Tag Archives: #Coffeetalkwriters

It's Here! Renea Mason's Between The Waters

New Unique Paranormal Erotic Romance Series

He’s back from the dead. She has a lot of explaining to do. Can they quench the passion long enough to survive the truth?

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Book 2 of Symphony of Light: Between The Waters

betweenthewaters

Between the Waters

Symphony of Light Book 2
Renea Mason
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Length: Novel
Word Count: 63434
Page Count: 42
ISBN: 978-1-94169-20-66
Release Date: 05-15-14

 Magic is no match for love…

Trapped somewhere between life and death, demigod Cyril has lost the ability to communicate with his love. But not before giving her valuable lessons in magic, as well as his blessing to move on without him.

Coming to terms with Cyril’s absence isn’t easy, but Linden is doing her best to honor his wishes. Until she receives an unusual request from Moreaux, an estranged member of Cyril’s family. Bizarre things are going on with Mary, the former housekeeper, and Linden can’t let them go. But when her investigation leads to a mistake that nearly costs her life, Cyril’s best friend, Overton, steps in and violates a promise he made centuries before to bring her back from the dead.

Gratitude turns to comfort, comfort turns to desire, and desire leads Linden to a shocking revelation. In her charge to uncover the truth behind Mary and Moreaux, she discovers a spell she can’t undo without leaving wounds on her heart, wounds she knows will never heal…

Buy the book

Amazon.com (available at other international Amazon sites – Canada, UK etc.)

 http://www.amazon.com/Between-Waters-Symphony-Light-Renea-ebook/dp/B00KD3P108/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400247610&sr=8-1&keywords=Between+the+waters+Renea+Mason

 BarnesandNoble.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1119535446?ean=2940149353644

All Romance eBooks

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-betweenthewaters-1515271-340.html

 

Renea Mason - Symphony of Light and Winter

 Symphony of Light and Winter

Symphony of Light and Winter
Symphony of Light Book One
Renea Mason
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Length: Novel
Word Count: 88,375
Page Count: 389
Price: 5.99
ISBN: 978-1-940223-10-0
Heat Level: 4
Release Date: 06/21/2013

One woman. Seven men. All bound by one man’s undying devotion.

Fundraiser Linden Hill has a knack for reading people. She always knows which conversations will put a prospect at ease, which drink will loosen a patron’s lips—or his wallet, and how cleavage will make a donor sweeten the deal. She’s even foreseen her dateless weekends four hundred and sixty-four times in a row.

But ten years after watching life drain from her former mentor’s and first love’s eyes, her skills for divining the predictable are lost. When Cyril returns, he’s still gorgeous, but this time he’s beyond human, far less dead, and pissed. His lack of memory drives him to desperate acts, and his turbulent re-acquaintance with Linden pulls her into his war with a creature hell-bent on his destruction. His group of six supernatural men share a tantalizing secret, but despite the hunger, it’s love that leads her to sacrifice everything to save him…

 3rd Place – Best Paranormal Romance

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Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers Choice

 

2nd Place – Best New Paranormal Series

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Paranormal Cravings Battle of the Book

Excerpt:

“Your eyes are so lovely; please don’t hide them from me. Don’t be afraid. I would never hurt you.”

His sincerity must have been contagious because the words slipped through my lips without permission. “I know you’d never hurt me intentionally. It’s the unintentional consequences I fear.”

He brought his other hand up to cup my other cheek and, with my face firmly held he said, “Linden, I’m not fool enough to think that the gods don’t intentionally f**k with us.”

His use of that word was unexpected. Always a gentleman, but always something more carnal beneath the surface too. The inconsistency seemed natural.

“But if that ever happens, I will spend forever trying to atone. Don’t turn away from me.” He stared at me for a moment and when his face started to move toward mine, I thought for sure he would kiss my lips, but instead he placed a lingering kiss to my forehead and pulled me into a hug. If he felt anything for me other than friendship, that was his moment to prove it. I had my answer. I gave a forced smile and pulled away.

“Please, play,” he said while trailing his hand over my back.

Facing the piano, with my fingers lingering above the keys, I tried not to allow disappointment to lace my words. “How did you know about the song?” My racing heart slowed as I realized the kiss wouldn’t happen.

His response was casual. “I have very keen hearing and you start to hum it every time you walk away from me to return home. Where is the song from?”

Strange. Maybe I was louder than I thought.

“I don’t know where I learned it. I think I made it up, but it’s hard to know for sure.”

“It’s beautiful, please…” He motioned to the piano.

He stood and I pressed one key to test to see if it was in tune. Pitch-perfect, of course. I should have expected no less. I stretched to measure the distance to the pedals. After my assessment, I began to play. As I pressed the keys, I tried to forget he was even in the room, but that became impossible as he provided subtle hints as to how I should adjust my posture. He pushed back on my shoulders and lifted my elbows with a light touch. The adjustment made a difference, and in time my composition transitioned to something more graceful.

He placed his hands on my shoulders as he stood behind me and whispered, “Now relax, the music is in control. Give in to it. Let it take you, command you, while you find freedom in its control.”

His finger made small massaging circles on my neck and shoulders, and the more he touched me, the more at ease I became. I played better than I ever had.

He ran his hands up and down my forearms, coaxing the notes from my fingers as he whispered in my ear, “That’s it. You are much more relaxed. Music is energy, Linden. With energy, you must first make yourself an attractive conduit. Energy does not like resistance. The less resistant you are, the more it can take hold, become stronger—make you stronger. Allow it to embody you, become one with you, and embrace its possession.” His breath teased as his words sent waves of electricity through me.

I added improvisational parts to the song I had never imagined. I played sequences far beyond my skill level without effort. As I neared the end of the song, the magical feeling broke down, and with it went my newfound ability. It was as if I took a drug to make me a better musician and it had begun to wear off, but I knew it wasn’t a drug. It was Cyril.

As the last notes breathed their final whisper to the air, I heard him say, “Well done! I bet you even surprised yourself.”

“How did you do that?”

“I didn’t do anything. I simply taught you to sit up and concentrate. Other than that, it was all you. Music can’t possess the unwilling.”

I shot him a suspicious glare. “All right…your turn.” I went to get up.

“No, please stay. Let me see…I’ll play something you know. How about Beethoven’s Sonata quasi una fantasia? You may know it as the Moonlight Sonata.”

I nodded. He could have played Chopsticks and I would have been happy.

He began with the solemn phrasing of the piece. Every languid note held so much emotion. My fingers mindlessly stroked the side of his leg in the slow melodic tempo of the first movement. The mournful timbre accented the sadness I felt knowing that every minute I stayed with him, it was going to be much harder to accept I could never have him.

I had only heard the first movement of the piece but as the somber melody transitioned into a more energetic strain, I knew it would be an experience I would never forget.

