Monday, November 30, 2020

A WAR APART!


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A War Apart
by
Barbara Whitaker


Historical Romance / 20th Century Historical Literature  

Date Published: November 11, 2020  

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press 


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Anger at her cheating husband spurs grieving war widow Rosemary Hopkins to spend an impromptu night with an overseas-bound soldier. Fearing her small hometown would discover her secret, she makes him promise to not write her. Yet, she can't forget him.  

Eager to talk to a pretty girl before shipping out to fight the Germans, Guy Nolan impulsively implies they're married and buys her ticket. The encounter transforms into the most memorable night of his life when he falls for a woman he will never see again.  

While Guy tries to stay alive in combat, Rosemary finds work in a secret defense plant and a possible future with another soldier. Will she choose security or passion? Can she survive another loss?   


“I need a ticket to Kerrville, Tennessee.” Her fingers squeezed the strap of her purse. “I need to get there as soon as possible.” 

He clerk grunted but held his tongue as he pulled out a book of timetables and flipped through its pages. “Fastest would be to route you through Chicago. Then south.” 

“How long will it take?” she asked hopefully, maybe she’d misunderstood his conversation with the man in front of her. 

He looked up and eyed her over his glasses. “It’s just about forty hours to Chicago on the Zephyr. Another day or so going south.” 

“That’s good. I told my mother I’d be there in three or four days.” 

“Ma’am, that’s travel time. Heading east cross country, the earliest civilian tickets we have available are for next Thursday, if they haven’t already sold out.” 

'What?" she gasped. “But you don’t understand. I have to get there.” She gripped the counter with her free hand, holding on for dear life. “I can’t stay here. I...I...” The words wouldn’t come. She couldn’t say it, yet she had to make him understand. “My husband...” 

A man pushed his way to her side, a man in a uniform. “I have orders to report to Camp Atterbury, Indiana. And she’s going home to stay with her sick mother, isn’t that right, dear?” 

Rosemary looked up into soft green eyes peering from beneath bushy brows. He nodded ever so slightly and for some odd reason she instinctively trusted him.

  





Barbara Whitaker writes historical romances with a focus on the World War II era. Originally from a small town in Tennessee, she currently calls Florida home. You can visit Barbara's website at http://www.barbarawhitaker.com/
 

 

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Friday, November 27, 2020

CROSSROADS!



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CROSSROADS

Providence Island Book 4

By

Diana Wilkes

Mystery Romance

Date Published: October 21, 2020

Publisher: RedBird Books


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He's tired of running. She's looking for an escape. Can they find a home together?

Joshua Canfield spent the last year hiding from killers. He’s done things he can never confess, especially not to the loved ones he was protecting. All he wants now is to reunite with his family and live a peaceful life.

Lila Grainger has one goal in life. To earn enough money to leave Providence Island and a family with no regard for the law far behind. She never expected to meet someone like Joshua. He’s the finest man she’s ever known, and he sees her as a woman, not as a Grainger. But she can’t expect him to leave his family to follow her.

Neither of them knows that a new threat lingers on Providence Island. One that puts Lila in danger and could expose Joshua’s past.

 




Excerpt

The drive from the Canfield house to Stacy’s apartment passed in silence with the exception of several generic comments about the wedding. She didn’t seem mad. Hot or cold, Stacy wasn’t one to conceal her emotions. Either way, Ben wasn’t about to bring up the subject of Dana Canfield. What did prey on his mind was Canfield’s comment about Stoddard making it to the ER still alive. The story was nonsense. 

What concerned him was the reason the story had been told. Was it matter of a night-shift nurse wanting attention? Or was the aunt trying to seed doubts in Lila’s mind about her new job? Using it as a ploy to get her unpaid helper to return home? Lila Grainger seemed like a good kid, which was probably the reason her useless family continued to take advantage of her. Canfield, whether he realized or not, was primed to ride to her rescue. 

The Monday night trip he’d made to the Low Tide proved Lila was right about wanting out of that environment. Loose adherence to liquor laws, gambling in the back room, and multiple drug deals involving pot or pills. Plus a visit from Deputy Bret Madigan with a doofus named Jeffy, which could have meant “I have an eye on you” or “I’m here for my payoff.” All that in the time Ben pretended to nurse a bottle of beer and lost a game of pool on purpose. He had no doubts Lila was an innocent to any of the illegal goings-on. She probably suspected laws were being broken, but was either too naïve or scared to look for hard proof. 

