What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Thank you for having me on your blog, CR! Hi peeps, I’m Cassandra Dean and I mostly write historical romances. I seem to jump around a bit, with stories set in Ancient Rome, Early Victorian England, Old American West and even a few contemporaries. To top it off, I have plans to write a Steampunk series as well.
* I’m from Adelaide, South Australia, and I’m gearing up for the Festival and the Fringe. Such a wonderful time of year, when thousands of people pour into Adelaide to celebrate arts and culture and super fun times…Can’t wait!
* Here's my bio: Cassandra grew up daydreaming, inventing fantastical worlds and marvelous adventures. Once she learned to read (First phrase – To the Beach. True story), she was never without a book, reading of other people’s fantastical worlds and marvelous adventures.
* Fairy tales, Famous Fives, fantasies and fancies; horror stories, gumshoe detectives, science fiction; Cassandra read it all. Then she discovered Romance and a true passion was born.
* So, once upon a time, after making a slight detour into the world of finance, Cassandra tried her hand at writing. After a brief foray into horror, she couldn’t discount her true passion. She started to write Romance and fell head over heels. The love affair exists to this very day.
What book are you going to tell us about today? Is it part of a series? If so, what's the order the books should be read in?
* FOOL’S GOLD is second in The Diamond Series and part of Decadent Publishing’s Western Escape. All Western Escape books are set in the fictional town of Freewill, Wyoming, and I was lucky enough to be able to do a sub-series set in the Old West.
How'd you/your muse come up with this story?
* After I’d written ROUGH DIAMOND, book 1 of The Diamond Series, I was mighty intrigued by Alice’s friend, Pearl, and her unwarranted antagonism towards Alice’s coal prospector, Garrett. I was thinking the vaguest of thoughts towards writing a story for them when my editor on ROUGH DIAMOND asked if we would see Pearl’s story. I said of course! Then, to throw a bit of a spanner into the works, my editor asked me to make Pearl and Ethan Garrett’s story a Christmas tale. The brain, she got to thinking and I came up with FOOL’S GOLD!
Describe the hero in five words.
* Quiet, polite, hiding his background
Describe the heroine in five words.
* Flirty, saucy, annoyed by Garrett
Who's your favorite character in the book & why?
* Hmm. I love Pearl and Ethan equally, and they’re the only two characters in the book! Others are mentioned, notably Alice and Rupert, the heroine and hero from ROUGH DIAMOND, but the ‘screen time’ is solely reserved for Pearl and Ethan.
* So, I guess I’m going to go with they are both my favourite characters! I love that they think they despise each other, I love their banter, and I love that when they give in to their attraction, they open to each other as they haven’t with anyone else.
What's your favorite line in the story?
* My favourite line is the below, which is more of a paragraph but potayto, potahto ;p
~~ Why should she be feeling a tug at her heart just because Garrett had nowhere to go?
~~ Squaring her shoulders, Pearl lifted a brow and pretended her heart never twinged. “If it will get you to depart this here premises the quicker, why don’t you tell me all your troubles and we’ll see if we can’t fix one or two of them?”
A look into the story
* Christmas Eve, the Diamond Saloon is empty of its people, and Pearl la Monte has a hankering to retire early. A pounding at the Diamond’s door rids her of such a fool notion. Her irritation rises when she sees the prissy, polite-like Garrett standing outside.
* Ethan Garrett has a powerful need to gain succor. When the saloon’s voluptuous redheaded singer scowls at him from the threshold of the Diamond, he doesn’t stop to think on how his ire at her has disappeared. Or how he just wants to spend some time in her company.
* When a blizzard storms in, trapping them, will they spend their time arguing or find their irritation for each other disguises something more?
* A weird kind of panic jolted through Ethan, one he’d never felt before in all his days. It was…he didn’t…. She couldn’t leave him. “Where are you going?”
* She whirled to face him, her irritation plain. “I was seeking my bed before your arrival, and now I’m seeking it again. Help yourself to whiskey this one time. I got better things to do.”
* Shoving to his feet, he strode to her. “Don’t just walk away when we’re discussing things.”
* “We ain’t discussing nothing. You’ll be down here, waiting out the blizzard. I’ll be in my bed, doing what I was gonna before you arrived. That’s the end of it.”
* Taking a step, she made to leave him. Again.
* He grabbed her arm. “Don’t leave me.”
* “Don’t tell me what to do.” Glaring at him, she stood before the bar, her magnificent hair slipping from its pins, her breasts rising and falling.
* Abruptly, his mouth went dry. Clearing his throat some, he said, “You’re supposed to offer succor to those in need.”
* “We’re closed, remember?” Paint-less lips pressed tight together, she glared up at him.
* They were so close he could see the faint marks of freckles on her skin.
* Pearl La Monte had freckles.
* A kind of haze came over him, tightening his skin and bringing with it something all-fired powerful and completely unstoppable. All the years he’d known her crashed through him, all the times she’d flirted with him and meant something else, all the times he’d seen her perform on stage and wished he could have held such fire.
* Grabbing her upper arms, he hauled her against him and, ignoring her shocked gasp, he covered her mouth with his.
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* Thanks again for having me on the blog, CR!
Happy to have you! Thank you for joining us here today, Cassandra Dean! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story.