Guest: Donna Kauffman

New Year. New Books. Win-win!

Happy 2011! Slainte! I hope, like me, you’re rubbing your hands together in anticipation of the stack of new releases to come in the new year. Ahhh, I love having a pile of books to dive into, with their crisp, colorful covers and tantalizing cover copy beckoning me… What am I in the mood for? A rollicking adventure? Something witty and sexy? Oooh, maybe something set in my favorite place….Scotland! You know, where the men wear kilts, a devilish grin, and not much more?

Aye…but which one to choose, which one to choose….

Well, if all of that sounds like a fun diversion to you….maybe I can help you with that! Allow me to shamelessly suggest my brand spankin’ new release, Off Kilter.

I love a man in a kilt. And, if we’re being honest, I love a man out of one, too. Roan McAuley is definitely that kind of man. In both cases.

He’s what I call the true alpha-beta hero. He’s tough, protective, and fiercely loyal to those he loves…and he’s also got a tender heart that breaks just as easily as yours or mine. When it comes to Tessa Vandergriff, he’ll need to be tough, loyal, and take care to protect his own heart. The problem comes when he’s more interested in protecting hers…

Here’s a tiny taste….

She opened the door. He grinned at the sight of her, the full dimple treatment. And her heart fluttered.

Yeah. That wasn’t a good sign.

She put her hand on the frame, blocking entry. “Why are you here at the crack of dawn, banging on the door?”

Her attitude didn’t so much as make him blink. If anything, an amused twinkle lit his green eyes. “I’m on to you, you know,” he said, as if he’d been reading her mind. And she wasn’t entirely sure he couldn’t.

“Goodie. We’re trying to work. In peace and quiet.”

“I came in peace. And I can be quiet, if given proper motivation.”

And then he did something that shocked her as much as it had the first time he’d done it. He leaned right in and kissed her. Had she any sense he’d even been thinking about it, surely she’d have blocked him. Surely.

Instead, he’d just moved in and kissed her. Just like that. And before she could gather her wits, he slid his hand under her hair and cupped her neck, pulling her mouth that much more intimately beneath his.

She blamed her lack of fight on being blindsided. Well, that and having spent the past two nights imagining him in various Mr. December poses. All of them requiring him to be naked. Any red-blooded woman would have responded. Right?

“Kiss me back, Tessa.”

She shouldn’t. What she should do is knee him. Make it perfectly clear in the most painful way possible that he didn’t just get to lean in and do that. Not without her permission. Until further notice, she needed to make it clear she was off limits to him, to his charm, and most definitely his hands and mouth.

But was that what a bad ass non-hider would do?

Was she making space, setting ground rules? Or was this another form of her ducking and hiding? He said he was on to her. He knew she’d retreat if given half a chance. So maybe what a bad ass non hider would do was give him what he wanted. But on her terms. He wanted her to kiss him back? Look out.

Ah, finding true love, Highland style. My favorite kind! If you’re thinking about taking a virtual journey to my fictional Hebridean isle of Kinloch and spending some quality time with Roan and Tessa, I might also suggest that there’s another Scot you’ll be interested in getting to know. His name is Graham MacLeod. Look for his story in Some Like It Scot…where the tale of my HOT SCOTS begins…

Oh! And if you’re feeling lucky (and, why shouldn’t you?) you can enter to win a free copy of either book (your choice!) by leaving a comment and email address on today’s blog post. (The winner will be chosen on Tuesday, January 4.)

Tell me…are you as enamored of hot Scots as I am? What is it about a man in plaid that gets our….um….imaginations flowing?

Let’s DISH!

USA Today Bestselling author Donna Kauffman has published over 50 titles and has been translated into more than 24 languages. She’s seen her books reviewed in venues ranging from Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal to Entertainment Weekly and Cosmo. She lives just outside DC in the lovely Virginia countryside, where her emptying nest is being replaced by an eclectic assortment of critters who just sort of keep showing up. Donna and her menagerie love to hear from readers. You can contact her through her website at www.donnakauffman.com