A Very Scandalous Holiday
by Nancy Fraser, Sophia Garrett, Amber Lin, Crista McHugh
Entangled Publishing presents…
A Very Scandalous Holiday Anthology
Four very spirited vignettes of holidays past…
Erin’s Gift by Nancy Fraser
Widower, Seth Harrison, has no intention of falling in love again but will he be able to resist the sweetness of his son’s nanny, Erin O’Mara—his sister’s best friend?
An Eternity of You by Sophia Garrett
The Duke of Sharrington left Rebecca with more than a broken heart six years ago—he left her with a son. His return rekindles their passion, but only a Christmas miracle will convince the town surgeon to believe in his promises of eternity again.
Letters at Christmas by Amber Lin
England, late Regency
After three years at sea, Captain Hale Prescott has the means to marry the love of his life and his best friend’s sister, Sidony Harbeck. However, she might never speak to him again. Despite their whispered adolescent promises, he never wrote her a single letter…at least, none he ever sent.
Eight Tiny Flames by Crista McHugh
1944 Ardennes, WWII
Lt. Ruth Mencher has always secretly admired Capt. Joseph Klein, but it takes the lighting of a Hanukkah candle to uncover the spark of mutual attraction. Each night awakens a new facet of their relationship, but as the Battle of the Bulge begins, the approaching Nazi forces threaten to tear them apart.
An Eternity of You by Sophia Garrett
Andrew smiled at the pair. His son. The child he had always wanted. Good God, all this time he had not been running from a fantasy, afraid he would no longer be able to resist the temptation of Rebecca, when in truth, he had given in to the burning desire, the unending yearning. And she had surrendered as well.
Rebecca had been his.
“I have only ever wanted you, Rebecca. Say you will have me, and if I must, I will forfeit everything for an eternity of you.”
Her fingertips danced across his cheek. In the depths of her fawn-colored eyes, her very soul glimmered. “I long for nothing more.”
Andrew closed his eyes again, choking down a groan of regret. Even now, he could still feel the scald of his skin where her touch lingered. And yet, he could not quite grasp every nuance to solidify the vision as memory not dream. What followed blended into nonsensical acts. Snippets of making love to Rebecca merged with fantastic products of his imagination that could never be reality. Unicorns, for heaven’s sake!
Lavender tickled his nose, and he slowly opened his eyes. Rebecca stood across from him by the doorway, keeping her distance. Her features were as ashen as if she’d been brutally struck.
Andrew pushed away from the doorframe and moved to where she stood. Her gaze never left his. Looking down into her beautiful, expressive eyes, full dawning fell heavily around his shoulders. He had torn her life to shreds and not even known. His marriage had been agonizing. Pledging those vows when he ached to say them to another, lying beside a woman who could never be the one he wanted. Touching her as a husband should, all the while dreaming of another.
He could only imagine the pain Rebecca must have felt.
She stared up at him, unshed tears glimmering in her eyes. He knew well enough she would never let them fall. Anger was her recourse. Even at eight, she had stormed and stewed when he caught her by a pigtail and ripped out a handful of her hair.
“You are telling me then, Rebecca,” he murmured as he eased his fingers to the regal column of her neck, “that I did not dream this?” Drawn to the softness of her lips, he bent his head.
Beneath his fingertips he felt her shiver. Her voice hitched as she asked, “Dream…what?” Her lashes fluttered heavily. A breath of air escaped her lips as they parted.
“This,” he whispered.
Erin’s Gift by Nancy Fraser
“Well, well, well, what have we here?” The desk sergeant stared down over the huge wooden barrier, his thick Irish brogue filled with amusement. “Miss Harrison, Mr. Packard.” Glancing in Erin’s direction, he added, “Don’t tell me these two have roped another of their Hyde Park friends into skirting the law?” He shook his head and rubbed a meaty hand across his whiskers. “What’s your name, girlie?”
“Erin. Erin O’Mara.”
“Saints be, they’ve drawn a fine Irish lass such as yourself into their sordid business.” The officer turned his attention to Abby.
“I suppose you’ll be wanting to call that shyster brother of yours, now won’t you?”
Abby nodded. “Yes, Officer O’Malley, if you wouldn’t mind.”
O’Malley motioned toward the single phone on the table opposite the desk. “You can give him a call, but you’re going into the tank with the rest of lawbreakers until he gets here. No more special treatment just ‘cause your father’s a councilman. Understood?”
“Yes, sir,” Abby said. She started toward the desk and then turned back to ask, “Did Mrs. O’Malley have that baby yet, Sergeant?”
“Not yet,” the man acknowledged, shaking his head. “You’d think after ten, they’d just walk out on their own.”
The “tank” as Officer O’Malley had called it was made up of three jail cells, side by side. Women were housed in the first, the middle one sat empty, and the men were placed in the third. The young officer in charge of escorting them to their cells opened the door and motioned them forward. “Miss Abby,” the man said, “I’m surprised to see you back so soon.”
Abby laid her hand against the officer’s smooth cheek. “Oh, Tommy, you know I couldn’t possibly go more than a week or two without seeing your handsome face.”
