Monday, November 21, 2016

A Prelude to Christmas: Teresa's story "Cocoa Courtship"

Teresa Ives Lilly is the first author to kick off my blog's holiday series, "A Prelude to Christmas"! You're in for a treat! 

Please welcome Teresa to the blog. Here's her picture:

She lives in Texas and writes Christian romance novels. She loves to connect with her readers via e-mail,

Today, we're featuring an excerpt from her Christmas story, Cocoa Courtship. Here's the book cover:

You can buy her book on Amazon and learn more about Teresa via her website, Teresa Ives Lilly.

After you read the story excerpt, enter the book giveaway contest by filling out the Rafflecopter widget located at the end of this blog post.

Take care and God bless you! Enjoy your time with Teresa today!

Story excerpt from Chapter 1 of Cocoa Courtship:

“And during this Christmas season, let us remember to love our enemies and forgive those who have hurt us. In this way, we free ourselves…”

Tricia sat in the back pew of the small Harbor Inn’s Church of Hope and listened to the words spoken by the wise, older preacher. However, it was hard to absorb and accept them. The idea of being able to love her enemy and forgive the one who hurt her seemed impossible.

It had been six months since she’d driven home from work one day and noticed her fiancé Peter’s car by the park. Curious, she’d pulled over and scanned the area, only to come face to face with the fact that Peter was having an affair with her best friend Lacy.

Who is my enemy, Lord? Is it Peter? Lacy? Both of them hurt me. How can I love them? How can I forgive them? The pain is just too deep?

The church was silent, as every head was bowed in prayer. Tricia’s face was down, but her cheeks were stained with tears.

I want to be free, Lord. Free to forgive, free to love and perhaps find someone else who will be faithful to me. But how can I ever trust anyone? I feel as if I will never want to date again.

Just then, she felt the seat beside her press down. Tricia looked up.

“Hello, Tricia. I’ve been looking for you in the foyer.”

Tricia cringed. Amanda Atwell, the oldest woman in the congregation, who was pushing eighty. Tricia knew what was coming. She had the urge to jump up and run from the room, but respectability caused her to cock her head sideways and act as if she had no idea what the woman was about to say.

“There’s someone I want you to meet, dear.” The older woman’s voice and eyes were filled with excitement.

Tricia tried to smile, but couldn’t quite lift her lips that far. “Ms. Atwell. I know you mean well, but ever since I came to live here in Harbor Inn, Maine, you’ve introduce me to a different man in the church every week. It’s too embarrassing. I’m not interested in dating since I caught my fiancé cheating on me with my best friend.”

Ms. Atwell gave a gentle smile.

“And besides that, most of the men you introduce me to are old enough to be my father.”

Amanda’s face creased with her wrinkled smile and nod. “I know, dear. I’ve been foolish, trying to find you an older man, someone you could lean on and trust. Someone to help you forget about that no-good boyfriend, I mean fiancé.”

“That’s just it. I need time to get over him and forget and forgive. I don’t believe jumping into a new relationship is the answer for me. You’ve been sweet to try, but I think it will be better if I don’t enter the dating game again too soon.”

Amanda nodded slightly. “But this man is different. He’s younger, handsome and very single.”

Tricia sat back with a sigh. “I know you mean well, but I’m not interested. Not only am I not ready, but I don’t believe in dating anymore.”

“That’s good, because I don’t believe in dating either,” a deep voice from the pew behind her stated.

Tricia’s head shot up and turned. She had to crick her neck back to look up into the young man’s face. She gulped. If this was the man Amanda was talking about, the older woman had gotten one thing right; he was handsome, tall with dark wavy hair and piercing grey eyes. The corner of his eyes crinkled slightly when he smiled. A very nice feature.

Review of Cocoa Courtship, posted to 

"5.0 out of 5 stars: Delightful"

By Robin Bunting on November 12, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

A delightful courtship story around the 12 days of Christmas celebrated with a different hot chocolate each night. Tricia and Gathe are both strong characters which work well together. I really enjoyed this story. I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.

WIN a copy of Cocoa Courtship: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hey Teresa and Alexis! I love hot chocolate, so it sounds like a good book. :) Thanks for the excerpt. I love the theme of forgiveness and peace.

    1. Hey, Amber! Thanks for stopping by my blog! :) Hot chocolate is the perfect wintertime treat, isn't it? Good luck in the book giveaway contest. Take care and God bless you! :)