Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sold To The Highest Bidder - A Contest

Donna Alward was kind enough to do a short interview regarding her writting and her new release "Sold To The Highest Bidder" from Samhain Publishing.  I am giving away 3 copies of the ebook in the contest.

Maria: I noticed that Sold to the Highest Bidder is your 3rd novel with Samhain Publishing, of the 3 published which is your personal favorite so far?

Donna:  I’m hero monogamous, so I always fall in love with the current hero – but I’m also fickle that means once I finish with him, it’s over. LOL! Of the three, Sold To The Highest Bidder is my favourite simply because it’s still pretty fresh for me. And I think Devin is dead sexy. It’s been a few years since my last Samhain releases…it’s good to be back.

Maria:What was the inspiration behind "Sold to the Highest Bidder"?

Donna:   I had an idea for a bachelor auction in my head and at the time I was heavy into watching Battlestar Galactica. Michael Trucco just seemed to jump out at me and seemed perfect for character “casting”. I do always cast my characters and I loved his blend of humour, sexiness, and competitiveness! There’d been a call out for a cowboy anthology at Samhain and I started it as something fun with that in mind, but it didn’t take long to figure out this was a full length story. It went through a couple of shifts before I got it the way I wanted, but I had a blast writing it.

Michael Trucco

 Maria:  Do you write with music in the background or do you need peace and quiet?

Donna:   A lot of days I “warm up” with music to put me in the right frame of mind. But quite often I write to silence. I find I focus better.

Maria:  Before you became a full time stay home mom and writer, what kinds of jobs did you hold down? Is it hard to balance the writing with your family?

Donna:  Yes, it IS hard! There are benefits to working from home but time management DOES become a bit of a challenge! Before I had the kids, I worked for a civil engineering firm, an environmental agency, and had several contract positions in the Finance dept of the provincial government. Before that it was University and retail – which was actually a whole lot of fun, even if the pay was crap. And of course there was always working on the farm in between times…

Maria:  How long have you been married? What is your idea of a romantic evening?

Donna: It will be fifteen years this year! A romantic evening is one with just the two of us. It can be eating take out Chinese and walking the dog but if we find ourselves all alone it’s such a rarity that it’s special!

Maria:  So you have a degree in English Literature, do your prefer Jane Austen or Emily Bronte?

Donna:  Austen all the way. When I re-read now, she makes me laugh more than she did when I read in University. I may have named my netbook Mr. Darceee (it’s an eee pc by Asus), but I’m a Colonel Brandon/Captain Wentworth girl all the way. If we’re going the way of the Bronte’s though, give me Charlotte. I adore Jane Eyre.

Maria:  What do you do for fun? Any specific hobby?

Donna:  You know I’m going to say reading, right? I also knit. Right now I’m knitting a lacy baby blanket for a great-niece due to arrive soon!

Maria:  What took you from English Lit to romance as a writer?

I’ve been reading Romance since I was fifteen, and a lot of English lit IS romance! How can you read Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Tennyson, Eliot and Austen and not get caught up in the romance of it? My “recreational” reading teeth were cut on LaVyrle Spencer and Judith McNaught. Then I read “Sanctuary” by La Nora and gobbled up tons of her work. When I started writing again and decided to work on a novel, it was a romance that came out. Relationships and love have always been intriguing to me. Remember in Dead Poet’s Society when Robin Williams asks why people write and what his answer is? TO WOO WOMEN! Love makes the world go ‘round. Without it, we’re pretty sad people.


“What are you doing here, Ella?”

His voice was a little soft, a little rough, and it rode the endings of her nerves, sending shivers up her spine. She straightened her shoulders. There was no way on God’s green earth she would let him know he got to her, in any way. And he sure didn’t want to spend two days with her. Not once in twelve years had he made any effort to see her whatsoever. She’d let him off the hook all for the price of his name beside the X.

She lifted her chin, tucked her notebook more firmly into her handbag. “Does it matter?”

He nodded, slowly. “You bet your designer bag it does. And I’m pretty sure paying two thousand dollars for two days with me wasn’t the reason. Though we could have a lot of fun in two days, don’t you think? For old times’ sake?”

Memories of bygone days swirled around her, seducing. “Shut up, Dev,” she murmured.

He boosted himself away from the truck and came closer. She could smell his woodsy aftershave, feel his body invade her personal space and hated herself for liking it. Craving it.

He leaned into her ear while the hairs on her neck stood up from the close contact of his breath on her skin.

“You could have had me for free.”

She planted her hands on his shoulders and pushed, skittering away on her heels. “I…I was sent on a story. It had nothing to do with you, you egomaniac.”

He snorted, looking at the ground and scuffing it with the toe of a sorry looking boot. “A story. Of course. Makes sense to send a big-city reporter to a dive like Ruby’s for some trumped up charity event.”

He wouldn’t understand. He never had. This was why she’d sent him divorce papers several times, even back when the legal fees to do so meant she had to eat peanut butter for a few weeks. “There’s something bigger at work than Betty Tucker’s illness, you know.” She straightened her blouse and raised an eyebrow at him. Damn straight. There was corruption from the top down, and Betty Tucker was only one victim. Bringing an exposé against Betty’s insurance company would guarantee Ella her choice of assignment.

“I bet Betty Tucker wouldn’t think so. Do you think a woman who might be dying cares at all about how many newspapers get sold in Denver ?”

Damn him. He’d always had a way of making her feel small when that wasn’t what she’d meant at all. Couldn’t he see it was a greater-good issue? But Dev had never been one to see the big picture. He’d had the most annoying tunnel vision of anyone she ever met. Right and wrong. Black and white.

“I don’t expect you to understand,” she huffed, lifting her nose and moving to walk past him to her car. Forty-eight hours. Hmph. If he’d sign by the X right now, he’d be off the hook and she’d consider it two thousand dollars well spent. They could end this farce of a marriage and get on to their respective lives.

He reached out and grabbed her arm.

“You never expected me to understand, Ell.” The words were laced with unexpected venom. “I understand a hell of a lot more than you think.”

His fingers burned holes in her sleeve and she fought back the thrill of excitement thrumming through her just by having his hands on her again. It shouldn’t happen after all this time, but he’d always had that effect on her. She pasted on the brightest smile she could muster. “Brilliant. So why don’t you tell me what I’m thinking right now?”

He still had a firm grip on her biceps and she tilted her chin way up to look at him. Even with her heels on, he was taller than her. Over six feet of manly sexiness. Her gaze caught on his lips. Those lips had known every inch of her when they’d been little more than kids. She blinked. Back then he’d been the solution, not the problem. The savior, not the devil.

“You’re thinking, how am I going to get Dev to sign those papers I’ve got sitting in my car?”

She twisted out of his grip and stomped to the car as his knowing laughter echoed behind her. She had been thinking exactly that. Along with wondering how his mouth would feel over hers when she wanted nothing more than to be free of him. For good. How was it possible to think both at the same time?

“Well. You’re smarter than you look,” she answered, determined he not know the effect he was having on her. If ever she’d needed confirmation that she’d done the right thing by not looking back, here it was staring her in the face. She couldn’t even manage a simple conversation with him without losing perspective.

“Yep. So where to now, Ell? Because according to your terms of purchase, we’ve got forty-eight whole hours.”

A shiver went through her at the possibilities. But possibilities got a girl absolutely nowhere. “You sign these now, and we’ll call it even. Both of us free as a bird.”

He came towards her, walking with that lazy long stride she remembered. His T-shirt was untucked and had a line of dust across it from the floor inside. She wanted to reach up and brush it off. But she didn’t. She couldn’t touch him. Not after the way her body had reacted when he’d whispered in her ear.

She backed up against the door of her car, her breath hardly moving her chest.

“I’m in no rush, Ella McQuade.”

I want to thank Donna for taking the time to answer my questions. 

For the contest, please comment below as to whether or not you have been to an auction (regardless of what was being auctioned off) and whether or not you got bite by the bug to continue escalating your bid and if you got the item.  I will choose 3 winners on Wednesday, April 14th at Noon CST using Random.Org, the Winners will have 72 hours to contact me at maria63303@gmail.com to claim their prize.  Good Luck Everyone!

In Accordance with FTC Regulations, I am disclosing that the prizes awarded during this
contest were purchased by the site owner.


