CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN 2018 FEATURING AUTHOR HEATHER TULLIS



HEATHER TULLIS has been reading romance for as long as she can remember and has been publishing in the genre since 2009. She has published more than twenty books. 

When she’s not dreaming up new stories to write, or helping out with her community garden, she enjoys playing with her dogs and cat, cake decorating, trying new jewelry designs, inventing new ways to eat chocolate, and hanging out with her husband. 

Learn more about her and sign up for her newsletter on her website.






Jonah Owens thought moving to Echo Ridge to open his art gallery would solve all of his problems. The need to sell his grandma’s house adds an unexpected complication. It would be easier if his neighbor didn’t have all those farm animals.

 Kaya Feidler’s family has owned their land for nearly a hundred years–long before the neighbors were there. There’s no way she’s giving up the animal therapy business she’s been struggling to make profitable. She gets a temp job helping Jonah in the gallery. 

Spending time together is a recipe for romance, but can they overcome their own hangups to be more than friends?





Snippet:

Jonah picked at a piece of shredded lettuce on his sandwich. “I’d do anything for my grandma. Besides, I love it here, and I was ready for a change. A complete change.” He’d been dragging around trying to paint post-Janet. This was a fresh start in many ways.
“She said you haven’t painted anything in a long time.” Kaya’s words were hesitant, as though she wanted to ask, but didn’t want to pry.
“I hit a wall.” He paused. It felt wrong to gloss it over with Kaya, though he didn’t know why. He went with the impulse. “I was dating someone seriously. When it ended, I found I could only paint dark stuff. Stuff I wouldn’t buy or hang, and definitely wouldn’t sell. I tried working through it, but I tried so hard to paint things I wasn’t feeling that I ended up not being able to paint at all. Nothing remotely good, anyway. Technically correct, but not emotionally true at all, so I had to stop. The gallery is sort of my backup plan.” It had taken a long time for him to admit it was what he had to do.
“That seems to have changed.”
“What do you mean?”

“I saw the painting of Shyanne this morning; it’s nearly done, right? It’s beautiful. It takes my breath away, actually.”  





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CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN 2018 FEATURING AUTHOR JENNIFER GRIFFITH



Jennifer lives in Arizona where she writes escapist fiction she calls “Cotton Candy for the Soul.”






He needs this job to honor his late wife.
 She needs to complete her late fiancé’s bucket list to be free.

Former action-movie star Chet has counted the days since he lost his wife last New Year’s Eve almost a year ago. When he’s given a shot at starring in a reboot of her favorite TV show, he jumps at it. But there’s a catch: the producers won’t hire him unless he can prove he’s regained emotional stability—by bringing a steady girlfriend to his five auditions.

Which means: five mandatory dates for this bereft widower.

Social worker Holly lost her fiancé to war. With his good life snuffed out too soon, she feels compelled to finish his bucket list of unselfish deeds. But four years later, several remain, and they’re ridiculously impossible. Until she accomplishes her soldier’s dreams, she can’t even consider moving on with her life.

When they meet on the beach at Getaway Bay, what she doesn’t know is homeless-looking mourner Chet is actually Colt Winchester, screen star and fashion icon. What he doesn’t know is that he’s a means to an end.

When their walls start to crumble on their Christmas season dates, can these two find love again, or will they forever be chasing ghosts?”



Snippet:

