Welcome Laurie London!
By now, I hope you’ve got most of your holiday shopping done, but if you’re like me, you still have some work ahead of you. Besides, I seem to work better under pressure anyway. Don’t you?
To help ring in the holidays with a little bite, how about A VAMPIRE FOR CHRISTMAS? It’s an anthology with four steamy, fangtastic stories by Michele Hauf, Caridad Pineiro, Alexis Morgan and yours truly.
In Enchanted By Blood, my story set in the Sweetblood world, interior decorating/event planner Charlotte Grant specializes in holiday parties. Christmas is a special time of year for her, not only because of the type of work she does, but she loves the glitter, the glamour, and the tradition of the holiday season.
But she yearns for someone special to share it with—someone to meander through Seattle’s eclectic neighborhoods with her and window shop. Someone who enjoys the same things she does—sushi, old Aerosmith tunes, watching golf on TV even though she doesn’t play. Someone whose family would welcome her in, since she misses hers terribly.
One evening early in the holiday season, after being ditched by a friend, everything changes for Charlotte when a handsome, well-dressed stranger steps into her path.
Former Guardian Trace Westfalen is set to take over his father’s seat on the Governing Council, but he won’t be voted in if he’s in a relationship with a human.
Charlotte feels an odd connection to the man who hired her to decorate his home for a big holiday party, but she’s never met him before…or has she?
As the holidays approach and danger closes in, Trace has a difficult decision to make. Does he follow his duty and let Charlotte go or does he follow his heart and risk losing everything…including the woman he loves?
Happy Holidays, everyone! And if a handsome stranger comes up to you at a holiday party wanting to kiss you under the mistletoe, check first for fangs.
All they want for Christmas is you…
It’s the time of year for twinkling lights on trees and kisses under the mistletoe.
Yet the passing of another year means nothing to the stunning immortals who lurk in the shadows of the new-fallen snow.
And they don’t care if you’ve been naughty or nice.
Let four fanged lovers open your eyes to a passion you never dared to imagine. After all, there’s no place like home for the holidays—and these dazzling vampires can’t wait for an invitation.
Buy A VAMPIRE FOR CHRISTMAS here:
Amazon | BN | IndieBound
Find Laurie online here:
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Giveaway: I’m giving away a signed print copy of A VAMPIRE FOR CHRISTMAS to one random commenter.
Welcome Bella Andre!
I loved setting my new book, CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE (the 3rd book in my Sullivan family series), during the holidays. I’ll take any excuse to put all eight Sullivan siblings together in a room and their mother’s annual Christmas party was the perfect opportunity!
When I was a kid, my favorite holiday song was always “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”. As I wrote CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE, I knew the heroine’s daughter had to be missing her two front teeth. :) Gabe, my hot firefighting Sullivan, can’t help but fall for the seven-year-old girl he saves from a deadly apartment fire…and her beautiful mother. Especially when he realizes that the two of them are all he really wants for Christmas.
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CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE
Gabe & Megan – The Sullivans #3
© 2011 Bella Andre
Gabe Sullivan risks his life every day as a firefighter in San Francisco. But after learning a brutal lesson about professional boundaries, he knows better than to risk his heart tohis fire victims ever again. Especially the brave mother and daughter he saved from a deadly apartment fire…and can’t stop thinking about.
Megan Harris knows she owes the heroic firefighter everything for running into a burning building to save her and her seven-year-old daughter. Everything except her heart. Because after losing her navy pilot husband five years ago, she has vowed to never suffer through loving – and losing – a man with a dangerous job again.
Only, when Gabe and Megan meet again and uncontrollable flames of desire ignite between them, how can he possibly ignore her courage, determination, and beauty? And how can she deny not only his strong bond with her daughter…but the way his sweetly sensual kisses are challenging her to risk everything she’s been guarding for so long?
This winter, if one – or both – of them aren’t careful, they just might end up falling in love.
Enjoy the following excerpt for CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE…
Gabe Sullivan’s captain, Todd, stepped into the room.
“How’re you feeling, Gabe?”
He moved to sit up straighter on the bed and Todd shook his head. “You’re fine just like that. I know your skull must hurt like hell.” He nodded back to the doorway. “Are you ready to see Ms. Harris and her daughter, Summer?”
No, he thought, he’d be better off never seeing those eyes again.
He’d thought about Megan and her daughter one too many times for comfort. Not just because he was reviewing the rescue, trying to look for what he could have done differently, to have gotten them out faster and more safely—but because he hadn’t been able to forget her strength, how hard she’d fought to stay conscious, and what a fighter she’d been every single second of the harrowing journey from her burning apartment.
Still, he understood that fire victims often felt compelled to say thank you to the men who had saved them. Especially in a case like this, where they’d just barely held death at bay.
“Sure.” He began to nod, but a sharp shooting pain stopped him halfway into the movement.
Catching his grimace, Todd said, “I’ll ask Megan and her daughter to come back later.”
Her name fit her, Gabe had found himself thinking one too many times. Megan was pretty and strong all at the same time. It would be better to think of her as Ms. Harris. Although, he had to wonder, was there a husband? And if so, where had he been during the fire and why wasn’t he here with them now?
“No,” he said, “it’ll be better if I see them now.”
She’d say thank you, he’d tell her he was happy to see her and her daughter doing so well, and that would be that. No more being haunted by her eyes, by the surprising strength she’d shown him as she’d crawled on the floor of her apartment and down the stairs.
A couple of minutes later, Todd walked back in with the mother and daughter. Ignoring the pain in his head, Gabe sat up higher and forced a smile on his face.
