Today we are so excited to welcome Violet Duke to our blog, one of the 10 authors contributing to the Love, Laughter, and Merrily Ever Afters Anthology. Enjoy a look into her novella, Decking Drew. The box set will only be available from Nov 25 – Dec 31 so pre-order below. There is also a flash giveaway below – go and enter! Good luck!
New York Times & USA Bestselling Author
DECKING DREW is the holiday story of Skylar Sullivan from my NYT bestselling Can’t Resist series and Drew Lawson from my USA Today bestselling Cactus Creek series. They both have gone through so much in their lives, but while Skylar believes wholeheartedly in the magic of Christmas, for Drew, it’s just another day. Of course, if anyone could make him start believing, it would have to be the addictively sweet, mind-wreckingly beautiful girl-next-door of his dreams he’d classified as completely off-limits two years ago. The same one now standing on his doorstep on Christmas Eve.
What on earth was she doing here in Vegas?
And not alone, for that matter.
While he had managed the herculean task of speaking all civil-like to Skylar, Drew couldn’t stop the predatory growl vibrating out of his chest now that he was within striking range of the guy who’d been making Skylar smile for the past few minutes.
A hotel worker, by the looks of his uniform, carefully observing Skylar as if he’d just figured out the answer to a final crossword puzzle question.
“Huh,” commented the Abercrombie & Fitch model shoe-in, still half eating Skylar up with his eyes. “So this is the guy?”
Damn right, I’m the guy. Drew rumbled the silent declaration with a feral possessiveness he felt down to his bone marrow. If he could have it his way, there’d never be a question mark at the end of that sentence in any context when it came to Skylar.
But not much had changed in the two years since he’d seen her last.
And the few things that had changed just made it more imperative for him to keep his distance like he’d sworn he’d do.
…Something he was going to fail pretty epically at tonight, he wagered, as he skimmed his thumb across the petal-soft skin of her cheek to smooth away a few wayward locks of hair the wind had curtained over her eyes.
Though he didn’t have nearly enough platonic female friends to know the official descriptive term for it, Skylar looked both blonder and more brunette than he remembered. Her hair was down to her waist now in golden honey waves instead of the sandy apricot tresses he saw in his mind whenever he let himself think about her, which was more often than he could control.
He sifted his fingers through her hair and watched her reaction display in high-def via those incredible, animated eyes of hers—candidly expressive windows to her soul he’d never been able to banish from his mind for very long.
Always quietly thinking.
He forgot how much he loved the way he could see a thousand thoughts flashing over her expression at a million miles an hour before she’d eventually land on one, somehow always rooted in kindness, and usually linked to some unique personal insight that would light up her smile.
Jesus, she was doing it now. Smiling. At him. © 2014 Violet Duke
VIOLET’S FAVORITE HOLIDAY RECIPE
Aunty Pam’s Cornbread Recipe
This recipe is near and dear to my heart. I’ve always loved cornbread. Always. However, growing up in Hawai‘i with immigrant parents from Japan, it wasn’t exactly a staple of my diet. Luckily, my dad was a fan also. The first time I tasted really good cornbread, I was hooked. When I was younger, we didn’t have much money and I used to shop for books in thrift stores (yes, a book addict even then). I found an old local cookbook circa faded brown paper and basic clipart for images and just a few colors on the cover. I distinctly remember the cornbread recipe in it – “Aunty Pam’s Cornbread” it was called. Even though I lost the book after we moved years later, I never did forget how good that cornbread was. Fast forward a few decades after my marriage to the love of my life. I met a good friend of my husband’s parents, like an extended aunty for him through most of his life, who was well-known for the fabulous cornbread she always makes for parties – almost cakey and just scrumptious. The woman’s name? Aunty Pam. The Aunty Pam. Living on a small island, things like this happen all the time. And my taste buds sure are thankful! Enjoy!
2 cups Bisquick mix
1 cup Sugar
2 blocks Butter
1 cup Milk
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/8 cup Cornmeal
Mix all ingredients together well.
Pour into a 9″ x 13″ pan.
Bake at 350º for 1/2 hour.
Let cool before cutting.
LOVE, LAUGHTER AND MERRILY EVER AFTERS
TEN fun, romantic holiday novellas by ten New York Times & USA Today bestselling authors
An all-star gathering of some of today’s most popular NYT and USA Today bestselling romance authors in a fun-filled collection…holiday style! With the overwhelming response to the chart-topping summer boxed set, we’ve brought together even MORE of your favorite authors for a winter compilation, and this time, we’ve giftwrapped TEN stories for you all. From the funny & sweet, to the steamy & heartfelt, each novella is packed with a whole lot of romance, and hand-picked to infuse perfectly-portioned holiday cheer into your busy days this season…along with hot bursts of holiday steam for those winter nights.
And at just ***99 CENTS*** that’s a huge savings of over 95% off retail for the individual books sold separately! This is an extremely limited edition bundle available for just 5 weeks so get your copy today!
THE BOXED SET INCLUDES
IF I RETURN — by USA Today bestselling author Sawyer Bennett
WILD IRISH CHRISTMAS — by New York Times bestselling author Mari Carr
SEDUCING SANTA — by New York Times bestselling author Janelle Denison (aka Erika Wilde)
DECKING DREW — by New York Times bestselling author Violet Duke
FAIRIES & WISHES — by USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson (aka Monica Murphy)
TWELVE DATES OF CHRISTMAS — by New York Times bestselling author Jessie Evans (aka J. Evans)
HOLIDAY SPIRIT — by New York Times bestselling author Cathryn Fox
UNWRAPPED — by New York Times bestselling author Melody Grace
A CHRISTMAS HEAT WAVE — by New York Times bestselling author Alannah Lynne
HIS CHRISTMAS WISH — by New York Times bestselling author Marquita Valentine
Share this post to enter for a chance to win a $10 AMAZON GIFT CARD and winner’s choice of e-book from any book in Violet Duke’s catalog. Comment below with your shared link to enter. Winner to be picked Tuesday 9am EST. Good luck!
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Violet Duke is a former professor of English Education who is ecstatic to now be on the other side of the page writing wickedly fun contemporary romance novels. Her books have been Top 10 bestsellers on Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble, as well as NYT, USA Today, and international bestsellers. When she’s not writing or feeding her book-a-day reading addiction, Violet enjoys tackling reno projects with her power tools, trying pretty much anything without reading the directions first, and cooking ‘special edition’ dishes that laugh in the face of recipes. She lives in Hawai’i with her two cute kids (daughter Violet & son Duke) and similarly adorable husband.