AUTHOR WEDNESDAY – #NEWRELEASE FROM CHANTEL RHONDEAU

I wish you all a very peaceful and pleasant Thanksgiving weekend. Today Author Wednesday features one of my favorite colleagues and romance author, Chantel Rhondeau. Chantel and I have been in three box sets together (so far), and her romances are a wonderful addition to each set. I love Chantel because she is always eager and ready to help out and give of herself and her expertise to promote all of us. It doesn’t get any better than that. So with great pleasure, I give you the very sweet and lovable Chantel Rhondeau and her new release in her Macalliter’s Paradise series.

Title: Love’s Ride (McCallister’s Paradise – 4)
Author: Chantel Rhondeau
Release date: November 24, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Family Saga Romance

Brad McCallister has always felt estranged from his family. He thought taking over as manager of their paradise resort would make him feel more connected but that hasn’t happened. To top it off, his siblings are finding life partners and settling down while Brad’s still single. If only he could stop obsessing over the island’s psychologist, Chelsea Taylor.


Chelsea loves working at McCallister’s Paradise. She enjoys the large family of employees and feels at home in the sand and sunshine. The only thing missing is the spice of adventure. She longs to explore the island and conquer her longstanding fears.


After Brad’s sister schemes to bring Brad and Chelsea together things go horribly wrong, but Brad refuses to give up without a fight. A two-week island adventure will not only help fulfill Chelsea’s lifelong dream of being a survivalist, it will give them a chance to get to know each other—away from his meddling family.


This couple gets more than they bargained for when survival takes on a new meaning in paradise.


Amazon: http://amzn.to/1N0mO7Q

Nook: http://bit.ly/1RpPbR8 

Apple iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1035524163 

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1RpPfk2 



~~Excerpt~~

She pouted slightly as she thought, her full red lips begging him to suck on them. “I felt like dinner went well the other day, but…” She paused and scarlet flared against her cheekbones.

“Dinner did go well,” he agreed. “I wasn’t sure you thought so, but I had a great time.”

“I was surprised when you left so fast.” Looking down at their hands, she avoided his eyes, seeming unsure and flustered. “I thought you’d want a goodnight kiss.”

She felt insecure because he hadn’t kissed her? Well, hot damn!

Brad chuckled and tugged her hands, pulling her close to his chest. She was enough shorter than him that when her hair swished around her face the silky strands rubbed against his chin, catching slightly in the evening stubble he hadn’t had time to shave.

Pressing his lips against her forehead, Brad released one of her hands to caress her cheek and slide his hand down her neck.

The passion he felt in being so close to her was echoed in the soft trembling of Chelsea’s body against his and the sweet, contented sigh she released.

Wrapping both arms around her, Brad held her close to his heart, enjoying having her so near after spending several days apart. If only work would slow down and he could see her more often. He knew it was too sudden to be sure that he wanted things to work out with Chelsea, but holding her felt right. Since the moment she arrived on the island, Brad hadn’t been able to stop thinking about her, wishing he could call her his lady. Now he might have a chance.

Chelsea’s arms circled him, and she rested her head on his shoulder. The soft puffs of breath coming from her mouth bathed his neck with their warmth, making him wish he were less of a gentleman.

“You smell delicious,” she whispered, sniffing deeply. Her lips brushed his collarbone, setting his heart rate racing. 


If he didn’t stop this soon, the problem twitching to life in his pants could make a family dinner awkward. Kissing her forehead once more, Brad gently gripped her shoulders and pushed her away.


About McCallister’s Paradise: 


Fall in love with the strong men and smart women of McCallister’s Paradise!

At their tropical island resort, the McCallister family works hard. Life in Paradise should be perfect. After all, the place is great for a romantic getaway. Unfortunately, the five McCallister siblings are still searching for their happily ever afters… and romance always seems just out of reach. 


But determined hearts won’t be denied. And when love is on the line, a McCallister doesn’t fall halfway!


Series:
Happy Endings (Quinn)

Diving Into Love (Parker)

For Love or Charity (Sydney)
Love’s Ride (Brad)
Cooking Up Love (Shane – coming soon)



Available at these vendors:

~~About the Author~~

Bestselling Author Chantel Rhondeau once thought a mystery or fantasy book with strong romantic themes was the highest level of reading bliss. After reading her first romantic suspense, she never looked back. Chantel is author of six romantic suspense novels, three Christmas novellas, a sports-themed novella, and the McCallister’s Paradise contemporary romance/family saga series. She lives in the western United States and when she’s not writing, she loves playing cards with her family, bowling on leagues, and snuggling with her lazy kitties.

Want to contact Chantel?
Mailing list: http://bit.ly/1qKSN0q (FREE copy of Season For Love for new sign ups!)
Join my Facebook Group: http://on.fb.me/1JlKFNC

