Give a hug

My friend Vivian Arend is trying to keep the spirit of Christmas this year on her blog with her 12 Days of Giving posts.  Today she’s encouraging people to call someone and let them know you appreciate them.  As part of it, she’s giving away copies of books written by her friends, and one of them is my Texas Tangle. So once you’ve figured out the 5 differences in my Firefighter calendar contest and sent me an email, head over there and give someone a virtual hug.

Want to win a fireman? Or twelve?

It’s my second annual “Spot the Differences” contest.  The prize is the 2011 edition of the Toronto Firefighter calendar — the proceeds of the sales of the calendars support Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. (Princess Margaret Hospital is one of the premier cancer hospitals in the world.) They don’t ship out of Canada, so if you’re in the States or elsewhere in the world, this is your chance!

As it was last year, it’s a family affair: Gizmo Guy very generously chose one of the photos he took in Toronto and Curly has photoshopped it for me. (the photo by the way is taken in Toronto’s Kensington Market)

To enter the contest, I want you to “Spot the Differences” in the two pictures.  Now if you click on the pictures, they should open in full-size so it’s easier to view them.  But it’s been sort of hit and miss for me — so Lisa Pietsch has very graciously offered to host the pictures on her site so you can view them full size.  You can view picture one and picture two (it’s probably easiest if you right-click and open the pictures in separate tabs if you’re using Firefox or Chrome as browsers.)

There are FIVE (5) differences between photo 1 and photo 2. To enter for your chance to win this beautiful calendar, send an email to contest @ (without the spaces) with all five differences listed. You don’t have to join my mailing list or buy copies of my books. I’m just doing this for fun and to support the firefighters.

Please, please please, do NOT leave the answers in the comments — I’m changing them to moderated while this contest is running, just so no one ruins the fun.

I will accept entries until 11:59 pm Eastern time, December 30th, 2010.  The winner will be chosen by’s list randomizer and will be posted here on December 31st.

Snippet Saturday – Romance

Today’s topic is “romance” so I thought I’d give you another teaser into Deliberate Deceptions (I mentioned it’s coming out May 2011, didn’t I?)  This is the opening scene where you get to meet Chad and his wife Lauren.  I loved writing this scene because I tortured Chad by giving him a perfect life. And then yanked it away from him at the end of this scene. Brutally.  The rest of the story follows the couple as they attempt to find their way back to the bliss they once shared.

copyright© 2010 by Leah Braemel

April 2001

Life couldn’t get any better. Chad Miller soaked in the sight of his baby daughter in her mother’s arms. Even from where he stood in the doorway, he could see Emily’s lips drawn into a bow, moving as if she was still suckling. The light from the bedside lamp limned Lauren, gilding her hair that spilled over her shoulder. Had any man ever been so lucky?

“Hey, babe,” he said softly so he wouldn’t disturb Emily.

Lauren turned her head and gave him a smile worthy of a Madonna. “I didn’t hear you come in. Everything go okay?”

“It went down perfect. We got the guy.” Pride swelled in him as she carefully placed Emily in her cradle beside their bed. “Got some other good news too. You’re looking at the Bureau’s newest Supervisory Special Agent.”

With a squeak of joy, Lauren ran toward him, heedless of the way the light turned her nightgown transparent. His cock hardened as he watched the V of her legs open and close with each step she took. No, not a Madonna. A siren. With a body to tempt any man. Except he was the only man who got to explore her sensuality.

He wrapped his arms about her and held her tight. God, he was so lucky to have them both. “I love you, baby.”

She pulled back and gave him a cocky grin. “That’s just because you hope to get lucky tonight.”
“I’m lucky every night. Ever since you came into my life, babe.”

Don’t forget to visit the other Snippet Saturday participants:

Lissa Matthews
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Eliza Gayle
HelenKay Dimon
Lauren Dane
Delilah Devlin

Deadlines Done

Yes, I’ve been a bad blogger this week. BUT I’ve finished my developmental/copy edits for Tangled Past and got them in on time. (My editor said they rocked – squee!), and did the cover-art form for it as well, which was also on deadline.

