All year long, I look forward to the fun and sun of summer. Through the brutal winter months, I dream of relaxing on the beach and smiling as the summer sun shines down. That’s why it’s so strange that when summer is in full swing, I’m thinking of winter. Not just winter, but the month of December and all of the warmth and comfort of the holiday season.
Christmas time bring out the best in people. It’s a time of kindness, joy and the occasional Christmas miracle. If that’s what you’re looking for, look no further. You can find all of those things right now, while avoiding the cold, the snow, and the shopping.
I was lucky enough to be invited to join 10 other fabulous (rock star!) authors in a month-long promotion called Christmas in July! I’ll share their titles and links at the end of this post, but first, here’s a first kiss snippet from my contribution:
Judy Does Christmas
The Judy Chronicles, Book 2 –
“Old enough to know better, still too young to care!”
As much as she wanted to blame the mid-day wine for her fatigue–aggravated by the hard cider she’d had with her pizza–in truth, she hadn’t been her usual perky self for weeks. Some mornings, she had to drag herself to the gym. Normally, she could count on an endorphin high after a workout, but not tonight. Even the promise of delicious sex with the man she loved more than life wasn’t enough to keep her eyes open.
“Damn holiday stress,” she muttered, hoping to grab a quick catnap…fully dressed…on their bed until Wiley got home.
She must have dozed off because the next thing she heard was Wiley’s voice calling out her name as he walked down the hallway.
“Judy? Honey? Are you okay? Don’t you want to get undressed?”
The effort it took to open her eyes made the process feel like slow motion. “Are my eyelids glued shut?”
Two soft lips kissed her cheekbones. “Nope. You’re just tired. I know how much you hate to shop for clothes. And it is the holidays.”
She held out a hand for his help sitting up. Her feet hit the thick carpet like bags of cement. Thunk. Thunk. “Remind me to make an appointment to see your doctor. I’d hoped to wait till our new marriage warranty expired before somebody confirmed my long list of flaws, but if I don’t perk up, you’ll trade me in for a new model anyway.”
He sat and looped one strong, reassuring arm around her shoulders. “You goof. Life doesn’t come with any guarantees.”
“You already had one sick wife…”
He nuzzled her neck. “Different circumstances completely. Apples and oranges.” His lips felt warm against her cool skin. “Your life has changed in a hundred different ways over the past few months. By all means, get a check-up. Maybe a B-12 shot. But the holidays wear everybody down.”
She took a deep breath, ignoring the voice in her head that sounded a lot like Alvin and the Chipmunks singing, “Hurry, Christmas, don’t be late.” The damn season couldn’t get over fast enough to satisfy her.
She turned into him and hugged him fiercely. “Have I told you today that I love you?”
“Once or twice. But I never get tired of hearing it.” He kissed her lips. “By the way, I got a text from Carla as I was leaving the gym. She asked if you liked everything.”
Judy tensed. She couldn’t help herself. “What did you say?”
“I told her you thought the place looked great, and because we’re both tied up with other interests, we trusted her to handle the details for the party.”
She rubbed her forehead against the hollow of his cheek. “Tied up, huh? Are you suggesting something kinky?”
“Maybe. Shall we discuss our options in the shower?”
Judy took a deep breath and got to her feet. A dozen or more tiny silver dots danced across her vision for a moment, but they quickly disappeared. She grabbed his hand. “Great idea. Turn the steam generator on, too. I’m thinking hot and heavy. And, no, that’s not a reference to my weight.”
He backed her up until she was pinned to the wall. “Your weight is perfect. How many times do I have to tell you that?”
A million and two. Just enough to make up for hearing people call me fat most of my life. “I’ll let the doctor be the judge of that, Judge. Come on. Let’s get naked, steamy and slippery.”
Buy links: AMAZON Barnes & Noble iTunes Store KOBO
And don’t miss any of these SURE-TO-BE holiday faves:
Originally released in 2005 and titled, Feels Like Home, A MOMMY FOR CHRISTMAS has been substantially revised and contains brand new scenes never before published.
All Tyler wants for Christmas is a Mommy.
Not to walk without his crutches, or to skip his next surgery. Just a mommy.
His father, Chicago Cop Jimmy Corona is determined to find him one in his hometown of Big Falls Oklahoma. But trouble follows him there, trouble that could get them both killed.
Once shy and awkward, Kara Brand has blossomed into a graceful beauty with the biggest heart in the state of Oklahoma. Jimmy thinks she’s the perfect mommy-candidate, and she falls in love with little Ty at first sight.
Jimmy plans to win her and wed her, not to love her. But he never intended for her to get caught in between a murderous criminal and his little boy.
A heartwarming, tear-inducing, holiday miracle kind of story you’ll never forget…
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Angel Be Good by Kathy Carmichael
“Heartwarming, Sexy and Fun”
Billionaire CEO Nat Danvers has good looks, money, power, prestige—everything—except the one thing he really needs. But only in the loneliest corners of his frozen heart is he aware something is missing. Christmas Eve arrives to find Nat alone in his penthouse office, filling out layoff notices while his employees unknowingly celebrate at the office holiday party. In breezes the most incredibly beautiful woman he’s ever seen. Daphne, part angel, part human, has been sent by the Angelic Council to teach Nat some tough lessons in the hope his hardened heart will melt. She has only one night in which to help him.
With the clock ticking before she must go, can love find a way to touch them both?
Christmas With The McRaes by Teresa Hill
Spend Christmas with the McRaes, Books 1, 2 and 3 in the series plus a brand new, bonus novella: Welcome Lizzie
TWELVE DAYS — Book 1
EDGE OF HEAVEN — Book 2
BED OF LIES — Book 3
BONUS NOVELLA ONLY AVAILABLE IN THIS BOX SET: WELCOME LIZZIE
Comfort & Joy by Judith Arnold
In the season of miracles, the greatest miracle of all is love.
For Robin Greer, Christmas is about tradition and family. After her army-brat childhood, she wants nothing more than to plant solid roots and create a stable, permanent home for her young son, Philip. Christmas is a time to celebrate that home, and she and Philip celebrate in style, decorating their house, baking treats and listening to holiday music.
Jesse Lawson’s view of the holiday is quite the opposite. Growing up in an oppressively pious family, he has rejected religion. To him, Christmas is about hypocrisy and commercialism. A legal aid attorney, he can’t enjoy the spirit of the season when his inner-city clients are facing eviction in the middle of a cold New England winter.
Yet he can’t resist Robin and her open-hearted embrace of all things Christmas. And she can’t resist this thoughtful, questioning, complex man who seems to understand the true meaning of the holiday better than she does.
If you’re a fan of western romance, contemporary romance, stories full of angst and emotion, and sexy cowboy and military heroes, then you’ll enjoy the Dakota Hearts.
Ian McKinnon was just getting steady on his feet, looking forward to the opening of the Wounded Veterans Center and a big McKinnon wedding celebration, when tragedy struck again. The soldier who’d saved his life while in the military has died. He’s charged with his most important mission: find his friend Carlos’s family in Mexico or become guardian and raise Carlos’s children. The only mandatory stipulation of his friend’s will was that Ian live under the same roof with Abby Townsend, a firefighter from Carlos’s firehouse. Abby knew the kids well and she could help ease them all through the transition of becoming a family. Okay, so Ian may not be daddy material, but he’d grown up with a whole lot of McKinnons running around. He could handle the kids just fine. The beautiful Abby Townsend was another story.
HOME FOR CHRISTMAS was formerly published as A CHRISTMAS LEGACY, part of a series for Harlequin. The book has been revised to be a stand alone novel in its own right.
When Jacob Steele returned home after fifteen years, it wasn’t to reconnect with the town that loved him. Instead, his motivation was purely financial. He needed capital and he wasn’t above claiming the inheritance bequeathed to him by the father whom he felt betrayed him. Unfortunately for the man who now calls himself Jay Lawrence, the inheritance comes with conditions. These conditions will keep Jay in Riverbend for a month working in the family bookstore. If he decides not to fulfill the terms, the bookstore and the farmhouse he used to cherish, go to the manager, Kate McMann. Jay isn’t about to let a woman, whose ambiguous relationship with his father is questionable, get her hands on his inheritance. He sets out to confront her never knowing that she and her twin daughters would change his plans, not to mention his life, forever.
Still of the Night By Dee Davis
In the still of the night…
Christmas is coming and Jenny Fitzgerald couldn’t care less. She’s getting divorced, and her life is in tatters. And just when she’s thinking it couldn’t possibly be worse, her husband is killed on the job, an undercover operation gone bad. In the midst of her grief, Jenny is confronted with a killer. A hunter who will stop at nothing to see her dead…
Award winning author Dee Davis’s holiday romantic suspense novella is re-released with a new epilogue!
Texas Christmas Bride by Jean Brashear
From New York Times and USAToday bestselling Texas romance author Jean Brashear.
It’s the first Christmas in Sweetgrass Springs, Texas for several newcomers who have found a real home for the first time—or found home again. As Jackson Gallagher works to save his hometown from withering away by relocating his business empire there, the only gift he really wants is to marry the teenage sweetheart he thought he’d lost forever—but Veronica Patton Butler has other hearts to care for, however much she loves Jackson.
Come join the fun…In eccentric, lovable, unforgettable Sweetgrass Springs…where hope never fades and love never dies.
HOLIDAY COOKIE RECIPES INCLUDED!
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Medals can be won, careers can be made, hearts can be lost.
From the pomp of Opening Ceremonies to the good-byes of Closing Ceremonies, join three remarkable women during the Winter Olympics. Tessa Rutledge, once an Olympic champion figure skater, returns as a coach, encountering her first love – and heartbreak – and testing her ability to forgive. Alpine skier Kyle Armstrong has made a mistake that could cost her Olympic gold and any hope of reconciling with the man she loves. Biathlete Rikki Lodge is just happy to be at the Games, until she meets a hockey player who demands that she puts everything on the line
Let The Games begin!
A Princess for a few weeks …
The coming Christmas season isn’t looking great for April Gareaux. Her job is uninspiring, her engagement is off, and she has nowhere to live.
Then comes an extraordinary offer – spend the holidays in Washington, D.C., with King Jozef of Bariavak as his possible long-lost granddaughter. Even more extraordinary is the man behind the offer and the one who will be beside her through the coming weeks, Hunter Pierce.
King Jozef has known tragedy in his life. Now, comes this lovely young woman bringing joy to his holidays. How can he resist dabbling in some royal matchmaking. Wouldn’t it be delightful if he could give April a Christmas gift she will never forget… Her Prince for a Lifetime
One look, a passionate love . . . and then they part . . . Forever?
Before the bestselling and award-winning Wyoming Wildflowers saga began, there was another love story, one that laid the foundation for all those that came after. A love between a cowboy and an unexpected woman. A love at first sight … Ed Currick’s and Donna Roberts’ worlds couldn’t have been any more different – a rancher from Wyoming and an up-and-coming Broadway musical actress on a national tour. What could have been a momentary encounter sparks desire . . . and more. But can there be anything but heartbreak ahead when they have only days before their dreams pull them apart?
Enjoy Patricia’s entire Wyoming Wildflowers collection
Wyoming Wildflowers: The Beginning (Snowberry) – prequel
Almost a Bride (Indian Paintbrush)
Match Made in Wyoming (Fireweed)
My Heart Remembers (Bur Marigold)
Jack’s Heart (Yellow Monkeyflower), new release in 2015
Merry reading, my friends!
Just made this meme–so fitting, don’t you think?