Ever have one of those commercials where you can watch it over and over (and over and over) again, and it never gets old?
Who even knew this was a real product? (Hint: not me!)
Ever have one of those commercials where you can watch it over and over (and over and over) again, and it never gets old?
Who even knew this was a real product? (Hint: not me!)
I write romance because of stories like this one. 96-year old Fred Stobaugh’s song “Oh Sweet Lorraine”, written and submitted to a local contest only a month after his wife passed away, became a YouTube sensation and currently holds at #8 on iTunes. This one seriously made me get teary-eyed; seventy-five years together, so very sweet.
So the lovely Kate Laurens, my beta reader for all things Fawkesish, has repeatedly expressed her love for a certain arms-dealer-slash-hero. Well, look at what I received in the mail today, which underscores it all:
It makes me smile SO BIG!!! And yes, I’ll be wearing it to Romantic Times in Kansas City, hopefully I’ll see some Team Jeremiah shirts around too!
As I’m sure most of you have realized, I skipped out on Snippet Saturday. Truthfully, there hasn’t been much writing this week due to various real life issues and other things I’ve put on the back burner for AHW6. However, I didn’t want to leave you all with nothing after I’d promised to do my best and keep this up, so decided to give you a snippet from yesteryear, a little clue into what used to be the dynamics of the Hamilton household. Hope it makes up for a snippet-less day, enjoy!
Jeremiah had always loved the boathouse.
Thanks to everyone who voted for the cover!! The contest was a lot closer than I expected, but we still had a clear winner.
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling series continues in the explosive sixth part!
Enigmatic billionaire Jeremiah Hamilton plucked twenty-four year old Lucy Delacourt from an existence spiraling down into darkness. Seduced and brought into the extravagant lifestyle of the rich and powerful, Lucy was swept up into the highest highs, and experienced dangerous lows, but always there was her billionaire protector. Safe in his arms, she thought for sure her life had finally found the right track.
Until she couldn’t hold back saying those three little words, and found out how fragile her new position was.
Her affections spurned by the man she loves, the dejected young woman is kidnapped from Jeremiah’s home and discovers more about another facet of the Hamilton family legacy. Lucas Hamilton, known in darker company as Loki, is an arms dealer and Jeremiah’s brother. He needs Lucy for his own purposes, but makes it no secret that he wants to get back at his brother any way he can for stealing the family empire. Dangerous outside forces seem intent on taking the proud and wealthy New York family down. But what will broken-hearted Lucy do when her new captor sets his sights on seduction?
No matter what happens, Lucy’s life will never again be the same.
I have to say, self-publishing has its upsides and downsides, both of which are often part of the same coin. On Friday I uploaded the stories to four of the major retailers: Amazon (Kindle), Barnes and Noble (Nook), iTunes/Apple (that actually went up on Thursday), and Kobo. I’m super excited that most of the sites had the story up earlier than expected, but unfortunately a few are taking their time. Apple/iTunes is notoriously difficult to get through in a reasonable time frame; I’m hoping to be live there by the end of the month.
Amazon/Kindle have requested I prove my copyright before they’ll publish the story; this wouldn’t be so bad if 1) this wasn’t a weekend, and a holiday weekend to boot, and 2) I actually knew HOW to prove copyright on a new, not-previously-copyrighted story! … I’m still hoping Amazon will figure it out quickly based on what I’ve sent them so far and get it published by tomorrow.
ETA: AMAZON IS LIVE!!!!! Woohoo, guess they’re actually working around the Irish Day celebrations!!
PLEASE DO NOT POST SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION!!! I promise that tomorrow, the official due date, I’ll do a full-on spoiler threadfest here on the blog where you can scream, cry, laugh, and commiserate on events in the story. Until then, any such comments will unfortunately be screened by yours truly so folks won’t have the story so far ruined. I also ask that, if you leave any reviews, pretty please don’t spoil anybody else’s experience! *hugs*
Okay, off to
freak out more about Amazon and poke at Kobo to get them live today too. I’ll keep you updated on those issues as more news comes available!!
