More FREE Christmas Love Stories

My publisher has even more free reads for your Christmas “me” time. or check them out below:

Joel Randolph was a set designer in summer stock when he met Emily Keeler, former Hollywood starlet — and her daughter, Max. Cast opposite her in a romantic comedy, and then summer friendship and acting as a father-figure for Max changed Joel, until he realized he wanted Emily and Max in his life permanently.


A little body with an amazing mop of black curls squatted in the pool of light from the Green Room door, playing with one of the wooden tops that Gregori liked to carve during performances while waiting for his lighting cues. She looked up as Joel approached and opened her mouth as if she would say something, then shook her head. She stood up and held out her hand.

Bemused, Joel bent over. He had learned a long time ago that no matter how small the children, they hated when adults went down on one knee and emphasized how short they were. He shook her hand.

“Hello. I’m Joel. What’s your name?”

“I’m Max.”

“Max?” He grinned, sure he had heard her wrong.

“Max? What are you doing out here?” A little woman with pure white curls and a neon orange jogging suit paused in the doorway, leaning on her glossy black cane. “Honey, remember what Mommy told you? Don’t go running around strange places.” She took hold of Max’s hand to lead her back into the Green Room. “I’m sorry. We just got here, and she’s been riding for six hours and … well, you know children. If they can’t run around once every hour…” Her smile was full of mischief and life, and Joel found himself grinning back at her.

“But it’s not a strange place,” Max said, all seriousness. “It’s a theater. I know all about theaters.”

“You do, huh?” Joel gestured for them to precede him into the Green Room. “How’s that?”

“Max?” The sweet alto voice full of concern was more than familiar to Joel. He had just watched Sand and Storm two nights ago, on a rented videotape so grainy some of the scenes were lost in snow static. He didn’t mind – the static that came with too many viewings usually covered up Carlo Vincente’s face and cleared whenever Emily Keeler came on the screen. It never covered up her voice. As if it knew better than to interfere with her performance.

“Kurt Horner?” Emily said, coming forward and holding out a hand.

“Ah, no. Joel. Joel Randolph. Tech director. Kurt had to go to town for our annual conference with the police about traffic …” He held out his hand to shake, then the pieces clicked together in his head. Gloria had said “they” and “three.”

“I’m Emily Keeler, and this is my Aunt Maxine, and my daughter, Max.”

“I’m named for Aunt Maxi,” Max announced proudly.

“That makes sense.” Joel wiped his suddenly damp hands on the back of his jeans and looked around. “We should have your room ready for you soon. We call it the tower room. More than enough room for the three of you, and it gives you a great view of the ravine behind the theater. Let me give you a tour, show you where we eat, where the laundry facilities are, the bathroom, give you a rundown of how we run things here.”

Joel turned, gesturing for them to follow. It was a survival tactic he had learned long ago, when beautiful gray eyes and heart-shaped faces threatened to overwhelm him and tie his tongue into knots. The only solution was to do something, offer some service, and put himself into a position of giving instead of asking.

He had only taken two steps before Max scurried to catch up with him. She reached up for his hand and he gripped her little fingers without thinking. Later, looking back, Joel realized the moment he looked into those big dark eyes and that trusting little face, he had fallen in love.

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A Desert Breeze Publishing Free Read 

Companion piece to Anne’s WOUNDED HEROES series — beginning with Kill Shot

Hope Erickson, a Blackhawk pilot, and Nick Cunningham, an army ranger, renew their acquaintance on the battlefields of Iraq. Will they risk their hearts to one another or does fate have other plans in store for them?

Penned down under heavy fire, the sound of the Blackhawk chopper is one of the sweetest sounds a ranger will ever hear. Then to discover an attractive female at the stick has the sparks flying.

Hope Erickson, a Blackhawk pilot, and Nick Cunningham, an army ranger, renew their acquaintance on the battlefields of Iraq. He was a bully while she was the chubby girl with braces he and his friends picked on in school.

Hope has changed though, and Nick wants a chance to convince her so has he. Will they risk their hearts to one another or does fate have other plans in store for them?


Nick changed out of his uniform and into the clean PT clothes he borrowed from another soldier. He hoped the accidental meeting would be worth the twenty bucks it cost him.

