Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Unwanted Christmas Guest by Penny Estelle

Christmas Is In The Air

Elizabeth McMurphy is an up and coming high powered attorney and is after vengeance, involving one of the richest and most powerful families in Colorado. Steve York is an obnoxious reporter that thinks the ice queen has gone too far and does all he can to get under her skin.
When one of the worst blizzards in history hits Colorado and leaves a hurt Steve York stranded with Elizabeth in a mountain cabin, she must decide to either take care of him or throw him out to fend for himself.

A little teaser..

“What’s going on here? Where the hell are my pants?”
      Elizabeth practically jumped out of her skin. Steve stood in the bedroom doorway, wearing only some tight fitting pink sweats.
“I found you after your car went nose to nose with a tree.” She crossed her arms. “The question is, what were you doing up here in a snowstorm? Were you coming up here to spy on me?”
      “Jesus, my head hurts.” Steve groaned and sat at the kitchen table. “And don’t flatter yourself.” He brought up his hands to rub his eyes and push on his temples. He started to say something when a giggle and a round of indistinguishable sounds caught his attention. Steve stared at the little girl, a whisper of a smile on his pale face. “You have a daughter?”
      She chose to ignore the question. “Again, Mr. York, you were headed…where?”
      “I was going to see some friends in Granby, then on to Steamboat to spend the holidays with my family.”
      “You figured on taking a short cut on Badger Springs Road?”
      “Basically,” he muttered. “I had a phone in my pants pocket…” Steve looked down at the pink sweats. “Yours, I presume?” At her nod, he asked with a smirk, “And you’re the one that took my clothes off?”
      “Junior, my neighbor.”
      “If you’ll allow me to use your phone, I’ll call Triple A and get myself and my car out of your life.” He put his hand out to the little girl and she latched onto his finger, the brightest smile ever illuminating her sweet face.
Elizabeth quickly picked her up, as if he would contaminate her by his touch.
“Phones are out.”
      “How the hell do you live here?” he asked irritably.

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I write for all ages, from the early reader to adults.  My books range from pictures books for the little ones, to fantasy, time-travel adventures for ages 9 to 13. I also write adult stories, including a family drama and contemporary, paranormal and historical westerns romances, under P. A. Estelle.

More about my books can be found in the following links:

Friday, December 9, 2016

Mrs. Claus and the Viking Ship by Laura Strickland

Christmas Is In The Air

Historical Romance (Holiday)
Scottish chief’s daughter, Tinnie MacAieth, can think of only one way to ransom her clan’s folk, defeated by the fierce Viking, Claus – agree to his demand that she become his bride.  She hopes her faith and love for her people will allow her to endure a lonely, loveless future in the cold north.
Claus has claimed Tinnie for his wife, but the prize he truly wants is her heart.  Determined to win it, he offers her many gifts, but not until he undertakes a dangerous winter voyage for her sake does he dare hope she sees what’s in his heart.  And on one magical Christmas Eve, while delivering toys to her clan’s children by sleigh, he begins to believe she may grant him the one gift he desires …


The old man led him into what must be the main hall and paused.  Here at least a fire burned on the central hearth, giving some warmth and radiance.  The rest of the place, though, offered little in the way comfort. He had heard the Sutherland Chiefs lived well, yet now he saw nothing to make him believe it.  Disappointment gripped his heart.  Two seasons spent sweating and fighting for this?
But ah, these Chiefs were canny – MacAieth may have hidden everything of worth before receiving him.

 “Where is Chief MacAieth?” he asked.

“I am his widow.”

“Ah.” Surprise lifted Claus’ eyebrows “Then, Missus, I would speak with your sons.”

“My sons are both dead.”  Her voice did tremble then.  “You see all that is left of the Chief’s house.”
She gestured to the second woman and Claus turned his eyes thence accordingly.  He lost all his breath, precisely as if he had received a hard blow to the gut.

Here, surely, lay clan Aieth’s treasure.  She must be daughter to the Chief’s wife – there existed enough resemblance.  Yet her beauty lit the poor room even as the fire failed to do.  Brown-haired like her mother, her flowing tresses carried a kiss of warmth like oak leaves in fall.  Her face, a perfect oval, appeared serene – skin white as snow, lips tinged berry red.  But Claus saw nothing of serenity in her eyes.  Deep, dusky blue, they held all the wild fury of a storm on a distant sea, a thing Claus knew full well.

His heart stuttered in his chest and suddenly all his well-marshaled demands flew out of his head.  A conquering marauder, he nevertheless suddenly wanted to throw himself at this woman’s feet.

Yet in her beautiful eyes he saw only hate.


Author bio:
Multi-published author Laura Strickland delights in time traveling to the past and searching out settings for her books, be they Historical Romance, Steampunk or something in between. Born and raised in Western New York, she’s pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. Though she’s made pilgrimages to both Newfoundland and Scotland in the company of her daughter, she’s usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario with her husband and her "fur" child, a rescue dog.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Love's in the Cards by Becky Lower

Christmas Is In the Air

Penny Beedle’s outlook on Christmas, as her favorite holiday, was destroyed by a messy breakup years earlier and a botched wedding last year—both on Christmas Eve. But since she and her sister now own a greeting card store, and the holidays are their crazy selling season, she has to put on a happy face.

Del Madison has loved Penny since kindergarten. Commissioned by a big greeting card company for a line of Christmas and Valentine’s cards, he has to emerge from behind his alter ego and unveil himself to the public. He chooses Penny Beedle’s shop for the big reveal. If he plays his cards right, he just might gain Penny as part of his life.

Author Bio: 
Amazon best-selling author Becky Lower has traveled the country looking for great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love, amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it on a covered wagon headed west or in present day small town America.  Historical and contemporary romances are her specialty. Becky is a PAN member of RWA and is a member of the Historic and Contemporary RWA chapters. She has a degree in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary. She loves to hear from her readers at Visit her website at

Monday, December 5, 2016

STORIES FOR THE HOLIDAYS.......Vicki Batman - The Littlest Angel

The Littlest Angel, a romantic comedy short story, by Vicki Batman, published in the Season of Promises holiday anthology

Two people. One prized ornament for the tree. Can a twosome get past their differences and discover the true meaning of Christmas?

Lauren MacDonald has always coveted her mother’s ornament, The Littlest Angel. When her mother gave it to another, Lauren unearths a replacement only to have it snatched from her hands.
Architect Smith Hancock’s grandmother has a little angel which is missing. Locating another would make her holiday the best ever. Only a feisty girl is claiming it for herself.

When I was a small child, my family’s next-door neighbor gave my mother an angel fashioned from a craft kit. The body was formed from a Styrofoam egg-shape. The hands and feet were smaller versions, cut in half. Her head was round. The limbs were attached to the body with furry, fleshy pink pipe cleaners. A round red sequin made her mouth. An even tinier one was pinned on for her nose. And silver lashes were glued in place for her eyes. White pincurls covered her head and silver wings were attached to her back.
        For many, many years, I coveted this angel. When my mom switched to another tree-topper, I’d begged for the first, but she’d said no. I was disappointed, but thought, perhaps Mom’s sentiments, a letting go of her friend who’d passed two years prior, made her reluctant to give me the doll. I got that.
        However, one day, I discovered she had given it to my sister instead of me. Saddened, my heart cracked in two, and when I asked Mom why, she said she’d forgotten I wanted the ornament and apologized.
        I knew the angel didn’t mean as much to my sibling as she did to me. For a while, I resented my mother and my sister.
        Such is life. And thus began my quest.
        I’d always hoped I’d find a replacement and searched the dusty aisles of the automobile building where the market was held the first weekend of every month. I dug through many a ripped carton or dirty bag and never saw anything close...until today.
        Discreetly, I moved off to the side and watched the woman to see what she would do, all the while thinking please put her back and walk away. Please. She fiddled with the wing and fingered her limbs. From the happy expression on her face, she seemed more than interested.
        I clasped my hands to my heart and repeated you don’t really want it, hoping my mental vibes would reach the customer and she’d return the ornament to the box. To my amazement and delight, she did put the doll back, toed the box under the table, and strolled to the next booth. With utter happiness tap-dancing inside me, I lengthened my spine and continued to play the patience game a shopper adopted for this kind of venue—show your poker face unless you were willing to pay full price.
        But my heart ruled over my logic. As soon as she cleared out, I stepped faster. No way would anyone else in the entire universe be buying my angel. Not this time.

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Bio: Award-winning and Amazon best-selling author, Vicki Batman, has sold many romantic comedy works to the True magazines, several publishers, and most recently, two romantic comedy mysteries to The Wild Rose Press. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and several writing groups. An avid Jazzerciser. Handbag lover. Mahjong player. Yoga practitioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Chocoaholic. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome Hubby. Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??"

Sunday, December 4, 2016

It's Everybody Reads YA Sunday - A Float Down the Canal!

A Float Down the Canal

A sweet story of puppy love where the underdog finally wins!!!

Twelve-year old Pam Simpson gets dumped on when her mother is called into work. She must cancel her plans for the mall to baby-sit her younger brother and his friend and take them to the public pool.  To make matters worse her cousin, Candy, is also coming over for the day.  She doesn’t even like Candy!

Much to Candy’s dismay, transportation to the pool is on inner tubes, floating down the canal.  One thing leads to another and it is Pam who, once again, must save the day.

When things couldn’t seem worse, the day takes a drastic turn for the better and it is Candy, and the float down the canal, that makes this the best day of Pam’s life!

It was July 24, and at 10:30 in the morning in Phoenix, AZ, a record was being broken as
one of the hottest days of 1967.  The temperature outside had nothing on Pam Simpson’s temper as she fought with her mom on the phone.  “Are you serious?  I have already had to give up my...but you said...fine.  Yes Mother,” Pam said, teeth clenched.  Just because her mom was called into work, she had to cancel her plans with her friends. She was supposed to be going to the mall.  Tommy Thompson was supposed to be going to the mall! Now she had to watch her ten-year-old brother and his friend.

“Another thing,” her mother continued, “Aunt Sherri is dropping Candy off to spend the day with you guys.”

            “What?” Pam exploded.  She must have misunderstood her mom.  “You know we don’t even like each other!”

            “Pam, don’t be like that.  Candy likes you very much. It’s you that has an attitude about her.  She doesn’t have many friends and I thought you could all go to the pool.”

            “Yes, thank goodness Pam is around to help entertain,” she thought as she hung up the phone.  She actually wanted to put the phone through the wall.  She was having a real pity party for herself.  The worst part was she never fought with her mom.  She was her best friend.  What a lousy day!

            Candy!  What kind of name was that anyway? Both girls were twelve years old.  Pam had thin brown hair, that didn’t have an ounce of curl, and it hung limp and lifeless just below her chin. She was also, what some might call thick, or chunky.  Her nickname at school was Champ, given to her because she was the softball throw champion of the district.

Then there was Candy.  She had thick, blonde, bouncy curls that hung down the middle of her back.  She was slender, and though most of Pam’s friends were wearing bras, Candy actually needed to wear one!  Plus her “helpless” act always made Pam want to throw up.

I write stories for the young and for the young at heart.  More about my stores and myself can be found at the following links.  Stop by anytime.  I love visitors!