Spotlight & Giveaway: The SEAL’s Christmas Twins by Laura Marie Altom

Posted December 17th, 2013 by in Blog, Spotlight / 123 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome romance author Laura Marie Altom to HJ!

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Hi Laura, Welcome back to HJ

What is your favorite trope to read, one you will never get tired of?

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Love, love, love reunion stories!!

Let’s talk about your newest release: The SEAL’s Christmas Twins

If you had to summarize the book for the readers here

It’s like a snow globe, only instead of snow, think emotions!

Please tell us about the characters in your book?

Hattie owns a seaside bar in Conifer, Alaska. She’s an Alaskan tomboy–tough as nails on the outside, but inside, secretly wishing for an elusive something more.

Mason’s was once married to Hattie’s big sister. A former crab fisherman, when he came home from an extended trip to find his wife in bed with his best friend, he left town to join the Navy and never looked back. He’s now a SEAL.

Was it love at first sight for your characters? If not what was the pivotal moment of change?

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Yes, for Hattie. She’s literally loved Mason most of her life. Mason has always loved Hattie, but not in “that” way. She was a little sister to him–that is, until he noticed she’d grown-up…

If your characters could go back in time and change one thing what would it be? Why?

This story opens with the death of Hattie’s sister and brother-in-law. I suppose Hattie would wish for her sister to still be alive, but had that wish come true, there wouldn’t be a story.

Mason faces the same moral and emotional dilemma.

What scene did you have the most fun writing? Why?

Ear muffs if you’re under eighteen–LOL!!–but Hattie struggles with body image issues, and there’s a lovemaking scene in which Mason shows her how beautiful she truly is, both inside and out. Having always battled with my own weight, this scene tugged at my heart, and only made me love Mason more.

What scene was the hardest to write? Why?

This scene is midway through the book, during Thanksgiving. Hattie’s deceased sister was the “Martha Stewart” of her family. She made every holiday flawless, and Hattie’s trying for her nieces’ sake to do the same, only her pumpkin pie’s a disaster.

The scene was tough for me, not only because this very thing happened in my own family with my grandmother who is no longer with us, but for Hattie, reality is sinking in that she and Mason will never be together. Also, her parents boycotted the meal in protest, as they feel their grandchildren should legally belong to them. Mason’s father, Jerry, and neighbor Fern share the scene.

Paling, Hattie said, “Mason, you tasted it and told me it was fine.”

Yeah, he’d also been distracted. “Honestly, not only have my taste buds been ruined by dousing hot sauce on the Navy’s bland Meals Ready to Eat, but I’m more of a pecan pie kind of guy. I’m not even sure what pumpkin’s supposed to taste like.” And to prove it, he dove his fork right into the pie’s center. He chewed and chewed and when he couldn’t hold his fake smile a second longer, he deposited the bite into his fancy cloth napkin. “Okay, so it might be a little salty, but otherwise, it’s pretty good.”

“Oh, stop.” Hattie tossed her napkin on the table, then dashed off up the stairs.

Fern scowled at both men. “Good lord, were you two raised in a barn? Poor, girl. It’s her first time hosting a big holiday. Couldn’t you lie? I ate my whole piece.”

Snorting, Jerry said, “That’s because you’re crazy.”

“No,” she argued, “I have manners. Mason, you’d better go after her. It’s not every day your own parents stand you up, then your pumpkin pie sucks.” She hacked off a chunk of pumpkin bread, slathering it with butter. “Everything else is real good, though.”

Mason followed Fern’s advice, charging upstairs. The closed guest room door may have muffled Hattie’s sobs, but that didn’t help him feel better about the situation. Quiet tears were still tears and he hated knowing she was hurt.

He knocked. “Hat Trick? Can I come in?”

“No! And stop calling me that!”

For a split second he considered respecting her apparent wish for privacy, but then barged in, closing the door behind him. “What’s with the waterworks? It was only a pie. And Dad and Fern have eaten damn near every crumb of the other stuff you cooked.”

“You’re such a man. The pie was just the cherry on top of what has been a seriously awful day. Everything was supposed to be perfect, but nothing went right.”

Perched on the bed alongside her, he skimmed hair from her eyes. “Funny, because up until a few minutes ago, I thought it’s been a pretty great day. I’ve got you and the girls with me. My dad and Fern. I’m sorry your parents and Alec’s chose not to come, but that’s their loss.”

“You’re just saying that to be nice. And don’t think for a second I didn’t see the way you were looking at all of Melissa’s pictures in the dining room.”

