First Kiss: A Valentine’s Day moment

A first kiss.
Hot Flash by Clare Austin

The hero in my novel Hot Flash is Bran Sullivan. He’s Irish, wears his emotions shamelessly and is demonstrably affectionate to family and friends. He’s often inclined to give a hug and kiss on the cheek. He’s a man who loves being in love.
Kate, whom Bran insists on calling Katie, is facing her fiftieth birthday, suffering hormonal hot flashes and has recently been ingloriously dumped by her philandering husband. To discourage her mother from “fixing her up” with a distant cousin, Kate lies and claims she is engaged to Bran Sullivan, her riding instructor.
But when she is caught in her deception and must confess to Bran to get his cooperation, he takes the opportunity to “seal it with a kiss.”

Excerpt from Hot Flash by Clare Austin, The Wild Rose Press

“Katie, if it will make you happy, I’d be honored, but I think we need to seal the deal.” He pulled her to him, encircled her slender waist with one arm and slipped his other hand into her hair at the back of her neck, coaxing her to look up at him. “You asked me to do this last night…I told you I wanted you sober. Are you sober, Katie?”
“As a judge.” But she couldn’t breathe, her heart failed to pump enough blood to her brain and a sensation of heat that started at the place where his hand touched her back spread to her neck, trickled down her spine, across her belly and landed, softly, low in the cradle of her pelvis. She was certain that the source of this heat had nothing to do with waning hormones.
“Do something for me, Katie.” His breath came in soft gasps against her ear. “Believe, even if it’s only for now, when I tell you that you are the most beautiful woman who walks the earth.” He brushed her lips with his. “Believe me,” he whispered and kissed her again, his mouth soft, warm, moist and wanting.
And for that moment Kate did believe, while he tasted her, teased her with his tongue and lips. Kate Aiello, for the first time in half a century, made the conscious decision to believe that she was, for this unequivocal moment, the most beautiful woman on the planet.

Hot Flash is available in paperback and electronic formats from major book sellers and from The Wild Rose Press. Please go to my website for more excerpts and information about my other novels. http://www.clareaustin.com

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The long and winding path….

The rocky path. Skellig Michael, Kerry, Ireland

The long and winding path to publishing my first novel moved at a very rapid pace for me…if I don’t count the decades when my stories waited, in my imagination, for me to sit down and put them to paper. (In my case “paper” is always virtual…I have never written more than notes and ideas on actual paper).
Four years ago I decided I really could write a novel. I bought myself a laptop, sat down, put the foot rest up on the recliner in my bedroom and started to write. I wrote for a month and came out with a book…from beginning to end about four hundred pages. It really did have a plot, a beginning, middle and an incredibly cheesy end.
Then I panicked. Was this my only story? So, I wrote three more that year. Butterfly was number four. The difference with Butterfly was that I wrote for a specific market…romance. I played by the rules. I had a definite goal—to be published. Still, Butterfly is unique, my voice, my style, my imagination. Notice I said I wrote to a goal, not a formula. If anyone tries to tell you they have a formula and if you just follow the simple rules and fill in the blanks you will have a novel…thank them but don’t write a check for their workshop. If writing were that easy everyone would be published. If your story doesn’t beg to be told, hammer on the insides of your cranium until you let it out, haunt you until you are talking to your characters out loud in public (well, this might not happen to all of us…I might just be a little crazy.) then, it won’t keep your reader up at night either.
One of the questions I am often asked by unpublished writers is something like…isn’t it a terrible feeling to have an editor tell you to change, cut or delete a scene in your book…your baby? My simple answer is “no.”
I’ll tell you why. The business of publishing is just that…a business. You may be the next James Joyce, but an agent or editor doesn’t care unless he or she can sell your work and make a profit. That, dreamers out there, is the bottom line. This fact does not have to stop you from being a great writer, a creative writer.
If you really want to be published: write the best you can, finish what you start, know your market and write to that market and, most important, do it because it is your heart’s desire.
My books are available from my website http://www.clareaustin.com Go to the “Books” page for the buy link.

Hot Flash is Hot Now!

Hot Flash is the new novel from Clare Austin:

It’s not true that a woman over 40 has more chance of being kidnapped by terrorists than to find a hot guy.