Book Features, Giveaways

Sneak Peek of Second Chance Christmas by Alison Packard

“The coast is clear,” he said, lowering his voice. “We can sneak in through the back entrance to the garden.”

Her eyes widened. “Isn’t that trespassing?”

“Not if we’re guests of the hotel or attending the dance.”

“We’re neither of those things.”

“No one will know we’re not attending the dance.” He nodded in the direction of the alley. “C’mon. You really should see it. We won’t stay long.”

After a few seconds, she nodded. “Okay. But if we get busted, you’re the one taking the fall. Not me.”

“Way to have my back,” he said, firing a sarcastic grin.

“Hey.” She lightly poked his upper arm. “I’m not built for prison. I’d be someone’s bitch two seconds after the cellblock door slammed behind me.”

He let out a snort of amusement and grabbed her hand. “You do have a flair for drama. Let’s go.”

After they rounded the corner, he walked beside her until they reached the alley behind the hotel. Once they were out of sight from the street, he guided her along the dimly lit alleyway past a large trash dumpster and what looked like an area for deliveries until they reached the white stucco wall that enclosed the terrace.

“You sure know how to show a girl a good time,” she whispered.

He chuckled under his breath as they approached the wrought iron door that would grant them entry. “Trust me. It’ll be worth it,” he said and reached for the handle on the door. “Damn it.” He let out a groan of frustration when the handle didn’t budge. “It’s locked.”

“A sure sign this is a bad idea.”

“No, it’s not.” Ben stepped back and surveyed the white stucco wall next to the gate. “We just need to be creative. Wait here.” He turned and jogged back to the dumpster.

“What are you doing?” she called after him in a loud whisper.

“Just wait there.” At the dumpster, he grabbed a wooden vegetable crate sitting next to it and hurried back to where Maddie stood, wearing a puzzled expression on her face. After a furtive glance over his shoulder, he set the crate at the base of the wall. “I’ll climb over and unlock the door.”

“Are you serious?” she said, keeping her voice low. “Why don’t we try to get inside the normal way?”

“Where’s the fun in that?” He stepped on the box, which gave him enough height to pull himself up, swing his leg over the wall, and easily straddle the top. He grinned at her as he balanced himself.

“Sergeant Ashford?”

He froze as one of the hotel’s security guards approached them. As the young man moved closer, Ben recognized him, and suddenly, his idea of harmless fun had turned into a colossal error in judgment. “Hey, Andre.” He looked down at Andre with a sheepish grin. Then he glanced at Maddie, who had covered her mouth with her hand. Probably to hide a gloating smile. “Long time, no see.”

Andre cocked his head and grinned. “It looks like the shoe’s on the other foot. When you were a patrol officer, you came upon me and my buddies trying to jump the fence over at the skate park.”

“Well, it was after hours. And the skate park was closed for the evening.”

“The garden door is locked for a reason,” Andre replied, using similar verbiage Ben used that night to Andre and his friends.

Under Andre’s amused gaze, a knot tightened in Ben’s stomach. He grimaced. Andre was enjoying this. And who could blame him?

“You’re right,” he acknowledged with an apologetic smile. “I shouldn’t be climbing the wall.”

“You don’t have to break in. I’d be happy to open the door for you.” Andre grinned. “You let me off with a warning at the skate park. So I guess I can return the favor and not call this in.”

“Thanks, Andre,” he said, exhaling in relief. He swung his leg back over the top of the wall and eased himself down onto the crate. “I appreciate that.”

“No problem.” Andre unhooked a key carabiner from his belt loop and unlocked the door with one of the keys. “But if I catch you doing this again, I’m not gonna go so easy on you.”

Ben cleared his throat and nodded. “I understand. It won’t happen again,” he said as Maddie stifled a laugh.

“Have a nice evening.” Andre opened the door and motioned for Ben and Maddie to proceed.

“You too, Andre.”

“Merry Christmas,” Maddie called out to Andre as they entered the garden. Then, as Ben closed the door behind them, she burst out laughing. “The look on your face when Andre showed up was priceless. You’re lucky it was him and not one of your officers.”

“Oh, don’t worry,” he said. “I’ll be hearing about this at the station. Andre is Carolyn’s nephew.”

She chuckled. “Small towns. You gotta love ’em.”

Second Chance Christmas

by Alison Packard

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

Struggling actress Maddie Hart is home for the holidays in her small town and comes face-to-face with the last man she wants to see—the one she abandoned four years ago when she ran off to chase her dreams.

Police Sergeant Ben Ashford had an engagement ring in his pocket the night Maddie blindsided him. He doesn’t expect the gut punch of seeing her again or that she’d reignite feelings he’d thought long buried.

Ben’s not about to get tangled up with a woman who’ll just run again, but Maddie has never stopped thinking about him. Can she trade the bright lights of Hollywood for the twinkling Christmas lights of her hometown and a second chance at love?

Book Links:

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Alison’s love of the romance genre goes all the way back to her high school years when she gobbled up every Harlequin novel she could get her hands on. Back then, she never dreamed of writing her own stories. But years later, her inner writer emerged and she’s now a multi-published author of contemporary romance.

