Thanks, Elodie, for hosting me on your blog today. I’m excited to introduce Marius and Cynthia from my new book “Trusting Again.” This was a really fun story to write. First, I got to play in glass with Cynthia. Like my heroine, I do glass art although not at her level. My beads are terrible! Then I learned about Malbec and coffee for Marius. Finally, I took them to one of the most beautiful places in the country—the San Juan Islands. It’s so gorgeous there, it’s impossible not to fall in love. Just ask Marius and Cynthia.
My excerpt is from their first day sailing The couple hasn’t been together very long and in this scene Cynthia isn’t sure yet what the ground rules for the sailing trip are. When they went on board in the morning, Marius suggested she take the master’s cabin and he’d sleep on the main cabin. But the attraction between them heats up as they sail and by the time they get back on board after dinner…well, read the excerpt and see what you think will happen.
After years of struggling, Cynthia Blaine is finally getting recognition from Seattle galleries and buyers for her designer jewelry. Her life seems to be on an even keel. Her professional life, that is. Her personal life is less exciting than a cloistered nun’s. After a messy breakup with a man who decided he needed a woman who could help his career more than a mere artist could, she’s steered clear of anyone who could hurt her like that again.
Then Marius Hernandez comes into a gallery where she is working. He’s a successful coffee broker; he’s to-die-for handsome; he’s sexy and charming. And he’s very, very interested in her.
Marius woos her on a sailing trip through the beautiful San Juan Islands during which their romance lights up the summer nights. Soon after they return to Seattle, he leaves on a six-week business trip to Central America, promising he’ll return to her. But just before he’s due back, Cynthia gets a shock. And when she goes to Portland to pour out her heart to her best friend, she has another shock. Marius is in Portland, not where he said he would be. And he’s with another woman.
It’ll take more than a good cup of coffee to get Cynthia and Marius to their happily-ever-after.
Read an Excerpt
When they’d packed up the remains of their meal, Cynthia poked around in her small duffle bag and came up with a tube of sunscreen. “I need to put more on. Want some?”
He held out his latte-colored arm. “With this skin?”
“With any skin. You mean you don’t have any sunblock on? Don’t you know about the epidemic of skin cancer? Here, let me.” Without thinking it through, she went behind him and began to rub lotion onto his shoulders.
It was a mistake, a very big mistake. The heat of his skin zinged through her fingers, up her arm, into her chest, taking up so much space in her lungs it was hard to breathe. She tried to get more oxygen in by taking deep, deep breaths, but that just meant she replaced the little air in her lungs with the exotic smell she associated with him, a scent even the sunscreen couldn’t mask.
And if touching his skin wasn’t bad enough, there was the feel of the muscles underneath. Oh, dear God, the muscles. Trying to distract her mind from what she was doing, she racked her brain for something to think about that wasn’t related to his body. Touching his body. Massaging those muscles. Which if she didn’t stop thinking about would lead to licking all the way up his spine to his neck. Where she’d nibble, until she moved to sucking on his earlobe. Or maybe sliding her hands around his waist, insinuating her fingers under the waistband of his cutoffs to follow that line of dark hair.
No! She had to do something to stop the train wreck she could see coming if she kept on thinking this way. But she couldn’t help herself. She loved touching him. Loved the feel of his skin and the strength of his muscles. Remembered what it felt like to have him hold her, touch her. To feel the hardness of his body against her softness. To have all that male heat against her.
This was getting worse by the minute. There had to be something she could do. But what? What? Wait. She’d read someplace about what men did to divert themselves from thinking about sex. What was it? Oh, right. They thought about baseball. That wasn’t workable. She didn’t know enough about the sport to form a coherent diversionary sentence.
Okay. What was it Liz said she’d done when she wanted to stop smoking? Oh, yeah, she’d used the idea of a mental stop sign when she got the urge to light up. Cynthia closed her eyes for a minute, pictured a huge, red stop sign on Marius’s back and proceeded to blow right through it to touch the next muscle.
Then she remembered her life drawing class in college, naked bodies as art project. She’d learned all the major muscles in that class and now ran through what she could remember. Trying to think of the correct names for what she was massaging worked at first. Deltoids. Triceps. Biceps. Brachioradialis.
Arms and shoulders finished.
Then on to his back. Latissimus dorsi. Trapezius. Obliques. She was on a roll. Gluteus max...oh, shit. Don’t go there. Do not go anywhere near that thought. Or that muscle.
One by one, his muscles tensed and twitched as her fingers worked the lotion into his skin as if she’d said its name out loud. Maybe she had. Or was that Marius she heard? She could have sworn she heard a soft groan as she spread the sunblock down his back to the waistband of his cutoffs. She felt like moaning herself. If she didn’t finish this soon, she’d be lost.
Born in Philly, I’ve spent most of my adult life in the Pacific Northwest where I have happily grown webs between my toes and moss behind my ears. I pursued a number of careers—nurse, legislative staffer, lobbyist, public affairs consultant, non-profit association executive, workshop teacher, oh, and mother and wife—before deciding to leave it all for what I’ve loved through every stage of life—writing. I've been published in anthologies, magazines, newspapers and in the brochures, newsletters and reports of my consulting clients and employers. Unless you count speeches for politicians, I'd never written fiction until a cast of characters began inhabiting my daydreams. A glass artist and a gallery owner were there. So were a sculptor and a jewelry designer. When some dead bodies showed up, a couple of cops and a deputy DA arrived. Soon they began to fall in love with each other and work for their happy ending. Bingo. I was a romance writer.
How to find Peggy
Amazon authors page: http://www.amazon.com/Peggy-Bird/e/B0081JM3LG
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