Today, I have a treat for you, YA author Karen Rock will soon be making her debut at Harlequin. So when she mentioned the book, and her special hero, I had to invite her into the tribal grounds to talk about it. I hope you will find what she has to say interesting Karen, you have the floor!
A heroic love story,
Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Juli! I’ve been looking forward to meeting you all and sharing my new books. With my first book only just now appearing on the shelves, I’m still amazed that it’s all real. After reading Harlequin romances for years, it feels incredible to know that the release of my first Heartwarming novel, Wish Me Tomorrow, is in coming so soon! (September 1st!) While attending the RWA conference in Atlanta this year and meeting fellow writers and editors for this new line, I grew more excited than ever to be part of a group that cherishes contemporary love stories that are tender and deeply romantic. The kinds of stories mothers would feel comfortable sharing with their daughters.
Wish Me Tomorrow is inspired by a heroic love story between my dear friends and neighbors, Marty and Kathy. While both had just started dating and nursing school, Marty was diagnosed with Leukemia. To his surprise, Kathy stayed by his side, helped him through chemotherapy and his coursework and they graduated on time together. Twenty years later they are happily married with three beautiful children. While Wish Me Tomorrow isn’t Marty and Kath’s story, the idea of loving someone against the odds is deeply moving to me. Emotional stories where ordinary people do extraordinary things for love are what draws me as an author. I hope readers will enjoy Wish Me Tomorrow for that reason! Here’s what it’s all about:
Can they build a future on hope alone?
For years nurse and grief counselor Christie Bates has been teaching her patients to confront their fears, express themselves and trust in hope. But as her feelings for cancer survivor Eli Roberts and his two children grow, can she overcome her own fear and love a man who lives every day with the possibility of recurring illness?
Tackling cancer and single parenthood simultaneously has turned Eli into a devout realist. Which is why he finds Christie’s perpetually upbeat attitude so aggravating. Still, despite himself, she’s making a place in his heart. If only he could offer Christie more than an uncertain future.
Strong arms encircled her from behind. She breathed in the lemongrass and musky smell of him, her heart thumping.
“You’ve been gone too long.” he breathed in her ear.
She felt as if electricity coursed from her sensitive lobe and sizzled through her body. Her lungs trapped her breath and took it hostage. Was there anything more amazing than being held by the man you loved?
She turned and put her arms around his neck. In an instant, his breath quickened, his blue eyes searing hers before he crushed her against him.
“I’m the luckiest man in the world.” His voice was low, throaty. “Remember what you said earlier, about feeling like a monster?”
She nodded, burying her face in the firm planes of his chest. Why would he bring that up when things felt so romantic?
He tipped her chin and held her gaze. “Please don’t say that again. Don’t even think it. You’re imperfect. Flawed, a little scarred, but stronger now in a way that makes you the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met. Inside and out. I wouldn’t want you any other way.”
It was the most incredible thing anyone had ever said to her. Did she deserve it? An image of Bill came to mind. She could almost picture him giving her a thumbs-up.
Before she had another moment to think, he captured her lips with a kiss so intense it was bruising. Her thundering blood deafened her and her shallow breathing rolled out like a low tide. He tasted like salt and fire as his mouth slanted across hers. She buried her hands in his thick hair, drawing him closer still.
His mouth left hers and traveled along her cheekbone. She could feel the erratic beat of his heart against her chest. His arms held her tight, as if he never meant to let her go. She rained kisses on his neck, his jaw and finally on his lips.
Suddenly, an aching tenderness replaced their earlier frenzy. They needed to explore, to know each other. When he returned her kiss, his hand stole into her hair and wound her tresses with his fingers. Their kisses deepened slowly, softly, the intensity growing between them once more…a single match that had ignited a blaze.
She knew he was strong, but it still surprised her how easily he carried her to the living room settee and laid her down gently on the scattered pillows. His body slid over hers in one smooth gesture. She inhaled his breath as their mouths moved against each other, every kiss drawn out now, lingering, exploring. Her hands drifted over his back then rose to his shoulders and the muscles of his arms.
At last, he drew himself up on his elbows. Now he was looking down at her, and his expression had changed in the flickering light, his blue eyes darkened to indigo. The rawness of his open, vulnerable expression undid her.
Warmth overflowed her heart, filling up the cracks and wounds she’d held inside. She sighed and buried her hands in the thick strands at the nape of his neck. How had this miracle happened? It seemed beyond imagining, beyond wishing. Yet here she was, with him, the only person who’d made her feel complete. Whole. As if she deserved this moment with him. ***
I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek! Wish Me Tomorrow is available for pre-order download at Amazon now or regular download starting September 1st. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new line and my upcoming novel! You can reach me at any of the following links: Website / Twitter/Goodreads/Heartwarming Blog and purchase the novel at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | eHarlequin | Goodreads
Thank you very much
In a quest to provide her eighth grade students with quality reading material, English teacher Karen Rock read everything out there and couldn’t wait to add her voice to the genre. Now the co-author of the young adult contemporary romance series CAMP BOYFRIEND through Spencer Hill Press, Karen is thrilled to pen stories that teens can relate to. Additionally, Karen is a Harlequin Heartwarming author with her first novel, WISH ME TOMORROW, out in September 2013 and her second, HIS HOMETOWN GIRL out in July 2014. When she’s not busy writing, Karen enjoys watching Supernatural marathons, cooking her Nona’s family Italian recipes, and occasionally rescuing local wildlife from neighborhood cats. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, her very appreciated beta-reader daughter and two King Charles Cavalier cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch,” though they’ve managed to teach her the trick! Hmmmm… wonder how that happened?! Check out her website at http://www.karenrock.com, her co-author website http://www.jkrock.net, her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/karenrockauthor, and follow her on twitter @karenrock5. She’d love to meet you!