While I was trying to focus on that, Mom was released from hospital almost two weeks earlier than they’d originally anticipated. So on Friday I did some chores for her — bank, grocery shopping, pharmacy — then picked her up and drove her home. She’s do really well now and has home care come in every other day.  It’s worrisome that she’s out in the country almost an hour away but she’s determined to live independently. 

But now I’ve finally got a day where I don’t have to worry about a deadline. Oh. Wait. Christmas is next week. Thank heavens for Gizmo Guy who love shopping for presents and is really good at finding exactly what people want. (If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen me gushing over the new Stetson he just bought me. Pictures will follow)   He’s a keeper, Gizmo Guy is.

Oh, and I’ve picked up a 2011 Toronto Firefighters Calendar and plan on having a contest for it, like I did last year.  Look for it next Tuesday, and I’ll leave it open for a week as a New Year’s contest.

And so you can get a hint of what I’ve been slaving over/obsessing about this week, here’s a sneak peek at more of Tangled Past…

Tangled Past

Text copyright by Leah Braemel 

Sarah didn’t think she’d moved or made a sound, but Jackson jumped up from the bedroll and stared at her as if she’d shot a pistol. She whirled and raced for the door. He grabbed her before she could get out of the barn.

“How long have you been here? What did you see?” His words cracked through the air like a whip.

She opened her mouth but didn’t know what to say. For a woman, she was tall, but he topped her by half a foot. A sliver of moonlight slanted across his face, accentuating the sharp planes of his cheekbones while hiding his eyes in shadows. The moonlight also highlighted his lack of clothes, the broad expanse of chest, and flat belly, a body finely honed by hard work. Her gaze lowered, drawn to his still-rampant arousal.  It suddenly occurred to her how stupid she’d been, walking into the barn, alone with two men who could do whatever they wanted to her with no one to stop them.

“Damn it, what did you see?” He shook her, not so it hurt, but hard enough that her cloak fell to the ground.

“Nothing. I swear.” She closed her eyes, reminding herself that it wasn’t her he lusted after but another man. 

Footsteps crunched outside, headed toward the barn. He released her as he ducked his head around the door. His expression was grim when he returned; he grabbed her forearm and dragged her into the stall, swinging the door shut with his foot.

“Stay quiet,” he commanded in a furious whisper, yet she instinctively knew the fury wasn’t directed at her. He was angry that she’d caught them, true, but more likely he was angry at himself, she realized, possibly even afraid she’d denounce them.

Light. Whoever was coming must be carrying a lantern. They’d find her. Here. In a stall with Jackson. Who was most decidedly naked though his arousal had softened. It wouldn’t matter that she was still untouched by a man when they found them together. Josiah had been looking for a way to get rid of her and here she’d handed him the means on a platter. She could tell the MacLeods that these men weren’t interested in her but knowing her father’s sense of justice, these men would end up strung up by their necks and she’d still be abandoned at a brothel as soiled dove.

“I saw her go into the barn, I swear.” Walt’s voice floated through the crisp night air.

She cast about, searching for somewhere to hide.

“Ha! Here’s her cloak!” Triumph filled Walt’s voice. “See? I told you Jed was telling the truth about her sneaking into the barn.”

Jackson cursed under his breath; he shoved her into the darkest corner and trapped her against the wall. She shrank into the corner and made herself as small as possible. Despite her efforts to make no trouble, was she about to find herself abandoned, forced to work as a streetwalker to earn her next meal?

The stall door swung open and her father stood there, lantern in hand. “I know Sarah’s with you, Kellar. I can see her nightdress behind you.”

After a moment’s hesitation, Jackson stepped aside. Josiah’s eyes narrowed, their blue cold and assessing. “Walt, fetch the preacher. Now.”

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