Wednesday, 16 May 2018

New Release Spotlight: Do You Like My Wiener by Brenda Rothert

DO YOU LIKE MY WIENER?: a non-expert's no-nonsense guide to dating by Brenda Rothert just went LIVE!
Check out for exclusive details and fun extras!
Ladies, we’ve all been there…a good first date is wrapping up and we’re sure a second date is likely after a great goodnight kiss beside our car. He’s tall, funny and charming. FINALLY a good one. He asks to get in the car, which seems natural since it’s cold outside. And then, once inside, another kiss, and he exposes himself and asks us if we like his wiener.
Wait, what? You haven’t been there? Guess that one only happened to me. What about the guy who spends most of a first date complaining bitterly about his ex-wife? The one with the guy who cops to his criminal record over dessert?

Dating these days can leave a girl frustrated and disgusted. But fear not, I’m here to help. I’m a veteran dater, having spent a fair amount of time in the cheap-cologne scented trenches. And while I am admittedly not an expert, I can help you avoid my mistakes.
I’ll show you how to prepare yourself for dating, how to spot the red flags and how to laugh off the misadventures you will inevitably have. And hopefully, how to avoid an awkward wiener encounter of your own. 

***With laugh-out-loud mishaps and heartfelt advice, bestselling romance author Brenda Rothert shows readers that while dating these days can be the worst, great men aren’t just fictional.***

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PICTURE IT: Im on my way to a first date with a cute guy I met on a dating site. Im feeling goodgot my hair and nails done, put my jeans in the dryer for an extra ten minutes so theyre fitting just right, and Im wearing my favorite heels because this guy is quite tall, and I wont feel like a giant next to him in heels.

For our first meeting, were getting together at an upscale bar for a drink. Its attached to a very popular restaurant, and the parking lot is nearly full on this Friday night. I park in the back, and when I get out to walk in, I run into my date, who is also walking in. I recognize him from his photos on the dating site.

Im happy with what I see. He has a very friendly smile, and hes wearing a nice shirt with jeans. And? He really is as tall as he said on his profile. We walk inside together, where we have a drink and some nice conversation.

When its time to go, I button up my coat, and he walks me all the way to the back of the parking lot, where my car is. Its a cold winter evening, and I can see our breath as we stand next to my car facing each other.

Its the moment of truth: will he or wont he kiss me? I reach up to hug him, and after the hug, he does, in fact, kiss me. Then he kisses me again. And a few more times after that. Hes very tall, he smells good, and hes a good kisser. Im feeling good. But its really cold out, so when he asks me if we can get into my car, I say sure. Id rather make plans to see him again away from the bitter wind.

I should stop here and tell you that before going out with this guy, I had already checked him out. I knew his last name, where he worked, and that hed never been arrested. I always check these things out before meeting a date in person. So I did feel safe inviting him to sit in my car with me in a parking lot where lots of people were coming and going. More on this part later.

We get into my car and warm up a bit. Hes even cuter with rosy cheeks. He leans over and kisses me again. Im thinking hes definitely second-date worthy.

And then . . .


Theres no delicate way to put this, guys. I look over and see that he has just exposed himself to me. He has his hand wrapped around his bare . . . you know, sausage, and the look on his face is nothing short of open pride.

I gape, my eyes shooting to his. And then he says the words I shall never, ever forget:

Do you like my wiener?

Ive fielded so many amused, incredulous questions from my girlfriends on this that I know what youre thinking. No, he wasnt kidding at all. Yes, he really called it his wiener. And yes, he seemed to think this unexpected display of his manhood would turn me on.

It did not. I was shocked and utterly, completely disappointed. He had seemed so nice. And nice guys dont whip it out without warning on a first date.

Now, I could have dressed him down right there, but lets face it. He wouldnt have gotten the point. So I said the only thing I could to defuse the moment. Um . . . yeah, its very nice.

My girlfriends got a huge kick out of that one. *eyeroll*

I should have just told him to exit my car and my life in that moment. It took me another thirty seconds or so to do it, though. He took my awkward response as encouragement and told me what he wanted me to do to his wiener, at which point I told him no and goodnight.

But seriously, who expects to find themselves in such a crazily inappropriate moment? Well, if youre going to date, you should expect the cringeworthy. It will come your way.

You should also expect moments of joy, disappointment, hope, and relief. Dating in this day and age is not for the faint of heart. But you can prepare yourself, and I hope to help you do that.

So who am I anyway, and how am I qualified to help?

As the subtitle of this book states, Im no expert. Im not sure what makes one a true expert, but Id never call myself one. I have been in the trenches, though. Im twice divorced and have been on many dates when single. Ive dated at different life stagesin my twenties and in my forties, with kids and without, through thick and thin (Yep, Im talking about my waistline, and surprisingly, Im more confident now even though theres more junk in the trunk). Im a former journalist and the author of more than twenty-five romance novels.

I look at every date as a learning experience. And in this book, Im going to share with you what Ive learned. I hope you can avoid at least some of my mistakes and go in a little wiser than I did.

A lot of single women believe there arent many good guys out there to date. I know this feels like the truth sometimes, but it hasnt been my experience. To find the good guys, though, you have to be both smart and tenacious.

Success happens when preparation meets opportunity. If you want to find a partner, I believe you absolutely can and will. It wont happen overnight, and it probably wont be easy.

But first, you have to be prepared. So lets start preparing you, girl.

Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.

New Release: Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs

Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs
Series n/a; standalone
Genre Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date April 24, 2018

Widowed by an unspeakable tragedy, accomplished photographer Camille Palmer has made her peace with the past and is content with the quiet safety of life with her teenage daughter, Julie, in a sleepy coastal town. Then the arrival of a mysterious package breaks open the door to her family’s secret past. In uncovering a hidden history, Camille has no idea that she’s about to embark on an adventure that will shake her complacency and utterly transform her.

Camille, Julie, and Camille’s father, Henry, return to the French town of Henry’s youth, sparking unexpected memories for him—recollections that will lead them back to the dark days of the Second World War. And it is in the stunning Provençal countryside that they will uncover their family’s surprising history.

While Provence offers answers about the past, it also holds the key to Camille’s future. Along the way, she meets an American historian who stirs a passion deep within her—a feeling that she thought she’d never experience again.

Brilliantly written and infused with Susan Wiggs’s trademark style, this hugely popular author has created her biggest, most powerful story yet in MAP OF THE HEART—an instant New York Times bestseller on the hardcover list. MAP OF THE HEART beautiful and heartfelt novel that celebrates the bonds of family and pays homage to the sacrifices of the past.

A car’s headlights swept across the front of the house, and crushed shells crackled under its tires. She glanced at the clock—nine p.m.— and went out onto the porch, snapping on the light. Her heart flipped over. Mr. Ponytail Professor was back.
Did you forget something?” she asked when he got out of the car. “My manners,” he said.
What the . . . ? “Pardon me?” “Do you drink wine?” he asked.
Copiously. Why do you ask?”
He held out a bottle of rosé, the glass beaded with sweat. “A peace offering. It’s chilled.”
She checked the label—a Domaine de Terrebrune from Bandol. “That’s a really nice bottle.”
I got it from a little wine shop in the village.”
She nodded. “Grand Crew. My father was one of their suppliers. He’s retired now.”
He was in the wine business, then.”
He owned an import and distributing firm up in Rehoboth. And why are we having this conversation?”
I came back to apologize. I got halfway across the bridge and started feeling bad for yelling at you, so I turned around and came back.”
She caught herself staring at him like a smitten coed with a crush on her professor. She flushed, trying to shake off the gape-mouthed attraction. “Oh.” An awkward beat passed. “Would you like to come in?” She held open the door.
Thought you’d never ask.”
In the kitchen, she grabbed some glasses and a corkscrew. What was he doing back here? “Actually, you did forget something—your sunglasses.” She handed them over.
Oh, thanks.” He opened the wine and poured, and they brought their glasses to the living room and sat together on the sofa. He tilted his glass toward her. “So . . . apology accepted?”
She took a sip of the wine, savoring the cool, grapefruity flavor of it. “Apology accepted. But I still feel bad about your film.”
I know. You made a mistake. I should have been more understanding.” He briefly touched her arm.
Okay, so maybe he wasn’t such a jerk. She stared at her arm where he had touched it. Why was this stranger, whose one-of-a-kind film she’d ruined, taking care of her? Watching him, she tried to figure it out. “I’ve never screwed up a project like that,” she said.
So what happened?”
Everything was going fine until I got a phone call from the local hospital that my daughter had been brought in by ambulance. I dropped everything and ran out the door.”
The girl I met earlier? Oh, man. Is she all right?”
Yes. Yes, Julie’s fine. She’s upstairs now, online—her favorite place to be.”
So what was the emergency?”
She was in a surf rescue class—most kids around here take it in ninth grade. She hit her head and got caught in a riptide.” A fresh wave of panic engulfed Camille as she pictured what could have happened.
Thank God she’s okay.”
Camille nodded, hugging her knees to her chest. “I was so scared. I held myself together until . . . well, until you showed up. Lucky you, getting here just in time for my meltdown.”
You should have said something earlier. If I’d known you rushed off because you got a call about your kid, I wouldn’t have been such a tool.” He offered a half smile that made her heart skip a beat.
At least he acknowledged that he’d been a tool. “Well, thanks for that, Professor Finnemore.”
Call me Finn.”
She took another sip of wine, eyeing him over the rim of her glass. “You look like a Finn.”
But not a Malcolm?”
That’s right. Malcolm is totally different.”
He grinned, flashing charm across the space between them. “How’s that?”
Well, buttoned down. Academic. Bow tie and brown oxfords.” He laughed aloud then. “You reduced me to a cliché, then.”
Guilty as charged.”
Want to know how I pictured you?” Without waiting for an answer, he rested his elbow on the back of the sofa and turned toward her. “Long dark hair. Big dark eyes. Total knockout in a red striped shirt.” He chuckled at her expression. “I checked out your website.”
Oh. Her site featured a picture of her and Billy on the “about us” link. But a knockout? Had he really said knockout? He was probably disappointed now, because on this particular night, she didn’t look anything like the woman in that photo.
You look just like your photo,” he said.
Wait. Was he coming on to her? No. No way. She should have looked at his website. Did history professors have websites?
She saw something flicker across his face, an expression she couldn’t read.
Go ahead,” he said. “You can look me up on your phone. You know you want to.”
She flushed, but did exactly that, tapping his name on the screen. The information that populated the web page surprised her. “Ac- cording to these search results, you’re a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a former intelligence officer. You’re now a professor of history at Annapolis, renowned for tracing the provenance of lost soldiers and restoring the memories to their families. You’re an expert at analyzing old photos.”
Then we have something in common. If you ever come across something mysterious in a picture, I can take a look.”
She couldn’t decide if his self-confidence was sexy or annoying. In the “personal” section of the page, it was noted that he had been married to “award-winning journalist Emily Cutler” for ten years, and was now divorced. She didn’t read that part aloud.
I’m renowned? You don’t say.” He shifted closer to her and peered at the screen.
I don’t. Wikipedia says. Is it accurate?”
More or less.” He grinned. “I don’t know about the ‘renowned’ part. I’ve never done anything of renown. Maybe choosing this exceptional wine. Cheers.” He touched the rim of his glass to hers and took a sip.

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SUSAN WIGGS is the author of more than fifty novels, including the beloved Lakeshore Chronicles series and her most recent, instant New York Times bestseller Family Tree. Her award-winning books have been translated into two dozen languages. She lives with her husband on an island in Washington State’s Puget Sound.

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