Scotia surveyed the small crofter's cottage she and Ian had been ushered to immediately following their handfasting ceremony. A small fire burned in the hearth. The flames added a soft, gentle heat to the air as well as warming the room with a rich, golden hue. Her gaze shifted from the fire to the bright red cord that bound his right hand to her own.
She knew what came next.
That's the beginning of Gerri Russell's excerpt from her (thus far) unpublished novel, The Warrior Trainer. As you know from my earlier rantings, Gerri has been in a contest run by Romantic Times and Dorchester Publishing, with the winner guaranteed to have her manuscript published.
In a publishing game of Survivor, Gerri survived four previous rounds, each of which brought the original field of eleven hopefuls down to just two, Gerri, and Ruth Kaufman of Chicago, IL. Now, I'm sure Ruth is a very lovely woman, and, who knows, maybe romance novels in any format aren't your thing. But the spouse and I know Gerri, who is a very lovely woman herself. And Gerri has promised to hire me when she's as big as Nora Roberts, so you're helping me, too.
The rules are simple. You're voting for your favorite between Kaufman's and Russell's sample love scenes. I stopped above before it got hotter than I wanted to repeat, but you can visit here and read both. Then, to vote, all you need to do is to email Romantic Times with the subject "The Warrior Trainer," and you've voted for Gerri. (I suppose you can vote for Ruth Kaufman, but you aren't doing Gerri or me any good that way.)
How good is the scene? One of the judges, Flavia Knightsbridge, said: "Now this is full of personality! I like that you allow Scotia the warrior to not only be herself but also to grow as a character even in this intimate scene. Too often feisty heroines turn into simpering misses in the bedroom. Kudos for avoiding that trap and letting Scotia's true nature triumph."
Voting ends April 2. Should Gerri win, her victory will be announced at the Romantic Times Booklovers' Convention in Daytona Beach, FL on May 19. So let's get Gerri published. If you do vote for her, I'll promise that I'll make sure she autographs every published copy you buy. (Which, who knows, you may receive for a holiday or birthday gift that year, anyway.)