10.17.2018

Review: Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon

Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon
Published: September 18, 2018
Publisher: Touchstone
Format: via Overdrive
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis
Reese Witherspoon’s grandmother Dorothea always said that a combination of beauty and strength made southern women “whiskey in a teacup.” We may be delicate and ornamental on the outside, she said, but inside we’re strong and fiery.

Reese’s southern heritage informs her whole life, and she loves sharing the joys of southern living with practically everyone she meets. She takes the South wherever she goes with bluegrass, big holiday parties, and plenty of Dorothea’s fried chicken. It’s reflected in how she entertains, decorates her home, and makes holidays special for her kids—not to mention how she talks, dances, and does her hair (in these pages, you will learn Reese’s fail-proof, only slightly insane hot-roller technique). Reese loves sharing Dorothea’s most delicious recipes as well as her favorite southern traditions, from midnight barn parties to backyard bridal showers, magical Christmas mornings to rollicking honky-tonks.

It’s easy to bring a little bit of Reese’s world into your home, no matter where you live. After all, there’s a southern side to every place in the world, right?

My Thoughts
What an adorable book! Maybe I’m a little biased since I’m a huge fan of Reese’s ever since I saw The Man on the Moon, but this is the quintessential Southern handbook. As I read it I found myself laughing out loud and totally identifying with lots of things in the book. What I found surprising was that a lot of the things that I thought was just “normal” were indeed just Southern things. We tend to take for granted the things we do or say as just stuff everyone else does but when you realize it's not that way its kind of funny.

While this read has its funny parts what I loved most that it's focus and based on traditions and family two things we in the South have drilled into us from birth. The stories she shares of her family especially her grandparents are so sweet and amazing and it shows us what they meant to her and how they continue to influence her life and how she continues to pass on those things to her children. The recipes and must list of Southern music, books and movies are some of my favorites in the book. If you want to know how we do things in the South look no further then this gem. Its informative and entertaining and you will surely take away something from it. 

10.16.2018

Review: Sadie by Courtney Summers

Sadie by Courtney Summers
Published: September 4, 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Format: via audiobook
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis
Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late.

My Thoughts
In Sadie, we have West, a podcaster who hears a story about a local girl and is now on the hunt for Sadie and to find out what exactly happened to her and where is she now. Sadie has a very mysterious feel to her, people tend to think she went on the hunt for her sister’s killer but where and who she thinks this person is a mystery. Sadie sees herself responsible for Maddie’s death since she was the one looking after her after their mother left them. We see Sadie’s dark side but as we slowly see what kind of life she has lead her pain and anger is understandable.

I loved everything about this read. I listened to the audio which I recommend because it's amazing! I loved the podcast idea and the interviews format which totally gave me Dateline vibes. I enjoyed how all these different styles gave it a definitely unique feel and made it so interesting not to mention it really added to that dark creepy kind of feel...in a good way!!

This was without a doubt one of my favorite reads of the year, I felt for Sadie and the things she had to endure in her life. I liked how she was strong despite her hardships in life, even if that meant doing things that weren’t right. All in all, Sadie is a winner, this has a lot of elements I look for in a great read. I like the different points of views we got which just made the read so much more enjoyable. If you get the chance to read this please do you won't be disappointed.

10.15.2018

Review: Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published: September 20, 2018
Publisher: Amazon Original Stories
Format: purchased
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis
Dear Stranger…

A desperate young woman in Southern California sits down to write a letter to a man she’s never met—a choice that will forever change both their lives.

My heart goes out to you, David. Even though I do not know you…

The correspondence between Carrie Allsop and David Mayer reveals, piece by piece, the painful details of a devastating affair between their spouses. With each commiserating scratch of the pen, they confess their fears and bare their souls. They share the bewilderment over how things went so wrong and come to wonder where to go from here.

Told entirely through the letters of two comforting strangers and those of two illicit lovers, Evidence of the Affair explores the complex nature of the heart. And ultimately, for one woman, how liberating it can be when it’s broken.

My Thoughts
Another winner by Taylor Jenkins Reid! In Evidence of the Affair, we met Carrie who has just found out that her husband is having an affair and she decides to write a letter to the husband of the women and soon they are corresponding and trying to figure out what they want to do with their spouses and their futures.

This read is done in pure letter form which I loved. I enjoyed how Carrie and David helped each other through this difficult time and in time they meet and their closeness is apparently clear. Their emotions run from hatred to sadness to love despite everything and all are so understandable. I liked how we didn't get the whole story of their time together until the end and what happened there just tear me apart.

This is another gem by TJR and even though this was a very short read it was better than some full length novels I’ve read lately. This is definitely worth the time and I highly encourage everyone to read this heartbreaking read.

10.11.2018

Review: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
[To All the Boys I Loved Before #2]
Published: May 25, 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster BYR
Format: via audiobook
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis
Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

My Thoughts
P.S. I Still Love You picks up right where the first book left off, we see Lara Jean trying to figure out where exactly she and Peter K are in their relationship. We finally get introduced to John and that leads to more friction between her and Peter. While I did like the chemistry between Lara Jean and John let’s be real he is no Peter K! However, the friendship and scenes between these two were SO adorable. I also liked the scenes with the elders at the retirement home, those seniors are so feisty...LOVE IT!

What I continue to love is the relationships with Lara Jean and her family. I love the closeness they have and that they stick together no matter what. I really feel for Lara Jean when she talks about missing her mom and how that really is hard for her especially now that she needs her the most.


This series continues to keep me interested in the lives and loves of the Covey sisters and their bond is like no other. I will continue to root for Lara and Peter no matter what and can't wait to see how this story ends. Jenny Han gives us another great book and gives us those feels like only she can.

10.10.2018

Review: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
Published: August 8, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Format: via audiobook
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis
One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn't add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister's return might just be the beginning of the crime.

My Thoughts
Emma in the Night is the tale of Cass who return after being gone for a few years and now must tell everyone where she has been and what happened to her sister who left with her but never returned. This tale has many twists and turns when it comes to the Tanner sisters, we see a crack in her home life that showcases a family that has many problems, to say the least. We see a mother who is hanging by a thread and a stepfather and stepbrother who don’t have the best intentions.

Cass’s story of where she and her sister were all this time is kind of sketchy to the police, they think some of what she is saying is true but they think there is definitely more to her story than she is saying. So we are left to figure out what if any of her stories are true. This story has layers upon layers of secrets and lies that when unfolded gives us the real and true story of Cass and Emma’s life. When everything is finally revealed I was shocked and truly felt for Cass, she lived a life that was hard but in the end, she was free to live a life that she deserved.

Emma in the Night is part thriller part mystery but what regardless what you want to call it, bottom line the story is amazing! It definitely draws you in and keeps you engaged until the last page is turned. So if you like a story that has any of these elements this is surely the book for you.

10.09.2018

Review: Nantucket Nights by Elin Hilderbrand

Nantucket Nights by Elin Hilderbrand     
Published: May 3, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Format: via audiobook
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis
The ties between women can run as deep as the ocean-but so can the secrets.
For 20 years, Kayla, Antoinette and Val have performed their own special summer ritual. Once a year, the old friends put aside their daily, separate lives to drink champagne, swap stories and swim naked under the Nantucket stars. But on one of those bonding nights, one of their trio swims out from the shore and doesn't return. After the surviving friends emerge from their grief, they realize that the repercussions of their loss go far beyond their little circle, and they begin to uncover layers of secrets-and their connections to each other that were never revealed on the beach. What has made their friendship strong now has the power to destroy their marriages, families, even themselves.

My Thoughts
Elin Hilderbrand is one of my favorite authors and I’m slowly reading all her books, so when I read the synopsis for one of her earliest reads I was intrigued. Nantucket Nights is the story of three lifelong friends who go out for a yearly ritual and soon one goes for a swim and doesn’t come back. With this read, we get drama, a little mystery and an explosion of secrets that go way beyond anything anyone could’ve imagined.

This is one of my favorite books by Elin Hilderbrand I loved how she weaved layers and layers of secrets into a web that just when you think you have something figured out she takes it to another level. The relationships in this read rather it be the friendships or romantic ones are so good that you are left stunned at times. I felt for some characters and others I hated but the ending is what kind of had me shook. Did I love it? No, but I totally understood it. I highly recommend this read if you are looking for something with substance, drama and a little mystery. Trust me you will fully love this rich story with memorable characters.

10.08.2018

Blog Tour: The Forever Christmas Tree by Sandra Hill

The Christmas bells are chiming across the Outer Banks town of Bell Cove, North Carolina, but there’s one local ‘grinch’ who’s not listening . . .
The Forever Christmas Tree by Sandra Hill
Series: Bell Sound Series
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: September 25, 2018

Purchase Your Copy Today!
Amazon  |  Avon Romance  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Google Play  |  iBooks


He’s got bad-boy looks and a Bah Humbug attitude, so when the local paper asks the villagers to vote on the “Biggest Local Grinch” as a fund-raising project, Ethan Rutledge isn’t surprised to hear he’s made the ballot. He might own the local Christmas Tree Farm, but the holiday hasn’t been welcome in his home since Wendy Patterson left him heart-broken twelve years ago.

