For this fortnight's "Bite", I'd like to introduce....
Maree Anderson with the second in her Crystal Warriors series RUBY'S DREAM
Can you describe RUBY'S DREAM in 5 words or less?
Plus-sized heroine bonded to The-Most-Gorgeous-Guy-Evah!
(And yeah, I know the hyphens are cheating *wry grin*)
What inspired you to write RUBY'S DREAM?
Aside from wanting to give Kyan his own HEA (he's Wulf's kinsman, and is mentioned in The Crystal Warrior) I was inspired to write this story largely by my own insecurities about my weight, the power of first impressions (and how they can colour your relationships), and an email I received about a women's triathlon. Plus I wanted to write a wholly and unabashedly "Kiwi" heroine -- Ruby's Dream is set in my hometown of Auckland, New Zealand, and all the characters save the hero, Kyan, are Kiwis.
And here's a short excerpt from RUBY'S DREAM:
“What kind of crystal is it, anyway?”
Jules re-wrapped the crystal halves in the torn tissue paper and placed the bundle on the phone table. “Beats me. The old guy from the shop called it ky-something-or-other. Sorry. I’m sure I’ll remember after a few more of these cocktails, though.” She waggled her empty glass at Ruby.
“What am I? Your slave? Get your own bloody cocktail.”
“Some hostess you are.”
The doorbell shrilled. Jules hunched her shoulders and made a face. “God. When are you going to get that damn bell fixed?”
“Um, never? I’m used to it now. It’s quirky. Like me.” Ruby could hear cat-calls and loud chatter from outside.
Jules pinned her with a sharp glance. “Are you ready?”
Ruby had no trouble deciphering that glance. Was she ready for the disbelief and unwanted advice from her friends regarding this outrageous goal she’d set herself? Was she ready to face their well-meaning platitudes that she was okay just the way she was? Was she ready?
Shit no. And in retrospect, maybe it hadn’t been such a good idea to have emailed her entire contacts list about registering for the triathlon. But she would bluff her way through this evening—just as she had so many others. She smoothed her dress over her hips, and threw back her shoulders. “Fix me another cocktail, Jules. It’s show-time.”
Jules saluted her with an empty glass. “You got it, babe.”
Ruby sashayed over to the entranceway with an exaggerated wiggle of her bum that made Jules snort with laughter.
She opened the door. The effusive welcome she’d planned stuck in her throat. All she could do was stare, openmouthed, at the most beautiful man she’d ever seen in her entire life.
No exaggeration. Ruby was connoisseur of the male form. Other women her age bought gossipy fashion mags. Ruby splurged her hard-earned wages on her secret vice. Really classy male erotica magazines. Odes to the male form in all its manly splendor. Ooh la la!
So how did this guy stack up with those airbrushed fantasy men? Oh, he was right up there with the best of them. Really up there. Cover boy material—the best of the best.
He was tall—at least six feet. He’d scraped his blond hair back from his face and secured it with a tie. The severe style highlighted intense blue-green eyes the exact shade of an aquamarine necklace Ruby had stuffed in the bottom of her jewelry box. With his high cheekbones and full lips, his face was only saved from being too pretty by a nose that was just a tad too long. It suited him though. Made him look… regal. And the icing on the cake? A honed, muscular physique that looked formed by years of actual physical exertion, not just pushing weights around in a gym.
A man to sigh over. With a body to die for.
And Ruby was positive she wasn’t merely imagining his amazing body because, courtesy of the unlaced leather vest he wore instead of a shirt, there was such an awful lot of it on display. In fact, she was having such a good time drooling over all that burnished bare skin and those rippling muscles, she barely noticed the other guests hovering behind him. Or their grins.
Having completed her voyage of discovery, she dared raise her gaze to his face again. His gaze locked with hers. The rest of the world blurred, pushed to a tiny corner of Ruby’s brain. Unimportant. Meaningless. There was only him and her. And God, the way he was looking at her, like she was a delectable treat he couldn’t wait to eat.
Thanks for sharing, Maree!
RUBY'S DREAM is available now at Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Sony, Kobo, Diesel eBooks and All Romance eBooks.
For full excerpts, reviews, buy links and more, please visit: