Friday, September 30, 2016

A Merry Little Christmas - First Chapter - Sneak Peek! by Denise Devine


Chapter 1
November 28th
Merry Connor’s hand shook as she sat in her gold Cavalier and inserted the key into the ignition. She glanced up and saw large snowflakes drop onto the windshield, but the bleak November weather had little to do with her discomfort.
She turned the key.
Click—click—click—click—click.
“Come on, Rocket. Don’t fail me now. I have ten minutes to get to work. Please, start!”
She didn’t know where that noise came from under the hood, but it definitely sounded like trouble. Whispering a short prayer, she took a deep breath and tried again. This time she heard nothing but the sound of her own heartbeat pounding in her ears.
Rocket, the name her nine-year-old son labeled the car when she first brought it home, had been a reliable vehicle until now. However, from the looks of things, Rocket’s next trip would amount to a ride to the garage on the back of a tow truck. Unfortunately, towing didn’t come cheap. Neither did car repairs. For a divorced mother of two who could barely make ends meet, taking on more debt four weeks before Christmas meant financial disaster. She didn’t even have a Christmas tree yet, but that looked doubtful now.
Merry heaved a loud sigh and tipped her head back against the cold headrest. “Why is this happening to me? Don’t I have enough problems already?”
Her phone began to ring a familiar tune in her purse. Speaking of problems... She squared her shoulders, willing herself to remain calm as she reluctantly fished it out and pressed the speaker button. “Hi, Mom.”
“What’s the matter?” Lauren Benson asked sharply. “You sound upset.”
“No... I’m fine.” Merry grabbed her tote bag and shoved open the car door, not in the mood for her mother’s daily lecture on fiscal responsibility. “I’m on my way to work.”
“You’re starting rather early today, aren’t you? What about the kids?”
“I’ve already dropped them off at school.” She shut the car door and started walking down the driveway. The huge, feathery snowflakes were falling faster, covering everything with a fluffy layer of white. She would have been at work right now enjoying a rich cup of coffee with her coworkers if she hadn’t forgotten at home the apron containing her pens, wine key, crumber and other items needed for her serving job at the Nicollet Island Inn. “I’m working longer hours now. One of the servers turned in her notice and my manager offered me the shift. Instead of making the first cut at twelve-thirty, I’m now coming in a half-hour earlier and staying on until three o’clock, when the dinner shift starts. The kids don’t get out of school until four so I’ll have enough time to check out and drive over there to pick them up.”
That is, once she’d solved her car problems. Today she’d have to walk to Marcey-Holmes elementary school to get the kids.
At the end of the driveway, she turned right onto Nicollet Street and picked up the pace. According to her phone, she had exactly eight minutes to travel three and a half blocks to the Nicollet Island Inn and clock in for work. Luckily, the blocks were short and she always wore non-slip shoes.
“Have you started Christmas shopping yet?” Lauren asked. “I thought you and the kids might like to meet Dad and me at Rosedale Mall on Saturday for lunch. Cody and Lily could get their pictures taken with Santa.”
If only...
“Actually, Mom, I have to work a double shift that day.” Her heart ached knowing she had to miss such a special moment with her kids, but she couldn’t help it—especially now with her car on the fritz. “My manager had to pull several servers from the dining room to staff Christmas parties in the banquet rooms. I really need the money, so I was wondering if you and Dad could watch the kids for me. My heat bill came yesterday and I wasn’t counting on it being so high.”
“I suppose,” Lauren said, stretching out the word “suppose” to let Merry know of her disapproval of her daughter’s last-minute schedule change. “We’ll pick up the kids early on Saturday and keep them overnight. I hate waking them from a sound sleep when you come to take them home. Lily gets so cranky when she’s tired.” She paused for a moment. “You should sell that creaky old house and move into a nice townhouse. I see dozens of affordable places in Minneapolis listed for sale every week in the Sunday paper. Some are right in your area. The kids wouldn’t even have to change schools.”
Merry’s jaw clenched at the mention of the word affordable. The deliberate, calculated actions of her husband before their divorce had ruined her credit, causing nearly everything to be unaffordable now, including buying a decent car. She’d obtained her present house only through a sheer stroke of luck—and the personal recommendation of a good friend who knew of her unfortunate situation. Buying a nice townhouse meant asking her parents for help, something she’d determined to stop doing as soon as she could. Working a longer shift took her a step closer to that goal and one day she wouldn’t have to rely on them at all. Until then...
“Mom, I don’t want a townhouse. I like it here on Nicollet Island. Even though it’s in the center of the city, the island has a small town feel and I love my neighbors.”
At Grove Street, she turned left, heading for East Island Avenue.
“Merry, it’s smack dab in the middle of the Mississippi River for crying out loud! I worry every day about Cody and Lily playing in the park. What if they went down to the water’s edge and fell in?”
“I never let them go to the park without me. I don’t allow them to leave our block much less go all the way to the other end of the island by themselves.”
“Why won’t you at least consider it? You know it would be safer for the kids. Besides, you wouldn’t have to shovel the sidewalk or mow the yard and the utilities wouldn’t be such a burden on your finances.”
Merry reached East Island Avenue and saw the historic Nicollet Island Inn, a square, three-story limestone building with aqua trim. She glanced at her phone and began to power walk. “I’d have a living room the size of a postage stamp and the kids wouldn’t have anywhere to play,” she said between deep breaths. “Mom, I know my house needs a lot of work, but it has character and a nice yard. I’ll get it fixed up someday.”
After I get my car repaired and buy a Christmas tree and pay the heat bill...
She hustled past De La Salle High School and crossed the Inn’s rear parking lot, listening to her mother go over the plan for Saturday. “Sounds great, Mom. Gotta go. I need to punch in and get to work,” she said, breathless. “Thanks for taking the kids on Saturday. They’re going to have a lot of fun. Oh, and say hi to Dad. Bye.”
She shoved her phone into her pocket and pushed open the Inn’s back door. Sounds of a busy commercial kitchen diverted her attention, giving her a temporary respite from her problems. She waved to the chef on duty as he called out an order to one of his line cooks. A server asked for a side of toast while pulling an array of completed dishes from under the heating lights and arranging them on a large tray. Kitchen workers stood at their stations, chopping vegetables for soup and preparing items for the dishes of the day.
Merry hastened to find her security card and swiped one of the computers at the server station, clocking herself in exactly on time. She hung her empty tote and jacket on a hook then tied her long, black apron around her waist, mentally preparing herself for a busy day with friendly, interesting customers and great tips. Granted, she was barely making it financially, but life was good compared to two years ago when she’d lost everything—thanks to her lying, deceiving ex-husband. She’d come a long way since then and didn’t intend to look back. Even so, it would be a long time before she’d trust anyone with her heart again.
Maybe never.
****
Anthony Lewis sat at a table at Sam’s Bar, surrounded by multi-colored Christmas lights and the woodsy aroma of pine as he stared at his brother-in-law in disbelief. “You want me to...what?”
Wearing a gray ski sweater that matched the premature aging streaks in his black hair, Neal Carter leaned forward and looked him in the eye. “You heard what I said, Tony. I want you to get friendly with the wife of the employee who embezzled money from me and convince her to confide in you where he has it hidden.”
Tony cleared his throat and glanced around, hoping no one had overheard Neal’s request. “Are you serious?”
“More than you know.”
The man sounded so ridiculous Tony didn’t know whether to laugh in his face or change the subject. “You’re crazy,” he said, settling on the direct approach. “That’s impossible and you know it.”
Neal pushed his empty beer glass aside and clasped his hands on the table, his green eyes widening with excitement. “Actually, it’s perfect.” He tapped his fingers on the table to the music echoing throughout the room as Frank Sinatra and his female chorus sang about j-i-n-g-l-e bells. “I’ve got it all planned out. It’ll work, believe me.”
Tony shook his head. “I don’t care what you’ve got up your sleeve; I’m not going to wine and dine some chick to get her into bed for the sole purpose of extracting a midnight confession for you. Find somebody else. I’m not your delivery boy.”
“I’m not suggesting you wine and dine and sleep with anyone.” Neal frowned. “I don’t care how you get the information out of her. I just want you to find out where Aidan Connor hid the money so I can get my million dollars back. There’s a ten percent finders fee in this deal for recovering it. Just think what you could do with an extra hundred grand in your pocket.”
“I don’t need your money.”
Neal lifted one brow. “Everybody needs more money. Including you.”
He’s not going to let this go until I either agree to it or walk out on him...