But now Wendy’s back, fresh from a tour of duty as a female Navy SEAL. She’s bold, beautiful, and has five Navy buddies trailing after her—as if she needs a bodyguard! And what’s all this about them wanting to start a treasure hunting company right here in Bell Cove’s failing bell factory? Then Wendy learns about how Ethan’s been nurturing the one thing he has to remember her by a gorgeous Norway Spruce tree. Can the magic of Christmas and the spirit of the town help rekindle the romance between two people who thought they’d left love behind years ago?

Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of THE FOREVER CHRISTMAS TREE by Sandra Hill, we’re giving away two paperback copies of Frankly My Dear by Sandra Hill!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. Two winners will each receive a paperback copy of Frankly, My Dear by Sandra Hill.  This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 10/14/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address.  Duplicates will be deleted.

SANDRA HILL is a graduate of Penn State and worked for more than ten years as a features writer and education editor for publications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Writing about serious issues taught her the merits of seeking the lighter side of even the darkest stories.
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

10.04.2018

Review: The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie Sue Hitchcock

The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie Sue Hitchcock   
Published: February 23, 2016
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Format: via audiobook
Rating: 3/5

Synopsis
In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger. Four very different lives are about to become entangled.

My Thoughts
The Smell of Other People’s Houses circles around the lives of four teens who are trying to find their way in Alaska. As we read the story of four lives who are very different by the end we see how they all connect. I loved seeing these teens trying to find themselves and come of age during the 70’s. Some of their stories are truly heartbreaking and I felt myself really feeling for them. I also loved how each one felt alone and how they thought each one’s life was so different from the next but little did they know that deep down everyone has their troubles despite what it might look like from the outside. This was a really good novel one that I enjoyed and a story that is relatable.

10.03.2018

Teaser Reveal: A Brand New Ending by Jennifer Probst

Today we are sharing some teasers for A BRAND NEW ENDING by Jennifer Probst. This book is the second title in her Stay series, and it is a contemporary romance title that releases October 23rd. Check out the purchase links below to reserve your copy now.

A BRAND NEW ENDING (Stay, #2) by Jennifer Probst

Releasing October 23

Pre-order Now:
Pre-order in Paperback | Audio

Synopsis
A love story will be rewritten in this heartfelt romance from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst. Ophelia Bishop was a lovestruck teenage girl when she and Kyle Kimpton chased their dreams to Hollywood. Kyle’s dreams came true. Ophelia’s did not. When Kyle chose his career over their relationship, Ophelia returned home to rural New York to run the family’s B & B—wiser, and more guarded against foolish fantasies. Now Kyle has come crashing back into her life, and all her defenses are down. Kyle can’t think of a better place to write his latest screenplay than his hometown. After all, that was where he met the heart of his inspiration—his first love. He knows the damage he’s caused Ophelia, and he wants a chance to mend their relationship. If anyone can prove to Ophelia that happy ever afters aren’t only for the movies, it should be him. As much as Ophelia’s changed, she still has feelings for Kyle. But her heart has been broken before, and she knows that Kyle could run back to Hollywood at any time. She gave up her dreams once, but maybe she can dare to change her own love story…one last time.

Add the book to Goodreads

PURCHASE THE PREVIOUS TITLE IN THE SERIES

PURCHASE THE START OF SOMETHING GOOD (Stay, #1) - available now!

Purchase it in PRINT | AUDIO
---------------

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Jennifer Probst 
Jennifer Probst Bio
 Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again. She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean. She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon's Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

CONTACT LINKS

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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10.02.2018

October TBR

My October TBR...
Is it cliche' to read Stephen King in October? Probably but I'm going to try and tackle this massive book. I will be flipping back from paperback and audio so I think I can do it. Wish me luck!

Book Blitz: Love, Christmas Box Set


Love, Christmas – Movies You Love 
(The Holiday Series, #2)
Publication date: October 16, 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance

Sprinkle a little Christmas magic into your life with 25 ALL-NEW, never before released romances. Each title – exclusive to this set – is inspired by a favorite holiday movie, spun into a fantastic love story by a NY Times, USA Today, and/or award-winning, bestselling author and delivered to you in this wonderful collection full of cheer for the coming season.


