29 May 2016

Sunday Snips & Stuff—A snip from A Heart in Conflict (Challenge the Heart Book 2)


Sure, opposites attract, but set a flamboyant female up against a man intent on an uncomplicated life and watch sparks fly. 

“This is a fun romp through the fashion world in Australia. How Georgie wins her man and finds her dream job, and how Steve conquers Georgie’s heart, is a fast-paced, beguiling story that kept me turning pages until way after midnight.”—Review by Jennifer Macaire

Buy here
“Georgie’s voluptuous charms and vivid style captures more than the executive’s attention. And Steve’s unbridled passion for Georgie leads to a partnership that goes beyond plan or design! This down under charmer by Tricia McGill is sure to please!”—Lynda LaPorte

Opposites attract, it is a well-known fact. At times this leads to insurmountable conflict, when at other times, sit back and watch the fireworks.

Steve Tanakis considers himself cool and calmly confident. Head of a fashion business, he needs to be in control of his life and his business decisions. He decides it is time to find a suitable mother for his son. Through with the pain that comes along with passion, he now considers what he wants is an unemotional wife, one who will fit well into his way of life.
Georgie McNamara, assistant designer in his fashion house, is flamboyant, vivacious, and gregarious, the antitheses to his idea of the perfect choice. The tiny whirlwind turns Steve's organized lifestyle upside down, somehow worming her way into his, and his son’s life, foiling all his plans to find that uncomplicated wife. Along the way Steve comes to realize there is a lot more to this bundle of feminine trouble than he first thought. Is she more trouble than he can handle?

And here’s a snip:

This part of the day was the most difficult to relax in. Once Jimmy and Lucy were in bed each evening they’d sat reading, in what an outsider would see as companionable silence. Well, Steve had been reading, but Georgie was so aware of his long legs carelessly crossed, his fingers turning the pages, that she was lucky if she read two sentences.

“Is Jimmy settled?” She strived to act as if her pulse rate hadn’t doubled.


“Well, he’s in bed, but how long he listens to that atrocious din, is another matter.”

“He’s normal. You should be grateful for that.” She smiled up at him, but he averted his gaze.

“I am. I hope he stays that way. I dread the day when I may find out he’s indulging in one of the more repugnant teenage pastimes.”

“I doubt that day will come. You’ve got a fine son, Mr. Tanakis, you should be very proud of the way you’ve raised him.”

“I guess I am. As you should be proud of Lucy and the way you’ve coped with her problem. Tell me, what do the doctors say about her condition?” He sat at her side instead of in his usual position opposite.

Georgie watched, fascinated, as he finger combed his hair, yearning to copy his movements. Was his rich thatch as soft as it looked?

“We have to see the specialist again in three months. Until then it’s just a matter of staying in the wheelchair, Mr. Tanakis.” Georgie frowned. “They estimated it could take up to a year to heal the inflamed nerves.”  

“Look, don’t you think that under the circumstances you can drop the formality,” he surprised her by suggesting. “You make me feel like your elderly uncle. Call me Steve.”

“Oh I couldn’t.” Georgie dropped her book to the floor.

“Of course you can. It’s simple, just try it.” Steve faced her, wishing he hadn’t when he saw how her eyes were sparkling.

After a brief hesitation she said, “Steve.”

His name on her lips held a kind of magic that startled him as he imagined her murmuring it as a plea while embroiled in the throes of passion. Steve blinked. Good God, she was his employee, if a very delectable one. He should remember that.

Admittedly there were times when she wreaked havoc. Including the mess they’d made bathing that stupid dog.

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22 May 2016

Sunday Snips & Stuff-from Tricia McGill

My Sunday Snips & Stuff  this week is taken from Kate’s Dilemma Book 3 in my Challenge the Heart series. I am currently working on this one and haven’t a cover to show you yet.

Blurb:
What happens when two people who are both of the same mind—this being to steer well clear of emotional entanglements—happen to be struck down by instant attraction.
Kate last met Liam when she was bridesmaid at her sister’s wedding. A gangly uncertain fourteen year old, going through the painful problems associated with growing up, she took an instant dislike to Liam, who made fun of her. When her recently widowed sister talks her into reluctantly accompanying her to her brother-in-law’s home, which just happens to have been built by architect Liam, Kate falls in love with the house and, unfortunately for her, finds that she soon has corresponding feelings for its owner.
Liam cannot believe that the tall, insecure teenager he met at his brother’s wedding years ago has blossomed into this beautiful, talented woman. His inbuilt antennae that had served him well, stood every chance of being annihilated if he didn’t watch out. This book was previously published as Look Into Your Heart
And here’s a small snip:

Kate wasn’t sure how Liam viewed their brief meeting, but was sure he'd forgotten it.

As if conjured by her thoughts he entered the room, silently, with the grace of a panther. Kate hadn’t been quite sure what to expect, but Liam was just as good-looking as she remembered. In fact, apart from a few grey hairs at his temples, he’d hardly changed.

Always angular, he seemed taller than ever. Used to being as tall as her dates, it was a pleasant surprise to be confronted by a man she could look up to. Their eyes clashed across the space separating them and his expression proved him as arrogant as ever. Kate tried to come to terms with a peculiar tingling sensation that had begun in the region of her navel and was now sending messages to every nerve ending in her body.

At Viola's wedding they took an instant dislike to one another. At fourteen, Kate, in the painful throes of growing up, felt like a great galumphing fool in her bridesmaid’s dress of aqua and white. Liam made fun of her, and she'd fled to the bathroom in tears.

Kate hated the idea of being a bridesmaid. Self-conscious of her towering height, she'd felt a fool next to her dainty sister. Her hair had been her one saving grace, its rich auburn splendour setting off the aqua in the gown. Liam had been full of mocking contempt and her already touchy adolescent ego was thoroughly shattered by his remarks. Kate vowed she would despise him forever.

“What a great book! I loved the Aussie humor, and of course read the entire book in my head with an accent which made Liam even hotter (as I love accents). Giving into the desire of the man she knows she belongs with will take Katie on the wildest ride of her life.... A tantalizing page turner that will make your heart skip a beat every time Katie and Liam are together." Jenn Nixon 

Buy Here
When Fate Decides (Challenge the Heart Book 1) is dedicated to all the women out there who dream of having a man like Jack in their lives—and to those who are blessed by having one.

“When Jack Delaney re-enters widow Tessa’s life, her world is turned upside down by this handsome, successful, much younger man.”

“This is an unforgettable love story that I didn’t want to end and when it did, I wanted to start reading it again. Tessa is a wonderful heroine who has to regain her self-esteem and learn to love again. Jack is a man sure of what he wants and doesn’t mind using everything in his power to get it.” Hattie Boyd Word Museum

“As a romance hero, Jack is one of the best! …expect to spend a few sleepless nights reading this page–turner and enjoying the scorching love scenes between Tessa and Jack!”  Jennifer Macaire for A Romance Review

Buy here
A Heart in Conflict (Challenge the Heart Book 2)

Opposites attract, it is a well-known fact. At times this leads to insurmountable conflict, when at other times, sit back and watch the fireworks.

“Georgie’s voluptuous charms and vivid style captures more than the executive’s attention. And Steve’s unbridled passion for Georgie leads to a partnership that goes beyond plan or design! This down under charmer by Tricia McGill is sure to please!”—Lynda LaPorte

“Tricia McGill has created a story with a charming spirited heroine, a virile masterful hero, delightful supporting characters, and a thoroughly satisfying finish. Her familiarity with the fashion industry is evident.” Fran Keighley,

Please take a moment to wander over to these blogs for more Snips and Stuff:

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15 May 2016

Sunday Snips & Stuff from Tricia McGill

Here's another snippet from my latest BWL release, A Heart In Conflict (Challenge the Heart Book 2)

