Forever’s Holiday Celebration || All the Holiday Food You Could Want


‘Tis the season to celebrate! Five of Forever’s authors with brand new Christmas romances are sharing their favorite holiday recipes and memories. 

I know I am actually in love with food–hopefully you are too! All of these darling, delicious recipes will soon make their way into my oven. Let the eating begin. Be sure to leave the authors some holiday well wishes. Checking out their books would also be appreciated.  
CAROLYN BROWN’S PUMPKIN BREAD
Kids, grand children, great-grands, all coming home for the holidays—the aroma of pumpkin bread baking in the oven—everyone waiting for it to get done so they can slice it up while it’s still hot, slather butter or whipped cream cheese on it, and tell the age old stories about the holidays we’ve had in the house. That’s the stuff memories are made off and every time I smell pumpkin bread it puts a smile on my face for the whole day.
PUMPKIN BREAD
This makes 2 loaves and 8 muffins; Or it makes one Bundt cake
½ cup butter
½ cup shortening
2 2/3 cups of sugar
4 eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin (one 15-16 ounce can)
3 ½ cups flour
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons soda
1 cup pecans (optional)
2/3 cup of cold strong black coffee
(NOTE: I use all butter if I’m out of shortening or even oil)
1.     Cream first four ingredients.
2.     Add canned pumpkin.
3.     Add dry ingredients alternately with coffee
4.     Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour for loaves or bundt cake, 25 minutes for muffins, or until they test done in the center.
5.     Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.
6.     Cool completely before frosting with Harvest Moon Frosting (below).
HARVEST MOON FROSTING
3 egg whites
1½ cups brown sugar
6 tablespoons water
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a double boiler. Cook 7 minutes, beating the whole time with an electric mixer, over the boiling water.  The frosting will stand in peaks when done. Add vanilla.  Beat until thick enough to spread.
Find out more about Carolyn Brown at her website.
PAULA QUINN’S CHRISTAS COOKIES
My dad used to live across the street from us. Every year, when my
kids were little, he would dress up like Santa, climb out his window
on the second floor, and hang Christmas lights on his fire escape. My
kids would watch from our window with wonder in their eyes, unaware
that it was grandpa. He would turn and wave to them, sending them into
little fits of breathlessness. Later, we would visit grandma and
grandpa’s for homemade cookies (left there for them by Santa). The
house was always fully decked out with every Christmas decoration
imaginable with Alvin and the Chipmunks on repeat while the kids
hunted down little “pre-Christmas” gifts he’d hide for them. I loved
witnessing the magic of Christmas and love through their eyes. Now
grown, my kids will sometimes still look out the window at his fire
escape and smile, remembering a grandpa who loved them beyond measure.

GRANDPA’S CHRISTMAS COOKIES (A favored Italian recipe)

4 eggs

1 cup sugar

½ cup butter

2 teaspoons vanilla

3½ cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1.     Sift dry ingredients.
2.     Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs; add
vanilla and dry ingredients.
3.     Knead and add flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to hands.

4.     Pinch off dough, roll in your hands to form a log and then twirl into
shape.
5.     Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

ICING
2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 teaspoons water
Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Stir until creamy. Dip cookies into icing and sprinkle with trim. Place on wire rack with wax paper on counter to collect the dripping icing and sprinkles.

Find out more about Paula Quinn at her website.
DEBBIE MASON TREE TRIMMING PARTY
One of my family’s favorite holiday traditions is our tree trimming party. We’ve held one every year for the past thirty years. Though I don’t know if it qualifies as a party seeing as it’s just the immediate family. But we do make a thing of it with our favorite carols playing in the background, fire on (mostly for ambience), hot chocolate served in festive mugs, lots of holiday treats, and a special ornament for each of the kids and grandkids to open before the tree decorating gets under way.
But I think the most fun for all of us isn’t decorating the tree, it’s unpacking the ornaments. I’ve always tried to buy an ornament that’s uniquely suited to each of the kids, whether it was a sport they were into that year or a movie, book, or hobby they loved, so unwrapping each one brings back a lot of special memories. Here’s a peek at just some of the collection. I don’t think it will be long before we have to break from tradition and let the kids take some of the ornaments home to decorate their own trees. Either that or we’ll have to put up another tree.

And this one in my office doesn’t count. Every year, my family gifts me with an ornament too. This year they gave me these three adorable ornaments to celebrate the release of the first book in the new Harmony Harbor series, MISTLETOE COTTAGE, and the short story, CHRISTMAS WITH AN ANGEL.

  
Find out more about Debbie Mason at her website.
HOPE RAMSAY’S GINGERBREAD COOKIES
Every year for the last quarter-century, or possibly longer, I have set aside the Saturday closest to Christmas to bake gingerbread cookies with my children, and now, with my grandchildren.   These are the only cookies I make at Christmas time, and the activity is more about family fun than turning out a perfect cookie.  Usually I do most of the rolling, cutting, and baking.  And the rest of the family does the decorating.
The magic is in the royal icing.  The white icing is a snap to make, and it can be divided up into small bowls and colored with food dye, creating pots of colored cookie paint.  I give each child (or adult) a watercolor paint brush and let them paint the icing onto the cookies.  The kids have a blast, and the cookies always come out looking wonderfully homemade. 
To me, cookie baking embodies everything I love about Christmas: kids, family, baking, and yummy desserts.

