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Very excited to share with you my review for Save the Date by Aven Ellis today but first, here’s the blurb.

Chicago event planner Collins Brady knows how to make the magic happen for her clients. From elaborate weddings to cute baby showers, Collins knows what to do to make an experience breathtakingly perfect. In her mind, she adds the sparkle that makes everything shine.

If only she had that same sparkle in her personal life.
While she’s good at her job, her true career dreams lie elsewhere. If she could do anything, it would be to become an equestrian riding instructor. That dream, however, is shelved due to practicality. And that’s not the only thing Collins has shelved. After ending a relationship with her college sweetheart, Collins has taken her heart out of the game, too. She wonders if that magical kind of love can exist. But maybe it’s only a fantasy.

Or is it?

All of that changes the night she meets Luca Ballerini, the rookie goalie for the Chicago Buffaloes. Passionate and fiercely determined, Luca has only made time for hockey in his life—until he meets Collins. Her spark hasn’t escaped him, and now Luca wants something other than his hockey career.

But following their dreams and hearts isn’t always easy. Can Collins and Luca find a way to live their dreams with each other?

Will love get past them? Or will this goalie make a perfect save of Collins’ heart?

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Review

I absolutely loved this book, its Aven Ellis at her very best.

Aven just shines in her characterisation. Her characters are always so real and so likeable. Collins was such a fantastic character and I loved how she grew throughout the book because of Luca. Luca is probably one of my favourite Aven Ellis heroes to date and that’s saying something when I’ve fallen in love with every one. But Luca was so so lovely, so kind and just so big and sexy!! The other characters were superb too, Aubrey and Livy provided wonderful warmth and support as her two best friends, and I loved seeing Landy and Beckett again who we met in previous stories but the star of the fabulous supporting cast was Nana who added real humour to several parts of the story.

The love story was so sweet and heartwarming, i had the biggest smile on my face throughout the whole story. When people say that Aven writes feel good stories, it couldn’t be more true, because it made me feel good all the way through.

Aven’s humour made me laugh out loud on so many times, from the fantastic one-liners courtesy of Nana, to the hilarious demands of Collins’s clients and the fabulous banter between Luca and Collins, it all made me smile and laugh so much.

I cannot recommend this story enough, it really was the perfect, feel good story

I know you will fall in love with Luca and Collins and their beautiful story so why not download it today

UK Amazon

US Amazon

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Read an extract of Aven’s fabulous new story

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Yayyyyy!!! It’s publication day for Save the Date by Aven Ellis and I just know you are going to fall in love with this gorgeous story.

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Here’s the blurb
Chicago event planner Collins Brady knows how to make the magic happen for her clients. From elaborate weddings to cute baby showers, Collins knows what to do to make an experience breathtakingly perfect. In her mind, she adds the sparkle that makes everything shine.
If only she had that same sparkle in her personal life.
While she’s good at her job, her true career dreams lie elsewhere. If she could do anything, it would be to become an equestrian riding instructor. That dream, however, is shelved due to practicality. And that’s not the only thing Collins has shelved. After ending a relationship with her college sweetheart, Collins has taken her heart out of the game, too. She wonders if that magical kind of love can exist. But maybe it’s only a fantasy.
Or is it? All of that changes the night she meets Luca Ballerini, the rookie goalie for the Chicago Buffaloes. Passionate and fiercely determined, Luca has only made time for hockey in his life—until he meets Collins. Her spark hasn’t escaped him, and now Luca wants something other than his hockey career.
But following their dreams and hearts isn’t always easy. Can Collins and Luca find a way to live their dreams with each other?
Will love get past them? Or will this goalie make a perfect save of Collins’ heart?

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And here is a fabulous extract of the story

“Luca,” I say, my tone serious, “why did you want to meet me after seeing that website picture?”
“It’s not obvious?” Luca asks, surprise resonating in his deep voice.
“No.”
“Have you ever seen a picture of someone that made you intrigued and want to know their story? That’s what happened with you.”
I furrow my brow. “What story?”
Luca is silent for a moment. “I think you have a lot of stories, Collins.”
Ooh!
“You are uniquely beautiful; I won’t lie. That’s what caught my attention at first,” Luca continues. “Then seeing you posing with a horse, I couldn’t get over how genuinely happy you looked. Livy told me the horse was yours. While she went on to talk about bracelets, I couldn’t stop thinking about you. The girl with the cool name. The girl with the freckles and the light-brown hair and the toffee-colored eyes. The girl who loves horses. I wanted to know her story. Your story.”
I stare back at him, impressed with his honesty. This is a man who doesn’t play games. Luca is direct. He takes charge and goes after what he wants.
He took action tonight, just like I did.
“Hopefully, my story will live up to what you envisioned,” I say.
Luca is quiet for a moment. His hazel eyes linger on mine.
“So far it has.”

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I know you will fall in love with Luca and Collins and their beautiful story so why not download it today

UK Amazon

US Amazon

 

 

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Review of On Thin Ice by Aven Ellis

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Delighted to be sharing with you my review of the utterly brilliant On Thin Ice, the new Dallas Hockey romance by Aven Ellis

This book was simply perfect. The love story between Matt and Holly was utterly beautiful. I really liked Matt when I met him in the previous Dallas Demons hockey stories but I completely fell in love with him in this book. Through Holly we see a side to Matt that he never shows to anyone else, this unbelievably sweet, gentle, caring side that Holly fell in love with when she first met him two years before and has carried that feeling for him ever since. Little did she know that he feels the same way and on New Year’s Eve her life changes forever.

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But true love never runs smoothly and when they agree to keep their blossoming romance secret from Nate, Holly’s brother and Matt’s teammate you know there’s going to be trouble ahead.

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Aven’s characters are always so real and well rounded that you feel like these are people you know in real life, that you are reading a story about your friends and that’s a wonderful quality that you genuinely care what happens to them. And you get this feeling, not just the two main characters but with all the characters in the story.

Aven writes beautiful heartwarming stories which will have you smiling throughout, whether that’s smiling at the gorgeous heroes or wonderful strong heroines, the gorgeous love stories or the brilliant witty banter, it definitely has that feel good factor that will have you turning page after page. With On Thin Ice she has done it again with a brilliant story I absolutely devoured.

Pop over to amazon and grab your copy now Download here

 

 

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Publication Day for On Thin Ice by Aven Ellis

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Its publication day for On Thin Ice the new hockey romance from Aven Ellis. So excited for you to read it and fall in love with it too.

Here’s what the book is all about

Holly Johansson knows some things in her life are certain after college graduation:

1.) It’s a long road to become a full-time author.

2.) She’ll need to work to pay her bills.

3.) And Dallas Demons superstar Matt Rhinelander will never return her feelings.

Holly knows her unrequited crush on the partying hockey player is ridiculous. There’s no way Matt would be attracted to a woman who prefers nights in watching TV or reading books when he’s known for his frequent bar hops and fast lifestyle. Obviously he would never see her as anything other than his teammate’s little sister.

Yet Holly is drawn to the other side of Matt—the man she knows has always been thoughtful and easy to talk to whenever she’s been alone with him. It is this Matt that fueled the crush Holly has on him. And she knows it will always be just that—a secret crush.

Or will it?

Because when Matt helps Holly through a crisis, her heart begins to believe that there might be feelings on his part, too. After a night of hard partying puts Matt in jeopardy with the Dallas Demons, can Holly be the one to save him? And when Matt admits he sees her as more than Nate Johansson’s sister, will it put both of them on thin ice?

I know you will fall in love with Matt as much as I did. Read on for the first chapter

Chapter 1

The Game Plan for December 31st

√Come up with resolutions for the New Year.

√Finish chapter one of my debut novel.

√Put on a happy face and pretend I’m excited to go to the Dallas Demons New Year’s Eve party tonight.

√Get dressed and try to project confidence in an evening gown while pretending I don’t care I’m surrounded by the players’ wives and girlfriends who are practically supermodels.

√Refrain from staring at Matt Rhinelander like a lovesick tween from a Disney Channel show from across the room.

I furrow my brow as I stare at the list written in my Things To Do Today! planner. I absently tap a gold pen against my lips, knowing I can’t place the final checks next to the last three items on my list. I toss the planner aside and anxiously twist my long brown hair into a knot, securing it at the nape of my neck by shoving the pen in it.

Uggggggggggggggggh.

It’s already six o’clock.

And I’m still sitting on my bed with my computer on my lap.

I haven’t even showered yet.

And I have to say, my Harry Potter Ravenclaw T-shirt and yoga pants are way more comfortable than the cocktail dress hanging on the back of my door.

I would be much happier writing for Calla, the fairy heroine in my manuscript, than standing awkwardly in the corner of a party, trying to act like I belong. I’d rather stay here in my brother’s guest bedroom in Dallas than go to a New Year’s Eve shindig in ritzy Highland Park.

Besides, if I weren’t Holly Johansson, little sister of Demons superstar Nate Johansson, I wouldn’t even be invited tonight. Not that I want to be. I’m not into parties.

Or getting drunk.

Since graduating from Northwestern this past month, I’m focused solely on my post-graduate life.

Which means finding gainful employment.

Yes, I am working—and working hard—at writing my debut fantasy novel, but since that won’t even cover a ketchup packet at a fast-food restaurant, I need to get a day job. And since Dallas rent is more than I can afford, I’ll move back home with my parents in Minnesota after the holidays.

I sigh. So far my website, which I designed to offer editing and proofreading services, has gathered fewer clicks than I care to think about. I’ve already inquired at the local library in my hometown, and they don’t need anyone. And I’ve applied for entry-level jobs in all areas of communication in Dallas, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Chicago. I’ve had some interviews. But no offers.

But the truth is, all I want to do is write novels. I know becoming an author is a marathon, not a sprint. Even if it’s my dream, I need a day job to earn money now and stick to squirreling away whatever free time I have for writing.

I glance down at what I’ve written:

Calla knew she shouldn’t venture across to the North Woods. That land was beyond Flagstone Forest. Fairies were feared there. Normally Calla would never dream of stepping over the line, but the towering redwood trees and waterfalls were so beautiful, and for some reason she couldn’t explain, she was drawn to enter it this December evening.

North Woods inhabitants considered fairies evil, but despite knowing the dangers, Calla flew across the boundary as if no one was there. She soared between the redwoods, hiding between leafy branches, admiring the beauty of the foreign land below her. She would simply take in the view, that was all. See if danger truly lurked there as her older brother often lectured. But she needed to experience this for herself. She would observe quietly from high above, then leave. Nobody would notice she had been there.

That was when she saw him.

“Holly?”

I blink as I hear Kenley say my name, followed by a rap on the door.

I quickly close my laptop. “Come in.”

My brother’s girlfriend enters, already dressed in a gorgeous black evening gown. She’s wearing a maxi dress, floor-length with spaghetti-straps, but embellished for formal wear with a sexy V-neck mesh insert. Her blond hair is long and flowing, her makeup soft and subtle.

As always, Kenley is stunning.

“Are you going to get dressed?” Kenley asks. “We’re going early so I can supervise set up of the dessert table.”

Kenley has a business called Confection Consultations , where she helps plan desserts for parties. She coordinated the display for tonight, so of course, she has to be there early.

But maybe this can be my out, I think hopefully.

“You can go ahead without me,” I say. “Obviously I’m not in New Year’s Eve form yet.”

Kenley cocks an eyebrow. “You promise you’ll show up later?”

Damn it.

“Uh,” I say, testing the waters. “I’m not a big party person. It’s the writer-recluse personality in me. And I have so much work I want to get done before I have a full-time job. It really makes more sense for me to stay home and work.”

Kenley studies me. “You know my mother will not allow you to skip out on this.”

Kenley’s mother is CiCi Hunter, who happens to be dating the owner of the Dallas Demons, Peter Deveraux. She is, in essence, the co-host of this holiday bash, an annual event thrown for the entire Demons organization.

There is no way CiCi would forgive me if I didn’t attend.

I push the laptop aside and stand up. “Okay. But this party only. I’m not going to the party at Harrison Flynn’s afterward,” I declare, referring to the after party being hosted by the Demons’ captain.

“I know you don’t like parties, and you’d rather be in your writing world,” Kenley says. “But sometimes it’s good to do something different. One night won’t throw you off your timetable, I promise. You can talk to me all night. And Lexi,” she adds, referring to her best friend who is dating the Dallas Demons’ producer. “You won’t be standing in a corner by yourself.”

My heart fills with gratitude for Kenley. I misjudged her in the beginning, fearing she was dating Nate for all the wrong reasons. I swallow down the shame I feel for treating her poorly. She is good for Nate, and I have to admit, she’s been good for me, too.

“How did I get so lucky that Nate fell for you?” I ask.

Kenley begins to blush. “Oh, stop it.”

“She’s telling the truth,” Nate says, grinning at us from the doorway and looking sharp in a black tuxedo suit.

“Nobody is luckier than me.”

I see the gaze exchanged between Nate and Kenley and I have no doubts of how much they love each other.

I clear my throat. “Okay, I’ll get ready, but only for this party. Nothing more.”

Nate smiles at me, his dark-brown eyes dancing. “I wouldn’t ask for more. It’s a miracle Kenley is prying you away from your laptop as it is.”

I grab a throw pillow off the bed and lob it at him. “Shut up.” He laughs and catches the pillow mid-air, like his famous in-flight puck grabs on the ice.

“Get ready,” Nate says, tossing the pillow back on the bed. “Don’t make me give you penalty minutes for being late. Earn enough and I’ll force you to go to Flynn’s party.”

“Okay, okay,” I say, laughing. “I’ll get ready.”

“I’ll leave my car keys on the countertop for you,” Kenley says, “along with the invitation. Directions are inside.”

“Thank you,” I say.

“You’re welcome,” she replies. “We’ll see you there.”

“Right?” Nate adds, eyeing me.

“Yes, yes, I’ll be there,” I reassure him.

After they leave, I get up off the bed, and Nate’s dog Marabou comes bounding into my room, his puppy tail wagging in excitement.

“I know, I’d rather stay at home and play with you,” I say, bending down and stroking his head with affection.

Because it’s true. I’m much better with animals and books than I am with people.

I close the door to my room, and my New Year’s Eve gown is hanging on the back of the hook, a reminder that I can’t escape tonight.

I sigh. At times like this, I wish I were normal. That I didn’t suffer from social anxiety in group situations. Nobody knows this secret. Not even Nate. He thinks it’s a writer thing, and that I’m shy, but it’s more than that.

In reality, I feel inadequate in party settings. Like I’m being judged. Like people know I’m only there because of Nate. I know they are all wondering how super-cool Nate Johansson has such a socially inept sister. I’m the picture in the Sesame Street bit where one of these things is not like the others.

The setting tonight will be worse than usual. Surrounded by women who are not only gorgeous—some of them actual models—but also supremely confident. Confident in being social, letting loose, and having fun at a party. In being able to date hockey players and interact in a high-profile scene.

While the mere idea of being at this party sends me into a mild panic. I’ll wait to hit full-blown panic until I get there.

It’ll be something to look forward to. I smile. Okay, despite having crippling social anxiety, I at least can joke about it, even if it’s only with myself.

Once I get to the party, though, the anxiety will kick in, along with the physical symptoms. I’ll start sweating. Oh, this ought to be lovely in an evening gown. Good thing I use clinical deodorant on nights like these. Nervousness will overcome me. I’ll shake. As soon as that symptom pops up, I’ll make sure I put down any drink I’m holding.

But the best is when my eye starts twitching and I look like my contact is stuck—entirely possible in my ongoing war with my contact lenses—and I take on a similarity to a certain cartoon character who is a sailor man.

Ugh.

I hold up the dress and carefully remove the plastic.

Kenley helped me pick out the one-shouldered silver gown by Laundry, and I have to admit it’s gorgeous. It is made of silver sequins, embroidered in an art-deco-inspired pattern, with a long straight skirt and slit up the side.

I study the dress, wishing it could give me some kind of superpower to be normal at the party. But while I could write this superpower into a book, it’s not going to happen in reality, so I hang the dress back up and head into the guest bathroom to get ready.

I turn on the hot water to the shower to let it warm up.

While I wait, I remove my tortoiseshell glasses and place them on the countertop, knowing tonight calls for contacts.

Maybe for once they’ll cooperate and I’ll be able to get them in without dropping one down the drain.

I quickly shower and wash my hair before stepping out into the now steam-filled bathroom. I wrap two towels around me, one for my hair to help soak up the water and keep the damp strands from my face and the other around my body.

I proceed to moisturize, deodorize, and blow out my long, brown hair with a big round brush. Once I’m primed, I zip myself into the dress.

Next step: contacts.

The one thing I’m in a love-hate relationship with. I wear my glasses all the time—hardly ever choosing these thin torture devices—but I feel like this dress calls for the contacts.

If I can successfully get them in, that is.

I mean, really, how hard can this be? In addition to social anxiety, I’m dealt the card of being utterly inept when putting contacts in.

Life is cruel.

I know I’m being dramatic, but I’m a writer. I think it’s in the writer’s handbook. The license to be dramatic.

I open the case. I pick one up and put it in my right eye, praying it doesn’t slide off into the corner. I blink a few times and holy shit, it’s in! I’ve successfully put in a contact before an event!

“Okay, down to the left eye,” I say to myself. I tip my finger into the left contact holder and go to lift it, and rip! It catches on my fingernail and tears in half.

“Damn it!” I yell. “Damn it, why? Why can’t I do this?”

Marabou barks in response. I’m lucky he can’t speak or he’d tell Nate I’m a loon who talks to herself.

I focus on my reflection in the mirror. My vision in my right eye is perfect, the left is completely blurred. So much for thinking I could skate by with one contact in. Too bad I’m out of replacements.

I take the lone contact out, conceding defeat. I put on my trusty glasses and scrunch up my nose. Not quite the look I was going for, but it will have to do. I grab my silver sequined clutch, and anxiety begins to build in my chest, knowing it’s almost time to leave. I rationalize with myself as I enter the kitchen and pick up the invitation and Kenley’s keys.

I’ll know people there. I know Kenley, Nate, Kenley’s sister and mom, and her best friend, Lexi. I hung out with all of them at the Dallas Demons Casino Night last month, and I did okay at that event. It helped that I was working as an operative to help get Lexi and Niko together, so I had a role to distract me, but still. I didn’t get twitchy until later in the evening.

I lock the door behind me and head to the elevator.

And I know Matt Rhinelander.

As soon as I think of him, my stomach does a loop-the-loop. Heat radiates across my cheekbones, and my throat goes dry.

I’ve known Matt for years now. He’s always been a teammate of Nate’s, from their start in Minnesota to when they were both traded to the Dallas Demons last summer.

Nate has brought him home for dinners, cookouts, and holidays when he couldn’t go back home to Wisconsin. He’s always been sweet to me, asked how I was doing and how school was going.

I know he was only being nice. A good guest.

And yet I have this stupid crush on him that won’t go away.I hit the down button on the elevator and close my eyes. The dumbest crush in the history of all crushes in the universe. Matt is never going to see me as anything other than Nate’s sister. Besides, he likes gorgeous girls who have no problem throwing down shots in a bar and dancing on tabletops.

I’m not his type.

Yet here I am. Dealing with stupid butterflies because I know I’ll see him tonight.

Ugh. I should stop the elevator. I should go home. I should— The chime of my Harry Potter ringtone fills the air of the elevator. I snap out of my thoughts and retrieve my phone from my clutch. It’s Nate.

God, he really could have a second career as a psychic.

“Hello?” I answer.

“Are you on your way?”

“Yes,” I say as the elevator doors open. “I’m in the parking garage right now.”

“You’re not bailing?”

I swear Nate knows me better than anyone.

“No. I considered it, though,” I admit.

“CiCi would send security out to retrieve you if you pulled that stunt,” he says, referring to Kenley’s strong-willed mother.

I don’t laugh. I could totally see CiCi doing that.

“No, I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

I hang up with Nate and make the drive over to Highland Park, an exclusive suburb of Dallas. My GPS helps me along, as Dallas is still foreign to me. Before I know it, I’m pulling up to a line of cars that are waiting for valet service in front of Peter Deveraux’s luxurious French-style estate.

I can’t help but laugh. Thanks to Nate’s hockey career, I’ve ended up in a completely foreign universe.

The car in front of me comes to a stop, and I see Demons’ forward JP Rochat step out of a sleek black Maserati. He hands his keys to one valet, while another runs toward me.

He opens my door and helps me step out into the freezing December night.

“Good evening, may I have your name, Miss?” he asks me.

“Good evening, I’m Holly Johansson,” I say.

He picks up a walkie-talkie and repeats my name, and I know he’s having someone ensure I’m on the guest list, which is quickly confirmed.

“I’ll take care of your car,” he says, smiling at me. I drop the keys into his open hand and thank him. “Have a good evening, Ms. Johansson.”

Right. Good evening. I’m sure it will be great with sweating and twitching and panic, but hey, it’s New Year’s Eve and time to celebrate, right?

I so know how to party.

“Holly?”

I turn and see JP is waiting for me on the circular drive.

I smile. I met JP at Casino Night last month, and I have to say, he’s very handsome with his hazel eyes and dark hair.

Very sweet, too.

“Hi, JP, how are you?” I ask as I walk toward him.

I quickly realize these high heels are going to murder my feet tonight.

If I don’t fall flat on my face first, that is.

I concentrate on walking while JP waits, smiling brightly at me.

“I’m good,” JP says. “You look beautiful tonight, Holly.”

Heat rises again in my cheeks. “Thank you.”

We walk toward the estate, and as I see the swell of people outside the entrance, my social anxiety makes its first appearance of the night. I swallow hard. Maybe if I pretend I have a task like I did at Casino Night , I can be normal longer.

I’m a writer. I need to script something and act it out, and then I’ll be okay.

“Aren’t you cold?” JP asks.

I blink. “No. Why?”

“It’s thirty-five degrees out, and you aren’t wearing a coat.”

Ha! If he only knew I’d be sweating in about ten minutes, he’d understand why I don’t need to mess with a coat tonight.

“I’m from Minnesota, this isn’t that cold,” I say lightly.

Which is true. Compared to Minnesota right now, Dallas is practically tropical.

We step up to the sweeping entrance, and I’m surrounded by all kinds of people. I know this party is for everyone in the Demons organization, from ticket sales staff to players to the vice president of operations. Live jazz music floats through the air, and once I step inside, I’m greeted with soaring foyers and opulent marble floors. Servers walk around with trays of champagne and wine. There’s a coat check to my left, and I see a lavish buffet set up across the long hallway, complete with carving stations. The mansion is completely decked out for the holiday, too, with exquisite Christmas décor everywhere.

The halls are crowded with people celebrating as far as the eye can see.

So. Many. People.

I might set a new record for world’s worst panic attack.

People are talking and laughing around me. Drinks are being poured. A group is dancing across the marble floor in the living room at the end of the hall.

And I am frozen in place.

“Would you like a drink?” JP asks me.

My throat is going dry. Oh, shit. Shit. Symptom number one is already kicking in.

“Um, would you excuse me?” I say, realizing I’m about to hit complete panic very soon.

“Sure, of course,” JP says. “I’ll see you later.”

As I turn away, I see a group of players’ wives and girlfriends. They’re all gorgeous. Talking, laughing, being fun. Do I even know how to be fun?

Doubt riddles me. I see a familiar face from Instagram.

Her name is Lauren, and she’s dating the goalie. She has a modeling contract with a huge agency. I’ve seen her in magazine ads. She’s wearing a killer short dress that shows off her long, gazelle-like legs. Next to her, I see Kenley with Nate, laughing and talking with Niko, the Dallas Demons producer, and his girlfriend Lexi.

They aren’t freaking out about what other people think.

They aren’t feeling their chests grow tight in fear.

Why can’t I be normal? I know I’m being irrational.

But I’m powerless to stop it.

Sweat. Now I feel sweat.

The walls are already closing in, faster than usual. I need to regroup. I need air. My eyes dart around the room, like a secret agent looking for an escape.

I see it. A huge row of French doors that I know lead outdoors. I head to them on instinct. I’ll find a terrace or garden or pool on the other side. Some place where there won’t be as many people, I know that.

Sweat is starting to drip down my back. I’m burning up.

I feel like I might pass out.

I weave through the mass of people, feeling lucky that very few of the guests know who I am and I can retreat undetected. I reach the door handle and pop it open, greeted by a whoosh of cold air as I step into the dark Dallas night.

I find myself on a terrace overlooking a lush manicured garden, illuminated by strategically placed lights.

I shut the door behind me and draw a deep breath of air.

I’m shaking now. Every symptom is in play except for the eye twitch, which is going to happen any second. I fight back tears. I will not let my social anxiety be seen by anyone.

Nobody is here. I can collect myself. Then, when I’m calm, I can return to the party, talk to the people I need to talk to, and go home.

Shame fills me. Nobody can know about my problem.

Nobody would understand. People will think I’m insane.

But out here I’m alone.

My anxiety is my secret.

I’m safe.

“Holly?”

I drop my clutch.

I know that Midwestern-accented voice.

I find Matt Rhinelander emerging from the corner of the terrace, his blue eyes locked directly on mine.

 If you loved this and want to read some more, then pop over to Amazon and grab your copy now. 

mybook.to/thinice

 

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My review of Mistletoe on 34th Street by Lisa Dickenson

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Really excited to bring you my review of Mistletoe on 34th Street by Lisa Dickenson but before I do, here’s the gorgeous blurb.

Full of romance and festive magic, Mistletoe on 34th Street is the funniest and most charming love story you will read this Christmas!

Olivia has never experienced a snow-covered, ‘traditional’ Christmas before. Having grown up in a family that chose winter sun over decking the halls, she’s not sure what all the fuss is about. So when she and her colleagues are stranded in New York after a work trip, Olivia is perfectly happy spending the holiday season in the Big Apple.

Jon, Olivia’s friend, on the other hand is desperate to get home in time for his big family get-together. Nevertheless, determined to make the best out of the situation, he sets out to show Olivia how enchanting Christmas in New York can be. And when handsome New Yorker Elijah is added to the mix, could the magic of the season finally be working its charm on Olivia? As 25 December draws closer, Olivia suddenly finds herself with a decision to make: who does she really want to kiss under the mistletoe this Christmas?

Ahhhhh its been too long since I’ve been immersed in a Lisa Dickenson story and I’ve missed her gorgeous writing. Opening a Lisa Dickenson book and being introduced to her lovely characters is like spending time with a best friend, all her characters are just so likeable, warm and endearing.  And that’s one of the things Lisa does so well, writes real and believable characters. I loved Olivia, she is strong, sassy, sweet, funny, she was just superb. And Jon, oh how I loved this man, he was so wonderful, patient and kind. 

New York was enchanting. I’ve been there twice, but not at Christmas, and to see the magic of the season in this wonderful city through the eyes of Olivia, as she fell in love with it was just magical.

The story was utterly gorgeous, I really liked Olivia’s team as they enjoyed their time in New York and then bonded together when they became stranded. But it was the story of Olivia discovering what she had been missing when she closes herself off to love and the magic of Christmas that kept me glued to the pages.

Lisa’s writing is so unique, fresh, funny and engaging and I read the story with a huge smile on my face the whole time. A completely magical, enchanting story and definitely one book that should be on your Christmas book list.

Get your copy here

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Introducing A Town Called Christmas

Very excited that I have two books out this winter set in a town called Christmas.182df12d-e3de-4b7d-a350-b82073443629

Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky came out in September and Christmas Under a Starlit Sky is out this Wednesday (19th October).

But why are there two books? Why is the sky cranberry coloured? What does it all mean? I’m here to put your mind at ease and answer all your questions.

What are the books about?

Both books are set in a town called Christmas on the tiny Juniper Island in Scotland. Gabe Whitaker owns Stardust Lake Hotel which is a winter resort based on the island. To encourage people to come he persuades the island inhabitants to turn their little village into a permanent Christmas market selling festive foods, clothes, jewellery and treats, reinventing themselves as a town called Christmas. There are log cabins, glass igloos to view the Northern Lights, reindeer, huskies and Santa himself. It is here in this magical winter wonderland that Gabe meets his childhood best friend and girlfriend, Pip again after twelve years apart and in book 2 where Gabe’s sister Neve fights for love with Hollywood superstar Oakley Rey. Here are the blurbs.

 

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Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky

Curl up with this gorgeously romantic tale and let the glistening snow and the roaring fires of Stardust Lake Hotel get you in the festive spirit this Christmas.

Piper Chesterfield lives a glamorous life travelling the world and reviewing the finest hotels. She calls nowhere home, she works alone and that’s how she likes it. For long ago Piper decided that to protect her heart she should lock it away.

So when Piper’s next assignment brings her to the newly opened Stardust Lake Hotel for the festive season, the last person she expects to face is Gabe Whitaker, the man who broke her heart so completely she could never love again.

But Piper isn’t the only one who has been frozen in time by heartbreak. Gabe hasn’t forgotten the golden-eyed girl who disappeared from his world without a trace.

Now fate has reunited them on Juniper island, can the magic of Christmas heal old wounds? And can this enchanting town be the one place Piper can finally call home?

Get your copy here

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Christmas Under a Starlit Sky

Step inside a beautiful winter wonderland where love, laughter and cosy nights by the fire will make this Christmas one to remember.

Neve Whitaker loves managing the Stardust Lake hotel. She gets to work alongside her wonderful family and she’s spending Christmas on the most enchanting, snow-covered island in Scotland. So why is her heart so heavy this festive season?

It might have something to do with the gorgeous actor Oakley Rey, the man she finished with before he left for California and the man she loves more than anything. With Oakley’s career in Hollywood soaring, Neve is convinced she’d only hold him back. She had to end it with him – at least that’s what she keeps telling herself.

But now she has a secret she’s struggling to keep, and when Oakley arrives on Juniper Island determined to win her back, Neve is thrown off balance. Will Neve’s fear of having her heart broken again push Oakley away for good, or is it time for her to take a leap of faith?

Get swept away by this deliciously sweet and heartwarming tale, and spend an unforgettable Christmas on Juniper Island.

Get your copy here

And here are the answers to your other questions

Do I need to read any of your other books before I start this series.

No, this series is completely separate from my last series set in White Cliff Bay with brand new characters and a different location. In fact the White Cliff Bay series is set on the borders of Devon and Cornwall in the very south west of the country and the town called Christmas is set on Juniper Island, the northernmost island in the UK.

Do I need to read the Town Called Christmas books in any order?

No, they can be read in any order. They are completely standalone but if you do want to read them both and you do want to read them chronologically then I’d suggest you read Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky first as that introduces you to the island and all the characters followed by Christmas Under a Starlit Sky.

Are the two books in the series actually just 2 parts of 1 long story?

Nooooooo they are completely separate, with different characters and different stories. Each book has a proper beginning, middle and end. Book 1, Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky, follows Gabe Whitaker and his childhood best friend and girlfriend Pip. Book 2, Christmas Under a Starlit Sky follows Gabe’s sister Neve and Hollywood star Oakley Rey.

Are they novellas or short stories?

No both books are full length stories.

Why is the sky the colour of cranberries?

The northern lights play quite a big part in both stories. The Scottish, particularly those from the Shetland Islands where the fictitious Juniper Island is set, call the Northern Lights the Merry Dancers and in this story the colours of the lights mean different things. A very rare red sky is a foretelling of love.

I loved Luke in Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky, will he get his own story?

I love him too and I’ve had so many requests for his story, sadly he won’t get his own story but his story is resolved at the end of Starlit Sky. I’d really like to write more about him though. If I get time, I may write a short novella for him and put it here on my blog.

I don’t really read chicklit, I prefer murder and mayhem, does anyone die in your book?

Sadly not, everyone is healthy, no one gets sick, no heads are dismembered

I prefer my romances with a bit of an edge, just how sweet, cute and romantic is this book?

There are no edges in this book apart from soft, squishy ones that you can cuddle up to. It’s very sweet and cute, there are practically puppies gambolling across every page

What if I can’t find my Kindle?

It’s also available in paperback

What’s next for you?

I have three books out next year in a brand new series set on a little island off the coast of Cornwall. It follows three cousins, Rome, Eden and Bella and they will all get their own story.

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My review of Green Tea Latte To Go by Aven Ellis

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Green Tea Latte To Go came out last week and everyone is falling in love with this story. I’m delighted to be sharing with you my review of this wonderful book.

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This book was an absolute treat and I devoured every page. I love Aven’s stories, they are warm, engaging and always leave me with a great big smile on my face.

I love Aven’s characters, even the secondary characters of Payton’s family, Sylvia, Courtney and her brilliant little family stand out from the page. The animal characters, especially the pigs are superb and bring a lot of humour to the story but as always Aven’s leading characters, Payton and Brooks absolutely shine.

Payton is a Duchess Kate fashion blogger determined to make a career out of blogging and supplements this with her work as a personal concierge, doing odd jobs for people, picking up dry cleaning or in the case of her new client, taking the pet pig Mr Not Bacon to the vets. So much humour comes from Payton’s job with her new client Courtney and her crazy but lovely family that I found myself laughing outloud on so many occasions. Payton is kind, passionate, determined and just a little bit disaster prone. I loved this about her, that things didn’t always go smoothly for her.

Brooks is an exotic veterinarian who has a passion for helping weird and wonderful animals. He is shy, awkward around people, compassionate, sweet and oh my god, sexy as hell. I absolutely adored him, cute guy with cute animals, it just melted my heart.

The relationship between them was just superb, watching their love blossom and grow, the wonderful banter between them, i just loved it.

The story was hilarious, sweet, brilliantly written and utterly compelling. I loved every word and cannot praise this book enough.

Pop over to Amazon and get your copy now, you will absolutely love this book.

UK http://amzn.to/2bZsxzF

US http://amzn.to/2cBJQZ4