Christmas Romance

I’ve compiled a list of new Christmas romances (all sweet and clean) to enjoy this season.

Haley’s Hangdog Holiday by Tamie Dearen

hhh2This Christmas, Haley Martin may be harder to catch than her runaway dog.

Haley has a chance at her dream job working for Holiday, Inc. There’s only one drawback. Her ex-boyfriend, Gavin Holiday is her supervisor.

Seeing Gavin again makes her heart pound and her soul ache, yet Haley knows he deserves someone better. And her secret crisis of faith is only one of the reasons.

Add one very recalcitrant Basset Hound to all her other problems, and it looks like Haley is going to have a real hangdog holiday.

In the spirit of Hallmark Movies, this inspirational romantic comedy tells the story of two young believers, struggling to find faith and love in the midst of adversity.

Holly and Mr. Ivyholly-and-mr-ivy_kindle by Jessica L. Elliott

You know those stories where a pet accidentally sets up the romance?

It wasn’t an accident.

Canine matchmaker Holly has been given her first assignment and it’s a doozy. She must help her human find the perfect mate. The only problem is he is absolutely not interested in the woman Holly and her assistant, Kip, find for him. In fact, Tremayne Ivy and Victoria Claremont can’t stand each other. It will take all Holly’s training and a little Christmas magic to take these rivals from completely at odds to walking down the aisle.

51cesc-kzxlChristmas Aria by Kimberly A. Rogers

England 1814

Aria Parkhurst, Countess of Brenton, has made the match of the Season. Now all she wants is to have the perfect Christmas with her new husband. However, when the newlyweds arrive at their country estate to find that the Earl’s obnoxious cousin has made himself at home, Aria finds herself drawn into the webs of gossip and scandal that delight the ton. And, when a former suitor sets his eyes on her as a prize, will the Earl believe that she married him for love and not money? Or will Aria’s first Christmas as a bride see her dreams unravel?

*At 39,000 words, this sweet Regency Christmas Romance is a long novella.

51vun0uxcal-_sy346_The Road Not Taken by Magdalena Scott

Francie Standish Carrington and husband Brad are spending Christmas in her hometown of Serendipity, but it’s no vacation. There are marital problems, career decisions, and a major change on the horizon for the Standish family Christmas tree farm.

Can Francie find a way through all this, to a happy ending for anyone?

 

 

51t6gd8ummlAmber Alert by Linda K. Rodante

After a disastrous engagement to an abusive boyfriend, Sharee Jones tells God that she’s not dating anymore. If he has someone for her to marry, he’d better just drop the man in front of her. She’s not thinking of the tall, handsome man who moonlights as the church’s maintenance crew of one—a man she feels sure doesn’t know the Lord.

Since the tragedy in his own life, John Jergenson wants nothing to do with God, but every time he turns around lately, Sharee is in his face—wanting help with her Christmas program, needing help with her car, even threatening him with a pair of stakes—and talking about God. He’s not sure what to do about her, but he doesn’t like the mutilated dolls they’ve found, or the homeless hitchhiker she picked up, or the fact that she never watches out for herself. With someone terrorizing the new mom at the church, and Sharee playing detective, can he keep his past secret and keep her safe long enough to figure out if he’s ready to love again?

Amber Alert is a warm romance, with intrigue, ‪‎mystery and suspense; a ‪‎whodunit‬ with heart and faith.

 

 

 

Cyber Monday Sale

austen-inspirations-graphicHappy Cyber Monday to all! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. For Cyber Monday, all of my ebooks will be on sale. You can download Kindle books to any device. The Kindle app is free. All are in the Kindle Unlimited plan, so if you already subscribe to that, they’re all free.

Pride and Butterflies and Julia the Secret Keeper will be free. None But You, Emma’s Match, and Julia the Secret Blogger will be $0.99.

FRANKY’S AMAZON PAGE

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The Haunting Me Series

I recently read Haunting Me, a chick lit mystery by Nikki LeClair. It’s fun, clever, and different from your average chick lit read. There’s an obnoxious ghost and a mystery to solve. Nikki also just released a sequel for Christmas, Locking Up Santa. Check them out.

hauntingme_frontcover_kindlePhoebe Mercer has what most people envy; a wonderful boyfriend, fantastic friends and a job in the city’s top law firm. Getting engaged is just the honey in her tea! Then she gets run over by a hot dog cart, wakes up with a concussion and the ability to see ghosts. Well, one ghost. A loud, obnoxious woman who claims to have been murdered for her vast fortune.

Soon, Phoebe is solving a mystery that not only threatens her relationships, but her career as well. As she begins to battle feelings for the ghost’s handsome nephew, she realizes quite a few people in her life are not as they seem. Slowly, Phoebe uncovers the secrets and lies around her, learning that in order to solve this mystery and be free of the ghost, she must lie herself. The only catch? The secrets Phoebe has kept from the people in her life could ruin everything for her, and her ghostly companion, in the end.

NEW!

lockingupsantafrontcoverkindleIt’s the Christmas season, and seven months since Phoebe Mercer’s life dramatically changed. She went from being an overworked legal assistant, to a CEO of a popular beauty company. She moved from the bustling big city, to a quaint seaside town. She’s gone from living with a fiancé, to living with a ghost. Yet, it seems she can’t get a grip on her new life, whether it’s getting used to being a public figure, having a Chief Operating Official who hates her, or a ghost who is just too passionate. Just when she thinks things can’t get any worse, Phoebe’s friend and mentor is arrested for a horrible crime, and the town is ready to lock him away for good. As Phoebe races to prove his innocence, and stop the company from sinking, she must deal with a face from her past that throws her in a disarray of emotion, an unwanted visitor, and old friends who seem to have abandoned her.

513ybge4ll-_ux250_Nikki LeClair lives in Canada with her loving husband and their two rambunctious children. When she isn’t ordering her children to behave or begging her Border Terrier to listen to her, she sits behind her lap-top plotting out the next adventure of her new characters. She’s a fan of a good glass of Pinot Noir, and can’t live without her favorite Tea blends.
She enjoys hearing from readers and fans of her work. You can find her on twitter at @NikkiL_Books, and on her Facebook Fanpage Nikki LeClair

A Mighty Fortress Birthday Bash

mighty-fortress-birthday

Who doesn’t like a birthday party? Faith certainly does. November 19th was the third birthday of her debut novel, A Mighty Fortress. To celebrate, she has all sorts of fun going on. First, she’s released a newly revised version of A Mighty Fortress. Second, she has most of her published books on sale. Third, she’s releasing the box set of all five of her novels for a special discounted price. And fourth, but not least, she now has the audiobook of her AMF available! Read on for more party fun and a special giveaway.

mightyfortresscover“Stay back!” Joshua ordered.  He kept his eyes on the scene below while waving his arm in Ruth’s direction.  “Get deeper into the woods and stay down low to the ground.”

Joshua hazarded a glance behind him.  He could no longer see Ruth and breathed a sigh of relief.  In one swift move, he grabbed his rifle and lay flat to the ground.  Extending the rifle, he aimed at the shorter man whose gun was pointed at Bradshaw. 

Joshua and Ruth Brookings are traveling by stagecoach to finally join their parents in Montana. Attacked by murderous outlaws, the teens barely escape with their lives and must survive in the barren Wyoming and Montana territories and escape the man who’s hunting them.

Seven years ago, Jed Stuart ran away from home and joined Tom’s gang. Jed is tired of the lawlessness and wants out. The only problem? He is the boss’s right-hand man and will never be able to leave. And what’s one more stagecoach robbery, anyway?

Can Joshua lean on God’s strength to keep himself and his sister alive until they find a town?   Will Jed be able to face his anger or will it consume him completely? All three are running–the hunter and hunted. What will happen when they meet?

Faith also just released her first box set, the complete Hymns of the West series. It’s available for a special discounted pre-order price until November 26th and will stay at that price until November 30th.

hymns-of-the-westHymns of the West: The Complete Series

Two Families…
The Brookings family move from Illinois to Montana to start a horse ranch. Their journey to Montana has hazards of its own, as does their life in Castle City, affecting each of them in various ways.

The Stuarts have been living a secluded life in Tennessee since the matriarch of the family died. When Jed runs away, they seclude themselves even more until a letter arrives that changes their lives—one at a time—forever.

Two Worldviews…
One family has believes in God with their whole hearts, living out their lives to the glory of God. The other family believes in God in a general sense, but they have no commitment toward Him or His ways.

One Providential God.
A stagecoach robbery instigates their meeting. Two years later, they meet again. Another year and their lives cross paths again. What happens when God’s providence brings two families with two different worldviews together in ways only He could have planned?

Mega-Sale

Every eBook in the Hymns of the West series is on sale. A Mighty Fortress is permafree, and the other eBooks in the series are $0.99. In addition, the spin-off novella series has a book on sale as well.

Links:

A Mighty Fortress

Be Thou My Vision

Amazing Grace

Lily of the Valley

The Solid Rock

Hymns of the West: The Complete Series

Life and Salvation: Hymns of the West Novellas 1-3

Faith also has the paperbacks on sale if you buy them from Createspace with the discount codes.

A Mighty Fortress

$2.00 off (8.99) with code: MBJB3XSY

Be Thou My Vision

$2.00 off (6.99) with code: GQ3KTJYY

Amazing Grace

$1.50 off (9.49) with code:93LQLRJ8

Lily of the Valley

$2.00 off (11.99) with code: TJXAYXD2

The Solid Rock

$1.50 off (10.49) with code: 7626YZAK

Life and Salvation

$2.00 (6.99) with code: V4Y5K46D

giveawayFaith is offering three prizes!

Grand Prize:

  • Audiobook of A Mighty Fortress (MP3 download)—Could be a short delay
  • The Solid Rock Notebook

1st Prize:

  • Feather Quill Necklace

2nd Prize:

  • eBook set of Hymns of the West: The Complete Series

a Rafflecopter giveaway

91Z74YdeT6L__UX250_Faith Blum started writing at an early age. She started even before she could read! She even thought she could write better than Dr. Seuss. (The picture doesn’t show it well, but there are scribblings on the page of Green Eggs and Ham). Now that she has grown up a little more, she knows she will probably never reach the success of Dr. Seuss, but that doesn’t stop her from trying.

When she isn’t writing, Faith enjoys doing many right-brained activities such as reading, crafting, playing piano, and playing games with her family. One of her dreams is to visit Castle City, Montana, someday to see the ghost town she chose for her characters to live in. She currently lives on a hobby farm with her family in Wisconsin.

There are many ways to connect with Faith online. All of them can be found in one convenient place: http://FaithBlum.com. On her website you can find links to her various social media sites and both of her blogs.

Tour Schedule

November 19

Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Introduction

Author Franky A Brown-Book Spotlight

Rachel Rossano Rambles-Guest Post

November 21

Writing Dreams-Author Interview

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae-Character Spotlight-Joshua

Zerina Blossom’s Books-Author Interview

November 22

Precious Moments-Giveaway

The Overactive Imagination-Review of Be Thou My Vision

Perpetual Indie Perspective-Book Spotlight

November 23

Frances Hoelsema– Book Spotlight

Thought of Anna S. Brie-Author Interview

November 25

With a Joyful Noise-Guest Post

Bookish Orchestrations-Candid Author Interview

Firethorn Blog-Author Spotlight

November 26

Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections-Character Interview with Ruth

Ladies in Defiance-Guest Post

November 28

Once Upon an Ordinary– Author Interview

Written Rest-Character Spotlight -Anna

November 29

The Overactive Imagination-Review of A Mighty Fortress

Jaye L. Knight– Character Spotlight-Caleb

November 30

Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Wrap-up and winner

Swim Season Blog Tour

swim-season-launch-blog-header-copy

Welcome to the blog tour for Marianne Sciucco’s new release, Swim Season. By the way, my name is in the book!

Sometimes winning is everything.

swimseasonChampion swimmer Aerin Keane is ready to give up her dreams of college swimming and a shot at the Olympics. As she starts senior year in her third high school, Aerin’s determined to leave her family troubles behind and be like all the other girls at Two Rivers. She’s got a new image and a new attitude. She doesn’t want to win anymore. She’s swimming for fun, no longer the freak who wins every race, every title, only to find herself alone.

But when her desire to be just one of the girls collides with her desire to be the best Two Rivers has ever seen, will Aerin sacrifice her new friendships to break a longstanding school record that comes with a $50,000 scholarship?

Excerpt:

Aunt Mags didn’t say a word on the way to the high school and neither did I. We were up and out too early for anything more than, “Got everything?” “Uh huh,” and “Let’s go.” We’d left the house before her first cup of coffee and she was not in a talkative mood.

It was just after dawn, the moon still visible as the sun peeked out over the horizon. A chill in the air hinted at summer’s end. I regretted leaving my sweatshirt behind, although after swim practice the sun would be shining and we’d be back to the mid-August heat.

We arrived at the school and a deserted parking lot. Mags parked her minivan at the athletics entrance.

“Are you sure it starts at 6:45?” she asked.

“Positive,” I said.

She yawned. “Looks like you’re the first one here.”

“I doubt it.”

Today was the first day of swim season. Tryouts started at 7 a.m. The coach had instructed all wannabe swimmers to be on the pool deck no later than 6:45. My experience as a varsity athlete told me that anyone with any degree of competitiveness had already arrived. I had five minutes to spare.

“Want me to walk in with you?” Mags asked.

My horror at her suggestion must have been all over my face, because she said, “Sorry. Having a teenager is new to me. My girls would beg me to walk them into that big, scary building.” We looked at the three-story hodgepodge put together to house Two Rivers High School.

“I can take it from here.” I was sure I’d remember the meandering route to the pool area from the tour we took when we registered for my senior year.

She still looked anxious. “Sure you’re all right?”

“Don’t worry. I’ve got this routine down pat.” Two Rivers would be my third high school. I played the role of new girl so well I deserved an Oscar.

I opened the door and hopped out. “Don’t hang around waiting for me to call for a ride home,” I said, reaching back to grab my bag. “I’m not sure when I’ll get out, and I don’t want to mess up your day. I’m okay to walk.”

Aunt Mags nodded, and I shut the door.

“Don’t forget we’re going back-to-school shopping later on,” she said through the open window.

“Got it.”

“Go get ’em, Aerin.” She gave me a thumbs-up.

I shot her a grin, hoisted my bag over my shoulder, and went off to join the Two Rivers High School Girls Varsity Swim and Dive Team.

***

Minutes later, I stood on the pool deck with an odd blend of girls vying to earn a place on the team. I spotted the usual huddle of newbies benched together at the far end of the bleachers, glancing at each other nervously and at the seasoned swimmers with something like awe. On the opposite end were the members of last year’s championship team, all wearing team T-shirts and chatting like old pals, ignoring everyone else. In the middle was a bunch who looked like they wanted to go back to bed, the ones whose parents pushed them into a sport and who chose swimming because we did it indoors and it looked easy. Most of them wouldn’t make it.

I found a place to stand against the wall and blocked out the curious glances shot my way, using the time before practice began to check out my surroundings. Aunt Mags had said the natatorium, built just a few years ago, was state-of-the-art.

Banners hung from the rafters and on clean white walls, touting the team’s success, and an enormous leaderboard listed all of their champions and their accomplishments.

A wall of windows on the farthest side and a ceiling loaded with skylights filled the room with light.

The six-lane pool had blue and white flags and lane lines, and the Trailblazers logo – a torch – was laid out in blue tiles on the bottom.

The floor tiles were a mosaic of white and three shades of blue.

The air was thick with the smell of chlorine.

I checked my expression, not wanting anyone to catch me gaping over the finest natatorium of any team I’d joined. The thought of swimming in it, of calling it “home” for the next few months caused a thrill of excitement in my belly. Around me, the other girls talked and laughed, none of them seeming to appreciate the beauty of the pool and the privilege to use it.

“Good morning girls.” A man’s voice cut through the chatter, and each girl sat up at attention. “Let’s get started.”

The voice belonged to an older man, with bushy white hair and bifocals, dressed in the school’s colors: navy blue shorts and a white polo shirt. Coach Steven Dudash. I hadn’t met him yet – he was out of the building when my father and I visited the high school – but Maggie and her husband, Pat, gave him high praise. He’d coached the Two Rivers boys and girls swim teams for more than twenty years, and they were both winning teams.

He pulled a chair behind him, positioned it in front of the bleachers, sat down, and organized the pile of paperwork on his clipboard. “Good morning,” he said again, studying us over the rim of his bifocals. “I’m happy to see last year’s team back for another year. And welcome to those of you here for the first time. I’m glad you decided to give us a try.”

He took a swig from an extra tall cup of coffee before continuing. “For those of you new to the team, meet Coach Denise.” He gestured toward the young woman who accompanied him. “She’s my daughter. I coached her for six years when she swam for Two Rivers and got her name on the leaderboard.”

I checked out the leaderboard and saw she held the record in the 200 IM and the 100 breaststroke. Good creds.

“This is her second year as assistant coach,” he said. “She did a terrific job last year so I invited her back.”

The young blonde smiled at him and the swimmers cheered.

“Yay Coach D!” a few seniors shouted.

“It’s great to be back,” she said. “Ready to win another championship?”

The shouts and applause were deafening.

“During the next two weeks,” Coach said when the noise died down, “you’ll all be working hard, doing drills both in the pool and in the weight room, four hours a day, six days a week. During the season, you’ll be practicing from after school until five or six every weekday, and four hours on Saturday. Sunday is a resting day. And, of course, you will compete in swim meets at least twice a week. So, if you don’t think you can make it through the first two weeks, you might as well leave now.” He paused, waiting for anyone to opt out before we even got started. No one moved.

“Okay,” he continued. “Most of you know that Two Rivers won the Division Championship last year, and the two years before. I plan to win again. When we do, and I say when, not if, we will be the first team in the division to ever win four consecutive division titles.”

Last year’s team broke out in wild applause and cheers. Coach waited for the outburst to die down before he continued.

“I need performers,” he said, “swimmers who aren’t afraid to push themselves, to try new things and discover where they best support the team. So, in practice you’re all going to swim every stroke, you’re all going to swim distance, and you’re all going to swim sprints. Each person will do all she can to defend our title.”

Silence filled the pool deck as the girls looked each other over, wondering where each would fit in.

“That’s the good news.” He paused for effect. No worries. He had everyone’s riveted attention. “But I’ve got some bad news. For years, the school board has been supportive of our team, and we’ve reciprocated by working as serious athletes and turning in winning records. Most years, the team can support as many as thirty-eight swimmers. This year, due to a budget crisis in our school district, our funds have been cut, and I can only put twenty-eight girls on the team.”

Raised eyebrows and shocked inhalations followed this bit of news. I counted bodies: thirty-six.

“Yeah, eight of you will be cut, either at the end of this week or the end of next. Anyone want to leave now?”

Again, no one moved.

Coach Dudash smiled. “I like your level of commitment. Let’s see if you can keep it under pressure.”

He spent the next half hour reviewing team policies and the season’s schedule. I’d heard such talks before from other coaches and tuned him out while I studied the other girls, trying to figure out what their positions might be.

Most of them focused on Coach’s every word, but last year’s champs ignored him and whispered among themselves. One of them, a lanky girl with sun-bleached hair and a killer tan, looked over the group of wannabes and held up her fingers one to five, scoring them, I guess, on whether or not they had a chance. Her friends snickered, trying to act as if they were paying attention to Coach instead of fooling around.

At last, the lanky girl’s frosty blue eyes rested on me, and I met her gaze straight on. We stared at each other for a few seconds before she looked away first, then held up three fingers. It seemed she was ambivalent. I could go either way.

I was ambivalent too. I joined this crowd as a walk-on, someone with no history with the team and questionable ability. In their eyes, I was no better than a wannabe who needed to prove herself to gain a spot on the team and the other girls’ respect.

I showed up because it’s what I did at the start of every school year. Swimming was my only sport, and I was good at it. Really good. Still, I almost skipped tryouts today. The truth was, I didn’t have the energy to join a new team, in a new school, for the third time. If anyone found out I’d won championship titles in club and varsity last year they’d expect great things from me, and I didn’t want the pressure. Swimming was no longer the focus of my life. It was my therapy, and I wouldn’t let anyone mess that up.

The glimmer of challenge in the way the lanky girl looked at me caused a stirring in my gut, and I shot it down. I didn’t come here to get involved in any personal challenges. I came here to swim, and not make any waves. My plan was to get through the senior year and go away to college, away from my troubles, and on to a new life that I could control.

 

marianneDuring swim season, you can find Marianne Sciucco, a dedicated Swim Mom for ten years, at one of many Skyline Conference swim meets, cheering for her daughter Allison and the Mount Saint Mary College Knights.

Sciucco is not a nurse who writes but a writer who happens to be a nurse. A lover of words and books, she dreamed of becoming an author when she grew up but became a nurse to avoid poverty. She later brought her two passions together and writes about the intricate lives of people struggling with health and family issues.

Her debut novel Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story, is a Kindle bestseller; IndieReader Approved; a BookWorks featured book; and a Library Journal Self-e Selection. She also has two short stories available on Kindle, Ino’s Love and Collection.

A native Bostonian, Marianne lives in New York’s Hudson Valley, and when not writing works as a campus nurse at a community college.

 

Swim Season is currently only available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.