Mimi Barbour – A Wonderful Life – Though Rylee works with troubled teens, can she and an angel help a man living a nightmare?

Leanne Banks – A Royal White Christmas – Can a secret prince be a Christmas wish-come-true for a small-town girl?

Joan Reeves – Brianna’s Season For Miracles – Her seductive persona hides what she’s ashamed of… What will happen if the man she’s fallen for discovers her secret?

Mona Risk – Jingle With My Princess – The doc and the princess… He saves lives, but she may save his heart.

Rebecca York – Can She Get Home for Christmas? – Will a killer stop her from getting home for Christmas?

Jacquie Biggar – Mistletoe Inn – A grieving man finds the greatest gift is love.

Alicia Street – Miracle on Christmas Tree Street – A single mom discovers her business partner is more than he seems.

Nancy Radke – The Holiday (Christmas) – Jodi’s house-swap to Maui came with a small dog and a shipwrecked sailor.

Katy Walters –Letters from the Snowman – The snow revealed a precious love.

Stephanie Queen – Holiday Affair – Melissa goes from riches to rags but will she find gold in a holiday affair?

Aileen Fish – Christmas in Connecticut – Can a wounded warrior learn to trust her celebrity chef crush after discovering his secret?

Rachelle Ayala – A Christmas Creek Carol – A reclusive writer is given a one-star review on her life by characters from her past, present, and future.

Dani Haviland – The Polar Xpress – She prefers dogs to men…until she rescues the doctor.

Traci Hall – Love, Actually (By the Sea) – Two strangers. One intimate night. Reunited a year later, can it actually be love?

Taylor Lee – The Ref-er-ee – With a family this discombobulated, it will take a referee to save their Christmas.

Donna Fasano – Her Mr. Miracle – It’s Christmas Eve and Veronica is stuck in a nearly deserted seaside town… She needs a miracle.

Cynthia Cooke – A Christmas to Remember – A Christmas storm. Wedding plans in peril. Has a lost love been found?

Susan Jean Ricci – A Joyous Holiday Inn – Can Twigg restore the joy of Christmas to Chloe’s indifferent heart?

Tamara Ferguson – Two Hearts Home for Christmas – Can a long-ago promise of love bring two lonely wounded warriors home for Christmas?

Suzanne Jenkins – Christmas with the Clouds – Tracy isn’t interested in love until an unexpected Christmas visitor changes her heart.

Natalie Ann – How Gavin Stole Christmas – Can Jolene help Gavin find the Christmas spirit when he’s the epitome of Mr. Bah Humbug?

Ev Bishop – A Sharla Brown Christmas – For single parents Sharla and Jake, Christmas is the loneliest time of the year…until it’s not.

Alyssa Bailey – In the Spirit of Christmas – Chase can protect Tara from danger, but can he protect his heart?

Stacy Eaton – Finding Love on Christmas Vacation – Christmas isn’t the same for Lucy without her father…until she meets his friend Maverick.

Jen Talty – The Christmas Getaway – A mix-up in reservations leaves a mother and her son to share a cabin with a broken-hearted stranger.

Melinda De Ross – Boyfriend Wanted for Christmas – A thirty-something singleton’s desperate yet humorous quest to find a boyfriend in the seven days before Christmas.



SNEAK PEEKS
A Wonderful Life by Mimi Barbour
Prologue
“Clarence, you haven’t stopped watching Noel Bradford for days. What in the world is happening to that young man?”
“I’m glad you noticed my preoccupation, Sir. I’m afraid he’s not doing too well. Do you remember a man called George Bailey?”
“Certainly, I do. Wasn’t he the reason you got your wings?”
“Yes, that’s him. Well poor Noel Bradford is heading in the same direction; he’s on the bridge right now, ready to jump. I’m thinking it’ll take the same interference to stop him from killing himself that it took to prevent George from doing the same thing many years ago.”
“I see. Then what are you waiting for, Clarence? You must go and save him.”
“I suppose you’re right. I just hate the thought of that icy water. It took me forever to warm up the last time.”
“Clarence, if you stop that poor fellow from ruining all the lives of the people who will one day love him, I’ll send you the wherewithal to get warm, now off with you. There’s no time to waste.”

Chapter One
Noel Bradford never believed himself to be a coward, a weakling who gave up in troubled times, a man whose shoulders were so narrow they couldn’t bear misfortune.
He was wrong.
Four days ago, when the police had knocked on his door to give him the horrifying news that his parents and their driver, his only brother, had all been killed in a car accident, he’d thought nothing could get worse.
They were heading to their favorite resort in Aspen when their car careened over the bank of the mountainous road, dropping into a lake probably 400 feet below. The back end of the car, where the license plate could be seen through binoculars, proved it was their vehicle and the chance of any survivors was nil.
A Royal White Christmas by Leanne Banks
Chapter One
A baying howl cut through the early December night, even through the walls of the cottage Brice rented. He glanced up from the material he was studying and the baying howl echoed again. The fireplace crackled, and Brice knew the snow was still falling.
Again, the baying howl broke through the quiet.
Sighing, Brice rose from his laptop and peered out the window. The floodlights revealed nothing. He was going to have to brave the cold, he supposed.
Tugging on his boots, jacket, and gloves, he opened the door and trudged outside. “Talk to me beagle or hound,” he muttered.
Another howl cut the air. Several moments later, Brice found the beagle wagging its tail, its leash wrapped around a tree trunk. The beagle whined and barked. He immediately noted that the dog was female. “Well, good evening to you, Miss. A fine mess you’re in. Let me help you out.” He unwound the leash and waited for the beagle to run for freedom. Instead, the dog came at him and licked his hand.
“I know you have an owner,” he said. “That’s a nice leash.”
The beagle continued to nuzzle at him and whine.
“I guess you can stay the night. It’s a nasty one,” he said and looked at a tag. “Brandi,” he read. “I’ll give your owner a call, but you can stay the night.”
Brice pulled off some chicken and rice from his leftovers and offered it to the dog. She gobbled it up quickly. “You have a good appetite,” he said and dialed the number on the dog tag. The number rang and rang then disconnected. Brice frowned. “That’s not good,” he muttered to himself and punched in the number again.



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10.01.2018

Monthly Wrap Up: September

Hey guys!! Can you believe it’s already October? I’m just here in Texas waiting for cooler weather loving all that the upcoming holiday season will provide. This was a fairly good month book-wise everything I “read” was in audio form but I read some good ones so let us get into how my month went.
September Reading Stats
Books Read
7

Pages Read
1,775

Ratings
5 Stars
0

4 Stars
7

3 Stars
0

2 Stars
0

1 Star
0

DNF
0

Genre Breakdown
YA: 1
Fiction: 4
Thriller/Mystery: 2

Books Read
72. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
71. Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid
70. Merry & Bright by Debbie Macomber
69. Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
68. The Other Woman by Sandie Jones
67. We the Animals by Justin Torres
66. Winter in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand

Books Purchased
Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Arcs via NetGalley/Edelweiss
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Tis the Season to be Single by Laura Ziepe
Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser
Drawing Home by Jamie Brenner


Well, that’s a look at my bookish month. Feel free to share your book month with me I love to see all things bookish!

Blog Tour: The Christmas Wishing Tree


THE CHRISTMAS WISHING TREE by Emily March
An Eternity Springs Novel
St. Martin's Paperbacks

Summary
Sometimes life’s most magical journeys bring you back to where it all began…From USA Today bestselling author Emily March comes The Christmas Wishing Tree, an enchanting account of the magic and miracle of Christmas.

A man who loves adventure and the open sea, Devin Murphy returns for a short Christmas trip to his small hometown of Eternity Springs. Immersed in the joy and magic of the holiday season all around him, he doesn’t hesitate to play along when a young boy phones Santa to ask for a very special wish. Devin never guesses that a wrong number has the potential to make everything in his life so right.

Jenna Stockton adopted Reilly when he needed a mother and she intends to keep him safe. A small town across the country called Eternity Springs seems like a good place to hide from their past without any complications —until sexy Santa himself discovers her secrets. When Devin proposes a daring plan to face down the danger together and defeat it once and for all, she is tempted. Maybe Devin really is capable of making wishes come true? Perhaps in a Christmas wish they’ll both find the miracle they’ve been looking for all along…

A delightful Christmas novel in the New York Times bestselling Eternity Springs series.

Buy Links


Author Bio
Emily March is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series. Publishers Weekly calls March a "master of delightful banter," and her heartwarming, emotionally charged stories have been named to Best of the Year lists by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Romance Writers of America. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.


