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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Please Don’t Wake Me Up… I’m Enjoying this Dream – by Karen Rock



Thank you so much for having me on Tote Bags ‘n’ Blogs today! I’ve been looking forward to meeting you all and sharing my new books. With my first book only just now appearing on the shelves, I’m still amazed that it’s all real.

I wanted so much to sell a first book that I have to confess I worked on several ideas at once. I crossed my fingers and wrote a proposal for an adult romance, WISH ME TOMORROW, at the same time that I developed a Young Adult story with my sister-in-law, Joanne Rock. I wrote and wrote, spinning chapters on first one book and the other, hoping that if I put enough effort and words out into the world, I’d find an audience. A publisher. A home for my stories!

My Young Adult book, CAMP BOYFRIEND, made the rounds and we got great feedback but no sales. No sales. Not that I was biting my nails or anything. But then, just want I started to lose all hope, we got a call from a small, new press called Spencer Hill. They loved Camp Boyfriend and couldn’t wait to publish it. They didn’t just want that first book, either. They bought our whole camp series.

Score!! I was beyond thrilled. We had the first book written but couldn’t wait to get to work on books two and three- Camp Payback and Camp Forget-Me-Not.  We also wanted to try writing some free novellas in between books to entice readers to try the series. So we dove right in to a prequel novella, Camp Kiss, available now for free download.

My happy stupor lasted for weeks. I had realized a dream! It was such a great feeling that I never guessed the universe could be so nice as to look my way twice. Because six weeks later, I got a call that Harlequin Heartwarming wanted to buy WISH ME TOMORROW for release in September 2013.

That was a teary-happy moment. If you haven’t read the Harlequin Heartwarming line, it’s a great series that promises tender, deeply romantic stories that mothers are excited to share with their daughters. Some of my sister authors at Heartwarming would include NYT bestselling authors Aimee Thurlo, Roz Denny Fox as well as the fabulous Muriel Jensen and Tara Randel. Wow!

Here’s a love scene excerpt between Christie and Eli from WISH ME TOMORROW, out in September 2013 as an eRead on Amazon and to purchase as a book on eHarlequin

Strong arms encircled her from behind. She breathed in the lemongrass and musky smell of him, her heart thumping.
“You’ve been gone too long.” he breathed in her ear.
She felt as if electricity coursed from her sensitive lobe and sizzled through her body. Her lungs trapped her breath and took it hostage. Was there anything more amazing than being held by the man you loved?
She turned and put her arms around his neck. In an instant, his breath quickened, his blue eyes searing hers before he crushed her against him.
“I’m the luckiest man in the world.” His voice was low, throaty. “Remember what you said earlier, about feeling like a monster?”
She nodded, burying her face in the firm planes of his chest. Why would he bring that up when things felt so romantic?
He tipped her chin and held her gaze. “Please don’t say that again. Don’t even think it. You’re imperfect. Flawed, a little scarred, but stronger now in a way that makes you the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met. Inside and out. I wouldn’t want you any other way.”
It was the most incredible thing anyone had ever said to her. Did she deserve it? An image of Bill came to mind. She could almost picture him giving her a thumbs-up.
Before she had another moment to think, he captured her lips with a kiss so intense it was bruising. Her thundering blood deafened her and her shallow breathing rolled out like a low tide. He tasted like salt and fire as his mouth slanted across hers. She buried her hands in his thick hair, drawing him closer still.
His mouth left hers and traveled along her cheekbone. She could feel the erratic beat of his heart against her chest. His arms held her tight, as if he never meant to let her go. She rained kisses on his neck, his jaw and finally on his lips.
Suddenly, an aching tenderness replaced their earlier frenzy. They needed to explore, to know each other. When he returned her kiss, his hand stole into her hair and wound her tresses with his fingers. Their kisses deepened slowly, softly, the intensity growing between them once more…a single match that had ignited a blaze.
She knew he was strong, but it still surprised her how easily he carried her to the living room settee and laid her down gently on the scattered pillows. His body slid over hers in one smooth gesture. She inhaled his breath as their mouths moved against each other, every kiss drawn out now, lingering, exploring. Her hands drifted over his back then rose to his shoulders and the muscles of his arms.
At last, he drew himself up on his elbows. Now he was looking down at her, and his expression had changed in the flickering light, his blue eyes darkened to indigo. The rawness of his open, vulnerable expression undid her.
Warmth overflowed her heart, filling up the cracks and wounds she’d held inside. She sighed and buried her hands in the thick strands at the nape of his neck. How had this miracle happened? It seemed beyond imagining, beyond wishing. Yet here she was, with him, the only person who’d made her feel complete. Whole. As if she deserved this moment with him. 
***
 
I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek! Wish Me Tomorrow is available for pre-order download at Amazon now or regular download starting September 1st. As for Camp Boyfriend, you can download it now at Amazon or download the prequel novella, Camp Kiss for free at the Spencer Hill Contemporary website.
Please share your thoughts about Harlequin’s new Heartwarming line or your own journey toward publication and you’ll be entered to win my giveaway of an advanced copy of Bella Andre’s I only have Eyes for You (not officially released until October) and K.N. Casper’s Heartwarming novel Roots in Texas. Thanks so much! I look forward to hearing from you J

~Karen Rock

8 comments:

Pat Cochran said...

Haven't tried this series as yet, but
rest assured I certainly will. Your
excerpt sound very good! Thanks for
sharing!

Pat C.

traveler said...

Harlequin's Heartwarming line does warm my heart and soul. I know that this would be a new delight for me to enjoy. Best wishes and much success.

petite said...

I enjoyed learning about your book and this new Heartwarming Line which is a perfect name for the books. Love to read your book and am interested in the new line too.

Karen Rock said...

Hi Pat! Thank you so much for your kind comment. Also- congratulations as you are the winner of my giveaway. I've sent you an email through the contact email provided through blogger, but just in case, please send your address information to www.karenrock@live.com and I will mail out your prize ASAP :)

Karen Rock said...

Heartwarming does warm the heart and soul :) And your comment was a delight for me as well! Thank you so much for commenting. My apologies for the late response, but I was away at RWA. Boy was I ever happy to return and see your thoughtful comment!

Karen Rock said...

Thank you so much :) As soon as I heard about this new line, I knew it was the perfect fit for me and so many romance fans like me who would cherish heartfelt, deeply emotional love stories that uphold things we value like family and community. I appreciate your comment and hope to hear from you again!

Patrice Caldwell said...

Your writing is always so beautiful Karen, congrats on the book :)

Karen Rock said...

Thank you so much, Patrice! I think so much of your talent as well :-)