“What pictures?” He didn’t have a clue what she was talking about. “You sound as nutty as Fern.”

“Don’t even try pretending you don’t know what I mean. You slept with me last night, then today in the dining room, stared like a lovesick puppy at her and Alec’s parade of exotic vacation pics.”

“Those? Are you kidding me?” He crossed his arms. “Yeah, I looked at them all right—in disgust. If I looked sick, that’s because I was. I’m sorry those two died, and if this makes me sound like the most heartless ass on earth, then so be it, but the god’s honest truth is that to me, those two died the day Melissa left me to marry my so-called best friend.”

Up from the bed, he stood in front of the window. “Look, you have to forget the past. I don’t mean erasing your sister’s memory, but the role I once played in her life. Anything I felt for her has been over for a long time. As for me and you . . .”

“Oh my god, do you ever shut up? What’s the point of me doing anything in regard to you? The two of us are going nowhere, Mason. You know it and I know it. As soon as my cast comes off, you’re headed back to Virginia. I’ll be first to admit last night and what happened in Valdez, well—you and I both know it’ll never go further than that.”

Jaw clenched, Mason tapped his closed fist to his mouth.

“My sister was the dreamer. I’ve always been a realist.” She combed the guest room’s designer pillowcase’s fringe. “I’ll be first to admit our hook-up has been a nice surprise, but—”

“Aw, Hattie, you mean a helluva lot more than just a hook-up to me. Don’t you know that? But circumstances being what they are, I don’t have anything else to offer.”

“Trust me, I know.”

How did your character spend the week just before the story starts?

Hattie ran her bar. Business as usual. Nothing special.

Mason was immersed in training. Returning to his home town was the furthest thing from his mind.

Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book was optioned for a movie?

Not sure of their names, but I have models cast for both roles on the book’s Pinterest board:

What are you currently working on? What other releases so you have planned for 2013 into 2014?

I’m soooo excited to be finally working on THE COWBOY SEAL!!! Cooper is the ultimate dream guy–the perfect mix of cowboy and SEAL!! But boy, oh boy, does he have some baggage… LOL!!

It’ll be released 6/2014. After that, I just pitched four more SEAL books to my fab Harlequin editor, and she seemed to like them, so I need to work up a formal proposal so she can buy them!! LOL!!

I have lots of fun indie books available on Amazon:

Smooch–A modern day twist on the classic Frog Prince fairy tale!

Angel–An angelic peek into an unexpected couple’s surprising romance!

I’ll Die if I Don’t Make Cheerleading–My first middle grade fiction series that follows a little girl’s journey toward becoming a cheerleader.

And drum roll please…

I couldn’t be more tickled to announce that I just sold a single title to Random House that will be released in 2015!! The working title is Control, and is dark, sexy and edgy–not my usual baby story!! LOL!! But I hope my readers will still fall in love with these emotionally scarred characters!!

Thanks for blogging at HJ!

Giveaway: First three books in my Operation Family Navy SEALs series and a custom charm bracelet made especially for my SEAL stories!!

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Do you ever think about an old crush and wonder what he’s doing now?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Except

Gotta watch out for “blizzard Parties”!! LOL!!

The dining room furniture had been compressed, allowing for a makeshift dance floor. The roaring fire combined with laughing, gyrating bodies upped the room’s heat—both figuratively and literally. Lights had been dimmed to almost non-existent and she found herself embracing the dark.

It made her bold.

Made her forget herself and her worries and everything but this moment with the only man she’d ever wanted more than air.

Hattie lowered the zipper on her sweater, then fanned herself with a napkin. “You’d never know it’s probably ten degrees outside.”

He laughed, then held out his hand. “I love this song. Let’s dance.”

The song happened to be a classic—Rod Stewart’s, “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”. Never in a million years would Hattie have guessed Mason had even heard of it, let alone liked it. Apparently, a lot of other people did, too, as the dance floor grew crowded.

The song morphed into a slow and sexy Def Leopard number that had Hattie finding herself pressed against Mason in an anything but friendly manner. Swaying to the music, abandoning themselves to the fire’s hedonistic glow, he’d settled his hands low on her hips. Was it the fire’s heat or his touch that had her skin flush and thoughts dizzy?

Everyone knew blizzard parties were like Vegas.

What happened at the party stayed at the party, but this was different. Mason wasn’t really easing his hands under her sweater and up her bare back anymore than she’d pressed her hands to his chest, fisting his shirt when their gazes met in a way they never had before. How many times had she stared into Mason’s eyes? She liked to think she knew him inside and out—that she’d always known him, but never like this.

The song ended and another came on. Still slow, but with Justin Timberlake’s painfully sexy vibe. She’d always believed his music for the pretty people—the glamorous, party set who’d hung with her sister—but tonight, with a blizzard raging outside and her hair swinging loose and wild, Mason’s wicked hands having slid up her sides, beneath her bra, skimming her breasts’ side-swell, she felt pretty. Wanton and wicked. All grown-up and for once in her life, refusing to back away from what she wanted.

He angled his head as if planning to kiss her.

Panic seized her, stopping her heart, then racing it to a frightening degree. What was happening? This was Mason. Her sister’s boyfriend—her husband. Her ex-husband.

Not asking permission, Mason’s hands were out from beneath her sweater to cup her cheeks, drawing her in for the kiss for which she’d literally waited a lifetime. His lips were firm, yet supple, drawing her in, only to tease her by backing away.

Never had she been more out of breath—out of control. She couldn’t have stopped kissing him had the room caught on fire.

He played his teasing game till the end of the song, but then things got serious when he took her hand, leading her away from the crowd to the dark stairs.

There, he took things to a whole new level, lowering her to sit on the nearest step, then arching her back, kissing her, kissing her, haunting her with the sweep of his tongue—for he had to know regardless of where the night led, she’d never forget his kiss. His faint taste of beer and raw masculinity.

When he unzipped her sweater, dragging his lips across her throat, chest and finally to draw against first one achy, needy nipple, then the other, she clung to him, too shocked with pleasure to dare move for fear the insanity may end.

He hovered over her, pressing his swollen need against her. “You okay with taking this upstairs?”

She somehow found the strength—the courage—to nod.

Book Info:

His Toughest Mission Yet

Navy SEAL Mason Brown left Conifer, Alaska, and his broken marriage behind long ago. Until one call changed everything. His ex-wife has died in a tragic accident, and given custody of her twin baby girls to Mason and her sister Hattie.

Hattie Beaumont always dreamed of having a family—and Mason—but never like this. Now those old longings seem like betrayal, especially since playing house with Mason comes naturally. She can tell he feels it, too, so why is he determined to leave?

Mason knows Hattie and the girls are the greatest Christmas gift he’ll ever get. But even though he’s risked his life countless times, risking his heart again feels so much more dangerous.

Book Links: Amazon B&N GoodReads

Author Bio

Laura Marie Altom is the author of nearly fifty novels spanning three genres. Her award-winning work has appeared on numerous bestseller lists and worldwide, she has over a million books in print. Laura graduated from the University of Arkansas, and often sets her stories in the Ozarks. She now lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband of twenty-five years. She has been blessed with boy/girl twins and a menagerie of pets. For fun, Laura’s content to garden, thrift shop or lose herself in a wonderful book.
Website | Facebook | Twitter |

 

 

 

123 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: The SEAL’s Christmas Twins by Laura Marie Altom”

  1. MariannBellesBookBag (@mariann297)

    Thanks so much for the chance to win!! I am totally in love with this cover!!! Those babies are just too cute and I cannot wait to read!! Great post!! I definitely wonder what my old crushes are doing ~ both famous and not so famous 😉 That is the great thing about Facebook!!! lol Thanks again and have a great holiday!!! 🙂
    mariann297@gmail.com

  2. Cari White

    Once and awhile, I think of a crush from high school… Almost 30 years ago….. Last I heard was that he joined the. Navy! Very happy with my hubby of 23 years, though!

  3. infinitieh

    A couple of years ago, a friend found my high school crush on Facebook. I hadn’t had much of a chance to correspond with him before he died in a drowning accident. At least I got to touch base with him for those few days.

  4. Jenn McElroy

    Sure, I’ve wondered! I haven’t done a damn thing about it beyond the very rare google search. I figure if they’re in my past, they should stay that way :-). Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. marcyshuler

    I love SEALs and that cover is just adorable!

    I don’t wonder about my old crush. I’m happy with what I have now.

  6. Irish Pax

    I admit I do… I talk with all my ex-boyfriends though which is something that most people find weird but with only one exception I’m still really good friends with all of them… they are good men, yes ex’s for a reason but still good people

  7. Leanna

    I think about them rarely but do talk to them ocassionally. I am friends with many of them on Facebook.

  8. Justine

    Sure, but if I really wanted to know, I could check Facebook or contact them directly and ask. Since we used to be friends, we’re still casual acquaintances that catch up once or twice a year.

