THE LEGEND OF BLACKHAWK MANOR

Blackhawk Manor coverThis has been a busy week in Anna’s World, starting with the release of Abraham’s Soul from LazyDay Publishing earlier in the week and my first book with Mystic Books, The Legend of Blackhawk Manor, yesterday! This one is a little something new for me, as it not only has a little bit of romance in it, but also an unsolved murder mystery from the fifties and some paranormal activity…

Let me tell you where the idea sprang from first of all.

 

Several years ago, while visiting with our son and his family, my husband and I were guests at the famed Blackhawk Hotel in Davenport, Iowa. It was an eventful weekend, with several unexplained things occurring in our room. We were later told by employees of a neighboring hotel that it was common for guests of the Blackhawk to experience the paranormal…

And so, building on that experience, The Legend Of Blackhawk Manor came to life. Yes, some of the things in the story actually happened in our room on that weekend long ago…

Are you curious now, maybe a little skeptical, perhaps a whole lot intrigued?? Let’s go on and I’ll share the blurb with you.

BLURB:

On the banks of the Mississippi, in a small Iowa town known as LeClaire, sits a quaint, two-story brick building. Known as Blackhawk Manor, a lucrative local inn, the establishment has housed many a famous name, actors and actresses, as well as singers.

Perhaps the most famous of guests, however, was a young construction worker named Robert Thorndale. Robert and his bride were spending their honeymoon at the inn when the handsome young bridegroom met his death at the hands of an unknown man. The murder was never solved and many years later, when two young college friends decide to spend a week at the historic inn, they find themselves in the middle of a fifty year old mystery. Strange appearances begin to occur, clues are left and it is up to Hannah and her friend, Cassie, to solve the crime.

Will they find the killer before it’s too late?

If that wasn’t enough to get you interested, how about a little excerpt?

EXCERPT:

Along the Iowa banks of the mighty Mississippi, in the small historical town of LeClaire, sits a quaint two-story brick structure. Known as Blackhawk Manor, the cozy inn was built in the year 1918 and in 1942 was converted by the family of the original owner to the business that continues to provide a lucrative income for the current generation.

Actors, actresses, and singers have graced the rooms of the beautiful establishment. With the Adler Theater not far away in Davenport, many sought to relax in the small river town rather than the city when their night’s performance was done. Perhaps the most famous of names to be seen on the register was not one of those theatrical types, but rather a young businessman named Robert Thorndale. Robert and his bride had signed the roster hours after their wedding. They had planned to spend a week enjoying the shops and scenery before returning to the apartment waiting for them at their home, not far from the inn. Robert was a builder for a major construction company several miles up the river. His new wife, Pamela Sue, was looking forward to making a home for her husband and the children that would surely follow soon.

Neither of them could have known that their time together was to be cut short. But, as fate would have it, on a cool summer evening in 1954, Robert met with a death too abominable to comprehend, and the life they had planned with such excitement and high hopes ended. Pamela Sue returned to their home for the funeral, but no one seemed to know what had happened to her after that. The locals would have you believe that Robert’s ghost still walked the halls of Blackhawk Manor, searching for his bride.

The current year was 2015 and two young college girls were planning a week-long stay in the quaint little town.  It was the summer between their junior and senior year and the two roommates had scrimped and saved in order to spend their last summer of freedom, as they called it, traveling and having fun. They had chosen to stay in LeClaire at the famed bed and breakfast for the first adventure of the summer. Hannah Stone was interested in the local folklore and had heard of the legend surrounding Blackhawk Manor. She had convinced her reluctant friend, Cassie Sharp, to accompany her.

“I want to know if the things they say are true. You know this stuff interests me,” Hannah said as she turned her car off Interstate 80. “This is our exit.”

“I don’t know why, but if it makes you happy, I’ll humor you,” Cassie replied with a laugh. “I can see it now, old Robert will be roaming the halls at midnight, calling out for his dear Pamela, and you’ll be recording it.”

“It’s kind of a sad story, you know. Think about it. They were on their honeymoon and they are out walking along the river one evening when someone appears from behind and tries to kidnap his precious new bride. He does the chivalrous thing and defends her, fighting off the man, only to be stabbed in the heart. He fell to the ground, dead as a doornail.”

“I know, I know, and then the would-be kidnapper runs away, leaving poor little Pamela screaming for help.”

“How do ghosts haunt, do you think?” Hannah asked as they pulled into the parking lot of the beautiful brick home.

“I guess you’re about to find out. This could turn out to be one hell of a week,” Cassie said teasingly.

