Tag Archive | Best First Book

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Best First Book: Wende Dikec

 

“Tiger Lily” by Wende Dikec (Inkspell Publishing)
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“Who are you?” The words sounded garbled as they escaped from my lips, but he seemed to understand. He raised one dark eyebrow in surprise.

“You can see me?” he asked, his voice deep and husky. I nodded, trying to give him my best “duh” look. Hard to do with tubes coming out of my orifices.

Around my age and good looking in a bad-boy-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks sort of way, he caused me to feel a little hot and bothered, and not just because he’d made himself at home in the middle of my hospital room. He smoldered with the kind of sexy I’d only seen in movies, and in the “Hunk of the Month” calendar I kept hidden in my desk drawer in my room. There was something strange about him, too, besides his obvious appeal. He looked oddly fuzzy around the edges, like a blurry photo taken when someone moves at just the wrong moment. Even as I squinted at him and tried really hard to focus, he never quite solidified, and the effort it took exhausted me.

It must be the drugs, I thought as I drifted off to sleep. A nice and very comforting idea, but completely wrong.

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

Good luck to Wende and all our Golden Leaf finalists! Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 14, 2016.

 

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Golden Leaf Spotlight on Best First Book: Jessica Calla

 

“The Love Square” by Jessica Calla (Limitless Publishing)
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As he studied Jenna’s warm skin, her big, brown eyes, her pink lips, he remembered Uncle Nino’s party. The day she moved into her apartment downstairs. The first time she told him she loved him, and the time he refused to let her love him. He thought of how angelic she looked on her bed that morning with Dylan, the sun shining down on her bare back.

And today, with her on the grass in her dance rehearsal clothes, her hair back in a messy ponytail, he couldn’t remember a time she looked more beautiful, because in her eyes he saw what he had been trying to avoid since he met her.

Intimacy, yes, but more…

Love.

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

Good luck to Jessica and all our Golden Leaf finalists! Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 14, 2016.

 

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Best First Book: Marlo Berliner

 

“The Ghost Chronicles” by Marlo Berliner (Teddy Blue Books)
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He turned the corner. They were now alone in another wing of the school. Without even thinking about it, he stopped and hugged both arms around her. As they embraced, an almost magnetic force pulled him towards her and a flow of electricity ever-so-slightly passed between them. Whoa, talk about being attracted to someone.

Enjoying the warmth of her aura, his eyes locked with hers. What would it be like to kiss her? Would it feel the same as when I was alive? Suddenly, he forgot where they were. He forgot they were dead. He forgot about anything other than wanting to kiss a beautiful girl. Slipping his arms down around her waist, he leaned closer.

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

Good luck to Marlo and all our Golden Leaf finalists! Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 14, 2016.

 

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Best First Book: Anna Sugden

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference starts tomorrow!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists leading up until 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 17, 2014.

Spotlight on Best First Book: “A Perfect Distraction,” by Anna Sugden (Harlequin)

A Perfect DistractionIn the large sitting area of the suite, by the floor-to-ceiling windows, a group of women fluttered around a tall, dark-haired man like a flock of brightly colored exotic birds. That must be Jake Badoletti.

Maggie’s mouth went dry.

None of the photos had done him justice. She’d known he was good-looking, but that didn’t begin to describe the man in person.

Heaven help her, he was gorgeous!

Square jawed and rugged, with piercing blue eyes and a crooked grin. He was clearly a warrior of the ice, but his bro­ken nose and scars somehow added to his appeal and made him more intriguing. Unlike the hulking bodies of the thick necks, Jake had the firm, solid lines of an athlete in peak condition. Lean, corded muscle shaped the snug-fitting black shirt and faded jeans. Exciting and enticing, he brimmed with charm and hints of danger.

No wonder he had that reputation—any woman would have a hard time resisting the pull of this particular bad boy. Once upon a time, she’d have been in that crowd, fighting for his attention. Not anymore. Never again.

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

Good luck to Anna and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Best First Book: Maria Imbalzano

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is days away!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists leading up until 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 17, 2014.

Spotlight on Best First Book: “Unchained Memories,” by Maria Imbalzano (The Wild Rose Press)

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Red. Hot. Sexy.

Like magnets, Clay’s eyes clicked on Charlotte, unable to repel the force holding them. Her chestnut hair was held up in a loose, sexy do that had him itching to pull the pins to release it. Her strapless dress showcased a long neck and creamy shoulders that called out to be kissed. His involuntary focus on her lovely traits throughout the evening had made him a rude dinner companion, unable to answer even the easiest of questions.

He had come here tonight to socialize with the powers that be at the hospital, to talk up the ER, to lay the groundwork for future requests. But his concentration had been directed elsewhere. Since he’d squandered his opportunity to network, he should leave. But here he was at the bar at ten-thirty, waiting for a scotch and soda. The band was heavily into their Motown set and many of the revelers packed the dance floor.

Across the room, Clay zeroed in on Charlotte talking to a group of men, her red gown like a flame in a sea of black. He smiled. She sure knew how to turn heads. His included.

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

Good luck to Maria and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Best First Book: Tanya Holmes

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is days away!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists leading up until 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 17, 2014.

Spotlight on Best First Book: “Within Temptation,” by Tanya Holmes (Virtual Acquisitions)

Within Temptation - Tanya Holmes

Trace gave my hand a reassuring squeeze. “Remember, you’re the plane, but I’m the pilot. Stop steering and let me lead. When we’re out here, your body belongs to me.” His confident gaze captured mine. “This is about trust, okay?”

I nodded, trying to ignore my pounding heart. Trust wasn’t an issue when I was young and naïve, but now? To surrender control, even for something as trivial as a dance, was against my nature. Yet if I wanted to gain his trust, I had to give mine unreservedly. So I yielded, surrendering to him little by little, and once he’d taken full control, the change was extraordinary.

We began to move as one.

Where he led, I followed, easily reading his body language—be it a look, the angle of his shoulders, or the pressure of his touch. All these and many other nonverbal prompts conveyed where and how he wanted me.

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

Good luck to Tanya and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Best First Book: Maria K. Alexander

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is days away!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists leading up until 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 17, 2014.

Spotlight on Best First Book: “Untangle My Heart,” by Maria K. Alexander (The Wild Rose Press)

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“Privacy is a hard thing to find around here, so you may want to lock the door. Especially when you’re wearing only a towel and my sister is on the prowl.”

“I’ll have to remember that,” Edward said, taking a step toward her.

“I’m sure you’re not accustomed to asking a woman to leave your room.”

He gave her an unapologetic grin. “No, usually not.”

“I guess it’s partly my fault. I told her I don’t have any claims to you. Apparently she took that to mean it was open season to pursue you.”

“Yet you stopped by. Why?”

“I wanted to thank you again for your help today. You dropped everything to come and help my family and that means a lot to me.”

He took another step toward her until he stood directly in front of her. “You mean a lot to me. I’d do anything I could to help you.”

She nodded in acknowledgement, not sure she could trust her voice to speak with him all but touching her.

“And you’re wrong about not having a claim on me.”

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

Good luck to Maria and all our Golden Leaf finalists!