Did Jennie Grainger have proof of illegal acts fifteen years ago? Was she a participant who’d skimmed enough money to attempt an ill-planned escape with her daughter? Or had she been another innocent caught in the crossfires of the Grainger clan? 

Ben pulled into one of the empty parking spots outside Stacy’s apartment building. He shifted the car into Park to the click of a seatbelt being released. “Do you still carry your taser?” 

Stacy frowned. “Why would you ask that?” 

“A bad feeling I have. Something’s bound to break loose with that dead woman they found.” 

“You mean Lila’s mother.” Ben accepted the reproachful note in Stacy’s tone as deserved. 

“Yes, her mother.” 

“You think she’s in danger?” 

“Possibly. Maybe the killer thinks Lila heard or saw something that night or during the days before or after the murder. The way we’re all being thrown together, I want to make sure you’re protected.” 

“I have it right here.” Stacy patted her purse. “Along with the handcuffs you gave me.” 

He ignored the scolding tone. This rebuke he didn’t deserve. “I did ask what you wanted for your birthday.” 

She rolled her eyes at the teasing comment. “Not what I expected when I said something shiny to go around my wrist.” 

He stroked a finger over the diamond bracelet circling her wrist, recalling the look on her face when she searched deeper in the gift bag as he’d suggested. She’d thanked him in more ways than he’d expected as well, looking mighty fine in nothing but that bracelet. 


About the Author

Dianna Wilkes is an award winning mystery romance author, known for the Providence Island mystery series.

Reading has always been an important part of her life. "I learned to read when I was four years old. Writing my own stories seemed a natural progression."

Dianna holds a B.A.in Visual Communication and a M.Ed.in Instructional Technology. She worked as an Education Consultant for a medical technology company before leaving the corporate world. Despite all that nerdy stuff, she loves creating stories of romance and mystery with touches of humor.

When she isn't writing, Dianna is deep in researching various branches and twigs on her family tree or fulfilling entries on her travel bucket list.

 

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Twitter: @dwilkesauthor

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

WHAT WE BURY BY CAROLYN ARNOLD




What We Bury
 by 
 Carolyn Arnold 
GENRE: Mystery/Thriller


She’s dying, and she knows it. If only she can stay alive long enough to leave one last message. As the rain beats against the metal roof, she uses her blood-soaked fingertip to scrawl on the floorboards... 

The letters GB

Detective Madison Knight has been house hunting, but a call from her real estate agent has nothing to do with finding the perfect property. She’s found a woman’s body, stabbed multiple times. Madison arrives on scene and is presented with an unknown Jane Doe and two letters written in blood. There’s no murder weapon, and it seems Doe was attacked somewhere else. As 

Madison works to find justice for the victim, Madison’s own life is put at risk. What she comes to discover is some people will go to extreme lengths to protect their secrets—even as far as murder. But will learning that lesson come too late for her? 

Buy this international bestselling book today and join the investigation! Uncover clues, follow leads, and catch a cop killer like thousands of readers have done before you. 



Readers may be interested to know what inspired Carolyn Arnold to write What We Bury (Detective Madison Knight Series) and what they can expect from this latest instalment in the international bestselling series. Well, Carolyn sat down and answered these questions and more. She even gave us some excerpts from the book, giving us a true inside look. If you’re not familiar with Carolyn’s work, she is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written over thirty books. She’s even getting ready to announce a fifth series starring Detective Amanda Steele. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures. 

Carolyn’s intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower. She currently lives near London, Ontario, with her husband and beagles and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime. So, without any further delay, let’s get this interview started. 

 What inspired you to write What We Bury
 Detective Madison Knight came to me years ago and demanded that I tell her stories. I was obliged for at least a couple reasons. One, she was a unique and compelling character. Two, the world was in need of bad-ass female leads. Regarding this particular story, What We Bury, it’s the tenth instalment in the Detective Madison Knight series and picks up a few weeks after Shades of Justice. Don’t worry if you haven’t read all the previous books in the series because they do stand alone. But just like with any series—literature or TV—you will get a deeper appreciation for the characters and underlying plots if you start from the beginning. 

The idea for the murder in What We Bury originated because my husband and I were house hunting last year. And with Madison Knight and her boyfriend Troy looking for a new home, I thought what if their real estate agent finds a body while preparing for an open house? 

