The Christmas Spirit
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Rosewind Books
Publication date: October 27th 2020
SOMETIMES IT TAKES ONE BROKEN HEART TO HEAL ANOTHER.
Courtney Winston is a writer on a deadline. Eager to finish her book and get over a recent break-up, she ditches Christmas with her family and retreats to a secluded cabin in the mountains.
Appliances rarely work, and cell service is spotty, but Courtney senses there is more to her rustic rental—something dark and haunting.
Then Peter, the attractive Stone Mountain Lodge owner, and a meddling cook, Mrs. Finn, keep coming around, shattering her peace and offering advice on how to fix her heavy heart.
Courtney grows closer to Peter, but Mrs. Finn warns her of his troubled past. Undaunted, Courtney sets out to win him over. But being with the brooding stranger may end up costing her more than she ever imagined.
Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
The Christmas Spirit came as a mixture of my agent telling me I needed to write a Christmas romance with snow in it, and my fascination with Christmas lore from around the world. I blended both concepts and came up with a modern woman, Courtney Winston, thrown into a world where witches and ghosts are real.
I am known for my dark characters and ghostly tales, and I did not stray too far from those themes in this adventure set in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. What appealed to me about the story was bringing legends from Sweden and Germany and weaving them into a modern American tale. There are even Norwegian Forest cats, which were my favorite.
I wanted to give a fresh perspective of Christmas lore by incorporating some legends people may know about. The blending of so many Old-World ideas gave this romance its unique flavor. The added scary bits where dark forest creatures and supernatural elements play a part, provide an unexpected twist.
In my hometown of New Orleans, Christmas has always had a ghoulish edge, and I wanted to share that tradition in this book. Fortunately, I was able to find a lot of European legends with a darker and sinister feel to weave into this story. Many of the older Christmas myths usually involve children being eaten by some goblin or witch, like Halloween. It was that vibe I wanted to bring to The Christmas Spirit.
Our heroine is a rational and no-nonsense person, and sticking her in a forest where all is not what it seems intrigued me because of the offbeat characters and situations I could create. But the ghoulish creatures do more than set Courtney on edge; they teach her to appreciate her life, and no matter how heartbroken and down on her luck she may feel, life and love matter more than anything.
It was the lesson about never giving up on life that I wanted to impart with this story.
Like any good Christmas tale, Courtney should end the book a little wiser and a little more grateful than when she began. All the things she held dear, all the desires she wanted to achieve, didn’t matter. Only love of family and friends meant anything. And it will take a brief battle with spirits to teach Courtney a life lesson about the wishes we want versus the wishes we need.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author, screenwriter, advanced practice registered nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable.
Weis writes romance, mystery, suspense, thrillers, supernatural, and young adult fiction and has sold approximately one million books. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.
She is a member of both the International Thriller Writers Association and the Horror Writers Association.
Shopping For A CEO’s Baby
(Shopping for a Billionaire, #16)
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: October 27th 2020
It’s Andrew and Amanda’s turn… in duplicate We’re having twins. Twins. Which means my shooters are stronger than my brother’s. I win. Yeah, yeah, everyone can say it’s not a competition, but it is. And we all know it. Two babies at once means double the fun, and double the misery for my poor wife, Amanda. While I’m growing a Fortune 500 company, she’s growing two entire human beings out of nothing but orange cheese snacks and ice cream. Do you have any idea how hard I’ve worked during this pregnancy, tracking down orange smoothies for her? Not to mention being forced to Facetime into a childbirth class on perineal massage, rescuing Chuckles the cat from being shaved bald by my two-year-old niece, and fighting with a wife who has named the twins Lefty and Righty. By the time we hit the ninth month, my entire world revolves around pleasing — and protecting — her. Even if it means humiliating myself in the name of love. Wait a minute. Wait a minute, now. Hold on. Is she the one who’s winning? Andrew and Amanda are BACK in the newest New York Times bestselling Shopping series book as they “beat” Declan and Shannon in the baby competition, but at what cost? As their future awaits them in the form of twins, Amanda and Andrew face ghosts from the past with wit, humor, and most of all — plenty of love.
Andrew and Amanda are BACK in the newest New York Times bestselling Shopping series book as they “beat” Declan and Shannon in the baby competition, but at what cost? As their future awaits them in the form of twins, Amanda and Andrew face ghosts from the past with wit, humor, and most of all — plenty of love.
Excerpts and Teasers:
I look at my phone. Andrew.
I’ll be home for dinner. What do you want?
For the last few weeks, we’ve ordered takeout every single night, because I never know what my stomach will or won’t be able to handle. I close my eyes and ask myself what I want, and reply:
Grilled salmon with paprika. Cantaloupe. Sautéed carrots in honey and cumin.
He texts back: I see you’re sticking with the orange theme.
I send an emoji of someone an orange sticking out its tongue.
Will do, he replies. I’ll have Consuela make it and bring it home after the gym.
Then I get a heart.
Consuela owns a private restaurant in the Seaport District, the kind that you can’t know about unless you know someone who knows someone. It’s our special place, and since morning sickness has ravaged me, Consuela’s been gracious enough to meet my weirdo dietary needs.
She also takes it as a challenge. My palate has expanded considerably as a result of her driving mission to find new orange foods.
I reply with: You mean you’ll have Gina contact Consuela to do it all, and have Gerald pick it up and bring it to the house.
Same thing, he texts back.
“I love how you smile when you think about Andrew,” Mom says, making me look up from my phone.
“You two are so in love.”
My smile broadens. “We are.”
She looks at my belly. “Those babies are very, very fortunate.”
“Billionaire’s kids,” I mutter.
“No. You could be penniless and they’d be so, so blessed. You and Andrew are going to be wonderful parents.”
“How do you know?”
Tenderness floods her face as she reaches for me. I stand and bend before her, her hand on my shoulder, eyes shining with something close to tears.
“Because you have such a good heart. You always did. You’re smart and sweet and you care about people and want to help them. And Andrew loves you deeply. I may not understand his ambition, but I do see that he’s a loving man.”
My wife is orange.
She is caked with orange dust, on her fingers, in her cuticles, and her lips are the color of a traffic cone. She’s in the kitchen, standing in front of the blender, drinking something–
You guessed it.
“Mmmmm,” she moans as she drinks straight from the blender itself. “Isss izz soooooo goooo.”
“What are you drinking?”
A swallow later and she says, “Cheeto-cini.” When my sister-in-law, Shannon, was pregnant with my niece, Amanda created a special orange smoothie for her out of Cheetos, marshmallow cream, and orange sherbet.
My wife has modified it to remove the sherbet and replace it with coocnut milk, which does nothing to change the fact that it’s vile to the core.
It’s just slightly less gross now.
“It’s the only thing that stays down.”
“And the doctor really says this is okay?” I say, staying far away from the blender, knowing how territorial she is about her food. She’s pregnant and still stuck deep in morning sickness.
For the last few weeks, all she’s eaten is this.
And nothing else.
“It’s full-fat coconut milk. One big leaf of kale.” She makes a gagging sound. “Apple juice. One banana. And Cheetos. I freeze the fruit and it tastes like a milkshake.”
“Our babies are made up of that.” At least she added the kale, banana, and apple juice this time.
“I choke down a prenatal vitamin, too, Andrew.” Her eyes tear up and her chin quivers.
“It’s fine. Good. I’m so glad you can eat something. Really. Not judging you. I know you are doing everything possible for our babies.” I rub the spot between her shoulder blades, hoping I can calm her down before a full-blown meltdown kicks in.
“I am! Everything,” she says before gobbling down more of that candy corn-colored monstrosity. “I’ve lost two pounds. The doctor said the placenta looks fine and the babies are growing within range, but this morning sickness is horrible. If I drink water, I puke! If I drink this–” she points at the blender, “–I don’t.”
“Then by all means, drink that.” I hold back a shudder. My trainer, Vince, would have an unexpected coronary if he saw Cheetos in a Vitamix.
“I–I know I’m not doing this the way another wife would. A better wife. A wife who is stronger and who…” Her lower lip begins to quiver.
