Please welcome guest author Kristine Bria to the Cafe!
Happy holidays from Moss Point, Georgia—at least that’s what Claudia Finch is hoping for when she runs away from another Christmas in New York City and heads for the coastal southern town that might as well be as foreign to her as Timbuktu.
Having spent holidays in Manhattan as well as in a smattering of small towns, I can state with certainty that the experiences couldn’t be more different. I hate to use the word “bustling” to describe New York, but that’s really what it is. People hurrying about, juggling as many gifts as they can carry and finding it impossible not to bump into the other shoppers, jostling them and their bags as they fight their way through stores and down slushy sidewalks, their hands too full to hail taxis. Families wait in lines to press their noses against store windows and study the details of holiday displays that have been in the works since the day that last year’s were taken down.
In small towns and big cities alike, folks return to their roots to reconnect with parents, siblings, cousins, and friends. But what if going home is less appealing than spending Christmas as an outsider? What if you feel like you’re a square peg trying to squeeze into a round hole, just like Claudia? Well, if you’re brave enough, you might try something completely outside of your comfort zone—like crossing your fingers and heading to a bed and breakfast to borrow some of their memories for your own.
When my publisher, Liquid Silver Books, asked me to write a holiday short story for their spotlight week at Romance Lives Forever, I wanted to write about a heroine who didn’t have Christmas traditions and what it would take for her to create them. I also wanted to give her the gift of someone special who just might make her holiday dreams come true. The hulking and handsome Ethan O’Malley, whose parents own the local bed and breakfast, seemed like just the steady kind of man that Claudia would need to help keep her chin up—if she can let go of the past to see what’s right in front of her. Their story, Sneaking Up On Santa, is available for free at Romance Lives Forever. You can find Not Quite Home, Moss Point Book 1 (Adam and Kate) at eBook retailers.
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NOT QUITE HOME
Adam Moultrie’s bad-boy past is catching up with him and his blossoming career. Inheriting the Moss Point plantation he never wanted, he can’t get rid of it fast enough. Even though he paid someone to board it up, a local teenager breaks in and gets hurt. Her mom, Adam’s ex from high school, seizes the opportunity to get revenge on the guy who abandoned her at the plantation on prom night fifteen years earlier. With a professional partnership in Portland slipping through his fingers, he heads to his hometown on the Georgia coast to resolve the lawsuit as quickly as possible.
Kate Braswell gave up everything to open Local Flavor, her coffeehouse showcasing art, but her builder shatters his leg—and possibly her dreams. Facing bankruptcy and failure, Adam is the only one who can save her and her shop. He becomes her unlikely hero, but the last thing he needs is a sexy woman in pink lip-gloss. Kate doesn’t want a man, even smoldering Adam, regardless of what her hormones say. Still, he can’t keep his hands off the conservative Kate, using all his bad-boy moves to show her what she’s been missing.
Adam and Kate’s sexual attraction eclipses their attempts to dodge an affair that neither wants. She adopts Moss Point while he longs for Portland. His exile is her home, and both must decide if either can survive a compromise.
Is love worth the risk when she’s putting down roots in the last place he wants to be?
BUY LINKS – Not Quite Home
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Kristine Bria was born and raised in the South. Though she mostly grew up in the suburbs, she loves to write about the small towns that were home to her friends and family as well as the brief time she spent in one herself–a few years in a dry county, and yes, there was a county line package store. The town was 90 miles from a mall and an airport. She went from living there straight to New York City where she lived in an apartment in midtown Manhattan. Now she’s been back in the suburbs for the last 15 years or so, but she’s close to mountains and a lake which serve as playgrounds for her and her husband’s motorcycle and jet boat when she’s not writing. She loves to share cute (and cheesy) pics and video of her cat and her dog who sometimes thinks he’s a cat.
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