AnnMarie Oakes’ Stop on the Mistletoe H0p #MistleToeHop

Christmas Trees. Holiday Music. Sugar Cookies. Glitter and Bows. And Best Of All… the Mistletoe. Romance books enhance our holiday traditions. So hop around with us to celebrate the best romance books of the season.

Take a moment for yourself during this busy season and curl up with a good book!

All commenters on my blog will be entered to win a $5 Amazon.com gift card!

westernkisses-cover-3D-252x300I’ve been very fortunate this year to be a part of the USA Today Bestselling anthology Western Kisses – Old West Christmas Romances. Who knew so many readers wanted a Christmas-themed historical romance?

Western Kisses can be previewed or purchased on the following sites.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | All Romance

Audra and Lucas, two character from my story Romancing Rosalie (from Western Kisses), have a book of their own!

lovinglucas600x900Loving Lucas Excerpt

Two shots exploded from the cabin, one after the other. Buckshot flew everywhere, falling far short of the targets. The chickens renewed their squawking protest.

“Hey now! Don’t be shooting at us!” The indignant screech was followed by another gunshot and the sound of shattering glass.

Lucas shook his head. That was enough. He slipped away from the chicken coop and into the trees, skirting around toward the location of the shooters. He came upon two horses tied to a tree. The mounts were prime horseflesh with quality gear. Lucas considered turning them loose, but he wanted these men to ride out and quick like.

He moved silently, tree to tree, until he knew he was close. Glowing moonlight fell on the outside of the cabin but it was completely dark inside. He discerned two hulking shadows barely visible at the edge of the trees.

One man stepped forward into the clearing, shaking his gun in the air. Lucas aimed and pulled the trigger. The man let out an outraged howl as he fell. Lucas had gone for the leg, not wanting to deal with a killing. He’d hit something, but it wasn’t clear what. He melted back into the trees.

“Damn bitch! She done shot me!” The injured man emphasized his outrage by shooting into the air.

“Well, hell, I knew this was a bad idea. How you gonna explain that to the boss?”

“I don’t give a shit. Help me on my horse. Let’s get the hell out of here.”

Lucas crawled back to the chicken coop and crouched in the darkness. The birds were quiet but still fluttering about inside. He heard the two men ride away. He’d have to check the house. At least one bullet had made it inside and someone could be injured. However, he didn’t want to get shot at himself. He considered his options.

Lucas called out, “Those men are gone now. Do you need help?” The night air was still and becoming chilled as the residual heat of the day faded from the ground.

Silence was the only answer. Damn. Maybe they couldn’t respond.

There were no windows on the chimney side of the cabin and he approached from that direction. “Hello? Can you hear me? I’m here to help.” He didn’t blame them for not answering. After all, they didn’t know him from a hole in the ground.

He moved silently down the rough, exterior wall and edged onto the slumping porch. “My name’s Lucas. Is anyone hurt?”

The front door opened a crack and a shotgun barrel appeared. “What do you want, Mister?” The woman’s voice was young but steady.

“I heard the shots from my camp. I came to see what was happening.” Lucas kept his voice low and smooth.

“Some drunken fools decided to pay us a visit is what happened,” the feminine voice answered tartly.

“Apparently so.” Lucas coughed to suppress his chuckle. He knew it was no laughing matter. The danger had been real. But something about her indignation struck him as humorous.

“That John Duncan was carrying on about being shot. I know I didn’t hit him. Was that you?” She sounded merely curious and not one bit concerned about the injury.

“I must confess, ma’am, that I did try to hasten their departure.” Maybe humor would help to defuse the tense situation.

“I suppose you better come in.” The door swung open.

*****

Loving Lucas can be previewed or purchased at the following retailers.

Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | All Romance | Kobo | Bookstrand

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