Saturday Spotlight – Christmas Pets and Kisses Boxed Set #XmasPets #CoverReveal

SIXTEEN ALL-NEW, NEVER-BEFORE-PUBLISHED SWEET (PG-rated) CHRISTMAS ROMANCES from NY Times, USA Today, and Award Winning Authors – 99c for a limited time!
Ring in the Christmas cheer with sixteen all-new sweet and heart-warming romances from New York Times, USA Today and National bestselling authors. Don’t miss out on this romantic collection of Christmas tails…uh, tales as adorable pets with fins, paws, feathers, and hooves bring holiday magic with the gift of true love
Golden Christmas – Helen Scott Taylor
Every Christmas Vicky hides so she doesn’t have to celebrate the date she lost her husband and son. She doesn’t want to see anyone but when she finds a dog’s lost ball she meets Jon, a wounded ex-soldier who’s struggling with his own problems. This brave man touches Vicky’s shattered heart and makes her realize she can’t hide forever. With his support, can she find the strength to love again?
Two Loves for Christmas – Mona Risk
Tabloid pictures of charming laywer, Josh Dutton, threaten his father’s senatorial campaign. The family decides he needs a sweet ‘temporary fiancée’ to repair the damage. With only her German shepherd for friend, Emma struggles with problems. Attraction sizzles between Josh and Emma but no one mentions the ‘fake fiancée’ detail. When the truth surfaces will Josh be able to prove that his kisses were not part of a charade?
Dog-Gone Christmas – Melinda Curtis
Widow Marnie Haywood wants Christmas hosting her in-laws to go smoothly. And it would – if her handsome neighbor and his friendly St. Bernard would stop coming over, mooching food, and stealing kisses.
His Christmas Promise – Alicia Street
A stray dog with a penchant for giving warm and fuzzy love finds refuge with an ex-Army helicopter pilot and helps restore his bedridden grandmother’s will to live. It seems like a Christmas miracle until the bachelor war vet discovers the mutt belongs to a little girl who wants him back—and a single mom who makes him rethink his freewheeling ways and maybe even believe in love.
We Wish You A Ferret Christmas – Nikki Lynn Barrett
Widower Lance Rossiter wants nothing to do with the pet ferret who caused his daughter to be hit by a car. Widow Cara McLean is shocked by the ferret her son finds and wants to keep. When Lance and Cara meet, sparks fly and love suddenly seems possible. Can a lost and found ferret bring two fractured families together?
Christmas Lovebirds – Rachelle Ayala
Melisa Hart has a soft spot for her brother Connor’s ex-best buddy, Rob Reed, who slept with Connor’s girlfriend. When her pet lovebird is mixed up with Rob’s, Melisa discovers he’s always cared about her. Can two little lovebirds and Christmas cheer open Melisa’s heart to giving Rob another chance?
Christmas on Cougar Mountain – Nancy Radke
Hard-working Zoey is dedicated to helping children learn, and has built her business to the neglect of having a family. When she rescues a dog on the freeway, she discovers that the escape artist brings a family with him, including a boy she would like to help, and as love grows, a man she would like to keep. But will Kellen ever trust her to help his son, much less give her his heart?
The Vet’s Christmas Pet – J.L. Campbell
The last thing Toni wants for Christmas is more responsibility, but her daughter has other ideas. A near accident not only brings them a dog in need of a home, but Matthias Laing, who Toni would prefer to keep in the past.
Tails, Time, and St. Nick – Mary Leo
Kris Timemaker has inherited a magical clock. Using the clock’s magic for anyone other than St. Nick on Christmas Eve has some grave consequences, but when his daughter’s beloved Westie goes missing, and his estranged wife asks for his help, Kris has no choice but to take a chance with time and try to win back his family in the process.
Graced – Jade Kerrion
Connor Bradley doesn’t have time for distractions, not while juggling single parenthood and his clinic on five hours of sleep a night. He most certainly doesn’t have time for Noelle, the high school flirt, who is prettier and more irresistible than he remembers. When Noelle’s father’s heart attack derails Connor’s plans for his first Christmas without his wife, Noelle wants to save the day for his adorable children, but can she also find her way into Connor’s guarded heart?
Unexpected Gift – Chantel Rhondeau
Aspiring decorator Cali Johnson moves to New York City—lonely, afraid, and far from home during the holidays. When she finds a lost cat in her apartment building, she strikes up an odd friendship with his reclusive owner, Marcus Ritz. If only she knew what he was hiding.

Minty’s Kiss – P.C. Zick
When newly divorced Molly retreats to a family cabin with Gracie, her ten-year-old daughter, she’s surprised to find her childhood crush, Nick, still living in the area. Can a small kitty named Minty help Gracie accept the love developing between Nick and Molly in time for her first Christmas in the mountains of North Carolina?
The Christmas Wish – Michele Shriver
Ashley McLaughlin is struggling to move on from her husband’s infidelity. Brennan wants to make amends for his transgression. Their young daughter, Hayley, has only one wish for Christmas- for her family to be together again. When Hayley suffers a head injury after a fall from her horse, will it help her get her wish? Or do the wounds from Brennan’s betrayal run too deep for Ashley to forgive?
Dante’s Gift – Aubrey Wynne
Seventy years ago, a collie mix brought two hearts together in war torn Italy. Will their story help their grandson find his own Christmas love?
Mavy’s Christmas Miracle – Sharon Coady
Anne Hurd returns to the Pocono’s to help her elderly grandfather. Six years earlier Kyle Shafer disappeared from her life. She rescues a kitten, takes her to a vet who turns out to be Kyle. Kyle can’t believe Anne walked back into his life. Will he scare her away, or will she give him another chance? Kyle decides to take a chance and try for the love he gave up on.
The Impossible Rescue – Annamaria Bazzi
Christmas is no joy for Julia who’s gambling husband comes around only to ask for money. When a handsome stranger and his cute Pomeranian puppy moves in next door, Julia feels guilty for their mutual attraction. Michael’s not the rescuing type, but when he spies Julia’s husband haranguing her for holiday cash, anger flares and he is determined to rescue Julia from another miserable Christmas.

What Early Reviewers Are Saying

Golden Christmas – Helen Scott Taylor
Two wounded hearts are brought together at Christmas by a golden retriever puppy.
“I found this to be well written and so heartwarming,… You are going to love this story as well as each one in this box-set.” – Cynthia, Page by Page Inside-Out Reviews
“I enjoyed this book so very much! It’s hard to go wrong with a hunky wounded warrior and not just one, but two precious pups!!” – Sandra D on Goodreads
“It is a really sweet story about second chances and it will touch your heart as it touched mine.” – Winnie Lim on Goodreads
Two Loves for Christmas – Mona Risk
Her German shepherd is her only friend until Josh teams up with Rino to love and protect her.
“This is not only a story featuring romance, but it has a touch of suspense too. Romance, suspense, danger and a German Shepherd – definitely a great combination. You’ll love this as much as I did.” ~ Winnie Lim
“This story is a romance story with a hint on danger and suspense. This story will definitely keep you interested.” ~ Julie Fowler
“Will Emma truly change Josh? Will they fall in love? This was a really enjoyable book!” ~ Kimberly Dawn
Dog-Gone Christmas – Melinda Curtis
A handsome neighbor and his friendly St. Bernard mooch food and kisses from a merry widow.
“It’s a sweet love story, with a bit of angst, a lot of humor, and some lovely kisses. I really enjoyed this story, and wouldn’t hesitate to read more from this author.” – Elizabeth Robbins from Goodreads
“Dog-Gone Christmas by Melinda Curtis is a sweet story. It is all about new beginnings and forgiveness.” – Julia David from Goodreads
“Dog-Gone Christmas is a sweet love story with some angst and humor involving a dog owner, his neighbor, and a dog — be prepared to laugh out loud at times.” – JoAnne from Goodreads
We Wish You A Ferret Christmas – Nikki Lynn Barrett
Can a lost and found ferret bring two fractured families together?
“As with every other Nikki Lynn Barrett book, I loved the characters and was drawn into the story immediately. You can’t go wrong reading a book by Mrs. Barrett and this is another example of that.”
“Nothing makes me happier than a book that deals with difficult issues and really gets down to the heart of the matter and how hard it can be…Such an amazing read and it really touches the heart!”
“We Wish you a Ferret Christmas is just the perfect story for getting us prepared for the holiday. Loved it.”
Christmas Lovebirds – Rachelle Ayala
Can two little lovebirds and Christmas cheer open Melisa’s heart to giving Rob another chance?
“I love it when authors add in a little animal love, too! It feels almost like 2 romances in one.” – Nikki from Goodreads
“This story is a great reminder of what the Christmas season is truly about…family and forgiveness.” – Julie Fowler
“It had laughter, love, heartache, forgiveness, and two little lovebirds that had their own thing going on.” – Lisa Longstreth
The Vet’s Christmas Pet – J.L. Campbell
A near accident brings Toni and her daughter a homeless dog and a man she’d prefer to keep in her past.
Ms. Campbell has hit the nail on the head with what love is all about. Bravo!—Rose Morales
The characters are lovely from the beginning and especially Jade and Ridley, the puppy, who actually steal the show.—Sally Stackhouse
It was sweet, refreshing and a good balance of how a blended family comes together.—Celeste Williams
Graced – Jade Kerrion
Noelle, armed with several goldfish and a kitten, brings Christmas cheer to a widower and his children.
“You definitely are on an emotional rollercoaster while reading Graced.”—Julie Fowler
“Graced is a must read that will pull on your heart strings.”—Terri Merkel
Unexpected Gift – Chantel Rhondeau
Far from home, a lonely young woman strikes up a friendship with a lost cat and his secretive owner.
“Unexpected Gift was truly heartwarming and a very different kind of love story. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t stop.” – Maria Diaz
“An emotionally turbulent, yet sweetly poignant, reminder that love has the power to heal all wounds.” – Liza Robbins
“What an incredible heart-warming story on true love that grows from the inside and not based on appearances.” – Rebecca Austin
Minty’s Kiss – P.C. Zick
One kitten, a broken-hearted girl, and long lost loves are brought together for a special mountain Christmas.
“I loved this novella. It is the first time I’ve read anything by this author and I liked her style of writing. This author has succeeded brilliantly.” ~Sally Stackhouse
“This story right here screamed made for TV. I love the Hallmark channel, and I could see this being played out there.” ~Celeste Williams
“This is a sweet story of love lost and regained, which will certainly put you in the Christmas spirit. If the rest of the stories are half as entertaining as this one, then readers will be well served.” ~David Lawlor
The Christmas Wish – Michele Shriver
Will a fall from a horse bring Hayley’s parents back together in time for Christmas?
“This was a great novella and I love the writing around it and how Hayley and Thunder showed Ashley and Brennan what really matters!”- Rebecca Austin
“Michele Shriver has once again given us another heartwarming story.”- Elizabeth Clinton
“This is another great read by Michele Shriver! Loved the sweet family story centered around Christmas!!”- Jill Snead
Dante’s Gift – Aubrey Wynne
Seventy years ago, a collie mix brought two hearts together in war torn Italy. Will their story help their grandson find his own Christmas love?
“Wynne has crafted a beautiful short story guaranteed to warm your heart and make you sigh.” ~ Kishan Paul, author of Blind Love and The Second Wife
“It is a story of romance…that will have you misty-eyed.” ~ Celeste Williams ~ Goodreads Reviewer
“This is a really beautiful love story that will touch everyone’s heart and brings tears to your eyes.” ~ Winnie Lim ~ Top Goodreads Reviewer
Mavy’s Christmas Miracle – Sharon Coady
Anne takes a rescue kitten to the vet, only to discover he’s the man who broke her heart.
“I just couldn’t put down! Very sweet, family oriented reading… A definite “feel good” story that is at home around the holidays or any season! I heartily recommend this story!” ~ Holly Lachman-Militello
“This story is full of Christmas hope, dreams of lost love found and family. I couldn’t put it down. A delightful tale you will read again.” ~ Karen Baird-Butler
“..this story is phenomenal. Love the characters and the plot is amazing. I couldn’t put it down. Would highly recommend this to anyone that loves a good romance!!” ~ Delina Parker
Available Now!

KEEP ON TAKING A PEEK AT CHRISTMAS PETS AND KISSES!

Unexpected Gift – Chantel Rhondeau
Aspiring decorator Cali Johnson moves to New York City—lonely, afraid, and far from home during the holidays. When she finds a lost cat in her apartment building, she strikes up an odd friendship with his reclusive owner, Marcus Ritz. If only she knew what he was hiding.
Excerpt

