Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Straighten that sock drawer, pump that iron...


Hard to believe another year has passed and a new one has begun!

~ * ~

I always look forward to the New Year as a fresh start! And I thought I'd share my resolution list! So here goes...

Be more adventurous.
(I tend to err on the side of caution.)

Lose 10 pounds.
(Doesn't sound like much but for me it's a monumental feat.)

Go camping whenever possible.
(A soothing campfire. Need I say more?)

Take more time to read.
(It's one of my favorite things to do.)

Visit Woodstock, Vermont.
(I wrote about it in Big on Christmas!)

Attend writers and readers conferences.
(I haven't been to one in 3 years. I'm overdue.)

More book signings.
(Didn't engage in any in 2014. My bad.)

Try hummus.
(Random thought.)

Write a children's book.
(Promised my grand-kids I'd write one.)

Make the bestseller's list.
(A lofty goal. Fingers crossed.) 

Don't fear getting a new hairstyle.
(I have boring hair.)

Get on the exercise bike and pedal my ___ off.
(haha! Fill in the blank)

Clean my sock drawer.
(You should see it - it's hideous!) 

Pump that iron and get defined arm muscles.
(Stop laughing. It could happen.)

Enjoy more sunrises and sunsets!
(So peaceful!)

Forgo the chips and chocolate.
 (Maybe I should try reverse psychology and say 'forgo carrots and celery'. Hmm.)

Last but not least, give thanks every day to The Lord for this incredible life I've been given!

Wishing all of you a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Piper's Piping by Dylan Newton

I'm delighted to welcome Dylan Newton to my blog with her book, Piper's Piping - part of the Twelve Brides of Christmas blog hop!

PIPER'S PIPING is a holiday tale with a werewolf twist. Santa's not the only mythical being working overtime to save Christmas!

From Dylan...

Thank you so much for hosting me today for the awesome "12 Brides of Christmas" Author Spotlight! In my book Piper's Piping, my werewolf heroine (much as I have always wanted to do!) travels to Ireland for the holidays. But as with much of Aribella's life, her long-awaited honeymoon doesn't quite turn out the way she planned!

For a chance to win a FREE e-copy of "Piper's Piping" -- my holiday story with a werewolf twist -- comment below with your answer to my holiday question:

If you could go anywhere for the holidays, where would you go and why?

I can't wait to hear where you'd go, and because I'm a writer -- I'm curious as to WHY you'd choose that location! We writers need to know the backstory! I will be choosing one random comment by noon tomorrow for that FREE e-copy, so scroll down and comment below!

Here's a little bit about my book, Piper's Piping, including an excerpt and some buy links for you! Thanks again for stopping by, and don't forget to comment for a chance to WIN!!!


"Piper's Piping" blurb:

Werewolf Aribella Lupari-Gray is on her long-awaited honeymoon. Or at least, that was the plan. When she and Mason land in Ireland just before Christmas, their dream holiday turns into a nightmare: the pack's werewolf children have all vanished. 

To top it off, the werewolf king -- who was supposedly to sanctify Ari's marriage to a human -- is away searching for the missing pups and may not return in time to grant his official blessing, jeopardizing her family's future status within the pack.

If things don't change fast, there may not even be a marriage to bless. Ari's desire to help puts her life -- and her relationship with Mason -- in jeopardy.

With Mason gone, presumably back to the States and Christmas on the doorstep, Ari sets out on one final mission to find the lost pups. Her life and the pack's young in the balance, will Ari be able to perform a holiday miracle or will she die trying?

"Piper's Piping excerpt:

Ari unfolded the note, and glitter cascaded down from the folds.

"Santa loves sparkly things," Keeva said, anxiously eyeing the lost glitter. "So after I wrote my Christmas list, I outlined it in red and green litter. See?"

Ari's smiled faded as she scanned the child's crayoned letter.

Dear Santa,
Can you please find my cousins for Christmas? Even Phaedra, but do not give her candy, as she is not a good sharer.

I know you won't have room in your sleigh for toys with all those kids, so you don't have to give me anything else. But maybe you can fit a kitten in your pocket? Mum says no way can a werewolf have a cat, but if you bring one she will have to say yes.

Thank you,
Keeva Carney

P.S. I like black kittens best.

Ari carefully refolded the paper, and Keeva stuffed it into her stocking once more.

"Mum said Santa is busy Christmas Eve, but if that's all I ask for, he'll bring them back. He won't let them miss Christmas, right?" Keeva looked up at Ari.

Ruffling the girl's ginger hair, Ari mustered a smile. "When a good girl asks Santa for something, how can he resist?"

As Keeva scampered to the kitchen for dinner, Ari stared fixedly at the festive decorations. Santa was in way over his mythical head.

Buy Links 

Author bio:

Dylan Newton was born and raised in a small town in Upstate New York where the local library was her favorite hang-out. Despite earning a degree in English Literature, Dylan spent more than a decade sidetracked by an executive position in corporate America where she swears she contracted testosterone poisoning. After leaving, she dedicated herself to more estrogen-rich passions, like motherhood, writing romance novels and her never-ending quest for the perfect date night.

Dylan married her high-school sweetheart and they are busy living out their own happily-ever-after in sunny Florida with their two incredible daughters.

Visit Dylan at or on Facebook at

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Tenth Suitor by Laura Strickland

It's a pleasure to welcome Laura Strickland with - The Tenth Suitor - part of the Twelve Brides of Christmas series!

Laura Strickland

THE TENTH SUITOR:  With ten lords a-leaping for her favor, will she choose the fool?

From Laura Strickland...

I'm so please to be here today as part of the "12 Brides of Christmas" Author Spotlight! For a chance to win an electronic copy of my other Christmas novella released this year, MRS. CLAUS AND THE VIKING SHIP, just comment with your answer to this question:  As the heroine of THE TENTH SUITOR discovers, Christmas is the perfect time for romance, so what's the most romantic Christmas gift you ever received? (We'll need to keep it PG, please!) I'll bet you have some beautiful stories to share!

I will be choosing one random comment by noon tomorrow for the free e-copy of my magical story, so be sure to comment below!

~ * ~

I think it's such a lovely idea to have twelve wonderful Christmas tales about brides and true love. Here's a bit about my book, THE TENTH SUITOR, including an excerpt and some buy links for you! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope everyone has a warm and wonderful holiday season!


When Edwina Armstrong's father invites ten titled lords to spend Christmas at his estate so Edwina may choose one for a husband, she finds the idea romantic. She dreams of gazing into the eyes of one of her suitors and falling deeply in love. But it soon becomes apparent the lords in question are far more interested in gaining her father's estate than Edwina's hand.

Thorstan's in attendance but he hasn't been invited and he's no lord. A former mercenary, he's come disguised as a fool to get near Edwina, long adored from afar. Edwina quickly falls for his charm and quirky humor even though she fears her father will never approve of a commoner for her husband. But when Edwina is abducted, only Thorstan -- a skilled swordsman -- has hope of rescuing her in time for the promised Christmas wedding.


     Edwina quickened her steps, and the fool drew her arm more closely against his side. Oh, highly improper, but at the moment she did not care.

     A guard stood at the gate. Edwina nodded to him, and they passed into the chill of the evening, and a wash of moonlight. 

     A stone wall lay to the left; Edwina urged her escort there and drew a deep draught of air. "You are right, Lord Fool. Much better."

     "'Lord Fool'?" he questioned, his mouth beside her ear.

     "If you can call me 'lady,' I can call you 'lord'." She turned her head and found her face very near his. Aye, most improper - but it was such a luxury to be with a man taller than she.

     Too bad he was just a fool.

     He leaned on the wall beside her. "My fool's wisdom tells me you are not enjoying this great pageant staged for your benefit."

     "That I am not."

     "Yet I hear there is much gaiety and frolic yet to come - a play, and even a masked dance."

     "Aye. Perhaps you can attend as a fool."

     "Perhaps I will. If I do, will you dance with me?" He caught both her hands and, in true fool's fashion, whirled her about in the cold air until her breath came fast and she laughed aloud. Edwina could no longer hear the music from inside, but the fool hummed a tune in a deep, velvety voice. The moonlight flickered around them, striping his face in brightness and then shadow until all she could see was the laughter in his eyes. When they came to rest at last, she leaned against him.

     "You should laugh more often," he said. "It makes you even more beautiful."

     Suddenly Edwina felt breathless from more than the whirling dance.

Buy links for THE TENTH SUITOR:

Author web page:

Laura Strickland's bio:

Born and raised in Western New York, Laura Strickland has pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. Though her imagination frequently takes her to far off places, she is usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario with her husband and her "fur" child, a rescue dog. Author of Scottish romance Devil Black as well as The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy consisting of Daughter of Sherwood, Champion of Sherwood and Lord of Sherwood, she is currently working on the second book of a new Steampunk romance series and has two Christmas novellas releasing this season:  The Tenth Suitor, and Mrs. Claus and the Viking Ship.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Faerie Faith by Silver James


by Silver James

"Will a fae harper find his faith in time to save his Christmas bride and his magic?"

