Sunday, July 6, 2014

Forever Romance Blog Tour + Top 5 + Excerpt + Giveaway: Christmas In July by Debbie Mason

Top 5 Things You Need to Celebrate Christmas in July

1. Nestled in a valley surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains, you'll want to bring your camera to capture the old-world charm of this quaint town. And if you're not into stunning vistas, Victorians, and pastel-painted shops, I'm sure the overabundance of gorgeous men walking down Main Street will make you glad you brought your camera along.

2. Runners, a bike, and a bathing suit to participate in Christmas's Fourth of July Triathlon. All proceeds are donated to a charity close to Jack and Grace Flaherty's hearts--The Home Front Cares. The Home Front Cares is a Colorado-based charity that provides immediate financial aid and other support for Colorado service members, veterans and military families. If you can't make it on July 4th, you can bike and hike the scenic trails and swim in the mountain-fed lake.

3. The shopkeepers have gone all out for Christmas in July, and their holiday-themed window displays will have you reaching for your wallet. If you're looking for the perfect Christmas sweater, you'll want to check out Naughty and Nice, the high-end clothing store on Main Street.  And be sure to stop in next door at Sugar and Spice, the chocolate treats are rumored to be orgasmic.  If one-of-a-kind gifts are more to your liking,  local artisans sell their wares from noon to four in the park.

4. Christmas has some great places to eat, so be sure to bring your appetite. The Rocky Mountain Diner, owned by twins Holly and Hailey, is renowned for their burgers. In July they're featuring an Angus patty topped with chili peppers, smoked cheddar cheese and bacon served with their homemade fries. For dessert, stop by the Sugar Plum Bakery. The shop smells like Christmas, and owner Grace Flaherty makes the best gingerbread cupcakes and sugar cookies in all of Colorado. If Grace has her signature cake for sale, be sure to buy one. Rumor has it that wishes in the chocolate sugar plum come true.

5. Your Christmas spirit and your family. If you can't find your holiday spirit, don't worry about it, a visit to Santa's Village will quickly put you in the mood. Your kids will enjoy spending time with Santa lookalike Coulter Dane and meet with his reindeer.  Be sure to get there around noon when the elves will be doing kid-friendly crafts and face painting. At four, the Sugar Plum Cake Fairy (aka Skylar Davis) will keep them entertained with her unique storytelling abilities. End the night with a fireworks display in the park and a walk along the boardwalk.

CHRISTMAS IN JULY by Debbie Mason (June 24, 2014; Forever Mass Market; $6.00)
Grace Flaherty had given up hope of ever seeing her husband again. After all, it's been over a year since he went missing in combat. So when he strides through the door of her bakery in downtown Christmas one sunny afternoon, she can hardly believe her eyes. But her happily-ever-after is going to take some effort - because Jack has no memory of his family.

All Jack Flaherty remembers about Christmas is that he couldn't wait to leave town. Now he's a local hero with a wife and son he doesn't know. Even as he struggles to rekindle the romance with his wife, he knows in his heart what he wants: a second chance at love.

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About the author:
Praised as a "writer to watch" by RT Book Reviews, Debbie Mason also writes Scottish-set historical paranormals as Debbie Mazzuca.  Her MacLeod series debuted in April 2010 and is said to "combine the passion of Hannah Howell's Highand romances with the seductive fantasy of Karen Marie Moning's bestsellers."

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Excerpt from Christmas In July:

Madison glanced at the door and reached for her hand. “Okay, just breathe.”
“What…” She followed Madison’s gaze and swallowed, hard.
Jill followed behind their friends—the twins Holly and Hailey and Sophia and her sister-in-law Autumn—with a life-size cutout of Jack tucked beneath her arm.
A warm hand gently squeezed Grace’s shoulder. Brandi, one of Sawyer’s waitresses and another of Grace’s friends, set a drink in front of her. “This’ll help. It’s a Hero. Sawyer named it after Jack.”
“Thanks, Brandi,” Grace murmured, wrapping her fingers around the cold, frosted glass.
“What do you think?” Jill asked, setting up the cardboard likeness beside Grace as the other women took their seats around the table. They placed their orders with Brandi while commenting on the lifelike Jack in his desert camouflage fatigues and Kevlar vest, a helmet tucked under his arm, his sexy grin flashing perfect white teeth in his deeply tanned face.
“There’s nothing hotter than a man in uniform. And Jack Flaherty was—” Autumn, the owner of Sugar and Spice, the woman who made Grace’s chocolate sugar plums, quickly corrected herself. “—is hands down the hottest man I’ve ever seen.”
He was. And looking at him now, Grace felt the same heart-stopping punch of attraction she did on the night he strode into the Washington ballroom to receive his Medal of Honor.
Sophia, owner of the high-end clothing store Naughty and Nice, pointed at Jack and in her heavily accented voice said, “Yes, and he is coming home with me tonight.”
“Grace?” Jill said, looking hurt.
She took her sister-in-law’s hand “It was a great idea, Jill. It’s like he’s here with us.”
Jill smiled, her eyes bright. Brandi came back with their drinks, and they lifted their glasses. “To Jack.”
Everyone in the bar followed suit, and then, one after another, they stood to share their stories about Jack and their prayers for his safe return. By the time they were finished, Grace had downed two Heroes.
Jill clapped her hands. “Okay, time for cake.”
They cleared the table and placed the cake in front of Grace. She stood, relieved that her emotional torture would soon be over. Gage, with Jack Junior in his arms, took his place beside Madison.
Sawyer came up behind Grace and whispered, “Hang in there. Not much longer.”
Before she could turn to ask how it went at the apartment, Jack Junior yelled, “Da, Da.” And put his arms out.
Grace’s breath seized in her chest.
Several people said, “Aw,” while her friends quietly sniffed. “He’ll be home soon, buddy,” Jill said, swiping at her eyes.
Grace wheezed out a relieved breath. Thank God, no one seemed to realize he’d meant Sawyer.
But Sawyer did. “How about that root beer float I promised you, buddy?” He went to take Jack Junior from Gage, who gave him a hard look before passing him over. Of course Gage would notice, Grace thought miserably.
“Me want beer.”
Everyone laughed as Sawyer carried her son to the bar. After they sang “Happy Birthday” to Jack, Grace cut the cake while Jill handed out the pieces.
She reached across Grace, bumping into her. “Sorry,” she said when Grace stumbled.
The knife jerked and hit the house, toppling it over, revealing the chocolate sugar plum underneath.
“Hey, no fair, it’s supposed to be hidden in the cake,” someone grumbled.
Grace sucked in a panicked breath and dove for the sugar plum. Jill beat her to it.
Her sister-in-law laughed. “Finally, I got a sugar plum.”
As Jill opened it, Grace wished the floor would open up and swallow her whole. Jill’s laughter ended on a choked sob. “How could you? How could you give up on him?” she said, her voice a strangled whisper.
“Jill, let me explain,” Grace called after her sister-in-law, who strode for the door.
From behind the bar came a shrill whistle. “Everyone quiet,” Sawyer yelled, directing their attention to the flat screen behind the bar where a newscaster announced breaking news. Sawyer turned up the volume. “We have just received unconfirmed reports that the four crew members of the Black Hawk that went down in the mountains of Afghanistan seventeen months ago have been recovered… alive.”

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1 comment:

  1. I'm looking forward to reading this. I loved the first book.