Thursday, October 31, 2019

Taming My Whiskey


Buckle up for a wild ride as Dixie Whiskey finds forever love in TAMING MY WHISKEY, a funny, sexy, and emotionally riveting standalone romance by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster. The perfect love story for those who enjoy fiercely loyal and insanely sexy alpha heroes, smart, sassy heroines, strong family bonds, bikers, babies, and more!

In TAMING MY WHISKEY… 
Being the princess of the Dark Knights motorcycle club doesn’t come with a white knight or a fairy-tale castle, and that’s okay, because Dixie Whiskey has never needed a man to slay her dragons or make her whole. Even so, after watching each of her brothers fall in love, she’d sure like a shot at her own happily ever after. But with the Dark Knights watching over her and the only man she’s ever wanted out of reach, she’s not holding her breath.

As the launch of Silver-Stone Cycles’ biggest line approaches, Jace Stone is left needing a favor from the one woman who holds the power to take him to his knees. He knows when it comes to sinfully gorgeous and sharp-tongued Dixie Whiskey, he must stay on his toes and keep his walls firmly in place. But Jace needs her for his business—and Jace Stone always gets what he wants.

When the tall, gruff, and darkly handsome biker presents an opportunity that any other woman might see as the chance of a lifetime, Dixie turns him down flat. But Jace is determined, and he pulls out all the stops—sending Dixie’s overprotective brothers up in arms. Rebellious Dixie takes a stand—going after the freedom, and the man, she’s always wanted. One scorching kiss leads to an undeniable connection, but Jace isn't looking to be tied down, and Dixie refuses to play second fiddle. Can two untamable hearts find forever love in each other’s arms?

The Whiskeys are perfect beach reads with depth of story, strong family ties, and a wealth of emotions. Small town love stories with happily ever afters guaranteed.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from ...

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Guest book review by Tracey Faulconbridge

This is the story of Dixie Whiskey, and after all her brothers have all found love, she see that it is now her time, if only she could get them to back off for a while.

Jace Stone is launching his biggest line of Silver-Stone Cycles but he needs a favour from the one woman, but Dixie wants nothing to do with him. But when Jace’s determination sends her brothers on an over protective streak, she decides to stand her ground and go after the man she always wanted .

Can two determined people make the relationship work?

Another great story my Melissa Foster and look forward to the next instalment.  

5 Stars



For more hot Whiskey love, check out Melissa's other Whiskey novels.
And don't miss RIVER OF LOVE, the first story in which the Whiskeys were introduced!


"Melissa Foster is synonymous with sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance!"New York Times Bestseller Lauren Blakely

"You can always rely on Melissa Foster to deliver a story that's fresh, emotional and entertaining. Make sure you have all night, because once you start you won't want to stop reading. Every book's a winner!" NYT Bestselling Author Brenda Novak

"Melissa Foster writes worlds that draw you in, with strong heroes and brave heroines surrounded by a community that makes you want to crawl right on through the page and live there." - New York Times bestselling author Julia Kent

Tru Blue (Sexy standalone romance) by [Foster, Melissa]
In TRU BLUE…
There's nothing Truman Gritt won't do to protect his family--Including spending years in jail for a crime he didn't commit. When he's finally released, the life he knew is turned upside down by his mother's overdose, and Truman steps in to raise the children she's left behind. Truman's hard, he's secretive, and he's trying to save a brother who's even more broken than he is. He's never needed help in his life, and when beautiful Gemma Wright tries to step in, he's less than accepting. But Gemma has a way of slithering into people's lives and eventually she pierces through his ironclad heart. When Truman's dark past collides with his future, his loyalties will be tested, and he'll be faced with his toughest decision yet.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from ...
In TRULY, MADLY, WHISKEY…
Eight months is a long damn time to have the hots for a woman who keeps a guy at arm’s length. But Crystal Moon is no ordinary woman. She’s a sinfully sexy, sass-mouthed badass, and the subject of Bear Whiskey’s midnight fantasies. She’s also one of his closest friends. 

Just when Crystal thinks she has her life under control, scorching-hot, possessive, aggressive, and fiercely loyal Bear pushes all her sexual buttons, relentless in his pursuit to make her his.

