Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Wish for Tomorrow is Today by Karen Rock

I’ve been a Harlequin fan for as long as I’ve been a reader. In fact, my best friend from seventh grade, Lynette, introduced me to them during a sleepover where the only planned activity was reading her latest shipment of Harlequin Presents. It only took about ten minutes before I stopped griping (on the inside) and was hooked. Two days from now, Harlequin will play an even greater role in my life when it releases my first novel with them, WISH ME TOMORROW. To celebrate, I thought I’d share the book’s back cover blurb and a sneak peek excerpt J

Can they build a future on hope alone? 

For years nurse and grief counselor Christie Bates has been teaching her patients to confront their fears, express themselves and trust in hope. But as her feelings for cancer survivor Eli Roberts and his two children grow, can she overcome her own fear and love a man who lives every day with the possibility of recurring illness? 

Tackling cancer and single parenthood simultaneously has turned Eli into a devout realist. Which is why he finds Christie's perpetually upbeat attitude so aggravating. Still, despite himself, she's making a place in his heart. If only he could offer Christie more than an uncertain future.

Harlequin Heartwarming novels are tender, wholesome and deeply romantic. I hope the following excerpt from WISH ME TOMORROW meets that expectation. After weeks of grappling with feelings they find hard to deny, Christie and Eli take a step closer to what they want, but dare not wish for. This moment resonates with me because it reflects the heart of the book- that hope is the excavator of buried wishes and forgotten dreams.
 

 “So, why were you two talking about me?” Eli probed, shifting in his black Oxfords. In the background, the piano keys banged out the song “Let’s Do It,” an off-key chorus accompanying it.

Gran’s husky contralto rose above the rest, belting out the lyrics, “Let’s fall in love…” as she gazed down at an eyebrow-waggling John. Why was life so uncomplicated for them? They were enjoying each other’s company, plain and simple. So why, when it came to her and Eli, did their distance seem insurmountable?

“Something about Becca thinking we like each other.” Christie’s voice came out unevenly—he was standing very close to her, near enough that she could feel the warmth of him.

“Hmm. Guess she knows how to read her dad, at least.” He ran a hand through his hair, the intensity in his eyes making her flinch and turn away.

Her chest rose and fell, colored dots appearing on the edge of her vision.

“Christie. Talk to me.”

She shook her head mutely, unable to meet his gaze. There were too many secrets her eyes might tell.

He cupped her elbow and steered her farther from the party guests until they stood alone in a far corner. A sign outside the window cast red light on his pale face.

“Am I really alone in this?” His voice sounded as tattered as a retired flag. “I didn’t want to press you after our run in the rain because you looked so…surprised by my admission that I want more. But can you really tell me you’re not feeling something for me, too? Because I’m losing my mind, losing sleep. Every waking moment is me thinking about you…about us.”

His urgent tone made her look up into his pleading eyes, the surge of hope in their depths making her heart leap.

She nodded and felt his hand tighten, his hold draw her close. Her eyes shut, and she shivered at the caress of his breath against her temple. This was it. All this time, imagining what it would be like to have Eli’s arms around her, to feel him against her, their hearts beating together…it was close to coming true and she wasn’t going to deny it any longer…even though she knew she didn’t deserve any of it. And Eli needed to know why.

She wanted to admit what was in her heart before things went further, but she became suddenly conscious of the quiet crowd and the dimmed lights.

“Time to sing everyone,” Mary said. She carried a chocolate sheet cake with loopy writing and a blaze of candles. Luckily everyone was looking her way and not theirs.

John pounded out the opening notes to “Happy Birthday.” Christie avoided Gran’s speculative gaze as she and Eli stepped from the shadows and joined the assembly. Her voice blended with the rest, her body relaxing against the warm arm encircling her waist. Time to tuck away her rational self and live in this perfect, happy moment. There’d be time enough for doubts later.

“Make a wish, Eli” John called. “You’ll need a big breath to blow out all those candles.”

The group laughed then hushed as he closed his eyes and inhaled long and deep. Christie stepped aside to join Becca, Tommy and a tail-wagging Scout. Eli’s breath exploded from him, obliterating every pinpoint of light and smearing some of the candle wax on the frosting. Wow. Whatever he’d wished for, he meant it.

“What happened to Mister I-don’t-believe-in-wishes?” John wheeled closer and ruffled Scout’s ears.

Eli shrugged. He picked off the candles and dropped them on a paper plate. “Guess I’ve seen the light.”

“So, what’d you wish for, Dad?” Becca asked, grabbing hold of Tommy’s finger as it inched toward the cake.

When the lights came back up, his eyes leveled on Christie.

“Something I can’t live without.”

 
To purchase WISH ME TOMORROW in paperback form, please visit at http://bit.ly/11Ue28g or in Kindle form at http://amzn.to/12qqqKh and on Nook at http://bit.ly/19cnFDP.

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog. I would love to hear your thoughts about my book or Harlequin’s Heartwarming line. Leave a comment in the section below and be entered to win an autographed copy of WISH ME TOMORROW. Winners will be announced tomorrow on http://www.facebook.com/karenrockwrites. Thank you so much

40 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Karen! I'm very excited for you! How wonderful that reading Harlequins did so much for you, and now you're about to return the favor by sharing your gifts as a writer with Harlequin's readership. I wish you tomorrow on the best seller list!

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    1. That is the sweetest wish, Muriel! Thank you :) It would be amazing, someday, to write a best seller. But as a beginner, I'm just so happy to be on the team... especially with incredible people like you!

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    2. This was such a great post--I remember a book called "Winter's Bounty" that got me started on Harlequin American. That's been a while, huh, Muriel?

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  2. I have been reading harliquin books for about 30 years. Good luck on your release tomorrow.

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    1. Thank you very much, Shari! That means a lot from a true Harlequin fan like you :)

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  3. Congrats Karen!!! I'm so happy for you and you know I wish you all the success!! <3

    Loved the excerpt! I'm so going to buy some tissues for this, hehe I think I'll need them.

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    1. lol- you might need the tissues, Gaby! But there are a lot of laughs too... I write the way I see life- moments of sorrow and moments of hilarity separating by everything happening in between :) Thank you so much for the congrats. It feels so good to finally have this day arrive!!

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  4. I loved the excerpt and the Cover is so pretty! Congratulations and good luck with the release. :)

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    1. Thank you, Karla! When I first saw the cover, I was in the middle of a conference and my YA writing partner, Joanne, led to me to a private spot and said- "It's your first cover, Karen. You can cry." And I did!

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  5. sounds like such a great story. I look forward to reading it.

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that, Pamela :) Thank you!

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  6. It was all the old Mills & Boon books that littered our house when I was growing. I'm pretty sure I was reading certain kinds of scenes before I should have been, without anyone realising, LOL.
    I'll confess and say I didn't read the excerpt but that's only because I never do. I prefer waiting until I can get my hands on the actual book, and I'm looking forward to this one.

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    1. Haha- I think we both read the same scenes... too young! But still. Harlequin's taught me to wait for true love and I blame the line entirely for why I held out for my first kiss until college- lol. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm for the book :) I'm excited to hear your thoughts once you've read it!

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  7. Happy book birthday, Karen! We can celebrate together :) I turn a year older...lol! I'm so happy for you.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

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    1. Happy Birthday back to you, Paula!! If you started work already (which I'm thinking you have since you live in Florida!)then I hope you have a fun day with the students and even more fun tonight to celebrate :)

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  8. Damn...I want to read this NOW! I seriously can't wait to get a chance to read this! Congrats Karen! I just know your debut Harlequin Heartwarming is going to be a great success! ;)

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    1. Hi Desnica!! Thank you so much for your warm wishes and faith in me :) It means a lot. I'm excited for you to read it and to hear your thoughts!!

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  9. I started figuring up how long I'd read Harlequin and was to horrified to type the number, but it was a big one. The book sounds wonderful!

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    1. hahahahaha- I think I might have sloughed over that fact as well in my blog, Liz :) But it is amazing to think back to the many years that Harlequin has romanced us all! I'm so very proud to have a debut novel with them and four more on the way! Thank you so much for your warm wishes. I'm excited to hear your thoughts on WISH ME TOMORROW :)

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  10. I absolutely loved the excerpt.! Not only did it capture my attention, it was compelling and made me wonder about the things I would do to have the one I love. Eli, the poor man faced cancer, and survived it. He wanted life so he fought for it, and now he wants love. I would love to read WISH ME TOMORROW to see how Eli goes to obtaining Christie's love.

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    1. Wow! Thank you very much, Heather. I'm so glad that you liked the excerpt. It was tough to pick one that captured what mattered most to me about the book- and didn't want to give anything away. Wait until you read the ending... :)Their HEA made me cry (happy tears)even thought I'm the one who wrote it- lol. I'm such a softie!

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  11. What a lovely excerpt, Karen! It's obvious, even from these few paragraphs, that this is a deep, emotional story which allowed you to use the full expressive range of your wonderful writing. I look forward to reading it!

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    1. Dale you are so right! I love the Heartwarming line for that exact reason. The word length and the issues we cover really let us delve deep into the complexities of real life and regular people. I love pulling the emotional guts out of a story before I patch it back up for a HEA that hopefully no one sees coming :)Thank you so much stopping by and your encouraging words! They mean a lot.

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    2. I'm glad you are looking forward to reading it, Dale because you just won today's giveaway!! Send your address info to karenrock@live.com and I will get a copy to you right away. Congratulations :)

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  12. Karen, lovely excerpt. So looking forward to reading the book. Cancer hits so many families and its never easy to watch a loved one go through the treatments needed to keep hope alive. Kudos to you for tackling a tough subject.

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    1. Thank you so much, Roz! It was tough at times to write- four, raw, gripping scenes in particular that wrung me from the inside out. Once I wrote them, I was done on those days! But I included characters (Remember Christie's feisty, speaks-her-mind Gran you liked?) and situations that made me, and I hope the readers, laugh. I've always liked stories that made me feel lots of different emotions and I hope I came close in this novel.Thanks so much for your much appreciated comment!

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  13. Beautiful excerpt Karen!! I'm excited to read it...but um...I hate crying, so can you tell me which pages to skip? lol:) So happy for you and I hope you have a fantastic release day celebration!

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  14. hehe- I could tell you those page numbers if you want me to :) Thanks so much, Jen! I'm getting so excited for the big launch day which I will celebrate in front of my laptop writing my next Heartwarming- lol. But then again, that sounds like my kind of fun (when we aren't doing our "awesome" dance moves on the RWA ballroom floor, of course ;)

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  15. Speaking if moves, I'm working on my dance routine for next year lol. I hope you are too:)

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  16. Speaking if moves, I'm working on my dance routine for next year lol. I hope you are too:)

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    1. lol! We haven't tried Gangnam Style... hehe

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  17. Karen, congratulations on the new book. Enjoy this moment and the whole premiere month!

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    1. Thank you, Syndi! I think I may have been looking forward to this my whole life :)

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    2. You deserve all the wonderful things that are coming your way! Cherish it and hold it close to your heart :)

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  18. Congratulations, Dale! You are the winner of my blog giveaway. Please email me at karenrock@live.com with your address and I will send it out right away. Thank you :)

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  19. Karen,
    Beautiful excerpt. COngratulations and I look forward to reading your book!

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    1. Thank you so much, Laura! I'm so grateful for your encouraging words and look forward to hearing your thoughts on WISH ME TOMORROW :)

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  20. So excited about the upcoming release, Karen! Just days....

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    1. Ahhhhhhh! I know! I'm so excited that I wake up in the middle of the night and think about it :) I thought it wouldn't affect me as much as I've had a couple of books out already with my writing partner. However, this is my debut solo and it means so much! (As do you, dear friend :)

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  21. Oh My Gods! Congratulations Karen! I am very very sure I will like the story of this book of yours! I can't wait for the eARC to arrive for the blog tour. I have not yet read a book from Harlequin and I'm so so eager to read this one since it will be a challenge for me because this is a new genre for me to experience. And guess what, you'll be the first author who's book that I'll read is from Harlequin. I wish the book will meet my expectations, and as I have read from a review, I want to experience that *unputdownable* (I don't know if that's a word or what) sensation, but hell yeah, I want that! And good luck to you and may your book capture every reader's hearts! (: xx

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