What can readers expect?
 Murder. Investigation. The pursuit of justice. That’s the series’ tagline, but what else I’ll tell you is that in this crazy world, we all need an escape. We need to be entertained more than ever, we need characters and stories that pull us in, and we need humor. What We Bury checks all those boxes. I’ve written a murder mystery that’s both serious and complex while at the same time has laugh-out-loud moments and comical banter. (They say when the author feels something, the reader does. I actually laughed to tears at some of the interactions! 😊 Others I cried, but no spoiler alerts here!) 
Here’s one passage where I laughed out loud. If you know Madison at all, even if you don’t, I’ll let you know she can be a little dry and to the point. In the following excerpt taken from Chapter 17 of What We Bury, Madison and Terry believe this guy named Carl Long is a link to their person of interest in the murder investigation they’re working. They show up at his door and this happens. 

The excerpt picks up where Madison is feeling deceived and says… “You want to go back to jail? Keep lying to my face.”  
His eyes met hers, his mouth twitched, and he spun and flew out the door. 
“Ah, shit!” She flailed her hands in the air. She hated it when they ran. The damn devil’s pastime. 

Terry was already down the front steps and to the sidewalk, well on his way to catching Carl Long. Might as well let her partner nab the guy. He’s the one who loved running, after all. She stepped out to the stoop and tapped a foot. 

And later in that chapter, Madison’s questioning this Carl guy (who has a record). 
This excerpt starts with Madison asking … “You’re sure you don’t know that man?” 
 Long sniffed and didn’t look back at the photo. “Never seen him before.” 
 “Uh-huh.” 
 “I don’t care if you don’t believe me.” 
 “You should. That is unless you like the three squares a day at Mitchell County Prison. They must be tasty.” 
 “Fine, I might know him,” he mumbled. 
 “I didn’t quite catch that.” Madison angled her head and cupped her ear. 
 “I know him,” Long repeated loud and clear. 

 What is your writing process? Do you outline diligently or write more in the flow, organically? 
 I wish I could outline meticulously like some of my fellow authors, but I’m an organic writer. The most of an outline I can hope for is a bullet-point synopsis, but even then, my characters are usually far too impatient to wait for me to lay much of anything out in advance. I love writing in the flow, though, because I really find that’s where the magic happens! For example, I know Madison needs to question someone. I might not have a clue what they’re going to tell me, but after I write the scene Madison often walks away with amazing revelations and leads in the case. 

What scene, if any, surprised you the most with this book? 
There were a few, but the most shocking event happens about mid-way—but I can’t reveal it without providing a spoiler! Let’s just say that it took both me and Madison by complete surprise. 

What was your biggest challenge with writing this book? 
Fitting all the elements into the plot that I wanted without over-complicating it. Madison has a murder to solve, but she also had a side mission to take down corrupt cops and the Russian Mafia that operates in her city of Stiles. I also wanted to make sure that anyone could pick up the book and understand the plot without having read previous instalments in the series. 

Does Madison have any addictions? So often strong detectives are depicted in literature as being alcoholics and independent. 

Oh, she’s certainly independent—or at least she claims to be! She’s gotten rather “attached” to her boyfriend Troy, though, as readers will find out in this book. As for addictions, she loves a glass of red, but she’d kill for a Hershey’s chocolate bar. 😊 

Tell us a bit more what Madison is like. 
She’s wired to find justice, no matter the cost. It probably stems from the fact that her grandfather, who was a cop, was gunned down just after his retirement. The shooter was put away, but that wasn’t enough to satisfy Madison’s sense of justice. Not entirely. She knew the origin of the shooter tied back to the Russian Mafia that’s still active in Stiles. Combine that with the fact Madison never got to meet her grandfather but was close to her grandmother and a personal drive was born. She’s also the type of detective who doesn’t want to refer to the murdered as victims but prefers to call them by name. 

She hated to think of the murdered as victims, detesting the assignment of a label to a once-living individual, loved by people. 

Madison is also very much into listening to her instinct and gut feelings about things. It’s something that can drive her on-the-job partner Terry crazy. 

“Where are we going?” Terry caught up and kept pace with her. 
“We’re going to find out where she was stabbed.” 
“Based on your gut?” 
“You know it.” 

She’s usually always in a hurry because she gets focused, like a train on tracks. She’s definitely the type that tosses her jacket on the back of the chair and discards trash in her car. In the following snippet from What We Bury, Madison’s looking into what they believe is their Jane Doe’s car and talking with Terry. 

Madison cupped her eyes and squinted into the sedan’s driver’s-side window. It was immaculately kept. No dust on the dash or garbage within sight. It was possible Doe was the type who stuffed crap under her seat, though. Madison went around the car, repeating the process. 
“Wow, she keeps this thing clean.”  
“Not everyone treats their car like a garbage bin on four wheels.” 
“In your words, hardy-har. I’m too busy to—” 
“An excuse. Everyone’s busy.” 
She’d defend herself, but he was right. She had a horrible habit of tossing trash over her shoulder into the back seat. She wasn’t quite as bad as she used to be because it drove Troy mad. 

Madison will also defend her chocolate addiction to her on-the-job partner Terry as many times as it takes! 
“Are you really eating a chocolate bar for dinner?” 
She laughed. Terry, her food monitor. “I’m not sure why that would surprise you.” They’d been partners going on eight years, and for that length of time, she’d always had a chocolate—more specifically, a Hershey’s—addiction. 
“I was hoping we’d stop somewhere, hit a drive-thru on the way to the ex-husband’s—” 
“Because that’s so much healthier.” She mumbled, “Vegetable,” just before taking another bite of heaven. 
“If that’s what you have to tell yourself to soothe your conscience.” 
She scowled at him while her mouth was full of gooey milk chocolate. “Ymm,” she moaned and closed her eyes. 
“You really have a problem. You know that?”  
“Whatev—” She chomped on another chunk. “Ymm.” 
Terry shook his head. “While you masticate that bar like a—” 
She stopped chewing, her glare daring him to finish his sentence. 

She’s not a real fan of exercise. 
Her partner Terry says… “Come on, be real here, Maddy. If I didn’t know you better, I’d say you just wanted to go for a walk.” 
“Here’s what I’m thinking…” She ignored his jab. So what? She wasn’t a fan of exercise; a lot of people weren’t. 

All fun! What can you tell us about the case Madison works in What We Bury? 
The body of a forty-something woman is found stabbed in a shed—no ID, no personal belongings, no sign of the murder weapon, but there are the letters GB written in blood. AND the actual scene of the crime is unknown because it quickly becomes evident the woman didn’t get attacked where she was found. So Madison needs to find her identity, the initial crime scene, unravel the mystery of “GB,” and find means, motive, and opportunity. But while she’s doing all that, she’s also determined to ferret out corrupt cops in the Stiles Police Department and bring the Mafia down. (Wish her luck! She’ll need it!)  
Enjoy this little teaser from Chapter 1: 
“She’s dead.” Those two words brought Madison Knight to 982 Hillcrest Drive in the middle of a Saturday afternoon in March. It was a quiet neighborhood in the south end of Stiles, a city of about three hundred sixty thousand, and it had been her real estate agent, Estelle Robins, who’d called. When Madison saw the name on caller ID, she’d assumed Estelle had found the perfect place for Madison and her boyfriend, Troy Matthews. Boy, had she been mistaken. 

Madison parked in the driveway, admiring the raised bungalow with its grayish-brown brick and beige siding. It couldn’t be older than fifteen years. The front door was under a small overhang, and that’s where Estelle was standing, her arms wrapped around herself as if she were cold, but the temperature today was unusually warm. Some of the more northern states would envy their spring-like weather in early March. Madison got out of the car and approached Estelle. She was normally the picture of calm and put-togetherness, but her hair was frizzed around her heart-shaped face, and her eyes were wet and wide. Her brown eyeshadow was smudged beneath her right eye, but her mascara had stayed in place. 

“Omigod, Madison. I didn’t know who else to call, but you’ll know what to do.” 
“You did the right thing.” Madison was a Major Crimes detective with the Stiles Police Department. Troy could have tagged along, as he was also a detective for the department, but his primary role was leader of a SWAT team. Solving murders was her thing. 
“Where is she?” 
“In the shed. I’ll take you there.” Estelle led the way to a side gate next to the garage. Her hand was shaking as she worked the latch. 
Madison followed Estelle down a concrete sidewalk toward the backyard. “How did you find her?” “There’s supposed to be an open house.” Estelle spoke over her shoulder. “I was making sure the property looked good.” Estelle stopped and hoisted a chain-link gate at the end of the walk that was hinged on the fence and wedged against the brick of the garage. To the right was a deck, and ahead was a manageable yard. The rear of the lot was framed by mature cedars and a chain-link fence. There was another gate back there, and it appeared open. 
Estelle pointed to a shed with a concrete foundation and beige siding. It was about twelve feet wide and twenty feet long. 
“She’s in there.” Estelle shivered. “I can’t believe this is happening.” 

