Holiday Recipes and the 12 Days of Christmas has returned!

For anyone who may not know, I’m not the best cook. (Shhh, don’t tell my kids!) But it’s true, I’m not good with food. It wasn’t something I learned to do very well. I can follow a recipe exact and still mange to screw it up. In the past few years, I’ve gotten a little better. Still not good enough to host my own holiday party though.

However, if YOU are one to do a holiday party, I have just the thing for you.

Red Door Reads is hosting a “Progressive Holiday Dinner Party” with more than a dozen recipes from different authors sharing some of their best and favorite holiday (or anytime) recipes! My contribution: Corset-Busting Cheesecake. Now, this, nobody can mess up!

And… as promised, the 12 Days of Christmas–filled with all sorts of fun questions and giveaways will begin TOMORROW on Facebook.

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This will be for 12 weekdays (Thursday and Friday, then the following two weeks Monday through Friday).

Blog Hop Winner & Some Sales to Reward yourself with for putting up with THAT relative yesterday!

First, a huge thank you to everyone who hopped with us these past few days. The random winner of my giveaway for a copy of Jessie: Bride of South Carolina is Colleen C. (I’ll email you shortly.)

The Grand Prize winner of the whole hop is: Laurie.

Now, something for everyone who had to deal with that relation yesterday–you know the one: He scrapes all the crusty stuff off the top of all of the casseroles. Or she nags you “When are you going to find someone to marry?” “When are you going to have a baby” (even if it’ll be your fifth). Or he wants to stand in front of you and talk about the election results and you can’t get away and by the time you do, your favorite pie is gone! The list is long, we all have that ONE person who you invite because they’re family and you truly do love them to pieces, but they’re like a fine wine or cheese: a little of Uncle Ralph or Aunt Fern goes a long waaaaaay.

Well, in honor of surviving it, hopefully like a truly lady…or gentleman, I have put my entire Gentlemen of Honor series down to .99 each from now through Monday!

 Secrets of a Viscount

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One summer night, Sebastian Gentry, Lord Belgrave hauled the wrong young lady to Gretna Green. When her identity is exposed, the only obvious solution is to get an annulment. Only, just like his elopement plans, things didn’t go as planned and while she has reason to believe they are no longer married, he knows better. Wanting to make things right for her, he offers to help her find a husband…

Isabelle Knight has just been given an unexpected fortune and is in the midst of doing what she never believed she’d have to do: spend a Season on the Marriage Mart. Finding no one who seems to catch her fancy–or even seems bearable to tolerate until death do them part–her entire world is sent spinning with the sudden appearance of none other than her former husband.

Isabelle is in no position to refuse his offer to help her find a husband and reluctantly agrees, but what neither counts on is her future husband just might be the one she’s still secretly married to.

           

 

Desires of a Baron

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Giles Goddard, Lord Norcourt is odd. Born with his life’s cord wrapped around his neck and sent away to Ireland to be raised in an orphanage run by nuns, he’s known nothing but the cold sting of being misunderstood and altogether unwanted. But that’s all about to change…

Lucy Whitaker is a fallen woman who has done her best to build a life for her and her son. But when her son finds a battered gentleman left on the side of the road, her entire world is about to come crashing down as she once again finds herself caught between two brothers: an heir and a spare.

Will Lucy’s dislike for nobility forever keep her from eternal happiness or can Giles convince her to follow her heart and take a chance on loving a baron?

    

Passions of a Gentleman

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After being thrown over for the second time in one Season, Mr. Simon Appleton’s interest in courting another young lady is less than his interest in reconciling with his estranged brother.

Entering into her third, and dare she hope final Season, Miss Henrietta Hughes has a single goal: make it to August without becoming engaged, thus securing her sister’s promise of being allowed to become a spinster.

But with the most scandalous woman to ever step foot in London acting as Henrietta’s chaperone and Simon’s undeniable urge to vex her every chance he’s afforded, they both might find themselves with new plans.

    

Also, still on sale through Monday:

Jessie: Bride of South Carolina.

