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Calisa Rhose welcomes Vonnie Davis and Santa!


I’m jumping around over here and it’s not to keep warm as this blasted snow storm comes into Oklahoma, (though that would be a good reason to jump too). No, I have the darling Vonnie Davis back on the ranch whooping it up with me! Actually, she’s taking over the round pen, but don’t worry. I have heaters out to keep her toasty and cider heating with the li’l smokies and wine. 😀

Take it away, V!

Vonnie_logo_grayTealI’m thrilled to be back at the ranch with you, Calisa, and all your readers. We’re knee-deep into the holiday season, baking cookies and making candy. I’m still trying to work off the weight I gained over Thanksgiving. You know, I heard a male newscaster say we really only gain a pound over Thanksgiving. I’d like to hunt that rascal down! I ask you, have you ever only gained one pound? Not I. Make it three, and you’re talking.

Holidays revolve around the traditions of food. For my family, it’s homemade coconut cracker pudding, an old German recipe passed down through generations. buckeyes_VDMy grown children, who live in other states, sulk if they don’t get their boxes of peanut butter fudge, buck-eyes and corn-flake candy in the mail. I spend so many hours standing in the kitchen my feet swell. I suppose that comes from not cooking as much as I once did…my legs and feet protest at the sudden abuse.

Our grandchildren are teenagers now and appreciate gift cards and money so they can pick out their own gifts. Grandma’s tastes are a little too “odd” for their liking. Imagine that? To compensate not having little ones to shop for, Calvin and I pick several names off the Angel Tree at our local shopping mall. We buy those children sneakers and coats and toys. These gifts are our Christmas to each other. There’s really nothing we need, so we focus on others.

I tried to carry this spirit over to my Christmas novella, Santa Wore Leathers. Wolf and his family visit two senior homes every year to sing Christmas carols and hand out gifts. His squad at the fire station also rides in the bike ride for children’s toys—Harleys, hunks and heroines riding for a good cause.

Wolf_VDBut it was quite a while before my heroine, Becca, looked on her new neighbor as doing anything hero-worthy. With a steady stream of women in and out of his townhouse, she referred to him as man-whore on her blog, “The Things Men Do.” Up close, though, she seriously had to fight the attraction.


Becca finished her post and closed her laptop. “Einstein, are you ready for your walk?” Her German shepherd barked once in response and circled her twice. “Get your leash while I put on my shoes.”

Einstein slipped his rope off the doorknob and carried it to her, his head held proudly and his backside wiggling in anticipation of their morning run. Becca tied her sneakers and did a few quick stretches before snapping the leash onto the dog’s collar.

Two miles later they returned to Seashell Lane, jogging toward home in her gulf-side community on the northern fringes of Clearwater, Florida. She loved her neighborhood, a comfortable blend of retirees and small families. Her gaze swept to the town house next to hers. At least, until two weeks ago, when her new neighbor with his constant stream of female visitors moved in. The man went through women quicker than her ex-husband.

Just then his door opened, and man-whore stepped out on his small front porch. In a purely feminine reaction, she reached to smooth back her hair. Suddenly, Einstein wrenched his leash from her grip and took off.

“Einstein! Einstein, stop!” She sprinted after her errant dog.

Her neighbor pivoted. Einstein leaped, knocking him back against the door. “Whoa, there big guy!” He accepted the canine kisses and aimed dark eyes at her. “Is he yours? He’s some dog.” His large hands ruffled Einstein’s fur. Firm biceps flexed under her neighbor’s black Harley T-shirt, and the bottom of a wicked tribal tattoo peeked from beneath his right sleeve.

“Yes. I’m sorry he jumped on you. He never takes off like that.” No doubt one dog recognized another.

“Man, I’d love a dog like him. A man’s dog, you know? I’ve got a cat. Not by choice, though. When my sister went off to college, she left Fluffy with me.”

Man-whore aimed a wide smile at her, his perfectly straight teeth a contrast to his tan. A dimple winked. The fact he only had one dimple was the singular flaw on his flawlessly handsome face. Now that she was within five feet of him, she could clearly examine his features. Having watched him through her window from time-to-time, she knew he was tall and muscular. But up close, she realized he had the body of a serious weight lifter. His long, dark brown hair was brushed straight back. The skin crinkled at the corners of espresso-colored eyes when he smiled, which he seemed to do easily and frequently. Yet, it was the vision of him holding a cat named Fluffy that nearly made her smile. Muscle man and putty cat.

“You live next door, don’t you?” He jerked his head toward her home.

She bent to grasp the end of her dog’s leash. “Yes, I do.”

He extended his hand when she straightened. “Dan Wolford.” His dimple flashed again and his smile did all kinds of twitchy things to her insides. “Most people simply call me Wolf.”