Opposites attract, it is a well-known fact. At times this leads to insurmountable conflict, when at other times, sit back and watch the fireworks.
Steve Tanakis considers himself cool and calmly confident. Head of a fashion business, he needs to be in control of his life and his business decisions. He decides it is time to find a suitable mother for his son. Through with the pain that comes along with passion, he now considers what he wants is an unemotional wife, one who will fit well into his way of life.
Georgie McNamara, assistant designer in his fashion house, is flamboyant, vivacious, and gregarious, the antitheses to his idea of the perfect choice. The tiny whirlwind turns Steve's organized lifestyle upside down, somehow worming her way into his, and his son’s life, foiling all his plans to find that uncomplicated wife. Along the way Steve comes to realize there is a lot more to this bundle of feminine trouble than he first thought. Is she more trouble than he can handle?
Buy here at Amazon


How come a woman of twenty-two hasn’t got her own transport in this day and age? I pay you well, don’t I?”

“I like to walk.” She upped her chin. “I only live five minutes away from Sophinia’s and Melbourne has a perfectly adequate public transport system if I wish to go further.”

“What if it’s raining?” He was clearly amazed.

“I love walking in the rain. You should try it. You’d be surprised how refreshing it is.” She grinned.

“I’m sure. So, how about it? I’d be eternally grateful. Jimmy likes you, and he wouldn’t be quite so disgusted with me. I’m sure he’d love your sister, especially if she plays the guitar. You could get a cab to your aunt’s house if you don’t want to drive. It strikes me you aren’t looking forward to spending time with these relatives. You could dodge your uncle’s depressing monologues, and save my face. Did you have anything planned for the rest of the break?”

“Not anything too important,” she said slowly. Georgie rather liked the idea of him being eternally grateful to her. “Lucy and I were going on a few day trips. I was going to make myself a few outfits. I have some brilliant ideas.”

“As unique as the dress you’re wearing?” His eyes wandered up and down her length. But his question didn’t sound exactly complementary.

“What’s wrong with this?” Lifting a handful of chiffon she glanced at it.

“Absolutely nothing. Your taste is incredible.”

Georgie caught his secret little smile as he said that and then her eyes were drawn to his well-shaped and strong hands. Awareness tingled up her spine as her vivid imagination conjured up sexual actions that could be performed by those hands. Abruptly she made for the door, just catching the look of surprise that flashed over his face. “I have to be getting home. Have you seen my handbag? I left it down here somewhere.”

“It’s in the hall cupboard.” He waved a hand in that direction. “Don’t worry, I’ll take you home. Sit down, Georgie, I have a proposition to put to you.” He was back in Boss mode, his tone imperious.

Georgie gulped. “About what?” She’d been propositioned quite a few times and didn’t go much on them.

“Don’t look at me like that. I’m talking about a business proposition.”

“Oh.”

Mischief glinted in his eyes as he motioned for her to sit again. Georgie perched straight-backed on the chair, knees primly together.

“If you consider doing this favour for me I might consider inserting one or two of those excellent designs you showed me last week in our next collection,” he said.

“That’s blackmail!”

“It could be looked on that way. But I should confess I’ve been seriously contemplating using some of your ideas later.”

Steve wasn’t stringing her a line. Her designs were good. They would have to be moderated, for they were too extreme for his buyers. Her last batch of sketches had interested him so much he’d thought about letting her produce a new range for a younger market than the one he now catered for. It would get her out of Greta’s hair and put and end to their blatant clash of opinions.

“Your designing talent is out of this world,” Steve assured her with a straight face. That was true. He might not find her style to his liking, but that didn’t alter the fact she was highly talented. He eyed her frothy turquoise creation.

Steve gazed thoughtfully at her. The morning sunlight caught the highlights in her hair, making it shimmer like streaked silk. Would it feel as soft as it looked? He fisted his hands. He felt hot under the collar, and fascinated by her. What would she say now if he were to ask if it bothered her that, for such a tiny person, she was certainly over-endowed?

In fact, she had the figure of a goddess, all the curves in the right places. He ran a finger up the side of his nose as he regarded her. No woman of his acquaintance blushed as much as she did. He doubted if Marika had ever blushed in her life.

“You’re kidding!” Her lovely eyes were wide, and he had to shake himself to remember the subject at hand.

