Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Historical Christmas Eve with Carrie Lofty (+Giveaway)

A Historical Christmas Eve 
with Carrie Lofty

About the Author:
Carrie Lofty holds a Masters degree in history, which she puts to good use as a historical romance writer and lecturer on the craft of writing. Active within the Romance Writers of America, she also weight trains and soaks up movie trivia like a sponge. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and two daughters.
Co-writing as Ellen Connor, Carrie's RITA™ nominated NIGHTFALL, from the "Dark Age Dawning" trilogy, won RT's Reviewers' Choice Best Futuristic Romance of 2011.
And as Katie Porter, Carrie and her long-time friend and critique partner, Lorelie Brown, write contemporary erotic romance. Their "Vegas Top Guns" series debuted July 31 with DOUBLE DOWN.


Find Carrie Online: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Joe Weber returned to the United States after having served as a paratrooper. He dropped into Normandy and the Netherlands, and barely survived a brutal winter in camped in Belgium just outside the German border. Letters from the complicated, unconventional woman he loved kept him strong. Lulu Davies emigrated from England months after the war's conclusion to be reunited with her husband. Here I present their first Christmas Eve together, as well as a glimpse into their future together.-Carrie

Home For Christmas
by Carrie Lofty

A rush of nervous excitement mixed with her abject happiness. She still hoped he would accept her desire to keep flying. Reclining on the sofa, Lulu reminded herself to stop underestimating him. He wasn’t the same man she’d first met, when he’d been so certain about the world and where men and women fit within it. The war had altered them both down to their bones.
Joe hadn’t refastened the buttons during his brief trip to their bedroom. Lulu watched him return to the sofa, as thoughts of presents were replaced with the familiar, heady urge to undress and explore.
Soon, his eyes promised, as if he’d been thinking the same thing. Not surprising. They were newlyweds. Wartime newlyweds. Insatiable hardly began to describe their hunger.
Settled with Lulu in his lap once again, Joe handed her a thin square package wrapped in white butcher paper. “It’s not much.”
She frowned slightly. Surely…
Opening the 78 of Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” only deepened her frown. “Joe, we don’t own a photograph.”
“So smart, Miss Know-It-All.”
Mrs. Know-It-All.”
“No, ma’am,” he said, standing and sweeping her up into his arms. “You are definitely Mrs. Weber.”
He gave her ribs a quick tickle as he carried her to their bedroom. In the corner was an unfamiliar piece of furniture covered in a bed sheet. A silk ribbon tied into the shape of a bow the size of an apple sat on its top.
“You daft man. That’s not…”
She wiggled out of his arms and drew back the sheet, revealing a beautiful Silvertone phonograph. Lulu whispered his name. Another dozen 78s waited in one of the cabinet’s compartment, including her latest favorite, Frank Sinatra’s “Oh What It Seemed To Be.”
“How?”
“It’s used.” The wide blue and white stripes of his pajamas shifted as he shrugged. “And I’ve been saving up.”
“It’s…”
She was rarely at a loss for words, much to Joe’s chagrin, but Lulu could only shake her head. Could there be such a thing as too much happiness?
Her hands were trembling so badly that she couldn’t start the phonograph. Joe came up behind her, his arms bracketing her body, and placed the needle on the record’s outer groove. The sounds of a soft piano and a swirling orchestra began, followed by Bing Crosby’s crooning, melodic voice.
“Thank you,” she whispered. “I don’t know what else to say. Really Joe, it’s too much.”
“Only you follow up ‘I don’t know what else to say’ with another sentence.”
“I mean it!”
“Then you’re really going to flip when you see the Studebaker parked downstairs.”
“The Studebaker…?”
“I’ve been patching it together for a couple months in my spare time, down at the garage. It’s a good machine. I like it.” He kissed her temple and whispered, “I promise it can get us to Miami.”
Now Lulu was really, truly, never-going-to-speak again speechless. She turned and he pulled her body flush against his. She could only look into his eyes, those beautiful, telling eyes, and read the truth.
“You deserve that job offer,” he said with film assurance. “Nobody flies better than my Lulu. And that’s not flattery, doll. That’s plain truth. It just took me a while to figure out it wasn’t a bad thing.”
“You’d need to leave your position at Hersh’s.”
“They’ll give me a referral. Finding another job as a mechanic shouldn’t be any harder in Florida than in New York. Besides, you’ve come all this way to be with me.” His voice thickened with surprising emotion. “I know you’ll never stop missing England.”
Lulu ducked her head. Blinking back her tears was becoming impossible. “I didn’t think it showed.”
“Doesn’t have to. Just trust I’ve been paying attention. I think I’ve learned a little about you.”
Her laugh was half of a joyful sob. “You believe so, do you?”
“I do.”
“I’ll never get tired of thinking about those two words. I do. Getting married in a hospital ward did nothing to diminish what they meant to me.”
“Same here, honey.” He petted her upper back and nape, sending shivers of happy heat down her spine with every pass. “For better for worse. We’re in this together. That means making the most of a great opportunity. We’d be… What do you call it? Barmy? For passing it up.”
“The boy from Indiana using Cockney slang. Worlds have collided.” Tears wet her cheeks and his half-bared chest as she clung to him. “I love you so much.”
“I love you too, Lulu. Merry Christmas.”
“But…” she said on a hiccupping giggle. “But I only got you a hat.”
“Oh, go ahead and spoil it for me.”
Once again he swept her into his arms. This time he placed her on the bed they shared. Old mattress springs squeaked. They laughed as one, pressing their foreheads together. His warm smile brushed hers.
Lulu ran her fingers from his chest to his scalp, indulging in his thick, sandy brown hair. “If I give you a present tonight, would you forgive me too?”
“Yes,” he said, his voice turning rough and primal. “Yes, I would.”
He levered over her body. One eager hand found the hem of her nightgown and pushed beneath it, palming her thigh. She shivered. She sighed. She counted a hundred blessings. Some day soon, they’d drive to Miami. And she’d keep flying. His faith and pride left her as breathless as the kissed his trailed between her bared breasts.
The music stopped and the radiator rattled to life, but Lulu barely noticed. On that night, on their first of many Christmas Eves together, she only wanted Joe. Having her husband in her arms, safe and forever, was a miracle—the most perfect present she would ever hold.

*Don't forget to stop by Ramblings From This Chick for Part 1 of Carrie Lofty's Scene*


This year has been a blast! In addition to HIS VERY OWN GIRL, my three Christie Family [http://carrielofty.com/Books.html] romances are available now from Pocket. FLAWLESS kicked it off with a tale of an estranged couple's search for love. The 99¢ tie-in novella, "A LITTLE MORE SCANDAL" follows two aspiring lovers to London. And the Scottish-set second novel, STARLIGHT, was an RT BookReviews 4½ Star Top Pick. "Richly nuanced characters and a superbly realized Victorian setting come together brilliantly." ~ The Chicago Tribune
 
I've also launched a co-written pseudonym, Katie Porter [http://www.katieporterbooks.com], with my long-time friend and critique partner, Lorelie Brown. RT BookReviews said of our "Vegas Top Guns" series of contemporary erotic romances from Samhain: "This racy, raunchy, hella good read…will move Fifty Shades of Grey to the children's section of the bookstore." 

Happy holidays to you from the shores of Lake Michigan. My family, my cats, and the nice men who plow the snow at our condo wish you the best for 2013--and so do I!- Carrie


Available Now:
After war took the lives of Lulu Davies's parents and her fiancé, she promised herself she would guard her heart carefully and concentrate on her great love--flying the biggest and best airplanes as a British civilian pilot.

Brawny, quiet American medic Joe Weber signed up with the paratroopers to escape his checkered past. The first test of his medical skill takes place when he rushes to the scene of a plane crash. He's stunned to come face-to-face with a spirited, dark-haired beauty.

Their flirtation breaks all of Lulu's rules, but dance by dance, she falls in love with this honest, vulnerable man on the run from his demons. Only time and hope will prove whether they can overcome their pasts, survive the war, and forge a beautiful life in peace-time.

Get Your Copy Today:

Carrie is giving away 2  ecopies of her book, His Very Own Girl, to two lucky commenters (open to all with ereading capabilities)! Make sure to leave a meaningful comment below AND fill out the rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And don't forget to enter the Grand Prize Giveaway

24 comments:

  1. Lovely excerpt thank you! Not a period I've read much of but the story does sound interesting :)

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  2. It was so great to hear a story from a different time period than most historical romances.

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  3. WWI and WWII novels are so filled with the wonderful stories of such brave and strong people. They lived through such trying times and we owe them all a huge debt of gratitude. "His Very Own Girl" sounds like a fabulous novel with all of these qualities. Looking forward to reading it.

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  4. Thanks for stopping by, ladies! This isn't an excerpt but a bonus holiday epilogue to show Joe & Lulu's first Christmas together. I loved having the excuse to write it ;)

    Make sure to check out the first half of the scene over at Ramblings From This Chick: http://ramblingsfromthischick.blogspot.com/2012/12/a-historical-christmas-eve-with-carrie.html#more

    Happy holidays, everyone!

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  5. I don't hink I've read a romance book set around WWII, but I enjoy the Foyle's War series set then.

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  6. That was a great ending to a love story on Christmas. Thanks so much.

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  7. Wonderful ending to your short, thank you so much, and Merry Christmas!
    smoofrog @gmail dot com

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  8. Thank you for the wonderful story. I can't wait to read more from you.

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  9. That was lovely. I wish you could tack the epilogue on to ebook to keep them together. Happy Christmas!
    winnie968 at yahoo dot com

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  10. Sounds really good!! Thanks for the chance to win and happy holidays!

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  11. Lovely excerpt thank you! Not a period I've read much of but the story does sound interesting :)

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  12. 1945 was a little before my time. Not by much though. I haven't read any of Carrie's books or any from this time period. I'm anxious to learn more.
    Merry Christmas

    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

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  13. Great story, Carrie! Merry Christmas!

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  14. Hi Carrie! Love you books. I only have a couple and I'm so looking forward to getting more. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  15. A surprisingly underrepresented historical time period for romance novels -- so excited to read your new novel! Great story, thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas!

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  16. I have heard so many wonderful things about your books I have to buy one and check them out for myself. Now to figure out which one to start with. That is always the hard part for me!

    Thanks so much!

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    1. HIS VERY OWN GIRL stands alone. Otherwise I'd suggest my the start to my Victoria series about the Christies family: FLAWLESS. Enjoy, and happy new year! ~ Carrie

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  17. I read historical romances however don't think I've read one set in this era. The book sounds very interesting. Will add book to my TBR pile. Thanks and happy holidays.
    lorih824@yahoo.com

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  18. absolutely a must read for me.
    thanks for sharing :)

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  19. Thanks for great information you write it very clean. I am very lucky to get this tips from you


    i need love

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