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Award-winning science fiction & paranormal romance author

Book Tour: Annie’s Gift by Barbara Bretton #PNR #holidays

Barbara Bretton Deck the Halls InstaAnnie’s Gift
Rocky Hill Holiday Romance
Book Five
Barbara Bretton

Genre:  Paranormal romance

Publisher: Free Spirit Press

Date of Publication:  2017

ISBN:1973271575
ASIN:  B077BF911C
Number of pages:  80
Word Count:  20,000

Cover Artist: Erin Dameron-Hill

Because love never dies… 

Everyone knows Christmas is a time for family but not for Harry Barnes. If he had his way, he would close his eyes and not open them again until January second when all the fuss was over. Once upon a time he had loved the season but that was a long time ago. His wife Annie and daughter Erin are gone and he hasn’t spoken to his only son, Sam, in years.

The Christmas candlesticks he’d lovingly carved for Annie and their children are buried in the attic under a thick layer of dust along with memories that could break a man’s heart . . . if he still had one left to break.

After years of living on military bases all around the world, Sam Barnes has moved his family back home for keeps but they might as well still be in Japan or England or Timbuktu for all the difference it makes. His father’s heart is still closed to the idea of family and there is nothing Sam can do to change it. Not even if the only thing his twelve-year-old daughter Riley wants for Christmas is the grandfather she has never met.

But then on a snowy Christmas Eve in Rocky Hill, Harry and Sam are visited by a determined mother and daughter who have just a few earth hours to bring their family together or lose them forever.

Amazon

Annie's Gift Deck the Halls with Books

When it comes to the holidays, I am a traditionalist. Whether it’s the movies we watch, the music we listen to, or the food we eat, I look forward to revisiting those old (and beloved) favorites every single year.

One of our most cherished traditions is our Christmas Eve Brownie Extravaganza. Deep. Dark. Still warm from the oven. Crowned with a ginormous scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with a holiday-red maraschino cherry.

Why limit this delicious guilty pleasure to just Christmas Eve? These brownies would be delicious any day of the year!

Ingredients

8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted

1-1/2 cups butter (6 ounces), melted

6 eggs

3 cups sugar

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons vanilla

1 cup nuts, chopped (optional)

Beat eggs, adding sugar and vanilla. Add the melted chocolate and butter. Blend until light and airy. Add flour, then nuts (if using.)

Bake in a pre-heated 350-degree oven in two 8-inch pans for 25-30 minutes. Do not overcook. They should be moist in the center. The timing is personal. Keep checking and take it out of the oven when it’s reached the degree of doneness that warms your heart.

Top with ice cream and enjoy.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Excerpt:

He heard a sound like autumn leaves crackling underfoot, and then felt a soft rush of cinnamon-scented air as a small form appeared then disappeared right in front of his eyes.

He watched, paralyzed with fear and hope, as she took form one more time, looking less like a hologram and more like a flesh and blood woman. The woman he had loved since he was sixteen years old.

“Annie!” Her name tore from his throat and spilled into the space between them. This was his Annie, before sorrow and sickness had taken their toll.

Bubbles of laughter danced in the air around her. “I did it! How about that, Harry? I did it!”

He reached for her hand but it was like grasping cotton candy. His brain was a bowl of overcooked oatmeal. “I don’t know what’s going on.”

The room began to spin. He could feel himself starting to go under and he put his head between his knees.

“Low blood sugar,” she said, shaking her head. “I don’t miss that at all.”

“It’s not low blood sugar,” he managed, gulping in some air. “I’m talking to a ghost.”

“If you want to put it that way, I guess you are.”

What other way was there to put it? He had buried his beloved wife six months ago and now here she was in their living room acting like nothing had happened.

He took another huge gulp of air then lifted his head.

“I’m still here,” she said, her tone softening. “You can trust your senses.”

“Why?” he asked, his disbelief beginning to show cracks. “How?”

She spread her arms wide. “Look at this place! You’d never know it was Christmas Eve.”

“It doesn’t feel like Christmas Eve.”

“It would if you put some effort into it. Put up a tree. String some lights.” She aimed a sharp look in his direction. “Place the candles in the window where they belong.”

