★ Book Blitz ★ THE SPIRIT CHASER by Kat Mayor—Excerpt + Giveaway!

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The Spirit Chaser
by Kat Mayor

Genre: Horror/ Ghosts/ Dark Romance
Age Category: Adult
Release Date: November 13, 2015

Blurb:
Some places are too evil. Some places should be left alone.
Austin Cole has it made. Star of the hit television show Spirit Chaser Investigations, he has become the world’s most famous paranormal investigator. Although hard work, a talented investigation team, and favorable genetics have something to do with it, it’s his lack of fear and willingness to take risks no one else will that make Spirit Chaser Investigations cable’s number-one show. When a ghost-hunt-gone-wrong seriously injures his best friend and lead psychic, Austin is forced to find a replacement for a team member he considers irreplaceable.

Casey Lawson can’t catch a break. She’s been on her own since she turned eighteen and is scraping by as a part-time psychic and cashier at a New Age store. When a desperate Austin Cole calls her up and offers her a position on his team, has her fortune finally changed?

He’s a control freak; she’s stubborn and opinionated. It takes time, but when they finally realize they’re working on the same side, everything clicks, both on and off screen.

Just when things are looking up, a new threat emerges. Over the years, Austin has angered plenty of demons, and one of them has set her sights on him. Now he’s the one in danger, and it’s up to the team to rescue him from the riskiest investigation of their lives.

Exclusive Excerpt of—THE SPIRIT CHASER!


“I got your message. I guess that means Austin tracked you down.” 
“Yeah, he did, and I have some questions about that for later.” Casey threw her purse on the entry table and flopped down on the couch. “But first I want to talk about you. I saw what happened on the finale. It was awful.” Casey paused for a moment. “How are you doing?” 
“Yeah, that wasn’t my finest moment.” No it wasn’t. Casey thought it was a crappy thing to do, televising what had to be the lowest point in Barrett’s life. But she understood about ratings and the Almighty Dollar. “I’m better now, though,” he told her. 
“How did it get in your head?” 
“She was strong. Very strong.” 
“She?” 
“Yeah, the entity self-identified as female. She got in before I even knew I’d been attacked.” An involuntary shiver went through Casey’s spine. Barrett had always been careful. If an entity could get hold of him like that, then no one was safe. 
“So, do you remember what happened?” 
“Thankfully, no. I have vivid memories of everything that happened before we entered the warehouse. But after that, it’s all kind of a blur. This is what I do remember: She put the darkest thoughts of violence and rage in my head.” It had been like seeing his friends through someone else’s eyes. He had been crazy-out-of-control-angry at Gary and Luis. But the level of hate he’d felt for Austin was off the charts. Not only did he want him to suffer a slow, agonizing death, he wanted to inflict the pain and watch every excruciating moment as he slipped closer and closer to the edge. Barrett exhaled. “Anyway, the next thing I know, I’m in the hospital with a broken arm, terrified of something I can’t name or describe. You remember how I was in high school? When everything was hopeless and I was hating life?” 
“Yeah,” Casey said. For as long as she had known Barrett, depression had been a daily struggle. He was the typical high school loner, a bit of a weirdo who didn’t fit into any of the usual cliques. He wandered around the halls with a sad, empty look in his eyes. The dark cloud over his head was what drew Casey to him in the first place. She was an outcast in her own right. Being the preacher’s emo daughter who spoke to ghosts didn’t win her any popularity contests. His vulnerability struck a chord with her. She wanted to take him home with her, like a stray puppy, and hold him until he felt safe and secure. But her comfort was not what he needed. 
“That was nothing compared to the level of depression and despair I was feeling after the … thing”—he couldn’t bring himself to articulate the word “possessed”—“attacked me. I found out later that the doctors placed me on a suicide watch.” Barrett shook his head. “Weird. Sorry to unload on you. I’ll save the confessing and emotional vomiting for my priest and shrink.” 
“No worries. I shouldn’t have brought up a sore subject.” 
“No, Casey. You’re one of the few people who’ve even asked how I’m doing. My boyfriend, Derek, wants to ignore it, pretend like nothing happened. He’s afraid if we discuss it, I’ll lose it or something. I think a few of my friends are even kind of scared of me.” Barrett sighed. “Well, enough about me. What have you been up to, Ms. Lawson? Something fabulous, I’m sure.” 
“Not really. I’ve been working at my friend’s store. It’s a low-stress job and not taxing on the brain. I’m kind of at an in-between place in my life right now. Trying to figure stuff out.” Casey paused and took a breath. “So, what’s the deal with this Austin dude? He tells me you’re the one who suggested me as a replacement. Why?” 
“Because you’re the best. And Spirit deserves the best. They’re great people and I don’t want some attention-seeking charlatan screwing things up for them.” 
“Well, if it’s so great, why don’t you want to go back?” 
Barrett sighed and put his hand to his forehead. “That is a completely fair question, especially since I’m the one who gave Austin your name. But truthfully, I’m still in recovery mode. When Luis exorcised the she-demon, he got rid of my familiars, too. And I relied on them a lot.” Unlike Casey, Barrett came from a long line of seers. The familiar spirits that helped him see the future and communicate with the dead had been in his family for generations. “I mean, I can still see ghosts, but I can’t see the future anymore, and that kind of sucks.” 
“So ask them back.” 
“No, I don’t want to do that. After the she-devil got in, I’m not itching to open myself up again.” 
Casey couldn’t blame him. “Well, even without your familiars, you’re still a million times better than most of the so-called psychics out there. And when you do get better, you’re going to want you’re fantastic job back.” 
“No. I have my own personal reasons for not wanting to return that I’d rather not get into. It’s a great job, Casey, just not great for me.” 
“Well, I haven’t even interviewed yet. Once Austin meets me, he might say forget it.” 
“I know for a fact he has no one else lined up. The job is yours to refuse or accept.” 
“I don’t know. I’m going to tell it like it is. Some people can’t handle that.” 
“That’s what makes you the perfect choice. Austin is very persistent, very charming, and very persuasive. It’s nearly impossible to tell him no. And once he gets his mind set on something, he won’t stop. The team needs someone like you to stand firm, because Austin can’t see the danger and really doesn’t understand it. He’ll lead them all straight into hell without even knowing it.”
You can find The Spirit Chaser on Goodreads

