Archive for the ‘Tahoe’ Category

Hooray! Moran is our winner this week! Thanks to everyone who commented!


I have a very special post today. Jules Barnard, an all-around awesome woman and a fellow Roguer, asked me to help with the cover reveal for Blue Crush, the second book in her Blue Series which releases on June 3rd. Jules writes new adult fiction, and this series is set in Tahoe (yay!). I don’t get to do these too often, and even less frequently for a friend, so I’m quite excited. Without further ado, here is the cover:

BlueCrush Amazon GR SW

Gorgeous, no?

And Jules has been kind enough to provide the back cover copy:

Blue Crush (Blue Series, Book #2) 

On the cusp of a humiliating breakup from the safe, conservative boyfriend, who ended up betraying her, Genevieve Tierney moves to Lake Tahoe with her best friend after college to lick her romantic wounds. Earning cash at one of Lake Tahoe’s lucrative casinos before grad school in the fall and keeping a safe distance from cheating jerks seems like a good plan, until she meets the one guy tempting enough to drag her back down. 

Lewis Sallee is six and a half feet of perfectly sculpted mountain man, who captures Gen’s attention from the moment he walks in the door. Her play-it-safe approach to relationships flies out the window as Lewis’s presence awakens a sex drive she never knew she had. Lewis is in a complicated relationship with one of the most beautiful women Gen has ever seen, and despite all logical reasons to stay away—and she’s a logic devotee—Gen can’t seem to control her body’s attraction to him.  

Feeling like a magnet for the worst sort of guys, Gen’s desperate to win the battle for self-control around Lewis and put the sleazy casino men pestering her in their place. To boost her confidence, Gen steps out of her comfort zone and signs up for the Alpine Mudder, a gritty endurance race. But as she prepares for one of the biggest physical challenges of her life, her emotional strength is pushed to its limits when she needs Lewis’s help to train. He tests her willpower and has her fighting her body’s attraction—with her mind and heart not far behind.  


JulesBarnard_editedAbout Author Jules Barnard

Jules Barnard is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. She attended UC Davis, whose college landscape often finds its way into her New Adult novels. She has a Master’s degree and spent many an hour running statistical analysis, until she realized her favorite part of the job was writing reports. She decided to cut out the math and add in some hot guys, and so began her career as a novelist.

Jules is a Northern California native living on the coast with her husband and two children. She has no impulse control around cupcakes and credits herself with the ability to read while running on the treadmill or burning dinner.




Yay, Jules!

And because this is a special post, I’m giving away a special book — one digital copy of the first in Jules Barnard’s Blue series, Deep Blue. To enter, just leave a comment letting me know what you think about the cover, and you’ll be entered to win. The contest is open to everyone and ends Thursday, April 17 at 9pm Pacific.


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Sarit – you’re the winner! Thanks to everyone who commented!


First of all, thank you all for making release week for Christmas in Tahoe such a success. It’s still not up at iTunes yet (I’m working on it), but the launch was successful at  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. The book got some lovely reviews (Heroes & Heartbreakers and Guilty Pleasures, to name just two), and readers seem to be responding really positively to the work, which makes me very, very happy!

So now I’m back to my regularly scheduled life, which means writing, teaching, ferrying children around to school, activities, and appointments, and generally not taking care of myself (more on this in a bit). I have two writing projects I’m *really* jazzed about . . . one is that Connecticut contemporary I’ve been talking about for a while. I’m about 40K words into that, but I temporarily set it aside to get out Christmas in Tahoe, and I’m super psyched to get back to it. The other is Tahoe‘s follow-up novella, which I’ve started to map out.

But . . . and this is a big but . . . during release week, my mentality shifted. Not a huge shift, but enough to make me realize that for most of October and the first couple of weeks of November (in essence, while I prepped for Tahoe‘s launch), I completely neglected myself in every possible way. And I needed to do something about it. Those who know me well know that I am a take-action kind of gal (sometimes this gets me into trouble). But my point is that I was going to act, instead of thinking about acting.

