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Welcome to the Mistletoe Hop, a fabulous sampling of authors sharing short excerpts from their work and answering the question of whether they've been…
NAUGHTY OR NICE
Readers: Please enjoy the steamy snippets and consider picking up the full book by clicking on the buy link. Enter by leaving a comment for a chance to receive a free copy.
Have I been naughty or nice?
Honestly? I'm all about the balance.
So, the answer to the question is… Both!
Being naughty—not mean, of course—can be so much fun. Sharing an innuendo-filled joke to make someone smile—or snort soda out their nose—is a hoot. Picking the perfect gag gift for siblings before they get yours… totally cool. Letting loose and straying from the tried and true gives life a little oomph and boosts my horizons.
Which pays off in huge ways.
Then again, it costs nothing to be nice and, hey, showing kindness feels good. Whether giving one of my daughter's fellow golfers a lift to practice so their parents don't have to leave work early or providing supplies to a local animal shelter or food pantry, being generous with my time or giving to a cause near to my heart refills my emotional piggy bank.
Even small gestures have big impact.
Being naughty and nice might confuse the jolly, fat man, but it makes for some great romance. When writing as Skylin O'Thomas, I tend to focus on contemporary romance, with couples who have challenges to face, but find love nonetheless. They also celebrate the season and keep their holiday spirit, or find it by the end of the story.
Combining some naughty sexual tension with a nice dose of holiday cheer is what I love to do. I have two holiday releases with this terrific combination.
Holly Hollow, an Organic Nature Short, features Eppie and Vin, an established couple who work through their challenges. Holly Hollow picks up a month after Turkey Trot ends and sees Eppie stressed out and crazy until Vin steals her away for some rest, relaxation, and wicked good holiday fun.
Merry and Bright has Presley facing her Christmas after the loss of her parents and best friends Gunner and Frasier, pulling out all the stops to make her holiday one she'll never forget. They even call a truce on their good-natured rivalry to see who can win her heart.
Excerpts for both books are below. Please enjoy!
Holly Hollow: An Organic Nature Short
Series Tagline: Eppie and Vin are brought together by Organic Nature
Book Tagline: For Presley, waking up between Gunnar and Frazier is one way to be merry and bright.
Vin Derbish hit send and didn't wait long for an answer. "Dani? Hey, it's Vin." He paced back and forth, a little nervous about going to Eppie's sister behind her back. "Would you mind if I steal Eppie over Christmas?" He didn't want to cut into family time, but Eppie needed a break.
Dani snorted. "You mean the Ebenezer crone that used to be my bubbly sister?"
Vin's eye widened. "You've noticed the wild mood swings, too?" Although, of course, Dani would see the change in Eppie.
Dani sighed. "Oh, definitely. She's trying to do too much on her own."
Vin agreed wholeheartedly. "Right. I suggested she hire some extra help, just for a week or two, and I swear I thought her head was going to spin around and pop off." He grimaced. "First night I've spent alone, wondering if we were okay." Only his ex-girlfriend's Thanksgiving Day stunt gave him the free fall feeling of uncertainty, which Eppie cleared up right away.
Thank the universe.
Dani commiserated. "When I've gone over to wrap presents for the kids, she's been snapping and snarling after closing up for the day, which isn't like her at all." She laughed. "Maybe being a dancing sugar plum fairy during working hours is draining her holiday cheer." Her voice lowered. "But you've nailed it, Vin. She needs some help when it's really busy."
Vin finally sat down at his kitchen table. "Didn't help she sold out of so much—the hand milled soaps, essential oils, and body lotions. I mean she stayed up until after two a.m. making more." His offer to help fell on deaf ears and earned him a nasty look.
Dani agreed. "Yeah, I helped her out with the edible items. The pumpkin butter and cranberry sauce sold like hot cakes."
Vin pinched the bridge of his noses. "It's a good problem to have, but she's stressing out. The pumpkin rolls she made for Thanksgiving delivery got a lot of Christmas Eve repeat business for the chocolate peppermint rolls. And that's where stealing her comes in." Once Eppie filled the last of her orders, he wanted her to have a stress-free holiday.
Dani's voice took on a conspiratorially tone. "What's your plan?"
Available on Amazon
Series Blurb: Eppie Collins runs an organic gardening business from a farm she inherited from her grandmother. She's spent four years getting the product mix just right, the financials into the black, and avoiding romantic entanglements. Vinson Derbish is a local contractor who just got out of a merry-go-round relationship. He promised to give the female population a wide berth, but can't resist Eppie's sassy charm. He's ready to take another plunge, but has to convince Eppie he's the man for her.
Book Blurb: Eppie's business turned its best holiday profit yet and Vin wants to whisk her off for a celebration at Holly Hollow, a secluded B&B. The insane pace from Thanksgiving to December twenty-third has Eppie in a bah humbug mood and Vin wants to put a smile back on her face.
Merry and Bright
Book Tagline: Presley wants to start some new holiday traditions, but waking up in bed with Gunnar and Frazier isn't what she had in mind. Yet… she can't think of a better way to be merry and bright.
Tilting her head to the side, she gazed at the reflection. She had a hazy, dreamy look on her face. "Geez, Pres. Get a grip." She screwed the lid back on the container. "And get dressed, you idiot, or you'll miss the movie."
She entered her bedroom and grabbed her favorite downtime clothes—a pair of comfy yoga pants, a soft T-shirt, and a fleece zip-up. She dropped the towel and pulled the garments on, stuffing her feet into a pair of fluffy socks. Feeling loose and relaxed, she opened her bedroom door and exited, stopping mid-step, stunned by the sight greeting her eyes.
A zillion presents under her tree. Her gaze flew to Frazier and Gunnar, standing in her kitchen with big, fat grins on their faces.
Her head shook back and forth. "Oh, you guys, what did you do?" She walked forward, disbelief working its way through her brain.
Frazier moved into the living room. "What's it look like? We played Santa."
Gunnar followed Fraz into the space.
Presley backed up, moving away from the tree. "It's too much. I can't accept all this stuff." She paced the floor, back and forth, overwhelmed, before she stopped. "Did you two do this so I'd pick one of you over the other?" She leveled her gaze on both men. "I already said I'm not coming between you."
Gunnar shot Frazier a sideways glance. "Shit, Fraz. We're morons."
Frazier nodded. "Yep. We are." He shook his head. "We forgot to tell her about the no pressure thing."
Book Blurb: After losing her parents, Presley Griffith will be spending the holidays alone, and wishes new traditions were easier to establish. But instead of being by herself, she ends up in bed with Frazier Boyle and Gunnar Stewart. The cop and the firefighter heat things up and cool them down and Presley can't think of a better way to be merry and bright.
I had so much fun writing the books and I'm giving a digital copy of your choice away for this blog hop.
Please leave a comment for your entry and share whether you top the naughty or nice list and which holiday themed book strikes your fancy.
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