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Christmas Countdown Blitz 2019 ~ Day 10

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It’s a Mall World After All
by Janette Rallison

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If they gave out diplomas for what you learn at the mall, Charlotte could graduate with honors. Ever since she got a job as a perfume spritzer, she’s become an expert on all things shopping related―oh, and she’s getting really good at spying on her classmates who hang out there. What she hasn’t mastered is the art of convincing her best friend Brianna to dump her boyfriend Bryant. After Charlotte caught him flirting with a mysterious, blond-haired girl, she knows he’s up to no good. Worse still, now Brianna is taking his side. Charlotte must prove who is right, once and for all, and that means catching Bryant in the act. This is where her mall roaming skills will come in handy. Perfume anyone?

Fans of Sophie Kinsella will love this book!

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Day 10 CBB Author

 

USA Today, bestselling author, Janette Rallison/ CJ Hill writes books because writing is much more fun than cleaning bathrooms. Her avoidance of housework has led her to writing thirty novels that have sold over 1,000,000 print copies and have been on many reading and state lists. Her books are fantasy, sci-fi, and romantic comedy because hey, there is enough angst in real life, but there’s a drastic shortage of humor, romance and hot guys who fight dragons. She lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, kids, and enough cats to classify her as eccentric.

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Snippet:

      Bryant strode up to the Santa chair. He scowled at me, his eyes narrow and his face a blotchy red. In a low voice he said, “You just can’t mind your own business, can you? You’re some kind of freaking stalker who follows me around and sends pictures to my girlfriend. I bet you think you’re real smart, don’t you?”
      I smiled back at him, refusing to be rattled. “Smarter than someone who doesn’t notice a stalker dressed in a bright red and green elf outfit.”
      “You think you’ve taken Brianna away from me? This isn’t over.”
      Colton turned to Bryant and still using his Santa voice—although not quite so jolly at the moment— said, “This is over for right now. My elf is busy. Go home, cool down, and we’ll talk about it later.”
       Bryant threw a disgusted sneer at Colton. “Don’t tell me what to do, fat boy. This doesn’t concern you.”
      Colton prodded T.J. off of his lap, stood up, and faced Bryant. He lowered his chin to let Bryant get a better look at his face.
      “Stop yelling at the elves,” he said with forced humor. “Or Santa will put you on the naughty list.”
      Bryant took a step toward Colton, squaring his shoulders. “Yeah, I’ll tell you what list you can put it on. You can put it on the list that you shove—”
      “Bryant,” I said, “will you please just go away. You’re upsetting the children.”
      Out in the audience every single eye was riveted on us. The kids had completely lost interest in their presents, and all stared at the guy who was yelling at Santa. Harris and Preeth took off in a fast pace for—I’m not sure where. They hurried into Bloomingdale’s and away from us. Maybe to call for mall security, or maybe just to avoid the ensuing bloodshed.
       “Oh, you’re worried about upsetting people?” Bryant flung at me. “Too bad you never worried about upsetting me. You’re nothing but a self-righteous, two-faced, piece of—”
      Colton put his hand on Bryant’s shoulder. His baritone voice had a growl to it. “Go. Home. Now.”
      Bryant shrugged off Colton’s grip. “Don’t touch me. You don’t own the mall. I’ll say whatever I want to you and your little ho-ho-ho.”
      “Bryant,” Colton said, and it was almost his normal voice. Bryant should have recognized him, but still didn’t. Bryant took a step toward me, but before he could reach me, Colton took hold of his arm and pulled him backward.
      That’s when Bryant yelled a few words that weren’t appropriate for a room full of elementary students and swung at Colton’s face. I heard a smack and saw Colton’s head jerk back. He took a staggering step backward. His Santa hat nearly fell off, but remained attached to his wig at a drunken angle.
      A collective gasp went up from the children, along with two or three shrieks from the girls sitting in the front.
      And then in the next moment, Colton convinced me that wrestling is not such a useless skill after all. He grabbed Bryant’s elbow, threw his right arm over Bryant’s head, and in one swift movement pulled him over his hip and to the floor. Bryant struggled to get up, but Colton stayed on top of him, keeping him headlocked and on the ground.
      Next to me T.J. let out slow breath. “Santa rocks!”
      The girls in the front row clapped, and the kids in the back row all started cheering at once. Colton said something to Bryant, which made him stop struggling, but I couldn’t hear it for all of the kids applauding.
      One girl said breathlessly, “I don’t care what my parents say. I’m staying up to see Santa this year.”
      “Wait until my mom hears what Santa does to the people on the naughty list!” her friend replied.“