This is what I did: On Saturday morning, I woke up and got my kids breakfast. Then I rummaged around my room for my exercise clothing. It took a long time to find everything. Not a good sign, but I persevered. I ended up wearing a pair of street leggings, but I put them on because I was wasting time trying to find my exercise leggings. Then, before I could lose my nerve, I told Mr. B where I was going and ran out the door. Yes, that’s right. Ran.

I was going to run around my neighborhood once. It’s a horseshoe-shaped street that hooks onto a larger road, and I thought, “okay, I’ll just run around the block once and call it good.” But as I ran to the main road, I thought, “go big or go home.” So instead of going around my tiny neighborhood, I ran around the big block. I wasn’t sure how fast I should go, or if I’d even make it around the big block (I’d clocked it before with my car’s odometer as being a mile), but I started it anyway. My goal was to keep running, no matter how long it took, and not to stop. That was it. Don’t stop. Keep going.

Immediately, my glasses fogged up, I started breathing really hard, and my chest started to hurt, but I didn’t stop. Not even when the sweat slipped down into my eyes.

I wanted to give up so many times, but the one thing that kept going through my mind was that this stupid run around the block was a metaphor for EVERYTHING in my life. Don’t stop. Keep going.

So I did.

I made it home in one piece, but I’m embarrassed to say I promptly collapsed on the living room couch. My kids crowded around me. “What’s wrong with mommy?” one of them said. “Why is her face all wet?” said another. (This is how often they see me exercise.). Mr. B came and gently shooed them all away and kept them occupied while I collected myself.

I tell you this in the hopes that if I tell as many people as possible that I’m trying to turn over a new leaf — not so much in terms of the mentality to keep going, but the idea that I can take care of myself, in addition to taking care of everything/everyone else–then it’ll actually happen. So I’ll keep at it, and keep you posted.

And just for getting to the bottom of this ramble, I’m doing another giveaway! Because release week went so well, I’m giving out a bonus digital copy of Christmas in Tahoe to one lucky commenter. In the spirit of taking action, tell me what you’ve done recently for yourself. Contest ends Thursday, November 21st at 9pm Pacific.

Oh, and one more thing: Slow Summer Burn still seems to be on sale everywhere for 99 cents. Enjoy it while it lasts!

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bh313 and Michele are the contest winners! I’ll be emailing you soon! Thanks to everyone who joined me here for release day. You definitely amped up the awesome factor.


Happy Veteran’s Day, everyone! And a huge, heartfelt thanks to all our servicemen and women who have made our country what it is!

I’m ridiculously pleased to announce that Christmas in Tahoe is finally here! I loved writing this story, and I hope you’ll love reading it. Chase and Ann. These two are . . . well, kinda awesome in a geeky-athletic-science-y way. He’s a snowboarding instructor who’s been burned professionally, and she’s an actuary who’s had a rough personal life. Both are in denial about what they need until one long Christmas weekend together changes everything they knew–or thought they knew–about themselves and each other.

Feel free to click on the book link above to find out more, but the last thing I will say is that Chase has a beard. Yes.

You can buy the books here: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and  Kobo, and iTunes is coming soon.

I’m also doing a giveaway, today only (contest ends at 9pm Pacific time). Two random commenters will win ebook copies from the available choices. Just tell me one thing: Beards: Yes, or No? and you’ll be entered to win! I’ll announce winners directly after the contest closes!

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I’m thrilled to announce that Christmas in Tahoe has a gorgeous cover. Heroes & Heartbreakers has done the official, exclusive cover reveal, but I wanted to share it with you here, too:ElisabethBarrett_ChristmasinTahoe_1600px

You like? I love. (You can click on the picture to make it bigger). I was very, very lucky to have Shawntelle Madison‘s expertise with this cover, and I’m so happy with the way it turned out.

I’m a little bit in shock at how real this all feels. There’s nothing like getting the book cover to help you get in the right mindset of a book launch, and here we are, only a week away!!

So in honor of the cover reveal, I thought I’d tease you all with an excerpt from the book. A little set up: Chase and Ann are on their way to Tahoe, but they get stuck in Auburn thanks to a road closure. Chase has procured Ann a hotel room, but he’s sleeping out in his truck because the hotel doesn’t allow pets, and Chase is traveling with his black lab named Roxy. I love this scene because it showcases their personalities so well.

