Monday, May 4, 2015

Blog tour: The Best I Never Had by Lori Flowers

The Best I Never Had
DeVine Winery # 1
By: Lori Flowers
Releasing May 5, 2015

New job, new town, new people— new life.

That’s what Olivia Langston needed. At twenty eight, she was given a rare opportunity at an internship in the rolling valleys of Crystal Falls in California wine country, far away from her small town roots in North Carolina. It was an unexpected journey she desperately needed after her ex-husband crushed her.

At DeVine Winery, she expected a fresh start in a new environment to help let go of her past. Instead, she found Daniel Black and a hell of a lot of sexual tension she wasn’t prepared for. He was gorgeous, modestly wealthy, irresistible, and just happened to be part owner of DeVine, one of the largest vineyards in the country.

If only she knew that before she kissed him her first night in town.

Residing in Eastern North Carolina with her husband, 2 girls, and couch-potato dogs, Loni works a full-time professional job during the day and writes in her free time. She never thought it was possible to have a satisfying writing career, but with the love and support of her family, she's made it part of her life.
Loni searches for the tiniest speck of romance in any story and is a firm believer in the happily-ever-after’s. She thrives off the sexual tension, and gets a kick out of taking her characters on a roller-coaster ride of drama-filled emotions. A romance that can soothe the soul is her number one priority.

Hello Lori! Welcome to Roberta’s Dreamworld and thank you for your time. First of all, tell us something about yourself, both as a writer and as a person.

Hello! Thanks for having me, Roberta! As a writer, I love contemporary romance. I’m a sucker for happily ever-after’s…. So you can expect that from all of my books. It’s just my thing. I like to be satisfied at the end of a book, with reading or writing. On a personal aspect of my life, I have a full-time job and only write in my free time. My husband and I have two young daughters and two very lazy dogs! And I love the beach!

How/when did you realize you wanted to become a writer?

You may be surprised to know that I never grew with a passion for reading or writing. I was in my mid-20’s before I became an avid reader. Writing book reviews turned into a natural occurrence and I started a book review blog. Before long I had publishers and authors sending me more books than I could read in a given year. One day on my morning drive into work I had an idea for a story pop into my mind. A close friend suggested I try writing my own book, for fun. I did…. And 12 months later I published TAKING CHANCES. The ideas haven’t stopped flowing since.

Let’s speak about “THE BEST I NEVER HAD”. We’ve read the synopsis but can you tell us a little more about what the book is about?

Absolutely! This book takes place in Crystal Falls, California. A popular town with valley’s full of vineyards. DeVine Winery is one of the largest wineries in the country and is looking to revamp their website. When an opportunity opens up for an internship at DeVine, clear across the country, Olivia Langston is shocked to be accepted into the program. Already in her late 20’s, Olivia has gone through a horrible divorce that left her emotionally damaged and swearing off men for the rest of her life. But when the son of DeVine’s owner shows an interest in Olivia, it’s a constant battle within herself to stay away from him or give into the sexual tension building between them.

If you should describe your books in three words, what would you pick?

Captivating, Emotional, Swoon-worthy

Do you have any favorite authors and did they influence your choice of the genre?

I have many favorite authors, such as: Karen Marie Moning, Darynda Jones, Sylvia Day, Red Phoenix, just to name a few. There are many aspects of their writing that influence my own. Since I read a lot of paranormal or erotic romances, the genre isn’t so much what I write. However, their words, how elegantly they describe a scene. Or their use of dialogue… all of these things are sprinkled into my own writing.

What else do you enjoy doing, when you’re not writing?

Well, I do work a professional 8-5 job during the week. I love my pool, going to the beach, and reading. And I also love to color in my own coloring books when my kids want us to color together. It’s very relaxing.

As a writer do you get support from your family and friends?

Absolutely!! They are who keep me motivated. The ones who nag me about the stories I’m writing, and what will happen next. I could do this without them!

What are your dreams and plans for your future as a writer?

