Christmas Countdown Book Blast! “The Lost Shepherd,” Christian Historical Fiction by Michael I. Judson

37 Christmas Reads to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Welcome to my annual Christmas Countdown Book Blast! During the month of December, I indulge in reading my favorite fiction: Christmas stories! So for the entire month and for The Twelve Days of Christmas, December 25 through January 6th, I will post a new book each day to help get you in the holiday spirit.  This is a combination of New Release Spotlights and the Christmas Countdown Blitz hosted by the lovely ladies at Loving the Book.  In addition, I’m offering free downloads of my Christmas short story Ino’s Love in ebook and audio. To claim your digital copy visit the book’s download page here. For an audiobook copy send me an email at mariannesciucco@gmail.com indicating whether you want a US or UK download code. Either way, you’ll be subscribing to my monthly newsletter where I feature book news and giveaways. You’re free to unsubscribe at any time. Happy holiday reading! 

Day 18, Book 18

Lost SHepherJust who were the shepherds that were singled out from among earth’s inhabitants to hear the angelic announcement of Christ’s birth? What made them so special, or what uniquely qualified them to be His first witnesses? The Bible tells us very little about them. Now there is an answer!

Eleazar grows up awash in a culture of shepherding, but not among ordinary sheep. No, the flocks he and his companions tend are destined for sacrifice on the altar of the great temple at Jerusalem. Like his fathers before him, his life’s work fuels the faith of a nation that tirelessly awaits the signs of their long-foretold Messiah. But unforeseen circumstances lead Eleazar away from his purposeful existence and onto a path of doubt and life-altering decisions that threaten to destroy both his faith and his future. Only the miraculous power of the Christ Child can reclaim him and restore to him to a life of hope and peace—and to an understanding of his importance as a shepherd in Israel.

Lost Shepherd is a tale of real hope and redemption, of faith lost and reclaimed. Let the story transport you back in time as you discover anew the timeless healing power found only in the Savior Jesus Christ.

Excerpt

Arriving at the half-way point at the junction with the road to Bethany, the shepherds turned the sheep into a pasture by a small stream. By this time the sheep were beginning to tire and, for many, the call of the tender spring grasses was too much of a distraction for their hungry stomachs. As they began to graze, the shepherds each sought a comfortable resting spot, preferably under the shade of a low-hanging tree.

This was hardly the first time the shepherds had taken this excursion, and Benjamin and the others had anticipated the need for this rest stop. But their lack of progress was more than a little surprising and they found themselves questioning whether they would be able to complete the Jerusalem leg of their journey before the temple closed and those who would receive the sheep had gone to their homes for the evening.

As the sheep foraged for a meal, the shepherds sat themselves down to enjoy whatever foodstuffs they had packed. Eleazar’s mother had anticipated her son’s need and assembled for him a hearty meal of cold chicken and goat cheese, with dried figs. He downed the food without so much as a thought of his mother’s kindness, so absorbed was he contemplating what he assumed lay ahead for himself.

In his anxious mind he envisioned this, what he believed would be his last shepherding trip to Jerusalem, as the final exclamation mark on his short career, and the opening chapter on his new life of freedom and fulfillment. Ostensibly he was doing it for his mother, but had he been more honest with himself, he would have been forced to admit the truth that this was at least equally about satisfying his own desires.

Finishing the last bite of his meal, he rose from his resting spot to survey his surroundings. The sheep were feeding peacefully and the dogs were resting beside the other shepherds, who themselves were reclined and enjoying a brief nap. Looking back toward the highway, Eleazar could see a herd of about ten camels moving toward Jerusalem. Two drivers on camels, one at the front of the herd and the other at the rear, were the only keepers of the notoriously unruly creatures. Each camel wore a braided collar with a brass ring. A rope was strung between the rings and attached at either end to the drivers’ camels, which seemed to maintain perfect order in the procession. Approaching the shepherds’ position, Eleazar was fascinated at how a single command from the leader brought the entire herd, in near-perfect unison, off the highway and onto the path leading to the shepherds’ resting place.

Approaching Eleazar, the only shepherd who wasn’t napping, the lead driver asked, “May I assume that there is water in this place?”

“Yes,” Eleazar replied, pointing. “There’s a small stream just past that stand of trees.”

“May I also assume then that this stream can be used to water my camels?”

“Sure,” Eleazar responded, “take all you want. But I thought camels didn’t need much water.”

“Oh, they need as much as any animal, it’s just that they can store it up so that they don’t need to drink as often as your other beasts of burden. It’s been three days since our last watering and I’d like these animals to get their fill before we get into the confusion of Jerusalem. Camels are ornery enough even when they’re not thirsty. Watering them now will eliminate at least one potential distraction when we arrive.”

“Well, help yourself then. I’ll move the sheep back to make room.”

“I appreciate your kindness, sir,” the camel driver said as his camel kneeled, allowing him to dismount. It was the first time Eleazar had ever been addressed so formally and he rather enjoyed the feeling.

The driver then removed the rope to free the animals. The camels needed no further invitation to partake. In their haste they overtook Eleazar, beating him to the stream and effectively driving off the sheep themselves. The large beasts were generally unfamiliar to the sheep and, being intimidated, the smaller animals willingly retreated to a place several paces away from the stream. The camels were soon wading into the stream for their fill of the cool water.

“Well, it looks like your camels have done my job for me,” said Eleazar, a bit surprised at the rather orderly exchange between the sheep and camels.

“I’m afraid they are generally used to getting their way,” the driver admitted, as he stepped lightly from his kneeling animal. “It’s one trait of the species that breeding doesn’t seem to effect. What I wouldn’t give to have a camel that was docile and obedient like your sheep.”

“Would you also have it be stupid and helpless like a sheep?” Eleazar asked sarcastically.

“Well, I’m no expert on sheep, but I perceive them not as stupid and helpless, but as humble and meek, easy to be entreated. They seek peace, whereas my camels are arrogant and argumentative, always looking for a way to assert their dominance.”

“The sheep are meek,” Eleazar admitted, “but I think it’s just a reflection of their big, empty heads.”

Approaching the shepherd, the camel driver chuckled, extended his hand and said, “My name is Asher.”

Returning the gesture, Eleazar gripped his hand and said, “I’m Eleazar.”

Just then the rear driver approached and held out his hand. “Shalom. I’m Ishmael,” he said. “You have some fine-looking sheep there.”

“Only the best will do for the temple,” Eleazar responded, sarcastically.

Ignoring Eleazar’s apparent cynicism, Ishmael remarked with surprise and respect, “Do you mean that you and your companions are the shepherds who raise sheep for temple sacrifice? I am so honored to meet you!”

“Don’t be,” Eleazar remarked. “We’re nothing but lowly shepherds.”

“Oh but that can’t be true,” Ishmael replied. “You are the honored ones who guard The Lord’s flock.”

“Yes,” Eleazar replied incredulously, hoping to swiftly end this nonsense. “We are the shepherds who watch ‘The Lord’s sheep,’ from the moment of their birth making sure nothing bad happens to them, keeping them pure and protected, coddling and cuddling them their whole lives and delivering them safe and sound to the temple…so that men with sharp knives can slit their throats.” Eleazar, looking his questioner straight in the eyes, concluded his speech with a wry smile.

“Well,” Ishmael responded, sheepishly, looking alternately between the ground and Asher’s understanding face, “it sounds like, uh, well, maybe you have some rather well-formed opinions on the matter. Uh…thank you, yes, thank you for sharing them.”

With that he turned and walked toward the stream to look after the camels.

“My friend,” Asher said, trying to soften the situation, “you must forgive my partner. He is a very devout man who holds rather strong views of his faith. Sometimes he forgets that not all Jews share his zeal.”

Recognizing how caustic his response must have sounded to one so faithful, Eleazar hung his head and said, “I understand. I once was like your friend. I should be more careful about others’ feelings.”

Encouraged, Asher added, “I hope you know that your work truly does matter. Me, I drive camels to market where I haggle with potential buyers all day. In the end, I may be a little richer and the merchant may have a new camel, but that is where the blessing ends. Nothing of lasting value comes of it for either of us. But you, though you seldom see the ultimate result of your work, you provide a service that blesses lives. Your efforts bring satisfaction and peace to hearts that need mending. True, it is all symbolic, but symbols are powerful motivators for they speak of a reality that cannot be seen. You and your companions—you bring that reality to life.”

Humbled, Eleazar could only thank Asher for his thoughts and wish him well on his journey. By this time, Ishmael had the camels roped together again and was preparing to mount his own animal. Asher gave the command for his camel to kneel at which point he swung his leg over the animal’s shaggy back, then ordered the beast to rise. The camel let out a barking groan as it stood, dust falling from its hairy coat.

As the caravan slowly made its way back onto the highway, Asher waved and called to Eleazar, “God be with you, temple shepherd! Shalom!”

“Yes, shalom,” Eleazar whispered, as he waved to the departing men.

About the Author

“Who were THOSE shepherds, and why were they so favored?” That one question stirred the imagination of author Michael I. Judson and led to the creation of Lost Shepherd, the fictional backstory of the first witnesses to the birth of the precious Babe of Bethlehem. After you read Lost Shepherd, watch for his answers to other compelling questions (his next books!)

When he’s not writing, he has a large family to love, gardens to grow, fun places to see, ancestors to discover, and even chickens to raise! He also has a full-time job that occupies the bulk of his waking hours. Though still a few years off, retirement beckons with aspirations of writing (with all the fun imagining and discovery that goes with it) becoming his full-time pursuit.

Connect with Michael Judson

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Christmas Countdown Book Blast! “The Christmas Wish,” a New Holiday Romance from Melinda Curtis

37 Christmas Reads to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Welcome to my annual Christmas Countdown Book Blast! During the month of December, I indulge in reading my favorite fiction: Christmas stories! So for the entire month and for The Twelve Days of Christmas, December 25 through January 6th, I will post a new book each day to help get you in the holiday spirit.  This is a combination of New Release Spotlights and the Christmas Countdown Blitz hosted by the lovely ladies at Loving the Book.  In addition, I’m offering free downloads of my Christmas short story Ino’s Love in ebook and audio. To claim your digital copy visit the book’s download page here. For an audiobook copy send me an email at mariannesciucco@gmail.com indicating whether you want a US or UK download code. Either way, you’ll be subscribing to my monthly newsletter where I feature book news and giveaways. You’re free to unsubscribe at any time. Happy holiday reading! 

Day 15, Book 15

51qVY-0iuKLIt’s beginning to look a lot like a Christmas in this Sunshine Valley novella from USA Today bestselling authorMelinda Curtis that will appeal to fans of RaeAnne Thayne and Sheila Roberts.

Everyone in Sunshine Valley, Colorado, is in the Christmas spirit except for Everett Bollinger, the new town manager. With money tighter than ever, Everett has had to make some tough decisions about the local holiday celebration. And taking the blame has put him in a very un-festive mood.

Rosalie Reyes has big plans to open her new pet shop during the Christmas parade. But it seems like Everett is determined to sabotage the parade and her business too. With the help of the local matchmakers and a rambunctious Saint Bernard named Remy, Rosalie is about to unleash the town’s holiday cheer and make it a paws-itively amazing Christmas for all. Including a certain town manager who’s about to discover the reason for the season…is love.

Purchase The Christmas Wish Now! 

About the Author

815YrJjRdaL._US230_Prior to writing romance, Melinda Curtis was a junior manager for a Fortune 500 company, which meant when she flew on the private jet she was relegated to the jump seat–otherwise known as the potty. After grabbing her pen (and a parachute) she made the jump to full-time writer. She recently came to grips with the fact that she’s an empty nester and a (very young) grandma, concepts easier to grasp than jet-setting on a potty. Check out http://www.MelindaCurtis.com and sign up for her newsletter (there may be free reads involved). “Like” her on Facebook (MelindaCurtisAuthor) for the opportunity to play games and win free stuff.

