Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're joining the BOOK BLITZ fun with Rachel's Random Resources and a holiday title you're not gonna want to miss! If you're not in the spirit of the fast approaching season yet, get ready to be because aside from the winter magic cover, the excerpt brings the cheer, and the BONUS RECIPE will have you snuggling in for the night. Ready or not, feast your peepers on today's book of choice...
About the book...
There’s nothing so magical as Christmas in New York…
Santa is coming to New York!
Snow is falling, excitement is high and the delicious scent of chocolate drifts along Fifth Avenue – the Candied Apple Café is ready for Christmas! And no one is busier than publicist Iona Summerlin. With so much to do, she doesn’t have time to think about men, dating, or the fact her last boyfriend ditched her for her brother… Relationships are off the menu!
Hotel boss Mads Eriksson is not looking forward to the first Christmas since losing his wife. His six-year-old daughter Sofia has lost her belief in Christmas magic along with her mother, and he has no idea what to do. But an unusually festive business meeting at the Candied Apple – and meeting the beautiful Iona – starts to defrost Mads’ frozen heart, and suddenly life seems full of light and sparkle again.
If only they dare to believe, maybe all their Christmas dreams will come true!
~~~ EXCERPT ~~~
Iona and Mads are trying to keep things all business but when they end up going to a charity performance of The Nutcracker the lines blur.
Iona was running late. She wasn’t sure what it was about December but she couldn’t seem to get out anywhere on time this month. It was easy to blame the crowded city sidewalks with gawkers stopping to stare at the decorated Christmas windows of shops along Fifth Avenue, but she knew part of it was her.
She was moving slower. Not for any good reason other than she didn’t want to be at the Nutcracker for the matinee family benefit this afternoon, though the ballet was one of her favorites.
She rounded the corner to the David Koch Center at Lincoln Center and realized all the hurrying in the world wasn’t going to make her on time. There was a crowd of people waiting to get inside the venue. She glanced up at the sky. It was clear and very cold this afternoon. Not a single cloud in the sky to bring on some snow.
As a girl, before she got too tall and developed curvy hips, she’d dreamed of being a ballerina.
Truth was, she’d never really had the dedication that was needed as well as her genes not giving her the slim, svelte frame required. She’d liked the costumes and wearing her hair up in a tight bun. In fact, she’d dressed with that in mind this afternoon. Her hair up in a ballerina bun, her dress a fitted red velvet top with a cream satin underskirt and a layer of tulle over it.
She wore her black wool opera cape and as she edged closer to the doors she fumbled in her bag for her ticket.
She glanced over her shoulder and saw Sofia and her father standing a few feet away. Sofia also had her hair up in a bun and she smiled and waved at Iona. Mads was on his phone, furiously tapping the screen. Probably giving some hapless employee a dressing down about not following his explicit instructions.”
“Hello little one. Are you excited for the ballet?” Iona asked.
“Yes. I’ve never been before.”
She edged away from her father and Mads stopped tapping his smart phone screen. “Sof.”
“It’s okay. I’ll watch her while you finish up what you’re doing.”
“Their eyes met and all she could think of was that moment when their lips had brushed each other, how he’d held her while she’d fallen asleep and then hadn’t called her for two days. He reached into his pocket and pulled out two tickets. He handed one to Iona. “If you ladies want to wait inside, I’ll catch up.”
She glanced down at Sofia and saw the disappoint dash quickly across her face before she slipped her small hand into Iona’s. “Okay, Papa.”
She took Sofia’s ticket and held it with her own as she rejoined the line to go into the David Koch Center. “What have you been up to since I saw you?”
“Not too much. At school, we learned about more Christmas traditions. Some of them are funny. In Italy, a witch delivers presents to children, not Santa, well, I guess probably Santa does it now.”
“I think he does. I know the witch, though. Befana, right?” Iona asked. She’d dated an Italian once and his mother had one of those Befana dolls by the entrance of her home. “I think she keeps the evil spirits away.”
Sofia giggled. “She does. Papa said his bad attitude did that for us.”
Iona had to chuckle. “I totally agree with that.”
They handed their tickets to the attendant and stepped inside the warmth of the lobby. “That’s better. It was very cold outside. Let’s get rid of our coats and then get something to drink.”
Sofia kept her hand neatly tucked into Iona’s as they got in line for the coat check and then made their way to the bar. “What would you like to drink? Peppermint hot chocolate or a jingle bell mocktail.”
“What’s a jingle bell mocktail?” Sofia asked.
“Sparkling soda, grenadine, and frozen limeade mixed together and topped with a cherry. Tastes like a cherry and lime soda.”
“Peppermint hot chocolate,” she said.
Iona ordered two of them.
“Make that three,” Mads said, joining them. He reached around Iona to pay.
“Thanks for watching Sof for me,” he said.
“No problem. We were talking about Christmas traditions,” she said. “This is actually one of my family’s.”
“It is?” Sofia asked. “Are they here? Is your mom here? She was nice when I met her.”
Iona smiled. Her mom had that effect on people. Her parents had been such an odd couple, she thought. Her mom gregarious and the life of the party; her father always in his study or at work. ”
“She’s looking forward to seeing you as well. She’s somewhere in this crowd. We always come to this event since it benefits the New York City Ballet.”
“Why?” Sofia asked.
Mads watched both of them and Iona realized she didn’t mind sharing secrets with Sofia, but Mads made her want to keep her guard up. “I used to want to be a ballerina and Mom talked my father into making a donation and bringing us here every year.”
“Sofia wants to be one too,” Mads said.
The little girl smiled up at her. “That’s why we both have ballerina buns. Where are we sitting?”
“Orchestra. My mom and brother and I usually meet over near the bar and have a toast first. This is my family’s official ‘it’s Christmas’ kick off,” she said.”
“She felt a tiny hand slip into hers and looked down at Sofia, who had taken her hand gently.
“Is your brother nice?”
“Yes, he is. Why do you ask?”
“Papa doesn’t always get along with Uncle Piers,” Sofia said.
She glanced at Mads and saw him give his daughter a wry look. “There are no secrets with this one. My brother and I have always disagreed on how to run the hotel, so it makes any family get-togethers awkward.”
“I could never work with Nico. He’s great, but he has a completely lax work ethic.”
“You must be talking about me,” her brother said from behind her.
Mads put his hand on the small of her back as she turned to face her brother and his new fiancé.
~~~ BONUS RECIPE ~~~
Peppermint Mocha Latte Recipe
Combine 3 Tbsp Baking Cocoa with 3 Tbsp warm water to make into a rich syrup. Pour into a 16 ounce mug.
Add coffee or espresso
Add Peppermint syrup.
Steam milk and add to remainder of cup.
Garnish with whipped cream and sugar crystals.
DON'T MISS THE REST OF THE TOUR!
About the author...
USA Today bestselling author Katherine Garbera is a two-time Maggie winner who has written more than 60 books. A Florida native who grew up to travel the globe, Katherine now makes her home in the Midlands of the UK with her husband, two children and a very spoiled miniature dachshund.
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Special thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for the chance to bring this promotion to you. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, THIS TOUR, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title just celebrated its BOOK BIRTHDAY earlier this week via Harper Impulse, so stop by your favorite online retailer to snag your copy today!
BEFORE YOU GO...
DON'T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO WIN...
... 1 of 5 SIGNED copies of Summer in Manhattan, Katherine Garbera's previous release with Harper Impulse!
Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!