Friday, November 22, 2019

First Kisses


Thank you for having me here on Just Contemporary Romance! I’m excited about my new book, Some Like it Plaid which is a romantic comedy/time-travel mashup set in ancient Scotland. I know, I know, you’re into contemporary romance, but I’m hoping to lure you to the dark side! The scenes in the heroine’s point-of-view are told in my fun, contemporary style as she, a modern woman, tries to cope with being back in time.


Here’s an excerpt from just after he magics her to his time period:

“Head out? Where are we?” That trickle of unease bloomed in her heart, her breath catching. Because his words were different. Somehow, he was speaking in a lilting but foreign language, and she’d not only understood every single word, but had answered in the same language.
To distract herself and, well, because her stomach chose that moment to growl, as if it knew she’d just been handed food and was all, Gimme, woman, she took a bite of bread.
The yeasty flavor burst on her tongue, along with the taste and crunch of oodles of grains. No dream she’d ever had was this vivid. The details were sharp, down to her being cold. And to the odd taste and texture of the bread. And her hunger.
The taste, though—a fuzzy memory poked. She took another bite, trying to chase it. Whatever it was, it had been buried so far in her past she couldn’t form it. Except for a fleeting, wonderful feeling of being cherished.
“Aye, we need to break camp and head to my tribe’s stronghold. And we’re in a land called Scotland.”
That last word was not in the same language—instead it was in her own—and he said it as if it were a strange word to him.
“What happened? How did we get here?” She’d asked this last night, but maybe he’d change his answer.
He strode toward her and knelt. She appreciated he would no doubt repeat himself but took the time to listen to her and patiently explain. “Mungan, our spellcaster, weaved strong magic. Brought me to your land, and then brought us both back here.” He held up a round stone incised with two parallel deep grooves around its center. As if that explained everything.
The hell it does. Some dude, even in a dream, was just whisking her about?
He waved to the two horses. “They left us mounts to ease our journey.”
She swallowed, trying to work moisture into her parched throat. “How long will it take to get to your…stronghold?”
“Only part of the morning.”
“How many hours?”
“Hours?”
“Yeah, how long? How many hours?” Was her Star Trek Universal Translator on the fritz already? The word “hours” had come out in English.
He shook his head and frowned. Then he pointed to the sun just barely visible as a pale glow behind morning clouds. “As long as it takes the sun to travel from there”—he slid his finger just a few inches away—“to there.”
She pulled in a deep breath. Oookay.
He marched over to a shaggy brown horse, grabbed the saddle, and swung himself up into it with one swift motion, like she’d seen in old cowboy movies.
Wow, that was hot.
She’d ridden her share of horses growing up in Nebraska but had never perfected that technique. She stepped up to her horse and stroked its mane, pulling in the musky scent of the beast, letting him smell her, adjust to her. The animal’s fur was thick and curly, its coarse hairs springing through her stroking fingers.
Is this real?
She stared at the imposing but gentle Highlander, and then at the horse she was supposed to ride. If she did as he asked, she’d no longer be “playing along” with her dream. She’d have to face what she hadn’t wanted to admit yet— hopping onto this horse would be accepting this wasn’t a dream. This step, this moment, felt real. Tangible.

An avid reader herself, Angela Quarles writes books she'd like to read--laugh-out-loud, smart romances that suck you into her worlds and won't let you go until you reach The End. She is a RWA RITA® award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, time travel, and steampunk romance. Library Journal named her steampunk, Steam Me Up, Rawley, Best Self-Published Romance of 2015 and Must Love Chainmail won the 2016 RITA® Award in the paranormal category, the first indie to win in that category. Angela loves history, folklore, and family history and combined it with her active imagination to write stories of romance and adventure. She also owns and operates her own independent new & used bookstore, connecting readers to books every day!

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