Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Never Too Early for the Holidays Blog Tour & Giveaway!


I'm very excited to welcome authors Hope Ramsay and Katie Lane to the blog today to talk about their books and favorite Christmas movies!
Author Hope Ramsay

One of my favorite scenes from Last Chance Christmas takes place in a cemetery.  Stone Rhodes, a widower battling his grief, runs into his Aunt Arlene who has recently lost her husband.  Each of them is there to visit their spouse’s grave.  

This isn’t a sexy scene, or one where the hero and heroine are interacting, but this scene moved me to tears when I wrote it.  Arlene is older and wiser, and even though her grief is newer, she is making much better strides at overcoming her sorrow.  Stone has to understand what Arlene is trying to tell him before he can make even the first step toward loving again.  Here is a somewhat abridged version of the scene:

     Arlene grabbed Stone’s hand with a fierce grip. “You listen to me, son, and you listen good. We all have a hole inside us. Every single person on the face of the earth.”
     That stopped him. He turned. “A hole?”
     “Yeah. You have that empty place for a reason.”
     Stone could feel his brow lowering in a scowl. “Aunt Arlene, I didn’t take you for one of those holy rollers.”
     “I’m not. I’m just trying to point out that you’re holding on so hard to Sharon that the empty place inside is about to swallow you whole. Only love can fill that empty place inside.”
     “Right.” Stone had no idea what Arlene was talking about. “I gotta go.”
     But Arlene wouldn’t let go of his hand. “Have you thought about consulting Miriam Randall?”
     “You heard me. If you won’t talk about your grief to the minister or a psychologist, at least let Miriam help you find someone else to talk to.”
     “Miriam already found me my soulmate. She’s buried right over there, by the big magnolia.”
     “You’re right, I know that.” Arlene’s voice was so calm and quiet.
     “Then what in the Sam Hill are you talking about?”
     Arlene gave him a pointed look. “I happen not to believe that God is so mean-spirited that He would give you a soulmate, take her away, and then insist that you spend the rest of your life battling the empty place inside.”
     “So, let me get this right. You want me to ask Miriam to find me another soulmate?”
     Arlene’s over-made-up eyes lit up with amusement. “Yes, I do.”
      “I don’t want another soulmate.”
     “Of course you don’t. That’s part of the problem right there.”
     “Thanks for the advice, Aunt Arlene.” She finally let go of his hand, and he stood up.
     “Honey,” she said as he was about to turn away, “the only thing that matters in this life is love and kindness. If you turn away from love, you’re just consigning yourself to misery. Go find yourself a girlfriend.”

Dear Reader,
I've been wishing for a miracle for my oldest boy, Stone, and this Christmas my prayers might just be answered!

Her name is Lark, and she's here in Last Chance, looking into her father's past-and stirring up a whole mess of trouble without meaning to. As the chief of police, Stone sure has his hands full trying to keep up with her. Ever since his wife died, Stone's put everything into raising his daughters and dodging the Christ Church Ladies' Auxiliary matchmakers. And it's clear Lark has been through some trouble and could use a place to finally call home. I only hope Stone can let go of the past soon enough to keep her . . . Goodness, I need to stop talking and finish up Jane's highlights so we can make the town tree-lighting. You come back by because the Cut 'n' Curl's got hot rollers, free coffee, fresh-baked Christmas cookies-and the best gossip in town.

See you real soon,
Ruby Rhode

My Favorite Christmas Movie Quote by Katie Lane

My favorite Christmas movie quote might surprise you.  It isn’t about angels getting their wings or Tiny Tim God-blessing everyone—not that I don’t love It’s a Wonderful Life and just about any version of A Christmas Carol.  But, to me, the best quotes are the ones that relate to your life.  And as far as my Christmases go, they are much more like the Griswolds than the Baileys or the Cratchits. 
My husband has put his foot through the attic floor.  I have ruined my fair share of turkeys. (Not overcooking, but under.)  And once my sister’s dog did use the lawn santa’s electrical cord as his chew toy and . . . poof.   
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt just like Clark Griswold.  Standing amid the chaos, I wonder how all my hopes for “The Best Christmas Ever” have turned into such a nightmare.  Maybe that explains why every time I watch Christmas Vacation and get to Clark’s little speech I laugh my butt off.  I guess it just makes me happy to know that I’m not the only one who needs a stiff drink and a good rant around the holidays.

Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f--king Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white a-- down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of a--holes this side of the nuthouse.”  Clark Griswold—National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

I hope that everyone at Hanging with Bells has the hap, hap, happiest of holidays:o)

Always putting business before pleasure, Cassie McPherson works hard for her family's construction business. That might explain why she doesn't have a date for the company Christmas party. But it doesn't quite explain why she's crazy enough to hire an escort for the event or - crazier still - why she's dying to unwrap him like a present . . .

With whiskey-colored eyes and a killer smile, James is one gorgeous hunk who really knows how to fill out a tuxedo. He charms everyone, including Cassie. And when the night ends, the party doesn't stop. As Cassie falls, literally, into his bed, James falls head over heels in love. Now he has to figure out a way to tell her the truth: he's not an escort. He's her family's fiercest business rival. But all he wants for Christmas is her . . .

1 lucky commenter will win copies of Last Chance Christmas as well as Hunk for the Holidays, an ARC of  Katie Lane's Trouble In Texas which is out in December as well as a digital copy of Hope Ramsey's novella Last Chance Bride!  Open to US/Can only.  Please leave email with comment if you are entering the giveaway.  Giveaway ends 10/10/12 at 12PM EST.


Inheriting the most notorious house of ill repute in Texas can spell trouble for a girl's reputation . . . especially when she's Elizabeth Murphy, Bramble's prim and proper librarian. Yet when she discovers a buck-naked cowboy handcuffed to a four-poster bed, she forgets all about the town gossips. Elizabeth has sworn off men, but the stranger's kisses melt her resolve faster than ice cream on a hot summer day.

Waking up in Miss Hattie's Henhouse isn't how Brant Cates reckoned on getting to the bottom of his great-granddaddy's murder. The plan was to solve the centuries-old crime, then get the heck out of Dodge. But after meeting Elizabeth and discovering that the buttoned-up beauty is a sexy siren in disguise, he just can't pull himself away.

Now Brant needs Elizabeth to finally put his past to rest, but is she willing to risk her future on Bramble's newest bad boy?

Dear Reader,

My boy Stone has always been the quiet one in the family, but now he's got the whole town talking. He and his long-time sweetheart Sharon are crazy about each other, but suddenly they can't see eye-to-eye on their future. Sharon thought they were going to go to college, then get married. But Stone had other plans--plans he didn't share with anyone.

So it looks like our resident matchmaker Miriam is going to be wrong for the first time ever. She swears Sharon and Stone are true soul mates. Well, I think between the broken promises and Sharon's meddling mother, these two kids are going to need a miracle to make it down the aisle. . .

There's Arlene-I just need to finish her trim and then I can head over to the Watermelon Festival. Be sure to stop back by the Cut 'n' Curl for hot rollers, free coffee-and the best gossip in town.

See you real soon,

Ruby Rhodes

The tour continues on the following blogs below:


  1. I love reading holiday books - right before the holiday - Thanks for the great giveaway!

    maria63303 at gmail dot com

  2. Never too early for great Christmas books! Great giveaway Bells!!!


  3. I can't wait to read this Hope Ramsay book! I've been waiting for Stone to get his head out of his butt for a while, lol!


  4. I love reading holiday books all year. Nothing can put me in a better mood than a good holiday story and these books sound fantastic. Can't wait to read them all. Thanks for the giveaway.


  5. These books sound great. I love holiday books. Thanks for the awesome giveaway.

  6. You know I was just saying earlier today that it seems like it was January and I blinked and it was October and before you know it it will be Christmas. Then BAM you have Christmas themed books on your blog! I say it every year that I am going to start Christmas shopping early, blah, blah, blah and never do. But my girls have already made lists (and for my teenager that is a miracle of its own) so I think I will actual do it this year!

    These books sound like just the thing to help get me even more in the Christmas spirit!

    Thanks so much!
    mmafsmith AT gmail DOT com

  7. These books are perfect for getting me in the Christmas spirit. I would love to read them.


  8. Hi all! I wanted to drop by and wish everyone luck in the giveaway. I agree that before we know it the holidays will be upon us. I must confess that I love all the craziness and look forward to reading my share of holiday romances. Thanks for dropping by to comment. And thank you, Bells, for letting me hang!

  9. Hi everyone, I know I'm late in leaving a comment, but that's because I was at a baseball game this afternoon. It's the last day of the regular season. Luckily my team, the Washington Nationals will be playing ball in the post season. But I always know that Christmas is just around the corner when the baseball season eneds. And as much as I love Christmas, I'm always sad to see the summer go. Good luck to y'all on the giveway, and thanks for stopping by. HOPE RAMSAY

  10. There's nothing like a good Christmas read when it's cold and the snow is piling up outside here in MN.

  11. These sound awesome! I would love to be entered in the giveaway, thanks for the chance!


  12. I do love a good holiday book. They can really help you get into the holiday spirit.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  13. It's always fun to read a book that's set around the holidays to get me in the holiday mood. I love watching holiday movies around that time too - my favorite has always been Miracle on 34th Street.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  14. Is it really already time for holiday books? Wow, this year has flown by. Thanks for the giveaway.


  15. I'm ready for some Christmas reading and these look like fun. Thanks for the giveaway.

  16. I love Holiday themed books... I'm ready to read some happy ever after and then share them with my daughter in law.


  17. Not necessarily ready for the holidays, but for the books - yay!

  18. thanks for a great giveaway! Holiday themed books are so much fun :)


  19. I love Christmas themed books! I usually start reading them in October and November to get me into the holiday spirit early:) Thanks so much for the giveaway:)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  20. I love holiday books! I even start watching holiday movies between late October and early November. lol.
    Thank you for the Giveaway!

    yazmin593 AT msn DOT com

  21. I really enjoy holiday books and add a cowboy and its even better. Thanks for the giveaway.

  22. Love both of these authors!!! Crossing fingers


  23. Thanks for the awesome giveaway. Lots of great books to read.

  24. Sounds great. A great start to the holiday reading.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com