Friday, December 14, 2012
Happy Holiday Blog Hop
Thanks for checking out my blog. :) I hope you're having fun with the hop. :) To celebrate my new Release, Holiday Jinx, I'm giving away a copy to one lucky commenter, gifting it to them through either Smashwords, Kindle or Nook, your choice. The winner will be pulled from Random.org. Only one entry per person, and please, please, please, don't forget to include your email address. :) I'm keeping this simple for you to win. :) First start by reading the excerpt: Run. Get out of here. Adrenaline pumped through Natalie’s system, but fear kept her riveted in place. Light from the bedroom spilled into the hallway and gleamed off broad, bronze shoulders and muscular thighs. The man stood about six foot three. From her vantage point, she noted his tight glutes and ripped biceps, an obvious indication he didn’t neglect his physical health. Natalie scrambled to find the courage to drag her gaze from his naked torso, up his wide chest, and farther still to his face that appeared like textured marble in the artificial light. She deduced he meant her no harm when he stumbled back against the bathroom doorway, his hands covering his ears. If he were some crazy person, he’d already be after me. What kind of robber would go around in the middle of a blizzard naked anyway? Her fright dissipated as she glimpsed his taut jaw set at a stubborn angle. He remained still with his shoulders back and legs spread. He crossed his arms and stared her down, his expression pinched. A hot, annoyed, naked guy was the last thing she expected to encounter in her cabin. She didn’t know who was more caught off guard. “What the hell are you doing here?” she demanded, taking another step back. A faint niggling of recognition stirred her brain cells. I can’t be right. Fate can’t so readily be handing me who I’m wanting to see, and in such a nicely presented package. He pushed his wavy blond hair from his furrowed brow and regarded her from deep, intense blue eyes. “God, am I still dreaming? I thought I was rid of you.” Dazed, she shook her head. This time, she was wrong. Fate had decided to help her out. This naked hottie was indeed Christopher Reagan. And what was he talking about? He was the intruder. “Um… No, I just got here.” That sounded like an apology. She hardened her voice. “Why are you in my cabin?” “He’s been waiting for you,” whispered that same voice she’d heard on the porch. This pulled Natalie’s attention from the naked guy. He wasn’t the one who had spoken. To be sure there wasn’t anyone else in the room, she scanned every corner. To her consternation, she found nothing. I must be going crazy. Or the resident ghost in this place is more active than I’d like. “Did you just hear something? A voice maybe?” she asked. He hesitated for a moment, blinking as he gaped at her. “Hear what? You screamed loud enough to burst an eardrum. That’s all I heard.” Maybe I’m more tired than I think. Hearing voices. Seeing naked men. Is this naked man real? At least he looked real, standing there in the flesh. The very sexy flesh. She struggled not to openly ogle him. He showed no such restraint as he perused her from her tangled, damp hair to her frozen toes, warming her blood. She turned away from that burning stare. Her heart rate slowed, but her anger rose as she saw the bottles and glasses on the floor and recognized that Reagan, the intruder, had apparently been making full use of her cabin. She flattened her lips into a hard snarl. “Who do you think you are? This is my cabin. With this mess,” she swept her arms wide, gesturing to the bottles, “you act like you own the place.” He tilted his head in that arrogant way that sent familiarity slamming through her. She’d seen that look before and hated it now as she had then. “I do own this place. Rather, my family does. I’m Christopher Reagan, and this is my uncle’s cabin.” She had yet to observe a look of acknowledgement in his eyes, though she’d rather pretend she hadn’t recognized Reagan at all. She’d traveled all this way to see him, but not unclothed and in her cabin. There was only so much of the man she could handle. She glared, angling her chin to meet his gaze. “I don’t care. I rented this cabin and paid a deposit. It’s mine for the weekend. “Who are you?” His demand ran roughshod over her frayed nerves. She passed her gaze over his angular jaw sprinkled with the dusting of a five-o’clock shadow to collide with his piercing stare that shackled her to the spot. Considering she was fresh from a breakup, she was surprised to find herself responding. All her feminine parts rumbled to life. He was so much more handsome up close, nothing like the sophisticated CEO she’d met months ago. Today, he appeared more reclusive and wild than polished and self-restrained. Of course, before he’d been wearing clothes. For a moment, she thought she’d imagined him standing there, an unwrapped holiday gift just for her. But then he’d spoken, knocking her from the dreamy cloud she’d been floating on. No angel was going to save her, especially if his name was Chris Ruthless Reagan. She hardened her stare. “I’m Natalie Burnes, Reagan. Remember me?” She cleared the huskiness from her throat. It didn’t have anything to do with wanting to attract him. It was just that traveling for hours without talking made her sound now like a phone-sex hotline operator in the mood for some nookie. The heat scorching her cheeks was only due to the cold, nothing more. “Surely you remember. We met some months ago when you came to L.A. for that meeting with my grandfather.” In the meeting, Reagan had worn his overconfidence like one of his tailored suits. And being that her grandfather was of that same disposition, Natalie’d known they’d clash. And they had. During that meeting, her grandfather had refused Reagan’s offer and stormed out, and the next day he’d named her CEO. Reagan yawned, his lids lowering. “Ah, yes, Natalie. The perky little elf who is Grandpa’s perfect assistant.” She ignored the barb, knowing he only wanted to get a rise out of her. If he knew her, an elf was the last thing he’d compare her to. When she was on a mission, she was like an Amazon ready for action, as her brother had once said. Now she was just a goddess who needed food and sleep—in that order. She did not need—really—this naked CEO. “Yes, it’s me.” She ramped up the wattage of her smile, since it only made him smirk more. “I was vice president then. I’m CEO now, as you very well know.” Natalie had learned in her dealings with hard men like him you could soften them more with sweetness than with a sour disposition. “Nice to see you again, Reagan.” He grimaced, rubbing his temple. “You’ve inherited a doozy of a company. But since you’re CEO, you probably already know that.” “We’re going through a tough time right now, but I’m confident things will improve.” “Glad to hear it, princess.” She cringed at the less-than-flattering nickname. “My condolence card went in the mail yesterday.” His cruel attitude didn’t offer much hope. “I’d rather it be one of encouragement. Or have you already lost interest?” He ducked into the bathroom then re-emerged pulling a pair of boxers over his lean hips and carrying a towel over his arm. Reagan pinched the bridge of his nose. His jawline hardened to steel. “You had to hunt me down here? You couldn’t just call or send an email?” He tossed her a glare. “A wonderful thing, technology. Use it.” “I tried several times to reach you without success.” She addressed him in a composed manner, as if he were one of her employees. However, she’d never add the brittle undertone she did now. His lips compressed as she continued, “Either your personal assistant isn’t worth the money you’re paying her or you’re ignoring me.” He looped the towel around his chest. “It’s the holiday. Your matter couldn’t wait?” “No. Why do you think I’m here? I wouldn’t come cross-country to track you down if it wasn’t urgent.” “I’m flattered that you’d come all this way just to see little ol’ me.” She bit her lip to keep from telling him what she thought of his snide remark and what he could do with his acerbic attitude. “I came all this way, and I rented a cabin. That should show you how important this is.” “I’m sure my uncle appreciates your business. But this doesn’t explain what you’re doing in my cabin. I should’ve double-checked to make sure I locked the door. Could’ve sworn it was secure. What the hell. Maybe it’s fate. You’re not the first person I’ve seen around here tonight.” Natalie cocked her head. He muttered that last. She couldn’t quite make out what he’d said. “What?” He glowered, rubbing the towel over his head. “Nothing.” He mumbled something again. His words were swallowed by the cloth. She didn’t have to wonder what he might’ve said. From the anger she heard in his tone, it sounded pretty brutal. She didn’t blame him one bit for being perturbed. He was the last person she wanted to see, too, but there was no help for it. He was her company’s only hope. When they’d had lunch after the failed meeting with her grandfather, Reagan had predicted that it wouldn’t be long until Enchanted Toys fell apart. She hadn’t believed a word he’d said. She’d barely been able to get through the meal without strangling him. She’d sworn that they would make a success of the business on their own. So far, that success had been fleeting. She needed his help, but not yet. She needed more time to talk with her remaining investors, to convince them to stay with her company. And to receive his assurance that he’d stop buying her shares. She needed to do what she could to bring back those investors Reagan had bought out from under her. She couldn’t do that if he took over. Because if he intervened too soon, she’d fail before she could have a chance to succeed. Coming here to him made her feel like she’d not only crammed her foot down her throat but had swallowed a jumbo-sized, bitter pill to boot because Reagan wouldn’t let her forget her vow of months before. He had been right all along. Now, with the holiday season approaching, Enchanted Toys was minus a few major investors and a few key managers. “If I would’ve know you’d be staying here,” she spread her arms wide, indicating the cabin, “I would’ve found some other accommodations. Funny how we’d run in to each other this way. Fate just made finding you so much easier. I took a chance you’d be staying at this resort. I just didn’t expect to see you in the flesh literally.” Seeing the vehement displeasure sparking in his gaze sent her hopping back a half step. “So not only are you trespassing, you’re stalking me too?” She tilted her chin, giving him glare for glare. “How else was I supposed to find you? You’ve been ignoring me since L.A. I didn’t have any other choice.” “No one stays here other than me.” She arched a brow at his superior tone. “I didn’t notice your name carved in the door. The girl at the lodge didn’t mention that anyone was using this cabin before she handed over the key. I reserved a cabin in plenty of time for the holiday. I just happened to get the last one that was available. This one.” “Damn Susie,” he grumbled. “Useless new employees. She should have known I’d be using my cabin this week.” He gestured to the window. “Nothing I can do about it now, with a blizzard coming in.” The ferocious scowl he aimed out the window made her glad Susie wasn’t around. She was glad the weather impeded him from heading outdoors. Poor Susie would lose her job for daring to inconvenience the spoiled CEO. But that meant she was trapped here too…and with him, no les Now, just leave a comment below and tell me what your plans are for the holiday. :) Good luck and happy holidays! :) I’m in the middle of a blog tour for this book. I’d love to see you drop by at one or all of the blogs. You can find out the details heere! I'm participating in another blog hop from December 17-19 right here. So come back and see what I'm giving away and see what major prize is up for grabs from all the participating bloggers and how you could win it. I’ll be at Jodi Redford’s blog on the 23rd and giving away a copy of Holiday Jinx at The Romance Studio If you'd like to learn more about Holiday Jinx, keep reading. Check out the book trailer. Blurb: It’s the most wonderful time of the year…unless you’re single and lonely. Jinx—one of Santa’s elves—is in trouble with the Big Guy. She’s been charged with bringing holiday happiness to Christopher Ragan, CEO of Wondrous Toys. It’s a big job especially when he’s more attached to the bottom of a bottle than helping his fellow man. She’s got enough trouble without spilling the secrets of the North Pole, but then along comes Natalie Burnes, a newbie CEO of Enchanted Toys and in trouble of a hostile takeover from Christopher’s company. The woman literally crashes Christopher’s vacation plans in a tucked away Michigan cabin---and the sparks start flying. As if Jinx’s job of matchmaking the toy makers isn’t hard enough, she’s got to stay one step ahead of the North Pole patrol and keep out of sight of the humans. No way is she gonna screw up and lose her magic again. If the humans can’t find happiness and love by Christmas, Jinx forfeits her chance of seeing her true love too. What’s an elf to do? Buy it at Itunes, Smashwords, Amazon, And Barnes& Noble. Thanks again for stopping by. Go back to the main blog site for more fun.