GINGERBREAD COOKIE DOUGH
Makes about 6 Dozen
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Dutch cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter
1 cup superfine sugar
1 egg at room temperature
½ cup unsulphured molasses
1.     Whisk together the dry ingredients – flour cocoa, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, backing soda, and salt.
2.     Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and molasses and beat thoroughly.
3.     On low speed, add the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.
4.     Cut the dough into thirds, pat into disks, wrap in plastic and chill until firm – 2 hours or overnight.
5.     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough about 1/16 inch thick and cut cookies with cookie cutters.  Transfer the cookies to an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for about 10 minutes, until the edges of the cookie turn brown.
6.     Let cool on sheets and then transfer to a wire rack.  Decorate with royal icing.
ROYAL ICING
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1 pound confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup water
Using a mixer, place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat at high speed until fluffy, thick & shiny (about 10 minutes.)  Divide the icing into smaller bowls and color it using food coloring. 

  
Find out more about Hope Ramsay at her website.
OLIVIA MILES SNOWFLAKE COOKIES

In my newest release, CHRISTMAS COMES TO MAIN STREET, my heroine owns a cookie bakery. As this story takes place over the holidays, I thought hard about a signature cookie she might make, and eventually I settled on charming snowflake cookies. Of course these are not just any old cut out cookie, though. No, Kara makes them by the dozen, sure to keep each one in the batch distinct in shape and decoration, because no two snowflakes are ever the same, after all! And it’s these snowflake cookies that she delivers every day to the inn in Briar Creek…where a Christmas visitor falls in love with more than just her cookies.

I hope you all enjoy these snowflake cookies as much as Nate does! J


KARA’S SNOWFLAKE COOKIES (sugar cookie cut-out and royal icing recipes courtesy of Martha Stewart)

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1.     Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
2.     Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Divide dough in half; flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
3.     Preheat oven to 325 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Let one disk of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes. Roll out dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thick. Remove top layer of plastic wrap. Cut out cookies. Transfer cookie dough on plastic wrap to a baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to freezer, freeze until very firm, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet from freezer and transfer shapes to baking sheets lined with nonstick baking mats. Roll out scraps, and repeat. Repeat with remaining disk of dough.
4.     Bake, switching positions of sheets and rotating halfway through, until edges turn golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

ROYAL ICING
2 large egg whites, or more to thin icing
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, or more to thicken icing
Juice of 1 lemon
3 drops glycerin
Beat the whites until stiff but not dry. Add sugar, lemon juice and glycerin (if using); beat for 1 minute more. If icing is too thick, add more egg whites; if it is too thin, add more sugar. The icing may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Decorate each as you wish!
Find out more about Olivia Miles at her website.

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Too Hot To Handle by Tessa Bailey {Dream Cast + #Giveaway}

Welcome all your beautiful humans to this darling book blitz! It’s a joy to have you here. Please, sit back, read the summary, the dream cast (swooooon), and enter the giveaway! 


Goodreads || Amazon || B&N || Forever
On sale November 29, 2016

Previously released as an eBook in May 2016, the first book in Tessa Bailey’s Romancing the Clarksons series is now available in print for the first time!

When rescue looks like a whole lot of trouble . . .

The road trip was definitely a bad idea. Having already flambéed her culinary career beyond recognition, Rita Clarkson is now stranded in God-Knows-Where, New Mexico, with a busted-ass car and her three temperamental siblings, who she hasn’t seen in years. When rescue shows up—six-feet-plus of hot, charming sex on a motorcycle—Rita’s pretty certain she’s gone from the frying pan right into the fire . . .

Jasper Ellis has a bad boy reputation in this town, and he loathes it. The moment he sees Rita, though, Jasper knows he’s about to be sorely tempted. There’s something real between them. Something raw. And Jasper has only a few days to show Rita that he isn’t just for tonight—he’s forever.

Doesn’t this book like it’ll just be the bee’s knees? Let’s see who Tessa Bailey cast as her MCs! 

When I cast TOO HOT TO HANDLE in my head (and on my Pinterest boards o’course!) I used a more introverted version of Emilia Clarke as Rita Clarkson. All the shiny effervesce and beauty of a brunette Emilia, with more dark makeup and clothing. This is the picture I sent to my editor when casting for the cover, because I think it captures Rita’s personality.

As for Jasper, he is described in the book as a young, revamped Matthew McConaughey and I think his personality totally matches that of a young carefree (non naked bongo playing) version of the actor. I promise he doesn’t say “alright, alright, alright,” but he does have that cool guy, ladies love me spirit. Scott Porter from Hart of Dixie would be my choice to play Jasper in a film.

I’m swooning. Are you swooning? 

Okay–so I’m just going to casually drop this Rafflecopter here…becasue you KNOW you want this book.

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All of the Yummy Foods Ever {SMP Holiday Blitz}

I don’t know about y’all, but when it comes to the holiday season, there are a few foods that I have to have or I sort of consider it an unsuccessful holiday. Food wise, anyways.