The more Bear pushes, the hotter their passion burns, unearthing memories for Crystal that are best kept buried. But there’s no stopping the collision of her past and present, catapulting the two lovers down an emotionally charged road that has them questioning all they thought they knew about themselves.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**
Available to buy from ...

Driving Whiskey Wild (A Sexy Standalone Romance): Bullet Whiskey by [Foster, Melissa]In DRIVING WHISKEY WILD...
Special Forces veteran and Dark Knights Motorcycle Club member Bullet Whiskey lives to protect his family, their bar, and the residents of his small hometown. He’s rough, unapologetic, and haunted by a secret, painful past. He’s also a master at keeping people away, and when his sister hires gorgeous and sweet Finlay Wilson to help expand their biker bar, he knows just how to get rid of her.

After losing her boyfriend and her father, Finlay moves back to her hometown to be closer to the little family she has left. She needs her temporary job at Whiskey Bro’s to get her catering business off the ground, and she’s determined not to let the gruff, arrogant mountain of a man Bullet Whiskey scare her off.

Finlay is everything Bullet has never wanted. She’s afraid of his dog, afraid of motorcycles, and sweet enough to give him cavities, but as she weaves her way into the hearts of everyone around him, he’s powerless to resist her charms. Passion ignites, but trust doesn’t come easily, and when their pasts collide, Bullet finds out the true meaning of protecting those he loves.


**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from...

Wicked Whiskey Love: Sexy Standalone Romance by [Foster, Melissa] In WICKED WHISKEY LOVE...
After escaping abusive parents and, later, an abusive relationship, Sarah Beckley has spent a lifetime watching snakes shed their skin. With two small children to care for and another on the way, she's finally found a home in Peaceful Harbor with the brother she hasn't seen in more than a decade. She's still searching for her sister, but life is good. If only she could stop thinking about the sinfully sexy doctor/biker who has taken to her children like a loving uncle--and to her like a hungry man.

Trust doesn't come easily for Sarah, but Bones Whiskey is patient and protective, amazing with her children, and he looks at her like she is the only woman he could ever want--and more. With two little ones underfoot, Sarah expects him to move on quickly, yet with every tender kiss and each trying moment with the children, Bones surprises her. But will the fiercely loyal biker stick around when Sarah's worst secret is revealed, or will he shed his skin, too?


**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from ...

Wicked Whiskey Love: Sexy Standalone Romance by [Foster, Melissa]
In MAD ABOUT MOON...
Can true love strike twice in one lifetime? 
Josie Beckley refuses to believe there is a limit on happiness. A decade after she escaped her abusive parents and lost touch with her siblings, the death of her husband leaves her and her son homeless. But Josie has never been one to wallow in sadness, and when she takes a chance on reconnecting with her siblings, a sinfully handsome bright light from her past shows up and offers to help her find a way out of the darkness. 

Most people wouldn't see Jed Moon as someone to look up to. He's been in and out of jail and has lived a less-than-stellar lifestyle. But years ago one woman saw through his bullshit, and he's never forgotten her. Now she's back in his life, and as a prospect for the Dark Knights motorcycle club, Jed promises to keep an eye on the sassy, sexy single mother who has never stopped lighting his fantasies on fire. 

Jed and Josie's combustible connection is stronger than ever. Having Josie and her son in his life brings out all of Jed's protective instincts-and visions of a future he never imagined having. But when a shocking revelation knocks the insatiable lovers to their knees, it forces them to make choices that could change their lives forever.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from ...


About the author

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance and new adult romance lovers who enjoy reading about loyal, wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines with complex relatable issues.

Melissa also writes sweet romance under the pen name Addison Cole.

Melissa enjoys chatting with readers and book clubs. Send her an email invitation to your next event!

Never miss a brand new release, special promotions or inside gossip again by simply signing up to receive your newsletter from Melissa.

Find Melissa on the following sites....






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Patrick Turns His Play Into Pay




PATRICK TURNS HIS PLAY INTO PAY
Shani & Patrick Muhammad
* Children *



Title: PATRICK TURNS HIS PLAY INTO PAY
Author: Patrick Muhammad & Shani Muhammad
Publisher: 5 Star Publishing
Pages: 40
Genre: Children’s Book



Once great and powerful sorcerers, the Amasiti were hunted to the brink of extinction by the Hir and his followers. For four hundred years, their legacy faded from memory waiting for the hope of Aferi to be renewed…

In the Land of Yet

At the edge of the Forbidden Forest

A young woman lives alone.