Hope was still in the weight room when he came out of the locker room. He considered his battle plan again. If she was still harboring ill feelings toward him he would have his work cut out for him.

“Hey, Cunningham, I thought you worked out in the mornings,” a fellow officer in his platoon hollered.

Hope glanced up from the weight bench midstride. They locked gazes. If she was surprised to see him, she didn’t show it. She did two more reps before straddling the bench.

Nick’s carefully thought out plan just went out the window. Without a clue as to what he was going to say, he walked toward her.

Lieutenant Garret, on the weight machine next to her, smiled at him. “Heard you got yourself in a bit of a jam today… bad Intel?”

“Yeah, but thanks to Captain Erickson here, we all made it out alive.”

Lieutenant Garret glanced at Hope. “You were flying the bird that rescued them? I thought they only used women pilots to ferry supplies and VIP’s.”

She tossed him a smug smile, “Not in this war,” then grabbed her towel and walked off.

Nick quickly followed. “Bet you get a lot of that, huh?”

“I’m used to it.” She stopped at a treadmill and stepped on, draping the towel across her right shoulder.

Nick climbed on the one next to her. After programming his speed and incline, he began a brisk walk. “How long have you been flying?”

“Since I was fifteen,” she answered with barely a glance.

“I meant in the army.”

“Nine years. Did Kylie tell you I was here?”

“Who’s Kylie?” he avoided her question, hoping to keep his promise.

“Never mind.” She met his gaze. “What do you want, Lieutenant?”

He gave her his best smile. “For starters, I’d like for you to call me Nick.”

“There are rules against fraternizing.”

“We’re only talking. Besides, if I did have aspirations toward you in that capacity, that rule refers mainly to relationships between officers and enlisted personnel.”

She shook her head as she glanced away.

“Whoa… wait a minute, was that a smile I just saw?” he teased. When she refused to look at him, he stepped off the treadmill and moved to stand in front of her. “I was a horrible kid, I admit it. And I’m sorry.”

“Forget about it. It’s no big deal.”

“Why don’t I believe you?”

“Believe me or not, that’s your prerogative.” She grabbed the towel from her shoulder and stepped off the treadmill. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go.”

He followed. “Now you see; if you didn’t keep brushing me off I might believe you.”

She paused at the door, turning to him. “Are you always this tenacious?”

“Yes. It’s one of my many attributes. Have coffee with me and I’ll share some of my other qualities.”

Hope laughed.

“Is that a yes,” he asked, hopeful.

“All right, I’ll have coffee with you. Not tonight, though. I have a pre-flight briefing at oh-seven-hundred.”

“Tomorrow night then… after dinner with your crew, I’ll meet you right here.”


“It’s a date then. Don’t forget.”

“It’s not a date, its coffee, and I won’t forget.”  Download the full read from

For eighteen years, Nik has been a solitary man… focused on his career and his career alone after he lost his wife and son. Now, a chance meeting has given him something else, something more, someone to love again.

CJ Montgomery is young, naïve and moldable when she meets Colonel Nik Tanner… except he is the only person not trying to make her into something else.

Time and distance would eventually heal the rift that meddling, vindictive hands create, but their story is just as much in the past as in the future… A lifetime Ago


Sequel to The Phoenix Rebellion Book One: Revolution

Saturday, February 21, 2043
Presidential Ballroom Edward J. Holbrook Center for Areth-Earth Alliance
Washington, Northern Hemisphere Capital City
Former United States of America

Soft music, laced with subtle string melodies, echoed through the expansive ballroom as military leaders, political figures and scientific pioneers mingled with Areth dignitaries and ambassadors. Subdued conversation hummed just below the surface of the music, blending with the tinkle of crystal and china.

Doctor CJ Montgomery stood at the top of the sweeping staircase that led to the ballroom floor, taking in the crowd as a giddy excitement danced up her spine. She tightened her hold on the arm of the gentleman walking beside her. He patted her hand affectionately.

“I take it you’ve never attended a soiree on this grand a scale, Miss Montgomery?”

“No,” she said as she released a pent-up breath, then blinked and turned to look at Professor Abernathy. “No, Professor.” Her voice was stronger this time.

He smiled behind his full, white beard and took a step forward. CJ walked with him, the flared hem of her silk skirt whistling around her ankles as they took the stairs. “You are the next generation of Genetics Engineering geniuses, Miss Montgomery. It’s high time you rub elbows with the men and women that will lead our world into a future full of promise and advancements like none we have ever imagined.”

They reached the bottom of the stairs, and Professor Abernathy led her directly to a small crowd of people gathered together in conversation. She immediately recognized Warrick, High Commander of the Areth fleet, and her heart jumped into her throat. He was dressed in a long robe of deep brown, five gold cubes on each shoulder the only indication of his rank within the Areth Chain of Command. He needed no insignia to set himself apart. There wasn’t a person on Earth who didn’t know Warrick by sight. She barely heard the exchange between Professor Abernathy and the Areth leader until the saying of her own name snapped her out of her daze.

“I consider Doctor Montgomery my prodigy, and predict her contribution to the study of Theoretical Genetics will be groundbreaking. She is a brilliant doctor.”

Heat rose in her cheeks and she glanced away from the professor and Warrick… and found herself looking into the most intense brown eyes she had ever seen.

“Doctor Montgomery, allow me to introduce Colonel Tanner,” said someone’s voice on the edges of her perception. “Colonel Tanner is one of our honorees this evening.”

Colonel Tanner towered over her, or so it seemed. CJ was five-foot-ten and had on heels and yet she still had to raise her chin to meet his gaze. He was at least six-foot-three, and the blue dress Earth Force uniform he wore accentuated his broad shoulders and a trim physique. His brown hair was cut close in standard military fashion, with the slightest hint of gray at the temples. That, with his rank, told her he had to be in his late thirties at least. Slight lines bracketed his thin, chiseled lips.

He extended his hand and CJ took it, his long fingers engulfing hers.

“Doctor?” he said, and his voice was like honey over gravel.

“Yes,” she managed to say, her voice lost somewhere in her throat.

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Bojan and Laney are newly married and about to embark on their honeymoon. They will be traveling to his homeland in eastern Europe to meet his family. Only Bojan has other plans in mind once they get there. He’s out to find his sister’s ex-boyfriend who nearly killed her and left her for dead a year ago. He wants to make sure his sister will be safe and will not have to look over her shoulder for the rest of her life. But he hadn’t thought things completely through and takes a risk by keeping his plans from his wife. The one thing he hadn’t considered, though, was God’s knowledge of the secrets in his heart.


Bojan finally relaxed in his seat on the plane to Paris, his seatbelt almost too tight, and his fingers entwined with his new bride’s. While he hated to be deceptive in any way, he had another purpose for their stopping over in Macedonia to see his family. He needed to know if Georg was still alive, and if so, whether or not he realized Jovana had lived despite his abuse and leaving her on the streets for dead.

He imagined himself giving Georg a sound beating and threatening him within an inch of his life. He knew it wasn’t very Christian behavior, but how else was he supposed to feel knowing the sick things the man had done to his sweet baby sister?

Within seconds of takeoff, he slipped into a deep sleep and dreamt of his first meeting with Georg. Leaving Jovana behind in Arizona had been difficult, but losing her again to that scumbag ex-boyfriend Georg was something Bojan would not tolerate. He and Laney had a European honeymoon planned, but part of their trip included finding Georg so his sister would no longer have to look over her shoulder wondering when her ex would show up.

Yes, one of the reasons she had moved to Arizona was for protection from her ex, and he had no doubt that Georg would have a difficult time finding her there, but he wanted to make sure for his own peace of mind. His new bride thought they were only going to Macedonia to meet his family. She didn’t need to know the other details, but part of him ached to tell her the whole truth about their visit. At the same time, he had waited too long for them to be together to upset Laney right now. If she thought any harm might come to him, then she’d be frantic, and all peace between them would dissipate. Download at:

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We apologize for the inconvenience, but for the security of payment history and methods, the stipulation is required. Thank you. And we hope you enjoy your free read.


Curl up with a Christmas Love Story – Free!

My publisher is famous for the free Christmas stories from its authors for a holiday gift to YOU. Be sure to go to and download yours today. Here are the titles and a little about each book:

Keril, the high lord’s first-in-command, has been waiting months for the perfect time to tell Electra, the princess of Celosia’s personal bodyguard, how much he loves her. But when the castle is attacked with fire weapons, his time runs out. Duty demands he protect the princess, but his heart tugs him in another direction. 

Burned is a short companion piece to the novel, The Fire Starter. Discover what happens to Keril and Electra while Celosia blazes with fire weapons and new passions.


Fire exploded in the rock wall to his left. Keril leaned off the turret to gain a better view of the courtyard below. “Pirro, I’ll have your idiotic head for this atrocity.”

Screams carried upward on the stale wind. He needed to act, and fast. The castle of Filippopoulos was crumbling around him. Its people counted on his level-thinking and quick actions. His boss — the High Lord of Celosia Island — depended on Keril to keep the peace and to protect the royal family. Even against these unexpected attacks and illegal fire weapons that never should have found their way onto remote Celosia.

What he wouldn’t give for an old-fashioned bow and a quiver of arrows. Or even a sling. Pirro had loosened enough rock around Keril that he had plenty of ammunition to fire down on the traitor’s head. Yet Keril needed a bit more help than gravity could offer.

In fact, if he used his cloak, he might be able to sling a rock far enough to–

A woman darted from the stable door into the shadows of a nearby shed. No. No. No! The princess was on the loose, and who knew what kind of damage she would cause before this attack was contained. Hadn’t she heard that Pirro was after her? That he didn’t believe she was at Aphrodite Temple getting married to an off-island prince?

For the first time, Keril wished that the princess was getting married, even though she’d made it clear she had no desire to do so. He wished she were with her father, or with the man who would be her husband. Then Keril wouldn’t be responsible for her any longer.

“The princess is trying to escape. She’s headed toward the water tower.”

The call reached his ears, and men materialized from the shadows.

Could this situation get any worse? Keril scrambled for the stairs. As much as he would be expected to protect Filippopoulos, the estate serfs, his lord’s assets, and capture the intruder, foremost he would be expected to protect the princess, with his very life if necessary.

Why hadn’t she stayed hidden in the stables? He flung himself down the stairs and into the night air. Of course she wouldn’t stay hidden. Not Amaryllis. Not when she thought she could have purpose and do something useful. Never mind that she would have been more useful hidden, leaving him free to save the day.

Another shower of rocks rained down on his head, and he dodged back against the turret wall, making his way east toward the water tower. Perhaps Rasmus, his second-in-command, would have the chance to take down Pirro. Keril needed to get to the princess, and now.

He rounded the turret. There, in a shaft of moonlight, stood the princess, for all intents and purposes, posing before she dropped back into the shadows. Burn the night black, had she lost every ounce of sense she possessed? Three men flanked her left. His gaze darted right. Four more. They wore black, fading into the night better than Amaryllis in her green cloak. They were closing in.

New Orleans, Christmas Eve, 1947: Brothers, Dirk and Beaumont McSwain are both about to become fathers. Dirk’s wife has had a number of miscarriages and at thirty-six years old, is afraid this is her last chance for a healthy baby. Bo’s wife is pregnant for the first time. Both are due to give birth soon. The brothers arrange a surprise ride for their women in Papa Noel’s sleigh which is actually a horse drawn carriage with fake reindeer. The evening starts out merry and bright but before the night is over, they will need a Christmas miracle.


She stopped mid-sentence as a pair of horses sporting reindeer antlers pulling a sleigh on wheels with Papa Noel at the reins came into view.

The conveyance turned up the drive and came across the lawn. The horses stopped right in front of the porch. Papa Noel sketched a salute. “I heard there were some very good girls who live here who wanted a ride with old Papa.” Eden clapped her hands and smiled at the old man. “Yes. I think that would be delightful.”

Dirk put his arm around her and led her to the sleigh. He assisted her aboard and pulled a couple of the fur throws over her. He turned to Zoe. “Come on and I’ll help you up.”