My ultimate dream is to be a full-time writer. Writing is hard work, just as much work as my full-time job. I would love for my sales to enable me the pleasure of staying home to do this for a living. So, until that day comes, I will continue doing what I do. I’ll work, I’ll write… I’ll always write as long as my heart has a story to tell.

Would you like to say something to the readers to encourage them to read your books?

If you enjoy stories of hope, second-chances, and romance all while learning a little bit about wine in the process... you won’t be disappointed. There is a ton of swoon-worthy moments, and if you’re like me, you’ll be looking for your own Daniel Black to have a glass of wine with!


We stood at the base of a Ferris wheel, third in line as we waited for our turn. I was about to have heart attack. At least I’ll look good when I die. A couple got off the wheel as another got on, putting us second in line. My heart raced remembering the last time I rode one while in college. I had a panic attack once the wheel had finally made it to the top.
“Why did we get all dressed up to come to a carnival? Are you sure we have to do this?” I questioned in panic.
“This is just a pit stop. I want you to see the view from the top.” He kissed the skin at the bend in my neck, sending the two teenage girls behind us in to a swooning fit.
“I can see the view from here just fine.” I huffed.
He chuckled as the couple in front of us boarded the next bucket on the wheel. “Trust me, Olivia. You’ll be fine,” he assured me.
I did trust him, but it didn’t stop my hands from shaking. And I felt dumb getting so worked up over a children’s ride. The next bucket came down, the ride operator lifted the metal bar across the riders’ laps, and they hopped out, exiting to the left. The operator motioned us forward, but I could hardly move. Daniel put his arm around my back, encouraging me forward. Once I was seated, he slipped my shoes from my feet and placed them next to me on the seat before whispering something to the ride operator. After he took his seat, the operator lowered the lap bar and walked towards the control panel. My anxiety kicked into gear. The bucket jolted forward and I gripped the bar, squeezing it as if my life depended on it. I gasped and squeezed my eyes shut.
“I don’t even know why there’s a bar here. Anyone could slip out underneath it. This can’t be safe at all.”
“Olivia, open your eyes.”
I shook my head lightly, scared that any movement would make us fall out and drop to our death. “Just tell me when it’s over,” I whispered.
His palm brushed over my bare shoulders in an attempt to soothe me when the bottom of our bucket shifted forward, causing the back to tip backwards. “Oh my God, stop moving. We’re going to fall. Please don’t move anymore.” I was on the verge of tears and frozen like stone. His palm pressed against my cheek and pulled my face in his direction.
“Open your eyes, baby. Just focus on me.”
I did as he asked, cracking my lids open and searching for the blue of his eyes. “I’m sorry. I want to enjoy this, I really do. But…”
“Have you always been afraid of heights?”
“Yes. It’s one of the reasons I drove to California.”
“I see.” He gazed out at our surroundings. “We are about to go around again until the operators get everyone off except us. He’s going to let us stay at the top for a while unless you want to get off now.”
“He’s going to let you do that?”
“Money talks just about anywhere. Can you handle thirty more minutes with me up there?”
“I’ll do my best. Talk to me. Keep me occupied. Just don’t move too much. Please.” I squeezed my eyes tight and leaned into his shoulder as we made another full rotation. It wasn’t so bad if we were steadily moving, but the stopping and starting and the swaying of the bucket was ripping my nerves apart. Despite the romantic situation Daniel had created, I was too scared to accept the moment for what it was.
“We’ve stopped, and we’ll be here for a while. Can you open your eyes now?”
I cracked them open, lifting my head slightly to peek out in front of me. There was nothing except the ocean and the great open sky coated in an array of bright oranges and pinks as the sun prepared to slip into the ocean for the night. I took a deep breath, trying to calm my nerves and relax my tense body. 
“It really is beautiful up here.” I marveled at the scenery. I peered in the opposite direction and could see the entire amusement park and the wooden boardwalk that stretched along the beach.
“Normally, I would agree.” Daniel slipped his fingers up the side of my neck, encouraging me to face him. “But I swear, nothing is more beautiful than you.”
“You’ll have to forgive me if I disagree.”
“You can disagree all you like; it won’t sway my opinion.”


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