Excerpt of Most Wanted every #Monday by J Kenner
Welcome to another #MostWantedMonday excerpt as we countdown to the January 7 release of Wanted by J. Kenner, book one in the Most Wanted series of erotic romances that wilI be followed by Heated in May and Ignited in September!
I’m happy to say that I’ve been getting enthusiastic thumbs-up from from beta-readers!! I can’t wait until the book is available to everyone! I’m so excited for this new series! Read more
The “S.E.C.R.E.T.” is out.
Have you heard about S.E.C.R.E.T.?
Everyone has their secrets, fantasies and desires – some that they can hardly admit to themselves. In L. Marie Adeline’s scintillating novel readers discover what happens when one woman embraces those fantasies and brings them to life.
Sneak Peek! Scribd excerpt of #Lara Adrian’s EDGE OF DAWN
About the book:
In this pulse-pounding and thrillingly sensual novel, New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian returns to the mesmerizing world of the Midnight Breed, following new characters into a dark future where an uneasy peace can unravel into war—and a great betrayal can mask an all-consuming love. Read more
Day 7, page reveal of RELEASE ME + $25 GC Giveaway!
Download a free preview of FROSTBITTEN by Kelley Armstrong!
Elena Michael’s is the world’s only female werewolf, which means she has her pick of all the most eligible bachelors of the Otherworld. But when she and her long-time (and smokin’ hot) mate Clayton are both up for pack leader, will their opposing desires to be Alpha bring their romance to ruins?
Check out the excerpt below. We hope you enjoy it!
Shiloh Walker writes, What’s in a name…+ Giveaway
What’s in a name…
The heroine’s name is Hope.
After spending the past few years on the run, hope is kinda of the last thing she has, though.
But run wouldn’t be a very good name, right? Neither would fear.
Still, when she looks in the mirror, she doesn’t see Hope.
She looks in the mirror and sees
Meeting the hero of her story doesn’t make things any better. At least not at first. He’s a lawyer…and for her, that means he’s the enemy. A sexy enemy, but still.
She finds her strength in the oddest manner. It happens after an attack…on her, on a friend. Her best friend is attacked, she’s attacked, and it’s made to look as though she’s the one who attacked her friend, and then turned around and tried to kill herself. Not exactly the act of a woman with a lot of hope, right?
Except for this…
This time, the hope comes from Hope herself.
The attack pushed her pretty much to her limit and she found her stopping point. Found the hope buried deep within herself, and she found her strength.
I knew it was in there, inside her, otherwise, I couldn’t have written a book about her. A weak heroine is pretty much a mood killer… for me, anyway.
And while she’s not going to be the heroine to charge into the line of fire, she’s definitely not going to be anybody’s doormat. She found her strength during the course of this book, and she found herself…she found Hope.
A small snippet…
“Just get it over with?” he repeated, some of his tension edging into his voice.
“Yes.” She swallowed. “Please.”
“So polite. Even when you’re that pissed off at me. Still so polite,” he murmured. “Okay, Hope. I’ll get it over with.”
Then he closed the two feet between them. He wanted to touch her…he wanted it so bad, he hurt with it, ached with it, would have gone to his knees and begged it he thought it would have done any good.
Instead, he jammed one hand into a pocket, closed it in a fist.
The other, he used the tip of his finger and used it to lift her chin.
He had just a second to see her eyes flare wide before he dipped his head and brushed his mouth against hers. Just the lightest brush—hardly enough to even get a taste.
Still, that one taste blistered through him, rushed through him, setting his blood to boil.
He heard her gasp, felt it…and as her lips parted against his, he wanted, desperately to tease that slight opening with his tongue, see if he couldn’t coax her mouth into opening for him, just a little more.
Instead, he whispered against her lips, “I’ve wanted to do that from the first second I laid eyes on you.”
Want to read more about IF YOU SEE HER? You can check it out at my site…
A FACE IN THE MIRROR
Hope Carson may not look like a survivor, but she has escaped an abusive ex-husband and recovered from a vicious assault. Now she endures the painful memories and suspicious rumors surrounding her involvement in the attack. Her ex is a cop, so the last people she trusts are law enforcement officials—and she certainly doesn’t trust how the local DA makes her feel inside.
Remy Jennings should know better. He has no business falling for a woman who he suspects may have a deeply troubled mind. And even if he did make a move, she’d bolt like a frightened rabbit. But how can he deny a burning desire that threatens to consume him? As Hope’s past catches up with her in the worst way, Remy is determined to break through her defenses, earn her trust, and keep her safe in his arms—before it’s too late.
Find all of Shiloh’s titles here
HEA at USA – Book Review of Sweet Revenge by Christy Reece
Review written by – Mary Grzesik, USA TODAY
Sweet Revenge is Christy Reece’s latest Last Chance Rescue novel, and it starts off with a heart-racing, daring rescue. Dylan Savage, a Last Chance Rescue operative, is sneaking into a house to rescue kidnapped schoolteacher Jamie Kendrick. This first scene is very telling about these two characters.
When Dylan reaches the room where Jamie is held, she jumps on his back. Not wanting to hurt her, he drops to the floor. She says in a raspy voice,
“Touch me and I’ll kill you.”
Dylan feels admiration and compassion at the same time. He’s relieved that she’s “tough.” Dylan reassures Jamie that he is there to rescue her, but she doesn’t believe him. She’s naked and chained by one wrist. Jamie covers herself with a sheet while Dylan picks the lock on the handcuffs then gives her his shirt. She is weak and barefoot but determined to walk out on her own. For expediency he picks her up tenderly and rushes her out of there.
Jamie’s and Dylan’s personalities contradict their appearances: Dylan is alpha strong with a tender middle, and Jamie is petite with an iron will. This theme weaves throughout the book and makes their interactions riveting.
Stanford Reddington is a wealthy, “respectable” businessman. He has many diverse business interests, but his human-trafficking division is hidden under layers of secrecy. He lives in a secret location with his wife and daughters. What makes this villain particularly creepy is how normal he is with his family. He loves his wife and treats her with great respect. He dotes on his daughters and toddler son, and they have everything they need, except a view of the outside world. It’s another contrast: He considers the girls he kidnaps for his business “merchandise.” He’s angry when Jamie escapes. The law put a microscope on him, but he came out OK by saying he was taking care of Jamie in her abused condition. His older son, Lance, who was involved in the human trafficking, has been sent away to keep him out of trouble.
