Winter Blog Hop, Day 7 – Love’s in the Cards with Becky Lower, & a Giveaway!

Becky Lower visits again today with a post about where she got the idea for her new Christmas novella, Love’s in the Cards, which releases today from The Wild Rose Press. Happy book birthday, Becky! Scroll down to the bottom for a special giveaway from me and Becky. 

perf5.000x8.000.inddPeople often ask writers where they get their story ideas. I can’t speak for all authors, but for me, it can be something as common as a billboard or as intimate as an overhead whispered conversation. In the case of my latest Christmas novella, it was definitely a memory that had been tugging at me for a while. Since kindergarten, in fact.

Who would have thought an obnoxious little boy who liked to use the soles of my shoes at nap time as a canvas would be the inspiration for Love’s in the Cards? His favorite crayon was purple and my mother would get so angry each time he’d go overboard and mess up my sparkling white shoes. That little boy went on to become a high school art teacher and inspired many of his students to be creative. So Delbert, wherever you are, thank you so much for the spark of creativity you’ve provided to me. But in order to incorporate Del’s childish shenanigans into a story, I needed the proper setting. Fortunately, I worked in a Hallmark store part-time for a year while living in Virginia. It was a sweet little card and gift shop and each Christmas season, the door was flanked by a pair of six-foot tall plastic nutcrackers. Later, when I moved to Ohio, I turned that retail experience into a job as a merchandiser for the biggest greeting card company in Ohio, where I learned all about lines of cards featuring famous people or artists. Love’s in the Cards combines Delbert’s story with my greeting card experiences.

Love’s in the Cards

Penny Beedle’s outlook on Christmas, as her favorite holiday, was destroyed by a messy breakup years earlier and a botched wedding last year—both on Christmas Eve. But since she and her sister now own a greeting card store, and the holidays are their crazy selling season, she has to put on a happy face.

Del Madison has loved Penny since kindergarten. Commissioned by a big greeting card company for a line of Christmas and Valentine’s cards, he has to emerge from behind his alter ego and unveil himself to the public. He chooses Penny Beedle’s shop for the big reveal. If he plays his cards right, he just might gain Penny as part of his life.

Excerpt:

Penny sighed softly. Abbey made sense. They had to do everything possible to compete with the other shops, all chasing the same tourist dollars. Even if doing so meant having six-foot-tall nutcrackers flanking the door for the next six weeks. Penny’s eyes smarted with sudden tears, but she blinked them away quickly, telling herself the moisture merely came from a reaction to the cold weather. “I think we need new names for these boys, especially after last year’s debacle. I now have two reasons to despise the season.”

As she wiggled her nutcracker to his final position on one side of the entrance to their shop, Abbey grunted. “This is our make-or-break season, so your attitude has to shape up, Penny. I had hoped a year would give you enough time to get over last Christmas’s aborted wedding.”

Penny jerked her big statue a bit too hard to the left before she squared him with the frame. She bit her lip at the chastisement as she glanced at Abbey. Anyone could tell they were from the same family, with their dark hair, blue eyes, and slender builds. Often, they were mistaken for twins, even though Abbey had been born two years earlier. The only noticeable difference was Penny could sing in key, but Abbey had a tin ear.

“Even though I’m over both Max and Ricky, their betrayals still hurt. And the fact they both screwed up my Christmases makes me hate the season.”

“Well, if getting your head back on straight this year means we rename Hans and Gunther, let’s do so. What’d you have in mind?”

Penny squinted up at the lifelike plastic statues towering over them. “I don’t mind Hans, but I’ll name mine Solo, since that’s what I am.”

Abbey grinned and wrapped an arm around Penny. “Well then, may the force be with us as we head into our peak season. The weather’s finally turned cold, perfect for putting folks into the holiday gift-buying mood. Let’s get inside. I’ve got something exciting to show you.”

You can find Love’s in the Cards at Amazon.

48988_1025007027_4423_nAbout Becky: Amazon best-selling author Becky Lower has traveled the country looking for great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love, amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it on a covered wagon headed west or in present day small town America.  Historical and contemporary romances are her specialty. Becky is a PAN member of RWA and is a member of the Historic and Contemporary RWA chapters. She has a degree in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary. She loves to hear from her readers at beckylowerauthor@gmail.com. Visit her website at www.beckylowerauthor.com.

And finally, enter here for a chance to win a fabulous Maine-themed gift box Becky and put together to celebrate our new releases, both set in Maine. In addition to the items pictured, Becky is offering a copy of Love’s in the Cards!

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Winter Blog Hop, Day 6 – Landra Graf & a Giveaway

landraToday’s post comes to you from author Landra Graf, one of my talented critique partners at Passionate Critters.

Comment below on your favorite Christmas tradition for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card and an ebook from Landra!

Christmas Traditions

Christmas is one of those things as a child you grow up being taught and experiencing. Your parents influence the way you celebrate the holidays, from the decorations to the food you eat. Growing up there were many traditions I experienced, but the top three traditions all start with the letter ‘F’: Family, Food, and Football.

The first is Family. I’ve never spent a Christmas by myself (note – I hate the word never). This is a truth I’m thankful for. Having family around during the holidays, for me, is one of my favorite things. The shared memories, singing carols, watching movies, playing games, and cooking experiences are better when done with loved ones. Passing those traditions on, from the baking of the Tollhouse recipe chocolate chip cookies to watching Mickey Mouse Christmas Carol, to my children are just as fulfilling.

gingerbread-1518469_1920Then there’s the food. OMG- I can’t begin to discuss all the food. As a child, my father’s favorite thing was to make baked potato soup; not to mention the goose and the pies. Then there’d be the meat and cheese platters, the veggies and ranch dip. One endless party involving lots of dairy products. I’ve continued with some of those traditions and adding others including my antipasto/snacking Christmas Eve dinner.

Finally, Football. As the oldest of four children, my father’s firstborn, he raised me as if I was a boy. I don’t consider this a bad thing. I learned about all sports, but the one my father loved the most was football. I’m willing to watch any game. My heart is with the Nebraska Cornhuskers. When you’re born in Nebraska, it’s hard not to be a Husker fan. Pro football, I love the Kansas City Chiefs. In fact, as I type this the game is on. For me, there is nothing like watching a football game by the light of the Christmas tree.

Today I’m giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card and one copy of a book from my backlist. All you have to do for a chance to win is tell me your favorite holiday tradition. Does it begin with an F, like mine?

About Landra:

Landra Graf consumes at least one book a day and has always been a sucker for stories where true love conquers all. She believes in the power of the written word, and the joy such words can bring. In between spending time with her family and having book adventures, she writes romance (multiple genres) with the goal of giving everyone, fictional or not, their own happily ever after.

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Her latest release, Desperately Seeking Submissive, features four stories about couples who find love and release; erotic romance with a BDSM core.

You can find Landra here: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ Silken Sheets & Seduction ~ Through Heart-Shaped Glasses

Winter Blog Hop, Day 5 – Becky Lower

Good morning, all! Welcome to Day 5 of the Winter Blog Hop. Today features the first visit from historical (and a few contemporaries) romance author, Becky Lower. Many authors are content with releasing one, maybe two, books per year. But Becky, who has the creative energy of most of the people I know combined, is releasing three this month.  The first is a boxed set of her beloved Cotillion Ball series.

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You’ll fall in love with the spirited Fitzpatrick family as they find romance in turbulent Civil War-era America. Raised to defy societal convention and follow their passions, these siblings’ rebellious hearts meet their matches. Settle in to enjoy these 10 tales of independent, passionate, and strong American heroines and heroes, set in the 1850s and 1860s. American history comes alive as each child in the family comes of age.

Hop over to Becky’s blog to read more about the Fitzpatricks, and stop by tomorrow to hear from author Landra Graf!

 

Winter Blog Hop! Day 4 – Maggie Preston

Welcome to Day 4! Today’s guest is an all-around lovely person I’m happy to call a friend. Maggie Preston writes steamy romance, and her first book, Sense and Insensibility, is both sexy as hell and laugh out loud hilarious.

Hop on over to A Writer’s House today for a chat about one of my favorite topics at this time of year–holiday movies.  She’s thrown in a few that may surprise you!

 

And then come back tomorrow for the first of two visits from dear friend and fellow historical author, Becky Lower.

