“Almost Home for the Holidays,” inspirational Christmas romance from Carla Rossi

The perfect road trip: 2 strangers, 1 truck, and 1400 miles to fall in love.

Detective Justin Hatcher and Cameron McAlister are in a hurry to leave North Carolina—for totally different reasons. He wants to confront his family in Cardinal Point, Texas about a five-year-old betrayal. She wants to escape the remnants of a failed marriage. Thrown together as unlikely and unexpected travel partners, their trip is filled with both dramatic and humorous situations along the road. But, with God’s constant hand in their journey, Justin and Cameron may just discover that…

Yes, you can go home again…especially at Christmastime.

Buy Link:  Amazon.com

About the Author:

Carla Rossi is a multi-published, award-winning author as well as an editor, cancer survivor, life-long musician, speaker, and writing teacher. She has been writing romance for White Rose Publishing/Pelican Book Group and independently since 2007. Carla lives north of Houston with her husband. She has three grown children, two grandchildren, and two extremely helpful Maine Coon Muse Cats.

Link to Author Website: https://carlarossi.com

“A Family for Christmas,” new contemporary romance from Nola Cross and Tule Publishing

He never thought he’d have a real family Christmas…

For the past eight years, Bill Smith has been unable to set down roots. But he never forgot the magical night he spent with an auburn-haired beauty in Last Stand, Texas. When she finally tracked him down, he was more than happy to donate a kidney to AJ, the son he never knew he had. But now that AJ is better, Bill wants more time with him and his mother. He wants a family.

Annie Burleson can’t help but be grateful to this almost-stranger for saving AJ’s life. Still, she’s a little wary. AJ has already been through so much—what if Bill leaves again? And with Christmas in full swing, it’s difficult to discern which emotions are festive and which are forever.

As Annie and Bill’s lives collide, their mutual love for AJ makes this more than a marriage of convenience. But is it enough to give them the family Christmas they all deserve?

Buy Links:  Amazon.com / B&N.comTule PublishingApple BooksGoogle Play StoreKoboAmazon.co.UK

Excerpt:

That night after the fishing expedition, Bill found himself lying awake, staring at the ceiling and thinking about the boy’s request for a brother. It was a natural thing for a child to ask about, but he himself had managed to push all thoughts of sex with Annie deep to the back of his mind. Now that he allowed the idea to bloom in his head, the memories of their one time together, all those years ago, came flooding through him.

This time he let himself remember everything: the silk of her skin, the scent of her hair, the plaintive sounds she made as he touched her. The way she had moved beneath him, welcomed him inside her. The more he let himself remember, the worse his body ached. Then Lucky began to snore, two beds away, and Bill knew all possibility of sleep was gone.

He stood up and took his jeans from the chair beside the bed, pulled them on, and put on his boots and jacket. Then he quietly made his way to the door. Outside, the Texas sky was black and clear and lit with a million stars. The land rolled, dark and mysterious, for more miles than he could see. Up on the ridge, a coyote began to sing, the eerie notes quivering as they echoed against the barn. He shivered. He knew how that coyote felt. He’d been alone for a good part of his life. But now he had the chance for something different. He had a son. And next Saturday he’d have a wife, too, if in name only.

Is that what he wanted?

About the Author:

I remember as a small girl being fascinated with the idea that people could make up stories and the stories became books. I began writing my own stories before I even started school, and won my first writing contest at the age of nine. It’s always been my dream to be a published author. The road was a long and twisting one, but I finally made it. I’m proud to be a two-time Golden Heart finalist, and several of my stories have been Amazon best sellers.

For a while I penned erotic fiction under a pseudonym. Although it was fun to explore my “darker side,” I am now answering the true call of my heart: to write bigger stories that focus on emotion, loss, spirit, and true love, stories I hope my readers will relate to and want to read more than once. Small town America is my favorite fictional setting. I’m particularly enjoying my recent foray into writing Cowboy romance.