Forced to fend for herself after the brutal murder of her family, Ameenah Yemini has made a life for herself as a master tanner and farmer, only venturing into the world to earn her living then return to the safety and seclusion of her home.

Until a chance encounter brings her work to the attention of the powerful Hir and her careful life begins to unravel.

Drawn to the hidden magic that lingers in everything she touches, the new Hir insists on having her for himself, using the people around her to force Ameenah into his grasp.

When she realizes that her greatest enemy may hold the key to a secret she thought lost to her forever, Ameenah is determined to reclaim her stolen past.  But, at what cost? As an ancient power waits to be unleashed, Ameenah’s choices will make the difference between awakening a new magic or delivering it into the hands of evil.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

 
 

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South Florida based janitor turned serial entrepreneur, Patrick Muhammad took what some would call an unconventional route to his newest venture.  “What I do now has evolved.  It truly took my passion and has turned it into a profession for me. I can see myself mentoring and sharing my story with young people easily for the next 20 years.  I love talking to young people and showing them, what entrepreneurship looks like. I love sharing my stories of how I came to be.  I didn’t just wake up one day and have all the answers.  My wife and I bumped our head A LOT.  I just want to say to them, look…here’s the blueprint.  Start now, don’t wait until you’re 30.  Passion has no age requirement, and has no limit on how many you can have. I started out as a janitor, then became a baker now I am into motivational speaking. They just have to have the passion and guidance. Anything is possible.”

“Patrick Turns His Play Into Pay” is the 1st book in a series of children’s books authored by husband and wife writing partners, Shani and Patrick Muhammad. The idea for the book was created one night while trying to explain the reason there was a gigantic, neon, pink and orange food-truck, now sitting in their front yard to their then 4 year-old Qadeer.   Patrick and his wife came up with the idea that they would write a keepsake item for all their children, detailing the road they took to becoming entrepreneurs.  The primary message is simple. By tapping into your passion early in life you can turn your playdays into paydays.  Once the book was published they both realized that the story could not only inspire their own children to entrepreneurship, but others as well. Shani figured out how to self-publish it and Patrick would take it to different youth groups in his community.   “I began shopping the book around to childcare centers and non-profits that served young people in the projects and the adults loved it.  “They really loved the idea that it was based on a true story and that the message was coming from a black male perspective. A story their children could relate to.  The images were brown like them and I just always got a positive response.  We took that book everywhere with us, and the response was this is a message that’s needed.  Children can’t be what they can’t see.”

Patrick currently lives in South Florida with his wife and three of his youngest five children.  He has a passion for planting the seed of entrepreneurship and carving out wealth building opportunities for his children’s generation. When he’s not writing books he’s on tour, speaking to groups of young people about basic principles of financial literacy and the benefits of early investing using cryptocurrency as a vehicle to establish future financial goals. When he’s not doing that…he’s on a creek with a fishing pole in his hand.

Shani Muhammad has been married to Patrick for 17 years now.  Together they have 5 children and 3 grandchildren.   Shani has spent the past 15 years in a classroom as a teacher. She too is a serial entrepreneur and has in the past owned a one-price shoe store, group homes and several online businesses. When she’s not working on the next children’s book in their series, she too enjoys researching and investing in crypto currencies and planning her family’s next “staycation.”

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM



 



A very quick read but written with such positive energy!

This is a beautifully illustrated example of a book that will inspire children to follow their dreams, find solutions to their problems.


http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Business of Blood by Kerrigan Byrne

BoB - BT banner


The Business of Blood, an all-new intriguing historical mystery from USA Today bestselling author Kerrigan Byrne, is available now!