  9. Brenda Rumsey

    I think about him sometimes, but don’t have to wonder what he is doing. He was killed while serving in the army. Still have some sweet memories.

  10. Lori P

    Loving my life with my hubby and daughters so I don’t have much time to wonder about old crushes.

  11. Michelle Harlan

    I’ve wondered about my first crush, but have never thought to look him up. Its more a general wondering if he’s happy. I know I’m happy where I am. 🙂

  12. Laura Marie Altom

    Hmm… For some reason, none of the rest of my comments are showing up, but Lori H., Michelle, Brenda and Lori P.–Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on exes!!

  13. C-Jay M

    I do, but in the same sense that I wonder what a lot of people I knew are doing now – old school friends, etc.

  14. cahmmerritt

    This week I literally got a Facebook message from a guy I dated in high school… I am past my 25 year reunion here… so I guess he was thinking enough about me to inquire… it has been fun to catch up, but honestly it never would have occurred to me to look him up myself.

  15. belindaegreen

    You asked: Do you ever think about an old crush and wonder what he’s doing now?

    I must say I do occasionally. It was my 2nd high school boyfriend. We were great friends and inseparable as well. When we graduated, I went on to college he went into the service. We lost touch. I still think about him and wonder what he’s doing. His family moved away during the time I was in college with no way to contact them or him. Our time together were great memories! Maybe one of these days.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    Belinda G
    belgre at comcast dot net

  16. Barbara Hopkins

    Of course I do doesn’t everyone sooner or later. Mainly it’s on my first love and the other is the one my brother still says to this day I should of married. But I try not to do it very often we tend to open old wounds when we look back and wonder. Merry Christmas. B

    • Laura Marie Altom

      I hear you on the old wounds. I like to just keep those in a well-sealed box!! It’s strange how the past still has ties, even after many years. Merry Christmas to you, too, Barbara!! 🙂

  17. Christine L.

    Old crushes, no. Ex-husband, yes. Very occasionally I search online to see what is new. I most recently learned that he was arrested for DUI and separated from his second wife (also his brother’s now ex-wife), who has moved with their daughter to my former parents-in-law’s home. I check out of a perverse sense of “there but for the grace of God go I.”

  18. kimmyl

    Not really. Mostly wonder what some of my high school friends are up to. Happy holidays everyone!!!!!

  19. lscarchuk

    Every so often I think of some one from the old days but not with any kind of longing, just wonder what and who…would love to win the books…Happy Holidays!

  20. bertie welck

    Been with my hubby since I was 16! 53 years later he is still here LOL and at my age I can’t remember that far back LOL

    • Teresa Stirewalt (Tess)

      Opps Hit enter before finishing my post. Sadly the most important of any crush I might have had, passed on from this world, will be 11 years ago on January 2nd that he left us suddenly. He was my first love at 16 and the father of my first born. I have not met a better man ever that has come into my life since him.

  21. Mary Gumaer

    He has crossed my mind. But haven’t tried to find out anything about him. I have wondered if he has thought about me. Thanks for the chance to win. 🙂

  22. Debra A

    Only my ex-husband. Wondering what ever happened to him. Haven’t seen him since he walked out on our marriage over 30 years now. And only for our sons sake. Would I take him back? NO! I have been remarried for 29 years now.

  23. KateS

    Between FB and coming from a small town… I pretty much know where they all are now. And I don’t really care.

  24. Stephanie Sullivan

    I have to admit that none of my crushes were that great. I honestly don’t know what I ever saw in them, because they were the “bad boys” and they still are today – just worse. LOL. I’m glad I found a nice guy and settled down almost twenty years ago. I’d hate to think where I’d be today if I’d married one of my crushes. 🙂

  25. Bette Hansen

    Not really. The past is the past. It must not have been that important or my memories would be more vivid.
    By the way …. That cover is about the cutest thing ever!!

  26. Margaret

    Not too often – I’m to busy with my life and family that there’s not much time to think about old crushes!

  27. Nicole Potter (@NiiArt)

    I do, but not in a ‘I wish I were with them instead’ kind of way. More of a ‘I wonder what they’re doing now’ type thought. I’m so happy I found my husband, and he’s the one I’m so happy to be with <3

  28. Kai W.

    I do from time to time. I wonder what would have been if I have went against my parents’ demands.

  29. Barbara S

    After 50 yrs., an old ! acquaintance found me on FB. I have his graduation picture. Let’s say I prefer to look at it as the current person just does not look anything like my memories…It is just a weird feeling. He seems happy so I am glad for that.

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