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Saturday, December 31, 2011

THE GUYS on New Year's Eve!

Here are some of the models/actors we've interviewed at Romance Books R Us.
Enjoy their photos and links!
HAPPY NEW YEAR'S EVE AND NEW YEAR'S DAY!



Anthony Catanzaro






          John Antorino




                                                            

Jason Baca




    
             Billy Freda


CJ Hollenbach




      Andrei Claude                                                                                                                                                 



Stefan Pinto




             Jimmy Thomas

Scott Nova                                                           Cristian Letelier                        

 
  

Christopher Howell



                                                                  Chris Winters    

Friday, December 30, 2011

Measure Your Year

How Do you Celebrate the Year's end and Ring in the New Year?








I love this song. Hell I love this emotional broadway play turned Movie. I've never been one to do a New Year's Resolution. I don't have a goal to lose weight or some other thing I'l l not follow through on. I like my frou frou *decaf* coffee drinks and zingers too much.





I begin by celebrating the birth of my son who was the last baby on New Years Eve 1996. After that I plot out the journey I've led, the type of mother, sister, aunt, fiance, friend I've been. I look at where I've floundered, at the times I've been selfish and concentrated more on myself than someone else and I make a note to get it better the next year around. I take a glimpse at what I believe I've done well and think yay me! There is always something to improve on.





I've been a work in progress for like....36 years and some change. I wasn't always a fire cracker full of Energy...well maybe I was but I prob had ADHD. There came a time when I was just tired of the crap. Pent up agression is exhausting. I think this then play in New York came at a great time. It showed me years ago what was really important and what was a waste of time and energy.





Would it surprise anyone to know I was once a people pleaser? Or that in Highschool I pretended I was an idiot because boys didn't like girls smarter than them? How about this one. I am friends with every ex boyfriend or lover I've ever had. The grandparents of my children all plan on helping with my wedding to a man outside of their families. Grandpa Norris my ex's father wants to give me away.





I'm surrounded by odd shit everyday. If anyone else has an ex's father who wants to be in the wedding party please stand up lol. It's incredulous but amazing at the same time, to be surrounded by so much love. Has to be where the excess energy in me comes from. Those were all moments of my journey.





When I look back at the time where there wasn't much love or sunshine. I see where I was led and to the people who stepped into my life, and those who I've come in contact with that needed someone.





My grandma used to say to smile at everyone you came in contact with cuz God only knew that one person really might need a glimpse of joy to turn their day around, which would turn their week around, and possibly rub off on them.





So when you're doing your pact for the year think about something outside your normal box. Think of what you've gained the past year, lost or even reclaimed.





How did your four seasons go this past year? I had a great Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes.





Measure Your Life in Love.





Hugs,


Hales





www.mahalialevey.com

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Goals for 2012

2012 is coming up fast.  Where does the time go?  I didn't accomplish anywhere near all the things I wanted to in 2011 and now it's time to make New Year's resolutions again.

Okay, when an author sets up goals, they need to be something we have control over.  For instance, don't say you'll contract for the book you are writing right now because you don't have control over the publisher who may or may not buy your story. 

What does an author have control over?  She/he has control over how many words they write a day (sometimes).  I might say I'll write five pages a day, and I can do it until life throws me a curve one day, and I can't write those five pages.  Maybe, it lasts for one day, two weeks, months or the rest of the year.  So you see we have control over the amount of words we write under normal circumstances but if something unexpected happens you lose control. 

Even though events happen beyond our power never give up.  The time will come when you can manage more, and when that time comes be prepared to hit the keys again.  Little by little you can regain control. 

What are your New Year's Resolutions or goals for 2012?  Mine is to finish revising a book I started to revise in 2011 but became so bogged down that I just gave up.  I thought it was too hard, but I know if I just stick with it I can get it revised. 

Best always,

Sandy AKA Sandra K. Marshall
http://www.eirelander-publishing.com
http://www.skaymarshall.com
Author Page on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/author/sandramarshall
Buy links for books at B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-catalyst-sandra-marshall/1029908390?ean=97
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/addiction-sandra-k-marshall/1019317561?ean=29
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-fools-fool-sandra-k-marshall/1105647158?ean=

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Guest Blog: Vijaya Schartz: Celebrate the New Year in Space!

I’m not joking. One day soon, spending New Year in space will be the in-thing to do for the elite who can afford it. Move over Time Square. But what will it mean? If you are in orbit around Earth, when would you celebrate midnight? When it’s midnight in London, Moscow, New York, Beijing? When the space station crosses the line? Or you could remain in orbit above the exact point where it’s midnight for the entire rotation... 24 hours of midnight partying in zero gravity, or artificial gravity.

And what if you were in orbit around another planet, or in deep space away from Earth? Since time and space are relative and time slows down once you escape a planet’s gravity, there would be no synchronicity between your time and Earth’s time... In Star Trek, they use universal Star dates and instant communication across the universe... puzzling. Is that scientifically possible, or a writer’s ploy to simplify the story for reader and viewers? I have my opinion.

I’m not a scientist. I’m a writer. So my knowledge is limited to my research. What I retain from all the fascinating facts I learn is what can make a good story. Of course I create worlds that are believable for the reader. That’s my job. The truth be told, the exact scientific reality may not be as human-friendly as the worlds I create. Still, in early December, NASA discovered a planet only 600 light years away, and it seems very similar to ours. So, all our space opera stories between habitable worlds are not so farfetched after all.

This New Year, I invite you to spend some time on the old BOREALIS space station, a decrepit tin can at the fringe of conquered space, where human drama unfolds every day. My novella, BOREALIS: BLACK DRAGON, is part of the BOREALIS series (which includes novellas by various authors) from Desert Breeze Publishing, and is available in all eBook formats.

BLURB:
A gambler is cheating in a den of the Borealis space station, and Lieutenant Zara & Frankel intends to catch him in the act. She always gets her man, but this one could prove more than she can handle.

Captain Czerno Drake, code name Black Dragon, has come under cover, to break his innocent uncle from the most secure penitentiary in the galaxy, on the Borealis space station. He will stop at nothing to succeed, even enrolling the help of the lovely straight arrow TPP enforcer. When Zara realizes that she’s been used by a shrewd but seductive rebel, her reaction surprises everyone, most of all herself.

REVIEWS:
"I like the balance of humor and danger in this story, and the action kept me glued to the pages... I enjoyed watching as suspicion turned to admiration, and admiration became the first flickers of love between Czerno and Zara... Pick up a copy of Borealis: Black Dragon, by Vijaya Schartz, and enter a world of adventure, romance, and a spoiled cat named Marshmallow." Long And Short Reviews 4½ books - sensual


"Vijaya Schartz is known for her strong female characters and Zara is no exception... gives the reader lots of action and a sweet love story." Single Titles Review - 4½ stars

BIO:
Born in France, award-winning author Vijaya Schartz never conformed to anything and could never refuse a challenge. She likes action and exotic settings, in life and on the page. She traveled the world and claims she comes from the future. Her books collected many five star reviews and literary awards. She makes you believe you actually lived these extraordinary adventures among her characters. She currently has sixteen titles available. Her stories have been compared to Indiana Jones with sizzling romance. So, go ahead, dare to experience the magic, and she will keep you entranced, turning the pages until the last line. Find more at http://www.vijayaschartz.com

Where to find Vijaya Schartz:
http://www.vijayaschartz.com
Publisher page Desert Breeze: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-template/VijayaSchartz/Page.bok
Publisher page Books We Love: http://bookswelove.net/vijayaschartz.php
http://romancingscifi.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vijaya-Schartz-Author/109777709045040
https://twitter.com/Vijayaschartz

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Year's Resolutions: A NEW SERIES

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends.


Next weekend we will be celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of a New Year.

Are you ready for 2012?

Have you started thinking about your New Year's Resolutions?

Last year I set a goal instead of a resolution. I wanted to create a new romance series. This time with Aliens, and a science fiction romance series was born.

My daughter's boyfriend suggest for the tagline for the series: Tired of vampires? Give Janice Seagraves' Arcon Aliens a try.

Well, I'm still working on the tagline, lol.

One of my goals was to post a free read and book trailer on my website just before Christmas, which I did. Here's the link. It's the very first story of my brand new series.

I call my new series Arcon Aliens.

What are your goals for the New Year?
~*~*~*~

Janice Seagraves website: http://janiceseagraves.org/
Janice Seagraves blog: http://ladyjanice.blogspot.com/

Monday, December 26, 2011

Humor Gets a Bad Rap

 Comics “ain’t got no respect.” Neither do comedy writers. I’ve known that fact for a while. The Oscars seldom nominate a film in the comedy category. When a drama actor suddenly takes on a humorous role, people say, “who knew he could be funny,” but still disregard it. Humorous books in any genre, other than humor, don’t fare as well as those lacking the witty designation.

This is my mantra: it’s harder to write humorous material than any other kind. It’s also harder to portray a comic character than a serious one. Why? Because humor is far more subjective than drama. Opinions about what is funny are personal. To one person something may be funny and another, not so much. A writer who can write humor that is received well by a large cross-section of people is, indeed, talented. Not saying that’s me or, in the case of my co-written material, my co-writer. You be the judge—if you’ll read it.

In romance fiction that hasn’t always been true. Once upon a time not so long ago and in a land not so far away, romantic comedies were hot commodities, the “trend” of the time, somewhere after the books I co-wrote as Terry Campbell and before vampire romances. When we originally wrote those books, we didn’t sell them right away, finally selling to one of the big houses. Then, when the trend hit its peak, editors at the other houses were actually asking us why we hadn’t submitted to them. Afterwards as trends always do, they fade and go out of vogue for the next best and most enticing thing.

This whole thing about romantic comedy books probably wouldn’t bother me so much except, you see, I still write humor. Okay, so I write mysteries and fantasies and even science fiction. But all of them have humor, even the ones with deaths and gory serial killers.  If you think that it’s easy to write a book like that and have an editor buy, try it. Thankfully, I have found some who enjoy it.

A year ago I co-wrote another book, same co-writer, and sent it out for review to seven different sites. However, not one person at those sites chose to review it. Why? It’s a fantasy, light on the fantasy and long on the contemporary—living among its dark vampire, werewolf and shape shifter cousins.

It has gotten a couple of write-ups, reviewers who went on and on to mention this book is hysterical, laugh-out-loud funny and one you wouldn’t miss. Their words, not mine. BUT it gets mediocre support. 

I like to think that it’s also because humor is trending upward once again, along with historical romance. You see, my theory is that in a world wrought with worry over finance, global warming, civil unrest and natural world disasters coming with what seems to be increasing regularity, people need to laugh. By the way, if you’d like to, I can suggest a few good comedies to entertain you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bobbye Terry’s latest book, This Magic Moment by Daryn Cross is now exclusively available through Amazon as part of its new program. She also has two other new books out, Walk Right In, also under her Daryn Cross pen name, and Nick of Time, the sequel to Coming to Climax, written under her real name.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas EYE CANDY!

Enjoy the photos - don't you wish you'd find one of them under your Christmas tree?
Or, for those who don't celebrate Christmas, any day of the year?
MERRY CHRISTMAS!









                                                    
Photos: Rockshots

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Who Was King Wenceslas & What the Heck Is Figgy Pudding?



When I realized it was my turn to blog on Christmas Eve, I wanted to do something different than merely wishing everyone Merry Christmas, although I do wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. My local paper had an article about Christmas carols, and voila! I knew what I would write about. Enjoy.


Who Was King Wenceslas and What the Heck Is Figgy Pudding?

The Scoop On Your Favorite Christmas Carols

Have you ever wondered, as I have, about the origins of some of our most beloved Christmas songs, and about some of the strange words and phrases in those songs? Wonder no more. Here's the inside story.

"Good King Wenceslas"

'Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about,
Deep and crisp and even.'

King Wenceslas was born into the royal Premysl dynasty in what is now the Czech Republic. His grandmother was murdered by an anti-Christian group, of which his mother was a member. The good king himself was murdered by his brother in 929. Not so cheery, huh? Wenceslas was named a saint and his feast day is celebrated on Dec. 26, also the feast of St. Stephen.

"We Wish You a Merry Christmas"

'Oh, bring us a figgy pudding,
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding,
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding,
And a cup of good cheer.'

