Thursday, December 31, 2009
Do you remember the first time when life threw you a major curve ball? I certainly do!
I was devastated not to get accepted into the program I wanted at the University I desired. I had to scramble to make an alternate choice which led me to go down a different career path. I eventually realized that life can not be completely planned out and that change is not a dreadful thing.
For Kristy, the main character of my book, she’s got the college degree she wants, she’s even got her first job after graduating, but it’s not what she expected and complications arise. Should she stick to her well-mapped out schedule for life or go against her cautious nature and chuck it all in for a temporary job in the Bahamas?
For some of us adventure and spur of the moment decisions are an integral part of our life. For others, we crave stability and order. There is no way that is necessarily better. The premise of my novel is what if you take that leap into the unknown, it might prove to be the best thing you’ve ever done or be something you’ll forever regret. Read Kristy’s story as she embarks on a journey that ultimately transforms her life.
Kristy fled hurriedly back to her desk, feeling sickened, humiliated and angry all at the same time. She grabbed her coat and purse and announced to the other girls that she was taking an early lunch.
Kristy left her office building in a daze; her mind was preoccupied trying to make sense of what just happened. She spent her lunchtime walking around aimlessly. She knew that there was no way she had been dressed provocatively for work the other day and that is what made her furious. She felt sick at the thought of going in to work each day to face the man who had just propositioned her, and also threatened her chance for advancement in the company. Kristy felt her well-planned life crumbling around her. This wasn’t the way she pictured her life going! Hard work was supposed to help you get promoted; she would never dream of climbing the ladder any other way. She felt stymied, if she quit now it would look bad on her résumé to a future employer.
Although feeling reluctant to return to work, Kristy somehow finished off the rest of the day, glad for once of the monotony of it that didn’t require her to think. Leaving that day she decided to not share what had happened to her. This was her problem to work out and she would think it through herself before letting anyone else know.
After work she and Chris had planned to go to dinner and then see a movie. They had arranged to meet at a quaint restaurant in Old Montreal which specialized in serving stuffed crepes as appetizers, entrees, and delectable desserts. As Kristy strolled through the cobblestone streets in this section which were meant only for pedestrians, she once again marvelled at what a remarkable city it was. Weekdays or weekends, days, evenings, and nights the city was always alive with people rushing to work or classes or just walking around enjoying the atmosphere. Kristy remembered how many times she and Barbara or some of her other friends had whiled away hours walking down St. Catherine’s Street peering into the shop windows or just people-watching. She would definitely miss this diverse city even if she was away from it only temporarily.
Over dinner, however, Chris began talking about their future together and this, together with what had happened earlier at work, made Kristy’s decision clear.
Publisher's website: www.clublighthousepublishing.com
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
How can you get readers know about your books and you as an author? To advertise and have a publicist is a great idea but expensive. I believe the best marketing tool money can't buy is word of mouth and the internet. If you spread the word about your book and represented yourself in an intriguing way, readers will be eager to buy your book. When they do, they tell others about it. If you get enough readers to like what you write, then your efforts will pay off.
- Talk to people about your book
The purpose is to build friendly relationships. Talk to anyone about your books and you as an author. Visit bookstores, small, large, whatever, if the store holds book signings, go and attend if you can, ask how you can conduct one and introduce yourself to the manager, the sales people and anyone in the bookstore. If you're like me, you read many books each year make sure to buy them from the bookstore you visit, and be a known face at that bookstore to the workers. Make sure also to bring a professional Marketing Plan as well as reviews, press releases, and a copy of the book.
-Reviews and Interviews
Spread your name and books over the internet. Book review sites are many to choose from. Here are some of the sites that are most visited by readers and authors: Long and Short Reviews , Night Owl Romance, Once upon a romance, Coffee Time Romance, Romance Junkies, Romance Reviews Today, Manic Reviews, Bitten By Books, You Gotta Read Reviews, Novel Spot, and not to forget of course Romance Alley and many more…
Reviews and interviews help keep your book and you as an author known and noticed. Make a file for all the sites you sent a request to, and make a spreadsheet of all the places that mentions you and your book. Some do author interviews or profiles; add your book and information about you as an author. Have a presence on the internet.
Register in few forum writing groups and discuss books and tips. Try to be active but careful, being active on too many groups is exhausting and may take you away from your writing. So, register in few that you can handle and wouldn’t overwhelm you. Contact writers groups or libraries in your area and offer to attend the discussion meeting to talk about writing, or answer questions.
Bookmarks, postcards, flyers can help keep your book title in front of readers. There are many websites that offer affordable rates and you can make the design yourself, however, be original in some way and creative to stand out. Ask bookstores if you can put some of your bookmarks near the cash register where customers can pick them up. Anywhere you go, keep some promo materials in your purse, you never know who you will meet.
-Your Own Website
If you don't already have an author website, what are you waiting for! A website is a crucial part of your marketing. There are websites that offer easy step-by-step to start a website and you can design it the way you like. Be careful, your design must be intriguing enough to attract readers. Don’t clutter it with info and pictures and make it like a circus, be creative, visit author’s websites and see what you like about some of them and ask yourself what did I like about this website? Be creative to stand out.
Your readers would want to know more about you. Post reviews, offer visitors an enticing "free reads" scene or first chapter of your novel or anything that’s connected to the setting, theme or characters. Add some fun subjects, like recipes, or information about relationships—make sure it’s related to your writing.
Creating a creative book trailer is one way to promote a book to readers. This type of promotion can make a sale, or hurt it.
When making the trailer, it’s very important to keep in mind a book trailer is like any marketing strategy, it should be carefully planned. The artistic skill and marketing talent are the foundation of creating a successful video that will present your book in a fascinating style.
Few points you should consider as you create your trailer:• While I create book trailers, it is important to make the trailer short, not more than two minutes, so the trailer won’t bore the viewers.
• Words used are so crucial to the success of your video; it shouldn’t be more than one short sentence per frame, to be able to read it comfortably. I work with authors to come up with tweaked sentences or words to convey the right amount of information, enough to capture the reader’s interest.
• How you construct your video is essential when you are marketing your book. If your video isn’t fascinating enough, it can hurt you more than help you sell your story.
• The use of suitable video effects/pictures is essential part in making your trailer more professional, it’s not how many effects/pictures you use, but what and how you use these effects/pictures.
• The trailer should give a different peek into the story, and compliment the blurb, not repeat it. One of the mistakes I see, in my opinion of course, is that some authors use the trailer as a blurb, and the mistake in using a blurb in the trailer is that you are giving the readers one chance in liking what they are watching, and if they didn’t find it intriguing, you lost them. From your trailer readers need to get to the blurb to learn more, then to your story to know the answers.
Using the trailer as stage one, and the blurb as stage two that’s two chances the reader may comeback and buy your book, which is the final stage you want the readers to reach. Just like a book cover, some readers if they are not attracted to it, they leave the book, some go to the blurb, and from there they will buy the book, or not.
Same works for the book trailer, you must attract readers enough to get them to your story, and if the book trailer failed to attract readers, and wasn’t up to their standards, then you lost the sell. Cluttering the book trailer with many words will put readers off.
Book trailers and book covers fascinate me, and graphic design always drew my attention. Many readers are visual they like seeing a moving picture and if that interest them enough, they will read the book blurb.
There are many marketing ideas you can find on the internet and forums, or by asking your fellow authors. Use anything and everything to promote your books and spread your name, but make it professional. It’s hard work but to see your books out there recognized, read, and enjoyed is worth it.
Technically, writing is demanding and hard work, but the joy we get from writing is like breathing fresh air every time we start a new story, like a new hope, or new life just started. No matter what I say, it’s not enough, but let me tell you this: Writing completes me and I write to bring joy to my reader’s lives and mine as well.
Whether you are new or a multi-published author, I wish you the best and all success. If you have a new idea on how to market a book, please by all means share it here with all of us.
Romance Author, Promoter, Graphic Designer
Author of: Worth Every Breath...Available from www.thewildrosepress.com
This Time You Are Mine...Available from www.champagnebooks.com
Behind a Closed Heart...Free Read.
Owner of Romance Alley www.romancealley.suzannahsafi.com
Owner of Book Trailer Design www.design.suzannahsafi.com
Join Romance Alley Group on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=149457335046
Join Romance Alley on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Romance-Alley/136815520825
Join Romance Alley on Twitter http://twitter.com/RomanceAlley
Victoria Roder lives in central Wisconsin with her husband Ron and a house full of pets. She enjoys camping, shooting bow at targets, snowshoeing, and motorcycle riding. Let’s get to know Victoria Roder’s book, The Dream House Visions And Nightmares.
My Mom is famous for biblical and inspirational quotes such as, ‘Do unto others’, and ‘What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger’. She is also the person that told me repeatedly that I have a good imagination and should write books. I had a rocky start to family life until my parent’s adopted me at the age of seven. It didn’t kill me, so in fact, mom was right it made me stronger and in my shyness I turned to creativity.
I began having recurring dreams about a house that my birth family lived in for a brief period of time when I was a child. Even with the passage of time, in the dreams I remained a young girl. I could see myself standing on a desolate street void of sound, lights, or cars. Next, instead of watching myself I starred through my own eyes at the ominous house. The dream never progressed, and I never entered the house. Each time I woke up I knew that I had experienced the dream before. The dream began to trouble me, so I discussed it with my sister Tammy. She suggested I write it down, in the hope that it wouldn’t bother me anymore. I began recording the details of the dream and then instead of it not bothering me, it consumed me.
Those dreams became the premise for my paranormal romance novel The Dream House Visions And Nightmares. It is a murder mystery wrapped in a paranormal ghost story. Apparitions and vivid dreams reveal clues of mystery, murder, and age-old revenge.
Recurring dreams of a house Hope Graham's family rented when she was a child, taunt her nights with images of a woman in a bloody nightgown pleading for help. Dream sequences of children metamorphosing into rats, blood spewing out of windows, and walking across decaying bones, foretell of sins of the past and forewarn of danger in the present. In an attempt to end the agony of her sleep deprivation, Hope travels to her hometown...only to discover that the truth can be more frightening than a nightmare.
A romance develops when Hope meets Brock, the business owner next door to her former home. He offers Hope all the things her ex-husband couldn’t: romance, friendship, support, encouragement, tenderness, understanding, and love. He’s her sounding board, her confidant, and her romance when she needs a break from the intense mystery surrounding the former home that is haunting her. Can the budding romance survive Hope’s scarred past?
Excerpt: The Dream House Visions And Nightmares, Asylett Press 2009.
I looked up and down the dimly lit street. There was no evidence of life. Nor were there any sounds. No dogs barking. No horns honking. No children playing. Nothing. I focused on the house-on its paneless windows, weathered boards and dilapidated porch sinking into a sea of overgrown grass and weeds-and nausea overcame me as an overwhelming moldy odor permeated the air. The look of the house didn’t make my skin crawl; it was the essence of it.
I watched the dilapidated house-it moved closer. Perhaps it lured me to it. I began to shiver. I looked down at the white cotton nightgown that I wore. Silk embossed flowers decorated the bodice. I was still straining to hear a sound when I realized, blood had saturated my gown until it had become a second skin.
I felt a tug on my gown. I looked down-Rae’s hair cascaded over her face as she clasped my hem through the fence. She pleaded, “Please, help me, please. Can’t you hear my children screaming?”
I struggled to get away…
The Dream House Visions And Nightmares is available on the publisher’s website asylettpress.com, amazon.com, and barnesandnoble.com. To find out more about me and read an excerpt, please view my website www.victoriaroder.com
Friday, December 18, 2009
KILLER DOLLS By Angelica Hart and Zi
Release September 2009
Like a soft hand-crocheted coverlet, the Christmas season wraps about most of us with all those tangibles scents, sights, and emotions. It is a day when family and friends merge, and celebrations bubble into cherished memories. It is also a day of gift giving, but the most intangible yet most precious gift is that of love. As romance authors, we attempt to give that gift away every day within the pages of our books. Come and listen as we preview a tale of love between Letti and Taut.
After bio-terrorists use ricin to kill a man, they plan to attack innocent children by using ricin filled handcrafted dolls created by Letti Noel.
Letti, a doll maker by profession and a full-blown, staunch romantic by choice, she had not found that skipped heart beat, catch breath, face flushing moment with a man in far too long. Then, he entered her world, and teasingly called himself the Elephant King. Her normally timid demeanor dissolved as she found a brazen, more sensual being residing under her business savvy self. Dare she pursue this man who alternately pushed her away and drew her close? Dare she risk her heart even after discovering deceit skulk beneath his intimate seduction? The answers were as elusive even as his magnetic allure is unavoidable.
Unbeknownst to Letti the Elephant King is an FBI agent working undercover to find the terrorist. Haunted by a past that cannot be changed, Taut maintains an impregnable focus when it comes to his job while avoiding any personal relationships. When he goes undercover and plays the pursuer, he finds himself falling into the role a little too easily. When peril stalks Letti, he realizes his feelings for her are real, the guilt at lying to her disturbing, and the need to keep her safe all-encompassing.
Meanwhile, children are in increasing danger.
Meanwhile, there is another death.
Meanwhile, Taut’s deceit threatens their growing love even as the stalking terrorists threaten their lives.
Letti gasped at the unexpected behavior but she wasn't adverse to it. After all, he did something similar when he had kissed her so suddenly in her apartment. It felt like one of those fantasy moments, something right out of an old-fashioned bodice ripper. Yet, the moment wasn't quite right. There were those guys. Shouldn't they be a bit prudent, or did the possibility of danger turn Taut…well…taut.
She struggled but he refused to release her. He couldn't let her do anything that might spread the ricin. Gallagher had provided photos of ricin victims. He would not allow this to harm Letti. No one was to be hurt. Not again. Not on his watch. That imperative directed his next decisions.
His hold was an aphrodisiac, animalistic, driven, homogeneous with her want, placated only by submission to it, and her body began to respond. Shallow short breaths followed the intense heat smoldering in her groin, incinerating any resistance, and guaranteeing conflagration of raging flames of lust. The tight, pucker of her nipples signaled her growing arousal, and heaviness attached itself to her breasts, having that need to be touched. She surrendered to his authority, submitted, and urged him with her acquiesces to take more.
Once she stopped thrashing about, in the dark veil of silence still at her back, he grabbed her blouse, hand over one breast; she reacted to his touch as he balled the cloth in a huge hand, recalled the words, cut over-the-head garments away, and with one violent motion foreshadowing tremendous strength, tore it from her. In silence, he held it at arm’s length and disposed of it in an adjacent plastic-lined trash basket.
Their combined accomplishments include book publications in print and/or electronic versions of twenty-four titles, fifteen romance specific, ten manuscripts pending, EPPIE finalist for three books, Cecil Whig award, Hob-Nob Reader's Choice Award, written over 500 shorts with numerous published in both nationwide and small press magazines, articles published in various local, city and statewide newspapers, including four as a Guest Columnist in addition to trade articles. Both are members of various writing groups.
KILLER DOLLS IS AVAILABLE: Unaware that bio-terrorists are using her handcrafted dolls to attack the innocent, Letti Noel finds herself falling for Taut Johnson, an undercover FBI agent. Even as deceit is a growing barrier to their love, it's the stalking terrorists that are a threat to their lives.
We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at email@example.com and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a gift and add you to any future mailings.
Angelica Hart and Zi
KILLER DOLLS ~ September 2009
SNAKE DANCE ~ February 2010
CHASING GRAVITAS ~ July 2010angelicahartandzi.com
Sunday, December 6, 2009
At the time of writing Light My World, the story that showcased the life, trials and tribulations of Diya Hemant, I didn’t know I would soon be writing the story of Jane Smithers in Storms in a Shot Glass. Different women, different outlooks on life, different goals, different aspirations where love was concerned…
Did these two have anything in common, other than they both sprang from my imagination and wrote their stories through my pen?
It’s a question I often wondered about, and one I always wanted to have answered. Through a strange twist of Fate, both books were to come out at a few months’ interval, thus pitching me with both characters at around the same time. Lo and behold, there was some common ground between Diya and Jane! Read on through the encounter that took place at a secluded café in London when I had my two heroines meet.
“Damn it, I’m so sorry I’m late,” Diya chimed as she breezed through the light-filled, airy interior of the café in a posh end of Knightsbridge.
All eyes turn to her, and Jane watched as the men cannot take their eyes off the tiny woman who resembles a life-size doll. She sure was pretty, yet what caught everyone’s attention when Diya was around was the aura of bubbly confidence that shone through and which was obvious in her sprightly step.
“How long have I kept you waiting? Not too long, I hope,” Diya continued as she reached the table where Jane sat and plunged into a seated position in the vacant chair. Her gaze quickly scanned her companion – Jane Smithers wasn’t what at all like she’d expected her to be. From the posh, cultured accent, she’d have ventured Jane had to be a boring old spinster in starched knickers. Yet, the woman across the table appeared to be in her late twenties and there was a startling, arresting quality about her, mostly apparent in her poised, regal bearing and in the artfully structured planes of her face.
A waiter appeared as if by magic, and Diya placed her order. Latte with full cream milk and extra whipped cream.
She watched as Jane eyed her with a raised eyebrow. Her gaze fell to the dainty teacup on the table. Clear, gold-coloured tea with wafts of steam slowly rising in swirling whirls – she’d bet there was no ounce of sugar in the cup.
Oh, well, to each her own, she mused as she allowed her gaze to roam over the surroundings and glance through the clear windows, catching on a glimpse of Harrod’s which was just around the corner. Diya sighed. “You’re one lucky gal, you know, to be living here everyday.”
Jane gave a soft chuckle. “I thought you lived in a tropical paradise. At least, that’s what I gathered Mauritius was supposed to be.”
Diya leaned forward and as usual not giving a tiff about etiquette and all the oh-so-proper manners, placed her right elbow on the table and her chin in the cupped palm of her hand.
“It actually is all that,” she paused, “as well as a hotbed of gossip with a gaggle of aunts who want nothing more than to turn your life into their next rabidly-avidly-cliché-ed Indian soap opera.”
At this Jane had to laugh. “Take out the Indian bit and you get what the people here want to make of your life too.”
“So life is all about battling this barrage of conventions and never-ending talk, innit? Wherever you are, it’s the same.”
“You could say that,” Jane concurred.
The waiter came by at that moment with Diya’s latte, and she raised her eyes to acknowledge his presence as she offered her thanks. Watching as he smiled and then turned and left, she looked at Jane. “He’s pretty, isn’t he?”
Jane was tempted to grimace, and she caught herself just in time. By God, that girl was definitely young if she called a lad pretty. And though she didn’t want to burst the bubble, there was just this much an older gal could take when she saw someone younger than her run head first into a terrible situation. “Diya, if I’m not mistaken, that’s eye makeup he’s wearing.”
“Good grief! You think? Urghh.” Diya had no qualms about grimacing outwardly though, and she scrunched her face into a really strange-looking rictus. “Which just goes to prove – men are a worthless loss of our precious time.”
Jane nearly choked on the sip of ginger tea she’d taken. Oh no, she hadn’t missed the spite in the younger girl’s words, and this made her curious. Usually, it took a very specific something – or someone – to bring such antagonism towards the other gender. “Say that again?”
“No, not all men. British men are!”
To say that Jane was intrigued would be an understatement, and though she didn’t know Diya that much, she sensed there was a certain affinity between them, kind of like kindred spirits meeting. So she jumped in with her very specific question. “What has that British man done to you?”
“Other than make my life hell, nothing!”
There was something brewing here. Though Jane tried her best to smooth all rough edges, she loved a good girl-chat like any other chick. “And who would that devil be?”
“Trent Garrison. My very obnoxious, very rude, and very caveman-and-oaf-like neighbour.”
Trouble in paradise. When a woman was that vehement about a man, it usually meant she was either totally right, or so totally gobsmacked by the man-in-question’s good points she just had to remind herself how much of a bad match he potentially was. You love him, she was about to say, but bit her tongue before the words escaped her. Unless Diya saw this truth for herself, nothing and no one would convince her there could be much, much more where she and this oaf was concerned.
“Come on,” Diya said, startling Jane out of her thought. “Surely you agree with me British men are total morons.”
You don’t know the half of it. This time, she could do nothing to stop the grimace from perturbing her features.
“Aha! I knew it. You have an oaf in your life too,” Diya exclaimed. At least something juicy to crack the shell of perfection around the classy and totally professional-looking Jane. “Come on, out with it. Who’s he?”
Jane sighed. What was the point in trying to deflect the question? “Michael Rinaldi.”
“He’s Italian? No wonder then. I bet he’s a real bossy Alpha.”
“He’s a real bossy Alpha all right but he’s British. It’s his grandfather who was the original Italian.”
“So you’re close. That a love-hate relationship you have or what?”
Talk of a prying little git. But however much she resented the invasion of privacy, there was something about Diya Hemant that simply made you not able to dislike or hate her. “No, we’re not close. In fact, I don’t know him really.”
“Then how come you can trace his family tree back to Italy?” Diya asked before she took a sip of her quickly-going-cold latte.
“It’s,” Jane paused and sighed, “complicated. I work for his father.”
“You got that bit right,” the girl answered her in her forthright manner. “Talk of a situation. What is it about him that’s gotten your knickers in a twist though?”
Jane sighed again, and this time she swore the air came up right from her toes and all through her body. “I’m pregnant.”
At this Diya placed her cup so forcefully down that thick white foam sloshed over the rim and danced down the heavy porcelain. “Goodness, girl. Talk of a predicament. He knows? I mean, you told him?”
“Yes.” How much did she tell this girl who fast seemed to be becoming the kind of bosom girlfriend to whom you spoke of just about anything? “He’s not the father.”
Diya frowned, and relegating the cup of coffee to the sidelines, leaned with both her forearms on the table towards Jane. “He isn’t?”
Jane shook her head. “And it’s not what you think. I’m not playing him. He knows who got me up the duff and how it happened, and he doesn’t care. He just asked, what if it were mine?” She paused and took a deep breath. “I’m two months along, Diya, and you know when I met Michael for the first time ever in my existence?”
Diya shook her head, hanging on to her new friend’s every word. “When?”
“Two days ago.”
The thoughts and explanations ran through Diya’s head, and try as she might, she couldn’t imagine herself in Jane’s shoes. “You, girl, are in a mighty pickle.”
Jane gave a small snort. “You think I’m the only one? What about you and your oaf?”
Both women remained silent for long seconds, with one question they were sure, flashing like bright neon lights at the forefront of their minds.
How would they ever get out of their respective pickle?
To find out, come grab a copy of Light My World, which released on October 2, 2009, and see the bumpy and eventful ride Fate has planned for Diya, and how Trent Garrison the ‘oaf’ will be thrown in at every turn and corner. And to know how Jane will work herself out of her predicament with her bossy Alpha Italo-Briton aka Michael Rinaldi,, mark your calendars for January 8, 2010, when Storms in a Shot Glass will be released!
Light My World by Aasiyah Qamar:
Life's good until it throws you the one curve you never wanted or expected.
At twenty-four, Diya Hemant faces the prospect dreaded by every modern Indo-Mauritian girl – an arranged marriage to not end up an old maid. But for vivacious and live-life-in-the-fast-track Diya, giving in to her mother’s antiquated morals was never an option. Hearth, home and children weren’t part of her plan for the short-term, even if she’d love to find her Mr. Right.
Widower Trent Garrison has already been there and done that, and has no plan to go down that road again. He has to ride the straight and steady for the sake of his sons, and nothing will divert him. Marriage, attachment, and love are not in the cards for him, not ever.
Neither can afford a U-turn. But they can't dodge it either.
Genre - Multicultural Romance/AngloIndian
Length - Novel
Heat Level - Sweet
Buy Link: http://www.eirelander-publishing.com/lightmyworld.htm
http://www.amazon.com/Light-My-World-ebook/dp/B002PHMNRY (Kindle edition)
Storms in a Shot Glass by Nolwynn Ardennes:
A little bump is about to cause a lot of ripples.
Personal Assistant Jane Smithers needs a baby as much as she needs the immature boss, bitchy mother and lunatic Russian models cohabiting peacelessly around her. What she also doesn’t need is a man who pops out of nowhere, intent on taking over her accidental pregnancy.
Cold logic and hard facts rule the world of millionaire corporate lawyer Michael Rinaldi. Until he meets Jane, and the insignificant-looking woman plunges him head first into the churning waters of tempestuous emotion and hot-blooded impulse.
Unlikely feelings crop up at the same time relentless gossip escalates. Both realize their respective world has irredeemably changed. The question is - will they be able to live with this reality?
Genre - Contemporary Romance
Length - Novel
Heat Level - Sweet
Buy Link: http://eirelander.webs.com/stormsinashotglass.htm
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
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 www.StaceyJoyNetzel.com
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
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:
Length: 300 pages
Also available at many other online booksellers.