Holiday Hopping!

Follow the link to the Sweet Saturday Sample for this week.

**Ho! Ho! Ho! Hop RULES**

Welcome to the Stuff Your Stocking Hop!

Happy Holidays! I wanted to share with you a thought about military families at this time of year. How many of you wonder what they do to celebrate the holiday season? Well, it’s pretty much the same things we do.

Hmm, they seem to have it all…

<><>Sacrifices of our military personnel and their families give us peace of mind to enjoy our hearths, homes, and families.

Go ahead and enjoy. They got us covered.

Bless our military men and women and bless the families who miss them…wherever they are.

Ashley Torrington never cared much about Christmas before. But this year she’s having a particularly blue holiday because Marine Special Operations Team member, Nick Turner got under her skin just before he was deployed to Afghanistan. With her neighbors’ precocious daughter Bella volunteering Ashley for a special project at school, and a mysterious white-haired stranger named Estelle in town buying gifts from Ashley’s shop, not to mention the odd assortment of presents Ashley’s been receiving from an anonymous source, she shouldn’t have time to worry about her guy. But when he and his team go missing the week before Christmas, she realizes only a Christmas miracle will reunite them.

Captain Nicholas Turner never backed down from challenges—on the battlefield or in his personal life. But he’d never met a challenge like Ashley, who doesn’t want to be anyone’s “girl back home.” Now he’s on the other side of the world, wanting to be anywhere but in Afghanistan for Christmas. About to embark on one of the most dangerous missions of his life, he needs Ashley to know she’s much more than the girl he’d left behind, and he does plan to come home to her. But in the meantime, a little Christmas magic would be appreciated. Little does he know, he’s about to get his wish.

Ramstein Air Base, Germany, 1900 hours T minus 18 days ’til Christmas

 Nick downloaded the pictures Ashley had sent, laughing at the one she’d taken of herself by holding the camera in front of her while she made a goofy, google-eyed face. She probably didn’t realize she had strands of silver tinsel caught in her colorful hair. He looked for a message accompanying the pictures but found none. Maybe he hadn’t heard her right, and she hadn’t told him she loved him, after all.

The contact with Ashley and pictures from home steadied Nick’s world. At least for the time being. She’d been right not to let him finish his when-I-get-back statement. That would only have mucked things up. So, for now…someday would have to be good enough. And someday he’d ask that girl to marry him.

“PG-rated” and available now: Amazon    Astraea Press     Barnes & Noble

You can win a PDF copy of any two of these G-rated novels plus a $6 coupon code for Astraea Press clean fiction publisher:

Just comment below with an idea of how to show our military personnel and families that we care and you will be entered to win your choice from the five books shown above.  Anyone purchasing Operation: Christmas Hearts, who sends me proof of purchase (a copy of your receipt) to with “I bought Operation: Christmas Hearts” in the subject line, will automatically receive a PDF copy of one of the above.

Ways you can give back:

Operation: Gratitude: Check out the wish list.

Veterans of Foreign Wars – your local chapter or the main offices.

The Veterans Site – fund meals for homeless veterans.

For each comment accompanied by an email address between 12/15 and 12/19/2011, I will donate $1 to the USO Wounded Warrior Project.

Hop on to other Stuff Your Stocking blogs!

Return to Ho! Ho! Ho! Holiday Spice: Choose Your Flavor, Naughty or Nice

Spooky October

Welcome to my leg of the Bewitching Trick or Treat Blog Hop.

So it’s that time of year again, when ghouls and ghosties run loose, with bats and witches competing for air space. Tell me your plans for All Hallows Eve…

Elusive Echoes: Sean

We first met Sean as the baby brother in Lifeline Echoes, when he welcomed Ryan home:

The skinny boy’s frame had become lean and muscular. Glow-in-the dark blond hair had toned down some but Ryan noticed it still had a tendency to curl at the ends even though his brother kept it cut short. Sean had been thirteen when Ryan left. He’d grown into a man Ryan scarcely recognized.

