It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. - Seneca

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Find out ALL about Author Lainey Bancroft & THE TROUBLE WITH TESSA...*Contest*


Andrea asked me for a bio. Hmm. I'll stretch my fiction skills to the limit in an attempt to make a suburban Ontario housewife sound scintillating. Here goes:

By day Lainey Bancroft is a mild mannered office manager for the HVAC business she owns with her husband (frequently referred to as Gas, long story—with several different endings).

The office is run from her home so often has the luxury of working in her pj’s and is also available as a truant officer for her teens, Groovy Girl, who prefers art to arithmetic and is attending the local college for graphic design, and Groovy’s brother Tech who spends hours on end playing guitar riffs from old head banger music and would rather hack into the school computer than actually go to school. (We reckon he'll either be the next Billy the Kid or the next Bill Gates)

Lainey also works part time in a busy pizza restaurant, stirring up dough, sauce and…occasionally just causing a stir. She likes to indulge her athletic side by cleaning up after a ten-month-old Golden Doodle puppy, a.k.a as the 'Dirt Devil' who lives to shred houseplants, a geriatric, attitude disordered cat that thinks he is a German Sheppard, and the newest addition to the family, a pure black kitten who wandered in despite the other crazy pets and never left. We call her Stella because she can scream just like DeNiro. Stel...lah! Yep, showing my age, for sure.

In addition to gardening and a vast kitchen repertoire that has earned her the—ahem, privilege—of hosting every family party and event, Lainey also writes.

Her romance stories run the gamut on the sensuality scale, leaving her to wonder if she is sinfully sweet, or sweetly sinful. Recently she celebrated her 13th release, the novella Sunni Side Up, included in The Wild Rose Press OUT OF THE DARK anthology.

Lainey also has short works of erotic romance and speculative fiction published under a name she has yet to publicly admit to. Stay tuned.

There! And if that didn’t fulfill your more- than-you-ever-wanted-to-know wishes, feel free to pop over to my web site or other cyber-haunts:

http://www.facebook.com/lainey.bancroft
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1793307.Lainey_Bancroft
http://twitter.com/#!/LaineyBancroft


REVIEWS~

5/5 Hearts from The Romance Studio:

“I loved this poignant contemporary romance. As cheesy as it may sound, this book really did warm my heart! I love a good cry as long as I get my happily-ever-after and I got that and so much more with this tale… This is definitely a story that I will find myself reading again and again and I highly recommend it.”

Jackpot

5 STARS: "From the beginning, this book hit the ground running. The sex is great. This is a sultry romance. Enjoy a guilty pleasure; indulge in this book." -- Ashley Turlington, Review Your Book Long and Short Reviews Book of The Week!

This book is full of love, laughter, tears, and frustrations as both her main characters work their way through the blockades that threaten to keep them apart. She never disappoints. This is another book well worth reading.Literary Nymphs Reviews 4.5/5


"With one of the best opening hook ups I’ve ever read, Jackpot is tantalizing from the start, the strength and sex appeal of the leading characters catching my attention straight away. The author does a great job of creating the setting and I found it very easy to immerse myself in Cassidy’s life from the start."Read the full review HERE


Cozumel Karma

5/5 Nymphs. An outstanding read! Click for full review!

I absolutely loved Cozumel Karma from the start and can’t recommend it highly enough to fans of the genre. I was instantly captivated by Maggie and Pat and the trouble they’ve had to go through to get where they are today was believable and at times, heart-wrenching. Maggie’s development in particular was a success as she starts out as a strong, independent woman whose duty to her family is becoming detrimental to her own well-being but as things progress, we see just what an effect her childhood has had on her. I really did worry at times that it might all be too much for her to overcome and I honestly don’t know how the character survived this long with her family and upbringing dragging her down at every possible opportunity. There is intrigue with the character of Cole as it is obvious from the start that he is just what Maggie needs but his life is a mystery to her and she fights the desire to learn more about him as she believes no one is ever as good as they first seem. The entire cast is so strong and I really was kept guessing to the end just how these characters could possibly get their happy ending. The plot grabbed my attention and one plot twist in particular, which I won’t spoil here, is worthy of much praise. I look forward to reading more from this author.


Action and Satisfaction

Reviewed by LASR


"Action and Satisfaction" is the touching and entertaining story of Eva and Seth. Eva is a strong, professional woman who had a hard time growing up, but has made the best of it and came out on top...Seth is a good looking man who has always enjoyed his life. He is an architect and never stays in any one place any longer than it takes to complete the job and move on to the next. He always looks forward to taking jobs in his hometown, so that he and Eva can reconnect. When his latest homecoming doesn’t turn out as he hoped, he is left wounded and disappointed...I enjoyed every aspect of this story, from the strong and likeable characters to the interesting story of Eva and Seth. The editing was clean, the passion was hot, the writing flowed well and the plot moved at a perfect pace." Reviewed by The Literary Nymphs



The story moves at a nice pace and the writing ran smoothly. The plot was fun, with just the right amount of melodrama and decadence counterbalanced with very human characters with flaws that were displayed for all to see.


THE TROUBLE WITH TESSA is filled with characters that seem so real. They deal with prejudice, financial worries, care of the sick and aged, catastrophic illness, babies born out of wedlock, and inner conflict that cause a barrel of tears and any number of sleepless nights.The roller coaster of emotional highs and lows keeps the reader turning pages.

THE TROUBLE WITH TESSA, a story of forgiveness, acceptance, and unconditional love, examines attitudes that hurt, but it also shows how love can overcome monumental obstacles.~Read the review at Long & Short Reviews

I liked the characterizations in The Trouble with Tessa and how Tanner and Erin’s relationship slowly built. Tessa played a very realalistic role in this story. This is a feel good story that will have you caring for the characters. Night Owl Romance


5 Hearts from The Romance Studio

Bridesmaid Blues Reviewed by Seriously Reviewed 18/20!

WONDERFUL story! Tell me if you can what better feeling is there than knowing you are loved for who you are rather than what you are?Ms Bancroft has done a wonderful job and I can't wait to see more from her!

THIS EXCERPT FROM 'THE TROUBLE WITH TESS' WON 1ST PLACE, Single-Title Category of the SAN Antonio Romance Authors’ Merritt ‘Magic Moment’ Contest:

The only flight Erin was able to book departed Wednesday, but she happily cleared her schedule.

She also derived a twisted amount of pleasure from telling Jeanine it was because she was flying to the tropics for the weekend to surprise the babe-a-luscious for his birthday. The girl’s eyes nearly popped out of her head. The joy of that was second only to her opportunity to tell Sheila she couldn’t attend a Tupperware party she was throwing because she was running away for four days of torrid sex with a virtual stranger.


"Yeah right, Erin,” Sheila snorted. “We’ve been friends for years. If you don’t want to come to my party just say so. Don’t make up ridiculous excuses.”

The flight was short and uneventful, the night of waiting for Tanner and Tessa to arrive, long and restless. Erin was at the airport in plenty of time. Nerves and the tropical St. Martin heat beaded her brow and palms with sweat as she paced by the arrival gate, her pulse increasing every minute. It beat at maximum heart rate level when flight 109 was announced, and headed toward the danger zone when she caught sight of Tanner’s dark head above the crowds.

Tessa saw her first. When the girl’s tired face lit like a sunbeam, Erin’s heart soared and she battled to rein it in. Of course Tessa would be thrilled, she’d planned the surprise. But how would Tanner feel about her unexpected arrival? Did the arrangement they had include intruding on a family getaway? She wished he’d look up, at least make eye contact so she could gauge his reaction before they came face to face, but Tanner appeared to be in a complete zone, maybe even a little grim and distant.

He was still oblivious to Erin’s presence when Tessa darted ahead of him and raced to her side.

He finally caught sight of her then, and paused a carry on bag suspended mid swing in each hand.

The light in his eyes was all the answer Erin needed. Her angst turned to anticipation as she rushed forward. Tanner released both bags in time to catch her as she threw her arms around his neck.

“You got me!” he howled. “You sneaky things. I had no idea what you were up to.”

“Really, T? Honest?” Tessa clapped her hands in glee.


“Cross my heart.” He actually performed the childish gesture. “I almost wanted to stay home or treat myself to a self-indulgent little side trip to Toronto when Erin said she couldn’t make it. I can’t believe you’re really here.”

Erin shivered as he stroked his hands up and down her arms and across her hair as though trying to convince himself she wasn’t an apparition. He finally cupped her face in both hands and kissed her tenderly. Deep inside her, something instantly shifted and ignited, but not hot longing in her belly, like his kisses usually caused, more a tender warmth in the region of her heart. She repressed another shiver, surprised at the hot sting of tears behind her lids. So much for keeping a sensible distance until she figured out exactly how involved Tanner wanted her to be in his little family.

“Oh honey, I can’t believe how good it feels to hold you.” He pulled her closer. “You win, Tess. I’ll never come up with anything to beat this.”


“I know.” Tessa jumped up and down like a little girl and clapped her hands. “Say it T,” she ordered.


Tanner threw back his head and hollered, “You are the champion!” Tessa and Erin laughed. Everyone else in the small airport turned and stared.

Erin couldn’t believe how effortlessly they fell back into the same easy camaraderie they’d experienced at New Years. Tanner collected the rental car, and they drove straight to his condo.



It was a gorgeous little place with a tiny bathroom and utility kitchen, two small bedrooms and a screened sun porch that extended over the vast sand beach. They only stayed long enough to change into swimwear and then made their way to the oceans edge.

Tessa lugged along a little folding chair with an umbrella that clamped to the back. She turned it away from the sun, explaining that she loved the heat, but burned like a lobster in minutes. She slathered herself in sunscreen, pulled dark glasses over her eyes and flopped in her chair with a stack of fashion magazines.

Tanner spread a quilt in the sand and lay back with his head resting on his crossed arms and a contented smile on his face.


“Seeing you in that tiny blue bathing suit is already more than any man deserves, but I’m kind of a greedy bastard. Get over here with that bottle of oil and let me grease you up.”

Erin kneeled beside him, squirting lotion onto his stomach and gliding her hands seductively across his ribs, his firm pecs and then down his already bronzing biceps. His warm skin and smooth muscles beneath her palms sent ripples of awareness and anticipation coursing through her. She gave him a small shove and he obligingly rolled to his belly and let her repeat the whole process on his back for a while before flipping unexpectedly, grabbing her and pulling her on top of him.


“Enough already,” he growled, stroking his tongue up her sweaty neck. “This beach is fairly deserted, but nowhere near abandoned enough for the trouble we’re going to get in if you keep touching me like that.”


She smiled; glad to know she wasn’t swimming in her sexual stupor alone. She sat cross-legged, sweeping her hair into a messy ponytail on top of her head and baring her neck to him. “Do me,” she ordered.


“Don’t have to ask me twice, doing you was precisely what I had in mind.” He pressed his lips to her shoulder.

“I meant…”


“I know what you meant. I still have some blood flowing toward the area of my brain, Erin.” He coated her in lotion as slowly and thoroughly as she’d done him.

They stayed until dusk, soaking up the sun and frolicking in the warm water, and then made their way back to the condo to shower the sand and salt from their skin. Dressed casually, they meandered along the beach to a surfside pub, where they feasted on laughter, margaritas, and peel and eat shrimp. The enterprising Tessa had even managed to pre-arrange for a cake. In the dim candlelight, Erin swore Tanner had tears in his eyes when she and his niece warbled out a pathetically off key rendition of happy birthday.

It was nearly midnight when they got back to the condo. Tessa stood slapping her hands on her thighs in restless agitation that made Erin think of Tanner’s tendency to constantly jiggle one knee.


“So, T, I could sleep on the fold out in the sun room if you think Erin wants my bed. Or I could just sack out on a deck chair if you like. It’s a beautiful night. I could well…whatever you want.”


“I want you to go to bed.” Tanner’s blunt delivery was accompanied with an affectionate smile. “Close your door, close your eyes, your ears and your nasty little imagination and just go to bed.”


“Aye Aye captain.” Tessa offered a mocking salute. She stood on tiptoe and brushed his jaw and then Erin’s cheek with a kiss. “Pretty cool birthday eh, T?”

“I already said it once shrimp, don’t push your luck.”

“Awe come on, it was a surprise worth hearing it twice.”


“Fine.” Tanner mocked an intolerant grunt. “YOU ARE THE CHAMPION! Are you happy now?”


“Yupp. Are you?”

“I am. I’ll be even happier after you’re in bed.”

“Color me gone.” Tessa disappeared, shutting her door with a resounding slam.

With a hand in the small of her back, Tanner guided Erin to the cushioned sofa in the sunroof, repressing a smile when she sat at the opposite end from him and demurely crossed her legs. The familiar sexual charge crackled between them, but he sensed a hesitance in Erin he couldn’t put a finger on. It wasn’t the first time, and it also wasn’t the first time a vague sense of guilt had snaked through him. If he’d been more open about his intentions for contacting her in the beginning, would she still be throwing up these roadblocks?

Reminding himself total honesty was an option he’d examined and discarded, all he could hope is that should the need for full disclosure arise, they would be comfortably established in a relationship and ready to ride out the storm. Tess was worth the chaos. His niece and her health and happiness were worth anything and everything. Deciding to give Erin the space her closed body language begged for, he asked how she and Tessa had pulled off their surprise.
He shook his head after she’d explain. “That kid is something else.”


Erin’s stiff posture relaxed and a soft, motherly smile that singed him with equal parts heat and guilt parted her lips. “The way you and that kid love each other is something else. I believe you’d do anything to make each other happy.”


“You have no idea.” Tanner sat forward; for once he had no desire to discuss Tessa. He wanted to take Erin in his arms, make love to her, and forget there was anything between them except the combustible chemistry that had burst to life the first time they met. Deception was more exhausting than he’d have ever imagined. He rested his head on the back of the sofa, yawned hugely and then sat forward, trying to shake off his exhaustion.

“Long day?” She slid toward him and kneaded the tight muscles along the side of his neck until he groaned in pleasure.


“Long flight. Besides, I’m old now. Guess I can’t handle as much fun and sun as I used to.” Or the pangs of conscience I never suffered before I met you.


“Maybe we should call it a day. So we’re not too tired to enjoy tomorrow. Um, Tess mentioned this sofa folds out?”


“It does.” He pulled her into his arms and lay back. “But you know my bed is a lot more comfortable and I wouldn’t throw you out for eating crackers.”

He cut her protest short, running a hand up her abdomen, cupping her breast and nibbling the hard point of her nipple through the thin cotton of her sun dress. Her body automatically arched toward him, but she caught her breath. “Do you think this is appropriate, with Tessa here and everything?”


“Appropriate. There she goes again.” Tanner tilted his head, talking to the slowly revolving ceiling fan. “Do you realize you march out that particular word every time you get a bit uncomfortable? I’m going to buy you a thesaurus. I’m getting a little sick of hearing it.”


She lifted a shoulder. “It might not be the best idea for Tess to realize we’re intimate yet.”

Tanner rolled, grabbing her bottom and pulling her against him in a way that was intimate to the extreme. “She’s a modern, millennium kid, Erin. She’d think it was a lot less appropriate for me to be here with a beautiful woman and not take her to my bed. She’d probably start worrying I was some sort of freak as a matter of fact.”


“But she might start reading more into it than what’s really there, Tanner. We still don’t know each other all that well. What if you suddenly tire of me after you move, and decide to move on? Her making assumptions about this relationship could make things more difficult for her.”


He captured her final muttered words in a deep kiss, and then shifted enough to offer her a soft smile. “What if I make love to you all weekend, fall in love and can’t picture a future for Tessa or myself without you in it? You better think of that honey, because it’s a lot likelier scenario than yours.”


If any woman could resist that logic, it certainly wasn’t her. She curled around him, tilting her head back. Her body lifted, shifted and gravitated toward the heat of his hands like it was the most natural thing in the world.

*CONTEST*
Lainey will be giving away two prizes when the SPOTLIGHT is over!! One lucky commenter will win an E-copy of The Trouble with Tessa, and one person who comments on BOTH days of the SPOTLIGHT will win a print copy!!! So make sure you leave a comment for your chance to win!!!

14 comments:

Brindle Chase said...

What a great peek into Lainey!! Thanks for sharing this and I love the excerpt fpr Trouble with Tess. I read the book and it was a great reminder of the wonderful tale!

Anywho, great interview and you did fabulous on the bio! Wanna write mine? *lol*

Sky Purington said...

Great reviews and another super excerpt, Lainey. WTG!

Lainey said...

Brindle, you're a sweetheart to say how you enjoyed Tessa!

And thanks.

Your bio is great. It shows you're a romantic at heart, whereas I suspect mine mostly shows I have a multiple personality disorder. :0

Lainey said...

Thanks Sky!

What an awesome, supportive cheerleader you are! =)

Judy said...

Congrats on the great reviews for what promises to be a great read!

Brandy B aka Brandlwyne said...

Awesome reviews!!! Congrats :) Do you have any new books in the works?

-Brandy

Lainey said...

Judy, thanks! And thanks for stopping in!

Lainey said...

Hey Brandy...I have new out the wazoo. lol

I'm waiting with fingers crossed on a requested full manuscript to a fairly major publisher on my novel WILLOW LANDING, which is sort of along the same lines as TESSA--home/family/+romance.

And I'm working on a proposal for a small town romance series, editing a novella I'm considering self-publishing, and also polishing the 1st book in what I hope will be an urban fantasy romance series.

Oh, and I'm getting set to post a free novella for Valentine's Day! A VALENTINE FOR VICTORIA should be up in the next few days. Hope you'll pop by my blog, give it a read and let me know what you think. =)

Pat said...

It very intersting.It is something
that I wish I would brave enth to do run away for the weekend to just be with tje weekend

horseunicornkey@aol.com

hotcha12 said...

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHH I WANT IT!! I WANT IT!!!

Brindle Chase said...

Oooooo...*keeping fingers crossed for Willow Landing*

Audrey said...

I just saw that an Audrey won, I hope it was me (and that I'm not to late ^^

e-mail: pitiponc@hotmail.com

Lainey said...

Hi, Audrey. Nope, not too late. The Trouble With Tessa is on the way momentarily!

Thanks to all for playing along and to The Chicks for letting me stand under their Spotlight.

Hugs
Lainey

Judy said...

I am not sure. Is this the place to post. I think I am lost:)

I think I won the print copy!!

Judy
magnolias_1[at]msn[dot]com

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