. Her hair had been piled on top of her head, but wavy strands had escaped, clinging to her neck and shoulders.

He couldn’t tear his gaze off of her. There was just something so uncalculated about her, so . . . natural and easy. She was like a beacon to him, which was both crazy and more than a little terrifying.

Clearly not seeing him against the wall, she moved with an effortless grace to the suitcase she’d left at the door. Bending low enough to give him a near heart attack, she rifled through her things, mumbling to herself that she should’ve researched more about how to be a normal person instead of how to kill someone with an everyday object.

“Do you kill a lot of people, then?” Spence asked.

“Motherforker!” she said with a startled squeak of surprise, whirling to face him, almost losing her grip on the towel.

Five days a week, Spence worked out hard in this gym. Mostly to outrun his demons, but the upside was he could run miles without losing his breath. But he lost his breath now.

And that wasn’t his body’s only reaction.

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And don’t miss the previous books in Jill Shalvis’s Heartbreaker Bay Series, SWEET LITTLE LIES, THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE, ONE SNOWY NIGHT and ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE, now available! Grab your copies HERE!

Jill Shalvis - headshotAbout Jill Shalvis:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

 

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New Release and Giveaway! FEAST OF LOVE by Ceri Grenelle (Croft Holidays #3)


Feast of Love
by Ceri Grenelle
Croft Holidays, #3
Publication Date: December 12, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotic, Menage, MMF, Romance

Synopsis: Armie Croft just lost the last of his vision due to a degenerative disease, something that proves problematic as he bangs his head against the side of the JCA pool during a late night swim. Leighanne Misra, the nighttime lifeguard, jumps in to rescue him, followed by Mitch Karmi…who is wearing a suit and has no training when it comes to performing CPR. Soon after laughing at Mitch’s soaking wet clothes, and double checking to make sure Armie is alive and well, a steamy connection is forged between the three acquaintances.

Mitch wants to hide their ménage from the public, much to Armie and Leighanne’s dismay, but he negotiates and asks they at least have the week leading up to the first night of Hanukkah to themselves. The three lovers are stronger together but sometimes you never truly appreciate what you have until you’ve lost it.

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DON’T MISS THE OTHER STANDALONE BOOKS IN THE CROFT HOLIDAYS SERIES!

Synopsis: Croft Holidays, Book #1

Nettie Croft works tirelessly making sure people like and appreciate her, but her world is thrown off balance when she meets her sexy but rude new neighbor. She’s determined to get him to like her, but the more time they spend together, the more they argue. Nettie has to admit the dashing man might be the first she can’t win over, a thought she can’t get enough of, just like she can’t get enough of him.

Josh Dellinger just moved to a small Connecticut town to escape big city living and his nightmare of an ex-wife. He needs time and space to be himself, a plan that is thrown away the second he meets his determined new neighbor. She brings him cookies. No decent man can say no to a woman with cookies, especially one as gorgeous and thrilling as Nettie.

Nosy neighbors, a ridiculously sexy Zorro costume, and an old fashioned high school dance bring Josh and Nettie together, but will the shadows of Josh’s divorce and Nettie’s need for approval spook them for good, or will the romantic atmosphere of toilet papered trees and egged houses be enough to make them choose treats and kisses?

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Excerpt:

“Another, Dearborne.” Armie pointed to the tumbler, or at least where he thought the tumbler was. Even over the noise of the bar, Leighanne could tell he was totally plastered¼and it wasn’t even ten o’clock yet. She was hooking up her guitar, helping her band set up all the other instruments. He clearly had no idea she was there. After coming onstage and spotting him slumped in such a defeated position against the bar, she’d decided to hang back and watch from afar. She was on a hunt, after all. She’d been up on the stage for thirty minutes, going over the set list with her bandmates, putting the microphones and drum set in the perfect position, all the while keeping a steady eye on her new friend.

Armie had shot back six glasses of a dark, amber liquid. Some he’d sipped, others he’d chugged like a teenager without an awareness for fine liquor. Armie was three sheets to the wind, and Leighanne was thoroughly concerned about him. She hadn’t mentioned anything before, but there had been alcohol on his breath that first night at the pool. Was this a regular thing for him? A person didn’t drink like that unless there was something churning up ash inside their heart.

“You’ve had enough, Armie,” Mr. Dearborne said, taking Armie’s glass away before Armie knocked it over with a wildly gesticulating hand. “I’m calling you a cab.”

“I can do it myself.” Armie pulled his phone from his jacket pocket, waving it around. “Voice command.” He held it to his mouth, grinning like a fool. “Siri, where can I buy a new set of eyes? Mine are shit.” He snorted, seeming to think the sad joke absolutely hilarious.

Leighanne narrowed her eyes. Surely he couldn’t be drinking himself into a stupor because he was feeling sorry for himself. At Mr. Dearborne’s sigh, his head shake full of pity, it seemed like that was exactly what Armie was doing.

Armie slapped the table suddenly, his phone cracking against the wood. The people nearest had their mouths wide open in shock. Some laughed, knowing the idiot would regret his actions in the morning.

“I’m calling Nettie to come get you.”

“She’s too busy with Josh.”

“Then Ophi.”

“Pregnant, remember?” He laughed again, this one a pained, wheezing gasp, bordering on a sob. He looked so defeated, nothing like the playful swimmer she’d met the other night. What had changed so drastically from then to now? She couldn’t leave him alone like that, not in such a sorry state. She jumped off the stage, heading toward him.

“They’re both so happy, and I’m happy for them. My sisters deserve the best. Only the best. Do I deserve the best? Who knows? I can’t do anything for them now, and I can’t help them. Can’t protect them. Can’t watch their kids grow¾”

“Enough,” Leighanne said, taking his face and angling it toward her. “You’re more than just a blind man, Armie.” He had his glasses on, but she wanted to see him fully. When she tried to pull them off, he pushed her hands away, panicked.

“That’s no way to treat a lady.”

They both turned in the direction of the deep voice. She sighed in relief as Mitchell pressed in between Armie and the next bar stool. She’d texted him after spotting Armie, but that was before she realized Armie was in no position to be hunted by either of them that evening. Now she was simply grateful to have his help.

Mitchell took in the scene, Armie’s slumped posture, his broken phone, Dearborne’s assessing glare. To Leighanne, it was easy to see what was happening; she only hoped Mitchell caught on to what was needed.

“I think it’s time for you to go home, my friend.” Mitchell nodded at Dearborne, an assurance that he would take care of the man.

“You know where he lives?” Dearborne asked.

Mitchell shook his head. “No, I planned on taking him to my place to sleep it off. I have a comfortable couch he’ll appreciate, one with a bucket in reach in case he needs it.”

Dearborne waved that off. “He won’t need it. I’ve seen the kid drink more and not even have an inch of a headache in the morning. I’d almost be impressed if I didn’t know how much he’s been drinking recently. What’s got into you, Armie? Do your sisters know how many times you’ve been here this week?”

Leighanne and Mitchell exchanged worried glances. This might be more serious than they thought.

“They’re not my keepers.” Armie’s words were slurred. He had his head resting in the crook of his arm on the bar, slowing down.

“I’ll take care of the dumbass for the night.”

Dearborne seemed satisfied with Mitchell’s promise and walked away to help another customer.

He smiled over at Leighanne, making her heart pinch despite her worry for Armie. “I’m sorry I won’t get to see you play. I heard your voice is amazing.”

“You been asking about me?”

“Possibly. Discreetly.”

“Do you need my help with him?”

