It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

It may not be snowing today in Stockholm but it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which means I can indulge in one of my favorite guilty pleasures — reading holiday romances! I love Christmas romances and I am trying to find some Hanukkah romances to add to my reading list. If you have some faves (both Christmas and Hanukkah romances), drop me a line!

The Night Before Christian by Joy Avery

Sometimes…love is the only thing that can free you.

When Emory Chambers asked Santa for someone to warm her cold nights, she hadn’t expected him to actually deliver. But he does. The only problem… He delivers the wrong man. Her ex is the last person she expects to see stroll into her floral design shop. The second their eyes meet old feelings rush back, and their connection sparks as potent as ever. But she has to ignore the fact that she still loves him. Especially since he’s engaged to be married.

Christian St. Claire is a man lost. That’s until a floral consultation for his upcoming wedding brings him face-to-face with Emory—the only woman he’s ever truly loved. He refuses to allow himself to fall under her spell again. But despite how hard he’s trying, he can’t shake his feelings for the woman who shattered him. Reconnecting with Emory forces him to question himself. Can he vow his life to another when his heart still pounds for the one who got away?

Get your copy today

The Best Christmas Ever by Stacy-Deanne

All hell’s breaking loose in the Bible Belt.

After getting out of prison, 23-year-old LJ McCormick settles in Beluga, Georgia for a fresh start. That won’t be easy thanks to Beluga’s bible-thumping residents who have issues with LJ’s past and him being an atheist.

Everything the community doesn’t like about LJ makes him irresistible to Ginger, the wild and flirtatious daughter of Reuben and Nola Ryder, the pastor and first lady of the church.

Sick of being seen as just the preacher’s daughter, Ginger finds solace in LJ and the two fall in love despite the obstacles in their way.

Meanwhile, 45-year-old Nola is desperate to get her marriage back on track but her world turns upside down when she meets Quinn Moretti, an ex-con with a heart of gold, who gives her the attention and passion she’s not getting at home.

Get your copy here!

Resolutions: a novella by Lucy Eden

Mike is my best friend.

My tall, gorgeous, and bearded best friend.

We both share a love for music, Monty Python, dirty jokes and my grandmother’s homemade cookies.
I also have a giant crush on Mike.

And he has no idea.

I tried to tell him at a New Year’s Eve party last year, but I lost my nerve, and he ended up with someone else.
Armed with a broken heart and a massive hangover, I wrote a list of New Year’s resolutions intent on turning myself into New and Improved Jane who doesn’t let life pass her by.
With resolutions to check off the list and limited time to finish, I accepted Mike’s offer to help.

But spending all this time with Mike is bringing up feelings that I’d spent a better part of a year keeping under control. Mike has a girlfriend and I can’t risk losing my best friend, but sometimes the way he looks at me makes me think, maybe, he feels them too?

I’m probably just daydreaming, as usual…

This novella has NO cheating and is a standalone, friends-to-lovers romantic comedy full of alphas, steam, sarcasm and Monty Python references.

Going live on December 17 – preorder now at the special price of 99 cents – price increases to $2.99 after launch!

All I Want by Susan Scott Shelley

Damon Kallis is always in control, whether in his VP position for his family’s toy company, captaining his men’s rec league hockey team, or taking care of his friends. There isn’t any room for romance in his well-ordered life. He made that mistake once, and it nearly cost him everything. Work, family, and friends are all he needs.

 All Emily Lombardi needs is a job. After her ex poisoned her reputation as a reporter, no TV station is willing to give her a chance. When the job as Damon’s executive assistant opens up, she’s in the right place at the right time. Landing the position is simple compared to dealing with Damon — the stubborn man won’t let her in. 

Working in close quarters leads to accidental touches, lingering glances, and simmering passion. Soon, they can’t deny their attraction.

With the holiday season underway, Damon’s ice starts to thaw and Emily sees someone caring and real, someone she could count on. But their past experiences are hard to forget, and when their new-found love is tested, only a Christmas miracle can give them a happily-ever-after.

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A Christmas Spirit by LaVerne Thompson

Time’s almost running out for a spirit of Christmas. She has to find some way to bring Lily and Devin, two lonely souls, together. Even if she’s got to brew up a snowstorm to do it.

A FREE read in Kindle Unlimited

A Winter Wonderland by Rebecca Hunter

What’s worse than a broken-down car during a winter storm?
When the hot tow truck driver is your ex-boyfriend, the one you left behind
.

Coming face-to-face with Jace after nine years is a reminder of everything Selena tried to forget when she left her hometown. A very sexy reminder. And it’s even more dangerous when mixed with a little holiday magic.

