Mary Campisi…again!

I have to admit, I so loved having Mary Campisi as my guest yesterday that I invited her back again today. (Okay, the true confession is…I loved reading her excerpt, and I wanted to see something else by her.) And that cover! Don’t forget that awesome cover. Well, she told me her other novel, Innocent Betrayal, had a cover just as beautiful. So I made her send it. And you know what…she was right!! So here it is–blurb, excerpt and cover for Innocent Betrayal. And while I’m at it, I’d like to give a shout out to the cover artist for both. Let’s hear it for Rae Monet. They say you can’t just a book by its cover, but it never hurts to have a fabulous one…just in case!

INNOCENT BETRAYAL by Mary Campisi

English noblewoman, Emily St. Simon wants nothing more than to escape the constraints of a society that demands she turn in her breeches and secure a husband. She cares nothing about men or love until she encounters daring sea captain, Noah Sandleton, a man who steals her heart and her innocence with searing kisses and bold touches.

Noah Sandleton sails the sea avoiding anything that resembles commitment – until he meets the golden-haired temptress with a will to match his own. One night of passion binds them together but a debt of honor forces Noah to abandon his bride. When he discovers Emily is caught in a dangerous game of intrigue, Noah devises a secret plan to return to her side where he will risk his life to protect her and earn the chance to rekindle the greatest love either has ever known.

Excerpt from INNOCENT BETRAYAL by Mary Campisi

“I was thinking of a bath myself,” Noah said, turning toward her, his expression unreadable. “Would you mind?”

The thought of him naked made her hot and cold all at once. When she could find her voice, she stammered, “Why no,” with as much matter-of-factness as she could muster. If he could appear so nonchalant about his nakedness, then why couldn’t she? The truth smacked against her bravado; she’d never, in her entire life, seen a man naked. The very idea was petrifying – and intriguing. “I wish I’d known,” she mumbled, grabbing for something to say, “I wouldn’t have put the lilac water in the tub.”

He smiled tightly. “Consider it just one more step in our ruse.”

She looked at him blankly. “I don’t understand.”

“Don’t you? When my men smell your scent on me they’ll have no doubt that we’re lovers. That’s our plan, isn’t it?” he asked, his voice soft as silk. “Pretend to be lovers?” Without waiting for her response, he turned and began unbuttoning his shirt.

Emily hesitated a moment, unable to look away as he pulled off his shirt to reveal a darkly tanned, well muscled back. When he bent to remove his boots, his tightly clad breeches stretched to expose the finely carved muscles of his thighs and buttocks, leaving Emily a vision of what his unclothed body would look like.

She swallowed. He bent his head as he worked the buttons on his breeches. The breath stuck in her lungs as his strong hands worked the fabric over his slim hips. He stopped and jerked his head around, his dark eyes boring into her.

“Unless you’d like to help, you’d better turn around now,” he said gruffly.

Emily gasped and buried her head in the pillow, but no matter how deep she burrowed, she couldn’t block out the rich sound of Noah’s laughter or the sight of his perfect body.

Now where was that Buy button again? Oh yeah…

www.thewildrosepress.com

Thanks coming by again today, Mary. I can’t wait to read the rest of A Taste of Seduction and Innocent Betrayal! They are both amazing!

My guest today…Mary Campisi

I have to admit that being a part of the Valentine’s Day Blog Tour was more fun than I could have imagined. So… when my fellow romance author Mary Campisi asked to come onto my blog today, I jumped at the chance. And when I saw the title of her blog, I was so glad I did.

So here she is…Mary Campisi who writes about love, hope, and second chances.

First Drafts and Fish Tacos

Over the next several weeks, I’m doing quite a few guest blogs where I’ll talk about my new release, A TASTE OF SEDUCTION, tell you how I came up with the idea, (on a hospital bed), and fell in love with my hero, (Oh, Anthony!) So, I decided this blog will be about something quite different, something kind of laid back and fun. I came up with the “First Drafts and Fish Tacos” title the other day and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that first drafts are a lot like an untried recipe…which for me was fish tacos. I’d never made them before but when I received an online recipe from my local grocery store, I decided to give them a try. I printed the recipe and planned to make them Monday but an urgent dry eye issue sent me to the ophthalmologist and two hours of waiting. No fish tacos that night. I proceeded to plan B; tacos for Tuesday. Catchy little ring, isn’t it? Not intended, I assure you.

I must confess, I have a very bad habit of not measuring exactly, substituting at will and maybe a tad bit too liberally. Oh, and not reading the recipe in its entirety before I dive into it. In writing terms, that might be called panstering because I’m making it up as I go along instead of following a well laid plan, step by step. Case in point; the recipe called for mahi-mahi, swordfish or cod. I had none but I figured the white fish in the freezer that started with a B and reminded me of the word ‘baracuda’ would be fine. I did have the plotting foresight to remove it from the freezer in plenty of time to defrost. I spent the rest of the day at my computer, writing away in utter oblivion. At 4:30, I realized I better get moving because I still had to shower and get those fish tacos going before my husband got home. I’ll share a secret – if I’m showered and dinner is at least started, he has no idea I’ve once again been sucked into my writing world and lost track of time. Therefore, the shower wasn’t optional. I scanned the recipe and darn if I wasn’t supposed to chill the fish in a lime juice concoction for 30 minutes. Panster time again; olive oil for vegetable oil, chili powder for ancho chili powder. What the heck is ancho chili powder anyway? I did have a lime or I would’ve substituted a lemonJ I mixed up the ingredients, plunked the fish in it and stuck it in the fridge.