“No, you stay. I’ll text you in the morning to let you know how he is.”

“Okay.” She felt wrong with that decision, guilty and unsettled. “Are you sure?”

“What are you going to do, desert your band?”

She looked back at the stage. They were going on in ten minutes, and they had new music prepared for the night. Her new music. That she’d written. And to be honest, she would take any excuse not to perform it right then. They would be fine without her for a night; they’d done it before. They could just play the usual covers. Jesus, she was such a coward, but she would grab at any excuse to get the fuck out of there. And she was worried about Armie¼and she wanted to see Mitchell’s place.

“Yes. Well, not desert them.” She shook his concern away. “They’ll be fine without me tonight. Don’t leave yet.”

“Leighanne,” she heard Mitchell call as she ran up to the stage.

She explained the situation to the guys, apologizing for the need to go help a friend. Roger, her bassist and housemate, looked at her with skepticism.

“Sure, Lee, but it’s not that you’re dead set against playing your kick-ass songs, right? You wouldn’t be using the excuse of a drunk friend to get out of this?”

“Fuck you, Rog. It’s nothing like that.” Oh, what a liar she was. “He needs me.”

“Uh-huh. Go on, we’ll be fine for a night. But Lee?” Roger bent his knees, leaning over the edge of the stage, his dreads hanging like a willow tree. “We’re doing this new music next time. You’re doing it. You can’t keep hiding your talent from the world.”

She rolled her eyes at that. Her talent. Right. “Fuck you.”

“Fuck you back.” The exchange was familiar and affectionate. “Go take care of your friend. Dean will get the vocals for tonight.” Roger grabbed her coat and bag from behind the drum set and handed them to her, watching as she shrugged the down parka on. It was December in Connecticut, and it was hella cold.

“Thanks, guys.” She waved at the rest of them, appreciating their support¼and their indulgence as she ran away from something she’d been dreading.

Mitchell was struggling with a half passed out Armie when she returned to the bar, trying to get him out of the bar. Leighanne inserted herself on Armie’s opposite side, then wrapped his arm around her shoulders, doing what she could to support his weight with such a great disparity between their heights.

“Thanks.” Mitchell grunted, hefting Armie off the bar stool completely. “Dearborne, can I get his tab?”

“Nah, he’s good for it,” the older man called, filling a pint from one of the many taps. “I know where he lives.” Dearborne pointed at the two of them, and damn if Leighanne didn’t think his wink was a bit lascivious. “You take care of that man. He needs a bit of tender love and care, if you know what I mean.”

“Thanks, we’ll take it from here.” Either Mitchell didn’t understand Dearborne’s meaning or he chose to ignore it, but either way they were soon making their way through the crowded bar. “My car is just around the corner.”

Leighanne prayed that Armie wouldn’t decide to throw up on them in the next few minutes, and concentrated on not slipping on the black ice on the sidewalk.

“Here.” Mitchell stopped at a black two-door Porsche.

“You serious?” Leighanne asked. She’d never even been in the presence of anything this expensive before. But that wasn’t her concern at the moment. “How are we going to get him and me in that tiny little thing?”

“It’s more spacious inside than it looks. Trust me.”

“Unless it’s a police-box time machine, I highly doubt we’ll fit.” She hummed skeptically. The car was sexy and a little ridiculous. She always thought people with cars this expensive were either pompous idiots or those with something to prove. Mitchell didn’t seem to fit into either of those categories. In fact, she didn’t know what to make of him.

They maneuvered Armie into the backseat, strapped him in, then pushed the passenger seat forward to give his legs a bit more room.

“I’m gonna sit in the back with him.” Leighanne threw her stuff into the well of the passenger seat, then shut the door. She walked around the back of the car as Mitchell opened the driver’s door, then pushed the seat up so she could slide in back.

“Good idea.” He glanced around briefly, and before she could bend to step into the car, he backed her up against the window, his hands on her hips and his mouth covering hers in a searing kiss. He didn’t waste any time, didn’t act timid or delicate. His tongue was in her mouth within a second of touching her lips, and he inched his hands up and down her sides. She was almost ashamed to say she melted a little as liquid heat pooled between her legs, but the kiss was just that good. The man knew how to take control in the best of ways. “Hi there.”

She laughed. “Hi. Is that how you say hi?”

“Only to people as sexy as you. Thank you for coming with me.”

She kissed him lightly, unable to resist wanting more of him. “You’re welcome. But don’t forget, this is all part of the hunt.”

“Ah, yes, the hunt.” Mitchell glanced inside the car. “Unfortunately our prey is rather passive for the evening.”

She shrugged. “He won’t be passive in the morning.”

“All right, huntress,” he said, lending her a hand as she settled into the backseat. “Let’s see what he thinks of this whole situation before tackling him. How does that sound?”

She sighed dramatically. “I suppose we can be civilized humans.”

“Good because if you’re staying over, I’m putting you in a guest room for the night.” Mitchell snapped the door shut after getting into the car, and the expensive vehicle made a delightful growly sound as the engine kicked in. Okay, maybe she could see why he would want something so exorbitantly priced. “No way in hell are you sleeping in my bed without getting ravished.”

Leighanne had trouble hiding her disappointment, made clear as Mitchell laughed at her pout after spotting it in the rearview mirror. But then she looked over at Armie and her libido took a backseat. She gently removed his glasses, tucking them into a side pocket on her messenger bag. His face was scrunched tight, his stubble a bit heavier and treading into beard territory. His mouth was firm and thin, stretched as though in a permanent grimace. She didn’t like the tension in his shoulders. How could someone passed out from drinking look that tense?

“We may not be hunting,” she said, reaching forward to play with his dark curls. “But we are definitely having a serious chat with him in the morning.” Doubt assailed her as it had at the JCA. How could a man she’d just met—two men in fact—want her so instantly? Was it possible she was overstepping her bounds with them? “Maybe he doesn’t want this.”

“We’ll find out in the morning, huntress.”

“You seriously going to keep calling me that?”

“Yup.”

“Weirdo.”

“You know you like it.”

She did, but she’d never admit it.

 

Other books in the series:

Synopsis: Croft Holidays, #2

David Goldberg has wanted Ophi Croft since they were first introduced at a PTA meeting. She’s smart, talented, and has two awesome kids. When he finally gets her into his bed they share a beautiful night in each other’s arms, one he thinks is the start of a new relationship. But when she bolts in the morning and doesn’t return his calls, David fears their chance has passed.

Ophi Croft thinks David is the hottest, most eligible bachelor in town, and it thrills her to no end to discover he wants her as much as she desires him. But in the harsh light of the morning after their night together her nerves take over and she hides behind the excuse of being a full time single mother to get away from him.

When David arrives unexpectedly at Ophi’s Thanksgiving dinner, she knows she messed up and decides to win him back. However an unexpected but wonderful surprise forever changes the depth and nature of their relationship. Thanksgiving is a time to recognize those you love, David and Ophi need only open their eyes to see how much they have to be thankful for.

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ABOUT CERI GRENELLE

I’ve always had an active imagination. An imagination that usually took form in the way of zoning out in the middle of conversations. I eventually decided it was time to share my daydreaming with the world and began to put my musings on paper. It started with Harry Potter fanfiction and grew from there.

I am currently living it up in Northern California after a big move from New York City. And by “living it up” I mean staying home with my cats, obsessively watching episodes of my favorite TV shows, all of which are extremely geeky, and simultaneously reading the next book on my reading list. I do all this while trying not to pig out on unhealthy snacks. As you can tell, I lead a busy life.

