Monday, June 23, 2014

Suddenly Last Summer by Sarah Morgan- Interview + International Giveaway

Today I'm welcoming USA Today, a fan and personal favorite author Sarah Morgan who is coming to us from across the pond from Merry Olde England to talk about her new US Harlequin release and second in her O'Neil Brothers trilogy set in Vermont, Suddenly Last Summer.
Enjoy our chat and then Sarah has graciously offered one lucky reader Open Internationally a copy of this novel.
Details below!

  • ISBN-13: 9780373778867
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 6/24/2014
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384


USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan introduces another irresistible O'Neil brother who's more tempting than dessert and twice as sinful!
Fiery French chef Élise Philippe is having a seriously bad day. Not only have the grand opening plans for her beloved café fallen apart, but Sean O'Neil is back in town and looking more delectable than ever. Memories of the electrifying night they shared last summer leave Élise very tempted, but she knows all too well that eventually Sean will be leaving…again.

Read an Excerpt:

"Phone call lor you, Dr. O'Neil. She says it's an emergency."
Sean rolled his shoulders to ease the tension, his mind still in the operating room.
His patient was a promising soccer player. He'd torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, a common enough injury that had ended plenty of sports careers. Sean was determined it wasn't going to end this one. The procedure had gone well, although surgery was only the beginning. What followed would be a lengthy rehabilitation that would require dedication and determination from all involved.
Still thinking about how to manage expectations, he took the phone from the nurse. "Sean O'Neil."
"Sean? Where the hell were you last night?"
Braced for a different conversation, Sean frowned with irritation. "Veronica? You shouldn't be calling me here. I was told this was an emergency."
"It is an emergency!" Her voice rose along with her temper. "Next time you invite me to dinner, have the decency to show up."
A nurse came out of the operating room and handed him a form.
"Veronica, I'm sorry." He tucked the phone between his cheek and his shoulder and gestured for a pen. "I was called back to the hospital. A colleague had problems with a patient. I was operating."
"And you couldn't have called me? I waited in that restaurant for an hour. An hour, Sean! A man tried to pick me up."
Sean signed the form. "Was he nice?"
"Do not joke about it. It was the most embarrassing hour of my life. Don't ever, ever do that to me again."
He handed the form back to the nurse with a brief smile. "You'd rather I left a patient to bleed to death?"
"I'd rather you honored your commitments."
"I'm a surgeon. My first commitment is to my patients."
"So what you're saying is that if you had to choose between me and work, you'd pick work?"
"Yes." The fact that she'd asked that question showed how little she knew him. "That is what I'm saying."
"Damn you, Sean. I hate you." But there was a wobble in her voice. "Tell me honestly, is it just me or is it all women?"
"It's me. I'm bad at relationships, you know that. Right now my focus is my career."
"One of these days you're going to wake up alone in that fancy apartment of yours and regret all the time you spent working."
He decided not to point out that he woke up alone through choice. He never invited women back to his apartment. He was barely ever there himself. "My work is important to me. You knew that when you met me."
"No, important is being dedicated to what you do but still having a personal life. What work is to you, Sean O'Neil, is an obsession. You are single-minded and focused to the exclusion of everything else. That might make you a brilliant doctor but it makes you a lousy date. And here's a news flash—being charming and good in bed doesn't stop you being a selfish, workaholic bastard."
"Sean?" Another nurse appeared at his elbow, her pink cheeks and awkward demeanor suggesting she'd overheard that last sentence. "The team coach is waiting outside for news along with the boy's parents. Will you talk to them?"
"Are you even listening to me?" Veronica's voice came down the phone, shrill and irritated. "Are you having another conversation while you're talking to me?"
Sean closed his eyes. "I've just come out of the operating room." He rubbed his fingers over his forehead. "I need to speak to the relatives."
"They can wait five minutes!"
"They're worried. If that was your kid in recovery, you'd want to know what was going on. I have to go. Goodbye, Veronica. I really am sorry about last night."
"No, wait! Don't go!" Her voice was urgent. "I love you, Sean. I really love you. Despite everything, I think we have something special. We can make this work. You just need to flex a little bit more."
Sweat pricked at the back of his neck. He saw the nurse's eyes widen.
How had he got himself in this situation?
For the first time in years he'd made a misjudgment. He'd thought Veronica was the sort of woman who was happy to live in the moment. Turned out he was wrong about that.
"I have to go, Veronica."
"All right, I'll flex. I'm sorry, I'm being a shrew. Let me cook you dinner tonight, I promise I won't complain if you're late. You can show up whenever. I'll—"
