Tag Archives: sweet romance

Guest Promotion: Christmas in the Air by Josie Riviera

What if you told your innermost secrets to a guy you assumed you’d never see again?

Penelope Reid meets an elusive, handsome stranger on a plane trip. Along the way, she confesses her problems and fears, her unrealized goals, while she believes the man is only half-listening. She is a single mother, readjusting after a difficult divorce, and raising a challenging twelve-year-old son.

Months later, she comes into direct contact with Jacob Williams, the new pediatrician in town, and the man she met on the plane.

Will he use his knowledge of her life to embarrass her, or pursue her?

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EXCERPT

Prologue:

Penelope Reid sat glued to her seat.

Breathe in. There’s nothing to be nervous about. Flying in an airplane is routine for many businesspeople.

And she, unfortunately, was a businessperson.

She attempted to smile at the flight attendant who walked past, before resuming her pep talk to herself.

Virginia to Hilton Head Island is a short flight.

She considered texting her brother, Lincoln, with a ‘mission accomplished’ message, though he wouldn’t get the message until she had cell service again. He’d encouraged her to take the flight to secure a toy shop location. She’d complied, albeit reluctantly, though she’d been successful with the negotiations and closed on the deal. Nonetheless, when she finally arrived home, she intended to wring his neck. He knew how much she dreaded flying.

She cut a glance at her handsome seatmate’s profile. She’d admired the angle of his face—his sharp jawline and straight nose—throughout most of the flight. Framed by the afternoon sunlight streaming in the window, he seemed relaxed. Of course, he seemed relaxed because he was sleeping. In fact, he’d slept almost non-stop.

She coughed and nudged him. She needed someone to talk to and take her mind off the flight. She’d already breezed through every magazine in the seat pocket.

“Hmm?” He took off his aviator sunglasses and turned toward her. His eyes were a deep shade of brown, warm and mesmerizing, rimmed with black eyelashes. “Have we arrived?”

“Hardly.”

He peered out the window. “Cloudy day.”

“The weather forecaster called for rain.”

“He was probably right.”

She was probably right,” Penelope corrected.

He grinned. “Touché.”

Penelope sat up straighter. “Before you fell asleep, we were discussing our jobs.”

“Were we?”

“We were about to.” Her seatbelt tightened as she leaned toward him. “I’ve managed a toy shop business ever since I was a teenager.”

“Sounds fun.”

“I hate it.”

His dark eyebrows curved upward. “Why?”

“Do you want the truth?”

“By all means.” He flashed her a positively magnetic smile.

Her heart stilled. Here sat a good-looking man who had listened to her rattle on about her life whenever he opened his eyes. At least, she assumed he listened. She’d held him captive because he couldn’t escape. They were seated next to each other in first class. Still, she’d begun to assume they were friends, and he was an attentive guy.

At his assessing gaze, a flush warmed her cheeks. “I’m bored with my job. I want to create, not manage.”

“Create what?”

“Let’s call it a midlife crisis.”

“Let’s.” Another smile. “Do you have another job lined up?”

“No.”

“Is your job difficult?” His tone lowered. Thick, wavy hair fell across his forehead, and he pushed back the strands with his hand. His features were a bit weathered, his jawline and cheekbones prominent. A rugged man who apparently spent time outdoors if appearances were any indication.

The thump of attraction in her chest surprised her. She hadn’t felt an interest in any guy since her divorce.

Josie Riviera is a USA TODAY bestselling author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable shih tzu, who constantly needs grooming, and live in an old house forever needing renovations.

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RELEASE DAY for Aebleskiver by Annika

Annika Nilsdatter juggles her new manager position at the Riverside Bakery owned by her best friend, Glynna, and being courted by Erich von Griswald, son of the town’s most prominent banker. A friend, the object of her young affections from her growing-up years, arrives in town. Suddenly, she is being flattered by the attentions of two handsome men to the detriment of the business. Guilt plagues her, but, just for a little while, she wants to feel special.

Levka Maksimillian, an undercover Pinkerton agent, is surprised to run into Annika in the town where he’s been assigned a case. At least, he’s in disguise so she didn’t recognize him. But when he’s injured, he has to rely on his good friend’s sister to nurse him back to health. Levka doesn’t want to put Annika in danger, but he has to heal fast. His role in hunting down the head of a theft operation is essential. Will the need for secrecy and their close proximity create a false attraction or a lasting love?

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Release day for Pecan Blossoms and Photographs

Today is release day for my contemporary novella that is part of The Orchard Brides multi-author series.

A decade ago, Romeo Fabrizio and Darcie Montague were the high school “it” couple. They had their futures planned until an injury ended his football career, and they went their separate ways. Six year later, sports photographer Darcie returns home. When they are thrown together in planning the town’s pecan festival, sparks fly but can they overcome the hurt from the fractured relationship?

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Baking blog post

Today I shared some of the research that went into writing my latest novella, Ginger Cake by Glynna, book 7 in the Old Timey Holiday Kitchen multi-author series.

Check out the post on SweetAmericanaSweethearts blog here

Baker Glynna Shaughnessy wants to bolster sales for her struggling bakery almost as much as she wants to revive her drab personal life. A baking competition in commemoration of the city’s incorporation offers a chance at making the shop’s name known…until she’s accused of cheating. According to the competition’s sponsor—a roguish man who sets her heart aflutter—Glynna can only remain a contestant if she invents a brand-new recipe…something she’s never done before.

Hotel manager Ritter Anton has six months to boost patronage at his grandfather’s Anton Grand Hotel. He accomplished success with the family’s Cheyenne hotel and he’ll succeed here then move to the next. The baking contest he invented sparks controversy with the entry of a baker who others claim has an unfair advantage. Ready to reject her, he can’t say no when the auburn-haired beauty pleads her case. How will he remain neutral as a judge when all he can think about is Glynna?

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Release day for Sweet Inspiration

Dependable Cadence Wills yearns for excitement. The owner of a yarn business, she is pulled in every direction by her demanding family. Haunting dulcimer notes draw her to a practice session where she spies an intriguing stranger.

Musician Rafe Frasco is a rover, bouncing between musical competitions. Interest ignites at his first glance at a woman enthralled by his music, who he learns has a heart big enough to encompass everyone within her reach.

A fantastic opportunity for Rafe presents Cadence with a dilemma—is she strong enough to negotiate the business deal that will take him away…maybe forever?

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EXCERPT

Unmarried and approaching thirty in a small town branded her as ready and willing to meet every unattached man who set foot inside the city limits. A sigh escaped. Like last week when Espe called Trent Sullivan over to their table at El Tres Amigos and then suddenly remembered an important errand, leaving them together. What Espe hadn’t known was Cadence and Trent already had been set up on blind dates—twice—by other well-meaning friends.

Nothing had clicked on those occasions either. Cadence craved someone with a mysterious past like in her beloved romantic suspense novels. A dark, shadowy figure who knew how to excite a woman with a molten look or a lingering touch. A man who fought to hide his pain and almost succeeded. Not someone like Trent—a guy whose high-school accomplishments she could probably recite.

Sweet plaintive notes of a stringed instrument floated on the breeze. Cadence stopped, straining to recognize the tune. A person didn’t grow up surrounded by folk music without knowing just about every ballad that could be plucked.

But this one eluded her. The twanging strings cried with a soulful sadness that grabbed her by the throat. Her thoughts were washed in loneliness, and she turned toward the sound, past the Heritage Herb Garden. A part of Cadence that couldn’t resist helping others had to see who was expressing such need.

She lifted the hem of her long skirt and hurried toward the haunting sound, as if the notes pulled her feet along the path. The compulsion to know who played added speed to her steps. Abreast of the groundhog pottery kiln, she slowed and peered toward the outdoor stage.

On the platform, several musicians were gathered—some unpacking instruments, others adjusting microphones. Off to one side, a dark-haired man sat in a straight-backed chair, one foot braced on a scratched case. He leaned forward and strummed a dulcimer, the light wood instrument cradled on denim-covered thighs.

Cadence stood a dozen feet away and studied the talented player. His too-long hair was tied back, his shoulders were broad inside his western-cut shirt, and his legs were long and lean. Scuffed boots, faded jeans and a worn Harley-Davidson tee-shirt composed his attire. Definitely more attractive than her own outfit. Even from this distance, she spotted a posture that meant the man had an attitude…or was mysterious. A thrill ran over her skin.

Who was this guy? He’d definitely swagger when he walked. Yummy. At the thought, she stepped closer, wanting nothing between her and the performance.

Long fingers picked the strings in a heated crescendo—note on teasing note, twang on shivery twang, strum on driving strum. He ended the song with a flourish, right hand arcing upward as the last note hung on the early morning air.

How did he know exactly how she felt on nights when everyone in Mountain View either had a date or was home curled next to a spouse? The isolation of being solo at the drive-in or enduring the knowing smile of a sympathetic waitress. His song wrapped all those feelings tight around her heart and squeezed. She inhaled, and the backs of her eyes stung.

Hadn’t she learned her lesson about musicians from the way Dale deserted her when his band got the chance to go on the road? Three years running, and he hadn’t yet steered the tour bus through his hometown.

The stranger laid a hand over the strings, rolled his shoulders, and lifted his head. Piercing brown eyes scanned the area, surveying the other musicians, and his gaze locked with hers. For a suspended moment, his gaze roved along her length, widened, and then returned to her face.

Under his scrutiny, she shifted her feet and tugged at the sides of her skirt. Her period costume didn’t exactly show off her figure to its best. Not that the fact should matter, but she couldn’t look away and chose to ignore the warning bells ringing in her head.

Guest Release Promotion–Love Leads the Way by Margot Johnson

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She coaches him in team leadership, but do they both need lessons in love?

BLURB

Single mom Tessa Shore runs a successful leadership program at work and supports a mother with dementia. She can handle any challenge in her jam-packed schedule as long as nothing spins out of control…especially her feelings.

Engineer Mark Delaney is an expert on pipelines at the same company, but his interpersonal skills need a makeover. Advancing to an executive job requires enrollment in a leadership course he doesn’t think he needs.

When their professional and personal issues entangle, life at the office gets a lot more complicated. Romance is impossible…or is it?

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EXCERPT

Pacing around Crescent Park in moonlight trimmed with stars, Mark breathed fresh air and slowed his erratic heartbeats from the shock of Tessa’s invitation. Apparently, the woman who directed the class with the precision of an air-traffic controller could flex…at least, a little. She wanted to spend extra time with him, and he couldn’t refuse.

“I didn’t think we’d bump into other participants at this late hour.” She hugged tighter her windbreaker against the cool breeze. “We won’t mix business and pleasure. I’m strictly off duty, and so are you.”

“Okay, Tessa, whatever you say.” Zipping higher his jacket, he strode and sniffed moisture riding the wind. Guilt tiptoed around his collar, and he couldn’t escape the feeling this outing was a bad idea. He should avoid her, except in class, yet he accepted her invitation. But why did she break her own rule and contact him?

“If I can’t discuss work, can I ask you a personal question?” He admired her profile with pert nose tipped to the sky, breathing the fresh night air.

“I guess so since I’m the woman who persuades everyone else to dish.” She laughed and brushed a curl from her cheek.

Streetlights alternated with a full moon to light the pathway. Their footsteps crunched on gravel, and their murmured voices broke the peaceful silence.

“Ready.” She tucked her hands in her jacket pockets.

“Is Mr. Shore waiting at home?” He winced at his forward question. No sense beating around the bush. He shouldn’t pine for someone else’s wife.

Margot is the author of sweet romances Love Leads the Way and Love Takes Flight. She left an HR leadership role for the fun writing life. Her characters love dogs, and her loyal, old golden retriever, Sophie, is the inspiration for the adorable dogs in her books.

 

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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.

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Release day for The Suffragette’s Vow

Today is release day for The Suffragette’s Vow, book 8 in the Keepers of the Light series, which is set in a fictional Oregon coastal town called Spruce Hill.

Michael Hamlin has always been fascinated by the ocean but lived his whole life on a northern Oregon dairy farm. Following his father’s death, he assumed he’d run the dairy but his headstrong mother has other ideas. Two years of having his suggested changes to benefit the business ignored is bad enough. But when his mother and sisters start matchmaking attempts, he follows his passion, ending up in Spruce Hill on the Pacific Ocean coast as a lighthouse keeper. The chance to do something heroic is just what he needs, even if life on the ocean’s edge is a bit mundane…and lonely.

Novice reporter Nadina Cutler is bent on proving her worth to the editor of The New Northwest, a suffragette newspaper. Her prominent Portland, Oregon, real estate family indulges her wish to pursue journalism but only until her upcoming twenty-second birthday. Unless she can prove her earnings amount to more than her trust fund income, she’s expected to return to Portland and marry to benefit the family’s social status. After interviewing the manager of a dairy farm, Nadina then travels to Spruce Hill to do a follow-up with the wayward son.

But nothing goes right. Their personalities clash. Nadina pushes for answers and Michael clams up. He’s not interested in reconnecting with the family that rejected him and Nadina has to find a big story to secure her freedom. Then an ocean tragedy forces them to work together and they see each other in a new light. Will their temporary partnership grow into something more?

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