It is with great pleasure that I welcome Sandy Appleyard, author of Blessed and Betrayed, to my blog today! Not only is she sharing information about herself and her latest release, The Wife of a Lesser Man, but she is also giving away a $15 Amazon gift card AND a copy of The Wife of a Lesser Man! I’ll tell you more about that shortly, but first, let’s get to know Sandy better.
Sandy, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a Canadian mom of two and wife to a very supportive husband. My first two books, which are memoirs, pretty much outline what my life is like. But essentially I’m an animal lover, avid reader and writer, a clean freak and a health fanatic.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
I do a combination of both. Story ideas, titles and subplots come to me at strange times, so I record notes and input when time permits. Because I’m a mystery writer, I generally have to follow an outline so my clues mesh together properly.
Okay Sandy, I know you’re not supposed to show favoritism but who’s been your favorite character to write?
I actually love writing all my characters, but I really enjoyed writing about the minor characters in ‘The Wife of a Lesser Man’. My favourite is Constable Nelson and mostly because he’s a newbie, still wet behind the ears and so sweet. Nelson tends to get the simple jobs because he’s new, yet he nails them and proves himself after each task is complete.
Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
I have wonderful beta readers, but one in particular helped me so much with this book that I owe him a world of gratitude. Beta readers are so important in the final phase of editing; I can’t even tell you. If it weren’t for beta reading, this book would have ended so flatly; readers would have been disappointed.
What do you do for fun?
Well, they say if you find something you love doing, you don’t work a day in your life. Writing to me is fun; so is reading. I guess I’m a bit of a geek. Exercising and physical activity (including cleaning my house) is also fun. I’m weird.
Tell us a little about The Wife of a Lesser Man.
‘The Wife of a Lesser Man’ is a romantic suspense about a married police chief (Mark) who suffers a heart attack right before a serial killer strikes. He is left impotent and just as he begins to track down the killer; he realizes his wife (Shelley) is having an affair. The story has many twists; one involving a co-worker of Mark’s who is hiding his wife’s grave illness despite cutting corners in the murder investigation. Shelley’s single friend Sarah proves to be both a rose and a thorn; she’s supportive during Mark’s convalescence, but she’s also the one who encourages Shelley to flirt and socialize with other men, leading Shelley into temptation.
What was your inspiration behind this book?
I was inspired to write this book after having a ‘what if’ conversation with a dear friend about adultery. A few days later I had enough notes to start writing, and the book just took off from there.
If you were going to cast the characters of your book, what actors would get the part?
The main characters Mark and Shelley would be portrayed best, in my opinion, by Liam Neeson (closest character role-Taken) and Michelle Pfeiffer (What Lies Beneath). Shelley’s best friend Sarah by Marisa Tomei, and Mark’s partner Richard by Brad Garret.
Description – The Wife of a Lesser Man
They were deeply in love, their days and nights filled with scintillating romance and passionate love making—even after 20 years of marriage. Then fate delivered a hammer blow when a heart attack led to Mark’s impotency and Shelley’s unbearable frustration.
Encouraged by a friend, Shelley becomes flirtatious and unfaithful, finding those moments of glorious intimacy for which she hungered with another man. Mark, a police chief, suspects nothing as he channels all his time and energy into tracking down a serial killer. But when the murderer leaves a terrifying final clue too close to home, only Shelley can solve the case
“I’m so sorry. I don’t mean to take this out on you.” Shelley squeezed Sarah’s hand.
Sarah half laughed. “That’s okay. Why are you being so apologetic? I’m your best friend and if I can’t be your punching bag once in a while then what am I good for?”
“What exactly are you scared of?” Sarah asked, letting go of Shelley’s hand.
“I know it sounds terrible because I should be so thankful that Mark is still with me. But…I miss him. I miss his touch and the way he used to look at me. We used to make love at least a couple times a week, more when we were younger. Before his heart attack we used to have quickies even at lunch time or whenever we felt the need. He was so passionate and very ready and able to go. I never needed to ask.” She took a sip of wine.
“Well give it some time. I’m sure he’ll come around soon.”
“You’re right. I know. But I don’t know why I’m worrying so much. I mean, it’s not like we’re twenty anymore,” Shelley said, half laughing and waving her head from side to side.
Sarah looked directly at her, “Shelley. You’re allowed to feel. Being afraid and worrying is perfectly natural. Freaking out under the circumstances is okay. You held it together miraculously when Mark had his heart attack. You were bound to lose it some time.” She paused. “I’m just curious. What exactly made you freak out during yoga? Was it really because I was talking to Michael?” She took another sip.
“I don’t know. Maybe you were right about me being jealous. It is true that you can have sex whenever you want. I guess it made me realize that with Mark I can’t feel that way anymore.”
Sarah smiled and patted Shelley on the hand. “Don’t kid yourself honey. Remember: I’m not twenty any more either.”
Shelley guffawed. “Yeah, but you can still get hotties like Michael whenever you want.”
Sarah waved off her comment. “Yeah, but look at that hottie that was checking you out!”
Shelley waved off Sarah’s comment. “I was just looking at his tattoo.”
“What was that anyway? A lion?” Sarah asked.
“Yeah. It’s his astrological sign. He’s a Leo.”
Sarah lifted her eyebrows, swaying her hips from side to side and commented in a sultry voice, “I wonder if he goes in like a lion and out like a lamb.”
Here’s where you can get your copy of The Wife of a Lesser Man
Giveaway and Blog Tour
What you can win: A $15 Amazon gift card AND a copy of The Wife of a Lesser Man
To enter for a chance to win: Click here
Sandy, how can readers connect with you?
About the Author
This is Sandy’s fourth self-published book and her second novel. Her first romantic mystery, Blessed and Betrayed was received very well by readers and reviewers and was given an average of 4.25 stars on Goodreads and Amazon.
Sandy wrote her first two books, which are memoirs, while her children were infants. The Message in Dad’s Bottle is about her father, who tragically passed at the age of 41 from alcoholism, and I’ll Never Wear a Backless Dress tells Sandy’s personal story about her life with Scoliosis.
Sandy is a full time writer and when she isn’t writing she’s reading, exercising, playing with her children, her cat, or obsessively cleaning her house.
It is with great pleasure that I welcome Libra Rajani, author of Soul Custody to my blog today! She’s sharing an excerpt from her latest release, The Perfect Choice.
Tanya Campbell is full figured, full of life, and has no business on a ‘let me fix you up’ Caribbean cruise. But when Isaiah Scott promises to be the man of her dreams she is intrigued. However, once on board she discovers that he can’t make it after all. Thus, when a mysterious stranger approaches her and asks her to spend some time with him she feels she has nothing to lose and agrees.
Malik Anderson has reservations about playing investigator for Isaiah, but he owes him a debt and giving him daily reports on Tanya Campbell is the least he can do. However, when he finds himself falling for her, text messages to Isaiah become few and far between. How can he choose between the mentor who shaped his future and the woman that he longs to be with?
When Tanya discovers Malik’s betrayal she heads back to Florida and is determined to give Isaiah the opportunity he missed. Even though the handsome Isaiah is generous, funny and promises to give her the world; his critiques, negative assessments, and other strange discoveries give her pause.
Will Tanya’s anger cause her to settle for something less or will her heart rule her head and compel her to forgive Malik’s betrayal and build the relationship she deserves?
The Perfect Choice – Excerpt
Tanya sat in the Florida home of her friend Simone Holiday and listened to her go on and on.
“Tanya Campbell,” she said with a pointed finger. “I’ve heard everything about your horrible history with men, but after you meet Isaiah Scott, I promise you that this will be the year you say, ‘I do’.”
Tanya rolled her eyes and poured more of the Mojito cocktail into their glasses.
Simone glanced up as she raised her glass. “What?”
Tanya nudged her forward. “What do you mean what? If you’ve listened to anything that I’ve said, you know damn well that marriage is not on my vocabulary list. As I told you when I moved to Miami six months ago, I’m focusing on my career as a fraud investigator. If I can have some fun in the process, that’ll be even better.” She watched her friend shake her head and take another sip of her libation. She laughed. “Don’t look at me that way. Most people don’t find their soul mate in high school and if they do they don’t stay with ‘em. My girl Gabriella can attest to that.
“I know I’ve been fortunate on the love front, but you can too if you just give yourself a chance.”
Tanya nodded and knew that Simone Holiday’s was well intentioned. For the past three months, she’d listen to her brag about her half-brother Isaiah Scott. Her mother remarried an up and coming real estate broker. When good investments paid off, her mother never had to work and Simone wanted for nothing. She worked as a volunteer at a hospital. That’s how they met. Tanya sprained her ankle trying to climb one of those rock walls. But for the most part, Simone had nothing but time on her hands. Now, her main objective in life was to find all of her single friends a husband. Tanya was next on the list. All she heard was, “Isaiah’s so wonderful. He’s such a good catch.” Simone didn’t even know what he looked like let alone who he was. Her mother was never married to her biological father who lived in Chicago and when Simone was two years old, he later moved out of Illinois all together. Simone never knew an Isaiah existed until a year ago.
According to Isaiah, when his mother recently died, he looked through some of her papers and discovered their wayward father had another child. He was elated and immediately looked Simone up. They’d been emailing once a month ever since. Simone was just as ecstatic and through the correspondence, discovered that he was the product of a previous relationship his father had, five years before her birth. Isaiah was a lifetime Chicagoan and the notable founder of a youth program there. As a result, he was the recipient of several awards and doing well for himself.
In any case, meeting Isaiah was the reason for the girl’s night. Simone was trying to convince her once again to go on a cruise so that everyone could finally meet. Isaiah relayed to her that he was looking to settle down. She in return, relayed to him that she knew the perfect woman. He was more than eager to jump aboard.
“Tanya, what harm is it going to do? If you don’t like him, you can go on about your business and I’ll leave it alone.”
“I’m not going,” she said after a long pause. “Because of you and your bragging, everyone expects us to meet, hook up, and live in marital bliss. I hope you kept your word and didn’t tell him any of my business. I don’t tell most people that I’m a fraud investigator.”
“I didn’t tell him anything that I know you’d want to tell him yourself. I just told him that you were a very good friend of mine in the finance business who was looking to meet someone nice and settle down.”
Tanya doubted that. She’d seen Simone in action and if she knew you, she had something to say about how she could improve your life. They’d become good friends, but Simone was the type of woman that shared everyone’s business with everyone else. She didn’t see any harm in it, but in Tanya’s eyes, if Simone were gossiping about everyone else, she was gossiping about her as well. That was why she only shared her deepest thoughts with her mama and her best friend Gabriella. “That makes me sound desperate. I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to hook your brother up with someone else. Blind dates put me right there on front street. He hasn’t seen me and I may not be his type. Hell, he’s probably not mine either.” She stared in the mirror on her left and slid her hand across her stomach that was now two inches wider than it was six months ago. “Some men don’t appreciate all I have to offer.”
“That’s ridiculous, besides, you can lose that by the time we go on the cruise.”
That evening was several weeks ago and unfortunately endless debates wore her down. Before she knew it, she was booked on eight-day ‘let me fix you up’ Caribbean cruise and she was now sitting in the seat of a Southwest Airlines plane.
It was already off to a horrible start. While studying to become a CPA, she found that aiding companies who suspected fraud fascinated her. Because the work was tedious, she had to attend many seminars. She also had to obtain her Certified Fraud Examiners License. Her supervisor scheduled a meeting for the week after the cruise, but due to an unfortunate mix up, she had to travel to Chicago the day before. It wasn’t too bad because it was her hometown, but it caused her to arrive a day later than the other cruisers. She couldn’t do anything about it considering it focused on the new inventive ways an employee could defraud a company. That was something she could embrace. She closed her eyes and thought about the uncertain week that was to come.
“Excuse me, is this seat taken?”
She looked up at an older man with salt and pepper hair and beard.” No, it’s not taken sir. Have a seat.” She smiled and moved her purse. “I’m Tanya. It’s nice to meet you.”
He sat down with his newspaper in hand and squeezed her into the window. “Likewise, I’m Franklin. I don’t mean to bother you, but I don’t like sitting in the rear. I’m a nervous flyer.”
She nodded. “Don’t apologize. It’s perfectly fine. I don’t like the rear either.” She looked around at the crowded plane. “I guess everyone is taking advantage of the low rates this time of year.” A screaming baby disturbed her. She looked down the aisle and put her index finger to her lips.
“You don’t like kids?”
That question always gave her pause. Should she lie to appease him or tell the truth? It wasn’t that she didn’t like kids; she just didn’t think children were in her future. That didn’t sit well with some people. When Gabriella asked her to be her daughter’s godmother, it was enough for her. “I don’t have a problem with kids,” she finally said. “But I’m not in that space. I’m focusing on my work.”
He smiled. “My daughter is around your age and she used to say that too, but like I told her, you have plenty of time to change your mind. I have four children myself and two grandchildren. They’re the best things in my life.”
She smiled. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be rude, but I have some work to do and then I’m going to try and take a nap.”
“I have my newspaper.”
She looked out the window as the ground disappeared and the plane rose above the clouds. Maybe Simone is right and this vacation won’t be so bad. Maybe Isaiah will turn out to be a nice guy who
Want to read more? Get your copy!
Here’s where you can find Libra Rajani
About the Author
I am Libra Rajani and I am a romance/women’s fiction writer. Libra Rajani is a pen name I selected because occasionally I write erotic romance and my husband leads a slightly public life. I picked Libra Rajani because it defines me, Libra (searching for balance), and Rajani (the dark side). I definitely have one.
I am from Chi-Town, born and bred. I am the only female of three children born of my parents. I attended the University of Illinois, studied psychology, and married my high school sweetheart; we have been married for twenty-eight years, and have three sons.
When I’m not writing, which is only twenty-five percent of the time, my husband and I love to sample unique dishes and travel to different countries, which is a great inspiration for my novels.
It is with great pleasure that I welcome fellow author, M.J. Kane to my blog! M.J is the author of A Heart Not Easily Broken, book 1 of The Butterfly Memoirs Series and she has recently released book 2, Jaded. But before she tells us about her latest release, lets find out a little about the writer behind the books.
Okay M.J., tell us a little about yourself.
Well, the person behind this pen, (or keyboard!), is a stay-at-home-mom with a very over active imagination. I once thought it was because of being an only child and spending a lot of time making up stories to entertain myself. But since I am an adult with four kids, a hubby, and six dogs, I now see storytelling as a gift! I am also a stroke survivor, and by that I mean I really survived. After nearly dying in in 2006 and recovering from partial paralysis, every day is a blessing. Discovering I have a talent I wasn’t aware of before has aided in my recovery.
Wow, you’re truly a walking miracle and it’s wonderful to hear that your writing talent has aided in your recovery!
Now M.J., your featured book is Jaded, where did you get the idea for this story?
The idea for Yasmine’s and Zack’s story came from a song by Kem called Love Calls. I’d finished writing A Heart Not Easily Broken where Ebony and Brian found their HEA, but I’d left Yasmine hanging by a thread. I knew I wanted her book to be about her journey back to love, but was not sure how to write it. One day, I was cleaning house and listening to my iPod and the song came one. I have the tendency to listen to the beat only and lyrics last. That day, I actually listened to that song over and over and over again. In fact for the rest of the week that was pretty much the only song I listened to. The lyrics are about a person who’s had a bad experience in love before and fears taking the risk to be hurt again. Knowing Yasmine’s past history was fraught with disappointing relationships, I decided to create a male lead that had the same past issues. Putting two people together who want to love and be loved, yet play the game of being ‘just friends’ interested me. And of course, friends-with-benefits relationships are nothing new to books, television, and movies, so I added a twist. The book isn’t just about two people unable to fight the attraction and avoid a relationship. I wanted to focus on if the relationship would continue to bloom or if it would fail once the HEA was reached, and real life issues snuck in. How far would one go to keep what they thought they would never have? When do you know you’re making the right decision? How much can you trust someone with your heart and know that despite mistakes, what you have is real? Those are the issues faced by the characters in Jaded.
How long have you been a writer and what keeps you writing?
I didn’t start writing until 2009, after my husband suggested I pull out a short story I’d written as part of a fan fiction challenge. He challenged me to complete it, and from there, my interest in writing and character development took flight.
Well, I for one am glad he challenged you! Are you working on any other writing projects?
As of now, I am working on the third novel in The Butterfly Memoirs Series, Lonely Heart. This story follows the third friend, Kaitlyn Rodgers, that was introduced in A Heart Not Easily Broken.
A devastating breakup leaves Yasmine Phillips in shambles. Unable to trust another man with her heart, she focuses on the one thing she can control—starting her own business.
When her computer crashes, taking months of hard work with it, she must rely on computer genius Zachariah Givens to save her. A complete opposite of men from her past, she doesn’t expect the passion that ensues. But just as she finds happiness, she learns the truth about the other women in Zachariah’s life.
What makes your characters unique?
Allowing my characters to tell their story by writing in 1st Person, and not only following the female leads story, but developing a story that is just as deep and life changing for the male lead makes my characters unique. Also, the issues that challenge them are everyday problems that readers may have experienced or can relate to. Doing so makes it easier for readers to relate to them and become emotionally invested in the story.
Excerpt from Jaded:
I closed my eyes in an attempt to find pieces of the wall I built around my heart. It was impossible; Zack had chiseled them away in the short time we’d known each other. The pain plaguing me from past relationships was easily forgotten while in his arms.
“Yasmine,” his whisper husky, the laughter from earlier gone. “Look at me.”
Never had a man’s gaze pulled me in this hard. Desire replaced reasoning, a feeling so strong it could not be ignored. How did this happen? Was it the theme of the day, the alcohol consumed, or the fact this man seemed to have eyes only for me?
Zack gazed hungrily at my mouth and licked his lips.
Panic built inside. This could not be happening. I couldn’t ignore the fact I wanted it.
Maybe even needed it to happen.
My lips parted of their own volition as Zack lowered his mouth to mine.
The moment our lips connected the world stood still. Breathing ceased as desire exploded inside of me, drawing me deep into forbidden territory.
Who knew a kiss this simple could be this earth shattering?
I pressed closer, my hand slid over his chest; the heat of hard flesh through fabric drew me in to accept everything he gave.
The first slid of his lips was a soft contact, testing. The second, an exploration of the water, dipping a toe into the pond.
The third was so much more. My mouth opened involuntarily and Zack’s tongue caressed mine.
He tasted like the wine he’d taken from me. I gripped his shirt as an uncontrollable whimper escaped. Zack responded by releasing my other hand and slipping his to the nape of my neck, holding my mouth hostage to the onslaught of his kiss. We no longer moved to the music.
All control was lost. The desire to pull him the short distance to my bedroom to ease the ache in my heart and the need to have his naked body against me was the only thing on my mind.
This was not supposed to happen. We were friends, not lovers. I valued his friendship. Our relationship was perfect. With no strings, no attachments, and no commitments, neither of us risked being hurt.
We were supposed to be platonic.
Then why did his mouth feel so good? Why did his controlling grip cause my body to weep for more?
I forced myself off this natural high and focused on his response. My eyes closed, I listened to his breathing as he continued his assault on my senses. It was as ragged as mine. Damn, he felt it, too.
I pulled away from his mouth, struggling to be free of his arms. “I can’t do this…”
“Yasmine,” he held firm, “don’t leave.”
“Let me go, damn it, Zack, let me go,” I was unable to keep the panic from my voice.
Zack stilled, his brow lowered. “I wasn’t trying to hurt you.”
I looked away, not wanting him to notice the tears about to hit. “I know…just…I can’t, please,” I implored.
“Yasmine, we need to talk about this.” When I looked back, his expression seemed as pained as the way I felt.
I shook my head, “I can’t.”
He lowered his gaze and loosened his grip, allowing me to wiggle free.
I avoiding the festivities by slipping into my room by way of the patio.
“I’m sorry.” Zack’s apology drifted over as I slid the door closed behind me.
Want to find out what happens next? Get your copy today!
Here’s where you can purchase a copy of Jaded.
Want to connect with M.J? Visit her at one of these online sites:
Happy Hump Day!
Today I’m joining in with other authors, who share little teasers /excerpts from their work in the Hump Day Hook. Click here for more information.
For this weeks hook, I’m sharing an excerpt from Rendezvous with Danger, book 2 of the Reunited Series. I’m also giving a $5 gift card away to one lucky commenter (details below).
Alandra Pargas, ex-CIA counter-intelligence officer, plans to wreak vengeance on the people who tried to kill her. A little rendezvous with danger is not what scares her, though. It’s seeing the tall, dark, and dangerously sexy man she vowed to love forever that has her running for cover.
Former U.S. Special Operative, Quinn Hamilton, left the world of covert operations after the love of his life died in his arms during a black op. Three years later, he still loses sleep wondering if maybe he could have done something more to save her – until Alandra shows up on his doorstep. With her lies and betrayal, he wants nothing to do with her, yet, his heart won’t cooperate. It’s not until unknown enemies come after her that he must decide if he can leave the past behind and protect the woman he’ll always love. Will they survive this last mission and rekindle the love and passion they once shared?
