Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from upcoming and past releases, and works-in-progress and invite writing buddies along to play.
Some people just aren’t content with writing one Christmas themed novella. Oh no. Some people have to show off and write and release two in the one year. I tell you, if historical romance author Anna Campbell wasn’t such a lovely friend I’d have to get snitty with her for being such an over-achiever and making the rest of us look bad.
As it stands, not only is Anna a good friend and regular here on Teaser Tuesday, I’m a total fangirl and the more books the merrier I say!
So here’s Anna to tell you about her second gorgeous 2016 Christmas themed novella, but make sure you read to the end. You know what a generous soul Anna is and there could be a giveaway.
Hello again, Cathryn! I feel like I was only here a couple of weeks ago. Oh, that’s right. I was! Thanks for asking me back to talk about my second Christmas novella for 2016, A Match Made in Mistletoe.
One of the things I find endlessly fascinating about human nature is that often we’re completely wrong about what we think will be best for us—and sometimes fate has to nudge us pretty hard (and occasionally tip us over a cliff) to point us in the right direction. In A Match Made in Mistletoe, my heroine Serena Talbot profoundly misunderstands her heart and what it wants—and mistletoe mayhem results.
This excerpt comes from early in the story when the guests turn up for the annual Talbot Christmas house party, including the man Serena’s had a lifelong crush on, Paul Garside, and his brooding, sardonic friend Giles Farraday, Marquess of Hallam. Serena is determined that this Christmas, Paul is going to propose, so she turns to an old superstition that if you put a sprig of mistletoe under your pillow, you’ll dream of the man you’re going to marry. Unfortunately, the person who turns up in her dream isn’t lovely, easygoing Paul but annoying Giles!
Torver House, Dorset, December 1820
Paul bent to kiss Serena’s cheek. She awaited the usual thrill at the touch of his lips. But the fleeting contact left her unmoved. Dear Lord, what was wrong with her?
As she drew away, she caught Giles’s interested gaze and stupidly, she blushed. The memory of that horrible dream constricted her breathing, so she sounded cursed fluttery as she greeted Paul’s friend. “And, Giles, welcome back to Torver. Did you have a good trip up from London?”
“Serena, how cruel.” Ironic humor lengthened Giles’s lips. “You’ve known me nearly as long as you’ve known this vagabond, yet I don’t merit the same rights?”
“Same…” Puzzled, she stared up at him. He towered over her, taller than Paul. How had she never noticed that before?
He’d kissed her before in silly Christmas games. Since his first term at Eton, Frederick had invited Paul and Giles to spend school holidays at Torver House. While Giles’s visits in recent years had become rarer, he’d never missed a Christmas. He was part of the fabric of her life.
So why did his casual kiss stop the world? At the cool brush of his lips, shivery heat rippled through her. She closed her eyes, fighting for balance.
“Serena?” Giles’s soft, deep voice—why had she never before noted its beauty?—seemed to come from far away.
She blinked and with surprising reluctance, stepped apart from him. Another horrid blush stained her cheeks, and she only just stopped herself from raising a hand to touch where he’d kissed her. Her skin burned where his lips had touched.
Drat that dream. It had turned her batty.
Reluctantly, she met Giles’s eyes. Dark and somber, they settled on her face. She’d learned through the years that little escaped his penetrating intelligence. Right now, the idea of him seeing her confusion made her cringe.
“Welcome home,” she stammered, only realizing what she said after the words emerged.
For once, Giles’s smile lacked an edge. “Well, that’s a nice reception.”
She blinked again to bring the bustling room into focus and realized that the whole interaction had lasted mere seconds. Mary and Paul weren’t even looking at them, but talked about some mutual acquaintance.
Still those enigmatic eyes examined her face. She shifted awkwardly from one foot to the other. “I…I meant…”
To her surprise, he touched her cheek with one elegant hand. Mostly Giles kept his distance from her. Gestures of affection were unheard of. “Don’t spoil it.”
You can read a longer excerpt and the blurb on my website.
I think, like most people, I am slightly superstitious. Not about things like black cats or ladders, but I tend to notice omens, random coincidences that seem to bring me a message from the realms beyond. What about you? Are you superstitious? Any particular rituals you use to bring you luck or save you from disaster or confirm you’re on the right path?
I’ve got a Kindle download of A Match Made in Mistletoe (no geographical restrictions) to go to someone who leaves a comment today. Good luck!
Please note: Giveaway closes midnight AEST, 9th December 2016. Open internationally.
Ooh, being a mad (and sadly untalented) golfer, rituals and superstitions are definitely something I can comment on! I have this thing where my buggy must be to the right of the ball when I’m hitting. If it’s not, it does my head in because no matter how far away I leave it I’m convinced I’ll hit it in my backswing. I have lots of other little “issues” too but I’ll keep them private. I don’t want you all thinking I’m completely kooky!
What about you? Do you have any rituals or superstitions? Let us know and we’ll put you in the draw to win a Kindle download of Anna’s gorgeous novella, A Match Made in Mistletoe. Just the thing to put you in the Christmas mood.