“I never kid about my business, Georgie. I’m dead serious. You strike me as sensible.” That was a half-truth. At times she was like a bomb about to explode, always on the move, gesturing with her expressive hands.

“This is a fun romp through the fashion world in Australia. Steve Tanakis is a dark, brooding hero with a fragile heart and a penchant for neutral colours. Georgie is a free spirit who surrounds herself with bright hues and lots of laughter. Their love story is touching, funny, and very moving. How Georgie wins her man and finds her dream job, and how Steve conquers Georgie’s heart, is a fast-paced, beguiling story that kept me turning pages until way after midnight.”—Review by Jennifer Macaire
Please take a moment to pop on over to these blogs for more Snips & Stuff from talented BWL authors:
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8 May 2016

Sunday Snips & Stuff- Part two from First Love Last Love—Tricia McGill


As Promised this week's Sunday Snip is the second half of my short story, First Love Last Love.








Rachel shook her head. ‘It’s all water under the bridge now. There’s no going back, no point in rehashing old memories best left buried.’

‘Are they, Rach? Are they best left? I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked out of the window and saw you down here.’

          ‘How were you so sure it was me?’

          A smile curved his mouth. ‘I’d know you anywhere. I looked for you for years.’

          ‘And I followed your career. You’re quite the celebrity.’

          He made a rude sound. ‘Celebrity! That’s a joke. I’m a burned out journo who’s had enough of wars, human suffering and power hungry warmongers destroying this world. I’m giving it up soon.’

          ‘But what will you do?’

          ‘I’m going to write a book.’ When she gave a sound of surprise, he said, ‘Yes, at last.’

          ‘So, it’s taken 10 years to fulfill your dreams then?’

          ‘What about you? What do you do?’

          ‘I have my own PR business. I’ll handle your publicity if you like when the book’s ready.’

          For the first time Jon looked genuinely amused. ‘I have to write it first. Where do you live?’

          ‘In Brighton. I have a house not far from the beach.’ She glanced up the hill. ‘If you don’t stay there, where do you live?’

          His features tightened. ‘I have no real home. I’ll buy one when this assignment’s over. Perhaps a place near you. Have you a husband? Lover? Boyfriend?’

If anyone else had asked something so personal she’d have baulked at answering, but with him she had no hesitation. ‘There’s no one.’

          ‘I don’t believe it.’ He sounded surprised. ‘Why hasn’t anyone snapped you up?’

          ‘You didn’t. Why should you think anyone else would?’

          ‘Because you’re beautiful, talented and have gorgeous legs.’ No other man could send her pulses racing and her body aflame as he could with just one look. Rachel laughed to ease the tension filling her. He grinned and all the sadness that had been apparent was dispelled.

          ‘Rach, could I see you? I mean, as in date you?’ He sounded hesitant, boyishly tentative. Just as he had 10 years ago when he’d asked her to walk along this beach with him. It had been the first of many walks along the beach and on the island across the stretch of water.

          It had been the last thing she’d expected to hear. ‘Haven’t you got anyone? A girlfriend, a woman waiting for you?’

          ‘No, there have been a couple of casual partners over the years, but a man who’s always going off to record some war or other is no candidate for a serious relationship. Besides, no one matched up to my first love.’ Taking her hands he pressed a kiss on each. ‘So much has been missing from my life. So much love and tenderness. So much honesty and warmth.’

          She shook her hands free and when he made to take them again, she reached up to cup his strong jaw in shaking hands.

          ‘Do you still have the tin boat?’ she asked, loving the way his eyes darkened at her touch.

          ‘Sure. I thought I might take it over to the island this afternoon, capture lost moments. Times that were so precious they’ve helped me over the sense of hopelessness that's plagued me for years.’

          ‘May I come with you?’

          He clasped her hands. ‘I wouldn’t let you get out of it. We’ll look at the spot where we made love for the first time. And found heaven. Perhaps we’ll make love again one day just as we did then.’

          ‘Oh, we will, will we?’ She smiled.

          ‘Oh yes.’ He grinned and linked his fingers in hers and pulled her with him, up the hill.

