I’ve had a spectacular week this week and much to be thankful about. I started the week on Monday with my monthly trip to Tallahassee where I conduct hearings as part of my day job. While I was between cases, I checked my email. I received an offer to publish my most recently completed novel, Surfer Bride. This offer was for an ebook release date in April, 2011 and a print book in September, 2011. It’s a romantic suspense.
On Tuesday, my book, Solo Honeymoon, was released and climbed very quickly up the mainstream best seller list on my publisher’s website. I’m very excited about that.
Then we had the holiday weekend and I finished the 50,000 word NaNoWriMo challenge. Now, the manuscript itself is not done, but I have a grand start on it. The working title is Obsession.
Of course, I’m also thankful for family, friends, health, etc- all the standard stuff, but this has really been a wickedly brilliant holiday week.
Here’s how to order Solo Honeymoon and an excerpt. Enjoy the Pilgrim and Indian photos: http://www.bookstrand.com/solo-honeymoon
Dario came around to the side of the table where she stood. “I’ve taken the liberty of having dinner served to us here in the conservatory. Please be seated, and the chicken sorrentino will be served.” He pulled out her chair, and she sat.
“What’s in chicken sorrentino? I’ve never had it.”
“Its chicken, eggplant, two kinds of wine, and mushrooms.”
“It sounds divine,” she said. “Why the limes?”
“I had the chef pour some marsala in a pitcher, and I like to add lime juice to it as a aperitivo. Would you like to try it?”
He took a knife from the table and cut the limes open. As he squeezed the limes and smiled at her, she felt her insides melt at the intensity of his stare. His dark brown eyes were bottomless, and she knew she could lose herself in them and never want to come up for air. His hands were strong and capable as they pulverized the limes, and she blushed to think what those hands could do to her body.
“How do you say it…‘a penny for your thoughts,’ Emma?” he asked.
“I have no thoughts.”
He laughed. “So, you’re just sitting there watching me and your mind is blank?”
“Of course not. It’s just that I’m really just relaxing and have no specific thoughts.”
“Sure, cara, sure.” He smiled again at her.
Thankfully, the young man that had brought Emma the note earlier brought in the plates of food at that very moment, and she was spared having to come up with a plausible story of what she had been thinking.
Wonder what he would say if I told him I was thinking of those big strong hands squeezing my…
“Emma, are you all right?” Dario asked, interrupting her thoughts.
“Fine. Fine,” she replied as she picked up her fork and took a bite of the chicken.
The food was delicious, and Dario seemed to be on a charm offensive with her as he told her stories of his childhood days with Vincente and their adventures at the estate when they were on holiday from school.
Once the plates had been cleared, Dario stood. “I’ve brought in an old Victrola and would love for you to dance with me. We didn’t get a chance at the town party, and as dancing is my passion, I’d like to share it with you. Will you?” He stood and took off his dinner jacket. The white dress shirt he had on clung to his body. He held his hand out to her, and she rose from her chair and took his hand in her own.
They walked over to the Victrola, and Dario picked out a Viennese waltz by Strauss and put it on the turntable to play. As the scratchy sounds came from the machine, he held out his arms to Emma, and she moved into his dance space, and they began the first steps of the waltz. As soon as Dario touched her back, he stopped short. He spun her around to face away from him.
“Nice dress, Emma. I’m glad your seamstress ran out of fabric and couldn’t finish the back.”
“Very funny, Signore Conti.” She shuddered at his touch.
“Come here, woman,” he said in a low voice as he pulled her to him again.
They danced until the song ended. After the song ended, they stared into each others eyes and kept dancing as Dario hummed until the candles sputtered and went out. At some point, Dario’s hand on her back changed from the waltz position to a caress. She pulled herself closer to him as his hand ran up and down her back and eventually inside the fabric of the dress around to the side of her breast. As soon as his fingers touched her breast, she stopped moving. He stopped as well and, as his thumb inside her dress thrummed her nipple, he bent and kissed her. She groaned, and he said, “Will you go alone again to your bed tonight, bella mia?”
“No. I don’t think so, but I don’t think I can move right now to go anywhere.”
“No matter, bella, I’m not sure I can either. My passione is inflamed for you.”
He smiled. “You noticed?”