Tag Archive | Books

Joanie MacNeil and three Holiday Books

Joanie MacNeil is here today with three of her holiday books that will be on Amazon countdown deals at the following dates:

Loving Nick…Again – countdown deal – 20 December and 27 December
The Trouble with Natalie – countdown deal – 23 December
December Heat – countdown deal – 25 December and 1 January
Keep reading for info on each book 🙂
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Loving Nick…Again is listed as a Kindle Countdown Deal, 99 cents, on 20th and 27th December 2016 from www.amazon.com/-/e/B00JQRDGTK

All Joanie’s books, including those in paperback, are available at this url.

~~~

Loving Nick…Again Blurb – by Joanie MacNeil

Claire Vincent’s unexpected encounter with old flame, Nick Sheridan threatens her hard-earned independence and the life she’s created for herself and her young sons. She is determined that nothing will take that independence away from her, not even Nick.

Nick is licking his wounds after a messy divorce. When he sees Claire for the first time in fourteen years, the passion he once felt for her, passion he thought died long ago, is reawakened.

Is he ready for a new relationship and an instant family?

Will Claire learn to trust her heart to Nick a second time?

~~~

Loving Nick…Again – Excerpt by Joanie MacNeil

 

Feeling a thousand times better after a long hot shower, Nick grabbed a beer from the fridge and moved out on the deck to relax.  Curiosity overcame him as he watched the new arrival, a woman, unload her car.  He wondered again what brought her to such a quiet coastal resort at this time of year.

Her straight russet hair hung loosely around her face.  She looked soft and nicely rounded, a pleasant change from the pencil thin females he was used to—like Pammy, or like Belinda with her long legs.

This woman was small, about five feet, he estimated, and compact—tantalizingly so.  Perhaps that’s what caught his eye.  Nick smiled, reassured he still appreciated feminine charms, and she was definitely built for comfort, not speed.

Now that was a phrase he hadn’t thought of in quite some time.

“Nick my friend, there’s still hope for you yet,” he muttered.  In between sips of beer, he puzzled why, all of a sudden, he’d begun to think like his former amorous self.

But there was something else…the movement of her hips when she walked caused Nick to look more closely as she lugged an armful of linen into the cabin and re-appeared seconds later.

“It can’t be,” he mumbled distractedly as he rose from his chair on the deck.  “It just can’t be.”

Long forgotten images, which held a special place deep in his heart, teased at his memory.  He had to know.  Right now.

If he made a fool of himself, well, perhaps the woman would understand and laugh with him when he explained.  Or perhaps she’d think he was coming on to her.  Whatever, he had to know.

He tossed the empty beer can in the trash and headed down the stairs.

His gaze never left her as he walked slowly down the gravel path.  In the crisp afternoon air, the last rays of the sun filtered through the tall eucalypts scattered throughout the park.

He focused on the woman as she moved to the back of her car.  Nick smiled.  It could be.  It just could be.  Though the eighteen-year old woman whose image appeared in his mind hadn’t been as shapely as this one, there was something about the way she walked that urged him on.  The beat of his heart began to gather speed with each forward step.

The woman was busy shoving bits and pieces from the back of her car into a plastic laundry basket.  He stopped a few meters away, rested his forearm against a tree and observed her quietly.

It wasn’t until she turned and lifted her head, allowing him a clear view of her face, that he could be absolutely certain he was right about her identity.  He nodded and smiled, then moved in for the kill.

“Hello Tiger,” he said, and grinned when her blue eyes flashed at him.

At first she frowned.  Her expression changed quickly from startled surprise at the sound of his voice to the shock of recognition.

“How are you, Claire?”  He stepped forward, his gaze roamed over her, took in her soft, feminine curves, the determined little chin, the pretty mouth which had always welcomed his kiss…

His heart lurched, more than it had a right to.  More than he wanted it to.

Claire dropped the basket.  Its contents scattered across the ground.  Her hand flew to her mouth.

You!”

~~~

Claire stared at the apparition before her, and willed it to disappear when she blinked.  Unable to believe her own eyes, she opened her mouth to say something—anything—but words refused to form.

“Well?”  One brow raised and suddenly she remembered how the expression always made him look as if he was about to do something he shouldn’t.

Claire wished she could say what a pleasant surprise this was, but in all truth, she couldn’t.  Over recent months, she’d had her fill of surprises, all unpleasant.  She was no longer as receptive to the unexpected as she once had been.

She racked her brain trying to remember the last time she’d seen Nick Sheridan.  It was as if it were in another life.

But she did remember a smooth talking, sometimes over-confident eighteen-year-old with desire-filled deep brown eyes who’d swept her off her feet.

She dared a glance at those eyes and shuddered when she saw them staring right back at her, studying her.  They still reminded her of warm dark honey, and more times than she cared to remember, had made her feel like the consistency of the sweet golden liquid.  Her spine tingled at memories she’d long since forgotten.  Claire swallowed.  This man was no apparition.  He was real.

The good-looking teenager who’d charmed her very soul was a mere shadow of the man who stood before her now.

This man was taller, broader, and more solid in stature.  He looked better than any man had a right to, in snug stonewashed jeans and body-hugging black sweater.  And he had a tan—at this time of year!

His hair was still jet black, thick and wavy.  She used to like to run her fingers through that hair…

“Aren’t you going to say something?  How about, ‘Hello Nick, great to see you.  Gee, it’s been a long time.  How have you been?'”

Heat flamed her face and Claire knew her cheeks were bright red.

Nick flashed a grin, and she felt eighteen again.

“That’s what I always liked about you, Claire Whitby, you knew how to blush.”

Claire clenched her fists.  She hated to blush, and almost hated him for remembering that about her.  “Well, I never expected to see you again, let alone here,” she blurted.

Her inner trembling shocked her.  She tried to convince herself it was because she hadn’t seen Nick for fourteen or so years.  Surprises did that to a person.  It could hardly be anything else.  Not after all this time.

~~~

Next up we have The Trouble with Natalie. It is listed as a Kindle Countdown Deal, 99 cents, on 23rd December 2016 from www.amazon.com/-/e/B00JQRDGTK

All Joanie’s books, including those in paperback, are available at this url.

 

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The Trouble with Natalie Blurb – Joanie MacNeil

 

Men are trouble, and having a man in her life is not on Natalie Harrigan’s agenda as she’d rather focus on her career. Success in her new appointment to the coveted position of CEO in the recently established Training Advisory Council is her number one priority and she intends to prove she will be the best CEO ever.

 

Enter Luke DeMarco: newly appointed Director of Public Affairs in the Training Advisory Council, and her young brother’s best friend. Luke DeMarco has always loved Natalie from the moment he first set eyes on her at eight years old. Now, twenty years later, she’s more woman than ever, and Luke’s not too worried about the twelve years difference in their ages. Surely his gentle wooing will convince Natalie that age is no barrier to love?  But Natalie is his boss. Will she allow him to move from their boardroom to her bedroom?