“No.”

Her brows darted into a scowl. “Did you forget your promise?”

“That promise was made a long time ago. Things change.”

“Family doesn’t.”

“I don’t have a family anymore. When I lost you, I lost everything.”

She reached out and for a second he imagined he felt the touch of her hand. But that was crazy, wasn’t it? She was no more real than Santa Claus or Easter Bunny.

“I’m here because I love you,” she said. “And because you need me tonight.”

Tears threatened to overwhelm him. He wanted to believe.

“I need you every night, Annie. That’s never changed.”

“But tonight is the night you asked for me.”

One moment he was standing there next to the refrigerator with a carton of brown eggs in his hand.

The next moment the eggs were on the floor in a yellow and white mess and his Annie was in his arms.

He had lived long enough to know that second chances didn’t happen often in life.

This time he wasn’t going to let her go.

About the Author:

Barbara Bretton is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of fifty books. Her titles have been published in twelve languages in over twenty countries by Harlequin, Berkley, Crown, Pocket, and Free Spirit Press. When Barbara isn’t writing, she can be found knitting, reading, and cooking in New Jersey with her husband and a house filled with pets.

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SPOTLIGHT: A Changeling for All Seasons Vol. 9 #paperback #holidaystories #Romance

Spotlight: A Changeling For All Seasons 9 (Print) (Changeling Seasons (Print) 9)

Published by Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

Thirteen tales of Christmas Magic from your favorite Changeling authors!

Ayla Ruse — Racing Wild: A wild race can lead to anything — even love.

Anne Kane — Tinsel Wars: Braedon intends to win the final skirmish in the Tinsel Wars!

Ruth D. Kerce — Christmas Cowboy: Chaz breeds horses. What’s a cowboy supposed to do with a herd of reindeer?

Dahlia Rose — Silver Bells: Tia was the sexy little elf that made Danny Grinch’s Christmas that much hotter.

Crymsyn Hart — Sleigh Balls: Instead of snow this Christmas, it’s raining reindeer!

Lena Austin — Ghosting: Ghost hunting means sometimes you find a ghost you weren’t expecting, when you aren’t even looking.

Judy Mays — Jingle Buds: Dr. Jon Claus finds the perfect woman when Emily Olson’s grandmother gets run over by a reindeer!

Julia Talbot — Merry X-Moose: Can a were-moose and a Santa-obsessed Elf fall in love — and save Christmas at the same time?

Lily Vega — Wicked Game: All’s fair in love and war during Santa’s Reindeer Games.

CJ England — Snip! Snap! Dragon!: With a fiery Snip! Snap! a passionate modern day dragon lures his forever mate into the flames.

Ana Raine — White Stag: When the scent of peppermint reaches his nose Crane knows he has to remember or lose it all forever.

Sara Jay — Sleigh Ride: Can one magical sleigh ride deliver love to two lonely Elves?

Sean Michael — Five Golden Beads: When kinky gifts begin arriving, Shay knows it’s time for a visit from his very own special Elf.

 

Print Edition: at Amazon.com $14.95

 

 

Praise for A Changeling For All Seasons Volume 9

“This is a nice collection of stories that will keep readers engaged with eh characters and their worlds. Each author builds their own world full of holiday magic. As hot and sexy as these reads are, love is always the prize. Time and time again love proves to be the gift of the year.”

— Gabrielle, Love Romances & More

 

 

 

My Two Front Fangs by Emily Carrington #UrbanFantasy #holidaystories #Christmas #LGBT #GayRomance

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Published by Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

As the holidays approach, Luis and Charlie are looking forward to spending time together. But after Charlie’s mother commits suicide, a whole host of problems arise to threaten Charlie and Luis’s marriage. Can the healing promise of Christmas save them?

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

or pre-order for December 13th at retailers

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EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Emily Carrington

“All I want for Solstice is my two front fangs… so I can bite you on the ass.”

Luis was singing under his breath but some of the other trackers probably heard him. Ethan would; he was a werewolf. Wind Child might; he was an elemental and who knew what kind of powers he did or didn’t have? Garrett didn’t have sharp ears, although his eyes were keen as a hawk’s so maybe he saw Luis’s mouth moving and could read his lips. As for Pierce, he probably missed everything, human that he was.

Except it was Pierce who said, “Whatever you’re muttering over there, Delgado, keep it to yourself, would you?”

“If you can’t tell what it is, why does it bother you?”

“Because everyone else is snickering and I hate being left out of the joke.”

“I’ll share,” Pierce’s tracker partner, Garrett, said. “Although it’s nothing to write home about, just kindergarten humor.” And he repeated Luis’s song, his voice rich and melodious.

Under the cover of Garrett’s singing, Ethan muttered, “I thought you’d be singing ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas’.”

“Only if I actually knew my Life Dancer was going to be home. ‘Home in my dreams’ is not my idea of a happy ending to all this waiting.” His beloved, Charlie, alpha above all alphas, had been gone more often than he was home lately. “Putting out fires,” was how Charlie put it.

In addition to playing negotiator/firefighter, Charlie had been seeking… well, permission wasn’t the right word. Neither was approval. He wanted to practice shifting from human to wolf. Being a half werewolf, he’d been under the impression, as all the wolves in North America were, that only full-blooded werewolves could change to four-legged guise. And then the research came down: half wolves weren’t subject to the call of the moon, required to change when that heavenly orb was full, but they could still change at will.

With practice.

The alphas below Charlie, although they had no true say over what he did or didn’t do, had kicked up a mighty stink about their leader risking his life. Because while the change was possible, no one knew exactly how dangerous it would be.

Luis was confident that Charlie would be okay. Wasn’t shifting only dangerous for pups who weren’t strong enough because of their age or constitution?

His cell phone buzzed. Luis tended to keep it in the top drawer of his desk because the buzzing seemed loud to his psychic vampire ears. Now he drew it out and glanced at the screen casually, most of his attention still on Ethan, who was looking at him sympathetically.

Tilthos Charles: Be there in ten minutes. Meet you upstairs.

Luis almost dropped the phone.

“What is it?” asked Pierce, the nosy bastard.

Luis saw by Ethan’s face that he didn’t need to ask; Luis’s tracker partner was sharp, particularly when it came to reading those closest to him.

Luis got up, set his cell on the desk, and headed for the door.

“Trouble?” Pierce asked, getting to his feet.

“Doesn’t look like it,” Garrett said. “Let him go.”

Luis started for the stairs at a brisk walk. One did not run in SearchLight headquarters, even if said headquarters was small and considered a “backwater” by the rest of the organization.

He grinned. His Life Dancer was here, in this building, or very nearly.

Luis strode out of the stairwell and into the antechamber of the director’s office. He smiled at the secretary, the mother of one of the Tilthos Pack’s members. He addressed her in Spanish, his native language and hers. “Good morning,” he said in his mother tongue. “How are you this morning?”

She smiled. She’d been treating him like a son since moving to the United States to be closer to her daughter. “Good morning, Luis, my son. Do you need to see Agent Shalling?”

“Nope. Tilthos Charles is back.” He was careful to call his Charlie “Tilthos Charles” whenever he spoke of him, and his cell phone said his mate’s title and full name. Nicknames were verboten among the werewolves. The only reason Charlie was “Charlie” to Luis was because he’d been cursed with the nickname when he was young as a sign of disrespect, and he’d claimed it as a name of power. He was Charlie to himself and always would be. And he was Charlie to his nearest and dearest, at least the wolves who could get over themselves and their sense of propriety enough to recognize that calling him Charlie wasn’t a slur. At least not in their alpha’s mind.

“He’s not here yet,” Luis was told.

He nodded. “I know. I just wanted to be waiting when he finally arrives.”

The door to the director’s office opened and Agent Andrea Shalling stepped out. As always when she saw Luis, she looked as if she’d been sucking on a lemon. “What is the purpose of all this noise?”

Luis, cognizant of his role as Charlie’s mate and yet his lesser status as a tracker rather than a member of the leadership, asked, “Will you speak with me privately, Agent Shalling?”

She sighed. “All right.” She walked back into the director’s, into Charlie’s, office.
Luis followed. When the door was closed, he approached her and, keeping his voice low, said, “Calling another language ‘noise’ is disrespectful.”

She flushed. “I wasn’t calling Spanish noise, but your loud voice is, Agent Delgado.”

Luis could have cheerfully decked her. Instead, he announced, “Tilthos Charles will be here momentarily.”

Her eyes widened for the briefest instant. Then she said, her voice casual, “I wonder why he didn’t text or call me.”

Luis hid a smirk.

There was the muffled sound of tapping, like hard-soled shoes on tile and conversation outside the door, and then the knob turned.

Charlie, looking both tired and exultant, walked in. In his left hand was a briefcase. In his right was his white cane. He smiled at Andrea and walked to Luis. In front of God and everybody, he kissed Luis.

And kissed him.

And kissed him.

 

MORE FROM EMILY AT CHANGELING PRESS …

 

A Daddy for Mika by Shelby Morgen #ChristmasRomance #holidaystories #singlemom

CHP_SM_Mika_2

Published by Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

A woman running from her past. A man with no future. A little boy with one simple Christmas wish.

Mika wants a daddy for Christmas. Deputy Kaden Hunter may be just the Christmas miracle Stevie needs… if the drug dealers and her thieving ex don’t catch up with her first.

Healing may be just one kiss away.

 

Available TODAY at Changeling Press

or pre-order for December 13th at retailers

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REVIEW FROM HARLEY WYLDE…

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ — 5 stars!

If you want a heart-warming story for the holidays, then A Daddy for Mika is a must-read!

You’ve read it all a million times before. Down on her luck single mom, and hunky hero to the rescue. But … Stevie isn’t your typical single mom, and there’s more to Kaden than you at first realize. I thoroughly enjoyed little Mika wrapping the deputy around his finger, and Stevie doing her best to resist the sexy Kaden. My only complaint is that I wanted more… I hope we get to see more of Stevie, Mika, and Kaden in the future.

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Shelby Morgen

It was after two a.m. by the time Stevie scooped a sleeping Mika up out of the chair in Mel’s office and followed Janice out the back door. Her arms ached from the late mop-up and her back hurt from standing at the drive-thru register for the last nine hours, but Mika was full and happy, with a racecar in his pocket, and she had a job. Lord knew how many regulations Mel’d broken putting her right on the floor like that, but he’d written her up as a rehire, even though it had been four years. And really, nothing much had changed. She’d figured out the updated menu buttons long before the after-work crowd had thinned to a trickle.

She crossed the street to the market, devoid now of the outdoor Christmas display and the crowd. And everything else. The parking lot was utterly empty. She stood under the light, staring blankly, unable to comprehend. How could her car not be here? She knew she’d left the car here. Right here. In the front row, near the doors, under the security light. Because it was safe. And easily seen.

And now it was… gone.

It wasn’t a great car. A twelve-year-old Toyota, with over one hundred thousand miles on it, but still. It was a car. It ran. And everything she had left was in that car. What was she going to do now? She couldn’t walk across town to their apartment carrying Mika. Not at night. Not in this weather. It was far too cold. He’d get sick. She couldn’t lose that car. How could you lose a car?

Santa and the children’s train ride were packed away for the night. There were no cars in the employee lot. Everything was quiet now aside from the occasional whistle of the wind that whipped the snowflakes under her hood to sting her cheeks.

Someone had to know where her car was. Stevie pressed her face to the plate glass window. The whole front of the market was dark — even the multicolored Christmas lights outlining the plate glass panes were dark, now, hanging dead and barren like ghosts of Christmas past, but she could see white work lights in the very back. The stock crew worked overnights, when the market was closed. Maybe they parked around back.

It was a business, so there wasn’t any doorbell. She raised her free arm — the one that wasn’t holding Mika tight against her to keep him warm — and smacked her palm on the big glass door. Hard. Hard enough to rattle it a bit and made a dull thud, but nothing anyone in the back would be able to hear. She tried pounding on the door with her fist.

“Hey!” she shouted. “I need my car! Give me back my car!”

“Momma? What’s wrong? Are you OK?”

“I’m fine, baby. Everything’s going to be OK.” She pounded on the window again. “Where is my car, damn it!”

Headlights flashed off the plate glass windows, and a siren blared half a beat, then quit. Stevie turned slowly to face the inevitable. She could feel the tears starting to roll down her cheeks. This day just couldn’t get any worse.

As soon as the thought formed, Stevie knew she’d just challenged Fate to screw with her… again.

* * *

Kaden Hunter parked his patrol car right in front of the market’s main doors, crossways to the fire lane, so his lights lit up the whole storefront. The woman dropped her fist from the plate glass door and turned to face him, her whole body sagging in defeat.

Woman? Hardly more than a girl. A wisp of a thing, but a fighter. He had to hold back a smile. Her hood fell back, and a cloud of red hair as fiery as her temper whipped around her head in the wind. She might have been gorgeous — if she hadn’t looked so exhausted.

What the hell was she doing out here after two a.m. — with a kid on her hip? She didn’t look much more than twenty. Any bartender worth his weight would have carded her. And the boy looked to be three or four. Didn’t she know that little man needed to be in bed asleep?

He moved closer, cautious, his hand near his hip. Trusting the woman as an innocent was the kind of mistake that got police officers killed. He got close enough to see the tears streaming down her face before he spoke. “Deputy Hunter, Sheriff’s department. Mind telling me why you were assaulting this building, ma’am, and at this time of night?”

“My car,” she sobbed. “They took my car.”

He blinked, trying to make sense of what she was saying. “Who took your car?”

“I don’t know. I just need someone to tell me where they took it to.”

“The folks from the Market had it towed? Did you leave it here overnight?”

“No!” She looked around. “I guess they could have thought I did, but Mel has an agreement with them. Or at least he always used to. Late shift parks over here under the lights at night. I filled out an application, but the market wasn’t hiring, so we walked across the street to Debbie’s, and the drive-thru clerk walked off the job just as I was applying, so Mel hired me on the spot, even though he didn’t want to, but he was in a bind and he didn’t have to train me. Then after mop-up we locked up and all I wanted was to go home and get Mika to bed and get some sleep but my car’s gone. And everything I own is in that car.”

He was a sheriff’s deputy, not a social worker. Or a rescuer of damsels in distress. Especially not redheaded banshees who attacked buildings in the middle of the night. But he had a weak spot when it came to redheads — and children. “You were living in the car?”

“No, we’re staying at the Country Inn Efficiencies, on the other side of town, but I don’t trust the place enough to leave anything there anymore, so everything was in the car. I’m such an idiot… I thought it was safer…”

The little boy raised a hand to her cheek. “Don’t cry, Momma. Everything’s going to be OK now. The policeman’s here. He’ll find Mr. Happy.”

Kaden bit his lip. “Mr. Happy? You named the car Mr. Happy?” That sounds more like the name of some kinky sex toy, not…

The little boy shook his head. “No, silly! Mr. Happy’s my pony. He’s in the car. The car’s name is Rollo.”

“Mr. Happy’s a pony… and Rollo…” Kaden rolled his tongue around the child’s nickname to translate. “Corolla?”

Momma nodded.

The visual was just too much. “Let me get this straight. We’re looking for a missing Toyota Corolla with a pony living in the back seat?”

“Yes!” the little boy agreed, bobbing his shaggy blond locks with a waterfall effect.

“No,” Momma answered at the same time, a trace of a smile washing across her tear stained face. “Well, not exactly. Mr. Happy is a stuffed pony. He’s lying down, with his legs all folded up, but he’s so big he takes up most of the back seat. Mika likes to sleep on him.”

And anything that would get a little boy to sleep… that Kaden understood. “OK, then. Tell you what. Let’s go down to the barracks, fill out some paperwork, and we’ll do our best to find Mr. Happy and his Corolla. Soon as we’re done with the paperwork, I’ll get you back to your hotel so you two can get some sleep while we look for them.”

 

MORE FROM SHELBY AT CHANGELING PRESS …

 

 

Naughty or Nice by Harley Wylde #ChristmasRomance #holidaystories #ContemporaryRomance

2967

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

My marriage is a sham. I’ve already loved and lost my one and only. Making Carmella Juarez my wife was the only way to save my daughter, but I never intended to stay married. A decade has passed, ten years that I’ve kept my distance, but now it’s time to set things right and free both of us.

I never counted on her being sick and nearly dying. Didn’t count on falling for her as I nursed her back to health. But it’s the Christmas season and what better time for miracles? My heart isn’t as cold and dead as I’d once thought. Carmella has brought me back to life, and now that I’ve had a taste of the tempting woman who wears my ring, I know that I can’t ever let her go.

PreOrder for December 13th at retailers

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Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

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Praise for Naughty or Nice (A Bad Boy Romance)

“Naughty and Nice is a great novella where we finally met the woman Casper married to save Isabella.  I wanted to punch Casper in the face for breaking this beautiful woman’s heart.  It takes a near tragedy to open his eyes and see his second chance.  Casper has always been elusive and reclusive.  One wonderful woman changes all of that.  Watch out for the next generation of Dixie Reapers they might be scarier then their dads!”

— 5 Stars from Melissa Toner, Advance Reader Review

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Harley Wylde

Carmella

I stared at the enormous rock on my finger and rubbed the golden band with my thumb. I’d always dreamed of getting married, but not once had I ever considered my special day consisting of marrying a man I didn’t know, leaving the only home I’d ever had, and being utterly and completely alone. My husband was a powerful man, and feared by many. He was also extremely absent in my life. Casper VanHorne had married me, flown me out of Mexico, then dumped me in some mausoleum of a house only to vanish before I’d even unpacked. It wasn’t at all what I’d anticipated. Yes, he was older than me, but I’d looked forward to my marriage. When he’d said he would take care of me, even though love wasn’t part of the deal, I’d imagined we would at least live together.

I’d barely been eighteen when he’d married me. At first, I’d thought that’s why he had left, and that he’d return before long. Then one year passed, and another. In nearly ten years, I hadn’t once seen my husband. It was lonely living here alone. Not to mention, I was twenty-eight and a damn virgin. I was starting to think I would die before ever knowing what it was like to have a man’s hands on me, to feel his cock thrusting inside me. My fevered dreams were likely far from what it would really be like if Casper ever came back and claimed me.

As another sharp stabbing pain made my eyes close and my body crumple, I wondered if my husband would return… before it was too late. I’d sworn the staff to secrecy, even the bodyguard Casper had left to watch over me. I’d grown close to the people who ran the house and protected me, even considered them my friends. When I’d first arrived, I hadn’t been able to speak any English. Now I was fluent and didn’t even use my native tongue anymore.

“Carmella,” I heard Bowen shout.

His strong arms wrapped around me, and I felt my body being lifted and carried, likely into the house. The pain had been worse lately, and coming more frequently. I had a feeling I was on borrowed time, but maybe that was for the best. It wasn’t that I wanted to die, I really didn’t, but I couldn’t help but wonder if my husband would be happier if I were gone. I knew he’d been forced into claiming me in order to save his daughter, a daughter he clearly never wanted me to meet.

I’d thought she was younger until he’d explained she was older than me. He didn’t look anywhere near old enough to have a fully grown child. There were a few lines around his eyes, but hardly a hint of gray in his hair or beard. At least, last time I’d seen him that was the case. I had no idea what he looked like now.

As the pain eased, my eyes fluttered open and a concerned Bowen was peering down at me.

“He needs to know, Carmella.”

“No, he doesn’t. He’s had no interest in me all this time. The last thing I want is him showing up out of pity. I only wish…” I bit my lip, refusing to say the words.

“I know, sweet girl,” Bowen murmured.

We’d grown close over the years, but not in a romantic way. Bowen was more like an older brother than anything else. I gripped his hand as I settled back against my pillows. The frequent headaches that later turned to migraines had started a few years ago, and I’d ignored them at first. After Bowen found me passed out in the sunroom, he’d forced me to go to the doctor. It had only taken one test to discover the tumor lodged in my brain. The doctor had referred me to a neurosurgeon, who had wanted to start treatment immediately in hopes of avoiding surgery, but I’d refused. They said it appeared to be benign, but the pressure it was putting on my brain was the problem. Thankfully, my husband didn’t receive the bills directly. I didn’t know how Bowen and Mrs. Weathers had managed to pay for everything without alerting my husband that something was wrong, but they had and I was grateful.

