Today I have a special guest blogger, Sandra Sookoo, who is doing her virtual book tour for her new release Hollywood Dreams and Buttercream.
Thanks for hosting me today, and thanks to the readers who’ve joined up as part of the Hollywood Dreams and Buttercream virtual blog tour. This is stop #1. Be sure to visit all stops to better your chance of winning swag!
First, let me introduce myself. My name is Sandra Sookoo. I write romantic fiction, but over the course of the last year, I’ve primarily focused on contemporary and Regency romance. My latest book is a sweet contemporary.
I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for old Hollywood movies. I’d say anything from the 1950s is my absolute favorite. When I set out to write this book, I had no idea I would include Hollywood trivia from that time period. One day, I had an urge to watch The African Queen, so I called it up on Netflix and became absorbed in the film. I’d seen it before, of course, and it always stuck with me (especially since bits of Disney’s Jungle Cruise ride are inspired by it) Anyway, I’m sure it comes as no surprise Gwynn and Cole watch this movie as part of the Movies in the Park in this book. It worked out surprisingly well and I’m very pleased with how it played out. I hope you will be too. (But you have to buy the book to find out what I’m talking about!)
Here’s the blurb for Hollywood Dreams and Buttercream:
Sometimes the sweetest things in life don’t have anything to do with dessert.
Gwynn Flannigan wants respect from her father and freedom from her big, loud family. The icing on her cake would be to win a decorating competition hosted by her favorite food magazine writer. Cole Marshall's one outlet from the stress of business life is writing his Cooking in the Buff feature. Who cares if he never has time for fun?
The answer for them both lies in the deep freeze at Sweet Endings, the struggling ice cream shop Gwynn manages and the one property Cole needs to secure a big promotion. He’s stuck in Madrigal, Indiana to unravel a knot of family drama that drives him crazy.
Things heat between Gwynn and Cole on the competition floor when Cole’s alter ego is revealed. Cake and accusations fly while dreams and goals are left crumbling. In order to balance family, business, and love, Gwynn and Cole will need to work together and become partners—in more ways than one.
And here’s an excerpt:
The ring of the smartphone sounded once more, this time with a series of high-pitched electronic beeps.
"That's it!" Before she could rationally think her plan and its repercussions through, Gwynn grabbed the offending piece of technology and shot to her feet. "Get out now." She glanced at the phone, found the appropriate button, and shut the thing off.
"Not without my phone." Cole stood. He held out his hand, fingers wiggling. "It's my property and taking it without asking is stealing."
"So is selling this place without giving me a chance. You, my father, and my brother are all the same. You never want to hear what I want. You all think a woman couldn't possibly do anything as well as a man." Her chest heaved from the force of her passion. "Well guess what, it's a brave new world, buster, and women are leading us all into the future."
His eyes were as cold as the dead of winter. His hand never wavered. "My phone, please."
The thrill from intercepting his phone died an early death as a dark expression crossed his face. The man who stood before her was every bit the arrogant attorney. No trace of compassion leaked into his bearing. He'd take what he wanted regardless of anything else. Gwynn swallowed past the lump of sudden fear in her throat. "You can have it back when you start negotiations for the store."
"There won't be any negotiations."
"We'll see." When Cole lunged for her hand, Gwynn shrieked and ran behind the counter. Hearing the clatter of his dress shoes against the tiles behind her, she ducked into the supply room then yanked open the door to the walk-in freezer.
The frosty interior instantly cooled her heated skin. Gwynn quickly moved to the far shelf, and then she turned around and held the phone behind her back. Cole's presence filled the freezer space. His broad shoulders blocked her view of the door and the florescent light beyond. Her heart raced as he approached. He didn't stop advancing until his body almost touched hers.
"Give me the phone, Gwynn. It's a vital part of my business." He inched close enough to slide an arm around her waist in an attempt to retrieve the smartphone.
"And this shop is my business, so I guess we're at a deadlock." Her backside pressed against the shelves stocked with frozen cardboard tubs of ice cream conflicted with her front that was wedged against the very warm, very hard body of a very angry Cole. In a different world, Gwynn acknowledged that having such a sexy man trying to feel her up in the freezer, albeit accidentally, would have been a highlight of her day, but this man was dangerous. He wanted her job, her livelihood, and he didn't care that she wanted to fight for it. "You need to leave."
"You need to return my phone." As Cole renewed the fight to retrieve his phone, his body rubbed against hers for one brief moment -- chest to chest, hip to hip, thigh to thigh and everywhere in between. Tingles erupted down her spine, intense and breath-catching. Gwynn caught a whiff of his cologne, a mix of cedar and citrus. She tamped the urge to put her face in the crook of his shoulder in order to smell him again.
Oh man, he'd be the perfect vehicle to lick ice cream from. She shook her head hoping to shove the thought away.
"No." Was it in answer to his question or her inappropriate thought?
"You're an adult, Gwynn. Such behavior is asinine and childish."
He sounds like Lyle. Another reason to avoid him. Her desire to annoy refreshed her anger. She pushed him away. He stumbled back, which gave her enough time to turn and chuck the phone into an open box of fudge pops on the top shelf. It landed with a satisfying thud. "Too bad. It's stuck there now, and technically, you're trespassing on private property." She crossed her arms over her breasts, hiding the evidence of the cold or her budding arousal. She didn't want to give him any ideas if her reaction was due to his closeness.
Or give me any ideas.
"Fine." Cole shoved the fingers of one hand through his hair. The look he shot her made Gwynn feel like pond scum. "I'll be back tomorrow morning. Your father had better be here, pen in hand, because whether you like it or not, I'm leaving town with a signed deed for this property. Your opinions hold no sway on the transaction."
You can purchase this book at the following locations:
Desert Breeze: http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/hollywood-dreams-and-buttercream-epub/
Have we connected on social media yet? If not, here’s my info. I’d love to talk to you!
Believing is Seeing blog: http://sandrasookoo.wordpress.com
Giveaway information on this post: One lucky random commenter will receive a Hollywood Dreams and Buttercream swag pak. Be sure to leave your contact information.
Thanks, Sandra for that hot excerpt. I can see Gwynn and Cole are going to have a great story.