Whether you're a big fan of Stacey Joy Netzel's books or you haven't read anything by her yet, you're in for a treat. Not only is she a beautiful writer who pens some of the most heartwarming, well-written romances on the market, she is a beautiful lady inside and out. I'm thrilled to bring Stacey here today. I know you'll love her and her writing as much as I do.
And here she is:
Happy Thursday, everyone! I’d like to thank Wendi for having me here today. (I’ll be at work most of the day but will be checking comments when I get home.)
I’ve blogged on this topic before, but because I love animals, I thought I’d briefly talk about animals in books. I love adding them for the comic relief some of them add, or to reveal a soft side to a tough character, be it male or female. My books have contained dogs, cats, horses…and then the not so common toads, raccoon, cougar and in my most recent book MORE THAN A KISS, ducks.
When a kiss...
All reporter Sadie Barton wants is to be taken seriously and judged on her own merits, not her stepfather’s money. She and her actress sister left Wisconsin to get out from under his controlling thumb and leave behind the malicious whispers that they’re no better than their gold-digging mother. But California isn’t all sun and fun, and paying the rent while trying to prove herself is harder than she ever imagined.
...is more than a kiss...
Something about Sadie drew self-made millionaire Zach Robinson—and it wasn’t just the amazing kiss they shared as impromptu actors in his company's commercial. He’s used to women being interested in his wealth, and Sadie’s fierce independence is an enticing breath of fresh air. He’s falling fast—until his brother suggests acting runs in her family and Sadie might not be exactly what she seems...
Zach stood back, shoulders hunched, hands shoved in his front pockets while she started the car. The engine sputtered to life, chugged a few times, backfired once, then died. Her next attempt turned the engine over a couple times, then all he heard was a series of clicks and muted quacks through the back window.
He rocked back on his heels, thinking maybe his wait wouldn’t be as long as he’d expected. Her final try completely killed what was left of the battery, and Zach stepped forward to rap his knuckle on the glass before opening her door once more.
“Your battery is shot.”
“Of course it is.”
Giving her no chance to wallow in the embarrassment staining her cheeks, he had the box of ducks in his arms by the time she exited the front seat. When he started toward his convertible instead of her apartment building, she stuttered to a stop.
“Where are you going?”
“We are going to the wildlife sanctuary.”
“I can’t ask you to do that.”
“You’re not—I’m offering. As long as you come with me.”
She moved closer to his vehicle as he deposited the ducks in the back. “Don’t you have a date tonight?”
“She turned me down. Twice.”
That only slowed her down for about three seconds. “No get together with friends or parties to go to?”
“Nope.” None that interested him as much as her, anyway.
She crossed her arms over her chest and eyed him with suspicion. “You seriously expect me to believe you’ve got nothing better to do on a Friday night than help me with ducks?”
He held open the Mustang’s passenger side door for her. “You’re not trying to imply I’m pathetic, are you?”
“No.” With a resigned sigh and the barest a hint of a smile, she slid into the convertible. “Can’t do that without implicating myself.”
“Good point.” Zach rounded the front of the car and vaulted behind the wheel with practiced ease. “So, where is this place?”
“The Wildlife Waystation. It’s an animal rescue off Little Tujunga Canyon Road in the Angeles National Forest.”
She pulled a sheet of paper from her purse and soon they were following the exact directions from the address he keyed into his phone.
“Are you a California native?” she asked after a few miles.
“Born and raised. How about you?”
“Gemma and I moved here from Wisconsin in February.”
“Ah, the other dairy state.”
“The best dairy state,” she corrected.
“According to the commercials, our cows are happier.”
“Commercials don’t exactly show things the way they really are.”
Zach recalled their visible chemistry on screen and slid her a glance. “And sometimes they do.”
She didn’t have an immediate comeback for that. In fact, she completely avoided looking in his direction, tucking her windblown curls behind her ears while focusing her attention on the purse in her lap. Out of nowhere, she asked, “What’s your favorite color?”
“Blue. Favorite ice cream?”
What was this...twenty questions? Okay, fine, he’d play. It was certainly better than silence.
Flipping on his blinker, he switched lanes and maneuvered around a mini-van and a big black Escalade. “Baskin Robins Gold Medal Ribbon. Y—”
“Favorite sports team?”
“Wait, hold on, what’s your favorite ice cream?”
“I ask the questions, not you.”
He looked over to see she’d pulled out a small notebook and a pen. Now the game made sense and he bit back a smile. She’d changed her mind.
“So we’re starting on the interview already?”
“Why wait until Monday when we can start now, right?”
“Right. Sure.” He returned to the former question to demonstrate his cooperation. “Which sport? Football? Baseball? Hockey? Basketball?”
“Might as well give me all of them. Never know what the readers will want.”
They certainly wouldn’t care about a rundown of his favorite things, but he didn’t tell little miss Julie Andrews that. Instead he added to the list. “49er’s, Dodgers, L.A. Kings, and the Lakers.”
“California all the way.”
“Born and raised, remember? Are you a sports fan?”
“I watch the Packers, and I’ve been to a few Brewers games, but I wouldn’t consider myself a fan in the fanatical sense.”
“No cheese head for you?”
“Uh-uh. Moving on...what’s your favorite movie?”
“Too many to pick just one.”
After a contemplative glance, she said, “Considering your business, I’ll let that slide. Do you read?”
“I’m not illiterate if that’s what you’re asking.”
“You know I’m not. What genre do you read?”
“I probably shouldn’t tell you this...”
She tapped her pencil expectantly when he didn’t finish the sentence.
“Okay, fine,” he said, pretending resignation. “After a long day at the office, I’ve been known to enjoy a good, steamy romance.”
“I’m talking about books, not your love life.”
“So am I.”
Zach spotted the sign for the wildlife sanctuary and switched lanes for the exit for Modjeska Canyon Road. Sadie watched him, not the road. Only there was no surprise in her expression, just skepticism.
“This is going to be over real quick if you’re just going to mess with me.”
“You’re more than welcome to come back to my place and check out my bookshelves,” he invited. Her gaze narrowed as he slowed to make the turn at the bottom of the ramp.
“I’ll take your word for it.”
“Hey, I’m just making sure you can see I’m being honest here. And to be completely accurate, you should also note that mysteries and thrillers are my true favorites.”
She scribbled in her notebook. There was a brief pause, then she asked, “Boxers or briefs?”
That question surprised a chuckle from him. “Now who’s messing with who?”
“It’s a legitimate question,” she replied with a hint of defensiveness.
“Bikini, thong or granny panties?” he countered.
“Questions from you are not part of this deal, remember?”
“I didn’t say anything when you asked about my favorite color, or what kind of ice cream I like, but trust me, Sadie, no one is going to care about my underwear.”
“Trust me, Zach, one look at your picture and there are plenty of women who will want to know. Especially once they also find out you’re single, rich, and you enjoy a good, steamy romance.”
His pulse gave a little leap. Had she just told him she thought he was good-looking? Things were definitely looking up. He decided to extend the fun a little bit, especially since she’d introduced such a promising subject. Plus, for some illogical reason, this word play didn’t make him nervous like when he’d asked her to dinner.
“Why? It’s just underwear.”
“Why do men like lingerie?” she shot back. “Or thongs for that matter? It’s just underwear.”
He snorted as he guided the convertible into a parking space. “That’s like saying the Superbowl is just another football game.”
“And women can’t look at men the same way?”
“Like we’re the Superbowl? Hmm, I like that idea.” He shut off the car and removed the keys from the ignition before shifting in his seat to face Sadie. “Any chance you might be one of those women who’s interested in what’s under my pants?”
Her cheeks flushed bright red as if she’d been out in the sun too long. “I just ask the questions.”
“Why this question?”
She shoved her things in her purse to open her car door, and Zach quickly pushed up in his seat as she got out. He swung his legs over his door while pocketing the keys. When Sadie leaned over the side for the box in the back seat without answering, Zach pulled it out of her reach. The ducks squawked, feet thumping against the cardboard as they struggled to keep their balance.
She lifted her chin stubbornly. “Answer my question and I’ll answer yours.”
Ducklings in hand, he joined her on the other side of the car and they walked toward the main building. “I don’t think so.”
“You said I could ask you anything,” she accused. “That you’d be an open book if I did the interview.”
“I didn’t expect you to ask about my...” He paused when a couple of kids ran past, then lowered his voice as they entered the building. “...underwear.”
Sadie nodded to an older lady down at the end of the hall, then leaned her elbow and forearm on the counter, hand dangling over the edge as she faced Zach.
“Tell me, Mr. Robinson, if you can’t answer a simple personal question now, what’s it going to be like when I’m at your office asking the tough questions?”
Thank you for reading!! I’m giving away a copy of the book today and all you have to do is tell me: What’s been your favorite animal to have appeared in a book?
If you don’t win today, but would still like a copy of the book, you can get it at any of these places:
More Than A Kiss
Smashwords, All Romance eBooks
Stacey Joy Netzel
Blog and Website: www.StaceyJoyNetzel.com
Rugged Heroes ~ Resilient Heroines ~ Heartwarming Romance
Stacey Joy Netzel fell in love with books at a young age, so for her the graduation to writing them was natural. An avid reader and fan of movies with a happily ever after, she lives in her native Wisconsin with her husband and three children, a couple horses and some barn cats. She works part-time as a travel agent, and in her limited free time enjoys gardening, canning, and visiting her parents in Northeastern Wisconsin (Up North) at their cabin on the lake.
Her newest release is the contemporary romance, More Than a Kiss, but for romantic suspense you can check out Lost In Italy, and her Colorado Trust Series, Trust in the Lawe, Shattered Trust, and Shadowed Trust. Other titles include Ditched Again, Welcome to Redemption Series (books 2,4,6), Chasin’ Mason, Dragonfly Dreams, If Tombstones Could Talk, and her Christmas anthology, Mistletoe Rules, which took 1st place in WisRWA's 2010 Write Touch Readers' Award.
**Duckling photo courtesy of Free Stock Photos