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Temptation Thursdays: “The Rancher’s Second Chance” by Victoria James

Mar 13

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What better way to choose a great book for your weekend escape than by reading a sexy excerpt? 

Hence my feature, CABR Presents Temptation Thursdays :)

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Today’s excerpt is from THE RANCHER’S SECOND CHANCE  by Victoria James.

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Beyond The Page & $5 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway: “Louder Than Love” by Jessica Topper

Sep 2

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It’s my pleasure to welcome JESSICA TOPPER to the blog today 🙂

She’s answering questions about her wonderful debut novel, LOUDER THAN LOVE, which comes out on September 17

Jessica is also giving away TWO (2) $5 Amazon gift cards to CABR followers 😀

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Filed Under: Beyond The Page

Beyond The Page & Giveaway: “The Devil of Clan Sinclair” by Karen Ranney

Aug 26

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New York Times bestselling author, Karen Ranney, is on CABR today

She has an Excerpt & Giveaway for you, as part of her tour to promote book 1 in her band new CLAN SINCLAIR series, THE DEVIL OF CLAN SINCLAIR

Enjoy and good luck in the giveaway 🙂

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Filed Under: Beyond The Page

Excerpt & $50 Amazon/B&N Gift Card Giveaway: “The Eyes of Love” by Angelina Rose

Jul 30

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Today I have an excerpt and giveaway for you from the novella THE EYES OF LOVE.

This novella is part of Angelina Rose’s 4-book contemporary series, Mill Creek Crossing Romance.

Good luck in the $50 gift card giveaway 🙂

Enter the rafflecopter below

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BLURB:   

After a tragic loss five years ago, Sally Overby becomes an Attorney in Atlanta. She convinces herself that all she’ll ever need again is her young son, David, and her life as an attorney. Until one day, Colin Dean barges back into her life and promptly blows her safe world apart, driving her crazy as only a guy she’d had a “school girl crush” on can.

 

Sally is wary to love deeply. Only, with every loving look Colin gives her plus every sweet kiss, as the attraction between them sparks, she can’t help but wonder if she’s met the one she should be with. And although Colin didn’t realize his life was going to change so quickly, amazingly, he isn’t the least bit interested in fighting that change. Instead, he’s gearing up for a different fight altogether. The one for Sally’s heart.

 

Will Colin be able to convince her that’s it safe to love him… and that forever isn’t really out of reach?

 

EXCERPT:

A hush fell over the room for a moment as Stephanie appeared with Jazz trailing behind her. She was wearing a skin tight black dress with stiletto heels which was typical Stephanie fashion. She wanted nothing more than to be the center of attention like she always had been.

Without missing a beat, Stephanie walked straight over to Colin. Sally was shocked.

“Hello, Colin…” she purred as she ignored Sally completely. “You look sexy tonight, as always.” She smiled seductively as Colin looked away. “Who’s your friend?”

“None of your business, Steph. Leave me alone.”

“Oohhh…. Did I touch a nerve, sweetie?” she asked as she reached out to touch his chest.

“Don’t touch me, Stephanie. I’m warning you. Why don’t you go back to Jazz?”

“Oh. Jazz. Boring…” she sang. “We’re not together anymore, just so you know…” she whispered in a husky voice. Colin held onto Sally’s hand for dear life. She had to do something.

“Stephanie, don’t you remember me?” she asked grinning from ear to ear as she slid into Colin’s side. He put his arm around her and stared down in shock at what she was about to say.

“I don’t know you,” Stephanie said looking her up and down.

“Wow. Age is really doing a number on your brain,” Sally said.

“Who are you?” Stephanie snapped. Jazz stood a few feet back obviously trying to hear the conversation.

“I’m your worst nightmare,” Sally growled as she came almost nose to nose with Stephanie, her attorney public speaking skills getting ready to display themselves. She pulled the name tag from her purse without breaking eye contact and held it up. “You see, I’m the nerd that you and your cronies bullied through high school.”

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POST A COMMENT to enter Angelina Rose’ giveaway of a $50 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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BUY Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

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Angelina Rose photoABOUT the author: 

Angelina Rose has wanted to write ever since she could hold a pencil. The first daughter of immigrant parents, Angelina had her head buried in books, lost in a world of heroes, heroines and exotic places.

It was a shocking experience that jump-started Angelina’s author career.

“I awoke in the ICU… I had been unconscious for several days,” Angelina says.

In 2010, Angelina had a long stint in hospital following her involvement in a motor vehicle accident: the longest time off work (as a Registered Nurse), she’d ever had in her life!

It was then she took up pen and paper and started to write again, just as she had done when she was a child. She wrote four short fiction stories for young adults, entered them in several competitions, and managed to win three first prizes!

After happily dipping her toes into writing those short fiction stories for young adults, Angelina has now authored four books in a new “Mill Creek Crossing Romance” series… contemporary romance intended for adults.

The “Starting Over Series” is another contemporary romance series she wrote about a subject she knows well… nurses and their love life. At a recent reunion of her graduating class, she could not help but notice how the same girls would group together and laugh, chat, and even shed some tears over their lives since graduating. Many of the girls had divorced… so Angelina thought “what if a group of the nurses came up with a plan to meet in two years and have a new love story to share?” Then the first story in the series was born.

There is always a story running around in her head. A man with thick dark hair, gray-blue eyes, with an engaging smile and a quick wit… or a girl crying over a broken relationship. She finds herself talking to these characters during her day: when she’s doing dishes, or bathing babies at the hospital. These characters crop up on days at the beach or on walks through the neighborhood. This is how the stories start to grow.

Angelina’s mother was an author, so Angelina grew up with a love of words and stories. If she wasn’t writing a short story about something that took her fancy, her head was buried in books… reading, reading, reading, as her brother constantly told her…

When she’s not spending time with her goodlooking man, or quality time with her laptop, she’s working at the hospital, hanging out with her family and friends, or walking her two dogs around the neighborhood. Angelina spends as much time as she can traveling, then coming home and including some of those adventures in her stories.

Angelina really loves to hear from her readers and she invites you to connect with her on Facebook as she interacts daily with her readers there!

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CONTACT the author: 

Facebook:  https://facebook.com/angelinaroseromanceauthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/RoseRomanceBook

Website:  http://AngelinaRoseRomance.com

Goodreads:   http://www.goodreads.com/angelinaroseromance

 

 

 

Filed Under: Beyond The Page

Excerpt & $25 Gift Card Giveaway: “Rockin’ the Boss” by Jamie Salisbury

Jul 12

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BLURB:

The adventure begins…

Max Frazier may be a stunningly handsome international rock star, but he has other hidden talents from his past. Talents the authorities want him to use. Talents Max thought of as one hit wonders and wanted to keep in his past.

His smokin’ hot employer, Ashleigh Thomas, is unaware of his past with the S.A.S. Recently widowed, she yearns to bring the entertainment agency she and her late husband owned out of ruins, with Max’s help. Together they embark on a once in a lifetime deal for Max.

Will their mutual attraction turn to fire, or will it burn to ashes once Ashleigh learns the truth? As she and Max find themselves helping the authorities bring in a figure from Ashleigh’s past…will love trump evil?

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EXCERPT:

I stripped down to the underwear and decided I would give Max a further taste of his own medicine, going back to find him. He was in the kitchen, gathering what he needed to prepare our meal. I quietly entered. I want some shock value on my side.

“Max, sweetheart, I thought you might want to see the rest of what you got me before I changed out of them.” I strutted closer to him as he turned around, leaving him no room to not see me.

Taking all of me in with his chocolate eyes, he twirled me around and then back to face him. As he wrapped his arms around me and fervidly began kissing me, his hands began to wander down to my behind. He pulled the thong to one side and made his way to my wet sex.

“Hmmm, I can see I need to purchase you more of these as you’ve soaked this one.” He pushed me gently against the counter top, facing away from him.

 

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GIVEAWAY:

Jamie Salisbury will be awarding a $25.00 gift card to Amazon or B&N to a randomly drawn commenter at the end of the tour, plus a gift basket to another randomly drawn winner at the end of the tour (US ONLY).

Follow the tour and comment as much as you can because the more you comment, the better your chance of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/05/virtual-blurb-blitz-tour-rockin-boss-by.html

Pensive mature woman looking through out the windowABOUT the author:

Jamie Salisbury cannot imagine a time when she did not write. A skill that has served her well throughout her diversified professional career that encompassed public relations in and around the entertainment industry, photography, editing, and special event planning.

An avid reader of history, biographies, and romance it’s only natural that she prefers to write  romances with characters said to be “so authentic they spring forth from the page and shake the reader’s hand.” No stranger to life threatening situations Jamie pulls from life experience when she creates her stories. Such as when her family had to escape Chile when she was a teen because of the unstable political climate.

Finding herself unable to walk great distances  as a result of  several foot surgeries, she started writing once again as a way to pass the time. With the completion of her first novel Perpetual Love she dove head first into the eBook and digital publishing paradigm. She couldn’t be happier with her decision to grab the publishing industry by the shoulders and force it to pay attention to all she has to offer.

 

CONTACT the author:

Blog: http://www.jamiesalisburyauthor.blogspot.com

Website: http://www.jamiesalisbury.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jamie-Salisbury-Womans-Fiction-Author/202978499741542

Romance Novel Center: http://www.romancenovelcenter.com/jamiesalisbury

Twitter: @JamieRSalisbury

 

Cover_RockntheBossBUY Links:

Secret Cravings

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

All Romance eBooks

Bookstrand

 

 

 

 

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Filed Under: Excerpt

Guest Post & Giveaway: “Proof of Their Sin” by Dani Collins

Jul 1

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DANI COLLINS:

I’m thrilled to visit with Sasha today, for my official release of PROOF OF THEIR SIN, which is technically my second book, but is also my North American debut.

You see my ‘real’ first book, the one I waited most of my life to sell, came out with Mills & Boon in London this January. Unfortunately for me, Mills and Boon had been working hard to bring their UK and Australia publication dates in line with the North American ones and they did — in February. The month after No Longer Forbidden? came out.

Sasha’s was my very first request from a reviewer. I was thrilled and excited and completely stymied in trying to get her a copy. You should have seen the hoops and barrels. I won’t bore you with the details, but the irony was, in the end she sent me a photo of the book in one of her local stores. So it was available in the West Indies, but not in Canada. (Curse you, international trade agreements. *shakes fist*)

The good news for North American readers is, No Longer Forbidden? will come out as part of a 2 for 1 promotion with my December book, and the stories are linked. So enjoy that when it shows up, but for now I’m thrilled to see PROOF OF THEIR SIN hit the shelves worldwide today (July 1), which you may or may not know is also Canada Day.

Which makes for another reason I’m thrilled to party here with Sasha. With her Mardi Gras (Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago) experience, I know she can do it up right. Parades, fireworks, music. By contrast, us Canadians often need time to warm up (literally) before we loosen up. That’s certainly the problem my heroine, Lauren, faces in PROOF OF THEIR SIN.

Lauren is a ‘good girl’ Canadian from the prairies who married well, yet always carried a torch for her husband’s best friend. Paolo is Italian, need I say more? He swore he’d never touch Lauren despite their nearly impossible to resist attraction. When Lauren’s husband dies, they’re grief-stricken and seek comfort with each other, not expecting passion to flare or for the stork to come nesting.

To celebrate my North American debut, I’ll give away a copy of Proof Of Their Sin to one lucky commenter here. Tell me about your Mardi Gras experience or your favorite way to celebrate. 

Also, if you happen to see PROOF OF THEIR SIN ‘in the wild,’ I’d love you to snap a photo and send it to me through Twitter, Facebook, or my website (see below.) I’ll draw a winner from those entries at the end of July.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Proof of their Sin coverHere’s the blurb for PROOF OF THEIR SIN:

A beautiful mistake…

Pregnant. Lauren Bradley’s heart stops-there’s only one man who can be the father and it’s not her late husband, the man everyone thinks is a celebrated war hero….

Ravaged with guilt at sleeping with his best friend’s wife, Paolo Donatelli closes his heart to Lauren forever. But in nine months’ time, the proof of their incredible night together will be there for the world to see.

Marriage is Paolo’s answer to avoiding more scandal, but it’s Lauren’s worst fear-she still bears the scars from the first time she said I do. Can she trust Paolo enough to reveal the truth?

Buy Links:

eHarlequin | Nook | Kobo | AllRomanceEbooks | Amazon | Mills & Boon

 

Dani Collins pictureBio:

Dani Collins spent two decades submitting to every publisher with a transom while holding down a day job and raising a family with her high school sweet heart.

When The Call finally came, Dani ran with it, going to contract on eight books in that first year. Along with her Harlequin Mills & Boon titles, she has an epic fantasy romance, The Healer, with Champagne Books and an indie-published rom-com, Hustled To The Altar.

While her stories span very different genres, she always delivers alpha-male heroes squaring off with spirited heroines in a deeply emotional, unforgettable romance.

I’d love to hear from you. Find me at:

www.danicollins.com | Facebook: DaniCollinsAuthor | Twitter: @DaniCollinsBook |Goodreads

 

 

Filed Under: Guest Blog Post

Beyond The Page: “Man Drought” by Rachael Johns

Jan 1

Man Drought picToday is the start of a new year, 2013, and to celebrate, I have the lovely Australian author Rachael Johns here to chat about her latest release from Harlequin Australia – “Man Drought“.

Today’s Giveaway is extra special because “Man Drought” is currently only available from Harlequin Australia in Australia and New Zealand. Click here to enter >> a Rafflecopter giveaway

CABR: Was “Man Drought” inspired by your own experience of living in rural Australia?

(Click on red words for links to more information and to buy the book)

RJ: In a way yes. I’ve lived in rural Australia (two different country towns) for the past eight years and travelled through a number of other towns during this time.

One thing ALL these towns have is at least one or two pubs. Once upon a time these pubs were the thriving social centres of town but a lot of them are now in disrepair. They are often gorgeous old historical buildings but
would take a lot to fix up.

pubI guess there are a number of reasons (shrinking population, smoking outside laws, drink driving laws, etc, etc, etc) why many of the pubs are now looking worse for wear, but whenever I drive past one I can’t help imagining what it would be like if someone had the funds, wherewithal and desire to bring it back to its former glory!! As I don’t have the funds or wherewithal, I decided it would be fun to do this in a book.

CABR: Neat idea. Now readers like myself can enjoy these pubs remotely. 🙂 Which character in “Man Drought” came to you first? Imogen Bates or Gibson Black?

RJ: Definitely Imogen. I knew I wanted someone to buy and renovate
a country pub and I tried to imagine what drastic life events might
have led someone to decide to do this. I made Imogen a widow,
grieving the man she thought was The One and desperate to
escape the city and her memories. I also made sure her hubby had
great life insurance, which made buying the pub possible.

CABR: What were the hardest and most fun scenes to write in “Man Drought“?

Rachel Johns picRJ: The hardest were probably the farm scenes. I live in rural Australia but am not a farmer, so I always worry that these aren’t authentic
enough. The most fun were definitely the scenes with what I have
coined the Random Vibrator. It appeared totally of it’s own accord early in the book and ended up playing a huge part. My fave scene is when Gibson finds Imogen’s vibrator (given to her by a friend).

CABR: LOL. Congrats on your two-book deal with Harlequin Australia!
Tell us more about this. I know “Man Drought” is book one.

I’m stoked to be published with Harlequin Australia and the publicity they gave my first book “Jilted” was amazing. “Man Drought” is the first in a two book contract. I subbed the second book (OUTBACK DREAMS or PLAYING WITH FIRE – not sure which yet) at the beginning of December and it will hopefully be out later this year. This is a friends to lovers story, also set in rural Australia and I plan it to be the first of three linked books with a small mystery developing to be the main focus of book three.

hotelCABR: Great news for those of us who love series. 🙂

TRIVIA

CABR: Which character from fiction, yours or another author’s,
would you like to spend time with and why?

RJ: It’d have to be a hero – I’d love to spend time with any of mine,
but Jane Austen’s Mr Darcy (from “Pride and Prejudice” which is free on Amazon via this link) would also do it for me every time. I like hero’s that are noble and gorgeous underneath but have a grumpy exterior. Gibson in “Man Drought” is very much this hero.

CABR: I totally agree with you on Mr Darcy! If you could be someone for a day, who would you be?

RJ: A member of the Royal Family!! I’d really love to see what it’s like
to really live in a palace.

Man Drought picCABR: Me too. 🙂 Coffee or Tea?

RJ: Neither – eugh! I LOVE the smell of coffee but can’t stand the
taste. Tea, just can’t stand the whole shebang – smell and taste. I
prefer Diet Coke, Milo or water.

CABR: Dogs or Cats?

RJ: Definitely cats. I DO have a gorgeous dog but I’m a cat person
through and through.

CABR: Dream vacation – adventure or relaxation?

RJ: Relaxation all the way. This might change later but right now I long for a two-week holiday where I can laze around all day catching up on my massive TBR pile 😀

CABR: So true on the to-be-read side of things.

Man Drought” is currently only available from Harlequin Australia in Australia and New Zealand. So click here to enter >> a Rafflecopter giveaway << for your chance to WIN.

To find out more about Rachael and her upcoming books:

Blog www.rachaeljohns.wordpress.com

Websitewww.rachaeljohns.com

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/RachaelJohns

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Rachael-Johns/
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Purchase links: (Click on red text for link to sites) Amazon and Harlequin Australia

Synopsis of “Man Drought“:

Imogen Bates moved to the small rural town of Gibson’s Find to start a new life for herself after the death of her husband. Tired of being haunted by the painful memories of her old life, Imogen set her last remaining hopes on the little town and, in particular, pouring her heart and savings into restoring The Majestic Hotel to its former glory. But while the female-starved town might be glad to see a young woman move in, not everyone is happy about Imogen’s arrival.

Sheep and crop farmer Gibson Black once dreamed of having the kind of family his grandfather reminisces about, but he’s learnt not to dream anymore. Living in the mostly male town suits Gibson down to the ground…and he won’t have anyone — least of all a hot redhead from the city — change a thing.

Imogen has never been one to back down from a challenge, especially when it concerns her last chance at happiness. She’s determined to rebuild the pub and create a future for the little town. But can she create a future for Gibson and herself, too?

Purchase links: (Click on red text for link to sites) Amazon and Harlequin Australia

Man Drought” is currently only available from Harlequin Australia in Australia and New Zealand. So click here to enter >> a Rafflecopter giveaway << for your chance to WIN.

“Beyond The Page” with Beverly Preston

Aug 23

Today it’s my pleasure to welcome Beverly Preston to Caribbean Accent Book Reviews. 😀

Beverly’s debut novel “No More Wasted Time” has become an instant classic and is actually the first in a four-book series.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with NMWT, here’s the book blurb:

After losing her husband to a sudden heart attack, Tess Mathews escapes to Bora Bora to lay her husband and sorrow to rest. What she doesn’t expect is a new beginning. Tom Clemmins is an A-list actor whose life revolves around work and an onslaught of women. He travels to Bora Bora for a much-needed break. Tom has a few ideas of how he’ll enjoy his vacation, but love isn’t one of them. Until he sees Tess. Reserving a private shark-feeding excursion to scatter her husband’s ashes into the lagoon, Tess is furious when Mr. Hollywood bribes his way onto the boat, leaving her no other choice but to share the boat ride. Tess is torn between tremendous guilt and zealous lust when their boat ride turns into a week full of romance and desire neither thought imaginable. Utterly smitten with a woman for the first time in his life, Tom casts his commitment phobia aside and whisks Tess off to Malibu where he introduces her as his “girlfriend” on the red carpet. As the paparazzi besiege, can Tess survive the media blitz that ensues in order to find her second chance at love?”

On to the interview 🙂

 

BP: Thank you for having me, Sasha!

CABR: Happy to have you over Beverly.

NMWT was released seven (7) months ago. How has your life changed since then, both professionally and personally?

BP: My life has changed drastically! I’ve been a Domestic Engineer, aka stay at home mom, for twenty years and I now consider myself an Author. Granted, my husband and I worked together for years designing and building custom homes, but this is my personal baby.

When I finished “No More Wasted Time”, I didn’t know if I’d be able to write another book, but by removing the Epilog it set me up for the Mathews/Clemmins series. Personally, I’ve gained a sense of empowerment through writing and I’ve come to realize that I’m very driven. The fact that my children are growing up and leaving the nest doesn’t hurt either. So for right now, I’m searching for balance in my writing, promoting, family, friends and making time to spin. I’m addicted to my spin bike.

CABR: Spin bike you say. I’m impressed.

Lots of people fell in love with Tess Matthews and Tom Clemmins from NMWT and are looking forward to your next book. Are the other three books in this four-book series about a completely new set of characters or are they connected to Tess and Tom?

BP: Each book will highlight a different family member, as it a series about the family. All of your favorite characters will play a part and readers can look forward to meeting many new exciting additions! Book two is Shayla Clemmins’ story.

CABR: Great news for NMWT fans.

You decided to self-publish your book on CreateSpace. Why’d you choose this route?

BP: Like so many other newbies, I had no idea what I was doing. I sent out several rounds of query letters and got tired of being rejected. After attending Arizona Dreamin’ a writer/readers event, I came home with a new found attitude of “Hey I can do this myself!”

Shortly after that, cover model Jimmy  Thomas spoke at my local RWA meeting about branding and promotion. I left that meeting, drove home, bought my domain, made a webpage and exactly three months later I published NMWT. CreateSpace gave me the tools to format my paperbacks.

CABR: That’s inspiring Beverly 😀

Who helped you decide what to edit and when the book was ‘ready’?

BP: I used Natasha at SPJ Editing for critiquing and editing. I fully admit that I didn’t listen to all of Natasha’s suggestions. My story is a bit non-traditional and I like it that way, so all of the final decisions were mine. My daughter Caylee and I did final edits and she also did my formatting and uploading too. I owe her!

It took me a year to write my story and another year and half to make it perfect. I joined the Las Vegas RWA and attended several writers groups and workshops. I became a sponge, determined to learn at least one thing from every meeting. I’m still soaking it up!

CABR: Your dedication to getting it right shows in the many positive reviews and fan comments I’ve come across for NMWT.

Have you attended any author conventions?

BP: I’ve attended Arizona Dreamin’ for the last two years. It’s a romance reader event and I love going! The women are wonderful and I’ve made dozens of friends. I have gained some wonderful readership from online book clubs and a group called, What to read after Fifty Shades of Grey. Ladies, if you’re reading this, you rock!

CABR: Aww. Be sure to let them know to stop on by then. 🙂

Were you awestruck upon meeting any particular authors? Were you able to ‘keep it together’?

BP: Well…Lisa Kleypas wasn’t there so I managed to keep my wits about me!

CABR: LOL

OK, let’s shake things up a bit…

If you could be someone else for a day, from any time in history, who would you be and why?

BP: This question stumped me, so I decided to go with sentimental humor and say Penelope Pussycat from Pepe Le Pew! She has a great swish to her tail!

CABR: I love it. 🙂

Which character from fiction, yours or another author’s, would you like to spend time with and why?

BP: Holy cowboy, Hardy Cates from Lisa Kleypas’s “Blue-Eyed Devil”! He’s hard working and sexy as hell all wrapped together with a Texas accent!

CABR: That sure seems to be a popular book. Guess it’s a sign I need to add it to my TBR.

You have four children of varying ages. Have they had any funny stories about how they’ve told people what you do for a living?

BP: My oldest son is 22, I have boy/girl twins that are 19 and my youngest daughter is 12. My older kids totally pimp me out! My youngest had three favorite teachers last year, so you can imagine what they received on Teacher Appreciation Day. Each teacher asked her, “Have you read it?” She handed them the carefully wrapped package and replied, “I’m not allowed to read it until I’m 16.”

CABR: Your 12-year-old is adorably funny. 😀

Beverly has agreed to share an EXCERPT from “No More Wasted Time” below. Enjoy.

 

Tess had never been so audacious in her life. Asking Tom to ditch his date to meet her for dinner wasn’t her style, but today, she didn’t care. She wanted Tom more than she could’ve ever imagined. Loving another man was something she knew she’d never be capable of, and Tom Clemmins wasn’t the kind of man who fell in love. But for the first time in her life, a carefree vacation full of passion, lust and great sex might be just what she needed.

The guilt she felt subsided. I’m not cheating on Richard. Nothing I do now will change the fact that I was a faithful wife. Whether he meets me for dinner or not, I’m not going to be miserable any more. It’s time to move forward and be happy.

Anxiety kicked in as she took her time getting ready. She swept her dark brown hair across her eyes, and gathered the rest loosely in a sterling silver clip. What if he doesn’t show? He probably acts like this with every woman. He’s a total flirt. What the hell was I thinking? Great, I just made a complete ass out of myself…again. 

She rummaged through her clothes, finally deciding on a scoop neck black dress showing off all those hours Tracy had dragged her out of bed to run. Thanks to the Tahitian motto, No Shoes Required, Tess usually went barefoot. She put on her cutest black sandals and silver hoop earrings before heading out the door.

Tess took the five-minute boat ride to the main island. She meandered down the barely paved road, passing several dive shops and restaurants. I hope he shows. Then what? Will he come back to my bungalow? Will he ditch his date and stay with me? I haven’t slept with another man in twenty-five years. The possibility of a mere kiss, let alone going to bed with him, fueled a fire within her.

When she reached Bloody Mary’s, several couples entered, but she didn’t see Tom. She paced back and forth outside. Should I wait outside or go in?

“Tess.”

The deep sexy voice came from behind and she turned to see Tom leaning against a palm tree, looking more gorgeous than she thought humanly possible.

“Hey.” She beamed, sauntering over to join him under the palm tree.

“You look stunning.”

“Thanks, handsome.” She scanned over his flip-flops, jeans and nice black shirt. “I hoped you would show,” she stammered anxiously.

He held her hands in his. “Before you say anything Tess, I need to ask you something, and I don’t want you to get upset with me. All right?”

“Okay.”

“Are you sure you’re ready for this? I mean, are you really ready to be with another man because this isn’t something I want you to regret later.”

She gazed into his dark eyes and considered his question. “Yes, I’m sure. I want to stay with you, for the rest of my trip.” She clarified with a slight nod.

His cocked his head to one side. “So if I told you right now, at this very moment, all of your belongings are being packed up and brought to another resort, you’d be okay with that?”

“That depends. Are all of your things being packed up and taken to the same resort?” she questioned timidly.

“Yes, whether you decide to stay with me or not. I sent my date home. I changed resorts and I’d like it if you’d stay with me.”

“I’m sure.”

“Are you hungry?”

Hungry for you. “Actually, I’m starving from all the snorkeling today.”

“Do you have your heart set on eating here? I had something a little different in mind.”

Room service in bed? “Wherever you want to have dinner is fine with me.” 

“I was hoping you’d say that. I have a surprise for you.” Tom led her across the street to a boat dock. “After you.” He held his hand out to the side so she could step onto the boat before him.

“Where are we going?”

“I think you’ll like it.”

The Tahitian man introduced himself. “Ia Orana, I am Mr. Rene’s cousin. My name is Tayia.”

Ia Orana,” Tess said.

The boat skimmed across the lagoon, casting ripples through the reflection of the fiery sunset. Cool, moist spray tingled her warm face. She sat between Tom’s legs and leaned back against his chest. I haven’t done this in so long. I hope he’s a good lover. Please, please, please be good in bed. She glanced over her shoulder and he grinned at her. Crap! Is he sitting here wondering if I’m going to be a good lover? Tess sat up a little taller. Oh, I am definitely going to be good for him.

With every draw of breath, her chest lifted and lowered. Tom must’ve noticed her nervousness. He placed his palm over her heart. She felt the hint of his smile as he nuzzled her neck.

She inhaled the scent of his skin. “You smell delicious.”

Tom held her arm out to the side and lowered his nose to the inside of her elbow. “So do you.”

Her gaze drifted to his profile, watching as his eyes closed, taking in the scent of her perfume. The heat from his breath tickled her skin as his lips pressed against her arm. Tess’ lips parted and her tongue toyed with the corner of her mouth, wanting to taste his mouth.

The boat slowed, interrupting her gaze. Tess couldn’t believe what she saw as they pulled up to a deserted motu. “How did you do this?” she whispered in awe.

Tiki torches surrounded a lovely table set with a white tablecloth and a bouquet of flowers. The setting sun cast a glow on the white sand, turning it nearly pink. She held up her dress a little so it wouldn’t get wet, hopping off the boat.

Tom stood in the sand and wrapped his arms around her. “Do you like it?”

“It’s beautiful.” She turned to face him, reaching her lips up to kiss his.

“Not yet Tess, not yet,” he whispered in a teasing tone.

Slighted by Tom’s response, her eyes filled with disappointment.

“Awe, don’t look at me like that.”

Her expression didn’t change, yearning to feel his lips.

His thumb coasted gently over her cheek. “Do you trust me? Hmm? I trusted you with the sharks. Remember? Will you trust me now?” He brushed his lips against her neck, causing goose bumps to cover her skin.

“Yes, I remember. But-”

“I assure you, I’ll make it worth the wait.” He toyed, whispering in her ear. “I promise I won’t disappoint you.”

She remembered how fantastic his hands felt. “I have no doubt.”

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