Angie slid into her seat. “What’s the bid up to?”
“Someone named Missy bid four—” The rest of her words were drowned out by the MC.
“Going once, going twice…”
Angie’s gut churned. Only four hundred? Darren was worth tons more, even if he was from the wrong side of the bay. Her heart pounded and a trickle of sweat crawled across her chest. Like in the minutes spent waiting for the pregnancy test to turn blue. Or not.
Without wasting another second worrying about the consequences, Angie stood, raised her paddle and shouted, “Five.”
Utter silence cloaked the room, except for a few gasps. The loudest of which came from Jill.
“What the hell are you doing?” She grabbed Angie’s arm and pulled her off her feet.
“You told me to get a man. In fact, you told me to buy the firefighter. So I bid.” There was no way on God’s green earth she would allow Darren to fall into Missy’s talons. The viper had been the bane of her existence all through high school.
She risked a glance in Darren’s direction. He shook hands with a couple of the other bachelors, who should have been looking smug at out-pricing him, but instead they looked a little peeved.
“Are you crazy—five thousand dollars? You don’t even know this guy. No one knows this guy.”
“Thousand? No, it was five—” Coffee and booze churned in her stomach.
“Sold!” The gavel rapped, Missy glared, and Angie had bought herself a man.
Oh cripes, what have I done?
Slumping in her chair, Angie rubbed at the pain blossoming behind her right eyebrow and struggled to breathe. Damn, she wasn’t hyperventilating, was she?
She took a final gulp of cold coffee before trailing behind Jill as they approached the group of men, and the women who had bought their services. Jill sashayed to her bachelor and soon led him away to a private corner where they could get to know each other. Angie couldn’t help but think Jill and her new beau would get along like hippos in mud. Jill’s love of adventure guaranteed they’d have fun. And they’d look good doing it. From their identically highlighted hair to their designer duds they could be on the cover of one of the tabloids as the newest power couple. Jill had admitted to liking fancy wrapping. Angie was more concerned with what was inside the package.
Angie squared her shoulders, tugged again at her sequined hem, and advanced toward her purchase. He slouched against a pillar with his hands in his pockets, scanning the crowd, a slight grin on his handsome face. His eyes crinkled slightly at the corners, and his white teeth set off the last of his summer tan. A downright yummy package.
She held out her hand. “Hi, I’m Angie Davis. I don’t know if you remember me but—”
“Yeah, I do now.” His emerald gaze traveled from her head to her toes, leaving her with the distinct impression he didn’t like what he saw. He ignored her outstretched hand. She dropped it to her side, fighting the urge to shuffle and fidget.
Only she could spend five thousand dollars to get rejected.
A wave of embarrassment heated her skin and she wiped again at her damp brow. She had to get out of there before she did something else stupid. She cleared the discomfort from her throat. “For this date, since you don’t have anything planned, I thought—”
He aimed for the lobby bar. “I need a drink.”
You just read an excerpt from:
Where There's Heat
The Wild Rose Press
Today we're honoring Luanna Nau, writing as Grace Hood.
Luanna: Well, let's see. I was born and raised in Nova Scotia. After spending a year in London working as a nanny, I returned to college and promptly fell in love with a professor. We've been married 25 years (woot!). We traveled around the States for several years and are now settled in Maine. We have a freshman in college and a high school junior. We also have two cats, a budgie, one surviving gold fish, and six hens.
I've been writing for about five years and have completed six manuscripts. I'm all over the map as far as genres go – contemporary, romantic suspense, paranormal, erotic romance. I'm tempted to try an historical romance and may use NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, 50K words in one month) to experiment.
My pen name is Grace Hood (maternal grandmother + paternal great great grandfather).
Kage: What happened to the first book you ever wrote?
Luanna: The first book I ever wrote is called "Second Chances", about a woman who runs home to repair her life. Like that hasn't been written before, right? It's loaded with back story, head-hopping, and conversations that go nowhere. It resides on my hard drive, where it will stay.
Kage:What’s your backlist and coming soon bookshelf look like?
Luanna: My backlist…well, I don't have one yet. My current release is my first. And let me tell you, seeing my cover is still a thrill.
Kage: Alright then, tell us a little about about your current release.
Luanna: My first book, "Where There's Heat" was released from The Wild Rose Press on July 21st. It's the story of Angie, a pastry chef, who has to go back to her small home town to take care of the family business. While there, she runs into her high school crush, buys him at a bachelor auction, and then tries to get back to her real life.
This story was fun to write because it was the hero who fell in love first, and the heroine was dragged kicking and screaming into the relationship.
Where There's Heat
Darren Kelley loves his town, his job as a volunteer firefighter, and working at a shelter for abandoned horses. He couldn't imagine living anywhere else. Until the cute girl from high school returns to town, all grown up.
Angie Davis is a pastry chef working at a popular restaurant in Boston. When her mother runs off with her latest toy boy, Angie rushes back to her small hometown in Maine to rescue the family pasta factory. Not content to return to the boonies, she decides to sell the business, fast, and get back to her real life. But before she can escape, she meets up with the man of her high school fantasies, and questions whether she needs the bright lights and big city to be happy.
Kage: What would the story be rated if it were a movie?
Luanna: "Where There's Heat" is rated X, for explicit sex scenes..
Kage: If you HAD to fit this story into a cliché, which one would it be?
Luanna: Oh my heavens, all this time I've been avoiding clichés, LOL. My book is a "going home" story.
Kage:Okay, now that we have a general idea which class to fit Where There's Heat under, what makes this book so unique from every other book out there?
Luanna: This story went through many revisions, with quite a few character changes along the way. But the one thing that never changed was my vision of the hero, Darren. Oh, and he's based on a fellow from my own high school days.
Kage:What was the easiest part to write?
Luanna: The easiest part to write was the dialogue. I always find dialogue fun. Quite often my fingers can't keep up with my character's chatter.
Kage:What do you like most about the main character(s) and what do you like least? Did you learn anything from them?
Luanna: Hm…let me see. Angie is a lady after my own heart – we both love to bake. Everything from fancy and complicated multi-layered tortes to chocolate chip cookies.
Kage:Luanna, Thank you so much for stopping by today and gracing us with your presence. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to say to wrap things up?
Luanna: Thank you so much for inviting me for a visit. I had a blast!
Now that Luanna has totally made us want to buy her book, she was kind enough to provide us with a a buy link to Where There's Heat: at The Wild Rose Press
If you're still curious about Grace Hood, here is her website: http://luannanau.com/