On the 10th Day of Christmas…Christmas memories and author Meggan Connors

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I got engaged on Christmas Eve.

My husband and I had plenty of opportunities to meet prior to actually meeting. Both my husband and I had come home from the same college and transferred to the same school closer to our parent’s homes.  Our classes had been next door to each other.  Still, we’d never met, despite having some of the same friends and living within fairly close proximity to each other.  I’m sure we had to have seen each other at a party, or at a  game, or simply walking down the street, but I can’t remember ever actually seeing him before.  Despite all these opportunities, it took the internet to finally bring us together.  I met him online amongst the millions of other people out there in the world.  Not on Match.com or anything like that, just a fluke meeting in a chat room discussing our school.  What are the odds?

We were good friends first.  We did finally meet in person – it was impossible not to after we learned just who the other person was.  Our classes were right there next to each other and we knew many of the same people.  Months later, we finally made it official and became a couple.

Later that year, we moved into a small house in a working class neighborhood.  We were poor college students with minimum wage paying jobs, but somehow we made it work.  We didn’t know what we didn’t have – we were happy just being together.  I saved what little money I could to buy him a couple Christmas presents.  He loved Fannie Mae fudge, so I bought a pound of it.

That Christmas Eve he proposed.  He wrote me a letter, got down on one knee, and presented a beautiful, modest, diamond ring.  While he was proposing, our fairly large rescue dog had gotten into the fudge.  We managed to get it out of the dog’s mouth, but it was beyond saving.  At the time, I was devastated.  He’d gotten me a ring, and I’d given him uneatable fudge.  But he didn’t care – he was happy just going out and looking at Christmas lights with me.

That is one of my favorite Christmas memories.  It was before we cared about things like fancy cars or vacations.  We didn’t have that much, but it didn’t matter.  It was really one of those Lifetime movie of Christmases, where all that matters is being in love and spending time with your friends and family.

I love a good romance, and author Meggan Connors knows how to write good romances.  This is one of my favorite books…

Highland deceptionWhen Kenneth Mackay, long-banished rogue and thief, returns to the Mackay holding at the request of his brother, he has no idea what he might find. He certainly doesn’t expect to be confronted with his twin’s imminent death, or with the plan his brother has concocted.  Ten years before, Malcolm made a tragic mistake, and, to preserve the family name—and his own skin—he allowed Kenneth to take the fall. Now that he is dying without an heir, Malcolm plans to atone for his mistake: by giving Kenneth his life back. All Kenneth has to do is assume his brother’s identity. But complicating matters is the unexpected return of Lady Isobel Mackay, the daughter of an English marquess and the wife Malcolm didn’t want. 

Isobel barely knows the husband who abandoned her even before their marriage, and she’d long since given up on having a real marriage with him. Yet when she returns to the Mackay holding far earlier than expected, she finds her husband a changed man. Despite the hurt between them, Isobel’s heart responds to this man who cares for his entire clan as if they were family. Who, for the first time, cares for her as if she is, too. 

Falling in love with her husband had never been part of Isobel’s plan. But when their future is suddenly in peril, Isobel must find a way to save him—from himself and from the deception threatening to tear them apart. 

MEET MEGGAN CONNORS

Link http://amzn.to/1yCyL0j

web address for my blog: http://megganconnors.wordpress.com/blog/

Twitter: @MegganConnors

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On the 9th Day of Christmas…Dessert recipe and author Kim Hotzon

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So, it’s that time of year that we’re inundated with cookies and candies.  I love sweets as much as the next person, but I don’t have the type of metabolism that allows me to indulge my every confectionary whim.  So, unless I want to end up doing double time on the treadmill, I have to find ways to satisfy my sweet tooth without adding to my waistline.

Fruit smoothies.  I know, not really a dessert, but they can be a sweet escape without the guilt.  I like to take a half cup of fruit – frozen works great, and combine it in a blender with a half cup of low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt.  Then add almond milk until you’ve reached a consistency you can live with.

Dessert?  Possibly.  But always deceptively delicious.

Speaking of deception…

HandsFullofAshes400Kim Hotzon’s new release, Hands Full of Ashes, is due to come out January 14th, 2015.

Olivia promises to fulfill her dying husband’s wish – to scatter his ashes around the world. Wading through grief and depression, she journeys to a remote orphanage in Uganda. Living amongst the children in their threadbare surroundings, she vows to fight for the children’s lives as she begins to fight for her own. While Olivia develops a passion for humanitarian work, the lonely director of the orphanage develops a simmering passion for her.

Just as time begins to heal the wounds of Olivia’s fragile heart, her world is shattered when she is involved in a violent encounter with an armed rebel group in the picturesque mountains of Uganda. Olivia flees to the safety of Rwanda, where she learns the truth of her husband’s unimaginable betrayal.

As Olivia hovers on the brink of an emotional collapse, her broken soul is reawakened with a startling new love – but her life is about to take another dramatic turn as she struggles to survive in a region left torn apart by civil war. It will take every ounce of Olivia’s courage to hang on to those she loves the most but it may come at a great cost to all of them.

Meet Kim!

Website: www.kimhotzon.com

Twitter: @KimHotzon

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On the 7th Day of Christmas…Finger food and author Darcy Flynn!

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On the 7th day of Christmas, I’m going to give you a super-simple recipe for a great appetizer that is portable, has no need for silverware, and doesn’t require any heating.

I was at a party the other day and the hostess whipped out a tray of honeydew melon, wrapped in prosciutto, stuck on a tooth-pick with a piece of mozzarella on the top.  It was simple and delicious.

Who would have thought such a pairing would work out so well?  I love unconventional couples – in my food and in my romance.  Darcy Flynn’s novel, Rogue’s Son introduces us to just such a couple.

Rogue's SonTough, driven Kit Kendall has replaced her frills and dresses with no nonsense haircuts and wranglers, years ago. As owner of Sage Brush, the once thriving west Texas bed and breakfast ranch, she now struggles daily to keep her business afloat. Since McCabe Resort Lodge reopened next door as a multi-million dollar hotel, her financial difficulties compound, as she suffers one cancellation after another.

Just when she thought things couldn’t get any worse, Kit’s childhood sweetheart turned nemesis returns as the new owner of the resort that’s now putting her out of business, resurrecting memories she thought she’d buried long ago.

Cowboy, entrepreneur Sam Dawson has returned to Sugar Creek, Texas after six years of exile with a secret that could destroy Kit’s happiness. He left town because of it and for the past two years has secretly tried to make it right. Having failed, he now returns to make one last attempt to undo the tangled web created by his father.

Set in motion by his father’s Last Will and Testament and with the clock ticking, Sam has only weeks to convince Kit to sell him her ranch or reveal the truth that will break her heart.

Buy Link:

Rogue’s Son: http://amzn.to/1u4Zk93

Meet Darcy Flynn:

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On the 3rd day of Christmas…Cocktails and Author Ryan Jo Summers!

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My true love isn’t much of a bartender, so today I’m sharing a fairly simple cocktail idea with you.  My drink of choice is wine, but every once in a while I like to get a little crazy and incorporate some clear liquids into my diet – vodka.  I had a trainer once who told me if I had to drink, make it simple and make it clear for the least amount of calories.  So, I tried flavored vodka and diet soda – simple and without a lot of the sugar you find in typical mixers.  So, the adult root bear float – vanilla vodka and diet root beer.  Mix to taste.

Nothing goes better with a cocktail than a good book.

Ryan Jo Summers

Darby Adams has a successful Bed & Breakfast Inn, a wonderful son and a happy life in the coastal town of Driftwood Shores. Then a guest is found dead in one of her rooms. Suddenly she is the number one suspect and her world is spiraling out of control.  The surviving family wants answers so they hire new-in-town private investigator Sam Golden to undeniably prove her guilt and have her put away. Sam begins his new case in a dual role, in the guise of being Darby’s much needed friend while looking for the evidence to send her to prison.

Until strange things begin happening at the B & B–scary things. Finally Sam has to question his thoughts  on her guilt or innocence. Meanwhile, Darby leans on Sam to weather each new challenge and threat. Feelings begin to develop between Darby and Sam. Until Sam is forced to tell Darby the truth about him, effectively destroying what trust they had.  Until a new threat forces Darby to trust Sam once more. She will bet her freedom and life on  his skills, but can she trust her heart?

Learn more about RYAN JO SUMMERS

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website is http://www.ryanjosummers.com/

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Thursday Threads with R B Austin

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Fallen-Redemption

Fallen Redemption by R B Austin

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Heat Level: Sizzling

 

Killing Fallen to save mankind is Cade’s redemption for murder and only one human—mouthwatering and absolutely forbidden—stands in his way.

Cade committed himself to saving lives before he learned the full consequences of his life-altering decision. It wasn’t until he was tending his sick wife that he learned the enormity of what he’d done and he was unable to save her from the monster he had become. Consumed with guilt and praying for absolution, he threw himself into killing every Fallen he could find to save the humans he’d sworn to protect. But then Emma, deliciously mortal and completely forbidden, swept into his world, stirring an overpowering desire. Now he’s not only fighting soulless creatures, but also his inner cravings, trying to maintain his distance and continue on his path to forgiveness. He won’t lose control again and lose another love.

Excerpt

The cut was small and not deep, it would stop bleeding in a matter of minutes.

Blood seeped from the wound. It trickled down Sarah’s wrist and pooled in her upturned hand.

He froze.

Changes overcame his body. Uncontrollable. Unknown.

Breath quickened. Heart pounded as loud as a horse’s gallop. Sarah hadn’t awakened. The pain from her cut was insubstantial compared to the pain of her sickness.

The thick, crimson liquid flowing from the wound was anything but insubstantial to Caderyn. Still unable to move, his eyes hadn’t wavered from the blood. The tray left his hands and clattered to the ground. His knees buckled and he sank to the floor, bringing himself an inch from the cut. The scent of blood filled his nostrils. Consumed all thought. Sight. He wanted to close his eyes and savor the reverent aroma filling his senses. Something awakened inside of him.

Foreign.

Monstrous.

Wrong.

He was hungry, yet didn’t want food. Thirsty, but didn’t want to reach for a cup of water. Another drop of blood welled from the cut. A growl tore from his throat.

It was the switch and it had been thrown.

One moment he was himself. The monster inside separate. Next the wall between the two vanished. He was the Behnshma. His humanity gone. Another growl. It echoed around the house. Filled his ears.

He was ravenous. The fact he hadn’t eaten in a little over a week ached his empty belly and burned his dry, parched throat. There were two pricks of pain in his top gum. Finger in his mouth, he found two long, sharp as knives, teeth. Like Elias. Like the wolves in the forest when they tore into a deer carcass. Their muzzles bloody, meat dangling from their mouths. Blood.

He knew what he wanted to do, what his body demanded he do. Caderyn licked his lips and his tongue nicked an elongated tooth. His own blood melted decadently over his tongue. A flood of senses erupted. Never had he tasted anything this wonderful. His mouth zinged with flavor. The blood coated his throat. He’d been dying of thirst his whole life but hadn’t known it. Warmth spread through his body.

His hands shook as he brought them to Sarah’s arm. Grasping her wrist and forearm he leaned toward the blood. Inch by inch. He was a magnet and her arm was the polar opposite.

Her inaudible yelp of fright permeated through the rushing noise in his ears. He tore his eyes away and met her wide-eyed startled ones.

Stop.

Fear was an acrid, burning stench in his nostrils. Her thoughts a chaotic jumble weaving through his mind. She tried to move her lethargic limbs. Tried to escape. To break free.

He flexed his hands, squeezing her arm as his gaze trailed from the vein in her neck to the one in her wrist right below the cut. The blood slowed and the edges of the wound begun to dry. The tangy, copper scent of the fresh liquid underneath her skin reached his nose. Caderyn listened to it pass through her veins. Faster and faster.

Ignoring his wife’s futile attempts to escape, he leaned closer and inhaled. A growl erupted from his throat. He bent. Licked the wound. Groaned. His cock hardened.

Sarah, panicked now, tried to yank her arm free. It was the most she’d moved in days. Growling, like a dog with his bone, he held down her upper arm and her squirming hand. Pushed it back until her forearm bowed, and the cut extended to him like a present.

Caderyn. Please. I beg you.

He was hurting her arm. Scaring her. She was begging.

Flicking his tongue over her wrist, he caught another drop of the thick liquid gold. Then another and another. It wasn’t enough. He bared his teeth, striking fast to sink them deep into her wrist. She gave a weak jerk. Caderyn drew her blood into his mouth with long pulls. His cock jerked and warmth spread inside his breeches. There was no stopping. Her struggles to escape were an annoying insect buzzing around the room. The pleas to stop were shouts in his head. Both were easy to ignore. Sarah ceased to struggle.

He was killing her.

He couldn’t stop.

And didn’t stop until she was dead

Links:

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Thursday Threads . . . Author Brenda Stinnett

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The King's Vampire

This Thursday features The King’s Vampire, first in an Abyss series

Written by Brenda Stinnett

Historical Paranormal set in London, England, after the Restoration of Charles II.

Heat Scale : Sizzling

Darius Einhard, demon slayer, will stop at nothing to help Elizabeth Curran, immortal vampire, break the bonds of vampirism, even while helping her protect Charles Stuart II, who’s in danger of being entrapped into becoming an immortal vampire and leading his people into the abyss of hell by the psychic vampire demons. 

 Excerpt:

The ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, England, November, 1675

First to reach the top of the ladder, Elizabeth said, “I see a dim light outside the archways of the church. Follow me.”

They’d almost reached the entrance when a hooded figure came rapidly gliding toward them. In silence, the shadowy figure stepped in front of them, blocking the exit while tossing back its hood. Elizabeth recognized Julian, his horrible eyes blazing blood-red, and his mummified face transformed into a skull whose hinged jaws tantalizingly opened and closed, while his wings beat back and forth.

Fear-frozen, Elizabeth watched the skull increase in size, the jaws continuing to rise and fall. The creature grew until it filled the archway.

With a shout, Darius shoved his three companions away from him and toward the archway. “Run! John, take the women to safety.”

John grabbed both women by the arm and started running with them, dodging the skull and slipping beneath Julian’s enormous wings. Elizabeth pulled back and turned around in time to see the huge jaws closing over Darius. She screamed, but John yanked her back and dragged her and Amelia out of the church forcibly, before she could protest further. He gave a shrill whistle. Darius’s coach appeared in front of the ruins. John shoved the women into the coach, and shouted to the driver, “To the Boar’s Head Inn. Hurry up, my good man.”

In the coach, Elizabeth glared at him with such ferocity that he drew away from her in surprise. “How dare you, John!”

His eyes widened. “What’s wrong? Darius told me to get you and Amelia to safety, and that’s what I’ve done.”

His wife touched his shoulder and gave a shake of her head.

Elizabeth sat up on her knees, pressing her face to the back window of the carriage. Even with her superior vision, she saw neither Darius, nor the huge skull from her vantage point.

“We’ve abandoned him to those horrible demons. We should have stayed and fought.”

When she let out an enormous sob, Amelia gently pulled her back onto the seat. “John was doing what Darius asked him to do. Darius is a great warrior and he can take care of himself.”

Elizabeth hardly noticed Amelia stroking her arm in a comforting manner. She felt a pain in the pit of her stomach grow until it reached up and clutched her heart. How could she live with herself if anything happened to him?

Buy links

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Web Page:  http://brendastinnett.com

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