Thanks for joining us for the annual Night Owl Reviews Winter Wonderland Online Scavenger Hunt.
Click HERE for the official rules & link to the other blogger-hoppers.
And here's my stop:
Henry is Spring's only hope at
_____, but he's also the über-rich son of a land developer and
cash-strapped Spring’s polar opposite—though she can't help being
attracted to the way he pushes her buttons, both politically and
On this special day of thanks, I'd like to show my gratitude by sharing with you one of my favorite passages from Definitely, Maybe in Love. It has to do with Thanksgiving preparations, Spring, Henry, and a little bit of cranberries. Enjoy!
He tossed his
iPad on a chair by the door then came to my side. “What is that?”
There’s nothing to it.”
down at his hands and nodded.
finger, I scooted the dough in front of him. “Show me your skills.”
His gaze held
on me, assessing my challenge. After a moment, he took the dough and sat down,
while I walked to the sink to scrub my hands. He was elbow-deep by the time I
bake, do you?” I guessed.
Not unless I
have to. This is a workout. Could you grab me something from the fridge?”
early for a beer, don’t you think?” I said as I pulled the refrigerator open,
about to reach behind the half-empty takeout cartons from last night, expecting
to find rows and rows of dark bottles. I was surprised to find absolutely no
alcoholic beverages whatsoever. How very un-collegiate.
Henry said. “My paternal grandfather died of cirrhosis of the liver when he was
forty-five.” His chin was tucked, kneading away. “I’ve never had a drink in my
I stared at
him for a moment. What a thing to admit. And he seemed almost proud of it.
Well, not that being a teetotaler was something shameful. In fact, I couldn’t
help wishing my own father had followed that particular practice when he was in
his twenties, instead of boozing it up and leaving my mother home with three
kids. Five years sober or no five years sober, I still hadn’t forgiven him for
choosing alcohol over his family all those years ago.
drinking at the party?” I asked, remembering perfectly that he’d been holding a
red Solo cup.
said. “I knew I had to keep my wits about me that night. I heard there were
under my breath. “You’re killing me.”
“I’ll take a
water, though,” he said, “if you can manage.”
manage.” I slid a bottle from the door shelf.
thanks,” he said, preoccupied, as I set it in front of him. With no luck, he
was trying to scratch his cheek with his shoulder. I was familiar with Murphy’s
Law in the kitchen: the moment your hands are incapacitated, every inch of your
face—and other various body parts—inevitability begins to itch.
“Could I get
a little help here?” he requested, his voice pinched.
I sat down
across the table from him and rocked my chair back on two legs.
He let loose
a rough exhale of frustration then rubbed his cheek with the back of his hand,
leaving behind a flour smudge.
got a little something”—I pointed at my own cheek—“right there.”
kneading to return my smile, only his was much more menacing than mine. I
examined my nails. A moment later, something small and sticky hit my face.
glanced up and dabbed at my cheek. “Et tu, Brute?”
smile grew as he flicked his fingers like a whip toward me, sending more chunks
of dough in my direction. Most of them landed short.
missed,” I said as my chair legs dropped down on all fours. I leaned forward,
elbows bracing my weight. Henry followed suit, his floury palms flat on the
table, angling toward me. His gaze flicked to something to the side of him then
back at me. His smile widened.
That’s when I
noticed the open bag of flour on the table, closer to him than to me. Without
needing to turn around, I knew that behind me on the counter sat sugar, salt,
pepper, oatmeal, baking soda, bread crumbs, and other substances of the
later, our respective chairs flew out from behind us. Five seconds later, like
an explosion of snowy dynamite, flour was everywhere.
right, I stepped left. And so we danced…
particularly dastardly pitch of cornstarch on my part, Henry blinked and
coughed, shaking his head, white dust falling from his dark hair, catching in
He went on
back, temporarily blinded, clutching the edge of the counter so my feet
wouldn’t slide out from under me. It was hard to breathe with cocoa powder up
my nose, and I sputtered a laugh, making myself choke. When I regained focus,
Henry was at the sink, filling a tall glass under the faucet.
he taunted over his shoulder.
ingredients only. Dry.”
remember hearing rules.” He shut off the tap when the water reached the top
away, hanging onto the counter. Henry was blocking the only suitable exit out
to the backyard. I was trapped. The hair on my arms stood on end when he took a
single step forward, full glass in hand, aimed right at me.
dare!” I rasped, slipping and sliding in retreat.