You can buy The Spirit Chaser here:


Kat MayorAbout the Author:

I am a native Texan, wife, and mom. In addition to The Spirit Chaser, I have written a young adult series, The Circle. I’m a full-time reader, part-time writer, and when I’m not kicking a story around in my head, I love to read and review books on Goodreads.

You can find and contact Kat Mayor here:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of The Spirit Chaser. 
These are the prizes you can win:

• $20 Amazon gift card, paperback copies of The Spirit Chaser and The Circle Series.
• $10 Amazon gift card and an e-copy of The Spirit Chaser

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:

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★ Blog Tour ★ THE LADY WHO LIVED AGAIN by Thomasine Rappold — Excerpt + Giveaway!


★ Enter to Win an Ebook Copy ★ 

THE LADY WHO LIVED AGAIN!



(The Sole Survivor Series #1)
by Thomasine Rappold
Release Date: Dec 8, 2015
Lyrical Press


Madeleine Sutter was once the belle of the ball at the popular resort town of Misty Lake, New York. But as the sole survivor of the community’s worst tragedy, she’s come under suspicion. 

Longing for the life she once enjoyed, she accepts a rare social invitation to the event of the season. Now she will be able to show everyone she’s the same woman they’d always admired—with just one hidden exception: she awoke from the accident with the ability to heal.

Doctor Jace Merrick has fled the failures and futility of city life to start anew in rural Misty Lake. A man of science, he rejects the superstitious chatter surrounding Maddie and finds himself drawn to her confidence and beauty. And when she seduces him into a sham engagement, he agrees to be her ticket back into society, if she supports his new practice—and reveals the details of her remarkable recovery. But when his patients begin to heal miraculously, Jace may have to abandon logic, accept the inexplicable—and surrender to a love beyond reason…

BUY NOW!
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A three-time RWA Golden Heart nominee, Thomasine Rappold writes historical romance and historical romance with paranormal elements. She lives with her husband in a small town in upstate New York that inspired her current series. 

When she’s not spinning tales of passion and angst, she enjoys spending time with her family, fishing on one of the nearby lakes, and basking on the beach in Cape Cod. Thomasine is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Capital Region Romance Writers. 

Readers can find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter: @ThomRappold.


