If you're looking for heartthrobs, you're on the right track. This weekend is Carrie Ann Ryan's Hero Hop (where you can win fabulous prizes including a Kindle Fire, gift cards, or an awesome swag pack). Stick around, get to know my hunkie hero and leave a comment for a chance to win a $10 gift card right here.
|He just talked and talked. |
In a sexy Dutch accent.
Hi, Alwin. Thanks for joining me today. Tell us about yourself.
Think nothing of it. It's my pleasure to be here. I'm the owner of successful airship company, the husband of a beautiful young bride, and the hero of the novel The Sky Pirate's Wife. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, I didn't want to be blacksmith like my grandfather, nor a farmer like my father. Airships have always compelled me. I started training to be an airman when I was a teenager. It's not an easy route to take and it's very difficult to get a license to fly, but I was always determined.
Care to tell us a little about your book?
The Sky Pirate's Wife is set in 1886, two years after The Treasure Hunter's Lady. I was privy to every detail of that adventure and while the public never learned the truth, a writer became aware of my actions. Suddenly I was the star of a series of dime novels, which helped me expand my shipping business. Unfortunately, it didn't do anything for my reputation. Society loves an outcast, so to some I am hero and others a villain.
It was the perfect life, until I lost my flagship, the Ursula Ann in an explosion. To save my company, I took a bride, one with a handsome dowry. Sophie Barnes is the heiress to Barnes Shipping, but her godfather is controlling and to say he isn't one of my fans is an understatement. So I seduced her and offered to marry her.
Despite a rocky start, Sophie and I learned we have much in common and it might have lead right to the happily-ever-after, except I chose to keep the real reason for my flagship's demise a secret. The world would have thought me mad if I'd told everyone it was attacked by giant eagles. When they started attacking other airships--specifically one transferred to me on our marriage--I realized we had to do something, even if it meant losing the company and my wife, as long as Sophie remained safe.
Gee, that's intense.
*Glowering* You would know, author dearest.
At the time the book starts, you've been an airship captain for seven years. What's your favorite destination so far?
I've seen much of North America from coast to coast and parts of Canada. Despite my preference for staying in the air, I enjoy visiting my moeder's home in Pennsylvania. It's beautiful country. If Sophie and I were to chose a place to settle down--God forbid that day arises--we have talked about a home in the Rocky Mountains. They provide an excellent view.
Fenton Marlowe, the first mate and the man you trust most with your life, tried to convince you that marrying strictly for business wasn't the way to go. Obviously you disagreed. Was it Sophie's money that drew you in, or her looks?
Fenton meant well, I think. He believed marriage would make me miserable as my first love was flying. I met Sophie after the wreck and she was very kind when she didn't have to be. There are many things about her that caught my interest, looks among them.That she's nothing like her godfather--cold, greedy, interested only in power--helped make the decision. The second time we met, she had me with a smile. Sophie is demanding, defiant, stubborn, but she's also loyal, intelligent, quick witted, and of course, beautiful.
If you could change one thing in the book, what would it have been?
*Sits back in chair, rubs hand over chin* I regret being unable to save the Ursula Ann and her crew. We were caught by surprise when the eagles attacked and it resulted in the loss of good friends. It was unfortunate that Sophie and I met under such circumstances, but the result our of meeting is worth the trials we faced.
That's a noble way to look at it. Sophie talked you into taking in a stray cat. How's Pieter doing?
*rolls eyes, but fights a grin* Sophie still treats him as though he's a small person in a furry suit rather than a cat.
All right, he's amusing and not nearly as destructive or irritating as I thought he would be. And he's good company when Sophie is sleeping on the nights I take watch. At least he doesn't talk back. But don't mention it to Sophie that she was right about having a pet, or I'll be subject to her gloating.
I think we both know you had Chris Hemsworth in mind to play that part. We are similar : Tall, muscular, deep voices. For you, dear author, it was obvious from the start. Although he couldn't possibly hope to be as attractive as I am, but no one expects movies to get everything right.
No one can pull the wool over your eyes, Captain. Thanks for dropping in. Without further ado, here's an excerpt from The Sky Pirate's Wife.
Van Buren waited for the maître d'hotel to pull out a seat for Sophie before he sat at the table. “Have the waiter bring champagne while we consider the menu.”
“Of course, sir.” The maitre'd hurried off.
Sophie looked at him like he'd gone mad. “Isn't it a little early in the day for champagne?”
“Toasting to your craftiness is a bit conceited.” She stared at the heavy paper menu.
“Shouldn't I be? Look at yourself in the mirror, Sophie. I have no reason to be ashamed of marrying an attractive woman.”
She looked up sharply. “You didn't marry me for that reason and to say so is a lie. Let's talk about something else if you have to make conversation.”
“What is so bad about being married to me? You were enamored last night.” He didn't know how it happened, but he was tracing the scar along his face. “Am I too terrible to be seen with?”
“Conceited,” she said again, but her voice softened. “You're not ugly, Alwin. This has nothing to do with the way either of us look. It's the method you used to pry the company away from Bernard. It wasn't clever or even the least bit fair.”