It's a pleasure to welcome Silver James to my blog as part of the Twelve Brides of Christmas blog hop!

From Silver...

Thank you so much for hosting me today for the fantastic "12 Brides of Christmas" Author Spotlight! In my book, FAERIE FAITH, Abhean, the Fae Harper, has been exiled to the mortal realm and strippeef of his memory and his magic. He's now a street musician in New York City during the Christmas holidays. With so many great Christmas movies set in NYC, I've always wanted to experience Christmas in the Big Apple.

For a chance to win a FREE e-copy of FAERIE FAITH -- my magical holiday story -- comment below with your answer to m y holiday question:

If you could go to NYC during the Christmas season, what one thing would be on your Must Do List?
Macy's Christmas Parade? The Rockettes? Ice skating at Rockefeller Center? And because I'm a writer, I want to know why you chose this activity. Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win. You must also leave your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win! I'll randomly select a winner on Christmas Eve so make sure I have your emails!

Here's a little bit about my book, FAERIE FAITH, including an excerpt and the places where you can find it. Thanks again for stopping by, and don't forget to comment for a chance to WIN!!!


Abhean, the fae harper, is exiled to the mortal realm until he finds the other half of his heart. As Venn McLyre, the NYC street musician, he has no memory of his true nature -- or his magic. When he steps in to save reluctant bride, Gwyneth Riley, he could lose more than his heart -- he could lose his immortality.

Socialite Gwyn Riley is resigned to marrying Sumner Barrett, son of her mother's best friend. A marriage based on duty to family and convenience, she has no pretensions about love. It takes the magic touch of poor musician to open her heart to the possibilities. When three couples arrive to remind Venn of his identity, he has only moments to stop Gwyn's wedding. Is he too late, or with the King of Tir Nan Og step in to grant Abhean and Gywn their own happy ever after?


Hours stretched into days, and finally, Venn could stand it no longer. He grabbed his duffel stuffed with instruments and headed out. He would drown his sorrow in music. He would fill the air with laments until the who city's heart broke and the people wept with him. He caught the subway, traveling close to Times Square before he de-trained. The crowds here were good, filled with holiday cheer. The trains ran on a schedule that gave him time for a song between. He took up his station between the platform and turnstiles. Setting out his copper pot, he withdrew the soft fiddle case from his duffel and pulled out his violin. After a few tweaks, he pulled his bow across the strings. People paused. He flexed his fingers and began to play.

Notes ripped from the depths of his soul filled the air, each one dripping a tear. His hair flew around his face as he coaxed the tune from wood and string. The violin wailed, baring Venn's tortured soul. Then it wept but offered no consolation for his loss. Gwyn. Her name was both a prayer and a curse on the tip of his tongue. How could one woman bring him to the depths of despair? He'd sworn never to love, but he'd had no choice. She stole his heart, surrounding his darkness with light and sweetness, with sunset hair and Galway blue eyes.

He finished the song, one dredged from his soul, on a last sighing note. Silence thundered in his ears. A woman stepped forward, tears streaking her perfect makeup. She dropped money in his pot and moved on.

Buy Links for FAERIE FAITH 

Amazon | Wild Rose Press | All Romance and mark it WANT TO READ on Goodreads

Author bio:

Silver James likes to take walks on the dark side and coffee. Okay. She loves coffee. LOTS of coffee. Warning: Her muse, Iffy, runs with scissors and can be quite dangerous. She's the author of two award-winning urban fantasy series, Moonstruck and The Penumbra Papers. She's been a military officer's wife, mother, state appellate court marshal, airport rescue firefighter and forensic fire photographer, crime analyst, technical crime scene investigator, and writer of magic and mystery. Now retired from the "real world", she lives in Oklahoma and spends her days at the computer with two Newfoundland dogs, the cat who rules them all, and myriad characters all clamoring for attention. She writes dark paranormal thrillers, time travel romance, and sexy contemporary romance. To find out more about Silver, visit her at, like her on FACEBOOK, or follow her infrequent tweets at @SilverJames_. You can also sign up for SILVER’S NEWSLETTER by clicking.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Case for Calamity by Mackenzie Crowne

Mackenzie Crowne

Mackenzie Crowne is visiting me today with her book, A Case for Calamity, part of the The Wild Rose Press's "Twelve Brides of Christmas" series.

Here's the blurb for Mac's fun contemporary romance:

For Jane Whitmore, agreeing to switch identities with her best friend seems like innocent fun, but spending a romantic night in Paris with a man who doesn't know her real name turns out to be a lark gone bad. When their one night of passion proves to have lasting results, tracking down Gabe Sutton and telling him he's about to be the father of her child is just another calamity Jane would rather avoid. After years of avoiding long-term romantic entanglements, Gabe has found a woman he might just be able to build a life with, only to have her disappear. When he finally finds her, his belief in happily-ever-after staggers under the weight of deception, and looming fatherhood leaves him with two choices: fight her for custody of his future child or cling to the promise of true love.

And an excerpt to whet our appetite for more:

     "He doesn't even know my name. What am I supposed to do? Walk up to him and say, 'Hi Gabe. I'm the chick who tricked you into believing I was Michael Austin's daughter two months ago in Paris. Oh, and by the way, I'm having your baby?'"
     "I was thinking more along the lines of, 'Hi Gabe. I'm the chick who snuck out of your hotel room in Paris before you could say Good morning, beautiful. By the way, I had a really good time -- and six orgasms. Oh, and I'm having your baby. Want to get a pizza?"
     Jane laughed at Shae's cheeky grin, then shoved her fingers through her hair. "Right. That'll work."
     "I googled him. You're right. He's hawt! He left his number that morning in Paris." She smiled slyly. "You should call him."
     Jane snorted. "I don't think giving Gabe Sutton a booty call would be a good idea. Besides, I'm on a sabbatical from men."
     Shae waggled her brows. "What's that old saying? When you fall off a horse, you need to climb right back on?"

** Comment on Mac's Christmas question for a chance to enter her giveaway. ** 

Here's Mac's question:  Solid Christmas lights or colors? 

(From Mac... I will be gifting an e-copy of one of my TWRP titles to three separate winners chosen randomly from all commenters. Winners' choice.)  

Buy links: The Wild Rose Press  Amazon  Kobo

Mac's links:

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon Author Page

Facebook Author Page

Twitter @maccrowne


Mac's bio:

Wife, mother and really young grandmother, Mac lives with her high school sweetheart husband, a neurotic Pomeranian, and a blind cat. She calls Phoenix home because the southwest feeds her soul. Though her friends claim she's a princess, she disagrees. After all, one can't raise two rambunctious boys to wonderful men without getting a little dirt under their nails. A lover of the romance genre, her resolve to share her stories with others was sharpened by a bout with breast cancer. Today she is an award-winning, multi-published author and seven year survivor, living the dream. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Seven Swans Bride by Donna Dalton - Twelve Brides of Christmas series

Donna Dalton, author of Seven Swans Bride, joins me as part of the Twelve Brides of Christmas blog hop!

Welcome, Donna!

From Donna...

Thank you so much for hosting me today for the Twelve Brides of Christmas author spotlight! My book, "Seven Swans Bride" is the seventh stanza of the Twelve Days of Christmas which includes seven swans a' swimming - and of course a bride. This sweet historical romance is set just after the American civil war.

For a chance to win a FREE e-copy of "Seven Swans Bride" comment below with your answer to my holiday question. I will be choosing one random comment by noon EST tomorrow, so scroll down and leave a comment!

Holiday question:  Do you have any holiday traditions that have been passed down through the years from generation to generation? If so, I'd love to hear about them. If not, just list a tradition you'd like to see started.

Here's a little bit about my book, "Seven Swans Bride", including an excerpt and some buy links for you! Thanks again for stopping by, and don't forget to comment for a chance to WIN!!!

Seven Swans Bride blurb:

Family comes first for Abigail Whitlock. She'll do anything to make it home to Seven Swans in time for Christmas and to attend her sister's wedding - even if it means braving unforgiving mountainous terrain, fickle winter weather, and a captivating escort who threatens to steal her heart.

Country and duty come before all else for Major Evander Holt. He's scheduled to arrive at his new assignment by year's end, but a rockslide, a wily politician, and a headstrong, impetuous lady put his travel plans on hold. He doesn't need to come to her rescue, and he certainly doesn't need to fall in love with her. But there's something about Abigail he can't resist...even if it means risking his career.

Seven Swans Bride excerpt:

Evander moved into the station house and closed the door behind him. Passengers littered the floor like routed soldiers, some sitting on trunks, others standing in small groups, their faces creased with apprehension. Even the children were subdued. The sudden cessation of their trip had everyone battle-shocked. 

On the other side of the room near the ticket counter, Miss Whitlock and Congressman Jones had their gazes locked on him. One looked as though she'd swallowed a dose of castor oil. The other wore a satisfied grin. Were those expressions for him? Neither was particularly welcoming.

Miss Whitlock broke off her stare and fiddled with her crooked hat feather. Hair the color sun-ripened wheat poured out from beneath her hat and framed her pretty face now flushed a charming shade of pink. He couldn't see her eyes from across the distance, but he recalled their intensity as he held her close after the sudden braking of the train. They were deep blue, like a bottomless ocean, one a less sentient man might drown in.

Buy links:

The Wild Rose Press:


Author BIO:

Donna Dalton uses the rich history of her home state of Virginia and the American Civil War to create action-packed, emotional romances. Her favorite pastime is to tour the many battlefields and museums and bring those places to life in her stories. She has four full-length historical novels published with The Wild Rose Press as well as several contemporary short stories. You can visit her at or on Facebook at

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Six Geese for Monica by Brenda Gayle

Brenda Gayle

Today I happily welcome, Brenda Gayle, with her latest release Six Geese for Monica.

A little bit about Brenda...

I've been a writer all my life but returned to my love of fiction after more than 20 years in the world of corporate communications -- although some might argue there is plenty of opportunity for fiction-writing there, too. I have a Master's degree in journalism and an undergraduate degree in psychology. A fan of many genres, I am drawn to contemporary romance and enjoy creating deeply emotional stories with elements of mystery and suspense.

I live in eastern Ontario (Canada) with my wonderful husband, two fabulous children, a rescued cat, two Siberian Huskies, and assorted aquatic wildlife.  

Thank you so much for hosting me today, Jan. I love Christmas stories, so when The Wild Rose Press asked me to contribute to its Twelve Brides of Christmas anthology, I jumped at the opportunity. What could be more wonderful than a series that involves brides, Christmas, and one of the "gifts" of the famous Twelve Days of Christmas song? Of course, I hadn't fully considered that I'd have to work "six geese a-laying" into my plot, but that just made it more fun.

For a chance to win a FREE e-copy of Six Geese for Monica let me know:  What is a typical Christmas meal at your home?

I'll start:  Turkey is an absolute essential at my Christmas table. I've tried to convince my family to be adventurous and try ham or goose (which would be very awkward this year), but they'll have none of it. In addition, there's usually mashed potatoes, green beans, and a squash/carrot casserole. Dessert is generally an assortment of baking my mother has provided, as well as a heated Christmas pudding with a decadent hard sauce (essentially an excuse to eat pure sugar blended with rich cream).

Here's a little bit about Six Geese for Monica, including an excerpt and some buy links for you. Thanks again for stopping by and please come back tomorrow to meet another Twelve Brides author. And, of course, don't forget to comment for a chance to win the book. I'll be randomly picking one comment tomorrow.

Six Geese for Monica blurb:

Seven years ago Monica Stevens left her home town with no intention of returning. Her inability to conceive a child not only devastated her fifteen-year marriage, it made her doubt her appeal as a woman. When her mother has to undergo surgery, she reluctantly agrees to come back and run the Mother Goose Daycare.

Luke Donovan is struggling to balance his career with his duties as a single father to six adopted children. The death of his wife has thrown the adoption of their two youngest sons into limbo. He is further stymied by a dogmatic social worker who questions whether a single parent can adequately care for so many children. 

Initially brought together by the children, Monica and Luke quickly surrender to their growing passion. But when she learns about the threatened adoption, Monica wonders if Luke's interest in her is only as a mother to his children. Is history about to repeat itself, or will a Christmas miracle finally give Monica the family she's always dreamed of having?

Six Geese for Monica excerpt:

"Gotta love the Internet. There's a music stream for every situation." He took a step toward her and held out his hand. "Wanna dance?"

Monica allowed the music to move through her as she and Luke dance through Culture Club, Olivia Newton-John's "Physical," and Hall and Oates' "Maneater." She hadn't heard this music in years and it brought back feelings of being young and free, and a sense of wild abandon she'd experienced on the high school dance floor.

The mood shifted as the attic filled with the first strains of "Sailing" by Christopher Cross. That, too, brought back high school memories of those awkward moments when you didn't know if the boy you were dancing with was willing to slow dance with you or if he was going to abandon you on the dance floor.

