November Reading List


© Dana Rothstein |

<– This is me on the sofa after too much turkey.

Whether you recovering from stuffing yourself with turkey and accessories (if you are in the US), or you are collapsing on the sofa after shovelling out (if you are in Canada) or you are on the beach in the summer heat (in Australia), there is a universal constant.

You need a book to help aid digestion. Here are some suggestions for you this month.

NIGHT SHIFT collection by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin and Milla Vane.  I bought it for the Psy/Changeling story by Singh because I adore all of her series (go check them out now!) but then I read the first page of Shearin’s Lucky Charms and started laughing hysterically. Great, now I have a new author to obsess over. I still have the other two stories left to read.

Forever Christmas collection.  Four friends in Washington State decide to pool their resources to save the town’s historic Christmas tree farm. They are available in one anthology, or you can get them separately. (FREE November 29-30)
Christmas Reflections by Joanne Jaytanie (FREE November 28-30)
Christmas Kiss by Sharon Kleve
The Christmas Wreath by Angela Ford
Candy Cane Kisses by Elle Rush (FREE November 27, 28, 29)

BLOOD DREAMS by Kay Hooper. (romantic suspense) I used to read Hooper’s books but I drifted a way a few years ago. I recently saw her latest trilogy in the library and signed them all out. She writes a very creepy mystery with very bad bad guys and heroes and heroines you root for, but be warned – not everybody gets a happy-ever-after.

THE PROMISE by Kristen Ashley. This book came out over the summer and I wasn’t immediately enthralled with it so I recently gave it a re-read. It’s a good read in her ‘Burg series. Frankie and Benny gave good romance and Ashley gave us some fantastic cameos from my other favourite characters and couples and books.

DOUBLE DEAD by Chuck Wendig. I enjoy a good horror and I like vampires and I have a lot of trouble with zombies (reading about them, not in real life because that would be a silly thing to say.) I met Wendig at the Surrey International Writers Conference and he was smart and thoroughly entertaining so I’m giving it a try. So far his book is definitely worth the risk – atypical hero, lots of action, good writing. I’m looking forward to finishing it.

Bring it on

 My timing is exceptional, if not last-minute. My house is completely winterized and just in time. The first snow-that-stuck arrived last week. The day before I did the last of my outdoor chores.

I hung the birdfeeders in places I could see from my windows because I like watching the variety of birds in my neighbourhood. (I even got different styles of feeders and seed so I could attract different types of birds.) I think next year I need to get another post so I can hang out outside my kitchen window too.

I also finally cleaned out my gutters. Unfortunately, some of the gunk was frozen to the bottom of the eavestroughs but I cleared out enough loose leaves so that the water can run when thaws again… in March. What a depressing thought.

My shovels are at the backdoor and have been used 4 times already. My gate is working so far – I really hope it doesn’t get frost heaved again this year so I have to leave it open all the time. My extension cord for my block heater is plugged in and is waiting for its first use of the season which, from the sounds of it, will be tonight.

The only thing I didn’t do this year was buy and put up new Christmas lights. I had to save something for next year.

Are you ready for winter? If not, get on it. It’s only going to get worse from here on out.


Candy Cane Kisses coverI’m ahead of my time. You may not be ready to get into holiday activities but let me help put you in the mood.

My short romantic comedy CANDY CANE KISSES is now out exclusively on Amazon. It is the fourth and final book in the best-selling series, Forever Christmas. The western Washington town of Glenville is threatened with the possible loss of their 100 year old Christmas tree farm to an outside corporation. Four friends join together to keep the tradition alive and create new opportunities with the rebirth of the Forever Christmas tree farm.


All bakery-owner Lindsay Leeds wants for Christmas is for her former high-school crush Sheriff Keith “Bodey” Bodewell to quit playing games. The sheriff has been dancing around asking her out for months and Lindsay is tired of it. His “fake girlfriend” ploy was cute and it was sweet that he recruited her friends to find out what she likes, but enough is enough. She’s a busy woman and he needs to step up or he’s going to lose his shot.

How can a woman who runs two businesses be so clueless when it comes to managing her heart? Bodey has dropped more than enough hints that he’s interested, but Lindsay isn’t catching them. Just when the sheriff is running out of ideas on how he can convince her to be his for Christmas, Lindsay gives him a clue about what it will take for him to get a date. And the answer is pretty simple. At least, it was supposed to be. Christmas is days away and his plays keep failing on a spectacular level.

It’s going to take the jolly fat man to make this holiday romance happen.

Here’s a sneak peek:

Lindsay didn’t join in the teasing. Instead, she sent him a death glare. “It was you,” she accused.

“Me, what?” He knew damn well what. Margaret called him at the department to give him a heads-up. For such a bright woman, Bodey could not figure out how Lindsay remained oblivious that the entire town was helping him woo her.

“You, you, you… Wine thief!” she shouted.

“I didn’t steal anything,” he protested.

“No, you bought it, snatching it off the shelf from under my nose.”

“You said it was good.”

“It was mine!”

She was a little more attached to her Moscato than he’d anticipated.

And proud of it

I recently returned from two writing conferences (posts to follow). One was the Emerald City Writers Conference in Seattle, Washington put on by the Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America, and the other was the Surrey International Writers Conference in Surrey (Vancouver), BC. ECWC is all romance, all the time. It’s why attendees show up. When somebody asks you “What do you write?”, and you answer “Historical” or “Contemporary” the “Romance” is assumed. We were loud and proud, and often raunchy since romance often involves sex.

At SIWC, when asked what I wrote, I said, “Contemporary romance.”  One woman’s jaw literally dropped at my answer. “You are the first person I’ve met here who admits to writing romance. Everybody else says “Women’s fiction with an element of romance” or “historical with a secondary love story”. Nobody says they’re a romance writer.” Because, you see, romance isn’t literary and isn’t spoken of in polite writing society.

I AM A ROMANCE WRITER AND I’M PROUD OF IT, BABY!  I like my sweet stories and my super-sexy reads and everything in between. I like reading them, writing them, and talking about them. If you are a fellow romance reader, writer or fan, stand up with me. Be loud and proud. I love romance and I’m not going to let anyone try to shame me about it!

Quick, give me a recommendation – who’s your fave romance author and which book should I start with?