Guest Author

Season of Promises Holiday Anthology by Merry Holly

Please welcome Marian Lanouette, writing as Merry Holly! She has some exciting news to share and a new anthology to tell us all about!

I’d like to thank you, Mary, for hosting me. It’s been an exciting week. I just received a four book deal from Kensington/Lyrical for my Jake Carrington Mystery Series.

But I not only write mysteries, I love to read and write romance. So today I’d like to speak about the latest Season of book, Season of Promises Holiday Anthology. This year I invited five authors to contribute a holiday romance story along with mine. They are wonderful, uplifting story from historical to contemporary to romantic comedy from very talented and award winning authors.  There’s a little something there for everyone to enjoy.

Here’s a teaser from my novella, Unexpected Holiday Bonus, written under my pseudonym Merry Holly.

ml-season-of-promises-kindleChapter One

“I don’t care what you have on your plate, you will attend the holiday party, Suzette,” said Lois. “It’s important that you mingle with your employees and managers.”

“I know. I’m just not in the mood this year. What will I do without you, Lois?” Suzette said, looking around the crowded restaurant.

Luce’s was all the rage at the moment. Business posh mingled here with New York celebrities. If you were lucky enough to be seen dining here, you made the social column of the Daily Mirror. She recognized and nodded to a few other CEOs as they acknowledged her. Not one of them seemed worth taking for a test drive. Well, it looks like my dry spell’s going to continue through the holidays.

“You’ll keep being the success you are, just like before.”

“I’m more successful with you as my assistant.”

“Good, then I know I have a job when I get back.”

“Of course you do. How are you coming with the applicants to fill in for you while you’re out on maternity leave? I want someone familiar with manufacturing.”

“I looked inside the company and decided I didn’t want to put anyone in a temporary position. It would feel like a demotion to them when they had to go back to their usual departments. I have maybe two or three from the agency that are all right but nothing special.”

“You’re being pickier than I would be.”

“No, I’m using your logic. I’ll give it another week. Once I narrow down the list and test the candidates’ skills, I’ll forward them on to you.”

Nodding, Suzette lost herself in thought. Last week’s party had been the same as all the others her mother had forced on her, with one exception: the tuxedoed man in the far corner. His black, silky hair had fallen over his forehead as their eyes locked. When he pushed it back it showcased a chiseled face. Boy, she wished she could’ve made out the color of his eyes. Either way, what she had seen took her breath away. But by the time she’d worked her way across the room she couldn’t find hide nor hair of him. Why did she expect her luck to change now? Now he might’ve been a nice temporary distraction through the holidays. Lord knew she needed one. Her mother seemed more bent than usual on fixing her up.

As successful as I am, Mom can’t get it through her head that I don’t need a man. I’m not her.

“Earth to Suzette.”

“I’m sorry, Lois. I was just going over a few things in my head. Is the party all set for the twenty-first?”

“Yes, I took care of everything. All you have to do is show up. I’ll be there if this bundle of joy lets me enjoy the holidays before she arrives,” Lois said, rubbing circles around her large belly.

“As long as you don’t have her at the office. It would freak me out.”

“Not to worry, she’ll be good.”

Dirk spotted that gorgeous woman from the party the minute he walked into the restaurant. After generously tipping the maître d’ he was able to grab the booth joining hers. He slid into it with his back to hers. He could eavesdrop this way. Hopefully, he’d find an opening and introduce himself.

Bits and pieces of her conversation drifted into his head as he ordered his lunch. A few people stopped by his table but he tried to shorten each conversation. Not many would recognize him. He had worked hard for years to remain anonymous while he built his father’s floundering company back up to its glory days. He and his mother hadn’t realized just how sick his father had been or how his meds had messed with his mind. Darren Harvey had been gone five years now along with his destructive decisions and ways—and under Dirk’s guidance almost all had been corrected. The firm, a leader in its field, was now one to contend with as its bottom line grew. It’s a benchmark for others.

With all his efforts thrown into reviving the company, he’d sacrificed his relationship with Eileen. She’d broken the engagement in year two of the revitalization. Looking back, he knew he’d dodged a bullet there. Twice married, Eileen had called him last week after the last one fell apart. He had chatted, but told her no thanks. Though he had no interest in relationships, he had to admit something inside of him had turned upside down when he locked eyes with the woman at the party. A one-two punch to his gut. Why had she had that effect on him?

Research gave him the basics. Youngest CEO of Sherman Industries and female to boot, she had proved over and over again why she’d gotten the position—with solid decision making, excellent management skills, and a strong knowledge of manufacturing. Since she took over the helm, she’d diversified into other lines besides fashion clothing. In the last three years Sherman industries had become a leader in the automotive parts field. Maybe down the line he could entice her to join his firm.

Her intelligence, strong moral character and strategies—three things he liked in a person—were written about in the industry publications almost weekly. Though she shied away from interviews, on occasion she did use the press to her advantage. But what he had dug up on her only related to business. He wanted more on the woman. What made her tick? What kind of men did she date? Damn, the woman kept her private life private. Add “respect” to his list of likes. Her name conjured up hot images of sweaty bodies entwined through long smoldering nights. Ah, Suzette LeBlec…

Her next sentence grabbed his attention. “Of course you do. By the way how are you coming with the applicants to fill in for you while you’re out on maternity leave?”

An idea formed as she and her admin chatted away. He took notes. Crazy, the idea was just crazy. But could I pull it off? It’d only be for a few weeks. And it might be quite fun…

He’d work out the logistics when he got back to the office. He would create a résumé and fax it over today. This was just what he need over the holidays to distract him, now that the Kaleigh deal was complete. And maybe, just maybe, he’d gain some insight into Adams’s methods he could use throw right back at him. Win-win! This had to be his craziest idea ever. Would Miss Suzette LeBlec fall for her admin, even a temporary one? Grinning, he signaled the waiter for his check.

The book is now for preorder and releases on November 1, 2016.

Preorder from:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunes, or Kobo.

marian-119-author-picTo contact or follow Marian here are her links:

Marian Lanouette/Merry Holly 

Social Media Links:

Author’s WebsiteFacebookTwitterPinterestPinterest 2Goodreads, and Amazon Author Page

Sunrise by Victoria Adams

Please welcome Victoria Adams! She’s here to tease us with her upcoming book, Sunrise, and share a bit about some of her other books. Say hi!

Hi, I’m Victoria Adams and I write romance – contemporary romance, NA and flash fiction. What’s flash fiction? Stories inspired by prompts. The prompts could be words – red car, Tuesday or maybe baby elephant – or the prompts could be photos – a flower, an alien or a flat tire.

Then using one or all of the prompts a story is created. I’m working on the final edits of one such story, titled Sunrise. (3 guesses what the inspirational photo was.) I was hoping to have it completed by now, but summer got in the way – beach time, kayaking, visiting family and friends, family and friends visiting.

Since Halloween is closing in upon us – I thought I’d offer up a slightly scary excerpt.

Scene Set – Sian, a popular romance writer, lives alone in a cottage by a lake. She’d been meditating on her dock when something crashed onto the dock behind her. She thought it was a man, but she fell off her dock and when she surfaced he was gone.

A shadow of a movement caught her attention. OMG! A shiver slithered down her spine. He’s still out there. She reached for her cell and pressed 911. When a voice answered, Sian blurted out her concerns.

Within a few moments the wail of a siren screeched. Sian smiled. Being famous did have some perks. The siren stopped and the sound of car doors slamming made Sian scurry downstairs to her back deck. “Officers. I’m so glad you’re here.”

After Sian explained, they checked out the gazebo, boathouse, dock, garage and inside the cottage. Sian bit her bottom lip. What if he’d been inside the cottage?

The officer wearing the Robertson name tag stepped forwards and half nodded. “Well Ms. Newel, we’ve checked everywhere and there’s no sign of anyone other than you.”

“But…”

Officer Robertson held up his hand. “You said you were on the dock, early this morning, meditating. So you weren’t completely focused. It coulda been a fish jumped up on the dock. You know, chasing his breakfast and got carried away. When you fell into the lake, he probably flopped off the dock and swam away.”

“The shadow you say you saw was probably a deer slipping back into the forest.” The other officer shrugged.

Sian did her best to paste a relieved smile on her face. “A fish. A deer. Oh how silly of me. I am so sorry.” Yeah, right!

“No problem, Ms. Newel. We’re just glad it wasn’t anything more serious. And the Captain asked me to thank you again for the generous donation to the Policemen’s Fund.” Officer Robertson smiled and tossed her a quick salute.

Sian escorted the two officers to their cruiser. “My pleasure. You men do a good job protecting us.”

She stayed in her driveway and waved until the police car was no longer in sight. “Ok, Sian Newel, enough of this craziness. That book just isn’t going to write itself.” She marched upstairs to her loft, picked up her mug and took a sip. Ugh! Cold. How about a fresh cup and take my laptop onto the deck? And no excuses, two thousand words or bust.

Placing a fresh mug of hot coffee onto her patio table, she opened her laptop and tapped on the screen to retrieve her file. She rubbed her hands together. “Ok. Lance hasn’t made love to Samantha in ten pages, so I have to get them together. They’re sitting in a private booth at an exclusive restaurant. Yeah, he could easily slide his hand up her leg. She could lick cocktail sauce off a tiger shrimp. Oh, yeah, that’ll work.”

As she placed her fingertips on her keyboard, her scream was muffled as a cold hand gripped the front of her throat and another covered her mouth.

About Victoria

I live in Ontario, Canada with my husband and pets. Daughter’s grown up and is now teaching. I like to garden, cook and study Raqs Sharqi (belly dance). In the summer, cars slow down when they pass my front yard and the passengers gaze at my flower beds. Friends love to be invited over for supper as the meal is going to be good, good for you and nowhere near low-calorie! No dieting allowed at dinner parties. As to belly dancing, find a class and try it. It’s a blast!

I’ve been writing since I was little. Being an only child, long car rides were filled with making up stories in my head about the people I saw out the car window. When my daughter was younger, I made up stories that she suggested. I’d say – Once upon a time there was a…. She’d shout an answer – chicken! And the story went from there. Great creativity exercise as it turns out. Now, my writing style has taken a split to contemporary romance for adults and contemporary romance for new adults.

va-dic-amazonCircles Trilogy is my first series.

Dancing in Circleshttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B009PFNPMG

Circles Divided http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BBKNDAC

Circles Interlocked – Ebook link – http://www.amazon.com/Circles-Interlocked-ebook/dp/B005S8LI46

va-agaag-amazonPrint – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/circles-interlocked-victoria-adams/1113052929?ean=9781475268928

A Guy and A Girlhttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L2GRD1U

Red Tulip – Amazon – US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B012EQECQA

Amazon  – Canada – http://www.amazon.ca/Red-Tulip-Romantic-Flashes-Book-ebook/dp/B012EQECQA/

va_red-tulip_cover

Where to find me

Blog – Pages of Romance – http://victoriaadams.blogspot.com

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/victoriaadams.romancewriter

Facebook Author Page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Adams/244325918978641

Facebook page – Books by Victoria Adams – http://www.facebook.com/CirclesTrilogy?ref=hl

Twitter – http://twitter.com/_VictoriaAdams

Google+ – Victoria Adams

Website – http://victoriaadamsromance.wix.com/victoria-adams

Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Adams/e/B007DVKQVC/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1434080349&sr=1-2-ent

Wattpad – http://www.wattpad.com/user/VictoriaAdams

Tribberr –  Pinterest –  Wattpad – GoodReads – all Victoria Adams

I’d love to hear from my fans. It helps to connect with what my readers what to read.