“Then again, it may be boring as all get out,” Hannah answered with a giggle.

The two girls pulled into a parking spot near the front of the building and got out of the car. As they took in the sights all around them, they had to agree it was a gorgeous setting.

“Perfect for a romantic honeymoon, don’t you think?” Hannah asked.

“Don’t go getting any ideas. I have my room and you have yours,” Cassie teased as she walked around to get her bag from the trunk.

“Very funny, I don’t swing that way. You just aren’t my type. Besides, I think Chad might have a thing or two to say about that,” Hannah replied. Chad was her current boyfriend.

“I doubt that Alan would approve either,” Cassie retorted.

“Are you guys going to get married, do you think? I mean you’ve been dating forever,” Hannah asked as she lifted her own bag out and slammed the trunk closed.

“Maybe,” Cassie said with a flip of her shoulder length red hair. She was a pretty girl, with flashing emerald eyes to go with the gorgeous red mane.

The two friends walked onto the porch of the house and went inside. They were greeted by the sight of a beautifully decorated lobby. A brick fireplace graced one wall with a china blue couch and two blue and yellow floral upholstered winged chairs in front of it. The fireplace was flanked with bookcases full of books on either side and there was a table with coffee, juices and cookies for the guests. On the other wall was the check-in desk. They made their way over so they could register.

“Hi, I’m Hannah Stone and this is Cassie Sharp. We have reservations for the week,” Hannah said to the man behind the desk in a confident tone as she pushed a loose strand of her blonde curly hair out of her face. She was cute with her short, bouncy blonde curls and snappy blue eyes.

He scanned the computer. “Ah yes, we’ve been expecting you. Let me print up some paperwork for you to sign, get you some keys and you’re all set.” Once that had been taken care of, he told them his name was Steven and dinner would be served at seven. The young man was fairly good-looking, probably in his twenties and obviously interested in the inn’s newest arrivals.

“We not only serve breakfast here, but lunch and dinner,” he explained. “Of course, if you prefer to check out some of the local spots, you’re most welcome to try them. Between you and me, you won’t find any better fare than our dining room, though, and the pool is open until ten.”

“Thank you,” Hannah said as she accepted the key he held out to her.

“You’re in room five and Miss Sharp is right next door in seven,” Steven informed them.

“Thank you, if you could just point us in the right direction,” Hannah replied with a sugary smile.

“Certainly, just take a left down the hallway and you can’t miss them on the left side of the hall. Enjoy your stay. I’m on duty until midnight if you need anything. Maria will be here during the night.”

“Thank you so much,” Cassie said with a flutter of eyelashes. When they were out of earshot, she giggled. “Not bad for a sample of the local fare,” she whispered.

“Cassie, really, you are such a flirt. How have you and Alan stayed together so long?” Hannah teased.

“It’s all in good fun, harmless,” Cassie replied.

The girls found their rooms and arranged to meet in thirty minutes. Hannah walked into her own room and the sight that greeted her simply took her breath away. Cherry furnishings, polished to a high gloss, the bed was covered in a stunning dark blue and maroon paisley comforter. A dark blue throw lay at the foot of the bed and the draperies at the window matched. In front of the window sat two maroon winged chairs and a cherry table. The cherry armoire held a television set and there was a bureau for her clothes. She quickly unpacked and found hangers and a tiny closet for the things she preferred to hang. Wandering into the bathroom, she wasn’t disappointed when she saw gleaming white fixtures and marble counters. The floor was tiled and there was a Jacuzzi tub and a separate shower stall.

Slipping off her flip-flops, she let her feet sink into the thick, luxurious deep blue carpeting. “I could get used to this,” she said aloud as she grabbed a menu from the table and plopped down on the bed. “Seafood and steaks, makes sense,” she said as she perused the dinner choices. Glancing at the dainty gold watch on her left wrist, she saw that it was nearly time to meet her friend. She jumped up and ran into the bathroom, where she splashed her face with water and dried it. Taking her makeup out of the cosmetic bag she’d packed that morning, she touched up her face and ran a brush through her short blonde curls.

She was just walking back into the bedroom when there was a knock on the door. She ran to open it. “Cassie, come on in. This place is great. What’s your room like?” she asked as she stood aside to let her friend in.

Cassie looked around the room. “It’s similar, although my color scheme is gray and mauve. I’m famished. Did you look at the menu yet?”

“They have seafood, so I’m content to stay here and try out the dining room. They have an all you can eat buffet tonight.”