“I can’t stand to see you like this,” he said. “Please accept the treatment, Carmella. You’re young still and have your entire life ahead of you. What you’re doing is the same as committing suicide.”

“I’m not as strong as I once thought I was,” I admitted. “I endured a lot as the illegitimate daughter of the infamous Miguel Juarez. When Casper made me his wife, I’d thought maybe I was going to have a new life. A family of my own, people who would love me. Then he ran and left me here.”

Bowen squeezed my hand. “I love you, and so does every other person in this house.”

“It’s not the same, Bowen. I’m twenty-eight and I’ve only been on a few dates. The only kiss I ever had was sloppy and gross. I’ve never… I’ve never been held by a man who loved me, never experienced passion. Is it wrong for me to want those things?” I asked.

“Of course not, Carmella. Casper would be here if he knew what you were going through. I have no doubt that he’d come and stay with you, take you to the doctor and convince you to start treatment. Don’t make me watch you die. They said if you act soon enough, surgery likely won’t be needed.”

The doctors had said that even though the tumor wasn’t cancerous it was still life-threatening. If I had something to live for, then I’d fight with everything I had in me. But what would be the point? I was lonely, so damn lonely. I didn’t have a family, and at this rate, I didn’t think I ever would. Bowen and Mrs. Weathers were my friends, but they were also paid to stay with me. I knew they cared, but it was different.

I reached up and cupped his whiskery cheek. “I’m sorry, Bowen. I just don’t have any fight left in me. There’s nothing to fight for.”

I felt his jaw tighten and watched as his eyes narrowed. I had a feeling I hadn’t heard the last from him on the matter. And he wasn’t the only one. The cook, Mrs. Weathers, was of the same mind, and so were the two maids and the butler. I knew they’d come to care about me, and I felt the same, but it wasn’t enough. I was so damn tired. The pain was debilitating on the best of days, and more and more often, it would make me lose control of the right side of my body, sometimes for an entire day.

I released Bowen and rolled to my side, letting the tears fall silently. He sighed and I heard the door click shut behind him. Left alone with my misery I wondered if maybe I was doing the wrong thing. I had no doubt they were right and Casper would be here if he knew something was wrong, but I wanted him here because he wanted to be, because he cared… not because someone tattled and said I was possibly dying. The last thing I wanted to deal with was his guilty conscience, assuming he even had a conscience. I wasn’t completely certain what he did, but if he’d had business with my father, I wasn’t certain he had a moral compass. It wasn’t just that Casper didn’t seem to want me. No one had ever wanted me. My mother hadn’t, and I’d been an embarrassment to my father who had given me to Casper as a business transaction.

What would it be like to be loved? Truly loved?

 

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Book Blitz: Doctor Millionaire by Elle Rush #romance #medical #newrelease

Doctor Millionaire: A Hopewell Millionaires Sweet Romance
Elle Rush
Publication date: December 1st 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Twelve friends.

Ten-year reunion.

One $50,000,000 lottery ticket.

The only reason Dr. Doug Little returned to work in his dying hometown was to keep a promise. Two years and he’s gone. The only things getting him through his first couple months are his ten-year reunion and working with his old high-school crush.

Although Jackie Dunn loves her quiet world, her small-town life gets even harder when her part-time hospital job is in peril. If not for her friends’ encouragement, she’d head to the city for better opportunities for herself.

At the reunion, all the returning graduates chip in for a lottery ticket, but nobody expects to win the fifty-million-dollar jackpot. Doug’s share should be more than enough to buy his freedom, but the town doesn’t want to let their new doctor go. Jackie is the only thing that makes Hopewell bearable; the problem is the more time he spends with her, the more he forgets how much he wants to leave.

