Hi lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host Charlene Keel and Arie Pavlou and their new book, “The Congressman’s Wife”! For other stops on their Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above.
Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card. Also, come back daily to interact with Charlene and Arie and to increase your chances of winning!
Thanks for stopping by! Wishing you lots of luck in this exciting giveaway!
The Congressman’s Wife
by Charlene Keel
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
All Eden Bancroft has ever been to her high-profile politician husband is a trophy wife, born and bred for the part. She believes she has no choice but to play it—until she meets a talented chef and restaurant heir who makes her feel loved for herself alone. The more her husband uses and belittles her, the more deeply Eden falls for Kaleb. Even with Mitchell’s congressional campaign in full swing, the lovers manage to find brief stolen moments together. When her husband is wounded by a bullet from a disgruntled lobbyist, Eden must stay by his side. What she learns can set her free, if she has the courage to take a stand.
The Taste of Good Champagne
Eden saw him coming toward her and something, some strange new feeling she didn’t understand, caught at her heart. He was handsome, but it was more than that. His walk, as he strode to her, was confident. A smile played at his lips.
“Good evening,” he said smoothly.
“It would have been,” she replied, pushing the bottle towards him. “It’s corked. Too bad, too. The food is pretty decent.”
“Decent?” he countered. “Don’t you mean delicious?”
The smile tempting his mouth broke full and wide. She had intended to really let him have it—there was no excuse for serving wine that had essentially turned to vinegar—but his smile stopped her. When she didn’t return it, and didn’t say anything, he picked up the bottle and looked at the label.
“Yeah,” he said. “I wouldn’t have ordered this. It was already selected when I came on board. Let me give you something else.”
“No,” she said. “Thanks, anyway.”
“Come on. You’ve got to let me do something for you.”
“You can’t do anything for me,” she said softly, looking into his eyes.
He broke into a grin. “Well, that’s a matter of opinion.”
He was flirting with her, and Eden had a sudden, reckless yearning to find out how far it could go. With his piercing brown eyes, dark hair and full, inviting lips, he had a kind of sultry Joe Manganiello quality. He had big, powerful hands and he was built like a middleweight boxer. He looked more like a prizefighter than a chef.
“Maybe you could leave me alone,” she said, even though it was the last thing she wanted.
“Not a chance,” he told her with a devilish grin, then turned and walked away.
Eden glanced across the room to see Mitchell and his mother still table-hopping, working the crowd, as Mitchell slugged back a Coors Light. He had never learned to savor the subtle nuances in wine, any more than he had learned to savor his wife. And then the handsome young chef was back, standing before her. He was holding two tall champagne flutes and a bottle of wine, its label hidden by a linen cloth expertly tucked around it.
“I told you I don’t want anything,” she said.
“You’re not having a good time, are you?” he asked. She remained silent but he persisted. “Don’t you want your husband to be a congressman? Or don’t you want—”
“Of course I do,” she interrupted.
“. . . him to be your husband?” he finished.
That caught her by surprise. She hadn’t thought anyone could see through her façade of happy, perfect wife. Feeling vulnerable always made her angry, and she bristled. “But he is my husband,” she said. “I believe we were discussing the bad wine you served.”
“You’re right. We were.” He set the glasses on the table in front of her and poured out the sparkling liquid. “Taste this,” he said.
“What is it?”
“Just taste it.”
Intrigued, she took a sip. She was surprised. “Veuve Clicquot?”
He nodded. “For you, only the best.” He put the emphasis on you and she smiled at him. “Finally,” he added, pouring himself a glass. “It’s nice to see you smile.”
“Was I?” The elegant taste of good champagne lingered on her tongue. She wondered what his kisses would be like.
For a few moments they talked about the Champagne Region in France. A strange mix of emotions assaulted Eden. Sharply aware of the raw, primal need this man awakened in her, she forced herself to focus on what he was saying instead of the tantalizing way his lips curved. His knowledge of wines surprised her. He told her he had lived and trained as a chef in Paris and Provence. They were deep in conversation when Mitchell returned to the table.
Ignoring Kaleb, he leaned toward his wife. “Eden, did you bring my speech?” he demanded. “They want me to go up now and I—”
“Of course, darling,” she broke in before he could get wound up. She opened her bag and pulled out the speech. Mitchell grabbed it.
“Well, that’s a relief,” he retorted brusquely. Grabbing Kaleb’s champagne flute, he drained it and then hurried up to the microphone. He hadn’t bothered to thank her. She turned her gaze again to Kaleb.
“Look,” he said. “I’ve got to go and get dessert out, but I’ll be back. Don’t leave, okay? There’s something I want to ask you. You’ll wait?” He looked deeply into her eyes. All she could think of was how much she wanted to kiss him.
“Yes,” she agreed. “I’ll wait.”
A Day in the Life
FAB: What does your normal day as a writer look like?
Arie: Since I’ve just begun my career as a writer, I’m still pretty undisciplined. I look to Char to keep me in line. My work as a chef keeps me busy and I like to travel—a lot. My wife Liz and I get away to exotic locations whenever we can so I can search out authentic food and new recipes to add to my repertoire.
I get my best ideas for The Congressman Trilogy while traveling, so I’ll shoot off a text or an email to Char, or give her a quick call and she adds them to the book we’re working on (right now, it’s The Congressman’s Mistress, the second installment) and fleshes them out. I’m also working on a cookbook, and after my success this summer with my pop-up restaurant, Eté, in the Hamptons, I’m thinking of making that a theme—you know, something like Pop-Up Recipes.
Char: Truthfully, a day in the life of a writer is pretty boring, but I’ll tell you how it’s been for the last couple of weeks. I get up about seven and have mango juice (preferably Del Prado) and coffee (preferably Eight O’Clock’s French Roast).
Then I’m sufficiently awake to walk my two adorable dogs and feed my two conceited cats. After breakfast I have more coffee while I watch the news and think about what I want to accomplish before end of day.
In the morning I write one of 11 guest blogs for a blog tour my publisher set up and during my lunch break I walk the dogs again. My Chihuahua thinks he is the original time cop, and everything absolutely must be done on schedule. He’ll annoy me until I give in.
Afternoons, I get to the hard-core stuff and work on a new book or a ghostwriting assignment. This week I’m doing a final read-through of a manuscript that’s set for release in three weeks.
Late afternoons I relax by sitting outside with the dogs and enjoying life on the canal that backs up to my property (in South Florida we have lots of canals) and the wildlife that frequent it. We have ducks, iguanas, herons and turtles that sun themselves on the bank. It’s the perfect time and place to think about what I need to accomplish tomorrow.
Early evenings are hectic. I make dinner, feed the dogs, cats and myself, then zone out for a couple of hours in front of the TV (television, I admit, is my guilty pleasure). After the evening news, I walk the dogs again, tuck them into their own little beds and get some sleep so I can do it all again tomorrow. If my characters won’t stop running around in my head I start visualizing how I’ll spend the money when I win the Powerball. That usually sends me off to dreamland. I often dream about my characters, which gives me new ideas for them or new revelations about them.
AUTHOR BIO – CHARLENE KEEL:
Charlene Keel has written over a dozen novels and how-to books as well as multiple episodes of popular TV shows such as Fantasy Island and Days of our Lives. Her Dell book, Rituals, was the basis for the first made-for-syndication soap opera. Recently she co-authored The Tracks, a YA supernatural trilogy. Shadow Train, the final installment, won a Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award. Keel has also written screen adaptations of novels by bestselling authors, and has worked as editor or managing editor for a few international magazines. In her spare time she ghostwrites books and screenplays for celebrities, doctors, corporate moguls, spies, strippers and anyone who has an interesting story to tell.
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AUTHOR BIO – ARIE PAVLOU:
Arie Pavlou is a popular chef who attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and then perfected his craft at some of the top-rated Michelin restaurants in France and New York. He has lived and worked in France, Cyprus and the U. S. and is an avid world traveler who speaks five languages. He enjoys all sports and has a talent for knife-throwing, which he perfected at Le Cordon Bleu. Currently Chef de Cuisine at the renowned Bridgehampton Inn in New York, his specialties include Caramelized Baked Alaska, Winter Salad, Roast Lamb Fondue, Wild Game and Poached Pears with Mint Ice Cream. The Congressman’s Wife is his first novel, and he’s currently writing a cookbook.
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Charlene and Arie will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.
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This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions. Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.