Monday Mentions – Running from Christmas by E.A. West

Monday Mentions graphic

In today’s spotlight is Running from Christmas, my newly re-released Christmas romance.

Book Description

Running from Christmas cover artShe’s frozen by fear.

He wants to warm her heart.

Can he succeed before Christmas?

Army veteran Alessandra Castillo just wants to be left alone. Life has been tough since her deployment in Afghanistan, and the holiday season makes it even more difficult. Unemployed and homeless, she’s currently living with her brother, who refuses to let her avoid all things social.

Enter Brad Kovac, youth pastor and good friend of Alessandra’s brother. He’s tall, gorgeous, and outgoing, three things guaranteed to catch Alessandra’s interest — or they would have before she survived an assault by a fellow soldier. Now all she wants to do is run from Brad and avoid anything resembling a relationship.

Will God provide a miracle in time for Christmas, or will Alessandra lose her chance for romance?

Excerpt

Boxes in their arms, they headed for the entrance to the small church. She had been there only a handful of times since her brother moved to Prairie Heights a few years ago, but each time she came a sense of peace permeated her soul. Perhaps if she stayed in town long enough, that peace would stick with her when she left…assuming she could ever get a job to replace the one she’d lost at the beginning of November when the factory downsized two months after they hired her.

Shrugging off the thought, she stepped through the glass-and-wood door her brother held open. She had plenty of time to worry about finding a new job later. She’d only moved in with Tony three days ago—barely enough time to unpack and get settled into his guest room. Since he had been encouraging her to come stay with him since she left the army last spring, she figured she had until at least February or March before he started hinting that she might want to find her own place. She planned to be out of his house long before then, but finding a job hadn’t proven as easy as she’d hoped.

Her pondering crashed to a halt when a man in his late twenties or early thirties stepped into the hall. Several inches taller than her, broad shoulders, trim waist… As much as she had protested her brother’s attempts to introduce her to people, this was one man she wouldn’t mind meeting. Her heart thumped in anticipation as she took in his light brown hair and friendly green eyes.

Slow down, girl. You don’t want a relationship, remember?

Alessandra inhaled deeply, hoping oxygen would encourage her to think clearly. So what if this guy was gorgeous? She didn’t need a boyfriend for Christmas—or at all. Not when she had enough other stuff to keep her occupied. Although she had to admit a boyfriend would probably be much more pleasant than her annual visit to her best friend’s grave. But a boyfriend meant obligatory time alone with a guy…

“Hey, man! It’s about time you got here.” A warm male voice broke into the memories threatening to drag her down, and she looked up to see the gorgeous guy greeting her brother with a slap on the back. “The natives are getting restless.”

Tony laughed. “We’re early, so any restless natives aren’t our problem yet.”

“And there’s the operative word—yet.” He turned to Alessandra and reached for the box of craft supplies. “Let me take that for you.”

“It’s all yours,” she said, relinquishing the box.

Tony set his burden on the floor and put his arm around her shoulders. “Alessandra, meet Brad Kovac, youth pastor and your cohort in crime tonight.”

Brad’s eyes lit up and sent a little shiver down Alessandra’s spine as he gave her a once-over. “Ah, so you’re Tony’s sister. I’m glad to finally meet you.”

She studied him, suspicion taking the place of some of her interest. “Finally?”

“Yes, your brother’s been telling me about you for quite some time.” Brad winked and leaned closer. “Is it true that you went to Afghanistan to play in the snow?”

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Running from Christmas is available from Amazon. Read it for free with Kindle Unlimited!

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About the Author

Photo of author E.A. WestE.A. West, award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance, is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

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Long December…

In case you couldn’t tell from the title of this post, I occasionally get songs stuck in my head. While thinking about the fact that today is December 1 and the month ahead promises to be busy with writing, holiday preparations, and various other busyness, the Counting Crows song “A Long December” popped into my head and hasn’t left yet. If you’re unfamiliar with the song, or you just enjoy it, here’s the music video for it.

Boy, that song brings back some memories. Feel free to share your memories in the comments, if you’re so inclined. If not… Well, read on for some fun book recommendations (aka Shameless Self-Promotion *wink*).

I’ve been remiss in keeping you all up to date on my book news. Please don’t hate me! *ducks rotten tomatoes* In all fairness and honesty, I spend much more time on Facebook and share all my book news, updates, and general randomness on my author page. If you haven’t already liked it, hop on over and check it out! Actually, considering Facebook only allows my posts to reach a small percentage of followers, you might want to hop over and check out what’s been happening lately even if you liked the page a while ago. Remember, the more you interact with Facebook pages (liking posts, sharing, commenting), the more likely you are to see posts from those pages in your news feed.

Now, for the book news that prompted the previous paragraph. Running from Christmas, my newest inspirational romance, released from Astraea Press in time for the holiday season. I hope you’ll give it a read and leave an honest review on your favorite retail site, Goodreads, your blog, or wherever. Hearing what readers think of my writing is a great encouragement to keep writing and improve my craft! Plus, glowing reviews are always a great source for the warm fuzzy feeling that can brighten even the coldest, dreariest winter day.

**Shameless Self-promotion Alert**

You know what else brightens a cold, dreary winter day? A heart-warming holiday romance. I happen to have three such books in my writing credits (hint, hint). Just to keep things orderly, here they are in chronological order, starting with the most recent release. The first chapters of these books and many more are available on my website.

