December 19th 2017 by Tule Publishing
Jaded by love, Suzanna Simms has resigned herself to focusing on her art business. But with Christmas quickly approaching, she receives word that her family is returning to Marietta. And Suzanna failed to mention that her latest relationship had ended abruptly. Now she’ll have to admit to her family that she failed at love—again.
Enter Sergeant Jake Hamilton, a new resident to Marietta and Suzanna’s next door neighbor. He’s not looking for anything permanent, he’s just passing through Marietta for the Christmas season, hoping to keep to himself. But when Suzanna’s family mistakenly assumes that Jake’s her boyfriend, he agrees to continue the charade.
Suzanna is certain she’s immune to his rugged good looks and sexy smile until they find themselves standing under the mistletoe. When Jake finds her kiss sweeter than her sugar cookies, he knows he’s in trouble. But it’s too late by then… the Christmas charade is on.
There was something in the air…
Change was coming to Marietta.
Or more than likely it was a bit of wishful thinking.
Tomorrow was the first of December, when the Christmas frenzy kicked into high gear. Suzanna Simms usually found this to be the most fabulous time of the year. But this year, she just wanted the holidays to quietly pass her by. She rushed into the kitchen. Her gaze immediately moved to the clock on the microwave. It blinked “PF.” Power failure. Apparently the power had gone off last night just long enough to reset all of the clocks in the house, including her alarm clock.
A glance at her phone let her know she only had two more minutes before she was late for work. That never happened to her. She hated to be late for anything. And today they were switching the autumn decorations for Christmas ones at her jewelry/craft shop, Tangled Charms.
Suzanna grabbed the coffeepot and poured it into her mug. She’d never make it through the morning without some strong caffeine. She glanced in the kitchen cabinet for the lid. Suddenly the hot liquid scorched her skin. She righted the coffeepot. Setting it aside, she rushed to the sink. As cold water soothed the burn, she assured herself there was definitely something amiss in the air.
She glanced down at Pixie. “Hey, girl. I didn’t forget you. Honest.”
The black-and-white six-month-old kitten rubbed affectionately over Suzanna’s legs. Suzanna bent over and scratched behind Pixie’s ear. When Pixie wasn’t testing her boundaries, she was the sweetest furbaby. And she wanted her breakfast. First, Suzanna sopped up the coffee from the countertop. And then she placed a bowl containing canned cat food on Pixie’s mat. Satisfied that her morning chores were complete, Suzanna slipped on her coat and red scarf.
With her coffee in one hand and her oversized purse slung over her shoulder, she rushed out the door of her townhouse. A gust of icy cold air rushed past her. She snuggled deeper in her coat. December had blown in with a distinct chill. And so another blustery winter was about to descend upon Marietta, Montana.
She was halfway down the sidewalk when she spotted movement out of the corner of her eye. She turned her head to find a big—make that a ginormous—brown-and-white Saint Bernard running toward her. Its ears flapped as it ran and its jowls did the same. The closer it got, the bigger it seemed. Why couldn’t it be a Chihuahua or a Yorkie?
The breath caught in Suzanna’s throat as her palms grew clammy. Please stop.
She took a step back. There was no way she was going to outrun that dog. It let out a deep bark. Woof-woof.
And then all two hundred pounds or so of the dog was standing in front of her. She stared at it and it stared back at her with big brown eyes.
She should say something—do something, but panic had her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth. And her heart felt as though it were lodged in her throat. She’d been afraid of dogs since she’d been bitten when she was young.
She should look around for someone to help her, but she didn’t dare take her gaze off the dog. The dog began sniffing her shoes and her jeans. What was it thinking? The dog circled her—
“Rufus, what are you doing?” asked a male voice.
The dog glanced up. Woof!
Once the dog ran to the man, Suzanna relaxed her stiff muscles and glanced over at the man.
“Don’t worry. He won’t hurt you.” The man sent her a friendly smile as the dog sat down next to him.
It was cold out, quite literally, and here this man was strutting around outside in a short-sleeved black T-shirt. It clung to his muscled chest, broad shoulders, and bulging biceps. She swallowed hard and struggled to recall what she’d been about to say.
Her gaze lifted up and up. My he’s tall. At least six feet of muscle. His jawline was chiseled with some scruff on it. His hair was short—like military short. And his eyes were blue. Not just blue. But a sky blue, the kind that she could get lost in for hours. He was quite a sexy package.