“Why doesn’t that surprise me? You and your love of seafood,” Cassie said with a laugh. “I’ll probably have a steak.”

“Your tastes are so boring.”

“Blame it on growing up in the Midwest, on a farm, no less,” Cassie told her. “Can I help it if you big city gals have different tastes?”

“How we ever became best friends in college is beyond me. They couldn’t have paired two more different personalities as roommates.”

“True, but after that awful first few months of adjusting to each other’s quirkiness, it just all sort of fell into place. I honestly don’t know how I would have made it through the last three years without you.”

“This fall will be our senior year. We have to make a pact to stay in touch, no matter where our lives lead us after graduation.”

“Of course we will. Why would you think otherwise? Let’s go eat.”

Arm-in-arm, the two friends walked down the hall to the dining room, which was located beyond the lobby. They were seated after a short wait and the view of the river from their table was breathtaking.

“Look at all the boats on the water,” Cassie said.

“There’s a barge moving downstream,” Hannah pointed out.

After a delicious dinner, they walked around the grounds, marveling at the sights. The gardens and surrounding grounds had obviously been tended to carefully. Ending the night by sitting on the porch in rockers with some of the other guests, they listened to an older couple telling some of the other guests about the legend.

“You know they make such a big deal about the young man who died on his honeymoon defending his bride, but there was also a very famous actor who died in his sleep in this very place. They don’t talk about that much,” the woman said.

“Really?” another woman asked. “I have never heard that story.”

“It’s all kept very hush-hush. Apparently, he suffered a heart attack and the maid found him the next morning when she went in to clean the room. He was in his seventies, so I guess it wasn’t that big of a deal, but still, he was pretty famous in his day.”

“Who was it?” one of the other guests asked.

“Roman Carrington, I’m sure you’ve heard of him. He played in several movies years ago and also did some work on Broadway.”

“The name is familiar. I guess the story of the young honeymooners was of more interest.”

“Well, it is much more romantic than an old man dying in his sleep,” the woman telling the story replied. “You know, the murderer was never caught.”

Hannah listened intently, but she could see that her friend was growing bored with all the talk of the deaths that had occurred in the area.

Cassie yawned. “I think I’m going to my room to call Alan before it gets too late. Are you coming?” she asked.

“Yes, I’m sure Chad will call when he gets in from his shift at the hospital.”

When they were outside Hannah’s room they made plans to meet at eight for breakfast. “We’ll plan our day while we eat. I hope to work some shopping in. I know they have some really neat shops here,” Hannah said as she turned the key in the lock and prepared to go inside.

“Have a good night. Don’t get spooked by any ghosts, young or old,” Cassie said with a giggle as she headed for her own room.

“Very funny,” Hannah said as she went inside.

Okay, that’s all I’m going to share. You’ll have to one click and read it for yourself…

This weekend, LazyDay Publishing, Mystic Books, Anne Welch and I are hosting a double feature release party to celebrate both my new releases. Lots of fun and some great prizes are on the billboard. If you’d like an invitation, send me a message on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/anna.kristell.39 and I’ll make sure you get in.

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Immerse Yourself…

blog for MDayIt’s Mother’s Day again and what better way to celebrate than with a new grandbaby? Let me explain, eight years ago, my first grandson was born on Mother’s Day. Now eight years later, we’re about to celebrate the birth of our second grandson. Those little girls all chose other days to make their debut into the world, but the boys…well…they like Mother’s Day.

What does Mother’s Day mean to you? Do you have any special memories? One of the best gifts I ever had was the year my daughter was three and my son was six months old. The hubs gave me money and said, “Head to the mall, I got it covered here.” To a stay at home mom with a colicky baby and a busy toddler, that had to be the best gift he could have given me. My mother lives in another state, about eight hundred miles away from me, so I’ll be seeing her next month, but not for Mother’s Day. Do you have special celebrations in your family?

I think the mothers I wrote about in my Fab Five series are pretty special ladies. Marianne, for example, had to experience the pain of watching her youngest son recover from a horrific automobile accident, not knowing if he would ever walk again. Angie suffered the pain of losing a baby and being told she would never carry a baby to term. Katy lost her only daughter in a head-on collision. Lizzie watched her daughter suffer the loss of her young husband days after learning she was carrying their first child. Chloe yearned for a family, but couldn’t conceive. Now, I didn’t make them suffer forever, being the nice author that I am. Things  turned around for Marianne’s family and Lizzie’s daughter eventually found happiness. Katy’s son was a source of comfort for her throughout the years. Angie found a way to make her dreams come true and Chloe…well, I can’t give everything away. Read the series and find out for yourself. Throughout the series each of the women used their strength and love to nurture, protect and encourage their offspring, much like you or I might do with our own. We watched as their children grew up and found their way, stumbling at times.

