Friday, 14 February 2014

Valentine's Day - My Favourite Trope


Hello and thank you so much for joining me at this most romantic time of year.

I am so pleased to join in this Bloghop to celebrate Saint Valentine's Day and delighted that you've come to have a peek at what I find the best kind of story.

To be quite honest, when I was asked to confess my favourite trope, my confession really has to be - ummm - I don't have one. Well, yes of course I love romance, I think that goes without saying, but a sub-genre plot type I find very hard to select. If you've been to my site before, you'll know I read lots of tropes.

So, I thought stick with what I automatically drift towards when I write. I can't help it. I start to write and suddenly I find a character doing things they shouldn't, words coming out of their mouths that I certainly never thought to put there and the way they automatically turn to is - humour. Yup. I can be straight in the middle of some damned serious fighting and you guessed it. Humour.

But in the romance wrapper, with the humour tissue paper, is the actual gift. The trope. Only when I thought really hard about this did I realise one of my favourites, and the trope I am currently writing is - she's loved him forever and he's never noticed her, something happens and suddenly his eyes are opened.

So for my giveaway today, I'm going to offer Flight of Her Life. Humour from start to finish and one of my favourite tropes... she's loved him forever.

Have a little read, see what you think, then enter the competition by leaving a comment.


Blurb

Traveling from New York City to Houston to meet her future in-laws and announce her engagement, accident prone Bailey finds herself in a situation beyond her control. All flights are cancelled the night before Christmas Eve, leaving Bailey stranded at the airport with a cowboy from her past.
Against all odds, Sebastian manages to rescue Bailey from one disaster after another, but is it too late to rescue her from her future? Faced with a heartrending dilemma, does Bailey turn her back on the man who offers her a life of security, or does she run off to Maui with a cowboy?


Excerpt
Chapter 2
One entire week! How in hell’s name was she supposed to keep up the pretense for one whole week? Honestly, when Phillip’s parents saw beneath her cultured voice and her ability to dress slick, the premier family of Houston, Texas were going to run her out of town. They were going to realize what a fraud she was when she made her first move and destroyed their house with a flick of her wrist. Then their precious boy would never be allowed to marry her.
Bailey crossed her legs to relieve the ache in one buttock and give the other side of her bottom a little more weight. Sitting on the floor of the elevator for three hours the previous night had not been the most comfortable experience of her life and her backside hurt. She was going to cross her legs on this occasion, but she needed to get out of the habit as soon as she could. After all, she didn’t want people to think she was cheap.
She wondered if she would be considered vulgar for spending three hundred dollars on a rare bottle of bourbon and an expensive fragrance in order to impress people she hadn’t even met.
Impatient, she flicked her gaze up to check the flight board for the millionth time. She pressed her lips softly together to make sure her lipstick was still in place and glanced around the crowded New York City airport lounge, nervously patting her neat blonde coiffure which had taken her forty minutes to strap down.
As her eyes anxiously scanned the room, they fell on the familiar sight of a cowboy by the checkout in duty free. Second time she’d noticed him in an hour and she’d tried not to make eye-contact in case he decided to come over and re-acquaint himself.
Unable to resist, Bailey raised one perfectly sleek eyebrow, and leaned forward, pushed her black rimmed glasses further up her nose to take a closer peek. Nice. Purely from a female’s perspective, she could see nothing wrong with the male specimen in duty free. Long lean legs in pale, worn denim, and those thighs under that denim contracted as he bent to pick up his rucksack, sending an unwelcome fission of heat burning a rapid line through her stomach and into her loins, just like he had always managed to do. If she had to judge, she’d bet those muscles filled his jeans better than they used to when she’d been sixteen and he’d been…
Aware of her heart rate accelerating, Bailey jerked upright with a short sharp gasp, her eyes widening as the overwhelming sensation of carnal desire took her by surprise. She was an engaged woman—almost—she shouldn’t even be looking at tall, well-defined cowboys, especially ones she had already been…intimate with. Not that it should count as it had been so long ago, but he obviously still managed to make her mouth water.
Rucksack flung across his shoulder, his eyes caught hers and pierced through her like a blue laser as he walked straight toward her, leaving no doubt he’d been perfectly aware of where she was the whole time. Desperate not to be caught staring, Bailey dipped her eyes, uncrossed her legs and re-crossed them the other way. She accidently flicked her half-filled coffee cup as she flexed her knee, and felt the searing hot liquid splash down her legs and soak through her short neat black skirt.
“Shit.”