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Grand Finale Blitz and Giveaway! CHRISTMAS IN THE COVE by Carol Ross


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Christmas in the Cove
By Carol Ross

We hope you enjoyed coming along with us for a little suspense and romance set during Christmas in scenic Pacific Cove! If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out now…

Launch – Note from the Author

I chose to set this book in winter because the hero and heroine, Eli and Aubrey, are both members of the United States Coast Guard. In addition to some of the most dangerous ocean conditions in the world, the Pacific Coast is also known for its wild winter weather. That’s when the most dramatic storms happen. Like their motto states, the Coast Guard is “Always Ready.” And as I discovered in my research, these incredibly brave men and women live by their creed. Even under seemingly impossible to navigate conditions, their courage, skill, and heroism cannot be over-stated.

Thoughts of a Blonde – Review

“A sweet story about reconnecting with “the one that got away”. Great characters showcasing a close-knit small town with interwoven family and friends.”

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Christmas Eve or Christmas Torture?

For the bigger gifts and Santa’s offering, we had to wait until everyone was up. Which sometimes seemed like forever thanks to my high-maintenance older sister who had to get “pretty” for the pics. (As the youngest child, it seems like I spent an inordinate amount of time waiting on my older siblings.) As we got older this tradition got later and later with Mom eventually declaring that we would wait until after church to open gifts. It was only natural to then stretch this time until after brunch. All of this was fine for my older pre-teen and teen-aged siblings, but this meant that I was forced to start this waiting game around the age of eight. For years, they’d been opening their gifts early in the morning! I lobbied for an exception. Alas, like any well-run home ours was governed by a matriarchal dictatorship; Mom ruled.

Paulette’s Papers – The Great Christmas Tree Fight

Each and every holiday season of my childhood, amidst the decorating, shopping, baking, travel arranging and party planning a most serious drama played out in our home. An epic power struggle, a battle of wills, a division of opinion that makes even our recent election seem tame. It was…the Christmas tree fight.

Harlie’s Books – Review

“Great characters, awesome storyline and realistic dialogue. Not to mention emotional and a great second chance romance. Oh and there is a Christmas contest, too.”

Heidi Reads… – Crab Dip & Excerpt

One of my favorite scenes in Christmas in the Cove involves a crab feed. If you live near a coast, chances are you’ve probably been to one of these types of seafood feasts. Whether it’s crab, shrimp, lobster, clams, fish, or oysters for some reason seafood just begs to be feasted on.

Falling Leaves – Excerpt

His touch was so distracting, so mind-altering, she nearly gave in. She forced herself to focus on his face instead, which wasn’t much better because his expression was this heart-tugging cross between nervous and sincere.

Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review

“I, literally, could not put this book down! It was quite predictable but contained steady action and a couple of twists which captivated the reader’s interest and intrigue!”

Beck Valley Books – Excerpt

Eli hadn’t been back in twelve years and he found himself wondering if Aubrey had. He’d never shared the cave’s existence with another living soul. By mutual consensus, they’d never even showed Alex, knowing that he’d never be able to keep it a secret. And later they’d wanted the place for their own. Even now, the idea of her bringing someone else here, to their place, bothered him.

Mel’s Shelves – Review

“I love second chance love stories and this one delivered! . . . If you enjoy clean, second chance love stories with a mystery to solve, this is a book you will definitely want to pick up!”

Books, Dreams, Life – Excerpt

“Yes. I realize how difficult this must be for you. So, for now, I can promise you it’s not as bad as you are thinking. You didn’t do anything wrong and you aren’t in trouble. But, the underlying situation that forced me to make this decision is also probably worse than you’re thinking. That’s all I’m going to tell you right now. Trust me. Please. Believe me when I tell you I had to do this.”

JoJo’s Corner – Review

‘I absolutely love this sweet romance from Carol Ross! She has done a fabulous job crafting characters who are unforgettable…they will stay with you long after you have turned the final page.”

Nicole’s Book Musings – Excerpt

“Aubrey, calm down.”

“What makes you think I’m not calm?” she asked much too calmly.

He swallowed nervously.

Good, she thought. He should be nervous.

Christy’s Cozy Corners – Review

“The romance just adds another depth to this really well written story. It’s not all about the romance. It is about the desire to help others, and it is about forgiveness. I definitely recommend this book to clean romance lovers.”

I Am A Reader – Merry Pacific Cove Christmas

This is the most stunningly picturesque and thrilling places on the entire planet. Even though Pacific Cove is a fictional place, it’s a combination of some of my favorite little beach towns along the Pacific Coast. Here are a few of the ways residents of Pacific Cove might take advantage of a beachside Christmas.

Book Lover in Florida – Excerpt

As if in argument, a giant wave rolled over the boat, swamping everything in its path. It brought with it a piece of debris, smacking Aubrey hard in the shoulder and grazing her head. The force knocked her backward as the wave pulled her under. Even submerged and disoriented, she knew not to inhale. Lungs burning, she waited patiently for the force to let up as she knew it would. Grateful for the often-tortuous but invaluable training instilled in her during “A” school, she finally broke the surface, inhaling a breath. Looking around, she realized she’d ended up a few yards away from Danny.

With Love for Books – Review

“Christmas in the Cove is a wonderful romantic story combined with an interesting chase and a intriguing plot. . . . Carol Ross has written a fast-paced book with plenty of action and love. There isn’t a dull moment in the story and there are many surprising twists and turns. . . . I also loved the ending, it’s both unexpected and endearing.”

Reading Is My SuperPower – Review

‘Swoonworthy romance (keep a fan handy) and gasp-inducing suspense (you may need a manicure when it’s over, too) join up with fabulously well-developed characters and a quaint small town setting on the Pacific NW coast to give us a story that is hard to put down. I would happily revisit the Cove several more times if Carol Ross is so inclined. Christmas in the Cove is an excellent read on every level!”

underneath the covers – A Man Who Knows His Way around a Kitchen

In Christmas, in the Cove heroine Aubrey is a bit of a health food nut. With her job as an elite Coast Guard rescue swimmer, her health and fitness is top priority. She mostly stays away from sugar but one of her favorite indulgences is buttermilk pancakes with peanut butter and sliced bananas. I love this scene where hero Eli invites her over for dinner and surprises her by making them for dinner. She’s a goner when she realizes that he not only remembers her favorite foods, he remembers a whole lot of other stuff, too.

Bookworm Lisa – Review

“This is a “heartwarming” book. It really is…it’s not that it’s part of the Heartwarming line at Harlequin. 🙂 The book takes a close look at Aubrey and Eli’s relationship. The book takes it’s time as they come to terms with their feelings. . . . I loved the blend of mystery and romance. . . . This is a fun book that takes place during the Christmas season.”

Getting Your Read On – Review

“. . . I really liked how this book combined a bit of suspense, mystery and adventure along with the sweet romance that was happening. They were all intertwined and woven together. . . . In addition to the enjoyable plot, this book is also set around Christmas, making it the perfect book to read this week!”

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below…

Christmas in the CoveChristmas in the Cove
by Carol Ross
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
December 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

A DEA stealth mission has brought coast guard Lt. Commander Eli Pelletier home. But when he ends up aiding rescue swimmer Aubrey Wynn during her own harrowing mission, powerful emotions reignite between them. Except Aubrey doesn’t want Eli’s protection. She wants answers.

