I’m thrilled to be featured on Writerspace today and am honored to introduce myself to you. I write sweet, sexy contemporary romance—there’s humor in every story! I think that a lot of humor can be found in small towns, and I also firmly believe that small towns don’t have to be boring. Behind the quiet streets, comforting diner and the scrubby grass around the town square, there’s always a love story waiting to be discovered. It could involve a couple who’s been married for sixty years, or it could be high school sweet hearts who rediscover each other. My favorite type of small-town romance, though, is new love, and I especially like it when a stranger comes to town and shakes the place up.
That’s exactly what happens in my Something to Celebrate series, set in a little town of my own creation, Celebration, NY. It’s upstate, isolated and brimming with entertaining personalities. In book one, IVY ENTWINED, my heroine Ivy Callahan returns to town to fill her father’s shoes as the mayor. Celebration, NY is a dying little town, but it’s proud, and like its name implies—it loves holidays. As Ivy struggles to turn her little town around, she finds herself challenged by sexy Marcus Weaver, who—although not a stranger—is a completely different man now than he was when he left Celebration. He wants to build a big box store. She wants to revitalize the downtown. As sparks fly between them, their romance is played out to the delight of all the town gossips.
In book two, PERMANENT INK, my city girl heroine Blair Whitaker is an out of work event planner who is forced to move in with relatives. She discovers that Celebration is not the boring little place she thought it was going to be. First she gets conned into riding into town as a beauty queen on a parade float. Then in short order, she accidentally decapitates an Easter chick and is rescued by the most gorgeous man she’s ever seen—Ben Lambert, who owns the local tattoo studio. Blair doesn’t know it, but she’s just been sucked into the wacky world of Celebration, and into the arms of true love. When she takes a job as the town’s community events director and finds herself head-to-head with Ben, who intends to hold a tattoo festival right in the middle of her Fourth of July parade, Blair has almost too much excitement to handle. Read on for a peek at PERMANENT INK, which released on August 4:
“You killed the Easter chick!” wailed a little girl who couldn’t have been more than four. She began to cry.
Oh, no. Not that. Blair had made a kid cry?
“I’m sorry,” Blair said. “I…just a second.” She reached into her hair where the crown was hanging from a long strand. She untangled it and crawled to the edge of the parade float. She stood, lopsided without her shoe. The street looked really far away.
“Good karma, good karma, good karma,” Blair chanted in a whisper. “Everything will turn around soon. It has to, after today.” But when she glanced at the crowd, it didn’t seem like anything was going to turn around soon. It actually seemed like there was going to be a witch hunt—and she was the one about to get burned at the stake.
“It was an accident,” she said numbly. “I’m sure the chick can be fixed, right?”
The answering angry mutters wiped the hopeful smile from her face and she sat down, dangling her feet over the edge. “Okay then. Time to get the hell out of here.”
A middle-aged man, short and tubby, with two cameras looped over his neck, stepped forward. “What did you say, miss?”
“Just talking to myself. Figuring out if I feel like jumping or not,” Blair answered.
The man adjusted his cameras and stood directly under her. “I’ll help.” He strained his arms upward, his fingers spread. “Come on, then,” he said.
She smiled gratefully at him. “Just a sec. This is going to be a little tricky with only one shoe.”
“Take your time.” He withdrew his hands.
She surveyed the ground one more time, slipped her purse strap over her queen’s sash, and blew out a breath.
“Okay, here goes.” Closing her eyes, she reached for the man’s hands. They were surprisingly warm and strong and didn’t feel at all like…she cracked open an eye and stared at the hands. They weren’t pudgy. Or small. They weren’t even his. “What the—”
A deep chuckle sounded and Blair found herself staring down at a completely different man altogether. This man stared right back, his firm-looking lips curving into a half smile. Her breath caught, and she couldn’t seem to blink.
His eyes. She was transfixed. They were a deep, soulful brown and ringed by lashes any woman would be jealous to have. When his smile widened, those eyes crinkled at the corners. Oh. Blair found herself smiling back.
“Um…” she said. No other words would come out of her mouth because he was that gorgeous. But dangerous looking, really. Shoulder-length hair. His beard? Like a sexy pirate. And his thermal shirt? Plastered to that hard wall of a chest. Her heart sped up, and she broke eye contact, only to glance back, still speechless.
Guys like him didn’t stare at her. But this one did. He still was.
Readers, if you like your small town romance spicy, I invite you to take a trip to Celebration, NY—where every day is Something to Celebrate! Please visit www.laurasimcox.com to learn more, and if you’re a Facebooking, Twittering type, look me up. I’ll be there, ready to say hi. Happy Reading!