To Win Her Heart by Mackenzie Crown

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

As a writer, I can’t count the number of times I’ve been told, write what you know. To that I say, Hellooo. Fiction! The whole “write what you know” thing is off in my book. The way I see it, the proper instruction should be “include what you know, learn what you don’t, and open your mind to your imagination for the rest.” I’m not ashamed to admit, if I only wrote what I knew, I would have been tapped out after one book, and readers would most likely have been so bored, they’d have tossed it at the wall.

By definition, my stories are fake. Made up. My characters don’t resemble me. Who would bother reading about them if they did? My fictional play mates say and do things I never would dream of doing and that’s the beauty of being a writer. I get to live vicariously through my characters. Experience worlds I’ve never seen and sometimes wouldn’t want to. I get to meet people from all walks of life, wear sexy clothes and gorgeous high-heeled shoes that would give me bunions, and tell off the snotty teller at the DMV without fear of having my license revoked. Occasionally, I even get to plan and carry out murder, preferably at that same DMV. And since I write romance, I always win the hot guy, of course. (Honey, if you’re reading this, that last part isn’t fiction.)

That’s not to say my characters don’t have an element of me in them. Especially the heroines. I create them. They come from my imagination. They’re a part of me. Whether it’s a love of sports (totally me), a snarky sense of humor, (guilty) or the sidekick dog that drives them nuts (yeah, I have one of those, too) a little piece of me goes into each of my girls. And when I give them what I know and let them run with it, they usually end up in trouble, like Jessi from my new release, TO WIN HER HEART. What I know about Jessi, is that like me, she can’t cook…  

“You sure you don’t want any help?”

She snatched the utensil from his fingers and flicked her hand in a shooing motion. “I’ve got this. Get lost, Grayson.” His low chuckle brushed over her like a warm summer breeze.
“Okay, Tucker. I’m going to take a quick shower. Yell if you need anything.”

She smiled sweetly—and dove for the row of drawers the moment he disappeared into his room. She eyed the solid block of spaghetti laying like a dead fish in the pot as she stuck the long handled spoon into the boiling water. A groan of dismay escaped her lips. The individual strands of pasta were stuck to each other as if the entire pound had been encased in cement.

The stupid spoon was useless. All it did was spin the block around in a maddening circle. She tossed it aside and searched through the drawers until she found a long, two prong fork. It delivered better results, but not by much. She managed to pry only about a quarter of the pound loose in slightly smaller chunks.

Biting her lip, she spun to stare at his closed bedroom door. How long would he be in the shower? Long enough to dump this batch and start over? That would work if he had another package of pasta. Of course he’d have spare pasta. He was a guy, after all, and a bachelor. They lived on the stuff. She dropped the fork to the counter and began rifling through cabinets. Three minutes later, she slumped in defeat.

Why hadn’t she thought to buy some fully cooked frozen meatballs? Tim ate them at least three times a week and swore by them. Along with the garlic bread, they would make delicious meatball subs.

“Oh, dear Lord. The bread.”

Ripping the hand towel from her waist, she opened the oven door. Thick, black smoke billowed out in a toxic flume that rose to float just below the ceiling. Fanning at the cloud, she folded the towel in half and used it to yank out the baking sheet. She coughed and glared at the two charred logs then scrambled to switch hands when the heat from the tray seeped through the towel.

“Hot. Hot. Hot!” Her gaze darted about in search of a hot pad. “Oh, come on!” What kitchen didn’t have hot pads, or oven mitts for that matter? Aurora’s had a whole stack of them.

“How’s it coming?”

She spun around to face Max—just as the smoke detector came to life with an eardrum-piercing squeal. He winced and stalked toward the front door to disengage the system. She hesitated for a moment, then dropped the tray of blackened bread on the island. If it scorched the granite, she’d buy him a new slab. 

Blessed quiet returned to the condo. He turned around and, fanning at the smoke floating around her like an angry plume, she twisted her full lips into a pained smile and indicated the burnt bread with a graceful flourish of her hand.

“Dinner is served.”

In order to protect her, they’ll both have to let their guards down…

Country music’s It Girl Jessi Tucker is fed up with her family’s stifling security measures. The threat of a dangerous stalker has gotten the men in her life—including her football star cousin, Tuck Tucker—monitoring her every move. To get the freedom she yearns for, Jessi hatches a plan to recruit Max Grayson, Tuck’s sexy brawler best friend, to play the role of her new boyfriend. But if her scheme works, will she be forced to hide her true romantic feelings for the sake of her independence? Or will she finally steal the heart of her dream man?

Max has been pining for Jessi for years and would do anything to protect her, but a professional cage fighter with too many skeletons in his closet has no business being with one of America’s sweethearts. Yet while Max does his best to keep Jessi at arm’s length, the Tucker family persuades him to accept her offer. 

Max believes he can keep Jessi safe from danger, but can he shelter her from his own dark secrets, the media’s unforgiving spotlight—and a mutual desire that’s harder to resist each day?

Get Your Copy Today
Rafflecopter Giveaway – Ebook To Win Her Heart