Calling all holiday-themed readers! We’re celebrating Christmas and the holidays all month long at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven’s Christmas and Holiday Book Festival. 30 holiday-themed books featured plus a chance to win a $75 Amazon gift card.
I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My book, MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA is featured today! Each author shares a family holiday tradition, including me. You won’t want to miss it.
Finding a body in the freezer of the family deli isn’t the way Madonna San Valentino planned to start her day.
Adding insult to injury, the investigating detective is the one guy she’s never been able to forget. After seven minutes of heaven in the back seat of his car when they were teenagers, Tony Roma skipped town without so much as a thanks for the memory.
Just when Madonna thinks the present situation can’t get any worse, Tony is ordered to go undercover at the deli to ferret out a killer. Forced to work together, she vows to keep their relationship cool and professional. But with the sexy, longing looks he tosses her at every turn, Madonna’s resolve is weakening.
With Christmas drawing closer and Tony’s investigation taking an unexpected turn, Madonna is at her wit’s end. Can she really be falling for him again? And will he wind up leaving her brokenhearted and alone like the last time?
Are ya ready to see the lovely book cover for my 2022 Holiday Romance SASHA’S SECRET SANTA? I’ve been holding on to this cover for MONTHS!!!!! and I’m so excited to finally show you. I almost revealed it last week on National Kissing Day, hahaha
Here’s a little about the book, first:
After a terrifying incident derails Sasha Charles’ career and her confidence, she moves back to her hometown of Dickens to heal, reorganize, and start over.
The only problem? The paralyzing panic attacks that plague her whenever she thinks about going back to nursing. Sasha is mentally, and emotionally stuck, and has no idea how to move forward.
Steve Caldwell is the new Director of Services at Dickens Memorial Hospital. After witnessing her save the life of a local resident in Dorrit’s Diner, he knows Sasha would be perfect for the new trauma center he’s planning. When she refuses his job offer outright, he sets out to change her mind.
But Sasha has thick, protective walls erected around her so Steve must first break through them. With patience and kindness, he does. As the two grow closer, each begin to have second thoughts on what their futures should look like, until idle, small-town gossip threatens to derail their budding relationship.
With the imminent arrival of Christmas, will Steve be able to convince Sasha he has her best interests at heart?
Drumroll, please…. TA-DA…..
When you read the book you’ll know EXACTLY why this cover is perfect for the story. And I can’t wait for you all to read it!!!
Release day is 11.7.2022 and I’ll have preorder links soon. For now I’m just gonna bask in the loveliness of this cover!
Visit me over at NNLIghts Bookheaven where Mr and Mrs N are hosting a cover reveal party for me: NNLIGHT
I know it’s only November, but a writer’s actual holiday preparation starts in the Spring and early Summer. That’s when the new crop of holiday romance books must be completed so they can be put on sale from October through December. Some authors even have Christmas in July events to promote their new and upcoming holiday romances.
I simply adore a good holiday love story no matter what time of the year it is. I don’t get my fix of holiday romcoms and smalltown stories from the Hallmark or Lifetimes channels on TV, though, but through reading. I can count on several authors each year releasing a new book for the season and like clockwork, I buy them all.
I adore slipping away for a few hours with the newest Nancy Naigle holiday story, or Jill Shalvis’ most recent holiday romcom. Brenda Novak and Debbie Macomber never disappoint in the holiday fiction department, either.
My love affair with holiday romances began when I read Nora Robert’s ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS when it was released in 1994. This lovely story of twin boys who ask Santa to bring a new mommy for them and their daddy pulled at every heartstring in my chest. Since then, reading these kinds of stories has become my happy place around the holiday season.When shopping, decorating, cooking, baking, office parties, and relatives-you-could-do-without-seeing alloccur within a ten-week period of time, hiding out for an hour or two with a good holiday-centered-romance is my way of staying sane. In fact, now that I write my own romance books, holiday love stories have become a thing for me to release into the world too!
This year’s addition is FIXING CHRISTMAS – A DICKENS HOLIDAY ROMANCE ( Dorrit’s Diner), which released on 11.9.2021. Last year I was honored to be part of a group of authors who penned the CHRISTMAS COMES TO DICKENS stories about a small fictional New England town during the holidays. Several of the authors – including myself – loved telling the stories so much we teamed up for another season. Each book is a standalone romance but from book to book you meet some of the same townsfolk. It’s a truly charming town and the stories are all heartwarming.
Here’s a little about FIXING CHRISTMAS:
She’s a neurotic, snarky, chatty writer trying to get her professional and personal life back on track.
He’s a quiet, widowed, ex-military handyman.
When her rental house starts falling down around her ears, he’s charged with fixing the issues – and just might be exactly what she needs to fix her own ones as well.
That’s some post title, isn’t it? Anyone else channeling Dorothy Gayle right about now? LOL
So, let me ‘esplain the title.
I love Pinterest. I truly think whoever came up with the idea had me in mind. I usually construct boards for every book I pen while I am plotting. I am such a visual person. I really should be working in film, but…maybe in my next life. Seeing how I want my characters to look, getting a feel for what the setting will look like, and any other little visual item that I can construct in my mind, helps me write better, faster, and with more accuracy.
For my upcoming June 7 release of SANTA BABY ( A Dickens Holiday Romance prequel – Dorrit’s Diner) I went old school in my characterizations. Here’s the page devoted to the book: Pinterest/Santa Baby board. As you can see, if you click onto the board, I chose two of my all time favorite actors to portray the main peeps, Amy Dorrit and Andy Charles. Katherine Hepburn is absolutely the embodiment of free spirit and independent Amy, while Cary Grant is the perfect Andy. Luckily, these two worked together many times during their careers, so I had no difficulty finding pictures of them together to pin.
You may notice a craggy Kris Kristopherson in there, too. He’s the perfect embodiment of cook, WIllie Jackson.
Small town New England is, IMHO, a perfect place to live, evidenced by the scenery pictures on the board. And every small town has a local diner, considered to the beating heart of gossip in the community. In SANTA BABY, that diner belongs to Amy and is called, obviously, DORRIT’S DINER ( I bet you guessed that from the title of the book, Hee Hee)
Pinterest is a gold mine for authors, it truly is. And I have to think it’s made me a better writer, too, because I can flesh out every aspect of the book and use descriptions to enable the reader to actually “see” the words on the page as I envision them.
So, SANTA BABY is up for preorder right now across all digital media, here: UNIVERSAL LINK.
If you’re on Booksprouts, you can also read and review a copy before publication here: BOOKSPROUT
If you read the novella ( it’s short, only 57 pages) I hope you enjoy it and you’ll want to come back and read the full length sequel, FIXING CHRISTMAS, on 11.9.2021. But don’t worry – SANTA BABY is a standalone book – no cliffhangers, no unanswered questions at the end, and a total HEA.
And remember I said maybe I should be working in film because I’m such a visual person? My good friend, Nancy Fraser, produced the book trailer ( kinda like a movie trailer) for SANTA BABY and I think it’s just perfect. Check it out:
It is nevah too early for a good Christmas story and today, fellow author Sadira Stone is visiting me and is giving us a peak at her addition to your holiday reading list, CHRISTMAS REKINDLED.
When two Scrooges unite to save a bar in trouble, a kiss under the mistletoe sparks the sexiest Christmas miracle ever.
Bartender River Lundqvist has a damn good reason for hating Christmas. Bangers Tavern is the perfect place to lay low over the holidays—until Charlie walks in. His first encounter with the saucy server nine years ago was utter humiliation. Her reappearance stirs up powerful desires and hopes for a new start. But the timing is all wrong.
Back in Tacoma to care for her estranged dad over the holidays, freelance web designer Charlie Khoury braces herself for the suckiest Christmas ever. A temporary job at Bangers Tavern gives her a chance to escape Dad’s criticism and blow off some steam. But why does the hunky bartender seem to hate her?
A pretend girlfriend is just what River needs to keep his family off his back—until a kiss under the mistletoe flares hot enough to melt the North Pole. When greedy developers threaten Bangers Tavern, River and Charlie must team up to save it. Their sizzling chemistry feels like the real thing—but everyone knows rebound relationships don’t last.
Come to Bangers Tavern for an enemies-to-lovers tale of reconciliation, found family, holiday cocktails, and the sexiest Christmas miracle ever.
Her low, throaty chuckle made him want to kiss her again. Though he pretty much wanted to kiss her anytime she was within range.
She laid her hand palm-up on the center console. “The thing is, I’m not looking for a relationship.”
Remembering a bit of Dawn’s wisdom, he nestled his hand into hers. “You never find a relationship when you’re looking for one.”
Her gaze softened, open and vulnerable. “Are you looking?”
Warning sirens blared inside his head. This was a question to answer very carefully. “If you’d asked me a month ago, I’d say, ‘No way.’ But then, I kissed this girl under the mistletoe, and…”
She closed her eyes, lifted his hand, and pressed it to her sternum. Beneath his palm, her heart thudded fast. His pulse sped to match hers. He held his breath.
“I like you, River.” Her whisper matched the brush of snowflakes against the windows.
“I like you too.”
She inhaled deeply, then met his gaze. “Enough to be my friend?”
He nodded, mesmerized.
“Because my life is a mess right now, and I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing.”
Her coarse language stirred up a heady swirl of laughter, sympathy, and arousal. He scooted as near as the center console allowed and placed his lips close to her ear. “I’ll tell you a secret. Me neither.”
Fire flickered in her eyes’ inky depths. Her lips parted. A golden thread wound around his heart and tugged him toward her. His thumb stroked the delicate line of her jaw as he closed the distance.
Ever since her first kiss, Sadira’s been spinning steamy tales in her head. After leaving her teaching career in Germany, she finally tried her hand at writing one. Now she’s a happy citizen of Romancelandia, penning contemporary romance from her new home in Washington State, U.S.A. When not writing, which is seldom, she explores the Pacific Northwest with her charming husband, enjoys the local music scene, plays darts (pretty well), plays guitar (badly), and gobbles all the books. Visit Sadira at http://www.sadirastone.com.
I’d love to hear from you! Please visit me on all the socials.
I write steamy contemporary romance set in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. My Book Nirvana series centers around a quirky bookshop in Eugene, Oregon. Gelato Surprise is a steamy older woman/younger man beach romance novella. The Bangers Tavern Romance series is set in a neighborhood tavern in Tacoma, Washington, where I live—the town, not the tavern! Each story features a holiday celebration in Bangers Tavern: Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, 4th of July, Halloween, etc. During this sad time when so many bars, restaurants, and other businesses are shut down, Bangers Tavern gives me the chance to virtually share the fun, camaraderie, and bar food I miss so much. And each volume includes tasty cocktail recipes I’ve personally tested and tweaked—a tough job, but I do it for my readers (wink).
Under my own name, I write cozy mysteries and creepy short stories—think The Twilight Zone—but so far only one creepy short has been published. I’ll get to the rest of them eventually, but right now I’m having too much fun writing romance!
Tomorrow I start my Goddess Fish Blog Tour for MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA, so I thought I’d whet your Holiday RomCom-reading appetite with a little sexy snippet from the book here, today. Enjoy. And consider preordering – the link is live in the above title!
After the third episode of a sitcom we’d both loved as kids, we decided to forgo a forth.
Tony shifted on the couch and stretched out next to me, slipping one arm behind my head the other palming my stomach.
“Wanna make out?” he asked, grinning, as his lips skimmed down my neck.
“How old are you, twelve?” I asked. But I have to admit I did nothing to discourage him from seducing me.
“When I was twelve I wanted to play with balls and bats. I wouldn’t have known what to do with a gorgeous woman in my arms.” He pulled my ear lobe between his lips and bit down.
“You learned pretty fast.” I might have gasped once or twice while saying it because the hand at my stomach inched up to cup a breast. He stopped under the edge of my bra the moment he touched the fabric.
He pulled up, leaving his hand in place, and asked, “What are you wearing under this? It doesn’t feel like regular bra material.”
“What’s regular bra material feel like?”
“You know. Cotton or something. What is this?” He tugged at the collar until my bra strap and cup were exposed. It was fascinating watching his face as he got a glimpse of my underwear.
“Is that a good holy shit, or a bad one?” I was sure I knew the answer just by the way his eyes widened to the size of bocce balls and his mouth dropped open like his jaw came unhinged.
Instead of answering me right away he pulled up and dragged me with him. When we were sitting, facing one another, he gripped the hem of my sweater and looked me square in the eyes as he asked, “Can I take this off?”
The fact that he asked almost made me start crying. I mean, really, how sweet was that?
I debated whether or not to slip it off myself, but he had such a look of boyish expectation on his face, I knew half the fun for him was to do it himself, so I lifted my arms above my head.
I don’t think any item of clothing I’ve ever worn was discarded so quickly or as deftly as Margaret Rose’s gift.
“Holy shit,” Tony exclaimed again when I was sans sweater.
I repeated my previous question.
This time for an answer he skimmed the lace top edge, then slid down over the red cups, his thumbs teasing over my hardened nipples. The material covering my breasts was a red mesh and completely see through. My nipples peeped between the interwoven curlicues. A satin bra would have kept them secure and hidden behind the material.
Tony’s gaze zeroed in on those two little distended points and then he rubbed his thumbs over them again.
My back arched, jutting them forward, and I almost came on the spot when Tony licked his lips, shifted, and sucked one of them into his mouth.
“If this is what you’re wearing on top,” he said, moving to the other breast for equal time, “what have you got on under your jeans?”
I gasped and clutched his head between my hands as the tug of his lips shot straight down to my core. Between breaths I managed to say, “It’s a matching set.”
Tony shot back and stared hard at me again, hope now adding to the expectation in his eyes. I could detect a little lust mixed in as well.
“Can I see? Please?”
He truly did look like a little kid waiting to open his birthday presents, hoping and wishing he’d get exactly what he’d asked for.
“Well, since you ask so nicely.”
Intrigued? I hope so.
Hope to see you all on the tour when it starts tomorrow. Check back here then for the stops!
Madonna San Valentino, as the oldest child and the only girl of the six kids, is the most responsible and least annoying one of the bunch. Her brothers are, for lack of a better phrase, all pains in the ass, each and every one, and are so wrapped up in their own worlds, they don’t have time for things going on right under their noses, as evidence by this little snippet.
To set the scene, Madonna has just arrived at her parent’s house for the weekly family dinner. All her sisters-in-law are in the kitchen helping Mama get ready for dinner, while her brothers are all lounging around in the den.
Most Italian’s have big family dinners on Sundays after attending morning mass. Since our store was open from nine until three on Sundays, my mother had designated Friday evenings for family gathering time.
In the beginning when she’d first issued the edict, my brothers, in their typical pain-in-the-ass way, had voiced their objections loudly and obnoxiously. Thankfully, their wives had all adopted the most effective communication techniques to get through to them, learned from my grandmother. Guilt, and a well placed head slap.
The guilt was easy. A few ‘we don’t know how long we’re gonna be blessed at having your parents around. They’re not young anymore-s,’ from my sisters-in-law, aimed with a head tick and pretty soon my brothers stopped grumbling and found their way to Mama’s table once a week.
When the grandkids started coming along, the table grew tighter to sit around and my brothers thought this was their get outta dinner free card.
Daddy bought a bigger dining room table at his wife’s request and then used the old one for the growing horde of kids.
You don’t get between an Italian mama and her family.
The house I’d grown up in was warm and inviting when I came through the front door, three boxes filled with a half dozen éclairs each, in my arms. The mouthwatering aroma of mama’s pork loin wafted around me and drew me straight to the kitchen, my nose leading the way.
As usual on family dinner night, the kitchen was a cloud of estrogen. My four sisters-in-law, two heavily pregnant, were all at various spots doing whatever task Mama had given them to get dinner ready and on the table by the time my father walked through the door.
Maria Louisa, my brother Costa’s wife, sat at the kitchen table nursing her ten-month-old son, Donatello. While one hand cradled the baby at her breast, the other sliced fresh, homemade bread.
Lisa and Haley, the twin’s wives – and my ready-to-pop pregnant sisters-in-law– were each chored with salad making. Lisa cut vegetables while Haley mixed the from-scratch salad dressing my mother insisted on serving from her own grandmother’s handed-down recipe. None’a dat bottled crap on my table was Mama’s motto.
Margaret Rose, my brother Giacomo’s wife stood at the stove, stirring the tomato gravy for the pasta. Her twins, year old Rocco and Carlo were nowhere to be seen. I assumed they were in the living room with their father and the rest of my brothers and nephews.
“Why are there never any men in here doing dinner prep?” I asked, giving Mama’s cheek a kiss.
“Idioti.” She clucked her tongue as I went around the room bussing the girls. “I don’t want them in my kitchen. They make more work for me because they can’t follow simple directions. The girls know what to do without being told fifty times.”
I put the boxes of éclairs on top of the refrigerator next to the cookies and cheesecake. Dessert was a course never missed in this household.
“What can I do?”
“Go open the vino that’s on the table. Let it breathe for a bit.”
As far as chores went this one was easy. I think she gave it to me because she knew I’d been on my feet since five. Her views on working women vs. stay at home moms, which my sisters-in-law all were, was pretty funny. While managing and running a deli wasn’t easy, it was way less exhausting than chasing after toddlers all day long, or being at the beck and call of nursing babies every hour or two. Plus, keeping the house clean, the meals made, and everyone safe. And let’s not forget having to deal with my brothers. The girls should be getting combat pay for that alone.
From the dining room already set for dinner with nonna’s wedding china, the noise level coming from the adjoining room clued me in to where my brothers were. I snuck a peek into the den and sure enough, all five of them were sprawled around the room on various chairs and couches, bottles of beer in their hands and the television playing some dvr’d basketball game.
My brothers were all blessed with mama’s fair genetic makeup. Varying shades of brilliant blue eyes, light brown-to-blond hair, and olive complexions encompassed them all. When I’d been a kid I always wondered if I was adopted because I didn’t look anything like them. As I got older and studied science in school it made more sense to me why I took after my father.
My brothers varied in age from twenty-nine year old Costa, the closest in age to me, down to the twenty-eight year old twins Vincenzo and Vito, Giacomo at twenty-six, and then the baby of the family and the only boy not married, twenty-one-year-old Rafael.
I was twelve years old when Raffie came into the world and it’s safe to say I was more his mother than his sister at times. A deep depression gripped my mother after she delivered him and she spent most of the first year of his life in bed. Thankfully, nonna came to stay with us and ran the house so daddy could work, while I helped in whatever way I could. Most of the time it meant taking care of the baby when I got home from the deli and making sure the other boys didn’t kill themselves, or him, with their horseplay and rambunctiousness.
One look in the den and I felt like history was repeating itself because Giacomo’s twins were face down on the carpet, lying on top of one another, their limbs all twined together, grunting baby noises coming from deep down in their little bodies. Rocco, or maybe Carlo, was on top, unintentionally smothering his brother whose face he was sitting on, smashed flat into the carpet and making breathing impossible.
My brothers, engrossed in the game playing on television, were clueless to the potential disaster right in front of them.
I’d learned long ago yelling at them served no purpose. They were all masters at the art of ignoring me.
I made my way to the babies and, silently, lifted Rocco – or maybe Carlo – off his brother with one hand, the other flipping Carlo – or maybe Rocco – so he was supine. His little face was pale, his lips ringed with blue, but he took a huge breath, startled once, and then let out a bloodcurdling screech sounding remarkably like the wail his father had made back in his own baby days.
All five pair of male eyes turned to me at the sound. Not one of them moved from their comfy positions.
“Hey, Donna,” Giacomo said. “Everything okay?”
“Marvy,” I mumbled, hoisting a boy onto each hip, one of them silent, the other screaming like he was spewing out a lung or being dismembered. “I’m bringing the boys to their mother,” I said, wincing from the earsplitting shrieking. I wouldn’t be surprised if my left ear went deaf before the night ended.
Giacomo toasted me with his beer and said, “Thanks, sis,” his attention already focused back on the game.
In the kitchen I handed the screaming baby over to his mother and told her how I’d found her sons. It wasn’t my job any longer to discipline or try to guide my brothers. They had wives for that now. And from the look of abject fury on Margaret Rose’s face I knew Giacomo would be getting his comeuppance later on when they were home.
I didn’t feel an iota of pity for him.
With the fratricidal wannabe glued to my hip, I went back to the dining room and finally opened the wine bottle single handedly.
Intrigued? If so, you can preorder your ecopy here : mmm
The print copy will available in October.
Don’t forget to add it to your GOODREADS Want to read List
WINNER OF THE 2019 OKRWA INTERNATIONAL DIGITAL AWARDS for BEST CONTEMPORARY NOVEL!WINNER OF THE 2019 NERFA AWARD FOR CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Can a second chance at love heal a broken heart?
With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she’s got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she’s better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can’t find it in her heart to refuse him. Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself–and his company’s reputation–in Regina’s capable hands. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family.
Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart? Readers who enjoy the following kinds of stories will love CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS: big families, Holiday romance, RomCom, surviving loss, moving on, foodies, bakers, Christmas
The WIld Rose Press certainly loves the HOLIDAYS!!! Today, it’s WRP sistah Barbara Burke’s turn with THE KEY TO HIS HEART
Since he was a small child Andre has been treated like a monster because of his mechanical parts – scorned and reviled by children and adults alike. He’s learned to hide himself away from people. Arabella, an airship engineer in training, doesn’t believe he’s a monster at all. But can she convince him of that? When she’s forced to join him on his airship, The Rose, on a flight through the winter skies it’s an opportunity to teach him that love is for everyone and humanity is more than just flesh and blood.
A remote coastal cottage; a group of old friends; the Christmas holidays. It’s just the break Olivia needs to help her relax and forget her worries. What could be more perfect? But that was before she found a handsome unconscious stranger on the beach. Add in a case of mistaken identity, a lot of kissing practice, and an inquisitive best friend, and things begin to get more than a little complicated.
The large bump on Adam’s head hurts, but he refuses to go to the hospital—or back home—and eventually accepts Olivia’s offer of hospitality. When her friends arrive the following morning, a chance remark catapults them both into a bizarre and amusing situation that promises to make it a Christmas to remember.