Two days after Alandra’s reappearance, Quinn sat in the parking lot of the hospital where she worked. Dark clouds with the threat of snow hung low, and Bonnie Raitt’s, Since I Fell for You, played through his truck speakers, adding to his already crappy mood. He couldn’t get Wiz’s words out of his head. Had Alandra really risked her life to protect him? If so, why? Though Wiz didn’t have concrete proof, he had a good argument to back up his theory – Alandra was in Tzbekystan that night because of something or someone she felt was a threat to him.
Quinn shook his head. It didn’t make sense. He was a trained assassin. What did she think she could accomplish by being there?
He inhaled a deep breath, released it slowly and rested his head against the headrest. Seeing Alandra again had aroused old feelings and unease he thought he had put behind him the day he found out she was dead. Could he be near her again without giving into the longing, the ache that had left his heart frayed and battered years ago?
He focused his attention on the hospital entrance. He had been sitting in the lot for fifteen minutes hoping to catch her before she went in to work. Either she was late, or he had gotten her work schedule wrong.
When her four-door Honda tore into the parking lot his chest tightened. An odd reaction for a man who told himself the night before, he wanted nothing to do with Alandra. Why should he help her when she didn’t care enough to let him know she was alive? He rubbed his forehead. I’ll help her with whatever mess she’s involved in and then move on. What was it about her that made him want to protect her? He’d been with plenty of women, but no one else took his breath away like her, or tempted him to throw caution to the wind just to be with them.
Alandra stepped out of her car. Rust caked the bottom of the doors. There was a noticeable dent near the front bumper, and the driver’s side door was gray where the rest of the car was brown. The thought of his wife driving around in that death trap made him sick. My wife. He had a wife. Was he ready to reclaim her as his wife? He shook his head. How could he when he still couldn’t believe she was actually alive? And part of him felt there was something she wasn’t telling him. He could feel it in his gut.
Alandra grabbed a black messenger bag from the backseat of her car and rushed toward the entrance. Quinn jumped out of his truck and hurried to meet her.
“Alandra!” he called out.
She stopped and her back stiffened before she slowly turned around. The look she gave him would’ve made a weaker man turn and hightail it out of there, but he was no ordinary man.
“What do you want?” she snapped, her voice low and frosty.
Her attempt at intimidating him with her coldness had the opposite effect. She was sexy as hell when she was angry. Her cheeks, crimson red, burned with anger and the nostrils on her delicate nose flared. A vein in her long, tempting neck twitched and those hypnotic eyes that he had lost himself in plenty of times grew dark and insolent. Oh yeah, she was pissed. The only thing missing was her speaking Spanish, which she used to do when she was angry or making love.
“We need to talk.”
“Oh, so now you want to talk?” She looked at him through narrow slits and inched toward him. “The other night you didn’t want anything to do with me. You kicked me out of your house like I was some two-bit tramp that you screwed and was tired of looking at.”
He sighed and pulled his wool cap lower on his forehead. Apologizing had never come easy for him and now was no different, but if he wanted to find out what was going on, he’d better come up with something, and it had better be good.
When several people exited the hospital, Quinn attempted to pull her off to the side, but she jerked out of his grasp. “Look, I’m sorry, all right?” He tossed up his hands. “You shocked the hell out of me the other night. I was confused, angry, and shit…I didn’t know what to think.”
She glared at him, pulled her lightweight jacket closed and tugged her bag strap higher on her shoulder. She turned and walked away, moving to a small alcove just shy of the hospital entrance. Quinn followed.
“Since you want to talk, talk, because I have nothing to say to you.”
Her head snapped up and her chin jutted out. “Stop calling me that! It’s Velvet.” She shoved her hands into her jacket pockets. “My name is Velvet Aguilar.”
Quinn cursed under his breath and closed the distance between them with one determined step. “Alandra,” he repeated, emphasizing her name. “I don’t know where you got that other name from, but I’m not about to refer to you as anything other than Alandra Pargas…Hamilton.”
She looked about as shocked as he felt by his words. One minute he wanted nothing to do with her, and the next he claimed her as his wife. What the heck is wrong with me? The sudden vulnerability he saw in her eyes made Quinn want to pull her close and cover those sweet pouty lips with his own. The magnetic pull they once shared was stronger than ever and by the look in her eyes, she felt it too. He so wanted to kiss her, but that would be a mistake since he knew from experience that one kiss from her wouldn’t satisfy him.
Her voice quivered and Quinn wasn’t sure if it was from emotion or if it was from the cold gust of wind. He shook out of his leather jacket and wrapped it around her shoulders. Holding on to the lapels he pulled her close, their faces within inches of one another.
“Listen to me. I’m not here to argue with you. I don’t know what brought you to Chicago, but I want to help if I can. You have to tell me what’s going on.”
She shook her head, tears suddenly lacing her eyelashes. “I can’t,” she mumbled. “I—” Her voice cracked.
“I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what you’re involved in.”
“No. Just stay away from me. I can’t explain, because there is so much I don’t know, and it’s not safe. Please, just stay away.”
Instead of fighting the urge to wrap her in his arms, he placed his hand on the back of her head and with a gentle tug, captured her lips with a hunger that rocked him to the core. The kiss immediately exploded into something more powerful than he could imagine, and dragged his memory back to what once was. His arm snaked around her waist and hers circled his neck. He didn’t care about the thirty degree weather, or that she was late for work. All he wanted was to recapture a little of what he had missed. He would face the consequences later.
Want to read more? Click here to get your copy today!
This drawing/giveaway goes from May 1st – May 5th (9pm est). I will be rewarding a $5 Amazon.com gift card to a randomly drawn commenter in the comment section of this post (don’t forget to include your email address). The winner will be announced May 6th in the comments section. Note: Those who are subscribers to my blog or follow my Facebook Fan Page, names will be entered into the drawing twice. Good luck!
It is with great pleasure that I welcome Cassandra Carr, author of Should’ve Known Better, to my blog today! Not only is she sharing information about herself and her book, Should’ve Known Better, but she is also giving away a $10 gift card! I’ll tell you more about that shortly, but first, let’s get to know Mrs. Carr better.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a multi-award-winning, bestselling author of contemporary erotic and non-erotic romance. I’m published with Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id, Sybarite Seductions/Twenty or Less Press, Siren Publishing, and Decadent Publishing. When not writing I enjoy gardening, watching movies, going out, and hanging with my husband and four-year-old daughter. I’m a hockey fanatic, and many of my stories revolve around hockey in some way.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
I’m pretty much a pantser, though sometimes I have a couple of paragraphs of an outline. I’ve tried plotting before, but it didn’t work for me. The story felt flat and lifeless.
What genre do you write in the most, and what is it about the genre that attracts you?
Most often I write erotic romance. It appeals to me for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that I think it’s more realistic. After all, in today’s world who waits until the tenth date to even kiss? Also, I’ve been told I’m pretty good at writing sex scenes, and I enjoy the aspect of the story where the hero and heroine fall in love at least partially through sex.
Do you have a favorite hero/heroine you’ve written? What makes them special?
My favorite hero is Sebastian from Should’ve Known Better. He was the very first hero I’d ever written and I took all the things I love in heroes and put them all in Sebastian’s character.
I don’t think I have a favorite heroine. I tend to like my heroes more than my heroines.
I liked Sebastian too! He was a real sweetheart! So Mrs. Carr, since you normally write erotic romance, do you think there is a such thing as too much sex in a romance novel?
*snort* Well, you’d think I’d answer “no way!” to this question, but not so. There can be too much sex in a story if it’s there just to be there. The sex has to lead to something. Even in erotic romances with a half-dozen sex scenes scattered throughout there should be a reason for each encounter to be there.
What do you do for fun?
Watch hockey, though my Sabres just about killed me this season. I also like to go out – the Buffalo NY area is home to 1500 bars and restaurants. There are some really great restaurants around here and I love discovering new places.
Tell us a little about Should’ve Known Better.
Should’ve Known Better is a contemporary non-erotic hockey romance. It’s over seventy thousand words, so it’s considered a full-length novel. Here’s the blurb:
Sarah Jenkins, a math geek and hockey fanatic, is thrilled when the NHL hires her as an advisor for the Buffalo Storm. She gets to marry her two loves in this perfect job.
Sebastian St. Amant is a young hockey player looking to make the jump from the minors to the big leagues. His lifelong dream is within reach, but he needs to convince the Storm’s management and coaches he’s ready.
When Sarah and Sebastian meet, sparks immediately fly. Both want to succeed, but neither can ignore the growing attraction and a relationship is out of the question—Sarah’s an influential staff member and Sebastian’s a player, not to mention over ten years her junior.
But the impossible becomes the necessary when they can no longer fight their attraction. As everything crashes around them, the strength of their relationship is tested. Will it weather the storm, or should they have known better?
What makes your characters unique?
Sebastian is a great combination of sexy and vulnerable, sensual and intense. He sees what he wants and goes for it with single-minded purpose.
Sarah is a woman who’s trying to build a new life and has been given the chance of a lifetime. She feels a strong attraction to Sebastian but is deathly afraid to act on it.
I think the situation Sebastian and Sarah are in make them unique. Sebastian is twelve years younger than Sarah and Sarah works for the hockey team he plays for.
If you were going to cast the characters of your book, what actors would get the part?
Oh wow. I originally modeled Sebastian after Sidney Crosby. Here’s a pic http://img2.timeinc.net/people/i/2010/galleries/olympichotties/sidney-crosby-1.jpg . He’s a hockey player for the Pittsburgh Penguins, not an actor. The wonderful cover model Scott Nova is on the cover. I really have no idea who I’d cast. I never know the answer to this question when I’m asked, lol.
For Sarah I really have no idea. She’s in her mid-thirties and has crazy, out of control auburn hair. I have a picture of her in my mind but it doesn’t correspond to any actress I’m familiar with.
Mrs. Carr, thanks for answering a few questions and letting the readers get to know you better!
Here’s an excerpt from Should’ve Known Better:
Sarah Jenkins scooted to the edge of the seat in her SUV as she stared at the hulking building in front of her. The August sunshine was only partially to blame for the bead of sweat running down the side of her neck. She couldn’t afford to screw this up. After wiping her damp palms on her skirt, she slid out of the car and hit the alarm remote. Turning, she bounced off a hard object and stumbled backward from the force of the impact, letting out an involuntary grunt. The immoveable object was a man, and what a man he was. He had a body like granite, with chiseled features, and was casually attired in shorts and a T-shirt clinging for dear life to his arms and chest. The guy could’ve been a sculpture.
“Are you all right?”
Her heart pounded in her ears due to the fight or flight reaction from their collision, paired with the pure, inexplicable rush of lust he evoked.
“I’m, um…” Sarah cleared her throat. Talk, you idiot. “I’m fine.”
Her cheeks flamed as she ducked her head. Was this what scientists meant when they said women were attracted to males they sensed had the strongest DNA? Between his killer body, light green eyes, and sexily tousled head of hair, he looked like he’d just jumped out a cologne ad in GQ. As far as she could see, his DNA was damn near perfect.
It was hard to miss the long, thorough once-over he gave her, leaving her hot and feverish—a reaction she couldn’t attribute purely to the blazing heat or her frazzled nerves.
Their gazes collided and he stared at her with a glimmer of male interest. She wasn’t sure why he’d be interested in her. He was gorgeous, and she was, well, a nerd, for want of a better word. Her eyes were drawn to full lips that would’ve looked feminine on other men, but there was nothing feminine or soft about him. Hard, sinewy muscles stretched over his arms, legs, and torso, but despite his size and musculature he managed to look lean rather than bulky. He reminded her of a panther readying to strike, and her breathing kicked up another notch. Sarah shook her head to clear it. She had a new job to focus on right now and that was the only thing that was important. It had to be. She couldn’t afford to screw this chance up.
“After you,” he said, moving back a step and motioning for her to pass. His voice had a hint of an accent. French-Canadian, perhaps? It rolled over her like a gentle breeze.
“Thank you. And I’m sorry about running into you.”
“I’m not.” He gave her a one-sided, incredibly hot smile.
She needed to get into the building before she did something stupid like offer herself to him as a human buffet.
Get your copy! Here are the buy links:
As mentioned above, Mrs. Carr is doing a giveaway! Here’s the Info:
Prize is $10 gift card to winner’s choice of eBook retailer. Contest is tour-wide and ends May 15th. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
Enter for your chance to win!
Here’s a link to her blog tour schedule that way you can enter at every stop:
Mrs. Carr, how can readers connect with you?
About the Author
Cassandra Carr is a multi-award winning erotic romance writer with Ellora’s Cave, Siren Publishing, Sybarite Seductions, Decadent Publishing, and Loose Id. She lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out online. Cassandra is the co-founder of two successful group blogs, Romancing the Jock and Dirty Birdies, and participates in several others as a contributor. Recently she was re-elected president of Western New York Romance Writers.
In agreeing to spotlight Should’ve Known Better, I also agreed to give an honest review.
Should’ve Known Better by Cassandra Carr
Element(s): May-December, Sports-Themed
Publisher: Twenty or Less Press
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Heat Level: Steamy
Word Count: 67,000
I was excited to read this book not only because I love sports romances, but also because the title was very catchy. If you enjoy hockey, statistical analysis of sports, and a nice dose of romance, you’re going to enjoy Should’ve Known Better. Mrs. Carr’s writing style is clear, concise and the story is cute.
Prior to reading this story, I didn’t know much about hockey, but I feel the author did a nice job of weaving the sports theme into the overall story. Actually, it was a huge part of the story. I found the statistical part of Sarah’s (main character) job with the Buffalo Storm’s hockey team fascinating.
As for the two main characters – they were seriously attracted to each other at first sight and I was really pulling for them throughout the story. Due to Sarah’s new role as an analysis consultant for NHL’s Buffalo Storm (she was one of the bosses), and because Sebastian (main character) was one of the hockey players, Sarah wasn’t willing to risk her job to be with him, despite their mutual attraction for each other.
The story kept my attention in the beginning. However, I was a little disappointed with the ongoing cat and mouse game between Sarah and Sebastian. He wanted to be with her, she wanted to be with him, but she kept putting on the brakes (for much of the story). With that said though, a little more than three-quarters into the book, the story picked up with a GREAT plot twist. I won’t spoil it by telling you, but it spurred me to read on – to the point of not being able to put the book down! But then, I got to the epilogue and the story came to a screeching halt. For a moment, I thought I had missed something and actually went back a few pages to reread.
Despite those couple of items, the story was a good read and had good supporting characters – especially Rob. I REALLY liked him. He added a nice dynamic to the story as a whole.
This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and I would definitely consider reading more of her work.
Overall Rating = 4 Stars
Book Cover = 4 Stars
Book Blurb = 4 Stars
Writer’s Voice /Style = 5 Stars
Character Development = 4 Stars
Story Appreciation = 3 Stars
Recommendable = 4 Stars
I was just thinking…a year ago, April 24, 2012, I published my first novel, Something New. As I look back over the past twelve months, I find it hard to believe it’s been a year…and what a year it’s been! Here is just a taste of what I’ve been up to this past year:
April 24, 2012
Release day of my debut novel: Something New, an “edgy” sweet romance.
April 25, 2012
First short story published, Best Woman for the Job, a contemporary romance. Best Woman for the Job was FREE for the first few days of it’s release.
Best Woman for the Job - an All Romance ebook bestseller.
- In knowing that the sky is the limit and believing that I’d be publishing books for many, many more years to come, I formed a LLC publishing company. Figured it would also be a good move come tax time. NOTE: Amaris Publishing LLC is currently only publishing books by Sharon C. Cooper.
- Something New, made Amazon’s top 100 Best Sellers list in African American Romance and Multi-cultural Romance.
- Best Woman for the Job, made Amazon’s top 100 Best Sellers list in Multi-cultural Romance.
- My second novel was released, Blue Roses (Book 1 of the Reunited Series), a romantic suspense.
- Something New made Amazon’s top 50 Best Sellers list in Multi-cultural Romance and the top 100 in both Religious Romance and African American Literature.
- Something New and Blue Roses are now in paperback!
- Blue Roses made Amazon’s top 100 Best Sellers list in African American and Multi-Cultural Romance.
- I mapped out my next book series – the Jenkins Family Series. Best Woman for the Job is the prequel for this five-book series. Stay tuned – more information about this series is coming.
- Blue Roses is still on Amazon’s top 100 Best Sellers list in African American and Multi-Cultural Romance.
- Outlined two new titles (contemporary romances). More information to come -summer 2013.
- Released my second short story, Secret Rendezvous a romantic suspense and the prequel to, Rendezvous with Danger, book 2 of the Reunited Series. Secret Rendezvous is a “FREE” read – visit my website to find out how to get your copy. www.sharoncooper.net
- Something New has been on Amazon’s top 100 Best Sellers list in Multi-cultural Romance for five months!
November -December 2012
Slowed things down for the holiday and did some traveling. NOTE: still wrote daily
Rewrites/edited - Rendezvous with Danger, book 2 of the Reunited Series
Released Rendezvous with Danger, book 2 of the Reunited Series. Rendezvous with Danger made it to Amazon’s top 10 Best Sellers list in African American Romance and Multi-cultural Romance. It also made Amazon’s top 30 Best Sellers list in African American Literature.
- Rendezvous with Danger, book 2 of the Reunited Series is on Amazon’s top 20 Best Sellers list in African American Romance and Multi-cultural Romance. Also on Amazon’s top 50 Best Sellers list in African American Literature.
- Working on two contemporary novels (to be named) due out Spring and Fall of 2014
- Secret Rendezvous has been on Amazon’s top 10 Best Sellers (FREE books) list in African American Romance for the past six months.
- Rendezvous with Danger, book 2 of the Reunited Series is on Amazon’s top 100 Best Sellers list in African American Romance and Multi-cultural Romance.
- Rendezvous with Danger, book 2 of the Reunited Series is now in paperback.
2013 is promising to be just as busy with a new series, the Jenkins Family Series, coming this summer and book three of the Reunited Series due out this Fall! More details coming over the next few weeks.
As I reflect on the past year, I’m reminded that I didn’t get here alone. I am so thankful to my mentors, critique partners, family, friends and readers. Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement! It’s been a wonderful ride and I’m looking forward to another amazing year!
It is with great pleasure that I have James Fant, the author of An Ode for Orchids, visiting my blog today! He’s sharing an excerpt from his latest release, 14-Pages. Check it out!
A nasty divorce is about to destroy Marco and Venice Goldsmith. Bitter arguments, and slammed doors have plagued their three-month long marriage. And when Venice proclaimed her hatred for Marco divorce seemed inevitable.
Then a marriage expert named Garfield Moody offers the Goldsmiths a solution to save their marriage: a 14-page contract that includes step by step marriage instructions. Their contract even includes safeguards for noncompliance like “Chill Therapy” and “The Tip-Out Clause.” Everyone thinks the idea is crazy. However, Marco and Venice think it’s just crazy enough to work. Will 14-Pages be enough to save their marriage? Or will they cause one of them to lose their life?
Silence commanded the entire drive home from the benefit dinner. Thirty minutes after Venice crashed down into her passenger seat and slammed her car door, Marco pulled into their driveway. Venice was the first out of the car. She sped into the house as Marco lagged behind. Just as he was about to walk through the front door, she slammed it in his face.
Marco busted in the door and screamed, “Woman! Are you crazy?!”
“I’m tired of you walking out on me, Marco. You act so childish sometimes.”
“So now I’m a child?”
“No. I said you act childish. Stop putting words in my mouth.”
“I’m not putting words in your mouth. You have a small opinion of me.”
Venice spun around, quite amazed at what he said.
“Where in the world did you get that from?”
“You’re ashamed of me. You can’t leave me alone with your geeky friends for too long because you’re afraid that I’ll embarrass you with my culinary school education.”
“Marco. For the last time! I AM NOT ASHAMED OF YOU!”
“Then why did you tell McHenry that I was opening up all these stores. ‘Oh yes. He’s opening up restaurants all up and down the eastern seaboard. He’s going to be a household name,’” he mocked. “But Venice, the reality is I only have ONE restaurant; it’s a restaurant that I built up from the ground. And that ONE restaurant is doing very well.”
Venice threw her hands up and walked into the kitchen. A bottle of water was just what she needed to cool her jets. If only Marco would have given the moment time to breathe. It is amazing how an argument, if allowed, takes on a life of its own.
“And just where do you come off speaking my name to this Garrett Anderson guy?” Marco asked as he followed Venice into the kitchen.
“Garrett is very successful at turning small companies into larger enterprises, especially if he sees potential,” Venice replied, now quite annoyed. “He saw your potential right away.”
“You’re undermining me, Venice.”
“Yes. You don’t like the way I run my business, so once again, since you are a know it all, you’re gonna take it upon yourself to manage it. Because you are a genius, right?”
“But you weren’t so smart when your broker was rear ending you with no Vaseline. That’s right, I said it. You were losing money until you met me. You barely knew what a stock was.”
“And I’m sure Benjamin knows all about finance, doesn’t he?” Venice snarled as she rolled her eyes and sucked her teeth.
“What is that supposed to mean?” Marco asked.
They stared at each other for a moment. The tension in the air allowed the extremely vicious comments to now surface.
“Alright, Venice. Leave Benjamin out of this!”
“You started with the low blows first, Marco. You know what? Just—nothing. Forget about it.”
Venice walked into the family room because she knew where the argument was going.
Marco again followed her and barked, “What? You don’t think that my restaurant is successful?”
Venice spun around to face her husband.
“Marco Goldsmith. You are a fabulous chef. Your business idea is incredible.”
“There’s a but coming.”
“But you need a real business manager.”
“See, I knew you were going to go there.”
“I mean for Pete’s sake, Marco. Benjamin as your business manager?”
“Leave my brother out of this Venice. PLEASE!”
“Marco, come on! You have this big extravagant office for him. And for what?”
“DROP IT, VENICE! LEAVE MY BROTHER OUT OF THIS!”
Venice paused to allow the tension to ease.
“Marco I’m tired. I’m going to bed.”
Venice walked to their bedroom with Marco close behind her. Unfortunately the argument followed them as well. Sooner or later, all of their arguments led to their bedroom.
“I’m just saying, Marco. I want to be solid financially when we have kids.”
“Kids! Kids! Kids! That’s all I hear from you, Venice!”
“Well we’re married. Children are a part of marriage. Family. I want lots of kids. You knew that before we were married.”
“It’s not that I don’t want children.”
“What’s it about, then?”
“Your mother suffered from preeclampsia. Your aunts suffered from preeclampsia. One of your cousins died because of it.”
“Marco, you don’t have to give me a history lesson about my family’s struggle with blood pressure. I know about all of the risks. I have managed to avoid taking blood pressure medication by controlling my diet and exercising regularly.”
“Okay then. If blood pressure problems aren’t enough, Venice, we argue non-stop about absolutely nothing. I just don’t think that we should bring children into this.”
“No! This isn’t about blood pressure or arguments. You’re just being mean as always. I expressed that I wanted a large family before we got married, Marco!”
“Yeah you expressed a lot of things before we got married. Funny how expressions change after the ring goes on.”
That was it. Marco had hit the magic button and heavy breathing was the only sound heard in their bedroom. According to Hebrews, chapter 13, verse 4, the marriage bed is undefiled. Marco always interpreted that scripture to mean that anything was permissible in the bedroom of a married couple. If a wife wanted her hands to be chained to the bedposts while her husband spanked her bare bottom with a small leather whip, that was permissible. If the husband wanted to coat his wife’s body with chocolate syrup and slowly remove the chocolate from her flesh until she screamed for mercy, that was permissible. But Marco wondered if the arguments that he and Venice had in their bedroom was permissible; he wonder if hateful words had defiled their bed?
Venice softly asked, “What did you say?”
“Nothing, Venice. It’s nothing.”
“No. You said something. Be a man and tell me what you said.”
“You want me to be a man?”
“Yes! Be a freaking man! What did you say?”
Marco got in Venice’ face and screamed, “When we were dating, you were awesome in bed! But now, you’re lackluster at best! You talk about what you expressed before marriage? Well you fooled me. Gave me just enough to make me think our sex life would be great and then you yanked the rug from under my feet!”
Venice saw red. It didn’t upset her that Marco insulted her skills in bed so much that it upset her that he brought up their pre-marital sex; she had previously asked him never to do that. Venice, like Marco, was very spiritual. Even though Marco was her first, she was not proud that she made love to him before they were married. Marco knew that. It was amazing that they both knew exactly what buttons to push.
Venice brushed past him and walked back into the living room. Marco remained in their bedroom for a second, wondering what possessed him to go there with her. Perhaps it was the Be a Man statement. That always cut him deep and made the gloves come off. He knew that he would hurt her when he said it and yet he said it anyway. He wanted to apologize but they were now at a point where neither of them apologized for anything, even if they knew that they were wrong. So he did what he always did after a good argument with Venice; he talked softly to her like they had not just been screaming at each at the top of their lungs.
Marco walked up behind Venice and whispered, “Are we okay?”
But he wasn’t prepared for the words that he would hear next.
“I HATE YOU, MARCO!”
“What did you say?”
“I SAID I HATE YOU! I CAN’T STAND YOU! I HATE YOUR GUTS!”
Marco lunged at Venice and then jabbed two holes into the wall. They had argued countless times during their short marriage, but now they were in uncharted territory.
Want to find out what happens next? Get your copy today!
About the Author:
James Fant is a Kingdom businessman, husband, father and friend. James is passionate about helping people to improve their personal relationships through the power of inspirational fiction. One could call him a champion for the “mended fence,” which incidentally is the title of the first story that he ever published. James is a huge fan of romance, action, and suspense, and that shows in his writing. However, James avoids the use of lewd language and racy sexual scenes when he writes.
You can contact James at:
Awarding the people who live in the moment,
The noble who write and capture the best in life,
the bold who reminded us what really mattered –
Savoring the experience of quality time.
I am pleased to announce that I have been nominated for the Best Moment Award. As part of the nomination, I am asked to give a brief acceptance speech.
My acceptance speech:
I would like to thank fellow blogger, Yawatta Hosby, for nominating me for the Best Moment Award. She nominated me after reading my blog post Talent, Passion and Discipline. I’m flattered that she and others enjoyed the post. Though I don’t blog as often as I’d like, when I do it usually stems from some random thought, something I’ve experienced, or something I’ve read. The initial post for Talent, Passion and Discipline stemmed from a book (pls. refer to original post) that one of my critique partners recommended.
There are times as a writer you want to slack off or even give up, but that passion that drives you to write and rewrite that first sentence, paragraph, scene and chapter won’t let you. There is nothing like having an initial idea for a book pop into your head and then months later (years for some), you have a finished product and can finally write, The End.
I’ll admit, it’s an amazing feeling and is achieved by not only having talent and passion, but also discipline. My wish to aspiring authors is that you one day experience the elation that comes from stringing thousands of words together to create sentences, paragraphs, scenes, chapters to ultimately produce – a finished book.
Thank you again, Yawatta, for the nomination. I’d also like to give a special thanks to all of my blog followers. Without your support (and comments), blogging wouldn’t be as much fun. Thanks to this award and your continued support, I’m inspired to blog more often.
From what I understand, I’m supposed to pick 15 blog posts that I’ve enjoyed and nominate them (and their authors) for the Best Moment Award. Though I follow some great bloggers, there were a couple of posts that popped into my head during my brief acceptance speech. Note: those who I nominate for this award shouldn’t feel pressured to continue the chain if they choose not to.
The nominees are:
Cassandra Baker Durham – Finding a Balance
Jamie David – Tequila Day
Jordanna East – Jerks & Irks XXX: Free is, as Free Does
The Write Time Write Place – Eliminate the Laundry List by Yolanda Barber
M.J. Kane – M.J. on Writing: Helpful Advice for Aspiring Authors
Nia Forrester – Inspiration
Writers in the Storm Blog –Why We (and our characters) Fall in Love: Part 1 by Fae Rowen
For all of you contemporary romance lovers out there, Night Stars and Mourning Doves (Dearly Beloved Series) by Margo Hoornstra is *FREE* exclusively on Amazon April 9 thru 13, 2013!
Elyse Monroe may be her sister’s maid of honor, but that doesn’t mean she has to follow the bride’s example and fall in love. Battle-scarred and weary from previous relationships, she has no desire to take a chance on another–no matter how many hints her little sister drops about the best man.
Devastating life events have taken a toll on Eric Matthews. After losing his wife and unborn daughter, he’s come home to heal. Serving as best man at his kid brother’s wedding is the only relationship he cares to contemplate–no matter how attractive the maid of honor.
Thrown together again and again by wedding duties, Elyse and Eric reluctantly agree to explore a possible relationship–only to have their casual date turn into a glorious night of passion. Can two hearts, convinced a happily ever after will never happen, recognize love when it finds them?
“Remodeling your home to accommodate Jay and me. Isn’t that a little extreme?”
Lips pursed, he shook his head. “Your mother and I have talked about adding on for years. Anyway, whatever we put into this house should increase its value eventually.” Setting aside the paper once and for all, his expression mellowed as he regarded his son. “Helping you out is helping us out.”
“It’s nice to hear you say that. And I want you to know I do appreciate what you’re doing for us. Especially Jay.”
“Losing your mother at any age is tough,” he replied as he stood. “It’s gotta be especially devastating when you’re as young as my grandson. He still needs someone to care for him like a mother, and Iris is more than up to the task.”
“She is that,” Eric began, then made himself quit talking.
Hard to admit, but he wanted someone to care for him, or at least listen when he needed them to. It wasn’t easy to look for a woman when you’re mortally injured and still require time to heal. Right now, it seemed all the time in the world would never make him whole again.
You can find out what happens next by getting your copy of Night Stars and Mourning Doves -FREE – Exclusively on Amazon April 9 thru 13, 2013!
About the Author
My personal history in a nutshell is pretty simple. I’m a wife to one; mother to four—seven if you count in-law children which I do—and grandmother to four so far.
My work experience includes public relations specialist, magazine editor, television producer, and script and speech writer. I’m also a founding member of Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America.
It is with great pleasure that I welcome Christine Wagner, author of Some Like it in Handcuffs, to my blog! Today Christine will tell us a little about herself and share her latest release. Let’s get started:
Christine, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in Michigan with my husband, 3 kids (only 2 live at home), 2 dogs and 2 cats. We live in the country and I love it. I work a couple of days a week at a large hospital, but hope to give that up to write full time in the future. I love to cook, read, spend time with family, and write, write, write.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
Each book I write is a different process. I always start out with a quickie outline which goes over my basic plot points and character quirks, looks, etc. Sometimes I will outline by chapter as well. I like to have an outline to keep me on track, but a majority of the time I don’t stick to it. Another idea will pop into my head and steer me in an entirely different direction.
I know you’re not supposed to show favoritism but who’s been your favorite character to write?
That’s like asking a mother who is her favorite child. They each have characteristics and traits that I love. I really couldn’t name just one. I think that usually the characters I’m writing are my favorites because they are the ones I’m closest to at the moment. But if I put them away and work on another story, or read parts of a story I’ve already written…my opinion changes. lol
Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
I have a critique partner and have had a few beta readers in the past.
What do you do for fun?
I love to travel when time and money permits. But I’m also a huge fan of cooking. I love to try new things and mix things up and see what I end up with. Of course I enjoy reading, especially when I can enjoy it on the front porch when the weather is nice and I’m a huge fan of board games or card games if I can talk someone into playing. Lol I’ve also started doing a girls night out once a month with a few friends where we will go out and try something new. Be it either an event or a food…we’re having a lot of fun with it.
Wow, that does sound like fun, and as for the board games, you wouldn’t have to talk me into playing. I too love them! So Christine, tell us about Some Like it in Handcuffs.
Sunny Kennedy, the only female in a family of blue blood male detectives, is determined to prove testosterone isn’t the only qualification required to solve a cold case. Handcuffed while undercover then taken to the precinct by an attractive detective, her domineering family demands she work with Detective Judson Blackwolf, or she’s off the case.
Judson Blackwolf thinks women in law enforcement should work behind the scenes. The prospect of working with his Captain’s sexy daughter doesn’t thrill him. He only agrees in hopes of solving the murder of his one time mentor’s daughter. Once the case is over, he’s moving to Montana to heal his wounds from the loss of his last partner.
But when their investigation takes a dangerous turn, Sunny and Jud soon realize their feelings for each other cannot be denied.
I’m looking forward to reading Some Like it in Handcuffs! What was your inspiration behind this book?
This might sound a little odd, but I actually came up with the title first. Those five words popped into my head and from there characters were formed, plots tweaked and my storyline was born. I’ve found since then that I love to have a title before writing begins, even if I end up changing it J
If you were going to cast the characters of your book for the movie version of Some Like it in Handcuffs, what actors would get the part?
That’s a tough one. I didn’t use an actor or actress when I pictured my characters and described them in the book. I’m going to take the easy way out here…lol…whoever auditions for the role and gets it will be fine. As long as the hero is tall, dark, humorous and sexy and the heroine is sassy, blonde, and full of spunk.
Excerpt from Some Like it in Handcuffs:
“This isn’t how I wanted it between us.” Judson grabbed the neckline of her sweater, dragging her body to meet his with a solid thump. Sunny licked her lips in answer to the question in his eyes. He lowered his head to move his mouth over hers.
Sunny closed her eyes, a small whimper escaping her lips. She didn’t want it like this either, but that wasn’t possible. Unable to resist her attraction she accepted it wasn’t an affair, or a long distance romance she craved, but for him to love her back. It was all or nothing for her. Her heart sank. She accepted this as their goodbye kiss.
With no thought to what was happening upstairs, Sunny rose up on her toes demanding more. Her lips pulsated against Judson’s. When his hand trembled against her cheek in a soft caress she lost touch with reality.
“Judson.” Sunny’s weakened body drifted farther into Judson’s as his fingers glided down her arms, pulling them to her sides where their fingers intertwined. He forced them behind her before his tongue thrust into her mouth.
Their bodies molded together, she heard her own heartbeat and his as well when he curved his fingers around her rear and squeezed.
That’s when the click of the handcuffs against her wrist connected her to the handle of the locked cupboard.
“What the hell…Judson?” She looked up at him, her knees shook, her body still inflamed with fever.
“Like I was saying, you wait here and I’ll go upstairs to check it out. Backup’s already been called, so you’re safe until your brothers arrive.” Judson winked before walking toward the steps to the third level. Once he reached them he turned toward her and smiled. “Gotcha,” he whispered with his notorious grin.
Want to read more? Some Like it in Handcuffs is available in print and digital format at:
Genre: Light-hearted romantic suspense with humor
About the author:
Christine Warner is living her dream in Michigan along with her husband, three children, one laptop and a much loved assortment of furry friends. Besides laughing and a good round of humor, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, writing but no arithmetic. A confessed people watcher, she finds inspiration for her stories in everyday activities. She loves to read and write about strong heroes and determined, sometimes sassy, heroines. A girl gone wild, at least where social media is concerned, she enjoys meeting other avid readers and writers on Facebook, Twitter and her Website.
Christine, I know you said you love hearing from readers and other authors, how can they connect with you?
My blog/website: http://christine-warner.com/
Twitter under ChristinesWords: https://twitter.com/#!/ChristinesWords
My Facebook page…stop by and give it a LIKE to keep up on what I have happening next: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Christine-Warner/143430882396013