I clapped long, hard, and literally until my hands stung when I saw Pam’s picture and gorgeous book cover up on the big screen at the RITAs last Saturday night. (The RITAs are the Romance Writers of America awards for excellence in romance fiction—think the Oscars of romance). Unfortunately someone else took home the statue but it was so thrilling to see a fellow crumpet up there!
I do have an exciting announcement of my own to make. SIN, my Regency set erotic romance about the daughters of an erotica artist, won the National Readers’ Choice Award for erotic romance!
I was stunned. I believe I made a brief acceptance speech in Klingon. Then I tried to order a glass of wine only to discover I’d left my wallet upstairs. It was also all rather poignant as I’d just turned in the last book in that trilogy, HOT SILK, on July 3. Writing the short epilogue for HOT SILK, in which all members of the family gather for a wedding, left me teary eyed.
Another surprise for me at the RWA conference—I had copies of BLOOD ROSE to sign! BLOOD ROSE isn’t officially “out” until July 25 (though I’ve heard of store sightings already). It was great to reel in passing readers with the promise they’d get a book NO ONE else could.
Plus, I really enjoyed meeting my fellow crumpet strumpets for Elevenses. Thanks so much, Celia, for bringing the Tim Tams. I’ve never tried the before, but on the first bite, I completely understood how addictive they are!
Since BLOOD ROSE is popping up on the shelves, I’m posting an except!
And if you haven’t checked out Colette Gale’s contest—read the email below this one!
Excerpt from BLOOD ROSE by Sharon Page
Her mouth dried as she saw his abdomen—the solid planes of muscle, more soft golden hair, the enticing indent of his navel. Her gaze dropped to his small clothes, riding on his lean hips…
It was as though she had stepped into one of her scandalous dreams.
“Do you know what happens to housebreakers, Miss Lark? Sometimes they get transported.” His voice was silky. “And, like me, sometimes they serve a sentence in prison—and learn about all the perversions of mankind.” His eyes narrowed, hard and cold in the soft light. “You should be thankful that I found you. I don’t know what Sommersby would have done if he had.”
Serena knew she couldn’t show fear. “And what will you do?” she asked.
He reached down and picked up the journal she’d been reading. She caught her breath—waiting to see his reaction. He threw it back to the table and grinned. Astonished, she felt her jaw drop. How could he smile at such monstrous thoughts?
“Meaningless scribble to me,” he said.
“You—you mean you can’t read?”
“I was born in a whorehouse, love, where women serviced rough men for pennies.”
“But Lord Sommersby—the previous Lord Sommersby did not teach you? I thought he had taken you in as an apprentice.”
He shrugged. “From your look of shock, I take it that to a governess a lack of education is sinful indeed.” Mr. Swift’s deep voice lingered on sinful and her quim dampened in response.
“I could teach you to read,” she offered. Perhaps it was a way to convince Mr. Swift not to have her arrested, to convince him to help her, but mostly she wanted to help him.
He had desired her in that brothel. He desired her now. She could read the heat, the male promise, in his beautiful green eyes, and it set her heart racing even faster.
“Why would you want to do that, love?” He paced to the table and leaned on it. Beneath his shirtsleeves, his muscles bunched, and she licked her lip nervously. Mr. Swift looked utterly unconcerned about being half-naked. But why should it startle her so? Vampires were often naked.
“You don’t know much about me, do you?” he asked, his voice husky, with a gentleness that wrapped around her heart.
“No, Mr. Swift,” she answered with equal softness. “I do not.” She read vulnerability, poignancy in his emerald eyes.
“I would like to know about you, Miss Lark. You fascinate me. Why does your past matter so much to you? You can’t bring your parents back, sweetheart.”
“I know.” She blinked away tears—tears at having to lie. “But my past has made me who I am—and I don’t know anything about it.”
“What do you really want, Miss Lark? Vengeance on the vampire who took your parents? Perhaps that vampire is already dead. Is that the most satisfying thing you can imagine, Miss Lark?”