Saturday, December 6, 2014

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Secret Santas Holiday Collection

Secret Santas Holiday Collection
Includes: Calista Fox, Erin Quinn, Mary Leo
Publication date: November 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance


Kissing Kris Kringle

In the spirit of giving and paying it forward, all of the author’s proceeds for Kissing Kris Kringle will be donated to The Animal Welfare League, an amazing organization dedicated to saving animals lives and working to improve the way they are treated and regarded by society.

Kris Kringle is just an average guy living in the tiny town of North Pole, Maine where Christmas isn’t just a holiday—it’s a way of life. But not for Kris. He might be named after the big guy in red, but Kris is more Scrooge than Santa.

Until he wakes up from a night of partying with his friends to find himself in possession of a Santa suit, a toy bag and a puppy. Kris soon discovers that he’s been relegated to Santa’s naughty list and there’s only one way to get his name removed….put on the suit and spread some cheer.

Lucky for Kris every cloud has a silver snowflake and his quest to get off that list lands him in the arms of the woman he’s been lusting after for years.

It takes a little magic, but Kris is about to get everything he didn’t even know he wanted for Christmas.

Naughty St. Nick

‘Tis the season for Christmas miracles…

Having landed himself on Santa’s Naughty List, Nick Santos is given a chance at redemption. Granted, he’s tasked with some daunting challenges—pimping Santa’s ride and fixing the town’s holiday bling in the once year-round Christmas Capital of the World, North Pole, Maine. But playing Secret Santa comes with some unexpected perks, like finally catching the eye of the woman who sparks his deepest desires, Vixen White.

Vixen has no idea what’s come over Nick this holiday season, but his good deeds around town help her to remember the magic of Christmas, long forgotten. And his sexy grin and a searing, stolen kiss under mistletoe have her wishing her dream of being Naughty St. Nick’s one and only will finally come true.

All she has to do…is believe.

Romancing Rudy Raindear

Rudy Raindear thought he’d left North Pole, Main in his rear-view mirror. Now, after several years, he’s returned to convince his beloved grandfather to retire and sell his struggling bakery, Sugar Plums – the linchpin in a potentially lucrative real estate deal – great for Rudy, devastating for the town.

But all is not what it seems in this magical Christmas town, especially after Rudy lands on Santa’s Naughty List. Suddenly Rudy’s nose is turning red for the tiniest of white lies and the one girl he wanted to impress, Jenny Bells, is on his case for trying to close Santa’s favorite bakery.

What’s a guy to do?

Start baking and just maybe Rudy can save the bakery, and convince Jenny that sometimes, being a little naughty, is oh-so nice.


Excerpt #1

Kris woke up spread eagle on his kitchen floor feeling like he’d been hit by a runaway sleigh attached to twelve rabid reindeer. He remembered going to Yule Tide’s with Nick and Rudy—two school buddies he hadn’t seen in ages. Rudy, because he’d moved away from the tiny town of North Pole, Maine years ago and now lived in New York City. Nick, because even in a town with the population of twelve hundred and two, life got in the way. Plus, with everything going to shit between the economy, lagging tourism and finally, the last insult, no snow…well, it made a person want to hole up and be alone.
Kris had been doing a lot of that lately.
But Rudy was in town for a short trip and he’d been buying. They’d drank beer, then tequila, then something pink and sweet with the word fuzzy in it, then more beer, then…well, who the hell knew what then?Certainly not Kris.
He sat, holding his pounding head with one hand to make sure it didn't roll off. The other hand clutched a black velvet bag. Kris stared at it for a moment.
WTF was that?
He had no idea where it had come from or how it had come to be in his possession, but he had such a tight grip on the thing that his hand hurt. The bag was huge and at the bottom was a bulge that indicated it wasn’t empty.
Jesus, had he robbed somebody?
He discarded the horrified idea at once. No way. He hadn’t been that drunk.
Had he?
Cautiously, he loosened his grip and peered inside. He caught a glimpse of something red, something white and something kind of creamy yellow. Frowning, he reached inside and one of those somethings moved.
With a shout he released the bag and hit his feet. WTF?
As he stared at the bag, the bulge at the bottom separated, became two bumps—one stationary and the other squirming like a whole nest of snakes. Except it wasn’t making snake noises. As Kris watched, the wiggling bump moved to the lip of the bag and out popped…
A puppy.
A puppy?
Where the hell had he gotten a puppy? And why had he stuffed it in a bag?

 Excerpt #2

He opened his bag of muffins and pulled the second one out, snagging doggy bagel number two for the puppy as well and tossing it down. Holly watched him suspiciously as he took a big bite. With a grin, he offered it to her.
“Want some?”
She almost smiled. “I mean it,” she warned. “If I hear any complaints, I’m going to….”
She trailed off and he sat calmly, eating his muffin and drinking his coffee.
Finally he prompted, “What? What are you going to do to me, Holly?”
He hadn’t meant it to sound so suggestive—okay, maybe he had—but he and Holly had been circling each other since junior high. Somehow they’d always managed to avoid connecting. He’d gone away to school and by the time he’d come back, she’d gone and gotten married for about a week and a half to some dick she’d met at Boston University. He’d met the guy when she’d brought him home. Kris hadn’t liked him on sight.
But as she stood there now in her boxy red sweater that tried to hide all her lush curves, her straight skirt that covered most of her shapely legs and those sensible heels, Kris wanted nothing more than to change the status quo between them. Except he was stuck in this damned Santa suit and who could take a man dressed like Santa Claus seriously? Especially when said man had been cursed with a name like Kris Kringle in real life?
As if she’d heard his thoughts, she shifted and a faint blush crept up her cheeks. “This is a bad idea,” she said. “I think you should take your muffins and your puppy and go home, Kris.”
“I’d really like to do that Holly,” he said. “But I can’t.”
She narrowed her eyes and leaned toward him. He got a whiff of perfume that smelled so good he wanted to wrap an arm around her and pull her closer. Hell, he wanted to wrap both arms around her and pull her right onto his jolly, old lap.
She frowned. “Are you drunk?”
“Nope.” Not anymore. He was stone cold sober now, like it or not.
His disclaimer seemed to do little to lighten her mood. She said, “You’re not on our payroll. You’re not covered by our insurance. If something happened…  If someone tripped on the way up to see you. If you fell out of your chair—”
Kris choked on his coffee. “If I fell out of my chair?” he repeated.
“It could happen.”
He laughed and dammed if that ho, ho, ho didn’t boom out like fireworks on the Fourth of July. All around them people who’d been bustling by, wrapped in their own thoughts, faces strained with the burden of a holiday season without any cheer—all of them stopped and stared.
“Jeez,” Holly said. “That was impressive. But it doesn’t change a thing.”
Actually, it did. Because in that instant, Kris once again had a glimmering memory from the night before.A voice, deep and merry, telling him he’d been a very naughty boy and that it was time to make amends. Disturbed and unsure now if it had been real or an alcoholic brain burp, Kris tried to follow the echo of the voice to its source but came up blank. In a town like this where holiday cheer lurked in every corner, everyone had a story about seeing Santa Claus. Some years the jolly fat guy was spotted daily, others only a time or two. But Kris could name at least a dozen people off the top of his head who claimed to have had conversations with Santa.
That didn’t mean he believed a damn one of them, though. Only kids and dotty old women believed in that crap.

 An Excerpt from Romancing Rudy Raindear by Mary leo

That’s when it came to him. “Jenny Bells! You’re Jenny Bells from Donner Street. You were my very first kiss.”
“Good grief, how bad off are you?”
He chuckled, careful of any actual movement. “Apparently, pretty bad.” Then he stared at her for a moment as last night began to come into focus. “You were there, along with Kris and Nick, and some guy who looked a lot like the real Santa or was that a dream?”
“I don’t remember the Santa guy, but your buddies Kris and Nick were absolutely there. I came in at midnight with a plate of your grandfather’s cookies which you all devoured. Carol told me you kept buying rounds, and everybody kept drinking. I’m sure the guys are feeling just as bad as you do this morning.”
“Why aren’t you dying like the rest of us?”
“Somebody had to be the adult. After just one of those Christmas Bombs, I knew you three would never make it home if I didn’t drive. Besides, I’ve been living here in this attic ever since my apartment building went into foreclosure, so any way I can help out your grandfather, or his grandson, seemed like the right thing to do.”
“You live here?” He looked around at the long, narrow room and could tell she had transformed half of it into a livable, feminine space, but still . . . “Why the hell would you live here?”
She shrugged. “Your grandfather needed some help both in the bakery and around the house after your gram passed. I needed a place to live. It just made sense. He won’t let me pay rent, so I try to do the things he can’t.”
“I’m sure Gramps loves having you around, but doesn’t your day job get in the way?”
“Helping your grandfather is my day job. He’s teaching me how to bake Santa’s favorite cookie, or at least that’s the plan. We haven’t exactly gotten around to it yet. Gramps can’t remember the recipe, nor can he find your grandmother’s recipe book, but we’ve got ten days to go before Christmas. I’m sure we’ll figure something out by then.”
Rudy hoped to have the Smart-Mart deal locked-up by then.
He sneezed.
“Bless you,” she said.
“Thanks. Don’t you miss your own place? I mean if this is your room, it’s not very private for overnight guests.”
Rudy felt a mild pang of guilt for taking her bed, but on the other hand, he was over six feet tall and that sofa would never have been long enough.
“It’s a small town, remember? Not much guest action going on. Besides, I thought you’d have a room at the Inn, and when you didn’t, I had no choice but to bring you home.”
“You could have slept in bed with me. I wouldn’t have attacked you,” he lied. If he had awoken and been at all coherent, he probably would have tried it. Of course, he wasn’t about to tell her that. 
His nose suddenly itched. He tried to ignore it, but it tickled like a son of a bitch.
She threw him a little grin that told him there was no way in hell she would have climbed into bed with him. He had the distinct feeling she knew his game.
“It was tricky enough just sleeping on the couch. You kept telling me how much you still loved me. You must have tried to get me into bed ten times before you finally gave up and fell asleep.”
“Sorry ‘bout that.”
“Accepted. I really loved my old apartment. I would have lived there forever if I could have. I heard someone bought the building, but they haven’t done any work on it yet. Shame, it’s such a cute place. With the right TLC it could be beautiful again. I’ve been hoping to move back in, but so far, I haven’t heard who bought it or when the renovations are going to start.”
Rudy didn’t want to tell her he was the owner and when his deal went through with Smart-Mart the apartment building, along with this building and several others on Prancer Street, would be demolished to make way for the mega-store. 
“I’m sure the new owner is just waiting until after the holidays to begin the repairs.” As he spoke his nose itched again, and he could feel a sneeze coming on. “Excuse me,” he said, as he grabbed another tissue and sneezed five times in a row.
When he finished, he gazed over at her. She had a curious look on her face as she tried to stifle the grin spreading across her sweet lips.
“What’s so funny?” Rudy asked. His headache had begun to retreat, and his stomach had calmed down to manageable ache.
“Nothing, at least I don’t think it’s anything. It’s just that as you were talking, your nose seemed to get a bit pinker. Even bordering on red.”
“I’m probably getting a cold.”
She giggled. “Does your nose usually turn this red when you get a cold?”
Concerned, Rudy said, “Define ‘this red.’”
“Stay right there. Let me get you a mirror.”
Jenny slid out of bed, and walked to the back of the attic. While she was digging around through the trunks, Rudy grabbed a sugar coated cookie off the tray and ate it in two bites. It tasted all sugary and yummy, but as he swirled the sweet-goodness around in his mouth, he could tell it lacked the proper amount of cinnamon, and it needed an extra pinch of vanilla.
He had grown up baking alongside his grandparents, something his parents had discouraged, and developed a distinctive pallet for every cookie in the bakery, so he knew when his grandfather was on target. This cookie, although good, was not perfect.
Gramps was slipping.
“Found it,” Jenny said as she held up an ornate hand mirror that undoubtedly had belonged to his late grandmother.
She handed it to him and he gazed into the mirror at bloodshot eyes, bed hair, rosy cheeks and an unnaturally deep red nose.
“What the hell?”
It was at that moment when Rudy remembered exactly what that Santa guy with the white beard and heavy black boots had said to him, or rather, sang to him as they stood outside in some cold place that looked an awful lot like the real North Pole, complete with miles of packed icy snow, and several reindeer grazing alongside a huge log cabin. There may have even been an elf or two visible through a snowy window.
You better look out. You better not lie. You better not doubt, I’m telling you why. Santa Claus is coming to town. He sees you when you’re sleeping, and knows when you’re a fake. Your nose will shine when you really lie, so be good for goodness sake.
Then another vivid memory gave Rudy a momentary full body shudder.
Santa had placed him on his Naughty List
Rudy put the mirror down, and leapt out of bed.
“I am so screwed!” he mumbled.


Nick sauntered into the bakery the next evening while Vixen tried, yet again, to conjure a bit of creativity with a draft synopsis.
He looked disheveled, sexily unkempt. More so than usual. His sandy-brown hair stuck out all over his head, as though he’d raked his hands through it numerous times. He wore a black v-necked T-shirt with Yeah, I Can Fix It scrawled across his rigid pectoral ledge. The material conformed to his hard muscles, the short sleeves straining against rock-hard biceps, the hem only halfway, haphazardly tucked into Levi’s that sported grease stains and sawdust.
Christ, the man could roll out of bed from a wild weekend and still look sinfully delicious.
Of course, Vixen wouldn’t know this first hand. But given how incredibly gorgeous Naughty Nick was, she considered it an easy call to make.
He was a six-foot-two-inch hunk of a man with chiseled features, mischievous hazel eyes and a strong jawline covered by two days’ worth of stubble that gave him a sexy edge. Raw intensity mixed with irresistible charm and oozed from his every pore. A lethal combination.  
He chatted with Jenny for a few minutes as she manned the counter. Then Nick slid his gaze toward the small dining room and jerked his chin in Vixen’s direction, a casual greeting.
She averted her gaze.
For one thing, Nick was a thousand times out of her league. He had a reputation for knowing things... Things women like Vixen White didn’t speculate or fantasize about. She’d heard enough dreamy, lustful sighs over Nick to not only last a lifetime, but to convince her he’d be sadly disappointed if he ever got his hands on her.
Not that he ever would.
Where had that thought come from, anyway?
Darn that Jenny Bells for planting seeds in her head, telling her Nick had rambled on about her in his drunken state.
Honestly, Vixen had walked away from more than her fair share of water-cooler gossip about Nick—his talented hands and tongue...his scintillating bedroom talk...the wicked ways he could so easily bring a woman to orgasm—to know she shouldn’t let him occupy a second of her thoughts. The two of them were not simpatico. Never had been, never would be.
She kept all those voices, thoughts and the clawing curiosity from her mind. She didn’t need to waste her time thinking about Nick. In fact, she figured it was best to pretend he didn’t even exist.
He constantly crept into her brain. She constantly dealt with the tug-o-war that was her sensible side and the burning desire she had to throw caution to the wind.
Such a dangerous game to play, even if it only a mental one.
Or one now grounded in reality—because Nick strolled toward her.
She caught the glimpse of him in her peripheral vision and her pulse kicked up several notches. He was at her elbow before she could close the lid on her laptop and escape out the side door.
“Hey, Vix.” His deep, sensual voice rolled slowly down her spine like warm honey. Making her squirm in a suddenly hot and bothered way.
He reached for the chair next to her, jerked it around and straddled the seat.
Peering suspiciously at him from under sooty lashes, she simply said, “Nick.”
Simply? Yeah, right.
Her tone was low and sultry. Belying the tingles that ran rampant through her body. The way they always did when Nick was near.
“Haven’t seen you in a while,” he commented as he unabashedly took her in, from her plump, dark curls that she’d pulled up on the sides, leaving soft tendrils around her temple, to her blue eyes she always accented with smoky shadow and glam-black mascara, to her glossy lips. His gaze lingered there a moment, making her breath catch, before dropping to her chest, which suddenly rose and fell with her now-shallow breathing.
He seemed reluctant to drag his attention from her breasts, capturing her gaze again, an unapologetic grin on his face and fire in his eyes.
Vixen felt the effects of that scorching look to the depths of her soul. She crossed her legs and pressed her thighs together as a tickle between them ratcheted her pulse even higher. Heat burst on her cheeks and she had to tilt her head away, in hopes of hiding her instant, innate response to Nick.
“You know, you get prettier every day,” he said in is warm, intimate timbre.
Vixen knew better than to let him bait her with flattery. Even if it was incredibly sweet and so sincere-sounding that she truly wanted to believe he wasn’t just mindlessly flirting.
She knew better.
Forcing herself to ignore his compliment entirely, she said, “You haven’t seen me around because I’ve been busy.” Avoiding you. She bit back a sigh. It was pretty much a fulltime job. “I’ve been spending time in Bangor. My aunt has a bookstore there, remember? I’ve been filling in for her staff when they go on vacation or have family emergencies. Or when she’s just plain shorthanded.”
Her most recent stint had lasted an entire month. She’d missed North Pole the whole time. And despite knowing that keeping Nick out of her immediate line of vision was for the best—until she someday broke free of this ridiculous attraction she felt toward him—she’d yearned for those moments when she’d catch sight of him as much as she’d longed to return to their quirky little town.
But her Aunt Noelle was the only family Vixen had left. She’d lived in North Pole up until Vixen’s mother had passed when Vixen was just sixteen. Noelle had married and now she and her husband were happily settled in Bangor.
“Well, it’s nice to have you back,” Nick said in a quiet, arousing tone. His bedroom voice, she suspected. Definitely one that would make a woman roll over and spread her legs.
Vixen mentally shook the thought from her head and held her moan in check. Nick did things to her—without doing anything at all.
How cruel was the universe, really?
With the to-go cup of coffee in his hand, he gestured toward her computer. “New book?”
“Not exactly. I mean, yes. It’s supposed to be. But so far...” She shrugged a shoulder. “The ideas aren’t exactly flowing.”
He regarded her a few moments, then said, “We’re all lacking the Christmas spirit around here.”
“Kind of unfortunate.” A heavy weight filled her heart at the thought. “Really, that doesn’t even begin to cover it. I feel like...we’ve all just given up.” With a self-deprecating laugh, she added, “Not exactly a surprise. How long could holiday magic last in a town like this, when we were all hit hard with the recession? Lots of people lost”
“Including you?” he asked with a raised brow.
“I don’t know,” she said, honestly. “Not quite sure what I’m feeling. Just that it hasn’t been the same around here these past few years, and maybe that’s why I can’t come up with anything to write about. For most authors, fiction is fantasy. Make believe. For me, it was typical North Pole stuff that was the norm for all of us in town, and delighted those kids who could only imagine and dream of living in a year-round winter wonderland.”
“Some wonderland,” he said with a snort. “And our winter is one endless heat wave.”
“Yeah, I even had to order more short-sleeved shirts because the warm temps are relentless, when we should be wearing sweaters and scarves.”
Nick’s jaw tightened, a hint of disgruntlement crossing his sculpted features. Not a normal expression for the hot-to-trot bad boy.
“Something wrong?” she asked, though she knew to tread lightly. No need to get too involved with Nick. “Other than the fact that it feels like we’re in Florida in the middle of December, not Maine?”
“Just have some things on my mind.” He seemed purposely to loosen his jaw. Then he gave her a half-assed grin. The really sexy kind that only lifted one corner of his mouth and left her insides blazing. “I’ll see you around, okay?”
“Sure. Right.” Her pulse continued to race for no good reason. “Okay.”
Urgh! What was with the Marilyn Monroe voice?
Get a grip, Vix!


