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~~~~~~Laura Strickland Author Page ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Blog  4/18/16

Sages say if we could manage to be grateful—truly grateful—for all we have during each moment of our lives, we would then want for nothing. The desires of our hearts would flow to us, drawn like iron filings to a magnet. In theory, it’s a little bit like that saying, “Success breeds success” and its opposite, “Misery loves company.” True appreciation brings you more for which to feel appreciative.

I don’t know about you, but it’s a challenging prospect, feeling grateful every moment…when still more bills come in, when we’re disappointed by someone, when a child or pet gets sick or the car breaks down—in the rain. When the Universe is dumping such misfortunes on our heads, we’d have to be crazy to raise our eyes to the sky and say, “Thank you!” Right?

Well, maybe not. Life inspires many of us. We accept that as plain truth. The beauty of a sunset inspires us to bliss; the vast raft of stars at night strikes us silent with awe. A giggling child makes us laugh, the sight of a handsome man or woman inspires a warm glow. Is it too much of a stretch to think we might, by our emotional state, inspire the Universe as well?

We live life; why shouldn’t it live through us also? Pretend for a moment you’re the Universe and you work in an office with two fellow employees. You interact with both of them on a daily basis and assist both when you have the time. When you help Employee A, he complains about everything, finds fault with how hard he has to struggle and bemoans the amount of work yet to be done. Employee B, on the other hand, is warm and appreciative of your help, always says how much faster things go when you’re around and passes the time while you’re working with positive conversation. Okay—you have one hour you can spend helping either of these coworkers. Whom will you choose?

I hope I will always be appreciative when life comes showering me with beauty, health and laughter and I hope that inspires the Universe to bring me more of the same. Gratitude is a gift—to the one who gives it.

Blog 1/4/16

 

A fabulous Valentine's Day series from The Wild Rose Press begins!

A treat for all Romance lovers ... a feast of new releases from January 4, 2016 through Valentine's Day! Each story is based on the message on a conversation heart.

All available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or The Wild Rose Press!

My book, Ask Me, will release on February 3, 2016.

 

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A Fable from Laura Strickland ...

Jack never told the truth.  If someone asked him the name of that hootin’ bird up in the trees, he’d say it was a meadow lark, and if asked the time of day he’d say “round about breakfast time,” even if the sun stood straight overhead.  When the wind blew frozen rain in his face he declared it a fine afternoon; if his boss at the blacksmith’s asked how many horseshoes he’d pounded out that day, he always inflated the number by at least a dozen.

Since everybody knew this about Jack, it didn’t seem like much of a problem.  Folks took what he said with a grain of salt, and some pepper too.  He’d been lying since he was knee high to a rooster.  Not his mother’s fault; she’d tried to do a good job of raising him after his Pa left, and had read him that story about the boy who cried wolf at least a hundred times.  Any wisdom she tried to impart just ran off him like water from a duck’s back. 

Benny, though, he always told the truth.  A hard-working, sincere boy was Benny, liked by everyone.  Folks trusted Benny without question, even if he did seem a bit dull.

And that’s what made it so interesting when old lady Crabbe’s niece came to live with her, the first new face in the holler for quite some time and a pretty face at that.  Folks could tell right away she found Jack handsome.  She always made a point of walking by the blacksmith’s when he was playing at work, in order to see him flex those muscles of his.

But when Benny tried to talk to her after church, standing with his hat in his hands, her eyes strayed away from him as if she looked for someone else.  This kept up quite a while until Benny, who rarely got fired up about anything, decided to set her straight.

It happened outside the Founders Dance while the music hopped inside like fleas on a hot griddle.  Folks who were there said it went something like this:

Benny walked up to where Miranda, for that was her name, stood gazing into Jack’s face while Jack wove some tale or other.  Benny cleared his throat in a polite kind of way.

“Something you should know about this fellow, Miss Crabbe.  Jack Walker couldn’t tell the truth even if the good lord came down and asked him.”

Miranda widened her eyes at Jack.  “Is that so?”

“Not at all.” Jack gave her a smile. “I’d never lie to you.”

“There,” Benny cried in outrage, “he’s lyin’ now!”

“How does she know you’re not the one lyin’?” Jack demanded.

“Because I never lie!”

“That could be a bald untruth.”

“I have witnesses!”

“So do I.”

Benny, nearly jumping up and down with ire, challenged, “Then bring ‘em!  Let’s thrash this thing out once and for all.”

“I wouldn’t want to show you up for a liar in front of the lady here.  Just ignore him, Miss Crabbe.  Poor boy’s deluded in his mind.”

At that point Benny, though not a violent boy, raised both his fists. 

“Ho, look at this!” Jack cried. “Now he’s looking to attack me.”

“Somebody should knock some sense into that hard head of yours. “

Jack promptly squared up.  He made two of Benny, in bulk.  “It gonna be you?”

“I’m not afraid of you, you big, lyin’ idiot!”

“Well you should be,” Jack said and popped him in the nose.

Benny went down on his back with blood trickling out of his nostrils and lay there while Miranda fussed over the possibility of damage to Jack’s hand. 

“How could he be so disrespectful to you, Jack?” she fretted.  “I’m glad I found out what he’s really like before I let him talk me into walking out with him.”

Jack smiled as he tucked Miranda’s hand into the crook of his arm and stepped over Benny’s sprawled form.  “You know I’m not a violent man, sweetheart, and you know I’d never take advantage of you.  Let’s just go off over there into the dark and talk about it.”

Miranda went with him, purring like a contented kitten.  Benny climbed to his feet, brushed himself off and headed for home, grumbling about getting the sorry end of the stick.

And the moral of the story is it’s better to be good looking than truthful unless, of course, you want to escape the possibility of a life shackled to a foolish, shallow woman.

 

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 Blog 4/1/15

 

 

A Time of Birds

 

To me, spring has always been a time of birds.  At our country home, when the air begins to come alive with birdsong and the flutter of wings, I know the season has truly changed. Not that we don’t see birds in winter. I feed them all through the dark, cold time, and so suspect I contribute to the welfare of half the avian population of our county. But they become more active now, and that whispers to me of change.

 

They greet me with song in the morning and when I’m out walking my dog, Jessie, we get to watch their aerial acrobatics.  We had a mating pair of red-tailed hawks early on who would fly off at our approach, leaving their harsh cries behind. Now the smaller birds are mating also, fluttering from twig to branch, the males trying very hard to impress with both plumage and song, sometimes dancing in the sky to show their exuberance. Our local, mischievous cardinals are back at their tricks; the males like to challenge those other pesky, red birds they espy in the wing mirrors of our cars.

 

And nothing says “spring” like the movements of the Canada geese! Their honking songs sound early and late in a cacophonous chorus.  They rise from the surrounding fields on a rush of wings and stream across the sky in uneven “Vs,” their cries the very definition of “wildness”. While I’m aware they no longer actually migrate the way they used to, their movements still stir the blood. Just last evening Jessie and I stood spellbound as they darkened the sky overhead.

 

Perhaps the same deep, ageless instinct that stirs the birds moves in our hearts. It becomes easy to forget the deprivations and difficulties of the winter just past and embrace the endless, beckoning “new”. I know it felt that way when late last evening as the full moon began to rise through the trees, Jessie and I walked softly down to the creek. Not softly enough! Our approach startled a blue heron that rose up, flapping slow and strong, and winged his way to more secluded waters.  A beautiful moment that put me in mind of what my Celtic ancestors believed: birds are the beings that carry our spirits into the next life. Why, then, not the next season?

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Blog 2/27/15

 

Why Steampunk? Why Buffalo?

 

I still remember picking up my first Steampunk novel: Tanished Knight by Bec McMaster. I was enthralled from the first paragraph and became enchanted with the genre.  I’d been writing and publishing Historical Romance for a while and I knew my publisher, The Wild Rose Press (incidentally, the best publisher on the planet!) published the genre. Could I make the leap?

I decided to attempt it, mainly because I enjoy indulging my dark side when I write. This has been a point to which some readers object when they read my other historical writing. Steampunk, with its built in angst and black humor, might have been made for me. 

Why the city of Buffalo?  Well, I was born there and lived in that incomparable city till I was 18. I intended to set Dead Handsome in London but my daughter, who lives and works in Buffalo, objected. “Set it in Buffalo!” she urged. The more I thought about it, the better the idea seemed. Anyone not familiar with Buffalo thinks of it as a rust-belt city marooned in endless snow. I know better. Buffalo is a city of immigrants—none of my own grandparents was born here—and of hard-headed, hard-working people who don’t know the meaning of surrender. Their humor is ironic and they love taking the impossible in stride. Sounds like a recipe for Steampunk to me!I’ve just signed the contract for book two set in Buffalo. Let the adventure continue!

 

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Blog 1/18/15

 

Fantasy versus reality

 

We all enjoy a good dose of fantasy along with our romance.  By fantasy, I’m not talking little green aliens, dragons or hobbits, but that tinge of magic that colors a good romance novel.  Our heroes and heroines are always a little taller, braver, and more beautiful than real life.  After all, who would want to read a romance wherein the description of the hero began, “He was about five foot eight inches tall with a receding hairline and poor eye sight.  You might walk past him on the street and never give him a second glance.”

Many of us read romance in order to escape the demands of our lives for a little while.  We want the love that can never die, the hero who remains unafraid in the cause of his beloved, the love scene that goes on all night and into the next morning … Nobody ever gets tired, and no heroine ever gets a zit right before the ball.

As a writer of Historical Romance, however, I’m willing to argue on the side of a good dose of reality, as well.  I always try to ground my stories in the actual history of their chosen periods.  Medieval England was not always a comfortable place.  Life there wasn’t easy and people enjoyed few luxuries.  Seventeenth-century Scotland was often violent and life there could be desperate.  Clans warred with clans, with disastrous results.  Women were given few choices and sometimes only the strong survived.

But, oh, the beauty of the contrast!  Give me characters digging in their heels, struggling to survive – when love comes to them, it tastes that much sweeter.  Give me a tormented hero who has to fight for his last and only chance of happiness, and who is willing to do whatever he must in defense of his love.

Just such a man is Dougal MacRae, hero of my Historical Romance, Devil Black.  Chased by a dark past, for which he cannot forgive himself, he starts out wanting only revenge – ugly, violent revenge if need be.  Enter Isobel Maitland, on her own crusade to purchase her sister’s happiness.  Neither of them expects to fall into a maelstrom of undeniable attraction.  But before the story ends, each of them is willing to do whatever he or she must, for the sake of love.

Why not be brave and bold, and invite some of my characters into your home tonight?

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Blog 12/29/14

 

THOUGHTS ON THE NEW YEAR

 

Life is an expansion. We start as a single cell joined by another, and expand even as the universe continues to expand around us. We start as a single thought and expand to ideas, imaginings, and the creations of desire. What would happen to us if we stopped “wanting”? According to ancient wisdom, this is impossible. If you stop wanting, you stop, period.

We are creatures of energy wearing imaginary bodies we construct via the power of our minds, even as we construct the world around us. Pause for an instant and think about desire: all we have now in our world was born of someone’s desire. Can’t you just imagine our ancestors working through their lives while desiring the simplest of things: running water, an easy way to cook food, a means to keep that food from spoiling, a machine to do the backbreaking chore of laundry, a way to communicate with loved ones instantaneously, across an ocean? Form follows desire; it always has and always will.

That being said, what do you desire for the year to come? Be careful of what you wish, especially when you wish most passionately. The universe, like thought, has a literal function. Be specific as our ancestors might have been.  “All I want is a way for water to flow into my kitchen so I don’t have to lug this heavy bucket,” didn’t allow for the dream of hot water. That came still later, through someone else’s desire.

Dream big, whether your desire be for personal success or the ransom of the world. If you imagine it, it can be. The smash success of your latest book or an end to hatred in this world we have made: there are no limits to expansion or to the power we hold!

Happy, blessed 2015!

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Blog 12/24/14

It's the twelfth day of Christmas, and it's all about drummers! Fellow author Desiree Holt brings us her Christmas story, "Bang the Drummer", which is all about finding the perfect drummer...and the perfect man!

 

From Desiree Holt:

 

With Christmas practically right around the corner, I wanted to share a taste of my newest Christmas story. Bang the Drummer is part of from The 12 Brides of Christmas from The Wild Rose Press.

Spicy version of 12 drummers drumming!

A Recommended Read from All Romance eBooks!

 

Jill Kennedy has plans for a Christmas wedding. She's put down deposits for the flowers, photos, and venue. Now all she needs is a groom. A drummer who'll keep her life as steady as he keeps the beat to his music. With her good friend Charlie Costello as her wingman, she'll interview percussionists, one per month until she finds the right tempo. But with Christmas approaching and no groom in sight, she's starting to wonder if she'll ever bang the drummer of her dreams.

 

Excerpt:

Jill Kennedy curled up on her couch studying her iPad, frowning. Her Christmas tree still twinkled in the corner although the holiday was long past. Coldplay’s latest CD bumped its tunes out from her iPod docking station. The last of her Christmas candles flicked in glass holders on the coffee table, filling the room with the scent of pine and cranberry. She should be feeling mellow, but instead her nerves were jumping and a headache was creeping slowly up from the nape of her neck.

Charlie Costello lounged next to her, sock feet resting on her coffee table, his hands tapping a steady rhythm on his thighs in time to the song.

Jill tucked a strand of her shoulder-length sable-colored hair behind her ear as she studied the information on the iPad screen.

“I think I’ve got everything taken care of. Booked the Creekside Winery. Ordered the decorations. Set up a tasting for the food and Stella’s designing the wedding cake.” She glanced up at Charlie. “Why are you looking at me in that strange way?”

He gave her his familiar lop-sided grin. “You are the only woman I know who plans and pays for her wedding without knowing who the groom is.”

She flipped a hand at him. “I’ll have one by then. It’s in the plan. You know.”

He threw back his head and laughed. “Yeah, I love your interview process. You aren’t even dating anyone right now.”

“Because look how poor my choices were in that arena, right?”

He snorted. “So this is better? Tell me how?”

Jill pulled up another memo on her iPad. “Okay. I have a list.”

“A list? This I gotta hear. Lay it on me.”

 If she didn’t need his help so badly, she would have smacked him. “It’s very specific. I asked around about different drummers in different bands and narrowed it down to the twelve most likely prospects. You know. Twelve drummers drumming, for Christmas.”

“Like a grocery list,” he teased.

“No, Charlie.” Damn him! “Like an interview process for a job.”

“Is that what this is, kitten? A job?”

“It’s a lifetime commitment,” she sniffed. She wished he’d just let her get on with this. All these questions were making her have tiny doubts about the wisdom of her decision. She gave herself a mental shake. “I’ll do one a month until I hit on the right one. The exact right one. First I check out their musical talent and their band history.”

Charlie gave a roar of laughter. “Because that’s such a requirement for stability?”

“Because it has to be a drummer so I need his performance history,” she snapped.

“Maybe it’s a different kind of performance you should be worrying about.”

“That comes later. After the phone calls and the coffee dates to see how he is in person and match our likes and dislikes.”

“Coffee dates?” He cocked an eyebrow. “Not even a romantic dinner?”

She wanted to sling the iPad at him. “I’ve been that route, remember? The whole nine yards, and what did I get? A bunch of losers. No, I’m doing this like a project for work. As a systems analyst, she knew the importance of things being able to mesh on a practical basis. ”

So you’re going to interview these bozos and then—what?”

Drummers,” she told him. “Interviewing drummers.”

He cocked his head. “And that’s why?”

“I told you.” She blew out a breath of exasperation. “Drummers have the best beat. The best tempo. They’re the heart of the band.” She grinned. “And have the best rhythm in bed.”

Buy links:

 

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-bangthedrummer-1660807-149.html

http://www.amazon.com/Bang-Drummer-Twelve-Brides-Christmas-ebook/dp/B00OFEPG38/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1415317244&sr=1-1&keywords=Bang+the+Drummer

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bang-the-drummer-desiree-holt/1120677833?ean=2940150354234

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/bang-the-drummer

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bang-the-drummer/id933517575?mt=11

 

 

 

Referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance, Desiree Holt is the world’s oldest living published erotic romance author. A graduate of the University of Michigan her earlier careers include agent and manager in the music industry, public television, associate vice president of university advancement, public relations, and economic development.

She is three times a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award (and a winner in 2014), a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award winner for best BDSM book of the year, winner of the Ellora’s Cave Golden Ankh and winner of the Holt Medallion for Excellence in Romance Literature.

She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times, The Huffington Post and numerous other national and international publications. Currently she has signed on as a blogger for The Huffington Post. She is also the Authors After Dark 2014 Author of the Year.

“Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.” (Romance Junkies)

Holt knows what her fans will love.”

(RT Book Reviews)

“Holt delivers with delicious love scenes, a believable story and characters you care about. “

RT Book Reviews

Well-written erotica filled with modern-day cowboys.—John Rodzilla, Emerson Univ., Boston The Library Journal

Desiree Holt delivers smoking hot alpha heroes and red hot romances.” Lea Franczak, USA Today Happy Ever After blog.

“I have read many stories by this author and she never disappoints. She knows how to bring out the best in her characters that help you connect with them.”

Romancing the Book 

“Ride the Mustang by Desiree Holt is everything you come to expect from Ms. Holt.”

Sizzling Hot Reads

Learn more about her and her novels here:

www.desireeholt.com

www.desiremeonly.com

www.facebook.com/desireeholtauthor

www.facebook.com/desire01holt

 

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Blog 12/23/14

It's the eleventh day of Christmas, and the pipers are piping! Read on to see how the talented Dylan Newton interpreted her line of the song!

 

Thank you so much for hosting me today for the awesome “12 Brides of Christmas” Author Spotlight! In my book, Piper’s Piping, my werewolf heroine (much as I have always wanted to do!!) travels to Ireland for the holidays. But as with much of Aribella’s life, her long-awaited honeymoon doesn’t quite turn out the way she planned!

For a chance to win a FREE e-copy of “Piper’s Piping”—my holiday story with a werewolf twist—comment with your answer to my holiday question:

If you could go anywhere for the holidays, where would you go and why?

I can’t wait to hear where you’d go, and because I’m a writer—I’m curious as to WHY you’d choose that location! We writers always need to know the backstory! J I will be choosing one random comment by noon tomorrow for that FREE e-copy!

From Laura Strickland: Since this web page doesn't accept comments, just pop over to my "Write Me!" tab and shoot me an email with your comment. I'll forward all emails to Dylan Newton, and you'll be entered in the giveaway!

Here’s a little bit about my book, Piper’s Piping, including an excerpt and some buy links for you! Thanks again for stopping by, and don’t forget to comment for a chance to WIN!!! J

“Piper’s Piping” Blurb:

Werewolf Aribella Lupari-Gray is on her long-awaited honeymoon. Or at least, that was the plan. When she and Mason land in Ireland just before Christmas, their dream holiday turns into a nightmare: the pack’s werewolf children have all vanished.

To top it off, the werewolf king—who was supposed to sanctify Ari’s marriage to a human—is away searching for the missing pups and may not return in time to grant his official blessing, jeopardizing her family’s future status within the pack.

If things don’t change fast, there may not even be a marriage to bless. Ari’s desire to help puts her life—and her relationship with Mason—in jeopardy.

With Mason gone, presumably back to the States and Christmas on the doorstep, Ari sets out on one final mission to find the lost pups. Her life and the pack's young in the balance, will Ari be able to perform a holiday miracle or will she die trying? 

“Piper’s Piping” Excerpt:

Ari unfolded the note, and glitter cascaded down from the folds.

"Santa loves sparkly things," Keeva said, anxiously eyeing the lost glitter. "So after I wrote my Christmas list, I outlined it in red and green glitter. See?"

Ari's smile faded as she scanned the child's crayoned letter.

Dear Santa,

Can you please find my cousins for Christmas? Even Phaedra, but do not give her candy, as she is not a good sharer.

I know you won't have room in your sleigh for toys with all those kids, so you don't have to give me anything else. But maybe you can fit a kitten in your pocket? Mum says no way can a werewolf have a cat, but if you bring one she will have to say yes.

Thank you,

Keeva Carney

P.S. I like black kittens best.

 

Ari carefully refolded the paper, and Keeva stuffed it into her stocking once more.

"Mum said Santa is busy Christmas Eve, but if that's all I ask for, he'll bring them back. He won't let them miss Christmas, right?" Keeva looked up at Ari.

Ruffling the girl's ginger hair, Ari mustered a smile. "When a good girl asks Santa for something, how can he resist?"

As Keeva scampered to the kitchen for dinner, Ari stared fixedly at the festive decorations.

Santa was in way over his mythical head.

Buy Links for Piper’s Piping:

Amazon.com (Piper’s Piping):

http://www.amazon.com/Pipers-Piping-Twelve-Brides-Christmas-ebook/dp/B00OI0AYJU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419297580&sr=1-1&keywords=piper%27s+piping

Wild Rose Press for Dylan Newton (all books):

http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=242_177_136&products_id=5907 

 

 

Author Bio:

Dylan Newton was born and raised in a small town in Upstate New York where the local library was her favorite hang-out. Despite earning a degree in English Literature, Dylan spent more than a decade sidetracked by an executive position in corporate America where she swears she contracted testosterone poisoning. After leaving, she dedicated herself to more estrogen-rich passions, like motherhood, writing romance novels and her never-ending quest for the perfect date night.

Dylan married her high-school sweetheart and they are busy living out their own happily ever after in sunny Florida with their two incredible daughters. 

Visit Dylan at www.DylanNewton.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DylanNewtonAuthor

 

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Blog 12/21/14

It's the ninth day of Christmas, and according to the song we'll find nine ladies dancing. Author Silver James brings us her enchanting story, "Faerie Faith" to add some magic to the season. Read on to learn more about this tale, and to qualify for a giveaway!

Welcome, Silver James!

 

Thank you so much for hosting me today for the fantastic “12 Brides of Christmas” Author Spotlight! In my book, FAERIE FAITH, Abhean, the Fae Harper, has been exiled to the mortal realm and stripped of his memory and his magic. He’s now a street musician in New York City during the Christmas holidays. With so many great Christmas movies set in NYC, I’ve always wanted to experience Christmas in the Big Apple.

For a chance to win a FREE e-copy of FAERIE FAITH—my magical holiday story—comment with your answer to my holiday question:

If you could go to NYC during the Christmas season, what one thing would be on your Must Do List? Macy’s Christmas Parade? The Rockettes? Ice skating at Rockefeller Center? And because I’m a writer, I want to know why your chose this activity. Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win. You must also leave your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win! I’ll randomly select a winner on Christmas Eve so make sure I have your emails!

From Laura Strickland: Since this web page does not accept comments, please just pop over to my "Write Me!" tab and shoot me an email with your answer. I'll forward all emails to Silver James and you'll be entered to win! 

Here’s a little bit about my book, FAERIE FAITH, including an excerpt and the places where you can find it. Thanks again for stopping by, and don’t forget to comment for a chance to WIN!!!

 

FAERIE FAITH Blurb:

Abhean, the fae Harper, is exiled to the mortal realm until he finds the other half of his heart. As Venn McLyre, the NYC street musician, he has no memory of his true nature—or his magic. When he steps in to save reluctant bride, Gwyneth Riley, he could lose more than his heart—he could lose his immortality.

Socialite Gwyn Riley is resigned to marrying Sumner Barrett, son of her mother’s best friend. A marriage based on duty to family and convenience, she has no pretensions about love. It takes the magic touch of a poor musician to open her heart to the possibilities. When three couples arrive to remind Venn of his identity, he has only moments to stop Gwyn’s wedding. Is he too late, or will the King of Tir Nan Óg step in to grant Abhean and Gywn their own happy ever after?

 

FAERIE FAITH Excerpt:

Hours stretched into days, and finally, Venn could stand it no longer. He grabbed his duffel stuffed with instruments and headed out. He would drown his sorrow in music. He would fill the air with laments until the

whole city’s heart broke and the people wept with him. He caught the subway, traveling close to Times Square before he de-trained. The crowds here were good, filled with holiday cheer. The trains ran on a schedule that gave him time for a song between. He took up his station between the platform and the turnstiles. Setting out his copper pot, he withdrew the soft fiddle case from his duffel and pulled out his violin. After a few tweaks, he pulled his bow across the strings. People paused. He flexed his fingers and began to play.

Notes ripped from the depths of his soul filled the air, each one dripping a tear. His hair flew around his face as he coaxed the tune from wood and string. The violin wailed, baring Venn’s tortured soul. Then it wept but offered no consolation for his loss. Gwyn. Her name was both a prayer and a curse on the tip of his tongue. How could one woman bring him to the depths of despair? He’d sworn never to love, but he’d had no choice. She stole into his heart, surrounding its darkness with light and sweetness, with sunset hair and Galway blue eyes.

He finished the song, one dredged from his soul, on a last sighing note. Silence thundered in his ears. A woman stepped forward, tears streaking her perfect makeup. She dropped money in his pot and moved on.

Buy Links for "Faerie Faith":

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Faerie-Faith-Twelve-Brides-Christmas-ebook/dp/B00OFBHFR6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419162864&sr=1-1&keywords=faerie+faith

The Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=242_177_139&products_id=5917

All Romance Books: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-faeriefaith-1671861-143.html

 

Silver James likes to take walks on the dark side and coffee. Okay. She loves coffee. LOTS of coffee. Warning: Her Muse, Iffy, runs with scissors and can be quite dangerous. She’s the author of two award-winning urban fantasy series, Moonstruck and The Penumbra Papers. She's been a military officer's wife, mother, state appellate court marshal, airport rescue firefighter and forensic fire photographer, crime analyst, technical crime scene investigator, and writer of magic and mystery. Now retired from the “real world,” she lives in Oklahoma and spends her days at the computer with two Newfoundland dogs, the cat who rules them all, and myriad characters all clamoring for attention. She writes dark paranormal thrillers, time travel romance, and sexy contemporary romance. To find out more about Silver, visit her at www.silverjames.com.

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Blog 12/20/14

What a treat! On the eighth day of Christmas, we have a visit from the incomparable Mackenzie Crowne! Just read on to discover more about her Christmas story, "A Case for Calamity"!

 

Blurb:

For Jane Whitmore, agreeing to switch identities with her best friend seems like innocent fun, but spending a romantic night in Paris with a man who doesn't know her real name turns out to be a lark gone bad. When their one night of passion proves to have lasting results, tracking down Gabe Sutton and telling him he’s about to be the father of her child is just another calamity Jane would rather avoid. After years of avoiding long-term romantic entanglements, Gabe has found a woman he might just be able to build a life with, only to have her disappear. When he finally finds her, his belief in happily-ever-after staggers under the weight of deception, and looming fatherhood leaves him with two choices: fight her for custody of his future child or cling to the promise of true love.

Excerpt:

“He doesn’t even know my name. What am I supposed to do? Walk up to him and say, ‘Hi Gabe. I’m the chick who tricked you into believing I was Michael Austin’s daughter two months ago in Paris. Oh, and by the way, I’m having your baby?’”

“I was thinking more along the lines of, ‘Hi, Gabe. I’m the chick who snuck out of your hotel room in Paris before you could say Good morning, beautiful. By the way, I had a really good time—and six orgasms. Oh, and I’m having your baby. Want to get a pizza?’”

Jane laughed at Shae’s cheeky grin, then shoved her fingers through her hair. “Right. That’ll work.”

“I googled him. You’re right. He’s hawt! He left his number that morning in Paris.” She smiled slyly. “It’s in my phone. You should call him.”

Jane snorted. “I don’t think giving Gabe Sutton a booty call would be a good idea. Besides, I’m on a sabbatical from men.”

Shae waggled her brows. “What’s that old saying? When you fall off a horse, you need to climb right back on?”

 

From Mackenzie Crowne: 

For a giveaway, here's a Question: Solid lights or colors?

I prefer solid white lights these days but we simple had to have colors when my boys were little. They proclaimed solid light trees boring. J

Giveaway: I’ll be gifting an e-copy of one of my TWRP titles to three separate winners chosen randomly from all commenters. Winners’ choice.

From Laura Strickland:

Since this blog doesn't accept comments, please just pop over to my "Write Me!" tab and send me a quick email with your response to Mackenzie's question. I'll forward all emails to her and you'll be entered to win!

 

Buy links:

The Wild Rose Press Amazon Kobo

Barnes & Noble

Mac’s links:

TheWildRosePressAuthorPage

Amazon Author Page

mackenziecrowne.com

FaceBook Author Page

Twitter @maccrowne

Goodreads

Author bio:

Wife, mother and really young grandmother, Mac lives with her high school sweet heart husband, a neurotic Pomeranian, and a blind cat. She calls Phoenix home because the southwest feeds her soul. Though her friends claim she’s a princess, she disagrees. After all, one can’t raise two rambunctious boys to wonderful men without getting a little dirt under their nails. A lover of the romance genre, her resolve to share her stories with others was sharpened by a bout with breast cancer. Today she is an award-winning, multi-published author and seven year survivor, living the dream.

 

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Blog 12/19/14

On the seventh day of Christmas, tradition tells us we'll find seven swans a-swimming. Today's guest, my fellow author, Donna Dalton, will tell us about her seven swans. Please help me welcome Donna!

 

Thank you so much for hosting me today for the “12 Brides of Christmas” Author Spotlight! My book, “Seven Swans Bride” is the seventh stanza of the Twelve Days of Christmas which includes seven swans a’ swimming - and of course a bride. This sweet historical romance is set just after the American civil war.

For a chance to win a FREE e-copy of “Seven Swans Bride” comment with your answer to my holiday question. I will be choosing one random comment by noon EDST tomorrow!

Note from Laura Strickland: Since this blog page doesn't accept comments, just pop over to my "Write Me!" tab and send me a quick email with your answer to Donna's question. I'll forward all emails to her and you'll be entered in the contest!

Do you have any holiday traditions that have been passed down through the years from generation to generation? If so, I’d love to hear about them. If not, just list a tradition you’d like to see started.

Here’s a little bit about my book, “Seven Swans Bride”, including an excerpt and some buy links for you! Thanks again for stopping by, and don’t forget to comment for a chance to WIN!!! J

 

Seven Swans Bride Blurb:

Family comes first for Abigail Whitlock. She’ll do anything to make it home to Seven Swans in time for Christmas and to attend her sister’s wedding - even if it means braving unforgiving mountainous terrain, fickle winter weather, and a captivating escort who threatens to steal her heart.

Country and duty come before all else for Major Evander Holt. He’s scheduled to arrive at his new assignment by year’s end, but a rockslide, a wily politician, and a headstrong, impetuous lady put his travel plans on hold. He doesn't need to come to her rescue, and he certainly doesn't need to fall in love with her. But there's something about Abigail he can't resist...even if it means risking his career.

 

Seven Swans Bride Excerpt:

Evander moved into the station house and closed the door behind him. Passengers littered the floor like routed soldiers, some sitting on trunks, others standing in small groups, their faces creased with apprehension. Even the children were subdued. The sudden cessation of their trip had everyone battle-shocked.

On the other side of the room near the ticket counter, Miss Whitlock and Congressman Jones had their gazes locked on him. One looked as though she’d swallowed a dose of castor oil. The other wore a satisfied grin. Were those expressions for him? Neither was particularly welcoming.

Miss Whitlock broke off her stare and fiddled with her crooked hat feather. Hair the color of sun-ripened wheat poured out from beneath her hat and framed her pretty face now flushed a charming shade of pink. He couldn’t see her eyes from across the distance, but he recalled their intensity as he held her close after the sudden braking of the train. They were deep blue, like a bottomless ocean, one a less sentient man might drown in.

 

Buy links:

The Wild Rose Press:

http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=241_172_249&products_id=5916

 Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=node%3D154606011&field-keywords=seven+swans+bride

 

Author BIO:

Donna Dalton  uses the rich history of her home state of Virginia and the American Civil War to create action-packed, emotional romances. Her favorite pastime is to tour the many battlefields and museums and bring those places to life in her stories. She has four full-length historical novels published with The Wild Rose Press as well as several contemporary short stories. You can visit her at www.donnadalton.net or on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DonnaDaltonbooks

 

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Blog  12/18/14

On the sixth day of Christmas, we receive the gift of six geese a-laying. Fellow author Brenda Gayle's wonderful story is surely her gift to us! Read on for details and a giveaway:

Isn't that a gorgeous cover? Welcome, Brenda!

 

Thank you so much for hosting me today. I love Christmas stories, so when The Wild Rose Press asked me to contribute to its Twelve Brides of Christmas anthology, I jumped at the opportunity. What could be more wonderful than a series that involves brides, Christmas, and one of the “gifts” of the famous Twelve Days of Christmas song? Of course, I hadn’t fully realized considered that I’d have to work “six geese a-laying” into my plot, but that just made it more fun.

For a chance to win a FREE e-copy of Six Geese for Monica let me know: What is a typical Christmas meal at your home?

I’ll start: Turkey is an absolute essential at my Christmas table. I’ve tried to convince my family to be adventurous and try ham or goose (which would be very awkward this year), but they’ll have none of it. In addition, there’s usually mashed potatoes, green beans, and a squash/carrot casserole. Dessert is generally an assortment of baking my mother has provided, as well as a heated Christmas pudding with a decadent hard sauce (essentially an excuse to eat pure sugar blended with a rich cream).

Here’s a little bit about Six Geese for Monica, including an excerpt and some buy links for you. Thanks again for stopping by today and please come back tomorrow to meet another Twelve Brides author. And, of course, don’t forget to comment for a chance to win the book. I’ll be randomly picking one comment tomorrow.

From Laura Strickland: since this page doesn't accept comments, just pop over to my "Write Me!" tab and send me a quick email with your answer to Brenda's question. I'll forward all responses to her, and you'll be entered!

Now, some more about "Six Geese for Monica"!

 

Blurb:

Seven years ago Monica Stevens left her home town with no intention of returning. Her inability to conceive a child not only devastated her fifteen-year marriage, it made her doubt her appeal as a woman. When her mother has to undergo surgery, she reluctantly agrees to come back and run the Mother Goose Daycare.

Luke Donovan is struggling to balance his career with his duties as a single father to six adopted children. The death of his wife has thrown the adoption of their two youngest sons into limbo. He is further stymied by a dogmatic social worker who questions whether a single parent can adequately care for so many children.

Initially brought together by the children, Monica and Luke quickly surrender to their growing passion. But when she learns about the threatened adoption, Monica wonders if Luke's interest in her is only as a mother to his children. Is history about to repeat itself, or will a Christmas miracle finally give Monica the family she's always dreamed of having?

Excerpt:

“Gotta love the Internet. There’s a music stream for every situation.” He took a step toward her and held out his hand. “Wanna dance?”

Monica allowed the music to move through her as she and Luke danced through Culture Club, Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical,” and Hall and Oates’ “Maneater.” She hadn’t heard this music in years and it brought back feelings of being young and free, and a sense of the wild abandon she’d experienced on the high school dance floor.

The mood shifted as the attic filled with the first strains of “Sailing” by Christopher Cross. That, too, brought back high school memories of those awkward moments when you didn’t know if the boy you were dancing with was willing to slow dance with you or if he was going to abandon you on the dance floor.

Luke didn’t hesitate. He wrapped both arms around her waist as if it was the most natural thing in the world. She reached up to encircle his neck, and rested her head against his chest. She could hear his heart beating, steady and firm. He was steady and firm. He smelled wonderful, a mixture of his woodsy aftershave with the softly sweet scent of the soap used by both him and his children.

He was a good dancer, his moves confident and clear. It was obviously something he’d done a lot of. Jeff hadn’t liked to dance—typical jock—and she’d missed it during their time together—and after. How long since she’d been held on a dance floor? Or not on the dance floor, for that matter?

A good dancer. A good husband. A good father. Why couldn’t she have met Luke, or someone like him, twenty years ago?

Buy Links: 

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Geese-Monica-Twelve-Brides-Christmas-ebook/dp/B00OQECIJM

 

The Wild Rose Press (all books): http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=494

 

About Brenda Gayle: 

I've been a writer all my life but returned to my love of fiction after more than 20 years in the world of corporate communications—although some might argue there is plenty of opportunity for fiction-writing there, too. I have a Master's degree in journalism and an undergraduate degree in psychology. A fan of many genres, I am drawn to contemporary romance and enjoy creating deeply emotional stories with elements of mystery and suspense. 

I live in eastern Ontario (Canada) with my wonderful husband, two fabulous children, a rescued cat, two Siberian Huskies, and assorted aquatic wildlife. You can connect with me through my website at www.BrendaGayle.com, Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.

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Blog 12/17/14

On the fifth day of Christmas, the famous song tells us about five gold rings. According to my fellow author Kallie Lane, they're five Claddagh Rings. Just keep reading to find out why!

 

Blurb:

Worried about her family, Fiona returns home to find her mother in danger when the Claddagh rings resurface along with the hit men searching for them. Approached by an FBI agent who offers to protect her in exchange for the rings, she must decide—trust a mysterious stranger who is not all he seems. Or go it alone and lose everything…maybe even her life.

Under pressure to retrieve the rings, Agent O’Shea is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done, even if it means putting Fiona in the crossfire. He never imagines her strength and spirit will touch his heart, leaving him with a choice—give in to his desire for her or ignore the danger she's in to clear his father's name.

As they join forces to beat the odds, will he be able to keep her safe…or will he surrender to the legacy of the Claddagh rings and let her go?

From Kallie Lane:

I loved writing this short story. Fiona's celebrity mother attracts danger like a moth to a flame. Her former indiscretion has far reaching consequences, plunging Fiona headfirst into danger…and straight into the arms of Special Agent Ryan O'Shea. Fiona's loyalty is divided between her mother and Ryan. Ryan's allegiance wavers between Fiona and the case he must solve. The Claddagh rings hold the secret to millions intended to fund a terrorist organization—a treasure the old guard IRA is willing to kill to possess. Now it's up to Ryan to protect Fiona while keeping his eye on the prize.

 

From Laura Strickland:

A digital copy of this book will be given away on December 24th. Since this site does not accept comments, please pop over to my "Write Me!" tab and email me your comment along with your email address for a chance to win!  I will forward all responses to Kallie Lane!

Book Links:

Amazon http://amzn.to/1w1gDLf

B&N http://bit.ly/1yMq5Cj

Chapters/Indigo http://bit.ly/1u2XUMn

The Wild Rose Press http://bit.ly/1zjr7bn

 

About the Author:

Kallie Lane writes suspenseful romantic fiction with a touch of humor to lighten the dark moments. She understands the rough edges of alpha males and loves to write about them, helping them find the women who complete them in every way that matters. She excels at hard hitting action and complex relationships that end with the heroine and hero building a life together.

Kallie loves to write stories with realistic characters, intricate plots, and happy endings. With her Shadow Soldier series, she has had the pleasure of meeting many military men who fit the bill. And while she loves doing extensive research, many of the locations and perils in her stories stem from personal experience. The isolated cottage in Dark Abandon is her own, her boating disasters serving as inspiration for her heroine's. Her recent release, Reckless Abandon, takes place at a rodeo where she spent much of her time. She was thrilled when the novel was rated Best Book by Long and Short Reviews.

Kallie lives in Canada, was born and raised there, and loves winter in the cool blue North.  Ever the optimist, she claims a hot toddy by the fire can work wonders after dragging oneself through snowdrifts and -45C degree temperatures. The perfect setting for hatching romantic suspense novels.

To learn more about Kallie, visit her website at http://www.kallielane.com/ or follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KallieLaneAuthor or Twitter at https://twitter.com/KallieLane.

 

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Blog 12/15/14

On the third day of Christmas, I'm featuring fellow author Fleeta Cunningham's tale of Christmas on the home front! Please help me welcome her as she tells us about "'Till the World is Safe for Dreams"!

From Fleeta:

 

Thank you so much for hosting me today for the “12 Brides of Christmas” Author Spotlight! My book, “Till the World is Safe for Dreams” is the third stanza of the Twelve Days of Christmas which includes three French hens—and a World War II bride. It’s a sweet story set in the turbulent days of 1942.

 

Here’s a little about the story including an excerpt and some buy links:

Till the World is Safe for Dreams--blurb

A lot of dreams were put on hold when bombs hit Pearl Harbor, including Kay and Jeremy’s wedding plans. Now he’s half a world away, injured, and Kay is hiding her worry about his wounds from her meddlesome grandmother and aunts who disregard the realities of war and are determined to plan a fairytale wedding. Kay is carrying on, spending her days in a war plant, forging bonds with other women who worry and wait. The she hears—Jeremy’s injuries are serious, life threatening. Will he come back? If he does, will he be the same? Will the world ever be safe for dreams?

Excerpt

Kay thought of Jeremy, halfway around the world, hurt--who knew how badly--and knew if he were sent home, it would be for something serious. Of course, she wanted him home. Yes, she'd been certain of becoming his wife for two and a half years. And once, an age ago, in a different life, she'd dreamed of coming down the aisle of the family church shimmering in white silk, trailing orange blossoms and tulle. But everybody was making sacrifices, putting personal plans on hold, until the world was again safe for dreams. She wouldn't ask for more than that--that the world was at peace, and everyone's special person was home. Her wedding, and the future she and Jeremy had envisioned, would wait. It had to. "Miss Mary Katherine Abbott?" "Yes, this is she. Who's calling, please?" "Peters, Nolan Peters. I met you at your grandmother's party." "I remember you." Kay's heart beat triple time, her throat tight, as she waited to hear the reason for his call. "Sorry to call so late. Your Jeremy is up against it. The leg has developed a nasty infection, and so far the medicine isn't doing the job. His fever is raging, and he's in a damnable amount of pain. The situation is critical. No way to say this to make it easier. There's a good chance the boy is going to lose that leg. It may come down to the leg or his life." The rest of his message came with a rush. "Better if you hear it from me instead of V-mail. The next forty-eight hours will tell the doctors what they're dealing with. And I'll make sure you know, as soon as there's news."

 

 

Buy Links for TILL THE WORLD IS SAFE FOR DREAMS

http://www.amazon.com/World-Dreams-Twelve-Brides-Christmas-ebook/dp/B00OWLKC8S/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1418098501&sr=8-2&keywords=fleeta+cunninghamAmazon.com (Till the World is Safe for Dreams) 

The Wild Rose Press for Fleeta Cunningham

http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=241_172_249&products_id=5935

From Laura Strickland:

In “Till the World is Safe for Dreams”, you often mention rationing and the shortages the folks at home faced during World War II. How did families manage Christmas with so many staples of holiday cooking rationed?

From Fleeta Cunningham:

During the war, everyone faced hard times with ingenuity and ‘make-do’ determination. Women with small children were hard pressed to create a holiday meal for their families. And finding a way for Santa to bring presents to the children was no easy task. Newspaper columns, like the one Kay’s mother writes in the story, offered special recipes, making use of every substitute, so some flavor of the holidays was maintained. Sugar was scarce and so was coffee. But honey and molasses were available so many cake and candy recipes used them to replace sugar. Most homes had a small “Victory Garden”, often converted from a flowerbed to a vegetable patch, and home canning kept meals healthy and colorful. Though meat was rationed, chicken wasn’t, and many a festive meal featured a baked hen as the main course. On Christmas Eve, not many stockings were filled with candy, but an orange was a special treat. Many a little girl was thrilled to have a rag doll, created from the odds and ends from her mother’s scrap bag. Fortunate was the boy who received a homemade set of bow and arrows constructed in Grandpa’s garage.

If you really want to try living on the rations of 1942, here’s a typical week’s provisions for one adult (children would be apportioned half as much):

Weekly ration for 1 adult

  • ·         Bacon & Ham 4 oz
  • ·         Meat to the value of 1 shilling and sixpence (around about 1/2 lb minced beef)
  • ·         Butter 2 oz
  • ·         Cheese 2 oz
  • ·         Margarine 4 oz
  • ·         Cooking fat 4 oz
  • ·         Milk 3 pints
  • ·         Sugar 8 oz
  • ·         Preserves 1 lb every 2 months
  • ·         Tea 2 oz
  • ·         Eggs 1 fresh egg per week
  • ·         Sweets/Candy 12 oz every 4 weeks

 

You might want to try the cake Kay’s aunt created for Christmas; here’s the recipe.

Sugarless, Eggless Cake

3/4 c. molasses
1/4 c. oil
1 1/4 c. flour
*1 c. corn flour
1 c. milk
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 c. raisins

*Grind corn meal until it is fine as flour.

Beat molasses and oil. Add flours and milk, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and cloves, stirring just until smooth. Add raisins. Pour into loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.

Christmas didn’t work out quite the way Kay and her family expected. Maybe you had one that had an unexpected twist, too. Tell us about it and you might win a copy of “Till the World is Safe for Dreams”. Look forward to hearing from you.

 

For a chance to win a FREE e-copy of “Till the World is Safe for Dreams” tell me about your memory of a Christmas when things just didn’t work out the way you planned. I will be choosing one random comment by 6:00 p.m. Central Time tomorrow! Thanks again for stopping by.

From Laura Strickland:

Since this author page doesn't accept comments, just pop over to my "Write Me!" tab and drop me a quick email with your answer to Fleeta's intriguing question. I'll forward your answers to her so you'll be entered in the giveaway!

 

A fifth generation Texan, Fleeta Cunningham has lived in a number of small Texas towns. Drawing on all of them, she created Santa Rita and its inhabitants. After a career as a law librarian for a major Texas law firm, writing a monthly column for a professional newsletter and other legal publications, she returned to her home in Central Texas to write full time. Along the way, she and her mother had a successful wedding design business, numbering celebrity weddings and ‘unique’ events in their twenty-five years of partnership. Fleeta has been writing in one form or another since the age of eight. When she isn't writing, she teaches creative writing classes, serves as the wedding coordinator for her church and keeps house for her feline roommates. Her other musings can be found at www.authorsbymoonlight.com or her website www.fleetacunningham.com. She loves to hear from readers. The Santa Rita Series includes DON'T CALL ME DARLIN', BLACK RAIN RISING, ELOPEMENT FOR ONE, HALF PAST MOURNING, and CRY AGAINST THE WIND. The first book in her new series Confronting Destiny, BAL MASQUE, was released earlier this year. Her story "Help Wanted: WIFE" was named Book of the Month by Long and Short Reviews.

 

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Blog 12/14/14

It's the second day of Christmas. You'd better watch out, you'd better not cry and you'd better not be "Late for the Wedding"! Please help me welcome the talented Barbara Edwards and book two in The Wild Rose Press's "Twleve Brides of Christmas" series!

 

Blurb:

Heather Green will do anything to make her twins wedding perfect. Despite an impending noreaster, she sets out with the wedding dress, cake, favors and cake topper in her car. As the snow piles up, her car is wrecked and she barely misses injury in a major accident.Nicholas Burnes would rather be ensconced with his latest cuddle than drive a tow truck, but his brother needs his help. He reluctantly agrees to help Heather find a way to the wedding locale, but when the storm closes the roads, he ends up offering her shelter in his penthouse.Warm and rested at last, Nick and Heather explore their powerful attraction to each other, only to part when he delivers her, on time, to her sisters wedding. But weddings breed weddings

Excerpt:

She strained to see past the broken windshield. Her throat hurt when she swallowed. Other vehicles lay tangled in a mess, not just the truck and her car. She prayed another car wouldnt hit her again and inhaled to calm her racing pulse. She finally got the seatbelt lock to release, forced her door open and stood. Her knees shook and she had to hang onto the sagging door for support. She stared around. Headlights glittered like monster eyes. Her vehicle was at the edge of a horrendous multi-car pile-up.

Sirens wailed like lost children. Blinding red and blue lights flashed everywhere as emergency personnel rushed by. Her hands shook as she dragged on her cashmere coat. Time squeezed and expanded like an accordion being played. A fireman asked if she was okay and ran on at her nod.

She brushed moisture from her face and realized she was crying. She pillowed her head on her arm, the roof supporting her as she wept.

Hey, lady, you okay?A gentle hand gripped her shoulder.

This time the questioner stopped to listen.

She looked up into scorching blue eyes so bright they could have been a propane flame.  Her skin warmed and her pulse leaped as if it recognized the message in them. They promised heat and comfort and strength like the hand on her shoulder.  Hed pulled his knit hat down over his forehead and his lower face was covered with dark stubble that matched his thick black eyelashes. His hands were splotched with grease and he smelled like oil and fuel fumes. His quilted jacket was stained and patched, his boots wet and cracked, but he exuded strength and caring.

She swallowed. Her mouth was suddenly dry. Another fixer-upper, like her ex, she briefly thought, although with those gorgeous eyes he might be worth the trouble.

 

During the last Noreaster, we were cut off for six days by the snow. It gave me the idea for Late for the Wedding.

 Im Barbara Edwards and a native New Englander. Im a graduate of the University of Hartford with a Masters degree in Public Administration. I write poetry for myself and novels when I need to tell a longer tale. Im fascinated by the past so naturally turned to writing historical romance. The dark paranormal stories evolve from nightmares. The romance comes from my belief in peoples basic goodness and longing for love.

          I lived in Florida for several years and am past president of the Central Florida Romance Writers and a member of Romance Writers of America.

          When I returned to Connecticut, I founded the Charter Oak Romance Writers, a Chapter of Romance Writers of America, along with several close friends
          My husband is a retired Police Sergeant. We share an interest Civil War re-enacting and travel the Eastern states to participate in events. I love visiting museums, galleries and battle sites, gathering information for my stories.

          I taught Romance Writing at Manchester Community college for three years.

          Im fond of gardening and growing antique roses with limited success.

          Most of my exercise is when my Belgian Shepherd, Dixie, demands a walk.

 

Please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.

Blog http://barbaraedwardscomments.wordpress.com/ 

Website http://barbaraedwards.net

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraEdwards.Author

Twitter  https://www.twitter.com/Barb_ed

Amazon Authors Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003F6ZK1A

GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/496095.Barbara_Edwards

 

 

Late for the Wedding (Twelve Brides of Christmas Book 2) by Barbara Edwards

Link: http://amzn.com/B00OWLKDY6

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Blog 12/13/14

It's the first day of Christmas, and I'm featuring the first book in The Wild Rose Press's "Twelve Brides of Christmas" series! Is there anything more romantic than a Christmas wedding? Not if, like author Jan Romes, you're "Big on Christmas"!

 

BIG ON CHRISTMAS is a contemporary romance centered in a small town with deep English roots and rich with Christmas tradition. My heroine, Cassie Newman is from L.A. and doesn’t get all the fuss about Christmas.

I’m tickled to be here today as part of the “Twelve Brides of Christmas” author’s spotlight! My part of this incredible series was geared around ‘Partridge in a pear tree’, and is titled Big On Christmas! In the opening scene, Cassie says right from the get-go that she’s NOT a partridge in a pear tree kind of girl. From there, the fun begins.

One of things stressed in the story is the annual Wassail Weekend that in reality takes place the first weekend of December in Woodstock, Vermont. I thought I’d share a wassail recipe in case you’d like to make it for your Christmas get-togethers:

Wassail

2 qts. Apple cider

1 ½ c. orange juice

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

½ tsp. lemon juice

2 cinnamon sticks

Pinch of ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground cloves

Pinch of nutmeg

* For wassail with a kick add brandy or rum

Put all ingredients in a slow cooker & cook it until it boils, then simmer it the rest of the day. It will taste delicious and the house will smell yummy too.

 

Blurb:

Born to free-spirited, convention-shucking parents, Cassie Newman thirsts for normal. Leaving L.A. with a secret, she finds herself in Woodstock, VT – a town rich with Christmas tradition. She’s not big on Christmas but Woodstock feels like the perfect fit. Landing a job with Stennett’s Hardware, she tried to forget the world she knew, but Luke Stennett’s small-town charm makes her even more aware of the life she never had.

Luke has his hands full with running the store and caring for his dad. He’s attracted to Cassie but he doesn’t have time for a relationship. Things are starting to go right but he harbors a secret of his own that has the potential to turn everything upside down. Once their secrets are revealed, will it kill the chemistry and send Cassie back to L.A.? Or will she fight for her happiness and stay firmly planted in a place big on Christmas?

 

Buy links for Big on Christmas:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Big-Christmas-Twelve-Brides-Book-ebook/dp/B00OWLKE1S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418236535&sr=8-1&keywords=Big+on+Christmas

 

The Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=242_175_133&products_id=5936

 

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/big-on-christmas-jan-romes/1120811558?ean=2940150673151

 

 

Author Bio: Jan Romes is a hopeless romantic who grew up in northwest Ohio with eight zany siblings. Married to her high school sweetheart for more years than seems possible, she’s also a proud mom, mother-in-law, and grandmother. She likes to read all genres, writes witty contemporary romance, and enjoys gardening and finding new ways to stay fit.

 

You can visit Jan at:  www.authorjanromes.com  or on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/jan.romes.5 and also on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JanRomes

 

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