Spotlight & Giveaway: Slow Dance Holiday by Carolyn Brown

Posted September 11th, 2020 by in Blog, Spotlight / 50 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Carolyn Brown to HJ!
Spotlight&Giveaway

Hi Carolyn and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Slow Dance Holiday!

 
It’s a pleasure to be back to visit with all y’all about my newest novella, A Slow Dance Holiday!
 

Please summarize the book for the readers here:

Jorja Jenks was elated to find out that she had inherited half ownership of The Honky Tonk in the tiny town of Mingus, Texas. Of course she’d have to share an efficiency apartment with the co-owner, Cameron, a woman she’d never met, but that wasn’t any big deal. She’d had roommates before and besides her best friend was named Cameron.
Cameron Walsh was as happy as a cowboy could be when he learned of his inheritance. His friend JJ had grown up together, so he pictured his new partner as a fun loving guy like his favorite cousin had been.
Imagine their surprise when they were both wrong, and suddenly they were having to share a tiny apartment at the back of the bar and work together in one of the worst snowstorms that part of Texas had ever seen.
 

Please share your favorite line(s) or quote from this book:

*Jorja Jenks had never been one to take risks. She wasn’t the type of woman to quit her fantastic job in Nashville, Tennessee, on a whim to move to Mingus, Texas (population two hundred), but she did.
*Cameron Walsh was a big risk taker. He didn’t care what other people thought about his decisions.
*He (Cameron) groaned when he realized he was looking at a shower curtain that had a Christmas tree printed on it. He turned around bewildered. Cowboys didn’t decorate and they damn sure didn’t use doilies under cute little lamps, like the one sitting on the chest-of-drawers on JJ’s side of the room.
*He raised both hands and said, “I didn’t know JJ was bringing a girlfriend, but that explains all the foo-foo crap.”
“Are you drunk or crazy?” the woman asked, “No one calls me JJ except my grandparents, and I damn sure don’t have a girlfriend.”
“You are JJ?” Cameron felt as if his eyeballs were going to flip out of their sockets and roll around on the floor like marbles at the toes of his cowboy boots.
“I am Jorja Jenks.” She said, and her grip on that gun was firm and her hand was steady.
*“I’m Cameron Walsh,” he said. “You can put the gun away. Looks like we’re going to be roommates and co-owners of the Honky Tonk.”
“That’s not possible. Cameron is a girl.” She stammered.
“And JJ was my favorite cousin, and believe me, he was all cowboy,” Cameron chuckled.

 

Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • Cameron and Jorja had no idea that they would be living in a tiny apartment with a member of the opposite sex.
  • I loved the way that everything kept coming up in pairs as if telling them they belonged together–two hound dogs that liked to run away from home and race through the bar, two doves, two squirrels, even two snakes in the office.
  • The old country songs on the juke box seemed to reflect both their moods, and Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Star became the theme song for the book.

 

What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?

Cameron is attracted to Jorja because she is so good at what she sets out to do, from taking care of the books to decorating the bar for Christmas, even to talking to the customers.
Jorja is attracted to Cameron because having worked in a bar for years, he knows the business so well.
They are both attracted to each other because every time they are in close proximity, sparks fly!

 

Did any scene have you blushing, crying or laughing while writing it? And Why?

Cameron is all male so it came as a surprise to me when I found out he was afraid of spiders:

The door to the utility room opened and Jorja dragged out a box with a picture of a Christmas tree on the front of it. His eyes left the box and focused on the fuzzy black spider crawling toward her arm. He started to yell, but words wouldn’t come out of his mouth. The critter hopped from the box to her arm and she simply slapped it away.
Cameron could tolerate snakes, wild bulls, mice, rats and even red headed women, but spiders gave him hives. When the black, furry thing flew through the air and landed on his leg, he came up out of the bed with a yelp and began dancing around the room.
“Good God! What’s the matter with you?” Jorja stomped the spider, gasped and spun around.
He felt a cold breeze on his naked body and scrambled for his sleeping shorts that were lying on the floor. “Sorry about that. I must’ve kicked these off in the night,” he muttered as he pulled them on.
“Rule number one,” she said, “you have to wear clothes to bed.”
“You can turn around now,” he said.
“Are you sure?” she asked.
“Do I have to wear a shirt, too?” He glanced at the black spider she had smashed and shivered.
“That would be nice.” Her face was still scarlet when she turned around. “So, you’re afraid of spiders? Anything else going to make you do your rain dance?”
“Nothing like a spider touching me.” He jerked a shirt down over his head. “Where did that sorry little bastard come from? What are you scared of?”
“Probably out of the storeroom where the Christmas tree was put after last holiday season. There’s probably another one hiding up under your sheets, and to answer your question, I’m afraid of commitment,” she answered.
“Too bad I can’t wipe away a dead commitment to repay you.” His eyes shifted over toward his unmade bed. He wouldn’t be able to crawl between the sheets until he was sure all spiders were gone. The only good spider, in his estimation, was a dead one, and there was no wrong way to kill one of the evil varmints.