Jamie’s sole purpose now is to stop Reddington from hurting anyone else, not just revenge. She wants to be trained by LCR so she can go after Reddington herself. The LCR team, including her sister/LCR operative McKenna, wants Jamie to return to her old life while they take care of Reddington. She deals her way in by dangling insider info she heard as a prisoner in Reddington’s home. She won’t divulge the info until she’s trained. She spends a few grueling months at a cabin, training under Dylan’s tutelage. Jamie’s been in love with Dylan since her rescue. Dylan tries to keep her at arm’s length but fails miserably. Their chemistry is too strong. When Jamie’s training is almost complete, Dylan pushes her to divulge the insider info. To break their bond, he lies and claims that’s all he ever wanted from her and she’s furious and hurt at the same time. She leaves him there.
Jamie promises her sister McKenna that she is taking a teaching job in the U.S. In reality, and in disguise, she’s taken a teaching job with the Reddington family. Dylan, also undercover, has worked his way into Reddington’s inner circle and is invited to his private island. Dylan’s and Jamie’s paths converge again, although Jamie recognizes Dylan well before he recognizes her, from her laugh. They find what they came for with some unexpected help. Their late-night escape from the island is knuckle-biting. The HEA is very satisfying, even if Jamie thinks it’ll never happen.
Christy does it again with another terrific couple. I loved this book for its message of hope and redemption. Jamie is one of the toughest heroines I’ve ever read. She bounces back from a horrific experience and balances great determination with a loving heart and a love of teaching children. Dylan is my favorite type of hero: tough, strong alpha but gentle with Jamie. He overcame a horrible childhood, obtaining a psychology degree so he can help others. He respects Jamie’s strength and determination and treasures her at the same time, an irresistible combination.
I’m looking forward to the last of the trilogy, Sweet Reward.
Social Media – what you should & should not talk about + Giveaway
Well, it’s happened, the internet has taken over the world, or has at least taken over the virtual world, and maybe will take over the entire world in time. Which brings us to the topic of how much is too much — information-wise, what you should & should not talk about . . . are there boundaries?
When talking about the romance community, I can think of quite a few boundaries – - some of which you may or may not agree with me, as I think it really depends on what your boundaries are too, yes?
Couple of things that come to mind — information that you just should not share includes location — you never know who is listening in on your conversation. I’d hate for anyone to hunt us down & something awful happen – ok, that might be just me, watching too much CSI.
Something else that I think is not appropriate for Social Media is your personal life – especially when talking about family friends & so forth — general conversation I think is fine, but photos & too much personal detail, TMI? again, call me ‘Nervous Nelly’, however, you just put yourself & your family out there for a not so nice a person to take advantage of you, don’t you think?
You know how I love to Google, so I thought I’d search this topic, “Things you should or should not do on Social Media,” & this is what I found:
So, that was our Google search list — I know we can come up with better subjects as to what should or should not be breached in Social Media – want to name a few? Remember, every week, 5 commenters are randomly chosen for a random free book – winners announced on Sunday – Good Luck!!
The new year – what will it bring you? + Giveaway!
The new year – what will it bring you?
By Cassandra Carr
The New Year is here, and that means it’s time to once again assess your life. I’m not a big resolution maker, but I do have goals. They morph and change throughout the year depending on circumstances, but they’re always in the back of my mind. These goals can be anything from finishing a book to cleaning out my closets to teaching my daughter to tie her shoes.
I’m not real formal about my goals. I don’t write them down. I don’t quantify them as one-year, five-year, and ten-year goals. But I have them.
What are some of my goals? Writing-wise, I’d like to put five or six books out in 2012. Family-wise, I want to get my daughter toilet-trained, an effort she’s mightily resisting so far. On the home front, I want to find a place to put all the children’s books, DVDs etc that were displaced when we bought a new TV and got rid of our huge entertainment center.
I break down my writing goals using a spreadsheet project tracker. I have all the items in my writing queue prioritized and I keep track of what phase each project is in. At this point, without that I’d be lost. I need some organization in my life in order to get anything done!
What are some of your goals for the New Year? How do you plan to achieve them?
What is the appeal of romance novels? + Giveaway!
What is the appeal of romance novels? By Jennifer at Clean Romance Reviews
There are few women out there that truly don’t enjoy reading a good romance, even if it’s just once in a while. Though they might not actually site down and read them. I would say that there is rarely a story out there that cannot be improved by adding in a good romance. More than enjoying, I think I am officially obsessed with reading romances, watching romantic movies, or even hearing romantic stories.
But I started to think, why is that? Is it because I need to read about how other people have fantastically perfect romances? That I want that perfect knight-in-shining armor and can only get it in the pages of a book? Of course not! I myself am blissfully in love with my own husband, so why am I drawn to reading about other people falling in love?
I once heard that the appeal of romance novels comes from the fact that no one ever has to do laundry. Meaning that in romance novels, while there might be difficult situations, seemingly insurmountable circumstances, misunderstandings or any number of other obstacles, the bare necessities of everyday life is rarely involved. It makes sense; no one wants to take a break from doing chores just to read about someone else doing them. We want to get caught up in a new world where there is excitement, fun, danger and of course, a wonderful man who stands in as a knight in shining armor – whether that armor is tarnished or not.
I think my love of romances also stems from the fact that I love being in love. I love reading scenes that remind me of falling in love with my husband. Granted my husband isn’t a vampire, ghost, medieval knight, war veteran, rancher, business tycoon or any of the other heroes of most romance books, but at the root of it all, it’s about a man and a woman falling in love and making it work. And in the end, that is something we can all relate to. It is something that we have all either already experienced, yearn to know, or wish to taste again.
So with the fantasy of a semi-unrealistic life of no day to day chores, and the universal excitement of love, why do so many people turn away from this genre? I think there are a couple of reasons for this. The first and foremost I have encountered is that there are those out there who are opposed to reading steamy bedroom scenes and therefore skip the genre altogether in order to avoid it. I found this problem myself, but my desire to read cleaner romances forced me to not give up on romances. In fact, this very problem is the reason I started blogging. My site, Clean Romance Reviews, dedicates itself to reviewing and promoting romance books that are all about the romance and not the steam. I figure, why deny yourself the wonderful world of romance books just because you want to keep things on the sweeter side?
Question: Why do you think romances are so popular? What prompts you to read romances? If you don’t read them, what turns you off to the genre? Remember, 5 commenters are chosen each week to win a free book – winners announced on Sunday – good luck!
Thanks again for blogging with us this week — winners are below & if you are one, please send your snail mail to: email@example.com so we can get you your book! International commenters &/or commenters that prefer a digital copy please provide us your email addy so we may prepare your preview in Net Galley. Authors that may have offered a giveaway during the week will post their winners on those posts in the comment section — so take a look to see if you’re included!
Congratulations to these 5 ladies!
& join us this week to be one of the 5 – congrats to all & thank you for blogging with us!!
I’VE GOT YOUR NUMBER Giveaway: Winners!
And the winners are:
Shelley B. from Morris, AL
Lisa B. from Filion, MI
Shirley R. from Rosharon Texas
Dottie L. from Mount Laurel NJ
Allie M. from North Port, FL
Amy P. from Santa Ana, CA
Sherie L. from Baton Rouge, LA
Brandi O. from Huntsville, TX
Audrey S. from Waukesha, WI
Michelle S. from Honolulu, HI
Patti P. from Elk Grove Village, IL
Donna S. from St Louis, MO
Barbara E. from Orlando, FL
Roberta D. from Rochester, MN
Catherine L. from Leland, NC
Kerrie D. from Matteson, IL
Barbara A. from Clearwater, FL
Sara L. from Fairborn, OH
Rachel H. from Oakley, CA
Connie F. from Fort Myers, FL
Trudy C. from Tecumseh, MI
Carole F. from Crawfordville, FL.
Donna S. from Philadelphia, PA
Wendy C. from Vienna, VA
Congratulations to all of our winners, and thanks to everyone who entered. Even if today wasn’t your lucky day, we hope you enjoy the excerpt below. Remember, I’ve Got Your Number will be on sale everywhere on Valentine’s Day (February 14th), but you can preorder your copy today!
FRESH START WITH A NEW BEGINNING + Giveaway!
When Sue from Romance at Random asked me to write about what I like about the New Year, I figured, “This is going to be easy and so much fun. Well, I did sit down to write this post a few times, but it seemed to come out mixed up and all wrong. So… I figured this time, I am just going to write from the heart without an end in mind.
I have so many things that I like about a New Year that I almost don’t even know where to start. Lets start with what most people LIKE and HATE. The RESOLUTIONS!!!
People love them because it means a new start to that never-ending goal. Even better… it means a fresh start to “losing that baby weight.” For me, I neither say, nor do I have any resolutions. Why? Because I believe in setting goals and or doing things that I know I can obtain.
Most resolutions are things that are not in reach.
“This year I’m going on a VACATION.”
If you were planning a vacation, you would start well in advance — not two to six months before. So for me, they (the resolutions) are silly.
I believe that every day is a FRESH START WITH A NEW BEGINNING! Not just ONE time a year. If in June, you’re feeling stuck in a rut in life, just remember that tomorrow, when you wake, it’s a NEW DAY and a NEW BEGINNING to a NEW YOU! Celebrate another year of your life, seeing the change of seasons all over again, and celebrate your children.
Another thing that I love about a New Year, is finishing a good series. I typically only read books in series unless it’s written by an author that I ABSOLUTELY love! I would begin reading the series when the author was close to releasing book two or even book three. As a book reviewer, I now get them before they even come out! It’s great, but the only problem is you get stuck waiting.
I have one series that I started reading in July. Book two was released in October and the third book is set to be released this summer. To keep me busy in between, the New Year brings so many new books, authors, movies, actors, and of course, technology. Personally, I think the books, authors and movies are the best part!
I hope that this new year brings you all the joy and happiness you are looking for. I also hope that you will take the time to come and visit me on my blog at any point this year and beyond.
Could you please take a minute to share what you appreciate about the new year? 5 commenters win a book every week – randomly chosen & announced on Sunday – good luck!
Written by GreenIdMama from Life Happens With Kids http://lifehappenswithkids.com/
WINNERS ANNOUNCED – Stranded & looking for a good romance + Giveaway!
I always thought this was one of the most interesting but challenging plot lines in a story, don’t you? Two characters, that have an interest in one another, now together in a situation where they need to work together to get out of it — they could be stranded on a beach? Freezing in an abandoned, home? Linda Howard did this in ICE — great story!!
See what I mean? There are so many scenarios that can be created . . .
Characters could even be stranded together in a small town as they continually run into one another at the local coffee shop, laundromat, or grocery store. The fun begins when they must work together towards a common or related goal, that’s when the sparks can fly . . .
Susan Mallery is a goddess at this, always putting the H/H in a tough situation . . . in one of her Fool’s Gold books the characters had to work together within the town, LOL, love this stuff!
So ladies, let’s brainstorm together — what are some of those books you’ve read & loved that put the H/H in difficult situations –
Having some fun today!! Author Mariah Stewart knows how to create sparks in her Chesapeake Diaries series, so we’re going to do a GIVEAWAY in today’s post, 3 copies of HOMETOWN GIRL! GOOD LUCK! You must be 18 & must comment to win – winners will be randomly chosen & announced in this post by end of day.
Life was always just about perfect for Brooke Madison Bowers. She was the prettiest, most popular girl in small-town St. Dennis, Maryland, a prom queen, local pageant star, and the pride and joy of her loving parents. She even married the man of her dreams. But the promise of happily ever after fell to pieces when her husband was killed while serving in Iraq. Brokenhearted and longing for the solace of better days, she returns to the idyllic world of St. Dennis, and the familiar comfort of the family farm. Surrounded by her loving family and friends, she’s determined to build a new life, complete with her own cupcake bakery. She’s equally determined never to fall in love again.
For Jesse Enright, life has been a challenge. A fourth-generation attorney, he’s spent his life fighting to escape the shadow of his irresponsible father. Now he’s moved to St. Dennis to run the family law practice, and he’s ready to find the right girl, get married, and settle down. But his carefully laid plans go out the window when he meets Brooke and finds himself caught between the unbreakable law of attraction and Brooke’s resolve to go her way alone—despite the undeniable feelings Jesse stirs in her. But just like catching lightning in a bottle, is it possible to fall head-over-heels, heart-and-soul in love all over again?
Congrats ladies & thanks all for blogging with us!
My Passion for Police + Giveaway!!
My Passion for Police
By Deborah Harmse, author of In The Arms Of The Law
I’ve always been crazy about cops. Not cops-really-turn-me-on crazy or I-love-a-man-in-uniform crazy. Not that kind of crazy. In fact, maybe crazy isn’t the right word. Maybe curious is a better word to describe my interest in law enforcement officers.
You see, I’ve always wondered how a man who deals with scumbags all day at work can go home to his family and lead a normal life. How does he spend his day investigating crime scenes, witnessing autopsies, interrogating reluctant witnesses and probable murderers…then walk through his front door, hug his kids, kiss his wife and sit down at the dining room table to eat dinner and talk about homework and home improvement projects and the front lawn that absolutely must be cut this weekend.
