Friday 18 December 2020

Her Secret Agent Fake Fiance (A Christmas Romance)

 



When she was in Paris, Kimberley Montpetit spent all of her souvenir money at the La Patisserie shops with their gorgeous and delicious pastries. 

She grew up in the fabulous city of San Francisco, hides a stash of anything chocolate and caramel when she can get away with it, and now lives in a small town along the banks of the Rio Grande with her engineer husband and three sons. 







Can two clashing agents survive gunshots, murderous millionaires, and dangerous covert snooping? Most importantly, will their own hearts betray them in the end?

Our Heroine: Erin Steele, FBI Agent. Alias: Cassandra Fairfax, oil heiress.

Her Partner: Braden Moretti, CIA Special Ops. Alias: Marcus Romero, Erin’s drop-dead gorgeous date with a talent for driving her crazy.

Where: A fancy Christmas party at the mansion of the wealthiest man in San Francisco.

Undercover Assignment: Fake Fabergé jewels selling for ten million bucks. A sting operation to take down the bad guys, of course . . . it’s all in a night’s work. 

Biggest Blunder: An encounter under the mistletoe that goes horribly wrong . . . or perfectly right?

◆ Fall in love with Romantic Suspense that includes intrigue and danger - all wrapped up in a red Christmas bow!

◆ Included in this romance: Agent Erin Steele's special Christmas morning recipe and pictures of a stunning Faberge jewel!

◆ Visit the author at www.KimberleyMontpetit.com for a free gift.  

  
  


Snippet:


Striding down the carpeted hallway to Suite 1455, Erin was suddenly aware that the man was right behind, his steps quiet but determined. 

“Excuse me?” she said, whipping around to confront him, senses on alert, placing her hand on the grip of her 9-mm Glock in her handbag. “Are you following me?”

“I’m beginning to wonder if you’re following me,” he said.

“That’s ridiculous. I’m in front of you. How could I possibly know which office you’re headed to?”

“Touché,” he said with an amused smile. “You must be a detective.”

“And you probably read too many crime novels,” she retorted, surprised at the sassy response coming out of her mouth. “Are you at the San Francisco FBI field office for research for a term paper?”

He gave her an amused smile, but there was a hint of danger behind his eyes while he assessed her. “Something like that.”  

“Maybe you shouldn’t have pressed that 13th incognito floor,” Erin suggested. “You’ll probably have little luck since visitors need an appointment to see any of the agents who occupy these offices.”

He pursed his lips and nodded. “I see. Thanks for the tip.”

Why did it seem like this too handsome dude was laughing at her?

His footsteps continued to trail her instead of turning down the intersecting hallway to the other wing of offices. 

Erin tried not to glare before she spun around on her heel, purposely ignoring him. 

When she reached FBI Supervisor Howell’s office, Erin pushed open the door and greeted the office manager. “Agent Steele here to see Supervisor Howell. I have an appointment.”

“Yes, he’s expecting you,” Laura Tidwell, the office manager said, punching a button on the intercom while she pressed a finger against the rim of her black-framed glasses. “Agent Steele has arrived, sir.”

A male voice that sounded like a truck filled with gravel said, “Send Steele in.”

Erin tried not to let her sweaty palms show as she crossed the room. A door closed behind her and she craned her neck to glance over her shoulder. 

The man who had shared the elevator with her was now in the FBI office. He had followed her!  


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Thursday 17 December 2020

The Unknown Elf

 





Karlie Lucas is a school crossing guard by day and a writer/artist by night. 

A graduate of Southern Utah University, Karlie received a B.A. in Creative Writing, with a minor in art. She is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, The International English Honor Society, SCBWI, as well as ANWA, the American Night Writers Association.
Karlie is interested in all things magical and mysterious, especially elves and dragons. She is an avid fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling.

When not writing, Karlie can often be found drawing, baking, watching her favorite old school shows, or just spending time with her family.

She currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband and a cat named Kally. 


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Marie never expected to wake up in North Pole City, let alone being made Santa’s Emergency Replacement. It was a job she never wanted but couldn’t turn down, thanks to Clarence, Santa’s right hand man. 

Now, Marie has to work with Clarence, who believes she is some kind of criminal who will cause the destruction of everything he holds dear. Trying to prove that he’s wrong, Marie keeps making mistakes that push them even further apart. It doesn’t help that she has a past she’d rather keep hidden. However, trying to keep her past where it should belong isn’t easy.

Just when Marie starts to feel like things are coming together, a madman with a bone to pick, and Christmas to ruin, threatens the whole of the North Pole Organization. Marie must rely on Clarence and her new friends to help her face her past before Christmas is gone forever.  But does she have the courage to truly be herself when it could mean losing everything?

