Posts Tagged ‘clean romance’

Despite the threat looming over her, learning to love the stranger she married may pose the greatest danger to her heart

Friday, February 14th, 2020

 

Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

 

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When her parents and twin brother die within weeks of each other, Alicia and her younger sister are left in the hands of an uncle who has brought them all to financial and social ruin. Desperate to save her family from debtor’s prison, Alicia vows to marry the first wealthy man to propose. She meets the dashing Lord Amesbury, and her heart whispers that this is the man she is destined to love, but his tainted past may forever stand in their way. Her choices in potential husbands narrow to either a scarred cripple with the heart of a poet, or a handsome rake with a deadly secret.


Cole Amesbury is tormented by his own ghosts, and believes he is beyond redemption, yet he cannot deny his attraction for the girl whose genuine goodness touches the heart he’d thought long dead. He fears the scars in his soul cut so deeply that he may never be able to offer Alicia a love that is true. When yet another bizarre mishap threatens her life, Alicia suspects the seemingly unrelated accidents that have plagued her loved ones are actually a killer’s attempt to exterminate every member of her family. Despite the threat looming over her, learning to love the stranger she married may pose the greatest danger to her heart. And Cole must protect Alicia from the killer who has been exterminating her family before she is the next target.


This romantic story of loss and betrayal, forgiveness and redemption, and strangers marrying, will leave you laughing, crying, and swooning. Sprinkled liberally with suspense, mystery, and heart-melting kisses, this is not your ordinary historical tale of an arranged marriage nor of redeeming the rakes. Fans of Victorian and Regency Eras as well as those seeking clean and wholesome romance with plenty of chemistry, not to mention the redemptive power of love, will love this story!


Dance with a duke, outwit pirates, save a kingdom, and fall in love. Believe in happily ever after.


The Rogue Hearts Series:
The Stranger She Married
The Guise of a Gentleman
A Perfect Secret
The Suspect’s Daughter


Praise for Donna Hatch:
“Donna Hatch is one of the masters of clean romance with electric tension and smokin’ hot kisses.” ~ Reading is My Super Power Reviews

“Written with heart and depth, Donna Hatch’s books are absolute must-reads for any fan of swoon-worthy historical romance.”  ~ Sarah M. Eden, USA Today best-selling historical romance author

Join the Cover Reveal for the 5th book in the Rogue Hearts Series

 

Snippet:
“Then please allow me to escort you to your carriage,” Cole interjected before the hostess could reply. “I insist.”
A brief flash of alarm crossed Mr. Braxton’s face as he no doubt saw the murderous look that must have been visible in Cole’s eyes. Braxton glanced at the hostess who raptly watched their interchange.
His gaze returned to Cole and he nodded stiffly. “Of course, my lord.”
They stepped outside. The cool night air did nothing to cool Cole’s temper. Too bad he couldn’t just pull the man into a dark corner and stick a knife in his ribs. Perhaps that year on Jared’s pirate ship had affected Cole more deeply than he realized.
Mr. Braxton watched him warily. “What can I do for you, Lord Amesbury?”
Fully aware of his intimidating stature, Cole faced him and folded his arms. The longer the silence lasted, the more Mr. Braxton shifted and glanced around, tugging at his collar.
“Well?” Braxton finally said.
“I understand you are considering making an offer for Miss Alicia Palmer,” Cole said at last, letting his voice convey his disapproval.
Mr. Braxton flinched. “I have not yet decided. She seemed quite proper at first, but flew into a temper and behaved in a manner most unbecoming of a lady.”
With effort, Cole held on to his rising rage. “Perhaps because you behaved in a manner most unbecoming of a gentleman.”
“How dare you, sir.” Braxton tried to appear affronted but only managed to look afraid.
 “I saw her running from a room a few moments ago as if the devil were chasing her. You were lying on the floor looking most uncomfortable.”
In a defensive maneuver, Braxton attempted to collect his courage. “Earl’s son or no, I don’t know who you think you are that you can accuse me of—”
Cole grabbed him by the collar and pulled him in until their noses almost touched. “I think I am a very dangerous man to cross. I should call you out, but I do not wish to further humiliate Miss Palmer. Know this; if you ever go near her again, or frighten her in any way, I will come back and take great pleasure in whipping you like the cur that you are.” He shook the man a little, just for good measure, his temper straining against its restraints.
Sweat beaded on Braxton’s face and his breathing became a series of gasps that had nothing to do with Cole’s grip.
Cole continued, “And if one breath of scandal ever arises in association with her name, regardless of the source, I will rip out your heart with my bare hands. No one will ever find your body.”
Braxton made a strangled noise.
“Have I made myself clear?” Cole demanded.
“Perfectly,” the other man gasped.
After a slow, dangerous perusal that always left opponents begging for mercy, Cole released him, thinking his year posing as a pirate had not been entirely in vain 

 

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inter-office relationships are strictly forbidden by Alpine Foods and a co-worker, jealous of Yves’ success, will undermine Yves and Lainey any way he can

Thursday, February 13th, 2020

 

Amey loves writing about different places because she grew up moving all around the United States. In her books, she explores the whole world. She is also the author of Baker’s Dozen, a Romantic Suspense Mystery. The Swiss Mishap won a Swoony for 2019’s Best New Adult Contemporary Romance.


She lives with her husband and three children near Austin, TX. Follow her on BookBub @ameyzeigler and sign up for her newsletter at www.ameyzeigler.com









 
For the last twelve years, more than half her life, Lainey Peterson has prepared to design, create, and produce quality chocolate bars. But when she discovers her chocolate internship at Switzerland’s prestigious Alpine Foods has been canceled, she vows to do whatever it takes to get to Chocolate. 



Yves Claremont, a young, ambitious department chair, would sacrifice everything to rise to vice president at Alpine Foods and redeem his father’s name. Impressed with Lainey’s resume and charming determination, Yves offers her an internship in his Pet Care department, promising a recommendation for Chocolate if she does well. 


Lainey is drawn to the enigmatic and passionate Yves Claremont. He cannot deny his growing attraction to her. But inter-office relationships are strictly forbidden by Alpine Foods, and a perceptive co-worker, jealous of Yves’ success, will undermine Yves and Lainey any way he can.

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Snippet:
A pair of three-foot-long, hooked bypass loppers came through the gray maze, held above some unseen head. It attracted the attention of several cubicle dwellers, who popped up their heads like gophers. Some even followed the pair of loppers as the tool danced in the air through the maze, drawing closer and finally stopping.
At Lainey’s desk.
M. Claremont peeked from behind the loppers. “Your watch, mademoiselle.” His eyes flashed with seriousness, his lips in a straight line.
Lainey stuck out her hand in utter amazement. He slipped one curved tine under her faux leather straps and with a snip, cut it in two. It fell to her desk with a clank. On the back it said, Made in China.
The crowd whispered among themselves.
He held out his hand to the red velvet box. “Please oblige me by wearing the Swiss watch.”
With her eyes rooted to him, she released the watch from the box. When she fumbled with the latch, she glanced down. In a swift movement, he dropped the loppers, trapping them between his knees, and bent to help her. His soft touch warmed her skin.
“Now you have an appropriate and functioning watch.” He held her wrist for a split second longer than necessary. Tucking the loppers under his arm, he pivoted, strode through the parting crowd and disappeared behind the doors.

