SB: Thanks for having me! (I can't believe she let me come back, ya'll! The cleaning bill after my last visit must have been horrendous.) My goal this year is to have two novel-length books published. I really thought until November of '10 that I had one done already, but Run To You scored a December release date and put me back at the starting line. Not that I'm complaining, of course. ;c)
NG: What are you reading right now?
SB: Oh, gosh, I'm between reads at the moment and my TBR list is obscene. I'm going to pick up Elaina Lee's Written In Blood next because I'm spotlighting it on my blog, but duty doesn't quell my excitement. It promises to be a fantastic read!
NG: What draws you to romantic suspense novels?
SB: When you add an element of danger to romance, it's just yummy on a whole other level. It's like a perfect storm of emotion: the stakes are high, danger adds passion, and the characters are often at odds with their feelings because circumstances are rarely those you'd associate with falling in love. As a reader, the tension – sexual or otherwise – keep me up all night turning pages. As a writer, creating that kind of story is the ultimate rush.
NG: How has your writing process changed since the first book?
SB: My process hasn't changed, but my voice has. When I wrote the first book, I felt like I had to follow a set of unseen rules. I think I was a bit more regimented, whereas I cut loose with Run To You and really had fun with it. My characters have stronger personalities, and the writing followed suit. It's just BETTER.
NG: What are you working on for the 2011?
SB: I'm got two started. One was to be a romance with suspenseful elements, but I've decided to go ahead and cross the bridge into suspense with it. Meanwhile, I'm loving my romantic suspense Unforgiven. I'm holding a contest through the end of January to name the town my characters will spend some time in, and there were 175 (!!) entries. When I get frustrated with my wordage, I remember that, and I push on.
NG: 175 entries! That's incredible, Sarah and a great incentive to finish the book. Let's talk about your latest release. What's Run To You about?
SB: Who doesn't dream of that great beach escape? A good friend, a hot fling, and life for Mattie James is most excellent … or not. One oceanfront murder becomes two, and with the tide flooding the crime scene twice a day, the only thing sheriff-turned-hot-fling Wyatt Reed has to go on is his gut. And his gut tells him Mattie is the target of a killer, but with a few secrets of his own, he's in no position to trust anyone … not even himself.
NG: What inspired you to pen this sexy tale?
SB: A romantic walk on the beach with my hubby gone awry. I'm a wimp. I'm afraid of a dark beach on a moonless night, especially on the edge of a storm. The waves were churning and tossing foam into the air, the wind whipped and tore through our clothes, and to make matters worse it was just a couple of weeks before Halloween so my mind was quick to jump to gruesome thoughts. He, of course, found my blinding fear hilarious. Naturally, my thoughts turned to murder.
NG: Naturally. lol. Describe the heroine and hero in three words.
SB: Mattie is spontaneous, carefree, and loyal. By contrast, Wyatt is gun shy (crap, that's two!) and … edible. (Yum.)
NG: Gotta love edible men. ;0) Give me three reasons readers will love Run To You.
SB: Not just one, but two hot guys. A stormy beach. And, at the end, the twisted truth.
NG: Delish! Sarah, thank you so much for stopping by Simply Sexy Stories!
Blurb: Mattie James can't pinpoint exactly when she lost control of her life, but the moment she decided to take it back made the front page of the local paper. Desperate to dodge the fallout— and the tabloids—she jumps at the chance to spend an off-season week in a tiny resort community by the sea. Making the trip with her ex-lover is a complication she can live with; coming face to face with a dead woman is not.
The last thing Sheriff Wyatt Reed expected to find on the storm-ravaged beach was a beautiful blonde with a jealous sidekick, but one look at Mattie left him wanting more. Their first date takes an ominous turn when he gets the call that a woman was found murdered. With a killer on the loose and a troubling lack of suspects or motive, Wyatt has to put his feelings aside to focus on the case. But his vow not to become personally involved is shattered when he discovers Mattie's life is on the line, and this time the truth leaves her with a deadly choice . . . and nowhere to run.
Caution! Steamy Excerpt Below:
He lowered her to the bed, and she ached for his touch, longed for him to unleash the most reckless of her desires, but all she got was the light play of his fingers against her bare skin. The phantom graze of his roughened hand against the tight peaks of her breasts left her dizzy, moaning his name, futilely pressing her need against the rough denim of his jeans where their bodies met. Then his mouth followed his fingers, hot and wet, and an explosion of sensation shot through her, taking the last of her control in a firestorm of beautiful, utter surrender.
Somewhere in the background, the ocean whispered threats, but they were lost to another sort of peril—that of being taken, whisked away, left in a wilderness of untamed emotion brought on by the way he breathed need into her with every amazing kiss. And Mattie went willingly, careening through the space that belonged to them, through darkness and light and the unexplored depths of feelings she hadn’t known she had the capacity for.
While she drifted, he stood, and there was just enough light for her to know his eyes never left her as he freed himself of his jeans. Only a madman could look at her so calmly, so unaffected, while she lay trembling, caught between anticipation and recovery, swimming in the troubled waters of giving and taking and letting go.
But then he sank against her, pushed into her, and what must have been the last of his restraints fell when she rocked her hips to meet him. He froze.
"Damn you," he muttered, pressing hot kisses along the path of his words, from the spot where his breath grazed her neck to the sensitive hollow of her ear. "I’m not going to last a second with you doing that."
"Then don’t," she whispered.
He dropped his head, laughing, and took her aching breast in his mouth to coil his tongue around the peak.
Mattie shook with his intensity. She lifted to him, higher, tighter, so every nerve ending begged for him. And with agonizing leisure, he obliged, burying himself inside, stretching and filling her so his retreat left her desperate for his mercy.
He didn’t give it.
She offered her body willingly, but she hadn’t been prepared for him to take her soul along with it. She fought the sensation of drowning in the man, of the sweet torture of losing herself in a kind of physical love she’d never known. But his hands caressed in all the right places—strong at her hip when he pushed deep inside her, gentle when he touched her cheek and cradled her face.
Even though he lingered, teasing, moving so slowly inside her she struggled to believe it was real, the pleasure shot through her, building at a speed that far exceeded the cadence of their bodies. Nothing so incredible had ever existed, not ever.
"Wyatt." A shaky whisper, an urgency. A man threatening to take her hostage with a trace of kisses down her neck and the utter possession of her body.
His eyes met hers, and she lived her entire life in that moment. Vaguely aware she’d blown the concept of a fling all to hell, she wrapped herself around him and held on while he took them both over the edge, careening, to a place she couldn’t have dreamed existed—a place of belonging, one she had no business finding in his arms.
Mattie didn’t bother with second thoughts, or even thirds, if there was such a thing. But lying there in the aftermath, drifting, reeling, she stared at the deep cuts that ran the length of his forearms as he traced the line of her hip with a fingertip, and her instincts of self-preservation kicked in.
"What have you done to me, Wyatt Reed?" The words were barely a whisper above the noise of the storm.
He didn’t respond—he probably hadn’t heard her—but the answer lingered in the air between them anyway, hot and heavy, full of a promise she couldn’t make. Something she’d ignore until the day she walked out of his life, and, she decided, to hell with the consequences until then.
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