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 LAURA L. WALKER @llwalkerauthor @lovingthebook

 

 

 

Laura L. Walker grew up in a large family in the beautiful Gila Valley of southern Arizona. From the time Laura was young, she spent hours drawing characters on paper and fantasizing about their adventures. Life became more serious, however, when she met her own hero at Northern Arizona University and they later became the parents of six children.

In between spurts of grocery shopping, sewing costumes or quilts, transporting kids to practices, and making dinner, Laura still enjoys putting her imagination to good use. She is the author of seven novels and three novellas.

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Nineteen-year-old Felicity Everstone is living her dream while attending college and serving alongside her parents in the North Atlanta Georgia Mission for the LDS Church–not to mention dating a charming guy who sweeps her off her feet. But when she is unexpectedly sent home to Idaho to care for her nephew through her sister-in-law’s difficult pregnancy, and the friend she has been sharing the gospel with no longer wants to pursue that path, everything that once brought light and joy into her life nearly flickers out. Until she meets her good-looking but solemn neighbor, Erik.

Erik Cannon has already lost the love of his life. Now, as a young, successful businessman, making money seems to be his God-given talent, but he can no longer ignore the emptiness he feels inside. He needs to find purpose and meaning in his life once again. When his best friend’s sister comes to help her family through a crisis, Erik’s heart is reawakened. He senses this is a second chance at love for him, and that he and Felicity might be able to build a beautiful life together–until her old boyfriend comes back into the picture.

When darkness settles over Erik and Felicity’s path, will their emerging love be enough to light the way?

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Snippet

Felicity was elbow-deep in a sink full of dirty dishes when the doorbell rang. She quickly washed and dried her hands while Timmy tried to open the locked door. “Wait for me, Timmy,” she called, unlocking the deadbolt and gently removing his hands from the knob. A delivery man stood on the porch steps, holding a huge bouquet of yellow and red roses in one hand and a clipboard in the other. “Yes?”

He rattled off Dustin and Lindy’s address. “A delivery for you, ma’am. Sign here, please.”

Aw, how sweet of Dustin. They would really cheer Lindy up. She took the clipboard and signed her name. He quickly handed the vase over and called out his goodbye.

Shivering against the cool breeze outside, she brought the bouquet inside and set it on the table. “Wow, Aunt Fis-a-tee! Are all those flowers for you?”

“Um . . .” Searching for the card, she grabbed it and pulled it out of its envelope. It read:

Felicity,

Sorry this is a day late. Just wanted to give you a little happiness of your own since you’re always giving it to others.

So they weren’t for Lindy. They were hers. But from whom? There was no signature. Odd. Certainly, if it had been from her mother, she would have let Felicity know. And the handwriting would have been fancier–swoopy. She didn’t recognize the handwriting of this person.

Dustin walked in the door and stopped when he saw the bouquet. “Whoa!”

“Whoa is right,” she quipped.

Coming closer, he read the card. “You have a secret admirer, eh?”

Felicity narrowed her eyes. “You mean you didn’t send this?” After her parents, Dustin was her next suspect.

He shook his head. “Nope.”

Strange.

 

 

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