Rachel felt more alive than she had in years. Glancing at her linen skirt and silk blouse, she said, ‘I haven’t got my sailing clothes with me.’
         
Jon grinned again. ‘The island will be deserted at this time of the week. You won’t need any clothes there.’

          She gave his arm a playful punch. ‘I’m not prancing about naked, so get that idea out of your head.’ She knew that her stomach wasn’t as flat as it had been and there was more of her thighs than before. Doubts assailed her at the thought of stripping before him.

          He pushed open the large gates and Rachel took a look around the garden. It hadn’t changed much, but some of the shrubs had gone. The swing seat still sat quietly on the porch and she recalled the night she and Jon had shared a kiss there. She half expected his father to appear and glare at her for daring to enter his domain and touch his son.

It took a matter of moments to hitch the small runabout to the four-wheel drive, and another five minutes to tow it to the boat ramp. They pushed it into the water, and Jon jumped aboard, helping her in after she hitched her skirt high. He watched her as he steered across the small channel. The wind whipped her hair about her face and she knew he saw the fears and uncertainties on her face.

          ‘It’ll be fine,’ he said quietly. Rachel wasn’t so sure. Would it be possible to regain the closeness, the passion of the past?

          But no sooner had they beached the boat, walked up the tiny beach and found their spot beneath the cliffs than everything fell into place. He was right. Everything was fine. More than fine. It was perfect. They kissed and the years of separation fell away.

          When Jon removed her blouse, Rachel made a small protestation. ‘You’re beautiful,’ he said, his eyes showing his appreciation. ‘So much better than the skinny kid I made love to back then. We all change, Rach.’ He looked down at himself and grimaced. ‘Look at me. A beer belly from spending too many nights in bars, drowning out sights and smells of decay.’
          ‘You are magnificent. As strong and straight as when we first touched each other.’ She placed a hand on his chest and reveled in his shuddering sigh.

          ‘Love me, Rachel.’

          ‘Always.’

The wind whistled through the rocks above them as they came together, two lost souls who had found each other again. Somewhere Rachel had read there was no going back. But whoever wrote that had been so wrong. Now the years fell away and they recaptured the rapture, the splendor of first love. First love which was also last love. A love for eternity.


Please take a moment to visit these blogs for more Sunday Snips & Stuff:
http://mizging.blogspot.com (Ginger Simpson)

For information on all my other books visit my web page


1 May 2016

Something different this week for Sunday Snips & Stuff. Part one of one of my romantic short stories.

When my book Remnants of Dreams (Previously Published as Traces of Dreams) won the Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year Award I was invited to submit a short story to a prominent Aussie magazine. So here's the first half of that story: First Love Last Love.


Rachel tossed her shoes in the car and closed the door. She had always loved the feel of sand between her toes. No, perhaps not always, but definitely since that night. The night that had changed the course of her life.

            She leant on the wooden rail and stared at the small island not far from the shore. As she pressed her fingers on the warm wood she sighed. Not a lot had changed in 10 years. But this rail hadn’t been here then. A sign proclaimed that the area had been fenced off to protect the flora. There had been no need then to warn people. Perhaps only about a 100 or so visitors had come here during the summer to idle away the days.

People like the Grahams, who had lived in one of the houses nestled amid the trees that marched up the hill behind her. Splendid homes with lush gardens, snobbish inhabitants, and boats waiting to be hitched to expensive cars. She wouldn't look that way. It was painful enough to look at the island, sitting as it had always sat in magnificent splendor since the beginning of time.

            ‘Rachel?’

            Her heart stopped, then started again. Her imagination must be playing tricks. Jon was somewhere in the Middle East. She had seen him on the TV news recently, reporting from his latest assignment.

            Not wishing to add to the pain she felt, she continued to gaze at the headland on the island. A soft wind blew through the tall grasses in front of the fence. Yes, it had been the wind playing tricks.

            ‘Rachel, it is you. I’d know that hair anywhere. It’s shorter, but it still has the same glowing golden sheen.
            Holding her breath, she turned around slowly, as if in a trance. There he stood, a few paces away, hands in the pockets of his jeans. As the sun slanted on him, he looked as he had 10 years ago. Just 20 years old and finding his feet in the adult world.

