Thursday, January 30, 2014

"The Best Game" by Hebby Roman

The Best Game
by Hebby Roman

The Best Game by Hebby Roman was released in November 2013. The author stops by today for a guest post about writing contemporary versus historical fiction. You can also enter the giveaway to win an ebook copy of the book.
Also available: The Best Bet. Plus, The Princess and the Templar, mentioned in Hebby's guest post below, is FREE to 1 February.

Damian Escobedo can't believe his eyes. Not only is his ugly duckling childhood next-door neighbor all grown up, she's blossomed into the most exquisite woman he's ever seen. Until now, he's resisted settling down, but one look at Liana De Leon has him head over heels. There's only one problem: as far as he can tell, the feeling isn't exactly mutual. After a decade as a top Manhattan model, Liana has returned to San Antonio seeking what she once wanted to escape: a quiet life, a simple home, a meaningful career, and marriage to a regular guy. A guy who will love her not because of how she looks, but because of who she is inside. The last thing she needs is San Antonio's most eligible bachelor, Damian swooning at her feet. So why is he the first man to make her believe that dreams really do come true?

Leaning against him, she put her head on his broad shoulder and gazed at his profile. He lowered his head. Their lips were a mere two inches apart, if that much. This was known as the defining moment. But she didn't want it, didn't want him to kiss her. Not now, maybe never.
She pulled away and skipped ahead, hurtling down the steep, stone-carved stairs. Stopping, she waited for him on the walk in front of the exclusive hotel La Maision. When he joined her, she offered her hand.
He grasped it, and she fought the feelings coursing through her. She tried to ignore the touch of his rough, male flesh against hers, tried to disregard the pull of his masculine appeal. Her feminine needs, long suppressed, clamored like a Hydra monster, threatening to gobble her up.
She struggled to sort out her confused feelings and reversed her earlier decision. She wanted to kiss him, because she needed to know what this crazy attraction was about. Too much tequila, maybe?
Reaching up, she curled her arm around his neck and forced his mouth down to hers. At first, he seemed startled by her blatant approach. He hesitated and his lips merely grazed hers.
But then he warmed to the task.
His mouth moved over hers, warm and supple, molding to her lips. His hands came up, cradling her head. His mouth was like hot velvet against hers, his lips firm and moist, searing her senses and heating her blood.
Moving with infinite care, he made a song of their lips pressed together. With each fraction of a second, she expected the questing thrust of his tongue, demanding access, suggesting intimacies she didn't care to share. But he surprised her, his tongue slid over her lips, worshipping their contours but not demanding to get in.
It was a full kiss, a kiss of heated and moist flesh, of wonder and awe, of reverence and carefully controlled passion. It was a kiss that was hot and tender and cherishing, all at the same time. It was a kiss she would never forget because she'd never experienced anything like it before.
This was her first kiss ... Her first real kiss, she realized with a sense of awe. Not that she hadn't been kissed before. She'd been kissed many times, too many times. But the kisses had been meaningless, a predictable prelude to seduction.
When they were both breathless, they parted and gazed deep into each other's eyes. Taking each other's measure again, a new awareness suffused them, along with a grudging respect.
He circled his arm around her waist again. She followed suit. "Let's walk," he echoed her earlier request. "Finish telling me how you started modeling."
And weak fool that she was, grateful for a kiss that hadn't been a prelude to anything other than the simple pleasure it gave, she did as he asked.

The twins (Damian and Rafael Escobedo) sometimes try to emphasize their differences, but in the final analysis they always end up twins ... in this case, Damian exhibits deftness and dexterity (as well as clumsiness and doltishness) in pursuing a drop-dead gorgeous girlfriend ... author Hebby Roman is always at her best describing the up-and-down of human emotions in a relationship - and here she nails it again.
Overall, a great read - Heb understands precisely how to tug at the reader's emotional underpinnings ... never a dull moment ...

Guest Post by Hebby Roman
Contemporary or Historical or Why Not Both?
Recently, I was asked in a blog interview that since I wrote both contemporary and historical romance, which did I like to write best? And to that question, I replied: "Unfair question, unfair question!" It is an unfair question because it's very difficult for an author to tell you which one of her "babies" that she loved writing the most.
My first love and what I like to read when I'm not reading romance is history. So naturally, I started out writing historical romances, and my first four books were set in the nineteenth century. But when I had the opportunity to write the launch title for my publisher's now-extant Latino line, I jumped at the chance and wrote my first contemporary romance, Summer Dreams.
Since that time, I've written five more contemporaries and a medieval that was just released by The Wild Rose Press, entitled The Princess and the Templar. And to be fair, there are aspects of both kinds of romances that I enjoy writing.
With historicals you get to take your readers to a place and time far away and long ago (sounds like a good movie title, don't you think?) and do some world building. You learn and write about the culture of the time, how your characters would dress, how they spoke and any other details that will make the romance more realistic for the reader. And then there's the length, which could be a good or bad thing, because historicals are usually about twice as long as contemporary romances. That means you have more pages to fill, but it is also a great opportunity to fully explore the external conflict or plot and/or to flesh out your secondary characters that might appear in a sequel.
When writing contemporary romance, your research is minimal, but you definitely need to be plugged into what's new and "in" today. You need to modulate your author's voice to convey an up-to-date tone and hip sensibility. This may sound way easier than recreating a time and place in history, but today's culture and fashions move so fast that sounding cool can be quite a challenge. Then there's the page count, which is shorter and can pose the problem of giving an author adequate time to devote to the heroine and hero and their internal conflict, much less inserting a viable external conflict within the allotted pages.
So, which is my favorite? Why not both? I love writing contemporaries for very different reasons than historical romances but that doesn't mean I like one better than the other.
In fact, I believe that moving back and forth between the two sub-genres helps to keep my perspective fresh while challenging my author voice to grow and mature.

About the Author
Hebby Roman is the author of eight print published romances: four historical romances and four contemporary romances. Her first contemporary romance, Summer Dreams, was the launch title for Encanto, a print line featuring Latino romances. The Wild Rose Press will be publishing her latest historical, a medieval romance, entitled The Princess and the Templar.
Hebby is a member of the Romance Writers of America, and the past president of her local chapter, North Texas Romance Writers. She was selected for the Romantic Times "Texas Author" award, and she won a national Harlequin contest for her "chick-lit" entry. She graduated with highest honors from the University of Texas in Austin with a Master's Degree in Business Administration. She was selected for inclusion in the first edition of Who's Who of American Women.
She is blessed to have all her family living close by in north Texas, including her family's latest addition, her granddaughter, Mackenzie. Hebby lives in Arlington, Texas with her husband, Luis, and maltipoo, Max.

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of two ebook copies of The Best Game by Hebby Roman.