He dipped his
fingers in the glass and flicked. Large drops of water soaked into the front of
desperate for a weapon, any weapon. That’s when I spied Lilah’s bowl of bright
red cranberry sauce sitting on the corner of the table, just begging to be
tagged into the ring. Henry’s
eyes went wide as I slid it off the smooth surface and into
the palm of my hand, my arm cocked like a baseball pitcher.
down,” he ordered.
I pointed my
chin at him. “You first.”
chance.” His grin made my arms prickle again.
verbal and nonverbal threats were issued. Promises of everlasting revenge were
pledged, but neither of us lowered our weapons.
“One inch closer,”
I cautioned, eyeing his shirt, “and it’s bye-bye to that Armani Exchange you’re
another.” He was about to flick more water at me, when suddenly, while stepping
on an exceptionally puffy mound of flour mixture, he lost his footing. Thanks
to this brief distraction, I made my move, lunging forward, sword unsheathed.
With me two
seconds ahead, he whipped around, pitching the water in my direction. It only
tagged my shoulder. I ducked and bobbed behind him with just enough time to
dump the entire bowl of slimy cranberries over his head.
with my arm still in the air, I froze. Surprised, maybe, at my easy triumph.
That was my
With a yelp,
I whirled around, making a beeline toward the patio door. But I was a breath too
the back of my shirt, then caught my wrist. “Not so fast, Honeycutt.”
By one arm, I
was pulled back and spun around, my feet sliding across the slippery floor. I
could see the whites of his eyes and teeth beneath the red jelly oozing down
his face. I wriggled
and squirmed against his clutches while he smiled
fiendishly, dragging me toward the sink.
water coupled with the white V-neck and blue-striped bra I was sporting was not
the impression I wanted to leave on Thanksgiving morning.
squeaked, struggling to break his grip.
stopped dragging me long enough to seize my other wrist, holding me securely by
it a draw,” I offered. “We’re even, okay?”
“I’m about to
make it even,” he said, his voice low. When I tried to squirm away, he
let go of my wrists long enough to slide his hands up my arms and take hold of
my shoulders. I couldn’t help thinking that in a parallel universe, it might
look like we were about to embrace.
slowed me down, though I did try once more to pull free, pretty halfheartedly.
I felt strange, a little lightheaded, as I looked at his face through my
flour-caked lashes. His hands were strong and warm around my skin. Capable.
thing I knew, my feet were sliding again. This time, however, Henry wasn’t
pulling me to the sink, he was pulling me to him.
smiling anymore. Neither was I. His intense gaze slid to my mouth, and just as
my eyes were drifting down his face in a similar manner, I noticed a tiny drop
of cranberry sauce
trickling down his nose. Like a thick, crimson tear, it
dripped off the end.
I tipped my
chin and laughed. “Armistice?” I asked, panting to catch my breath. When I
leveled my chin, Henry was examining me skeptically.
“Only if you
declare defeat.” Because of his stern expression under all that red goo,
another laugh bubbled up my throat. His fingers pressed into my skin, his eyes
flashing to the sink.
“You win, you
win! No water!” I begged. “Now, unhand me, sir.”
letting go, he gripped my shoulders, leading me a few steps until my back hit
the wall. “Not until you say it,” he whispered. He was close again, closer than
before, making me
hyperaware of his strong hands, the warmth of his skin, his
long fingers curling around my arms.
“Say what?” I
asked after a hard swallow.
me: Henry Edward Knightly, the third, is the king of the kitchen.”
I couldn’t help cackling.
“Say it,” he
demanded, his fingers gripping my shoulders, pressing me against the wall. “I
don’t know why you’re fighting so hard against it, Spring.” His voice turned
eerily calm. “You know what’s coming if you don’t completely obey me. I will
dunk you, and believe me”—he glanced down at the front of my shirt—“I’ll enjoy
every second of it.”
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. “Henry Knightly is the king—”
“No,” he cut me off, moving his hands to either side of my neck.
“Henry Edward Knightly, the third.”
I opened my
eyes just so I could roll them and mutter something mocking. But his face was
nearer than I expected, his hands gentle on my neck, holding me in place. He
stared into my
eyes, not blinking. We were so close, almost chest to chest,
and for a moment, I forgot I was supposed to breathe.
another word, he bent his flour-covered face to mine, and I stopped breathing
kissed me, there was an explosion of stars behind my eyes. His body shifted,
pressing me hard against the wall, leaving me no choice but to grab on to the
curves of his elbows. His hands still held my neck, fingers moving over my
skin, his thumbs brushing across my cheeks. I could taste the sugar on his
lips, the flour and the sweet tang of cranberries, a delicious combination that
made my mouth water. Without realizing it, I parted my lips,
needing a deeper taste.
Before I got
the chance, it was over.
couldn’t move away, didn’t want to open my eyes, needing to remain in the
moment when I’d caught a glimpse of what Henry might be. Not the arrogant tutor
or the mute Greek statue, but the man who made me laugh, pushed my buttons, had
a food fight in his spotless kitchen, and managed to blow my mind in ten
hands were still holding me; I could smell his skin, hear him breathing, still
near enough to kiss. My throat ached at the thought, and I felt his heart
racing, going faster than mine.
even,” he said in a low voice. Then I was released. He stepped back and wiped
the back of his wrist across his sauce covered nose.
isn’t over,” I managed to say, choosing to totally ignore what had just
happened—if he could do it, so could I. I ran my fingers down my braids,
attempting to strip away the pasty goop. Somehow, the bright red cranberry
sauce-covering the top half of his body had transferred to my hair and all down
the front of my shirt. My mind went wonky, imagining how that had happened.
“I will have
my revenge,” I forced myself to add.
pulled back a slow grin, the pit of my stomach flooded with heat and I caught
myself staring at his cranberry-stained mouth. I needed to get out of there,
now, before I did
something I would regret.
up a hand towel off the counter, wound it, and
snapped the end in my direction. “Now step out back,” he
said, “so I can hose you off.”
It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that the mere reading of Pride and Prejudice makes a girl smart, pretty and a hit at every party.
A have a good friend, and she's one of the best-read people I know. A while ago, she dropped on real bombshell on me. Not only has she never read Pride and Prejudice, but she's never touched a single Jane Austen.
Which got me to thinking about dear Jane.
Here is a peak at some of my (blurry) Austen collection:
Did you know that I wrote a book kind of based on P&P? (I'll bet you do by now!) Come on, every chick author at least *thinks* about it at some point. Well, I did more than think.
Definitely, Maybe in Love is about Spring Honeycutt, a junior at Stanford University who is forced to study-partner it up with the rich guy across the street that she can't stand. Of course he's way hot and smart and funny and I'm pretty much in love with him. But since Spring lives in his world, I have to live vicariously through her and swoon every time she gets to kiss him and....anyway, I digress....
Back to Ms Austen and her literary gold P&P. Not only is the book wonderful, but lets take a moment to
consider all the wonderful spin-offs thanks to this literary jewel:
Lest we forget...
In short, my dear never-read-Austen friend. Please put down your YA for one week and dip your toe into the world of Jane. For me, please?
I'm super giddy about finally writing a story with THIS SONG as theme on the playlist.
It's so super swoony. Okay, 80's swoony, but still.
(FALLING FOR HER SOLDIER, coming in January!)
And it got me to thinking about my sister and a very important question:
Ahem. Sister, which Peter Cetera song is best? I know which one you'll pick, but I vote for this one. Yeah, I know, your pick is good too, and really dreamy, and the movie it's from is like the best movie ever--especially the scene when your song plays--and the actor is so super cute, and yeah, okay...you win.
amore. You gotta love that "can't eat, can't sleep, can't think"
feeling. We all have playlists that help convey our emotions, and Spring--my
main character in Definitely, Maybe in Love--explains why she is on an "all-chick musical kick." Bossy and
opinionated (though adorably sexy), Henry sets out to widen
Spring's (ahem) musical exposure with a playlist of his own: All male singers and all with one similar "theme." :)
TO PLAY: Tell me yourfavorite
make out song, either on Twitter using #HenryPlaylist, or in the comments (don't forget your email addy). If you're the winner, the prize is an iPod shuffle, and
your song will be added to the official "Spring's Education of the Mail
Voice" playlist...straight from Henry.
per Spring, no Marvin Gaye, no Prince and no Barry White.
That’s just too easy.)
contest ends 11/29 Have fun, and get your smexy freak on!