Look Who Dropped In Today: Georgeann Swiger

This morning, I’d like to introduce Georgeann Swiger who’s here to promote her new novel, Cloven (The Trinity of Souls #2). In this YA fantasy novels, angels and demons compete once again> Who’ll be the winner when the prize is love?

CLOVEN-EBOOKAbout Cloven

What would you do if the only things standing between you and the angel you love were another angel and the fiery pits of Hell?
When Anya and Micah declare their love for each other, the battle for the souls of the star-crossed angels stretches across the heavens. With Heaven forbidding their love, Micah vows to protect Anya by sentencing himself to Hell.

But Anya won’t let him go without a fight. She goes into Hell after him, only to discover an angel from Micah’s past is willing to do anything to keep Micah in Hell.

With love and lies blinding Micah, Anya fights to get him to face his demons and return to Heaven, even if it means hearts will be broken.

The battle for the angels begins where it left off. Between Heaven and Hell is forbidden love.

Cloven will be available: 21st October 2014

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23164435-cloven

Pre-Order Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NSC1VPK

 SPECIAL TREAT ALERT!!!

AdornedWant to know how it all started? Adorned (The Trinity of Souls Book 1) is available free from Amazon.com and Barnes and Nobles for a limited time. 

When seventeen-year-old Anya finds out she’s going to become an angel, the rules about right and wrong change. Micah, the angelic soldier ordered to protect Anya, is determined to keep her pure for the transition from human to angel. Unwittingly, Micah becomes Anya’s greatest threat when she begins falling for her protector, a love that’s forbidden in heaven.Be sure to get your copy today!

 

Amazon Free Link: http://www.amazon.com/Adorned-Trinity-Souls-Georgeann-Swiger-ebook/dp/B00JG8QZ1U/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411468084&sr=1-1&keywords=adorned+georgeann+swiger

Barnes & Noble Free Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/adorned-georgeann-swiger/1119125704?ean=2940149544202&itm=1&usri=2940149544202

About the Author:

Georgeann

Georgeann Swiger earned her degree in journalism from West Virginia University, and then spent five years as an anchor/reporter at WBOY-TV in Clarksburg, WV. After having children, she left television news to be a stay at home mom. During that time, she discovered creative writing was more fun than writing about real life tragedy. Imagining interesting character and having them come to life on the page is now her passion. When she’s not writing, she works as a substitute teacher. She lives in Reedsville, West Virginia with her husband, two kids, a beagle dog and a temperamental cat who tries to rule the house.

Website. Twitter. Facebook. Pinterest.

Mid Week Tease: Holiday Magic

midweekteaseGood morning. Happy October. As a Canadian, the holiday season it almost upon us. We celebrate Thanksgiving on October 13th. Then comes Halloween, and finally Christmas. Thank you Sandra Bunino for providing this platform for us to share our work.

My indie published Christmas book, Holiday Magic, is available now from all Amazon venues. Here’s another taste of my holiday effort. Enjoy.

Book Blurb:

Seeing is believing, or is it?

Georgia Baxter loved everything about Christmas until she walked in on her fiancé in bed with another woman. Wounded and heart sore, she canceled her Christmas Eve fantasy wedding and fled to New York City, leaving everything and everyone, including her twin sister, Eleni, behind.

Three years later, still hurting but knowing it’s time to move on, she agrees to come home to help her sister, despite the fact she’ll be doing so at a time of year she now associates only with pain and betrayal. Discovering she’ll have to work closely with the man who shattered her dreams only makes things harder, especially when her body craves his touch.

Mark Anderson has no memory of his bachelor party other than waking up naked in the wrong woman’s bed. He clings to the hope someday he can convince Georgia to give him a second chance, but until she’s ready to listen, it won’t happen. Discovering she’s coming home to manage Holiday Magic for three months may be his lucky break.

Christmas tree Is there enough magic left in Christmas to help them overcome the past?

Amazon.com

Holiday Magic (2)Excerpt:

Three years later

 Georgia entered the brownstone and cursed. Who the hell is calling at this hour? They’d probably tried to call her cell number, first, but she’d dropped the damn thing and it hadn’t worked properly since. Hurrying as fast as she could in her four inch heels, she raced up the stairs, and quickly unlocked the door.

“I’m coming, damn it, I’m coming,” she yelled at the phone, fully aware of the fact whoever was on the end of the line wouldn’t hear her. She tossed her beret and purse on the table in the foyer and hurried into the living room and over to the end table where the phone sat. She checked the call display and picked up the receiver.

“Hello, Eleni, what’s wrong?” Her twin never called on Monday nights. She usually knew when something was wrong, so this was probably one of Eleni’s other emergencies.

“Finally!” Georgia heard the relief and excitement in her voice. “Your cell phone kept going to message, and then wouldn’t let me leave one. I must have called a dozen times. Why are you out of breath?”

Georgia shook her head before plopping down on the leather sofa and kicking off her Christian Louboutin shoes.

“Because I heard the phone ringing and ran up the stairs to answer it,” she said reigning in her impatience. “I dropped my damn cell phone Saturday, and I haven’t had time to get another one. I’ll do it in the morning. So, what’s the emergency?” As much as she loved her sister, Eleni was impulsive and had a habit of exaggerating. She could turn a molehill into a mountain in no time.

Eleni harrumphed loudly. “Yes, you’d better, and get with the times. You need a Smartphone. I can’t imagine how you manage without one. Texting is the way to go.”

While Georgia used Facebook and her Internet website to conduct business, she rarely did so with her personal life—not that she had much of one.

“Yes, boss,” she answered and laughed. Eleni had embraced recent technology with a vengeance. She was constantly texting both friends and suppliers. It was amazing she got any work done. “I’ll consider it, but even if I get one, I doubt I’ll be as comfortable with it as you are.”

“I was worried when I couldn’t reach you,” Eleni accused, and Georgia felt a twinge of guilt.

“I’m sorry. I know you’re concerned about me, Len, just as I worry about you, but I’m fine, really I am.”

“So you say, but if you were fine, you’d come home. You’d come back where you belong.” She stopped talking and Georgia sighed heavily.

Until three years ago, she and Eleni had been inseparable, but after Mark’s betrayal, Georgia had left everyone and everything behind to try and pick up the pieces of her life. Eleni hadn’t understood her need to be alone, but it’d been the right decision. Now, while she was still heart sore, she’d managed to find herself and get on with life.

“It’s late,” Eleni continued “You weren’t out walking the streets of New York alone at night again, were you?”

Georgia giggled at the image. “You make me sound like a hooker out looking for a john. Manhattan is a fairly safe area, but for your information, I was out having dinner with Gwen. We went to Ramon’s. I took a cab back. Now, what’s the problem?”

“There isn’t any problem. Can’t I call just to hear your voice?”

“Right, and I hear the Brooklyn Bridge is for sale again. We talked for two hours on Friday. You heard plenty of my voice then, but something’s going on. I can feel it. So, what’s up?”

“One of these days, I’ll learn how to surprise you, but you’re right.” The excitement she’d heard earlier was back in her sister’s voice. “Georgia, my design was chosen to be the theme for the Ocean Front Casino Resort’s Halloween extravaganza.”

“Eleni, slow down,” Georgia said, holding the phone away from her ear as her twin shrieked excitedly. “Do you mean your Druids’ Vale idea, the one you submitted to Dean Ashcroft at Moore College?”

“Yes. They loved it.”

“I told you it was an incredible concept. I’ve even designed a couple of Halloween jewelry pieces around it. I’m glad they chose to go with something fresh and different, but I didn’t think casinos decorated much, preferring to keep their clients glued to the tables and the one-armed bandits.”

“They don’t really decorate the gambling areas much. My designs will be implemented in the foyer, reception, restaurants, and the ball room.”

“I’m really proud of you, little sister.” Georgia smiled.

“Simmons is sending me a nice, healthy check and arranging for a complimentary room for the Halloween weekend.”

“That’s wonderful,” she exclaimed. “Let me finish the Druid jewelry I’m working on, and I’ll send it to you to wear that night. Who knows, I may sell a few pieces and make a nice chunk of change there, too. It could be a win-win situation.”

“Don’t send it, bring it. I get to take a plus one, and I want that plus one to be you,” Eleni said, the begging tone in her voice unmistakable. “We haven’t done anything together in ages. In fact, the last holiday we had was when we went to Cape Cod four years ago for Eloise Logan’s wedding.”

“You’re exaggerating again. You were here in August, remember? How else would I have seen those designs?” Georgia asked.

“You know what I mean. Besides, you worked almost the entire time I was there.”

“As did you, but you’re right. We haven’t had fun together in ages. When would you want to go?”

“Halloween’s a Friday night, and the fundraiser’s Saturday night. Thursday until Sunday? You could take the Atlantic City Express, and I can meet you at the station there. I’ll take the train, too. Please say you’ll come.”

“Of course I will. I wouldn’t miss seeing your design implemented, you know that,” Georgia pulled the phone away from her ear as Eleni whooped for joy. “You’re right. We haven’t had fun in ages. Okay, we’re talking a month from now, so that’ll give me lots of time to get my designs finished and make sure Mary Ellen can handle the shop for a few days. I’ll make the reservation first thing in the morning and send you the details. Let’s take a couple of extra days and go down on the 29th and come home on the 3rd.”

“The resort seems to be a perfect place for a getaway. I looked it up on line. There’s a spa and a pool. You don’t have to gamble if you don’t want to. I’ll call you with the details in the morning. Dean Ashcroft said if Mr. Simmons really liked my work, I could be looking at a permanent gig.”

“Wouldn’t that be something, but could you handle that and the rest of Holiday Magic?”

“I’d sure as hell give it a try. You manage to make both sides of Delicate Designs work.”

Georgia laughed and shook her head. It was so like her sister to dream the impossible dream. She had a habit of looking at the end and not thinking of the steps it would take to get there, oblivious to the man hours involved.

“Yeah, but what I sell on the Internet is the same as what I have in the shop or in your showroom. You’d be dealing with something entirely different.”

“Not if I just sell the concepts and don’t have to implement them like this time. It could work.”

“Well, let’s not go putting the cart before the horse again. Let’s see how the big boss likes Druids’ Vale and go from there. Goodnight, Len, and congratulations. You deserve it. I love you. ”

“I love you, too, little sister. G’night. I’m so excited, I doubt I’ll sleep a wink. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Georgia hung up the phone, and stood. Walking back to the hallway, she removed her coat and hung it in the closet, putting her beret on the shelf above it. She locked the apartment door and retraced her steps into the living room and picked up her shoes. They’d been an extravagant purchase, but she’d loved the black snakeskin pumps from the moment she saw them. Turning off the lamp, she flipped the hall switch and the kitchen was bathed in a soft white glow. After preparing the coffee maker for morning, she went into her bedroom. A quick glance at the clock showed it was after eleven.

No wonder Eleni had been worried, but they’d gone to late supper since Gwen had a cattle call and didn’t get out until after half-past seven. She wasn’t hopeful, and Georgia had done her best to raise her friend’s spirits. Why was life always full of disappointments? Her friend was incredibly talented, but…

One of the apartment’s biggest draw had been the oversized bedroom with its corner fireplace and window looking out on the park. Central Park had become both her refuge and her inspiration. No matter the season, there was a beauty about it she couldn’t deny. Many of the jewelry pieces she’d created had been based on the things she saw there, and since her shop, Delicate Designs II, was located so close to the park, she got lots of tourist walk-in  customers who recognized the various landmarks in the coat pins she designed.

Georgia closed the drapes and went over to her work table in the corner and turned on the light above the workspace. The mock-up of the pewter pendant of Stonehenge in a circle of holly was almost finished. She’d work on the smaller holly earrings tomorrow, and then make a coat pin to go with the set. Once it was done, she’d send it to the factory that turned her designs into affordable pieces.

She flipped through her drawing pad and stopped at the swan design she’d been working on earlier. She could get that piece finished tomorrow as well. She wanted to incorporate a Christmas aspect to the  graceful bird. Maybe a cloisonné bow in red, green, and gold around its neck would do the trick.

Georgia tossed the sketch pad back on the table and noticed the folded paper on the floor. She’d forgotten that sketch was there, and while the last thing she wanted was to look at it, she was drawn to do just that.

The thick gold band was simple in design and embossed with tiny roses. It was the matching ring that caught the eye. That band was the stem of a thornless rose. The ruby chips were laid out around the central stone in such a way as to form petals—a red rose, like the one in Beauty and the Beast—the rose that held the beat’s only hope for salvation if he could find love. She’d designed the rings for herself. They would have been her wedding rings. Tears slid down her cheek. She should toss this away, but couldn’t. Refolding the sheet of paper, she carried it to the dresser drawer and dropped it inside on top of the face down picture frame. She wouldn’t go there tonight.

Minutes later, she crawled into bed. She hated the nights, the one time when her hard-won independence and backbone deserted her. At first, each night had been an encore performance of the reason she’d fled Philadelphia in the first place. She’d wake up sobbing and lie there unable to sleep again for fear of seeing that image again. Gradually, the nightmares had stopped, but they’d been replaced by erotic dreams and fantasies of what she’d expected her life to be like.

Lately, the nights had been dream-free which was why she thought she might be ready to go home. She yawned. Eleni might not sleep tonight, but she hoped she would.

Now, please click on the linky list link and take time to visit other teasers. Linky list

Look Who Dropped By Today: Monica Garry-Allen

It’s my great pleasure this morning to welcome an old friendNGHLBanner to tell you about her re-released romantic comedy novel, The Makeover, the first book in her series, Nerd Girls Love Hard. I had the pleasure of reading the original release of this book and enjoyed it tremendously. Now that it’s been revised and re-released, I know you’re in for a real treat. Don’t forget your chance to win  in Monica’s giveaway at the end of this post.

 About The Makeover:

Revenge is a dish best served cold… while wearing heels.

April has just learned the real reason behind her boss’ impromptu dinner invitation. He only invited her to dinner with his colleagues to prove a point: that he can show up at an event with a plain Jane and still be considered ‘the man’. She expected better from him and had secretly hoped that one day their friendship would grow into something deeper.

But her two best friends won’t let her wallow in her pain. They convince her to give Dr. Stewart a dose of his own medicine. The plan: show up at the dinner looking irresistible and prove to her boss that even nerd girls can be sexy. But first, she has to replace her unattractive business suits with something sexier and more revealing. It’s time for a makeover.

Dr. Chad Stewart would never ‘really’ date his secretary. She was too good, to pure for someone as jaded as himself. It didn’t matter that he was half in love with her. But when he needed an ‘average date’ for a dinner party she was the first person he turned to. He thought his secretary was the perfect choice until he arrived to find her looking like his wildest fantasy. But now she knows the real reason for his invite and he can see in her eyes how hurt she is.

Can Chad convince her to forgive him for hurting her or will she walk out of his life… taking his heart with her?

wwydteasesrBUY LINKS:

Amazon U.S: http://www.amazon.com/Makeover-Monica-Garry-Allen-ebook/dp/B00N1CFSW4

Amazon U.K: http://www.amazon.com/Makeover-Monica-Garry-Allen-ebook/dp/B00N1CFSW4

Smashwords:https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/479697

All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-themakeover-1635428-344.html

NGLHwwyd 

A Taste of The Makeover:

 “That’s right. Your plan was to use me to advance yourself.”

“That was my plan. I admit it. I was wrong. What can I do to make you forgive me?”

He sounded sincere. The fact that his eyes seemed to be watering as he stared at her longingly confirmed the sincerity she heard in his voice. But she wouldn’t fall for it. She wouldn’t let him in, only to be hurt by him again in the future.

“There is nothing I want from you. There is nothing I want you to do other than to take me home, right now.” Those blasted tears were threatening to fall again. “Please just take me home.” Her voice broke on the last word. Chad held his hands up, surrendering to her demand.

“If you really want to go home, I will take you home. Just please answer one question for me?’

She didn’t want to answer any questions, but if it would get her home sooner she would.

“What is the question?”

“When I touch you, do you feel anything?”

Where had that question come from?

“Um…”

“I’m not finished. When we sip coffee together each morning, do you ever get the feeling that maybe we’re meant to be together? I know it sounds crazy, but even tonight, with everything that is going on, does a part of you feel the need to hold me and never let me go?”

