August 11, 2008
Bess McBride Checks Back in With A Sigh of Love!
It's me, Bess McBride, checking back in. I see I already have a couple entries to my little prize giveaway (see earlier post). Thank you for commenting!
August is going to be a busy, busy month for me! I have three releases this month. Can you believe it? Three!
My beloved Alaskan romance, A Sigh of Love, (inspired by a true incident in my life), is out in print now, and available at all online bookstores. I have my author copies in my hot little hands, and if you'd like a signed copy, I'm sure we could arrange a little something.
Here's the blurb and a short excerpt.
Blurb: Abbie is on her way to Anchorage, Alaska to meet George whom she has been corresponding by telephone for the past three months. George has repeatedly asked her to come up to Alaska for a visit so they can meet in person. Call her crazy, but Abbie makes airline reservations to fly from her home in Seattle up to Anchorage to meet George. She’s lonely. Why shouldn’t she make a mad romantic dash up to the last frontier to meet a man? She’ll just ignore the practicality and logistics of a long-distance relationship. When she calls George to let him know her arrival time, he chooses that awful moment to let Abbie know that he thinks they don’t have much in common after all and she should cancel her plane reservations. Abbie is stunned, humiliated and ashamed of the lonely desperation that drove her to make nonrefundable airline reservations to Alaska.
What to do? Abbie decides to go to Alaska anyway. A grouchy and depressed Abbie meets Tom on the plane, a tall, handsome anthropology professor who happens to be half Native Alaskan and half Caucasian. As the plane flies north, Tom and Abbie discover a mutual attraction. By flight’s end, Abbie is completely enamored of the stranger, and she doubts her judgment, perhaps even her sanity, as she finds herself falling again for yet another Alaskan male...until George shows up, that is.
Excerpt: Abbie shoved her carryon bag under the seat in front of her as far as it would go. She had the aisle all to herself, and she fervently hoped that the two seats next to her would remain empty. She was in no mood for casual airplane chitchat. From her seat, she could see down the length of the plane, and it appeared as if most of the passengers had already boarded and seated themselves.
Good, she thought with satisfaction stretching her legs out in front of her and placing her paperback on the seat next to her. What kind of idiot takes an 8 p.m. flight to Anchorage, Alaska, in September anyway? She leaned her head back and closed her eyes. Besides me.
Abbie let loose a sigh which began deep within her soul. It came out louder than she planned, and she hoped no one else on the quiet plane heard the understated groan. She opened her eyes and found a tall man standing in the aisle next to her seat. Startled, she blinked and met a pair of almond-shaped, obsidian eyes that crinkled at the corners. His friendly smile widened to a grin.
“May I?” he asked, indicating the window seat past her.
“Oh, sure.” Abbie quickly scrambled out of her seat and stepped into the aisle to allow him to pass. She caught her breath when he slid past her to take his seat. His face was strikingly handsome. Exotic eyes were the prominent feature in an angular bronze face with a narrow nose and full lips.
As the plane rolled onto the runway, Abbie leaned her head back and closed her eyes for a moment. It wasn’t too late. She could still jump up and ask the attendants to stop the plane and let her off. She smiled imagining the scene. Would they open the doors and let her out onto the runway to trudge back to the terminal on foot? Would they take the airplane back to the terminal and boot her out the door—forbidden ever to book a flight with them again? A quiet hysterical giggle escaped her wayward lips. Or would they force her to inexorably march on and continue the flight to Anchorage against her will?
As they neared the downtown area, Abbie observed with joy that summertime Anchorage remained as festive as she remembered. Large luscious baskets of flowers hung from ornate lampposts along the streets and colorful blooms spilled over flowerboxes affixed to buildings and gracing the sidewalks. People flocked downtown to wander the streets and admire the lush growth of trees, grass and flowers made possible by the almost unending light of the long summer days.
The market seemed much larger and more crowded than Abbie remembered, but she happily wandered up and down the vendor rows with Tom while they discussed the various arts, crafts, and food for sale. She noticed with amusement that tourists occasionally paused to stare at Tom with his obvious Alaska Native heritage and distinctive long hair. He appeared oblivious to the stares and double-takes as he moved through the stalls. Other people of Alaska Native ancestry who sold artwork or browsed the stalls showed the same unconcern regarding the curious glances of visitors.
Abbie was taken aback when two older women with silver hair, white sunhats, and sporty leisure suits stopped Tom and asked if they could have their photo taken with him.
He gave them a huge grin and said, “Sure, ladies.”
Abbie stifled a giggle when he put his arms around the much shorter women and pulled them in close for the photo that a bystander was coerced into taking. The older women laughed in delight while gazing up at Tom with something akin to adoration on their faces. Abbie suspected she knew how they felt since it was all she could do to keep the same adoring look from appearing on her face.
Tom gave each woman a quick squeeze before he released them. He waved as they wandered off, whispering to each other, giggling, and throwing longing glances back in his direction
“Well, Tom, you seem to be in your element. Does this sort of thing occur often?”
He winked at her. Her knees weakened at the gesture, and she wished she too could have been one of the women pressed up against him in an embrace.
“Happens all the time during tourist season,” he chuckled. “It’s the long hair,” he said, tugging on his ponytail. “They get a kick out of posing with a local.”
Abbie smiled and wondered if he had any idea how handsome he was. No matter what his ethnicity, she suspected the ladies would still have asked to have a picture taken with him because he presented such a striking figure.
“You don’t think your looks have something to do with it?” she smiled brightly.
Color stole into his cheeks, giving him a boyish quality.
“Aw, come on. I look pretty ordinary around here. You should see my sister and my mother. Now, they’re quite beautiful. Even Dad is a pretty good-looking fellow. I’m the runt of the litter,” he laughed self-mockingly.
Tom and Abbie pulled over at a man-made fish ladder to watch exhausted sockeye salmon attempt to jump over the ladder and make their way into the lake on the other side of the road to their final spawning grounds.
“I wish I could just pick them up and help them over. They’re so tired. It seems like such a sad journey, doesn’t it? To make it out to sea and then return to their hatching place to spawn and die.”
“I don’t think I ever thought of it that way,” Tom smiled. “They’re fighters, that’s for sure,” he said watching the fish, bright red as they neared the end of their lives, trying to fly over the ladder.
“Is it still against the law to touch them?” Abbie asked sadly.
“Yes, I’m afraid it is. Something about impeding the natural movement of fish...even if it is with the best intentions.”
She looked up at him with misty eyes.
“What a struggle they have,” she said mournfully as she walked over to the lake on the other side of the road. Those bright red fish that had successfully made the jump milled about peacefully in the shallow waters.
“I’m glad we don’t just die after we procreate. Our lives would be so short.” She peeked at Tom with dancing eyes. “Mine would be much shorter than yours since I’ve already had my kids. You could still be spawning.”
Abbie found herself laughing uproariously at her joke.
It wasn’t that funny, Abbie!
She hoped she wasn’t disintegrating into hysterics. Tears of laughter streamed from her eyes. She glanced at Tom to find him watching her with a strange light in his eyes.
Tom unexpectedly pulled her into his arms and bent his head to kiss her. Without thought, she instinctively wrapped her arms around his neck to pull his head even closer as she kissed him back. His embrace tightened, and she rose up on tiptoe to close any possible gap between them. His kiss was firm and insistent, and she lost herself in the magic of his lips. The world around her began to sway, but his strong arms kept her from falling to her knees.
He raised his head and loosened his grip around her waist as he looked down into her half-closed eyes.
“Wow!” He cleared his throat, but failed to rid his voice of its sensual huskiness. “I’m not sure what came over me. I can’t believe I just did that. Are you okay?” he asked with a frown between his narrowed glittering eyes.
“Ummm...oh yes, I’m fine,” she said backing away in embarrassment at her own loss of control. She avoided his intent gaze and turned to stare blindly out at the lake. “I’m sorry too. That’s not like me.”
“Hey.” He tilted her head back with gentle fingers, forcing her to meet his glittering gaze. “I didn’t say I was sorry. I just said I can’t believe I did that.” His color was high as he added, “I don’t usually grab women and maul them. I hope I didn’t scare you off.”
Abbie’s heart skipped at least one beat.
“No, I’m not scared. I didn’t exactly run,” she murmured. She closed her eyes against his seductive gaze.
“No, you didn’t, did you?” He released her chin and put his hands in his pockets. “I’m glad,” he said simply and turned to head back to the jeep.
Five Hearts from The Romance Studio! Read it here! http://www.theromancestudio.com/reviews/reviews/sighlovemcbride.htm
Barnes and Noble.com http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Love-of-My-Heart/Bess-McBride/e/9781601540911/?itm=1
Bess McBride, www.bessmcbride.com, www.rvromance.com