My friends, I hope you carefully read this post and strike up some conversations. Lucy Woodhull is new to ALBTALBS, and I’m afraid she’s gotten a bad impression. :X This post has given me absolute fits, from the formatting to it going live. It’s a wily one, so I hope you’re entertained. And Ms. Woodhull also sent pictures to attach, and we all know how everyone loves bright colorful things, yes? ;D
Hi there, I’m romantic comedy author Lucy Woodhull, and I feel honored to be a part of ALBTALBS’ third anniversary! In honor of that number, I’m going to tell you about the three locales in my new book The Dimple Strikes Back, sequel to The Dimple of Doom. Here’s a blurb for the series:
The Samantha Lytton Series: Obviously, the solution to a failed acting career and depressing dating desert is to take up with a dimpled art thief, get chased by thugs, lie to the police and almost die.
That’s not what Samantha Lytton thought would happen when she kissed the guy who said he was an accountant at the office Christmas party. But in her defense — it was an amazing freaking kiss. The kind of lip-lock that frustrates you in the wee hours.
Turns out, thinking with your nether regions can lead to poor decisions. Or perhaps…fantastic ones. Samantha and her burglar travel from Los Angeles to Vegas to Paris to London on adventures that bring Samantha’s wildest dreams of stardom to fruition. After spending years falling on her face, she learns to fight for herself and her heart’s desire. You can’t choose who to love, but you can try to keep his cute butt out of jail and in your bed.
No matter where in the world you go, or how many hot movie stars you kiss (um, professionally), you never forget your first criminal. Hopefully, only criminal. Although bad boys with dangerous dimples are nothing but trouble, a relationship can still work as long as the goons don’t get you. And if they do, well, at least an actress is good at improvisation.
* * *
In The Dimple Strikes Back, actress Samantha films a movie in London, England; takes a rather kidnappey side-trip to Bruges, Belgium; and unwinds from chasing/being chased by criminals by jetting to Maui, Hawaii. Why did I pick these amazing settings for the novel? Well, because they’re drool-worthy, and because I’ve been blessed enough to travel to all three, and on anniversaries, no less! (There’s a theme in here somewhere…) I thought I’d share some of my pictures with you, and then we can all sigh and wish we were on vacation. Sigh.
My husband is a bit of a photography buff, and we stood overlooking the Thames for a long while to capture the sun going down over Big Ben. Worth it, right? I adored London, and would move there tomorrow if I got the chance. It was definitely wishful thinking that made me send Samantha there to shoot a heist caper, and inside the British Museum no less! You’ll have to read the book of you want to know what she and her sexy co-star Daniel Zhang are directed to do on the Rosetta Stone. (Hey, I didn’t say it was a classy film.)
Poor Samantha gets her heart broken by an art thief in Bruges, but my husband delighted me there. We travelled to Europe for our tenth wedding anniversary, and he planned the night we spent in Bruges by himself and surprised me with the stop as we drove from Amsterdam to Paris. Bruges is a magical place — all cobblestone streets and centuries-old facades. And, for some reason, it has a huge number of lingerie and chocolate shops. The chocolate is pretty understandable, but the plethora of lingerie storefronts were a bit more surprising. (The chocolate boobs we bought were both delicious and dirty — an excellent combination, especially for a lady smut writer!) This is a picture of the Rosary of the Quay, which I feature in the book. Some call it the most photographed place in Europe. It’s terribly ugly, as you can see, and you should never go there.
We spent our honeymoon as well as our twelfth wedding anniversary in Maui. The people are kind, and the weather is so perfect it gets tiresome. Ha ha! Just kidding — Maui is literally where angels live. Our number twelve happened just this last October, and I wish I were there now instead of talking to you people. But how can you blame me? I sent Samantha to Maui with her beau for a little R&R after all the hell I put them through in the book. And then, naturally, I put them through more hell. Sure, I write comedies, but laughter for the reader comes at a terrible price, and my heroine has to endure more than any short lady should for your amusement. Good thing I gave her a happy ending, or else she might declare herself on strike during book three!
* * *
You can read about both books in more detail, and read excerpts here. However, below is an exclusive excerpt just for Limecello’s readers! I wish all of you wonderful anniversaries (no matter what you’re celebrating), and much travel around this gorgeous world of ours.
Thank you for reading, and for Limecello for having me!
XOXO, Lucy — Website Goodreads Twitter Blog Facebook
Excerpt: The Dimple Strikes Back by Lucy Woodhull
The deets: In keeping with the idea of “three,” I present you with a love triangle. (In the book, it turns into the dreaded love parallelogram, which is extremely complex — I do not recommend.) Here’s the setup: Samantha and Danny Zhang (insanely hot British movie star) are in London to film a heist caper called What Could Go Wrong? After a long night of shooting, they go out to breakfast to the Princess Margaret. Samantha’s ex, Sam (be-dimpled art thief), invites himself along. He’s in town posing as Samantha’s assistant named Zach. (Got it? There’s a quiz after.)
* * *
We three grabbed a booth in the back. Through some sort of dark wizardry, Sam arranged it so that he sat between me and Danny in the curved seat. As he bumped my hip to scoot in next to me, he smiled, grim satisfaction in his tightly-set mouth. I remembered I’d told him that me and Danny were doing the hump-de-hump. I smirked at him with a challenge of my own. He thought he would separate me from my international movie star, whom I enjoyed for good reasons and not because it irritated him?
Oh, was he wrong.
So, so wrong.
We settled in, dispensing awkward, pleasant smiles all round. A middle-aged, cheery waitress took our orders of three full English breakfasts, with mimosas to start. I wasn’t sure those things went together, but when in the Princess Margaret…
And when you’re sitting at one point of an actual, physical love triangle…
Never in history had three people reached for champagne glasses with such speed. Danny bounced the ball and launched the first volley. “So, Zack—how long have you been Samantha’s assistant? Are you enjoying London?”
Sam settled back and spread out his arms. His fingers crept toward my shoulder, but I leaned sideways to search for something pretend in my purse. “I’ve worked closely with Samantha for a little over a year now. I like to stay on top of her.” He chuckled, and I snapped my head up. “You’ve got to ride these artist-types, or else they go off, half-cocked. Know what I mean?”
Danny played with his napkin, clearly having no idea what Sam meant.
“He’s been to London before,” I added to shut Sam the hell up. “I thought today went really well. We made up for some of the scenes we got behind on last night.”
My adorable co-star winked at me adorably. “It helped that no one tried to destroy the museum tonight.”
“I did so try! I may be clumsy, but I’m not a quitter.” I’d had a bit of an ‘oops’ encounter with a Plexiglas box containing Roman coins while suspended above it by a crane. There’s a steep learning curve to high-wire flying. Could happen to anyone.
Leaning forward on the table, Danny said, “They really ought to find a way to secure your zipper. If it continues sliding downward when you run, we’ll be making soft-core porn.”
I giggled and tossed my hair. “It’s so gentlemanly of you to avert your eyes, the way you do sometimes.”
His chuckle curled around us, warm and soft, and caused Sam to utter a sound like that of a wounded moose. Sam tried to cover by draining his drink.
“Did you hear about that fifty-car pileup in Edinburgh?” Actual crickets chirped after Sam said this.
“I’m going to visit the ladies’ room,” I announced, as thoughts of peeing were preferable to giant car accidents. I scooched out of the booth and gave Danny a cheery, obvious shoulder squeeze on the way. The moose-gurgling noise haunted me all the way to the toilet.
Upon my return, I enacted my plan. I headed straight for Danny and sat on the few inches of booth on the end beside him. “Care for some company?” Quick as a horny bunny, he moved to let me in. Now the three of us jammed together in one-half of the booth, for Sam refused to move. Since we were so close, I put my arm around Danny’s shoulders and began recounting a funny thing our director had said today. Sam’s eyes glowed like molten darkness, and he inched away from us without breaking his hostile regard.
A fresh round of mimosas arrived, thank goodness. Danny didn’t even seem to think that me being so cold to Sam was weird, for he stared at my ex as if he were leprous, or perhaps suffering from a disease of the brain. I’d never seen Sam so awkward—he could normally win a charm competition from two counties away with one dimple tied behind his back.
Sam took a deep breath, drained half of his fresh glass and said to Danny, “What’s next for you, Daniel? After What Could Go Wrong?”
Ah, an actual thing a human being might say! He was fighting dirty now.
“I’ll shoot a film adaptation of Midsummer Night’s Dream next year, but I think I might take some time off the latter half of this year. Reconnect with real life.” Danny glanced at me ever so briefly. “Remember what’s it like to see friends, relatives. Maybe even date a little.”
“That’s just crazy enough to work,” I said.
“I hope so.”
A whole mess of subtext rippled beneath those three words, and a wave of guilt washed over me. I had exactly no reason to feel guilty, but the raw, pained lines on Sam’s face and the tense cords of his neck made my innards recoil. A full minute of silence descended. Danny bit his lip and shot me a warm look, which I returned. It wasn’t his fault that Sam and I had enough history to fill a college textbook.
The food arrived, smelling wonderful and large enough to feed, well, a ploughman. Holy crap, these English could embarrass even an American breakfast—there was sausage, ham, hash browns, eggs, tomato, mushrooms, beans and something black and circular. “What is that?” I asked Danny.
“Black pudding. It’s good—try it.”
“What’s it made of?”
Sam cracked his first real smile of the day. “Don’t tell her until she tries it.”
I froze. “Now I’m afraid.”
“Don’t be.” He leaned in and locked onto my eyes. “You’ll like it. You like anything having to do with meat.” The way he imbued meaning into ‘meat’ made me straight-up blush. My entire face heated, and the fire spread south until I tingled in a way that no lady should at breakfast.
To conceal my overheated everything, I was forced to try the mystery meat. He’d practically dared me, anyhow. It tasted salty, crumbly—a richness on my tongue that lingered. “Mmmmmm,” I offered to all and sundry. This pleased both men greatly.
“It’s congealed blood,” Sam said.
I stopped a fresh bite halfway to my mouth. But then I thought…is blood any different from meat? The second bite tasted better than the first. I fancied I could detect the tang of blood. It made me feel…metal. Powerful. As if I were a queen who devoured my enemies’ hearts and washed them down with champagne. And then went home to her castle to find her two husbands awaiting her. One with a dimple, and the other with an honest smile that warmed the heart…
Perhaps I read too much into pudding.
I couldn’t help my laugh at Sam getting my goat, and he cocked one eyebrow at his win before he tucked into his own food. When I turned to Danny, I found him watching me hazily. I blushed anew.
Why couldn’t I just have both? I decided I needed to find myself a romance novel that ended with a duchess and her two stable boys living happily ever after. Perhaps I’d produce the movie based on the book…
My breakfast grew cold while I was woolgathering dirty thoughts. Not the first time that had happened.
* * *
I’m giving away both books (pdf or ePub) to one lucky winner!
Sounds fun doesn’t it? What do you think about foreign foods and places? And all such things?