This blog is for those 18 and older.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review: Christmas in Lucky Harbor by Jill Shalvis

I’m excited to fill you in on my Christmas read.  I had left a message on and Facebook for advice on my choice, yet I discovered Jill Shalvis’ Christmas in Lucky Harbor on my own.  And a fabulous discovery it turned out to be.

Maddie and her two estranged sisters inherit a run-down Inn located in Lucky Harbor, Washington. 

All gung-ho to start anew, Maddie gladly leaves LA and her abusive husband for the possibility of a new career.  She’ll have plenty of time to pursue the remodeling of the old Victorian building and property since men have no place in her heart.

And then he comes along.  Actually, Maddie nearly runs Jax off the road.  Jax has eye-popping good looks along with many talents.  She finds this out by leaving an intoxicated message for a contractor to “master her remodeling.”  Guess who the contractor is!

With tingling and twitching “parts,” Maddie ignores the chemistry and shows her best side while she tries to run him off, such as her ability to burp the alphabet commonly practiced in the mirror.

With a constant smile and frequent chuckles, I read on to see how their parade of true personalities could possibly pull Maddie and Jax in the same direction. 

Fun, sexy, and a book that will make you late for bedtime!    


Sunday, December 25, 2011

My Island Life: A Crucian Christmas

My adventures living on a Caribbean island. Welcome to my monthly, or not so monthly adventures. We try not to commit too soon here on island :-)

First Impression #2:
After living on island for over a year, I've discovered that Christmas is a little different here than it is on the mainland.  On St. Croix, Christmas is focused on People, Parties, and Presents.

There are a few traditions that aren't as popular here. For example, Christmas lights. Very few homes bear any Christmas lights at all.  My guess is that this is due to the WAPA bills. WAPA is the electric company here and a big issue for everyone.  For my husband and I, our WAPA bills have run $300-$500 a month. Remember, we don't need to heat the houses here either. So my guess is, Christmas lights are not a priority because of cost.

On the other hand, people on the island highly prize each other at this time of year. Christmas parties abound, mostly potlucks. Getting together is the reason for the season. I'm guessing that presents are also important because the K-Mart parking lots (we have two) are completely full, 7 days a week between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

But the biggest difference here in relation to the mainland is that Christmas doesn't end on December 25th. Nope. In fact, the Christmas Festival doesn't even open until December 29th! This Carnival event, which is one long party for everyone, goes until January 8th, 2012. The actual Carnival Parade happens on January 7th. And you have never seen a parade quite like this. Unfortunately, to see the entire parade, a person would have to watch the parade go by for 8 hours.  Yes, 8 hours for about 48 entries.  But they are spectacular entries for sure, planned and created from the day after last year's parade. Here's a link if you want to see some photos or learn more.

Lesson #2: Island Life means I can't take the Christmas tree down until mid January, and I should plan to celebrate the season with as many people as possible. I will do my best to keep up with the crowd :-)

For a chance to win one of these wonderful gifts, leave me a comment about your Christmas. All commenters will be eligible to win each gift, but once you win one, you are not eligible for others. Winners will be drawn for gifts in the order they appear below. Winners announced Wednesday!

Tsunami Blue by Gayle Ann Williams (Futuristic Romance)
Lord of the Shadows by Alix Rickloff (signed - Historical Paranormal)
Chances Are by Shelly Stevens (Erotic Romance)
Everything I Know about Love I Learned from Romance Novels by Sarah Wendell (Nonfiction)
$10 Gift Card for

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On My Christmas List One Year

Christmas is almost here (how did that happen? Wasn’t it just Thanksgiving?). Do you make a list? Do you have any books on your list?
I don’t put books on my wish list anymore, not after what happened a couple years ago (actually, we no longer make wish lists at all). My husband, who’d run out of ideas, asked me for a list of what I wanted so I thought long and hard and did as he asked. It wasn’t a long list (a pair of slippers, a sweater and something else I can’t remember now), but I very specifically asked for Sandra Brown’s Exclusive.
You must understand, I never expected my husband to actually look at the list and get me what I asked for so when a friend of mine finished reading said book, she loaned it to me (knowing what a huge Sandra Brown fan I am). I came home from work that day and immediately sat on the corner of the couch (my favorite place to cuddle up with a good story), opened the book and began to read. And I was enjoying myself. Until my husband came home.

 “Whatcha readin’?” he asked. 

I closed the cover and showed him.
In all the years we’d been married, I never saw that expression cross his face (and I haven’t seen it since).
“Where’d you get that?” he asked (with that suspicious look in his eye, thinking I’d gone out and bought it for myself).
“A friend lent it to me. Why?”
He was upset. More than upset. He was mad.  “Why did you put it on your wish list if you were going to get it from a friend?” (That’s not how he said it, but this is a family friendly blog and I can’t put his actual words here.)

That’s when I knew, he’d followed my list to the letter and got me the book.  I felt bad so I gave the book back to my friend and promised I wouldn’t read it until he gave it to me. Christmas morning, I unwrapped the book and spent most of the day reading. I was done by that night. The next day, he asked, “Where’s the book?”

“I finished it.”
Oh, the look on his face! And the things he said (again, I can’t repeat them here). Needless to say, my husband has never ever bought me another book. And I don’t think he ever will.
Do you have books on your wish list this year?

