Our Valentine's Day countdown continues today with a fellow romance author from The Wild Rose Press, Gwyneth Greer, and the heroine of her upcoming book, The Showboat Affair, Jean Kingston!
The Showboat Affair will launch from TWRP in April! Here's a sneak peek into Jean Kingston's story....
Despite over thirty years in a faithless marriage to wealthy investment broker Rand Kingston, Jean is shocked when he asks for a divorce. Encouraged by her former housekeeper-turned-best-friend, she determines to rediscover herself as an independent woman and move on with her life.
Nick Cameron, prominent attorney and long-time widower, would like to figure in her plans. The opposition of their adult children surprises them. Then, a series of chilling near misses makes them wonder who really is determined to keep them apart—and why.
Our very own Cozy correspondent, Tink, sat down with Jean earlier this week for 20 Questions with Jean Kingston! Take it away, Tink....
Tink: Are you the first one on the dance floor or not so much?
Jean: I was a shy violet in high school and college. Then I met Rand Kingston. Since he was always the first one on the dance floor, I ended up there with him. I thought I liked it. Little did I know.
Tink: Do you prefer to spend the night at the theatre or at a bike show?
Jean: The theatre let me live in my dream world when the real one got too complicated. But after I met Nick Cameron, just being with him is enough--at the theatre OR the bike show. Whatever he wants to do is fine, just so he includes me, and he always does.
Tink: Do you give relationship advice or think it’s a bad idea?
Jean: I wish someone had warned me about Rand Kingston before I married him and gave up my career before it even got started. I probably wouldn’t have listened anyway, though. I was too much in love with love--and Rand’s good looks, social position, and money.
Tink: Describe the ideal hero – rough and tumble highlander, titled gentleman of the ton, modern-day bad boy, or supernatural anti-hero?
Jean: Until I married Rand and saw him for who and what he really was, I thought he was my hero. Tall, handsome, at ease in every social situation, quick with brilliant repartee, and, of course, romantic. It took me a while to figure out that just wanting to get me into bed wasn’t anything close to romance.
Tink: Would you rather tell someone you love them or show it?
Jean: Nick tells me he loves me, but more than that, he shows it. He makes sure I know that my likes and desires are as important to him as his own. He thinks of my comfort and convenience. He does little things that Rand never did, like bringing me flowers for no reason. He insisted on better lighting in back of my condo for times when I came in after dark. He bought me a cell phone and programmed it for me. Supporting my new though late-blooming career, he helped me pick out a laptop and taught me how to use it. I know Nick loves me. I know Rand never did.
Tink: Travel to the past or into the future?
Jean: I don’t want to go back to the past, not even for a second. I find comfort in the present and looking ahead to my future with Nick. That’s all that counts. All that will ever be important to me.
Tink: Bubble bath or hot shower?
Jean: Either one--especially when Nick joins me! I think I’m blushing. Nick thinks it’s cute.
Tink: Flats or high heels?
Jean: Nick is so tall that I actually need high heels, but I’m more comfortable in flats. He teases me a lot, pretending that he’s lost me ‘down below’.
Tink: Flowers or chocolate?
Jean: Nick brings me both--and he didn’t waste time finding out which were my favorites.
Tink: G-rated or unrated?
Jean: I was always a G-rated sort of girl, so how I got mixed up with an R-rated man like Rand Kingston, I don’t know.
Tink: Alpha or beta?
Jean: That’s pretty much out of my vocabulary. I’ve heard heroes in books referred to as alpha-males. I just know that I have a good solid man in Nick Cameron, and he’s all I’ll ever need.
Tink: Would you make the first move or wait it out?
Jean: I’d never make the first move, but when Nick did--asking me out--I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
Tink: Favorite love song?
Jean: Nick and I love “Only Make Believe” from the musical Showboat. It doesn’t reflect our relationship, which is very real, but it reminds us that the second time around for both of us was slow coming and almost seemed like an unreachable dream.
Tink: For Valentine’s would you rather go out or stay in?
Jean: Nick and I would do both--go out for dinner and come home early.
Tink: Karaoke: yes or no?
Jean: This isn’t part of our generation. We’re not old, but we’re definitely not like the Karaoke crowd either!
Tink: Describe your most romantic moment.
Jean: Nick took me to dinner on the showboat in Branson, Missouri. We had dinner in the private dining room, and then we walked out on deck in the moonlight. He gave me a charm bracelet with four beautiful charms symbolic of my life, and then he asked me to marry him--but only when I was ready. We went back to the hotel and said goodnight at the door of my room. Then, as he walked away, I called him back. I’m glad I did.
Tink: Boxers, briefs…or kilts?
Jean: Nick was truly embarrassed the first time I washed his underwear! I told him I knew he wore it--but until now I didn’t know if he wore boxers or briefs. Then I laughed. He didn’t.
Tink: What is your idea of a dream date?
Jean: Anything, anywhere, anytime--as long as I’m with the love of my life---Nick.
Tink: Valentine’s Day watch: sappy love story, romantic comedy or forgo all of the above and go with the action flick?
Jean: Nick and I like musicals, which usually have a wonderful, happily-ever-after romance included.
Tink: And, most importantly – do you like your man clean shaven or with a five o’clock shadow?
Jean: Nick doesn’t have a beard or a mustache, and I like him without. But waking up next to him in the morning and feeling his unshaven face against mine is definitely sexy!
Thank you, Jean, for answering Tink's intrusive questions! Readers, if you'd like to know more about Jean and The Showboat Affair, visit the website of author Gwyneth Greer...also known in the romance community as Judy Nickles, a retired teacher who has spun stories since she could hold a #2 pencil. In elementary school, when storms threatened, the teacher would send her up to the front to tell a tale, taking the other children’s minds off the weather.
After retiring four years ago, she got serious about getting published. The result was three novels with The Wild Rose Press: Where Is Papa’s Shining Star?, Finding Papa’s Shining Star, and The Showboat Affair (as Gwyneth Greer). In addition to writing, Judy enjoys traveling, doing genealogical research, and spending time with her granddaughters, Hanna and Aubrey.
And now for an excerpt from The Showboat Affair....
Jean, still wearing her gown and robe, mixed the batter for waffles while Nick washed up in the guest bath and used one of her disposable razors and leg cream to shave. “I used my finger as a toothbrush,” he said, cozying up behind her to kiss her neck.
She shivered. “Not before breakfast.”
“And not after dinner either, apparently.” He laughed.
“You’re skating a thin line.” But she laughed, too.
He put up his hands in a gesture of surrender. “I need coffee.”
“It’s ready, and the waffle iron is hot, so you’ll have breakfast in a minute.”
The peal of the doorbell startled both of them. “This could look bad,” Nick said.
“Not if it’s Selina. Maybe it’s her. She went to look at some of those ice cream parlor tables I was telling you about last week.” Jean eyed him critically. “Button your shirt.”
“It’s pretty rumpled.”
“Button it anyway.” She brushed past him on her way to the door. “Maybe you should disappear.”
“Are you serious?”
Jean sighed. “No.” At the front door, she peered through the viewer and let out her breath in dismay. Juliana stood there, her jaw set, looking primed for battle. Jean unlocked the door and opened it. “What brings you here so early, Juliana?”
“I had some errands over this way. Aren’t you going to ask me in?”
Jean stepped back. “Yes, of course. Come in. I have a guest.”
Juliana’s eyebrows met her hairline. “A guest? I am interfering with your sleeping arrangements then.”
Jean made a quick decision not to defend herself. “Come in the kitchen. I’m making waffles.”
Nick rose hastily as the women walked in.
“You must be Nick Cameron,” Juliana snapped.
“My mother’s lover.”
“Juliana!” Jean felt the blood drain from her face. “How dare you!”
Nick’s eyes flashed, but his voice was courtroom courteous. “I spent the night on the sofa.”
“Of course, you did.”
His mouth twitched. “But if I’d spent it in your mother’s bed, it would have been her business, not yours.”
***GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Good news, readers! Gwyneth has generously offered a giveaway for today! By commenting to this post before midnight EST, Sunday; February 13th, you will have a chance to win a paperback or ebook edition (winner's choice) of The Showboat Affair plus an special engraved flip-top mirror! (Chances of winning depend on the number of entries. You must be 18 years or older to enter. One winner will be chosen by the True Random Number Generator at Random.org and announced the morning after contest closing. Please check back in to see if you have won.)