Welcome Guest Author
to the blog today!
See below for her giveaway!
I'm thrilled to welcome Stephanie Draven, my good friend, writing partner, and fellow Maryland Romance Writer, to my place today. She's got a fun excerpt and a giveaway for you, and I want to say this: I've read this book and it is so good. I hope you'll check it out!
What happens when a good girl decides to play dirty?
Armed with a sassy haircut, a sharp wit, and a personal list of rules for all life’s exigencies, Grace Santiago is a fiercely loyal Senate staffer who has everything under control. At least until famous political pundit Ethan Castle walks back into her life. Grace hasn’t forgotten their disastrous affair in law school, but she can’t resist his bad boy charm.
When Grace learns that Ethan has been hired as a political gunslinger for the other side, her loyalties—and her heart—are torn in two. Though their sexual chemistry can’t be denied, they find themselves locked in political combat. Ethan believes that all is fair in love and war, but he won’t throw the election—not even to win Grace’s heart. So what can a good girl like Grace do, but learn to play dirty?
Two candidates. One election. May the best man—or woman—win!
In spite of Grace's zealotry for holidays, she just couldn't get into the Christmas spirit this year. After the Thanksgiving debacle with Blain, she’d dutifully decorated her apartment in twinkling lights and put up a miniature tree, but then she’d promptly caught a cold and now all she wanted to do was sleep.
Mama brought over chicken tortilla soup. Molly stopped by and made her choke down Theraflu. Even Thurgood made himself useful by curling up in the blankets with her like a mini space heater.
The first time she and Blain had broken up back in high school, she'd cried her eyes out for a month. The second time was even worse. By the third or fourth time, she'd learned to cope. This time she wasn't crying at all. While sucking on a cough drop, she wondered why that was.
Shouldn’t she be more upset? Maybe she couldn’t cry because the virus had sapped all her fluids. Or maybe she was simply too annoyed. Blain had implied she’d always been too inhibited for him. Well, if that was true, Blain should’ve known exactly why. When she let herself get out of control, bad things happened. Bad things, like blackmail…
Blowing her nose for about the thousandth time, Grace wished she could be back at work, because that was the only thing that made sense in her life anymore. That’s what she should be concentrating on anyway. She didn’t have a law degree because she’d lost her head over a man; she’d be damned if she let her disaster of a love life derail her career again.
With a pile of books on one side of the bed and a wastebasket of tissues on the other, Grace tried to make sense of the new changes to the environmental bill. Even though the words swam before her eyes, she managed to make a few notes in the margins before the phone rang.
The minute she heard the voice on the other end, a swarm of butterflies fluttered madly in her belly. She hadn’t thought that she’d hear from him again; now she realized how glad she was to have been wrong.
“You sound groggy,” Ethan said.
Stay calm, she told herself. Stay cool. “I have the death flu,” Grace sniffled into the phone. “So…what’s up?”
“I miss you.”
Grace’s heart squeezed and, quite suddenly, with a delirium she could only blame on the cough medicine, she asked, “What are your thoughts on Pocahontas?”
He paused as if trying to decide if she were sane. “Unfortunate victim of Stockholm Syndrome? According to her tribe, she was kidnapped by colonists and forced to shill for Big Tobacco.”
Grace was dubious. “That's not the Disney version.”
She could almost hear him smirk. “Are you gonna believe a mouse or me?”
Grace laughed, sneezed, then pushed the mute button on the phone so she could blow her nose. When she returned, Ethan was all serious. “Grace, listen. I held out as long as I could, and if you don’t feel the same way, I won’t call you again, but I’ve been thinking about you a lot.”
She'd been thinking about him, too. So much so that everything with Blain had felt wrong. Ethan was in her mind even when she was kissing someone else, but how could she find room in her life for a political grifter? “I just don’t want to get involved with something that can’t go anywhere.”
“People get involved in long-distance relationships all the time.”
“I know, but…my dad was never around. The separation was hard on everyone. When you can't be there in person—”
“But I am here in person. I’m here to take you out for waffles.” He laughed and if she didn’t know better, she’d swear he sounded nervous. “This isn't going to help my stalker reputation, but I just got finished taping a show in Atlanta and instead of flying back to my apartment in Los Angeles, I thought I’d catch a flight to Baltimore to see you. Are you healthy enough to meet me at the diner?”
Flattered and mildly horrified, she wondered if she were having some kind of strange dream. “You can't just get on a plane and fly in to see me...”
Grace flailed. “Because it’s—it's kind of nuts!”
“If you were advising a losing candidate and all conventional methods weren't working, what would you suggest?”
“I'm not a campaign manager—”
“Pretend,” Ethan insisted.
“I'd tell him to try something unconventional.”
“Exactly. Flying in to take you to breakfast is my bold new campaign strategy. How's it polling?”
Grace counted up the voters in her room. “Well, in a representative sample, one out of two voters approve.”
Ethan took umbrage. “Only one out of two? Who is the holdout?”
“Thurgood. You're losing the orange tabby cat demographic.”
|Coming in January!|
One commenter who leaves their email address will win an ebook of In Bed with the Opposition. What to comment? Did you have a favorite line from the excerpt? Open to international. Giveaway ends midnight EST on 12/26. Good luck!
Now, leave Steph some comment love! And thanks so much for reading!