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Tired of living under her father’s iron thumb of control Jessie Wilcox decides to do the unthinkable: run away to Montana as a mail-order bride. The only obstacle in her way: the one hundred miles between her home in Williamsburg County and the train depot in Charleston.

Joel Cunningham is in utter disbelief when the girl he once loved beyond reason is on his front porch asking him to disobey her father’s wishes and drive her to Charleston. Logic and reason scream no; his lips, however, say yes.

Will the one hundred miles ahead of them be enough to overcome the five years of painful regrets or will Jessie follow her dream for a new life in Montana?

Amazon ~*~ Apple ~*~ Barnes & Noble ~*~ Google ~*~ Kobo

 

I hope you all have a fun and safe Friday!

The Best-Worst Thanksgiving Ever ~ Turkey Trot Blog Hop

Thank you all for “hopping” on over here today as part of the Turkey Trot Blog Hop.

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This year, I am most thankful that I survived LAST Thanksgiving.

Last year, Thanksgiving was more like the Fortunately, Unfortunately Game.

My day started early–very early, with the release of my first official Mail-Order Bride book: Jessie: Bride of South Carolina. 

Jessie_BrideofSouthCarolinaTired of living under her father’s iron thumb of control Jessie Wilcox decides to do the unthinkable: run away to Montana as a mail-order bride. The only obstacle in her way: the one hundred miles between her home in Williamsburg County and the train depot in Charleston.

Joel Cunningham is in utter disbelief when the girl he once loved beyond reason is on his front porch asking him to disobey her father’s wishes and drive her to Charleston. Logic and reason scream no; his lips, however, say yes.

Will the one hundred miles ahead of them be enough to overcome the five years of painful regrets or will Jessie follow her dream for a new life in Montana?

This book is ON SALE for 99 cents from now until Nov. 28, 2016

Amazon ~*~ Apple ~*~ Barnes & Noble ~*~ Google ~*~ Kobo

After getting up at 2 am, my time, midnight PST, to make sure this released without a hitch and all the formatting looked great, I went back to bed for a few hours. Got up and made all sorts of goodies for Thanksgiving including: potatoes, a relish tray–complete with sliced turkey and a delicious from-scratch pumpkin cheesecake. I had it all out on the counter (uncovered of course) and ran up to my attic to get grab something from my attic i just HAD to have. Then this happened…

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Yes, I feel through the attic. Fortunately, I was able to grab a hold of one of those beams and my legs just dangled. But still.

Then I came downstairs to find this:

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Insulation had “snowed-in” my kitchen…covering all of my freshly baked/cooked goods!!

Fortunately, I was safe. Yes, my food was ruined and yes, this was going to be a costly repair, but I didn’t fall. Had I fall from my 12′ ceiling onto either those counters or on my concrete floor, I probably wouldn’t be able to write this today. So, I am so very thankful for that.

A little stirred–okay EXTREMELY shaken up–I went to Thanksgiving dinner at a friend’s house and as I was relaxing just enough while watching Home Alone, I started drifting to sleep, envisioning I was falling through the attic again! Good times.

After going home, I realized insulation was still snowing down (I’d cleaned it all up before I left) so I decided to go get my drill and a ladder to screw the ceiling back together. (No worries, I didn’t fall from the ladder–thank goodness.)

For whatever reason, last time I went to my climate controlled storage unit, I was working on some project and left my drill there. So I hopped in the car and drove over and my code wouldn’t work to get past the security gate. I tried the code over and over and over and finally I called the number on the keypad. Thinking I was about to get in, I was in for a rude awakening when the lady on the other end of the line said “You didn’t make your last payment.”

“Impossible!” I scoffed. “My debit card is attached and you guys–like clockwork–suck my payment straight from my bank account.”

“Well, it didn’t happen this time. You don’t pay, you don’t enter.”

Just then I remembered…A few weeks before I had to get a new debit card because someone had stolen my number and was trying to create dating profiles for a dating site somewhere in Africa… So, no, indeed, I hadn’t paid and though I offered to write her a check for double what I owed if she’d come let me in, she was unwilling to leave her family and drive those two miles to come let me in. (I bet she was really down at Wal-Mart waiting in line to get it for Black Friday sales! Just a theory.)

And at that moment, I had the oddest sensation: burning eyes and moisture on my cheeks! I’m not a cryer, but I was just then. It was like the flood gates opened.

However, in retrospect, I am so thankful all of this happened because I had no idea I had missed that payment and as it turned out, if I had reached Dec. 5th without payment, they’d have auctioned off my storage unit which was full of all of my swag, books, costumes, props for trade tables, and all other sorts of “Rose” things. Things that aren’t easily replaceable. Nobody would want them, but I wouldn’t want to not have them.

So in a way, it was the best-worst Thanksgiving ever and I want to thank all of my loyal readers for always being there for me. The ones who who have read this story before and the ones who sent me good vibes and thoughts.

Okay, okay, enough emotion, please leave a comment below telling all of us about a time when something great came from something you thought was so horrible to be entered to win a copy of Jessie: Bride of South Carolina.

Then please click the following graphic to go hop on down the list. Please remember, the more blogs you visit and comment on, the more chances you’ll have to be entered into the grand prize drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card. 

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Autumn Harvest Author Hop!

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This week I am participating in the Autumn Harvest Author Hop with the severn other authors in my recent collection Hearts Ablaze.

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Here are the links to everyone else’s page:

1) Elizabeth Rose

2) Amanda McIntyre

3) Rose Gordon

4) Ciara Knight

5) Kathleen Ball

6) Kirsten Lynn

7) Hildie McQueen

8) E.E. Burke

Visit all 8 and collect each clue (hero’s name) for the grand prize…but also, COMMENT HERE for a chance to win a copy of the collection or an audiobook!

 

Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to follow my blog or my Facebook Page–between now and Christmas I have lots of fun things popping up!

Hearts Ablaze

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Eight bestselling authors. Eight sizzling tales of the Old West to set your heart ablaze…
From the wild Pacific forests to the lonesome plains, on wagon trains and at frontier outposts, fall in love with lumberjacks and soldiers, trailblazers and trick riders, courageous warriors and rugged cowboys…

In Whispered Love, bestselling author Kathleen Ball takes you to the wild Pacific Northwest, a land bristling with handsome, well-muscled lumberjacks. Foreman Samuel Pearse has only one rule; no women allowed. Until he finds one asleep in his bathtub—Pat Clarke, the company cook. With her secret revealed and her virtue at stake, Pat turns to the only man who can help her…the one man who sets fire to her heart.

In Kate’s Outlaw, award-winning author E.E. Burke spins a suspenseful yarn about a half-breed desperado who abducts—and then rescues—a railroad heiress. On the run from danger, with enemies on both sides, Jake and Kate seek solace in each other’s arms…and ignite a love as powerful as it is forbidden.

The Officer and the Bostoner, from USA Today bestselling author Rose Gordon, follows the adventures of a well-to-do lady traveling cross-country to meet her intended. Instead, she finds herself stranded at a military fort and forced into an unwanted marriage. Can a hot-blooded officer spark love in his wife’s cold heart?

Fools Rush from USA Today bestselling author Ciara Knight. A young woman, desperate for independence from all men, embarks on a crazy cross-country wagon train adventure disguised as a man. Instead of finding her independence, a bounty hunter captures her under the guise of horse thieving, a crime punishable by hanging. Will a man she’s lied to for months save her, or will he surrender her to a monster with a badge?

Ridin’ For a Fall by Kirsten Lynn immerses you in a fiery tale of forever love. When circumstances force best friends and Wild West Show performers, Lena Boden and Kyle Allaway to marry and return to Wyoming, they must stand together against internal doubts and external forces seeking their destruction—or risk a fall that will knock them out of the saddle for good.

A Warrior’s Heart, by bestselling author Amanda McIntyre, brings to life the passionate story of a bold Cherokee warrior and the brave white woman he rescues from certain death. Thrown together by circumstances not of their own making, they overcome betrayal and tragedy to find a love strong enough to bring nations together.

The Rancher, by bestselling author Hildie McQueen, transports readers to 1870s Montana Territory and into a sensual encounter between an injured rancher and a woman running for her life. Sometimes love enters at the worst moment…

In The Drifter, bestselling author Elizabeth Rose takes readers on an epic journey across the plains, as drifter Chase Masters shows up wounded at Nessa Pemberton’s stagecoach relay station mistaken as the bandit who killed her husband. Can a single mother learn to love again and put her trust in a man who is nothing but a drifter?

Ignite a new love for the Old West. Order your copy today for only 99 cents.
Amazon ~ Apple ~ B&N ~ Google ~ Kobo

And the winner is…

….”Katherine R” Congratulations Katherine! I’ll be emailing you shortly. Thank you all for sharing your horror stories with me.

In other news, here are some graphics–without many details 😀 — to give you all a vague idea of what’s coming up with this month. Stay tuned!

 

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If YOU would like the join this hop, click the turkey and register your blog!

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And already I’ve said too much!

 

 

Heartbreaker Blog Hop

To me, heartbreaker heroes aren’t necessarily the ones who are “sexy and they know it”, but the ones who are and either don’t flaunt it or don’t even know it.

A few months back I was participating in an Alpha Hero Hop and had a picture of a man’s abs on the sideboard of my blog. A reader emailed me and asked whose abs those were because up until then, I hadn’t released a book with a guy being THAT muscular (huge difference between what was muscular back in the late 1700s, early 1800s and today). A few weeks later, I released a book titled His Yankee Bride which had a hero who did all sorts of physical labor and could very well have been as muscular as the man featured.

(And his future wife is looking rather swanky on the cover, wouldn’t you say?)

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John, the hero from His Yankee Bride doesn’t give a second thought to his muscles; but our heroine Carolina sure does:

Carolina willed herself to stay calm as she walked over to where John was working on the roof of the carriage house. It wouldn’t do to let her excitement get the better of her and spill the water.

John’s tall, broad form came into view, and Carolina halted beneath a shade tree to watch him for a minute as he straightened and pulled his shirt over his head. The sun glistened off the sweat that covered his muscled abdomen and chest. She swallowed. Hard. He was very well formed with hard planes and thick muscles; he looked like he’d been chiseled from marble. He balled up his shirt and ran it across his face and shoulders.

He could certainly use some water, she thought, resuming her steps. “John,” she called.

John’s body jerked in surprise at her shout, and he lost his footing. With what Carolina thought might be an Englishman’s curse—something about Zeus—or was it deuce?—John slid down the steep incline of the roof and over the edge. He was spared an untimely, and quite possibly painful, meeting with the rock-covered ground when his hands found purchase with the edge of the roof just as he went over.

Did you require something, Carolina?” he asked as cool as can be while dangling from the edge of the roof.

T-to give you water,” she stammered; still in shock.

Later in the book, she admires his muscular form a bit more but I couldn’t find another appropriate passage that was longer than a sentence…

But it’s not just about a great body that makes a hero a heart throb, in my opinion. That only goes so far. But rather his actions. I’m not a fan of the brute who tells the heroine just how it’s going to be. I prefer to see a softer side. One that’s there when she needs him–even if he does fight his attraction for her every step of the way:

I’ll go after Carolina,” John said automatically, as his friend stumbled up the stairs. “Wait, Carolina,” he called as he chased after her.

She didn’t slow.

He sped up his pace. She didn’t have that much of a lead on him, besides she was wearing slippers and a skirt!

He continued to run after her and grimaced every time she stumbled or tripped. But she kept running and he stayed right behind her. “Carolina, stop.”

She didn’t.

She was within arm’s reach now, and he reached for her, grabbing a fistful of fabric and bringing her to the ground with a strangled whimper. “Let me go. I must find Gabriel,” she cried, trying to break free of his hold.

He already knows.”

Are you sure?” she choked between sobs as she took to her feet and wiped her eyes.

John nodded. His mother had been prone to vapors—leaving him with just enough knowledge to comprehend that when these moods hit, it was best to stand there quietly and not say anything, lest you upset them further.

Stop staring at me!”

Or perhaps he was wrong. “I’m not staring,” he said slowly.

She sniffled and used the heel of her hand to dry under her red-rimmed eyes. “Yes, you are. Now go away.”

I came—”

To tell me Gabriel knows…”

No,” he said gently, stepping closer to her. “I came because I thought you might like some company.”

For once, John, I don’t want your company.”

He was taken aback. The past few weeks, he’d tried everything he could to avoid her company, and now she was telling him she didn’t want his? “Then what do you want?”

To go far, far away,” she said with a sob.

He started. Her broken tone would suggest she wasn’t jesting. “Carolina, what’s happened?”

Sobs wracked her body again, and she crumpled to the ground before him.

He sank down next to her. “Shh,” he crooned in her ear, taking a seat on the grass as close to her as he could. “It’ll all work out.”

No, it won’t,” she said between sobs.

On impulse, John wrapped his arms around her and pulled her onto his lap, then bent his head and pressed his cheek atop the crown of her head. Her soft, curly brown hair felt good against his skin. He closed his eyes. He was here because she could use a friend, nothing more, he reminded himself as he began to rock her from side to side.

Carolina leaned closer to him, pressing her face against his chest. “I hate her,” she whispered.

Who?”

My mother.”

And then of course is the moment when he gives in:

Just then, something else hit her window; then again; and again; almost like it was raining small stones. Somebody clearly wanted her attention; but who, and why? Had one of the hands been injured today and in need of her salve? Her blood turned to ice at the thought, and she shoved the window up as fast as she could. “Who’s there?”

Shh,” was the only response.

Carolina scanned the moonlit ground outside her window. “Who’s there?” she asked again, whispering this time.

Me.”

Carolina’s breath caught. “John?”

The very one,” John said, stepping out into the moonlight from a little grove of bushes.

What are you doing?”

I came to talk to you.”

Talk?”

A series of soft thuds sounded, presumably created by the rocks he’d been holding hitting the ground. “And possibly something else.”

Carolina’s chest tightened painfully. “Does this something involve a bed?”

Gads, Carolina,” he burst out in a harsh whisper. “Must you always be so forward?”

Stung by his harsh words which only compounded the hurt she’d already felt from his not-so-subtle insinuation, Carolina gripped the edge of the window pane and brought it down decisively.

Immediately, rocks or acorns, or whatever it was he was throwing, started pelting her window again. Thank goodness her room was the only one on this side of the house and her mother was a sound sleeper, or they might have a visitor.

A slow smile spread across her lips. He was mighty determined to talk to her. Slowly, she eased the window back open.

Did that make you feel better?” John asked from below.

Perhaps a little.”

John shook his head and took a step closer to the window. “All right, just jump whenever you’re ready.”

Jump?”

Yes, jump,” he confirmed. “I originally thought I’d scale the wall and convince you to leave with me in a dignified manner, but then I realized you’d probably find jumping all the more romantic.”

And why would I be jumping?” She cringed at her tone. It was that same sarcastic, condescending tone Mother used when speaking to anyone she felt inferior.

So you can ride off with your prince—or should I say, me—into the moonlight.”

Wh-what?”

John ran his hand through his hair. “You were right, Carolina. Must I say more?”

Yes. I think you must.”

Of course you’d think so,” he muttered. He blew out a deep breath. “Carolina, I want to marry you.”

John has several other scenes that chalk him up to one of my favorite heartbreaker heroes, but I can’t give away the entire book or it wouldn’t be so fun to read on your KindleNook or other eReader.

So…what qualifies a hero as a heartbreaker in YOUR opinion.

Comment to enter for a signed, not available for purchase yet paperback copy of my latest release, His Jilted Bride.

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Also, be sure to leave your email address so you can be entered into the grand prize drawing (across all hops). The prizes are:

A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet; a $100 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble; a giant box of swag*.

After you’ve entered, be sure to click the graphic below to go hop again.

*My giveaway and the grand prize giveaways are open internationally, with the exception of the large box of swag.

**Winners for my earlier “Sober Stupidity” giveaway will be announced Sunday, as I’ve extended the deadline, so feel free to leave a comment there, too, for another chance to win if you haven’t already.