"Veronica—" he cut across her "—do not apologize to me when I'm the one who should be apologizing to you. You need to find a guy who will give you the attention you deserve."
There was a tense silence. "Are you saying it's over?"
As far as Sean was concerned it had never started. "Yeah, that's what I'm saying. There are hundreds of guys out there only too willing to flex. Go and find one of them." He hung up, aware that the nurse was still watching him.
He was so tired he couldn't even remember her name.
Ann? No, that wasn't right.
Angela. Yes, it was Angela.
Fatigue descended like a gray fog, slowing his thinking. He needed sleep.
He'd been called to an emergency in the night and had been on his feet operating since dawn. Soon the adrenaline would fade and when it did he knew he was going to crash big-time. Sean wanted to be somewhere near his bed when that happened. He had the use of a room at the hospital but he preferred to make it back to his waterside apartment where he could nurse a beer and watch life on the water.
"Dr. O'Neil? Sean? I'm so sorry. I wouldn't have put the call through if I'd known it was personal. She said she was a doctor." The look in her eyes told him she'd have no objection to being Veronica's replacement. Sean didn't think she'd be flattered to know he'd temporarily forgotten her existence.
"Not your fault. I'll talk to the relatives—" He was tempted to take a shower first, but then he remembered the white face of the boy's mother when she'd arrived at the hospital and decided the shower could wait. "I'll go and see them now."
"You've had a really long day. If you want to come by my place after work, I make a mac and cheese that is wicked good."
She was sweet, caring and pretty. Angela would come close to most men's idea of a perfect woman.
Not his.
His idea of a perfect woman was one who didn't want anything from him.
Relationships meant sacrifice and compromise. He wasn't prepared to do either of those things, which was why he had remained resolutely single.
"As you just witnessed, I am an appalling date." He managed what he hoped was a disarming smile. "I'd either be working and not show up at all, or so tired I'd fall asleep on your sofa. You can definitely do better."
"I think you're amazing, Dr. O'Neil. I work with loads of doctors, and you're easily the best. If I ever needed a surgeon, I'd want you to look after me. And I wouldn't care if you fell asleep on my sofa."
"Yes, you would." Eventually they always did. "I'll go and talk to the family now."
"That's kind of you. His mother is worried."
He saw the worry the moment he laid eyes on the woman.
She sat without moving, her hands gripping her skirt as she tried to contain anxiety made worse by waiting. Her husband was on his feet, hands thrust in his pockets, shoulders hunched as he talked to the coach. Sean knew the coach vaguely. He'd found him to be ruthless and relentlessly pushy and it seemed that surgery on his star player hadn't softened his approach.
The guy wanted miracles and he wanted them yesterday. Sean knew this particular coach's priority wasn't the long-term welfare of the kid lying in the OR, but the future of his team. As a sports injury specialist he dealt with players and coaches all the time. Some were great. Others made him wish he'd chosen law instead of medicine.
The moment the boy's father saw Sean he sprang forward like a Rottweiler pouncing on an intruder.
The coach was drinking water from a plastic cup.
"You fixed it?"
He made it sound like a hole in a roof, Sean thought. Slap a new shingle on and it will be as good as new. Change the tire and get the car back on the road.
"Surgery is only the beginning. It's going to be a long process."
"Maybe you should have got him into surgery sooner instead of waiting."
Maybe you should stop practicing armchair medicine.
Noticing the boy's mother digging her nails into her legs, Sean decided not to lock horns. "All the research shows that the outcome is better when surgery is carried out on a pain-free mobile joint." He'd told them the same thing a week before but neither the coach nor the father had wanted to listen then and they didn't want to listen now.
"How soon can he play again?"
Sean wondered what it must be like for the boy, growing up with these two on his back.
"It's too early to set a timetable for return. If you push too hard, he won't be playing at all. The focus now is on rehab. He has to take that seriously. So do you." This time his tone was as blunt as his words. He'd seen promising careers ruined by coaches who pushed too hard too soon, and by players without the patience to understand that the body didn't heal according to a sporting schedule.
"It's a competitive world, Dr. O'Neil. Staying at the top takes determination."
Sean wondered if the coach was talking about his player or himself. "It also takes a healthy body."
The boy's mother, silent until now, stood up. "Is he all right?" The question earned her a scowl from her husband.
"Hell, woman, I just asked him that! Try listening."
"You didn't ask." Her voice shook. "You asked if he'd play again. That's all you care about. He's a person, Jim, not a machine. He's our son."
"At his age I was—"
"I know what you were doing at his age and I tell you if you carry on like this you will destroy your relationship with him. He will hate you forever."
"He should be thanking me for pushing him. He has talent. Ambition. It needs to be nurtured."
