Get Lost in Southern Romance with USA Today Bestselling Author Ciara Knight

Step into the world of the South and hear the cicadas, taste the mint juleps, see the stars, and smell the magnolias...

Twenty New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors have joined together to bring you a taste of Southern charm in Magnolias and Moonshine, a unique collection of contemporary romances releasing this month. There is something for everyone with these ten sweet and ten sizzle contemporary romance novellas. You’ll enjoy stories with cowboys, weddings, county fairs, lovers reunited, and much more.
Magnolias & Moonshine launches this week with The Sassy Bride by bestselling author Ciara Knight.

Ciara is my guest today on Get Lost in a Story, and she'll give us a peek at the first book in the series.

Abandoned by her parents and left to raise two sisters, Sadie Dixon has spent her life sacrificing for her family. When the eldest son of the rich Dumont family, Ashton, wins her heart and hand in marriage, he showers her with every advantage money can buy. But when their worlds collide, Sadie faces the first sacrifice she isn't sure she can make: leaving her family and lifelong dreams of owning a bakery behind for the man she loves.

Meet Ciara

Ciara Knight is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author who writes 'A Little Edge and A Lot of Heart' that spans the heat scales. Her popular sweet romance series, Sweetwater County (rated PG), takes readers into small town romance full of family trials, friendly competition, and community love. 

You can learn more about Ciara and her books on her website: http://www.ciaraknight.com

You can also follow her on Amazon Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/Ciara-Knight/e/B0066T6UL2
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ciaraknightwrites
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ciaratknight

E.E. What sparked the idea for this series?
Ciara: Last year, I was sitting at a table with some other others at the Romantic Times Convention and mentioned that I’d like to do something special next year since the conference would be held in my home town. I wanted to create a series of books that were designed to celebrate the south.

E.E. Who are the writers and how did you decide which ones to recruit?
I chose people that I either had worked with in the past, or that had a solid reputation for completing entertaining, well-written works in a timely manner. With a project of this magnitude I didn’t want to take any chances. I’m happy to say that we put together an amazing group of authors so that there is something for every reader.
Here is the list of authors in release order:
Ciara Knight (Sweet)
Hildie McQueen (Sizzle)
Beth Williamson (Sizzle)
Susan Hatler (Sweet)
Lindi Peterson (Sweet)
Kymber Morgan (Sizzle)
Amanda McIntyre (Sizzle)
Lucy McConnell (Sweet)
Sharon Hamilton (Sizzle)
Lisa Kessler (Sizzle)
Kirsten Osbourne (Sweet)
Susan Carlisle (Sizzle)
Tina DeSalvo (Sizzle)
Raine English (Sweet)
Amelia C. Adams (Sweet)
E. E. Burke (Sizzle)
Melinda Curtis (Sweet)
Merry Farmer (Sizzle)
Shanna Hatfield (Sweet)
Jennifer Peel (Sweet)

E.E.: How will you launch the series?

Yesterday, the first Magnolias & Moonshine novella, The Sassy Bride, was released, and the remaining 19 books will release each day between now and April 30. You can get them at Amazon, iBooks, Nook and Kobo for only 99 cents each. 

Here's our website where the books are listed and you can read more about them: http://www.magnoliasandmoonshine.net/the-books-1

Can you tell us about the event you'll be having at the RT Booklovers Convention?

The Magnolia and Moonshine County Fair will be held at the Romantic Times Convention on Friday, May 5, at 9:30 p.m. Readers can join us for a fabulous time where we’ll play fun games (like smash the tin can and bean bag toss), win prizes and enjoy live music starring 2014 Georgia Country Male Artist of the Year, Thomas Fountain.

For more information about the event, visit http://www.magnoliasandmoonshine.net/the-event

Do you have a favorite scene from your book, and will you share it?

Oh, I LOVE these crazy, southern characters. Let me see, one scene? Oh, I’ve got it! This scene is between Sadie and her sister Avery, add in a fiancĂ© and things get colorful. They love to tease one another. Well, you’ll see. 😊

Tell you what. I’ll help,” Avery said.
I opened my eyes in mock surprise. “You? Help?”
“Sure. I’d sacrifice anything for you. In fact, I know how all the Dumonts’ money makes you uneasy, so I’ll marry the dashing, rich Ashton Dumont for you.” Avery liked to mix her teases with a dash of jealousy and a pinch of love.
“Such a sacrifice.” I clasped my hands together and shook my head as if amazed at her thoughtfulness. Meanwhile, a frenzy of fluttery, itchy, stinging emotions nibbled at my self-esteem. Every girl in metro Atlanta wanted to land Ashton Dumont. “But are you sure? You haven’t even looked at another man since the boyfriend-who-shall-be-shot-on-sight ran away.”
Avery’s lip, eye, and nose twitched. Was that her I-dare-you face, or it’s-too-soon face? I wasn’t sure, So I went for it’s too soon, and gave her my real sympathetic smile. But I wasn’t sure if to hug it out, or tug each other’s hair to cheer her up.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
“Ashton’s here,” Avery said in a k-i-s-s-i-n-g tone.
I closed my laptop and faced the door. “Come in.”
Ashton strutted in, soaked in an air of confidence only certain men could pull off. “Hi, gorgeous. I brought you some lunch.” He tossed a gargantuan sandwich from my favorite sub shop on the desk and kissed the top of my head. The tip of my ears warmed.
He patted Avery on the shoulder. “Sorry, didn’t know you’d be here or I would’ve brought some for you, too.”
“Honestly I think you did, this is gigantic.” I held the sandwich up with both hands. “Unless you’re trying to fatten me up so I can’t run away.”
“I have to keep hold of you somehow.” His grin was award winning.
Gravel crunched outside, and a car pulled up. Another band would be setting up soon. I could always hope they’d be good. Someone had to be, eventually. I crossed my fingers.
“She won’t have time to finish it anyway, an afternoon of auditions and all.” Avery pushed out her chest, her lips curving into her cheerleader-on-happy-pills smile. “But no worries. Sisters share.” She snagged the sandwich and ripped into the bag. “Besides, we want our bride to fit into her dress.”
I knew she didn’t mean it, only payback for bringing up her ex. I’d give her this one.
Ashton played with the ends of my hair, toying with it between his fingers. I relaxed into his familiar touch, savoring the contact. “No worries about that. She’s perfect.”
Avery’s eyes lit up like a neon sign flashing “Gotcha.” “Are we all still on for tonight? That whole shindig with your parents and grandparents and kings and queens?”
“Avery.” She was just trying to protect me, but she wasn’t wrong. My minute of bliss shattered into tiny slivers of anxiety and splinters of hope. Hope that his parents wouldn’t judge me. Hope that his grandparents wouldn’t hate me. Hope that his family finally accepted me.
“I think you’re exaggerating,” Ashton said, “but yes, we’ll be eating at the club tonight for the first annual Dumont-Dixon dinner.”
“Wait, you drove forty minutes out of your way to see me when we’re going to be together tonight?” I shook my head.
“Yeah. It gave me thirty more minutes with my other girl.” Ashton tilted his head toward the small window, indicating his new Audi R8 in the parking lot. His graduation present. A present that could’ve paid our bills for a decade.
Avery made a wrap-you-around-her-little-finger gesture. “How a-dork-able.”
His smile for the car could have made me jealous. “Well I think it’s sweet that we’re spending lunch together. Even if my fiancĂ© did have to drive all the way down to Magnolia Corners, the southern-est of southern towns, just to take his mistress for a spin and bring lunch.”
“Dinner. Wait…” Avery rubbed her temples trying to bring back a memory. “Oh, I forgot to give you a message. Aunt Cathy is coming tonight.”
I bolted from my seat, fear of embarrassing family behavior taking my breath and stomping it from my lungs. “What? But the club dinner requires reservations…” Thank the Lord.
Ashton rubbed my arms, an instant, soothing ointment. “She can come with you. No worries.”
“No worries? Are those finals draining your brain cells? We’re talking about the epitome of all country women, Cathy West. She doesn’t know fine dining manners, or how to make sweet small talk. She’s even louder than Avery.”
“Hey,” Avery started to protest, stopped, thought, and nodded. “True.”
“Relax.” Ashton pulled me into his make-everything-right arms. “You’re going to end up in the back kitchen with an apron and fast pass to a mental breakdown if you don’t take a breath.”
My anxiety revved from zero to sixty faster than his new R8. “Your mother is going to faint. No, we have to keep Cathy home, or cancel tonight.”
“It’ll all be okay. I’ll be at your side the entire time. We’ll do this together.”
I rested my head against his chest for a minute, wishing the world would stop pounding against my skull. Two breaths and then I managed to face him and the rest of our drama. “We’re talking about your mother meeting a woman three times more backwoods than me. Remember when she overheard you ask me out at the club when I was waiting tables? She did a southern belle swoon that put Scarlett O’Hara to shame. I’m surprised she didn’t have you carry her to a fainting couch on the spot.”
Ashton kissed my cheek, my neck, my shoulder. “I don’t care if my mother has an issue with your family. Your family is my family. I love you, and I will love your Aunt Cathy. You worry too much.”
“Can you teach me how you do that?” Avery said, reminding me she was still in the room.
“Do what?” he asked.
“Calm Sadie into submission?”
“Tame it, sis.” I gave her a glare. Ashton could talk me into just about anything, a dangerous trait in a man. But Avery was wrong, I had some control around Ashton. Some.
“Relax, Sadie. It’ll be fine.”
I shook my head. “How can you be so calm?”
Ashton swooped me into his arms and dipped me like a tango dancer trying to impress the judges at a competition. “Because frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” His Rhett Butler accent was as perfect as his eyes.
I just shook my head and smiled. Maybe he was right.
Avery chuckled. “As I said, a-dork-able.”

Ciara will give away a copy of The Sassy Bride in a random drawing among those who leave a comment (provide your email). You can also enter the Magnolias and Moonshine drawing for a free Kindle Fire and a complete set of eBooks in the series.

Can y0u name some of your favorite Southern romance characters? What make them so memorable?

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  1. Thank you so much for hosting me today!

  2. The book sounds so good I sure hope it comes out in print! Thank you for sharing with us!

  3. Thanks so much! I am happy to say that it is available in print. :)