Giveaways, Promo

An Uncommon Sense by Serenity Woods-Giveaway

“An Uncommon Sense (Sensual Healing, Book 1)”
by Serenity Woods
Published by Samhain Publishing
Contemporary Erotic Romantic Comedy
The giveaway is a copy of An Uncommon Sense.  Do you believe in mediums?  I do.  I believe that some people have the ability to talk to people when they have passed.  Please leave a comment and an email address to get in touch with you.  I will draw a winner on Saturday.  Good luck.
BLURB

All six senses tell him she’s the one.

High school science teacher Grace Fox doesn’t believe in any of that woo-woo stuff. So it’s easy to laugh off her friend’s prediction that she’ll have swear-out-loud sex with the next man who walks through her classroom door.

Who knew that local celebrity Ash Rutherford would have the time to attend his daughter’s parents’ night? Or that the Viking lookalike would trigger an attack of klutziness? He may or may not see dead people, but he certainly got a good look up her skirt.

A doctor turned medium, Ash spends his days communicating with unseen spirits. When it comes to his moody daughter, though, he hopes down-to-earth Grace will give him some insight. The racy lingerie she hides beneath her prim and proper clothing is an added bonus he didn’t expect.

Their attraction is instant and blazing hot, but Ash has been burned before. His ex-wife didn’t believe in his abilities, and no way is he going down that road again. At least not until Grace accepts the possibility there might be life after death. And the ghosts of his past are laid to rest. 

Product Warnings:  Contains a real live Viking, proof of life after death and sex on a 1970s sheepskin rug, but absolutely no Barry White. 
EXCERPT #1

(1,200 words)

“You are going to have wild, passionate, swear-out-loud sex with the next man who walks through the door.” Mia read the prediction aloud from the astrology section of her magazine.

“Even if I did believe the position of the stars could tell my future, I’d know you made that up.” Grace continued to study the latest batch of science exams. “And anyway, that doesn’t sound remotely like something I’d do.”

“Have sex?”

Grace put a big red cross against the answer she’d just read. “Very funny. I meant swear. I would never swear during sex. Very unladylike.” She read the next question. What happens to your body as you age? And then the answer. You get intercontinental. Massaging her forehead, she drew another red cross. Jodi Rutherford barely appeared to have retained enough information from her biology lessons over the past ten weeks to fill a postage stamp.

“That explains a lot.”

Grace shot the teacher sitting next to her an exasperated look. “What’s that supposed to mean? And will you please stop trying to distract me? I want to get these finished before I go home.”

Mia grinned. It was nearly seven o’clock on a typically cool New Zealand October evening, and moths had started to flit around the strip lighting. Even though the parents’ evening had been the busiest of the year, the stream of visitors to the auditorium was starting to wane, and the teachers sitting at the rows of tables were beginning to pack up their laptops and books. Neither she nor Grace had seen a parent for fifteen minutes, and she was quite clearly bored. “I meant that your reaction to my prophecy accounts for why you’re still a spinster at the ripe old age of twenty-nine. If you’ve never been with a guy who could make you swear out loud during sex, it would explain why you haven’t come close to settling down.”

“Don’t call me a spinster,” Grace grumbled, turning over the page. “And anyway, I’m only a year older than you. You make me sound like I’m eighty-five.”

“You dress like you’re eighty-five,” Mia said impatiently.

“What’s wrong with the way I dress?” Grace frowned as she looked at her clothes. Her neat pencil skirt and white shirt were hardly retirement-age clothing. Okay, maybe the flat, sensible shoes, hair in a bun and glasses were a bit more “traditional schoolmistress meets university librarian”, but she hardly looked as if she should be vacationing with the over-fifties.

“You’re practically Victorian.” Slim and pretty, with thick, shiny black hair, Mia always wore the latest fashions.

“Because I don’t have a skirt above my knees and my shirt unbuttoned to my cleavage?”

“Grace, honestly. You’re beginning to worry me. You really should try to have sex at least once each decade, you know, or you’ll forget how to do it.”

Grace stared at the floor in front of her desk and tipped open her hands in protestation. “Mia…do you mind?” When her colleague remained quiet, she tried to concentrate on the paper in front of her. Then she groaned. “God, listen to this. ‘If conditions are not favourable, bacteria go into a period of adolescence.’ I mean, honestly.”

Mia laughed. “Whose paper is that?”

She put another red cross on it. “Jodi Rutherford’s.”

“Ooh.” Mia perked up. “The medium’s daughter? I didn’t know you taught her.”

Grace sighed. “Oh Lord, don’t you start. What is it with the women in this school? One mention of that guy and I swear their bodies undergo some kind of chemical change, turning them into goo.”

“Grace Fox, seriously, have you not seen him? What the hell is wrong with you?”

Grace put her pen down impatiently. “Of course I’ve seen him. Well, a photo of him. You can’t avoid it. His picture’s been plastered over half of Wellington for the last week, for crying out loud. But he’s just a guy. Two arms, two legs. Nothing that warrants all the mooning about.”

Mia shook her head. “Now I know there’s something wrong with you. Sweetheart, Ashton Rutherford is sex on legs. Seriously. He’s, like, six-foot-four and played lock for the Hurricanes.”

“That means absolutely nothing to me, Mia.”

Mia rolled her eyes. She was an avid Rugby Union fan. “They’re the tall ones who jump up at the line-outs.”

“Is that supposed to impress me?”

“Don’t you find him a little bit intriguing? A rugby-playing doctor who became a clairvoyant—don’t you think that warrants even a little bit of interest?”

Grace snorted. “Any man who gives up a serious profession after years of training to become a fortune teller needs his head tested.”

“He doesn’t tell fortunes. He’s a medium. He speaks to dead people.”

Grace gave her a look. “This conversation does not sound like something I’d be even vaguely interested in. I’m packing up now. It’s nearly seven.”

Mia sighed and started logging off on her laptop. “I can’t believe you didn’t tell me he could have been coming to see you tonight.”

“I honestly didn’t expect the guy to turn up. I’m sure interest in the welfare and progress of his only daughter is way beneath such a superstar. On my to-do list, informing you which students’ parents were coming tonight was right at the bottom.”

“He wouldn’t be at the bottom of my to-do list,” Mia mumbled.

“Mia, honestly.”

“You sound just like your mother when you talk like that.”

Grace shuddered. The ultimate insult.“Thanks.”

“Don’t mention it. You seriously need to get laid, though.”

Tell me about it. She didn’t say that, however. Instead, she said, “For the love of…will you desist?”

“Next guy that walks through the door, I’m telling you. Look—the door’s opening…”

“Please don’t let it be Professor Michaels,” Grace muttered as she got on her hands and knees to pull the plug of her laptop out from underneath the wall heater, making Mia laugh out loud at the mention of the overweight, balding, officious deputy principal who drove them all to distraction.

Mia’s laughter turned abruptly into a gasp. “I don’t believe it.”

“What?” The lead was stuck. Grace pulled it hard, but it had somehow got wedged against the plug of the heater and refused to come out.

“Well, this is going to be interesting.”

Grace took the plug in both hands but it still failed to move. “Sweetie, I don’t care if he’s Robert Downey Junior, I am nothaving sex with him.” She leaned all her weight on the lead, and all of a sudden, it gave and pinged out of the wall. She fell backward, banged her head and ended up sprawled in a most ungainly fashion facing the parent who was waiting at the foot of her desk.

“If you’d turn down Robert Downey Junior I guess I don’t stand a chance,” he said, amused.

Grace looked up at the face of the man she’d seen plastered on billboards all across town and then turned slowly to face Mia, whose eyes were practically falling out of her head. Mia stared at her and made a slight gesture with her hands, bringing them together, making Grace realise she was facing the guy with her legs open, giving him a splendid view right up her skirt.

EXCERPT #2

(1,200 words)

His stormy-blue eyes met hers. This time, there was something other than amusement in them. Grace’s cheeks grew warm at the sparkle of interest glittering in their depths.

“There’ll be none of that,” she said before she could think better of it.

