A double feature of Christmas stories?!?! Best Day Ever (and something fantabulous to get your mind off of the US Presidential Election)
by Victoria James
A Shadow Creek, Montana Novel
Publication Date: November 7, 2016
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Bliss, Holiday, Romance
After fleeing her beloved small town five years ago, Julia Bailey is back to spend Christmas with her family. Returning is hard, but keeping the devastating secret about her late husband is even harder. Her place isn’t in Big Sky Country any longer…but the more time she spends with the irresistible Sheriff who saved her once before, and his adorable little daughter, the more Julia starts wishing she could let go of the past and start a new life.
Single dad and county Sheriff Chase Donovan had been secretly in love with his best friend’s wife for years. But after her traumatic loss he knew Julia needed to get away from Shadow Creek, even though helping her leave was the last thing he wanted to do. Now she’s home and he doesn’t intend to lose her a second time. Chase is going to prove to Julia just how good they can be together this Christmas…and forever.
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2fEmxn7
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2f39oC6
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2engttm
The sound of his deep voice, thick with concern pulled her back into the present. She looked up at him, a slight frown across his brow, but it was the warmth in his eyes that appealed to her. Chase could be all hard lines and tough man, but the man had the softest core and she knew she was one of the few that was on the receiving ends of it. She didn’t breathe for a moment, his face close to hers. Her gaze lingered on his mouth and for a second she wished he’d kiss her. She knew, in her gut, that Chase kissing her would make her forget everything else. When was the last time she’d wanted a man to kiss her? Five years was a long time.
She cleared her throat and looked away when she realized she was staring. She pointed to the stage in the center of the park. “We’d better get a seat. Em will kill us if we don’t get one near the front.” She tried not to cringe at the squeaky sound of her voice. When had she become so obvious? Nothing could ever happen between her and Chase. She would be leaving Shadow Creek in a few weeks. He had a daughter. Neither of them could enter into a causal relationship. She had no choice but to get it together.
“Let’s go,” he said, taking her hand in his. A shiver raced through her even though she was bundled up and warm. It was him. Having him hold her hand effortlessly, as though he’d been doing this for years. People stopped and chatted with Chase and he was polite and charming, flashing that smile of his easily. The town loved him and he was so at home here. Gwen, Cassy, and Edward were waving to them from the second row. Gwen gave her a pointed stare and raised her eyebrow high as she joined their row. She avoided eye contact with her. She knew to expect a barrage of texts as soon at the night was over. “They always get the best seats,” Chase said.
Once they were settled, the crowd quickly filled in the remaining seats. Julia smiled as the stage curtains moved and small feet poked out beneath.
“There’s always a bad-ass back there that sneaks a peak through the curtain. And ten bucks says it’s a boy,” he said in her ear. She laughed, just as a dark haired little boy poked his head out.
Within minutes the performance started and the sound of children singing Jingle Bells filled the night sky. Tears pricked her eyes at the sweet sound of their voices and her heart felt full, her chest ached and she wasn’t sure she’d be able to take a deep breath. As though he knew, she felt Chase take her hand in his and rest on her leg. She didn’t feel as alone, as solitary in her thoughts. He knew. He knew what she was thinking. Matthew would have been here tonight; she’d be watching him sing. How would he look now? What would his sweet voice have sounded like? It was so hard to imagine because in her mind he was always two. She had been blessed with the memory of him saying, ‘mama’ and she’d never forget it. Her heart swelled painfully, her body filled with shivers, goosebumps.
“You okay?” Chase whispered.
It took me just over a day to get thru this book and I enjoyed it every step of the way. It’s emotion-packed as Julia has to deal with her past and decide if she’s ready to take the chance on moving forward. She’s afraid, for obvious reasons, but has to realize that you can’t really live life in fear. Back in her old town, face-to-face with friends and family, has her taking stock but also brings some surprises in the super-fine form of the town’s hunky sheriff.
Chase is just about perfect. He’s sexy and strong, but also loving and tender with his daughter and his friends. There’s also his amazing patience and insight into handling Julia as she works on her issues. He’s had feelings for her for years and isn’t going to miss out on his chance to convince her to stay, even if it means they have to battle some old ghosts together.
I will say that there were a few continuity issues – timing seemed a little weird, a one sentence mention of Chase’s ex that didn’t make sense in context, things like that. This was an advance copy so it may have been cleaned up in editing but if not I don’t think it will be a big deal for most. This didn’t really bother me all that much but I know that it will bug some people so I thought I should at least mention it 🙂
Julia’s journey to let go of the past and move toward a satisfying future makes for a touching story, keeping your heart humming until the very end.
Victoria James is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance.
Victoria always knew she wanted to be a writer and in grade five, she penned her first story, bound it (with staples and a cardboard cover) and did all the illustrations herself. Luckily, this book will never see the light of day again.
In high school she fell in love with historical romance and then contemporary romance. After graduating University with an English Literature degree, Victoria pursued a degree in Interior Design and then opened her own business. After her first child, Victoria knew it was time to fulfill her dream of writing romantic fiction.
Victoria is a hopeless romantic who is living her dream, penning happily-ever-after’s for her characters in between managing kids and the family business. Writing on a laptop in the middle of the country in a rambling old Victorian house would be ideal, but she’s quite content living in suburbia with her husband, their two young children, and very bad cat.
Sign up for Victoria’s Newsletter to stay up to date on upcoming releases and exclusive giveaways, follow her blog for daily antics and insight into her daily life, and get to know her on twitter and Facebook. She loves hearing from readers!
A Snowflake Valley Novel
by Barbara White Dailee
Publication Date: November 7, 2016
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Bliss, Holiday, Romance
Worst. Day. Ever. After Lyssa Barnett’s sister tricks her into reprising her role at Snowflake Valley’s annual children’s party, she doesn’t think anything can be worse than squeezing into her too-small elf costume. Then tall, dark, and way too handsome Nick Tavlock shows up to play Santa…and an unexpected storm leaves them snowbound in the isolated lodge.
The last thing Nick wants is to spend a cozy Christmas Eve with a trio of kids and the woman who dumped him. But as much as Lyssa frustrates him, he can’t stop thinking about her. And soon, he’s fighting very un-Santa-like thoughts of kissing a certain sexy Miss Elf under the mistletoe. As Nick starts to fall for Lyssa all over again, he knows it will take nothing short of a miracle to have Lyssa in his arms on Christmas Day.
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2fqxwvE
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2eIAsDz
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2fN1Qog
Lyssa plopped the large bowl of popcorn in the middle of the coffee table and distributed the thread and needles she had found in the linen closet upstairs. At this rate, she would have to make a list of items to replace for Amber.
Mollie and Tommy went to work enthusiastically, and even Brent pitched in without a word of complaint. It was watching Nick, though, that made her heart melt. Making Christmas decorations might not have been his “thing,” but he definitely had some skill at working with kids.
He helped Tommy thread a needle, guiding the little boy’s hand until he had slipped the thread through the needle’s eye. Flushed by his success, Tommy proudly insisted upon threading everyone’s needle himself.
When Mollie groaned in frustration after trying to add a half-dozen kernels to her thread, Nick showed her how to pierce the thickest part of the popped corn to prevent it from breaking.
And when it came time to drape the strands on the tree, he asked Brent’s opinion as to the best placement. She had never heard the quiet teen talk and laugh as much as he had in this short time.
She could so easily see Nick with children of his own…and hers… But she had already decided there was no point in dreaming about a future with him. Considering his single-minded focus on work, he could never be the man for her.
She got to her feet and, forcing a smile, said, “I think it’s time for some hot chocolate.”
Four voices rose in agreement, and she escaped gratefully to the kitchen. The more she saw of Nick connecting with the kids, the harder it was for her to watch and the more she wanted to stay away. Yet she knew this trip to the kitchen was only a temporary reprieve.
She just hadn’t realized how temporary.
She had barely started heating the milk in a pan on the stove when Nick entered the kitchen. He came to lean against the counter beside her. “Need something?” she asked brightly.
“Yeah. To tell you I forgot how much fun it is being around you. It’s been a great afternoon.”
She flushed. “No thanks to me. That’s all on the kids. They’re quite a bunch.”
“And you’re quite a woman.”
He reached up and touched his finger to her lips. “Don’t do that, Lyssa. Don’t sell yourself short.” He moved his hand to trace her chin. A shiver tickled along her jaw. “You know what else I need?”
“That, too. And this.”
He leaned down and brushed his mouth against hers. He tasted so like the man she had fallen for months ago. His kiss was so tender, so sweet, she couldn’t help but want more. Another thought hovered at the edges of her mind, a thought she felt sure she didn’t want to know. Not now. Not here. Not when his taste and his touch and his total concentration on her were all exactly what she needed.
One dizzying kiss led to another and then another, until she had to curl her fingers in the fabric of his T-shirt to keep herself standing upright. But finally she forced herself to come to her senses. She tilted her head back and whispered, “Stop.”
“Why?” he murmured.
“What would we say if one of the kids walked in?”
“That the chocolate will be ready as soon as I’m done kissing the cook.”
From the time she was a toddler, Barbara found herself fascinated by those things her mom called “books.” Once she learned the words between the covers held the magic of storytelling, she wanted to see her words in print so she could weave that magic spell for others.
After much hard work at her craft, she achieved her longtime dream when she began selling romance and mystery fiction to national and regional publications. Not long after, she received “The Call” from Harlequin Books and sold her first two novels. Since then, her books have garnered many positive reviews, appeared on numerous bestseller lists, and won a number of awards.
Originally from the East Coast, award-winning author Barbara White Daille now lives with her husband in the warm, sunny Southwest, where they don’t mind the lizards in their front yard but could do without the scorpions in the bathroom.
Barbara hopes you will enjoy reading her stories and will find your own storytelling magic in them!
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