Thursday, December 27, 2018

Harlequin December Recommended Reads

Title: Bachelor Unbound
Author: Brenda Jackson
Genre: Romance
Harlequin Imprint: Kimani Romance
Blurb:
Is an abduction gone wrong…
their chance for love?
International jeweler and sought-after bachelor Zion Blackstone felt an instant connection to Celine Michaels when he designed a unique gemstone for her. When she shows up at his house in Rome claiming kidnappers are after her, he offers the Hollywood producer’s daughter his protection…and passion. But a shocking revelation could upend his once-in-a-lifetime chance with Celine…
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Brenda Jackson, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of over 100 novels and novellas, was born in Jacksonville, Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Jacksonville University. She married her high school sweetheart, Gerald, and they have two sons, Gerald Jr. and Brandon, ages thirty-six and thirty-four, respectively. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Her professional writing career began in 1995 with the release of her first book, Tonight and Forever. Since then she has written over 100 titles, which includes a made-for-television movie by BET, One Special Moment as well as the movie, Truly Everlasting. She was a 2012 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Fiction for her book, A Silken Thread; and was named Romance Writers of America’s Nora Robert’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for 2012.
Author Links:
Twitter: @AuthorBJackson
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Title: Holiday Amnesia
Author: Lynette Eason
Genre: Romance
Harlequin Imprint: Life Inspired Suspense
Blurb:
With no memory, who can she trust?
A deadly Christmas in Wrangler’s Corner
Robin Hardy survived an explosion in her university lab—but her memories are gone. With danger lurking behind every Christmas tree, she needs shelter from the attackers she can’t identify. She’ll trust fellow professor Toby Potter to safely hide her away. But when his secrets come between them, the truth could mean the difference between life and death this holiday season.
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Lynette Eason grew up in Greenville, SC. She graduated from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, and then obtained her masters in education from Converse College. Author of twenty inspirational romantic suspense books, she is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). In 1996, Lynette married "the boy next door" and now she and her husband and their two children make their home in Simpsonville, South Carolina."
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Title: Bound by Their Christmas Baby
Author: Clare Connelly
Genre: Romance
Harlequin Imprint: Presents
Blurb:
From under the mistletoe…
…to down the aisle!
When brooding bachelor Gabe Arantini learns the innocent beauty he shared a steamy festive night with is the daughter of his business rival, he’s furious. The following Christmas, Abby returns with shocking news—she’s had his child! Gabe knows he must marry Abby to legitimize his son. But can this be a marriage in name only, or will their red-hot chemistry take over?
Feel the heat in this festive secret baby romance!
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Clare Connelly writes romance that will set your soul on fire. She is the best-selling writer of more than fifty indie romance novels and in August 2017 published her debut novel for Harlequin Presents, and has a title coming out with Harlequin Dare in February 2018. She reads and writes romance voraciously, and lives in a small bungalow by the sea with her lovely husband, two small children and a hard-working team of MacBooks. www.clareconnelly.com for more!
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Friday, December 21, 2018

Cover Reveal: Ava: A Hart Twins Novel by Charyse Allan

Winter at the Beach



Winter at the Beach 


Title: WINTER AT THE BEACH
Author: Sheila Roberts
Publisher: Harlequin/Mira
Pages: 384
Genre: Women’s Fiction

Jenna Jones, manager of the Driftwood Inn, a vintage motel in the Washington beach town of Moonlight Harbor, is convinced that a winter festival would be a great way to draw visitors (and tourist business) to town during those off-season months. Everyone in the local chamber of commerce is on board with her Seaside with Santa festival idea except one naysayer, local sour lemon, Susan Frank, who owns a women’s clothing boutique in town. The beach gets hit with storms in the winter, no one will come, too close to Christmas. Blah, blah. What does Susan know?

It turns out that Susan knows a lot. A big storm hits during the weekend of the festival, wreaking havoc with the parade and producing power outages all over town. Including at the Driftwood Inn.

Jenna finds herself with a motel filled with people, all with no power. What to do? Enlist the help of friends, of course. Her friends take in many of the stranded visitors, and Jenna and her Aunt Edie take in the others, stuffing them into Aunt Edie’s house next door to the Driftwood.

All the guests come with their own unique stories. The last thing Taylor Marsh wanted was a getaway with her husband. His refusal to give up on his dying business is taking them down financially and killing their marriage. But her sister Sarah (she who has her financial act together and never lets her sister forget it) insists this will be fun for both their families. It will only be fun for Taylor if her husband gets eaten by a giant squid. Then there’s Darrel Wilson, who planned the perfect anniversary getaway for his wife, who’s been undergoing chemo. So much for the perfect anniversary. And the sisters, Lisa and Karen, who can’t seem to go on a sister outing without it turning into a Lucy and Ethel adventure. Unlikely roommates, all of them. But perhaps each one has a valuable lesson to share with the others. And perhaps, what looked like a disaster will prove to be the best holiday adventure of all. 

