Poll: Where would YOU spend your Presents holiday?

Presents locations are glamorous and exciting…the perfect place if you have time off! So where would you like to stay for your winter vacation? Vote below or let us know in the comments.
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The Healing Power Of Humour

by Maya Blake, author of What the Greek Wants Most

I’ve always been fascinated with characters who use humour to hide their true feelings because you know at some point the façade would have to be peeled back to reveal the character’s true self.
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It’s this trait that made Theo Pantelides, my hero in WHAT THE GREEK WANTS MOST, my UNTAMABLE GREEKS series, truly special to me. He first appeared in Sakis’s book, WHAT THE GREEK’S MONEY CAN’T BUY as the pain in the behind brother who everyone rolls their eyes at, and I immediately fell in love with him.

Discovering the depths of the pain he was hiding knocked me for six and I couldn’t wait to write his story. His is a tale of kidnap, torture, PTSD and blackmail over which he’s thrown a blanket of dry wit, and it was mesmerizing to track his journey from dark despair to healing and love.

WHAT THE GREEK WANTS MOST is out now and as you gear up for the Christmas holiday in just four short days (eek!), I hope you enjoy snuggling up with this hot samba of a book set in one of the most amazing places on earth, Brazil!
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And when you’re done, I’d love to hear what character traits you are most attracted to!

About What the Greek Wants Most:

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Theo Pantelides wants revenge… 

Theo came to Brazil with one desire—to destroy the man who once ruined his life. And when the proud Greek sets eyes on his enemy’s stunning daughter, he knows victory will taste even sweeter with her in his bed!

Inez de Costa wants freedom… 

Inez longs to escape her father’s shadow and follow her own dreams—not be blackmailed into becoming someone’s mistress! But it’s a thin line between love and hate, and soon Theo unlocks a desire virginal Inez never could have anticipated.

Now Theo and Inez will have to reconsider what it is they both want most of all…

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Adding a bit of Gothic flair…

by Caitlin Crews, author of His For Revenge

When I was a girl I adored Daphne Du Maurier books—really, any book with a bit of Gothic flair.

One of the finest nights of my life was spent in an English country house hotel when I was seventeen, listening to the rain pour down outside while imaging all kinds of Gothic goings on in the atmospheric old place.

I’ve always loved scary movies for exactly this reason—I get to be terrified and then the lights go on, and all is well.  (Except for the odd bad dream.)

So when Zara Elliott appeared in my head, forced down the aisle in her absentee sister’s wedding gown (which doesn’t fit her) to enter into a marriage of convenience with surly, brooding, all-about-revenge-on-Zara’s-father Chase Whitaker, who then whisks her off to his dark and uninviting mansion off in the countryside—I couldn’t resist.

HIS FOR REVENGE, the exciting conclusion to my Vows of Convenience duet that started with October’s HIS FOR A PRICE, isn’t a Gothic.  But Zara, like me, has an intense appreciation of the form—and is even doing a Master’s degree on the subject.  That’s only one of the reasons she’s more than a match for Chase, who might have been prepared to handle the selfish Elliott sister who didn’t bother to turn up at the church that day.  But no way is he ready to handle Zara…

hisforrevengeThe marriage game…

Walking down the aisle toward striking but cold CEO Chase Whitaker was never meant to be Zara Elliott’s fate.  But to safeguard the family business, she’ll have to play along…

Chase is only interested in one thing—his own dark game of revenge against Zara’s father.  The one thing he hadn’t counted on?  Zara’s charm and natural beauty unsettling his rock-hard defenses.

But their wedding night proves to be a game changer, and they both realize they’re in over their heads.  Losing is never an option for Chase… but winning suddenly takes on a very different meaning!

I hope you enjoy the second book in the Vows of Convenience duet!  And Gothic romances, for that matter.  I know I do.

