Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Guest Post from Kathleen Bittner Roth Post

Living La Dolce Vita

I happen to live in Budapest, Hungary. I didn’t especially choose to live in such a distant country; circumstances lifted me up by the scruff of my neck and deposited me there. However, I ended up falling in love with the city where I remain to this day. Currently, I’m in the U.S. for seven months, touring the country to promote four of my five contracted books that release in 2014. Along the way, I’m greeting old friends and relatives, and having a great time!

So how did I end up living in a post-communist country where the language spoken is considered the second most difficult in the world to learn?

My late husband was German. We met in the U.S., but he longed to return to Europe so we chose Opatija, Croatia, an incredibly beautiful town along the Adriatic where we lived for four glorious years (yet another post-communist country). Opatija was founded by Emperor Franz Josef in the 1800’s as a spa area for his lovely wife, Empress Elizabeth. When my husband suddenly fell ill, we traveled to Budapest, Hungary, to a renowned hospital. After he passed away, I remained. I thought I would stay just long enough to sort out proper documents. But that isn’t what happened.

As a way of dealing with my grief, every day, I would walk around the city, for hours on end (it happened to be the coldest winter in 40 years). Soon, I fell in love with this visually stunning and romantic town. Three months later, I returned from one of my walks, placed my hands on the keyboard, looked to the heavens and whispered, “Hans, this one’s for you. Please help me.” Next thing I knew, my fingers were flying across the keyboard, and  A Duke’s Wicked Kiss was born.

A year later, I landed my super-agent Jill Marsal of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. A couple months later, A Duke’s Wicked Kiss was nominated as a finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart Award. That fall, I signed with Entangled Publishing, during which time, I wrote four more books, all of which have sold, three in a series to another publisher.

I love America, and I love my family and friends, but I’ve always been a bit of an adventurer and I’m not yet ready to give up living in one of the most romantic cities in the world, a place where I am continually inspired to write, write, write.

What about you? Do you live outside the U.S.? Have you ever wanted to? If so, where do you dream of living or at least spending a good deal of your time? I’d love to hear from you.

Meet Suri and the Duke, my characters in A Duke’s Wicked Kiss:
While on a secret mission for the Crown, a proper duke falls for an improper daughter of an Indian royal and British noble.
Miss Suri Thurston knows the pain of abandonment. Intent on confronting the grandmother who tossed her to the lions, she travels from England to her birthplace in India. Her plans run afoul when she encounters the man who, ten years prior, left a mark on her soul with one stolen kiss. But he is a duke, and far beyond the reach of even her dreams.
The Duke of Ravenswood, secret head of the British Foreign Service, has no time for relationships. His one goal is to locate and eliminate key insurgents involved in an uprising against the British East India Company before it's too late. But when Suri appears in Delhi, his resolve is tested as he finds his heart forever bound to her by the one haunting kiss they shared once upon a time.
A little teaser:
“We’re attracted to each other…”

She opened her mouth to refute his words.

He lifted a hand, halting her interruption. “No, let’s not deny it. If it weren’t for my responsibilities and for your brother, I’d likely have your skirts raised by now.”

She couldn’t believe her ears. “My skirts…my brother?” She turned in a circle. “Of all the…” Her spine stiffened. “I shall never have my skirts lifted. By you or anyone else.”

He tilted his head back in that heavy-lidded way of his. “And what would be the fun in that?”

She drew a shuddering breath.

“Why, you desire contact, don’t you? That’s the reason you ran off, isn’t it? You want to be touched as much as I crave touching you, and it scares you to death.”

“You are mad.”

“Only about you.” He bent his head closer to her. “You, madam, are afraid you cannot handle a kiss—or anything else that might transpire between us.”

“You are arrogant.”

“Try something else.”

They stood so close she could feel his breath, ragged when it fell against her lips.

“Suri,” she heard him sigh as his warm mouth closed on hers. For an instant, she was thrown back in time. But then the taste of him touched her tongue—cinnamon, cardamom and fennel—and she was in the moment again as he leaned into her and the heat of his body penetrated through the thin fabric of her sari. Ten years of yearning for something—for someone she’d formed into a fantasy—collided with reality. He was here, holding her, kissing her once again—and yes, it was even better than before—my God!

About the author:

Kathleen Bittner Roth creates passionate historical romance featuring characters faced with difficult choices, and who are forced to draw on their strength of spirit to overcome adversity and find unending love. Her own fairy tale wedding in a Scottish castle led her to her current residence in Budapest, Hungary, considered one of Europe’s most romantic cities. However, she still keeps one boot firmly in Texas and the other in her home state of Minnesota. A member of Romance Writers of America®, she was a 2012 Golden Heart® finalist with A Duke’s Wicked Kiss. You can find Kathleen on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Visit her website at: www.kathleenbittnerroth.com

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