:::GIVEAWAY!One commenter will be randomly selected to win a NetGalley preview of BLAZE OF WINTER. Contest ends September 12th at midnight (EDT).You’ll need a NetGalley account, and to answer the question below: What do you think is the best season for falling in love? Why?::::
There’s something about winter that speaks of solitude, especially if you live in a colder climate. Anticipation builds as the weather cools down. Like animals preparing to hibernate, so too do people scurry around, gathering, preparing, and organizing for the long, slow winter. Once the snow starts falling and ice begins to form, you might be trapped in your house for hours…sometimes even days. At night, all you want to do is to curl up and stay warm. Maybe read a good book or watch a movie. And drink tea/cocoa/coffee. You start to look inward, to reflect on what you’ve done and where you’ve been, as well as where you might like to go.
Personally, I love winter, and despite the fact that when I lived in New England my lips were always chapped, my car wouldn’t start in the morning, and it was a serious pain to get in and out of my driveway—I couldn’t get enough. I grew up spending winters in Connecticut, baking up a storm—holiday cookies, cakes—you name it! One winter I spent in Boston, I ate my way around the city’s noodle joints. Now, living in California, I feel spoiled. Sure, it rains a bit, but I can still enjoy being outdoors for much of the winter season (and my snow shoveling skills are becoming rusty). Nevertheless, the thing I like best about winter is that you form bonds with those you’re closest to. And sometimes, if you’re lucky, you fall in love.
In my latest novel, Blaze of Winter, Avery Newbridge, a gentle social worker, comes to Star Harbor to help out her aunt at the Star Harbor Inn. She is also taking some time to figure out her career and her life. Unfortunately, she keeps getting distracted by sexy author Theo Grayson, who has taken a room at the inn. She tries to ignore him, but she’s forced to interact with him, despite her desire to simply keep to herself.
One of my favorite scenes is the first time she and Theo go out together. Fresh snow has just fallen and poor Avery, who hasn’t had to deal with country winter weather, is a bit out of her element. Theo is more than happy to step up and ensure that Avery makes it back safely.
The downtown lay still and quiet, the tops of the Victorian homes blanketed in snow, the streets empty of cars and pedestrians. The sky was dark, and the only light came from the old-fashioned gas lamps that illuminated each corner of the cobblestone-lined blocks. The air smelled damp, suggesting a storm might be on the horizon. It would probably snow again tonight.
Just as they reached Wharf Street, Avery slipped on a large patch of ice that hadn’t been fully melted by the salt and teetered as her feet went out from under her. Before she could even blink, Theo grabbed her around her waist, pulling her tightly against him. Though it looked like he was standing on the same slippery ice, he hadn’t even budged, standing as solidly as an oak tree.
Instead of immediately releasing her, he held her against him, giving her the chance to experience his strength firsthand. Despite the padding on her thick jacket, she could feel her hip pressed up against his long, strong thigh. Then he shifted, swinging her body in front of his. Involuntarily, her hand came up to his chest and she looked into his eyes. His gaze pinned her where she stood, and a small quiver began in her belly and vibrated outward. She shivered, whether from nerves or excitement, she wasn’t certain. She only knew that his hand on her waist was strangely reassuring, even as a wild heat bloomed on her cheeks.
“Th-thank you,” she stammered, trying to make sense of the flurry of sensation coursing through her.
“You’re welcome,” he said softly before releasing her. Without his touch, the tension and heat building within her dissipated. To her chagrin, Avery realized that she wasn’t sure whether she was relieved or disappointed. “Here.” He offered her his own gloved hand.
She hesitated before taking it. Though she wasn’t at all keen to repeat what had just happened between them, hanging onto him was probably better than winding up on her rear end on an icy sidewalk. His leather gloves dampened some of the electricity that skin-to-skin contact would bring, but they couldn’t mask his strength. He gripped her hand gently yet firmly, and together they continued down the street.
I love this scene, because it’s just the two of them out there on a cold, wintry evening, and it’s the first time she’s cognizant of the fact that there’s something more to this man. Once she realizes that she’s most definitely not immune to Theo’s charms, she has to confront her inner self right then and there. As the weather gets colder, things heat up between Avery and Theo. It takes a night ice skating, a holiday concert, and some long winter walks, but finally, Avery has no choice but to accept that she’s fallen in love with Theo.
About Blaze of Winter:
Winter heats up in this hot new Star Harbor romance, as another sexy Grayson brother, a wickedly handsome writer, plots his happily ever after with a sweet stranger.
Frustrated with her job in Boston, social worker Avery Newbridge welcomes the opportunity to reassess her life when family asks her to help manage the Star Harbor Inn. Trying to figure out her future is overwhelming enough, but she doesn’t count on distraction in the form of one Theo Grayson, the gorgeous, green-eyed author who she knows is trouble from the moment he saunters into the inn.
Not only does he have a talent for writing swashbuckling adventures, but Theo also has a soft spot for big-hearted damsels in distress, especially a woman who’s great at helping everyone—except herself. Avery’s demons challenge him, but for desire this hot, he isn’t backing down. With every kiss and heated whisper Theo promises her his heart . . . if only Avery is willing to open up and accept it.
View an excerpt of Blaze of Winter on Scribd: Click here.
Raised in a sleepy little Connecticut town, Elisabeth draws on her upbringing to write small-town romances. Her summers spent living and working on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard were the inspiration for the Star Harbor series, which kicked off with Deep Autumn Heat and continues with Blaze of Winter (coming September 10, 2012). Currently, Elisabeth lives in Northern California with her husband and three children. She really loves winter. Find her online: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads