Saturday, December 20, 2014

December Joyathon 2014: Spotlight on Christmas Brides featuring Valerie Bowman + #Giveaway


Hi there, RR Readers! I’m so excited to be here today to share one of my favorite holiday memories. I thought a lot about it and one simple memory stands out among the rest.

Christmas at my mom’s house is a very big affair. I have six sisters (I’m number seven) and a ton of nieces and nephews and in-laws. We are also huge animal lovers, so there are often dogs, cats, and even a hedgehog or two involved in the festivities.

Not being morning people, my family has always had our big celebration on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas morning. We begin doing a “Santa Check” early in the evening, tracking Santa’s progress around the globe. Conveniently, Santa gets to our house right around the time dinner’s finished and before the little ones get cranky. The adults announce that Santa is on his way and all of the kids scramble upstairs to hide and pretend they are asleep.

The atmosphere in the upstairs back bedroom is full of giggles as all the kids wait, wait, wait for Santa to finish handing over the presents downstairs. If you listen carefully, you can hear Santa in his booming voice (which sounds a bit like my uncle) asking how each one of the children behaved over the year and if they deserve their gift. The answer is invariably yes, and soon, Santa is off again to deliver the rest of his bounty to the neighbors.

The all-clear is given and the kids come rushing down the stairs squealing with delight to see what they received.

One particular year, I remember that Santa brought my mom’s hedgehog, Barbie, a round plastic ball to play in. My mom put the hedgehog in the ball, the hedgehog took off rolling round and round on the carpet, and we all went back to our frenetic opening of presents.

Late that night, one of my sisters and I were the only two left in the darkened family room after everyone had either gone to sleep or off to midnight mass. We were watching It’s A Wonderful life. Full of Christmas dinner and treats, we were drifting off to sleep, she on the couch, and me in a chair with a footstool.

Along about the time George Bailey was trying to jump off a bridge in Bedford Falls, my sister and I heard a small rattling noise and looked up. There, by the light of the TV, was the hedgehog in the ball, rolling past the screen. We screamed and jumped up! In all of the excitement of the night, everyone had totally forgotten about the hedgie enjoying her new toy.

My sister and I must have laughed at ourselves for ten minutes straight. We eventually retrieved our little hog friend and put her back in her house with her mulch and food and water and all was right with the world on a snowy, quiet Christmas Eve.

But that’s one holiday memory I’ll never forget.

Tell me, do you give your pets holiday gifts?

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Genre: Historical
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (September 30, 2014)

A collection of previously published Christmas e-novellas...

One Hot Scot by Suzanne Enoch
Duncan Lenox lives surrounded by enemies, a MacLawry in a land of Campbells. But when an English beauty has nowhere else to turn, he feels obligated to help. Now that they must spend a night together in an abandoned cottage while a storm rages on, will their mutual passion save—or doom—them both?

Once Upon a Christmas Scandal by Alexandra Hawkins
Lady Ellen is outraged when she learns her dowry’s been increased by her dad, eager to draw every bachelor in England to her front door. So when Lord Swainsbury comes knocking, Ellen assumes he’s another dreadful fortune hunter. Little does she know that Swainsbury has completely fallen for her—body, heart, and soul…

The Scandal Before Christmas by Elizabeth Essex
Lieutenant Ian Worth needs a wife by Christmas. He has to find her, woo her, and wed her before he goes back to sea. Anne Lesley is a shy spinster with no prospects, so she accepts Ian’s hasty offer only for the security it will bring. But when a midwinter storm rolls in, things start to heat up between them…and they might just find true, honest-to-goodness love…

It Happened Under the Mistletoe by Valerie Bowman (Secret Brides #3.5)
Oliver Townsende intends to avoid the hordes of marriage-minded misses at a friend’s holiday party. When he meets Miss Cerian Blake, who’s dodging her own unwanted set of admirers, the two decide to join forces and fake an infatuation to keep their suitors at bay. But when mistletoe becomes involved, will their Christmastime prank turn into a love to last all seasons?


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Other Books in Valerie's Series:


Meet Valerie:
Valerie grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her rascally rescue dog, Roo. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS.

Connect with Valerie: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter




***GIVEAWAY***
Valerie is giving away an copy of CHRISTMAS BRIDES (ebook or print) to one(1) randomly chosen commenter. US/CA only.

HOW TO ENTER:
  • Tell me, do you give your pets holiday gifts?
  • Fill out the rafflecopter form below. You must leave a comment. All other entries are optional.
  • Please make sure you understand our giveaway policy before entering.
  • Giveaway ends December 26th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




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