Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Virtual Book Tour: Barbara Bretton's The Year the Cat Saved Christmas/Mrs.Scrooge with author Guest Post

The Year the Cat Saved Christmas
Barbara Bretton

Genre: Contemporary romance

Publisher: Free Spirit Press

ISBN: 9781940665009

Number of pages: 80
Word Count: 22,000

Book Description:

Christmas used to be the happiest time of the year in the big house on the hill. But this year when the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Day, it will all be over. Can Sebastian, a wily Maine Coon cat, find a way to bring his people back home or will this holiday be their last?

Previously published as "Home for the Holidays" in Penguin Berkley's anthology "The Christmas Cat."

My Review:

This is a wonderful Christmas read. The cat, Sebastian, is adorable. I love how he wants to keep his humans together. He is upset and confused as to why things are changing and he wants them back to the way they were. He is determined to make it happen.

This is a heartwarming story and I recommend it to anyone that enjoys a quick, touching holiday read.

Mrs. ScroogeRocky Hill Romances
Book One
Barbara Bretton

Genre: Contemporary romance

Publisher: Free Spirit Press

ISBN: 9781940665023

Number of pages: 240
Word Count: approx. 65000

Book Description:

Single mother Samantha Dean doesn't have time for Christmas. Or romance, for that matter. She is weeks away from opening her own catering business, the most important part of her plan to provide her certified genius daughter Patty with all the wonderful things she deserves.

Except Patty doesn't want to go to a fancy boarding school. She wants a father and when she meets bartender Murphy O'Rourke at her fourth grade Career Day presentation, she knows she's met the man of her mother's dreams!

But can she convince her Mrs. Scrooge of a mom that it was time to give Christmas -- and love -- a second chance?

Originally published in print by Harlequin American

My review:

I really enjoyed this story. The daughter is so determined that she will have a father. She is so intelligent and crafty! She really knows how to manipulate the people around her.

I loved all the characters and how they all interacted. The quick slide from business associates to friends to much more is fun to read.

I recommend this to anyone that loves a great romance with wonderful characters and an adorably gifted little girl.

Book #2 is also available now: BUNDLE OF JOY

Guest Post by author Barbara Bretton

Can someone please tell me how it’s possible for Christmas to sneak up on me every year? I mean, it’s not like the date changes. December 25th faithfully follows December 24th and December 23rd year after year. I’ve been on this planet a pretty long time and so far I’ve never seen it to fail.

So here I am with just twelve days left, and I’ve barely begun to get ready. I have cookies to bake, brownies to make, little gift baskets of herbs and spices and exotic sauces to assemble, and knitting projects to finish. Lots of knitting projects. I’m almost embarrassed to tell you how many pairs of socks, lacy scarves, and tree ornaments languish in my UFO (UnFinished Object) pile.

I wish you could have seen me back in January. I was determined that 2012’s bout of Holiday Hysteria would never happen again. I made lists. I cross-referenced. I planned and plotted and matched patterns with yarn and needles and was totally convinced I would at least have my holiday knitting bound off, blocked, and tucked away by July.

I guess I don’t have to tell you how well that went.

Still, there’s nothing more wonderful than giving or receiving a handmade gift from someone you love. Maybe the truth is that I love all the craziness that comes along with the holidays. Maybe (for me, at least) the holidays are meant to be approached full-speed as the Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or New Year’s) clock ticks loudly in the background.

Time for me to get back to baking and knitting and wrapping and all the wonderful things that make this time of year exciting and exhausting and wonderful.

(BTW, books make great gifts!)

Hope your holidays are merry and happy and joyous!

About the Author:

Oh, how I hate bios! All of that deadly dull information about name (Barbara Bretton) and date of birth (June 25) and geographical data (born in New York City; lives near Princeton, NJ), marital status (many years married), and hobbies (who has time??). How do you gather up all of those dull, dry facts and turn them into something interesting?

No wonder I tell lies for a living.

I considered weaving a story for you about life on a houseboat on the French Riviera. Or maybe my years as a concubine, hidden away in a golden pleasure palace in the shimmering desert. Then I decided to do the unthinkable and tell you the truth.

When I sold my first book and my life changed forever. I sent in my manuscript on Thursday February 21, 1982 and four days later the telephone rang and I heard the amazing words, "We want to buy your book." How I wish you could have seen me. I was standing by the kitchen door of our North Babylon house, the picture of cool sophistication, as I listened to Vivian Stephens explain the terms of the deal to me. You would have thought I'd sold a first book every single day of my life. Yes, I said. Sounds wonderful. Thank you so much for calling. I look forward to our association. That cool sophistication hung on until I hung up the phone, took a deep breath, then promptly threw up on my shoes.

I was thirty-one years old, unagented, unschooled, unfamiliar with anything to do with the business of publishing. To put it mildly, I was in shock. My husband was working in Manhattan at the time (and finishing up his degree at night) so it would be hours until I could break the news to him. This was too exciting to waste on a phone call. I wanted to see his face when I told him that my dream had finally come true -- and came with a $6000 advance!

He pulled into the driveway at midnight. I was waiting in the doorway, holding a bottle of champagne and two glasses. I didn't have to say a word. He knew right away and the look of joy and pride in his eyes warms me now, years later, long after the advance faded into memory.

A lot has happened to me in the years since that first sale. I've learned that this is a difficult and demanding business (it takes a tough writer to write a tender book) and that I am happiest when I am most ignorant. I've also learned that a good friend, a writer and pal who truly understands, is worth her weight in good reviews and royalty checks.

I fell madly in love with Skye O'Malley in early 1982 and wrote an unabashedly gushy fan letter to our beloved Bertrice Small. By the time Sunny answered, I had joined the ranks of the published and Sunny became friend and mentor, guide and confidant. She has held my hand through broken dreams, disappointments, family illnesses, and accepted my bizarre need to go underground from time to time with great affection and understanding. Over the years I've come to understand the difference between the writer and her work, that loving the book doesn't guarantee that I will love the author. But what a joy it is when you discover that the author of a beloved favorite is even more wonderful and witty and wise than the characters she creates.

So this bio is for you, Sunny, for being the best of friends during the worst of times and -- even more wonderful -- during the good times as well.

And now for the statistics:

Barbara Bretton is the USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of more than 40 books. She currently has over ten million copies in print around the world. Her works have been translated into twelve languages in over twenty countries.

Barbara has been featured in articles in The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Romantic Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Herald News, Home News, Somerset Gazette,among others, and has been interviewed by Independent Network News Television, appeared on the Susan Stamberg Show on NPR, and been featured in an interview with Charles Osgood of WCBS, among others.

Her awards include both Reviewer's Choice and Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times; Gold and Silver certificates from Affaire de Coeur; the RWA Region 1 Golden Leaf; and several sales awards from Bookrak. Ms. Bretton was included in a recent edition of Contemporary Authors.

Barbara loves to spend as much time as possible in Maine with her husband, walking the rocky beaches and dreaming up plots for upcoming books.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book(s) mentioned above free for review purposes. Regardless, all opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

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