Have a lovely Valentine's Day and if you don't get the gift you want, treat yourself to a little humour.

Where to Buy Flight of Her Life
Liquid Silver Books http://bit.ly/IcMuoh
Amazon UK              http://amzn.to/18iC1n7
Amazon.com             http://amzn.to/1aS34mN

All Romance             http://bit.ly/193gk5c

Now, hop along and see what other tropes are favourite.




a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, 9 February 2014

Valentine's Day Gift Hop





I'm really pleased you've decided to drop in and visit me at this most romantic time of year. It probably means you've got everything arranged for Valentine's Day ... Yes??

Well you should - and quickly - we don't need any little faux pas do we?

I remember such a faux pas when I first started dating my now husband. 

Valentine's Day - seven months after we had first started dating each other. This was an important day in my mind and being young and with high expectations, I was delighted when the doorbell rang and I had a delicate single silk red rose in a beautiful white satin box, delivered from the florist. Ah, I was overjoyed. A single red rose - from a secret admirer.

As my heartthrob arrived at my front door later that evening, I flung myself in his arms, kissed him wildly and thanked him for my gorgeous silk rose. The frozen silence was a small hint, then he pulled a lovely real red rose from behind his back and handed it to me.

To this day, I have never found out who the silk rose came from.



To celebrate love and laugh at the faux pas in our lives, I'd like to offer a copy of Flight of Her Life to one lucky commenter.

Here's a little taster:



Excerpt

Snorting out a laugh, despite herself, Bailey moved in closer so her nose almost touched his, the small breaths she managed to persuade into her lungs weren’t going to be enough to sustain her. Her eyelashes fluttered, her eyelids started to close. They flew open again as she felt him give a sharp tug at her hair.
It tumbled over her shoulders, wild and bouncy, sending pins flying in all directions as she slapped his hand away.
“You’ve ruined it. What am I going to do now? Keep your hands off.”
His smile was wide and lazy, making her heart hitch as he wrapped a curling tendril of her long blonde hair around his index finger and drew her face back down to his.
“I love your hair. Why would you do that to it when it’s just perfect as it is?” Reluctant pleasure at his admiration spread glowing warmth through her chest. His mouth hovered closer, then closer still, his breath fanned across her skin before he dipped in, touched his lips to hers and made her melt.
Terror gripped her as she realized what she was doing and with a strength born of desperation, she slapped her hand on the cowboy’s shoulder and sent him sprawling to the floor.
“Jesus Christ, Sebastian, what do you think you are doing?”
“Saving you from yourself.” He sat up, drew his knees up to his chest and draped his forearms over his knees. “You’re about to make the biggest mistake of your life and someone has to stop you.”
Taking a long, slow draught of air-conditioned oxygen, Bailey stared down at his all too familiar face and felt sheer panic engulf her at the thought of how much damage this man could do to her heart.
“I don’t need to be saved. There’s no mistake.”
“Well, where in hell’s name is he? It’s the day before Christmas Eve, it’s minus ten out there, a blizzard’s coming, and he left you alone. Why?”
“I had to work an extra two days to make sure everything was in order before I left for the week.” She begrudged the fact she actually felt obliged to explain anything to him and annoyance had her giving a sharp flick of her foot as she uncrossed her leg once more. The pointed toe of her smart patent heels jabbed neatly into his shin, and for once she felt totally unrepentant about her lack of spatial awareness as he yelped and drew his legs back rapidly.
Rolling his eyes, he moved to his knees.
“He’s the goddamned boss, Bailey. He left you to clear up while he went on ahead and started his vacation early.”
“His parents needed him to attend a function.”
“His fiancĂ©e probably needed him to help carry her luggage.”
“It’s okay, don’t fuss. The luggage is already booked on; I only have my purse with me.”
He glanced around, sighed heavily before waving his hand at the empty seating next to her.
“Where’s your coat?”
“Well, I put it in the top of my suitcase when I arrived, save carrying it.”
He rolled back to sit on his heels while he studied her. Bailey felt a warm heat spread
up her neck into her face. He was the only person she knew who could make her blush just by meeting her eyes.
As she tried to distract herself, she dug into her purse and pulled out a small, black rubber band. She scraped her unruly hair back from her face and held the rubber band in one hand while she pulled her hair through with the other. Wrapped around once, it was too loose, so she yanked it tight and pulled her hair through a second time. Too tight, her two middle fingers trapped between the elastic and her hair.
He continued to stare.
She glowered back, gave her fingers a desperate wriggle and wondered if he’d noticed. She saw the annoying twitch of amusement on his lips again.
“Your arms are going to start to ache if you don’t put them down.”
She wrenched at her hand, felt the tear of her acrylic nail as it parted company with her middle finger, just as the rubber band snapped, pinged off and her hair tumbled wildly around her face again. Red poker hot heat surged though her finger making her want to whimper and slide it into her mouth to ease the pain.
She stared down at her perfect French manicure, ruined by a missing acrylic on one hand and a broken one on the other. Her eyes rose to his slightly blurred face as he chuckled and rubbed his forehead.
“You did not get hit by my rubber band. Do not try to tell me you did.”
Sebastian simply removed his hand and let her see the little white wheal mark surrounded by red. She squinted and leaned forward to take a closer look as he picked the broken rubber band up from his lap and wiggled it at her. Blowing out a disgusted breath, she sat back in her seat and crossed her arms over her chest. It was probably the safest thing she could do today. She was having one of her minor destroy-the-world days. It would blow over, and tomorrow she would be back to normal. Almost. As normal as her life ever got.
  
Where to Buy Flight of Her Life

Liquid Silver Books http://bit.ly/IcMuoh
Amazon UK              http://amzn.to/18iC1n7
Amazon.com             http://amzn.to/1aS34mN

All Romance             http://bit.ly/193gk5c


In addition our grand prize will be a Kindle Paperwhite and digital new adult romance basket. Every comment on every blog in the hop will count as an entry toward either of the grand prizes.



Monday, 3 February 2014

Fairy Foodies - Daisy Banks

I have been visiting Daisy Banks on various blog sites to celebrate the release of her forthcoming book Valentine's Kisses, where she has tempted me with little snippets from her story. Now, she's made my mouth water with the thought of Fairy Cakes.

Welcome Daisy, come on in and talk food.







All my blogs in this tour are about Fairies, fairy legend and lore.
Legends say fairies are fond of some forms of mortal foods. Butter, freshly baked bread, fresh milk and cream are in the list as favourites. There are tales of fairies stealing these things or accepting gifts of them.
I do know a tale where a fairy granted the wish of one woman for a child in exchange for a loaf of bread.

There are also cases of warnings for people to leave a little in their glass, be it mead or milk, always leave a drop for the fairies. Never take the last apple, plum or pear from your tree, leave one or two for the fairies. On baking day, along with your usual creations, bake a little something as a gift for the fairies.

I have to say my family didn’t follow this piece of fairy lore and as you know from my other blogs in this tour, we often had evidence of a fairy presence in my parent’s house.

The most important warning concerning fairy food is, if the fairies offer you food and you accept and eat or drink it, you will be lost to the fairy kingdom. There are lots of stories of those who eat fairy food being enchanted by it, lured away and never returning to their mortal homes.

Some tales say fairy food is magical in many ways and makes the person who eats it see things that aren’t true. One story tells of an old man who finds himself at a fairy feast where he drinks and gorges himself on all manner of fine things. But come the dawn the spell of fairy magic is broken and the old man finds himself seated in a stinking bog gnawing on a broken root. Fairy food, it is said, is not to be trusted.

Food and drink play a big part in my story Valentine Wishes, as you will see when you read the story. I thought that as the story has a Valentine theme some fairy cakes suitable for a Valentine party might be nice addition to this blog. You will, of course have to bake them, and if you wish you can make a little extra for the fairies.


Fairy Cake Sponge to make 12 cakes.
·        2 eggs
·        115g sugar
·        115g self-raising flour
·        115g butter, melted

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C /Gas 4 and prepare a 12-hole bun/muffin tin with paper baking cases.
Whisk together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
Gradually add the flour and the melted butter, gently folding the mixture together.
Pour the mixture evenly into the paper cases.
Bake the buns for 10-15 minutes, until golden on top and a skewer inserted carefully into one of the buns comes out clean. Allow to cool for ten minutes on a wire rack before removing from tin.

The fun part with fairy cakes is how you decorate them. Do enjoy.



Valentine Wishes published by Liquid Silver Books will be released on the 10th of February. You can pre-order a copy here and get an early bird discount.


Here is a little snippet from the story to tempt you.

So far, since Poppy found the three girls, life here had been fun. Being so vibrant and young, energy simply oozed from them. The parties her mortals hosted entranced her. At each event, she sat under a leaf in the garden and sucked energy to her heart’s content. She did wish she could find a way to help them, even if only a little. The trio seemed to be such good mortals, providing flowers and sweet-scented plants in their garden, and they fed the birds at a very pretty bird table. These mortals really cared about their garden.
The strangest thing was though, since her arrival, not once had one of them made a direct wish for anything. They seemed not to need any help with romance. She’d seen young men arrive to meet them and whisk them off in cars on a regular basis.
Perhaps, as it’s soon to be the most special romantic time of year, I might get the chance to grant a few wishes. Her worst dread remained a too real prospect. One day she would go back to the fairy court and have to tell everyone she’d done nothing at all to help her chosen mortals. She shivered at the thought, for such a confession would be a huge humiliation. The critical expressions some fairies could wear were savage. She’d seen a lot of those before she left on fly about.
Don’t think about that! Think about good things. She breathed out a huge sigh. The good things always seemed to revolve around one fairy, one utterly gorgeous, heart stoppingly perfect fairy, who didn’t criticize in the way the others did. She sighed again. Perhaps he never said anything about the disasters because he never noticed me at all. She had to have some successful wishes to speak about when she returned. I won’t go back until I have.
The fairy courtiers had come to expect tales of triumph in all dealings with mortals. I must do something to make the lot of at least one of my mortals more bearable, or I risk more than ridicule. If her majesty isn’t impressed I could be banished to the top of some Christmas tree for decades. Worse though, what if he knew? I’d want to dissolve in shame. She gave a shudder and tried to dismiss the image of the reason for her fly about and her venture into the world of mortals.
I’ve spent enough time thinking of him.


Links
Twitter @DaisyBanks12


Sunday, 2 February 2014

Unmasking the Wolf - Christy Gissendaner

Hello Gina, 

Whew come on in, have some chocolate before it melts in the presence of your very hot cover. Wow. Just getting my breath back here. 

Thanks so much for having me, Diane

So let's talk about you in Unmasking the Wolf, I believe this is your story.

Tell me a little bit of what it was like under your father’s rule.

My father, Tony, is like any normal Italian father, a bit overbearing and wants to plan my life for me. Add to that fact he’s the alpha and it just got to be too much for me.

Aren’t you at all scared going out into the world, essentially on your own?

A little. But I have Dominic, my cousin. I can count on him to keep me safe in Boston.

Excuse me for my ignorance, but isn’t Boston a big city? How do you feel about leaving the rural part of Indiana behind?

Excited and nervous at the same time. It’s the first time I’ve left home and I can’t wait to experience all the city has to offer!

What kind of wolf are you?

My family is made up of true wolves, ones that can shift at will. Some unlucky wolves are lunar and can only shift during the full moon.  Thankfully I’ve never had to worry about having my shifting held to a minimum.

Do you think when you meet your mate you will know immediately?

I hope so. But there are so many unknowns in the universe so who really knows?

Does he have to be another wolf or would you consider a … human?

A human? My father would have a stroke! I’m not opposed to being with a human, but even I am not rebellious enough to consider marrying a human.

So, now down to the nitty gritty – what do you think of Lucas Mason? Would you consider him for a romantic interlude?

Luke? Oh yes. Definitely.

Describe Lucas.

