Welcome to the blog tour for WRITE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, a stand-alone adult contemporary romantic comedy/holiday romance, by USA Today bestselling author, Julie Hammerle. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her Giveaway.
About the Book
Title: WRITE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Author: Julie Hammerle
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: November 30, 2020
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romantic Comedy/Holiday Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay
You’ve probably heard of me.
Reclusive fantasy author turned famous when his series got developed into a mega TV hit. Except now I’m way behind deadline, and the whole world is waiting to see what I’ll write next. The pressure is getting to me, and I. Can’t. Write.
Cue: small town where people don’t recognize me.
Cue: my assistant insisting on a personal chef to keep me fed and nothing more.
Cue: finding the first bit of inspiration I’ve felt in months whenever she’s around…
Am I a walking cliche now, or what?
Dani Cooper seems to have her own hurdles to jump this holiday season. Newly divorced, looking for her next move. She’s the first person who’s seen me for me in way too long. And I see her, too–as way more than just an employee, a divorcee, a cook. She’s becoming my muse…
But when my Christmas deadline hits, will it spell the end of us, too?
I picked up the wallet and held it at arm’s length, since I’d left my reading glasses down in the kitchen with my purse. I blinked twice and focused on the face. The familiar face.
And there it was in black and white on his Minnesota driver’s license—Matthew Christopher Bradford.
I let out an inadvertent squeal as I walked right into the bed and banged my big toe—hard—on the bed post. “Yeeowww!” I hopped on one foot, biting my lip, trying to wait out the pain. Shit. Shit shit shit.
A few seconds later, I sensed someone at the door, and I turned and found myself face-to-face with Matt. His eyes went to his boxers, still dangling from my hand. Somehow I’d managed to hang onto those despite the commotion.
Oh my god. I was standing in his bedroom, holding his underwear. “I wasn’t going to try them on,” I blurted.
He rushed over, grabbed his dirty laundry, crumpled it into a ball, opened the closet door, and tossed the underwear inside. He shut that door and leaned against it, as if locking his dirty underpants inside. He glared at me. “What the hell is going on?”
“What’s going on? You tell me what’s going on.” I reached down, picked up his wallet, and handed it to him. “You’re M.C. Bradford.”
He snatched the wallet from my grip and shoved it into the back pocket of his jeans. “Yeah. And how long have you known that?”
“For about a minute,” I said. “I found out when I saw your driver’s license on the dresser.”
“How am I supposed to believe that?” His eyes flashed with anger. “How am I supposed to trust that you didn’t take this job just to get to me?”
“For what? Why would I do that?” I had to prove to him that I wasn’t like the last person he’d hired. I was here to do my job, full stop. I pulled my ancient iPhone with the cracked screen out of my pocket. “Here.” I frantically sent a text and then handed him the phone.
He read it. “Who’s Kelsie?”
He glanced down at the phone again. “You asked her, ‘How big an M.C. Bradford fan was I before I took this job?’” He glanced up. “How’s that supposed to prove anything. You two could’ve planned this whole—” He paused. “She wrote back. It’s a crying laughing emoji, and then she added a gif of Mariah Carey saying, ‘I don’t know her.’”
“I don’t know what any of that means,” I said. “I mean, I know who Mariah Carey is, but the rest of it…?”
Matt handed me my phone back. “I’m not sure what it means either. Is she crying laughing because of course you’d never heard of me or because you’re my biggest fan?”
“The former,” I said. “I promise. I swear. I had no idea who you were—I still have no idea, honestly. I only took the job because it seemed like a good opportunity, and I really, really needed the money. I need the money.”
He stayed at the closet door, one hand on the doorknob, like a tether. “And last night?” He pressed his lips together.
“Last night,” I said, “I thought you were some random cute guy named Matt. If I’d known you were my boss, I never would’ve…” My eyes stinging with tears, I shook my head, saying the words out loud would’ve been too mortifying.
He stayed at the door.
“Please don’t fire me,” I said quietly.
“I’m not going to fire you.”
Sighing, he ran a hand through his not-at-all thinning sandy brown hair streaked with gray. “You’re an amazing cook,” he said. “It’d be ludicrous of me to let you go.”
A blush crept up my neck.
“That oatmeal you made this morning. And those cookies last night.” He rubbed his tummy.
“Wait until you try the bibimbap I’m making for lunch.”
“Can’t wait.” He finally let go of the doorknob and stepped toward me. My mind flashed back to last night, how I’d breached the chasm of space between us and launched myself into his arms. We stood close like that now, but the circumstances had changed, even if the energy between us hadn’t. We were boss and employee now, not two random adults out for a late stroll. And I knew deep down he still wasn’t sure he could trust me. “How about if I vow to put all my dirty clothes in the hamper right away, so you don’t have to worry about picking it up off my floor.”
I shook my head. “It’s fine. It’s my job.” Not sure how to end this conversation, I got back to work, fluffing the pillows on his bed.
I spun around and found him standing in the doorway, looking serious. His brows formed a vee on his forehead. “That kiss last night?” he said, like it pained him. “It was really fucking good.”
My face couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry. “It really was,” I choked out.
He retreated to the quiet of his office, and I kept making the bed, our first and final kiss playing over and over in my mind.
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Julie Hammerle writes young adult novels that focus on nerds, geeks, and basket cases falling in love. On the YA side, she is the author of The Sound of Us (Entangled TEEN, 2016) and the North Pole romance series (Entangled Crush, 2017). For adult romances, look for Knocked-Up Cinderella in the fall of 2018. A graduate of Butler University with degrees in secondary education and Latin with a minor in music, Julie lives in Chicago with her family and enjoys reading, cooking, and watching all the television.
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