I’d always dreamed of writing for Avon. My keeper shelf was (and still is) stacked with books from amazing authors who’d made the cut. So, when Avon Impulse sent out a “call for submissions” for a Christmas story, I took a chance.
I wrote the story in July of last year. The idea started turning around in my head on a long drive (many story ideas come to me this way). With my husband behind the wheel, I stared out the window and first heard Ethan Weatherstone speak to me.
My would-be hero was exasperated. Certain that his long-time neighbor and friend, Penelope, lacked any sense, Ethan told her flat-out that her latest scheme would only lead to her ruin.
This little tidbit had me intrigued. I started asking Ethan questions. Begrudgingly, he confessed a fondness for her freckles, and from there, the story blossomed. Of course, Penelope had a chance to tell her side of the story, too.
After that, the real magic happened. The story that was inspired by a “call” ended up earning me “the call.” From that point, I consider myself even more fortunate to work with an amazingly talented editor, who not only gave me my first chance, but also offered me the opportunity to write a series of books, inspired by Ethan and Penelope’s story.
Five Golden Rings: A Christmas Collection was released in December of 2012. Shortly after the digital release, the book became available in print. I’m blessed to be in an anthology with such incredible authors: Sophie Barnes, Karen Erickson, Rena Gregory, and Sandra Jones.
Excerpt from Tempting Mr. Weatherstone:
She let out a huff and crossed her slender arms, the action causing her woolen shawl to bunch over her breasts. “Oh, why do I even bother?”
“Haven’t the faintest.”
This time, Penelope glared at him, her nose wrinkling in a way that drew his attention to her freckles. He liked her freckles. They were balanced and orderly—four on the left and four on the right.
It was ironic that eight such sensible freckles could be on someone so lacking in sensibility.
A quiet knock sounded at the door before Glenna brought in the tea tray. Apparently sensing Penelope’s dark mood and wanting to stay clear of it, she set the tray on the corner of the desk and bobbed quickly before she left.
Ethan wished he could do the same. Instead, he was trapped by an angry blond goddess. Or was her hair brown? He could never quite tell. There were so many shades that it appeared each strand was unlike any other. Some of them pale like butter, others glistening like corn silk, some earthy brown, a chestnut here and there … It would take a lifetime to catalog every color.
She was still fuming at him, her cornflower blue eyes darkening to midnight. Her lips were pursed in disapproval, making her mouth appear smaller and less generous than it normally was.
“Would you like some tea?” he asked, already knowing her answer.
She uncrossed her arms and pressed her hands to the edge of the desk, leaning forward in a way that caused the fringes of her shawl to brush against the tip of his quill. A strange jolt rushed through him.
“Believe me when I say, you do not want to know what I would like at this precise moment,” she hissed. And before he could summon the will to blink, let alone breathe, she took a spoon from the tray, scooped up a dollop of cream, and proceeded to stir it into his dish of marmalade. “Enjoy. Your. Tea. Sir.”
Many thanks to Christy Carlyle for asking me to step in for her while she’s away. Also, my gratitude goes to Judith and Sarah for inviting me to post about my book. Thank you!
If you’re in the holiday mood, check out Tempting Mr. Weatherstone in Five Golden Rings: A Christmas Collection from Avon (available now). The story continues in 2014 in the Wallflower Weddings series. For more information, please visit www.vivlorret.net.