“Why me?” Tony snapped, becoming irritated. “Why don’t you hire a private detective to do your dirty work?”
“I did. Paid him good money to find out what the woman knows, but so far, he hasn’t delivered any useful information. It’s time to change tactics.” Neal signaled the cocktail server for another round. Sinatra’s song ended and the music switched to an instrumental rendition of “I’ll be Home for Christmas.”
Tony raised his hand to get the girl’s attention. “Excuse me,” he said to the tall brunette wearing jeans and a shiny gold blouse as she stood at the bar, arranging drinks on a tray. Behind her, a dozen red and white fuzzy Christmas stockings hung on a string along the cedar-paneled wall. “Cancel the beer for me. I’ll take a Coke.” He turned back to Neal. “Why are you so set on pressuring me into this?”
Neal went silent for a moment. “Because you’re the only one I trust.”
The manager suddenly appeared at their table with their lunch order and set the heavy platters on the table. “Is there anything else I can get for you?”
“We’re good,” Neal said as he sized up his food. “Thanks.”
The pungent aroma of fresh grilled beef and thick, crispy fries made Tony’s stomach growl. He reached for the ketchup, squirted a large puddle on his plate then dipped his burger into the thick red sauce and took a huge bite.
“Sorry I got so testy,” Neal said once they were alone again. “You’re right. This isn’t about the money. Our insurance carrier settled with Faith and me a while back. It’s the principle of the thing.” He pulled the upper half of the bun off his burger, dumped a garnish of coleslaw on the meat then placed the bun back on top, pressing it down. “Aidan Connor worked as our accountant for ten years. We had no idea he was siphoning money out of the store’s account right under our noses. He was smart, a little here, a little there. Our liquor sales run at such a high volume we never missed it.”
The server dropped off their drinks. “How’s everything?”
They both nodded to signal they were satisfied and continued to munch on their meals.
Tony reached for his Coke. “What makes you think he still has the money? Most embezzlers spend it as fast as they get it.”
Neal set down his burger. “Aidan is cheap. He doesn’t—I mean didn’t—fish, hunt, gamble or buy expensive toys. He lived in a modest home and didn’t believe in buying a brand new car because they depreciated so fast. The police investigation didn’t turn up any international activity or unusually large accounts established in his kids’ names.” Neal picked up a French fry and swirled it in a glob of ketchup on his plate. His hand stopped in mid-air, pointing the fry at Tony. “Make no mistake; he’s got that cash squirreled away somewhere. I don’t know if he’s converted it to silver or gold or maybe it’s still in currency, but I’ll bet you anything, he and the missus are planning to make a run for it with their booty as soon as he gets out of prison.”
Tony set down his Coke. “If the guy was so smart, how did you catch him?”
“When we expanded the store our business nearly doubled and we had to hire more people, including a second accountant. She’s the one who eventually caught on to him.” Neal’s green eyes narrowed. “Otherwise, he’d still be ripping us off.”
So full he couldn’t eat another bite, Tony sat back and exhaled a large sigh. “I understand how you feel, Neal, but I don’t know anything about undercover work. I’m a real estate investor. I have no idea how to approach Aidan Connor’s wife and, frankly, I don’t want to know.”
“Don’t worry about it. You’re good at dealing with people.” Neal wiped his hands on his napkin then reached under the table and grabbed a file from his briefcase. “Her name is Merry Connor, that’s M-e-r-r-y, and she lives in a house on Nicollet Island.”
“There you go,” Tony said, finding the ammunition to shut down his brother-in-law’s ridiculous idea. He knew that area like the back of his hand. “All of the houses on Nicollet Island are designated historic. The entire island is historic, for that matter. She must have used a nice chunk of the money to acquire a property there.”
“No, she didn’t.” Neal pushed his plate aside and set the manila folder on the table. “The house she bought was owned by a couple who’d lived in it for sixty years. The husband passed away about twenty years ago and the wife became a recluse. When the old lady died, she left the property to her favorite niece and nephew. They didn’t want to sink any money into the place to bring it up to code so they sold it ‘as is’ on a contract-for-deed to Merry. This is where you come in.” Neal flashed a smug grin. “You’re going to buy that contract and use it as an excuse to introduce yourself to her.”
“What?” Tony started, almost knocking over his Coke. “You’re out of your mind. I’m not donating to this ridiculous cause.” He stood up to leave. “You stick to your business, Neal, and I’ll stick to mine. I don’t buy anything until I’ve thoroughly checked it out and determined it’s worth adding to my portfolio.”
