Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Beginning at the Beginning: The first scene of Can’t Help Falling in Love

Congratulations to "Julie O", the winner of Cheryl's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

When I start a new book, I don’t always know how the story starts or ends, but I can see a character and a place. Then I ask “What if…” Can’t Help Falling in Love began with one scene: a beautiful blonde sliding out of a limo in front of the hotel.

When Randa Whitmore pushed open the limo door, the furnace blast that was Memphis in August nearly knocked her over. She cursed under her breath about this latest assignment and straightened her shoulders before she slid over the cool leather seat to stand on the sidewalk. Thanks to the shade in this drop-off area at the front doors of the Rock’n’Rolla Hotel, the concrete was solid instead of tarry goo, as she’d expected. Eggs wouldn’t fry on the sidewalk; they’d sprout legs and run away screaming.

Can’t Help Falling in Love turned out to be a story of a hotel heiress who’s been sent to investigate the Rock’n’Rolla Hotel for acquisition and the hotel manager, an ex-Marine whose number one goal is to protect the hotel and owner Willodean Jackson. When Tony sees Randa for the first time, he knows she’s trouble. But then she stops to meet Misty, the hotel’s mascot bloodhound and Tony’s second-favorite person in the world, before she crosses the lobby looking like his every teenage fantasy, and he knows just exactly how much trouble he’s in.

Did I know their romance would involve a trip to a bookstore (with a kiss in front)? No, but it turns out they both read to live. I also didn’t know about Tony’s abs, Randa’s beauty pageant experience, or the way his certainty of her skill and intelligence would give her the confidence to be the kind of person she’s always wanted or how he’d see in her the things he’s always hoped for but never thought he’d have. Every book’s a fun discovery that starts with a single scene.

And on that note, here’s where the next book, Santa, Bring My Baby Back (available December) starts:

Charlie McMinn pushed back his gold lamé sleeve to check the time and cursed under his breath. The bride and groom were twenty minutes late.
Five more minutes. That’s it.

Santa, Bring My Baby Back is all about Christmas, weddings, surprises, second chances, and fresh starts. Can’t Help Falling in Love is available now, so if you’re in the mood for a little bit of heat and would like to find out more about Tony and Randa and how that first scene builds, here’s a short excerpt:

Randa took a deep breath and opened her eyes to see Tony standing next to the lounger.
Then she forgot every worry she’d ever had and most of everything she knew. 

Because if Tony lost his job running the Rock’n’Rolla Hotel, he had a future in underwear modeling. His swim trunks rode low on his hips and even though she’d seen swimsuits that showed a whole lot more of what a man was working with, she’d never seen another man with a body like his. 

In her experience, handsome men were either gym rats or couch potatoes. She’d seen a lot of manscaping in her time too: hairless chests, spray tans, and even hair plugs once upon a time.

Out of the Hawaiian shirt and khakis, Tony was perfectly imperfect. His olive skin was lightly tan. Black ink swirled up his left arm. This close she could make out the words “Semper Fi” and then what looked like names, all in a simple script. She wanted to touch his tattoo, to trace her fingers up his arm. She wanted to feel his skin. Black curls covered his pecs and trickled to a thin line down his abdomen to disappear into . . .

God, help me. Randa felt the need to fan her face or stick her tongue out to pant. August in Memphis might camouflage her reaction, but she hadn’t known heat until Tony stood in front of her with no shirt on.

I’d love to give away a copy of Can’t Help Falling in Love. Tony’s the strong, silent type, a favorite of mine. Please leave me a comment to let me know your favorite kind of hero!

Whether she's writing, reading, or just checking the items off of her daily to-do list, Cheryl Harper loves her romance mixed with a little laughter. When she's not working, you will find her ignoring housework, cursing yard work, and spending way too much time with a television remote in her hand.

Web: http://cherylharperbooks.com
Twitter: @CherylHarperBks

Buy Links:

Can’t Help Falling in Love
The staff of Cheryl Harper's Elvis-themed Rock'n'Rolla Hotel are back with a funny, fresh romance that goes undercover—under the covers!

As a former Marine, hotel manager Tony Ortega has plenty of experience assessing threats, and the hotel's newest guest, Randa Whitmore, is a code red. Tall, blonde, and with legs for miles, she may look like his every fantasy, but he knows she's not really visiting for the famed Elvis Week. Though dangerously drawn to his new guest, Tony will do anything to protect his job . . . especially if it means sleeping with the enemy.

Business strategist Randa Whitmore never meant to be undercover in Memphis. In August. Sweating her expensive spa treatments away. But snagging another perfect hotel location for her father's empire means using all the tricks in her designer arsenal. And even though the sexy, tattooed manager seems oblivious to her charms, Randa's prepared to bring out the big guns—just so long as she can stay objective and out of Tony's muscled arms. After all, it's just business, right?

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cant-Help-Falling-Cheryl-Harper/dp/0062276395/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1383579889&sr=1-2&keywords=can%27t+help+falling+in+love
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cant-help-falling-in-love-cheryl-harper/1114298677?ean=9780062276391

Santa, Bring My Baby Back
A bride abandoned at the altar . . . just in time for Christmas? 'Tis the season for second chances at Cheryl Harper's Elvis-themed Rock'n'Rolla Hotel.

After trying and failing at acting, modeling, dog grooming, and a dozen other jobs, Grace Andersen thought for sure she'd nail marrying a rich man. But dumped in a hotel chapel and strapped for cash, Grace needs a miracle—and a job.

If it were up to Charlie McMinn, Grace would be a married lady by now. Officiating weddings in gold lamé and a rock star pompadour may not have been his idea of getting into the holiday spirit, but with a gorgeous bride asking for his help, Charlie doesn't mind sticking around his mother's hotel a few more days. Especially if it means getting Grace settled …

Grace isn't sure what to think of sexy, rugged Charlie, except that she can't deny the attraction between them, or how good it feels to finally fit in somewhere. Is she ready to give a certain place—and a certain someone—a real chance? Or will she abandon a true Christmas miracle?

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Santa-Bring-Baby-Back-ebook/dp/B00BATNPUW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1383580048&sr=1-1&keywords=santa+bring+my+baby+back
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/santa-bring-my-baby-back-cheryl-harper/1114298678?ean=9780062276407

Cheryl will be giving away a digital copy of CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE to one lucky person leaving a comment or email entry.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Nov. 19th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. These sound great!! I cant wait to read them! I like my hero to be the strong alpha type!

  2. I love a tall, dark, easily exasperated yet with a sense of humor hero. The Rock'n'Rolla hotel sounds like a great place to visit!
    Julie O
    jo1963jo at gmail dot com


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