Tourists Prayer (funny)

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Sharing a tourist prayer with those of you who are planing your next vacation:

Heavenly Father, look down on us your humble obedient tourist servants, who are doomed to travel this earth, taking photographs, mailing postcards, buying souvenirs and walking around in drip-dry underwear.

Give us this day divine guidance in the selection of our hotels, that we may find our reservations honored, our rooms made, and hot water running in the faucets.

We pray that the phones work and that the receptionists speak our tongue.

Lead us, dear Lord, to good, inexpensive restaurants where the food is superb, the waiters friendly and the wine included in the price.

Give us the wisdom to tip correctly in currencies we do not understand. Forgive us for undertipping out of ignorance or overtipping out of fear. Make the natives love us for what we are and nor what we can contribute to their worldly goods.

Grant us the strength to visit the museums, the cathedrals , the palaces and castles listed as ‘musts’ in the guidebooks.

And if perchance we skip a historic monument to take a nap after lunch, have mercy on us for our flesh is week.

For Husbands Only
Dear God, keep our wives from shopping sprees and protect them from ‘bargains’ they don’t need or can’t afford. Lead them not into temptation for they know not what they do.

For Wives Only
Almighty Father, keep our husbands from looking at foreign women and comparing them to us. Save them from making fools of themselves in cafes and nightclubs. Above all do not forgive them their trespasses for they know exactly what they do.

Available at Amazon

The perfect fiancé is a cheater and the fabulous Christmas wedding is off. But the would-be honeymoon cruise may fulfill the dreams of Julia and her unexpected companion.

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Mona Risk published more than twenty books, some translated in German and French.
She received an Outstanding Achiever Award at Affaire de Coeur Magazine and is a
Best Romance Novel winner at Preditors & Editors Readers Poll;
Two-Time winner of Best Contemporary Romance Novel at Readers Favorite;
EPIC’s Ebook Award Finalist; and Kindle Top 100 Bestselling Author

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A Holly Jolly Christmas by Mona Risk

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The holiday season has officially started. For Christians, it’s the Advent and the joyous preparations to celebrate Jesus’ Birth. For Jewish, it’s the Hanukkah and lighting of the Menorah. Both traditionally happy celebrations.

I am not trying to depress you, but being a realistic person, let me ask you, what if the coming days are not particularly happy? One of our dear friends lost her husband this week. I wonder how her holiday will turn. Another friend just had open-heart surgery and four by-passes. We hope he will recover soon. Oops, sorry if I’ve depressed you. Not my intention. Life is not always rosy.

In my story, Holly Jolly Christmas, the heroine’s father is very sick. He knows his days are numbered, and he fight hard to build as many happy memories for his family as he can. His Christmas must be a Holly Jolly Christmas. And it does. Even after he passes, he leaves a last letter to his wife Barbara, and his five daughters–a legacy of hope and clear encouragements.

Dear Family:
Life MUST continue. Claire and Tiffany, I count on you to ace your studies and go to college. Roxanne and Madelyn, do your best at work, but remember that a career is not enough to fill a heart. You need a loving partner. Heather and Jeff, take good care of your baby. Barbara, you need to learn to live again. Loneliness is not good.

HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS is my contribution to the USA Today bestseller anthology, LOVE, CHRISTMAS. You’ll love this heartwarming collection of 20 all-new Christmas stories from NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors. Every title in the set is from a well-known Christmas carol and we hope while reading these delightful stories, they will put a song in your heart.14481843_10207545069410046_3314279722083324058_o

http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasUS
http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasKobo
http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasBN
http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasApple

HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS is the prequel to the Holiday Babies Series

