It’s my pleasure today to introduce the lovely and talented Laura Boon as my guest author. I first met Laura at a Romance Writers of Australia conference a number of years ago and got to know her more through my work when I was president of that organisation and she the liaison with a major Australian publishing house. She is a charismatic, passionate and knowledgeable industry professional and a wonderful champion of the romance genre. I am so excited to introduce you to her and her new book – The Millionaire Mountain Climber.

So, I hand you over to Laura and will let her tell you all about her wonderful novel and some of the funny stories that gave her inspiration.

Laura Boon – The Millionaire Mountain Climber

I knew when I set my romance The Millionaire Mountain Climber in the French Alps that I was going to have to deal with the dreaded “s” words, snow and skiing. As an inhabitant of the warm climes of the southern hemisphere, I didn’t encounter snow until I was in my early twenties. The result is that I am ungainly in the extreme on skis. I’m short, so when I am bundled up in ski gear, I look as round as I am tall. I move slowly and cautiously and no matter how upright I think I am, my butt is always sticking out. I require a snow plough to stop – no artistic parallel edge stops for me.

Then there are the “incidents”. If it is possible to get it wrong on snow and sleet, I’ve done it. Slipped on the street in the wrong type of shoes and ended up on my ass. Got the timing wrong on the ski lift and a) missed getting on, b) missed getting off, c) had to jump for it, and e) infuriated the ski lift operator who had to stop operations. It’s a good thing my French is limited to halting requests for food and drink. My ears burned as it was, and I didn’t understand a word!

I don’t think any of this was my fault. If ski lifts were civilized, they would all be chair lifts or cable cars and the button lift would not exist. Who on earth thought it was okay to send people up into the air on a small square of plastic the size of a bicycle saddle? No wonder I was glued by fear to the pole linking the bicycle saddle to the overhead power line. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I wasn’t distracted by the view, or anything else. H&S would have a fit and close down half of Europe’s ski resorts if they were ever allowed in.

Then there was the time a good friend decided to take me, the beginner, up a black slope, confident that he could bring me down without trouble. He was wrong. I got very tired and every time I had to turn left, I fell over despite holding on to him. The pattern of the afternoon was set: fall over, dust self off, sludge through snow to skis, put skis back on, try again. He was very patient but as the afternoon wore on, I could see that even he was worrying. All the other members of our party were long gone. We were hoping to get to the lift on the beginner slope before it closed so that I could catch it down but to no avail. We missed it. I was in despair but trying to psych myself up. I’d skied down this slope before. Surely I could do it again? Then a miracle arrived in the form of a Red Cross ski mobile. My friend flagged it down, got me a ride to the bottom and disappeared in a flurry of swift turns that got him to the bottom before the snow mobile. Talk about adding insult to injury. One thing I am good at on skis is entertaining the locals. When I finally arrived on the back of the snow mobile, the entire town was there to watch. One thing I am good at, whether at the top of the slope or the bottom, is entertaining the locals. At least the drinks were free.

I didn’t inflict all my experiences on my heroine Hailey. That would have been unnecessarily cruel. But it was therapeutic to watch someone else take a fall or two.

Author bio

Laura Boon stole her first romance from her father’s bookshelves as a teenager, The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss, and was immediately captivated. After holding a variety of positions in publishing, from bookseller to sales rep and publicist, she eventually found the courage to write her own stories. She was born in Zambia, grew up in South Africa, and went to university in America. She now lives in Australia with her husband and their Pekingese Beau. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys sleuthing for artisan chocolate and beautiful stationery, watching tennis, and walking alongside Sydney’s beautiful harbour. You can find her at:

Website and blog: https://lauraboon.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LauraBoonAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LollyRussell
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-boon-russell-ae-6734145/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/laurabrussell/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lauraboonrussell66/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18376534.Laura_Boon

Blurb

When danger threatens a bona fide city girl, an adventurer is her only hope of rescue…

Mountain climber Matt Hanley is a former investment manager whose lean body and rugged good looks epitomize an outdoor adrenaline junky. When his business partner in their country hotel is injured, he needs an efficient replacement in a hurry.

Hailey Gordon lives a chic city life free of adventures and daredevils. She craves stability and security but loses her job and boyfriend on the same day. A holiday job in France is the perfect escape from her troubles.

Sparks ignite when Matt and Hailey meet, but she resolves to ignore the flame flickering between them. Aside from the fact Matt is her boss, she is convinced he is not her type. Matt is determined to teach Hailey to look beyond appearances. He needs to show her how good they are together, even if he must risk life and limb to do so.

Extract

Hailey drank in the landscape, noticing the clarity of the late afternoon sky and the way the snow-capped peaks glistened despite the fading light.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” said Matt.  “Trending down the valley, you have the villages of Argentiere and Les Praz and the town of Chamonix. Behind Chamonix you can see the Grand Mama of all the peaks, Mont Blanc.”

“Yes, the pens––and the chocolates.” She shook her head. What hubris to name a pen after the magnificent towering peak, but what marketing genius.

Matt grinned. “Ah, you know the chocolates, do you? We’ll have to buy you some.”

“From the lips to the hips,” she murmured, “and I am sure they don’t do the mountain justice.”

“Come on, let’s get you inside before your face turns blue, and I earn a reprimand from Genie for chatting up scantily-clad women in sub-zero temperatures.”

“Really? You were chatting me up? I’m flattered.”

The smile turned wicked. “You’re welcome.” As he bent to pick up her suitcase, he dropped his head next to hers and murmured into her ear in a low, deep voice, sending shivers down her spine. “For the record, Hailey, your curves are perfect. A little chocolate won’t do them any harm.”

She blushed, and the fire of his words flickered all the way through her belly. When was the last time her ex had paid her a compliment? An appalling thought crossed her mind; she, the High Priestess of Order and Long-Term Planning, was ripe for the picking and contemplating a holiday romance.

Buy links

Amazon Australia: https://tinyurl.com/y9v28sq3

Amazon US: https://tinyurl.com/yabt9gww

Amazon UK: https://tinyurl.com/ya26ljwh

IBooks: https://tinyurl.com/ycjzhpks

Kobo: https://tinyurl.com/y9c93n6t

The Wild Rose Press: https://tinyurl.com/y7n7ghg5

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