Thursday Christmas Reads–All I Want for Christmas is Johnny Rocker Dead! by Lillian Duncan

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Christmas is coming, and with that holiday season comes more Christmas romances. If you don’t now, I love Christmas and Christmas romances. So, to fill out the rest of the Thursdays this year, I’m hosting fellow authors and their Christmas novels. Today’s guest is Lillian Duncan with a different sort of Christmas story-a Romantic Suspense Christmas story. Welcome, Lillian.

 

            Murder, Mayhem & Christmas?

 

Murder, Mayhem & Christmas? Really?

On the surface, it may seem that murder and mayhem doesn’t necessarily go with Christmas, but I love weaving a Christmas story in with suspense and romance. Because of that I have several Christmas stories available—The Christmas Stalking; The Christmas Angel Thief; No Home for the Holidays; and A Christmas Stolen.

My latest Christmas novella is ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS JOHNNY ROCKER DEAD! How’s that for a title filled with murder, mayhem, & Christmas?

I won’t tell you the plot but I will tell you the story is about how much God loves each of us—no matter what we’ve done. And isn’t that what Christmas is really all about?

Speaking of Christmas, one of the things my husband and I do every Christmas is to clear out our enclosed porch and then we put up Christmas trees. Yes, I said trees as in many trees.

Last year, we had 14 or 15 trees up. In all sizes and shapes— even a snowman tree. We don’t have any young children or grandchildren around, but that doesn’t stop us from celebrating the season and honoring Jesus’s birthday.

Merry Christmas to all!

 

All I Want for Christmas is Johnny Rocker Dead!

By Lillian Duncan

Johnny Rocker believes he’s doesn’t need anyone or anything—especially God because after all he is a rock & roll god. When the floor beneath his feet crumbles—literally—he hurtles toward a different truth.

Since the death of Maddie’s family, she’s run from life and love and become the best bodyguard she can be. But, with God’s help, she’s ready to step out of her comfort zone and into a different life. When her boss asks—no begs—her to take on one last job, she finds it hard to refuse. Someone is trying to kill mega-star Johnny Rocker. It’s Maddie Cotton’s job to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Even under Maddie’s protection the threats continue. As Christmas approaches the danger escalates—someone doesn’t want Johnny Rocker to see the new year, and they are willing to kill Maddie as well. Johnny and Maddie will have to set aside their differences and learn to lean on each other and God if they want to see Christmas day.

EXCERPT:

 

I AM.

He ignored the voice. This was one of his favorite rooms in his mansion. Johnny Rocker’s gold and platinum records and posters—of him, of course—as well as old movie posters, decorated the walls. Because after all, it was the theater room. Music blared from every speaker in his mansion, including this room. His music, of course, because he was a rock and roll god.

I AM

Probably a trick of the acoustics.

I’m not losing it. Everything’s fine. He poured another drink and sat. His fingers ran across the buttery-soft, brown leather of the recliner. Nothing but the best for Johnny Rocker. Who’d have ever thought that poor little Zeb Walker would be sitting in his debt-free mansion? He could afford anything he wanted these days. The good life. He had it all.

People loved their rock and roll gods.

I AM

The door opened before Johnny could yell at the unseen voice. “Well if it ain’t Stan the Man.”

His manager of eight years glared. “What are you doing up here, Johnny? The party’s downstairs. Everyone keeps asking, ‘where’s Johnny?’”

“I know where they are, and that’s why I’m up here.”

“Very funny. Now get downstairs. The reason we’re having the party is so you can prove you’ve still got it.”

“I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. I’m Johnny Rocker.”

“Let’s go, Johnny. Now.”

“That’s not my name.”

Stan rolled his eyes. “You’re in one of those moods again. Fine. I’ll call you Zeb if that makes you happy. So, Zeb. Downstairs. Now.”

“I don’t know when you became my boss.”

Stan grinned. “When I made you your first million.”

“Right behind you,” Zeb said, but Stan was already gone. Apparently even a rock and roll go—

I AM

He looked at the glass in his hand. No more of this if it made him hear voices. He walked toward the door.

BOOM!

What was that? The floor below him disappeared.

I AM, the voice said again as Zeb hurtled through the floor.

 

All I Want for Christmas is Johnny Rocker Dead! By Lillian Duncan

Release date: Nov. 27 (available now as a preorder)

AMAZON BUY LINK

 

About the Author:

Lillian Duncan…turning faith into fiction.

Even though her books cross genres, they have one thing in common, faith-based stories that show God’s love—and lots of action. OK—that’s two things. She believes in the power of words to change lives, especially God’s Word.

Tiaras & Tennis Shoes Blog: http://www.lillian-duncan.com/

Devotions from Puzzle House Blog: http://www.powerupwithgod.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lillian.k.duncan

 

 

Wednesday Writers–The Hope of Christmas/A Doctor in the House by Linda Shenton Matchett

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Welcome to Wednesday Writers. Christmas is coming and there’s nothing I like better during the holiday season than a good Christmas romance (or movie). So, on Wednesdays and Thursdays I’m filling out the year with a variety of Christmas romance book posts. On Fridays look for some free Christmas romance book promotions. Today’s guest is Linda Shenton Matchett who’ll be sharing her Historical Romance from the The Hope of Christmas Collection. Welcome Linda!

 

 

A Doctor in the House: The Story Behind the Story

While investigating the various areas American women served during WWII, I discovered Margaret Craighill. No slouch, Margaret got her BA and MS degrees from the University of Wisconsin (graduating Phi Beta Kappa), then received her Doctor of Medicine from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. An impressive career followed, and by 1940, she was the Dean of the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. However, as soon as President Roosevelt signed the Sparkman-Johnson Bill which allowed women to enlist in the Army and Navy Medical Corps, she signed up and became the first female doctor in the Army Medical Corps, and a third generation officer.

Dr. Craighill traveled more than 56,000 miles visiting war zones around the globe where she reported on the condition of the 160,000 Army nurses and WAC personnel. She successfully challenged the persistent idea that American women were unsuited to military roles. At the end of her service she was awarded the Legion of Merit.

I knew I had my heroine, or at least the inspiration for one.

Now, for my hero…I decided to make him highly uncomfortable. (Rubs hands together gleefully.)

Many of the English felt the American troops were “late to the last war, and late to this one.” In addition, feelings still ran high between the Irish and the British, so to give my heroine Irish ancestry with an appropriate surname would get under my hero’s skin. Last but not least, I took away my hero’s home.

Throughout the war in England, countless stately homes were requisitioned, acquired by, or lent to the war effort for all sorts of purposes: military command centers, barracks, hospitals, storage facilities for the nation’s art collections, listening, and monitoring centers, schools, orphanages, and even prisoner of war camps. Owners had no choice as to whether they would give up their home, and were often stuck in servant quarters or caretakers’ cottages. To add insult to injury, a considerable number of the homes suffered irreparable damage by their occupants.

This will be a Christmas Archie and Emma won’t forget.

 

A Doctor in the House (Part of the Hope of Christmas collection)

By Linda Shenton Matchett

Emma O’Sullivan is one of the first female doctors to enlist after President Franklin Roosevelt signs the order allowing women in the Army and Navy medical corps. Within weeks, Emma is assigned to England to set up a convalescent hospital, and she leaves behind everything that is familiar. When the handsome widower of the requisitioned property claims she’s incompetent and tries to get her transferred, she must prove to her superiors she’s more than capable. But she’s soon drawn to the good-looking, grieving owner. Will she have to choose between her job and her heart?

Archibald “Archie” Heron is the last survivor of the Heron dynasty, his two older brothers having been lost at Dunkirk and Trondheim and his parents in the Blitz. After his wife is killed in a bombing raid while visiting Brighton, he begins to feel like a modern-day Job. To add insult to injury, the British government requisitions his country estate, Heron Hall, for the U.S. Army to use as a hospital. The last straw is when the hospital administrator turns out to be a fiery, ginger-haired American woman. She’s got to go. Or does she?

 

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Squaring her shoulders, Emma O’Sullivan set off toward the nearest railroad car. It straddled the tracks and listed at a thirty-degree angle. Careful of the glass shards and twisted metal, she hiked across the uneven ground, her two-inch pumps sinking into the grass. When would the Army devise a woman’s uniform that was actually practical?

The bottom step was missing, so she grabbed the handrail and tried to hoist herself to the next tread. Her narrow skirt trapped her legs, and she grimaced. Glancing right and left, she confirmed no one seemed to be watching her, so she tugged the garment above her knees and pulled herself inside the train nearly losing a shoe in the process. Despite the chill in the air, perspiration broke out along her hairline.

Her gaze searched the dim interior. At the far end of the car a large, bearded man moved among the dozen or so passengers. His white shirt was torn in several places, and blood saturated his right sleeve. Gray tweed slacks that looked as if they were hand-tailored to fit were rumpled, and his highly-polished, black wingtips bore scuffs and gouges. Smudges of dirt on his swarthy face gave him an air of piracy. He knelt and examined the cut on a small boy.

There were other people to tend to, but the man seemed to be losing blood at an alarming rate. She threaded her way to his side and held up her bag. “Sir, it appears you may need stitching. I’ve got supplies here and could do that for you.”

He swung in her direction, and the gaze from his cobalt-blue eyes pierced her face. His forehead wrinkled, and his mouth was a thin slash. “I’m fine. I don’t need some nurse practicing her sewing skills on me. There are others more seriously wounded. See if you can do anything for them.”

She faltered. Why did every man she met assume she was a nurse? Not that there was anything wrong with nursing, but she was a full-fledged doctor and had the credentials to prove it. Graduating almost at the top of her class at Johns Hopkins Medical School had proved her detractors wrong.

“Sir, your arm needs to be tended to, and I’m quite capable–”

Looking her up and down, he sneered. “An American, are you? Listen, girlie, I don’t take orders from a woman, even if she is wearing a uniform.” He shook his head. “What was Roosevelt thinking when he agreed to allow you women in his Army and Navy?”

“He was thinking we could get the job done.” She stamped her foot and reached for his sleeve.

Batting her hand away, he rose to his full height. “Let me make myself clear. Push off and go do your nursing in another car. I do not need some upstart, Johnny-come-lately American girl to treat me or my fellow passengers.” He turned away and bent over an elderly man who held a scrap of blood-stained cloth against his forehead.

Emma pressed her lips together. Fine. Mr. Upper Crust was on his own. If he bled to death, it’d be his own fault. With any luck, the rest of England’s men wouldn’t be as infuriating. But without a doubt, few would be as good-looking.

Want to read more? You can find Linda’s story at  https://amzn.to/2ptGZga

 

About the Author:

Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, MD, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her life. Linda is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. She is a volunteer docent and archivist at the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library.

Website/blog: http://www.lindashentonmatchett.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LindaShentonMatchettAuthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lindasmatchett

 

Thursday Christmas Reads–It Happened at Christmas by Christen Krumm

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Christmas is coming, and with that holiday season comes more Christmas romances. If you don’t now, I love Christmas and Christmas romances. So, to fill out the rest of the Thursdays this year, I’m hosting fellow authors and their Christmas novels. Today I’m featuring Christen Krumm and her sweet YA Christmas book It Happened at Christmas . I Read on for the fun and an excerpt. Christen is willing to give away 1 e-copy of the book to a reader. Leave a comment and your email to be entered to win. Please type email as name(@)domain(dot)com to protect your email from robots. 

Welcome, Christen

 

Thanks, Catherine!

It Happened at Christmas was never supposed to be a novel.

It started last fall. I had a goal last year to make something happen with this writing thing — I would have liked to have gotten representation for my first novel (a dystopian … I’ve promised my mom I’ll still do something with that story …), but by the fall that wasn’t happening. I knew that needed to start working on something else. But the problem was I couldn’t get the characters from my first book out of my head. Maybe it was that the book I was trying to work on—a superhero meets Aladdin on a dying planet story—was a little too close to my dystopian. It was frustrating, and I wasn’t getting any traction on it—even though I loved the story.

There was still the matter of making something, anything happen with this writing thing. I started to look at different publications for short fiction. I thought, and rightfully so, I just needed a “palette cleanser” since I had been working on the dystopian story for way too long. Publications were starting to work on submissions for their Christmas editions, and I thought it might be fun to take a scene from one of my favorite Romantic Comedies and write it as flash fiction.

I jumped on a vox with one of my critique partners to chat back and forth about story. And the story grew … and grew … and grew! To the point that I knew I wouldn’t be able to limit it to just a piece of flash fiction. Instead I decided to write a Christmas novella to release later the next year. As I was writing I quickly realized that it was going to be slightly longer than the typical novella, and by the time I finished it and grew to a full-length novel.

So, what’s next? I’m still working on getting my dystopian story agented (the story of my heart), but I’m also working on my next fun rom com to release (fingers crossed) next summer! Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter (http://christenkrumm.com/newslettersignup) to keep up on all the latest news!

And Now for the book!

“A sweet and funny YA twist on a beloved movie.” —Emilie Hendryx

In this enchanting YA spin on While You Were Sleeping, Christen Krumm delivers laughter and Christmas sparkle through a swoon-worthy story of first love and belonging.

Life at Iverson Preparatory Boarding School isn’t easy when you’re basically the maid. Murphy Cain spends her days cleaning up after her upper-class peers in exchange for tuition while dodging their cutting remarks. All of that changes when she rescues her crush, the popular and hunky Tripp Harrington, after a near-fatal accident and is mistaken as his girlfriend.

Murphy finds herself struggling with the choice to reveal the truth or play along. As Tripp’s girl, his wealthy family will offer Murphy something she’s been craving her whole life—a chance to be one of the “in” crowd. A chance to belong. Without it, she’ll be right back where she started.

It only gets worse as Tripp’s brother Hank enters the picture. He’s handsome, down to earth, and seems to understand Murphy better than anyone else. The only problem? She’s supposed to be dating his brother.

As Christmas break draws to a close, Murphy must decide if telling the truth is worth losing it all or if the risk will bring a greater reward in the end.

Excerpt:

If she never saw another piece of Bubblicious bubble gum, it would be too soon.

Murphy Cain flexed her hand before picking up the paint scraper. She’d been hacking at the dried gum on the bathroom wall for over two hours and had hardly made a dent. Why Claire Bentley insisted on creating her own gum wall “just like that one in Seattle” was beyond her. It was disgusting.

Claire Bentley. The Iverson Queen “B.” Her daddy’s money kept her from being expelled from Iverson — well, that and the fact that no one was outing Claire as the orchestrator of this mess. And Headmistress Kingfisher couldn’t very well let go of every girl on this floor. Oh, no. Too much money would be lost.

Murphy cringed at the sound of the scraper chipping away two more pieces of the hardened gum, hundreds left staring her down. The mere fact it was multiple girls’ saliva and germs stuck to the wall—and probably a few of the boys’—made Murphy’s stomach tighten with nausea. The saddest part about it was she wished she was a part of creating it. Because that would mean she was one of the elite. Not the Cinderella of Iverson Hall.

Another chunk of gum landed on the floor. The piece looked fresher than most. She told herself she wouldn’t throw up—then she’d have to clean that up too. At least they had found this mountain of gum now, midway through the year, instead of at the end. She wasn’t kidding herself. She knew there’d probably be another gum wall up by then. One wall for now was a small bit of relief.

The bathroom door opened with a whisper and then clanged shut. Murphy caught a whiff of expensive perfume. Keeping her head down, she swallowed the groan fighting to get out.

 

Amazon Book Links:

Paperback: https://amzn.to/2MZTDwj

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2nV9LW2

 

 

About the author:

Christen Krumm is the author of It Happened at Christmas. She lives with her real-life superhero husband and three barefoot wildings in small-town Arkansas. Coffee is the lifeblood, books are her drugs, and creating stories is her favorite. Find her online at christenkrumm.com

Social Media Links:

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

Instagram: http://instagram.com/ChristenKrumm

Newsletter Sign up: http://christenkrumm.com/newslettersignup

Wednesday Writers Christmas Books–Christmas Angels by Nancy Naigle

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Christmas Angels: A Novel by [Naigle, Nancy]

 

Welcome to Wednesday Writers. Christmas is coming and there’s nothing I like better during the holiday season than a good Christmas romance (or movie). So, on Wednesdays and Thursdays I’m filling out the year with a variety of Christmas romance book posts. On Fridays look for some free Christmas romance book promotions. Today’s offering is Christmas Angels, by Nancy Naigle. Welcome, Nancy!

 

 

Hey, y’all,

Nancy Naigle here. I write small-town love stories that are appropriate for any age readers. Calling all teenagers, moms and grandmas. You can all read CHRISTMAS ANGELS this holiday season. This novel is getting lots of great reviews. Liz and Matt are wonderful together, hurdling bad news and finding ways to bring Liz’s dream to life. The town of Antler Creek, and its quirky residents, will beckon you to visit. Too bad it’s a fictional place.

But one other character is getting attention too. Elvis. He’s Matt’s 90-pound six-month-old puppy. Named for his wiggling hips, that stub of a tail just never stops, and his right lip that gets hung up on his teeth in an adorable smirk of a smile. A little inside scoop…Elvis is based on my own dog, Sarge.

Actually, we call him Large Sarge, because this cute little Pyrenean Mastiff now weighs over 180-pounds. If you’re a dog-lover you are going to enjoy what Elvis brings to this story. He’ll leave puppy paws on your heart.

Hugs and happy holiday reading, Nancy

 

Christmas Angels

by Nancy Naigle

Growing up, Liz Westmoreland dreamed of taking over her grandparents’ inn located in the small mountain town of Antler Creek only for it to be sold before she ever got the chance. While browsing the internet, she stumbles upon a listing for what looks to be the picturesque inn and it’s set to go to auction. Liz places a bid, and by a miracle, wins the auction. But when she gets there, she finds the property in significant disrepair.

When Matt Hardy narrowly lost the inn and property that butted his land, he just hoped it wasn’t another city slicker coming to make matters worse after the previous owners gutted the place for an art gallery. But the minute he recognized the sweet, freckle-faced girl from his childhood and heard her plans to reopen the inn, he jumps at the chance to help his childhood crush restore a place where he made so many fond memories.

While working on repairs, Liz and Matt discover her grandmother’s collection of angels in one of the cabins. When the angels start mysteriously showing up all over the inn, she begins to look at them as reassurance—that restoring the inn is what she’s meant to do. But when an accident leaves Liz feeling like she made a mistake, will Matt—and the residents of Antler Creek—be able to show Liz that she’s found a home? And possibly true love as well?

 

Excerpt:

“I’ve been waiting for this my whole life. Angels Rest is practically mine.” Excitement forced Liz’s words out in a flurry. “So, how do I do this auction thing?”

“You don’t.” Her best friend Dan closed the top of the computer. “Not without going to see the condition of the house and checking to make sure you’re not also buying old liens against the place.”

“There’s no time. It goes up for auction in the morning. I’ve read through the FAQ’s; it doesn’t look that complicated. I need to get a proof of funds letter from my banker before I can bid though.”

“You’re going to bid on this place sight unseen? I have to advise against it, Liz. That’s just plain crazy.” Dan ran a hand through his hair. “You’re always talking about situations being a ‘sign’; well, maybe this is a sign that you should let this crazy idea go once and for all.”

“No. It’s not a sign to let it go. Finding out the day before Angels Rest goes up for auction is a sign it’s meant to be.” She scooted closer to him and opened the laptop again. “Look at these. The pictures don’t look so bad. Okay, so it’s overgrown, but that’s cosmetic.”

“Pictures can hide a multitude of problems. Very expensive ones, and the fact that there are only three pictures total is a red flag, especially since only one shows the house. The other is an aerial. You have no idea what it looks like inside.”

Liz wasn’t about to let her dream slip through her fingers. “It’s rustic. It’s a timber home, what could go wrong?”

 

About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author NANCY NAIGLE whips up small-town love stories with a dash of suspense and a whole lot of heart. Now happily retired, she devotes her time to writing, antiquing, and the occasional spa day with friends. A native of Virginia Beach, she currently calls North Carolina home.

 DOWNLOAD free book list with series order: https://www.nancynaigle.com/post/novels-by-nancy-naigle-checklist

 

Where can you get your copy today?

Amazon – https://amzn.to/2qY3Z7t

B&N – http://bit.ly/2N0QoEW

BAM! – http://bit.ly/2PqJ8E7

IndieBound – https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781250312624

iBooks – https://books.apple.com/us/book/christmas-angels/id1455108902

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/christmas-angels-7

Audio – https://adbl.co/2kN4Hlo

 

Social Media Links

Website and newsletter: http://www.nancynaigle.com/

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

Twitter    https://twitter.com/nancynaigle

 

 

 

 

Free Book Friday Christmas Romances–A Dangerous Nativity by Caroline Warfield

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It’s Time for free Christmas Romances! Today’s offering is from historical author Caroline Warfield. Reviews show this to be a sweet read.

 

A Dangerous Nativity

By Caroline Warfield

A lonely earl, a competent heroine of dubious origins, family secrets, and three young boys…a goat on the roof, kisses in the barn, and mischief in the parlor…

Two passions rule Will Landrum’s life: family and a devotion to the land and those who depend on it. The only benefit of being Earl of Chadbourn that matters to him is the right to care for those things. Carrying family burdens can be lonely, however, without a life partner.

Catherine Wheatly’s mother married her beloved Papa when Cath was ten. No one ever had to explain to Cath that base-born daughters have few marriage prospects. She knew. She contented herself being the best land-steward in the county and helping Papa with is research and raising her two brothers.

Trapped by his brother-in-law’s death into responsibility for his traumatized nephew, grieving sister, and an estate gone to ruin, loneliness overwhelms Will. The first-rate husbandry of a neighboring farm and Catherine, who runs it, draw him like a moth to a flame. With Christmas coming, can he repair the damaged estate and far more damaged family? Dare he hope for love in the bargain?

Excerpt

The three boys, and their woolly friends, wandered off to the barn, arguing about what animal might stand for a shepherd. Randy argued correctly that Bertha, who was a sheepdog, would be the logical choice. “But she’s going to be Mother Mary. If we make her a shepherd, where will we be?” Freddy insisted, lobbying for the loan of a horse.

When the barn door closed, Chadbourn and Catherine convulsed in laughter.

“Oh, my lord,” Catherine laughed, tears rolling down her cheeks. “However am I going to keep from laughing on Christmas morning? I will disgrace myself during services.”

“Will.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“My name is William. Two people who laugh so hard together certainly ought to make use of given names, Catherine.” His expression held a challenge.

She looked to the house, as if she could hear her father’s fervent admonition about trusting titled blackguards, from the yard.

“Say it. Say my name.”

“Will,” she whispered. She felt a blush heat her cheeks. “For this moment. For the laughter, but not—”

“—not when I talk with your father? Have you convinced him I’m right about your brothers?”

She shook her head, a sly smile appearing only briefly. “Not quite. I’m wearing him down, though.”

When he took her hand, she let him. When he drew it toward his lips rather than bowing over her fingers, she let him. When he cupped her cheek and leaned in to kiss her, she almost let him.

“Unhand my daughter, you damned rakehell!” Papa stood in the doorway in full outrage.

There are links to multiple vendors here: https://www.carolinewarfield.com/bookshelf/a-dangerous-nativity-1815/

 

About the Author:

Award winning author Caroline Warfield has been many things: traveler, librarian, poet, raiser of children, bird watcher, Internet and Web services manager, conference speaker, indexer, tech writer, genealogist—even a nun. She reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the British Empire. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart.

You can find her here:  Website  Facebook  BookBub

 

As to those boys, you’ll find them as the heroes of her Children of Empire series.

 

 

 

Thursday Christmas Reads–Mistletoe Courtship by Patty Hall

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Christmas is coming, and with that holiday season comes more Christmas romances. If you don’t now, I love Christmas and Christmas romances. So, to fill out the rest of the Thursdays this year, I’m hosting fellow authors and their Christmas novels. Today I’m featuring Patty Hall and her historical, sweet Christmas novella Mistletoe Courtship. I love her story-behind-the-story cooking mishap post. Read on for the fun and an excerpt.  

 

Thanks, Catherine.

I’ve always been sucker for Christmas books. Novellas, short stories, novels—if it had a snowy Christmas cover and a story set during the holidays, I would find a way to read it. Even as recently as last week, I bought three holiday novellas from writers I love as a reward for getting my book into my editor.

So, when I was asked to write a Christmas novella for a collection, I jumped at the chance! I’d been kicking one around in my head for years and to finally get to put it on paper! You bet I was excited!

Mistletoe Courtship is a historical romcom about two lifelong friends who discover romance. When Ernestine(Ernie) discovers her grandmother has a beau, she enlists the help of her best friend, Jack to teach her how to attract the attention of the men in town. Between secret pen pals, matchmaking grandparents and stolen kisses, they wonder if they haven’t been caught in their own trap.

I particularly love one scene when Ernie is trying out her cooking skills on Jack and the cake she’s baking blows up! It’s really special to me because it’s actually true! When my husband and I were dating, Danny asked me to his place for a homecooked meal. The poor guy spent all day preparing the meal of grilled pork chops, veggies, rolls and a chocolate pound cake. We were in the middle of dinner—which was great, by the way!—when we heard this popping noise. Suddenly, the oven door blew open and cake batter went everywhere!

Of course, I had to write about it. It’s a sweet memory from my own happily ever after.

 

Mistletoe Courtship

By Patty Hall

Her Grandmother Has a Beau!

Mayor Ernestine ‘Ernie’ Sims isn’t ready for marriage, not that anyone in Stony Creek, Wyoming has come calling. But when she sees her grandmother holding hands with a gentleman in the local tearoom, Ernie enlists her best friend, Jack Randolph to teach her how to attract a man.

Friendship into Something More?

Jack would do anything to help his beautiful friend, even teach her how to catch a man. Between secret pen pals, match-making grandparents and passionate kisses, they can’t help but wonder if they’re been caught in their own trap!

 

 

Excerpt:

Up ahead of Jack on the sidewalk, a small crowd of men had gathered, stealing glances into the shiny glass window of Maisy’s dress shop. As he drew closer, Jack smiled. “Window shopping this morning, gentlemen?”

A man he recognized as Boyd McCullough turned and nodded to him. “Hi, Jack. We were just passing by and noticed some of the ladies were trying on their dresses for the Christmas Ball. It’s a mighty pretty sight.”

“I don’t doubt it but don’t you think the ladies might be a little upset with you gawking at them like that?” Jack asked, standing toward the back of the crowd. “In my experience, women like to reveal as few secrets as possible.”

“Maybe so,” a man Jack didn’t know piped in. “But these girls are just primping and preening around like pretty little peacocks. It does a man good to remember such a sight when the snows set in.”

The man had a point. Socials of any kind were a rarity in the winter months with snow and sheet baring down on them. The memory of a pretty girl in a fancy dress could keep a man warm through the long, bitter cold nights.

Maybe, it was time he met his pen pal. The Christmas ball would be the perfect place for such an event. Enough people around to guard her reputation, yet a quiet stall to finally talk to her face to face. The thought of seeing her, of waltzing her around the dance floor coaxed a smile out of him. If all goes well, he might just be a married man by Christmas morning. For some reason, the thought didn’t give him the contentment he’d thought it would.

A flash of blue out of the corner of his eye caught Jack’s attention. He turned just as a woman stepped up on a square box in the center of the room. Her back faced him but even from this angle, he could tell the crushed velvet was made for her. Her chestnut hair hung lose, curling at her small waist, her bare arms, pink and cream though Jack thought he saw one or two stray freckles.

The man next to him elbowed him in the side. “The mayor’s right pretty, isn’t she?”

Ernie? Jack narrowed his gaze at the same time she pivoted around to face him. Dear goodness, the man was right! It was Ernie, only not any semblance of the girl he’d known most of his life. This was a woman, a beauty beyond comparison and yet, his dearest friend on earth.

And every man in town was eying her right now.

Jack’s gut clinched as he looked over the hodge-podge of trail-hardened cowboys and two-bit farmers. Not one of them was good enough for her. Oh, they might flatter her or try to gain her favor, but they didn’t know about her sharp wit or how she liked a cup of chocolate when she started to read a new book or how she took her work so seriously. Jack knew all those things about her and more. As far as he was concerned, Ernie was his.

His? Jack blinked. When had he started thinking of Ernie as more than a friend? When had he not? She’d always been especially dear to him, the best friend anyone could ever have but now, he wanted more. That’d he’d almost kissed her had surprised him, almost as much as the fact that he still wanted to, more than just once.

Maybe for a lifetime.

Want to read more? You can buy Mistletoe Courtship Here

About the Author:

patty hallMulti-published author Patty Smith Hall lives near the North Georgia Mountains with her husband, Danny. When she’s not writing on her back porch, she’s spending time with her family or working in her vegetable garden.

Social Media: Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/authorpattysmithhall

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorpattysmithhall/

Website: https://www.pattysmithhall.com/

 

Wednesday Writers Christmas Books–Silent Knight by Joi Copeland

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Welcome to Wednesday Writers. Christmas is coming and there’s nothing I like better during the holiday season than a good Christmas romance (or movie). So, on Wednesdays and Thursdays I’m filling out the year with a variety of Christmas romance book posts. On Fridays look for some free Christmas romance book promotions. Today’s offering is Silent Knight, a Christian fiction story for women with a touch of romance, by Joi Copeland. She’s also offering a giveaway. Welcome, Joi!

Thanks, Catherine.

Do you have a bucket list? Things you want to do, places you want to go, and destinations you long to see? When I was in high school, a friend of mine was going to Germany. I was surprised because he hadn’t seen much of the United States. He had asked me where I would go in all the world, if I could. My response? MONTANA! Since that day, I’ve longed to see and experience Montana.

Fast forward 25 years. My family and I went on a two-month trip to raise support (we’re missionaries headed overseas to plant churches, build disciples of Christ, etc.) As the good Lord would have it, He opened the door for us to travel for three weeks to Montana! As we drove through Wyoming, my heart pounded with excitement, knowing in just a few hours, we would cross the border into Montana. I could hardly wait!

Visiting pastors and churches in Montana, meeting people, seeing the beauty of Montana did not disappoint. I loved Bozeman! I enjoyed driving through the mountains and hills, seeing God’s beauty of the Big Sky Country melted my heart and caused a deep love for one of my favorite states.

And so, Silent Knight was born. How could I not write about Montana, the place my heart longed to see for decades? How could I not write about a small-town community stmasembracing one of its own, even in the midst of trying to figure out how to do just that? Quite simply, I had to write about it. And I had to share a piece of my heart: the deaf community.

No, I’m not deaf, no one in my family was born deaf (though my brother in law was born partially deaf). My sister works with deaf students and some of the comments she’d heard from people broke my heart. Because the deaf are intelligent people. They have so much to share, if only they have a way to communicate with the outside world.

If you haven’t read Silent Knight, leave a comment on your favorite place to visit, and you’ll be entered in for the giveaway!

 

Silent Knight

By Joi Copeland

Struggling to take care of his deaf son in a town with no resources, Ethan Knight’s at the end of his rope. When his son is kicked out of preschool, he feels he’s out of options and prays for a miracle. A newcomer to Snow Globe, Montana may be his answer to prayer, or is it the possibility of an old love?

London Meriwether leaves her home after the passing of her grandmother, the woman who raised her. She falls in love with Snow Globe, Montana. Right after arriving to the small town, she comes face to face with her learning what it means to truly forgive someone.

Can Ethan help London in her quest of forgiveness? Will London be the help Ethan needs for his deaf son?

Excerpt:

Landon’s eyelids pulled open in a sleepy manner. His tear streaked face lit with a smile. Ethan’s heart lifted a notch. His son’s sweet smile and trusting eyes bore into his heart. No way would he send the joy of his life away to school. There had to be another way. He’d search high and low for an answer. God would just have to provide a miracle. He’d done it before. He could do it again.

Buy link for Silent Knight

About the Author:

Joi Copeland is married to a wonderful man, Chris, and has three amazing boys. She is living the dream in beautiful Denver, Colorado. Joi loves being a wife and mom and also enjoys spending time with friends over a good cup of coffee or tea. She’s been a Christian for over twenty years. God has called her and her family overseas, and she hopes to make her home in Ireland by 2019.

 

Joi’s Social media: http://www.joicopeland.com/ : Instagram: Facebook:

 

A Writer’s Garden–Looking to the Future by Catherine Castle

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A Writer’s Garden—Looking to the Future by Catherine Castle

Welcome to A Writer’s Garden where writers who are gardeners or just love gardens will be sharing their garden and flower stories, as well as a bit about their writing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another garden season has come to an end and, unfortunately for me, I’m ending it the same way I began—with my right arm in a sling.

Just as I was gaining all my mobility back from my Spring shoulder surgery, I fell and broke my right upper arm in a lovely spiral break that starts midway up the rod that holds my bionic shoulder in and ends just below the prosthesis. In fact, the doctor said the arm probably broke because when I fell and twisted my body, my right arm, which was holding the bannister, twisted too. The rod in my arm was rigid and didn’t allow the bone surrounding it to give. So the arm broke because of the implant. Ain’t that grand?

Ah, well. Life goes on.

In the picture at the top of the blog you can see the north end of my garden as it looked this spring with the splayed mugos. The winter snows pulled them out of the ground and we had to dig them up. Beside that picture are the burning bushes, now in fall color, our replacement for the mugos.

As in the garden, and life, nothing stays the same. We plant, we weed, we reap, and we replant. And if we’re lucky everything comes back better the next season. At least that’s my plan for the future. I figure after the accident prone and health issue year I’ve had in 2019 I’m due for a good season next year. At least that’s my prayer.

I want to thank everyone who has been a part of this year’s A Writer’s Garden blog. Even though my gardening has been severely curtailed this year, I’ve so enjoyed reading about your gardens. I hope you’ll all come back again next spring, readers and guest bloggers alike, for another season.

To finish out the Thursdays this year, I’m hosting some Christmas Reads. So, please drop by on Thursdays and Wednesdays to see what’s new, and old, in Christmas romances.

Happy Gardening! May your weeds be few, your flowers plentiful, your sunshine bright and your rain refreshing. And may God bless your harvests.

Catherine

 

About the Writer/Gardener

Multi-award winning author Catherine Castle loves writing. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. She also lays claim to over 300 internet articles written on a variety of subjects and several hundred poems. In addition to writing she loves reading, traveling, singing, theatre, quilting and gardening. She’s a passionate gardener whose garden won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club. She writes sweet and inspirational romances. You can find her award-winning Soul Mate books The Nun and the Narc and A Groom for Mama, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Follow her on Twitter @AuthorCCastle, FB or her blog.

 

 

A Groom for Mama

by Catherine Castle

Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.

The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.

A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.

 

 

 

Wednesday Writers–A Halloween Party by Tina Ruiz

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Wednesday Writers welcomes Tina Ruiz and her delightful children’s book A Halloween Party to the blog today. This is definitely a treat. Tina Ruiz’s new children’s book is out just in time for Halloween! The amazing illustrations are done by Ishika Sharma. I had to tap into my inner child to hear the double meanings in the character names. Once I figured it out I got a great big giggle .

The pictures are bright and the story is fun. It was written not only to entertain kids, but also to challenge their minds.

Every character has a name with a double meaning. Such as: Mr. Noah Lott, Mrs. Faye Ding, Mrs. Frieda Livery, Upton O’Goode, Adam Zapel, and Ella Vader, to name but a few.

Here’s a hint to help you solve the puzzle, Ed Zortails is his name really heads or is it tails? You’ll have to buy the book to find out.

Solving the double meaning of the words will be delightful for children and adults alike. On the off chance someone can’t unravel a name, Tina supplied a cheat sheet at the back of the book.

As with all of her children’s stories, there’s a moral at the end.

About the Author

Tina Ruiz was born in Germany, but her family moved to Canada when she was in grammar school. She began writing children’s stories when her own were little. Through the years Ruiz wrote twenty-seven books. Most of those stories went into readers for the Canada Board of Education. Two did not. Mayor Shadoe Markley is a story about a ten-year-old girl who becomes Mayor for a Day through a contest at school.

Little did Ruiz know that story would “change the world.” The book came out at early January 1988. By the end of that same month, everyone was calling the mayor’s office at City Hall, trying to get the forms to fill out so their children could participate in the contest. Thirty years later that same contest is still runs at full speed. And not only in Calgary, but all across Canada. The Mayor’s Youth Council is now in charge of the celebrated contest and invites Ruiz to attend and meet the lucky winner. It’s usually followed by a hand-written thank you card from the mayor himself. Recently Ruiz was invited to be part of the Grand Opening of Calgary’s New Library where the mayor shook her hand and introduced her to the attendees.