Happy Reading!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Guest author Interview: Callie Hutton

Today we are interviewing Callie Hutton, Historical Romance author.
Alexis: Hi Callie, Thank you for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. I noticed you tend to write Westerns. What is it about the West that intrigues you?
Callie: Most likely the adventure of going somewhere new and different. Also, women were needed more in the West. They weren’t pampered, and had to be more like modern women because they were expected to pull their own weight.
Alexis: That's a great point. I hadn't thought of it like that. Can you tell our readers a little bit about your latest release, A Wife by Christmas?
Callie: In 1906 Guthrie, Oklahoma, History teacher, Ellie Henderson, has been a thorn in High School Principal Max Colbert’s side ever since he took over three months ago. When she’s not flying by his office, late for her class, with books and papers jumbled in her arms, she’s attending Suffragettes meetings against his orders.
Because of her family connections, he can’t fire her, but he can certainly find someone to marry her, and keep her busy in the kitchen. And far away from his school. Max soon finds that what seemed like a good idea can turn into disaster when Miss Ellie Henderson is involved. The woman is a master at getting into trouble.
With the Christmas season in full swing, he has many opportunities to introduce her to prospective husbands. However, the uncomfortable feeling is growing that no one is worthy of the minx…
Alexis: Where did you get the idea for this story?
Callie: Ellie Henderson is actually the youngest niece in A Run For Love, that released a week before this one. I took an online class from Eliza Knight and used Ellie and Max for the scenes I had to write. Once I got those two characters in my head, I knew I had to write their story.
Alexis: I completely understand :-) What are your favorite character traits of Ellie and Max?
Callie: Ellie is trouble from the word ‘go, but she means well. She’s ahead of her time, in that she believes women can take care of themselves, and proves it by moving out of her family home, and having a career. But as strong as she is, there is soft spot in her that Max wiggles his way into.
Max is rigid and overbearing. He has his ‘life plan’ and no one is going to get into his way. Not ruthless, just determined. It seems he, also, has a soft spot that Ellie discovers. Once he realizes why she annoys him so much, it becomes easy for her to break through that shell. 
Alexis: So this is a sequel. Can you tell our readers a bit about A Run for Love?
Callie: A Run For Love released a week before this one. That book starts at the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889. Tori Henderson is an out of work teacher who just became the only parent to her four nieces and nephews ranging in age from eleven to sixteen. Since they’re about to become homeless in Kansas, she enters the race for a piece of land in the newly opened Oklahoma Territory.
Before the race even starts, she clashes with Jesse Cochran, an attorney running from his wretched childhood and aching for acceptance in a new life, which he hopes to gain in Oklahoma.
They end up neighbors in Oklahoma, and those initial sparks turn into flames and Tori ends up pregnant. Jesse insists on marriage, but conflicts early on lead to a tragedy that pushes them apart.
Tori’s ready to give up, but Jesse is determined to hang onto what he’s dearly wanted all his life.
Alexis: I'm loving these stories! What can we expect next from you? Do you have any new releases coming or a work in progress?
Callie: I have a book, Annie’s Attic to be released from The Wild Rose Press in 2012. That is a contemporary novella that I wrote in conjunction with other Oklahoma Romance Writers. We had a central theme of a cursed doll that must appear in all our stories. It was fun to write contemporary for a change because I could use all the modern sayings. 
I’m right now working on Michael Henderson’s story (The oldest nephew from a Run For Love).
Alexis: That's great. Now we can look forward to more from you :-) Thank you so much for sharing your romances with us. It's a pleasure having you visit.
Callie:  Thanks so much, Alexis. It’s always fun talking about my stories and characters that I dreamed up in my head.
Alexis: For a chance to win Callie’s A Run for Love or A Wife by Christmas, be sure to leave a comment for her.  If I have contact information I will let you know when you win, otherwise, check the side column for your name on Wednesday under WINNERS :-)
For more information on Callie’s Romances go to
Or if you can't wait, you can buy these books at Barnes & Noble, Amazon or Soulmate Publishing:
Alexis: Check out this excerpt from A Wife by Christmas.
“Miss Henderson!” Max choked out. The woman stood before him, dripping wet, in trousers—trousers! Her unbuttoned coat displayed the man’s shirt she wore, plastered to her chest, the peaks of her nipples prominent against the wet fabric. Dripping wet pants outlined her legs as if naked.
She continued to laugh, and pushed the hair out of her eyes, raising her breasts, which pointed directly at him. Max yanked her jacket closed and buttoned it up.
His jaw tightened as he took her hand and helped her out of the trough. She covered her mouth with her other hand, trying to stifle her laughter.
“Miss Henderson, I don’t see any humor whatsoever in this. You are an upstanding citizen of this town, a member of a prominent family, and a teacher. A teacher!” He took her by the elbow and moved her forward. “I can’t believe you would appear in public dressed in trousers.”
Ellie pulled away from him. “I have to go back to the meat store and get my bag.”
Max took her elbow again and walked her in the direction of the bag resting against the large glass store window where she’d left it. Her shoes squished with every step she took, and she continued to shake herself like a dog. A trail of water followed them. She retrieved her package and turned, her lips blue, her body shaking with the cold. “Thank you v-v-very much, Mr. C-C-Colbert.  I guess I will s-s-see you Monday.”   
He continued to stare at her wide-eyed. “Miss Henderson, I have no intention of letting you continue to wander around town dressed in soaking wet trousers. You’ll catch your death of cold and miss school. I will escort you home.” He stopped and stared at her. “Where is it you live?”
She pulled her hair to the side and squeezed. Max jumped back when the water hit his highly polished boots. “The b-b-boarding house on Elm and S-s-seventh.” 
“Very well. My house is closer. I’ll drive you home in my automobile.” He grabbed her elbow again, and Ellie stumbled along, taking two steps to his every one.
Alexis: Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win your choice of A Run for Love or A Wife by Christmas.