Here's another Christmas title for you! MISTLETOE RULES by Stacey Joy Netzel! Stacy and I got together in cyber space the other day and had a little chat about her newest release. I'm in bold and Stacey is speaking in italics.
So, tell me. What will we love most about your hero?
Talk about a Merry Christmas...there are three heroes in Mistletoe Rules! *grin* Don't tell Eric and Derek, but Mark's my favorite because he's got a great sense of humor and is a little cocky to boot. He also has a wounded side that he hides from everyone under his happy-go-lucky attitude. Getting him to reveal it to Janelle was touching and fun at the same time.
A little cocky and yet he's got a soft underside. Love it! Where did you get the idea for Mistletoe Rules?
Mistletoe Rules started as a cute, fun story at the zoo with a couple of single parents (Eric and Marissa) chaperoning a summer school field trip. Then I introduced Eric's brother, Mark, and couldn't get the man out of my mind, so I decided to give him his own story, along with the youngest Riley sibling, Lisa. Once I decided to write all three stories, I switched it to a Christmas theme. Santa Butch and his wife Judy are named for my parents, Butch and Judy, because my dad used to play Santa for the neighbors when we were kids (older). Having a matchmaking Santa who just might be a little more than what he seems tickled my funny bone.
I did a little research and found out you like crafts! Tell us about your favorite Christmas craft.
I do love crafts. Anything 'snowman' is a hit with me. A friend of mine took one of those old glass blocks that let light in but you can't really see through, drilled a hole in the back and put in a set of colored lights, then painted a snowman on it and edged it with a plaid ribbon--it's so pretty when lit up and one of my favorite decorations. This weekend I signed books at a craft fair with Donna Marie Rogers (my co-author of another anthology, Welcome to Redemption) and it was VERY hard not to buy, buy, buy! Common sense whispered insistently "You only have so much room in the house", and since my Christmas decorations already more than fills the available surfaces, I limited myself to two new grinning snowmen. *happy grin for me*
To get you in the mood for Christmas, here's the book blurb:
Christmas recipe for love—combine a matchmaking Santa, lots of mistletoe, one iron-clad rule, fated hearts; mix and stir. The Riley siblings don’t stand a chance.
Christmas in July at the zoo is the last place single parents Eric Riley and Marissa Wilder expect to find love. Thanks to a little Mistletoe Mischief in the form of their two young daughters and Santa, they discover that Mistletoe Rules are not made to be broken.
Major Mark Riley plays Court Jester to Janelle Walsh's Snow Queen at the Christmas Parade and is instantly captivated by the cute redhead whose grandpa just happens to be Santa. When Mark discovers she's the tenant he evicted from his newly purchased property, it's going to take a little bit of Santa's Mistletoe Magic to save their romance.
When Lisa Riley comes home for Mark's Christmas Eve wedding, her high school rivalry with Janelle’s cousin, Derek Walsh, picks up right where it left off, only this time Derek's got the upper hand. Santa bides his time as these two battle it out because he's waited all year for this Mistletoe Match-up.
And here's an excerpt!
Derek’s hands clenched at his side. Great. Just great, Janelle. He waited for Lisa to gleefully pounce at the opportunity to bury him again, only to be surprised by her dismayed expression.
“I don’t know if that’s such a good idea,” she said.
He should be relieved. Instead, his competitive demon demanded retribution for all the humiliation it’d endured during the old times. He’d bury her. “Why not?” he asked.
Her gaze remained locked on his cousin. “No offense, Janelle, but it seems a little silly. I mean, we’re not in high school anymore.”
Derek relaxed and fell into their old pattern with ease. “What’s the matter, Lisa, afraid you’ve lost your magic touch? Are you not up for the challenge?”
That got her. Her spine stiffened and fire gleamed in her eyes. “Of course I am.”
He fake frowned, nodded his head with understanding, and stage whispered, “I get it.”
Derek glanced at their captive audience. “Nothing.”
She crossed her arms over her chest and glared at him. He valiantly avoided staring at her increased cleavage. It wasn’t so hard with his grandparents and her brother watching. And her silent demand for an answer.
“I probably shouldn’t say it now. Not in front of everyone.”
Lisa’s eyes narrowed. “Please, do enlighten us—all of us.” Her condescending sarcasm stroked the blood-thirsty devil on his shoulder. Their audience of respective family members waited in expectation. Grandpa, in particular, appeared to enjoy the exchange immensely. This next part would almost make high school worth it. Derek shrugged. “Obviously, it’s me.”
“You?” She infused the single word with an appropriate amount of humorous disbelief and disdain, only she avoided looking him in the eye.
“You’re scared you can’t handle me all grown up.”
The outrageous statement produced the desired laughs—only Lisa’s sounded forced. Her right hand rose to flick her hair back over her shoulder, then smoothed down the length of her burgundy satin dress. Hmm. He hadn’t dreamed his intentional bait would be remotely close to the truth. Derek moved in for the kill. “That’s why you chickened out under the mistletoe.”
The words ‘bite me’ resounded in his head as she glared at him and took a breath to speak. He waggled his finger in the air between them. “Uh, uh. Careful.”
Lisa stepped forward and grabbed his hand. He fought to keep his expression impassive while she bent his finger back just enough to make her point. She leaned close, her breath hot on his lips as she ground out, “You’re on, buddy. I’m going to kick your butt so bad you’ll wish I’d never moved back.”
Too late for that.
Thanks for sharing, Stacey!
Additional excerpts for each story can be found at my website: www.StaceyJoyNetzel.com. (Once you've read them, you can head on over to my Contest page to answer a few questions and enter to win a prize.)
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Emily! My most sincere wishes for everyone to have a healthy, happy holiday season! I'd like to offer an e-copy of my other Christmas novella, Dragonfly Dreams, to one lucky commenter.
Stacey Joy Netzel lives in Northeast Wisconsin with her husband, kids, a couple horses and some barn cats. She works very part-time as a corporate travel agent and spends the rest of her free time writing contemporary romance, because Happily Ever Afters are a must.
Now it's your turn. Since we have a crafty author here today, I'd love to hear about crafty readers! What sort of special Christmas crafts do you enjoy? Oh! And today is my Chatelaine posting day, so please join me there too!