Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Please help me welcome fellow author Mary Eason to my blog!
Book Title: In The Arms Of A Stranger
Release Date: September 24, 2010
Authors: Mary Eason
Author websites: www.maryeason.com
Publisher: New Concepts Publishing
Buy Link: http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/maryeasonbooks.html#INTHEARMSOFASTRANGER
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Blurb: Everything Kate Bradshaw believed to be real about her marriage to her husband Alex slowly slipped away from her as the newspaper reports explained the sordid truth in black and white. Their marriage and Alex's seduction had been nothing more than a lie, a means of accomplishing one thing--Alex's revenge against the man he believed responsible for killing his one true love--Kate's own father.
Welcome Mary Eason, I hear you have a new book coming out soon?
Yes, in fact, In The Arms Of A Stranger is out now at New Concepts Publishing. It released, September 24th.
Tell me about the heart of your story, "In The Arms Of A Stranger".
In The Arms Of A Stranger is about two people who have been hurt in the past and are afraid to trust in love again. Kate Alexander fell in love with the wrong man when she was in college and since then, she's been on a self-imposed exile from men. Meeting Alex Bradshaw for the first time, Kate believes Alex is too good to be true. By the time, Alex asks her to marry him she's crazy in love and completely unaware of the secrets her husband possesses.
Alex Bradshaw is a man set on revenge. Kate Alexander is the woman who can help him accomplish this plan. But, what Alex hadn't planned on was falling in love with Kate. Now, Alex has to convince Kate that his feelings for her are real and not just part of his plan for revenge before he loses Kate forever.
What is your darkest moment in the novel without giving too much away?
The darkest moment occurs when Kate finally realizes she's been wrong about Alex all along. She's afraid that realization may have come too late and that Alex might have finally given up on making their marriage work.
Why do you write and when did you start?
I started writing as a pre-teen. It was a little after I first started reading romance novels. I loved everything about them. Soon, I wrote my first romance novel, filled with the usual clichés, but I was hooked from that moment on.
What is your process when you write a novel?
I usually start with an idea. It might come to me from something I've seen on TV, read about, or even in a dream, (as crazy as that sounds, I've created lots of stories from dreams). With the premise in mind, I take a few days to let the story develop in my head before putting it down on paper. It never fails, the end result, is nothing like what I believed it would be when I started the story.
What do you want your readers to pull away from your story?
I want my readers to be emotionally satisfied when they read those final words of my story. I believe a romance novel should be like a rollercoaster ride. Crazy, exciting, a thrill ride of emotion. And when it's over, it should leave you with a smile.
Is there someone in your immediate family or a friend that reads your material as you write? A sounding board?
Nope, I'm kinda a lone wolf when it comes to writing. I prefer to work alone.
What is a really romantic evening for you? Sitting outside watching the stars at night with my hubby. And when its cold out, snuggled together in a blanket with a sky full of stars.
If there were one word to describe you, what would it be? Sentimental. I'm a very sentimental person. I find, as I get older, that increases.
Tell us about your next project.
I love romantic suspense stories. Both reading and writing them. I'm about halfway through my next romantic suspense novel that is about a woman who is given the heart of a former spy and with that heart, comes the spy's memories of her murder and of the man she loves.
Thank you for stopping by we hope to see you again and wish you great success! Anything else you want to tell your readers today?
Only that readers can check out my latest work as well as learn about my latest contest on my website. I'm giving away an e-book copy of In The Arms Of A Stranger there this month. So, stop by and check it out: www.maryeason.com
Thanks so much for letting me drop in this week.
Excerpt from In The Arms Of A Stranger:
Kate was feeling more than a little tipsy, but not enough to face the empty bedroom alone. She finished off the third pitcher. It was such a beautiful night. Kate added more wood to the fire and made another batch of drinks.
To hell with Alex Bradshaw and his stupid plans for revenge. Maybe she’d do a little revenge of her own. Find someone close to him and then sleep with him, making sure Alex found out of course.
Kate lay back against the cushion of the double lounger and smiled to herself. The more she thought about it, the better she liked her plan. One of his coworkers or a close friend would do nicely. Maybe she’d arrange it so Alex caught them in the act. That would certainly teach him a thing or two.
She closed her eyes and settled into the fantasy. But it wasn’t some nameless stranger who appeared before her. Alex filled her with a need for fulfillment she hadn’t known existed before him.
Kate imagined his lips against her skin and moaned softly. Her hand drifted to her breast, stroking it before moving lower, down to the juncture of her legs. God, she wanted him. How could she still want to be with someone who hurt her so badly?
Her free hand moved to the buttons on her shirt. What did it hurt, here in the darkness, to admit the truth? She loved him; she wanted him. She would never let him hurt her again.
The buttons slipped free, first one, then two, then all of them. She hadn’t bothered with a bra. It was just her and Ronnie. The coolness of the night touched her bare skin. Kate shivered and caressed her nipple the way Alex did, feeling it harden beneath her touch. Her breath caught in a sigh as her fingers rubbed the spot he’d once stroked to make her his slave. It didn’t take long before she was writhing in pleasure, remembering the way it felt to have his body joined with hers. Kate cried out in pleasure before collapsing against the cushions once more, weak and unfulfilled.
She was crying. She’d cried each time they made love. Kate drifted off to sleep, exhausted from the physical release and the alcohol, wanting only to forget she’d ever let him touch her at all.
A tiny little whimper escaped as his lips caressed the rosy peak of her breast. She was dreaming. She must be. Alex was thousands of miles away in Texas. And yet he felt so real.
The minute his lips touched hers Kate knew this was no dream. He was real and he was here in Colorado touching her? She opened her eyes and met the raw desire in his. How long had he watched her before? Kate tried to push him away, but he didn’t move. His lips moving across hers, his fingers stroked her breast where his lips once caressed. Her traitorous body responded to him with abandon.
She stopped resisting for the moment. His hold loosened at her surrender. Alex’s hands slipped over her body slowly, touching all of her, reaching past her anger and hurt. Kate trembled all over in response.
“I liked watching you touch yourself. You are incredibly sexy to watch. Even more sexy to touch.” Her breath caught at those words.
“No.” Kate was mortified he’d seen her weakness.
Shh,” he whispered into her mouth, leaning closer so their bodies touched. The friction of his sweater against her bare flesh was thrilling. She shuddered and moved closer.
“No Alex, no. You shouldn’t be here. Go away.” Her words died against his lips. He smiled at her surrender.
Alex stopped kissing her for the moment and watched her struggle with disappointment.
“I came for you, Kate. You won’t talk to me over the phone. I didn’t have any other choice. You won’t listen to me.”
“No.” She tried to push him away, but he didn’t let her go. He continued caressing her, until she moaned again and arched closer to his touch.
“Kate, we need to talk. Surely, you see that. Things can’t go on like this.” His words were like a cold rush of air against her heated skin.
“Things aren’t going on like this at all. I told you, it’s over. I don’t trust you anymore. I’m getting the marriage annulled,” she whispered and then gasped as his hands tightened around her and he hauled her up into his arms and carried her to her bed.
“You’ll never get this marriage annulled,” Alex told her before he lowered her slowly back against the bed, his lips meeting hers, matching the need growing inside of her. Since she’d left him in Austin without any hope.
“Then I’ll get a divorce. Face it, Alex, this marriage is over.” Her body was already responding to his familiar touch. With each stroke, his hands and his lips showered her with love.
“There won’t be any divorce either,” he said against her lips as his hands continued to work magic.
“Deny you want this as much as I do?” he challenged. She couldn’t. She stopped trying.
“Please, Alex. Please, I can’t wait,” she said, begging him to enter her. But he took his time. He let her body relax while bringing her closer. Alex gripped her chin and forced her to look at him.
“Kate, I know you love me, and I know you’re hurting,” he began, but she didn’t want to hear what was coming next. She could never trust anything Alex told her again.
“You don’t know anything. You certainly don’t know how I feel. You don’t know anything about me, and clearly, I don’t know anything about you either.”
“Yes, you do. You know I love you. You know I’d never hurt you.”
Kate started to laugh, but her laughter quickly died away into a soft little moan when Alex shifted her body further beneath his. His rolled over on his side, his hand sliding slowly down her body to her thigh and then up to stroke the soft curls. He cupped her, his fingers teasing her until she whimpered softly against his lips. He slipped one finger, followed by another inside her body, exploring her innermost warmth, caressing until Kate’s body exploded from his skillful touch.
He smiled into her eyes, wide with surprise and pleasure. “This seems to be the only way I can get you to listen to me. Not that I’m complaining—I love touching you like this.”
His words both thrilled and filled her with shame at the same time. Why couldn’t she resist him? This was just a game to him. He wanted to have sex with her. It hadn’t been anything more than a physical attraction for him. She loved him. He’d lied to her.
His fingers continued to stroke her. “I admit I went to the bookstore that night to follow through with my plans of hurting your father, Kate. But after I met you, after I got to know you—after we made love—I knew it was over. I couldn’t do it.” Kate tried to look away, but his eyes held hers. “Do you believe me?”
“No! You’re lying, Alex, no...” Kate’s voice died into a whimper as Alex’s lips moved across hers before trailing kisses down her throat to her breasts. Bringing each nipple to arousal. She sucked in a ragged breath, bringing his eyes back to hers. Alex was smiling. He’d seen her expression before, a hundred times no doubt.
Stop him before it’s too late. Before you lose yourself to him forever.
But she didn’t want to stop Alex or herself. Alex’s gaze came back to hers once more. There were questions in them. Kate couldn’t answer them. She closed her eyes and let him remove the last of her clothes. His touch held remnants of his anger. He was still angry, but he wanted her more.
Alex undressed and took her back into his arms. He moved between her legs and thrust inside of her. Kate cried out his name with each stroke. He plunged deeper, harder, faster. Tension mingled with the pleasure forming within her. She tried to hold onto it a moment longer, but it shattered and then spiraled out of control.
Alex captured her cries against his mouth. His body grew tense as he continued to fill her. Her name coming from his lips sounded like a hoarse cry. Alex continued to drive deep into her, his body crashing against hers for a moment longer until his own powerful release sent her body convulsing out of control along with his.
His body collapsed against hers, their breathing coming in ragged gasps, filling the silent room. Reluctantly, Alex untangled himself from her and rolled over on his side, gathering her close.
* * * *
What was wrong with him? He’d come here tonight to talk to her—not make love.
He needed to make her listen instead; seeing her pleasure had been his undoing. He wanted her too much not to take her.
“Are you okay?” Alex forced the words out. Kate heaved a shuddering sigh and tried to push him away. He had no intention of letting her go. His body responded against hers.
This was so wrong. He knew in every part of his being, he was going to regret touching Kate like this for the rest of his life.
But that didn’t ease the need. His body swelled inside of hers once more, quickly filling her. She whimpered softly, pulling his mouth down to hers. Kate might not have expected the outcome of tonight, but she was certainly ready for him. He killed what was left of his conscience the second her lips met his.
She was warm and sexy—eager for him. He began to move inside of her once more. He wanted this to last all night, or at least until she came to her senses. She responded immediately. Her body rose to meet his, thrust for thrust. Her legs slipped around his waist more. Their bodies fit together perfectly.
“God, you feel good,” he whispered into her open mouth and felt her inner muscles tighten around him in reaction.
“Alex, this isn’t what I want. Please, this is wrong,” she told him even while her tongue stroked along his. He drove into her harder, moving in perfect rhythm to the thrusts of her tongue.
“Stop lying to yourself. You want this just as much as I do.” He wanted to be closer. Her body was all but meshed with his as it was, but it wasn’t enough. His arms circled her shoulders, drawing her against his body.
Her fingers stroked down his back and lower. Alex shuddered as her gentle stroking drove him closer to losing control.
“Don’t...Kate, no.” Her lips left his, their eyes met, locked. The tiny space separating them filled with tension. He continued thrusting against her, but his eyes never released hers. He watched her climax through the windows to her soul.
He too was close; he couldn’t hold back any longer. He drove into her once, twice then threw back his head and slipped over the edge along with Kate.
Second Excerpt From In The Arms Of A Stranger:
She took Earl for a long walk around the neighborhood, hoping to relax. She was too wound up. Kate had just unlocked her apartment door when Alex stepped up behind her.
“You went through with it? You filed for divorce!” he demanded, reaching for her arm. Earl recognized him immediately and began yelping with excitement, even though he and Alex only met twice.
“Alex, you shouldn’t be here.” Kate opened the door and pushed Earl inside.
“Kate, I’m not giving you a divorce. I don’t want this. You don’t want this—I know you don’t.” She tried to ignore him and simply walk past and close the door, but Alex blocked her efforts.
“Kate, let’s at least talk about this first. Don’t just write our marriage off without giving me a chance to make things right between us.”
“There’s nothing to talk about, Alex. We both know why you married me. I just can’t believe I was foolish enough to fall for your lies. There is no marriage. There’s only a huge series of mistakes.”
“You don’t believe that. Why won’t you let me talk to you?”
“Alex, please.” Kate stopped when new tears threatened to take away her voice. God, all she did anymore was cry. “Please just let me go. Please—just go.”
But he didn’t. Alex spotted the tears and guided her inside the apartment, closing the door. “I can’t let you go, Kate. I won’t. Not without a fight.”
They stood facing each other in the semi-darkness. He looked so good. Kate’s resistance crumbled.
Alex moved slowly towards her, forcing her to back away until she reached the wall of her tiny living room. He stood in front of her, quietly watching her closely and reading every-thing in her tears.
“You don’t want this anymore than I do, baby,” he told her softly. “Why fight it. Stop fighting me and let’s work together to save your marriage.”
“No.” her voice shook with emotion. “I can’t trust you, Alex.”
“Yes, you can,”
“Don’t,” she said desperately, as his finger stroked away her tears. “Don’t do that.”
“Kate, you love me. You can’t deny that.”
She took a deep breath and tried to steady her voice. “Maybe, but it doesn’t matter.” She jerked away from his touch. “Don’t you see, Alex? It doesn’t matter why you married me. You still lied.”
“I didn’t lie about how I feel about you, baby.”
Kate tried to push him away, but he simply gathered her close and held her while she cried. He felt so good. So strong. She let him hold her close for a moment. She wasn’t ready to let him go just yet. But soon, his hands grew restless, roaming over her body, his lips brushing across her temple. She pushed at his chest, but he didn’t release her. Alex gripped her chin and forced her to look at him.
There, for a moment, before his lips took hers once more she saw so much uncertainty in his eyes it took her breath away. Alex uncertain? She’d never imagined him feeling vulnerable.
“Please stop fighting me, Kate. I know you don’t want this to end. Neither do I. Whatever needs fixing between us, we can work it out. Stop fighting me.”
The second his lips touched hers, it was over. Kate knew she wasn’t going to fight it or him tonight.
Alex’s mouth met hers again, this time unhurried. His lips brushed tantalizingly across hers, awakening responses in her that surprised them both. She lifted her hands to touch his chest, before letting one of them slide slowly down. Alex grabbed her wrist and brought it lower allowing her to feel his reaction. His eyes never left hers.
“This is how you make me feel,” he whispered softly, before taking her hand in his once more. Alex took their joined hands and slipped under the hem of her dress pushing it up until their fingers touched her panties. When she tried to jerk her hand away, he held her fingers tight and moved beneath the edge of her panties, pulling them down to her thigh. Their fingers moved over her body, parting her legs. Kate’s breath came in a rush as he stroked across her moist inner lips, parting them before their fingers joined together moved inside of her. She closed her eyes. She couldn’t look at him and let him see how excited she was. Not that it mattered. He’d felt her reaction.
“No,” she whispered against his lips.
“Yes.” Alex released her hand—and she jerked it free, but his continued to explore the intimate parts of her. When another finger slipped inside, Kate couldn’t hold on any longer. Her body tensed around his searching fingers. She shuddered and climaxed against his touch. Weak with reaction, she leaned against Alex for strength.
“You feel so good,” he whispered into her mouth
His fingers caressed her breast through the course fabric of her dress creating a painfully exciting friction.
Alex unzipped the dress and let it fall from her body before kneeling in front of her. He leaned in close and spread her legs. One finger dipped inside again. He watched her reaction. She was close again. His lips rested against her warmth where his fingers once touched. His tongue stroked across her moistness before slipping inside. Her reaction was immediate. She came in a burst of passion. When she was still once more, he got to his feet and lifted her against his body, letting her feel how much he wanted her. And then he carried her slowly to the bedroom and set her down close to the bed.
