Teaser Tuesday – Sierra Donovan

What grown woman claims to have seen Santa Claus? Mandy Reese, for one—on a very special Christmas Eve when she was eight years old. These days, Mandy works at a year-round Christmas store in Tall Pine, California, where customers love to hear about her childhood encounter with Saint Nick. But when Jake Wyndham arrives in town—charming, gorgeous, extremely practical—Mandy faces a dilemma. Deny what she saw, or let Jake think she’s sugarplum crazy?

Jake scouts hotel locations all over the country, but he’s never met anyone quite like Mandy before. Her warmth and sparkle are irresistible, but…meeting Santa? Really? Jake’s no Scrooge but he’s definitely skeptical. Then again, there are all kinds of things Jake never experienced until he came to Tall Pine. Like autumn snow. Mind blowing kisses. And the magic of falling head-over-heels, madly in love…

COVER - Do You Believe in Santa

 

In my Teaser Tuesday excerpt, Jake is at Mandy’s house for the first time, looking over her movie collection for something to watch. The top shelf, she’s explained to him, is her “comfort food” – her all-time favorites. What she hasn’t told him yet is that she saw Santa as a child….

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A movie collection, Jake decided, was a window to the soul.

He started with that top shelf. Casablanca, of course. He was pleased to find To Kill a Mockingbird there too. Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Princess Bride were obvious, female-friendly favorites. But there were a few surprises.

“The Godfather is comfort food?” he called out to the kitchen.

“Only the first one. But the other two have to go with it, because I didn’t want to separate them.”

“You’re a regular Library of Congress.” He stood and joined Mandy in the kitchen.

It didn’t look like she’d made any progress on the coffee yet. As he entered, she was transferring glasses from the sink to the dishwasher. She closed the dishwasher quickly.

“Something’s fishy,” he said.

She turned with a start. “What?”

“I don’t see any Christmas movies.”

She grinned. “There wasn’t room. I’ve got a whole separate box for those. They’re put away with the Christmas decorations.”

Jake folded his arms. “How many?”

She inclined her head, considering. “About forty. But that’s because I’m selective. Did you pick anything out?”

“Help me narrow it down. I can’t handle the responsibility.”

“You saw the favorites shelf.”

“That’s a pretty broad selection. What are you in the mood for?”

“Well …” She opened a cabinet and brought out a can of coffee. “Ghost might be my all-time favorite, but I’m not sure if you’d care for it. I’ve been trying to get Mrs. Swanson to watch it for years. She can’t get past the basic idea. She thinks, if it couldn’t happen, what’s the point in watching it?”

“That lets out a lot of movies. Especially if you count Pretty Woman.”

She started judiciously measuring coffee into the filter basket of the coffee maker. As she brought out another scoop of grounds, she eyed the size of the mound that crowned over the top of the scoop, then shook it to level it a little more before she dropped it into the filter.

So painstaking … and so irresistible.

Jake stepped behind her and spoke just above her ear. “Ghost is fine with me,” he said. “Believe it or not, I’ve never seen it. Something about Demi Moore being haunted by her husband?”

He smoothed her hair back, tucking it behind her ear. A delicate gold pine tree earring dangled from her earlobe. It shimmered when his fingers brushed it.

Mandy measured out another scoop of coffee, not so precisely this time. “I can’t concentrate if you do that.”

“That’s the idea.” He moved his lips downward and kissed her ear. She gave a little shudder that triggered a matching shudder of his own. She relaxed against him. He closed his eyes and buried his face against the side of her neck, drinking in the scent of whatever it was she wore, that delicious hint of spice. For several exquisite moments, he didn’t move, just standing there with her, hearing her breathe.

Then she stepped away and carried the coffee carafe to the sink to fill it with water.

“Seriously, though,” she said. “Have you ever wondered what you’d do in a situation like that?”

He was crushed that she’d kept her train of thought. He’d certainly lost his. “Like what?”

“If you were a character in a movie like that. With ghosts, or angels, or … whatever.”

Her tone was offhand. Her back was turned, so he couldn’t see her expression. “How would you handle it?”

“Handle what?”

“What if you saw something you thought was impossible? You don’t believe in—say, ghosts, right?”

He blinked. “Right.”

She brought back the water, poured it into the coffee maker and switched it on. “So what would you do if you walked into your kitchen and a ghost was standing by the sink?”

She’d left him far behind. “I guess I’d figure it was my imagination.”

“But what would you do? They’re standing right there in front of you.”

“This is a weird conversation, Mandy.”

“Come on. Humor me. Think about it.”

“Okay.” He tilted his head back and squinted up at the ceiling. “If I could see through them, I’d know it was my imagination, or that I was dreaming. And I’d go back to bed. If they looked solid … I’d probably try talking to them and find out if they had the wrong house. But first I’d grab a baseball bat.”

It sounded reasonable to him. She didn’t seem satisfied. Jake had no idea what kind of an answer she was looking for.

“What would you do?” he asked.

“I think about it sometimes.” She watched the stream of coffee trickling into the clear carafe. “And I think … I think I might believe my own eyes.”

She looked at Jake again. The coffee maker chugged out its brewing noises.

He risked a smile. “Mandy, are you trying to tell me your kitchen is haunted?”

“No.” She returned his smile with a much smaller one of her own. “I was just kidding around.”

He had a feeling he’d failed an exam of some sort. And he wasn’t so sure that Mandy hadn’t seen a ghost in her kitchen.

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Sierra Donovan is a wife, a mother of two and a writer, though not always in that order. Her greatest joy is helping people find true love on the printed page. She believes in classic movies, Christmas, happy endings and the healing power of chocolate.

Sierra’s first novel, LOVE ON THE AIR, was a Holt Medallion finalist. Her Kensington debut, NO CHRISTMAS LIKE THE PRESENT, won the Golden Quill for Sweet Traditional Romance. DO YOU BELIEVE IN SANTA?, out September 29th, is the first book in her new Evergreen Lane series.

You can email Sierra at sierra_donovan@yahoo.com, or visit her website at www.sierradonovan.com.

Website: http://www.sierradonovan.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sierra.donovan.romance

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SierraDonovan1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1191291.Sierra_Donovan

Blog: http://sierradonovan.blogspot.com

Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/Sierra-Donovan/e/B001JS7V54

Kensington Publishing author page: http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/author.aspx/30546

 

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Monday Mayhem – Woohoo!

If you’ve been following this blog for the last few weeks, you know I’ve been struggling with my mojo lately. Well, I’m pleased to announce that the word drought has ended!

This weekend was the Diamond State Romance Authors annual writing retreat in Hot Springs. I was hoping the change of scenery, gathering of like-minded friends, and structured writing time away from the distractions of home would help pull me from this slump, and it did!

I set a goal of trying to write 5000 words per day and 10000 words total. Here’s my play by play of how the weekend unfolded.

Friday:

I was up and ready early, so I decided that I needed to use the time before I left productively, so I sat down in the recliner and didn’t move until I finished chapter four.

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Pre-retreat word count – 2214

We stayed at the Blue House on Lake Hamilton again

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I staked out the same spot as last year

And tried not to spend too much time staring out at the view

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We called Papa John’s to deliver and wrote into the night, stopping only when it was time for refreshment

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Word count before retiring to the hot tub – 2840

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Total Friday: 5054

Saturday we were up and at it early. The forecast called for warm temps and sunny skies, so this served as my motivation

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I managed to put up about 3000 words before this happened

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Then I wrote some more before we decided it was time to head for Mi Pueblito (aka: the gas station Mexican place) for fortification

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Word count before enchiladas and cheese dip: 4575

Word count while in food coma: 688

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Total Saturday word count: 5263

We knew we had to be out by noon on Sunday. We also knew many of us were close to our previously state goals, or close to a new one. Me? I realized I could make it to the the approximate halfway mark in my book if I could manage just a couple thousand more words. Fueled by the last few cookies in the Snoopy tin, I made it!

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Sunday word count at retreat: 2014

Total weekend word count: 12331!

So yeah, I’m home now and totally stoked to have made so much progress on the first draft of LOVE AND ROCKETS. I’ll keep plugging away at it, a little bit during the week and a little more on weekends and soon the bones of the book will be there.

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Happy Monday, everyone. I hope this is the most mayhem you’ll be forced to endure this week!

 

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Weekend Writing Warrior – 9/27/15

It’s release month for Going Deep! To celebrate, I’ll be sharing new excerpts from the finished product!

****

“I didn’t write that crap.” Her nails sliced the tender skin of her palm, but she didn’t care. She stepped closer to the door, intent on making him believe. “I wrote about the tadpoles you tried to grow in your Grandma’s birdbath. Your obsession with composition notebooks. You lettered in track because you liked the sound of your own breathing.”

The door rattled in its frame, as if he’d trusted his entire weight to it.

“I wrote about your mom and those crazy chocolate oatmeal cookies she used to bring when she was homeroom mother, and I did use the live oak thing because I liked it. The answer suited you,” she continued, momentum carrying her. “But I never used the word ‘hunky’, I swear.”

 

Be sure to check out all of this weekend’s Weekend Writing Warrior posts!

Going Deep – To the heart of the story.

Making Headlines

Brooke Hastings almost won a Pulitzer Prize for her hard-hitting reportage. Now she’s sitting on the story of a lifetime and wants to prove she’s not a one-hit-wonder. But in order to get the world to take notice, she’ll need the help of the one person she loves to hate—Brian Dalton.