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Presents Loves…The Festive Season!

by Laura McCallen, Assistant Editor/Editorial Assistant

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I love this time of year! There may not be snow in the air (which, as a Canadian, I find highly irregular!) but that festive feeling has taken over. The office is dressed in red, green and gold, the cards and presents are flowing freely, the Christmas jumpers are on and we’re all getting ready for the company holiday lunch later on.

But before your intrepid Presents team disappears into a whirl of turkey, Christmas pudding and mulled wine we wanted to take a moment and reflect on what a great year 2014 has been!

It’s been an adventure from start to finish with award nominations, incredible reviews, dazzling conferences, and a So You Think You Can Write 2014 Presents winner! We’ve also had the joy of welcoming three wonderful new writers to the Presents family – Andie Brock, Louise Fuller and the SYTYCW winner Amanda Cinelli – look out for their stunning debuts in 2015!

We’ve loved Every Single Second of 2014 from the wonderful books by our fabulous authors to the new additions to our team – Editorial Assistant extraordinaire Isabelle (Izzy) Gormezano and the return of the lovely Carly Byrne. The Presents team has so very much to toast to as we see in the New Year.

But most of all we’re going to be toasting to you, our dear readers, for your dedication to these books and authors that we all love so much. We have a lot of treats for you in store in 2015 but our lips are sealed for now – so stay tuned!

In the meantime though, we’re getting ready to bask in the light of the Christmas tree and leave cookies out for Old Saint Nick. And what will the Presents be getting up to during this most wonderful time of year? Read on to find out…

“I’m going to be having a very family-filled holiday with parents, parents-in-law, and (most special of all) my brand new nephew. Seeing him dressed as an elf will be the highlight of the holiday season!” – Joanne Grant (Senior Executive Editor)

“I will be hosting Christmas at my house for the FIRST TIME! Which also means roasting a turkey for the first time…with a toddler underfoot. I’ll just have to keep the Prosecco flowing to make sure no one notices the burnt bits!” – Carly Byrne (Editor)

This year December 25th is my second Christmas! With my sister and my niece and nephew in New Zealand, we had our ‘Christmas Part One’ in November. Christmas Part Two is shaping up to be even better! For me it’s all about pigs in blankets, Brussel sprouts with bacon and garlic, making bread sauce with my mother, debating the number of cloves to wedge into the onion, bucks fizz, gin and tonic, and the annual debate: Match of the Day vs Top Gear. Not a debate I take part in!! – Pippa Roscoe (Associate Editor)

“As it’s my first proper Christmas in London I’m determined to make it the ‘Most British Christmas Ever’. I’ve planned it all out: Carols at St. Paul’s, a candlelit midnight Christmas Eve service at Westminster Abbey and a Charles Dickens tour of London on Christmas day. I can’t wait!” – Laura McCallen (Assistant Editor/Editorial Assistant)

I will be nestling myself by a fire in a Georgian country estate in the green and maybe even snowy hills of Herefordshire. With fifteen adults, seven children and two dogs I think it’s going to be organised chaos. So far, the only things that have been bought are champagne and cheese- which is all you really need!” – Isabelle Gormezano Marks (Editorial Assistant)

Now we want to know – what are you up to for the festive season and where will you be roasting chestnuts and decking the halls this year?! And to our authors – will you be taking after your heroes and heroines and jetting off to exotic locales for glitzy and glamorous affairs?!

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“The thread may stretch or tangle but it will never break”: Victoria Parker on Kismet and To Claim His Heir by Christmas

by Victoria Parker, author of To Claim His Heir by Christmas

An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle but it will never break.

This Chinese Proverb, one I found many years ago in the Far East, has tugged at my romantic heartstrings ever since. Though in truth, I have always been charmed and somewhat fascinated by the idea of kismet. That in one moment lives can collide and change forever. That magic weaves its spell and fate lures us to our destiny. A plethora of books have been written about it, Hollywood has made blockbuster movies around it and ancient fairytales have been passed from generation to generation. So it’s safe to say many are bewitched by the notion that we could’ve met our ‘One and Only’ through a turn of serendipitous events. Consequently, it was with great excitement that I concocted my latest Arunthian tale based around that very concept.

I had been biding my time for the right story, knowing the characters and circumstance had to be perfect and the moment Prince Thane Guerrero and Princess Luciana Verbault popped into my head, I knew this was it. I could set the stage five years in the past and (hopefully) weave an unforgettable love-story. Then the questions started rolling through my imagination. What if?

What if my kismet couple were enemies? A modern day Romeo and Juliet, their fated meeting on neutral ground where Thane & Luciana had no clue as to who the other truly was. After a torrid affair it would be Luciana who would discover the truth and flee with a gaping hole in her heart. And how much more devastating and painful would it be to feel that invisible red thread pulling and tugging every single day for the last five years? And when they meet again, how difficult would it be to stand physically side by side while a vast gulf yawned between them – one made by centuries of war and secrets and lies? And then… Oh, can you imagine if that forbidden love had left an everlasting consequence? Two houses, two enemies, with a secret heir between them. One four-year-old gorgeous little boy who could incite a war just from his very existence.

So there we have it. Five years ago Luciana fled carrying her secret, one she could never disclose. But it would be happenstance that brought their worlds colliding back together once more.

In the present day Thane has given up hope of ever finding the woman who stole his soul, only to stumble upon her in the Alps, in the midst of a proposal of marriage by another man. Over Thane’s dead body! Hence, our dark and dangerous Prince decides to take matters into his own hands by snatching her from beneath his rival’s nose – regardless of the unpalatable discovery of her true identity. And the battle commences!

If you haven’t guessed by now, Thane Guerrero takes no prisoners. He’s a true hot-blooded, brooding alpha male. A man who needs control is every aspect of his life, with the commanding strength of will to move mountains and this time he’ll do whatever it takes to win Luciana back.

But here comes the kicker. Beneath my rose-tinted romantic views of serendipity there lies the thought-provoking idea that our futures are controlled, not ours to choose or make. That kismet only exists if we believe ourselves to be powerless. A scary notion for many to be sure. One such person is our Princess of Arunthia who doesn’t wish to be controlled. By fate, by her father, by no man. She has been powerless her entire life. Sees nothing more than a gilded cage. Wants nothing more than to be the commander of her own tomorrow. Kismet and her fated mate be damned.

Making destiny our own…

This is the realisation Luciana has to come to. Something I’ve come to truly believe in. That fate offers us opportunity but we are the masters of our own destiny. That in the end happiness is Luciana’s to create. All she has to do is find the courage to snatch back the reins of her life and plot a course toward her happy-ever-after. And it was such a joy to watch her find the way.

So tell me, are you a believer? Is there a time in your life when you’ve felt like fate was in play? I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve thought, ‘It’s a small world.’ The last occasion was bumping into a dear friend halfway across the globe, having only just thought of her that morning, wondering how she was. Surreal yet spooky J And I’ve been incredibly lucky to meet good friends in unexpected places. Fate offering a helping hand and leading me to the door of those who would make great impact, a wonderful difference to my life. If you have any such stories, or would just like to say Hi, I’d love to hear from you.

Victoria :)

About To Claim His Heir by Christmas:

1214-9781460343562-bigwFrom heaven to hell… 

Five years ago, Princess Luciana of Arunthia experienced heaven in the arms of a man whose every touch felt like paradise. But when Thane’s true identity as the prince of Galancia was revealed, Luciana had no choice but to flee. Her lover was her kingdom’s greatest enemy, and she was expecting his baby!

…and back again? 

Now, as Christmas approaches, the prince has just one thing on his mind—winning Luciana back. And if Thane can convince her to trust him with her secret, he could get the greatest Christmas gift of all—a beautiful queen and an heir!

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