Happy Holidays with Forever and Giveaway!

With the ramp-up to the holidays kicking in  full force at my house, I am so in the Christmas mood it’s not even funny!  I love the holidays!  Usually we spend Thanksgiving at Disney World, but this year we (read I) decided to try something different.  We’re going in December.  I can hardly wait to see all of the decorations at the resorts and I have big plans to hunt down the special holiday cupcakes! 

One of the things I like to do during the holidays is read holiday themed books.  I’ll bring you some holiday themed title suggestions during the upcoming weeks, and to help spread the holiday cheer, I have a copy of Christmas in Lucky Harbor by Jill Shalvis to giveaway!  I received this copy from Forever, but since I already have most of the contents in electronic format, I wanted to share this with one of you.   Do you enjoy reading holiday books? Let me know in the comments!

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Novella Review: Tis the Season to Kiss Santa by Kate Hardy

‘Tis the Season to Kiss Santa (Entangled Indulgence)

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

That description below?  It does not do this novella justice.  Not at all!  This was a surprisingly emotional read that actually had me blinking back tears a couple of times. 

Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks?  Grumpy Mitch has no reason to love Christmas, so it’s an unpleasant shock for him when his boss asks him to play Santa at a party for siblings of children at a local hospice.  While he really wants to refuse, CJ reminds him that even though Mitch has worked hard to ensure that he’ll take over as head of CJ’s PR firm when he retires, nothing is written in stone.  To prove he is the man for the job, Mitch has to show that he has a heart to go along with his ambition and drive.  CJ isn’t about to leave his company in the care of a guy who doesn’t understand the value of social responsibility.  It’s nice to be dedicated to work, but a leader is also dedicated to the community.

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Novella Review: Santa to the Rescue by Adele Downs

 

 

Santa to the Rescue (Entangled Flirts)

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Santa to the Rescue is a very cute story.  Jamey is the new guy in town, and he’s working through his probationary period at Appleton Fire Station.  He’s feeling a little blue because it’s his first time away from home during the holidays, and he doesn’t have anyone special to spend Christmas with.  When he meets Heather at the grocery store, he’s instantly charmed, but can he convince her that he’s worth taking a risk on?

This novella worked for me because Jamey is such a sweet guy.  He’s proud to be on the Appleton fire fighting team, and now that he’s accomplished that goal, he’s eager to move on to his next life goal; finding the perfect woman and starting a family.   Being away from home for the first time is rough on him, so he wants to meet someone special to spend Christmas, and possibly the rest of his life, with.  Heather seems like the girl of his dreams, but when he has to break a commitment he made to her, he has to show her that he’s not a flake or a liar.  A tough job, because Heather has been burned many times in the past.

I’ll admit that Heather’s attitude irritated me at first.  Jamey was upfront about why he couldn’t make it to the party at the hospital, and I thought she was acting like a spoiled child about it.  If she couldn’t accept his odd fire fighter hours before they are officially even dating, how is she going to deal with them if they do enter into a long term relationship.  When she finally pulled on her big girl panties and admitted to herself that she needed to be more accepting of his erratic schedule, I did like her better.  Part of Heather’s problem with Jamey breaking the date was because of betrayals in her past, but if she never even gave him a chance to prove himself to her, she was going to be one lonely RN.

Jamey is desperate to make Heather understand how important his job is to him, and I loved how he was able to integrate a job conflict into her party.  Here’s a guy who goes above and beyond the call of duty because he is such a nice guy.  He was willing to think outside of the box to make Heather, his boss, and the hospital administration happy, and it’s hard to fault a guy for that.

Santa to the Rescue kicked off my holiday reading spree on a positive note.  Clocking in  at about 50 pages, there is a realistic conflict to Jamey and Heather’s romance, and a satisfying resolution for everyone.  You can’t beat that, especially in a holiday read.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

Firefighter Jamey Tucker knows three things in life to be true: an honorable man doesn’t go back on his word; never hurts a woman; and lasting love isn’t a myth. But with his recent move to a new job at Appleton Fire Station, the long hours don’t offer hope of finding the love he’s looking for.

When Jamey meets beautiful pediatric nurse Heather Longhurst after hearing her sing "Santa Baby" in a supermarket aisle, he offers her a promise he discovers he can’t keep. Heather has been betrayed by men in the past, making it hard for Jamey to gain her trust. Determined to find a way to win her heart, Jamey uses firefighter engine-uity and Heather’s favorite song to prove he’s got Christmas spirit she can believe in all year.

Cover Reveal: All I Want For Christmas is You by Molly O’Keefe

LoveSwept has another holiday romance hitting shelves soon.  All I Want For Chiristmas Is You is penned by Molly O’Keefe, and it will be available November 4.  Because it’s a novella, I will more than likely bite on this one.

 

All I Want for Christmas Is You (Short Story)

By Molly O’Keefe

Loveswept | 978-0-345-54244-1

On Sale November 4, 2013

About the book:

In this touching eBook novella, a prequel to Molly O’Keefe’s Crazy Thing Called Love, a young woman swept up by first love is ready to say “I do”—until challenges arise during the holiday season.

Maddy Baumgarten and Billy Wilkins are spontaneous, in love, and prepared to elope the day after Christmas—that is, if Maddy’s family doesn’t throw a wrench in their plans. Her parents are more than a little reluctant to give their blessing to the impending nuptials. After all, Maddy’s barely out of high school and Billy’s a notorious bad boy. Maddy doesn’t care about Billy’s rough past—all she cares about is living in the here and now. But after Maddy’s mother stops speaking to her in protest, and a Christmas Eve heart-to-heart with her father leaves her with butterflies, Maddy starts to get cold feet. She loves Billy, but is she taking this big step too soon?

About the Author

Molly O’Keefe published her first Harlequin romance at age twenty-five and hasn’t looked back. She loves exploring each character’s road toward happily ever after. She’s won two Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice awards and the RITA for Best Novella in 2010. Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she now lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband, two kids, and the largest heap of dirty laundry in North America.

Pre-order ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU

Connect with Molly: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Cover Reveal: Heating Up the Holidays by Lisa Renee Jones, Mary Ann Rivers and Serena Bell

I have another cover reveal this morning!  This time for Heating Up the Holidays, a holiday anthology from LoveSwept.  It releases October 28th, and features stories from Lisa Renee Jones, Mary Ann Rivers and Serena Bell. 

I enjoy reading holiday stories, especially novellas; do you?

 

 

 

HEATING UP THE HOLIDAYS

3-Story Bundle (Play with Me, Snowfall, After Midnight)

Lisa Renee Jones, Mary Ann Rivers, Serena Bell

Published by Loveswept

On Sale October 28, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8041-7840-2

HEATING UP THE HOLIDAYS features three sexy holiday novellas, each one centered on a different holiday: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. With stories from bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones, the popular Mary Ann Rivers, and Loveswept debut author Serena Bell, HEATING UP THE HOLIDAYS is the perfect anthology to keep the romance going throughout the holiday season!

ABOUT LISA RENEE JONES (Play with Me): 

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT SERIES which has sold to more than twelve countries for translation with negotiations in process for more, and has now been optioned by STARZ Network for a cable television show, to be produced by Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland).
Since beginning her publishing career in 2007, Lisa has published more than 30 books with publishers such as Simon and Schuster, Avon, Kensington, Harlequin, NAL, Berkley and Elloras Cave, as well as crafting a successful indie career. Booklist says that Jones suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann.
Prior to publishing, Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

ABOUT MARY ANN RIVERS (Snowfall)

Mary Ann Rivers was an English and music major and went on to earn her MFA in creative writing, publishing poetry in journals and leading creative-writing workshops for at-risk youth. While training for her day job as a nurse practitioner, she rediscovered romance on the bedside tables of her favorite patients. Now she writes smart and emotional contemporary romance, imagining stories featuring the heroes and heroines just ahead of her in the coffee line. Mary Ann Rivers lives in the Midwest with her handsome professor husband and their imaginative school-aged son.

ABOUT SERENA BELL (After Midnight)

Serena Bell writes stories about how sex messes with your head, why smart people do stupid things sometimes, and how love can make it all better. She wrote her first steamy romance before she was old enough to understand what all the words meant and has been perfecting the art of hiding pages and screens from curious eyes ever since—a skill that’s particularly useful now that she’s the mother of two school-age children.

Pre-order HEATING UP THE HOLIDAYS from your favorite retailers!

