May 24, 2019


by Bronwyn Jameson

I am a bonafide scaredy-cat. With a bargain basement threshold for pain, both physical and emotional, I am a wimp. There is no denying it.

With that out of the way, I herewith present a non-comprehensive list of things I fear:
  1. Mice. In fact, any small rodent that moves with speed and stealth. Or just sits in the corner twitching its whiskers at me. 
  2. The big three c’s: conflict, confrontation, criticism. (One of my top strengths is HARMONY. Big surprise, huh?)
  3. Having blood taken (I just can’t.) 
  4. Spiders. Sooo. Many. Legs. 
  5. Driving onto railway tracks and getting stuck (a new fear, brought on by last night’s techno-vivid dream.) 
  6. Social media. This used to be my happy place but now…no.  Refer #2. 
  7. Snakes. 
  8. Dentists. Or, more accurately, dentists’ chairs. 
#8 inspired this post, courtesy of last week’s toothache. Why do these always come a’knockin’ on weekends? Or, in this case, on a Friday night? By Monday I was a quivering wreck. I called my dentist, who gave me that day’s emergency slot. No time to reconsider, to dose myself on heavy-duty painkillers and tell myself I could live with the pain.
*Not actually me!

To be honest, my dentist is super-lovely. And kind. She has a knack for distracting me with engaging conversation and before I know it, BAM! I’m in the dreaded (although, really quite comfortable) chair and being handed the sunglasses and asked to open wide. The soothing hand on my shoulder suggests that fear is clearly visible in my posture, my expression, my five-fingernail grip on each chair-arm.

Oh, yes. The terror is real. Even before there is any diagnosis, any prodding, any of that intense cold thingamy used for diagnosis. You know the one? When it hits the sensitive tooth, you lift a foot out of the chair and the dentist says, “Found it!” After some discussion, I left with a prescription for Panadeine Forte and an appointment with an oral surgeon.

I am now minus a tooth, minus the pain, and listening to a voicemail from my dentist checking up on the surgery. She is super-nice but I don’t want to see her again any time soon.

*Not me either!
I mentioned HARMONY as one of my strengths, as per StrengthsFinder. Also in my top 4 are INTELLECTION, INPUT and ANALYTICAL which means I was pathologically obliged to google Most Common Fears. And to read somewhere around 35 different lists. I can report that I do not fear any of these common phobias:
  1. Flying
  2. Thunderstorms 
  3. Dogs 
  4. The dark 
  5. Germs and dirt 
  6. Needles/injections (except when that needle is drawing blood.) 
Do you have any fears or phobias?  Have you recently had to face one?  I hope you didn't end up a quivering wreck like me!

May 22, 2019

To breakfast or not to breakfast — Kandy Shepherd

Are you a breakfast person? I confess I'm not. I don’t wake up feeling hungry, in fact the thought of eating early in the day actually doesn’t appeal at all. It takes my appetite a while to wake up and it isn’t until mid morning that I feel hungry.

But breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper,” the old saying goes.

ACAI bowl is a popular cafe breakfast treat
I have skipped breakfast many, many times over the years. But now my daughter is an accredited, practising dietitian and I have professional scrutiny on my eating habits.

She has convinced me that breakfast is indeed very important as it tells your body that after the night’s fast, you are not going into starvation mode and your metabolism doesn’t need to slow down (no way do I want my metabolism to slow down!) Eating breakfast is a signal to your brain to fuel it—just what I need when I’m writing!

Bacon and eggs, anyone?
My dietitian daughter says she believes there are “breakfast people” and “non-breakfast people”. However she says waking up not hungry can mean you ate a big meal the night before, perhaps late in the evening. Eating dinner earlier in the evening if possible is a better idea. 

She says it’s okay for me to eat my breakfast later in the day when hunger signals—especially as I work from home with easy access to the kitchen. However she stresses this doesn’t apply to adolescents who too easily skip meals when they need to be eating regular healthy meals. She also warns that skipping breakfast at any age doesn’t mean filling up on “junk” food later in the day. Yep, I’m sure I’ve been guilty of that!

Dietitian daughter also warns: “Trying to skip breakfast in attempt to ‘eat less’ and ‘reduce overall intake’ doesn't necessarily work either, as we probably make up for it later in the day.”

What I had for  breakfast this morning! Apple, raspberries, plain yogurt and goodies from my "breakfast box."
So I’m getting better at eating breakfast. Big, cooked breakfasts have never been my thing. I do enjoy an occasional bacon and eggs, but much later in the day, preferably lunch time.

My daughter suggests low GI carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, vegetables and fruit make a good breakfast. She recommends poached eggs with spinach and tomato and wholegrain toast with avocado for my active husband. I used to eat fresh fruit and plain, sugar free yogurt when I did eat breakfast. Now I really enjoy the addition of raw walnuts, ground linseed, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds and chia plus a small serve of plain muesli. I’ve got it all there in the “breakfast box” in my fridge. They're really delicious!

The family "breakfast box" that lives in the fridge
What about you? Are you a breakfast eater or a “can’t face the sight of food in the morning” person? Do you have a favourite breakfast? We’d love to read your comments!

PS I'm thrilled to be in this anthology of "royal wedding" stories with fellow LoveCat, Annie West! It's out in both Australia and New Zealand and the UK this month.

May 19, 2019

Sunday Smooch with Clare Connelly

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Clare Connelly but first ..... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Mel! Just Mel, like Madonna, or Beyonce, but romance-reading and therefore way more awesome.

Mel, can you please email Amy Andrews (Amy@AmyAndrews.Com.Au) to receive your prize! 

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from SHOCK HEIR FOR THE KING for Harlequin Presents. 

Cinderella had his baby…

Now she’ll wear his crown

Vibrant artist Frankie is shocked when Matt, the enigmatic stranger she gave her innocence to, reappears in her life. His touch was intensely sensual, his kiss pure magic…yet their affair had consequences, and Frankie had no way to contact him. Now she’s in for the biggest shock of all—Matt is actually King Matthias! And to claim his heir, he demands Frankie become his queen!

Explore the king’s Mediterranean palace with his royal bride

Scene set-up

I loved writing this book so much, for two reasons. I love, love, loved my hero, heroine and little prince to absolute bits, and also, I loved the country of Tolmirós, which features in the book. So much so I really wish I could escape there for a perfect summer holiday! This is a Cinderella-Secret Heir book. This scene picks up shortly after King Matthias has discovered he fathered a son - an heir! - two years earlier, and the only option, as he sees it, is marriage to the boy's mother. Only Frankie, a spirited artist from NYC has other ideas, despite the passion that flares between them...

‘Hang on.’ She lifted her hand, pressing it into the air between them as though it might put an end to this ridiculous conversation. ‘You can’t talk like it’s a foregone conclusion that I’ll marry you! You’ve suggested it and I’ve said, “Absolutely not”. You can’t just ride roughshod over me.’

His eyes narrowed almost imperceptibly. ‘Do you think not?’

‘Definitely not. Unless you think I’m not a sentient person, capable of making my own decisions?’

‘On the contrary. I think you are very capable of that—which is why I’ll expect you to make the right one. But be assured, Frankie, regardless of what you think and feel, I have no intention of leaving this country without my son. It is obviously better for everyone if you come with him as my fiancée.’

She sucked in a breath as the truth of what he was saying settled around her. ‘You’re actually threatening to take him away from me?’

‘I’m asking you to marry me.’

Her eyes swept shut. ‘Telling me, more like.’ When she blinked her eyes open he was closer, so close her palm was almost touching his chest.

‘I’m asking you,’ he insisted, almost gentle, almost as though he understood her fear and wanted to ease it. ‘I’m asking you to see sense. I’m asking you not to put me in a position where I have to fight you for our child.’

Fear lanced her breast because she didn’t doubt the sincerity of his words, nor that he had the ability to follow through. She had some savings, but not a lot. Her adoptive parents were comfortable but by no means wealthy. Not in a million years would she be able to afford a lawyer of the calibre necessary to stave off this man’s determination. Would he even need a lawyer? Or would he have some kind of diplomatic privilege, given he was King?

‘You’re such a bastard,’ she said, stepping backwards. It was a mistake; the window was behind her. Ice-cold against her back, and rather like a vice clamping her to the spot.