Brian Dalton stumbled into celebrity when he landed a show on the Earth Channel. But the hunky marine biologist never forgot the serious, studious boy who left Mobile a decade before. Now back in Alabama, he’s looking for the quiet life he always wanted and hoping for a chance with the girl he always loved. When Brooke asks him to help expose some of the lingering effects of the Gulf oil disaster, Brian jumps at the chance to help preserve the place both call home…

All Romance ~ AmazonAppleB&NGoogle ~  Kensington Kobo

Coastal Heatbanner

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Fangirl Fridays!

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Got a crush? It’s okay to spill it here. Fictional boyfriends battling it out for your affections in your dreams? Talk movies, TV shows, books, or even video games. Do tell! Anything goes on Fangirl Fridays!

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Teaser Tuesday – Parker Kincaid

Southern Heat

SouthernHeat_Updated

He’s down, but he’s not out of the game.

 

Tyler Brady earned his reputation as the bad boy of baseball the old-fashioned way: by playing hard—on and off the field. After suffering a shoulder injury, he faces his first summer off in twenty years. Between the endless physical therapy sessions and missing the season, Tyler’s patience is about to blow.

After suffering a devastating breakup, Gabriella Marano is ready to get her life back. Who better to reacquaint her with the pleasures of sex than a devastatingly handsome ball player? Tyler is well equipped to give her what she needs: a little harmless fun.

As their passion soars, Tyler realizes the woman who fires his blood holds his future in the palm of her hands.

In more ways than one.

 

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Heat-Game-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00ZSC20B2/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/southern-heat-parker-kincade/1122167661

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/southern-heat/id1008438484?mt=11

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/southern-heat-3

 

 

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Monday Mayhem – Ready to retreat!

It’s been a crazy busy week. Thanks to all who shared, tweeted, and otherwise helped to spread the word about GOING DEEP! If you’ve already read it, please don’t forget to leave a review at your favorite retail site or on GoodReads. If you haven’t read it, what are you waiting for?

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Hey, and don’t forget that I’m giving away this fabulous tote bag to one lucky newsletter subscriber at the end of the month! If you’re not on my list, enter your email in the space in the right sidebar –>

Beach Bag giveaway

I’m so stoked to have GOING DEEP out in the world. I took a look back at my files and discovered that I started writing that novel exactly two years ago today!

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As of now, I have started work on book #3 in the Coastal Heat series, LOVE AND ROCKETS. To be honest, I’m struggling a bit with it, but I think I’m finally starting to get the handle on it. Maybe. I hope so.

Next weekend will be our fourth annual DSRA writing retreat, and I’m hoping to really get rolling with it.  We’ll be back in the Blue House again this year and I can’t wait!

House PoolBoy

What do you have going on this week?

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Weekend Writing Warrior – 9/20/15

It’s release month for Going Deep! To celebrate, I’ll be sharing new excerpts from the finished product!

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Like everyone else on the Gulf Coast, she’d been waiting and watching, wondering what he’d do next.

Ignoring her seafood gaffe, she switched tactics. “Your parents must be glad to have you back.”

His smile spread slowly. “You act like I’ve been gone the whole time. I did come home for Christmases, you know.”

“I just meant—”

“I spent a few weeks gathering tar balls on the beach after the spill.”

He spoke casually, but the words swirled with undercurrent. Another flash fire of embarrassment sucked the moisture from her mouth as he wrapped long fingers around his glass, sending beads of condensation scurrying.

 

Be sure to check out all of this weekend’s Weekend Writing Warrior posts!

Going Deep – To the heart of the story.

Making Headlines

Brooke Hastings almost won a Pulitzer Prize for her hard-hitting reportage. Now she’s sitting on the story of a lifetime and wants to prove she’s not a one-hit-wonder. But in order to get the world to take notice, she’ll need the help of the one person she loves to hate—Brian Dalton.

Brian Dalton stumbled into celebrity when he landed a show on the Earth Channel. But the hunky marine biologist never forgot the serious, studious boy who left Mobile a decade before. Now back in Alabama, he’s looking for the quiet life he always wanted and hoping for a chance with the girl he always loved. When Brooke asks him to help expose some of the lingering effects of the Gulf oil disaster, Brian jumps at the chance to help preserve the place both call home…

All Romance ~ AmazonAppleB&NGoogle ~  Kensington Kobo

Coastal Heatbanner

Share

Fangirl Fridays!

fangirl-fridays-final

Got a crush? It’s okay to spill it here. Fictional boyfriends battling it out for your affections in your dreams? Talk movies, TV shows, books, or even video games. Do tell! Anything goes on Fangirl Fridays!

Share