Figgy pudding is a steamed English dessert, better known as plum pudding, that dates back to sixteenth century England. It's not anything like Jell-O. It's made with dried fruit and figs, hence the name. At one time it also included suet, the white fat found around kidneys and loins in cattle and sheep.

"It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas"'

A Pair of Hopalong boots and a pistol that shoots
Is the wish of Barney and Ben.
Dolls that will talk and will go for a walk
Is the hope of Janice and Jen.'

Any boomers out there? Do you remember Hopalong Cassidy, the cowboy? I loved him. Watched his show every week. Had a crush on his cute sidekick, Lucky. Did you know the Hopalong boots in this song referred to Hopalong Cassidy? I didn't. I don't even know most of the words so missed the Hopalong reference all together.

"Mistletoe and Holly"

'Oh by gosh, by golly, it's time for mistletoe and holly,
Tasty pheasants, Christmas presents,
Countrysides covered with snow.'

The use of mistletoe and holly goes back to our pagan past. Pagans believed mistletoe, holly and ivy protected us from evil spirits and also encouraged the return of spring.

"Here We Come A-Wassailing"

'Love and joy comes to you,
And to your wassail too.
And God bless you
And send you a Happy New Year.'

Anyone ever seen a wassail? Me neither. Sounds like a furry little animal. A wassail is a drink, warm mulled ale or wine. Yum. Perfect for sipping on cold Christmas Eves. The word comes from an old Anglo-Saxon toast, "Waes hael," meaning to be in good health. Now you know what a wassail is.

"The Christmas Song"'

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost nipping at your nose,
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.'

I think we all know what a roasted chestnut is. I've never tasted one, but I hear it's low-fat and tastes more like a sweet potato than a nut. I've seen vendors on Philadelphia sidewalks selling roasted chestnuts, but I've never had the inclination to try one.

"Auld Lang Syne"

'Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne."

What the heck does all that mean? No one is sure. The poet Robert Burns put the words to paper in the eighteenth century. The song likely has its roots in Scottish literature. Roughly translated, auld lang syne means "the good old days."

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

'Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
Had a very shiny nose,
And if you ever saw it,
You would even say it glows.'

Rudolph was created in 1939 by a copywriter for the Montgomery Ward department stores. Gene Autry was approached to record the song but didn't want to. His wife talked him into it. The rest, as they say, is history.

Last by not least -

"Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"

'She'd been drinking too much eggnog,
And we begged her not to go.
But she left her medication,
So she stumbled out the door
Into the snow.'

Don't you love this song? Makes no sense, but it's such fun. Does anyone still drink eggnog in these more health-conscious times? I used to enjoy eggnog (without the alcohol) when I was a child. No way would I touch the artery-clogging stuff now. But that's just me. If you enjoy it, especially with a little Irish whiskey, go for it.


In the words of Tiny Tim, "God bless us, everyone."

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I raise a goblet of wassail and a cup of eggnog to one and all.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Guest Blog: Marika Weber: One Reviewer's Take

I want to thank Romance Books R Us for having me on the blog today. It’s really an honor. Most people don’t want a reviewer on their blog much less having them talk about reviews.

Okay, right to it…a little background on myself. I live in East Texas, raised in Dallas, married with one son in 1st grade and work an EDJ. I used review for Night Owl Reviews and The Romance Studio. I still review for CBLS and The Forbidden Bookshelf. I also have a review blog that I update regularly. Why the information about me? To let you know, that I’m a real person, with a real life and real everyday issues. I’m not a god, a fairy, or an ogre. I bleed just like you do. Why the dramatics about me? I have some things that I want to talk to you about reviewing and what goes through my mind when I’m reading a book for review.

1. I get to pick the books that I review. Well, I do and I choose books/authors/publishers that I normally don’t read or know much about. I pick books that are way out of my comfort zone. When I decided to review, I decided that I wouldn’t read books or authors that I was comfortable with. In the year that I began reviewing, I have found authors, genres and publishers that I seek out on a regular basis. I have been given books to review from authors for my blog and again, I follow the same guidelines if I was reviewing it for one of the sites that I review for.

2. When I review a book, I look for the following: plot (does it hold my interest), characters (do I even like them), flow (am I having to start and stop all the time) and lastly, did the characters connect emotionally and was it believable?

3. When writing a review, I don’t give out spoilers, the ending, the conflict, nor do I give out plot points. I will however, talk about what I did like about the book and what I didn’t. I hate when book review blogs from individuals give you a dissertation on the book. I mean, why buy the book in the first place? The blog already told you everything that you needed to now and more. This is becoming more and more commonplace with so many people reviewing books on their blogs and it really pisses me off. I have books on my Nook that I bought that sadly, I’ll probably never read because of it. Grrr…

4. Also, if you get a bad review, just remember, its only ONE reviewer’s opinion. Some people are going to love your stuff and some won’t love it. Reviewing is subjective and therefore, should be taken with a grain of salt. That said if the review is snarky and/or down right rude and mean, please, please let the review coordinator/owner know. That should not be tolerated at all. That does happen and it puts all reviewers in a bad light.

5. Lastly, why do I review? I review because I love to read. Period. Some reviewers crave the power they have over an author but for me that’s the wrong reason to review. I review for the simple pleasure of reading and then telling people why I liked it.

If you’re an author, tell me some of your experiences good or bad with reviewers. No names, please. If you’re a reader, what do you look for in a review? I’ve listed below links to where I review to check me out. I look forward to hearing from you.

http://harliebooks.blogspot.com
http://www.theforbiddenbookshelf.com


Photo: Flickr: mamjodh's photostream


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Here's your Christmas present from me.

Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for a copy of Stark Naked.


What could be better than a naked man.


Reenie Davenport learned the hard way that men are cheating, promotion-thieving poison. A month after making a fresh start in Texas, she looks forward to taking a breather at her old college friend Amy’s family ranch. Instead, she’s left breathless when Amy’s very drunk, very sexy, very naked brother lands at her feet. Even as she hardens her heart, a small part of her wishes that quickly tossed towel would shift…just a little.
When Matt Stark shows up at Reenie’s door to apologize, he can barely squeeze a word past her emotional barriers. Suddenly nothing else matters except convincing her not all men are clones of her ex. Sweet-talking her into lunch is only the beginning.

Excerpt:
Reenie stared at the man standing on her doorstep, remembering the few times he’d driven Amy back to college and then spent a few minutes flirting with her. He’d certainly grown up. A lot. Last night she’d been so rattled by the whole situation she’d avoided looking at him as much as possible. But today? Oh, today was a whole different story. He looked fluffed and buffed to within an inch of his life and whatever aftershave he was wearing should be a banned substance. As it drifted past her nose that traitorous pulse in her cunt set up its drumbeat again. Feelings for him that she was sure she’d long forgotten came roaring back in an unwelcome rush. What was it with this guy that all these years later he still made her want to break every self-imposed rule? And what was he doing here anyway?
Self-consciously, she brushed a few strands of stray hair back from her forehead.
“Yes?” Very polished, Davenport.
“Um, hi.”
“Hi.” She stared at him, wishing he’d take off the sunglasses so she could see those come-fuck-me eyes again.
“So, remember me?”
Reenie felt a smile trying to break out and did her best to squelch it. She let her eyes travel down the length of his body and back up again.
“I don’t know. Take off your clothes and I’ll let you know.”
It was the first time she’d ever seen a man blush. Even his ears turned red. His mouth opened but nothing came out. She was about to lose the battle with the smile.
He cleared his throat. “Okay. I deserve that. And more.”
He swallowed and her eyes were glued to the flex of the muscles in his throat. Even that movement was sexy. The man was damn near lethal, and a definite danger to her in her present no-men state. She could have eased up on him but she was fascinated to see what he’d say or do next, so she just stood in the door and watched him.
He tilted his head slightly. “I admit that wasn’t my finest moment, but I’m trying to make up for it here. Should I get down on my knees? Grovel?” His grin was wicked. “Lick your feet? Or any other part of your body?”
Reenie couldn’t help herself. She burst out laughing. Matt Stark was incorrigible. She wondered if he ever thought about anything besides sex and cattle.
He took off his sunglasses and despite being bloodshot his eyes had that same hot look. “Listen. I really did come to make a sincere apology, Reenie. My behavior last night was, well, reprehensible.”
“Ooh. Reprehensible.” She fanned herself with the dust cloth. “Big words too.” She tilted her head, studying him, wondering why she hadn’t just slammed the door in his face. “I was thinking more like disgusting. Although I do have to say Texas hospitality is very unusual. I don’t think I’ve ever been greeted by a naked drunk.”
“And I don’t usually greet guests at Stark Ranch that way.” He rubbed his jaw. “My only excuse is the deal I closed yesterday was enormous financially. The beef market’s been a little unstable and I have a very large operation to support.” He lifted his hands. “So, big celebration. Too much booze, too little common sense.”
“Uh huh.”
“That’s not my style. Really. I respect women and certainly try never to do anything to embarrass my sister and her friends. Come on, Reenie.” His mouth curved in a boyish little grin. “I’m still the same guy you met when you and Amy were roommates.”
“Not hardly.”
He held up a hand. “I swear to you. So how about a second chance here?”
I should just accept his damn apology, slam the door and go about my business. What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I?
“Okay. Apology accepted. Scram.”

One touch, and boom! Much to Reenie’s dismay, lunch ends in a hot, flaming dessert—in her bed. Shutting Matt out isn’t as easy as simply blowing out a match. Especially since this cowboy is equally determined to unlock her heart.  
Get it at Samhain Publishing, Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Must-Read, Brand New Excerpt - Just For You!

The Emerald Isle Trilogy is now complete with the release of the third book, THE FALL OF RAIN. And today, I'm featuring an excerpt from the book that has never been posted anywhere but here at Romance Books R Us. I hope you enjoy the scene and may each one of you have a very Merry Christmas! 


Did I mention a completed trilogy makes a great Christmas present?



The Fall of Rain
By Renee Vincent

Buy Now At: Amazon | KindleNookARe | SmashwordsTurquoise Morning Press | Book Strand

Blurb:
Leif Dæganssen, an archeologist from Norway, is determined to trace back his Scandinavian roots as far as the Dark Ages and find proof of their existence on the Emerald Isle. After several years of living off the west coast of Ireland, he finally uncovers an ancient artifact—an intricately decorated chest with pagan carvings—buried beneath the very porch of his coastal cottage. Knowing it only confirms the presence of a glorified Norse-influenced settlement on Inis Mór, he’s determined to establish a link between himself and those who once inhabited the rugged isle.

For as long as she can remember, Lorraine O’Connor has had dreams of a Norse warrior kissing her. And even though she’s never fully understood the reason for her vivid subconscious imagination, she welcomes the meaningless and wanton pleasure of being in a Viking’s protective embrace—until the day she meets that brazen Northman on an impulsive vacation trip to Ireland.

Though blindsided by the relevance of her dreams and the strange familiarity of the man within them, Lorraine can’t help but feel a deep-seated intimacy toward Leif. And the more she gets to know him, the more she’s convinced they’ve shared a life together in a time long forgotten.

Are the clues to their ancestral past hidden within the contents of the chest or buried deep within their hearts?

Excerpt:

Taking a deep breath, she unlocked the door and opened it, ready to burst through and make her way out. A brick wall of solid male chest stopped her. She looked up, stunned.

He looked her up and down. “You didn’t change?”

“I know. I decided there was no sense in it. I’d only get your clothes wet when I leave—”

“Leave?” he interrupted. “You’re not going anywhere at this hour. And it’s pouring.”

“I realize it’s raining, but this is Ireland and I’ve come dressed for the occasion,” she said, tugging on the collar of her raincoat.

He crossed his arms and leaned against the frame of the door, blocking her in. “I don’t think so, love. If I let you leave, it would tarnish my honor.”

“Your…honor?”

“Indeed. To let a poor, lonely, injured beauty like yourself wander the craggy fields of the Erin in the middle of the night in the rain would not be very noble of me, now would it? Besides, I have enough fish searing in the kitchen for two. Hungry?”

Starving. But all she really heard was him calling her a beauty. Did he really think that or was he just being charming? She glanced over herself, nonchalantly. Don’t flatter yourself, Rain.

“I appreciate all that you’ve done for me, but I really must go.” She tried to sneak passed the wide berth of his body, but he didn’t budge. In fact, he stepped toward her, forcing her to take a few steps backward. His virile male scent surrounded her, just as his dominant presence did. She knew that scent, recognized it as if she’d drawn it in so many times before.

“Look,” he explained, his face taking on a softer façade despite the strict angles of his chiseled face. “I think you and I got off on the wrong foot. Somewhere between you falling on your face and you waking up in my home, a much needed pleasantry has been overlooked. How about we start over? Say with introductions?”

With a casual grace, he reached into the small closet door to the right, pulling out a fluffy white towel. Handing it forward, like a gift, he smiled and said, “My name is Leif. Leif Dæganssen. I’m an archeologist from—”

“Hladir?”

Both of their eyes lit up, but for different reasons. Lorraine had no idea where that came from, nor did she even know where Hladir was. For some reason, the name Dæganssen seemed terribly familiar to her and the word Hladir automatically fell from her lips.

Leif cocked his head. “Hladir hasn’t existed for close to eight hundred years, but its location is in the vicinity of Trondheim, which is where I’m originally from. How did you know that? Are you a historian or something?”
           
How did I know that? She stumbled again on her words, loathing the fact that every time she spoke to him, she sounded like a babbling idiot. “L-lucky guess?”

He didn’t buy it.

“Really, I have no idea where that came from.” She squeezed her eyes shut. “Right now, I have no idea where anything is coming from. I swear to you, I’m not crazy. I’m just a little ol’ Kentucky girl who feels about as lost as a needle in a hay stack.”

He held her by the arms now, his hands gripping gently above her elbows. “It’s all right. You don’t have to explain. I’ve seen my share of head injuries from collapsing castle ruins. It’s obvious you have a concussion and we’ll get you to a doctor in the morning. But for now, it’s best you stay put. I know you’re wary of spending the night in a stranger’s home, but there’s nothing the Man of Aran Cottage has to offer that I can’t. I have a spare room, complete with a working lock,” he added with wink. “I have a fireplace, hot running water, and a complimentary meal ready for the eating. I can’t promise the food is as good as Maura Wolfe’s, but it’s edible. So, what’s it to be?”

Did she actually have a choice? And how could she possibly turn him down? Everything sounded so inviting, especially the hot shower and food. Reluctantly, she accepted his offer, though she could practically hear Patrick’s rebuttal all the way from the States.

Leif flashed a smile, revealing a set of perfect, white teeth, parenthesized by deep, endearing laugh lines. “I’ll leave you to your shower then.” Bending slightly at the waist, as if in a noble bow, he backed out of the room.

“I’m Rain,” she spat hastily.

He froze at the door, his eyes piercing into her soul. “Excuse me?”

“My name is Lorraine O’Connor. But, my friends call me Rain.”

Another dazzling smile emerged across his alluring mouth. “Then Rain it is.”

He held her gaze for some time, as if he were turning her name over in his mind, testing the sound of it. If she had to come clean, she liked the sound of his name as well. It was distinctive, strong, and oh so Norse. It befit him well.

“Holler if you need anything else, Rain.”

As he closed the door, she stepped forward and placed a single hand upon it, feeling a sense of security behind the solid wood again. Though everything about him—his deep resonating voice, his husky scent, and his mesmerizing eyes—lingered in his absence, she heard the echo of Patrick’s voice, warning her. For no other reason than to satisfy Patrick, she reached down and turned the lock again.



About The Author:
I am an author with a passionate interest in Irish and Norse history. I live in the rolling hills of Kentucky with my husband and two children on a beautiful secluded farm of horses and hay fields.

When I am not writing, I love to spend my time on the back of a horse, whether with my family or with my friends. There is nothing like feeling the sunlight on your face, the wind in your hair, and the power of the animal beneath you as you enjoy the beautiful scenery. Seeing the world from a saddle is, by far, the best view and the best therapy for a heavy heart or a troubled mind. My therapist's name, or my horse's, rather, is "Statues Suddenly Lucky", a full-blooded Tennessee Walker, and of course, he goes by the name of Lucky for short.

I am a sucker for a good cup of coffee (lots of cream and sugar...and whipped cream if I can get my hands on it), great conversation, and a lilting Irish accent. I love to read and I can't resist watching great epic historical movies.

Links:
Website: http://www.reneevincent.com
Blog: http://www.pasttheprint.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/reneevincentauthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ReneeVincent
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3005290.Renee_Vincent

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