So, Aurelia can you tell us a bit about what you'll be getting up to this Christmas, what you're looking forward to next year and if you've got any New Year's resolutions you can tell us about?
I’ve had a bit of a shock this year.
In fact, it’s almost time to hit the big red panic button.
Even as I countdown the number of sleeps until Christmas with my little ones, I hadn’t made the connection that I was running out of shopping/posting time. I’m usually so organized with Christmas shopping – I have to be with both of my children having birthdays early in the new year – but this year has completely caught me out. I know Christmas is next week, but the panic-inducing knowledge still isn’t firing me into action. Why does it feel like I have loads of time? When I really don’t! It’s like I’m in a parallel universe or something.
So why am I so distracted?
I can only assume it’s because I’m so consumed with my debut release on Friday, and all the behind-the-scenes tasks that go with that, like sourcing reviews, promotional blog tour, etc. It also doesn’t help that it was all very last-minute in the end, like my life was on hold until I’d finished the final round of line edits and signed off my story, ready for publication. Professionally, I probably appear really organized, and I guess I am. Maybe something had to give? Maybe two major blog events and a new release, as well as edits on another story, were just that bit too much after all?
Thankfully, the kids main presents are bought – if we bought them, of course, but we all know it’s Father Christmas bringing them – and there’s nothing we’ve really got to do by a fixed time. Some online shopping and a dash to the shops, then the usually obscenely late night on Christmas Eve as we wrap the presents (read ‘I’ wrap the presents, seeing as Mr ABR will be busy assembling a dolls house), and it will be fine. Then all too soon, it’ll be time to peel my eyelids open and share in the glee of being showered in the wrapping paper that I’ve only just finished fastening around the gifts in the stockings. Those same stockings discovered at eek ‘o’ clock in the morning by my exuberant cherubs.
At least some things will be just the same as usual…
Then it’s off to spend the day with my wonderful in-laws, to enjoy another mammoth present opening session with two, now very spoiled, giddy children, with their wide eyes only rivaled by their wide smiles. My mother-in-law cooks a fabulous Christmas dinner, even for the fussy vegetarian daughter-in-law (ahem!), and the house seems to expand to fit everybody in and chairs come out of hiding. Home again, having crammed everything into the car and spend the entire journey panicking about where we’re going to put all the new goodies, whilst the two small passengers in the back are claimed by sleep after a very long, and exciting day.
Every year, I come up with a set of resolutions for the new year – usually one personal, one professional, and one other – and this year will be no exception. I haven’t quite pinned them down for this year, but I will be making an announcement on my blog once I have. There will definitely be a reading challenge for the third year running, and I really want to get at least two works in progress completed; ideally with one contracted, and one self-published before the year is out. And let’s not forget that my raunchier alter-ego, Allie A Burrow, is unleashed in March as part of an anthology, so, watch this space…
Thanks for sharing Aurelia, sounds like you have busy times ahead! And now to the book!!
Matilda 'Tilly' Carter didn't think her day could get any worse, but even Christmas had just been cancelled.
The one girl Dean Watson has sworn never to have—never even expected to see again—just flared back into his life and into his home—his sanctuary—like she belonged there. Christmas would certainly be more bearable with Tilly around though…
As the chinks in Dean's armor appear, Tilly seizes the chance to win her knight once and for all. She's not about to take no for answer—not this time—but Dean must resist, even as his heart rebels and temptation threatens to undermine his resolve.
Win or lose? Love or honor? Which will Dean choose? Assuming he gets a choice…
Tears welled in her eyes, clouding her vision. She turned and wandered blindly toward the exit as the first tear escaped, forging a track down her cheek for the rest to follow. Tilly took in a lungful of air and then another. Having made a spectacle of herself once already, she really didn't want to be the cause of yet another scene.
The crowds swarmed around her, with students and family members heading home for the holidays only adding to the usual rush-hour melee of commuters. They jostled past, threatening to swallow her whole, as they rushed en mass in the opposite direction, using their briefcases and suitcases as a battering ram.
It was suffocating. She had to get out of there. Breaking into a run, broken heel or not, she raced through the doors and out into the biting December chill. Her waterlogged eyes struggled to adjust to the dark, dreary sky after the bright station lights, but she didn't dare slow down, desperate to escape the throng of festivities and merriment.
Carol singers assembled outside burst into a jovial rendition of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," full of joy and happiness. Didn't they know Christmas had just been cancelled?
"Ooof!" Tilly smacked her shin against the edge of a low bench, too dark to see as she tried to dodge the growing audience. She ended up sprawled across the bench, dropping the handle of her suitcase with a loud clatter.
At least the pain shooting down her leg gave her an excuse to be crying. Unfortunately, it meant she had to stop running too. Not good. Whenever things got too tough, too intimate, or too confrontational, you could rely on her to make a run for it. Running away was what she did best...
A tall figure loomed in the edge of her vision, something vaguely familiar about the man's loping gait. In an effort to see him more clearly, she wiped her eyes with the back of her hands, then cringed inwardly at the black streaks now etched all over them. Great. She could add impersonating a panda to her day from hell as well then.
The mascara stung her eyes, rendering her unable to focus properly. She blinked furiously as the man strode past her, talking into a mobile phone in a deep voice that resonated throughout her body and made the fine hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. A surge of adrenaline rushed to her legs, numbing the pain as her subconscious told her to run. Now!
The cloaked figure stopped mid-stride as if he'd heard her gasp. "Mike, I've gotta go," he barked into the phone, hanging up instantly. He backtracked until he was standing right in front of her, his tone changing from a growl to one of surprise. "Basmati?"
Great. She hadn't heard the nickname for years—nine years, four months and...sixteen days, to be exact—and even then, only one person had ever actually used it. She screwed her eyes tightly shut, shaking her head from side to side. No. No way. There was absolutely no way this could be happening to her. Not now. Not today of all days... Talk about kicking a girl when she was down.
About the Author
Aurelia B Rowl is a contemporary romance author but you can also find her masquerading as Allie A Burrow, her raunchier alter-ego.
She lives on the edge of the Peak District in the UK with her very understanding husband and their two fantastic children aged 5 and 3, along with their mad rescue mutt who doesn’t mind being used as a sounding post and source of inspiration. They are all used to her getting too caught up with her latest writing project... or five!... and she is guiltily counting down the months until she has both kids at school full-time.
To find out more about Aurelia, or to check out what projects she's working on right now, you can visit her website www.aureliabrowl.com
You can also find her hanging out on:
Blog – blogspot.aureliabrowl.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/aurelia.b.rowl
Twitter – @AureliaBRowl
Google+ – +AureliaBRowl
Pinterest – www.pinterest.com/aureliabrowl
Goodreads – www.goodreads.com/aureliabrowl