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Showing posts by: Beth Harbison click to see Beth Harbison's profile
Jul 18 2014 11:00am

Driving with the Top Down: Exclusive Excerpt

Driving with the Top Down by Beth Harbison

Three women, two weeks, one convertible: sometimes life doesn't take you in the direction you expect...

Colleen Bradley is married with a teenage son, a modest business repurposing and reselling antiques, and longtime fear that she was not her husband’s first choice.  When she decides to take a road trip down the east coast to check out antique auctions for her business, she also has a secret ulterior motive.  Her one-woman mission for peace of mind is thrown slightly off course when sixteen year old Tamara becomes her co-pilot.  The daughter of Colleen’s brother-in-law, Tamara is aware that when people see her as a screw-up, but she knows in her heart that she’s so much more.  She just wishes her father could see it, too.

The already bumpy trip takes another unexpected turn when they stop at the diner that served as Colleen’s college hangout and run into her old friend, Bitty Nolan Camalier.  Clearly distressed, Bitty gives them a story full of holes: angry with her husband, she took off on her own, only to have her car stolen.  Both Colleen and Tamara sense that there’s more that Bitty isn’t sharing, but Colleen offers to give Bitty a ride to Florida.

So one becomes two becomes three as Colleen, Tamara, and Bitty make their way together down the coast.  It’s a road trip fraught with tension as Tamara’s poor choices come back to haunt her and Bitty’s secrets reach a boiling point.  With no one to turn to but each other, these three women might just discover that you can get lost in life but somehow, true friends provide a roadmap to finding what you’re really looking for.

Get a sneak peek of Beth Harbison's Driving with the Top Down (available August 5, 2014) with an exclusive excerpt of Chapters 1 & 2.

Chapter 1

Colleen Bradley hung up the phone—a tiny beep at the push of a fake on-screen button, as opposed to the satisfying slam of a good old plastic receiver—and rubbed her eyes in exasperation.

An hour and a half.

An hour and a half she had just spent on hold with that stupid hold music playing, and then the second she got a real person and not a robot, she was transferred, heard half a hopeful ring, and the call got dropped.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt of Chapters 1 & 2 from Driving with the Top Down...]

Jul 8 2013 2:30pm

Author Beth Harbison’s 10 All-Time Favorite On-Screen Wedding Scenes

Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger by Beth HarbisonHeroes and Heartbreakers is pleased to welcome author Beth Harbison to the site today. Beth's latest release, Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger has a heroine who bolts from her own wedding after hearing something about her groom-to-be. Today, Beth counts down her favorite actual wedding scenes on screen. Thanks, Beth!

10. Caleb and Julie on The OCOkay, it wasn’t actually Caleb and Julie that made this wedding so romantic, it was the scene outside afterwards where everyone was dancing to Jem’s version of “Maybe I’m Amazed.”  The romantic tension between Ryan and Marissa was exquisite as they went through the motions of a slow dance while in fact it was a torturous scene of love and yearning and loss.  There is nothing more excruciating than lost love at a happy wedding. 

9. Lazar and Tzeitel in Fiddler on the RoofI can’t think of a more touching snapshot of life than the young couple standing serious at the altar while “Sunrise, Sunset” plays over the scene (pause for me to cry a moment) and the camera pans over the faces of the elders, some crying, some stoic, some happy, all faces showing stories untold.  There is a tremendous sense of beginning in this wedding scene, and isn’t that what a wedding should feel like? Just thinking about it makes me want to get a glass out of the kitchen and stomp on it.

[Did your favorite wedding scene make the list?...]

Jun 13 2013 11:00am

Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger: Exclusive Excerpt

Ten years ago, Quinn Barton was on her way to the altar to marry Burke Morrison, her high school sweetheart, when something derailed her. Rather, someone derailed her—the Best Man who at the last minute begged her to reconsider the marriage. He told her that Burke had been cheating on her. For a long time. Quinn, stunned, hurt, and confused, struggled with the obligation of fulfilling her guests’ expectations—providing a wedding—and running for her life.

She chose running. With the Best Man. Who happened to be Burke’s brother, Frank.

That relationship didn’t work either. How could it, when Quinn had been engaged to, in love with, Frank’s brother? Quinn opted for neither, and, instead, spends the next seventeen years working in her family’s Middleburg, Virginia, bridal shop, Talk of the Gown, where she subconsciously does penance for the disservice she did to marriage.