Feel free to share your special Mother’s Day memory in the comments. I look forward to hearing them. And please…be sure and visit the other blogs. There might just be a signed copy of Book One in the Fab Five series, Crossroad To Love, Crossroad Cover 3D

THE HIGHLANDER’S CURSE by Isabella Kole

The Highlanders Curse_500x755Hi! Sorry I haven’t posted recently, but it’s been a whirlwind, what with writing, editing, releases and the holidays! My spicy side has a new release. It’s called The Highlander’s Curse, from Blushing Books, and is my very first paranormal, time travel romance. It’s very steamy and romantic and I am pleased with the way it turned out. Author Isobelle Cate offered some assistance with the Scottish parts, Author Alta Hensley “dared” me to go hotter and my awesome editor, Staci Taylor pushed me just a little bit to add more spice. A friend and former co-worker, Lucy, has been after me forever to write a book about a Scottish ghost in an old castle. Well this may not be exactly what she had in mind, but as the story developed, I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. I’m going to treat you to the blurb and a little tidbit from the book to whet your appetite. We’ve also got a release party going on over at Facebook right now so I’ll post the link at the end and feel free to join us for a lot of fun and some great prizes!

Blurb:

A beautiful castle in the scenic Highlands of Scotland, a sassy, stubborn modern girl from Cincinnati, Ohio and a would-be Duke cursed by a witch two-hundred years before set the stage for a love story that could forever change history. Ian Galloway has come back to claim what is rightfully his and to find his soul-mate. Amanda Brown has just inherited his castle. When the proper Highlander Duke meets the willful, modern girl, he decides she is the one, but before she can cross the portal with him and become his Duchess, she must be tamed. He makes it clear that her sharp tongue and disobedient ways will not go unpunished.

Will she give up everything to go back in time with the man she has fallen so deeply in love with, or will her fears of the unknown keep them apart forever?

Excerpt:

The year was 1814 and thirty-year-old Ian Galloway stood in the field beyond his home and gazed at the large castle. Galloway Castle had been in his family for many years. Ian was to become the next Duke of Galloway and it had been strongly suggested he find a young woman to become his Duchess. In all his travels over the vast Scottish countryside the handsome young Duke hadn’t been able to find the woman with whom he’d choose to spend his life with. His golden hair blowing in the wind, the plaid kilt rustling around his muscular legs, he looked around once more at the lush green countryside. His land, the property his sons would someday inherit. But first, he must find a mother for the sons he planned to sire. Of course every young woman in the villages that surrounded Galloway Castle wanted to be the next Duchess of Galloway.

One beautiful young woman in particular had her sights set on the young Duke. Her name was Bridget MacCloskey. Some said she was a witch. Ian had scoffed at the idea. Bewitching she may be with her long golden locks and full bosom but witches didn’t really exist. It was folklore. He had been seen squiring the luscious young woman around the village but he had not asked for her hand in marriage. In fact, he had decided to end things with her that very night. But first, he needed to return to the castle. There was business to be dealt with.

As he entered his majestic home a few moments later, he was told by a servant that his father wanted to see him immediately. He wasted no time finding the elder Duke.

“Father, ye wish tae see me?” he asked as he entered the library.

“Where have ye been all afternoon? Whiling away the hours daydreaming?” his father said in a booming voice.

“I was surveying the land, Sir.”

“The war is over. It is time tae think about the future of our land. We have to see that the farms begin tae thrive. Yer soon tae be taking over and ye have yet tae find a suitable wife. What say ye for yerself, lad?”

“I refuse tae chain myself tae the wrong woman for eternity.”

“Ye have a high opinion of yerself.”

“I will continue tae search.”

“Time is running out, my son. If ye are not married by the summer, yer step-brother and his wife shall be the Duke and Duchess of Galloway.”

Turning on his heel, Ian stormed out of his father’s library. He walked swiftly down the vast hallway and out the massive front doors of the castle. He walked to where his horse was lazily feasting and untied him, mounted him and took off at a gallop, thundering down the lane.

As he came to the clearing below the castle gates, a carriage approached. When it came to a halt, Ian yelled, “Whoa,” and stopped his steed beside the carriage. As he looked at the driver he asked if he could be of assistance.

