This is a Two-Fer-Tuesday. I have a blurb for my March book along with an excerpt from Blame The Mistletoe. Keep reading!
(I'm getting bookmarks for these three books! They're so cute. Email me your snail address and I'll send you a signed one.)
So I have lots of titles that overlap in the next few weeks, then no new titles through December and January.
As I write that, (with a small measure of panic) I realize how ridiculous it sounds to be worried about going a couple of months without a new book. Some authors go years.
But I think I'm acclimatized to write, release, promote, lather rinse repeat. By the end of 2014, I'll have eight titles that qualify for this year's Rita contest (like the Oscars for romance writers). That doesn't include The Secret In Room 823 which is too short to enter.
The heck, right? I don't know how I did it either.
So, depending on how my next Montana Born book is scheduled (It's the story that follows Blame The Mistletoe, about Blake's sister, Meg), I may or may not have a book in February before The Sheikh's Sinful Seduction, comes out with Harlequin Presents in March. (I predict they'll be on top of each other, which is fine. I'm definitely learning to roll with it!)
On the topic of my March book, I caught this for the first time today myself and wanted to share it with you. It's the blurb for The Sheikh's Sinful Seduction:
Ruled by duty…
A king among men, Sheikh Zafir cannot allow emotion or feelings to color his judgment. His carnal desires must be curbed for the sake of peace in his kingdom. But his control is tested by the feisty Fern Davenport; Zafir must have her.
Driven by desire…
Innocent Fern Davenport tries to resist the sheikh's skillful seduction—she knows that he could never marry her. But under the blistering sun an incendiary thirst awakes, and one incredible night results in a very lasting consequence.
Now this sheikh must claim his heir and his bride!
Seven Sexy Sins—The true taste of temptation! <<--The Sheikh's Sinful Seduction is part of a new mini-series running through 2015 based on the Seven Deadly Sins! Cool, huh?
~ * ~
So far so fun. And here we are five hundred words into a post and you're like,
"Where's my #TeaserTuesday?"
Right here, Dear Reader. But first, the blurb for Blame The Mistletoe:
Liz Flowers has never enjoyed Christmas, but this one is shaping up to be the worst by far. She let her ex take her daughter to Mexico while she stays behind in a strange town, sitting her former mother-in-law’s high strung little dog. It’s an opportunity to meet new people, but this California girl doesn’t have much in common with the ranchers in small town Marietta.
Blake Canon perks up with male interest when he sees a new face at his friend’s Christmas cocktail party. His son is away and a light affair would take his mind off his financial troubles. Then he realizes he knows Liz. She was once married to the brother of his ex-wife.
Their children might be cousins, but Blake and Liz do the kissing—under the mistletoe. It’s the beginning of a new view of Christmas for Liz, but when their children arrive home unexpectedly, and family secrets are revealed, Liz isn’t sure she’ll stay in Marietta for Christmas after all.
~ * ~
And here's a nice long excerpt of the opening pages.
WARNING: If you feel strongly about reading a series in order, Hometown Hero comes before this story and features Skye and Chase, the hosts of this cocktail party that Liz is attending.
Liz Flowers busied herself arranging her bruschetta-topped baguette slices into a wreath shape, trying to act comfortable, when she was out of her element arriving at a party in full swing like this.
Welcome new people into your life, she chided herself, as she took extra care placing little toothpick bunches of cherry tomatoes and green olives in strategic spots to look like berries. The ‘ribbon’ was made up of strips of lox threaded into a rippling pattern onto skewers. The arrangement looked fantastic, if she said so herself, and spoke of how much time she had on her hands these days.
A pang of loneliness struck, but she ignored it. That emotion was precisely the reason why, despite a mild attack of anxiety at being a stranger in a strange land, she had come here this evening and would stick it out for at least an hour.
Cocktail parties had never been her thing. Her hostess, Skye Wolcott, had assured her this would be more of a potluck get together with neighbors and friends. Skye and her fiancé have a lot of friends, Liz thought ruefully, moving her dish into a more central position on the cluttered table. The gorgeous, high-ceilinged, open-plan house was packed.
To give herself an excuse to scan the crowd, she took in the tasteful extravagance of the Christmas decor. The tree was the focus, as it should be. And real, of course. The one thing she’d begun to learn about this little town was that Marietta was authentic. For some reason, she hadn’t noticed that before, on the few quick visits she’d made over the years.
So, she suspected that the tree might have come from a farm, but was more likely from someone’s ranch. The tree’s base of white lights and tiny silver baubles was layered with colorful ornaments, obviously homemade by children.
Giant poinsettias splashed red and white throughout the room between the shift of bodies as people crossed with drinks and plates in their hands. Their pleasure at seeing familiar faces was genuine. Vases full of frosted sticks vied with bunches of holly encircling candles on end tables and across the mantle.
Whether it was the candles or something in the oven, Liz noted a waft of nutmeg and cinnamon under the heavier aroma of meatballs and lasagna, roasted garlic and ham. This was the kind of home, the kind of Christmas, she’d envied all her life.
So, even though she was having a moment of nerves, she pushed it aside, determined to at least drink in what she’d always yearned for, even if it was second hand.
The table fairly buckled under the mix of finger foods, crock pots, platters of cheese, baskets of buns and bowls of salad. Laughing, joking voices created a lively din over the Christmas music, as people jostled and reached. They all seemed friendly enough, but she didn’t know them and they all seemed to know each other. Their circles looked too intimidating to crack.
Being in an unfamiliar town for the holidays, making new friends, would put butterflies in anyone’s middle, she reasoned. The sense of being an outsider would only get worse if she didn’t take chances like this.
