Jesse Hayworth
Jesse Hayworth

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31 comments

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giveaway, Jaunty Guests, Jesse Hayworth

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You’ve Got A Friend (Or Two Or Ten Or Twenty)

Regina Kyle2Hello, again, Jaunties! I’m so excited to be back. I was here in October talking about my debut novel, Triple Threat, and it’s hard to believe I’m already back talking about the second book in the Art of Seduction series, Triple Time.

Last time I was here my friend and CTRWA chapter mate Kristan Higgins hosted me, and this time it’s my friend and chapter mate Jesse Hayworth. Which got me to thinking how many new folks have come into my life in the three short years since I started pursuing my writing seriously.

People always say writing is a lonely profession, and I guess that’s true for the time I’m sitting BICHOK (butt in chair, fingers on keyboard). I mean, no one can write my books but me, right? (Unless I’m James Patterson. Which I’m not.) But I’ve met so many wonderful people along my writer’s journey that my circle of friends has increased exponentially.

Like the (mostly) ladies at CTRWA, where I met Jess and Kristan. These folks have, in a short time, because a ginormous part of my life and an amazing support system. Just yesterday, I was signing books for the very first time EVER at BookCon, a HUGE convention at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York City. Talk about jumping in with both feet! Boy, was I nervous. Would anyone want my book (even though I was giving it away, LOL)? Would I be sitting there for an hour twiddling my thumbs watching the crowd go by?

Nope. Not with Kristan shilling for me (literally standing in the aisle holding up my book and corralling folks over), and chapter mates Katy Lee and Patty Blount stopping by.

Then there’s the friends I’ve met on line. When I first started writing, I joined the Harlequin forums for aspiring authors. Some of the (again mostly) ladies I met there and I then migrated to a private Facebook group (primarily because some of the snippets we were posting were too, um, racy for public consumption LOL). Believe it or not, I’ve still only met a couple of them in person. That’s going to change this summer in New York, as many of us are going to the RWA national convention. But the fact that we haven’t met face-to-face hasn’t stopped us from offering each other advice and encouragement long-distance, courtesy of the worldwide web.

I suppose it helps that I’m not exactly shy, and I’m always open to new faces and new friends in my life. The more the merrier is my motto. I like to be surrounded by a large, rowdy group of compatriots, and I always feel badly when, for one reason or another, a friend drifts out of my life, even though I know it’s totally normal and natural for friendships to evolve and even fade away as our lives and interests and activities change.

Not so for Devin, the heroine in Triple Time. She’s been burned one too many times by friends and family who’ve deserted her when the going got tough. If she had a motto, it would be more like “I’d rather have no friends than fake friends.”

US CoverOnly a couple of people have managed to break through her barriers, one of the being her best friend Holly, the heroine in Triple Threat. I really enjoyed their dynamic in Triple Threat, and I was glad I got to explore it further in Triple Time. As you can see from the excerpt below, they’re pretty much polar opposites, with Holly all sunshine and sweetness, like a modern-day Pollyanna, and Devin more edgy and dark (the hero’s best friend refers to her as “Elvira, mistress of the night”). Sometimes I think it’s easier to be friends with someone who’s a bit different from you, and that’s how it is with Holly and Devin. Their differences create a balance, with each giving something to the other that they need in their lives.

How about you? Are you more like me, wanting a large group of friends and acquaintances? Or are you like Devin, content with a small, close-knit circle of trusted companions? One lucky commenter will win their choice of a signed paperback (U.S. only, please) or e-book of Triple Threat, the first book in the Art of Seduction series.

****

Book Blurb:

How to unravel your straight-laced lover . . .

Gabe Nelson would be a great district attorney, but his public image is too boring to get voters’ attention. Tattoo artist Devin Padilla can help him show off his fun, sexy side, but she needs something in return—Gabe’s legal expertise to track down her missing brother. She’s not his type, but they can’t keep their hands off each other, whether it’s good for his image or not.

At first, Devin thinks she got the easy end of the bargain. Gabe’s the sexiest stuffed shirt in Manhattan, and his kisses practically set her on fire. But every deal has its fine print. As their relationship goes from business to pleasure, Devin realizes this one won’t cost her soul…it’ll just steal her heart.

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/qe5gccp

Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/n4tgswa

Author Bio:

            Regina Kyle knew she was destined to be an author when she won a writing contest at age ten with a touching tale about a squirrel and a nut pie. By day, she writes dry legal briefs, representing the state in criminal appeals. At night, she writes steamy romance with heart and humor.

A lover of all things theatrical, Regina lives on the Connecticut coast with her husband, teenaged daughter and two melodramatic cats. When she’s not writing, she’s most likely singing, reading, cooking or watching bad reality television. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and her local RWA chapter. Triple Tine is her second novel. She is also the author of Triple Threat, the first book in her Art of Seduction series for Harlequin Blaze.

My Links:

www.reginakyleauthor.com

www.facebook.com/reginakyleauthor

www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomreginakyle

@regina_kyle1

Excerpt:

Devin ended the call, tossed her phone on the bed next to her and swung her feet onto the floor. The sound of running water told her Gabe was already in the shower, and she licked her lips at the thought of his magnificent, wet nakedness, slick and soapy, ready to play.

Oh, yeah.

She was about to ditch the sheet in favor of some smexy shower action when someone pounded on the door.

Shit.

No way was that Mateo so quickly. Either someone had the wrong apartment or one of her neighbors needed to borrow something.

“Hang on,” she called. “I’ll be right there.”

She threw on a tank top and shorts, not bothering with anything underneath, and answered the door.

“Surprise!”

Holly wrapped Devin in a bear hug, her just‑showing baby bump grazing Devin’s stomach.

“You’re home.” Devin cast a panicked glance around the apartment, her eyes falling on Gabe’s khakis in a heap by the television, his shirt hanging over the bookshelf, one of his shoes peeking out from under the bed. “Early.”

Holly released her and brushed past through the door. “Nick finished filming ahead of schedule.”

“Where is your handsome husband?” Devin followed, kicking the offending khakis behind the TV and stuffing the shirt between two books. “You’re usually inseparable. Nauseatingly so.”

“His agent’s in town. They’re meeting at Pastis for a business breakfast, and I’ve been meaning to return my spare key to the super.” Holly sank into the armchair in the corner. “Man, I’m beat. I don’t even want to think about what this little bugger’s going to do to me in the third trimester.”

Holly toed off her espadrilles and lifted one foot to massage the arch, and Devin groaned inwardly. She’d never get her friend out now. And it was only a matter of time before Holly noticed the water running in the bathroom. Or Gabe’s loafer, which Devin couldn’t shove under the bed now without rousing suspicion.

Her only option was to come clean, admit she had a guy stashed in the can and get Holly out the door before she figured out it was Gabe. Not that she was embarrassed, but this was so not how she wanted Holly to find out she was boffing her brother.

“Listen, Holls, I’m dying to catch up with you, but I’m kind of in the middle of something right now.” She eyed the bathroom door. As if on cue, the water stopped.

“Ohmigod, you’ve got a man in there.” Holly squealed. “I can’t believe it. The love‑’em‑and‑kick‑’em‑to‑the‑curb queen actually let a guy spend the night. Who is it?”

“Just…a guy. We’re keeping it on the down‑low.”

“Oh, please,” Holly huffed. “As I recall you practically shouted to an entire coffee shop that I was doing Nick.”

“I promise I’ll tell you. Let me deal with him and I’ll meet you at the deli up the block in ten.” Maybe she could intercept Mateo on the way over and grab her sandwich and coffee.

“Fine, be that way.” Holly slipped on her espadrilles and stood, rubbing her belly. “For now. But I’m warning you, I want to meet this paragon who got you to break your no‑sleepovers rule. Soon.”

As though they were living in a bad sitcom, the bathroom door creaked open and Gabe stepped out, his hair still wet from the shower and a towel fastened around his waist.