And then, his eyes locked with Megan’s and his smile froze in place.
My God, he found himself thinking before he could shove the thought away, she’s beautiful.
The last time he’d seen her face it had been through a thick haze of dark smoke and the knowledge that one wrong move meant their lives were over. Her eyes were just as big and pretty, her limbs looked as lean and strong as they had when he’d been helping to move her along the floor, but now he could see the softness in her, the sweet curves of her breasts and hips in her T-shirt and jeans. He couldn’t stop staring at the startling green of her eyes, the silky dark hair falling across her shoulders, and the way her pretty young daughter was a carbon copy of her, the only difference their hair color, one dark, one light.
She seemed just as stunned as he and for a long moment, the two of them just stared at each other in silence until her daughter ran over to him and threw her arms around him.
“Thank you for saving me and Mommy.”
The little girl’s arms were just as strong as her mother’s. “You’re welcome, Summer. How old are you?”
“I turn seven on Saturday.”
She beamed at him and right then and there he lost a little piece of his heart to the pretty little girl with the two missing front teeth.
“Happy birthday.” He’d have to remember to have the station send her a gift.
Movement caught his attention from the corner of his eye. Megan was moving closer to him and, yet again, once he looked up at her, he couldn’t seem to pull his gaze away. Without realizing what he was doing, he scanned her left hand for a wedding band and found it bare.
“Mr. Sullivan, I can’t even begin to tell you how much what you did means to me.”
He almost told her to call him Gabe, but he knew his name would sound way too good coming from her full lips. Already his brain was wanting to spin off into a fantasy of what it would sound like to hear her say his name in distinctly different circumstances, with one less child and fire captain in the room…and a hell of a lot less clothes.
As it was, he couldn’t take his eyes off her gorgeous mouth, which was wobbling slightly. She clamped her lips tightly together as she quickly brushed her fingertips over her eyes.
“I’m sorry,” she said with a small laugh that held no actual laughter in it. “I promised myself I wouldn’t cry.”
“She keeps doing that,” Summer told him in a stage whisper as her mother worked to win the battle with her tears.
He whispered back, “It’s perfectly normal.”
“We needed to come say thank you.” Megan’s eyes moved over his bandages before she added, “And to make sure you were okay.”
His voice was much gruffer than usual. “I’m okay.”
“I’m so glad.”
“How are both of you? You inhaled a lot of smoke.”
She gave him a small smile that did crazy things to his guts. “We’re both fine.” She put her hand to her throat. “The doctor said I’ll only sound like a frog for a few more days.”
“You’ve got to hear her ribbit,” Summer told him. “She sounds exactly like the frog we have in my class at school. Do it for him, Mommy.”
This time Megan’s soft laugh was closer to a real one. “I’m sure he doesn’t want to hear me ribbit, Summer.”
The power of her smile, the way her eyes lit up and a sweet dimple appeared in her left cheek, rocked all the way through him. He could get drunk on her smiles—was already feeling like he’d been knocked off center by just one.
If Megan were someone he’d met at a coffee shop or bar, if she were one of his siblings’ friends—if she were anyone but someone he’d rescued from a fire—he would have not only been working on ways to get her to stay longer, but also to charm her phone number and a date out of her.
But the only reason she was looking at him with her heart in her eyes was because he’d saved her and her daughter’s lives. He knew better than to let himself fall for her and her pretty little girl.
He didn’t have to force his expression to harden at the memories of what an idiot he’d been in the past when he’d ignored professional boundaries and—stupidly—got involved with a fire victim.
“Of course he wants to hear it,” the little girl said, and then, when he remained silent, turned to him and said, “Don’t you?”
In the end, Gabe couldn’t let the kid down. “Sure,” he finally said in a tone that implied just the opposite. “Why not?”
But Megan read him loud and clear, pulling her daughter away from him and into her arms.
“We didn’t mean to bother you,” she said in a slightly defensive voice.
He didn’t tell them they hadn’t been a bother. It was better for them to think they had. That way they wouldn’t come back. That way he wouldn’t see either of them again.
At his curt nod, she said, “I appreciate you letting us come to see you today,” then took her daughter’s hand to pull her out the door.
“Do we have to go already?” the little girl protested. “I bet he has some really cool stories about all the scary things he’s done.”
In an instant, he saw in Summer the same desire for excitement and adrenaline, to live every single ounce of life, that he’d always had in himself.
Megan turned back to him, wary now. “I’m sure Mr. Sullivan needs to get some rest, baby.” She forced her lips into a false smile that made his chest feel like a hundred-pound weight had just landed on it. “Say goodbye now, honey.”
Summer frowned, with a mini-press of the lips that perfectly mirrored her mother’s. And then instead of saying the goodbye her mother had insisted on, she said, “Do you think maybe we could come by the fire station some time? You know, so you could show us around?”
Megan didn’t give him a chance to say a word, saying, “Summer,” in a clear warning that had her daughter sighing in resignation.
“Goodbye, Mr. Sullivan.”
He wanted to smile at the sweet little girl, wanted to let her know that the way he was acting didn’t have anything to do with her, and everything to do with knowing better than to let himself fall into something that would only end up hurting all of them in the end.
Instead, all he could say was, “Goodbye, Summer.”
…Excerpt from CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE by Bella Andre ©2011.
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Giveaway: A $20 gift card to Amazon from Bella!
RG the Smutty Xmas Elf: Today’s special Smutketeer giveaway is a $25 giftcard to JC Penney’s! Winner will be announced tomorrow morning. 2 more days to go! Get ready for a big finish! :)