Hello Romance Readers!
I’m excited to share with you the blurb and an excerpt from my upcoming Harlequin Online Read, ONLY YOU FOR CHRISTMAS. It’s a free, short holiday story and part of the Chasing Love Series. Every Monday beginning November 10th and ending on December 29th, a new chapter will be available on Harlequin’s website. I’ll post a reminder here as well. Check out the blurb and excerpt below. (Sorry no book cover) Oh and there’s a giveaway, too!
She’s the only gift he wants…
After accepting a promotion to VP of marketing for a chain of upscale boutique hotels, Sasha Monroe is thrilled to return to Atlanta in time for the holidays. Her first Christmas purchase, a venerable Victorian style home, is the perfect project for her cousin, famed interior designer Megan Chase-Monroe. But when Megan discovers structural issues with the house, she refers a contracting company. Sasha is speechless when her old college sweetheart, the devastatingly handsome Devin Montgomery, walks through her door.
Devin, now in charge of his family’s construction business, never wanted to let Sasha go. And he hasn’t stopped yearning for her in the five years since. When he intercepts an email detailing plans on the remodeling of Sasha’s new home, he makes his own plan to reclaim her heart. All Devin ever wanted was for Sasha to pursue her dreams, but this time around he’ll have to convince the sensual beauty that he can build a future for them that will last forever.
“I’m ecstatic you’re going to decorate my new home,” Sasha Monroe said to her cousin-in-law Megan Chase-Monroe as the ladies stood on the wraparound porch of Sasha’s newly purchased Victorian-style house.
“Me too.” Megan answered, running her leather-gloved hand down one of the columns of the porch before the ladies trekked inside to escape the cold Atlanta air. “With Christmas approaching in a few weeks, I have a little room in my schedule to squeeze you in. Besides, you’re my husband’s baby cousin.”
They skirted in between the maze of boxes in the foyer and the family room as they made their way into the kitchen. Sasha wanted the space upgraded with top of the line appliances, new cabinets and a huge work island in the center.
Megan glanced at her watch. “I have to leave in an hour, but Jonathan and I work together all the time. Plus, I’ve already sent him my plans and the structural issues.”
“And you’re positive the construction company can have the renovations done by the new year?”
“Of course, maybe even Christmas Eve.” Megan nodded with a reassuring smile. “Supreme Construction is the best in the south-eastern states. You’ll have no worries.”
Sasha exhaled, rummaging through a box on the kitchen counter that she couldn’t wait to have ripped out and replaced with black granite along with the hideous flowered wallpaper. “Perfect. Would you like some apple cider to warm you up?”
“Sounds delish,” Megan said, sliding into one of the chairs at the outdoor bistro table that Sasha had temporarily placed in the breakfast area. “So how does it feel to be back in Georgia after living in sunny Florida for five years?”
Sasha laughed, filling the tea kettle with water. “Cold, but I kinda missed being here. I enjoyed the city when I attended Clark. Plus, Atlanta has always been my second home since majority of the Monroes live here–except for my parents who have chosen to stay in Savannah.”
“I’m sure they’re glad that you’re now only a few hours away.”
“Yeah, Tampa definitely isn’t a four hour drive…” she paused as the doorbell chimed. “Must be the contractor.”
Megan stood. “I’ll be right back.”
The tea kettle whistled, and Sasha poured the hot water over the cider mix into the two mugs. She heard Megan speak in a pleasantly surprised tone and then a man’s voice. A deep baritone voice that washed a load of fear through Sasha’s veins. She latched onto the counter for support as her breathing stifled while she continued to listen. It couldn’t possibly be him, she thought. Just because the contractor sounded like her ex didn’t mean it was. A lot of men spoke alike such as her cousins Steven and Bryce.
She shook her head. No, the contractor wasn’t her ex. He worked for his father’s company, Montgomery Construction. She hadn’t kept up with him after their break up five years ago, but she knew he would never leave the family business. With that affirmation, Sasha exhaled and sipped on her apple cider, listening to their footsteps as the contractor and Megan walked toward the kitchen. It may not have been him, but the contractor’s sexy tone was heating her up more than the cider. She smoothed her pixie-cut hair style and hoped his looks matched his suave voice.
But as they entered the kitchen, the fear Sasha had rushed back at an accelerated rate when her gaze met the light brown eyes of her ex, Devin Montgomery.
Suppressed emotions rose to the surface of her skin causing goosebumps to prickle over her body and the once simple chore of breathing became restricted in her throat. Sasha’s heart hammered against her chest as she tried to remain composed, leaning against the counter. However, there was no use as her eyes travelled over him, soaking in every familiar feature of his deliciously handsome face.
Her eyes wandered to his lips, those luscious damn lips that use to drive her crazy with passion as he would kiss and tantalize every inch of her body. She had the urge to run her hand down his smooth, milk chocolate face and trace his mustache with her finger, then follow up with a satisfying deep kiss.
Devin raised an eyebrow along with the devilish grin Sasha knew all too well as if he sensed her thought process. His stare raked over her body as a cold shiver coursed through her. Now she was kicking herself for throwing on a pair of jeans, a sweater and fuzzy pink slippers. It wasn’t at all the if-I-ever-see-my-ex-again outfit, which was the form-fitting but tastefully sexy, red dress with stilettos and a thong so he would wonder whether or not I’m wearing panties.
Sasha’s thoughts were cut short when she realized Megan was making introductions.
“Devin, this is my cousin Sasha Monroe and Sasha, this is Devin Montgomery. He’s the owner of Supreme Construction…who I didn’t realize was coming today,” Megan said slightly puzzled.
“I know Sasha very well,” Devin stated, resting his seductive glare on her. “And Jonathan wasn’t able to make it.”
The way Devin said it, along with the curl of his sly smile, made her realize he had something to do with Jonathan missing the appointment. Sasha cleared her throat and prayed that when she opened her mouth, she didn’t stammer or raise her voice in a squeaky octave, which usually happened when she was nervous. She had to stay calm and composed. Devin couldn’t know that she was flustered by his presence.
To celebrate the release of my first Christmas story, I’m giving away a $10.00 Starbucks Giftcard and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” CD which is one of the CDs I listened to while writing in order to get into the Christmas spirit a few months early. All you have to do is tell me one of your favorite Christmas traditions. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, then tell me a family tradition you don’t mind sharing. Mine is when I was a little girl and my mother and I would bake cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve. Instead of milk we left out coffee. Of course as I grew older, I realized Daddy was Santa Claus. The coffee gave it away!
The giveaway will end Sunday, November 9th at midnight EST. I’ll announce the winner on Twitter, Facebook and in the blog post for the link to chapter one of Only You for Christmas on Monday morning. I’ll also send out an email to the winner! Good luck!
One of us always plays Elf on Christmas morning to hand out all the presents. Thanks.
One tradition is opening one gift at midnight. It is always fun to see which one you want to open. Sometimes when you open one you have no clue why you got it because the matching gift isn’t opened until the morning. it is so much fun to look at the gifts and try to decide what you want to do. There has even been an hide and seek mission to find your first gift for Christmas. Brings a smile to my face thinking about it.
My fav tradition as carried from when I was a kid and now I do it with my two kids. I looove baking cookies the night before Christmas for Santa and then setting them out on the table with milk. I got such a kick out of doing this with my mom every year. So I had to keep the tradition going. I love to see the look on my baby girls face when she see the cookies gone the next morning. My son is now 13 yrs old so of course it doesn’t faze him but when he was small he got a joy out of it too….
One of my favorite Christmas traditions in going out on Christmas Eve to look at decorations, then once arriving back at home we would build a snowman (if we had snow), then go in and have hot chocolate and popcorn as we watch a Christmas movie.
A tradition we have in my family is hanging out on Christmas Eve playing cards, having drinks, and reliving past adventures, especially the crazy funny ones. I can’t end this post without saying that the excerpt has me intrigued and I can’t wait to read this book in its entirety.
How could I forget to mention Dirty Santa? That’s the highlight of the night, lol.
Our family tradition is having a tree trimming party for my nieces,nephew,and cousins…They play Christmas games,listen to christmas music,make hot chocolate and put it in styrofoam Christmas cups,make Christmas cookies,pop popcorn…After we finish trimming the tree they write their letter to Santa on Christmas stationary…They have a ball every year…They look forward to our tree trimming parties…
Our family tradition is to have a cookie baking day on one of the Saturdays before Christmas. There are four or five adults and about six children. We bake hundreds of cookies and the children help, they also decorate the cookies that need decorating. Everyone has great fun.
Hope you have a Merry Christmas!
You asked: Tell me one of your favorite Christmas traditions?
I love decorating my house! Since my kids are now grown and married, there’s no one here but me but I still want a little festive feel to my home. I blast Christmas music, put up a small decorated tree in front of the bay window, put a unique wreath on the door and I’m set.
The bad part—–I end up leaving everything up until the end of Jan. Yeah, I know but it looks so great! The neighbors always tease me about that but it’s so all good. LOL
I pretty much did the same thing when the kids were little and were home, just on a grander scale. Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year! 🙂
Thanks for the opportunity to share.
belgre at centurylink dot net
Our Family’s tradition for Christmas flows along a “Theme” vein. One year it was decided that we’d all wear pajamas and that was preceded by the wear “Red” Christmas. Then after Dinner was served and gifts exchanged it is, Fashion Show time!
One of my many Cousins designs hand crafted jewelry and clothing; so we get to see what she has worked on.
But our most intimate moments were those spent in the Kitchen with our Granny baking: Cheese straws and Black/Rum Cake and preparing Pepper pot. Anchored with south American/Caribbean Ancestry these dishes are delicious must haves
My family Christmas tradition was me and my brother putting up the Christmas tree three days before Christmas. We would get all of the decorations out the tree. The afternoon on the last day of school we would put the tree up, decorated it then we would wait till my mom got home to put the star up. I still follow that tradition with my daughter. Only difference is we will put the tree up the week of Christmas or maybe 2 weeks before.
My family tradition is cooking the turkey a day early and getting all the fixings ready the night before. I always cook at least eight sweet potato pies because my three children want a pie to take home and then my two nephews. The family will gather at my house on Christmas day by noon after attending service, and we will eat, watch the games, and pig out. We would exchange gifts and watch the grandchildren have fun tearing off the wrappers. By the time evening roll around, I am tired and ready for everyone to go home after the kitchen is cleaned. Merry Christmas and goodnight.
My favorite memory of Christmas is decorating the tree with my men; my husband and our two sons. Then on Christmas Eve we would leave cookies and hot chocolate out for Santa. And, while they were sleeping my husband and I would sneak around gathering the presents that we had hidden. Then I would get carpet fresher (for snow) and sprinkle it on the floor and use some old boots of hubby’s to make footprints. Then we would eat the cookies and drink the cocoa. Fun times! Now they’re 20 and 12, so…no more fun. 😦
I love decorating the Christmas tree each year. The whole family helps. My daughter supervises.
Hi Ms. Shawn,
I can’t wait to read this story. One of my family’s traditions is that 3 days before Christmas, we all get together with the kids and make ginger bread houses with, ginger cookies, candy, gramcrackers, and icing for the glue. The kids really enjoy it. Even though my son is 23, he still likes to join in and make his too.
On Christmas morning, my sister-in-law bakes banana bread and we have cranberry juice. My brother, who is a pastor, reads the Birth of Jesus from the Bible and we pray and sing Christmas carols before we open presents.
Love the blurb! Will be tuning in at Harlequin site to read. God bless you, Candace.
Since my mother’s passing in 2005, Christmas has not been the same. My favorite Christmas memory was baking homemade rolls with my mother days before. Not just one or two dozen, but over 50 dozen. That was my mother’s way of giving to friends and family. Gosh how I miss those times.
My favorite Christmas tradition is attending Midnight Mass and opening our gifts afterwards.
Growing up my daughter was always a daddy’s girl. she was very sports oriented playing basketball, soccer, volleyball etc. Of course she became very close to her dad. In order for me to carve out my own time with my daughter I had to come up with something that only the two of us do. So on every Christmas my daughter and I have a movie day. We decide on what we both want to see and we go to the movies before we do the normal Christmas stuff. I’ve been doing this with my daughter since she was 3, she is now 22. We’ve developed a great mother daughter relationship and if I don’t do anything else on Christmas, I always go to the movies with my daughter. She loves the mommy and me time also.