I didn’t understand. I kept asking myself one question: How does a man managed to live such a dichotomous existence. That became the question at the center of my novel, In the Arms of the Law.
To answer that question, I set out to learn all I could about the life of a policeman—his typical work day; his opinions about criminals and witnesses and victims; how, after a particularly gruesome day on the job, he left all that behind and met his family for pizza to celebrate his son’s 5th birthday.
I devoured nonfiction and fiction books and articles written about (and by) cops. I was getting somewhere. My homicide detective, Mackenzie Hoyle (Hoyle because he was the type of cop who does things “by the book”) was beginning to come to life.
But I hit the research jackpot about 30,000 feet in the air somewhere between New Orleans and Los Angeles. I was flying home from a Romance Writers of America conference when I zeroed in on an article in Delta’s In Sky magazine praising a recently published nonfiction book—Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, by David Simon. (Years later the same book would be fictionalized in the television show Homicide: Life on the Streets and eventually become the inspiration for the HBO series The Wire.)
Homicide? Killing Streets? I thought. Now this is what I’m talking about. I couldn’t get a copy fast enough.
Then one day, when I was sitting at the counter in a coffee shop in Southern California, my nose buried in this fascinating book, the man sitting next to me asked me what I was reading. I looked at him, and without saying a word, showed him the cover.
“Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets,” he said. “Interesting topic. I have a friend who recently retired from the California Highway patrol. He was a homicide detective,” the man said.
“No kidding,” I said. “Do you think he’d be willing to meet with me? I’m writing a novel and my main character is a homicide detective.”
“Probably,” he said.
And that’s when my research got really interesting.
So question, any police type characters that light your fire? Either on TV, from a book or in real life? James Bond is always a favorite spy type what about you — comment to win one of five books randomly given out to random winners every week on R@R – winners announce on Sunday – Good Luck!
The Making of . . . .by Jean Stone + Giveaway!
I am thrilled to have my first three novels included in the Loveswept program. Talk about timeless female topics: babies, lovers, and awakening independence.
The concept for IVY SECRETS began with my editor. A graduate of Amherst College, she attended the school when Prince Albert of Monaco was studying there. We wondered what it was like to be royalty at small college in western Massachusetts. Because I write for and about women, and because western MA is my home, I shaped an idea around a princess who went to Smith College in neighboring Northampton.
My mother had dreamed I would go to Smith. Of course, that was a while ago. The woman who’d headed the ladies’ guild at our church was president of the Alumnae Association. I think my mother hoped that a Smith education would turn me into a white-gloved, proper lady, like Mrs. whatever-her-name-was.
I did not want to go there. There were no boys. It was too close to home. And I had little interest in taking classes with the daughter of President Nixon.
Fast forward about a hundred years: I found myself prowling the Smith College grounds, notebook in hand, enthralled by the ages-old campus with its ivy-covered brick buildings, its rambling walkways and inviting stone benches, its old New England, academic charm. What a magical place for adventure! For romance! For a princess to land!
I muttered to my by-then-deceased mother that perhaps I should have listened to her.
I love to write about situations that affect women of all ages, all backgrounds, all walks-of-life. As a writer, I have the most fun when I toss a few very different females together and watch what happens. Guaranteed, there will be conflict. Guaranteed, there will be fun. And usually, they will wind up with a secret or two.
Often they find love, which can be enchanting and wonderful, or nerve-wracking and exhausting, but always life-changing.
IVY SECRETS opens years after the main characters – Charlie, Tess, and Marina – had been roommates at Smith. On the surface, it appears that the women have nothing in common, not then, not now. But, today, Charlie’s fourteen-year old daughter has been kidnapped: Reluctant or not, the women know the importance of sticking together.
As they attempt to locate the girl, we learn the story behind their story…how each arrived at where she is today, and what, if anything, can be done to change decisions of the past.
I hope you enjoy IVY SECRETS as much as I enjoyed writing it. I’d like to extend a special thanks to my bff, Steven Cooper, who came up with the title. And thanks to Prince Albert of Monaco, too, for his unwitting contribution!
* * *
Can you think of a situation where you found yourself depending on women with whom you have nothing but in common except for one situation?
Remember, 5 winners are chosen every week to win a random book – good luck! Winners announced on Sundays.
What’s Next: After having written several playful, tongue-in-cheek novels under the pen name, Abby Drake, I am currently working on a series that takes place on Martha’s Vineyard. Visit my website for updates: http://www.jeanstone.com.
Holiday decorations . . . when do you take them down? + Giveaway!!
I love the holidays — the smells from baking cookies, the cheer created as you’re decorating the tree, decorating your house; I love the music, the movies — I love the holidays. The problem is, I never get to start them when I want to . . . . my tree went up on December 4th, was that too early to put up my tree?
Hanukkah is later this year, December 20 – 28 – is it too early then to put up a menora?
The stores started decorating in July, well maybe Oct — but, they had Christmas items for sale back in August!! I should be able to put my tree up the day after Thanksgiving, don’t you agree?
But the BIG question now is . . .when do you take all those decorations down? This seems to be something that spouses argue about every year after the holidays are over — when to take down your tree . . . . I’ve decided that if I can ‘t put up my decorations until Dec., they should be able to stay up through January . . . don’t you think? Our tree is artificial so it is not a fire hazard . . . well, what about you? When do you put up your decorations for your holiday celebration & when do you take them down?
I’m dreading the taking down part this year, it is always such a BIG job!
Answer below! Remember, 5 commenters are chosen every week to win a FREE book — good luck!!
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
It’s the dubious distinction of thirty-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam—built by Willa’s great-great-grandfather and once the finest home in Walls of Water, North Carolina—has stood for years as a monument to misfortune and scandal. Willa has lately learned that an old classmate—socialite Paxton Osgood—has restored the house to its former glory, with plans to turn it into a top-flight inn. But when a skeleton is found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, long-kept secrets come to light, accompanied by a spate of strange occurrences throughout the town. Thrust together in an unlikely friendship, united by a full-blooded mystery, Willa and Paxton must confront the passions and betrayals that once bound their families—and uncover the truths that have transcended time to touch the hearts of the living.
Sarah Addison Allen is the author of Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen. She was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina.
Praise for The Peach Keeper
Allen juggles smalltown history and mystical thriller, character development and eerie magical realism in a fine Southern gothic drama. The underlying tension will please and unnerve readers, as well as leave them eager for Allen’s next.