“You must be my new neighbor.” The townhouse next to hers was up for rent. She just hadn’t realized anyone had moved in.
One of the themes throughout the Slippery Rock series is home. I think what it holds in common for all of us is a feeling of safety. Of belonging. While Levi has always belonged in Slippery Rock, and has always had plans to improve his family’s dairy farm – and the town – Camden has never felt she belonged anywhere. She shows up looking for home, and Levi needs to stop and really see his home.
My family’s special project for this new series is continuing with the release of Christmas in a Small Town, too. We’re donating a portion of the proceeds from the Slippery Rock series toward providing Sweet Cases from TogetherWeRise to foster children. Most children going in to foster care have nothing but the clothes on their backs. Sweet Cases are duffel bags given to children coming in to care, and once given, the bags remain with that child, giving them a sense of home and, hopefully, a sense that they aren’t alone. Each duffel includes a warm blanket, a teddy bear, hygiene kit, and art supplies.
“Sure, Calvin and Bonita’s place. You’re gonna continue on this road till you hit the grocery store. At the light you’ll turn south for a couple of blocks before taking Double A Highway West out of town. You’ll turn back north a few miles out when you see the county road sign, then follow 251 until you get to their lane. Can’t miss it. Bonita bought Calvin one of them big mailboxes a few years ago, in the shape of a collie. I swear you could fit a small child in that thing.” He tapped the roof of her car. “Nope, we don’t see many cars like this one around town. You have a nice evening, ma’am.”
Camden’s mind swirled with the information the older man had offered up. Straight to the grocery store, follow that road to the highway, follow the highway to the county road that would lead to the farm. She could handle this. Camden put the Porsche in Drive and waved to the older man as she pulled back onto the road that led through Slippery Rock.
Can you tell us about your current work-in-progress?
– I’m finishing up a sports continuity with three writer friends – we’re writing about three brothers, all sports heroes, who are coming to terms with a Big Family Secret. It’s been really fun to write!
Every year around Thanksgiving, I get the bug. No, not the flu bug. The holiday movie bug. Thanks to bebe, we have a towering stack of just about every Christmas movie you could imagine – from the original Miracle on 34th Street to The Polar Express. During the holiday season, Friday and Saturday nights become movie nights, sometimes the three of us gather in the living room with the big Christmas tree lit up and binge on holiday cartoons, sometimes we’ll disperse to different rooms to watch the movies we want to see.
You’ve created quite an interesting life for Camden – being scorned in love and then, having another charm her as she’s returnt home – what surprised you the most about Camden’s character for finding strength to face her adversities in romance?
Knight responds: Her strength, in general, surprised me. She allowed herself to be dictated to for most of her life, and so when I started writing her, I thought she would need more reassurances that she was doing the right things. But once she was out of that situation – her domineering mother, specifically – she really stood on her own. She was really fun to write!
“This story was a good one but was quite repetitive, slightly dragged out, and well-written but not to the extend of captivating the readers attention. except in portions of the story. . .
The Characters were very well developed and felt very real. The scenes were described in a way easily visualized.” – LAWonder10
“I love small towns and I loved reading this story. It has a lot of fun things happening. I love the way all the friends ended up back in their small town, still as close knit as ever.” – Vickie
“You guys didn’t play with me when I went to defense. How would you know what I looked like?”
Collin blinked. “High-definition TV. Replay shows. And, you know, we did play with you all through junior high and high school. Doesn’t matter if you’re quarterbacking or playing the defensive line, like you did in college and the pros—the Levi Walters focus is the same.”
“Also, and I don’t think we can emphasize this enough, at least three of your throws pushed the dart through the board and into the wall. So what’s up?” Aiden rolled his bottle of beer through his hands, making it scrape against the table.
Traditions are my favorite thing, whether it’s sitting in a field, getting eaten by chiggers while waiting for the 4th of July fireworks or strolling along a lake front, watching a parade of boats, decorated for Christmas. Traditions, to me, make every holiday more special because, while you’re in the present, the act of repeating a stroll with the Christmas boats or a snowy picnic brings back memories. It makes the experience richer, somehow.
In Christmas in a Small Town, there is a town festival, complete with a street fair and holiday lights and even a regatta so the townspeople can see the lights from the lake. Those are all memories I have from my small town upbringing, but there are even more. Here are a few of my favorite holiday traditions.