Cali Johnson covered her nose, trying to block the putrid smell of rotting garbage and body odor as she navigated the dirty linoleum flooring in the hallway of her apartment building. Four more doors and she’d reach her tiny place. Knowing she had a safe haven of cleanliness and cheer at the end of the hall was the only thing that kept her walking through it.
She couldn’t believe the way her neighbors treated their home. In her small hometown of Idaho City, no one would ever think about leaving rotting trash in another person’s way. Her new fifth story apartment off Bedford Park in the Bronx was an entirely different matter. Cali usually tried to see the good in everyone, but her new neighbors left a lot to be desired. She wondered how many of them were drug dealers or killers.
“But I’m living my dream,” she muttered under her breath, gagging when she walked by a bag at the apartment next to hers with something stinky inside.
The doorway across from her apartment opened and a tall, muscular man stepped out. His well-built arms made Cali gulp with fear and the scowl on his face didn’t invite friendly conversation.
She gripped the pepper spray canister attached to her key ring as she walked toward him, knowing she had to be ready if he came after her. She’d already learned that lesson on the subway last week. A thug overtook her while she rested and stole her purse, which would cause her aggravation for some time to come. People were different in New York than they were back home.
Just as the man was about to pass, a low hissing sound traveled through the hallway, making Cali jump and fumble her key chain protection to the floor.
“Again?” the man roared and pounded his fist against the wall with a short jab. “I’m sick of this crap!”
Cali pressed herself flat against the opposite hallway wall, not daring to bend over for her keys and be more vulnerable to the stranger. She turned her head briefly toward the hissing, noting a large ginger and white cat emerging from a garbage bag. The cat was a minor threat, however, and Cali fixed her attention on her neighbor.
“Don’t worry, miss,” the man said. “He probably won’t hurt you. It’s me he wants a piece of. I hate that cat.”
Swallowing quickly, Cali struggled to moisten her tight throat so she could speak. It seemed the man had misunderstood her fear. He must not be planning to attack if he assumed her fear wasn’t directed toward his scowling face and bulging biceps. “I thought cats weren’t allowed in this building,” she managed to say. “You’ve seen him before?”
The man rolled his eyes, clearly frustrated. “Yeah. That’s Jasper. He’s a service animal for the weirdo who lives in the apartment above yours.” He stuck his hand out. “I’m Clint, by the way. Been meaning to introduce myself since you moved in last week, but I work nights so it’s tough to sync up schedules with daytime folks.”
As he gave her a reassuring grin, Cali’s fear began to melt away. This was the first person in the building to offer her their name or a friendly word. Cali didn’t know anyone in this city and was awfully lonesome. Maybe Clint wasn’t so bad. She shook his hand. “I’m Cali. Just moved here to work as an assistant for an interior decorator down in Manhattan.”
Jasper stopped hissing and walked toward Cali and Clint. Even though the cat’s eyes stayed trained on Clint, he came up to Cali and rubbed against her leg in a friendly enough fashion.
“Of course he would like you,” Clint grumped. “Damn thing bit me last time he got out and I tried to take him home. No one can control him, but the woman who lived in your apartment before you managed to handle him.” He glared down at the cat. “You’re pure evil, Jasper.”
“Do you have a number for his owner?” Cali asked. “We really should get him home.” She wrinkled her nose, thinking about what Jasper might be rubbing against her work slacks. “He’s going to need a bath after digging through that garbage bag.”
“If our neighbors gave a sh—” He paused. “Sorry, Cali, I meant a crap. If they gave a crap about where we lived, Jasper wouldn’t have rotting garbage to dig through.”
She nodded her agreement. “It’s definitely a lot different than where I come from. Unfortunately, The Bronx is the only place in New York City I can afford. At least the subway ride down to my job in Manhattan isn’t too bad.” If she didn’t include getting robbed last week, of course.
“Yeah, it’s cheap but we’re basically living in the slums. Our slumlord doesn’t give a crap about this place. I’ve never seen the owner show his face around here, of course. All he cares about is our money. I used to try and clean up, but it’s pointless.”
She couldn’t worry about that. The hallway wasn’t her problem. Then again, she had a furry, orange problem still rubbing her leg. “So, about the cat’s owner…?”
“I don’t know his number, but he lives upstairs right above you. Apartment seven.” Clint narrowed his eyes. “Be careful around him. I wasn’t kidding when I called him a weirdo.”
Gulping, Cali twisted her hands together. “What do you mean? Is he dangerous?” Maybe she’d just mind her own business and let Jasper roam the halls until his owner came to find him.
“Not dangerous,” Clint reassured her. “But definitely not normal. Don’t expect to see him. He never comes out of his apartment.”
“Then how can I give him the cat?”
Clint’s black bushy eyebrows scrunched down and then he shrugged. “There used to be a cat carrier up there to put him in. This little jerk gets out at least a few times a month. I wish he’d get some bad garbage and we could get rid of him for good.”
Cali widened her eyes in shock. Maybe Clint wasn’t the good guy she thought. Who could wish death on a poor cat?
She glanced down, finding that Jasper had sat next to her foot with his tail curled around the back of her high-heeled shoe. He purred loudly, licking whatever he’d gotten into off his paw.
“I’ll take him home,” Cali decided. His owner had to be a good person if he liked animals. Weird was a relatively broad term in this strange town as far as Cali was concerned. The owner couldn’t be any worse than some of the people she’d already come across. “It was nice to meet you, Clint. I’m glad to know someone in the building finally.” After all, it wouldn’t do her any good to be rude to him, even if he wasn’t as kind as she’d hoped.
Clint bent down, snagging her keys off the ground. Jasper hissed again and took a swipe at his face, but Clint was too fast. He handed them to her. “Probably won’t see much of me, due to the opposite schedules, but if you ever need anything, let me know. Pretty, young girl like you living all alone in a place like this?” He shook his head, expressing his disapproval. “Don’t let any of the weirdos bug you, okay? I’m gone from ten at night until ten in the morning, but I’m normally here sleeping other than that. Holler if you need me.”
As Cali accepted her keys, she realized her over-simple method of judging good and bad might not work for her in such a diverse area of people. Clint might not be a saint, but he wasn’t all bad. “That’s very nice of you. Thank you so much.”
Grinning, Clint took off down the hallway, continuing to wherever he’d planned to go before running into her.
Cali looked down at the cat and sighed. Speaking of weirdos in the building, she needed to go meet one now. “Come on, Jasper. Let’s take you home.”
She bent down, holding her hand out for the cat to sniff. After he’d thoroughly inspected her hand and began purring again, she lifted him from the floor and cradled him to her chest.
The rotting smell became stronger with the cat so close to her nose, and Cali hoped she didn’t have many problems returning him to his owner. She definitely needed a shower.
***
Stepping onto the top floor of the apartment building was like walking into a different world. The walls and linoleum flooring were spotless and not a single garbage bag graced the hallway. A crisp, clean scent of pine pervaded the area.
Cali scratched behind Jasper’s ears. “Why would you ever run away from this place to dig through trash?”
Jasper only purred louder in response. For Clint’s claims of the cat being such a vicious beast, Jasper hadn’t offered to bite her once on the way up the stairwell. He continued to be docile and sweet while they moved toward his home. If only he didn’t stink so badly, Cali might enjoy holding him.
She’d never been allowed to have a cat growing up, though she’d spent a lot of time trying to make friends with the feral cats that lived on nearby farms. She’d always wanted one, and Jasper was just the loving sort of furry friend she wished to have. She wondered what type of weirdo a person had to be in order to get a cat as a service animal. She’d love to have one if she qualified—after all, no one could really claim to be ‘normal.’
With growing trepidation, she reached apartment number seven. There wasn’t a cat carrier by the door, so Cali hoped Clint had exaggerated when he said the person living inside never came out.
“Here goes nothing, Jasper.” Cali raised her hand and knocked, holding her breath as she waited for a response.
After several moments, her heart continued to hammer away with nerves but no one came to the door. She knocked again, longer and harder.
“Go away!” yelled a deep voice from inside.
“I’m sorry to bother you,” Cali yelled near the crack in the door. “I have Jasper. He was digging through garbage downstairs.”
“So put him inside the door and leave.”
The man definitely wasn’t friendly, but it seemed Cali could at least drop the cat off.
She tried the knob and it turned easily in her hand. A small part of her worried whether the man would be on the other side, ready to jump her and steal her new purse, but Clint said he wasn’t dangerous, just weird.
What awaited her on the other side of the door was a surprise. It was a small room with another closed door. Logically, she’d expected the apartment to be set up like hers. She never figured someone would have a pointless room inside their entryway.
More nervous than before, she walked into the room and tried the knob on the second door. That knob didn’t turn in her grasp. “Sir? The door is locked.”
“Set Jasper down out there and shut him in. I’ll get him after you leave.”
Something was certainly different about this situation, but at least Jasper could get home. Then again, Cali worried about the man living here. Clint said he never came out of his house. Why would that be? She knew how lonely she was living in this city and not knowing anyone. Purposely avoiding everyone was the strangest thing Cali had ever heard. This man definitely needed Jasper, just so he had some companionship and wasn’t completely alone. How sad that seemed.
“Look, sir, I’m new here,” she said through the door. “My name is Cali Johnson and I live in the apartment right below you.” She hesitated, wondering if that was too much information to give to a stranger. She wasn’t used to watching what she said or worrying about stranger danger. Strangers were an unusual occurrence in her small hometown except when tourists came through, and Cali never worried much about them.
Deciding she wanted to help this man even if he was a stranger, she forged on. “How about I give you my phone number in case Jasper gets out again? I’ll keep an eye on him for you. My neighbor said he gets out a few times a month, and he seems to have a problem with Jasper. I’d hate for you to lose your cat because no one brings him home.”
A loud snort came from the other side of the doorway. “Why would you do that? You don’t even know me.”
“Isn’t that what people do?” she asked, sincerely shocked. “It’s the holidays. Christmas is just around the corner. Isn’t this a time to be kind to other people?”
“Great,” the man said. “One of those bleeding heart types. You all want to help others until it’s an inconvenience to you and you stop helping.”
He certainly wasn’t grateful, but Cali reminded herself that she shouldn’t do nice things in the hopes of getting recognition for it. Being kind was reward enough.
Awkwardly, because of Jasper’s heavy weight in her arm, Cali sifted through her new purse and found a receipt from lunch. Not daring to shut herself inside the small room in case the door didn’t open back up and the ‘weirdo’ trapped her, she couldn’t put Jasper down. Carefully, she managed to write out a shaky message with her name and phone number. “I hope someone would help me if I were in the same situation, sir. I’m leaving my phone number. Call if you need anything at all. I just moved to the city and don’t know many people, so I’m home a lot besides going to work. Jasper seems like a good boy. I’ll keep an eye out for him.”
“If I could keep the damn cat inside the house, it wouldn’t be a problem. He’s tricky. Always sneaking out when the groceries get delivered. He hides in that room until the door gets opened again.”
Even his groceries were delivered? The man must have quite a bit of money, despite living in a rough neighborhood and a rundown building. It explained why the hallway up here smelled good and was free from trash. He must pay to have it cleaned so his delivery people wouldn’t have issues making it to his door. Not that money mattered if he were trapped inside his home.
“I’ll help out,” Cali promised. “Jasper seems like a good boy. Oh, I didn’t catch your name.”
“I didn’t throw it,” the growly voice replied.
She sighed. “Well then, have a good evening, sir. I’ll leave Jasper and go now.”
Setting the slip of paper with her phone number on the ground, Cali stroked Jasper’s chin and kissed his head despite the smell. “Be good, boy.”
Carefully she backed from the room, set Jasper on the floor, and shut the door.
About the Author