Luke didn't hesitate. He wrapped both arms around her waist as if it was the most natural thing in the world. She reached up to encircle his neck, and rested her head against his chest. She could hear his heart beating, steady and firm. He was steady and firm. He smelled wonderful, a mixture of his woodsy aftershave with the softly sweet scent of the soap used by both him and his children.

He was a good dancer, his moves confident and clear. It was obviously something he'd done a lot of. Jeff hadn't like to dance -- typical jock -- and she'd missed it during their time together -- and after. How long since she'd been held on a dance floor? Or not on the dance floor, for that matter?

A good dancer. A good husband. A good father. Why couldn't she have met Luke, or someone like him, twenty years ago?

Buy Links: 

Amazon Kindle:

The Wild Rose Press (all books):

You can connect with Brenda here:





Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Mystery of the Claddagh Rings by Kallie Lane - Twelve Brides of Christmas series

Kallie Lane

It's a joy to welcome Kallie Lane to my blog as part of the Twelve Brides of Christmas series blog hop! She comes to us with her book, The Mystery of the Claddagh Rings.


Worried about her family, Fiona returns home to find her mother in danger when the Claddagh rings resurface along with the hit men searching for them. Approached by an FBI agent who offers to protect her in exchange for the rings, she must decide - trust a mysterious stranger who is not all he seems. Or go it alone and lose everything...maybe even her life.

Under pressure to retrieve the rings, Agent O'Shea is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done, even if it means putting Fiona in the crossfire. He never imagines her strength and spirit will touch his heart, leaving him with a choice -- give in to his desire for her or ignore the danger she's in to clear his father's name.

As they join forces to beat the odds, will he be able to keep her safe...or will he surrender to the legacy of the Claddagh rings and let her go?

A few words from Kallie...

I loved writing this short story. Fiona's celebrity mother attracts danger like a moth to a flame. Her former indiscretion has far reaching consequences, plunging Fiona headfirst into danger...and straight into the arms of Special Agent Ryan O'Shea. Fiona's loyalty is divided between her mother and Ryan. Ryan's allegiance wavers between Fiona and the case he must solve. The Claddagh rings hold the secret to millions intended to fund a terrorist organization -- a treasure the old guard IRA is willing to kill to possess. Now it's up to Ryan to protect Fiona while keeping his eye on the prize. 

A digital copy of this book will be given away on December 24th. Please leave a comment on this site along with your email address for a chance to win!

Book links:

Amazon --

B&N --

Chapters/Indigo --

The Wild Rose Press --

About the author:

Kallie Lane writes suspenseful romantic fiction with a touch of humor to lighten the dark moments. She understands the rough edges of alpha males and loves to write about them, helping them find the women who complete them in every way that matters. She excels at hard hitting action and complex relationships that end with heroine and hero building a life together.

Kallie loves to write stores with realistic characters, intricate plots, and happy endings. With her Shadow Soldier series, she has had the pleasure of meeting many military men who fit the bill. And while she loves doing extensive research, many of the locations and perils in her stories stem from personal experience. The isolated cottage in Dark Abandon is her own, her boating disasters serving as inspiration for her heroine's. Her recent release, Reckless Abandon, takes place at a rodeo where she spent much of her time. She was thrilled when the novel was rated Best Book by Long and Short Reviews.

Kallie lives in Canada, was born and raised there, and loves winter in the cool blue North. Ever the optimist, she claims a hot toddy by the fire can work wonders after dragging oneself through snowdrifts and -45C degree temperatures. The perfect setting for hatching romantic suspense novels.

To learn more about Kallie, visit her website at or follow her on Facebook at or Twitter at

Monday, December 15, 2014

Till the World is Safe for Dreams by Fleeta Cunningham - Twelve Brides of Christmas series

Today as part of the Twelve Brides of Christmas series blog hop, I welcome Fleeta Cunningham!

From Fleeta...

Thank you so much for hosting me today for the "12 Brides of Christmas" Author Spotlight! My book Till the World is Safe for Dreams is the third stanza of the Twelve Days of Christmas which includes three French hens -- and a World War II bride. It's a sweet story set in the turbulent days of 1942.

For a chance to win a FREE e-copy of Till the World is Safe for Dreams comment below with your memory of a Christmas when things just didn't work out the way you planned. I will be choosing one random comment by 6:00 p.m. Central Time tomorrow, so leave a comment! Thanks again for stopping by, and please leave your comments.

Here's a little bit about the story including an excerpt and some buy links:


A lot of dreams were put on hold when bombs hit Pearl Harbor, including Kay and Jeremy's wedding plans. Now he's half a world away, injured, and Kay is hiding her worry about his wounds from her meddlesome grandmother and aunts who disregard the realities of war and are determined to plan a fairytale wedding. Kay is carrying on, spending her days in a war plant, forging bonds with other women who worry and wait. Then she hears -- Jeremy's injuries are serious, life threatening. Will he come back? If he does, will he be the same? Will the world ever be safe for dreams?


Kay thought of Jeremy, halfway around the world, hurt -- who knew how badly -- and knew if he were sent home, it would be for something serious. Of course, she wanted him home. Yes, she'd been certain of becoming his wife for two and a half years. And once, an age ago, in a different life, she'd dreamed of coming down the aisle of the family church shimmering in white silk, trailing orange blossoms and tulle. But everybody was making sacrifices, putting personal plans on hold, until the world was again safe for dreams. She wouldn't ask for more than that -- that the world was at peace, and everyone's special person was home. Her wedding, and the future she and Jeremy had envisioned would wait. It had to. "Miss Mary Katherine Abbott?"  "Yes, this is she. Who's calling, please?"  "Peters, Nolan Peters. I met you at your grandmother's party." "I remember you." Kay's heart beat triple time, her throat tight, as she waited to hear the reason for the call. "Sorry to call so late. Your Jeremy is up against it. The leg has developed a nasty infection, and so far the medicine isn't doing the job. His fever is raging, and he's in a damnable amount of pain. The situation is critical. No way to say this to make it easier. There's a good chance the boy is going to lose that leg. It may come down to the leg or his life." The rest of his message came in a rush. "Better if you hear it from me instead of V-mail. The next forty-eight hours will tell the doctors what they're dealing with. And I'll make sure you know, as soon as there's news."

Buy links:

Amazon -

The Wild Rose Press -


In Till the World is Safe for Dreams, you often mention rationing and the shortages the folks at home faced during World War II. How did families manage Christmas with so many staples of holiday cooking rationed?

During the warm, everyone faced hard times with ingenuity and 'make-do' determination. Women with small children were hard pressed to create a holiday meal for their families. And finding a way for Santa to bring presents to the children was no easy task. Newspaper columns, like the one Kay's mother writes in the story, offered special recipes, making use of every substitute, so some flavor of the holidays was maintained. Sugar was scarce and so was coffee. But honey and molasses were available so many cake and candy recipes used them to replace sugar. Most homes had a small "Victory Garden", often converted from a flowerbed to a vegetable patch, and home canning kept meals healthy and colorful. Though meat was rationed, chicken wasn't, and many a festive meal featured a baked hen as the main course. On Christmas Even, not many stockings were filled with candy, but an orange was a special treat. Many a little girl was thrilled to have a rag doll, created from the odds and ends from her mother's scrap bag. Fortunate was the boy who received a homemade set of bow and arrows constructed in Grandpa's garage.

If you really want to try living on the rations of 1942, here's a typical week's provisions for one adult (children would be apportioned half as much):

Weekly ration for 1 adult

Bacon and Ham 4 oz. 
Meat to the value of 1 shilling and sixpence (around 1/2 lb minced beef)
Butter 2 oz.
Cheese 2 oz.
Margarine 4 oz.
Cooking fat 4 oz.
Milk 3 pints
Sugar 8 oz.
Preserves 1 lb. every 2 months
Tea  2 oz.
Eggs 1 fresh egg per week
Sweets/Candy 12 oz. every 4 weeks

You might want to try the cake Kay's aunt created for Christmas; here's the recipe.

Sugarless, Eggless Cake

3/4 c. molasses
1/4 c. oil
1 1/4 c. flour
* 1 c. corn flour
1 c. milk
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 c. raisins
*Grind corn flour meal until it is fine as flour

Beat molasses and oil. Add flours and milk, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and cloves, stirring just until smooth. Add raisins. Pour into loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.

Christmas didn't work out quite the way and her family expected. Maybe you had one that had an unexpected twist too. Tell us about it and you might win a copy of Till the World is Safe for Dreams. Look forward to hearing from you.

Fleeta's Bio:

A fifth generation Texan, Fleeta Cunningham has lived in a number of small Texas towns. Drawing on all of them, she created Santa Rita and its inhabitants. After a career as a law librarian for a major Texas law firm, writing a monthly column for a professional newsletter and other legal publications, she returned to her home in Central Texas to write full time. Along the way, she and her mother had a successful wedding design business, numbering celebrity weddings and 'unique' events in their twenty-five years of partnership. Fleeta has been writing in one form or another since the age of eight. When she isn't writing, she teaches creative writing classes, serves as a wedding coordinator for her church and keeps house for her feline roommates. Her other musings can be found at or her website She loves to hear from readers. The Santa Rita series includes DON'T CALL ME DARLIN', BLACK RAIN RISING, ELOPEMENT FOR ONE, HALF PAST MOURNING, and CRY AGAINST THE WIND. The first book in her new series, Confronting Destiny, BAL MASQUE, was released earlier this year. Her story, "Help Wanted: WIFE" was named Book of the Month by Long and Short Reviews.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Late for the Wedding by Barbara Edwards - Twelve Brides of Christmas series

Today I happily welcome Barbara Edwards to my blog as part of the Twelve Brides of Christmas blog hop! She comes to us with her contemporary romance, Late for the Wedding

From Barbara...

During the last Nor'easter, we were cut off for six days by the snow. It gave me an idea for Late for the Wedding


Heather Green will do anything to make her twin's wedding perfect. Despite an impending nor'easter, she sets out with the wedding dress, cake, favors and cake topper in her car. As the snow piles up, her car is wrecked and she barely misses injury in a major accident. Nicholas Burnes would rather be ensconced with his latest cuddle than drive a tow truck, but his brother needs his help. He reluctantly agrees to help Heather find a way to the wedding locale, but when the storm closes the roads, he ends up offering her shelter in his penthouse. Warm and rested at last, Nick and Heather explore their powerful attraction to each other, only to part when he delivers her, on time, to her sister's wedding. But weddings breed weddings...


     She strained to see past the broken windshield. Her throat hurt when she swallowed. Other vehicles lay tangled in a  mess, not just the truck and her car. She prayed another car wouldn't hit her again and inhaled to calm her racing pulse. She finally got the seatbelt lock to release, forced her door open and stood. Her knees shook and she had to hang onto the sagging door for support. She stared around. Headlights glittered like monster eyes. Her vehicle was at the edge of a horrendous multi-car pile-up.

     Sirens wailed like lost children. Blinding red and blue lights flashed everywhere as emergency personnel rushed by. Her hands shook as she dragged on her cashmere coat. Time squeezed and expanded like an accordion being played. A fireman asked if she was okay and ran on at her nod.

     She brushed moisture from her face and realized she was crying. She pillowed her head on her arm, the roof supporting her as she wept.

     "Hey, lady, you okay?" A gentle hand gripped her shoulder.

     This time the questioner stopped to listen.

     She looked up into scorching blue eyes so bright they could've been a propane flame. Her skin warmed and her pulse leaped as if it recognized the message in them. They promised heat and comfort and strength like the hand on her shoulder. He'd pulled his knit had down over his forehead and his lower face was covered with dark stubble that matched his thick black eyelashes. His hands were splotched with grease and he smelled like oil and fuel fumes. His quilted jacket was stained and patched, his boots wet and cracked, but he exuded strength and caring.

     She swallowed. Her mouth was suddenly dry. Another fixer-upper, like her ex, she briefly thought, although with those gorgeous eyes he might be worth the trouble. 

Barbara's bio:

     I'm Barbara Edwards and a native New Englander. I'm a graduate of the University of Hartford with a Master's degree in Public Administration. I write poetry for myself and novels when I need to tell a longer tale. I'm fascinated by the past so naturally turned to writing historical romance. The dark paranormal stories evolve from nightmares. The romance comes from my belief in people's basic goodness and longing for love.

     I lived in Florida for several years and am past president of the Central Florida Romance Writers and a member of Romance Writer's of America.

     When I returned to Connecticut, I founded the Charter Oak Romance Writers, a Chapter of Romance Writers of America, along with several close friends.

      My husband is a retired Police Sergeant. We share an interest in Civil War re-enacting and travel the Eastern states to participate in events. I love visiting museums, galleries and battle sites, gathering information for my stories.

     I taught Romance Writing at Manchester Community College for three years.

     I'm fond of gardening and growing antique roses with limited success.

     Most of my exercise is when my Belgian Shepherd, Dixie, demands a walk. 

     Please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.

Buy links for Late for the Wedding:


The Wild Rose Press:

You can follow Barbara here:





Amazon Author's Page: