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My dear friend Alma Anderson just celebrated her 100th birthday. This amazing woman continues to supply her unique fruit cakes to an eager list of customers, including me. She had back surgery on the Wednesday before her birthday. Her first words when she opened her eyes in the recovery room were: “Don’t cancel my party!” You gotta love her spirit!!!

Recently Paul and I attended the 30th Annual Goodguys Autumn Get-Together Car Show in Pleasanton, CA. It’s huge. My advice: Wear comfortable shoes.

As you can see, this is NOT a concours. This gathering attracts hot rods, MOPAR (don’t ask), resto-mods (I sorta understand this one), restored classics, works in progress and even kid cars.

Paul and I each picked our favorites. If we bought his, we’d need a bigger garage. Mine would fit quite nicely.

This truck and I are the same age. I’m really not sure how I feel about that. 😉

And that will do it for the 2019 car show season. Are you relieved? I know I am. 😉

As promised, today and for the next two weeks I’m including 2 snippets from our 8-book HOLIDAYS HEROES collection, which includes complete romance stories from New York Times and USA Today authors Lisa Mondello and Jean Brashear, with award-winning and bestselling authors Rogenna Brewer, Dee Davis, Annie Jones, Kay Lyons, Barbara McMahon, and…me.

Last week was Lisa Mondello's DAKOTA BLUES and Kay Lyon’s SECRET SANTA.

This week you can read a snippet from Rogenna Brewer’s THE MARINE’S LAST CHANCE CHRISTMAS and Dee Davis’s STILL OF THE NIGHT.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved

In the still of the night...

Christmas is coming... and Jenny Fitzgerald couldn't care less. She's getting divorced, and her life is in tatters. And just when she's thinking it couldn't possibly be worse, her husband is killed on the job, an undercover operation gone bad. In the midst of her grief, Jenny is confronted with a killer. A hunter who will stop at nothing to see her dead…

       “I’ll be home for Christmas…”
       Judy Garland crooned in surround-sound and Jenny Fitzgerald resisted the urge to throw something. She’d wanted to get rid of her husband. That much was true. But not in a permanent sort of way.
       All she’d wanted was a divorce, and now Connor was dead.
       He’d never be home for Christmas again. Which made the carol all that much more of a twisted joke. Stifling a sob, Jenny threw the pants she was folding onto the bed, her gaze dropping to the envelope on the night stand.
       The divorce decree.
       All it needed was a signature and it was final. Only Connor hadn’t bothered to open the envelope, and it seemed that widowhood made the point moot. She grabbed the envelope and stuffed it into her purse, not sure why exactly she did so, except that she didn’t want it mocking her.
       Still clutching her purse, Jenny sank back down onto the bed, her thoughts in turmoil. She’d hoped that with the memorial service behind her, she’d at least feel a sense of relief. But instead, the pain only seemed to have intensified. Repression is what her psychiatrist would call it.
       But heart wrenching seemed a better word.
       She’d known Connor almost her whole life. Loved him. Hated him. Loved him again. And then left him. But she hadn’t managed to get him out of her heart. That had simply been beyond her abilities.
       And now he was gone and she was, as usual, left behind.
       What she needed was closure. Only she wasn’t going to get it. At least not in a way that she could live with.
       The doorbell and the phone rang at the same time, and Jenny dove across the bed for the phone. She wasn’t really up to talking, but better that than answering the door. She’d let Sandy handle that.
       She fumbled with the receiver, losing her grip on it once, then finally managed to put it to her ear. As she said hello, she heard the murmur of voices in the foyer. When it rained it poured.
       For a minute the other end of the line was silent. Long enough that she started to put the receiver back in the cradle, but the sound of static made her stop, her heart pounding in her ears.
      “Get out of there.” The voice was low, almost inaudible. “Now.”

Stay in touch with Dee Davis: www.facebook.com/DeeDavisBooks

by Rogenna Brewer

Copyright © All Rights Reserved

Marine Raider Bruce Calhoun is assigned to his hometown recruiting station for the holidays. Fresh out of rehab from his injuries, he’s ready to fight for what matters most––Rescue Swimmer Mitzi Zahn.

It was a mistake to call off their wedding. And his last chance to win her back may prove to be his toughest fight of all...

       “What’s Mitzi doing in the van?” Bruce peered out the kitchen window as he helped his mother load the dishwasher. “She’s been out there a half hour now.”
       “Why don’t you go ask her?” his mother suggested.
       “I’m not going to ask.”
       It was none of his business.
       Bad enough he had to work in the same office. Sleep with a bedroom window facing hers. These glimpses into her life were hell. He didn’t imagine he’d hear anything from his Battalion before the holidays. But he hoped it would be right after the New Year.
       Still staring out the window, he rinsed another plate and handed it to his mother.
       “Bruce,” she said, recalling his attention. “Do you remember carrying Mitzi piggyback all the way to school her first day of kindergarten? She worshipped the ground you walked on from that moment on.”
       Shutting off the water, he flung the dish towel over his shoulder and leaned back against the counter. “Way to take my mind off Mitzi, mom.”
       Teddy had tried to ditch her, and she’d stopped to cry.
       Mom’s going to be mad at you, Teddy, if you lose me!
       Her mom had been sick for a long time, and Bruce had felt sorry for her, so he’d gone back for her. “Her red cowgirl boots were too small and pinched her feet.”
       “She’d outgrown them that summer.” His mom chuckled. “But still insisted on wearing them everywhere.” She closed the dishwasher. “That stubborn little girl has loved you for a long time Bruce Calhoun. But it was always going to be a long fall from that pedestal.”
       Well, hell. He’d certainly hit bottom.
       “What are you doing Saturday night?” he asked, for a change of subject.
       “Sorry, son. I have a date for the Marine Corps Ball.” She shrugged. “Don’t forget to take out the trash,” his mother said, turning out the light.
       Bruce reached under the sink and found a half-empty bag of trash and the excuse he needed to head outside to throw it out while in his T-shirt and pajama pants. He crossed to the Zahns’ drive and ducked into the backset of their van on the driver’s side, sliding the door shut behind him. “What’s up?”
       It took him only a few seconds to assess the situation. Mitzi was huddled under a blanket with a box of tissues beside her, staring at the small screen of her laptop.
       Home movies. This wasn’t good.
       “Move over,” he said, making her sit to one side. “What are we watching?”
       The Christmas he and Teddy had gotten those sticky-dart guns—that didn’t stick—in their stockings. There was Teddy in his Spider-Man pajamas, hamming it up for the camera while pretending to die onscreen.
       And here she was watching it.
       Not good. He pried the laptop from her hands.
       “Hey, I was going to watch a movie.”
       “It’s freezing out here,” he said. “Wouldn’t you be more comfortable inside?”
       “No, I would not. My dad’s making out with your stepmother,” she said.
       “Which one?”
       “Pick one.”
       “For the record, I don’t consider either of them my stepmother.” It wasn’t as if they’d helped raise him. Or were still married to his father.
       “I meant pick a movie.” She directed him to her laptop. “I gave up The Nutcracker tickets for Nora Jean,” she sulked.
       He chose Con Air and set it to stream. “Oh, come on, Mitz.” He nudged her. “Your dad’s been alone a long time. Didn’t you ever think about him getting married again?”
       “I always thought it would be Audrey.”
       “Audrey? From the bowling alley?”
       “Exactly. She’s been in his life so long he doesn’t even notice her anymore.”
       “I’m sure he notices,” he said, not sure of any such thing as he hit the play button. Except how small the seat of the van seemed. The intro started rolling and she tossed a corner of the blanket over his lap. The title came up on screen.
       “Do you remember the Cinderella Twin Drive-In?” she asked. “I think we saw this movie there before they tore it down.”
       He’d thought about it the minute he hit Play.
       Her thigh brushed his good one and he swallowed hard. To think, he and Teddy used to make fun of guys with minivans.
       She handed over the popcorn. “Make a move and the bunny gets it,” she said, borrowing a line from the movie.
       He’d had the moves back then, all right.

Stay in touch with Rogenna Brewer: www.facebook.com/RogennaBrewer

Purchase HOLIDAY HEROES now!
Kindle | Nook | Kobo | Apple Books

DON’T FORGET: This collection will only be available until January 15th.

Last week’s Q&A was: It’s the middle of November—and Christmas is closer than I think. I’m a complete slacker, but I’m curious: Where are you in your holiday shopping?

  1. Haven’t started.
  2. Started but more to buy (or make).
  3. All done (or almost all done).

Wow! Some of you are serious holiday over-achievers. I bow to you. The rest of us—yes, us—have our work cut out for us. Christmas is now under a month away. Gasp.

My two randomly selected winners this week are:

Teresa Fordice – #3
Amber Hoodoo – #3

(Teresa and Amber congrats. Please email me your pick of either a $5 Starbucks or a $5 Amazon gift card.)


This week’s Q&A: Do you shop Black Friday? Y or N.

I almost never do, but it’s tempting. Those Black Friday prices call to me…but those crowds scare me…good luck, everyone.

(Two winners will be chosen by random drawing to receive either a $5 Starbucks gift card or a $5 Amazon gift card. Please reply the usual ways: email or on my DebraSalonenAuthor Facebook page.)

Thanks for keeping in touch. I love the holiday season and I love writing holiday books. In coming weeks, I’ll be sharing some insider insights from those holiday books—like the one I wrote for my mother.


Next week: Two more awesome snippets from Annie Jones and Barbara McMahon, plus prepare to be wowed by our brunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel.



Copyright © 2019 Debra Salonen