Link to Author Website: http://www.nolacross.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Nola-Cross-Author-174971689198712
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ NolaCross
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/nolacross/the-everfield-series/

Buy Links:  Amazon.com / B&N.comTule PublishingApple BooksGoogle Play StoreKoboAmazon.co.UK

“Christmas with You,” contemporary holiday romance from Nan Reinhardt and Tule Publishing

BLURB:

She’s loved him all her life… but will he be there when she needs him the most?

Disheartened and adrift after being written out of a hit TV show, actor Aidan Flaherty returns to his family’s historic winery, where he’s invested some of the fortune he’s made. As the holidays approach, Aidan becomes intrigued with the old showboat that’s dry-docked just east of town… and even more intrigued with the daughter of his former mentor, who now owns it. He decides to buy the boat and restore it to its former glory.

Single mom Holly Santos is back in River’s Edge after her divorce and she is over men in general and actors in particular. If she could only get rid of her father’s old showboat, a source of fascination for her son, Mateo. She never expects her old crush to walk into her tea shop or the fireworks that happen every time they’re in the same room. Can Aidan convince her that he is determined to restore their shared heritage on the showboat and that he’s home to stay?

Amazon Buy link!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT:

“You have beautiful eyes.” Oh, good God. The words were out before he could stop them. Immediately, he backpedaled. “I’m not coming on to you, I swear, it’s just this is the first time I’ve actually seen someone with violet eyes. I-I mean… in person.” Heat rose in his cheeks. Blushing! Holy crap. He didn’t blush anymore—hadn’t in years.

She punched in his purchases. “Come on, rock star. All those Hollywood starlets and groupies and not a single one had eyes the same color as mine?” Her voice dripped sarcasm as she held out her hand for his credit card. “It’s thirteen sixty with tax.”

He fumbled in his wallet for his Amex Black card. “Why do you keep calling me that? I’m an actor, not a rock star.”

“I’m using it generically.” She passed the card back to him with another eye roll. “We don’t take Amex. What else have you got?”

Biting his lip to keep from expelling a frustrated breath, he handed over his VISA, the one where two percent of the money he spent went to save the redwoods. If it impressed her at all, she hid it well as she tapped the card on the screen, thrust it back at him, and turned the screen around so he could sign it with his finger. He hated doing that. His signature always ended up looking like his six-year-old niece, Ali, had written it. “Thanks so much for opening up for me.”

“Don’t expect me to do it again.” She walked swiftly around the counter to the door, twisted the key in the lock, opened it, then stood glaring at him, one hand on her slim hip.

In that moment, Aidan could have sworn they’d met before. “You look really familiar. Do I know you?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Nan Reinhardt is a USA Today-bestselling author of romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after 45! Imagine! She is a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. Nan has been a copyeditor and proofreader for over 25 years, and currently works on romantic fiction titles for a variety of clients, including Avon Books, St. Martin’s Press, Kensington Books, and Entangled Publishing, as well as for many indie authors.

Although she loves her life as an editor, writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. Her latest series, Four Irish Brothers Winery, includes A Small Town Christmas, Meant to Be, and the newly released, Christmas with You, all from Tule Publishing. Nan is busy at work on Book 4 of the series, as well as brewing a cozy mystery idea.

Visit Nan’s website at www.nanreinhardt.com, where you’ll find links to all her books as well as blogs about writing, being a Baby Boomer, and aging gracefully…mostly. Nan also blogs every sixth Wednesday at Word Wranglers, sharing the spotlight with five other romance authors and is a frequent contributor the RWA Contemporary Romance blog, and she contributes to the Romance University blog where she writes as Editor Nan.