I’ll just bet they do.

She glanced at his hand for a second. No need to be rude, even if she didn’t care for his cavalier attitude toward women. She did the polite thing. “Welcome to the neighborhood, Dan.”

“Wolf, please.” His large paw enveloped hers, and warmth spread upwards from her stomach, did a backflip and then dove downwards. Meanwhile, his dark gaze assessed her entire body and face, as if she were the most dazzling woman in sweaty running clothes he’d ever seen. His solitary dimple winked along with his thousand-watt smile. One dark eyebrow rose as if he were waiting for her to share her name. She wasn’t sure why she hesitated. She was reluctant.  Fueled by his cocksure attitude, no doubt. Now there was a cliché, if ever she’d heard one.

His thumb rubbed slow, lazy circles over her knuckles detonating sensual signals straight to her core. Oh, he was good at this magnetism stuff.

Wolf glanced at her prancing, panting dog. “Einstein, does your owner have a name? It looks like she’s not sharing today.”

Oh, for Pete’s sake.


There’s only one thing on Becca Sinclair’s Christmas list this holiday season – her very own column in the local paper. And if she can build a huge blog following, her wish just might come true.

Enter Dan “Wolf” Wolford aka the man-whore next door and the new star of Becca’s popular, post-divorce blog about men. A Navy SEAL turned commander of the Florida Marine Rescue Unit, Wolf’s the very definition of the word alpha – and with an endless rotation of women on his doorstep, this hunk on a Harley has Becca and her female followers all hot and bothered!

All Becca wants for Christmas is her newspaper column, right? But when she finds herself the target of Wolf’s irresistible attentions, her snarky comebacks become less and less convincing and, suddenly, she’s not so sure anymore…




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Thank you for visiting and brightening the day here on the ranch, Vonnie! Best of luck with your Santa in Leather. Not that you need it. 😆


Christmas is coming


It is a distinct honor to have my friend, Beth Trisell here on the ranch! She’s got a spook story you won’t want to miss, titled Somewhere The Bells Ring. This may just be my Christmas reading. One more great reason to be in a hurry for Christmas! Yay!

Welcome, Beth. You have a great holiday post for us today, so I’ll cuddle over here with my peppermint mocha and let you have it.

Some cherished holiday traditions are upheld, some fall by the wayside. Others are added. One that continues from my childhood is making sugar cook­ies.  Ages ago, when my kids were small, I began this each year, young, fresh, my mind filled with visions of lovely cookies and sweet children’s faces bent over them with pleasure, then reality hit. My two oldest punched each other and fought over turns at rolling out dough that never rolled as it should and stuck to the cookie cutters.  Tempers flared as once again the angel wouldn’t let go and fell apart.

Finally we had sheets filled with an assortment of Christmas figures lavishly cov­ered with a blizzard of cookie sprinkles that rained all over the floor and crunched under foot. Few actually adhered to the cookies, and those that did had to be pressed on with sticky little hands. When the cookies were removed from the oven, parts of them had billowed up in the baking process, while those that had been pressed almost flat by fingers mashing in the sprinkles were crispy brown.

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There was no resemblance whatsoever between our cre­ations and those perfect replicas in the magazines. Our baking sessions invariably ended with a tired old hag, two grinches, and cookies that only a very undiscerning individual would eat, say a child or a dog. The idea of sharing them with neighbors was dropped, but we loved doing it and rushed at it every year with a happy cry.

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Nowadays,  my youngest art major daughter heads up this tradition.  She’s adept at it and has taken a fancy to the old time ginger cut outs from my favorite colonial American recipe. No more brawls in the kitchen over cookie making until the grandchildren take part.  If I’m smart I’ll let their mom’s bake the cookies with them, or the other grandmas.

A brief word about my new Christmas romance, Somewhere the Bells Ring:

‘Caught with pot in her dorm room, Bailey Randolph is exiled to a relative’s ancestral home in Virginia to straighten herself out. Spending Christmas 1968 at Maple Hill is a dismal prospect until a ghost appears requesting her help, and her girlhood crush, Eric Burke, returns from Vietnam.’

So, if you enjoy an intriguing mystery with Gothic overtones and heart-tugging romance set in vintage America then Somewhere the Bells Ring is for you.  And did I mention the ghost?

~ Available in various ebook formats at The Wild Rose PressAmazon Kindle, All Romance Ebooks, Barnes & Noble’s Nookbook & other online booksellers.

For more on me, my wordpress blog is the happening place:

Thanks for coming, Beth. Do we need to read Somewhere My Love before this one? Does it matter what order? No matter to me, since I’m blessed to have both! But others may not. Be sure to visit her blog to find out more about her other books.

I for one am excited for Christmas this year, actually three days after, so check out my news>blogging news to see what’s up with me next week.