Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop

CI decided to participate again in a blog hop sponsored by Carrie Ann who is fabulous at coordinating these events! This is my second one to do!

How Do I Enter to Win?

First things first! This blog hop has some outstanding prizes you may win, 3 prizes actually. So let’s talk about those and how you can enter to win first before I share a free excerpt from my latest release, The Lady in the Mist, The Western Werewolf Legend.

We have THREE grand prizes.

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet

2nd Grand Prize: A $200 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

(Please Note that Carrie has said some shipping cost on your end may apply for the above prizes.)

How Do I Win?

To enter to win one of these prizes, leave a comment on this blog article and include your email address. Carrie Ann and her volunteers will be stopping by to collect everyone’s entries.

Over 200 Blogs Participating

There will be over 200 Authors/Bloggers participating in this event. If you want to enter more than once you can do so. Actually you can enter over 200 times by posting a comment (with your email) on each blog that is participating in this blog hop. Go to Carrie Ann’s Holiday Gifts of Love page to see a list of ALL THE BLOGS and get started. But first, leave a comment here on my blog article please, after you read on.

Good Luck Everyone!

Merry Christmas!

A Christmas Gone to the Dogs

Perfection is a relative term in our house.  When you have six dogs, perfection can be something as simple as everyone well fed and bedded down.  It can also take the form of a natural alarm system – when everyone decides to bark at the doorbell ringing.  But at Christmas, perfection is enjoying my furry family when the presents Santa has brought are distributed – ah hum – ‘torn into’.  The joy our four-legged family shares with their humans is the best present we could ask for.  My wish for you this holiday season is a little warmth, peace and a furry paw to reach out and say, “I love you!”

I’d like to share an excerpt from The Lady in the Mist, The Western Werewolf Legend.  Tyler Loflin finds himself in a strange room and must defend himself without the benefit of clothing.  What follows is his first meeting with the woman who saved him since that horrible night…

The sun shone brightly through the leaded glass in a jagged pattern.  Reflecting in the quilt, the light shifted with each ripple in the fabric.  Birds sang outside the window.  Ty rolled to his side and moved to sit up on an elbow.  When he did, a white-hot pain shot through his thigh before traveling down his leg.  Fighting to take a breath, he collapsed back on the pillow and let out a muffled groan.  Again, he tried to rise, this time with more caution.  Still the action had hot needles stabbing him through to the bone.  Sweat immediately popped out on his forehead.  Reaching up to wipe his temple, he discovered a large bandage covered his eye and most of his scalp.

“This be a fine kettle of fish you’ve gone and gotten yourself into there, Boyo.”  Maggie McVey’s Irish voice rang clear in the small confines of the room.  The housekeeper’s colorful cliche held truth in every word, but Ty didn’t have to search the room to know the woman wasn’t there.  The phenomenon wasn’t new either.  Maggie’s voice would come to him at the strangest times.  Perhaps she was his voice of reason in a world gone mad.  “If you only knew, old girl, if you only knew,” he murmured to the empty room.

The sounds of pots rattling came from beyond the room’s only door.  Ty struggled against the pain to sit up.  Where were his clothes?  His weapons?  The room looked no bigger than a small porch.  He wiped at the perspiration on his forehead.  Trembling with the effort to remain upright, he lay back on the cool sheet.  The noise stilled and he took another look around the tiny room.  He lay naked down to his waist and when he raised the sheet to make sure both legs were still there, he found he was without clothing period.  An oath left his mouth as he searched around the room again for any sign of his dirt-encrusted uniform.  He spied his cavalry hat hanging over the back of the only other piece of furniture in the cubbyhole, a chair.

He had to admit, the situation proved better than he’d expected.  The Great Spirit must’ve seen some benefit to keep him alive, seeing as how the last recollection he had before passing out was a young woman attempting to help a dying man.  The pain in his thigh reminded him he still had a leg and his thigh felt cool to the touch.  No infection!  Ty breathed a sigh of relief.  Besides his head wrap, a white bandage bound his ribs securely.

Fatigued already, Ty closed his eyes to consider what he would do now.  Where he was and how he’d gotten there remained a mystery, but he still lived, which was as much of a surprise as he could stand at the moment.

Again the sounds of cooking came from the other room.  Ty could hear one person moving about and the footsteps sounded light.  A woman perhaps.  The idea gave him some comfort.  He doubted he could have defended himself against an attacker.

How long had he been out?  What about his men?  Were there survivors?  He bore down on the memories as they came rushing back.  He definitely had unfinished business with some Yankees.  The enemy had laid in wait for the Rebels.  How did they know his men would be coming through that particular spot?  Responsibility weighed heavy as he went over the scene in his mind.  His men were dead before any of them could retaliate.  Deep in grief, Ty’s head came up when a soft squeak of the door hinge alerted him to an intruder.

Caught off guard, Ty flung the sheet back to meet his foe.  Reaching for the tin basin on the nightstand, he drug himself up by the four poster’s simple wooden support.  He stood, though precariously on one foot.  Brandishing the tin pan as a weapon, he readied for an attack.

A slender blonde-haired woman stood framed by the doorway.  The petite woman stared wide-eyed at his actions.

Ty tried to square his stance, but his injured limb sang out with white-hot shards of pain. He sucked in air while reaching for anything to hold onto.

The soft female form rushed forward to support him.  She was no bigger than a hummingbird, he mused, yet she managed to right him easily enough.  Her warm flesh pressed against his, sending the scent of her rushing through his already battered senses.  Unable to stop himself, Ty groaned aloud.  He allowed her to ease him back onto the mattress, but found no words to use in appreciation.

Watching her, Ty considered he’d have been no more dumbstruck than if he’d been hit up beside the head with an iron skillet.  She was a vision.  The first wave of lust eased enough, so he focused on a soft cap of her curls the color of warm honey.  Her scent reminded him of a wooded glade, all earthy and natural, yet all woman.  He couldn’t help but breathe her in. The young nymph settled him on the edge of the bed once more before taking serious stock of the situation.

“You’re much too weak to be trying to get out of bed, sir.  Here, let me see you settled.  I have some broth that will help you get your strength back.  I’ll fetch a bowl for you.  But, you must lay back now.”  Her tone brooked no argument.  Her voice floated through his brain like an elixir.

She had the voice of an angel.  Ty could only stare.  Her eyes were the color of a doe’s with a lovely almond shape.  They gravitated to his body. Her stare branded him with a heat the likes of which he’d never experienced. .  He’d never been so undone.  “Are you real?”  The question came out stilted and broken.

The woman blinked at his question.  “Of course I’m real.”  She inclined her head in his direction.  “So are you.”

Hypnotic and intoxicating in the same breath, he mused.  The Great One did have a sense of humor — what a cruel trick to play on an injured man.

Naked before her proved bad enough, but growing aroused in the presence of a lady did not a gentleman make.  Ty chided his muddled brain to do something!  Flicking a hesitant glance down, he said, “My apologies, ma’am.  I’m not decent.”  When he tried to right the situation, his injured arm balked and retaliated with more needles singing up his shoulder.

The young nymph stepped closer, deftly pushing him back onto the bed.  With a practiced hand, she lifted his legs and gently settled him more comfortably on the mattress.  Ty watched as she steered him further back into the pillows she plumped behind his shoulders.  Soon, the errant sheet covered him to the waist with a blanket added for good measure.  The slender, golden-haired nymph continued to busy herself by tidying the room.  She seemed unaffected by his naked body as if she’d seen a man before.  Of course, with the war on, she’d most probably tended countless Yankees in an effort to do what she could.  Had she tended him? He didn’t know whether to be encouraged or disappointed by her reaction.  Because, he, on the other hand seemed lost in her mere presence with no desire for rescue.

“There.”  Satisfied, she took a step back to survey her handiwork.  Giving him a stern frown, she explained, “I won’t be able to help you if you continue to attempt to undo my work, sir.  Lay back and let me take care of getting you back on your feet.”  She continued to watch him with a studied eye.  “ You’ve had quite a blow to the head.  There are several injuries, which required stitches.  If I hadn’t happened along, you most certainly would’ve died from your leg wound.”

Ty’s good eye tracked the movement of her hand as her slender fingers shot out to stop him from reaching out to touch his injured shoulder.  “Leave the wound alone.  I understand they itch, but don’t pick at your stitches.  The dressing is fresh, so if you continue to badger the area, you’ll have the wound bleeding again.”

“Who are you?”  Ty’s question held fascinated curiosity.

“My name is Sonja.”  The young woman’s hands dropped to her apron.  In an absent gesture, she smoothed the fabric before adding politely but firmly. “Mrs. Sonja Brooks.”  Without waiting for a reply, she headed for the door.  “Give me a minute.  I’ll bring you a bowl of broth.”

Watching her slim back disappear out the door, Ty relaxed back on the bed.  “Mrs. Sonja Brooks.”  He mumbled her name as he considered the fact she was married.  Such a petite thing, slender in all the right places and round where a man’s hand could rest easy, Sonja Brooks could move a man to do dishonorable things.  Ty found the idea disquieting, but to his liking.

The mounting questions as well as their answers stalled out though as she appeared once more with a tray containing the broth along with a tall glass filled with what looked to Ty like some sort of vegetable juice.  Its dark red color resembled tomatoes.  A basket filled with bread completed the offering.  Ty’s mouth watered.  For the life of him, he couldn’t find his tongue.  Mumbling his thanks, he picked up the spoon.  Intent on downing the meal in haste, he paused when she stopped inside the door.

“Take your time, sir.  There’s plenty.  I’m glad to see you have an appetite.

How long had it been since he’d eaten?  Vague memories of hardtack wafted through his head along with chickaree coffee brewing over a low campfire.  The taste of the broth and bread forced out all memories of his past hunger.  The food surely tasted good!  Ty couldn’t help the low groan which left his lips when he could see the bottom of the bowl.

With a swipe of his good arm across his mouth, he tried to voice his appreciation.  “That was delicious, ma’am.  Thank you for your generosity.”  Hesitating, he glanced back at the empty glass before asking, “Did the juice come from your garden?  I’ve never had any like that before.”

“Ox blood which will give you strength.”

“Ox blood?” Ty couldn’t help the quizzical expression, which crossed his face.  Even his Choctaw mother had never offered him anything remotely similar.

Those doe eyes tracked his reaction with a slight quirk to the corner of her mouth.  The hairs on his nape prickled with the reply she shared with him.  When telltale color rose in her cheeks, Ty suspected the explanation held more than she acknowledged with words.

***

If you enjoyed this excerpt, please check out my FREE sample.  Click here to download it.  Also The Lady in the Mist (The Western Werewolf’s Legend #1) contains more of Sonja and Ty’s story for you to enjoy.

Share a comment and be sure to include your email address.

Enjoy the blog hop today! It runs through Dec. 17th and be sure to visit all the blogs participating and leave a comment on their article to enter to win!

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45 thoughts on “Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop

Add yours

    1. We’ve got 4 dogs & 2 cats who love to empty their stockings of treats too! Merry Xmas to you & yours, and Thank you for this giveaway chance! I’m new to these Blogs, but I did enjoy your excerpt & plan to checkout these future BlogHops!

  1. Merry Christmas Catherine…..I’m sorry I have not read your book yet but I do have it downloaded. This season has me swamped but I’m planning on starting it at the beginning of January…..I’ve heard great things about it and I’m excited to start it.

  2. thank you for the excerpt and the opportunity! Christmas fun with furry creatures is always more interesting – especially when they have fun with the tree!

    all the best to you and yours in this holiday season

    glhince at gmail DOT com

  3. Great excerpt.
    This year christmas has been a little bleh. My husband lost his uncle a couple days back and then teh shooting. But I try to keep the spirit for my sons

    Raonaid at gmail dot com

  4. Loved your post i have two rotten dogs (Zelda and Eddie) who think they are lap dogs even though they are huge heffers plus two evil boys and hubby… Merry Christmas and happy holidays

  5. One of my favorite Christmas Romance Books is The Untamable Rogue by Annette Blair! The story is about Ashford Blackburne Fifth Earl and he has to get married and get his willing bride pregnant before Christmas or his grandfather won’t let him inherit his money. Ash truly needs to inherit the money because his late father squandered it all away and he is taking care of his mother. After getting stood up at the alter, again, Ash and his friends go to the local pub where the owner plays a drunken Ash in a card game…his consolation prize is the pubs daughter Larkin, who he wants to get ride of. Ash has to learn to forgive…Larkin has to learn how to trust…can two completely different people find love together. This is a cute, extremely funny, romantic story with a surprise Christmas ending!

    Angelheart618@gmail.com

  6. What an awesome hop!! And a fantastic giveaway! Thank you!! Happy holidays to you all! Best wishes and many blessings!
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. What an awesome hop!! And a fantastic giveaway! Thank you!! My favorite Christmas movie is Christmas Vacation! 🙂 Happy holidays to you all! Best wishes and many blessings!
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

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