His enthusiastic gestures, the bounce of his hair as he pounded out the rapid notes, all added to the look of determination on his face. The notes were saturated in passion, and violence defined him. I watched him with intense concentration and wondered if he brought that same passion to his kisses, his bed, and his love. It would be a miracle if one person could harness him.

When he played the last note, his breathing was heavy and a thin film of perspiration coated the skin of his brow and neck. He looked down at the floor and then slowly into my eyes. That instant, the connection formed again. He reached up and brushed the hair from my face and I did the same to him, draping his thick, dark, sweat-moistened locks behind his ear.

“That was magnificent. I’ve never…”

His hand reached up to cup my face. His thumb caressed my lower lip as I spoke.

“Heard…or seen…anything like you. I mean that.”

He smiled and continued to outline my lip.

“Linden…” he said with a breathy whisper, “there are so many things I want to show you, teach you. I want you to make me a promise.”

I answered without hesitation. “Yes.”

“The way you are looking at me right now… Please, always look at me this way. Stare into my eyes and see me for who I am and know that there is nothing more than this. When the world calls things into question, you need not question me because I will always be here for you. The comfort I find in your eyes is new and frightening.”

I found it difficult to believe anything frightened this man. He cupped my cheek and with tenderness that mirrored his words, he caressed my face and trailed his hand to rest on my chest just below my neck. I wrapped my hand around his wrist, holding him to me.

He leaned in, pinning our arms between us, and breathed, “Promise me.”

I closed my eyes, reveling in his closeness, his scent, his heat. “OK.”

“Good.”

He inhaled. “I will make you a promise in return. I cannot bring you into my world as I would like, so I will not ask you to indulge me further. I should let you go, but I’m sorry, I am far too selfish to break all ties. I do promise to always be your friend, your mentor.”

Deep down, hopeful he might love me and see me as a woman, I opened my eyes and managed a smile filled with sadness and disappointment.

Protégé was the title bestowed upon me, not girlfriend, lover, or wife. I looked away from him to try to pull back the tears that escaped my eyes.

“Already breaking your promise?”

I looked up and he brushed my tears away with his thumb.

“I’m not immune, Linden. I feel it too. I just need to be stronger than this, for you.” He pulled me into his embrace.

His arms were tight around me. He smiled but something sad lingered behind it. “It’s getting late. I should get you home.”

Reviews

“Renea Mason’s book has everything you could want—a unique world, a panty dropping alpha male, a gripping plot and seamless writing that would never let on this was her first novel.”

–       lbookbliss.com

 

If you love Alexandra Ivy, Lara Adrian, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lynsay Sands, Laura Wright, and all those other amazing paranormal authors that I absolutely love with all my heart…then you will LOVE Renea Mason and her brand new “Symphony of Light” Series.”

–       BookReadsandReviews.com

 

“Linden is a feisty woman who is not afraid to stand up to Cyril, in spite of not knowing exactly what he is capable of. The book is keeps your interest throughout. I recommend this book and hope that the next in the series comes out soon.”

–       Paranormalromanceguild.com

 

Buy the book

Amazon.com (available at most international Amazon sites – Italy, Germany, Japan, Canada, UK etc.)

http://www.amazon.com/Symphony-Light-Winter-ebook/dp/B00DI9DMN2/

 BarnesandNoble.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/symphony-of-light-and-winter-renea-mason/

 AllRomanceeBooks.com

 https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-symphonyoflightandwinter-1223873-340.html

 Kobo.com

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Symphony-of-Light-and-Winter/book-tsrzyKC1XkahOlFggCuesA/page1.html?s=5SwqI-eHDECBq4H4ufblnQ&r=1

 Bookstrand.com

http://www.bookstrand.com/symphony-of-light-and-winter

*Print edition available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

 

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Etopia Press: Imposter’s Kiss

Symphony of Light Book 0.5
Renea Mason
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Length: Short
Word Count: 7601
Page Count: 42
Price: 0.99
ISBN: 978-1-940223-62-9
Release Date: 11-15-2013

 

One night of sexual pleasure could teach a lesson in love.

Cyril is weary from weeks of traveling the Scottish moors, but his luck takes a turn when he rescues a battered and broken child. To express his gratitude, the boy’s father offers Cyril a night of carnal indulgence with his eldest daughter. Cyril graciously accepts, looking forward to a night of sexual release to ease the loneliness of his travels.

But what the supernatural sex god and deliverer of souls doesn’t expect is to be taught a lesson in love from the young and beautiful Celestine.

In a night of passion, two lost spirits find solace in an impostor’s kiss: one longing for a love that doesn’t yet exist, the other drowning in pain and guilt over love lost. Neither is what they seem…but what they learn will change them forever…

 In a night of passion, two lost spirits find solace in an impostor’s kiss: one longing for a love that doesn’t yet exist, the other drowning in pain and guilt over love lost. Neither is what they seem…but what they learn will change them forever…

 

Reviews

“I loved this short story.  It gave us a glimpse into who Cyril is as a man.  His compassion, his sex appeal and his prowess.”

BookReadsandReviews,com

 

Buy the book

Amazon.com (available at other international Amazon sites – Canada, UK etc.)

http://www.amazon.com/Impostors-Symphony-Light-Renea-Mason-ebook/dp/B00GO9JJKI

BarnesandNoble.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/impostors-kiss-renea-mason/1117398069?ean=2940148978503

Kobo

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/impostors-kiss

Bookstrand

http://www.bookstrand.com/impostors-kiss

All Romance eBooks

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-impostors039kiss-1348978-340.html

 

Excerpt:

“Who is she?”

This was not a question I expected. Even though I was comfortable being nude, most humans were not. I saw in her mind what horrors men had bestowed upon her. The massive erection I sported should have frightened her, but with each quick glance I made in her direction, I saw she stood firm and resolute, while twirling the blindfold between her fingers.

“Who?” Not the time to speak riddles.

“The woman for whom that kiss was intended.”

“Oh.” I brushed my hands through my hair. The long, black strands fell one by one back into place. I sighed. “She’s my love. My light. But she is out of reach.”

“I have a confession.”

 

 

 Etopia Press

Coming Soon in 2014

Curing Doctor Vincent – An Erotic Novella Trilogy

 

About the Author

renea

Renea Mason writes steamy romances to help even out the estrogen to testosterone imbalance caused by living in a house full of men.

When she isn’t putting pen to paper crafting sensual stories filled with supernatural lovers, she spends time with her beyond-supportive husband, two wonderful sons and three loving but needy cats.

Her debut novel, Symphony of Light and Winter, finished second for Best New Paranormal Series of 2013 in Paranormal Cravings’ Battle of the Books and received a third place award for Best New Paranormal Romance of 2013 in The Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewers Choice Awards.

Renea is a member of Romance Writers of AmericaThe Paranormal Romance Guild and The Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal subchapter of the Romance Writers of America.

She is also a founding member of Coffee Talk Writers and the Coffee Talk website–a site designed to support established writers and foster new talent.

