Saturday, July 28, 2012

This weekend I welcome author Amanda Bretz to the blog

Amanda Bretz is the contemporary romance author of Finding Justus and Love in Greener Pastures. She is currently hard at work on her third book, with the working title of "Love, Simplified."
She holds a degree in communication from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida and has worked as a journalist in both print and online news media.
When not writing, Amanda can be found whipping up something delectable in her kitchen, spending time in nature or getting lost in a good book.
Amanda resides in the Midwest with her husband, Brandon.


Finding Justus 

Justus Kendall is an interior designer from St. Louis who aspires to start her own design firm and when she lands her biggest job to date, remodeling a prestigious old hotel in downtown St. Louis, she is on top of the world. However, while touring the hotel, her happiness is cut short when she finds her fiancé Alex Williams tumbling out of one of the hotel suites, a naked blonde wrapped in a bed sheet tangled in his arms. Justus is stunned, furious and hurt when she finds Alex cheating on her a month before her wedding.
As a way to get over him, and as a chance to have fun and clear her head, Justus convinces her best friend Krystal to accompany her on her honeymoon cruise. While on the cruise Justus meets a handsome Latin dance instructor named Miguel Amores from Miami.
The pair quickly find they have red hot chemistry on the dance floor and off of it.

Excerpt from Finding Justus:

“Somebody will have to dance with me,” Miguel said after taking a quick head count. Hands shot up all around the room, all but one. “How about you? Come on, come on, don’t be shy.” Justus stared at him blankly as he pointed at her, she couldn’t believe her rotten luck today. She was a terrible dancer. Hadn’t she already embarrassed herself enough for one day?
“Oh, but I’ve got a friend. I mean, we came together, maybe you should pick someone else who is here alone.” Justus prayed he would leave her alone and pick one of the other girls in the room, who were gesturing frantically and calling to Miguel.
“Oh don’t be silly, Justus,” Krystal said looking at Justus as though she had suddenly sprouted another head. “I wouldn’t dream of denying you this…opportunity to get an in-depth lesson.” Krystal nudged her toward Miguel. He took that as her way of accepting his proposal and took her hand.
“Justus, is it? Very pretty name, different.”
“Thanks,” she said as she let him lead her to the center of the room. Damn Krystal and her big mouth, she wouldn’t know what tact was if it bit her on the butt! She turned her head to give Krystal a dirty look, which she in turn, pretended not to notice. 

“Okay, everyone, pair up,” Miguel said as he turned to face the class. “We’re going to start with the tango. You’ll start in this position,” he demonstrated by taking Justus into his arms, one hand at the small of her back, the other hand clasped hers. It seemed to Justus as though it was taking an extremely long time for everyone in class to get into position.

She felt her palms start to sweat. She had been avoiding his face up until now, but she wanted to know if he noticed her sweating palms. She stole a peek out of the corner of her eye. He looked completely composed and not at all disgusted by her sweaty hands. 

“The tango is a passionate dance, so everyone please bring your partners in like this,” he said and demonstrated by bringing their bodies together and closing in all the gaps.

Justus was about to gasp from the feel of his hard body aligned with hers, but then she remembered this was just a part of the lesson, essential to learning the dance correctly. She also reminded herself of the scene by the pool. It had really looked as though he had something going on with the blonde, so she shouldn’t take this as anything other than what it was; a dance lesson, plain and simple. 

“Music please,” Miguel told his assistant. “And here we go, start by taking slow steps to the opposite side of the room, once there change arm positions and start back toward where you came from.”. Justus watched him from the corner of her eye, breathing him in, his clean scent, and the smell of his cologne. 

“Very good. I see I’ve got a group of fast learners here. We’re going to go over this a few more times, and then we’ll be moving on to the meringue.”

Again Justus’ stomach fluttered, because of the way he said the dance with proper Spanish pronunciation. In an attempt to steel her wavering stomach, Justus tried to make an objective assessment of Miguel. What was the big deal with him, anyway? So he was easy on the eyes. Actually that was an understatement; he was for female eyes, a virtual feast. He was a perfect physical specimen, and very sensual. He seemed to positively ooze sex and eroticism with his every move, look, and touch. Justus turned her head toward him to steal a glance at his profile, but he caught her looking at him.

His eyes were so arresting, they were a dark, fierce green, like beautiful shining emeralds. She also noticed flecks of gold laced through them, reminiscent of cat’s eyes.  Not any ordinary house cat, these were the eyes of a wild predator.

He was a panther; with his black hair and green eyes and the way he moved, so gracefully, yet with definite strength and agility. She sighed to herself, so much for her objectivity.

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