Hello AJ and thank you for having me again at Tattered Pages! I’m providing an excerpt for your readers today from my latest release, Heart of Design. It is the first in my Love, California Style romance trilogy about three career women who have it all going on in their business, but who seem to have problems when it comes to men and their personal life. Heart of Design focuses on Sophia Hartland, a brilliant interior designer working her hardest to land a big Hollywood client. But, when she meets Ian O’Connor, he’s got more in mind than just paint and flooring. Heart of Design is available at all major ebook retailers, and would make a great vacation read, so grab your tablet and towel, and hit the beach with Ian and Sophie!
~ * ~
The peace was interrupted by my cell phone ring, and I answered automatically without looking at the caller ID. “Hello, Hartland Interior Designs.”
“Sophia, luv, is that you?” The sexy Irish accent played across the phone lines, sending shivers down my spine. My chair slammed back down onto four legs, and I promptly dropped the phone.
Crap! “Ian! Just a minute!” I fumbled, shoving the chair back, and scrambled to get the cell, which had skidded along the hardwood floor underneath my desk. Sirius, my black Lab, sensing a game, jumped up to get in on the action. Tail wagging and barking, he thrust under the desk next to me in search of the toy. “Ian, I’m coming! Minor technical difficulties. Don’t hang up!” I shoved Sirius back, taking a few excited licks along the way, and finally found the red mobile in the far corner behind the wastebasket. “Hello, are you still there?” I held it to my ear. Fortunately, it hadn’t landed upside down and hung up on him.
“Still here, luv.”
As I clambered out from underneath the desk, I came up too early and cracked my skull on the underside. “Oof!”
“Is everything okay? Maybe I should ring back later.”
“No, no. It’s fine.” When did my life turn into a Lucy skit? Rubbing my head, I gave up trying to play it cool and decided to level with him. “Sorry about that. The phone slipped out of my hand and slid into the deepest dark corner under my desk, and I’m such a klutz I whacked my head crawling out from underneath it.” I sucked in a breath and worked to get my act together. “Enough about me, what can I do for you, Mr. O’Connor?”
“Why so formal, Sophia? I prefer you call me Ian.”
I swore I heard laughter in his voice. Great, he probably thinks I’m a total dork. “Okay, Ian, then please call me Sophie. Only my mom calls me Sophia, and when she does, it usually means I’m in trouble.”
“Are you trouble, Sophie?”
The opening was the size of a Mack truck, and I drove on through. “I can be trouble. Are you looking for some?” I said in a sultry voice.
“Are you flirting with me?”
I sat up straighter. What was I thinking? This is a potential client, not a date!
~ * ~
Title: Heart of Design, first in the Love, California Style series
Author: Ellen Butler
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Release Date: July 7, 2014
Genre: Romance, Romantic Comedy
Sophie Hartland has recently turned 30, and is five years out from a confidence crushing divorce. She’s sworn off men in favor of making her interior design business a success when her best friend introduces her to LA Heat’s hot, new star, Ian O’Connor. He’s one of Hollywood’s beautiful people, with an Irish accent that makes Sophie’s toes curl. Ian hires her to renovate his home, and at their second meeting he initiates a scorching kiss that knocks her socks off. Even though she would love to drop down and go for it on the funky kitchen floor, Sophie sticks to her guns and enforces her “no dating clients” rule.
The tabloids portray flirtations Ian as Hollywood’s latest playboy who has women falling at his feet, and Sophie refuses to be another notch on his bedpost. But Ian isn’t the type to take no for an answer, and he finds Sophie a refreshing change from the actress wannabes trying hop aboard his new gravy train of success. Using his charm, he tries to persuade Sophie to break the rules.
Can Sophie ignore her traitorous libido and hold Ian off for the next five or six weeks until the renovations are finished? Or will she cave in to his pull on her heartstrings, and end up doing the knicky-knacky on the new velvet sofa? More importantly, can she protect her heart in this game of wills?
Signed Hard Copy of Ellen’s Novel Poplar Place & $5 Starbucks Giftcard
Ellen Butler lives in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC, and is new to novel writing. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Policy, and her history includes a long list of writing and editing for dry but illuminating professional newsletters, and windy papers on public policy. The leap to novel writing was simply a creative outlet for Ellen’s over active and romantic imagination to run wild.
Heart of Design is her third release in 9 months. You can find her first two releases, Poplar Place and Second Chance Christmas at Amazon and other major eBook retailers. Professionally, she belongs to the Virginia Writer’s Club, the Northern Virginia Writer’s Club, and is a founding member of the Tempting Romance blog. When she’s not writing, Ellen is either, running around after her children, decorating a neighbor’s house, or holed up in her favorite lounge chair reading. Ellen is an admitted chocoholic and confesses to a penchant for shoe shopping. Book club questions for Ellen’s novels can be found on her website.