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Look Who Dropped By Today: Allie Kincheloe

Blog_tour_badge_85_x_55Well, for many of us, Christmas is over and we’ve started packing things away for next year. I don’t do that until after January 6th, but to each his own.

Welcome to another stop of the SCP Blog Tour authors. This morning, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to another great Secret cravings Publishing author, Allie Kincheloe, and her novel, Sean’s Sweetheart. 

ABout the book:

Layer by layer, Talia peeled away his resistance.

Sean's SweetheartBlurb:

Sean has spent five years cleaning up his life. He’s shoved his past behind him and built a profitable business in the town’s most popular dance club. Falling in love with a college sophomore wasn’t in his plans. But, from the moment he rescued Talia, she brings out his every protective instinct. He tries to resist getting involved on a personal level. Talia’s persistence, however, is stronger than his will.

Despite just ending an abusive relationship, Talia finds an instant connection with a man unlike any she’s dated before. Older, tattooed, and totally inappropriate for her, Talia couldn’t keep Sean off her mind, especially once he calls her “sweetheart” in that deep drawl of his.

When Talia is in danger, they discover just how strong their relationship is. Can Sean and his sweetheart make things last when horrors from their pasts come back to haunt them and family seems determined to keep them apart?

Excerpt 1

With his hand on the small of her back as a guide, he directed her out the back door to the service alley. He led her over to a big black Harley and held a helmet out to her.

“Uh…” A motorcycle? Why couldn’t he have a sports car or a truck? Of course a tattooed bartender would drive a motorcycle.

The smug look on his face made her want to prove his assumptions wrong. Prove to him she wasn’t a goody-goody, scared shitless to climb on top of a motor with wheels and fly down the road under someone else’s control.

“It’s this or you call someone.”

Screw that.

She snatched the helmet from his hand. Talia gave him the address and fiddled with the strap, trying to figure out how to adjust it. His hands came up to tighten it for her and their fingers brushed. She sucked in a deep breath at his touch. His low chuckle took that spark of anger and kindled it into a blaze of desire. With the street lamps behind him, she couldn’t read his expression. His hand closed over hers for a brief second before he jerked it away. He straddled the bike and pulled his own helmet on.

She climbed on behind him and he started the motor. Talia jumped at the sudden roar of the engine and clung tight to his broad back. His chest shook with laughter beneath her hands. Talia relaxed a bit as the bike moved and they didn’t crash. She slid her arms around his waist and started to enjoy the ride, to enjoy the feel of holding a man.

She’d never been on a motorcycle before. Had never wrapped her arms around a complete stranger like this, either. She didn’t know his name, but she knew the strength in his muscles and the rhythm of his breathing. When she hugged him tighter, her fingers slipped through the button placket on his shirt. Instead of removing her hand, she combed through the tangle of hair on his chest, surprising herself with her boldness. His hand dropped back to squeeze hers for a moment, but he didn’t pull her hand away.

The ride ended too soon when he rolled the bike to a stop in front of her house. She stumbled getting off the bike, but he caught her before she face-planted on the sidewalk. He even walked her up to the door and waited behind her on the porch while she tried to unlock it. Her trembling hand dropped the keys and he bent to grab them before she could react.

“My name’s Sean, by the way.” He unlocked the door for her and handed her keys back.

“Sean. That’s a very nice name. It fits you. I’m Talia.” Did he expect to come in? They had just met and she still had a boyfriend, at least until she could find the nerve to dump the jerk. She’d never been the cheating type.

He leaned one broad shoulder against the wall next to the door and stared down at her. Shadows hid part of his face from her, but his eyes glittered in the dim light.

Sean’s chest rumbled with a deep chuckle. “Would you’ve said the same thing if I’d told you that my name was Bruno?”

A giggle snuck out. Bruno? Not a chance Bruno would fit him.

