Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The Name of the Game

The Name of the Game has just been released by SirenBookStrand and to celebrate, I’m giving a copy away. Just leave a comment on this blog and your name will go into the hat. Good luck!

This is my first effort at writing romantic suspense solely from the heroine’s point of view. Ashley believes her boss when he says his marriage if over. They enter into a steamy affair and Ashley works her butt off to prepare the company for amalgamation with a rival so that she and Matt can go public with their relationship. But the bottom abruptly falls out of her world when Matt’s ‘estranged’ wife appears at the office, heavily pregnant.

Ashley breaks off the affair but Matt won’t let up on her. He convinces her that he isn’t the father of the baby but must stand by Eve until the amalgamation goes through because she owns a vital five per cent of the company’s shares that could swing the deal in either direction.

Someone is trying to sabotage the amalgamation. Ashley delves into the Templeton family’s affairs, uncovering deeply buried secrets that someone will go to any lengths—even murder—to protect. As she fights to save the man she loves from the brink of ruin, Ashley finds that she’s placed her own life on the line…

This is how Ashley discovers the truth about Matt’s wife’s condition -

“Did you wish to see me about anything in particular, sir?”
“Yes, gorgeous, I want to know where you’d like to go for dinner this evening.”
Ashley didn’t attempt to hide her surprise, or her elation. They hardly ever dined out together, just in case they were seen. If they did, it was always in small, out of the way places of Matt’s choosing.
“Anywhere I like?”
He smiled that alluringly sexy smile of his, the one that never failed to make her feel weak at the knees, and nodded. “Anywhere at all.”
“And what are we supposed to be celebrating?”
Ashley held her breath, instinctively understanding that they’d reached a defining moment in their relationship. She said nothing more though, determined to make him put into words exactly what was in his mind.
“Well—” He paused, the expression in his silver-gray eyes meltingly gentle, full of tender affection. “There’s a certain event that we should be celebrating on Thursday, but since I have to be in Southampton for the rest of the week, we’ll just have to bring things forward by a day.”
Ashley dropped thick curling lashes over her eyes as she attempted to disguise her disappointment. She had allowed herself to hope that he had something far more life-changing in mind that her thirty-fifth birthday. But now wasn’t the time to broach that particular subject. It was enough that he was prepared to risk being seen in public with her—a huge step forward.
“Why, Mr Templeton, I do believe you’ve remembered by birthday.”
“How could I forget?” He chuckled, a soft throaty sound that was so uniquely him. “And good girls can expect to receive special presents.”
“Ah, but therein lies a problem.” She chewed pensively at her lower lip. “You don’t like me when I’m good.”
“That depends upon your definition of good. I don’t, for instance, much care for girls who have good-looking young men in and out of their office all the morning, asking needless questions.” His eyes bored into her profile. “Are you going to tell me who he is?”
“What?” she asked, with wide-eyed innocence. “Surely you don’t mean Gordon, the new dispatcher I just employed? The one with the deep blue eyes, a cute dimple, sexy smile, and hunky body.” Matt growled at her. “Is he good-looking? Can’t say I noticed. Anyway,” she added, enjoying the sexual buzz she got just from flirting with him, “I’m almost old enough to be his mother.”
Matt fixed her with a disbelieving gaze. “Baby, the way he was looking at you when I walked past this morning sure ain’t the way a guy looks at his mother.”
“Isn’t it?” She could detect tension beneath his flirtatiousness. “What is it, Matt?” she asked, her smile fading. “Has something happened?”
He sighed. “Yes, another iffy death claim.”
“No, that makes three now.” She shook her head. “Same pattern as the others?”
“Yes, I asked claims to contact me direct if another one came up. I heard just now. A woman in her early sixties. She didn’t disclose any pre-existing conditions, but died from a heart attack.”
“And let me guess, it wasn’t her first.”
“It was, but she suffered from hypertension and took blood pressure medication for some years.”
“Oh hell!”
“My sentiments entirely.” Matt’s phone buzzed. “Damn, Excuse me, Ashley.” Matt pushed the speaker button. “What is it, Lorraine?”
“Your wife’s here to see you, Matt.”
His expression of concern for the business gave way to a wild look of panic. He stared at Ashley without speaking. Although she was seated directly in front of him, he didn’t appear to see her, causing a frisson of alarm to spiral through her. It was awkward, but Matt’s reaction seemed way over the top. Ashley was well able to maintain a professional stance in front of his wife. Did he imagine that she’d go all girly on him and drop him in it by giving herself away? Really, he ought to know her better than that.
Before she could ask any questions, the door opened, and Ashley was treated to her first ever sight of the woman she’d heard so much about over the past eighteen months but had so far managed to avoid meeting. She examined her critically, disguising her acute interest beneath a cordial smile, and ruthlessly suppressed the gut-wrenching jealousy that wormed its way through her insides.
Matt’s wife was petite, well groomed, and extremely pretty. He’d got that bit right. Oddly enough though, there was one tiny little insignificant detail he’d forgotten to impart.
Eve Templeton, the woman Matt claimed not to have slept with for over a year, had to be at least five months pregnant.

The Name of the Game by Wendy Soliman – Available now from SirenBookStrand $3.39 http://www.bookstrand.com/the-name-of-the-game
Check out my books on my websites: http://www.wendysoliman.com and http://www.wsoliman.com
Or follow me on twitter @wendyswriter

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of The Name of the Game.


Thursday, 22 March 2012

Miss Shaw and the Doctor

Today I'm pleased to welcome my good friend Fenella Miller to the blog. She's talking about her latest regency romance, Miss Shaw and the Doctor. Tell us something about yourself please, Fenella.
I am an historical fiction writer with more than 30 titles to my name.  So far all my published books have been Regency romantic adventures, but I also write in the Victorian and World War II eras.
I am married and have two adult children and two grandchildren.  I live in a large riverside village in Essex to which I moved six weeks ago.  We share our house with an arthritic, 14-year-old border collie.
I was a teacher for 25 years but have also been a restaurateur and hotelier.  However, being a writer is my dream occupation.  It's what I was born to do.

What are your favorite novels?
Pride and Prejudice - but I have read and reread all of Jane Austen's books and like them all.
I love most of Bernard Cornwall's books, especially the Richard Sharpe series.
I read thrillers as well as historical.  Michael Connelly and Lee Child are books I have to buy in hardback.
I loved the first book in the Outlander series by Diane Gabaldon.

What can’t you live without?
Chocolate. Sleep. Writing.

What  characteristics should a hero have?
He should be is  intelligent, brave, handsome, resourceful and kind to children and animals.  What more could you want in a man?

What are you working on now?
I'm busy doing the final tweaks and synopsis for a YA urban fantasy. Then I have to do bit more editing on a full length Regency so I can send that off as well.

What do you watch on TV?
Blue Bloods, Hawaii 5 0, Ringer, Glee, Doctors, NCIS 9 –but my favourite is Grey’s Anatomy.
What is your film of preference?
I prefer musicals to anything - especially the old ones with Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I like family films and thrillers as long as they aren’t too gory.

Do you listen to Music when you write, if so what?
No – never listen to music.

What is your favorite quote?
Life is not a rehearsal.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
I’d love to have moved to rural France but am now happy where I am.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A bit of both.  I spend a lot of time working out the story in my head before I start, know the beginning and the end and let the characters tell the story in the middle.
With a long book –such as Under a Shadow – which is 120K –I did plan the story far more carefully.
With the fantasy I’ve had to spend a lot of time writing a rule book for the fantasy world.

What is your biggest distraction when it comes to writing?
Cricket.  A peculiar English game not played in the States but I watch everything the English team play in, even getting up in the middle of the night to watch when they're playing in Australia.

Miss Shaw & The Doctor is out with Aurora/Musa on 23rd March 2012. Here is an extract -hope you enjoy it enough to pop over and buy it.
Ebook Price: $4.99
Ebook ISBN13: 978-1-61937-260-3
 At the sound of rapidly approaching hooves Sarah pushed herself upright. How kind of the squire to send someone out to look for her. She had fully expected to wait until the morning to be collected. She picked up her valise and withdrew her handkerchief from her reticule to wipe some of the grime from her hands.
The gig, travelling at a spanking trot, showed no sign of pulling up. The driver could not have seen her. Leaning forward, she waved her handkerchief furiously. The beast shied and the vehicle slewed sideways. The unfortunate driver slipped from his perch and vanished into the hedge.
“Oh, my goodness! What have I done?”
The horse, having recovered from its fright, now waited a few yards away as if nothing untoward had happened. The outline of the gig was clearly discernible in the welcome light of the lanterns. It appeared undamaged–indeed not even the traces were tangled. Only the driver had suffered a mishap. She was most concerned about him.
The head and shoulders of the missing man emerged through a gap in the hedge. He was covered in twigs, his hair awry, and his smart topcoat sadly mired. She was relieved to see he had not injured himself. Apparently, the hedge had made a soft landing.
This was no servant – oh, dear! She had made a grave error of judgement and would never have attempted to wave down the gig if she’s realised. The gentleman did not look at all pleased to see her. In fact he looked furious.
“I do beg your pardon,” she said. “I thought you were a servant from the manor come to collect me.”
He drew himself up to his full height, which must be two yards in his stocking feet. Every inch quivered with rage. “Are you mad? Only an imbecile would wave her handkerchief at a horse as you did. You are lucky we were not killed by your stupidity.”
Sarah bristled. How could she have known the silly animal would tip its master over the hedge? She had already apologised. There was no need for him to be so unpleasant.
“If I had not done so, you might not have seen me. As a gentleman, I’m sure you would not wish me to be marooned here on my own for the rest of the night.”
She risked moving closer and curtsied politely. “I am Miss Sarah Shaw, the new governess for Lady Fenwick. I have been sitting here for over two hours.”
“Dr. Adam Moorcroft.” He barely nodded.
“I should be most grateful if you would assist me, Dr. Moorcroft.”
“I suppose I shall have to give you a lift as I am going to the manor myself.” He viewed her large trunk with disfavour. “That will have to remain where it is until tomorrow. Bring your valise. Let us hope, Miss Shaw, that my horse is not lame after your foolishness.”
“All that I possess is in that trunk. If you will not put it in your vehicle, then I shall remain behind with it. Please, do not let me delay you. No doubt you are on your way to deliver Lady Fenwick’s child.”

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

New Cover

SirenBookStrand have completely changed the cover for my upcoming release, The Name of the Game.

Smoking hot, or what?


Thursday, 8 March 2012

The Name of the Game

It won't surprise you to learn that I dreamed up the title for my upcoming romantic suspense release whilst at an Abba Tribute band concert. It works well because the book is about two people who have more than just horses in common. Matt is CEO of the family business that employs Ashley. Instantly attracted toward one another, they must keep their affair a secret until takeover talks allow them to be themselves.

Matters escalate when Matt's 'estranged' wife pitches up at the office - pregnant. Ashley fights back, placing herself in danger when she uncovers ugly secrets in Matt's family that others will go to any lengths to keep private. With the ultimate prize of control of the company at stake, some people will stop at nothing and Ashley's caught in the cross fire.

For Ashely it's more than just a game....it's simply a case of fighting for the man she loves.

The Name of the Game = Available from SirenBookStrand - March 2012


Friday, 2 March 2012

Leap Year Blog Hop Winner

Thanks to those of you who entered this contest.

The Winner is Anne acm05atjuno.com

Please email me at wendysoliman@rocketmail.com, Anne, and we can discuss getting your prize to you.

More contests and prizes coming soon. Watch this space!