Here we go again.
I open my eyes, the words running through my head before I’m fully awake.
Twenty-three weeks, three days.
That’s my first thought.
The second is: I need to hump my husband.
Some impulse centers itself between my legs, turning me into a rocking nerve ending, my entire body so horny, it’s like some gene in me got flipped and my entire purpose in life is to orgasm in a continuous loop.
“Help,” I whisper to Andrew as I slide my bare thigh against his hair-covered one, his body gloriously nude, which only ratchets up my sex-crazed fever.
“I need you to let me have sex with you again.”
One eye narrows, the other holding steady as I reach for him, finding him halfway to where I need him.
“Can I please have sex with you again? I know we just did it–” I look at the clock, squinting to read the numbers, “–seven hours ago, but I–”
The kiss answers me.
“You don’t have to ask.”
“Of course I do! Consent is very important.”
His erection twitches in my hand, jumping slightly.
“There’s my consent.”
This isn’t slow sex. It’s fast and hard, the kisses hot, my legs parted and my body centered over him in seconds. The grinding need to have him touch the deep ache inside and unclench it is too furious, too intense to ignore.
I’m bent over him, hips rolling up, belly hardening with each curl as I ride, ride, ride to climax. My thighs pull him in deeper, knees pressing against his tight ass, my hands on his chest, his head bobbing up to suck one breast at the perfect moment of ecstasy, making me moan into eternity.
And then–snap. I’m done.
I climb off and kiss his cheek.
Vince grabs my hand before I can touch the forties I’m about to do curls with.
“What the hell is that?” He points to my orange cuticles.
“You’re eating Cheetos?” He sounds like I just told him I cooked my father’s liver and ate it on a buttered croissant. Not sure whether he’d be more outraged at the patricide or the carb count.
“Not me. My wife.”
“Yeah, yeah. All my clients blame their partner. You’re on a strict program, Andrew. No chemicals, no grains, no–”
“Flavor,” Declan mutters under his breath as Gerald smirks. We’re working out at this shithole gym Vince likes, only this time is different.
Because I bought the place.
Declan’s not the only McCormick who can go out on his own and buy a company. No one, other than Amanda, knows I did this.
And don’t ask me why I did it.
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three children in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.
Immortality's a bitch. Over a century ago, Veronica's teen daughter turned her into a vampire trapped in an eternal hell of menopause. Now Veronica has a chance to regain her mortality and march peacefully toward her demise, but if she fails, she will be Forever 51.
Veronica is eternally fifty-one years old with a proclivity for problematic drinking. Like most hormonally challenged women negotiating the change of life, she is a hot mess. To retain her sanity, she attends weekly AA meetings and adheres to a strict diet of organic, locally-sourced, (mostly) cruelty-free human blood from the hospice facility where she works. Her life stopped being fun about a hundred years ago, right about the time her teenage daughter stole her soul and took off for California with a hot, older guy. These days, Veronica’s existence is just that – an existence, as flat and empty as her own non-reflection in the bathroom mirror.
When her estranged daughter contacts her via Facebook, Veronica learns that she has one chance to escape her eternal personal summer: she must find and apologize to every one of the people she’s turned into vampires in the last century. That is, if they’re still out there. With raging hormones and a ticking clock, Veronica embarks on a last-ditch road trip to regain her mortality, reclaim her humanity, and ultimately, die on her own terms.
Of all ages to become a vampire 51 is one of the worst – if are ging through menopause – permanently. [I just couldn’t do that again…]And if you had had children and the myth about being turned making you slim, gorgeous and with all your body/hair faults being rectified is false – then 51 is not good….
And of course if you can’t see yourself in a mirror means that you can never tell if your hair is sticking up, how clean your teeth are – do you have spinach in them? – or if your bum looks big in those trousers…
Now Jenny was an interesting girl. Her life as a member of a Texan politician’s family must have been far from normal and you can totally see why she might have wanted to ‘check out’ now and again.
So a very different, enjoyable and rather wry story about vampires – and how not to become a vampire if the myths were true.
Married By December: The Engagement
Married By December #1-5
New Adult Romance, Contemporary Romance
Pub Date 10 Jul 2020
He is the good-looking boss seeking a billion dollars investment. She is the brand manager of his company. How far will they go to get the deal?
Mia is the best dressed feisty brand manager who fixes things. She strongly believes in her independence as a woman and will not let a man define her happiness. However, her mother believes that the most significant achievement in a woman’s life is to have a husband.
Alan is Mia’s boss. He is in desperate need for a billion dollars investment so he can take his company to the next level. He built the company from scratch, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to get the investment required to take his company forward.
The investor is very conservative and will not back a company run by a celibate.
Mia agrees to help Alan get the investment even though she has a secret crush on him. Will they find love in the middle of this crisis or will their emotions ‘run high’ and ruin everything?
The Engagement is the first book of 'Married by December Series'. It is fully packed with laughter, heartache, excitement and much more.
This was part one of a set of 5 ‘chapters’. Each novella carried on the story although they completed a part in themselves but failed to make a book. I read the further 4 ‘chapter/novellas from KU. Even so, the totality of the 5 was a short book.
It was a sweet and contemporary story set in our high tech world with their fantasy Silicon Valley and programming and Apps. It was a story about just how can you attract investors into your concept and what did they want in return apart from a chunk of your business. Mia and Alan find an innovative way to address this by faking a relationship for the very traditional, small ‘c’ conservative Investor. Mid-West type all about family and marriage and children etc. And the only possible candidate is a very smart PR manager who wears designer unlike the rest of the nerds – who think a clean t-shirt is going all out. [I’ve worked with them, so I know first hand!]
Nicely written but in reality Part 1 is merely a Prologue and NG should have offered the full 5 parts.
Witch and Wolf combined books 1-5
Witch and Wolf
Pen & Page Publishing
(28 Feb. 2019)
Life is never easy for those with the strength to change the world.
These are their stories.
When Allison is asked to play Cinderella-turned-Fianceé at a Halloween ball, the last thing she expected was to be accused of murder. She has to find the killer or she'll be put to death for the crimes she didn't commit. To make matters worse, the victims are all werewolves.
On the short list of potential victims, Allison has to act fast, or the killer will have one more body to add to his little black book of corpses.
When Nicole dabbled in the occult, she lost it all: Her voice, her family, and her name. Now on the run from the Inquisition, she must prove to herself—and the world—that not all wizards are too dangerous to let live.
The world is full of corpses, and Jackson knows them by name. When a group strives to destroy the Inquisition, his powers may be all standing between the supernaturals and extinction.
Finished with being a victim, Vicky will do everything in her power to put an end to Basin once and for all, even if it means she must make the ultimate sacrifice and bite a silver bullet for the sake of her family, her friends, and the rest of the supernatural world.
RJ Blain Witch andWolf combined books for series (almost all books are in this).
This set was a freebie set of novels from Xpresso book tours.
I binge read this whole set of novels and then looked up all the ones related set in the same world. And started buying them – a costly freebie I might add as a result.
I just loved the Feneric – or werewolves as most people think of them – they were furry, large or small – puppies according to when they were changed – or really born as Feneric which was on the rare side. With different coloured coats and a habit of nuzzling or biting necks. Fond of sleeping in a large pile (up to 80 on one occasion!), in love with ‘puppies’ – that is anyone younger than them that don’t have children of their own – or even if they do. Protective and loyal. But seriously fierce when needed to be.
The witches were involved with water or fire mainly although there were some who could do additional things – Dustin and his sharks for instance who could be asked to fish for people; and Nicole with her command of electricity and power over gem stones – she could use them to make mini bombs!
I found it difficult to imagine what they looked like as people as Queen Victoria’s daughter only looked in her early twenties and Charles looked to be 30 but had children nearly 30 themselves. And Wendy ends up pregnant at well over a hundred ‘normal’ years.
So for me, the world building was excellent and I loved all the different characters and their stories. I had previously only read one series of RJ Blain’s which was quite different – the series that had ‘a body count’ which made me giggle, so this was a new and different side of her writing.