BoB-ebook-cover

London, 1890
Blood and death are Fiona Mahoney’s trade, and business, as they say, is booming.
Dying is the only thing people do with any regularity, and Fiona makes her indecorous living cleaning up after the corpses are carted away. Her childhood best friend, Mary, was the last known victim of Jack the Ripper. It’s been two years since Fiona scrubbed Mary’s blood from the floorboards, and London is no longer buzzing about the Ripper, but Fiona hasn’t forgotten. She hasn’t stopped searching for Jack.
When she’s called to a murder in the middle of the night, Fiona finds a victim mutilated in an eerily similar fashion to those of the Ripper, and only a few doors down from Mary’s old home. The relentless and irritatingly handsome Inspector Grayson Croft warns her away from the case. She might have listened, if she hadn’t found a clue in the blood. A clue that will lead her down a path from which there is no return.
As a killer cuts a devastating swath through London, a letter written in blood arrives at her door, and it is only then that Fiona realizes just how perilous her endeavor is. For she has drawn the attention of an obsessive evil, and is no longer the hunter, but the prey.
Fiona Mahoney is in the business of blood. But she’s not the only one.
With intriguing twists, blood-chilling discoveries, and dazzling prose, USA Today Bestselling author Kerrigan Byrne shows that a woman’s work is never done, even when is sleuthing out a serial killer.


BoB - AN
Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/31q7Q9T
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2qfPPhw

Excerpt
Aidan stood behind me for a moment, motionless and silent. I could hear every word ever spoken and unspoken between us spilling onto the ground at my back. “I understand what the years have done to you, Fiona. I know all the reasons you do what you do.” The pity in his voice summoned a scream from deep, deep in my soul, and I swallowed three times to keep it from escaping. “I appreciate that you have to be cold sometimes. But have a care this profession of yours doesn’t make you heartless.” Heartless. Struck by an idea, I frantically searched until I found Frank Sawyer’s heart in the center of the basin. An unceasingly strong muscle upon which one’s entire existence depended. I counted four chambers. Four valves. I stared hard, unblinking in the wan light until Aidan’s retreating footsteps plodded away. I’d never found Mary Kelly’s heart. Every single part of her had been catalogued in all its exposed and grotesque exactitude. But not her heart. The Ripper had taken that, along with her life. I searched for the palpitations to prove Aidan wrong and found them, faint and fluttering, against my rib cage. I still had a heart, even though he owned pieces of it. And yet, I’d stood over too many corpses of those I loved, each time expecting my bleeding heart to just…stop. It should, I think. When a heart was broken as many times as mine, it shouldn’t work anymore. But somehow, it still did. It kept going. And so long as it beat in its chamber, I’d search for the Ripper.



Dark and disturbing in the most wonderful of ways. If you love a take charge heroine with a mind and will of her own, Fiona Mahoney is the woman you've been searching for. The only daughter of seven siblings, she's had to toughen up to survive. When the only man she has ever loved went away to war, came back changed and became a priest, she again became tougher and had to take stronger control of her emotions. When her best friend became a victim of Jack the Ripper... well, there is no coming back from something like that. She has developed a sort of obsession but her hunt for justice is more than that.
Fiona makes enough money that she could live a different sort of life but she continues to do the work strong men can not stomach. She also has a mouth that calls danger across her path.

Written with lyrical prose and deeply descriptive passages, you will be drawn in by the words and held under Kerrigan Byrne's spell. An almost mystical combination of historical romance and mystery this book will become a favorite of many genres. I didn't want it to end.

I am so excited to know that there are more books already in the works!


About Kerrigan
Kerrigan has done many things to pay the bills, from law enforcement to belly dance instructor. Now she’s finally able to have the career she’d decided upon at thirteen when she announced to her very skeptical family that she was going to “grow up to be a romance novelist.” Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, Kerrigan uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in almost every story.
She lives in a little Victorian coast town on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State with her wonderful husband. When she’s not writing you can find her sailing, beach combing, kayaking, visiting wineries, breweries, and restaurants with friends, and hiking…okay…wandering aimlessly clenching bear spray in the mountains.
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Connect with Kerrigan
Stay up to date with Kerrigan by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/33VpuF0

After Whorl: Bran Reborn by Nancy Jardine


After Whorl: Bran Reborn
AD 71 Northern Roman Britain


Ravaged at the Battle of Whorl, Brennus of Garrigill is irrevocably changed. He embraces a new identity as Bran, vowing to avert Roman domination of Brigantia. Though how, when he and Ineda – his healer’s granddaughter – are forced to labour for the Roman IX Legion? Trading with the usurpers provides opportunities for gathering information, but after they are attacked by a Roman patrol, Ineda cannot be found.

