EDITED TO POST WINNER:  CrystalM!  Congratulations, your name was drawn to win the autographed copy of Sex, Lies and Midnight. Drop me an email with your shipping info, and I’ll get that book right out to you.  And thanks everyone for sharing their New Years plans :-)  Have a fabulous beginning to 2012!  May it be a wonderful year for everyone!

Last month I kicked off my Undercover Operatives series with the release of SEX, LIES AND MISTLETOE, and I shared a peek into the gossipy fun that goes on in the small town of Black Oak as the town’s two Information Matriarchs (much classier than gossips, right?) dished the dirt on the return of bad boy, Caleb Black.   And boy, oh boy is the dirt dishing now that he’s not only back, but engaged.  Just when the ladies are ready to settle back and start rehashing the shocking events of the last month, Black Oak gets another shocking visit.  Not only is Maya Black back, but she’s brought her own sexy entertainment along as well.

Wanna hear what Hazel and Hortense had to say about this newest twist?  It went something like this…

Shifting irritably in her favorite chair, Hazel tapped her spoon impatiently on the side of her teacup.  She wasn’t sure what bothered her more.  That her guest for morning tea was later, or that things had been so exciting lately, morning tea was likely the only bright bit of excitement she had to look forward to for the next little while. 

Before she could take a sip, though, the front door opened and shut with a snap.  Less than a minute later, her neighbor and dear friend–bless her, she’d gained at least five pounds over Christmas–was seated next to her pouring tea.

“I know, I know,” Hortense said waving one pudgy hand before Hazel could issue a complaint.  “I’m late.  But I had to give my grandbabies extra kisses goodbye, didn’t I.  I love the holidays, but it’s so hard to see everyone head home when they are over.” 

Extra time with the grandbabies was a get out of a late-lecture free card.  Her own eyes still burning from the cry she’d had after saying goodbye to her own, Hazel sniffed back her complaints and offered a plate of scones.  “Have a treat, it’ll help distract you from thinking about the children all gone again.” 

“It’s so hard after they leave the nest.  Oh, we have a full life and plenty to do.  But it’s just not the same as having all the loved ones close.”  For a second Hortense looked like she was going to sob on her lemon scone.  Then she took a deep breath and blinked away the melancholy.  The look left in her eyes, pure glee, made Hazel sit a little straighter in her chair.

“I suppose Tobias Black is happy these days, having one of his children moving back to Black Oak,” she said before nibbling the iced corner of her scone. 

“I suppose he is.  Especially with Caleb engaged and ready to settle down here,” Hazel agreed slowly, trying to figure out what Hortense was up to.  That gleam only meant one thing, the other woman thought she had a piece of gossip that would trump Hazel’s gold star for the best gossip of the year.  The gold star she’d scored when she’d brought news of Caleb’s return. 

“I wonder if this means the other two will soon follow.  Wouldn’t Tobias be thrilled to have both Maya and Gabriel back, too?” 

Hazel narrowed her eyes.  What did Hortense think she knew?  Since Caleb’s return, Hazel had taken to checking on the Black doings at least once a day.  If there was news, she’d have it.  Wouldn’t she?

“I’d imagine Tobias would be overjoyed to see any of his children,” she agreed slowly.  “But Gabriel’s exit was even angrier than Caleb’s.  And Maya, well, I don’t know what came between her and Tobias, but it must have been something major.  She was always so devoted to her father, then poof,” Hazel snapped her fingers in emphasis, “She was gone.”

“I’ll bet it was that woman Tobias was dating,” Hortense said with a sage nod.  “None of those three liked her much, did they?”

“Did anyone?”  Hazel thought back to the hard-edged floozy who’d tried to rope Tobias Black.  Luckily he’d kicked her to the curb a few months after Maya’s departure.  “You’d have thought the man had learned his lesson about dating inappropriate women then, wouldn’t you?”

“Obviously not, if he’s dating someone as tacky and obvious as Lilah Gomez.  And her the same age as his own daughter.”

“Poor Maya,” Hazel said with a tutting shake of her head.  “Can you imagine her reaction if she knew that her father was dating her arch-enemy?”

