It’s cold outside but the temperatures are rising over here at Haute Apple Pie for Valentine’s week! We are happy to bring you a Valentine’s giveaway from romance author and fellow foodie, Hanna Martine. Hanna is the author of the paranormal romance Elementals series, including Liquid Lies, Taste of Ice and Drowning in Fire (coming this April) as well as the contemporary romance Highland Games series. To add a little extra spice to your life, this week we will be giving away a copy of Long Shot.
Here is what Long Shot is all about:
Jen Haverhurst is on the verge of becoming a partner in New York City’s top event planning company when her sister calls begging for help. The New Hampshire town of Gleann—where they spent many happy childhood summers—is in danger of losing its main attraction, the Highland Games. Jen reluctantly agrees to take over running the Games as well as helping with their aunt’s failing B&B. But she didn’t count on Leith MacDougall.
Before she left town ten years ago, Leith was a summer friend who grew into something much more. Since then, he’s become a legend of the Highland Games, winning three years in a row. Now retired, he’s just about ready to skip town to chase his own dreams of success.
But when Jen tries to convince Leith to stick around and help revive the Games, their youthful romance is revived into a very grown-up Highland affair…
We talked with Hanna to get a little insight on her life as an author as well as some of our favorite topics – food and parties!
I write contemporary and paranormal romance novels, which means there’s always a happy ending for the couple in question. Sometimes there’s magic (paranormal), sometimes there isn’t (contemporary), but both kinds of books take place in the modern day. I left a decade of office work in order to show my daughter what it means to go after your dream. The only thing I’ve ever wanted to be is a novelist. I used to think I was going to be the next J.R.R. Tolkien or George R.R. Martin and write epic fantasy (and use lots of initials), but the fact I used to steal my mom’s romance novels in high school should have tipped me off that hot love stories were in my future. I live outside Chicago, but my heart resides in Australia.
Where did you get your inspiration for Long Shot?
I got married in Scotland (in a 700-year-old castle haunted by a ghost named Sebastian, but that’s a whole other story), and while we were there we stumbled across a local Highland games, which we LOVED. We spent a day in the sun drinking beer, watching men in kilts throw huge, heavy implements around a field for sport, and listening to Scottish folk music. When we returned to the States, we discovered that there’s an annual Highland games ten minutes from our house. We’ve become reliable attendees. In 2012, I was sitting there watching these incredible male athletes strut around the field in sexy kilts and I was like, hmmmm….romance novel hero???? Up until then I’d only written paranormal romance, but I concocted two contemporary stories centered around the concept of the Highland games in America, and I sold them to my editor at Berkley Sensation/Penguin Random House. I used some of my previous experience planning events in my old job to create the character of Jen, who returns to the town of her heart to revive its spirit and its local Highland games.
If you were to pair this book with a meal and beverage, what would it be?
Food and drink, say no more! This book is casual and fun, yet sexy and mature, so it must be beer. A hearty glass, not a light lager (ew, light beer!). An ale of some sort, red or cream. Paired with a crinkly paper pocket full of fish and chips. Not the flimsy, watery kind, but the dark brown, thickly battered, crunchy/crispy slabs of flaky fish that put you in heaven. Pair that with hot, firm chips (potato skin still on, preferably), and you’re good to go.
Just like Jen from Long Shot – we love to plan. What would be your ideal party or event to plan?
My ideal party to plan would be a huge outdoor event with all my friends and family. Like a wedding, but not, haha. Food stations providing a wide variety of upscale picnic food, all sorts of lawn games set up and ready to go, tons of kids screaming around. It would be by a lake or the ocean, so we could play and drink and eat all day, watch the sun go down over the water, and then I’d have the world’s greatest private firework display.
Thanks to Hanna for sharing with us and helping us add a little heat this Valentine’s Day!
So now for the details! To win your very own copy of Long Shot, simply leave a comment below and answer: how you are spicing up your Valentine’s Day?
The giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, February 13. The winner will be announced Friday, February 14. You must be 18 or older to enter and live in the Continental U.S. Winner will be chosen at random.