Published Nov. 2018
The Greatest Gift of All
The Nutcracker Sweet
by Kristi Ahlers
While housesitting in England over the holidays, an American woman discovers a Christmas romance blossoming in humorous and unexpected ways.
The Dream Gift
by Roxy Q. Reise
In pursuit of the man of her dreams, Holly finds roadblocks standing in the way of receiving her ultimate Christmas gift.
We Made Snow Angels
by Jennifer Patricia O’Keeffe
Over-bearing parents, a goody-two-shoes sister, and a few feet of snow are only some of the humorous obstacles that Rebecca faces in this Christmas-themed RomCom for the modern girl.
Elisabeth’s Holiday Gift
by Jae El Foster
Can the handsome Lord Harrison salvage Lady Elisabeth's spirits and transform her Christmas depression into joyful celebration?
$2.99 - eBook or $14.99 - Print
NUTCRACKER SWEET by Kristi Ahlers
Allie stuck her tongue out at her best friend before she flopped back on the bed and studied the ceiling. “Am I crazy?”
“You were supposed to say no.”
“You wanted an answer and that’s my honest answer. This is insane.”
“I’m just going to house sit, I’m not moving in. I’m not leaving for forever.”
“What is wrong with this dude that he requires a house sitter who isn’t English? I swear he’s probably a serial killer with a Justin Bieber hang up.”
“Is that your worst-case scenario?”
“Yes. Er…no…I don’t know!”
Allie stood and smoothed down her sweater. “You can come and visit. I’ll be there three months, I can write from there and best of all, I’ll be earning some money!”
“You have money, Al’s”
“No, my family has money, it’s not mine.”
“Allegra Jane, you get your backside down here right now, and talk to your mama!”
Allie sighed and closed her eyes, her mom was obviously home and ready to take this topic on.
Katy smiled and stood. “I guess this is where I go home.”
“No! This is where you stay put given the fact my mom is in my townhouse because you, my friend, are a traitor!”
Katy held her hands up. “Nope, believe it or not, this isn’t on me.”
“No, it isn’t. Your Grammy let it slip.” Meredith Shipman stepped into her daughter’s bedroom and frowned. “Now get yourself downstairs and explain to me why my only daughter has plans on sneaking out of town, right before Christmas no less, to house sit for a potential sex trafficker.”
“Oh, good one. See it can get worse, Al’s.” Katy smiled and hugged Meredith. “Hi, mom.”
“Katherine Marie, I’m disappointed that you didn’t come and tell me what my hairbrained daughter was thinking!”
THE DREAM GIFT by Roxy Q. Reise
“I have to try,” Quinn said. “You understand that, right?”
I stood there, stunned, shaken, in the middle of the trail, in the middle of Holy Jim Canyon on the way back from visiting the falls, one of my favorite places. “I understand,” I replied. My voice sounded strained and disconnected even to my ears.
Quinn is breaking up with me and this is how he does it?
My brain tells my feet to move and I walked into a grotto made by a wild fig tree under the July sun. It was only a week after my birthday. A week after Quinn and his band arranged a show with three other bands and dedicated it to me and my birthday.
And now he’s breaking up with me?
Driving out, I was glad I had to concentrate on the road and not sit and sob in a hot car in the middle of summer.
“Quinn, you broke up with me in the middle of a canyon,” I gestured behind us. “Be glad I didn’t leave you there.” I gasped a sob. “Please, just get out.”
Even though he closed the car door carefully, it sounded like the door slamming on my heart.
WE MADE SNOW ANGELS by Jennifer Patricia O’Keeffe
Dazed, her bottom sore and her pride even more so, she looked up at the person she had collided with. The man seemed unharmed, unscathed, and – most fortunately – not angry. He smiled down at her with his magnificent blue eyes, perfect brown hair, and teeth as clean and healthy as any she’d ever seen. She blinked, wondering if she was imagining him, but no – he was truly there. He seemed kind. He was handsome.
He wore a white button down shirt that clung to his muscular chest and arms as if it had been painted into him, and his choice of a Versace tie was excellent – adding an array of color and pattern.
“Please, forgive me,” the man said to her. His voice sounded embarrassed, although Rebecca was the one that had caused the accident. He extended a sturdy hand to her – his left hand, which had no wedding band. “May I help you up?”
She took his hand – felt his strength and his warmth… the feeling made her tingle inside and she felt kind of giddy. She smiled in return and, with his help, she stood. She released his hand almost instantly and adjusted her black Prada glasses to where they were level again.
“Thank you,” she said, grinning at him and trying to avoid making direct eye contact. She felt suddenly nervous and wondered if it showed on her face. Was she blushing? She hoped she wasn’t breaking out into hives or anything like that. Thinking of hives made her itchy, but she fought the instinct to scratch and instead slid her hand in between the elevator doors as they started to close. They reopened, buying her more time to enter.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” the sensual, sexy, handsome, strong, dreamy and any adjective she could think of man said in a voice that sounded so sincere that it almost made her weak in the knees.
ELISABETH’S HOLIDAY GIFT by Jae El Foster
“I did not mean to startle you, my lady,” he admitted, “although I imagine that I did. Anyone would be startled encountering a stranger in a cemetery after the sun had set.”
“Perhaps,” I answered with a nod of the head, steadying my tone – although I am sure he could sense the uncertainty that still remained in my voice. “But I’m not anyone, and I’m not accustomed to be startled. Now, if you will excuse me, my duties in this cemetery are finished for the night and I must return home.”
I began to rush off, stomping my feet and dropping my empty basket to the ground in my haste. Lord Harrison stooped and lifted my basket into the warmth of his hands, following calmly behind me to return it. He did not speak, and the one time that I turned back to look at him, he was grinning. Finally, when we had passed the cemetery gate and were back on the dirt road that led into the village, I stopped. It was apparent that he was not going to stop on his own, and if I let him continue to follow me, I would have been walking into my cottage with this strange man right on my heels. Mother would have never allowed that.
“If I was in dire need of that basket, I never would have dropped it to begin with,” I told him sharply. He wanted to respond, but I was quick to cut him off. “How dare you begin to follow a helpless woman down a deserted road at night? Who do you think you are… the man of every woman’s fantasies? Hah!” Before I knew it, my index finger was jabbing him in the chest, forcing him to back away from me. His smile was gone. Lord Harrison had been rendered visibly dumbfounded. “I am not your wench. I am not your slave. I am a peasant girl who lives in a poor village, but so help me God, I will take you down if you force me to.”
Feverishly, I snatched my basket from his hands. Then, it was as if my own mind had escaped me. Gazing angrily into his confused, warm eyes, I grabbed hold of the collar of his coat, pulled him down to my level of height, and kissed him with the same force and energy that I had just cut into him with. My kiss was heavy and strong – powerful – and when my lips released his, he was breathless and sweating, staring at me as if I were a goddess that had just granted him a second chance at life.
“How dare you…” he whispered, wiping his face with the sleeve of his coat and standing on unsteady legs. “How dare you claim to be helpless? How dare you kiss me… and then let me go?”
Then, quite easily, he took me by the shoulders and pulled me to him, kissing me ever so tenderly with the same lips that I had just ravaged. I melted in his grip and as he held me in his strong yet tender arms, I felt myself become a part of him. The touch of his lips against mine brought my mind to a new level – one it had never before reached. I was in heaven… ecstasy. Nirvana.
End of Excerpt