Social Links
Facebook: Emily March
Pinterest: Emily March
Chapter One
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
Christmas carols played softly in the background. The scent of spiced cider perfumed the air. Shoppers munched happily on gingerbread cookies and perused the bookshelves for that perfect gift.
Dr. Jenna Stockton imagined ripping the halo off the angel’s head and choking her with it. Instead, she reached deep within herself for patience and managed to find a smile for the costumed character behind the bookstore counter. “If I could speak with your manager, please?”
“She’s awfully busy.”
Jenna thought of the ridiculous length of her own to-do list as she fought to keep her smile from turning into a sneer. “Yes, well, it’s that time of year, isn’t it? Your manager?”
The little angel gave a haughty sniff, and then said, “If you’ll step out of line, please?”
Without missing a beat, the angel turned a bright smile toward the woman waiting behind Jenna. “I’m so sorry for this unfortunate delay, ma’am. I’ll be as quick as I possibly can.”
Jenna didn’t snarl like a rabid dog. She didn’t. She smiled at the woman behind her in line. Sweetly. Without canines.
The woman and the four people behind her each gave Jenna an annoyed glower. She gave them all a smile too, then reached for the nearest book, which she pretended to read until the clerk returned, accompanied by a fiftysomething woman dressed like an elf. The angel gestured toward Jenna and said, “This is the one, Ms. Thomas.”
The elf spoke in a harried tone. “May I help you?”
“I hope so.” Especially considering that I went out of my way to support a local business rather than ordering online. Jenna set down the paperback. “I placed a special order two weeks ago and someone from this store called me last week to tell me it was in. However, your … angel … can’t find it in your computer system, so she insists I’m mistaken.”
“Do you have your receipt?”
“Not with me, no.”
“Well, if you’ll come back—”
“I don’t have time to come back. I ordered the books for an event that begins”—Jenna checked her watch—“in forty-five minutes. I’d like you to check your stock room. My name is Jenna Stockton.”
“Ms. Stockton, I can’t—”
“I ordered thirty copies of New Adventures in the Christmas Angel Waiting Room.”
“Oh.” The manager pursed her lips. “Oh. I recall that order.”
“Good.”
Then the manager winced. Uh-oh. Maybe not so good. Jenna drew a deep, calming breath, then asked, “If you will get it for me, please?”
“Oh dear.”
Jenna closed her eyes.
“I’m afraid we had some internal miscommunication. We sold out of our stock of that particular title and an employee unfortunately failed to notice the hold notice on your order. She put them on the shelf.”
“How many are left?”
“It’s a popular title,” the manager hedged.
Jenna leaned forward. “The books are for pediatric cancer patients at Children’s Hospital. The Christmas party is at four o’clock.”
“Oh dear,” the manager repeated. “Four o’clock you say?”
Jenna nodded curtly.
“I’ll call our distributor. If you can stop back by—”
“You’ll need to deliver them directly to the hospital. To the attention of Dr. Jenna Stockton.” She removed a card from her purse and handed it to the manager. “Here’s the address. Take them to the information desk in the lobby. I’ll tell the volunteers working there to expect them.”
“But we don’t have a delivery—”
Jenna folded her arms and gave the manager her best take-no-prisoners look.
“I’ll do my best to have them there by four, Dr. Stockton. I apologize for the inconvenience. Now, is there anything else I can help you with? I saw you looking at the new Liza Holcomb thriller.” She picked up the book and handed it to Jenna. “It’s a fabulous book. Scariest stalker story I’ve read in years.”
Jenna quickly returned the book to the display table. A stalker story? That was all she needed. “No, thank you. All I need today is what I ordered. Thank you for the help. You have my phone number. I trust if there is any further problem, you will give me an immediate call?”
“Yes. Of course.”
“Perfect. Merry Christmas, Ms. Thomas.”
“Merry Christmas to you too, Dr. Stockton.” The manager gave her a bright smile that didn’t quite hide the worry in her eyes.
Jenna headed for the door, glancing over her shoulder before pushing it open. The elf was on the phone, the angel had been replaced at the register by a reindeer, and Frosty the Snowman was on hands and knees beside the urn of mulled cider wiping up a spill. She sighed. Angels with attitude aside, she liked this little store. She really hoped they didn’t let her and the children down.
Outside, the jangle from the Salvation Army bell ringer mingled with the shrieks and laughter of children embroiled in a snowball fight in the park across the street. Jenna tugged leather gloves from her coat pocket and pulled them on as she walked to the street corner and waited for the light to change. Her gaze drifted back to the snowball warriors. It did her heart good to see healthy, happy children playing, especially after a morning like this one.
When the walk signal flashed on, she crossed the street and cut through the park headed for her car, which she’d left in a lot a block away. Her thoughts returned to her to-do list. She could save a few minutes if she bought cookies at the grocery store instead of making the extra stop at the bakery before picking up Reilly from daycare. But she’d promised Reilly a gingerbread man from—
Whack.
Something cold and wet stung her cheek. What in the world? Reflexively, Jenna lifted her hand to her face and the remnants of … a snowball. She’d been hit with a snowball. Had the battlefield moved without her noticing and she’d been struck by an errant shot? Or had the attack been deliberate? If that was the case, one of these heathens was about to get a piece of her mind.
But when she turned to identify the culprit seconds after the snowball landed, her gaze skidded over a group of youngsters to an adult standing nearby. The pockets of a black wool coat concealed the man’s hands. A black knit cap pulled low on his brow and the matching scarf looped around his face shielded everything but his eyes.
Eyes that watched her.
A shiver of fear skidded down Jenna’s spine. She whirled around and picked up her pace. By the time she reached her car, she was all but running. She thumbed the key fob and unlocked the door as she approached, then locked it again the moment she was inside. She sat behind the steering wheel breathing hard, her heart pounding. Her gaze locked on the path through the park.
Nobody had followed her. Chased her. She’d let her imagination run wild.
“You didn’t imagine the face full of snow,” she muttered.
She should call the cops. File a report.
Sure. Be one of “those people.” Tie up a law enforcement officer’s time over a child’s prank. Because surely, that’s all it had been. One of those kids probably threw the snowball, and the guy dressed in black probably saw it as it flew by. He’d watched her to see if she’d pitch a fit about it.
She slipped her key into the ignition, started the car, and did her best to dismiss the incident. Forty minutes later—after stops at the dry cleaners, grocery, bakery, and party store—she made it back to the office in time for her one-thirty appointment with five minutes to spare. If she’d checked her rearview mirror more often than usual and paid close attention to those around her as she completed her errands, well, she was simply being responsible.
Whenever she had a few free minutes during the rest of the afternoon, her thoughts drifted back to the troubling events of recent months. The harassment had begun in October, although for the first few weeks, she hadn’t recognized the threat. Everyone got hang-up calls. She explained away the texts as wrong numbers. But once online orders she hadn’t placed began showing up on her doorstep, she realized she had a problem.
She’d thought she’d been a victim of identity theft. She’d spent an entire weekend canceling cards and changing accounts. Then last week when a particularly difficult case kept her at the hospital until early morning hours, she came out to the physician’s section of the parking garage and found the air had been released from each of her tires.
Random vandalism, the police said. Teenage pranks. Jenna wasn’t so certain, but she didn’t know who would be doing this to her or why.
As she exited Exam Room 4, her receptionist met her with the news that her three o’clock was a no-show, which meant she was done for the day. Jenna tucked away her dark worries and turned her thoughts to the light and bright. Now she’d have time to pick up Reilly from school rather than have his after-school caregiver drop him off at the hospital.
Luck was with her for a change because a parking place became available just as she pulled up. As she got out of her car, a bell rang, and the door to the kindergarten classroom opened. Reilly was the third youngster out.
“Mom!” exclaimed her six-year-old son. “You’re here! It’s time for the Christmas party, isn’t it? Is it time for the party? Is Santa going to be there? I have my list all ready.”
“Hello, little man. Yes, it’s time for the Christmas party and yes, Santa has promised to make an appearance.”
“I’m so excited!”
“Me too, Reilly. Me too.”
She’d been trying to make the Santa visit happen for two weeks now. Because kids grew up so fast these days, she knew that this might be the last year that Reilly believed in Santa Claus. Jenna had wanted to make it a special event for them both.
For the initial effort, she had planned an all-day Saturday holiday adventure beginning with breakfast at a pancake house, followed by shopping for gifts for Reilly’s friends, then a matinee performance of Rudolphat the children’s theater, and culminating with a visit to Santa’s Wonderland and a conversation with the big man himself. They’d had a great time eating and shopping and watching the play, but as they left the theater, her pager had gone off. She’d tried again the following Saturday with a different itinerary, but with similar Santa results. She and Reilly both were counting on “The third time is the charm” axiom working today.
Arriving at the hospital, she took advantage of valet parking due to the amount of party supplies she had to tote inside. She loaded up a collapsible wheeled cart with gifts and decorations and bakery boxes, then Reilly helped her tug it inside, where she approached the information desk with trepidation. “I’m Dr. Stockton. Do I have a package waiting, I hope?”
“Books,” the volunteer said. “Yes, they’re here.”
Yes!
She reached beneath the counter then pulled out a box. Jenna spied twice as many gift-wrapped items as she’d expected. The folded note taped to the front of the box read, “Your complete order is enclosed. In addition, please accept these thirty copies of the first book in the Christmas Angel Waiting Room series as a gift to the children from the staff here at Hawthorne Books.”
“Well, isn’t that nice?” Jenna murmured.
“Isn’t what nice, Mom?”
“The Christmas spirit.”
He nodded in all seriousness. “I love the Christmas spirit. I wish it could last all year long.”
“You and me both, little man. You and me both.”
The Christmas party that followed was a bittersweet success. Local and a few national celebrities showed up to shower attention and gifts and good cheer on the patients of Children’s Hospital and their families. It was always nice to see the smiles, but invariably, tears were shed too. The what-ifs and if-onlys were unavoidable. Hospital events always caused Jenna to hug Reilly a little tighter and spend a little more time on her nightly prayers.
The books Jenna gifted were well received by parents and patients alike. Reilly finally had his visit with Santa, and Jenna shed a tear or two of her own while she snapped photos of the moment with her phone.
In the car ride on their way home, Reilly bubbled about the party—the food, the games, the gifts. “There were a lot of dads there,” he observed. “Did you see, Mom? There were a whole bunch of dads.”
“Yes.” Then, in an effort to alter the direction of the conversation, she said, “I was surprised to see how many football players attended. How many autographs did you get?”
“I don’t know,” Reilly answered with a shrug before proving that he was not to be distracted. “I thought Dr. David would be there. Why didn’t Dr. David come?”
Oh, Reilly. Dr. David Henderson was Reilly’s pediatrician, a widowed father whom she’d dated briefly last summer. “I told you he moved back to Minnesota to be closer to Bella and Jessie’s grandparents. Dr. Larimer is your new doctor.”
Reilly gave a long sigh. “I pretended I forgot. I thought he would make a really good daddy for us, Mom.”
“Oh, Reilly.”
“We really do need a daddy.”
“Reilly,” Jenna said, warning in her tone. “Please. It’s been a long day. Let’s not get started on that subject again.”
“But, Mommy…”
She silenced him with a stern glance. Her son could be a terrier when he got an idea in his head, and lately, every time she turned around, he’d been yipping and yapping about needing a daddy.
How about I just order one online? Everything else was showing up at the house. She’d certainly have more use for a daddy for Reilly than a yodeling pickle electronic noisemaker.
She switched on the radio, which was tuned to the Christmas music station. Listening to Alvin and the Chipmunks hope that Christmas wouldn’t be late wasn’t much better than the yodeling pickle. However, the music did manage to distract Reilly, who sang along the rest of the way home, so she wasn’t about to complain.
Her son helped her unload the car, and then he dashed about the house turning on the lights of all of their Christmas decorations while Jenna sorted through the mail. One envelope in particular caught her notice. Whitewater Adventure Rafting on the Snake River? Her stomach took a sick little flip.
Dread filled her as she stared down at the envelope addressed to JENNA M. STOCKTON, MD.
This was coincidence, surely. Just bad timing of an advertisement that probably went to everyone in her zip code.
She slid the letter opener blade beneath the envelope flap and removed the folded paper.
A reservation for one. Paid in full. January 23rd at 10:00 a.m.
She dropped the paper as if it were on fire. Her hands trembled. Her heart pounded.
Her always-adventuring parents had drowned in a whitewater rafting accident seven years earlier … on January 23.
“Mom, can we read a story?”
Jenna saw her son standing in the doorway with his stuffed Rudolph beneath his arm. His request was a life preserver tossed to a drowning person. “Absolutely. I have a new book for us.”
Because she wasn’t on call tonight and she had no patients she suspected of being in imminent need of her services, she poured herself a glass of wine, traded her shoes for slippers, and settled into the overstuffed easy chair in the family room with the copy of The New Adventures in the Christmas Angel Waiting Room that she’d reserved for her own family. “In my lap, little man.”
He bounded over to her, his face alight with joy.
Story time was special for them both. She’d finished the first book and allowed herself to be talked into reading a second and a third. They were negotiating a fourth when she answered the doorbell to a pizza delivery she had not ordered.
By nine thirty, her doorbell had chimed eleven more times with deliveries of eleven more cheese and mushroom pizzas. Jenna was allergic to mushrooms.
At nine forty-five she called the police.

Copyright © 2018 by Emily March in The Christmas Wishing Tree and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.