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Take a quick read of the featured Jewel of Historical Romance author’s bio and short book excerpt, then answer two simple questions and you’re entered.
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Meet Lauren “Amethyst” Royal
I decided to become a writer in the third grade (or, as my Canadian friends call it, grade three), after winning a “Why My Mother is the Greatest” essay contest and having my entry published in a major newspaper. Seeing my words in print was a thrill! But everyone told me it’s too hard for novelists to get published, so after college I spent fourteen years as the CEO of my own jewelry store chain before writing my first book. A mistake? Maybe…but my first heroine, Amethyst, was a jeweler, so at least I took advantage of that wise old saying, “Write what you know.” And I learned a good lesson: Don’t let other people tell you what you can or can’t do!
Lauren’s beloved AMETHYST (book one in The Jewel Trilogy) is available for free here: http://www.laurenroyal.com/3.0/bookshelf/books/amethyst/order
Excerpt follows the entry form!
by Lauren Royal
The travelers rumbling by in the background, the crickets in the hills, the wind blowing past…all faded away like magic. Only the two of them existed.
The caress deepened and his lips parted hers, sending a thrill through her entire body. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she marveled at the new feelings, for his kiss was nothing like the ones she’d tolerated from Robert.
She was overwhelmed by the way Lord Greystone’s mouth claimed hers. His kiss was like a potion—it made her body melt and her consciousness dim. Suddenly she couldn’t remember who she was or whether she had any problems.
His tongue invaded her mouth searching for hers, and he tasted of ale, but sweeter, and it was shocking and wonderful. She leaned into him, reveling in the feel of his hard body against her softness, and his hands wandered down her back, cupping her bottom and pulling her closer still.
A low sound of pleasure escaped her throat.
It brought him back to reality.
He dropped his hands and broke away from her mouth. What was he doing? Seducing an innocent girl, taking advantage of her grief and loneliness, her vulnerability, her overwhelming need to feel alive and connected? He wasn’t that kind of man—he’d always prided himself on being cool and logical, not ruled by his emotions.
And certainly a gentleman. He knew there were different rules for the women in Amy’s class than for the promiscuous ladies in his own. He was thoroughly disgusted with himself.
Amy stared at him, dazed, her knees weak.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
He didn’t sound like Lord Greystone, Amy thought. His voice was rough, and he did look sorry—ashamed, even.
“Sorry?” Amy’s senses were still spinning. She wasn’t sorry, not one bit. She’d never imagined any person could make her feel like someone else, in a different time and place, and she’d wanted that feeling to go on forever.
And, unless she was mistaken, he’d felt much the same. Surely he couldn’t have kissed her like that if he hadn’t. Or could he? She was admittedly ignorant of such matters.
“You’re sorry?” she repeated.
“Well, not sorry exactly,” he said in that unfamiliar rough voice, fumbling for the words. “It’s just…I shouldn’t have done that…taken advantage of you like that. Not that I didn’t want to—oh, bloody hell!” He took a step toward her and put his hands on her shoulders, holding her at arm’s length, clearly exasperated. “You’re a proper young woman, and I’ve a responsibility to send you to your aunt in the same condition I found you.”
Amy would have agreed with him yesterday. But today, alone in the world and having tasted the sensations of being in his arms, she wasn’t sure of anything.
“My lord—” she began.
“Colin,” he interrupted, irony in his voice. “Once you’ve had a man’s tongue in your mouth, you’re allowed to call him by his Christian name.”
Amy blushed furiously, thankful for the cover of darkness. Still, she tried the name in her head. Colin. She’d never called a nobleman by his given name, and it should feel wrong. But now she thought Colin, and it made her feel warm all over.
“And if you were about to tell me it doesn’t matter,” he continued, “you’re wrong. It matters a lot.”
“No buts, Amy. It’s late, and we’re both very tired. We have a long ride to Cainewood in the morning. Let’s get some sleep.”
He grasped her good hand and pulled her toward the inn. She followed reluctantly. There was no arguing with him, it seemed.
Her hand tingled where it nestled in his. She’d held hands with Robert and never felt anything at all. Even with her limited experience, she knew this couldn’t be normal.
Was it not the same for him?
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