Posted by Kate Carlisle Feb 25 2015, 12:05 am in contest, Giveaway, goodbye, Kate Carlisle, prizes
Keep reading to see how you can win all of the books pictured in this post!
I refuse to say goodbye, my friends, so this is farewell. So long. Hasta la vista, baby. See you later. Soon, I hope! To make sure we don’t lose touch, please connect with me at the links below:
And of course, you can connect with many of the Bandits on our Facebook page: Facebook.com/RomanceBandits.
And don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS Feed in the right-hand column here so you’ll automatically get an email when a post goes live on the site.
This month in the Lair has reminded me of the last year of high school. Remember that bittersweet combination of excitement and melancholy and trepidation? Every event was a milestone. The last dance, the last pep rally, the last math test. (Not every “last” was a sad one!)
What fun we’ve had together! The Romance Bandits have become the sisters of my heart, and the Bandita Buddies a raucous group of far-flung cousins. It really has felt like family in our corner as we’ve grown as writers. We commiserate with each other and celebrate happy news together. Accompanied by several sexy and sweet cabana boys and a very naughty rooster.
(And hey, speaking of good news, I have something fun to share! My book AN INNOCENT IN PARADISE was translated into Japanese, which is super cool on its own. But even cooler… Japanese readers voted it one of the Top Ten romances for the second half of 2014! Hoorah!)
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your friendship over the past seven plus years. (Has it really been that many?!?! It feels like only yesterday…)
In the spirit of celebration and love, I’m giving away not one… not two… not three… but four books to one lucky reader! Including AN INNOCENT IN PARADISE! To enter, just comment below. Share a memory from your last year of high school!
Posted by Kate Carlisle Jan 25 2015, 12:05 am in contest, Cozy Mystery, Fixer-Upper Mysteries, Giveaway, Kate Carlisle, Launch Party
Welcome to the elegant Hennessey House bed and breakfast in Lighthouse Cove, California! Jane Hennessey, owner of this establishment, was kind enough to welcome us, even though she hasn’t yet opened her doors to the public. (She may regret her hospitality… she probably didn’t realize that we’d have a very naughty rooster in our party!)
We’re celebrating Tuesday’s release of THIS OLD HOMICIDE, the second book of my Fixer-Upper Mystery series! Whoop, whoop!
The Hennessey House is nearing the end of its incredible restoration by Lighthouse Cove’s own Shannon Hammer, who specializes in Victorian construction.
From THIS OLD HOMICIDE: It had taken me and Jane and my crew almost three years to renovate her grandmother’s disheveled old mansion and turn it into a world-class small hotel. The place had been standing there for over one hundred and fifty years, and in that time, it had been a family home, a brothel, a boardinghouse, a private residence, and finally an elegant bed-and-breakfast.
I stood on the sidewalk and gazed with pride at the beautifully restored Queen Anne with its wide, wraparound porch, wonderful three-story tower, and six chimneys. Hennessey House featured fourteen uniquely decorated guest suites, many with balconies and fireplaces. The entire house was furnished with beautiful Victorian-era pieces that were not only authentic but also comfortable and elegant.
Which is to say… be on your best behavior, cabana boys! No tearing apart Shannon’s hard work!
Rumor has it, in 1839 a Spanish princess tragically went down with the Glorious Maiden just off the coast of Lighthouse Cove. Once in a while, a piece of gold washes ashore and brings a mad rush of treasure hunters to the princess’s watery grave.
Jane Hennessey’s Uncle Jesse, a former Navy SEAL, claimed to have found a priceless necklace while scuba diving at the shipwreck… but Jesse had a way of telling tall tales. We may never know the truth, since Shannon is about to find her neighbor dead in his own home. At first, everyone will believe Jesse died of natural causes, but Shannon will immediately suspect foul play. And if the police won’t investigate, she will.
Click here to read an excerpt of THIS OLD HOMICIDE
THIS OLD HOMICIDE is the second book of the Fixer-Upper Mystery series, following A HIGH-END FINISH, which came out in November (and hit #9 on the New York Times bestsellers list!) But don’t worry if you haven’t read the first. You won’t feel lost if you start with THIS OLD HOMICIDE.
Today, I’m giving away one autographed advanced copy of THIS OLD HOMICIDE. To enter, tell me what special cocktail Jane should serve at our Party. “Princess Punch,” perhaps? Or how about a “Salty Dog.” Or should that be a “Salty Rooster?” Or if you’re not into cocktails, tell me why you what intrigues you the most about the book. What makes you want to read it?
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Dec 14 2014, 11:15 pm in Allie Burton, Giveaway, Lost Daughters Of Atlantis, prizes, Suzanne Ferrell
The winner of an e-copy of the LOST DAUGHTERS OF ATLANTIS COLLECTION featuring the first three books in the series: Atlantis Riptide, Atlantis Red Tide, and Atlantis Rising Tide is ELF!
Please send your email addy to me at suzanne AT suzanneferrell DOT com and I’ll see Allie gets that prize to you ASAP!
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Dec 5 2014, 12:49 am in Allie Burton, Atlantis Glacial Tides, Atlantis Twisting Tides, Giveaway, Lost Daughters Of Atlantis, paranormal romance, Suzanne Ferrell, YA romance
Ideas, Ideas Everywhere
Writers frequently get asked where their ideas come from. The answer is simple. Everywhere.
At the store. At the park. At school. At parties and events.
Reading social media and newspaper articles. Watching TV and documentaries. Hearing music. Seeing artwork.
For example, I got the idea for ATLANTIS GLACIAL TIDES after seeing a photograph of ice tunnels in Alaska. The image was so beautiful and powerful I wanted to place a story there. Of course, ATLANTIS GLACIAL TIDES isn’t in Alaska, it’s located underneath Antarctica, but I could imagine the underwater ice tunnel there. And, while doing research for the story I got ideas on different things to include like Emperor Penguins and Rainbow Fish.
I got the idea for ATLANTIS TWISTING TIDES, the prequel to ATLANTIS GLACIAL TIDES, when I was watching the news about a hurricane.
And the entire Lost Daughters of Atlantis series came from a day at the beach. What if there were people who lived under the ocean? What if a war was going on underneath the sea? How would that war affect humans? What if you discovered you were not only a part of this world but a lost princess? And my imagination was off…
Atlantis Glacial Tides
Lost Daughters of Atlantis Book 5
Shocked by her family’s plans to wed her to a stranger, sixteen-year-old Princess Adria must decide whether to flee the underwater Kingdom of Merta or fight to keep her rightful place. When Kai, the criminal she’d rescued informs her of a plot to kidnap her future sister-in-law, Adria decides to take action to prove her loyalty.
Sparks flew between her and Kai when they met during a hurricane misadventure, but she can’t trust her judgment about him. Especially when Kai won’t help stop the kidnapping because he’s on his own secret mission. A mission that he refuses to divulge.
In a case of mistaken identity, Adria is kidnapped and whisked away to a mysterious glacial underwater world of ice and evil where she learns that everything isn’t rainbow fish and roses, that there are Atlanteans who suffer and slave, and that being cold isn’t a state of body, but a state of mind.
With Kai as her prison guard, the two teens grow closer, and Adria must choose between loyalty to her kingdom or to her dreams.
Atlantis Twisting Tides
Lost Daughter of Atlantis Novella
When unrest threatens her kingdom, a mermaid princess must choose between loyalty and love.
When fifteen-year-old Atlantean Princess Adria sneaks away to see a hurricane on the surface of the ocean, she finds an air-breather in trouble. Kai’s sailboat is sinking and Adria risks exposure of her Atlantean powers in order to save him.
Kai believes he’s rescuing Adria. He’s Atlantean too, with his own skills and secrets.
The two teens stumble onto an uninhabited island still thinking the other needs rescuing. When other Atlanteans show up—Atlanteans plotting against Adria’s kingdom—Adria must decide whether to trust Kai based on the guy she’s come to know or the company he keeps.
What sets your imagination down a zigzagging path of what ifs and ideas?
Comment below for a chance to win an e-copy of the LOST DAUGHTERS OF ATLANTIS COLLECTION featuring the first three books in the series: Atlantis Riptide, Atlantis Red Tide, and Atlantis Rising Tide.
And, ATLANTIS TWISTING TIDES is free on Amazon, iBooks, GooglePlay, and Kobo.
Subscribe to my newsletter on my website for a chance to win the Prize Pack (pictured) including a $25 Amazon or iBooks gift card, Steve Madden infinity scarf and gloves, several young adult books, and treats!
To subscribe or get more information about other books in the Lost Daughters of Atlantis series, visit my website at www.allieburton.com.
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Sep 5 2014, 12:05 am in contemporary romance, Debut Author, Giveaway, Kilts, Patience Griffin, Quilts, Scotland, Suzanne Ferrell
Hey Banditas and Bandit Buddies, y’all know how much we love bringing you debut authors so you can get their very first book for your TBR collections. Well, today I have a delightful new author to introduce you to. I met Patience several years ago at my local RWA chapter here in Dallas. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of watching her grow in her writing career and take that first step into publication. She’s in the Lair today to tell us about her debut novel, TO SCOTLAND WITH LOVE, book #1 in her Quilts & Kilts series.
Suz: Welcome, Patience!! Pull up a chair here in the Lair bar. Sven will serve up whatever you’d like to drink while we chat. Name your poison!
Patience: I would love to have a caramel frappe…with plenty of whip.
Suz: So, first things first…we LOVE call stories in the Lair, so tell us yours.
Patience: Oh, dear, do you really want to hear this? I have a long history of kidney stones and was in pain on this particular day. I had been sitting in a warm bath and had just gotten out. I’m usually pretty shaky after one of these episodes—I call it a kidney stone hangover—and decided I didn’t feel good enough to get dressed. So here I was lying under a pile of covers, naked, when my agent called. I had to ask her to repeat herself several times. Oh, and to this day, my agent doesn’t know I was naked while getting the news. So shhhh, mums the word. Okay?
Suz: Can you give us a little bit about TO SCOTLAND WITH LOVE to wet our appetites, please.
Cait Macleod frowned as the taillights of her taxi sped off into the night. She was standing in a deserted parking lot on the northeast coast of Scotland in the middle of December. All alone. Not new for her, but it sucked all the same.
“Don’t worry about me,” she said to the now-long-gone cabbie. She kicked snow off her shoe. “I’ll be fine and dandy.”
A fierce gust of wind caught her hair, reeling it around her head like tangled fishing line. The saying You can never go home again smacked her in the face as surely as the wind did. She gazed down at the scant glow of lights rising from the coastal village below and wondered if she was crazy to think she could recapture the happiness she’d once had here. Instead of coming home with her Scottish head held high, she was coming home in defeat.
But there was no time to ponder what was or what might be again as a wintry chill settled into her feet. She grimaced down at her metallic Brian Atwood heels immersed in the snowy slush. Clearly, she hadn’t given enough thought to her wardrobe when she’d decided to escape her crappy life in Chicago.
“This is one hell of a birthday,” she said into the wind. Thirty-one years today. She’d forgotten Gandiegow was a closed community—no cars past the parking lot, only walking paths. And here she stood with four hefty suitcases and only two arms to drag them into the village. She yanked two of her bags over to a tree to wait their turn. The other two, she rolled behind her as she awkwardly hobbled into the village, all the while cussing in Gaelic.
Gandiegow had exactly sixty-three houses arcing around the coastline, with rocky bluffs boxing in the village. The way the town snugged up against the sea made it look like an extension of the ocean. But instead of ripples of water, there were houses. She’d been born in this village. She’d watched her mother bake bread in their wood-fired stove. Her father, when he’d cared about being a good da, had taught Cait how to fish just yards from their front steps. Her cantankerous grandmother still lived here in one of the little stone cottages.
Cait sighed heavily at her predicament. How had it come to this? Her cheating husband, Tom, was dead. Her journalism career was nearly a corpse. And her hope for reviving her life was gasping for its last breath, too.
She stopped, pulled out her map, and checked the location of her own newly bought bungalow. It sat farthest away, next to the bluffs, isolated but for one other house next to hers. She’d purchased the cottage sight unseen, based on a few snapshots over the Internet. It was the craziest thing she’d ever done, selling everything and running away. But, she reminded herself, she wasn’t really running away; she was running home. Her father had been the one to uproot Cait in the first place. When she was thirteen, he’d dragged her and Mama halfway around the world.
“God, I haven’t turned into my da, have I?” she said to the wind.
No. Her rash move affected no one but herself. It was Tom’s deceit, their marriage headed for divorce court, and then the dirt mounding over his grave that brought Cait to the breaking point. She had to get out of Chicago and come home to Scotland. Maybe here she could pull herself together and eventually revive her writing career.
She went back to slogging through the slush, not really thinking about the cold. It was the tension that had built up over the last few days that was getting to her. Now it increased exponentially, making the knot at the back of her neck feel like a burning fist. Deydie. The only family Cait had left.
Her gran would wring her neck for not letting her know she was coming. Cait had tried—sort of. Before the plane lifted off, she’d called, but Deydie hadn’t answered and there’d been no machine to take a message. What kind of granddaughter waits until the last second to let her gran know she’s coming? A stupid one?
But dang it, Deydie wasn’t your typical gran. Cait loved her, but the old gal had issues. Crabby, in-your-face issues. During their last phone call, her gran had made it perfectly clear what she thought of Cait: a chip off the old block—specifically, her father’s worthless, good-for-nothing block. Cait knew there’d be hell to pay. She’d never given Deydie a good reason for staying away so long. But what could she have said? I can’t leave town because my husband screws around at every opportunity? Or, I lost myself along the way and did everything the cheating bastard told me to do? How ridiculous Cait felt. Especially now.
What if her grandmother and the other townsfolk rejected her? Cait hadn’t visited even when she was an adult and had the means. In Gandiegow’s eyes, that was indefensible, regardless of Tom. Cait had slapped her kinsmen in the face, and they would surely repay her by showing her their backs. What would she do then?
The gravel and slush gave way to a cobblestone walkway. Under other circumstances, Cait would’ve found the winding sidewalk charming, but right now it felt like the devil’s path. Her heels kept getting lodged in between the stones, and every few feet, the suitcase wheels got stuck, too. If she had to lug the baggage much farther, her arms were in serious danger of being ripped from their sockets.
Six houses and two turns of the stone walk later, she found cottage number thirteen. Her heart stopped. There had to be a mistake. This couldn’t be the two-bedroom bungalow she’d seen online. That one had been a quaint, one-and-a-half-story, ivy-covered dream.
This one was a black, smoky ruin.
“It figures,” Cait groaned.
Dangling sideways from a wrought-iron post hung the #13 sign. Judging by the look of the charred wood, a fire had claimed every bit of her new home. The only parts left were the chest-high stone wall surrounding the perimeter of the house and a smoke-stained chimney jutting out of the ashes.
Her house was dead.
It all made sense now. Death comes in threes. Wasn’t that the old saying?
Well, the Christmas tree back in Chicago had knocked off first. It turned into a skeleton and dropped pine needles all over the floor. Tom, her lying, cheating, weasel-of-a-husband, went next. He had a heart attack while inserting his holiday sausage into his mistress. And now her new home was dead, too. A freaking funeral pyre.
A shiver, which had nothing to do with Scotland’s frigid December weather, overtook her. “I’m such a fucking idiot.” Could life get any worse?
A fat raindrop hit her head. Then another. Just like that, the heavens opened up and dropped a shitload of rain on her dumbass head. She looked up. “Thanks.”
She dragged her bags to the house next door with the intent of using her neighbor’s phone. While stepping up on the porch, she formulated a few choice words for the online Realtor—the big swindler!
Before reaching for the knocker, Cait decided to dislodge the rock from her shoe first. But when she bent over, the door suddenly opened. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a man come through and stop short. She felt pretty sure, even from that angle, he was giving her ass the once-over.
She had every intention of giving him a piece of her mind—she didn’t allow men to ogle her like a rump roast—but when she stood and saw who was eyeing her . . .
Omigod! Mr. Darcy. She nearly fell in the ice and mud.
She couldn’t catch her breath. Graham Buchanan. It was Graham Buchanan in person. He was so outrageously handsome he seemed to glow and shimmer, and she couldn’t take her eyes off him. More impressive than he’d ever been on the big screen or in a magazine spread. No glitz, no glamour, no hair gel. Not put together in any sense. And better, so much better—his collar-length brown hair tousled, his beard a two-day stubble, and he wore a Scottish warrior’s frown like a badge of honor. Sexy as hell.
She had come to this house to ask for something, but for the luvagod, she couldn’t remember what. All she could do was stare at his broad chest and tall frame. She licked her lips. His spicy cologne drew her in.
He took a step back, ready to slam the door in her face.
“Wait,” she cried. She still needed a phone. And to smell him a second longer—a tantalizing mixture of ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg.
“You’re with the press,” he accused.
How did he know? Graham Buchanan must have a sixth sense.
But right now, who cared? His Scottish burr rolled off his tongue like melted caramel. She wanted to lap him up. And the pheromones flying off him were so palpable, they had her wanting to drop to her knees and offer herself up as his love slave, his sex kitten, his everything.
Get it together, Cait.
She straightened herself up and took a deep breath, then lied as if her career depended on it. “I am not with the press.” Not anymore. Editing Chicago Fishermen’s Monthly didn’t count when it came to journalistic credits.
She looked into his golden brown eyes. Being near him caused her heart to bang against her insides like a wild badger inside a metal drum. She closed her eyes, trying to center herself. It didn’t work. She felt like the envy of all ovulating women in the free world. It wasn’t every day she stood in the presence of the sexiest man alive.
It hit her then like a wrecking ball—oomph. The headline from People magazine in her carry-on bag—Graham Buchanan Gone Missing Again. According to People, no stone had gone unturned, yet she’d stumbled into him, now only three feet away. She’d found the lost actor. Cait Macleod had done it—found Graham Buchanan!
Inside the cottage, another man’s voice rang out from behind Graham. “What is it?” He sounded a little perturbed.
Graham’s eyebrows furrowed, distrust shrouding his features. “I’m not sure,” he called. Any second now he’d slam the door in her face.
Cait stuck her hand in the jamb. “I need to use the phone.”
“Then you’re not a journalist?” He crossed his arms over his chest. “You look like one of those leeching paparazzi—”
“Heavens no. I—I—” Her brain faltered, and the stupidest answer came out. “I’m a quilter.”
Graham jerked back. “You’re a what?” He closed the door a bit more.
A small boy saved her. He came up behind Graham and grabbed his hand. The kid looked about six, dark red hair, sad eyes and an even sadder mouth. Graham put his arm protectively around him. “Go back to your da, Mattie.” Obediently, the boy turned and left.
Graham watched him until he disappeared; then he gave her his full scrutiny again. “Usually, I’m right about these things. I can’t believe you’re not with the press.”
“You’re wrong this time, buster.” Her Episcopal upbringing had her wanting to make the sign of the cross, a little protection against lying so fervently. And for calling the mega star buster. She gestured toward her misfortune. “That’s my house next door.” She took a couple of deep breaths, trying to regain her composure. “The one that looks like a campfire gone awry.” She made sure she looked him square in the face so he wouldn’t know she’d lied about her profession. What a bonus that he was so easy on the eyes.
He leaned out and nodded toward her house. “She went up in flames day before yesterday.”
Cait gazed over at her cremated house as well. “I knew it was too good to be true. I’m plagued with bad luck.”
“Luck has nothing to do with it.” He shrugged. “Faulty wiring is what I hear.”
“About that phone? My cell’s dead.” She wiped the rain from her eyes.
He seemed to wake up to the fact that she was soaked. “Come in.” He still sounded leery, but stepped to the side and opened the door fully. “Duncan, you have company.”
“What?” A young man appeared, the same height as Graham, so like the actor it made Cait stare at both of them. Two things hit her at once.
The man behind Graham was little Duncan MacKinnon, whom she’d once protected from a bully at Gandiegow’s one-room schoolhouse. Shoot, she’d babysat for him a time or two as well. Duncan would be, what, twenty-five or twenty-six by now?
Second, and most unbelievably, Duncan MacKinnon was undoubtedly Graham Buchanan’s son. People insisted the star had no family. But the resemblance was just overwhelming. And the sad little boy—Graham’s grandson? She rubbed her temples. It was almost too much to take in.
“Duncan, meet your new neighbor.” Graham looked at her quizzically. “Miss . . . ?”
“Caitie Macleod?” Graham said, incredulous.
Caitie. Her mother had called her that, and the villagers had called her that, too. Her stepmother, however, had refused, insisting
Cait drop the ie along with her other Scottish traits.
The men stared at her, gape-mouthed, in the entryway.
Finally, Graham found his voice. “I knew your mother, Nora, well.” Then, a lot sterner, “Does Deydie know you’ve come?”
“No, but I plan—” she started.
“Are you daft?” Graham took her arm and ushered her into a small but cozy living area. “Call her.” He pointed at the black 1960s-era wall phone hanging on the real-wood paneling.
Cait crossed her arms. “It’s late. I’ve been up more than twenty-four hours. I’ll see her tomorrow.” Graham might be a superstar, but he couldn’t tell her what to do. “Listen, I feel too wet, too tired, and my brain too jumbled to deal with Deydie. Is there a hotel in town?”
The men looked at her in disapproving astonishment, like she’d stubbornly sailed a dinghy into a hurricane. A churlish Deydie hurricane.
Duncan prodded her, much gentler than his da. “You must call her. She’s family. You don’t want her upset.” It sounded like a warning, the bell of a danger buoy.
He was right about one thing: Cait didn’t want to upset Deydie, the most daunting woman in all of Scotland. But there’d be no avoiding it. Cait was the prodigal granddaughter, and that was some powerful unpleasantness she’d rather face when she was dry and when her feet didn’t feel like a couple of stumps in her six-hundred-dollar heels.
She tugged at her Barbour trench coat. She’d never tell them the real reason she wasn’t asking her gran to put her up. Rejection. Cait had had it up to her wool cap with being dismissed, denied, rebuffed, and repudiated. “Tomorrow. I’ll see Deydie tomorrow. Tonight, I need a hotel.”
Cait got more frowning from Graham. “Gandiegow doesn’t have one,” he said, irritated.
“True,” Duncan said with an edge of resentment. “But he can help you out.” He gestured toward his da.
She didn’t know what was going on between the two of them, but at least someone was on her side. Cait used her best downtown-Chicago scowl to stare Graham down.
Finally, Graham caved with a sigh of resignation. “If you insist on being obstinate, then you can stay in the room over the pub.”
She was the one to be circumspect now. “You know this for sure about the room? Shouldn’t you speak with the pub owner first?”
The men shared a knowing look.
Graham pulled the handles up on her suitcases and started walking toward the door. “Aye, you’re in luck. The owner won’t turn you away tonight.”
Cait turned to Duncan. “It’s nice seeing you again.”
“Then you do remember me?” Duncan said.
“How could I forget little Dunkie MacKinnon? I used to babysit you at your grandda’s house,” she said.
Duncan smiled. “I remember getting extra biscuits when you took care of me.”
“We’ll catch up later,” she said with a genuine smile, then realized that Graham was already out the door.
She stepped outside and found the rain had turned into sleet. “Lovely weather we’re having.”
Graham shook his head. “What did you expect? It’s December in Scotland.”
She felt like an idiot and pulled her lapels around her face to block out the December in Scotland welcome. “The rest of my bags are back in the parking lot.”
“Let’s get you to the pub first; then I’ll go for the rest.”
The conversation died, and a million thoughts converged in on her. Was this where Graham went when he disappeared for months at a time? If Duncan MacKinnon was his son, how come the press didn’t know? Even more perplexing, why hadn’t she known? She’d grown up in Gandiegow.
Cait slipped and grabbed for Graham. He dropped the bag handles and reached for her, catching her around the waist with a strong grip. For a moment, they stood toe to toe with her hands holding on to his biceps, his made-of-steel biceps. Time downshifted to a complete halt. Before this moment, she wouldn’t have given two cents for a muscly man. In a twinkling of an eye, Graham Buchanan changed all that. She looked up into his face and turned into a hot puddle in his capable arms.
Geesh, Cait. Get a grip.
She dropped her hands, made sure she stood on solid ground and then continued on, not looking over at him. Thank God it didn’t take long to get to the pub or she might have gone so far as to ask for his autograph . . . or if he needed a warm bod to snuggle up to tonight.
Graham withdrew an old-fashioned skeleton key from his coat, unlocked the door, and held it open for her. “The switch is on your right.”
Her own lightbulb went on. “You’re quite the joker, aren’t you?” She mimicked his baritone voice. “The owner won’t turn you away tonight and all.” She flipped the switch. The place lit up with old-world ambience—all dark wood on the floor, booths, and counter.
The chairs had been upended on the tabletops, and the bar and floor had been polished by Mr. Clean. It lacked only a band of rowdy Scots and it would’ve been perfect.
“Why isn’t the place hopping?” Cait asked.
“Renovations. Tomorrow night is the grand reopening of the Fisherman.” For the first time, he actually smiled. “Let’s get you upstairs and dried off. Over here.” He made his way past the bar to a narrow set of stairs. He had to duck his head to make the climb.
She followed him, getting a gratifying view of his man-butt in his jeans. At the top landing, she found a small hall with two doorways.
He pointed to one. “The bath’s in there.” He opened the other door. “The bedroom. It’s not much. It should be enough for tonight, though.” He frowned at her, the frown he’d given her earlier. “Are you sure you won’t stay with Deydie tonight?”
She shook her head.
“Well, then, I’ll be off to get your other bags.” He pointed at the armoire. “Towels and linens are in there.” Then he was gone.
Cait hurriedly slipped out of her ruined heels and freed herself from her coat. Her Jones New York slacks would never be the same, and she stepped out of those as well. When she dropped her tailored white shirt to the floor and stood in nothing but her lacy white bra and her French-cut undies, the door opened.
Graham stood there slack-jawed. “I . . . I . . . just came back to tell you I’ll leave your other bags out in the hall.”
Bless him, he was embarrassed. But not enough to look away. He gave her underthings an appreciative nod. “I’ll be going.” The door shut.
Cait should’ve been incensed by him barging in. Instead, her belly warmed with excitement, and adrenaline made her tremble. What was wrong with her?
“What female wouldn’t get a little flustered with Graham Buchanan gawking at her underwear?” she rationalized to the wall.
The mirror caught her flushed face and bright eyes. “Oh, shut up,” she muttered to her reflection
Suz: I have to confess, the moment I read your hero played Mr. Darcy on TV, Colin Firth was in my head for the duration of the book. Sigh. Who did you have in mind for him?
Patience: I do love Colin Firth, but I might have had a particular Scottish actor in mind (perhaps Gerard Butler) while I was working on To Scotland with Love. My first Gerard Butler crush was when I saw Timeline. There have been many since.
Suz: Sigh. I do love a good Gerard Butler movie, picture…uhm, yeah. He could work for me as Mr. Darcy, too. Poor Cait, the heroine of TO SCOTLAND WITH LOVE. She has some hard choices to make when she arrives in Scotland, doesn’t she?
Patience: Cait does have a tough time of it. She has to choose between kick-starting her career or respecting the privacy of someone else. Her hard choices are just a reflection of what we have to face every day. When we get up in the morning, we have to decide whether we’re going to do only for ourselves or to take care of others. It’s a balancing act between self-preservation and loving those around us. It isn’t easy, but no one ever said life would be.
Suz: So quilts? Why did you decide to put quilting in your books?
Patience: I began quilting in Iowa. On the first Saturday of every month, a group of us quilters would get together and sew. We would eat, tell stories, and laugh while we were sewing. I loved my community of quilters and thought it would be fun to create a small town where quilters were the center of everything. Women are powerful and I enjoy showing how this community of women draw strength from one another through laughter, and sometimes, tears.
Suz: Okay, you know I’ve been green with envy ever since I heard you were going to Scotland. How was your trip? Meet any Scots in kilts?
Patience: My trip to Scotland was amazing. And, yes, I did see many Scots in kilts at the Highland games last weekend in Birnam—from the bagpipers and drummers, to the Highland dancers, to the men competing in the heavy athletics. It was a kilt feast for the eyes! My cousin wanted me to take a picture of a tartan that she liked. The older Scot accused me of taking a picture of the younger Scot’s bum. They had a good laugh about it and let me take a face-forward picture of them.
Suz: What’s next in your Quilts & Kilts series?
Patience: MEET ME IN SCOTLAND comes out January 6, 2015. Here’s a little blurb: You can run from your problems, but you can’t hide from love in the Scottish seaside town of Gandiegow…. When a video of her calling happily ever after “a foolish fantasy” goes viral, marriage therapist Emma Castle is out of a job—and off to Scotland.
The tiny town of Gandiegow is the perfect place to ride out the media storm and to catch up with her childhood friend Claire. But also in Gandiegow is the one man she hoped never to see again. She’s successfully avoided Gabriel MacGregor since Claire and Dominic’s wedding, only to find he’s now the village doctor—and just as tall, dark, and devilish as ever. Claire and
Dominic’s blissful marriage, however, is not what it used to be. Soon Emma and Gabriel find themselves taking sides even as the sparks begin to fly between them. Can Emma help her friends—or regain her career—as she struggles with her own happily ever after?
The Quilters of Gandiegow Creed: Our life is not measured by the quilts we create but by the number of quilts we give away.
Patience wants to know what’s your favorite quilt? Do you have a story to go with it? She’s giving away a signed print copy of TO SCOTLAND WITH LOVE to one poster today.
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Aug 30 2014, 11:45 pm in Becke, books, Giveaway, Jo Davis, Lorraine Heath, Maureen, prizes, Sally, Suzanne Ferrell
We’ve got lots of Bandit Booty to give away from the old Lair “Treasure Chest” today!
The winners of a signed copy of WHEN THE DUKE WAS WICKED, the first book in Lorraine Heath’s new series, and a surprise book of Lorraine’s choice are: BECKE and SALLY SCHMIDT!! CONGRATULATIONS, ladies!
The winner of a signed print copy of Jo Davis’ new Sugarland Blue series book IN HIS SIGHTS is MAUREEN!! CONGRATULATIONS!!
Please email me your snail mail addresses at suzanne AT suzanneferrell.com and I’ll see both authors get you your prizes ASAP!
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Jul 16 2014, 12:35 am in Alpha heroes, Elite Ops, Giveaway, Kay Thomas, Romantic suspense, Suzanne Ferrell
Okay, everyone, pull up a seat and hold on tight. Kay Thomas is back in the Lair, and you know what that means, action, adventure, bullets flying and very sexy heroes! Kay’s here to talk about her second book in her Elite Ops series from Avon Impulse, PERSONAL TARGET, which will be released on the 29th of this month in e-book form. And in honor of Kay’s visit, Sven has Prosecco chilling behind the bar for everyone!
Thanks, Suz. And thank you, Sven. You know how I love bubbles!
So, tell us a little bit about PERSONAL TARGET.
Kay: A former SEAL and Black Ops specialist who left the CIA, Nick Donovan gave up a life on the edge to work in the private sector. But that didn’t stop his enemies from coming after him, or his family. In a case of mistaken identity, a drug cartel kidnaps his sister-in-law’s best friend…a woman from Nick’s past.
One minute Jennifer Grayson is housesitting and the next she is abducted to a foreign brothel. Jennifer is planning her escape when her first “customer” arrives. Nick, the man who broke her heart years ago, has come to her rescue. Now as they race for their lives, passion reignites as old secrets resurface. Can Nick keep the woman he loves safe against an enemy with a personal vendetta?
At its core, the book is about a case of mistaken identity and a very personal vendetta. PERSONAL TARGET takes the reader from Dallas to Mexico, across the African Savanna, to the shores of the Mediterranean in a race against time for Nick to save the woman he loves but lost ten years ago.
Suz: We’ve met the oh, so, sexy hero Nick Donovan in HARD TARGET and he was in a bit of a pickle then, wasn’t he? (Can you tell I like Nick…a lot?)
Kay: I’m pretty partial to Nick myself. As I said, Nick and Jennifer “have a history together,” but their summer affair was over long ago. In this scene—one of my favorites in the book—Jennifer has been kidnapped, and Nick has come to take her away from the people holding her captive.
The woman at the vanity turned, and Nick’s breath caught in his throat. He had known it would be Jenny, and despite what he’d thought about downstairs when he’d seen her on the tablet screen, he hadn’t prepared himself for seeing her like this. Seated at the table with candles all around, she was wearing a sheer robe over a gray thong and a bustier kind of thing, or that’s what he thought the full-length bra was called.
He spotted the small unicorn tat peeping out from the edge of whatever the lingerie piece was and his brain quit processing details as all the blood in his head rushed south. He’d been primed to come in and tell Jenny exactly how they were getting out of the house and away from these people and now . . . this. His mouth went dry at the sight of her. She looked like every fantasy he’d ever had about her rolled into one.
He continued to stare as recognition flared in her eyes.
“Oh my God,” she said. “It’s . . .”
She clapped her mouth closed, and her eyes widened. That struck him as odd. The relief on her face was obvious, but instead of looking at him, she took an audible breath and studied the walls of the room. When she finally did glance at him again, her eyes had changed.
“So you’re who they’ve sent me for my first time?” Her voice sounded bored, not the tone he remembered. “What do you want me to do?”
What a question. He raised an eyebrow, but she shook her head. In warning?
Nothing here was as he’d anticipated. He continued staring at her, hoping the lust would quit fogging his brain long enough for him to figure out what was going on.
“I’ve been told to show you a good time.” Her voice was cold, downright chilly. Without another word she stood and crossed the floor, slipping into his arms with her breasts pressing into his chest. “It’s you.” She murmured the words in the barest of whispers.
Nick’s mind froze, but his body didn’t. On autopilot his hands automatically went to her waist as she kissed his neck, working her way up to his ear. This was not at all what he’d planned.
“I can’t believe you’re here.” She breathed the words into his ear.
Me either, he thought, but kept the news to himself as he pulled her closer. His senses flooded with all that smooth skin pressing against him. His body tightened, and his right hand moved to cup her ass. Her cheek’s bare skin was silky soft, like he remembered. God, he’d missed her. She melted into him as his body switched into overdrive.
“What do you want?” She spoke louder. The artic tone was back. He was confused and knew he was just too stupid with wanting her to figure out what the hell was going on. There was no way the woman could mistake the effect she was having.
She moved her lips closer to his ear and nipped his earlobe before she spoke in a hushed tone. “Cameras are everywhere. I’m not sure about microphones.”
And just like that, cold reality slapped him in the face. He should have been expecting it, but he’d been so focused on getting her out and making sure she was all right. She might be glad to see him because he was there to save her, but throwing her body at him was an act.
He had to get them both out of here without tipping his hand to the cameras and those watching what he was doing. He was crazy not to have considered it once he saw those tablets downstairs, but it had never occurred to him that he would have to play this encounter through as if he was really a client.
He slipped her arms from around his neck and moved to the table to pour himself some wine, willing his hands not to shake. “I want you,” he said, clearly and loudly enough for any microphone in the room to pick up.
She smiled, but her expression wasn’t warm. “Do you now?” Her frigid tone was so at odds with the woman he’d known years ago.
He knew what he had to do. Monique and company were expecting them to have wild sex. If they’d been truly alone, it wouldn’t have been a hardship. And regardless of the circumstances, that’s exactly what he was going to have to pretend to do. He had to make love to Jenny knowing others were watching, at least until that distraction of Bryan’s came through.
There wouldn’t be any sneaking out of the room or the house before then. Guards were most likely gathered around security monitors at this very moment, drinking beer and taking bets as to how long Nick would last before he came. They were expecting to see some action.
“What do you think I want?” His voice was pitched low but loud enough for the mics as he took a sip of the wine. “Didn’t they tell you what to expect?”
Copyright © 2014 by Kay Thomas. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.
Suz: I love former lovers reunited stories. Did you find this easier to write or did their past cause you as much problem as it did them?
Kay: That’s a great question. This was the first “lovers reunited” story I’ve ever written, and I had a blast. It was fun creating Nick and Jennifer’s backstory and weaving that into their present day adventure. Because I’m a pantser when I write, I wasn’t really sure what their history would be until I was working my way through the first draft of the book. It made the discovery part of the writing process particularly interesting.
Suz: Most heroes have a core value, the one thing that matters above all to them. What would you say is Nick’s core value?
Kay: Taking care of family (the people he loves) is the most important thing to Nick Donovan. But for years he’s been turning off his feelings, so he can do his job with the CIA. Seeing Jennifer from his past, tears down the wall he’s built around himself and his heart. Jennifer turns everything back on. Those feelings and emotions all reignite with a vengeance. And yes, fireworks ensue.
Suz: As you know, I had a huge emergency last week. I ran out of M&M’s. Writing came to a standstill until I resupplied. What is the one thing you must have to write? Your favorite music to write to? What do you do to take a break and re-energize to write more?
Kay: I need a quiet place to write. I can write in a Starbucks in a pinch, but I put headphones on with instrumental music or lyrics in another language besides English. Otherwise, I’ll get caught up in what I’m hearing instead of what I’m writing.
Hanging out with my family re-engerizes me—eating dinner together, watching TV, or just sitting around and talking. This summer my teenage son has been taking a summer school course and in the evenings we’ve been watching “The Walking Dead” together. But only after we eat! We’ve had such fun doing this. My husband likes to watch us (and laugh at us) watching the series. We put on quite the show ourselves with our cringing, gasping, and shouts of “No! I can’t look!” We’ve only got one season left to go till we’re caught up with the current schedule. Any suggestions for what we should watch together next?