Follow Renea Mason

http://www.ReneaMason.com

http://www.Facebook.com/ReneaMasonAuthor

http://www.Pinterest.com/ReneaMason

http://www.goodreads.com/ReneaMason

http://reneamason.tumblr.com/

https://twitter.com/ReneaMason1

S.ReneaMason@gmail.com

http://www.amazon.com/Renea-Mason/e/B00DIMOX2S/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Night Scavenger Hunt

Chase away the winter doldrums with some games and giveaways. Click on the photos of each blog and find the clues listed below. 
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SCAVENGER LIST: 
  1. Cute White Puppy in a Cup
  2. Leaves with the word LOVE cut into them
  3. Dish of Colorful Candies
  4. A Pencil with a note that says “You Make My Heart Glow
  5. Heart shaped pocket watch hanging in the trees.

TO SEE PHOTOS OF WHAT THESE IMAGES LOOK LIKE, GO TO THE MAIN PAGE FOUND HERE: Gliterary Girl 

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But wait – there’s more:

Win your choice of one of the following ebooks: 

TheImpostorsKiss_ByReneaMason-200x300 copy   symphonyoflightandwinter_byreneamason-800x1200 valerie3  midnight  amazon-heat

  Henry small cover

Rafflecopter link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/01288e6/

Find your clues by hopping to these awesome blogs. Once you are done, click on the Grand Prize Rafflecopter link below:

Sponsored by:
GGEditingBadge.v3 copy

Aubrey’s Ageless Romance Café: The Other Boleyn Girl

Aubrey’s Ageless Romance Café

by Aubrey Wynne

In this literary world, a handful of stories will stand the test of time. A modern classic novel holds the attention of every generation with a thoughtful plot, complex characters and a scene or two that lingers long after the final page.

These books will never be traded in at the paperback store or sold for a quarter at a garage sale. An ageless romance is passed on to your sister, then to her daughter who loans it to a friend. By the time it makes it back to your shelf, the pages are yellowed, earmarked and appreciated. And every so often, when you need to be reminded of the remarkable power of love, you dust off that old friend and peruse its pages again. These are the stories I want to share with you in Aubrey’s cafe.

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The Other Boleyn Girl

By Philppa Gregory

Published:     Publisher:  Touchstone    POV: First person

Setting: England: Tudor Court 1521-1536

 Are there any Tudor fans out there? Prepare for a heavenly read of historical fiction. The Other Boleyn Girl, the first book I read by Philippa Gregory, consumed my time and thoughts until the last page. It revolves around the older sister of Anne Boleyn. The twist in perspective grabs the reader immediately. The little known life of Mary Boleyn brings a unique and fascinating picture of the Tudor Court and Henry VIII.

Mary catches Henry’s eye at the tender age of fourteen. Henry Tudor was not always the fat, unpleasant king presented in the numerous portraits of dusty history files. Once a handsome king, he caused flutters in the hearts of women young and old. The athletic monarch played tennis, hunted and jousted. He was competitive, fit and loved women and adventure. In today’s world, I would compare him to Prince Harry.

So the dazzled Boleyn falls in love with the ruler of England. Yes, she has a slight moral qualm over betraying her Queen. But Katherine of Aragon does not see Mary as a threat. She accepts her husband’s weaknesses and looks the other way. Mary’s husband, William Carey, is not so forgiving. But what can he do? He accepts the bribe offered, and for the most part, keeps his mouth shut. Even when Mary becomes pregnant with a child that is most likely not his.

Enter: little sister Anne just returned from her stay at the French court. The younger Boleyn is sophisticated, witty and flirtatious. An immediate enmity grows between the sisters. In the back of Mary’s mind echoes the warning Anne gave as she left for France. “Anyone can attract a man. The trick is to keep him.”

I do not need to list the details. Readers who enjoy this genre already know the basic facts and timelines. What I found fascinating was the attitudes and inner thoughts spun by Gregory. The research is flawless; her interpretation captivated me. She did not choose one of the many opinions explored throughout the centuries. Instead, she combined several. And in my creative mind, it made perfect sense.

The rivalry between the sisters rang true: they fought, even hated each other at times then worked through their problems as families often do. Mary’s affection and loyalty for her sister falters but never dies. Anne is relentless in her quest to win the king’s heart. She plays the game well and wins for seven long years. Mary tries to move on and even leaves court. Yet each time, Anne relentlessly pulls her back into the plotting and intrigue. Mary even throws herself on the King’s mercy at one point to save her sister’s life. Yet in the end, nothing can save Queen Anne. She burns too many bridges, refuses to hold her tongue and allows paranoia to take control of her life.

I am a history geek like most historical romance writers.  The stories created in my head to fill in the gaps in history provide countless hours of diversion during long trips or boring conferences. Yet nothing prepared me for this novel. Philippa brought the Tudor court to life in a way I had never before experienced.

The conversations rang in my head after I closed the cover. Images popped into my mind’s eye throughout the day and I could not wait to get home and read more. When the movie came out, I jumped for joy. Sadly, it did not do justice to the book.

This is the first novel I have given five mugs. I am not a harsh reviewer but to give a work a perfect score means there was no piece of it I would change. The complex characters, excellent pacing and riveting plot mesmerizes the reader. I did not skim a paragraph of this novel. I did not edit in my head while I read it. I just sat back in the glow of Gregory’s words and enjoyed darn good story.

5 mugs copy

About The Author

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Born in Kenya in 1954, Philippa Gregory moved to England with her family and was educated in Bristol and at the National Council for the Training of Journalists course in Cardiff. She worked as a senior reporter on the Portsmouth News, and as a journalist and producer for BBC radio.

Philippa obtained a BA degree in history at the University of Sussex in Brighton and a PhD at Edinburgh University in 18th-century literature. Her first novel, Wideacre, was written as she completed her PhD and became an instant world wide bestseller. On its publication, she became a full-time writer, and now lives with her family on a small farm in the North of England.

Her knowledge of gothic 18th century novels led to Philippa writing Wideacre, which was followed by a haunting sequel, The Favoured Child, and the delightful happy ending of the trilogy: Meridon. This novel was listed in Feminist Book Fortnight and for the Romantic Novel of the Year at the same time – one of the many instances of Philippa’s work appealing to very different readers.

The trilogy was followed by The Wise Woman, a dazzling, disturbing novel of dark powers and desires set against the rich tapestry of the Reformation, and by Fallen Skies, an evocative realistic story set after the First World War. Her novel A Respectable Trade took her back to the 18th century where her knowledge of the slave trade and her home town of Bristol produced a haunting novel of slave trading and its terrible human cost. This is the only modern novel to explore the tragedies of slavery in England itself, and features a group of kidnapped African people trying to find their freedom in the elegant houses of 18th century Clifton. Gregory adapted her book for a highly acclaimed BBC television production which won the prize for drama from the Commission for Racial Equality and was shortlisted for a BAFTA for the screenplay.

Next came two of Gregory’s best-loved novels, Earthly Joys and Virgin Earth, based on the true-life story of father and son John Tradescant working in the upheaval of the English Civil War. In these works Gregory pioneered the genre which has become her own: fictional biography, the true story of a real person brought to life with painstaking research and passionate verve.

The flowering of this new style was undoubtedly The Other Boleyn Girl, a runaway best-seller which stormed the US market and then went worldwide telling the story of the little-known sister to Anne Boleyn. Now published in 26 countries with more than a million copies in print in the US alone, this is becoming a classic historical novel, winning the Parker Pen Novel of the Year award 2002, and the Romantic Times fictional biography award. The Other Boleyn Girl was adapted for the BBC as a single television drama and a film is now in production starring Scarlett Johansson as Mary Boleyn, Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn and Eric Bana as Henry VIII.

A regular contributor to newspapers and magazines, with short stories, features and reviews, Philippa is also a frequent broadcaster and a regular contestant on Round Britain Quiz for BBC Radio 4 and the Tudor expert for Channel 4’s Time Team.

She lives in the North of England with her husband and two children and in addition to interests that include riding, walking, skiing and gardening (an interest born from research into the Tradescant family for her novel, Virgin Earth), she also runs a small charity building wells in school gardens in The Gambia. Fifty-six wells have been built by UK donors to date.

Connect with Philppa Gregory at www.philippagregory.com

Note: Book cover, author photo and bio were taken from Amazon.com. Both cover and photo are linked to the original source. Click and enjoy. 

Meet historical fiction author Carmen Stevens

Interview with historical fiction author Carmen Stevens, debut novel Anne.

By Aubrey Wynne

carm

 Carmen Gross, pen name Carmen Stevens, was born in Fargo, ND, March 1992. She currently resides in Detroit Lakes, MN, where she works and attends college full time. Carmen published her novel “Anne” in July 2013-an exciting, richly written historical work about a young English girl who makes many bad choices throughout her life and then struggles to find redemption.

Aubrey: I am pleased to introduce  Carmen Stevens. As a history buff, I am always intrigued by a captivating story with historic base. I love being able to fall back into the heroin’s time period and feel as if I’m there. As an author, the research can be as exciting as the actual story. What do you think readers will enjoy most about your novel, Anne

Carmen: I think that a reader who likes historical fiction will be delighted further when they find out that my book contains English history, mystery, tragedy, and suspense. The title character is very complex and I think it would be difficult for the reader to ascertain what move she will make next.

Aubrey: Anne sounds like a compelling story. What was the hardest part about writing this novel?

Carmen: For this novel, I had to really perform a lot of research on British history, since the entire novel takes place in England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I also wanted the story to be as perfect as it could be, so I took many plot and character notes and paged through the notes enough so that today this book of notes isn’t in very good shape.

Aubrey: What piece of advice would you give a new author?

Carmen: I would tell them to work hard, be patient, and don’t give up. You will reap what you sow, eventually.

Aubrey: Good advice for all of us. Is being an author your primary career?

Carmen: No, it’s not. I’m currently attending college studying law; I’d like to be a paralegal.

Aubrey: What is the one thing about a book that will make you close the cover and not finish it?

Carmen: I won’t finish a book if it’s badly written or just doesn’t interest me anymore.

Aubrey: I agree. There are too many good books on my TBR list. If you could have a super power, which one would you want?

Carmen: I’d want to see into the future, I think. I wonder a lot about what the future holds for me and the rest of the world.

Aubrey: Describe yourself in three words.

Carmen: Shy, bubbly, and hard-working.

Aubrey: Thank you so much for joining us today on Coffee Talk. I wish you the best of luck with your debut novel.

Connect with Carmen:

Facebook Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/hisfic?ref=hl

Bloghttp://bubblymissy16.wordpress.com

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/obloomluvr

Tumblrhttp://animer20.tumblr.com/

Emailbubblymissy_16@hotmail.com

anne

Excerpt:

Prologue

She had not been there at the time. She had not the courage to go back. She knew how she could not, anyway. Why would she want to? Her father was nothing but a selfish, sadistic drunkard, always abusing her, always devouring that whiskey. Yet she knew the impulse to rush back and the sudden desire to do so.

Why did Anne suddenly feel like her life was changed?

Her young nose sniffed the thick air cautiously. Was that the stink of old London bathing itself in one of its filthy baths of smoke and fog, or the defective redolence of brick being eaten by a fast fire? Whichever it was, she had to turn back. If her learned instincts whispered to her truly and that comfortless beast of a house was crumbling down onto its firm foundation, perhaps her paltry father had crumbled down on his shaking foundation as well, within it. The horrible building had always been, after all, a rather disconsolate, unwieldy object for Anne in her rather unreliable life. Her father had been no different, yet she had still learned to live fluently and somewhat successfully in the fearful world of London. She knew strongly in her heart, thus, that she could continue to faithfully persevere, no matter what event fate would next throw her way.

Buy Links:

Amazon linkhttp://www.amazon.com/Anne-Carmen-Stevens-ebook/dp/B00E4D3HY0

Barnes & Noblehttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/anne-carmen-stevens/1117474326

Smashwordshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/372253

Cast Your Vote For Coffee Talk Writers Aubrey Wynne and Renea Mason

Best Books of 2013:
Editors and Predators Readers Poll

Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers Choice

Many of us are looking back on the Best of 2013. Bloggers, book sites and publishers are running contests to support the authors whose work stood out from the crowd. Two of our Coffee Talk Writers, Aubrey Wynne (Merry Christmas, Henry) and  Renea Mason (Symphony of Light and Winter) have been added to these lists. Aubrey has been nominated in the  Predators and Editors Reader’s Poll for Best Romance Short Story. Renea has been nominated for by The Paranormal Reveiwer’s Choice Awards for Best Paranormal Romance.  Please show them some love and support by clicking the links below.

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Henry, a shy and talented artist, moonlights as a security guard at a museum and loses his heart to a beautiful, melancholy woman in a painting. As his obsession grows, he finds a kindred soul who helps him in his search for happiness. On Christmas Eve, Henry dares to take a chance on love and fulfill his dream.

Click below to vote for Aubrey Wynne

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Symphony of Light Book One

One woman. Seven men. All bound by one man’s undying devotion.
Fundraiser Linden Hill has a knack for reading people. She always knows which conversations will put a prospect at ease, which drink will loosen a patron’s lips—or his wallet, and how cleavage will make a donor sweeten the deal. She’s even foreseen her dateless weekends four hundred and sixty-four times in a row.

But ten years after watching life drain from her former mentor’s and first love’s eyes, her skills for divining the predictable are lost. When Cyril returns, he’s still gorgeous, but this time he’s beyond human, far less dead, and pissed. His lack of memory drives him to desperate acts, and his turbulent re-acquaintance with Linden pulls her into his war with a creature hell-bent on his destruction. His group of six supernatural men share a tantalizing secret, but despite the hunger, it’s love that leads her to sacrifice everything to save him…

 Click on the box below to vote for Renea Mason

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The Goals and Successes of the Ladies of Coffee Talk By Kishan Paul

Reblogged from www.coffeetalkwriters.com

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With just another day left in 2013, many are looking ahead with hopes and goals for the new year. The ladies of Coffee Talk are no different. I managed to drag these amazing women away from their busy lives and holiday festivities to find out what each were looking forward to in the upcoming year and to see what they felt they did well in the one they are about to leave behind.

This is what Aubrey Wynne (author of Merry Christmas, Henry) had to say about her accomplishments of 2013.

I published my first novel. Joined the CT group. Took my hubby on a long trip out east and taught him how to relax. For 2014, I want to: (1) Lose weight and be regular at the gym. (2) Get my next book published (3) Write something every day and at least 3000 words a week regardless of how busy I am. (4) Have more patience with my parents. (5) Stop saying, “I’ll do it if you can’t find anyone else.”

Isabella Harper, our youngest member in CT, had some major life changes in 2013.

I’m excited about completing April NanoWriMo, buying a house, and having our daughter. As far as 2014, I don’t really do “resolutions” because I feel like they kinda fall by the wayside as the year progresses. I like to call them goals. In no particular order: finish my MS and possibly publish, finish renovating our house, enjoy every second with my family, continue to eat healthy, expand my cooking/baking horizons, blog more often. Exercise is huge on my goal list this year, and I’m toying with becoming a “coach” of some sort… I haven’t figured that goal out exactly yet. I’d like to bring in some money of my own… maybe even open an Etsy shop. We will see…

Marianne Willis (author of Killer Temptations) chimed in from Australia.

I’m proud of the continual support from loved ones and new fans. My goal for 2014 is to write the next book in the bonded series as well as start a new book trilogy. I also hope to finish a YA paranormal.

Nessie Stranger (author of Living Dead Girl) what are you most proud of?

2013 brought lots of changes, like moving and getting my first publishing contract. As far as 2014, like Bella, I don’t necessarily do resolutions. In 2014, I hope to complete the sequel to Living Dead Girl and hopefully get that one published as well. I hope to become more financially stable, and better provide for my family. Maybe get better organized, too

Renea Mason (author of Symphony of Light and Winter) how about you?

In 2013, I became a published author and I’m excited that my book is successful. My family didn’t disown me. I met a lot of wonderful people. I recently took a new position in my company that will allow me to continue to grow and learn and I am most thankful for that opportunity.   

For 2014, I have two young sons and the other day I looked at the price of college.  WOAH.  So my resolution is to save more money for my boys. I already made a commitment that all of my book earnings will go to them so when they grow up and realize that Mommy writes smut, I can fall back on, “Hey, it paid for your college.” My second personal goal is to lose weight and stay healthy. Damn pumpkin roll. From a writing perspective, I’m looking to complete the second book in the Symphony of Light Series currently entitled, Between the Waters. 

Valerie A Twombly (author of Eternal Flame) what are yours?

I’m proud of signing with a publisher and releasing 2 books. My goals for 2014 are: (1) lose weight and work out more.(2) Publish book 2 of the Guardians series. (3) Work on a new series. (4) If time permits, work on Brock’s story for book 2 of Demon Heat.

For me, Kishan Paul, I have a lot I’m proud of as far as 2013. I completed my first novel, The Second Wife, and started querying. In the process, I discovered new friends, like my ladies at CT, and realized just what an amazing and supportive family I have. My goals for 2014 are to publish and finish my next book. I plan to keep learning about the art of writing and to keep learning about social media. I hope to express more gratitude and love to the people in my life. And my hardest goal of all: to bite my tongue and walk away.

I decided to end this post with CT’s other Aussie member and technology whiz. Michaela Miles, please share your accomplishments and goals for the new year:

My main New Year’s Resolutions are to keep in touch with family more often and take some more “me” time. After that, I have a few other things I’d like to achieve: I’d love to publish a few books, finish renovating our house, hire a manager for my businesses so I can write more, get out and exercise more, knock another year off my Uni degree, read more books, travel… just a small wish list

 For 2013, I am proud of joining the Coffee Talk ladies and really becoming interested and involved with their writing, publishing, and marketing processes. It’s made me become more involved with my own and given me much more advice and confidence than I’ve found anywhere else. I have also completed a novel and a short story, and plotted out a series of books in genres I’ve never considered before, and again that’s all down to the Coffee Talk ladies. Such amazing ladies – I raise my glass to each of you.

Well said Michaela.

To all our followers out there: We are humbled and grateful for all of your support and look forward to spending another great year together.

Happy New Year from the ladies of CT.

My Christmas Wishes Come True.

Christmas is a time to delight in the unexpected and hope for generosity in mankind. It is a day of reflection, counting blessings, and being with those we love. A time to share memories of those special people still in our hearts but no longer with us. With the chaos of everyday life, we need this day to remind those close to us how much we care.

I would like to send a special holiday message to my Coffee Talk girls: thank you. Santa got it right. This group has been one of my most unexpected and cherished surprises of 2013. Your unconditional support and mentoring have sustained me through the best and worst of times. I don’t know what I would have done without you.

This has been a whirlwind year for me both personally and professionally. I am thankful for a loving and supportive family and loyal friends. My job is secure with good health benefits. In past years, I took these things for granted. With age, I have learned to appreciate all of the little blessings that are sent my way.

So may I extend a heartfelt Merry Christmas to all of my virtual friends I have met over the past year. The online support from so many of you have been a constant reminder of the good in all of us. In particular, I am  grateful for the friendships of Susan Stuckey, Jena Baxter, Chris Drew, Louise Redman and Belinda Mellor.

And Happy Holidays to Melange Books, LLC for publishing my first story. If you need to a little nudge to believe in the magic of Christmas again, let me introduce you to Henry. Cheers to all of us!

Aubrey

 Merry Christmas, Henry

Henry, a shy and talented artist, moonlights as a security guard at a museum and loses his heart to a beautiful, melancholy woman in a painting. As his obsession grows, he finds a kindred soul who helps him in his search for happiness. On Christmas Eve, Henry dares to take a chance on love and fulfill his dream.

Excerpt:

“The museum will be closing in five minutes. Please make your way to the nearest exit.”

Henry tore his gaze from the painting, and looked around at the weekend crowd hurrying by. No one noticed him. He always blended into the background. Henry the Trifling—that would have been the title of his self-portrait. A soft sigh escaped as he pulled his gray coat over the frayed cuffs of a cotton shirt. There were extraordinary people and there were ordinary people. Henry considered himself less than ordinary. He was insignificant.

“You’ll never amount to nothin’. Just like your worthless father.”

He shrugged off the memory of his mother’s nagging image and looked toward the last group of art enthusiasts headed in his direction.

This was his favorite part of the day. In a crush of people, everyone was equal. No one stood out in the sea of indistinguishable faces. There was no pressure to make witty or charming conversation. Henry liked people but had never been good at interaction. The anonymity of a crowd gave the illusion of belonging. For a man as painfully shy as Henry, it was the only way to mingle in a city like Chicago.

Casting a last wistful look at the lady in the painting, Henry took a deep breath and eased into the middle of the exiting crowd. A large woman trying to grab her boisterous child knocked into his left shoulder. She distractedly patted a chubby hand at the obstruction and mumbled a quick apology without glancing his way. Henry smiled and nodded.

The group approached the turnstile and bunched up, shoulder to shoulder, waiting for their turn to leave. Someone jostled him from the

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Aubrey Wynne

side and he felt the heat of another body against his back. He tried to absorb the vivid energy surrounding him. Last week a pretty woman had smiled at him. He had felt warm all the way home. He’d started painting her but had not yet decided on the setting. It had to be somewhere as beautiful and inviting as her smile—Venice, perhaps.

Stepping onto the sidewalk, he buttoned his overcoat against the early November chill. Christmas lights intermingled with the traffic lights, blinking and glowing on the wet streets. The wind had picked up and people rushed by with their heads down. Henry pulled his collar up against the icy sting of a light rain and quickly walked the few blocks to his small apartment.

Stopping in front of the dilapidated building, Henry looked up at his fourth floor window. He always left the light on so it seemed as if someone was home to greet him. He smiled as his thoughts returned to the woman in the painting. He would never forget that snowy December day she arrived at the museum. He had been working his usual graveyard shift and the day manager had needed help with a shipment arriving that morning.

*** *

“Hey, Henry, you want a little overtime?” the supervisor had asked. “Charlie called in sick and I could use an extra hand. Another rich collector remembered us in his will. We’ve got a pricey piece arriving in about an hour and I’d feel better with some extra security.”

Henry tried to wipe the smile off his face. Five years in the city and he still felt like a country bumpkin. “Sure.”

“The paper says a Rubens. Flemish, wasn’t he? But it’s a small one.”

Henry gave a whistle. “Impressive.”

“There’s a companion painting with it, artist unknown. We’ll have to find a spot for it in appreciation for the collector’s piece.”

An hour later, Henry held a priceless painting in his hands. God, he loved this job.

“The family probably figured they wouldn’t get any money out of the other one. But this one sure is a beauty,” the supervisor said as he reached for the Rubens.

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Merry Christmas, Henry

“Yes, indeed,” Henry replied, as his eyes landed on the second painting. “Striking.”

Henry’s boss laughed. “I’m talking about this one, Bud. The little one is worth the big bucks!” His boss headed toward the office to start the paperwork on the new museum pieces.

“Yes, of course,” he murmured, but his attention remained focused on the woman in the larger painting.

She sat on the edge of a rocky cliff, her face slightly turned as if looking over the edge. Her legs were out to the side, knees bent, a long, olive-colored skirt spread around her haphazardly as if blown by the wind. The stormy ocean breakers rushed between jagged rocks then turned into frothy waves that lapped at the sand. The details in the picture were crisp and stark, the color was minimal—just the woman on a cliff with the turbulent water below. But the overall effect created a hauntingly beautiful scene.

He felt her distress, her sorrow. His fingers itched to reach out and pull her from the painting and hold her, soothe her, give her comfort. Henry knew that if she could turn and face him, he would be looking at the most exquisite creature he’d ever seen. His hand shook as he reached out to touch the canvas.

“Are you okay, Henry?”

Henry drew his hand back quickly as if he’d been caught in the act of—of what? Touching a frame? Good lord, he must be tired.

“What? Oh, yeah, I just need some sleep. ” As Henry turned to leave, he took one last look at the woman who had just stolen his heart. Fate had given him a precious gift. He whistled “Angels We Have Heard on High” all the way home.

 

Aubrey’s Ageless Romance Café

Aubrey’s Ageless Romance Café

In this literary world, a handful of stories will stand the test of time. A modern classic novel holds the attention of every generation with a thoughtful plot, complex characters and a scene or two that lingers long after the final page.

These books will never be traded in at the paperback store or sold for a quarter at a garage sale. An ageless romance is passed on to your sister, then to her daughter who loans it to a friend. By the time it makes it back to your shelf, the pages are yellowed, earmarked and appreciated. And every so often, when you need to be reminded of the remarkable power of love, you dust off that old friend and peruse its pages again. These are the stories I want to share with you in Aubrey’s cafe. 

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The Present

By Johanna Lindsey

Published: 1998    Publisher:  Avon Romance    POV: Third person

Setting: England 1825 and a generation earlier

 Johanna Lindsey fans will love this book. In fact, her dedication reads: to the many fans who love the Malorys as much as I do. This present is for you.

I will admit, I have not read many of Ms. Lindsey’s books. However, my sister and I have a tradition of buying a Christmas book each year in December. This story is a result of that tradition. This year, we pulled it out and read it again. That should tell you something about the quality of the story.

The Malorys, a title family and members of the ton, gather at Haverston, the ancestral estate, each year for Christmas. They are quite a crew. Handsome rakes now tamed by spirited women with beautiful children following in the footsteps of their parents. Except for the oldest brother of the family.

Jason fell in love with Molly thirty years earlier. Molly fell in love with Jason. Great, right? No. Jason is titled and Molly is a servant. She refuses to cross the social line and let him risk scandal. So he marries within his rank and is miserable. So the two continue their affair until the wife finds out. Ah, now the can be together. Nope.

The wife, also extremely unhappy, threatens scandal if she does NOT get a divorce. Jason happily signs the papers and assumes he will now sweep Molly off her feet. But Molly won’t budge. She insists the ton will never accept her so the marriage will not work. They continue their secret affair and even have a child who is accepted by the social realm.

Fast forward to the present. The son is grown, now knows about his parentage, yet Molly remains obstinate. As the family gathers for the holidays, a mysterious present appears on the mantle. It stirs curiosity. The family, bickering and experiencing underlying tensions, are distracted by the mystery. It turns out to be a journal written by the grandparents, second Marquis of Haverston and his wife.

Within the pages are the ruminations and confessions of Christopher Malory and his gypsy wife, Anastasia. The fact that the Marquis’ wife was not of proper birth remained a secret until the discovery of this journal. The love story that unfolds is unique, well told and very romantic. Their lives also run eerily parallel to Jason and Molly.

Johanna Lindsey writes a Christmas story of love, betrayal and family. As Anastasia says in her note to future generations, “To our children and their children and so forth… we leave this written record to you, to be read at your leisure, and with your own imagination lending it life… And I give you fair warning: If you have been led to believe that we are individuals that could do no wrong, then read no further. We are human after all, with all the faults, passions, and mistakes that humans are known for. Judge us not, but perhaps learn from our mistakes.”