The cell door had barely shut behind them when two women of questionable virtue began whistling and making wild moaning noises. The older of the two laughed heartily, her amusement ending in a rough-edged cough. “Oh, Tommy,” she whimpered, “I missed you so much.”
“Leave it alone, Kitty,” Officer Tommy warned. “And don’t you be trying to steal anything from these two young ladies.”
The woman called Kitty shook her head. “Don’t want nothing from these swells, Tommy-boy, ‘cept maybe a ciggy if they’ve got one.”
“Not us,” Erin said, shaking her head. “We don’t smoke.”
“Well, la-de-da, aren’t you a couple a good girlies.”
Letters at Christmas by Amber Lin
England, Late Regency
Hale’s presence stirred the air behind her. She stared straight ahead at the frost-covered panes. His breath ruffled her hair.
“Were you looking for me?” he whispered. “You knew I’d arrive today. Is that why the window was open?”
An embarrassed flush heated her skin. She felt too exposed, like a raw nerve. Still, there was one advantage to being found out. She didn’t have to hide any longer. Turning, she faced him.
He bent his head to her. He was going to kiss her. She should turn away. She should tell him no. His lips met hers directly, and she moaned. She truly moaned, aloud. He could hear her, and instead of dying of mortification, she wrapped her arms around his neck. He made a sound of surprise before holding her more closely. His hand slipped to the small of her back and pulled her against him. His other hand fanned along her jaw, holding her steady as he kissed her. She needed his guidance because her body had lost all sense and reason. Her limbs trembled, her heart raced.
“Jesus, I missed you.”
It was the wrong thing to say. She pulled back. “You didn’t write. You promised to write to me. Every single day, you said.” She let sarcasm color her voice. “You could have skipped a few days. That would have been fine.”
“No letters. Not even one.” She laughed hollowly. “You said you loved me, Hale, and you couldn’t even bring yourself to write one letter.”
“I did… Damn it.” He ran a hand through his hair.
She waited for him to explain what he meant. A lump lodged in her throat when he said nothing. He’d forgotten about her, and now he was lying to her. For what purpose? So he could win a bet? Because he’d gotten tired of traveling the world and could now settle for poor little Sidony?
“Get out,” she said evenly.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
About Sophia Garrett:
Sophia Garrett always knew she wanted to be a writer, and more specifically, a historical romance writer. Her teenage years were spent rabidly gobbling up the newest books from romance icons such as Johanna Lindsey, Sabrina Jefferies, Julie Garwood, and Kathleen E. Woodiweiss. She composed her first romance novel about the American Revolution, in high school.
When Sophia is not researching...well, she's always researching! But in her non-working hours she enjoys studying historical events (yes, she's one of those girls), watching documentaries, taking in action-packed dramas at the theatre, and spending as much time as possible with her two young sons collecting bugs, racing Hot Wheels, and smashing things in video games.
Her second passion is animals, so much so that at one time she considered a career in veterinary medicine. Chemistry, however, waged war on her sanity, and she decided training horses was far less harmful than trying to manipulate miniscule objects that can't be seen. Setting her sweatshirt on fire in lab might have had something to do with that. She still has her horses but has added a chicken...or two. And a duck. And a (house) pig. And several dogs. And cats. And... who knows what might turn up next!
Sophia frequently attends conferences and signing events that take her throughout the United States. In addition, she often presents for her local Romance Writers of America chapters and is available to present to additional authors' groups. She loves to connect with readers and writers alike, so be sure to say hello!
About Crista McHugh:
Crista McHugh is a multiple award-winning author of fantasy romance and paranormal romance with heroines who are smart, sexy, and anything but ordinary.
Growing up in small town Alabama, Crista relied on story-telling as a natural way for her to pass the time and keep her two younger sisters entertained.
She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends.
Just for laughs, here are some of the jobs she's had in the past to pay the bills: barista, bartender, sommelier, stagehand, actress, morgue attendant, and autopsy assistant.
And she's also a recovering LARPer. (She blames it on her crazy college days)
To be the first to know about her latest releases or to be entered into exclusive contests, please sign up for her newsletter using the contact form on her webpage, www.cristamchugh.com.
About Amber Lin:
Amber Lin writes erotic romance with damaged souls and deep emotion.
Her debut novel Giving It Up (Loose Id, 9781611188431) received The Romance Review’s Top Pick, Night Owl Top Pick, and 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies. RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars, calling it “truly extraordinary.” The sequel is slated for release in early 2013. Her small town romance will be published by Carina Press in Fall 2013.
Amber married her high school sweetheart, birthed a kid who’s smarter than she is, and spends her nights writing down her dirty thoughts. In other words, life is good.
About NANCY FRASER:
Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher's pet which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.
In her time away from writing, Nancy dotes on her five grandchildren. She's currently happily single (let's face it, it's difficult to find a man who can live up to her sexy, fictitious heroes) and enjoying life as is for the time being.
As with all Goddess Fish Promotions Tours the more you comment the better your chance of winning. The prize for A Very Scandalous Holiday's Tour will be a $15 Starbucks GC to awarded by Sophia Garrett to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
So, the more you comment the better your chances of winning. For the information on the tour and the schedule of blog stops, please click on the banner below: