Tag Archives: Holiday Books

Christmas in July…Bah Humbug??? Maybe not.

I’m going to be brutally honest and tell you one of the things I hate, historically, has been what’s called Christmas in July by the retail and commercial selling world. Christmas is Dec. 25 a winter holiday, so I have never understood why Hallmark and the Christmas Tree Shops, just to name 2, go bat-shit crazy during one of the hottest months of the year promoting the holiday shopping season.

Since I’ve published a Christmas-themed novel, though, my thoughts have changed. I now understand the WHY of such early promo. You want your readers to start reading and reviewing your holiday works so that when the actual dates roll around, the gift-of-a-book-buying public will choose yours, based on buzz.

I get it now. In spades.

Or maybe that’s in Christmas cookies(!)

For my Christmas in July, here’s A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS from The Wild Rose Press. The book is also up for a Contemporary  Romance Writers STILETTO AWARD this year. Keep your fingers crossed. I’m a finalist and the winners are announced on July 28!

Here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to whet your holiday appetite.

Blurb: 

With Christmas just a few weeks away, Gia San Valentino, the baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family, yearns for a life and home of her own with a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. The single scene doesn’t interest her, and the men her well-meaning family introduce her to aren’t exactly the happily-ever-after kind.

Tim Santini believes he’s finally found the woman for him, but Gia will take some convincing she’s that girl. A misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something he’s not.

Can a kiss stolen under the Christmas lights persuade her to spend the rest of her life with him?

Excerpt:

He came toward me and I could see every ripple of muscle, every action and reaction of his gait, every blink of his eyes, as it happened. Detailed, distinct, delicious.

The bright sun shone low due to the hour, but it haloed around his form, bathing him in light.

He looked like an angel.

A dressed-all-in-black angel, but an angel, nonetheless.

“Need some help?” he asked when he was within a foot of me.

I still hadn’t moved, my fingers cemented around the ladder rungs. I couldn’t feel them anymore. Merda, I couldn’t feel anything I was so numb from just looking at him.

But I could hear. My blood, as it river rafted crazily through my temples; my heart drumming like a heavy metal band in my chest.

And his voice. Mio Dio, his voice.

When I was six I had a terrible chest cold. Wheezing, choking on phlegm, unable to cough anything up. The doctor told mama to keep me warm and hydrated and the cold would ride itself out in time. Nonna Constanza, ancient even when I was a kid, scoffed and prescribed her own old world remedy. She sat me in her lap, cooing to me with her singsong voice and held a tiny shot glass up to my lips coaxing, “Tu bevi, Gia bambina. Tu Bevi.”

Drink, Gia baby. Drink.

She tilted the glass back into my mouth and I did. I drank every drop.

I don’t remember much after because Daddy told me I slipped into a mini-coma for about sixty-two hours, bombed out of my head from the anisette nonna had dosed me with.

But this is what I do remember. The amber colored liquor slipped down the inside of my mouth to the back of my throat and onward into my belly, tasting of melted marshmallows and warming each place it touched like a million little hits of heat popping everywhere inside me. When it reached my tummy it settled and dug in, filling my senses with the sweet flavor of mama’s Sunday morning caramel rolls and sugar.

That’s what his voice sounded like: warm and sweet, thick, delicious, and soothing.

My entire body relaxed when I heard it. My paralysis flew and my frozen-in-place digits melted.

He’d held my stare the entire time, never wavering, never becoming distracted by something else. He looked straight at me; just me. Like a missile dead-eye-aimed for a target.

“Here,” he said, moving in closer, so close I could make out the actual color of his eyes now. I’d thought they were dark and from far away and they were. But seeing them now, face-to-face, I spotted little flecks of yellow and slivery shards of gold mixed into the center and surrounded by a ring of deep, rich, mink.

If his voice was warm and soothing, his eyes were hot enough to singe, and mama mia, I wanted to be burned.

Buy LInks: Amazon //WRP // Nook // Kobo //

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#Celebrating some good news.

Just found out that my Wild Rose Press book from last Christmas holiday season A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS is a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest from the Contemporary Romance Writers RWA chapter! I’m one of 3 finalists in the Contemporary Romance – short division.

Can you just say “YOWZA!!!”

I am uber-stoked. A KISS came in 3rd in the NECRWA 2017 Reader’s Choice awards, and now this!!! My little romance writing heart is all aflutter today. And probably will be until July 28 when the winners are announced at RWA2017.

Yikes! I need to get to the gym so I can fit into a nice dress for the announcements…

See ya……………………

But before I go, if you haven’t read A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS yet ( and why not???) here’s a little taste:

With Christmas just a few weeks away, Gia San Valentino, the baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family, yearns for a life and home of her own with a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. The single scene doesn’t interest her, and the men her well-meaning family introduce her to aren’t exactly the happily-ever-after kind. Tim Santini believes he’s finally found the woman for him, but Gia will take some convincing she’s that girl. A misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something he’s not. Can a kiss stolen under the Christmas lights persuade her to spend the rest of her life with him?

 

Excerpt:

At twenty-four I still lived under my parents’ roof, had no full-time paying job other than helping my father with his business books and those of a few of his business associates, and my love life was nonexistent.

It wasn’t that I didn’t get asked out or date. I did. Often. Plus, I was perpetually being set-up by the aunts and uncles. I’d had a steady boyfriend all through high school, but we went our separate ways when we each left for college. My choices had been limited in recent years to guys I met in college–who were all looking to score, not forge a lifetime commitment—and then in accounting school who were, for lack of a better word, boring and absorbed either in numbers theory, finding jobs after graduation, or in just getting into my pants. The men my extended family routinely set me up with were mostly thick-necked, uneducated, wiseguy wannabes who wanted a conventional Italian bride they could keep barefoot, pregnant, and cooking.

So. Not. Me.

I needed to make some decisions about my life and make them soon. First, pass the exams and get licensed. Then, look for a real job so I could afford to live on my own. This one might be the hardest to accomplish since my parents were old-school thinkers who believed girls should stay home until they were married. They couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to go from their house to a husband’s house, and never experience what it would be like living on my own.

Lastly, I wanted to find the one special guy I could commit to. A guy who’d be family oriented like me, want kids, the minivan, a house in the ‘burbs, the whole family-comes-first-and-always mentality I’d been breastfed on.

I wasn’t too picky. Obviously, I didn’t want him to look like a troll, but nice looking wouldn’t hurt since I’d be spending eternity staring across the kitchen table at his face. A good-paying job would be nice in a career where I didn’t need to worry he’d make one wrong move and wind up as fish food in the Meadowlands marshes.

Don’t laugh: have I mentioned my Uncle Sonny?

BuyLinks:

Amazon // Wild Rose Press//  Kobo // Nook

When I’m not celebrating, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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RELEASE DAY!!

I think it’s a little serendipitous that today is the last day of NaNoWriMo and the day my newest book gets released into the world from my publisher.

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A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS is here! I’ve been waiting for sosososo long to share Gia and Tim’s story. I’ve read it so many times over the past few months, waiting, just waiting until it could be released as a holiday novel that I’ve got pages of it memorized!! The San Valentino family is one I’d like to call my own for so many reasons. They laugh loudly, live broadly, and love unconditionally. Who wouldn’t want to be a member of such a clan??!!

SO if you like romance/love stories centering around family and you need a little comedic break during these busy holidays, you’ll love this story.

Here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin to whet your book reading appetites. Since I never had a sister to share with and learn from, I created sisters who mean the world to one another, Chloe and Gia:

Excerpt:

Sometimes living in such a close-knit family was a little suffocating and lot of claustrophobic.

How to be a good Italian, lesson 3: family comes first, last, forever, and you do everything together. Always.

“Gia,” Chloe said, breaking into my thoughts, “come and help me with your goddaughter. She needs to be changed.”

She rose, as did I, and grabbed the diaper bag sitting in the living room with one hand, her other hand holding her two-month-old. “Lorenzo, be a good boy for Nonna and Papa,” she told her two-year-old son with a kiss to his head.

Up in Gianni and Paolo’s old bedroom, which now served as an all-things-bambino warehouse, Chloe held the baby up to me and said, “Here. You do the honors.” Once she handed her over, she plopped down into the rocking chair Mama had rocked all six of us in and let out a sigh that tugged at my heart.

I laid Arianna down on the changing table Nonna had brought over from Italy with her seventy-five years ago and tickled her little belly. Her toothless grin stared up at me. She was already a heartbreaker and owned my own heart and soul completely.

“Okay, baby sister.” Chloe folded her hands across her stomach. “Spill. What’s up?”

“What do you mean?” I popped open the crotch of the onesie, pushed it up to Arianna’s tiny waist, and bent down to kiss her soft, swollen, little baby belly.

“Your face went the color of Mama’s tomatoes when they started discussing the new priest. What gives?”

Chloe is nine years older than I am and one of the smartest women I know. At times she’s been more of a mother to me than our own, like during the horrible two years Mama went through chemo treatments for breast cancer when I was eleven. Chloe was the one who helped me buy my first bra, taught me about my period, and listened to me when I had questions about boys, sex, and what constituted appropriate dating behavior for girls who came from families like ours: overprotected.

BUY LINKS: Amazon// Wild Rose Press//  B&N

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Christmas Stories worth reading and giving…

Today I’m giving you a real treat! Christmas is my favorite time of the year and it would take days to explain why. But one of the reasons I sososos enjoy the holiday time is because of the wonderful books that are published each year during the Holiday season, and about the Holiday Season, so today I’m giving you a gift: three new Holiday/Christmas books from The Wild Rose Press. My own Christmas novel, A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS releases on 11/30, but more about that later.

First….

May I present to you author TENA STETLER and her soon to be released book, A WITCHES HOLIDAY WEDDING.

Here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ about it:

Blurb:

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Elemental witch, Pepper McKay and former Navy SEAL, Lathen Quartz have built Lobster Cove Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center on enchanted McKay land. During a romantic interlude on Halloween night, Pepper happily agrees to become Lathen’s wife. What better day than Winter Solstice for their wedding in a town that loves celebrations and Christmas. However, planning a wedding and operating their wildlife center takes a toll on both Pepper and Lathen.

When the couple takes a much-needed break for Thanksgiving with family in Colorado, a Maine snowstorm fills the center with injured wildlife. Lathen finds himself drawn into a covert military mission, while trying to deal with issues concerning friends and family. Pepper wants to cancel the wedding. Is she having second thoughts? Will the nosy McKay ghosts, Lathen’s werewolf pack, Pepper’s parents, and her best friend help or hinder the wedding and holiday plans?

 Excerpt:

A strong arm whipped around her waist, the air whooshed out as she squealed. Pepper balled up her gloved fist as a large warm hand wrapped around her wrist. “I’ve seen you defend yourself. Not going to chance it.” A deep voice chuckled behind her.

“Lathen — I’m going to…”

He spun her around and covered her cold lips with his warm ones. Werewolves run several degrees warmer than most of the population, one of the many things she loved about him. She relaxed into him, their parkas making a wisping sound as the material rubbed against each other. “That’s better,” he murmured against her lips.

All at once the lights in the town square blinked on. Low positioned red and green laser light decorations sparkled over the snow-covered ground and onto the gazebo complementing the white lights. From the other direction, a blue laser sprinkled tiny snowflakes across the building. Evening fell quickly in December.

“This is absolutely beautiful,” She breathed against his chilled cheek and whirled out of his hold taking in all the lighted decorations not visible earlier. Then she pointed toward the bulletin board. “I’ve been reading the town’s holiday events, Lobster Cove really embraces Christmas.”

“Told you.” Lathen said smugly. “Even some of the boats docked in the harbor are decked out with colored lights.”

Peggy here: doesn’t that sound delicious??!!

Buy Links: Amazon// Amazon UK // Amazon AU// Amazon Canada// KOBO// ALL ROMANCE// The Wild Rose Pres

Some fun facts about Tena:

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Tena Stetler is a paranormal romance and cozy mystery author with an over-active imagination. She wrote her first vampire romance at the age of thirteen, to the chagrin of her mother and the delight of her friends. Colorado is home; shared with her husband, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-year-old box turtle. Any winter evening, you can find her curled up in front of a crackling fire with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate and a big bowl of popcorn. Her books tell tales of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them.

Find and interact with Tena here:

website//blog//Facebook//Twitter//Pinterest//

 

 

Now meet author, K.K. Weil and read a little about her new book BETTER TO GIVE

Blurb

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For most people, the holidays are a time of warmth, happiness and celebration. But to Jenna Samuels, they mean only one thing. Mounting debt. A single mother, Jenna struggles to make ends meet and to her, it’s a season of excess and distress.

James Garrison is in over his head, too. His ex-wife said he wasn’t equipped to take care of his twins, and now that he’s got joint custody, he fears she was right. They’re wild, spoiled, and always fighting. When they knock Jenna’s daughter into the “Gifting Tree,”—a part of their town’s charity collection—the parents are immediately attracted to each other. But James has had his fill of cold women and Jenna won’t make the mistake of falling for another man who disappears when life gets too heavy.

As their paths cross, James and Jenna must decide whether first impressions are accurate, or if sometimes, people are not what you assume at all.

Excerpt:

I needed some air. I just attacked a man for no good reason. Sure, one of his kids almost send Nora tumbling into a tree, but I could tell he was overwhelmed and I pounced anyway.

While his kids fought, the guy covered his face with his hands – the international sign for losing parental control. As he removed his hands, though, an awful thing happened. I got a good look at him and heat ran through every crevice of my body. No one should be as handsome as that guy was. Plus, I always had a thing for guys who were in over their heads, and he was definitely drowning with those kids.

I hadn’t reacted that way to a guy in a long time and I didn’t want to. My life was on track. I didn’t need some annoyingly smoky-hot, anti-super-dad screwing up my plans.

It was a problem because he clearly enjoyed the view, too. I knew what guys were thinking when they looked at me, and spoke to me, that way. When I mixed the way he was engrossed in me with my reaction to him, plans got derailed and things like Nora happened. Those smouldery guys don’t stick around once the Noras of the world arrive. So even though they’re still scorching hot, they no longer act like you are.

They disappear.

At least that was my experience. One I didn’t intend to repeat.

Amazonhttp://Amzn.com/B01M16JTPS

Here’s a little more about K.K. Weil

christimaspromo2

K.K. Weil grew up in Queens, but eventually moved to New York City, the inspiration for many of her stories. Weil, who attended SUNY Albany as an undergrad and NYU as a graduate student, is a former teacher. She now enjoys writing her own dramas and lives near the beach in New Jersey, where she is at work on her next novel.

You can find K.K. here:

website //Facebook // Twitter // Blog

 

 

 

 

My third introduction today is author Pam Binder and her new release Match Made in the Highlands.

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Blurb:  Logan Mackinnon, confirmed bachelor, has put his life on hold to help his father care for his mother and honor her dying wish to tour Stirling Castle. Sparks fly when Logan meets Irene Redmond on the tour, and they are both transported back in time to the thirteenth century. But their budding romance is tested when they learn the conditions needed for their return to the twenty-first century. The castle is enchanted and only a marriage between two people who truly love each other will break the spell.
 

Irene Redmond expected to unravel family secrets, instead she meets Logan Mackinnon, a man who awakens long-ago dreams of a happily-ever-after. But are their feelings strong enough to break the castle’s enchantment?

Excerpt:

Strong arms wrapped around her. “Don’t worry,” Logan said. “I’ve go you.”
    She clung to his neck as he gathered her closer. She could feel his heart beat against her chest, or was that hers? Random thoughts popped in and out. How had he reached her so fast? Did he think she was clumsy? Too heavy?
     Pathetic. He’d saved her, and all she could think about was her weight. Still…
     She squirmed in his arms. “Thank you, but you can put me down.”
     “And blow my one chance to rescue a beautiful damsel in distress? Not a chance. Besides, we’re almost there.”
     Although the bagpipes were louder and she could hear the haunting notes of a flute, the mist was as dense as ever. “How can you tell?” She said.
     She felt a rumble of laughter rise in his chest. “It’s a guess.  I haven’t a clue.”

Buy links: Amazon // Wild Rose Press

 
BIO:
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Pam Binder is an award-winning Amazon and New York Times bestselling author. Publishers Weekly has said: “Binder gracefully weaves elements of humor, magic and romantic tensions into her novels.” Drawn to Celtic legends and anything Irish or Scottish, Pam blends historical events, characters, and myths into everything she writes. Pam is also a conference speaker, writing instructor, and president of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. http://pambinder.com
So there you have it. 3 reasons this holiday season is going to be so much better!!
And here’s a 4th reason: my book A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS releases on 11/30 everywhere!
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