Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bubble Away My Trouble

Update: Thanks so much to everyone who left a comment and made me feel so welcome here. My randomly chosen winner is--Lil! Please contact me through my website with your snailmail info so I can send you Lord of Devil Isle and Touch of a Thief.

If you didn't win, don't despair. There's a contest on my website just for YOU!


Hello! I'm Mia Marlowe, one of the newest Casablanca authors and half of a collaborative writing team. The other half is New York Times bestseller Connie Mason. Together we'll be bringing you adventurous historical romances starting with SINS OF THE HIGHLANDER next January.

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The theme this month is treating ourselves and there's nothing I love better than travel. Well, almost nothing. Last November when my DH and I went to Amsterdam, I rediscovered a simple pleasure--a good long soak in a tub full of bubbles with a romance novel. While my DH went to meetings during the day, I hoofed it all over that fascinating old city, visiting museums and historical sites. Unfortunately, Holland in November is cold and rainy, so after slogging through the bone-chilling damp, I nearly wept with joy at finding a good soaking tub in our quaint hotel.

Why was I so excited about a bathtub, I hear you asking? Well, mostly because it's human nature to crave what we don't have. Our condo has a lovely marble shower, but no deep soaker tub. I filled the Dutch tub with hot water and climbed in with Hannah Howell's Highland Protector to keep me company till the water cooled enough to make me scrub up and get out.

The warmth, the fragrant oils, the sheer sensual pleasure of getting clean--it's no wonder so many romance novels include a scene where someone (or two!) takes a bath. In fact, there's one in SINS OF THE HIGHLANDER (January 2012) our first title for Casablanca. But I wouldn't say it's a usual bath scene. Here's an exclusive sneak peek:



Rob stripped off his filthy clothes on the loch’s shore and left them in a pile as he walked to the water’s edge. He squatted down and splashed himself all over, sucking a breath over his teeth at the cold.

Normally, he’d have skipped a bath in this weather, but Elspeth was getting clean somewhere inside Angus Fletcher’s cluttered wattle-and-daub home. He didn’t want to smell like a boar pit beside her.

Rob scooped out a dollop of soap from the stone jar Angus had loaned him and smeared his whole body with it. He even gingerly sudsed up his hair, working out the matted blood and hoping not to reopen the gash on his crown.

The savory smell of richly spiced sausages frying wafted out to him.

He turned around to look at the house. Elspeth was behind one of the vellum-covered windows. Did she wonder where he was? If it had been high summer and the windows were left uncovered to let in a breeze, would she have peeked out at him as he stood naked as God made him on the shoal?

He soaped up his groin. Just the thought that Elspeth might spy on him at his bath made part of him happier than it ought to be considering the temperature.

A cloud covered the sun and the air cooled even more.

Rob turned and dashed into the loch, the chilly water snatching his breath as he dunked under the waves to rinse off the tallow soap. Then he splashed back out to the shore and rubbed his body briskly with a cloth.

He sincerely hoped Elspeth wasn’t looking now. After a November dip in Loch Eireann, no man was at his best.

“Ye half-wit,” he mumbled to himself as he pulled the fresh thigh-length shirt over his head. Why should he care whether Elspeth looked or no?

She was his prisoner, not his sweetheart.


Hope you enjoyed a taste of SINS OF THE HIGHLANDER. Leave a comment or question for a chance win a copy of Connie Mason's LORD OF DEVIL ISLE and an ARC of my TOUCH OF A THIEF. Be sure to check back tomorrow to see if you're the winner of the random drawing. Good luck!

For more about Mia and Connie's collaborative books, visit http://miamarlowe.com/next.php.

68 comments:

  1. Hi Mia,
    Welcome to Casa! I grew up with only a bathtub--no shower. So, by the time I got my own shower, you couldn't pay me to take a bath. LOL

    To this day, I ignore the lovely jacuzzi tub sitting neglected in our bathroom. Ah, the scars of childhood!

    Can't wait to read SINS!

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  2. Hi Mia! Welcome to the blog :) I am also a big fan of avoid long soak in a bubbly tub. That excerpt was quite the tease! My TBR pile is growing. Best of luck with your release.