✆ THE POCKET WIFE by Susan Crawford ✆ Cove Podcast: Episode 60

Hi Listeners!

This month's podcast discussion is live! Cove members Cheryl, Millenia and Roberta are discussing the November 2015 pick, THE POCKET WIFE by Susan Crawford—Pick #180!

Have you read this book? Comment below and let us know your thoughts!

*Spoilers abound. Podcast for those who've read the book.






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★ Book Review ★ THE RAVEN ROOM by Ana Madeiros!

The Raven Room COVER

• Paperback: 250 pages 
Publisher: Diversion Publishing (November 3, 2015)

Synopsis:

A searing erotic thriller perfect for those tantalized by A.R. Torre's Deanna Madden series... 

Anything you can imagine. Everything you crave. For the members of The Raven Room, it’s every fantasy fulfilled. But for some, that desire is a matter of life and death. 

Drawn by needs he cannot control, Julian ventures to The Raven Room, a secret and exclusive sex club in the underbelly of Chicago. It goes beyond sex. It goes beyond kink. The Raven Room is the only place where Julian finds release from the dangerous urges that threaten to destroy the successful life he’s worked so hard to build. 

When the police link the Raven Room to the death of a young woman, it threatens to expose a number of powerful people—people who would kill to stay anonymous... Meredith’s body can’t get enough of Julian. He has opened her sexual horizons to tempting new possibilities. But out of bed she’s an aspiring journalist, and The Raven Room is the story she’s been looking for. By writing an exposé on the club and its elite clientele, she plans to launch her career. 

As Meredith embarks on a sexual journey into the forbidden world that Julian inhabits, questions emerge, and dark appetites threaten to swallow her whole.  How much can she trust the man who has laid bare her erotic nature and how much will she sacrifice in order to protect him?

Praise:

"If you’re looking for an exciting novel that can balance erotic sections with a thrilling who-done-it, look no further; The Raven Room will have everything you could possibly want and more." —San Francisco Book Review

"Readers who enjoy complex stories with strong characterization and psychological depth will find The Raven Room a satisfyingly story of emotional turbulence…” —D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Cove Member Nicole Reviews—

THE RAVEN ROOM!

Julian is a child psychologist with secrets and a past that he keeps very close to the vest. He's closed off and doesn't open himself up to anyone. 
Meredith is a student and aspiring journalist who is having a casual yet exciting sexual relationship with Julian. 
Julian has a membership to an exclusive and extremely private underground sex club called The Raven Room. It's a place that Meredith has been dying to get an invitation to and she secretly wants to write an exposé on the meeting place to skyrocket herself to fame...at Julian's expense. 
Julian takes Meredith to the club where they meet a seductive young woman. Julian begins a relationship with her and she has many secrets herself. 
The book is filled with twists and turns and layered with secrets. Julian is a very likable character and you just want to hug him and make everything okay from his past and into his future. 
The writing held my interest, but at times I felt it was a bit redundant. However, the action kept me on the edge of my seat and I'm anxiously awaiting the next book in the series. I'll definitely be reading!


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About Ana Medeiros

Photo by: Garfield L. Miller
Photo by: Garfield L. Miller
Born in the Azores islands, Portugal, Ana Medeiros has a background in Photography, Sociology and Psychology. For the last seven years she has worked in the magazine industry. She currently lives in Toronto, Canada, with her boyfriend and two cats. The Raven Room, book one of a trilogy, is Ana’s first novel and is published by Diversion Books.

Visit Ana at her website and connect with her on Facebook.



★ Blog Tour ★ ALL THE WAY TO HEAVEN by Becky Doughty — Guest Post + Giveaway!


We're so excited to welcome author Becky Doughty to our blog—she's sharing her dream cast for her brand new novel, ALL THE WAY TO HEAVEN!
Check it out below—and don't miss her awesome "Mystery Box" giveaway below!

All the Way to Heaven by Becky Doughty 
(The Fallout Series, #1) 
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication Date: November 2, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
Anica Tomlin, business major, has just learned that the man she’s been planning her future around, her Global Finance professor, already has a beautiful wife and family. Ani cashes in her graduation gift to herself a little early—a trip to Tuscany—but from the moment she boards the wrong train in Pisa, her plans for solitude and self-indulgence begin to unravel around her.

