Welcome back to Romance Sweet Reads. This week and next we’ll be featuring the nine individual stories from the holiday anthology, Hearts, Homes and Holidays. The anthology is a currently available to pre-order for just 99¢ on all major ebook retailers. All proceeds from the sale of Hearts, Homes, and Holidays will benefit Reece’s Rainbow, an organization that assists with the adoption of special-needs children.
Today, we’ll look at the eighth of our nine stories, Forever Family by author Christine Sterling, including an exclusive excerpt available only on Romance Sweet Reads.
So, sit back and enjoy a look at the fabulous collection of heartfelt holiday romances by some of your favorite authors.
Family Ever After
Longing hearts, loving homes, and lively holidays combine in this Romantique Treasury with new contributions from nine bestselling and award-winning authors. This warm-hearted romance anthology combines friends, families, and faith as hope blossoms in the lives of orphaned children.
Forever Family by Christine Sterling
Susan Vuichard is committed to making sure no child is forgotten in the foster system. Opening her family farm to three sisters that have nowhere else to go, and even less chance to be adopted, is a temporary solution.
Richard Petra is still suffering the loss of his wife and unborn child. In order to ensure the memories remain buried, he refuses to interview children and avoids holiday celebrations. When his boss insists that he interview three sisters stuck in the welfare system at Christmas time, Richard has no choice. Imagine his surprise to find his high-school sweetheart, Susan is the girls’ foster mother.
Sparks fly and his heart opens against his will. Can Richard conquer his fear and pain enough to let Susan and the girls into his hard heart? Can Susan help her old flame, and the girls she’s vowed to find a home for by Christmas? Can this group somehow become a FOREVER FAMILY?
Enjoy an Excerpt
“Police in Richmond, Virginia are requesting assistance in identifying three minor girls found locked in a bathroom at the Jefferson Hotel.”
Richard Petra’s nose twitched. He could smell a story. Not just any old story.
The one that would put him back in the anchor’s chair.
He picked up the remote and upped the volume. An artist’s rendering of a woman and three young girls flashed on the screen.
“An unidentified white female in her mid-thirties was found dead this evening. No information about the children has been released at this time. The police department is requesting any information be sent to their tip line. According to officers, the children do not appear to be harmed and have been placed with Virginia Social Services.”
His nostrils flared. Some men enjoyed the scent of barbeque - others, the scent of gun oil and a newly released charge. Richard liked the smell of a story. Stories didn’t have smells limited to the natural world, like pine trees or a woman’s perfume. They were a mixture of emotions and the natural world.
This story smelled like rust, mold, and lost hope.
“… back to you, Kami.”
He refocused his attention back onto the screen. Kami Green, the morning news anchor, looked as pale as sour cream. “Thank you, Ted. Viewers can reach out at the number listed at the bottom of their screens with any information.”
He shut off the TV and picked up his cell phone, dialing a number he knew by heart.
“WKCD, Jimmy Falcon’s Office. This is Justine. How can I help you?”
“Put him on the phone, Justine.”
A hiccup of silence before she said, “Richie, you know, I can’t do that. He’s still mad at you.”
“Tell him to get in line,” he drawled. “C’mon, Justine. You owe me.”
“Richie,” her voice lowered. “I can’t lose my job by letting you talk to him. I’ve got kids to take care of.”
“Who got you that job, Justine?”
He heard her groan. “You did.”
“Who helped your brother get enrolled in—”
“All right, Richie. I get it. I owe you big time. But you gotta understand. This is Jimmy Falcon, the president of the network. I can’t just—oh! Mr. Falcon!”
Richard pressed the phone harder to his ear, but the next moment he yanked it away as a loud voice bellowed, “Richard, that better not be you!”
“It’s me, Jimmy,” he hollered right back. “And don’t you dare hang up!”
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Meet the Author
Christine Sterling writes sweet wholesome romance with a touch of sass. She has written over sixty-five books in both the western historical and contemporary romance genres. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, a spoiled Shih Tzu, two German Shepherds and an energetic Border Collie, that keep her on her toes. She spends her time writing, thinking about writing, and dreaming about writing. Her favorite things are a good cup of tea, puppy snuggles, a movie that will make you cry and happily ever afters.
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Adoption is another word for love, and proceeds from this collection of inspiring stories will benefit special-needs adoption grants through Reece’s Rainbow.
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Please come back again tomorrow when we’ll be featuring author Nancy Fraser's contribution to this extraordinary anthology.