Welcome to our 4th Annual Romance Week!
Once again Chrystal from Snowdrop Dreams of Books and I are putting on our fabulous week long event filled with all sorts of wonderful romance, great authors and giveaways galore!
To kick things off this week I have the lovely Kieran Kramer and over visiting Chrystal is Shannon Richard!
Fueled by naïveté and brash optimism, Kieran went remarkably far at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in her two years there as an analyst, editor, and member of the fast-track management Career Trainee class of 1986, with whom she underwent paramilitary operations training at the legendary Farm. Among her classmates was Valerie Plame of Plamegate fame.
She’s a $34,000 winner on The Wheel of Fortune. A decade before that, she won on Family Feud. Yes, she kissed Richard Dawson. He was a nice man, and he was on Hogan’s Heroes, so she doesn’t regret it.
Kieran scooped The New York Times from her computer at home as a freelance journalist for The Charlotte Observer by accidentally inciting a feud between John Rosemond, family psychologist and parenting expert, and the renowned pediatrician Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, over the topic of potty training; the story was picked up by The New York Times and Dr. Dean Edell of talk radio fame.
She spent her entire junior year in college at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, where she dated a man in a kilt, pulled pints of ale as barmaid at the university pub, and listened to bagpipes a LOT from her dorm window.
Kieran grew up one of seven kids on Johns Island, a rural sea island near Charleston, SC, and helped build her family’s log home. She also played in the pluff mud, sat on docks daydreaming, rode below the bowsprit on her dad’s sailboat and watched dolphins swim mere feet away, and in general, lived an idyllic Lowcountry life.
A certified English teacher, she subbed regularly at the local high school while writing her books, which kept her in touch with teenagers, whom she adores because they’re so misunderstood.
She’s been married for twenty-one years to a great guy named Chuck, a Commander in the US Navy Reserves, and they have three kind, musically-inclined kids, all of whom have been brought up on the Beatles as the family’s go-to band.
After Happily Ever After
In my upcoming contemporary romance, SWEET TALK ME, True Maybank, a Southern belle, marries Harrison Gamble, a famous country singer. These two have known each other since they were kids in Biscuit Creek, SC, and it was a long road toward a Happily Ever After. But they finally made it! Today I’m going to share with you something that happened to them five years later.
Long before he and True got together, Harrison was writing a lot of songs that topped the country music charts. After they got married, things were no different. His professional success grew even more; in fact, in Nashville, he was considered in the same league as Tim McGraw.
On their fifth anniversary, which they celebrated at home because True had just had their second child, Harrison, Junior, not two weeks before, True and Harrison sat on the front porch swing of Maybank Hall and looked out over Biscuit Creek. She held baby Harry in a bundle in her arms, and Harrison held little Julia, who was now almost three years old. She was playing with a doll, buttoning and unbuttoning its dress.
“Five years,” Harrison said to True. “I feel like a rich man with you three. You’re all I need.”
After the children were put to bed, a caterer he’d hired from a fabulous restaurant in Charleston was coming over to prepare a special seafood dinner, which they’d eat on the Maybank bone china. It had been used since the Revolutionary War and was so fragile nowadays, they saved it only for special occasions.
True looked over at him and smiled. She was tired—Harry was always hungry—but she felt such contentment, too. “Life is good,” she said. “It’s never been better. And I love my bracelet. Thanks, darling.”
“Oh, that ain’t nothin’,” Harrison said, secretly pleased that she loved the simple sapphire gold link chain he’d chosen for her. She had a September birthday, and sapphires went so well with her eyes. “Look at the gifts you’ve given me—these two little wackadoodles.” He hugged Julia close and peered over her little shoulder at Harry’s sleeping face.
Julia hopped down from Harrison’s lap and sat on the front steps. And then she began talking to her doll, Sugar Pie--total nonsense talk True and Harrison didn’t understand beyond cookie and drink your milk. But Julia was into it.
Harrison chuckled, pulled a little notebook out of his pocket, and wrote something. He was always writing lyrics or ideas for songs.
“What’s this one about?” True asked. “Julia?”
“They’re always about you,” he said.
