Take a Sneak Peak at HE TAKES THE CAKE

Can you believe it’s less than a week until HE TAKES THE CAKE hits Kindles? I know I’m excited for the latest, and final, installment in my Sweet Somethings series.

Keep an eye here on the blog, as well as my socials, for an announcement this weekend about my Release Day Giveaway and Facebook event, as well as a “Meet the Main Characters” post that will pop up Monday or Tuesday.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peak at a sample chapter.

Preparation

On a Sunday evening a month later, packing checklist in hand, I stand over the open suitcase on my bed and mentally run through the itinerary for the convention.

“Do you think I should bring anything else?” I ask Carmella, who sits on the accent chair in the corner, flipping through the organizational packet I got in the mail last week.

“Maybe another cocktail dress,” she says, frowning at the last page of the printed schedule. “The dark green one you splurged on after you finished your ACF coursework would look awesome with those copper highlights you just had done, and it complements the mahogany tones of your skin so well. You should wear it to the soiree.”

I brush my palm over my hair. The highlights were a last-minute idea. There are two semi-formal receptions I’ll probably attend over the next week, and I love how highlights look when I style my hair into chunkier, relaxed curls instead of leaving the tight, corkscrew ringlets that form when I let it go natural.

Approving the clothing suggestion, I cross to my closet and pull out the green dress. After carefully folding it, I cast a sidelong glance at Carmella. “If anything happens while I’m gone, anything at all, make sure you call me. Okay?”

“You do realize I have at least a month before my due date, and you’ll be back well before then. But yeah, I promise.” She flips open the convention booklet that arrived on Friday. “Did you get to proof your bio before they printed this?”

“No. I just copied and pasted from the bakery’s website, so it’s short and sweet.”

Carmella glances up. “The website doesn’t have anything about your new ACF credentials.”

I shrug and focus on shifting the contents of my suitcase so the green dress doesn’t get crushed. “It’s not a big deal. They’ll probably ask for something more inclusive to use at the panel discussion.”

“I’ll remind Lily to update your bio while you’re gone.” The booklet pages make a slight fwip sound as she flips to a different section. Then she gasps. “Tess!”

“What?” I spin, a pair of running socks in each hand.

“Did you see this? The final list of featured presenters?” Carmella turns the booklet and holds it up. A look of surprise etches itself on her face. “You must have.”

When I realize what pages she’s showing me, my stomach twists. I hide the accompanying grimace by shoving the socks into a side pocket of my suitcase. “Yeah, I saw it. So what?”

“What do you mean, so what?”

She stands and comes to my side, laying the open booklet across the suitcase and jabbing her finger at a bio at the bottom of the right-hand page. A small headshot, of a handsome black man in his early thirties, accompanies the short paragraph. He’s smiling—no, smirking—at the camera.

Tyler Brinks.

The man I told in no uncertain terms about seven and a half years ago that I never wanted to lay eyes on him again.

Who, exactly, is Tyler Brinks, and why doesn’t Tess want to see him? Read the rest of the chapter, and check out HE TAKES THE CAKE on Wednesday, June 21st!

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HE TAKES THE CAKE is Now Available for Pre-Order!

The past couple months have been absolute insanity around here. But fans of Sweet Somethings will be happy to know that, at long last, HE TAKES THE CAKE will soon be here!

Sometimes it just takes a little spark to reignite an old flame…

Life is good for Tess Gardiner: Her Savannah, Georgia, bakery and cafe is thriving. She’s earned Master Pastry Chef status from the American Culinary Federation. And she’s attending a regional culinary convention in Charleston, where she’s been invited to sit on a small business panel discussion. The opportunity to tout her success will, hopefully, lead to bigger and better things in her professional life. As for her personal life? The relative contentedness she’s enjoyed for years receives a sudden jolt when she comes face to face with Tyler Brinks, the ex-boyfriend she summarily dismissed from her life eight years ago.

Tyler’s success as a highly-trained chef has launched him into the stratosphere. He already owns one ridiculously successful restaurant, and he’s aggressively working on plans for a second. But he’s never quite gotten over Tess, and he’s never really been sure what actually went wrong between them. So when a pastry and baking competition is announced for the week following the culinary convention in Charleston, Ty jumps at the chance to tempt Tess with the challenge of being his partner, giving him the perfect opportunity to remind her how good they once were together.

As the competition heats up in the kitchen, it soon becomes clear to Tess that Ty has more than cream puffs and cupcakes on his mind. And she can’t deny that her feelings for Ty never truly cooled, but have been simmering all these years, despite the way their relationship ended. Now Ty’s attention has her wondering—is this just the path to final closure? Or could this be a second chance at true love?

Coming June 21st from Soul Mate Publishing!

Soul Mate Publishing

Preorder Now at Amazon.com!

Debra Holt Book Blast (Virtual Tour)

 

Debra Holt Books

by Debra Holt

GENRE: Contemporary Romance

Mercy’s Rescue  

 Fighting for his life after an ambush, Sheriff Josh Wellman awakes to find himself looking into the eyes of a real-life angel of mercy. Despite his groggy condition, he knows his life has changed the instant their hands touch. Devastating heartbreak has left Mercy Smith’s faith in tatters, her heart guarded against more loss. Her dedication to the air evac trauma team she leads has insulated her from the realities of the earth below, so now Josh faces the biggest challenge of his life. Can he find a way around the walls that fortify her heart and convince this angel to stay on the ground with him? Can Mercy open herself to life again and find a way to restore her faith in God … as well as love?

Love Beneath the Blue Texas Sky  

 J.D. Sterling shook the dirt of the small Texas town from his boot heels a dozen years before. Now, he’s returned… not as the poor country boy who left to follow his dream, but as country music’s sexy superstar. He has everything he always wanted except for the girl who holds his heart. Mandy.

Years come and go and people change. Amanda Lawson has grown up. From heartbreak and struggling to survive to becoming a successful businesswoman, she has taught herself to never look back. Once before, she had survived the wild, green-eyed cowboy with only a guitar to his name and a pocketful of dreams. Then he left her behind with nothing but his hollow vows and a shattered heart.

Mandy was his muse. J.D. was her dream. But tragedy and broken vows can be insurmountable obstacles. Can they find their way home to each other again… or is it too late?

His Country Bride 

 “Sheriff’s Department! Raise your hands above your head and don’t move.”

She’s a runaway bride who left her two-timing fiance at the altar. He’s a county sheriff determined to keep the peace in his country and leave city girls alone after his own fiance left him for the bright lights of the city. Neither of them planned on running straight into each other…over a burning wedding dress.

Ellie and Lucas planned on never trusting their hearts to love again. When danger follows her from the city, the sheriff must do his duty to protect her. However, it isn’t long before he discovers the real danger may be to his heart. Ellie just might teach him that even a city girl can be a country girl at heart.

 

An Excerpt from HIS COUNTRY BRIDE

Lucas set the extinguisher on the ground and used a couple of fingers to push the hat back on his forehead, hands on his hips, obviously considering the options before him. “Do you have any other clothing with you, ma’am?” A furrowed brow preceded her reply. “Why are you calling me ‘ma’am? I’m not that old. And just who are you, anyway?” “Lucas McCann. I’m the sheriff of Joshua County, which is where you are at the moment. I use respectful manners and call you ‘ma’am because I don’t know your name.

The woman turned in a huff and stomped toward the porch steps behind them. Perhaps stomped wasn’t the right description Lucas amended, as he folded his arms across a broad chest and watched her negotiate the uneven stones of the walkway leading up to the porch…all in her ridiculously high heels. Of course, the sight of those long, tanned legs and spiky heels caused a definite stirring in his midsection. That realization made his jaw set harder as he sought for the calm control he always demonstrated when performing his duties-that is, until he came across her.

A slow shake of his head. “I have to hand it to you, lady. You’re one cool customer, under the circumstances. You also may be used to giving orders to people wherever you come from, except there’s on problem with that at this moment. You’re in my county now. Here, I give the orders and as a general rule, people follow them.”

Ms. Holt will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet Debra Holt

Born and raised in the Lone Star state of Texas, Debra grew up among horses, cowboys, wide open spaces, and real Texas Rangers.  Pride in her state and ancestry knows no bounds and it is these heroes and heroines she loves to write about the most.  She also draws upon a variety of life experiences including working with abused children, caring for baby animals at a major zoo, and planning high-end weddings (ah, romance!).

When she isn’t busy writing about tall Texans and feisty heroines, she can be found cheering on her Texas Tech Red Raiders, or heading off on another cruise adventure.  She read her first romance…Janet Dailey’s Fiesta San Antonio, over thirty years ago and became hooked on the genre. Writing contemporary romances, is both her passion and dream come true, and she hopes her books will bring smiles…and sighs…to all who believe in happily-ever-after’s.

Debra invites you to visit her website at www.debraholtbooks.com.  She loves to hear from other aspiring authors or readers via email at debraholtbooks@gmail.com.  Twitter is https://twitter.com/DebraHoltBooks and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DebraHoltBooks.

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/debra+holt

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=debra+holt

 

HE TAKES THE CAKE Cover Reveal and Release Date Announcement!

Hey all!

I know I’ve been really incommunicado the past couple months. It’s not on purpose, I promise. And I do have lots of things rattling around in my brain that I would like to talk about at some point in the near future.

BUT luckily for you, I do have something to share this evening,

Something . . . sweet.

It’s a COVER REVEAL for the final installment of the Sweet Somethings series, HE TAKES THE CAKE!!!!

HeTakesTheCake2_850

Coming June 21, 2017 from

Soul Mate Publishing

The Sweet Somethings Series Soundtrack

Music has played an important role in my life since I was a child. Chorus, band, marching band, high school and college musicals, and an eclectic collection of albums ranging from Mozart to LInkin Park to, at one point, Live.

Like, the early 1990s Live that was more hard rock than mainstream. Throwing Copper.

I digress.

Often when we think of soundtracks, we think of movies and TV. And for me, a good soundtrack and make or break a movie.

So it should come as no surprise that my novels have soundtracks, too.

As a writer, I listen to music all the time. When I’m plotting, writing, editing, and so on. Songs can take on a variety of meanings, depending on what you’re working on. I tend to listen mostly to popular music, what you’d hear on the radio, when I’m working on a contemporary romance. When I’m playing around with a historical project, I veer more toward instrumental music, often movie scores, with a few other select items with vocal tracks thrown in.

At the beginning of March, I was fortunate enough to attend a CRW workshop with author Cecy Robson. She talked about visualization, character development, and how you can use music for inspiration and to set the tone of your writing.

I was internally clapping as she spoke and shared some of her strategies, because I have long had a “soundtrack” for my Sweet Somethings series.

Each of the four novels (remember that HE TAKES THE CAKE will be coming out in a few short months – stay tuned for more details) has very different main characters, though all share certain common themes. Self-discovery alongside the discovery of true love. So some of the songs that go with Sweet Somethings are specific to a novel, while others are more general and could go with any of them.

If you’d like to check out the full playlist that makes up my Sweet Somethings Soundtrack, you can find it here.

Inspiration for Better Than Chocolate

Inspiration for When in Rome

Inspiration for The One I’m With


Inspiration for He Takes the Cake

Better Than Chocolate, When In Rome, and The One I’m With are all available for Kindle, and He takes the Cake will be coming in June. Better Than Chocolate and When In Rome are also available in print.

The Art of Breathing (Blog Book Tour)

The Art of Breathing

by Janie DeVos

From author Janie DeVos comes a poignant and richly detailed novel set in 1950s North Carolina, where one young woman struggles to save her own life—and finds the strength to truly live it.

 

When Kathryn Cavanaugh steps over the threshold of the Pelham Sanatorium in 1954, she has no idea when, or if, she will ever leave it again. Despite the rise of promising new treatments, Tuberculosis is still feared and often fatal. But twenty-four-year-old Kate has proven her resilience before, leaving her Blue Ridge Mountain home for a very different life in the city with her ambitious attorney husband, Geoffrey. For the sake of her family, especially her young son, she’s determined to get healthy again.

 

The sanatorium is a strange battlefield, with every patient fighting for survival amidst a numbing routine of tests, treatment, and enforced rest. Kate quickly finds camaraderie among the women on her ward—and a growing kinship with fellow patient Philip McAllister. As weeks pass, the hospital’s confines come to offer more independence than Geoffrey’s preoccupation with status ever allowed. And with this surprising new discovery comes the courage to contemplate the choices she has made—and, perhaps, the chance to breathe freely at last…

Read an excerpt from The Art of Breathing

“Grandma, what’s a shi . . . shiva . . . ?” Donnie had turned around in his seat and was hanging over the back of it.

“A shivaree. It’s a kind of surprise party, you might say,” Mama answered.

“I’d sure say it is!” Daddy snorted.

Mama, choosing to ignore Daddy, began to describe it. “Honey, a shivaree happens after a wedding takes place to let the bride and groom know that everybody approves of the marriage. We’ll sneak up on them at Uncle Prescott’s house, after the ceremony, and we’ll bang pots and pans, and holler and sing, and make a big ol’ ruckus—just to let them know that we’re tickled Glory’s a part of the family now.”