 

~~~

 

The Trouble with Natalie – Excerpt – Joanie MacNeil

 

Still shocked, Natalie frantically scrubbed herself dry with a force that left her skin pink and tender. It wasn’t the spider that had sent her into such a spin. Her reaction to the huge Huntsman had been overruled by Luke’s presence. His touch. His gentleness and understanding over her silly feminine fear.

She’d never thought about Luke in any way other than as a younger brother. He’d practically lived with them, with her and Jake, and their father, when his own parents neglected him in favor of spending their time at the pub. She’d become the mother figure in his life, as she had for her own family, when her mother died from complications during Jake’s birth.

But now, fully grown, he was a far cry from the eight year old who’d stumbled into their lives, and the eighteen year old who seemed so unsure of himself as he headed off to university.

Luke DeMarco had grown into one sexy confident man and it was hard to relate the man he was now to the images she remembered of a distressed young boy and a troubled teenager. And at some stage during those missing years, his voice had grown rich and deep, and she liked the way it settled over her.

She tugged on jeans and a sweater and headed to the kitchen to make some hot chocolate. Not that she thought the hot drink would soothe her nerves or help her sleep. Another warm bath might do the trick, but the bathroom was occupied.

And so was the kitchen.

Fridge door open, Luke leaned into the light inside and searched the shelves. Though he wore well-fitting jeans that enticingly hugged his rear, he was shirtless, from what Natalie could see of his strong body. And his feet were bare.

She swallowed, remembering the feel of her fingertips on sculpted muscles. Even now her skin tingled with the memory. Having Luke share the house would certainly be an interesting challenge, to say the least.

He moved slightly, granting her a better view of powerful broad shoulders and an expanse of back that rippled with his movements. The tanned skin added to her perception of healthy fit male. He was taller than she remembered, but ten years could change a man. And those years had made a difference to Luke.

The package was virile, potent and sinfully sexy.

 

~~~

 

Last but not least we have December Heat which is listed as a Kindle Countdown Deal, 99 cents, on December 25th, 2016 and January 1, 2017 from www.amazon.com/-/e/B00JQRDGTK

 

All Joanie’s books, including those in paperback, are available at this url.

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December Heat Blurb – Joanie MacNeil

 

Following the death of her husband, Nicolette Oliver concentrates on re-establishing her career as a dancer, though still dealing with emotional issues relating to her life with Mark. When his friend appears on her doorstep, Nicolette honors her late husband’s invitation and invites Jake to stay.

 

Jake Harrigan has always been attracted to Nic and sees her as untouchable, even though she is now on her own. They are opposites, their lives and expectations literally worlds apart. Drawn into a romantic interlude, the parting is difficult when Jake returns to Europe to resume his career as TV news journalist and Nic moves to Sydney to begin rehearsals for the show that will resurrect her career.

 

Jake returns to Australia to see Nic again and also to finalize details with his network to sail around the world making documentaries. Will Jake follow his heart and ask Nic to give up all that she’s worked for and sail away with him?

 

~~~

 

December Heat – Excerpt – Joanie MacNeil

 

Nicolette’s gaze roamed over Jake, who appeared not to notice, he was so taken with the baby. Her gaze drank in the dark hair with the loose drift of waves that fell across the left side of his brow, that, like him, refused to conform, hinting at his wilder self.

The night they’d met, those curls had seemed to mock her, draw her in, begging her to entwine her fingers with them…along with the curve of his mouth, shapely, inviting, and the kiss that was nearly her undoing. She’d tried to stifle the effect he’d had on her. After all, Mark was her chosen mate, her partner in life.

A fling with Jake Harrigan would have ruined her future happiness and, even so, she wasn’t the type to indulge in a fling for the fun of it. In spite of her fierce loyalty to Mark, she’d been unable to completely shake the knowledge and guilt that a little bit of her had betrayed the man she loved, even though she’d put a stop to progressing the kiss any further.

And she hadn’t encouraged it to begin with. A taste was all it took to shake her inner being, feed her curiosity. Excite her. As enticing as Jake was, she wasn’t his type. He’d quickly tire of her and move on to the next conquest.

Jake stretched lazily, and she realized he’d been watching her assessment of him. Her face warmed. As long as he couldn’t read her mind.

“She’s ready for the next half. Would you like to try?” she asked Jake, breaking what had become an intense silence. Even the lazy drone of the cicadas had quietened down.

“Sure, why not, but you’ll have to show me what to do. I haven’t done this before.” He rose from his chair and moved to sit on the couch beside her.

“Sit here, it’s more comfortable than in the middle.” She grabbed the bottle from between her knees, and rose to her feet. Then as he took his place, she leaned over to hand him the baby.

“Got her?” she asked.

He nodded. “Sure thing. She’s so tiny, there’s nothing to hang on to.”

“Don’t hold her too tight,” Nicolette warned, the sweet freshness of clean baby wafting around them.

“She’s so soft, cuddly…so small. She smells great, not at all like I expected a baby to smell. Never thought much about babies at all, to tell you the truth.”

Nicolette smiled. “I’m not surprised.”

Kylie snuggled into him, making funny little whimpering noises.

“Are you comfortable?”

“Yes.” He looked up at her, amazement in his eyes.

“Good.” She handed him the bottle, and watched as Kylie again latched on to the nipple, though a touch less enthusiastically than before.

“There, just hold the bottle a little higher, that’s it. Then she doesn’t have to work so hard.”

“This is cozy.”

His soft words drew her attention. Without realizing it, Nicolette had placed her hand over Jake’s as he grasped the bottle.

Suddenly aware of the warmth and strength of his hand as it flexed beneath hers, Nicolette quickly withdrew her hold, stood back and observed, glad to put some distance between them.

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” he reiterated, as if shocked by his own competence.

“You’re a natural. You’ll make a good father,” she teased, trying to ignore the effects of the image before her, of a tall and broad-chested daredevil gently cradling a tiny baby in the crook of his arm. He looked too sexy for words.

 

About the Author:

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Australian romance author, Joanie MacNeil, writes short contemporary romances, a blend of sweet, sexy, heart-warming stories about new love and second chances. Some of her tales may make you smile.

Home, family and friends are important to Joanie, and she has blended these elements into some of her stories.

Travelling with her own romantic hero is one of her favourite things. When she’s not on the move visiting exotic and interesting locations, or family interstate, she enjoys creating her own romantic stories, reading romance, going to the movies, having coffee with friends, participating in aqua aerobics, catching up with her daughters, and her lively little grandsons and their parents.

Website:  http://www.joaniemacneil.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/romanceauthorjoaniemacneil

Twitter:  @JoanieMacneil

 

A Hero Grinch for Christmas by Samantha Wyatt

I love the sound of this book! I have it queued up on my Kindle to make sure this one gets read before Christmas and at 99 pennies it makes it totally affordable!

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Dani will not allow The Grinch to hide from Christmas. She will cure Hunter of his nasty mood, even if it kills her. But who will save her from his passionate kisses.

 

War hero, Hunter Armstrong, has seen enough devastation to last a lifetime. At the end of his latest Army term, he accepted his discharge papers and never looked back. His uncle’s home is tucked away in the majestic mountains, a perfect place for him to hide from Christmas and his own memories. But he can’t hide from the delectable Dani. The last thing he needs is a female in his life. But this one has the face of an angel and eyes you could drown in.

 

Dani Wimer left the Colorado Mountains and relocated in the bright lights of New York City. Every December she returns to the village of Wyattsville. When a hunky military guy enters her aunt’s shop, he seems lost and angry. His scowl is intimidating, but that doesn’t bother the spunky girl who celebrates the holidays like it’s Christmas every day. She decides to put a smile on his Grinch face and ends up losing her heart in a passionate whirlwind.

 

 

Enjoy an excerpt from

 A Hero Grinch for Christmas.

 

The door flew open and Hunter’s blond hair hung in his face, as if maybe he just got out of bed. Her fingers itched to smooth the wild strands from his brow.

When he recognized her, he simply hooked his thumb in his pocket and leaned against the doorjamb. Rugged in a pair of faded blue jeans, his too tight t-shirt stretched across six-pack abs. His stunning blue eyes peered at her, causing a slow kindling in her belly. She took in a ragged breath and said the first thing that came to her mind.

“It’s snowing.”

“I hear it does that up here,” he said. His gaze glided from her face down to her shaking knees.

“Can I . . . come in—” She stuttered, out of breath. Besides the snow and cold temperature, she’d fought the wind every step of the way and—. She swayed.

His arms shot out to steady her. Then he swooped her up and cradled her against his hard chest.

“My God, you’re freezing. What the hell happened?” Kicking the door shut, he carried her to the fireplace and lowered her to the ottoman.

“I had to walk from the main road.” Her voice came out shaky. She’d kept her mouth covered with her scarf, but her lungs burned from breathing the cold air.

“Where is your car?  How long have you been out there?”

“In a ditch.” Now that she was inside, the heat made her aware of the tingling in her toes. Her teeth started to chatter. “I . . . slid off the road . . .”

“Why didn’t you say something?”

He worked the buttons on her coat, then removed the gloves from her frozen fingers. He helped her remove her coat, then he tossed it aside. “Are you all right?” He gripped her arms, sliding his hands along her elbows descending to her writs.

“Are you injured? Do you have any pain?” His warm fingers caressed her neck, then smoothed over her shoulders, almost massaging. Warmth flowed through her.

“Should I be alarmed . . . Or excited?” she teased. His touch felt good. Very good.

He gave a long steady stare. “Did you hit your head?”

“No. I don’t think so. I’m just really cold.”

“Whatever possessed you to walk in this weather? Do you realize you could have frozen out there and no one would have known? You could get frost bite.”

He squatted and tugged her boots off, dropping them to the floor. Then his wonderful fingers warmed her toes through her cold socks. “Where’s your car?”

“About a mile back, at the big curve, right before the turnoff to the cabin.”

He grunted and shook his head which she’d come to believe was his usual habit. She could ignore his surly disposition, but her body temperature rose several degrees from his strong hands rubbing up and down her legs.

“What the hell are you doing out here?” he asked.

The fire was welcoming, him not so much.

“Bringing gifts. Uh, there’s a box outside your door. I thought you might like a home cooked meal.”

“Are you serious? You decided to drive up this mountain in this weather to feed me?”

“It wasn’t snowing when I left. For some stupid reason I had this wild idea I was performing an act of kindness,” she said sarcastically.

Hunter strode back to the entryway and found the box of food. She studied his tall form, as his long powerful legs ate up the distance to the door. He had a confident swagger a girl couldn’t help but admire. When he retrieved the box and passed her heading to the kitchen, she couldn’t resist one more sneak peek at his ass.

He placed the box of food on the counter. And in no time, he was back at her side, pulling her to her feet. While one hand gripped her arm, he pressed the other to her forehead.

“Can’t keep your hands off me?” she teased.

“Don’t know when to shut up, do you?

 

Buy Link:   Currently On sale  $.99

https://www.amazon.com/Hero-Grinch-Christmas-Samanthya-Wyatt/dp/1519749120/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1480793448&sr=8-3&keywords=samanthya+wyatt

 

About the Author:

Samanthya Wyatt

Author of Sizzling Romance

 

Samanthya lives with her husband in the Shenandoah Valley. She left her accounting career and married a military man traveling and making her home in the United States and abroad. Once she found historical romance novels, she couldn’t put a book down, and one day decided to create a story of her own. Her dream of being published came true with Soul Mate Publishing. She writes historical and contemporary romance.

She relishes the challenge of penning a story with strong characters, a bit of humor, and active scenes while creating new characters and bringing them together in a romantic tale. It took years of writing, joining RWA, joining chapters, entering contests, submissions & rejections which created the author she is today. By keeping her spirit and turning criticism into drive she has achieved her career as a published romance author. Samanthya loves to travel with her husband and a book is a constant companion.

 

Contact Information

Website:   http://samanthyawyatt.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Samanthya-Wyatt-Author-1498001047086140/?ref=hl

Twitter:       @samanthyawyatt

Blog:          http://samanthyawyatt.com/blog/

SMP:       https://smpauthors.wordpress.com/

Goodreads:     http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8330687.Samanthya_Wyatt

 

 

 

One More Time is Not Enough by Belle Ami

Today we have Belle Ami and her great book One More Time is Not Enough. If you haven’t read this book you need to grab it now, it’s so good!

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Book Blurb

Adelia Lindstrom Bremen seems to have it all: Wealth, beauty, perfect twin children, two men in love with her, and a career she loves. But, beneath the veneer of success and prosperity lies disappointment, tragedy, and unending lies. Her parents were murdered, her marriage ended in a custody battle, and she is swept up in a love triangle. Now she has discovered the existence of a half-sister who wants nothing to do with her.

One More Time is Not Enough

Chapter 5

When they returned to the cliff house, it was late. Adelia suggested they take a Jacuzzi and have a night cap. While David changed into his swimsuit, she ordered a bottle of champagne and fresh strawberries. By the time he finished in the bathroom, she was in the hot tub, immersed in a cloud of steam, sipping champagne and nibbling on fruit.

“Come on slowpoke, the water feels like heaven.” She eyed David’s muscled body. “The FBI Academy seems to have agreed with you. You’re a treat for the eyes, Agent Weiss.”

David sighed. “What am I going to do with you?” He slipped into the water.

“I don’t know. What are you going to do with me?” she goaded, handing him a glass of champagne.

Enjoying their playful repartee, she placed her feet in his lap. “This is bliss.” The intimacy of the hot tub was having its desired effect, she could feel the sexual tension mounting.

“You know I’m not going to make love to you.”

“Really. She furrowed her brows annoyed. “Why not?”

“Because Adelia, even all of this”—he spread his arms wide–“can’t make the reality of our lives go away. You have an ex-husband who wants you back, children who’d be better off with both their parents. I can’t compete with that.”

She could sense his goading her into a confrontation. “You’re not going to spoil this perfect evening. I won’t let you.”

“Do you know what it’s going to be like for me, when this is over? Poor David, too bad his girlfriend went back to her husband.”

“It’s not true, you could stop it if you wanted to.”

“We’re fighting destiny Adelia.”

Doubt plagued her, but it wasn’t within her power to stop what she was feeling. She stood and placed her glass on the side table. With determination, she reached out and took the champagne glass from him. Then, grabbing a strawberry, she sat on his lap, facing him.

He started to protest. “Adelia, stop…”

Without a thought, she placed the strawberry seductively between her teeth and brought her lips close to his.

He stared into her eyes. “Please, don’t do this.”

“Why? Don’t you like strawberries?” She could feel his erection beneath her bikini bottom. “Or, is it just me you don’t care for?”

He growled, then bit half of the strawberry off, his lips brushing hers. He tried to pull away, but her arms encircled his neck, and she deepened the kiss.

“If you keep this up…you might get more than you bargained for.”

“Is that a threat or a promise?” she whispered, her lips inches from his.

“You’re killing me.”

“Funny, am I the only one here who knows what they want?”

“What I want isn’t in question.”

“Oh, but I think it is. If you were honest with yourself, you wouldn’t pull away. It’s been such a perfect evening. What’s wrong with two people who care for each other, exploring their feelings. I dare you to tell me you don’t want this. That you don’t want me.”

“I’m trying to protect you…me…both of us…from making a mistake.” He smiled. “But you’re not cooperating. I don’t know how much more I can take.”

“Then surrender and let me win. I’m a big girl. If this is a mistake, it’s my mistake.” She pressed her lips on his, her tongue darting against his.

He rose with her in his arms. “I won’t blame you for what’s about to happen. You know how much I want you. I just hope we don’t live to regret it.”

He kissed her with a lust that turned her blood to fire.

“No regrets. I want this. Let’s take a shower,” she teased, kicking her legs playfully in the air.

 

Sales Links

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/One-More-Time-Not-Enough-ebook/dp/B01HSDJLLA#navbar

             http://bookshow.me/TheOne

                      http://bookshow.me/TheOneAndMore

                      https://www.amazon.com/Holiday-Ever-After-Nora-Flite-ebook/dp/B01M8KZIRK

About the Author:

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 Tema Merback writing as Belle Ami believes “Dreams do come true”.  As a mother and wife, she dedicated herself to her family and loved every minute of it. One day, like Sleeping Beauty, she awoke to find gourmet cooking and being a classical pianist wasn’t enough, she needed to reinvent herself. So, she brushed away the cobwebs and locked herself in a room and spent a year writing a historical novel which, low and behold, was a Finalist for a national book award. Her first author incarnation was born.

When she read Fifty Shades of Grey, her world tilted. Like a laser beam focusing on a target, she had found her passion: Sexy, steamy, romantic suspense. Hence came a second incarnation and a fitting nom de plume, Belle Ami. A quote that Belle considers her mantra is by Wilferd Peterson, “Success is focusing the full power of all you are on what you have a burning desire to achieve.”

She is a Kathryn McBride scholar of Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. She lives in California with her husband, two children, three dogs, and horse.

She is the author of The Only One series, The One (#1), and The One & More (#2). Her third in the series titled One More Time is Not Enough, was published July 13th, 2016. She was honored to be included in the RWA LARA Christmas Anthology Holiday Ever After featuring her short story The Christmas Encounter. Her next series entitled The Tip of the Spear begins with Escape, which will be published by Hartwood Publishing January 2017. She is currently writing the sequel to Escape, entitled Vengeance.

 

The Christmas Match by Allie Burton

Sale Alert!!!!! Allie Burton’s The Christmas Match is on sale for 99 pennies!!! Get it while you can!

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The Christmas Match

The season for second chances.

After heartache at a young age, single mother Danielle Marstrand has finally found her place in her hometown. A good job, a good home, a great daughter—nothing can sway her from her course until Luke Logan returns to their small Colorado mountain ski town.

Champion skier Luke Logan is ready to return home to Castle Ridge, even if he’s not quite sure the town’s ready to welcome him. Especially his high school sweetheart Danielle. Nursing an injury that nearly ended his career, Luke’s struggling to get back more than his range of motion…he’s hoping returning to where his career began might help reignite the passion he’s lost. But instead of discovering his passion for skiing he discovered the daughter he never knew he had.

Hurt that Danielle never told him about Brianna, Luke is determined to know his child. Danielle’s reluctant to allow Luke in, fearing he’ll just leave again, but she’s willing to compromise when Luke suggests fake dating with Brianna tagging along. Why then, does a kiss for show feel oh so real?

In this classic reunion story, love finds a second chance.

Buy it here:

Amazon: https://amzn.com/B01M8MF0Z4

About the Author:

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Allie Burton

Allie Burton has always been a reader and writer. She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve when she was stranded at a hospital by a snowstorm. Receiving her first romance from her grandmother, she fell in love with the genre. As an adult, she read young adult books with her own teens and was excited to find something fresh and new. Now, she writes both.

Having so many jobs as a teen and adult became great research material for the stories she writes. She has been everything from a bike police officer to a professional mascot escort to an advertising executive. She has lived on three continents and in four states and has studied art, fashion design, and marine biology.

Allie is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Romance Writers of America. She loves to ski, golf, and run. Currently, she lives in Colorado with her husband and two children.

www.allieburton.com

www.twitter.com/Allie_Burton

www.Facebook.com/AllieBurtonAuthor

www.wattpad.com/AllieBurton  http://w.tt/1XI9xJS

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7091408.Allie_Burton   http://bit.ly/1NgHiND

http://www.amazon.com/Allie-Burton/e/B00CQAWON8/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1399318599&sr=8-2-ent

Reindeer Wars by Liese Sherwood-Fabre

Liese Sherwood-Fabre is here today with her super cute contemporary romance Reindeer Wars. I’m reading this now and I love it!!

It’s also on sale!

ninety-nine-cent-ad

 

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Tina has a tendency to go a little overboard when decorating for the holidays, but Brian decides her skills are just what he needs to get into the Christmas spirit. Can this budding relationship survive when they find themselves in a knock-down-drag-out competition to win the office’s “most outrageous holiday sweater?”

Excerpt:

The cart Tina was pushing collided with something, and a humph burst from the other side. The rather precariously assembled mountain of old claim files wobbled, and those on the summit slid forward. Another yelp followed their descent.

What the—?

She peered around the still-teetering towers, but saw no one.

Why had Mr. Collins piled them so high?

The sound of paper shuffling rose from the other side of the cart. Her throat constricted, and

she squeezed past the cart in the narrow passageway between the office cubicles to check out which employee she’d hit.

Please let it be Mr. Collins. He deserves it. Just don’t let it be—

Her stomach twisted into a knot. Of course it was Brian Foster. Who else? The newest salesman at Judicious Insurance crouched on the floor, rubbing his thigh with one hand and holding a file folder in the other. Papers littered the area around him.

“Are you all right?” she asked.

He squinted up at her. “I think so.”

Kneeling beside him, she gathered up the fallen documents and reached for the one he still held. “I’m so sorry. Mr. Collins loaded the cart. I should’ve made two trips, but we only have one cart, and I didn’t have any place to put them because my desk is already full from the end of year re—”

“Mr. Collins?” he asked, rising to his full height. He held out a hand and pulled her to her feet. “You’re in claims, right? Tina Martins?”

With a dip of her chin, she pulled her hand from his grasp and clutched the papers she still held to her chest. His hand had been warm and strong, and the power from his touch continued to surge through her body. “I’ll…uh…let me pick up this mess, and I’ll get out of your way.”

Unable to meet the man’s gaze, she bent over to retrieve the rest of the papers. He leaned over at the same time, and their heads met with a sharp crack.

Could this get any worse?

She met his gaze over the spilled papers, expecting an angry glare in return. Instead, the most beautiful pair of honey-tinted eyes gave her a wide stare.

Oh, God. I’ve given him a concussion.

Buy it here:

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Reindeer-Wars-Liese-Sherwood-Fabre/dp/1481005111/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481126311&sr=8-1&keywords=reindeer+wars

B&N

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reindeer-wars-liese-sherwood-fabre/1113366632?ean=2940015596823

Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/reindeer-wars

 

About the Author:

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Liese Sherwood-Fabre grew up in Dallas, Texas and knew she was destined to write when she got an A+ in the second grade for her story about Dick, Jane, and Sally’s ruined picnic. After obtaining her PhD from Indiana University, she joined the federal government and had the opportunity to work and live internationally for more than fifteen years. After returning to the states, she seriously pursued her writing career and has had numerous pieces published. You can follow her upcoming releases, including an anthology of alternate universe tales of Sherlock Holmes and a collection of essays of the life and times of Sherlock Holmes coming in January, and other events by joining her newsletter. When you subscribe, you will also get a free download of short story available only to those who sign up at her Website www.liesesherwoodfabre.com.

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liese.sherwoodfabre/

Twitter: @lsfabre

Email: liese@liesesherwoodfabre.com

 

Jockeying For You by Stacy Hoff

I am so happy to have Stacy Hoff on here today. I love her books! They are so good! Jockeying for you will not disappoint, you need to read this one for sure 🙂

 

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Jake Carter is on a mission—to prove his family wrong. He may have bought a troubled horse, but he’s hired Ryder Hannon, a “horse whisperer,” to get his horse back on track.  She’s more than just a trainer to him, she’s the woman he’s been looking for.

Ryder Hannon, a thoroughbred horse trainer, has a big problem—fighting her fear of racing again. Her emotional scars run deeper than her physical ones. But her romantic feelings towards handsome, uber-rich, stable owner Jake Carter is a bigger problem.  Is Jake truly in love with her or is he using her to get back at his smug family? ­

When Jake’s jockey gets injured, he wants Ryder to race. He knows deep down she wants to live up to her family’s legacy. So why does she keep fighting him—and her destiny—so hard?

Excerpt:

Jake felt his eyebrow arch up. “Dr. Doolittle, I presume?”

A slow smile spread across her lips.

“How far have you gotten with Handsome?”

“He’ll let me ride him now.”

Jake’s eyebrows shot up to his hairline. “My God, Ryder, you’re amazing,” he exclaimed. With a shake of his head and a hard cough he corrected himself. “I mean, your results with him are amazing.”

Ryder’s grin was now Cheshire cat sized. “Thanks for both compliments.”

Damn. She couldn’t let my mistake go.

Then it hit him. His comment was a slip, but was it really a mistake? Her beautiful face, which had been beaming with pride now had a shy aspect that was even more endearing. She bore a schoolgirl’s blush and averted her eyes from him as she busied herself petting Handsome’s nose.

If only she could stroke me the same way. Though somewhere lower down than my nose. He tensed at the thought. Focus, Jake, damn it! This is business. “Show me,” he said.

She blinked. “Show you what?”

“Show me Handsome Dancer can be ridden. I want you to ride him for me.”

“Now? He’s already had his exercise for today. I don’t want to tire him out.”

Handsome’s head batted her shoulder with a determination that was comical.

“You know,” Jake quipped, “if he actually understands you then you really are Dr. Doolittle.”

“I’m sure he just wanted me to give him an apple.” She wiped a stray blond bang from her hot forehead and looked the horse in one of his eyes. “What are you saying, babycakes? That you want to go on a short ride with me?”

Yes, yes, I do. Jake cleared his throat and gave her a tight smile. “Go ahead, you two. Impress me.”

A few minutes later, he was outside the training track, his hands casually resting on the guardrail while he waited for the show to begin.

Soon, Ryder and Handsome entered the track. He heard her cluck her tongue at the horse, and then watched her lightly kick Handsome’s rear. The horse took off around the track in a fast gallop. The horse’s flight was fluid and astoundingly fast for what was supposed to be an easy go-around. She was doing more than merely riding Handsome Dancer. She was a part of him. One cohesive whole.