Bo followed behind his wife and when both ladies were settled in, the men sat beside them, each couple facing the other.

Papa Noel turned around from his seat. “You all ready to go?”

“Where are we going?” Zoe said.

“Around.” Papa Noel responded and clicked his tongue at the horses. “Let’s go, Blitzen and Comet.”

“How did you decide which reindeer to bring this evening?” Dirk asked over his shoulder.

“The others are over at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop drinking absinthe. Bunch of sots.”

They all laughed at the thought of the reindeer hanging out in the oldest bar in America.

Adri’s frustration with the static town life of Boon is shared by his closest friends. His stepmother aggravates the situation with her unfair demands on his time, and Adri plans to leave as soon as he comes of age. The arrival of the survivors from dragon attacks interfere with his departure. The outsiders are closely followed by the fire breathing dragons who are intent of burning Boon. All looks grim, but the departure of the dragons opens a new exciting opportunity for Adri and his friends.


Adri hurried toward one of the two junior schools in the town. His stepmother had nightmares about her young son being attacked or kidnapped as he walked to and from school.

An attack is a distinct possibility the way he treats the other pupils.

He turned into the school compound in time to see the pupils erupting from the door. Vala’s son approached, and threw his bag on the ground.

“You carry it.” The child turned and walked out of the compound.

Only a few more days, Adri reminded himself as he picked up the bag and followed the boy. Once the celebrations for Landing Day are here I’m gone.

Thoughts of his father came to mind and once again he wondered why his father had married Vala.

It’s bad enough my mother died, but did he have to marry within months, then die himself.

His father’s actions had left him under the guardianship of Vala, but not for much longer. A few more days and Adri would be considered an adult and able to live on his own. He and his friends would leave Boon to have some excitement in their lives, not the dreary day to day life they had grown up with.

Vala called them brothers, but they were not blood relations. Raf was the son of his stepmother’s first husband, and the boy’s mother spoiled him to the point of ruining him.

He entered the house in time to see Vala fling her arms round Raf.

“How’s my little man? Did you have a good day?”

“Oh Mum, stop it. I’m too old to be smothered.”

“I’ll get you something to eat.”

Vala hurried into the kitchen while Raf flung himself into a chair. Adri dropped the boy’s bag next to him. Before his stepmother could return he left the house, but heard his stepbrother call out.

“Mum, Adri’s leaving again.”

With a burst of speed Adri turned into the next street before Vala could make it to the door and scream at him to return. He shrugged his shoulders to release the tension and hurried to the town square.

On the outskirts of the ever present Alliance’s watchful eye, William Reynolds has served as mayor and preacher for the better part of a decade. Life is good, and he sees no reason to change anything. When a family fleeing the Alliance’s oppression comes his way he doesn’t hesitate to hide them. Reaching out to the people in need proves to be more dangerous than he could ever have anticipated, and once events are set in motion, there is no going back.


William lived in a world of uneasy dreams. His people were screaming, dying, being burned alive, and he needed to pull free from whatever held him so he could rescue them, but invisible forces kept him back. The dreams faded into merciful darkness.

When he finally returned to reality, he had problems focusing his eyes. The ceiling looked a lot like a beautiful woman, and she rotated above him. He squeezed his eyes shut again, but had time to see a mass of blonde hair and a cute nose.

The fragments of memories and dreams came together. He was a prisoner of the Alliance, and his people, everyone he knew were dead. It was his fault. He didn’t understand how, he had been so careful, but he still led the enemy right home. He wanted to return to the darkness, hopefully forever, but the woman wouldn’t let him. She held a cool hand against his forehead.

“I think he has a concussion.”

A cynical male voice answered, “It happens.”

William opened his eyes again and struggled to sit up, even though the room revolved around him. Everything bathed in a light so bright it shot bolts of pain through his skull, but when he squinted and shaded his eyes with his hand, he could make out four bare metal walls and a metal ceiling. The cell didn’t even have a visible door. “Where am I? Who are you?”

The man stepped closer and crouched next to him. “You’re a guest here at Casa del Travis. If we’re lucky, he’ll forget about us, or kill us before we reach Central.”

The woman said, “You should probably lie down. You’re still bleeding. I’m Isabela, and he’s Aaren. I think there are more people in other cells. I can hear them through the walls.”

Aaren chuckled. “Of course there’re more prisoners here. This is a prisoner ship, and it’s what they do. So, what’d you do that’s so bad they let you live?”

Eunice is considered an old maid at the age of 26, but more than fate has kept her single. She’s in love with one of her father’s employees, a common laborer. Not only is Freddy beneath her socially, but he’s half-black, something unforgiveable in her father’s eyes. As WWII echoes like thunder in the distance, the pressures pushing them apart seem overwhelming. Is love enough to conquer society and family prejudice?


Outside, Freddy saw the sweep of headlights turning into the drive and he let out a soft moan. “That’ll be your father, dearest,” he said softly. “Go home.”

“Why?” Her voice trembled.

“Because I’m one man, and he’ll have brought twenty.” He heard the steel enter his tone, and she stiffened, her eyes widening. “If you want me beaten to death tonight, you just stay defiant, woman.”

For a moment, she sat motionless, then Eunice pushed herself to her feet, her sodden pink dress hanging heavily off her slender curves. “I’ll go home, Freddy, but you remember this. You think I’m some wilting flower to be coddled and cared for, but I’m not. I’m more than you think, Louis Fredrick Clarke.”

With that, she turned and walked steadily towards the door. When there was a hammering knock, Freddy jumped forward to stop her, but she pulled open the door and stared into the face of one of the town’s young men.

“Arthur, put down that stick, you fool. I came here on my own, and Freddy just threw me out. You have nothing to defend. Now take me home.”

Heather Fisher Black’s third man of the year has just exited right when she needs a date for Christmas dinner. The whole gang from Win’s War will be there and everyone will have a partner, even Win’s grandfather. Maybe the man who’s been underfoot could go by her side.

**PLEASE NOTE** Due to security measures in our shopping cart, you will need to set up an account and indicate a method of payment — either Paypal or a credit card. When you complete your order, and are asked to ‘Pay Now’… Click on the button, but proceed no further with payment options unless you are purchasing actual books in addition to your free items. You just need to leave the shopping cart page. Then return to the site, go to Customer Care, and download your books from your Downloaded Files. There will be NO CHARGE for the free items even though a method of payment is requested.

Love stories – what we love about Romance

Like most authors I live in more than one world.

There is the writer world – and every day I spend time in that world, writing, editing, meeting readers like you and learning how to continue to improve my craft. Even when I’m not at my computer I am living in the characters’ heads and planning out what will happen next in their lives.

There is the personal world — my life, marriage, kids, pets, beliefs.

And there is the professional world, where  I  write reports, policies, and training manuals, and talk to people by phone or email about their work and how to improve what they are doing. And I go by a different name than my writing name, just to make it a little more confusing.

Not everyone in my professional world admits to reading love stories. When they learn I am author, they are curious. When i reveal that I write romance novels, the response is mixed.

It seems a bit silly to me, but some women are a bit snobbish, and won’t admit to reading romance.

What a shame! Because, in addition to being a love story, books like my first novel, More Than A Job, tell a story about specific people. Paige and Joshua are the main characters,  have both personal and professional worlds. Because it is part of my own experience, I found these two in the world of providing services to people with developmental  disabilities. There is even a taste of the conflicts that professionals in the field have with each other.

Evelyn and Joy, in The Return of Joy, have a shared career in their interior decorating partnership. Mark works in building security. Jonas used to teach at the university. All of them have other hobbies and interests, so that their personal and professional lives blend to make a whole.

Romance novels are much more than bedroom scenes. (In fact, I don’t do bedroom scenes until the couple is married.) They tell us about the people who are falling in love. So come enjoy the sizzle and tension of falling in love, set in a small town in Missouri or the mountains outside Albuquerque — and meet the interesting, sometimes flawed but multi-dimensional people whose path to starting over also leads to love.

You can find trailers for both books to the right of this post, and can click on pages highlighting each book in the list of pages at the top of this post.

You can download in most eBook formats from my publisher at You will also find some reviews, blurbs and excerpts there.

Read reviews and previews and download directly from my Amazon author page at: