For the past several years I’ve done a Christmas in July promo and this year is no different, save that it will go on for the entire month of July–sales, reveals, and today, the release of my Regency novella, Married by Christmas.
This novella was originally published last year as part of the boxed set Yuletide Happy Ever Afters, so if you have that anthology, you already have the book. If not, it is now available on Amazon, Smashwords, B & N, and Kobo for $2.99.
So Married by Christmas kicks off Christmas in July, along with three other Christmas stories on sale for .99: Hearts Beneath the Mistletoe, A Match Made at Christmas, and Seduction at the Christmas Court.
Now here’s the blurb and excerpt for Married by Christmas:
A wager he shouldn’t have taken…
After two miserable Seasons, Miss Marianne Covington is determined not to have a third and enlists the help of longtime friend William Stanley to assist her. Will wagers he can find her a husband before Christmas. But when none of the suitors suit, he is ready to do something drastic for the woman who’s become more than just a friend.
“If I had a wish, I’d ask for a husband for myself. I’m tired of being the odd one out in our circle now. Julia is betrothed, and your other two sisters are married, as are two more of my closest friends.” She pursed her lips and sighed, trying to blink back tears. “And I simply cannot go through a third Season. Especially without any of my friends there for support. I’ll be all alone.” It wasn’t fair at all. “Why can I not find one gentlemen to marry in the entire ton? All the truly good ones have been taken.”
“No gentlemen to marry?” Scowling, Will neatly turned the corner into the square. “What do you mean you cannot find one to marry? I know tons of chaps who’d make excellent husbands.”
“Well, I wish you would introduce me to them then. I am all but out of options. Father’s going to start hinting that he’ll find a husband for me, and at that I will put my foot down.”
“I say, have you met Lord Cranmont? Tall, thin chap. Curly blond hair? He’s a friend of mine from White’s. Sits a horse splendidly.” Will pulled his team to a stop in front of Covington House.
“Yes, we danced several times this Season.” Marianne gathered her reticule and sighed. “I thought for a time he might suit. As you say, he does sit a horse excellently. But before I could make my affections known, Lady Catherine Armstrong swooped in like a crow after a kernel of corn.” She hadn’t had a true tendre for Lord Cranmont, but she quite likely could’ve been reasonably comfortable married to him. If not for his and Lady Catherine’s scandalous kiss in the garden at Lady Wilmot’s musical evening. “Didn’t you hear? Their betrothal was announced the very next day after they…came to an understanding at Lady Wilmot’s. The marriage was performed a scant two weeks later, on the day the last of the banns were read.”
Settling the horses, who tossed their heads and seemed to want another turn in the park, Will’s mouth curved downward, giving him the expression of a mischievous cherub. “No, I hadn’t heard that.” The frown continued while he seemed to rummage through the names of all the eligible partis in London. “What about Lord Eastbourne? Capital fellow with a cricket bat at school, so the legends had it.”
“I’ve met the gentleman, briefly. However, I have no interest whatsoever in cricket or other sports of that sort, Will,” she said crisply. “Does he have anything else to recommend him as a husband?”
“Uh, he’s very well set up.”
“Money is not a major point with me, although it may be with Father.” Scowling, Marianne shook out the carriage blanket. What did she want in a husband? “Is he interested in literature or music? Does he ride well? That, I fear, may be a sticking point.”
With a shrug, Will turned away from her and fussed with the ribbons. “I seriously doubt he has any interests of an artistic nature. He does ride. However, he prefers a carriage to a horse.”
“There it is.” How could Will think for a moment she’d marry a man she could outride? “I certainly will not place my future in the hands of a gentleman who has so little to recommend him. You know that well enough. I want to at least have interests in common with the man I marry. Otherwise, how would we get along together?” She’d been introduced to Lord Eastbourne last Season and met him this year as well and had informed her father she’d rather remain a spinster all her life than marry such a man. “Lord Eastbourne is not the man for me, I fear.”
“Well, if you’re going to be picky, I doubt I can help you.”
“If your prospective suitors are so lackluster, I doubt you can as well.”
Throwing her an exasperated glance, Will wrapped the ribbons around the whip socket and jumped to the ground. “I know plenty of splendid fellows you would find acceptable.” He rounded the curricle and took her hand, assisting her from the carriage. “If you give me leave, I’ll wager I can make the match by…by Christmas Day.”
Married by Christmas is available for purchase on Amazon here.
Next week I’ll have a new cover reveal for Seduction at the Christmas Court, to go with the new covers for the series.