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Red Velvet Crinkles and Christmas Sprinkles is a Christmas and Holiday Festival pick #romance



Title:  Red Velvet Crinkles and Christmas Sprinkles

 

Author:  Maria Imbalzano

 

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

Book Blurb: 

 

Competitive, work-obsessed Bella Simonetti has just been fired from her high-paying job at a Manhattan law firm. At an all-time low, she returns home and helps her parents at their small-town gift shop, but the business is failing and may not make it past the Christmas holidays.

 

Successful landscape architect Dean Jackson is like a son to Bella's parents. But he's a persistent annoyance to her—he seems to have forgotten his unforgivable blunder thirteen years earlier.

 

When Bella transforms her parents' gift shop into a cookie cottage, Dean's generosity and magnetic smile are hard to resist, and those feelings of unrequited adolescent love come rushing back. But can Bella let go of the past and accept Dean for the man he is today?

 

Excerpt:

 

Just then the bell over the door signaled a customer. Bella glanced up to see if their guest was here to browse or needed help, but no customer materialized. It was her dad with Dean in tow.

 

She had to admit he was even more striking than in high school. His light brown hair, sweeping from left to right in a perfect wave of silk, still had sun streaks from the summer, no doubt enhanced while playing on the links. And those green eyes had always been like flashing gemstones that sucked her in. But the best was his roguish smile—half teasing, half serious, but permanently heart-stopping.

 

Her best bet would be to prevent any cause for cheerfulness. Yet his intense frown was also mesmerizing. Staying away from him altogether seemed the ideal solution, but her parents had different ideas. Of course, her surliness toward him might make him rethink his charitable desire to help.

 

“Hi, Bella. How’s it going?” Even that simple greeting came with a full-blown smile.

 

She was screwed. “Fine.” She got right to the point—no friendly chitchat. “If you and Dad bring the boxes up front from the storeroom, Mom and I will take care of the decorating. You won’t have to stay.”

 

“Are you kidding? I love to decorate for Christmas. I’ve been helping your parents do it for the past few years while you’ve been AWOL.”

 

She blew an errant strand of hair out of her eye. “I wasn’t AWOL. I was working. In New York. I couldn’t up and leave on a Wednesday afternoon to come home and decorate.”

 

There came that half-teasing, half-serious smile. To avoid it, she started pulling Christmas balls hung on red-and-green silk ribbons from the large box she’d brought out.

 

“I can help you hang those in the window. I hid the hooks above the molding last year so we don’t have to remove them every year.”

 

“Clever.” Her sarcastic tone couldn’t be mistaken.

 

“We’ll need a ladder,” he determined. “I’ll get it from the back, then you can hand me the balls, and I’ll attach them.”

 

She slitted her eyes at him. “I want to hang the balls. You can do something else.”

 

“Fine. But it takes two for this job. You don’t want to be going up and down the ladder each time you hang a ball. It’s inefficient.”

 

He had a point. She’d have to bury her reluctance to work with him at the risk of coming up with some other childish excuse.

 

Once Dean brought the ladder to the window, she climbed up three steps and took the first ball from him. Not a well-thought-out plan since her butt was now at his eye level.

 

“Can you stand over here, please?” She pointed to the other side of the ladder.

 

“It’s better if I stand behind you, to spot you. In case you lose your balance.” His grin emerged, and she gritted her teeth to prevent a growl.

 

Inhaling, she reached up to tie the ribbon on the hook. Her sweater inched over her midriff, giving him a view of her torso. This day just couldn’t get any worse. If she hadn’t been so stubborn in demanding that she hang the ornaments, she’d have the pleasure of staring at his physique, not the other way around.

 

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Share a holiday family tradition:

 

Every year during the holidays, my mom, daughters and I bake Christmas cookies. When my mom was in charge, they all came out perfectly. We made butter balls, chocolate walnut, chocolate chip and kiefle (a square of thin pastry dough stuffed with a nut mixture, lekvar or apricot and rolled up). While my mom, who is now 96, still supervises, she doesn’t jump in and help. My cookies never come out as good as hers did and after a few years I gave up on the kiefle. My dough was never thin enough and I didn’t have the patience to keep rolling it out after it stuck to the rolling pin or cutting board.

 

The problem with my baking in general is that I’m a little casual with quantities. My mother, daughters and husband have all commented on my methods of measuring water, flour, sugar etc. Is there really a difference between wet and dry measuring cups? In any event, I love our Christmas cookies despite my inartful baking prowess.

 

Why is your featured book perfect to get readers in the holiday mood? 

 

This multi-award-winning book is an enemies to lovers, small town, Christmas romance with all the emotional feels that will make you fall in love with Bella and Dean.

 

Giveaway –

 

One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card

 

 

Open internationally.

 

Runs December 1 – 31

 

Drawing will be held on January 2, 2024.

 


Author Biography: 

 

Maria Imbalzano is an award-winning contemporary author who writes about strong, independent women and the men who fall in love with them. She recently retired from the practice of law, but legal issues have a way of showing up in many of her novels. When not writing, she loves to travel both abroad and in the states.  Maria lives in central New Jersey with her husband--not far from her two daughters and granddaughters. For more information about her books, please visit her website at http://mariaimbalzano.com where you can also sign up for her newsletter.

 

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