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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.
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.