Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Aloha to Shana Galen and THE ROGUE YOU KNOW


Bad Boy Inspiration by Shana Galen

When we think about Regency England, we tend to think of the balls, the carriages, the gowns. We forget that for every duke or marquess, there were hundreds of thieves and pickpockets living in the slums of the city. Covent Garden was an area of London with plenty of rookeries, and the thieves who lived there often banded together because there’s protection in numbers. My fictional gang called the Covent Garden Cubs is made up of the leader Satin, his second-in-command Beezle, and an assortment of pickpockets and house-breakers with names like Gap, Racer, and Stub. The gang also has one girl, Marlowe, and I wrote about her in Earls Just Want to Have Fun. Her best friend in the gang in Gideon, and he’s the hero in The Rogue You Know. Gideon is the ultimate bad boy who can cheat, lie, and steal with the best of them. He was orphaned at a young age and had no choice but to steal to survive. Now Gideon wants a different life for himself, and if he can just complete one last job, he’ll have it…or die trying.

When writing about my bad boy hero, I had plenty of inspiration.

1) Flynn Rider from Tangled

Yes, I know Flynn is animated, but he is the main inspiration for Gideon. Like the Disney bad boy, Gideon is charming, funny, and self-deprecating. Flynn makes no apologies for his lifestyle, and while he may try to hide his sensitive side, his love for Rapunzel brings it out.

2) George Gordon Byron, Baron Byron

Byron was a poet, nobleman, and ultimate bad boy. Described as “mad, bad, and dangerous to know,” Byron titillated the Regency world. He generated enormous debts, had numerous affairs and liaisons, and ultimately died young and tragically abroad. A bad boy with the heart of a romantic is always an inspiration.

3) Danny in Grease

We’ve all seen Grease so many times we forget that Travolta’s character was really a bad boy. He’s dangerous for Sandy’s reputation and just plain dangerous, period. But like any bad boy we love, love wins Danny over and he’s willing to change to be with the woman who means everything.

4) Patrick in 10 Things I Hate About You

I love a bad boy who sets out to corrupt the good girl and then is corrupted by her instead. Heath Ledger is fabulous as the new kid in school who agrees to date the heroine…for a fee. “How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.” The banter between Patrick and Kat makes this bad boy movie memorable.

5) Nick Gentry in Worth Any Price by Lisa Kleypas

While Gideon may be on the wrong side of the law and Nick Gentry a Bow Street Runner, Nick definitely serves as an inspiration. He’s a man with a dark past and much to hide, but Charlotte is able to peel away the layers one by one. Her love for him, and his for her, redeems this bad boy and makes us love him all the more.

I enjoyed taking inspiration from each of these bad boys and creating the character of Gideon. He may be a thief and a rogue, but he is also capable of deep love. And that’s what my books are about—characters for whom love changes everything.

Who are your favorite redeemed rogues?



She's beyond his reach...
Gideon Harrow has spent his life in London's dark underworld-and he wants out. A thief and a con, he plans one last heist to finally win his freedom. But when everything goes wrong, he finds himself at the tender mercies of one of Society's most untouchable women-Lady Susanna Derring.

...and out of her depth.
Susanna has spent her life in London's glittering ton, under the thumb of a domineering mother-and she wants out. When a wickedly charming rogue lands at her feet, she jumps at the chance to experience life before it's too late. But as she descends into London's underworld, she finds that nothing- not even Gideon-is as it seems. As excitement turns to danger, Susanna must decide what price she's willing to pay...for the love of a reformed thief.


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Shana Galen is the bestselling author of passionate Regency romps, including the RT Reviewers' Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Kirkus says of her books, "The road to happily-ever-after is intense, conflicted, suspenseful and fun," and RT Book Reviews calls her books "lighthearted yet poignant, humorous yet touching." She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston's inner city. Now she writes full time. She's happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making. Shana loves to hear from readers, so send her an email or see what she's up to daily on Facebook and Twitter. 


shanagalen.com
facebook.com/ShanaGalen
twitter.com/shanagalen
Goodreads link

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Sourcebooks is giving away 10 copies of  
Shana Galen’s Covent Garden Cubs series starter EARLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN at this link.