Distraught with her loss, can Bran find a new occupation?

The adventures of the Garrigill Clan continue…



Nancy Jardine writes historical fiction; time-travel historical adventure; contemporary mystery thrillers; and romantic comedy. She lives in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where life is never quiet or boring since she regularly child minds her young grandchildren who happen to be her next-door neighbours. Her garden is often creatively managed by them, though she does all the work! Her husband is a fantastic purveyor of coffee and tea…excellent food and wine! (Restorative, of course) 

A member of the Historical Novel Society; Scottish Association of Writers; Federation of Writers Scotland; Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Independent Alliance of Authors, her work has achieved finalist status in UK competitions.
Social Media Links –




A Spooky Tale



A Spooky Tale – a walk with our teacher

When the teacher decided to take the class out on a walk the children did not want to go ... But... 
What could possibly go wrong? 

Why did the class not feel well?
 Read the book to find out.


A Spooky Tale –




Having enjoyed other books by this author I could not wait to get my hands on A Spooky Tale.
Besides fun word content the illustrations are to die (or be frightened) for.
At first I did read this on a kindle paperwhite, so was unable to appreciate color images.
This is the sort of book that deserves a good print copy or to be enlarged on a big digital screen.
I appreciated the beautiful artwork much more when viewed in color.

From the beautiful map at the beginning, through each adventure, and the glorious expressions on each character's face, this is a fun book to read and share.
I was a little concerned when they whacked the bear, then threw stones at the wolf, but the other ways the kids sought protection were less violent. I liked that one critter only wanted to tickle and they were nicer to him. I do understand that when you are in danger of being eaten you may have to use more force!

The kids stood up for themselves, even rescuing the teacher. Perhaps my favorite image is teacher with her own pets. By the second or third time kids will be joining in with the refrain of and "THAT'S WHY we didn't feel well."


Author Bio –
I am an author and a teacher and have written six children’s picture books, all with a bus included somewhere.
Having been able to share my first book, 'Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus', it was time to think about writing a book for younger readers.
While visiting a local school the children were writing stories about a journey, we read Jay-Jay’s book and then I remembered a book that I had written some years before and I read this to the class too, and they loved it.
The original story was based on a walk with my class around the neighbourhood of Bewbush, Crawley. The walk had led to map work and sequencing. Then together with the class I wrote an imaginative adventure.
The events we imagined were put into a class book. The book was shared with many classes and it was always a favourite.
Now years later I decided it was time to update, improve and look at publishing the book.
There is indeed a walk around the district of Bewbush. and following the publication of the book I went back to see if and how the neighbourhood had changed.
‘Oh, I see you have written a book without a bus!’ commented a friend.
But, look through the pages and you will see there always has to be a bus!
The neighbourhood of Bewbush was a new estate built in Crawley town in the 1970's. The area was built without any shops, school or safe places for children to play. It was an area of high need and was supported by a special playbus which offered a much-needed playgroup venue.
I also undertake events and author bookings and love to share my stories. There are also a few more stories in the writing process, with links to real events and buses.

Social Media Links –
Facebook: - Author Page https://www.facebook.com/storiesSue/
Facebook  - Playbus page https://www.facebook.com/BewbushPlaybus/

Monday, October 28, 2019

CHRISTMAS FROM THE HEART by Sheila Roberts


CHRISTMAS FROM THE HEART
Sheila Roberts
* Women's Fiction *


Title: CHRISTMAS FROM THE HEART
Author: Sheila Roberts
Publisher: MIRA
Pages: 304
Genre: Women’s Fiction



Olivia Berg’s charity, Christmas from the Heart, has helped generations of families in need in Pine River, Washington, but this year might be the end of the road. Hightower Enterprises, one of their biggest donors since way back when Olivia’s grandmother ran the charity, has been taken over by Ebenezer Scrooge the Second, aka CFO Guy Hightower, and he’s declared there will be no more money coming to Christmas from the Heart.

Guy is simply being practical. Hightower Enterprises needs to tighten its belt, and when you don’t have money to spare, you don’t have money to share. You’d think even the pushy Olivia Berg could understand that.

With charitable donations dwindling, Olivia’s Christmas budget depends on Hightower’s contribution. She’s focused her whole life on helping this small town, even putting her love life on hold to support her mission.

When Guy’s Maserati breaks down at the edge of the Cascade foothills, he’s relieved to be rescued by a pretty young woman who drives him to the nearby town of Pine River. Until he realizes his rescuer is none other than Olivia Berg. What’s a Scrooge to do? Plug his nose and eat fruitcake and hope she doesn’t learn his true identity before he can get out of town. What could go wrong?

★★★★★ORDER YOUR COPY★★★★★

Amazon → https://tinyurl.com/y2tcsaog

 Barnes & Noble → https://tinyurl.com/yyod48yz

AudioBooks → https://tinyurl.com/y42jfzfs

Audiblehttps://tinyurl.com/y3z72gwn

iTuneshttps://tinyurl.com/y65o3rzz

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The scenery on Highway 2 was travel magazine worthy. Guy had seen enough of the world to know heaven when he saw it, and Western Washington with its lush trees, sparkling waters and mountains was, indeed, heaven. Not a bad detour if you had to take one.
Guy roared through Monroe, then Sultan and Skyway, racing past forests and rivers, pastures, and barns. The snow was really starting to come down. He’d have to stop and chain up once he reached the pass.
Three miles past Gold Bar his steering lost power, turning the car from a smooth driving, purring tiger to a rhino. He checked the dash and saw his alternator light was on. What was this? He pulled over, got out and opened the hood and looked under it to discover that his serpentine belt had broken. No notice, sudden as a heart attack.
Except for that squeal. He’d heard it earlier, too, but hadn’t paid attention.
He had no choice but to pay attention now. Guy may not have been an expert on cars but he did know that without that belt, he was going nowhere.
Frowning, he pulled his cell phone out of his North Face jacket. He hoped he wouldn’t have to wait long for his towing service to get to him. Who knew where they could tow him. Would he find a garage anywhere that would have a belt for an Italian sports car?
No cell reception. Oh, yeah, it just got better and better.
“Great,” he muttered. He’d just had this baby tuned up a couple months back. He shouldn’t be stuck here in the middle of nowhere. Why had he paid extra at the foreign car dealership for all those maintenance checks if they weren’t going to check and maintain everything?
There was nothing for it. He’d have to walk back to town and find a phone.
He slammed the hood shut, pulled his boots out of the trunk and put them on, still frowning. He liked snow, he was fit enough to walk ten miles if he had to. He just didn’t want to. He wanted to reach his destination. Thanks to whatever Gremlins had hopped in his engine along the way that probably wasn’t happening today.
He was just starting his trudge to town when an older model Honda Civic passed him and then stopped. It backed up and the passenger side window slid down. “Looks like you’ve got car troubles. Would you like a lift?” offered the driver.
Hadn’t this woman’s dad ever told her never to pick up strangers? If she was his sister he’d sure rip her a new one for stopping to let some man in her car, even in a blizzard. She had green eyes, curly hair the color of honey and plump, little kiss-me lips. Any crazy would climb right in and do who knew what to her.
Guy wasn’t crazy, but he was pissed, and in no mood to make polite conversation.
 “That’s okay, I’m fine,” he said, and continued to trudge on.
Freezing his ass off. Okay, maybe he was crazy.
Except, pissed as he was, he’d generate more than enough steam to keep warm.
She sure was cute though.
She coasted along beside him, backwards. “Not that you don’t look fit enough to walk, but it’s a ways in either direction. Cell phone reception can be spotty.”
He’d already discovered that.
“Maybe you’re afraid of girls?” she teased.
Not this girl. She had a smile like a magnet. Did he really want to walk back to Gold Bar?
He got in. “Thanks. I appreciate the lift.”
“Where are you headed?”
Idaho. Christmas with the family.” Step-family.
“Oh, my. You took the long way.”
“I had to stop in Arlington and pick up something for my mom.”
She nodded and smiled, obviously impressed by what a good son he was. Was this woman always so trusting?
He felt compelled to ask, “You don’t always go around picking up strangers, do you?”
“Oh, no.” She smiled. Man, those lips.
“That’s good. Cause you never know what kind of crazies are out there.”
“You didn’t look like one.”
“Ted Bundy probably didn’t either. Ever hear of him?” Okay, that sounded creepy.
Her smile faltered momentarily.
“I promise I’m not a serial killer,” he said in an effort to uncreep himself.
The smile returned full force. “I didn’t think so. I’m a good judge of character.”
“Yeah?” Suddenly he was feeling a little less pissed.
“Oh, yes,” she said with a nod that made the curls bounce.
He was a sucker for curly hair. You hardly ever saw women with real curly hair anymore. Why was that?
“And what makes you such a good judge of character?” he teased. She smelled like peppermint. He wondered if this little cutie was taken. Hard to tell since she was wearing gloves. There had to be a ring on that left hand. She looked about thirty, and by their thirties hotties like this one were never single. Or if they were they came with baggage.
“I deal with a lot of people. You get so you know.”
“Yeah? What do you do?” Coffee shop waitress, perhaps? Judging by the car she was driving, nothing that paid much.
“I run a non-profit.”
Oh, no. One of those. A person out to help others … using someone else’s money, of course. The memory of his unpleasant encounter with Olivia Berg arrived on the scene, irritating as jock itch. He could feel his jaw tightening.
This woman isn’t Olivia Berg. Don’t take your irritation out on her. “What’s the name of your organization?” he asked, the very image of diplomatic courtesy.
“Christmas from the Heart.”
“Christmas from…?” Oh, no. This wasn’t happening. This was some sick dream.
“Have you heard of it?”
“Uh, yeah.” The last thing he wanted was to be captive in a car with this woman. “Hey, any place you can drop me where there’s a phone will be great.” In fact, let me get out of this car right here, right now.
“I can do better than that. We’re not far from Pine River where I live,” she said. “We’ve got a garage there and Morris Bentley is an excellent mechanic. They can tow your car and have it fixed in no time.”
The sooner the better.
“My name’s Olivia Berg. My friends call me Livi.”
He would not qualify for friendship once she learned who he was. As far as this woman was concerned he was the devil incarnate.
She gave him an encouraging glance. And your name is?
Oh, boy. He could feel the sweat sneaking out of his pores. He’d been perfectly justified in cutting loose her little charity. He had no cause to feel guilty. None. But there she was smiling at him like they were on the road to friendship. Little Olivia Berg, the great judge of character. And here he was, feeling like Scrooge in front of a firing squad. With no blindfold.
Even though he had nothing to be ashamed of he couldn’t seem to spit out his name. Lie.
“Joe.” Yeah, Joe. Good, old everyman Joe.
Her expression asked, “Joe What?”
Joe…Joe… Why was this woman so pushy?
A truck rolled past, sending up a rooster tail of snow. “Ford,” he added. “Joe Ford.”
“Nice to meet you, Joe.”
She wouldn’t be saying that if she knew who he was.