HEE!!! I got the happiest surprise yesterday when a friend pointed it out to me that the first serial of “Anything He Wants” was FREE on Amazon! So imagine my surprise when I get an email from the publisher that the story is free on several of the ebook sites!!
Can we say Best Wake-up EVAR?!
I’ve always been proud of part 1, it starts the story off with a bang (hah, literally!) and FREE is a fantastic way to get more eyes on the series!! *bounces all about* Yes, I’m really excited by this – I’ve been pushing St. Martins Press to get that first part free and they TOTALLY came through, and with so many different online retailers. According to the publisher, the sale should run until April 5. GLEE!! So if you know anyone you’ve been itching to tell but didn’t want to seem pushy, now would be a cool time to mention a free short story you happened to come across that might lead into this nifty book you read…
(Looks like the first story is also free in Amazon-Brazil, but as the individual serials were never translated the story is in English, not Portuguese. Sorry!)
If you find any other sites that list it free, let me know and I’ll add the links. *geeks out* I’m so stoked, and with part 6 coming out this month the timing couldn’t be more perfect! More details coming soon on THAT, I promise!!!
This week has been busy with us looking at homes in (and not in) our area. The Dude and I made the joint decision it’s time to buy, but we’re stuck now on WHERE, so the last few days has had a lot of driving around, finding and speaking to realtors, etc, trying to find the “perfect” home within our budgets.
That said, I haven’t forgotten about you. Today is Snippet Saturday Part the Second, and I dug around for some meaty bits to the story so far. I’ll probably kick myself for giving away so much beforehand (you’ll know how it all turns out at this rate! ) but hopefully these make your weekend a teensy bit brighter.
Always before, Jeremiah had been in control, but somehow this was different. He didn’t try to restrain me in any way; his kiss wasn’t an assault or struggle. His lips caressed mine like a lover, making no demands other than for permission to continue. When I opened to him, still he held back, tongue dancing and teasing. I tightened my grip around his neck, pulling him close and wanting more, but he took his time, lips and tongue a gentle torment that was nothing like I’d experienced in his hands.
He broke off the kiss, leaning his forehead against mine. Firelight danced in his eyes and, my breath catching, I traced his beloved face with my fingertips. His eyes searched mine, holding back none of what he was feeling. I read him like an open book, and the knowledge was intoxicating.
“Lucy,” he murmured, my name a benediction on his lips. Desperate longing shone through his eyes as he kissed me again before asking softly, “Stay with me tonight.”
I shut my eyes, licking my lips, then looked back up at him. Desire ached in me, alongside a bleak loneliness, and ever fiber of my being screamed for his touch. He shifted, running a hand down the side of my neck and arm. A cool island breeze brushed against my hot skin, and I shivered as he whispered my name again, lips moving across my forehead.
Both of Jeremiah’s hands clenched into fists atop the table. “I spent years fighting against people like you in the Army…”
“Then you quit that life to take over mine.” Lucas’ lips kept their upward tilt but lost what humor was left. “I was pushed out of the only existence I knew by my own brother. He took over the gilded throne and let me fall to the wolves.”
“You didn’t fall,” Jeremiah said, voice as cold as ice, “you jumped. You kept jumping, and now you’re trying to drag me down with you. Our father…”
“Your father gave you everything and left me nothing,” Lucas hissed.
“I didn’t want this!”
“But you took it anyway, didn’t you?”
“Hey,” I snapped, aware that the two men looked poised at any point to leap over the tables at the other’s throat. Peering around the room, we didn’t seem to be attracting any attention in the empty outside area, but if the conversation continued that would change. “Can we stay on subject here?” I asked in a low voice.
“You say I’m yours, but I’m not allowed to love you. So what am I? A responsibility? A liability?”
His chin came up. “I swore to protect you.”
I gaped at him. Surely he understood what I was asking. “I don’t care about my safety,” I snapped, “that’s not important right now…”
“It is to me.”
“Why?” My last word was a shout, and Jeremiah straightened up. I waved my hands around my head, unable to contain my energy. Giving an exasperated grown, I turned away, rubbing a hand over my face. When I looked back, that stoic mask was back over his face, and I suddenly wanted to cry. “Why do you think you can claim me, yet reject my love?” I murmured brokenly. “What gives you that right?”
He didn’t answer for a long moment, and I almost turned to leave when he finally spoke. “Love isn’t a happy ideal in my family.” The mask threatened to crumble for a moment before clamping back in place. “I don’t wish for the…complications love might bring.”
My shock at his short speech faded quickly. “That may be so,” I conceded, trying to make him understand, “but my parents were happily married for twenty-four years before they died. My grandparents, fifty-two. The words mean something to me.” I sighed. “I never asked for you to reciprocate, I only wanted to tell you how I feel.”
But Jeremiah just shook his head. “That word is a mere platitude. If the affection is there, why does it need to be named?”
Platitude. That word again. Oh, how I hated that word. My hands balled into fists, insides quaking at the sudden rage it induced. “You won’t even try to see my side, will you?” If it didn’t fit in with the way he believed, it was wrong. Was this the real Jeremiah? Had I been so blind this entire time?
I skittered across the floor away from the body, then beat at the hands that tried to help me up. “What the hell,” I screeched, pushing away from Lucas. Adrenaline coursed through my body and all I could do was pace, heart racing and body jittery. “Why does this always happen to me,” I demanded, unable to stand still. I dug my hands into my hair, pulling at it in frustration.
Then Lucas was in front of me, blocking any escape. “Hold still.”
I fought him for a minute, so he grabbed my shoulders and gave me a shake. “You’re bleeding, let me take a look.” His eyes narrowed shrewdly. “Stop fighting. I doubt you’d take kindly to being slapped right now.”
Damned right. The threat did however calm me down enough for him to press a dishrag that I hoped was clean against the wound. “I have a first aid kit in my bathroom. Kolya, take care of the body and figure out how he got onto this ship.”
I slapped away his hands, determined to walk by myself, then screeched again as he lifted me up in his arms. All I wanted to do was be left alone, but he carried me kicking and screaming back to the room, dumping me on the bed before shutting the door. He rummaged through the bathroom, then came out holding a big red box. “Hold still, I want to look at that.”
Grumpy, I complied reluctantly, flinching away with a hiss when the alcohol stung. “My life was so boring before I met you and your brother,” I muttered. “Is this some sort of cosmic payback for being the dullest girl on the planet for so long?”
“Perhaps,” Lucas quipped, and at my dark look he laughed.
“Then I’m to believe your visit here was totally by chance?”
Lucas sounded like he was talking about the weather, but like his brother I sensed something dangerous behind the words. Niall on the other hand didn’t seem quite as tuned in to the Hamilton universe. “I saw a chance, I took it?” he said, shrugging.
Rage suffused Lucas’ face, taking me by surprise. Gone was the happy-go-lucky persona; like flipping a switch, Lucas looked ready to kill. He advanced on Niall, the gun pointing at the Australian’s head.
“Son.” At Matthews’ gruff call, Lucas hesitated. The grizzled sea captain was watching the younger man closely. “Don’t do it.”
For a handful of seconds it looked as though Lucas wasn’t going to listen, then the switch was pressed and a smiling mask came over him again. “You’re lucky that I’m a nice person,” he said, raising the gun so it pointed at the ceiling. He signaled behind him. “Let his man take him downstairs, then lock them both in the hold with a first aid kit.”
“You’re going to pay for this,” Niall muttered as his man helped him to his feet. It looked as though Jeremiah had only shot him in one leg both times. “I know people on the outside, and they won’t take kindly when I tell them…”
Lucas lowered his gun again, casually firing at the good leg, and Niall collapsed into his bodyguard. “Okay, so I’m not that nice.”
Inaugural test spin of a (hopefully weekly) new blog feature! For those of you who are keeping up with me on Facebook, most of these small snippets, cookies, excerpts etc are probably familiar to you. Even there however some of these bits were added in comments and may have been overlooked, so here they all are, in one place for easy reference!
(Funny fact: this was supposed to be Snippet Sunday but, hah, I couldn’t wait until tomorrow. )
I cringed back as he reached for me, prepared to fight tooth and nail, but Lucas stepped forward between us. He moved so quickly I didn’t even see him pull the gun until it was already under Niall’s chin. The big Australian jerked to a stop, rage and sudden fear bursting from his face as he glared at Lucas.
“Ms. Delacourt stays with me.” There was nothing jovial about Lucas’ voice now as he leaned in close to the other man’s face. “My ship, my rules. Do I make myself clear, Mr. Jackson?”
Niall looked like he was sucking on a lemon. Behind him, his men had their guns trained on Lucas and I, and I prayed the gunrunner knew what he was doing.
“They’ll kill you and the girl,” Niall hissed, then grunted as Lucas pushed the gun harder against the tender flesh of his chin.
“Perhaps.” Lucas smiled, a hint of amusement in his tone. “But you’ll still be dead.”
“I’m curious,” Lucas said as if I hadn’t spoken, “what my brother saw in you.”
My smile vanished, as did any patience for dealing with the man in front of me. “You can leave now,” I said, marching across the room and opening the door. “I’d like…”
I broke off in surprise as I turned to see him standing only inches behind me; I hadn’t even heard him move. Startled, I moved back a step and came up flush against the wall between the bathroom and bedroom doors. Lucas stepped forward, far too close for my comfort, and I put a hand against his chest to keep him back.
It was a curious thing, having a man this beautiful standing so close. The smell of alcohol coming from his direction was more like a faint cologne, not at all the cloying odor I would have expected. Beneath my hand, I felt the play of muscles beneath warm skin and silk, and I swallowed.
Fingers pushed a strand of hair out of my face, running along my brow, and I shivered. I pressed back against the wall and he followed, my hand the only thing keeping him at bay. “You’re beautiful,” he murmured, dipping his face down near my temple. Warm breath flowed against my cheek. “And smart. And fearless. Is that what my brother saw?”
A high pitch shrieking woke me from a fitful slumber.
Jolted awake, I scrabbled at my sheets, groping for the edge of the bed. The ground was further away than I thought and I almost tripped as I leaped to my feet, but managed to stay upright as I stumbled to the doorway. Ripping it open, I immediately smelled smoke, and raced toward the stairs, not knowing what to expect.
Lucas looked up at me from the kitchen. Sunglasses covered his eyes, but he gave me a bright smile. “Good morning, sunshine. I’m making some breakfast, care to join?” He had a fork in one hand and an unplugged toaster, the reason for the fire alarm, under his other arm. He set the chrome appliance back onto the counter at my incredulous stare. “How about eggs?” he said, moving over to the refrigerator.
It amazed me how different the two men were. Jeremiah had the broody, tortured thing going for him, while Lucas… I wasn’t sure. He held a different type of mask in place, one that I found hard to pierce. There wasn’t much brooding here, at least not on the surface; his lips seemed locked in a Joker-like smile, as if sarcasm and pleasantries could keep people away.
As much as I enjoyed puzzles, the Hamilton men were a bit out of my league.
“Did you love her?” I asked bluntly, aware of the awkward direction our conversation was taking.
He started to say something, then paused. “Maybe once,” he murmured, not appearing to think this was an odd discussion topic given our current situation. “When I first met her, she was young and naïve. I was angry and selfish; stealing her away from my brother was a way to get back at him for taking over my life.” He sighed, staring blankly beside me. “Times change. People change. I didn’t do enough to keep Anya sheltered from this lifestyle, and now she’s dead.” He met my eyes again. “What about Jeremiah? Do you love him?”
“I…” My heart clenched painfully. “I thought I did.” Right now, my opinions about Jeremiah were all jumbled, due in no small part to the man lying atop me. “He saved my life.”
“I saved your life too. Twice.”
I winced at the reminder, hand going to the bandage at my throat. “Yeah.” A lump formed in my throat and I screwed my face up against tears. “That was the first time I’d said those words to anyone since my parents died,” I mumbled, “and he called them “platitudes”.” The memory was powerful enough to pierce my heart again.
“My brother is an idiot.” Lucas said it in a matter of fact way, like he was talking about the weather. Then he sighed. “Love is a fickle and cruel mistress. Confusing as hell too.”