“Of what?”

“Any funny business.” Her cheeks grew even hotter. “I’ll help you, but it will be purely a business relationship.”

“Of course.” The amusement was back.

“I’m sure you usually only have to bat your eyelids at a girl and she turns into mush, but I’m not that kind of girl.”

“Actually, I beg to differ. I’d known you precisely two seconds and you swooned at my feet.” He winked at her.

“I did not swoon.”

“There was definite swoonage going on. You were practically Victorian.”

“That’s the second time tonight I’ve been called Victorian,” she said indignantly. She patted her bun self-consciously. “Mia thinks I dress too conservatively.”

He ran his gaze slowly down her and then back up again. “On the surface, maybe.”

She frowned, not understanding, then realised when he grinned he was referring to what he’d seen when she’d sat on the floor before him, legs apart. Her stockings and garter belt. And maybe even her black, silky teddy. Oh God, I hope the teddy was covering everything.

“Oh.” Her cheeks burned again. “You didsee.”

“Sorry, but you were right in front of me—it was difficult not to see everything.”

“You didn’t have to mention it. That was extremely impolite.”

His eyebrows rose. “You’re giving me lessons on being polite?”

She thought about it. “Touché.”

Smiling, he tapped her nameplate. “Are you really a Miss? Or is that just school-teacher licence?”

“Are you asking whether I wear nice underwear for a partner or whether I wear it for myself?”

He hesitated. Then he grinned. “Yes.”

“Then just ask, for God’s sake. I hate having to rummage around in people’s words looking for the true meaning behind them.”

He nodded. “Duly noted.”

She zipped up her laptop case. “I’m single. I happen to like pretty underwear.”

“So do I. So that’s two things we have in common.” Smiling, he pushed himself to his feet. “We’d better go. I think you’re getting the evil eye.”

Grace looked up, surprised to see they were the last two people left in the auditorium. Professor Michaels was standing in the doorway, tapping his foot impatiently, waiting to lock up. “Oh.”

“Come on. I’ll walk you to your car. It’s dark outside.”

She put the register and pen in her bag, slipped on her jacket and walked with him out of the auditorium, nodding to the professor as they passed and apologising for keeping him waiting.

“Jeez,” said Ash as they went out into the cool night air and walked down to the main road. “What a weird guy.”

“I know. Mia told me I was going to have swear-out-loud sex with the next guy who walked through the door. I was terrified it was going to be him.”

He stopped walking and looked down at her, smiling. “And instead you got me.”

She glanced up. She was five-feet-eight, hardly short for a woman, but he still towered over her. He was like essence of man. She was acutely conscious of the way his shirt sleeves stretched across his generous arm muscles. “You’re not Robert Downey Junior,” she said, a little breathlessly.

He smiled. “No.” His eyes glittered in the light from the street lamp.

“You are gorgeous, though.”

He gave a short laugh. “You really have no control over what comes out of your mouth, do you?”

“Not when I’m nervous. It lands me in heaps of trouble.”

“I kind of like it. I don’t have to worry about what you’re thinking.”

“I can see how that might be appealing.”

They studied each other for a moment. An impish smile gradually spread across his face. “Swear-out-loud sex, huh?”

Her cheeks grew hot. “Mia’s words, not mine.”

“It sounds like an interesting prediction.”

“I don’t believe in predictions.” She swallowed. His eyes had turned quite hot. “Or swearing.”

“You don’t swear?”

“Never.”

“Not even during sex?”

Her eyes widened. “Mr. Rutherford!”

“Yes, Miss Fox?”

“I…” For once, words failed her. He was a man who thought he could speak to dead people. He was certifiable, almost certainly delusional, and quite possibly an outright fraudster.

He was also the most gorgeous guy she’d ever met in real life, and the way he was looking at her made her knees go weak. She wrapped her arms around the laptop case as if it were a breastplate that could protect her.

“You’d be surprised how many predictions I’ve made that have come true,” he said, his deep voice husky.

She swallowed. “Well, for a start, Mia made up the stupid horoscope, and she’s usually about as accurate as a stopped watch.” Her voice was faint. “And secondly, there’s no such thing as the ability to see into the future. We exist at a fixed point in time. It’s not possible.” She lifted her chin determinedly.

He smiled. “Even a stopped watch is right twice a day.” His gaze had settled on her mouth. Ohmygod, he wants to kiss me.

She gave a little shake of her head. “You’re flirting with me.”

“Am I?”

“Men don’t flirt with me.”

“I can’t believe that.”

“I scare them off.”

He laughed. “Now that I can believe.”

“Don’t I scare you?”

He stepped a little closer to her. “Not in the least.”

She looked up into his dark blue eyes. Her skin prickled with his nearness. She desperately wanted to kiss him. But she knew she couldn’t. It wouldn’t end well. She couldn’t bear to see the disappointment in his eyes.

 “Don’t,” she whispered. “I’m not your type of girl.”

 “Oh? And how do you know what type of girl I like?”

 She moistened her lips with her tongue, not missing the way he watched her. “I know. I’m sure you like confident women, who’ve read the Kama Sutra from cover to cover and know massage techniques and own special equipment.”

 “You mean like power tools?”

 “Don’t make me laugh. I’m trying to be serious. I meant…” How on earth had she got herself into this conversation? She’d only just met the man, for crying out loud. “I mean, I’m sure the women you date are sexy and very good in bed and I’m…not.”

 His eyebrows rose. “What makes you say that?”

“I…I’ve been told.” Her cheeks grew hot again.

He stared at her. A frown marred his forehead, and something like anger shone in his eyes. Then, gradually, his smile reappeared. “Maybe you just need more practice.”

“I’m a schoolteacher who dresses like she’s stepped out of the Victorian period. How good in bed do you really think I am?”

His smile widened. “Dresses on the outside.”

He was talking about her stockings again. She moistened her lips once more. “Silky underwear doesn’t make a woman sexy.”

He gave a small laugh. “Oh, I beg to differ.” He gave her a curious, amused glance. “You are an exceptionallysexy woman, Miss Fox. And I am sure that, given the right location, the right encouragement and the right man, you would be exceedingly good in bed.”

EXCERPT #3

(250 words)

Grace pulled up in front of the house and turned off the engine. She got out and leaned across to collect her bag and papers from the passenger seat, giving him a beautiful view of her backside. She was wearing a pale pink skirt made of some floaty material that the wind had great fun playing with, showing him her stocking tops before she smoothed it down impatiently. Oh yeah. This woman was hot enough to make him hard at twenty paces.

She turned, locked the car then walked across the large, circular drive toward him. A chiffony white blouse peeked from under her cream jacket, and she’d wound the red scarf with the glittery thread loosely around her neck. He felt the usual sweep of relief at the knowledge that he’d been right.

She wore her light brown hair pinned up in a bun again, although the wind had teased some tendrils from the tight knot. They curled around her face, doing their best to soften the furious look plastered across her features and the blaze of her eyes beneath her Tina Fey glasses.

“Hi,” he said, trying to defuse the bomb before it exploded.

She walked up to him and glared, her beautiful brown eyes snapping with anger. “What the hell kind of game are you playing? Are you having me followed? How on earth did you know my scarf was under my bed?”

So angry rather than intrigued, then.

“You’re welcome.” He stepped back. “Won’t you come in?”

REVIEW

4.5 Stars – Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

This is my first book by Serenity Woods, and I can honestly say I will be reading more.

This is a great story with a little mix of everything you would want from a romance, a little paranormal with one of the main characters being a medium, and a teenaged daughter going through the adjustment of dealing with her dad dating for the first time after her parents’ divorce, the death of her mother, and a skeptical woman who has been hurt by the crazies she has dated in the past.

First we have Grace the tenth grade high school teacher, with absolutely no verbal filter on her mouth, who dresses like a Victorian spinster on the outside with racy lingerie underneath. Then we have Ash Rutherford the Viking lookalike father of one of her students, picture in your head Eric from True Blood (yummmmmm). Ash is a doctor turned medium, meaning he can communicate with the dead. He is a local celebrity doing shows similar to John Edwards. Grace is the ultimate skeptic, until she attends one of his shows with her two best friends, and receives a message from her dad.