Jace is supposed to be long over Selena, but he still hasn’t forgotten that she left for college without saying goodbye and never looked back. When she calls from the side of the highway, the temptation to see her again is too strong to resist.

Will a taste of holiday magic make the reunion more tempting?

** A shorter version of this sexy, second-chance romance originally appeared in the 12 Nights of Christmas anthology. It has been revised and expanded into a novella. **

Get your copy today! 

5 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Bookworm in Your Life

It’s that time of year again: when friends and relatives alike complain that they don’t know what to give the bookworms in their lives. The answer is actually pretty simple: BOOKS. But I know that we bookworms are picky. We know exactly which books we like. If you’re worried about giving us the “wrong” book, there are other things you could give us that we’d appreciate. Here are just a few of them…

1. A book-themed tote bag

A book-themed tote bag from Storiarts

We love tote bags. Not only can we use them when we’re buying groceries, we can stuff them with….more BOOKS! Have I already said we love books? And what better way to show off just how much we love books than by having book-themed tote bags? Storiarts has a great selection of hand-sewn tote bags featuring Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice, Dracula and more. They also sell other literary-themed products such as scarves, pillows and tees that your bookworm is sure to love.

2. A book subscription box

For your horror/mystery/thriller-loving bookworm – a subscription box from My Thrill Club

You could always surprise your bookworm with a book subscription box, which is a great option if you know what genre they like to read…but don’t want to take a misstep when it comes to which books to pick out. One that looks petty cool is My Thrill Club. Your horror/mystery/thriller-loving bookworm will get a box of with two new hardcover titles and an ebook. The guesswork is taken care of since the box is curated for you and your bookworm. Plus, it’s the gift that keeps on giving–some boxes are quarterly, other are monthly! How awesome is that? Head over to Cratejoy for even more book subscription box ideas. 

3. A book-themed pouch

Keep your essentials together with a book-themed pouch

I’m rather partial to having pouches. They’re perfect to pop in my tote bags and help me keep track of essentials (like my Carmex jar, hand cream, extra ponytail holders, etc). They’re also great for keeping my writing stuff (like Post-It notes, my favourite pens, 3×5 cards) together and always at hand. I love this children’s book themed pouch from Sandra Arduini Design. Head over to Etsy and check out her work. She also has a shower curtain, iPhone case and tote bag featuring the same image.

4. A cozy reading chair

Who wouldn’t love this cozy-looking chair called STRANDMON from IKEA?

If there’s anything bookworms love more than books, it’s cozy places to read books. Treat the booklover in your life to a comfortable armchair where they can lost themselves in their favorite books. Imagine how happy they’ll be as they curl up with their latest book purchase, tea and a soft blanket…sounds perfect, right? And this STRANDMON armchair from IKEA is affordable AND comfortable AND retro-stylish. Three big wins! Your bookworm will adore you for this. 

5. A gift card for their favorite bookstore

Gift cards for bookstores always work!

If you’re still uncertain, you can’t go wrong with giving them a gift card for their favorite bookstore. That way they can pick out exactly the books they’ve got on their book wish lists and you won’t have to rip your hair out trying to figure out which books they’re dying to read (especially since we know the list of books is super-long). Whether they prefer Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks or a local indie bookstore, a gift card will always be appreciated by bookworms–because we can never have too many books. 

5 Holiday Gifts for Your Fave Book Nerd

Since Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are all just around the corner, I thought we should take a moment to think of some cool holiday gifts for your favorite book nerds.

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Is your book nerd a bit of a revolutionary? Knows his or her own mind? Then get them the “I Would Prefer Not To” Bundle from Melville House. I think I may treat myself to this. The hubster could probably use this at work too. 😉

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If your book nerd loves color-coordinated books, give her a few books in the Penguin Orange Collection. They’re gorgeous, aren’t they? Modern classics that should definitely be on our bookshelves!

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Want to surprise your book nerd with a box of surprise goodies? Send them a Bookish Gifts Subscription Box. You can choose a single box, 3 months, 6 months or a year! We book nerds like bookish surprises.

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Is your bookish friend a writer as well? Why not treat him or her to a personalized notebook or planner from Moleskine? When they’re planning their next masterpiece, they’ll be thinking of you. 🙂

the-raven-cuff-bracelet

Does your book nerd love Edgar Allan Poe? Then she’ll adore this cuff that’s stamped with the last two verses of “The Raven”! Or maybe she’ll love some of the Wicked Wordsmith Company‘s other literary jewelry!

