Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Writing Buddy Wednesday: Rachel Bailey

What can I say about my Writing Buddy guest for today. I absolutely adore Rachel Bailey, who is one of the most hard working people I know. A long time volunteer of Romance Writers of Australia, Rachel is someone I want to be like 'when' I grow up. :) I worked with her during time as editor of Hearts Talk, she organised the Bootcamp 101 and became our Bootcamp mum and honorary member, and was instigator of many other RWAus projects.

So now over to Rachel who has a treat for us (thanks, Rachel!)....

Hi Eleni! Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog today. 

You latest release is No Stranger To Scandal. Can you tell us a little a bit it.

No Stranger To Scandal is part of a six book series set in Washington D.C. (though each books stands alone). The hero is Hayden Black, who has been hired as a criminal investigator for a congressional committee. And he has his sights firmly set on Graham Boyle, the owner of a news network. Hayden is convinced Boyle is behind the phone hacking scandal, and he’s also convinced that Boyle’s step-daughter Lucy is involved. Lucy, on the other hand, is convinced her step-father is innocent, and is determined to prove it. As you can imagine, it was a heap of fun to write!

What attracted you to writing Harlequin Desires?

I love the intensity of Desires. There’s a huge of variety in settings, in characters and in stories, but there’s always an intensity that draws me in.

What do you love about being a writer?

Working at home—it’s just me, my dogs and all the stories I can make up in my head!

What are you working on now? And what’s in the near future for Rachel Bailey?

In October, I have a book set on a cruise ship coming out: Countering His Claim. The heroine is the ship’s doctor and the hero has just inherited half the ship from his uncle. Unfortunately, the other half has unexpectedly been inherited by the heroine, which completely throws the hero for a loop!

And right now I’m working on a Cinderella story set on a flower farm. Delicious!

What would be your ultimate research trip? ;))

A round the world trip! I want to go *everywhere*. *grins*

Rachel has also brought along a snippet of her latest book, No Stranger To Scandal, and a copy to give to one commenter.


Decorum Vs. Destiny

She might be the stepdaughter of one of the most powerful media moguls in Washington, but Lucy Royall is no pampered princess—she's making her own way as a junior reporter. But when congressional investigator Hayden Black accuses her stepfather of criminal wrongdoing, she shows her family loyalty and takes Hayden on. Then, as things heat up, the sexy single dad takes her to bed! Talk about a conflict of interest. Will their illicit passion turn into something more lasting, even in the face of controversy so huge it rocks a nation?

Hayden and Lucy have just spent a day by the river with Hayden’s one-year-old son, Josh. They’re both fighting their attraction and trying to stay focused on the congressional committee investigation…

“Thank you for today—Josh had a great time.”

“I had a good time, too,” she said, her voice barely more than a breath. Her mouth suddenly seemed so close, and he began to lean in before summoning his control and pausing. As she realized his intent, her pupils dilated. The pulse at the base of her throat fluttered like crazy. Still, he held—not leaning in farther, but not able to move away. Her moist, full lips were slightly parted, inviting him. A groan worked its way up from deep in his chest. Desire like this, that consumed, engulfed, had been absent from his life for a long time. He wanted nothing more than to give in to it, grasp it with both hands, to grasp Lucy with both hands and sink into the sensations she evoked in him.

But he couldn’t let his guard down and think of her as a woman. He had an investigation to run and involvement with Lucy Royall would compromise his objectivity. Compromise him. He was ethically bound to keep emotional distance between them.

He clenched his jaw tight and leaned slow, excruciating inches back.

“Hayden?” she asked breathlessly.

He gripped the steering wheel until his fingers hurt, trying to anchor himself to something. “Yes?”

“Were you about to kiss me?”

His heart stuttered to a stop. He should have known Lucy wasn’t the type of woman to let things lie, to choose the sensible path. “There was a moment, before I thought better of it,” he admitted.

“I wish you had.” She said the words softly, but there was no flirtation in them—they were honestly delivered and all the more powerful for it. Desire still tugged hard in the pit of his belly, demanding that he follow through and kiss her, but he couldn’t give in. Wouldn’t.

He muttered a curse and closed his eyes to limit the number of senses being assaulted at once. “Don’t say that.”

“But it’s the truth,” she said, her southern accent thick. He opened his eyes in time to see her pink tongue peek out and moisten those lips that drove him crazy. “I’ve been wondering what kissing you would be like.”

“Lucy, don’t.” There was a harshness in his voice that he hated, but was powerless to help. He was on the edge; every muscle vibrated with the effort of holding them still. If she pushed much further, he’d consign his ethics to hell and reach for her.

“What sort of kisser are you, Hayden?” She turned in the seat, facing him, pupils large in the dim light. “Soft and gentle? Strong and demanding?”

He groaned and banged his head back on the headrest. Was she trying to kill him? “This can’t happen,” he growled. “I can’t compromise my objectivity.”

“What if I never tell?” Her voice was pure temptation, full of invitation and delicious promise, making his thundering heart thump even harder in his chest. For a moment, he wondered…could he? A shudder ripped through him. Could he? He glanced out the window, seeking a sign, maybe permission.

Instead he saw a fashionable D.C. street, and it struck him with the force of a blow.


He was in this town to do a job. He’d been employed by Congress, damn it.

He scrubbed his hands down his face and refocused on what was important, then turned to Lucy to make sure she understood as well. “I’d still know. And things would be different between us.”

One corner of her mouth curved up into a half smile. “You don’t think they’ll be different after this conversation?”

“You’ll notice I tried to stop this conversation before it started.”

“Oops,” she said and bit down on her lip, looking anything but sorry. “What should we do now?”

“Pretend it never happened.” It was the only option left.

There was silence for long seconds as she watched him with a small line between her eyebrows. “And if I can’t?”

“We don’t talk about it.” He slashed a hand down to rest on his thigh, hoping he appeared more decisive than he felt. “Never let the topic come up again.”

“Can you do that?”

“Yes.” Sure, he could avoid mentioning it, but the look on her face now in the dim light of the car interior would be burned in his memory, and there was nothing he could do to avoid thinking about kissing her. Dreaming about it.

She picked up her hold-all handbag from the floor and held it close to her chest. “I should probably go inside.”

“Yes,” he croaked. Then he cleared his throat and tried again. “Yes, that would be best all around.”

Thanks, Rachel!

Rachel received a 4.5 star review for No Stranger to Scandal from RT Book Reviews, which is amazing! Congrats, Rachel. You can read the review here


Jenny Schwartz said...

A flower farm and a cruise ship! I can't decide which setting sounds better -- I'll have to read both! :)

Rachel Bailey said...

Hey, thanks, Jenny! The flower farm is my current favourite because it's all shiny and new. :)

Coleen Kwan said...

Loved the excerpt. Congratulations, Rachel.

Mel Teshco said...

Hi Eleni and Rach!! *waves*

I've got one thing to say Rach: HUGE congrats! And I'm coming with you (around the world that is! lol)

Rachel Bailey said...

Thanks, Coleen. I loved the time I spent with Hayden and Lucy!

Rachel Bailey said...

Mel - yay! It can be a group round-the-world trip. We could stop in a few special places and do some writing, then move on when the mood strikes. :)

Mel Teshco said...

That sounds PERFECT =)

Juliana's World said...

Hi Rachel,
I love the excerpt. After reading it, i wantbto smack Hayden. He's such a devoted to his job. Though Lucy is very tempting, he still doesn't want to kiss her. I feel the tension and the waiting (when will he just grab her head and kiss her senseless?). Lol.
Great job Rachel!

Rachel Bailey said...

Excellent, Mel. It's a plan!

Rachel Bailey said...

Thanks, Juliana! And I can assure you, they get to the kissing senseless phase soon after that near miss. :)

Dora Bramden said...

Loved the excerpt Rachel, the tension is palpable. I really want to read more about this sparkling couple.

Sloane Taylor said...

Good interview and awesome excerpts. Can't wait to read both books.

Eleni Konstantine said...

Thanks to everyone for making feel Rachel at home.

Rachel and Mel - I think I'm going to tag along with you on the round the world trip. :0)

Rachel Bailey said...

Hey, thanks for dropping by, Dora. And I *love* that you used the word sparkling. :)

Rachel Bailey said...

Sloane, Helen does a great interview, doesn't she? Glad you liked the excerpt - I liked revisiting Hayden and Lucy for this post!

Rachel Bailey said...

Hey, Eleni! Thanks for inviting me to drop by - I love your Taverna. :)

And another one for our world trip - excellent! I think we'll be able to get a group discount soon. :)

Cheryse Durrant said...

I love the cruise ship location, but I love Cinderella plot-lines. *Sigh*

Carla Caruso said...

I'm also looking out for the flower farm and cruise ship books. Sound delicious, as you say! Well done on the great review too - and writing full-time with your pooches for company sounds like bliss.

Rachel Bailey said...

Cheryse, researching the cruise ship book was heaps of fun, as you can imagine. Travel agents were so helpful when I told them about the book. And yes, Cinderella is one of my faves too!

Rachel Bailey said...

Carla, thanks for the congrats! I rather liked that review. :) Don't you have your debut book out atm? I keep meaning to check it out. What's it called?

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