Hello Readers! Please help me welcome good friend, author extraordinaire, and girl with a new release Sarah Ballance! Sarah is a talented writer and her newest release, which officially hits shelves tomorrow 8/18/2014 is a MUST READ book. I’ve read it from cover to cover and I know once you check out one of Sarah’s books you’ll be hooked. She has an amazing way of putting words together to tell a story. And, the book is also getting AMAZING pre-release reviews on Goodreads. Congrats Sarah!!!
Now, let’s move on to the cover! LOVE. THIS. COVER. So much so I had to put it into the post twice…lol
Yes, I’m having a major fan-girl moment and the best part is that it’s for a good friend 🙂
Take it away Sarah and congrats on your latest release with Entangled Publishing!!! ***throwing confetti***
Every now and then a book will catch people by surprise. I’m guessing it’s not so often that the person in question is the author, but as I sit here still somewhat dazed by the fact that my name somehow found itself on the cover of this book, I am SO that person.
I. Am. On. The. Floor.
Truth is, the publication of this book is more than just a dream realized…it’s a whole bunch of milestones crammed into one totally amazing package that has pretty much changed my writing life. Here’s why.
1. The Marriage Agenda practically starts off with sex. I have never started a book with sex before, and I’ve never had a single encounter last more than one chapter. (ERMAGERD.) But what I really love is what happens between Knox and Chloe is SO THEM. It’s not a meaningless event, and it’s not something that would happen to anyone else. It belongs to these characters, and it wrote itself. I never knew sex could do that. I never knew *I* could, and it feels SO GOOD.
2. Speaking of sex, ever since I was introduce to the term “purple prose” (think Fabio-esque 80s bodice rippers and phrases such as love tool and gilded pleasure sleeve) I have had a secret desire to sneak one such phrase into one of my books. And y’all, I DID. My favorite purple prose ever is within the pages of The Marriage Agenda, and I smile every time I think of it. J (And lest you think my editor was asleep on the job, let me assure you it was not said in a moment of passion. It was more of a well-flung insult, but hey, it’s there!)
3. I have never, ever made so many changes to a book without killing it. The first draft of The Marriage Agenda was a novella and bears little resemblance to the published version, save for the opening scene and subsequent encounter (which initially had a completely different ending). Even after I lengthened the story, I had to rearrange several scenes. This is significant because I have never before made sweeping changes to a manuscript, much less cohesively. This was one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a writer, and as such, it stands as one of my biggest accomplishments.
4. This book is ME. Not in the literal sense (my 17-year marriage isn’t likely to make the pages of a romance novel, lol), but the snark and humor and banter and ALL THE THINGS represent my real life voice. For once I stopped worrying what people would think and I just wrote…and you know what? I freaking love the results. And being able to admit that is my biggest accomplishment of them all.
THE MARRIAGE AGENDA – only 99 cents for a limited time
There’s a scandal brewing in Washington…
Knox Hamilton wants his father’s recently vacated Senate seat, but the only way his conservative constituents are going to vote for Knox is if he loses his playboy reputation. Which means Knox needs a wife. There’s only one woman with whom he’s willing to share his life, but after the way he broke things off with her, will she give him another chance?
Chloe Lochlan’s job is on the line. If she doesn’t grab a big headline, she’ll be ousted from her gig at the major newspaper where she works as a reporter. Knox’s offer of marriage chills her to the bone. He already crushed her heart once and she has no intention of letting it happen again. But being with him gives her the kind of access to top tier social events rarely granted to media, access that could land her the story of a lifetime. When the truth she uncovers threatens to destroy the man she still loves, will she bury the story…or his career?
- Title: THE MARRIAGE AGENDA
- Author: Sarah Ballance
- Genre: Contemporary Romance
- Publisher: Entangled Publishing
- Release Date: August 18, 2014
- ISBN 13: 9781633750524
- Available format(s): ebook
Sarah and her husband of what he calls “many long, long years” live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids). To learn more about her work in contemporary, historical, and supernatural romance and romantic suspense, please stalk accordingly.
“I’ve never kissed anyone in the rain.”
Chloe swallowed. “Maybe you’ve never found the right person.”
His gaze fell to her lips. “Maybe I have.”
“We are two hours from home and it’s officially pouring. Don’t even think about it.”
He stood, pulling her up with him. “Is that a refusal?”
“It’s common sense.”
“Common sense is not actually wanting a splinter in your foot.” He maneuvered her near the railing, where a few errant drops found their way through the greenery and splattered the floor boards. “How’s this?”
She didn’t answer, which was apparently answer enough. He tugged her closer. For an endless moment, he did nothing but look. Then he threaded his fingers through her hair and leaned down, kissing her so softly she wondered if she had imagined the pressure, but there was no denying the effects. Her pulse raced, her heart stumbled, and her hands shook. Chill bumps pebbled her bare arms. Just the rain. But it wasn’t, and she knew it.
“Live up to your expectations?” she murmured.
The water weighted the rose branches and filled the blooms. “I know the home-and-garden gig was a bit of a blow to you,” he said softly, ignoring her question, “but it’s not so far from who you are. Is it?”
Chloe stared at him, surprised by his conclusion. How had she never seen it? She didn’t answer him.
He brushed back her hair and smiled. “Ready to go home?”
She looked around at the house. The porch. The storm.
The man she loved.
Words escaped her, emotion choking her. She nodded.
He took her hand and led her to the steps. The rain fell heavily, and they’d left the windows down. It would be a wet ride home.
“Ready to make a run for it?”
She nodded again, and despite her bittersweet emotions, she couldn’t help but laugh when they jumped and the lukewarm water sluiced over her. They ran to the car, holding hands like kids, and were within a few feet of its shelter when Knox stopped and drew her around. Before she’d managed the first word of protest, his mouth was on hers. Rain sheeted, soaking them both, but in the circle of his arms, Chloe didn’t care. He cradled her head with one hand and the small of her back with the other, pulling her closer as he deepened the kiss. Breathless moments passed. When they broke free, neither one moved. Then he kissed her again, slowly and gently, despite the torrent, and his smile was genuine.
Even with the wet hair and clothes plastered to his skin, he couldn’t have looked any better. The reason didn’t hit her at first, but then that crooked grin traced his lips and she knew. For the first time since he’d left her months earlier, Knox Hamilton had taken a step far more important than inviting her into his world.
He’d fit into hers.