With high moral values and a strong sense of unity, the Ramsay family counts five daughters—Madelyn, Roxanne, Heather, Claire, and Tiffany, and their mother Barbara. Later, stepdaughter Monica Roland joins the clan.
Christmas Babies: Can a career fill her life? (Madelyn and Dr. Nick Preston)
Valentine Babies: Can he love a woman expecting another man’s baby? (Roxanne and Dr. Greg Hayes)
Mother’s Day Babies: Never too late to find love and happiness. (Barbara and Lou Roland)
Wedding Surprise: Is it the worst or best wedding surprise? (Claire and David Wheeler)
Christmas Papa: Who’ s my papa, Mommy? (Monica and Michael Wheeler)
meme-2On Christmas Eve: We want a mommy for Christmas. (Tiffany and Dr. Matthew Alonso)

Free today: RIGHT NAME, WRONG MAN

 

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Easy Cheesy Baked Rigatoni by Denise Devine

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easy-cheesy-baked-rigatoni1 box (16 oz) rigatoni
1 jar spaghetti sauce (any of the cheese-added variety)
½ ring of sausage (such as Hillshire, etc.)
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 soup can of milk
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheese (parmesan or mozzarella)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Cook rigatoni in a large saucepan, drain and pour immediately into a lasagna pan.

Pour spaghetti sauce, soup, milk and sour cream into large saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, thinly slice sausage and add to mixture. When sauce is smooth and bubbly, pour over rigatoni noodles, top with shredded cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and pan is bubbling.

Let sit for 10 minutes then serve.

As always, any recipe can be modified to your tastes. Feel free to experiment!

Note:  This recipe makes a lot of sauce, but trust me, it’s not too much. Rigatoni absorbs a lot of moisture when baked and this casserole (or hot dish, as we call it in Minnesota) will come out of the oven very creamy, but that is what makes it so good. As it begins to cool, it will thicken.

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Holiday Traditional #Recipe from #USAToday Love, Christmas author @jacqbiggar @mimisgang1

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Holiday Traditional Recipe and Excerpt From Silver Bells

by Jacquie Biggar

 

The Christmas season is my favorite time of year. An air of festivity takes hold as stores bring out their holiday decorations and old time favorites play on the television.

One of my favorite Christmas recipes came from my grandmother, Waldorf salad. Every year I’d look forward to seeing that fancy glass bowl filled with chopped up apples taking pride of the place on our dining room table. It was Grandma’s donation to our holiday dinner.

We’ve kept the tradition going, even though she passed away a few years ago. Now, when I look upon that simple bowl of salad every year, I feel her presence among us and smile.

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WALDORF SALAD

6 Spartan or Mac Apples

3 Stalks Celery

1 cup Chopped Walnuts

1 cup Mayo, 2 tbs. sugar, 4 tbs. milk whipped together

Use lemon juice or citric acid to whiten apples.

Peel and chop apples and celery into bite-size pieces, sprinkle with lemon juice. Add walnuts. Stir in dressing and refrigerate until use. Enjoy.

Categories

Fruits, Nuts, Vegetables, Salads, Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, No Cook, Quick

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 100.2g
Amount Per Serving

Calories

120

Calories from Fat

45
% Daily Value*

Total Fat

5.0g
8%

Saturated Fat

0.3g
1%

Trans Fat

0.0g

Cholesterol

0mg
0%

Sodium

89mg
4%

Potassium

262mg
7%

Total Carbohydrates

19.1g
6%

Dietary Fiber

2.5g
10%

Sugars

13.2g

Protein

2.6g
Vitamin A 3% Vitamin C 13%
Calcium 2% Iron 3%

* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional details are an estimate and should only be used as a guide for approximation.

***

In my story, Silver Bells, part of the Love, Christmas Collection on sale now at your favorite vendor, my heroine, Christy, has a young daughter recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Their lives now revolve around carb counting, blood testing, and insulin needles. This is from the Canadian Diabetes Association:

Type 1 diabetes is a disease in which the pancreas does not produce any insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body to control the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood. Without insulin, glucose builds up in your blood instead of being used for energy.

Your body produces glucose and also gets glucose from foods like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, milk and fruit.

The cause of type 1 diabetes remains unknown. It is not caused by eating too much sugar, and is not preventable. The current thought is that type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system destroys the cells that make insulin.

While children with type 1 have to be vigilant with their care, they can still enjoy active, healthy lifestyles. We’ve come a long way in treating this life-threatening illness, and with any luck sometime in the near future, a cure will be found.

Here’s an exclusive excerpt from Silver Bells:

“Mommy, Mommy,” Jill cried, skipping into the kitchen. “Guess what? We’ve been playing I Spy. It’s so fun, and I was winning too.” She came and wrapped her arms around Christy’s waist. “I’m hungry,” she announced.

Christy bent over and kissed the top of Jill’s head, then smiled at the elderly woman entering the room. “Was she good?”

Claire Michaels, her neighbor and good friend, snorted. “Do geese lay eggs?” she asked, and grinned at Jill’s giggles. “Of course she was good. That child is never a problem. How about you? Did you enjoy your run?”

Annoyance warmed her cheeks to a rosy hue. “I did until some idiot took offence to me drawing him and stole my work.”

Claire gasped. “Phone the police. He can’t get away with that.”

Christy grimaced. “He kind of can. I should have asked his permission first. I’ve just never had an issue before.” She shrugged and let go of Jill so she could open the fridge to withdraw the soup she’d made earlier.

“Want to stay for dinner? There’s plenty.” She waved a hand back and forth over the tricky gas burner until it lit, then set the pot of hamburger soup on to heat.

“Stay, Aunty Claire. Stay,” Jill begged.

Claire laughed. “How can I say no to an invitation like that?” She sat at the oval country style kitchen table with a relieved sigh and watched Jill dance around the island in the center of the room. “She never stops. It’s hard to imagine…”

Christy’s stomach rolled. She nodded and concentrated on cutting slices of fresh baked whole wheat bread to go with the meal. Yeah, it was hard to imagine her bright, cheerful little girl had developed the dangerous disease of Type 1 Diabetes. But it was true.

The shock had taken a while to overcome. To think a simple trip to the clinic over a weak set of kidneys ended in emergency at the hospital. Then came a week spent in the children’s ward learning just how threatening her sickness could be—and that there is no cure. It was a lot to take in and deal with. It broke her heart every time she had to poke her daughter’s fingers in order to take blood glucose readings, twelve or more times a day, twenty-four-seven. And then there were the needles for insulin injections. Some days it was hard to remember a life before carb counts and two-hour checks, but the worst were the nights. The fear was always there she’d be fast asleep and Jill would go low and need immediate care, or dangerously high requiring ketone checks and lots and lots of water to flush her system.

The stress had ended her marriage. Kevin was a good man, but not up to dealing with his less than perfect—in his eyes—little girl. And that was okay, Christy didn’t have the reserves to deal with his crisis of conscience anyway.

To read more, pick up your copy of love, Christmas today!

d6739-love2bchristmas

Put a song in your heart with 20 all-new Christmas Romances from NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors. Each brand-new title is inspired by a Christmas carol and will lift your spirits and bring on the holiday cheer. 

Amazon: http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasUS 

B&N: http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasBN

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/love-christmas-holiday-stories-that-will-put-a-song-in-your-heart

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/love-christmas-holiday-stories/id1158227218?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Add to your TBR pile: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32316229-love-christmas—holiday-stories-that-will-put-a-song-in-your-heart

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Little Drummer Boy

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Quick! Think of a Christmas song!

Now, not so quick, find your favorite one that is really about Christmas. If you’re like me, the two weren’t the same. It’s also quite possible that the first one you thought of wasn’t even a Christmas song, but rather a seasonal tune about winter.