 

______________________



A sugary sweet holiday romance that ends with a sour taste in the protagonists mouth.
Livi puts her heart and soul into the nonprofit started by her mother. When their oldest and most generous donor fails to come through with much needed financial help, Livi starts to panic. It begins to affect her entire life.

Just before Christmas fate strands seemingly wealthy Guy Hightower in the one small town he should avoid. And who should rescue him? Predictably, the woman he has most disappointed. So how does he handle it? He lies and gives her a fake name.

There is a third person in this relationship - Livi's long term friend who wants more, who also happens to be fixing Guy's fancy car.

We learn much about the main characters by the company they keep, including Guy's mother and his new step family. We also learn more about Livi by her actions and reactions than by her words. She wants to be a solid gold person and true to her passion and beliefs, but is it so wrong to want some good things in life?

And was Guy wrong to keep his identity secret just to avoid confrontation? Did he really do anything so wrong? You will have to judge for yourself.

Christmas will come and go, things get more complicated as the New Year begins. Livi decides she has to choose her future, when those around her are settling down. Is settling the answer?



Best-selling author Sheila Roberts has seen her books published in a dozen different languages and made into movies for both the Hallmark and Lifetime channels. She’s happily married and lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she’s not hanging out with girlfriends, speaking to women’s groups or going dancing with her husband she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.

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