“The young lady wishes tae speak to ye, your Grace,” the driver said.

The door to the carriage opened and Ian saw that the lady in question was none other than Bridget MacCloskey. He jumped down from his horse and held out his hand.

As the beautiful buxom blonde took his hand and gracefully emerged from the carriage, she said, “It’s so good tae see ye again.”

“What might ye be doing out on this beautiful day, my lady?”

“I feel the time has come for us tae speak about our future.”

“Is that so?” Ian asked with a raised brow.

“My father is of the belief ye have no intentions tae make a life with me. Is that so, your Grace?”

“Milady, I have thought long and hard on this very subject. It is true I must find a Duchess before I can assume the duties as the next Duke of Galloway. And though I have seriously considered a match with ye, I have come tae the difficult decision that it cannae be. I am sorry if this distresses ye. My sincere apologies,” he replied as he kissed her hand.

“Why, ye are the most reprehensible creature I have ever known. Ye shall pay for this, Ian Galloway. I curse you…”

Ian looked at the driver and said, “Please take her away. Our business here is over.” He jumped onto his horse’s back and galloped away, never looking back.

That evening when his son did not return home, the elder Duke sent his men to search for him. They searched far and wide, over the countryside, in the forests and hills and the nearby villages but there was no sign of the young Galloway heir. No one had seen him.

For weeks, they searched. The weeks turned into months, the months into years. Ian’s father finally succumbed to a broken heart. His stepbrother reluctantly took over as the Duke of Galloway. Ian’s mother and stepbrother never gave up the search.

Ian Galloway was never heard from again…

How about some buy links and the link for the event going on as we speak?

Buy Links:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-highlanders-curse-blushing-books/1120995108?ean=2940150030398

http://www.amazon.com/Highlanders-Curse-Isabella-Kole-ebook/dp/B00RPYZRCU/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420326363&sr=1-5&keywords=Isabella+kole


Event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/324505084418950/326107357592056/?notif_t=plan_mall_activity

Stop by for some fun!

Love,

Anna/Isabella

It’s An Anne Thing!

Anne's book coverToday is release day for my dear friend, Anne Welch! Her first book, a funny and entertaining little piece of work has hit Amazon and made its way onto the kindle of a lot of folks. As many of you know, Anne is also my PA. We’ve taken some very interesting road trips together to various parts of the country to attend author events and I’ve visited her several times at her home near Nashville, Tennessee. She talks about some of these trips in her book. Oh yeah, there’s an entire chapter about me. Now Anne knows a lot of people and some of them have also found their way into her stories, along with her “houseboys,” which if you follow her on Facebook, you’ll be quite familiar with . 🙂

I was amazed when we attended RT in NOLA this past May at the way Anne set up court each night in the hotel lobby bar. Honestly, we got there early in the evening after our day’s events were over and she chose a table. Authors, aspiring authors, bloggers, editors and readers flocked to her table. We were “the” table. Even the staff catered to us, letting us order things not on the menu. Everyone loves Anne! We had so much fun that week. Many of my street team members were there, and meeting them for the first time was something none of us will ever forget.

In August, we traveled to Houston for the Indie Mashup. Since my family lives near Dallas, my mother, brother and niece made the trip over for the day. OMG, my niece and Anne are like besties now!

I could go on and on about some of my experiences with this wonderful lady but you need to read her book to find out more. I’ll be visiting her Facebook release party in a little while and giving away some ebooks of mine as prizes. There will be a lot of guest authors and plenty of prizes, including a kindle fire. Please join us. https://www.facebook.com/events/317480051790068/?ref_notif_type=plan_mall_activity&source=29 

Here’s a little info on her book for you:

http://www.amazon.com/Its-Anne-Thing-Welch-ebook/dp/B00OW7MQSG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415749984&sr=8-1&keywords=It%27s+An+Anne+THing

From my early days, I’ve enjoyed good-looking guys and making people laugh. So combine stalking hot guys and keeping the cutest ones for houseboys with my quick wit and you have “ It’s An Anne Thing.”
Read about some of my real life shenanigans and laugh. If I put a smile on your face, I’ve done my job.