Suz: Okay. I cannot get into zombies of any kind. I think it’s a nurse thing with the whole decaying flesh thingy of zombies. (shiver). What’s next in the Elite Ops series? Any other news?
Kay: I’m working on Book 3 and I’m having a great time with it. I don’t have a title yet. It’s Bryan Fisher’s (Hollywood’s) story. I’m just getting started but I’m very excited about how things are shaping up for him. ELITE OPS 3 will be out late next spring.
As to news, I’m headed to San Antonio next week for the RWA National Conference, their big Literacy Signing, and the Greater Detroit RWA Booksellers Best Awards Reception. HARD TARGET: Elite Ops – Book 1 is a nominee for Best Romantic Suspense of 2014. I’m very excited.
If you haven’t started the series, each book stands alone. HARD TARGET is on sale for the next two weeks for $0.99 across all ebook platforms. It’s a great chance to grab it at a red hot price and meet the men of Elite Ops. And please join me on July 29th for an online PERSONAL TARGET Pool Party to celebrate the release of Book 2 in the series. We’ll have lots of prizes and special guests, (including Suz herself!)
Question for the readers:
I find I’m reading more and more on my ereader these days, but sometimes there is nothing like the feel (and smell!) of holding a real book in my hands. When you read a print book, do you break/crack the spine or keep it pristine?
Kay is giving away 3 prizes today:
3 winners….each has choice of either an ecopy of PERSONAL TARGET when it releases on July 29 or an ecopy of HARD TARGET right now.
Check out my Rafflecopter, a Rafflecopter giveaway
too for this awesome Pride and Prejudice Infinity Scarf!
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Jul 5 2014, 11:19 pm in Addison Fox, contemporary romantic suspense, Di R, Giveaway, Laurie G, Suzanne Ferrell
We have TWO winners today for the Booty from Addison Fox’s post on July 4th.
The winner of a signed copy of THE MANHATTAN ENCOUNTER is … LAURIE G!
The winner of all 4 books in The House of Steel Series is … DI R!
If you’ll send me your contact information to suzanne AT suzanneferrell DOT com I’ll be sure Addison gets those prizes to you ASAP!
Posted by Kate Carlisle Jun 3 2014, 12:05 am in Bandita Booty, bibliophile mysteries, contest, Giveaway, Kate Carlisle, Launch Party
Break out the bubbly! Release the balloons! Today is THE BOOK STOPS HERE release day, and we are going to par-TAY! No party would be complete without gifts, so read on to find out how you could win an autographed copy of THE BOOK STOPS HERE.
In THE BOOK STOPS HERE, Brooklyn Wainwright is hired as the book expert on This Old Attic, an antiques appraisal TV show, so we’ve got a TV crew here in the Lair today to film this celebrity event. The cabana boys are showing off a little, hoping to get noticed in Hollywood. Whoops! There goes Sven’s shirt! Yeah, he’s noticeable, all right, especially with the Golden Rooster sitting on his shoulder like a demented pirate’s pretend parrot.
The boys have been kind enough to set up a microphone for me between two palm trees strung with fairy lights. I’ll ignore everyone’s cries for karaoke (and you’ll thank me for it!) and instead, I’ll say, “Welcome to my book release party! Thank you for celebrating this very special day with me.”
The chants of “Excerpt! Excerpt!” are impossible to ignore, so I’ll do a quick reading with the beach band as back-up. (You’ll understand why the paragraphs are numbered in a minute.)
1. My mother always warned me to be careful what I wished for, but did I listen to her? Of course not. I love my mom, really, but this was the same woman who liked to recommend espresso enemas to perk me up. The same woman who performed magic spells and exorcisms on a regular basis and astral traveled around the universe with her trusted spirit guide, Ramlar X. Believe me, I’m very careful about taking advice from my mother.
2. Besides, the thing I was wishing for was more work. Why would that be a problem?
3. I’d been in between bookbinding jobs last month and was telling my friend Ian McCullough, chief curator of the Covington Library, that I wished I could find some new and interesting bookbinding work. That’s when Ian revealed that he had submitted my name to the television show, This Old Attic, to be their expert book appraiser. I was beside myself with excitement and immediately contacted the show’s producer for an interview. And I got it! I got what I wished for. A job. With books. That was a good thing, right?
4. Of course, I didn’t dare tell my mother that I considered her advice a bunch of malarkey. After all, some of those magic spells she’d spun had turned out to be alarmingly effective. I would hate to incur her wrath and wake up wearing a donkey’s head—or worse.
5. “Yo, Brooklyn,” Angie, the show’s stage manager said. “You look right into this camera and start talking, got it?”
6. “Got it,” I lied, pressing my hands against my knees to keep them from shaking uncontrollably. “Absolutely.”
7. “Good,” the stage manager said. “No dead air, got it?”
8. “Dead air. Right. Got it.”
9. She nodded once, then shouted to the studio in general, “Five minutes, everyone!”
10. I felt my stomach drop, but it didn’t matter. I was in show business!
11. This Old Attic traveled around the country and featured regular people who wanted their precious family treasures and heirlooms appraised by various local experts. The production was taping in San Francisco for three whole weeks and I was giggly with pleasure to be a part of it.
12. And terrified, too. But the nerves were sure to pass as soon as I started talking about my favorite topic, books. I hoped so, anyway.
Want to win an autographed copy of THE BOOK STOPS HERE? We’re going to play a little game. Go to the paragraph that corresponds with your month of birth and choose one word. Tell me what word you chose and then use it in a sentence that tells me something interesting about yourself! I’ll choose the winner at random from everyone who plays.