Praise for Sarah Addison Allen’s The Girl Who Chased the Moon
“Captivating . . . Sarah Addison Allen produces tantalizing fiction.”—The Roanoke Times
“A dusting of magic, the aroma of sugary cakes swirling through the breeze, and a girl who unwittingly brings change to a town of misfits make for a sweet summer story filled with hope and forgiveness.”—Beth Hoffman, author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
“Charming and entertaining . . . Don’t miss this spellbinding tale.”—Asheville Citizen Times
“Allen clearly knows that all the fun is in the journey. . . . Sit back, open this book and join her.”—Greensboro News & Record
“An enjoyable read [with] doses of magical realism and romance.”—Associated Press
“Easy to devour in one sitting.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
1. What do you think the title The Peach Keeper means? Who is the peach keeper in the story?
2. Superstitions played a big part in Willa’s grandmother’s life, and in Willa’s life, by extension. What superstitions did you grow up with? Why do you think superstitions exist?
3. Several of the characters in The Peach Keeper struggle with how people used to see them as opposed to who they are now. Who were you in high school? Do you miss that person? Or are you glad to leave that time in your life behind?
4. Willa spent her formative years as The Joker, acting out and sparking controversy that she wouldn’t become aware of until she was an adult. What do you make of her past actions? How does it connect to the way she acts in the novel? How does it affect her relationships as an adult?
5. The characters in The Peach Keeper live in an extraordinarily beautiful area, one surrounded by waterfalls. Yet Willa once remarks, “When you see it every day, sometimes you wonder what the big deal is.” Do you think you get so used to beauty that you stop seeing it? What are some natural wonders in your area? Does Willa’s comment also refer to people?
6. The Blue Ridge Madam takes on a life of its own in the novel, becoming much more than a building. What do you think it represents for the town? For Willa and Paxton?
7. There’s a wisp of something supernatural following the characters in the story, seemingly brought into their lives by the discovery of buried bones under a peach tree. What are your thoughts on the supernatural? Do you think disturbing a grave upsets the spiritual side of things? Have you ever had a paranormal experience?
8. One of the prevailing themes in The Peach Keeper is friendship. Agatha and Georgie are elderly, and have been friends all their lives. Paxton and Willa have a newly formed friendship. The book posits that friendship is “a living breathing thing, something that comes to life the moment it happens and doesn’t just go away when it’s no longer acknowledged.” If there is no big break-up, just a gradual separation, do you think the friendship still exists? Do you think once you are a friend, are you always a friend? Have you ever reconnected with an old friend and found that you still share a bond with them?
9. Sarah Addison Allen’s books usually have themes of forgiveness and food. Have you read Sarah’s other books? How is The Peach Keeper similar? How is it a departure? Did you recognize the reference to the main characters in her debut novel, Garden Spells?
10. Paxton, Willa, and even Willa’s father, deal with parental expectation. Do you think that who we become in life is due in part to what our parents wanted us to be, or who are parents were? If you have children, how do they fit the pattern?
11. How do you take your coffee? Do you think that says something about you? Do you believe, like Rachel, that how someone takes their coffee says something about their personality?
12. What do you think of Paxton and Sebastian’s relationship, and how it evolves over the course of the novel? Have you ever had a similar relationship in your life? How do you feel it fed into the overall themes of The Peach Keeper?
13. Willa and Colin have a complicated relationship from the start – what do you think is the strongest force pulling them together? Do you think their relationship would have worked had they met in another time and place?
14. In the end, Agatha keeps a secret she promised to keep seventy-five years ago. In this information age, we are not a private society. How hard is it to keep secrets? Would you be capable of keeping a secret that long?
15. The theme of roots runs through the novel – from the peach tree, to Colin’s work, to the characters struggling with their place in Walls of Water. What about the town and its history draws people to it and entices them to put down roots? On the flip side, what about it causes others to deny their roots and move away? Have you had a similar experience with your home town?
Guest JoAnn Ross – and Giveaway!
Once upon a time in Oregon, a boy and girl fell in love. It was not, as their parents continually insisted, merely puppy love. But the Real Thing.
Years passed. When the girl was eighteen-years-old, the boy took her to the Oregon Coast, where he bought her a white paper bag of saltwater taffy, then proposed.
Naturally, the girl said, “Yes!”
The magnificent coast has always been a special place for me. Even before that memorable proposal. But on that day it became my most romantic place in the world. Which is why, when I returned to my romance roots, writing comfort stories about families and falling in love, I wanted to invite readers home to Shelter Bay with me.
Shelter Bay is a magical place. Not magical in the paranormal woo-woo sense, but magical because it’s a town that not only shelters (thus its name), but heals. Where life moves at a slower pace, where people genuinely care about each other, and where even the most guarded heart is no match for love.
Combining my hobbies of photography and scrapbooking, I’ve made a scrapbook video of the town, which, although fictional, borrows from several beloved coastal towns we love to visit. Those familiar with the coast may recognize several of the locations and sights, although I did photoshop the names of the Grateful Bread and Sea Mist restaurants.
I’m going to share a little secret. Those of you who’ve been reading my Shelter Bay series may have been suspecting that Sedona, the CPA turned baker from Take the Cake, would be my next heroine. Which is exactly what I’d planned. But hottie SEAL medic Lucas Chaffee turned out to have a different idea about that. Although he definitely found Sedona appealing, they just didn’t click. I was getting concerned about this problem when I woke up one morning with what turned out to be the opening line of On Lavender Lane in my head:
“Madeline Durand was braising short ribs in an Omaha department store when her husband’s sex video went viral.”
Suddenly, celebrity chef Maddy appeared on the scene to save the day! And better yet, I discovered that Lucas was the “summer boy” who’d broken her heart years ago.
Which is how On Lavender Lane turned out to be a reunion story, and although Lucas believed he had a good reason for what he did back then, he has a lot of explaining to do. But having let Maddy leave Shelter Bay once, he’s not about to let her get away this time. After all, he’s a SEAL on a mission, and with the help of some Shelter Bay matchmakers, he whips up with his own special recipe of passion, patience, and perseverance to win her over.
Of all the books I’ve written, I honestly had the most fun writing the final chapters of On Lavender Lane, when a determined Lucas pulls out all the stops. You can read the first chapter and some lovely reviews on my website. Always willing to sacrifice for my readers (lol), I gained ten pounds while test cooking every meal that appears in the book. All which will eventually appear with other yummy Shelter Bay recipes in a free e-cookbook, so stay tuned for that.
To celebrate Lucas and Maddy’s story’s publication, I’m giving away autographed copies of the first two books in the series — The Homecoming and One Summer — to three people, chosen at random, who comment. To give everyone time, the winners will be announced here, in the comments section, on Thursday, so please check back here!
I’m also having a month-long Find Lucas contest, where I’ll be giving away either a Nook Simple Touch, A Kindle Touch, or a B&N or Amazon gift card for the equivalent. Details can be found on my website.
Connie Fischer, Patti P, and Nancy Davis! Congrats & thanks for blogging with us!
New Years – again??? What’s your resolution – giveaway!
New Years time – another resolution has to be made & although I love to make them I’m not the best at keeping them – you?
I’ve made all kinds of resolutions through out the years:
and sooooooo many more!
What are some of your resolutions — new ones, old ones, maybe one of yours will work for me – goodness knows, the resolutions I make I can’t seem to keep *Grins*
Remember, every week, 5 winners are Randomly chosen to win a FREE book — winners announced on Sunday – good luck!
Random Thoughts with Stefanie Sloane – Dancing with the Stars!
Dancing with the Stars!
I thought long and hard about what special gift I wanted to give you all. My pocket book doesn’t allow for diamonds or a new Benz in the driveway. And my schedule is too tight to fit in an extra story.
But I’ve got something even better. It’s a secret. A secret that needs to be told. You see, Julia Quinn and I love the nightlife. We love to boogie. That’s right; we’re disco dancing fools. It’s incredible aerobic exercise and, let’s face it, we look awesome in our bell bottoms and platform shoes.
So just for you, we’ve put together a holiday dance routine. We hope that it brightens the holidays and inspires everyone to get on down to Funky Town and shake your groove thing!
What is your fav dance era?
Celebrating the Return of our Military + Giveaway
As we celebrate the return of US military personnel from Iraq, many more are still deployed, stationed overseas, or just unable to return home. Although being away from home can be a challenge, it also offers unique ways to celebrate the holiday season. I asked my “sisters in arms” at the RomVets, www.romvets.com, to share how they celebrated the holidays during their military service.
From Merline Lovelace, USAF
Al and I were in Vietnam for the Christmas of 1971. He was at Danang, I was in Saigon but managed to catch a hop up to spend Christmas Eve and Day with him. I hauled enough cheese, crackers and other goodies from the PX at Tan Son Nhut for us to throw a party for his troops at his hooch. They provided the booze
We had a great time singing slightly risqué versions of Christmas carols then, just before midnight, we piled into jeeps and drove across base for midnight mass at the chapel. Halfway thru mass, I heard these rousing snores start coming from the pews behind me. The chaplain, bless his heart, just kept on with it. We managed to wake everyone up and get them safely back to their hooches before the first round of rockets came in about 3 am.
When my son joined the Marines, his boot camp went through the holidays. To try and make his Christmas special, I contacted his kindergarten teacher and asked if her class would make Christmas cards for his platoon. She agreed. When I went to the elementary school to pick up the cards, not only had her class made cards, but other teachers had heard about what I was doing, and their classes also made cards as well. I was so moved by the incredible and thoughtful wishes those children had written, I still cry thinking about it. When my son opened the package of Christmas cards from his first grade teacher in Marine Corps boot camp, he was blown away. Best, he shared them with the other Marines.
The Navy sent us to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for two years in the early ’80s. Because it was illegal to practice Christianity in that country, we decided to celebrate Christmas this way: Before we left the U.S. we packed white tree lights, cookie cutters, and several spools of red ribbon. We knew that whatever the circumstances, we could bake cookies and hang them on an indoor plant for our “Christmas Tree.” As to religious services, families met together in our western compound and held illegal services. It made us think about what it must have been like to be an early Christian. (It makes us appreciate a choir singing out in church to this very day!) We explained to our children, ages 6 and 8, that whether or not the Saudis confiscated the Bible that we hid in our household goods or took the gold cross from around my neck, nobody at Customs could check our beliefs. It was a valuable lesson for all of us to know that no one can take away the thoughts, feelings, or beliefs that we hold dear.
When we were stationed at the Naval Facility in Argentia Newfoundland, my DH (also a Veteran) and I spent one Christmas Eve dancing Irish jigs in the
kitchen of some friendly locals. Afterwards we enjoyed our first (and so
far my only) caribou steak dinner.
I share my own unique experience from the Netherlands. We attended Christmas Eve Mass in the Caves of St. Peter. Located near Maastricht, centuries of quarrying for marl provided underground caverns that the locals often used during seiges by invading neighbors. During WWII, the American Army used the caves to hold Christmas Eve Mass before engaging the German army in the Battle of the Bulge. Our modern mass paid homage to those brave men.
I invite you to share how you have celebrated the holidays – tradition or unique. One commenter will win a 2012 Hawaiian Calendar. Winner will be announced in this post – good luck!
Kim Adams is an Air Force Veteran and Air Force spouse in Hawaii. Her blog, SOS Aloha, promotes romance reading, military families, and Hawaiian culture at www.sosaloha.blogspot.com.
Building a Perfect Hero (or not) + Giveaway!
Back in the day, typical romance fiction heroes had flaws such as arrogance, being temperamental, or carrying emotional scars left over from childhood that made them unable to commit to a relationship. By the end of the book, though, these flaws were overcome, or at least, well understood by the hero and heroine. You never read about a hero with a physical deformity or an un-redeeming flaw. These heroes were all Greek-God gorgeous, every last one of them. No-one else needed to apply.
Yet, as I turn the pages of my favorite romances today, I am discovering more atypical heroes – not in the sense of men with deeper internal flaws, but in their imperfect physical appearance. And I couldn’t be more thrilled.
We have romance heroes who are blind, whose arms and faces bear visible scars, who have lost limbs or who use wheelchairs or canes. Who reflect the real life heroes we, our friends and families, love wholeheartedly, every day. Even television has begun to break the perfect hero mold by introducing J. R. Martinez (the triumphant winner of the Dancing with the Stars reality competition and former actor on All My Children) who lights up the screen with his talent and his savoir faire.
My preference for an imperfect romance hero must have started with the comic strip, Brenda Starr, Reporter. I fantasized about her exotic boyfriend/husband) Basil St. John. He was brooding, tall and dashing – a typical romance hero – but with one significant difference. He wore an eye patch. This Brazilian eye candy was blind in one eye. And nobody cared.
Then there’s Jean Marais, seen above, legendary star of films including the breathtaking black and white French version of Beauty and the Beast by director Jean Cocteau. A beefcake 1940’s star, Marais’ incredibly chiseled male jaw and sensual appeal personified a typical romantic hero – but I much preferred the scenes where he was fully transformed into the character of la bête (the beast). La bête was able to speak of love, death, and desire solely through his eyes, surrounded by an exquisite visage of horror. Be still my heart! I was disappointed when Beauty transformed the beast and they rose into the sky to inhabit his perfect kingdom. B-o-r-i-n-g.