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  3. Hi, Mia! Loved the setting you provided for you Dutch tub bath. Which reminded me of soaking in a tub after skiing at Breckenridge, Colorado. It's the only way to relax sore muscles! :)

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  4. I'm shiverin' in me kilt. What a contrast between your cozy, solitary soak, and our hero's chilly ablutions. Welcome to the blog, Mia, and looking forward to reading more of your Highland prose.

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  5. Hi, Mia! very interesting excerpt!

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  6. Tracey--How deftly you proved my point. It's human nature to want what we don't have.

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  7. Thanks, Sara! Glad you enjoyed the excertp.

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  8. Terry, your comment reminded me of the time we spent in a hot tub in West Yellowstone after a day snow machining through back country Idaho. Somehow the warmth against extreme cold feel that much better.

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  9. Grace--Notice we didn't make the heroine shiver naked by the loch. She's in the cozy house, but her relatively luxurious sponge bath is about to be interrupted by our hero!

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  10. Hi Mia:

    Welcome to the blog. ;) I can't imagine life without a tub to soak in! My real reason for hesitating to buy an e-reader...I'm sure it wouldn't survive a dunk in the bubbly tub the way several of my favorite books have.

    Great excerpt!

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  11. Thanks for stoppin by, Margay. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt from Sins of the Highlander.

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  12. Welcome Mia. I'm usually a shower kind of girl, but I remember the last time we went skiing. I didn't have a Hannah Howell book (I love her books) but we were all outside in the hot tub with snow falling in our hair. It was wonderful. I adored your excerpt and can't wait to read the book.

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  13. Thanks for the welcome, C.H. I'm thrilled to join the talented authors of Casablanca.

    I don't have a dedicated ereader, but I do read books on the Kindle app on my cellphone. I still shake my head over that. A year ago, I'd have said "Not me. No way. Never." Now I'm addicted to the convenience of an ebook, but you're right. If I had a tub, I wouldn't take my phone in there with me.

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  14. Hi Anita! Looks like you have some great stories about guys in kilts too.

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  15. Hi, Mia! Congrats on your latest release. Thanks for the teaser excerpt : ) I know what you mean about the pleasure of a good, long, soak in the tub. My house was built in 1939, and it contains an antique claw-foot tub, deep and welcoming. I love bubble bath, soap, bath salts & etc., although sometimes I go a little too far. One time I turned on the hot water, added a generous portion of my favorite bubble bath and let the water run too long. When I sat down in the bath, the suds came up and over my head. I had to use my arms to make a breathing space around my face! I came out really clean...and I smelled good, too...for a long time : )

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  16. Virginia, I've heard of kids getting lost in the bubbles, but not adults. Till now. LOL. Your claw-foot tub sounds yummy.

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  17. Welcome, Mia!
    You are singing to the choir when you talk about a long bath with a book. That is INDULGENCE! I often make charity baskets with my books, bubble bath, a small hand towel, mug filled with fancy teas, etc.

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  18. "After a November dip...no man is at his best" made me laugh, Mia, but the rest of it made my heart flutter a little! Love the scene, and that is a brave man who'll bathe in a Highland lake in November. I was there in May and the water was cold!
    Welcome to the Casa blog - it's going to be fun to have more Highlanders around.

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  19. Loved the humor in this excerpt! And like everyone except Tracy Devlyn, I love to read in a bubble bath. I've been resisting getting an e-reader, and this is one of the good reasons why I should continue to have paperbacks. I dropped a Jude Devereaux into the tub once. I let it dry overnight and then read the rest of the wavy, wrinkly pages. Just wouldn't want to risk it with an e-reader. Still, it's inevitable, like iPods and iTunes.

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  20. After a November dip in Loch Eireann, no man was at his best. LOL! I love it.

    I don't think his bath was as nice as your soak in a bubble bath though. :-)

    Welcome to the blog, Mia!

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  21. Hi Mia
    Enjoyed the excerpt. LOL
    As a young girl we got boxes of ten bubble bath packets. This was a favorite gift. One of the fragrances was carnation. Your Pamper Yourself month is something women should do often. We are special and nicer after a good soak.

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  22. I could not manage without a bathtub. It's a need, right up there with food and air. No reason personal hygiene can't also be soul food.

    Must admit as well that I actually squeed at the news you'll be collaborating with Connie. Two great tastes that taste great together.

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  23. Hi Mia! I really enjoyed this post...especially since we don't have a tub at home at all...just two shower stalls and I do so miss soaking in a tub! Have jokingly told my mother that I would kill for an old fashioned deep claw-footed tub...lol...Loved the little excerpt/peek you gave us into "Sins of the Highlander"...will definitely be adding that to my future shopping list:)

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  24. My favorite type of book. I am a sucker for Highlanders. I think it started with Christopher Lambert in the Highlander - than can be only one:) I can't remember the last time I took a long soak in a bath but I enjoyed hearing about the one in your excerpt. I should treat myself one of these days...

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  25. Carolyn--Sound like you put together some lovely charity baskets.

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  26. Joanne--Remember my hero had good reason to bathe, even though it nearly qualified him for the Polar Bear Club. There was a woman in his life. A man will dare much for the right woman.

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  27. Caro--When I bought my phone (where I do all my ereading on the Kindle app) I bought an extended warranty that protects me if it gets wet or damaged, so if I had a tub, I might be tempted to take the phone in with me.

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  28. Olivia--Amazingly enough, my DH did not find the line about no man being at his best as funny as my women friends do. Hmmm...

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  29. Janet--We women are often so busy tending to the needs of our families, we put ourselves last. It doesn't hurt anyone for us to carve out a little "me-time" once in a while.

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  30. Thanks, Anna. I'm thrilled over getting to work with a romance legend like Connie. She's a great lady.

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  31. Maria--I try to make the shower a sensual pleasure too. Occasionally, I'll toss some bath salts on the shower floor and when the water hits them, I can still enjoy the scent.

    And even though I can't read in the shower, there's no law against writing in one. I can run scenes through my mind while the hot water pelts my skin.

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  32. Catslady--If we're talking Highlanders, can we do any better than Adrian Paul? I mean, really?

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  33. Stunning post thank you for sharing it with us !!! A very big welcome to the most awesome blog ever your going to love it here!!!

    Take care
    Desere

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  34. Great excerpt. I can't wait to read more! And now I also want a bubble bath. SIGH. A couple of great new books would make it heaven. :)

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  35. Love the excerpt! I definitely wanted to read more.

    And I'm with you on the soaking tub. Unfortunately, I never seem to take the time to indulge.

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  36. Bathing in a cold stream on a hot day is refreshing but bathing in a cold loch on a downcast day in Scotland takes desperation. I honeymooned in Scotland and loved the people, beautiful countryside and the single malts.

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  37. Thank you for the excerpt, Mia. It looks like a great story. i love Highlanders in kilts, I mean, Highlander stories. ;)

    I love taking baths with really hot water. Besides, my shower is down in a dark corner of the laundry room.

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  38. Welcome, Mia! Love the excerpt and can't wait for the book.

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  39. Hi Mia! I'm so excited to hear that you and Connie Mason are teaming up to write romances. I look forward to reading SINS OF THE HIGHLANDER!

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  40. Hi Mia! Fun blog - especially fun for me since your excerpt featured a hero named Rob and that's my hubby's name - I grinned through the whole scene! ;-)

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  41. Eh certain parts of a Highlander's bod may not appreciate what the Loch will do to it, but I bet those beautiful Highlander muscles standout quite nicely under that blue tinged skin. I bet a know a few ladies willing to warm him up too! Nice to meet you Mia. Thanks for sharing.

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  42. Hi Mia, a big welcome hug!
    Great post!

    I sooo love soaking in a tub, I must soak at least once a week.
    Shower time is fun, but my soaking time is my escape. Candles, chocolates and a good book!

    I have quite an assortment of bath oils and beads.
    Hubby thinks I'm nuts, but he does tell me I "stink pretty" afterwards! LOL!!

    Book sounds like something I would definitely read while I'm soaking.
    I enjoyed the excerpt from Sins of the Highlander, thanks for the peek!
    You can never go wrong with a Highlander in a kilt!

    Lovely bookcover on your new book.

    Have a wonderful day!

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  43. Sheesh....I messed up my comment, sorry!
    "Hi Mia, big welcome hug" is from me.
    I entered wrong, still learning how to use computer and writing into blogs! LOL!!

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  44. I miss my nice warm bath reads, but I never was too fond of bubbles. While I could mess with the warm water, disappearing bubbles were too much of a reminder that time was fleeting.

    Cold water bathing is something I leave to those with limited options.I subscribe to Ambrose Bierce's definition of Dawn when he implies that cold baths can be lethal.

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  45. Excellent excerpt, Mia.

    I had a similar experience when and a couple friends and I spent a week in the Poconos about ten or so years ago. We got to stay in a vacation rental in the foothills. They had a whirlpool tub. I filled that baby with bubbles and let that water spin around me. It was amazing!

    And I came home with a lot of neat goodies too. Homemade candles and chocolate, mostly. LOL

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  46. Hi Mia, when I grew up we only had a tub but now we have both and I use both. Most of the time I take a shower but sometimes I just like to relax in a nice hot bath. Great excerpt, can't wait to read the book.

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  47. I agree with you 100%.

    When you are cold and tired, there is nothing to help you relax and put you in a good like a long hot soak in a bath tub.

    If the giveaway is open worldwide, please enter me.

    Thankjs.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

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  48. Welcom Mia! I'm so glad to have another Scottish historical author join our happy group. I am sooo excited about your upcoming books - must read!

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  49. I hear you Mia, I only have a shower now and miss long soaks in bubble bath and just totally collapsing into the warmth. :) And to be reading one of Hannah's Murray books. Complete joy. Love her books. I can't wait to read Touch of A Thief.Sins of a Highlander is now on my TRL because I love Highlander stories. I've read all Connie's books. Love them as well.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750aol.com

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  50. Desere--Thanks for the welcome. I'm thrilled to be a Casababe!

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  51. Erin--I see you've got a new title out with Kensington. Love your Shadow series. Thanks for dropping by.

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  52. Maria--A wise man once told me, "If I ain't got time, I ain't got nuthin'." (Notice I said wise not erudite!) Take time for yourself, my friend.

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  53. Lil, I envy your travels. I've only been to Scotland in my mind.

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  54. Deb--Oh, yes! I love my bath to be almost lobster-boiling hot.

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  55. Shana--Thanks. It does seem like a long time till Sins of the Highlander comes out next January, but I have Touch of a Thief(April 26, 2011) and Improper Gentlemen(July 26, 2011) coming from Kensington in the meantime.

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  56. Jena--I can't tell you how exciting it's been to work with someone like Connie Mason. She's terrific!

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  57. Catherine--Our hero's name is actually Robin, but Rob is what he goes by most of the time. Actually, he's called "Mad Rob" a lot too.

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  58. Stephanie--The cover for Sins of the Highlander really shows off those muscles too. You can see it here.

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  59. Stephanie--The cover for Sins of the Highlander really shows off those muscles too. You can see it here.

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  60. Dalila--I hear you. I'm the Anti-techno Queen myself, but I've been learning how to negotiate cyber-space little by slowly.

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  61. Virginia--Modern plumbing is one of the reasons I wouldn't get into a time machine to venture back if one were offered. If it involves cold baths, I'd rather imagine history than actually live it.

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  62. Buddy-I appreciate my international readers so much, I always make my drawings world wide.
    Good luck!

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  63. Amanda--Actually, since Connie Mason's fans expect her to take them around the globe, our second book isn't set in Scotland. Lord of Fire and Ice(July 2012) will be in medival Scandinavia.

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  64. Carol L--The gracious and talented Ms. Howell is in my local RWA, so I've been blessed with the chance to get to know her a bit. What a fun person she is!

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  65. Carol L--The gracious and talented Ms. Howell is in my local RWA, so I've been blessed with the chance to get to know her a bit. What a fun person she is!

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