I gave my cover artist a few details of the story and ask for a "small-town, happy" feeling cover. As always Elaina Lee from For The Muse Designs came through and exceeded my expectations.
November 1st is coming up quick and blogging as taken a back seat while I get the final edits done on this story. So, today in celebration of release being only about two weeks away...here is a little teaser from Chapter 1.
MUFFINS & MISTLETOE
(A Starlight Hills Holiday Novella)
Welcome to Starlight Hills! Mountain views, small town charm, and one little bake shop, where romance is always on the menu.
Christmas is the best time of year to be in love in Starlight Hills. Cold nights perfect for snuggling, plenty of mistletoe to be caught kissing under, and an abundance of gingerbread muffins for sharing under the stars. But when Corinne Mackenzie turns down a proposal from the man she loves at the Thanksgiving table, it could be the worst time of year instead. Convinced the only way to fix the biggest mistake of her life is to enlist the help of the town's resident matchmaker, she's got a plan to make this the best Christmas ever.
After his proposal is rejected in front of family and friends, Jimmy Crane knows his only chance of surviving the holiday is to avoid the woman who stomped on his heart. The only obstacle to his plan is his matchmaking mother and Corinne's knack for getting him under the mistletoe.
Corinne Mackenzie had no choice but to seek out the help of the town matchmaker.
Her down-filled coat flapped against her knees as she rushed down the street toward the Starlight Hills Civic Center anxious to get out of the cold. The coat did its job insulating her body from Old Man Winter, but nothing could keep the chill from her heart these days. Though the morning sun glistened on the branches creating the illusion of warmth, the wind sliced across her face with it’s arctic blast reminding her it was December. The thirty-foot-tall Norway Spruce stood at the center of Triangle Park to her right. With its boughs adorned with festive red bows, the town’s holiday symbol barely swayed an inch against the same icy gusts that tugged the hood from her head.
Inside the entryway, she stomped the snow off her boots while she did a quick scan of the area for any sign of Jimmy Crane. Then she came to her senses. Of course Jimmy wouldn’t be here. He’d been avoiding her.
She knew it.
The whole town knew it, too.
Her heart sank to her down-covered knees.
Even though she was the editor of the Starlight Hills Herald, Corinne couldn’t stop the small town gossip mill from grinding out the sordid details.
For the first time in her life, she had to screen her calls. Amazing how many men crawled out of the woodwork once word got out she had commitment issues. Which she didn’t. She got scared, maybe she got cold feet—but she did not have a problem committing!
Jimmy must have had been screening his calls, too. Or maybe her number had been blocked. Either way, he’d made it clear he didn’t want to talk to her.
Refusing to step down from the Preservation Society’s Holiday Gala Committee was her last hope at forcing them together. He needed to know how wrong she was, how miserable she was without him. She had to apologize and set things right between them, but how could she when the stubborn man wouldn’t take her calls?
If she had any hope of not losing the man she loved, she had to resort to desperate measures.
Slipping off her coat, she hung it on the rack beside the door and spotted her target. Elizabeth Crane, the muffin baking, matchmaker extraordinaire. Corinne pushed Jimmy out of her thoughts and focused instead on the woman coming to greet her with a bakery bag in one hand and a wide smile on her face. Elizabeth “Bitty” Crane had an uncommon knack for what some would call meddling, but most knew it was pure matchmaking skill. Corinne had never known Bitty to be wrong when she announced a couple fit. If only her brother, Dalton had listened before he eloped with Melanie, but he didn’t, and now he was alone and miserable.
She refused to follow in Dalton’s footsteps, or those of their parents before them. She’d come to her senses, hopefully before it was too late. She wanted Jimmy Crane. They were meant to be together. If that meant enlisting the help of his mother, so be it.
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Corinne and Jimmy's holiday romance will hit the shelves November 1st!