Lion Dancing for Love
by Laura Boon
GENRE: Contemporary romance, small town romance, novella
Licking her wounds after a bad relationship, San Diego accountant Caitlyn Summers travels to Willow Springs to help her friend gear up for the annual Maple Sugar Ball. She isn’t planning on staying long, but one encounter with the delicious Corey Duncan has her re-evaluating her plans.
Corey swore off love when his wife Annie died from breast cancer. Caitlyn is too young, too citified, and vibrates with a passion and energy that will upend the safe, comfortable rhythm of his life. Corey has to choose between playing it safe and taking a risk on love. Caitlyn needs to find the patience to let Corey lead. If not, the Maple Sugar Ball might end in a sticky mess, instead of a slow dance with the man who has captured her heart.
Will their fire burn hot enough to erase doubts and past hurts?
Caitlin took a fortifying sip of her coffee and welcomed the kick of the whisky. She had no interest in him. Her brain was in charge, and it knew what was good for her; she would go husband-hunting among the business men of San Diego. One of them must have a great body too. The devil on her shoulder snickered. You keep telling yourself that. Her ovaries agreed with the devil. Her angel, a by-the-book accountant and her internal guardian of rational thought, told them to keep quiet.
The older guy nodded at Annette. “Be there in a minute,” he mouthed.
Mr. Built looked over his shoulder, his eyes narrowed, and the intensity of his stare set sparks zinging in all of Caitlin’s unmentionable places. One corner of his mouth tilted up, and his eyes crinkled as if he knew exactly what he was doing to her. Rational thought sputtered to a halt and died.
“Who’s that?” Nope, her brain was not in charge, and her mouth clearly had a will and desires of its own.
“The guy behind the bar? Stan, the owner.”
Lynn chuckled. “Not him, Annette. The sparks are flying between your Cat and our Corey.”
“Really?” Annette’s eyes widened in enquiry.
Caitlin groaned. “No matchmaking. He’s just, you know…” She waved a hand in his direction and risked another look. One hundred percent man with a great ass. Her mouth watered. “Built.”
About the Author
Laura Boon stole her first romance from her father’s bookshelves as a teenager, The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss, and was immediately captivated. After holding a variety of positions in publishing, from bookseller to sales rep and publicist, she eventually found the courage to write her own stories. She was born in Zambia, grew up in South Africa, and went to university in America. She now lives in Australia with her husband and their adorable dogs Beau and Arro. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys sleuthing for artisan chocolate and beautiful stationery, watching tennis, and walking alongside Sydney’s beautiful harbor.
Journey to Publication
As a child, I made up stories in my head all the time. However, I never connected these tales, devised to re-imagine my reality in a way I would prefer, with the written stories I loved to read. Then I took a course in creative writing at university. It was at the moment that I saw the course option on my curriculum that I realized I could be a story teller as well as a story reader. It would be decades before I learnt enough craft, gathered enough courage, and drew on the persistence required to write a novel. I also had to find my voice and understand that I didn’t want to write just any type of novel, but romance.
I blame academia for this failure. It’s so snotty about romance. Along with the realization that I could be a story teller, I also drifted away from romance, graduating with a degree in English Language and Literature and dabbling in writing “profound” stories and crime fiction. I never finished one of them despite the fact that I read widely across all genres. Years later a chance encounter with two romance authors at a Valentine’s Day library talk led me to the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA) and kick-started my career as a writer.
The RWA changed my life. Its members are my people, with the same likes and dislikes and generous beyond measure with support and advice. The organization runs courses and competitions and provides opportunities to pitch to publishers and agents at the annual conference. My fledgling romance took shape, grew, improved, was revised, and finalled in competitions. Then the refinements started.
I’d aimed to write a category romance of 50,000 words with The Millionaire Mountain Climber. However… I received consistent feedback that my hero was aloof and not sufficiently well developed for readers to fully identify with him. I also received feedback that my novel didn’t fit into the category I had targeted. I wasn’t willing to change the basic premise of my story; it was how I imagined it and I liked it, even if it didn’t tick a box. But I understood the importance of making Matt more accessible. Twenty-five thousand words, several (more) revisions and one year later, I was ready to pitch it again.
Pitching is nerve-wracking, especially in five minutes. The face-to-face rejection is hard, so I decided to give myself an alternative. If no editor/agent wanted to see my book – either because it wasn’t there thing or because I presented terribly – I had a backup plan. I researched romance publishers who accepted submissions direct from authors and created a list of thirteen (twelve publishers and one agent) I could approach.
Two editors asked me to send them my manuscript. I decided those weren’t very good odds, so I submitted to them, gave them a month head start, and then started submitting to other publishers. It took me a month and was a lot of work. I wasn’t able to duplicate one submission. They all had different requirements for their cover letter and what they wanted in the synopsis. Some wanted to receive only the first five pages, others wanted the first three chapters and a couple wanted the full manuscript. I tackled the list in alphabetical order (because that’s the way I roll), and the very last publisher I approached, The Wild Rose Press, decided they loved Matta and Hailey’s story and took me on. My husband and I popped the cork on a very nice bottle of champagne the day I signed the contract.
In some ways, that was just the beginning. It would be nine months, a cover design, another three edits and a proofread before The Millionaire Mountain Climber hit online shelves. The good news is my current release, Lion Dancing for Love, part of The Wild Rose Press’s Deerbourne Inn series, had a much faster path to publication. It’s a novella and roughly half the length of The Millionaire Mountain Climber, but I really learnt a lot in the painstaking process of creating book one which helped book two to flow better.
I’m not one of the fortunate few who decided to write a romance, whipped out a novel in thirty days and immediately found a publisher. I’ve had to slog through countless false starts and fear of failure to get to publication, but I’m there, and I’m personally and professionally proud of what I’ve achieved. I still feel the fear, but I’m better equipped to conquer it and the stories are flowing easier. I have more fun with each new story, and my journey is ongoing. I look forward to the ride.
Social Media Links
You can find Laura online at:
Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/laura-boon
Lion Dancing for Love Buy Links
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Lion-Dancing-Love-Deerbourne-Inn-ebook/dp/B07NQ6VGD7
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lion-Dancing-Love-Deerbourne-Inn-ebook/dp/B07NQ6VGD7
Amazon AUS: https://www.amazon.com.au/Lion-Dancing-Love-Deerbourne-Inn-ebook/dp/B07NQ6VGD7
The Wild Rose Press (publisher): https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/6584-lion-dancing-for-love.html
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Laura Boon will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Hit this link: Rafflecopter