Last Day for Christmas and Holiday Book Festival

The holidays are winding down at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven’s Christmas and Holiday Book Festival. 48 books, 35 authors, 5 Amazon/B&N gift cards plus get an inside glimpse into a holiday tradition each author treasures. There’s even a recipe for egg nog. Seasons Greetings!

I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My book, A Promise for Christmas, book 29 in the Spinster Mail-Order Brides multi-author series, is featured today. Each author shares a family holiday tradition, including me. You won’t want to miss it.

https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/christmas-holiday-festival

Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Enter to win a $25 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Enter to win a $15 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Enter to win a $10 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christmas and Holiday Book Festival

Calling all holiday-themed readers! We’re celebrating Christmas and the holidays all month long at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven’s Christmas and Holiday Book Festival. 48 holiday-themed books featured plus a chance to win one of the following with a rafflecopter entry (see below):

Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Enter to win a $25 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Enter to win a $15 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Enter to win a $10 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My book, A Vow for Christmas,  book 7 in Spinster Mail-Order Brides, is featured today. Each author shares a family holiday tradition, including me. You won’t want to miss it.

Bookmark this event and come back every day:

https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/christmas-holiday-festival

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guest release–Blood and Breakfast by Alicia Dean

Myself and twelve other authors (13 total, get it? 😊) each wrote a spooky, suspenseful story in the ‘A Friday the 13th Story’ series. They are stand-alone but have recurring threads and they were all released on Friday, November 13th.

My contribution to the series is titled Blood and Breakfast. Check it out below. And be sure to check out my contest where you can win an Amazon gift card! Find details here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeCUDvF4YrTa1YzADCvrQIWbK8Q6Ro7Gnb0yRxxl3Kg2Fkd-Q/viewform?usp=sf_link (Contest ends Dec 15, 2020)

Determined to boost the sagging ratings of her internet radio show, “A Dark Place,” murder junkie Sasha Gillette checks into the Talley House Bed and Breakfast in North Kingston, Rhode Island. She and her co-host plan to broadcast an episode about the murders that took place there thirteen years earlier on a Friday the 13th, when a man butchered his entire family.

Not long after Sasha arrives, the other guests begin to disappear. Has a killer from the past resurfaced or is there a copycat on the loose?

One of the lone survivors, Sasha finds herself trapped with a sadistic killer and, suddenly, murder isn’t as much fun as she thought.

Excerpt

“I’m going to look for her. It’s not okay that she’s been gone for hours when she said she’d be back in thirty minutes. Do you know where she was taking her walk?”

“I-in the woods.”

“Well, of course she was,” I muttered. “Agnes, do you have a flashlight I can borrow? And maybe something I can use for a weapon?”

Agnes nodded. “I’ll get you a flashlight. I have a hammer.”

Dorset rose as well. “I’ll go with you.” He cut his gaze to Bradley, but the dufus just sat there without volunteering to help. “Nothing, old chap? Not going to offer to come along?”

“I should stay here in case she comes back,” Bradley murmured but he didn’t look at them. Was he afraid…or feeling guilty?

I shivered when we stepped outside, drawing my hoodie tighter around my body. The nearly half full moon hovered in the cloudy sky behind the branches of a Tulip tree. Lightning flashed, illuminating the back yard. The icy air held the scent of rain. “We need to hurry,” I told Dorset. “It looks like it might storm.”

He nodded. “I’d say let’s split up to cover more ground, but with one flashlight and hammer, and with the odd happenings lately, maybe we should stick together.”

“Agreed.” My teeth chattered, though it wasn’t all that cold.

We walked along the wood line, shouting for Macy, shining the flashlight between the trees. Nothing. As if by mutual agreement, we entered the woods. I shuddered, not only concerned about a potential maniac, but also leery of whatever creatures might be scurrying around at my feet. I was a city girl and didn’t even own a pet. I was not okay with encountering an animal, of any kind.

We searched for another half hour with no sign of Macy. We were deep into the woods when the sky opened up and doused us with buckets of rain. Thunder rumbled and more lightning flashed. We gave up and hurried back to the house.

The others were waiting for us.

“Anything?” Bradley asked, his voice high-pitched with anxiety. He seemed much more concerned about Macy than he had been about his wife.

“Not a sign,” I said. “We need to call the police.”

“I did.” Agnes was seated in the forest green wing chair in the corner of the library. “They took the information but said she’s an adult and can leave any time she wants.” She rose. “We waited dinner for you. Let’s eat.”

A pall hung over the room as we ate in silence, the air thick with fear and confusion.

Afterward, I excused myself and headed upstairs, anxiety weighing on me. I had an overwhelming feeling that I wouldn’t sleep a wink. Nor would anyone else.

Please like Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/Fri13thShortStories

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Fun Fact:

I was plotting my story and trying to figure out why a normal family man would suddenly snap and murder his family. I realized that hallucinations could cause people to do crazy things, so I researched what could make people hallucinate. I discovered that the plant, jimson weed, can cause serious hallucinations. I also wanted to incorporate some kind of an authentic local legend in my story, so I researched legends in various states and came across the Devil’s Footrock in Rhode Island.  I was able to mesh the two–jimson weed and the Devil’s Footrock–to come up with how the husband/father in my story lost his mind and killed his family. It’s so much fun when ideas click and make a story come together. Here’s a photo of Devil’s Foot Rock:

 

All stories in the Friday the 13th series:

 

Links to Evil by Rolynn Anderson

Till Death by Maureen Bonatch

Blood and Breakfast by Alicia Dean

Retribution by D.J. FitzSimons

Shattered Reflections by Tamrie Foxtail

A Deadly Game by Jannine Gallant

Dead to Rights by Margo Hoornstra

In the Still of the Night by Callie Hutton

Glimpse, the Dinner Guest by Stephen B. King

Scorned by Anna Kittrell

Vanity Kills by Dianne McCartney

Fatal Legacy by Krysta Scott

Azrael’s Chosen by Leah St. James

Alicia Dean began writing stories as a child. At age 10, she wrote her first ever romance (featuring a hero who looked just like Elvis Presley, and who shared the name of Elvis’ character in the movie, Tickle Me), and she still has the tattered, pencil-written copy. Alicia is from Moore, Oklahoma and now lives in Edmond. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals.

Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley (she almost always works in a mention of him into her stories) and watching (and rewatching) her favorite televisions shows like Ozark, Dexter, Justified, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, and Vampire Diaries. Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Stephen King, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.

Web Contracts

Website: http://aliciadean.com/

Blog: http://aliciadean.com/alicias-blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAliciaDean/

Twitter: @Alicia_Dean_

Instagram: AliciaDeanAuthor

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/alicia-dean

Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/aliciamdean/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/468339.Alicia_Dean

Guest promotion–Gingerbread Cottage

Here’s another title in the Holiday Cottage series by author Linda Baten Johnson

Blurb

Carrie Highsmith’s boss insists she secure a land contract between a toy company and an elderly couple before year’s end. If she succeeds, she becomes a partner. If she fails, she files for unemployment. Standing between Carrie and her goal is a handsome obstacle—Matt Wilder.

Matt, a lawyer who represents the landowners, stays one step ahead of Carrie in her attempts to seal the agreement. He loves the area and the people and intends to protect both. In a battle of wills and personal values, who will win—the small-town lawyer or the driven career woman?

Excerpt

Carrie Highsmith checked her teeth in the car mirror for food or lipstick, finger-combed her short blond hair, and took three cleansing breaths. If she successfully negotiated the land deal for Joy Games and Toys before the end of December, she could add the word partner to her business card.

Carrie hummed We Wish You a Merry Christmas as she pulled her wheeled presentation cart with her carefully prepared materials to the address listed for the lawyer, Matt Wilder. She’d selected a tailored red suit for today, not only for the holiday season, but because she’d read in some magazine that wearing red made you look confident. She hoped it was true because her stomach felt like she was in one of those bouncy castles from her childhood. She squared her shoulders, lifted her head, and plastered on a smile. A bell jingled when she opened the building door.

“Watch yourself.” From the third highest rung of a ladder standing in the middle of the foyer, a long-legged man in jeans and a faded sweatshirt waved to her with a chandelier light bulb. “Two more to do.”

“I have an appointment with Mr. Wilder at ten. I’m Carrie Highsmith, Carrie with a C, not a K.”

She maneuvered her rolling bag sideways to get inside and close the door to keep out the chilly December wind. Carrie bit the tip of her tongue. Silly things jumped out of her mouth and surprised her when she was nervous, like “Carrie with a C, not a K.”

“That’s the office.” The man nodded his head to a room to his right. “Go on in. Wilder will be there shortly.”

Carrie detected a chuckle floating down, and when she looked up, he winked at her. Had he winked? She must’ve been mistaken. She jerked her rolling bag then cringed at a sickening screech as the ladder’s metal feet skittered across the tiled floor. She jumped backward, staring in disbelief as the ladder wobbled and fell. Glass shattered, and the man who might’ve winked at her, but who probably hadn’t, sprawled unceremoniously at her feet.

“You cut your hand.” The tapping of her stiletto heels echoed through the silence as she rushed to his side.

“I cut my hand? I disagree. My hand suffered a cut when I landed on broken glass.” Angry brown eyes stared up at her.

“Let me help you.” Carrie reached for him.

“No. Go in the office and leave your wrecking machine here.” He retrieved a handkerchief from his pocket.

“But I need it for my meeting with Mr. Wilder.” Carrie stepped away from the ladder-felling bag.

He glared at her, dabbing a blood-soaked handkerchief on his hand.

“I’ll get it later.” Carrie retreated to the room he’d indicated and sank into a chair as deflated as a birthday balloon on the day after the party.

Judging from the anger in the handyman’s eyes, she surmised he’d definitely tell his boss about the mishap. Carrie hoped the real estate lawyer would understand. She couldn’t change what happened, but she could give a superb presentation. After practicing the major points and rehearsing so many times for this meeting, things could only get better.

Carrie rose and studied the office, seeking clues for conversation starters. Other than a map of Sprucewood, Colorado, the only relief on the utilitarian beige walls was a calendar featuring Labrador dogs. December’s black puppy wore a big red bow around its neck and sat next to a Christmas tree. Carrie’s best friend in elementary school received a sweet-tempered Labrador puppy for Christmas one year, a dog who grew and grew and grew.

Mentioning her friend’s dog when Mr. Wilder arrived might be a good idea. He was ten minutes late. With time to kill, she examined the room more closely.

The bookcase held law books, a paperweight which didn’t hold down any papers, a coffee carafe, and two Christmas mugs. Labels noted contents of the file cabinets, and his desk was clear except for a picture of two little boys and a wire basket with several thick files. The top one bore Jay Peterson’s name. Her fingers itched to open the file.

The handyman entered. “Carrie, I’m Matt Wilder, double T in Matt, because it’s short for Matthew.” The amused twinkle made his eyes sparkle. He waved his bandaged fingers toward the chair opposite the desk.

“You’re Matt Wilder, the lawyer for Jay Peterson?” Carrie tripped over the chair’s leg and plopped into the seat. She straightened her suit jacket. He was young and handsome.

“I am. Sorry for the display of temper. I’m not accustomed to being knocked off my feet by a beautiful woman.”

“And I am not used to knocking men off…” Carrie felt the warmth spread from her neck to the root of each hair. “I am so sorry. I expected a lawyer to . . .”

“To be wearing a suit?” Matt leaned back in his office chair. “Gave up those a couple of years ago when I moved back to Sprucewood. Still have some in my closet in case I need to go to court.” He put his elbows on the desk and leaned toward her. “Will I need to pull out one of my suits, Carrie?”

Carrie didn’t like the uncomfortable directness of the man or the accelerated beating of her heart. She motioned to the picture of the two boys. “Cute kids.”

“I think so.” Matt gazed at the photo on the desk then stared at her. “You’re avoiding my question, Carrie. Mr. Peterson gave the owner of Wade Brinkman Realty his answer. Are we going to end up in court?”

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Linda Baten Johnson loves traveling, meeting people, and collecting stories. Her favorite memories include parasailing, white water rafting, and being mistaken for a tour guide in Mexico and Russia. She writes squeaky-clean stories for Barbour Publishing, Chicken Soup for the Soup, Winged Publications, and Lovely Christian Romance.

Web Contacts

www.lindabatenjohnson.com

https://www.facebook.com/people/Linda-Baten-Johnson/100005772243791

https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Baten-Johnson

Heirloom of Faith | An American Family Saga (wordpress.com)

Books by Linda Baten Johnson (Author of Mail Order Emma) (goodreads.com)

Snowflake Cottage release

After receiving a life-altering health diagnosis, Jada Beldane heads to a holiday cottage in Sprucewood, Colorado. Armed with a handbook titled Ten Days to Find Joy, she vows to use every exercise to fight her way out of this funk and face a new year with a positive attitude. All she needs is a little time to herself and to stay away from children.

Following a disastrous marriage, single dad Graham Seaver does his best to avoid the tourists in his hometown. He’s determined to give his young daughter the best Christmas ever. Hopefully, keeping her busy will distract her from asking questions about getting a new mother.

On paper, Jada and Graham are a horrible match. But when the town’s scheduled events throw them together, will they succumb to the holiday magic?

Behind the book secret: When I took the outline to my plot group, I said I want this story to be as close to a Hallmark Christmas movie as I can get. We brainstormed about the elements that make those many holiday movies memorable. Then I needed to insert the inherent conflicts that drive the story. As I started writing the contemporary novella, I almost couldn’t believe the way the characters just came alive and challenged and completed each other in ways that surpassed my hopes. I made myself tear up and cry at a couple points, and my editor pointed out where her emotions were jerked, too. I’m proud of all my stories, but this one is super-special.

AMAZON BUY LINK

FREE in Kindle unlimited

Series page on Amazon

Holiday Cottage (11 book series) Kindle Edition (amazon.com)