Until April 30, you have a chance to win free ebooks of all romance sub-genres by the 11 contributing author by participating in this giveaway. Either go to Connie Bretes’ website (the event sponsor) website here or enter via the rafflecopter.
Selina Davison was once a countess, but when tragedy struck, she learned to take care of herself. By creating hats adorned with realistic silk flowers, she’s built a successful business as a milliner. When a handsome gentleman stumbles into her shop asking for directions, she remembers the joy of having someone to share life’s ups and downs.
The second son of an earl, James Benton could enjoy social privileges, but the concerns of the gentry hold no interest for him. He’s much happier tending to his plants, which never judge him. His peerage connections help him secure the position as landscape architect for the winter garden in Highgate, but a lovely milliner could hold the key to his future.
When he came to the third shop, his heart leaped for joy. There, in the center of the showroom, was the beautiful white bonnet with the most exquisite cluster of pink and yellow roses. He pulled the door open and strode in.
He longed to reach out and touch the blossoms, but just then, the hat came off, treating him to a view of the most glorious head of hair, the color of gold.
“Oh! I didn‟t realize you‟d followed me in. May I help you?”
Help him? He blinked, realizing the owner of the glorious hair had turned around, and he stared into an equally magnificent pair of wide blue eyes. The soothing scent of lavender assailed him, and all his worries drifted away.
Patricia Kiyono lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her children and grandchildren. A former elementary school teacher, she now teaches music education at the university level. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures.
If you haven’t already participated in the giveaway for a chance to receive free ebooks in several genres, don’t wait. Click through to the page on Connie Bretes’ website or enter through the Rafflecopter below.
My giveaway, Silent Signals, is a historical western romance set in December 1887 in Aspen, Colorado with a rancher and a woman who trains shepherding dogs.
Hope just wants to be normal—too bad that will never happen.
The last thing Hope Hallows wants is to become the latest headline. Living in a town that likes secrets, she prefers to keep hers hidden. Avoiding a nosy reporter’s questions about her ability to infuse euphoria or despair with a single touch, and those who crave this bliss, is nothing new. But having her brother’s annoying girlfriend, Berta, go missing is—especially when it makes Hope suspect number one.
“I swear you have a death wish. Are you looking for any excuse to use your abilities again?”
I started at the ferocity in his remark and straightened in defense. He was supposed to be my ally, but I should’ve anticipated his reaction. “I had no choice.”
“Only because you chose to take her in the woods in the first place.” The tiny haze of lights ignited around him as his frustration built.
I pushed my hands in my pockets to prevent from reaching for him for my own selfish comfort. He had to understand. Griffith was the only one who understood me. He was my rock in this ever-changing town. “I had to help look for Berta. There isn’t a choice in everything. I couldn’t let Chance go alone. Yes, I went because it was my idea in the first place, but also because he’s my brother. It’s not safe for him.”
His gaze locked with mine. “You didn’t worry about yourself? Or consider how much worry you’ve caused me? Damn it Hope, you, of all people, should realize what lurks undercover in the daylight has little fear at night and outside of town.”
Griffith always saw right through my petty motives. The trait was what I loved and hated about him.
Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line.
GIVEAWAY of a $15 Amazon Card
or find the link on author’s website contest page
Last Christmas, a group of contemporary Christian authors got together to form a “boxed set” of novellas that would include dessert recipes of some sort. That set was called Frosting and Flurries, and it’s still going strong. My book in that set is called Moostletoe, the first book in the Moose Creek series.
We had so much fun doing the set, we did it again this summer, another “boxed set” that came out in July called Picnics and Promises. Moosed Opportunities is the second book in the Moose Creek series. And guess what? Book three (Almoosed Heaven) releases in November.
Working with these lovely ladies has been so much fun, and creating the little town of Moose Creek, Maine, has been a joy. Rev. Samantha Evans and her boyfriend, moose wrangler Eric Palmer, continue to thrive despite many obstacles and adventures. Oh, and did I mention the town moose, Matilda? She causes a ruckus in more ways than one.
Rev. Samantha Evans loves living in Moose Creek, Maine, the land of moose and men … or namely one man, her fiancé, Eric Palmer. The problem? Trouble looms large; Eric’s meddling ex-wife lives right around the corner.
Forest ranger, Eric Palmer, just wants to plan his wedding and marry the woman he loves. Not that life makes it easy. Samantha’s busy schedule, an interfering ex-wife, missing college students, and a misplaced pregnant moose, all conspire against him.
Will they find the time to clear the air and concentrate on their relationship? Or will their lives be a series of Moosed Opportunities?
Eric hurried down the path toward the woods, shouting for his dog. “Apollo. Stop!”
The bounding deer rapidly disappeared in the distance, and the gleefully barking miniature dachshund followed in hot pursuit. Eric didn’t have time for these shenanigans. He was due at Samantha’s house for dinner, and he was already running late.
The merry deer headed for the trees, traipsing through the wet spring snow as if prancing on a sandy beach in the Bahamas. Before Bambi’s mom disappeared completely, the female deer flipped her white tail at the excited dog, making a game of the chase. The two sped down the path Eric had created with his snowshoes, taking advantage of his man-made corridor in the trees.
“Apollo! Get back here.”
His disobedient dog paid no attention whatsoever as he scrambled, hopped, and skated across the freshly fallen snow lying atop frosty ground.
Eric quickened his pace. Tonight, he’d planned to bring the boys over to Sammie’s to introduce them to Jezebel. Before stowing the wiener dogs in the car, he’d let them out for a quick pee break. His attention had wandered as he’d allowed himself a moment of reverie … Sammie had such soft, silky hair … That was when Apollo had spotted the deer.
Eric glanced over his shoulder. His more obedient dog, Zeus, waited on the front porch. Hopefully, the little guy would still be there when this ill-timed adventure was over.
Excited yips echoed through the crisp air. Dang it! His dog was headed for the frozen creek. Eric’s best boots broke through the crusty top of the snow, the resulting crunch ringing in his ears as he tramped down the trail. Apollo had to be tiring by now, and that blasted deer had to be long gone. But then again, his pup was the stubborn type.
When he’d trudged through here yesterday morning, the sun was perched on the horizon, rays of soft light peeking through the treetops. So peaceful, so serene, so awe inspiring. A good way to start his day. Now, through the trees up ahead, pink wooly clouds puffed across a spectacular sunset and glimpses of waning light glinted off the snow-covered creek. Surely his foolish dog would stop when he reached the debris-strewn banks of the solidified water.
Eric rounded the corner in time to see the deer hurtling up the bank on the opposite side of the creek. The waters of Moose Creek were normally deep and fast, the wide expanse river-sized at this point in its journey south. The creek had been frozen over for a couple months, though the big deep freeze in northern Maine had been late this year. On his daily walks, he’d thought he’d heard water running near the beaver dam upstream. Was the ice safe? The deer had made it across handily, and if she could do it, so could a ten-pound canine. Right?
A moot point, since his dog was not going to get the chance if he had anything to say about it.
A short distance away, Apollo picked his way between the rocks on the shore, each step taking him closer to danger, his gaze on the prize fifty feet away, across the frozen expanse. Mrs. Deer stopped at the top of the hill, seemingly just as fascinated with the sight of the yappy dachshund.
The scrappy dog was shaking, whether from excitement or cold, Eric couldn’t tell. He headed down the slope toward his miniature canine. “Come here, boy.”
Apollo tossed him a cursory glance and then ogled the deer, the joy of the chase shining in his doggie eyes.
Eric sidled a few steps forward and to the side, moving slowly and carefully so as not to send the dog running in the wrong direction. He was so close he could almost reach out and grab the dog’s collar.
Whew. Apollo yipped one last time and back-peddled toward Eric’s waiting fingers. At last.
And then the deer at the crest of the hill pawed at the crunchy snow. The canine couldn’t help himself. He launched onto the frozen expanse, tiny legs propelling him like a windmill in a gale. A few feet out, the dog lost his footing on the slippery snow-covered ice. Landing on his stomach, legs all akimbo, the brownish-red missile rocketed straight for a thin spot in the ice on the other side of the stream.
With only a split second of indecision, Eric flung himself off the bank, half-skating on the ice, the breeze stinging his ears as he zipped forward. If he had any hope of catching that bundle of fur, he was going to have to slide. If a full-grown deer could make it across…
The ice creaked, but it held fast. Thankfully, he was gaining on the dog. Halfway across the river, he caught up to Apollo and grabbed his collar with his right hand. They kept sliding. They were going to make it.
Crack! The ice on the other side of the stream gave way and he plunged into the frigid water, his breath whooshing from his lungs. The animal slithered from his grasp as Eric fought to keep his head above water.
Apollo’s soft brown eyes grew impossibly large as he bobbed to the surface a few feet away. Before Eric’s frightened dog could be carried away by the loosed current, he managed to grab onto the leather collar, hauling the animal to his upper body.
Water swirled around them. He kicked his legs to bring them to shore, his sodden cold-weather clothes weighed him down. He stumbled through the cripplingly cold water, laboring each step of the way, his boots as heavy as if he had a brick strapped to each foot.
The poor dog whimpered and Eric clutched him closer as he stumbled onto land. “It’s okay, boy. We’re safe now.”
He crashed down on a log and surveyed his soaking body, chest heaving. No doubt about it, he was in a pickle.
JAN ELDER is an inspirational romance writer with a passion for telling relateable stories. She strives to write novels that will strengthen the reader’s faith, while also providing an entertaining and engrossing love story. She lives in Maryland with her beloved husband and two pampered cats.
I’d be happy to give away two ebooks of Picnics and Promises from among those who leave comments. Moosed Opportunites is the first book in the set.
Why we decided to write All In For Love:
Late in 2016, a few of us started a conversation about forming a box set which featured short romances and romantic suspense stories. One had a ghost! We decided to place it in the vicinity of Buffalo and Niagara Falls so that we could also bring in an influence from Toronto, Canada. The casino resort setting came easy and voila! All In For Love came alive. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing each story.
Welcome to La Bonne Chance Resort & Casino!
With thousands of people passing through the casino’s doors on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that a variety of lives and loves are on the line there. It’s said that you’re more likely to lose your heart at La Bonne Chance than a hand of poker. Whether you are the Director of Casino Operations or the guy who created its software, a jilted bride or a black jack dealer, a past guest’s ghost or a sous chef–when it comes to love, the stakes are high.
Ready to roll the dice?
An Inn Decent Proposal, Sharon Buchbinder
Can an hotelier with a past and a chef with a future revive the grand dame in a neglected old inn?
Perfect Odds, Lashanta Charles
When a jilted bride meets the man of her dreams, will she embrace the new plan, or cling stubbornly to the old one?
A Ghost To Die For, Keta Diablo
She didn’t believe in ghosts…until one showed up in her room.
Raising Kane, Kat Henry Doran
Funny how a night in jail will change a woman’s outlook on life.
For Money Or Love, Margo Hoornstra
She’s the one woman he can’t afford to lose.
Take A Chance On Me, M.J. Schiller
Who do you count on when the chips are down?
GIVEAWAY To add to the fun, we are giving away a gambling-themed handmade item to ONE lucky commenter who will be selected by a Random Number Generator.
When widower Rich Redman returns to Pennsylvania with his young daughter to sell his deceased grandmother’s house, he discovers Grandmother Gertie’s final request was for him to find a missing relative and a stash of WWI jewels.
Torrie Larson, single mom, is trying to make her landscape center and flower arranging business succeed while attempting to save the lineage of a rare white rose brought from Austria in the 1900s.
Together, the rich Texas lawyer and poor landscape owner team up to rescue the last rose and fulfill a dead woman’s wishes. But in their search to discover answers to the mysteries plaguing them, will Rich and Torrie also discover love in each other’s arms? Or will a meddling ghost, a pompous banker, and an elusive stray cat get in their way?
“Okay, the blue shirt with the gray slacks doesn’t make you look as stiff and lawyerly-looking as the white shirt does,” Marlene said. “Too bad you don’t have any softer-colored shirts.” She dangled three other ties in her hand she had brought along with her.
Rich glowered at her. “Lawyerly-looking? Softer colored? Are they even words? All I want to do is not look like an affluent stuffy lawyer with a stick up—”
He stopped and looked over at his small daughter, then continued in an irritated voice. “I want to look dressy, but not straitlaced or smug. You know what I mean.”
“But you are a stuffy lawyer, and it’s no secret your bank accounts won’t bounce, you dolt,” Lulu said with a huff. “I thought you and Torrie were going out as friends.”
He looked at the elderly housekeeper. “We are. But I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable, and I want to feel casual, but well-dressed.” He picked up a blue and white striped tie and held it to his chest. All three females groaned. He chose a darker blue one and the groans grew louder. He glared at them. “I’ll have you know some of these ties are pure Italian silk and cost a fortune. To some people, neckties are a symbol of success and authority.”
“Then send them back to Rome and let the Pope bury the lifeless-looking things.” Lulu rose. “They look like they should be on a corpse.”
Rich looked at Marlene. “Can you believe I’m paying her to insult me?”
Lulu snorted. “No, Perry Mason, you’re paying me to feed you, do your laundry, and oversee the household. The advice is free.” She headed for the door. “I’m going home, kids. See you in the morning.”
“I can’t wait,” Rich muttered and followed it with a dismal shake of his head.
Lulu paused and offered him a don’t-you-dare-tangle-with-me stare, then looked at Estella with a tender, warm, grandmotherly smile. “Your daddy doesn’t realize the only reason I take his grief is because I love to be with you, doll face. Tomorrow we’re making brownies and Perry Mason here is getting zip, zero, none, nichts, nada.” She headed out the door.
“Stop calling me Perry Mason!” Rich shouted at her retreating back. He heard her cackling laugh as she hustled toward the stairs.
With a degree in journalism and communications, Judy Ann Davis has written for industry and education. She enjoys writing short stories and novels with a touch of romance and mystery—and lots of comedy. She is a member of Pennwriters, Inc. and Romance Writers of America, and divides her time between Central Pennsylvania and New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
Sometimes, to remember all that is best and bright about love, you must go home.
After being dumped by her boyfriend of two years, there is nothing that Sarah Jepsom dreads more than going back home to her marriage-obsessed mother. To make matters worse, it’s for her little sister’s fairytale wedding on none other than Valentine’s Day. The only positive note is it will also be a chance to see her dear friend Mark for the first time in a year.
Sarah’s Bridezilla sister Valerie takes it upon herself to invite Sarah’s old high school boyfriend to be her date for the wedding. Nathan is set on renewing their relationship, but old feelings remind Sarah why it didn’t work the first time. When Mark confesses his long-held feelings for her, Sarah is angry and convinced that romance is not for her. Then, her father reminds her of all that is best and bright about love, that can often be found right under our noses.
Roane Publishing (other links listed on publisher site)
$25 Roane Publishing Gift Card, Bracelet with charm from Sweet Inspiration, Hot cocoa mixes and mug from The Crimson Curse
or go the contest link on Rafflecopter site
Laura Lamoreaux is a licensed clinical psychologist, and she drew from her work in therapy to show what living with a mental illness is really like.
LINK: Twitter – @laura_lamoreaux
T.L. French is a Junior High English teacher, and provided all of the teaching details included in the story.
LINK: Twitter – @ticilsmith
From now through Valentine’s Day on February 14th, you can enjoy these romantic reads from all genres for FREE.
Gingerbread Wishes (Book 1, Sugar & Spice Bakery) by Linda Carroll-Bradd
The Mad Monk’s Treasure by Kris Bock
Beach Blanket Bridesmaid by Margo Bond Collins
Mountain of Lies (Book 1, The Pack) by Jayne Evans
Spirit Awakened (Book 1, Whisper Cove) by Cyndi Faria
My Future Stepbrother by Tina Gayle
Romancing The Null (Book 1, the Outlier Prophesies) by Tina Gower
Pictures of Redemption by Yvonne Kohano
Beach Blanket Bijou by Barbara Cool Lee
Floured (Book 1, A Recipe for Love) by Lane Martin
Returning for Valentine’s by Victoria Pinder
Hot Prairie Nights by Anita Philmar
The Story of a Baron by Linda Rae Sande
The Other Side of the World by Suzanne Whitfield Vince
Hi Linda, Thank you so much for having me on your blog today!
Tell us a bit about you and your background
I was born and raised in Connecticut where I still live today. I’m married with two kids, and I work full-time for a software company that builds solutions for people in the Finance industry. It’s often challenging to find time to write, but it’s totally worth the effort.
Is your writing style planned or freestyle?
I’m a planner, but I allow my plan to go off the rails if it seems like the right thing to do. I start off by creating a loose outline with all the major turning points of the story, then break it out into scenes. Once I start writing the actual manuscript, I don’t freak out if the story wants to veer off elsewhere. I readjust as I go.
Describe a normal writing day (or period, if you have other employment obligations)
My alarm goes off when it’s still pitch black outside. It’s so early my dog doesn’t even acknowledge it. I slip out of bed, make a large cup of coffee and head to my office. This is a spare room that my awesome husband converted into a writing den for me (yes, I know I’m a lucky gal J).
I proceed to write until it’s time for the kids to get up and ready for school. I get them moving and I get ready for the rest of the day, too. There’s a small window where everyone is all set and I don’t need to leave yet, so I sneak back into the office and use the precious minutes to my advantage.
Once time is up, I head to the day job. I’m usually too beat after work to go back to writing in the evening, but I’ll do it if I’m working on a deadline.
Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?
Yes! I write in a number of genres. The Crimson Curse is fantasy, a fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but I also write YA, sci-fi, and contemporary romance. The one common thread in all of my writing is that I focus on relationships. So, whether my character is a cursed woman in search of true love, an aspiring ballerina who discovers she needs to save the world, or the President’s daughter who falls in love with a galactic garbage man, I try to paint a vivid picture of who is important to them in their world and try to show what they are willing to do for those people.
Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?
I am a pet person for sure. About three years ago, we rescued a brown and white Siberian Husky. A group of teenagers had found her wandering on the side of the road and took her to a vet. I have a friend who’s involved in helping animals find forever homes, and she told me about this one. My husband and I had another husky before this one, and we adored her. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to have another dog, because I was so heartbroken when she passed.
For anyone who isn’t familiar with this breed, they are very head strong and super stubborn. It turns out this dog had two other homes before us and had been abandoned. My friend asked if I was ready for another dog, and if I wanted to meet her. We decided right away to take her home with us. We had a shaky start, and had to work through some issues because of her past, but it all worked out in the end. She is almost always by my side. It’s so rewarding to know that we saved her and were able to give her the home that she needed.
What do you hope readers gain from your stories?
There are two things I hope a reader can gain from my stories. The first would be a chance to escape from reality for a bit. When I’m immersed in a good book, it’s as if the entire world falls away and I’m living in the story. It’s my hope that I can somehow do the same for others. The other thing would be for the reader to feel, to experience whatever emotion my character is feeling in that moment, too. If I’m able to invoke a spark of happiness, anger, or fear, then I feel like I’ve done my job as a writer.
Cursed and disfigured, Calliope must find true love before the final leaf falls from the Enchanted Tree. Being bound to her mansion on the outskirts of town leaves her with little hope.
Abandoned by his wife for a wealthy man, Bastian only needs one female in his life, his five-year-old daughter, Yareena. When she goes missing during a raging fire, fate brings him to a strange place where he encounters a woman wearing a golden mask.
An attack by rogues puts Bastian in Calliope’s care. As he struggles against pride and prejudice, Bastian can’t ignore his growing attraction to the kind soul behind the mask.
Yareena and the mansion staff do their best at matchmaking, but Calliope can’t reveal her darkest secret. Will Bastian discover her true beauty before it’s too late?
Calliope returned her attention to Bastian, grasping his shoulder with a gentle hand and giving him a small shake. When he didn’t stir, she considered how she could clean the wound without undressing him as he slept. She had never taken off a man’s clothing before, and she hardly wanted her first time to be when he wasn’t even aware of her actions. But, no other options seemed available. She started at the bottom button of his shirt, working her way up with trembling fingers, and spreading the fabric apart when the last of the buttons slipped free.
Her eyes roamed his upper body. While she was supposed to be assessing the extent of his injuries, she couldn’t deny the flash of heat that blasted through her at the sight of his bare skin.
She dipped a washcloth in the basin that Mrs. Widdleworth left on the night table, wringing out the excess water. As she dabbed at the gash near his naval, his vulnerability in that moment struck her in a way she had not expected. After their first encounter, she would have predicted his ego to get in the way, choosing to bleed to death in the cold rather than accept anything from her.
Although he suffered a serious injury, his daughter seemed to remain his utmost concern. Could his earlier ill-temper have been an unusual display? A behavior born out of fear for his daughter’s safety?
Maybe she had been wrong about him.
She pressed her lips together, allowing the notion to sink in as she dropped the bloody fabric off to the side, and proceeded to stitch the wound with shaky fingers. When the task was complete, she picked up a fresh cloth to use as a dressing. Relief washed over her as she inspected the area before covering it up. The slice in his flesh went deep, but not nearly as deep as she initially feared. She positioned the bandage and fixed it in place, her gaze catching a thin trail of hair that started under the center of his chest, following the way it continued lower down his body, and even further yet where it dipped beneath his trousers.
“It’s been a long time since a woman has laid her hands on me,” Bastian said, his voice rough.
Calliope jumped, heat infusing her cheeks. “My apologies if this offends. Marcus doesn’t fare well with blood. I had to care for your injury myself.” Her eyes met his, and to her surprise, no anger seemed to stir there.
“I was only teasing.” He swallowed hard, appearing to bite back the immense discomfort he had to be feeling. “Thank you.”
She inclined her head. “You’re welcome.”
“I shouldn’t have been so terse with you earlier. Yareena is my life, and when I couldn’t find her, well…” He reached for his face, pressing the heel of his hand against his jaw. “I lost my sense for a short while. I apologize.”
Melissa J. Crispin lives in Connecticut with her husband, two kids, and an adorable Siberian Husky. She spends her days in the corporate world, and pursues her passion for writing in the late nights and early mornings.
From micro-fiction to novels, Melissa loves to write stories in varying lengths. But, no matter the story, it’s almost always about the romance.
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