Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bess, Nicholas & A Dog Called Bones by Tessa Armytage | Blurb, Excerpt | Featured Author

Bess Saint Clair is about to lose everything and the only man who can save her is Nicholas Blake. It's just a pity she can't stand him.

Nicholas is a record industry hotshot with a reputation for being a Big, Bad Wolf. That’s okay by publicist Bess – she’s the sort of Little Red Riding Hood who eats wolves for breakfast. From the moment Nicholas and Bess clap eyes on each other they share a common bond: they want to tear each other’s throats out.

When Nicholas discovers that the man he has hired for the job is a woman, he’d like nothing better than to boot her out of his office. When Bess discovers he is one of those creatures of prehistoric legend – a male chauvinist – she’d like nothing better than to flip him the bird and turn on her heel.

But he needs her talent and she needs his money.

Each is hell bent on teaching the other a lesson. Both are about to learn a lesson they’ll never forget. The battle over who will wear the pants will be fiercest when neither is wearing any.

Funny, tender and deeply sensual, Bess, Nicholas & A Dog Called Bones is set in a picturesque valley vineyard and features a heroic, shameless sausage extortionist of a dog who is almost as human, and every bit as unforgettable, as Nicholas and Bess.


This book is is my TBR pile.  I hope to read it within the next several weeks. 
 I apologize for the delay as I am still trying to get caught up.

Enter for a chance to win a digital copy of
Bess, Nicholas, and a Dog Called Bones.
Comment on this post for a bonus entry.
This giveaway ends February 25th 11:59PM CDT


Splash! Under she went, the freezing water closed around her head like a vice. It took everything she had in her not to gasp in shock as she went down, but somehow she found the resolve, and a little bit more besides; when her feet hit the bottom she pushed down hard and propelled herself upward, expecting at any moment the current would find her and carry her away.
Elizabeth crested the surface – oh sweet Jesus, the air was bitterly cold – but she drew great agonized breaths of it into her racked chest, realising she had cleared the raging torrent but had fallen into the still water where the river had burst its banks.
The current tugged at her back. The river was widening.
Burdened by her sodden clothes, she struggled out of the water and collapsed on the far bank shuddering convulsively with cold and with every muscle screaming.
She had to keep moving.
She had to find Bones.
She pushed herself up.
It was far darker on this side of the river. The rainforest canopy all but secluded moonlight, and it held no magic now; only suffocating blackness. She went into it just the same, pushing her depleted legs up the punishing mountain, the ground loose under her unsteady feet, calling out for Bones all the while with breath that turned her lungs to ice.
Clear as a bell – there was her baby!
Hope surged in her chest, then just as quickly turned to lead.
The forest had split the trickster wind asunder, and there could be no doubt.
Bones was on the other side of the river. She'd been fooled by the changing wind.
Elizabeth sobbed into the back of her hand. Suddenly she was cold, so very very cold, and she knew she was in real trouble. With no prospect now of finding Bones, the adrenalin whooshed out of her, and her injuries made themselves felt. Her hip throbbed painfully and she feared her shoulders had sustained some sort of permanent damage. Her arms were next to useless; she could barely move them.
There was no way she could get back across the river. Her only hope was to keep going up the mountain in search of the road. She pushed forward. Something hit her in the face and she screamed and fell backward, falling hard. She cowered, regarding the thing in abject terror. In the terrible dark the thing had a massive body and multiple arms that reached for her horribly.
Tree fern, you idiot, Elizabeth… she heard herself laugh and wondered if she was becoming hysterical. Shaken to the core, she lay trembling on the ground, and still it rained, but she couldn't feel it anymore.
Get up! the voice in her head thundered angrily. Stop lying there like a stupid, hysterical woman and get yourself up!
Without the use of her arms, it was easier said than done. She squirmed and twisted on the ground, something hard connected with her injured hip, and a flash of white pain shot up her spine and exploded into her brain.
She refused to cry out. She refused to whimper. Panting, she made it to her feet.
The road.
The mountain was cruelly steep. She tried to use the hardy bracken to pull herself up, but her arms were too weak to grasp it. Elizabeth gritted her teeth. That's why God gave you legs, she told herself. And they were good strong legs and she used them, pushing herself upward, ever upward, until at last the ground evened out and she resisted the temptation to fall to her knees and weep with relief.
The road. Find the road.
Dark menacing shapes surrounded her completely. Tree ferns, she reminded herself, only tree ferns, and while her mind accepted it every instinct in her said monsters, and it took a supreme effort of will to force it aside and make herself walk toward the shapes and through them as their fronds brushed wetly against her, but she did it, and seeing she had reached some sort of clearing, the adrenalin returned and her heart hammered.
Clearing could mean road. Now was no time to panic, no time to give into the urge to run recklessly forward in search of the road. She reminded herself to keep her head, to watch her bearings.
Suddenly, incongruously, she was hot – way, way, too hot. The urge to take her clothes off overtook her, but her mind fought against the instinct as ferociously as the great gust of wind that shook the canopy above, bringing buckets of water to fall upon her.
The storm intensified, whipping the trees into a mournful frenzy. They were only trees, it was only wind, but it was the stuff of nightmares and she shook helplessly with fright, and she was cold again.
Just as Elizabeth began to wonder how long she had been walking she saw it – up ahead, the landscape changed again! And finally she lost control and ran toward it – that which must be the road, her sprint using up the last reserve of her energy.
No, no, no – a thousand times no.
Dark menacing shapes. Tree ferms. She was back in the tree fern gully. She had been walking in circles.
Elizabeth sank to her knees and gave into the great racking sobs shaking her.
Bones was lost. She was lost. And utterly spent. She had nothing left in her save pain, cold and emptiness.
Exhausted, she crawled under the meagre shelter of a tree fern's fronds.
Let the night do with her what it would.



Liz @ Fictional Candy said...

I'm not entering the contest because I've already read this... but I MUST say this book is fabulous!! It's been weeks since I read this book, and I still am thinking about it. Seriously, its *that* good. Congratulations to whomever wins this, you will love it!

Laurie said...

The giveaway winner is Leah Colson. :)