Good morning everyone! Today I have the fabulous Sondrae Bennett who is talkin' about romance and what finally pulled her to take the risk and become the author she is today.
Sondrae, please come in, sit down and enjoy my new office. My husband is out for a few hours so we won't be distracted by the tall tattooed man with the mesmerizing blue eyes. Ohhhh...yesss...he is a hunk. *whispers* He'll make us a cocktail and food if you wink at him.
Now, please tell me about the how you came to love the romance world. :)
I still remember my first Romance book. It was a Nora Roberts romance, and as soon as I finished it, I was hooked and demanding more. I gobbled down any romance book I could find, falling in love with authors such as Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, and Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (just to name a few).
When other girls went to the mall to buy clothes in high school, I headed straight for the bookstore. There was nothing as magical as picking up a book and sinking into the story, being transported to a different world. My favorite world to escape into was (and still is) romance of any kind.
I put myself in the place of the heroine. I saw the castles she rode up to and felt her fear as she was captured. I fell in love with the heroes, and cursed the day I reached the last page because I knew my adventure was over. At least until I picked up my next book and fell in love all over again.
When I first started writing, I lacked direction. I rarely finished what I started and honestly never intended writing to be more than a hobby. At least, not until I saw a romance short story contest. The winner would be published as part of an anthology and I knew I had to try. See, I always had the writing dream, I just never thought I could do it, so I’d hidden it away. But once I let myself believe it was possible, there was no going back.
I never did enter the contest. The story I started quickly outgrew the guidelines, but I fell in love with my characters and their story. I had to finish. What I started that day would later become the first draft of my book, ‘Arctic Winds’ and the start of a new career and a new love. That day I started not just a book, but a series, full of leading ladies and dashing heroes. Each deserved a story of their own. Something I intend to give them all.
Last week, Lyrical Press released the third book in my Alpine Woods Shifter series, The Wolf Within. In it, the youngest of the five siblings finds her mate, but it’s not easy for her. Especially not with four alpha wolf older brothers. But I found her the perfect mate. One willing to stand up to Julie’s family, and who will cherish her for the treasure she is.
Will his love be enough to keep her safe?
Julie doesn’t know what to think when the man she’s had a crush on her entire life--a man she thinks is meant to be her sister's mate--starts flirting with her after she returns home from college. The harder she tries to distance herself, the harder he works to win her over. He can’t want to mate with her...a freak born a full human among shifters. So why won’t he accept her rejection?
Brendan's waited years for Julie's return. Now that she’s finally home, there’s nothing to keep him from her...not even her three alpha wolf brothers. But he’s not the only one after Julie. Something is stalking her and Brendan's protective instincts toward her kick in.
When the unthinkable happens, will Julie and Brendan's love give them the strength they need to persevere?
WARNING: This title contains explicit sex
After waiting almost a full minute for her to notice him, Brendan coughed into his hand to get her attention. She jumped at the noise, dropping a book on her bare foot.
“Oh jeez. Are you okay?” Cursing himself for startling her, Brendan rushed over. He placed his hands on her waist as he bent down to look at her foot.
His heart skipped a beat when she wrinkled her nose and smiled. “Relax, Brendan. It’s just a paperback. It couldn’t have weighed more than half a pound.” The laughter in her eyes mesmerized. This was the teasing, happy Julie he remembered.
“Well, at least let me kiss it and make it better.” Brendan rose and brushed his lips against hers. A spark of recognition shot through him. As if his soul recognized the other half of himself. He could only hope she experienced it too. If she felt even half the desperate need he did, there would be no way she could deny him. Her hands flew to his chest, wrapping his t-shirt inside her fists. It was all the urging he needed.
Brendan pulled her body against his as his mouth ravished her. He stroked his hand down her spine, his other arm supporting as he leaned over her.
Her taste exploded inside his head, sending shockwaves through his system. It had been a long wait for this kiss, too long. He ran his tongue around her lips, savoring the moan that escaped her. Taking the bottom lip between his teeth, he felt her hands pull him closer as he gently bit down. Definitely worth the wait.
Kissing Julie was everything he’d envisioned and more. It was so easy to lose himself in her, forgetting everything but the woman in his arms. Julie. Desperate to feel her curves pressing against him, he pulled her closer.
Her moan swept against his mouth, kindling the fire inside him as her tongue tangled with his. Her naked desire triggered the primal beast inside, and the dull sting in his gums indicated his canines had extended. When he opened his eyes, he saw the distorted colors in the world around him, a sure sign they had changed to his wolf’s.
It was almost painful for him to retreat, but this wasn’t the way he wanted things. He would not let his wolf rule this situation. Even more than that, he didn’t want to frighten her. The memory of Julie backing away from him in fear would haunt him for a long time. He never wanted to frighten her again.
Closing his eyes, Brendan placed a quick kiss against the corner of her mouth and raised his head.
Julie remained mute but didn’t pull away. The silence lengthened until Brendan opened his eyes and gazed into her quizzical hazel ones.
“You missed,” she whispered. He stared at her, puzzling through her words. What was she talking about? And then it hit him. He’d told her he was going to kiss her injured foot and make it better. The end of his lips curved up in a smile.
“I did? My bad. I could always try again…” he trailed off, pulling her tighter against him. But Julie had other plans. With a stream of laughter, she pulled out of his embrace.
“Oh no. That’s quite all right.” She turned away from him, but didn’t get far before turning back, her eyes pleading with him. In that moment, he would have ripped off his arm and given it to her had she asked it of him.
Wow! Now that's an excerpt! Thank you Sondrae for sharing, I can't wait to read this. :)
Next week I'll have the Executive editor for Lyrical Press, Piper Denna, talking about blurb writing and editor stuff.
Have a Sparkling Day!