‘I am the father to a two-year-old. A little boy I didn’t know about even three hours ago. Do you think wanting to raise him is truly unreasonable?’

‘Raise him, no. Marry me? Yes.’

‘I want this as little as you do, Frankie.’ He expelled a sigh and shook his head. ‘That is not completely true, in fact. I still want you. I came here tonight because I was thinking of our weekend together and I wished to take you to bed once more.’

She bit down on her tongue to stop a curse from flying from her lips. ‘How dare you?’ The words were numbed by shock. ‘After all these years? After the way you slept with me and then disappeared into thin air? You thought you could just turn up and have me fall at your feet?’

‘You did once before,’ he pointed out with insufferable arrogance.

Her fingertips itched with a violent impulse to slap him. ‘I didn’t know you then!’

‘And you don’t know me now,’ he continued, moving closer, speaking with a softness that was imbued with reasonable, rational intent. It was like a magic spell being cast. His proximity was enough to make her pulse thready and her cheeks glow pink.

But she hated him for the ease with which he could affect her and she did her best to hide any sign that she so much as noticed his proximity.

‘You don’t know that I am a man who has won almost every battle he’s fought. You don’t know, perhaps, that I am a man accustomed to getting everything I want, when I want it. You do not know that I have the might of ten armies at my back, the wealth of a nation at my feet, and the heart of a warrior in my body.’

Another step closer and his fingertips lifted to press lightly against her cheek. His eyes held hers, like granite locking her to the window.

‘You think I don’t know you get what you want?’ she returned, pleased when the words came out cool and almost derisive. ‘You wanted me that weekend and look how that turned out.’

It was the wrong thing to say. Memories of their sensual, delicious time together punctuated the present, and she was falling into the past. With his body so close, so hard and broad, a random impulse to push onto her tiptoes and find his earlobe with her lips, to wobble it between her teeth before moving to his stubbled jaw and finally those wide, curving lips, made breathing almost impossible.

They were perfect lips, she thought distractedly, her artist’s mind working overtime as they studied the sculptured feature.

‘You are not seeing anyone else.’ It was a statement rather than a question, and his certainty was an insult.

‘Why do you say that?’ she asked, a little less steadily now.

There was something enigmatic and dangerous in his gaze, something that spoke of promises and need. Something that stilled her heart and warmed her skin. ‘You do not react to me like a woman who’s in love with another man.’

She sucked in a breath; it didn’t reach her lungs. ‘What’s that supposed to mean?’

His smile was sardonic. ‘You look at me with eyes that are hungry for what we shared. You tremble now because I am close to you.’ He dropped his fingertips to the pulse point at the base of her neck and she cursed her body’s traitorous reaction. ‘You do not wish to marry me, Frankie, but you want to be with me again, almost more than you want your next breath.’

Oh, God, it was true, but it was wrong! And there was a difference between animal instincts and intelligent consideration—there was no way she’d be stupid enough to fall prey to his virile, sensual pull. Not again. Only she was already falling, wasn’t she? Being drawn into his seductive, tantalising web…

Sorry, LoveCats, that's an ALMOST smooch, isn't it? ;) What I really love about this book, as I said, is the country of Tolmirós, which is sort of a combination of Italy, Greece and Spain. It's beautiful, ancient, sunlit, prosperous and happy, with (naturally) the most amazing food... If you could book a summer holiday anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Leave a comment and I'll choose a winner to send a paperback book to! Come back next Sunday to find out who's won...

Shock Heir for the King is out now and available where all good romance books are sold.

May 13, 2019

Happy Mother’s Day

To all the mothers out there, I hope you had a lovely day yesterday.

I slept in…bliss.  With my daughter and puppy in tow (husband was off surfing), I walked to our local café along country lanes in the autumn sunshine. My husband met up with us for breakfast. After brekkie, I treated myself to a mother’s day special – a little chocolate cupcake. No calories on Mother’s Day!

Image courtesy
The café has a lovely vegetable and herb garden, which inspired us. So my daughter and I walked home and planted a herb garden. I then her gave encouragement while she made a papier mâché

mushroom for her school art project. Later we snuggled up on the couch, with the fire burning and watched rom coms while my husband went to band practice.

In the evening my daughter cooked us an amazing dinner (flavoured with the newly planted herbs) and we all watched Jane the Virgin in our PJs on Netflix while the rain pattered on our tin roof. A low-key day. A lovely day. A perfect day.

How about you? Did you have a great day yesterday?

May 12, 2019

Sunday Smooch with Amy Andrews

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Amy Andrews but first ..... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Gill Bower!

Gill, can you please contact Michelle at michelle (at) michelle-douglas (dot) com to receive your prize!

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Nothing But Trouble.

For five years, Cecilia Morgan’s entire existence has revolved around playing personal assistant to self-centered former NFL quarterback Wade Carter. But just when she finally gives her notice, his father’s health fails, and Wade whisks her back to his hometown. CC will stay for his dad—for now—even if that means ignoring how sexy her boss is starting to look in his Wranglers.

To say CC’s notice is a bombshell is an insult to bombs. Wade can’t imagine his life without his “left tackle.” She’s the only person who can tell him “no” and strangely, it’s his favorite quality. He’ll do anything to keep her from leaving, even if it means playing dirty and dragging her back to Credence, Colorado, with him.

But now they’re living under the same roof, getting involved in small-town politics, and bickering like an old married couple. Suddenly, five years of fighting is starting to feel a whole lot like foreplay. What’s a quarterback to do when he realizes he might be falling for his “left tackle”? Throw a Hail Mary she’ll never see coming, of course.

Scene set-up

CC is walking home from a Credence street party after dancing with Wade and feeling stuff she should not be feeling especially after that very inconvenient sex dream she had about him! Wade catches up with her, scaring her half to death right into a hedge. Recovering from her ignomoy, he walks her home.  Then on the front porch a spider happens and thats when things really get interesting!

“Listen,” he said, as she coaxed the old lock which needed a bit of a jiggle and a certain tongue position before it would admit anyone. “Thanks for helping my mom with this whole thing.”

The lock gave and the door opened but CC wasn’t paying it any attention as she quirked an eyebrow at Wade. “I thought you were annoyed that I was spending all that time on your - let’s see if I can get this right - mother’s crazy ass scheme to pimp out strange women to the bachelors of Credence.”

He chuckled, unperturbed by having his words thrown back at him. “I may have been exaggerating for dramatic effect.”

CC’s eyebrow kicked up. “Ya think?”

“I was wrong.”

CC shook her head. Wade’s ability to apologize had always been his redeeming grace. He was man enough to own his mistakes.

“Who knows...” He shrugged. “It might just work.”

“Could I have that in writing?” she asked sweetly.

He grinned down at her, the deep grooves bracketing his mouth adding an extra layer of sexy and CC’s breath hitched. Just as suddenly, though, his smile faded and his gaze grew serious as it trekked slowly north and zeroed in on her bangs.  

“CC...” He put up a hand in a stopping motion. “Stay. Very. Still.”

CC froze. “What? Why?” Adrenaline surged into her system as Wade’s hand slowly moved towards her hair. Keeping her head still she looked up trying to see what he was seeing even though part of her did not want to know.

Wade,” she hissed. “What?”

“I think you collected a spider when you were parlaying with that hedge.”A wild surge of fear cramped through her diaphragm. Spider. Jesus, she hated spiders. “Don’t move.”

Despite wanting to jump up and down, shake her head and brush wildly at her hair like a mad woman, screaming, “Get it off, get if off,” she doubted she was capable of moving.

She turned her eyeballs upwards again suddenly seeing in her peripheral vision, what Wade was seeing. The creep of skinny legs traversing her bangs like the spider was already setting up house.

“Oh god, get it off!”

He chuckled as he stepped closer, his fingers at face level and descending slowly. Heat poured off his body but CC was oblivious to everything but the frantic beat of her pulse rushing like a waterfall through her ears.

“Is it big?”

“Nah. It’s only a baby. It’s quite cute actually.”

Cute? She glared at him. Or as much as she could with her head straight and her eyes practically rolled back in their sockets trying to monitor the progress of her unwanted arachnid visitor.

CC clamped her teeth together. “Get. It. Off. Me.”

He chuckled. “Yeah, yeah.”

He slid a hand onto her nape. Probably to stop her from taking matters into her own hands and doing the wild, hand-flapping, spider jig which every primal instinct she owned was urging her to do.  

CC shut her eyes tight as he reached for the uninvited creature with his other hand, not wanting to watch as a live spider was plucked from her hair. The thought of having to touch it herself gave her the heebie jeebies and she was grateful Wade was volunteering.

Even if it was his fault she’d ended up in the damn hedge.

She felt a light brush against her forehead and squeezed her eyes even tighter, tensing everything so tight she doubted she’d have been able to squeeze a credit card between her butt cheeks. “Is it gone?”

Another chuckle, the warm fan of his breath on her face. “It’s gone.”

CC slowly opened her eyes and unclenched, Wade coming into hazy focus, looking at her with amusement sparking in his gaze.

“I didn’t know you were an arachnophobe.”

She’d already told him tonight he didn’t know everything about her, she wasn’t going there again. Besides, his closeness, his intense gaze, the way his thumb was stoking at her nape was more than enough to deal with at the moment.

Her heart was beating entirely differently now. He was so big. She was so used to seeing him, to being around him, she sometimes forgot how big he was. Hard to ignore the span of his chest from this close, though.

She should be moving away. She knew that. In fact, somewhere her wiser angels were telling her just that - screaming it at her, actually. But his stubble and the sexy indents around his mouth and the softness of his lips were dangerously fascinating.

Their gazes meshed for a beat or two and she couldn’t look away as his dropped, drifting to her mouth. As if he was going to kiss her. The stroking of his thumb halted and they just stared at each other. They stayed so still for so long, the sensor light went out, plunging them into darkness again. CC’s breath grew thick as the night surrounded them, her body throbbing with awareness and need.

“Cecilia,” he whispered.

Just like in her dream.

And that was enough. In a blinding flash CC threw out caution and almost six years of professional boundaries, rose on her tip toes and kissed him.

He met her half way, their lips clashing in a frantic mash, opening wide, tasting and searching and demanding everything from the other. It was no tentative starter, no teaser, no slow and steady. It was on fire from the first touch of mouth on mouth and it was far sexier than anything he had done to her in her dream life.

He tasted better, his body against hers felt better, he smelled better and he sounded better, groaning deep in his throat. She felt that groan all the way to her toes and every hot spot in between. His spider catching hand, slid onto her hip, hitching her closer as the hand at her nape held her fast.

The movement must have tripped the sensor because the portico flooded with light again and it was like bolt of lightning had hit them, repelling them for each other, forcing them apart, forcing them two steps back.

CC gasped in horror. Holding her hands up in front of her she contemplated what the hell had just happened as her heart beat a wild tango in her chest. It was no consolation that Wade looked just as stunned.

What had she done? She’d kissed Wade. And he’d kissed her back. This was not good.

Not. Good.

Wade recovered first, taking a step towards her. “CC –”

“No.” She shook her head taking a step back her hands up higher now almost level with her ears. Whatever he was going to say, she couldn’t deal with right now. Her cheeks were flushed and she was hot all over.

Sweet baby Jesus! He was her boss! And she wanted to die. “I’m so, so sorry...” CC desperately tried to come up with some justification for her actions to follow her apology. Like being in post-arachnid shock or temporary possession by the devil. But nothing – not even the clear and present need for exorcism - justified crossing the line she’d just crossed. The line that she had drawn all those years ago.

“It’s okay,” he said, his voice calm and placating, as if she was some kind of incendiary device primed to go off at any second.

CC shook her head vehemently. How could be so damn composed? How was kissing him ever okay? God...she just wanted to hit the erase button.

Yes. That was it. The erase button. Or the next best thing.

“Do you think,” she asked, locking her gaze with his, “it might be possible to never speak of this again?”

If they couldn’t erase it they could at least pretend it never happened, right?

“Sure.” He nodded, his voice still placatory. “Whatever you need.”

What she needed was a time machine but this would have to do. “Thank you.”

Then she turned on her heel, shoulder checking the door open as she hurried inside, her shaky legs carrying her up the stairs and into her bedroom where she burrowed under the covers and curled into a ball.

Sweet mother of pearl. What she done?

What. Had. She. Done?

Okay so, I'm a huge arachnophobe! Are you spiders yes or spiders no? Let me know in the comments and you'll go into the draw to win a digtial copy of Nothing But Trouble! 

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and a new smooch will be posted!

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver

May 10, 2019

Let's drink to us...!

I had the strangest head-spinny moment last week. I got a promotional badge from Mills & Boon to help me celebrate a career milestone. My next Mills & Boon release (SHOCK HEIR FOR THE KING – May 2019) will be my fifteenth title for the romance-publishing powerhouse. 

My debut novel was released in August 2017 I wrote about ‘getting the call’ over here on the Harlequin blog at the time, and I could never have imagined, when I held my first M&B, that I’d be celebrating my fifteenth Harlequin title less than two years later. There’s something very strange about having your dreams come true, and writing for Harlequin Mills & Boon has been a guiding light in my life for almost all of it. I suspect like most of you, I found romance novels young, and fell head over heels for them. 

To celebrate this milestone, I thought I’d do a little listicle of some of the things I’ve learned since my debut M&B was released. 

1. The reader is key.Writing for Mills & Boon is my long-held dream but it’s also an incredible legacy to be a part of. I don’t know if there’s any other fiction imprint that is so beloved by its readers. It’s such a huge responsibility (a wonderful one) and respecting reader expectations is so important. Every Harlequin I write has my heart, my soul, and is a story I passionately want to tell, but as I write it, I also think about what I as a reader want to feel when I pick up a Mills & Boon Modern, what experience I’m looking for. I make sure I write a story that really delivers on that. 

2 – The editorial process can be tough but always, always makes for a better book – and I would say Mills & Boon editors are some of the best on the planet. If writing for Mills & Boon is becoming a part of a legacy, then editors are the biggest caretakers of this. They are brilliant at making sure every story really lives up to its emotional promise, giving the reader everything they could want in a category romance. 

3 – It’s hard work.

Really hard work, and also really rewarding work. It’s a constant juggle. Often times I’m plotting one book, writing another, editing a different one, and managing the self-published side of my career as well, and it can be exhausting. But I never, not for even a second, take this for granted. I am so blessed to get to do this for a job. 

4 – The community of M&B authors is phenomenal. From the minute I signed with Mills & Boon – actually, before (I'm looking at you, Amy Andrews!) – I’ve had the most amazing encouragement and support. Truly, it is a collection of kind, generous, intelligent and supportive women.  

5 – Readers of Mills & Boon are the actual bomb. Just, wow. I had been publishing indie romance novels for over three years before my debut Mills & Boon was released, and I’d met some truly special readers through that. Mills & Boon readers are a whole new level of devoted and passionate. I love chatting to them online, and love chatting romance with them. 

Finally, translation copies are just the coolest thing ever. I will never forget how it felt to hold my first foreign language book in my hand! Yippeeeee!  

So right now, you can imagine me drinking an imaginary glass of champagne – but I don’t want to faux-drink alone. Tell me what’s awesome in your world right now? What goals are you smashing out of the park? What’s making you smile? Let’s do a big ol’ group cheers at our collective awesomeness, LoveCats! 

May 8, 2019

Some Prim and (not so) Proper Facts

The Aussie cover

It’s May, and as Miss Prim’s Greek Island Fling hit the shelves this month, I thought I’d share some fun facts about the book.

#1: This book was an utter delight to write. I can’t remember enjoying the writing of a book more. That, however, doesn't mean it was perfect first or even second time around. I had revisions, and then tweaks. But they were fun too! Which is crazy sauce because normally I hate revisions. I know, I know, they make a book better, but I usually find them a hard slog—but not for Miss Prim. :)

#2: My working title was The Playboy and Miss Prim. I like Miss Prim’s Greek Island Fling better, don’t you? Annie West tells me the title has music, and I think she might be right.
The UK cover

#3: The theme song for this story was ABBA’s "Tropical Loveland" because my setting was an island paradise (even if it technically wasn’t tropical). I listened to the song A LOT. But I didn’t watch the film clip until yesterday when I was writing this post. OMG! Just…go watch it for the hilarious moment when Frida eats a banana. ;-)

#4: Maybe the book was so much fun because my research was so fun. It included Google Mapping lots of Greek islands. Happy sighs. And it included watching the Mamma Mia movies (many times) as well as The Durrells. I still swoon over the scenery every single time.

#5: The very first line of the book stayed the same from from first draft to last draft. It reads: It was the sound of shattering glass that woke her. Cool, huh?

I’ve had some glorious reviews for Miss Prim. If you want to grab a copy, it’s available online in all the usual places and on the shelves in Australia and the UK right now.

The US cover

Barnes & Noble

May 5, 2019

Sunday Smooch with Michelle Douglas

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Miss Prim's Greek Island Fling.

An idyllic island retreat…

…with her Mr. Wrong!

After a devastating betrayal, Audra Russel escapes to her brother’s Greek island to lick her wounds. Only she soon finds that her brother’s best friend, Finn Sullivan, is vacationing there, too! He may be recovering from a near-fatal accident, but the irresistible daredevil is intent on showing buttoned-up Audra how to have a good time. And now that she’s started, she doesn’t ever want to stop!

[Scene set up: Finn is frustrated because Audra keeps resisting fun and frivolity and the notion of letting her hair down. She’s such a warm and generous person and he wants her to be happy. This is one challenge he refuses to walk away from.]

‘I’ll tell you what I understand. That you’re the most uptight, repressed person I have ever met.’

‘Repressed?’ Her mouth opened and closed. ‘I— What are you doing?’

He’d seized her hand and was towing her towards a copse of Aleppo pine and carob trees. ‘What’s that?’ He flung an arm out at the vista spread below them.

She glared. ‘The Aegean. It’s beautiful.’

‘And that?’ He pointed upwards.

She followed his gaze. Frowned and shrugged, evidently not following where he was going with this. ‘The…sky?’

‘The sun,’ he snapped out. ‘And it’s shining in full force in case you hadn’t noticed. And where are we?’

She swallowed. ‘On a Greek island.’

He crowded her in against a tree, his arms going either side of her to block her in. ‘If there was ever a time to let you hair down and rebel against your prim and proper strictures, Audra, now’s the time to do it.’

She stared up at him with wide throbbing eyes, and he relished the moment—her stupefaction…her bewilderment…her undeniable hunger when her gaze lowered to his lips. This moment had seemed inevitable from when she’d appeared on the stairs a week ago to peer at him with those icy blue eyes, surveyed him in handcuffs, and told him it served him right.

His heart thudded against his ribs, he relished the adrenaline that surged through his body, before he swooped down to capture her lips in a kiss designed to shake up her safe little world. And he poured all of his daredevil wildness and adventurous temptation into it in a devil-may-care invitation to dance.

The assault on Audra’s senses the moment Finn’s lips touched hers was devastating. She hadn’t realised she could feel a kiss in so many ways, that it’s impact would spread through her in ever-widening circles that went deeper and deeper.

Finn’s warmth beat at her like the warmth of the sun after a dip in the sea. It melted things that had been frozen for a very long time.

His scent mingled with the warm tang of olive trees and sun-kissed grasses, and with just the tiniest hint of salt on the air it was exactly what a holiday should smell like. It dared her to play, it tempted her to reckless fun…and…and to a youthful joy she’d never allowed herself to feel before.

And she was powerless to resist. She had no defences against a kiss like this. It didn’t feel as if defences were necessary. A kiss like this…it should be embraced and relished…welcomed.

Finn had been angry with her, but he didn’t kiss angry. He kissed her as though he couldn’t help it—as though he’d been fighting a losing battle and had finally flung himself wholeheartedly into surrender. It was intoxicating.

Totally heady and wholly seductive.

 This is  one of the funnest books I've ever written, and in a lot of ways the book itself is about fun and joy and what brings us peace and pleasure. So let's all broaden our finding-pleasure horizons. What (other than family, friends and reading as I know all of us here find great joy in those things) brings you pleasure? Leave a comment to go into the draw to win a signed copy of Miss Prim's Greek Island Fling! :-)

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and a smooch from Amy Andrews will be posted!

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver