Today, we are interviewing a cowboy special: More than the Money by Kris Pearson. So Peep Rep, how is the book arriving? And if you say by a bull, I'm firing you as my Transportation Director.
Peep Rep: A bull? Why on earth would I hire a bull? Excuse me for a minute, I need to check on something.
Peep Rep: *Whispers in the hall to someone on the phone.* Nix the bull. Liza says she has enough bull in her life and she doesn't want any more....I know this is short notice, but there's a horse on constant standby. Use it. Good. I'm glad I won't have to fire you from your job of Ass. director of transportation. *Peep returns to Liza*
Peep Rep: Just called and made sure the horse was up to the job. And here it is now.
Liza: Well done, Peep Rep, I'm glad to see you are making better decisions now.
Liza: Welcome More, may I call you More?
Book: I'd rather you call me by my full and proper name.
Peep Rep: Pssst. Liza can't type more than four letter without messing up. So unless you wish to be a garbled mess, in this case, less is more.
Book: Very well, call me More.
Liza: Excellent. So tell me about yourself.
More: Well, first of all I am the third of Kris' Heartlands series. The first two are ‘Her Man with Iceberg Eyes’ and ‘Christmas Holiday Husband’. Both are very nice books.
Liza: I've no doubt, but today I want to know about you and your characters.
More: Let me start with my hero: Exiled from his family for half his life, hard-living cowboy Rory Morrissey finally quits Texas and embarks on a desperate and delicate mission.
Liza: What type of mission is both desperate and delicate?
More: He must return to New Zealand, convince shy Kiwi heiress Alfrieda Hamlin to marry him, and earn a fresh start, respectability, and one hell of a farm.
Liza: Hold on! He sounds like a gold digger to me. If the heroine reads this, he's toast.
More: Good point. Alfie might be shy but she’s no pushover.
Liza: So what happens?
More: When she learns about the succession deal being hatched between her autocratic grandfather and the handsome Texan stud, she rebels.
Liza: See, I was right.
More: There’s no way she’ll stand by and have her expected inheritance and freedom stolen away.
Liza: Yeah Alfie! Hold your ground!
More: With only one month to outwit the scheming duo--
Liza: That would be her grandfather and the gold digger?
More: Yes. She throws caution to the wind and snuggles up to the man she’s been ordered to marry.
Liza: Hold on. Actual snuggling?
More: At times. After all, she needs to know her enemy if she expects to beat him at his own game.
Liza: *shakes her head* Is this fellow pleasing to the eyes?
More: He is one hunky cowboy determined to ride down his heiress, hog-tie her, and bundle her into his bed.
Liza: I might as well start picking out a wedding present. Can I peek beneath your covers so I can determine what she might like?
More: Just a peek.
Liza: Can you give me a lead in, so I'll know what's going on?
More: My pleasure. After spending the next morning forced to show Rory around the beautiful estate, Alfie drives him back into the city in one of the farm trucks to collect the rest of his belongings. Here’s part of what happens while they are stopped on the roadside:
The cowboy moved in his seat, distracting her from such doleful thoughts. “Old Alfred can’t live forever.” His tone was more conciliatory now. “We can wait him out. Marry me right away and make the place ours. Secure the estate before he changes his mind, and then we can sort it out between us.”
She shook her head vehemently.
Again he laughed. The same humourless sound. “You’re not my idea of a wife, Alfie. I doubt I’m your idea of a husband.”
She swallowed in surprise.
He locked his gaze with hers. So magnetic. So persuasive. “Wait the old devil out. It’d serve him right. We can put on the expected show, but we don’t have to consummate the marriage. No-one will know but us.”
She shook her head again.
“Although,” he murmured, eyes now dancing with challenge, “We could probably enjoy ourselves if we put our minds to it.”
Alfie began to object, and at that instant he loosened his seatbelt with his free hand, leaned across, cradled her face, and settled his lips on hers. He tasted rich and dark, and it took her several seconds of unhinged shock before she gathered her wits enough to thump a fist against his chest. “We could probably,” he murmured against her mouth, “enjoy ourselves very much.”
Liza: Oh, he is seductive. I want more. Peep Rep, find the links for this. While we wait, tell us a bit more about your author.
More: If it's fine, Kris gardens. If it's wet, she writes. And if the writing's going well, the garden can look after itself...
Liza: I'm much the same.
More: Her two latest books are the start of her Heartlands Heroines series - the girls who live deep in the New Zealand countryside. First there's 'Her Man with Iceberg Eyes' - a novel set in the alpine resort of Queenstown, way in the south. Then there's 'Christmas Holiday Husband' - which takes you to a sprawling back-country farm with its lovely old homestead and long family heritage.
Liza: And More than the Money looks to be a great addition to the series. What else has she written?
More: Kris writes sizzling contemporary romances, and is the current membership secretary for Romance Writers of New Zealand. Six of her books are set at least partly in the capital city of Wellington so she can make use of the beautiful harbor in the plots. She's called them her Wicked in Wellington series.
Liza: You must be very proud of your author.
More: I am. Kris has written all her life - from her autobiography at twelve, to her own special wedding service, to short stories published in mass-circulation magazines and broadcast on National Radio in New Zealand. She has a background as an advertising copywriter and a decor specialist.
Liza: Thank you so much for sharing so much about your book and author. You've been such a delight that I'm keeping you for three days.
More: Three days! What are we going to do for three days?
Liza: I'm sure we can think of something.