When she’s not plotting her next book, she hangs out with her adorable rescue dog, Bailey, consumes more chocolate than she should, and spends time with her friends and family.

Visit her website at www.alisonpackard.com to subscribe to her newsletter, get information about previous books, and updates about upcoming releases.

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Book Features, Giveaways, Guest Posts

Guest Post: The Side Stories of My Characters by Katie Eagan Schenck

When I wrote the first draft of A Home for Christmas, I actually wrote several chapters from Lilly’s point of view. I loved delving deeper into her character, and it helped me to understand her so much more than if I hadn’t gotten in her head.

However, a developmental editor I’d hired didn’t think it worked for the book, as she’d never read a romance that wasn’t from a single or dual point of view. So, I went back and rewrote Lilly’s chapters to make them from Brad and/or Shelly’s viewpoint. But I still have Lilly’s chapters in earlier draft form, and I’ve considered turning them into a short story. She had her own romantic interest, after all, and it’d be fun to delve into that a bit more.

I’ve also considered expanding the world of the book to write about the other characters. Whether that would be in the form of more novels or short stories, I haven’t decided yet. But I could see a story for Beatrice and Wallace, giving them their own second chance in a “seasoned” romance. I’d also love to write about Susan and Annabelle, and their journey to being parents. And then there’s Kylie. She could use a love story all her own.

Unfortunately, between the fantasy series and the other two books, I don’t know when I’ll have the time to do these stories justice. But I’ll keep them in mind for the future!

Debut author, Katie Eagan Schenck, writes sweet romance that warms the heart and gives all the feels. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s either working on regulations for the federal government or binging Hallmark movies. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter, and their three cats.

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A Home For Christmas

by Katie Eagan Schenck

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

Brad has just one wish this Christmas: to find a real home. Having lost his parents before joining the Marines, he misses that sense of belonging and family. When he meets an introverted flight attendant on his journey to start his civilian life, he wonders if this might be his chance.

After a messy divorce, Shelly has decided the only person allowed within the brittle walls of her broken heart is her daughter, Lilly. At least, until she meets a friendly man who hails from her hometown while working a routine flight. When she learns he needs a place to stay, she offers the apartment over her garage out of the kindness of her heart – and her desperate need for extra cash.

Even as Brad endears himself to Shelly by saving the town’s Christmas pageant, she attempts to keep her distance to protect the fragile stability she’s built since her divorce. But Brad’s willingness to walk the fine line between what Shelly’s heart wants and what her head allows slowly wears down her resolve. And when Brad receives a job offer near the only family he has left, Shelly must decide whether she’s willing to risk her heart again before he leaves her home, and her life, for good.

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**On Sale for Only .99 cents!!**

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Book Features, Giveaways

Cover Reveal of Doc Showmance by Zoe Forward

Doc Showmance

by Zoe Forward

Genre: Contemporary Romance, RomCom

I would say Dr. Ian Todd is my archenemy.

But that would require us acknowledging each other which we haven’t done since we graduated veterinary school.

He’s famous. As the world’s “Sexiest Veterinarian Alive” with his own endangered wildlife TV series and string of glamorous girlfriends.

I’m in-famous. As the reality TV emergency veterinarian with the snark mouth, take-no-crap attitude, and zero dating life.

When asked to fake a romance with him on TV to boost my ER show’s ratings, I almost shout a no-way, but the extra money will pay off my brother’s loan shark debt. 

Even though Ian broke my heart, playing his love interest shouldn’t be hard, especially if it means getting to watch him squirm.

Lines get blurred when the TV setups stop feeling fake. Can I chance this might be real love?

Book Links:

**Releases Jan 2023 – PreOrder Now!!**

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USA Today bestselling author, parent, wife, veterinarian, chocolate lover. Author of spicy paranormal and contemporary romances. Zoe Forward brings readers the perfect combination of action adventure, romance, humor and a bit of magic.

Her novels have won numerous awards including the Prism, Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence, Golden Quill, Carolyn Readers Choice Award, and the Booksellers’ Best Award.

You can find her residing in the South with a menagerie of four-legged beasts and two wild kids.

Author Links

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Podcast

Episode 53 Interview with Romance Author Alexandra Warren

Listen to the Episode Here

Welcome to A Reader’s Book Corner!

In today’s episode I had the pleasure of speaking with Contemporary Romance author Alexandra Warren. She has written and published over thirty works to date, all of which intentionally center Black love. She is also the co-founder of Girl, Have You Read…, a digital platform dedicated to Black romance written by Black authors. 

When she’s not in front of her computer, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, watching sports, and clearing her DVR. Alexandra is a proud native of Omaha, Nebraska, but she currently calls Houston, Texas home.

Highlights

*We talk about her journey into the industry

*We talk about her new sports romance series Houston Skyhawks

*Her experience co-writing a book series and more

Learn more about Alexandra and her books at https://actuallyitsalexandra.com/

Her books can be purchased on Amazon

If you would like to suggest an indie book or indie author to be featured on the podcast, feel free to contact me at tabeasley@arbookcorner.com

Until next time,

Happy Reading!