Neal flipped open the folder and shuffled through the papers as though he hadn’t heard a word. “I spoke to Gerald Grange; he’s the administrator of the old lady’s estate and one of the contract holders. He’s anxious to dump it because he’s trying to expand his consulting business and needs the money.” Neal waved his hand to indicate he didn’t know the whole story and cared less. “Anyway, he wants to cash out.” Neal held out a copy of the contract for Tony to examine. “If you can come up with the funds by the end of this week, he’s willing to discount it twenty-five percent.”
Tony glanced down and saw the contract amount. The house must be a total wreck to let it go that cheap.
He dropped the contract on the table. “Not interested. Thanks for lunch.”
“Wait.” Neal reached out, grabbing Tony by the arm. “I didn’t want to bring this up, but you owe it to Faith to give my idea a chance. She deserves justice for what Aidan did to her.”
“Justice my—” Tony shook off Neal’s hand and leaned over the table, face-to-face with his brother-in-law. “Don’t even think of dragging my sister into your little game of revenge.”
“She’s already involved whether you like it or not. Aidan stole the money from both of us.” Neal glared at him. “I see you’ve conveniently forgotten how Faith came through for you when you needed her. As I recall, she drove you to the hospital to identify Cherie and Evan’s bodies then took over the funeral arrangements because you were so distraught. She wanted to spare you the trauma of planning the burial of your own wife and son. Is this how you repay her?”
Neal’s low blow angered Tony, but even worse, it triggered a fresh wave of grief as the chilling memory of that snowy December night and the images of his lifeless wife and child flashed through his mind. Over time, he’d convinced himself he’d made progress in dealing with their deaths. Neal’s thoughtless words proved otherwise. Though the accident happened over three years ago, the pain of losing the greatest love of his life and his precious child still throbbed like a fresh wound, leaving a gaping hole in his soul.
“Don’t ever bring up that night again,” he said shakily, bracing his hands on the table, “or so help me, I’ll—”
Neal pushed his chair back and countered with a sheepish laugh. “Okay, okay, I’ll admit my situation isn’t as life altering as what happened to you, but nevertheless, this business with Aidan Connor is destroying my marriage. His thievery broke Faith’s heart. Aidan Connor was more than an employee. He was a longtime friend, someone she’d known since high school. His betrayal still fuels her depression because it has shaken her trust in people, including me.”
The mention of his sister’s mental state caused Tony to pause. He knew she’d been dealing with the condition for a long time, and during the holidays, it always seemed to get worse. He couldn’t deny that she’d helped him through the darkest time of his life, but it ticked him off to hear Neal play the guilt card to coerce him into action.
He grabbed his jacket and slid his arms into it. “Does she know you’re orchestrating this little mission-impossible on her behalf?”
“Of course not,” Neal said, “and she’s not going to know about it until I get the money back. I want to give her some good news, not an empty promise.”
Tony gripped his hips with his hands. “This is such a long shot I wouldn’t know where to start.”
Neal’s face brightened. “You can start by buying Merry’s contract and making friends with her. You two have a lot in common. She’s about ten years younger than Aidan is. That puts her close to your age—middle thirties, right? She’s lost her spouse; she has small children and owns a house, so obviously she likes real estate.”
Tony stared at Neal in frustration. Yeah, that makes no sense. How many drinks did you have before I got here, anyway? He sighed, feeling torn. “If I decide to do this, I’ll do it on my terms.”
Neal stood. “All right, what are your terms?”
“You get one shot at this and I make no promises, so don’t get your hopes up. I’ll set up a meeting with her to go over the contract and if I learn something useful through the course of our conversation, I’ll let you know. There’s no ‘Plan B,’ no further argument from you. I want no part of whatever scheme you’re concocting against this woman. Is that understood? As far as I’m concerned, this is a business deal and nothing more.”
“Understood.” Neal signaled to the server to bring his tab as Elvis crooned “Blue Christmas.” He cut a hard glance at Tony. “While you’re thinking this over I want you to do something for me. Try to visualize the face of Aidan Conner after he gets out of prison and he realizes we’ve found his hidey-hole because his stash is gone.” His eyes narrowed. “And that his time served was for absolutely nothing.
~   ~   ~
A Merry Little Christmas by Denise Devine
 
Denise is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic comedy
____________________________________
This first chapter "sneak peak" is part of the Sweet Christmas Kisses 3 boxed set available for 99 cents (for a limited time) at all major retailers.
Amazon:
Barnes&Noble:
iTunes:
Kobo:
Google:
 
 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

19th Annual Elk River Craft Show - This Weekend!

 
Saturday, September 17  9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Sunday, September 18    10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
 



Join us this weekend for the Elk River Arena's 19th Annual Fall Arts and Crafts Show. We have over 100 booths filled with fun and unique gifts for the whole family. Whether you like fiber arts, woodwork, kitchen crafts, doll clothes, or accessories we have something for you.

It's free to the public and you can feel good knowing you are supporting largely local home businesses.

It's the perfect place to find gifts for friends, family, or yourself! Door prizes will be drawn every half hour (must be present to win).

Don't miss it!

I'll be there signing books


But I'm not bringing the raccoon! Ha-ha

Denise Devine


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Sweet Christmas Kisses Launch Party - Tuesday, September 27th

Join us for lots of fun and prizes!

Sweet Christmas Kisses 3 - Blog Tour


 

SCK3 Blog Tour 2 

Ring in the holiday season with 17 all-new, stand-alone stories from New York Times, USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors. Sweet Christmas Kisses 3 takes you around the globe from small-town USA, to London, England, and even to Africa with a foreword written by USA Today Bestselling Author Donna Fasano. Don’t miss out on this sweet romance boxed set that’s sure to touch your heart, make you smile, and put you in the mood for Christmas.
~*~
Mona Risk 
On Christmas Eve by Mona Risk
She yanked him out of her heart years ago. But fate throws him in her path again and his tender gaze erases her loneliness. Can they forgive each other and create a new future?


Christine Bush 
Christmas Holly by Christine Bush
 Can a lonely single father of five-year-old triplets find love on a South Carolina beach? It might just take a Christmas miracle!



Lyn Cote 
Mistletoe and Sage by Lyn Cote
 New deputy in town, a single mom, two wounded hearts with a puzzle to solve together—will love spark under the mistletoe?


Denise Devine 
A Merry Little Christmas by Denise Devine
Merry Connor and Anthony Lewis search for treasure and find true love.




Raine English 
The Christmas Gift by Raine English
When Riley Wayne receives a dog for Christmas, it’s not just the pup that makes her heart flutter, the rescue group’s handsome owner does too.




Untangling Christmas 
Untangling Christmas by Shanna Hatfield
Tricked into helping with Silverton’s Festival of Trees, electrician Mike Clarke battles faulty outlets, tangled lights, and a woman determined to share the spirit of the season.




Ciara Knight 
A Christmas on Miracle Mountain by Ciara Knight
When it takes a miracle to heal a heart.





Milou Koenings 
The Kampala Peppermint Twist by Milou Koenings
A twist of fate. An overbooked flight. Christmas in Africa will flip her life upside down.




Magdalena Scott 
The Road Not Taken by Magdalena Scott
Francie Standish Carrington has some tough decisions to make and a lot of questions about a past she thought she understood.




Roxanne Rustand 
A London Christmas by Roxanne Rustand
When Catriona heads to London for Christmas to meet a guy she met online, he steals her purse and disappears, but will a handsome photographer in the pub end up being the man of her dreams?



Alicia Street 
Her Christmas Secret by Alicia Street
 Desperate to help her sister’s family, Lila courts a cold-hearted investor for her handmade toys, but learns Christmas has a way of bringing surprises where they’re least expected.



Kristin WallaceFalling For You at Christmas by Kristin Wallace
 One expectant mother. One gorgeous innkeeper. Three days that will change her life forever.




Merrillee Whren 
Second Chance Christmas by Merrillee Whren
A young boy helps his estranged parents find love again at Christmas.



cindy-flores-martinez 
Christmas Eve Wedding by Cindy Flores Martinez
 A maid of honor is swept up in the chaos of planning her best friend’s spur-of-the-moment Christmas Eve wedding.



Victoria Pinder 
Secret Wish by Victoria Pinder
Luke Morgan doesn’t believe in miracles, but this season Christmas brought him Caro Soliz, the family maid.



Josie Riviera 
Candleglow and Mistletoe by Josie Riviera
 A rising pianist and a pro stuntman winding down his career find love amid the glow of Christmas candles.



cbc-1-adj 
Couple by Christmas by Pat Simmons
Divorcee Derek Washington wants to reconcile with his ex-wife by Christmas. Although he’s got a plan, with the help of his six-year-old son, Derek only has two weeks.



Background With Snowflakes 
 Join the authors for the Release Party, Tuesday, Sept. 27 on Facebook! All 17 authors in this boxed set write sweet romances and are members of Sweet Romance Reads, a group of authors whose books contain no sex, violence, or strong language. While the emotional stakes are high as the characters’ relationships grow, these stories are wholesome. Think movies rated G or PG. Therefore, Sweet Christmas Kisses 3 can be enjoyed by romance readers of any age.

Snuggle into a chair by a cozy fire with a cup of hot chocolate and allow these bestselling and award-winning authors to bring the holiday season alive as they warm your heart.

Purchase the book at your favorite online retailer:  
Kindle: http://amzn.to/2aMrYfN
 iBooks: http://apple.co/2aFTjN3  
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2aGREsk  
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2baWaSj
And don’t forget to connect with the Authors at Sweet Romance Reads:
Website/Blog: http://SweetRomanceReads.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/SweetRomanceReads
Twitter: http://twitter.com/SweetRomanceRds
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/donnafaz/sweet-romance-reads/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/123223-sweet-romance-reads

Or connect with each of the Sweet Romance Reads Authors individually:

A tireless traveler, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Mona Risk, writes contemporary romance, medical romance, and romantic suspense novels, all simmering with emotion, sprinkled with a good dose of humor and set in the fascinating places she visited— or in Florida, her paradise on Earth. Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter
~*~
Christine Bush is an award winning author of many sweet romances, mysteries, and novellas. When she’s not writing, she can be found teaching Psychology at a local college, working as a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice, or (mostly) spending time with her twelve grandchildren. Website | Facebook | Twitter
~*~
Award-winning author of over 40 romances, Lyn Cote writes inspirational historicals and contemporary romantic suspense in her distinctive brand, "Strong Women, Brave Stories." Lyn lives in a cottage on a lake in the northwoods with her real-life hero husband and (for comic relief and furry cuddling) her two cats. Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter
~*~
Denise Devine is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic comedy and she also writes inspirational fiction. She wrote her first book, a mystery, at thirteen and has been writing ever since. She writes about true love, happy endings and stories that touch your heart. Website | Facebook | Twitter
~*~
USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Raine English writes sweet small-town contemporary romance, paranormal, and romantic suspense. She's a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist and a Daphne du Maurier Award winner. Raine lives in New England with her family and two French bulldogs, Bailey and Dolly.
~*~
Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, hopeless romantic, USA Today bestselling author Shanna Hatfield is out to make it happen one story at a time. Her sweet historical and contemporary romances combine humor and heart-pumping moments and relatable characters. Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter
~*~
Ciara Knight is a USA Today and Amazon Bestselling author who writes 'A Little Edge and A Lot of Heart' that spans the heat scales. Her popular sweet romance series, Sweetwater County (rated PG), takes readers into small town romance full of family trials, friendly competition, and community love. Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter
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Milou Koenings writes heartwarming romance novels because she believes sweet stories with happy endings are like chocolate – they bring joy to the world and so make it a better place. She’s lived all over the world, working as an editor and newspaper columnist, but loves staying home with her family most of all. Website | Facebook | Twitter
~*~
USA Today bestselling author Roxanne Rustand is the author of thirty-five traditionally published novels, plus four indie novels. She was a Golden Heart finalist twice, and a Golden Heart winner in 1995. She has won two RT Magazine Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and was nominated for an RT Magazine Career Achievement Award. Her earlier books were secular, but she now writes sweet indie romance, and inspirational romance for Love Inspired. Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter
~*~
USA Today bestselling author Magdalena Scott writes sweet romance and women’s fiction with small town settings. She invites readers into her world to find out what’s hidden just below the surface of those tiny dots you can barely see on the map—mystery, romance, and the occasional unexplained occurrence. Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter
~*~
Award-winning and USA Today bestselling author Alicia Street writes both sweet and steamy romances and sometimes collaborates with her husband, Roy. She spent many years as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher and is a compulsive reader of every genre. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
~*~
Kristin Wallace is a USA Today bestselling author of inspirational, contemporary and women’s fiction filled with “Love, Laughter and a Leap of Faith.” Her popular series include the Covington Falls Chronicles and Shellwater Key Tales. Website | Facebook | Twitter
~*~
Merrillee Whren is an award-winning author who writes inspirational and sweet romance—stories that stir your emotions. She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of forty plus years, and has two grown daughters. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
~*~
Cindy Flores Martinez is an Amazon bestselling Spanish romance author. She writes sweet romantic comedy and Christian romance. Her debut novel, Mail-Order Groom, started out as a screenplay and movie project, which she shopped around Hollywood, New York, and other parts of the world. Website | Facebook | Twitter
~*~
Victoria Pinder is a bestselling author of science fiction/fantasy and contemporary romance where her stories all include “Bold Women and the Brainy Men who love them.” Her popular series include the House of Morgan and the Collins Brothers. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Free Novella
~*~
Author Josie Riviera writes Historical, Inspirational, and Sweet Romances. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their empty nest with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and an old house forever needing renovations. Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter
~*~
Pat Simmons is a three-time Emma award-winning author for Best Inspirational Romance. With more thirty Christian romance titles, Pat is the bestselling author of the Carmen Sisters series.
Website | Newsletter  
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