Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Romance Review's Year-End Blog Hop

 My Q&A bit for The Romance Review's Blog Hop happens next Tuesday, so I want to be ready for it. You will be able to find the answer in this short excerpt from my debut contemporary.

Excerpt from Blame It On The Brontes. 


Suddenly, Liam took hold of her hand and pulled her up off the bench. “Let’s go to The Quack. I’m heading back out to the lobster grounds in the morning, and I think we should have a beer before I go.”
They made their way into The Quacking Puffin, which had been inhabited by both locals and tourists for as long as Emily remembered. The place hadn’t been updated in more than thirty years, which was part of its charm, but the place was always clean. The lights were dim, except for the purple glow emanating from the jukebox. They ordered their drinks at the bar and then took refuge in a booth, where they surveyed the selections on the tabletop individual juke.

Here's a bit more about the book, which occupies the #1 spot on the Goodread's list for Best Baby Boomer Books. 

This novel was inspired by a jewelry-making class taught by a woman who has spent years collecting beach glass on the shores of Lake Erie and turning those rare pieces of glass into beautiful necklaces and bracelets. By the look of the necklace she tried to teach me to make, I realized at the end of the class that my talent was with the written word, not with the creation of jewelry.  The novel is set in coastal Maine. 

Three separate love stories intertwine around a central theme, as fractious sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronson, each in her forties, are in Puffin Bay, ME for their mother's funeral. Each is ready to sink her claws into the fortune their mother left behind. But their mother has other plans. Her substantial fortune won't be divided until the trio return to their childhood home and live together for a year.

 It's a request that pits sister against sister but could unite them in a common goal to find the friendship they shared as children, to create a family jewelry business and to win over the men of Puffin Bay. They have a year to figure it all out.

Friday, November 22, 2013

All I Want For Christmas--Day 12

A very fitting conclusion to my Twelve Days Of Christmas tribute is my own story in the Soul Mate Christmas Anthology. This Old House a story near to my heart, since I've always wanted to take a grand old painted lady Victorian and restore her to her former glory. I haven't made it yet--my homes have been elderly, but not grand. In this story, Beth is a realtor who buys, restores, and flips old
homes one at a time. This time, the house hasn't garnered any interest, so she's decided to make it a stop on the town's Christmas homes tour. Here's the hook:

Two old friends find they have more in common than a Christmas birthday as they reunite after twenty years apart.

And my excerpt:

   “Tell me again why we’re participating in the Historic Homes Christmas tour?” Beth's assistant Hannah asked as she fastened pine boughs to the banister and draped the fireplace mantle. She added wide velvet ribbon, winding it in between the branches.
   “Six months without so much as a nibble of interest on this place is enough reason. So we’re putting on the lady’s party clothes and showing her off during the town’s Christmas tour,” Beth replied. “Such a lovely home. Brings back memories for me.”
   “You and this home had a connection even before you bought it and renovated?”
The snippet of history flashed through Beth’s mind and made her smile. “I know the family who owned this house. Which reminds me, where’s the mistletoe I bought?”
   “Quit being cryptic. What’s mistletoe got to do with anything?”
   Beth pointed to the small entry foyer. “The very first kiss of my life happened in that spot, under some mistletoe.”

And don't forget to click on the poster to the right and head over to The Romance Review's Year End Blog Hop and visit other participating blog sites. Lots of fun, games and prizes are up for grabs.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Unconquerable Callie 
by DeAnn Smallwood
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: Sweet


Callie Collins, a proud woman in the late 1800’s is a liar and a darned good one, a master of the dubious art. She is also a dreamer. Her greatest hope is to reach a new life in South Pass City Wyoming, where she can open a bakery and live an independent life. To be successful, she will need her greatest gifts of deception to date. As a woman alone, she has to prove to Seth McCalister, the wagon master, that she has the wherewithal (a wagon and a set of oxen), the stamina to survive months of drought, dust, hardships and even risk of death, and a mythical fiancĂ© who waits at the end of the line. McCallister is uneasy, but also mystified by the audacity and determination of the young woman. He allows her to join the train west. What he doesn’t realize is there is no fiancĂ©. To make matters worse, Callie is in love with Seth McCallister, too. For the first time, the lies that have brought her so far in life threaten to keep her from her one, true love. McCallister is a man of strong character and Callie feels certain that once he realizes her deception, he’ll turn away, ashamed of his love and trust in her.


She left the empty dining room and, with shoulders squared, set out for the general store. The town hummed like a beehive of angry bees, streets crowded with wagons of every description, vendors set up on any available space offering any and all items needed for the trip west. If you wanted it, Independence had it. You just had to find the right stall or store.
 Callie strolled past each vendor seeing-without-seeing the wares. There would be time to stock her wagon once she had one. She reached for the door to the general store only to have it shoved open from the inside, hitting her with such force she went tumbling backward down the steps. She landed on her rump in the dusty street, hat askew, petticoats up over the top of her fashionable buttoned shoes.
 Before she realized what had happened, she was pulled up into strong arms, then flopped over a masculine forearm while a large hand administered rib shaking blows to her back.
 “Breathe.” The order came harsh in her ear while he smacked her back again.
 “I said breathe, lady.” The stranger shook her.
 “Stop,” Callie gasped weakly, head wobbling from side-to-side. “Stop pounding my back and shaking me.” She forced the words out between squeaky intakes of air.
 As sudden as the earthquake had started, it stopped. She remained in a tight vise against the man’s chest.
 Then he spoke again, his voice full of anger. “What in the hell, begging your pardon, Ma’am, but just what were you doing on the other side of that door?”
 Callie pulled her head back and attempted to focus. How dare he! He’d just pushed her down two steps, into a dirty street, showed her petticoats to passersby, knocked the breath out of her, pummeled her back to black and blue, and then berated her for standing in front of a door leading to a place of business.
 “You . . .”
 “Hush,” he barked. “I hollered to ‘Stand clear’ before throwing open the door. Are you deaf?”
 No, she hadn’t heard. She’d been thinking, worrying, about that dratted wagon. Anyway, it certainly wasn’t her fault and as soon as she freed herself of a pair of strong arms and a man smelling of witch hazel and the clean scent of wood smoke, she’d tell him so.
 “We were rolling out kegs and barrels. You could have been hurt. I’ve seen some dumb stunts, lady, but standing there with your head in the clouds when someone is trying to prevent an accident, is just, well, it’s just crazy.” With that, he released her and set her firmly on her feet. He brushed off the dust clinging to her dress.
Callie eyed him apprehensively and backed away only to feel the heel of her shoe teeter over the edge of the step. She flailed her arms and would have tumbled back down the steps again if, quick as a snake, he hadn’t reached out and grabbed her.
"Ma'am,' he growled, "you'd better get home to the safety of your kitchen and not venture out without your husband on your arm. You're a menace." And before Callie could put her tongue into action, he picked her up like a doll and firmly set her to one side while he stormed down the steps. He was part of the crowd before she could speak all the unladylike words that were on her lips.
Of all the egotistical males, she had just met the king. How dare he admonish her to home and hearth? How dare he knock her down, brush her off, and scold her in front of everyone? Men. If she ever needed proof she’d done the right thing in seeking independence, there it was. A tall, strong, pigheaded stranger who just happened to have the deepest pair of blue eyes she’d ever seen.


Soul Mate Publishing:
Other books by DeAnn:

Death Crosses the Finish Line

Sapphire Blue

Montana Star

Wyoming Heather

Tears in the Wind

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

All I Want For Christmas--Day 11

Christmas stories abound in this compilation from Soul Mate Publishing.  And when you're finished, don't forget to click on the poster to the right and possibly win some extra Christmas gifts for yourself from The Romance Review's Year-End Blog Hop.

A Year And A Day
By Tina Susedik

A year after her husband's death, will a widow find love again?

After losing her husband due to a fall from a deer stand, Cara doesn't think the year since his death have made her lot any easier. Despite her depression, she attends her sister's Thanksgiving Day feast and, despite her irritating sister, find a reason to have a good time. And perhaps a future.

Sky's End: A Thell'eon Holiday Behest
By Lesley Young

An alien teaches his human captor a lesson in the real meaning of goodwill...

Evolution has created a superbly attractive male species, and human females have a hard time resisting them. But on the day of the Revelation, Cassiel must figure out if Or'ic wants her for her gifts or if he wants her for herself.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

All I Want For Christmas--Day 10

 Here are a few more encapsulations of the stories in Soul Mate's Christmas anthology. Believe me when I say there's something for every taste in this compilation.

Don't forget to click on The Romance Review's blog hop poster to the right, to visit other participating blogs, to play games and to possibly win some really nice prizes.

A Most Unexpected Gift
By Tracy Hewitt Meyer

On a lonely and desperate Christmas Eve, Cami Monroe receives an unexpected gift that will change her holiday, and her future, forever...

Cami had always loved Jake, from the time they were in high school. But he broke their engagement six months before their planned Christmas Eve wedding, sending Cami into a tailspin. Now, on Christmas Eve, it was her sister getting married instead of her. She had to get through the ceremony and push the ghost of Jake aside for one evening.

The Wishing Wreath
By Donna Shields

A second chance at love is only a single Christmas Wish away...

American Vivian is hired as a governess to the small princess Sophie, in the island country of Eclaire. She becomes friends with a man she believes is a stable boy, but he instead is the handsome Prince Antoine. When he informs Vivian of his true identity, Vivian makes arrangements to head back to the States, but has time for one more wish on a magic Christmas wreath.

Monday, November 18, 2013

All I Want For Christmas--Day 9

 Three more delightful stories to entice you. And please visit The Romance Review's blog hop by clicking on the poster to the right to visit more blog sites, play games and possibly win prizes. Thanks!

A Christmas Surprise
By Janis Lane celebrating the birth of the Christ Child, a man and a woman are given a second chance at love, but will they find the courage to ake what is so freely offered?

Two widowed neighbors try to find the courage to move forward in their lives, rather than continue to live in their private grief. This is a very touching, perfect, story about people opening up the second chapter in their lives.

A Christmas Affair
By Kristi Lea

A lake-effect blizzard, a woman's effort to spice up her marriage and the husband who's content with their current matial status quo makes for a Christmas Eve neither will ever forget...

A husband, intimidated by his wife's business success, drives through a blizzard to get to his wife's side for Christmas Eve. This is a true 21st-century scenario that brought tears to my eyes.

The Christmas Snow Ball
By Lanora Mangano

Christmas comes early for two unsuspecting high school crushes, reunited fifteen years after one horrible rumor kept them apart...

Bullying is not a new phenomenon, and in this case, it kept two people meant for each other apart for fifteen long years. A most satisfying tale.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Winter Comes To My Blog

I know I've been pushing Christmas hard these past few weeks by featuring the Soul Mate Christmas Anthology, but now I'm talking about a different kind of Winter.

Winter Austin, to be exact.

She's the author of a series of Crimson Romantic Suspense books. This series begins with Relentless, where we first meet Cody and Remy, and is followed by Retribution. Her latest, Revenge, Book Three in the Degrees of Darkness Series, was just released on November 13.
Beautiful name, beautiful lady. What more could you want? Let's find out more about her and what she's been up to, shall we?

And don't forget to click on The Romance Review's poster to the right and visit some other places on the Year-End Blog Hop. Many great prizes are up for grabs, along with some fun games to play.

Now, here's Winter!

What is your current project about?

      Book 4 in my Degrees of Darkness series, this is the wrap-up book for my characters Cody and Remy, called Reckoning.

What’s next for your readers?

      It is actually book 4, set to release in March of 2014. So far the responses for the previous 3 have been great and I hope my readers enjoy the wrap-up to this pair and their crazy dangerous lives.

Why do you write in the genre you do?

      Because I have this insatiable need to create danger and action and throw characters into chaos every chance I get. I sat in a writers class being taught by a best-selling suspense author who stated that if you were the type of writer that was a glass half-empty person, then you make the best suspense authors. You’re always looking for the worst possible scenario for everything. I’m this type of person. While my heading might say Romantic Suspense, I’m truly and clearly a Romantic Thriller author.

Do you have an idea for “the” book of your career? Have you already written it or is it still an idea bouncing around in your head?

      For a good chunk of my life I’ve been a military wife. Having lived through a deployment and watched some of our soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen come home with the longstanding effects of TBI’s and PTSD I’ve been longing to write a book with a character coping with this. I’ve actually started said book and it's a lot different than what I’ve written and published before, this book is definitely more of a thriller. Whether this is the book of my career or not is up for debate.

If you could choose two people to have dinner with, from any time period, real or fictional, who would you want at the table?

      Dick Francis, because I have to beg him, how did he come up with a different crime and new character with a different career that somehow tied into horse racing with every book.

      And Red Skelton, cause I love laughing and that man has always made me laugh.

Are you a dog or cat person?

      Both, and it’s really hard to choose between them, and I guess that’s why I have both. Though I like having more than one dog, but only one cat.

Would you rather vacation at the beach or the mountains?

      Ooo, that’s a toughy, since I’ve been to the mountains and never been to the beach I’d like to go to the beach next. But I still love the mountain areas and would love to go back, especially in Colorado.

Sun or fog?

      Most definitely sun, fog is okay, but then I’m a Mid-west person and being out in the timber areas with fog is pretty cool.

Book Blurb:

In New Orleans, justice is best served with a heavy dose of revenge, and Remy LeBeau intends to tip the scales in his favor. For good.
Forced to take a mandatory vacation from the Dallas PD, Remy leaves his girlfriend, Cody, to protect her from what’s to come. If there’s to be any chance for a normal future for the two of them, he has to face his enemies and finish what they started—alone.
Cody Lewis gave up on someone once before, but not this time. She needs to come to terms with Remy’s past and her own as she seeks him out among the historic and deadly streets of New Orleans. But she got more than she bargained for. Those who oppose her will find you don’t get in the way of a determined Texan; especially a woman in love.
As Remy closes in on the nameless faces who have controlled his life for too long, his ability to save himself and those closest to him is tested, putting everyone he cares for in grave danger. And this time, Cody may face the reality of his death.
by Winter Austin
Romantic Suspense
Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors

Buy Links:

Saturday, November 16, 2013

All I Want For Christmas--Day 8

What, you say? It's too early for Christmas? Never! In my greeting card job, I've put up all the Christmas cards weeks ago. What about Thanksgiving? you interject. Ah, that's just a foodie holiday. My belief is people are so stressed in their daily lives that it takes a while for everyone to get in the holiday spirit. So the stores start hauling out fake trees and tinsel in October to nudge people in a Christmas direction. Our anthology was released in November to help people shift into that spirit. Here are three more stories from the anthology. If one of them makes you smile, we've done our job.

And, don't forget to hop over to The Romance Review's year-end blog hop and sign up for some presents of your own! Simply click on the poster to the right to get there. And enjoy!

Meeting Mace
By. C. T. Green

Encountering a scorching hot elf wasn't at the top of SERA agent's Christmas list... first line of this story made me smile. You'll have to read it to find out why. The first page had me chuckling. This is a perfect paranormal Christmas story with a sexy pointy-eared man who will make you sigh.

Forever In My Heart
By Sarah Hoss

Pledged to each other and eagerly awaiting a Christmas wedding, a young couple discovers Fate may have other plans...

If paranormal's not your thing, try this Highlander tale about two lovebirds eagerly awaiting their wedding night--until duty called. Kilts, or the lack thereof, make this an engrossing story.

A Highlander For Christmas
By Dawn Ireland

Legend has it that if the need is great enough, and the hearts pure, the magic of Christmas will guide the way, crossing all barriers to help two lost souls become one. Such was the case on this Christmas Eve...

This is a poignant tale about families lost, and a new family being formed. It comes complete with a damsel in distress and a kilt-wearing rescuer. Very touching.

Friday, November 15, 2013

All I Want For Christmas--Day 7

 Since I did not receive information from the other contributors to the anthology, and don't feel comfortable pulling out excerpts from someone else's work, I've decided to cover the remainder of the short stories in a review format. Here are the first three.

Christmas Came With The Courier
By Julia Bade

When a handsome courier shows up at Christy's door to serve her with a lawsuit, he finds the woman of his happily-ever-after, but this single mom isn't ready or willing to give her heart away again...

This is a sweet story about a twice-wed woman who isn't prepared to risk love one more time. She has two little girls to take care of and debts piling up outside the door. But the courier who served her with papers is about to deliver more than a document. He wants to be part of her life and deliver her the happy-ever-after she doesn't think she deserves.

An Island Christmas
By Joy Connell

Even in paradise, the ghosts of Christmas past can spoil the view of decorated palm trees and warm coves.

A cowboy on a tropical island is just what the doctor ordered to cure Celia's heartache. Sam is a no-nonsense pilot who flew into her life when she most needed him. Recovering from an aborted Christmas Eve marriage a year previous, Sam gives Celia the strength she needs to find pleasure again.

Weighting For Christmas
By Patricia W. Fischer

I'm glad I put a hot, naked guy on my Christmas wish list, but I didn't think Santa would actually deliver one.

This is a Bridget Jones story about a sassy, curvy woman who had one disastrous date with a sexy doctor. Six months later, he conspires to get them back together, just in time to grant one of her Christmas wishes.

And, don't forget to click on The Romance Review's poster to the right and visit more blogs on the hop. Loads of fun and prizes are available. Check it out. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Viscount’s Vow by Collette Cameron
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Heat Level: Sensual
Amidst murder and betrayal, destiny and hearts collide when scandal forces a viscount and a  gypsy noblewoman to marry in this Regency romance sprinkled with suspense and humor.
Part Romani, part English noblewoman, Evangeline Caruthers is the last woman in England Ian Hamilton, the Viscount Warrick, could ever love—an immoral wanton responsible for his brother’s and father’s deaths. She thinks he’s a foul-tempered blackguard, who after setting out to cause her downfall, finds himself forced to marry her—snared in the trap of his own making.

When Vangie learns the marriage ceremony itself may have been a ruse, she flees to her gypsy relatives, declaring herself divorced from Ian under Romani law. He pursues her to the gypsy encampment, and when the handsome gypsy king offers to take Ian’s place in Vangie’s bed, jealousy stirs hot and dangerous.

At last, under a balmy starlit sky, Ian and Vangie breech the chasm separating them. Peril lurks though. Ian’s the last in his line, and his stepmother intends to dispose of the newlyweds so her daughter can inherit his estate. Only by trusting each other can they overcome scandal and murderous betrayal.

“A brilliant tale combining Regency romance with exotic Romani culture.”


“You didn’t eat much, wife.”
They were alone on the dance floor. Ian deftly twirled Vangie around his aunt’s smallish ballroom, mindful of the interested gazes watching them.
Stealing a glance at the smiling and nodding onlookers, he suppressed a frown. He felt like a curiosity on display at Bullock’s Museum. He wished others would take to the floor, so he could dispense with the devoted bridegroom facade.
The twelve courses at dinner had been torturous. His wife hadn’t taken more than a dozen bites nor said as many words. He’d tried to eat the succulent foods Aunt Edith had gone to such efforts to have prepared, but his anger made everything dry as chalk and every bit as tasteless.
“I’d not much appetite, my lord.”
He chuckled. “Don’t you think you might address me by my given name, wife?”
“Why?” she asked pertly. “I’ve known you but four days, certainly not long enough to be so familiar with you.”
He lowered his head, breathing in her ear, very aware every eye in the room was trained on them. He’d give them something to gossip about. “Because I want you to, wife, and you did promise to obey.”
He nipped her ear.
She jumped and a tiny yelp of surprise escaped before she clamped her lips together. Her eyes were shooting sparks again; only this time they were directed at him.
“What’s my name, wife?”
“Please, don’t call me that. I too have a name, as you well know.”
Drawing her closer, her breasts pressing against the breadth of his chest and cresting the edge of her bodice, he murmured, “Indeed, but Evangeline sounds . . . angelic, and we both know you’re no such thing.”
“Pardon?” She stiffened, trying to shove away from him. “I don’t under—”
His head descended again. “Say it, or I’ll trace your ear with my tongue.”
He grinned as her breath hissed from between clenched teeth. She stumbled, her fingers digging into his shoulder and hand. A very becoming flush swept across her face.
“Will you cease?” Her worried gaze careened around the room. “We’re being watched.”
Voice husky, he said, “Say my name, sweeting.”
Giving her a gentle squeeze, he started to dip his head, caressing her elegant neck with his hot breath.
“Ian, your name is Ian,” she gasped breathlessly, twisting her head away.

Contact Collette
Facebook Fan Page:
Facebook Book Page:
She can also be found on Wordpress, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Google+

Buy Link

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

All I Want For Christmas--Day 6

Teaser Time!