Alex Bradshaw was the perfect lover. Skilled in all the ways to make her want him—beg him to take her. He was much too good for Kate’s resolve to last. His fingers slipped over her body clothed only in her bra, making her aware of how vulnerable she was at that moment.
Kate forgot everything but Alex. The moment she looked into his blue eyes, something deep inside of her splintered into a thousand tiny pieces. She would never feel this passionate about another.
They didn’t say a word. They simply watched each other in the semidarkness for a long time.
He urged her back against the bed, his hands and his eyes telling her all the things he wanted from her. Kate seemed incapable of resisting him.
She moved closer to his touch and watched his shocked reaction to that move. Her hands reached out to touch his face bringing him nearer.
Her need for Alex took on a will of its own now. There was no stopping it. She didn’t try. Her lips took control of his this time, slowly exploring him, brushing across his. At that moment, she wasn’t sure who was seducing whom, not that it mattered. They both knew where this was going.
Beneath her stroking fingers, he shuddered as a little more of his resolve crumbled.
He jerked her closer, his eyes never leaving hers. Alex was still very frustrated with her. It was all there in the words he whispered against her lips.
“I’ve never felt this way about another woman. And I’ve never wanted any woman the way I want you. I can’t get enough of you. I love you, Kate.”
Another lie. Theirs was a marriage based on a series of lies and physical fulfillments. On shifting sands. She couldn’t stop the tears now, any more than she could stop herself from wanting him. She didn’t move away. She didn’t want to. His hands continued to roam over her body, touching every part of her.
Alex pushed her back against the pillows, pulling the covers away from the bed. His eyes wandered slowly over her all the while her conscience screamed how sorry she was going to be if she went through with this.
As she watched, she saw Alex’s expression change. He believed she was going to fight him. He leaned over her, his hands on either side, the tip of his tongue tracing away her tears. Kate couldn’t control her trembling reaction to his touch. The fight went out of her just as quickly as it had come.
She wasn’t going to resist him—who was she kidding? She didn’t want to. She wasn’t fooling anyone especially not Alex Bradshaw.
His lips took possession of her body. He took his time, exploring every sensitive inch of her flesh, while she lay powerless in his arms, hating herself, and knowing only Alex could fulfill all of her fantasies.
Her body shook with each kiss. Each stroke. Alex smiled down at her, aware of everything she was feeling. His hands clasped her thighs gently, urging them apart. He moved between her legs, thrusting deep with a single movement. Kate couldn’t hold back her sob. It had him frozen in place looking down at her in wonder.
Somehow, she managed to let go of her tension. She lifted her hips to meet his movements. The need he created inside of her was nothing short of torment. When she opened her eyes, she knew he felt the same way.
Kate shut the door on her conscience, along with the little voice inside her head that assured her she was going to live to regret this night very soon. Beneath Alex’s skillful touch, the tension within her soon shifted to passion. As Kate gave into her body’s desire, she gave up the last hope of coming out of this moment untouched.
Reality came back slowly, bringing the world around them into sharp focus. Alex rolled away from her, his arms still wrapped around her. She lay exhausted on top of him, listening to the sound of his heart racing against her ear.
Mary Eason grew up in a small Texas town famous for, well not much of anything really. Being the baby of the family and quite a bit younger than her brothers and sister, Mary had plenty of time to entertain herself. Making up stories seem to come natural to her.
As a pre-teen, Mary discovered romance novels and knew instinctively that was what she wanted to do with her over-active imagination.
She wrote her first novel as a teen, (it’s tucked away somewhere never to see the light of day), but never really pursued her writing career seriously until a few years later, when she wrote her first romantic comedy and was hooked.
Today, Mary still lives in Texas, and still writes about romance. In fact, she can’t think of anything else she’d rather do.
You can read more of Mary’s work through the following publishers: New Concepts Publishing, Samhain Publishing, Champagne Books, The Wild Rose Press, Whiskey Creek Press, and White Rose Publishing. Or at her websites:
And be sure to send Mary an email and let her know what you think about her work. She loves hearing from fans.
Thanks for stopping by, Mary. Check out her stuff. You won't be disappointed.