Buy links:

Secret Cravings Publishing

All Romance E-books

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

About the Author:

allieAs a busy mother of five, Allie sneaks time to write between breakfast and tickles. Always a Kentucky girl at heart, she currently makes her home near Nashville.

Author links:

http://www.alliekincheloe.com

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Look Who Dropped By Today: Amanda Ward

Blog_tour_badge_85_x_55As one of the many Secret Cravings Publishing authors, I enjoy supporting my fellow writers when they release new books and i like being able to expose those of you who read my blog to a variety of different material. While most of my fellow authors write romance, there’s always something fresh and new about each voice. This morning, it’s my pleasure to introduce Amanda Ward who’s here to give you a quick taste of her Christmas novel, Norty or Nice.  Even though Christmas has  come and gone this year, the season rages around us still.

 About Norty or Nicecover

What happens when Santa’s ‘nice daughter’ Natalie decides she’s had enough of mucking out reindeer stalls and attempts living life on the ‘norty’ side?

Answer…her guardian Rudy decides, once and for all, to take Natalie Claus in his more than capable—hands. To show her that she can be the naughty girl she desires to be, but only with him. When she discovers the beast inside of him, will she run away or harness him to her?

With a tinkling of bells and plenty of snogging under the mistletoe, Rudy unleashes a side to Natalie that she has never felt before. Join this couple on the ride of their life as the good girl finally finds her naughty side.

Love and laughter await Natalie on the sleigh ride of romance, but is everyone who they appear to be?

Here’s an excerpt for you. 

“She’s gone again,” Natalie whispered under her breath. Pulling herself together, she wobbled slightly on the high heels and concentrated on putting one foot in front of another without falling over. Heel, toe. Heel, toe…Hello? Natalie’s head snapped back and she looked up, up and up. He towered over her, the hint of a smile on his full lips as his amber gaze met her green sparkling one.

“Can I help you?” His voice was deep and rough. The sound of it sent jolts of excitement through Natalie’s untried body.

“Yes, you can,” she said in a breathy soft tone. The man leaned down so he could hear her speak. As he did, Natalie seized her chance. She reached up on tip-toe and placed her lips on his. At his lack of response, Natalie pulled away. She turned on her heel. Rather wobbly and mortified, she fled as fast as her short legs would let her, grabbing the bottle of champagne from the bar.

“Look at me, Nat, look at me!”

Her head snapped back. His eyes were dark brown, hinting at suppressed anger.

“I am not a thing,” he told her. “I am your lover and your mate. You and I have been destined to be together since you were born.”

“That’s rot,” Natalie spat back, trying to get out of his arms.

“Really? Look at this, then.” Pulling her to a mirror, he pointed out a small red heart shape above her breast. On Rudy’s chest, there was an identical mark. “This only happens when two mates become one. Which you and I did just now.”

“Impossible. It’s wrong on so many levels. You aren’t human,” Natalie cried.

“I am human. I am your protector, your lover. The other half of you,” Rudy insisted. “I take the form of a reindeer to protect you. The heart that beats here…” He took her hand, pressing it against his chest. “…It’s human, like yours is. I just come with something extra.” When he loosened his grip on her, Natalie stole her chance.

“And I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life mucking out your stable?”

Clicking her fingers, Natalie Claus disappeared in a glimmer of snowflakes.

Buy links:

Amazon:

Secret Cravings:

Barnes & Noble:

About the author: 

amanda wardAmanda Ward lives in Bedfordshire, England with her husband, three children and two insane cats. The expression ‘What you see is what you get’, sums her up perfectly.

She is the author of the novel Without Saying A Word with Books To Go Now and The MisAdventures of Pann Haggerty with Secret Cravings Publishing.  She is a member of the Romance Novelists Association (RNA).  There is always some moment waiting around the corner to be written into a novel.

Her interests include a passion for history, romance novels, cooking, and science fiction.  Of course not forgetting the great and wonderful Doris Day musicals.

