Young Adult (YA) fans, I’ve got a treat for you today 🙂
An interview with RACHEL HARRIS, author of the “My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century” series,
An EXCLUSIVE Excerpt from book 2, “A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES“,
an eBook Giveaway of book 1, “My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century”
Hi Rachel. Welcome to my blog 🙂
What is your novel, “A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES”, all about?
It’s actually the flip flop of my debut, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century. In that novel, a modern day girl time travels to Sixteenth century Florence. In this book, a sixteenth century girl time travels to modern day Beverly Hills (grin).
It was so much fun exploring this “fish out of water” story line with a girl being scandalized by our wardrobe and scared to death of twenty-first century conveniences. And Austin Michaels may just be my favorite book boyfriend ever.
Can fans meet you at any upcoming events?
I have a signing at my local Houston bookstore, Blue Willow, later this month, and then I’ll be off to Vegas at the end of October for the Vegas Valley Conference.
With so many deadlines before the new year, I’m having to travel light this year, but I already have a pretty packed schedule in 2014, with trips to the RT Convention in New Orleans, RWA in San Antonio, utopYA in Nashville, and Chapter by Chapter in New York next September.
What’s next for you Rachel? A sequel to “ATOTC” perhaps?
I’m very busy! I released my adult romance debut, Taste the Heat, this July, and book two in that series, Seven Day Fiance, releases next month. Then I do have book 3 in the Super Sweet series, My Not So Super Sweet Life, that goes back to Cat’s point of view, along with Lucas.
In 2014 I have the third book in my adult romance trilogy, a new adult romance, and a young adult romance, The Fine Art of Pretending. It’s crazy busy, but in a very, very good way 🙂
EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT from one of Rachel’s favourite scenes in “A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES”:
Sea salt stings my cheeks, and the crisp scent of the ocean consumes my senses. All around me are sand, water, sky, and surfers. The early-morning sun seeps into the top of my head, warming me from the inside out…along with my temperature-raising tour guide. Austin’s legs are encased in the same wetsuit from our Jet Ski adventure, except now he has the top peeled down, exposing his strong, toned chest and hard, flat stomach.
He catches me staring and smirks. However, instead of being embarrassed, and giving in to an even more embarrassing blush as I usually would, I stare back without flinching, drawing strength from the secret knowledge that his unapproachable bravado is as much an act as the role I performed onstage a few days ago. When I do not cower or lower my lashes, Austin swallows heavily. I watch his Adam’s apple bob and then look up to meet his cool blue gaze. “Where do you want me?”
For some reason my words cause his gaze to widen significantly. I glance down at the foam board he placed onto the sand for my practice, unsure why my question is so baffling. This is my first introduction to his special world of surfing; I’ve never attempted it before, so I do not know if I should sit, stand, kneel, or dance across the long stretch of board resting on the sand.
I look back up, and Austin clears his throat. “Excuse me?”
Wrinkling my nose, I point to the board. “Should I stand up or lie down?”
“Uh, lie down.” He scratches the back of his neck and hollows out his cheeks, and it isn’t until he clears his throat again that I get the potential double meaning to our conversation. And then I blush. Not surprisingly, that brings a ghost of a smile to Austin’s lips. “On your stomach.”
The rough sound of his voice sends shivers racing across my skin. Goose bumps prickle in their wake, and though they are concealed beneath my own wetsuit, I still feel exposed. I splay my limbs across the board and sink my fingers into the soft sand, watching his tall shadow fall across my own. Despite the layers shielding me from his keen vision, I can’t help feeling that he can clearly see what the sound of his voice does to me.
“The first thing you need to learn,” he says with just a trace of huskiness remaining in his voice, “before you even get out on the water is how to paddle and pop up.” He places a foot on either side of my hips and leans down to clasp both of my hands in his. The bulk of his body hovers in the air just above my own, and suddenly that is all I can think about. “Paddling is a lot like crawling, pulling one hand after the other through the water, cupping and scooping. Good, just like that.”
I nod weakly in acknowledgement. Words right now are impossible. He continues guiding my arms in the proper technique, and my eyelids flutter shut.
I take a breath and inhale Austin.
The scent of citrus on his breath as it fans the loose hair around my face and the scent of salt, sweat, and clean soap that wafts from his body. The kiss of his bare skin grazing my back, burning through my wetsuit as he dips forward to instruct me, the intoxicating sensation of his strong hands engulfing mine. And finally, the restrictive feel of his legs straddling my hips.
Austin continues in a steadier voice, seemingly not as affected by my own proximity. “When you’re out there, I want you to dig in deep. Really propel yourself. Then, when you’re in position”—he takes my hands and places them on either side of the foam board—“grab your rails and shoot to a strong push-up, hands and toes touching the board.”
Again, he places my body into the correct alignment, handling me like a child’s pliant doll. The coolness of his fingers sliding and making circles around my bare ankles sends a jolt to my stomach. When he moves his hands to grip my waist, helping to take the pressure of my weight off my hands, my head grows light, as if filled with air.
“It’s, uh, important,” he says, voice a tad rougher than before, “that you don’t go to your knees…when you pop up. Just snap right to a crouch. Here,” he adds, releasing me somewhat abruptly onto the board. “Watch me.”
The loss of his warmth leaves me slightly dazed. Swallowing, I push myself up to a sitting position and try to concentrate on Austin’s lean body snapping into position. But I seem to have lost the ability to focus on anything.
Austin pops to his feet again, and his eyes lock with mine.
I do not know what expression he sees on my face, but it causes his confident smirk to fade.
In the distance, shouts ring out from other surfers riding the waves, but here, on this patch of sand with Austin, I feel isolated.
One of us moves first, I am unsure which, but soon my knees are sinking into the sand, and I am tipping my head back to look into his eyes. The brilliant blue color has deepened again.
Awareness fills the thin sheet of air between us. I lick my lips without thinking, and he lowers his eyes to watch the flick of my tongue. I have never in my life been wanton, but the feminine empowerment I feel as he exhales a shaky breath makes me want to do it again. So I do. Slowly this time, gliding my tongue over my bottom lip.
A low growl is my only warning before Austin’s hands thrust into my hair. “I warned you about playing with fire.”
Breathlessly, I say, “And I told you I’m tired of being careful.”He nods once…and then his mouth crashes onto mine.
Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.
One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.
With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?
I grew up in New Orleans, where I watched soap operas with my grandmother and stayed up late sneak reading my mama’s favorite romance novels. Now a Cajun cowgirl living in Houston, I still stay up way too late reading my favorite romances, only now, I can do so openly. I firmly believe life’s problems can be solved with a hot, powdered-sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations.
When not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, I homeschool my two beautiful girls and watch reality television with my amazing husband.
I write YA, NA, and Adult Fun & Flirty Escapes. Taste The Heat is my adult romance debut, and I’m also the author of MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY and A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES, as well as a ton of other books to come. I love hearing from readers and dishing books!
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