These are just a few ideas! I’ll be back soon with more! 🙂

 

My Christmas reading list

christmas tree

Photo credit: Kate Zaidova/unsplash.com

I love to escape into a good book. I think everyone who knows me is well aware of this fact. Sometimes I prefer books to people. This is especially true during the Christmas season. Usually, it’s a pretty stressful time at work and I just want to relax…but then there are all those Christmas things you have to do–like mingles and shopping and meeting family (which is not bad, though sometimes there are those who try your patience). That’s why I always have a book with me–you never know when you need a few minutes to yourself to simply…escape. 

And I love holiday love stories. Yes, I am kitschy like that. It doesn’t even need to be a romance, as long as people are falling in love and there’s a little snow and maybe even mistletoe, well that makes me happy. So here are some of titles I’ve already 1-clicked for my Kindle. Maybe they’ll whet your holiday romance appetite.

Wrapped-in-Red-slider1-280x376Wrapped in Red by Mika Jolie

Christmas is a time to be merry and bright. For Minka Montgomery, it’s anything but.

While Martha’s Vineyard bursts with festive lights and good cheer, a black shadow parades around and within Minka. With her Christmas spirit conspicuously absent, her marriage to Jason Montgomery has snowballed and is spiraling out of control. The weight of motherhood – and her new role as a wife – presses on her shoulders. Self-doubt creeps in and swiftly turns to hopelessness.
As her anxiety level rises, can she share what’s in her heart with her husband? Is there a branch of hope to hold on to? With Christmas only twelve days away, can she find her Christmas spirit and rediscover the true meaning of the season?

Festive Stocking Filled with Candycanes and Gingerbread Man

The Calum by Xio Axelrod

Calum, The (Noun)
1. fictional hero of best-selling romance novel, A Laird to Love
2. the perfect man

Twenty-six is too old to believe in fairytales, but tell that to Lovie’s roommate. Convinced she’ll find a real life version of her ultimate book boyfriend, Calum MacKenzie, Jo drags Lovie to the Scottish Highlands. Lovie’s no cynic *ahem* but she knows The Calum is a myth. A construct. A freaking unicorn! And there are warmer places to spend a winter vacation.

 

winters-tale-english-5.previewWinter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

Set in New York at the beginning and the end of the twentieth century, Winter´s Tale unfolds with such great narrative force and beauty that a reader can feel that its world is more real than his own. Standing alone on the page before the book begins are the words, I have been to another world, and come back. Listen to me. In that world, both winter and the city of New York (old and new) have the strength and character of protagonists, and the protagonists themselves move as if in a vivid dream. Though immensely complicated, the story is centered upon Peter Lake, a turn-of-the-century Irish burglar, and Beverly Penn, a young heiress whom he encounters in robbing her house, and who eventually will die young and in his arms. His love for her, and a gift of grace, will allow him after the most extraordinary and painful explorations and discoveries to stop time and bring back the dead. To follow him, his predecessors, his inheritors, and his companions is to experience one of the great stories of American literature.

Wrapped in Red NMWrapped in Red by Nana Malone and Sherelle Green

Two holiday romances for the price of one! 🙂

‘Tis the season for finding passion and rediscovering love… 

Mistletoe Mantra by Nana Malone

Returning to her Virginia hometown where her fiancé dumped her—years earlier on Christmas Eve—is making Nomi Adams croon the holiday blues. She needs to find the reclusive photographer who can advance her magazine career. However, Lincoln Porter’s on his own rescue mission this yuletide. Because during this season of love and renewal, Faith, Virginia, looks to be a place for second chances…

White Hot Holiday by Sherelle Green

A solo Caribbean vacation is college professor Sage Langley’s perfect escape from Christmas and all its merriment. But she has unexpected and thrilling company at Grayson Ellington’s luxurious vacation home: the sexy attorney himself! And her brother’s best friend—who has desired and longed for Sage for years—has fantasies and plans for a red-hot romance to chase away her winter doldrums.

comfort_and_joyComfort and Joy by Kristin Hannah

An oldie but still a goodie!

In this modern-day fairy tale, New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah gives us a very special gift: the heartwarming story of a woman at a crossroads, caught between two lives, who finds a second chance at happiness.

Joy Candellaro used to love Christmas more than any other time of the year. Now, as the holiday approaches, she finds herself at loose ends. Recently divorced and estranged from her sister, she can’t summon the old enthusiasm for celebrating. So without telling anyone, she buys a ticket and boards a plane bound for the rural Northwest.

