Feed your Kindle for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is soon here and you know what that means: a houseful of wonderful but noisy relatives, overindulging on delicious and maybe just a tad bit too rich food, drunk uncles (and maybe aunts too), and the inevitable food coma. It’s also when–if you’re an extroverted introvert like me–you need to retreat for just a little while with a good book.

And since Thanksgiving (at least for me) marks the beginning of the holiday season, it’s also time to feed my Kindle with lots of holiday fiction and romance. I’ve already started scoping out a few. 

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

Imagine being put under quarantine with your family for seven days…how claustrophobic would you become after a few days? That’s the premise of Francesca Hornak’s Seven Days of Us

And the blurb? 

It’s Christmas, and the Birch family is gathering for the first time in years.

Olivia, the eldest daughter, has returned from treating an epidemic abroad and must go into quarantine for seven days. Her mother has decided it’s the perfect opportunity to spend some ‘special time’ together. Her youngest sister wholeheartedly disagrees. Her father isn’t allowed an opinion. 

When no one can leave the house, seven days for the Birches feels like an eternity. 

Especially when they’re all harbouring secrets. One of whom is about to come knocking at their door…

Sounds like fun, right? I picked this one up in paperback at Pocketshop here in Stockholm. I’m going to start reading it at the weekend, so there will be a review soon. 🙂

Winter Nights by Penny Reid et al

Want a box set to fill your Kindle for the holidays? Grab a copy of Winter Nights featuring stories by Penny Reid, Tijan, Elle Kennedy, Shayla Black, J. Kenner, Katy Regnery, Kate Canterbary, Charlotte Byrd, Lena Hart and Skye Warren. 

So what’s the scoop? 

HEAT UP YOUR NIGHTS!

Ten steamy books from bestselling authors fill this limited-time winter boxed set! If you love alpha heroes and sexy romance, this one’s for you…

Author’s Note: WINTER NIGHTS is a brand new boxed set for the season as a gift to our readers and to introduce you to new series to love!

TEN BOOKS INCLUDE:
Carter Reed by Tijan
Elements of Chemistry by Penny Reid
Wicked Grind by J. Kenner
Feeling Hot by Elle Kennedy
More Than Want You by Shayla Black
Survival of the Richest by Skye Warren
The Space Between by Kate Canterbary
Her Seductive Dare by Lena Hart
Black Edge by Charlotte Byrd
Bidding on Brooks by Katy Regnery 

12 Nights of Christmas: a holiday anthology by Kate Allenton et al

Another holiday anthology to keep you busy and this one features a story by me. Plus we’re raising money for Feeding America

Twelve bestselling and award-winning authors each bring you a sexy night of romance, fun and a little magic. ‘Tis the season for falling for the right guy!

Two people stuck in an elevator, snowed in, on an all-night bus trip, locked in a store… Can a magical fruitcake be the special ingredient they’re all looking for?

**‘Tis the season for giving, too!**
20% of the proceeds will be donated to the hunger relief organization Feeding America

December 25: “Scrooge You” by MK Schiller

December 26: “Unexpected Daddy” by Gemma Brocato

December 27: “The Meant to Be Girl” by Tawdra Kandle

December 28: “For One Night Only” by Carrie Elks

December 29: “Best Friends for a Night” by Alice Gaines

December 30: “Entwined” by Kristi Rose

December 31: “Rekindled” by Stacy Finz

January 1: “New Year’s Negotiation” by Kate Allenton

January 2: “Playing House” by Kim Golden

January 3: “Book of Love” by Cd Brennan

January 4: “A Winter Wonderland” by Rebecca Hunter

January 5: “Wild Honey” by Sarah Hegger


Someone to Trust by Mary Balogh

You know I am a sucker for Regency romance, so I’ve already 1-clicked Someone to Trust.

What’s it about? 

During a rare white Christmas at Brambledean Court, the widow Elizabeth, Lady Overfield, defies convention by falling in love with a younger man in the latest novel in the Westcott series.

After her husband’s passing, Elizabeth Overfield decides that she must enter into another suitable marriage. That, however, is the last thing on her mind when she meets Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges, at the Westcott Christmas house party. She simply enjoys his company as they listen to carolers on Christmas Eve, walk home from church together on Christmas morning, and engage in a spirited snowball fight in the afternoon. Both are surprised when their sled topples them into a snowbank and they end up sharing an unexpected kiss. They know there is no question of any relationship between them, for she is nine years older than he.

They return to London the following Season, both committed to finding other, more suitable matches. Still they agree to share one waltz at each ball they attend. This innocuous agreement proves to be one that will topple their worlds, as each dance steadily ensnares them in a romance that forces the two to question what they are willing to sacrifice for love. . . .

That’s it for today, but I have the feeling I will be back soon with more holiday book suggestions. 🙂 What book will you sneak away to read during Thanksgiving? 

Kim’s Christmas Reads – Part I

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I am getting in the mood for books set during the Christmas holidays. I’ve got three books I am adding to my Christmas reading list–maybe you should too! Are you ready to 1-click? 

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-21-43-33Countdown to Christmas with Sue Moorcroft’s The Christmas Promise.  Perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley, Carole Matthews and Katie Fforde.

On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava. Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good ones.

Times are tough for Ava – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and worst of all, it’s nearly Christmas.

So when Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special, she makes a promise that will change her life. She just doesn’t know it yet…

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-21-48-27Next there’s Kathryn Freeman’s A Second Christmas Wish!

Do you believe in Father Christmas?

For Melissa, Christmas has always been overrated. From her cold, distant parents to her manipulative ex-husband, Lawrence, she’s never experienced the warmth and contentment of the festive season with a big, happy family sitting around the table.

And Melissa has learned to live with it, but it breaks her heart that her seven-year-old son, William, has had to live with it too. Whilst most little boys wait with excitement for the big day, William finds it difficult to believe that Father Christmas even exists.

But then Daniel McCormick comes into their lives. And with his help, Melissa and William might just be able to find their festive spirit, and finally have a Christmas where all of their wishes come true…

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-21-54-21And then there’s Unwrapping the Holidays, a Kimani Christmas Duo from Nana Malone and Sheryl Lister!

Desire is rising—and hearts are melting—in these sizzling holiday stories

Hot Coded Christmas by Nana Malone

Nothing says Christmas quite like…computer coding? That’s how CEO Jamie Reed plans to spend the holidays, holed up in an upstate New York guesthouse, desperately trying to save her company. She didn’t count on sharing this secluded wonderland with her business rival, Cole Nichols. But the sexy tech billionaire just might be the one to make all Jamie’s winter wishes come true…

Be Mine for Christmas by Sheryl Lister

After her dream Christmas wedding is canceled, Maya Brooks aims to revive her spirits with a little holiday fling. Ian Jeffries finds the gorgeous bakery owner as luscious as her desserts—and wants more of both. But Maya’s trust is shattered when she discovers that Ian’s real-estate firm is trying to buy out her shop. Can he prove his passion isn’t a ruse and that her love’s the only gift he will need forever?

Like these ideas? I’ll be back soon with more suggestions for Christmas reads and some gift ideas for the bookworms in your life! 🙂 Happy reading!

Review: Once Upon a Royal Christmas by Robin Bielman

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-07-23-22I love holiday romances and I love reading stories about royalty and commoners falling in love, so Robin Bielman‘s Once Upon a Royal Christmas was a good fit for me. Set in the small town of Marietta, Once Upon a Royal Christmas tells the story of how Rowan and Prince Theo meet and fall in love.

It’s got the makings a of perfect holiday romance–the hunk of a hero who just happens to be a royal, the feisty heroine who is a little clumsy but still a charmer. It’s a smartly written romance with great banter that reminded me of the romantic comedies of the past starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy or even Jimmy Steward and Donna Reed. I like how Bielman gives the characters a chance to get to know one another as their attraction grows. It makes for a very nice build up to their passion.

My only quibble is that, since this was my first time reading a Robin Bielman novel, I felt like I needed to know a little more about what exactly Rowan did that disgraced her at the local newspaper. I didn’t really understand it since we didn’t get enough info to make it feel plausible. However, I loved how she described the town of Marietta, so I think I’ll be reading a few more Marietta stories before the year is out.

A fun holiday read!

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-07-29-41

 

Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, but was not required to write a review or influenced in terms of my review.

More holiday reads to check out!

Yes, it’s the third Sunday of Advent and here in Sweden it’s Saint Lucy’s Day, which pretty much marks the beginning of Christmas here.

I love Christmas and I love reading novels set during the holiday season. So let’s continue with more books you can read to help you get in the spirit! 🙂

ChristmasWishesJenny Hale‘s latest, Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses, sounds like my cuppa tea!

An uplifting, beautiful story about never letting go of your dreams, the special magic of a family Christmas… and the rush of falling in love under the mistletoe.
Single mother Abbey Fuller loves her family more than anything, and doesn’t regret for a moment having had to put her dreams of being an interior designer on hold. But with her son, Max, growing up, when a friend recommends her for a small design job she jumps at the chance. How hard can it be?

Nick Sinclair needs his house decorated in time for his family’s festive visit – and money is no object. What he doesn’t need is to be distracted from his multi-million dollar business – even if it is Christmas.

When Abbey pulls up to the huge Sinclair mansion, she has a feeling she might be out of her depth. And when she meets the gorgeous, brooding Nicholas Sinclair, she knows that she’s in real trouble…

With the snow falling all around, can Abbey take the chance to make her dreams of being a designer come true? And can she help Nick to finally enjoy the magic of Christmas?

Now, I read the Christmas Tree Guy by Railyn Stone last Christmas, but I think I’ll be re-reading it this year. 🙂

XmasTreeGuySydnee Garrett has a lot on her to-do list. Wrangle her young and rambunctious twin boys. Check. Get her life back in order since her husband decided to leave her for a much younger woman. Check. And buy a Christmas tree. Check.

What she wasn’t expecting was adding one more thing to her list. A young, sexy personal trainer. Check.

Quinn Masters is a man who knows what he wants and doesn’t take no for an answer. He isn’t fazed by age or race differences and he does everything in his power to win Sydnee over.

Will Sydnee continue to fight for her orderly life or welcome in the chaos that’s threatening to change her entire world?

BurningBrightThis year was the first time I ever saw romances set during Chanukah. Now, I think today is the last day of Chanukah, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still fall in love, right? 🙂  I think k I’ll be checking out Burning Bright.

This December, take a break from dreidel spinning, gelt winning, and latke eating to experience the joy of Chanukah. When you fall in love during the Festival of Lights, the world burns a whole lot brighter.

It’s definitely not love at first sight for Amanda and her cute but mysterious new neighbor, Ben. Can a Chanukah miracle show them that getting off on the wrong foot doesn’t mean they can’t walk the same road?

Lawyers in love, Shari Cohen and Evan Sonntag are happy together. But in a moment of doubt, he pushes her away—then soon realizes he made a huge mistake. To win her back, it might take something like a Chanukah miracle.

When impulsive interior designer Molly Baker-Stein barges into Jon Adelman’s apartment and his life intent on planning the best Chanukah party their building has ever seen, neither expects that together they just might discover a Home for Chanukah.

All Tamar expected from her Israel vacation was time to hang out with one of her besties and to act like a tourist, cheesy t-shirt and all, in her two favorite cities. She definitely was not expecting to fall for Avi, a handsome soldier who’s more than she ever dreamed. 

41A2YaB8RIL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_I really like the sound of Lit Up by Devyn Morgan–two men falling in love and dealing with their religious differences. Could be fun! Adding it to my Kindle queue. 🙂

Has a fateful November meeting over raspberries led Rusty to Mr. Right? He and Cole have so much in common, except for that religious background thing.

And Cole loves holidays. Rusty decks out Christmas trees, while Cole lights up menorahs. It can’t be that hard to plan and execute the perfect Chanukah. What could possibly go wrong?

Two men, two sets of traditions, one chance for Rusty to get it right.

Exactly what do you do with a dreidel?

Lit Up is a standalone M/M romance with an HEA.

Still need more! Keep checking in! I’ll be bringing you more of my favorite finds for holiday reads! 🙂

Happy reading!

Getting to know Scarlett Bailey

Just before I left for Salzburg I finished reading Scarlett Bailey’s novel, The Night Before Christmas, which I really enjoyed. Then I happened to come across her on Twitter and Facebook and took the plunge: I asked her if I could interview her for kimtalksbooks. The Night Before Christmas is Scarlett’s debut novel–plus she also wrote a novella called Santa, Maybe which was her 2011 advent calendar–a chapter a day–what a brilliant idea! 🙂 Catch it while you can–she’ll be taking it down soon…

And I apologize for takng so long to post this…going away for Christmas and then coming home and trying to work from home has been a bit insane… 🙂

Prior to publishing The Night Before Christmas, Scarlett worked as a bookseller,  waitress, barmaid and cinema usherette. She lives in Hertfordshire with her dog and her collection of beautiful shoes (I should have asked about the shoes–I love shoes)…

Q:  Could you tell us what inspired the story of The Night Before Christmas?

A: I just love Christmas, so I wanted to write a really Christmassy book – and for me, growing up in family that split up when I was child, I identified with Lydia’s search for that perfect Christmas, the one time when everything will be just right – she’s never had that before.

Q: How long did it take you to write the first draft of The Night Before Christmas? How long did it take until you had a final draft you were satisfied with?

A: It was quick to write, because it was so much fun and I was so full of ideas. Three months for the first draft, and then another two until it was finished.  

Q: Lydia’s dilemma is the stuff of movies. When you were writing, did you envision any actors or actresses to play the leads? Or did you find inspiration elsewhere?

A: I didn’t have an actor in mind for Lydia, and I think it’s best to try and imagine you characters from scratch, I think it makes them more real. However, I now picture Will as actor Aidan Turner – best known at the moment for playing Mitchell in Being Human, though soon to appear in the Hobbit movie. He does rather seem to fit the bill perfectly! 

Q: I’m a big fan of Christmas movies. My top five are It’s a Wonderful Lifethe Holiday, the Family Stone, Elf and Love Actually. Which Christmas films would you say are your top five and why those five?

A: I love It’s A Wonderful Life, it’s such a great Christmas story of redemption and hope, The Sound of Music, never get bored of Julie Andrews making outfits out of curtains, I also love Elf, it’s probably the only modern Christmas film that I really enjoy. Miracle on 34th Street, the perfect film to watch whenever you need reminding magic is real and Bing Crosby singing ‘White Christmas’ in Holiday Inn, just for that reason. 

Q: How would you describe your typical writing day?

A: I get up pretty early, write until about 5. I write a lot of words in a day, and then spend the next day throwing about half of them away! 

Q: Do you have a special place where you like to write? Could you describe it for us?

A: I now have my own writing room, which I am very proud of. I have a window, with a view of rooftops, a really nice desk that used to belong to my gran, and lots of photographs of friends and family all around.  

Q: Did you have a special playlist or soundtrack which you listened to while writing The Night Before Christmas? Could you share it with us?

A: I can’t listen to music when I’m writing because I just end up singing and dancing and not writing, but while I’ve been putting together my Christmas Advent Calendar novella ‘Santa, Maybe’ I’ve used song titles for most chapters, and so I’ve been listening to a lot of Christmas songs, looking for ones that fit the story, My most favourite is ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,’ as sung by Judy Garland.

Q: Your Advent calendar novella (with a new chapter for every day) is fantastic. What inspired this particular story?

A: Ha! Thank you, for saying so. I was inspired to do something nice for the people that have read The Night Before Christmas, enjoyed it and wanted more. As its my first novel there is no more, so I had the idea of an advent calendar with a chapter of a Christmas story behind each window as a ‘thank you’ for all the lovely support I’ve been getting. I didn’t realise it would end up being about twenty-five thousand words long! I wanted it to be fun, magical, and super Christmassy – and I’ve been writing a chapter a day since December the 1st! I still don’t now how it will end…

Q: Will your next novel also focus on Christmas? Have you already begun working on it?

A: Yes, I’m writing it now, and yes it will be Christmassy again. It’s called ‘Married By Christmas’ and it’s about Anna, who with only two weeks to go until her Christmas Eve wedding, finds out her boyfriend is still married to a Vegas Show girl!!  

Q: What advice would you like to give to aspiring authors?

A: Keep writing, the more you write the better you get. And read a lot. The best way to learn to build a book is to read, read and then do some more reading!  

Thanks to Scarlett for answering my questions! Want to find out more about Scarlett and her writing? Look her up on Facebook and “like” her fan page. And, even though it’s no longer Christmas, we’ve got a long winter ahead of us, so pick up a copy of The Night Before Christmas and get lost in a fun, romantic book!