Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Seekerville Welcomes Guest Birthday Blogger Donna Alward
It’s October 4 which means I’m here at Seekerville today to celebrate the official launch of my newest Harlequin Romance, HOW A COWBOY STOLE HER HEART!
So grab a coffee and visit for a spell as I reveal some behind-the-scenes bits about the book, let you know some special plans going on for the month, give you an exclusive excerpt, and most off all a CHANCE TO WIN some great books!
I was chatting to a friend one day about the release date and she happened to mention that HOW A COWBOY STOLE HER HEART is out during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Wow, I thought, because the heroine, Meg, is a breast cancer survivor trying to rebuild her life after treatment. I knew I wanted to do something special to coincide with the many events going on to support breast cancer research and awareness. So…in that spirit, I’d like to invite you all to visit my blog at www.donnaalward.blogspot.com all this month where you can find ways you can help and support your local foundations, read some inspiring stories from some very special guests, and learn some new and interesting facts about breast cancer in 2011. It’s all about THINK PINK for the month.
I’d been wanting to write a cancer story for a while - I try not to shy away from real-life topics in my stories, instead choosing to show the positive happy endings out of adversity, you know? And I’m fairly sure everyone has been touched by cancer in some form. On a personal level, my grandmother had colon cancer and my step-dad was recently diagnosed with it as well (and his prognosis is excellent, thank goodness!). My father-in-law had prostate cancer. There is a fear that is built into the “C” word – even when the diagnosis and prognosis are excellent. Because it’s CANCER.
When I thought of Meg Briggs, I wondered what it would be like to be diagnosed at such a young age, and then come home to rebuild your life. How much would someone change? What would stay the same? Would she be fearless or afraid or a bit of both? Would she live for the moment and finally tell Clay that she loved him? Or would she hang back, uncertain?
Clay Gregory, for what it’s worth, was a complete pain in my patoot. He first showed up in ONE DANCE WITH THE COWBOY and I fell in love. He totally demanded his own story, but I could never find him the right woman. I tried. But those stories just didn’t pan out. FINALLY I figured out that it was Meg he was waiting for, and once I clued in to that tiny fact, it all fell into place. This story wasn’t easy to tell. Their relationship isn’t easy either. But it was worth it for me and I hope it is for you, too. Rumour has it you might want to keep a few tissues on hand for a few certain scenes…
It was really quite fun having Clay figure out that Meg was a woman rather than his best friend’s little sister. Look what happens…
“He made his way over to her and put on a smile. “I see you made it here just fine.”
“I came with Dad.” She smiled up at him and that same weird tightening happened again. “He’s gone off to talk stock.”
“Normally you’d be there with him.” Meg wasn’t the kind of girl who left the business to the men; she knew what she was about. It was one of the things he truly admired about her.
“Today’s not an ordinary day,” she replied, taking a sip of punch. His gaze caught on her lips as they touched the glass.
“It certainly isn’t,” he agreed, but his voice came out low and...dear Lord. Intimate. God. He was no better than Tom Walker with that silly, besotted look on his face. Clay cleared his throat but not before Meg’s eyes gleamed with mischief. Great. Bad enough he was reacting to her this way. But to have her notice made him feel ten times a fool.
Lily and Noah moved off to chat with other guests, leaving Meg and Clay alone. Clay made himself forget the way the dress fit her gentle curves and focused on the task at hand. “You seem to be managing okay. No awkward questions, I take it?”
“A few.” The flirtatious gleam he’d seen in her eye tempered. “I just keep reminding myself that people mean well. For the most part,” she amended, looking at a pair of grey-haired women who were standing by the punch bowl, heads together.
Clay felt a flare of irritation on her behalf, glad to be talking about old ladies rather than besotted young men. “Some people aren’t happy unless they’re criticizing or spreading doom and gloom.”
Meg lowered her head and he heard an indelicate snort. “Oh, you poor dear. I do hope you stay looking so well,” she said in a stage whisper.
“They actually said that?” He was appalled.
“Of course. They feed on the possibility of catastrophe,” she remarked lightly.
It was no laughing matter to Clay. More than anything he worried about her cancer coming back, not that he’d say so to her face. He wouldn’t take away from the happiness of her recovery by admitting such a thing. She was one of the strongest women he knew, and he reached out to take her hand. “Don’t you listen to them,” he ordered. “You’re healthy as a horse and you look beautiful.”
“Thank you, Clay.” A pretty blush touched her cheeks and his chest swelled.
“I’ve got your back, remember?”
“I remember,” she replied softly, and his heart did a little shiver against his ribs. This wasn’t keeping it simple or purely friendly.
“If anyone bothers you, let me know.”
“Anyone like who, in particular?” She’d cocked her head to the left, as if trying to figure him out. He clenched his jaw.
“Oh, like Tom Walker. Or Jason Callow. Or…whoever.”
“Interesting,” she said speculatively, her eyes narrowing as she examined him. He couldn’t escape the feeling she was laughing at him on the inside. “Are you jealous, Clay?”
He dropped her hand. “Just wanted you to remember our agreement, that’s all.” He had to come up with another distraction. “Here’s Jen and Andrew,” he suggested, tilting his head toward the couple who had just come in. “Good safe people for both of us, right?”
Now to the good stuff – PRIZES and FREE STUFF!
Today I’m going to give away three books - and it’s winner’s choice of either of my new releases – HOW A COWBOY STOLE HER HEART or OFF THE CLOCK (adult content), or any backlist title (as long as I still have a copy – I’m short on a few). There’s a complete booklist on my site. All you have to do is leave a comment in the comments section . Winners will be announced in the Weekend Edition of Seekerville.
I have some free reads going on at the moment! You can try my very first Harlequin Romance and Bookseller’s Best Award winner, HIRED BY THE COWBOY, at www.tryharlequin.com.
AND until OCTOBER 14 (which also happens to be our wedding anniversary) you can also download my Eppie-nominated SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER (Samhain) at Amazon for FREE. (adult content).
Thanks for being here and celebrating with me today!
A busy wife and mother of three (2 daughters and the family dog), Donna Alward believes hers is the best job in the world: a combination of stay-at-home mom and romance novelist.
An avid reader since childhood, Donna always made up her own stories. She completed her Arts Degree in English Literature in 1994, but it wasn’t until 2001 that she penned her first full-length novel, and found herself hooked on writing romance. In 2006 she sold her first manuscript.
Donna loves being back on the East Coast of Canada after nearly 12 years in Alberta where her Harlequin career began, writing about cowboys and the west. Donna’s debut Romance, HIRED BY THE COWBOY, was awarded the Booksellers Best Award in 2008 for Best Traditional Romance.
Donna loves to hear from readers; you can contact her through her website at www.donnaalward.com, visit her Facebook page, Twitter: @DonnaAlward,
or through her publisher.