Hi everyone! How was your Halloween? We dressed up as a family–The Kid was Harry Potter, my husband was Cedric Diggory (aka the only Hufflepuff with a name) and I was…DOLORES UMBRIDGE. Yes. I was the villain in a really tacky thrift store pink skirt set. It was epic.
Okay! Last month’s winner was Jean Patton! Congratulations, Jean! And thanks for trying out the Rafflecopter! How did it work for everyone? Is it easier or harder than leaving comments?
Moving on to the books! I have a short novella called “The Christmas Pony” out in the anthology Silver Belles–a romantic collection of holiday stories featuring heroes and/or heroines over the age of 40. Here’s the blurbs for each of these fun stories:
Silver Belles, an over-40 anthology
“The Christmas Pony” by Sarah M. Anderson:
What’s Alice supposed to do with a pony? The teacher only knows the animal was left on her porch right before Christmas. Then handsome Animal Control Officer Kirk Douglas shows up, asking questions that Alice prefers not to answer. But even the mystery surrounding the animal’s origins can’t stop the holiday spark that ignites between Alice and Kirk. Can their attraction survive ugly-sweater parties, well-meaning relatives and the Christmas pony?
“Midnight Clear” by Ros Clarke
A year ago, Alison had it all: a husband, a family, and a purpose in life. But now, following a painful divorce, everything’s changed. She doesn’t know where her life is going, and her faith is as wobbly as her lopsided Christmas tree.
When she’s bowled over by an enthusiastic Irish setter in the park, and the rather gorgeous older man on the end of his lead, she’s not expecting more than a quick coffee and the mud brushed off her coat. Certainly not a Christmas like she’s never had before, full of peace, joy, and maybe even love?
“Sparks” by Laura K. Curtis
Kate Bellows has no room for weakness if she’s going to pull JanCo Moving out of the hole its in and create a solid career for herself. Her carefully-laid plans, however, are no match for the fire that burns her house to the ground. With few options, she accepts an offer to spend Christmas with the volunteer firefighter who’d injured himself trying to save her house.
But there are two major problems with staying in Adam Miller’s spare room over the holidays. First, he works and JanCo and there’s a good chance she will have to fire him. Second, he’s entirely too attractive, and Kate Bellows has neither time nor taste for romance.
“The Longest Night” by Yasmine Galenorn
The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year, and the past few years have been dark for Merilee Johansson. After an acerbic divorce, Merilee moved to Starwood, a small mountain town devoted to the arts. Here, she hopes to heal from the wounds life has left on her heart and her self-esteem. What she doesn’t expect is for Chris Hunter to enter her life, bringing the promise of love on the darkest night of the year.
“A Taste of Blessings” by Suleikha Snyder
For Tiya Chatterjee, coming home for one of her community’s most joyous celebrations, Durga Puja, means coming home to her mom’s disapproval, nosy aunties…and a crush on a man who shouldn’t even be on her radar.
For divorced father-of-two Arnav Biswas, the three-day festival is a chance to keep his culture alive for his kids — not an opportunity to flirt with a beautiful woman who isn’t meant for him.
Fortunately, fate has other plans for Arnav and Tiya, who must learn that giving thanks to a powerful goddess means acknowledging the unstoppable power of love.
Now for an excerpt from “The Christmas Pony”! You guys know I save the very spiciest excerpts for you.
Kirk hadn’t lied—he lived less than two miles from the Moose Lodge, on the top floor of an apartment complex. Alice felt as light as a feather as she followed him up the stairs. All she could focus on was the man who was holding her hand while he unlocked his door.
She wanted him. How wonderful was that? She wanted him and he’d given every indication that he wanted her too. The heated kisses and his hard body didn’t leave much question about that.
God, to be wanted. What a gift it was. She loved the way he made her feel young and vibrant and alive. She loved being a mother and a grandmother, but was it too much to ask to also feel like a woman?
Kirk led her inside and then turned, kicking the door shut and pressing her back against it. A thrill went through her as he bracketed her head with his hands on either side of the door. “I’ve been wanting to do this since practically the first moment I saw you,” he whispered against her lips.
She laced her fingers through his hair. “Me too. God, you’re so handsome.” The kind of man who only got better with age.
The kiss started out hot and got hotter as their mouths met again and again. His coat hit the floor and hers followed. She got his ugly sweater off, but hers proved more of a challenge because of the battery pack, which snagged on her hair. By the time Kirk got it untangled, they were both laughing.
“God, Alice,” he groaned, the laughter dying in his throat as he looked at her silky chemise. “You make fifty look so damn good.” His hands stroked up her ribs and cupped her breasts.
She wanted to savor this moment—but as his thumbs circled her nipples, wanton desire pushed her past the point of slow. It’d been so long… “Bed?”
“Oh yeah—bed,” he agreed, backing her up without letting go of her breasts. “Old Rudolph doesn’t do you justice, Alice.”
“I thought you made a perfectly respectable elf—oh!” she gasped as he tweaked a nipple through the silk.
His fingers stilled against her nipple. “Good or bad?”
“Good,” she told him as she snagged the hem of his white t-shirt and tugged. “But you know what would be better?”
He had to relinquish his hold on her when she pulled the shirt over his head. “What?”
Was she imagining things, or did he sound just as excited as she felt? It made her bold. “Your mouth doing the same thing.”
“Done.” He swept her off her feet and laid her out on the bed. Her pants came off and then the silk top. She made a grab at his jeans but he pinned her wrists against the bed. “I’m in charge,” he growled, lowering himself until she could feel his weight pressing her into the bed.
She shuddered with delicious need—how wonderful to let someone else be in charge. She spent all of her time maintaining order in her classroom and making all the decisions about what to eat and where to go. To surrender to Kirk like this was every fantasy she’d ever had.
Then he paused. “Okay?”
“God, yes,” she replied, arching her hips up and wrapping her legs around his. “It’s been a little while, though.”
“Then we’ll make this count.”
She nearly cried with relief at that because she needed so much more than a climax. She needed to feel pretty and special and alive.
And then Kirk’s mouth was against her skin and she forgot everything but the feeling of his lips kissing down her chest, his fingers undoing her bra and revealing her breasts—which, thankfully, looked firm and perky at this angle. His mouth closed around her left nipple while his hand began to tease the right.
She bucked against him as he lavished attention on her body. “Kirk,” she moaned again and again as he teased and tormented her, the bulge in his jeans pressing insistently between her legs.
“Look at you,” he growled, rising up enough to pull her panties off. She lay bare before him, every part of her quivering with anticipation. “God, Alice, you’re so…”
“So?” She lifted her foot and nudged that bulge.
His eyes rolled back in his head. “Right,” he ground out. “Everything about you is just right.” Then he was off the bed, shucking his jeans and snagging a condom off of the side table. “Okay?”
Condoms—she hadn’t even thought about them. “Come here,” she told him, holding out her hands for his.
He covered his body with hers again, but instead of joining his body to hers, he began to move his mouth down her body, going lower and lower—past her breasts, past the long-faded stretch marks—until he was between her legs.
She hadn’t anticipated this! “Kirk—” she started to say but just then, his mouth found her sex and whatever protestations she’d had died on her tongue. “What…oh. Ohhh.”
“God, Alice, you taste so good,” he murmured against her, his tongue doing wicked things to her. “So beautiful,” he added and then sucked at her tender flesh.
Her hips came off the bed of their own accord as she grabbed at something—anything. Her hands found his hair and she held him to her, which made him growl in satisfaction which, in turn, drove her pleasure even higher. His mouth and teeth were everywhere and then—then. Oh heavens! He slid a finger inside of her and Alice surrendered to bliss.
As she floated back down to earth, she found herself thanking Mr. Rodriguez and Pele the Christmas Pony, because without them, she wouldn’t have been given the chance to experience sheer joy with Kirk Michael Douglas.
She began to laugh, which caused Kirk to lift his head, amusement warring with confusion. “Is that a good sign or not?”
“You wonderful man,” she sighed, tracing the line of his jaw. “I can’t remember the last time anyone did that for me.”
Without breaking eye contact, he kissed her inner thigh and then skimmed his teeth over the same spot. “What a crying shame,” he said in a low voice, a twinkle in his eyes. “Guess I’ll just have to make up for lost time.”
Whew!! Kirk and Alice pack a lot of heat into a holiday romance! Silver Belles will be available as an ebook and in print and should go live to buy within the next week–but in the meantime, click here to add it to your Goodreads shelves.
The giveaway this month is for a collection of Beaumonts–A Beaumont Christmas Wedding, His Son, Her Secret; Falling for Her Fake Fiance; His Illegitimate Heir and an early copy of Rich Rancher for Christmas!! Just tell me your favorite Thanksgiving food–I’m super excited about PIE, esp. apple! Stay tuned next month for a spicy excerpt from Rich Rancher for Christmas and a fun giveaway! Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!