Spotlight & Giveaway: A Very Exclusive Engagement by Andrea Laurence

Posted May 26th, 2013 by in Blog, Spotlight, _Harlequin Romances / 44 comments

Today it is my pleasure to welcome Romance Author Andrea Laurence to HJ!

Andrea Welcome, Tell us about 5 things readers should know about you?

Andrea L1. I have a really dry, sarcastic sense of humor. I think it leaks into my characters. 2. I think the crew from Monty Python & Mel Brooks are the funniest people ever. 3. I have five pets. Five! Three dogs and two cats. I am always picking fur off my sweaters. 4. I have an insane sweet tooth. 5. I’m pretty crafty. When I have free time (ha!) I like to scrapbook, bake and decorate cakes and carve cool pumpkins.

What would you say are the defining characteristic of your Novels?

My novels will always have quirky, relatable characters and a fresh take on your favorite story tropes.

Do you find writing love scenes giggle-worthy or cringe-worthy?

Love scenes are hard. There honestly one of the hardest scenes for me to write because so much hinges on them. They have to be fresh and sexy. They have to be meaningful to the plot and the characters. There’s so much emotion and passion and conflict wrapped up in a love scene. It’s not just a tab A into slot B scenario. It’s a lot of pressure, really. They typically only make me giggle or cringe if I have to read them out loud.

Which hero, among your books has given you the biggest run for your money?

Nathan Reed, the hero of my February 2014 Desire – BACK IN HER HUSBAND’S BED – gave me a lot of grief. He’s sexy and powerful, but also sensitive and stubborn. He wants to ruin Annie because he can’t admit to himself that he loves her and wants her back. He did a lot of jumping around – he wants her, he hates her, he wants to punish her, he wants to ravish her. He’s jealous of any man that touches her, yet can’t stand the sight of her. He is one of my favorites, yet the one I most wanted to smack some sense into.

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Sugar Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke. I try to read different genres when I’m writing and cozy mysteries are always fun.

If you had to summarize A Very Exclusive Engagement for the readers here

AVEEA Very Exclusive Engagement is the story of two people who don’t like each other but are incredibly attracted to one another, that come together in a scheme to save what’s important to them and end up falling in love.

Please tell us about the characters in your book.

The hero is Liam Crowe. He’s the new owner of the failing ANS news network. He’s always wanted to own a company like this, it’s his dream, and he’s determined to make it successful. He won’t let anyone, including his meddlesome aunt, ruin it for him. The heroine is Francesca Orr. She’s a half Italian, half Irish spitfire. She’s superstitious, curses in Italian, and cares so much for other people that she lets herself get talked into things she normally wouldn’t do.

What scene did you have most fun writing? why?

There were two really great scenes, but I can’t share one because it ruins the ending. All I can say is ‘wedding cake.’ So I’ll tell you about the elevator scene. This book was part of a continuity, so the basic plot I was given involved some amore very early on in the story. In an elevator. The how and the what and the why was all up to me. It was really fun to take two characters who are fighting like cats and dogs and trap them in a small, hot space together. You know things will happen. 🙂

Who would who cast in the role of hero and heroine if your book was optioned for a movie?

Liam is definitely Henry Cavill and Francesca is Penelope Cruz. If you go to my Pinterest board for the book, you’ll see my inspirational shots for both of them.

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

I just turned in my May 2014 Babies & Billionaires for Desire. It’s not titled yet. I’ll be starting the 3rd Secrets of Eden book next. My October 2013 release will be the 2nd Secrets of Eden book – A BEAUTY UNCOVERED. Readers have told me just how excited they are for Brody’s book and so am I. It was a great story to write and I hope it lives up to everyone’s expectations.

Where can readers get in touch with you? On the contact page is my email – author (at) andrealaurence (dot) com and my mailing address. There’s also links to my Facebook Fan Page –, my Twitter account – @Andrea_Laurence, my Pinterest Page –, and the link to sign up for my newsletter.

Giveaway: A signed copy of A Very Exclusive Engagement

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and post a comment to this Q: In my book, Francesca is incredibly superstitious and it gets her in a lot of trouble sometimes. When I was doing research for the book I found so many different ones. It was mind-boggling. Nearly anything could be good or bad luck depending on your culture and how you interpret it. So I have to ask – are you superstitious? Share some of your favorites or if you’re not inclined to believe in that stuff, what the strangest superstition you’ve ever heard is. I’d love to learn about some more.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

An excerpt

“Sweet mercy, it’s hot!” Liam exclaimed, standing up. He felt as if he was being smothered by his crisp, starched dress shirt. He unfastened the buttons down the front and whipped it off with a sigh of relief. “I’m sorry if this makes you uncomfortable, but I’ve got to do it.”
Francesca was sitting quietly in the corner and barely acknowledged him, although he did catch her opening her eyes slightly to catch a glimpse of him without his shirt on. She looked away a moment later, but it was enough to let him know she was curious. That was in­teresting.
He’d gotten a different insight into his feisty execu­tive vice president of Community Outreach in the past two hours. He had a better understanding of her and what was important to her. Hopefully once they got out of this elevator they could work together without the animosity. And maybe they could be a little more than friendly. Once she had stopped yelling, he liked her. More than he probably should, considering that she worked for him.
“Francesca, take off some of your clothes. I know you’re dying over there.”
She shook her head adamantly, although he could see the beads of sweat running down her chest and into the valley between her breasts. “No, I’m fine.”
“The hell you are. You’re just as miserable as I am. That tank you’re wearing looks like it will cover up enough to protect your honor. The skirt looks terribly clingy. Take it off. Really. I’m about ten minutes from losing these pants, so you might as well give up on any modesty left between us.”
Francesca looked up at him with wide eyes. “Your pants?” she said, swallowing hard. Her gaze drifted down his bare chest to his belt and then lower.
“Yes. It’s gotta be ninety-five degrees and climbing in this oven they call an elevator. You don’t have to look at me, but I’ve got to do it. You might as well do it, too.”
With a sigh of resignation, Francesca got up from the floor and started fussing with the latch on the back of her skirt. “I can’t get the clasp. It snags sometimes.”
“Let me help,” Liam offered. She turned her back to him and he crouched down behind her to get a better look at the clasp in the dim red light. This close to her, he could smell the scent of her warm skin mixed with the soft fragrance of roses. It wasn’t overpowering—more like strolling through a rose garden on a summer day. He inhaled it into his lungs and held it there for a moment. It was intoxicating.
He grasped the two sides of the clasp, ignoring the buzz of awareness that shot through his fingertips as he brushed her bare skin beneath it. With a couple of firm twists and pulls, it came apart. He gripped the zipper tab and pulled it down a few inches, revealing the back of the red satin panties she wore.
“Got it,” he said with clenched teeth, standing back up and moving away before he did something stupid like touch her any more than was necessary. It was one thing to sit in the elevator in his underwear. It was an­other thing entirely to do it when he had a raging erec­tion. That would be a little hard to disguise.
“Thank you,” she said softly, her eyes warily watch­ing him as she returned to her corner of the elevator.
As she started to shimmy the skirt down her hips, Liam turned away, although it took every ounce of power he had to do so. She was everything he liked in a woman. Feisty. Exotic. Voluptuous. And underneath it all, a caring soul. She wasn’t one of those rich women that got involved in charity work because they had noth­ing better to do with their time. She really cared. And he appreciated that, even if it would cost him a few head­aches in the future.
“Grazie, signore,” she said with a sigh. “That does feel better.”
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw her settle back down on the floor. “Is it safe?” he asked.
“As safe as it’s going to get. Thank you for asking.”
Liam looked over at her. She had tugged down her camisole to cover most everything to the tops of her thighs, although now a hint of her red bra was peeking out from the top. There was only so much fabric to go around, and with her luscious curves, keeping them all covered would be a challenge.
“You might as well just take those pants off now.”
Liam chuckled and shook his head. Not after thinking about her satin-covered breasts. He didn’t even have to touch her to make that an impossibility. “That’s prob­ably not the best idea at the moment.”
Her brow wrinkled in confusion. “Why—” she started, then stopped. “Oh.”

Things are about to get even hotter in the elevator, so pick up your copy to find out what happens next. J

44 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: A Very Exclusive Engagement by Andrea Laurence”

  1. Lily B

    lol I think I was raised to be superstitious. Like not walking under the ladder, or breaking a mirror or spilling salt – i still try not to do any of those things 😉

    • Andrea Laurence

      Hi, Lily. Thanks for commenting. I think a lot of superstitions are just built into our lives and how we do things. I’ll throw spilled salt over my shoulder without even thinking about it. Why tempt fate, right? 🙂

    • Andrea Laurence

      Welcome, Amanda. Men get so funny about their sports. If you ask a woman if she has lucky underwear, the answer is most likely no. But guys – they have lucky underwear, lucky socks, a lucky sports jersey, a lucky t-shirt, and they’ll wear all of it at one time if they think it will help their team win!

  2. Tammy Stoneman Yenalavitch

    I am superstitious especially when watching my Duke basketball team plays. I will stay in the same position if they are winning and I believe if I move, then they will lose. I know it’s crazy but it works.

  3. Cari White

    I don’t remember specific superstitions, but my dad coached professional football. I remember at least one season that there was something (don’t remember what) that I had to do or we would lose. 16 games and we lost 4 games that season. I KNEW it was because I didn’t do something that we lost. I was that powerful! 🙂

    I believe in jinxes. How many times have you heard a sportscaster say something like “he hasn’t missed a field goal in 30 games.” Then he miss the field goal. :-S

    • Andrea Laurence

      Hey, Cari! I always knock wood (or my own head for lack of wood) when I say things like that. It never fails, but if I say something like “I’ve never had a speeding ticket or jury duty,” then, sure enough, I get nailed! Watch – I’m about to get a jury duty summons just for posting this!

  4. Michelle

    Growing up in Panama, surrounded by Catholicism and Caribbean/indigenous/pagan mysticism, I am ABSOLUTELY superstitious. I watch “Long Island Medium,” and “The Dead Files,” which pairs a medium with a retired NYC police detective to investigate possible spirit activity.

    When I was a baby, my Grandpa died. I was very close to him and the only grandchild he met. My Grandmother said that his spirit visited me before moving on. I woke up crying out for “Daddy,” which is how everyone referred to my Grandpa. I don’t really remember it, but I have always felt like I have guardian angels.

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment,

    mmmazuros at yahoo dot com

    • Andrea Laurence

      Welcome, Michelle! Other cultures are a lot more open to things like superstitions than most Americans. My heroine spent her summers with her grandmother in Italy, so she got exposed to all the different Italian ones.

      I had a similar visit from my great-grandfather not long after he died. I always like to keep myself open to the possibilities. I’m the first to admit I don’t know everything. There may be more going on in the world than I have the slightest clue about.

  5. jdh2690

    Hello, Andrea! Glad to “meet” you today on this review blog. Your stories sound pretty interesting…and I especially liked the excerpt today. BTW, I am not superstitious at all, and I’ve not known anyone before, in or out of family members, who was or is superstitious. Sounds like superstition is something out of the dark ages or the occult. I’ve read about it, but never seen or heard it from those I know. jdh2690 at gmail dot com

    • Andrea Laurence

      Hi, jdh2690. You’ve really never heard anyone mention a superstition? They seem so ingrained. Like knocking wood? Or telling an actor to ‘break a leg’ because saying ‘good luck’ is considered bad luck? Even if I don’t believe in them, they seem to be everywhere.

  6. cahmmerritt

    My grandmother got really upset when she caught my mom trimming my bangs out in the back yard one warm sunny day. She told my mom that birds would use my hair for their nests and I’d have headaches every time they laid eggs and would continue to have them until the hatchlings left the nest.

    I grew up in southern Louisiana; I believe being superstitious is in our DNA.

      • cahmmerritt

        Cray as it sounds – I do… allergies cause awful headaches for me which isn’t a common allergy symptom. So don’t cut your family and friends hair outdoors… (heheheh)

        My other favorite from childhood – if you have a wart… get an old person to buy it from you (typically MeMaw will give you a penny) go bury the money under a pecan or cypress (can’t remember which) tree and it will go away! Didn’t have warts but a neighbor girl tried it and swore it worked; I believe we were about six years old at the time.

    • Andrea Laurence

      Hi Sandie. I have to think that a lot of superstitions have a basis in safety, too. I don’t think walking under a ladder is ever a good idea. Cracks in the sidewalk can make the ground uneven and you could fall. Cats… well, cats of any color are a pain in the rear. I have two and not ten minutes ago, I chased one out of my chair that was in my dinner. Good advice, no matter what. 🙂

  7. Lori P

    Never been a part of my life or anyone that I was close to so I’m not familiar with many except the few that people have already mentioned.

    • Andrea Laurence

      Hi Rebe. I think even if you don’t think it’s bad luck, breaking a mirror is a bad idea. I’m sure to get a piece in my foot no matter how much I sweep up!

  8. Jennifer Zorko-Legan

    I don’t know about being superstitious, but I do believe in Karma. I believe that when you do something good or bad, Karma has a way of coming back to reward or punish you in some way. I have seen it happen.

  9. Cindy Hamilton

    I can’t say I’m superstitious but I always heard if you break a mirror you would have bad luck. I’m not to sure about black cats and walking under a ladder?

  10. shadowluvs2read

    Im a bit superstitious. Cant break a mirror, walk under a latter, spill salt, etc. And i do believe in karma. Do good, good will come back. Do bad, and it comes back in waves of 3.

  11. Andrea Laurence

    Thank you to everyone who hung out with me today! Hope you enjoyed my answers and the excerpt of A Very Exclusive Engagement. A winner should be chosen soon, but if you don’t win, my book is still available in stores and online, as are my other projects. Come visit me on Facebook and Twitter!

  12. Tawnya Bentley

    I tend to be very superstitious, but not about the usual stuff, like walking under a ladder. I’m more into if your sports team is on a winning streak, you don’t brag, actually just don’t say anything, because sure enough you’ll cause them to lose. If you expected traffic, and there isn’t any, DON’T say anything! And I have been known to actually punch a person for saying “Wow, this is great, no traffic.” Because sure enough, BAM traffic. And you never say, “What else can go wrong?”

  13. Mary Preston

    I’m not superstitious, but I have heard of people wearing certain jewellery or clothing for good luck.

  14. BrooklynShoeBabe

    I’m kind of superstitious although I try not to be. A lot of the time, I carry the superstitions passed down from my family–throwing salt over my left shoulder if I spill some or not putting hats on the bed. My main superstition is to hold money and wear something new when the new year comes in because it supposed to mean your new year with full of wealth.

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