Posts tagged with: Kimberly Hope

Seventh Bandita Day Of Christmas Prize Winner!

Thank you all for joining in the conversation about Kimberly Hope’s fantastic new novel The Billionaire Bachelor’s Revenge. The winner today receives a Kindle download of Kimberly’s book plus either a rooster ornament (embracing the spirit of the Golden Rooster) or a dragon-shaped cookie cutter (rather like dear Ermingarde) and sugar cookie mix. Whew!

 

And without further ado, the winner of this Christmas bundle of Bandita Bounty is…leahluvsmedieval!!

 

Congratulations, LEAH! Please send me your mailing address to caren AT carencrane DOT com so we can get your prizes out to you forthwith!

Kimberly Hope Introduces Her Billionaire Bachelor

Banditas and Buddies, I am thrilled to welcome my dear friend Kimberly Hope back to the Lair today for the 6th Bandita Day Of Christmas! You may recall she was with us on Dec. 2 as one of four authors from the eclectic holiday anthology A Season For Romance. Well, today Kimberly is here to talk to use about her new romance The Billionaire Bachelor’s Revenge. I was lucky enough to be a beta reader for this book, so I have known for a while now how fabulous it is. I insisted Kimberly come tell you all about it so you can enjoy it, as well.

Kimberly, welcome back to the Lair! Pull up a chair by the fire. Cookie? We are awash in them these days. Really, take three, they’re small. Sven, can we get some eggnog over here? Thank you. So, we’re talking billionaires and cookies today instead of Disney princesses?

I am so excited to be back with you guys again this month! I had a lot of fun considering everyone’s choices for which Disney character they’d be when we released A Season For Romance. So, pralines and something that goes well with pralines (vodka tonic, maybe?) to you, Caren, for letting me come hang with you guys twice this month. Thanks!

Sven, cancel the eggnog! Looks like we’re having vodka tonics – olives, no lime, please. That should be divine with pralines! Well, maybe not, but it is my go-to drink. Anywho, back to the cookies and billionaires!

When Caren told me we’d be celebrating the 12 Bandita Days of Christmas with holiday recipes, the only thing going through my mind was 11 pipers piping. OK, well, I was humming it anyway, while wondering what recipe I could share, because I love to bake. And baking over Christmas is the best! Some of my favorite memories are of baking gingerbread cookies with my grandmother.

But what recipe? Irish Cream Truffles take 3 days (and about as long to explain the process). Pralines, as I rediscovered this morning while testing the recipe for you, are not easy. Butterscotch Shortbread…ooh, my favorite cookie this year!

My favorite thing about this cookie dough is that, unlike sugar cookie dough you have to refrigerate for half your life before you can struggle to roll it out and cut it, you can work with this dough immediately.

Now that’s my kind of cookie!

Butterscotch Shortbread

 1 cup (2 sticks) butter (Yes, butter. It’s Christmas. It’s Shortbread. It needs butter.)

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

4 Tbls white sugar

2 cups, plus 4 Tbls flour

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 300° F. Cream the butter and sugars together. Mix in flour and salt. When it’s done you’ll have well-mixed clumps of dough. You should be able to form a ball with it.

Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment or wax paper to 1/4 inch thick. I’m guessing on that. Roll it until it’s cookie thickness because these guys don’t spread. Cut with your favorite cookie cutters. My kids like to decorate the cookies with sugar and stuff at this point, but this cookie tastes fantastic without the added sugar.

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 15 minutes or until set. You need to be careful with these guys because they don’t like over-baking. At all. The original recipe called for them to bake longer, but for my over, it’s 15 minutes. It could be as many as 25 minutes depending on how thick you roll the dough. Keep an eye on them because due to the color of the dough, it may be hard to tell that they’re browning.

This ends the cookie portion of our presentation. Now, Kimberly, let’s move on to the billionaire bachelor!!

