Christina Cole Romance

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Endings and Beginnings

On Monday I spoke of synchronicity. I wrote that the universe seemed to be leading me in exciting new directions.  Later that day, I sat down in MLWR (my little writing room) and wrote a the set-up for a scene from The Sheriff Wore Skirts. In that scene, the main character, Caleb Bryant, ponders a fact of life:

Willow TreeCaleb leaned against the old willow tree and watched the waters of the nearby creek gurgling past. Not really much of a creek these days, although it had once been deep enough to swim in. Now it would barely come to the top of his boots if he stepped in.

Funny how things in life changed that way.

He shifted his gaze westward toward the glittering peaks of the Rockies, raising a hand to shield his eyes from the late afternoon sunlight. Some folks said even the mighty mountains would one day be gone, eroded away by the ravages of weather and time.

Caleb couldn’t imagine it. He’d once attended a fancy lecture in Denver and had heard some esteemed scholar with a string of letters attached to his name provide a scientific explanation. Water, the professor said, seeped into the cracks, froze, expanded, and broke the rocks down. Gravity then took over to carry the pieces down the slope.

When the spring rains came, more rocks were swept away. Some were even dissolved by the steady forces of nature.

The human eye might not see the changes happening, but they were going on all the same.

Changes were always going on in life, too. No matter how a man might wish things could stay the same once he got himself to a comfortable place, life didn’t work that way.

 

Caleb’s got it right. Changes are always happening in life.

Yesterday, I learned that my publisher — Secret Cravings — will be closing. What this means is that all  Secret Cravings and Sweet Cravings titles are coming down from Amazon and other booksellers, and rights to my stories — including those under contract for 2016 publication — will revert to me.  I can choose whether or not to re-publish the current titles and whether or not to release the upcoming additions to “The Sunset Series”.

In many ways, I think I was prepared for this. The writing/publishing industry has changed drastically in the last few years.  Although I was quite comfortable as an SCP author and hoped to publish many more stories through their imprint, I often found myself exhausted by efforts to keep up with marketing and promotional events and maintain a rigorous writing schedule in order to meet all deadlines.

At times, over the past year, I’ve considered other possibilities for my writing. Times are changing, and authors have to change, too. Accordingly, I choose to view this ending as a fortuitous beginning for my future.

What happens now?

My immediate plans are to take care of the business at hand — purchasing my cover art, putting files in order for possible re-publication, and making sure all legal issues are addressed.

I have many decisions to make involving not only the question of re-publishing my books but also questions involving this blog, my author page on Facebook, and my newly-formed “street team”.

What I don’t have yet is a definite plan…only a vague idea of where I want to go and how I’ll choose to get there. With a lot going on in my personal life, I’m choosing now to take a break from writing and publishing.  I will continue to post to this blog but not on a daily basis. I will also maintain my official author page at Facebook — Christina Cole’s Love Notes — and I will most like make daily posts there.

Of course, I will be keeping up with my friends and readers, although I will be “disbanding” Christina’s Corner. I want to thank each street team member for the love and kindness you’ve shown in the short time the group has been together.

At this time, I’m also choosing to set aside The Sheriff Wore Skirts. The book was scheduled for January release with Secret Cravings. That, of course, won’t happen now.  Instead of completing and publishing the book now, I will be exploring other avenues in my life.

I’m adopting the willow tree now as my symbol for the future. Willows bend; they don’t break. Endings bring opportunities to begin anew, and I’m looking forward to seeing where life leads me now.


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A Meddlesome Man

I love writing. I enjoy creating characters for you to fall in love with. Most of all, I delight in sharing my stories with readers from around the world. Of course, I love hearing your comments, too, so please let me know your thoughts!

IrresistibleToday, just for fun, I’m sharing a bit from Irresistible, the story of a young woman who’s lost the ability to see any beauty or joy in the world. She’s been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend the summer at a luxurious resort in upstate New York, and Rise has made the trip in hopes of reuniting with her two-year-old nephew, Billy, and her late sister’s husband.

Her stay at the Lindenhurst is complicated by the relationship that develops between her and the resort’s very handsome and very wealthy young owner. Samuel Mills wants nothing more than to put a smile on Rise’s face, but the last thing she wants is some man meddling in her life.

In this excerpt, Rise is at the depot awaiting the arrival of Warren and Billy on the next train.

EXCERPT FROM: IRRESISTIBLE

The morning air fairly crackled with anticipation and happiness. Rise hugged herself with joyful abandon as her gaze traveled over the platform again.

When a tall, dark-haired gentleman stepped out and walked her way, her breath caught in her throat.

“Mr. Mills! What are you doing here?”

“You look enchanting when you smile.” Samuel beamed at her. “Not that you don’t look enchanting all the time.”

Seeing him annoyed her. How dare he show up at that precise moment to spoil her happiness! She turned away, intent on ignoring the handsome man with his devilish smile and charming manner.

“I understand your brother-in-law and nephew are arriving this morning.”

Rise wanted to snap back that it was none of his concern, or toss off a quick-witted remark to prove how little she cared about him, but all she could do was smile. Not because of Samuel, of course. Not because her heart had begun to race the moment she’d heard his voice. No, it had nothing to do with him.

“I’m so excited, I can barely contain myself,” she told him in a shaking voice. When the train’s whistle sounded in the distance, Rise grabbed hold of Samuel and truly jumped with joy. “I can’t believe I’m finally going to see Billy again!”

Samuel’s smile broadened. “It’s good to see you so happy.”

Something in his tone of voice made all the alarms go off in Rise’s head. She pulled away and stared up at him, her look both knowing and accusing.

“You did this.” She waited, but he made no response. “You did! Without even bothering to say a word to me! What gives you the right, Mr. Mills, to take it upon yourself to contact my brother-in-law? How dare you—”

The rhythmic clanging and chugging of the locomotive drowned out the rest of her words as the train pulled into the station. With a hiss and a screech of its metallic brakes, it shuddered to a stop. Rise wanted to say more, wanted to tell off Samuel Mills. He deserved a piece of her mind for his meddlesome ways. All her anger and fury faded as soon as she saw Warren step down to the platform, little Billy squirming in his arms.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this little excerpt.

Irresistible

Available in all Ebook formats from Secret Cravings Publishing and other online booksellers.

Now only $3.99


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Spring is Here!

I’m so happy. We’ve made it through another winter, and spring has officially arrived, at last. I’ve shared Snoopy and his little happy dance on Facebook, and I’m going to share him again here. Since this is the first full day of spring, it’s definitely time to celebrate.

Snoopy

The beginning of a new season is also a good time to do a little looking ahead. Life is a journey, so we always say, and it’s always good to know where we’re going — or at least, to have an idea of the direction we’re heading.

So, what’s on my agenda for spring?

  • First, I’ll be wrapping up “No Regrets” — Book 4 of “The Sunset Series”. Although the release date isn’t until later in the summer, the manuscript is due to the publisher at the end of April. I’m thoroughly enjoying this story. You’ll remember William Howard Morse, Junior, from previous books in the series. He’s been a troublemaker in the past. Now, it’s time to redeem Willie, teach him a few important lessons about life, and set him off on the path to happiness. Watching his transformation gives me a good feeling and affirms my belief that love is a powerful force in our lives. His quest to become a better man is spurred by a lovely, dark-haired young woman, Hattie Mae Richards. Readers first met Hattie in “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not“.  I’m sharing little excerpts from the story — along with the opening scene — at my “Snippets” blog. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
  • I’m also thinking — that’s the key word — about re-starting my newsletter. If you’re one of my subscribers, you’ve noticed that I haven’t been sending out monthly updates to “Keep Up With Christina”. I couldn’t keep up with myself, you see. Life has been busy over the last year, and dealing with too many pressures and deadlines was taking its toll on me. Something had to give, and I made the choice to put the newsletter on hold for a time. I love keeping in touch with readers, though, so I’m thinking — again, that’s the key word — about starting back up with the newsletter, not on a monthly basis, but perhaps four times a year. Again, I’d love to know your thoughts. Do you enjoy author newsletters? Would you be interested in special, subscriber-only offers on books or goodies?
  • Another idea I’ve been toying with is forming a Christina Cole “readers’ group”. For authors today, word of mouth publicity is essential. It’s important for me that I get people not only reading my romance novels, but talking about them, as well. Here’s what I’m considering. Before each new book is released from the publisher, I receive five “ARCs” — that means “Advance Review Copies”. Would you be interested in receiving a free copy of “No Regrets” shortly before publication? I’d like to get the story into the hands of five excited readers and then host an event where we can meet online and talk about the book. In exchange for the ARC, you’ll be asked to read the story, give me an honest review, and participate in the group event. Sound interesting? Right now, the idea is still in a formative stage. If this is something you might want to be involved with, please let me know. Just leave your name and email address — and any comment or suggestion you’d like to make. You’ll find a convenient contact form at the end of this post.
  • Throughout the coming months, I’ll also be taking part each week in “My Sexy Saturday” and the “Sneak Peek Sunday” blog hops. I’ll be a guest author at Shanna Hatfield’s “Petticoat Ball” next month, and I’ll probably be participating in other features and events during the spring. You can always find updates and information by visiting here or by stopping by my official author page on Facebook: Christina Cole’s Love Notes.

Yes, it’s going to be a busy spring, so along with writing and marketing, I’m also planning lots of relaxing, fun times to share with my family and friends. Once the weather is a bit warmer, I’ll be pulling my little sports car out of the garage, putting the top down, and doing a bit of cruising.  Gardening is another spring-time activity I’m going to enjoy.  I’m also going to enjoy kicking back with a tall glass of lemonade, listening to good music, and reading a few good books.

Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy day to visit with me.

It’s truly appreciated.

What will YOU be doing this spring?

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Hopping Around

BunnySpring is almost here, Easter is coming, and it probably won’t be long before we spot the little trio of rabbits who love hopping around in our garden.  They’re cute, and it’s fun to watch them, but we’ll have to put up fencing or find another way to protect our plants — without harming the bunny family.

Meanwhile, I’ve started doing a bit of hopping around, as well. Blog-hopping, that is. I haven’t signed up for any big spring hops, but I have begun participating in two popular weekly hops.

My Sexy Saturday

Sneak Peek Sunday

Let me tell you a little about each. “My Sexy Saturday” is a weekly blog hop that features authors from many different romance genres. Each of us shares a bit of work on a sexy topic. If you follow along and visit the different blogs, you’ll find that “sexy” means lots of different things. My version of “sexy” includes lots of love and romance; other writers in the group show sexy ideas range from hot, to hotter, to hottest! So, whatever your personal taste,  you’ll find something to enjoy. We each agree to post either seven words, seven sentences, or seven paragraphs.

Sneak Peek Sunday is another little hop that allows romance readers to get a taste of lots of different love stories. Each participating author is asked to post six paragraphs from either a published work or a work that’s still in progress. I’ll be sharing excerpts from “No Regrets”, the fourth book of “The Sunset Series”. It’s not due for release until July, so you can be among the first to meet the characters, learn of their problems, and read scenes from the story.

My weekly posts for both of these “hops” will be found on my “Snippets” blog.  When you visit the blog, you’ll also find the opening chapter of “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not” available to read.  Enjoy!

And…don’t forget to visit me at Cowboy Kisses! I’m one of sixteen western romance writers featured on the blog. I’m scheduled to post each month on the second Tuesday — which happens to be tomorrow. Please stop by and see what I have to share with you.

Now…I’d better get hopping! “No Regrets” will be due to the publisher soon, and I have a few other writing projects to work on.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to visit with me. I hope you’ll leave a note to say “Hi!”

 

 


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It’s an Ebook Giveaway!

Thank you to all the friends who turned out last week for the official launch party event for “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not”.  Despite problems with internet connections — both mine and that of Amber Garcia from Lady Amber’s Productions — the party was great fun, expanding from a single night to two nights of games, music, drool-worthy virtual cowboys, and lots of great book prizes and gift cards.

But…it’s not over yet!

There are still a few prizes waiting to be given away and YOU have a chance to win. Prizes include ebooks from Christina, and from Kelli Ann Morgan, and Tabitha Shay.

Giveaway begins on Sunday morning and will close on Thursday morning. Winners will be notified, and you’ll receive your ebook just in time for a little sweet Valentine’s Day reading.

Enter now!

Just click the link below. Drawing is open to both US and International Readers.
You must be 18 or older to enter.

 

Christina Cole’s 2nd Chance Giveaway

Second-Chance-Circle-Badge


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How Did YOU Spend Your Summer Vacation?

Summer is coming to an end…oh, how quickly the season has passed! I hope you’ve had a spectacular summer filled with love and laughter, sunshine, joy, and happiness.

To bring these lazy, hazy, crazy days to a close, Christina Cole Romance is sponsoring an end-of-summer blog hop. Please visit all participating authors for chances to win ebooks and other prizes. Each author will be sharing a short post about summertime and vacations.  Visit, leave comments, check out the romances!  You’ll find stories ranging from sweet to sultry.

Summer Vacation

Here is the list of all participating authors:

 

Christina Cole

Ashley Nemer

Robyn Echols

Pippa Jay

Penny Estelle

Kathleen Ann Gallagher

Ju Ephraime

Lynda J Cox

Liza O’Connor


Grand Prize (Open to US Residents Only, Please)

One (1) $50.00 Amazon Gift Card

 How I Spent My Summer Vacation Giveaway


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Let’s Party!

Please join Christina Cole and other western historical authors on Facebook  Thursday evening, from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM CDT to celebrate the release of “Keeping Faith”.  Click the link below and JOIN the event.

Official Release Party Event – Keeping Faith

 

Keeping Faith

Keeping Faith

To see the prize package list, click below.

Prizes Galore!