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Oklahoma Christmas & giveaway with Cat Johnson

We’re only a couple of days away from Christmas. The stores are packed. The aisles torn apart as the stock wanes in the final hours of shopping frenzy. The house has to be cleaned and the food needs to be cooked and there are gifts that still need to be wrapped.

But in the world I created in small town Oklahoma, things are very different. Midnight Wrangler takes place over a few weeks during the summer while Bonnie, a teacher, is on break and back in her hometown to settle her father’s estate. But I’m the author so I can leap ahead in time. Let me give you a glimpse of how I think this December week is playing out in the world of my Midnight Cowboys series. Particularly for Rohn and Bonnie, high school sweethearts separated for a quarter of a century and just recently reunited …

Rohn, being the boss, would have sent his three ranch hands, Tyler, Justin and Colton, out to cut down the Christmas tree as a surprise for Bonnie. Tyler would have grumbled about the work, because that’s what he does, even though he’d do anything for Rohn and Bonnie. Meanwhile Bonnie would likely be a little sad to find the chore of cutting the tree already done. After all, she’s lived in Phoenix for the past twenty-five years. Now she’s back in Oklahoma, and living on the ranch with Rohn, she wants to experience it all.

Bonnie’s been busy too. She’s happy to have ranch hands to bake for, and while she sings to the festive songs on the radio, she and her mother are elbow-deep in cookie dough and sprinkles. Bonnie’s even bought herself a big, possibly tacky but she doesn’t care, Christmas sweater—another thing she didn’t own in Arizona.

It comes time to put up the tree in the living room, but Rohn’s ornaments are from the fifteen years he celebrated with his wife before she died. Bonnie’s are from her life with her mother and grandmother for all those painful years when she’d been apart from Rohn. She wants to make new memories for them and now is the perfect time to start new traditions.

A guy in town grows grapes on his property. He’s trimmed the vines and piled them up to be burned when Bonnie spots them. Though Rohn is skeptical, Bonnie insists these grapevines would make the perfect garland for their tree. When she goes for a Mexican patterned horse blanket from the barn as the tree skirt, he decides to let her do her thing. He loves her too much to fight it.

Some old spur rowels make pretty good ornaments hung with bailing twine. A couple of boxes of antique glass ornaments that possibly belonged to the original owner of the house are found in the attic to finish off the tree. When she’s done Rohn has to admit the tree is perfect, just like his and Bonnie’s new life together.

Midnight Wrangler
(Midnight Cowboys) by Cat Johnson
One Lonely Widower…
Rohn Lerner is a successful Oklahoma
rancher. He’s old enough to know what he likes, and still young
enough to enjoy it. But losing his wife five years ago wore him thin.
He’s not ready to date, but he needs someone to share a meal with
as badly as someone to warm his bed.
One Woman with a
Secret…
 Bonnie Martin fled her Oklahoma
home years ago, leaving behind her abusive father, and Rohn, the lost
love she never forgot. Now she’s back to settle her father’s
estate, but she has no idea that she’s about to bump into Rohn or
that they’ll fall for each other all over again.
One Night That Changes
Everything…

Author Cat Johnson Bio:

A New York Times and USA
Today
bestselling contemporary romance author, Cat Johnson is
known for her creative marketing practices. Cat has sponsored
bull-riding cowboys, promoted romance using bologna and owns a
collection of cowboy boots and camouflage for book signings. A fair
number of her research consultants wear combat or cowboy boots for a
living.
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Sharon Struth’s HARVEST MOON & giveaway

Tis the season… All ready?

While others revel in the summer heat and long days, I’m secretly pouting.

It’s not like I don’t enjoy a beautiful summer day or all the wonderments that come along with one. But my real love has always been fall.

The cooler weather. Change is always in the air, a scent you can’t define but it means something beautiful is about to happen. The light of day get shorter, a perfect excuse to hunker down on the sofa and read instead of feeling compelled to water the garden after a hot and humid day. There’s chatter about Halloween costumes, candy, cider donuts and picking apples. Drives along scenic routes are splashed with mother nature’s palate. I’m in heaven…

And then it happens. Fast. Almost in the blink of an eye the beauty disappears and it’s time winter. Now don’t get me wrong. I love winter and am fond of all the seasons. But my heart will always go to autumn first.

Harvest Moon (Book Two, Blue Moon Lake Romances) is titled so because of my love for autumn. But it’s about more. The harvest is a special time. The idea of nurturing trust of another person reminds me of the growing season and what the season changes brings.

Do you have a favorite season and why?

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Getting past the librarian’s guard…

Trent Jamieson isn’t one for virtual romance, but there’s something about the intriguing woman he meets on the Internet he can’t resist. Then the small town bachelor discovers the mystery woman who shares her secrets with him online is the laced-up librarian in his self-defense class! Veronica Sussingham may just be his toughest student yet. Because how can he show the vulnerable beauty that some men are worth letting your guard down for?

Veronica returned to her hometown seeking shelter for her shattered spirit. The last thing she needs is a blue-eyed charmer who wants to show her how to live—and love—again. Then she discovers Trent is not just another admirer, but a man who knows her deepest secrets. Now Veronica must choose between running from her past—or finding future happiness with the kind of man she swore she’d never fall for….

About the Author:

Bestselling author Sharon Struth believes you’re never too old to pursue a dream. The Hourglass, her debut novel, is a finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Awards for Best first Book. Her follow-up release, SHARE THE MOON-Book one in the Blue Moon Lake Novel Series-is published by Kensington Books and is a Barnes & Noble romance bestseller. The series also includes Twelve Nights (11/15), Harvest Moon (12/15) and Bella Luna (2016).

She writes from the friendliest place she’s ever lived, Bethel, Connecticut, along with her husband, two daughters and canine companion. For more information, including where to find her published essays, please visit www.sharonstruth.com 

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Website     Musings from the Middle Ages   Facebook  Twitter    Goodreads

 

BROKEN RESOLUTIONS ~ Full Circle, Full Heart by Olivia Dade with giveaway

Female Friendship in My Book (And My Life)

In many ways, Penelope Callahan is just like me.

Penny—the heroine of my debut novella, Broken Resolutions—works at a small, rural library in Maryland. For almost two years, so did I.

She serves as the children’s librarian for her branch. Until I switched to the central branch of our library system, I too ran storytimes for kids.

She’s an introvert, quiet and uncomfortable in crowds no matter how calm she appears to be. Among trusted friends, though, she’s mouthy and raunchy. As am I.

And in the first draft of my story, she was like me in one other crucial way: unmoored by a strong circle of female friends.

I had friends, of course, most of them wonderful and supportive. But there weren’t many I felt comfortable calling for no reason, or if I needed to cry or share a funny story or bitch about a tough day. Over the years, that lack had become a constant ache within me, not always acknowledged but always present.

When I was looking over my first draft of Broken Resolutions, I realized I wanted more than that for Penny. I wanted people in her life who would bolster her through heartache and celebrate her triumphs. She needed friends. Good ones. And I was going to provide them for her.

Funny thing, though. Just as I was revising my story to give Penny a BFF—Angie, her outspoken, erotica-loving supervisor—and plotting my second book to expand their network of close friends even further, I found myself inundated with like-minded women in my own life. Warm, smart, and hilarious, they appeared like magic as soon as I made my first tentative foray into the world of romance writers and readers.

You probably already know this, but women (and men) who love romance are amazing. They lavish affection on people who offer the same in return and are bafflingly generous with their time and energy.

Seemingly all at once, I had a fantastic critique partner, Mia Sosa, whom I could call for any reason whatsoever. Some writers I met for drafting (coughCHATTINGcough) sessions, while others I saw at special events and online. And on Twitter, I grew close to so many women whose real names I may not know and whose real faces I may not have ever seen. But they are real to me nevertheless, and so is the acceptance and support they’ve offered.

Life imitated art. My heroine found her tribe, and so did I, simply by telling her story. I’m almost forty, and for the first time in my life, I have a teeming circle of faithful female friends.

Full circle, full heart. It wasn’t too late for Penny. It wasn’t too late for me. And if you’re lonely like I was, I truly believe it’s not too late for you either. Go forth and find your tribe.

Happy reading, everyone—and happy everything else too.

