Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Giveaway & Author Spotlight ~ Stir Until Thoroughly Confused by Heather Wardell

About the author ~

Growing up, I was an avid (rabid?) reader. I am a natural speed reader, regularly clocked at about 1200 wpm (I read Harry Potter 5 in just under three hours), and always have several books on the go, nearly all in e-book form on my iPhone.

I have always made up stories in my head, but never considered becoming a writer. Instead, I intended to be a high school music teacher. I was sidetracked by my enjoyment of my psychology courses in university, and ended up with a psychology degree with a concentration in computer science.

This took me to a major Canadian bank as a software developer. I stayed there for just over four years, and then went back to school to become an elementary school teacher. After four years teaching elementary school computer science, I took up the National Novel Writing Month challenge and attempted to write a novel in a month.

I succeeded, and the first draft of "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo" was the result. I realized I love writing. I left teaching, and I haven't looked back since!

In my non-writing time, I read, run, swim, crochet (I am on Ravelry and would be happy to add you as a friend!), take care of my 55 gallon aquarium and my cat Sapphire, and play clarinet. Generally not all at once.

This picture shows me wearing a sweater I crocheted and holding the finishers' medal I received at my second half marathon, May 13/08.

Find Heather ~

* Her blog
* "Lovely Little Things", the community I'm creating to help us see the beautiful moments of life

Her latest book ~ 

Stir Until Thoroughly Confused 

 Mary's given up everything, including an unsatisfying marriage, to become a chef. But the career comes with a side dish: Kegan, her sexy; but controlling new boss. 

They're soon in a relationship, and in all-too-frequent arguments, and when it becomes clear they can't work together and be together Mary faces a dilemma: keep her dream job or her dream man?

Read an excerpt ~  

After everything I've learned and all the ways I've changed over this last year, how can I possibly be here again, trapped between a man and work?

This time is different, though. It is. Charles didn't want me to have a career. Kegan does. But he wants our relationship too, and we've more than proven we simply can't work together and be together.

My shaking legs carry me away from Steel and I wonder what will happen when I return tomorrow. I love working here, and I love Magma even more. I've dreamed of being a chef forever, and now that dream's come true twice over.

But I've also found Kegan, of whom I didn't dream because I'd never have been able to imagine someone so right for me. Why does he have to be my boss? But if he weren't, would I have fallen for him? Without his amazing work with his restaurants, without his focus and attention and drive, would I have fallen hard enough to consider leaving the kitchens I adore?

After the emotions of last night I knew something had to give, but I didn't expect him to say, "We can't go on like this, Mary. I want you, and I want full control of my restaurants, but I can't have both. I can't decide which I want more, which I'll resent less for making me lose the other. I need you to decide for me, for us."
His words ring in my head and the shock mixed with fury I felt as he spoke tenses my body again. The shock makes sense but I don't know why it made me so angry. I understood. He's lost too many girlfriends to his control issues to risk letting it happen again. He has to leave the decision to me.

But understanding doesn't make deciding any easier.

I need to find something that will, so I call the spa where Tanisha sent me to relax post-Christmas and book myself an overnight visit and a long massage. It's not cheap, and it's a good hour's train ride from Toronto, but I need a quiet and peaceful place to think and I've never felt more peaceful anywhere else.

Except maybe in Kegan's arms after the first time we made love.

I take a deep shuddering breath and make myself push the memories away. I have to be strong, stand on my own two feet, and choose: stay as the chef of Kegan's two restaurants and end our relationship, or stay with him and try to find a job that's even close to as perfect for me.

I know for many women there'd be no question: career comes first. And a huge part of me wants to make that choice. But I also know Kegan himself has been amazingly good for me and I don't want to lose him either.

I turn off my phone so I won't have to talk to anyone. I need to listen to myself. After a quick stop at home for overnight gear, I take a taxi to the train station and am soon on my way.

I don't get any closer to resolving my dilemma on the train, and once I've checked into the spa and am resting in my room before heading down for a late lunch I wonder if replaying everything that's happened between Kegan and me from the day we met will help. It might, but it'll hurt too.

But I need to find the answer for us, so I give in, close my eyes, and relive the last four months of my life.

Other books by Heather ~ 

 Go Small or Go HomeSeven Exes Are Eight Too ManyPlanning to LiveLife, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo 

Thanks to the author I have three (3) e-copies and one (1) paperback copy of  Stir Until Thoroughly Confused to give away. 

 GIVEAWAY  Rules for entering:

  • This contest is open to residents of USA residents only!
  • Please complete the form below - do not leave information in the comments - it will not count.
  • The contest will end on February 9th at 11:59PM EST; 4 winners will be selected and contacted thereafter.
  • Once the winners are contacted, they will have 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen (make sure to check your spam filters!).
  • Book will be shipped directly from the author.
  • When you fill out the form, make sure you choose which copy you would like - paper or e-copy.