                 While the story itself was outstanding, there were elements I did not care for. The dialogue occasionally threw me off with the improper grammar I did not expect from the upper crust. I am not used to the frequent use the word ain’t used. Some of the dialogue also seemed a little out of place.  But these minor issues did not slow down my reading.

I have not read any of the previous books containing the Malory family. It did not hinder my understanding of the plot and the tale stood alone without previous background knowledge. Ms. Lindsey provided the reader with any information necessary to the plot.

The Present is a perfect read for the holidays. I loved the romance, strong but stubborn men and feisty, intelligent women. I loved the family dynamics and might pick up another book with these likeable characters. But the star of the novel is the couple from the journal. Anastasia, daring and desperate, is a perfect match for the obstinate yet passionate Christopher. I recommend this for all historical romance fans that believe the magic of Christmas.

I give The Present three and half mugs.

3.5 coffee mugs

A virtual trip to a ski lodge in Vail, Colorado. Oh what fun it is to ride a bunny hill today.

Wine and Chat with Cait and Aubrey Wynne

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Aubrey Wynne

Aubrey

Buy now: Melange Books

Amazon

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes and Noble

December is a magical time of the year to spend time with family and friends. Some of us have a special someone, others dream of a spark that could generate chemistry so strong that you believe the person you see is that special someone, the person that makes you smile. In the world today, there’s so many different ways to meet someone: in person, online, but to see a portrait in a gallery and know the person is special that is magic.

Sitting by the fire on the leather couch in a ski lodge in Vail, Colorado, I can’t wait for one of my favorite peeps to arrive. Aubrey Wynne released her first book, Merry Christmas, Henry, a few weeks ago. It’s the perfect cozy Christmas read. Oh heck, I can’t tell you anymore, here she comes.

Cait: “Aubrey! It’s wonderful to see you.” I jump to my feet and hug her.

Aubrey: “I have been talking about this all week. My husband almost pushed me out the door. Thank you for inviting me.”

Cait: “You are welcome. Thank you for joining me.

We sit on the couches a table dividing us. A tall golden-haired, green-eyed man sits at a nearby table.

Cait: “Aubrey, he looks like the hero in my latest manuscript, Second Chances.”

Aubrey: Long sigh. “Absolutely mouth-watering. He is just how I pictured Ryan if you swap out the skis for a skateboard. If he’s an instructor, I’m up for a lesson.”

Cait: I laugh.“Speaking of delicious, Merry Christmas, Henry, is a wonderful story. Would you give a little detail about the book?”

Aubrey: She smiles and tears her eyes away from the gorgeous blonde. “Henry is a handsome and talented artist but painfully shy. His life revolves around his painting and best friend Melinda, the owner of an art gallery. While working as a security guard in a museum, he becomes infatuated with the portrait of a woman. When Melinda accepts a marriage proposal, Henry realizes he must find his own happiness. So he comes up with a plan that depends on his artistic skill and the magic of Christmas.

Cait: “The story is so unique. I don’t believe I’ve ever read anything like it. What inspired you?” Arches eyebrow. “Have you ever admired a pic of a guy?” I laugh.

Aubrey: Giggles. “Good grief, as a teenager my wall was filled with posters. I spent hours drooling over and talking to Robert Redford, Paul Newman and John Travolta. And of course, Starsky and Hutch. Oops, I think I just gave away my age.”

Cait: “Too funny.”

The Ryan-like character from Second Chances winks at Aubrey. She winks back.

Aubrey: “I need a drink. I think the ski instructor is flirting with me. Maybe he likes cougars?”

Cait: “It appears so.” I’m smiling so hard my cheeks hurt. Aubrey’s a hoot.

The waiter arrives, bringing glasses of wine I ordered when I first arrived.

Cait: I hold up my glass. “A toast to your first release and to all the ones that follow.” Our glasses clink.

Aubrey: “Yes, indeed.” She holds up her glass. “Here’s to more great romances in the New Year.”

Cait: I set my glass on the table and reach behind the couch. “I have a surprise for you.” I pull out the picture of the woman Henry admires. “The owner of the ski lodge loved your book so much they had a painting made of it. They want it hung in here. We get to do the honors of deciding where it goes.”

Aubrey: “I’m honored, and such a wonderful way to celebrate my first publication. The design and setting of this lodge would have pleased Henry.”

We crossed to the wall Aubrey decides. She lifts it up and places it against the wall. Strong arms reach over her head and grab the sides of the frame. The Ryan-like character smiles down at her. “I’ll do this for you.”

Cait: I smirk and step back, giving them a moment, and sip more wine.

Aubrey: “It just keeps getting better, Cait.”

Ryan marks the wall and retrieves the hammer and a nail from a side table. “Great story, you must be the author, Aubrey Wynne. I heard you’d be by today.”

Aubrey: “Yes, I am. Thank for your help. So do you like romance or are you more the action and adventure type?”

“I’m the action, adventure type. You interested?”

I choke on my wine, the liquid rushes up my nose. Ugh. I hate that.

Aubrey: “If I were a little younger… Seriously, though, you remind me of someone. But he’s already taken.”

He hammers the nail in the wall, hangs the picture, and steps back admiring his handy work. “Very pretty.” He turns to us. “See you in Second Chances, my destiny awaits.”

Ryan leaves and our mouths gape.

Cait: “Wow, you have a fan and I have a nose full of wine.”

Aubrey: “My heart just skipped a beat.”

Cait: I let out a breath and stare at the picture. “He’s right, she’s quite beautiful. Would you tell us about her?”

Aubrey: “Her name, according to Henry, is Rebecca. She is a beautiful, melancholy soul and I think that is what attracted Henry. It became his mission to make her happy.”

Cait: “What is your favorite part of the book?”

Aubrey: “The ending.”

Cait: “My next question was to ask you to read your favorite part, but we don’t want to give anything away. So, would you give an excerpt from another part of the book?”

Aubrey:

“Hey, Henry, you want a little overtime?” the supervisor had asked. “Charlie called in sick and I could use an extra hand. Another rich collector remembered us in his will. We’ve got a pricey piece arriving in about an hour and I’d feel better with some extra security.”

Henry tried to wipe the smile off his face. Five years in the city and he still felt like a country bumpkin. “Sure.”

“The paper says a Rubens. Flemish, wasn’t he? But it’s a small one.”

Henry gave a whistle. “Impressive.”

“There’s a companion painting with it, artist unknown. We’ll have to find a spot for it in appreciation for the collector’s piece.”

An hour later, Henry held a priceless painting in his hands. God, he loved this job.

“The family probably figured they wouldn’t get any money out of the other one. But this one sure is a beauty,” the supervisor said as he reached for the Rubens.

 “Yes, indeed,” Henry replied, as his eyes landed on the second painting. “Striking.”

Henry’s boss laughed. “I’m talking about this one, Bud. The little one is worth the big bucks!” His boss headed toward the office to start the paperwork on the new museum pieces.

“Yes, of course,” he murmured, but his attention remained focused on the woman in the larger painting.

She sat on the edge of a rocky cliff, her face slightly turned as if looking over the edge. Her legs were out to the side, knees bent, a long, olive-colored skirt spread around her haphazardly as if blown by the wind. The stormy ocean breakers rushed between jagged rocks then turned into frothy waves that lapped at the sand. The details in the picture were crisp and stark, the color was minimal—just the woman on a cliff with the turbulent water below. But the overall effect created a hauntingly beautiful scene.

He felt her distress, her sorrow. His fingers itched to reach out and pull her from the painting and hold her, soothe her, give her comfort. Henry knew that if she could turn and face him, he would be looking at the most exquisite creature he’d ever seen. His hand shook as he reached out to touch the canvas.

“Are you okay, Henry?”

Henry drew his hand back quickly as if he’d been caught in the act of—of what? Touching a frame? Good lord, he must be tired.

“What? Oh, yeah, I just need some sleep. ” As Henry turned to leave, he took one last look at the woman who had just stolen his heart. Fate had given him a precious gift. He whistled “Angels We Have Heard on High” all the way home.

Cait: “This has been great, but the slopes are calling our name. Maybe, you can fall into Ryan?” I snicker.

Aubrey: “I’m not known for my grace or balance. It would be a perfect ending to a perfect day.”

Cait: “Would you leave your contact information for the readers?”

Alternate Website: http://www.coffeetalkwriters.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aubrey.wynne.7?fref=ts

About the Author

Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding and all things Christmas. She is a proud member of the Coffee Talk Writers.

Holiday Hopes is now available. Come see who is keeping Henry company.

Holiday Hopes

Holiday Hopes

 HolidayHopes-small

by Terry BarrMarianna BoncekNell DuVallMegan HusseyShannon KennedyCharmaine PaulsLeslie D. SouleLinda White-Francis and Aubrey Wynne

Buy Links:

http://melange-books.com/authors/anthologies/HolidayHopes.html

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GXO287A

Secret Santa by Terry Barr
Ten-year old Terry Barr discovers one day just before Christmas that his little brother has found Santa’s stash of toys. The secret of Santa is out now, and as Terry tries to help his mother cover the story to retain his brother’s innocence, the world of secrets, conspiracies, and emotional entanglements for him only grows deeper.

An American Noel by Marianna Boncek
Charlie Reardon is a down-and-out bum looking for some returnables and a warm place to sleep on a snowy, Christmas night. Instead, with the help of his on-again-off-again angel, Gabriel, Charlie finds a baby in an alley. Does the baby offer some type of redemption?

The Three Gifts of Christmas by Nel DuVall
The Three Gifts of Christmas by Nell DuVall is a tender love story of people facing difficult choices in an uncertain world. Family or love? Stephanie Graham must choose between her frail elderly grandmother and Craig, her fiancé, when he gets a promotion that would take him to England. She’s never traveled far from home and dreads leaving her friends and all she knows, especially her grandmother, to migrate to a strange country. Besides, if he loved her, he wouldn’t go.

Merry Christmas, India Stone by Megan Hussey and Linda White-Francis
Facing her first Christmas alone as a recent divorcee, India Stone takes an impulsive trip to an Aspen ski lodge; where the handsome, dashing Tristan sweeps her off of her feet and onto the slopes. Spoiling her with romantic sleigh rides, beautiful gifts and romantic candlelight dinners, Tristan lends light, love and color to India’s holiday.

Deck the Stalls by Shannon Kennedy
All Sierra McElroy wants for Christmas is a guarantee the horses at Shamrock Stable will be home for the holidays. Her mother has decided they can’t keep every horse and should sell some. Now, what can Sierra do to save her friends and Christmas for everyone?

A Miracle for Christmas by Charmaine Pauls
Michael Slanders only wants a steady job and a family of his own, but instead he lives from hand to mouth with his sick mother. Fired a week before Christmas and down on his luck, Mike needs nothing short of a miracle. Sometimes, goodness prevails. Sometimes, magic is made.

The Feast of Yule by Leslie D. Soule
Ash Kensington gets to spend her first holiday in the fantasy realm known as Fallenwood. Her friends, the sorcerer Will Everett, the court jester Terces Solario, and the cat who was once a human, Greymalkin, are put in charge of watching a trio of unruly gnomes over the weekend, and chaos breaks loose! Join Ash and her friends as they celebrate the holiday known as The Feast of Yule!

Merry Christmas, Henry by Aubrey Wynne
Henry, a shy and talented artist, moonlights as a security guard at a museum and loses his heart to a beautiful, melancholy woman in a painting. As his obsession grows, he finds a kindred soul who helps him in his search for happiness. On Christmas Eve, Henry dares to take a chance on love and fulfill his dream.

Henry small cover

Excerpt:

“Hey, Henry, you want a little overtime?” the supervisor had asked. “Charlie called in sick and I could use an extra hand. Another rich collector remembered us in his will. We’ve got a pricey piece arriving in about an hour and I’d feel better with some extra security.”

Henry tried to wipe the smile off his face. Five years in the city and he still felt like a country bumpkin. “Sure.”

“The paper says a Rubens. Flemish, wasn’t he? But it’s a small one.”

Henry gave a whistle. “Impressive.”

“There’s a companion painting with it, artist unknown. We’ll have to find a spot for it in appreciation for the collector’s piece.”

An hour later, Henry held a priceless painting in his hands. God, he loved this job.

“The family probably figured they wouldn’t get any money out of the other one. But this one sure is a beauty,” the supervisor said as he reached for the Rubens.

“Yes, indeed,” Henry replied, as his eyes landed on the second painting. “Striking.”

Henry’s boss laughed. “I’m talking about this one, Bud. The little one is worth the big bucks!” His boss headed toward the office to start the paperwork on the new museum pieces.

“Yes, of course,” he murmured, but his attention remained focused on the woman in the larger painting.

She sat on the edge of a rocky cliff, her face slightly turned as if looking over the edge. Her legs were out to the side, knees bent, a long, olive-colored skirt spread around her haphazardly as if blown by the wind. The stormy ocean breakers rushed between jagged rocks then turned into frothy waves that lapped at the sand. The details in the picture were crisp and stark, the color was minimal—just the woman on a cliff with the turbulent water below. But the overall effect created a hauntingly beautiful scene.

He felt her distress, her sorrow. His fingers itched to reach out and pull her from the painting and hold her, soothe her, give her comfort. Henry knew that if she could turn and face him, he would be looking at the most exquisite creature he’d ever seen. His hand shook as he reached out to touch the canvas.

“Are you okay, Henry?”

Henry drew his hand back quickly as if he’d been caught in the act of—of what? Touching a frame? Good lord, he must be tired.

“What? Oh, yeah, I just need some sleep. ” As Henry turned to leave, he took one last look at the woman who had just stolen his heart. Fate had given him a precious gift. He whistled “Angels We Have Heard on High” all the way home.

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