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I write sweet and inspirational romances and romantic suspense novels for Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense, Simon and Schuster, Howard Books, and Tule Publishing Group. I love to interact with readers daily on Facebook and Goodreads.
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Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Family Under the Christmas Tree by Terri Reed

A Family Under the Christmas Tree

by Terri Reed

Giveaway ends December 08, 2016.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Dec 2, 2016

Yuletide Peril Chapter Five



Chapter Five
      Jon walked out of the Newton Community Church building and into the mid–morning air still humming the last song the band had played. Who knew churches had bands with electric guitars, electric piano and mean drums? Tabby’s church was nothing like the one his mother had dragged him to when he was a kid. Mom’s church had been somber and depressing with hymns sung to an out–of–tune organ and uninteresting sermons.
         Today had been a different experience. The pastor had talked about setting one’s hope in Jesus rather than the material items of this world. A theme Jon had heard before, yes. But the presentation of the message wasn’t one of judgment and condemnation for having material possessions, but rather that this world’s pleasures could be gone in a heartbeat. Whereas hope could never be taken away. For some reason Jon found that very comforting.
         "Thank you for coming with me," Tabby said as she slipped her arm through his. "I really needed that today."
         He smiled at her, liking the way the winter sun touched her golden hair as they made their way across the parking lot to his sedan. "I enjoyed it. I might come with you again if you’ll let me tag along."
         She beamed. "Of course you can. I’d love that."
         And for some reason pleasing her pleased him.
         Monday morning Tabby was a nervous wreck. All night she’d dreamed of Beth, the dreams mixing with old memories and awful scenarios. She awoke feeling more anxious than ever before. She couldn’t eat the wonderful scones Mrs. Marsh served. Even the gourmet coffee didn’t appeal.
         Jon was on the phone talking with the bank when the man from Trent Associates returned. Tabby wasn’t sure what to make of the young man with his nearly white hair and tanned skin. He looked like he should be out catching a wave on some tropical beach rather than sitting on Jon’s couch.
         Yesterday when they’d explained the situation, he’d jotted down notes in a notebook much the way the two homicide detectives had when they’d questioned her and Jon about the dead man in Jon’s suite.
         Shuddering at the memory, Tabby now asked, "Do you think the kidnappers killed that poor man?"
         "Most likely. Though why…" Kyle shrugged his wide shoulders. "Maybe he was motivation to get you to cooperate."
         "It worked," she mumbled. "What about the security guard?"
         "The police found him unconscious in the janitor’s closet," Jon said as he joined them in the living room. "Someone hit him from behind."
         "Poor man," Tabby said.
         "The bank will have the money ready by eleven," Jon said. "What’s the plan, Kyle?"
         "This is how we’ll play it. Once you get the cash, I’ll rig it with a tracking device," Kyle said.
         Tabby frowned. "Won’t they expect that?"
         Kyle grinned. "They’ll never find it."
         "Are you sure?" she asked. Worry that something would go wrong and her sister would end up dead gnawed at her stomach.
         Kyle gave her a patient look. "I’ve done this many times. Trust me. There’s no way they’ll find the device. Plus, you’ll be wearing an audio wire and a video camera."
         Jon took her hand. The warmth of his skin next to hers was reassuring and calming. "So then we’ll go wherever the money ends up and find her sister?"
         "In theory. But we’ll also have a team of people in place to follow the pickup person." He handed Tabby a manila envelope. "Here’s your phone back. I made some modifications so we can hear the conversation when they call and also do a trace."
         "This is all so overwhelming," she said, feeling a tad light–headed.
         "We’ll get through this," Jon reassured her.
         "So when they call, what do I do after I get my instructions?" she asked.
         "Oh, you won’t be taking the call," Jon said. "I’ll be making the drop."
         "But they’re expecting me. I don’t want to put Beth at risk."
         "They won’t be surprised to see me since they already know I’m providing the money."
         "They said I had to be the one," she said, hating the thought of something happening to Jon, too.
         "I’m not letting you put yourself in danger," he said, his tone adamant.
         "Isn’t that why we called Trent Associates, to minimize the danger?"
         "She’s right," Kyle interjected. "It’s better if she makes the drop."
         "I don’t like it," Jon said as he ran his free hand through his hair.          "There’s no way to control the situation. We should call the FBI."
         Jon’s obvious upset and desire to protect her touched and pleased Tabby deeply. She squeezed his hand. "I trust God will protect me."
         Jon met her gaze. Worry reflected in his dark eyes. "I wish I had that kind of faith."
         "You could," she said softly, sensing the need to tread lightly. She didn’t want to push him to believe. He needed to want it from his heart. "God is waiting for you to invite Him in."
         For a moment Jon stared at her as if trying to comprehend her words. Then he brought her knuckles to his lips and placed a gentle kiss there. "Let’s hope your trust isn’t misplaced."
         "It’s not," she whispered, her eyes riveted to his well–formed mouth.     Longing to lean closer and kiss him hit her like a blast of winter air, shocking in its intensity. His gaze held hers, his eyes darkening as if he could read her thoughts. Heat rose up her neck but she couldn’t look away.   For a second she thought he moved, his head dipping slightly.
         Kyle cleared his throat, shattering the moment into a million pieces.
         Whoa. She really had to get a grip. Jon was her boss. And getting involved with him was not on her list of goals in life. No matter how much her heart wished otherwise.
         "Please, be careful," Jon said to Tabby before she left the safety of the plain white van parked a half a block from the Fenway Park T stop. The thought of something happening to her sent dread and anxiety rushing through his veins. His stomach was a mess of knots and his shoulder muscles were pulled so tight he could barely move.
         She gave him a small smile that barely wobbled. "I will."
         Admiration for her brave front galvanized him to capture her hand and pull her close for a kiss. She gasped slightly before melting against him. He put all the worry and affection clogging his veins into the kiss. When finally he eased up, he rested his forehead against hers. "Come back to me."
         Her blue eyes were a bit glazed as she touched his cheek before stepping away.
         From the cab of the van, Kyle said, "Can you hear me, Tabby?"
         She touched her ear where a small, flesh–colored receiver had been inserted in her ear and nodded. "Yes." Squaring her shoulders, she turned away. "Here we go."
         Jon fought the urge to rush after her as she walked down the block. Instead, he closed the side panel door and then slid into the van’s passenger seat.
         Kyle sat in the driver’s seat and was talking into a small mic. "She’s heading to the stop. Jay, you got her?"
         A man’s voice reported back, "I’m on her."
         To Jon, Kyle said, "Jay’s cover is a homeless guy Dumpster diving."
         A video monitor with feed from the microscopic camera embedded in the button of Tabby’s coat gave them a clear view of anyone approaching Tabby. Off to her left a man digging through the trash could be seen.
Tabby stood at the top of the steps leading down to the subway platform. People moved passed, but no one came within reach of her. Then her cell phone rang. Inside the van it sounded close enough to touch.
         Her voice shook slightly as she answered, "Yes."
         A muffled voice instructed her to get on the approaching bus going north on Park Drive. The line went dead.
         Jon’s heart sped up. He didn’t like this twist. Too much could go wrong.


Dec 1, 2016

25 Days of Christmas

Happy December 1st.
Do you watch the Hallmark channel Christmas movies?
I watched one today as I worked out and it was such fun.

Broadcasting Christmas starring Dean Cain and Melissa Hart. Two news broadcasters who previously were in love fight for a position as a morning talk show host that they both want. Ultimately finding what made them like each other so much in the first place.

I loved it. This movie hit all the right notes. A great romance arc. Likable characters with enough conflict to keep things interesting.

My favorite quote--"Handsome men are nothing but trouble."

Nov 25, 2016

Yuletide Peril Chapter Four


Chapter Four
      Jon had to get her out of this house. It wasn’t safe here. "Come on," he said, coaxing her to stand. "You’ve got to pack a bag. You’re not staying here."
         She drew back. "I’m not going to let them run me out of my home."
         He admired her fire and determination, but he wasn’t going to be waylaid. "They obviously have a video feed somehow connected in here. Who knows how long they’ve been watching you. Are you really okay with that?"
         Straightening her shoulders, she shook her head. "No, I’m not."
         "Grab enough clothes for the rest of the week," he said as he propelled her toward her bedroom.
         At the door, she paused and glanced back at him. "Where will I stay?"
         "We’ll figure that out. Later," he said, giving her a meaningful look.        He didn’t want to reveal too much in case the caller had audio as well as video into the small house.
         Understanding crossed her pretty face and she hurried down the hall. A few minutes later, she returned to the living room dressed in well–worn jeans that hugged her curves and a maroon Boston College sweatshirt. She carried a pink-and–brown–striped duffel bag that was bursting at the zipper. Her blond hair had been brushed out and was now held back with a black headband.
         Liking this casual side of her, so unlike her normal buttoned–down work demeanor, Jon smiled with approval as he took the duffel from her hands.
         From the front entryway closet she grabbed a long black wool coat and then slipped her sock–clad feet into a pair of tan Uggs. "Ready?"
         Jon opened the door. "After you."
         They left her house and walked around the corner to where he’d parked his sedan. Once they were in, with the engine running and the heater cranked high, Jon said, "We need to call the FBI."
         "No! They’ll kill her if we do."
         Jon had figured she wouldn’t go for calling in the Feds. So he proposed another option. "Then we have to call Trent Associates."
         She frowned. "The personal security company? We don’t need a bodyguard."
         "The Trent team does more than just guard people," he said. "Tabby, we need some reinforcement here from people who are trained to handle situations like this."
         She considered for a moment. "You’re right. But you have to make it clear, no cops."
         "Understood." He drove them out of Newton and back toward downtown Boston.
         When he pulled up to the parking garage for his high–rise condo, Tabby said, "I’m not staying here."
         He pressed the automatic opener attached to his sun visor and drove inside. "Yes, you are. This place is totally secure."
         She looked a bit panicked. "But I can’t stay with you."
         "Why not? I have tons of room and, besides, Mrs. Marsh will love doting on you." He could just imagine how delighted his live–in housekeeper would be to have his assistant in residence since the two women worked so well together organizing his life.
         He shifted a sidelong glance at his companion. Oh, yeah, Tabby already had a special place in Mrs. Marsh’s heart. Bringing her home was going to make his housekeeper’s year. He’d just have to be careful that he didn’t let his lovely assistant get too embedded into his heart as well.
         Minimalist furnishings in soft earth shades and the replicated impressionist masterpieces adorning the walls of Jon’s condo brought the same calming serenity to Tabby they always did as she followed Jon inside.
         A woman in her late sixties bustled out from the kitchen. She blinked at Tabby a moment before a smile burst on her lined face and shone in her kind green eyes. "Miss Grant!" Mrs. Marsh gave Tabby a bear hug. "So good to see you." She turned to Jon and gestured to the bag in his hand. "Guest room?"
         "Yes," Jon said. "Tabby will be staying with us for a few days."
         Mrs. Marsh clapped her hands in delight. "Wonderful. You take that bag on in and I’ll be there in a moment to ready the room."
         "Please don’t go to any trouble," Tabby said, a bit overwhelmed by the welcoming response of Jon’s housekeeper.
         "No trouble at all," Mrs. Marsh replied. "Are you hungry? Jon usually comes home from these functions starved because he tends to forget to eat with all his talking."
         Tabby laughed. "Yes, he does do more talking than eating. And yes, I’m hungry."
         Mrs. Marsh led the way to the kitchen where the center island counter was covered with all the fixings for sandwiches. "What would you like?"
         "Oh, I can make my own," Tabby said quickly.
         Mrs. Marsh sighed. "Self–sufficient, just like Jon. Well, I’ll leave you to it while I put fresh sheets on the guest bed." She bustled out, her ample hips swaying with each step.
         Taking advantage of the moment alone, Tabby closed her eyes and bowed her head to pray. Lord, please watch over Beth. And let us get her back safely. Thank you for Jon and his willingness help. I would be so lost without him.
         In so many ways. Spangler Sports Management had become the center her world revolved around. But at the core was Jon. Always Jon.
         Admiration and affection filled her. She knew if she wasn’t careful the protective barrier she’d built around her heart would crack and she’d find herself longing for the impossible. Jon’s love. He was a playboy and her boss.
         Two very good reasons to keep emotion and sentiment from entering their relationship.
         A whisper of movement beside her let her know she was no longer alone. She quickly finished her prayer with a hasty amen and then lifted her gaze to find Jon staring at her, curiosity in his dark eyes.
         "I’m sorry. You were praying. I didn’t mean to interrupt."
         "No worries," she said and reached for a plate.
         "Were you praying for your sister?"
         "Yes." She bit her lip. "I hope she’ll be okay until we get her back on Monday."
         "You don’t trust God will keep her safe?"
         Guilt pricked at her. "Of course I do. It’s just… It’s hard not to worry."
         One side of his mouth lifted in a crooked smile. "That I can understand."
         "I was also thanking God for you and your generosity." The revealing words were out before she could censor them. She held her breath and waited for his reaction.
         For a moment he looked taken aback and then pleased. "Okay. Wow."
         Tears of gratitude gathered at the back of her eyelids. "I really am grateful, Jon."
         He held her gaze, his dark eyes warm and penetrating. "You’re welcome."
         The moment stretched as something elemental arced between them. A smoldering flare glowed in the depths of his eyes. An answering flame ignited within her. Her heart jolted and her pulsed pounded. Extremely conscious of his magnetic appeal, she forced herself to look away and fumbled with the sandwich fixings. Getting caught up in the moment wasn’t a good idea.
         "I’m starved," he said and reached past her to take a plate, a sliced roll, and began building a sandwich. "I called James and he’s sending someone over tomorrow afternoon."
         Keeping focused on her task, she forked a pickle from the jar and laid it on her plate. "You and James served in the army together, didn’t you?"
         "We did."
         "Was he an MP like you?"
         Jon paused. "How did you know I was an MP?"
         "It’s my job to know everything about you, Jon," she replied as she finished making her sandwich.
         He arched an eyebrow. "Everything?"
         Her cheeks heated at his suggestive tone. "Well, everything that is pertinent."
         "Hmmm. I wonder," he said and took a bite out of his sandwich creation.
         Not sure what he meant and determined not to ask, she said, "Tomorrow morning I want to go to my church service. Will you come with?"
         He choked on his sandwich. "Uh, sure."
         She took a bite of her sandwich to hide a satisfied smile. She hated that it took her sister’s kidnapping to bring this opportunity about, but she wasn’t going to waste it. Jon had always declined her invitations to church. But he’d said he’d go with her tomorrow and that could only be a good thing.