  1. honestly i love auctions i go when ever i get a chance they are fun great interview ty for the opertunity to read this

  2. I did go to an auction once. And yeah, got caught up in it and ended paying as much as I would have retail for the breeder cockatiel I got. Just glad I didn't bid on the Macaw...lol

  3. I have never been to an auction. I think I would get caught up in the bidding if there were an item I wanted. :)

  4. We go to auctions all the time here! Its just another weekend activity! We normally go to see what kind of towels and electronics we can get. But every once in awhile we get really really good stuff for a steal! My hubby does the biding because if I did we'd end up paying for stuff i think we need but we really don't lol!

  5. I tried my hand at a school auction for one of their gift baskets and was sorely disappointed when I was outbid.

    But when I finally bid for a book on ebay, the rush really hit me. Outbid at the very end I just couldn't let that happen again. LOL, I had to chuckle at myself...I researched the help section on how to bid, ways to secure your bid, etc. just so I could secure a book I've been wanting.
    Funny how passion for romance books really
    has changed my world. *wink*

  6. Oh I go to auctions but I want a great price so I never go apove what I set that I want to pay cause after all the point is a great deal

  7. Ooh, fun premise for a book, Donna and Maria! As for auctions, I've bid on things on eBay--won some and lost some; and yes, have paid probably more than was wise for a few items! Also, our kids' school has a fundraising auction every year, and usually I do some shopping there, too. And of course, Brenda Novak's auction for diabetes research--how can I resist supporting a good cause *and* nabbing some book goodies?? :)

  8. I've never been to a live auction, though I have gotten down to the wire on a couple of EBay auctions that were pretty fun. And yes, I am one of those who gets totally caught up in the last minute bidding, lol. As long as I keep to my set budget, getting a YOU WON message is a kick.


  9. I'm with Cathy. I've never been to a physical auction but I was addicted to ebay for a while! An let me tell you, my internet connection was not fast enough to bet those last second bidders.

    mdwartistry at yahoo dot com

  10. I've never been to an auction although I have helped in organizing one. I imagine I would go a little wild if I was at an auction b/c I love a great bargain.


  11. I've always wanted to go to an auction, but haven't been yet :)
    Great interview... I love Jane Austen, too

  12. I haven't been to an actual auction in 20+ years since my mom dragged me out of one when I nearly bought farm equipment. I fidgeting and the guy thought I was signaling to buy. She was very ticked at me that day. LOL

    Heather P.

  13. Maria:

    Great inverview and lotsa fun. Some of the questions were really good. *grin*

    I have only been to one auction, and I was 'bout 8 years old. It was a cattle auction and the auctioneer was my cousin and it was his first auction callin. My uncle was very proud of his boy. Cousin went to auctioneer school and all that jazz! *grin*

    Great contest!


  14. I have never been to an auction before but I think it sounds fun! :)

  15. I have never been to an auction, but I've thought it might be fun.

  16. Great interview! I've never gone to an auction but I bet it would be fun. I'd probably that person that bids like crazy to get that one thing I want. LOL!!

  17. I've been to one auction. Many, many, many years ago, while in college, a fraternity was auctioning their brothers for 3 hour stints. A friend had a big crush on one of the brothers and she wanted to buy him and have a picnic with him!!! Several of us pooled in our money to help her with her bid but she still lost!

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  18. I enjoy going to auctions though have not been in a while. Usually do not bid but when I do I have a set amount and try to stay within budget. Sometimes have gone over to win the item.

  19. Maria, huge thanks for hosting me on Tuesday! I'm late popping in thanks to a week from hell - every single extra curricular thing for the kids is going on this week, along with book revisions and I've put my back out. Happy times...

    But I had to tell you an auction story. One time my dad went to an auction and came home with the back of the truck FULL. My mother almost had a bird. I don't remember all of what was brought home, but I know I got a set of china out of it, and my sister got the "mystery suitcases". They were full of baby clothes and she was pregnant at the time.

    I mentioned in the interview that I was working on the blanket for my niece - well, the blanket is finished and the baby delivered (a little early). Beautiful baby girl named Evelyn Kirsten. It is hard to believe that at age 38 this is my fourth great niece or nephew! Between that and the bum back, I'm starting to feel old!