When a bicycle accident thrusts Ani into the skilled hands of the dashing Dr. Cosimo Lazzaro, she reluctantly accepts his invitation to recover in his family’s country villa, perched on a hilltop surrounded by the Lazzaro olive groves. But it’s been a black year for olive growers all over Italy, and generations of tradition are being put to the test like never before.

Ani is swept up in the drama of life in Tuscany, the convergence of old and new, and the passions that drive people to pursue the desires of their hearts. Just as Ani begins to get her feet under her again, an unexpected turn of events leaves her doubting the very existence of happily-ever-after, unless she can learn to trust the desires of her own heart.

Although All the Way to Heaven is a stand-alone novel, it is the first book in The Fallout Series, a collection of sweet contemporary romances that follow characters featured in the first book.



GUEST POST—

Casting ALL THE WAY TO HEAVEN! 

by Becky Doughty

This was fun! I have Pinterest boards for all my books, but I tend to just look for images that match my ideas rather than look for specific actors and actresses who might be able to play the part of each of my main characters. Let me tell you, though, it’s tough to find Italian actors, so most of these aren’t, and that’s really a bit of a disservice on my part, in my opinion. So here are some of my thoughts. 
 Ani (said like “Annie” – named after her Swedish grandmother, Anika) Tomlin: For some reason, Ani feels the most elusive to me. I know what I want her to look and act like in my head, but I’m having a hard time casting her. That said, I think Nora Arnezeder might be a strong possibility. She’s got that “girl next door” vibe even though she’s a bit of a wild child on and off screen. But give Nora a little darker hair and a bit of self-deprecation and I think she’s got the part!
Paulo Durante: I wanted someone who could pull off manly and dreamy and frumpy and brooding and approachable all at the same time. Someone like Alexander Koch, if you can get it out of your mind that he’s not so nice on Under the Dome. I mean, that hint smile? He’s one of those actors folks are saying we should keep an eye on. Well, what better way to keep an eye on him than to cast him in my book movie? And if the image I sent doesn’t convince you, check out this Buzzfeed. You’ll get it.
Cosimo Lazzaro: When I first started writing this story, I kind of fashioned Cosi after a young(er) David Gandy, the iconic Dolce & Gabanna model. But since he’s a model and not exactly an actor, I thought I’d better come up with an alternative. Ironically, I found another Dolce & Gabbana model who also happens to actually be an actor, too, and he fits the bill almost as well as David…Noah. I know, I know – neither of these guys are Italian, but they could certainly pull it off!  (And no, this was not just me taking advantage of an opportunity to share not just one, but two beautiful people with you…)
Madalina Poptelecon: When I wrote this, I kind of had this image in my mind of opera star Anna Netrebko, but she’s too old to play this part now. However, have you seen 2 Broke Girls? Kat Dennings in that show just kills me. I could totally see her pulling off the combination of snark and vulnerability Madalina puts off. And something else I love about Kat? She embraces her REAL LIFE curves in the same way Madalina does. I don’t know whether she sings or not, but who cares? If she wants the part, she’s got it. We’ll just overdub the singing parts with Anna’s voice, yes?

Isabella Adimari: I picture someone like petite and fine-boned, elegant and poised, but without being aloof. Although I haven’t seen her act, I think Nazanin Boniadi certainly has the look and could be a perfect fit for Isa.





Gerardo Adimari: Gerardo is not your stereo-typical leading man but he’s the perfect counterpart to his wife, Isa. I think Halit Ergenç would be a good fit for him?



Claudia and Franco Batista: So I pictured Franco Nero and Vanessa Redgrave when I wrote these two characters in, mainly because I loved their “art imitating real life” story in Letters to Juliet. But the Batistas in All the Way to Heaven are about 20 years younger than Vanessa and Franco are! 
So to cast them today, I’d probably put Mandy Patinkin (Saul Berenson on Homeland) and Sela Ward (Sharon Shrieber, reporter in Gone Girl) in these roles, both actors who are in their 60s instead of in their 80s.






Tish Ransome (Ani’s best friend back home): When I wrote Tish into All the Way to Heaven, I kind of based her off a combination of Hayley Williams from the band Paramore and Ashley Greene. But when I wrote Tish’s story, Book 2 in The Fallout Series, A Light in the Dark (releasing Dec 23), I had just discovered the show Skins, and I fell in love with Effy – Kaya Scodelario. She became the image of Tish to me, and although Tish is much more like Hayley Williams in personality (Tish is also front man of her own band, The Marauders), Kaya has the fountain-of-youth-waif-pixie-changeling-tougher-than-you-think-rebel look about her that I really wanted for Tish.
 Thanks for having me today – this was fun! Becky





About the Author:

Becky Doughty is the author of the best-selling Elderberry Croft series, The Gustafson Girls series, Waters Fall, and more. She’s also the voice behind BraveHeart Audiobooks. She writes Women’s Fiction with strong elements of romance, as well as Young Adult and New Adult Fiction. 

Becky’s favorite people are edge-dwellers, those who live on that fine line where hope and despair meet, where love is the only answer and grace becomes truly amazing. Becky is married to her champion of more than 25 years. They have three children, two of whom are grown and starting families of their own, and they all live within a few miles of each other in Southern California. They share their lives with too many animals, a large vegetable garden, and a strange underground concrete room they’re certain was built for dark and sinister purposes…

Author Links:




★ Book Blitz ★ THE SECRETS WE KEPT by Lily Velez—Sneak Peek + $100 Amazon Giveaway!





by Lily Velez
Publication Date: November 8, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis:
One year. That’s how long it’s been since childhood sweethearts Sully Graham and Cadence Gilbertson broke up, since one adoption and one out-of-state move turned their worlds upside down.
Suddenly, Cadence is back in New York City, but something’s different about her. The light in her eyes, the music in her laughter, the warmth in her smile—all of those things have entirely vanished. In their place stand the makings of a girl Sully can’t even begin to recognize, much less understand. 
Still, despite the collective history of heartbreak between them, he’s convinced he can win her trust again, and he’s committed to proving the invincibility of their love no matter what it takes.
But Cadence is quietly harboring secrets of her own. Dark secrets. Ugly secrets. Secrets that could break a person. And though broken herself and unbearably lonely, she’s determined to protect Sully from her terrible, biting truths. Even if it means locking him out of her life forever. 
The only problem is it seems her heart hasn’t quite received the memo. One glimpse of him is all it takes for her to trip into familiar (and, she’ll admit, addictive) feelings that threaten to all but consume her. Now her biggest fear is that her secrets will begin to slowly unravel one by one…long before Sully’s resolve ever does. 
The Secrets We Kept is a moving story about first love, friendship, and forgiveness, and the enduring bonds that forever connect us and give us our strength.
Exclusive Excerpt of—
THE SECRETS WE KEPT!
Sully still remembered the first time that he saw Cadence. It was a sweltering summer that year. Push-cart ice cream vendors roamed the neighborhood blocks like soldiers on patrol, circling playgrounds and community swimming pools. It was common to see people pop open fire hydrants like champagne bottles, children dancing in the shoots of water as miniature rainbows reflected off the asphalt. 
Sully and his brother, twelve and ten years old at the time, were living with the Petersons back then along with a tribe of foster siblings. Ol’ Man Peterson was a Vietnam vet with PTSD and a short-fuse temper that exploded so quickly, it was like his personality had a gas leak. 
Usually, maintaining a thirty-foot distance from the man at all times was insurance against his drunken rampages. His military pedigree had bred in him a no-nonsense adherence to hard work and, where appropriate, hard discipline—both of which were far less easy to escape. 
The hard work in particular manifested in the Peterson prison as an endless checklist of chores (otherwise known as “slave labor” in the Spencer Graham lexicon), the completion or lack thereof of which determined whether or not you ate dinner that night. Additionally, each child had to fulfill their assigned task in accordance with certain standards, and as Ol’ Man Peterson was an uncompromising perfectionist, one chore could go through three to five rounds before the man extended a grunt of approval. 
The afternoon Cadence arrived, Sully and Spencer were attached to yard work. While the Peterson walk-up sat only a few yards from the curb, which meant there barely existed a lawn between the chain-link fence and the front door, Ol’ Man Peterson preferred his grass cut to an exact height. It was taking painstaking precision to perfect his science.
Spencer lay on his stomach with a see-through ruler to measure the blades of grass. “I think you cut this side of the walkway too short.” 
Sully rested a broom atop his shoulders, arms draping over it like a scarecrow. “It’s way too hot to even care, dude.” 
“I care because I want to see the new Adam Sandler, movie and I’m not about to get grounded for another weekend.” 
“How many times have I been grounded because of you?” 
Spencer stood. “Whatever. I’m taking over sweeping duty.” He stretched out a hand to receive the broom, but Sully’s gaze had already shifted to a royal blue SUV parking alongside the curb. A woman emerged from the driver’s side. She came around to open the backseat door closest to the Peterson home. Two ballet flats appeared from under the door, reaching for the street. When the woman closed the door, a girl who looked to be Sully’s age or slightly younger stood with her, hands bracketed to the straps of her backpack and her bottom lip caught softly under her front teeth. 
Spencer snapped in Sully’s face. “Hellooo? Earth to Sully.” 
Sully nodded toward the two, and when Spencer turned and saw them, he said, “Uh oh. Another casualty.” 
The woman, clearly the girl’s caseworker, greeted the boys with a cheery “working hard?” before continuing up the walkway with her charge. Sully waited for the girl to look his way, and when she finally did, he offered her a soft, barely-there smile by way of hello. Part greeting, part commiseration. She instantly looked away. 
They discovered her name only because she was sharing a bunk-bed with their friend Novah. “Cadence Livingston,” she told them. “She’s been in the system for a few years. She doesn’t talk much. Or at all. Those are the only things I was able to get from her. She’s probably halfway to being a mute.” 
“I wish Spencer was a mute,” Sully muttered. 
“Ha ha,” Spencer said. “You’re so funny. Absolutely hilarious. How did I get so lucky to have a brother like you?” Then he excused himself to see about fixing the eyesore Sully had made of the front lawn and left Sully fixated on the enigma of the quiet and elusive Cadence Livingston.


About the Author: 
Lily Velez has been writing stories since she was six years old. Not much has changed since then. She still prefers the written word and her overactive imagination over the ‘real world’ (though to be fair, her stories no longer feature talking dinosaurs). 
A graduate of Rollins College and a Florida native, when she’s not reading or writing, she spends most of her days wrangling up her pit bulls Noah and Luna, planning exciting travel adventures, and nursing her addiction to cheese. All this when she isn’t participating in the extreme sport known as napping. 
You can learn more about Lily and her books at www.lilyvelezbooks.com.
Lily’s debut novel, The Secrets We Kept, comes out November 8, 2015.

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✆ THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M.R. Carey ✆ Cove Podcast: Episode 59

Hi Listeners!

Here's our podcast discussion of the October 2015 pick, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M.R. Carey! Cove members Millenia and Roberta share their thoughts along with the group's overall reaction.

Have you read the book? Comment below and let us know your thoughts!

*Spoilers abound. Podcast for those who've read the book.




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★ Book Blast ★ WISHES FOR CHRISTMAS by Fern Michaels—Excerpt + Giveaway!


* Enter to Win * 
(in paperback)


by Fern Michaels
Release Date: Oct 27, 2015
Kensington Books


New York Times bestselling author Fern Michaels brings together the beloved heroines from two celebrated series—the Sisterhood and the Godmothers—for a holiday to remember…

This Christmas, instead of finding and punishing bad guys, all Maggie Spritzer wants is to bring a little more joy to the world—especially to a beloved teacher from her past. And as the Sisterhood unites to find her, they learn that no holiday treat is as fulfilling as giving to others…

Meanwhile, with a little help from the other Godmothers, Toots Loudenberry is preparing for Charleston’s annual holiday showcase of historic homes. But when the Godmothers sense trouble with one of the decorators, they must tackle a mystery and hope for a happy ending…

When Sisters and Godmothers unite, the result is a warm and wonderful holiday—with a special touch of magic…

Exclusive Sneak Peek of—

WISHES FOR CHRISTMAS!

This year, for some reason, I want . . . no, I need to make the angels sing. I want to hear them sing. Does that make sense?” Maggie asked fretfully. 
“Of course it makes sense. I think it’s a wonderful idea. Count me in,” Annie said. “Now, you know if you include the boys, the fund would grow substantially higher,” she said slyly. The others agreed as they all started to eat. 
“Not so fast,” Myra said. “Dear,” she said, addressing Maggie, “did you forget we have an organization that Abner is in charge of that donates yearly, very generously and very heavily, during the holidays? Any new charity or person is always welcome. I thought we all had agreed to that. Last year alone, we donated—anonymously, of course—over one billion dollars, which we confiscated from that monster, Angus Spyder. So, I’m not quite sure what it is you want us to contribute to, and while I have no problem with that at all, I guess I just don’t understand the end result here.” 
The women stopped eating long enough to stare at Maggie, waiting to see how she would respond. 
“I guess I didn’t fully explain, because I’m not clear in my own mind. Sometimes late at night, when I can’t sleep, I think about my life, my childhood, my family and wonder, as I think most people wonder, if I could do things over, what would I do differently? Is there some wrong in my past life that I never made right, for whatever reason? Just think about that for a minute. I have an instance, and I’ve never forgotten it. I don’t know if money can or will right that situation, but I want to look into it and try. It’s not the same as what Abner is doing with Spyder’s money and all those other people’s money we helped ourselves to. This is personal. That’s the best way I can explain it to you all. Does it make more sense now?” 
“Well, yes, dear, it certainly does,” Myra said. “I think you might be on to something. Let’s run this up the flagpole. Now that I understand where you’re going with this, I think we should include the boys in this.” 
“I agree,” Isabelle said. The others were quick to agree. 
“We can’t call them now. It’s too late,” Yoko said. “They’ll be miffed that they weren’t included in this luncheon.” 
“Then we’ll do a repeat tomorrow at my house,” Nikki said. “That’s when we’ll run it up the flagpole, and they’ll never know this was a rehearsal for tomorrow. How about that for sneaky? Do you all agree?” 
“What are you going to serve?” Kathryn asked, her mind jumping ahead to the menu. 
“How about a little of everything that is takeout?” Nikki laughed. 
 “Works for me.” Alexis giggled. Not surprisingly, it worked for everyone. 
“So, let’s get to the dessert, Maggie,” Annie said. 
The women talked nonstop as they devoured the peach cobbler, the main topic being that memories, for the most part, were a wonderful thing, be they sad or happy. 
“How much money are we talking about?” Yoko asked. “The reason I ask is that Harry and I are going to China next month, and that always puts a big dent in our budget.” 
 “It doesn’t matter how much, Yoko. If it’s fifty dollars, that’s fine. If it’s two hundred fifty thousand dollars, that’s fine, too. The point is it has to be our own personal money, whatever we can afford. Gus’s insurance money is just the cherry on top. I’ll be putting my own money in, too. It will all go into one fund, and then, when we’re ready to distribute it to whoever needs it, we’ll vote on it. I think that’s fair. If you all want to keep your amounts secret, that’s okay, too. We should vote on that tomorrow. In the end, it might not even come down to money. Maybe there is someone out there from our past who needs something other than money. Something we can provide for them that no one else can. That kind of thing.” 
“I think this is a wonderful idea,” Myra said. “I can’t wait for tomorrow. Thank you so much, Maggie, for bringing this up. Sometimes I think we forget that it’s better to give than to receive. Oh, this is going to be such a wonderful Christmas. The true meaning of it. Truly, truly.” 
Annie swiped at her eyes. “Myra’s right. This is just what we all need. We’ve been getting complacent. I agree with Myra. I can’t wait till tomorrow.” 
Twelve minutes later, right on schedule, Maggie’s kitchen and dining room were back to normal, with just the autumn centerpiece in the middle of the table. A second round of fresh coffee was served as the girls talked nonstop about what was going to transpire the following day. 
“It’s going to take a lot of research to track down people from our past,” Isabelle said. 
“And who better to do that than our four in- trepid reporters, meaning Ted, Dennis, Maggie, and Espinosa?” Nikki chortled. 
“We need a name for this project,” Alexis said. 
The group threw out names and titles, but it was Yoko who came up with the one they finally agreed to. Bright Star. 
The Sisters all clapped, making their newest project official.


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FERN MICHAELS is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Sisterhood and Godmothers series, and dozens of other novels and novellas. There are over seventy-five million copies of her books in print. 

Fern Michaels has built and funded several large day-care centers in her hometown, and is a passionate animal lover who has outfitted police dogs across the country with special bulletproof vests. She shares her home in South Carolina with her four dogs and a resident ghost named Mary Margaret. 

Visit her website at: www.fernmichaels.com