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Jenna Jones, who manages a vintage motel, the Driftwood Inn, is sure her idea for a holiday festival will bring business to her Washington coast beach town of Moonlight Harbor. Let’s see how her proposal goes over with the Moonlight Harbor Chamber of Commerce…
 “Okay, that takes care of old business,” Brody said. “Now, I think Jenna has some new business.”
Oh, boy. She could hardly wait to see what Susan would have to say about this.
She cleared her throat. “Actually, I have a suggestion for a way to bring down more visitors during our slow time.”
“We’re all for that,” said Patricia Whiteside.
Susan clamped her thin lips together and gave Jenna a look that dared her, the newbie, to come up with something.
Jenna’s nervous twitch put in an appearance. Don’t blink. She blinked one last time and cleared her throat again. “Well, I was just thinking about other towns I’ve visited in the past and one that came to mind was Icicle Falls.”
Susan rolled her eyes. “The cheesy German town.”
“A lot of people find it charming,” Jenna said. “It’s awfully pretty, and they’ve done a great job of making themselves as authentic as possible. They always have something going to get people up there. In fact, I did some research online. They have festivals all year long, including a chocolate festival. Their tree-lighting ceremonies on the weekends in December bring in thou- sands of people.”
“So, are you proposing we have a tree-lighting ceremony?” Susan mocked.
“No, but I am proposing we have a holiday festival.”
“We just had a festival in August in case you forgot,” Susan said snidely.
What was with this woman anyway? The town had done a good deed by putting on a festival to help Jenna raise money to restore the Driftwood after she experienced a financial setback. It had been such a success that the chamber had decided to make the Blue Moon Festival a tradition, with proceeds going to help other businesses in town in need of assistance. Jenna had benefited and other local businesses would as well, and Susan resented it? She was a crab in the pot. If she couldn’t succeed, she didn’t want anyone else to, either. And everyone knew her shop wasn’t doing that well, especially now that Courtney was selling her own designs over at the Oyster Inn.
Well, pooh on her. Jenna handed papers to both Tyrella and Brody to start passing around the table.
 “People love festivals. Remember how many came down for the Blue Moon one?”
“That was in the summer,” Susan reminded her.
“I know. But people also love holiday festivals. We’re looking for ways to get visitors down here in the winter. Why not put together a giant holiday party in Moonlight Harbor?”
Patricia Whiteside was reading Jenna’s handout. “Seaside with Santa, that’s cute. And I like all the suggestions you’ve made for activities. I really like the idea of making use of the pier.”
“The weekend before Christmas?” Susan objected, frowning at her handout. “Who’s going to want to come to something then? People will be getting ready to go see family, and they’ll be finishing up their shopping.”
“Why shouldn’t they finish it here?” Jenna argued. “We have all kinds of cute shops. We have great places for them to stay while they shop and plenty of restau- rants where they can eat. They may even want to stay here for the holidays. All we need is an event to lure them down. A festival could do it. And who doesn’t like a parade? Look how many people turn out for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.”
“Look at the floats they have in that parade,” Susan countered. “What sort of floats would we be able to put together down here?”
“Okay, maybe not the most impressive parade ever,” Jenna admitted, “but I bet we could come up with some- thing.”
“I could get some of my employees to dress up as mermaids,” said Kiki, “and stick ’em on a flatbed truck strung with fake seaweed.” She grinned, clearly taken with her idea.
“We need more for our Moonlight Harbor Queen and her princesses to do,” put in Nora. “They love riding in those old convertibles. You’ll let us use your vintage Caddy, right, Ellis?”
“Well...” Ellis hesitated. “If it rains...”
“Which it probably will,” said Susan. “Come on, people, be practical. You know what it’s like down here in the winter, all wind and rain.”
Patricia pooh-poohed that objection. “We’ve survived plenty of storms.”
“Well, I think it’s a bad idea,” Susan said, scowling across the table at Jenna.
Maybe it was. Jenna’s left eye began to twitch.
“I think it sounds great,” said Elizabeth MacDowell. She and her twin sister, K.J., were new members of the chamber. They’d opened their arts and crafts store, Crafty Just Cuz, in September, and it was already one of Jenna’s favorite places to hang out.
“We do need more business in the winter,” said Cindy Redmond. “There’s no getting around it. And doing something for the holidays could be fun. I say we give it a try,” she added, and Jenna’s eye stopped twitching.
“We’d have to get moving right away,” Nora said, pulling another sheet of paper from her yellow tablet. “Who can help?”
“I can,” said Ellis.
“Me, too,” Brody said, smiling at Jenna. “Jenna, it’s your idea. You’ll have to chair the committee.”
“Me?” she squeaked. Not that she couldn’t take charge. She was a firstborn, and Responsibility was her middle name. (Although her sister, Celeste, would probably argue that her middle name was Bossy.) She didn’t have a problem with rolling up her sleeves and getting to work, but she also didn’t want to offend old- timers like Susan Frank. “I’m sure someone else...” she began.
“Your idea, you have to do it,” Susan goaded.
Jenna raised her chin. “I can do it.” She’d survived rehabbing the Driftwood Inn. How much harder could it be to organize a festival?
In three months. Blink. Blink, blink, blink.
“Do I have a motion that we sponsor a Seaside with Santa Festival for the weekend before Christmas?” Brody asked.
“So moved,” said Ellis. “I’m with you, kid,” he told Jenna.
“I’ll second,” Nora said and reached across the back of Tyrella’s chair to give Jenna’s shoulder an encouraging pat.
“All in favor?” Brody asked.
“Aye,” chorused almost everyone.
“Opposed?”
“Nay,” Susan Frank said. “I’m telling you all, this is a bad idea. Make sure you put that in the minutes,” she told Cindy.
“Motion carries,” said Brody. He smiled down at Jenna. “Looks like we’re going to be putting on a holiday bash.”
Holiday disaster,” Susan grumbled from her side of the table.
What did Susan know? Blink, blink, blink.