He had to be a figment of her imagination. ‘Jon.’ His name came out on a sigh.

He stepped closer and the image was shattered. This was no young man. Looking older than his 30 years, the lines of experience, of seeing too many horrors, too much reality, were etched on his features. Furrows ran along his face. The lines beside his eyes weren’t the result of laughter, but from squinting into the sun on foreign soil.

            ‘Yes, it’s me.’ Close enough to touch her now, he smiled. For a moment he looked almost like the Jon she’d known and loved with all the passion of an 18-year-old girl testing her feet in the waters of desire.

            ‘I thought you were overseas.’ She suddenly felt gauche, ridiculous for a woman who ran a successful public relations business and faced men just as forceful as Jon every working day.

            ‘I was. I go back in a day or two.’
     
The breeze sent her hair into her eyes and Rachel pushed it back. ‘I didn’t know you still lived here.’

At last she looked back at the house half way up the hill, and gasped when she saw the high wall that now almost concealed it.

            ‘I don’t. Dad died two days ago.’ He looked back at the house.
      
‘I’m sorry.’ That was a lie. She hated his father as much now as she had on that awful night.

            His shoulders lifted again. ‘He had a rare disease that had slowly taken away all his faculties. He was glad to go, to join Mum.
            ‘I didn’t know she’d died.’ Now she was sad. His mother had been well-liked in the small beachside community, doing lots of charity work.

            ‘What are you doing here?’ The look on his face said that he too couldn’t believe they were both here, at the scene of her first, and worst, mistake. Rachel shrugged. How could she explain the strange yearning that had brought her back here?

            ‘It’s our anniversary,’ he said, and Rachel’s mind reeled, although she pretended nonchalance. As if she had really not realised that on this very day 10 years ago she had lost her virginity and given him her heart, and perhaps her soul as well.

            ‘So it is.’

            ‘Is that why you came?’ His knuckles stroked down her cheek and she shuddered, recalling all the other ways he’d touched her. Touched her as no other man could.

            Rachel nodded. ‘I never could lie to you, could I?’ She gave a small smile, and his eyes settled on her mouth, sending her nerve endings into a spin.

            ‘No, that’s one of the reasons I loved you.’ His thumb ran along her bottom lip.

            ‘You didn’t love me, Jon.’ Shaking her head, she freed herself from his silken web and turned back to rest her hands on the rail again.

            ‘Of course I did. It might have been the love of innocence, but it was fresh, and clear, and true.’ His gentle hand on her shoulder made Rachel quiver, forcing her to turn and meet his look. Oh, it had been all of those things, and more.

            ‘But not enough to defy your father, to tell him that a girl from the wrong side of town might not have your wealth and power, but had pride, and as much self-esteem as you. My mother and father might only run the fish and chip shop, but they were hard-working and as straight as they come.
            Rachel moved away from the hypnotic touch of his fingers. A lizard ran from beneath a rock, and she stared down at it, realizing tears had blurred her vision. Fool! Hadn’t she sworn long ago that she’d shed the last of them for this man who had betrayed her?

            ‘You never gave me the chance to explain.’ He put a finger beneath her chin and forced her to look at him. ‘We were both too young for the sort of deep stuff we’d got into, Rachel. All my dad asked was we give it time, cool it for a while. Before I had time to talk to you, you’d taken off, gone to live interstate with your aunt. I asked your mother for your address but she said she’d been sworn to secrecy. You didn’t have much faith in me, did you?’

Rachel let out a shuddering breath. ‘I guess not. But I hurt, Jon. I was torn apart by your seemingly apathetic reaction. All right, we were too young for all that passion. It hit us both, I think, how quickly it all got out of control. But you didn’t meet me the next night as we planned. I thought you had used me.
            ‘Never that!’ He swallowed so hard that she saw his throat convulse. ‘What a fool I was.
            Rachel shook her head. ‘It’s all water under the bridge now. There’s no going back, no point in rehashing old memories best left buried.

To be continued…

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