Jeremiah grunted, and when he shifted I became aware of his proximity. As much as I wanted desperately to touch him, there might as well have been a wall between us. He was less than five feet away from me, but neither one of us would take that first step. Finally, Jeremiah spoke. “When I heard they’d found one of my drivers tied up in the bunkhouse, I knew something had happened. When I was told you weren’t in the house, then Jared was found unconscious, I couldn’t…”
Jeremiah cut himself off, and I saw a myriad of emotions race across his face. The stoic mask was gone, and he seemed to struggle with his next words. “By the time we started tracking the car, it had already stopped moving, and when we got there everyone inside was gone. You were gone.”
“So what did you do?” I whispered, scarcely able to breathe.
He stared down at me, green eyes bright in the dim light. “Moved heaven and earth.”
Stay tuned for more next week!!
USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Sara Fawkes recently sat down with the enigmatic Jeremiah Hamilton, CEO of Hamilton Industries and heir to one of the most powerful New England families. Before all the recent hints of scandal and wrongdoing, Ms. Fawkes was granted the rare opportunity of an interview with the billionaire at his family estate in the Hamptons.
How does a romance writer manage to get an interview with THE most eligible bachelor in New York City? Well, your guess is as good as mine, because when I was told by my publisher that I’d been assigned to speak with Jeremiah Hamilton, CEO of Hamilton Industries, I fell out of my chair.
To not know the Hamilton name and be a NYC resident is akin to not recognizing Donald Trump or Paris Hilton. The billionaire family has made a name for itself in the recent decades, ever since patriarch Rufus Hamilton ruthlessly climb his way to the top of the financial and business ladder, paving away for his continuing legacy today. Readers from elsewhere, however, have a good reason to be unfamiliar with the name: the current Hamilton leader, estimated by Forbes magazine last year to be worth in the low double-digit billions, is notoriously private about his life. Interviews are as rare as a true tabloid scoop, which is why when this author was told to be in the Hamptons at a certain date and time, I had to make triple sure the assignment wasn’t a practical joke.
The limousine that showed up outside my house that morning certainly seemed real, however.
The first time you see Jeremiah Hamilton in person, the man can seem intimidating. A former Army Ranger, the man still exudes the control and stoicism you’d expect from a military man. Impeccably dressed in a business suit and tie that probably cost more than my monthly salary, he was still a gracious host. I was treated to a tour of his Hamptons estate, one of the oldest in the area, and was suitably impressed by everything I saw.
Including Jeremiah himself.
Ladies, for those of us who have swooned over the beautiful man in magazines and Internet pictures, I am here to tell you a secret: he’s even more stunning in person. Pictures do not do him justice; when he walks into a room, he commands attention. Realizing that this man remains single and unattached sounds like a fairy tale, especially once I began speaking with him. Rumors circulate about his private life, as they do for any celebrity or bachelor of his status, but those rumors are kept low and, except by the truly stupid, unpublished. He will ruthlessly tackle any publications that threaten to expose, hint or in any way reveal details of his private life. The practice has earned him a fair share of enemies, but also serves to add to the mystique.
We sat down inside his living room overlooking the water and boathouse behind the house. Three panels of glass were missing, a remnant of the home invasion events that had been lightly reported in the news only one day prior. Jeremiah declined to comment on the matter, but it was obvious that the household was still reeling. On several occasions he was forced to step away to take a call, for which his personal assistant apologized to me. But fortunately, I was able to ask the enigmatic CEO a few questions, and managed to get some real answers (although not nearly as many as I would have liked).
Jeremiah Hamilton: You’re welcome. I prefer punctuality, but also wish for my visitors to be comfortable.
SF: I was shocked when my editor told me you had agreed to this interview. Why me?
JH: My assistant is a fan of your work, and my publicist insisted I make an effort to be in the public eye. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and had my men approach your editor.
SF: Oh, the blonde woman I spoke with earlier? Lucy? I’ll have to send her a signed copy of my novel.
JH: She would appreciate that, thank you.
SF: Now on to business. You’re a tough nut to crack, an enigma to much of my reading audience. I’m certain that my readers would appreciate a little information about your private life?
JH: Next question.
SF: Tough crowd! Very well then, perhaps you can tell us anything new about when you transitioned into Hamilton Industries after the Army?
Ladies, getting this man to talk about ANYTHING was like trying to pull a tooth. I went through several questions, ranging on topics from personal to business, with nary a response besides “Next question, please.” Well, at least he said please right?
That is, of course, until his assistant came back into the room. I may be a purveyor of fiction perhaps, but I know how to read people. His eyes were riveted on the woman anytime she was in the room, obviously aware of her presence. His tongue also miraculously loosened when he was distracted by the young woman, so I backtracked a bit to my original question.
JH: When I joined the Army, I expected to make a career out of it. Military life suited me; I found the strict regime comforting. Unfortunately, my father had separate plans, and even from beyond the grave knew how to ruin my life.
Ooh, juicy! I wish I could play back my recording, ladies, you should have heard the bitterness in this statement! Unfortunately, right after that he seemed to come to his senses, and skipped the next three of my questions. Meanwhile, he kept his attention on the little assistant, who always came into the room, so I redirected my questions to her. After she gushed a bit about my book and proved excited by the prospect of a signed copy, I asked her what kind of boss Jeremiah was.
The blonde woman gave me a bright smile, then told me that the man with us had pulled her from a difficult life, and she couldn’t believe her luck that such a man had noticed her. She then went on to say talk about his charities and how he recently agreed to fund a medical center down in Borneo, and I quickly realized that the young woman wasn’t only a fan of myself! Jeremiah seemed content to let her speak, but I did notice the silent communication between them. I knew that unseen bond was real when she declined to answer one of my questions, and Jeremiah brushed his hand along her arm.
My goodness, you should have seen the poor girl blush! Her infatuation with the man before me was plain to see for all the world, and totally understandable. Jeremiah had been known, on several occasions in prior years, to use his assistants as pseudo “dates” to private functions, although he staunchly denied any personal connection to these ladies. But, my goodness, the look he gave her. Subtle though it was, I was melting into a puddle.
Once the young woman had left the room again, the stone wall was back up.
SF: You don’t seem interested in answering any of my questions, Mr. Hamilton. Let me make a wild guess: your public relations person threatened you on pain of death to do this interview “or else.”
JH: (this question managed to spark some humor, although I wouldn’t quite call the look he gave me a smile) Nobody threatens me, Ms. Fawkes. However, both he and my assistant made compelling arguments for your selection. I thank you for your time, the car outside will take you anywhere you need to go.
And just like that, the interview was over! Jeremiah, still the gracious host, accompanied me to the limousine. Whew ladies, you don’t quite understand the power of this man until you’re standing next to him. Not only is he tall, but he seems to radiate power. Shaking his hand was even interesting; these were no businessman’s hands, but the calloused hands of a working man. The kind you dream about touching, caressing your skin…
Oh ladies, I’m fanning myself here at the memory alone!
I turned and give the mansion a quick look back as the car drove us down the driveway. Watching the house disappear was like watching a cloud cover the sun. For a brief moment, I’d been in the presence of a great man, and while it ached to leave I knew the memory would stay with me. How I envied his little assistant her position in that household – perhaps it was time for me to look for some temp work!
Amidst rumors of the billionaire CEO skipping the country, officials have revealed that Mr. Hamilton is under investigation, although few details are known at this point. Sources indicate that it has something to do with the alleged home invasion, which may have been something much more sinister. Also circulating is the news of a corporate shake-up at Hamilton Industries, where Celeste Taylor announced her resignation as COO of the corporation. Stock in the business, which you my lovely readers may not care to read about, has also plummeted after the vague investigation announcement.
Media outlets too, emboldened by his sudden disappearance, have begun releasing very interesting tidbits about his life that had previously been kept hidden. Family ties to an arms dealer, hints of a broken home, and a tie to two recent murders! Goodness, you would think this was pulled straight from one of my own novels!
… Come to think of it, Jeremiah WOULD make a lovely hero. If you go for the tall, dark and broody type. ~waves hand furiously~
So what do you think? How “personal” do you think that assistant was? Fill me in on all the juicy gossip you may have heard, or sound off in the comments section on the hotness of the man! Meanwhile, I’m going to go Google some more pictures and drool for a while. Toodles ladies!
Everything this guys says is SO TRUE about making any kind of art, including writing.