Saturday, November 14, 2015

Winter Wedding Bells are Ringing by Karen Rock, Jennifer Snow and Kristine Rolofson

Winter Wedding Bells are Ringing, by Karen Rock, Jennifer Snow and Kristine Rolofson.

A year and a half ago, Jennifer Snow and I limped back to my hotel room near the end of our fourth day of RWA Nationals conference. We’d smiled, given hugs, signed books, chatted, sipped coffee, lunched and… oh yes… attended a seminar or four. In other words, we were exhausted and eager for some well-deserved relaxation time.

After kicking off our heels and downing diet cokes, we began talking about life, our families, careers, and then, even more specifically, stories we wanted to write. In an instant so fast that I don’t know how it happened- either Jennifer suggested it or I did- we somehow had the same thought: since we like writing, like the holidays, and each other, why don’t we collaborate on a Christmas anthology?

Within the hour we had an outline of what became this month’s Heartwarming holiday release, WINTER WEDDING BELLS. It went through a few incarnations since our first discussion, most notably, the wonderful inclusion of the incredibly talented Kristine Rolofson. We worked and had fun as a team that fall, sharing images, excerpts and character details. Kristine even drew us a detailed schematic of the ski lodge in which all three of our novellas are set: the very real Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid, NY. As all three stories are interconnected, it took quite some coordination and flexibility, and might have turned a few of Victoria’s hairs grey, before we got our anthology perfected. We are all so pleased and proud of this uplifting, feel good collection!

It’s my delight to share the blurb, an excerpt from the first novella, my story THE KISS as well as links for you to check it out.

BLURB:

But guests are expecting a Christmas Eve wedding…!

What could be more romantic than a Christmas wedding at a ski lodge in Lake Placid? Well, if there actually was a wedding, for one thing! Three stories about getting love right over the holidays by USA TODAY bestselling author Kristine Rolofson and award-winners Karen Rock and Jennifer Snow.

The Kiss: A bride runs into her ex…and takes the ultimate gamble!

The Wish: An event planner sprains her ankle…and the chef asserts control.

The Promise: A maid of honor dodges an ex-boyfriend out to right a past wrong…

EXCERPT:

Austin cupped Julie’s cheeks and her eyes closed. Moonlight ran down her neck like water. She moved closer, her face tilting, lips opening and, unable to resist, he captured her mouth and kissed her. The sweet taste of her exploded on his tongue, electricity jolting wildly through him, heat bursting in his belly.

The years apart dissolved and he lost himself in the moment. Everything gone but the feel of her pressed to him, her lips against his jaw as he nibbled on her ear.

“I’ve missed you,” he groaned, realizing he'd been fooling himself into thinking he hadn't.  “I’ve wanted to do that for so long.” He rested his forehead against her temple and breathed. “So long. You’re just—”

When he stroked her jaw, she jerked back, blinking.

It seemed as if she was going to say something, but no words came when she opened her mouth. She dropped her head in her hands, unable to conceal how her features had all squeezed shut, or the pain leaking out of every part of her face.

Austin heard a rustling in the bushes.  A pair of red eyes blinked before vanishing again—a witness to his crime. Austin’s stomach churned with guilt.

“No. No no no no no.” Julie bolted to her feet and backed away before fleeing to the parking lot so fast it looked as if her feet were on fire.

Knife stab, center chest. Did he say knife? It was more like an ice pick. He felt pinned to this awful moment like a dead insect. Why had he kissed her? Taken advantage of her weak moment?

His shoulders bowed, laden with guilt.


We hope you can stop by for our invitation-only Holiday Facebook party to celebrate the release of Winter Wedding Bells on Dec. 3rd-4th! 
 
We have an amazing line-up of a incredible authors and giveaways that include, Joanne Rock, Melissa McClone, Sierra Donovan, Cheryl Harper, Shannon Richard, Melinda Curtis, Tara Taylor Quinn, Kate James, Lynn Marie Hulsman, Jeannie Moon, Darlene Fredette, Dana Volney, Rula Sinara, Nikki Lynn Barrett, Susan Scott Shelley, Lisa Marie Perry, Amy Vastine, Kathi Daley, Rachel Brimble,  Tara Randel, Anna J Stewart... And of course your co-hosts Karen Rock & Jennifer Snow.
 
Shoot me an email if you'd like an exclusive invite at karenrock@live.com and I'll put you on the guest list!

Wishing everyone the happiest of holidays ahead J

23 comments:

  1. After a long, dreadful night of watching the television coverage of the horrific tragedy in Paris unfold, I struggled this morning with whether I would even log into our blog, let alone find the words to leave a comment. Whether force of habit or because I needed something positive, here I am.

    Reading your wonderful post, the phrase: “uplifting, feel good collection” resonated with me in particular. It reminded me of why I personally enjoy reading Heartwarming books and what it is that I strive for when writing one.

    In a world where sadly there is so much pain and sorrow, at times we all need something to bring balance and perhaps whisk us away to a world of fantasy where there’s always a HEA. If through our writing we can bring a smile to someone’s face, tears of joy to their eyes, and remind them of how much good and kindness there is in the world--especially at a time they might need it most--it’s well worth our efforts.

    I know your anthology will do just that, and I wish you all the best with it.

    My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by yesterday’s tragedy.

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    1. Thank you, Kate, for your moving and heartfelt post. I was up most of the night, too, saddened, horrified, basically brought down to think this is our world now.

      Then, something happened. I went on Twitter and discovered a trending hashtag #strandedinUS, #StrandedinCanada and other countries where there is an outpouring of posts to stranded French travelers offering them a place to stay in Cleveland, Boston, Toronrto.... Some even mentioned having dogs to cuddle with :)

      It reminded of the true spirit of who we are as a people. We are kind, giving, helpful, accepting and loving. We lift each other up; not tear each other down. I believe, as you do, that stories have the power to restore our spirits when they falter and I'm so proud to write for Heartwarming because our books do just that. We celebrate the good in humanity; the good in all of us :) <3

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    2. Thank you for the beautiful post Kate! You echo all of our thoughts xoxo

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  2. My copy arrived Thursday from Harlequin.com!! Getting ready to read it today.

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    1. That's great, Marcie! I'm excited for you to read it :)

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  3. I initially had the same concerns as Kate did about doing anything today. It's so sad. It can happen anywhere to any innocent people. The fact some people can be so deliberately hateful is beyond my comprehension. On the other hand, what can be a better antidote to sadness than thinking about weddings? A wedding looks to the future and happier times. So thanks for the post, and I'm looking forward to reading all of the stories.

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    1. Thank you, Roz :) I wrote this before I watched the news last night and in a way, I'm glad I did because I'm not sure if I would have felt it was right to post. Now, after Kate and your comments, I see that we do need to find the things that make us smile and bring us close in times like this :)

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  4. Thanks for posting this Karen!! I remember that day in the hotel room so well:) We were sooo exhausted and we still had to find energy to dance the night away at the Harlequin party;) An anthology plan was born, but more importantly, a lifelong friendship. Love you!

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    1. Awwwwwww! We are super amazing dancers- ahem* But we may be better at being awesome friends to each other. You're like a sister to me. Love you xo

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  5. Congratulations, ladies! This sounds like a wonderful collection; I'm adding it to my wish list!

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    1. That's great, Britney! We loved writing it so much and we hope our readers will enjoy it, too :)

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  6. What a well-crafted teaser, Karen! And how fun it is to know how that all began - two dynamos finding the energy to keep plotting after an exhausting day. And what an upper for such a sad day-after. I love that words of hatred didn't follow that horror, but the hashtag, "Pray for Paris," did. And all those wonderful people offering their homes to the stranded. We have to keep believing in love.

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    1. Yes, Muriel! We have to keep believing in love. That's beautiful and I'm going to keep repeating it in the days ahead as more details emerge- not just the bad- but the outpouring of support and care we have, as people for one another <3

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  7. Love Christmas and I'm sure, with you three ladies involved, this anthology will knock my socks off! Can't wait to read it :)

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    1. Thank you, Amy! Kristine was the perfect ingredient we needed or our whole soufflé would have fallen flat! I should have included a picture of her maps (she sent more than one!) they were wonderful a was she :)

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  8. I'm salivating over Winter Wedding Bells...I can't wait to read this!
    Thank you for your beautiful comment, Kate. Last night, I was exhausted after watching hours of coverage. Just like during 911, I couldn't pull myself away. My prayers go out to the families of the victims and the people of Paris. I also pray for our own safety. I'm grateful to have wonderful books, written by you ladies, to escape our violent world for an hour or so each day.

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    1. That is so lovely of you to say, Jill! Thank you. It means so much to us to know that our stories do uplift our readers and bring them joy xo

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  9. I've been out of the country for a week on a cruise and until I disembarked I had no idea of the tragedy that had happened in Paris. My thoughts and prayers are with the French people. But thanks, for a shift in thoughts, Karen. Your post is so uplifting. Thank you.

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    1. You're welcome, Patricia :) We all need a boost during such a heartbreaking time. I've been glued to the news and it's been so lovely to come back to our supportive blog and get to read your wonderful comments!

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  10. I'm so looking forward to reading Winter Wedding Bells. Wishing everyone a happy and joyful Thanksgiving.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  11. I'm so looking forward to reading Winter Wedding Bells. Wishing everyone a happy and joyful Thanksgiving.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  12. It's on my Kindle and I can't wait to cozy up with the stories! I'm so looking forward to the Facebook party too! Thanks for ringing in the holidays with your anthology!

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  13. Thank you for the opportunity. Wishing you and all of your readers, and their families, a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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