Posted in Book Date

Book Date : 12/7

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It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme, “It’s Monday! What are You Reading?” at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.

Going on at Home:

It’s been a busy week at home. Changing out Thanksgiving decorations to Christmas : and celebrating my Hubby birthdays. The weather in Louisiana has finally changed some for December with rain and colder nights . Perfect time to cozy up with a good book or two.

On my blog : It’s Christmas time with lots of holiday books and cookbooks during my Cookie Swap on Thursday…

Last week total : 3 romance, 2 cozy and a new cookbook.

My Book Date :

is with this cool coloring book. I love some quite time before bed for a cup of tea and some coloring.

Unwind and relax with this is Cozy and Calm Coloring Book.

Take a moment to unwind as you settle in for a cozy night, escaping to the festive scenery that awaits in Cozy and Calm Coloring Book.

Tranquil snow and holiday scenes await you among relaxing winter’s festive and serene pages.

My next read:

I have this on my library list to read next ….

In the latest thrilling collaboration from #1 New York Times bestselling author and “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke, television producer Laurie Moran must solve the kidnapping of her fiancée’s nephew—just days before her wedding.

Thanks for stopping bye ……. Lisa

Posted in Book Tour

Chasing the Duke

 

12 Days of Christmas, Book 7

Regency Romance, Steamy Romance

Release Date: December 7, 2020



With her final season in the ton a surprising success, Lady Camille Bellington retires to her family’s Yorkshire estate for Christmas with a marriage proposal in hand. Beautiful and charming, but too independent for society, Camille has given up on the hope to marry for love. So she will marry for duty. The man of her childhood dreams hasn’t been home in three years, even to secure his dukedom, and her heart went with him.

His best friend’s little sister is lost to him…

War hero Tristan Tierney, Duke of Mercer, returns to his ancestral home for the holidays to find himself burdened with a title and the woman he left behind betrothed to another. As he’s only seen death and destruction for years, he’s come to believe true love is a myth. His aloof demeanor veils his deepest unspoken desire, to possess Camille Bellington.

Childhood friendship gives way to something altogether more dangerous as two people give love a second chance.

If you like mischievous heroines and devilish dukes with a splash of Regency splendor thrown in, then you’ll adore Chasing the Duke.


The Complete 12 Days of Christmas Romance Series:


Lady Pear’s Duke

By Dawn Brower


The Duke’s Dove

By Lauren Smith


A Fowl Christmastide

By Sandra Sookoo


Four Calling Cards

By Tabetha Waite


The Duke’s Golden Rings

By Anna St. Claire


Miss Kitten’s Geese

By Rebecca Lovell


Chasing the Duke

By Tracy Sumner


Mayfair Maiden

By Annabelle Anders


Dancing with Serendipity

By Amanda Mariel


Lady Lucinda’s Lords

By Jane Charles


Piper’s Proposal

By Aileen Fish


Diana’s Drummer Dilemma

By Louisa Cornell


Amazon



About the Author

Award-winning author Tracy Sumner’s storytelling career began when she picked up a historical romance on a college beach trip, and she fondly blames LaVyrle Spencer for her obsession with the genre. She’s a recipient of the National Reader’s Choice, and her novels have been translated into Dutch, German, Portuguese and Spanish. She lived in New York, Paris and Taipei before finding her way back to the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

When not writing sizzling love stories about feisty heroines and their temperamental-but-entirely-lovable heroes, Tracy enjoys reading, snowboarding, college football (Go Tigers!), yoga, and travel. She loves to hear from romance readers!

Download your FREE steamy historical romance novella:

https://www.subscribepage.com/tracy-sumner or visit tracy-sumner.com.


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Posted in Book Tour, cozy mystery

The Mayor that Cancelled Christmas

 

Standalone Christmas novella within the Julie Cavallo Investigates series

Cozy mystery

Date Published: December 4th, 2020



Provençal mayor Victor Jacquet receives a mystifying note.

Then his small town mounts a rebellion.

And then his entire world implodes.

Some holiday season!

Fortunately for Victor, he never believed in the magic of Christmas.

Unfortunately for Victor, said magic still believes in him…

Told from Victor’s point of view, this novella stands alone within the Julie Cavallo Investigates Series.


Excerpt

Mayor of Beldoc Victor Jacquet takes his seat and opens the manila envelope in front of him. Efficient as ever, Chantal has prepared enough of them for each attendee to have one. The envelope contains the minutes of the last sitting, the agenda of the current one, and all the relevant documents.

Victor takes the floor. “This year, we’re going to change things up. There will be no Christmas tree on Beldoc’s Place de la Mairie or on any other square.”

The room gasps. Then, shocked whats and whys hit him from everywhere.

I have a good reason for the ban!” Victor shouts over multiple voices.

The room falls silent, curious to hear it.

My team and I do not wish to encourage consumerism,” Victor says. “And we want an eco-friendly holiday season.”

In what way is our cherished Christmas tree an impediment to that?” Sarah asks.

Victor adjusts his tie. “Well, you see the tree encourages compulsive gift buying. People acquire useless items just to have something to put under the tree.”

Are you going to ban Christmas trees in private homes, too?” Rose asks, her tone laced with sarcasm.

I wish I could!

Of course not,” Victor replies. “All I want is to make our town greener. I don’t want living trees slaughtered in the name of consumerism! So, whether you like it or not, we’re ditching the Christmas tree.”

But what about the spiritualism of its meaning?” Rose asks. “To many of us, it symbolizes the birth of Jesus. You aren’t qualified to deny us that celebration!”

Victor glares at his rival.

Really, Rose? You’re a former hippie who believes in karma and never goes to church. You aren’t qualified to talk about Jesus!

He opens his mouth to say just that, when Clothilde butts in. “You know what the Christmas tree also stands for, Victor? Family. Friendship. Human connection. Love. You want to cancel those, too?”

Victor redirects his scowl at her.

What a sucker punch. That was low, Clothilde, even for you!

She knows better than anyone in this room how lonely he’s been since his wife and parents passed. She knows he has no real friends.

Anyhow, it doesn’t matter what the Christmas tree represents,” he says at length. “There’s no money to pay for it this year. The municipality has used that budget line for… er… a town planning project. Discussion closed.”

Rose claps a hand to her mouth. “You sneaky, scheming, shameless ruffian! You didn’t… Did you?”

She knows. She figured it out, the witch!

Victor chews on his pencil, refusing to respond.

The council members, staffers, and citizens look from Rose to him and back.

What?” many ask. “What is this about?”

The urinal,” Rose says without taking her eyes off him. “He spent the Christmas tree budget on purchasing and installing that god-awful public urinal in front of Magda’s shop.”

Something hurtles across the room, like a frisbee, and smashes into Victor’s face. It’s an unopened manila envelope. Victor swears and rubs his sore nose. It doesn’t seem broken.

Like a shark smelling blood, Magda draws her daggerlike, red nails and launches herself at him.

Before she’s had a chance to scratch Victor’s chest, his deputy Blandine slams her purse on Magda’s head. The ladies yelp and grab handfuls of each other’s hair. Magda kicks Blandine’s shin. Blandine steps on Magda’s foot. Bawling, Magda lets go of Blandine’s hair and rips her silk blouse down the front.

Aaaargh!” Blandine swings to punch Magda. “That cost a fortune, you dumb cow!”

Magda blocks the blow. “Serves you right, thief!”

They grapple with each other and tumble down.

People rush to the pair who are now rolling on the floor. They pull the determined wrestlers apart and drag them to the opposite corners of the room.

Victor rises to his feet. “This council meeting is over! We’ll discuss the remaining two items in January.”

The attendees fidget and wriggle but stay put, clearly too entertained to leave just yet.

Chantal rushes to Victor’s side. “Mesdames, Messieurs, it’s truly over! Please go home!”

Without saying another word, she stretches both arms toward the doors on each side, the way flight attendants show the emergency exits during the safety demo.

Merry Christmas, everyone!” she cries as the reluctant attendees shuffle to the doors.


About the Author

Ana T. Drew is the evil mastermind behind the recent series of murders in the fictional French town of Beldoc.

When she is not writing cozy mysteries or doing mom-and-wife things, she can be found watching “The Rookie” to help her get over “Castle”.

She lives in Paris but her heart is in Provence.


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Posted in Book Tour

Rebekah’s Dress

Rebekah’s Dress
Rebekah’s Keepsakes Series Book 2
by Sara Harris
Genre: Historical Amish Romance
An impending wedding. A sudden sickness. A Rumspringa gone wrong.
As Rebekah and Joseph’s wedding draws closer, their happiness starts to collapse. Can they bring order back to their gentle world before they say I do?
As Rebekah and Joseph’s wedding day draws nearer, her only worry is how she will sew her wedding dress until things take a drastic turn. First, a sickness threatens the Stoll family, then her saucy nemesis, Katie Knepp, goes missing during her Rumspringa.
Rebekah is haunted by the worry that Katie’s disappearance is a desperate effort to sway Joseph’s affections her way before he can marry Rebekah. Still, Rebekah agrees to journey with Joseph and her brother, Peter, from Gasthof Village, Indiana to New York City in an attempt to locate Katie and hopefully bring her home. However, as Rebekah already knows, whenever the Englischer world is involved, nothing is plain and simple.
Rebekah’s Quilt
Rebekah’s Keepsakes Series Book 1
Who can Rebekah trust when the line between English and Amish becomes blurred?
An Amish Settlement. An English stranger. The Blizzard of 1888.
Rebekah’s mother, Elnora Stoll, is the finest quilter in all of Gasthof Village but it seems Rebekah has inherited none of her skill. A sweet and gentle love blossoms between Rebekah Stoll and her childhood friend Joseph Graber, despite attempts by her saucy nemesis, Katie Knepp, to sway the young man’s affections her way. When Joseph hints at the promise of forever, Rebekah is positive she should say yes to his proposal – until a mysterious English stranger shows up at her homestead and sets everything she thought she knew about her world on end.
Sara is a mother of four, animal lover and advocate, and conservationist. Little House on the Prairie, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, and Lonesome Dove are among her favorite shows/movies and books. Sara holds her B.A. in History and is the author of the historical romance series, An Everlasting Heart, from 5 Prince Publishing and recently debuted into the children’s book realm with Chunky Sugars (5 Prince Kids), written for her own chunky baby.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$10 Amazon
Posted in Book Tour

The Kiss That Saved Christmas



She doesn’t want to fall for him. He can’t help but fall for her…

The Kiss That Saved Christmas

By Elysia Strife

Claire’s husband passed away two years ago this Christmas, leaving her alone and in charge of a beautiful and overwhelming cabin venue in the Montana mountains. She’s low on cash, the truck won’t start, and fewer people are calling in event requests.

Every past assistant has been problematic and disappointing. With one final wedding scheduled for the year, Claire is desperate to make a good impression and needs the property in top shape. Only one candidate remains: Zach.

Zach is prior service, down on his luck, and shamed by the town for the actions of his youth. Even after a decade of service, he can’t escape the gossip.
Claire has no option but to entrust him with the future of Briar Ridge—her future. She just wished he didn’t have to remind her so much of her late husband. Yet Zach is different, bringing with his burdens an unexpectedly sweet side.
Zach is full of surprises.

She doesn’t want to fall for him.

He can’t help but fall for her.

A sweet holiday romance with a few curses and some violence.



Chapter 1

Claire lay sprawled out on the leather sofa in the timber-framed great room, feeling a kinship with the skeleton of what should’ve been something beautiful and full of life. The stone fireplace crackled softly before her. At its heart, flames cast the only light and warmth in the empty lodge. Floor-to-ceiling windows exposed the brewing winter storm outside Briar Ridge, snowflakes piling up against the glass like the guilt in her stomach.

She hated the notion she needed to hire a man. Ignoring the ache in her hands from working on her husband’s old truck, she gathered his worn flannel shirt beneath her head. Briar Ridge was her late husband’s dream, and she didn’t want to lose her last piece of him.

Claire had taken time off from her second job, a remote position writing articles for an online newspaper, to focus on the venue. There were still too many things to prepare for her last scheduled wedding of the season to do everything alone. Mr. Carver was her only applicant, and she couldn’t wait. The lodge wouldn’t pay for itself.

Mr. Carver was her last hope.

She drew in the last breath of her husband’s piney, metal-slag scent. Then it was gone—like footprints in the sands of a honeymoon in Hawaii. Claire clutched the fabric of his shirt. Her body ached, wishing to lie next to him once more. Despite her fluffy wool socks, her feet were cold. Nothing could combat the chill that followed that phone call. She had to love a soldier.

“I’m not ready.”

The loss of their child only made her heartbreak harder to bear. Ghost pains crept through her core. She forced herself to focus on the future of Briar Ridge. Two weeks to the wedding. Two weeks after, Christmas—the day her dreams crumbled.

Weddings gave the lodge life and a chance to survive while keeping her mind occupied. She refused to let Briar Ridge go under without a fight. Stanly deserved that much, at least.

Tori, her last assistant, had stolen her husband’s Purple Heart from the desk in their old bedroom. Sheriff Riviera had returned Stanly’s medal, but the violation of that respect boundary broke Claire. He’d died for his country, and no one cared but her. Not even his family.

She clenched her teeth and stared into the fire. Tori had the code to the safe. Cash regularly disappeared in small amounts. Claire couldn’t seem to catch Tori with it. Five thousand dollars had gone missing in less than eight months.

Forehead throbbing, Claire rubbed the spot between her eyebrows to push back the ache. Firing the young woman had made her feel better, but Claire never found the money.

Her arms quivered in protest when she pushed herself up. Claire wiped the moisture from her cheeks and laid Stanly’s shirt tenderly in her lap. The ad for a new venue assistant she’d placed in the local newspaper sat on the oak coffee table in front of her. Regret made her pick it up.

The rustle of paper echoed throughout the empty house. “Forgive me, Stanly. I need someone who can do the heavier stuff I can’t.” I’ve lost my appetite recently. I don’t know how much longer I can go on without you, out here, alone.

Her interview with Mr. Carver was scheduled for the next morning.

Tossing the ad back on the table, she raked her hands through her hair and leaned forward. She’d tried to eat dinner but lost interest. Her stomach did flips over the idea of another man being in the building, even if it was just for work. I’m not trying to be unfaithful to you, she thought, hoping Stanly was listening.

The last two years had taken fifteen pounds from her. If she didn’t make a change, she was bound to end up with her husband.

She didn’t always fight the idea.

At night she dreamt of little feet thundering through the halls like they had always wanted, the reason he built the lodge. 

“It’s for family, my big family!” He’d take her on a tour now and then, stopping by each of the twenty rooms. Stanly would tell her who could stay where for the holidays and which room would be the nursery. “You can decorate it however you want. I don’t even care if you paint the wood pink.” His nose would wrinkle in mock disgust, and she’d giggle. 

Claire laughed once to herself but lacked the strength to smile. Collecting his shirt from her lap, she trudged down the hall to their old room and padded across the wood floor to the closet. She freed a hanger from the rack, deftly slipping it inside the shoulders of the red and brown plaid shirt with cold fingers. Claire clenched her teeth and hung the shirt back with the rest. 

His scent had faded from the others. They hung like fabric ghosts of the man he once was.

Falling in against the soft pillow of his shirts, she buried her nose in the flannel again. Claire drew in only a musty whiff of old cotton and dust. 

“I’m trying to do what you made me promise.” She shivered. “Fill this home with life, with love, and never give up on what I want. It’s hard without you.” You’re what I want.

Claire pressed a trembling kiss above the chest pocket of a shirt and forced herself to back away. Her body felt weak, her joints complaining at every movement.

I have to be strong—for him. Claire strained to steady her muscles. The effort was exhausting, and she decided to save her energy for the morning. She didn’t want Mr. Carver to think she was a pushover or fragile. Claire couldn’t afford to be taken advantage of again.

She wondered what his personality would be like. Claire had fired the last three girls. She’d considered an age requirement in the ad, though it wasn’t always a sure indicator of maturity in her mind. 

Releasing a weighted breath that puffed out her cheeks, she flopped back on their bed. Claire tucked her feet beneath the comforter and replayed the phone call. 

His name was Zach. He had mechanical skills and could lift over 100 lbs.

Good for him.

But could he be polite with guests? Could he stay clean and drug-free? What was his work ethic like? Was he trustworthy? Or would he take advantage of her like the other assistants? Steal like Tori? Get caught in the shed with a significant other like Amber? Be lazy, worthless help like Gretchen, who preferred her phone to guests?

Claire rubbed her face and groaned. Tomorrow was going to be more stressful than hosting a wedding with a runaway bride.



“A beautiful, gentle story with believable characters that have heart, feelings & Christian values.” – Danica McMahon (Goodreads Review) 5 Stars


Amazon → https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08669F4SH














An optimist and opportunist, Strife is a self-made author, cover designer, and editor. Best known as Elysia Strife, who writes primarily sweet holiday romance, she most loves writing dystopian science fiction fantasy novels under the pseudonym variation E. L. Strife. She is an upcoming author of young adult fantasy as Elysia Lumen and looks forward to diving deeper into the world of magic.

Strife has toured castles, haunted houses, frozen caves, lava tubes, and concentration camps. She’s a hopeless empath who needs the quiescence of hiking in the Cascades, camping, and snowboarding to recharge. She also enjoys reading on rainy and snowy mornings with a fire going, even if it’s just the fake one in her RV. She craves learning new things, like how to work on her 1981 Corvette, her jeep, and the four-wheeler that just won’t budge.

Strife lives with an amazing man who can build anything he puts his mind to and a rescued dog that steals socks and chases the vacuum. Together, they travel the country—from the golden plains of North Dakota to the warm ocean of the southern Texas coast and back to the green valleys and vineyards of Oregon. Anywhere is home as long as they’re together.

If you’d like to know when Strife’s next books will be out, and to ensure you hear about her giveaways, visit her website: elstrife.com and subscribe via the links on her homepage.

 


Website: http://www.elstrife.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElysiaLStrife

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






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