Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Snowed In and Snuggled Up Book Blitz and Giveaway!


Snowed In and Snuggled Up Holiday Novella Collection
Calisa Fox, Erin Quinn, Mary Leo
Publication date: October 29th 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Curl up with the Snowed In and Snuggled Up Holiday Novella Collection from New York Times bestselling author Erin Quinn, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author Calista Fox, and USA Today bestselling author Mary Leo.
Book One: A Little Bit of Sugar by Erin Quinn
Book Two: A Dash of Spice by Calisa Fox
Book Three: And Everything Nice by Mary Leo
A Little Bit of Sugar by Erin Quinn
For JT Winchester, Plymouth Rock, Colorado has always represented a cage he couldn’t wait to escape – and he jumped at the chance to do just that. Yet he’s never forgotten the girl next door who’d captured his heart as a young man.
Madison Lane may be the girl next door, but she lives her life the way she wants. Yet something is missing, and no amount of pretending it’s anything other than JT Winchester has ever worked. Now, JT is back in town for Thanksgiving and Madison is reunited with the man who once set her heart and body aflame.
They’ve both changed, but one thing has stayed the same—they can’t resist one another. Once JT and Madison are snowed in together, the magic of Plymouth Rock could change their lives.
A Dash of Spice by Calista Fox
After a lifetime of preparing to be the next NHL great, Scout is returning early to Plymouth Rock, Colorado as a hometown hero. Now an ex-athlete, Scout has broken family fences to mend, job offers to consider…and a raven-haired beauty from his past who deserves the ultimate decision from him.
Ciara has learned how to make the best of every disastrous situation, but deep down, there are past pains she hides from everyone… except for Scout. When they’re suddenly reunited for the Thanksgiving holiday and are snowed in at Win Creek Cabin, Ciara realizes the time has come to stop running. To stop hiding. To snuggle up with the only man she’s ever loved and face her demons while he faces his—and hope they both come out unscathed.
And Everything Nice by Mary Leo
All Hamilton Winchester ever wanted was Gaby Venti, but Gaby Venti never wanted to be tied down to any man . . . especially a man from Plymouth Rock, Colorado, the hometown she left behind. But when she finds herself snowed in by a force of nature, she quickly learns that Hamilton Winchester isn’t just ‘any man,’ and Plymouth Rock means more to her than simply the ‘town she left behind.’
ON SALE FOR $0.99 UNTIL DEC 1st!
Buy links:

Chapter One

“Bet’s to you, boy.”
William Woodrow Winchester—“Scout” to anyone who didn’t want to be laid out flat on his back—studied the cards in his hand. Not exactly a winning combination, but then again, his entire existence had been predicated on “not exactly a winning combination.” 
More so these days.
He fingered a stack of heavy poker chips. Then flicked a few off with his thumb. Meeting the current ante of a hundred. Upping it to three. 
His gaze drifted around the table as he gauged the other men’s reaction to his bold move. 
One snorted. Met the raise.
One snickered. Folded his hand. 
One raised an eyebrow. Hedged. Drew out the suspense with a head shake. A head nod. Another shake. Then he dropped his cards on the table with a disgruntled sigh. 
Scout would have given a cocky grin, but there was a final player to consider.
Vaux Forsythe.
That old weasel went and upped the pot another two hundred bucks.
Scout chuckled. He wasn’t exactly surprised.
His gaze dipped to the five cards he held. 
This was no-draw poker. Nothing wild. Nothing squirrely or girly, as his Grandpa Win would say. 
A game of no guts—no glory, as Vaux would tell anyone who dared to accept a coveted invitation to plop his butt in a chair at this particular table. Where men were definitely…men.
The hand you were dealt was the hand you played. That was how they rolled in Plymouth Rock, Colorado. 
Scout had learned at an early age how to read his opponents—one of the cornucopia of invaluable lessons his grandfather, the late, great Jefferson Tate Winchester, had taught him. Along with how to assess risk factors and leverage your strengths. How to bluff to high heaven and never, ever give away any signs of weakness. During a poker game, a hockey game…or in the game of life, in general.
Scout collapsed his fanned-out cards and set them face down on the green felt-covered table. Sifted a few more chips through his fingers. Gave a half-assed grin. Then casually mused, “What the fuck?”
He pushed his remaining pile of twelve-hundred and fifty into the center of the table. 
Four pairs of eyes popped. 
Scout said, “I’m all-in. Who wants to set sail for wild adventures on the Mayflower? And who wants to stay safe and sound in merry old England?” It was a few days before Thanksgiving, after all. His festive side was coming out.
Max Littleton—the town’s butcher—who’d been holding, instantly folded. “Long live the queen,” he grumbled.
Yeah, Scout had heard that one before. 
And that left just one to stand with the cheese.
“You crazy son of a bitch,” Vaux said to Scout with a glint of admiration in his eyes. 
Forsythe was an interesting codger, to be sure. One of the wealthiest men in Colorado—not a detail you could miss because he wore flashy diamond rings on all eight fingers and one thumb, since the other was missing at the knuckle. The result of what Vaux himself called a “minor disagreement” over a lady friend years ago who’d actually (mistakenly) been someone else’s lady friend. 
Vaux was an easy-going sort who’d spread his thin lips wide to reveal a shiny gold crown on either side of his two front teeth. He had a shock of white hair on his head, alert ice-blue eyes, and a ticker that just kept on…ticking. He drove around the poststamp-sized town of Plymouth Rock in a restored 1930s Rolls Royce. Eccentric all the way. The very reason Scout wouldn’t mind or feel guilty about taking in a haul from him this evening. 
If the cards and his mad-bluffing skills worked in his favor…
Vaux had been a good friend of Scout’s grandpa and a strong paternal presence in Scout’s life, but that never factored into the competition when he and Vaux were head-to-head at poker. 
“I’ll see your bet,” the elder man announced as he matched the pot—with another stack of chips to spare, he’d been doing that well all night. “And I call.”
The drinkers and the dancers at Waylon’s Watering Hole stopped what they were doing, taking interest in the current showdown. And the fact that it was Scout in the hot seat. It’d been a few years since he’d returned to his hometown, and this was the first stop he’d made. 
He’d had a different one in mind, initially. Tilda St. James’ Colonial on the outskirts of town. A house that did not belong in this elegantly rustic, mountain community. But she’d been a Boston descendant and had brought her preferred architectural housing to the tree-lined edges of Plymouth Rock. Along with a small collection of other Bostonians who’d latched onto the namesake and had established the Pilgrim Society in homage. Six ladies who now crested seventy-years old and maintained their annual tradition of reenacting the landing in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620 and the first-ever Thanksgiving feast. 
Which made Scout think of Ciara St. James. 
Tilda’s granddaughter and an honorary member of the society.
Not that he needed any excuse such as Thanksgiving to think of Ciara. No, thoughts of that woman paraded through his brain on a regular basis. It’d just been three years since he’d last seen her, so maybe he was even more inclined to let wicked little fantasies of the feisty woman infiltrate his otherwise good senses. 
“You playing or praying?” Vaux chided, interrupting Scout’s wayward thoughts.  “I’d like to collect my bounty and buy some of these lovely ladies a drink.” That was Vaux. Ever the flirt. Even after his past altercation.
Scout’s gaze drifted around the spellbound crowd gathered this Saturday night. Waylon’s had a curious appeal. Sure, this being Colorado, there were big-game heads mounted on the walls trimmed with river rock up to waist height. The dance floor was scuffed. The “stage” was only large enough to accommodate the three-person band that performed there several times a week. But the actual bar was one amazingly master-crafted work of polished wooden art that Waylon Canton, Jr. himself had built—or, rather, sculpted—when he’d taken over ownership two decades ago, after his father had passed. It was a long, wide bar with intricately scrolled detail, panels at the base and a shiny copper top. The wall behind was lined with mirrors, glass shelves and rich mahogany that matched the bar. 
This might be a “watering hole,” but Waylon preferred a touch of class and top-notch whisky. Perhaps because his ancestors hailed from the glitzier ski town of Aspen. 
Scout liked the feel of the place. A little bit old-school, similar to some of the taverns in Durango before the surge of tourism had commercialized its Main Avenue. An older crowd hung here. The poker players and the bullshitters who loved to spin yarns about the “good ole days in the wild, wild west”—and every colorful character in between. It’d been one of his grandfather’s favorite haunts, and to Scout, it’d always felt like a comfortable place where he belonged. Even before Waylon had poured him his first “official” beer when Scout had turned of legal age eight years ago.
He felt a peculiar puff of air on his nape and grinned. Perhaps Grandpa Win was with Scout in spirit this evening. 
He sure as hell hoped so. Because he held jack in his hand. 
Literally. 
He flipped the first one over, a smoothie. 
Eyed Vaux, who neither flinched, nor gave away a goddamn thing. Scout’s pulse hitched a notch. The very reason he played—for the sheer exhilaration. 
He tossed over his second jack, a grower. 
One corner of his mouth lifted as his gaze remained locked with his opponent’s. 
Vaux didn’t appear the least bit fazed. Scout’s heart beat faster. He loved the adrenaline rush. 
Vaux said, “That’s all you’ve got, boy?”
“It’s all I need,” he challenged, though even Scout knew that a pair would rarely get you far at this table. Still, he taunted, “Isn’t it?”
With a shake of his head, the older gentleman told him, “I suppose you being a bigtime hockey player and all, you find it acceptable to just throw away your hard-earned money. Taken a few too many blows to the head with a high stick?”
Scout chuckled, despite Vaux’s words unwittingly hitting a little too close to home. Though it wasn’t high-sticking that had recently ended his career. No, that came courtesy of the six-point elk his rental had plowed into outside of Edmonton, Canada. 
But Scout’s private hell was precisely that. Private. 
He said, “I don’t think you’ve got what it takes to beat me.”
“You always were an arrogant cuss.” Vaux flashed his gold teeth. “That’s why I like you so damn much. But I’ve got a bullet in my hand.” He flicked the ace of spades onto the table. “I’ve got a matching king to go with it.” This card he carefully laid out next to the first. “And he’s got a pretty little wife I like to call Queenie.” Another meticulous reveal—and a spade. 
Scout’s stomach plummeted. Christ, his smoothie was a club and his jack with a ‘stache was a heart. And he didn’t know what the other players had been holding. Vaux’s hand was shaping up to be mightier than the royal bull that had crumpled Scout’s rented SUV even before it’d tumbled a half-dozen times down a snowy embankment. With Scout inside.
Vaux continued. “Bet you’re kicking yourself in the ass right now for pressing your luck, because I’ve got a card you needed. Not that it would have done you any better.” He tossed the jack of spades on the table. 
There was a collective gasp and everyone gathered about leaned in closer, tried to look around one another, get a better view of the action. Which could turn out to be an historical moment.
“You always did have a flair for the dramatic,” Scout said with a snicker, trying to appear cool. Meanwhile, his pulse raced. 
The problem with that flair was that Vaux was a man who knew how to back it up. 
“Hope you’ve already bought your plane ticket back to wherever you came from, kid. Don’t think you’re gonna be able to afford much more than bus fare home after this.”
Scout bit his lower lip. Stared up at the ceiling fans with their warm, golden globes. Then swore under his breath.
The surplus store owner, Mike Thompson, who’d been the first to fold, slapped Scout on the back and said, “This is what comes from adventures on the high seas. Might hit a winter squall, or land safely. Total crapshoot. You’re obviously caught in the squall.”
Scout shot him a droll look. “There’s still land in sight, my friend.” Though even if, miracles of miracles, Vaux hadn’t drawn a royal flush, all it’d take was for him to throw down another jack—his high cards would be the kicker over Scout’s lows. But Scout wasn’t one to give up the ghost so quickly. And simply said, “Have some faith.”
Mike let out a hearty laugh. “Misguided though your optimism might be in this case, it’s damn good to see the Winchester spunk lives on in the grandsons.”
There was no need for Mike or anyone else to mention Grandpa Win’s actual son, Jeff. This crowd was more about jesting and goading than tearing one down. If you didn’t have something nice to say and all that… An adage that applied to the man who’d provided the sperm for Scout, his older brother Jefferson Tate, III—who went strictly by “JT”—and his younger bro Hamilton. That was pretty much all Scout himself had to say on the particular subject of his deadbeat dad. 
To Vaux, he said, “Well, get on with it already. If you plan to clean me out, I’ll need to hit an ATM before they roll up the sidewalks and the whole damn community shuts down for the night.”
“I’d be more than happy to provide a personal loan,” Vaux offered. “I’ll even forego the compounded interest because you’re such a bigshot.”
“I don’t need a loan,” Scout informed him. “Or your charity, thank you very much.” His gaze narrowed. “You really think I’ve blown through all of my endorsement money?”
Scout wasn’t like his father, after all. No, Scout had some sense in his head and plenty of cents in his bank accounts. 
“Well, the way you play poker, son,” Vaux contended, “makes me a little worried about your financial stability.”
Gut instinct kicked in. That and the fact that Scout knew Vaux well. He grinned again. The really cocky one. “You’re stalling, old man. You don’t have a pot to piss in with that hand, do you?”
Vaux smirked. “Granted, I did intend to scare you off from the get-go. Then I figured I could beat you with the ace, king-high. Since all these other turkeys ran for the hills like I had a Flintlock Musket in my hand.”
Artie Hopper, the fifth at the table and also the owner of Artie’s Groceries, glowered. “Folding when you’ve only got one ace isn’t unwise, Forsythe. Even when it is king-high.”
Vaux said, “Doesn’t mean I’m not holding another beaut to beat two jacks. But, for the record, you all ought to know by now that if I actually was holding a royal flush, I would’ve had Waylon alert the press.”
That would pretty much consist of Blake “Ace” Cranston hightailing it to the bar with his steno pad and sharpened-to-a-deadly-point No. 2 pencil poised and ready, his 1970’s Nikon single lens reflex camera strapped around his neck. Ace still used a darkroom to develop his own film and every black and white picture that went into the Plymouth Rock Cranston’s Corner weekly newsletter, no Hewlett-Packard printer or scanner involved. Hell, he waxed the back of his articles and photos and laid them out on a light table. Ran the template through a printing press.
He was a true artist.
“So Scout called it accurately,” Max declared. “You’ve got bupkis.”
That wasn’t necessarily true and everyone—most especially Scout—knew it. There was still the chance for Vaux to blow Scout’s ship out of the water with a second face card.
“Come on now, old timer,” Scout prompted. “Keeping me in suspense is just plain bad form. You’ve got squat, right?”
“Of the highest order,” Vaux chortled. And tossed out his last card. It spun midair. Scout’s breath caught.
The card hit the table.
Nine of hearts. 
No royal flush.
No flush at all.
No straight.
Not even a pair. 
Bupkis.
Fuck, yes!
A sharp stream of air blew through Scout’s parted lips as he stared at the card. “Son of a gun. That was damn, damn close.”
His stomach returned to its proper place. His pulse stopped echoing in his ears.
Vaux gave him a grin full of respect. “You’ve got balls, boy. I like that. You did your gramps proud. I’m not even gonna bust your chops over the loot you’re stealing from under my nose.”
“From under your nose, my ass,” Scout scoffed as he raked the chips his way. “I played that hand with Winchester style and steel resolve.”
“Precisely what I’d expect from this generation of Wins. Now, cash-in and then go collect your real prize. There’s one hell of a looker over at the jukebox who, as far as I can tell, only has eyes for you. Can’t for the life of me figure out why, though…”
Scout’s head popped up from his winnings. And his gaze instantly landed on five-foot-eight-inches of hotness the likes of which he’d never known. 
A raven-haired beauty in black leather pants and boots, wearing a tight, slightly shimmery snakeskin-print sweater in sapphire and black, with a silver zipper that ended just below plumped up breasts, and a low neckline trimmed with black fur. 
Her tawny irises flashed with excitement and a hint of mischief. Sending all the blood straight to his groin.
Amendment: This actually was hotness he was well-versed in. 
A living, breathing fantasy.
Known as Ciara St. James.



Author Bio:
Mary Leo:
USA Today bestselling author Mary Leo writes contemporary romance, whimsical romance, romantic suspense, and mystery. She loves to travel for research while she’s writing a book, or for that matter, even when she’s not writing a book . . . which always leads to yet another book. Go to www.maryleo.com for more information or follow Mary on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/maryleoauthour
Calisa Fox:
Calista is a former PR professional, now writing fast-paced, steamy books to set your pulse racing! Her publishing houses include St. Martin’s Press, Grand Central Publishing and Harlequin. Visit her at: www.calistafox.com, www.facebook.com/calistafox, and www.twitter.com/calistafoxbooks.
Erin Quinn:
NYT and USA Today Bestselling author Erin Quinn writes dark paranormal romance for the thinking reader and fun, rompy contemporary romance for the woman who likes to have fun. Her books have been called “riveting,” “brilliantly plotted” and “beautifully written” and have won, placed or showed in numerous awards. Go to www.erinquinnbooks.com for more information.

GIVEAWAY!
Chocolate giveaway


Hosted by:
XBT250

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I really enjoyed reading chapter one and learning about these books! These books sound like such fun, interesting, exciting, and intriguing reads! Totally can't wait to read them!

    ReplyDelete

 
Imagination Designs
Images from the Meadow of Dreams kit by Irene Alexeeva