Yes, yes, yes, that was exactly how she felt. How did he know? A sob escaped her lips. She put her hands over her face. She didn’t want to look at him. She didn’t want to hope that maybe he really felt those things he’d just said. Hope led to disappointment and she’d had enough disappointment in her life already. She couldn’t risk placing her hope in Chad. He’d already let her down once.

The sound of gravel crunching let her know he was taking a step closer to her. She took a step back, suddenly very aware of his presence. Sobbing into her hands, afraid to look up, she continued to walk backward and he continued to follow her.

Her back connected with something hard. She leaned back and felt the rough touch of tree bark against her exposed shoulders. Chad wrapped one arm around her waist and pulled her forward. His hand settled at the small of her back. He used his other hand to massage her shoulders. The feel of his hands on her bare skin made her tremble. Why did she want him so much?

“I messed up, April. If you give me another chance, I promise to never do anything like this again. Forgive me, please.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

e5f81ad57b360a8c0b12d5.L._V360467895_SX200_Author Monica Garry-Allen is a Clinical Laboratory Technician by day and a Romance writer by night. Since she’s a part of the medical field a lot of her characters have jobs as Doctors, Nurses, Laboratory Scientist and etc.

When she’s not working she enjoys reading, writing, and shopping. Cooking however, is not one of her hobbies. But thankfully her husband enjoys creating tasty meals therefore there’s no chance of her starving.

She enjoys traveling though she’s not much of an outdoors person. Give her an air-conditioned room, a good book, a cup of coffee and she’s in heaven.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Monica-Garry-Allen/e/B00DL2QNHI/

Web: http://mgarryallen.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MonicaGarryAllen

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MonicaGarry

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mgarryallen/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7145221.Monica_Garry_Allen

 Coming soon from Monica Garry-Allen:

Christmas Confusion (A New Adult Romantic Comedy)

Available for pre-order.
Release date: November 3, 2014.
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Confusion-Monica-Garry-Allen-ebook/dp/B00NHZ4ES4/

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GIVEAWAY TIME

NGLHHEELSREVENGETEASER1
What would you do if your boss treated you the way Chad treated April? Stop by the Nerd Girl Drama page and read what the nerd girls had to say, and then leave a comment stating which nerd girl you agree with.

Two lucky winners will be chosen on October 1st. Good luck!

CONTEST LINK: http://mgarryallen.wordpress.com/nerd-girl-drama-nerdsbelike/

 

Look Who Dropped By Today: Scott Springer

Welcome once again and author with Anaiah Press, Scott Springer whose latest novel, Bound By Blood, a romance,  was released last week. It’s a pleasure to be a stop on your blog tour. Bound by blood banner

Anaiah Press is a Christian publisher. This morning, Scott offers us a peek at Julia’s Diary:

Dear Diary,

I’m afraid.

I made it through another day drug free. I thank you, Jesus, for your support in this. You know it’s hard. I have not had any meth for three years now and still the little spark in my brain calls out for it. The rush from the drug was so immediate. Instantaneous gratification. Now my body is completely clean, but my mind remembers the spark. I’ve been told this will last forever, and in times of stress I may revert. I pray to you, Jesus, every day for strength, and You do provide. Together, I know we will win this fight.

But undo stress. Really? This is the last thing I need right now. See . . . there’s this new guy at work and he’s already asked me out. Are you kidding? Could he be any faster? I don’t want him. I don’t like him. But my hand is shaking. Literally, shaking as I write this. It’s shaking because my heart is so fluttery. It feels so good to breathe. I can’t take this. Because you see, he’s a player. Bright white teeth set in a self-satisfied grin. Overly confident in his charm. Yeah, right. I need this like I need a hole in my head. I’ve got to get control of myself, like right now, because he’s heartbreak. And when I’m down, I won’t be strong enough to resist my first ‘love.’ My brain remembers. Already I’m thinking about it.

Jesus, You are my strength. And You are the one true Love. The only true and good love that I have ever known. Jesus, You’ve got to help me through this.

And I know You will!

Amen

Bound by blood 1600x2400About Bound By Blood

Julia has accepted the Lord and is busy returning her life to order. She is not ready for love, especially when the new site foreman at work stirs up forgotten feelings. She knows a playboy when she sees one, but to Rick Mercado the attraction between them is surprisingly real. Other girls no longer interest him, and if she wants to play hard to get that’s fine with him. Let the games begin!

What he doesn’t realize is that her dangerous secret is not a game.

Julia’s brother has returned from the street, strung out and in trouble with rival gangs. Loyalty to her brother draws Julia deeper into a world of drug deals and thugs. Rick doesn’t understand why Julia won’t simply go to the cops, especially once the bullets start flying. As Julia slips further into a world of violence, Rick realizes how easily his heart can be broken. His brain says to run, but his heart isn’t listening. It may already be too late.

BOUND BY BLOOD. Love and suspense, heartfelt moments and guns a blazing.

What a killer combination!

Release Date: September 23, 2014

Book Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22365508-bound-by-blood

Anaiah Press: http://www.anaiahpress.com/

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Bound-Blood-Scott-Springer-ebook/dp/B00NO949Z6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411291813&sr=8-1&keywords=bound+by+blood+scott+springer

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bound-by-blood-scott-springer/1120359993?ean=2940046168280

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/476345

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/kd-uPrHn_NY

Rafflecopter: is available to US residents only.

Author Bio:

ScottSpringer author photo Scott Springer spent his youth playing pretend and dreaming of being a writer. As an adult he worked as a carpenter before becoming a software developer. Having produced much, his two children remain his proudest accomplishment. His wife led him to the Lord, and he’s glad that she did.

Website: www.scottspringer.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/sb_springer

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4771404.Scott_Springer

Christmas Comes Early! Holiday Magic Revised and Released

There are less than 90 days until Christmas. It’s hard to believe another year has gone by so quickly, but it has. Time seems to move much faster now, and more than ever, I realize life is too short for regrets.While we’ve been blessed with three days of incredible summer weather, the leaves on the trees, and the faded glory of my flowers tell me quite clearly that summer is over, UCV lightsand this is a make-up gift from Mother Nature for not giving us a real summer this year. But, it’ll be Christmas in no time, the season of the year I like best. I love the music and the decorating, the lights at Upper Canada Village, but I especially love the look on the faces of the children watching the parades or waiting to see Santa.

Last year, I released Holiday Magic with Front Porch Romance. The publisher pulled the plug on the publishing house in April and left all its writers high and dry with books that could no longer be sold. Thanks to my good friend Melinda De Ross at Classy Designs, Holiday Magic  is jumping out of my computer again with a brand new look. I chose to revise, essentially, rewrite the novel, and changed some scenes while adding others. If you read the first version and enjoyed it, this one I hope will have you saying, “Okay, now I understand what happened.” In this edition, Georgia gains a new perspective on life, including her understanding of the last leaf.

About Holiday Magic:

Seeing is believing, or is it?

Holiday Magic (2)Georgia Baxter loved everything about Christmas until she walked in on her fiancé in bed with another woman. Wounded and heart sore, she canceled her Christmas Eve fantasy wedding and fled to New York City, leaving everything and everyone, including her twin sister, Eleni, behind.

Three years later, still hurting but knowing it’s time to move on, she agrees to come home to help her sister, despite the fact she’ll be doing so at a time of year she now associates only with pain and betrayal. Discovering she’ll have to work closely with the man who shattered her dreams only makes things harder, especially when her body craves his touch.

Mark Anderson has no memory of his bachelor party other than waking up naked in the wrong woman’s bed. He clings to the hope someday he can convince Georgia to give him a second chance, but until she’s ready to listen, it won’t happen. Discovering she’s coming home to manage Holiday Magic for three months may be his lucky break.

Is there enough magic left in Christmas to help them overcome the past?

Holiday Magic is available in e-book format from Amazon.com

Excerpt from Holiday Magic:

“Well, you’re certainly eager to get going tonight,” Georgia Baxter said and smiled at her fiancé putting on his down jacket. “Slam, bam, thank you, ma’am, and by the way, dinner was good, too.”

Mark pulled her into his arms, and kissed her. Yielding to his gentle pressure, Georgia opened to him and felt heat pool in her stomach as it always did. Slowly pulling away, the evidence of his arousal obvious, he smiled down at her.

“You know damn well what I’d like to spend the evening doing, but Eleni’s home and Tony and the guys would be disappointed if I didn’t show up. Apparently, a bachelor party is a rite of passage not to be missed.”

“Sure it is,” Eleni said coming into the room from the kitchen and setting a platter of hors d’oeuvres on the table. “More like a reason to get wasted and go see the peelers.”

“Strippers? Moi?” Mark replied with an ‘I’d-never-do-that’ look on his face.

“Yes, toi,” Eleni answered. “You may be my future brother-in-law and my partner at Holiday Magic, but you are a man, and if you mix a group of Neanderthals, alcohol and naked women together, you get trouble waiting to happen.”

“I’m wounded by your lack of faith, Ms. Baxter.”

“Enough, you two,” Georgia said chuckling and stepped back into Mark’s arms. “If you do go see the ladies, and with Tony in charge you probably will, remember, look don’t touch. It doesn’t matter where you get your appetite, just remember, you’ve got dinner waiting at home.”

Mark pulled her closer and whispered in her ear. “I most certainly do. If I could, I’d sneak in later tonight for dessert.”

Georgia laughed. “And ruin my stellar reputation? Besides, you’ll smell like the bottom of a taxi cab. Eleni has all the girls coming over to make sachets for the tables. Having the fantasy wedding planner for a sister does make things complicated. She can be a slave driver at times.”

“Don’t I know it,’ Mark said. He pushed away and put on his boots.

Georgia sobered. “Be careful tonight. You aren’t driving, right?”

“No, ma’am. Cabbing it.” As if on cue a horn blared. “That’ll be my ride. Love you, babe. I’ll call you in the morning, and we can go down to the German market. We can pick out a tree for the loft. It’s so bare over there compared to this place. I hope you kept a few decorations to fix it up.”

“I have five boxes full of brand new things as well as the ones we bought last month. After we get the tree, we can decorate and have a nice quiet evening—maybe even a sleepover.”

“He’ll need it,” Eleni added before walking back toward the kitchen. “Have fun.”

***

Georgia closed the door quietly and stepped into the hallway, greeted by the scent of fresh pine from the small balsam tree in Eleni’s living room and the pine oil they’d used on the sachets last night. She took a deep breath. Christmas! She loved everything about the season from the mad rush for gifts to the beauty and serenity of a Christmas Eve church service. The lights and decorations turned ordinary places into magical ones, dispelling the gloom of winter’s darkest days. Smiling, excited children, anxious for a visit from Santa, reminded her of her own youth when everything had been carefree and wonderful. If she could wear pine-scented perfume, she would.

This year, Christmas was even better because all of her dreams would come true. In less than two weeks, on Christmas Eve, she’d marry the man she loved. Love wasn’t a strong enough word for the way she felt about Mark. She adored him. He was her hero, her soul mate, her best friend, and together they were going to have the best happily ever after.