For me, I want pecan pralines and Thanksgiving dressing–chicken livers and all. Smells nasty when it’s being cooked, but all together *swooooons* It’s divine. Also pecan pie. Pretty sure I was put on this earth to just eat all the food. All of the food that I’ve listed originates from my Granny’s kitchen back in East Texas. I’ll be frequenting there this break since my family {mom and sister and dad and darling pets} are up in Seattle pursing the next beautiful, bold adventure.

I’ve got some world conquering of my own to do, but these favorite holiday foods from the authors on this blitz are going to have to hold me over for a little bit.

Check out the books that these ladies wrote here!

T H E – F O O D S 

Ruth Logan Herne

We’ve got a great eggnog pie recipe, it’s positively decadent! Here’s the link to our cooking with the authors website “The Yankee Belle Cafe”. 

Donna Alward

Savory or sweet? There’s a Chocolate Chip Cheeseball recipe I got from Debbie Macomber’s site that I’ve modified that I love (plus: cookies!), and for savory, I make sausage-stuffed mushrooms that are easy and so tasty!

Laura Trentham

Broccoli SaladMy go-to potluck take-along…plus I make it every holiday. Basically whenever I can get away with it, because it is SO good.

2 bunches of broccoli, chopped
1/2 lbs cooked bacon, crumbled (I use the pouches of bacon bit to avoid the mess of cooking bacon)
1/2 med red onion, diced
1/2 cup golden or brown raisins
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, grated
1 cup Mayo (Duke’s, of course:)
2T white vinegar
1/4-1/2 cup white sugar

Mix together broccoli, onion, raisins, sunflower seeds. In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, vinegar, and sugar and pour over salad. Mix gently. Chill for several hours or overnight to blend flavors. (This isn’t mandatory, but does improve the taste). Just before serving, add bacon and cheese.

Nancy Naigle

I did these videos last year while watching the Hallmark Movie~THE NOTE. Kelsey Browning and I co-author a fun southern cozy series called The Granny Series.   There is a clip of her and then one of me in each of these fine uncut – unedited raw videos. The recipe for FaLaLa-LaLa-La Bon Bons is available as a PDF on my website http://www.NancyNaigle.com.  I also have two recipe cards printed up for cookies from my book, CHRISTMAS JOY.  I can send those to you if you’d like! I’ll be posting them on my website as a free download after the book releases.

Margaret Brownley

Our Christmas dinner is five star dining at its best. That’s because my son-in-law is an executive chef and he treats us every year to prime rib with all the trimmings.  I never ask for recipes because then I might be tempted to try them. 

Tara Wyatt

My mom’s shortbread. Hands down. It tastes like Christmas and home the way nothing else does.

Opal Carew

Turkey (dark meat) and stuffing. Mmm. Unfortunately, now that I’m following the Paleo diet, making a stuffing I can eat is a challenge!


Emily March

I find a new favorite every year in the recipe exchange cookbook I put together from recipes sent in by my readers. Watch my Facebook page or join my mailing list for info on how to get your copy!

Melissa Cutler

My grandmother makes the best fruit cake from scratch, and that’s no joke. I would share the recipe, but when I make it, it never turns out like Grandma’s, because she must put some secret ingredients in hers.

Mandy Baxter

My all time favorite holiday food is stuffing at Thanksgiving. Carbs be damned!


I N – T H E – E N D
So, dear reader, what are some of the holiday foods that just make your day? Can’t live with out? Are a total must have now


 

Arrow- Struck Individuals | Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk + #Giveaway

Hello my darlings! What do you get when you cross a hella hot son-of-a-love-god and an arrow without a match?

*crickets*

*crickets*

YOU GET A LOVE STORY AND A HOPE STORY AND TEEN PREGNANCY STORY AND A STAB-TASTIC MALE NOT-SO-LOVE INTEREST.

When I saw this tour invite pop up on my Twitter feed I knew I haaaad to get in on it. After reading the copy, there were a few top tens I had in mind (where to read this, food that I can drown my post-break up sorrows in, quotes that illicit all the feeeeeells) but I knew I had to settle on one.

So that’s what I did.

I settled on the Top Ten Potential Loves of my Life (people Cupid should hit with an arrow for me). After you’re done reading the list, be sure to check out ARROWS on goodreads.

TOP TEN ARROW-STRUCK DREAM GUYS

Come hither:

THEO JAMES– I saw you in DIVERGENT- which was absolutely nothing like the book, and I fell in love. I mean the tattoos really sold me. Your face also sold me. And your biceps. Also you have a nice voice. Want to travel the world with me?
Via. My BS. 
ALEX PETTYFER– When you were in BEASTLY, I died a little. I don’t even know when I first saw you, but, darling, it was love at first sight, last sight, and ever sight.
NICK BATEMAN – Well I am most for sure going to see UGLY LOVE on the big screen. Yup. It’s happening. SOMEBODY CATCH ME. I’M SWOONING.
Via. Oyster Mag
MATTHEW GRAY GUBLER– You, sir, are attractive. And super smart in CRIMINAL MINDS. I like that show. I like it a bunch. We should get lunch and talk about culture sometime. I like tacos with my social justice.