Sean’s tension visibly drained. His smile started slowly, in his eyes first, then spread to his mouth, where it bloomed into a full grin.

“Ry!” In two long-legged strides, Sean was in front of him. “Oh man, it’s good to see you!”

In a move too sudden for Ryan to dodge, Sean folded him into a bear hug and lifted him off his feet, his carefree laughter driving out the last vestiges of Ryan’s uncertainty.

…showed his brother up:

“Lost your touch with horses there, big brother?”

Ryan spun around. Sean leaned indolently in the doorway.

“Horses? No.” Ry shook his head. “I can still handle a horse. That?” He jerked a thumb at the stall behind him. “Is not a horse. That is a demonic replica of a horse.”

Sean pushed off the doorjamb and sauntered toward his brother. Inside the stall, the agitated snorts of the big roan continued but the kicking had stopped.

“Domingo? This guy’s a sweetheart. You just gotta speak his language.” He held up an apple.

“You mean you have to bribe him,” Ryan said flatly.

Sean smiled and held out his free hand for the lead rein.

Ryan stood well back when Sean eased open the stall door and stepped inside, apple first. When the horse took the apple, Sean clipped the lead to the halter.

…took his brother out on the town:

Ryan took a second look at the other girl. “Whoa! Is that little Melanie Mitchell?” he asked his brother.

Sean nodded, an eager grin splitting his face. So that’s the way it rolled.

Ryan whistled appreciatively. “She sure grew up well.” The poke in the ribs went a long way toward making him feel like a big brother again.

…told his brother the hard truth:

Ryan winced. “I didn’t think Dad ever understood any of it. I figured he’d have tried to stop us so I never gave him the opportunity, never told him much.”

Violence born from sixteen years of hurt and loneliness guided Sean’s punch into the wooden beam, so close Ryan felt the whoosh of air passing. Sean’s green eyes registered satisfaction when Ryan flinched away from the blow next to his head.

“You don’t give Dad enough credit,” Sean grated.

…had his brother’s back:

He was propelled on waves of obvious aggression, his obedient wife trotting in his wake, as though on a short leash. Sean stepped into Brody’s path, but the old man brushed him off, his eyes never leaving Ryan.

Sandy bit her lip. Brody MacKay had always made her a bit uneasy. Seeing him now, with obvious malevolent intent on his features, her sense of uneasiness increased tenfold. Somewhere in his fifties, he was a formidable antagonist, as big as his son but with a coldness that never failed to chill Sandy to her core.

Ryan made a barely perceptible hand motion, warning Sean to stay out of it. The younger McGee stepped back, but he didn’t go far. He had his brother’s back.

…and gave his brother support:

A Styrofoam cup of something hot was pressed into his hand. Ryan looked down at the coffee then up to Sean’s troubled face. His brother shoved a sandwich into his other hand.

“Mel and Charlie brought food.” Sean closed his hand over Ryan’s shoulder, giving a little shake. “You have to eat, Ry, just a couple of bites. You’re a liability if you’re running on empty.”

In Elusive Echoes…it’s Sean’s turn. Find out why frogs hold special meaning to him:

He didn’t think he’d ever be able to look at another frog anywhere without thinking of Melanie Mitchell’s underwear.

Why he’s talking about names:

When he noticed everyone was now eyeing him expectantly, he realized he’d have to say something. “Ah, um . . . well, I’ve always been partial to Grace.”

How he handles difficult topics of conversation:

“Are you and Mel doing it?” Embarrassment leaked like cherry-colored paint to stain the kid’s freckled face.

How he handles stress:

Her lips, so warm and welcoming, her body so soft and his for the taking. He’d never felt more alive than he did as he pinned her against the bar and lost himself in the passion that always hovered between them like an ion-charged storm, ready to erupt with thunder. She went limp in his arms with a moan as he claimed the affirmation of her life that he needed for his own to continue.

And why he’s about to make the biggest mistake of his life.

Elusive Echoes

Available at  Astraea Press 

Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Other titles also available: Lifeline Echoes, Heartsight, Heartsent, and Matrimonial Mayhem

For an opportunity to win a PDF copy of Elusive Echoes, simply leave a comment and tell me why you’d like to read it.

Click here for more blog links.

Autumn Harvest: Fall Between the Sheets

It’s Blog Tour time!

As summer winds to a close in the next few days, my favorite season takes up the baton in the relay of the life cycle. I have a new release scheduled to come out in October, and since it takes place right here in my home state, I thought I’d show you some of the local sights. I live in Lynchburg, Virginia. Nearby attractions would be the Natural Bridge, the Bedford WWII Memorial, Downtown Lynchburg, Liberty University, The Blue Ridge Parkway with the Appalachian Trail, and Appomattox Courthouse.

WIN A PRIZE!  Anyone who can tell me the significance of Appomattox Courthouse to the United States will win their choice of one of the following PDF novels:

1. A Deal with the Devil, Part One, by J. Gunnar Grey

2. Heartsight by Kay Springsteen

3. The Keepers by Monique O’Connor James

4. Tinsel Town by Stephanie Taylor

5. Through the Rabbit Hole by Lisa Kumar

6. The Perfect Rose by Felicia Rogers

7. A New Dream by Elaine Cantrell

8. Lizzie and the Rebel by Stephy Smith

9. Wayward Soul by Kim Bowman

10. The Picture by Stephanie Taylor

11. Lucky for Her by Stephanie Taylor

12. Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights by Jean Joachim

13.  Lifeline Echoes by Kay Springsteen

14. Elusive Echoes by Kay Springsteen

15. Matrimonial Mayhem (anthology) by G. Grey, T. Girardi, E. Cantrell, J.F. Jenkins, K. Bowman, and K. Springsteen

Three commenters drawn at random will receive their choice of one of the above PLUS a PDF copy of Heartsent hot off the presses.

Heartsent by Kay Springsteen

With her strict no-dating-within-the-department rule, Firefighter Lina Standish has a nickname in the Salem Hills Fire Department: Lina “Standoffish”. But Firefighter Kevin Daly has had his eye on Standoffish ever since a locker room incident nearly a year earlier, and now he plans to break all her rules. With the help of his niece and a hot-air balloon, he gets Lina’s attention and she agrees to “hang out” with Kevin as friends off duty, to take it slow and see where things go between them. Then Lina’s life is turned upside down by a surprise miracle who doesn’t even have a name. Kevin’s ready to step up, but is Lina?




3) THIS TOUR STARTS: Monday, September 19, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
THIS TOUR ENDS: Monday, September 26, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
Winners will be drawn and posted September 27th! ***



6) DID I MENTION TO HAVE FUN? WHOO! HOO!! HERE WE GOOOOOOOOOOOO!***Authors & Book Pages have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s) within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification of win, whichever comes first. Anyone who participates in this blog hop tour is subject to these rules***


Astraea Press continues its blowout sale–all titles, nothing over $2.99Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Try out some Tuesday Tales – they’re not just for Tuesdays.

A Journey of Books Blogfest

My name is Kay Springsteen and I write romance. But before I was a writer, I was a reader, and it has been the kinds of books I’ve read throughout my life so far that have influenced the kinds of stories I tell and the way in which I tell them.

I began my journey into books as a reader when I was about 4 years old. My mom, an English immigrant at the end of WWII, was an avid reader and a true Lewis Carroll fan. She started me into the wonderful world of fiction with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

I so loved those fantastical images created by Carroll, I went looking for more. I dug through my dad’s prized possessions and found a very old edition of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales. Oh, some of these haunted me – we’re talking original versions of the stories, not the cutsied up Disney versions. The Little Tin Soldier, The Little Match Girl.

Of course I had the requisite collection of Little Golden Books – The Pokey Little Puppy, Tootle, and more. One of my most memorable books as a child was my very first Scholastic Book Club book EVER. Flip by Wesley Dennis. I read that and re-read that so many, many times I don’t know how it didn’t fall apart.

From the school library I found escape into the worlds created by Walter Farley, Marguerite Henry, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Beverly Cleary. and Madeline L’Engle.

And of course there were more Scholastic Books. Sometime in the third grade I found one called The Golden Sovereign by Dorothy Lyons. That became another of the books that I would read and reread. I was introduced to mysteries when I discovered Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, and The Hardy Boys.

By the time I was in seventh grade, I was oh, so worldly. Worldly enough to read more sophisticated books like Love Story and The Godfather.

I also found Harlequin Romances about that time. And I remember when most of these formulaic stories included one naive heroine, one alpha male who was also clueless, and a scheming witch.

By high school, it became pretty obvious that my romance habit would have to be an in-closet activity. So I tested science fiction, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Robert A. Heinlein. In college, it was James Michener whose books captured my interest. And by the time I was married and having children, Tom Clancy’s technothrillers had my attention, along with John Grisham’s legal thrillers, and the medical thrillers of Patricia Cornwall. Along about then, I also found the first book to make me cry uncontrollably – The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans. Eventually, I decided I wanted to settle back into a softer, more gentle genre, and I sought out romance again. This time, it was Nora Roberts who commanded my attention. I bought every trilogy and mainstream book I could get my hands on. I scoured used book stores for her out of print Silhouette books. Then one of my friends who owned a used and new bookstore brought me into the world of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and I lost myself in the lives of Jamie and Claire. More recently, I’ve read Nicholas Sparks; the man does know how to tug on the emotions.

And somewhere in all of this reading, probably as far back as my very first Scholastic book (Flip), I began writing my own stories. Now, I wouldn’t want to even find anything I wrote back in those days, and much of what I wrote, even as an adult was more cathartic for me as opposed to being marketable fiction. But more recently, after the last of my children moved out, I had time on my hands, and I decided to start writing in earnest. The results were some pretty pleasing contracts writing the kind of romances I like the most: edgy sweet and emotional, with huge measures of sexual tension and undeniable chemistry between the characters scattered throughout. And it all began one morning sitting at the kitchen table while my mom read to me from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Heartsight:  Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Matrimonial Mayhem:  Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Lifeline Echoes:  Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Elusive Echoes:  Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Lifeline Echoes print edition

Heartsight print edition

I’m sponsoring a giveaway today. The grand prize is the two-book set of Orson’s Folly stories – Lifeline Echoes and Elusive Echoes along with five stories of your choice from this list:

1. Kim (Wayward Soul)

2. Jean (Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights)

3. Bri Clark (Cafe Seduzione)

4. Stephanie Taylor (Lucky For Her)

5. Stephanie Taylor (The Picture)

6.  Kay Springsteen (Heartsight)

7. Lisa Kumar (Through the Rabbit Hole)

8. Stephanie Smith (Lizzie and the Rebel)

9. Monique O’Connor James (The Keepers)

10. J. Gunnar Grey (Deal with the Devil, part one)

11. Felicia Rogers (The Perfect Rose)

12. Kristine Cheney (Spartan Heart, part one)

All you have to do for a chance to win is tell me what kinds of stories you read when you were growing up. Two randomly drawn commenters will win. Good luck, and I am looking forward to meeting you.
Visit other participants:
<a href=”“>Keenly Kristin</a>
<a href=”“>Kelly’s Lucky You</a>
<a href=”“>Keta’s Keep Romance Blog</a>
<a href=”“>KMN Books Blogspot</a>
<a href=”“>Kritters Ramblings</a>

Join the Party!

Blog hop – it’s one long party – more than 30 writers, a different party at each blog. Party ’til your heels fly off:  Start here and follow the link next to the shoe at the bottom of the page to get to the next blog in the loop. Follow the links until you arrive back to me! Also find me on Let’s Talk Romance.