Connect with Lisa Renee Jones: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Connect with Mary Ann Rivers: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Connect with Serena Bell: Facebook | TwitterWebsite

Connect with Loveswept: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Interview with Robin Covington, Author of Secret Santa Baby and Giveaway!

Robin Covington dropped by the virtual offices to chat about her holiday romance Secret Santa Baby.  Please give her a warm welcome.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Robin Covington] I hit forty and eliminated the words “can’t” and “shouldn’t” from my vocabulary. Don’t dare me because I’ll do it!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Secret Santa Baby?

[Robin Covington] It is about two best friends who have been in love with each other for years but never acted on it. The hero, Nick, decides to go for broke, makes sure he’s Tessa’s Secret Santa at the office and seduces her with the gifts in the song, “Santa Baby”.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Robin Covington] Entangled Publishing (my fab publisher) put out a call for submissions for short stories based on the song “Santa Baby”. I started thinking about what would happen if the gift giver in the song was anonymous, linked it up the office Secret Santa game and the story poured out of me.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Nicholas?

[Robin Covington] Reserved. Passionate. Loyal.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Tessa had a theme song, what would it be?

[Robin Covington]  Every Girl Like Me by Sugarland

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Nicholas won’t leave the house without.

[Robin Covington] His eyeglasses.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Tessa’s purse?

[Robin Covington] Gum (she never chews gum – it grosses her out), a hairbrush (With her curls she has to fix it in the morning and then leave it alone except for finger-combing), and a designer wallet.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Robin Covington] Music – I listen to it all the time. Other writers – I read voraciously. Some of my favorites are Harper Fox, Jill Shalvis and Hank Edwards. Movies – I love the vividness of visual stories.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Robin Covington] Time. Time. Time. ( I can write anywhere – just give me five minutes.)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Robin Covington] Half-Moon Chambers by Harper Fox. She writes emotion, plotlines and characters who keep me turning the page. I can’t open a book of hers without having time to finish it in one sitting.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Robin Covington] Hang out with my husband and kids. I sing in a band and that is a ton of fun. I also do needlework – intricate cross stitch over linen of antique patterns.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Robin Covington] Website: http://www.robincovingtonromance.com

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

Twitter: @RobinCovington

Entangled Publishing/buy links: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/?s=robin+covington&x=19&y=20

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Blurb for Secret Santa Baby:

Tessa Stoneman hasn’t been able to get long-time friend and business partner Nicholas Boone out of her head since they shared a single kiss in college. Even when she dated Nicholas’s best friend. Now that she’s giving up her position at GameNerdz to strike out on her own—and now that she’s single—maybe it’s the right time to see if there’s still something between them.

Nicholas knows once Tessa leaves the company she helped found, they might drift apart. Before she starts her own company in the new year, he wants to woo the woman he fell in love with during college. So he poses as her Secret Santa, gifts her with items from the song “Santa Baby,” and plans a big reveal at the company holiday party. But when his best friend wants to rekindle his romance with Tessa, will Nicholas lose his last chance?

Bio:

Robin Covington, who NYT Best Selling authors, Robyn Carr and Carly Phillips, said was their new “auto-buy author”, writes sizzling hot contemporary and paranormal romance. A Night of Southern Comfort, her best-selling debut was nominated by RT Book Reviews for the 2012 Best Contemporary Romance from an Indie Press for bringing a “fresh, modern feel to the genre while still sticking to the things that get our adrenaline pumping — sex and danger”. When she’s not exploring the theme of fooling around and falling in love, she’s collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, and stalking Joe Mangianello.

Robin is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Washington Romance Writers, a faculty member at Romance University, a member of the Waterworld Mermaids, a Goddess at The Naked Hero, and a contributor to the Happy Ever After blog at USA Today. You can find Robin on her website, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter (@RobinCovington).

Giveaway Time!

You can enter for a chance to win a digital copy of Secret Santa Baby! Just fill out the widget below.  Earn extra entries by following.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can purchase Secret Santa Baby from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secret-santa-baby-robin-covington/1045469139?ean=2940016112213

Happy New Year!!

We at the Café will spend the first day of the New Year chasing after naughty puppies, reading, feasting at the local Indian buffet, and counting our blessings.  I have much to be thankful for, including wonderful friends, a loving family, and all of my crazy critters.  I also wanted to thank everyone who drops by to read my posts.  Thank you and have a wonderful NEW YEAR!