Tag Archives: marriage of convenience

#TeaserTuesday ONE SUMMER NIGHT & Chat Tonight

I am so excited to be chatting with you tonight! Thanks to Kimberly Rocha and the Book Obsessed Chicks for having me visit. You can join the chat on Facebook at 9 pm EST by clicking here or using this link: http://bit.ly/2y7zBJz.

And now for today’s teaser from ONE SUMMER NIGHT! This is the first scene in the book where Maggie and Owen are both attending a mutual friend’s wedding. All eyes are on the bride and groom, but Maggie and Owen are also thinking about the attraction that sizzles between the two of them!

Excerpt

As the DJ requested that other couples join the happy newlyweds, Maggie and her friends returned to the bridal party dais set out on the patio. Grabbing another glass of champagne, Maggie craned her neck around the gigantic centerpiece piled with an almost obscene mound of white roses, ice-blue hydrangea, lisianthus, sheer tulle, and twinkling fairy lights and examined the assorted guests mingling around the great lawn and down by the boardwalk leading to the beach.

She recognized Tracy’s family from their various meetings over the years, as well as some of Tracy’s sorority sisters, like Toni Van Houten, who in the six years since graduation had managed to pop out a trio of boys who now circled her like sharks around a swimmer.

Although the wedding invite had indicated No Children, Toni had done as she pleased. Since Tracy had not wanted a scene at her dream beachfront wedding, Emma, who was doing double duty as the wedding planner for the event, had scrambled to find space for the children at the dinner tables.

“Is that Toni ‘I’ll never ruin my body with babies’ Toni?” Connie asked, a perplexed look on her features. At Maggie’s nod, Connie’s eyes widened in surprise, and she said, “She looks…happy.”

A cynical laugh erupted from Emma. “She looks crazed.”

Maggie couldn’t argue with either of their assessments. But as put-upon as their old acquaintance seemed, the indulgent smile she gave her youngest child was positively radiant.

Maggie skipped her gaze across the gathering to take note of all the other married folk. It was easy enough to pick them out from her vantage point on the dais, where she and her friends sat on display like days’ old cakes in the bakery. They were the last three unmarried women in an extended circle of business and college acquaintances.

“How many times do you suppose we’ve been bridesmaids now?” Maggie wondered aloud. She finished off her glass and motioned for the waiter to bring another.

“Jointly or severally?” asked Connie, ever the lawyer. “Way too many,” replied Emma, who, for a wedding planner, was the most ardent disbeliever in the possibility of happily ever afters.

Maggie hadn’t given marriage a first thought, much less a second, in a very long time. She’d had too many things going on in her life.

Not that there hadn’t been a few memorable moments, most of which revolved around the absolutely worst man for her: Owen Pierce.
But for years now, she’d been dealing with her family’s business and its money problems, which had spilled over into her personal finances.

As she gazed at the beauty of the manicured grounds and then back toward her family’s summer home, it occurred to her that this might be the last time she hosted a celebration like this here. She had mortgaged the property that she had inherited to funnel money into the family’s struggling retail store division.

Unfortunately, thanks to her father’s stubborn refusal to make changes to help the business, she spent way too much time at work, which left little time for romance. Not to mention that none of her casual dates had piqued her interest in that direction. Looking down from her perch, however, and seeing the happiness on so many faces suddenly had her reconsidering the merits of married life.

“Always a bridesmaid and never a bride,” she muttered, surprising herself with the hint of wistfulness in her tone.

“That’s because the three of us are all too busy working to search for Prince Charming,” Connie said, her defense as swift and impassioned as if she were arguing a case in court.

“Who even believes in that fairy-tale crap?” Emma’s gaze grew distracted, and she rose from her chair. “Excuse me for a moment. Carlo needs to see me about something.”

Emma rushed off to the side of the dance floor, where her caterer extraordinaire, Carlo da Costa, raked a hand through his thick, brown hair in clear frustration. He wore a pristine white chef’s jacket and pants that enhanced his dark good looks.

Emma laid a hand on Carlo’s forearm and leaned close to speak to him, apparently trying to resolve a problem.

“She doesn’t believe in fairy tales, but her Prince Charming is standing right in front of her,” Connie said with a sad shake of her head.

Maggie took another sip of her champagne and viewed the interaction between Carlo and Emma. Definitely major sparkage going on, she thought.

“You’re totally right,” she said with an assertive nod. Connie smiled like the proverbial cat, her exotic green-gold eyes gleaming with mischief. “That’s why you hired me to represent your company as soon as I finished law school. Nothing gets past me.”

“Really? So what else do you think you’ve seen tonight?”

Raising her glass, her friend gestured toward the right of the mansion’s great lawn, where some of the fraternity brothers from their alma mater had gathered. One of the men slowly turned to sneak a peek at them.

“Owen has been watching you all night long,” Connie said with a shrewd smile.

“Totally impossible, and you of all people should know it. Owen Pierce has absolutely no interest in me.” She set her glass on the table to hide the nervous tremble of her hand as her gaze connected with his for the briefest of moments. Even that fleeting link was enough to raise her core temperature a few degrees. But what woman wouldn’t respond like that?

In his designer tuxedo, Owen was the epitome of male perfection—raven-black hair, a sexy gleam in his charcoal-gray eyes, broad shoulders, and not an ounce of fat on him, which made her recall seeing him in much, much less on a hot summer night on Sea Kiss Beach. She had been staying in the quaint seaside town on the Jersey Shore with her grandmother that summer, much as she had all her life. As they also had for so many years, the Pierce boys had been residing next door for the entire season.

The two beachfront mansions had been built side by side decades earlier, before the start of the Pierce and Sinclair rift. The cost of waterfront real estate had escalated so drastically since their construction that neither family was willing to sell their beloved home to put some distance between the warring clans.

Well, make that the warring fathers, because as far as Maggie was concerned, she had no beef with Owen.

Order One Summer Night

Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/2krMwfE
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/2kYLWZV
B&N: http://bit.ly/2kNuo0p
iBooks: http://apple.co/2qsqdwx
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2fuEphL

#WriteWed Inspiration for ONE SUMMER NIGHT and the At the Shore Contemporary Romance Series

My idea for ONE SUMMER NIGHT got started when the heroine, Maggie Sinclair, just didn’t want to leave me alone. She kept on bugging me to write her story, an enemies to lovers with a marriage twist, and then brought along her best friends, Connie and Emma, to have them nudge me as well!

Maggie is spunky and determined to save her family’s Fifth Avenue department store for a number of reasons. She wants to protect the many loyal employees who had worked there for so long. She wants to salvage the legacy of a mother who died too young. Last, but not least, she wants to put her own stamp on the store where she had literally grown up.

Maggie has to raise a lot of cash to implement needed changes in the store, but to do that she has to reach out to the one person who is going to make her life difficult: Sexy Owen Pierce. Maggie has had the hots for Owen since they were teens, but there’s one big problem: Their families have been feuding for the last twenty-some years.

As for Owen, he’s just as interested in exploring his attraction to Maggie. He thinks she’s smart, beautiful, independent, and stubborn, but wants to explore the sizzle he feels whenever she is near.

Owen and Maggie decide to toss aside their normally responsible selves and find a way to end the rift between their families. What follows is a story that has humor, heat, and heartbreak, but also the happily ever after you want, just in an unexpected way.

I hope you’ll take the time to check out ONE SUMMER NIGHT at these retailers:

Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/2krMwfE
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/2kYLWZV
B&N: http://bit.ly/2kNuo0p
iBooks: http://apple.co/2qsqdwx
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2fuEphL

#TeaserTuesday & A Pre-Order Blitz #Giveaway

OMG, it’s only a month away from the release of ONE SUMMER NIGHT and I’ve got so much going on!

For starters, check out these blogs that have been kind enough to share teasers and more about the book and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Gift Card!

Visit my Facebook Fan Page for a chance to win this awesome collection of swag! Also, if you pre-order ONE SUMMER NIGHT and send a Proof of Purchase to contest at caridad dot com, I will send you a link for a free e-book! For those of you not on Facebook, just leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win!

What are your favorite romance hooks?

There are some tried and true romance hooks from which we can create fun stories. Today I’m sharing some of my favorites (and not so favorites) and I hope you’ll chime in and offer your two cents.

As you may guess from my books, Opposites Attract kind of thing, or in my case, the kick-ass heroine out to tame the alpha hero, is one of my all-time favorites.

    Marriage of convenience
    A slight twist on a classic – the geeky guy blossoms into the hottie everyone wants
    The arranged marriage (look for that in the follow-up book to THE PRINCE’S GAMBLE – July 2012)
    Millionaire playboy (and toss in some royalty to that in THE PRINCE’S GAMBLE)
    The love triangle (got a bit of this going on with a little menage in THE VAMPIRE’S CONSORT)
    Reunited lovers
    Military themes

One of the ones I find hardest to like is the secret baby story. Yes, yes, I did write one of those (SOLDIER’S SECRET CHILD) and I have to confess that it took me nearly a month just to figure out how to justify not telling someone about the baby and how to craft a believable and yet emotional response from the hero to the revelation that he had a teenage son!

SOLDIER'S SECRET CHILD Romantic Suspense

So what are your favorite and not so favorite romance hooks?

Wife by Wednesday Free Read & #giveaway

Please welcome today my friend and fellow author, Catherine Bybee! I am so excited to have her here today to chat about her latest release. If you’re like me and your guilty pleasure is plunking down with a stack of Silhouette Desire novels, then Catherine’s book is one you are sure to love and since it’s an Amazon bestseller, I think others also agree.

Without further ado, here’s Catherine!

jersey shore shell

Thanks so much Caridad for having me here today.
It’s stupid, crazy time of year… the holidays are here. It’s time to start baking, cooking turkeys and drinking wine. Not necessarily in that order. LOL

In the giving spirit, I’m going to offer a copy of Wife by Wednesday to a random person who leaves a comment on your blog today. All they half to do is answer one question. What do you think about authors self publishing their work?

My very first Indie published book, Wife by Wednesday has been out less than two months and already I’ve reached so many new readers. I think people need a light contemporary read this time of year. Something to help them escape for a few hours. Wife is #2 in Contemporary Romance one Amazon Kindle this week. I couldn’t be happier with my reviews.

Here is an exclusive excerpt of Wife by Wednesday:

Blurb:

A Contemporary Romance with a dash of humor and a whole lotta sexy…

Blake Harrison:

Rich, titled, and charming… And in need of a wife by Wednesday so he turns to Sam Elliot who isn’t the business man he expected. Instead, Blake is faced with Samantha Elliot, engaging and spunky with a voice men call 900 numbers to hear.

Samantha Elliot:

Owner of Alliance, her matchmaking firm, and not on the marital menu… That is until Blake offers her ten million dollars for a one-year contract. All she needs to do is keep her attraction to her husband to herself and avoid his bed. But Blake’s toe-curling kisses and charm prove too difficult to combat. Now she needs to protect her heart so she can walk away when their mercenary life together is over.

Excerpt:

Contemporary RomanceAfter several minutes of packing, Samantha forgot all about the cameras and found her head deep inside her dresser. She grabbed a simple band and tied her hair back out of the way.

“Should I be worried about all these shoes in here?” Blake asked from her closet.

She laughed. “You’re the one who told me to go shopping,” she teased.
“Looks like I’ll be hiring a handyman to build another walk-in just for you.” There was laughter in his voice.

“Women love clothes.”

“And shoes, apparently. God, I didn’t think anyone needed this many.”

Samantha tucked her panties into a box and reached for more. “I’m short, in case you haven’t noticed. I need heels to see how the rest of you live.”

Blake’s voice moved closer. “You’re not short,” he said.

She turned to see him holding a pair of four-inch pumps.

“Vertically challenged, then.” She stood to prove her point. “See?” Beside him, the top of her head met his chin. “Short!”

His eyes seemed to drag her into his frame. “I wouldn’t change anything about you,” he told her. Blake reached out and tugged the band from her hair. His fingers brushed over the ends and Samantha forgot to breathe. The closer he moved into her personal space, the less air was available for her lungs. She tilted her head as he moved in and allowed his mouth to move over hers.

jersey shore shell

To order WIFE BY WEDNESDAY, just follow any of these links:

Amazon Download:
http://amzn.to/pus1jM

Smashwords:
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/94015

Barnes & Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wife-by-wednesday-catherine-bybee/1106329395?ean=2940013652019&itm=6&usri=catherine%2bbybee

For more information on Catherine and her novels (did I mention she also does time travel stories?), check out Catherine at www.catherinebybee.com.