Anne and AnnaAuthor Bio
Anne grew up in a very small town in South Carolina, where as a kid, she always loved to read books, make people laugh and write songs. After having success in her home state she decided to pursue dreams of becoming a writer and moved to Nashville, TN. When she’s not writing you can find her reading or searching for a husband. She loves spending time with her friends, nieces, nephews and her two fur babies. She enjoys making people laugh so if you would like please feel free to follow her on Twitter @merri_aw or on Facebook.com/itsanannething. Or drop her a line at itsanannething@yahoo.com. She loves hearing from her readers.

http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Welch/e/B00OWLOJQE/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Follow her on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/anne.welch.56

https://www.facebook.com/itsanannething?ref=br_tf

I’m heading over to the party now so please come join us for lots of shenanigans, Anne style!

 

A HOLIDAY HIDEAWAY

HolidayHideaway_Cover (1)My Christmas novella came out today! A Holiday Hideaway was released by Rebel Ink Press and is available as an eBook on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and AllRomance. This is my first Christmas romance and is set in beautiful Brown County, IN which is not far from where I live.

**Here’s the blurb:**

Sara Freeman is a high-powered attorney who’s just been made partner in the firm she works for. Cade Rollins is the attorney she was competing with for the position. Vowing never to get involved with a co-worker, Sara’s been dubbed “The Ice Princess” by the guys in her office.

 But there’s one guy she can’t quite get out of her head, Cade Rollins. Good-looking, with rock hard abs, perfect dark hair, and dark chocolate brown eyes, he’s also an arrogant ass. Or so Sara thinks.

 When they run into each other at the mall days before Christmas and he begins to tease her good-naturedly, she doesn’t know what to think. And at the firm’s Christmas party, when he asks her to dance, she’s even more confused.

 Deciding not to accompany her family to California for the holidays, she rents a room in a lodge in scenic Brown County, Indiana for the week. Planning to spend the week relaxing, before returning to work on a case with Cade, she’s surprised to run into him at the same lodge her first night there.

 He convinces her to have dinner with him and she begins to see a whole new side of the man she has always thought arrogant. Will they have a holiday hook-up, or will it go much further, as the two discover more about each other in their holiday hideaway that fateful Christmas?

**How about an excerpt now?**

After a fitful night of sleep filled with erotic dreams about Cade, Sara finally gave up and got out of bed. She brewed a pot of coffee in her room and sat down by the window. She watched the beautiful winter snowfall as she tried to clear her muddled head. It was still dark outside and the scene was breathtaking. Why was he in her head? A few days of bantering back and forth, a dance at the party, and one dinner shouldn’t change her opinion of him so drastically, should it?

And he was planning to go shopping with her today.

Her cell pinged and she picked it up. It was probably Sean or her mother letting her know they were in California. As she looked at the face on the phone, she smiled. It was a message from Sean. Unlocking her phone to read it, she learned they had landed safely, and were just getting ready for bed. The time difference was going to take some getting used to. He figured about the time they got used to the three hour difference, it would be time to come home. He also rubbed it in about the nice weather.

She replied that she’d gotten up early and was watching the snowfall with a cup of steaming hot coffee in front of her window. She wished him a happy holiday and told him to give her love to Annie’s family.

Looking out the window as she set her phone down, she saw that the sun was peeking out. The phone in her room rang. She jumped, startled. Who could be calling at this hour?

“Hello,” she said warily.

“Are you awake?” a husky, male voice asked.

“Cade, is that you?” she asked.

“Who were you expecting?” he asked in reply.

“I wasn’t expecting to hear from you this early.”

“I couldn’t sleep. I’ve been up for hours, drinking coffee and watching the snow from my window.”

She giggled. “I’ve been doing the same thing.”

“Maybe we should be doing it together. Your room or mine?” he asked suggestively.

“Very funny,” she replied.

“Since we’re both awake, would you like to get dressed and go down to the dining room for breakfast? They open in a little while.”

“I can be ready in a half an hour. Will they be open then?” she asked, in a slightly breathless voice.

“I’ll meet you in the lobby. They should be open by then.”

“Okay, I’ll see you in a bit.” She hung up the phone and hopped in the shower, allowing the warm steamy water to cascade over her body. Revived afterward, she dressed in jeans and a blue sweater. As she pulled on a pair of stylish boots over her jeans, she smiled. Who would have ever thought she’d be getting up at the crack of dawn to have breakfast with Cade Rollins? Certainly not her, she thought with a grin. She was almost looking forward to seeing him again. Almost, until she remembered her dreams from the night before. How could she look him in the face without thinking of the way he’d held her, and loved her, all night long in her dreams?

Shaking her pretty blonde head to rid her mind of the erotic thoughts, she took a deep breath and left her room. By the time she reached the lobby, he was there waiting for her, smiling at her as she walked toward him.

“You look chipper for an early Monday morning,” he said as he walked beside her to the dining room.