She laughed. “It’s okay if you write one about the kids instead.”
“If I do, it’s because they’ll always remind me of you.”
His heated gaze sent goosebumps up her arms. She knew exactly what he was thinking, and it had to do with the big antique bed he’d bought for them while she was in the hospital with Harry. “You’re very sweet,” she said, a little out of breath.
“No, I’m not.” The gleam in his eye made her blush.
She looked down at Harry, whose slumbering face was so beautiful, she could stare at him all day. He had Harrison’s chin. And Harrison’s nose. And the way he wailed sometimes, she was sure with his lungs, he was destined to be a great country singer, too. Or maybe a rock god. “Can you at least tell me the title?”
They both looked at Julia ordering her doll to say please.
“I’m gonna call it ‘Miss Bossy Pants,’” Harrison said.
True grinned. “That’s about me?”
He laughed. “Julia’s inspiring me, but it’s really about how I hope she turns out like you. You’re the boss of my heart. Five years ago, you demanded I really look into it, and when I did, I found my future. I found my Happily Ever After. And it was you.”
“Oh, Harrison.” Every emotion had hit True hard in the aftermath of Harry’s birth, but the tears that came to her eyes then had nothing to do with hormones and everything to do with how much she loved her husband.
“I believe you were on my heart from the beginning.” Harrison made his voice low and husky. He didn’t want to wake the baby, but he was overcome with wonder and love, too, for his beautiful wife and children. “Right now, Harry has the name of his true love stamped on his. Maybe she’s not even born yet, or maybe she is. And somewhere out there, I know there’s a little boy walking around with Julia imprinted on his soul. Maybe Harry and Julia’s future mate won’t need as much help as I did recognizing who and what will make them truly happy. But I’ll say one thing: I’m a lucky man you never gave up on me.”
He picked up his guitar—it was never far away--and started strumming. A fun new song flowed out, “Miss Bossy Pants.” Julia stopped looking at her doll. Instead, she looked at her daddy, her little eyes lit with love and happiness. There was nothing like Daddy singing. It made everything better.
Harry opened his eyes and looked right into True’s. What a miracle he was. True smiled down at him while the song celebrating the little family on the porch wrapped them in an invisible hug before drifting away, carried skyward by the soft salt breeze blowing off Biscuit Creek.
HE’S SURE GOT A WAY WITH WORDS…
The last person True Maybank expected to run into while picking up her wedding gown was country music superstar Harrison Gamble. Years ago, when they were small-town teens in Biscuit Creek, South Carolina, they shared a forbidden night of passion. Now that she’s about to settle down, True’s love affair with the handsome crooner is a thing of the past. Or is it? From the moment he says hello, she has to fight swooning like an adoring fan.
CAN SHE RESIST HIS CHARMS?
Today he’s rich, famous, and on every woman’s hot list. But back in the day, Harrison wasn’t good enough for debutante True. Since then she’s had her fair share of marital prospects, including the perfect Southern gentleman she’s about to settle down with. Is Harrison the only one to realize the mistake True’s about to make? Can the society girl and the sexy singer make music together – this time around?
Available March 25th, 2014
Prize: Southern treat bag & a copy of Kieran’s SAY YES TO THE DUKE
Open to residents of the US only.
Must be 18 or older. No PO boxes
To enter – leave a comment or question for Kieran! Giveaway ends Feb 16th, 2014
CAN A SCANDALOUS BEGINNING…
Janice Sherwood wants to marry for love, but she’s failed to make a match after two Seasons. Her parents, the Marquess and Marchioness of Brady, arrange to send her to the Duke of Halsey’s country estate as a short-term guest of his grandmother, the dowager, in hopes that she might win the duke’s affections. What they never could have imagined is that Janice would fall for the ruggedly handsome servant Luke, who lives in the stables and carries an air of mystery and temptation.
LEAD TO A FAIRY-TALE ENDING?
When Luke Callahan learns that he is the legitimate heir to a dukedom, he will stop at nothing to claim what is his. But first, he must begin a game of disguise to secure his rightful inheritance. Janice isn’t part of his plan. But by engaging her in this dance of deception, might he lose her forever?