A TRUE COWBOY CHRISTMAS
By Caitlin Crews
Published October 30th 2018 by St. Martin's Press
From USA Today bestselling author Caitlin Crews comes A True Cowboy Christmas, the first in a sensational series debut about a cowboy, a farm girl, and the greatest gift of all. . .
Gray Everett has a heart of gold but that doesn’t mean he believes in the magic of Christmas. He’s got plenty else to worry about this holiday season, what with keeping his cattle ranch in the family and out of the hands of hungry real-estate investors looking to make a down-and-dirty deal. That, plus being a parent to his young and motherless daughter, equals a man who will not rest until he achieves his mission. Now, all Gray needs is the help of his lifelong neighbor. . .who happens to have grown into a lovely, spirited woman.
For Abby Douglas, the chance to join forces with Gray is nothing less than a Christmas miracle. Much as the down-to-earth farmer’s daughter has tried to deny it, Abby’s been in love with stern, smoking-hot Gray her whole life. So when Gray proposes a marriage of convenience as a way to combine land—and work together toward a common cause—Abby can’t refuse. But how can she convince Gray that sometimes life offers a man a second chance for a reason. . .and that their growing trust and mutual passion may be leading to true and lasting love?
“Why would you try to tell me that chemistry doesn’t matter? Of course it does.”
“I’m not saying it doesn’t matter. But sheer stubborn- ness matters more.” He heard the intensity in his voice, but did nothing to temper it. “If people want to stay married, they do. If they want that marriage to be a good one, they work on it and make it that way. It’s not rocket science. It doesn’t require your online profiles. You don’t need to get matched on your smart phone. You make a commit- ment to someone, then you keep it. It’s as simple and as hard as that.”
He watched in fascination as her hands curled into fists at her sides.
“I appreciate that you have experience being married, and that gives you a platform to make sweeping state- ments,” she said, her voice low, as if she was fighting back her own intensity. “That’s great. But you’re missing that I’m not interested in the state of marriage in a general sense. I’m telling you I am not going to marry someone I have no chemistry with. That has nothing to do with me being stubborn, not stubborn, or insufficiently committed. It’s actually all about the fact that I’m not staggering around in a grief-induced daze, proposing marriage to people I’ve never looked at twice before in my whole life.” That should have annoyed him, because he wasn’t dazed. Amos had been a mean, unhealthy old man. His death hadn’t been a real surprise. Gray wasn’t sure he was grieving him so much as the father Amos had never been, and he knew he wasn’t crazy with it. But he couldn’t seem to lose his grin, especially when he moved closer to her.
Because when he did, she lost that scowl. Her eyes went wide, that cute flush brightened up her face again, and she had to tip her head back to look at him. Not as much as some of the other girls he’d dated had, as she’d pointed out. Gray liked that too. He didn’t have to hunker over her.
She was . . . right there.
He had an urge and went with it. He reached over and curled his fingers around her ponytail, then pulled them gently along the length of it.
And figured the chemistry question was answered by the way her breath went shuddery.
But he didn’t end it there.
“If I’m following all this,” he said, his drawl low. Thick. “You don’t actually have any objections. You think we maybe ought to date first. You’re worried we don’t have chemistry. But at the end of the day, you’re not opposed to the idea.”
“It’s crazy. And I’m worried that you’re crazy, in a clin- ical sense.”
“If you agree to marry me, I’ll take you on a date or two. If that’s what you want.” His hand was still tangled in her hair, and he was close enough now that he could catch her scent. Gray breathed deep. She smelled like rosemary. And something that reminded him of the pies she and her grandmother had brought over the day after the funeral, warm and good. Right. “But we can settle the other question right here.”
“What do you mean . . . ?”
Gray didn’t wait. He didn’t answer her question, half stammered out with her hazel eyes so wide they looked like summer gold.
He used his free hand to cup her cheek, flushed and smooth beneath his palm. Then he bent—only a little, which struck him as unexpectedly hot—to take her mouth with his.
He felt her tremble. And there was something about the way she melted into him as their lips touched, then brushed, as if she was being pulled by some kind of magnetic force he was half certain he could feel himself.
Gray had only meant to kiss her to make a point. The way a gentleman might, not that he’d ever met too many gentlemen out here where the mountains and the land were the only things that mattered.
But Abby’s lips were soft and velvety beneath his. And she made a tiny sound in the back of her throat that he could feel like a flickering flame.
Before he knew it, Gray was angling his head to one side and licking his way into her mouth.
As if he couldn’t help himself.
And everything got hot. Bright. Impossible.
This was Abby Douglas. Abby Douglas. There was something deliciously wrong about it being Abby that made it hotter, wilder.
It rolled in him and made a joke of him imagining he was in control of any of this. Of her.
Of this sudden storm of sensation that would have taken him off his feet, if that didn’t mean he would have had to let go of her.
When the door slapped open, both of his hands were sunk deep into her hair, and Abby was up on her toes, pressed against him, her arms wrapped around his back.
It turned out Gray wasn’t going to have to worry about easing his way into some or other form of eventual chem- istry with the woman he already knew would make him a good rancher’s wife. He was going to have to worry about
what the hell to do with all this chemistry—so much it was like a lightning storm and he kept getting hit—with a woman he’d never paid the slightest attention to until his father’s funeral.
The fact that the front door had opened penetrated the heat and fog that was swirling around him.
With a perfect combination of deep, raw emotion, realistic sounding rugged cowboy life, family drama, and tragedy, a touch of humor, joie de vivre, small town living... this tale of a marriage of convenience went directly to my heart and kept me up late to the night. An absolutely unputdownable tale that I loved so much so that it went to my Top Ten all-time favorite romance stories I have read.
A True Cowboy Christmas is so much more than a cowboy romance or a Christmas romance, it is a story of two people making the tough decisions in life, doing their best to survive while healing from the deep emotional wounds their parents and past left in them.
What would you do when something you have dreamed about all your life suddenly comes to be your reality, but it is nothing like you thought it would be? Abby Douglas has loved Gray Everett all her life from the afar. He has been her ultimate dream, the goal in life, while unreachable all the same.
Abby grew up with her grandparents since her mother's inability to care for her. Each time her mother swept through town, she focused her energy and effort to break Abby's spirits, to take her down a notch. The emotional abuse has left Abby to believe she is unattractive, unlovable, undesirable. Yet she has a big giving heart, kindness, and sincerity. She is a hard-working, resilient, sweetheart of a person. She was so easy to like and relate to, cheer for her to succeed. I wanted to protect her from all the possible hurt, gossip, and especially from her mother's attitude.
Gray's life has not been easy. As the oldest son of the alcoholic, abusive rancher, he has taken his share of physical and emotional abuse. His mother left the family, his late wife cheated on him, yet he manages to be a loving, caring father to his teenage daughter. He is not interested in romantic love, he has no need, desire, or time and energy to deal with emotions, he has been there, and done with it. But he does want a companion, a sensible wife, who can share the life's burdens and joys, who he can trust, rely on.
I loved absolutely every word of the story, the dialog is witty, drizzled with humor to lighten up the often heavy and difficult conversations that had to be had. The tangible chemistry between Gray and Abby, the way they stumble and fall while trying to find their tune with each other, it is adorable, touching, filled with a wide spectrum of feelings, engaging my emotions as well.
This story is like a red velvet cupcake with a double dose of cream cheese icing; it is lovely, delicious and delectable, while smoothly flowing with tender, fragile emotions and the rough life of the rural country. It filled my heart and my mind as I smiled, chuckled, and teared up. I hurt for them, I felt their pain, disappointments in life, their passion, slowly building trust, and the wish for something more, that tiny silver lining of hope that bubbles up from the deepest corners of their hearts and souls until it fills up their minds.
A fantastic, amazing, must-read story that I know I will be re-reading countless times... And it is just the book one in the series - can't wait for more!
~ Five Spoons!!
In the wake of a devastating teen pregnancy that left her childless and heartbroken, Vashti Alcindor left Catalina Cove, Louisiana, with no plans to return. Now, over a decade later, Vashti reluctantly finds herself back in her hometown after inheriting her aunt’s B and B. Her homecoming gets off to a rocky start when the new sheriff, Sawyer Grisham, pulls her over for speeding, and things go downhill from there.
The B and B, a place she’d always found refuge in when it seemed like the whole world was against her, has fallen into disrepair. When a surprising benefactor encourages Vashti to reopen the B and B, Vashti embraces a fresh start, and soon old hurts begin to fade as she makes new memories with the town—and its handsome sheriff…
But some pasts are too big to escape, and when a bombshell of a secret changes everything she thought was true, Vashti is left reeling. With Sawyer and his teenage daughter determined to see her through the storm, though, she’s learning family isn’t always a matter of blood—sometimes it’s a matter of heart.
An alluring and entertaining start to the new series by one of my favorite storytellers, Brenda Jackson. Ms. Jackson surely knows how twine the words together so that the reader gets lost in the world she has built, with the characters she has created.
Love in Catalina Cove starts a bit slow to me, as the stage is set for the new series. The characters are intriguing, both the main as well as the secondary cast and crew are attractive people, the kinds you want to get to know, and spent time with.
Vashti Alcindor and Sawyer Grisham might seem at the first look like the total opposites with a little in common, but as I got to know them better, that was proved wrong. They are both focused, hard-working, professionals. They are kind and considerate people, they both love kids, and especially Jade, Sawyer's daughter. They are passionate and loving, yet logical and forgiving. I liked the connection between them, the slow burn developing into an inferno, the sizzling flame into something meaningful and lasting. They both had faced loss and heartache in their lives, the tragedies shaping them to be the people they are today.
The betrayals by their loved ones, the surprises in the plot towards the end of the story, are stretching my imagination a bit too far with all the coincidences and twists of faith. I'm still digesting them, not sure what to make of it all.
Regardless, the Catalina Cove with its inhabitants captured my heart. They pulled me into their lives, and I felt like a part of the small southern town while visiting them, getting to know them, and learning about their lives and loves, joys and heartaches.
A compelling and enthralling start to the new series
~ Four Spoons
In 1994, Brenda Jackson’s first novel, Tonight and Forever, was released. Since then she has had more than 100 novels and novellas published (the first African-American author to accomplish such a feat) and has over 3 million books in print.
A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Brenda is the first African-American author to have a book published by Harlequin Desire and the first African-American romance author to make the New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller lists within the series romance genre.
In 2012, Brenda received the Romance Writers of America’s Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award—one of the highest literary awards a romance author can receive. In 2013, she was recognized by the mayor and the city of Jacksonville as being a Trailblazer in the literary field.
In 2010, she collaborated with Five Alive Films to turn her Truly Everlasting title into a feature film. Brenda’s 2011 novel A Silken Thread is scheduled to be filmed with Debbie Allen attached as director in 2015
He’s fighting for what’s right.
She’s fighting just to survive…
When former Special Forces soldier Finn Bollinger is asked to help with a deadly government mission, he’s up for the task. His job teaching survival skills to civilians at Linear Tactical keeps him sharp, and he can still handle himself in the field.
But the Army damn well didn’t teach Finn how to handle Charlotte Devereux. She’s back and she’s all sorts of bad news.
Charlotte can’t change the past. Can’t change the choices she made or the fact that they cost her everything. All she can do is endure the fallout. Even if that means putting her future in the hands of Finn, the man who has every right to want to destroy her.
And can in so many more ways than he thinks.
When the undercover mission goes impossibly wrong, they’ll all have to depend on Charlotte’s strength in order to survive. But everyone has a breaking point
He is a true alpha, a protective and fierce warrior who has a heart of gold, filled with kindness, understanding, and patience, especially towards his son Ethan, to whom he would do anything to help him succeed in life and to be happy. Except for letting Charlotte Devereux to tutor him with his reading disability. Because 'Charlie' is the last person he wants in their lives, she's just not be trusted, and he learned that the hard and humiliating way a long time ago.
Charlotte Devereux is at the end of her rope. She is broke, homeless, trying to work three jobs and take care of her parents who struggle with her father's illness. She is brave, bold, stubborn, and strong. She knows she wronged Finn all those years ago, but to her, the reasons were good enough, the consequences something she had to face willingly.
I genuinely liked Finn and Charlie, their chemistry is strong, the passion between them burning hot and believable. The trust is slow to build again, I kind of understand why Charlie didn't want to open up about her troubles and past decisions, and I absolutely loved Finn's mature attitude, understanding and appreciating how it all had affected his life in a long run.
The vindictiveness was left to Charlies' ex-in-laws, yet never was it revealed from their side why they lured Charlie into their family and why the polluted relationship afterward.
The suspense stays off the pages until the last quarter of the book, building up to the explosive momentum. When the action finally starts it is vehement, brutal, vicious, and strong, so potent and intense, it left me breathless.
The story gives more insight into the team at the Linear Tactical and shows the beginning of the next possible romance coming up in the series [yes, one of my pet peeves, I know]. The way that start of the other relationship is embedded into this tale, so smoothly into the current plot, it is well done and it has its place there, and [thankfully] it doesn't take the limelight away from the main characters, Finn and Charlie, so kudos for that.
But Finn and Charlie are such a strong power couple, they are easy to love with their sizzling chemistry, swoon-worthy sweetness, cuteness, and brassiness, so they and their turbulent feelings will stand out even in a crowd. And I loved Ethan, he is such a mini-me of Finn, it was impossible not to love those two protective warriors and their warrior princesses.
Deeply emotional, poignant second chance romance in a dangerous, treacherous world of covert ops, illegal arms sales, and strip clubs. Crouch takes the story into the raw side of emotions, baring it all for the infected wounds to have a chance to heal, and anew life to be able to be built. The edgy, dark suspense leads to gory and savage action, where no one is safe, nothing is held back, as the fight for justice leads to the struggle of just surviving.
Linear Tactical series is proven to be some of the best work from the author to the date and seems to be more [of everything] in each installment. Definitely a series not to be missed.
~ Five Spoons
USA TODAY bestselling author Janie Crouch writes what she loves to read: passionate romantic suspense. She is a winner and/or finalist of multiple romance literary awards including the Golden Quill Award for Best Romantic Suspense, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the coveted RITA© Award by the Romance Writers of America.
Janie recently relocated with her husband and their four teenagers to Germany (due to her husband's job as support for the U.S. Military), after living in Virginia for nearly 20 years. When she's not listening to the voices in her head (and even when she is), she enjoys engaging in all sorts of crazy adventures (200-mile relay races; Ironman Triathlons, treks to Mt. Everest Base Camp) traveling, and movies of all kinds.
Duchess By Design by Maya Rodale
Series The Gilded Age Girls Club
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date October 23, 2018
In the first novel of Maya Rodale’s enthralling new series, an English duke vows to make an American seamstress his duchess...
In Gilded Age Manhattan, anything can happen…
Seeking a wealthy American bride who can save his family’s estate, Brandon Fiennes, the duke of Kingston, is a rogue determined to do the right thing. But his search for an heiress goes deliciously awry when an enchanting seamstress tumbles into his arms instead.
...And true love is always in fashion
Miss Adeline Black aspires to be a fashionable dressmaker—not a duchess—and not even an impossibly seductive duke will distract her. But Kingston makes an offer she can’t refuse: join him at society events to display her gowns and advise him on which heiresses are duchess material.
It’s the perfect plan--as long as they resist temptation, avoid a scandal and above all do not lose their hearts.
Without thinking he grabbed her around the waist and tugged her close against him, out of the way of those dangerous riders.
She clasped the lapels of his jacket. Her lips were just inches from his.
He didn’t move an inch. Not at all. She clung to him and he didn’t exactly let go.
He stood tall above her, acutely aware that her breasts occasionally brushed against his chest, achingly aware just an inch would close the distance between his arousal and her skirts. He held her, his hand hot and possessive on her waist.
Kingston flirted with the possibility of kissing her.
He came so close he could taste it.
A slow, sweet kiss was just there between them, ripe for the plucking. Something stopped him, though. It was a deep, instinctive sense that once his lips touched hers it would be impossible to stop. When he kissed this woman, he was going to kiss her so thoroughly and completely that they would require all night and the morning, too.
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of DUCHESS BY DESIGN by Maya Rodale, we’re giving away a paperback copy of the book to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Duchess By Design by Maya Rodale. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Connie Suttle. Giveaway ends 11/5/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Maya Rodale
MAYA RODALE began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence. She is now the bestselling and award winning author smart and sassy romances. She lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.
This Christmas could be her last...
Unless Covert Operatives shield herProsecutor and single mom Melinda Steele thought her nightmare ended when her abusive husband died, but now someone wants her dead by Christmas.
Navy SEAL turned security operative Noah Cason needs her to get justice in his sister's disappearance, but first he'll have to keep her alive.
And his mission shifts from difficult to almost impossible when Melinda reveals who she suspects is really after her.
From the explosive start to the sweet and satisfying end, the story intrigued, allured, and entertained.
I thought I could just get a little sneak peak of the story one evening, and ended up devouring the book at one sitting. The story is just perfectly balanced between suspense, romantic relationship developing, and the characters growth as people and in their faith in God. The action is fierce and deadly, it is up close and personal, while the plot twists kept coming and switching the direction of the story. It is riveting and I absolutely loved it.
The romance has such a sweet, fragile adoration in it. While the feelings they have for each other develop fast, they have to learn to trust again and to dare to take the jump into the unknown - known as love. And with the history both Melinda Steele and Noah Cason have, that is a major task in itself, and the current events are not helping their personal struggles at all.
There is a moment in the story where Noah has the a-ha moment when everything clicks into its place, and where he can see God's guidance in his life bringing him to this exact place at the exact right time. It is a powerful moment that defines the whole story and was a great learning moment for me as a reader.
A compelling, unputdownable story filled with suspenseful action, delightfully sweet romance, and life lessons we all can take notes from. Add a cute little boy and his dog, the miraculous Christmas season, and you almost forget how many people's life ends or are changed forever because of the dangerous killer on the loose hunting for his prey with no respect to the human life.
~ Five Spoons
The Christmas Key by Lori Wilde
Series Twilight, Texas
Genre Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date October 23, 2018
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Lori Wilde has created a phenomenon with her Twilight, Texas novels. Readers fell in love with the small town and its romantically-inclined denizens who believe in the power of cookies and mistletoe to bring people together. In her latest installment in the Twilight, Texas series, THE CHRISTMAS KEY, the Cookie Club is at it again meddling in the course of true love by whipping up a batch of matchmaker cookies designed to help the lovelorn find their soulmates.
There’s a legend in Twilight, Texas. If you sleep with a kismet cookie under your pillow on Christmas Eve, you will dream of your one true love.
She saw him in her dreams . . .
It’s impossible! Naomi Luther was standing face-to-face with the man she’d dreamed about over a year ago. Was it the magic of kismet Christmas cookies that brought him to her? Or is there an even greater force at work? All Naomi knows is she is falling, hard and fast, for the one man all good sense says she should not have.
She was his buddy’s sister . . .
Rebellious Mark Shepherd found order in the Marines but chaos on the battlefield. In a mission gone wrong, Mark is injured and one of his fellow soldiers loses his life. Haunted by guilt, he arrives in Twilight to keep a solemn promise. But when the Luthers mistake him for their handyman, he’s swept up in playing Santa to his buddy’s orphan son . . . and falling hard for Naomi’s irresistible bright spirit and sweet, sexy smile. But what will happen when she learns the truth?
“Will you look at that,” Naomi said, head thrown back, bathing in the golden glow. “We’re standing under
Shepherd’s heart clutched, downshifted. Chug-chug-chug.
“So we are.”
Her eyelids lowered and she sent him a sultry look that knocked his circuitry haywire. She leaned forward,
went up on her tiptoes.
Huh? Chug-chug-chug went his ragged heart. Did she want him to kiss her?
He knotted his fingers into fists. Quelling the urge to sweep her into his arms and kiss her until neither one of
them could breathe.
She puckered her lips, closed her eyes.
“Naomi,” he whispered.
She opened one eye, whispered back, “What is it?”
“What are you doing?”
“We’re standing under mistletoe in December. You’re supposed to kiss me.”
“Naomi Luther,” he said, fully shocked. Delighted by her audacity, but shocked nonetheless. “Are you asking
me to kiss you?”
“Not me.” She pointed upward. “The mistletoe.”
“We’re standing on the street in front of your house. Where you live with your parents and nephew. In public.
Where anyone and everyone can see.”
“It’s out of my hands,” she said. “You have to kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas. It’s the rules, and you
don’t break the rules.”
He could kiss her. Yes, he could. He could obey the rules. Follow protocol. Stick to tradition. Do the expected
thing. It was, after all, what he did best.
What had he become? Someone who followed the rules at all costs? A man who couldn’t think for himself?
In his desire not to end up like his parents, had he allowed fear to lead him into blind obedience? Had he
surrendered his common sense in exchange for safety? Gone overboard in the opposite direction?
Yes, laws were there for a reason. He wasn’t arguing that. But ignoring his gut when his instincts were shouting at him to go left when all the rules said go right was treacherous.
If he’d dared to question his values last year, and go with Clayton to the orphanage, he wouldn’t be here
today. And Clayton would be alive to celebrate Christmas with his family.
A punch of sorrow over his failing slammed him squarely in the throat.
Yes, Shepherd wanted to kiss her more than anything in the world, but not here. Not like this. This particular
rule was made for breaking.
Naomi closed her eyes, and puckered her lips into a smile.
“You might need mistletoe to justify wanting to kiss me.” Shepherd growled. “But I don’t.”
Her eyes flew open. “Huh?”
He dipped his head closer, lowered his voice. “When I kiss you, woman, it’s going to be because it’s the right
time and the right place. Not because you’re standing under a clump of some parasitic plant. It’s going to be
hot and it’s going to last a long time and your knees are going to buckle. No mistletoe required. Count on it.”
Body shaking from the control it took not to plunder her sweet pink lips, Shepherd turned and walked away.
When I kiss you, woman . . .
His words rang in her ears. A blip-pulse of wondrous anticipation jumped through her. Naomi shivered from
the inside out.
The look in his eyes had issued a sacred promise.
Naomi licked her lips. She’d been playing with fire. She knew it when she’d stepped under the mistletoe.
Driven by an uncharacteristic recklessness. More akin to Clayton’s personality than her own.
Why had she done it? Yes, hearing that Mark had volunteered to whittle handmade toys for the toy drive, to play Santa to needy children, melted her heart. Yes, when she saw how Hunter came alive around him, her brain flooded with what-if fantasies. Yes, the fiery heat pushing through her body whenever she was near him had a whole lot to do with her urges. And yes, he was sexy as ten kinds of sin.
All valid excuses to kiss a man.
But in the long run, pursuing something with him couldn’t pay off. He was a temporary employee. He’d be
moving on after the holidays. He was a former marine who was still lugging around a lot of baggage. She was
in the process of adopting her orphaned nephew. She was on a protracted break from an eleven-year,
on-again, off-again relationship with her high school sweetheart. So many reasons why she should stay in her lane and mind her own business.
For the rest of the week, her thoughts vacillated. She did her work, came home, cooked dinner. Sat across
from Mark at the table. Made polite chitchat. Kept her desires on a chain. Watched him leave every night as he
limped back to the church. Cutting a figure so lonely it yanked at every one of her heartstrings.
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of THE CHRISTMAS KEY by Lori Wilde, we’re giving away a paperback copy of Cowboy, It’s Cold Outside to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to internationally. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Cowboy, It’s Cold Outside by Lori Wilde. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Connie Suttle. Giveaway ends 10/30/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Lori Wilde
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, LORI WILDE has sold seventy-eight works of fiction to four major New York Publishing houses. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Texas Christian University and a certificate in forensic nursing from Kaplan University. She is a member of the International Association of Forensic Nurses. Her first New York Times bestseller, the third book in her Twilight, Texas series, The First Love Cookie Club has been optioned for a television movie. The town of Granbury, Texas, upon which her fictional town of Twilight, Texas is loosely based, honors Lori with an annual Twilight, Texas weekend each Christmas.
THE BREAKDOWN ERUPTS…
Dr. Luciana Perez thought she hit the jackpot when she landed the position at the Shutter Lake Medical Clinic. Until her friend Sylvia Cole is murdered and the authorities come calling, certain that Luciana has more information about the crime.
But Luciana only knows Sylvia had secrets she wasn’t inclined to share. Secrets that had Sylvia seriously worried. Secrets someone was willing to kill to keep buried. Every day that the killer isn’t found, Luciana’s fear tightens like a noose around her neck: fear of her own secrets being exposed, fear of becoming the next victim, and fear that the murderer will irrevocably shatter the idyllic peace and security of their beautiful town.
BREAKDOWN Book 4, what she knew, is part of a groundbreaking, fast paced 4-book suspense series that will keep you turning pages until the end. Advance reviews describe BREAKDOWN as “unique,” “brilliant” and “the best series of the year.” The complete series includes the dead girl by Debra Webb, so many secrets by Vicki Hinze, all the lies by Peggy Webb and what she knew by Regan Black. You’ll want all four books in the thrilling BREAKDOWN series!
A breathtaking ending to the intense Breakdown serial novel, this time in the limelight Dr. Luciana Perez who's dark and dangerous, terrifying history seems to be tied into the murders happening at the small town of Shutter Lake.
While the whole town is trying to hold it together with the grief for Sylvia, another body is found in the lake, there is an attack towards Dr. Perez, and the plot thickens.
I absolutely loved how the author built up the reveal of Dr. Luciana Perez past. It holds the reader on their toes and clued to the story. The tale has several points of views as the mystery starts to unravel and the truth about Sylvia's odd action and even the blackmailing habits gets a new meaning and the disturbing truth is discovered.
The built up for the story has been intense, and the four separate points of views serial novel are well done, with nearly seamless continues from one installment to the other as the heroine and the author writing about her changes. Regan Black takes all the clues, secrets, and lies and builds up a riveting finale to the mystery that has rocked the foundation of the Shutter Lake and its intriguing habitats.
A fascinating, puzzling, alluring murder mystery comes to a gripping end.
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Obsessive Addiction by K.L. Donn
Series Those Malcolm Boys Book One
Genre Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date October 19, 2018
Have you ever heard the sound of your life ending? A cell door slamming shut is the best way to describe it.
I killed a man. A bad man.
One who deserved far more than what I gave him.
He looked at her when she was mine.
He touched her when she was mine.
He broke her when she was mine.
I’m getting out on a technicality.
Now, I’ll get to make her mine.
She’ll cry my name each night instead of his.
She’ll feel my pleasure instead of his pain.
I am Crux Malcolm
and it’s my turn to get what’s coming to me…
Farren Hallewell is my addiction and I’m obsessed.
Leaving Farren this morning was a lot harder than I thought it would be. The plan was to wait until she inside the building before I left. I wound up sitting in my car in front of her school for two hours.
I only left because Zack was calling me, wondering why I wasn’t at the hospital. I honestly didn’t think I should be since I know whatever defense Carl’s father has will try to convince everyone that I intimidated the kid into falsely accusing the man.
If it weren’t for the mix of disgust and fear in the kid when he told us, I’m not sure I would have believed him. He might have even wound up like his uncle.
When I had arrived at the hospital, Zack was there with Echo, who, like usual, was the calming presence in the room. As angry as she was about what Carl had done to Farren, she was equally sympathetic because it was clear the young man was tortured by what he’s endured in his life. I listened to his story for as long as I could, but eventually I had to leave. I couldn’t hear anymore knowing that Ren experienced the same gut-wrenching sickness in every moment of her life.
Honestly, I’m not even sure how either of them are still functioning members of society. I’ve always admired Farren for her resilience in wanting to go on with her life, to live, when she should have been broken.
I never did do any of the things I told her I was going to today. I find myself back at her school an hour before the last bell rings wondering if she’s actually moving forward. If I’m helping her or making her worse.
Is this possessive need I have driving me to claim her only setting her back in her recovery? She’s told me time and again the nightmares are what’s killing her. She drowns in the memories of an overbearing controlling man who forced her to do what he wanted. How am I any different?
“Fuck.” I hiss, banging my head on the steering wheel of my car. I’m fucking ruining her, and I can’t stop it for a second.
Today, when she tells what happened, that’s going to test my resolve because I promised her I’d be there. I swore to her, I would stay by her side.
Startled when the bell chimes, my head lifts, and immediately Farren comes running out the front doors, her head down and shoulders slumped. Stepping out of the car, I cross the street and catch her before she turns to head towards what I assume is her bus stop.
“Hey,” I murmur as my hands touch her shoulders and she lifts her head in shock. “You didn’t think I’d come?”
“Well, I mean. I don’t know. I guess I’ve always just thought it best to not expect anything. I can’t be disappointed that way.” Break my fucking heart.
“I’ll be here, Ren. Every single day. Even on the ones you beg me not to be, I’ll be here.” Her pretty blue eyes tear up and my heart constricts. How has no one ever made that fucking promise to her before?
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of OBSESSIVE ADDICTION by K.L. Donn, we’re giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed paperback copy of the book!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to internationally. Two winners will be chosen at random. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and the other will receive a signed paperback copy of the book. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of K.L. Donn. Giveaway ends 10/25/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About K.L. Donn
K.L. DONN is a proud Canadian girl, hailing from Sherwood Park, Alberta. She has a strong dislike for the winter, and a love for spring. Married to her husband Steve, for 13 years, they have 4 beautiful red headed spawns ranging in ages 6-13. She has a strong love of coffee, sarcasm, and wine. (Not necessarily in that order either.)
Krystal loves to write about instalove between couples looking for love. She has a passion for contemporary romance and springs into menage as often as she can.
Sign divorce papers…check
Road trip to Whisper Lake…check
Fall in love…
Sara Kellan was ready to start the next chapter in her life. With two little ones depending on her, the blue-eyed beauty knew she had no choice but to find her way again. What she didn't know was that she might find something more than she bargained for in Whisper Lake.
Break off engagement...check
Return to Whisper Lake to settle B&B business…check
Meet the love of his life…
Austin Stone was finally ready to step up as the owner of his late grandparents B&B. After serving his country, the sexy Marine sniper knew that he had to face his past in Whisper Lake. What he didn't know was that he just might come face to face with his future as well.
After putting everyone else's needs in front of her own, will Sara finally be able to let someone else take the wheel?
After losing so many people he's loved, will Austin be able to let someone else in?
Discover the magic of Whisper Lake in Whisper of Temptation.
Oh, my word. I absolutely adore this story because it is filled with so much warmth, love, adoration, smart and caring characters, people who are mature in their emotions, no petty fights or insecurities, just raw feelings, growing pains, and such swoon-worthy romance that it swept me off my feet, as well.
Sara Kellan and Austin Stone are meant to be together, even the history of their families proves it. And I loved that it doesn't take but a minute for themselves to realize that as well.
Sara is a dedicated mother, she is smart, caring, and hard-working, she loves what she does, and taking care of others comes naturally for her. The fact that she can be honest about her ex, appreciate him for the man and father he is, and admit both of their shortcomings when it came to that particular relationship, just made me love her even more. And there is a talk towards the end that Sara has with her ex, that proves she was right to give him the credit to be a good guy. That single conversation was one of the highlights for me as it showed the emotional intelligence and maturity of all the characters at the Whisper Lake.
And Austin is the perfect and equal match to Sara in all the ways possible. "I'll drive" will never again have the same meaning to me, I swear. Austin's willingness to jump right into the relationship, to recognize the pearl of a person Sara is, and to make sure they make a team, a solid unit, with the kids and Sara, just melted my heart.
Yes, you can feel the magic of falling in love, you can feel the spellbinding days of summer heat, the lure of being disconnected while on vacation, and the daring bravery it somehow often manifest. But there was so much more than that, from child-rearing and entertaining to dealing with the past and finding and making the kind of friends that last a lifetime, to the vibes of a small town living, and learning to compromise, to trust, to appreciate, to take care of your mate, and to love fully, completely, and abundantly.
The storyline might be the most explosively in-depth insta-love filled with fairytale kind of swoon-worthy, adorable moments, but it hits directly to the heart and mind, and there is no doubt it will give you the warm, kind, sweet, passionate feels like only the best romance novels deliver.
~ Five Spoons!
The Viscount Can Wait by Marie Tremayne
Series The Reluctant Brides
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Impulse
Publication Date October 23, 2018
After five years away, Lady Eliza Cartwick isn’t relishing returning to the whirl of the London season. But the young widow knows to ensure the best future for herself and her young daughter Rosa, she must remarry. If only Lord Evanston, the dashing rogue who has haunted her dreams since she was sixteen, didn’t insist on distracting her with his searing looks and lingering touches at the most inconvenient times…
Thomas, Lord Evanston has wanted Eliza since her engagement ball all those years ago. His best friend’s sister has constantly been out of reach…until now. The forbidden has always tempted him, but when Thomas realizes he wants the object of his fantasies for far more than a dalliance, he must convince her that he’s not just a rake; he’s a viscount who’s worth the wait.
Tick, tock. Tick, tock.
The ancient grandfather clock in the corner kept a steady cadence as Eliza stood in the open window of the drawing room. She watched in silence as the guests arrived in gleaming carriages to proceed up the front steps of her home. Not that it would be her home for much longer. Or her drawing room either, for that matter.
A light breeze flowed through the casement, toying with the golden curls that hung softly alongside her face, and she enjoyed this rare moment of peace before the evening’s party when the chaos would begin. The chaos had long since started inside her head. At just sixteen years old, she was engaged to be married. It was to be officially announced tonight, and as could be expected, her thoughts were a whirling jumble of emotion. The fact that women were often married at such a young age did little to ease her anxiety, and she wondered how she could reasonably be expected to manage a change of such magnitude, even if her soon-to-be husband was a good sort of man.
The heady fragrance of honeysuckle perfumed the air, and she closed her eyes and breathed in, trying not to think about the difficult adjustments that lie ahead. The move that would take her halfway across the country and away from her family. Her new responsibilities as the mistress of a large estate. The changes she would face in becoming a man’s wife.
Her father had assured her that she would grow to love Hampshire, and her fiancé had spoken kindly of the residents of the closest neighboring estate. There was even a girl who was about her age; the daughter of a duke. Eliza took an unsteady breath and placed a shaky hand over her abdomen. She hoped the girl was nice.
Eliza didn’t quite feel ready—not that any young lady ever did—but her father was convinced she would find no better man. Reginald Cartwick was wealthy and smart. A landed gentleman who was accomplished and had proven himself to be valuable in matters of business. And she was fortunate. Compared to other marriageable candidates, he was relatively young.
She held no burning passion for him, but this was something that could change, she supposed. At any rate, he had the makings of an excellent marriage partner, and she had already come to think of him as a friend despite the brevity of their courtship. Perhaps friendship could transform into love, although this wasn’t necessarily a reasonable expectation.
Eliza’s chest ached at the thought. She longed for love.
Tick, tock. Tick, tock.
A glimpse of a black-haired man below quickened her pulse. It was Thomas, Viscount Evanston, a good friend of her brother’s and an unabashed rake. He was notorious in the London clubs, and notorious with the ladies, too. Looking at him now, moving deftly around the small group of people who had gathered and waving ahead to someone else, she knew why. He was tall and muscular, broad-shouldered, and handsome like the devil.
Sinful like the devil too.
Eliza moved to the side of the window so she could continue to watch him undetected. At twenty-five years of age, he was a full nine years older than her, a disparity that seemed like a vast chasm of life experience that she did not possess. With his father’s death and the acquisition of his title, Thomas had chosen to live his life by indulging in a few select vices: women, brandy, cards…in that order.
Of course, she’d heard stories from friends—cautionary tales, spoken in hushed and giggling voices—of his prowess among the ton. Had seen evidence of it herself at the start of this year’s season. And even after it had become abundantly clear that Reginald Cartwick was her father’s favored suitor, she still couldn’t help but feel a curious tug of envy each time she’d watched Evanston flirting with a woman, or casting a meaningful glance at a beautiful widow as he took his leave for the night.
In a timely and accurate illustration of her thoughts, Lord Evanston greeted a female guest on the drive below. She couldn’t quite make out the identity of the woman due to her elevated vantage point and the lady’s oversized hat, but the fluttering hand that came to rest upon her heart indicated the lady’s pleasure at his approach. Eliza supposed she was lucky that he’d never shown her the barest amount of interest, for she was half-afraid she might spontaneously catch fire if he did.
She recalled one time her father had caught her gazing a little too long in the viscount’s direction, and that evening, he had been very clear regarding his feelings on the matter; feelings that were loudly echoed by her brother William. Evanston was to be seen as a family friend. Period. Anything more than that was not even a consideration. Tonight, her engagement to Mr. Cartwick would be officially announced and this was absolutely for the best. He was a good man. A responsible, well-respected man. And she was happy.
Tick, tock. Tick, tock.
There was the clock again, counting down her final minutes as the heretofore unengaged Lady Eliza Halstead. She would miss many things from this place when she left but would be glad to rid herself of that tick-tocking reminder of the impermanence of life. Was there a grandfather clock at Greystone Hall? If so, there wouldn’t be for long.
A sharp knock at the door shook her out of her reverie, and she blinked in surprise. Her moment of privacy was at an end, and someone had come to collect her from her refuge in the drawing room. Eliza inhaled deeply and crossed to the door, then twisted the knob and opened it.
Lord Evanston stood before her.
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of THE VISCOUNT CAN WAIT by Marie Tremayne, we’re giving away three paperback copies of Lady in Waiting!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. Three winners will each receive a paperback copy of Lady In Waiting by Marie Tremayne. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 10/26/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Marie Tremayne
MARIE TREMAYNE graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in English Language and Literature. While there, a copy of Pride and Prejudice ended up changing her life. She decided to study the great books of the Regency and Victorian eras, and now enjoys writing her own tales set in the historical period she loves. Marie lives with her family in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
His Promise by Shelley Shepard Gray
Series Amish of Hart County
Genre Adult Sweet Romance
Publisher Avon Inspire
Publication Date October 23, 2018
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s latest Christmas novel in her Amish of Hart County series.
It’s set to be a white Christmas in Hart County, and Grace King is pet-sitting in a beautiful home with only a difficult dachshund for company. Just as she starts to miss the bustle of her large Amish family, Grace runs into a familiar face. Living right next door is John Michael Miller. He’s a fireman now, but five years ago, he had courted her older sister, then broke her heart. Seeing him again stirs Grace’s anger, but also reminds her of deeper feelings she’s done her best to deny.
The infatuation John Michael once saw in Grace’s eyes is long gone, though his complicated attraction to her remains. He had walked away all those years ago when he realized he was falling in love with the wrong sister. Now, as suspicious fires are set in their community, that’s not an option. Grace dismisses his warnings, and John Michael vows to keep an eye on her. But he can’t help wondering if he’s reconnected with Grace, only to risk losing her again.
Now all John Michael wants for Christmas is to keep Grace safe, in the hopes that they can one day have a future together.
“This?” He looked at his hand like he’d forgotten a bandage was attached to his skin.
“It ain’t anything, just a cut.”
It seemed like a pretty big bandage for a small cut. “Are you sure that’s all it is?”
“Jah. I’m fine. I wouldn’t be a firefighter if
I didn’t sport a couple of cuts every now and then.”
“It’s such a dangerous job.”
“It is,” he said slowly, like he was attempting to navigate his way through an increasingly surprising conversation.
“But I can handle it. I appreciate your concern, though.”
She heard the caution in his voice, and she didn’t blame him for not being sure how to handle this new, kinder version of herself.
Forging ahead, she said, “I know I have no right to feel this way, but now that we’ve reconnected,
I think I’m going to worry about you every time I hear there is a fire in the area.”
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of HIS PROMISE by Shelley Shepard Gray, we’re giving away a paperback copy of His Risk by Shelley Shepard Gray to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of His Risk by Shelley Shepard Gray. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 10/29/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Shelley Shepard Gray
SHELLEY SHEPARD GRAY is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Hold Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.
THE BREAKDOWN BROADENS...
Julia Ford is hidden in plain sight in Shutter Lake, her local newspaper column, The Good Life, belying the fact that she was once famous globally for investigative journalism… and for the unthinkable act that put her on the run.
But her past shows up in the form of FBI agent “Rick” Richards, looking for a partner last seen in the area.
Their search draws them into the hunt for Sylvia Cole’s killer, exposes Julia’s demons and unearths another deadly secret in a once-perfect town built on lies
Four Strong leading female characters, four different points of view to the murder mystery in a small town of Shutter Lake and to the secrets revealed while solving the mystery. The Breakdown four-part serial novel is written by four suspense authors and published only a week apart from each other.
All The Lies is the third installment to the serial mystery novel told by the point of view of Julia Ford, the Pulitzer nominated famous investigative crime journalist, now living the quiet life in Shutter Lake. Julia's decision to leave Chicago came after tragic events in her life, events that left scars to her mind and soul, events that still play out in her nightmares after five years of healing.
The investigation of the recent murder in the town, and the disappearance of a young girl, and an FBI agent brings the hunted memories back to her mind and her ex-lover back to her life.
I was left with some questions about Rick, the ex-lover, and to some of the points to the shared history with Julia. Since the finale to the serial novel is told by another woman's point of view, I am afraid these questions will be left open-ended.
Rick and Julia immerse into the investigation of the two missing people, and the connection between them is like before like no time has passed. They read each other's minds, without words they communicate with each other while on the case, yet the lies that were told between them years ago broke the fragile trust and any possibility for second chances.
The details of the secrets of the prominent people of the town are coming to the light, at least to the readers, and shows the gritty, dirty lies the people are living with.
Each clue Julie and Rick reveal links the missing people with the murder victim. Something dangerous and deadly is happening in Shutter Lake and considering what we have learned about the secret lives of the local folks, anything is possible at this point.
The story of the previous books continues rather seamlessly, and this one as well ends in a cliffhanger. Even though each installment does have a new heroine, the tales are linked with each other and needs to be read in the order they are published in.
An intriguing, cozy, small-town murder mystery that crumbles the walls of the fabricated facades covering the true colors of the rich and famously talented folks of Shutter Lake
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Peggy Webb is a USA Today Bestselling author from Mississippi. She has written 70 novels, 200 magazine humor columns, 2 screenplays. Called a "comedic genius" by her peers, she writes romantic comedy and the hilarious Southern Cousins Mysteries as Peggy Webb. She writes literary fiction under the pen names Anna Michaels and Elaine Hussey. Pat Conroy calls her literary work "astonishing" and Kathie Fong Yoneda labels it "brilliant." The author calls The Sweetest Hallelujah,written as Elaine Hussey, "the best book I've ever written." Advance reveiwers say "if you can buy only one book, make it The Sweetest Hallelujah." Learn more at www.elainehussey.com.
An actress and musician as well as a writer, Peggy composed the blues lyrics that appear throughout The Sweetest Hallelujah. She has been in many stage plays at her local community theater and says the role she enjoyed most was the Witch in "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe." "I was playing against type," she says. :)
Peggy loves gardening, playing piano, singing in her church choir, hanging out on her front porch with friends and owning dogs "who think they are the boss." She considers her greastest accomplishment "raising two wonderful children who are good people, good citizens and good parents." She says, "I adore my four grandchildren who call me Gigi. Thank goodness, the feeling is mutual."
Published September 25th 2018 by HQN Books
In the snowy Highlands of Scotland, Suzanne McBride is dreaming of the perfect cozy Christmas. Her three adopted daughters are coming home for the holidays and she can’t wait to see them. But tensions are running high…
Workaholic Hannah knows she can’t avoid spending the holidays with her family two years in a row. But it’s not the weight of their expectations that’s panicking her—it’s the life-changing secret she’s hiding. Stay-at-home mom Beth is having a personal crisis. All she wants for Christmas is time to decide if she’s ready to return to work—seeing everyone was supposed to help her stress levels, not increase them! Posy isn’t sure she’s living her best life, but with her parents depending on her, making a change seems risky. But not as risky as falling for gorgeous new neighbor Luke…
As Suzanne’s dreams of the perfect McBride Christmas unravel, she must rely on the magic of the season to bring her daughters together. But will this new togetherness teach the sisters that their close-knit bond is strong enough to withstand anything—including a family Christmas?
A touching story about family and parenting, sisters, drama and tragedy in love and life during one special Christmas time that shakes up the relationships in the family and leads them all to a new path in life.
I absolutely adore the way Sarah Morgan tells a story; there are deep emotions and angst but not so much that it overshadows the story hope and love. There are conflicts, passion, humor, warmth, sweetness, and everything else that are part of the relationships and life, yet when I get to the end, there is this balanced, wholesome, complete feeling of happiness and satisfaction towards the tale and its events, that it fills the heart with bliss, every single time.
The Christmas Sisters is a story of a family that was formed by a tragedy but stayed together because of love, loyalty, and commitment. All the three sisters and their adoptive mother get their chance to tell their point of view into the events of this particular Christmas and the one 25 years ago, that changed their lives so drastically. Each of the four leading ladies have their points of weaknesses and issues they have to face, relationships their have to repair, and moments of learning and growing they have to embrace while spending the Christmas together with their loved ones.
Each of those four leading ladies also has their romantic relationships to deal with, to grow in, and fall for, or to take the leap of faith to the next level of the bond in between them and their mates.
I loved the sisters, how truly different they were, and yet so similar in their pursuit of life and love. They are strong women, each talented in their own way, the tragic accident shaping them up in different ways to be the women they are today. I loved the bond between them, how they might not agree upon much at first, yet still willing to stand for each other when the need arises.
The Christmas Sisters is a profound story about love; maternal love, love between sisters, love in a family, and the romantic kind of love that swipe you off your feet. It is a heartfelt tale of the bond only sisters can feel between them, an ardent tale of romantic love between four different kinds of couples. And it is a story about a Christmas miracle that saves a little girls faith in the all that magic that only the season can bring into our lives.
Another home run from Sarah Morgan, a story that I savored, felt part of while I was reading it, and will want to revisit again. An absolutely marvelous story that will stay in my mind and heart for a long time to come
~ Five Spoons
The Forever Christmas Tree by Sandra Hill
Series Bell Sound Series
Genre Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date September 25, 2018
The Christmas bells are chiming across the Outer Banks town of Bell Cove, North Carolina, but there’s one local ‘grinch’ who’s not listening . . .
He’s got bad-boy looks and a Bah Humbug attitude, so when the local paper asks the villagers to vote on the “Biggest Local Grinch” as a fund-raising project, Ethan Rutledge isn’t surprised to hear he’s made the ballot. He might own the local Christmas Tree Farm, but the holiday hasn’t been welcome in his home since Wendy Patterson left him heart-broken twelve years ago.
But now Wendy’s back, fresh from a tour of duty as a female Navy SEAL. She’s bold, beautiful, and has five Navy buddies trailing after her—as if she needs a bodyguard! And what’s all this about them wanting to start a treasure hunting company right here in Bell Cove’s failing bell factory? Then Wendy learns about how Ethan’s been nurturing the one thing he has to remember her by: a gorgeous Norway Spruce tree.
Can the magic of Christmas and the spirit of the town help rekindle the romance between two people who thought they’d left love behind years ago?
1 Chapter 1
She’ll be home for Christmas . . . unfortunately . . .
The Wet and Wild was hopping tonight with an overflow crowd of military men and women from Coronado, both the North Island Naval Station and the special warfare command center. Sure, it was TGIF, time for blowing off steam, and there was a live band. But, more than that, with only two weeks remaining till Christmas, the air reeked with joy. The Christmas spirit. Not so much, though, at the long table at the back of the tavern, where Lt. Wendy Patterson, U.S. Navy WEALS, sat with two of her teammates, and a half dozen Navy SEALs. Started about ten years ago, WEALS (Women on Earth, Land, and Sea) was the female version of SEALs (Sea, Air, and Land). They often bragged that they were as “hard-assed and ever battle ready” as their male counterparts “and looked hot- damn-better doing it.” Wendy had been with them for eight years. The band, with its female singer, was just finish-could tell under the burka she’d worn, but just in case she tripped over a rock and flipped her hem up to her butt, she supposed, or was captured. No, the reason these teams clung together was because of their shared experiences. They’d seen and done things no one else had. And, frankly, they were a little, or a lot, burned out by the constant missions to curb global terrorism. The images would give the average person nightmares. Like the recent pink mist involving one of their own. Like the reason for them being together tonight. The group of them here at the table had just returned from a memorial service for one of their fallen team members, Master Chief Travis Gordon. Flash had taken a hit from a suicide bomber in Baghdad ten days ago, leaving behind a wife and two kids.“Can you believe the music playing when they rolled Flash’s casket into the church?” Wendy re- marked, attempting to break the silence. “Should’ve Been a Cowboy’ is hardly the traditional hymn for a funeral.” Everyone grinned at her words, mostly somber grins if there was such a thing. She hadn’t realized she’d spoken so loud, but the band had just taken a break. It was one of those odd moments of quiet within a crowd.
Sitting on her right side was Lt. Commander Ja- cob Alvarez Mendozo, best known by his SEAL nickname JAM. She must have looked confused at the grins because he explained, “Unusual, maybe, honed her skills on grizzlies and other wild game. No wonder her nickname was Grizz. Silence followed Diane’s words for a moment as they contemplated the brother-and-sister bond that existed among them, even when they disagreed with each other, even if they didn’t like a particular person. When you worked in such close proximity, whether in a foxhole, or the jungle, or a Kabul stakeout, you came to know the other person very well. In fact, you came to recognize each other’s smell, the sound of their walk, even the way they breathed. “Well, I’m going on record here. The song I want played at my funeral is ‘Another One Bites the Dust.’ The pallbearers should be Dallas Cowboy cheer- leaders. You can tap a keg at the reception. On my tombstone you can chisel, ‘He laid one thousand chicks.’” Only Sr. Master Chief Petty Officer Frank Uxley would come up with this notion. FU was the most obnoxious, politically incorrect, horny SEAL in the world, and that was saying a lot, but he was an explosives expert with unmatched skills. You’d want him at your back in a Close Quarters situation or any live op. But make a move on me one more time, FU, and I am going to karate chop your favorite body part. Not that she was special in that regard. FU hit on anything with breasts.“What makes you think we would plan a funeral for you, asshole?” remarked Commander Luke Avenil, the highest-ranking and the oldest of their group at close to forty.
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of THE FOREVER CHRISTMAS TREE by Sandra Hill, we’re giving away two paperback copies of Frankly My Dear by Sandra Hill!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. Two winners will each receive a paperback copy of Frankly, My Dear by Sandra Hill. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 10/14/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Sandra Hill
SANDRA HILL is a graduate of Penn State and worked for more than ten years as a features writer and education editor for publications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Writing about serious issues taught her the merits of seeking the lighter side of even the darkest stories.
THE BREAKDOWN DEEPENS...
Seven years ago, Dr. Dana Perkins came to idyllic Shutter Lake seeking safety from a traumatic experience in Phoenix.
She became the principal at Shutter Lake School—and found her refuge . . . until Sylvia Cole was killed and one of Dana’s best and brightest students, Vinn Bradshaw, confessed to the murder.
A murder Dana is certain he didn’t commit.
But who is he protecting? Why?
Seeking the truth shatters Dana’s safety. Yet who could have predicted proving Vinn innocent would jeopardize her friends and neighbors . . . and expose so many secrets?
Four Strong leading female characters, four different points of view to the murder in a small town and to the secrets revealed while solving the case, the Breakdown series is written by four suspense authors and introduces a new kind of serial novel type of series, each book with a new leading lady, published only a week apart from each other.
Dr. Dana Perkins is an intriguing woman. She is a strong leader of the community, her students adore her, respect her, and look up to her. She has the aura of cool, calm, and confidence, yet she too carries deep wounds from her past. The school shooting that she survived yet lost several of her young students in, has left a permanent mark on her mind and soul. That insight into the drama victim's troubled mind was heartbreaking, yet so realistic.
Dana is determined to find the answers behind the recent murder in the small town. She has no doubt that her bright and brilliant student who confessed didn't do it and she is willing to go to great lengths to find the truth, to find the real killer amongst them.
The more Dana digs into the past of the people who seemed to be involved with the case, the more secrets are revealed, more of the dark, not so pretty underbelly of the Shutter Lake community comes to light.
A mysterious and intriguing story of a small town, of the people and the secrets that lie within it, and the dynamics and characteristics of the community that comes to light when one of them is killed and another one of them confessed to the killing. While an arresting murder mystery, it is also a story about loyalty, hope, and the courage to face the truth. An interesting addition to the serial novel that is to be continued next week.
~ Four Spoons