 

Readers should read this book….

Because it will entertain them, make them believe in the miracle of Christmas and love.

 

What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have in the works?

I’m working on a woman’s fiction book, The Hope Chest, that will be out in 2021. Upcoming releases include:
Sept. 8: Honky Tonk Christmas, a reissue that will have A Slow Dance Holiday included as a bonus story.
Sept. 29: A Country Christmas, an anthology that I share with Rochelle Alers, A.J. Pine and Hope Ramsey. My novella, The Perfect Christmas will wrap up the Longhorn Canyon Ranch series.
October 13: Christmas at Home, a reissue of Mistletoe Cowboy
Nov. 1: The Wedding Gift, an audible novella
Dec. 8: The Daydream Cabin, a women’s fiction novel
 

Thanks for blogging at HJ!

 

Giveaway: I will give away a signed copy of Honky Tonk Christmas that has A Slow Dance Holiday included as a bonus story.

 

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Do you read Christmas books all year or do you save them for the season?

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
 

Excerpt from Slow Dance Holiday:

Cameron Walsh was a big risk taker.
He didn’t care what other people thought about his decisions. He made them. He lived with the consequences, so basically whether they were related to him or not, it was none of their business.
He didn’t hesitate about quitting his job or moving from Florida to Texas—not one minute when his grandparents, Walter and Maria Walsh, called and told him that their friend, Merle, wanted to give him half ownership of the Honky Tonk.
God, he loved that old bar, and when he visited his grandparents in Stephenville, he had spent too many nights there to count. To be half owner of his own bar was a dream come true. He could live in the apartment behind the Honky Tonk with some guy named JJ. His favorite cousin, Jesse James, was nicknamed JJ, and they’d shared too many hangovers and good times together to count on their fingers and toes combined. He only hoped this new co-owner was half as much fun as his cousin had been. Just thinking about him being gone put a lump in Cameron’s throat that was hard to swallow down.
The digital clock on the dashboard of his truck turned over to eleven-eleven when he rounded the back corner of the bar and nosed his vehicle in beside a bright red SUV. “So, you’re not a cowboy, JJ,” he chuckled. “I sure hope you at least like a beer now and then.”
When he stepped out of the truck, the wind whipped his cowboy hat off and sent it rolling like a tumbleweed across the snow- and ice-covered parking lot. He chased it down and settled it back on his head. Another gust sent it flying across the lot again. This time it came to rest on a low limb of a huge pecan tree. He retrieved it a second time and held it tightly in his hands all the way to the back door of the Honky Tonk.
Merle said that the apartment hadn’t been used in years, so he wasn’t expecting much. Hopefully, it wouldn’t take long to clear off his bed, and throw a set of sheets on it. Cameron was dog tired after driving for more than eighteen hours. Using the key Merle had sent to him in the mail, he opened the door and stepped into a small apartment that smelled like lemon scented cleaners. From the looks of the place, JJ was a neat freak and had chosen the twin bed across the room. Red and green throw pillows were tossed onto an off-white comforter, and the chest of drawers on that side had a doily on it.
“Sweet Jesus! What have I gotten myself into?” Cameron muttered as he crossed the room and opened the first door to find a utility room. The second door opened into a bathroom which was complete with the standard toilet, wall hung sink and a deep claw foot tub with a shower above it. He groaned when he realized he was looking at a shower curtain that had a Christmas tree printed on it. He turned around bewildered. Cowboys didn’t decorate and they damn sure didn’t use doilies under cute little lamps, like the one sitting on the chest-of-drawers on JJ’s side of the room.
He shook his head, stepped into the bathroom and closed the door. When he finished getting rid of two cups of coffee and a big bottle of root beer, he washed his hands and opened the door to find a woman standing in front of him with a pistol pointed at his chest.
“Who in the hell are you, and how did you get in here?” Her cornflower blue eyes didn’t have a bit of fear in them. She had flaming red hair that hung in curls down to her shoulders, and even though she was short, her stance said that she would be likely to shoot first and ask questions later.
He raised both hands and said, “I didn’t know JJ was bringing a girlfriend, but that explains all the foo-foo crap.”
“Are you drunk or crazy?” the woman asked, “No one calls me JJ except my grandparents, and I damn sure don’t have a girlfriend.”
“You are JJ?” Cameron felt as if his eyeballs were going to flip out of their sockets and roll around on the floor like marbles at the toes of his cowboy boots.
“I am Jorja Jenks.” She said, and her grip on that gun was firm and her hand was steady.
“I’m Cameron Walsh,” he said. “You can put the gun away. Looks like we’re going to be roommates and co-owners of the Honky Tonk.”
“That’s not possible. Cameron is a girl.” She stammered.
“And JJ was my favorite cousin, and believe me, he was all cowboy,” Cameron chuckled. “I think our grandparents and Merle Avery have pulled a good one on us. Would you please lower that gun? Talkin’ is a little tough with that thing pointed at my heart, and honey, we definitely have a lot to talk about.”
“I’m callin’ my Granny.” She laid the gun on her chest of drawers and picked up her phone.
Cameron crossed the room, sat down on the bare mattress of the other twin bed, and slipped his phone from his back pocket. His grandmother answered with a question, “Are you at the Honky Tonk yet? We just got word that bad weather was coming that way. Y’all may get two or three inches of snow tonight.”
“You’ve got some explainin’ to do,” he said. “JJ is a woman.”
“Yep, and you’re a cowboy.” He could visualize his grandmother’s brown eyes twinkling. “All of us thought it was best not to tell you until you’d signed the papers.”
“I’m not living in a one room apartment with a strange, pistol-toting woman. I’m not even unpacking. I can drive from your place in Stephenville every day,” he said.
“Nope, you can’t. We’re in Fort Lauderdale tonight. Tomorrow, we set sail on a long cruise that will last until after New Year’s. I forget what it’s called, but we’ve let out our house on one of those things where folks can come and stay while we’re gone,” Maria Walsh told him sternly.
“Y’all are at the top of my shit list,” he grumbled.
“Call it payback,” Maria giggled. “You were on the top of ours when you went and quit the college education we’d paid for without a degree and went to Florida to manage a bar. You have a brilliant mind, Cameron. You could have been an astronaut or a doctor or a lawyer, or even the governor of the great state of Texas or Florida if you’d set your head to it, but oh, no, you wanted to be a bartender. So, now you are one and we’re even. We’ll see you after New Year’s, and if you don’t like the arrangements there, then why don’t you go back to Florida and give your half of the Honky Tonk to Jorja.”
“Or maybe she’ll go back to wherever she came from and give her half to me,” he said.
“Don’t underestimate that red head. From what Lila told me, she don’t back down easy,” Maria told him.
“We’ll see about that,” Cameron said. “Have a good cruise, and this isn’t over.”
“Don’t expect it is. Glad you made it to Mingus and that you’ve met Jorja. Y’all play nice now and share your toys.” Maria’s laughter was cut off when she ended the call.
Jorja tossed her phone on the bed and flopped down beside it. “Our grandparents have pulled a sneaky one on us. What would they do if we just walked out of here this evening and didn’t open up for business tomorrow evening?”
“You ever worked in a bar?” Cameron asked.
“Nope,” she answered. “Have you?”
“I’ve managed one for nine years. If you’ve got a mind to leave, then pack up your pretty little pillows and your Christmas tree shower curtain, and sell your half to me?” Cameron met her cold stare and didn’t blink.
“I haven’t worked in a bar, and only know how to mix up a daiquiri and a margarita, but I have a degree in business management, cowboy, and if I can take care of a multi-million dollar corporation for eight years, I expect I can run the Honky Tonk,” she answered with a definite, sharp edge to her tone. “That said, if you don’t want to own this bar with a girl,” she put air quotes around the last two words, “I will gladly buy you out, and you can scoot right back to the beach.”
“I didn’t mention that I managed a tiki bar on the beach in Florida.” He eyed her even more closely.
“Granny just now told me. She thinks this predicament they’ve put us in is funny. I don’t,” Jorja told him.
“Neither do I, but I’m damn sure not selling my half of this place to you,” Cameron’s stomach grumbled, reminding him that he hadn’t eaten since noon, and it was now nearing midnight. Mingus didn’t have a café, and the one in Thurber, just a mile or two down the road had been closed when he came past it. “I’m hungry, so before I unload my things, I’m going into the bar to grill a burger or make an omelet.” He stood up and headed toward the door he figured went out into the bar, but the one he opened was a walk-in closet, and her things were all lined up on the left-hand side. Shoe boxes five deep were stacked on the shelf above her clothing, and there were at least twenty more pair on the floor. “You figure you’ve got enough shoes?”
“That’s my business, not yours,” she smarted off at him. “And you can keep your dirty old boots on your side. If I find them mixed in with my things, I’ll toss them in the trash.”
He shut that door and tried another. He reached around the wall and flipped on the light switch. A single bulb above the grill lit up, and he headed in that direction.
“How did you even know that they’d installed a grill?” Jorja asked. “And we have a kitchenette in our apartment.” She followed him and switched on another light that showed tables with chairs turned upside down on them, two pool tables, and a juke box over in the corner.
“I was here last Christmas, and the bartender made me a burger and some fries. Is there food in the refrigerator?” he asked as he turned the knob to heat up the grill.
“It’s empty,” she admitted, “but I checked things out when I arrived and there’s food in the refrigerator in the bar. Evidently, the last managers were here until closing last night from the look of things.”
“No use in taking the food from here to there and besides, the grill is bigger than that tiny stove I saw in there.” He went to the refrigerator and brought out bacon, eggs, cheese and a bag of onions and peppers chopped up together.
Jorja hiked a hip onto one of the bar stools and watched him like a hawk. Did she not know how to make an omelet or use a grill? Cameron wondered. Dammit! What kind of partner had Merle stuck him with?

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
 
 

Book Info:

Opposites attract just in time for the holidays in this brand new novella from beloved, bestselling author Carolyn Brown.

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Brown comes a brand new, sexy holiday romance. Legend has it the Honky Tonk bar in tiny Mingus, Texas, is charmed and its owners will find true love. But when new owners Cameron Walsh and JJ Jenks meet the week before Christmas and discover the deal includes sharing an efficiency in the back of the bar, they’re not sure it’s going to be the down-home Christmas they dreamed of…
Book Links:  Amazon | B&N | iTunes | kobo | Google |
 
 

Meet the Author:

Carolyn Brown is a New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and #1 Amazon and Washington Post bestselling author and a RITA finalist. She is the author of more than one hundred novels and several novellas. She’s a recipient of the Bookseller’s Best Award, the prestigious Montlake Diamond Award, and also a three-time recipient of the National Reader’s Choice Award. Brown has been published for more than twenty years, and her books have been translated in nineteen foreign languages.
She’s been married for more than fifty years to the love of her life, Charles Brown, a retired high school English teacher that she refers to as Mr. B. They have three children and enough grandchildren and great grands to keep them young. When she’s not writing, she likes to plot new stories in her backyard with her tomcat, Boots Randolph Terminator Outlaw, who protects the yard from all kinds of wicked varmints like crickets, locusts, and spiders. Visit her at www.carolynbrownbooks.com.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | GoodReads |
 
 
 

50 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Slow Dance Holiday by Carolyn Brown”

  1. Tonya Lucas

    I usually save them for the fall, unless it’s one of my favorite authors, then I can’t wait, I must read immediately! I grew up about 45 miles from Mingus, Texas, and my family frequented the town on many weekends.

  2. laurieg72

    Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I have so many wonderful memories of past Christmases. I will read a Christmas themed story any time of the year.

  3. Karina Angeles

    I read them when I’m in the mood for more cheer. They make me happier than other books.

  4. Carolyn Brown

    Good morning to all y’all. I’m glad you’ve joined the party here and hope that you’re having a good time. It was so much fun to visit Mingus and the Honky Tonk again after ten years! Loved getting to see some of the old gang again!

  5. Kathleen O

    I am a seasonal reader when it comes to Christmas themed books, but I start earlier now because there are so many to get through.. In fact I am reading an ARC of one right now.

  6. Kay Garrett

    Why only have that feel good holiday spirit in December only?????

    I love to read Christmas stories all year long. They remind me of the goodwill and doing for others so that I may keep it going all year long as well.

  7. Crystal

    I read Christmas books all year round. Love reading Christmas books. Would love to read and review print copy of this book.
    This book looks interesting and a great read. Love book cover.
    Hope I Win.

  8. Linda S Moffitt

    It feels like I save them but like in the stores if I get a good one in September I will read it

  9. Patricia B.

    I tend to try not to read Christmas stories until November. However, if I need a pick-me-up another time of the year, I just might grab a Christmas book off the shelf. The spirit and tone of a Christmas story is something special that can’t help but cheer me up. I haven’t broken down yet, but 2020 may be a year I need it and read some of them early.

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