Thinking the demo was about to end, he had almost turned around to head back when something caught the corner of his eye. It was a flash of color, a fast burst of brown. What the . . . ? Whipping his head around to the source, he stared open-mouthed at the sight. Handsome Dancer was bolting down a stretch of training track at a speed unheard of for a newbie horse. Or maybe any horse. In all of Jake’s experiences, he doubted he had seen a horse move that fast when not performing in an actual race.

Buy it here:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2clOJK3

About the Author:

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Stacy Hoff is a contemporary romance author, as well as an attorney. She has practiced law for two decades, primarily handling contracts. Romance novels have always been her secret passion. She writes her romantic stories until the wee hours of the night. Stacy lives in New England with her husband and two boys. 

JOCKEYING FOR YOU is her forth novel. Her other novels are DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES (DESIRE series, book 1), DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC (DESIRE series book 2), and LAWFULLY YOURS. Her upcoming series, BUILDING LOVE, will have book 1, BUILDING LOVE IN VEGAS, out soon. 

Amazon author’s page: https://www.amazon.com/Stacy-Hoff/e/B00NN0HCW8

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorStacyHoff

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/authorStacyHoff

Candleglow and Mistletoe by Josie Riviera

I know you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover but I love this one! Welcome Josie Riviera and her holiday romance Candleglow and Mistletoe.

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Candleglow and Mistletoe:

Noelle Wentworth doesn’t mind getting away from St. Augustine to fill in at her ailing aunt’s candle shop. A few weeks in Snowing Rock will help her get past the humiliating memory lapse that ruined an important piano concert—and, ultimately, her marriage to her overbearing duet partner.

She’s mentally rehearsing for her comeback performance when the bus she’s riding in slides off an icy mountain road.
And one deep, calming voice emerges from the confusion to slow her racing heart—right before his ruggedly handsome face kicks it back into allegro.

Gabe Waters is usually prepared for anything—as a professional stuntman, his life depends on it—but nothing prepared him for Noelle, the unattainable high school crush whose bravery saved him from more than just a bully’s flying fist. There’s no hint she recognizes him, but Gabe knows that face, those eyes…and he sees something that wasn’t there before. Distrust and apprehension.

Their unexpected attraction kindles something as warm and sweet as a holiday candle. But the weight of their pasts could turn the promise of love to ashes.

Buy it here:

Amazon:
http://a.co/75feLg0

or

https://www.amazon.com/Candleglow-Mistletoe-Josie-Riviera-ebook/dp/B01MAWD8Z6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1479411335&sr=1-1&keywords=candleglow+and+mistletoe+josie+riviera

Universal buy link on Apple, Nook and Kobo:

https://www.books2read.com/u/4jKA9l

 

Author bio:

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Josie Riviera is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband.They share their home with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and an old house forever needing renovations.

Sign up for her blog and subscribe to her newsletter for a free ebook:
http://josieriviera.com/

Social media:

“Like” her Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Josie.Riviera
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Connect with her on Facebook:
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Follow her on twitter: @josieriviera
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PInterest:
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Rockin’ Little Christmas by Francesca Hawley

Today we welcome Francesca Hawley and her amazing book Rockin’ Little Christmas! I hope you guys enjoy this one!

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Rockin’ Little Christmas

Francesca Hawley

When her parents’ rock band The Pack performs at a local bar, Mandy Goldwolf discovers her True Mate, Joe, the band’s lead singer and guitarist. Now, Mandy wants to reconcile her True Mate with her family and his own. Joe Blackwolf celebrates his fortieth birthday with a wish to find his True Mate. He succeeds when he meets Mandy and he’s plans to explore every inch of her smokin’ hot curves.

But because they’re sharing the holidays with family, Joe and Mandy are neck deep in a new relationship, overbearing relatives, and Christmas shopping all the while preparing for a New Year’s Eve concert. Rockin’ Little Christmas is a wild ride full of fun and music.

Note:  This book was previously published elsewhere but has been revised and updated.

Formerly titled: Cupid Rocks.

Excerpt:

By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, please exit this site.

An Excerpt From: Rockin’ Little Christmas

Copyright © FRANCESCA HAWLEY, 2013, 2016

All Rights Reserved, Francesca Hawley Romance

Mandy slipped back to her seat just as the house lights went down and the band returned to the stage. She pulled her skirt down and pressed it against her legs. Where the hell had her panties gone? She searched the office twice, but no underwear. It felt bizarre to sit here bare under her skirt. She shifted on the chair, fighting the blush in her cheeks. Finally, she forced herself to look up at the band members to find Joe grinning at her. He rubbed the pocket of his jacket and winked.

Oh God. Now she remembered. He’d peeled her panties off and put them in his pocket. She looked back up at him and he looked happy and carefree as he started playing the first song of the second set.

As the music continued, she relaxed and returned to her camera work. She loved listening to the band play and she always had. They had a good mix of covers and original songs so that it was never a hardship to attend a concert. Whenever her parents came to town, they asked her to do band portraits and take concert shots for their website.

She couldn’t stop watching Joe, distracted by how he moved. The timbre of his voice. He was incredible. For the first time in years, she could actually imagine climbing on stage just so she could sing with him. Duets. Solos. Whatever. With him at her side, she was sure the crippling stage fright would ease. Her throat would open and she’d be able to let her voice fill the place. Mandy shook her head slightly and forced herself to get back to work, even though Joe continued to tease her during each and every song.

Thank God her parents and the Whitewolfs were oblivious to the flirtation. None of them seemed to even notice Joe seducing her from the stage. She licked her lips as he threw himself into a guitar solo. He was so amazing that she wanted him…again.

Why hadn’t she told him the truth while she had the chance? She had to get to him the minute the set was over. If she didn’t explain to him and he found out from her parents…oh there would be hell to pay. Hell for both of them.

As the set headed for the conclusion, Zach joined her at her table. Joe frowned, his eyes narrowing. Zach grinned and lifted a glass to Joe. Damn, this could turn ugly quick. She liked both of these guys for different reasons, but she knew Joe was special. God, why hadn’t she told him the truth? What had she done?

“Okay, this is our last song of the second set and we wanted to dedicate it to someone special.” Carly grinned at her from the stage. Mandy had a really bad feeling about this. “Our daughter, Mandy is in the audience tonight. She has a new Mate and we wanted to sing this for them so they can dance. Come on you two!”

Mandy wanted to throw up as a spotlight hit her and Zach. Her eyes flew to Joe and he looked as sick as she did. He hadn’t known. He knew they were doing this but he hadn’t known who Mandy was until just now. Oh…God. She fought the desire to burst into tears. She shook her head.

“Oh, sweetie. I know you’re shy, but we want you to celebrate. Everyone give Mandy and Zach a round of applause.”

Mandy looked at Zach. His face was white as a sheet and he appeared to be in serious danger of fainting as the clapping and cheering erupted around them. Could this get any worse? No, she couldn’t do this. She wouldn’t. She looked back at Joe, and the sick look was gone. In its place was a painful combination of rage, betrayal and disgust.

People grabbed her and pushed her at Zach then the music started. She asked how it could get worse. She quickly found out as Joe played the opening bars of Wonderful Tonight. Talk about ruining one of her favorite songs.