Via. Animal Fair.
JOSH DUHAMEL– We should go to Rome together! Because, well, WHEN IN ROME. (haha) (movie pun)

Via. The Celebrity Auction.
ZAC EFRON– HSM. Yeah, Wasn’t super impressed with that one. I fell in love with you on HAIRSPRAY. Want to go get some gelato with me? *discreetly looks for Cupid*

Via. Buzzfeed. 
IAN SOMERHOLDER– Uhm. Well. Hello there, my love. I have gorgeous eyes? *blushes* You are just toooooo sweet. *giggles incoherently* Let’s run away to Spain together and run an olive grove and adopt a dog named spots.

Via. Glitter.
LIAM HEMSWORTH– We should watch Netflix together. And read together. Want me build me a library? Suuuuuure I’ll help. In a second. Like putting the books on helping. For now I’ll just watch.

Via. The Daily Mail. 
ED WESTWICK– Your voice in GOSSIP GIRL. Oh. My. Swwwweeeet baby Jesus. May the Lord have mercy on my ovaries.

Via. Buzzfeed. 
DAVE FRANCO– You look like you enjoy long walks to the library and volunteering at the animal shelter. With me. You look like you would enjoy doing those things with me.

Want to learn more about ARROWS?

Goodreads // Amazon

A modern cupid story set in present-day Wisconsin combining the fantastical elements of Greek mythology with the contemporary drama of MTV’s Teen Mom.

People don’t understand love. If they did, they’d get why dance prodigy Karma Clark just can’t say goodbye to her boyfriend, Danny. No matter what he says or does or how he hurts her, she can’t stay angry with him . . . and can’t stop loving him. But there’s a reason why Karma is helpless to break things off: she’s been shot with a love arrow.
Aaryn, son of Cupid, was supposed to shoot both Karma and Danny but found out too late that the other arrow in his pack was useless. And with that, Karma’s life changed forever. One pregnancy confirmed. One ballet scholarship lost. And dream after dream tossed to the wind.

A clueless Karma doesn’t know that her toxic relationship is Aaryn’s fault . . . but he’s going to get a chance to make things right. He’s here to convince Danny to man up and be there for Karma. But what if this god from Mount Olympus finds himself falling in love with a beautiful dancer from Wisconsin who can never love him in return?

This fast-paced debut novel explores the internal & external conflicts of a girl who finds herself inexplicably drawn to a boy who seemingly doesn’t reciprocate her  feelings, touching on the issues of love, sex and responsibility, with a heroine struggling to control her destiny–perfect for fans of Katie McGarry’s novels and MTV’s 16 and Pregnant.

About Melissa Gorzelanczyk​

Melissa Gorzelanczyk is a former magazine editor and columnist who loves strong coffee, live music, and arrow jewelry. She lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband and two teenage children, one of whom is named after a Greek goddess.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Instagram​ | Facebook






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#ChasingSpring Release Day Launch

Title: Chasing Spring
Author: R.S. Grey
Release Date: Feb 1, 2016
Find on Goodreads
I thought I’d left Blackwater, Texas behind for good. I didn’t belong in the small town, but my dad wouldn’t listen. He dragged me back home in his beat-up truck and dropped a bomb along the way: Chase Matthews was moving in with us. He was the golden boy of my high school, my former best friend, and the last person I wanted sleeping across the hall. His presence was too great a reminder of the ghosts I was trying to forget.
I didn’t ask for a hero. I don’t want to be saved.
To me, Lilah Calloway meant late nights sneakin’ out, moonlit hair, and sparklers in July. She was my best friend until the day she left and I’d assumed Blackwater had seen the last of her. Then, like a tempest, she rolled back into town for the final half of senior year. The chopped hair and dark devil-may-care attitude warned most people away, but I knew if I fought hard enough, I could find the lost girl.
I didn’t want to be her hero. Some girls don’t need to be saved.
I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way, I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things… everyday.
I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favorite authors include Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I’m a comedy geek and love all things “funny”. Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.

THE TURNING POINT {Launch Day Blitz}

Helloooo my pretties! THE TURNING POINT by Marie Meyers is launching today! Why don’t you leave Marie a happy book birthday in the comments? Enjoy the post.

It’s funny how a piece of paper can change your life-a diploma, a ticket . . . a plain, white envelope 

For as long as I could remember, I was the girl with the plan. Good college, good medical school, good career. I would save lives instead of standing by helplessly, watching while they slipped away. 

That was before my father called for the first time in fifteen years to tell me about the terminal illness stealing his life-an illness that might be stealing mine, too. It was before he gave me the name of a doctor and a plane ticket to Italy. Before I flew across an ocean. Before I realized how brilliantly bright life could be. Before I met Lucas. 

He’s everything I’ve always wanted, and the timing couldn’t be worse. I can’t do this to him-he deserves so much better. My head tells me I can’t afford to fall in love with Lucas, but my heart won’t listen. Lucas is fearless about the future, while I’m not even sure I have one. There’s only one way to know what’s ahead and it’s waiting for me at home inside a plain, white envelope.

All I have to do is open it. . .

Goodreads // Amazon // B&N

Doesn’t this book sounds like the bee’s knees? RIGHT? Still want to know more…how are you not convinced you need to add this to you TBR-pronto

Maybe this excerpt will convince you. 
Lucas slowly trailed his hand down my cheek, over my neck, and across my collarbone—the only exposed skin. But my clothing didn’t deter his southward pursuit. Even through the thin cotton of my shirt, I was hyperaware of his touch. How his fingertips grazed over the swell of my breast, lingering at the peak…teasing. 
With each deliberate, enticing swirl of his thumb, my body came alive. Yet, it wasn’t his gifted hand alone that made my breath come quicker and send shivers down my spine. It was his eyes. Always his eyes. 
To say they were expressive was an understatement, just the tip of the iceberg. His eyes told a story. One of happiness, desire, intrigue, sadness, warmth, love—it all radiated from their bright cerulean cores, the center and focal points that surrounded his pupils. From the day we met, I wanted to swim in that ocean, be swept away by his gaze and get lost beneath the crushing waves of his stare. To be a part of his story. 
I touched his arm, my fingers disappearing under his shirtsleeve. His skin was smooth over the hard, taut muscle of his bicep. I clenched it, feeling him flex as he moved his hand lower on my belly, lifting the hem of my shirt. 
The instant he made contact with my skin, I sucked in a breath. “Are my hands cold?” he asked. 
I moved my head side to side. “Very much the opposite.” My voice was garbled and shallow. I attempted to clear my throat. 
Feeling the branding touch of Lucas’s hand moving up my body, he shifted his weight and sat up, lifting my shirt higher. I subtly raised my shoulders and he pulled my shirt over my head, tossing it to the floor.
His eyes slowly roamed my body, landing on every hill and valley. He watched the rise and fall of my chest, not allowing himself to touch until his eyes touched first. Even though this wasn’t the first time he had seen me like this, tonight was different. 
The night of his birthday, I’d wanted to give him everything I had. I was ready. I needed that last connection to him. But Lucas still thought he had to prove himself to me. He wanted me to know that every part of me was special to him, not a fleeting moment in bed. 
But tonight was different. He was right here with me. There were no more secrets between us. He wasn’t chasing a ghost from his past, and for once, I wasn’t afraid of my shadowed future. I needed this. I wanted him…all of him, everything he was willing to give me. I needed to feel alive while I still had the chance.  
Working my hand down to the bend of his elbow, I memorized how my fingertips flowed over his skin and how the hair on his arm bristled at my touch.
*Fans Self* Don’t mind me. Just dying of swoon overload. 


Finding You {Release Day Launch} #Giveaway


If Grace Johnson knew one thing at all, it was that all men were dirtbags.
All men … except Noah Bennet.
“I was lost in his eyes. Lost in his tears. My goal was to pull him out of the darkness … even if it dragged me in as well.”
If Noah Bennet knew one thing at all, it was he needed Grace Johnson.
Needed her … desperately.
“My pain was pulling me under … she was my only saving grace.”
Grace is willing to put everything on the line to help bring back the man she is hopelessly in love with. Even if it costs her the future she’s been longing for.
“If finding you means losing a part of me … I’ll do it.”


Amazon  //  Goodreads

EXCERPT

I wasn’t done setting up. “Shit! I still need to finish getting everything ready.” Rushing into the house, I made my way to the backyard, where I saw everything had already been set up. Looking to my left, I saw Will with two older guys. One looked familiar.
Very familiar.
Oh shit.
It’s Grace’s dad.
I’m so fucking dead right now.
The other guy walked up to me and smiled. “Hey, assmole. You want to date my Grace?”
Assmole? His Grace?
Looking back at Will, he stood there smiling.
Turning back to the guy standing in front of me, I asked, “Ah … I’m sorry. Your Grace?”
Nodding his head, he said again, “That’s right, assmole. Grace is my niece. Jeff said you’re not allowed to have my Grace.”
Turning to Will, I asked in a hushed tone, “Assmole? Did he call me … assmole?”
“Daddy? Uncle Matt? What are you doing here?”
Spinning around, I saw Grace standing there with a smile on her face. She glanced to the picnic and then to the flowers in my hand as her face lit up bright, I couldn’t help but smile back as she gazed into my eyes and whispered, “Noah, did you do this?”
 “I wanted to surprise you.”
Grace went to talk when her Uncle Matt tapped me on the shoulder. “You like Grace? You want to kiss Grace?”
Grace giggled and looked at Matt. “Oh, Uncle Matt. I missed you!”
Matt smiled. “Can I hug you, Grace?”
Nodding, Grace held open her arms as Matt quickly walked into them and gave her a hard but fast hug. Turning to me, he asked, “Assmole, can I hug you?”
“Um, sure?” I said as I looked around at everyone staring at me. Grace and Will wore smiles, but Jeff looked at me like he wanted to take my head off.
Matt walked up and hugged the hell out of me. He was fucking strong and I was not expecting him to squeeze me so tight. Stepping back, Matt laughed, then turned to Jeff. “Why do you want to hurt him, Jeff? He’s nice.”

Copyright 2015 Finding You Kelly Elliott







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Kelly Elliott is married to a wonderful Texas cowboy who has a knack for making her laugh almost daily and supports her crazy ideas and dreams for some unknown reason…he claims it’s because he loves her!
She’s also a mom to an amazing daughter who is constantly asking for something to eat while her fingers move like mad on her cell phone sending out what is sure to be another very important text message.
In her spare time she loves to sit in her small corner overlooking the Texas hill country and write.

One of her favorite things to do is go for hikes around her property with Gus….her chocolate lab and the other man in her life, and Rose, her golden retriever. When Kelly is not outside helping the hubby haul brush, move rocks or whatever fun chore he has in store for her that day, you’ll find her inside reading, writing or watching HGTV.

FACEBOOK      TWITTER       WEBSITE     GOODREADS   AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Pick Your Hero Quiz + #Giveaway {Book Tour}

Title: Brave the Heat
Author: Sara Humphreys
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

The only fire he can’t put out…
Jordan McKenna is back in town, and Fire Chief Gavin Maguire’s feelings when he sees her after all these years are as raw as the day she left. Then he was just a kid wearing his heart on his sleeve. Now he spends every day trying to atone for the tragedy he couldn’t prevent.
Is the torch he carries for her
Jordan’s life has not exactly worked out the way she expected. A divorced mother of two with a failed acting career, Jordan’s biggest concern about coming back to Old Brookfield was seeing her first love. But when a series of suspicious fires breaks out, Jordan and Gavin realize that dealing with the sparks between them may be the least dangerous of their problems.


Spotlight Feature: Which Hot Hero in Uniform Would You Fall For? By Sara Humphreys
This month, author Sara Humphreys launches her first contemporary romance series The McGuire Brothers. Featuring five brothers, all men in uniform, the devotion that these siblings have for each other is matched only by their commitment to service, and eventually to the women they fall in love with. Readers will meet all five of the men in Book 1 Brave the Heat … and heat is right! The McGuires are protective, loyal, steadfast, and sexy. To get you in the mood for meeting Fire Chief Gavin McGuire, the featured hero in the series starter, Sara has written a quiz to see which type of uniformed hottie is right for you.
The Hottie Heroes in Uniform Quiz
1.       Where would your uniformed hero take you for a surprise vacation?
a.       A hot tropical beach with cool blue oceans.
b.      A sexy long weekend in the Big Apple.
c.       Home. It’s his favorite place.
2.       Which of these drinks would you share with your hot man in uniform?
a.       Flaming Sugar Lips
b.      Cosmopolitan
c.       Stealth Bomber
3.       When he arrives to pick you up for your first date, he’s driving a:
a.       Well-worn Ford Bronco with flashing lights
b.      Mustang
c.       Harley Davidson
4.       On your first date, he takes you….
a.       To his favorite BBQ joint, the hotter the better.
b.      To dinner and then to the top of the Empire State building for a romantic view of the city.
c.       On a hike in the wilderness for a picnic.
5.       He surprises you with concert tickets to go see:
a.       Red Hot Chilipeppers
b.      The Police
c.       Zac Brown Band
6.       What hobby does he love and want to share with you?
a.       Cooking a great meal for a big crowd.
b.      Murder mystery dinner theater is his guilty pleasure.
c.       He loves to spend time at the shooting range and he hits the bullseye every time.
7.       His favorite meal is…
a.       5 alarm chili
b.      New York strip steak
c.       Anything that doesn’t come in a MRE pouch
Okay, here are the results…
If you chose mostly A’s then your perfect man in uniform is a Fireman: He’s hot to trot but definitely a low maintenance man. No muss and fuss for this family oriented guy.
If you chose mostly B’s then your perfect uniformed hottie is an NYPD Officer: This guy is savvy and loves the big city, in spite of what he has seen on the job. He moves fast and plays hard. Can you keep up?
If you chose mostly C’s then your uniformed guy is in the Army: He’s traveled the world to protect our county but his favorite spot is home. This devoted patriotic man loves nothing more than seeing you smile, especially since he has to be away from it for months at a time.

Sara Humphreys is the award winning author of the Amoveo Legend series. The third book in the series, UNTAMED, won two PRISM awards–Dark Paranormal and Best of the Best. The first two novels from her Dead in the City series have been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award. Sara was also a professional actress. Some of her television credits include, A&E Biography, Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns and Rescue Me.

She loves writing hot heroes and heroines with moxie but above all, Sara adores a satisfying happily-ever-after. She lives in New York with Mr. H., their four amazing sons, and two adorable pups. When she’s not writing or hanging out with the men in her life, she can be found working out with Shaun T in her living room or chatting with readers on Facebook.



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Blog Tour: Top 5 Places to Get Married (or be told you still are) with Marina Adair

Welcome one and all! Welcome to the lovely blog tour for A TASTE OF SUGAR by Marina Adair. There’s a giveaway, an excerpt, a top five awesome wedding places and it’ll be lovely. 

A TASTE OF SUGAR by Marina Adair (August 25, 2015; Forever Mass Market; Sugar, Georgia #3)
A blast from her past…
Charlotte Holden, Sugar’s favorite pediatrician, knows better than anyone that love only leads to heartbreak. Instead, she’s focused on creating the Grow Clinic, an outpatient center for children. All she has to do now is to host the best Founder’s Day Parade in the history of Sugar, Georgia, to win over a big-city donor. Easy as peach pie. Then sexy Jace McGraw blows back into town and utters those three words every woman dreads: we’re still married.

…leads to tantalizing trouble
Jace McGraw was making an offer on his dream business in Atlanta when he was told that his wife had some credit issues. Wait, his wife? The annulment went through years ago—or so he thought.  He’d walked away only to keep his troublemaker reputation from ruining her dreams. But now that they have a second chance, Jace offers Charlotte a deal: he’ll grant a discreet divorce in exchange for 30 days and nights of marriage. Because this time he isn’t going to let her go without a fight.

Marina Adair is a lifelong fan of romance novels. Along with the Sugar series, she is also the author of the St. Helena Vineyard series and the upcoming Shelter Cove series. She currently lives in a hundred-year-old log cabin, nestled in the majestic redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, with her husband and daughter. As a writer, Marina is devoted to giving her readers contemporary romance where the towns are small, the personalities large, and the romance explosive. She also loves to interact with readers and you can catch her on Twitter at @MarinaEAdair or visit her at www.MarinaAdair.com.

Top five places to get married (or be told you still are!)
5~Big Daddy’s Antiques in San Francisco. I was walking by one day and noticed a couple sitting in the window dressed as if a part of the display. Only they were in wedding attire. As it turned out, it was their wedding. I found out that this big, historic building with a bazillion windows is one of the top “antique” wedding spots in the city. 
4~Nesldown in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Surrounded by redwoods and beautifully landscaped gardens, this place has it all. Including Snow White’s house. Yes, they have a replica of Disney’s favorite house that sits at the head of the train that runs through the property. They also have several ponds, gardens, orchards, and a beautiful barn for dancing. Romantic, whimsical, and one of the prettiest weddings I have gone to.
3~ The Napa Valley has to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever lived. Surrounded by miles of rolling vineyards, oak trees, and a breath-taking landscape that speaks to its history, wine country is made for romance. You can get married on the wine train, on a vineyard, or even in a wine cellar that is carved into the hillsides.  
2~ Union Station in the middle of a flash mob!
1~ An old fashion southern barn. Down home or dressed up, it doesn’t get more romantic than saying “I do” in a barn. 
E X C E R P T 
“You can’t work here,” she said, angry that he hadn’t called to warn her he was coming home. He at least owed her that.
“Can and do.” He grabbed a rag off the hood of the car and wiped off his hand, then stuck it out. “Jace McGraw, Sugar’s newest resident mechanic.”
She swatted his hand away. “Since when?” Because Jace didn’t do home visits. And he didn’t stick around one place long enough to be a resident of anywhere.
“Since today.” He cupped the bill of his hat and pulled it lower on his head. “Let me guess, you’re here as the official Sugar welcoming committee. Where’s my pie?”
“What pie?”
“Pie? Something in a covered dish? You know, all those neighborly things people are supposed to do when someone comes to town.” He looked at her empty hands and then without a word his eyes dropped to her skirt and there went the other dimple—and her good parts. “Unless there’s something I can do for you, Charlie?”
The way he said her name in that low, husky timbre, almost whispering it while flattening the vowels, reminded her of a different time, a time when she naively thought he’d meant it. But she wasn’t that wide-eyed woman anymore. She knew what he was offering, and what he wasn’t capable of giving.
After all, once upon a time she’d been married to him. Yup, Charlotte Holden had fallen in love with and married the town’s biggest bad boy. Not that anybody except the two of them knew, since it had ended as fast as it had begun. But those few weeks as Mrs. Jace McGraw had been the most amazing of her life—and what had followed had nearly broken her.
“Yes,” she said. “You need to leave.” Because wasn’t that what he did best?
The briefest frown flashed across his face, and he grabbed some kind of wrench doohickey and busied himself with tinkering under the hood. “Wish I could, but it seems like my services are needed in Sugar for a bit.”
Charlotte didn’t know what hurt more, that he wanted to leave as much as she wanted him gone—which was ridiculous since him being here, during the most important time in her career, was a disaster waiting to happen—or that, after all the time she’d spent praying he’d come back to Sugar, he finally had. Only it wasn’t for her.
“That doesn’t work for me,” she said.
“Well, this isn’t about you. Now is it?” He wasn’t even looking at her but tightening some bolt inside the engine. 
Which was a good thing since she was pretty sure her eyes went glassy at his comment, because at one time he’d made her believe that everything he did was for her. Including walking away from their marriage. 
“I need to go. So if you could just point me in the direction of my keys.”
 “See here?” Jace walked over to her car and squatted down. She did her best not to notice the way his jeans cupped his backside—tried and failed. He filled out a pair of Levi’s like nobody’s business. “Teeth marks. Looks like you got yourself a raccoon or possum problem.” 
Seems she had lots of pest problems these days. “So can you just throw some new tires on it and I can be gone?”
“You don’t need new tires, what you need are new valve stems.” And wasn’t that just like a man, telling her what she needed. “Which for your sporty, two-door tiara on wheels is a special order. Imagine that.”
“So what you’re telling me is that I’m stuck here? With you. And my car won’t be ready until—”
“Best-case scenario, end of the week.”
She let out a completely undignified huff and resisted the urge to stomp her feet. She’d begged the universe for a way out of dinner, and apparently whoever was in charge of granting wishes had chosen today to listen.
She looked at her phone, considered calling Ben, and then realized she could only handle one man from her past at a time. Plus, he was on a date with the new nurse from radiology, which meant Charlotte was stranded. Something that must have shown on her face because Jace set the tool down and stepped closer—so close he was all up in her personal space, which did crazy things to her emotional space.
“I can take you home.” He looked at her buttons and back into her eyes. “Or I can take you across the street to the Saddle Rack and buy you a drink.”
Then he did something he hadn’t done in over four years, he cupped his palms around her hips and drew her to him, and damn it if she didn’t shuffle closer.
“Why would I let you buy me a drink?” she asked quietly, although her brain kicked off a hundred and one reasons on its own. The first being that was how their relationship had started.
Charlotte had been a stressed-out resident in Atlanta, lonely and so homesick it hurt, when she’d walked into a bar and seen Jace. He flashed her that bad-boy smile, bought her a drink, then another, and before she knew it he had sweet-talked her into his bed, then down to the Justice of the Peace.
“Because I think you could use a shot of something strong right now,” he said. “And we need to talk.”
“You lost the right to tell me what I need a long time ago. As for that talk you want, you’re about four years too late.”
“Not according to the great state of Georgia,” he said, and her stomach dropped. “Since legally we’re still married.”

The Heartbeakers by Ali Novak: Let’s List Wanderlust Music + #Giveaway

Title: The Heartbreakers
Author: Ali Novak
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Publishers: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Goodreads // Amazon // B&N // iBooks 

Summary

Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD…for four hours. She’s totally winning best birthday gift this year. At least she met a cute boy with soft brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes while getting her caffeine fix. Too bad she’ll never see him again.

Except, Stella’s life has suddenly turned into a cheesy love song. Because Starbucks Boy is Oliver Perry – lead singer for the Heartbreakers. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. And whispers quotes from her favorite Disney movie in her ear. OMG, what is her life?

But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver – dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band – when her sister could be dying of cancer?

A Playlist For Those With Wanderlust by Ali Novak

The Heartbreakers centers around Stella Samuel, an aspiring photographer who is a triplet. While on a road trip to Chicago, she bumps into a guy with a killer smile and gorgeous blue eyes. His name is Oliver Perry, and he’s the lead singer of the Heartbreakers, a four piece boy band from Portland, Oregon who were discovered on YouTube. But Stella has no clue who Oliver really is, and this is where my story begins: two strangers—a seemingly normal boy and spirited girl—meeting in a coffee shop.

Stella is given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: the chance to work as a photoblogger for the rest of the band’s U.S. tour. While traveling with the Heartbreakers, Stella develops a personal relationship with each member of the band: JJ Morris, Alec Williams, Xander Jones, and most importantly, Oliver Perry, who might possibly be the love of Stella’s life. Here is Oliver and Stella’s travel tunes playlist:

Songs to Sing in the Car
1.       Third Eye Blind, “Semi-Charmed Life”
2.       Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance”
3.       Sam Hunt, “Leave The Night On”
4.       Bon Jovi, “You Give Love A Bad Name”
5.       Florence + The Machine, “Dog Days Are Over”
6.       Zedd, “Clarity (feat. Foxes)”
7.       Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
8.       Spice Girls, “Wannabe”
9.       Train, “Drops of Jupiter”
10.   X Ambassadors, “Renegades”
11.   Jackson 5, “I Want You Back”
12.   Kings of Leon, “Use Somebody”
13.   Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean”
14.   Van Morrison, “Brown Eyed Girl”
15.   Timeflies, “Worse Things Than Love”
16.   Backstreet Boys, “I Want It That Way”
17.   Blue Swede, “Hooked on a Feeling”
18.   Survivor, “Eye of the Tiger”
19.   Adele, “Rolling In The Deep”
20.   Jason Aldean, “My Kinda Party”
LET ME JUST RANT ABOUT HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS LIST. I mean you have SUCH an eclectic mix of music styles for one, and two Third-Eye Blind + X Ambassadors are just EVERYTHING. What are some of the song that you sing in the car? Let Ali know in the comments! Do you like the list? 

Personally, I think Nickleback’s “Sister Sin” should be stacked onto the list of song to scream and pretend it’s music. Alone, of course. I embarass myself in public too much as it is. 
Ali Novak writes contemporary young adult romance and is a recent graduate of the University of Madison Wisconsin’s creative writing program. She wrote her first full length novel, My Life with the Walter Boys, at the age of fifteen. Since posting the story online, it has received more than 33 million reads and is now published by Sourcebooks Fire.

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