To answer Shana's question, I have an affinity for Lord 
Byron - my father enjoyed his poetry and named my brother after him.   Lord Byron's daughter is Ada Lovelace.  From Wikipedia (link),

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (née Byron; 10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852) was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithmintended to be carried out by a machine. Because of this, she is often regarded as the first computer programmer.

I studied Ada, a DOD computer program named for the Countess, during my initial training in the Air Force. Finally, Bryon's cousin and heir, Captain George Anson, visited the Big Island of Hawaii after inheriting the title of Baron Byron.


September sparkles with Romance


September brings us the 201st anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner.  Above is the replica flag flying over Fort McHenry, inspiring Francis Scott Key to pen the Star Spangled Banner on September 14, 1814.   September also brings these authors to SOS Aloha ...

9/1: Shana Galen's THE ROGUE YOU KNOW
9/2: Tracy Solheim's SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY
9/3: Julie Ann Walker's TOO HARD TO HANDLE
9/4: Anna Schmidt's THE DRIFTER
9/5: Celebrate Little Victories
9/6: Weekly Winners
9/7: Grace Burrowes' THE DUKE AND THE DUCHESS
9/8: Chloe Barlow's CITY OF CHAMPIONS
9/9: Rachel Goodman's FROM SCRATCH
9/10: Tessa Dare's WHEN A SCOT TIES THE KNOT
9/11: Sharon Calvin and JAYHAWK DOWN
9/12: Denise Swanson and Change of Heart Series
9/13: Weekly Winners
9/14: Diane Barnes and WAITING FOR ETHAN
9/15: Ines Saint's NEED A LITTLE TLC
9/16: Wednesday's Warriors with Donna Steele
9/17: Eileen Dreyer's ISN'T IT ROMANTIC
9/18: Air Force's Birthday
9/19: Celebrate Little Victories
9/20: Weekly Winners
9/21: Shelley K Wall's LOVE ME
9/22: Open
9/23: Wednesday's Warriors
9/24: Carol Ross' IF NOT FOR A BEE
9/25: Gwyn Cready's FIRST TIME WITH A HIGHLANDER
9/26: Celebrate Little Victories
9/27: Weekly Winners
9/28: Lucy Farago's SIN ON THE STRIP
9/29: Kate Mary's NO REGRETS
9/30: Wednesday's Warriors

10/1: Open
10/2: Open
10/3: Celebrate Little Victories
10/4: Weekly Winners
10/5: Jane Ashford FIRST SEASON / BRIDE TO BE
10/6: Adrienne Giordano's THE REBEL
10/7: Wednesday's Warriors
10/8: Rosanne Bittner THUNDER ON THE PLAINS
10/9: Open
10/10: Celebrate Little Victories
10/11: Weekly Winners
10/12: Lindsay McKenna
10/13: Happy Birthday, US Navy
10/14: Eileen Dreyer's PRINCE OF A GUY
10/15: Harlequin Heartwarming Christmas Anthology - Release Day Celebration
10/16: Heather Boyd's MISS MERTON'S LAST HOPE
10/17: Celebrate Little Victories
10/18: Weekly Winners
10/19: Laurie McBain's Dominick Trilogy
10/20: Open
10/21: Wednesday's Warriors
10/22: Open
10/23: Open
10/24: Celebrate Little Victories
10/25: Weekly Winners
10/26: Reserved - Avon Romance
10/27: Open
10/28: Wednesday's Warriors
10/29: Open - Avon Romance
10/30: Open
10/31: Celebrate Little Victories

11/1: Weekly Winners
11/2: Open

11/3: Open
11/4: Wednesday's Warriors
11/5: Open
11/6: Open
11/7: Celebrate Little Victories
11/8: Weekly Winners
11/9: Open
11/10: USMC's Birthday
11/11: Veteran's Day
11/12: Eileen Dreyer's THE PRINCESS & THE PEA
11/13: Open
11/14: Open
11/15: Celebrate Little Victories
11/16: Weekly Winners
11/17: Open
11/18: Open
11/19: Wednesday's Warriors
11/20: Open
11/21: Open
11/22: Celebrate Little Victories
11/23: Weekly Winners
11/24: Mingmei Yip's THE WITCH'S MARKET
11/25: Open
11/26: Wednesday's Warriors
11/27: Thanksgiving in the US
11/28: Black Friday
11/29: Celebrate Little Victories
11/30: Weekly Winners

12/1: Melinda Curtis' A MEMORY AWAY
12/2: Collette Cameron's HEARTBREAK & HONOR


1/11/16: Eileen Dreyer's A FINE MADNESS

WWI soldiers at Fort McHenry

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Aloha to Amanda Forester and THE HIGHLANDER'S BRIDE - Character Interview

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Their attraction is forbidden

All Highland warrior Gavin Patrick wants is to get back to his native Scotland. But before he can leave the battlefield, he’s given a final mission—escort Lady Marie Colette to her fiancé. Under no circumstances is he to lay hands on the beautiful, clever-tongued heiress…no matter how desperate the temptation.

Their desire, undeniable

Forced to pose as a married couple to make their escape from France, Gavin and Marie Colette find themselves thrown into peril…and each other’s arms. As the danger mounts, so does their forbidden passion. But it isn’t until Marie Colette is taken from him that Gavin is forced to decide—is he willing to lose the woman who stole his heart, or will he jeopardize his honor, defy his promise, and steal her in return?


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Full Name: Sir Gavin Patrick
Nickname (if applicable): Gavin
Height: 6’1”
Hair Color: Dark brown
Eye Color: Brown
Age: 22
Originally from: born in 1337 near Balquidder, Scotland

Describe yourself in 200 words or less: Hullo. I am Sir Gavin, pleased to make yer acquaintance. I hail from the Highlands, under the clan MacLaren, where my uncle is laird. I came to France several years ago on a quest, which remains undone. It grieves me to leave it unfinished, but I was ‘requested’ (neatly tricked, if ye care for the truth) to escort the spoiled Lady Mary Colette to the Highlands to her new husband. When I saved the life o’ the duc de Bergerac and he promised me a rich reward, escorting his brat of a daughter, wasna exactly what I had in mind. But, I am a man o’ my word, so the lady will be deposited wi’ her affianced husband as soon as may be. And trust me, it canna be too soon.

What matters the most to you in your life? Beyond serving the Good Lord, as every knight is sworn to do, my family and my clan are the most important things in my life. That is why I sought this quest, to find the resting place o’ my father, who died in battle in France, and mark it wi’ the honor that is his due. I regret I have not been able to find this place. And yet, in my return, I ken my mither will be greatly pleased to see me, so I shall be content in that. Perhaps when I return to the Highlands I shall find a bonny lass o’ my own and start a family. As soon as I can rid myself o’ the Lady Colette, that is.

What is your favorite way to pass the time? I have’na had much time to pass in leisure, truth be told. Since I have been in France I’ve been busy lending my sword to help the French fight against the increasing presence o’ the English. They are clever bastards they are, and they know how to fight, I’ll give them that. Back home, I did enjoy a bit o’ fishing. It shall be good to get back to the quiet life—if I can manage to sit still long enough to enjoy it!

If money was no object and you had 3 weeks free of responsibility what would you do with your time? That is a question that is. I am looking forward to seeing my clan again. ‘Tis not easy being a Highlander in the French court, wi’ some little noble always looking down their nose at me, or actually looking up their nose at me for I am taller here than any other knight I’ve met. And yet, I’ve got a bit o’ the wanderers soul to me, and I would no’ mind travelling a bit to see the world. Though I prefer to travel alone and no’ saddled wi’ this French lady and all her ladies and all her belongings. Saints preserve me!


