Happy Birthday, Janga! Wishing you sunshine, smiles, and happily ever afters today and always.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Today's Special - - Terri Osburn

I am so ready for Terri Osburn to take me on a return trip to Anchor Island.  Today is release day for Up to the Challenge, the second book in Terri's terrific Anchor Island series.  I'm excited that Terri has chosen to spend the day with all of us here at The Romance Dish and even more excited that all of you can now read this wonderful story about Lucas and Sid.  

Born in the Ohio Valley, Terri relocated below the Mason Dixon line in the early 1990s after experiencing three blizzards in eighteen months. Seeking warmer climes, she landed in Nashville, did a stint in Arkansas, and eventually moved to the East Coast, where she settled near the ocean. In 2012, she was named a finalist in the Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® contest for unpublished manuscripts. An agent and contract soon followed. Her debut release, the first in her Anchor Island Series, MEANT TO BE, was released in May 2013, with book 2, UP TO THE CHALLENGE, to follow October 22, 2013. To learn more about this author and her work, visit her website at www.terriosburn.com.


Please help me give Terri a warm welcome!






A Gift With Attitude

When I started writing the first book in the Anchor Island Series, MEANT TO BE, I did not have Sid Navarro on my radar. In fact, I pictured a male character for Joe's sidekick and boat mechanic. And then I started writing the scene in which this sidekick first appeared, and there was Sid.

“Well? What’s she like?”

“Who?” Joe asked, playing dumb and avoiding eye con­tact while untying the dock lines.

“Betty White, jackass. You know who.”

Joe shrugged. “She’s not what I expected.”

Sid dropped onto the side of the boat, boots resting on the bench. “Not a blonde or not a bimbo?”

At this point, I had no idea that Sid had a thing for Joe's younger brother Lucas. Until the words came out of my keyboard.

“You think she’ll leave him?” A note of enthusiasm entered Sid’s voice, but Joe ignored it. He knew Sid had a thing for Lucas, but he sure as hell wasn’t going to talk about it.

And right there, I had the second book in the series, which turned into UP TO THE CHALLENGE. I consider the day I wrote that page a gift, because it gave me one of the most fun heroines I'm ever likely to write.

For the uninitiated, Sid Navarro is short, stacked, and sailor-tongued. She wears shirts that say things like Mechanics Do It With Lube and Life's a Bitch and Then You Marry One. She can handle herself in a bar fight, but shows the girly girl buried deep (DEEP) down inside when Beth fancies her up for a girl's night out.

Basically, Sid is just freaking fun. And I love her. Thankfully, readers seem to be loving her, too. Here's a snippet of Sid at her best in UP TO THE CHALLENGE:

“You good with this working together thing?” she asked, falling into step beside him, after retrieving her candy bar from the drawer. Which fell on the first try.

“Fine with me. You probably know the staff better than I do. That should help until I get my bearings and the staff realizes I’m in charge.”

Sid stopped. “You’re in charge?”

Lucas crossed his arms, nearly smashing his chips. “It is my family’s business.”

She crossed her arms, mimicking his stance. Her head didn’t reach his shoulder but she still managed to look like a badass. Must have been the boots. “I’m covering for Patty, who is as much in charge, if not more so, than your dad. So you may be in charge of everyone else, but you’re not in charge of me.”

Lucas debated how to handle the situation. He was used to being in charge, leading the team. Having a co-leader would be something new. Running a restaurant wasn’t the same as running a legal team, and deep down, he knew he needed her. He could always take the upper hand later if necessary.

“Equals?”

“That’s right.”

“We’ll see.” Not the strongest comeback, but for a tiny woman, Sid had a steady gaze.

“For a lawyer, you suck at this.” Sid started walking again, then turned back to face him. “I hope you tend bar better than you argue, or I’m going to have to cover the whole damn place.”

And so it begins. There are moments when Lucas gets the better of her, but as you can probably guess, this doesn't happen often. Wherever this terrific spitfire came from—the ether, my brain, the writing gods—I'm just thankful she showed up.