This is not your typical sappy romance; you get a full range of emotions from laughter to almost tears. I honestly just really liked these two people, and want to see them get their HEA. There are some really hot sex scenes including one on a 1970’s sheepskin rug, but also a lot of heartwarming scenes. I really liked the paranormal aspect of this book. It was done without being cheesy. What I like most about this book was that the fact that Ash’s daughter was not thrown into the back ground. Jodi was not just a sprinkled in character. She was as important to the romance as Ash and Grace.\

I can’t wait to read the rest of the books for this series.

BUY LINKS

Samhaim Publishing:

Amazon:

Barnes & Noble:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Serenity Woods lives in the sub-tropical Northland of New Zealand with her wonderful husband and gorgeous teenage son. She writes fun, flirty, and sexy contemporary romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and hunky but approachable heroes. She’s won several romance writing competitions and is a member of the Romance Writers of New Zealand. She would much rather immerse herself in reading or writing romance than do the dusting and ironing, which is why it’s not a great idea to pop round if you have any allergies. You can check out all her books at http://www.serenitywoodsromance.com.

Twitter:  @Serenity_Woods

Reviews

Honorable Intentions by Catherine Mann-Review

Blurb:

“I’m Here for You.”

Major Hank Renshaw knows almost everything there is to know about Gabrielle Ballard. Except for what it’s like to touch her. Because Gabrielle is his best friend’s fiancee. Or she was. Until his buddy died in battle—right after making Hank promise to find her…

So now Hank’s in New Orleans. In Gabrielle’s home. Watching her nurse her infant son. It’s not honor that draws him to her. It’s not duty that makes him stay. It’s need he’s feeling, plain and simple— the desire to take the woman he’s always wanted and finally make her his own.

Review:

As most people know, I love my Harlequin’s and right now Desire’s are my “go-to” line at the moment.  There is something about a man and a woman and the desire that builds between the two of them throughout a story.  For this reader, sex is secondary to the actual sexual tension that has been building between the two characters.  Hank and Gabrielle have that in spades but also have so much more.

The story opens 10 months after his buddy, her fiancee has died.  Hank’s mission is to find Gabrielle and give her a message from her fiancee.  What Hank found was Gabrielle living in a small apartment with her infant son.  Knowing that he can’t leave them, he devises a plan to help her through her son’s surgery and to help her with some downtime from being a mother.  What neither one of them banked on is the desire that still burned between them and the intense need that they had for one another.

Hank is an honourable, yet somewhat clueless man when it comes to women.  Being a career military man, he’s not a relationship for awhile.  When he sees Gabrielle at your apartment, they only thing he can see is to take care of her.  Fulfill every woman’s desire to take a bath without interruption, sleep late and generally be pampered.  I’m a mother, I wish this too.  He didn’t count on her being so independent and not being able to let someone else help her. 

Gabrielle is an intelligent, caring and stubborn woman.  After watching her mother be superwoman growing up, she feels like she has to be, too.  Hank tries to let her know that she doesn’t have to be that way.  Its okay to ask for help and to take it.  At times, I really thought I bop her in the head but it lead to great dialogue between the two.  Bravo!  What Gabrielle didn’t realize that not only was Hank trying to help her, he was also trying to woo her.  *sigh*

I really liked that their families played an integral part of their reluctance in being a full fledged couple.  Between Hank’s dad trying to help Hank with his feelings towards his dead buddy and his guilt and Hank’s step mother helping Gabrielle feel like a woman, the scenes were heartfelt and emotional.  When Gabrielle’s own parents showed up, Gabrielle soon found out that her mother was not superwoman and that she needed to learn how to appreciate Hank for what he was doing for her and her son.  Again, the scenes between her and her mother were great.  My own mother and I have had that same conversation. 

I really need to go back and read the other Renshaw/Landis family books from Ms. Mann.  Again, the family dynamics on Hank’s side defined him as a man and within his relationship with Gabrielle.  Ms. Mann also tackles the subject of survivor guilt and PTSD with a deft hand.  The final scene between Hank and Gabrielle tugged at my heart, not only as a mother but as a woman.  I have my “Hank” and I won’t let him go.

I highly recommend Honorable Intentions.  At times, I got frustrated with their actions towards each other but in the end, their journey towards happiness with each other was well worth it.

5 Harlie’s and a recommended read

And as a bonus, I’m giving away my copy of the book to one ramdom commentor.  🙂  Open internationally. 

Reviews

The Lawman’s Surrender by Debra Mullins-review

Finding the truth will take some fast talking—and a faster gun.

The Calhoun Sisters, Book 2

Susannah Calhoun has always been able to charm her way into anything she wants. But when she is arrested for a murder she didn’t commit, she realizes there’s no sweet talking her way out of this one. The victim is the brother of a U.S. Senator, who demands Susannah be tried in his home city of Denver. He’s even summoned a U.S. Marshal to make sure she gets there.

Marshal Jedidiah Brown reluctantly accepts the assignment as a favor to a friend. He already knows Susannah’s trouble from the way sparks flew the first time they met, but he doesn’t believe her a murderer. When a lynch mob busts her out of jail and tries to hang her, Jedidiah realizes he has to buy time to prove her innocence.

Pursued by the man who would see Susannah dead, the road to Denver is filled with peril as they search for the witness who could clear her name. Their time alone on the road brings them closer than ever, but the witness proves elusive, and Denver looms on the horizon—the end of a journey that could end with love. Or the gallows.

This book was first published by Avon in March 2001.

Review:

OH…MY…WORD…

Most people don’t realize how much I really do enjoy reading western historicals but I do.  Give me a gunslinger, damsel in distress, saloon, and the wild west and I’m yours.  When I read Donovan’s Bed a few months ago, I was captivated by both Calhoun sisters.  I realized that I had to find out if Susannah’s story had been written and yes, it had.  Unfortunately, I had to wait and I don’t like to wait.  🙂

We meet Sarah’s sister Susannah near the end of Donovan’s Bed.  Susannah is a contradiction of sorts.  She is your typical beauty and uses it to charm herself out of bad situations.  On the other hand, she is intelligent, witty, and cares deeply for others.  She is not the selfish, conceited plaything that most men think of when they first see her.  Susannah wants to be loved for who she is on the inside, not on the outside.

When Jedidiah first meets Susannah at the end of Donovan’s Bed, I knew that the spark was there and he would be powerless to stop the fire.  He is your typical US Marshal, tough, a loner, sexy and will do anything to get his man. Something tugs at him when he sees Susannah again in jail months later.  He is sure of her innocence in the murder but the fact that she is traveling with him to find the witness, well that is proving to be a distraction that he doesn’t need.

I can not tell you how much I loved the Marshal and Susannah.  I fell in love with them in Donovan’s Bed and their story proved to be worth the wait.  Susannah is a strong historical heroine.  She’s not whiny, dependent on a man, and not afraid to speak her mind.  She’s an independent woman that knows who and what she is and gasp…she has a job, too.  Jedidiah is a swoon worthy, rugged, sexy and kind man.  He always has Susannah’s interests before his in the beginning but then after one too many close calls he realizes that he will do anything for Susannah; even die for her.  *sigh*

As for the heat factor between them, you could cut it with a knife.  When they do come together it is tender and sweet.  Susannah wants Jed but he fears that he can’t give her everything that she wants and deserves.  The emotions that I felt between them were honest and real.  It all came down to the last climatic scene and it more than paid off in the end.  Their relationship was real and at times very funny.  At some points in the book, I was laughing out loud.  The supporting characters that we meet along the way to Denver are great.  They only enhance the relationship between Susannah and Jed.

I highly recommend The Lawman’s Surrender.  If you want to see how they met, read Donovan’s Bed first.  You will not be disappointed in the Calhoun sisters at all.

5 Harlie’s and a highly recommend read