Monday, December 23, 2013

Virtual Book Tour: Mrs. Scrooge (Rocky Hill Romances, Book One) by Barbara Bretton (Presented by Bewitching Book Tours)


Single mother Samantha Dean doesn't have time for Christmas. Or romance, for that matter. She is weeks away from opening her own catering business, the most important part of her plan to provide her certified genius daughter Patty with all the wonderful things she deserves.

Except Patty doesn't want to go to a fancy boarding school. She wants a father and when she meets bartender Murphy O'Rourke at her fourth grade Career Day presentation, she knows she's met the man of her mother's dreams!

But can she convince her Mrs. Scrooge of a mom that it was time to give Christmas -- and love -- a second chance?

Originally published in print by Harlequin American

Mrs. Scrooge
Rocky Hill Romances, Book One
Barbara Bretton

Genre: Contemporary romance

Publisher: Free Spirit Press

ISBN: 9781940665023
ASIN: B00FEXXSCA

Number of pages: 240
Word Count: approx. 65000

**Saph's Review is coming soon**

Excerpt:

Patricia Mary Elizabeth Dean knew all about biology and how marriage and babies didn't always go hand-in-hand the way they did in old movies and television sitcoms. She'd heard stories about the days when a young girl had to leave home if she became pregnant out of wedlock but those days were long gone by the time it happened to her mother Samantha.

Sam had stayed right where she was, safe and secure in her parents' house in Rocky Hill, New Jersey. She finished her senior year of high school and, nine months pregnant with Patty, she marched up to get her diploma then marched back out of the auditorium and headed for the hospital in Princeton. Five hours later Patty was born, and it seemed that from her very first breath she had been looking for a man to be her father.

Her best friend Susan couldn't understand it at all. "My dad is always telling me I can't stay up to watch Letterman," Susan had complained just last week. "He won't let me wear nail polish or get a tattoo or even think about going to the movies with Bobby Andretti until I'm twenty-one. You're really a whole lot better off with just your mom."

Patty knew her mom was pretty special. Sam was independent and ambitious and she had always managed to keep a roof over their heads and good food on the table, even while she juggled school and work and taking care of Patty. But there was one thing Sam wasn't very good at and that was romance.

Her mom said she didn't have time for boyfriends and dating and maybe that was true but it seemed to Patty that it wouldn't be long before she ran out of time. Patty had heard women her mother's age talking about their biological clocks and how all the good men had been snapped up while they were busy building careers and she hated to think her mom would end up old and lonely with a dozen cats.

Not that Patty didn't like cats but . . .

And so it was that she decided to take over the quest.

There had been a few good prospects but nobody she could imagine becoming part of her family until the day Murphy O'Rourke walked into the classroom to give his career-day presentation, and she knew her search was over.

Murphy O'Rourke wasn't handsome, although his sandy brown hair was shiny and his hazel eyes held a friendly twinkle. He wore a brown polo shirt with a corduroy sport coat that was frayed at the elbows—and Patty couldn't imagine him sewing on those wimpy patches Susan's dad had on his corduroy sport coat. He didn't have a fistful of gold rings or ugly puffs of chest hair sticking out of his shirt, and his voice didn't go all oily when he talked to women. When Mrs. Venturella introduced him to the class he didn't try to be funny or cool or any of the thousand other things that would have been the kiss of death as far as Patty was concerned.

He smiled at them as if they were real live people and said, "Good morning. I'm Murphy O'Rourke," and something inside Patty's heart popped like a birthday balloon.

"That's the one!" she whispered to Susan. "He's perfect."

Susan's round gray eyes widened. "Him?" The girl looked down at the fact sheet in front of her. "He hasn't even been to college."

"I don't care. He's exactly what I've been looking for."

Susan wrinkled her nose. "He's old."

"So is my mother. That's what makes him so perfect."

"I liked the fireman," said Susan. "Did you see those muscles!" The girl sighed deeply and fluttered her eyelashes, and Patty could barely keep from hitting her best friend over the head with her math notebook.

"The fireman was stupid," said Patty. "He didn't even understand the theory behind water-pressure problems encountered fighting high-rise fires."

"Patty, nobody understands things like that except you."

"The nuclear physicist from M.I.T. understood."

"Then why don't you think he's the right man?"

"Because he called me 'little lady' when he answered my question on the feasibility of nuclear power near major urban centers."

"But he was cute," said Susan. "He had the most darling red suspenders and bow tie."

"I hate bow ties."

Susan made a face. "Oh, you hate everything, Patty Dean. I think you're about the snobbiest girl I've ever—"

"Patricia! Susan!" Mrs. Venturella rapped her knuckles sharply against the chalkboard at the front of the room. "If your conversation is so fascinating, perhaps you'd be willing to share it with the rest of the class."

Susan's cheeks turned a bright red and she slumped down in her chair. "Sorry, Mrs. Venturella," she mumbled.

Patty found herself staring up at the twinkling hazel eyes of Murphy O'Rourke and suddenly unable to speak.

"Patricia," warned Mrs. Venturella. "Do you have something to say?"

Murphy O'Rourke winked at her and before she knew it, the words came tumbling out. "Are you married?"

All around her the class was laughing but Patty didn't care. This was important.

O'Rourke looked her straight in the eye. "No, I'm not."

"Do you have any kids?"