Amanda Forester holds a PhD in psychology and worked many years in academia before discovering that writing historical romance was way more fun. A Publishers Weekly Top Ten author, her books have been given starred reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews. Whether in the rugged Highlands of medieval Scotland or the decadent ballrooms of Regency England, her novels offer fast-paced adventures filled with wit, intrigue, and romance. You can visit her at amandaforester.com.

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Sourcebooks offers an excerpt from THE HIGHLANDER'S BRIDE ...

France, 1359

Lady Marie Colette had one chance. She needed to secure the Highlander’s agreement to decline marrying her, and she needed to do it quickly, before her father returned. She had never before defied her father, but if he thought he could protect her by arranging a marriage with a Highland warrior and send her far away to Scotland of all places, he was much confused.

In truth, Sir Gavin was a fine specimen of a man. She was fair enough to admit it. He was a young man and built on a large scale, towering over most men. He had broad shoulders and a muscular chest, well-defined beneath the formfitting surcoat. His dark brown hair hung down to his square jaw and had a bit of a thick wave to it. He was clean shaven, a surprise considering he was a barbaric Highlander.

“I have heard rumors o’ yer beauty, but ye’re bonnier than anything I heard described.” Sir Gavin spoke in a rich tone with a lyrical accent, pleasing to her ears. However, if he thought he could win her over with compliments, he was much mistaken. She had been told so often she was beautiful that the words no longer had meaning.

“Please understand. It is impossible for me to marry you. But if you make an arrangement with me now, you will not leave empty-handed. Name your weight in gold to walk away.” Her heard pounded to make such a blunt offer. In truth, she would never have made such a crass offer to a French knight, whose honor would have been greatly impinged, but Sir Gavin was a foreigner. A Highlander. Were they not only here in France to profit off of the long war?

Sir Gavin’s eyebrows rose for a moment before falling back down in resignation. “I will no’ take the fortune of a lady, nor will I force anyone to marry me.” He spoke in a careless manner, as if what she offered was nothing to him.

Colette released a breath she had not realized she was holding. Had he just agreed not to marry her? Would he simply walk away? “So you will tell my father you will not marry me?”

A wry smile played about his lips and she had the distinct impression he was not taking the situation as seriously as she thought it deserved. “I am yers to command. If ye wish me to leave, I will go.”

Relief washed over her. She would not be banished to the wilds of Scotland with some strange, albeit attractive, man. “Thank you, Sir Knight. My father, he wished to protect me by sending me far, but I cannot see myself in such a wild, foreign place. We would be most unequally yoked.”

Gavin leaned a shoulder against the stone wall and stared out the dark window into the night. “The Highlands are a rugged place and my home is no’ nearly as grand as this fine castle. ’Tis a wild place, but in the evening, when the sun’s rays touch the high peaks, setting them aglow with the fiery light, ’tis so beautiful it robs yer breath. No finely decorated hall could ever compare.”

Colette opened her mouth but no words came.

He turned back to her, appraising her finery with a critical eye. “Someday, God willing, I shall take my bride there, a bride who chooses me above all men. We will no’ be surrounded by courtiers or pageantry or fancy clothes or ridiculous pointed shoes.”

Colette swallowed, heat creeping up the back of her neck. Had he seen the points of her shoes?

He stepped close to her, moving with a fluid grace that made her heart beat faster. “In the Highlands we dinna have all yer comforts, but what we do have we fiercely defend.”

“What do you have?” she asked in a voice barely above a whisper.

“Freedom. In the Highlands, m’lady, ye would be free.”

Free? She stared up at him. He dangled before her the one thing all her riches could never buy. He offered her freedom.

He leaned nearer and her eyes fell to his lips, which inexplicably appeared soft. She could not help but respond to the irresistible pull of his inviting mouth. He moved slowly, bending down so that their lips drew dangerously close. She breathed in the scent of him, an intoxicating mix of wood smoke, fine wine, and pure man.

The door creaked and her father strode back in the room as both Colette and Gavin jumped away from each other. The duc de Bergerac spread a scroll out on a table. “This is the marriage accord I have made with the Baron of Kintail.”

“Wait…who?” Colette tried to gather together her swirling thoughts in order to form speech. She glanced at Sir Gavin. The careless smile was gone. They had both made the wrong assumption.

Gavin wasn’t meant for Colette at all.

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Weekly Winners


We have winners at SOS Aloha:

Sophie Kinsella's MINI SHOPAHOLIC
- Chelsea B. wins a book choice from convention stash.

7415016

Patience Griffin's SOME LIKE IT SCOTTISH
- Martha wins a copy from Patience.


Good things come in three 
- Gamistress66 wins a book choice from my convention stash.


Jodi Thomas' RANSOM CANYON
- Gretchen wins a book choice from my convention stash.


Winners, please claim your prize by sending your mailing address to sos.aloha@yahoo.com.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in charm City


Friday, August 28, 2015

Aloha to Kelly Bowen and YOU'RE THE EARL THAT I WANT


THE EARL DOTH PROTEST . . .
For businessman Heath Hextall, inheriting an earldom has been a damnable nuisance. The answer: find a well-bred, biddable woman to keep his life in order and observe the required social niceties. But it's always been clear that Lady Josephine Somerhall is not that woman. Once a shy slip of a girl, Joss is now brilliant, beautiful chaos in a ball gown.

. . . BUT THE LADY KNOWS BEST
In her heart, Joss has always loved Heath, the one person she's always been able to count on. That doesn't mean she wants to marry him though. Without a husband, Joss can do as she pleases-and now, it pleases her to solve the mystery of an encoded file given to Heath by a dying man. It's put Heath in peril once, and Joss won't let that happen again. She'll do what she must to ensure the earl's safety. And to remind him that what she lacks in convention, she makes up for in passion.


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Kelly Bowen grew up in Manitoba, Canada. She attended the University of Manitoba and earned a Master of Science degree in veterinary physiology and endocrinology. But it was Kelly's infatuation with history and a weakness for a good love story that led her down the path of historical romance. When she is not writing, she seizes every opportunity to explore ruins and battlefields. Currently, Kelly lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two boys, all of whom are wonderfully patient with the writing process. Except, that is, when they need a goalie for street hockey.

kellybowen.net
twitter.com/kellybowen09
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Forever Romance offers an excerpt from YOU'RE THE EARL THAT I WANT ...

Joss watched him, wanting to smooth the troubled lines from his forehead. “I once knew a boy who told me, when he was grown up, he would become a pirate king and sail his own ship to the four corners of the world in search of treasure,” she said quietly.

His mouth twisted but his eyes remained hard. “That boy grew up. And discovered that there were no such things as pirate kings, and no time to search for treasure.”

“Yet that boy now owns his own ships.”

“He does.”

“And what stops him from sailing them where he pleases? What stops him from doing and taking what he truly wants?”

His eyes caught hers and held them trapped within their brilliant blue heat. The remoteness was gone, replaced by a sudden predatory hunger that made Joss swallow convulsively. Her breath stuttered, anticipation and desire roaring to life and sending frissons of longing pulsing through her. The question she’d flung at Heath was swirling around in her brain now, demanding an honest answer from her own conscience.

What was stopping her from taking what she truly wanted? Because what she wanted was standing before her in perfectly tailored evening clothes, his hands clenched around a pile of newspapers, looking at her with such raw covetousness that it was making her nearly drunk with a reckless want.

“Perhaps one day I’ll take you there,” she said into the sudden silence.

Heath stilled. “To Bombay?”

“To start.” She’d meant it to sound like a jest, but it came out as an invitation. “I could take you a lot of places.” Holy hell, but what was she doing?

Heath seemed to have stopped breathing, though he took a step closer, his scent enveloping her. Instantly her mouth went dry, and a steady throb built in her belly. She squirmed, but she was backed against the desk and had nowhere to go. Sanity was rapidly disintegrating around her, crumbling beneath an overwhelming ache to touch this man. To have him touch her.

