Friday, February 10, 2012

A Sweet for Valentine's Day

Laura Breck
If you live anywhere near Napa Valley, California, stop into my niece Wendy's chocolate shop, La Foret.

 Here are a few very sweet photos to make your Valentine's Day richer.

If you're like me, and trying to lighten your load this year, here's a sweet sample of my latest release, Scandalous L.A. Desires. Fewer calories, but just as satisfying!

Dante worked through the night to finish the mural. The formal opening was the next evening and the paint needed time to dry.
Morning sun streaked through the windows as he yawned and made a few final brush strokes. Yesterday, he'd questioned the museum curator about the Beauden Foundation requesting his dismissal, but he'd assured Dante there would be no changes to the summer curriculum. Had Lindsey's family backed off their ultimatum? “I hope so,” he mumbled. His greatest satisfaction came from working with children. It nearly sidelined him when Lindsey had warned him he might lose his position with the outreach program.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw someone at the playroom door. Strangely, he sensed it was Lindsey, but what would she be doing here? He turned to her. “Hi.”
She smiled. “Hi.”
He chuckled. “This is a different side of you.” She wore a black Minnie Mouse warm-up suit and bright red running shoes, her hair in a braid with a red polka-dot ribbon tied at the end.
“The hospital board asked me to remind you that you're welcome to take part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony tomorrow night.”
“I wouldn't miss it.” He set the paintbrush down and wiped his hands on his white painter's coveralls. “Are you on the board?” he asked as he walked toward her.
“I'm a new member, but I've volunteered since high school. One morning a week I play with the children. That's where I'm headed now.” She backed up half a step.
“That explains the outfit. You like children?” He stepped over paint cans and tarps.
“Yes, very much. They add so much to my life, and if I help these little ones and their families…” When he reached her and held out his hand, her sentence trailed off.
“Let me show you the mural. It's almost finished.” He stood with his hand out waiting for her to decide. He could see the hesitancy in her eyes as she looked around the room.
He smiled. “Will you come in and see it?” The bigger question was, did she trust him?
She tentatively put her hand in his, their eyes met, and he noticed that hazy look again. He fought the urge to pull her into his arms and kiss her breathless, and instead led her into the room, steadying her as she stepped over obstacles.
Still holding her hand, he stopped in the middle of the room and they turned to get the full effect of the painting. He heard her sharp intake of breath. 
“Dante, it is beautiful. I'm absolutely awestruck. It's like being under the sea—whales, fish.” She eased her hand from his and moved closer to the mural. “The coral is so lifelike, and how you captured the filtered sunshine. It's perfect. The children will love it.”
He heard a catch in her voice and when she turned to him, a ray of sunlight hit her face. The tears in her eyes sparkled. He took a step toward her, overwhelmed by the need to touch her.

“Forgive me for being emotional. Just knowing how the children will appreciate it makes me happy.”

“Art is worthless if it doesn't evoke emotion.” He put his hand on her shoulder, then slowly moved his fingers down her arm. “I am humbled by your response.” He lifted her hand and kissed her fingers. He wanted to kiss her sexy, pink lips, hear her sigh, and see her eyes misty and unsure. He'd kiss away all her doubts…

Please stop by my blog to read the first chapter.

Hope your Valentine's Day is wonderful!
Secret Vegas Lives
Scandalous L.A. Desires
both available from Red Rose Publishing
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Don't forget to check out Romance Biggest Winner 2 – a fun, social way to make 2012 a healthier, happier year!


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Laura,
How could you torture me like this? Those gorgeous chocolates, truly droolsworthy.



Alison Henderson said...

Laura, your niece's shop looks like it's worth a road trip the next time we're in Carmel. Yum!

Colleen Connally said...

Love chocolate! Don't think I'll be in California soon enough. Will have to make a run out to the store...

Laura Breck said...

Margaret, her chocolates are amazing. She's French-trained, and has worked with some of the world's best chocolatiers.

Alison, tell her "Auntie Laura" sent you!

Jerri, my mouth is watering for chocolate, and it's not even 10AM yet!

Jannine Gallant said...

Back when our kids were little, we used to have a girls weekend in Napa. If I'd only know, I would have prefered chocolate tasting to wine tasting! These look amazing, and it's only 150 miles...

Laura Breck said...

Go for it, Jannine!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Loved the chocolates. Can we order online? My DIL's would adore a special surprise treat. As for treats, your excerpt certianly qualified. Well done!

Laura Breck said...

Vonnie, no online ordering yet! You can get on her mailing list, though, for her regular allocations. Thanks!

glenys said...

Nice excerpt, Laura - and lovely pix of Valentine's chocolate. There goes the diet... :-(

Laura Breck said...

Glenys, I know! Since I posted those pictures I've been craving chocolate!