“Actually, I don’t have to imagine.” Hortense set her plate aside and leaned forward.  “I hear we’ll get to see it firsthand.” 

Hazel bobbled her teacup, shock making her immune to both the splash of hot liquid and the stain on her new pink slacks.

“No…?”

“Yes.  I heard it from Ham Bollinger when I was out at Black Oak Manor this morning to say goodbye to my cousin.  Maya booked not one, but two rooms at the Inn.”  Hortense gave a gleeful nod, practically bouncing in her chair.  “Maya Black’s coming back and she’s not coming alone.” 

And she’d been worried after all the recent excitement, things might seem boring?  Not likely in Black Oak.  Hazel leaned back, her grin so wide it made her earrings wiggle.  “Well, this should liven up the New Year, shouldn’t it?”   

Wellll… There you go.  Maya’s home and she’s on a mission.  Not only that, but she’s not alone! The ladies are right.  The New Year is going to be pretty exciting in Black Oak.  And you can, of course, read all about it in SEX, LIES AND MIDNIGHT if you’d like :-D   To make that easier, I’m giving away a signed copy today to one commenter – just let me know what wild plans you have for New Years Eve, and what you want to see happen in the New Year to be entered in the drawing. 

And don’t forget to check out my Holiday Survival Tour as I celebrate the Undercover Operatives series with contests, giveaways and lots of good times. 

11 Responses to “Sex, Lies and Mistletoe… The Gossips Are At It Again”
  1. Alina D says:

    Hi Tawny! I can’t wait to read the second book in this series! As for my wild New Years Eve plans, well there are none, ,lol! We will try and stay up to watch the ball drop on tv. Then we will all eat our 12 grapes, its a tradition we have done all my life. Each grape is good luck for each month of the year. After that I will get the kids to bed, well the ones that make it till the ball drops and then I will go to bed. So not real exciting, but it works for us.

    Hope you have a Happy New Year! :)

  2. JOYE says:

    Your book sounds really good and I have added it to my TBR list.
    My plans are to go to a party with a couple of my neighbors and then watch the fireworks display in our town.
    In theNew Year, I hope to keep the weight off that I lost and find more time to read.

  3. katie says:

    I already have your book, so don’t enter me. No big plans for New Year’s….we’ll all just go out as usual to Red Robin (I do have a date night on the 1st with my husband, though).

    I am just hoping to get organized next year and clearing out stuff. I am on a mission :)

  4. Summer says:

    I don’t have any wild New Year’s plans either, just to watch a hockey game on TV and then maybe a movie.

  5. CrystalM says:

    No wild and wooly plans here. Had planned to go to Atlanta to spend the New Year with some high school friends, but I’m coming down with a cold, one friend’s spouse had a death in the family, and the other friend’s spouse has to work Saturday. So I guess it will be me, hubby, the furkids, and Carson Daly.
    As for the upcoming year, I’d like to start volunteering at our local animal shelter. Always wanted to do that, but never lived close enough until recently. Hopefully, I’ll be able to resist the urge to adopt, since I have 180 pounds of dog already! If you add the kitty weight, we’re probably closing in on 200 pounds of furkid! I’m also wanting to continue with my stained glass classes, and maybe…possibly….drop a few pounds!!
    Hoping that the coming New Year is a wonderful one for you and your family!

  6. Colleen says:

    No plans for New Year’s… Maybe curl up with a great book and enjoy watching some of the celebrating on TV… I hope everyone has a great and safe time… Wishing you all the best for the New Year! :)

  7. runner10 says:

    I loved the first book. I can’t wait to read more about the black family.

  8. Dawn Staniszeski says:

    No wild plans..we stay at home with the kids (all grown) and have a little party of our own. This way we don’t worry about drunk drivers, etc. We want to start the New Year off right!! Happy Holidays to you!

  9. Shelley B says:

    We just closed on our new home today, so we’ll be moving. Usually though, we get together with family and friends and eat, drink, and shoot illegal fireworks. Just kidding!

  10. chey says:

    The book sounds wonderful.
    I don’t have any plans for New Years Eve.

  11. Aurora says:

    I’ll be celebrating New Years with my family (I hope.) Lots of yummy food waiting for me :D I hope for impossible of having someone special and getting a job.

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