This excerpt is brought to you by Larynn Ford, who wrote another one of the short stories from SMP’s Chrismas anthology this year.  It’s titled CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS.
The hook: ~ Killed the night before their wedding, a ghostly groom finds a way to return from the dead to be with his true love … ~
The excerpt:
Lila scanned the faces of her tour group for any indication someone else heard the voice. She read disbelief, anticipation, but no hint of surprise on a single face. Not one inkling anyone else caught the whispers of a name—her name—floating on the air.
Did I imagine someone calling to me?
Not her imagination. She worried her bottom lip between
her teeth as she searched each face again. Nothing. No one else seems to hear this.
The lights in the historic library had been switched off during the ghost tour to hopefully entice some resident spirits to reveal themselves. Fragrant cedar boughs cascaded from the staircase railing, filling the air with holiday scents. The colorful glow of festive lights strung along the streets spilled in through the windows and reflected off the gold and silver ornaments dotting the evergreens.
Chrissie, her best friend, had chosen this ghost tour on their weekend getaway. Even on a friendly face she read no surprise, nothing out of the ordinary. Yet, the voice calling to her was real.
Familiar. So familiar.
But he had been taken from her a year ago. The night before their wedding.
Get the anthology today!

And, don't forget to click on The Romance Review's poster to the right and visit more blogs on the hop. Loads of fun and prizes are available. Check it out. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

All I Want For Christmas--Day 5

Please click on The Romance Review's poster on the right to join in the blog hop all month long. Over 400 participating authors, and prizes given away daily. It's great fun! 

Today is all about Elle Hill! Her story is called Hunted Holidays.

Hunter Jade's assignment to guard the new guy turns into a life and death food fight, sparking romance among the rutabagas.

Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Here's a taste:

The second thing she noticed about him was his tie. A tie, as in little-silk-noose-around-his-neck. Granted, the swirly, blue and silver teardrop shapes (called argyle or paisley or something like that) looked kind of sharp against his white, button up shirt. But, still, who wore ties while cooking for needy families?

The first thing she noticed was his eyes; huge, black-fringed, and blue as a smogless L.A. sky. Gazing into them, she stumbled just a little before skidding to a halt in front of him at ten minutes past three.

“Sorry I’m late,” she said.

He smiled and extended a hand. “Jade,” he said, and his voice was cheerfully melodic, a perfect radio voice. “I’m Jensen. Pleased to meet you.”

Cherubic blue eyes or not, she didn’t want him getting the wrong idea. She brushed her hand against his, nodded, and said, “Yep. Let’s go.”

Want more Elle? Here you go:

Monday, November 11, 2013

All I Want For Chrismas--Day 4

Don't forget to visit the other blogs on The Romance Review's Blog Hop by clicking on the poster to the right. Hundreds of blogs to preview, loads of prizes and games.

Today, Lynn Cahoon takes over the blog with her lovely Christmas story, Top Secret Santa.
--Two strangers, each starting a new life, realize visiting Santa really is about Christmas magic....--


Noelle watched the door close behind him with a pang of regret. She’d probably never see the guy again. Which was exactly the way she wanted it, she reminded herself. She dressed in her street clothes, hung up the elf costume, and shut the locker door. The arm of the Santa suit hung out of an adjoining locker and she opened the door to tuck the fabric back into the stuffed space.

As she stroked the soft fabric, she thought of her own Santa visits over the years. After she’d grown up, she’d asked for more intangible gifts. Excellent grades on her finals, for her parents to be happy, and, if not for world peace, maybe fewer wars raging over the planet.

This year she asked for the moon . . . to fall in love with someone ready to love her back.

Want more of Lynn? Check her out here:

Sunday, November 10, 2013

All I Want For Christmas--Day 3

 Click on The Romance Review's Year-End Blog hop button on the right to be eligible to win over 400 prizes during the month of November!

The spotlight today turns to Cynthia Racette today with her entry, A Child Is Born.

Two teens, assisting with a church Christmas pageant, discover the true meaning of the season through their own Christmas miracle.

The man who'd helped them stood by, obviously wanting to make sure they were okay.

"We're okay. Just a little shaken." Val eyed him more closely. He wore a beige tunic in a rough, coarse material. Over it he wore a dark brown cloak that looked like linen and on his head a black cloth with a woven band that kept his long hair back. There were others walking around, all wearing the same type of clothing in different colors, materials and ornamentation.

Sweating in her winter outfit, Val pulled off her gloves and coat and Jason did the same. The foreign man reached out tentatively, and felt the mohair of her fluffy green sweater. "Where did you get this? Persia, perhaps?” He pointed to her leather boots. “You must be rich."

He touched Jason's soft flannel shirt, tracing the plaid of green, blue, and red. "How do you weave colors such as this?"

"Uh, I don't know." Jason finally glanced around. "I wonder where we are. Can you tell us the name of this town?"

