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

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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.

www.julesbarnard.com

 

 

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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ButtonsMom2003 is the winner!

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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?”

“Yes.”

“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.

Desire.

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!

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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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Happy day after April Fool’s day. I had this post ready to go yesterday, but I worried that whatever I posted on April 1 might be taken as a joke, so I decided to hold off! Today, I’m back in the saddle. I turned in my line edits for Slow Summer Burn to my awesome editor yesterday (not a joke!), and today I’m catching up on everything I’ve neglected over the past few weeks.

First, I can hardly believe it, but Long Simmering Spring, Cole and Julie’s story, is coming out in just over a month(!!!) and I owe you some excerpts. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

The telltale sound of the metal-on-metal rigging clanging above deck was a clear indication that Cole Grayson wasn’t inside a stifling-hot canvas tent in Kunar Province. The gentle pitch and roll under his back and the aromas of salt and sea could mean only one thing: he was on his brother’s houseboat in Star Harbor, thousands of miles from Afghanistan. His eyeballs were sticking to his lids, but for once, waking up early didn’t bother him.

He’d finally slept through the night. It had taken him only seven years, three months, and nineteen days.

Not that he was counting.

(c) Elisabeth Barrett 2013

Cole Grayson, featuring his abs.

Cole Grayson, featuring his abs.

First page, first glimpse of our hero, and yes, I really love this man—his whole tortured, repentant, honorable, sexy self. I hope you enjoy reading about him as much as I enjoyed figuring out what made him tick! Pre-order links are here, if you’re so inclined.

Oh, and if you want more, sign up for my newsletter, where I promise to give more tantalizing excerpts and sneak peeks of my upcoming books! If you haven’t signed up, it’s not too late. Just go to the bottom of www.elisabethbarrett.com and follow the prompts. I’m non-spammy and infrequent—I swear!

Next, believe it or not, the fact that my third Star Harbor book is coming out next month isn’t even the main point of this blog post. The main point is to give you a glimpse into my research for my WIP—a Tahoe-based book about a scientist and an actuary. No, no—it’s not boring—really! See, the scientist is really a snowboarder, and the actuary is really a skier and together their chemistry is off-the-charts hot. Like burning up a snowy mountain hot. Trust me on this.

I’m calling the book Tahoe for now, even though I have another working title in my head because the working title is long and kind of confusing. So, yes, it may change.

I’d been thinking about writing a California book for some time and hoped to set it in Silicon Valley. Then I had a great idea about opposites attracting, and somehow the Tahoe angle came into play. Only problem was I’d never been there. And there was only one solution to this problem: ROAD TRIP!!! The first person I called was Spence, my BFF, to see if she’d join me. She didn’t even hesitate. Yes! We wanted another friend to come, but she was in Mammoth Lake that weekend. She tried to get us to come to Mammoth Lake with her instead, but I was undeterred. Tahoe it needed to be, and so Tahoe it was!

It was a whirlwind trip. Spence and I left Silicon Valley on Friday morning after I dropped the Barrett Pack off at school and we were on our way! On the drive up, we stopped at the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield. We didn’t take a tour, but we did indulge in some jellybeans!

Jelly Belly

Jelly Belly

And after a 4-hour drive, we were in Tahoe!!! We saw the lake. It was so blue.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

We climbed a mountain in the snow.

Spence on the backside.

Spence on the backside.

We checked out some of the ski resorts.

Squaw from the approach.

Squaw from the approach.

And we found this sign:

Star Harbor!!!

Star Harbor!!!

YESSSSSS!!!!!

Okay, we knew the sign existed because when Deep Autumn Heat was released, my friend told me about the Star Harbor sign up in Tahoe. Obviously, Spence and I made a pilgrimage to check it out.

We also ate some great food, checked out the local watering holes (no pics, sorry!) and had a blast driving around. We were back home by 6 p.m. on Saturday. See? Whirlwind!

So there you have it folks: Tahoe in photographs! I hope you enjoyed the pictures, and I promise to share some snippets from Tahoe soon. Have you been to Lake Tahoe? Tell me about your experiences!!

One more thing. If you are in the Bay Area this weekend, on Satuday, April 6 at 10 a.m., I’m speaking at the Monterey Bay RWA chapter. Information about the meeting can be found here. It’s only $5 (cheap!) at the Watsonville Community Hospital and you get to hear me talk! Yay!

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