Bestselling author Chantel Rhondeau once thought a great mystery or fantasy book with strong romantic themes was the highest level of reading bliss. After reading her first romantic suspense novel, she never looked back. Chantel is author of six romantic suspense novels, a Christmas novella, and the new McCallister’s Paradise series with many more in the works. She lives in the western United States, and when she’s not writing she loves playing cards with her family, bowling on leagues, and snuggling with her lazy kitties.
Unexpected Gift is EXCLUSIVE to Christmas Pets & Kisses from October 6 – November 6, so pre-order Christmas Pets & Kisses today and be the first of your friends to read Unexpected Gift by Chantel Rhondeau
Get into the Christmas spirit with CHRISTMAS PETS & KISSES. Limited time offer, so grab your set today! ONLY 99c


SCORE ONE FOR LOVE – #NEWRELEASE

Score One for Love 3DI’m very excited to announce the release of SCORE ONE FOR LOVE, a new box set filled with ten steamy novellas with sports’ heroes and heroines scoring touchdowns, hitting home runs, blocking pucks, and kicking goals both on and off the field. My newest release, Third Base, is just one of the romances you’ll find within the pages of this set. I share the limelight with nine talented and best selling romance writers. And the whole set can be downloaded for only $0.99 from all the major online retailers. Take a peek at the video trailer for a little preview of what this set contains. Keep your fan nearby – you may need it.

Purchase Links

Amazon

Apple

Kobo

Barnes & Noble

Sports background

Ten Steamy Novellas by Ten Romance Writers

Playing for Keeps by Michele Shriver

Hockey star Colton Tremblay’s bad-boy reputation got him traded from Montreal to the expansion San Antonio Generals. As a female reporter, Maya Dominguez can’t afford distractions from the players she’s assigned to report on, but Colton is used to getting what he wants. Can he persuade Maya that this time, he is playing for keeps?

Michele Shriver writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance. Her books feature flawed-but-likeable characters in real-life settings. She’s not afraid to break the rules, but never stops believing in happily ever after. Michele counts among her favorite things a good glass of wine, a hockey game, and a sweet and sexy book boyfriend, not necessarily in that order.

Racing Hearts by Marcia James

Stock car legend, Tom “Torque” Tyler, faces a bleak future following a traumatic head injury and seizures. Determined to drag her high-school crush from his self-imposed solitude, service dog trainer, Meg Klein, and a tiny but talented seizure response dog bring Tom hope and love.

Marcia James writes hot, humorous romances and finaled in eleven Romance Writers of America contests before selling her first comic romantic suspense, At Her Command. In her eclectic career, she has shot submarine training videos, organized celebrity-filled nonprofit events and had her wedding covered by People Magazine. After years of dealing with such sexy topics as how to safely install traffic lights, she is enjoying “researching” and plotting her novels’ steamy love scenes with her husband and hero of many years.

Loved by the Linebacker by Lyssa Layne 

When sports agent Camila Lemos and linebacker Evan Purser meet, anything but sparks fly. When the walls are broken down, will a touchdown be scored or will it be yet another fumble for both?

Lyssa Layne is first, and foremost, the proud momma to her precious daughter, AR. In addition to working full-time and being a mommy to AR, she is also an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, a runner, blogger, and an infertility survivor. Having watched one too many medical dramas and being inspired by author Rachelle Ayala, who introduced her to the world of indie writing, Lyssa decided to try her hand at writing a romance story. Her attempt turned into the Burning Lovesick series. You can find Lyssa’s own interests throughout her stories although all stories are fictional.

Finding the Strength by Stacy Eaton

The night Tayla Adams is attacked, Third Degree Black Belt, Cam Giles steps in and stops the violent man. Little did Tayla know that when she takes a self-defense class she will come face to face with her knight in shining armor, but can Tayla learn to defend herself, and gain enough confidence to protect the two of them when the time unexpectedly comes?

Stacy Eaton began her writing career in October of 2010, and as each year goes by, she releases more and more novels. She is a police officer by profession and has been since 2000. Currently, she is assigned as the department detective and enjoys digging into cases and putting the pieces of the puzzles together; with not only interview and interrogation, but by utilizing her certified CSI training.

Third Base by P.C. Zick

Baseball star Tomas Vegas puts all his energy into winning the World Series, until he meets the widow Adriana Moretti. His supermodel ex-girlfriend and Adriana’s tightly-knit Italian family threaten them, but the more they’re pulled apart, the more they silently yearn to be together.

P.C. Zick describes herself as “a storyteller no matter what I write.” And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. Her female characters are strong and sexy and her male heroes are easy to love. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction. When she’s not at the computer, she’s boating, kayaking, golfing, and just generally enjoying life with her husband—a lost love from her youth who resurfaced six years ago. Talk about a romantic story!

Flawed by Jade Kerrion

When burned-out actress Ariel Falconer meets professional beach volleyball player, Jake Hunter, their mutual attraction is immediate and scorching, but neither is ready for the emotional complications of false impressions and clashing expectations. Can Ariel and Jake escape unscathed, or will their conflict shatter their dreams and the promise of love.

Jade Kerrion defied (or leveraged, depending on your point of view) her undergraduate degrees in Biology and Philosophy, as well as her MBA, to launch her second (and concurrent) career as an award-winning science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance author. Her debut novel, Perfection Unleashed, won six literary awards and launched the Double Helix series, which should be read in order for maximum enjoyment. (Hang in there for the happy ending…) Life Shocks Romances features her sweet and sexy contemporary romance series. She writes at 3 a.m. when her husband and three sons are asleep, and aspires to make her readers as sleep-deprived as she is.

An Unforgettable Lesson by Abbie St. Claire 

Huck Tyson hates golf. Period. When it’s suggested that he learn to play for his day job’s camaraderie, he’s less than welcoming of the idea, although desperate to advance his career. Amelia Berringer, the club’s only golf pro, doesn’t expect her student to be quite so negative and meets Huck’s sarcasm with a snarky bite of her own. However, neither of them expect romance to rise from the greens.

With a creative personality, Abbie St. Claire has always had her nose in a book. Whether one for decorative painting, gourmet cooking or steamy erotica. “Heck, those books all go together in my mind. My imagination can easily picture a painting session that turns steamy and I certainly see trying to prepare a gourmet meal while getting deliciously sidetracked with a partner and finishing that meal for breakfast,” St. Claire says with a raised brow and twinkle in her eyes. An International Best Selling Author, St. Claire focuses her work on writing steamy romance from the “writing nook” in her Houston, Texas kitchen, where she’s currently at work on the “5th Avenue Romance Series.

Body Lock by Kimmie Easley

After the violent death of her fiancé, Dakota Asher finds herself with a new desire to tempt fate as an adrenaline junkie. MMA coach, Ford Herveaux specializes in adrenaline. Dakota now specializes in Ford.

Kimmie Easley is an Amazon International bestselling romance author who grew up traveling the country, rarely settling in one place for much longer than a minute. Being no stranger to heartache and love, she allows her unconventional life to fuel her writing. Kimmie is addicted to all things books, wine, cupcakes, and flip-flops. She is a homeschool momma, southern wife and pug wrangler. Kimmie can be found somewhere in the south writing wine worthy stories.

Serving Up Love by Chantel Rhondeau

Melanie Rush has a huge crush on her coach, Ethan Patterson. He has strict rules against relationships within his tennis program, but Melanie wants to break them all. She’s determined to make Ethan hers, no matter what it takes.

Chantel Rhondeau once thought a great mystery or fantasy book with strong romantic themes was the highest level of reading bliss. After reading her first romantic suspense novel, she never looked back. Chantel is author of six romantic suspense novels, a Christmas novella, and the new McCallister’s Paradise contemporary romance series. She lives in the western United States and when she’s not writing, she loves playing cards with her family, bowling on leagues, and snuggling with her lazy kitties.

Played by Love by Rachelle Ayala 

Soccer goalkeeper, Jaden Sloup, has his eye on Ella Kennedy, a woman who won’t date jocks or frat boys. When Ella discovers his ruse, she runs into bullies who force Jaden to fight and prove that jocks and frat boys can be good guys too.

Bestselling author Rachelle Ayala writes dramatic romantic suspense and humorous, sexy contemporary romances. Her heroines are feisty and her heroes hot. She writes emotionally challenging stories but believes in the power of love and hope. She has won awards in multicultural and historical romance.

See why I’m so excited to be a part of this fantastic set of stories? I hope you’ll grab yours today!

PromoThirdBase jpg

Yippee, It’s Release Day for Heroes to Swoon For

88680-heroestoswoonfor_ad700by200I’m one of eleven authors in the contemporary romance boxed set, Heroes to Swoon For, so I can’t write an official review, but I can tell you about the other books I’ve read so far. I’m proud and humbled to be a part of such a talented group of romance writers. I only hope my first romance, Behind the Altar, can stand up to their caliber. And the best part? For a limited time, the entire box set is only $0.99 on Kindle, Kobo, iTunes, and Google.

Here’s a preview of the books, with my short commentary on the ones I’ve read so far. I hope you’ll get your copy and swoon through the holiday season with our heroes rather than stressing about the holiday egg nog. Cheers!

Aroused – J1Arousedade Kerrion

Recently divorced, Dr. Vera Rios is too busy being a single parent to look for Mr. Right. Along comes a man who cherishes her, adores her daughter, and helps her find her sexy groove. The only problem: Mr. Perfect is an escort, with far too many secrets of his own. Will love cost Vera her daughter’s safety?

Commentary: I loved Vera. She’s wounded and vulnerable but still manages to take care of her daughter. Her ex-husband has been created by Jade in the best tradition of jerky exes. The hero is certainly someone to swoon for as a male model, but the comedy of errors when Vera and Mr. Right meet is hilarious but with the ingredients to backfire in everyone’s face. Great romance with plenty of complications.

2Blazing Love TeaserBlazing Love – Chantel Rhondeau

Laura’s attempting to rebuild her life after grieving for her murdered fiancé. Fireman Thayne is the most eligible bachelor in Sayle—strong, loyal, and sexy as hell. He’s determined to show Laura how to love again, but an arsonist loose in Sayle ups the stakes, risking more than their romance.

Commentary: Who doesn’t love a heroic fireman? Thayne is so handsome that the main character Laura finds it difficult to believe he could even look at her let alone love her. I love that Laura isn’t model-perfect, but a real woman who is attractive for other reasons than her body. Thayne and Laura each carry wounds from the past but together they come together in love to fight the awful things happening in their town. I love both of these characters and rooted for their success despite some pretty lousy friends supposedly guiding them along the way. Here’s to a fireman and a vet’s assistant always keeping it hot!

love triangle, two young men and young woman on the beach at sunsetRoaring Hot! –Rachelle Ayala

Motorcycle racer Teo Alexiou cooks up a reality show to convince actress Amy Suzuki to play at being his girlfriend. When Teo and Amy find themselves caught in love’s grip, each suspects the other of acting. Their game playing explodes when Teo is injured on the track and left wondering if the reality show portrayed skillful acting or true love.

Commentary: How about a motorcycle racer with a billionaire father for a hero that makes you all swoony inside? That’s what Rachelle Ayala has created in Roaring Hot! I loved the story line with all its mix-ups and twists and turns. Amy is the actress who’s confused by her role of a lifetime and her introduction to the love of a lifetime. Either way both are hot, and the story takes the reader around the world. I loved the energy of this novel. It’s fast-paced, which goes with the racing part of the story, and fun to read.

 4TheRightPitchThe Right Pitch – Lyssa Layne

Colie Adger is trying to make it in the big leagues as an athletic trainer with the help of best friend Grant Adamson, a veteran pitcher on her team. Colie’s elated when big time pitcher Jace Richards, her former crush, comes back into her life. This time, he wants it all, with Colie front and center. Can Colie figure out her own heart and hit a homerun off the right pitch?

Commentary: What’s not to like about finely-tuned baseball players? Colie’s job is one to envy because of her close physical relationship to the players. It’s the dream for a young woman to have two baseball pitchers fighting over her–at least for me!
5Art of LoveThe Art of Love– Michele Shriver

After watching her parents’ marriage crumble, jewelry artist Chelsea Matthews doesn’t believe in love or happy endings.Sexy painter Hayden Shaw sets out to show Chelsea the art of love and prove to her that good guys do exist, but a gallery curator with an agenda of her own threatens both their happiness and their future dreams.

Commentary: I loved this book, and you can read my review of The Art of Love here.

6BehindTheAltarBehind the Altar – P.C. Zick

All seems perfect in Leah’s life until tattoo artist Dean rides his Harley into her heart. Dean, who’s been away from his home for ten years, finds himself irresistibly drawn to Leah’s natural beauty and genuine goodness, but Leah’s engagement to Dean’s brother stands in the way. The more they fight the attraction, the harder it is to stay apart.

Commentary: I’m not going to comment on my own book, but here’s a review from Amazon: Engaged to one brother but wanting the other. Such is Leah’s plight in this compelling story of forbidden love that is the first in an exciting new trilogy. The chemistry between Leah and Dean burns hot, and provides an interesting contrast to the backdrop of a church soup kitchen for homeless vets, which Is Leah’s other passion. With well-drawn characters, especially a villain that readers should be hating for a while, this book is a winner.

7LostAvalonLost Avalon – K.S. Thomas

Rockstar Blaise has it all with his brooding good looks, haunting voice and troubled lyrics of a soul gone lost. Only Blaise didn’t wind up brooding, haunted and lost by accident…
Avalon has been the girl next door since she was five. The band manager since she was sixteen, and the keeper of his secrets always. But Blaise has one secret even Ava doesn’t know.

Commentary: Lost Avalon is a fun romp through the rock and roller coaster of love. On the surface, it’s the story of a rock star about to fall apart unless his long-suffering friend can save him. But as the story unfolds, it’s more about facing the past in order to move forward. Ava and Blaise fight the past ravaged by alcoholism and mental illness. It’s not predictable, but it’s very romantic. It’s sexy yet tastefully presented in the artful hands of K.S. Thomas who is a talented story teller.

8SecondShieldSecond Shield – Stacy Eaton

When Agent Drew Bradley goes undercover to find an officer gone rogue, he finds Detective Sergeant Mackenzie McAllister, and she is nothing like he expected. Mack is the epitome of control, but when the rookie, twelve years younger than her, enters The Unit, the control she mastered slowly slips away. Can Drew solve the case before Mack loses her control completely?

Commentary: Coming Soon!

9Amber RulesAmber Rules – Melinda Curtis

For years, Amber was the main attraction in her father’s self-help infomercials.  Now, she must improve the mental game of the biggest bad-ass in the N.B.A., Evan Oliver. Too bad Amber knows nothing about basketball or life coaching. Too bad Even Oliver is determined to do things his own way, especially when it comes to teaching Amber a new set of rules.

Commentary: Coming Soon!

10Wild Irish RideWild Irish Ride – Jennifer Saints

Given a second chance at forbidden love, Alexi plunges headlong into the passion Jesse ignites. To Jesse, love is an overrated word for getting ones needs met, and he’ll gladly take Alexi on the ride of her life. Maybe then, he can get her out of his head. But the forces that tore them apart before are at work again and may cost them their lives this time.

Commentary: Coming Soon!

11HowYouRemindMeBonus Story: How You Remind Me – Julie Leto

Sexy guitarist Shaw Tyler knows lawyer Kate Schaffer’s personal fantasies and secrets. Trouble is, she doesn’t remember why. Kate used to live a wild and crazy life. After a scary black-out, she cleaned up her act. Problem is, who’s the man who acts like he knows exactly what she wants, and is she willing to find out if her past was a mistake?

Commentary: Coming Soon!

Author Wednesday – Chantel Rhondeau

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Welcome to Author Wednesday on Writing Whims. Today, Chantel Rhondeau stops by to talk about her newly released romantic mystery/suspense novel Crime & Passion.C&P_667x1000

Welcome to Writing Whims today, Chantel. I love both the title and cover of your book. Both definitely convey your genre. I’m always curious about author voice – I believe it’s one of the most difficult things to find. When did you first discover your voice as a writer?

I think finding your writing voice is actually one of the tougher aspects. I really wanted to be a fantasy author, and tried several failed attempts to make that work. I’ve always loved reading mysteries, and no matter what genre I read, I love a little taste of romance. When I read my first romantic suspense, I was hooked and knew my genre. After that, I had no trouble with my voice.

That’s great that you’ve found it and know that it’s what you want to do. What messages or themes do you try to convey to your readers?

The themes of my book seem to creep up on me. Always & Forever is about an abused woman running from a crazed stalker. However, it ultimately became a story about the aftermath of abuse and her rebuilding her life. Crime & Passion is essentially a murder mystery, but the subject of child abuse is important to the story line. I’m not trying to be preachy or force a message on my readers, but it seems the subjects most dear to my heart find their way into my writing.

Do you have a favorite character that you created? Who is it and why is it your favorite?

Madeline Scott from Crime & Passion is my favorite. She’s tough and sassy. She doesn’t back down from a fight and her sarcastic wit had me and my critique partners frequently laughing.

What’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?

I love it when they say my characters are compelling and the book is a page-turner. This is exactly what I strive to create.

What is the message conveyed in your book?

Beyond my anti-abuse themes, I love the idea that love heals all. I like flawed characters who have to face their past in order to embrace their future.

What is the best thing someone could say about this book?

I love hearing, “I didn’t know who the killer was until the end. I suspected one character, but you convinced me it was someone else.” To me, that’s the perfect mystery, and the kind I like to read.

What type of research did you do in the writing for Crime & Passion?

I had to do a lot of research about court proceedings and police procedures to make things realistic.

Who or what is the antagonist in your book? Did you enjoy creating this character?

This book included more than one. I loved them all. It was fun exploring their motives. One of the “bad guys” is my second-favorite character in the book.

What else do you want readers to know about Crime & Passion?

I’ve talked a lot about the mystery aspect, which was fun, but the romance between Madeline and Donovan is central to the plot. I had a lot of fun exploring their relationship and watching as they fell in love. I hope you do, too.

I’m so glad you stopped by today, Chantel. I wish you abundant book sales and success in all you do.

Author PicAbout Chantel Rhondeau – Chantel once thought a great mystery or fantasy book with strong romantic themes was the highest level of reading bliss. After reading her first romantic suspense novel, she never looked back. Before long, the need to create her own stories took over. She spends her daytime in the clinical profession of medical transcriptionist, but her passion is in the blissful hours she spends with her characters in the evenings.

Chantel lives in the western United States. When she isn’t writing, she loves playing cards with her family and snuggling with her lazy kitties.

Read the first three chapters at Chantel’s blog: http://www.chantelrhondeau.com/2013/03/crime-passion-romantic-suspense-and.html

Connect with Chantel

Website: http://www.chantelrhondeau.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Chantel-Rhondeau/e/B008ZSM1KQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Twitter http://twitter.com/ChantelRhondeau

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ChantelRhondeau

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6444354.Chantel_Rhondeau

Email: ChantelRhondeau@gmail.com

Buy the book

Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/Z24vsP

Amazon Paperback in Createspace Store: http://bit.ly/ZJDjOp

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/Ys0lHs

KOBO: http://bit.ly/Y8qWNB

All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/YnS2iX

Add it on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/14ZgyHW

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