I can't wait to hear about your new book, Angel in My Arms.
Hi, Lynda, thanks for inviting me today. I’m really excited about my new release, Angel in My Arms. It’s not a Christmas story in the traditional sense, though many of the events and one of my favorite scenes occur during the holiday season. In the story, Amanda Emerson, a Union spy undercover in Richmond, enlists Union officer Steve Dunham in her scheme to rescue her cousin, a double agent, from a Confederate prison and imminent execution. Amanda’s drawn to the rugged soldier whose courage and tenderness touch her heart. As the danger surrounding them thickens, every moment he’s with her jeopardizes their lives, but they discover a passionate love that’s worth the risk. While I wrote the story, I felt inspired by the emotion in Lonestar’s Amazed and Bryan Adam’s Everything I Do, I Do For You…those songs sum up Steve’s feelings for Amanda and the sacrifices he’s ready to make for her.
Meet the hero and heroine of Angel in My Arms:
Steve Dunham, the hero in Angel in My Arms, is built like a Viking, has a twinkle in his eye, and he’s got guts. Best of all, he’s the kind of man who’s had his share of women, but when he falls, he falls hard and forever. A seasoned Union operative, he faces danger on a daily basis, but when the woman he loves is threatened, he’ll stop at nothing to keep her safe.
Amanda Emerson, the heroine, is a sable-haired beauty who joined up with a nest of Union spies living in Richmond. She’s skilled at deception, but when she falls for the handsome spy she’s drawn into their latest scheme, there’s no way to hide her feelings. Amanda’s gutsy and tender, a woman who doesn’t even realize how beautiful she is. She doesn’t want to fall for Steve – their love puts both in danger – but some tides are too hard to fight.
When I was writing Angel in My Arms, I envisioned two of my favorite actors in the roles of Steve and Amanda.
Steve was inspired by Owen Wilson, an actor I adored in Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights. A fast-talking soldier who’s used to charming his way out of trouble, Steve’s quick with his fists and his revolver when the situation calls for it. He’s the kind of man who can romance a lady right out of her petticoats, but he’s never given any woman his heart – until he meets Amanda. She’s nothing like the ladies he’s used to, but before long, Steve realizes he’ll fight for her – and die for her – but he can’t walk away from her love.
Sandra Bullock inspired the heroine of Angel in My Arms. Like Sandra Bullock, Amanda’s a beautiful brunette who’s unpretentious and down-to-earth. She’s bright and gutsy and loyal to her cause, using her culinary skills to win over the enemy without so much as batting her eyes. Even though she harbors doubts about the man she rescues from his own hanging, she gives him a chance to prove he really is her hero – and falls hard for him in the process.
I’m currently finishing Against All Odds, a sequel to Angel in My Arms. The story features Kate Sinclair, a beautiful Union spy who’s part of the Richmond spy ring, and Will Reed, a Confederate officer whose love for Kate draws them both into a web of treachery and betrayal more dangerous than the fields of war.
If readers enjoy Angel in My Arms, I hope they’ll check out Destiny, Steve’s partner’s story. Jack Travis is a by-the-book Cavalry officer until he receives unusual orders: kidnap Emma Davenport, the daughter of a powerful United States senator. His captive is intelligent, headstrong, beautiful – and forbidden. He risks his neck to protect her. But how can he protect her from himself?
Here’s a brief summary of Angel in My Arms and an excerpt:
Amanda Emerson must break her cousin, a notorious double agent, out of a Confederate prison before his imminent execution. She’s a skilled Union operative, but for this mission, she needs a man. Even a man who looks and acts like a Viking warrior.
Caught with Rebel battle plans and set for a hanging, Union spy Steve Dunham isn’t about to refuse the assistance of the sable-haired beauty who shows up at the jail and slips him the keys to his cell. Of course, she’s there for a reason besides saving his neck - he’s the key to her plan.
He may be trading one noose for another, but he won’t forsake her. The spoils of his victory will be her surrender. And the terms of surrender will be sweet.
Amanda closed her eyes and savored his possession. How could anything feel as good as his lips against hers? With his arms wrapped tight
around her, she felt as though nothing could penetrate the tender shield of his embrace.
Wanting him was wrong. He was little more than a stranger. A man she’d teamed with for a mission. He was supposed to be nothing more.
But he’d filled her heart.
His handsome face captivated her all the more for its tiny imperfections. A small scar on his chin. The small bump at the bridge of his nose that told the tale of a long-ago break. Another scar, much more recent, on his jaw that looked to be the result of a man’s ring connecting with his flesh and bone.
He was a warrior. Her warrior. Fierce. Tender. Courageous. Protective.
“You’re so beautiful, Mandy.” His lips trailed the column of her throat.
She nestled against his broad chest. He smelled like bay rum and pine and leather. She’d never realized how tantalizing the scents could be. Mingled with his natural essence, the blend of aromas touched something deep and primal within her. She couldn’t resist the scent. Or him.
He took her hands in his. A sly smile curved his mouth as he studied her. “Such sweet temptation. The question is where to begin.”
She’d wasn’t an innocent, but she’d never experienced the heat of a man’s gaze drinking her in as though she were a fine wine to be savored. When Steve looked at her, she felt wanted.
Ridiculous. He couldn’t possibly love her.
But he hungered for her touch. That would have to be enough. After all, she didn’t love him.
Keep telling yourself that, Mandy.
She couldn’t love a man she barely knew.
Even if she longed for his scent. For his touch. For the moment when he’d claim her.
Even if she prayed he’d come to his senses and leave her before the rebels captured him and dragged him away to prison. Or a noose.
His hands slid to her back. A tug on one delicate fastening of her bodice. Then another. And the tight fabric loosened, collapsing to her waist. Her breasts crested over her corset, leaving her nearly exposed to
eyes filled with unveiled male hunger.
She took hold of his collar and attempted to shrug the charcoal frock coat over his broad shoulders. He shook his head and took hold of her. He caught one wrist, then the other, and drew her arms behind her back. Coiling his left hand over her captive wrists, his right hand explored her willing flesh.
He swept his lips over her nape, stirring delicious tingles with tiny nips of his teeth. When she wriggled against him, his calloused fingertips
brushed over the swell of her breasts in unhurried adoration. With the delicate touch of an artist’s brush, he grazed the sensitive mounds, smiling a rake’s smile when she tugged against the unyielding bond of his long fingers.
“Relax, Mandy. Just relax,” he whispered against her ear, nibbling and caressing the tender lobe. “Let me love you, darlin’.”
I hope readers will stop by my website and my blog, www.victoriagrayromance.com ; www.victoriagrayromance.blogspot.com.
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CONTEST: When I wrote Angel in My Arms, I pictured Owen Wilson as my hero, Steve Dunham. Based on the story blurb and excerpt, who would you like to see portray Steve if this were a movie? One lucky commenter will win a pdf of Angel in My Arms.
Angel in My Arms is available at several terrific sites:
Angel in My Arms is available from The Wild Rose Press (print - http://www.thewildrosepress.com/angel-in-my-arms-paperback-p-4328.html and e-book - http://www.thewildrosepress.com/angel-in-my-arms-p-4308.html), and other retailers including:
Digibooks Café (http://www.digibookscafe.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=107&products_id=1086),
All Romance E-Books (http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-angelinmyarms-484011-158.html),
Amazon.com (Kindle - http://www.amazon.com/Angel-In-My-Arms-ebook/dp/B004BLK63A/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1291012033&sr=1-1 and print - http://www.amazon.com/Angel-My-Arms-Victoria-Gray/dp/1601548435/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1291012033&sr=1-1