Saturday, November 30, 2013

THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE COLLECTION by Lori Wilde: Review & Excerpt




THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE COLLECTION (The Christmas Cookie Chronicles #1-4)


Release Date for Kindle: December 23, 2013 (out now in paperback)



Synopsis:


The New York Times Bestselling Author ofThe First Love Cookie Clubreturns to Twilight, Texas,with one brand-new story and three stories never before in print!
There's a legend in Twilight, Texas. It says that if on Christmas you sleep with kismet cookies under your pillow and dream of your one true love, he will be your destiny.
Carrie, Raylene, Christine, and Flynn are all members of the Christmas Cookie Club. Each has a story to tell, and each discovers the miracles of the season and the power of love.
Carrie: Reconnects with her high school sweetheart . . .the only man she's ever loved.
Raylene: Discovers that the daughter she gave awayat birth is living right in Twilight . . .
Christine: Has given up on love . . . until the man ofher dreams walks through her shop door.
Grace: It's Christmas Eve and Flynn and Jesse Calloway are thrilled to be expecting a new baby. Then Flynn's car hits a patchof ice, and Jesse must move earth . . . and heaven . . .to save her and their unborn child.


Excerpt:



Down at the Horny Toad Tavern off Highway 377 in Twilight, Texas, Elvis Presley was singing, “Blue Christmas.”
The jukebox music sounded tinny and faraway as it bled through the door into the crisp night air. Weather reports predicted temperatures would slide below freezing by morning, and listeners had been urged to bring in plants and pets. No holiday lights decorated the building as they had in previous years. Other then Elvis’s mournful tune, the establishment gave no hint that Christmas was on the way. Only a few cars sat in the parking lot, sparse for a Saturday night, but most of the hamlet’s denizens were out celebrating the annual Dickens on the Square.
In the thick of darkening shadows from the cedar copse rimming the outskirts of the parking lot, a silent figure in a red suit, long white beard, and shiny black boots waited, watching the back entrance of the tavern, hungry to catch a glimpse of one person in particular.
After an interminable half-hour, shortly before midnight, the rear door to the Horny Toad opened, hinges creaking in the cold and letting out the strain of the Eagles singing “Please Come Home for Christmas.”
The watcher tensed, heart pounding and wind-burned hands fisted inside the pockets of the Santa costume.
A woman appeared. Once upon a time she’d possessed beautiful blond hair, but now it had grown steely gray. The watcher’s breath caught. She had stopped dying her hair.
She carried a black garbage bag, heavy with clanking bottles, and started toward the Dumpster, her movements graceful as always. Years ago she’d been a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader and she’d kept her slender, hourglass figure even into her sixth decade of life. But instead of the mini-skirts she usually favored because she had the most sensational legs of any woman in town no matter what their age, she wore oversized blue jeans and a gray wool sweater with a saggy hem.
The watcher’s tongue moistened parched tips. Wishing. Wishing for so many things. Wishing, but unable to make those dreams come true. You couldn’t turn back the clock, no matter how hard you might try. Redemption was so close and yet so far away.
The garbage bag made a muffled thumping sound when it landed in the Dumpster. The air smelled of juniper and wood smoke. She dusted her hands and turned toward the bar. Her breath came out in frosty puffs. The moonlight caught her face. Her eyes were worn thin, exhausted.
The watcher shifted in the darkness, gut twisting. Don’t go. Stay. Stay so I can see you for just a little while longer. One last time.
She paused and looked out into the darkness, her face a portrait of abject bleakness.
A lump blocked the watcher’s throat.
The woman shook her head, pushed open the door. Roy Orbison was singing “Pretty Paper.” Sad songs. All sad Christmas songs. She stepped inside, the door snapping shut behind her.
A single chilly tear tracked down the watcher’s cheek. Gone. Everything once loved and taken for granted was now forever gone.

Review:


Star Rating: 4 stars

Heat Rating:  Spicy!


Welcome to Twilight, Texas at Christmastime!  If you have never read a Lori Wilde book (you are in for a treat) you don't have to worry about jumping in first with this set of 4 novellas, they are easy to read and get into the series without reading the previous books based in Twilight.  (HERE is the link to other books in this series)

There is something magical about the town of Twilight, Texas and Christmas.  I love reading books in a series that are all connected through a town.  Lori Wilde is a master at telling not only great stories but making the reader really feel a part of the community you they are reading about (I would move to Twilight in a heartbeat).  The Christmas Cookie Collection is 4 novellas all put together to create a great book that will leave you with a warm heart and ready to get started on the Christmas season!

I have been a fan of Lori Wilde for years, she tells stories that pull at your heart and really put the "romance" back into the Adult Romance genre.  Even though this is a collection of novellas they are written in such a way that you feel like you are getting full length novels and one nice journey to Twilight, Texas at Christmas. You get to fall in love 4 times in one book!

If you are a fan of Lori Wilde or even if you have never read her books, I highly recommend this collection to kick off your holiday.  Grab something warm to drink and a get comfy because once you start reading you won't want to stop!



Buy this Book:





Meet the Author:


From the time I realized real people wrote the books I loved so dearly, I wanted to be a writer. Every time I spied a shooting star, every birthday I blew out my candles, every coin I tossed into a fountain, I made this same wish—Please let me be a writer. I was such a dreamer! Luckily, my no-nonsense mama told me if I wanted to create stories, I’d have to sit down, pick up a pen and actually write.
My fledgling effort came when I was eight and wrote a short story about my, as yet unborn, baby sister. That opus went over big with the family, but no publishers came knocking down my door. I penned my first “novel” when I was twelve (okay, so it was only fifty pages and it was a blatant Cady Woodlawn rip-off, but hey, I was only twelve). At sixteen, I wrote a short story for junior English that earned me an A+. Confident that I was the best thing since peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I submitted the story to Alfred Hitchcock magazine and received a handwritten rejection letter encouraging me not to give up. I was devastated, not realizing it was a good rejection letter.
In the meantime, my daddy told me I had to find a way to earn a living and dreaming of being a writer wasn’t going to pay the bills, so at his urging I went to nursing school and became an R.N. I didn’t do much writing in those busy college days, but once I graduated the writing bug came humming around again. Sixty short stories, sixty rejections and many years later, I followed the advice of a writing teacher and tried my hand at a novel. I decided to target category romance because the books were short and I wasn’t so sure I could write anything longer.
My first novel did snag an agent, but it never got published. My second book, however, took the contest circuit by storm and garnered me nineteen awards. I sold Raleigh and the Rancher to Silhouette Romance in 1994. I wrote ten more books for that line under the pseudonym Laura Anthony before I found my real love—comedy. I wrote six books for Harlequin Duets until the line folded (I’m still heartbroken) and I moved on to penning steamy romps for Harlequin’s super sexy Blaze line and romantic adventure comedies for Warner Forever.
I’ve been very, very blessed. The dearest dream I dared to dream all those years ago has come true. Now I’m fortunate to spend my days writing about the transcendent power of love. But none of this would be possible without readers. I want to express to each and every one of you who read and adore books how vital you are to the writing process. Thank you for sharing the fantasy.


Social Media Links:


Twitter: https://twitter.com/loriwilde

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lori-Wilde/126384860719020?