“I absolutely adore this town and every time I visit I am blown away. I would love to live in this place. Kristina always brings it to such life. . . . This book is a friends to lovers romance. If you have not visited Slippery Rock you need to go grab the entire series from Harlequin or Amazon!!! You will not be disappointed.”
“It’s a nice-looking dress, though.”
“Not my style.”
“I find that hard to believe. You wear it too well.”
Because she’d been trained to wear it well. Her mother had started her on the pageant circuit when she was nine, and after her father died, the pageants had become almost weekly occurrences. Still, having a stranger comment on her appearance was nice. Maybe a little stalkery, but nice. “Yeah, well, it’s not like it takes a special set of skills to wear designer clothing.”
“I don’t know about that.”
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It exhausts me, but in the best way! When I’m really into a book and all systems are go and the words are flowing it’s so energizing! Sometimes I can write like that for hours on end, I love it! It’s only after I stop for the day that the exhaustion comes in – my eyes get tired, sometimes my shoulders will ache (especially if I’ve forgotten to make a few trips to the kitchen or laundry room to work out those kinks!), and I’ll even have trouble holding conversations with people! A few weeks ago, I had one of those writing days, and that evening was a craft night at our church, and I had the hardest time talking to my friends – just because I couldn’t find my words!
“Christmas in a Small Town is a feel-good, Christmas time romance. . .
While their romance was all that is adorable, their relationship’s conflict felt a little lacking. . . . Still, overall this was a very cute story and a nice addition to the series.
It was fun to see the rest of the Slippery Rock gang again; don’t worry, though, this one would also work just fine as a standalone if you haven’t had a chance to read the rest of the series.”
This will come as a complete surprise to all of you, I’m sure, but I’m not completely organized at Christmas. I know! What? Kristina loves her planner and her lists and checking things off the lists! How can she not have an organized Christmas?
Okay, so maybe I do have an organized Christmas – we decorate at a certain time, and we bake at certain times, and I do try to have my shopping done by a certain time….but that is where the organization ends. I have friends that are organized right down to which bough of the tree which ornament goes on. And the ornaments are only certain colors and shapes and sizes.
The idea though, kept nagging at her. What if Granddad wanted to rejuvenate the school? For her time with the trainer in Kansas City, she knew competition dogs were sought after and could sell for high amounts of money. Training fees on top of that. . .
If she could get just one dog ready for competition, she could help her parents rejuvenate Harris Farms. Could have a real reason to stay here rather than return to Kansas City.
Maria: Do you have any special memories of living in a small town yourself, or did you grow up in a big city?
Kristina: I grew up in a very small town — fewer than 2,000 people, 47 people in my graduating class. It was great! There were summer festivals, parades, lots of down time. At the time (my high school years), I always felt like there should be something more, something bigger, but as an adult, I’m very thankful for my small town roots!
We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:
Launch – Note from the Author
underneath the covers – Excerpt
Becky on Books – Review
And don’t forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven’t already…
December 1st 2017 by Love Inspired Historicals
A Family Made at Christmas
After taking guardianship of his late friend’s siblings and baby daughter, minister Levi Wallin hopes to atone for his troubled past on the gold fields. But it won’t be easy to convince the children’s wary elder sister to trust him. The more he learns about her, though, the more he believes Callie Murphy’s prickly manner masks a vulnerable heart…one he’s starting to wish he was worthy of.
Every man in Callie’s life chose chasing gold over responsibilities. Levi—and the large, loving Wallin family—might just be different. But she can tell he’s hiding something from her, and she refuses to risk her heart with secrets between them. Even as they grow closer, will their pasts keep them from claiming this unexpected new beginning?
Regina Scott and her husband are the parents of two sons. They reside in the Tri-Cities of southeast Washington State and are members of the Church of the Nazarene. Born in 1959 and raised in the Seattle area, Regina Scott is a graduate of the University of Washington. She comes by her writing talent naturally–both her parents are excellent writers in their vocations as teacher and electrical technician. Her mother envisioned the plot for “Sweeter Than Candy,” the novella which was written as a tribute to her.
Regina Scott is a devout Christian and a decent fencer; owns a historical, fantasy, and science fiction costume collection that currently takes up over a third of her large closet; and has been known to impersonate an independent consultant specializing in risk communication.
1 winner will win an autographed print copy of His Frontier Christmas Family along with a set of rustic burnt-wood Christmas decorations the Wallin family would be pleased to own.
The fine line between BFF and happily-ever-after…
Tucker Llewellyn and Libby Worth—strictly platonic!—realize they’re each at a crossroads. Tucker is successful, but he wants a wife and kids: the whole package. Libby knows that small-town life has her set in her ways; the tearoom owner needs to get out more.
So they form a pact: Libby will play matchmaker and Tucker will lead her on the adventure she desperately needs. But the electricity Libby feels when they shake on it should be a warning sign. Soon the matchmaking mishaps pile up, and a personal crisis tests Libby’s limits. Will Tucker be there for her as a best friend…or something more?
…Grace has longed for the day when Mica would love her. Mica only sees Grace as trying to unload the burden of his son on him. The rift between them is wider than the Atlantic Ocean that separates Europe from North America. The jolts and surprises they give each other will keep you guessing.
I hope you enjoy my story and that you fall in love with baby Jules as much as I did!
“I thought that this was a sweet second chance story for these two characters. I also thought the secondary characters were enjoyable. I thought there was just the right amount of sweetness and just the right amount of humor. “
MICA HEARD IT from his sister-in-law, Maddie, who heard it from Mrs. Beabots, who got it straight from Louise Railton.
Grace Railton was back in town.
He didn’t know which emotion to pick first. Anger came to mind right off the bat, but it was quickly replaced with disappointment, hurt and curiosity.
“What’s she doing here?” Grace had made it pretty clear when she left town last year that Paris was the only universe she’d inhabit on a long-term basis. Indian Lake was too small for Grace, the beauty-pageant queen.
“A delightfully sweet story of never settling for less than “the one”! A surprise arrival leads to life altering news! Mica had been afloat trying to put the pieces of his life back together when a short-lived visit from his old friend Grace gave him a lot to think about before she returned to Paris. Now she’s suddenly back with a change that will knock him for a loop! The characters were easy to connect with, and the plot had me hoping she would be able to get it through his hard head that she could love him regardless of what he believed of himself! Always a joy to visit Catherine Lanigan’s fictional world of Indian Lake!”
Mrs. Beabots’s tree is decorated in a different theme every year. This year in HIS BABY DILEMMA, it’s decorated in aqua, pink and gold ornaments. You see these things in some of the catalogues this year. But back in the early 1960’s these were the colors on Jacqueline Kennedy’s White House Christmas Tree. I loved that tree.
During my research for this and many other books, I’ve read that blue and gold ribbons, ornaments and decorations are common in French homes. Blue candles.
“As Grace struggles with her unrequited love for Mica and he works through feelings of inadequacy (and a little jealousy), these two discover what they want most out of life looks different than it did before little Jules entered the picture. Tragedies happen and dreams change, but someone standing beside you makes life’s twists and turns worth the journey.”
She dropped her forehead to the steering wheel. “I’m out of my mind.” She balled her fist on her thigh. She had to do this. Had to. Tears stung her eyes, but she pressed her fingertips to the corners. She couldn’t let anyone see her crying. Especially not Mica.
She had to pull it together. She’d felt brave over the past year, but that didn’t come close to how heartrendingly brave she was going to need to be once she came face-to-face with Mica.
I’m fascinated by Christmas traditions from just about every country, but having a bit of French heritage myself, and since Grace Railson in HIS BABY DILEMMA lives in Paris, I wanted to bring some French Christmas Traditions to you.
We all know our own Christmas shopping regimens, chores, duties and delights.
All French Christmas markets find their origins in Alsace. No doubt, the proximity of the region to Germany gives Alsatian and French Christmas markets a distinctly Germanic touch. (My ancestors were from Alsace Lorraine.)
THE WALLS OF Mica’s apartment were closing in on him. His heart was racing as if he’d just lifted the John Deere tractor off its tires with both hands. He couldn’t catch his breath.
When Grace had pulled up, he’d been caught between elation and shock. For a brief moment, he’d actually thought she’d come to back to see him. That she was back in town to stay. Back in his life.
He’d been a fool.
I’m amazed that a lot of our American traditions that we cling to so tightly and we think are original to us, are actually hybrids of traditions that have been around for centuries.
Take the Christmas Flower. Poinsettia? Right? It’s a tropical plant. The story must be from a warm country, you’d think.
Well, it’s from France.
Luckily, Mrs. Beabots hadn’t rented her upstairs apartment to anyone and she was delighted to have Grace and the baby staying with her.
“I kept wandering how it was going to end up with her job being in Paris but you will have to read the book to see. Love his family and her aunt and the ice cream shop. I definitely will have to read more of this series.”
“If you love babies, second chance romances, and challenges this book is for you! Catherine Lanigan sure knows how to throw that secret baby on us and the father for that matter. . . . I adored this read. I can’t help it a baby gets me every time.”
“I really like this story. It is interesting to watch the changes in the characters and to see how they dealt with the different life circumstances that they were faced with.
I think Catherine did a fabulous job again with this story.”
When the Cathedral bells toll and the choirs within Notre Dame sing, the vibration of those reverent echoes drift straight to heaven.
Sacred and solemn, joyous and hope-filled, Christmas Eve night in Paris will waft through one’s memory like no other Christmas.
“There is a long road towards redemption and the grace of second chances – where each party has to come to terms with their own baggage before they can move forward. At the centre of it all is this beautiful baby boy who gives their parents a run for their money. And rightly so! He is just the ‘unexpected’ bundle to bridge a family back together whilst finding a way to heal two hearts who never realised how fractured they had become when they stopped themselves feel love and embracing the blessings which come from being loved.”
MICA WAS SPEECHLESS as Grace rose from her chair, clearly bent on escorting him from her apartment. He couldn’t possibly have heard her right. She was turning him down? Was she out of her mind? What kind of game was she playing?
He bolted to his feet and grabbed her arm. “Wait a minute.”
“No, you wait a minute. I came to Indian Lake to get your help with our son. Granted, I didn’t go about any of this the right way. I should have told you about him when I discovered I was pregnant. I didn’t want to burden you because you were going through all kinds of—of…personal things. I thought I was sparing you from more trauma. I screwed up. I made a mistake. I see that now. But I’m not going to marry you. I only need your help for a while.”
“Okay, I’m just going to say it. This is Ms. Lanigan’s best book. Yes, best book. If you can get past the awesome cuteness on the cover, the inside is pretty spectacular also. Don’t get me wrong, all of her books are good but this one stands out; especially for the line that it is written for. “
When it comes to nostalgia, no one does it better than Americans. We can weep at the sight of a wreath on our mother’s front door, despite the fact that the wreath is plastic and a decade or more older. It is the love within that house that brings us home, time and again, holiday after holiday. It is love that shoves us out the door to buy more gifts, bake our bread for the kids, sew another stocking, weave a scarf for Uncle Jerry and take poinsettia’s to the nursing home. Americans are known throughout the world for their generosity. Show me a natural disaster and I’ll show you Americans who band together, help each other and literally give the shirts off our backs. We donate food, clothing and money, lots of money to the needy and helpless and homeless.
And at Christmas, we do more.
Mica glanced in the rearview mirror as a truck passed him.
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
December 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming
Must they always be continents apart?
Nobody expects Paris fashion designer Grace Railton to settle down in her Indiana town, least of all Mica Barzonni. Fifteen months ago, he turned to her for comfort and compassion following a farming accident that left him permanently injured. Then she returned to France and went silent on him.
Until, suddenly, Grace shows up on his doorstep with life-altering news. Mica, a father? He’s barely learned to navigate his postaccident life. But this could be his chance to become the man he’s always wanted to be—the husband and father Grace and their baby son need. Now Mica just has to convince her to stay.
Now through December 24, ten percent of the net proceeds from all my book sales are donated to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. The JCCF is a non-profit organization that assists rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to work for an extended period. Every book purchased during this promotional period adds to the donation total. Don’t forget to include books on your Christmas lists! Back in 2013, I was researching details for The Christmas Cowboy, the first book in the Rodeo Romance series. I wanted to know how much medical care an injured cowboy would receive at a rodeo versus going to the hospital. In the story, the hero is a saddle bronc rider named Tate who sustains an injury at a rodeo. In an attempt to get my facts straight for the story, I reached out to the Justin Sportsmedicine Team®. Through mobile medical centers, they provide care at more than 125 PRCA rodeos annually. Their responses to my questions were extremely helpful and I was so impressed with them, I wanted to do a little something in return. So I launched a campaign to donate a portion of my book sales to the JCCF during the month of December. Two years ago, I added the month of November to my promotion, giving two months to raise funds for JCCF. If you enjoy rodeos and the cowboys who make them possible (or reading about them in books), I hope you’ll take a look at the JCCF. It’s a great organization that really does make a difference when these cowboys are injured.
You can find my books at:
~ Giveaway ~
Make sure you enter this drawing for a chance to win a box of Christmas goodies!
~ Meet the Author ~
After spending her formative years on a farm in Eastern Oregon, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield turns her rural experiences into sweet historical and contemporary romances filled with sarcasm, humor, and hunky heroes. When this USA Today bestselling author isn’t writing or covertly hiding decadent chocolate from the other occupants of her home, Shanna hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller. Shanna loves to hear from readers. Follow her online at:
ShannaHatfield | Facebook | Newsletter | BookBub | Pinterest
Summer’s Squall begins in Baltimore where Baltimore City Police Detective, Abe (Lank) Lankton, assumes he’ll be helping his cousin solve a minor problem when she calls and asks him to fly west. When he learns that he’s been called out there to aid in capturing an elusive stalker, his first instinct is go straight back to Maryland. However, when he meets the alluring victim, Summer Cooper, all bets are off. With his future, and his own life, in jeopardy, Lank must choose between going back to the life he knows in America’s Charm City or staying out west to help Summer. But Lank’s not sure that Summer is all that she claims to be or that the stalker even exists. One thing he knows for sure, Summer is guilty… of stealing his heart. Summer’s Squall is published by Chesapeake Sunrise Publishing and will be available in local book stores. It may be ordered through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and most other online sellers.
“I’m sorry to see you go,” Summer said after Lank told her that he was heading home.
He studied her and tried to find some hint that she felt something for him; that she wanted him to stay.
Her expression was unreadable once again, and Lank realized how good she was at masking whatever
feelings she may have had for him, if she had any at all.
“I wish I could do more,” Lank said. “I’m sorry.”
“I understand,” she said. “It was a long shot anyway. I really appreciate you coming out here.”
“It’s strange,” Lank began.
He shook his head. “The method of stalking, the lack of communication, the random series of events.
There’s no pattern, no rhyme or reason.”
“Which is exactly why there’s nothing to go on,” Summer sighed.
“None of it makes sense,” Lank said. “It’s almost as if…” He stopped and looked away, unwilling to
voice his thoughts.
“As if I’m making it up,” Summer finished the thought for him.
Lank was surprised that she knew what he was thinking and at her frankness.
“Yeah.” He shook his head. “I’m sorry, Summer. I don’t want to make accusations. I really want to
believe you, but the cop in me can’t help but consider all the angles.”
She raised her eyes without moving her head. “Gee, thanks for your vote of confidence.”
“Look, I’m not saying you aren’t telling the truth. I’m just saying that-” The buzzing of Lank’s phone
made them both jump.
“Excuse me,” he said as he looked at the screen. Summer motioned for him to go ahead.
“Hello, Lankton here.” Their eyes met as he listened to the call. “Sorry, boss. Yeah, I’ll take the case.
I’ll be back in the office tomorrow.”
Lank ended the call and looked at Summer.
“So, that’s it,” Summer said. “You ride in on your white horse, decide I’m just some crazy, attention-
seeking maniac, so you just say goodbye and head home.”
“First, I never said that. And second, what else am I supposed to do, Summer? I don’t have any
reason to stay. Do I?” He leveled his gaze on her, waiting for her to answer.
They stared each other down for a moment, but Summer never let her wall down. She held his gaze
without taking the bait.
“I guess not,” she told him in an even tone. “You’re right. It’s time for you to leave.”
“I think that’s a good idea,” Lank said as he stood, downed the rest of his tea, and headed toward the
“Aren’t you going to tell me not to leave town?” Summer said coldly. He turned back to face her.
“Isn’t that what you’re supposed to say to a suspect?”
“I’m not accusing you of anything, Summer,” Lank said, his tone evenly measured. Why was she
angry all of a sudden? He had simply told her the truth. Even she admitted that nothing added up. She had
to see the absurdity of the whole thing.
She stood and looked at him, her jaw set and her eyes shooting daggers.
“But you don’t believe me, either,” she challenged.
“It’s not that I don’t want to believe you. I don’t know what to believe.”
“You son of a…” She shook her head. “I thought you came out here to help me.”
“I did, but there’s nothing more I can do. I’ve looked at every angle, analyzed every possibility. You
said yourself that it’s time for me to leave.”
“Yes, but I’d rather you leave without thinking I’m crazy or a criminal.”
“Summer, I can’t pull clues out of the air or decide you’re telling the truth just because,” he stopped
and looked away.
“Just because, what?” she demanded, taking a step toward him and placing her hands on her hips.
When he turned back, her green eyes were filled with such intensity that he couldn’t look away.
“Let’s not go there, Summer. We just agreed that it’s time for me to go home.”
“You’re right,” she said, her voice low and challenging, and…sexy. “Just go home. I never asked you
to come here to begin with.”
Lank held her gaze a moment longer as he fought an inner battle between his mind and his body. Heat
and desire radiated from Summer, and Lank heard himself make a low, instinctual noise akin to a growl.
Without thinking, he grabbed Summer and pulled her to him. His mouth crushed hers, and her mouth
opened to his. Her hands went to the back of his neck, and he enfolded her into his embrace, kissing her
mouth, her chin, the hollow of her throat, until she groaned with the same primal urge that he felt himself.
Suddenly, Summer’s eyes opened, and she pushed him away. She stood, staring at him, her eyes wide
and filled with passion. As if awaking from a dream, she suddenly looked panicked and wrapped her arms
around her chest, her hand going to her mouth to cover it, her eyes closing.
“Oh God, I, Lank,” she shook her head and turned away. “I don’t know why I did that. I, I don’t know
what to say. Please, you need to go.”
“Is that what you really want, Summer?” Lank said quietly, coming up behind her.
Without turning around, Summer shook her head. But she didn’t change her mind.
“Yes,” she said quietly. “I want you to go.”
“I’m sorry, Summer,” Lank said as he turned to leave. He glanced back once more, but Summer
refused to face him. He hurried from the house and started to walk down the driveway before he realized
he didn’t have a car. He stopped, closed his eyes, and shook his head, resigning himself to a long, lonely
walk back to Megan’s.
Award-winning author, Amy MacWilliams Schisler, grew up in Maryland, not far from Washington, DC. She graduated from Salisbury University with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Political Science and from the University of Maryland with a Masters of Library and Information Science. Amy began writing as a child and spent fifteen years working as a librarian, a job she dearly loved, before becoming a full-time author. Her debut book was the beloved children’s book, Crabbing With Granddad, an autobiographical book about spending the day with her grandfather that us used throughout the state of Maryland as part of its Maryland history unit. Amy’s first novel, A Place to Call Home, was published in 2014 by Sarah Book Publishing. Her books, Picture Me and Whispering Vines, received 2016 and 2017 Illumination Book Awards, which recognize the best Christian themed books published both in the traditional book form as well as the ebook industry. Whispering Vines received a 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. She followed up her success with the acclaimed, Island of Miracles in 2017. Amy’s weekly blog currently has over 1000 subscribers, and topics vary from current events to her home life with her husband, Ken, and their three daughters, Rebecca, Katie, and Morgan as well as their two dogs, Rosie and Misty.
Amy is generously giving one lucky person two signed paperbacks. One copy is for you and the other for your friend. You can enter here:
Launch – Note from the Author
Paulette’s Papers – Research also known as Playing with Reindeer
Hearts & Scribbles – Excerpt
Heidi Reads… – Review
A Night’s Dream of Books – Interview
Celluloid Diaries – The Story Behind Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Book Lover in Florida – Excerpt
Reading Is My SuperPower – Review
Nicole’s Book Musings – Excerpt
It’s All About the Romance – Character Interview with Oliver
underneath the covers – Excerpt
Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader – Review
Teatime and Books – Interview
Brooke Blogs – 6 Things You Might Not Know about Reindeer
The Bookworm Chronicles – Excerpt
Deal Sharing Aunt – Promo
Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang! – Easy Pinecone Reindeer Ornament Craft
I Am A Reader – Excerpt
Janices Book Reviews – Review
Rockin’ Book Reviews – Reviews
Where life’s currents take you…
Dana Raynott just traveled 3,600 miles to reunite with the brother who changed his name and fled to Alaska nineteen years ago. It’s impossible not to be moved by this wild, breathtaking state, even if Dana’s no closer to finding the answers she came here for.
Her brother’s best friend, Anchorage engineer Sam MacKettrick, might be able to help her. He’s strong and kind—a six-foot, irresistible blend of diverse cultures. He’s also haunted by a tragic family history with a startling connection to Dana’s past…