A Marchioness Below Stairs by Alissa Baxter Blitz

A Marchioness Below Stairs
By Alissa Baxter
Genre: Regency Romance

Escaping from Bath and the news that her former love is about to marry another, Isabel, the young widowed Marchioness of Axbridge, accepts an invitation to her cousin’s house party. Yet, instead of finding respite, she stumbles into a domestic crisis of majestic proportions: The kitchen staff has succumbed to the influenza.
If that weren’t bad enough, her former sweetheart arrives with his fiancée, seeking shelter from the increasingly hazardous snow storm. Trapped inside Chernock Hall with a volatile mix of house guests, including abolitionists and slave owners, Isabel wishes she could hide below stairs for the duration. But, alas, she cannot. While helping in the kitchen, Isabel is cornered by her cousin’s disreputable friend, Marcus Bateman, who challenges and provokes her at every turn.
At last, the storm subsides. However, the avalanche of repercussions cannot be undone. Caught in the grip of the terrible winter of 1813, will Isabel’s greatest threat come from the weather, her abolitionist views, or from falling in love again?
If you love traditional Regency romances, you’ll adore A Marchioness Below Stairs.



About the Author
Alissa Baxter wrote her first Regency romance, The Dashing Debutante, during her long university holidays. After travelling the world, she settled down to write her second Regency romance, Lord Fenmore’s Wager, which was inspired by her time living on a country estate in England. Also the author of two contemporary romances, Send and Receive and The Blog Affair, Alissa currently lives in Johannesburg with her husband and two sons.


The author is giving away TWO Regency Romance Ebooks; Lord Fenmore’s Wager & A Marchioness Below Stairs & a $15 Amazon GC!

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Last Class Citizen by Lex Ramsay Book Blitz

Last Class Citizen
By Lex Ramsay
Genre: Alternative history

They’ve gained their freedom from the South. But what if their new freedom is all a lie?
Patrick Edgerton, leader of the Railway Association, has succeeded in the monumental task of freeing slaves from the once mighty Southern Republic. Following the fall of the South, the UN has decreed that the South must pay for the care of any former slaves. With hope finally on the horizon, Patrick and those he helped free begin what will be a long journey towards equality and rehabilitation.
But the wheels of power are turning in the US capitol. With the UN’s proclamation against the South, the President of the US sees a way to bleed the South economically dry: by keeping the former slaves under a new, more subtle form of oppression, it will force the South to continue to pay for them until they have nothing left. This conspiracy sets off a deceitful chain reaction to construct a system of ghettos that keeps former slaves in a cycle of destitution and despair, ultimately creating second class citizens.
With everything they’d worked so hard to achieve on the line, Patrick and a handful of others set out to ensure that the former slaves don’t become entrapped in this new kind of slavery; a slavery as bad as what they’d left behind.
Full of powerful themes still prevalent in society today, Lex Ramsay weaves an eerily realistic story of race manipulation and marginalization, and those brave and willing enough to continue the fight.



About the Author
Lex Ramsay is the author of Serial Misogyny, a gripping literary suspense, and the alternative history Southern Republic. She is a recovering lawyer, an avid but not terribly talented pianist, a student of Portuguese, and escapee from Corporate America where she cleaned up after other peoples’ messes and generally sold her soul. Now, she’s buying it back, one word at a time, while making plans to move to Brazil with her 1 husband, 2 dogs, 2 horses and 2 cats (last count), once the Portuguese lessons kick in. To learn more about Lex and her books, visit https://www.lexramsayauthor.com/
The author is giving away an ebook copy of Last Class Citizen!

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Murder Feels Bad by Bill Alive Blitz


Murder Feels Bad
Bill Alive
(Empath Detective, #2)
Publication date: October 24th 2017
Genres: Mystery, New Adult

He can feel people’s emotions. And murderers feel super bad.
Mark Falcon, an aspiring detective and (for now) reluctant web developer, has a secret. He can “vibe” other people’s emotions. And when a wedding gets crashed by a seeming suicide, Mark vibes that there’s one aloof groomsman who wasn’t surprised at the death. Problem is, this guy’s also the only current lead for Mark’s website business. And both Mark and I (his trusty sidekick/housemate) are dead broke.

Then, we get our first-ever real detective client … and she’s afraid the wedding killer wants to kill her next.
Exciting, right? Except her reason sounds … delusional. But Mark does vibe that she’s in real danger. Also, she’s super hot. And possibly into me…
Meanwhile, the cops tell us to back off the whole thing, or else. Even when more people in our small Virginia town start dying.
With the cops threatening jail (again), quirky locals turning lethal, and a spiritual crisis on my part which has really bad timing, Mark and I are racing to catch a killer who seems ready to murder anyone…
Including us.
Murder Feels Bad is the second novel in the Empath Detective mystery series, a new cozy mystery series that totally really happened, but is officially fiction. If you like Janet Evanovich, M. C. Beaton, Deb Baker, and long lists of famous author names, you’ll love this new series that has it all — amateur detectives you’ll love, zany small-town characters, sparkling wit, and a cold-blooded killer you’ll never even suspect.

EXCERPT:

