How about a sneak peek excerpt from ONCE AND AGAIN today? I have seen the cover for this and it’s perfect. I’m impatiently waiting to share it all with you!

Copyright 2011, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, Samhain Publishing
Releasing August 30

“You had a good stylist in Macon.” Anne met Lily’s eyes in the mirror. “Not as good as me, though.” She winked. “What are you looking for?”

“What do you suggest?”

“She’s got that vintage thing going and it works for her.” Tate cocked her head and looked Lily over carefully.

“Are you looking to keep it or do something totally new? I agree with Tate that the vintage thing works for you. I can take it shorter, like a chin-length bob. Keep it longer so you can do pin curls and that sort of thing.”

“I want it easy on most days with the ability to do something more when I have the time. It’s got a natural wave so it takes me forever to straighten when it’s very short.”

“Okay then. I’ve got it.” Anne began to work, and Beth perched next to them as Tate went to deal with a client.

“We’re on for Saturday night, right? I’m still pouting you didn’t come to the cookout last weekend. How was Macon?”

“Yes we’re on. I haven’t bowled in a million years so that will be my excuse for sucking. Just telling you that in advance. As for Macon? Looks like my condo is going to sell. Big relief there. Oh! I found out two of my prints sold so that’ll cover some bills. Spoke with my boss and he’s going to send some freelancing work my way again. I told him this move was permanent, and he’ll probably have to let me go to get a local. But he’s open to my doing contract work and that’s a plus.”

“Have you given any serious thought about doing portraits for people?” Beth shifted and put a mug of tea into Lily’s hands. “Not wine, but chamomile. It’ll help some.”

“I used to do it on the side for extra money. I may again. Right now, especially until the end of the school year, my focus is Chris. But then I’ll have to re-evaluate my long-term job stuff.”
She did feel better after the tea. Mainly it was being surrounded by her friends and being able to vent about Nancy. But the new haircut was good too. She felt younger and lighter.

“What do you think?” Anne stood back, holding the mirror up so Lily could see the back. She’d styled it into big, lush waves. “I know you know how to do this one. I’ve seen you in it. But even when you don’t want to do the waves, you can still do a quick style and go.”

“I like it.”

He could not be there.

But he was. Her heart skipped a few beats as she took Nathan in from the tips of his boots up to that face of his. Lordamighty he was a good-looking man.

A good-looking man who seemed to show up everywhere she was in town.

“I’d say, fancy seeing you here. But I get the distinct feeling it’s not a coincidence at all.” She cut her gaze to Beth, who busied herself tidying up.

“Don’t have any idea what you mean.” He grinned, and her panties tried to jump from her rear end at the sight. “I was just stopping in after school to say hello to all my sisters. Your being here is a bonus.”

She paid and ignored Anne’s squawking about the tip being too much. “Thank you, Murphy ladies, for the tea, the sympathy and the hairdo. Yes, Beth, I’ll see you Saturday.” She tried to rush past but he followed her out.

“Have dinner with me.”

“Nathan, we can’t have dinner. I’m due home for dinner. I’ve got to run to the school to pick Chris up, and then we’re getting a pizza to bring back home.” She should probably order extra since Nancy was around.

“Tomorrow then.”

She wanted to say no, punch him in the stones and walk away. But she wouldn’t, because the part of her that wanted to say yes was far greater.

“Look, we’ve said all we need to say.”

“No we haven’t. And it’s not about that anyway. Not entirely. I want to catch up. Talk about Chris. It’s just a dinner. The Sands? Five? It’ll still be broad daylight. Full of seniors getting the early bird special, but the pie will be fresh. I haven’t forgotten how much you like peach pie.”

She sighed. He made her weak. Made her wish for things she tried to convince herself not to want.

“It’s not a date.”

He grinned, triumphant, reminding himself to send a huge bouquet of flowers to his sisters the following day.

“Of course not. Just dinner between old friends.” He’d work on the date stuff later. But when he’d fallen for her originally, it had been after he’d gotten to know her as a friend. It had a certain lovely rhythm that he’d get to know her again and hopefully get that second chance.

“I’ll see you at five.” She walked down the steps and toward her car. “Not. A. Date.”

Today’s Prize is a signed copy of Three to Tango featuring my story dirty/bad/wrong which is also set in Petal! I’ll choose a winner from the responses tomorrow (June 3) at 9 am pacific time. Be sure to check back to see who won and to claim your prize within seven days.

TODAY’S QUESTION: do you like small town romance? If yes, what about it brings you back? Any favorites?

37 comments to “GODDESS WITH A BLADE Contest Day #4”

  1. Regina Ross
    June 2nd, 2011 at 8:53 am · Link

    i cant wait to this one comes out im hoping time goes by really fast 🙂

    June 2nd, 2011 at 8:58 am · Link

    I do like small town romances which reminds me of when I lived in Grovetown, GA. It is a peaceful & friendly town. I have your books on my TBR but Nicholas Sparks has a way with his novels set in small towns. Thank you for the chance at your giveaway:-).

  3. Cre
    June 2nd, 2011 at 9:00 am · Link

    I grew up in a VERY small town in CA called Happy Camp. So small it only had one store. LOL. Usually books about small towns brings back some childhood memories.


  4. Pam B
    June 2nd, 2011 at 9:02 am · Link


    I love small town romances…just so fun to see the interaction with the town “folk” and it is easy to relate as I lived in a small town for most of my life.


  5. Michelle McMichael
    June 2nd, 2011 at 9:10 am · Link

    I have always been fascinated by small town romances, being a city girl it’s not something I’ve experienced in real life. Part of the reason I love reading so much – an escape from reality!

  6. Rachel Riddles
    June 2nd, 2011 at 9:15 am · Link

    I love small town romances, they always have meddlesome families and towns people. Most of the time you get such a vivid picture of the town and all of its surroundings. Love them!!

  7. Renee
    June 2nd, 2011 at 9:25 am · Link

    I do like small town romances. I grew up in a small town, and often some of the quirkiness of these types of books remind me of things or people long forgotten. I think writers tend to develop the peripheral characters a little more in small town romances which enhances the reading experience.

  8. CrystalGB
    June 2nd, 2011 at 9:26 am · Link

    I do like small town romances. Living in a small town makes the stories seem more real to me. There are always a great cast of characters in small town stories.

  9. Dana
    June 2nd, 2011 at 9:36 am · Link

    I love how everyone is so tight knit in small town romances. Like a large family where everyone watches out for everyone else.


  10. Vic
    June 2nd, 2011 at 9:37 am · Link

    I like small town romances when we get to see the close knit community as part of the story. Otherwise, it’s not that much different for me. Looking forward to all your new releases!

  11. Michelle Bledsoe
    June 2nd, 2011 at 9:37 am · Link

    I like small town romances. They feel like family and are cozy. The secondary characters are always a hoot.

  12. Julie K
    June 2nd, 2011 at 9:41 am · Link

    Love small town romances. Small town stories usually involve the whole town and I like that because the reader gets to meet the people living in the town. Debbie Macomber comes to mind about small town stories. 🙂

  13. Casey H
    June 2nd, 2011 at 10:04 am · Link

    I do like small town romances, where the whole town is involved in some way. I grew up in a city that was fairly small but just large enough that you didn’t know everyone (although you could never go anywhere without seeing someone you knew).

  14. Fedora
    June 2nd, 2011 at 10:33 am · Link

    I do love small-town romances; I didn’t grow up in a small town but enjoy “visiting” when I read. Not sure I’d truly be up for living in one, but that’s what books are for! I love Robyn Carr’s Virgin River ones, for instance… nothing like everyone else knowing your business 😉

  15. Collette
    June 2nd, 2011 at 11:07 am · Link

    I like your small town romance. I think I like others as well but I don’t have lots of experience with them. I don’t however think I’d like to live them but that’s what’s great about books!

  16. Christine
    June 2nd, 2011 at 11:30 am · Link

    Love them b/c of all of the characters that get to participate in the story.

  17. Meggerfly
    June 2nd, 2011 at 11:49 am · Link

    I love the Virgin River series by Robin Carr, It;s great that in that small town everybody is looking out for each other.

  18. Jamie B
    June 2nd, 2011 at 12:12 pm · Link

    I LOVE small town romances because their is just something warm and inviting in all the closeness. And of course your’s are the best!!

  19. Joder
    June 2nd, 2011 at 12:34 pm · Link

    I do like small town romances. I like the sense of family that the entire community displays and it adds to the romance by them adding their two cents to a relationship. It’s sweet and adds an extra layer of emotion. Debbie Macomber and Jodi Thomas write small town romances well.

  20. Jessie
    June 2nd, 2011 at 12:44 pm · Link

    I love small town romances. I like the recurring characters and the community.

  21. Pamk
    June 2nd, 2011 at 1:34 pm · Link

    whoohoo back in petal. Will we be seeing some old friends there lol. Love small town romances. How can I not since I grew up in a small town and moved to an even smaller one.

  22. Fabienne
    June 2nd, 2011 at 2:20 pm · Link

    I love small town romance. There’s something about the male characters that make me wanna just up and leave NY right now lol.. It’s like you experience love in its purest form as opposed to what you’d find in a fast-paced city romance. All romance is great, but small town romance just does it for me…. AS for my favorite small town romances, they would have to be Second Chances (OAKLEY, TN), Chased (PETAL, GA) & The Choice by Nicholas Sparks (Beaufort, NC)…

  23. Marlene Breakfield
    June 2nd, 2011 at 2:22 pm · Link

    I love small town romances, because I grew up in a small town. It reminds me how a small town can almost be like an extended family, which has its good and bad points.

  24. Spav
    June 2nd, 2011 at 3:11 pm · Link

    I love small town romances because usually everyone is connected and they know each other’s lifes.

  25. Heather S
    June 2nd, 2011 at 4:28 pm · Link

    I love small town romances (or anything for that matter). Most likely that is because I live in a small town. I can relate to the characters through that.

  26. becky jean
    June 2nd, 2011 at 5:28 pm · Link

    I love these kinds of romances because I love the community feeling and the relationships that exist in small town romances!

  27. Diane Sadler
    June 2nd, 2011 at 6:18 pm · Link

    I came from a smallish town so yes I like small town romances; it’s so sweet to see how everyone tries to help out a couple when they feel it would work.

  28. Julie S.
    June 2nd, 2011 at 7:25 pm · Link

    Small town romances can be cute, but in a small town everyone knows your business.


  29. Jen B.
    June 2nd, 2011 at 8:01 pm · Link

    I have read some wonderful small town romances. For me, it’s not the setting but that the setting fits the story (you know, it make sense).

  30. Raonaid Luckwell
    June 2nd, 2011 at 8:04 pm · Link

    I’ve read a few small town romances. They really did much that much of an impact, but they can be cute. Hits close to home since I grew up in a small town where everyone knew my father or that side of the family

  31. Kris M.
    June 2nd, 2011 at 8:43 pm · Link

    i enjoy small town romances for the characters. I love the sweet, strange, quirky characters you get to have fun with in small town stories.

  32. Sharon
    June 3rd, 2011 at 2:17 am · Link

    Some of my favorite series have been set in small towns, including your Chase Brothers. I am so excited to see the folks of Petal, GA, again! Mark and Liv are one of my favorite couples ever.

    Some other favorite small town romances that come to mind are Victoria Dahl’s Tumble Creek series and Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor and Wishful, CA (Instant…) series.

  33. savonna
    June 3rd, 2011 at 3:53 am · Link

    I like small town romance because of the tight community and the fodder that comes from everyone being in each other’s business. Also, it’s completely different from how I grew up and I like to imagine what it would be like to grow up in a small town.

  34. crystal d
    June 3rd, 2011 at 8:31 am · Link

    yes I like small town romances. some of my all time fav’s are Rachel Gibson’s that take place in the small town (sorry the name is escaping me right now).

  35. Danny
    June 4th, 2011 at 5:27 am · Link

    I really like small town romances, because the life is very often more interesting there than it is in the big cities. I live now in one and I can tell you it’s much more interesting than my hometown

  36. Jolene A
    June 5th, 2011 at 10:38 am · Link

    It’s kind of ironic, I live in a small town and hate it, but I always go for the small town romances in books. I love the close knit community and all the crazy townfolk and nosy neighbors. It brings the story alive

  37. Chelsea B.
    June 5th, 2011 at 1:16 pm · Link

    WOW! Once and Again sounds like it is going to be FANTASTIC!! Another book I can’t wait to read of your’s!!