A perfect afternoon for Amanda would be a pot of tea, plenty of biscuits with a Doris Day film on the telly. Shared with great friends and her amazingly tolerant mother in law.

Find out more about Amanda and her manic life at www.amandajward.weebly.com

Contact Links:

AMANDA WARDREFRESHINGLY ROMANTIC; QUINTESSENTIALLY QUIRKY!! – WELCOME

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/manda.j.ward

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Augustmum

Blog:

http://kooks-kooksnook.blogspot.co.uk/

Google+

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MandaWard71/posts

Email

mrsajward@hotmail.com

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Welcome to the Stuff Your Kindle Blog Hop: A Love That Endures

10805635_10204525493996162_6277631994961060666_nGood morning. I hope you had a great day yesterday. As always, there was a little too much food, and of course I “forced” myself to eat more than I should have. So much for the three pounds I lost before Christmas–they’re back and I think they multiplied!

If you’re Canadian, you know today is Boxing Day, the day for mad shopping only slightly less insane than Black Friday. As a child, I used to think Boxing Day meant the day you took all the things that didn’t fit or didn’t work back to Santa’s workshop to get fixed or resized. As a teenager, I realized it meant I could get twice the bang for my Christmas money since everything that had been full-priced on Christmas Eve was now 50% off or more. In truth, the custom comes form the days when after Christmas, you boxed up what you no longer needed, having received new ones, and donated the items to the less fortunate. For many people, they now do both–older toys replaced by new ones and clothing will get donated to those in need and the stores will still make money as people rush off to redeem gift certificates and spend holiday cash.

imagesIn my family, Boxing Day had another meaning. It was my mother and father’s wedding anniversary. Mom and Dad were married December 26, 1949. That’s right. They’ve been married 65 years today. Each year, Dad manages to give Mom a dozen yellow roses, her favorites.

Dad worked at the papermill and Mom was a clerk in a store. Money was tight and they spent the first few months of wedded bliss living in the family home. Eventually, they rented a small house and the following summer I was born. They didn’t have a lot by the standards we set today–no car, no fancy toys, no southern holidays, but ours was a happy home. Sure Mom and Dad argued as any married couple does, but those aren’t the memories I carry in my heart.

Mom and dadTheir marriage was and continues to be, a partnership. We didn’t live extravagantly, but we always had what we needed. Life hasn’t been easy for them. They’re both cancer survivors and have dealt with hart problems. Now in their late eighties, they continue to live in their own home, looking after one another. They’ve been fortunate to grow old together, caring for one another, loving one another through good times and bad. They’re proud of their two daughters, five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. They are the reason I believe in soul mates and true love. They continue to demonstrate that true love endures.

That’s the reason I write–to share my belief in the magic of love. If you’re looking for something to add to your Kindle this season, consider adding something of mine. I credit my father’s storytelling for my imagination. Check out my Website where you’ll find all of my books. Comment on this post for a chance to pick up the ebook of your choice.  Now, why not visit one of the other fabulous authors and check out what they have to offer?

Stuff Your Kindle Blog Hop

Hope the rest of your holidays are great!

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Hump Day Hook: Christmas Eve in Chance

IMG_0565humpdayhookMerry Christmas. Tomorrow’s the big day, so any last minute shopping needs to be finished pronto. I’ve got things to do to get ready for tonight, and one of them is to give everyone who comments one of my books. You can go to my website and select one of the books available, then comment on the post. Be sure to leave your preference of format and your email address. While I can’t promise the book you want is available in the format you prefer, I’ll do my best to meet your wishes. This is my way of thanking you for your loyalty and support in 2014. So, check out my website and pick your present.

My family has special Christmas Eve traditions which include attending the children’s service at 6 to watch my grandkids sing in the Cherishing the Children’s Choir. Alana’s family has Christmas Eve traditions too. This morning’s hook is From Coming Home, Book One of Taking a Chance on Love by my alter ego, Misty Matthews, which includes my good friend Misty Cail from Newfoundland and myself.

