As an author and a reader, one of my favorite fiction tropes is Fish Out Of
Water. I’ve used it several times in my current series, Red Hot
series debut, PAIRING
OFF, sends a sun-loving Southern belle pairs figure skater
to Moscow, where she partners with a driven Russian pairs champion to compete in
the Winter Olympics. In TURNING IT ON, a shy,
bookish heroine becomes a
contestant on a cut-throat reality show, and not only survives but thrives, with
the help of a former ice dancer turned sexy male stripper.
In my latest release HEATING
IT UP: A Red Hot Russians Novella, San Francisco architect Nora
Bradford discovers a new life in Amity Bay, Antarctica, and new love in the arms
of Amity Bay’s handsome station manager, Alexei Zaikov.
Living and working in Antarctica, Alexei has found his dream career, but life on
“the Ice” makes it difficult, if not impossible, to meet the right woman.
Professional ethics prevent him from getting romantically involved with a woman
on his staff. The women he meets “above” don’t want to move to Antarctica.
When a team of architects arrives from San Francisco, he’s taken with the lovely
and mysterious Nora. After the firm leaves and Nora stays behind, Alexei hopes
it will be his chance to keep her warm during the cold, dark Antarctic winter,
though he senses she’s keeping a secret.
Last month, I shared the top
five reasons Alexei is Nora’s perfect man. Read on to find out why she’s the
woman he’s been waiting for.
She’s smart and sophisticated
The daughter of an Air Force colonel, Nora has lived all over the world and her
adventurous spirit makes her open to new experiences. She’s well-educated,
appreciates good food and wine, loves to read, and is inherently curious.
She stands up for the underdog
After Nora stops her arrogant boss from berating an Amity Bay employee, Alexei
admires her kindness and and courage. Her graciousness and professionalism make
her easy to get along with, which is important in a place where survival means
When Nora meets the town residents, including the scientists who have discovered
a rare species of whale living in the bay, she commits to helping save the
station, even if means a great personal sacrifice.
Not only does Nora work for one of the world’s top sustainable architecture
firms, she’s a talented artist, and an excellent cook. When Alexei and Nora are
snowed in together, she entices him with fresh vegetables, homemade bread and
good wine—rare treats for a man used to bar food and cafeteria fare.
She’s beautiful and brave
Dark haired, green-eyed Nora is lovely to look at. But life in Antarctica isn’t
for sissies, and her unflinching determination and courage convince Alexei she’s
the perfect woman to share the life he loves.
Writing a romance novel set in Antarctica was a lot of fun. I loved telling Nora
and Alexei’s story and bringing the community of Amity Bay to life. The Red Hot Russians
books are stand-alone stories, so whether you’re a fan of the series, or in the
mood for a cozy, small town romance set in a surprising place, I hope you’ll
give Heating It Up a try.
Cold weather, but warm hearts. What could be better than that?
Enter my giveaway to
win your choice of a digital copy from the The Red Hot Russians
series backlist, and
enjoy this exclusive excerpt from HEATING IT UP: A Red Hot
Together, they raced upstairs, bumping shoulders in the process. Side by
side, they looked out the kitchen window. Beyond the building was nothing but
Nora had seen the fury of polar winds as a child, when her family
had briefly lived in Greenland. Antarctica’s 100 mile-per-hour gusts made those
look like pleasant summer breezes. Glacier Ridge had been designed to withstand
hurricane force wind, but crunching computer data was one thing; experiencing it
live was another. Her first taste of Antarctic winter was
Alexei stood behind her, hands resting on the window sill, his
chin brushed against the top of her head. “Velikolepnyy vid,” he said, his voice
quiet with awe.
“Yes, that.” She didn’t understand Russian, but got the
gist of it.
For a moment, they remained still, sharing space and heat
until a crackle of radio static broke the spell. He pushed away from the window
and shut the thing off. “I can’t leave with it like this, and even after wind
drops to Condition Two, is not safe without blizz lines. Had I known you were
here, I would’ve ordered them installed immediately.”
looked away. “It wasn’t my intent to put anyone in danger.”
“And what was
your intent again? Oh that’s right, to make history.”
He was clearly
annoyed, and even his belief that she was nothing more than an overly
adventurous ex-secretary offered no guarantee he wouldn’t report her to IFAR.
For the next few hours she would be walking on eggshells, watching every
On the other hand, having him stuck here bought her time to
convince him to keep her presence a secret. Judging from his blissful enjoyment
of baby spinach, she had an excellent idea how. One way to Alexei Zaikov’s heart
seemed to be through his stomach, and Nora was an accomplished cook. Her food
supply wasn’t unlimited, but he was worth the investment.
She offered her
most inviting smile. “Since you can’t leave for now, I’d love it if you would
join me for dinner.”
Resigned, he shrugged. “Why not? It’s not like I
have any options.”
She showed him to the coat room where he shed his
gear. The howling wind was as fierce as ever, and there was a very real
possibility this ruggedly handsome guy would be stranded here for the
She touched her makeup-free face and smoothed the front of the
baggy hoodie she’d been wearing three days. Back home, she dressed better than
this to go to the gym. Dashing upstairs to change or dab on some mascara would
be too obvious. She tugged her ponytail loose and finger-combed her lank,
staticky hair. Not great, but it would have to do.
Eager for distraction,
she hustled into the kitchen. The rising bread dough was ready to knead and she
turned it onto a floured board. Alexei came in and stared, devouring it, or
maybe her, with his eyes. “You make your own bread?”
“We make almost
everything from scratch, so there’s less to transport or
“Velikolepno,” he murmured.
Same word, slightly
different. Whatever it meant, she liked hearing it.
Quirky settings. Loveable, if imperfect heroines. Gorgeous men with hearts of
gold. Contemporary romance author Elizabeth Harmon loves them all.
graduate of the University of Illinois, she has worked in advertising, community
journalism and as a freelance magazine writer. She feels incredibly blessed to
have a career that allows her to spend her days imagining "what if?" and a
loving family that keeps her grounded in the real world.
cook, vintage home enthusiast, occasional actress, and entry-level figure
skater, Elizabeth makes her home in the Midwest, where life is good, but the
sports teams aren't. She loves to hang out on her front porch, or at her
favorite local establishments, enjoy good food and wine, and talk writing with
anyone who will listen.
1 comment posted.
I am not one for the cold weather and the Antarctica is not on my bucket list but the book sounds really good. Great way to warm up.
(Annetta Sweetko 8:31pm March 14)