Running from Christmas

Running from Christmas cover artArmy veteran Alessandra Castillo just wants to be left alone. Life has been tough since her deployment in Afghanistan, and the holiday season makes it even more difficult. Unemployed and homeless, she’s currently living with her brother, who refuses to let her avoid all things social.

Enter Brad Kovac, youth pastor and good friend of Alessandra’s brother. He’s tall, gorgeous, and outgoing, three things guaranteed to catch Alessandra’s interest. At least they would have caught her interest before she survived an assault by a fellow soldier. Now all she wants to do is run from him and avoid anything resembling a relationship.

Will God provide a miracle in time for Christmas, or will Alessandra lose her chance for romance?

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Running from Christmas is available from Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and other online retailers.

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Trust of the Heart (Veteran Hearts, Book 2)

Trust of the Heart cover artJosh Teague has dark memories from his time in Iraq. While he longs to share the burden of those memories with someone, he is afraid they will scare his girlfriend. Unwilling to risk losing her, he keeps the memories to himself and tries to keep a cheerful attitude despite the holiday season threatening to bring his mood down.

Leann Robak has her own set of memories causing trouble. Abandoned by her father when she was ten, she is devastated when her mother announces she’s taking a month-long trip to Europe over Christmas. Although Josh’s invitation to spend Christmas with him at his parents’ house holds exciting prospects, Leann can tell he’s hiding something from her. That knowledge leaves her wondering how well she truly knows him and whether he even wants to be in a relationship with her.

Can Josh and Leann learn to trust each other fully, or will their insecurities drive them apart?

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Trust of the Heart is available from Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and other online retailers.

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Breath of Christmas

Breath of Christmas cover artWhen Esther Beauchamp agrees to drive a snowmobile during the Santa Snow Challenge, she expects a weekend of transporting snowboarders with no complications. What she gets, however, is the task of transporting a single snowboarder and babysitting his service dog while he’s on the slope.

Robbie Kendrick is instantly attracted to the pretty staffer volunteered to help him out during the competition. While she’s clueless about asthma, he appreciates her efforts to understand how it affects him and his snowboarding. Best of all, she treats him like a man who isn’t disabled and gets along great with his medical alert dog.

Then Robbie’s ability to compete is called into question due to his health. Is it in God’s plan for him to give up the career he loves, or will his competitive spirit cause him to lose his chance at a future with Esther?

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Breath of Christmas is available from Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and other online retailers.

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Happy reading!

News and Updates

It’s been a while since I posted an update of all the news in my writing life (and otherwise). It’s been a busy, exciting year so far. As I’m sure you know by now, I had four releases in the first two months of the year — Red: A Weekly Devotional by various Pelican Book Group authors, Love and Diamonds a romance anthology by various Astraea Press authors, Bogotá Blessings (part of the Passport to Romance series from Pelican Book Group), and Wounds of the Heart (short prequel to the Veteran Hearts series). Since then, I’ve stayed busy with writing, revising, edits, and another release at the end of July. That’s on top of the rest of life, which as we all know tends to be crazy on a good day.

 

news

 

My most recent release is also my first YA novel. Different was published by Astraea Press on July 22. The main character, Jezebel Smith, is autistic and goes through some major changes. It was a tough one to write, but I loved the opportunity to explore the world through the eyes of an autistic character again. The book has received some great comments from readers, which I’m absolutely thrilled about. I hope you’ll check out Different and let me know what you think! (Blurb and links are at the bottom of this post.)

This summer brought more good news from Astraea Press. They offered me a contract for my Christmas novella, Running from Christmas. After plenty of happy dancing, I signed the contract. Running from Christmas is an inspirational romance with an army veteran as the heroine. It was an eye-opening experience writing this particular character, and I can’t wait to share my first female veteran main character with you!

At the beginning of July, my new website finally went live. It was a long, tedious, frequently confusing process for me to re-design the thing since it was my first attempt at creating a website design from scratch, but I’m pleased with the final product. If you haven’t already visited it, I’d love for you to check it out and let me know what you think. Even if you have seen my new site, I’d still love to hear from you! Suggestions are always welcome and may be implemented during future updates.

photo of a shepherd mix puppy
Cody playing with a bug. — Copyright © 2014 E.A. West

In other news, I adopted a puppy almost a month ago. He’s a feisty little sweetheart who’s growing like a weed. His feet are huge! Since he’s a mixed breed (German shepherd/Alaskan malamute/red heeler mix), it’s fun trying to figure out just how big he’s going to be. Cody is a smart pup who learns fast and is a creative little guy. While I love the smart dogs, this one has found about a million ways to get himself in trouble… and he’s not quite twelve weeks old! He keeps me busy and drives Paisley (my three-year-old mutt) crazy, but he’s a loved part of the family. At this point, I’m not sure how we got along without him.

I think that’s all the major news for now. For more up-to-the-minute updates, check out my Facebook page. I’m on there nearly every day and post information, news, puppy pictures, and other fun stuff. Hope to see you there!

As promised, here’s the info on Different:

Different cover artBack Cover Blurb

Jezebel Smith is different. She can’t talk, she doesn’t look like anyone in her family, and no matter what she does it’s always the wrong thing. God accepts her for who she is, but He’s the only one who does. Then she finds an unconscious man in her favorite cave, and her life is turned up-side down. New people and new rules collide with the old, leaving Jezebel unsure of which set of rules apply to her life. When the strangers in town attempt to help her out of the nightmare she’s grown up in, it promises to change her life forever.

 

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Different is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and Smashwords. Check out an excerpt on my website.

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