Thursday, 14 February 2008

It’s all about string…

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage--Lao Tzu

Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward in the same direction--Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place--Zora Neale Hurston

I have learned not to worry about love; but to honor its coming with all my heart--Alice Walker

Or depending on your mood – What’s love got to do with it? –Tina Turner

No, I’m not going to get all sappy over Valentine’s Day. I’m not one for occasions generally. However I have worked in many offices where to receive or not receive flowers on THE day was a huge deal. People would ooh and ahh and think why her and not me? Others would whisper – seriously - “She sent them to herself you know.” Funny, crazy, insane people. So why do people get all nutso over one day of the year when they could be showing THE person how they feel about them at random times? I love flowers but I would not expect them on THE day as a matter of course. I like spontaneity in a man.

Why does love drive people crazy? I think it’s one of those how long is a piece of string questions.
The answer? Who knows? And why do some people love who they love? Back to the string. Why do some people choose the wrong person? String again. Why do other people never take the fall? String. How is it that some people leave relationship after relationship and never find what they want? It’s string once more. In fact I think string should be given as a gift at Valentine’s Day as it sums the whole love thing up – it’s unfathomable, crazy, ties you up in knots and yet people keep doing it. If you love someone, give them string this Valentine’s Day – confuse them some more.

- If you’re in love – I’m happy for you
- If you’re looking for love – take it steady, be yourself, it will happen
- If you’re over love and you think it stinks – invest in Tim Tams and when you’re ready the right person will come along and love you for the extra curves.
- If you like being alone and are in no hurry to do anything but what suits you – I salute you

Time for Love – released today – click on the cover to buy.

Sarah Hanson opens her eyes to a darkly sexy man leaning over her and the strains of a waltz playing in the background. Further, she is no longer dozing in the taxi that escorts her from the job where she was just fired but inhaling the strong scent of beeswax and dressed in Regency era clothing.

Drake, Lord Hayworth, rake extraordinaire, is unable to reconcile his sudden attraction to the shelved miss who is meant to chaperone the daughter of a dear friend. Different from every other female he has known, he is keenly aware of the differences between her and his new fiancé--the young woman Sarah escorts.

As Sarah develops lasting relationships, she discovers the unconditional love of family and a passion for a man she is not meant to have, in a time she may not be able to keep. And for Drake, finding a pliable bride to marry so he can claim the last of his inheritance has become decidedly more difficult now that Sarah has turned his ordered life on its head.

Okay – we are very, very lucky to get an excerpt no one else has seen – please enjoy…

Later, in the park with Mary trailing behind, she and Milstoke laughed about it.
“The look on her face was priceless, Nigel, I wish I could have taken a picture, uh I mean, painted her portrait.”
He stopped. Milstoke turned to her.
“What?” she asked.
“You just called me by my given name. You have never done so before.”
She laughed nervously. It had taken some coaxing to have Mary discover it for her. Once she’d learned his name, she hadn’t considered it might be unusual to call him by it. “Haven’t I? Hmm. Go figure.” She began walking again.
Milstoke caught up to her. “No, you haven’t done.” He shook his head thoughtfully. “A lot about you has changed. Your speech is most singular. You are more forthright and use unusual dialogue.”
Sarah made a mental note to be more careful about her word choices. They walked in companionable silence. Sarah twirled her lace parasol round and round. She watched Milstoke from the corner of her eye. He remained silent but he was an avid people watcher.
“So, Nigel, when did you realize you were gay?”

“Pardon?” Again he stopped. Sarah was forced to stop too and she cocked her head to the side waiting for him to start up again.
Crap. Hadn’t she just decided to be more careful? Well, it was out there now. She might as well work with it. “Gay. You know, alternate lifestyle, interested in male companionship, light in the loafers…gay.”
Milstoke’s face turned an interesting shade of red. He darted a look around them. Mary, several paces behind, stared at the grass though the rapid blinking told Sarah she’d heard everything.
Sarah clapped a hand over her mouth. “Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to out you. Nobody knows yet, huh?”
“How… What makes you think I am… Why would you say that I… We have been courting for a month. Really, Sarah, this is not appropriate discussion.”
Maybe. But then she’d just arrived two days ago taking the other Sarah’s place. Could she say soul swapping? Well not really that, rather like an historical twin with whom she switched places. Either way, she’d stepped into someone else’s shoes in the past and she didn’t want to wreck it should she switch back. Sarah rested a hand on his arm. “Relax. It’s okay. I won’t tell anyone.” Courting for a month, eh?
Sarah smiled and jerked her head toward the walking path. He started walking again. She shrugged. “It’s no big deal. At home there is a big community of gays and lesbians. Besides, I have never seen a straight man so interested in another man’s backside before. This whole time we’ve been walking, you have passed many beautiful women but your eyes are riveted to the men they are with.” She nearly laughed at his surprise.
Despite his shock, curiosity shone in his eyes. “I didn’t realize I was…”
“So obvious? Mmm. I suppose to most people you aren’t but when you live in a town where alternative lifestyles are open and allowable, it’s just easy to detect. I mean, it’s not like you’re flaming, you just have a noticeable appreciation. My gay-dar went off.”
“I…” Milstoke looked flustered, unsure of her meaning but seeming to know she attempted to console him. “Suppose.” They walked on in silence. Suddenly, he stopped and turned to her. “I didn’t realize there was a ‘community’ of like-minded individuals anywhere in England. There are many?”
“Yeah, a few.” Sarah thought again of not ruining things for the other Sarah should she suddenly come back and have to explain all of this to Milstoke. “So why are we courting if you don’t really want a wife?”
“For now, no more discussion of it. It is disconcerting to discuss such things.”
The introspective silence resumed. Milstoke looked at her occasionally, confusion written on his face and a question in his eyes.
Sarah stopped walking. “What is it now?”
Milstoke ran a hand over his face. “Talking to you is different.”
“So you’ve said.”
“You seem like a completely new person. You look the same. You have the same clothing. But you are different. You speak differently.”
“Is that all right?”
He considered her for a full minute. His eyes scanned her face for a discernable difference. Not finding one, he smiled acceptance.
“Yes. Yes it is. I don’t know what has happened that you speak as you do with such frankness but I believe I like it much better than the former proper air you carried.”
“Great.” Sarah’s shoulders relaxed. She hadn’t realized she’d been uptight about his answer. The fact of the matter was she genuinely liked Milstoke. She had popped into this time in the middle of a relationship doomed to fail and had come out with a friend, she hoped.
Milstoke’s eyes sparkled with mischief. He looped their arms together and continued walking, a new spring in his step. They looked at one another and laughed.
A lightness of spirit swelled in her breast. Never had she had a relationship like this. Maybe because she wasn’t truly committed to this time period she gave herself permission to act more confidently and heedless of the results. Whatever the cause, Sarah’s usual twenty-first century self-effacement was not present here.
She glanced at a passing curricle. Beth? The woman and her escort came nearer. It wasn’t Beth. She felt her heart lurch. What was Beth doing right now? Was she worried? Worrying wouldn’t be good for the baby. They could never be accused of being close but they were the only family each other had. As the older sister, Sarah felt responsible for Beth. She couldn’t watch out for her from another century.
She worried her bottom lip.
“Are you ready to turn back?” Milstoke asked.
“Huh? Oh. Yeah. I have a lot on my mind.”
“That is most apparent.”
She saw the question in his eyes. “No. I’m not ready to share but thank you.”
He nodded and guided her in silence down the street to the front steps of the Grantham townhouse. Before handing her in, he pulled her gently aside. “Lady Sarah, I feel…” he searched the air for words, “like our association has altered. I am pleased with the results.”
“Me too.” Spontaneously, Sarah rose up on her toes and kissed his cheek. She closed the door on his gasp of protest. Maybe it wasn’t okay to kiss a guy in public here, but she’d gone with the feeling of the moment. She stifled her giggle. His look had been priceless. Sarah handed her parasol to the butler and twirled her reticule as she climbed the stairs.

Last Day to win big!!!

What could you spend an eternity doing? What is your passion? Your hunger? Your deepest desire? Each day beginning February 5 and running through February 14 one of the ten authors will complete the line, "My darling I could spend eternity…" on either their blog or website. Collect all ten answers and e-mail them to with Eternally Yours in the subject line to win some hot, romantic books. There will be three lucky Valentine winners.

The prizes –

1st prize--5 books

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The books

Sandra Cox
Mona Risk
To Love a Hero
Brynn Paulin Tribute For the Goddess
Bronwyn Green Mystic Circle
Cindy Spencer Pape Stone and Earth
N.J. Walters Seduction of Shamus O’Rourke
Elyssa Edwards Mating Stone
Amarinda Jones Shades of Gray
Kelly Kirch Time for Love
Anny Cook Honeysuckle

Entries must be in by February 16 at midnight EST. All books and prize winners will be drawn randomly.

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Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?


Anny Cook said...

Excellent quotes. Good blog! And I really liked the excerpt!

Molly Daniels said...

Happy Valentine's Day AJ:) Great quotes! Love the excerpt:)

Kelly Kirch said...

Thanks for posting me, AJ. Good job with the string analogy. Never thought of that before. How very profound of you.

Mona Risk said...


I like your quotes and I laughed about the flowers received at work. I used to hate seeing these vases coming to the lab. Show-off. Couldn't they keep them for their houses? On my way to Kelly's blog, the guest of honor today.

Anonymous said...

LOL! We think alike about the flowers at work :D

I hope you had a nice day, Valentines Day or not :D