Do you have a specific writing style?
I write the way I talk. (I just wish I could edit what I say as easily.)
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I Need You For Christmas
Copyright © 2012 Leah Braemel
The scent of bacon and cinnamon and coffee penetrated Meg’s consciousness long before she convinced her eyelids to open. Accompanied by Ryan’s off-key warbling of “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, she stretched beneath the duvet and planned out her day. Which consisted of…what? Staying in bed all day was tempting, but that probably wasn’t an option, especially since she’d promised Amy she’d help her do her annual Christmas-cookie-making marathon.
Grumbling about having to get up, yet excited to be spending the day with Ryan, she tossed back the covers and padded to the washroom. Once she’d had a shower and dressed, she wandered out to the kitchen where Ryan was frying bacon wearing only a T-shirt and butt-hugging briefs. Standing in the doorway, she stayed quiet, appreciating the sight of his long legs with their muscular thighs and calves from miles of riding his bike over the hilly gravel roads in the area. Legs that had clenched around her the night before, the rough hair tickling her cheeks when she’d gone down on him. Then later, they’d brushed the insides of her thighs when he’d ridden her until they were both out of breath, sweaty and sore and thoroughly satisfied.
The music changed to “Silver Bells”, or as he sang it, Silver Balls. Guys. For such a talented artist, talk about tone deaf.
“Aren’t you worried about grease splatter?” She grabbed a mug and filled it with coffee.
Ever the wise man, he waited until she’d had her first full hit of caffeine before taking the cup and placing it on the counter. As she was about to protest, he wrapped his arms around her. With one hand firmly cupping her butt, he kissed her until they were both breathless.
“I wasn’t expecting you to wake up so early. You were sleeping like a log when I got up.” Ryan’s satisfied smile told her he knew full well he was the reason she’d slept soundly. “I was planning on bringing you breakfast in bed.” His hand squeezed her behind then released her. “But now you’re up, you sit your butt on the couch while I finish here.”
“You spoil me.” She picked up her coffee and headed to the couch, but not before stopping off to admire the seven-foot live pine taking over the corner. Nestled among the original blown glass ornaments and metal pieces Ryan created were a dozen or more embroidered pieces. They’d been his mother’s creations—he’d told her that until his father remarried and his new wife moved in, his mother’s needlework adorned just about every surface in the house.
She stroked the long needles; the scent of pine brought memories flooding back. “Do you remember our first Christmas tree?”
He chuckled. “Not the tree itself, but I remember trying to impress you by driving you out to Shewchuk’s tree farm and getting stuck in the ditch. Not my finest moment.”
“I was remembering what happened after we brought it home.” How they’d made love after they’d decorated it.
“I’ll never forget that part of the day, babe.” His voice was soft.
While she’d always loved the spirit of Christmas, she’d seldom found it at her family’s home. For some reason her parents fought more over the holidays, and the Christmas carols she’d play seldom drowned out the shouting matches. Though she hadn't told him, she suspected Ryan had when he had invited her to his family’s place for Christmas their first year together and included her on the tradition of picking out the family’s tree.
If she hadn’t already been falling in love with him, he’d sealed the deal when he’d said he loved her that afternoon.
*HARLEQUIN COVER ART: Cover Art Copyright© 2010 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. © and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.
How did you come up with the title for your current book?
I didn’t. I’d originally submitted the manuscript with a working title of The Art of Love (since Ryan is an artist) but my editor wanted it to be more seasonal, so after much discussion and deliberation she came up with the title.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I based the story upon the theme from O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi, that the best present isn’t something you buy, but the love behind the present, the sacrifice you are willing to make.
How much of the book is realistic?
I think it is fairly realistic – especially for couples who are forced to be apart for whatever reason. As for the surprises/presents they have planned, I always had it in my head that they had discussed the fact that Meg wasn’t going to be able to get a transfer near Ryan, so their decisions were realistic even if it might have been good idea if they’d mentioned something to the other.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There are a lot of my own experiences and bits of my area in the book. For instance, the mill that Ryan is restoring is based on a real one close to where I live, though I’ve made it a bit fancier. The story of how Ryan slid his car into the ditch when they were going to get their very first Christmas tree together is based on something that happened to hubby and I our second Christmas together. The pulled pork poutine in a local town is definitely based upon a dish I ate in a restaurant in Haliburton, the area Porter’s Mill is based upon. And the dragon art that Ryan works on is inspired by a dragon by a local artist too.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I’ve been blessed to have several wonderful authors give me advice throughout my career – Red Garnier and Vivian Arend to name two.
What book are you reading now?
Shiloh Walker’s Stolen.
Thanks again Leah for visiting Romance Book Craze!
I NEED YOU FOR CHRISTMAS available 12-3-2012
Ryan Porter is a sculptor, and beneath his callused hands, even the most rigid metals bend to his will. So, too, does his girlfriend Megan--a confident, strong woman who delights in submitting to Ryan's dominance in the bedroom.
Megan is a Mountie, and she's spent the past few years in the Arctic following her career dreams. Family obligations kept Ryan at home, but their love survived the distance thanks to several hot visits. A Mountie always gets her man, and Megan is bound and determined to keep Ryan.
Now Megan's with Ryan for the holidays...but how long will this visit last? She's always been willing to do anything Ryan desires, but will he finally tell her that all he needs for Christmas is her?
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