Sid Navarro was definitely a gift from somewhere.

And now I'll pay the gift forward, and offer up two signed copies of UP TO THE CHALLENGE to two lucky commenters today. Just tell us what you think about tougher, non-girly heroines. Like them? Not for you? If not, what kind of heroine is your favorite?



UP TO THE CHALLENGE by Terri Osburn
Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 1477809686
October 22, 2013



Opposites attract in a sexy tale of unexpected love

When the Dempsey patriarch suffers a heart attack, Lucas Dempsey steps up to keep the doors of the family restaurant open. The proverbial prodigal son returns home to Anchor Island—putting family first and his quest to make partner at his high-powered law firm on hold. Sporting a bruised ego after losing his fianc√©e to his older brother, Lucas would rather walk on glass than spend six weeks within spitting distance of the happy couple. But family duty calls. And that duty includes working side-by-side with a tantalizing spitfire intent on driving him mad.

Tough-as-nails boat mechanic Sid Navarro is happy to trade her tools for an apron to help the Dempseys in their time of need. That is, until she realizes she’ll be working alongside Lucas, the man she’s loved from afar since she first laid eyes on him in high school. Lucas could charm the paint off a schooner, but Sid knows she doesn’t fit his girl-next-door type. To show her true feelings would mean certain heartbreak, but the temptation of Lucas in her bed might be more than she can resist.

After a rocky start punctuated by verbal barbs and exasperating arguments, things heat up between them—big-time—but their steamy affair turns more than casual in a matter of weeks. Sid’s life has become the dream she’s always wanted, and Lucas has fallen hard for the last woman he ever expected to love. 

But this affair has an end-date, as Lucas must return to his life and career in the big city, a place where Sid would never fit in. When the end comes earlier than expected, walking away turns out to be a challenge neither of them wants to win.

Up to the Challenge is a sexy, fast-paced, romantic story of family, island life, and finding love in unexpected places.

Buy Links:




Twitter > @TerriOsburn





Excerpt:

Lucas turned to see Sid Navarro coming down the hall. The pint-sized boat mechanic had been on the fringe of his reality since high school, but he wouldn’t say they were friends. Not like she and Joe were. In fact, Lucas couldn’t remember ever having a real conversation with the woman.

Every time he saw her, she was either snarling at someone, or covered in grease and cursing a blue streak. She had to be the least ladylike chick he’d ever met.

“How’s it going?” Sid said, joining him at the machine. He expected an assault of diesel fumes but instead caught the scent of . . . watermelon?

“Hi.”

Chocolate brown eyes met his for a brief moment, then turned to the display of junk food. “You getting something?”

“Trying to.” He pulled his eyes from the smooth patch of olive skin exposed under her ponytail. “The machine is holding my chips for ransom, and I’m not paying. Guess I’ll go without.”

“I wouldn’t say that.” Sid stepped forward and pressed her ear to the side of the worthless box of bolts.

As she moved to listen at another spot, Lucas asked, “What are you—” but she shushed him with one finger in front of his nose. His mouth clamped shut.

Pulling back, Sid smacked the side of the machine with the butt of her hand, causing his chips to drop into the tray. He’d smacked the damn thing twice and gotten nothing.

“How did you do that?”

Sid shrugged. “I’ve got a way with machines. Are those the right chips?”

“Yeah.” Lucas pushed the door to retrieve the snack as Sid pulled a wallet from her back pocket. “You don’t carry a purse?”

She looked at him as if he’d asked if she had meth for sale. “Do I look like a purse carrier to you?”

He took in the hoodie, cargo pants, and work boots. “Guess not.”

“You good with this working together thing?” she asked, falling into step beside him, after retrieving her candy bar from the drawer. Which fell on the first try.

“Fine with me. You probably know the staff better than I do. That should help until I get my bearings and the staff realizes I’m in charge.”

Sid stopped. “You’re in charge?”

Lucas crossed his arms, nearly smashing his chips. “It is my family’s business.”

She crossed her arms, mimicking his stance. Her head didn’t reach his shoulder but she still managed to look like a badass. Must have been the boots. “I’m covering for Patty, who is as much in charge, if not more so, than your dad. So you may be in charge of everyone else, but you’re not in charge of me.”

Lucas debated how to handle the situation. He was used to being in charge, leading the team. Having a coleader would be something new. Running a restaurant wasn’t the same as running a legal team, and deep down, he knew he needed her. He could always take the upper hand later if necessary.

“Equals?”

“That’s right.”

“We’ll see.” Not the strongest comeback, but for a tiny woman, Sid had a steady gaze.

“For a lawyer, you suck at this.” Sid started walking again, then turned back to face him. “I hope you tend bar better than you argue, or I’m going to have to cover the whole damn place.”


With that she disappeared into the hospital room, leaving Lucas in the hall with a bag of crushed chips and a bruised ego. Six weeks in hell had officially begun.

34 comments:

  1. Congratulations Terri on your new book. Sid sounds like quite a character. I do enjoy non-girly heroines since they are usually more focused on things that they are passionate about so don't really have time for all the girly stuff.

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    1. Thank you, Maureen. Sid definitely has her own passions that have nothing to do with pretty shoes and makeup. (Though she does like the pretty under things. *g*)

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  2. Hi Terri.

    Do I have to bow, now that you are at the high table, mixing with my favourite authors?
    I've been practising in front of a mirror but still not sure of the etiquette for greeting a romance Goddess!

    I'm going to listen to the audio version of up to the challenge. It's beautifully read by Amy Rubinate.

    http://www.audible.co.uk/search/ref=a_sitemap_tseft?advsearchKeywords=terri+osburn&filterby=field-keywords&x=8&y=17

    I do like a spunky heroine. Elizabeth Lowell has created some of my favourites, for example Shannon in 'Only Love'

    Your Sid sounds perfect in the role!

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    1. I ADORE those books by Elizabeth Lowell. And now bowing necessary! Though it's always fun to curtsy. :) Yes, I was happy to see the audio was released on the same day this time. And I've heard good things about Ms. Rubinate. Very happy to hear she gets your stamp of approval!

      Oh, and I think we can cut out this goddess stuff. LOL! You know me too well to believe that!

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  3. I prefer the gutsy, funny, sure of themselves heroines. No wimps for me. Girly is fine as long as that is not their only quality.

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    1. Sounds like Sid is your girl, Pat. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Hi, Terri! Welcome back! We're so glad you can spend release day with us. : ) I LOVE a heroine that's a bit of a tomboy because I consider myself a bit of a tomboy. So, naturally, that has me REALLY looking forward to reading UP TO THE CHALLENGE!!

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    1. Thank you for letting me hang with you ladies today, Andrea. The Dish is one of my favorite places to visit. Also a good time! I do hope you'll like the book. Sid is the poster child for tomboy. LOL!

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  5. I love this type of heroine. It makes for such fun when the hero realizes she really is a girl! With all those girl feelings inside just waiting for the right hero to discover them. This sounds like such a fun book. Thanks for the chance to win. I am on my way to get the first book in this series.

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    1. Thank you, TrishJ. I have to admit, the moment Lucas learns what Sid is hiding under those over-sized clothes is quite hilarious. My sister said it made her cry with laughter. I took that as a good sign. :)

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  6. I started reading this book after midnight!!! AND COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! I loved it, I loved it, and I was surprised and it was nothing usual! And now I want to live on Anchor Island! Great second book, I will not go to such lengths as choosing my fave kind of heroine because I am so dang fickle but I do like this "Sid" type. I guess I like strength and I like "heart" so...what a writer throws my way, if it works, you got me!.... Awesome book!

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    1. Thank you, Hope! Sorry if I made you lose sleep. (A little not sorry. *g*) And I'm with you. Anyone who has read book 1 in this series knows not all my heroines have Sid's level of attitude. Sometimes soft can be nice too.

