For your reading pleasure, we'll be featuring each author with a story of her choice for the next few weeks. Some will include interviews, and all will include excerpts. Today's featured author is Alyssa Drake.
There are two themes which tend to creep into my writing. The first is the above idea of a strong woman, not a shrew, but a woman who fights for what she believes in with her whole heart. The second theme is the idea that each character’s motivation stems from a concept of love - love of money, love of power, loss of love, and even simply love itself.
2. If money was of no concern, what would you envision as your perfect lifestyle?
My perfect lifestyle is a tropical island, with no neighbors, and a boat anchored just off the dock. I would eat freshly caught fish, swim in crystal blue oceans, and bonfire on the beach every night. During the day, I would write (yes, even with all the money in the world). Every few months, we’d pull anchor and sail to the coast, so we could visit the people we loved. I would really enjoy a helicopter pad too, just because sometimes a boat just isn’t fast enough.
3. Besides writing, what things are you most passionate about?
I am passionate about books in general: reading them, writing them, organizing them, and collecting signed paperbacks. I also love football (the American kind), working with chocolate, and any holiday that involves decorating.
4. Not limited to writing, what do you believe to be some of your greatest accomplishments so far?
Some of my greatest accomplishments are: getting my first two novels published, graduating college with a B.S. in Business and a minor in French, and raising three kids.
5. Name a few of your favorites
Favorite color: blue-green (like the ocean)
Favorite smell: vanilla
Favorite food: pizza
Favorite drink: coffee (sugar and cream)
Favorite TV show: The Big Bang Theory
Favorite movie: Undercover Blues
Favorite quote: “How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” Trina Paulus
Favorite book(s): Pride & Prejudice, 1984, and Harry Potter
Song currently playing on my Pandora: Riot by Three Days Grace
Lose yourself in WiltshireSamantha Hastings lived a quiet, peaceful life on her family’s country estate. With no man to order her around and no stifling society rules to follow, she considered herself blessed. However, when her brother’s ship sinks during a short trip to France, Samantha receives a request from her sister-in-law to return to town and manage the late Earl’s finances. Suddenly thrust into society, Samantha faces an unfamiliar world and a pair of very familiar green eyes.
Lord Benjamin Westwood never intended on following through with his rash promise to his best friend. Now, with Edward’s death, Benjamin becomes the unwilling guardian to Edward’s bratty little sister, who has grown up considerably since the last time they met. His intention to marry her off to the first available suitor is thwarted when he finds himself falling for Samantha’s unique demeanor. He lights upon the perfect plan; a marriage of convenience, giving him the opportunity to romance Samantha without distraction.
However, when they discover Edward’s disappearance was due to foul play, Benjamin’s perfect plan begins to quickly unravel. Now, Samantha is in more danger than either of them realized and Benjamin is running out of time.
“I do,” insisted Samantha. She stopped dancing to place her hands firmly on her hips. The childish pose brought a smile to Benjamin’s lips.
“Let me show you how much you do not know. Shall we retire to the terrace; it is such a lovely night?” Without waiting for a response, he grasped her wrist lightly and tugged her towards the open glass doors. Samantha followed reluctantly.
The balcony, bathed in light from the ballroom, provided shadowy corners for couples seeking a little more privacy. It was into one of these dim corners that Benjamin pulled Samantha, pushing her back against the ivy covered bricks. Both his hands rested on the greenery, sufficiently trapping Samantha between his body and the wall. He inhaled her scent, sweet like honeysuckle.
He moved closer, the heat from her body licked flames onto his skin. Their breath intermingled, caressing two pairs of lips before escaping into the star-spattered sky. His hips slid nearer, pressing into her with his unreleased desire. One finger tipped her chin until she was forced to stare into his eyes. The other hand moved behind her head, clasping her neck, just above the bodice.
“This,” he rumbled softly, their lips separated by mere centimeters, “is how a potential suitor might behave. Can you handle this?”
“Yes,” she answered defiantly, her voice wavering. She placed her hands on his chest, as if she were planning to shove him away. However, she did not exert any pressure, nor did she move them; her hands remained splayed across his broad chest.
“And this?” He inched closer, his lips brushing her in the barest of kisses.
“Yes,” Samantha managed to squeak out.
Benjamin kissed her again; lightly at first and then with increasing urgency. He deepened the kiss, his body pressed against the full length of her. His hands wrapped around her waist, pulling her against him. Unconsciously they tightened their carnal hold. His lips nibbled the corners of her mouth. Urgently his tongue pushed past her lips, tasting her sweet breath.
“Mmmm,” her protest died under his assault. Attempting to mirror his actions, she kissed him back, not as forcefully, but with the same passion and intensity he felt. He wanted more of her. He wanted to take her right here, on the balcony, in full view of every guest in attendance. He needed to claim her as his, forever.
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