 

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A string of beads … a forbidden book … a new life

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020
Angelique Conger discovered the wonders of writing books later in her life. Books, however, have always been important to her. As a little girl in a small town, she was given her own library card at the tender age of five, highly unusual in those days.
     Angelique reads a book, or three at once, much of the time. She reads most genres of books and until recently only toyed with writing them. Since beginning, she has spent many hours each day learning the craft of writing and editing.
     Many would consider Angelique Conger’s books Christian focused, and they are because they focus on early events in the Bible. She writes of a people’s beliefs in Jehovah. However, though she’s read in much of the Bible and searched for more about these stories, there isn’t much there. Her imagination fills in the missing information, which is most of it.
     Angelique lives in Southern Nevada with her husband, turtles, and Lovebird. She enjoys visits with her grandchildren — and their parents.
 

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A string of beads …
… and a forbidden book.
 

Daphne’s trading adventure with her papa into the dangerous city of Nod turned out better than she thought. She found the owner of the beads and a handsome man. Unexpected danger and loss make things difficult for her. When robbers try to force her to give up her secrets, she must make a choice.
Her father…
…or a new life?
Abandoned Hope is the third of the continuing saga of Lost Children of the Prophet. You’ll love this uplifting story of faith in difficult times.
Get it now.









Snippet:

A sigh escaped. David had found someone to love. Daphne brought them truths about Jehovah in her book, and David loved her. What would David do if, no when Daphne left Nod to return to her home with her papa? He would be lonelier than he was before. Now he would know what he had been missing.
Joyanna turned the page in her sketch book. The two young people sat close together, holding hands. David had declared his love and Daphne returned it. Joyanna could see it, if no one else did. They touched at shoulders and hips. Would their secret make them happy, or it would cause them great sorrow? 
“I’ll have to be here for David when she leaves,” Joyanna murmured.

 

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Will these two young lovers find their way back to each other or will their hearts become shattered beyond repair?

Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

 

Jean Oram grew up in an old schoolhouse in a Canadian town, population 100 (cats and dogs not included). She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author of feel-good, tingle-inducing, heartwarming romances.


Jean lives in Canada with her husband, two kids, cat, dog, and the pesky deer that wander into her yard to eat her rose bushes and apple trees. She can often be found outdoors or reading a book. (And of course at her laptop writing your next irresistible read!)


Follow Jean on social media  www.instagram.com/jeanoram_author or subscribe to her newsletter: www.JeanOram.com/FREEBOOK.”

 
When worlds collide…opposites attract


Devon Mattson has never been as captivated as he is by Olivia. She’s smart, witty and rich. But above all is the fact that even though they come from different worlds she understands him, his small town charm and his need for speed.


He knows that to be together they’ll both have to give up a lot, but he’s promised to always be there for her. Now, in college, and afterward too. Forever.


Olivia Carrington has never felt more alive than when she’s with Devon. She no longer feels the suffocating weight of expectations—just the freedom and support to follow her secret dreams and to become the person she’s always been afraid to be.


But when reality comes knocking their dream world begins to collapse.cWill these two young lovers find their way back to each other or will their hearts become shattered beyond repair?


Fall in love with this prequel novella–a bonus companion story for Devon and Olivia’s novel The Surprise Wedding–about opposites attracting. Grab your tissues and start reading today!

This book is FREE today on Amazon

~ Universal Amazon Link
    
Snippet:

“Olivia! Mother looks so amazingly bothered by your date.” It was her sister, looking completely tickled by their mother’s foul mood. “The obedient daughter isn’t so pliant tonight.” Emma did a saucy shoulder shimmy, her moxie level at full bore.
“Emma…” she warned. Her sister had to go home with their upset parents, and Olivia bet they’d be even more bothered if they found out she’d just blown off Luke and his invitation.
She sighed, feeling the weight of her family’s expectations press down on her from all sides.
“Smile!” a photographer exclaimed, holding his large camera up in front of the sisters. They fell into position out of ingrained habit, heads tipped together, smiling sweetly. The photographer moved on after snapping his shot, and they resumed their conversation as though they hadn’t been interrupted.
“Way to stick it to Mom and Dad.” Emma seemed unable to stop grinning. 
“He’s not some game, Em. He’s my boyfriend.”
Olivia found Devon in the crowd and started toward him, her sister following her gaze as she trailed along.
“He’s hot.”
It was more than that, Olivia realized. His steamy looks may have initially drawn her to him, but she’d since come to know him, she found herself more amazed by the way she felt so alive whenever they were together. It felt as though everything would be okay as long as she was with him.
“You’re in love with him!” Emma exclaimed, clapping her hands over her mouth as though suddenly privy to the most sordid gossip in town. Her eyes lit up with the joy of knowing someone else was going to cause a crisis at the dinner table for once. Although Emma, despite all the hassle she got from their parents, somehow always managed to toe the line well enough that her speeding tickets and other exploits never quite made it into the major gossip circles.
Around them, people turned to look at Emma, and Olivia batted her sister’s hands away from her face, hushing her. “Shh!”
“You are!”
“Would it be so bad if I was?”
“But he’s…”
“Don’t say it,” Olivia begged. She just needed everybody to go away, to settle down. She hadn’t brought Devon here in order to rock the boat, and it felt as if things were quickly going to be blown out of proportion.
“Everyone is talking about him, you know.”
Olivia’s gaze drifted to Devon, who was holding two glasses of chardonnay and drifting their way. Someone tried to take one from him, obviously thinking he was a waiter.
It was like the guy at the race track had said. Look at her. Look at you. Everyone could tell how different they were with just one glance, even though she’d bought him the right haircut, the right pair of shoes.
It wasn’t fair. And it wasn’t right.
And she was powerless to change it.
Devon caught her eye and smiled, but afraid he would misinterpret what was surely showing in her expression, she turned back to her sister. Olivia struggled to hold in every ounce of emotion that was threatening to come spilling out. She’d been stupid to think her family would see the changes in her. That they would respect them and allow her to follow her heart.
“What’s wrong?” Emma asked, suddenly concerned.
“Pray you’ll never understand.”

 

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What happens when the police insist a wedding date will bring the stalker out in the open, and Elliott suspects Charlotte of being a crook?

Monday, February 10th, 2020

 


Lauraine Henderson began writing as a child, poems and journaling, until babies, building houses, and bookkeeping jobs usurped her world. 



Now, well established in Oregon and with the children grown, she devotes her time to writing her favorite genre: clean romance. Years of life experience translate into plots, calamities, and happily-ever-afters as she writes her inspirational and romantic stories about fictional people who seem so real, you’ll want to know what happens after the book ends! 

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Where’s the harm in pretending to be engaged for a couple months?



Elliott Palmer’s brilliant impulse to propose a fake engagement to his sister’s teacher in order to get rid of a stalker may be the biggest mistake of his life. Or it could be the best thing to happen since his cookie empire went national. 


Charlotte Bloomberg feels like she’s walking a tightrope at work after the scandal last year that almost cost her teaching job. Yet…Elliott’s proposal could be the answer to her saving face with not only her co-workers, but her family, too. 


As the two work through school calamities, nosy family members, and a stalker getting closer all the time, the lines between real and fake start to blur when hearts get involved. But what happens when the police insist a wedding date will bring the stalker out in the open, and Elliott suspects Charlotte of being a crook?

~ Universal Amazon Link


       
Snippet:

“We’ll start with the painful stuff first,” Elliott said. “Have you thought any more about what might have happened to the ring? If not, I’d like to contact the principal and the police.”
“I’ve been trying to remember. I went in to wash my hands after dinner. I didn’t want to get anything on my dress, and I think I was more nervous last night than I was the first night.” Charlotte wrung her hands together as she talked, and Elliott clasped his hands over hers to stop them.
“Calm down. Work the problem.”
Charlotte took a deep breath and closed her eyes, as though she could watch her memories like a movie. “I took off the ring and rinsed it because my hands were sticky. I set the ring on the shelf above the sink.” She paused. “I walked to the paper-towel dispenser to dry them off and…” Charlotte’s voice faded, but Elliott could tell she was living the memory. “And Krista came in. That’s right,” Charlotte’s voice lifted in excitement. “She said something mean. I laughed at her. She frowned and demanded I dump you. I think I laughed at her again. Then she got really angry and kind of scary, too. I realized that laughing at her probably wasn’t the best reaction. So, I simply told her we were in love and there was no reason to break up.” 
“Good girl,” Elliott said, his heart swelling for this beautiful woman.
“Oh my gosh! Then I left. I was so distracted by Krista’s ridiculous demands, I forgot about going back to the sink and putting the ring back on.”
“Well, if Krista took the ring, I doubt we’ll ever find it again.”
“Oh, Elliott, I’m so sorry! I’m just sick about losing the ring. Is there anything I can do to replace it?”
Elliott pretended to consider her request. There wasn’t, of course. The ring had been in the family for years, but he was pragmatic enough to understand that it was only a ring. After his parents died, material things didn’t mean nearly as much as before and although he had enough money to live well, money itself and what it could buy never outweighed what was truly important in life; his sister, extended family, and now, Charlotte. “I know you don’t believe me, but I honestly can’t get upset. It’s a ring. A piece of metal with stones so small, you have to squint to see them. After my parents died, I put money in its proper place, way down on the list of important things in life. Possessions share that place on the list.”
“That’s why you don’t mind spending money?”
Elliott didn’t like where the conversation was heading. “Let’s not talk about money. It isn’t worth the time. I want to talk about us.”
“Us?” Charlotte’s voice squeaked.
“Here’s the thing, and I know it’s not exactly the most romantic setting and everything, but I really like you Charlotte. I think I may even be falling in love with you. I don’t want our relationship to be fake. I don’t know if you’re ready for a real engagement, but I really want to see where this might go.” He motioned his fingers between the two of them. “It’s possible we’ve been a little cavalier in our expressions for the sake of the ruse, but I want you to know,” he took a deep breath, preparing for Charlotte to run, “I’ve meant every word.”
Charlotte sucked in her bottom lip and looked at Elliott with puppy eyes, filled with wonder and awe. But a dark cloud blocked out the admiration he saw and pain replaced it. “You may change your mind when you hear what I have to say.”

 

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Big-shot billionaire and successor of King enterprises, a Prince of Mischief and a rogue who steals hearts

Saturday, February 8th, 2020

 

Stephanie Fowers loves bringing stories to life, and depending on her latest madcap ideas will do it through written word, song, and/ or film. She absolutely adores Bollywood and bonnet movies; i.e., Jane Austen. Presently, she lives in Salt Lake where she’s living the life of the starving artist.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Who says Chivalry is dead?


Robin King lives up to the legendary name of Robin Hood more than he should—a bigshot billionaire and successor of King enterprises, a Prince of Mischief and a rogue who steals hearts … and maybe even a few kisses. He never thought he’d follow the storyline so closely, until the day he gets in trouble with the law and pays the price—all for protecting his younger sister Scarlett.


Taken in by an Outlaw


Marian is a hard-hitting reporter … or would be if the New England Chronicle would stop assigning her puff pieces. Now she has the chance to prove herself, but it could prove her undoing—since the story of a lifetime might just be Robin King, a ruthless scoundrel, who she swore would never break her heart again.


Making New England Olde again


Together, they must overcome their differences to save their hometown from thieves and corruption. And they’d better do it before someone gets killed. As danger lurks closer, legend becomes life, and Robin’s feelings for Marian deepen as he struggles with sharing the secrets that could clear his name and ruin his sister.”

Join Author Stephanie Fowers on Tour with Roman and Jules for a fun look at this book and a chance to win more prizes!

~ Universal Amazon Link


      
Snippet:

 “Midge?” Robin called. “You up here?” The breeze whistled through the warped sides of the abandoned ski jump as he listened for the answer. If Robin had been up there by himself, that would be one thing, but Marian made him a nervous wreck. “I don’t know if I should’ve brought you up.” 
“I’m no damsel in distress.”
She didn’t understand. He didn’t care what happened to him—he cared more about losing her. “Even if that means that you’re up here alone with me?” he teased. If anything, that would get her down.
Her lips curved up on the sides. “Oh, I can leave.”
Wait? What was he doing? This was what he wanted. “No, no, no.” The stars were bright, the view was gorgeous—she was more so—and they were alone. Maybe. He looked behind him. “Midge, if you’re up here, I’ll give you a hundred bucks.”
Nothing. “He’s not up here,” Marian said, smiling.
He laughed. “Good, I didn’t have a hundred.”
She hid her face from him, but he knew she was laughing when he saw her shoulders jerk. Nothing was better than getting her to smile.
Below them, the people from the town were like miniatures. They added straw to the pile on the wagon so that they would be included in the luck when the wheels burned their way down the mountain. The music below him took him back to when he was young, and if he let himself get lost in it, he’d go back even further into the past, maybe to a time when cloaked figures had protected the forest. She would be his Maid Marian, and he’d be her Robin Hood. 
Of course, that would make him the hero, and he didn’t feel like that right now. He’d rubbed elbows with thieves and murderers and all sorts of rabble in prison, and he’d barely walked away from that. Marian didn’t know who he was. At all. How did he convince her that he could still be trusted, even if he couldn’t tell her everything?
“Close your eyes,” he said.
Would she trust him even to do that? After studying him with her big eyes, she obliged him and squeezed them shut, taking a deep breath. He didn’t touch her, only watched her as the soft breeze lifted her hair instead. The music from below was muffled through the distance, as he dug the ring he’d stolen from her out of his pocket and slipped it onto her finger.
She opened her eyes and her look softened on him. “I’m glad you’re not a thief.”
“I wish things were different,” he said. How would the years have gone if they were? Would they have had children by now? Dark-haired daughters with her smile and his eyes?
Sighing, she pressed her chin into her palm. “If only none of this had happened.”
“How about we just start over?” he asked.
She peered down at her ring. “I don’t know.”
This was killing him. He wanted to reach out and brush her hair from her face, touch her, confide in her. Was there a way for her to trust him without betraying his sister’s confidence? He had to be patient. “Give me a chance to prove myself to you.”
The activity grew louder below them. The fire wheel was about to be launched and the torches were lit, illuminating the scene in glorious splendor. Marian pulled away from the railing. “Robin?” She hesitated. He waited for her to say what she wanted to say. “I want to trust you, but I don’t know how.” She tugged off her ring and gave it back to him. “I’m sorry.”
His forehead wrinkled. His ridiculous gesture had turned on him. “It’s not mine.”
She kissed his cheek then, a little closer to his mouth than maybe she’d intended. She smelled of lilacs. If he turned an inch, he’d have her in his arms, but he knew this was goodbye. “Keep it to remember me.” And she escaped down the stairs. He watched her go, feeling the loss as her dark hair disappeared from his view. Of everything he’d given up, this hurt the most. 


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No, wait! You can’t leave this baby with me

Thursday, February 6th, 2020

 

My name is Robyn Echols. Zina Abbott is the pen name I use for my American historical romance novels. I’m a member of Women Writing the West, Western Writers of America, and American Night Writers Association. I currently live with my husband in California’s central valley near the “Gateway to Yosemite.” 


I love to read, quilt, work with digital images on my photo editing program, and work on my own family history. 


I am a blogger. In addition to my own blog, I blog for several group blogs including the Sweet Americana Sweethearts blog, which I started and administer.

 

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Kendrick Denham left his family farm back east, fought in the war with Mexico, then answered gold’s call after it was discovered in California. In late 1852, when he reached Columbia, known as “The Gem of the Southern Mines,” he realized the easy-to-find placer gold was no longer that easy to find.  He decided he would do better providing fresh meat to the townspeople. With extremely few women in the region, and most of the respectable ones already married, Kendrick entertains no ambitions for a wife and family. Then the county sheriff rides over from Sonora. With a cryptic expression, he hands Kendrick a six-month-old baby girl. “The mother named you as the father.”


Now her late husband’s stepson, whom she finished raising, is of age to inherit the farm left to him by his birth father, Lydia Meyer and her two young sons have been forced out of her home of over ten years. She leaves Pennsylvania headed for the wild gold fields of Columbia, California. She dreads living off the charity of her older sister who is just as disagreeable and overbearing as their late mother had been. Warned that most of the miners in California, many of whom left families back east to seek their fortunes, tend to be unsettled, uncouth, and prone to drinking and gambling, she worries it may be impossible to find a good father for her children. Even if she weds again, will it be another loveless marriage like her first?


Then there is baby Madeline, who is cast adrift in the world, all alone, with no one to love her. What will become of her?


KENDRICK is a stand-alone sweet American historical romance that is part of the multi-author series, Bachelors & Babies. Under the sub-title, “Too Old for Babies,” it is also part of the author’s own series, Too Old in Columbia.

 

~ Universal Amazon Link


       
Snippet:

The sheriff offered Kendrick a wry smile. “The mother named you as the father.”
“Mother named –” Kendrick choked on the words. “I couldn’t have fathered a baby, especially not this one. You figure she’s what? A few months old? It’s been over three years, long before I came this far south to Columbia –” Kendrick clamped his lips shut. How he conducted his personal life was none of the sheriff’s business, not to mention he once again became aware of Jeb, a grin on his face, lurking in the far corner and taking in the entire scene. 
“Didn’t say, but I figure about six months. You’re listed as the father in the family’s Bible packed in the trunk, plus the mother listed you as this baby’s father in her last will and testament. No one is going to question the words of a dying woman, not even one like her.”
Kendrick felt anger welling up inside of him. A small part of his brain warned him yelling at the sheriff would not be wise. His present state of being was not conducive to him exhibiting wisdom. His frustration won out. His question came out in a bellow. “One like her? Who—“
The sheriff turned to his deputy. “Josh, hand that baby over and go get that crate of foodstuffs for her. Don’t forget the carpetbag full of napkins for her backside. Then we best to be on our way.”
After the deputy walked over to the counter, he sat her on top next to the basket and shoved her toward Kendrick’s arms. Kendrick instinctively grabbed her to keep her from falling as the deputy walked toward the door.
His eyes wide, Kendrick stared at the cherubic face with its dark eyes and lashes. At first, the baby stared at him in surprise. Next, she scrunched her face into a frown. His anger transformed into panic, he turned his gaze back toward the sheriff. “No, wait! You can’t leave this baby with me.” 
“We can and we will. I’ve got other duties to attend to. I wouldn’t have wasted my time and that of a deputy hauling this issue of yours up to you except I figured if I sent word for you to come get her, you’d ignore me. Now, accept the consequences of your actions and live up to your responsibilities. Just because most men don’t get caught doesn’t mean, once the truth is known, you can walk away from your own.” 
Wrapping his left arm around the child and propping her on his hip so she faced outward, Kendrick walked around from behind the counter until he stood within a few feet of the lawman. “Sheriff, I’m telling you—I’ve been set up. This can’t be my child. What was the name of her mother, anyway? Where did she live?”
In the staring contest that developed between him and the sheriff, Kendrick refused to be the first to look away. No one played him for a fool. He needed answers.
Finally, the sheriff huffed and glanced at the floor before, once more, his gaze met Kendrick’s. “She lived in Sonora. Died a couple of weeks ago. Took this long to sort things out. The mother’s name was Margaret Pearline Mayfield.”
Kendrick suspected his face looked as blank as his mind felt. The name meant nothing to him.
“She’s better known by some of the finer residents of Sonora as Miss Pearl.”

 

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Grace, she chose you in death, and that’s a lot longer than life…

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020

 

Bestselling Author Bernadette Marie is known for building families readers want to be part of. Her series The Keller Family has graced bestseller charts since its release in 2011. Since then she has authored and published over thirty-five books. The married mother of five sons promises romances with a Happily Ever After alwaysand says she can write it because she lives it.

When not immersed in the writing/publishing world, Bernadette Marie and her husband are shuffling their five hockey playing boys around town to practices and games as well as running their family business. She is a lover of a good stout craft beer and might be slightly addicted to chocolate.

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Everyone deserves one last goodbye.


As far back as Grace Carter could remember, she’d been able to communicate with the deceased. Of course, working in her family’s mortuary put her in constant contact with those who had crossed over, if she didn’t take steps to block them out, which she preferred to do. However, some spirits are stronger than others…

 

 
Nora Campbell had nearly been ready to die, but she still had some unfinished business. From the other side, she found the woman she wanted her grandson to fall in love with, and she put her matchmaking plan in motion. Nora was insistent that Grace get a message to her grandson, TV reporter Matthew Campbell, and together they could pass on the last goodbyes of those who had passed.
 

 

Only now Grace must convince Matthew she is in touch with his grandmother and not some crazy woman who spends all her time with the deceased.

 

Snippet:
When she looked out over her yard, she saw Matthew, shovel in hand, cursing at a rose bush he was planting in her tiny garden.
Joy bubbled in her chest as she leaned out over the railing.
“What are you doing? I thought you were at a funeral.”
He looked up at her and wiped the back of his hand over his brow. “Funerals are depressing. Especially that one. I gave my condolences and left as quickly as I could.”
“And now what are you doing?”
“Well, come see,” he said and flashed her a smile that radiated up to her.
Grace hurried down the steps toward Matthew.
“Grandma wanted you to have a rosebush too.” He held out his hand as if to show her the bush. “Now you have your very own Nora Campbell roses.”
She felt the tears sting her eyes, and her words jumbled in her throat. For a moment she could only stand and admire the beauty that had been planted in her yard.
“I am truly honored.”
“You should be. She thinks the world of you.”
That made her giggle. “How do you know that?”
“Because my grandmother was a good judge of character. She chose people to be in her life only if they would matter throughout it. Grace, she chose you in death, and that’s a lot longer than life.”
Grace pressed her hand to her chest. “Matthew, that was very sweet.”

 

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Tell her the full truth and let her decide for herself what to do. It is her decision, not yours

Tuesday, February 4th, 2020

 

Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the children are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. 


Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction. 

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The royal wedding approaches and the country is alive with anticipation. 


 Among the craftsmen traveling to the capital is Constance Rendare and her family. An artist, a widow of an unhappy marriage, and the mother of a young son, she dreams of escaping the cruel servitude of her father’s household. 


 Wilard Naron serves the Earl of Dentin. He returns to the capital, his childhood home, to collect his earnings and finally free himself from his father’s reputation. 


 Kidnappings, bandits, and a plot against the king complicate the journey. The conflicts throw Constance and Wilard together as their circumstances grow steadily worse. The more the pair uncovers, the direr the future looks for the country and for them.

 

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Snippet:

Constance’s point of view:



A servant opened the door before Dentin could answer my question. I didn’t turn to check who it was and they didn’t enter the room. I forced myself to breathe evenly.
“A pitcher of water and glasses,” Dentin requested in calm, conversational tones. “Also, if you could locate Lady Dentin and let her know I require her presence in my book room.” 
Then the servant left, leaving the door slightly ajar. 
“What do you mean she isn’t well?” I demanded as the earl retreated to the opposite side of the table and claimed the chair there. He took his time arranging his overtunic and adjusting the position of his dagger. Clearly, he didn’t intend to answer me. 
“You can’t expect me not to ask after using such ominous wording,” I pointed out, my annoyance at his delay overriding my awareness of his station. “We were discussing my sister. Tell me the truth plainly or…” My brain faltered for a threat that would work, but none came to mind.
Across the desk, Dentin had stopped fidgeting and now regarded me with blatant amusement.
“Don’t laugh at me,” I protested, torn between laughter and tears myself.
He cleared his throat. “I never laugh at people who threaten me.”
“Even when they fail miserably at it?” I asked with a half smile.
“Not even then.” He straightened in his seat as I became aware of movement behind me.
“You summoned me, my lord?” Lady Elsa’s soft voice soothed my frustration. I would have an ally now.
Dentin rose to his feet and came around the table to greet his wife. “Madam Rendare became overset, and I hoped your presence would help as we discuss the repercussions of my news.”
Something passed between the countess and the earl I didn’t catch, but I did witness the earl’s attempt at an expression of complete innocence before he deposited her in a seat next to me.
“What were you going to mention?” Elsa turned to me, and her expression melted into concern. “She is white as milk, Simon. What did you say?” Leaning over as best she could with her growing belly, she caught and held one of my hands in hers for a moment. She then frowned at her husband. “Explain.”
“I am only trying to convince her she needs to focus on her sister’s welfare, not her father’s. She can do more in that area than any other.”
“Simon…” The sound of gentle reproof in Elsa’s voice helped me quiet my frustration with her husband. “Tell her the full truth and let her decide for herself what to do. It is her decision, not yours.”

 

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She will let nothing stand in her way, even stooping to abduction and possibly murder

Monday, February 3rd, 2020


Arabella Sheraton grew up on a diet of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and many other writers of that period. From Jane Austen to Georgette Heyer, Arabella has found both enjoyment and inspiration in sparkling, witty Regency novels. She also loves history and generally finds the past more fascinating than the future. Arabella wrote her first Regency romance to entertain her aged mom who loved the genre. Arabella is honoured to share the adventures of her heroes and heroines with readers.

 

 

A witty traditional Regency romance that will captivate fans of the genre. 
 
When Helena Wainwright accompanies her two young nieces and her nephew to stay at Rotherham Park with their new guardian who is their uncle, the Duke of Rotherham, she agrees to remain for six months to help the children adjust to their new life. She finds the handsome, charming Duke of Rotherham to be the most insufferable, self-opinionated, domineering and arrogant man she has ever met. Unhappily, the duke also holds an unflattering opinion of Helena. “Wayward was the only word to describe such a determined, contrary, and obstinate young woman who defied him at every turn regarding the upbringing of his wards. He would be very glad to see her go.” 
 
The Duke of Rotherham is contemplating making Miss Emily Fanshawe, a beautiful, and (everyone thinks) well-bred young woman an offer of marriage. However, Emily has terrible secrets to hide, besides having a clandestine lover. Helena discovers Emily’s secrets and does not know which way to turn. If she reveals the truth to protect the duke’s social standing, she will betray Emily, with dire consequences. Besides, the duke seems determined to marry Emily, simply to prove a point, even though his godmother, Lady Mildred Ormsby has suspicions the Fanshawes are not who they say they are! Emily’s mother is hell-bent on marrying her daughter off to a rich, preferably titled, man. She will let nothing stand in her way, even stooping to abduction and possibly murder. 
 
Can Helena win in the face of heavy odds and the machinations of a wicked schemer? And will she want the Duke of Rotherham for herself when hidden elements of his romantic past come to light?

 

Snippet:
He held the glass to her lips. She reached for it and, as their fingers touched, an indefinable thrill shot through her. He must have felt something as well because he frowned as he held the glass. He placed his other arm around her, holding her steady while she sipped the wine. Then he placed the glass on the table and turned her to face him within the confines of his arms.
“Poor Cousin Helena,” he whispered. “How much we depend on you, and how much I have taken you for granted.”
Helena said nothing. She felt frozen to the spot; his fingers burned her bare skin with a kind of cold fire. She stared into his eyes as the seconds ticked by. Helena dared not move. She suppressed an irresistible and overwhelming urge to reach up and kiss him. His firm lips, the tiny nick where his razor had cut his chin, the harsh lines around his mouth, his dark eyebrows now drawn together in a bewildered frown… He looked as if he, too, did not understand what was happening.
Helena’s heart thumped with loud, slow beats that she was sure were audible in the silent library.
“Helena.” His voice was hoarse.
He lifted one hand and stroked the side of her face, and then he placed his fingers under her chin and tilted it upwards. It was inevitable that they would kiss, and it would be the worst thing in the world. She was leaving Rotherham Park. Rotherham would more than likely offer for Miss Fanshawe. Yet, as if in the power of some spell or enchantment, she was reaching up for his kiss, already longing for the touch of his lips against hers…

 

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Dear Prospective Bride, My name is Nicholas Walker…

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

 

Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To compensate for this illogical error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a tiny office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their dog and three rescued indoor cats as well as providing nourishment outdoors for squirrels, birds, and other critters. 


The over fifty titles she has created in her pink cave have made her an Amazon bestselling author and won several awards. She writes sweet to sensual romances about the West, both historical and contemporary as well as time travel and mystery. Her series include the Kincaids, McClintocks, Stone Mountain Texas, Bride Brigade, Texas Time Travel, Texas Caprock Tales, Loving A Rancher, and Pearson Grove as well as numerous single titles and contributions to multi-author sets. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, reading her friends’ books, lunching with friends, browsing antique malls, checking Facebook, and taking the occasional nap.
 

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Such a tiny lie… 

 

Desperation drove her… 
She couldn’t know the risk… 
 

 

After the death of her grandmother, Melody Fraser must quickly leave what has been her home in South Carolina. There are those who think she murdered her Nana Fraser. She’s innocent but there’s talk about arrest and prosecution. To escape, this Southern Belle agrees to become a mail-order bride in far away Montana. Several of her friends will be living in the same town. Traveling so far to marry a man she’s never met is daunting. Surely things will work out, won’t they?

Nicholas “Nick” Walker is a doctor from Gettysburg whose wife and children were killed when mortar fire destroyed their home. Eager to escape the memories and ravages of the Civil War, he buys a medical practice in Montana Territory. He wants a competent nurse who can assist him with operations and care for patients as his plans expand for a hospital. He wants a well-organized wife to keep him company and start a family. With his usual efficiency, he combines the two into one job description when he requests a mail-order bride.
What will it take to teach Nick that—although she isn’t what he expected—Melody is exactly what he needs?

Snippet:


Inside the small building, she sat at the table. The letter writer’s penmanship was well-formed and bold. She tilted the page toward the window and read the page again. 



 Dear Prospective Bride,
My name is Nicholas Walker and I’m a thirty-year-old doctor. I have dark hair, blue eyes, reach just over six feet in height, and I’ve been told I’m not bad looking. I’m in need of a wife who has nursing experience and can help me with patients as well as manage our home. The clinic is only a few steps from the house, which makes the situation convenient. 

 I live in a three bedroom home that is quite Spartan. I’m sure a woman’s touch would remedy that. The clinic has room for only one patient but I am in the process of adding rooms for two more as well as expanding the treatment room. 
 No doubt you will wonder about my habits. I never have over two beers, don’t gamble, and have no outstanding debts. My health is good. I have never struck a woman and will never strike my wife. I intend to be a firm but loving father to any children we may have. 
No doubt you lost loved ones in the war. Although I won’t speak of it again, I must warn you that I lost my wife and two children when our home was destroyed by Confederates. I still miss my family every day. Because of the deep abiding love I hold for them, I can only offer fondness in our marriage. If you can accept my terms then I look forward to our union. 
Sincerely, 
Nicholas Walker 


 Melody studied the letter then re-read the page. He’d been married before and lost his wife and children. A man of his age would normally have wed. She lowered the letter and gazed out the window. 
 How badly did she want to escape Charleston? She wanted a husband and a family but wanted that husband’s love. On the other hand, she knew many couples lived long and happy married lives sharing only fondness.
Could she link herself to a man who admitted he would never love her?

 

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Arabella Sheraton grew up on a diet of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters…

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019


Arabella Sheraton grew up on a diet of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and many other writers of that period. From Jane Austen to Georgette Heyer, Arabella has found both enjoyment and inspiration in sparkling, witty Regency novels. She also loves history and generally finds the past more fascinating than the future. Arabella wrote her first Regency romance to entertain her aged mom who loved the genre. Arabella is honoured to share the adventures of her heroes and heroines with readers.

 

 


In this delightful traditional Regency romance, Miss Diana Dashwood accepts an invitation to Lady Prescott’s Christmas party at Camden House, in the countryside. But things do not go quite as she imagined. Through an unexpected event, she is forced to spend the night in a woodsman’s hut with one of the guests. What a scandal! Of course, Sir Gareth Blakely must propose, and he does. Unfortunately, Miss Diana Dashwood has already been engaged to and broken off her engagement from Sir Gareth Blakely after a bitter quarrel. Is it likely she will bow to social pressure and accept his proposal, one made only to save her reputation, and if they marry, does their union stand a chance of survival? And what about the pretty heiress, Miss Jemima Plymstock, whom everyone thinks is the lady Sir Gareth had his eye upon? Headstrong and proud, Miss Diana Dashwood is caught in a dreadful dilemma. A must-read for Regency fans!

 

Snippet:
“Well, Miss Dashwood,” he murmured, “will you rise to the challenge? Will you kiss me under the mistletoe in front of everyone? Miss Dalton managed to catch Mr. Crane easily enough and we all know why.” 


He looked up; she followed his gaze and spied the cluster of dark green leaves with white berries. She had quite forgotten about the mistletoe. How infuriating and smug he was to insinuate she was so desperate to kiss him that a parlour game was her only means. How dare he compare her to that silly Drusilla Dalton? Well, she would show him and everyone else just how much he did not matter to her. She would not be humiliated by old gossip being raked up. Diana kissed the fingertips on her right hand and pressed them onto his lips. 


“There,” she said, twirling around in a flourish to face the others. “A Christmas kiss for Sir Gareth and that’s as much as he deserves from me.”
Her actions made everyone burst out laughing and clapping again.

 

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When they both return home, acquaintances, threaten to sever more than just their childhood friendship

Monday, December 16th, 2019

“Mindy loves all things history and romance, which makes reading and writing romance right up her alley. Since she was a little girl, playing in her closet “elevator,” she has always had stories running through her mind. But it wasn’t until she was well into adulthood, that she realized she could write those stories down. Now they occupy her dreams and most every quiet moment she has-she often washes her hair two or three times because she wasn’t paying attention when she did it the first time. Which usually means really clean hair and a fixed plot hole. When she isn’t living in her alternate realities, she is married to her real-life Mr. Darcy and trying to raise five proper boys. They live happily in the beautiful mountains of Utah. 

 

Peter Blythe, Earl of Rockwell fled England when he was thrown over in favor of his father. Now after nearly ten years, he has returned to England to assume his family title. When he asks a young woman to dance at a masquerade ball, he is intrigued by her wit and charm. The only problem is she refuses to give him her name.

When Lady Caroline unexpectedly meets the man she has always loved at a masquerade ball and he does not recognize her, she is determined to keep her name a secret. What starts out as a game soon becomes much more when she realizes she still loves him, all the while knowing if he knew her true identity, he would never feel the same for her.

When they both return home to their neighboring estates for the holidays, acquaintances from years past threaten to sever more than just their childhood friendship.

~ Universal Amazon Link
    
Snippet:


Looking back on the incident, she could not account for what had provoked her to play such a game. It had seemed a harmless joke to keep her name from him, but now it only caused the hole she felt in her chest to enlarge.

 

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Angels, an old song, and a love letter. The perfect mix for a Christmas miracle

Friday, December 13th, 2019

 

 

Back cover blurb:

Reformed cat burglar Tony Russo is looking forward to spending this first Christmas together with the love of his life, Abigail. He’s hoping for jingle bells, goodwill towards all, and lots of kisses under the mistletoe. Then, he and Abigail find a Christmas angel tree topper in the church’s donation box with a secret of its own, and their lives suddenly become intertwined with others as they search for clues.

Their days before Christmas are taken up with solving a mystery, helping those in their community, and saving a wayward kitten. When a lonely, homeless man shows up in their lives, Tony and Abigail realize that things aren’t always as they seem, and that God may be using the stories of others to bring about the couple’s own Christmas miracle.

 

                                                              Author bio:

 

 

 

Pamela Gossiaux is the international bestselling author of the Russo Romantic Mystery series, the romantic comedy Good Enough, and the inspirational books, Why Is There a Lemon in My Fruit Salad? How to Stay Sweet When Life Turns Sour, and A Kid at Heart. She is also a keynote speaker, freelance writer, and teaches writing workshops. She lives and writes in Michigan near a wonderful university town with her husband, two sons, and three cats. Visit her website at PamelaGossiaux.com.

This is a laugh-out-loud tale of love and friendship, new norms and second chances, and the life-changing opportunity of just one day when God is at the helm of your life

Thursday, December 12th, 2019
ABOUT the BOOK
Molly has plans for the holiday. What could possibly go wrong? 

Aaron is used to achieving his goals. After all, he’s a successful CEO who has single-handedly rescued two companies from looming rack and ruin. But when it comes to Molly, he is stymied.

Molly is something else entirely. Success at anything important seems off the table. She can’t even seem to lose weight. As hard as she’s tried, her stubborn scale refuses to budge.

Now she’s heading home for the holidays with one goal in mind: to prove to her former fiancé that she has changed in all the ways he wanted her to. Unfortunately, her life never goes as planned. In just one day, her boss has sabotaged her last day of work, her ex-fiancé’s parents have moved into her old bedroom for the holidays, and CEO Aaron Werner is distracting her with a last-minute project.

But things aren’t always what they seem. Sometimes an old friend appears in the guise of a stranger and people close to you harbor sticky secrets.

This is a laugh-out-loud tale of love and friendship, new norms and second chances, and the life-changing opportunity of just one day when God is at the helm of your life.

Author Bio:
Laura Leigh is a missionary wife and mom of six. In her travels, she’s cuddled lion cubs in Africa, assisted in impromptu snake surgery in Cambodia, and boated down an underground river in the Philippines. She writes clean, wholesome Christian fiction. 

Surprised, Matt jerked the wheel of his car, swerved off the road and headed down an embankment

Monday, December 9th, 2019

Betsy Love has loved to write from the moment she could hold a pen and has been creating stories ever since she was in elementary school. Her high school creative writing teacher told her that one day she would be published.
 

 

When not sitting at her computer pouring her heart and soul into her novels, she loves going to her mountain property for inspiration and to escape the desert heat. She loves spending time with her family. At last count she has 20 grandchildren, has given up on gardening. If she had a horse, she might give up writing.

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Joie, an over-confident rookie elf, is on her first assignment. 
 
Its one week before Christmas, and she must find a mother for eight-year-old Emily. Not an easy task, since Emilys grieving father, Matt, is not ready for marriage. Hes still bitter about the accident that killed his wife and handicapped his daughter. 

When events turn Joie into a human, she loses her magic and must use her ingenuity to heal the broken family. How could falling love be the answer?
 
 
Snippet:
Do you think perhaps your wife wants to tell you that youre doing a good job taking care of your daughter, by setting those babies in the middle of the road for you? It might just be a message from the other side.
Surprised, Matt jerked the wheel of his car, swerved off the road and headed down an embankment before he slammed on his breaks, bringing his vehicle to a stop. His heart pounded.
The bundle on the back seat landed with a thunk on the floor. Six little howlers set up a commotion.
Matt turned and searched the back seat. Who said that?
Suddenly, lights flashed behind him. A highway patrol car pulled off the road slightly up the embankment from him. The flashlight bounced in the rearview mirror as the officer descended the hill.
Rolling down the window, the cold night air prickled his bared arms in spite of the warmth inside the truck.
Is everything all right?The officer shined his light inside. The beam rested on the bottle of MARTINELLIs, the cap had come off, and the inside of the car reeked of apple cider.
ImIm fine.Matt stumbled over his words. His heart had sped up with the appearance of the patrolman.
Step out of your vehicle.The officer backed up to allow Matt to open his door.
Matt left the warmth and stepped into the frigid night. I havent been drinking. Thats a non-alcoholic beverage.Matt pointed back inside the truck where the bottle rested.
Id still like to run a sobriety test.His name badge read Goodman.

 

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A boy – A dance – A disappearing act – A lost shoe – A wicked Great Aunt…

Sunday, December 8th, 2019

 

NOW JUST 99 cents and in KU too! 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081BFSQBL
MY  HIGH  SCHOOL  CHRISTMAS  BOYFRIEND
                                     by
                                Kylie Key
A boy
A dance
A disappearing act
A lost shoe
A wicked Great Aunt
There I was, starring in my very own fairytale, dancing with a handsome stranger at the Christmas Winter Dance.
But then, in a Cinderella reversal, he was gone!
And I was left musing over the boy who had set my heart on fire.
Can I find him again, and will I get my happy ending with the boy from the Christmas Dance?
                                                                       
                                                                       Kylie Key’s Bio:

Kylie is still very young at heart. She loves writing about first crushes, first kisses and first loves.

My kind of author.

She lives near the mountains (in New Zealand), and loves walking alongside the river, which is where she dreams up her stories.

How awesome, Kylie. I am officially jealous.

Other things she likes are her two cats, Toby and Steve, chocolate in any form and watching sunsets at the beach.

Ohhhhhhhh…sight and sight

She kept her eyes closed another heartbeat, unwilling to release the sensations shooting through her. Who had kissed her? And why?

Thursday, December 5th, 2019
Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling Rogue Hearts Series,and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. 
 
A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. 
 
She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). 
 
A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after. 

 

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A stolen Christmas kiss leaves them bewildered and breathless. 
 
A charming rogue-turned-vicar, Will wants to prove that he left his rakish days behind him, but an accidental kiss changes all his plans. His secret could bring them together…or divide them forever. 
 
Holly has two Christmas wishes this year; finally earn her mother’s approval by gaining the notice of a handsome earl, and learn the identity of the stranger who gave her a heart-shattering kiss…even if that stranger is the resident Christmas ghost.

