Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Spotlight/Excerpt: Chasing Ginger by Marie Lavender

About the Book


Chased by a group of angry men. Saved by quite a hunk.

This is not the résumé Ginger Halloway ever imagined having. But thanks to a miracle pill, which makes her size 22 body instantly sexy, that’s what happened.

Yet, now Lance Franklin is showing interest in her, and she can’t figure out if he really likes her for her, or if it’s just because of a bizarre drug.

And her wild bunch of friends, The Misfits…well, they’re always getting her into some interesting situations.

So, yep, business as usual. Except for the guy. What the hell should she do about him?

As for Lance, he believes he’s lucky to have found Ginger. But can he convince her they should go for it?

With some new attention from the hottest guy she’s ever met, Ginger can’t help but wonder…is this all too good to be true?

(CONTENT WARNING: Watch for foul language, steamy scenes, and a pesky yet messy ability to choke on your dinner while laughing. If you’ve come expecting just a lighthearted, slapstick romance, you may not get that here. The author approaches sensitive topics in the best way she knows how. Just be prepared for all the feels to be deeper than usual for this genre – an emotional romantic comedy. No unruly cliffhangers, HEA guaranteed.)

Themes: Body Positivity, Kindness Matters

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“Like I said, it’s hard to trust…”
“I know. And I get why you’d want to be on guard, why anyone would, especially with what’s going on in the world. But I promise you’re good with me, Lance. Surely not afraid of me, right? Really, what can I do to you? Smother you to death?” She had a laugh at her own expense while he frowned.
“You could be a spy. Seemingly harmless yet lethal. That might work.”
“Oh, yeah, it’s so me. I’m a spy for the baddies…Agent Ginger. My codename is Big Mama.” She chuckled, tempted to shake her boobs to make her point. Better not scare the man away, though.
Gesturing to the brick structure they’d rounded at last, she claimed, “Here we are.”
In the distance, they both detected the sound of shattered glass and shouts.       
Lance stiffened beside her, gaze wary. “Hinky neighborhood. I guess you were right about not taking my Mercedes. You sure about this, though?”
“Yeah. My instructor wanted some place that wouldn’t easily get robbed.”
“Nailed it,” Lance groaned. “How did he explain the music?”
“You’ll see.” Inside her purse, she located the right key, marked with a red circle in permanent ink. Pushing it in the lock, Ginger twisted her hand and the portal popped open. Nudging with her shoulder, she skimmed her palm inside to feel for the light switch, then flipped it on. She eased into the small room, and heard Lance’s firm steps behind her. “Can you lock up, just to be safe?”
“No problem.”
After the door sealed shut, she breathed a sigh of relief. Ambling down the narrow hallway, she flicked a master switch, which illuminated the entire place as well as its back rooms – where the costumes were kept. Entering through a doorframe, she knew he followed her across the threshold. The dance space was lined with slick oak veneer, white walls and perfect mood lighting. Red chairs scattered the edges for dancers to take a break or watch their instructor.
He whistled. “Niiiiice. This is impressive.”
“Thank you. After college, I continued to come here for lessons, and even assisted my mentor with his new clients at night. It was great practice. Now, Freddie allows me to use the space whenever I want to dance in private.” Ginger watched a smile spread across his face. “What?” she prompted.
He cocked his head. “So, how does Ginger Halloway dance when no one is watching?”
Warmth bloomed over her cheekbones once more, and she glanced away. “You don’t know me well enough for such a privilege, Mr. Franklin.”
OMG…was she flirting with a man? But he’d never understand she was interested.
“Ah. Then I hope to earn that right.”
She wasn’t sure if she should take him at his word. Would the guy really want to see her break into improv? It was doubtful.       
Set on a distraction, she jogged to the CD player, tucked in the corner. But the sound system in here was great, plus she didn’t have to worry about bothering any neighbors with the sound-proof walls. Because the notion sent her head in directions it had no business, she called, “What do you want to try first? An easy dance or are you ready to launch into the whole thing?”
“Whatever you prefer. I’m game.”
“All right.” She selected a CD from the stack, then pushed the ‘play’ button. Ginger eased off her red lace shawl, and then set it on a bench. Turning, she saw Lance had done the same with his suit jacket.
“Hmm…the tango. Are you testing me, Ginger?”
“Maybe. You can’t blame me if I don’t always believe a claim that a guy can dance. I mean, you might just be saving face.”
“I suppose it’s true. At least, in some cases.”
“So, you don’t object to a test?”
Her partner lifted a shoulder. The look on his handsome features was one of determination. “Throw what you like at me. I’m up for the challenge. But, why shouldn’t I test you as well? Perhaps your experience is a mere claim.” A dark eyebrow shot up, and her body shivered in response. “The question is, are you up for the challenge?”
Oh no, he didn’t. For God’s sake, The Misfits had all but vouched for her. Jaw clenched for a second, she opened her mouth to retort. But her words were lost in his next move.
Intriguing, she thought, as he reached out and brought her flush against him. One hand eased over hers, and he looped an arm around her back. His muscles were as solid as she remembered, his body warm where it rested level with hers. In tune with him, their movements became fluid. Faces inches apart, she leaned back into the dip as her spine bent with the dance step. When he transferred his grasp on her hand to her thigh, she moved her fingers along his nape for leverage. With her core cradled against his body, she became breathless as she stared at him. Damn, she didn’t remember a more tantalizing dance.
She was supposed to test him, not the other way around. Spinning off him, he caught her back against his body with a subtle hand placed across her belly, just below her breasts. She registered a tight line of abdominal muscles press into her from behind.
Ginger couldn’t help the nervous giggle which spilled from her lips. For some reason, she felt a little loopy. Whether it was from the wine at dinner or just the man who held her remained undetermined.