                                                          LOVE BETWEEN THE LINES

Romance has never had a happy ending for librarian Penny Callahan, who could write the book on cheating, heartbreaking liars. So she’s made a resolution: no men for the next twelve months. If she can just get through the library’s New Year’s Eve singles night, she can return home to her pajamas and a good book. But when she finds herself checking out a hot hunk with an irresistible smile, an evening in the stacks becomes a lot more tempting…

Reclusive author Jack Williamson never should have trusted his mother. Even though he’s trying to avoid being recognized, she guilts him into attending a dating meet-and-greet—where an adorable librarian makes him question his lonely lifestyle. Is this just a fleeting, flirty scene? Or could love be the next chapter for them both?

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While I was growing up, my mother kept a stack of books hidden in her closet. She told me I couldn’t read them. So, naturally, whenever she left me alone for any length of time, I took them out and flipped through them. Those books raised quite a few questions in my prepubescent brain. Namely: 1) Why were there so many pirates? 2) Where did all the throbbing come from? 3) What was a “manhood”? 4) And why did the hero and heroine seem overcome by images of waves and fireworks every few pages, especially after an episode of mysterious throbbing in the hero’s manhood?

Thirty or so years later, I have a few answers. 1) Because my mom apparently fancied pirates at that time. Now she hoards romances involving cowboys and babies. If a book cover features a shirtless man in a Stetson cradling an infant, her ovaries basically explode and her credit card emerges. I have a similar reaction to romances involving spinsters, governesses, and librarians. 2) His manhood. Also, her womanhood. 3) It’s his “hard length,” sometimes compared in terms of rigidity to iron. I prefer to use other names for it in my own writing. However, I am not picky when it comes to descriptions of iron-hard lengths. At least in romances. 4) Because explaining how an orgasm feels can prove difficult. Or maybe the couples all had sex on New Year’s Eve at Cancun.

During those thirty years, I accomplished a few things. I graduated from Wake Forest University and earned my M.A. in American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I worked at a variety of jobs that required me to bury my bawdiness and potty mouth under a demure exterior: costumed interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, high school teacher, and librarian. But I always, always read romances. Funny, filthy, sweet–it didn’t matter. I loved them all.

Now I’m writing my own romances with the encouragement of my husband and daughter. I found a kick-ass agent: Jessica Alvarez from Bookends, LLC. I have my own stack of books in my closet that I’d rather my daughter not read, at least not for a few years. I can swear whenever I want, except around said daughter. And I get to spend all day writing about love and iron-hard lengths.

So thank you, Mom, for perving so hard on pirates during my childhood. I owe you.

LINE OF SCRIMMAGE & giveaway with Desiree Holt

Sometimes it’s not about winning…

One bad tackle. That’s all it took to put wide receiver Jake Russell in a cast for the rest of the NFL season. From being a high school all-star to getting drafted by the Austin Mustangs, football has been Jake’s life for as long as he can remember. It’s what defines him—because he has a secret he never shares. But now that he’s laid up in bed with a nurse displaying a lot of distracting bedside manners, he’s discovering life on the sidelines might have its perks. . .

One last paycheck. That’s all Erin Bass has left to her name when the resort she works at shuts down. Desperate, she agrees to be a caregiver to hardass jock Jake Russell, who also happens to be a memorable one-night stand. Before long, caring leads to daring new ways to catch up in bed, especially with Jake still in a cast. But with football on the sidelines, this time the game is serious. . .

Amazon    Kensington

Erin stared at her friend as if she hadn’t heard right.

“You want me to babysit some guy? Is that what you’re asking me? Did I hear right?”
Ivy shook her head. “No. Not babysit. Use your skills to help someone who is incapacitated and needs assistance for the moment.”
Erin scrubbed her face, wiping away fatigue as if that had made her hear wrong. After all, she had hardly arrived back in her apartment before Ivy showed up. Her suitcases weren’t even unpacked yet. Two weeks on a luxury yacht playing personal trainer to a dozen rich women was a lot more stressful than it sounded. Her brain was probably asleep.
“I’m not sure that’s what I’m hearing, so maybe you’d better tell me again.”
Ivy took a sip of the tea Erin had fixed. “I’m just glad you’re back. I was afraid I’d be out of luck. Honey, this is a win/win situation for everyone.”
“Yeah?” Erin quirked an eyebrow. “How do you figure that?”
“You need a job and I need someone with your skills in training people’s bodies. See? Win/win.”
Erin took a swallow of her tea. She could certainly use a job. The two weeks at sea had paid well, but her reserve funds were low and not much stood between her and shit-out-of-luck. Who knew her job situation would be suddenly turned on its ear? Or that no place in the entire Greater Austin area was hiring a trainer either for a spa or a fitness center? Not even a plain old gym. How was that even possible? Her luck just sucked.
Her rent was due, she was nearly out of money, and she was facing the task of having to relocate. Everything just sucked. The offer to spend two weeks at sea with a bunch of women who wanted to exercise and tone every day had been a lifeline. It also got her out of Austin where it seemed every living person was talking about the opening of football season, the Mustangs, and the gridiron god, Jake Russell.
Sometimes, in the deepest dark of night, when she lay in bed, wondering how her life had taken such a sharp turn for the worse, images of that night together floated through her brain, tantalizing and torturing her. She’d been right to stop it before it got started. She just knew it. The pain she carried from the past was a constant reminder of that. But oh, lordy, how her traitorous body yearned for him. If he were here now, she knew she’d be tempted to throw caution to the winds. Then she’d just regret the hell out of it afterward. For a moment, she was tempted to ask about him, but she clamped down on her mouth. That way was trouble.
“Come on,” Ivy coaxed. “We can help each other. You need a job and I have a situation.”
Uh-oh.

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Desiree Holt has produced more than two hundred titles in nearly every subgenre of romance fiction. She is a winner of the EPIC E-Book Award, an Authors after Dark Author of the Year and of the Holt Medallion. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The London Daily Mail and numerous other national and international publications. She enjoys football and reading and her three cats, who are her constant writing companions.

Learn more about her and read her novels here:
Visit Desiree     Desire Me Only    FB    FB Author Page   Twitter @desireeholt
Pinterest: desiree02holt   Google: www.desiree02holt     LinkedIn

“Get out the ice water and fan…Desiree Holt delivers smoking hot alpha heroes and red hot romances.” Lea Franczak, USA Today Happy Ever After blog

HEARTBREAK AND HONOR & giveaway with Collette Cameron

Thank you so much for hosting me today!

Heartbreak and Honor

Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, Book 3

By Collette Cameron

Abducted by a band of renegade Scots, Highland gypsy Tasara Faas blackens her rescuer’s eye when the charming duke attempts to steal a kiss. Afterward, Tasara learns she’s the long-lost heiress Alexandra Atterberry and is expected to take her place among the elite society she’s always disdained.

Lucan, the Duke of Harcourt, promised his gravely ill mother he’d procure a wife by Christmastide, but intrigued by the feisty lass he saved in Scotland, he finds the haut ton ladies lacking. Spying Alexa at a London ball, he impulsively decides to make the knife-wielding gypsy his bride despite her aversion to him and her determination to return to the Highlands.

The adversary responsible for Alexa’s disappearance as a toddler still covets her fortune and joins forces with Harcourt’s arch nemesis. Amidst a series of suspicious misfortunes, Lucan endeavors to win Alexa’s love and expose the conspirators but only succeeds in reaffirming Alexa’s belief that she is inadequate to become his duchess.

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Collette is giving away  (2) two $25.00 gift cards, a print copy of Triumph and Treasure (Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, Book 1), Five eBooks of Virtue and Valor (Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, Book 2), and a Christmas package!

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First Proposal Scene

We two, marry.” Her forefinger to her chin, Alexa grinned and pointed her attention to the carriage ceiling. “Now wouldn’t that be something to set the tongues flapping till next Season.”

She could no more do a duchess title justice than the devil could encourage sinners to repent. True, she found Harcourt dashing and deucedly attractive, and if he weren’t a duke, she might have considered his addresses.

Someday.

A union between them would be a complete disaster. A wholly, calamitous mismatch. They didn’t even want the same things from life. She preferred an unobtrusive, modest existence. Accustomed to position and privilege, as well as the attention and whirlwind of activity his status mandated, he’d become resentful and embarrassed as she repeatedly bungled the role.

A lifetime of humiliation and an embittered husband did not make for a tolerable marriage, much less a happy one.

That would give the tattlemongers something to bandy about. Preposterous.” She formed a small moue with her mouth while she considered him from beneath her lashes. “I didn’t take you for the type to make a May game of someone.”

His smoky eyes widening in incredulity, surprise registered on the duke’s face. “I suppose it’s hard to believe—and I’ve blundered the suggestion—but I assure you, Alexandra—”

Alexa, please, if you insist on addressing me by my given name, although I’m sure it’s most improper.” Wasn’t it? Another bothersome rule to keep track of.

Very well, Alexa. I am serious. I’m obligated to acquire a wife by Christmastide …”

Bestselling, award-winning Historical Romance Author, Collette Cameron, pens Scottish and Regency Romances featuring rogues, rapscallions, rakes, and the intrepid damsels who reform them. Mother to three and self-proclaimed Cadbury chocoholic, she’s crazy about dachshunds, cobalt blue, and makes her home in Oregon with her husband and five mini-dachshunds. You’ll always find animals, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels. Her award-winning Castle Brides Series, Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, and Conundrums of the Misses Culpeppers Series, as well as her other books, are all available on Amazon and other major retailers.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

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You can connect with her on LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+ too.

Just head to her website for the links.

Melinda Curtis' A MEMORY AWAY & GC giveaway

 

Duffy Dufraine just found out he’s going to be an uncle. Jessica Aguirre came to Harmony Valley in search of the father of her unborn child, which is by no means him. An accident may have damaged the expectant mom’s memory, but he knows his twin is the man she’s looking for. But Greg’s gone, which leaves Duffy the only family Jess has. And he has to make things right. Offering her a temporary place to stay seems an ideal short-term solution. Until she stirs desires that make the embattled vineyard manager rethink his own long-term game plan. Is he ready to offer Jess and her baby a home to call their own—with him?

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Print Available in Wal-Mart January 1, 2016

 

Did he love me?

A man got out of the truck. Dark hair. Straight nose. Familiar eyes.

It’s him.

She leaned forward, peering through the paned glass, her heart sailing toward him, over ever-hopeful waves of roses and rainbows.

Jess didn’t usually let herself dream. But now…today…him…

And yet…

He wore a burgundy vest jacket that clashed with a red long-sleeve T-shirt. Worn blue jeans. A black baseball cap.

Instead, she saw him in a fine wool suit. Black, always black. A navy shirt of the softest cotton. A silk tie in a geometric pattern. Shiny Italian loafers…

He took the stairs two at a time, work boots ringing on wood.

Jessica’s heart sank as certainly as if someone had drilled holes in the boat carrying her hopeful emotions. Clouds blocked the sun. The rainbow disappeared. Unwilling to sink, Jess clung to joy. To the idea of him.

He entered without a flourish or an energetic greeting. He entered without the smile that teased the corners of her memory. He entered and took stock of the room, the situation, her.

Their eyes met. His were the same color, same shape, so heart-achingly familiar.

It was the cool assessment in them that threw her off. Not a smile, not a brow quirk, not an eye crinkle.

He came forward. “I’m Michael Dufraine, but everyone calls me Duffy.”

His name didn’t ring true.

Had he lied to her?

She couldn’t speak, could barely remember her name.

The wind shook the panes. The house creaked and groaned.

He smiled. A polite smile, a distant smile, an I-don’t-know-you smile.

Disappointment overwhelmed her. Jess resisted the urge to dissolve into a pity puddle on the floor.

And you are…?” He extended his hand.

On autopilot, she reached for him. Their palms touched.

Jessica’s vision blurred and she gripped his hand tighter as clips of memory assailed her—his deep laughter, him offering her a bite of chocolate cheesecake, his citrusy cologne as he leaned in to kiss her.

It is him.

Relieved. She was so relieved. Jessica blinked at the man—Duffy—who she vaguely recalled and, at the same time, did not.

She’d practiced what to say on the hour-long drive up here from Santa Rosa. Ran through several scenarios. None of them had included him not recognizing her.

She should start at the beginning. Best not to scare him with hysterics and panicked accusations, of which she’d had five months to form.

Don’t raise your voice. Don’t cry. Don’t ask why.

And don’t lead the conversation with the elephant in the room.

Despite all the cautions and practicing and caveats, she drew a breath, and flung her hopes toward him as if he was her life preserver. “I think I’m your wife.”

 

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Award winning, USA Today bestseller Melinda Curtis writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet and emotional romances for Harlequin Heartwarming, and the sweet romantic comedy Bridesmaid series. Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”. Melinda also writes hotter romances as Mel Curtis. Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood’s Golden Age except a lot hotter.”