This is the second installment in the Moonlight Harbor Novel series but reads well all on its own. It is a story of reinvention, of overcoming obstacles, creating a new way in life and discovering what is most important to you. 
When Jenna Jones takes over running the Driftwood Inn, she has to learn how to get through winter at the beach. She has the idea of a Santa festival. The one thing you can never fully predict is the weather.
The characters are endearing and your own troubles will seem lighter as you pull for Jenna. This book has humorous moments and times when you feel tears coming. You may relate to some of the people more than others but I bet there is a personality in this group that you*ll claim to know.
I know a few nay sayers who never believe anything will succeed.
Fortunately Jenna has a couple of folk who have her back.
Spend some time at the beach this winter!







USA Today best-selling author Sheila Roberts has seen over fifty books, both fiction and non-fiction in print. Her novels have appeared in many different languages and been made into movies for both the Lifetime and Hallmark Channels. She writes about things near and dear to women’s hearts – love, friendship, family and chocolate.

Her latest book is the women’s fiction, Winter at the Beach.




Thursday, December 20, 2018

Slay Bells by T.C. Wescott


SLAY BELLS by T.C. Wescott, Mystery, 230 pp., $4.99 (kindle)


Title: SLAY BELLS (A CHRISTMAS VILLAGE MYSTERY)
Author: T.C. Wescott
Publisher: Better Mousetrap Books
Pages: 230
Genre: Cozy Mystery

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the village, the night settled in over swirling-smoke chimneys; the air was alive with pine and holly, with sugar and cinnamon and cider, by golly!

Along snowy lanes and through shadows it crept, past windows behind which each villager slept, where sleeping dogs lie and cats rest a’purring-

Tonight, in Christmas Village, a killer is stirring.

Welcome to Christmas Village, a magical hamlet where even in December the roses hold their luster and bees buzz among the bluebells. Nestled betwixt an opulent garden with meandering footpaths and an ancient grove of plum trees, Rose Willoughby’s boarding house is plum-full with lodgers. There are no vacancies, but just wait. Soon there will be one…and another…and another.

When the Inn’s guests begin dying in inexplicable ways, some villagers believe a beast from old village lore is the culprit. The sheriff knows better, but he’s just as helpless to catch the invisible killer as are the town folk with their eyes to the sky in search of a flying creature. But our mysterious murderer hasn’t counted on yet another lodger coming to the cottage: Maribel Claus.

Short as a stump, round as a wheel, sweet as a candy cane, and a sharp as a whip, Maribel loves a good puzzle. But can she unmask the phantom killer in time and save Christmas?

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PROLOGUE

Night settles in over smoking chimneys and snow-capped rooftops.

A potpourri of pine, holly, and cinnamon swirls in the breeze over white pastures and along sleepy lanes as festive decorations left hanging on each street lamp and along every thoroughfare dance upon its passing.

Winter birds offer up their sing-song as the rows of cottage windows blink out their goodnights.

But for many in the happy hamlet of Christmas Village, the night will be a short one, made restless with excitement for the morning when they will rise early to prepare for the inaugural day of the annual Christmas Festival.

The festival, running the full week before Christmas Eve, is the last great hurrah of the year, barring the ringing of the new year bells. It is no exaggeration to say that the best hope one has of experiencing something more glorious is to return the following year for the next Festival.

So, it is with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts that every soul in the village, farmer and squire alike, closes their eyes in anticipation of sunrise.

One among them will not live to see the sun.

Something moves among the birds, along the snowy lanes, skirting the light in favor of shadow.

In Christmas Village, this night, a creature is stirring.





Different from many cozy or holiday novels which focus on Santa and the elves, this time it is Mrs. Claus taking the spotlight. Maribel Claus is the first to jump in and help wherever and whenever needed.  Her sense of helpfulness also has a tendency to mean sticking her nose into other people`s business too. 
That includes the local sheriff whose job typically does not cover murder investigations.
When her friend Rose, whose inn is hosting several acrobatic and unusual performers, needs help preparing for the annual Christmas festival, Maribel Claus is there. 
With a strange yet likable cast of characters, some of whom have far fetched beliefs, the show must go on even during a murder investigation.
Holiday tourists want their tarts! Active performers work up an appetite for dinner and mystery resolution.
A fun local festival provides a varied backdrop to a mystery that will keep you guessing.



T.C. Wescott was born in Missouri but has lived in Oklahoma most of his life. Like pretty much every author who has ever breathed, he is an avid reader. His favorites are classic mysteries from the Golden Age, as well as just before or just after that period (which is widely considered the period between the two World Wars). His first mystery novel, Running from Scissors, was published in July 2018 and will be the first of at least three books in the Running Store Mystery series.

The Christmas Village Mystery series launched in November of the same year with the debut title Slay Bells. The formula for his books is simple – mixing the classic, traditional detective fiction standards with all the trappings of the modern cozy mystery.

Wescott is also (under another name) the author of two award-winning non-fiction books as well as many essays and articles.

His latest book is the cozy mystery, Slay Bells (A Christmas Village Mystery).

Website Address: www.tcwescott.com
Twitter Address: www.twitter.com/MousetrapBooks
Facebook Address: www.facebook.com/BetterMousetrapBooks
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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Where Wishes Grow.




WHERE WISHES GROW by Chris Sarracini, Children, 56 pp., $18.99 (paperback)



Title: WHERE WISHES GROW
Author: Chris Sarracini
Publisher: Brownridge Publishing
Pages: 56
Genre: Children’s Picture Book



Where Wishes Grow… is the story of eight-year-old Maggie, a pensive and courageous dreamer, whose big heart starts to break when her grandmother becomes bedridden and sick with no recovery in sight. Fortunately Maggie has some wishes in mind to breathe life into Nana and is about to learn the secret for making them come true.

Watching Nana’s health fail has been difficult for Maggie and so now much of her time is spent dreaming up wishes for ways she can help her. Maggie conjures up three wishes for Nana she desperately wants to come true: for Nana to see again to enjoy her favorite beautiful things, for her to walk again to visit her favorite places, and for her to speak again so that she and Maggie can sing their favorite songs. The problem is, with wishes this important, Maggie wants to be sure she can realize them; wishing upon stars that may be long dead or relying on birthday candle hoopla just won’t cut it. Thankfully, Maggie’s mother knows the secret for turning wishes into reality…you’ve got to write each wish down and then go plant each one in just the right place. And, as Maggie discovers, retelling the story of how each wish was planted turns out to be the most magical part.

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 This beautiful book, while not religious, will appeal to faith based audiences. The images have a dream like quality to them. The colors are beautiful and fanciful.
The prose has a poetic rhythm, while not a rhyming book. It is a female centric book.
The story is about a young girl who wishes her grandmother could appreciate life as she had for many years. The wise mother wants to allow her daughter to feel empowered, but also to understand what a wonderful and full life Grandma has had.
A wonderful book to share with children and start conversations.





Chris Sarracini has been working in the comic book and film industries for over 15 years. In addition to writing for a number of successful comic book favorites including TRANSFORMERS, STREET FIGHTER and DARK MINDS, his own creations include FATE OF THE BLADE and CASA NOSTRA. As a screenwriter, he has worked with Universal Pictures, Disney and Nasser Entertainment. His most recent publication is the children’s picture book WHERE WISHES GROW…

Chris lives with his family in Toronto where he continues to create and write.

Website Address: www.chrissarracini.com
Twitter Address: www.twitter.com/chris_sarracini



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LOVE ON THE ROCKS



Love on the Rocks (Cobble Cove Mystery) by Debbie De Louise

About the Book

                                          
Cozy Mystery 4th in Series 
Solstice Publishing (October 17, 2018) 
Paperback: 241 pages
ISBN-10: 1625268505
ISBN-13: 978-1625268501 
Digital ASIN: B07JHV9FJC

It’s February in the small town of Cobble Cove. Love is in the air . . . but so is murder!
When Alicia helps plan a Valentine’s Day Party at the Cobble Cove library that also includes a surprise for her newlywed friend, Gilly, things go wrong when a mysterious box of chocolates addressed to the director turns out laced with poison.
Clues Lead to A Dead Suspect
Although Alicia promised John she’ll no longer meddle in crime investigations, she and Gilly set out to find the person threatening Sheila who murdered the courier of the deadly candy. The three people they suspect include the professor from California who’s been romancing Sheila while she assists him with research for his book; the obnoxious patron Rhonda Kleisman who threw coffee at the director after refusing to pay for a damaged book; and a visiting widow staying at Gilly’s inn who’s unnaturally curious about Sheila and earns the nickname of Madame Defarge for her interest in knitting.
New Cat in Town
While Alicia and Gilly are trying to solve this new Cobble Cove mystery, Sneaky is introduced to Gilly’s new kitten, Kittykai, a calico she brought home from her honeymoon in Hawaii. It’s not like at first sight, but the two cats eventually become friends. They also both play a part in foiling the killer’s murder attempts, but will Alicia and Sheila survive unscathed?




Alicia followed Sheila back to the desk, admiring the paper hearts and flowers hanging from the library’s ceilings and the red streamers that lay across the stacks. Sheila rifled through some of the additional decorations that were piled next to the reference PC. She reminded Alicia of a hen tending her chickens. “Gilly and Ramsay are going to be so surprised.”
 “What’s this?” Sheila paused.

Alicia came over to see what had grabbed the director’s attention. A velvet heart shaped box sat by one of the computer stations. As Alicia came closer, she could see a post-it attached to it with the words, “To Sheila from your secret admirer.”

Sheila smiled. “That Ryan. He knows I have a sweet tooth and am particularly fond of chocolates.” She opened the lid. “My favorites. I know I should wait for the party, but these are just too appealing.”

Alicia watched as Sheila took a piece. Only a few seconds after she swallowed, her smile faded. She began to choke and clutched her throat.

“Sheila, are you okay?” Alicia rushed over, trying to recall how to do the Heimlich maneuver, but Sheila had already passed out on the floor. “Help!” Alicia called, racing to the stairs. The romantic music playing above her drowned out her voice. Just as she grabbed her cell phone to dial 911, Ryan Anderson walked through the door, a huge bouquet of roses in his arms. He stopped short seeing Sheila on the ground. “What happened. Oh my God!”
“I’m dialing 911 right now,” Alicia said. “She ate one of your chocolates and then passed out. I’m not sure if she choked on a piece.”

“My chocolates? I didn’t get her any chocolates. I was bringing her these flowers.” He dropped them on the desk and then knelt and started administering CPR to Sheila’s unmoving body.

Book lovers can not resist a mystery set in a library. Add in a holiday and some adorable animals, plus two truly cute kids, and you have a winner.
This story is more than the setting though. The characters are likable. I felt I wanted to get to know each once better. I could easily spend days in this library or hanging out on the porch of the hotel.
The mystery was perplexing. It kept me guessing. There were so many questionable details that could have implicated anyone. I was especially wondering what the Professor was up to.
The author`s writing style reminds me of another favorite author, Denise Swanson.
This is a clean series with romance for all ages and plenty of life left in the older characters.

About the Author


Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her novels include the three books of the Cobble Cove mystery series: A Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and Written in Stone. Debbie has also written a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, a standalone mystery thriller, Reason to Die, and a paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow. She lives on Long Island with her husband, Anthony; daughter, Holly; and cat Stripey.
  Author Links Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/
  Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian
  Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise
  Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2bIHdaQ
  Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.com

  Sneaky the Library Cat's blog: https://sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com
  Debbie's Character's Chat Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/748912598599469/

Purchase Links: eBook & Kindle Unlimited: mybook.to/cc4 Paperback: mybook.to/cc4pap 

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Also from Debbie DeLouise
The characters from Debbie De Louise's Cobble Cove cozy mysteries gather in the Cobble Cove library to celebrate the holidays. Each character receives a gift from the author, and Alicia, the main character, reads some excerpts from the first book, A Stone's Throw, and the new release, Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

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