“Excuse me.” A server approached with a silver platter covered with frosted sugar cookies. “Would you care for a cookie?”
“Who says no to a sugar cookie?” Holly took two—a star and a snowman. “Thank you.” One bite of the star’s vanilla-almond buttercream frosting sent her mouth into ecstasy.
“These are good,” Chet ate his green-frosted Christmas tree in two bites.
“Did you try the snowman?” The frosting of her second cookie melted into a sweet coconutty heaven on her tongue. “Mmm. It’s childhood in a sugary bite.”
“Do you bake?” He spoke through a mouthful. “Mmm. Cookies are love.”
Chet caught Holly off guard. He hadn’t seemed like the type to make such a tender analogy.
“Ah, sometimes. And you’re right. Especially sugar cookies. They require so many steps I always just buy them.” She never made them. Not even for Rick. “The only thing that could motivate a person to make them is love of the recipients of the cookies.”
“That,” Chet said, “or a deep love of sugar cookies.”
“Gluttony could also be a motivator.”
“Where’s that platter? We should get more of those.” Spoken like a true hungry person.
Holly had never experienced true hunger, at least not physical hunger. Maybe Chet needed more cookies.
“If we walk around, we might run into the sugar cookie person again.” Or someone with another kind of food, if Chet needed it. However, tonight, Chet seemed a lot less like a guy who needed to fish to feed himself than he had the other day.
They walked toward a table with chairs and sat down. Chet reached across the table and took her by both hands. “I think girlfriend is right for now.”
Girlfriend. Holly stared down at their clasped hands atop the green velvet tablecloth. His were rough, like they’d held a fishing rod in the sun for a lot of hours, day after day. She’d seen him on the shore.
“So that makes you my boyfriend.” The word sounded younger than she felt. The last four years had aged her. Against her collarbone, Rick’s unused wedding ring heated up again. “You work fast.”

“Not usually.”





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CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN 2018 FEATURING AUTHOR R. WILLIAM BENNETT






R. William (Bill) Bennett is the author of Jacob T. Marley, The Christmas Gift, and a new Christmas novel being published by a major publisher for Christmas, 2019



 ~ Website ~
  




“Marley was dead to begin with . . . “

These chillingly familiar words begin the classic Christmas tale of remorse and redemption in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. 


But, what about Jacob Marley?  And why hadn’t he been given the same final chance of redemption as Ebenezer Scrooge?



Or had he?









Snippet:

From a scene in which unbeknownst to Scrooge, Marley’s spirit has accompanied Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present to the marketplace: 

At that moment, an urchin of no more than five stood before the trio. Whether she could not see Marley and Scrooge, or whether she simply paid them no mind, it could not be discerned, but there was no question she saw the ghost, as she surveyed his entire wardrobe and stared with delight into his face. The spirit smiled down at her. He took his cornucopia torch and tipped it above her head, which caused a soundless waterfall of glistening sparkles, like a thousand miniature sprites, that seemed to flow into the girl as they touched her. 
“Spirit,” asked Jacob, “why does she see you?” 
“I cannot stop her. It is not that I choose to reveal myself to her, but I am revealed by her purity. She sees me because her eyes are not shrouded with doubt or hate, fear or selfishness or greed. Her heart is innocent, and her eyes are an extension of that heart. My mission is the goodness of man in this season, and I cannot keep it from her.” 
“Do all the children see you?” 
“No, just the ones whose spirits are so remarkable, they tend to live in both worlds.” 
“And what is that with which you christened her?” 
“Joy, that it might fill her needs a bit.” 
Marley seemed troubled. “She does not look like she needs joy. I think she needs food—and clothing.” 
“Look about you,” said the spirit more sternly. “Do you see food?” 
Marley again took in the array of fruits and vegetables and nuts and plants of all kinds. “I do, Spirit. So much that to feed this little one even all she could swallow would not make a noticeable scratch on this abundance.” 
“And do you see people?” There were men and women and children bustling about, wishing each other the greatest merriment of the day and generally enjoying the morning. 
“I do, Spirit, many.” 
“And what number of that many are stooping down to offer one bite, or perhaps an old shawl they would never miss, to this poor girl?” 
Jacob noticed that the crowds seemed completely oblivious to the child, walking around her and even bumping her at times, looking down only to see what inconvenience they had stepped on and, upon finding it to be only an urchin girl, looking back up to continue their conversations, never missing a word. “None,” Jacob confessed. “Not one seems to notice her.” 
“They all could, Jacob, if they chose. But they seem not to care. So, in this, I provide a little to give her what they may not.” 
“But if she is hungry, why not give her all she needs?” 
“Do not think that a spirit does not have a kind heart! For we do. I ache for her needs. But if I were to give her food and clothing and a home, what would be required of you?” 