Twelve years ago, Eli broke up with Aubrey without telling her the real reason he was leaving Pacific Cove. How can he try for a second chance if he’s forced to deceive her again? Amid suspected drug trafficking and a sabotaged Christmas contest, Eli must find a way to regain Aubrey’s trust without compromising his career or endangering the woman he loves.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

Carol Ross lives with her husband and one loveable miscreant of a dachshund in a small town in Washington close to both the ocean and the mountains. She adores the Pacific Northwest because it provides her with endless opportunities for the activities she loves—hiking, running, skiing, and spending time outdoors. Although she enjoys reading in many genres, she writes what she loves the most—romance, especially light-hearted stories about the fun, flirty, and often-tumultuous path toward a happily ever after.

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Other Books by the Author

Mountains Apart (Seasons of Alaska #1) A Case for Forgiveness (Seasons of Alaska #2) If Not for a Bee (Seasons of Alaska #3) A Family Like Hannah's (Seasons of Alaska #4)

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card and a copy of Christmas in the Cove (signed copy if US, ebook if international)
– Ends December 24th

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Release Blitz and Sale! LOVE ME AT MIDNIGHT Anthology (by Robin Bielman, Linda Morris, and C.M. Stone)

LOVE ME AT MIDNIGHT
Three romantic comedies that’ll melt your heart!
Releasing December 12th, 2016
Entangled Lovestruck
MELTING THE MILLIONAIRE’S HEART 
by Linda Morris

Special needs teacher Kayla Johnston is supposed to be schmoozing at a swanky school fundraiser. Instead, she careens into a snowbank on the side of the road…straight into the path of a wickedly handsome stranger. When their chemistry ignites, Kayla’s New Year’s Eve begins to show some seriously sexy promise…
 

YOURS AT MIDNIGHT
by Robin Bielman

Four years ago, Quinn Sobel gave Lyric Whetsone the night of her life…then disappeared. Now he’s back to make amends, but Lyric has a secret that could drive Quinn from her life forever.
ONE NIGHT IN VEGAS 
by C.M. Stone

Eliza knows plenty about sexy cowboy Christian Yerrick, the man who crushed her heart when they were kids. Back in town, she’s determined to avoid Chris altogether…until she accidentally rear-ends his truck on New Years Eve, and the fireworks between them burn hotter than the Vegas Strip…


 ONLY .99 CENTS

 

When not attached to her laptop, USA Today Bestselling Author Robin Bielman can almost always be found with her nose in a book. A California girl, the beach is her favorite place for fun and inspiration. Her fondness for swoon-worthy heroes who flirt and stumble upon the girl they can’t live without jumpstarts most of her story ideas. She loves to go on adventures, and has skydived, scuba dived, parasailed, gotten lost in the wilderness (and only suffered a gazillion bug bites for it) hiked to waterfalls, and swam with dolphins. In her spare time she also likes to put her treadmill to good use while watching her
favorite TV shows, take hikes with her hubby, indulge her sweet tooth, and play sock tug of war with her cute, but sometimes naughty dog, Harry.  
She dreams of traveling to faraway places and loves to connect with readers. 

 
Find Robin here, http://robinbielman.com
 
Linda Morris is a writer of contemporary romance. She writes stories with heart and heat, with a joke or two thrown in. Her book Melting the Millionaire’s Heart was an Amazon Top 100 Series Romance bestseller. Hard Hitters, her series about a fictional minor-league baseball team in southern Indiana, is available from Berkley.

When she’s not writing, working as a freelance editor and technical writer, or mommying, she’s doing yoga, reading, working in her flower garden, or baking delicious things she probably shouldn’t eat. She believes that there are two kinds of people: pie people and cake people, and she is definitely one of the former. Her years of Cubs fandom (and their 2016 World Series win!) prove lost
causes aren’t always as lost as they seem. A beat-up old copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss’s Ashes
in the Wind
 was her gateway drug into the world of romance novels, and she’s never looked back.
Find Linda here, https://lindamorrisbooks.com/ 
C.M. Stone grew up in Boulder City, NV–just outside of Las Vegas–and went to college there in Southern Nevada before moving to rural northwestern Wisconsin. From her earliest memories, she was telling stories and finding ways to record them. At seven, she wrote her first book (a sci-fi thriller!) and sold it door to door.  These days she’s writing romance. 
 
Find C.M. here, https://ceeemstone.com/
Don’t miss 
KISS ME FOR CHRISTMAS

New Release and Giveaway! CHRISTMAS ON CRIMSON MOUNTAIN by Michelle Major

Synopsis:

LOVE ON THE MOUNTAIN

Peace and quiet—that’s all Connor Pierce wanted from the rented cabin on Crimson Mountain. Yet the caretaker turned out to be lovely April Sanders—a total distraction. As were the two little girls she was caring for. Connor’s plan to forget his painful past soon detoured into giving the ladies a Christmas to remember.

Being named guardian of two motherless girls has upended April’s world. Add to the mix a mysterious, brooding writer claiming he wanted to be left alone while going out of his way to bring a little joy to the girls, and she has quite the quandary. April had counted herself out of a happy ending. But maybe Santa still had a few surprises up his merry old sleeve…

Find out more at: Amazon / B&N

 

Excerpt:

“Thank you for taking care of me these past couple of days.”

She sniffed. “It’s my job.”

He acknowledged her words with a small nod, or maybe it was the bitterness creeping into her tone that he recognized. “How are Ranie and Shay?”

“Do you really care?”

“Yes.” He sighed. “Even though I don’t want to care. The other night…on the highway…it affected me. Hearing that scream when the car slid on the road and the headlights moving closer.” He paused and a shudder ran through him. “I’m sorry I disappeared, but I wasn’t fit company for anyone after that.”

“It’s fine.” She tried to hold on to her anger even as it slipped through her body like grains of sand through her fingers. She needed that anger. It was safer with this man. Safer for her heart. “You don’t owe me an explanation.”

“I want to give you one anyway.” His hold on her gentled and he rubbed his thumb over the sensitive flesh on the inside of her wrist. “I’ve missed you, April. I’ve spent the past three years alone, and suddenly I’m lonely without you. I stopped caring. I didn’t think I had it in me to care, and I’m still so turned around. Every little thing sets me off and I can’t stop it. But I also can’t stop wanting to be near you. It doesn’t make sense.”

She closed her eyes against the onslaught of emotions that poured through her at his words and the gentle pressure to her skin.

“Do you know,” he asked, shifting so close now that she could feel his breath against her hair, “that I listen for the door to close after you leave and rush down to the kitchen because your scent lingers after you’re gone?”

She huffed out a laugh that sounded breathless to her own ears. “Are you saying I smell?”

“Like lavender and vanilla. I’ve made an idiot of myself the past two days following traces of you around the house.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“Because I want you to know what you do to me, even if I should stay away. It’s better for both of us if I turn around and walk back to my bedroom until you’re gone.”

She waited a moment, but he didn’t move. “You’re not walking.”

“Hell if I can make myself go.”

“Don’t go,” she whispered. Slowly, as if she were gentling a stray animal, she lifted her hand. Her finger brushed the prickly strands of his dark beard, and his lips parted.

“I forgot to shave,” he muttered.

“Too busy?”

He took a breath, released it and then nodded. “Writing.”

“Connor,” April whispered. “That’s wonderful.”

He shrugged and looked away. “Who knows how long it will last. But the words are coming. So damn many, drowning me with their force. It’s like…”

She pressed her palm to his cheek, gratified when he leaned into it. “Like what?”

“Like it used to be.” He said the words softly, as if they were an apology. April could feel the tension in his body and wished, just for a moment, she could transfer his pain to herself. Give him a few seconds of remembering what it was like to live without the weight of guilt and sorrow bearing down on him.

“Look at me,” she said, moving closer to him, pressing into his warmth. His arms came around her waist, his hands splayed open against her back. She could feel their heat and strength through the thin cotton of her pajama shirt. So much talent flowed out of those hands. The worlds he created within his imagination and put on paper for readers to discover. “You have a gift, Connor Pierce.”

“It’s not—”

“Don’t say it. Whatever you’re thinking.” She brushed her lips over his. “Those words are in you. The stories you write are part of you.”

“How can they still be there when I’m dead inside, April? They were part of my life before, but now I’m—”

“You’re here,” she told him, and held her hand to his chest. His heartbeat was strong and sure under her palm. “With me. Now.”

“You make me feel things I’d thought I lost the capacity to feel. You make me want things—” His voice broke off as he drew in another deep breath. He leaned down until their foreheads touched. They stood that way for several long moments, her lips just grazing his. She breathed him in and it felt like she was pulling his essence into her lungs. Like he was part of her. A part she thought she’d lost after the illness and heartbreak that had changed who she was inside.

“I’m sorry I can’t be the man you deserve,” he whispered. “I’ll hurt you and girls. I hurt everyone—”

“Not now.” She pressed her mouth to the base of his neck, tasted the salt on his skin and wanted more. “This moment is ours.”

He claimed her mouth then, kissed her until the feel and taste of him was all she knew. Everything else burned away in the flame that was her need for him. He pulled her closer, if that was possible. Their tongues tangled and his hands skimmed under the shirt and up her spine, sending tingles as they moved. His kiss was demanding and consuming, and every inch of her body burned for him. For more.

His lips trailed over her jaw and he nipped at the sensitive flesh of her earlobe. “Will you stay?”

The simple question rocked her. How was it that such a longing could have been buried inside her and she’d never guessed? Even at her most in-love-and-alive, she’d never felt anything quite like the force of her desire for Connor. Still, she shook her head. “I have to go back in case the girls need me. If Shay wakes up…”

“I understand,” he said, pulling his hands from underneath her shirt.

No, her body screamed. Don’t let him go.

“Come with me,” she told him, lacing her fingers with his.

He stared at her, his eyes unreadable once more. She hated that he could slip behind his mask so easily. She wanted to break through until she saw every bit of him, good and bad. She wanted to know him and, in return, allow him access to all the secret places she kept hidden from the rest of the world.

 

About Michelle Major:

Michelle Major grew up in Ohio but dreamed of living in the mountains. Soon after graduating with a degree in Journalism, she pointed her car west and settled in Colorado. Her life and house are filled with one great husband, two beautiful kids, a few furry pets and several well-behaved reptiles. She’s grateful to have found her passion writing stories with happy endings. Michelle loves to hear from her readers at www.michellemajor.com.

 

Connect with Michelle: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

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New Release Review! WHEN IT’S LOVE: A Silver Pines Christmas by Gwen Hayes (Silver Pines #3)

When It’s Love: A Silver Pines Christmas
by Gwen Hayes

Synopsis:

A retiring soldier with no family of his own, Sergeant Joe Carter reluctantly agrees to spend the holidays in picturesque Silver Pines to transition to life after the Army. He’s a drifter now and has no business getting involved with his buddy’s family-especially with the sweet little sister who pretends she’s frumpy to ward off attention from men. He should let her be, but something about her loneliness reaches out to his.

The only introvert in a large family of extroverts, Lisa Rhodes finds her peace by fading into the background as much as possible. She lives a quiet life, wearing her shapeless clothes and boring hair like armor to atone for a past she’s not proud of. But there’s one problem this Christmas-her brother’s guest keeps seeing her. She’s never had trouble escaping a man’s notice -especially one who could have any woman he wants. But the harder she tries to hide, the more determined he is to seek.

When It’s Love is the third book in the Silver Pine Series, but may be read out of order.
Review:

A feel-good holiday romance!

I really enjoyed Lisa and Joe’s story. The fourth child in two sets of twins and the only introvert in the bunch, Lisa’s used to fading into the background. After the disaster of her last relationship, she actually welcomes it…until “Sarge” Joe Carter notices her, and then she’s not too sure…

Joe’s childhood was about as far away from Lisa’s happy and warm family home as it could get. The Army gave him a substitute family, but now that he’s retired he doesn’t know where to go or what to do. Invited to spend Christmas with the family of one of his former soldiers, he accepts, but once the special order classic car he’s bought is ready, he plans to be on his way…to…well, somewhere. He’s not quite sure yet.

When he sees Lisa, though, he’s suddenly even less sure about his path. He’s sure he’s too old for her and not at all the kind of guy she deserves. But fate, Lisa, and her family have other plans.

Lisa and Joe were an adorable couple. I loved how he refused to let her keep on fading into the woodwork, and that he was able to help her to get rid of the ghosts of her last disastrous relationship. And for the record, I sincerely hope that Stella’s able to convince at least one of them into adopting a dog 😉

Speaking of Lisa’s almost-cousin Stella, there’s a teaser for her book at the end (All I Need) that definitely grabbed my interest. A made up boyfriend who’s suddenly your boss? I’m so there! The fact that we’ll probably get to see more of Lisa and Joe (and find out how Lisa’s mom is doing) will be a nice bonus too. Can’t wait!

Though this is book 3 in the Silver Pines series, it works just fine as a standalone. (Actually, book 2 in the series takes place in the 1980s, so at this point only books 1 and 3 take place in the same decade, until book 4 comes out.)

4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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Release Day and Giveaway! IN MISTLETOE by Tammy L. Bailey

 Never make the first move.
Never fall in love.
Never take anyone to Mistletoe’s Christmas Dance. 
 
IN MISTLETOE
Tammy L. Bailey
Releasing Dec 2nd, 2016
The Wild Rose Press
At twenty-five, Grace Evans is steadily picking up the pieces of everyone else’s life. So, when her younger sister decides to turn into a runaway bride just four weeks before the wedding, Grace, drops everything to chase after her and bring her back home. Only, when the trail leads to Mistletoe, Washington, she finds herself at the mercy of the town’s most handsome and emotionally unavailable bachelor.
Ex-Army officer Ayden McCabe has three creeds in life: never make the first move, never fall in love, and never take anyone to Mistletoe’s Christmas Dance. Wanting nothing more than to keep his matchmaking sister from meddling in his personal life, he agrees to help Grace if she agrees to play his girlfriend. Too brunette and meek for his taste, Ayden believes Grace can’t tempt him enough to break any of his creeds. He could not be more wrong.
tastytoursexcerpt

“Do you like rum cake?” he asked to keep himself from having to reevaluate all the reasons again. He admitted Wilhelmina Hawthorne’s dessert was more alcohol than flour, but anything to keep Grace from leaving him to go check her text messages in case the damn wish somehow made it through…not that he believed in the folklore in the first place.

“Sure, but I’m not very good with liquor.” She tucked a piece of dark hair behind her ear.

He chuckled, imagining her getting wild and disrobing on top of his antique coffee table.

“So, what happens with you and alcohol?”

She smiled. “I don’t take off my clothes, if that what you’re asking.”

“Damn.”

She laughed but lifted a dainty finger as if to give him a warning. “I fall asleep, so I can have some cake, but keep in mind there’s a very good chance my face will fall flat into the plate after my third bite.”

“I’ll take that chance.”

“It’s your call.” She shrugged. He left her to retrieve Wilhelmina’s prized rum cake, deciding to

bring the entire Bundt-shaped dessert with two forks resting on each side. When he entered the room, he found Grace sitting in quiet contemplation, her attention focused on the dormant redbrick fireplace. Since he’d installed the gas furnace several years before, he’d not had any desire to light the fireplace up again, even when his dates hinted several times of how romantic it would be to cuddle before a crackling fire.

“Are you cold?” he asked.

She peered up, startled. “No, I’m fine.” She tried to stifle a shiver, and he sat the plate down and ambled away to retrieve some logs from his deck. Despite not using the fireplace, he understood the importance of keeping it ready for emergencies. It took several minutes, but he managed to build a popping fire, the sweet aroma of sizzling sap filling the space with a comforting fragrance. She moved to sit beside him, bringing the blanket his mother made with her.

“This feels wonderful.” Grace closed her eyes and let the flickering light kiss her cheeks.

“Yes.” He sat captivated by her entranced features, realizing how he’d reminisced about kissing her, every glorious inch of her. “Are you ready for some football…and cake?” He projected his voice above the tone of his own thoughts. Her lids flew open, and he wondered where she’d

been these last few moments, and with whom. The thought unsettled him.

“Are you ready to carry me up a flight of stairs?”

He cocked his head and narrowed his eyes. “Only if you’re fully naked.”

“How did I know you were going to say that?” She sighed and maneuvered around so the cake sat between them on the short coffee table. As he flipped the game on and muted the volume, she lifted a small bite to her lips when he reached out to stop her.

She gave him a quizzical look. “What’s the matter?”

“How about we make this interesting?”

She drew back, and he knew she didn’t trust his motives. “How…interesting?”

Tammy L. Bailey grew up in historical Appomattox, Virginia and moved to Ohio the day after she graduated high school. A third generation veteran, she joined the Army National Guard in 1988, served five years in the active duty Army, and retired as a Master Sergeant from the Ohio Air National Guard in 2011. She is a wife and a mother of two boys. She is a huge Jane Austen fan and loves watching Jane Austen movie adaptations.

When she’s not writing contemporary or historical romance, she enjoys Star Wars movie night with her 10-year-old son and going to drumming practice with her 13-year-old son. Fall is her favorite season, the B-17 is her favorite plane, and Hawkeye is her favorite Avenger.

 

 

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New Release Double Tour and Giveaway! CHRISTMAS WITH THE SHERIFF by Victoria James (Review!) and SNOWBOUND WITH MR. WRONG by Barbara White Daille

sheriff-and-mr-wrong-tour-banner
Christmas with the Sheriff
by Victoria James
A Shadow Creek, Montana Novel
Publication Date: November 7, 2016
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Bliss, Holiday, Romance

Synopsis: After fleeing her beloved small town five years ago, Julia Bailey is back to spend Christmas with her family. Returning is hard, but keeping the devastating secret about her late husband is even harder. Her place isn’t in Big Sky Country any longer…but the more time she spends with the irresistible Sheriff who saved her once before, and his adorable little daughter, the more Julia starts wishing she could let go of the past and start a new life.
Single dad and county Sheriff Chase Donovan had been secretly in love with his best friend’s wife for years. But after her traumatic loss he knew Julia needed to get away from Shadow Creek, even though helping her leave was the last thing he wanted to do. Now she’s home and he doesn’t intend to lose her a second time. Chase is going to prove to Julia just how good they can be together this Christmas…and forever.
Review:

A sweet holiday romance!

Ms. James did not disappoint with her latest story of small-town love and romance. Julia Bailey lost her husband and toddler son in one dark night, and shortly after left the town she’d called home since high school. Now she’s back, and her husband’s family–and his best friend–have welcomed her with open arms. But Julia’s just staying for the holidays…isn’t she?

I loved Chase, Julia, and Maggie, Chase’s seven-year-old daughter; they were absolutely magic together and it’s pretty much impossible to not be cheering them on from the very first chapter. This is a second chance romance of sorts–Chase has always had a thing for Julia, but never acted on it because she was his best friend’s girl. Throw in the magic of Christmas, and I’m not sure what else you could possibly need… 🙂

Chase is rock solid from the prologue to the epilogue, and Maggie is absolutely adorable and precocious. Reading her bits made me twice as anxious for Thanksgiving to get here, because I clearly need mroe quality time in with my niece and nephew. I wanted the two of them to have a happy ending more than anything, because boy, do they ever deserve it. I could totally relate with the single-parent schedule of assistance he had going on–been there, done that!

Julia was a sympathetic character too, of course, though she could be inconsistent at times. I understood her hesitation, I really did, but her ups and downs with regard to what she wanted, what she was going to do, and exactly what “moving on” looked like for her were a bit frustrating. I was a little disappointed that once again the route of

Spoiler Inside SelectShow
 was taken here, but as always I freely admit and accept that is 100% my pet peeve and the rest of the world doesn’t seem to have a problem with it.

But, anyway…

I was super excited to see that this is the first book in a new series, because already Ms. James has managed to pique my interest with a few characters who clearly need their own HEAs. Hopefully Lily and Jack (Julia’s husband’s twin) will have their story next, because do they ever have some big-time backstory going on…

Rating: 4 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

goodreads-badge-add-38px
ABOUT VICTORIA JAMES:
Victoria JamesVictoria James is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance.

Victoria always knew she wanted to be a writer and in grade five, she penned her first story, bound it (with staples and a cardboard cover) and did all the illustrations herself. Luckily, this book will never see the light of day again.

In high school she fell in love with historical romance and then contemporary romance. After graduating University with an English Literature degree, Victoria pursued a degree in Interior Design and then opened her own business. After her first child, Victoria knew it was time to fulfill her dream of writing romantic fiction.

Victoria is a hopeless romantic who is living her dream, penning happily-ever-after’s for her characters in between managing kids and the family business. Writing on a laptop in the middle of the country in a rambling old Victorian house would be ideal, but she’s quite content living in suburbia with her husband, their two young children, and very bad cat.

Sign up for Victoria’s Newsletter to stay up to date on upcoming releases and exclusive giveaways, follow her blog for daily antics and insight into her daily life, and get to know her on twitter and Facebook. She loves hearing from readers!

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter | Amazon Author Profile

snowbound-with-mr-wrong-cover

Snowbound with Mr. Wrong
by Barbara White Dailee
A Snowflake Valley Novel
Publication Date: November 7, 2016
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Bliss, Holiday, Romance

 

Synopsis:

Worst. Day. Ever. After Lyssa Barnett’s sister tricks her into reprising her role at Snowflake Valley’s annual children’s party, she doesn’t think anything can be worse than squeezing into her too-small elf costume. Then tall, dark, and way too handsome Nick Tavlock shows up to play Santa…and an unexpected storm leaves them snowbound in the isolated lodge.

The last thing Nick wants is to spend a cozy Christmas Eve with a trio of kids and the woman who dumped him. But as much as Lyssa frustrates him, he can’t stop thinking about her. And soon, he’s fighting very un-Santa-like thoughts of kissing a certain sexy Miss Elf under the mistletoe. As Nick starts to fall for Lyssa all over again, he knows it will take nothing short of a miracle to have Lyssa in his arms on Christmas Day.

 

Excerpt:

Lyssa plopped the large bowl of popcorn in the middle of the coffee table and distributed the thread and needles she had found in the linen closet upstairs. At this rate, she would have to make a list of items to replace for Amber.