Luke is a gazillionaire. Okay, not quite, but closer than I can ever hope to be. He has his own helicopter, for heaven’s sake! And he’s gorgeous. Not in a pretty boy kind of way, but in a drop dead sexy kind. Stunning green eyes. Rumpled golden brown hair. He’s so amazing that it’s a shame he’s not a wolf.






Book Description:

Gina Moretti is determined to escape her rural home of Clinton, Indiana, a place where wolves have met, married, and mated for generations. As the only daughter of the alpha, she’s lived her entire life under her father’s rule. No way is she ready to find a mate until she’s experienced more of the world. Against her family’s wishes, she goes to Boston where her scientist cousin, Dominic, has offered to give her a place to stay. She stumbles, quite literally, into her cousin’s gorgeous boss.

Lucas Mason, a Southern boy turned self-made millionaire, rose above his poverty stricken childhood and now enjoys a life of luxury in Boston. To honor his murdered sister, he hires her lab partner to continue their research. His employee, Dominic Moretti, is on the brink of creating a method to combat the scent of a wolf when his country cousin breezes in. Luke knows in an instant that Gina is his mate. The only problem is…she doesn’t even realize he’s a wolf. 

As Luke and Dominic get closer to medical trials, an unknown enemy becomes determined to stop them…at any cost. Can Luke discover his foe in time to protect his research…and his mate? And what will happen when Gina finds out he’s not quite as human as he’s led her to believe?


Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Taliesin Publishing

Number of pages: 130
Word Count: 43,898


Trailer:  


Buy Links:




Short Excerpt

       “Ahhh,” she cried out as she tumbled toward the floor. A pair of strong arms clamped around her and jerked her back to her feet. Embarrassed beyond belief, her cheeks flamed with the knowledge she’d just made a fool of herself. In front of Dominic’s boss, no less. It didn’t take a brain scientist to realize the handsome, make that extremely handsome, man before her was Luke Mason.
        He was sex-on-a-platter hot. Chiseled cheekbones, firm jaw, unbelievably straight nose, and a teensy weensy dimple in the center of his chin. This man was a living, breathing Greek god.
        “Are you okay?” Piercing green eyes locked with hers as Luke’s grip on her arms slowly loosened.
        Gina felt a jolt in the pit of her stomach. Despite Dominic’s warning to blend in, she sniffed the air. She had to. Something about this man called to her animal nature. But there was nothing. Not a trace of the wolf scent. Despite his unbelievable height and incredible physique, only the scent of sandalwood and spice came to her. Disappointment swamped her. He was human.
        Luke continued to watch her. Gina knew he waited for her to speak, but her tongue refused to budge. She’d known he would be good-looking, but the newspaper article hadn’t done him full justice. Instead of a suit, he wore casual jeans and a dark blazer. He had the sort of hair that would curl in the rain. She didn’t know how she knew it. She just did. The golden-brown waves were delightfully rumpled in the middle of his head, as if he’d just risen from bed.
        Gina gave a tiny moan at the thought of him rising naked from the sheets. He would be gloriously golden, with a tight belly and even tighter buttocks. Physical need rocked her to the core. What was up with lusting after a human? Was it merely the fact he was every woman’s wet dream, or something more?
        His sensual lips curved into a sexy smile as he scrubbed a hand over his belly. “Hell of sharp elbow you have there.”
        “Oh God, I’m so sorry.” Gina wanted to sink through the floor. Why was she always such a klutz?
        “Don’t worry about it.” He drawled in a soft, slow tone.
        She’d read he was originally from Jackson, Mississippi. The Southern accent was unbelievably sexy, but not nearly as sexy as the man himself. His face was a mixture of Hollywood leading man and mixed martial arts fighter. He was gorgeous, yet hard. She could easily visualize him serenading a woman one moment, and then fighting to protect her next.



About the Author:

Christy Gissendaner is a romantic comedy author and believes that laughter and love should go hand in hand.

Christy lives in Alabama with her husband and three sons. She’s always hard at work on her next novel, but in her spare time she loves blackjack, karaoke, and anything resembling a vacation!

To find out more, please visit http://christygissendaner.webs.com