What better to go with a cookie, than some reading material? So here’s the opening to The Billionaire Bachelor’s Revenge. It’s my second book, and the first in a Northern California trilogy I began one day when I was homesick. It’s a reunion story because I’m a sucker for a reunion. Not sure what that says about the men in my past. Here’s the opening scene, my Christmas gift to you.

Meg looked up at the man who hated her almost as much as her father did, and said the four words that would change her life forever. “I need your help.”

Evan Alton’s slate blue eyes flashed like a cat who just received a mouse for Christmas. But he didn’t slam the door in her face. Which was either a really good sign, or the end of her peace on earth. Guessing which was more likely, she plowed on. “May I come in?”

“Why?”

She brushed her wet hair off her forehead. “Because it’s raining and you’re a nice guy.”

Evan let out a grim laugh. “I haven’t been a nice guy for a long time. And I don’t have meetings at home on Friday nights.” He shot her a pointed look, which she completely ignored. She’d passed proud months ago.

“I can’t imagine you have many at the office since you won’t take phone calls.”

“Most people would take that as a hint.”

She didn’t say a word. Nothing she could say would change anything.

“Give me one reason why I should listen.”

“Because you loved me once and I did the right thing.”

He glared at her again, but didn’t misread her reference. The way she left him eight years ago had been completely unforgivable. She could only hope her recent actions would count for something.

“If that’s the case, why are you standing on my doorstep?”

“Because you won’t let me in.” She gave him a weak smile, and for once was rewarded with one from him as well. Butterflies erupted in her stomach. She should have eaten lunch, but the thought of this meeting had ruined her appetite. The butterflies were not because of his grim smile.

“Evan, please.” Her gaze locked with his and didn’t waver. She couldn’t afford to back down. There was too much at stake. “If you’re the devil you’re claiming, making me stand in the rain is hardly payback. It’s just frustrating for me and costly for you to keep the door open.”

 “Currently it’s money well spent.”

 Meg blew out a harsh breath. This was going worse than she’d imagined in the thousand possible scenarios she’d run through over the past week. She’d counted on his curiosity, but apparently that had disappeared over the years.

 “You’re the only one I can turn to,” she blurted.

He raised an eyebrow. Just one. The glint in his eyes told her he remembered how much it irked her. He was playing with her. Fine. She could play too. She stood quietly, matching his gaze, and waited. It was like playing chicken with a lion. She just prayed he didn’t extend his claws before she begged for help. She didn’t kid herself. It was going to take begging. And from his vantage point, after the way she’d left him, she deserved it.

His other eyebrow joined the first, and he stepped aside to let her in. A small victory, but she took it. Meg gave a mental sigh of relief before walking into the lion’s San Francisco County lair.

Stepping into the foyer, she brushed her wet locks off her face again, and tried to ignore the puddle she was making on the hard wood floor. Evan walked towards the living room, then paused. “Aren’t you coming?”

She could see the gleaming white carpet from where she stood. “I’ll make a mess of your floors.”

“I’ve got a service. If you want to talk to me, you’re going to do it where I’m comfortable. It’s been a long day.”

Meg watched him walk away and swallowed hard. The man was as sinfully built as she remembered, especially in the suit pants and crisp, white shirt. His black hair grazed his pristine collar. He’d shed his tie and undone a few buttons, teasing her with a hint of his strong chest. And now, looking like a drenched rat, she was facing down the one man she’d hoped never to have to see again in her life. Wonderful.

She grumbled to herself about not bringing a raincoat with her. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t heard the weather report this morning. But as usual, she ignored common sense and rushed out the door. She hadn’t planned on having to track Evan down at home.

Coming here was crazy, but he was the only person who had both the money and a reason to help her now. No one else would take her calls. Not that he had either. Her name was tainted and no one wanted a Taylor anywhere near their business. She didn’t blame them.

She slipped out of her heels, as much for her own safety on the slick floor as for the floor itself. The Celtic design of light and dark woods had clearly been hand-laid by a master and she couldn’t bear to leave wet footprints across it. Not that her wet stocking feet were doing much better.

Meg followed the path Evan had taken into the living room that was three times the size she’d thought from the entryway. The walls were stark white, and blank, except for a Chagall in one corner. It was as if the house had recently been purchased and the owner didn’t know what to do with the room yet. But she knew he moved in several years ago. The only thing breaking up the room was a wall of solid windows, giving her a phenomenal view of the rocky California coast and Pacific Ocean below. From here you couldn’t tell the city was fifteen minutes away.

That wasn’t what she was here for. She shook her head and tried to get her thoughts in order. Evan’s interior decorating –or lack thereof – wasn’t her problem.

She turned and jumped. While her mind had been wandering, so had he. From the bar to her. His eyebrow floated again. “Nervous?” he asked as he handed her a glass.

Irish whiskey. He remembered? She only drank it with him. Only when she was worried. This was never going to work if she was that transparent.

She took a sip. “Thank you. You’ve got a beautiful home.”

“You didn’t come here to talk about the house, so get on with it so I can say no and get back to the game.”

Meg glanced at the black TV screen, but didn’t contradict him. All the words she’d practiced left her and she was unsure how to begin. She’d already said what needed saying. And, years ago, a lot of things that didn’t. That bridge was toast, but there was nothing she could do about it now. “I need you to buy into Jennings.”

Ooh, I love that part! This really is a fantastic book. The conflict and stakes are so high. I was rooting big-time for these two strong-willed people to get together, but they had all those darned ethics forcing them to live by their individual codes of honor! You’ll love them, too. Promise! Oh…back to Kimberly.

Happy Holidays, everyone! Tell me your favorite thing about the holiday season and you’ll be entered to win a free Kindle copy of The Billionaire Bachelor’s Revenge. Even if your favorite thing is Christmas carols in October (that would be Snarky Daughter’s answer)!

And don’t forget to come back tomorrow for more of the 12 Bandita Days Of Christmas! (Plus, you need to check the Treasure Chest to see if you are a winner from one of the previous days.) We are building up to our Christmas Day giveaway of a huge bundle of books and goodies from Banditas and friends like Lydia Dare, Dianna Love, Liz Carlyle, Annie West, Deb Marlowe, JD Tyler, Addison Fox, Sabrina Jeffries, Miranda Neville, Marquita Valentine and Sandy Blair. This is big, people! :-D

Holiday Anthology For Everyone Winners!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to celebrate the release of the fabulous, multi-genre romance anthology A Season For Romance. We are pleased to announce the following winners from our commenters on Sunday!

 

BARB has won the download of Kimberly Hope’s The Heiress and Her Fake Fiancé!!

DIANE SALLANS has won the download of V.R. Marks’ The  Thief !!

And last, but certainly not least…

EC Spurlock has won the download of the fabulous anthology by Regan Black, Kimberly Hope, Jay Keelan and V.R. Marks, A Season For Romance!!

Well, it certainly is a season for romance and prizes in the Lair! Ladies, to claim your prizes, please send an e-mail to Regan Black at black DOT regan AT gmail DOT com and let Regan know what format of download you prefer!

A Holiday Anthology For Everyone!

I’m excited to host some old Romance Bandits friends here in the Lair. Some of you may recall a previous visit from the gorgeous Regan Black. Well, Regan is back with a great anthology she’s put together with three other fabulous writers! Joining Regan is my long-time friend Kimberly Hope, plus new friends V.R. Marks and Jay Keelan.

Guys, we adore anthologies here in the Lair and we also adore holiday stories. So a collection of holiday novellas is sure to delight Banditas and Buddies alike. What can you tell us about this promising collection?

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Thanks, Caren, for having us here today.  Our holiday anthology, A Season for Romance, started as a bright idea over the phone one day when we were steadfastly avoiding work and a thousand miles separated us all. “Oooh. We should write a holiday anthology of short stories. We have plenty of time!” Things went downhill from there, kind of like this:

 

Kimberly Hope: I’m writing a Christmas story.

 

Jay Keelan: I’m writing a Christmas story, too.

 

Regan Black: {blushing} My story’s YA.

 

VR Marks: Mine’s a Thanksgiving story. Don’t give me any grief. You know we men are all about the food.

 

Kimberly: I’m writing a contemporary reunion story.

 

Jay: I’m writing a contemporary reunion story, too.

 

Regan: Mine’s a contemporary story. With a paranormal angle.

 

VR: No reunion. Sorry. But it is contemporary.

 

Are you sensing a pattern here? This is what happens when you throw four independent authors into one mix. Contemporary. Paranormal. Suspense. Multiple holidays. Yeah, our cover artist loves us. But there’s something in A Season for Romance for everyone.

 

All of the stories are set in small town North or South Carolina. Except Snow Covered Resolutions by Regan Black. That’s set in the Midwest.

 

So as release time closed in, we searched for any common ground beyond ‘contemporary’ and started shooting random interview questions back and forth via email. Here are the highlights:

 

Which Disney character would you be?

Kimberly: Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty (unless someone knows where to find the Hunstman from Once Upon a Time… then I’ll be whoever he wants me to be).  :-)

 

Jay: Rapunzel, because I have a frying pan and I’m not afraid to use it.

 

Regan:  Mulan because she can kick butt like my daring, adventurous heroines.

 

VR: The Genie from Aladdin. (short answer wins!)

 

What kind of pets “help” you write?

 

Kimberly: My Doberman keeps me at the keyboard, sometimes she even lets me type.

 

Jay: Like Kimberly, my dog keeps my toes warm after she steals my slippers.

 

Regan: Our two greyhounds usually let me write while they’re napping.

 

VR: Two cats. {crickets chirp in the silence} But they’re manly, Maine Coon cats.

 

“Common ground” might be a pipe dream in this anthology. Clearly, we’re all a little whacked. But the one thing that ties all our short stories together is that they’re all about discovering what matters most about heart and home.

 

So, it’s the holiday season. While you’re playing ’12 Days of Christmas’ on your iPod, we’re playing Sesame Street’s ‘Which One of These Things Is Not Like the Others?’ As illustrated here:

 

Kimberly: In my first sassy contemporary romance, The Heiress and Her Fake Fiancé, Jessica’s Grandma Violet is the town matchmaker. In my Meddling with Mistletoe in the anthology, we see Violet’s first matchmaking attempt, involving Jessica’s parents and a wine cellar.

 Jay: In Finding the Focus, when Ethan Myers, an award-winning photographer who is short on inspiration, leaves his studio for the road, he never predicted he’d run into the one woman he had never forgotten.

 

VR: We meet Sheriff Cochran in my romantic suspense novel, The Thief, but we don’t learn exactly how he feels about Ruth Williams, the owner of the local diner, until her annual Thanksgiving feast in The Sheriff’s Proposal in the anthology.

Regan: In Snow-Covered Resolutions, it’s New Year’s Eve and all the Pixie Chicks from my previous YA novels have someone special to kiss at midnight – except Austin. In this season of resolutions will she stick to hers, or will the snow-covered magic of Hobbitville sweep her up in a whole new adventure?

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In addition to the short stories, Kimberly Hope and VR Marks have both added the first chapters of the first books in these series to the anthology. And in the spirit of the season, we’re giving away one copy of the anthology and one of each full-length novel: A Season for Romance, Kimberly Hope’s The Heiress and Her Fake Fiancé, and VR Marks’s The Thief.

To enter, all you have to do is post a comment telling us which Disney character you’d be and why! Okay, Banditas and Buddies, which one will it be? I’m off to do some animated movie watching…I mean, research…

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Be sure to come back to the Lair on December 13 when we kick off the annual 12 BANDITA DAYS OF CHRISTMAS! Prizes and recipes every day!! Roosters. Books. Starbucks goodies. Books. Dragons. Books. Cookies. Books. Godiva. You know you want the cookies, for sure, so come home to the Lair for the Holidays! Who knows, you might win something, and you’ll be guaranteed to have fun!! (Did we mention there might be books?)