Here’s your hook:Coming Home cover

Alana, excited by this, her favorite part of the Stewart family tradition, was the first back downstairs although she could hear Melody upstairs and knew she wasn’t far behind. Before going up, Alana had made a makeshift bed of pillows and blankets on the floor where they’d sit for the traditional reading of Dickens’ famous Christmas story. Although the story was a little complicated for a child her age, the sound of her father’s voice reading the words penned almost two hundred years ago would no doubt have the same magical effect on her niece as it had on her. Melody came into the room with a freshly washed bundle in her arms, a bundle holding her favorite toy and blanket, and already rubbing her pretty blue eyes.

As her father settled into his favorite chair and her mother sat on the sofa with her knitting in hand, Alana and Melody, with Isabelle between them, stretched out on the floor.

“Are we ready?” he asked, and they all nodded eagerly.

“‘Marley was dead: to begin with,’” he read, the words resonating in Alana’s memory. “‘There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge’s name was good upon ‘Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail…’”

Dad had barely started chapter one when Alana heard Isabelle’s gentle snores. Making sure she wasn’t crowding the child, she snuggled into her pillow, listening to her father’s smooth, velvet-like voice. As she listened, she realized how much she’d missed hearing her dad’s voice. When she was younger, her bedtime ritual had included him sitting on the side of her bed, reading a bedtime story from one of the books now belonging to Isabelle. In his voice, she’d discovered the magic of books, and it had inspired her love of reading. This was another Stewart tradition to be passed on to Isabelle. What of her own children? The ones she hoped to have one day. The ones she’d pictured with dark hair and green eyes. Would they ever get to hear Grandpa read to them like this? Shaking off her melancholy, she got lost in the tale, the sweet baby-powder scent of Isabelle, and the clicking of her mom’s knitting needles.

May your Christmas Eve be filled with tradition and joy. For more Hump Day Hooks, click here. There are some wonderful writers  waiting for you to read their hooks and another Christmas surprise waiting for you too.

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Look Who Dropped By Today: Nancy Weeks

Good morning! Today, Living the Dream would like to welcome my old friend and fellow Crimson author, Nancy Weeks. Nancy’s here to tell us about her latest release, In the Shadow of Vengeance, and she’s brought along Jennie, one of the book’s characters.

Susanne: Good morning, Nancy, Jennie. Nice to have you here this morning.

Nancy:  Hi Susanne. Thank you so much for inviting me on your blog today. I’m so thrilled to be here to tell your readers about my new release, In the Shadow of Vengeance.

In the Shadow of Vengeance 9781440580352Susanne: It’s a pleasure to have you. So, In the Shadow of Vengeance is the last book in the series. That story must have been bitter sweet to write.

Nancy: I have spent the last four years working on my In the Shadow series. With each book, I fell deeper in love with my five McNeil brothers and the women who turned their world upside down.  It was a tearful moment when I typed THE END to In the Shadow of Vengeance.  Of course, now that it’s out so the world can read, I can’t remove the silly grin from my face. I loved writing Noah McNeil and Elizabeth Merlot’s story. And since this was the last book in the series, I brought back the amazing characters from the first four books. Today, I invited Jennie McKenzie McNeil along with me so we can hear her impression of her brother-in-law, Noah.

Susanne: Wow, it is a pleasure to meet you, Jennie. You are now happily married to Noah’s twin brother, Jared. If I remember correctly, you and Noah didn’t always get along.

Jennie: Susanne, it’s wonderful meet you too. And no, my brother-in-law didn’t like me very much in the beginning. Who could blame the guy?  Noah is very protective of his family and I was a serious threat to Jared. Thankfully, that’s all in the past. He’s now one of my best friends and a great brother.

Susanne: Tell me about your relationship with Elizabeth Merlot. You knew her before Elizabeth and Noah ever met, right?