… But you do at least know about the empathy thing, right?
Okay. Super fast, so we don’t bore all the organized readers … my friend, housemate/landlord, and sidekickee Mark Falcon (I’m the sidekick) is the world’s one and only legit empath detective.
He can feel other people’s emotions. Even when he doesn’t want to.
Which is crazy awesome, but on top of that, Mark has chosen to use this superpower to fight crime, vibing the innermost secrets of real-deal murderers and bringing them to justice. So far we’ve been at it for a solid month.
And there were these two suspects, Dr. Jivanta Kistna and, um, this other guy I won’t name in case you didn’t read Book 1 (Murder Feels Awful) yet, and they did a bunch of crazy stuff I can’t tell you about here but the upshot was, they decided to get married.
Like, right away. I don’t know how they pulled that off, since Jivanta’s family turned out to be Catholic and I thought they had rules about that. I think Jivanta wanted to get the wedding in while the Blue Ridge Mountains were still at Peak Autumn Gorgeous.
In a good year, the view out here in rural Virginia is continuously breathtaking. You can’t even (for instance) be running late for a wedding without a lush distant backdrop of mountainous fall foliage, serene in every direction.
Unfortunately, if you are running late for that wedding, the fantastic scenery on a crisp sunny morning just seems wildly inappropriate, even sinister…
[Mark, Pete (the narrator), and Pete’s plus-one, his nurse friend Ceci, barely make it to the wedding on time…]
We grabbed a pew, just as the music fired up and the first awkward couple started the long march.
I didn’t know any of these people, but Ceci was craning to see the entire wedding party with endless enthusiasm. She’d probably know half of them by the end of the reception.
I caught her eye and grinned. She grinned back, sparkling and happy.
Then Jivanta made her entrance.
I hadn’t seen Jivanta since the “suspect party”, weeks ago. Even in civilian clothes, Jivanta’s eyes and smile can induce a mind-altering state. Now, maxed out in makeup and a bridal gown…
… I kind of blissed out.
Except the bliss was steeped with pain, because how could I ever really have a woman like that?
When my trance faded, Ceci was staring ahead, obviously hurt.
I gave an inward sigh. Even though we were totally here as friends, it couldn’t feel great to have your dude gawking at another woman … especially the bride. I realized I’d have to show some finesse here. Not only is Ceci one of my best friends, but I’d been racking up karmic debt to her like crazy, especially lately. The last thing I wanted was to make her feel bad.
I leaned toward her to whisper some smooth reassurance.
Oops. Wrong sight line.
Because in the next pew over, the hottest blonde I’d seen in months stood alone.
She didn’t just stand, she had that curvy lean thing going on, relaxing on one black-hosed leg, where a woman has so much pent-up curvaceous goodness in so many ways that she can’t even stand up straight, she has to slow burn in a sinuous stance of sensuality.
Even as I looked, she turned right toward me, locked my gaze in her own mascara-ringed infinities, and smiled. At me.
And I thought I’d been blissing over Jivanta.
Ceci groaned.
I startled, panicking that I’d been caught again. “What?” I whispered.
“Female emergency,” Ceci hissed.
“What is it?” I whispered. “You can tell me.”
“No I can’t,” she snapped. “Save my seat.”
She slipped out and clacked away down the aisle. She always wobbles a little on those unfamiliar high heels.
With Ceci gone, the pull of the blonde amped up like crazy. I was terrified to look back, terrified not to look back. At the front of the church, the wedding had already begun, but I was in another world entirely.
Beside me, Mark grunted. “Seriously, Pete? Now?”
Have I mentioned that Mark and I have this weird connection? And it’s getting worse. I wouldn’t mind so much if I could vibe his thoughts once in awhile.
“Dude,” I whispered. “Look at her.”
Mark flicked her a glance. “So?”
“So?” I said. “Can you see if she likes me?”
“WHAT?” he snapped. “Did you not hear anything last night from my Akina disaster?”
Oh right. The night before, we’d stayed up too late doing this whole interview thing that turned into a novella. Like, literally, it’s a novella now, you can read it. And it’s free, it’s a mailing-list-only thing — but don’t go get it now if you haven’t read it, I’ll put the link at the end.
All you need to know here is that in Mark’s distant past, trying to vibe whether women liked him had led to, um … problems.
“That was different!” I said.
“Sure it’s different,” he said. “You’re fricking here with Ceci.”
“As a friend! And I’m not going to ignore Ceci, I could just get the girl’s number—”
“No! Besides, I’ve got my shields maxed out.”
You remember shields, right? In theory, an empath can reduce the constant emotional onslaught by visualizing some kind of shield. A castle wall, a glowing force field, whatever. But it takes a lot of concentration, and it’s not super reliable, especially (apparently) at keeping out me.
“Why would you have your shields up?” I said. “It’s a wedding!”
“Are you kidding? Weddings are worse than funerals. Every woman’s comparing herself to the bride, every dude’s wishing he could have the bride—”
“Okay, okay, TMI!” I said. “But can’t you just do a quick check? It’ll only take a minute.”
“No.”
“If you don’t, I’ll just be wondering the whole time.”
Mark eyed me. “You’re going to regret this,” he muttered. “At least try to calm down, you’re causing major interference.”
He closed his eyes and looked focused.
I strained to be calm. I tried to focus anywhere but the woman … anywhere at all…
The priest at the front was super young. He was cracking awkward jokes about him being a new priest and this being his first wedding, and hoping he could say the same for Jivanta and the groom. That one didn’t land so well.
I was trying so hard not to look at Mark and guess what he was reading.
Then he gasped.
And not just any gasp. The kind that made the skin of my neck start to crawl.
I looked. He was darting gazes in every direction like a bloodhound.
“What is it?” I whispered. “Does she secretly hate me?”
“It’s not her,” he snapped. His eyes narrowed. “Something is very wrong.”
The priest made another awkward stab at humor, how he was pretty sure he was more nervous than the bride and groom. He’d woken up that morning praying nothing would go wrong—
CLANG.
Everyone in the entire church jolted. What the hell was that?
CLANG. CLANG.
The bell. The bell in the old tower was booming, blasting through the church like an air raid siren.
The priest’s smooth face creased with anxiety.
Mark shoved out of the pew and ran for the back. I stumbled after him, my heart thudding.
As we rushed into the lobby, a piercing wail shrieked beneath the bell.
It was a kid, howling.
And beneath that, a new yell of pain was stabbing us, a woman crying for help.
We followed the cries and burst through a side door into an old brick hallway that led to the tower. We nearly collided with the fat, familiar woman I’d seen before, who was still clutching the cute toddler. Both their faces were distorted with terror. The woman was fleeing, and the girl was squirming frantic against her, trying to escape even faster, mashing her mother’s shoulder with some old holy card. Even in that moment, I noted that the card had a delicate border of lace. It was getting crushed.
Then I saw behind them.
The frayed end of a thick rope lay on the old brick floor like the rattle of a snake. The rope wound back to what was left of a woman.
I could only look for a split second.
The body was crushed and obscene, like a broken deer on the side of the road, the red half-eaten carcass stretched across the asphalt. Except this was much worse.
Revulsion clenched me. I could already feel the doom of my future nightmares. I had to look somewhere, anywhere else. I looked up.
High in the tower, in the dizzy upper darkness, the broken rope dangled. The bell was still ringing from the force of the body’s release…


Author Bio:
You know how you keep reading piles and piles and piles of mystery series, and most of them are, like, moderately okay … at least, there weren’t too many typos … and your eyes aren’t actually bleeding …
… but then … THEN … every so often … WOW, you’re just smitten.
The style is fabulous, the people are hilarious, the action is fantastic and terrifying and gut-wrenching and you just want to shout, THIS! This right here! Why can’t they all be like THIS?
The next time you find a series like that, could you PLEASE TELL ME?
I mean, please tell this Bill Alive author guy?
Because otherwise, he’s just going to keep trying to write them.
Which is super fun. See that smile? He’s clearly enjoying himself.
But still. Once in awhile, the guy needs to see how it’s done. What’s your favorite series? He’ll probably love it too.


GIVEAWAY!
Mark Falcon, the Empath Detective, may be able to sense people’s emotions, but the rest of us need a little help. If you win this giveaway, you’ll not only get paperback editions of all Mark’s detective adventures so far (including his prequel novella, ORIGIN STORY, which you can’t even BUY in print, because it’s only a gift ebook for my email list friends) … you’ll also get the technology to BE an empath yourself! I refer, of course, to … MOOD RINGS!
According to the happy Amazon reviews, this mood ring actually DOES CHANGE COLOR! (And does NOT turn your finger green! ) These are nice. Plus, you’ll get TWO rings … the possibilities are endless … you and your significant other could start to feel a whole new connection … or, alternatively, you could “gift” a ring to a particularly inscrutable colleague … or crush …
The rings will be available in size 7, 8, or 9 — just let me know which size you want for each of your two rings. Man, I wish I could enter this contest myself…

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Saving Alexander by Susan Mac Nicol Book Blast

 
Punishing himself for a horrific past that is not his fault, bestselling author Alexander Montgomery seeks redemption and love—and perhaps he will find it. 
 

Release Date: October 28th 2013
Published By: Boroughs Publishing Group
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance, BDSM
Punishing himself for a horrific past that is not his fault, bestselling author Alexander Montgomery seeks redemption and love—and perhaps he will find it.


Famous author though he may be, Alexander Montgomery is not someone you take home to meet Mother. Seriously flawed, damaged by a horrific past, he’s trying hard to claw his way back to normality. But how can anyone respect what he truly is? His therapy involves regular sessions at Study in Scarlet, an exclusive S&M club.

Then comes Sage. Tall, with black hair and blue eyes, an up-and-coming actor with impossible charm and boy-next-door good looks, he’s the perfect choice to play the leading man in a TV adaptation of Alex’s last best-seller. Even more, he is a man you introduce to your family. Which Alex would do—if he weren’t taken by another man who offers the punishments Alex prays will wipe away the past and make him the person he wants to be. Yet, perhaps there is another path to redemption. If only the solution would reach out and touch him.
 
