Today it is my pleasure to welcome romance author Libby Mercer to HJ!
Thank you so much for having me on the blog today, Sara! I’m seriously stoked to be up here with so many illustrious romance authors. Nerdy fan girl moment aside, today I’m going to chat a little about my latest release, The Karmic Connection.
What is the universe up to?
Guilty of nothing more than working too much – or so they say – Adam Stowe is dumped at a “wellness center” in the middle of nowhere by a couple of concerned colleagues. When he meets Lorraine, the beautiful and bewitching yoga instructor, his spirits start to lift, but once he discovers what a flighty fruitcake she is, they drop back down to subterranean levels.
For Lorraine Jameson, Luna Wellness Center was a beacon of solace when her life was falling apart, and she can’t stand the way Adam’s toxic energy is poisoning the peace. He embodies everything negative about the life she discarded eighteen months ago. Despite being fiercely attracted to the arrogant man, she’s determined not to let Adam Stowe anywhere near her heart.
Adam and Lorraine couldn’t be more unsuitable as a potential couple… so why is the universe so dead set on uniting these two?
The Karmic Connection is a different kind of love story with a cast of quirky characters and a mystical, magical New Age-y flavor.
I have to say, picking my five favorite scenes was no easy feat! At the risk of sounding stuck up, I feel like each one of my scenes has its own purpose, whether to increase tension, to reveal character or to add a little comic relief. After much deliberation, I came up with my top five. And here they are:
1) The scene where Adam and Lorraine first meet. At the start of the novel, Adam is an arrogant piece of work and I’m in his head when he first meets Lorraine. I had so much fun writing this scene from his obnoxious perspective.
2) The first scene in Celeste’s head. This is a bit unconventional, but I have two scenes told from the perspective of someone other than my hero and heroine. Celeste is the owner of the wellness center, and she’s got a sort of omniscient vibe – a New Age-y fairy godmother, if you will. I really enjoyed stepping away from Adam and Lorraine for a moment to tell the story from an outsider’s point of view. An outsider with a lot of insight, that is.
3) The flashback scene. I can’t say much without getting all spoiler-y, but it’s an important scene that helps the reader really understand Lorraine. And it was an extremely emotional bit to write. Still makes me cry when I read over it.
4) The epilogue. I love writing epilogues – that glimpse into the future when everything’s all tied up nicely.
5) The pressure points scene. Poor Lorraine doesn’t know what to do with her intense attraction to Adam, and in this scene, it just builds and builds and she’s just about to explode.
Giveaway: The Karmic Connection by Libby Mercer
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and post a comment to this Q: Luna Wellness Center is all about relaxing and decompressing, and Lorraine has her tried and tested methods when it comes to helping her relax. What sort of things do you like to do to unwind?
Here’s an excerpt:
She walked over and knelt down beside him. “Adam?” she murmured. She touched his shoulder and he lifted his head with a wince. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah. I’ll be all right.” He closed his eyes and when he opened them again, he gave her a wry smile. “I just sat up too fast.”
She nodded in understanding. “How many cups of coffee do you drink each day?”
“Usually about seven. Or eight.” He lowered his head back to his knees. “I don’t suppose you guys have any aspirin?”
“I’m afraid not.” Lorraine bit down on her bottom lip. He looked so miserable. Her hands burned to stroke his cheek, to kiss away his pain, and she was mortified by her inappropriate desire. In order to prevent herself from doing something unacceptable, she kept talking. “But I can make you a special tea that will help.”
“Tea. Great.” He closed his eyes again.
Serena looked over from where she was rolling up her yoga mat, concern written all over her wise, old face. “Is he okay?” she mouthed.
Lorraine shrugged and then nodded. He would be okay, although she knew how gruesome he must have been feeling at that moment. She’d been there once.
She felt torn. There was something she could do to help (in addition to the special tea) but it would probably complicate her feelings further.
Stop being a baby, Jameson.
In truth, Lorraine really had no choice in the matter, being bound by oath and all…
“Give me your hand, Adam,” she instructed, sitting back on her feet.
He opened his eyes in surprise and then promptly narrowed them in bemusement. “What for?”
Now it was Lorraine’s turn to close her eyes in irritation, but only for a brief moment. She reopened them and said, “Pressure points. Just do it.”
He gave her a skeptical look, but he relented and offered her a hand.
Lorraine did her best not to notice the perfect shape of Adam’s hand, and she tried to ignore the thrilling sensation that shot through her body as she took that smooth, warm hand in hers. She did her best not to notice the way the candlelight gave Adam’s hand a delicious golden glow, as if it had been lightly glazed in butterscotch sauce, and she tried desperately not to fantasize about licking it off.
Honestly! She needed to get a hold of herself. She took one deep, cleansing breath after another, and then she balled her hand into a fist, jammed it under Adam’s palm, found the fleshy bit between his thumb and forefinger, and she pressed down as hard as she could with her thumb.
One, two, three, four.
“Yikes, Lorraine. You’ve got really strong thumbs,” he said quietly.
“Mm hmm.” She didn’t look at him. She couldn’t. Why wasn’t he being rude? It really helped her when he was being rude. Where was that negative energy when she needed it? He was so close. He was too close. The scent of him was intoxicating. Most of the men she came across these days smelled like patchouli and sandalwood. Adam just smelled clean. Like rain.
Goddess, forgive me. I just want him so much…
Focus, Jameson! Sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen.
She tried to slow her breathing, but it was no use. Her body was out of control. It felt like each and every one of her nerve endings was waving a sparkler around and a marching band had set up camp inside her heart. As for her belly, it felt like there were two or maybe two-hundred trapeze artists swinging through the air down there.
What was going on?! Lorraine shook her head and peeled her gaze away from Adam’s hand. The studio buzzed with activity. Frank rolled up his yoga mat. Naomi pulled on a pair of warm, woolen socks. Joel waved to Lorraine before he left the studio, and she nodded back at him, smiling goodbye.
Breathe in… and breathe out. Breathe in… and breathe out.
The deep breathing helped. And it also helped to avoid looking at Adam and his hand. She locked her gaze on the candles flickering from the low wooden bench against the wall and focused on her breathing.
Lorraine was so preoccupied with maintaining control that she completely lost sight of the matter at hand. She tried to figure out how many seconds had gone by. Forty-seven? Sixty-two? Seventy-eight? She had no idea.
A gentle squeeze of her shoulder made her jump. Instinctively, she released her grip on Adam’s pressure point and clutched his hand tightly. Also instinctively (probably) he clutched her hand back just as tightly.
Born and raised in the Midwest, Libby Mercer’s adventurous spirit kicked in after graduating from high school, and she’s since lived in Boston, NYC and London. For several years, Libby worked in fashion – first as a journalist and then as a shopkeeper, and for a while she dabbled in design. Libby has been a writer for as long as she can remember. She penned her first book at age seven – a picture book entitled BIG and small. Countless numbers of stories later, her first book, Fashioning a Romance, was published in May 2012, followed by Unmasking Maya and The Karmic Connection. Libby lives in San Francisco.