But when the two men return to town for another wedding, old anger, hurt, and passion resurface. Just because you’ve traded the good guy for the bad guy for no guy doesn’t mean you have to stay away from love for the rest of your life, does it? Told with Beth Harbison's flair for humor and heart, Chose the Wrong Guy will keep you guessing and make you believe in the possibilities of love.

Get a sneak peek of Beth Harbison's Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger (available July 9, 2013) with an exclusive audio excerpt of Chapter 1!

[Want more? Log in or register to see how things heat up in a selected scene from Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger...]

Jul 2 2012 11:45am

When in Doubt, Add Butter: New Excerpt

When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth HarbisonAs far as Gemma is concerned, her days of dating are over. In fact, it’s her job to cater other peoples’ dates, and that’s just fine by her. At thirty-seven, she has her own business, working as a private chef, and her life feels full and secure. She’s got six steady clients that keep her hands full.

There’s Lex, the fussy but fabulous department store owner who loves Oysters Rockefeller and 1950s comfort food; Willa, who needs to lose weight under doctor’s orders but still believes butter makes everything better; a colorful family who may or may not be part of the Russian mob; an überwealthy Georgetown family; the picture-perfect Van Houghtens, whose matriarch is “allergic to everything”; and finally, a man she calls “Mr. Tuesday,” whom she has never met but who she is strangely drawn to.

For Gemma, cooking is predictable. Recipes are certain. Use good ingredients, follow the directions, and you are assured success. Life, on the other hand, is full of variables. So when Gemma’s takes an unexpected turn on a road she always thought was straight and narrow, she must face her past and move on in ways she never would have imagined. Because sometimes in life, all you need is a little hope, a lot of courage, and—oh yes—butter.

Get a sneak peek of Beth Harbison’s When in Doubt, Add Butter (available July 17, 2012) with an excerpt of Chapter 1.

And don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a copy of When in Doubt, Add Butter AND a copy of the audiobook Always Something There to Remind Me!

 Chapter 1

When I was twelve, a fortune-teller at the Herbert Hoover Junior High School carnival said to me: “Gemma Craig, you listen to me. Do not get mar­ried. Ever. If you do, you’ll end up cooking for a man who’d rather eat at McDonald’s; doing laundry for a man who sweats like a rabid pig, then criticizes you for not turning his T-shirts right side out; and cleaning the bathroom floor after a man whose aim is so bad, he can’t hit a hole the size of a watermelon—” This man sounded disgusting. “—make your own money and be independent. Having kids is fine, but get married and you will be miserable for the rest of your life. I promise you, the rest of your life.” This chilling prediction stayed with me long after I real­ized that the fortune-teller was, in fact, Mrs. Rooks, the PTA president and neighbor who always gave out full-sized 3 Musketeers bars on Halloween, and that her hus­band had left her that very morning for a cliché: a young, vapid, blond bombshell. Mrs. Rooks had four kids, and at the time, I thought of her as really old, and I didn’t quite get why she cared so much if she was married anymore or not.

[Please sign in or register to read the full excerpt of When in Doubt, Add Butter...]

Jun 27 2012 2:30pm

Author Beth Harbison Dishes on the World’s Oldest Profession—with a Menu, Too!

When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth HarbisonToday, we’re pleased to welcome author Beth Harbison to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Beth’s brand-new release, When in Doubt, Add Butter, tells the story of a private chef who’s happy to cook for other people’s dates—not her own. Of course, her own recipe for life goes awry. But Beth is here to share some of her own recipes for a romantic meal.

Some people might be ashamed to admit this, but in my former life, prior to becoming a full-time author, I worked in the service of men. I was a young single mother and had to do whatever was necessary to support my child, even if that meant working a job that many might consider demeaning.  I don’t see it that way.  In fact, I’d argue that there’s a certain wisdom in going into the world’s oldest profession (arguably—it’s definitely one of the oldest professions) and helping to fulfill people’s most basic needs.

I said men, but truthfully there were women occasionally too. Unfortunately, they tended to get jealous when I was better able to satisfy their men than they were, so I preferred it when they weren’t there. 

It was hard work. But cooking was a passion of mine—still is—so it was satisfying as well. Even now I sometimes harken back to the days when my job involved accomplishing something from start to finish every day, instead of the slow chipping and shaping that writing is. A book takes months—a meal, hours.  So it’s fun to revisit my roots, so to speak, this way.

(Yes, cooking—what did you think I meant?)

[So...what’s on the menu?...]