Jennie: I had both her children, Erin and Danny in my class and we formed a friendship—before the unthinkable happened. The man obsessed with me used Danny as leverage against me. I’ll never forgive myself for placing Danny in the path of Elías Mendoza. And Noah… he was almost killed. After Danny was returned home, he and Noah seemed to bond for a few months.

Susanne: Did Noah and Elizabeth start a relationship because of his connection to Danny?

Jennie: Sadly no! My BIL can be a real idiot sometimes.

Susanne: Well, if he wasn’t interested then…

Jennie: Oh, he was interested. Noah use to date a different woman every week. After meeting Elizabeth, the spinning door of one-night-stands stopped completely. No, he cared about Elizabeth Merlot, but he was just too pigheaded for his own good.

Susanne: In what way is he pigheaded?

Jennie: Noah has this thing about secrets and he hates lies. He can be the most stubborn, opinionated—he sees everything in black and white. Elizabeth is reserved and doesn’t share much about her past for good reason. If he would have given her a chance to get to know him, then maybe she would have opened up to him sooner.  Noah is definitely attracted to Elizabeth but he doesn’t trust her.

Susanne: What does Elizabeth think about Noah?

Nancy: I can answer this one with the excerpt I posted below. Elizabeth doesn’t want Noah in Danny’s life and she has good reason to keep Noah at arm’s length. But sorry, can’t say more about that without spilling the plot.

Jennie: Noah and Elizabeth’s journey toward each other ends up changing how they view the world and their beliefs. I felt so helpless watching it unfold from the sidelines. They really went through some difficult situations. But I said too much…

Susanne: No, you have left us hanging. There is going to be a happy ending, right?

Nancy: It’s a romantic suspense so…of course! I write novels filled with a balance of gripping excitement, intrigue and heartwarming romances that will take your emotions on an incredible roller coaster ride. Sometimes you may even find a hint of the paranormal, but what you can always count on is a happy-ever-after.

Susanne: Since In the Shadow of Vengeance is the last book in your series, should my readers read the 5 books in order?

In the Shadow of Evil Cover 9781440571275Nancy: Each book in the series is a stand-alone novel and they don’t have to be read in order. With that said, I think readers will get a much richer understanding of Vengeance if they read In the Shadow of Evil first. That book is where the series began. And wonderful news!! In the Shadow of Evil has been placed on sale for only 99 cents from 12/22 to 12/29!!

I hope your readers enjoy my brief blurb of In the Shadow of Vengeance. I have also brought along an excerpt. My nasty villains were not the only obstacle in my hero and heroine’s path. OH… and watch my WEBSITE for a free read of the beginning chapters of In the Shadow of Vengeance.

 Blurb of In the Shadow of Vengeance

Detective Noah McNeil has his cases under control, but the same can’t be said for his personal life in Fells Point, Maryland. Elizabeth Merlot, the mother of a troubled teen Noah is mentoring, is freezing him out of the family’s lives – especially criminal given how hot this single mom is.

Elizabeth Merlot can’t afford to let the handsome detective close to her son lest he discover she’s in the witness protection program. Until the day, that is, when the teen tries to fend off a gang attack and her entire world of secrets begins to crumble – and Noah may be the only one who can save their lives. Don’t miss this exciting conclusion to the McNeil family saga!

In the Shadow of Vengeance 9781440580352Excerpt of In the Shadow of Vengeance

Elizabeth’s emotions of gratitude flip-flopped. She could almost feel the blood boiling in her veins. “No, I expect you to let the cops do their job.”

“I’m a cop, Elizabeth. Danny means something to me. I’m not going to sit on my fucking hands and wait until the BPD finds the manpower to look for this bastard.”

The fury she had been holding in all evening erupted. She dashed from behind the chair and rammed a finger into his chest. “I don’t know who you thought you were speaking to just now, Noah McNeil, but I don’t allow that language in this house.”