He got lost in the way she spoke his name. So many people assumed his name was pronounced with a V instead of a W sound, but then she'd probably listened to Carver curse him for years. The shape her mouth took when she pronounced the last syllable made her look ready for a kiss. He remembered all too well the weight of her body pressed against his, the slightly clumsy way her mouth brushed his lips.
Food no longer appealed to him. He wanted her.
He cleared his throat, trying to remember the course of the conversation. “Forgive me if you think I meant to be devious in my actions. The sooner you and Carver come to realize I don't intend to destroy Barnes Shipping, the better off our relationships will be.”
“What are your plans, Van Buren? Am I allowed to ask for that information?”
“Well, Mrs. van Buren, I must first speak to the accountants about finances. These ships Carver purchased must be reviewed. They may be too extravagant for my needs.” He straightened in his chair, thinking about the amount Carver must have spent on the trimmed and loaded ships.
“You can probably stop the order to Beltson and Dees if you contact them soon. Though I think the cargo ship will suit you. I saw the plans for it and a few of the customizations Bernard had done up.”
“How will it suit me?” Curiosity pestered him while Sophie smiled, delaying her answer.
“The prow is hand-carved and exquisite. It's a phoenix accented in silver, copper and bronze. It really does look as if it's rising from the ashes.”
Inwardly he winced, thinking of the extra weight of the metal and the cost. “Why would I need such a thing?”
She narrowed her eyes at him. “There isn't a soul in the world who doesn't know of your humble beginnings. Now look at you, strutting like a king. A perfect metaphor if I ever saw one. Besides, it matches that fine pin you're wearing.”
He was so accustomed to attaching the phoenix pin he put it on daily without thinking about it. Yes, he'd come from a poor background, but he'd made something out of himself because his mother never let him forget his dream. From the ashes, he'd built a company and a solid reputation as a businessman.
“I haven't strutted all day. Are you sure you aren't in league with Farley Sikes? He will have that ridiculous character strutting about in a royal manner in no time.”
“I'll be a willing conspirator with him if he pays well.” She went back to the menu at the same time the waiter came with the champagne. He settled a bucket of ice in Van Buren's reach and a flute in front of each of them.
“Congratulations on your wedding, Captain and Mrs. van Buren.” The cork flew out of the bottle with the customary pop. Pale golden liquid splashed into the spotless crystal with a merry chugging sound from the bottle.
“Enjoy the champagne.” He took their orders and ducked off, silent as a shadow.
“How did he know we were married?”
He shook his head. “Word of mouth, I should guess.”
“I'll want a ring, you know. My hand is bare and that won't do.” Sophie wiggled her fingers, testing the light as though she could picture a diamond glistening on her ring finger already.
“Is that all it takes to appease you, wife? Shall I buy you some sparkling rocks and turn you out among your friends to admire them?” He lifted his glass.
“You laugh now, but I won't settle for some small bit of glitter.” She sounded positively snobbish. “You're rich and I'll have the ring due to a woman of my station.”
He laughed and almost spilled his champagne. “What is your station? I think a pirate's bride must covet a stolen jewel.”
“You'll have to be more than pirate now, Captain. I'll train you into a proper gentleman yet.” The confidence ringing in her voice startled him.
“Oh? I'm interested in hearing more about this training. You aren't suggesting that my moeder didn't press me to learn manners.”
“I never even imagined you had a mother. Bernard always said he believed you were raised by weasels.” She picked up the flute and started to drink, but he reached across the table and stopped her.
“A toast. To a man raised by weasels who sold his soul to the devil to obtain a wealthy wife and an entire fleet of airships.” He lifted his own glass, extending it so she could tap hers against it. “May we find every happiness.”
September 17, 2012
After a tragic airship wreck, Captain Alwin van Buren makes a drastic decision to obtain a wealthy bride in order to save his flagging business. He meets his match in Sophie Barnes, heiress to an airship empire. After he seduces her and ensures their marriage—igniting a rivalry with her godfather—he learns the green-eyed beauty is as headstrong as he is.
Sophie knows Van Buren's reputation based on a series of dime novels written about his adventures. Determined to be more than an end to a means, she despises him for luring her into marriage. In fiction, he's a no-nonsense captain on the verge of piracy, but the flesh-and-blood man wins her heart by proving she's worth more to him than her money.
Their love is threatened when Sophie learns Van Buren's airship accident was a result of mythical creatures. Winged predators that appear to have a grudge against him, a fact he deliberately hid by accusing her godfather of sabotage. If she can forgive him for that, they still have to face the danger when they're cornered and at the mercy of beasts and the evil that controls them. The real test comes when Van Buren is asked to make a sacrifice that could destroy them both.
Because winning is awesome and prizes are fun, I'm giving away a $10 gift card to one lucky commenter, your choice to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Before you go, don't forget to check out the first book in the Legends and Lovers series The Treasure Hunter's Lady--the love story that started it all--for Kindle and in print.
A cowboy willing to risk his life to keep a promise.
An adventurer's daughter determined to live up to her father's name.
A legend that will bind them together.