Happy Release Day, ELLIE!(And 2 Vampyres in the top 20 in the iBooks Store in the USA)

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iBOOKS    AMAZON USA   AMAZON UK    AMAZON AUSTRALIA    KOBO  NOOK

 

Happy Friday!

After over twelve months of planning, writing Sean and Katherine’s story, and getting all my ducks in a row in time for Christmas – it’s now time for the first of The GOLDDIGGERS short reads. Aw, girls, have I had fun with these! Up first, our Ellie, who stole my heart. I hope she steals your heart, too:

A weekly tale of love and lust best describes the brand new short romance reads from USAToday bestselling author CC MACKENZIE. Let’s face it sometimes we’re in a hurry or not in the mood for a committed book relationship, or a series. Sometimes we want it quick and fast, a bit like a book one-night-stand.

The stories are set in the world of Burlesque with glitter, love, desire, music and dance where girls tease and tantalize. The stories stand-alone, unrelated to the next, except they are set in the same world of the GOLDDIGGERS. And CC will release an original story on a Friday to get you in the mood for the weekend.

The GOLDDIGGERS series of thirty minutes of fun romance from CC MACKENZIE – for busy people everywhere – grab one now!

ELLIE

 

I sure didn’t intend to see him.

Or fall for him.

Or have anything to do with the mesmerizing Noah Blake.

Meeting him had been a complete and utter shock to the system, my reaction took me by surprise. In my line of work, I meet new people all the time and none of them impressed me the way Noah did. Isn’t that just typical in life? A girl can meet hundreds of people and they don’t touch her where it matters, but then she meets the one who means everything…

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Thing is, I’m a Golddigger, and proud of it. We make the Pussycat Dolls look like kittens. We work hard to achieve one goal, being the best. And to do that we do not need distractions like, for example, men. A Golddigger’s focus is on one thing, her performance. A Golddigger’s priority is the continued success of our Burlesque troupe. Thing is, I learned the hard way men didn’t like coming a poor second in a woman’s life. They appeared to be panic-stricken by a career driven, successful woman. I’ve been called “hard work,” “stroppy,” and “pigheaded.”

Like the rest of the Golddiggers, being free of emotional ties works well for me. Trust me, I had no long term plan to live happy-ever-after.

But then I met Noah.

And he stole my diamanté encrusted panties, and my whole world fell apart…

 

Aaaand in other news, the Vampyre Legal Chronicles has been ripping through the bestseller charts in Amazon USA, but also the iBOOKS Store USA. MARCUS was #1 in Paranormal and Romantic Comedy and #6 in the store overall. JAMES is #19 in the paid Paranormal category and DANIEL has just broken the top 100 in the paid store, too. Three books in the top 100 is a huge deal for me. I haven’t been there since 2013 with the first three of the Ludlow Hall books. I’m sharing yesterday’s screen shot of JAMES for posterity.

 

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And don’t forget on Monday we have another peek into the life of the Ferranti Family, and a big surprise!

Sheesh. Am I busy, or am I busy…

Hugs,

Christine X

It’s Monday, which means another peek behind the curtains of life with the Ferranti family. Grab a coffee, settle down, and enjoy . . .

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Happy Monday, my darlings,

Working hard and nearly at The End of SEAN.

Here’s the latest from the Ferranti Fam-lee . . .

Bronte is driving Nico’s Range Rover with Luca, Sophia and Emily in the back, and Tonio in the front. Luca, Sophia and Emily have been attending a birthday party, which means they’re checking out their party bags, all hyped up on sugar. And Tonio has had soccer practice, which means he’s a bit bruised and battered since he’s a fearless Ferranti.

*Emily and Sophia begin their own unique rendition of The Lonely Goatherd*

“Yodelaaaaaay-eeeeeeee, yodelaaaaaay-eeeeeee-eeeeeeee, yodelaaaaaaaaay-eeeeeeee,” shrieks Sophia with Emily right behind her.

All hot and bothered and tired, of girls, Luca squeezes his eyes shut and bangs the back of his head on the car seat. “Mamaaaaaaa, tell them to stop.”

“Okay, girls, no distractions while I’m driving please,” Bronte says. Out of the corner of her eye she spots Tonio making a horrible face. To be honest she can’t blame him, the singing is pretty horrible. “That’s enough now.”

*And silence once again reigns across the land*

“How come,” Emily begins in her soft little voice. Her fingers smooth the skirt of her pale pink party frock. “Boys can wear dresses? I’ve never seen a boy in a dress.”

Out the corner of her eye, Bronte sees Tonio’s eyes go wide. She clears her throat, guessing someone’s been talking to Emily about gender equality in schools, where boys were given permission to wear a dress if they so wished. “Well, yes they can,” she says. “Most boys don’t, but if they wanted to they could.”

Sophia’s watching the word go by. She shakes her head and pipes up, “I can’t imagine my papa in a dress.” She’s wearing her best party frock and it’s pink, too. “I mean papa’s got hairy legs, and muscles . . . and tentacles.”

*Oh. My. God. Bronte cannot imagine Nico in a dress either. And as for tentacles . . . Stifling a giggle, she drives the car through the winding country road. She spots Tonio biting down hard on his knuckles, his shoulders shaking with laughter*

“Boys have testicles,” Tonio correct Sophia.

Luca frowns. “So what have tentacles?”

“Octopus have tentacles,” Tonio says.

Little Emily shakes her head, her smooth brow creases. “I don’t think that’s right. My mummy says my daddy’s like an octopus. He’s all hands.”

Tonio turns to give a wide-eyed Bronte big eyes. Bronte clears her throat. “Remember Ursula in The Little Mermaid?” she asks, desperately trying to guide the conversation into safer waters. “She was part octopus.”

Sophia nods. “Uh huh. Ursula is half-witch. My auntie Rosie says Ursula’s bad to the bone.”

“My daddy says my mummy turns into a witch at the time of the month,” Emily pipes up.

Wide-eyed, Luca turns to Emily. “Is that the time of the full moon? My papa says mama goes nutso during a full moon. Witches fly over the moon at Halloween. Does your mummy have a broomstick?” he asks hopefully.

“Uh huh,” Emily says, shaking her head so hard her bright corkscrew curls dance. “My mummy says that she is not a witch and knows he really means she’s a bitch and he’s not fooling anybody and if my daddy keeps it up, she’s gonna nail his tentacles to the wall.”

*Oh. My. God. Bronte decides she needs to have an urgent chat with Emily’s mummy, Grace, and with Nico about his Big Mouth*

“Well,” Bronte says in a high cheery voice. “Another octopus is Pearl in Finding Nemo. I think Pearl is sooooooo cute.”

*When Emily beams and nods, Bronte heaves a relieved sigh that none of the kids could find a problem with Pearl. Until . . .*

Sophia turns to Emily. “The reason your mummy and my mama get cranky at the time of the full moon is because they are cursed. And because you and me are female, Emily, when we hit pubsinthecity we’re gonna be cursed too. My auntie Rosie says we are cursed because inside us we have eggs to make babies. When we don’t make a baby, once a month we have an egg and we have belly cramps and spots and horrible hair and we put the men in our life through merry hell.”

“Eww,” Luca says.

Sophia nods as Emily stares at her with big blue eyes. Sophia continues, “Auntie Rosie says men don’t know they are living.”

“God,” Tonio mutters, sliding down in his seat.

With a determined smile fixed on her face, Bronte steers the car into Emily’s driveway. She turns to the three children in the back seat and says, “And here we all are. Safe and well.”

*Minutes later, back at The Dower House, Nico Ferranti is waiting for his family, baby Eve tucked on his hip. And since the baby’s cutting teeth her little cheeks are apple red, and she’s wearing a white cotton bib. She’s gnawing heroically on a plastic ring filled with ice water*

“How was soccer practice?” Nico asks Tonio as the boy heaves his kit bag from the trunk.

Tonio turns to send him a slow smile. “I made the team.”

Nico and Tonio slap a high five. “Well done.”

Nico eyes the twins, notices Sophia giving him a head to toe appraisal of his bare feet, battered blue jeans and black thermal. “What?” he asks her.

She shakes her blonde head as she walks past him. “Papa, there’s no way you’d ever look good in a dress, it’s sooooo not your style. You’re Italian.”

A stunned Nico turns to a laughing Bronte to give her wide eyes. “Me? In a dress?”

Bronte stretches up on her tip toes to plant a kiss on his cheek. “It all began with tentacles and an Octopus….”

 

Finito

 

Writing final scenes for SEAN last night and I cried a river . . . and all y’all know that if I cry, you cry. I love this couple soooooo much, so many feels . . .

Before final edits, I’m placing SEAN on pre-order, the links are coming soon.

AND I have a huge surprise for you guys at the end of SEAN, with pre-orders for the surprise, too.

Stay tuned . . .

 

Christine X

Anyone for another slice of Ludlow life?

 

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READ HOW IT ALL BEGAN FREE HERE!

Happy Monday, my lovelies,

Time for another slice of life with the Ferranti fam-lee!

*Nico and the boyss are chilling at The Dower House babysitting baby Eve, while Bronte and Sophia and Auntie Rosie are having a ‘girly’ day*

“So.” Nico rubs his hands and gives Tonio wide eyes. “Soccer or rugby, what’s your poison?”

“Soccer,” Tonio yells and dashes to the closet, pulls out a couple of throws, races back and smoothes them over the new couch covered in a totally impractical velvet the color of pale lilac. And Bronte’s pride and joy.

Nico shoots him two finger pistols. “Good thinking, Batman. Now remember, no soda for Luca and no chocolate ice-cream. Mama left us snacks in the fridge. We’re responsible for the baby so we cannot have the TV too loud or we won’t hear the monitor when she wakes.”

“You should be Batman, papa. I’m Robin,” Tonio says with a logic his papa can get right behind.

Nico grins. “Si, and we will use paper plates and paper cups. Less mess. Sorted.”

*In short order, they organize their favorite space. Tonio lifts the remote, clicks the sports channel. They settle down, making sure their bare feet are not on the table. Nico never again wants to go through what happened last time when Bronte blow torched his ear. Luca pads into the room in bare feet wearing below the knee navy shorts and a white T-shirt proclaiming the words ‘I’m Italian, which means My Family Is Temperamental. Half Temper. Half Mental’. His right fist holds his blankie (a sure sign he’s tired), while his left hand tugs his ear (another sign he’s tired). Nico pats the couch, but instead of sitting next to his papa, Luca stops in front of him, eyeball to eyeball*

“Eve’s pooped in her diaper.”

*Five simple words that brings an icy fist to his papa’s heart, and a clutch of dread to his papa’s belly*

Nico blinks, remembers with a shudder the heavy diaper his daughter had filled not twenty minutes ago. “But, mama changed her just before she left. How can this happen?”

“She had a vaccination shot yesterday, sometimes they give her a runny tummy,” Tonio says helpfully.

*Dio mio, a runny tummy? The mere thought breaks Nico out in a cold sweat. He is a good father, he knows he is. But he’s never really managed to get over the gut churning ordeal of a dirty diaper. A wet diaper, no problemo. His sons are well aware of this, and both are watching him with wide eyes. He stands. He can do this. He is Italian. The boys are hot on his heels as he takes the stairs two at time and enters the nursery. The heady scent of bad news hits him hard. This, boys and girls, is not going to be pretty*

“Okay,” he says. His voice brings his baby girl’s head up, black glossy curls bouncing as she sits and then stands holding onto the bars of her cot. A stain, the color of mustard, oozes from the top of her leg onto her pink sleep suit. Dio mio. What he needs, Nico realizes, is a plan. He strides to the changing table, plucks a couple of wet wipes from the plastic container, rolls them into the size of a pencil, folds them in half and stuffs one in each nostril, much to the choking hilarity of his sons. He sends them slitty eyes. “Grab bottle of aftershave from my bathroom,” he orders a Luca who is swiping tears from his cheeks. Luca races off to do his bidding. Then he turns to a Tonio who is laughing so hard he’s clutching his belly. “We need a clean sleep suit and new diaper, plastic bags for the dirty diaper and plenty of wet wipes. Go, Robin, go.”

*Luca returns to hand his papa a bottle. Nico squirts aftershave on each nostril and inhales the scent through the wet wipes. He can do this. He lifts his excited baby girl from her cot and lies her on her back on the plastic changing mat, and carefully, very carefully begins to unsnap the poppers. The scene of utter carnage has a tiny whimper escape from his throat*

“Whoa,” Tonio says, shock a living, breathing, thing in his voice.

Si,” Nico squeaks, then clears his throat.

“Luca, you wait outside. Robin, I need at least five wet wipes, hold out the plastic bag and let’s do this thing.”

*Baby Eve’s dark brown eyes are riveted to her papa’s face. He takes his time to release first one chubby leg from her suit before going for the next*

“She’s a wriggler,” Tonio warns. “You need to hold her ankles high, and clean the top of her legs before you undo the diaper.”

*Good advice. Maybe Tonio would like the job? Nico’s tempted, but he refuses not to man-up in front of his son. He can do this. By the time he’s got Eve naked and clean with the contents of two full boxes of wet wipes, perspiration is beading his top lip.*

“She needs a bath,” Tonio says, tying the handles of two plastic bags.

The words bring Nico’s head up with a jerk. “Bath?”

Tonio gives him a funny look. “You bath the twins all the time.”

Si, but they are old enough not to drown. Eve is like an eel. She never sits still.”

Tonio rolls his eyes to heaven. “Luca and me will help. Nessun problema.”

*By the time Nico and the boys are finish bathing Eve, the bathroom looks like something out of a warzone with baby powder the weapon of choice for mass destruction. Sopping wet T-shirts cling to their skin. But they’re all happy and most importantly the baby’s cheeks are pink, her curls damp. Wrapped in a thick towel of white cotton, she tucks her face in her papa’s neck. Pleased with how they all work together as a team, Nico tells the boys to change into dry clothes, and takes his baby to her changing mat for a clean diaper, and makes short work of dressing her in a clean sleep suit*

“Hellooooooo, anybody home?” Alexander Ludlow yells from the bottom of the stairs. The boys whoop and holler and race down the stairs to welcome their favorite uncle.

*Nico strolls into the family room cuddling his daughter to find Alexander with baby Mila over his shoulder. He’s sitting on the couch with the boys watching soccer*

“Hear you had a pooh-bomb to deal with,” Alexander says with a wicked gleam in his eye.

Nico sits on the short end of the L shaped couch with a now unconscious Eve boneless in his arms. He drops a kiss on her hot cheek. “Si. She is teething and had a vaccination shot yesterday. It wasn’t pretty. I see you have your hands full.”

Alexander gently rubs his seven week old baby daughter’s back. “My princess is the best thing that ever happened to me. No one can tell you how you’ll feel when a man becomes a daddy, know what I mean?”

Si,” Nico agrees, feeling all lovely and warm inside. “Being a papa is the best thing in the world.”

Tonio’s snort of derision has both men eye him. “You say that now. But in a few years they’ll be like Sophia and Auntie Rosie, or worse. And then there will be… dan-daran-dan… boyfriends.”

*With something like horror on their pale faces, Nico Ferranti and Alexander Ludlow clutch their babies close to their manly chests*

Nessun problema,” Nico growls. “I am Italian. I have contacts in the Cosa Nostra. Our girls will be protected.”

Alexander turns to his best pal. “Never thought I’d live to see the day I’d say this, but can I have the Mafia’s number?”

 

Finito.

The things a man will do for family, eh?

I’ve had readers ask me to put the scenes in a book, and I’ve decided to use some of the sneak peeks in SEAN’s story, coming soon.

Until next week, be good.

Hugs,

Christine X

 

 

LUDLOW HALL SNEAK PEEK – Football, and a Fairy…..

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To buy this outfit for a Fairy you love, CLICK HERE

Hello, my darlings,

Time for another sneak peek at life in the Ferranti household (readers want more Nico and Bronte and the kids. I live only to serve.)

***

THE DOWER HOUSE, in the grounds of LUDLOW HALL:

 

Nico, Tonio and Luca are kicking back in jeans and T-shirts in the family kitchen-living space, watching their favourite soccer star playing in the Serie A in Italy. All the guys have their bare feet on the coffee table. Good job Bronte’s not home.

*Aaaaaaaaand he’s SCORED. As the crowd in the San Siro roar, Tonio is doing a bum boogie, while Nico and Luca are screaming their joy*

“Did you see the speed of the ball, papa? Olivier shot it into the right hand corner, and the goalie went left. Result!” Tonio sings.

*Nico, sucks a beer, nods*

Si, Olivier is on FIRE.”

*The boys grab a handful of popcorn from the huge bowl on the plate glass coffee table and suck on their sodas. Nico knows full well Bronte frowns on sugar laden drinks for the kids. To hell with it, today’s a special day. Plus, she’s not here. What she doesn’t know won’t kill her*

“Please may I have ice cream?” Luca asks, turning big dark eyes on his papa. Eyes that say he hasn’t had a treat for weeks. Nico scrubs knuckles on top of Luca’s inky curls, grins.

Si, mio figlio.” He turns to Tonio. “Get three bowls. We’ll all have some.”

*Tonio shoots to the freezer, pulls out a two pint tub of dark chocolate chip, proceeds to dump spoonfuls into bowls. While he’s at it he adds a dollop of black chocolate syrup from his mama’s baking stash. The guys dig in while cheering on Olivier Conti who’s shot has just shook the goalpost*

“This is THE best day,” Tonio says.

Nico grins, gives him a high five. “Si.”

*Sophia the fairy, dressed in a skirt of pink and white netting, complete with wand and white ballet pumps on her feet, enters the family room. She stops dead. The volume of the huge flat screen TV is so loud her brothers and papa need to shout to be heard. The place smells of popcorn, beer, soda and chocolate ice-cream. Her brows rise as she takes in a scene of utter carnage. Popcorn flows over the glass table, the floor, AND her mama’s pride and joy, the new velvet couch the color of pale lilac. Luca’s mouth is ringed with chocolate ice cream, plus he’s slopped chocolate sauce on his favourite Spiderman T-shirt. AND there are empty bottles of Coke and beer on the table. Her pink lips pucker in feminine disgust. They haven’t used the coasters to protect the table either. Mama will not be pleased. Then her emerald eyes narrow when she clocks the abandoned ice-cream melting in the carton, and dripping spoon on the worktop near the sink. She takes a breath and marches to stand right in front of her papa*

“Papa!”

*Nico shifts to the right to wince at his team’s near miss. Sophia mirrors his move to go nose to nose with him. He places his hands on her waist and shifts her to the left. Tonio yells FOUL and something about the referee needing glasses. Sophia climbs onto her papa’s lap to face him, and bonks him on the head with her wand*

Nico finally pays attention. “Sophia, cara mia, what is it? We are watching the game.”

“Can I have a kitten?” Sophia asks, ignoring Tonio and Luca’s wide you-cannot-be-serious eyes.

“No,” Nico says without missing a beat.

*Sophia clamps her little hands on Nico’s cheeks and squeezes until his mouth resembles a goldfish and they’re eye-to-eye*

“Can I have a Bacon Freeze?”

Nico blinks. “You want bacon?”

*Sophia heaves a sigh that tells him he’s the stupidest papa in the whole wide world*

“No,” she says. “It’s a dog. A Bacon Freeze.”

*Tonio turns to look at her, frowns for a minute, and then nods*

“She means a Bichon Frise. Her best friend Emily has a new puppy.”

“No,” Nico says without missing another beat.

*If he’d been paying attention to the way the devil enters his baby girl’s vivid green eyes, he might have received a clue. But since he was roaring encouragement to Olivier in rapid Italian, Nico misses the warning signs of impending doom. His daughter climbs off his lap, snatches his cell phone from the table, and marches out of the family room*

“Mama,” Sophia says into the phone as she stomps up the stairs to her bedroom to turn four of her least favourite dolls into trolls with her magic wand. “When are you coming home?”

“Finished early, so I’m on my way,” Bronte says, using her hands-free kit in her car. “What’s up, buttercup?”

“Papa won’t let me have a kitten, or a Bacon Freeze.”

“Honey, we’ve talked about this. No pets at the moment. I have the baby and you guys and papa to look after. Pets, especially puppies and kittens need a lot of attention. Poor Emily isn’t as lucky as you. She doesn’t have brothers or sisters. Her mama bought her a pet so Emily won’t get lonely.”

*Sophia’s wand isn’t sprinkling fairy dust upon her dolls. They keep staring at her with lifeless, unblinking, eyes. And no one had shared the popcorn, or the soda, or the ice-cream with her either, had they? Nope. The boys in this house were greedy, disgusting pigs*

“Papa and Tonio and Luca have made a mess in the family room,” Sophia says tossing her father and brothers under the train without a blink.

“It’s football season. Olivier’s playing,” her mama says. Then a silence, which went on, and on. “Exactly how much of a mess are we talking about?”

“A BIG mess. Popcorn on the coffee table, the floor and the new couch. Luca’s spilled Coke and chocolate ice-cream…”

“Papa gave Luca chocolate ice-cream? Coke?” Bronte yells.

“Yep, and I haven’t had any popcorn, Coke, or ice-cream,” Sophia says, piling more fuel on the fire. She feels a lot better when her mama snarls in her ear.

“I’ll be home in two minutes, and then you and me will visit Emily and her puppy. How about that?”

Sophia does a happy dance. “Yay! Thank you, mama.”

