You all know how much I lovelovelove having my Wild Rose Press sistahs come visit me. This year. the WRP has a new series titled CHRISTMAS COOKIES, and one of my favorite sistahs, Maria Imbalzano, has a new addition to the series that just released yesterday: RED VELVET CRINKLES & CHRISTMAS SPRINKLES. The book sounds as delicious as the title implies!!!! Maria is stopping by today to tell us all a little about the book.
Hi Peg: Thanks so much for having me. I’m thrilled that my newest novella “Red Velvet Sprinkles and Christmas Sprinkles” has been released this week. It’s part of the Christmas Cookie Series published by the Wild Rose Press. This is the first Christmas story I ever wrote and I loved writing it almost as much as I love the Christmas holidays. One of our family traditions that I follow every year, is baking Christmas cookies. I always did it with my mom and now I do it with my daughters, although my cookies never come out as good as my mom’s did. I’m a little casual with measurements for ingredients and I don’t always have everything I need, so I substitute. The heroine of this book, Bella Simonetti, is very similar to me in that regard and there are some funny scenes where she and her mom don’t see eye to eye in the baking department. Despite that, Bella has a plan to help transform her parents’ failing business, just in time for the holidays.
Competitive, work-obsessed Bella Simonetti has just been fired from her high-paying job at a Manhattan law firm. At an all-time low, she returns home and helps her parents at their small-town gift shop, but the business is failing and may not make it past the Christmas holidays.
Successful landscape architect Dean Jackson is like a son to Bella’s parents. But he’s a persistent annoyance to her—he seems to have forgotten his unforgivable blunder thirteen years earlier.
When Bella transforms her parents’ gift shop into a cookie cottage, Dean’s generosity and magnetic smile are hard to resist, and those feelings of unrequited adolescent love come rushing back. But can Bella let go of the past and accept Dean for the man he is today?
Just then the bell over the door signaled a customer. Bella glanced up to see if their guest was here to browse or needed help, but no customer materialized. It was her dad with Dean in tow.
She had to admit he was even more striking than in high school. His light brown hair, sweeping from left to right in a perfect wave of silk, still had sun streaks from the summer, no doubt enhanced while playing on the links. And those green eyes had always been like flashing gemstones that sucked her in. But the best was his roguish smile—half teasing, half serious, but permanently heart-stopping.
Her best bet would be to prevent any cause for cheerfulness. Yet his intense frown was also mesmerizing. Staying away from him altogether seemed the ideal solution, but her parents had different ideas. Of course, her surliness toward him might make him rethink his charitable desire to help.
“Hi, Bella. How’s it going?” Even that simple greeting came with a full-blown smile.
She was screwed. “Fine.” She got right to the point—no friendly chitchat. “If you and Dad bring the boxes up front from the storeroom, Mom and I will take care of the decorating. You won’t have to stay.”
“Are you kidding? I love to decorate for Christmas. I’ve been helping your parents do it for the past few years while you’ve been AWOL.”
She blew an errant strand of hair out of her eye. “I wasn’t AWOL. I was working. In New York. I couldn’t up and leave on a Wednesday afternoon to come home and decorate.”
There came that half-teasing, half-serious smile. To avoid it, she started pulling Christmas balls hung on red-and-green silk ribbons from the large box she’d brought out.
“I can help you hang those in the window. I hid the hooks above the molding last year so we don’t have to remove them every year.”
“Clever.” Her sarcastic tone couldn’t be mistaken.
“We’ll need a ladder,” he determined. “I’ll get it from the back, then you can hand me the balls, and I’ll attach them.”
She slitted her eyes at him. “I want to hang the balls. You can do something else.”
“Fine. But it takes two for this job. You don’t want to be going up and down the ladder each time you hang a ball. It’s inefficient.”
He had a point. She’d have to bury her reluctance to work with him at the risk of coming up with some other childish excuse.
Once Dean brought the ladder to the window, she climbed up three steps and took the first ball from him. Not a well-thought-out plan since her butt was now at his eye level.
“Can you stand over here, please?” She pointed to the other side of the ladder.
“It’s better if I stand behind you, to spot you. In case you lose your balance.” His grin emerged, and she gritted her teeth to prevent a growl.
Inhaling, she reached up to tie the ribbon on the hook. Her sweater inched over her midriff, giving him a view of her torso. This day just couldn’t get any worse. If she hadn’t been so stubborn in demanding that she hang the ornaments, she’d have the pleasure of staring at his physique, not the other way around.
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Maria Imbalzano …
is a retired matrimonial lawyer who now writes full-time. Instead of drafting motions, legal memoranda, and briefs, although fascinating, she now spends her days creating memorable characters and taking them on their emotional journeys through her contemporary romance novels.
Her novel, “Unchained Memories,” won the Wisconsin Romance Writers Write Touch Readers’ Award and the ACRA Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence Award. “Sworn to Forget,” the first of the four-book Sworn Sisters Series was a finalist for the illustrious RONE award as well as the Book Buyers Best Award. Two of her novellas, “The Blueberry Swirl Waltz” and “A Song For Another Day” won first place awards in their categories in the NEST (National Excellence in Story Telling) contest. Both of these novellas were also finalists for the Beverley Award.
Blog Link: http://www.mariaimbalzano.com/category/blog/
Website Link :http://www.mariaimbalzano.com
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7276749.Maria_Imbalzano
Book Bub Profile page : https://www.bookbub.com/profile/maria-imbalzano
3 responses to “Another wonderful addition to the WRP Christmas Cookies series from Maria Imbalzano”
Congrats on the new release, Maria – can’t wait to read your first Christmas story. It is sitting on my Kindle, as we speak! I do love “creative” cooking and have done it professionally – I even invented a creamed lettuce soup when the little restaurant I worked in ordered way too much lettuce. And the recipe made it into the local paper (of course, I had to reinvent the recipe to write it down, since I had been winging it the day I made it at work.)This is probably why baking never appealed to me – being so precise in measurements 🙂 Lucky for me, we have wonderful bakeries in my small town. AND…I do love a good bakery-based romance.
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Sounds like a delicious book, Maria. Wishing you all the best.
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What a fun excerpt! Congrats, Maria!
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