Friday, December 6, 2019

Christmas Roads Home

Giveaway of a $20 gift card!

                  Hands down, Christmas is my favorite holiday. With the naivete of a child, I truly believed that the whole world came together in peace to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and that all lands and peoples put aside conflicts and sorrows for the season. To this day, I treasure that belief, because it confirmed hope and invoked comfort—two things I would like the whole world to find, just as I once thought it did every December 25th.
         Christmas then was choosing a pine tree from some secluded spot, and decorating it with glass ornaments, colored lights, and icicles—those silvery strands of fantasy that cascaded down the tree branches and made the lights seem to shine from a distance—the lights became fairy lights, and magic could happen every Christmas Eve.
         On some occasions, there was little under the tree on Christmas Day, and there were times when exaggerated gift giving would catch up with my parents, adding to the inherent problems of raising seven children. Over time, I realized that the magic wasn’t in the presents, or even created by that mystic glow of lights through green pine and silver icicles—the magic was in feeling that family was safe, dependable and perfect. On that particular day, holding family close and believing absolutely in love was just what one did.
         Time changes perception, and there were Christmases I wasn’t home. I was no longer that child soaking in a feeling of peace and perfection in the world. Gone were the stockings with the Roy Rogers coloring books—my first cowboy crush, although to be honest I only cared about Roy Rogers because of his palomino, Trigger. Gone were the hopes that Christmas would pass without bloodshed anywhere in the world, or that forgotten children and suffering families would magically, at least for one day, be provided for. That they would find love.
         Now, a lifetime later, Christmas is still my favorite holiday. Some of the ornaments we put on our plastic tree have been part of my family for the forty odd years I’ve been a mother. My wishes are the same for my family now as they were then. I still play the old Christmas carols—songs of hope, empowerment, and tradition. I still believe that Christmas can give birth to new attitudes, and that it can deepen love for family and for others.
     The Cowboy’sChristmas Hand, my second ever Christmas story (I wrote the only other when I was in first grade), captures some of what I want for others at Christmas—a place that is home, full of hope and love. The fact that Church Trenton is a cowboy is just a carryover from my first Christmases, when I always looked for a cowboy kind of man as a force to hold families together and make magic—even for broken families, such as the one that disowned Tyler Olivares and shunned her daughter.
         This Christmas, my sincere wish for everyone is that the roads you travel take you home, whatever or wherever that is—to people who love you, and treasured memories that give joy and fulfillment when you unwrap them.
         Merry Christmas.
Author’s note:
Don’t the years seem to end and begin more quickly than ever now? Thank you for taking the time to visit me here at Just Contemporary Romance. I would love to hear of your travels towards or away from the holidays, or what’s on your mind as another year winds down.

Leslie is giving away a $20 Amazon egift card to one lucky reader leaving a comment or email entry!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST December 7th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. 

Thursday, December 5, 2019


Hi there!

My name's Cookie, and I'm so glad to be here!  I love contemporary romance (both reading and writing it).   I actually wrote a book called ADORKABLE which comes out this week, yay!!!  It's a YA romance about a girl named Sally who asks her best friend Becks to be her fake boyfriend.  She's completely in love with him, of course, and he has no idea which just makes for some wonderfully awkward and swoon-worthy moments!  I hope you'll check it out!

Here's the book summary and an excerpt if you're interested:

Adorkable (ah-dor-kuh-bul): Descriptive term meaning to be equal parts dorky and adorable. For reference, see Sally Spitz.

Seventeen-year-old Sally Spitz is done with dating. Or at least, she's done with the horrible blind dates/hookups/sneak attacks her matchmaking bestie, Hooker, sets her up on. There's only so much one geek girl and Gryffindor supporter can take.

Her solution: she needs a fake boyfriend. And fast.

Enter Becks, soccer phenom, all-around-hottie, and Sally's best friend practically since birth. When Sally asks Becks to be her F.B.F. (fake boyfriend), Becks is only too happy to be used. He'd do anything for Sal--even if that means giving her PDA lessons in his bedroom, saying she's "more than pretty," and expertly kissing her at parties.

The problem: Sally's been in love with Becks all her life--and he's completely clueless.

This book features two best friends, one special edition Yoda snuggie, countless beneath-the-ear kisses and begs the question:

Who wants a real boyfriend when faking it is so much more fun?

     Okay, so I knew there would be some grief.  But seriously, was that grin really necessary?  Becks was leaning against my locker, all six foot two of him relaxed, wavy black hair brushing the tips of his ears, watching me as I walked toward him down the hall.  It wasn't like I could just turn tail and run.  I had to get my books for next period, and he was in the way.  His eyes, the ones I knew nearly as well as my own, were swimming with mirth, his expression expectant.
     Determined to wipe the grin right off his face, I said, "Hey there, Baldwin.  How's it going?"
     He blanched.  "Jeez, Sal.  Not this early in the morning, okay?"
     I smiled to myself.  Baldwin Eugene Charles Kent, aka Becks, had always hated his Christian name.  With a name like that even I wanted to hate him--and he was my best friend.  Luckily, Becks had escaped that clumsy mouthful with a killer nickname.  Born with the last name "Spitz," there'd been no hope for me.   From the first grade on, my peers had refused to call me anything else.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

A Must For Christmas

The holidays are not the time to debate delicate family issues. Right? Greg and Faith Mallory both agree on that one. Good thing because they’re not agreeing on much else. He wants his pregnant wife (with twins) to be a stay-at-home mom. And Faith wants to keep working. With a month left in her pregnancy, Faith hopes she and the love of her life can finally agree what’s best for their family.

Only, she goes into early labor three days before Christmas.

Faith and Greg first appeared in Must Have Faith, Book 2 in the Darling Cove small-town, family drama romance series. Deborah Garland brings them back in the short holiday read A Must for Christmas.

Twas three days before Christmas and in the Mallory house, Faith went into labor and her husband freaked out...

A medical complication after the twins' birth has Greg re-writing his letter to Santa. He’ll make any sacrifice possible to keep his family together. He and Faith had missed so much, crawled through fire to be together again. It doesn’t matter how many trays of cookies she didn't make, or the half-decorated tree, or the cards that never went out.

Now, all Greg wants for Christmas is…Faith.

Here’s an exclusive excerpt just for Just Contemporary Romance readers:

A flood of dread flowed through Greg. The minute he’d made Faith his, he’d been in charge of her. She was his responsibility. What she needed, Greg took care of. The lack of control he had at the moment warred with his natural caveman instincts to protect his wife.
He let the nurse guide him out of the operating room. The hallway was dim compared to the thousand-watt bulbs he’d just been standing under, and he blinked to adjust his eyes so he didn’t bump into anything. A hand was still firm on his back. The sense of urgency in her touch kept his nerves alive.
Greg stopped immediately and turned around. “I got it. I’m good.” He nodded to her, knowing the nurse was needed back in that room. Not out there to babysit him or make sure he found a good seat in the waiting room.
She pinched her lips tight and touched his arm. “I’ll be back and forth to give you updates.”
He’d been waiting for, And it’ll be fine. The lack of that encouragement sliced through him, and his legs turned to rubber.
Another arm secured him. “Greg, what’s going on?” Andrew’s deep voice stung with worry.
“I. . . I don’t know.” Greg ran a hand through his hair, staring at his shoes. When he looked up, several more eyes were glued to his.
“How’s my Faith?” Madeline clutched on to Skye, her face scrunched in anxiety.
“She’s fine, but they’re intubating her. One of the babies is in distress.” He braced himself through all the gasps.
“Oh, my poor Faith.” Madeline’s hands rushed to her face, and Skye helped her into a seat.
“Hang on,” Edward jumped in. “She’s having twins. She’s a small woman. It’s quite common for one baby to have a little trouble.” He wasn’t a doctor, but his EMT training and volunteering with the fire department had put him in the middle of many different medical scenarios.
Still it didn’t ease Greg’s anxiety.
“Are they doing the C-Section now?” Skye asked, her hand closing around Edward’s wrist.
 “Yes,” Greg said then cleared his throat with difficultly.
“Let’s all take a seat and say a few prayers.” Martin stepped up to Greg and took his arm.
After Faith, Greg would always go to his father.
In a seat, Greg closed his eyes and waited for his wife to deliver his sons.

Monday, December 2, 2019

My Way To You

Giveaway Alert!

Greetings, readers. I am excited to celebrate the one-year bookiversary of My Way to You, book one in the Brothers in Law series. To celebrate, I have wrapped up books one and two along with the short story introducing the brothers and a sneak peek at book three.

Brothers in Law Romance Series [Books 1 & 2]

Book one, My Way to You features Simon and Regina as they break some cultural taboos by being together. Simon risks his friendship with Regina’s brother, his best friend Marcus, and as their relationship develop, the realities that some people will give the interracial couple problems emerge. I am very familiar with the growing acceptance of interracial relationships in society coupled with individual and group intolerance. They are things my husband and I struggle through.

Book two, Sweet Love-Bitter Fruit, features Marcus and Toni, a successful married couple all too hot for each other. They excel professionally and in the bedroom, and seem to have everything but one. Toni makes some demands on Marcus that threatens to make their rock-solid marriage crumble.

The Brothers in Law short story introduces readers to the six sexy lawmen making up the series. They represent long-lasting friendships and the influence our closest friends can have on our lives, including our love lives.

Readers are anxiously awaiting the release of book three, Building on Broken Dreams. Adam and Maryam fall hard for each other and start to build a life together full of passion, but the past threatens to reach in and destroy it all The Heart of My Tranquility is an erotic prelude to the book, and I included chapter one so readers can get to know Adam and Maryam a little better.

The romance series set is packed with heat, tension, and drama.

Enter Lyndell's giveaway HERE

A bestselling author and award-winning writer, Lyndell Williams (Layla Abdullah-Poulos)
holds a B.A. in Historical Studies and Literature, M.A. in Liberal Studies, and an AC in Women and Gender Studies. She is an adjunct instructor as well as an anti-racism and gender equity advocate. She is the senior New York trainer for the Muslim Anti-Racism collaborative.

Williams is a cultural critic with a background in literary criticism specializing in romance. She has been published in peer-review journals and presented at national conferences about Muslim and interracial romance fiction as well as racism, sexism and the Black Muslim experience.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

My Way To You

Giveaway Alert!

Yes! One amazing year has passed since the release of my first novel, My Way to You. This steamy interracial romance tells the story of two people determined to be together despite the world.

As their clandestine romance evolves, Simon and Regina fall deeper in love. Making sure that things stay between them becomes progressively impossible, and neither knows how much longer they can keep Marcus in the dark and the world at bay.

Simon braced himself on the balcony and released a gust of air from his burning lungs into the Harlem landscape. Marcus’s warning reached him loud and clear. Hands off his baby sister. Except, it was too late; Simon’s hands and everything else had already been all over every inch of Regina’s voluptuous brown body, and he didn’t have any intention of keeping them to himself and ending their torrid lovemaking. The only reason he wasn’t in her bed at that moment—touching and tasting every wondrous curve—was because she was way out on Long Island with her parents. Otherwise, he would be busy flouting his best friend’s veiled warning. Another night of passion was definitely worth the risk.
Simon crossed his arms and kicked the top of his shoe at imaginary rocks on the ground. Look, idiot. Marcus has been a great friend, and you’re going destroy your friendship because you like rolling around in the sheets with Regina? He’s going to kick your ass for touching his sister. Marcus was capable of taking a man down in seconds. Although no slouch in the fighting department, the last thing he wanted was to brawl with his best friend. “What am I going to do,” He asked the sky.
“About what?” Marcus appeared holding a plate full of raw meat.
“Nothing. Just thinking about a case.”
“You wanna run it by me?
“Nah, thanks though, man. I really don’t want to talk shop right now.”
“I can dig that.” Smoke billowed from the grill as Marcus laid the steaks on the grate. “I just checked out the score. Knicks down by 10.” He poked at the meat.
“Of course, they are. I don’t know why you constantly hope they have a chance in hell of winning.”
“Hey, what’s wrong with having faith in people?” Marcus stabbed at the meat sizzling on the hot grill.
The two laughed and the tension dissipated. As fool hearty as it was, he couldn’t give up what he started with Regina or his friendship with Marcus. If things become more serious with Regina, I’ll let Marcus know about us. Preferably when he isn’t brandishing a pitchfork.

Enter Lyndell's giveaway HERE

A bestselling author and award-winning writer, Lyndell Williams (Layla Abdullah-Poulos)
holds a B.A. in Historical Studies and Literature, M.A. in Liberal Studies, and an AC in Women and Gender Studies. She is an adjunct instructor as well as an anti-racism and gender equity advocate. She is the senior New York trainer for the Muslim Anti-Racism collaborative.

Williams is a cultural critic with a background in literary criticism specializing in romance. She has been published in peer-review journals and presented at national conferences about Muslim and interracial romance fiction as well as racism, sexism and the Black Muslim experience.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Resisting Temptation

Giveaway Alert!

Hello everyone! I hope you all are having a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Resisting Temptation is the second book in the Into You series. If anyone hasn’t red this series, it’s about finding love where you least expect it, which is at the workplace. Can people mix business and pleasure? Well,  Reece and Troy definitely did, but the two definitely experienced a lot through their journey to romance.

The book is centered around a car wash, which I can admit I have experienced working at. Although I have never fell in love with anyone at the car wash, I have seen a lot that has happened within the years I have worked there. There have been some good things, and there have been so awkward moments. I’ll just say there’s never a dull moment working at one.

Troy Jimenez is one of the top managers at Suds Car Wash-Richmond, but is also a huge player. From his constant flirting with customers to him indulging in many of the employees, he loves the ladies, and with his good looks and charm, he knows he can get any woman that comes into his path.

That was until Reece Palmer came into his life.

Reece is everything Troy wants in a woman: smart, ambitious, and sexy as hell. As he tries to find ways to get with her, Reece is definitely not falling for his antics, making Troy wonder if she’s worth the fight.

Or is she?

After quitting her job and abruptly leaving the only city she knows, Reece decides to move to Houston to be near her cousin, Vanessa, her husband, Mark, and their daughter Samantha. She doesn’t know what direction her life is heading, but she knows she needs a job fast. Her cousin suggests she come work at Suds as the new office manager. With the location needing a bit of a facelift, Reece is up for the challenge; little did she know she also need to get the manager in line. In more ways than one.

With the daily theatrics of the business, including bickering amongst the employees, and rude customers, Reece has her job cut out for her; but the real issue is with Troy. She wants to strangle him on a daily basis, making her wonder if her feelings for him are pure hate, or something more.

The constant interaction between the two will make them wonder if there is something more between them. While Reece is trying not to get involve with a co-worker, Troy has even bigger demons to deal with, causing him to finally face them head-on.

Will the two be able to get past their personal issues to see where their feelings are for each other, or will their dilemmas push them further away from what is right in front of them?

Giveaway: Please enter the Rafflecopter giveaway link to win ebooks from the Into You series (Into You & Resisting Temptation).

Sheena Binkley first discovered her love for storytelling when writing her first story for a class project at the tender age of nine. Since then, she has composed several short stories and numerous tales that are not only engaging, but simply entertaining. She is also a freelance writer, penning articles on various topics including education and entertainment.

To date, her best-selling novels include In Love With My Best Friend, Love Unbroken, Something Just Ain't Right, and The Love Chronicles.

In April of 2016, Sheena launched her own publishing company which focus strictly on romance books. Besides writing, she loves reading, shopping, and spending time with family and friends. She lives in Houston (where the weather is always unpredictable) with her husband and son.

Twitter: @ChevonBink
Pinterest: Sheena Binkley

Friday, November 22, 2019

First Kisses

Thank you for having me here on Just Contemporary Romance! I’m excited about my new book, Some Like it Plaid which is a romantic comedy/time-travel mashup set in ancient Scotland. I know, I know, you’re into contemporary romance, but I’m hoping to lure you to the dark side! The scenes in the heroine’s point-of-view are told in my fun, contemporary style as she, a modern woman, tries to cope with being back in time.

Here’s an excerpt from just after he magics her to his time period:

“Head out? Where are we?” That trickle of unease bloomed in her heart, her breath catching. Because his words were different. Somehow, he was speaking in a lilting but foreign language, and she’d not only understood every single word, but had answered in the same language.
To distract herself and, well, because her stomach chose that moment to growl, as if it knew she’d just been handed food and was all, Gimme, woman, she took a bite of bread.
The yeasty flavor burst on her tongue, along with the taste and crunch of oodles of grains. No dream she’d ever had was this vivid. The details were sharp, down to her being cold. And to the odd taste and texture of the bread. And her hunger.
The taste, though—a fuzzy memory poked. She took another bite, trying to chase it. Whatever it was, it had been buried so far in her past she couldn’t form it. Except for a fleeting, wonderful feeling of being cherished.
“Aye, we need to break camp and head to my tribe’s stronghold. And we’re in a land called Scotland.”
That last word was not in the same language—instead it was in her own—and he said it as if it were a strange word to him.
“What happened? How did we get here?” She’d asked this last night, but maybe he’d change his answer.
He strode toward her and knelt. She appreciated he would no doubt repeat himself but took the time to listen to her and patiently explain. “Mungan, our spellcaster, weaved strong magic. Brought me to your land, and then brought us both back here.” He held up a round stone incised with two parallel deep grooves around its center. As if that explained everything.
The hell it does. Some dude, even in a dream, was just whisking her about?
He waved to the two horses. “They left us mounts to ease our journey.”
She swallowed, trying to work moisture into her parched throat. “How long will it take to get to your…stronghold?”
“Only part of the morning.”
“How many hours?”
“Yeah, how long? How many hours?” Was her Star Trek Universal Translator on the fritz already? The word “hours” had come out in English.
He shook his head and frowned. Then he pointed to the sun just barely visible as a pale glow behind morning clouds. “As long as it takes the sun to travel from there”—he slid his finger just a few inches away—“to there.”
She pulled in a deep breath. Oookay.
He marched over to a shaggy brown horse, grabbed the saddle, and swung himself up into it with one swift motion, like she’d seen in old cowboy movies.
Wow, that was hot.
She’d ridden her share of horses growing up in Nebraska but had never perfected that technique. She stepped up to her horse and stroked its mane, pulling in the musky scent of the beast, letting him smell her, adjust to her. The animal’s fur was thick and curly, its coarse hairs springing through her stroking fingers.
Is this real?
She stared at the imposing but gentle Highlander, and then at the horse she was supposed to ride. If she did as he asked, she’d no longer be “playing along” with her dream. She’d have to face what she hadn’t wanted to admit yet— hopping onto this horse would be accepting this wasn’t a dream. This step, this moment, felt real. Tangible.

An avid reader herself, Angela Quarles writes books she'd like to read--laugh-out-loud, smart romances that suck you into her worlds and won't let you go until you reach The End. She is a RWA RITA® award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, time travel, and steampunk romance. Library Journal named her steampunk, Steam Me Up, Rawley, Best Self-Published Romance of 2015 and Must Love Chainmail won the 2016 RITA® Award in the paranormal category, the first indie to win in that category. Angela loves history, folklore, and family history and combined it with her active imagination to write stories of romance and adventure. She also owns and operates her own independent new & used bookstore, connecting readers to books every day!

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