“Of course I don’t have my own ships, so I’d have to hitch a ride on one of yours.” She barely recognized herself.

There were reasons why she shouldn’t do this, she knew. She just couldn’t think of one right now.

Heath’s expression shifted suddenly, as if something within him had given way. He took another half step closer, close enough that he was pressed against her skirts now, the hard steel of his legs nudging hers apart so that he dominated her space and trapped her against him. He dropped the newspaper carelessly and braced his hands on the edge of the desk on either side of her waist, bringing his lips a breath away from hers.

“Would you take me?” she whispered, and neither of them could pretend she was still talking about ships.

“Yes,” Heath rasped.

And then he kissed her.


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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Aloha to Sara Humphreys and BRAVE THE HEAT

 

Men in Uniform by Sara Humphreys

Who loves a man in uniform? ME!!! I also love a band of brothers and that’s why I simply had to write The McGuire Brothers series. These five sexy bros are all men in uniform and they are as devoted to each other as they are to their jobs. When the guys introduced themselves to me (I know that sounds weird but that’s kind of how it feels when the characters come to life in my head) one of the first things they told me about themselves was which uniform they wore.

Gavin, the hero in Brave the Heat is the oldest and the fire chief in their hometown. Ronan, the second born, is a K9 officer in New York City and a die-hard ladies man. His longest relationship, outside of his family, is with his partner, a bloodhound named Bowser. Tristan is the middle son, and admitted bad-boy. A former Navy SEAL, he is now freelancing as a gun for hire and bodyguard. The twins, Finn and Dillon, are the youngest of the bunch. Finn is an armed first responder in Miami and Dillon is an Air Force pilot but is on leave due to PTSD.

What I love most about these heroes—and all men in uniform—is their unwavering commitment, fiercely protective nature, and a clear sense of right and wrong. They are devoted to family and their mission—whatever that may be. All uniforms are sexy, except for maybe the UPS or mailman gear. If you find a hot mailman or UPS guy…please share.

To celebrate the release of my McGuire Brother series, I’m here to count down my fave men in uniform from movies and television:

1. Chris Pine in Star Trek: The reboot of Star Trek is probably the best example of re-casting ever! Pine does Captain Kirk proud and looks fine in his Star Fleet uniform.

2. Don Johnson in Miami Vice: A throwback, I’ll admit but don’t lie…you loved him in those white linen pants and the big shouldered blazer. The music? You’re hearing it right now, aren’t you?

3. Erik Estrada in CHiPs: Another oldie but goodie. Something about a man on a motorcycle…and those sunglasses.

4. Bradley Cooper in American Sniper: Not only an incredible performance but he filled out those fatigues nicely.

5. Chris Kyle in real life. A true American hero. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.

Gavin, and all of the McGuire brothers, wear their uniforms proudly and like most men in service, they are as devoted to their families as they are to their duties. I think it’s that quality which stands out above all the rest—devotion. Isn’t that what all of us want? We want to be loved, cherished, and protected and no one does that better than a man in uniform.


The only fire he can't put out...

Jordan McKenna is back in town, and Fire Chief Gavin Maguire's feelings when he sees her after all these years are as raw as the day she left. Then he was just a kid wearing his heart on his sleeve. Now he spends every day trying to atone for the tragedy he couldn't prevent.

Is the torch he carries for her

Jordan's life has not exactly worked out the way she expected. A divorced mother of two with a failed acting career, Jordan's biggest concern about coming back to Old Brookfield was seeing her first love. But when a series of suspicious fires breaks out, Jordan and Gavin realize that dealing with the sparks between them may be the least dangerous of their problems.

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Sara Humphreys is the award winning author of the Amoveo Legend series. The third book in the series, UNTAMED, won two PRISM awards--Dark Paranormal and Best of the Best. The first two novels from her Dead in the City series have been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award. Sara was also a professional actress. Some of her television credits include, A&E Biography, Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns and Rescue Me.

She loves writing hot heroes and heroines with moxie but above all, Sara adores a satisfying happily-ever-after. She lives in New York with Mr. H., their four amazing sons, and two adorable pups. When she's not writing or hanging out with the men in her life, she can be found working out with Shaun T in her living room or chatting with readers on Facebook.

sarahumphreys.com

Sourcebooks is hosting a special giveaway at this link.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Kim's picture of FDNY

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Aloha to Marina Adair and A TASTE OF SUGAR


A TASTE OF SUGAR by Marina Adair (August 25, 2015; Forever Mass Market; Sugar, Georgia #3)

A blast from her past…

Charlotte Holden, Sugar’s favorite pediatrician, knows better than anyone that love only leads to heartbreak. Instead, she’s focused on creating the Grow Clinic, an outpatient center for children. All she has to do now is to host the best Founder’s Day Parade in the history of Sugar, Georgia, to win over a big-city donor. Easy as peach pie. Then sexy Jace McGraw blows back into town and utters those three words every woman dreads: we’re still married.

…leads to tantalizing trouble

Jace McGraw was making an offer on his dream business in Atlanta when he was told that his wife had some credit issues. Wait, his wife? The annulment went through years ago—or so he thought. He’d walked away only to keep his troublemaker reputation from ruining her dreams. But now that they have a second chance, Jace offers Charlotte a deal: he’ll grant a discreet divorce in exchange for 30 days and nights of marriage. Because this time he isn’t going to let her go without a fight.


Marina Adair is a lifelong fan of romance novels. Along with the Sugar series, she is also the author of the St. Helena Vineyard series and the upcoming Shelter Cove series. She currently lives in a hundred-year-old log cabin, nestled in the majestic redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, with her husband and daughter. As a writer, Marina is devoted to giving her readers contemporary romance where the towns are small, the personalities large, and the romance explosive. She also loves to interact with readers and you can catch her on Twitter at @MarinaEAdair or visit her at MarinaAdair.com.


Top 5 Delights of the Founder’s Day Parade in Sugar, Georgia, from A TASTE OF SUGAR:

1. The Miss Peach court. A parade just wouldn’t be a parade without the Miss Peaches from pageants past. Dressed to the nines, sashes and crowns on display, the former Miss Peaches bring tradition, taffeta, and plenty of drama.

2. The annual Sheep Scurry and Trails, where the biggest and most cunning sheep and farmers team up to race for the glory. With yarn-jockies strapped to their back, wool sheered for speed-enhancing aero-dynamics, the cream-of-the-flock race their way down the track at lightning speeds. Some people come to race their sheep, others come to bet the farm on who they think will take the trophy, but everyone turns out. 

3. It’s doesn’t get any sweeter—or more competitive—than the Great Sugar Jam-Off and Tasting. An event that gives the town enough sweet peach jam to last the year—and the winner bragging rights for eternity.

4. The food! Whether you’re looking for the hunting club’s the Double Barrelled and Double Dipped soft serve or Hattie McGraw’s Blue Ribbon peach cobbler, the Sugar Founder’s Day Fair has all of the sweet treats that south has to offer.

5. The big, beautiful men of Sugar, Georgia as they parade their cars down Maple Street with their rag-tops down and their swagger dialed to can-I-get-an-amen. There is so much horse-power and testosterone on display it has women sighing from nine counties over.


Forever Romance is hosting a special giveaway at this link ... and offers an excerpt from A TASTE OF SUGAR:

“You can’t work here,” she said, angry that he hadn’t called to warn her he was coming home. He at least owed her that.

“Can and do.” He grabbed a rag off the hood of the car and wiped off his hand, then stuck it out. “Jace McGraw, Sugar’s newest resident mechanic.”

She swatted his hand away. “Since when?” Because Jace didn’t do home visits. And he didn’t stick around one place long enough to be a resident of anywhere.

“Since today.” He cupped the bill of his hat and pulled it lower on his head. “Let me guess, you’re here as the official Sugar welcoming committee. Where’s my pie?”

“What pie?”

“Pie? Something in a covered dish? You know, all those neighborly things people are supposed to do when someone comes to town.” He looked at her empty hands and then without a word his eyes dropped to her skirt and there went the other dimple—and her good parts. “Unless there’s something I can do for you, Charlie?”

The way he said her name in that low, husky timbre, almost whispering it while flattening the vowels, reminded her of a different time, a time when she naively thought he’d meant it. But she wasn’t that wide-eyed woman anymore. She knew what he was offering, and what he wasn’t capable of giving.

After all, once upon a time she’d been married to him. Yup, Charlotte Holden had fallen in love with and married the town’s biggest bad boy. Not that anybody except the two of them knew, since it had ended as fast as it had begun. But those few weeks as Mrs. Jace McGraw had been the most amazing of her life—and what had followed had nearly broken her.

“Yes,” she said. “You need to leave.” Because wasn’t that what he did best?

The briefest frown flashed across his face, and he grabbed some kind of wrench doohickey and busied himself with tinkering under the hood. “Wish I could, but it seems like my services are needed in Sugar for a bit.”

Charlotte didn’t know what hurt more, that he wanted to leave as much as she wanted him gone—which was ridiculous since him being here, during the most important time in her career, was a disaster waiting to happen—or that, after all the time she’d spent praying he’d come back to Sugar, he finally had. Only it wasn’t for her.

“That doesn’t work for me,” she said.

“Well, this isn’t about you. Now is it?” He wasn’t even looking at her but tightening some bolt inside the engine.

Which was a good thing since she was pretty sure her eyes went glassy at his comment, because at one time he’d made her believe that everything he did was for her. Including walking away from their marriage.

“I need to go. So if you could just point me in the direction of my keys.”

“See here?” Jace walked over to her car and squatted down. She did her best not to notice the way his jeans cupped his backside—tried and failed. He filled out a pair of Levi’s like nobody’s business. “Teeth marks. Looks like you got yourself a raccoon or possum problem.”

Seems she had lots of pest problems these days. “So can you just throw some new tires on it and I can be gone?”

“You don’t need new tires, what you need are new valve stems.” And wasn’t that just like a man, telling her what she needed. “Which for your sporty, two-door tiara on wheels is a special order. Imagine that.”

“So what you’re telling me is that I’m stuck here? With you. And my car won’t be ready until—”

“Best-case scenario, end of the week.”

She let out a completely undignified huff and resisted the urge to stomp her feet. She’d begged the universe for a way out of dinner, and apparently whoever was in charge of granting wishes had chosen today to listen.

She looked at her phone, considered calling Ben, and then realized she could only handle one man from her past at a time. Plus, he was on a date with the new nurse from radiology, which meant Charlotte was stranded. Something that must have shown on her face because Jace set the tool down and stepped closer—so close he was all up in her personal space, which did crazy things to her emotional space.

“I can take you home.” He looked at her buttons and back into her eyes. “Or I can take you across the street to the Saddle Rack and buy you a drink.”

Then he did something he hadn’t done in over four years, he cupped his palms around her hips and drew her to him, and damn it if she didn’t shuffle closer.

“Why would I let you buy me a drink?” she asked quietly, although her brain kicked off a hundred and one reasons on its own. The first being that was how their relationship had started.

Charlotte had been a stressed-out resident in Atlanta, lonely and so homesick it hurt, when she’d walked into a bar and seen Jace. He flashed her that bad-boy smile, bought her a drink, then another, and before she knew it he had sweet-talked her into his bed, then down to the Justice of the Peace.

“Because I think you could use a shot of something strong right now,” he said. “And we need to talk.”

“You lost the right to tell me what I need a long time ago. As for that talk you want, you’re about four years too late.”

“Not according to the great state of Georgia,” he said, and her stomach dropped. “Since legally we’re still married.”

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