Of all the fairy tales, the one she loved the best was Beauty and the Beast, possibly because it was the one with a brown-haired heroine. As a child she’d watched the video over and over again, had read the book so often the pages were dog-eared. She’d met Mark in Glee Club in high school, and the musical they’d performed that year was Beauty and The Beast—she’d been Belle, and he’d been the prince. It only seemed right to choose that theme for their fantasy wedding.

“Wow,” Georgia said entering the kitchen. “I didn’t expect to see you up before noon. I think you polished off more than your share of those concoctions you made—what did you call them?”

“Christmas cosmos, and try not to scream,” Eleni answered pouring coffee into a mug. “I have a bit of a headache.”

“I’ll bet you do.”

“Well, you know me, I don’t like to see anything go to waste. How come you’re dressed so early?”

“Early? Look at the clock, little sister, it’s almost noon.”

At five ten, Eleni stood a good six inches taller than Georgia, but she’d been born ten minutes later and that made her the younger twin, hence the little sister.

“Noon, schmoon. Have you looked outside? It’s still snowing. It’s been coming down all night. Today’s Saturday, and I have nowhere to go but back to bed. Where are you off to in this miserable weather?”

“Over to Lucy’s to bring her some of that chicken soup I made yesterday. The poor thing sounded awful on the phone when she called to cancel last night.”

Eleni shook her head and sighed. “You’re such a shmuck. Knowing that bitch, she probably just wanted to beg off doing any work. I don’t think you should go over there now. The snow’s really coming down. Why don’t you just call her?”

“Eleni Jean Baxter, you can be so mean when you want to be. If Lucy’s sleeping, I don’t want to wake her up. I’ve still got the key she gave me when she went on holidays last month. Maybe she didn’t want to be around us last night because she’s so depressed about Anton walking out on her like that and calling off their wedding. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if something happened between me and Mark.”

“Nothing’s going to happen to you two. Everything’s arranged, and then you’re off to Hawaii for three wonderful weeks. Sun, sand, and sex! I envy you big time.”

“Well, if you want to be a bride you have to quit playing the field and settle down. I thought you and Jeremy had a shot at it, but I see Larry’s your plus one. What happened?”

“Nothing, really, and that’s the problem. No sparks, and don’t tell me you and Mark don’t have sparks. “

“Oh, there’s lots of energy between us,” Georgia said and laughed. “I’m surprised we don’t combust spontaneously at times. He has an outrageous, insatiable appetite. I’m surprised he hasn’t called yet. I’ll bet he feels worse than you do.”

“He probably does. Larry called this morning.”

“Why? What happened?”

“Mark really tied one on—didn’t even stay until the end. Some guy poured him into a cab before eleven.”

“I’ll go over to the loft and take care of the poor baby after I see Lucy. Offer him something to take his mind off his pain. I might give him an analgesic, too.”

Eleni shook her head. “You’re bad. I’m sure hot sex is just what he needs. If you two keep at it like bunnies, I’ll be an aunty by this time next year.”

“I’d like that,” Georgia said. The thought of being a mother pleased her. “Who knows, maybe we’ll have twins.”

“Heaven help me—two rug rats.” Eleni rolled her eyes in mock horror. “How will I manage to spoil them equally?”

“You’ll find a way, but let’s not rush it. I just stopped the pills last month.”

“If you insist on going to Lucy’s first, fine, but personally, I’d skip the bitch and get right to the groom and work on my niece or nephew.”

“I don’t know why you don’t like her. You haven’t given her a chance which really isn’t like you.”

“It’s not that I don’t like her,” Eleni clarified, “it’s that I don’t trust her. She’s as phony as those 42Ds she brought home from Switzerland last year. You’re just too nice to see it. Lucy’s a user—she always has been, and that’ll never change. She wants something from you, but I haven’t the faintest idea what it is. Just watch your back, okay?”

“I don’t have anything to give, and you know it. The trust fund is all but empty since we used it to pay for school and start up Holiday Magic. De Boers pays me well, but not enough to keep me in the style she likes. Did you see those shoes she had on the other night? They must have cost five hundred dollars. I’m glad she agreed to be my bridesmaid because I’d never have gotten my flowers free”.

“I’d have paid for the flowers if I’d known that was why you asked her,” Eleni said. “Her family may own the flower shop, but I bet I could have gotten a discount. I still think she wants something. People like you. They don’t like her.

“If it’s the connections I have she wants, she’s welcome to them. Hobnobbing with Philadelphia’s rich and famous doesn’t mean a lot to me. But I think you’re wrong. She doesn’t have a lot of friends…”

“I wonder why.”

“Stop being so catty. I’ve got to go before the weather gets worse.” Georgia moved into the hall and put on her winter coat. Elemi followed her to the door, carrying the container of soup.

“You’re right, I’m being bitchy. Give her my best and take it easy on poor Mark. He’s suffering.”

Georgia laughed and left the apartment.

Twenty minutes later, she regretted her decision to go outside. The snow was deep and heavy, coming down the way it had the night her parents were killed. She shivered at the memory and wondered if it was an omen. She wasn’t really that superstitious, but she did read her horoscope.  Maybe she should just go over to the loft instead of going to see Lucy. It was on the other side of the city, and the trek back would be twice as long.

The light turned red. Pumping the brakes, she managed to decelerate and stop before the corner. Snow piled up on the windshield, the wipers barely able to keep a large enough space clear for her to be able to see. When the light turned green, she stepped on the accelerator, but instead of moving forward, the tires spun.

Great. I’m stuck. I guess no good deed goes unpunished.

She jumped at the sound of a thump on her trunk and looked in the rear view mirror. Two teenaged boys motioned for her to try and move again while they pushed her. With their help, the car’s winter tires bit into the snow and gripped, and she moved through the intersection. She honked her horn in thanks and continued toward Lucy’s, seeing her rescuers as a sign she was doing the right thing.

Ten minutes later, she pulled to the curb in front of the apartment building and parked. The plows had been by earlier, so she should be good for an hour or so before they made a second pass. She wouldn’t stay long, anxious to see Mark again. Her calls to his cell had gone straight to voice mail. He must have turned it off last night, or he’d forgotten to charge it, and the battery was dead. They hadn’t installed a land line yet.

Georgia stepped off the elevator on the twelfth floor and let herself into the apartment

“Hello? Anybody home?” she called. Mr. Whiskers, Lucy’s Siamese cat, ran into the foyer, meowing loudly.

“Hey, buddy,” she said softly. “Hasn’t Mommy fed you breakfast yet?”

She looked down the hall. Lucy’s bedroom door was closed, a fact which no doubt contributed to the cat’s irritation. Entering the kitchen, Georgia placed the container of soup in the fridge.

“I suppose you want something to eat?” she asked the cat wrapping himself around her ankles. Reaching into the cupboard, she removed the can of gourmet cat food and fed the animal whose purrs echoed in the silent kitchen.

“You’re welcome.”

Looking around the room, she spied the dry erase marker and left Lucy a note about the soup in the fridge. She was about to leave when a hacking cough erupted from the bedroom.

Poor thing. She’s sicker than I thought.

Georgia opened the fridge, took out the carafe of orange juice and filled a glass.  She went down the hallway, knocked on the bedroom door, and hearing a muffled groan, she opened it.

“I’m so sorry,” she said. Lucy wasn’t alone in the bed. While Georgia knew she should look away, she couldn’t. The man lying on his stomach, his arm wrapped around her friend was naked. He had a beautiful body, one vaguely familiar, and she was embarrassed by the way her libido reacted to it. The man was too fair skinned to be Anton, and his hair was a mass of curls. Surprise turned to shock as the man rolled over, away from Lucy, and Georgia recognized him.

He was still asleep. In her distress, she gasped and dropped the glass of juice, which shattered on the hardwood floor. The sound woke Mark, and he gave her a drunken lopsided grin.

Okay! Now how would you react? Comment and get a chance to win a review copy of Holiday Magic.

Look Who Dropped By Today: M. S. Spencer

My guest today is M. S Spencer here to tell you about her new novel, Whirlwind Romance.

Thanks so much for having me, Lacey, Armand, and the crew here today.

What do pirates, princes, Puritans, and propaganda have in common? Lacey Delahaye, forager and jelly maker, finds out in this romantic suspense set in the western Caribbean.

Whirlwind Romance

Secret Cravings Publishing, 9/2/2014

89,000 words; M/F; 3 flames; Adventure/Romance
Up until my thirties, I traveled a great deal, living in many countries with amenities that many would consider below standard. So it wasn’t until I married and settled down in an old farmhouse with an acre of land that I could indulge my fantasy of living off the land. I built a formal herb garden and planted all kinds of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.  The one thing I couldn’t get to grow was mint. Yes, the gardeners among you will scoff, but it took me years to get a plot to flourish. When it did, it threatened to take over the entire acre. I had to do something.

jelly that Lacey makesSo I called upon my sister-in-law, to whom Whirlwind Romance is dedicated. She directed me to an old recipe for mint jelly. Once the mint invasion was under control and I’d mastered the technique, I spent my summers working up recipes for herb jellies—tarragon, lemon balm, rosemary and more. It might have been helpful if I actually liked jellies, but they made lovely Christmas gifts.

Florida—my new home–contains myriad ecosystems that produce exotic and interesting wild fruits, most of whom can be made into jelly. It was an easy step to make my newly arrived heroine into a jelly maker. I hope you enjoy the recipes as much as you do Lacey and Armand’s love story.

Blurb:

In the aftermath of a hurricane, Lacey Delahaye finds herself marooned on the Gulf coast of Florida with a mysterious man. They are immediately drawn to each other, but before Armand can confess his identity, they are kidnapped and taken far from civilization to a tiny, remarkable island in the western Caribbean. With the help of her son Crispin, a small, but proud young boy named Inigo, and a cadre of extraordinary characters, Lacey and Armand must confront pirates, power-mad ideologues, and palace intrigue if they are to restore the once idyllic tropical paradise to its former serenity and find lasting happiness.

WhirlwindRomance_LRGExcerpt (PG): Slipping briskly into intimacy

The full moon shone through the window, illuminating Lacey’s nodding head. Armand touched her cheek. “Time for bed.”

Stung, she shot back, “I’m taking care of you, remember?”

He held up a hand. “Sorry! I’d forgotten.” After a moment, he asked, his tone diffident, “Can you help me up?”

Lacey put an arm around his back and together they limped to Crispin’s room. She took his pants and shirt off and folded them neatly. As she turned to leave, he touched her arm. “Stay a minute?”

How could she admit she had to get out of there quickly or she wouldn’t be able to go at all? His handsome face—the strong chin covered with stubble, the pearly teeth contrasting with his tan skin, not to mention the long, graceful fingers he held out to her—all conspired to lure her closer. Her heart led the way, propelling her to his side. She sat down. “What is it?”

“Lacey…um.”

Her body tensed as desire fought to get out and she fought just as hard to keep it in. I have to go. I have to…go. “What?”

His words came out in a rush. “Lacey, the other day—the first night—when you rescued me. When we…we…”

Don’t say it. Don’t say it. Christ.

“I…uh…want you to know I don’t do that on a regular basis.”

His air of  shy ambivalence gave her courage. “I see. You don’t have sex on a regular basis?”

“No, no, it’s not that.” He stopped, flustered. “Or, I mean…er…I don’t sleep with women indiscriminately.”

Should she let him off the hook? Nah. “But you do sleep with a lot of women?”

“No! Lacey, you’re being difficult on purpose. I meant, that I didn’t mean to…you know. It just happened. Forgive me?”

“I—”

Armand interrupted her. “Not that it wasn’t enjoyable.” He seemed distracted, running a finger down her arm. “Wonderful. Fantastic. Too short.” He peered at her. “Lacey, you must know how beautiful you are. You have the most perfect cheekbones I’ve ever seen.”

“Cheekbones?” What the hell is he talking about?

“I’m an amateur photographer. Those cheekbones could belong to a supermodel. Perfectly sculpted. And your nose—” he tapped the tip, “a little pixie nose—it even turns up slightly. Your long, fine hair is the russet-gold of burnished copper pots I once saw piled high in a shop on Martinique. Your eyes…” He closed his. “Your eyes are the blue-green of a freshly mowed cricket field, of the emeralds that grow deep in the mountains, of the lagoon near my home on a blustery day.” He touched her hand. “Then there’s your body—as I remember it—a soft, comfortable, pillowy—”

“Hey!” Lacey shook her head to break the spell. “I think you’ve said enough. Get some sleep.”

She tried to rise, but he slipped his arms around her and drew her close. She wanted to struggle. She tried to struggle. It was no use. The long kiss filled her with a warmth that matched a fire on a cold night, a cup of cocoa, or a hot bath. As he pulled away, the warmth turned to blazing passion. The power of it frightened her. I’ve got to go. She ran out of the room before he could stop her.

****

Buy Links:

SCP: http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=4&products_id=934

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Whirlwind-Romance-M-S-Spencer-ebook/dp/B00N105I4E/

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-whirlwindromance-1605591-153.html

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/whirlwind-romance

About the Author:

Although she has lived or traveled in every continent except Antarctica and Australia (bucket list), M. S. Spencer has spent the last thirty years mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and parent. She has two fabulous grown children, and currently divides her time between the Gulf coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.

Ms. Spencer has published nine romance novels. The first two, Lost in His Arms and Lost and Found, were published by Red Rose Publishing. The other six—Losers Keepers, Triptych, Artful Dodging: The Torpedo Factory Murders, Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine (a Sarasota Romance, Lapses of Memory, and the Mason’s Mark —were published by Secret Cravings. Whirlwind Romance, her ninth, was released September 2014.

Contacts:

Blog: http://msspencertalespinner.blogspot.com OR

http://bit.ly/1aBzraT

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/msspencertalespinner

Twitter: www.twitter.com/msspencerauthor
GoodReads:http://www.goodreads.com/msspencer
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/msspencerauthor/

It’s Time for the Fall Into Books Blog Hop!

crfallbadge1As much as I hate to admit it, it’s that time of year again. While I’m not thrilled Autumn has arrived since I’m still looking for summer, I can appreciate the beauty and majesty of the season. It’s an honor to be part of another Candlelight Reads blog hop. Please comment on this post for your chance to win an e copy of Fire Angel, In Plain Sight, or On His Watch. Don’t forget to leave your contact information. If I can’t find you, I can’t send you your prize.

This year’s theme is multifaceted.

Books!  That’s the sole reason we’re here!  We all have that special place we love to read at or a special book that we go back to time and time again.  What’s your favorite place to read, and what is that special book you want to fall into again and again? 
I thought long and hard about this. I could say that as a teacher, I’ve read the same books each year for over 30 years. Classic’s like Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby,  John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men just to name a few, but I think that would be cheating.
Before I started my writing career, I read at least four novels a week–and that was working full time. I read to relax, to escape the drudgery of every day–and I read just about anything I could get my hands on, except horror. While I not only read and taught Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories, and Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, I have no inclination or desire to read so called modern horror and books of demonic possession. It’s a personal choice.
My favorite place to read is in the car while my husband is driving. We take frequent trips along Highway 401, and the scenery is one I’ve memorized. Give me a good book to read to pass the time. At home, I read in bed, on the couch, pretty much anywhere. Paper? Kindle? Kobo? I use them all. Today, my reading choices tend to be books written by fellow authors, but every now and then, I’ll grab an old favorite.
rebeccaThe book that turned me on to romantic suspense is Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again… I came upon it suddenly; the approach masked by the unnatural growth of a vast shrub that spread in all directions… There was Manderley, our Manderley, secretive and silent as it had always been, the gray stone shining in the moonlight of my dream, the mullioned windows reflecting the green lawns and terrace. Time could not wreck the perfect symmetry of those walls, nor the site itself, a jewel in the hollow of a hand.
Those are the opening lines of a book that grabbed me and held me enthralled as a teen and can still do it today. It’s a classic Gothic romance, with twists and turns in the plot. The insecure heroine, a nobody who marries up, isn’t much of a seller among today’s readers, but I can empathize and sympathize with her all the way. While I don’t write in the first person and don’t generally enjoy books written that way, there was and is something about Rebecca that called to my soul.  I’ve read other novels by this author, but none touched me as deeply as Rebecca did,
So, that’s it. Now, please visit these lovely authors to read about their favorite books. Blog Hop
Don’t forget to comment here for your chance to win!
Fire AngelIn Plain Sight coverOn His Watch
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