 






 
Snippet:
“There you are,” a low male voice murmured barely above a whisper.
With a squeak, she jumped.
A soft laugh came in reply and that same low voice said, “Forgive me for startling you.”
She tried to peer into the face of the dark figure nearby but looking at the brightness of the moonlight on the snow outside had all but blinded her. Which guest had come to the conservatory? She was supposed to remain here alone.
 A silhouetted male form neared. “You are so lovely.”
Was that Lord Bradbury? Did he truly think her lovely? He’d hardly exchanged two words with her since she and her parents arrived this morning. Who else might have come?
The figure sank into the next seat to her. Before Holly said a word, a warm, gentle, ungloved hand touched her cheek. She froze. A pair of lips pressed against hers. Soft, tender, invigorating, his kiss immobilized her. His lips moved across hers, testing, offering. He tasted faintly of citrus and cinnamon, exotic, and delicious. The heat of his lips lit an answering warmth inside. Oh heavens, she’d never imagined such a sensation! His lips continued to play with hers while a sweet ache formed. With both hands, he cradled her face, and deepened the kiss. An exquisitely delicious sensation carried her closer to an edge she never knew existed. An untouched place in her heart awoke and sang while the hot and cold tingles turned into a foreign longing. Every bone, muscle, and sinew in her body turned to liquid more decadent than the chocolate she liked to drink every morning.
She sighed. A soft male moan came in reply. The kiss ended but his soft lips planted tiny kisses along her cheek, her eyelids, her brow. Holly remained motionless, spellbound by the beauty and power of the kiss. His hands withdrew. She kept her eyes closed another heartbeat, unwilling to release the sensations shooting through her. Who had kissed her? And why?
Surely it was Lord Bradbury. Why else would he have encouraged her to come seeking a ghost? She opened her eyes.
She sat alone.

 

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He jilted her sister. She will never forgive him for it. Can her anger survive a snowing in and a Christmas truce

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

 

Martha Keyes was born, raised, and educated in Utah–a home she loves dearly but also dearly loves to escape whenever she can by traveling the world. She received a BA in French Studies and a Master of Public Health, both from Brigham Young University.
Word crafting has always fascinated and motivated her, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that she considered writing her own stories. When she isn’t writing, she is honing her photography skills, looking for travel deals, and spending time with her family. She lives with her husband and twin boys in Vineyard, Utah.

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He jilted her sister. She will never forgive him for it. Can her anger survive a snowing in and a Christmas truce?
Emma Caldwell doesnt hate anyoneexcept for Hugh Warrilow, the man who jilted her older sister and left like a coward to join the army. Men are clearly not to be trusted, and Emma is determined not to give her heart to one. No, a marriage of convenience is the very thing to suit her.
Hugh Warrilow has been secretly in love with Emma Caldwell for years, so when the time comes to live up to both familiesexpectations and marry her sister, he cant find it in himself to do it. Disgraced and misunderstood, he joins to fight Napoleon on the Continent, hoping he will forget Emma and be forgotten by everyone he has disappointed.
An injury brings Hugh homejust in time for Christmas and the snowstorm that leaves him trapped under the same roof as Emma. How will he explain that his unforgivable act was motivated by how desperately he loved her? Her icy reception doesnt leave him the chance, nor does it offer much hope for the seasons expectation of peace on earth and goodwill to men. “.
Snippet:
He paused in front of the portrait of his grandfather, clasping his hands behind him out of habit, just as he had always done in his grandfathers company. Even in the portrait, the man stood erect, grave, and precisejust as Hugh remembered him. A man is only as good as his word, he would always say. Better to lose ones life than to lose ones honor. 
Those words had reverberated in Hughs mind night and day during his convalescence. He had hoped to regain in battle the honor he had lost by abandoning the marriage his family had hoped for. But instead, he had found himself holding his dying friend in his armsa friend who had sacrificed his life to save Hugh; a friend without whom the ball in Hughs shoulder would have been a ball in his chest. Seymour had died to save a man with no honor; a man not worth saving. 
Footsteps sounded down the corridor, muffled by the long gallery rug, and Hugh looked over, his swallow catching in his throat as his gaze met the form of Emma. Hugh bowed. Excuse me, Miss Caldwell,he said, moving to walk around her and out of the gallery. His shoulder brushed hers as he rushed to pass her. 
Please stop,she said. 
Hugh froze, then turned slowly. He didn’t know if he had the energy to endure criticism from Emma at the moment. His grandfathers eyes had already condemned him enough. 
She was looking at him, her hands clasped in front of her chest, thumbs fiddling. Have you absented yourself from the drawing room for my sake?she said. 
It is no trouble,he said, inclining his head, forcing a smile, and then turning again to leave. 
It is quite unnecessary,she said, and he paused again. 
What did she want from him? To force him to face his reprehensible actions by requiring him to face her anger? 
She swallowed, and her chin came up slightly. Surely we can manage to lay down our weapons in a temporary truce for Christmas.” 
He smiled wryly. What weapons did she believe him to be wielding? Surely his position was one of defense rather than attack. 
I don’t wish,she continued, to sully the seasons memories for your family by causing a rift at a time of year where goodwill is meant to reign.” 
So,he said slowly, the corners of his lips turned down in a thoughtful frown, you wish to pretend to feelings you don’t have?
She gripped her lips together. If you insist on describing it in such a manner.” 
He stared down into her eyes, scanning them. What was he to make of this offer? Was it an olive branch, however reluctantly offered? Or would it result in even greater resentment on her behalf, as her anger toward him festered under the pretense of civility? How would you describe it?” 
Her mouth twisted to the side, and she tried to suppress a smile. 
Pretending to feelings you dont have?he suggested. 
She laughed, and his muscles relaxed at the sight of her smile, his heart skipping at the sound of her laugh. 
I suppose so,she said. 
He sighed. How would it feel to have Emma look at him with anything but spite? 

 

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Erin fell in love with a veterinarian, there is only two problems…his girlfriend and the dog

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

 

 

Didi Lawson exchanged her town car for a pick-up truck and learned to operate a tractor when she and her husband moved from Arizona to a farm in  Missouri where she now weaves her tales. Her love for writing started early in  life when  she entertained her friends with her stories, won prizes for he essays in high school and wrote road shows and poems for the youth group in her church. She enjoys the outdoors, her children and ten grandchildren, and keeps an active social calendar.

Erin O’Neal loves Christmas, except not this year because she’ll be all alone for the holidays. To make matters worse, she receives a dog as an early Christmas present, but cannot keep it. The man who delivers the dog is the snob who has embarrassed her in public a few days ago.

 

 

When the snob, a handsome veterinarian, injures his ankle and needs someone to drive him home to Prescott for the holidays, Erin is available. Getting to know him better, she falls in love with him. There are only two obstacles: his girlfriend and her own dog phobia. 
 
 
 

 

Snippet:
May I have this dance, Erin?he asked.
She could only nod. Speech was impossible as a lump had formed in her throat. After a few steps, she asked, Should you be dancing with your injured foot?
Im wearing a brace,he said and then he grinned. Besides, I can lean on my dance partner.
The guests had formed a circle around the dance floor as more couples joined.
Erins hand felt cold at first but warmed quickly in his firm grasp. With his right arm around her waist, he pulled her close, resting his chin on top of her head.
Relax,he mumbled, youre doing great.
Relax, he says. How can I relax feeling the way I do and knowing its all for nothing?
Did you say something?
No. Nothing.
He drew her in even closer, so close that she could feel his heartbeat through the fabric of her dress. She tried to lean back to keep some distance but finally gave up and rested her head on his shoulder.
Thats better,he said with a smile in his voice, tightening his hold around her waist.

 

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