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Golden Leaf Spotlight on Best First Book: Jess Russell

New Jersey Romance Writer’s annual “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is this Friday and Saturday! Today wraps up our Golden Leaf Spotlights. We hope you’ve enjoying reading a little sample from each of the finalists. We’ll learn the winners in each category this Friday, October 16th, during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony. Be sure to come back here following the conference to see a list of the winners.

Spotlight on Best First Book: “The Dressmaker’s Duke,” by Jess Russell (The Wild Rose Press)

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The Duke of Roydan dramatically raised one eyebrow. He, no doubt, used that considerable weapon to silence his numerous minions. Well, she would not be so cowed.

“Have you nothing else to compensate me?” he asked, as if he were mentioning the weather.

Olivia’s whirring mind stopped dead. Ah…now we have it. Her vision narrowed. The bloody cheek of the man.

“Surely you have something you can barter with, Mrs. Weston?” he continued, paying not the slightest attention to her most lethal stare.

 Two could play this game. “I am a dressmaker, Your Grace. I make and sell dresses. That is the full extent of my commerce.” (Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Jess and all our 2015 Golden Leaf finalists!

 

 

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Best First Book: Regina Kyle

New Jersey Romance Writer’s annual “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is this Friday and Saturday!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists each day leading up to the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 16, 2015.

Spotlight on Best First Book: “Triple Threat,” by Regina Kyle (Harlequin, Blaze)

Triple threat cover NJRWA

Holly checked the card in her hand once more before knocking on the door: 1008. Good. She was in the right place.

Or the wrong place.

She exhaled loudly, shaking off her doubts, and knocked. She was there to talk. Just talk. She was a grown woman, for goodness’ sake, not a hormonal teenager. She wasn’t going to be distracted by…

The door swung open and any thoughts of talking—not to mention her ability to talk at all—deserted her. Nick stood framed in the doorway, a skimpy hotel towel wrapped loosely around his waist. He was still damp from the shower, those washboard abs she’d speculated about earlier on full display.

So much for not being distracted.

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Regina and all our 2015 Golden Leaf finalists!

 

 

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Best First Book: Miriam Allenson

New Jersey Romance Writer’s annual “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is this Friday and Saturday! We’re in the home stretch with the Golden Leaf finalist excerpts, moving onto Best First Book.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 16, 2015.

Spotlight on Best First Book: “For the Love of the Dame,” by Miriam Allenson (Self-published)

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“What do you think, Car?” Anxious eyes appealed. “My ensemble: it is pleasing?”

Pleasing? No. It was hot. She was hot. Everything about her was hot. “Yes, very pleasing.” His eyes roved over her outfit, imagining the body beneath.

“We think perhaps a scarf around the waist, yes?” She put her hands there. “But we decide too much material. A belt is better. Do you agree?”

Car had never been asked for an opinion on scarves as opposed to belts, but he was ready to offer one now. “Hmm, let’s see.” He slipped his hands under hers to encircle her waist, the heels of his hands resting on her hips, the fingers of each hand practically touching at the small of her back. Oh man, what a waist; what a perfect waist. “I think the belt,” he said, having to clear his throat to get his tongue off the roof of his mouth.

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Miriam and all our 2015 Golden Leaf finalists!

 

 

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Paranormal: Debra Dunbar

New Jersey Romance Writer’s annual “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is a week away!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists each day leading up to the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 16, 2015.

Spotlight on Paranormal: “Three Wishes,” by Debra Dunbar (Self-published)

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“Come out with me.  I’m pretty sure you deserve one night off after one-hundred years.”

“I can’t.  I really, really want to, but I just can’t.”  She didn’t need to feign the regret.  I’m making the biggest mistake of my life.

“You’re making the biggest mistake of your life.”

She jumped at his words, wondering if he could read her mind, or if her emotions were that transparent. Dar sighed, tightening his grasp of her waist. “You angels are f-ing slave drivers when it comes to duty and responsibility.  Well, if I can’t spend the evening with you, I’ll have to go with plan B.”

Before she could even wonder what plan B was, his lips were against hers. It wasn’t the sort of kiss she’d ever expected from a demon — not that she’d ever envisioned herself kissing one.  His mouth was gentle and tender, barely a caress. His lips explored hers, then he lifted his head from hers, tugging her bottom lip with a hint of teeth.

“Goodnight, Asta,” he whispered.

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Debra and all our 2015 Golden Leaf finalists!

 

 

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Paranormal: Terri Brisbin

New Jersey Romance Writer’s annual “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is just over a week away!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists each day leading up to the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 16, 2015.

Spotlight on Paranormal: “Rising Fire: A Novel of the Stone Circles,” by Terri Brisbin (Signet/NAL)

Rising Fire

She took a step towards him again and lifted her hand to touch him, this time his chest, outlining the ridges of muscle down to his stomach with her fingers.

“I pray you, William, be with me tonight. Let me make the choice before my father takes it from me.”

She could see the desire and the wanting flare in his eyes as though he controlled the fire. His fingers curled into fists and released, over and over as if he was trying to keep from touching her.

“Brienne,” he whispered, his voice full of longing and hoarse with passion. “You know that I want you. I have wanted you from the moment I saw you. There is something between us I cannot explain.”

She could. She could tell him what she knew. She could do it now, but she knew her father planned to on the morrow. Brienne wanted to have him this night before the knowledge of their fates was known.

“Shhhhhh,” she urged, placing her finger over his lips. “Kiss me, I beg you. Kiss me now.”

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Terri and all our 2015 Golden Leaf finalists!

 

 

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Paranormal: Ruth A. Casie

New Jersey Romance Writer’s annual “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is weeks away!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists each day leading up to the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 16, 2015.

Spotlight on Paranormal: “Knight of Rapture,” by Ruth A. Casie (Timeless Scribes Publishing)

Knight of Rapture Final Cover

The muscles on his chest danced as her fingers lightly traced the runes. “This rune is for the Great Mother.” Her finger poised over the sign. “Thank you, Great Mother,” she said as her lips brushed against his skin. She watched it deckle in gooseflesh. Her finger moved on. “This is our sign.” Encouraged by the hooded passion she saw in his eyes, she kissed the rune and moved on. The tips of her fingers traced down his chest. “Here it is again.” The rune was below his navel. Another kiss. Her fingers trailed down further.

He pulled her up and rolled on top of her. Her body instinctively arched against his. “You are mine.” His warm breath brushed against her face. Two heartbeats passed. “Do you hear me? You’re mine,” he said more urgently.

“Yes.” Her voice was an intimate whisper. His lips tugged into a sideways grin.

It was the smile that made her bones go limp. It was his magick.

“Forever,” was all he said.

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Ruth and all our 2015 Golden Leaf finalists!

 

 

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Contemporary: Shirley Hailstock

New Jersey Romance Writer’s annual “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is weeks away!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists each day leading up to the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 16, 2015.

Spotlight on Contemporary: “Summer on Kendall Farm,” by Shirley Hailstock (Harlequin, Heartwarming)

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Sweat trickled down Jason Kendall’s neck. It had been years since he’d fled this same road, the wind behind his Corvette creating a small hurricane as he vowed to never set foot on his family’s property again. Coming back to Windsor Heights wasn’t easy and the closer he got to the farm, the harder it was to hold the memories at bay.

Suddenly, a light went on inside the foyer. Jace squinted as the one above his head illuminated at virtually the same moment.

“May I help you?” a voice said through the heavy door.

“You could open the door.” Jace peered through the beveled glass trying to see whether it was Laura or someone else.

“Who are you?” she asked. “And what do you want?”

“I’m Jason Kendall and I live here.”

There was a long pause before Jace heard the door locks clicking and finally the oval-glass door was pulled open. The light from both the porch and the foyer fell on the woman standing before him. Jace gasped.

“Laura,” he whispered, taking a step backward. He thought he was prepared to see her again, but he wasn’t.

“I’m not Laura.”

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Shirley and all our 2015 Golden Leaf finalists!