Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ho Ho Ho Harlequin Holiday Extravaganza - Sarah Morgan - Maybe This Christmas *Giveaway*





Please make welcome one of my all time favorite authors Sarah Morgan, she's here today to talk about her latest and last O'Neil Brothers trilogy, Maybe This Christmas and one of her favorite Christmas recipes that the O'Neil brother's mother Elizabeth makes in the novels.
Plus as if that's not enough she's generously offering one lucky entrant a print copy of Maybe This Christmas, open Internationally!! Giveaway details below.
Wow thanks Sarah and take it away!!!




  • ISBN-13: 9780373778980
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 10/28/2014
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
 


OVERVIEW:
This winter, ex-skiing champion, reformed heartbreaker and single dad Tyler O'Neil has only one mission—making sure his daughter, Jess, has the best Christmas ever. The fact that his best friend, Brenna, is also temporarily moving into his chalet at the overbooked Snow Crystal resort is a delicious distraction he's simply going to have to ignore. Theirs is the one relationship he's never ruined, and he's not about to start now.

Check out the cool UK cover 


Giveaway OPEN INTERNATIONALLY
is one print copy of Maybe This Christmas
please use Rafflecopter form below
Thanks Sarah!!
Good Luck!!
and Happy Holidays!!



Read an Excerpt:

Tyler O'Neil stomped the snow off his boots, pushed open the door of his lakeside home and tripped over a pair of boots and a jacket abandoned in the hallway.
Slamming his hand against the wall, he regained his balance and cursed. "Jess?" There was no response from his daughter, but Ash and Luna, his two Siberian huskies, bounded out of the living room. Cursing under his breath, he watched in exasperation as both dogs cannoned toward him. "Jess? You left the door to the living room open again. The dogs aren't supposed to be in there. Come down here right now and pick up your coat and boots! Do not jump up—I'm warning you—" He braced himself as Ash sprang. "Why does no one listen to me around here?"
Luna, the more gentle of the two dogs, put her paws on his chest and tried to lick his face.
"Nice to know my word is law." But Tyler rubbed her ears gently, burying his fingers in her thick fur as Jess emerged from the kitchen, a piece of toast in one hand and her phone in the other, head nodding in time to music as she pushed headphones away from her ears. She was wearing one of his sweaters, and the gold medal he'd won for the downhill dangled around her neck.
"Hi, Dad. How was your day?"
"I made it through alive until I stepped through my own front door. I've skied off cliffs safer than our hallway." Glowering at her, Tyler pushed the ecstatic dogs away and nudged the abandoned snow boots to one side with his foot. "Pick those up. And leave your boots on the porch from now on. You shouldn't be wearing them indoors."
Still chewing, Jess stared at his feet. "You're wearing your boots indoors."
Not for the first time, Tyler reflected on the challenges of parenting. "New rule. I'll leave mine outside, too. That way we don't get snow in the house. And hang your coat up instead of dropping it over any convenient surface."
"You drop yours."
Holy hell. "I'm hanging it up. Watch me." He shrugged out of his jacket and hung it up with exaggerated purpose. "And turn the music down. That way you'll be able to hear me when I'm yelling at you."
She grinned, unabashed. "I turn it up so I can't hear you yelling at me. Grandma just sent me a text all in capitals. You need to teach her how to use her phone."
"You're the teenager. You teach her."
"She texted me in capitals all last week, and the week before that she kept dialing Uncle Jackson by accident."
Tyler, entertained by the thought of his business-focused brother being driven insane by calls from their mother in the middle of his working day, grinned back. "I bet he loved that. So what did she want?"
"She was inviting me to come over when you're at the team meeting at the Outdoor Center. I'm going to help her cook." She took another bite of toast. "It's family night tonight. Everyone is coming, even Uncle Sean. Had you forgotten?"
Tyler groaned. "Team meeting and Fright Night? Whose idea was that?"
"Grandma's. She worries about me, because I live with you, and the only thing that never runs out in our fridge is beer. And you're not supposed to call it Fright Night. Can I come to the team meeting?"
"You would hate every moment."
"I wouldn't! I love being part of a family business. The way you feel about meetings is the way I feel about school. Being trapped indoors is a waste of time when there's all that snow out there. But at least you get to ski all day. I'm stuck to a hard chair trying to understand math. Pity me." She finished the toast, and Tyler frowned as crumbs fell on the floor.
Ash pounced on them with enthusiasm.
"You're the reason the fridge is empty. You're always eating. If I'd known you were going to eat this much, I never would have let you live with me. You're costing me a fortune."
The fact his joke made her laugh told him how far they'd come in the year they'd been living together.
"Grandma says if I wasn't living with you, you'd drown in your own mess."
"You're the one dropping the crumbs. You should use a plate."
"You never use a plate. You're always dropping crumbs on the floor."
"You don't have to do everything I do."
"You're the grown-up. I'm following your example."
The thought was enough to bring him out in a cold sweat. "Don't. You should do the opposite of everything I have ever done." He watched as Jess bent to make a fuss of Luna, and the medal around her neck swung forward, almost hitting the dog on the nose. "Why are you wearing that?"
"It motivates me. And I like the example you set. You're the coolest dad on the planet. And you're fun to live with. Especially when you're trying to behave."
"Trying to—" Tyler dragged his gaze from the medal that was a painful reminder of his old life. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"I mean I like living here. You don't worry about the same stuff as most grown-ups."
"I'm probably supposed to." Tyler ran his hand over the back of his neck. "I have a new respect for your grandmother. How did Mom raise three boys without strangling us?"
"Grandma would never strangle anyone. She's patient and kind."
"Yeah, right. Unfortunately for you, I'm not, and I'm the one raising you now." The reality of that still terrified him more than anything he'd faced on the downhill ski circuit. If he messed this up, the consequences would be worse than a damaged leg and a shattered career. "So have you finished your assignment?"
"No. I started, but I got distracted watching the recording of your downhill in Beaver Creek. Come and watch it with me."
He'd rather poke himself in the eye with a ski pole.
"Maybe later. I had a call from your teacher." Casually, he changed the subject. "You didn't hand in your assignment on Monday."
"Luna ate it."
"Sure she did. You are allowed one late assignment in each trimester. You've already had two."
"Weren't you ever late handing in assignments?"
All the time.
Wondering why anyone would choose to have more than one kid when being a parent was this hard, Tyler tried a different approach. "If you have five late assignments, you'll be staying late at homework club. That cuts into your skiing time."
That wiped the smile from her face. "I'll get it done."
"Good decision. And next time, finish your homework before you watch TV."
"I wasn't watching TV. I was watching you. I want to understand your technique. You were the best. I'm going to ski every spare minute this winter." She closed her hand around the medal, making it sound like a vow. "Will you be at race training tomorrow? You said you'd try to be there."
Floored by that undiluted adoration, Tyler looked into his daughter's eyes and saw the same passion that burned in his own.
He thought of all the jobs that were piling up at Snow Crystal. Jobs that needed his attention. Then he thought about the years he'd missed out on being with his daughter. "I'll be there." He strolled through to his recently renovated kitchen, cursing under his breath as cold seeped through his socks. "Jess, you've been dripping snow through the whole house. It's like wading through a river."
"That was Luna. She rolled in a snowdrift and then shook herself."
"Next time she can shake herself outside our house."
"I didn't want her to get cold." Watching him, Jess pushed her hair behind her ear. "You called itour house."
"She's a dog, Jess! She has thick fur. She doesn't get cold. And of course I called it our house. What else would I call it? We both live here, and right now there's no chance of me forgetting that!" He stepped over another patch of water. "I've spent the past couple of years renovating this place, and I still feel as if I need to wear my boots indoors."
"I love Ash and Luna. They're family. I never had a dog in Chicago. Mom hated mess. We never had a real Christmas tree, either. She hated those because she had to pick up the needles."
Tension and irritation fled. The mention of Jess's mother made Tyler feel as if someone had stuffed snow down his neck. Suddenly, it wasn't only his feet that were cold.
He clamped his mouth down on the comment that wanted to leave his lips. The truth was that Janet Carpenter had hated just about everything. She'd hated Vermont, she'd hated living so far from a city, she'd hated skiing. Most of all, she'd hated him. But his family had made it a rule not to say a bad word about Janet in front of Jess, and he stuck to that rule even when the strain of it brought him close to bursting. "We'll have a real tree this year. We'll take a trip into the forest and choose one together." Aware that he might be overcompensating, he reverted back to his normal self. "And I'm glad you love the dogs, but that doesn't change the fact you should keep the damn living room door closed when they're in the house. This place is no longer a construction site. The new rule is no dogs on sofas or on beds."
"I think Luna prefers the old rules." Her eyes sparkled with mischief. "And you're not supposed to say damn. Grams hates it when you swear."
Tyler kept his jaw tightened. "Well, Grams isn't here, is she?" His grandmother and grandfather still lived at the resort, in the converted sugarhouse that had once been the hub of Snow Crystal's maple syrup production. "And if you tell her, I'll throw you on your butt in the snow, and you'll be wetter than Luna. Now go and finish your assignment or I'll get the bad parent award, and I'm not prepared to climb onto the podium to collect that one."
Jess beamed. "If I promise to hand in my assignment and not tell anyone you swear, can we watch skiing together in your den later?"
"You should ask Brenna. She's a gifted teacher." He was about to reach for a beer when he remembered he was supposed to be setting an example, so poured himself a glass of milk instead. Since Jess had moved in, he'd disciplined himself not to drink from the carton. "She'll tell you what everyone is doing wrong."
"She's already promised to help me now I've made the school ski team. Have you seen her in the gym? She has sick abs."
"Yeah, I've seen her." And he didn't let himself think about her abs.
He didn't let himself think about any part of her.
She was his best friend, and she was staying that way.
To take his mind off the thought of Brenna's abs, he stuck his head back in the fridge. "This fridge is empty."
"Kayla's giving me a lift into the village later so I'll pick something up." Her phone beeped, and she dug it out of her pocket. "Oh—"
Tyler pushed the door shut with his shoulder and then caught sight of her expression. "What's wrong?"
"Kayla texted to say she's tied up with work, that's all."
"Sounds painful. Never mind. I'll go to the store tomorrow."
Jess stared at her phone. "I need to go now."
"Why? We both hate shopping. It can wait."
"This can't wait." Her head was down, but he saw color streak across her cheekbones.
"Is this about Christmas? Because it's not for another couple of weeks. We still have plenty of time. Most of my shopping gets done at three o'clock on Christmas Eve."
"It's not about Christmas! Dad, I need—" she broke off, her face scarlet "—some things from the store, that's all."
"What can you possibly need that can't wait until tomorrow?"
"Girl stuff, okay? I need girl stuff!" Snapping at him, she spun on her heel and stalked out of the room leaving Tyler staring after her, trying to understand the reason for the sudden mood explosion.
Girl stuff?
It took him a moment, and then he closed his eyes briefly and swore under his breath.
Girl stuff.
Comprehension came along with a moment of pure panic. Nothing in his past life had prepared him to raise a teenager. Especially not a teenage girl.
When had she—?
He glanced toward the door, knowing he had to say something, but clueless as to the most sensitive way to broach a topic that embarrassed the hell out of both of them.
Could he ignore it?
Tell her to search the internet?
He ran his hand over his face and cursed under his breath, knowing he couldn't ignore it or leave something that important to a search engine.
It wasn't as if she had her mother to ask. He was the only parent in her life. And right now she was probably thinking that was a raw deal.
"Jess!" He yelled after her, and when there was no response, he strode out of the kitchen and found her tugging her boots on in the hall. "Get in the car. I'll take you to the store."
"Forget it." Her voice was muffled, her hair falling forward over her face. "I'm going to walk over to the house and ask Grandma to drive me."
"Grandma hates driving in the snow and the dark. I'll take you." His voice was rougher than he intended, and he stretched out a hand to touch her shoulder and then pulled it back. To hug or not to hug? He had no idea. "I was going to the store anyway."
"You were going tomorrow, not today."
"Well, now I'm going today." He grabbed his coat. "Come on. We'll pick up some of that chocolate you like."
Still not looking at him, she fiddled with her boots, and he sighed, wishing for the hundredth time that teenage girls came with an operating manual.
"Jess, it's all good."
"It's not good," she muttered in a strangled tone, "it's like a massive avalanche of awkward! You're thinking this is your worst nightmare."
"I'm not thinking that." He gripped the door handle. "I'm thinking I'm messing it up. I'm saying the wrong things and making you feel uncomfortable, which is not my intention."
She peeped at him through her hair. "You're wishing I'd never come to live here."
He'd thought they'd got past that. The insecurity.
Those creeping, confidenceeroding doubts that had eaten away at her happiness. "I'm not wishing that."
"Mom told me she wished I'd never been born."
Tyler zipped up his jacket viciously, almost removing a finger in the process. "She didn't mean that." He dragged open the door, grateful for the blast of freezing air to cool his temper.
"Yes, she did." Jess mumbled the words. "She told me I was the worst thing that ever happened to her."
"Well, I've never thought that. Not once. Not even when my socks are wet because you've let the dogs drag snow into the house."
"You didn't sign up for any of this." Her voice faltered, and the uncertainty in her eyes made him want to punch a hole through something.
"I tried to. I asked your mom to marry me."
"I know. She said no because she thought you'd be a useless father. I heard her telling my stepdad. She said you were irresponsible."
Tyler felt the emotion rush at him. "Yeah, well, that may be true, but it doesn't change the fact I wanted you, Jess, right from the start. And when your mother wouldn't agree to marry me, I tried other ways of having you live here with us. Why the hell are we talking about this now?"
"Because it's the truth. I was a mistake." Jess gave a tiny shrug as if it didn't matter, and because he knew how much it mattered, he hesitated, knowing that the way he responded was vitally important to the way she felt about this whole situation.
"We didn't exactly plan to have you, that's true. I'm not going to lie about that, but you can't plan every single thing that happens in life. People think they can.
They think they can control things and then whoosh—something happens that proves you're not as in control as you think. And sometimes it's the things you don't plan that turn out best."
"I wasn't one of those things. Mom told me I was the biggest mistake of her life."
His hands clenched into fists and he had to force himself to stay calm. "She was probably upset or tired."
"It was the time I snowboarded down the stairs."



Sarah Hello dear friend, welcome back to The Reading Frenzy!
Tell us all a bit about Maybe This Christmas.
Thank you so much for having me back Deb. I’m thrilled to be here.
Maybe this Christmas is the third book in my O’Neil Brothers trilogy (but each book stands alone) and it’s a friends to lovers story. Tyler O’Neil and Brenna Daniels have been friends since childhood. They grew up skiing the same slopes in the beautiful mountains around Snow Crystal, Vermont, where Tyler’s family owns a ski resort.  Brenna is Tyler’s best friend. Tyler is the only man Brenna has ever loved. She thinks his feelings for her don’t go beyond friendship but when a flurry of snow brings visitors flocking to the resort, she is forced to move in with him and suddenly everything changes. It’s a story of friendship, love and family set against the snowy winter wonderland of Vermont.

Okay you can be honest who out of all three brothers was your favorite?
When I’m writing characters they become very real to me. So real that I almost add them to my Christmas card list every year. Each O’Neil brother is different and has their own strengths and weaknesses but they all possess the basic qualities that I look for in a hero. Strength, loyalty, kindness and a belief in the importance of family. I honestly love them all equally. I love Jackson’s solid dependability, Sean’s dedication to his work as a doctor and Tyler’s wicked humour.

How hard was it leaving Vermont and the O’Neils?
It was very hard. I love those characters and I love the place. Although their stories are told, I wouldn’t rule out returning to the snowy forests of Vermont in the future and exploring more characters (I do love Josh!), but I have no specific plans and I’m deep into a new project at the moment so that’s exciting.
Sarah this was your first connected full-length novel series.
How did this process differ from your previous series romance novels?
Series books are half the length and there is a tight focus on the couple and their relationship. With that format and word count there isn’t room to explore the characters in the wider world. Readers who have moved with me from series to novels will know that while I love writing those short, intense romances, I also love exploring a character’s relationship to family and friends. There is room in a novel for more characters and observing how the hero and heroine interact with other people is an important part of showing the reader who they really are.
It’s a bit like looking through the lens of a camera – a series book is a close up shot, head and shoulders of the couple. A novel is a wide angle shot, showing how the couple fits into the world around them. I’m lucky to be able to write both! 

Sarah I know you have already started a new trilogy and the debut is due out in March 2015.
Can you give us a preview and how the books connect?
My new series is about three close friends, Brittany, Emily and Skylar. Friendship has always been very important to me and I wanted to explore how friends support each other through the ups and downs of life, and obviously romance is a big part of that! The series is called Puffin Island and is set on a fictitious island off the beautiful Maine coast. It has all the elements I love so much. A warm, close community, beautiful scenery, sexy men and strong women. The first book is called First Time in Forever and will be out in March.

Okay tell us what you’re reading right now.
I’m reading The Glass Kitchen, by Linda Francis Lee, a wonderful book about sisters (and also food, so I’m permanently hungry). Next up is Born to be Bad by Carol Marinelli. I love Carol’s books.

Sarah tell us a little about Christmas in the UK.
It’s traditional for children to put out a stocking on Christmas Eve in the hope that ‘Santa’ will fill it – my children still do it even though they’re teenagers. When they were young, my husband used to make a dusty footprint on the fireplace to make it look as if Santa had paid a visit J
We don’t have Thanksgiving, so turkey is a big part of our traditional Christmas meal, and it’s often a time for families to gather and spend time together and share gifts.

Is there a special holiday tradition you observe each year?
We love choosing the tree. We go to the forest near our home and the boys and I will pick out a large, towering tree until my husband points out it’s too big for the house and then we compromise! We take it home and decorate it together. Some of the decorations we use were homemade when they boys were little.

What about a favorite Christmas recipe you could share with us?
One of my favorite Christmas recipes are the cinnamon biscuits that Elizabeth O’Neil makes at holiday time.

CINNAMON STARS

            225g plain flour (2 cups)
            175g soft brown sugar (3/4 cup)
            1 egg (beaten)
            1 level teaspoon ground ginger
            1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon (more if you prefer!)
            100g butter (1 stick/half a cup)

            Mix the spices with the flour and sift into a bowl (try not to miss the bowl and sift it over the dog as Kayla does in my book).
            If making by hand, rub in butter then add sugar and egg and knead into it forms a ball of biscuit dough. (If using food processor just put all the ingredients together and blend, adding the egg last).
            Place dough in fridge (I put it into a freezer bag) to chill for 20 mins.
            Remove from fridge, sprinkle flour and roll dough quite thinly and cut into shapes.
            Arrange on lightly greased baking trays.
            Cook for 15 mins in pre-heated oven (190 C, 375 F, Gas 5).
            Place on cooling rack (nowhere near dog or anyone with surname O’Neil!).
            Eat.
            Eat more.

Sarah thanks so much for being a part of my HO HO HO Harlequin December Extravaganza. I hope your and your family have a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years!!
Thank you so much for having me Deb, and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, your family and everyone joining us here!


Connect with Sarah - Website - Facebook - Twitter- Goodreads


MEET THE AUTHOR:
USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes lively, sexy contemporary stories for Harlequin.
Romantic Times has described her as 'a magician with words' and nominated her books for their Reviewer's Choice Awards and their 'Top Pick' slot. In 2012 Sarah received the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America. She lives near London with her family. Find out more at www.sararahmorgan.co




This is where Sarah writes:

Here's an article about her new writing pad, courtesy of Novelishious



 

Check out this where Sarah talks Hot Dads in
RTs November Magazine Issue
Click HERE for the on-line article 
 

 My review of Maybe This Christmas courtesy RT magazine


MAYBE THIS CHRISTMAS
Author(s): Sarah Morgan
Morgan’s friends-to-lovers romance is intense and insightful with a healthy dose of heartbreak between her rakish hero and always sidelined heroine. Her expressive narrative deliciously delivers the Christmas in Vermont delights, while her emotional character chats and teen angst filled co-star rocks!
Former Olympic gold medal skier and playboy/bachelor Tyler O’Neil has experienced cataclysmic life-changes; from his career-ending accident to the unexpected but delightful arrival of his teenage daughter. But the one constant has always been his best friend, Brenna. When she begins starring in his X-rated daydreams, he comes unglued. Brenna Daniels has been in love with her steadfast but bad-boy BFF forever. Maybe this Christmas he will finally return her feelings. But is the possible fallout worth turning from forever friends to forever loves? (HQN, Nov., 384 pp., $7.99)
Reviewed by: 
Debbie Haupt
- See more at: http://www.rtbookreviews.com/book-review/maybe-christmas-0#sthash.gzfIKLbO.dpuf





a Rafflecopter giveaway



Today's Gonereading item is:
New and Notable items
Click HERE for the buy page






31 comments:

  1. As a reader it is hard to say goodbye to characters that you love, I couldn't even imagine what it would be like for an author.

    Wonderful interview Debbie, I just love her books.

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    1. Hi Kindlemom, so happy you love my books. It's SO HARD to leave the O'Neils but in my head I'm not sure I've really left them - I may have to pay another flying visit :) xxxx

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  2. Love Morgan and this series was fantastic..I cannot wait for Puffin Island in March :)

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    1. Me either, In fact I have the first one ;)

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    2. Hi Kimba, I'm so happy you loved the series. I'm excited for you to read Puffin Island too! Just starting the third book and it's a snowy, festive story with lots of emotion :) Happy Holidays to you and yours xxx

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  3. So good to be back here Debbie! Thank you for having me xxxxx

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    1. Sarah you are always welcome as long as you bring a yummy hero or two ;)

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  4. Love this trilogy and Christmas books!

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    1. Hi Jennifer! So happy to hear you enjoyed the O'Neil Brothers series :) I love Christmas books too! Happy Holidays to you and yours xx

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    2. Hi Jennifer me too!!
      Thanks for the visit!

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  5. loved this series and hate to see it end! I will be waiting for anything you write to become available!

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    1. Thanks Pamela, what a lovely thing to say! So happy you enjoyed the O'Neils and hoping you'll fall in love with my new Puffin Island series. Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season. xx

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    2. Hi Pamela, I'm chomping at the bit too to get to the new Puffin Island series
      Thanks for commenting!

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  6. Oh my gosh. Can I have a cinnamon star please?! lol I can't wait to try out Sarah's books :) They look so good!

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    1. Oh Anna, talk about Man Candy these boys are right up your peck and abs alley ;)
      Thanks for stopping by!!

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    2. Anna, the cinnamon stars are delicious! I hope you enjoy the holidays and find plenty of good reading :)

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  7. Christmas books are my favorite. I can read them on my reader all year long and no one can judge me for trying to grab abit of that holiday spirit year round.

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    1. Good for you Judith, now that's what i call the Holiday Spirit!!
      Good Luck!

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    2. I love Christmas books all the year round too Judith! Wishing you a happy holiday season :)

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  8. Thanks for the giveaway Debbie! I can't believe I've never read anything by this author. I think is time to change that,
    Her book sound delightful :)

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    1. Thanks Loupe :) Hope you find some sparkly reading this holiday season x

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  9. I love Christmas books! The only Christmas movie I watch every year is It's a Wonderful Life.

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    1. Rachel I LOVE that Christmas movie, but I have to admit I'm a sucker for most of them even A Christmas Story :), My sister even has a leg lamp that she puts out at Christmas time ;)
      Thanks for commenting and Good Luck!

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  10. Great interview, ladies! I love Christmas books, they just make me happy to read them! Thanks for the chance to win Sarah's book!

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    1. Thanks for the comment Anita, I feel the same way about holiday reads and movies too!
      Good Luck!

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  11. I love both, it's hard to pick one over the other. But I'd go with books because there's so many more of them! I love reading Christmas stories year round :) Huge fan of Sarah's so thanks for the chance to win!!!

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    1. Ada, thank you for commenting and Good Luck!! ;)

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  12. It's hard to pick a movie over a book, but this time of year, I can do other things like wrap/cards etc while watching. I love the holiday novels though, and look forward to discovering new ones each year.

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