Alex stood as Christopher Sage entered the room and kissed Jenny in greeting. The older woman smiled delightedly, giving him a warm hug.


Alex studied the man who had invaded his dreams more than once and been instrumental in bringing his sexual fantasies to a literal climax.


He was even more delicious in person. And the man was gay. That was a real bonus.


Six-foot-and-some tall, longish curly black hair, deep blue eyes that crinkled when he smiled and a rangy body that looked as if it were made to wear fine suits or nothing at all. In tight blue jeans and a checked long sleeve shirt with a white tee shirt underneath, Sage looked very relaxed.


Alex had a sudden image of peeling off the shirt to find a nice set of pectoral muscles beneath, then running his hands over them. The other man’s mouth was extremely kissable, with generous lips that Alex wanted to nibble. His cock shifted in his chinos at the images his mind was conjuring up and he cursed the sudden rush of heat to his groin.


Jesus, where was his professionalism now? He needed to get a bloody grip before anyone noticed his raging hard-on.


He reached out his hand to Sage, who was returning the scrutiny. Sage’s hand was warm and firm with long fingers and clean, shaped nails. Alex’s breath deepened at his touch. He hoped Sage hadn’t noticed.


The reality of feeling his warm skin in his own hands was infinitely better than the dream.


Sage met his gaze and narrowed his eyes. “Heterochromia iridis. I’ve never seen it in a human being before. Very striking.”


Alex stared at him. Most people simply squinted and looked at him strangely before they asked him how his eyes came to be two different colours— one green, one blue. Actually hearing someone who knew what the condition was called was slightly disconcerting. Especially when rendered in that very charming slight Irish accent.


“I was born like this.” He shook Sage’s hand firmly. “Not many people seem to know what it’s called though.”


Sage smiled. “I had a horse once with the same condition. He was a Pinto. It’s quite common in that breed.”

Alex raised a dark eyebrow. “Comparing me to a horse? Well, that’s one way to start a relationship.”
  
3 winners: Any eBook title from my backlist
  
 
Susan Mac Nicol is a self-confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, geek, nerd and in love with her Smartphone. This little treasure is called ‘the boyfriend’ by her long-suffering husband, who says if it vibrated, there’d be no need for him. Susan hasn’t had the heart to tell him there’s an app for that…


In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that’s never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.


Sue is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. She’s also Editorial Manager at http://www.divinemagazine.biz, an online LGBTQ e-zine, and she’s a Charity Board trustee at http://wwwbeingmecampaign.com in London.


She’s passionate about research for her books and has stayed in a circus, taken lessons from a blind person on how it feels to be non-sighted, and travelled to a lighthouse with maintenance crew to see first-hand what it’s like inside. She’s also writing a screen play with a Hollywood actor named Nicholas Downs, with a view to taking her latest release, Sight Unseen, to the big screen.


All in all, she’s happy with her lot and loves that you love to read her books.

You do, right?



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Most of All You by Mia Sheridan Release Week Blitz Review #ReadForever

ABOUT THE BOOK

MOST OF ALL YOU by Mia Sheridan
On sale: October 17, 2017 | Forever | Trade Paperback: $14.99 | eBook: $4.99
SUMMARY
“Heartbreaking…inspiring, uplifting and raw…” ― RT Book Reviews, A 5-star Gold Pick

A broken woman . . .

Crystal learned long ago that love brings only pain. Feeling nothing at all is far better than being hurt again. She guards her wounded heart behind a hard exterior and carries within her a deep mistrust of men, who, in her experience, have only ever used and taken.

A man in need of help . . .

Then Gabriel Dalton walks into her life. Despite the terrible darkness of his past, there’s an undeniable goodness in him. And even though she knows the cost, Crystal finds herself drawn to Gabriel. His quiet strength is wearing down her defenses and his gentle patience is causing her to question everything she thought she knew.

Only love can mend a shattered heart . . .

Crystal and Gabriel never imagined that the world, which had stolen everything from them, would bring them a deep love like this. Except fate will only take them so far, and now the choice is theirs: Harden their hearts once again or find the courage to shed their painful pasts.


EXCERPT
I swallowed heavily, my mouth going dry as I took in the masculine beauty of his practically naked body. He was…divine. That was the word that immediately came to mind. Divine. Angelic. Godly.
My gaze soaked in his strong, broad shoulders, the tight, lean muscles of his chest, the taut ripples of his stomach. As if my eyes were drawn to him like a magnet, they moved down his chest to his muscled thighs, his well-formed calves and then back up to his boxers, where the outline of his male anatomy was just barely visible against the thin material. 
My core clenched, wetness pooling between my thighs. I blinked, completely unaccustomed to this kind of reaction when it came to a man’s body. I wanted to simultaneously run away and step toward him, to reach out and trail a finger down his chest the way I’d just run a finger over the tiny stone bird.
“My father made that.”
“W-what?” God, my voice sounded too breathy, too stunned.
“The sparrow.”
He crossed his arms over his chest, obviously self-conscious about his state of undress. He gave a quick nod downward. “Sorry, I didn’t know you’d be up.”
Again, my eyes moved to his bare chest. There was a sparse trail of hair under his belly button leading into the waistband of his boxers. My eyes leapt back up to his, and I practically gulped, sure he had heard it when his eyebrows twitched slightly. 
I turned my head, my heart beating so loudly in my own ears I was sure he could hear that, too, even from where he stood. “It’s only fair, I suppose,” I murmured.
“What’s that?”
“Now we’ve both seen each other half-naked.”
Gabriel tilted his head, assessing me in some mysterious way. He suddenly turned and walked back toward his room. I stood rooted to the spot, confused, when he returned just as quickly as he’d left, pulling a T-shirt over his head. He walked toward me, coming to stand directly in front of where I stood. His expression was slightly shy, slightly teasing. “I hope…that if we see each other naked again, it won’t be a job, or an accident. It will be because we both want it, and because it means something.”
What?
Visions swirled through my mind, unbidden: tangled limbs and twisted sheets. Heat filled my veins, blood pumping between my legs. It was too much. It was…out of my control and it scared me. I didn’t want to think of Gabriel that way, couldn’t think of Gabriel that way. In truth, had never thought of any man that way. “Mean something?” My voice was a mere whisper.
He nodded, his expression going serious, his eyes filled with sudden gravity. His hand slowly moved up to my hair, and he brushed a piece back from my face. His hand lingered, his knuckle brushing gently down my cheekbone. My breath hitched at the subtle touch. His full lips parted slightly, those angel eyes moving over my features as if he was memorizing me, memorizing the moment. I was spellbound, caught once again in his gaze. No one had ever looked at me the way Gabriel was right then, not in all my life. 
“Yes.” It was all he said, leaving me to try to comprehend his meaning. But of course getting naked always meant something. A bribe, a paycheck, a coercion, a means to an end…only I knew very well Gabriel didn’t mean any of those things, and it was impossible to convince myself he could. I already knew better. And I didn’t want to think about what getting naked would mean to Gabriel because the very idea filled me with terror and an aching, needy want. But mostly terror.


BUY THE BOOK HERE
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mia Sheridan is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. Her passion is weaving true love stories about people destined to be together. Mia lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband. They have four children here on earth and one in heaven.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Add Most of All You to your shelf on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2uvpZY4

Giveaway
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Review

Most of All YouMost of All You by Mia Sheridan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Both of the leads were easy for me to love. They have painful pasts, beyond the norm, tragedies in fact. I like the way they overcome. It’s an emotional journey that fills the soul and the eyes. Crystal/Ellie is not in a good place in most aspects of her life, but the writing makes her easy to understand. This book illustrates the importance of taking the time with others instead of judging. Gabriel is bone-deep good. He’s solid, strong, supportive and sensitive. I couldn’t help falling hard for him. Because he’s been working through his issues for longer and mostly in a better place, he is patient with her. He gives her love and space as needed. Also, I have to say thank you so much to the author for making girl characters who are genuinely nice to each other. I’m always looking for a story that makes me feel. Most of All You kept a hold on my heart. It’s definitely a book I recommend.


***copy given in exchange for an honest review***

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#SMPUnwrapped @SMPRomance SMP ROMANCE HOLIDAY BLITZ 2017 AUTHOR Q&A







With this Christmas Ring by Manda Collins

Jacket Summary:
A wallflower determined to fulfill a dying promise, the rogue she jilted years ago, and an orphaned baby are all brought together amidst the magic of Christmas in this new novella from Manda Collins. 


Miss Merry Parks makes a deathbed promise to a schoolfriend that her infant daughter will be taken to her absent father. There’s only one problem—to find the baby’s father, she’ll have to consult his cousin, Viscount Wrotham, the man she jilted five years ago. The man she couldn’t forget. 


Alex Ponsonby, Viscount Wrotham, is stunned to find Merry Parks—looking more lovely than ever–on his doorstep with an infant in her arms. His shock soon turns to dismay when he learns his own cousin William is the man who abandoned his wife and child. As head of the family he’s duty bound to see right is done. But he can’t let this opportunity pass. He’ll take Merry and the baby to his cousin, but he’ll woo her back in the process.


Merry agrees to travel with Alex and the baby to Wrotham Castle, where the entire Ponsonby family has gathered for Christmas, but her plans to see the baby settled then leave are ruined by a snowstorm. After five years apart, Alex and Merry will spend the week getting reacquainted. Perhaps it’s the spirit of the holiday, or the magic of the season, but there could be something else in the air this Yuletide…A Christmas Reunion.



Author Bio:
Manda Collins is the author of the Studies in Scandal series, The Lords of Anarchy series, The Ugly Duckling series and the Wicked Widows series as well as several other Regency-set romances. She spent her teen years wishing she’d been born a couple of centuries earlier, preferably in the English countryside. Time travel being what it is, she resigned herself to life with electricity and indoor plumbing, and read lots of books. When she’s not writing, she’s helping other people use books, as an academic librarian.


Manda Collins
When do the holidays official start for you?
The first frosty morning when there’s a nip in the air and I can feel that winter is on the way. I love that feeling!
What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?
Getting together with family and friends is the best. We don’t necessarily see one another all that much during the year, but we all make time during the holidays.
Are there any holiday traditions you do every year without fail?
I listen to carols sung by the King’s College Choir every year and spend at least one day boiling cloves and spices on the stove to get the house smelling like Christmas.
What’s your favorite holiday movie?
The Thin Man starring Myrna Loy and William Powell as Nick and Nora Charles. (Of course MY favorite holiday movie has witty repartee and murder in it!)
Do you have a favorite holiday book?
That would be Christmas Angel by Jo Beverley. It’s one of her early Company of Rogues books and I love the way Lucien and Beth and her children become a family over the course of the story.
What’s your all-time favorite holiday song?
The Holly and the Ivy.
What’s your favorite activity during fall or winter?
I’m not really the outdoor type (though I have been known to go outdoors) so I like to snuggle up inside with a cup of hot chocolate and read. Or knit.
What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever received or given?
My grandmother gave me the gift of the love of reading. It’s the best thing I’ve ever been given.
Do you have any items on your wish list this year?
I’m at an age now where the things I wish for aren’t material (though obviously there are some that I’d like–a new car, for instance) but stuff like health and for my family to be safe and happy. I wouldn’t turn down a pretty scarf, though!
Any resolutions or goals for next year?
Just to keep writing books that my audience enjoys reading!




The Christmas Cowboy Hero by Donna Grant


Jacket Summary:
New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant returns to Texas, where a small-town legend just might find the greatest gift of all. . .


’Tis the season for ex-Navy SEAL Clayton East to come home for the holidays—even if the mood at home is anything but festive. His father is ill. The East Ranch is in financial trouble. And now it’s on Clayton, the prodigal son, to make sure his family doesn’t lose everything. 


Headstrong Abby Harper is like a mother to her younger brothers, who she’s helped raise since she was a teenager. Keeping them in line is no small task while she’s also working toward her college degree. And now that one of her brothers has been arrested for stealing cattle at the East Ranch, Abby is at her wits’ end. But there is a silver lining: Clayton East. He believes in second chances, and is willing to give one to her brother this Christmas. Letting beautiful Abby—and the inescapable longing in his heart—off the hook, however, is a whole ’nother story. Could it be that the woman of this local hero’s dreams has been back at home all along? 



Author Bio:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. She’s written more than thirty novels spanning multiple genres of romance including the bestselling Dark King stories, Dark Craving, Night’s Awakening, and Dawn’s Desire. Her acclaimed series, Dark Warriors, feature a thrilling combination of Druids, primeval gods, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children, a dog, and four cats in Texas.
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Donna Grant
When do the holidays official start for you?
I’d say October 1st, because I get ready for Halloween. Then November 1st to get ready for Thanksgiving, but it day after Thanksgiving, it’s all Christmas!
What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?
The decorations. I love to see it all!
Are there any holiday traditions you do every year without fail?
We spend Christmas Eve at my parents where there is a bunch of finger foods. Then Christmas Day everyone comes to my house where we have gumbo (Cajun tradition). Then we head to the movies about about 2.
What’s your favorite holiday movie?
It’s a toss up between White Christmas and Love Actually and Christmas Vacation. We watch them every year.
Do you have a favorite holiday book?
No. I’m an equal opportunist for holiday books. 🙂
What’s your all-time favorite holiday song?
White Christmas
What’s your favorite activity during fall or winter?
Around me we have the Texas Renaissance Festival, which is the largest in the US. It always begins at the end of September and runs until Thanksgiving weekend. It always signals the begin of fall for us.
What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever received or given?
I received my long-haired Chihuahua for Christmas. She was unexpected, but so amazing!
Do you have any items on your wish list this year?
Walls. The flood from Hurricane Harvey took everything, but I’d like walls and doors for privacy again. lol
Any resolutions or goals for next year?
I try to make some improvement each year. For 2017 it was balance. I’m not sure what 2018 will be yet. I might still need to work on balancing everything.




HOPE AT CHRISTMAS by Nancy Naigle


Jacket Summary:
Sydney Ragsdale is divorced, but her husband is still calling the shots. In an attempt to shake free from his hold, she and her daughter, RayAnne, head for tiny Hopewell, North Carolina to the only asset her ex has no control over – a decaying farmhouse that once belonged to her grandparents. She finds solace at The Book Bea, the bookstore she’d loved as a child during her summer stays. 


Kevin MacAlea, Mac to his friends, is the local high school history teacher and baseball coach. Father of a twelve-year-old son, he’s Hopewell, North Carolina’s most sought after bachelor. His young bride abandoned him and his son just before Christmas and has never come back. It has left his son bitter about Christmas which is hard for Mac who loves the magic of the season. He’s been the Santa here in Hopewell since the year Seth was born. 


When a catastrophe forces The Book Bea to close before the end of the year, everyone in the small town is feeling the loss. While Sydney is already off-balance by the bad news, her ex-husband breaks a promise to their daughter that sends Ray Anne running away. As Sydney tries to figure out what her next steps are she discovers all of the answers are right here in Hopewell.




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

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Nancy Naigle
When do the holidays official start for you?
I used to believe I was an “after Thanksgiving” gal when it came to gearing up for the holidays, however, the last two years I’ve had Christmas books come out in October so I’m totally amped up extra early. Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas starts in late October too, and I’ll be tuned into those movies no matter when they start. So, Merry Christmas with a pumpkin and turkey feather on top!
What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?
The smell of pine from a fresh cut tree throughout the house, and getting more intense every time I vacuum up the needles. Warm aromatic afternoons of baking. Crafting homemade gifts. Fellowship. Christmas movies and cocoa. Glossy gift wrap, and wire ribbon that makes a simple shoelace bow look pretty on a package.
Are there any holiday traditions you do every year without fail?
Baking cookies. Old family favorites, and a few new recipes which always results in at least one complete #fail.
What’s your favorite holiday movie?
My favorite all-time holiday movie is the original Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is still my very, very favorite. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I still tear up when the Abominable Snowman bonks poor Rudolph on the head. Thank goodness for good ol’ Hermie the wanna-be dentist!       
Do you have a favorite holiday book?
I love all those special sized hardcover holiday books. I have a shelf dedicated to them. One that I really love is by Debbie Macomber — THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT CHRISTMAS. The beautiful gold cover perfectly envelopes the warm story inside.
What’s your all-time favorite holiday song?
Silent Night.
What’s your favorite activity during fall or winter?
Bundling up and stargazing on a chilly night.
What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever received or given?
Homemade gifts. Always!  Among them, an old Singer sewing machine with the metal frame turned into a table, a handcrafted snack jar made out of wood with a mason jar, loop potholders, and homemade Christmas ornaments. A girl can never have too many ornaments, right?
Do you have any items on your wish list this year?
I don’t have any tangible items on my wish list. Making happy memories is all I wish for this year.
Any resolutions or goals for next year?
To live a healthier lifestyle, and figure out how to do that while integrating more book events into my schedule so I can meet more of the dear readers who’ve blessed me with spending their free time reading my books. Thanks, y’all.




Deck the Halls by Donna Alward


Jacket Summary:
With shades of It’s a Wonderful Life, one man must face his past to find his future this Christmas.


In the last year, George’s life has drastically changed. The formerly homeless veteran now has a job he likes, a family in the residents of Darling, VT, and for the first time in years, a home. But while his present is good, he’s still haunted by the past, a past that appears shortly before Christmas when the older sister of his brother-in-arms hunts him down and finds him in Darling, working at the Ladybug Garden Center. 


Amy’s looking for closure for her family after her brother’s death in the Middle East, but the serious man she finds working in Vermont doesn’t resemble the soldier she remembers from years before. This man is hardened and yet somehow fragile, too, and in her desire to find out what really happened to her brother, she learns more about George than she ever expected.


With a little Christmas magic and the whole town supporting them, can these two bruised hearts make a future together?



Author Bio:
A busy wife and mother of three (two daughters plus the family dog), Donna Alward believes hers is the best job in the world: a combination of stay-at-home mom and romance novelist. Donna loves being back on the East Coast of Canada after nearly twelve years in Alberta where her romance career began, writing about cowboys and the west. She is the author of Somebody Like You, Somebody’s Baby, and Someone to Love.

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Donna Alward
When do the holidays official start for you?
December 1 – or the weekend just preceding it. That’s when we get out the decorations and go crazy.
What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?
THE MOVIES. I love sitting with my kids (who are of the nearly-adult variety) and watching holiday movies with a glass of wine or hot cocoa.
Are there any holiday traditions you do every year without fail?
Tons! There are certain things we bake. We have a whole bunch of Christmas Eve traditions, including a barbecue (steak!), putting presents under the tree, going for a drive to see the lights, and watching The Polar Express. And even at their age, they still ask me to read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.
What’s your favorite holiday movie?
I have too many – my fave depends on my mood. Top contenders: Christmas Vacation, Christmas with the Kranks, White Christmas, Love Actually, The Polar Express.
Do you have a favorite holiday book?
Hmmm. I don’t tend to re-read holiday themed books, but I’ll confess that I have a soft spot for any (all) of the Christmas books in the Chesapeake Shores series. Those O’Briens… 🙂
What’s your all-time favorite holiday song?
Nat King Cole’s version of The Christmas Song. Simplicity and nostalgia all rolled into one smooth voice.
What’s your favorite activity during fall or winter?
Cozy nights with a glass of wine and a book. LOL! Seriously though, I miss living near the Rockies, because the skiing there spoiled me for anywhere else.
What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever received or given?
One year my sister put together a recipe book with our mom’s fave recipes over the years. She added some of her own, too, but if I want something that Mom used to make back in the eighties? It’s in that book!
Do you have any items on your wish list this year?
Yes! Yoga socks, books, and a kindle.
Any resolutions or goals for next year?
Do better. 🙂



Christmas at Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer

Jacket Summary:
The best gift of all is the one you share with someone else. . .
From the moment he strode through the iron gate and into the offices of Two Love Lane on a crisp December day, it was obvious that Deacon Banks was something different. He wasn’t a Charleston native, not with that adorable Yankee accent. And unlike the usual client at the elegant matchmaking agency, he had no interest in finding a woman to marry—just a few no-strings dates while he was in town. 
Macy Frost takes her professional services very seriously—how could she not, when she’s rumored to be a direct descendant of Cupid? Tech entrepreneur Deacon says he’s just trying to make his social-climbing aunt happy by being seen out and about with a few prominent beauties, but Macy insists she can make her client fall in love…for real. And Deacon can’t help but think she might be right. As charming as the palmetto trees and magnificent harbor may be, it’s the beautiful, breath-of-fresh-air Macy who’s become Deacon’s favorite part of the scenery. But can the hopelessly romantic Southern belle stop trying to fix him up and just let Cupid do his work on her own heart?


Author Bio:
Kieran Kramer, author of the Impossible Bachelors series, was born in Washington, D.C. to an Air Force pilot father and actress/singer mother. She grew up mainly on Johns Island, a rural sea island near Charleston, South Carolina, where she helped build her family’s log home. Having worked for the CIA and as journalist for The Charlotte Observer, Kieran is now a stay-at-home mom. She once won $34,000 on Wheel of Fortune, and also won on Family Feud. She’s been married to her naval officer husband, Chuck, for twenty-one years, and they have three children.

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Kieran Kramer
When do the holidays official start for you?
Thanksgiving Day, as soon as I turn on the TV to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade! Can’t miss the Rockettes segment, ever!
What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?
Inhaling the delicious scent of the Christmas tree, seeing the twinkling lights, hanging out with the family and our friends.
Are there any holiday traditions you do every year without fail?
I always make frosted sugar cookies, and I always try to watch as many Christmas movies as I can. I also try to go to the Holiday Boat Parade in Charleston harbor!
What’s your favorite holiday movie?
It’s a Wonderful Life; I never get tired of it!
Do you have a favorite holiday book?
Definitely How the Grinch Stole Christmas….
What’s your all-time favorite holiday song?
Away in the Manger sung by Julie Andrews–the UK version of the melody
What’s your favorite activity during fall or winter?
baking bread, using my crockpot, reading cozy books, buying myself winter clothes, going to parties, eating holiday cookies
What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever received or given?
My favorite gift is having my family all together in one place. Nothing matters more. Sometimes we can’t all be together, so I cherish the Christmases that we can celebrate under one roof.
Do you have any items on your wish list this year?
Yes, having my own little family together again–the last two years some of us have been overseas. But if I have to mention something from the store, I’d love to have some canvases and paint and painting lessons!
Any resolutions or goals for next year?
Yes, to slow down and get centered, to really look around each day and marvel at this beautiful world filled with people who all want to love and be loved. I refuse to let the haters in. Oh, and I have to keep dancing to my Alexa, haha!!