“Chase?” a soft voice called. “Chase, are you still awake?” Ann.

He rolled down the window and ran a hand through his hair. “I am now.” She was standing outside in the dim light, shivering in the pouring rain, one of those plastic hotel ice buckets held over her head like a demented rain hat. “Oh man, Ann, get in the truck.”

He unlocked the doors as she ran around the back and climbed in the cab. Water dripped onto the seat and floor.

“Please come inside with me.”

He blinked. Not what he was expecting. “Roxy,” he said, using his head to indicate his companion.

“Bring her. She can’t stay out here, either.”

“You’re allergic,” he pointed out, testing her.

“I have medicine, remember?”

“We’re fine.”

“It’s freezing in here. I happen to know the temperature is going down to thirty-five degrees tonight, which technically isn’t freezing but is really close, and it would just be cruel for you to stay out here when I have a warm room only a hundred yards away.”

“You’ve thought everything out, haven’t you?”

“Please say yes.”

“All right.” She’d done all the rationalizing for him, anyway.

Relief flashed across her face. “I thought you’d say no. Okay, we have to go around the back way.”

He raised his seatback and turned on the engine. “Can’t believe you, of all people, are offering to sneak me and my dog into the last hotel room in Auburn,” he said. “You’re pretty much the last person I’d ever expect to be a rule breaker.”

“That’s not really fair. You’ve known me all of,” she glanced down at her watch and wiped the rain off it with a damp sleeve, “six hours.”

“Oh, I had you pegged from the moment I saw you.”

She looked affronted by that. “I can break the rules if the situation warrants it,” she said. “And I have never met a man who is so quick to judge a book by its cover. It’s right there,” she said, pointing to a door with a single bulb hanging from an attached overhang.

He pulled into a nearby parking spot. “I judge everyone by their covers,” he said. “It cuts through a lot of crap.” Because he’d been burned, and he wasn’t going to make that mistake again. “Anyway, you did, too. You assumed I’d say no.” Ann had no response to that. “So tell me how you really got us in,” he prodded.

“It wasn’t a big deal. I simply spoke with the front desk clerk.”

Chase turned to her and raised an eyebrow. She was staring at the dashboard.

“Where’s my GPS?”

“I put it in a safe place. And you’re dodging the question.”

Her gaze snapped back to him. “I am not. I appealed to his humanity,” she said. “It’s so cold out here.” As if on cue, she shivered.

Chase was silent, watching her watch him.

“He has an English bulldog named Frank Sinatra at home.”

Chase just stared at her.

“Okay, fine! I gave him fifty bucks and he promised not to tell his boss. Happy now?”

(c) 2013 Christmas in Tahoe by Elisabeth Barrett

One week one week one week! I’ll be back on November 11th (release day!) with a giveaway!! I’d also love it if you added the book to your Goodreads TBR pile! Finally, if you made it this far, Slow Summer Burn is on sale for 99 cents everywhere, so please spread the word!!

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ButtonsMom2003 is the winner!


Fall is so different in NorCal than it is in New England. It starts later, for one. And it just doesn’t feel the same. It doesn’t smell the same, either. No wood burning fires, no damp, crushed leaves underfoot–at least not for a long while. But the autumn winds are starting to blow and our neighbor has wind chimes. A little taste of home.

But we really need to get down to business because release day for Christmas in Tahoe is coming up fast! Last week I shared the back cover copy, and this week, I have an excerpt for you. But first, a little set up:

Our heroine, Ann Smith, is an actuary. Yes, an actuary. And our hero, Chase Deckert, is a snowboarding instructor. Her job is to calculate risk, and you can probably guess that as far as living goes, she’s quite risk-averse. He risks his life every time he carves up the avalanche-prone backcountry slopes. A match made in heaven, right?

Well, kinda, yeah. Because she’s not as risk-averse as she seems, and he’s not as risky as he appears, and together, they just work. Trust me on this.

So back to that excerpt. As you know, when I’ve done first excerpts in the past, I like to start at the beginning. And without further ado, here we go!

Christmas in Tahoe by Elisabeth Barrett

Chapter 1

“Mandy, please don’t do this to me,” Ann Smith muttered to herself as she scanned One World Insurance’s well-maintained parking lot for her ride. “Not right before Christmas.”

But Mandy Aligheri’s little blue Prius was nowhere to be seen. Just the usual panoply of sedans, minivans and SUVs.

And a handsome guy sporting a beard, leaning on a huge truck.

Definitely not her ride.

Her gaze slid over him and toward the entrance to the parking lot. Still no Mandy. It was just like her friend to be late, a pattern since college. They used to joke that if they combined Ann, who was always early, and Mandy, who was always late, they’d make one person who was always perfectly on time.

Oh no. One of her colleagues—a guy named Nick who frequently worked on her team—was approaching, and Ann held her breath. With her monstrous pocketbook and her skis in one arm and a giant roller bag on the other, there wasn’t a lot of room to maneuver on the path leading up to her office building.

Of course, Nick came right up to her. “You okay?”

“Yes.” Short and sweet, the way she always answered.

“Going to Tahoe?”


“Good.” Nick sidestepped her and her bags, gave her a nod, and said, “Glad you’re getting away for the holiday. Have a great trip, and Merry Christmas.”

Releasing her breath, she nodded back. “Thanks. Same to you.” Nick disappeared into the building. And thanks for not dragging me into a ten-minute-long discussion about how I’m doing.

Just as she was pulling her phone out of her voluminous bag to see if she’d missed any messages, Huge Truck Guy peeled himself off his truck and started walking directly towards her.

“You Ann?” he said. Even from twenty feet away his voice carried, a deep masculine rumble.

She nodded stiffly.

“I’m Chase,” he said, holding out a hand. “Mandy asked me to come pick you up.”

Reluctantly, she shifted her skis to her left side and took his hand. Rough fingers slid over hers and gripped her palm. Strong. And warm.

And it wasn’t just his fingers that were rough. It was the whole package. He had on worn jeans and a crewneck sweater, and he was wearing a pair of hiking boots. His hair was a thick, midnight black and so was his beard—somewhere between a five-o’clock shadow and full-on lumberjack, but short enough to display his strong jaw and lean cheekbones to perfection. His eyes were almost as dark as his hair, and they were filled with intelligence.

A crazy pattern of heat played a samba on her skin. When she closed her eyes to get her bearings, kaleidoscope colors flashed behind her lids. Was she having a stroke? The likelihood of that happening given her age, sex, and overall health was less than one percent, as were the odds that she was having a heart attack. Tumor was another possibility, but that was ever rarer, clocking in at zero-point-fifty-five percent probability.

Dawning awareness crept over her and, shocked, she blinked once. Then twice. For this was something that couldn’t be predicted with any probability whatsoever. Something so creaky and rusted from disuse she couldn’t even recognize it for what it was.


Excerpt from Christmas in Tahoe by Elisabeth Barrett (c) 2013

What do you think?

There’s a lot more coming. Next Monday, the cover will be revealed on Heroes & Heartbreakers, and if you sign up for my newsletter, there’s going to be an exclusive excerpt. Maybe even the whole first chapter!

And of course, there must be a giveaway! Because I am SO excited about this book, I will send one lucky commenter an official, digital copy on November 11th (release day)! Just let me know what risk have you taken, and why (and whether it turned out well, if you want to share that much) and you’ll be entered to win. Contest ends Thursday, October 31st at midnight Pacific time (boo!), and the winner will be announced on Friday. No geographical restrictions since the winner will be receiving a digital copy of the book.

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Thanks for all your comments! gds is the winner! Next week I’m going to post an excerpt from the book, so stay tuned for that, plus more!


Sorry for the radio silence. I promised I’d be back on October 14th with a giveaway, and I didn’t quite make that deadline because not only was I on vacation two weekends in a row (shocker, I know!), but a lot of writing-related stuff was going on behind the scenes. And now, I have some huge news to share with you:

So remember that Tahoe novel I wrote earlier this year? The one with the two lonely people who find and heal each other over Christmas? Well . . . drum roll, please . . . I’m thrilled to announce that Christmas in Tahoe will be released on November 11th, just in time for the holiday season! I will be revealing my cover soon, but have the blurb now. Ready? Here we go:

Silicon Valley actuary Ann Smith is an expert at calculating probabilities, but lately the odds haven’t been in her favor. Two years ago her fiancé died a week before their planned Christmas wedding, leaving Ann heartbroken and alone. When a friend suggests heading up to Lake Tahoe for a long Christmas weekend of skiing, wine, and relaxation, Ann thinks it might be just the thing to help get her life back on track. But Ann’s plans go awry when her friend cancels at the last minute, and Ann ends up driving to Tahoe with Chase Deckert, a sexy snowboarder who pushes all her buttons.

Chase Deckert is a man who lives by his own rules. A few years ago his business partner betrayed him by selling out their biomedical research for a quick profit. Chase left science far behind, and now spends his days snowboarding in Tahoe, wanting nothing to do with the dog-eat-dog world of Silicon Valley. Chase has closed his mind and his heart and only believes in one thing: fate. But fate seems to be in a giving mood, because joining him for Christmas is a brave, beautiful woman who shows him the true meaning of the season and helps him rediscover a part of himself he’d long forgotten.

Fueled by the mountain scenery, the season, and their unbelievable chemistry, Ann and Chase end up learning more about each other—and themselves—than they ever imagined possible. Can one long, steamy Christmas help them realize they’re meant to be together? Or when the holiday is over will they be right back where they started?

This was a very emotional write for me. Annie and Chase are real people with deep issues, who connect during what is supposed to be the happiest time of year. Unfortunately, the season has sad memories for both of them, and they’re none too thrilled to be celebrating, least of all with each other. To put it in perspective for you, the first time I cried while writing (and rewriting) a scene was for this book.

But don’t worry: there are also moments of absolute joy, and true to form, it is a very sexy read!

Stay tuned for more updates, including the cover reveal, giveaways, blog tour listings, and more, more, more! All this will be happening very fast, given that release day is in a few short weeks, so keep your eye on this page (and my newsletter, which always goes out first as an exclusive)!

Finally, for those of you who live in the Bay Area, I’ll be reading and signing at The Village Book Shop in Los Gatos this Thursday, October 24, from 7-9pm for their Grand Opening week. Check out my appearances page for more info.

And if you’ve made it this far, I have a giveaway for you: an audiobook of your choice (swag from RWA and there are some J.D. Robb stories in my pile!). Just leave a comment letting me know how you feel about getting Christmas catalogs this early, because ye gads, I already have a stack a foot high of my own!

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Melancholy + Hot

Whew, it’s been a whirlwind of a week/end with relatives visiting (total yay!), too much work (boo!), and way too many errands to take care of in a very limited time. So this will be a short post, but I really wanted to tell you how much I’m loving my current WIP. At least, I think I’m loving it. It’s hard for me to judge since I become, by turns, infuriated by and in love with the work. It’s melancholy and hot at the same time, and I really don’t know what to make of it at all except I guess this is the way my work is going now.

That Tahoe novella I wrapped up mid-year was heading in this direction, with two people who are a little lost–one more than the other–who end up finding and changing each other over the course of a long weekend. It worked because by the time they met, they’d both (mostly) dealt with the baggage. But with this MS, I feel like I’ve gone off the rails a bit. These characters have fresh wounds and they are struggling–with themselves, with each other, but honestly, mostly with themselves. There was one scene I wrote recently where I actually thought can I do this to these poor characters? but one of my critique partners assured me that yes, yes I could and should do that to them. And then things got even more melancholy and more hot.

So yes, a departure from what I’ve been writing, and I think I won’t know how everything turns out until I get to the end of the MS. I’m about 40K in, so I have a ways to go, but I’m hopeful it’ll turn out the way I think it should.

At any rate, there’s no giveaway this week because I’m going on vacation, but stay tuned for the week of October 14th when I’ll be back full force with a post and goodies galore!

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