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Christmas Countdown Book Blast! “It’s a Mall World After All,” Young Adult Holiday Romance from Janette Rallison

37 Christmas Reads to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Welcome to my annual Christmas Countdown Book Blast! During the month of December, I indulge in reading my favorite fiction: Christmas stories! So for the entire month and for The Twelve Days of Christmas, December 25 through January 6th, I will post a new book each day to help get you in the holiday spirit.  This is a combination of New Release Spotlights and the Christmas Countdown Blitz hosted by the lovely ladies at Loving the Book.  In addition, I’m offering free downloads of my Christmas short story Ino’s Love in ebook and audio. To claim your digital copy visit the book’s download page here. For an audiobook copy send me an email at mariannesciucco@gmail.com indicating whether you want a US or UK download code. Either way, you’ll be subscribing to my monthly newsletter where I feature book news and giveaways. You’re free to unsubscribe at any time. Happy holiday reading! 

Day 13, Book 13

Mall WorldIf they gave out diplomas for what you learn at the mall, Charlotte could graduate with honors. Ever since she got a job as a perfume spritzer, she’s become an expert on all things shopping related―oh, and she’s getting really good at spying on her classmates who hang out there. What she hasn’t mastered is the art of convincing her best friend Brianna to dump her boyfriend Bryant. After Charlotte caught him flirting with a mysterious, blond-haired girl, she knows he’s up to no good. Worse still, now Brianna is taking his side. Charlotte must prove who is right, once and for all, and that means catching Bryant in the act. This is where her mall roaming skills will come in handy. Perfume anyone?

Fans of Sophie Kinsella will love this book!

Excerpt

Bryant strode up to the Santa chair. He scowled at me, his eyes narrow and his face a blotchy red. In a low voice he said, “You just can’t mind your own business, can you? You’re some kind of freaking stalker who follows me around and sends pictures to my girlfriend. I bet you think you’re real smart, don’t you?”

I smiled back at him, refusing to be rattled. “Smarter than someone who doesn’t notice a stalker dressed in a bright red and green elf outfit.”

“You think you’ve taken Brianna away from me? This isn’t over.”Colton turned to Bryant and still using his Santa voice—although not quite so jolly at the moment— said, “This is over for right now. My elf is busy. Go home, cool down, and we’ll talk about it later.”

Bryant threw a disgusted sneer at Colton. “Don’t tell me what to do, fat boy. This doesn’t concern you.”

Colton prodded T.J. off of his lap, stood up, and faced Bryant. He lowered his chin to let Bryant get a better look at his face. “Stop yelling at the elves,” he said with forced humor. “Or Santa will put you on the naughty list.”

Bryant took a step toward Colton, squaring his shoulders. “Yeah, I’ll tell you what list you can put it on. You can put it on the list that you shove—”

“Bryant,” I said, “will you please just go away. You’re upsetting the children.”

Out in the audience every single eye was riveted on us. The kids had completely lost interest in their presents, and all stared at the guy who was yelling at Santa. Harris and Preeth took off in a fast pace for—I’m not sure where. They hurried into Bloomingdale’s and away from us. Maybe to call for mall security, or maybe just to avoid the ensuing bloodshed.

“Oh, you’re worried about upsetting people?” Bryant flung at me. “Too bad you never worried about upsetting me. You’re nothing but a self-righteous, two-faced, piece of—”
Colton put his hand on Bryant’s shoulder. His baritone voice had a growl to it. “Go. Home. Now.”

Bryant shrugged off Colton’s grip. “Don’t touch me. You don’t own the mall. I’ll say whatever I want to you and your little ho-ho-ho.”

“Bryant,” Colton said, and it was almost his normal voice. Bryant should have recognized him, but still didn’t. Bryant took a step toward me, but before he could reach me, Colton took hold of his arm and pulled him backward.

That’s when Bryant yelled a few words that weren’t appropriate for a room full of elementary students and swung at Colton’s face. I heard a smack and saw Colton’s head jerk back. He took a staggering step backward. His Santa hat nearly fell off, but remained attached to his wig at a drunken angle.

A collective gasp went up from the children, along with two or three shrieks from the girls sitting in the front.

And then in the next moment, Colton convinced me that wrestling is not such a useless skill after all. He grabbed Bryant’s elbow, threw his right arm over Bryant’s head, and in one swift movement pulled him over his hip and to the floor. Bryant struggled to get up, but Colton stayed on top of him, keeping him headlocked and on the ground.

Next to me T.J. let out slow breath. “Santa rocks!”

The girls in the front row clapped, and the kids in the back row all started cheering at once.

Colton said something to Bryant, which made him stop struggling, but I couldn’t hear it for all of the kids applauding. One girl said breathlessly, “I don’t care what my parents say. I’m staying up to see Santa this year.”

“Wait until my mom hears what Santa does to the people on the naughty list!” her friend replied.”

Purchase It’s A Mall World After All Now ~ Universal Amazon Link

About the Author

USA Today, bestselling author, Janette Rallison/ CJ Hill writes books because writing is much more fun than cleaning bathrooms. Her avoidance of housework has led her to writing thirty novels that have sold over 1,000,000 print copies and have been on many reading and state lists. Her books are fantasy, sci-fi, and romantic comedy because hey, there is enough angst in real life, but there’s a drastic shortage of humor, romance and hot guys who fight dragons. She lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, kids, and enough cats to classify her as eccentric.

Connect with Janette Rallison/CJ Hill  Website ~  Amazon

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page Part 1 and  Official Event page Part 2 
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Christmas Countdown Book Blast! “Corporate Christmas” A New Holiday Romance from Bernadette Marie

37 Christmas Reads to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Welcome to my annual Christmas Countdown Book Blast! During the month of December, I indulge in reading my favorite fiction: Christmas stories! So for the entire month and for The Twelve Days of Christmas, December 25 through January 6th, I will post a new book each day to help get you in the holiday spirit.  This is a combination of New Release Spotlights and the Christmas Countdown Blitz hosted by the lovely ladies at Loving the Book.  In addition, I’m offering free downloads of my Christmas short story Ino’s Love in ebook and audio. To claim your digital copy visit the book’s download page here. For an audiobook copy send me an email at mariannesciucco@gmail.com indicating whether you want a US or UK download code. Either way, you’ll be subscribing to my monthly newsletter where I feature book news and giveaways. You’re free to unsubscribe at any time. Happy holiday reading!

Day 12, Book 12

Chloe Richardson had just landed the biggest client of her career. A promotion was in her future, or so she thought until the handsome Jason Mitchell walked into her office with his gorgeous smile and searing blue eyes—and took her job.

Losing her job so close to Christmas, Chloe’s only choice was to go back home to Aubrey Heights, where the Christmas spirit is celebrated in a tourist loving, wonderland. Perhaps she can pull herself together before the new year—before her new career search.

However, Jason follows her to Aubrey Heights—with a mission of his own. First he stole her job—now he wants to steal her heart.

Is the spirit of Christmas alive enough in her to let that happen?

Excerpt

Jason was sure that he’d bleed out before they could take him back and stitch up his head. A nurse had given him a gauze pad to replace the tissue that had dried to his skin.

Chloe sat next to him frantically filling out his medical record in her beautiful penmanship.

“Address?”

He gave it to her and watched as she made perfect fours.

“Phone number?”

She wrote it down.

“I’m a Pisces. My favorite color is red. I like my pizza with just sausage, and I’m sensitive to gluten, but I can’t keep away from it.”

She stopped writing and looked up at him. “I don’t think I need all that. But thanks,” she snapped, but it only made it funnier to him.

“I just thought it was a good time to get to know each other. My turn, why don’t you answer those questions for me?” He tried to smile, but each time he did it hurt his head.

“Everything you need to know about me is in my employee file. You can ask H.R. if you need to see it since you’re my boss.”

She directed her attention right back to the form, but he got the message loud and clear. She wasn’t happy about his new position.