“Cops cuss.”

“Not in my face, they don’t. And definitely not that word.”

He slammed his hands to his hips. “What word?”

“You know what I’m talking about. It’s offensive and distasteful. Find another way to express yourself in my home or get out.”

A hint of laughter appeared in his eyes. The jerk was laughing at her. She never considered herself a violent person, but it took every ounce of control to keep from slapping that grin right off his stupid face.

The damn man was thick as a brick. If those men beat up a harmless kid like Danny, what would they do to a smartass cop?

“You think your badge makes you invincible? This guy is in a gang, you hardheaded buffoon. He has mean friends, and his friends have meaner friends.”

This time he let out a loud laugh. “Oh, that’s adorable.”

Before she could react, he curled his hand around the nape of her neck and lowered his head, his lips barely touching hers. The laughter was gone, and for some reason, she didn’t yank out of his hold but stood completely still. Her mind screamed to back off, but her curiosity got the best of her. His lips brushed over hers, sending an electric jolt to her toes. The hand at her waist tugged her against him while his lips went back for another taste and then a third. “Damn sweet. You’re worried about me.”

Elizabeth lost all common sense. She yanked him closer and they molded into each other. For such a big man, his lips were surprisingly soft and so gentle. The taste of mint combined with his spicy herbal scent overpowered her senses. A primal need she had forgotten existed took over, and she kissed him back as she clung to him, his shirt fisted in both hands. Her body came alive. He shifted then broke their connection. Reality returned and common sense slammed back into her, taking her breath away.

What was she doing kissing Noah McNeil? She wanted to kick herself all the way back to Nebraska.

“I’m so touched you care, Elizabeth.”

“You kissed me,” she choked out and shoved at his chest. “Why?”

“You kissed me back. It was real sweet, but way too short.” He shifted his weight and bit back a grin. “Is that not allowed in this house either? I think I’m going to need a list.”

“You don’t just go around kissing people, detective.”

Thank you so much for dropping  by. Good luck with the entire In The Shadows Series.

Nancy C Weeks profile pictureMore information about Nancy C. Weeks:

Nancy lives in suburban Maryland with her husband of more than thirty years. With her two grown children out of the nest, she loves spending her days on her deck writing as the local bird population keeps her company.

Buy links:

AMAZON | B&N | ITUNES | GOOGLE PLAY

Find Nancy at:

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | PINTEREST

 

Posted in Christmas

Holiday Blog Hop

Hol;iday B;og HopAs Christmas quickly approaches, let me welcome you to Living the Dream and this the third of my Christmas blog hops. To say this year has been memorable is an understatement. I’m actually looking forward to the end of 2014 and hoping 2015 will be bigger and better for everyone.

Now let me be clear. It’s not the Christmas season that has brought me to the end of my rope, but all of the everyday happenings that have raised my stress level to Defcon 1 or anything, but I’ve been hovering around ;plevel 2 all month. Last night, I finally got a chance to relax and participate in one of my favorite Christmas activities. We went to Upper Canada Village for the Alight at Night event.

This year, for my Happy Holiday Blog Hop, I’d like to share the beauty of the experience with you. In Holiday Magic, my Christmas release, Georgia loved everything there was about Christmas. She’d have adored this.

IMG_0565

The Church is outlined in white lights with peach colored floodlights making the structure appear magical. If you’re so inclined, you can step inside the structure and sing or listen to professional and amateur singers blend their voices in traditional and a few modern Christmas carols. If the night is chilly, the heat of the sanctuary will warm your numb fingers and toes.

Don’t feIMG_0562el like going inside just yet? You can take a horse wagon ride to admire the lights.  The Woolen mill and the flour mill sit side by side welcoming you into the park. You can get wine and spirits at Cooke’s Tavern, The Harvest Barn or Willard’s’ Hotel. Feeling adventurous? You could take a ride on the Toy Train and explore the grounds, or ride the Ferris Wheel and check out the village from 50 feet above ground.  If you’re like me, you just want to walk around and take in the sights and sounds. Every half hour, the lights sing and dance at Chrysler Hall. There’s the general store and the tavern beside it and of course The Masonic Hall and the farmer’s house too.

IMG_0568IMG_0584IMG_0576IMG_0575IMG_0573IMG_0574

Upper Canada Village is a sight to behold. Even the trees are dressed up for the occasions. IMG_0578IMG_0564

Holiday Magic (2)This is just some of the magic of the season

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.

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

Amazon.com

Comment on this post for your chance to win a PDF copy of Holiday Magic and its companion piece, The Perfect Choice.

Now, check out the other bloggers in this hop. Blog Hoppers

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Mistletoe Blog Hop: A Time for Forgiving

badge Mistletoe Hop 2014Welcome to Living the Dream. Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of the holiday blog hop this year. It’s snowing outside, and we’ll definitely have a white Christmas this year. My granddaughters have completed their gingerbread houses and the tree has been decorated once more. The presents have been purchased and wrapped, and are waiting to be opened Christmas morning. Even my eldest son is home for the holidays, and this weekend, we’ll go up to Alight at Night at Upper Canada Village, something that has been part of our holiday tradition since the program started. Each year, more lights and Christmas surprises are added. This year, the children can visit with St. Nick, take a ride on the ferris wheel, and hop on the toy train for a ride through Chrysler Park. The music and light show is one of my favorite aspects of the event as is sitting down to dinner with friends and family afterwards. If you live in the area, it’s well worth the trip to see.

This morning, as I sit here contemplating all of the traditions my family has always associated with this season, I can’t help but think of others who don’t have the peace and joy of Christmas in their hearts. Christmas is a time to reflect on the good things in life, not dwell on perceived injustices and plotting revenge, hoping to hurt others while glorifying themselves. Sadly, there are far too many people like that in this world.

Its-a-Wonderful-Life-1946-Wallpapers-300x230In the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey thinks he’s hit rock bottom when money goes missing, but thanks to Clarence, his guardian angel and Divine Intervention, George comes to realize that his life is worth living, that he’s made a difference in his world, and that’s all any of us want to do. For years, I thought the saddest part of that movie was that Mr. Potter, the crotchety old slumlord who actually took the missing money, is never brought to justice. It used to bother me that this issue remained unresolved. As an author, I make it a point of wrapping up all the lose ends in a story, and I considered this a huge loose end.

Like many Hollywood movies, It’s a Wonderful Life was loosely based on a short story “The Greatest Gift“, written by Philip Van Doren Stern in 1939 and self-published in 1945. There were several people involved in bringing the story to life and in the screenwriting they changed several aspects of the story to make the movie the Christmas fantasy epic it became. In doing so, the character Potter took on a more sinister role, one left unresolved at the end.

As I said earlier, I struggled with this until this year when it finally came clear to me because of the actions of others. If one believes in guardian angels and Divine Intervention, then one has to believe the rest of it. Jesus teaches us to forgive our enemies. From the King James Bible, Romans 12:19, Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Potter isn’t dealt with in the movie because it isn’t George’s or anyone else’s place to deal with him. Potter will get his just deserts when the time is right.

Recently, I’ve seen what hatred and pettiness can do to people. It can make them small-minded and hurtful. They think only of their anger and desire for revenge and overlook the truly important things in life. Christmas is a time to put into practice what I as Christians believe. It’s a time of celebration and forgiveness. It’s a time to open my heart to all people, those I like and those I dislike. It’s a time to set aside differences and let the peace goodness within me shine forth.

In Holiday Magic, Georgia is hurt and angry, She believes she’s been betrayed by someone she loves. Will she find the Christmas spirit within her to forgive and move on?

Holiday Magic (2)Holiday Magic, 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.

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

Buy link: Amazon

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