 

 

Winter Blog Hop! Day 3 – Cynthia Blackburn

Today’s guest is Cynthia Blackburn, one of my critique partners from the Passionate Critters. Cynthia is celebrating a bunch of firsts this weekend–her first regency romance, her first self-published book, and her first book blast with me! 🙂 Her Regency romance, A Rogue of One’s Own, releases Sunday, December 4. Happy book birthday, Cyn!

A Rogue of One’s Own

cyn-bookLady Georgina Pelham has accepted her fate. After one disastrous season, she knows she’s not ever going to be more than a wallflower, and her only chance for marriage is to allow her half-brother and stepmother to contract her to the highest bidder. But their choices are dreadful. If only she could find a husband who loved her instead of one who would treat her as if she didn’t exist.

Sebastian Raphael Martin Locksley, Earl of St. John, has a reputation as a rogue. He also has a mistress problem, because Miranda—his convenient of three years—took it into her head to introduce herself to his mother and sisters in front of everyone in the ton. It’s a social disaster for his sisters and especially for his family. He needs to save face and save his sisters’ chances to marry, and that means dismissing Miranda, something he’d rather not do.

So when the opportunity arises to escort Lady Georgie and make her appear appealing to eligible bachelors of her choosing, he realizes the gossip-mongers will focus on that instead of Miranda’s faux-pas. He’ll be able to keep his mistress, and Georgie will find a man of her own choosing. It’s the perfect solution for both of them. Until they start to fall in love…

Excerpt:

“And what sort of husband are you seeking, Lady Pelham?” Sebastian asked, not expecting her to answer.

But then, she lifted her face, and he caught his breath. She wasn’t even close to being an Incomparable by ton standards, but Lady Pelham had the biggest, most luminous eyes he’d ever seen. Framed with long, dark lashes, they were an unusual shade of blue that appeared almost lavender when the light hit them the right way. Like right now. He blinked, and so did she. “I’m not,” she said quietly. “Not really.”

“Oh, bosh. Yes, you are, Georgie.” Charlotte stamped her foot. “You need a husband. A good one, not one that Percy and Eudora pick for you. Why, you could end up with someone ancient!”

In “Georgie’s” eyes, Sebastian could read so many things. Tolerance, for one. Suffering, for another. Embarrassment. Annoyance. And love. She wanted to throttle Charlotte, he could tell, but because she loved her friend, she was allowing her to push her about this way.

Plus, she didn’t expect to succeed in her own quest for a mate. How he knew that, he didn’t know, but he was absolutely positive that Miss Georgina felt her friend was fighting a losing battle in her defense. Which was silly. She was perfectly lovely—it’s just that she needed to let herself… “Glow,” he murmured.

“I beg your pardon?” Miss Georgina murmured back.

“I—excuse me. I was just thinking aloud. Forgive me.” Of what he was thinking, he had no idea. Sebastian straightened his shoulders and cleared his throat. Damn spring in London. The fresh air was giving him fits of poetry, and worse–gallantry.

You can find A Rogue of Her Own on Amazon.

Bio:

Cynthia Blackburn is better at writing than at taking selfies. Her favorite thing to write is romance. When she’s not writing, she can be found mucking out stalls for Horses Bring Hope, a non-profit organization, or mucking out the house for her three children, two dogs and one husband. A native of Rhode Island, she guzzles coffee (hot or iced), and enjoys haunting historical cemeteries and deserted local beaches.

 

 

Winter Blog Hop! Day 2 – Anni Fife

Welcome to day 2 of the Winter Blog Hop! Today’s guest is Anni Fife. Anni writes seriously steamy romance for The Wild Rose Press.

Hop on over to Anni’s blog, where she’s giving us Dani’s Inside Track on Online Shopping–For Fashionistas Everywhere!  A marvelously fun post about that time of year when she’s looking for life-saving shopping bargains so she can buy her holiday splurge outfits and fabulous party get-ups. Not to mention that must-have little black dress. 😉

Check out Anni’s latest sexy release, Luke’s Redemption, available now.

Visit Anni’s website and join Anni’s Posse to get regular updates and Bonus Treats, or find her on FacebookTwitter, Amazon, or Goodreads

Winter Blog Hop! Day 1 – Peggy Jaeger

Welcome to my Winter Blog Hop! From now until December 25, I’ll be featuring a different romance author, everywhere along the spectrum from historical to paranormal to contemporary, many of whom will be offering a giveaway. Stop by every day to see who’s on deck.

Today’s visitor is fellow Wild Rose author Peggy Jaeger. Peggy was married at Christmas time, and she tells us all about it on her blog, www.peggyjaeger.com.

While you’re there, leave a comment to be entered in her giveaway, and be sure to check out Peggy’s new Christmas release, A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights.

Tomorrow’s guest will be Wild Rose author Anni Fife!

Winter Blog Hop Coming Soon!

Happy almost winter, everyone! In order to celebrate the December release of my next book, Tempting Mr. Jordan, I have invited some of my author friends to join me in an advent calendar-style blog hop. Every day from December 1-25 will feature a post from a different romance author. Most of them are offering giveaways, so check back here every day for a chance to win some great prizes, including a fabulous Maine-themed gift basket from me and Becky Lower, in honor of our Maine-set books coming out this month.

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Check out this talent!
December 1: Peggy Jaeger
December 2: Anni Fife
December 3: Cynthia Blackburn
December 4: Maggie Preston
December 5: Becky Lower
December 6: Landra Graf
December 7: Becky Lower, part two!
December 8: Miranda Liasson
December 9: Jennifer Shirk
December 10: Lori Sizemore
December 11: Judy Ann Davis
December 12: Hywela Lyn
December 13: Julie Jarnagin
December 14: Lynn Crain
December 15: Nina Croft
December 16: Tricia Schneider
December 17: Judy McDonough
December 18: Tara Harlow
December 19: Marin McGinnis
December 20: Anna Durand
December 21: Barbara Bettis
December 22: Tena Stetler
December 23: Clair Brett
December 24: Danielle Haas
December 25: Merry Christmas!

And now I have about 10,000 words to go to win NaNo and four days remaining (you do the math), so I’d better get back to work…

Book Blast Friday: Cover Reveal!

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with breathless anticipation–or possibly not–but finally, the time has come to reveal my beautiful cover for my third book featuring the Tenwick family.

Tempting Mr. Jordan is set six years after my first book, Stirring Up the Viscount, and features Jonathan Tenwick’s younger sister, Julia, all grown up.

After four unsuccessful London seasons, Lady Julia Tenwick despairs of ever making a love match. With spinsterhood looming on the horizon, she and a friend set sail for America on one last adventure. When her travels take her to northern Maine, Julia meets a reclusive but handsome artist, whose rudeness masks a broken heart Julia feels compelled to mend.

Still haunted by the betrayal and death of his pregnant wife two years before, Geoffrey Jordan is determined never to risk his heart again. Certainly not with the gorgeous and impetuous aristocrat who intrudes upon his small-town solitude, and is far too similar to his late wife to tempt him to take another chance on love.

But when Julia and Geoffrey find themselves united in a reckless plan to save Julia’s friend from ruin, they discover that temptation is impossible to resist.

So without further ado, here’s the cover, designed by cover artist extraordinare, Rae Monet:

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Stay tuned for a release date! In the meantime, check out my Pinterest page for some of my inspiration for this book.

Historical Cover Reveal–Tricia Schneider

Happy Friday, kids! For Book Blast Friday (I know, I haven’t done one in a while), I’m doing a cover reveal for fellow Wild Rose historical author Tricia Schneider. Check out her gorgeous new cover for her upcoming release, The Pirate’s Lady!

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Captain Marco Dante was captured and sentenced to hang two years ago, but he escaped before his punishment was carried out. Now he’s come back to the woman whose memory kept him alive those long months in prison. Arianne had been his grand passion, but he failed to see how much she meant to him until it was too late. Can he recapture her heart? Or has he lost her forever?

Arianne never imagined she’d see her notorious pirate lover again. Though her heart sings with joy at his return, she knows he hasn’t come back for her but for the treasure he left behind. She agrees to help him find it, but can her heart withstand one more adventure with him?

For more about Tricia’s books–and buy links–visit her website at http://www.triciaschneider.com/books/historical-romance/

 

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About Tricia:

Tricia Schneider is a historical and paranormal romance author. Before the supernatural took possession of her pen, she worked for several years in a bookstore as Assistant Manager and bookseller. Now she writes full-time while raising her four young children and 3 rescued cats. She lives with her musician husband in the coal country of Pennsylvania.

http://www.triciaschneider.com

 

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