A Cover Reveal + A Sneak Peek

It’s been a month of S’s since the munchkins’ summer school ended: sibling squabbles, slamming doors, swimming every day, and (slightly) sweet boba teas (for my sanity’s sake). When the friendly cashier at Trader Joe’s said to me yesterday with a sympathetic smile, “School’s almost starting, isn’t it?”, I had to try super duper hard to suppress my glee. The truth is, I do enjoy spending time with E and C more now that they’re older and more independent … but I do like my me-time, too. (Any other introverted moms here agree?) 🙂 But I’m doing my best to go with the flow and savor each moment, even moments like right now as C sings into a rolled-up paper tube, “Sad day, sad day, hey, it’s a sad, sad day,” because I asked for a few minutes to write this blog post before we go out and do something fun. 😉

Sad day, indeed. 😀

Speaking of S’s, I thought I’d share a sneak peek at my latest story, Tropical Kiss Or Miss, that’s part of Kisses, Kids and Bundles of Joy, an awesome boxed set of 7 Christian romance novellas. Oh, but before that, here’s the cover! I have to give a shout-out to my dear friend, M, for her artistic eye in helping me choose the perfect colors for a story set in Hawaii. 🙂

TKOM

And here’s an excerpt to introduce you to Olivia and Matt (a flashback from their college days in 2005).

“Well, you could use the time to study like all the other students around here.”

 

Olivia rolled her eyes. “Oh, please. Like you don’t hear the parties going on every night upstairs. I am studying,” she pouted, partly because Matt had put a shirt on. Blue cotton with the word Cal in gold letters covered up the toned abs she’d secretly been eyeing. “Psych majors are supposed to study people. I happen to be studying the ones on TV.”

 

“In case you have to counsel someone in the future whose plane crashed on a deserted island?”

 

“Totally. And it’s not deserted. There’s a whole group of ‘The Others’ who are trying to kidnap them.” She crossed her arms when he laughed again. “Don’t diss my show. If you don’t like it, you can go find some boring real-life story to write about.”

 

“Guess what? I already turned in my article for Friday, so I’m free to enjoy some fictional entertainment.” He raised his feet onto the glass coffee table in front of them and sank back into the cushions. “Let’s see how good this show really is.”

 

Hmm? As a lead beat reporter for the university paper, Matt was usually busy researching, conducting interviews, and meeting deadlines. Yet this was the fourth time he was joining her this month. Truth be told, she didn’t mind his company. Especially when he was close enough for her to breathe in the fresh, minty scent of his soap. “Fine. But no talking.”

 

A sly smile crossed his lips. “What about chewing?”

 

Olivia’s eyes widened in delight. “You didn’t—”

 

“I did.” Reaching behind the couch, he produced a black bag and tore it open. “I’m surprised to see you empty-handed.”

 

“I ate my last bag yesterday. Care to share yours?”

 

He pretended to ponder her question. “I guess I could.”

 

“Taro chips, my favorite,” she gushed, grabbing a white chip with purplish lines running across it. She shoved it into her mouth and brushed some crumbs off her black leggings before reaching for another one. “Thanks, Matt. You can definitely stay now.”

 

He chuckled. “You know this is my apartment and my TV you’re watching. Not to mention”—he held the bag up—“my chips you’re eating. If anyone should be begging, it’s you.”

 

“But I’m your best friend’s sister. That’s gotta count for something.” Kneeling on the couch, she reached for the bag he kept dangling farther and farther in the opposite direction. “You should know I’ve been playing keepaway with my brother my whole life and I always win.”

 

“We’ll see about that.” He stretched out his arm and held the bag high over his head, jerking it away as Olivia got close. “Not bad.”

 

“Come on, the show’s starting.” She yanked his arm down, surprised at the effort she had to exert. “It’s not fair. You have more muscles than Brian.”

 

“That’s no surpri—stop!”

 

“Huh?” Olivia stared in disbelief as Matt doubled over in pain, his gasps for breath mixed with laughter. “You’re ticklish?”

 

“Here, take it!”

 

She had obviously hit a sensitive spot on his body. Make that several spots. The poor guy had dropped the bag onto her lap like it was on fire, his face contorted in fear as she wiggled her pink fingernails at him. It was too much fun. She gave his side one last poke and sat down. Stuffing a few chips into her mouth, she savored the salty and crispy taste of victory. She couldn’t help but flash a cheeky smile. “I told you I’d win.”

 

He narrowed his eyes and smirked. “I’m just letting you hold the bag”—he cocked his head in her direction—“so I can do this.”

 

She shrieked as droplets of cold water flew onto her face. “Ew! You’re like a wet dog.”

 

“I thought you liked dogs?”

 

“Not slobbery ones.” She fell back onto her elbows and tried backing up toward the other end of the couch. Her oversized gray sweatshirt caught beneath her body, preventing her from making it very far. “No more—stop! You can have my chips!”

 

Playfully shaking his hair in her face, Matt leaned in close until they were nose to nose. “You mean my chips.”

 

Olivia swallowed hard, her throat suddenly dry. Everything around her—the sounds coming from the TV and the glare from the lamp beside the couch—faded away. She could only hear the mesmerizing tone of his voice and focus on the intense look in his eyes. Eyes that made her wonder if he wanted to kiss her.

Yup, if you noticed, I reference one of my and hubby’s favorite shows, Lostin this story. I also pay homage to another show we used to watch together with the female character’s name, Olivia. Anyone know which show I’m talking about? (Pacey Witter starred in it, too.) 🙂 So much of Tropical Kiss Or Miss was inspired by a lot of real-life stuff—my love of taro chips, my counseling background, and my dream of getting a tattoo (which is still a dream thanks to my fear of needles, ha!). There’s lots of happy moments in the book, but also some not-so-fun reflections on marriage. I really wanted to tackle the question of how do two people who were once so in love get to a point where they feel like strangers. So, yes, the excerpt you read is when love was just beginning to bloom for Olivia and Matt … and things do get “real” and hard as they try to find their way back to each other. But I promise you there’s a happy ending with lots of redemption and grace.

To read the rest of this story (and also meet their sweet son, Micah!), you can pre-order Kisses, Kids and Bundles of Joy for only $0.99! I’ve read the 6 other stories in the set and can vouch that they are all creative, heartwarming, and sweet.

Snuggle up with seven Christian winter romances from bestselling and award-winning authors. Kisses and kids abound in this collection of novellas that will warm your heart all winter long.

Amazon: https://kdp.amazon.com/amazon-dp-action/us/bookshelf.marketplacelink/B01JTDE03G

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/kisses-kids-and-bundles-of-joy

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/kisses-kids-and-bundles-of-joy/id1141527848?ls=1&mt=11

Alrighty, it’s time to turn this sad, sad day into a happier one! 😉 And on that note, I’ll leave you with the playlist for Tropical Kiss Or Miss.

Cover Reveal!

I’m beyond excited to share with you all a little project that I’ve been working on with six fabulous authors. It’s been a long time in the making (6 months can feel like a long time, haha!), but it’s finally ready to be revealed today. So without further ado, here’s the cover reveal for our upcoming boxed set of Christian winter romances!

Kisses, Kids and Bundles of Joy: 7 Christian Winter Romances
Snuggle up with seven brand new, never before published Christian winter romances from bestselling and award-winning authors. Kids and babies abound in this collection of novellas that will warm your heart all winter long.
KKBJ_3DCover

One Winter Kiss – Lindi Peterson – Deena Ross travels to Ohio to try and sway her grandfather from making a big mistake, a mistake his neighbor Andrew has been encouraging. When a winter storm hits, and Deena is forced to stay with Andrew and his young son, Evan, Deena’s vision of love is tested and she might lose her heart in one winter kiss.

Childish Ways – Jenn Faulk – Kevin Peterson, a teacher at a small town elementary school, is unexpectedly reunited with Lisa Walker, a girl who spent most of their childhood tormenting and bullying him, when she comes back to town where she helps organize a winter carnival to benefit her niece’s school. Lisa has no idea who he is, though, and as they work alongside one another and Kevin sees how much she has changed, he begins to question whether or not he can really trust her and let her into his life.

The Baby & the Bachelor – Cindy K. Green – Playboy bachelor, Alec, discovers a baby on his doorstep only days away from being appointed to a political office, prompting him to appeal his assistant, Jane, for help. Misunderstandings and accusations from the press abound, leading Alec to wonder, even if he were prepared for a ready-made family, could sweet, church-going Jane ever find it in her heart to marry a sinner like him?

For Tracy – Trisha Grace – One phone call led to Sarah Carter becoming the guardian of her favorite student, Tracy, while waiting for Tracy’s Uncle Keith to show up. But Sarah has no idea Uncle Keith was Keith Sutton, Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor, and doesn’t realize how much trouble she is heading for.

Tropical Kiss Or Miss – Liwen Y. Ho – Therapist Olivia Chan can’t wait to escape it all—a failed marriage, a struggling practice, and her son’s recent health scare. The Hawaiian getaway she planned, however, gets rained on—quite literally—by a tropical storm and the unexpected arrival of her estranged husband Matthew, who’s determined to win her back.

To Gain a Mommy – Tanya Eavenson – When Hope Michaels decides to face her past, she unknowingly purchases the house across the street from her former fiancé—the man her twin sister married, then widowed. Fire Captain Carl McGuire can put out any flame, except for the one Hope sparks within him—some things never change.

Foolish Heart – Cindy Flores Martinez– Judy and Graham have feelings for each other, but they won’t admit it. After all, she lives in America and he lives in Scotland with his daughter, Mairi, who he could never leave to be with the woman he loves.

Author Bios

Lindi PetersonLindi Peterson, USA Today featured author, lives in north Georgia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with her husband and a lively array of cats, dogs and birds. She loves sharing life with her family and friends. Her passion for reading led her to writing, and then God spoke words of love into her heart and changed her life forever. Website | FacebookTwitter

Jenn FaulkJenn Faulk is a native Texan who enjoys reading and writing chick lit. She’s a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom, and a marathon enthusiast who loves talking about Jesus and what a difference He’s made in her life. She has a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston and a MA in Missiology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Website | Facebook | Twitter

Cindy K GreenCindy K. Green has worked as a middle school history & English teacher, a frozen yogurt server and a golf magazine employee. Today she’s a multi-published, award winning author, a mother, a wife, and a homeschooler too. This native Californian now resides in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and their two cats Chloe & Kassey. Website | Facebook | Twitter

Trisha GraceTrisha Grace graduated from Bradford University with an Accounting and Finance degree. She has always been an avid reader and has a passion for writing. After being a tutor for over six years, she finally sat down and penned her own novels. Website | Facebook | Twitter

Liwen HoLiwen Y. Ho works as a chauffeur and referee by day (AKA being a stay at home mom) and a writer by night. She penned her first children’s picture book, “A Rainbow of Nine Colors” in high school (now available at Meegenius.com) and has since published four romance books for grown-ups (with more on the way!). She also enjoys writing about real-life matters, such as marriage, parenting and faith because truth can be as strange and entertaining as fiction. Her work has appeared in various online publications, including LiteraryMama.com and MomLifeToday.com, and she is a contributor at StartMarriageRight.com. In her pre-author life, she received a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Western Seminary, and she loves makeovers of all kinds, especially those of the heart and mind. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her techie husband and their two children, and blogs about her adventures as a recovering perfectionist at www.2square2behip.com. Website | Facebook | Twitter

Tanya EavensonTanya Eavenson is an inspirational romance author of the series Unending Love. She has also written several Bible studies that have been translated and published into different languages with Christ to the World Ministries. Tanya and her husband have been involved in ministry for seventeen years, teaching youth and adults. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children. Tanya is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Word Weavers International. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book. Website | FacebookTwitter

Cindy Flores MartinezCindy Flores Martinez is an Amazon bestselling Spanish romance author. She writes sweet romantic comedy and Christian romance. She has an MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Screenwriting. Her debut novel, Mail-Order Groom, started out as a screenplay and movie project, which she shopped around Hollywood, New York, and other parts of the world.