One of my favorite romance stories featuring a not-so-perfect hero is Teresa Medeiros’ Yours Until Dawn. From the moment that scarred and blind hero Gabriel Fairchild stumbles (literally) into view of the heroine Samantha Wickersham – he steals your breath away.
Another favorite pick is Lynsay Sands’ regency, Love is Blind. Although both the hero and heroine have imperfections, Lady Clarissa Crambray learns to love Adrian Montfort, Earl of Mowbray, despite his disfiguring physical appearance.
Why do I adore a bad boy who isn’t physically perfect? I think Samantha’s reaction to Gabriel says it best. “His ruined beauty was somehow more compelling than perfection could ever be.”
What about you? Can a romance hero be less than physically perfect, but still enthrall you as a reader?
Jenna Victoria is an aspiring novelist whose articles have appeared in magazines and newspapers. She is currently writing an inspirational romantic suspense series, and serves as President of Faith, Hope and Love, the inspirational romance chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is also a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and Long Island Romance Writers.
Heroine Love from our Guest & giveaway!
Holly: It’s no secret I struggle with romance heroines. I find that I’m much harder on the heroine than I am the hero of the story. Mostly, I think, because I have high expectations for women in general. I want to see my sex represented well in all places, especially in romance.
It doesn’t take much for a heroine to ruin a story for me. Last night I read a contemporary romance. I really enjoyed the first half of the book. During the second half the heroine started blaming the hero for things outside his control and generally acting crazy..before I knew it a book I was really loving ended up a wallbanger. That’s all it takes for me sometimes.
So when I find a book with a heroine I love, it’s practically a miracle. It doesn’t happen often, but when I finish a novel and think “wow, I really loved that heroine”..well, that’s the best feeling in the world.
Here are 5 romances featuring really amazing heroines:
1. Amber Flame (aka His Bonnie Bride) by Hannah Howell – Storm Eldon is one of my most favorite romance novel heriones ever. Honestly Tavis, her hero, kind of pales in comparison.
2. The In Death Series by J.D. Robb – Eve Dallas is probably one of the most well-known kickbutt heroines. She’s strong emotionally and physically. I kind of want to be her when I grow up.
3. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase – Jessica Trent. Oh how I adore Jessica Trent. Here’s a woman who is confident in herself, knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it (or him, as the case may be).
4. Heart of Fire by Linda Howard – Jillian Sherwood is another woman who is confident in herself and knows her own mind. Plus, she deals in sarcasm..something I greatly appreciate.
5. Anything by Meljean Brook – I was going to choose one of Brook’s heroines, but..well, I just can’t decide. She writes very heroine-centric novels and every one of them is strong and amazing (though I will admit to having a soft spot for Savi).
Casee: I mostly agree with Holly about being harder on the heroines than the heroes. As we all know, Holly has a bit of neuroticism running through her (one of the reasons I love her so).
Recently I have found myself deluded with men and their eternal stupidity. Heroes are generally stupid in the choices they make and how they are always trying to protect the heroine a) from herself b) from himself c) some unknown enemy. Thus the BIG MISUNDERSTANDING. It’s almost always perpetrated by the heroine because of some the hero has done. We need heroines that are smarter than that.
Here are my 5 favorite romance heroines:
1. J.D. Robb In Death – Eve Dallas. She can kick Roarke’s ass and she puts up with Summerset.
2. Elena Deveraux from Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. She has changed so much from the first book in the series, but everything that made her a great heroine has remained the same. She’s a consort to the scariest Archangel and she doesn’t even blink. Elena has never disappointed me as a heroine.
3. Christina Bennett from Lyon’s Lady by Julie Garwood. I love her guilty innocence.
4. Lady Emma Wells Finch from Lady Be Good by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Only a very special heroine could put Kenny Traveler in his place.
5. Evangeline Jenner from Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas. Sebastian, Viscount St. Vincent. Enough said.
What romance heroines do you love? Remember 5 winners are chosen every week to win a Random FREE book – winners announced on Sunday – Good Luck!
A LADY AWAKENED Giveaway: Winners! (Week 2)
- Briana H. from Sugarland, TX
- Davida C. from New Boston, TX
- Sandra E. from Burlington, NC
- Patti D. from Hawkins, WI
- Sue J. from Bamberg, SC
- Lora P. from Omaha, NE
- Margaret S. from Zephyrhills, FL
- Danielle G. from Kissimmee, FL
- Pam B. from Meridian, ID
- Jeanne S. from Pittsburgh, PA
There are still 2 weeks left in December, so there’s still plenty of time to enter. And who wouldn’t want to read the romance debut Mary Balogh calls “a marvelous gem of a book”? Read an excerpt and enter to win below!
10 new winners will be selected next week, so sign up today!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO WIN. Limit one entry per person. Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States who are 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. For a copy of the official rules, click here or go to http://www.romanceatrandom.com/official-rules-for-rr-sweepstakes/
A LADY AWAKENED Giveaway: Winners!
- Debbie S. from Livingston, NJ
- Pamela B. from Pomona, MS
- Jessica W. from Bay Village, OH
- Cheryl M. from Essex, MD
- Irene T. from Pittsburgh, PA
- Renee B. from Houston, TX
- Lisa R. from Little Hocking, OH
- Sharon B. from Cabot, AR
- Lauren M. from Memphis, TN
- Lisa W. from Monroe, WI
There are still 3 weeks left in December, so there’s still plenty of time to enter. And who wouldn’t want to read the romance debut Mary Balogh calls “a marvelous gem of a book”? Read an excerpt and enter to win below!
10 new winners will be selected next week, so sign up today!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO WIN. Limit one entry per person. Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States who are 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. For a copy of the official rules, click here or go to http://www.romanceatrandom.com/official-rules-for-rr-sweepstakes/
Holiday Blues and Things That Pick Me Up! + giveaway!
Holiday Blues and Things That Pick Me Up! by Keira Gillett
Love Romance Passion
Thanks Sue for inviting me here today at Romance At Random!
Show of hands—how many of you have finished your shopping already? How many are still running around trying to find everything? I see with these two questions I got all of your attention! Ha! So now my next is—what are you doing for yourself? Nothing? For shame! Here are 5 things I’m doing this holiday season that kicks holiday blues to the curb, relaxes me and gives me great pleasure (And I’m not just talking about abducting Robert Pattinson for a weekend, rawr!!! Down girl! lol):
1.) Bubble Baths: Seriously, a bubble bath has got to be the most relaxing activity you could do. Imagine yourself sinking into a warm fragrant bath up to your chin, a dozen scented candles softly glowing, some ambient music and a good book to read. Sounds heavenly doesn’t it?
2.) Drinking Mint Hot Chocolate: I love hot chocolate (I don’t know anyone who doesn’t, do you?) and mint hot chocolate is the best. I like to make it in my gigantic Scrabble cups so that I can slowly savor it that much longer. Delicious.
3.) Going to the Movies: Specifically the new Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows movie opening on December 16. Can we say hawt? Hot! I cannot wait to go see this movie. It looks like it will be epic and with Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. to ogle? Yeah, a very pleasurable evening!
4.) Get My Nails Done: I used to get my nails done only very rarely. I didn’t see the point spending money on a manicure and only have it last a week. But my mom recently discovered Shellac by CND, which goes straight on the nail, and it lasts forever. I go about 4 weeks between appointments and they look fresh and stay chip free the whole time. It’s amazing. For the holidays I’m going to get snowflake nail art on my ring fingernails. It’ll be so pretty and a definite treat! Now I just have to decide on the color. Tough choice, I know but somebody has to do it, right?
5.) Read a few new books: For a full list of romance novels coming out check out the monthly book list. I bet you walk away with a few new additions to your TBR pile. But you know what? You’re totally worth it, so go ahead and grab a few more!
What will you be doing for yourself this season? Share in the comments below! Giveaway to 5 randomly chosen commenters each week — winners announced on Sunday – good luck!!
Keira Gillett reviews all kinds of romance genres at Love Love Romance. She’s what’s considered an equal opportunity reader-reviewer. Her (I got-to-have-more/can’t-get-enough-of) hero types are either: blind, scarred or wounded. Wonder what that’s about? *g* Find her on Twitter.
Holiday Romance books — it’s that time of year!!
How do you find those romance books — you know, the holiday stories that you love to read —- especially this time of year? I am addicted to small town romance, no question, but during the holiday’s the need intensifies and I just want to buy them all!!
Take Mistletoe Mine – first – I love the cover! But any time I can spend in Eternity Springs is an auto buy for me — plus, this gets me ready for the next book in the series, Lover’s Leap on sale in Dec.
Seriously, I’m a sucker for these types of stories — Debbie Macomber has sold me year and year again — look at her list:
& MORE!!!! I just could not list them all . . .
What about Comfort & Joy by Kristin Hannah -now available in paperback — another heartwarming story, taking a look at real life with one author’s way of how to make it better.
Mary Balogh’s A CHRISTMAS PROMISE is another story that I’ll never forget: Weddings are supposed to be joyous occasions—especially when a couple seems as well matched as Randolph Pierce, Earl of Falloden, and his bride-to-be, Eleanor Transome. Ellie brings to the marriage a vast dowry, while Falloden, though distant, is handsome, tremendously desirable, and possessed of a title most young ladies can only dream of sharing.
I can go on for days — but what are some of your favorites — share with us so we can enjoy the holidays together — 5 winners are chosen randomly every week & announced on Sunday — Good luck!!
A sneak peek at COVETED by Shawntelle Madison – On sale 4/24/2012!
Check out this excerpt of Shawntelle Madison‘s Coveted! If Stephanie Plum were a werewolf, she’d be something like Nat Stravinsky. It’s Nat that gives this funny, sexy new urban paranormal romance its refreshing twist—because being a werewolf isn’t Nat’s only quirk. And it’s not why the cute, charming Nat is still single, or why she’s the family misfit and an outcast from her werewolf clan…it’s because she’s obsessed with hoarding holiday ornaments! Nat’s “secret” is just the first of the delicious, hilarious twists in this funny and inventive new take on the urban paranormal genre.
Random Thoughts with Stefanie Sloane – Exclusive!
Peeps, I have a confession to make: I am not a patient person. Typically, this does not work to my advantage—nor anyone else’s, for that matter. But there’s a first time for everything!
See, I’m the type of reader who looks early and often for new books. A premise might interest me. Or a gorgeous cover. Maybe the author’s background or a glowing quote from one of my favorite writers. Whatever it is, it captures my attention and will not let loose, even if the book isn’t due out for months.
Months? Months! Argh! How can I be expected to wait when all I want are the words in my hot little hands?
Well, turns out I don’t have to. Now that I wield the power of the Random Thoughts column, I can legitimately
harass ask authors to share tasty excerpts and treats from their upcoming books.
Sneaky, right? But oh-so effective!
victim author is Heather Snow, who makes her debut this coming February with the historical, Sweet Enemy. It is the first in Snow’s Veiled Seduction series and features a newly minted Earl and a brilliant female chemist. According to legendary author Julie Garwood, Sweet Enemy is filled with “historical intrigue and heart-pounding passion.”
Beakers and ball gowns don’t mix, so when a lady chemist goes undercover as a husband-hunter to investigate the earl whose family she thinks may have murdered her father, romance isn’t part of her formula. But it only takes one kiss to start a reaction she can’t control…
Just before this scene, Geoffrey, Lord Stratford, has evaded two determined marriage-minded misses who’d stalked him through the darkened hallways of his country home at a house party arranged by his mother. Find out what happens when he literally catches our heroine, Liliana Claremont, in his library after he knocks her from a rolling ladder. Though Liliana was, in truth, scouring the library for evidence, Geoffrey understandably mistakes her intentions…
“If you think getting yourself ‘discovered’ alone with me will win you a husband, Miss Claremont, you are sadly mistaken.”
Liliana Claremont’s gasp of outrage sent her flying from his arms. The sight might have amused Geoffrey . . . if he weren’t so damned irritatingly aroused. Her shocked expression, the delicate hand spread across her chest in a “how dare you accuse me” gesture. Oh, she was good. No doubt about that. Geoffrey ruthlessly shoved aside the part of him that wondered, given their recent embrace, what else Miss Claremont would be good at.
He exhaled as the burning pain that speared through his lower back eased a bit. He shouldn’t have held her so long. Geoffrey willed his discomfort into the background and instead focused on the fiery woman standing before him.
Her eyes sparked, sending embers sizzling through his chest. The flame she’d roused when he’d met her earlier this evening flared back to life. He squelched it.
Geoffrey raised a brow, waiting to see what excuse she would give.
Miss Claremont took a deep breath and stiffly lowered her hand to her side. Her pouty lips opened, then snapped closed and firmed. Geoffrey thought he could actually see her mind working through the accusation he’d leveled at her.
He watched this transformation from accused innocent to affronted angel with fascination. God, she was exquisite—for a conniving little actress.