I'm so excited to share my good news! Deb Werksman offered a contract for my new Historical Irish Western Trilogy set in Golden, Colorado in the late 1870s the day before I left for the NJRW Conference this past weekend.
It seems that Deb and I have this Karmic connection through NJRW. We met for the first time a few years ago waiting in line desperate for a cup of tea, but I didn't realize she was an editor until she asked what my friend and I were writing. At the time I had a hot contemporary cowboy story that I had just finished, and she asked for the full ms.
Fast forward a few years, and I'm two months away from releasing my sixth book with Sourcebooks, my fifteenth book,WELCOME BACK TO APPLE GROVE. This is the third story in my small town contemporary romance set in the fictional town of Apple Grove, Ohio.
I'm celebrating my good news by giving away an ARC of my December release. Here's an excerpt:
“What’s going on here?”
He held his hands up and struggled not to smile. “I have no idea.”
She stalked toward him and drilled her finger into the middle of his chest. “You’re lying.”
He clenched his jaw and tamped down the instinctive reaction those words always caused—like a match to a stick of dynamite —but he refused to lose his temper with her. “I don’t lie.”
Her face paled and her hand dropped to her side. “I’m sorry, Patrick—it’s just that I’ve been…” Her words trailed off and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what she’d been about to say.
Someone had lied to Grace, someone important enough to have hurt her. The need to pound the living daylights out of whoever had left such a deep mark on Grace filled him. It was a struggle to keep silent, but he sensed that his reaction to her words was important.
He wanted to reach out and touch her but shoved his hands into his pockets instead. “There are usually two reasons people lie.”
Grace’s eyes filled. “There’s never a reason to lie.”
He took his hands out of his pockets and clenched them at his sides. He almost lost the battle against his will not to touch her—yet.
She wiped the tears with the backs of her hands and lifted her chin, daring him to contradict her.
He eased a half step closer, all the while watching her expressive eyes. “In my experience,” he said slowly, “people lie because they are afraid to tell the truth for fear of hurting someone’s feelings.”
He pressed a finger to her lips and felt their trembling in his gut. Need filled him, want nearly had him on his knees, begging. He felt his throat constrict as desire for Grace slashed through him.
Strengthening his resolve, he said, “And they lie because they don’t care enough to tell someone the truth.”
His mother had been right when she’d told him that the eyes were the windows to the soul. He saw so much in the grass-green eyes watching him. A long ago hurt she struggled with—from her childhood when she’d lost her mother or more recent than that? Had the guy she’d brought to Meg and Dan’s the last time he’d seen her done something to hurt her?
A tiny spark of hope flickered in the depths of her eyes. He moved to close the gap between them. He wrapped his arms around her and fought not to groan aloud as her soft curves fit against him. Did fate and destiny have more in mind for him now that he’d stopped running from his past? Reveling in the feel of Grace Mulcahy in his arms, he tried to remember the snippets of conversation he’d heard but couldn’t remember how long she’d dated the guy or when it had ended. Maybe it was because he hadn’t been attracted to her too-thin form. But this new womanly version caught him by the throat and wouldn’t let go.
“I don’t lie, Grace. My mom taught us not to, and no matter how much what I have to say might hurt someone, I won’t gloss over the truth, not even for a woman with eyes the color of shamrocks and lips begging me to kiss them.”
Grace slid her hands up his back and over his shoulders, pulling him flush against her. He felt her generous curves pressing against him and had to close his eyes; he didn’t want to scare her away with the depth of the need raking through him.
“I’m not begging you to kiss me,” she mumbled against his collarbone.
He eased her back and locked gazes with her. “Oh no?”
Her mouth curved into a smile. “Begging’s not the same as wanting.” She pressed her lips to his jaw and he groaned.
“Wanting could lead to begging, Grace.” He slid his hand down to the base of her spine and slowly up again, delighting in the way her body quivered beneath his touch.
He stroked his hands along her shoulders and down to her wrists, manacling them. “Will you let me kiss you, Grace?”
He wanted so much more than a kiss but would be damned if he’d give in to his body’s clamoring like a teenager. He’d savor every step of his seduction of Grace Mulcahy.
When she realized he’d captured her hands as effectively as if he’d handcuffed them, her eyes changed to a deeper hue as desire and want filled them.
“May I?” He brushed his thumbs against the underside of her wrists and felt her pulse pounding there.
She tilted her face up. Green eyes glowing, she whispered, “Please.”
Here's what reviewers are already saying:
"C.H. Admirand has a gift of writing engaging comfort stories with beloved characters I find myself rooting for. Keep them coming, C.H.!" Chere, Amazon Reviewer
"Admirand continues to match strong, sensuous romance with realistic situations in a fun small-town setting. Fans of Debbie Macomber who also like some heat with their romance-along with recipes-will devour this thoughtful series." Amy Alessio, Booklist
"The dialogue is quick, often funny and perfectly fitting for a charming small town. Prepare to lose yourself in this beautiful story of friends who discover that sometimes "the one" is right in front of you." Eve Polak, RT 4-/2 Stars
"Absolutely fantastic third book set in Apple Grove...I loved this book and the series. There is nothing better than small town America." Terri, Night Owl Reviews
"If a new story by Admirand is due to hit the shelves, you can bet that I am eager to get a copy in my greedy little hands. I always look forward to Admirand’s stories." Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews ~ 4-1/2 Stars
If you'd like a chance to win the ARC, please remember to include your email address when you leave your comment. Random.org will be picking the winner tonight. :)