 

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Christmas Countdown Blitz 2019 ~ Day 9

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Corporate Christmas
by Bernadette Marie

Day 9 CCB Cover

 
Chloe Richardson had just landed the biggest client of her career. A promotion was in her future, or so she thought until the handsome Jason Mitchell walked into her office with his gorgeous smile and searing blue eyes—and took her job.

Losing her job so close to Christmas, Chloe’s only choice was to go back home to Aubrey Heights, where the Christmas spirit is celebrated in a tourist loving, wonderland. Perhaps she can pull herself together before the new year—before her new career search.

However, Jason follows her to Aubrey Heights—with a mission of his own. First he stole her job—now he wants to steal her heart.

Is the spirit of Christmas alive enough in her to let that happen?

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Day 9 CCB AuthorBestselling Author Bernadette Marie is known for building families readers want to be part of. Her series The Keller Family has graced bestseller charts since its release in 2011. Since then she has authored and published over thirty-five books. The married mother of five sons promises romances with a Happily Ever After always…and says she can write it because she lives it.

When not immersed in the writing/publishing world, Bernadette Marie and her husband are shuffling their five hockey playing boys around town to practices and games as well as running their family business. She is a lover of a good stout craft beer and might be slightly addicted to chocolate.

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Snippet:

      Jason was sure that he’d bleed out before they could take him back and stitch up his head. A nurse had given him a gauze pad to replace the tissue that had dried to his skin.
      Chloe sat next to him frantically filling out his medical record in her beautiful penmanship.
      “Address?”
      He gave it to her and watched as she made perfect fours.
      “Phone number?”
      She wrote it down.
      “I’m a Pisces. My favorite color is red. I like my pizza with just sausage, and I’m sensitive to gluten, but I can’t keep away from it.”
      She stopped writing and looked up at him. “I don’t think I need all that. But thanks,” she snapped, but it only made it funnier to him.
      “I just thought it was a good time to get to know each other. My turn, why don’t you answer those questions for me?” He tried to smile, but each time he did it hurt his head.
      “Everything you need to know about me is in my employee file. You can ask H.R. if you need to see it since you’re my boss.”
      She directed her attention right back to the form, but he got the message loud and clear. She wasn’t happy about his new position.

 

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Christmas Countdown Blitz 2019 ~ Day 8

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Mending Christmas with the Billionaire
by Lorin Grace

One shattered window. Two bruised hearts. And twelve days until Christmas.

Day 8 CCB CoverTessa Doyle’s semester in Europe left her a much wiser woman. But then she takes a job referral from her ex-boyfriend, and agrees to repair the stained-glass window, the last work she will need for her MFA. With a two-week deadline, she will have no time for anything else, especially men.

Sean Cavanagh’s Christmas season has lost all its cheer. Nothing has gone according to his plans for Christmas since the drone broke the window. Now organ pipes are missing, and a blizzard is threatening to cancel what could be Granda’s last sermon.

With a little magic and a lot of snow, Tessa and Sean work together to repair not just a window, but also their hearts.

August 2018 Extended Ending: Granda’s house hid more than boxes of papers could they be worth a million or more?

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Day 8 CCB AuthorLorin Grace was born in Colorado and has been moving around the country ever since, living in eight states and several imaginary worlds. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Graphic Design.

Currently, she lives in northern Utah with her husband, four children, and a dog who is insanely jealous of her laptop. When not writing Lorin enjoys creating graphics, visiting historical sites, museums, and reading.

Lorin is an active member of the League of Utah Writers. Her debut novel, Waking Lucy, was awarded a 2017 Recommend Read award in the LUW Published book contest. Mending Fences received a 2018 Recommend Read award in the LUW Published book contest

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The mayor laughed and turned to Granda, handing him the microphone. “We have Christmas—to remind us of all the things that matter. Family, love, kindness, and giving. We have Christmas so we can come together as friends, old and new, and so we can experience the miracles going unnoticed each day. But most of all we have Christmas to remind us to pause and remember God.”

 

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Christmas Countdown Blitz 2019 ~ Day 7

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A Christmas Story of Light
by Ora Smith

case11.000x8.500.inddGod’s light shines in all of His creations, from the Star of Bethlehem, to the angel proclaiming Christ’s birth, to the Son of God Himself—the light of the world.

Through this light, He illuminates darkness, gives us guidance, and shows us how to love one another.

Experience the rich artwork and inspirational messages of A Christmas Story of Light this holiday season and let God’s light bring you the brightness of hope.

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Day 7 CCB Author

 
As a mother, genealogist, artist, and faithful follower of Jesus Christ, Ora blends her understanding and unique skills to create faith inspired stories that she hopes will give others an added testimony of God’s goodness.

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Christmas Countdown Blitz 2019 ~ Day 6

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The Miracle of Joie
by Betsy Love

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Joie, an over-confident rookie elf, is on her first assignment.

It’s one week before Christmas, and she must find a mother for eight-year-old Emily. Not an easy task, since Emily’s grieving father, Matt, is not ready for marriage. He’s still bitter about the accident that killed his wife and handicapped his daughter.

When events turn Joie into a human, she loses her magic and must use her ingenuity to heal the broken family. How could falling love be the answer?

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Day 6 CCB AuthorBetsy Love has loved to write from the moment she could hold a pen and has been creating stories ever since she was in elementary school. Her high school creative writing teacher told her that one day she would be published.

When not sitting at her computer pouring her heart and soul into her novels, she loves going to her mountain property for inspiration and to escape the desert heat. She loves spending time with her family. At last count she has 20 grandchildren, has given up on gardening. If she had a horse, she might give up writing.

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      Smoke still poured out the door and rose into the evening sky. “Don’t worry, I put the fire out. It’s going to be alright.”
      A man walking his dog stopped. “Are you girls all right?”
      Emily nodded and pointed to Joie. “She stopped the fire.”
      “Where’s your dad?” the man asked.
      “He’s on a not-date.” Emily looked as if she was about to be carted away and put in jail. It wasn’t Emily’s fault the kitchen caught on fire. Joie alone held that responsibility. If she’d just done what Matt had asked, they wouldn’t be in this horrible predicament.
      “A not-date? What is that?” The man eyed them both.
      Joie bit her lip before answering. “It’s where a woman insists on going out for a drink. The man agrees. And hopefully, they find enough interest in each other that he asks her out on a real date.” 

 

 

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Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz 2017

Day 18:
The Last Princess by Jewel Allen

summer 17

 

1768, Philippines

2 - The Last PrincessSpanish Captain Raúl Calderón has accepted a daring mission in the Philippine colonies – to negotiate docking rights in hostile waters for the Manila Galleon. If successful, he can return from exile to be with those he loves. But when he is captured by slave raiders and delivered to the Last Princess, a woman known for killing those who cross her, he is thrust into the center of royal intrigue. The Last Princess is not what she seems, however, and Raúl must stay alive long enough to warn her of the danger in trusting those close to her.

Juliza Alimuddin, The Last Princess, hides behind a cutthroat reputation to protect her beloved islands. But when a mysterious Spaniard, Raúl Calderón, falls into her hands, she decides to go against her allies’ wishes and nurse him back to health. Her heart has been bruised in the past, yet Raúl brings out feelings she never thought she’d have again. Just when Juliza starts to believe in the possibility of love, however, she is betrayed and her family and sultanate put in a deadly situation. Will The Last Princess live up to her reputation when forced to choose between her people and the man she loves?

This is book 2 of a series, but can be read as a standalone.

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Snippet:

Raúl had never felt more alone. Suddenly, he saw his life ahead of him in this colony, full of nights like this where he was among people but without anyone caring if he stepped off the harbor into the ocean. He wondered if he would fit in. When he had left Spain, he had been running from heartache. He had been running from pain. But if he thought he could find its antidote here, among the pretty little ladies who beckoned at him with their eyes and lips from the doorways of the thinly-veiled brothels on this Philippine street, he felt hopeless. Each of the ladies’ faces reminded him of a beauty at home. A beauty who had repudiated him for worldly and political ambition.

 
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Jewel Allen. 2016 by Tina Tate color - cropped

 

 
Jewel Allen is an award-winning journalist and author of the historical series Islands of the Crown.

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Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz 2017

Day 17:
Breathe In by Michelle Bellon

summer 17

 

Breathe in, breathe out.

 
Breathe In ebookThis mantra gets Tessa Benson through the day.

The man she loves walks all over her, and she just wants to get by without her heart shattering to pieces. If she could find her voice, she’d scream.

Everything changes in one night, when she’s snatched from the streets and tied to a bed, a camera set up to capture her dying moment. And the person who paid to watch her die…is still out there somewhere.

Tessa prowls dark neighborhoods in a quest for justice, but she doesn’t find the killer. Not until they strike again…in the place Tessa is least expecting, and where it hurts worst.

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      “That’s true and further proves my point,” Terin says. “It’s time you started sticking up for yourself. So, back to the Tom thing…you’re over him then? You’re doing okay?”
      I bite my lip and stare at the ceiling fan overhead. Mostly shadows in the dark room, its blades are still and my clock light reflects off it oddly in the center so that it almost appears to have eyes. It looks like a starfish clinging to my roof.
      Should I lie or tell her that I’m miserable and praying he’ll call me? I don’t even know why. Like she said, he’d told me he couldn’t see me anymore. Not that he didn’t want to see me. Just that he couldn’t. That thought makes me sick to my stomach. How could I want a man who no longer wants me? I bet Gerald would be more than happy if I called him tonight. Ugh, I’m such a stupid girl sometimes.
      “Yeah, yeah, Terin, don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. I, uh…”
      My phone buzzes as a text comes in. Without thinking, I pull the phone from my ear to take a peek. It’s Tom. My heart thuds against my ribcage. Hit the text. Read it silently, holding my breath while my friend rambles on.
      Tom: Stop. Texting. Me.
      That’s it. That’s all he has to say to me. Tears well up and I feel like I might choke on them. Swallow down the shame. Terin was right about him. I never meant anything to him. I’m probably one of many.       Insignificant. I place the phone to my ear and listen to the last bit of whatever Terin prattles on about. I can’t focus. When she pauses, I take the chance to escape. “Hey, I hate to cut it short, but my stomach is killing me. I think I might have eaten something bad. Do you mind if we hang up for the night?”
      “No, no, sure. Sorry you’re not feeling so good. Hope you’re not on the toilet all night long. Remember that time I ate the bad clam chowder and nearly died from projectile diarrhea?”
      No answer.
      “Okay, I’ll let you go then, Tess. Just call me in the morning to let me know you’re alive.”
      Hoping I still sound cheerful, I say goodnight, hang up, and toss the phone to the foot of the bed.
      I’m not even going to try to breathe through this. I stare up at the ceiling and let the tears run down my cheeks, into my hair, and onto my pillow. The starfish on the ceiling stares back at the sad, pathetic girl and laughs.

 

 
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AuthorShoot-close up_078BWMichelle Bellon lives in the Pacific Northwest with her four quirky and beautiful children. She loves coffee, Superman, rollercoasters, and has an addiction to chapstick.

She works as a registered nurse and in her spare time writes novels. As a multi-genre author, she has written in the categories of romance suspense, young adult, women’s fiction, and literary fiction. She has won four literary awards.

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