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CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN 2018 FEATURING THE SEASONS OF BEAR LAKE




Stephanie Worlton is an author, designer, gabber, and sugar addict! She was raised in the suburbs of Salt Lake City where she developed a passion for the creation of space, color, and design. Her love of design drove her to pursue a degree in architecture. Her love of family pulled her home to be a mom.  She enjoys hanging out with her family, reading, writing, making massive project lists, doing remodeling and building projects, playing in the dirt, and snuggling with her dogs. She collects power tools, camera equipment, shoes (though barefoot is always best!), and books.







Ali Cross, the award-winning author of the Desolation Series, has always had a flare for the dramatic. As a child she organized backyard performances of classic plays and musicals and hosted tea parties for invisible friends and pets dressed in doll clothes. Her teens were a haze of boys, drama (of the real life variety), and music. So it really didn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the girl her family called a dreamer, ended up writing drama—with angels, demons, and other supernatural creatures thrown in for fun.

After university, Ali traveled from the Great White North to the Utah desert for love and now entertains her devoted husband, almost-grown twin sons and adorable yorkies with her wacky song renditions and random movie lines. As the only female in the house she considers this her right and her duty.

Never one to conform to expectations, Ali enjoys writing in multiple genres:

Ali Cross books for young adult paranormal romance; Ali Banks Cross books for middle grade adventures; and Ali M. Cross for inspirational romance. She promises to entertain you no matter which of her books you pick up.





TARA C. ALLRED
Award-winning Author

I had lots of imaginary friends when I was five years old, and I guess you could say some of those friends never left me. In fact along the way, I picked up some more imaginary friends who have had lots to say.

I love watching stories unfold. And some of those stories seem worth sharing with you.

So, I have written a few books. And have several more in the works.

Meanwhile, some of my books have won some awards. And even more importantly, my books have made friends with some wonderful and supportive readers. I absolutely love it when a reader connects with one of my stories.


Stacy Lynn Carroll has always loved telling stories. She started out at Utah State University where she pursued a degree in English, learned how to western swing, and watched as many of her fellow students became ‘True Aggies’.  She then finished her BA at the University of Utah where she got an emphasis in creative writing.  

After college she worked as an administrative assistant, where she continued to write stories for the amusement of her co-workers. When her first daughter was born, and with the encouragement of a fortune cookie, she quit her job and became a full-time mommy and writer. 

Eight books and four small kids later, Stacy has truly learned the necessary skills of balance and time management. Dr. Pepper and chocolate also help. She and her husband live in Utah with their four children and three dogs. Bear Lake is her favorite place to write.






Are you ready to fall in love? 

Take the chill out of winter with four new multi-genre romances from best-selling and award-winning authors Tara C. Allred, Stacy Lynn Carroll, Ali M. Cross, and Stephanie Connelley Worlton. 

From heart-warming traditions to heart-pounding suspense, this cozy collection of toe-tingling first kisses set in Utah’s North Pole (aka Bear Lake) will leave you feeling cheerful and bright.















Snippet from 
Stolen Kisses by Ali M. Cross:



He was right—her hair was dark. Nearly black, actually. She was white, but there was a slight warmth to her skin and with her coal-dark eyes, straight black hair and long, straight nose, he was pretty sure she might be part Native American. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
“You guys can hang your coats up there,” the petite girl said, pointing to the coat rack by the door. “Your timing is perfect. We were just getting started.”
“Glad to see you made it to your destination safely,” Bent said, offering the girl what he hoped would be a kind smile. There was something about her, something wild but skittish. He’d never been around horses or anything, but she made him think of wild horses. Curious, but scared, too. “I’m Bentley. But everyone calls me Bent.”
“I’m—”
“Mel. I remember. Is that short for Melanie?”
She shrugged and threw him a coy glance. “Call me Mel. But why do you go by Bent?”
Bent chuckled. “I’m Bentley Brown.” He leaned over the couch that stood between them and offered his hand. “And yes, I’m named after the car.”
She shook his hand. He liked the press of her small, warm palm against his and he was disappointed when she broke the contact.
“I like Bentleys.”
Oh, she could flirt, could she? Bent took off his coat and hung it up without taking his eyes off Mel. “Mel suits you. It’s tough. Like you.”
She laughed and looked down, shaking her head. “Oh, I’m anything but tough.”
He looked at her sideways. “You sure about that?”


Q&A With Ali M. Cross: 

1.  Describe yourself in 50 words or less.
Quirky and fun (or dorky and lame, but I’m going with “quirky and fun”). Sun worshipper, happiness enthusiast, believer in hope and magic. Devoted mom to twin 18yo sons and two adorable yorkies, and happy wife to the love of my life. 

2. What do you love most in the world?
God and my family.

3. What inspired you to become an Author?
Stories that moved me and inspired me. I wanted to be a part of that.

4. What is your favorite Winter / Holiday tradition?
My favorite Christmas tradition is we have a little basket we set on the mantel along with some yarn strips to represent “hay”. For every good turn during the holiday season (from Thanksgiving to Christmas), we each fill the basket or “creche” with yarn until by Christmas Eve, we have a nice soft bed ready for Jesus. Before we go to sleep, we gather around and sing “Silent Night.” I’ll put out the porcelain Jesus in his bed, then on Christmas morning, before we open presents, we’ll sing “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful”. Helps us to slow down a little bit and remember the “reason for the season.” ❤️ 

5. What is your trick for getting past writer’s block? And what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling to tell their story?
My trick is to keep on writing! I’ll literally write “blah blah blah” or just free write–in my MS–until the words pick up the story again. OR, I’ll jump ahead to a part of the story I DO feel inspired to write. If neither of those tactics work, then I’ll for a walk, or do something else that fills my creative well. My best advice is to not be overly hard on yourself if the words won’t flow…but also to give yourself a chance to open that spigot by sitting down and writing ANY words, even if they aren’t the right ones.

6. Now that we’ve gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it’s yours. What’s your story?

My parents divorced when I was four years old. I remember one Christmas Eve when Daddy was coming to see me, AND I was singing a solo in the Christmas Eve mass that night. I wanted my mom and dad to come hear me sing as I’d never done a solo before and even my mom had never heard me. I think I was about ten. I sang “O Come, O Come, Emanuel”, and I remember how, standing in the choir box, my voice carried across the cathedral and the elegance of the procession beneath me. It was a powerful moment in my little life. A real “core memory”. I discovered my sister had come to hear me, but no one else. We rushed home because Dad was there–only to find that he had come and gone. He hadn’t wanted to hear me sing, or to even stay and see me. Everyone else got to see him except for me. And Mom was crying. It was another core memory. These two extremes on one night had a powerful impact on me. Now, I try very hard to always let my sons know that they are loved and that what’s important to them is important to me. That night was bittersweet for sure, but it hasn’t dulled my love for Christmas, only reminded me that I have the power now to help it shine–for myself and my family.







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CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN 2018 FEATURING AUTHOR LAURIE (L.C.) LEWIS


Laurie (L.C.) Lewis will always be a Marylander at heart—a weather-whining lover of crabs, American history, and the sea. She admits to being craft-challenged, particularly lethal with a glue gun, and a devotee of sappy movies. Her ninth published novel, her first romance novella, Sweet Water, was inspired by a visit to Oregon’s magnificent coastline, and time spent with Mother Eugenie, upon whom the character Mother Thomasine is based. 

 
Laurie’s women’s fiction novels include The Dragons of Alsace Farm (2016), Awakening Avery (2010), and Unspoken (2004), written as Laurie Lewis. 
 
Using the pen name L.C. Lewis, she wrote the five volumes of her award-winning FREE MEN and DREAMERS historical fiction series, set against the backdrop of the War of 1812: Dark Sky at Dawn (2007), Twilight’s Last Gleaming (2008), Dawn’s Early Light (2009), Oh, Say Can You See? (2010), and In God is Our Trust, (2011).

She is currently completing a political suspense novel planned for a summer 2017 release, a re -release of a romantic comedy, and she’s working on another historical fiction novel for a 2018 release. She loves to hear from readers.

Matthew Grayken is young, successful, and dying, which is why he’s about to propose to a total stranger. He isn’t interested in love. He needs a caregiver, a companion, and someone to be his legal voice when he can no longer speak for himself.

 

 
Lonely, compassionate nurse Mikaela Compton is intrigued by Matt Grayken’s tender request, but when their friendly marriage turns into love, she rejects the inevitability of Matt’s death and prays for a miracle instead.
 
Mikaela succeeds in reigniting Matt’s will to fight, but his body is losing the battle, and her determination to save him causes her to betray the fundamental promise she made him–to help him die peaceably.
 
Their last hope at saving Matt’s life will require a sacrifice from each of them, and force them to decide how far out on a limb they’re willing to go for love.

 

Snippet:
After breakfast, they drove to Union Station and picked up Matt’s car. After dropping Mikaela’s car off, they took the Range Rover to go table shopping. Matt was so moved by the joy she found in sharing that small adventure that they spent the rest of the afternoon in the crisp late September air, strolling Georgetown’s curio shops, buying art prints and kitchen gadgets.
Mikaela pulled him into a Christmas shop bedecked with lights and steeped in the scent of balsam. Like radar, she zoned in on the trees laden with Christmas ornaments, some elegant, some merely for fun. She moved from tree to tree, swooning over one decoration after another. Matt used a variety of excuses to leave the store and wait for her down the street, but she clamped her hand over his arm and dragged him to a regally-bedecked twelve-foot tree that mocked his fear of spending Christmas in a pine box. 
Mikaela dangled several whimsical ornaments before Matt’s eyes, swooning over each one before selecting a few. The more her enthusiasm bubbled, the harder he found it to breathe. He wondered if he’d live long enough to see the blasted baubles adorn a tree.
“You don’t love them.”
“Get whatever you like.” He heard the irritation in his voice and tried to mask it with a half-smile.
“Do you think these are gaudy? You probably grew up with an elegant tree?”
 “Isn’t it a little early to be thinking about Christmas?” He batted a clay cupcake dangling from a silver cord. “If you need to do this now, why not just buy a matched set of gold balls?”
“Because these are memories.” Mikaela’s eyes brightened like the twinkle lights on the tree. 
For the first time, he noticed what ornaments dangled from her left hand—a bride and groom, a heart, a plane, a helicopter, a taxi, the New York City skyline, and a tacky-looking crab ornament with “Baltimore” painted across it—mementoes of the short time they’d already spent together. A chill coursed through him as he realized the marital sentiment she was expressing.
Her other hand held an assortment of ornaments representing places they’d never been and things they’d never done. Mikaela had selected three balls painted with D.C. scenes—the White House, the Washington Monument, and the Capitol. These were easy destinations mere blocks from the house. The other ornaments were completely random—a picnic table with tiny dishes and food set upon it, a movie theater ticket made from clay, a canoe, a bowling pin set, and a golden star.
He cocked his head sideways and drank in her slightly crooked smile, the gold flecks in her eyes, the whimsical mop of hair that flopped to the left. “But we’ve never—”
“But we will! We’ll make a list and do these things together.”
Her enthusiasm gave him the courage to likewise suspend medical reality and join in her denial. He found a pair of red lips and a puppy ornament. “What do you think? First kiss? And I think we should get a dog.”
“Uhhh. . . Okay on the lips, but we should discuss the matter before actually purchasing a living thing.” She held up a boat ornament and a pair of pot-bellied old timers seated in front of a TV.
Matt eyed them as a knot grew in his throat. “You and me in fifty years?”
“Eighty. No way I’m letting you look like that in fifty.”

 

He caught the sheen in her eyes, the denied tear she wiped away when grousing about catching a speck of glitter in her lashes, but he knew that they were living on wishes and dreams.

 


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CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN 2018 FEATURING AUTHOR DONNA K WEAVER

 

 
 

 

Award-winning author, wife, mother, grandmother, Harry Potter geek, Army veteran, karate black belt, and online gamer girl.
 
 
 

 

   
~ Facebook ~ Website ~
~ Amazon Bookbub ~
Twitter Pinterest Google+ ~
Recently widowed Rae Cavanaugh just survived the worst birthday of her life. She and her two young children must now face a holiday season filled with so many reminders of what they’ve lost. 
 
But when a coworker who’s raising his young nephew moves next door, Rae discovers that the support of a good friend, and the gift of a child, can bring back some of the joy of the season.

 

 
**A Novelette**
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Snippet:
“Text me when you’re done.” Rae turned with the stroller, but Dylan put his hand over hers on the handle.
“Isn’t Beth going to get her picture taken too?” he asked.
“She’s too young. He’ll scare her.”
“Not if she’s with the Littles. Come on. Do you really want to have a picture of Preston but not one of Beth?”
“Well . . .” Rae hadn’t considered that.
“When she’s sixteen, she’ll want to know why you have a picture of Preston with Santa and not one of her.” He arched a brow, his head tilted. “She’ll play the you love him more than me card.”
Rae frowned, but he had a point.
“Baby, do you want to go with Preston?” When Beth nodded, Rae heaved out a breath and stepped back so Dylan could take hold of the stroller.
“Okay, guys, each of you put a hand over mine.” They did, and the four of them strode toward the Santa Claus line.
Rae’s eyes prickled. That man had been Heaven-sent. She’d worried how she could ever fill the hole that Mike’s death had left in her children’s lives, and then Dylan had shown up.

 

 


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CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN 2018 FEATURING AUTHOR EVA MARIE EVERSON @lovingthebook





Eva Marie Everson is the bestselling, multiple award-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction. She is the president of Word Weavers International and the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference and the North Georgia Christian Writers Conference.

Eva Marie is a popular speaker at writers conferences and women’s groups across the United States.













Award-winning author Eva Marie Everson wraps up a Christmas story of hope, love, and forgiveness just in time for the holidays. 

The Ornament Keeper, a contemporary Christmas novella, features Felicia and Jackson Morgan who are spending their first Christmas apart after twenty years of marriage. But a lifetime of gifted ornaments helps Felicia piece together the story of their marriage and the one mistake of unforgiveness she made before they said, “I do.” 

Can these memory-filled ornaments reunite this family before Christmas? Only time will tell.









Snippet:

Christmas Season 2018
I tiptoed past my sleeping daughter, her arms still wrapped around Mr. Snuggles, her cheeks flushed from crying, and into the hallway, then down the stairs where my purse still lay in the wingback chair. After pulling out my phone, I called Jackson, then held my breath, wondering if he would bother to answer.
“I’m too tired for round two,” he said as a sleepy hello.
“I’m not calling for that,” I said, keeping my voice low. “I wanted you to know that Sara came home early. She—she um . . . she’s pretty upset. Billy broke up with her today.”
Jackson sighed deeply from the other end. “Oh, man. Did she say why?”
“Something about it being too long between marriage and his degree or some such nonsense. But she—”
When I didn’t finish my thought, he asked, “What? She what?” “Well,” I said, easing back in the chair, “She indicated that—I don’t think anything has, you know, happened between them.”
His groan lasted what felt like a full minute. “Felicia, honestly. Is that all you ever worry about?”
I frowned. Out of the three of us—them and me—which of us was right? Could it be as they’d always said? Had I let my fears get the better of me? Had it tainted my views on everything? “Now you sound like Sara,” I admitted. Or had she sounded like him?
“At least she’s still got her good sense then. And if I know our daughter, like her old man, she’ll pull herself up by her bootstraps and be fine. By this time tomorrow, Billy what’s-his-name will be just that. Nothing but a faint memory.”
Like her old man? “Is that what’s happened with us? Have you pulled yourself up by your bootstraps? Are you fine without us?”
He growled. “Felicia—”
“Jackson, I didn’t call to have a tug of war with words.” I crossed my legs.
“Then why did you call?”
“Because,” I said as though my reasoning should be obvious. “Sara is your daughter too. And I thought you’d want to know.”
“Of course I want to know.”
“And for your information, that is not all I worry about. I just don’t want—”
“What?” he asked. And when I didn’t answer—when I couldn’t answer for the knot forming in my throat—he answered for me. “You don’t want her to end up like you? Pregnant and married? Not because she’s in love and can’t see the raw future for the stars in her eyes but because it’s expected of her? My gosh, Felicia, I thought we’d gotten past all that. I thought we’d built something and built it out of nothing. Those kids of ours didn’t come out of three one-night stands, you know.”
My jaw flexed. “I don’t have to sit here and listen to this, Jackson. I only wanted you to know—”
“Thank you, then. Thank you for telling me. I’ll come by in the morning before work to check on her.”
 “I doubt she’ll be awake . . .”
“Then I’ll text her in the morning and see if she wants to meet for lunch.” He waited a breath before adding. “Leesha . . .”
“What,” I whispered.
“Don’t think for one minute that I haven’t been in love with you since senior year. That night—the night after Dad died—may not have been our wisest move, but I don’t regret it. Not for one second.”
I squeezed my eyes shut against his words. Hot tears pushed past my lashes and made their way down my cheeks.

 “I can only pray that one day you’ll feel the same way. One thing I’ve learned in all this is that God uses everything, Felicia. Even our mess-ups.”





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CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN 2018 FEATURING AUTHORS THE CRAZY CADY SISTERS @lovingthebook




The Crazy Cady Sisters have known each other all their lives. With 179 years of accumulated life-experience, we are well versed in Cady-isms.

Between the four of us, we’ve experienced:
·        18 businesses ventures
·        22 children acquired in a variety of ways (marriage, birth, adoption, etc)
·        5 1/2 grandchildren
·        Lived in 5 different states
·        One of us went to college to be a concert pianist.
·        On of us thought about going to college to be a concert pianist.
·        One of us is an addictions counselor.
·        One of us is addicted to diet soda.
·        Volunteer for 8+ organizations
·        1 lived above a mortuary
·        1 was chased by a K-9 unit while toilet papering.
·        3 of us were homeless for 2.5 months while we toured the United States.
·        1 of us can say the Pledge of Allegiance in three different languages.
·        We sold rocks door to door.
·        1 used to transcribe the newspaper into the computer when she got bored.
·        Are joint owners of WhodunnitMysteries.com  

In March, 2017 we decided to band together to form Crazy Cady Sisters to co-author a hilariously heart-warming non-fiction story about parenting, child-rearing, and growing up in a family with ten children.


 ~ Website ~





It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! And in the Cady household that means kicking your creativity into high gear. 

What would you do if you had ten children and no money for Christmas? And what exactly does Christmas look like when ten sets of hands are poised, ready to rip open their Christmas gifts – is it chaos, or do Monte and Barbara make us sit quietly, tormenting us as we watch each and every present opened by our siblings? What about decorations? Traditions? Jokes? Christmas trees and more? The questions and possibilities are endless, and you never know what the answer may be in the Cady home.

Follow our family as we recount some of our favorite, least-favorite, and downright bizarre stories of parenting and growing up in a family with ten siblings! We’ll add a touch of nostalgia by focusing entirely on our favorite holiday of the year: CHRISTMAS!




Snippet:

My curiosity was piqued, and slowly I maneuvered myself around him to get a glimpse of what was going on.  I deciphered a pair of black boots at Dad’s feet, then red suede pants revealed themselves. A matching full-bellied jacket sat up against a raised flower bed that formed the perimeter of the porch.  Dad messed with the jacket, patting it down and smoothing it. My alarm grew when I saw him shove a crumpled newspaper into this poor fool’s jacket. Without warning, Dad bound to his feet, the full revelation of his prize causing me to stumble back in fear.  Sitting propped against the wall was a decapitated Santa!





To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Part 2 Official Event page





CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN 2018 FEATURING AUTHOR HANNAH CONWAY @lovingthebook





Hannah Conway is a military wife, mother of two, middle school teacher, best-selling author, and popular speaker.

Her novels are a deployment experience of their own, threaded with faith, and filled with twists.

Hannah is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and My book Therapy. 

She and her family live in Tennessee.







Audria Rylatt is the school system’s liaison for homeless students. She strives to make Christmas bright for hundreds, while the season brings only heartache after her fiancé was killed in combat nearly two years ago. So when her family decides to play matchmaker, she is less than thrilled. To make matters worse, they’ve invited a soldier friend of her deceased fiancé to the family cabin for the holiday.

But she’s surprised to find this soldier, Quinton Nolan, standing at the door of heart. Faced with painful memories, the despair Christmas brings her, and the fear to love again, Audria is in desperate need of a Christmas miracle. Or at least some of the hope Christmas seems to offer so many. Can she embrace a new mission? If so, Christmas may stand to deliver a lifetime of magical memories.
  
“Christmas on a Mission” is a delightful story of hope, life, love, and second chances, filled with all the joy and cheer Christmas brings.”




Snippet:

She pulled Perry onto her lap and rubbed around his ears until he began to doze. Soon, Gatlinburg faded, and the asphalt roads turned to gravel. They began to wind and curve upward, higher and higher until her ears popped. She yawned to relieve the pressure and watched as the evergreen trees grew thicker with each turn. Freshly fallen snow perched on their limbs. A cardinal darted low, his crimson feathers a delightful sharp contrast against the patches of snow. He
followed along the car for no more than a heartbeat and then flew back to his home high in the treetops. She smiled and let the mountains welcome her back.
The family cabin peeked from its hill, the green roof laden with snow–a Christmas card scene come to life.
It had been two years since she’d seen this place. Two years since she let the hills hold her and speak solace to her soul. This was where she felt closest to God. Why had she stayed away? Why had she not drawn near?
Tension melted from her shoulders, the driest patches of her soul thirsted and craved the respite so near. Two years was too long.
So much had happened.
Parts of her had grown and mended…yet…not all.
But she was back, drawing near, and the thought was at once was both terrifying and exhilarating.
The cabin came into full view, and her body trembled.
Who knew what emotions awaited her? Could she face them?

Moments and memories bombarded her thoughts.






To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour 
visit our Part 2 Official Event page
    




CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN 2018 FEATURING AUTHOR WENDY LEIGHTON-PORTER @lovingthebook




Dividing my time between homes in South-West France and Abu Dhabi, I live with my husband and our beautiful Tonkinese cat. I spent 20 years as a teacher of French, Latin and Classical studies, before a change of career led me to writing books for children instead.
Shadows from the Past is series of time-travel adventures, featuring 3 children and a rather special Tonkinese cat by the name of Max. I’m currently working on the tenth book in the series, The Shadow of the Witchfinder. Max also has a few solo adventures of his own to accompany the series.

As I take my young readers on a magical mystery tour through the past, I’m hoping that my love of history, myth and legend will rub off on them too.




 ~ Website ~
  


MAX’S ADVENTURES are spin-offs from my 
SHADOWS FROM THE PAST books.

A second solo adventure awaits Max the time-travelling Tonkinese cat in this Christmas short story. 

Invited to accompany a well-known figure on a whirlwind trip into the past, he sets off on a mission to search for something very precious to his owners Jemima and Joe Lancelot – their missing parents. 

The hunt reveals tantalising clues to this mystery and ends with a special surprise for the twins.


Max the talking Tonkinese cat has a third solo adventure in this seasonal short story.

What happens when the feline hero is trapped in the attic one night?

Will he escape the clutches of the Christmas fairy, a regiment of soldiers and three obstreperous French hens in time to enjoy a holiday with his family?

One thing’s for sure, the Twelve Days of Christmas will never seem quite the same again …







Snippet Book 3:

EXTRACT 1: Struggling to break loose, Max thrust his head out through the tangle of tinsel and took a few gulps of air. From downstairs, he heard the distant chimes of Uncle Richard’s grandfather clock and counted as it struck twelve times. It was midnight.


EXTRACT 2: ‘What the Dickens is all this racket?’ barked the wooden soldier, glaring at the fairy as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. ‘Why have you woken everyone up? You know the rules, Tinks. Christmas is still months away.’




To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Part 1 Official Event page 
and
Part 2 Official Event page