I love hosting release day parties, so when Jean Adams agreed to hold her party here at Vintage Vonnie, I had a little **SQUEE!** moment. Oh, my darlings, we are going to party Southern Style for our New Zealand author today. That means champagne, cups of rich coffee, caviar and chocolate. (Alliteration, ya gotta love it!)
Have a glass of bubbly or one of Calvin's rich cuppachinos while we settle into our party mode. My husband always grinds his beans fresh and makes the best coffee. For some reason, he won't let me near his coffee and espresso makers anymore. Something about "tasting like dishwater." Surely he wasn't implying...
I've got chocolate and more chocolate. Which do you prefer? In case you made a New Years Resolution to watch calories and carbs, well, here in southern Virginia, we cook without those nasty calories. Truly. Would I lead you wrong? Take a plate now and fill it up. I've got lots of goodies prepared.
A MAN LIKE SAXON is published by The Wild Rose Press.
Don't you just love Jean's beautiful cover?
She's agreed to tell us how she came to write this story.
Inside the envelope there was a ticket for something I had always wanted to do—take a flight in a hot-air balloon.
I’d often seen them floating gracefully over the hills and dreamed of riding in one.
Now I could to just that.
But I was reassured when the pilot, (who incidentally turned out to be the CEO of a financial institution that hit the skids resulting in a lot of people losing a lot of money) said, quite openly. “I value my life more than I value yours.” I knew I could trust him not to do anything silly.
On a warm, windless January morning about two weeks later, I took that ride and it was truly magical. We left the house at around 5.30am. Several weeks after that A MAN LIKE SAXON became the first twinkle in my eye.
I wasn’t a scaredy-cat like my heroine, (she has good reason to be), but I have to admit to a few moments of trepidation mixed with the excitement as we approached the launch-site on the dark, windless morning.
Almost everything that takes place on the flight (except one bit, you’ll know which bit), I personally experienced.
So if you’ve ever wanted to go up in a balloon but never quite managed it for one reason or another, come with me — up, up and away with sexy Saxon.
Mind you, after the horrific accident that happened in New Zealand January 2012, I’m not sure I’d find the courage to go again but I’m glad I had the experience.
Before Jean shares her blurb with us, won't you try one of these? They're quite yummy. Fresh fruit is so good for you. And seems to me I read that since chocolate comes from the cocoa bean, why it's the next thing to a vegetable. Honest! You know what the doctor says. "Eat 5-6 servings a day."
Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.
Danielle Montgomery hides a terrible secret that binds her to a life of loneliness she believes she deserves. She has never wished for anything more from her humdrum life.
Up, up and away. Come, fly with sexy Saxon.
When film director, Saxon Wainwright, drops in from a clear blue sky, wanting to make his movie on her property, he blows Danielle’s narrow world apart. Is Saxon the nemesis Danielle is expecting?
Excerpt from A MAN LIKE SAXON. Ooops, before you read Jean's lovely excerpt, you should take a couple of these...you know, for energy.
“I’ve got a surprise for you.” He even sounded excited.
Danielle frowned and propped herself up on one elbow. “A surprise?”
“You’re going to love it.”
“What kind of surprise? It’s the middle of the night.”
“It’s just after five. It’ll be light in an hour.” Still beaming from ear to ear, Saxon indicated a glass of orange juice on the nightstand. “I’m taking you up in the balloon.”
The smile froze on her lips as terror took hold. Her stomach knotted. The balloon! Dear God, no.
She tried to swallow, but nothing happened. They had shared a wonderful two weeks of fun, laughter, and lovemaking, and now she could see it all ending within them plummeting to earth in a ball of fiery nylon.
“Now?” was all she managed to squeak through her closed throat.
“Best time of day.”
Did he have to keep grinning like a dog with two tails? She pulled the bedclothes around her body in a futile attempt at protection. “This is a joke, right? It’s pitch dark out there.”
Saxon laughed. “It’ll be light by the time we’ve had breakfast and driven to the Eastons.”
“David and Susan’s?” she croaked inanely. “What have they got to do with it?”
“They and some of the crew helped me set this up. It may be the only chance I’ll have to take you up ‘til filming’s done. By then, the weather will probably have packed in.”
Everything fell into place. The covert conversation last night that ended abruptly when she appeared. They had been setting up her “surprise”. The phone calls downstairs just now. Probably to the Met Office, then to David.
Bile rose in her throat. Saxon had misinterpreted her idle curiosity about ballooning as interest. Why hadn’t she kept her big mouth shut?
“Let me get this right,” she choked. “David and Susan, and some of the crew, got up early on a Sunday morning especially so you could take me up in the balloon?”
His grin refused to be shaken. “Yeah. Terrific of them, huh?”
“Terrific,” she repeated miserably, heart racing. The thought of going up there made her feel sick, but they’d all gone to a lot of trouble to do this for her, given up part of their one day off in the week.
He inclined his head at the nightstand. “Drink your juice. I’ll get breakfast while you dress. Warm clothing. It can get pretty darned cold up there. We have just over a half hour.”
To live? “Until?”
“Until we have to leave.” He started for the door, then turned to face her. “Scrambled eggs okay?”
The eggs would probably end up a lot more scrambled if she tried to force them down her throat. She stared after him in wide-eyed disbelief as he went through the door.
Was this the divine retribution she’d been waiting for after all?
I’ll have to tell him I can’t do this. He’ll understand.
She should have told him the truth right away. She would have—if it weren’t for the people who’d given up a Sunday morning sleep-in just for her, especially after the punishing schedule of the past two weeks.
Saxon looked so pleased with himself at arranging this. How could she tell him the idea paralyzed her with terror?
Just as with everything else this past two weeks he had wanted to please her. His lovemaking was all any woman could ever want. She groaned. How could she disappoint him? She would just have to grit her teeth, smile bravely, and—go. Up there.
Maybe it wouldn’t be as bad as she’d envisioned. If he thought he’d be putting her in any danger, he would never take her up. She almost convinced herself, so much that the thought made her feel marginally better.
Dressing like an automaton she put on jeans and a light sweater, grabbed a dark blue padded windcheater from her closet, and wandered slowly downstairs, terror still tying her stomach into tight knots.
Saxon was well organized, as she would have expected. He had coffee brewing, eggs scrambled, and bacon grilling. Toast popped just as Danielle arrived in the kitchen. As she entered he looked up and grinned. “Hi there.”
Her head full of angry bees, she looked grimly at the food, having convinced herself this would be her last meal. Was this how condemned prisoners had felt on the way to the guillotine as they’d climbed on board the tumbrill?
“I’m not overly hungry,” she said, as images of losing her breakfast over the side of the basket flooded her mind.
Saxon sat opposite her, rubbing his hands with obvious relish. “Well, do your best. We’ll have the real champagne breakfast when we come down.”
She stared at him bleakly. “Champagne?”
“Sure. It’s traditional for a first-time flyer. And you don’t have to worry about a thing. According to David, Susan has it all organized..”
“That’s—that’s very sweet of her.”
There was no escaping the flight now. Everything had been arranged. Everyone had done so much, and on their one day off. All she had to do was turn up—and throw up.
She watched dismally as Saxon tucked into his eggs and bacon.
He caught her staring and grinned. “Still half asleep, huh? Here have a good slug of caffeine.”
She managed a weak smile of thanks.
“So are you pleased with your surprise?” How did he manage to grin so wide and talk both at the same time?
“It’s—it’s. I’m surprised.”
He laughed and took a swallow of coffee.
“I’m not big on surprises,” she managed slowly, wishing her insides would stop quivering. “Especially so early in the morning. You should have told about this me last night.”
Then I could have come up with an excuse not to go. Or told you the truth so you could cancel the arrangements. Let everyone sleep in.
“There was no point last night. I needed to check for wind direction and velocity this morning. I didn’t want to get your hopes up then have to disappoint you this morning.”
“You wouldn’t have. Honestly.”
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