"No kids."

"Do you—"

"That's enough, Patricia." Mrs. Venturella turned to O'Rourke and gave him one of those cute little "I'm sorry" shrugs Patty had seen the woman give Mr. MacMahon, the phys ed teacher with the hairy chest. "I apologize, Mr. O'Rourke. Patricia is one of our advanced students and she has an active curiosity."

"I make my living being curious," he said, then crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back against Mrs. Venturella's desk. He looked straight at Patty. "Go ahead. Ask me anything you want."

"On the newspaper business," said Mrs. Venturella, with a stern look for Patty, who still couldn't speak.

"Do you make a lot of money?" Craig Haley, class treasurer, asked.

"Enough to pay my rent," said O'Rourke.

"Did you ever go to China?" asked Sasha D'Amato.

"Twice." He grinned. "And I was thrown out once."

Danielle Meyer held up a copy of the New York Telegram. "How come I don't see your name anywhere?"

"Because I quit."

Patty was extremely impressed: he didn't so much as bat an eye when Mrs. Venturella gasped in horror. "What do you do now?" Patty asked.

"I'm a bartender."

The only sound in the classroom was the pop of Susan's bubble gum.

"Look," he said, dragging his hand through his sandy brown hair, "I didn't mean to misrepresent anything. When you guys called and asked me to speak at the school, I was still a reporter for the Telegram. This is a pretty new development."

"Why'd you quit?" Patty asked. If there was anything her mom hated, it was a quitter. She hoped Murphy O'Rourke had a good reason for giving up a glamorous job as a New York City reporter and becoming a run-of-the-mill bartender, or it was all over.

"Artistic freedom," said Murphy O'Rourke.

"Bingo!" said Patty.

She'd finally found her man.

Purchase Links:

Amazon

Smashwords

BN 

Kobo 


Book #2 is also available now: BUNDLE OF JOY


About the Author:

Oh, how I hate bios! All of that deadly dull information about name (Barbara Bretton) and date of birth (June 25) and geographical data (born in New York City; lives near Princeton, NJ), marital status (many years married), and hobbies (who has time??). How do you gather up all of those dull, dry facts and turn them into something interesting?

No wonder I tell lies for a living.

I considered weaving a story for you about life on a houseboat on the French Riviera. Or maybe my years as a concubine, hidden away in a golden pleasure palace in the shimmering desert. Then I decided to do the unthinkable and tell you the truth.

When I sold my first book and my life changed forever. I sent in my manuscript on Thursday February 21, 1982 and four days later the telephone rang and I heard the amazing words, "We want to buy your book." How I wish you could have seen me. I was standing by the kitchen door of our North Babylon house, the picture of cool sophistication, as I listened to Vivian Stephens explain the terms of the deal to me. You would have thought I'd sold a first book every single day of my life. Yes, I said. Sounds wonderful. Thank you so much for calling. I look forward to our association. That cool sophistication hung on until I hung up the phone, took a deep breath, then promptly threw up on my shoes.

I was thirty-one years old, unagented, unschooled, unfamiliar with anything to do with the business of publishing. To put it mildly, I was in shock. My husband was working in Manhattan at the time (and finishing up his degree at night) so it would be hours until I could break the news to him. This was too exciting to waste on a phone call. I wanted to see his face when I told him that my dream had finally come true -- and came with a $6000 advance!

He pulled into the driveway at midnight. I was waiting in the doorway, holding a bottle of champagne and two glasses. I didn't have to say a word. He knew right away and the look of joy and pride in his eyes warms me now, years later, long after the advance faded into memory.

A lot has happened to me in the years since that first sale. I've learned that this is a difficult and demanding business (it takes a tough writer to write a tender book) and that I am happiest when I am most ignorant. I've also learned that a good friend, a writer and pal who truly understands, is worth her weight in good reviews and royalty checks.

I fell madly in love with Skye O'Malley in early 1982 and wrote an unabashedly gushy fan letter to our beloved Bertrice Small. By the time Sunny answered, I had joined the ranks of the published and Sunny became friend and mentor, guide and confidant. She has held my hand through broken dreams, disappointments, family illnesses, and accepted my bizarre need to go underground from time to time with great affection and understanding. Over the years I've come to understand the difference between the writer and her work, that loving the book doesn't guarantee that I will love the author. But what a joy it is when you discover that the author of a beloved favorite is even more wonderful and witty and wise than the characters she creates.

So this bio is for you, Sunny, for being the best of friends during the worst of times and -- even more wonderful -- during the good times as well.

And now for the statistics:

Barbara Bretton is the USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of more than 40 books. She currently has over ten million copies in print around the world. Her works have been translated into twelve languages in over twenty countries.

Barbara has been featured in articles in The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Romantic Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Herald News, Home News, Somerset Gazette,among others, and has been interviewed by Independent Network News Television, appeared on the Susan Stamberg Show on NPR, and been featured in an interview with Charles Osgood of WCBS, among others.

Her awards include both Reviewer's Choice and Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times; Gold and Silver certificates from Affaire de Coeur; the RWA Region 1 Golden Leaf; and several sales awards from Bookrak. Ms. Bretton was included in a recent edition of Contemporary Authors.

Barbara loves to spend as much time as possible in Maine with her husband, walking the rocky beaches and dreaming up plots for upcoming books.



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