Monday, September 10, 2007

ALL IN Excerpt & Contest

Three days and counting until the release of my Ellora's Cave novella, ALL IN ! To celebrate, I'm holding a contest this week.

In the story, when Mariah and Tucker are shopping in a Venetian glass store in Las Vegas, she admires a millefiori necklace. Millefiori means "a thousand flowers" in Italian.

According to

To create a [millefiori] pendant, a glass rod is covered with layers of different colored glass to create an intricate design and heated in the furnace so the layers fuse together. The rod is then re-heated and pulled to become very thin but still maintain the perfect cross section of the original design. Once the rod cools off, it is cut into small discs.

These tiny sections of various canes or "millefiori" are cut and patiently and artistically placed into metal rings of different shapes and sizes. These pieces are then reheated again to slightly fuse the canes together to form the pendant. The rough pendant is then ground and polished to make it look like a magnificent glass mosaic.

This is the necklace you can win. The chain is sterling silver and the pendant is glass, of course. To enter the contest, read the excerpt (adult content) below and answer the two questions that follow it. I'll announce the winner of the contest on Sunday, Sept. 16 here on the blog.

Mariah knew Tucker was going to kiss her, wanted him to kiss her, and when he did, she responded as if she’d been in hibernation. Part of her thought, you’re being a sleaze, but most of her didn’t care. The Wish Fairy had come through and Mariah wasn’t going to squander this once-in-a-lifetime chance to fulfill a fantasy she’d been fostering for six long years. Hell no. She slid her arms around his hard body and kissed him back.

His mouth moved over hers and he made a low sound of enjoyment that seemed to reverberate inside her. As he threaded his fingers through her hair, cradling her head, she moaned too. Sensations swept through her. Tucker was here in the flesh, pushing his tongue into her mouth, crowding her against the wall. She wasn’t imagining the spicy smell of his cologne or his strong arms—

Ping .

They both stepped hurriedly apart as the elevator doors opened and a family of four entered. Mariah touched her lips as if she could brush away the evidence, but the parents and kids paid no attention to them. The doors closed again. Tucker coughed and looked at her questioningly, his finger pointing first to the lit lobby button and then to the one reading thirty-five. Mariah bit her lip. The moment of truth.

Digging up her nerve, she pushed the button for his floor and earned herself a slow smile that sent shivers of anticipation through her body. He sidled up next to her as the elevator descended, and when it spilled the family out into the noisy lobby, more people got on. He draped an arm around her shoulders and traced his finger back and forth across her collarbone. It was an excruciating exercise in patience to wait as people got on and off the elevator. She had to work hard to keep her breathing even.

At last they arrived at his floor. He took her hand and led her into another private hallway. As he inserted his card key into the slot, Mariah gasped.

What’s wrong?” he asked, alarmed.

“What time is it?”

He glanced at his watch. “It’s almost nine. Why?” he asked, a slight frown wrinkling his forehead. “Do you have another appointment you forgot about? Do you turn into a pumpkin?”

She laughed. Little did he know.

“Yes. Three hours from now I’ll be fleeing your room with one naked foot.”

He chuckled, but that frown remained as he paused. The light on the door lock turned from green to red again.

“You know,” he said, looking pensive, “if you’ve changed your mind and you want to grab that bite after all, that’s okay. I swear I don’t know what came over me in the elevator. I don’t usually come on so strong.”

It’s the wish in action, Mariah thought. The wish that expires at nine p.m. two days from now.

“Oh no,” she assured him. “I haven’t changed my mind.”

Tucker relaxed and with a smile and half-closed eyes, he cupped a hand around the back of her neck and claimed her mouth again. Heat flared as if they hadn’t been interrupted at all. When his tongue sought entrance, sliding along her lips, she parted them eagerly. Pleasure flowed through her veins like chocolate lava and her body throbbed, aching to be filled with Tucker’s hard cock.

Murmuring softly to her, he kissed her again and again, dipping his tongue each time to taste her more and more deeply. The hand on her waist slid up until his thumb brushed the side of her breast. Oh God. Mariah involuntarily tightened her arms around him as lust surged between her legs. They stood locked together a while longer until Tucker finally broke away, breathing rapidly and with a slight smile slanting his lips.

He pushed his key into the lock and opened the door. Then, taking her hand, he led her inside.

Questions: If a Universal Wish Fairy came to grant you a wish, what would you wish for? And have you ever had a similar experience in an elevator? Post your answers in the comment section and you'll be entered to win the millefiori necklace!

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Blogger Kissa Starling said...

If a Universal Wish Fairy came to me I would have to wish for everyone in my family to be healthy. (I thought about money but this is longer lasting! : )

I've never had an experience like that in an elevator- mostly because I live out in the country and don't go in elevators much. I'm thinking my husband and I should have date night in the city now!!!
Kissa Starling

3:47 AM  
Anonymous gabriella hewitt said...

If I were truly presented with the choice, like Kissa, I'd wish for health and happiness for family. But if I let my imagination take flight, I would love to know what it's like to shapeshift. Imagine the ability to change into any creature you wanted from a bird soaring across the sky to a dolphin leaping over waves. You can tell I'm in my paranormal reading phase. LOL!

And yes, I did have such an experience in an elevator. Pre kids. Pre marriage. Pre never-ending loads of laundry. ;-)

And congrats on the book coming out!

5:52 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Lewis said...

I'd have to wish for an end to suffering in the universe, but then I'm the kind of person who always wants too much ::sigh::

I'm racking my brain on the elevator romance. DH and I lived in an elevator building in Manhattan when we were first married so there must have been some smooching, but elevators in NYC usually have security cameras in, which puts a damper on getting hot and heavy!!!

Interesting how they make the millefiori. I'd been wondering about that and I had no idea it was so elaborate. Sure would look nice with the pink shirt with narrow orange and red stripes that I'm wearing today....


7:59 AM  
Blogger Leila Brown said...

If a Universal Wish Fairy came to me I would have to wish for more happy and healthy children. Thinking about adopting next year :)

I've never had an experience like that in an elevator. I start thinking about all the *things* other people may have done in the elevator and can't touch the walls. But ask me about places not so closed in...bridge in a park at night...darkened movie theater.... :D

Leila Brown

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Pat said...

Hi Kate,

I guess in the long term, I ask for health. But if the Universal Wish Fairy is only for romance, I ask to for a chance to relive a few certain romantic moments again. They were great the first time but as a romance writer, I know I could make them even better the second time around.

No elevator. Does the staircase landing on the way to the Nacy office count in place of the elevator?

10:19 PM  
Blogger Kate Willoughby said...

Kissa, that's a great wish. I hadn't thought about my family's health. What a great relief that would be. Too bad you couldn't rule out accidents, because then you could cancel medical insurance!

Gabriella, shapeshifting would be a cool ability. But if it hurt, I think I might pass. ;)

Leila, don't you love being a mom? My kids are 12 and 13 and I love them, but man, the teenage stage is certainly a trial.

Pat, in my book the wish fairy only grants romance/sex wishes, but I didn't specify that in the question. Are you talking about just reliving the moments as they happened, or re-DOING them? What if that changed your life in a major way?
Jennifer, I think no bad things in the universe would be a mixed blessing. How would we know we were happy if we were never unhappy? Yikes, I'm going philosophical and I never took philosopy in college! LOL

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Pat said...

I fgured they were wishes. Can I have re-doing the same moments while I live them over again, Kate? They were fun the first time around but I'm not that innocent young girl any more and I could have some real fun living them again. And they wouldn't change my life too much since I married the sexy hunk!


2:12 PM  
Blogger Kissa Starling said...

Sexy wishes- ahhhh, I should have known. Okay, I want the ultimate dungeon back in medeival times. I won't bore you with the rest! : )

6:32 PM  
Anonymous gabriella hewitt said...

Hey, Kate and for any other authors who read this. Head on over to The New Covey Award blog and submit the cover of your book. For non-writers, ie readers, take a look as well, because it's your votes at the end of the month that will determine which cover and cover artist win.

Sorry to be off topic Kate, but you have a book coming out that I thought you might like to submit the cover to. :-)

9:39 PM  
Blogger JC Genzie said...

If I were to use it for selfish reasons, I'd wish that I could have the ability to enter the worlds of the books I love for a period of time. That was I could really meet all my favorite characters, or stand in a heroine's shoes and get ravished. I could shapeshift and travel the world; the galaxy. I think it would be a lot of fun.

1:29 AM  

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