“Sure hope we don’t catch ’em in a most compromising position.”

Daddy snickered. “I can just see it now: We’ll be sneaking up to their window, real quiet-like, and before we can make any racket, we’ll hear Prescott shouting to the rafters, Lord, God a’mighty! Glory hallelujah!”

Daddy and I roared with laughter, while Mama, trying her hardest to be stern, could barely contain herself either. “Oh, for heaven’s sake, Jack! You behave yourself, you hear me!” Then she couldn’t hold back any longer and joined us as we laughed so hard we cried.

Oh, it was good to be home!

“Mama . . .” I tried to move on to another subject, but each time I did, we started laughing again. Finally, I was able to ask the question.

“What’s going on with Ditty? I haven’t heard from him since Christmas, and every time I’ve called his place, there’s no answer. I’ve even left messages with Jean to have him call me, but she’ll say something like Well, I will if I see him, real mysterious-like. When I ask her if there’s something going on with him, she’ll say she doesn’t know nothin’ about no one. Says she’s just the mill’s secretary and that she minds her own business. So, what’s going on with him? Is he all right?”

“We don’t know,” Daddy quietly answered and all the humor suddenly evaporated. “We haven’t seen him in weeks. Last we heard he was over in Lost Cove.”

“Lost Cove! What in the world is he doing over there?”

Donnie was watching and listening hard to our conversation. Mama knew the subject was one that needed to be discussed without him, so she quickly shifted the conversation. “How ’bout we save this talk for the front porch, later on.” Then, “Donnie, after we eat some supper, we’ll go do somethin’ fun. Sound good?”

I suggested that we go down to the creek and try catching a few trout. “Or would you rather go over to the orchard’s shop and get some of those good soft peppermints that your grandma loves more than life itself?”

“Peppermints!” both Donnie and Mama shouted in unison. And though the atmosphere in the truck was light once again, I was fairly certain there was a storm brewing on the horizon and my brother was in the eye of it.

A randomly drawn commenter will receive a copy of The Art of Breathing.

Enter to win a copy of the book – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to click on the banner to check out other stops on the tour – and enter for more chances to win!

Meet Janie DeVos

Janie DeVos is a native of Coral Gables, Florida. She attended Florida State University, then
worked in the advertising industry for over a decade, including radio, cable television, public relations and advertising firms. Though her career changed over the years, one thing didn’t—her love of writing. She is an award winning children’s author. Beneath a Thousand Apple Trees is her adult debut.

Author Links:

Website: http://www.janiedevos.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janie.devos?ref=ts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JanieDeVos

Buy the book:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/?field-keywords=9781601836830
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-art-of-breathing/id1128182609?mt=11
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Janie_DeVos_The_Art_of_Breathing?id=E8xBDAAAQBAJ
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-art-of-breathing-4
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-art-of-breathing-janie-devos/1123861220?ean=9781601836830

WHEN IN ROME is Now in Print!

Well the month of February completely got away from me, between work and writing and a sick toddler (followed by a sick mama). BUT I got awesome news last week.

WHEN IN ROME is in print!

Love isn’t always picture perfect…

Atlanta-based photographer Kate Miller doesn’t believe in fairytale romance or relationships of the forever kind. She’s determined to build her own happiness through hard work and professional success. So, when the opportunity arises to join an exclusive fashion photo shoot in Rome, she jumps on the chance to gain international recognition. But she’s not counting on an instant attraction to the charismatic, sexy, and irritatingly arrogant director of the shoot.

World famous, Domenic Varezzi is used to calling the shots. His clients trust his instincts and they’re willing to pay for the best. But while his career is thriving, his personal life has been lackluster at best. Hoping Kate could be the answer he’s been looking for, he’s determined to win her over. Every challenge she sends his way drives him to break through her tough-as-nails exterior to reach the vulnerable heart that matches his own.

Surrounded by the beauty and magic of Italy’s “Eternal City,” a foundation begins to form that could lead to a lifetime partnership, both in business and in love. Until Domenic’s past comes back to haunt the present and threatens to destroy everything.

The print edition of WHEN IN ROME can be purchased through

And don’t forget that all three of the Sweet Somethings books (Better Than Chocolate, When in Rome, and The One I’m With) are also available for Kindle!

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