Which was basically what she’d been telling herself about dating for the last couple of years.
She was definitely not looking for Mr. Right while she was here. Not at this party or even this month. No, she refused to put that sort of pressure on herself when she was already feeling vulnerable. The specter of her thirty-eighth birthday could loom all it wanted, along with the false deadlines she’d set for herself to meet the right man, remarry and have another baby before she turned forty. No. She had come to the realization that trying to force things was only making for disappointment as things failed to pan out.
As a Christmas present to herself, she was letting go of all of that and keeping her expectations simple: get out of the house and meet new people. That, at least, she could do successfully.
She suppressed a sigh, not wanting anyone to see how hard she was finding this. Come on, Liz. You talk to strangers all the time.
It was way easier to strike up conversations with a nail file in her hand and when people came to her, but—Wait, was that guy staring at her?
Heart skipping, she reflexively shied away, taking her plastic tub back to the kitchen counter along with an impossible-to-shake impression of a good-looking cowboy in a blue plaid shirt. He’d been clean-shaven, rugged. Familiar? No. Everyone she knew in Marietta had climbed onto a plane for Mexico six days ago.
Oh, quit being such a chicken, she cajoled herself, surprised by how much electricity was running through her limbs. Chatting to a man for five minutes was not a lifetime commitment, she reminded herself. If he wanted to approach her, she shouldn’t act like a nineteenth century school marm about it.
Gathering her courage, she forced herself back to the table where she picked up a plate and began loading it for herself, trying to act like she was open to chat.
“Auntie Liz,” a male voice said in a tone of discovery.
Startled, she looked up.
It was him. The guy who’d been staring. He’d moved to stand across the table from her. Perhaps they’d met somewhere with her niece or nephews, who lived here in Marietta. He looked familiar, but he wasn’t a long-lost nephew to her.
Like most of the men here tonight, he’d left off his cowboy hat for the party. He had thick dark hair with a hint of curl, a smart shirt. Cowboy boots, she surmised, even though she couldn’t see his feet. He had the stance. And he was trim in a natural way. A lot of the men here were ranchers, which was demanding work. She’d always had a thing for nice shoulders so she let herself admire his. Briefly. Very briefly. She couldn’t help it. He was very good looking with his strong jaw and direct blue eyes that gave her a girlish swoop in her middle.
Had she just caught him glancing up from a male assessment of the glittery top she’d purchased the day after she’d been invited to this party? It was a T-shirt style, but clingy with a cowl neckline in midnight blue with streaks of silver and shiny black. She’d been working out lately, trying to build her dating confidence, but hadn’t felt like men had noticed until now. Trickles of flattery and attraction worked through her.
“I’ve been trying to place you since you walked in. Blake Canon,” he said. “Ethan’s dad.” He offered his hand.
She gathered the neglected female hormones that had scattered in a teenaged fit of giddiness. Reaching across to shake his callused hand, she saw him in her mind’s eye wearing a tuxedo, very young to be at the altar . . .
“Uncle Blake,” she countered, laughing softly to cover her mixture of relief at knowing someone after all and shock at how he’d only grown more good looking with the passage of some fifteen years.
Oh, that realization caused a wistfulness in her. Her hand lingered in his a bit too long before she pulled it away, vaguely aware that he hung on loosely, making her fingers slide from his grip. Making her imagine he wanted to maintain the connection longer, too.
Lucky Crystal, she had thought about her sister-in-law back then. Doesn’t have a clue what she has...
And probably still didn’t know what she’d lost, but Liz shook off those sorts of thoughts. Blake was still too young for her. She probably had four or five years on him, which wasn’t a huge issue, but more importantly, he’d married a Flower, just like she had. The association put him totally beyond her reach.
Nevertheless, in the way of soldiers who’d done similar combat tours, she experienced a surge of camaraderie and warmth toward him, probably making her smile too big, but he was smiling at her in a way that made her warm all over. If she blushed, she’d die. The air was way too sexually charged for merely bumping into an old acquaintance.
~ * ~
Like it? You can pre-order Blame The Mistletoe now. Hometown Hero will have a special introductory release price of 99c. Join my newsletter to be notified when Hometown Hero goes on sale.
Keep tuning in for #SampleSunday. Starting Oct 5th, I'll switch to The Russian's Acquisition, but for now it's still Hometown Hero.
By the way, Hometown Hero is one of five in a series set during Homecoming in Marietta, Montana. Here's the line-up of authors who collaborated on this series along with the release dates for their titles:
- Sept 22 - Sing Me Back Home, by Eve Gaddy
- Sept 25 - Finding Home, by Roxanne Snopek
- Sept 29 - Hometown Hero, by Dani Collins
- Oct 2 - Long Way Home, by Kathleen O’Brien
- Oct 6 - Home For Good, by Terri Reed
Tired of reading about how you can win free books? Wait, don't guess yet. I'll also throw in this wonderful Goodreads Giveaway for The Russian's Acquisition, which started today (Sep 23rd)!
Need something to read while you wait for all these new releases? Harlequin has marked down the digital copy of More Than A Convenient Marriage? by $2.00 until September 28th.)
Note that the N.American version is a 2in1. Those are the first two books in my Makricosta series. If you haven't read them yet, this is a great time to start since I just turned in Book Four. (Like to read in order? Start with No Longer Forbidden? then More Than A Convenient Marriage? Book Three is An Heir To Bind Them.)
Want to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest...etc? Click here for Dani's Social Media links and take your pick.
Okay, I really must get writing. Eight and a quarter books a year do not write themselves.