A Season of You by Emma Douglas


Jacket Summary:
It’s Christmastime in the quaint island town of Cloud Bay, where love is always in season…
Will has believed in love at first sight since the day he first laid eyes on Mina Harper five years ago. There was only one problem: She was happily married. Then, when Mina’s husband was killed by a drunk driver, Will figured she’d want nothing to do with a guy who owns a whiskey distillery. So he’s kept his feelings locked away, knowing that not even a Christmas miracle would be enough to melt Mina’s heart. . .
Mina believes her days of true love are behind her. Since losing her husband she’s kept to herself, content to do her own painting and stay out of the limelight that comes with her famous family. But when, after a freak accident, Will comes to her rescue, Mina can’t quite get him out of her mind. As curiosity turns into a fling during Cloud Bay’s first Christmas Festival, she finds it harder to convince herself that her feelings for Will are just mistletoe-inspired. Could Mina be ready to lay the past to rest and finally admit that what she really wants for Christmas—and forever—is Will?


Author Bio:
Emma Douglas would love to live in a world where professional napping was a thing. But until then, she thinks writing books is a pretty awesome alternative. When not writing about imaginary people, she can be found reading, doing something crafty, binge-watching TV, playing her latest song crush on repeat, or singing badly in her car. She lives in Melbourne, Australia in a tiny house stuffed full of books, too many craft supplies and two cats who take up more space than you would expect. Find out more about Emma at http://www.emmadouglasbooks.com.
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Emma Douglas
When do the holidays official start for you?
After my mom’s birthday which is early December!
What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?
Getting together with my family and friends and just having a good time with the people I love.
Are there any holiday traditions you do every year without fail?
Making the plum pudding with my mum and watching Carols by Candlelight which is broadcast on TV here in Oz on Christmas Eve.
What’s your favorite holiday movie?
Die Hard
Do you have a favorite holiday book?
The Father Christmas Letters by J.R.R Tolkien. Gorgeous illustrations and funny! They’re letters he wrote to his kids (as Father Christmas) each year, telling the stories of what had been happening at the North Pole that year.
What’s your all-time favorite holiday song?
O Holy Night because I love the melody.
What’s your favorite activity during fall or winter?
I do Christmas in summer here in Oz so that makes it swimming or otherwise avoiding the heat. But in winter I have a weird liking for walking in the cold, as long as I can thaw out with a good book afterward.
What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever received or given?
Both my current cats I gave myself for Christmas but that probably doesn’t count. I got a membership to the local zoo which was fun as I like to wander around there. Other than that, like a true bookworm, every year I love getting books.
Do you have any items on your wish list this year?
Nothing big but I’m sure I’ll come up with a list of books and art supplies that would be great to get.
Any resolutions or goals for next year?
Both to write more and to have more time for non-writing things. Maybe I need a clone for Christmas?





Christmas in Kilts by Terri Brisbain, Lecia Cornwall, Brownwen Evans, Lavinia Kent, May McGoldrick


Jacket Summary:
Tis the season to fall in love! These five bestselling authors bring you great tiding of highlanders and romances this holiday season!


A HIGHLANDER’S HOPE by Terri Brisbin

A village harlot who would never dream she could have a different life meets a Highlander who visits for the holidays and brings with him an offer and hope.


A HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS WAGER by Lecia Cornwall

When a snowstorm forces a charming lass hiding a broken heart to take shelter in a castle with three fine Highland lairds just days before Christmas, there’s a game afoot—who will be the first to win a kiss and maybe her heart.


A SCOT FOR CHRISTMAS by Bronwen Evans

She’s ready to embrace her life and future as a spinster, he’s trying to have one last hurrah before he gives into his family’s wishes and proposes marriage to his neighbor, but fate has other ideas when the lady and the Scot meet at a holiday house party in the wilds of Scotland.


LEFTOVER MISTLETOE by Lavinia Kent

What happens when a highlander finds himself stranded, maybe kidnapped, with an English lady around Christmas… maybe the mistletoe will help answer that question.


SWEET HOME HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS by May McGoldrick

An encounter between an English officer and a desperate aunt trying to keep custody of her young niece leads to a little magic during the holidays.


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Terri Brisbin
When do the holidays official start for you?
Thanksgiving!
What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?
Family! And now watching the grandkids celebrating!
Are there any holiday traditions you do every year without fail?
Our traditions have changed a bit as my sons married and grandkids began arriving. The one thing we still do is gather to decorate the Christmas tree at our house.
What’s your favorite holiday movie?
Christmas Vacation and Elf    
Do you have a favorite holiday book?
I just love reading holiday romance anthologies!
What’s your all-time favorite holiday song?
A Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses
What’s your favorite activity during fall or winter?
I love walking in my neighborhood after a new snow.
What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever received or given?
My favorite gift was when I arranged a surprise family trip to Disney World for Christmas! It was hard but I succeed!
Do you have any items on your wish list this year?
None yet but there will be!
Any resolutions or goals for next year?
It’s been a really difficult 2017 so my resolution for 2018 is to make sure my loved ones know they are…loved.


Bronwen Evans
When do the holidays official start for you?
Mid December
What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?
Guilt free reading and being with my family. Even an author needs down time.
Are there any holiday traditions you do every year without fail?
Besides putting up my Christmas tree? I always make a pavlova with kiwi fruit for our Christmas day dessert. Remember it’s summer in New Zealand.
What’s your favorite holiday movie?
I have three – Love Actually (one of my favourite movies of all time) and Die Hard and Lethal Weapon. I love action movies.
Do you have a favorite holiday book?
No, but I will say one Christmas a friend kept telling me to read JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood as I had never read it. So I decided to read book 1. Well, over the Christmas break I read all 12 in a row!
What’s your all-time favorite holiday song?
Mary’s Boy Child by Boney M
What’s your favorite activity during fall or winter?
Well, it’s summer in New Zealand at Christmas, and I love simply getting out my Kindle, pulling up my lounger, and lying by my pool reading a great romance book.
What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever received or given?
I love giving, who doesn’t. So I usually give anonymous gifts to my friends children. I knew one child was saving for a present but would be short, so I sent him a card with money in it from Santa. Seeing his joy was priceless. My most memorable gift was when I was 7 and I got my first puppy. I’ll never forget seeing his little nose poking over the edge of the box and hearing his little barks.
Do you have any items on your wish list this year?
Not really. I have a book wish list and at least everyone knows I’m easy to buy for.
Any resolutions or goals for next year?
I haven’t thought about it yet, but I usually just wish for my family to be happy and healthy.


May McGoldrick
When do the holidays official start for you?
The holiday season has no start or end in our house. We are a multi-cultural and multi-denominational family. One holiday hands off the fun to the next…and the next…and the next…And then we start again! Our full name is ‘May Your Holidays be Endless McGoldrick’! (You can call us ‘Festive’ for short.)
What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?
Family get-togethers
Are there any holiday traditions you do every year without fail?
Before Christmas, we have a ‘Gingerbread House Night.’ I always think simple…graham crackers, candies, some frosting for the roof of a quaint little cottage. My competitive and mildly cutthroat family members, however, build the Golden Gate Bridge, the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, the White House…
What’s your favorite holiday movie?
Love, Actually
Do you have a favorite holiday book?
The Night Before Christmas
What’s your all-time favorite holiday song?
Christmas is All Around You (Bill Nighy via The Troggs)
What’s your favorite activity during fall or winter?
Pick your own peaches. Pick your own apples. Pick your own pumpkin. Cut your own Christmas tree. And reading.
What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever received or given?
For all the years our sons were young, we hid Christmas gifts all over the house. Assembly and wrapping took place after the boys were asleep on Christmas Eve. I remember the year when I used the last bit of wrapping paper while congratulating myself on my precision and planning. What I didn’t know was that Jim had yet to wrap my gifts.
The next day, we all lined up on the stairs and then raced down to see what Santa left for everyone. The most charming gift was sitting under the tree. A large black trash bag containing Nikoo’s gifts…tied up with a bow.
Do you have any items on your wish list this year?
A cottage on the beach in Southern California. Jim says, “Keep writing.”
Any resolutions or goals for next year?
Smile every day.
Write every day.
Make others happy.


Lecia Cornwall
When do the holidays official start for you?
We officially call it Christmas the day of the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, which is in late November. We watch the parade on TV, have our first toast of eggnog, and enjoy the season’s first batch of Very Special Christmas Chocolate Chip Cookies. Then on the closest Saturday to December 13–that’s my husband’s birthday–we go out as a family to get our Christmas tree (we still have a real tree) and put it up.  
What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?
Family and food.
Are there any holiday traditions you do every year without fail?
Christmas baking is a huge tradition for us. I make Very Special Christmas Chocolate Chip cookies, Quiche for Christmas breakfast, and Kulach (Ukrainian Christmas bread).
What’s your favorite holiday movie?
Hard Question! The Bishop’s Wife, perhaps, though Love Actually, White Christmas, and Polar Express are very close seconds (or thirds and fourths).
Do you have a favorite holiday book?
I have a small collection of Christmas books that my mother used to put out as decorations every year. When I was little, I loved the one about old fashioned Victorian Christmases, and I adored the gorgeous illustrations in a children’s book called Once In Royal David’s City. My mother also had a book of poetry and stories called 1000 Beautiful Things, which includes a story called The Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke. I’m not sure if it’s the memory of my mother reading that story to me or the story itself I loved, but I still have the battered book, and treasure it.
What’s your all-time favorite holiday song?
Another tough question! “Merry Christmas, Darling” by The Carpenters,
“J-I-N-G-L-E Bells” by Frank Sinatra, and anything from Loreena McKennitt’s album To Drive The Cold Winter Away.
What’s your favorite activity during fall or winter?
I love planning for the holidays, and being outdoors, that includes walking with my dog through the fall colours along the Bow River, baking and cooking for Thanksgiving (in mid-October in Canada), decorating the front porch for Halloween, raking leaves and putting the garden to bed for the winter, and stringing up the outdoor Christmas lights on one of the last nice fall weekends before it gets too cold (we don’t turn them on until December 1, which was one of my father’s rules). My now-grown kids still make ice luminaria for Christmas and New Year’s Eve whenever it’s cold enough outside to freeze a bucket of water (Try this, readers, they’re gorgeous, and a little bit of Christmas magic in the dark. Fill a bucket with water. It freezes overnight, but the centre of the ice block stays liquid. Take the ice block out of the bucket, chip a hole in the top, pour out the water, and set the luminaria outside with a tea light candle inside).
What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever received or given?
When I was first married, my in-laws gave us airline tickets so we could fly to Calgary to spend Christmas together as a family. Christmas with my own family growing up was usually very stressful, but my in-laws filled Christmas with love, laughter, warmth, and fun. Although my children are grown (aged 23 and 26), I’ve been fortunate enough to have them home for Christmas every year, and to me that’s the best Christmas gift of all.  
Do you have any items on your wish list this year?
New books are always welcome or maybe just an extra shelf for my massive (and ever growing) to-be-read pile! There’s also the traditional Miss America answer to this question–a wish for world peace–but doesn’t it just seem more important than ever this year?
Any resolutions or goals for next year?
I always set goals in categories: personal, career, home/family, and new things I want to try. I’m usually good about achieving the career and family goals, but not so good at the personal or new ones. I already know that next year will be full of huge new challenges and opportunities for me, so at the moment my goal is to find my way through whatever comes with as much grace and balance as possible.




FGMAMTC 

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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Angels and Man-Beasts by T.L. West Blitz

Title:  Angels and Man-Beasts
Series:Author: T.L. West
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: October 16, 2017
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 22000
Genre: Paranormal, angels, were-creatures, banshees, fantasy, paranormal, explicit, gay, mythical creatures, gods, shifters

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Synopsis


Zachary is an ordinary young gay man. He works for his father, has a crush on his straight roommate, and likes to procrastinate.
While visiting his aunt’s old cabin, he finds a wounded man, and the door to safety is forever closed. At first, Zachary doesn’t know what to make of the handsome stranger dressed as a knight, but he feels a connection with him.
Zachary’s life is turned upside down as his eyes are opened to the supernatural world. Not only must he survive dangerous man-beasts, but he is also forced to make sense of what it means to fall for an angel, and involve himself in a war between the Gods.

Excerpt

Angels and Man-Beasts
T.L. West © 2017
All Rights Reserved
Chapter One
“Are we safe?” asked Grant. He looked at his twin brother, Brent. They were in a forest, hiding behind one of the numerous wide trees. They had been on the run for hours now, and Grant wasn’t sure if he could keep going any longer. He couldn’t understand why this was happening to them. They had done nothing wrong. He looked at the full moon shining in the dark sky above him. He could feel its power inside him, but it wouldn’t be enough to defeat the creature that was after them.
“Shhh!” Brent instructed him, not taking his eyes off the path the creature would come through. Grant saw Brent’s elongated fingernails digging into the tree trunk. Grant could sense his brother’s emotions, and it worried him. He knew Brent was thinking of fighting their pursuer.
“Don’t,” whispered Grant as he placed his hand on Brent’s arm, trying to calm him down.
“What choice do we have?” Brent answered through gritted teeth. “We’re dead either way. Might as well put up a fight against that thing!”
“But we’re nearly there, aren’t we?” asked Grant. “We’re near to—”
“Those humans don’t care about the likes of us!” Brent cut through. “If the Rockfort Paranormal Department really did care for us we wouldn’t be running for our lives right now.”
Grant stayed quiet. A part of him wanted to believe his brother, but he also didn’t want to give up hope. He had seen his pack and some officials from the Rockfort Paranormal Department, or RPD, interacting quite respectfully with each other. Both Grant and Brent belonged to a registered werewolf pack in the area. They were under the protection of the department as long as they followed RPD’s rules.
But where were they when your whole pack was massacred? The question shot into Grant’s mind. He and his brother were out scavenging for food when they’d felt something occurring. They immediately knew their pack was in danger. They had hurried back but weren’t able to reach them in time. Their alpha, their friends, everyone lay dead in front of them. It was Brent who saw the attacker first, hiding in the shadows of the forest, and he pointed it out to Grant.
Grant had never seen such a creature in his life. In the few seconds he was able to look at it before the two ran away, Grant could only make out a silhouette of a humanoid form with large wings, and a flash of silver that could’ve been a sword.
But what supernatural being had such large wings and carried a sword? thought Grant. He couldn’t make sense of what was happening right now. He just wanted everything to end. It all felt like a nightmare he wasn’t able to wake from.
“It’s here,” said Brent, and he walked away from the tree.
Not wanting his brother to fight alone, Grant also came out of hiding. The humanoid form in front of them slowly walked near. Grant couldn’t see any wings as the creature shone under the moonlight. He was sure it had wings when he had seen it before. The humanoid creature wore a silver cloak, its face covered with a hood, but Grant could still make out long strands of silver hair from underneath. What is this creature? The only thing Grant was sure about was that it wasn’t human. It smelled different than anything he had encountered before.
“What do you want from us?” Brent growled. He bared his fangs at the enemy, and his eyes flashed orange.
The being stopped a few feet away from the twins.
“Answer me!” Brent growled again. “Why did you attack our pack?”
The being didn’t answer. It reached around its back and took out a long sword. It held up the sword and pointed it at Brent.
“Take that thing away from my face!” yelled Brent, and he dashed headfirst to attack the enemy. Grant hesitated for a moment but followed his brother. Brent raised his claw to strike at his opponent. There was a sharp sound of a sword slashing through the air.
“Ahhhhhh!” cried Brent as he dropped to his knees. Grant couldn’t make himself say anything to his brother. Brent’s cries of pain spread throughout the forest. The being had cut his hand clean off with a single swipe. Finally forcing his body to move, Grant came between his brother and the sword-wielding creature.
“No! Grant! You need to run!” Brent growled through the pain.
“I’m not leaving you,” said Grant, not taking his eyes off the attacker.
The creature raised the sword again. It came down at him, but through sheer luck Grant was able to dodge it. Making the most of the opportunity, Grant body-slammed the attacker.
“What the heck?” Grant’s eyes opened wide in surprise. He had used all his might against the enemy, but it hadn’t moved an inch.
“Grant!” Brent called out before pulling his brother away from the attacker.
Grant immediately got up on his feet from the place his brother had thrown him. “No! No! No!” Grant shook his head at the image in front of him. His brother had been cut in two. He died saving him.
The being looked at the sliced-up body of the werewolf on the ground and then slowly turned its head to stare at Grant. It’s over, thought Grant as the being walked toward him. It’s all over. He saw the sword in the air and closed his eyes to embrace death. Will it hurt?
The sound of metal striking metal made Grant open his eyes. Another humanoid being stood in front of him. It too was wearing a silver cloak that hid its face, and it also carried a sword. Grant quickly crawled away from the two strange beings as they continued their sword fight. Neither spoke a word as the sound of their sword strikes filled the forest around them.
Grant looked at his brother’s dead body. He couldn’t make himself leave without him. He had to give his brother a proper burial. “Run away!” cried the being that had saved his life.
“Huh!” Grant snapped out of the trance he was in.
“I said, run away!” yelled the being again. It was a man’s voice. It sounded human, but Grant knew better. Whatever those two were, they were definitely not human.
“The followers of Fenrir cannot escape my blade,” said the being that had murdered Grant’s pack. His voice seemed to hit Grant’s soul, sending a chill down his spine.
“Not all shape-shifters follow him,” answered the other being.
“I will not risk it,” said the enemy.
Making a promise to come back for his brother’s body, Grant got to his feet. He was about to run away when something sharp pierced his body. His rescuer yelled in anger, and then Grant fell to the ground, moving no more.
“I will make you pay for that, Adriel,” yelled the being. He wanted to keep yelling in anger, knowing that the young werewolf he had just tried to save was now dead.
“When will you learn, Barachiel?” Adriel smiled at his opponent as they blocked each other’s attacks. “They are all lost souls. They are beyond your help or anyone else’s.”
“No!” Barachiel swung his sword at Adriel, who easily dodged it.
“You are wasting my time.” Adriel didn’t care to hide the boredom in his voice. “If you feel love for these wretched beings, then you shall join them.”
There was a quick flash of silver, and pain surged throughout Barachiel’s body. His sword fell from his hand. “I will stop you,” he managed to say through the blood in his mouth.
“And I’ll be glad to see you try.” Adriel smiled at him. He walked toward Grant’s body and pulled the dagger he had thrown to kill the young werewolf from where it protruded from his back. “You are too young to understand the grand plan, my dear Barachiel.”
“What grand plan involves murdering the innocent?” asked Barachiel. He was on his knees. He couldn’t understand what kind of power Adriel had used on him. He wasn’t healing properly. The large wound on his chest wasn’t closing up the way it was supposed to. Barachiel looked at his sword. If only he could reach out and grab it.
“Unless you side with us, you are a disgrace to us all,” said Adriel. He looked at Barachiel’s sword on the ground. “You do not deserve this weapon.”
“I deserve it more than you,” Barachiel answered before spitting out more blood.
Adriel let out a laugh. “Fool,” he said looking at the sword in disgust. “Until next time, sweet Barachiel,” he added and walked away into the darkness of the forest.
Barachiel wanted to yell at him. He wanted to make him stop what he was doing, but he felt too weak. His eyes began to lose focus. I… I have to get up, he thought. He looked at the two dead werewolves near him. His heart ached at the sight of them. He could never forgive himself for not being able to save them and the rest of the beings Adriel had killed in cold blood. Mustering all of his energy, Barachiel forced himself to stand. He picked up his sword and started to walk slowly through the forest. I should’ve healed by now, he thought. What did Adriel use on me?
Barachiel remembered a cabin he’d seen while on his way to rescue the werewolves. He decided to go there to rest and heal himself. He tried not to think about the other innocent beings that Adriel was on the hunt for. He couldn’t understand how the fear of Fenrir, the wolf god of blood and chaos, was enough for Adriel to go to such lengths. He too feared the revival of God Fenrir, but that didn’t mean his kind should go and kill every werewolf and shape-shifter in sight. That was not the purpose of their kind.
Barachiel remembered his birth as he made his way toward the cabin. He was made out of pure light along with numerous others. Angelic beings like him were born as either young males or females. But they could also choose the gender they preferred. They stayed young and served their Gods as immortals. They were only able to be killed by a God or a supernatural creature.
He was only a few days old when the war among the Gods occurred, and he didn’t want to experience it again. Darkness filled the realms and all of existence was at the brink of destruction. He didn’t fight during the war. He was deemed too young by his creator, Perun, one of the many Gods of thunder and lightning. But he still remembered the countless lives that were lost. But now, being 2030 years old, and after years of study and combat training, he knew he had what it took to stop such a war from occurring again. He couldn’t let a wound keep him down.
Barachiel opened the wooden door of the cabin. He walked in. He could see cobwebs on the ceiling and even on some of the old pieces of furniture. The single window was covered in…fungus? Grease? Moss? Barachiel didn’t have time to make sure. There was also a fireplace and a small kitchen. It wasn’t large, but it would have to do for now.
He smiled when he saw the bed a few feet away. He took off his cloak and placed it on an old chair near the door. He walked the short distance across the room and placed his sword next to the one-person bed. It disappeared, waiting to be summoned again. Without wasting time, he sat on the bed and then lay down to rested his head on the pillow. Things like dusty sheets didn’t bother a being like him.
A few strands of his blond hair fell on his forehead, but he felt too weak to brush them away. He closed his eyes to rest and give his body time to recuperate, knowing that as soon as he regained his health he would go after Adriel and do his best to stop another war from occurring.

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Meet the Author

T.L. West is an author of paranormal romance, mystery and fantasy. He enjoys writing characters that grow during the story and feel relatable to readers. His stories are a mix of romance, action, and danger. He’s been writing since high school. He has a degree is Human Genetics. Along with writing stories he also loves staying healthy, drawing, reading and taking the time out to relax. He likes maintaining his privacy. You can find T.L. on Twitter.

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