Where can readers get a copy of What We Bury? 

What We Bury is available from popular retailers in ebook, paperback, hardcover, and large print edition.

e-book

Amazon.com | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play | Smashwords | Amazon Universal

 

Paperback – 4.25 x 7 inches
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Indie Bound | Book Depository

 

Paperback – 5 x 8 inches
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Indie Bound | AbeBooks | Book Depository

 

Hardcover – 6.13 x 9.21 inches
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Paperback Large Print Edition – 6 x 9 inches
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CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures. Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™. 

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower. She currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and beagles and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime. Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online: 
And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters. 




Carolyn Arnold will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour

Monday, November 23, 2020

CHRISTMAS TO THE MAX

 By Bonnie Edwards


Bonnie Edwards, Author



How did CHRISTMAS TO THE MAX come about?

I’d completed my trilogy called Love at Christmas, set in Canada. Three stories of love between Canadian heroines and their American heroes. The first book in that series is NOT-SO-BLUE CHRISTMAS. But, alas, during the writing of these fun, warm stories, a perfectly good ex-husband, who loved his daughters, was left behind without a love of his own.

And anyone who writes or reads romance knows we can’t have that, can we?

Meanwhile, for another series (Return to Welcome) I’d created a small town called Welcome, WA where I’d written three full length novels starting with FINDING MERCY.

I tapped my chin wondering what to do, what to do…and decided Max Whyte had no choice but to move there!

CHRISTMAS TO THE MAX combines characters from both series and a brand new heroine with spunk and twin three-year-old boys. Laughs, love, and second chances abound in Christmas to the Max.

We see characters from both series and even have a mean character get her comeuppance. I couldn’t resist!

Rest assured, no one has to read any of the other books to enjoy CHRISTMAS TO THE MAX…it is definitely a standalone.

 

Amazon Buy Links: ChristmasToTheMax

 


A stand-alone Return to Welcome Novel: CHRISTMAS TO THE MAX brings two charming and romantic series together! Max Whyte (LOVE AT CHRISTMAS) moves to Welcome, WA. (Return to Welcome)

Max Whyte moves to Welcome WA to live closer to his daughters after their mother remarries. He wants to fix up an old home, settle into his new position at an IT firm, and try not to think about turning forty alone.

Burned by a single mother in the past, he vows not to get tangled with another woman with children. When he saves the life of a small boy, he finds himself tangled in more ways than he could imagine.

When the boy’s mother turns out to be the perfect person to do his renovations, Max has trouble keeping his personal feelings out of their employer/employee relationship.

Kaylin Simpson has returned to Welcome to give her boys the kind of home she wanted as a child. She needs a fresh, stable start and wants to run her own business. Her three-year-old twins keep her hopping, but after she finishes the renovations for Max, she hopes to have her life well in hand.

Max is drawn to Kaylin and her adorable twin boys. Her wit and feisty spirit pull at his heartstrings until he realizes being a stepfather is never what he wanted.

Christmas in Welcome can be a time to heal and move forward and Max and Kaylin must set aside their old hurts to allow love to blossom.



 


 



Kaylin Simpson loved her twins. She truly, really, did. But some days she could scream until her throat collapsed and they wouldn’t hear a thing. She’d thought two two-year-olds were hard. Having three-year-olds was a brand-new level of hell. They talked back, got stubborn, and were more curious. And taller, stronger, capable of climbing onto chairs and getting into cupboards.

And they were faster.

It was being faster that would kill her one day. Or them. Whatever. Someone would be dead.

Right now, Brody was telling a little girl to go down the slide when she clearly didn’t want to. The poor child looked scared and Brody yelling in her ear wasn’t helping.

“Brody, please let the little girl take a breath so she’s not so scared. And DON’T PUSH!” But he did, and Kaylin dashed for the end of the slide to catch the wailing child.