*Sophia skips down the stairs and into the family room to find her papa and her brothers slumped on the couch, and the perfect picture of male misery. The opposition have scored three goals in ten minutes. The game’s in the final seconds of extra time, and things are not looking good for Roma. The sound of a car coming to a halt in the gravel drive, a door closing, and high heels click, click, clicking on sandstone slabs brings Nico’s head up like a wolf scenting imminent danger. He leaps to his bare feet. Tonio and Luca slap bare feet to the floor. Sophia slides her papa’s phone on the coffee table. Bronte stalks into the family room. Stops dead. Hands on her hips, she surveys the scene through slitty eyes*

She jabs a finger at her husband and sons. “You lot have exactly one hour to clean this mess while Sophia and I visit Emily and her puppy. And when we get back, Nico Ferranti, you’d better prepare yourself for little chat.”

*A beaming Sophia does a little spin in her fairy dress, waves her wand, and dances behind her mama out the door*

“I don’t feel well,” a green looking Luca says.

*Thinking of the new couch, Nico grabs him as his son spews what was chocolate ice-cream, Coke and popcorn all over what had this morning been a spotless floor. Bronte’s gonna kill him. Thirty minutes later, Luca was in bed hugging a plastic bucket, just in case. Tonio and Nico work as a team to clean the family room to his wife’s incredibly high standards*

“How can the best day turn into the worst day?” Tonio wants to know as he piles bowls into the dishwasher.

*Nico’s frantically rubbing stain remover on the couch, and praying to God it works*

“This is life,” he says, and sends Tonio a lightning grin. “We are Italian, we understand this.”

 

Finito

Ahh, all of the above brings back many happy(!) memories of H babysitting while I did grocery shopping when the girls were small. The tales I could tell…

Am busy with SEAN’s story, and my super-seeeeeekrit project.

Until next week……

Hugs,

Christine X

 

Another slice of Ludlow Life with The Ferranti’s

 

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IT’S WEDNESDAY AND ANOTHER SLICE OF LUDLOW LIFE

(THIS ONE IS BY SPECIAL READER REQUEST)

 

Nico picking up the twins from Montessori School

 

*While he straps Sophia into her car seat, he spots skinned knees*

“What happened?” Nico asks as he drives away, eyeing Sophia in the rear view mirror.

*She shrugs*

“Nothing. I tripped.”

“Evan Brown pushed her,” Luca pipes up.

“Perche?” Nico asks.

“Sophia kissed him. He didn’t like it,” Luca says.

*Nico gives his daughter the stink eye*

“Haven’t we talked about kissing boys? Haven’t we talked about germs?”

“I LIKE kissing,” Sophia says with a jerk of her chin.

“And I said, No Kissing Boys,” Nico growls.

“Evan’s my boyfriend.”

“No boyfriends,” Nico thunders.

“I want a boyfriend. Evan’s my boyfriend,” Sophia says, her voice rising.

*Luca’s eyes go big*

“I will speak with Evan’s papa…” Nico says through gritted teeth.

“NO!” Sophia shrieks.

“Si!”  Nico roars like a bull. “His son pushed you. You are hurt…”

“Sophia started it,” Luca says, more than happy to throw his sister under the bus.

*Nico eyes his son*

“Why did you not protect your sister?”

*Luca gives him a face that clearly says, ‘Are you kidding me?’*

“Evan is my friend. He told Sophia to stop, but she didn’t, so he pushed her.”

“A man protects his famiglia…” Nico begins in a tone that means business.

“I’m not a man. I’m five,” Luca says with a ruthless logic.

*Good point. Nico turns his attention to his daughter*

“Kissing boys will make you sick. Your teeth will fall out,” Nico says.

*Sophia narrows her eyes*

“You kiss mama all the time,” the daughter from hell says.

“We are married. We are adults.”

“Evan’s papa told him if he keeps kissing Sophia his willy will fall off, ” Luca says.

*Nico thanks God Evan’s papa is on the same page*

Si,” He growls. “And it won’t grow back.”

“I’ll just get another boyfriend,” Sophia the invincible says.

“You will not!” Nico roars. “That’s it. You are moving schools. Girls only. No boys.”

“Nooooooooo, papa!”

“Si!”

*As the car comes to halt at The Dower House, a smiling Bronte opens the door. Baby Eve is perched on her hip heroically sucking a soother. The baby’s eyes pop as a weeping Sophia races past them, and clatters up the stairs. Luca drops his schoolbag at Bronte’s feet and buries his head in her belly for a hug. Nico, with a face like a thundercloud, approaches his wife. He takes the baby, plants a kiss on a hot cheek*

“That child will be the death of me,” he says.

*Bronte takes a wild guess*  “She flushed your cell phone down the toilet?”

“No. She’s kissing boys.”

“Ah, don’t worry about it,” Bronte says.

*Nico looks at her as if she’s lost her mind, so Bronte smacks a kiss on his mouth to shut him up*

“She’s testing her boundaries. What did you say to make her cry?”

“Girls only school.”

*Bronte shakes her head*

“Bad idea. If she’s restricted from boys until she’s eighteen, she’ll be like a heat seeking missile of mass-male-destruction. Think totally insane, and out of control.”

“She is already out of control,” Nico growls.

“She’ll grow out of it. Don’t look so miserable, daddy, this too shall pass.”

*Nico grabs her in a lip-lock that lasts, and lasts, and… He shifts to rest his forehead on hers*

Si. I can do this. I am Italian.”

 

 

Finito

 

Isn’t this fun?

Stay tuned for the cover reveal of SEAN book ten of the Ludlow Hall Romances, with lots more to come.  AND a top seekrit project I’m dying to tell you about coming later in the year.

 

Hugs,

Christine X

GRAB A SLICE OF LUDLOW LIFE

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CLICK HERE FOR A FREE READ

Hi guys,

In a few days I’m posting the cover reveal and excerpt of Ludlow Hall book ten (can you believe it?) of the next instalment of the series, SEAN. More information coming soon.

To keep you going, I’m gifting all y’all with a weekly exclusive peek into life at Ludlow Hall:

***

Nico and Josh all relaxed and kicking back in Nico’s office in Ludlow Hall…

“Jan wants to christen the new kitchen. It’s a nice night, why don’t you and Bronte bring the kids over. I’ll fire up the BBQ?”

Si, let me check with Bronte.”

*Nico picks up phone, dials The Dower House. Phone rings*

“Ferrantee fam-lee… Sophia speaking.”

*Nico smiles*

Ciao, Sophia.”

“Hi, daddy.”

*Nico takes a breath, opens mouth to speak.*

“Bye, daddy.”

*Sophia puts down phone. Nico rolls his eyes at Josh. Dials again.*

“Ferrantee res… res… res…”

“Residence,” Nico says.

“Hi, daddy.”

“Sophia, bella. Put mama on the phone.”

“Can’t.”

“Why not?”

“’cause she’s sick to the back teeth with the whole lot of us. And she wasn’t put on this earth to be a slave.”

*Nico sends a grinning Josh big eyes.*

“Go get mama.”

“‘kay.”

*Nico waits. And waits. He sucks his top lip between his teeth.*

“Hey, papa.”

“Tonio, put Bronte on the phone.”

*Silence.*

“Um. I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

*Nico frowns.*

Perche?”

“Well…”

“Tonio?”

*Tonio heaves a deep sigh.*

“This morning Bronte had a short nap on the couch in the family room.”

Si, the bambino kept us up last night.”

“Well, Sophia got hold of the kitchen sheers, and…”

Si?”

“And cut off Bronte’s ponytail, and mama’s locked herself in her bathroom. She won’t come out.”

Dio mio. Where is Luca?”

“He’s sitting on the naughty step clutching mama’s hair. He won’t stop crying.”

*Nico feels like crying himself.*

“I am on way.”

*Nico tells Josh what’s happened. Josh grins.*

“Just another day in the life of the Ferranti family, eh?” Josh says.

Si. I could not make this stuff up, could I?”

*Finale*

Aaaaand in other news, I’m working on four projects. Two super-seeeeeekrit. But SEAN is coming soon. BREAK THE RULES (book three of the Ludlow Hall spin off – The Rules) is in production. And I’m writing the story of Ethan Monroe and Louise O’Brien (Coco’s story, Ludlow book 4) with more Monroe brothers coming in 2017 with their own Ludlow Hall Romance.

Two vampyres stories are in production with ADAM in final edits, and CONSTANTINE due for release this year, too. Which will make five books published in The Vampyre Legal Chronicles, with the last two released in 2017.

I might be quiet, but I’m busy!!

Stay tuned for an exclusive SEAN cover reveal (it’s gorgeous).

Much love,

Christine x

 

OOPS!

What could possibly go wrong with a walk in the park?

What could possibly go wrong with a walk around the lake?

Answer: PLENTY.

‘Isn’t it strange,’ says H as we sit on the roadside by the lake, about four miles from our house, waiting for the daughter number one to arrive with the spare set of car keys, ‘how when we try to do a small thing, a simple thing, something regularly goes wrong?’

‘Very strange,’ I reply with feeling. A lot of ill feeling since I was the one who boobed and guilt is not a nice feeling especially when H is being very nice about my little mistake. It has been half an hour since I locked the car keys in the trunk and I’m not wearing my happy face.

The pic at the top of the page is why we were there in the first place, doing our regular two mile trot around the lake and admiring the views and how the sun shimmered through the trees.

I bet we’re not any different to you guys, we’ve all had our little vehicular mishaps haven’t we? I remember a time H left his wallet on the roof of the car and drove off without a care in the world. Fortunately, or more like miraculously, the car at the time had a sort of edge where a roof box could be fixed and the wallet was still there when we arrived at home.

A memorable car incident was when daughter number two and I went to collect a Christmas tree from the garden centre, which is just up the road. My brilliant idea had been to open the car windows and tie the tree to the roof with rope. That car didn’t have roof bars. We wondered why a handful of men in the garden centre car park were watching us with big eyes and grinning. Then we realised why when it became obvious we’d tied the doors closed, which meant climbing in the windows. Which we did as the guys howled with laughter – we were undaunted and waved as we left. But my daughter’s face was radioactive with embarrassment and she’s never come with me to buy a tree again.

Then there was the time we went to visit my late mother-in-law in Oban and as we left the town driving up a steep hill we looked down into the road where she lived and found her doing a sort of crazy jig in the front garden. We’d left the dog behind. And since my mother-in-law had not a lotta love for the dog… And the dog had not a lotta love for her… You can imagine the jig.

So I wasn’t in the best frame of mind when we got home, but then something happened that made my day!

In recent weeks I’ve been working very hard with a cover designer called Gabrielle Prendergast (who is simply awesome, patient, great sense of humour) of Cover Your Dreams to re-brand my contemporary romances and she’s done an awesome job of the six covers. Only four are published so far and here are the new covers for Reckless Nights In RomeA Stormy Spring , and Run Rosie Run.

Reckless Cover

book2flat copy

book3finalflat-2 copy

I’ll add Coco when I receive it, then I’ll do a cover reveal for The Fall of Jacob DelGarda. The colours are amazing when they’re all grouped together.

You know I love hearing from you!

Share with us your car incidents – can’t wait for these!

Christine XX

Boom Boom

Shopping is always fun

Shopping is always fun

#ccmackenzie #Sugar and Sin

Greetings!

It’s been a while since I’ve put pen to paper but life stuff happened and I needed to take a break, mull things over,  chew the fat, chill out, etc.  I can’t say that everything is back to normal, whatever that is, but something funny happened last week and H said, you really need to blog about that – and here it is:

So the thing is that I love and adore shoe shops. I’ve no idea why this is other than I’m a woman and shoes appear to be hot wired into our DNA. H and I were loitering in the gorgeous Roman spa town of Buxton in the peak district national park. We’d spent a couple of hours chatting and chilling out in a cafe, watching the world go by. (All authors people watch, that’s in their DNA too.)

Anyway, Buxton has THE most amazing shoe shop. It’s one of those places that defy a woman to pass without checking out the new stock, or even better, the SALE!

Now H knew that I’d stop there, like a dog cocking her leg on her favourite lamp-post. And sure enough…..

Like any woman my eyes can scan shelves  like a laser travelling over brand names, discarding the dross and hunting for a diamond. For the first time in years I found nada. I know, it shocked me too. How could this possibly be? So I turned towards the entrance but double backed to check out the stand there, just in case I’d missed something I couldn’t live without.

But nope, nothing hit the spot.

So I backed up into H, ‘There’s nothing here I want,’ I said, and then I half-turned and patted his bottom and felt him go stiff. ‘Let’s go.’

You know how we all have another sense, a sense that says, ‘Hold it! Something’s not quite right here.’

Well, my sense kicked in and I looked at H. Except it wasn’t H!

My eyes went huge and I held out my hand to grip his arm while my other hand slapped my face.

The poor man just stood there grinning at me and had the most amazing twinkle in his eye. Thank God.

‘Ohhh, I am sooooo sorry,’ I cried. ‘I thought you were my husband. And Oh My God, but I patted your bottom.’

In the meantime I was desperately searching for H, and found him leaning against a pillar and grinning like a fool.

‘Don’t worry,’ H said to the man. ‘She does that all the time.’

The stranger just grinned at H and replied. ‘Women! They’re all the same.’

By this time I was crying with embarrassment and H tucked my arm in his as we waved goodbye and walked down the street.

‘What happened?’ he asked.

‘What happened?’ I spluttered. ‘I only patted his bum!’

It’s not often my H is speechless, but he took a deep breath and then howled with laughter.

So there you go, H can’t take me anywhere but I’m feeling up other men. As I type this my face is radioactive.

Talking about radioactive.

Let me draw your attention to something else I got up to over the summer. The lovely New York Times best-selling author, Nana Malone, invited me and four others – Stacey Joy Netzel, Kristine Cayne, Liz Matis and L.C. Giroux – to bring a sample of our work to the masses. The boxed set is titled Sugar & Sin

SugarAndSinBundle_HR

Click To Read Excerpt

My contribution is Run Rosie Run which fits into the Sugar and Sin part of the deal.

The cover is really cool!

Now what the world wants to know is – what’s THE most embarrassing this you’ve ever done????

(This should be good.)

You know I LOVE to hear from you, please share your story.

Christine XXX

READ AN EBOOK WEEK!

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It’s read an ebook week on Smashwords.

And I’m thrilled to be taking part, thank you Mark Coker.

Today through the 8th of March, A Stormy Spring, Run Rosie Run and book two of my Vampyre series, Dirty Little Secrets is taking part and on sale at Smashwords with 50% OFF.

Have you ever downloaded books from Smashwords before? If not, you should. They have a vast library, and ALL their ebooks are ready to go in EVERY SINGLE EREADER FORMAT OUT THERE. It’s fabulous. And once you’ve purchased the book, you can download it in any format you like, as many times as you like. For instance, I have books both on my Kindle app on my computer, my iPadMini and also on my Nook. It’s fabulous. (Have I mentioned yet that it’s fabulous? Because it totally is.)

So don’t be afraid to buy from Smashwords just because it’s not Amazon or Barnes & Noble or iTunes (all of which, BTW, partner with Smashwords)! They’re a great resource for finding eBooks, and they are definitely a good friend to independent-published authors like myself.

Okay. Now that you’re totally sold on Smashwords, here’s how to take advantage:

Follow the links below to get to the Smashwords pages for A Stormy Spring, Run Rosie Run and Dirty Little Secrets. Take note of the coupon code listed there.  The coupon code for all of my books is REW50.  Click ‘Add to cart’. Enter coupon code. Click on ‘checkout’. Voila! You now own your book. Scroll down to see the different formats, and pick the one(s) that’s right for you.

A Stormy Spring http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/217331

Run Rosie Run   http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/264289

Dirty Little Secrets http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/271820

What are you still doing here? Go get your copies.
And if you already own copies, this is a FANTASTIC time to give some away as gifts. Talk about easy gift-giving! Not that you need it, but you totally have my permission to gift to anybody and everybody you know.

I hope your Sunday is particularly fabulous.

Christine x

 

SHE’S INCOGNITO!

2013 card reverse 500dpi

Doesn’t that look cute?

It’s one side of my business card. Hugo designed it and there’s a reason why I’m telling you this.

My first book was published at the beginning May 2012. And although it was an event that thrilled, it also terrified the bejesus out of me. It was a leap into the unknown, a bit like giving birth to my first child.

My immediate family obviously know I’m a romance writer but they tend to keep it quiet and that’s fine.

My youngest daughter mentioned it to her pals and they laughed and said, ‘Are the books like that Fifty Shades of Grey woman?’ As I’ve said before, I get that all the time. And she said, ‘No. They’re better.’ Bless her little heart, how’s that for mother love?

My son just gives me the look which says, ‘As if!’ when I ask him if he’s told his pals.

Fair enough, boys are sensitive, I get it.

Anyway, No 1 daughter has kept the fact her mother is a romance author a carefully guarded secret.

Until recently.

Why she’s suddenly found the need to spread the word in our town I’ve no idea – might have something to do with the fact that her mother’s books were all in the top 100 in iTunes over the festive period. I know, it stunned me too.

So the Thursday before Christmas I was doing the usual female thing of having my hair done at Toni & Guy (shameless plug – Sumin is THE best) and Sumin told me about the fabulous deal for Christmas toilet paper in Marks & Spencer (upmarket supermarket) three packs for the price of two.

Well, I had to have it! I mean, who could resist?

But here’s the thing, it was raining (no surprises there, this is the UK and the way things are going the country is going to float into the Atlantic) and since I’m always prepared, I wore a waxed peak cap to protect the ‘doo (a sleek blonde bob, which comes just above my shoulders for anyone who’s remotely interested).

So, grabbing a basket I surfed through the food section of Marks & Spencer, picked up a few luxury items, including the toilet paper and headed for the check-out. I absolutely refuse to use the self-service check-outs because I prefer dealing with a human. Although after the trauma of what happened next I might change my mind.

Now working at the check-out was a girl I hadn’t seen in ages. She’s lovely and always chats to me, and my daughters when they go in for the odd thing.

As she finished serving the lady in front of me, she looked up and her eyes went really big.

‘Well, helloooooooo you!’ she cried in a very high voice.

I grinned.

What a sweetie.

‘Hello to you too,’ I said. ‘Merry Christmas.’

She stood, leaned over the till and grabbed my hand and squeezed tight. ‘It’s sooooo amazing to see you!! You look fabulous.’

I do? Gosh, I thought, I must come in here more often.

‘Your daughter’s told me all about you!’

‘Did she? Which one?’

‘I can never tell them apart, they’re so gorgeous!’

I grinned again flushed with maternal pride.

By this time there were about six ladies behind me. I glanced at them and gave a nervous laugh.

After all it’s Christmas and like most women they all looked in a hurry and a bit wild-eyed.

‘Thank you,’ I said and tried to take my hand from hers.

She clung on like a limpet and there was a sort of crazy gleam in her eye.

She smiled at the ladies in the queue. ‘This!’ she announced and held up my hand, ‘Is a best-selling author.’

I swear my heart stopped.

A hot flash burned up my neck into my cheeks.

Omigod!

Every woman within twenty yards all turned to stare. I’m telling you I PRAYED for the floor to open up and take me.

‘No, no, I’m not a best seller,’ I whimpered.

‘What do you write?’ piped up a very smart lady in her sixties.

‘Romance,’ I said in a voice that didn’t sound anything like me.

‘Ahh,’ said another woman. ‘Like Fifty Shades of Grey?’

‘Noooo,’ cried the girl serving me. ‘She’s much better.’

Omigod!

‘I do like a good sex scene,’ the lady in her sixties informed the entire store without a blush.

‘So do I,’ said another check-out girl behind mine. She didn’t turn round, she just kept serving a man who looked as if he’d rather be anywhere else except in Marks & Spencer listening to a group of over-sexed women.

During all this my toilet paper was winging its way through the scanner.

Still beaming at me, my check-out girl looked at the queue who were all watching me.

I nodded, gave them big eyes and smiled.

‘We have quite a lot of authors in this town,’ the woman in her sixties cocked her head to watch me hand over my bank card. I keyed in my pin. Her mouth kept flapping, ‘You should do a talk at the library.’

No chance.

‘Good idea. I’d come to that,’ another woman said.

By this time I was trying really hard not to laugh like a lunatic and was putting the card in my purse.

‘Do you have a business card?’ The woman in her sixties asked.

‘I do,’ I said. And handed her one.

‘Please will you autograph one for me,’ my check-out girl begged.

Omigod!

By this time I was pledging never, ever to set foot in the store for as long as I live.

‘Sure.’ I signed it, grabbed my bags.

‘Oh look, she’s wearing a hat! She’s travelling incognito!’ the check-out girl from hell cried.

‘No, no. I’ve had my hair done and it’s raining. Seriously. Can I just say that you’re totally insane?’ I told her.

She just laughed, stood up and grabbed me in a big hug.

‘I’m going to spread the word, tell all my family and my friends.’

I bit down really hard on my bottom lip. ‘You’re very kind,’ I said.

As I hightailed it through the store towards the exit, I couldn’t help it. I cried laughing.

And do you know that three people stopped me to ask if I was alright?

Who says kindness is dead?

I haven’t been back. Not yet. But when I do its dark glasses and a ski cap with a muffler for me, or maybe I’ll use the self-service check-out. Might be safer.

Have you ever been mortified by someone in your life?

Come and share it with us, knowing you lot there’ll be lots of good ones!

Big Hug,

Christine x