  
  


Snippet:

The elf hugged his long coat around his body. A sudden strong gust of wind tried to swipe his hood in a mad game of hide and sneak, breaking his train of thought. He batted at the wind, trying to make it go away, but his efforts only seemed to add to its frenzy. It came back with more force, pushing the clouds until they blocked out the moon and stars completely.

After a while, he gave up at scolding. Instead, he tried to push his way through the rough splintering of ice crystals thrown up against him. The strong breeze had other ideas and would not let him move in any direction. It
howled, rising with the sound of thunder, and forced him to the ground. It brought with it a faint echo of a voice.

The sound seemed to call out to him, rising in intensity and dying with each gust. The hopeless appeal caught his attention, sounding like the call of someone lost and afraid. It took him back to a day he didn't want to remember. It was the day when his so called friends had left him to wander out in the cold, without food or shelter to help him. 


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Wednesday 16 December 2020

Grace by Contract

 


  Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the little ones are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.







After her father uproots the family to the northern duchy of Brackenhurst, Grace Eldon and her four younger sisters struggle with a new life of hardship. Desperate to keep a roof over their heads amid mounting debts, she and her youngest sister seek employment in the Duke of Brackenhurst’s household despite fearsome rumors.

Scarred and maimed from a terrible fire Silas Isling, Duke of Brackenhurst, buries himself in his work to avoid the stares of pity and fear. When one of the new maids shows no fear at his appearance, he is intrigued. That is until his meddling steward gives her the task of cleaning Silas’ bookroom. It is a most unwelcome disruption since he prefers to be alone.

While a thief plagues his castle, an old nemesis reappears, and enemies invade in the guise of guests. Amidst the distractions and chaos, Grace brings some unexpected order. Once convinced his scars had stolen all hope for love, Silas finds his life forever changed by the quiet maid. Could she love a scarred Duke?

  
  





Snippet #1

Grace

 

The rain slowed and then stopped as we trekked over the first rise beyond the village.

Wait until I tell Amity.” Beauty jostled my shoulder as she gripped my hand with both of hers.

I pulled the sack with our purchases out from between us, praying that she hadnt squished the bread. We hurried along the muddy path, sidestepping the deepest puddles and avoiding the soaked knee-high grasses as best we could.

Lord Brackenhurst is a giant.” Beauty hissed the word in my ear like a child, marveling with equal parts wonder and horror. He stands at least four hands taller than Father.”

He is tall,” I admitted, hoping that would be the end of it. I didnt want to dwell on our difficult conversation with our new lord and master. Our new home, the tenant-holding my mother grew up on, lay beyond the next hill and about an hours walk from the village. Our middle sisters would have dinner prepared and the table set by the time we arrived home. If we hurried, there might still be enough to blunt the sharp emptiness of my stomach.

Is he taller than any man you have met?” Beauty shoved at my shoulder so hard that I stumbled to the side of the path in my effort to keep my balance and avoid a particularly deep puddle. The bread and the apothecary’s small pouch of herbs for grandmother bounced against my hip.

Aye. Please dont jostle me so.”

And his hands!” She sucked in a great breath in awe. The one we saw was the size of my head!”

You have a small head.”

No smaller than yours.” She dragged at my arm so that my joints ached. Come and admit it, Grace. He was a sight to behold.”

I wasnt willing to admit anything. I just wanted to go home, back to Braulyn and the great port of Mayfair. I longed to breathe the tangy scent of the sea air and feel the sand beneath my toes. Not even the impressive, hulking sight of our new master could overcome that longing.

My, was he ugly! Those scars! I have never beheld such a mangled visage—”

Cease!” I yanked my hand free of Beautys viselike grip. Leave the poor wretch alone.” I took three steps further along the rutted path before I realized Beauty no longer walked with me.

Stopping in the center of the path, I turned back to find her crouched in the grass with her arms about her knees.

Oh, do stop pouting.” I crossed my own arms. We had more important things to discuss, like whether or not we mentioned the contract to our father. The strangely intense bailiff and the far-too-watchful eye of his master had made the terms clear enough. Still, part of me rebelled at signing away half a decade of my life. Not that it changed reality. Father would happily bargain Beautys and my freedom for such a prize as a regular income for which he didnt have to work. He would see it as a chance to turn his fortunes around.

Beauty lifted a prettily damp face to stick her bottom lip out at me. I only spoke the truth.”

Hurtful truth,” I pointed out. A persons character isnt based on their exterior. Neither of us knows the measure of Duke Brackenhursts character. He is to be our new master, and we need to show respect.”

I would prefer a handsome husband.”





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Miss Dashwood's Dilemma

 





Arabella Sheraton grew up on a diet of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and many other writers of that period. From Jane Austen to Georgette Heyer, Arabella has found both enjoyment and inspiration in sparkling, witty Regency novels. She also loves history and generally finds the past more fascinating than the future. Arabella wrote her first Regency romance to entertain her aged mom who loved the genre. Arabella is honoured to share the adventures of her heroes and heroines with readers.




In this delightful traditional Regency romance, Miss Diana Dashwood accepts an invitation to Lady Prescott's Christmas party at Camden House, in the countryside. But things do not go quite as she imagined. 

Through an unexpected event, she is forced to spend the night in a woodsman's hut with one of the guests. What a scandal! 

Of course, Sir Gareth Blakely must propose, and he does. Unfortunately, Miss Diana Dashwood has already been engaged to and broken off her engagement from Sir Gareth Blakely after a bitter quarrel. Is it likely she will bow to social pressure and accept his proposal, one made only to save her reputation, and if they marry, does their union stand a chance of survival?And what about the pretty heiress, Miss Jemima Plymstock, whom everyone thinks is the lady Sir Gareth had his eye upon? Headstrong and proud, Miss Diana Dashwood is caught in a dreadful dilemma. A must-read for Regency fans!


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Snippet:

“Oh, my dear,” Mrs. Dashwood continued. “If you bumped into Sir Gareth in public or at a large gathering, it would be easy to avoid him. But a house party in the countryside? With a small selection of particular

guests?” She made a tut-tut sound. “And what if the weather keeps everyone indoors? You’ll have to participate in whatever entertainment Lady Prescott provides. You’ll be flung together, like it or not. What will you say to him? I

defy anyone to escape scrutiny and gossip under those circumstances.”

Diana looked up. “Oh, you’re worrying for nothing. I can assure you I will not be embarrassed if I must greet Sir Gareth at the breakfast table, or participate in a game of charades or cribbage with him.” She shrugged. “Everyone will be too busy enjoying themselves to notice us. I’m sure there will be other delicious on-dits and romantic liaisons to keep their tongues occupied. And besides, you may not have heard but Sir Gareth is almost

certainly ensnared by the charms of a siren.”

Mrs. Dashwood raised her eyebrows. “A siren? What nonsense.”

“I was being sarcastic.”

“Who is this siren? I’m sure Sir Gareth is far too sensible to succumb to any lures flung out by designing women.”


Tuesday 15 December 2020

Gift of Restitution

 



My name is Robyn Echols. Zina Abbott is the pen name I use for my American historical romance novels. I’m a member of Women Writing the West and Western Writers of America, and American Night Writers Association. I currently live with my husband in California’s central valley near the “Gateway to Yosemite.”
I love to read, quilt, work with digital images on my photo editing program, and work on my own family history.
I am a blogger. In addition to my own blog, I blog for several group blogs including the Sweet Americana Sweethearts blog, which I started and administer.


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The gift of peace of spirit that comes from restitution.

A year after Luke McDaniels broke away from the control of two eastern Sierra Nevada Mountain outlaws and freed Ling Loi from the Chinese brothel in Lundy, one aspect of their escape still plagues his conscience. Even though he made a point to take only what was owed him, and he left sufficient funds to cover the cost of anything he took from others without the owners’ knowledge or consent, there had been one exception. The second horse he planned to “buy” to assure a successful early winter journey was snatched away before his gaze. Another was left in its place. The ten gold half-eagles he allowed was less than the value of the one available to him. He hated short-changing the owner, but Loi, who took on the name of Joy when they married, had been his first priority.
     
Joy, grateful she has been restored to the way of decency, senses that Luke needs his own restoration. Can she convince him to do what he must to enjoy peace at Christmas? 

  
  


Snippet:

Joy nodded. “Hai. Yes. English Christian missionary, Miss Johnson, give me name Joy. She say, night Jesus born, angels come, sing joy.”

Luke’s mother, still ambivalent about her Christian faith, responded with a wry smile. “You have your Chinese name and an English name given to you by a missionary. Now you have an Ojibwa name. If you ever decide to be adopted into the band, it is a good name.”

Joy bowed to Odette. “I am honored.” After Odette stepped out of the wickiup, she turned to Luke. “What means Waabigwan?”

“Flower. I think Mother is very impressed with the flowers you embroider on your smocks. You also use the same design to decorate the purses and belts we sell to the traders in Duluth.”

Joy responded by lifting the black border of her otherwise pink smock where, while still in Lundy, California, she embroidered flowers. “Waabigwan is good name, but like Joy better. Joy means much happiness. I much pleased honored mother-in-law asks me to join your people. Someday, maybe I choose Ojibwa. Now, I stay Chinese.” 


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