When he finally finds a way to escape, Doug realizes he’ll be doing it alone. Jackie doesn’t have much time to show him the life he accidentally created for himself in Hopewell is far better than anything his millions could buy him anywhere else.

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EXCERPT:

Doug moved so he was standing beside Cameron. The sunlight coming through the window highlighted the sweat on Andie’s forehead. “Are you feeling okay, Andie?” he asked.

“Umm.” It wasn’t a yes, but it was an acknowledgement. “Jason, can you read those again, but slower this time?” she asked.

“Andie, did you pick a ticket where we didn’t match one number? I hate those,” Tyler complained.

Doug did too, but he had a feeling that wasn’t the source of Andie’s distress.

She was still sweating. “Tyler, watch Andie,” Doug ordered.

Tyler sat up straight and held out a hand, ready to grasp Andie’s biceps in case she toppled over. It looked like a real possibility.

Jason rattled off a string of numbers again.

Andie swayed on the sofa cushion. Tyler’s grip kept her upright. “Jason, move,” Doug ordered. He and Tyler tilted Andie until she lay across the sofa. “Andie, I need you to slow your breathing. You’re hyperventilating.”

“We won,” she gasped. Her blonde bangs were plastered to her forehead.

“How many numbers did we match?” Jason asked.

“All of them,” she said breathlessly.

Doug swiped the ticket out of her hand. “Breathe. Slowly. In, two, three, four. Out, two, three, four.” His eyes went to the ticket; a tiny, blue dot under each number. “One more time, Jason?”

“Four. Eight. Twelve. Nineteen. Twenty-nine. Forty-seven. Forty-eight.” His voice cracked when he asked, “Did we really get them all?”

Doug wanted to hyperventilate himself. He nodded. Seven out of seven. That was a jackpot win, if it were true. “I think so. Maybe somebody should look on another site. Or run out to the gas station and see what they have posted in case Jason’s app is wrong.”

He expected yelling. Shouts. Happy, hysterical tears. Not dead silence.

Scarlett hit the carpeted floor with a thump. Her legs had gone out from under her. “Do you know what the prize is this week? Fifty million dollars. That’s, what, five million dollars each?”

“Four and change,” Freddy said. “There are twelve of us. Andie wrote all our names on the ticket when she bought it.”

He’d forgotten. Doug flipped the narrow sheet and saw the names printed on the reverse. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Who’s going to double-check the winning numbers?”

They checked the numbers again, this time on the lotto’s website using Evelyn’s laptop. Then Cameron and Freddy took a field trip to the gas station. Freddy live-streamed the drive, including a long, in-depth focus on the posted, winning numbers. Scarlett texted Noah, Kirby and Jonathan, ordering them to Evelyn’s immediately. She accepted no excuses.

Fifty-million dollars’ worth of winning numbers.

Fifty million.


Author Bio:

Elle Rush is a contemporary romance author from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. When she’s not travelling, she’s hard at work writing books which are set all over the world. From Hollywood to the house next door, her heroes will make you sigh, and her heroines will make you laugh out loud.

Elle has a degree in Spanish and French, barely passed German, and has flunked poetry in every language she ever studied, including English. She also has mild addictions to tea, yarn, bad sci-fi movies, and HGTV.

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Book Tour: Sweet Anticipation by Andrew Grey #holidaystories #romance #LGBTQA

Title: Sweet Anticipation
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: Standalone
Genre:M/M Holiday
Romance/ Gay Romance/ LGTBQA
Release Date: Dec 1 2019
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print (1st
Edition)
Blurb/Synopsis:
Greg Hansen’s pregnant sister is on bed rest, so it falls to Greg to finalize the arrangements for her best friend’s bachelorette party.
Little does he know he’s in for a sweet surprise. When he arrives at the bakery recommended to him, he comes face to face with the man he never should’ve let get away—Rhys Denning.
Rhys’s business is booming with the holidays approaching, so he can’t agree to cater the party without help—and that means Greg getting his
hands dirty in the kitchen, where the two reconnect over sugar, spice, holiday goodies of all kinds, and even some penis-shaped baguettes! But the most satisfying treat might be the second chance they never thought they’d get.

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