Excerpt, Giveaways, Reviews

#Review of Miracles are Golden by Catherine Lanigan w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @Cathlanigan


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Miracles are Golden
By Catherine Lanigan
Women’s Fiction, Christmas
ebook, 100 Pages
February 2, 2016

This heartwarming story is about eight-year-old Jimmy Longwood, who has fallen in love with a Golden Retriever puppy. When his parents explain that their condo does not allow pets, Jimmy is heartbroken. While skiing in Aspen the entire family is killed in an avalanche. Jimmy goes to heaven and meets an angel who decides to send Jimmy back to earth as the very Golden Retriever he’d wanted for his own and to learn the one lesson all human beings must learn…unconditional love.

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EXCERPT

The day after Christmas Jimmy was roused early, taken out the front door to potty in the bushes and then given breakfast, all before daylight.

What’s up with these people? Don’t they sleep in? What’s the rush?

“Here you go, Beau. Yum. Doesn’t this smell good?” Robin asked placing a dish of canned dog food in front of him.

Jimmy sniffed the food and jumped back.

They don’t expect me to eat this stuff do they? How about a rasher of that bacon? Or maybe a smidgeon of that hot cinnamon bun?

Jimmy quickly skitted over to the kitchen table where the family was sitting down to breakfast. He licked his mouth.

“Look, Mommy! I think Beau wants some bacon.”

“Oh, Robin, the breeder said not to give a puppy table scraps. It’s bad for them. It could make him throw up.”

Throw up? Throw up? Is she kidding? That barf material in the bowl will make me throw up!

Robin sat down at the table holding his puppy in his lap. “But I can tell he doesn’t like that food. He wouldn’t even sniff it and he should be hungry by now. After all he didn’t eat a bite yesterday.”

Daphne came down the stairs with her rolling suitcase and entered the kitchen. It was obvious to Jimmy that she was going back to New York and very soon. Just thinking about New York Reminded Jimmy of his parents. As his mother’s face flashed across his puppy mind, he felt a pang in his heart. I miss you, Mom.

“He was just getting used to his surroundings, Robin,” Daphne said pouring a cup of coffee and sitting at the table.

Hal nodded. “I agree with you though, Robin. Beau should be hungry by now. You can give him a half a piece of bacon. If he vomits, you clean it up.”

“Hal! I just told Robin not to feed him.”

“Becky, this way they’ll both learn a valuable lesson.”

Robin broke a piece of bacon in half. As hungry as he was, Jimmy remembered his mother, Melanie, telling him that table manners were a most important asset for a child. I need to play this cool. Jimmy sniffed the bacon first.

“What’s he doing? Seeing if it’s poisoned?” Hal laughed.

Jimmy gently took the bacon and chewed it.

“Manners?” Robin’s mother gasped. “Why, I can’t believe I’m seeing what I’m seeing.”

Daphne put her coffee cup down. “He’s a real New Yorker. Through and through,” she smiled smugly.

“Now put him down on the floor, Robin and see if he keeps it down,” Robin’s father said.

“Okay.” Robin gently placed Jimmy on the floor.

Wow! That was great. I bet I can con them out of some sweet roll, too.

Jimmy sat on his back paws quietly huffing, never taking his eyes from the food on the table. Yet never backing away either.

As they ate, all eyes were on Beau.

“See, Mom, he’s not sick at all.”

“I understand, Robin, but you need your nourishment, too. We have a big day today.”

Suddenly, Robin’s shoulders slumped. He lost interest in eating and in watching Beau’s performance.

“I don’t want any more chemotherapy,” Robin said lowly.

“But, Robin. It will save your life. You have to go,” Hal said.

Chemotherapy? Oh, so that’s why he’s bald. Oh, Robin, I was afraid you were that sick. I thought…well, I don’t know what I thought.

Instantly, Jimmy scooted over to Robin’s chair and put his paws on the top of the chair. He whined until Robin picked him up and put him in his lap. Jimmy licked Robin’s hand, hoping the gesture would give him comfort.

“Did you see that, Mommy? It was as if Beau understood what we were saying.”

“It’s not the words he understands, Robin. It’s our voices. All our voices become concerned and sad when we talk about the cancer.”

Robin petted Beau.

Jimmy shook his head. I understood the words, Robin! I’m not like other dogs. I’m a kid caught in a puppy’s suit, that’s all. I’m here because they wouldn’t let me die yet.

“Look, he’s saying ‘no’,” Robin said excitedly. “I really think he understands me.”

Jimmy leapt up and licked Robin’s face.

“You see that! He does understand words.”

“Robin, there’s no such thing as a dog understanding human language other than a few command words.”

Daphne held up her finger. “That’s not exactly true, Becky. Mr. Lenza, the man who sold me Beau, said that Goldens understand 750 words nearly as much as a German Shepherd who only know twenty more.”

“Yes,” Hal sighed, “ well, that may be true. But that doesn’t mean they understand them all strung together in sentences and paragraphs.”

“Well, Beau does. He’s just smarter than the average Golden is all.” Robin picked him up and held him close so that he could peer into the puppy’s eyes.

“Hal, I saw on the Pet Psychic program on the Animal Channel

that…” Daphne began.

Hal held up his hand. “Please, Daphne, I don’t need any of your metaphysical mumbo jumbo. Not today.”

“Sorry. It’s Christmas. I promised Becky I’d spare you.”

“Thanks.”

Robin looked at Beau. “I can see it in his soul, Daddy. Beau is special.” He hugged his pet. “You’ll see.”

We all have that go-to author that no matter what they write it will be good.  Ms. Lanigan is that writer for me.  I choose this book because it had no romance in it and I was intrigued.  Plus, it featured a dog and child.  I’m a sucker for both.  What really caught me by surprise was how much I needed this book right now.

I read this book over the Thanksgiving holiday and it gave me a perspective that I needed and shared with my son.  She reminded me that unconditional love is given, not earned.  And not just from our pets either.  We tend to just think we can not have unconditional love with our family or friends; that it is just reserved for our pets.  Ms. Lanigan proves that you can.  Can we not like something that they have done?  Sure.  But to unlove someone?  I don’t think that’s possible.

Beau/Jimmy is a trip.  He provides us with the humor, insight and perspective throughout the book.  His parents are the typical overworked and don’t have a lot of time to spare for Jimmy and it showed.  Jimmy/Beau’s angel is good, too.  He provides Jimmy the guiding hand that is needed.

Overall, I loved this book.  I think everyone should read it and discuss it with their family, friends, church group, etc.  Ms. Lanigan could re-write the phone book and I would read it.  Seriously.  She is that good.

 

About the Author

Catherine Lanigan is the international bestselling and award-winning author of over forty-five published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into over twenty-four languages. Lanigan was tasked by the NotMYkid foundation to pen a collection of compelling and informative true stories of teen addicts. Ms. Lanigan’s SHORES OF INDIAN LAKE series for HARLEQUIN HEARTWARMING includes LOVE SHADOWS, HEART’S DESIRE , A FINE YEAR FOR LOVE, KATIA’S PROMISE, FEAR OF FALLING, SOPHIE’S PATH, PROTECTING THE SINGLE MOM, FAMILY OF HIS OWN, HIS BABY DILEMMA, RESCUED BY THE FIREFIGHTER and MY RACING HEART (2019).

Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books. She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C. She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs as well as blogs, podcasts and online radio interview programs. She writes a monthly blog for Heartwarmingauthors.blogspot.com.

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Excerpt, Giveaways, Release Day

Happy Book Birthday to Our Christmas Promise: A Christmas Wedding Story by Tara Randel w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @TaraRandel @PrismBookTours #contemporaryromance @


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Release Blitz for
Our Christmas Promise
By Tara Randel

Our Christmas Promise:
A Christmas Wedding Story
(12 Days of Heartwarming Christmas)
By Tara Randel
Contemporary Romance, Holiday, Novella
ebook, 129 Pages
October 9, 2018

Melissa Upton and Justin Caswell have been best friends since they were kids. Now, they’re all grown up and things have changed, for Melissa at least. She’s content running the family bridal shop, Candlelight and Lace. Excited about an upcoming wedding. She doesn’t even mind attending weddings with Justin, until he dubs them wedding buddies. And now that he’s back in Christmas Town, Melissa realizes she wants more. If she goes after her heart will she lose her best friend?

Justin is back home to take care of business for his estranged father while he recovers from a heart attack. He’s launched his own successful career, is happy with his single status. Until he feels the distance Melissa has put between them. What’s up with his best friend? The more time they spend together, involved in Christmas Town holiday preparations, the more he realizes she’s hoping for more in their relationship. Can Justin see that being in love, and remaining best friends, is the best of both worlds?

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Excerpt

Jaycee tossed a paper towel in the trash and met Melissa’s gaze in the mirror over the sink.

“When are you going to tell him?”

“Tell who what?” Melissa asked as she dug in her bag for lip balm.

“Tell Justin you have feelings for him.”

Melissa froze. Blinked a few times and glanced at Jaycee. “What are you talking about?”

Jaycee rested her hip against the counter and crossed her arms over her chest. “Don’t play dumb with me. I see how you look at him, especially when he doesn’t know it.”

“He’s my friend and I’m glad he’s home.”

“Really? That’s it?”

Melissa shrugged and resumed her searching. “What more could there be?”

“You tell me.”

“There’s nothing to tell.”

“Then why don’t you date?”

Melissa gripped the tube of balm in her fingers. “I date.”

“Name the last time you went out with a guy.”

She racked her brain but came up empty. “College, maybe?”

“That was six years ago.”

“No…it can’t be that long.”

Jaycee arched a brow.

“Wait. I went out with Roger Pierce for a while.”

“Until he moved away.” Jaycee shook her head. “I’m telling you, you have it bad for Justin.”

Did she? Did that explain the tingles she’d been trying to ignore? Or had she been without a significant other for too long now?

Slowly spreading the balm across her lips, Melissa met her own gaze in the mirror. Clear brown eyes peered back, but a rosy red had crept into her cheeks. She recognized the look, had seen it on dozens of bride’s faces through the years.

Good grief, was she in love with Justin?

“Do you care for him as more than just a friend?” Jaycee asked when Melissa had been quiet too long.

“Of course not.”

Despite her words, Melissa flashed back to that Christmas Eve many years ago when they’d promised to be friends forever. How they’d carried through on the vow, remaining friends through high school and stayed in touch when he left Christmas Town for college. She understood why he didn’t return, so she’d made sure to visit him in Boston. Once their friends had started to marry, meeting up at weddings had become their thing. But was that good enough for her now?

Tossing the tube back in her purse with more pressure than she intended, Melissa closed the bag. Pushed her unsettling thoughts away. “You’re imagining things.”

With a shrug, Jaycee pushed from the counter. “If you say so.”

“I say so,” she said, yanking the door open to return to the raucous, overcrowded pub.

About the Author


USA Today Bestselling Author Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn’t come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. Family values, mystery and, of course, love and romance are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Tara lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery.

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Release Day, Reviews

Happy Release Day & ARC #Review of Christmas with the Billionaire by Lila Monroe! #romanticcomedy #newrelease @givemebooksblog @lilawrites

 

 

Title: Christmas with the Billionaire
Author: Lila Monroe
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: November 30, 2017
Blurb
Spice up the holiday season with the hilarious new holiday novella from Lila Monroe.
Dressing up as a sexy elf to sing Christmas hits isn’t exactly the glittering Broadway career I had planned. The only thing more humiliating than my outfit is coming face-to-face with Oliver Gage, the sexy big-shot theatre producer who just crushed my dreams. He’s arrogant, infuriating… and did I mention how sexy he is?
I’ve sworn never to get comfy on the casting couch, but when we’re snowed in together upstate, it’s looking like a pretty good place to spend the night. Soon, sparks – and my panties – are flying.
Who said Christmas only had to come once a year? 

Ever just need to read a cute, sexy, funny as hell story?  Throw in Christmas, a heroine that is just too funny for words and a hot hero in the mix?  Look no further than this book.  I will admit that it is a bit short for my taste but I loved every word.  Ms. Monroe is the queen when it comes to shorter works with actual character depth, emotions and doesn’t overdo the smexy times.  Yes, folks, there is an actual plot to the book.  Heck, the book could have not even had the sex in it and it would have been just as awesome.  I know, then why bother to read the book?  Let me tell you why you should.

Oliver and Jill.  Plus, I could live a little through Jill.  My childhood dream was to dance on Broadway and Jill gets to do that, or at least try.  Jill is just one of those characters that you can identify with from the first page.  Likeable, relatable, wished you had her Brooklyn address and the feisty, snarky mouth to go with all that.  Plus, come on there is a scene in the book that we ALL wished we could tell our boss.  Plus, in the end, she kinda made Oliver actually work for it.  I knew that was coming but I really liked how she stood her ground with him.  She is the perfect partner for him in the end.

Oliver.  I just love that name.  Of course, Oliver Hudson has that name, I could lick him all over.  And yes, that’s who I pictured in my mind when it came to the character.  Plus, I liked that even though he had money, he never really mentioned it and threw it around.  Sure he was a Broadway producer but he is also very down to earth when it comes to his personal relationships.  Loved the scenes with his family and his sister is a hoot.  Sure there is a bit of instalove in the book but you don’t have to worry about the genuine feelings that Oliver has for Jill.  He realizes that she isn’t the typical actress/starlet that he has dated before and gotten burned by.  I liked his openness with Jill in the end.  He made me love him even more.

Overall, I really liked this Christmas themed story.  But then again, Ms. Monroe is fast becoming an auto-buy author for me.  I love her writing style, voice and above all, her ability to make me care about characters in a short time.  A lot of authors can’t do that but she can.

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Available at other retailers soon

 

 

Author Bio
Combining her love of writing, sex and well-fitted suits, Lila Monroe wrote The Billionaire Bargain. Lila enjoys writing, as it gives her a flexible schedule to spend time with her kids and a wonderful excuse to avoid them. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, who strips out of his well-fitted suits nightly.
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