Yet Joy’s best-laid plans go terribly awry. The plane crashes deep in the darkness of a forest. Miraculously, Joy and her fellow passengers walk away from the wreckage as the plane explodes. There, amid the towering trees, Joy makes a bold and desperate decision to leave her ordinary life behind and embark on an adventure…just for the holidays.

Daniel O’Shea has returned to the small town of Rain Valley, following the death of his ex-wife. Now he is a single father facing his son’s first Christmas without a mother. Six-year-old Bobby isn’t making it easy-the boy has closed himself off from the world, surrounding himself with imaginary friends.

When Joy and Bobby meet, they form an instant bond. Thrown together by fate, these wounded souls will be touched by the true spirit of Christmas and remember what it means to be a family.

Then a dramatic turn of events shows Joy the price of starting over. On a magical Christmas Eve she will come face-to-face with a startling truth. Now she must decide: In a time of impossible dreams and unexpected chances, can she find the faith to reach for the love she has found…and the new life only she believes in?

There are still more books on my Christmas reading list, so check back later this week for more ideas! And if you’re looking for gift ideas for the book nerd in your life, check out my suggestions here

 

Time to start prepping for the gift-giving season…

It’s only October, I know. But we may as well start thinking about Hanukkah and Christmas presents. The earlier we get our shopping done, the better. And when the people on your list are book nerds, it’s all in the planning–finding the right books and other gifts can be a challenge. (My hubby tells me all the time that it’s hard to figure out what to give me for Christmas…maybe he’ll be following this list as well). 😉

So let’s get things started with a few ideas for gifts–they could work as birthday or wedding presents too–to help you in your quest for a stressfree holiday season.

For the fashionista book nerd

Vintage Black Glamour CoverI found out about Vintage Black Glamour by Nichelle Gainer through a page on Facebook. The book is a treasure trove of beautiful images and stories about black starlets from Old Hollywood and beyond. These are the stories we never heard about. It’s inspiring. It makes me want to write a novel about a starlet trying to make it back then…and juxtapose her tale with a contemporary counterpart…hmm. Anyway, this book is gorgeous–perfect coffee table book for your fashionista book nerd with a penchant for the glamour girls of old Jet and Ebony magazines. I think I need to order a copy for my mom–especially since the author and my mom share a Smithfield, Virgina connection.

Colors of Fashion plannerFor the organised fashionista, the Colors of Fashion Diary 2015 could be just the thing to make sure she knows where she needs to be (even if she’ll always be fashionably late). It’s spacious enough for scheduling all her appointments and even includes international holidays (I wonder if all the Fashion Weeks are listed). It’s so pretty, I may have to order one for myself and I am nowhere near being a fashionista (far too lazy for that). Another hit from Taschen–and much more affordable than their Prada edition of the Fashion Designers A-Z (which could also be a cool gift if you don’t mind spending €275 on a present for your fashionista book nerd). They also have Stella McCartney, Missoni, Diane von Furstenberg and Etro editions of the same book.

For Cozy Book Nerds

Banned Book MugWhen I read, I hate to be cold. I like wrapping up in cozy throws or having warm, fuzzy socks on my chilly toes to make them nice and toasty. And then there are the cups of coffee or tea that simply must be consumed while reading. So why not sip your favorite beverage while paying homage to all those books misguided people just love banning? I want one! I may love my NaNoWriMo mug, but I could easily imagine drinking coffee out of this mug and I think your book nerd friends would like it too.

 

Of course, if we’re sipping coffee, we need West Elm Throwsomething cozy to throw across our shoulders or our legs. Sitting still and reading can be so strenuous…and then we’re going to need a nap so we can dream of what we just read! That’s why this double-rib throw from West Elm looks perfect! Hmm…I wouldn’t mind having the chair as well….but we’ll save that for another day. 😉

That’s it for today’s suggestions…there will be more to come over the next few weeks, and I’ll also post a link soon to the Pinterest board where you’ll be able to find these and other suggestions for good presents for book nerds!

happy reading (and writing)!

Added more items…

Brrr!

Brrr!

…to my Gift Ideas for Book Nerds – Xmas 2013 Edition board on Pinterest. Still looking for Xmas gift ideas for the peeps? Then check it out. 🙂

Also! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to receive an autographed copy of Snowbound *and* a Snowbound tote bag. 🙂 Five books + tote bags up for grabs!

To enter all you need to do is leave a comment about snow here or on my FB Author page. 🙂 But hurry–I’ll be picking the winners on 11 December.

 

Time to start holiday shopping for the book nerds in your life? I’ve got just the thing to help you…

Just a quickie here as I am busy, busy, busy at work but I had to share that the latest Gifts for Book Nerds List – Edition 2013 is taking shape on Pinterest. need help find cool Christmas or Chanukah gifts for the book nerds in your life? Then check out my suggestions here.

This year, I decided to keep everything in one place instead of having multiple posts here. But you never know–if I think of any good books as gifts, I’ll most likely post a list or two here. 🙂

In the meantime, I am deep in NaNoWriMo, so soon I will be posting excerpts–even though the novel this year is not as cohesive as last year’s first draft of Maybe Baby.

And before I forget: Snowbound should be live in a week or so! I thought it would be ready this week but formatting issues have caused delayed. Will keep you posted! 🙂

Christmas Gift Ideas for Book Nerds, 2012 Edition

Christmas is just around the corner…

Just a quickie to let you know I’ve started compiling a new edition of Christmas Gift Ideas for Book Nerds. This time you can find it here on Pinterest.

There you will find pictures and links to the items I think could be fun gifts for the book nerd in your life.

Check it often–I will be updating the board every few days with anything cool I find! 🙂

 

Give Books as Gifts for Christmas – Part One

I am one of those people who always appreciate receiving books as gifts. I am also picky when it comes to what books I want. I think most book lovers are the same. We love it when people think enough of us to give us books; we don’t really like it when people don’t actually know what type of books we like and give us something we would never read in a million years. An old boyfriend once asked me , “Would you like some books for Christmas?” I said yes and, when he asked if I could tell him what I hadn’t already read but wanted to read, I wrote down a list of titles for him. I thought this was a good start. Unfortunately, on the day after Christmas when we finally had time to meet, I unwrappped the box and found he’d bought Tom Clancy and Jackie Collins books for me when I’d wished for titles by Milan Kundera, Toni Morrison and Jay McInerney. Luckily there was a gift receipt so I could take all the books back and exchange them for books I really wanted to read. Hollywood Wives and the Hunt for Red October weren’t really very high on my list of must-read books. Nor was anything by H.P. Lovecraft.

So to help you avoid making the same mistake, let’s take a look at some books your book lovers might like. I know I am already drooling over a few of these titles. They may end up being my Christmas presents to myself…

If you have any thriller lovers on your list, then Robert Harris’ latest offering, the Fear Index, should tickle their fancy. This time Harris focuses on an artificial intelligence that tracks human emotions, which enables it to predict movements in financial markets, and what happens when its creator, the ultra-rich. Dr Alex Hoffmann discovers someone has breached the security of his home and finds himself in a nightmare of paranoia and violence. I don’t know about you, but I am all ready hooked. I think I may have to treat myself to that one…:)

For the teenagers (and adults) on your list who prefer their Kindle to “normal” books, check out Forget the Past and Reclaim the Present, Books 1 & 2 of Claude Nougat‘s Fear the Past trilogy. Both books have the perfect blend of the paranormal, time travel, romance and historical fiction to hook readers from the first page. So what’s it about, you ask? At 17, our protagonist, Tony, is a gifted video game creator suffering from burnout. He goes to Sicily (his deceased father’s home) to recover and to rediscover his roots. One day, he finds himself drawn to an abandoned palazzo and is drawn into a strange world where the ghosts of his ancestors await Judgment Day. He also falls in love–with the ghost of the Duchess of Floridia. But can this love transcend time…? Well, you’ll have to read it to find out. 🙂 I’ve read book one and loved it. Going to order book 2 ASAP!

For the food lover on your list, I recommend the Food52 Cookbook. I am a big fan of Food52’s blog and I had to order this cookbook for myself. I am still trying to figure out which recipes I’m going to try but they all sound so scrumptious that I may find myself cooking a lot during the holidays. If you’ve never heard of Food52 or its blog, go there now and discover why it’s one of the best food blogs around.

Want to really splurge on your favorite Norman Mailer or  Marilyn Monroe fan? Then chuck down £650 (yes, that’s the correct amount) on Marilyn Monroe by Norman Mailer and Bert Stern. Taschen has combined Norman Mailer’s original text from his 1973 biography of Monroe with Bert Stern’s gorgeous photographs. You might remember a few years ago he recreated these very images with Lindsay Lohan but nothing beats the beauty and intimacy of the original sessions. I doubt I will ever chuck down so much money on a book but maybe one of you will and I can live vicariously through you.

That’s it for now but I’ll be back later this week with more gift ideas for the rest of the book lovers on your list…