Monday, February 7, 2011
Celts and More Blog Event. Suzanne Barrett's In Love and War.
This week it’s my pleasure to introduce author Suzanne Barrett who will be sharing In Love and War.
Irish dairy farmer, Meaghann Power, struggling to make ends meet and rents her converted castle keep to an embittered war correspondent wounded in Bosnia.
Quinn Lawlor has come to his ancestral homeland to heal and to be left alone. However, pragmatic Meaghann discovers much more than just her attractive-but-surly tenant's body is in need of healing. What begins as indifference turns to fascination, and later, desire. But can their passion survive Meaghann's own dark secrets?
By the time Quinn finished work on the old Volvo, the sun had sunk low on he horizon. But at last he’d managed to replace the faulty ignition wiring and once again the engine started. He knew Meaghann’s cash supply had dwindled, and this would at least eliminate one garage service charge.
Lying under the dash hadn’t done his leg any favors, and now the effect of hobbling over rough ground made his thigh burn as if a thousand needles stabbed into his flesh. He knocked at the cottage door.
"Meaghann." Still no answer. He knew she was inside. Never mind, he'd leave the car key on the kitchen table where he'd found it an hour earlier.
Pushing the door open, he stepped into the kitchen and stopped in his tracks.
Meaghann stood next to the sink, her eyes puffy from crying. She snapped around as he made his way across the floor, then turned away.
"Hey. What's wrong?"
"Nothing. Everything.” She kept her back to him. "I'll be fine. Just go away."
"I’m just returning your key.” He dropped it on the table. “Figured you’d be in the cheese barn. Can I help?” Damned if he knew why he said that. He could barely help himself these days, but something in her expression tore at him. Meaghann did not cry, rarely showed any emotion.
"Just bloody go away, ” she sobbed.
"You're the most unflappable person I've known. So, maybe if you tell me–” He spotted the broken jam jar on the floor and stopped mid-sentence. Shards of glass poked out from the sticky red mess.
"Hell, you're not this bothered by a bit of broken glass."
“No.” Her voice was barely audible. “That was just the straw that–” she began, sobbing anew.
He closed the gap between them, pulling her into his arms. She clung to him momentarily, then drew away. “I'll be fine. Really. It's just...” Her voice trailed off.
He remembered their argument about her brother. “You're worried about Declan, is that it?” He led her to a chair, and she slumped onto the hard seat.
He settled in another chair and took her hand. Christ, he’d never seen her like this. A fist closed around his heart. “Look, I know you're a strong woman, but, dammit, don't hold things in. Maybe if I knew the problem, I could help.”
She turned out of his grasp. “It’s not that simple. How I wish it were, but it's not. You’d not understand.”
“Try me,” he said through gritted teeth.
She stared at the floor, twin frown lines deepening above her nose. “I've tried to manage here all these years. Even when Da was not himself and Declan was after leaving. But even though I tried to do things right, I've made a mess of it. Now Declan may be in trouble, and what do I do but turn him against me.”
He exhaled a long breath. Now they were getting somewhere. “Start at the beginning. About your father...”
"Da became...simple the last years of his life,” she said, embarrassment turning her cheeks a deep crimson. “It was as if he were the child and I the parent. And–and Declan wanted no part of the farm, so I had to run it all.” She drew in a shuddering breath and swiped at her eyes. “And now,” she said in a voice so low he had to strain to hear, “Declan’s probably got himself into a trouble I can’t get him out of.”
Quinn closed his hands into fists. “So all this is coalescing into an even bigger problem, and I, by opening my big mouth last night about the rally at the Poet and Patriot, just made it worse.”
The silence lengthened before she spoke. “It was bound to happen, considering what you think of me.”
His mouth thinned. “What I think of you has nothing to do with what I think of your politics, as I suspect you know.”
She raised huge eyes to him and he felt his chest constrict. “I don’t want to talk or think about politics. I’ll just clean up the floor.... She stopped and stared at him. “Just— Let's just forget this conversation.”
“Do you want to forget?” The look in her eyes made his heart pound. “Let me help. Together we can make short work of it.”
“No, I’ll do it. But later. Right now I want....” She let the words trail off. Then she slipped the top button loose from her blouse. Then another. Her eyes turned dusky, the pupils dilated.
“Make love to me, Quinn. I need you now.”
“You said this place was off-limits.”
Her eyes held his and sent spiraling need straight to his gut.
She rimmed her lower lip with her tongue. “That was yesterday. ”
*Sky here. Fantastic excerpt, Suzanne! I really enjoyed it. Thanks so much for sharing!*
Interested in reading more from this story? Click here.
Can't wait to read In Love and War? Purchase now!
What they’re saying about In Love and War…
"It's been a long time since a book so caught my heart that I skip doing my taxes, practicing my harp, and doing the dishes just to read another chapter. It's one of those great, old-fashioned love stories, delicious but not overdone, and very, very real, with interesting characters and lots of "sparks."
The setting is a small village in beautiful, green Ireland, complete with unique people, church, pub, and Meaghann's dairy farm. And injured journalist Quinn Lawlor, who is heart-wrenching and gorgeous.
This novel is a fine example of the "wish-they-still-published-books-like this" variety: unput-downable and unforgettable. "
As promised, Suzanne will be sharing a second title. Read on to learn more about Late Harvest..
Glenna wants only one thing from the von Danikens: To be left in peace to raise her son, Robbie, who suffers from a birth defect and needs an expensive surgery to repair it. When Kurt suddenly appears at her home, demanding she return to Cresthaven and complete the process, Glenna knows the money she'll earn by doing so will provide Robbie the treatment he needs. She also knows she'll risk having her heart broken, again, by Kurt, the only man she's ever loved.
But, what if he discovers the real reason she left Cresthaven?
Read an excerpt here.
What they’re saying about Late Harvest ...
Really fine writing, attractive (honest!) characters, even the secondary characters feel like "real" people, and an interesting and amusing 5-year-old. (Interestingly, two of the secondary characters are gypsies!) Also great sexual tension and, sigh, a setting (Cresthaven winery) to die for and fantasize about. And, well, um, there's the hero, too.
Don't miss this book!
A deliciously romantic love story (just the way I enjoy them - full of melting emotional scenes that tied my heart in knots)... but by the wine-making expertise shown in this novel. Much, much solid knowledge is presented very subtly, but the expertise here will appeal to those interested in fine wine, wine-making and the vintners' world.
I love coming away from a book with a genuine soft spot for the hero and heroine AND a lot of fascinating new information.
This one's a real keeper!
Purchase Late Harvest here.
Learn more about Suzanne Barrett. Visit her Author Website or Jewelry Website
Enjoy blogging? Visit Suzanne's blog!
Head over to The Write Life to learn about another great author and perhaps be entered to win a prize!