Next came the quick shower and minimal makeup – I mean, I can’t wear my contacts anyway and between the steroid drops and the ointment what’s the use? Besides, I was really running late now. I finished up, complete with my 5 minutes hair styling and 30 minutes later, I’m dicing onion, tomatoes, and red cabbage for toppings. I also decided we needed black beans and rice- to round out the meal- and a few shrimp thrown into the mix might be good too. I had it all underway and was feeling pretty good about it, when my husband got home. I didn’t admit that I’d just winged most of the meal because then his very logical brain would say maybe I should have followed the recipe….I loaded his taco, the hard shell kind, and waited for his response. He called it good – pause- but bland. Dang! I pulled out Frank’s Hot Sauce. Better. I tried mine- darn but the man was right! I confessed to my panstering the recipe. Honestly, most of the time I can get away with it but not this time. My very honest husband said maybe next time we should try it with chicken and hot sauceJ Okay, that would not be fish tacos.

The point of this convoluted story is that first drafts are like that – messy, inconclusive, bland, and unfocused. But you would never know that if you didn’t try them just like I now know I will not use this recipe again until I discover what ancho chili powder really means. First drafts are just that, and even with all the proper ingredients, like total plotting and writing know-how, and great characters, you might still get a bland result which will then require a bit of Frank’s Hot Sauce, or in simple terms, spice and rewrites . . .aka a chicken taco.

A TASTE OF SEDUCTION, my Regency historical romance with The Wild Rose Press has lots of spice, rewrites, and characters that stayed with me on surgery day, right until the anesthesia kicked in . . .

www.marycampisi.com or contact me at mary@marycampisi.com

blurb for A TASTE OF SEDUCTION:

A young woman of noble blood, raised as a peasant girl

An orphaned stable boy, now grown and the surrogate son of a powerful earl – the same earl who just so happens to be the young woman’s father . . .

Meriel and Anthony have nothing in common – she runs barefoot and talks to animals, he won’t loosen his cravat unless the bedroom door is firmly closed. Meriel believes in love, hope, and happily ever after. Anthony believes in keeping a safe distance from anything resembling an emotion. They have nothing in common but an undeniable, burning desire for one another they can’t ignore or understand, and an ailing ‘father’ who will do anything to see them together. Unfortunately, there are others, who will stop at nothing, willing even to kill, to keep them apart.

Buy Now

A Taste of Seduction…

“Thank you, Anthony,” she said, a small smile lighting her face. “You’re very kind.” She leaned over and planted a chaste kiss on his cheek.

Kind? He wondered if she would still think him kind if he told her that right now all he could think about was tasting her lips, touching her breasts, feeling her bare skin. Kind? Hardly.

He cleared his throat and met her gaze. He had to set her straight before she started imagining all sorts of other crazy things about him. “Kind? That’s not a term that’s usually associated with me.”

She laughed, a tinkling sound that ran through his body like fire. “That’s because you want everyone to think you are some sort of cruel beast. You even had me fooled for a while.” Her voice dipped to a low purr. “But you aren’t a beast, Anthony, not at all. No beast would eat my bread just so he wouldn’t hurt my feelings.”

He frowned, hoping his scar stuck out white and ugly. “You should be afraid of me.” Men twice her size couldn’t look him in the eye.

“How can I be afraid of you when you’ve got butter on the side of your mouth?” She reached out to brush it away with her forefinger. “And all over your lips,” she murmured, tracing her finger over first his upper and then his lower lip.

Anthony caught her hand. She was playing a dangerous game and she didn’t even know it. He opened his mouth and flicked his tongue along the tip of her finger. He heard the small catch in her throat. His tongue traced another finger, and then another. Sweet Jesus, but he wanted her.

“Come to me, Meriel,” he whispered, planting a kiss on the inside of her palm. “Let me taste you.”

What a great story…what a beautiful excerpt. I love your cover and wish you tons of success with your release.

Thanks again for sharing your post with us today. Come back anytime!

AMY CORWIN on Meeting Her Significant Other…

Yay! Third week in the blog tour, and I’m happy to welcome Amy Crowin to the blog today. Amy’s going to  tell us about meeting her one true love! Take it away, Amy!

Finding the Love of Your Life 

If you want to find the love of your life, give up now. Stop looking. You’ll find love when you’re not searching for it and least expect it.

It sounds weird, but it’s true in life and fiction. Pick up a romance and you’ll generally fine a heroine who considers herself out of the dating game for myriad reasons. Take my Regency romantic mystery, The Bricklayer’s Helper. Sam, aka Sarah, is masquerading as a young man. She has no expectations of finding the love of her life and when she meets William, she’s only hoping he’ll help her stay alive after witnessing a ruthless murder.

Charlotte in I Bid One American not only doesn’t want to marry, but views the entire idea as ludicrous. And yet, once she meets Nathaniel, he’s as hard to resist as fate.

Even in my “real life” it took my decision to just give up and move on with my life as a single woman to throw me into the path of my husband. Or maybe it was the decision to follow my passion, bird watching, that did it. But one thing is true, meeting him was as unexpected as any confluence of events in any of my romance novels. I was living my own life and trying to spot a few more birds for my life list when I meet a man doing exactly the same thing. Oddly, he’d pretty much given up the idea of getting married, too, and was pursuing his passion of…bird watching.

Weird.

So the next time you’re complaining that all the dateable men are married and there’s no hope for you, just give up. And follow your mother’s or friend’s advice to pursue your own interests. You never know where they may lead you.

I guess it’s true (and just like my granny always said), we don’t find love…love finds us!

And here’s a little more about Amy’s books…


What would you do if you were a young girl, orphaned during the early years of the 19th century?
Without a family and references, you’d find pitifully few jobs for women, leaving you to face a desperate life of thievery or  prostitution.

Sarah faces this terrible situation in The Bricklayer’s Helper.

When work takes her to London, a man from her past recognizes her and arranges a meeting, only to be murdered before they can speak. Desperate that she may be vulnerable, Sarah hires an inquiry agent from the Second Sons Inquiry Agency.

Unfortunately, her decision may prove dangerous to their heart…if not downright fatal.

* * *

In this scene, Sarah—disguised as Sam Sanderson—meets inquiry agent, William Trenchard, for the first time.

Excerpt from The Bricklayer’s Helper

“Sir,” Sotheby asked from the doorway. “There is a person here.”

William turned his head but didn’t bother uncrossing his ankles. There was a tone in Sotheby’s voice that made William’s chest spasm with a suppressed laugh. “What sort of person?”

“A—a common laborer, sir.”

“Really?” William sat up, removing his feet from the desk. “Well, show him in.”

A laborer? What on earth would a common laborer want with an inquiry agent? He stared at the door which Sotheby held open. The butler’s nostrils pinched as if he smelled a disagreeable odor.

To William’s surprise, a slender man walked in. Small puffs of reddish dust delicately swirled in his wake. The young man examined him while William half-stood, leaning over his desk with a hand outstretched. Finally, the lad clasped him with a firm handshake, his fingers hard with calluses.

“I’m Mr. Trenchard. And you are?” William asked.

“Samuel Sanderson, sir.”

A pair of clear grey eyes met his. Steady, honest eyes fringed with ridiculously long lashes that gave him a faintly feminine look. William sat back in his chair and motioned to his visitor to take the seat opposite the desk.

The man was indeed a laborer. His smudged and torn linen smock had large red patches of brick dust. Grit obscured his face and hands. His short, brown hair had long streaks of blond, bleached from constant exposure to the sun, no doubt. Large, intelligent eyes dominated his face.  He stared at William directly, measuring him even as he weighed his odd client.

Firm mouth, square chin, and a short, straight nose. William instinctively warmed to the lad, feeling a sudden and surprising rush of warmth. He looked like someone’s younger brother, in trouble and manfully resolved to admit it. Although his clean features appeared very young, no more than eighteen, there was something in his gaze that made William think his client was older. Still, Sanderson’s narrow shoulders and slight build spoke of hardship and near starvation, as did the hollows under his stark cheekbones.

Something caught suddenly in William’s chest in a ripping pang of sympathy.

“So, Mr. Sanderson, what can I do for you?”

Sanderson nodded sharply and fumbled under his smock for a moment before pulling out a worn leather purse. “Money’s always first. There is nearly a guinea here. I don’t carry more, but I can pay you an additional sum when the work is completed. Within reason.”

William stared at him, trying not to appear surprised. A guinea? Mr. Sanderson obviously had no idea how much Second Sons normally charged their illustrious—and generally noble—clients. Still, business had been slow. And he had a desire to prove to Mr. Gaunt that he wasn’t just another bored boudoir bantam who thought working as an inquiry agent might be amusing.

And William was curious.

“And what would be reasonable?” William asked.

“Five pounds. No more. That ought to be enough,” Mr. Sanderson said, his chin rising slightly.

“Enough for what?”

“There was a man murdered this morning.” Mr. Sanderson scrabbled about his person again before he pulled out a scrap of paper. He threw it into the middle of the desk.

William picked up the note and read it over twice before raising his brows. “Did you kill him?”

“Certainly not. I was to meet him this morning. He was murdered before I could.”

“Then why come to me?”

Mr. Sanderson’s remarkable eyes stared back. William thought he saw a flicker of disappointment and then fear, quickly submerged into their clear depths. “I want to know what he knew.”

Very intriguing!

Check out The Bricklayer’s Daughter and even more of Amy Corwin’s releases at thewildrosepress.com

Here’s how to find Amy when she’s not hanging out with me–

http://www.amycorwin.com
http://amycorwin.blogspot.com
http://twitter.com/amycorwin
http://www.facebook.com/AmyCorwinAuthor

And don’t forget to leave us a comment! There are still many great prizes up for grabs! AL