Tina has worked in television and radio as well as being a professional clown at the Children’s Hospital. She lives in Calgary with her husband who encourages her to write her passion be it high-quality children’s books or intriguing romance.

Stay connected with Tina Ruiz on her Facebook group Tina Speaks Out.

Wednesday Writers–A NaNoWriMo Challenge Revealed by Kathy McKinsey

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Wednesday Writers’ guest today is Kathy McKinsey. She’ll be sharing an excerpt from her NaNoWriMo children’s Christmas story Millie’s Christmas. Welcome, Kathy.

 

Thanks, Catherine.

This story was a delightful surprise to me.

I had heard about NaNoWriMo, a challenge many writers take in November to write an entire novel. I didn’t feel ready for that, but I decided in December to see what kind of Christmas story I could come up with.

I normally write women’s fiction. When my kids were little, I did love reading and making up stories for them, but I only remember ever writing one children’s story.

This month I had the idea of writing a story told from the point of view of a kitten with two best friends—a six year old girl and the family dog.

Though I never work out a fully detailed outline for my stories, I usually have a basic idea of how the plot will go. Not this time. I started out just to see what I could come up with each day.

It was a gift to me that opened up more each day. Fun dog and cat activity, and a happy, fun-loving, energetic little girl.

I named the story for my daughter Rebecca’s cat Millie, and Millie gave me a fun addition to the story. Rebecca put up a Christmas tree, decorated it, and woke in the morning to find that Millie had knocked it down and scattered everything.

I enjoyed the family as they opened up in the story, and I found they had problems as families usually do.

But, through their faith and fun and love, not to mention the behaviors of the cats and dog, they came through with a joyful Christmas.

What started out as just an exercise to get me to write every day turned into a story I grew to smile with every day I worked on it.

 

millie’s christmas

by Kathy McKinsey

 

Ruthie says Millie will love Christmas. Ruthie is Millie’s best friend, so she’s sure Ruthie’s right, but why does Millie keep finding Ruthie and her brother Jake crying?

Millie, an orange kitten, shares about her first Christmas. Her best friend Ruthie, six years old, teaches Millie about Christmas—food, decorations, music, presents, and Jesus!

Millie’s friend Bruce, the family dog, also helps her celebrate Christmas, and sometimes gets her in trouble.

When Ruthie’s big brother Jake breaks his ankle, Millie learns about sad things, like divorce, when Jake can’t visit his mommy for Christmas. Millie watches Ruthie’s family love each other through the sadness, and find joy in Christmas.

EXCERPT:

Something exciting happened today. Ruthie picked me up, squeezed me, and ran all over the house yelling, “It’s Christmas time. It’s Christmas time. Millie, you’re going to love Christmas.”

“Meow, meow,” I yelled back. I didn’t know what Christmas was, but Ruthie was excited, so I was too. “Meow.”

Ruthie kissed my face and whirled through the house, making me dizzy. “At Christmas we have lots of fun food, and candles, and decorations, and visiting, and candy.” She rubbed my ribs. “You’ll love it, Millie.”

I didn’t know what most of that stuff was, but it made Ruthie happy, so I knew it would be great.

Daddy and Jake brought home what Ruthie called a Christmas tree. It didn’t look like any of the trees out in the yard, with long sticks on them. This tree was bushy all over and really sharp and prickly, and they pulled it out of the ground from somewhere. Strange. But it sure smelled good.

“Now, Millie.” Ruthie carried me over to the Christmas tree. “We’re going to hang ornaments all over this tree. Please don’t bother them.”

Hmmm. I wonder what ornaments are. They must be something fun to play with.

In the middle of the night, Mama and I went to the Christmas tree and nibbled some of the branches. That was fun, and yummy, but Mama said we shouldn’t do it much, or the parents might get mad. I’d never seen them get mad, but Mama’d been around for Christmas before and knew what she was talking about. Mama was really smart.

Ruthie’s mommy started playing Christmas music. Daddy said, “Already?” Mommy just laughed and sang along with the music.

The music did sound fun—bouncy and happy. Many of the songs were about Jesus. Ruthie told me, “Jesus is the most important part of Christmas.” I didn’t know who Jesus was, but Ruthie was excited about him, so I was too. I hoped I would get to meet him.

Other Christmas songs were about snowmen and reindeer and silver bells and sleigh rides and presents and more about snow. Everything sounded like so much fun. I ran around the house with Ruthie, jumping on and off furniture. Christmas was great!

Want to read more? You can find Millie’s Christmas here

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kathy McKinsey grew up on a pig farm in Missouri, and although she’s lived in cities for nearly 40 years, she still considers herself a farm girl.

She’s been married to Murray for 32 years, and they have five adult children.

She’s had two careers before writing—stay-at-home-Mom and rehabilitation teacher for the blind.

She lives in Lakewood, Ohio with her husband and two of her children. Besides writing, she enjoys activities with her church, editing for other writers, braille transcribing, crocheting, knitting, and playing with the cat and dog.

Connect with Kathy at:

https://www.kathymckinsey.com/

Check out Kathy’s Women’s Fiction novel All My Tears at Amazon