Zach clutched her, forcing a strained smile to his face. Mandy couldn’t do anything but stare at Joe, wincing as he stepped up to the mike. His voice quavered on the first words. He cleared his throat and continued on. He stared at his guitar as he sang. She blinked away tears. This wasn’t supposed to happen. It wasn’t fair.

Throughout the rest of the song, he wouldn’t look at her. Carly and Eddie beamed happily, like this had been a great idea. The song seemed to last forever, the spotlight glaring on her and Zach as they fought to pretend their way through the song. When Joe sang the last words and played the last notes, Mandy wiped away tears. Friends dragged Zach from her side as she watched Joe set down his guitar abruptly. He jumped down from the stage and came straight for her. His mouth was stern and his eyes were cold. He looked into her eyes for a timeless minute then pushed fabric into her hands.

“These are yours. I don’t want them,” he growled.

He turned and headed for the side doors. She looked down at her hand and realized he’d given her back her panties. No. This was not happening. She chased him, catching his arm.

“Joe! Let me explain. Please…”

“What’s to explain? You cheated on your Mate, Mandy. Cheated. I don’t tolerate lying, cheating females anywhere near me. Go back to your Mate. Maybe he’ll forgive you, but I can’t.”

“It’s not like that. It’s not.”

“That’s what they all say.”

“Mandy, sweetie. Did you like the surprise? Wasn’t Joe great?” Carly clutched his arm, completely missing the tension between her and Joe. Her mother had never been too socially perceptive.

Mandy looked up at Joe. “Yeah, he was,” she murmured.

He shook his head and tore himself away from Carly. “I gotta go outside for a bit. I’ll be back.”

Mandy watched him walk away.

Buy it here:

About the Author:
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Francesca Hawley

Hi. I’m Francesca Hawley and I’m a fat chick. A woman with dangerous curves just like my heroines.

Many people don’t like the word, “fat” but I do because it’s the truth and I’ve learned to own it. I am a fat chick and I always will be. When I first began to read romance, the heroines were all thin. I kept wondering, where were the fat heroines? I wanted to read about a fat chick who loved herself—or at least learned to love herself—and a hot alpha hero who liked her jiggly bits just the way they were. Since I didn’t find many big girls to read about, I decided to write about them, so Francesca Hawley – author of Romance with Dangerous Curves was born.

In a Francesca Hawley romance, my readers will find authentic, sensual, fat heroines who love and are loved by their intense, passionate, and seductive Alpha heroes. I hope you enjoy their dangerous curves just as much as their hunky heroes do.

 

Web site: http://www.francescahawley.com

Blog: http://www.francescasmindstream.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/francesca.hawley

Twitter: https://twitter.com/francescahawley

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/francescahawley

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/FrancescaHawley

 

 

Tamed By Christmas by Ryan Jo Summers

Today we have Tamed By Christmas by Ryan Jo Summers. This story is part of the Soul Mate Publishing’s Sizzle in the Snow anthology, that features eight different stories in one book.

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Years ago Paige and Shane experienced a tragic event in their
romance. Unable to move past it, they broke up. Yet the passion
remains, and she returns at Christmas time in an attempt to
rekindle the love she and Shane once shared. It’s a rocky road,
and it seems they might not succeed until a freak accident shows
them what they really have to lose.
Can Shane tame Paige’s heart by Christmas? Or should they just
let those still burning flames slowly die.
Excerpt:
“Do you think we can still find a room or a cabin this late? I think I’d prefer going somewhere in Colorado. Aspen or Denver maybe.”
       His face lit up as a smile touched his eyes. Gripping her hand, he squeezed gently. “I’ll check as soon as we get home. There’s bound to still be something.”
       She pulled back. “Shane, I have to share something first, to be totally honest with you.”
       “Uh oh.” He released her hand and leaned back, crossing one leg over the other, waiting. Again, his expression caused her heart to skip a couple beats. That baleful look he did so well.
        She fiddled with her coat hem, trying to find the right words.
       “Just try what comes to mind, Paige. It’s bound to be the most accurate.”
        She drew in a breath, laced with cold air. “Sometimes I feel like we’re only lying to each other.”
       His brows arched in twin peaks of surprise. “Excuse me?”
      “I mean that our relationship is based on those lies. Like all we can do right is make love and there’s nothing solid beyond that.”
       He shook his head. “I’m not following you.”
      She fiddled with the hem again until he stopped her, resting his hand over hers. She wondered how he could feel so warm when she was so cold inside.
        “Not actual verbal lies, I mean more to ourselves in thinking we even have a real relationship, beyond the sex.”
       “Ah, I got you now.” He nodded, withdrawing his hand, leaving her even colder. His baleful look deepened, causing a chill to slide up Paige’s spine.
      “Sometimes I feel as though there’s this wall between us. It’s real big. And I try but can’t figure out how to get over that wall.”
        Her heart plummeted and she gave a mirthless laugh. “Lies and walls.” She held his gaze for a moment, licking her lips. “Are we really just kidding ourselves here, Shane?”
Other featured authors and their stories include:

 

 

About the Author:

Ryan Jo Summers is a North Carolina author who specializes in writing romances with a twist. Love stories blended with inspirational, paranormal, suspense or time travel–or several at once. She also writes non-fiction for regional periodicals. Ryan’s dad is a songwriter and his aunt wrote poetry so she claims she came by her writing skill honestly. Apparently it’s in the genes.
Her hobbies include bird-watching, houseplants (50 ish and growing), poetry and yard work. She loves to gather with friends, hike in the forest with her dog, paint ceramics and canvas and work on wiggly word find puzzles. She lives in a 1920 cottage with a menagerie of pets. Living in the mountains, she dreams of the shore and frequently uses the water as scenes for her stories.

 

Crystal Creek Christmas by Laura Haley-McNeil

Today we welcome Laura Haley-McNeil and her Christmas tale Crystal Creek Christmas. This sounds like the kind of book you cozy up under a blanket by the fire and read. Enjoy! I know I will!

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Celebrate Christmas with the Whitlochs

When a blinding snowstorm shuts down the Crystal Creek Ranch’s cattle operation, the Whitlochs have one mission – save the cattle. ER doc Jake Whitloch joins in the rescue, but the form he finds in a snowdrift is no cow. It’s a woman, a woman who consumes his thoughts despite that two carat diamond sitting on her ring finger.

Noelle Beaupré thanks the rugged doctor for rescuing her from freezing to death and the Whitlochs for taking her into their home, but now it’s time for her to leave the ranch. She longs to stay with the man who’s determined to protect her, but she doesn’t dare. Her deadly secret is in hot pursuit. Any delay and she’ll endanger the family who opened their home to her.

Noelle leaving Crystal Creek Ranch? Jake can’t let her go, but how can he convince her he’ll do anything to keep her safe?

This book includes your favorite Crystal Creek characters from Book One of the Crystal Creek Series and several new characters, including Max Whitloch’s children from his previous marriages who come to the ranch for Victoria and Garrett’s wedding. All Max’s children will have their own books as they pursue their quests for love.

While Crystal Creek Christmas could be read as a standalone story, readers will enjoy it more if they have read Guarding Her Heart, Book One of the Crystal Creek Series.

 

Chapter One excerpt:

Chapter One

Dr. Jake Whitloch white knuckled the steering wheel of the old ranch truck and squinted through the windshield. The truck’s bumper crunched through hubcap high snow covering the service road. At ten o’clock in the morning, the heavy snowfall had shrouded Crystal Creek Ranch making the day as dark as night. He flipped on the headlights.

It was crazy to be out in this blizzard. Hunting for stranded cattle made the risk a priority.

The Whitloch’s hired hands corralled together their duallys and SUVs and headed out to the back pastures, doing what they did best–risking their lives for the good of the ranch and for the owner they admired—Rose Whitloch, Jake’s step-mother.

Jake couldn’t let the ranch hands do it alone. He volunteered to check the south pastures.

He was out in the blizzard for a reason he pushed out of his mind. In this weather, he focused on the truck and on the road. No time to think about why he left Philadelphia.

The windshield wipers kicked back and forth like the Rockettes performing their Christmas finale. The wipers flipped the snowflakes right, then left. Faster, faster, but not fast enough. The snow piled on the windshield, piled on the hood, kept falling, falling, falling.

Thlpt.

That sound again. Tire tread gripping for snow, sliding over ice.

Panic shot up Jake’s throat. Lodged like a spear gun at the base of his brain.

Tires scraped across the gravel-snow road. Jake downshifted. Pumped the clutch. Tapped the brakes. The mounds of snow covering the creek crept closer, closer.

The treads lodged into a road rut, jerked to a stop. The brakes wheezed. The truck groaned.

Jake glanced out the side window. Not face on. He didn’t want to see how close he was to the creek bank until his brain understood that he had a few feet of buffer before falling over the edge.

He shifted his eyes sideways so hard he felt the ache in the back of his head. He ignored it. He studied the ground. The truck had stopped a few feet from the creek’s edge.

Closer than last time. But a few feet was a few feet.

His lungs eased like a deflating tire. He’d been right. That was the thought he allowed into his head. Behind that thought pulsed the real relief— he was safe.

He eased out the clutch. The truck crept forward. He squinted through the snow that whipped at the glass like the Enterprise traveling through space at warp speed.

As far as he could see, thick snow blanketed the ranch’s rolling hills and ragged bluffs.

The storm had started Monday. Four days ago. There was no sign of it stopping. The snowbanks along the driveway and the paths to the barn, the outbuildings, and the bunkhouse grew higher until they were almost as tall as his stepmother’s two and one half-story ranch house.

The snow was beautiful. More beautiful than the snow covered Philadelphia concrete and asphalt he trudged through every day to work in the inner city hospital’s emergency room. He watched the pristine white sift over the trees. It was as soothing as soaking in a tub of scented oil.

Fluffy. White. Snow.

Beautiful.

With the beauty, came treachery. Namely for the cattle. They would be foraging through the snowdrifts in search of food.

Food that would be difficult to find during this storm.

Jake and the hired hands navigated various parts of the ranch to make sure the cattle stranded by the snowstorm had found the bales of hay dropped by the helicopters.

He saw plenty of snow but no cattle. He only prayed that no cow had been trapped in the snowdrifts and was starving to death or worse freezing to death.

His sister and half-sisters told him he was insane to go out in this weather.

It would’ve been more insane to sit in the house and brood over the decision he’d made last weekend. He had to get away, get away from the mental banter that questioned the wisdom of his decision.

Yes, he was glad that his half-sister, Victoria, had escaped the clutches of a serial killer, that she and Garrett Nelson Reynolds were getting married, that Garrett had changed his mind about pursuing his family’s vendetta to reclaim Crystal Creek Ranch.

He was glad Christmas was in three days.

But with Victoria’s and Garrett’s upcoming Christmas Eve nuptials, the house was in turmoil.

Add to that the mysterious disappearance of Maxwell Aloysius Whitloch, Sr., Rose’s ex-husband, Jake’s father and the father of his siblings and half siblings.

The entire Whitloch clan had converged on the ranch to help Victoria celebrate her wedding and to await word from their oldest brother Max Junior regarding their father.

No word came.

That was when Jake had snatched up the battered cowboy hat he wore whenever he visited the ranch, borrowed the foreman’s keys to the ranch truck, and ventured into the snowstorm.

Jake guided the truck over the bumpy road. Snowflakes batted the windshield. The wipers shoved the flakes aside but a new blanket covered the windshield almost as quickly as the wipers whisked them away.

It was between swipes of the blades that he saw the dark form in the snowdrift. That swelling he sometimes felt in his throat when he worked in the emergency room flooded him. The rush always accompanied unwanted emotions, emotions that bordered on fear, anxiety, that not-a-good-feeling feeling.

The form didn’t move, didn’t react to the sound of the engine charging through the snow.

He edged closer. The size of the form should have grown larger. Instead, it seemed to shrink. It was small, too small to be a cow. It had to be a calf. But in the middle of winter? He may be a city slicker, but even he knew calving season was in the spring.

“How’re you doing out there, Doc?” Ralph’s, the foreman, voice crackled over the walkie-talkie.

Jake pressed the talk button. “I haven’t seen any cattle, but there’s something up ahead. I’m going to check it.” Jake aimed the headlights over the mound and set the emergency brakes. “I’ll radio you once I find out what this is.”

“Leave it, Doc,” Ralph said. “No reason to risk your life for a cow. It’s snowing concrete blocks. When this storm lets up, me or one of the hands will check it out.”

“Don’t worry, Ralph. It’s not a cow. It’s too small to be a cow. I’ll get back to you.” Jake turned off the walkie-talkie.

Arguing with Ralph was wasting precious time if this mound was an actual living, breathing creature. Human or animal, Jake was in the business of saving lives.

He pulled up his coat collar and shoved down his cowboy hat until the band caught his ears. He climbed out of the cab and hunched his shoulders. Snow beat at his face and slapped his chest. He tucked his chin and barreled into an army of snowflakes.

In the few minutes since he’d first spied the mound, the snow had nearly covered the dark shape.

He reached a gloved hand toward the form and dusted away the snow. A streak of strawberry blond hair glinted beneath the flakes.

A snare drum heartbeat battered his rib cage. What was he seeing? A fox? No. Lying in the snow was hair, not fur.

He bowed over the form and with both hands brushed heaps of snow away from the figure.

Dark lashes appeared as two velvet crescents in a face as white as the snow.

“Dear God.” He breathed.

The form was a person, a small person, a child. What was this child doing wandering through a snowstorm?

Adrenaline shot through his veins. The familiar metallic taste of the emergency room lifesaving mode burst into his mouth. Someone in trouble. Save the person in trouble.

The muscles around his throat clenched. He’d worked in an emergency room long enough to know the many reasons children ran away. From home? From someplace else?

He scooped his arms beneath the tiny body, braced his back and lifted the child from the snow mound. The lightness stunned him. The poor thing weighed less than a bag of oats. How could a human weigh so little?

The child’s wool jacket was slippery with snow, and the unconscious form slid through his arms. He shifted the limp body and held it close.

His hand pressed a pillowy soft shape. He jerked upright. The stirring within heated him like a hot numbness that made him want to dive into the snow to cool off.

In his arms was no child. In his arms, he held a woman.

Buy it here:

Amazon

Crystal Creek Christmas Book 2 of the Crystal Creek Series

http://www.amazon.com/Crystal-Creek-Christmas-Book-ebook/dp/B00Q5V2FYW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1450408634&sr=1-1&keywords=crystal+creek+christmas

Kobo

Crystal Creek Christmas Book 2 of the Crystal Creek Series

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/crystal-creek-christmas

 

Barnes and Nobel

Crystal Creek Christmas Book 2 of the Crystal Creek Series

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/crystal-creek-christmas-laura-haley-mcneil/1121493147?ean=2940151317207

IBooks

Crystal Creek Christmas Book 2 of the Crystal Creek Series

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/crystal-creek-christmas/id982599818?mt=11

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/heartstrings/id988418118?mt=11

 

 

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Laura Haley-McNeil is an award-winning author of romantic suspense and women’s fiction in novel length and in short stories. Her work has been featured in several women’s magazines. She has studied piano and ballet and has been a board member for two community orchestras. She and her husband reside in Colorado. When she isn’t writing, she jogs, bicycles and crochets.

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