His hand shifted to her hip, and a strange heat spread through her. Unfair move, she thought, and turned her head to meet his gaze.
“Well? Are you up for this?” he repeated his challenge.
Oh, he didn’t know the type of dance partner he’d signed on for. Reaching out and stroking his hair as she looped a leg back around his, she saw his eyes widen.
“Always,” she whispered.
Then he grasped her hand as well as her thigh, and spun her so quickly she was flush against him once more. She followed his lead as they shifted back and forth in a slow, slow, quick, quick, slow rhythm as she’d been taught. Except this time, instead of recounting the dance steps in her head, the flow was so easy she didn’t even have to think much about it. He was also an excellent partner; though he was inventive at times, she could sense the change when he planned a new move. He wasn’t kidding about knowing how to dance. When his lips met her throat as she leaned into him, her whole body tingled. Except she knew he did it for flair alone.
By the time the song was over, they finished with quite a finale, both balanced on one knee, sprawled across one another in an embrace that tested her limits. Noses almost touching, she observed he was a little worked up as well, breaths in spurts. Staring in his blue eyes, it killed her not to put her lips on his. Plus, she suspected the dizzy sensation and warmth in her body had less to do with exertion and was more about her response to him alone. A five minute song had never caused this reaction.
Silence cut across the room. Ginger was limber from daily exercise, but her joints began to feel the strain of the hardwood floor. Dropping her arm from his back, she managed a whispered suggestion, “Maybe we should take a break.” She swallowed back the cloud of dust in her throat.
“Right.” He then released her.

She walked it off as the mixtape CD skipped to the next track. Glancing back at Lance, she saw he paced as well. How in the world could she handle being in his arms all the time? If each move was like this, she would beg for more by the time the dance marathon came around. But he could never want her that way.

About the Author

Multi-genre author of Victorian maritime romance/family saga, Heiresses in Love, and 18 other books. Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and two cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 21 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, romantic comedy, dramatic fiction, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. An avid blogger on the side, she writes adult fiction, as well as occasional stories for children, and has recently started some young adult fiction. She also contributed to several anthologies. Though she has some standalone titles on the market, her current published series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Eternal Hearts Series, The Magick Series, The Code of Endhivar Series, The Misfits Series and The Blood at First Sight Series, but she has many others planned. Discover more about her and her work at


  1. Where can I get that pill ? :)

  2. The excerpt didn't me but I like that cover. I like seeing plus size people on romance covers.


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