Mollie and Tommy went to work enthusiastically, and even Brent pitched in without a word of complaint. It was watching Nick, though, that made her heart melt. Making Christmas decorations might not have been his “thing,” but he definitely had some skill at working with kids.

He helped Tommy thread a needle, guiding the little boy’s hand until he had slipped the thread through the needle’s eye. Flushed by his success, Tommy proudly insisted upon threading everyone’s needle himself.

When Mollie groaned in frustration after trying to add a half-dozen kernels to her thread, Nick showed her how to pierce the thickest part of the popped corn to prevent it from breaking.

And when it came time to drape the strands on the tree, he asked Brent’s opinion as to the best placement. She had never heard the quiet teen talk and laugh as much as he had in this short time.

She could so easily see Nick with children of his own…and hers… But she had already decided there was no point in dreaming about a future with him. Considering his single-minded focus on work, he could never be the man for her.

She got to her feet and, forcing a smile, said, “I think it’s time for some hot chocolate.”

Four voices rose in agreement, and she escaped gratefully to the kitchen. The more she saw of Nick connecting with the kids, the harder it was for her to watch and the more she wanted to stay away. Yet she knew this trip to the kitchen was only a temporary reprieve.

She just hadn’t realized how temporary.

She had barely started heating the milk in a pan on the stove when Nick entered the kitchen. He came to lean against the counter beside her. “Need something?” she asked brightly.

“Yeah. To tell you I forgot how much fun it is being around you. It’s been a great afternoon.”

She flushed. “No thanks to me. That’s all on the kids. They’re quite a bunch.”

“And you’re quite a woman.”

“No, I’m—”

He reached up and touched his finger to her lips. “Don’t do that, Lyssa. Don’t sell yourself short.” He moved his hand to trace her chin. A shiver tickled along her jaw. “You know what else I need?”

“Hot chocolate?”

“That, too. And this.”

He leaned down and brushed his mouth against hers. He tasted so like the man she had fallen for months ago. His kiss was so tender, so sweet, she couldn’t help but want more. Another thought hovered at the edges of her mind, a thought she felt sure she didn’t want to know. Not now. Not here. Not when his taste and his touch and his total concentration on her were all exactly what she needed.

One dizzying kiss led to another and then another, until she had to curl her fingers in the fabric of his T-shirt to keep herself standing upright. But finally she forced herself to come to her senses. She tilted her head back and whispered, “Stop.”

“Why?” he murmured.

“What would we say if one of the kids walked in?”

“That the chocolate will be ready as soon as I’m done kissing the cook.”

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ABOUT BARBARA WHITE DAILLE:

barbara-white-daille

From the time she was a toddler, Barbara found herself fascinated by those things her mom called “books.” Once she learned the words between the covers held the magic of storytelling, she wanted to see her words in print so she could weave that magic spell for others.

After much hard work at her craft, she achieved her longtime dream when she began selling romance and mystery fiction to national and regional publications. Not long after, she received “The Call” from Harlequin Books and sold her first two novels. Since then, her books have garnered many positive reviews, appeared on numerous bestseller lists, and won a number of awards.

Originally from the East Coast, award-winning author Barbara White Daille now lives with her husband in the warm, sunny Southwest, where they don’t mind the lizards in their front yard but could do without the scorpions in the bathroom.

Barbara hopes you will enjoy reading her stories and will find your own storytelling magic in them!

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Q&A with Jennifer Ryan, Lia Riley, and Maisey Yates, Authors of the SNOWBOUND AT CHRISTMAS Anthology (with a giveaway!)

When a snowstorm pummels the western half of the country, 
three couples find once off-limits love just in time for Christmas.

Jennifer Ryan

Describe yourself in five words or less.
Smart, spunky, giggly, fun-size, chocoholic.

What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?
The first kiss. I love the buildup to that moment, the anticipation, and the spark that finally ignites when two people give in to the connection that draws them together.

What are you favorite types of stories to read?
I write suspenseful contemporary romance, and I love to read suspense, but when I need a break from that, I escape into historical romance. I love a roguish Viscount or sexy Scottish Laird.

What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

All Chained Up by Sophie Jordan

Troublemaker by Linda Howard

Breath of Scandal by Sandra Brown

What comes next?
Why, another Montana Men novel, of course.

Ford Kendrick gave up his one true love ten years ago to save the legacy his parents left behind for him and his brothers and get Jamie away from her abusive mother. He thought he sent Jamie away for her own good, but when she returns from the military broken in body, heart, and soul, he’ll do everything in his power to make his Firefly happy and shine again. When a friend from her past shows up and a secret revealed puts Jamie’s life at risk, Ford will put HIS COWBOY HEART on the line to protect Jamie.

 

Lia Riley

A la Twitter style, please describe your book in 140 characters or less.
Wise-cracking ex marine gets stranded in blizzard with the ex-girlfriend who never forgave him for breaking her heart

What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?
I love me a good kissing scene

What gave you the most trouble with this story?
Keeping it short, novellas are such fun to write, but a little challenging because there is always a little more you wish you could include.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?
Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Name one thing you won’t leave home without.
My baby

Maisey Yates

Can you tell us a little about your book?
Mia is visiting her friend’s family for Christmas in Copper Ridge, and she and her friend’s older brother, Devlin, are the first to arrive at the lodge. Mia has always had a crush on Devlin, but she’s never had the courage to make a move. But then a storm whips up and leaves the two of them stranded overnight…and Mia figures it might be about time to make her some Christmas magic with the man she’s always fantasized about.

How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
Well, I love a cheerful heroine and a grumpy hero, especially for a holiday story. And I also love a good girl and a bad boy (with tattoos no less). Adding that forbidden element of her being his younger sister’s BFF, and a snowstorm, just seemed logical. 😉

Name three things on your desk right now.
A Diet Coke can (don’t judge me) my RITA (yay!) and a little iron mouse my husband gave me for Christmas.

What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?
I love banter. I love writing fights, I love any back and forth between the hero and heroine. And I love it most of all when a scene of banter takes a nosedive into double entendre and suddenly what started out light gets really tense and sexy.

What 5 things should readers know about you? I don’t take myself very seriously. I really do love sweet potato fries (which is why they’re mentioned in a lot of my books). I LOVE writing, I really do. I’m left handed. I can sing a mean country song.

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
I’ve always fiddled around with stories, but I first finished a book in 2007. I was inspired by reading the Harlequin Presents line, and then by a contest Harlequin ran. I thought: Well, I should write something and enter the contest! That won’t feel like real rejection! I didn’t place in the contest, but at that point I’d written so much of the book I knew I had to finish. I did, and I sent it in, and eventually sold that book.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
They say writers should write every day, and I think that’s great advice to build good habits. But I would also add: finish the book. Don’t just write beginnings over and over. You need to practice seeing a project through to completion. No excuses. The biggest trap I see people falling into is being eternal starters, or eternal polishers or editors. Nope. Write the book, finish the book. Let it go. Do it all over again.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thanks for all the support. Readers are so important, and I’m so, so grateful for mine!

 

Jennifer Ryan
 is the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of The Hunted Series and The McBrides Series. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances featuring strong men and equally resilient women. Her stories are filled with love, family, friendship, and the happily-ever-after we all hope to find.

Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession with both is often revealed in the state of her home and in how late dinner is to
the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.


After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, LIA RILEY scoured the
world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of
direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica,
sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling fourex with stationhands
in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.

 Website | Facebook | Twitter |GoodReads


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author MAISEY YATES lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit. Maisey divides her writing time between dark, passionate category romances set just about everywhere on earth and light sexy contemporary romances set practically in her back yard. She believes that she clearly has the best job in the world.

 

SNOWBOUND AT CHRISTMAS
Holiday Anthology
Jennifer Ryan, Lia Riley & Maisey Yates
Releasing Nov 15th, 2016

When a snowstorm pummels the western half of the country, three couples find once off-limits love just in time for Christmas. An unforgettable holiday anthology from bestselling authors Jennifer Ryan, Maisey Yates, and Lia Riley.

Close to Perfect: A Montana Men
Novella by Jennifer Ryan

At sixteen, Abigail gave Dex the gift of a lifetime, but the cost of it was more than he ever knew. Now she’s back in town with a secret that has been ten years in the making and this time it’s Dex’s turn to make the ultimate sacrifice or risk losing her forever.

 

Snowed in at Copper Ridge: A Copper
Ridge Novella by Maisey Yates

Mia Landry has always had it bad for brooding cowboy Devlin Grayson. Too bad he’s her best friend’s older brother. But when they find themselves snowed in at Copper Ridge Lodge, Mia finally has the chance to tell the man of her dreams exactly what she wants… him.

 

Hot Winter’s Night: A Brightwater
Novella by Lia Riley

While Brightwater is being covered in snow, Goldie Flint is stuck in her flower shop. She never expected her hero to be Kit Kane, the former love of her life. Kit knows that what he had with Goldie isn’t just in the past and with the help of a little bet, an ornery grandmother, and a lot of snow, he’s ready to show her that what he really wants for Christmas is a second chance.

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From Jennifer Ryan Close to Perfect

Ten years ago…

Dex sat on the hard bench outside the Sheriff’s office knowing he hadn’t done anything wrong, but shaking in his Converse just the same after a deputy showed up at the high school batting cage, cuffed him, and brought him down to the station. They charged him with stealing a car, drinking and driving, and in a drunken stupor, ditching the car in Crawford Pond.

The car had been pulled out of the murky water, a case of beer in the back seat—mostly empty cans—along with his baseball cap with the MVP pin the team awarded him last season.

How the hell did it get there?

Laurie walked out of her father’s office and turned the butterflies in his stomach into hummingbirds.

Oh God. I’m in deep shit.

He’d thought landing Laurie as his girlfriend made him big shit. Hell, he was seventeen and she had a hot body he wanted to get his hands on, even if she never let him past second base.

Then he met someone…different. Interesting. Nice.

Abigail Swain was barely sixteen and in the senior class. She was that smart. Really smart.

Paired together for a science class project, he’d gotten to know her and wondered why he’d never really noticed her. Small town, small school, still, she kept under the radar. Her parents believed school was more important than friends. Instead of spending her free time playing sports or hanging out at the diner downtown with other girls, she spent every spare minute at church or studying.

Abigail might come off weird and brainy, but really she was shy…quiet. And genuinely nice. A perfect target for Laurie, who made it known she didn’t like him spending time with Abigail, even for a class project.

Five days into working with Abigail something inside him shifted while she explained the intricacies of photosynthesis right off the top of her head. The way her eyes lit up. She planted her chin in her palm and looked right at him. Open and filled with kindness, she did something to his insides. He moved without thinking about it, leaned across the coffee table in his living room, and tentatively pressed his lips to hers in a soft kiss. He didn’t know why he had to do it until their lips touched and the wonder and softening in her eyes undid him. To his surprise, she kissed him back, and if he hadn’t been sitting on the floor already, he’d have hit his knees.

That kiss changed everything and put a lot of things into perspective. Like he’d rather be with someone he liked and enjoyed spending time with. He and Laurie had more fights than good times and it wore thin. Quick. Despite Laurie’s many protests, he ended things with her with a promise that he wouldn’t back out of taking her to the dance so she wouldn’t be humiliated and have to go alone.

From that moment on, he secretly spent more and more time with Abigail, though they kept their relationship hidden. Something about the way her overprotective father hovered nearby when they worked on their project at her house warned him that she’d get into deep trouble if her parents knew about them. Abby never said so, but he got the sense she feared her own dad.

As the mayor of their town, he had a reputation for advocating strict morals. A lot of people outside their church congregation found him judgmental. Including Dex.

He might not be valedictorian material, but he made better than good grades, was the best pitcher and hitter Crystal Creek High ever had, and he planned to take his team to the championships this spring. He had baseball and college to look forward to over the next couple of years and still Mayor Swain looked at him like he was nothing but a thing.

His dad sat beside him, ready to do battle, and nudged him with an elbow in his side. “Laurie’s here. She probably told her father the two of you were at the dance all night, and you couldn’t have stolen that car.” The hope in his father’s voice destroyed Dex.

I am so screwed.

Laurie walked right past him, smiling that sweet smile he and the other guys she’d caught in her web knew hid her devious side. She was out for blood. Since her dad was the sheriff, he had a feeling she was going to get it. Every last drop she thought she deserved because he’d had the audacity to dump her and ruined her plan to get back together at the dance.

The sheriff waved them into his office. “Let’s go, Dex. You’ve got some explaining to do.”

“Listen, Sheriff, Dex had nothing to do with the theft of that car, or how it ended up in the pond. Dex was at the dance with Laurie last night.”

Dex wished he deserved his father’s devotion and unwavering confidence. He wasn’t guilty of the charges, but he wasn’t innocent either.

“Step into my office, Steve. We’ll just see what Dex has to say about what really happened last night.”

His father turned and gave him one of those dad looks, telling him without words that Dex had better have a good explanation for not telling the whole truth this morning over breakfast about how great the dance was last night.

Dex took a seat in front of the Sheriff’s desk and refused to say anything. Not until the Sheriff gave up whatever he thought he knew. Or rather, what Laurie wanted her father to believe.

Dex stared up at his father, standing with anger flashing in his eyes after the sheriff laid out the evidence against Dex.

“Why didn’t you take Laurie home?” his father asked.

“She didn’t want to leave with me, said she’d get a friend to take her home, so I left.”

“And you can’t account for your time after leaving the dance,” the sheriff pointed out, an angry I’ve-got-you gleam in his eyes.

“I drove around in my truck for a while to cool down after the fight with Laurie.”

The sheriff snorted and rolled his eyes. “I suggest you call a lawyer and come up with a better defense than the bullshit you’re feeding your father.” The sheriff stood and waved them out of the office.

Dex walked out behind his dad in a daze. Even his father seemed at a loss for words. Dex wanted to explain what really happened, but couldn’t give them the whole truth. If Abigail’s strict parents found out he was seeing her behind their backs, she’d be in deep shit.

His father pulled out his cell and dialed.

“Who are you calling?”

“A lawyer,” he snapped, then moved a few steps away.

The sheriff stepped out of his office ready to process Dex and lock him up.

His dad glared and bit out, “Sheriff, you don’t have any proof he was in that car. I could drive a truck through the holes in that story. It’s Dex’s word against Laurie’s.”

“His hat was found in the vehicle. He claims he’s never been in the vehicle, nor does he know or associate with Mr. Fowler. Laurie, along with her friend, saw him on their way home.” The sheriff turned on Dex. “We’ll book you for DUI, grand theft auto, and destruction of property. You’re looking at three years minimum.”

Abigail stepped through the door and stopped dead in her tracks, her eyes wide with shock as the sheriff’s last words sank into Dex’s head. He’d spend the next three years in jail. No scholarship. No college education. No life as he’d planned it. This charge would follow him the rest of his life.

He’d lost everything.

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