Vixen couldn’t remember the last time she’d smiled so much that her cheeks actually hurt. Yet, she couldn’t contain the grin, no matter what. That kiss Nick had given her was more potent than moonshine, intoxicating her and making her so warm and fuzzy inside that she’d had to change into a tank top and shorts when she’d returned home. Despite the slight chill in the air, she’d been burning up most of the night.
She’d left Nick with a smile on his face, too. And the promise of something electric and unexpected surrounding them both.
He hadn’t pushed her further, and she was grateful, needing a little time to process the change in the air, the shock of what had transpired between them. And the heat from that kiss—good Lord!
She was still giddy the next day as she wandered along Blitzen Street, noting that the storefront windows were all alight and filled with holiday displays. That was new.
Whoever had taken over as Santa was perched in the big, elaborate chair, listening to more wishes from the kids. And if Vixen weren’t mistaken, those children didn’t appear to be locals. In fact, the entire square was abuzz with activity and there were many faces she didn’t recognize.
The tourists had returned.
Her heart swelled. Tears prickled her eyes. Even the weather had turned frigid—she’d had to put on her jacket before leaving the house this morning. And the unbelievably delicious scent wafting from Sugar Plums was magic unto itself.
Vixen stood in the center of the square and absorbed the sights and sounds—including the perfectly timed It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas from the wandering group of carolers, all decked out in festive garb.
Indeed, it truly was looking a lot like Christmas. And Nick and his co-conspirators, whoever they were, deserved the full credit.
“This is so wonderful, isn’t it?”
Vixen turned at Jenny’s voice and smiled. Around a lump of emotion, she said, “I’d actually forgotten how sensational all of this was. Like I put it out of my mind as soon as my grandfather died and everyone stopped celebrating.”
“I know,” Jenny said, clearly feeling some strained emotions as well. “It’s been pretty painful for all of us. Traditions die hard, you know? We cling to them, especially when they’ve been such a huge part of our lives. Every day. With Mr. White and the endless holiday spirit, it was all we knew. So when it went away... It really went away.”
Vixen glanced around the square, then said, “What’s interesting, though, is that there are still some similarities—the tree, for example. Although, the lights have never blazed so bright. It’s stunning. And the new setup—putting Santa and his village in the square instead of keeping it all contained to the department store... I mean, he’s what this town is all about and for it to be showcased right here... That’s incredible. It’s impossible not to be sucked into Christmas all over again.”
“Yes,” Jenny said with a knowing smile that made Vixen wonder what she knew about the Secret Santas in town. “It’s sort of a new generation of North Pole, don’t you think?”
“That’s exactly what I think. And it’s gorgeous.”
“And still so perfect.” Jenny admired the festivities a moment longer, then said, “Oh! I almost forgot.” She handed over a small gift bag. “This is for you.”
Vixen eyed her curiously. “Our tradition is to exchange gifts with friends on Christmas Eve, family on Christmas Day.”
“Well, this isn’t from me, per se. And I think we’re seeing that traditions are meant to be broken. Or, at least, brought along with the changing times.”
Vixen couldn’t dispute that. She opened the bag and pulled out the box inside. Jenny took the bag to hold for her so Vixen could lift the lid. She peeled back delicate, silvery tissue paper and gasped.
“Those look divine,” she said with a dreamy sigh.
“There’s a card.”
It was tucked into the lid. Vixen extracted it.
For your sweet tooth. All you have to do is believe, Vix.
Vixen’s heart fluttered.

               Calling all you candycane sweethearts! We have a wonderful way to share the holiday cheer with all your fellow romantics. Share with us your warmest Christmas memory and it could be featured on the #SexySecretSantas Holiday Collection authors' social media! - Erin Quinn, Calista Fox, and Mary Leo!

To have your memory featured, just write a review for "Kissing Kris Kringle", "Naughty St. Nick", OR "Romancing Rudy Raindear", and send the link to your review to with your favourite holiday memory! Include a pic if you like! Mary Leo, Erin Quinn and Calista Fox will select a story to be shared on the their author pages each day!

You can learn more about the Secret Santas Holiday Collection on Erin Quinn’s blog here:

Kissing Kris Kringle:
Naughty St. Nick:



Kissing Kris Kringle

Naughty St. Nick

Romancing Rudy Raindear


Erin Quinn is an award winning author who writes haunting romance for the thinking reader.  Her books have been called “riveting,” “brilliantly plotted” and “beautifully written” and have won, placed or showed in in number awards.  Look for THE THREE FATES OF RYAN LOVE, coming in January from Pocket Books.  Go to for more information.


Calista Fox is a former PR professional, now writing fast-paced, steamy books to set your pulse racing--including the BURNED DEEP trilogy, coming in 2015 from St. Martin's Press! She is an Amazon bestseller and has won Reviewer’s and Reader’s Choice Awards, as well as a Best Book Award, and competitions with publication as the prize.

USA Today bestselling author Mary Leo writes contemporary romance, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, and mystery. She loves to travel for research while she’s writing a book, or for that matter, even when she’s not writing a book . . . which always leads to yet another book.


Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • Grand prize: $50.00 Amazon gift card
  • Second prize: $25.00 gift card 
  • Third prize: Any two of Mary Leo's ebooks 
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1 comment:

  1. This is exciting read specially this coming holidays! Thanks for sharing :)