“I’m on vacation, remember?”

“If down time does this for you, you should take it more often. You look…so different,” he said in a low voice.

She blushed as they entered the room. It was empty. Apparently none of the other holiday guests had gotten out of bed this early. They sat down, ordered their breakfast, and as they enjoyed another cup of coffee, she said, “Are you still planning to shop with me today?”

“Of course, if you still want me to tag along. I can show you some of the sights, take you to the most unique shops,” he replied as he sipped his coffee.

“I’d like that,” she said shamelessly. What was she doing?

“Sara, I’m seeing a whole new side of you these past few days and I have to say, I like it. Gone is the harsh, all-business ice princess who wears her business suits and wears her hair up. I like your hair down, by the way. It’s too pretty to wear up.”

“I wear it up for work mainly for convenience. I also need to look like I know my stuff. Clients don’t care if I have long, blonde hair. They care if I can win their case for them.”

“I understand that, but you’re a very beautiful girl. You tend to hide behind the suits, the hairdo, and those reading glasses you wear at work. You look like a different person, soft, happy, sweet,” he said, again treating her to his sexy, crooked grin.

“Is that how you like your women? Soft, happy, and sweet?” she asked, venturing where she knew she shouldn’t go.

He nearly choked on his coffee. Regaining his composure, he said, “I like a woman who is smart, yet soft, so yes, I guess so. I like you, Sara Freeman. I’ve known that from the day I met you, but now I know it even more.”

“What kind of game are you playing?”

“I’m not sure I understand that question. This isn’t a game. I’m genuinely enjoying our time together. I’ve always liked bantering with you, but somehow, the past few days have been different. Like I said, I’m seeing you in a whole new light. And I like what I see.”

“I don’t know what to say.” The waitress brought their food. She took a bite of her bacon, wiped her mouth with her napkin, and went on. “I’m enjoying this too, but we both know when this week is over, we’ll go back to Evansville, and back to the office. And we’ll be working together on a big case. A case in which the outcome will determine whether or not you make partner, so maybe this isn’t a good idea, the two of us becoming friends.”

“Friends?” he asked. “Oh, baby, I think we’re moving past the friendship stage. You surely can’t deny it.”

Well, there you have it…the ice princess and the arrogant ass…are they headed for disaster…or the love of a lifetime?

Here are the buy links for A Holiday Hideaway:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H2NAOZ4/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_awdl_qZGNsb07K9DNX

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-holiday-hideaway-anna-kristell/1117543826?ean=2940148948582

AllRomance:  https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-aholidayhideaway-1366154-149.html#.Up39GT8STh0.facebook

I’m also running a giveaway on my Facebook author page. If you purchase the book, take a picture of the first page of the book and post it in the comments under the pinned post about the contest. I’m giving away a “Road to Romance” tote bag and some other swag to the lucky winner!

Here’s the link to the page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anna-Kristell-Romance-Author/267879939980573?ref=hl

And here’s the book trailer which was put together by Anne Welch:

In other news, my other publisher, LazyDay Publishing, is running a holiday special on the the first three books of my popular Fab Five series. If you haven’t started the journey yet, this would be a great time to pick up the first three at .99 each. The sale is for a limited time only so act quickly!

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Sable Hunter’s Halloween Blog Hop…A True Ghost Story…

halloween-blog-hop.jpgWelcome to Anna’s World. I am taking part in Sable’s Halloween Blog Hop today and I want to share  a true to life ghost story that was told to me by a friend. I am familiar with this bit of local folklore and thought it would be fun to let all of you read it during this Halloween season.

Huron, IN is a small town located in southern Indiana and it is also the home of a real life ghost story.  The local cemetery is the home of a headstone with a chain link that grows each year. The stone has been replaced numerous times, but the chain just keeps appearing. The story goes that the chain represents the love of a man that was in the army and his girlfriend that waited for him. They were going to get married before he left, but his parents kept them from seeing each other and from getting married when they heard about the news. He went off to the war and she waited for him even though they couldn’t be together. The guy was killed in the war and they brought his body back here for a proper burial. The young girl attended the funeral, but she stood across the road and watched it from a distance. They say that today you can see the chain glow at night, and sometimes during the day you can see the young lady dressed in black standing on the other side of the road watching the funeral.  I researched this story as part of a Folklore class that I took at Indiana University.  The day I visited the gravesite, I could sense that I was being watched.  When I looked around I saw, what appeared to be, a woman in black dress, a veil covered her face, and then she disappeared.

