It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (Reads) GIVEAWAY: Merrying the Cowboy

Posted December 11, 2023 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christmas, clean, contemporary, Crystal Walton, giveaway, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Reads) 2023, romance / 13 Comments

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas Reads 2023

today’s 1st book: Merrying the Cowboy

We are continuing this year’s blog series spotlighting (over 70 this year) new and recently-released Christmas reads! This is the 7th year for the Christmas Reads Giveaway series, and I think I get more excited about it every year 🙂 Christmas is only TWO WEEKS away (what??), according to Google! So… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage (wassail anyone?) and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and start your bookish Christmas list! And no doubt you know the drill by now – there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)

Merrying the Cowboy by Crystal WaltonMERRYING THE COWBOY by Crystal Walton
SERIES: Sage Valley Ranch #6
GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Clean)

RELEASE DATE: March 31, 2023
PAGES: 168

A hopeful cowboy pulls out all the stops when the girl he lost finally comes home in this sweet second chance cowboy romance.

One week. Autumn McCallan can handle returning to Sage Valley for one quick visit. Bake for the town’s Christmas banquet, convince Mama to move back with her, avoid her ex at all costs—in and out, easy.

Okay, fine. So, maybe she shouldn’t go near an oven without a fire extinguisher handy. She’d probably have better luck moving heaven and earth than getting Mama to budge. And, worst of all, the past would be infinitely easier to run from if all five-foot-nine-inches of its charm, security, and adventure weren’t reminding her of every reason she wants to stay.

Lordy mercy, she’s going to need more than one fire extinguisher before this is all over with.

Can Autumn resist Holden’s plan to win her back after all these years? Find out now. Download Merrying the Cowboy today and escape to the countryside in a funny and touching second chance cowboy romance that feels like coming home.

Merrying the Cowboy is the sixth book in a heartwarming group series that’ll keep you laughing and swooning from one clean romance to the next. You’ll have fun watching the meddlesome owners of Sage Valley Ranch as they work their matchmaking magic on the unsuspecting cowboys. Get ready to fall in love with Sage Valley Ranch, where country life is sweet, and romance is even sweeter.


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by Crystal Walton, author of Merrying the Cowboy

Have you or someone in your family ever made a drink or dish for the holidays that, um, well, didn’t quite turn out right? Or, let’s be honest, maybe it was just plain awful. Burned. Dry. Wrong ingredients. Too sweet. Too salty. We can really do a number to a dish, can’t we?

Poor Autumn in Merrying the Cowboy. The girl does not belong in a kitchen. At least, not without having a fire extinguisher nearby. She knows it. But, bless her, she tries.

My own dislike of cooking partly inspired this adorkable character trait. I’ve made a number of kitchen blunders myself. Thankfully, I’ve never had it happen at a big family get-together, where everyone has to choke it down. But, boy, that can make a funny scene. I remember cracking up in Starbucks while writing this, trying to dodge random stares from patrons, who I’m sure were wondering why I was laughing out loud at my laptop.

Though Autumn has quite a few laughable kitchen moments, this scene where she brings in her infamous coffee punch for the newbie-to-the-family to try takes the cake for me.

Grab a chair at the table and imagine being here…

“Coffee punch?” Callie looked for a cue from Reed. “I didn’t know those two things went together.”

“I didn’t either,” Autumn said on her way back in with a punch bowl. “Until I saw a recipe in a magazine, gosh, sixteen years ago now.” She set the monstrosity on the center of the table. A concoction of foam resembling pond scum swished back and forth on top before coming to a congealed stop.

Holden bowed his head to hide his laugh.

Autumn didn’t seem to notice. “I tinker with the recipe each year. Spice it up a bit.” She ladled a plastic cup full and handed it to Callie. “It’s been…” She paused halfway into pouring herself a drink. “…quite a while since I’ve made it,” she said slowly. Shaking off the glimpse of emotion, she took her seat again. “I’ve missed the tradition though.”

Callie cautiously picked up her drink and dared to swirl it around. After one last look at Reed, she brought the cup to her mouth.

Holden had to hand it to the girl. She was brave.

As long as she didn’t breathe while taking the sip, she might have luck getting it down. At least, part way down.

Without swallowing at all, she squirmed in the chair worse than Snickers had in Becca’s arms. Holden tried not to choke on his milk, but watching her bring the punch cup back and forth to her mouth like she wasn’t sure how to covertly spit it back out did him in. His shoulders shook so hard, his chair legs rattled against the floor.

Reed wasn’t far behind him. Stuffing his mouth with a cookie would’ve been a good plan if crumbs weren’t falling out of muffled laughs.

Callie wiped her mouth with her napkin when she finally swallowed. She should’ve won an Oscar for holding it together. Straightening out her place setting, she cleared her throat. “That was, um…”

Holden couldn’t wait for her adjective of choice. “Awful,” he finished for her.

Her expression matched the cat’s from earlier, and Holden’s holed-up laughter roared.

Reed laughed even harder when Callie smacked him in the chest.

Sam and Becca giggled. They hadn’t tried their aunt’s punch before. But after seeing Callie’s reaction, no one could blame Becca for clandestinely lowering her cup under the table for Patches. The dog sniffed the supposed treat, sneezed a foamy mess across the floor, and whimpered back to the kitchen. Dying, Holden almost ended up on the floor beside him.

Can you imagine? I laugh every time I try to. Poor Autumn. Poor family. Poor doggy! Oh, but the love and laughter this crew shares touches me each time too. It makes me remember what makes this time of year so special.

If you’re in the mood for a few laughs along a heartfelt journey of love, forgiveness, and the gift of second chances, I hope you’ll give Merrying the Cowboy a try.

For fun, and for a chance to win a Kindle copy of this novella, let’s share some laughs with each other in the comments. Have you ever tried to hide your reaction to a dish or drink someone prepared for you? Or maybe vice versa? If so, you’re in good company. And don’t worry. It can’t be any worse than congealed coffee punch. 😉

Merry Christmas blessings to you and your family this season. I pray it’s filled with grace, fun, joy, and, of course, heartwarming Christmas reads

Crystal Walton

Crystal Walton received her bachelor of arts from Messiah College in PA, married her exact opposite in upstate NY, and earned her master of arts from Regent University in VA, where she currently resides with her husband and sons.

She writes contemporary sweet romances with humor, broken characters, and emotional plots full of grace and hope. Her Home In You series includes Write Me Home, a 2017 RONE Award finalist, and Begin Again, a 2017 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award winner. When her hands aren’t full with her very active, little blue-eyed heroes, she’s delving into the wonder of words, supporting her green tea habit, or laughing over movie quotes with her husband.

She’d love to connect with you at and Facebook.

Merrying the Cowboy giveaway

Crystal Walton is offering an ebook copy of Merrying the Cowboy to one of my readers! (Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What makes you want to read Merrying the Cowboy by Crystal Walton? Have you ever tried to hide your reaction to a dish or drink someone prepared for you? Or maybe vice versa?

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13 responses to “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (Reads) GIVEAWAY: Merrying the Cowboy

  1. MS Barb

    Oh! I want to read about cooking “blunders!” Yes, people have made some dishes that were not fit for human consumption… (think Church carry-ins!) At least I could cover the food w/ a napkin & head for the trash receptacle!

  2. Sue Parrish

    This sounds like a fun story. I have tried to diplomatically respond to someone’s food offering that wasn’t that appealing. Not easy.

  3. Bea LaRocca

    I love Cowboys, a good second chance romance and all stories set during the holiday season, this is why I want to read Merrying the Cowboy! Yes I have tried to hide my reaction to a dish that didn’t taste very good so as not to offend the cook. I am sure that someone has done the same for me, lol

  4. Cheryl Hart

    Yes! When I worked at a bank, a customer (Mrs. Robinson) invited all of us at our community bank for a meal every Christmas season. She was so sweet and a wonderful cook. One year I was in for a surprise when she served crab cakes. Everyone but Mrs. Robinson knew I couldn’t stand any kind of seafood. I had to choke a few bites down before claiming I was full. It was horrible.

  5. I love reading Christmas books and books with a happy ending and this sounds like it would be a great one to read! I’m sure there has been a time or two where I have tried to politely finish eating something that I didn’t find appetizing and I have no doubt that there has probably been more than a time or two that someone has done the same for me. LOL

  6. Lori Smanski

    oh but this book sounds like so much fun. since my mom died, my sister has taken over making a turkey for Thanksgiving. Even if we have ham or something else, she makes a turkey. But honestly her turkey always turns out sooooo dry. One year I suggested she put bacon on top and inside. She did that and the bacon on top burnt and the bacon inside was not done, but the turkey was soooo dry. I am so not sure what she does, but it is something we all deal with. Since the bacon incident, I make sure I have gravy with the mashed potatoes she makes (those turn out great). And sides like cranberries etc. that we can eat with her turkey with each bite. We all love her and will do what we can to help her without making her feel bad. That so is not the purpose of family

  7. Jodi

    I love reading Christmas romance stories. I’ve put a napkin over the uneaten food and carried it to the trashcan.

  8. Jean Hall

    It sounds like a fun book.

    I had to hide my dislike of a drink one time when I was a young adult. My girlfriend and I had gone to a party one of my coworkers was having. I had a screwdriver and my coworker took it to refill, which I thought was strange as I had barely drank half of it. When he gave it back to me, I took one sip and it was very strong. I pretended nothing was wrong, but didn’t drink anymore of it. My girlfriend and I talked about it and decided he was trying to get me drunk. That was a terrible thing to do since I was driving.

  9. Betty Curran

    Yes, I’ve had to grin and bear it when my children were learning to cook. You don’t want to discourage them but sometimes it was just awful. BTW they are all excellent cooks now.

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