Purchase Corporate Christmas Now

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About the Author

Bestselling Author Bernadette Marie is known for building families readers want to be part of. Her series The Keller Family has graced bestseller charts since its release in 2011. Since then she has authored and published over thirty-five books. The married mother of five sons promises romances with a Happily Ever After always…and says she can write it because she lives it.

When not immersed in the writing/publishing world, Bernadette Marie and her husband are shuffling their five hockey playing boys around town to practices and games as well as running their family business. She is a lover of a good stout craft beer and might be slightly addicted to chocolate.

Connect with Bernadette Marie

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page Part 1  and Official Event page Part 2

 

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Christmas Countdown Book Blast! “A Christmas Story of Light,” an Illustrated Children’s Book by Ora Smith

37 Christmas Reads to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Welcome to my annual Christmas Countdown Book Blast! During the month of December, I indulge in reading my favorite fiction: Christmas stories! So for the entire month and for The Twelve Days of Christmas, December 25 through January 6th, I will post a new book each day to help get you in the holiday spirit.  This is a combination of New Release Spotlights and the Christmas Countdown Blitz hosted by the lovely ladies at Loving the Book.  In addition, I’m offering free downloads of my Christmas short story Ino’s Love in ebook and audio. To claim your digital copy visit the book’s download page here. For an audiobook copy send me an email at mariannesciucco@gmail.com indicating whether you want a US or UK download code. Either way, you’ll be subscribing to my monthly newsletter where I feature book news and giveaways. You’re free to unsubscribe at any time. Happy holiday reading!

Day 10, Book 10

God’s light shines in all of His creations, from the Star of Bethlehem, to the angel proclaiming Christ’s birth, to the Son of God Himself—the light of the world. Through this light, He illuminates darkness, gives us guidance, and shows us how to love one another. Experience the rich artwork and inspirational messages of A Christmas Story of Light this holiday season and let God’s light bring you the brightness of hope.

 

Excerpt
Purchase A Christmas Story of Light Today!

 

About the Author

As a mother, genealogist, artist, and faithful follower of Jesus Christ, Ora blends her understanding and unique skills to create faith inspired stories that she hopes will give others an added testimony of God’s goodness.

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Christmas Countdown Book Blast! “The Miracle of Joie,” an Elfin Holiday Romance from Betsy Love

37 Christmas Reads to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Welcome to my annual Christmas Countdown Book Blast! During the month of December, I indulge in reading my favorite fiction: Christmas stories! So for the entire month and for The Twelve Days of Christmas, December 25 through January 6th, I will post a new book each day to help get you in the holiday spirit.  This is a combination of New Release Spotlights and the Christmas Countdown Blitz hosted by the lovely ladies at Loving the Book.  In addition, I’m offering free downloads of my Christmas short story Ino’s Love in ebook and audio. To claim your digital copy visit the book’s download page here. For an audiobook copy send me an email at mariannesciucco@gmail.com indicating whether you want a US or UK download code. Either way, you’ll be subscribing to my monthly newsletter where I feature book news and giveaways. You’re free to unsubscribe at any time. Happy holiday reading! 

Day Nine, Book Nine

 

 

Joie, an over-confident rookie elf, is on her first assignment.

Miracle of Joie

It’s one week before Christmas, and she must find a mother for eight-year-old Emily. Not an easy task, since Emily’s grieving father, Matt, is not ready for marriage. He’s still bitter about the accident that killed his wife and handicapped his daughter.

When events turn Joie into a human, she loses her magic and must use her ingenuity to heal the broken family. How could falling love be the answer?

Excerpt

Smoke still poured out the door and rose into the evening sky. “Don’t worry, I put the fire out. It’s going to be alright.”

A man walking his dog stopped. “Are you girls all right?”

Emily nodded and pointed to Joie. “She stopped the fire.”

“Where’s your dad?” the man asked.

“He’s on a not-date.” Emily looked as if she was about to be carted away and put in jail. It wasn’t Emily’s fault the kitchen caught on fire. Joie alone held that responsibility. If she’d just done what Matt had asked, they wouldn’t be in this horrible predicament.

“A not-date? What is that?” The man eyed them both.

Joie bit her lip before answering. “It’s where a woman insists on going out for a drink. The man agrees. And hopefully, they find enough interest in each other that he asks her out on a real date.”

Purchase The Miracle of Joie Now  Universal Amazon Link   

About the Author

Betsy Love has loved to write from the moment she could hold a pen and has been creating stories ever since she was in elementary school. Her high school creative writing teacher told her that one day she would be published. When not sitting at her computer pouring her heart and soul into her novels, she loves going to her mountain property for inspiration and to escape the desert heat. She loves spending time with her family. At last count she has 20 grandchildren, has given up on gardening. If she had a horse, she might give up writing.

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Christmas Countdown Book Blast! “Goodwill for the Gentleman,” Historical British Fiction from Martha Keyes

37 Christmas Reads to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Welcome to my annual Christmas Countdown Book Blast! During the month of December, I indulge in reading my favorite fiction: Christmas stories! So for the entire month and for The Twelve Days of Christmas, December 25 through January 6th, I will post a new book each day to help get you in the holiday spirit.  This is a combination of New Release Spotlights and the Christmas Countdown Blitz hosted by the lovely ladies at Loving the Book.  In addition, I’m offering free downloads of my Christmas short story Ino’s Love in ebook and audio. To claim your digital copy visit the book’s download page here. For an audiobook copy send me an email at mariannesciucco@gmail.com indicating whether you want a US or UK download code. Either way, you’ll be subscribing to my monthly newsletter where I feature book news and giveaways. You’re free to unsubscribe at any time. Happy holiday reading! 

Day Four, Book Four

Goodwill for the GentlemanHe jilted her sister. She will never forgive him for it. Can her anger survive a snowing in and a Christmas truce?

Emma Caldwell doesn’t hate anyone—except for Hugh Warrilow, the man who jilted her older sister and left like a coward to join the army. Men are clearly not to be trusted, and Emma is determined not to give her heart to one. No, a marriage of convenience is the very thing to suit her.

Hugh Warrilow has been secretly in love with Emma Caldwell for years, so when the time comes to live up to both families’ expectations and marry her sister, he can’t find it in himself to do it. Disgraced and misunderstood, he joins to fight Napoleon on the Continent, hoping he will forget Emma and be forgotten by everyone he has disappointed.

An injury brings Hugh home—just in time for Christmas and the snowstorm that leaves him trapped under the same roof as Emma. How will he explain that his unforgivable act was motivated by how desperately he loved her? Her icy reception doesn’t leave him the chance, nor does it offer much hope for the season’s expectation of peace on earth and goodwill to men.”

Excerpt

Melted snow trickled down her forehead, her cheeks, and her chin.

He bit his lip and then searched in his great coat.

She couldn’t resist a smile. “Is this how you treat your allies, Lieutenant?”

He pulled out a handkerchief, wiping at the small streams of thawing snow on her face. His forehead was wrinkled in concentration, but he grinned. “No, certainly not. But we are only temporary allies, after all.” He met her eyes, and his hand slowed.

Her skin tingled, and her stomach flipped erratically. Her eyes flitted to his mouth, and she forced them back up.
Was this temporary, what she was feeling? It felt like much more than the civil terms of the truce she had suggested. She swallowed. Surely it was simply the combination of their physical proximity, the mystical landscape, the rush of the snowball fight, and the stark contrast between her recent animosity and current friendliness toward him. It couldn’t be anything more. It simply couldn’t.

“Yes,” she said, turning away. “Temporary allies.”

Purchase Goodwill for the Gentleman Now  Universal Amazon Link  

About the Author

Martha Keyes was born, raised, and educated in Utah–a home she loves dearly but also dearly loves to escape whenever she can by traveling the world. She received a BA in French Studies and a Master of Public Health, both from Brigham Young University.

Word crafting has always fascinated and motivated her, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that she considered writing her own stories. When she isn’t writing, she is honing her photography skills, looking for travel deals, and spending time with her family. She lives with her husband and twin boys in Vineyard, Utah.

Connect with Martha Keyes

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Official Event page Part 1  Official Event page Part 2

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