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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

GetToKnowTheBook: Author Stacey Joy Netzel 'Mistletoe Rules'

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. All the beautiful decorations, inside and out, the snow, and the season of giving. My favorite part is getting together with family and spending time laughing and eating, and feeling the love in the room. This year we're not even going to exchange presents--we're just all donating to a charity of our choice and it's going to be great!

Mistletoe Rules is all about family and love, and once I decided to write about all three Riley siblings, it was a no brainer for me to give the book a Christmas theme. My dad used to play Santa for the neighbors when us kids were a little older, so it was also fun to cast him and my mom as Santa Butch and Judy.

Hope you all have a healthy and happy holiday season!

Stacey Joy Netzel

Other excerpts for all three stories available at


Christmas recipe for love—combine a matchmaking Santa, lots of mistletoe, one iron-clad rule, fated hearts; mix and stir. The Riley siblings don’t stand a chance.

Christmas in July at the zoo is the last place single parents Eric Riley and Marissa Wilder expect to find love. Thanks to a little Mistletoe Mischief in the form of their two young daughters and Santa, they discover that Mistletoe Rules are not made to be broken.

Major Mark Riley plays Court Jester to Janelle Walsh's Snow Queen at the Christmas Parade and is instantly captivated by the cute redhead whose grandpa just happens to be Santa. When Mark discovers she's the tenant he evicted from his newly purchased property, it's going to take a little bit of Santa's Mistletoe Magic to save their romance.

When Lisa Riley comes home for Mark's Christmas Eve wedding, her high school rivalry with Janelle’s cousin, Derek Walsh, picks up right where it left off, only this time Derek's got the upper hand. Santa bides his time as these two battle it out because he's waited all year for this Mistletoe Match-up.

EXCERPT from Mistletoe Match-up:

“That’s everything.” He swung her suitcase through the door to rest inside the foyer.

“Thanks for all your help,” Lisa said. “You went way above and beyond.”

“No problem.” He turned to leave, giving an involuntary shiver when a gust of frigid air slipped

under his tux jacket. He hunched his shoulders to keep the chill from going down his neck. “I’ll see you around.”

“Derek, um, I could make a pot of coffee, or hot chocolate, if you’d like to come in and warm up.”

A glance over his shoulder produced a simultaneous realization. She looked unsure of herself for the first time all night, and in the doorway above her head hung a sprig of what could only be mistletoe.

He’d had hot chocolate to warm up last Christmas Eve—but sharing a cup with Lisa sounded so much better than sitting in the woods with his grandpa. He made his way back onto the porch of the ranch-style house. When she stepped aside so he could enter, he caught sight of the grandfather clock behind her, only minutes from striking two a.m.

What was he thinking? That they’d sit down and talk over the good times like old friends? Good times didn’t exist between them because they’d never been friends. A smart man would leave now, before something she said or did reawakened his inferiority complex.

Surprising regret blew in with the snow when he halted. “On second thought, I should probably get going.”

Lisa followed his gaze and noted the time. “Wow, I’m sorry.” She moved back into the doorway. “I didn’t realize it was so late.”

Something about her tone of voice kept his feet rooted to the porch. Regret? Disappointment? Recalling her uncertainty when she’d invited him inside, he capitulated to his self-destructive curiosity and took another step so only two feet separated them. “I do have one question.”

Wariness flitted across her face. She grasped the edges of her unzipped coat and pulled them together before crossing her arms in a gesture of defense. But she met his gaze and held her ground. “Just one—and nothing personal.”

Spoken like someone with secrets. Derek filed that information for later, then pointed skyward

without breaking eye contact. He tried, but couldn’t hold back a smile. “What’s the deal with the

mistletoe rules?”

Her head tilted up, then her eyes closed. “Stupid mistletoe.”

After a deep, resigned breath, she met his gaze again, her cheeks stained bright red. “The official

rule in the Riley house is that you’re not allowed to refuse a kiss if you’re caught under the mistletoe.”

He grasped the doorframe with one hand, and lifted the other to brush her hair back from her cheek. She came across like she didn’t want this, but her breath hitched when he leaned close. Good so far. Better yet, she didn’t retreat.

He threaded his fingers through her soft hair and skimmed along the smooth nape of her neck. Her gaze dropped to his mouth, then her lashes drifted closed, fanned against her flushed cheeks. The vision drew him like a magnet. He played with fire but couldn’t locate any common sense to fight the flames.

“What happens if you break the rule?” He whispered the question only inches from her mouth.

“Bad luck. Like you said at the wedding.”

The husky rasp of her voice and her warm breath burned Derek faster than a scalding gulp of hot chocolate. “Considering your Christmas Eve, I don’t imagine you want to jinx Christmas Day…do you?”

One heartbeat of hesitation. “Not really.” He closed the distance until their mouths became one. Eyes closed, he savored the silky sensation of her lips against his. But with someone like Lisa, it wasn’t enough. He wanted—needed—to taste her.

At the first swipe of his tongue, she angled her head and opened to him with a soft sound of surrender. Her moist, sweet essence tantalized his taste buds, drawing him deeper. Typical Lisa fashion, she didn’t allow him full control. Hands swept under his open jacket, nails raked the muscles of his back through his dress shirt. She eliminated all space between them, her breasts pressed against his chest as her tongue sought equal access to the recesses of his eager mouth.

The material of their clothes did nothing to contain the heat of their bodies. A low groan rumbled from his throat, and he brought his other hand up to cup her face. Derek walked her backward, intent on continuing the kiss inside, out of the harsh winter wind chilling his backside.

The chime of the grandfather clock shattered their moment of passion. Lisa jerked back, putting

distance between them without completely pulling free of his touch. While they both caught their

breath, Derek gazed down into her wide gray eyes, as confused as she looked.

What the hell did this mean? Them not fighting—her kissing him back like she couldn’t get enough. Hell, he wanted more. Right now.

MISTLETOE RULES, a Christmas anthology

Available in ebook and print at The Wild Rose Press:

Reviewer top Pick from Night Owl Reviews:
ISBN: 1-60154-655-6
Rating: Spicy
Length: 300 pages

Also available at many other online booksellers.


  1. Go ahead and get it, Mary! LOL

    Happy Holidays!

  2. Stacey, I love that your family is donating to charity this year instead of buying gifts!

    Congrats on the release! You know I love anthologies.

  3. This is an amazing book. I was there during the plotting process, and it still excites me to see the Riley siblings in print. :-)

  4. Stacey, what a great idea! You're right, Christmas is no so much about the presents, but spending time with family and loved ones. I'd love to donate presents once the kids are a little older. Right now they wouldn't understand.

    Congratulations on your release!

  5. Great excerpt! Just the book for the holiday season! Congrats!