"It's your ambition, Jim. This was your ambition and now you're trying to live all your dreams through your son. And what you're doing isn't nurturing. You put pressure on him and then layer more and more on until the boy is crushed under the weight of it." The words burst out of her and she paused for a moment as if she'd shocked herself. "I apologize, Dr. O'Neil."
"No need to apologize. I understand your concern."
Tension snapped his muscles tight. No one understood the pressures of family expectation better than he did. He'd been raised with it.
Do you know how it feels to be crushed by the weight of someone else's dreams? Do you know how that feels, Sean?
The voice in his head was so real he rocked on his feet and had to stop himself glancing over his shoulder to check his father wasn't standing there. He'd been dead two years, but sometimes it felt like yesterday.
He thrust the sudden wash of grief aside, uncomfortable with the sudden intrusion of the personal into his professional life.
He was more in need of sleep than he'd thought.
"Scott's doing fine, Mrs. Turner. Everything went smoothly. You'll be able to see him soon."
The tension left the woman's body. "Thank you, Doctor. I— You've been so good to him right from the start. And to me. When he starts playing—" she shot her husband a look "—how do we know the same thing won't happen again? He wasn't even near another player. He just crumpled."
"Eighty percent of ACL tears are non-contact." Sean ignored both the woman's husband and the coach and focused on her. He felt sorry for her, the referee in a game of ambition. "The anterior cruciate ligament connects your thigh to your shin. It doesn't do a whole lot if you're just going about your normal day, but it's an essential part of controlling the rotation forces developed during twisting actions."
She gave him a blank look. "Twisting actions?"
"Jumping, pivoting and abrupt changes of direction. It's an injury common among soccer players, basketball players and skiers."
"Your brother Tyler had the same, didn't he?" The coach butted in. "And it was all over for him. It killed his career as a ski racer. Hell of a blow for such a gifted athlete."
His brother's injury had been far more complicated than that, but Sean never talked about his famous brother. "Our aim with surgery is to return the knee joint to near-normal stability and function but it's a team effort and rehabilitation is a big part of that effort. Scott is young, fit and motivated. I'm confident he'll make a full recovery and be as strong as he was before the injury, providing you encourage him to attack rehab with the same degree of dedication he shows to the game." He hardened his tone because he needed them to pay attention. "Push too hard or too soon and that won't be the case."
The coach nodded. "So can we start rehabilitation right away?"
Sure, just throw him a ball while he's still unconscious.
"We generally find it helps for a patient to have come around from the anesthetic."
The man's cheeks turned dusky-red. "You think I'm pushy, but this kid just wants to play and it's my job to make sure he gets whatever he needs. Which is why we're here," he said gruffly. "People say you're the best.
Everyone I talked to gave me the same response. If it's a knee injury, you want Sean O'Neil. ACL reconstruction and sports injuries are your specialty. Didn't realize you were Tyler O'Neil's brother until a few weeks ago. How's he coping now he can't compete? That must be hard."
"He's doing just fine." The response was automatic. At the height of Tyler's skiing success the whole family had been bombarded by the media and they'd learned to deflect the intrusive questions, some about Tyler's breathtaking talent, others about his colorful personal life.
"I read somewhere he can only ski for recreation now." The coach pulled a face. "Must be hard for a guy like Tyler. I met him once."
Making a note to commiserate with his brother, Sean steered the conversation back on topic. "Let's focus on Scott." He went through it again, repeating words he'd already spoken.
Drumming the message home took another twenty minutes. By the time he'd showered, checked on a few of his patients and climbed into his car, two hours had passed.
Sean sat for a moment, summoning the energy to drive the distance to his waterfront home.
The weekend lay ahead, a stretch of time filled with infinite possibilities.
For the next forty-eight hours his time was his own and he was ready to savor every moment. But first he was going to sleep.
The phone he kept for his personal use rang and he cursed for a moment, assuming it was Veronica, and then frowned when the screen told him it was his twin brother, Jackson. Along with the name came the guilt. It festered inside him, buried deep but always there.
He wondered why his brother would be calling him late on a Friday.
A crisis at home?
Snow Crystal Resort had been in their family for four generations. It hadn't occurred to any of them that it might not be in the family for another four. The sudden death of his father had revealed the truth. The business had been in trouble for years. The discovery that their home was under threat had sent a ripple of shock through the whole family.
It was Jackson who had left a thriving business in Europe to return home to Vermont and save Snow Crystal from a disaster none of the three brothers had even known existed.
Sean stared at the phone in his hand.

Sarah is offering one print copy
of Suddenly Last Summer
use the Rafflecopter form below to enter
Thanks Sarah!!!
Good Luck!

Sarah (waving) Hi!
Welcome back to The Reading Frenzy
it seems like just yesterday you were here talking about your first O’Neil Brother full-length romance Sleigh Bells In The Snow and here you are already chatting about #2 in the trilogy. Tell us about Suddenly Last Summer.
So happy to be back Debbie! Thank you for having me.
Suddenly Last Summer is the story of sexy surgeon Sean (trying saying that fast after a glass of wine!) and fiery French chef Élise, who readers first met in Sleigh Bells in the Snow. They spent one passionate night together last summer, but neither has mentioned it since. They both have their reasons for avoiding relationships, but then circumstances bring Sean back to Snow Crystal and he and Élise are forced to try and resist the chemistry on a daily basis. Let’s just say that in this story it isn’t just the kitchen that is hot!

During our last interview you said “Sleigh Bells in the Snow was one of those rare books that flowed easily and it was fun to write from beginning to end.
Was the same true for Suddenly Last Summer?
This book was a little more challenging than Sleigh Bells because Sean and Élise’s back story and conflict were more complex. Also I had to include the wider cast of characters in a way that felt organic to the story and didn’t overwhelm the main storyline. It was fun to write and as someone who is addicted to snow and winter (in books, folks!) I was surprised by how much I adored writing about Snow Crystal in the summer. By the end of the book I was ready for a month of rest and relaxation by the lake drinking something cool and delicious on the deck of Elise’s Boathouse Café!

Now I have to say Woot Woot and Congratulations on being a RITA finalist for Sleigh Bells In The Snow, Wow!
Give us the inside scoop on what happened when you found out.
I’ve been shortlisted for the past three years so I didn’t think there was any way it could happen again, especially as this was the first time I’d entered a single title. I was working in my office when my cell phone rang. It was Alyssa Day from the RWA board of directors, telling me that Sleigh Bells in the Snow had been shortlisted. I think I must have made a strange squeaky noise because my son came to investigate, assuming there was an insect in my office (insects are usually the source of all my squeaks).

Sarah your last O’Neil Brothers novels Maybe This Christmas, Tyler and Brenna’s romance will be out in October. Can you give us a hint about what’s next for you?
I’m starting a new contemporary romance series set on Puffin Island, Maine, which will be out in 2015. It’s about three friends, bound by a promise they made as teenagers. I’ve already written book 1 and I’m loving it. I can promise you wonderful scenery, a lively island community and three really sexy heroes for my strong, independent heroines. 

Sarah your heroes have always been very yummy.
When you sit down to create a new hero do you ever give him a face or is he always a blank slate?
I usually start a story by thinking of characters, often by imagining them in various situations and asking the ‘what if’ question. When I’m thinking about a new story I find myself with random scenes in my head, and those scenes tell me a lot about a character’s personality and how he is going to respond to the challenges he faces. I see my heroes as real people, so although they will share traits I find appealing, they won’t be the same and I never model them on anyone I know. I do sometimes use photographs for inspiration (that’s part of the fun of being a romance writer!). If I happen to see a photograph that is exactly how I imagine my hero then I might use it, but I don’t have to have images to write the book. 

Sarah speaking of yummy heroes there are none more exotic than the Harlequin Presents heroes.
What do you miss the most about writing for Presents?
I’m writing one at the moment, so I don’t have to miss anything J This one will be loosely linked with my new contemporary series, which will be out next year. The Presents story is set in Greece, and I’m having fun with it.

Sarah I know some authors go a bit crazy during deadline crunches while for some it’s just another day at the office. How do deadlines effect you?
Generally I try and plan my year so that although I’m busy, I give myself enough time.  Real life does sometimes throw in the unexpected, as it does for everyone, and when that happens I just have to cut back on other things. I might spend less time on social media for a few weeks, refuse a few promo requests. I think it’s important to learn how to say no and protect your writing time and I try and do that. If I do find myself in a nightmare situation, perhaps if a book hasn’t gone well and has taken longer than I thought to write, then I try and learn from it so I can avoid it happening again. I have a supportive family, and if I’m under pressure they are brilliant at making food and generally making life easier.

Sarah fill in the blank
I’m the writer I am today because….. of
hard work, the support of brilliant editors and the patience of my family.

You said in our last chat that you love discovering new authors.
Who is your newest discovery?
I just finished The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. I loved it. Of course he isn’t ‘new’. Just new to me!

Sarah Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions. I’m so glad you could spare some time for me.  Do you have any special events planned for the release?
I’ve done a few press events in the UK and lots of online interviews and blogs for the US.  I did a Google Hangout as part of ‘Romance Festival’ last weekend, in which I talked about Suddenly Last Summer, the sexy O’Neil Brothers and my strange writing habits J You can see it here:
I’ll be in the US in San Antonio, Texas for  "Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter Hotel in the 3rd floor ballroom. If anyone is going I’d love to see them!

I can’t wait to read Tyler’s story, you've been hinting about this romance since the beginning. I’ll be back to chat with you after I’ve read it.
Take care my friend, good luck!
Thank you so much Debbie! I adore Tyler and had so much fun writing his story. I hope readers love him too.

Here's my review courtesy RT Magazine

CONNECT WITH SARAH - Website - Facebook - Twitter

 USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes lively, sexy contemporary stories for Harlequin.
Romantic Times has described her as 'a magician with words' and nominated her books for their Reviewer's Choice Awards and their 'Top Pick' slot. In 2012 Sarah received the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America. She lives near London with her family. Find out more at

Here's another great review and a fab contest too!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. No, I haven't read any of Sarah's books yet, but I really want to.