“I heard voices. Is breakfast here?”

“Gabe?” Holly’s mouth fell open and she pressed a hand to her chest.

“Holly.” He hiked up the towel, which had slipped to his hips. “You’re supposed to be in Istanbul.”

Devin shrugged a shoulder and gave her friend a wry smile.

“Surprise.”


CestMoi

Please welcome historical romance author Madeline Martin!

The best part of doing research for Deception of a Highlander was my trip to Scotland where I got to stay overnight in castles, see plenty of beautiful ruins and explore, explore, explore! I could fill up an entire blog on all my adventures from that two week trip.

Today, however, I’m just going to talk about my stay on the Isle of Skye where Deception of a Highlander is set.

The Isle of Skye is on the Eastern side of Scotland, set in the Highlands. It’s a beautiful, magical place where lochs mirror the endless sky and tender, lush grass splits to reveal craggy rock beneath. The winds there are so strong, they make the waterfalls on the cliffs flow backward and billow up into the air in a spray of steamy white. It’s absolutely incredible.

UpwardWaterfalls

While there, I did two really cool things:

1. I went to my hero’s castle, Caisteal Camus (now called Knock Castle). 
It was quite an adventure getting there at all. After driving up and down the road several times. (I saw the sign…but I didn’t see the castle, then I saw the sign…but didn’t see the castle, then I saw the sign…yeah, you get it….)
I finally just parked and hiked a ways and then I saw it!!
On the other side of a five foot stream. 
It was RIGHT THERE. I could have chucked a rock and hit it. Don’t worry, I didn’t. Nor did I give in to the temptation to wade across it since the middle of October is pretty chilly in Scotland. 
But I was determined. I marched back up and found a new way to go through a path set by a nearby hotel. 
I reached the end of the path and there was the castle…just about 12 feet above me. Seeing no denoted path, I began to climb over rocks. They were black and wet and so, so slippery.
It’s here I confess (shamelessly) I fell. Hard. Truthfully though, it really isn’t a vacation unless I come away with a war wound – CHECK!


Skye1

It was when I finally got to the top that I noticed a gentle sloping walkway I could have leisurely strolled up. (But then I wouldn’t have this story, now would I?)
The view was worth the effort (and mild contusion) because it was breath-taking the way it overlooked the water. There’s one part that holds the remains of a window facing out to the sea and I could just imagine some lady staring wistfully out as she waited for her love to return (yes, that’s hopelessly romantic, I know.)
There wasn’t much left of the castle to explore, but I have enough of an imagination to make Caisteal Camus hit the top ten list of my Scotland trip highlights. 

Skye

2. The most interesting man in the world is not the Dos Equis guy – he’s actually a blacksmith from the Isle of Skye who still uses an anvil (passed down through his family) and has stacks of books all around his house that he’s memorized and can pinpoint knowledge from by page number.
He was in the middle of making a historic dagger/sword collection for a history demonstration somewhere in Scotland and showed me everything from fancy eating daggers to wicked blades. He even made targes by hand and demonstrated how they were used in combat. 
The biggest influence he had on my writing was in a black-purple opalescent blade on his desk. I asked what it was and he said it just hadn’t been finished yet. Apparently forged steel is that way when it first comes out, before its ground clean to the shiny silver we know. 
If the black-purple is left as is, it eventually gets silvered with nicks and scratches, but for the most part remains that awesome color.
I just had to put that in a book!
So, Alec, my hero of Enchantment of a Highlander (introduced in Deception of a Highlander), has a black sword. 

MadelineMartin_DeceptionOfAHighlander_coverpreview

There was so much more about my trip to Scotland than just the short, two day visit to the Isle of Skye, but those memories are for other posts…and other books. ;)

For the opportunity to win a signed copy of Deception of a Highlander, please tell me your favorite vacation war wound (or memory if you have the good fortune to not be so clumsy).

Vanessa, here. You can find out more about Madeline and her books on her website!


Nancy Robards Thompson
Nancy Robards Thompson

Discussion:
31 comments

Categories:
Jaunty Guests, Jaunty Post, Love

Schliesman--Cover

 

Love At First Sight

My senior year in high school, I worked afternoons and Saturday mornings as a teller at a local bank.  It was a portable building, the kind frequently used to add extra space to an overcrowded school, and it had a walk-in lobby and three drive-thru lanes.  I was working the lobby one afternoon when a man I’d never seen before walked in.  He went to the opposite counter and filled out a banking slip before approaching my window.

 IMG_0287 (1)He was tall, with curly brown hair and the bluest eyes I have ever seen.  He hands me his deposit slip and asks if I can verify the account number because he just had his eyes dilated and he isn’t sure he wrote it correctly.  I recite the account number, then glance to the name, Tim Schliesman.  There’s something familiar about the name, but I can’t quite place it.  The deposit slip also had a place for the address, which he’d filled in.  My heart is doing one of those beat-skip-beat-skip rhythms that made me wonder if I’m actually breathing or not.

 Me: “You live at 31 Huck Finn Drive?  We’re moving to 21 Huck Finn Drive.  We’re going to be neighbors!”

 Him:  “Okay.”

 His lack of enthusiasm doesn’t lessen mine.  But seriously, he could have cared less about anything I was saying.  I finish the transaction and send him on his way, watching his Levi clad butt walking toward the door.  He even looks good from behind!

 As soon as the building is empty, I wave the deposit slip at my co-workers. “Okay, who knows this guy?”  Everyone is shaking their heads.  It’s time for Plan B.  I call the main bank and ask them to pull his information card.  Mainly, I want to know his age.  I find out he’s three years older than me, which means he should be in my freshman yearbook.

 Cue the Mission Impossible music!  I spend the night searching through multiple yearbooks, trying to find him.  No luck.  I did, however, locate two other guys with the same last name.  They are younger than me so I’m guessing they’re his brothers.  At this point, there’s really nothing else I can do.  We’ll be moving in two weeks, so I wait it out.

 Our new house is directly across the street from his.  He spends a lot of time doing yardwork and I spend an equal amount of time watching him.  Then I get this brilliant idea to work in the yard, too!  I pull out some spandex bike shorts and a sports bra and go in search of the lawnmower.  Luckily, we have a brand new one.  I take off across the yard, mowing an uneven path while waiting for him to notice me.  When he finally looks up, I wave and smile.  Unfortunately, steering the mower with one hand causes me to hit the culvert under our driveway.  The mower makes a horrible screeching sound and smoke rolls from the motor.  I’ve just ruined a $300 lawnmower.  Ooops!

 No more yardwork for me.

 By now, the senior prom is approaching and I want *someone* to be my date.  Except, he’s never shown any interest in me and I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong.  I’m completely and totally in love with this guy.  Can’t eat, can’t sleep, in love.  Instead of going to prom, a group of friends go to dinner and then head to the Holiday Inn for a party.  We walk through the front door and guess who is standing behind the desk?  Yep, it’s him.  He works as a night auditor and I just know he’s going to tell my parents.

 He doesn’t.  But my brother is friends with his brothers and he spends hours over at their house.  He usually comes home and says, “Tim doesn’t know you’re alive!”

 By now, four months have passed and it doesn’t seem to matter how many hours I spend watching him from our living room windows.  I have to accept the fact that he obviously doesn’t like me and certainly doesn’t want to date me.  I have to give up on him.

 I’ll never forget that day.  I pulled into our driveway after running some errands and he was outside using the weed eater.  I didn’t bother to wave, I just went inside.  Then I found my favorite window and watched him one last time.  I had to give up on love because, obviously, men were stupid.

 Ten minutes later, my doorbell rang.  When I answered, guess who was standing on the other side?  Yep, it was him.  All sweaty, covered in grass and looking nervous.

 “Hi.”

 “Hi.”  I answer.

 “I’m wondering if maybe you’d like to go out for dinner or a movie sometime?”  he asks.

 It was honestly the last thing I expected him to say, and it took me several seconds to respond. “Sure, I’d love to.”

 That was the beginning of a courtship that lasted two years before we married.  I like to say, “It was love at first sight…for one of us.”

 My hubby always responds, “I was blinded by your beauty.”

 Don’t you just love a happy ending?

 

Jan Schliesman--headshotI’m giving away an autographed copy of Protecting His Brother’s Bride to a North American reader.  Here’s your question:  What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love?  Leave an answer in the comments section by noon on Saturday.  Winners will be notified Sunday on the Jaunty Quills blog so be sure to check back.

For more information on Protecting His Brother’s Bride, please check out the following links:

Author FB page http://bit.ly/JanOnFB

Friend you on FB = http://bit.ly/ChatWithJan

Harlequin Excerpt = http://bit.ly/Jan-Protect-Excerpt

On Sale at Harlequin = http://bit.ly/Jan-Protect-HQ

Kindle = http://bit.ly/Jan-ProtectKindle

Nook = http://bit.ly/Jan-Protect-Nook

Goodreads = http://bit.ly/JanOnGReads


Manda

I’m so pleased to welcome one of my favorite authors (and people!) to the blog today. Manda Collins writes smart, sexy historical romance with a dash of mystery and suspense. She’s here to tell us about her upcoming book.

A Good Rake is Hard to Find is the first book in The Lords of Anarchy Series. What’s the inspiration for your new series?

 Thanks so much for having me back at Jaunty Quills, Vanessa!

One of the ways I generate ideas for my books is to see something in contemporary popular culture and think about how it would work if it were shifted to another time period. In this case, I saw the proliferation of Motorcycle Club books after the television show Sons of Anarchy got big. One thing most folks don’t realize is that vehicles and speed have been favorite past-times from the time humans first invented the wheel. And in the Regency, the driving club is where aficionados honed their skills. So, The Lords of Anarchy was born.

I have a disclaimer though. You DO NOT have to have watched the show in order to “get” my series. Sons of Anarchy was just the spark for my books—not the blueprint—if that makes sense.

So, we love rakes, right? And I REALLY love the one on that awesome cover of yours. But your heroes are never just garden variety rakes—they have a lot of depth. What’s Frederick like, and what’s he up to in this story?

First, thanks about the cover. I love it, and I wish I could take credit, but that’s all my publisher and the cover designer’s doing. But, I have to admit, it’s pretty smokin’.

Freddie wasn’t born a rake. He became one after his heart was broken by the heroine of A GOOD RAKE IS HARD TO FIND, the celebrated poet Leonora Craven. They were betrothed, she broke it off, and he absconded to the continent to lick his wounds and cut a swathe through the accommodating ladies of the continent. But now he’s back, and Leonora needs his help to find out who killed her brother—who also happened to be one of his best friends. And over the course of the book, they must work together to solve that mystery.

You always have an element of mystery and suspense in your stories—what draws you to include that in your historical romances? Which writers in the mystery/suspense world are influences?

I was a mystery reader before I was a romance reader. And some of my favorite books in both genres have been those that included elements of the both. And from a writing perspective, both mysteries and romances feature people dealing with some of the most emotional moments in their lives. Which makes for exciting writing for me as I work through how this character will respond to both the mystery and falling in love.

I read all sorts of mystery authors, from Karin Slaughter to Charles Todd to Jacqueline Winspear. I can’t really say who has been the most influential, but certainly these, and perhaps others like Peter Robinson, Elizabeth George, Jane Casey and Sharon Bolton have had an impact on my writing.

Good Rake is Hard To Find

Can we have a snippet of Leonora and Frederick?

Readers, don’t forget to check out Manda’s giveaway after the excerpt!

 “My apologies, my lord,” the young man said with a grimace, “but there is a situation at the door that demands your attention.”

 “The door?” Mainwaring echoed.

 “The last time I saw a ‘situation at the door’,” Trent said with a raised brow, “was when Pinky Byng’s mistress showed up to throw his parting gift back in his face. I told him that garnets were too cheap for that one, but he didn’t listen.”

 “I can assure you it’s nothing like that,” Freddy said with a laugh. “I always manage to make my mistresses think it’s their idea to break it off with me rather than the other way around. Cheaper that way, my being a younger son and all.”

 Even so, he had a bad feeling about this. Some sixth sense told him that someone causing a scene at the door of Brooks was not going to bring glad tidings of great joy.

 And when he reached the door, followed close behind by Trent and Mainwaring who were not willing to miss such a diversion, he knew he was right.

 “I might have known I’d find the three of you together,” Miss Leonora Craven said, her generous red lips tight with annoyance. “Though you needn’t have brought your little friends with you to the door for protection, Lord Frederick. I’ve no intention of harming your person no matter how you might deserve it for getting my brother killed.”

 Keenly aware of the curious glances they were getting from the club members who stood on the steps just behind her, Freddy turned to Ned. “I realize that ladies are not allowed in the club, Ned, but is there some small anteroom where we might be private for a few moments?”

 It would do Leonora’s reputation little good to be seen going into a room alone with the three of them, but then again, if her reputation was her first concern, she’d not have come to St. James Street at all.

 “Of course, my lord.” Ned ushered them to a door just off the hallway. “I’ll bring some tea for the lady.”

 He didn’t think Leonora would be there long enough for tea, but Freddy agreed, then shepherded her into the small sitting room, surprised, as he always was by how tiny she seemed considering how large her personality could be.

 The chamber was outfitted with a few club chairs, a settee and a low table. Leonora stalked into the room, her dark head held high, while Freddy followed and took a place before the fire. Trent and Mainwaring, perhaps sensing that this was a private matter, had slipped away with Ned.

 “Well, Nora,” he said once the door closed behind them, “You’ve got me here and made a hash of your reputation in the process. I hope it will be worth it.”

 Her green eyes flashed with anger, and Freddy couldn’t help but notice the shadows beneath them. Her dark hair was just as glossy as ever, and framed her heart shaped face in a halo of loose curls, one caressing her cheek like a kiss. But she looked thinner than the last time he’d seen her. The day she’d broken off their engagement and sent him on a reckless tear that ended with his leaving England for the freedoms of the continent.

 He’d expected their first meeting to be difficult, but to his surprise, much the resentment he’d felt had dissipated in the years since they’d parted. It was true that she had not been particularly kind in breaking things off between them. Indeed, she’d never told him the true reason for it. Had tried to fob him off with some silly tale of being afraid of giving up her control of her own life. It was something that had not once come up between them, so when she declared it to be why she was ending what had up to that point been a perfectly agreeable connection, he had been dumbfounded. And hurt that she would dismiss him without any more explanation than that.

 Even so, in the intervening years, he’d had a great deal of time to think. And he’d come to realize that whatever her true reason for breaking things off, it had been something serious. Something that was more important to her than her own happiness. For they had been happy before she ended things.

 And though he was not yet sanguine about what had happened, he was no longer consumed with bitterness over it.

 Which did not mean he wasn’t annoyed that she’d sought him out in Brook’s without a care for either of their reputations. It was the sort of reckless gesture he’d have been prone to in his wilder days, but he was trying to mend his reputation. Having a woman pursue him to St. James Street was not going to help things.

 Leonora, however, obviously did not care. 

“You know as well as I do that my reputation is able to withstand more than the usual society lady’s thanks to my writing,” she responded, waving off his concerns. “And besides that, in this instance, I wished to make a scene. I relish it, in fact.”

 “To what purpose?” Freddy demanded, growing tired of her taunts. “My reputation is already not what it should be. So if you’re thinking to ruin me, you’re missing the mark.”

 “Of course I know that,” Leonora said, her eyes bright with emotion. “But I’m not all that concerned with such things at present. I want only justice for my brother. And I wish to know what you plan to do to make your cousin, to whom you introduced my impressionable brother, pay for Jonny’s death.”

 Ah. That’s where all this came from.

 “I’m not sure what you mean, Miss Craven,” he said with stiff formality, despite the fact that he and his friends had been discussing this very matter only moments ago.

 “Oh, give over, my lord,” she said sharply. “You know as well as I do that Jonathan’s death was no accident. He was murdered by that vicious club and I can prove it.”

Manda will be giving away a copy of A GOOD RAKE IS HARD TO FIND to one person who comments. Do you like suspense and mystery in your romance? Are there ones that you really liked? 

For more info on Manda’s books, check out her website. 

Even in London society—where everyone knows what you did last season—you never know who’s next in line to walk down the aisle…

A DANGEROUS GAME

Heartbroken by the loss of her brother, Miss Leonora Craven vows to uncover the truth about his “accident,” which seems to have been anything but. Jonathan Craven was involved with the Lords of Anarchy, a notorious driving club, and Leonora can’t help but suspect foul play. But the only way she can infiltrate their reckless inner circle is to enlist the help of Jonny’s closest ally, Lord Frederick Lisle. If only he didn’t also happen to be the man who broke Leonora’s heart…

AN UNDENIABLE DESIRE

Frederick isn’t surprised to find gorgeous, headstrong Leonora playing detective, but he knows that the Lords of Anarchy mean business—and he has no choice but to protect her. A sham engagement to Leonora will allow Frederick to bring her into the club and along for the ride. But it isn’t long before pretending to be lovers leads to very real passion. With everything to lose, is their tempestuous affair worth the risk?


Nancy Robards Thompson
Nancy Robards Thompson

Discussion:
49 comments

Categories:
Jaunty Guests, Jaunty Post, Our Books, Special Edition, sports

 

Michelle Major for JQsThanks for having me back to JQ, Nancy! It’s such fun to be here. <<NRT: Happy to have you, Michelle!>> Living in Colorado during the winter that might never end, you hear lots of ski terms bandied about–first tracks, back bowls, fresh powder, bluebird days. Friends use these phrases to caption Facebook photos where they are smiling from the top of some mountain resort. These people are about to launch themselves down an icy, snow-covered slope with oversized popsicle sticks strapped to their feet and…they are grinning. It sort of makes me want to push them.

 

I don’t have time to smile when I ski because I’m too busy praying to make it down the mountain in one piece. Yep, I ski. Despite the constant trembling in my knees, the stomachache that starts as soon as I put on my (never flattering) ski pants and an internal monologue that involves lots of cursing, every few weekends we pile the kids into the car and hit the slopes. Why? For the same reason moms do most things we don’t want to – for the kids.

 

GetAttachmentThis season my daughter broke through her fear (unlike me) and now we’re taking lifts to the more advanced blue runs. My son is busy detouring into the trees and looking for jumps as we hurtle toward the bottom. I can barely keep up and I love it! Because it means soon I’ll achieve my ultimate ski dream—to be the mom camped out in the corner of the toasty warm lodge surrounded by coats and gear, sipping hot cocoa and wearing boots I can walk in without feeling like I’m going to fall over. I have happy visions of a full Saturday spent alternating between my laptop and Kindle while I smile at the cold, wet, red-faced suckers who take a break from risking life limb on the mountain. I’m going to be the best lodge mom ever.

 

Among friends my views on skiing put me in the minority, and I sometimes wonder if I’m a total wimp. I probably am a total wimp, and I’m okay with that. But I’m also curious how people outside of ski-crazy Colorado feel about it.

 

Would you be carving the slopes or hanging in the lodge? Either way, I’ll have the hot cocoa waiting.

 

I’ll be drawing two winners from the comments for a copy of my March release, A Second Chance At Crimson Ranch. The heroine, Olivia Wilder, has come to Crimson, Colorado to find place she can feel at home. Lucky for her, there’s a new (and a few years younger) contractor in town that might be the perfect guy to help her. I’m excited to invite readers back to Crimson because it’s a town filled with wonderful people and lots of opportunities for falling in love (yes, there is a ski mountain but I haven’t forced any my characters onto it…yet).

 

 

 


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