The first song I thought of was Jingle Bells. Hmm. Not really Christmas-y, is it? Nowadays, travel over white and drifting snow usually means sitting in a four-wheel drive vehicle as it roars down the highway, not snuggled in a blanket, sleigh bells jingling, as a horse with an innate sense of direction brings you home in a fancy sled.

My favorite Christmas carol/tune is Little Drummer Boy. I guess it is popular with other folks, too, but Debbie Haston was the first to choose it in the Authors’ Billboard contest, so my book is dedicated to her. The song’s soothing tune blends well with its simple message. Thanks for entering, Debbie!

In this classic song, the little drummer boy was poor, but talented. He had no money, so instead shared his gift. The generous young man didn’t do it for attention. His parents didn’t coerce him. He did it out of love for the new-born king.

I always identified with the drummer boy in the song. We were poor when I was a kid, but I didn’t know it. I had siblings to play with, food to eat (even though it was often beans), and a dog. What else could anyone want besides the occasional soda or ice cream treat? We got gifts for Christmas, mostly pajamas and underwear, but Mom made sure we got at least one toy. We also had special food (turkey and real butter!), decorated a tree, and sang songs.

What I remember most, though, is being together. And healthy. Everything else was just stuff that was soon forgotten, broken, or thrown away. dani-leonard-janie-christmas-card-1955The card Mom made for her mother when I was three years old is still one of my most prized possessions. Inside was a picture of Mom’s three treasures: her first three children. A store bought card would have been lost or tossed long ago.

In my contribution to this boxed set the reader discovers how a 1780s family in North Carolina celebrates Christmas, and why love and giving of one’s self is more important than fancy wrapping paper and high dollar gifts. Little Drummer Boy, part of the Love, Christmas – Holiday Stories That Will Put a Song in Your Heart. Introductory priced at only 99 cents.

Amazon US   Amazon UK    Amazon CA     Nook      Kobo    Apple / iTunes

And remember to have a safe and friendly holiday season, no matter where (or when) you are.

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So This is Christmas by Denise Devine – From the Love, Christmas Boxed Set #mgtab #holidayromance

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so-this-is-christmas_denise-devineSo This is Christmas is one of the twenty stories included the Love, Christmas boxed set.

I picked the title So This is Christmas, by John Lennon, because I have always loved this song. The passionate lyrics and melancholy tone is reflective of the man himself. Listening to words, I get the feeling he’s pouring his innermost thoughts on the paper as he writes. It’s Christmas, another year has ended and you’re about to start another one. So, what have you done in the past year? Have you accomplished anything worthwhile?

The main character in my story, Annabelle Lee, does a bit of reflecting on the past herself. She’s given up everything to build her photography business and it’s going well, but lately she has begun to wonder if it was really worth the sacrifice. Her annual Christmas weekend with her best friends—the girls she’s known most of her life—is coming up, so she decides to arrive at the cabin a few days early to relax in front of a crackling fire, sip wine and contemplate her future. When she arrives, however, things don’t turn out the way she has planned.

But, then, do they ever?

Annabelle Lee—She’s looking forward to a weekend of catching up, munching cookies and enjoying Christmas cheer with her childhood girlfriends. She hasn’t had a vacation since this time last year and desperately needs the time off. Her business has taken a toll on her life, leaving her exhausted and questioning the price of success. She arrives early at Ellie Stone’s family cabin to relax and decide the direction of her future, but to her dismay, she’s not alone. Ellie’s twin brother is also there and declares he isn’t leaving until Friday.

Christopher Stone—He’s the boy who mercilessly teased her when they were kids. He’s grown into a handsome man with a career in professional baseball and a pop-star girlfriend. He appears to have an idyllic life, but the longer they talk, the more Annabelle suspects his love life isn’t as perfect as he claims. She can’t deny her attraction to him and knows he’s attracted to her as well.

Best Friends Forever—Will this week proceed like old times or turn out to be the beginning of a new chapter in her life?

~     ~     ~     ~

So this is Christmas is one of the twenty stories in the Love, Christmas boxed set. It’s on pre-order now at only 99 cents. It goes live on Tuesday, October 18th so reserve your copy now!

Amazonlove-christmas-jpeg

Nook

Kobo

iTunes

 

Hey, there! We’re having a Facebook party on October 17-18 (1 pm to 6 pm EST) to celebrate the launch of Love, Christmas, and you’re invited! Two fun-filled days of appearances by all of the Love, Christmas authors, games and lots of prizes. Come and join us, and bring a friend!

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See you at the party!

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Last Christmas from Love, Christmas @JoanReeves #mgtab

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Cover of Last Christmas by Joan ReevesLast Christmas has always been one of my favorite holiday songs. Earlier this year, we ran a contest with Fresh Fiction and asked entrants to name their favorite holiday song–a classic carol or a popular song.

We authors had chosen a favorite song in advance. The first person to name the author’s song became the reader to which the author dedicated her novella.

My song was Last Christmas, made popular by Wham and recorded most recently by Taylor Swift. Several readers listed the song as a favorite, but Corissa Palfrey was the first to list it. So Last Christmas, my holiday romance in the Love, Christmas Collection, is dedicated to Corissa.

Why I Chose Last Christmas

I’ve always liked Last Christmas because the song is a study in contrast. The lyrics are poignant, but the rock and roll beat and tune don’t make you feel tearful and sad as so many Christmas songs do. When Last Christmas plays, you want to snap your fingers and tap your feet.

Further analysis shows that the song is actually one of optimism and personal growth. In the song, a girl gave her love unwisely to a man who didn’t value it, but she learned from the experience. That’s why this Christmas, she’s going to give her heart to someone special!

What If…

Every woman has probably had her heart broken at some time or other. The lyrics for Last Christmas fired my imagination and the story nearly told itself: a woman fell for a man and gave her heart to him. After a few days, he simply vanished!

Ever been told, “I’ll call you,” but the phone never rings–no matter how long you wait!

Sign says RetaliationWhat if the two lovers meet again?

What if he wants to rekindle the romance?

What if she wants to make him pay for breaking her heart?

Haven’t we all had similar fantasies of getting redress when wronged?

Blurb

Last Christmas Annabelle Cooper fell in love at first sight with a mysterious stranger. After a week of unforgettable passion, he walked out of her life with a promise to call her later.

ab_lc_lastchristmas_01_webA year of heartache accompanied by the dirty tricks life can serve up finds Annabelle back in her hometown, determined to forget the man who still haunts her dreams.

Who should walk into her grandmother’s Christmas party? Why the man who seduced her, lied to her, and betrayed her! He has a new name and a new identity, but his effect on Annabelle is as old as time.

Rick Lassiter thinks–hopes–he can woo Annabelle back to him–and his bed. But, he didn’t count on the passionate sweet-tempered woman he remembered as having a will as strong as his and a desire to make him pay for breaking her heart.

Rick wants redemption, but Annabelle has revenge in mind.

Special Price–Limited Time

Love, Christmas is the Collection of the YEAR, and it’s only 99Cents!!!

You’ll love this heartwarming collection of 20 all-new Christmas stories from NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors. Every title in the set is from a well-known Christmas song, and we hope while reading these delightful stories, they will put a song in your heart.

love-christmas
Love, Christmas is on pre-order now! The Collection will publish on October 18. Get it now at these ebook sellers: Amazon Kindle * KoboBooks * B&N * iBooks.

Try Before You Buy

That’s right, we’ve put together a sampler, Book Bites 7, containing every first chapter of all the novellas in Love, Christmas. This Holiday Sampler is free! You’ll find it at these ebook sellers: Amazon * Kobo * B&N.

rsz_1bookbites7-1350-x-2015-resizedBut Wait, There’s More!

To celebrate the release of Love, Christmas, we are having Facebook parties with prizes, giveaways, and even a Treasure Hunt!

Love, Christmas Treasure Hunt graphicClick to join the Love, Christmas Treasure Hunt. There’s a lot of fun to be had and prizes too!

Click to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway–there are some great prizes!

The Rafflecopter began Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 25.

ab_lc_tour_bookpartners_fb-eventJoin the Authors of Love, Christmas on Oct. 17 and 18 for Facebook Parties thrown by Book Partners. All authors are giving away prizes. I hope to see you there!

For information about these events, check the Love, Christmas Facebook Page.

ab_lc_collage-wideBook Links Encore

Book Bites 7: Holiday Sampler. FREE! Amazon * Kobo * B&N.

Love, Christmas Romance Collection. Pre-order now and find it in your Inbox at midnight on October 18. Amazon Kindle * KoboBooks * B&N * iBooks.


Joan Reeves writes sexy Contemporary Romance Novels–available at most ebook sellers. (Audio editions available at Audible, and iTunes.) All of Joan’s books have the same underlying premise: “It’s never too late to live Happily Ever After.”

Joan lives her Happily Ever After with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State.

Readers, sign up for Joan’s Mailing List/Free NL . Writers, subscribe to WritingHacks, Joan’s free NL for authors. Connect Online with Joan: Blog * Facebook * Google+  * Twitter * YouTube.

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What Silver Bells means to me? Love, Christmas Collection #Traditions #HolidayRomance #mgtab @jacqbiggar

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What Silver Bells means to me?

 

 

 

I first heard Silver Bells as a young girl. My mom and dad made it a tradition to take us out looking for the perfect Christmas tree. Sometimes we’d drive for hours before Dad found just the right area to search in. He’d park on the side of the country road and tell us to get ready, then go around to the back of the truck and haul out his axe and a rope so we could drag it out of the bush. The snow would be deep and fresh, with only a few animal tracks to guide us on our journey.

If the sun was still high enough, the snow would glisten like diamonds. If it was lower, the trees would cast shadows and we would hurry to stay close to our dad. The thing I remember most is the quiet. No cars. No people chattering. Just the crunch of our boots and the wind sighing through the spruce trees.

Being a townie, as we called the kids who always lived within town limits, this was a treat for us. It reminded me of church. And maybe that’s what it was meant to be, Nature’s cathedral.

 

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When we’d finally get back home, Mom would make us hot chocolate, place Bing Crosby’s Silver Bells on our stereo record player, and Dad would bring the tree into the house and find the best spot to set it up. Most of the time, he picked a tree that was miles too big for our living room and bare on one side. He would grin at Mom’s clucks and groans and wink at us.

I think it was a game they played. 🙂

When my dad passed away, we stopped going out on our Christmas tree quest, instead we bought an artificial that went up in any corner of the room and always looked perfect.

But it didn’t have the scent of pine, or the love of a family outing to make it into something special.

When Mimi Barbour came up with the idea for a box set of holiday stories titled with Christmas songs, it was easy to decide which one I’d like to do. I was delighted when one of the winners of this spring’s Fresh Fiction contest chose my song!

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It was fate. Thank you, Deb Philippon. 🙂

 

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What about you? Do you have family traditions, young or old, that makes the holidays that bit more special?

We’d love to hear about them.

 

I hope you’ll give the Love, Christmas Collection a try. It’s filled with twenty never-before-seen novellas from bestselling authors of romance.

I think you’re going to like it!

 

ab_lc_pr_card-08

Love, Christmas Collection

Put a song in your heart with 20 all-new Christmas Romances from NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors. Each brand-new title is inspired by a Christmas carol and will lift your spirits and bring on the holiday cheer. 

Amazon: http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasUS 

B&N: http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasBN

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/love-christmas-holiday-stories-that-will-put-a-song-in-your-heart

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/love-christmas-holiday-stories/id1158227218?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

And don’t forget to enter our Rafflecopter!

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