The man looked at them oddly. "Why, it is Bethlehem, of Judea."

As Jason and Val stared at him in disbelief, a frisson of awareness ran the length of Val's spine. It couldn't be. But a glance around confirmed the momentous truth of what had happened. Her eyes told her it was possible, but she wasn't sure she believed her own sight.

Somehow, on Christmas Eve, they had landed in Bethlehem. And a look around told them it was not the Bethlehem of today, but rather many years ago.

How to reach Cynthia:

Released August 28: Uncharted Fate
Released 2012: Windswept
Novella: Married to the Job, to release fall 2013

Saturday, November 9, 2013

All I Want For Christmas

 Christmas Miracles, by Anna Bloom

Anna says about her story...

I love my characters in what I like to call ‘My Crimbo Short’ and I love the fact that within a few thousand words I was able to give them a great ending. I’m also proud of the fact that even though it is short I managed to tick all my writing ‘must-do’s’. It’s funny, sexy, sarcastic and has a swoonworthy guy in the lead. . .
I’ve read the other stories in the collection and they are all AMAZING and so worth a download.
Here is the hook for Christmas Miracles….
~ Jude gave up on Christmas last year when her husband walked out, but anything could happen this holiday season, thanks to a new man and a Christmas miracle . . . ~

I hope you will all give it a read and enjoy Jude and Adam’s festive tale and we all can start feeling Christmassy together . . . now where is my tinsel?

Please click on The Romance Review's poster on the right to join in the blog hop all month long. Over 400 participating authors, and prizes given away daily. It's great fun! 

Friday, November 8, 2013

All I Want For Christmas

The idea for a blog hop for this anthology kind of got lost in the shuffle, so, to do due diligence to all, I'm going to feature one story a day for twenty days. Since Jo Richardson provided me with material, she'll go first. (Yes, I'm that lazy).

Excerpt from Lost In Christmas by Jo Richardson:

I make a mean version of taco salad, but just as I’m getting ready to sit down and devour the food, there’s a knock at my door. Berkley looks up at me expectantly while my brow dips a little.


I have to answer it, I realize, but before I do, I kneel down to get eye level with my best friend.


He tilts his head.

“Guard dog.”

Berkley growls and it sounds ferocious enough, so I stand and grin. “I’ve taught you well, young padawan.”

I review some defensive techniques I learned once upon a time as he follows me to the door. When I open it, all is forgotten because the man standing in front of me doesn’t look like a threat at all.

He’s tall and looming, yes, but his face seems, nice. He’s soft around the eyes and perfect around the lips. As they move to say something I can’t hear him because I’m too busy noticing his broad shoulders. Not too broad, though, they’re just right. I won’t mention the scruffy five o’clock shadow forming along his jaw.


My mouth snaps shut and I blink.


“Can I use your phone?” he asks slowly as he kicks his shoes against the stoop. He begins to take a step forward, assuming I’ll just say yes. Berkley lets out his version of a warning bark and I put a hand to the man’s chest.

“I don’t have a phone.”

He laughs. “Everyone has a phone.”

I push a little harder. “Not this everyone.” I’m trying to stand my ground, but honestly, I’m faltering here.

“Do you have a cell phone?” he asks.

I narrow my eyes. “Yes, why?”

He pulls his out. “Because maybe your cell range is better than mine.”

I try to remain strong. “Cell phones don’t generally work this far up in the mountains.”

But he is a persistent man. “Think I could try anyway?”

I purse my lips.


He seems honest but I’ve seen this show before. Man plays desperate, woman falls for his boyish charm, never to be seen again.

I peek down at my dog, whose bark has always been a million times worse than his bite. The only thing this guy has to worry about is getting tackled and then subsequently licked to death all over his face. Or maybe his jawline.

He has a nice jawline.

I make a rash decision that he’s indeed not a threat and open the door for him, a questionable, “sure” squeaking out.  The smallest of smiles plays at his lips when he realizes he’s won.


He stands at the doorway as I retrieve my phone and when I hand it to him, he tries over and over and over again to call out, to no avail.


“Told you,” I say when he hands it back. “Are you lost? I can—”

“No I’m not lost,” he says with a snide huff. “I just . . . need some directions.”

I recognize defensive mechanisms when I hear them. “So, lost,” I reiterate with an eyebrow quirk.

“No,” he insists. “The GPS on my phone is shit with the signal up here in no man’s land, and I can’t just drive around until it’s strong again. I’m late as it is.”

“I see.”

Totally lost.

Jo Richardson
Coming Soon! Cursed be the Wicked

Please click on The Romance Review's poster on the right to join in the blog hop all month long. Over 400 participating authors, and prizes given away daily. It's great fun! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thursday Threads--Unsafe Haven by Char Chaffin

By Char Chaffin
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Heat Level:  Sensual


“Ah, Christ. You’re killing me.” He fumbled for the nearest wall, propped her against it, and took her mouth hungrily. She fisted her hands in his hair, nipping his full bottom lip. The kiss went deeper, and she could have sobbed from the glory of it.
They broke apart, both panting. Kendall slowly unwound her legs and Denn loosened his hold, letting her slide down his body until her feet touched the floor. She felt every hard muscle along the way.
“Hell.” He sucked in a shaky breath. “I don’t want to leave you here.”
“I’ll be all right,” Kendall lied. She wanted him to stay, wanted him in her bed, all night, and then she wanted to awaken in the morning, safe in his arms. They’d known each other less than two months, and she wanted forever.
I must be crazed with lust. That’s the only explanation.
“You know, you don’t have to stay here alone.” He caressed her cheek as he gazed at her, still pressed intimately against her. “You could come home with me.”
“Eventually I have to live here, Denn. By myself. I have to get used to it,” she pointed out.
“But not tonight, okay? Come home with me, Kendall. Stay with me, tonight.”
“We’ll end up in bed together.” It was a question and a statement.
He slowly nodded. “Yeah.”
She whispered into his shirt, “We’ll end up making love.”
“I can just about guarantee it.”
Fascinated by the strong, steady pulse at the side of his neck, she shuddered to think of what lay ahead, if she said ‘yes.’ Most of the shudders were from excitement.
He waited patiently in her dimly lit store while she battled inner demons he might never understand or be able to accept.
“Kendall . . .” His voice held a rough plea.
She took a deep breath and raised her eyes to his. “I should pack a few things.” She hesitated, and took the final plunge. “I’ll need my contact lens case, too.”
His smile, wide and happy, blinded her. “I can wait.”


Book Trailer for Unsafe Haven:
My website:
Soul Mate Publishing:

Please click on The Romance Review's poster on the right to join in the blog hop all month long. Over 400 participating authors, and prizes given away daily. It's great fun! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

'Tis The Season

For the past few very long days, I've been involved with switching over the greeting cards in my grocery job from Halloween to Christmas. Thanksgiving cards get shoved aside to make way for cards for everyone anyone could possibly know. We've got cards for the relatives, from Mom and Dad to Grandmas and everyone in between. We've got religious cards, romantic cards, funny cards, across the miles cards(the only category that makes sense, in my book). It's all well and good, I guess, but I shake my head every year at how early Christmas merchandise comes out of the back room and onto the store floor.

Until this year. I am participating in my first-ever anthology! It's a Christmas anthology called All I Want For Christmas Is A Soul Mate. In addition to a pretty cover, there are twenty short stories included, in various genres and heat levels. Mine is called "This Old House" and I'm previewing an excerpt from it here today. We're planning a blog hop, where you can jump from one excerpt to the next, which will happen later in the month. But, the anthology goes on sale through Amazon this week!

Here's a hint of what you'll find in "This Old House."

"Tell me again why we're participating in the Historic Homes Christmas Tour?" Beth's assistant, 
Hannah, asked as she fastened pine boughs to the 
banister and draped the fireplace mantle. She added 
wide velvet ribbon, winding it in between the branches.
"Six months without so much as a nibble of interest 
on this place is enough reason. So we're putting on
the lady's party clothes and showing her off during the town's 
Christmas tour," Beth replied. "Such a lovely home. 
Brings back memories for me."
"You and this home had a connection even before you 
bought it and renovated?"
The snippet of history flashed through Beth's mind and 
made her smile. "I know the family 
who owned this house. Which reminds me, where's the 
mistletoe I bought?"
"Quit being cryptic. What's mistletoe got to do with 
Beth pointed to the small entry foyer. "The very first kiss 
of my life happened in that spot, under some mistletoe."
So, kick back in front of a warm fire, have some hot chocolate, and read this lovely collection of stories as the holiday season officially gets underway. Oh, and find someone to kiss under the mistletoe!