Too late, she realized she’d taken her other eye off Taylor. She scooped up the girl before she landed on the ground, and then spun her head to scan for her other boy.

There. By the swings. “Taylor! Stop right THERE!” But he didn’t.

No, not her Taylor. He turned his head, glanced at her with a devilish grin and dashed for the road. Chase. He wanted to play chase.

In traffic.

Kaylin set the girl on her feet and ran after Taylor who’d already stepped onto the road. A car took the curve on Cross Street too quickly and Kaylin screamed her boy’s name. Screamed it again. And again…

A man, tall, dark-haired, and with broad shoulders got there just before Taylor ran headlong into the car’s path. Kaylin’s heart stalled and her eyes stung.

Gasping for breath, she nearly collided with the big man who cradled her son in his arms, his large palm covering Taylor’s head in a protective move. Taylor didn’t seem to understand what had happened until he looked up into the stranger’s face.

And screamed blue murder an inch from the man’s nose.

Tires screeched as the driver slammed on the brakes. A woman opened the passenger side window. “Oh, my Lord! Did I hit him?” Her eyes were terror-filled, and her voice trembled.

The man shook his head and seemed to hold tighter to Taylor as he bent toward the opened car window. “No,” he said. “But you took that curve pretty fast.” He didn’t yell it, the way Kaylin wanted to, but he got his point across.

The woman looked shaken and chastened. She eased the car to the curb and rested her head on the steering wheel. She’d been as badly shaken as Kaylin and the stranger.

A sudden screech from behind her had Kaylin spinning to see where it had come from. “Brody! Don’t you dare!”

She snatched Taylor from the stranger’s arms and lumbered under his weight back toward the swings where Brody was attempting to climb onto the big kids’ swing. He’d been complaining for weeks about the baby swings and she wasn’t sure how much longer he’d agree to use them.

She was still shaking over the miss with the car and wanted, more than anything, to get these boys out of this park and home where she could contain them.

If only she had the energy. She let Taylor slide to the ground and clasped his hand firmly as she walked the rest of the way toward the swing set. “We’re going home,” she announced in her most commanding tone, “as soon as I thank that man for saving Taylor’s life.”

Brody, for once, looked contrite. “I saw, Momma. He’s over dere.” And her boy pointed to a picnic bench that faced the river.

The man sat atop the table alone. His silhouette against the light showed broad shoulders that tapered to a trim waist. She already knew he could move like lightning when he needed to. His hair was trim on the sides but had some length on top. Odd that he’d be alone in a park on a lovely morning. Most people were jogging along the riverside trail or in the playpark like she’d been.

As she walked toward him, he pulled out his phone and started thumbing the screen as he scanned it. She hadn’t seen him here before, and she recognized a lot of the regular park users.

She used to know a lot of people in Welcome when she was a kid. And he wasn’t one of them, either.

Correction. Her aunt and uncle had known a lot of people here. She’d only been a summer visitor, so she’d been limited to knowing some of the neighborhood children. Still, Welcome was where her most carefree memories rested. Even though her aunt and uncle had retired to Arizona, it was Welcome that had called to her when she’d needed to make a change in her life.

Returning to Welcome last month hadn’t been as easy as she’d expected. Her business hadn’t taken off the way she’d hoped, and daycare was more expensive than she’d planned for. She certainly could not take her kids to work. Construction sites were not safe for curious children.

Some of the people she remembered in Welcome gossiped and held grudges, but for the most part, people here were okay. Like this man who’d jumped into action for a total stranger. Gratitude made her heart lighter than it had been in weeks.

She had her boys safe and sound. That was what mattered.

“Hello,” she said as she pulled alongside the picnic bench. Both boys for once, were silent, as the man raised his gaze to assess her.

“Yes?” He made a face as if she’d interrupted something important.

“I wanted to thank you for what you did. I’m still shaking and I’m sure I never would’ve got there in time.” She’d been two steps away, but still, they were the longest two strides ever.

His gaze raked the twins and his eyebrows rose. “You’ve got your hands full, but next time keep a closer watch on them. I won’t always be around for back-up.”

Typical non-parent, always certain children could be corralled or held back or kept safe every second of every day and that they listened. Hah!

Kaylin backed up a step. “Sure, I’ll keep a tighter grip. Maybe tether them to a stake in the ground. Keep them in the basement in cages, maybe. You’ve given me a lot to think about in regard to keeping my children safe.” She raised her right eyebrow and glared at the know-it-all. “Thanks for that, too.”

  

Friday, November 20, 2020

THE SMALL TOWN CHRISTMAS SERIES

 



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A Christmas Reunion
Small Town Christmas Book 1
by 
D. Allen
Genre: Holiday Romance

I'll be home for Christmas...
Tracy Slater may be a successful pop star, but fame and fortune isn't everything she thought it'd be. Under the thumb of a husband who is growing steadily more abusive, she's decided her marriage is over. She just needs to make it through one more trip home for the holidays with him before she's free.

If only in my dreams...
Stephen Austin worked hard to become the successful novelist he's always wanted to be. So why isn't he happy? And why does he feel so lonely? Then he runs into his old girlfriend, the one he thought he had lost forever.

Tormented by the mistakes of their past, Stephen sees his reunion with Tracy as a second chance. But does she feel the same way?






A Christmas Charade
Small Town Christmas Book 2

It's time I found myself...
Desperate to please her family, who wants to see her settle down, Charlotte is looking for someone to bring home to pose as her boyfriend. She's steadily been working her way up to her dream job at a magazine in New York City. But her success goes unnoticed by her family, who are more focused on the newest additions than Charlotte's professional conquests.

Totally surrounded in your circles...
Kaden Drake might be the new guy at the magazine, but it doesn't take long for Charlotte to catch his eye. When the editor-in-chief pairs them together for a project, Kaden sees it as the perfect opportunity to ask her out. Only, Charlotte has other ideas.

Faced with another lonely Christmas, Kaden agrees to go with Charlotte to her family Christmas back home. Among the decorations and home-cooked meals, it doesn't take long for feelings between them to develop. But are they real or just a product of the charade?




A Christmas Spark
Small Town Christmas Book 3


Please come home for Christmas...
Tanya Bennett is still feeling the effects of her mental breakdown from last year after her parents died. She lost a lot of loved ones in a short period of time, but most notably her son, who she can't see without supervision. With some help from her friends, she's back on the right track with a new job and volunteering with the school play her son's in. But a bad reputation is hard to overcome and whether she can spend Christmas with her son hinges on how well her upcoming court date goes.

If not for Christmas, by New Year's night...
Adam Allen is still trying to figure out how to co-parent with his controlling ex, who is always quick to criticize his parenting. It doesn't help that he's so forgetful and he works a lot, but at least he's trying. It's hard for him to find someone who can relate, until he meets Tanya.

Adam feels an instant connection with her, but her episode the year before has ripple effects that could alter both of their relationships with their kids.





A Christmas Song
Small Town Christmas Book 4


I ought to say no, no, no sir...
Tori Helpern always wanted to be a music star, just like her hometown hero Tracy Slater. But Tori never quite found her big break and now she works as a music teacher at the same high school she couldn't wait to get away from. Feeling washed up, Tori believes her only taste of fame will come from the solo in the holiday choir.

At least I'm gonna say that I tried...
Isaac Powell never needed much to make him happy. He has a good job, a nice house, and fond memories of his family growing up. When he joins the holiday choir for something fun to do after work, he doesn't expect to get a solo for the upcoming holiday concert.

Nervous about performing in front of a full audience, Isaac asks Tori to help him prepare and she needs to decide whether she should help him succeed or steal the solo away from him.





A Christmas Departure
Small Town Christmas Book 5

But if you really hold me tight...
Tara Fraser's life is driven by her work at an insurance agency in Chicago. She hasn't been back home in years and has no intention of going back anytime soon. But then her mother calls and convinces her to book a last-minute flight home for the holidays. Within twenty-four hours, Tara finds herself at one of the biggest airports in the country on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

All the way home I'll be warm...
Peter Helpern has one last freelance photography job in Chicago before he flies back home to spend Christmas with his family. After a late start on the morning he's supposed to fly back home, he barely makes it to the airport in time to catch his flight, only to find a seat next to his old college girlfriend.

Tara and Peter quickly resume the bickering they left off years ago, which is only made worse by the unfortunate news the pilot makes: they're snowed in.





DN Publishing is the publishing company for David Neth, who currently publishes superhero fiction and urban fantasy under his own name and small town romance as D. Allen, with other genres to come in the future. He lives in Batavia, NY, where he dreams of a successful publishing career and opening his own bookstore.



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