    1. Hi Pink2, oh You're in for a real treat.
      I first became acquainted with the fabulous Ms. Morgan when she wrote series for Harlequin and loved her then and really love that she's writing full length novels now
      Thanks for the comment
      Good Luck!

    2. Hi Pink2, I have lots of extracts on my website so you can have a taste :) Thanks for dropping by. Sarah xx

  2. I love Sarah's books!!! I can't wait to read this one too!

    1. Hi Sue I love her too!
      Thanks for the comment

    2. Thanks Sue! So happy to hear that. Really hope you enjoy Suddenly Last Summer. Sarah xxx

  3. I have one of her books on my wish list on audible (Once a Ferrara Wife), unfortunately this trilogy is not there yet, but I'm going to add it to my TBR and see if they publish them on audio. I love picking up books from the Rita's nominees list, I'm glad to see she was a finalist.
    Thanks Debbie :)

    1. Hey Loupe I really loved that novel
      here's my review in RT Magazine
      thanks for the comment

    2. Hi Loupe, I had fun with Once A Ferrara wife. It's the most angsty book I've written! Not sure when my O'Neil Brothers series will be on audible, I haven't had that information from my publisher but hopefully soon. Thanks for dropping by. Sarah xxx

  4. I've read many of Sarah's books! They are fabulous and I envy the readers who haven't read them yet.

    1. Hi Rebe, Ah another fan :)
      So glad you stopped by

    2. Thanks for those kind words Rebe! You've made my day :) Sarah xx

  5. I used to read her HP books and the last book I read by her was Burned, book #2 in the Miller Sisters series .

    1. Hi Moran, I've read Ripped in that series looks like I've got a little catching up to do
      thanks for the comment

    2. Ooh I had fun with my Cosmo Red Hot Reads Moran! Thanks for dropping by. Sarah x

  6. Great interview! I recently read this and just thought it was so darn cute.

  7. I think it's safe to say I've loved every single book of Sarah Morgan's that I've read. Really loved Sleigh Bells In The Snow and enjoyed getting to read about the other two O'Neil brothers and their love interests so really looking forward to reading Sean+Elise and Tyler+Brenna's stories!

    1. Hi Alma, ah a woman after my own heart :)

    2. Oh thank you Alma! I'm so happy you enjoy my books. I hope you'll love Tyler and Brenna's story. I'm super excited about this one and I posted the first chapter on my website today. Sarahxx

  8. Replies
    1. Oh so many of my reading soul mates are here thanks Kimberly :)

    2. So happy you enjoyed it Kimberly :) xx

  9. Replies
    1. Oh Hi Karin well you're in for a real treat!

    2. There are so many books out there to choose from Karin - whatever you pick, I hope you find some great summer reading and thanks for dropping by, Sarah xxx

  10. I haven't read any of Sarah's books yet... but I want to :) Thanks for the chance :)

  11. Thanks for having me Debbie and for the great questions! Sarah xx

    1. Thanks Sarah for the great answers and of course the fabulous novels :)

  12. I adore Morgan and this series has been wonderful to read. In fact I have showcased both books several times and tomorrow share my review. I have fallen in love with the folks, and love the smal-town feel of these novels. Morgan makes me swoon, giggle and feel.

    1. I know Kimba and I'll put a link in tomorrow when your review goes live too!
      You know how much I love her too!

  13. Ooo I must get to her soon! I've been eyeing them but you know those tbr piles. lol But you and Kimberly both lovin on it. Yep gonna have to read it.

    1. Oh Anna I know all about tbr piles my friend ;)
      thanks for the comment

  14. Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed Sleigh Bells In the Snow!

    1. Oh wasn't it great Anita, I can't wait for the last in the trilogy!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Sadly I haven't gotten to her books yet although I do have a few in my TBR pile!