Wow! Gave me goosebumps, how about you? We all have a ghost story or have heard one, but this one is a well-known story in the area I grew up in. People actually do visit the gravesite in hopes of seeing the chain grow another link or to catch a glimpse of the young girl dressed in black…

Now that I’ve treated you to a proper ghost story and haven’t tricked you, how about a contest? I’m giving away an ARC copy of Isabella Kole’s Accepting His Terms. She’s the spicier side of Anna, you know. I’m also giving away a signed paperback copy of Remember Our Promise and an Anna Kristell tote bag.

All you have to do is provide me with a pic of your Halloween decorations…from this year or years past. At the end of the blog hop this weekend, we’ll pick the best one, that’s all there is to it. So get out your cameras or your old pics and get busy! We’ll post the winner’s pic here next week.

Email your pics to: lee_vanhoy@hotmail.com and I, along with my assistants, Anne and Lee, will pick a winner.

Halloween

Happy Birthday Rebel Ink Press!

SummerLovin_Button (2)Welcome to Anna’s World! Happy third birthday Rebel Ink Press! We’re all about Summer Lovin’ here today. What do you love about summer? I love ROAD TRIPS!

That’s one of my favorite things and this year we took a road trip the week of July 4th to Iowa to visit our son and his family. Every year for the past six years, our son’s employer throws a huge holiday bash, a hog roast, carry-in dinner, and fireworks show. Our son, who been trained to do so, in in charge of the show from start to finish, including choosing, purchasing, choreographing, setting up for, and setting off the fabulous nearly thirty minute show. And I do mean spectacular! People come from miles around to watch his show and he has become somewhat of a celebrity over the years in his small town, at least for one night each year! It was a proud moment for his family to be a part of it this year as we hadn’t been able to attend in previous years.

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That was one of the summer lovin’ moments for me this year. Now as summer draws to an end, we have some more fun for you as we celebrate Rebel Ink Press turning three. Some of Rebels’ titles are priced at $.99 through August 17, including my own, Unlikely Lovers. We are also having a huge giveaway which includes a kindle, some awesome swag, and some signed paperbacks, including a copy of my Sunny’s Love. I’ll post a list of participating authors at the end so you can click on them and visit each one. Be sure and click on the rafflecopter link on each one to enter the giveaway!

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Another of my Rebel releases, Remember Our Promise just came out last week. This has to be, hands down, one of my favorite books, for several reasons.

David and Lily were high school sweethearts, who made a promise to each other one hot August night, before they both left for different colleges. They promised to reconnect the year they turned thirty…and they went their separate ways…weird thing to promise you say? Well, as fate would have it, they ran into each other quite by accident…and you guessed it…it was twelve years later. Hmm, wonder what happens next? Do you think he remembers the promise? Does she?

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You can find out by purchasing the book, Remember Our Promise at Barnes&Noble, Bookstrand, AllRomance, or Amazon as an ebook or at Amazon as a paperback. The readers who’ve enjoyed the book so far requested that I write a sequel and since I usually try to do what the readers want, there will be two more making up the Promises Trilogy in 2014. I already have the titles and storylines in my mind, so just as soon as I finish some other projects, the readers will get their wish.

I’ve often said Remember Our Promise wrote itself…and it did…literally. It took me along for the ride and it was an exciting one, let me tell you. David is quickly becoming a favorite “book boyfriend” among my readers or so I’ve been told. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him yet, I suggest you give him a try.

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Thanks for stopping by today to help us celebrate Rebel turning three and be sure you visit all the other blogs and sign up for the giveaway at each one.

HL Wampler                                      DR Slaten                                            Vivian Proud

Nancy LaPonzina                              Joanne C Berroa                               Lila Munro

Melissa Keir                                       Lori J Gordon                                     Sara Bella

Donna Steele                                    Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy     Juliette Springs

Suzzana C Ryan                                 Kate Roth                                            Anna Kristell

Wendy Smith                                    BethAnn Buehler                             Eden Glenn

Jane Wakely                                      Nora Snowdon                                  Erica Bayne

Britni Hill                                            BL Morticia                                         KD Ferguson

Bethany Cross                                   E Jaime                                                 Blair McDowell

Winfield H Strock III                       JL Oiler                                                 Alex Jones

Cassandre Dayne                             DH Black                                              Al Lohn

Jennifer Wilck

<a id=”rc-c5869e7″ href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c5869e7/” rel=”nofollow”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

Rebel Ink Press

Until next time,

Love, Anna