Word Wranglers: http://www.wordwranglers.blogspot.com/
RWA Contemporary Romance blog: http://contemporaryromance.org/2018/03/awesome/
Romance University blog: http://romanceuniversity.org/ru-contributors/

http://www.nanreinhardt.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5758438.Nan_Reinhardt
https://www.facebook.com/authornanreinhardt
Twitter: @NanReinhardt
https://www.instagram.com/nanreinhardt/

Nan’s Amazon Author Page

Amazon Buy Links:

A Small Town Christmas

Meant to Be

Christmas With You

Christmas traditions in the time of Jane Austen

Regency Christmas dinner complete with pudding

The Regency period of English history was technically only the years 1811-1820, but practically ran the adult life of King George IV, from the late 1700’s through to 1830, and is sometimes referred to today known as the “long Regency.” Christmas in those days was most definitely not the commercial holiday we celebrate today. There was no mad rush to shop for the latest gadgets, no stockings hung by the fire with care, and certainly no white-bearded gentleman with a sleigh and reindeer flying through the night skies.

Attending church service on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day was a must for the English in Regency times, although only a few of the carols we sing now would have been sung in church then as hymns, such as The First Nowell.(Yes, that spelling is the correct one!)

Instead of everyone looking forward to just December 24th or the 25th, a Regency Christmas was a much longer celebration of dancing and dining spread out over the period of ‘Christmastide,’ from Christmas Eve to January 6th, Twelfth Night. (Hence, ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas.’)

Preparations, however, began long before December 24th. ‘Stir-up Sunday,’ the Sunday before Advent, marked the unofficial start to the Christmas Season, so-called because of the traditional church service held that day, but also becoming the day that Christmas puddings and cakes were prepared, in order to allow enough time for them to ‘mature’ (which called for regular doses of brandy!)

Jane AustenChristmas was a time to reflect upon one’s religious faith and to enjoy the companionship of friends and family. Jane Austen mentions Christmas in each of her six major novels. For instance, in Emma, she wrote, “At Christmas everybody invites their friends about them, and people think little of even the worst weather.” In addition, the aristocracy and the landed gentry were expected to entertain their tenants and neighbors and show generosity through charitable acts.

During the four-week period from Advent until Epiphany, the upper classes held balls, parties, dinners and other social events, welcoming both family and friends. Since everyone was usually together, it was also a time for courtships and weddings. Even though there was no Santa Claus, December 6th, St. Nicholas’s Day, was marked by the giving of small gifts. There was no exchange of presents on the 25th itself, but giving ‘Christmas Boxes’ of food and gently-used items of clothing and household goods to servants and to charity was the custom on St. Stephen’s Day, the day after Christmas, now celebrated as ‘Boxing Day.’

Holly, ivy, evergreen and laurel were brought into the house on Christmas Eve, since it was considered unlucky to bring greenery inside before Christmas. These remained in place until the Epiphany on January 6, when they were taken down and often burned to prevent bad luck for the rest of the year. Indoor decorated trees were rare and found only in a few houses of wealthy families with German connections, where they were a long-standing tradition.

Of course, we can’t forget mistletoe, although the custom was more likely practiced below stairs than above. (The requirement of plucking a berry every time a kiss was stolen beneath the bough was already in place, and once the berries were gone, alas, the kissing was over.)

Christmas Day meant Christmas dinner, with the best a family could afford…turkey, goose (the most traditional), mutton, or venison might be served, and for the rich, the table could be laden with all of these at once. A Christmas dinner would not be deemed complete without the aforementioned pudding. The pudding would be doused with even more brandy and then set aflame, a key theatrical aspect of the holiday celebration.

(For the brave of heart among you, or for those who just enjoy setting their food on fire, some traditional holiday pudding recipes can be found at: http://britishfood.about.com/od/christmas/a/xmaspud.htm )

Epiphany on January 6th marked the official end of Christmas festivities. It was yet another feast day to mark the coming of the Magi, and as a result was the traditional day to exchange gifts.

Joseph-Grimaldi_1630699cOne final English Christmas tradition that was present in Jane Austen’s time and is still alive today is the Christmas pantomime. The pantomime usually opened on Boxing Day. Joseph Grimaldi, the famous clown who lived from 1779 to 1837, regularly performed in one at Drury Lane Theatre in London, a theatre often visited by characters in Regency romances.