· Grand PRICE at Rochelle@familyoflooneys
- MORE THAN HE EXPECTED BY ANDREA LAURENCE – Ann Strelow
- ARC FOR THE TROUBLE WITH COWBOYS BY MELISSA CUTLER –Lucy
- BEDDING LORD NED BY SALLY MACKENZIE Mariehahn13
- SHADOW PLAY BY ERIN KELLISON Lieha
- THE REASON IS YOU BY SHARLA LOVELACE Megan Buringame
- THE SPY WHO LEFT ME AND DIAMONDS ARE TRULY FOREVER BY GINA ROBINSON Alison
- FOREVER AND A DAY BY JILL SHALVIS Quilt Lady
- HEARTSTRINGS AND DIAMOND RINGS BY JANE GRAVES MicheleL
- HOW TO RAVISH A RAKE BY VICKY DREILING Chey
- MOONGLOW BY KRISTEN CALLIHAN Amy R
- AIN'T MISBEHAVING BY MOLLY CANNON Kristi
- ARC OF HUNK FOR THE HOLIDAYS BY KATIE LANE Lori Schantner
- A SIGNED COPY OF THIEF OF SHADOWS BY ELIZABETH HOYT Francyne
- Born at Midnight and a Shadow Falls Shirt Trish J
- Whispers at Moonrise and a Shadow Falls Shirt Kathleen O
· Any backlist title of Christie Craig and a Shadow Falls Shirt ErinT
· Any backlist title of Christie Craig and a Shadow Falls Shirt PamelaContest! Contest! That’s right, it’s another contest, but this one is a doozy. Today I’m giving away either a Kindle Touch or a Nook Simple Touch—winner’s choice. But that’s not all. I’m giving away a total of sixteen prizes. See the list at the bottom of the post, and make sure you leave a comment to be entered.
Sweet Sixteen! Let’s party.
No, it’s not my birthday. It’s especially not my sixteenth birthday. I hopped, skipped, and jumped past that a number of years ago. It’s not even a birthday celebration. Sweet Sixteen is in honor of my sixteenth book published. Yup, Blame it on Texas is my sixteenth release. I have to tell you, it doesn’t get old--not the excitement of seeing another book wiggle its way into readers’ hands, and not the creating or crafting of another story, either. I still feel the passion for writing. And not just the passionate scenes. I’m talking about that sensation of success when I complete a good, sigh-inducing scene, or when the dialogue just flows and makes me giggle.
And I giggled and sighed a lot when writing Tyler and Zoe’s story. For some crazy reason, these two had instant chemistry. Now you would think that in a fictional story the chemistry is simply a product of the words a writer puts on paper. And maybe it is to some degree.
However, it’s never that simple. Creating chemistry is so complex that it’s hard to explain how it happens. Sure, you make the hero and heroine aware of each other, and then you make them need something from the other person, but even with all those things in place, sometimes that chemistry explodes and other times it just simmers. Fictional chemistry is sometimes just as mysterious as the real thing. Why do two people meeting for the first time instantly find themselves completely attracted to each other? Especially when their last ten dates left them feeling completely unenthusiastic.
No doubt about it, there’s plenty of enthusiasm in Blame it on Texas, but it’s not just the sizzle that had me up late at night pounding at my keyboard. The mystery element in this book drove me to write even faster.
Imagine learning you aren’t who you thought you were. Imagine realizing that you aren’t even sure how old you are. Imagine discovering that you were kidnapped as a toddler. That the people who raised you, loved you, and who are now deceased, had lied to you. Zoe Adams’ entire life feels like a lie. It all begins when she sees a cold case show that flashes a picture of her when she was three years old and then the reporter covers the kidnapping story of a child who belonged to a Texas millionaire family. Imagine hearing all this when you’ve always had odd memories and nightmares that didn’t make sense.
The other slightly upsetting thing for Zoe about that show was when the reporter states that the child’s body was found only weeks after her kidnapping. Zoe’s downright baffled, yet she’s certain of two things: that was her picture, and she’s not dead.
Not that she’s been doing much living since her fiancé ran off with that no-good stripper. But maybe it’s past time she fixes that. Packing up the only thing that really matters to her, her disabled cat, she hightails it to Texas to find answers. And this is where things really start to get interesting. Her search lands her in the lap of -- or more precisely, under the desk of -- one sexy private investigator, Tyler Lopez. And yup, that’s when all that chemistry starts.
Of course, when she tells him she thinks she's the kidnapped heiress -- whose family just so happens to be one of his richest clients -- Tyler's pretty sure this gorgeous redhead is a few eggs short of a grand slam breakfast.
But when someone starts using Zoe as target practice, Tyler starts to question if Zoe’s insane story isn’t sane after all. Funny thing is, even as the bullets are flying, and even when one of them hit their mark, that chemistry still doesn’t let up. Here’s an excerpt:
He inched closer to her lips.
She wasn’t a hundred percent positive, but the moment felt like that part in the movies when romantic music started playing and someone was about to get kissed.
Something told her that giving in to that temptation wouldn’t be a good idea.
She jumped up. Fast. Toppled over the chair in the process, too. It hit the frayed carpet with a thud.
Unsure what to say, she reached down to her knee and faked a moan. “Leg cramp.”
Doubt filled his eyes. Faking had never been her strong point.
She heard an odd kind of crack and then a strange clunk. The crack came again, only this time it was followed by some peculiar pings.
“Shit! Get down!” Tyler yelled.
He bolted from the chair and charged right at her. She landed, flat on her back, so hard that the impact knocked the wind out of her lungs. And when he landed on top of her, what little air she had left spilled out her lips in a rush.
She tried to push him off.
“Stop! Someone is shooting at you!” he growled.
Another crack sounded, followed by more crunch-like noises. His words hadn’t completely sunk in when Zoe saw a puff of dusty white Sheetrock rain down from the wall, leaving a round hole in the drywall.
Sheer panic prevented her from moving. Someone was shooting at her. A scream lodged in her throat.
She managed to suck air into her lungs. “Shit!” The one word eked out.
“I already said that.” He looked back at the table. “I’m going for my gun. Stay down.”
“No!” She flung her arms around him, pulled his chest flush against hers, and even locked one leg around his waist. “I don’t like that idea. Come up with another one.”
He frowned. “You’re safe if you stay down.”
“But what about you?” She flung her other leg around his waist, tightening her thighs around him.
He stared into her eyes. “Careful or I’m gonna think you like this position.”
She scowled at him. “Seriously? You can think about sex right now?”
“I guess I like the position, too.” He bounced off her and ran for the gun, just as more cracking noises filled the air.
* * *
Tyler heard the shots and got two steps away from his gun when something hit. Not a damn bullet but a five-foot-five redhead. Some part of her made a direct hit on the back of his knee, and he fell. On his way down, he turned and grabbed her to get her away from the window. When he hit the floor, she came down on top of him. Hard.
“I told you to stay down!” he growled.
She raised her head. “And I told you I didn’t like that idea!” Her voice quavered, and she had tears in her eyes.
It was the tears that took the edge off his anger. Growing up with sisters, he should be immune to feminine tears, but something about hers cut right to his emotional quick.
“I need to get my gun,” he said.
“No,” she snapped. “Because then you’re gonna want to look out the window—and in the movies, that’s when someone always gets shot.”
“I’m not going to get shot,” he said calmly. He could feel her shaking, but she tightened her grip on him. As much as he wished he could patiently talk her down from the panic ledge, he didn’t have time. So he’d have to try another tactic to get her to release him.
“I like this position, too.” His words encouraged her to loosen her hold on him. But when he considered she might get up, he came up with Plan B. He rolled her over, closer to the table, and, while pinning her to the floor, he reached for his gun. Once he had it in his hands, he felt better.
Brushing a thick curtain of dark red hair from her eyes, he looked at her. “Now, stay down. You understand?”
She nodded. But when he went to move, she tightened her arms around him again. “Zoe, let go or I swear to God I’m going to kiss you.” He wasn’t exactly sure how he knew it would work, but the fact that she’d jumped halfway across the room and faked a leg cramp when he’d gotten close to her face probably clued him in.
She let go. He crawled over to the window and peered out. The screech of a car speeding off sounded nearby.
“Damn,” he muttered. By the time he got out front, they’d be gone. His best hope was that someone had seen the car.
On automatic, forgetting he’d taken off his shoulder holster, he tried to put away his gun. That’s when he saw the blood.
He did a quick mental search for pain in his body and found none. He even pulled up his T-shirt to make sure. Nothing. It wasn’t his blood. He remembered her shaking earlier. “Shit.”
He turned to a bleeding and shot Zoe.
Now that I’ve shared with you my accomplishment of hitting sweet sixteen, tell me one of your accomplishments. I don’t care if it’s that you managed not to burn your frozen dinner, that you graduated college, or that you finally cleaned out your closet—which is huge, because my closet is in bad shape. What I’m saying is that small successes count, too. Face it, we need to give ourselves a few pats on the back sometimes. And hey…you might just be one of my sixteen winners.
Prizes: (Due to mailing cost only USA residents may apply please)
- A Kindle Touch or a Nook Simple Touch
- A copy of Born at Midnight—the first novel in the Shadow Falls Series—and a Shadow Falls T-shirt
- An ARC of Whispers at Moonrise—the forth novel in the Shadow Falls Series—and a Shadow Falls T-shirt
And. . . some awesome books donated by BookEnds Inc. and Grand Central Publishing. (Thank you, guys!)
- MORE THAN HE EXPECTED BY ANDREA LAURENCE
- ARC FOR THE TROUBLE WITH COWBOYS BY MELISSA CUTLER
- BEDDING LORD NED BY SALLY MACKENZIE
- SHADOW PLAY BY ERIN KELLISON
- THE REASON IS YOU BY SHARLA LOVELACE
- THE SPY WHO LEFT ME AND DIAMONDS ARE TRULY FOREVER BY GINA ROBINSON
- FOREVER AND A DAY BY JILL SHALVIS
- HEARTSTRINGS AND DIAMOND RINGS BY JANE GRAVES
- HOW TO RAVISH A RAKE BY VICKY DREILING
- MOONGLOW BY KRISTEN CALLIHAN
- AIN'T MISBEHAVING BY MOLLY CANNON
- ARC OF HUNK FOR THE HOLIDAYS BY KATIE LANE
- A SIGNED COPY OF THIEF OF SHADOWS BY ELIZABETH HOYT