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  7. Congrats on another wonderful book, Terri! You know I fell in love with Sid from the moment I met her, and I loved Up to the Challenge. Now I'm eagerly awaiting Randy's HEA, :)

    I was never a tomboy, although my BFF was, but many of my favorite heroines in all those girl books I read growing up were tomboys. Jo March will always have a place in my heart. I still have a fondness for such heroines.

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    1. Jo was always my favorite of the sisters. And I made mud pies and drove a tractor (at age 7!) and was always quick to throw a punch. So, you know, there might be a little of me in Sid. ;)

      Thank you for all your support. I can't wait to hear what you think of the next one.

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  8. Terri, I absolutely loved Meant To Be! Sid caught my interest there, but I didn't really relate to her as well as I do with more "girly girls" like myself. She is an intriguing character, though, and I can't wait to see how her relationship with Lucas progresses. It will be fun to see how a couple that doesn't seem right for each other transitions to being perfect together!

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    1. Cheryl, Sid's girly side does come out in this one. Like I mention, it is buried very deep, but she has one! Thanks for the kind words on Meant To Be. I hope you like this one just as much.

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  9. Hi Terri! Welcome and congratulations on sending Up to the Challenge out into the world! I adored Sid. I enjoy many different types of heroine. Some I identify with, others I don't. I'm not a tomboy but that didn't make me like Sid any less. She's a wonderful heroine who stays true to who and what she is (that you for that) and I hope readers will take her into their hearts as I did.

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    1. Thank you, PJ. And thanks for letting me hang out here today.

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  10. Hi terri! Congrats for the book!
    Tough heroines make more fascinating read, according to me. Maybe she has a girly side, just to spice it up.

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    1. Hey sienny. Yep. There's a girly side in there. Lucas just has to hunt for it.

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  11. I like tough heroines. Eve is one... From the JD Robb series and I love her.

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    1. May, I've never read that series, but heard lots of good things about them. I'm surprised no one mentioned Eve before now.

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  12. I like both unusual heroines and heroes. Sid does sound like a little firecracker. LOL I can't wait to read the book.

    Marcy Shuler
    bmndshuler(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. I hope you like it, Marcy. And good luck in the giveaway!

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  13. UP TO THE CHALLENGE sounds like it will be fun. I like all types of heroines. They have to fit the story and the situation. Sid is different indeed and a breath of fresh air. One can tire of long legged, cutesy girly girls. Sid sounds like a real individual who will be a joy to get to know. Thanks for the excerpt and the giveaway.

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    1. Thank you, librarypat. Sid was so unique from the start, I knew this book would be something special. I know it was special for me to write. Hope you like it.

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  14. Hi Terri! I just read your previous book and loved looking forward to this one..Do you have anything planned for the next one?


    Donna

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    1. Heya, Donna. Thanks for reading Meant To Be. There is a third book after this one, called Home To Stay. (Up for pre-order now. *g*) It's the story of Will the bartender and Sid's brother Randy. Theirs was a tougher story to write, but I really like how it turned out. You'll be able to decide for yourself on April 15 of next year.

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  15. I like a heroine who can take care of herself - and others.

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    1. Mary, Sid can definitely take care of herself. I'm not sure about others yet. She isn't the most nurturer character ever. :)

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  16. Thank you to PJ and Andrea for letting me visit with you all. Good luck in the drawing!

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  17. I like a sure of yourself gal, but not stuffy or flaky. A good sense of humor is a big plus. Love those snappy dialogues.
    Karen T.

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  18. WTG, Terri! I can't wait to read Book 2! Congratulations! Unusual or not, I'll read anything you write!

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  19. Sounds fantastic! I love a tough, self sufficient heroine! I kinda consider myself that so it's fun to read about someone similar. Sometimes I don't feel that feminine so I don't always relate to girly, feminine heroines. Thanks for sharing!

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