It's a beautiful fall day in Northern Virginia. The sun is shining and a gentle breeze is blowing as the hostess and their sidekicks prepare a celebration on the grounds of a historic estate.
LaVerne sighs and breathes in a breath of fresh air. "Oh my. Such a cool, crisp day. I just love getting to see so much of America via the Roast."
"There is a lot of history in these parts," Mac agrees. "It's the perfect location for today's roast."
"Laura Simcox's Various States of Undress series has a somewhat patriotic flare," Mary adds. "The only place I can think of that would have been better for our celebration would have been some place in DC."
Lilly frowns. "But then our sidekicks couldn't have come along,"
"And look how much fun they are having," LaVerne points to Cuddles, Jazzy, TT, Foster and Nibbie as they scamper over the hilly landscape. "And they're staying away from all this delicious food."
"What a feast!" Lilly says. "And very patriotic. There's nothing more American than hot dogs and apple pie."
"Oh look! Airforce One is landing," Lyn says. "Since Caroline, Virginia, and Georgia are the president's daughters in the Various States of Undress books, there's going to be a lot of security here today."
"And hunky secret service agents," Mary adds with a wiggle of her eyebrows.
Mac smacks her arm. "Always thinking of sexy men, aren't you?"
"Who isn't?" LaVerne replies with a laugh. "Even if we don't touch, it is so much fun to look."
"Don't forget, Jake is with Carolina," Mac adds. "Let's not do anything to upset any of Laura's heroines."
"Let's go." Lyn tries prodding the hostess toward the small landing field. "We need to welcome Laura and her guests to the Roast. And remember, she's sharing some yummy recipes today so if you don't get to try something, you can make it yourself later."
Lilly laughs. "I'd rather take it home in a doggy bag."
LaVerne grins. "Let's grab a drink on the way to the plane. We can wave that fruity concoction like a flag!"
"Sounds like a plan," Mary says. "And luckily, there are Shirley Temples for the teetotalers and any underage guests."
Oliver meets the hostesses on the runway, passing out drinks, and as promised, Mac waves hers like a flag when Laura Simcox and company disembark from the plane.
VARIOUS STATES OF UNDRESS: CAROLINA
What happens when the president's daughter and her sexy Secret Service agent find themselves snowbound? A little cabin fever, some serious forbidden attraction, and Various States of Undress.
When Carolina Fulton, daughter of the President of the United States, dumps her cheating fiancé, she knows she needs a break from life in Washington. Spending some quality alone time in her family's Wyoming cabin seems like a perfect escape-except for the sexy Secret Service agent who shadows her every move. Miles away from civilization, Carolina quickly realizes that ignoring the smoky eyes, carved chin, and mile-wide pair of shoulders is going to require more than a little self-control.
Elite agent Jake Baxter knows better than to develop feelings for his clients. After all, he's not being paid to fantasize about running his fingers through Carolina's dark hair, kissing her senseless, or waking up next to her petite, curvy body. But as a blizzard rages outside their all-too-cozy cabin, Jake knows he has to put the freeze on this attraction, lest his job-or his heart-is suddenly laid on the line.
VARIOUS STATES OF UNDRESS: VIRGINIA
When the president's daughter risks everything with her sexy new boss, they're bound to find themselves in some Various States of Undress!
If she had it her way, Virginia Fulton-daughter of the President of the United States-would spend more time dancing in Manhattan's nightclubs than working in its skyscrapers. Tired of dodging paparazzi, she needs a change. And a real chance. So when she finds herself in the arms of sexy, persuasive Dexter Cameron, who presents her with the opportunity of a lifetime, Virginia sees it as a sign...but can she take it without losing her heart?
CEO-to-be Dexter Cameron knows he's taking a risk by hiring a stylish party girl to jumpstart his family's legacy department store. But the gorgeous president's daughter has her thumb on the pulse of Manhattan and the partnership seems like a win-win... until Dex discovers that his goals now include more than securing the corner office-they include Virginia herself. Dex must decide: does he make a move up the ladder? Or on the girl of his dreams?
VARIOUS STATES OF UNDRESS: GEORGIA
Releasing January 6, 2015! Follow Laura on social media, and check her website for updates, fun stuff and contests leading up to the release!
EXCERPT: From Chapter One of VARIOUS STATES OF UNDRESS: CAROLINA…
Carolina Fulton sighed. The more time she spent with her fiancé, the less she liked him. He was a chronic workaholic and since resuming Chief of Staff duties for the woman who’d filled her dad’s Senate seat, Roger had been more and more evasive about…well, everything. She closed her eyes and swallowed.
“Everything all right, Miss?”
Carolina turned with a ready smile for the butler near her shoulder. “Yes, fine. Thanks. But would you be able to get me an aspirin or something?”
The man nodded. “Of course. Be back in a minute.”
The phone in her hand came to life and Carolina looked down at Roger’s return text: Sorry babe. Be there in a sec.
She shook her head, her fingers flying. This party is driving me nuts. Where r u? I’ll come find u.
Tapping her foot, she waited. A few seconds later, he answered.
Back up? He’d probably gone down to the China Room. When visiting the White House, he tended to go there when he wanted to make phone calls. Which was often. Carolina’s eyes scanned the doorway. The butler walked through, a tray in hand. She met him halfway, took a glass of water and two aspirin from the tray. “Thanks very much,” she said with a strained smile.
He nodded. “My pleasure.”
Carolina returned the water glass, slipped through the doorway and headed for the staircase at the end of the Grand Hall. She felt like hell and all she wanted was to go back to her apartment in Georgetown and collapse into bed. But first, Roger Chapman needed to be set straight. She was more than sick of him vanishing like the Invisible Man every time she needed him. Gritting her teeth, she grabbed the handrail and placed a too-tight satin shoe on the first step.
A polite cough behind her made her freeze in place. And then give in to the eye roll she’d been craving most of the evening. She sighed and turned to glance back at her newest Secret Service agent.
“We’re in the White House. So I think I’ll be safe walking down the stairs. Could you just let me alone for ten minutes, please?”
“It’s my job.”
Carolina folded her arms and surveyed the man in black. Jason Baxter…or was it Jake? Either way, he looked like most of the other agents—tall and chiseled. This one, though, had amazing green eyes. And a chest harder than Mount Rushmore. She knew, since she’d bumped into it by accident the other day. He was perfectly still under her scrutiny—his eyes betrayed nothing. He was a machine in a pretty package. But that fact hadn’t stopped her from entertaining fantasies about the man. Ones in which he actually smiled. And others in which he did a lot more than just smile.
If you hadn’t been taking photos of him on the sly, you wouldn’t be so painfully aware of him right now.
Carolina’s face felt hot with embarrassment, but almost immediately, she shook it off. Agent Baxter didn’t know she’d taken those photos. He also didn’t know that she’d pulled them up on her laptop a couple of times—well, too many times to count—and indulged in the pure pleasure of just looking at him. As far as he was aware, she just enjoyed photography. It was her hobby—everyone knew that. She’d even talked about it for an interview with Vogue.
Her dad had only been President for two months and here she was, an engaged woman, lusting after a Secret Service agent. God.
“Nice bow tie,” she commented and turned to grab the handrail again.
Jake trotted down the steps, passing her. Near the bottom, he glanced back. “I need to be in front,” he muttered, holding out an arm to halt her progress. Even through his suit sleeve, she could tell that arm was muscular. This guy had been her shadow for two solid weeks, and before that, she was pretty sure he’d been glued to a diplomat. When did he have time to work out?
He’s hot, her conscience whispered.
“Thought I told you to shut up,” she answered. Except this time it was out loud.
Jake raised an eyebrow. “Excuse me?”
Carolina closed her eyes briefly. “Sorry. I’m just really tired. I mean, really. Exhausted.”
“You want to go home?” he asked, even as he stepped across the hall and to the doorway of the China Room, his eagle-eyed gaze darting around.
“Yes. But first I need to speak with my fiancé,” she answered, smoothing her sleek dark hair behind her ears. And it was then that she heard the giggles, followed by familiar annoying chuckles. Roger only chuckled like that when he was trying to wheedle his way into…oh. Oh hell, no!
With narrowed eyes, Carolina crossed the dimly lit hall, intent on murder.
Find out more about Laura's books and Purchase HERE
After spending twenty years in professional theater as a costume designer, with a few of those years also spent as a college instructor, Laura abandoned the nomadic lifestyle to sit in a comfy office chair at a second hand oak desk and write. The result? Romance novels! Her favorite thing ever since she was, oh, about twelve. She writes contemporary, light novels and enjoys creating quirky characters and funny, sexy dialogue. Still, the love story is the focus and Laura has a huge soft spot for a sappy, happy ending.
Laura lives in North Carolina with her husband (true love is real!) and her adorable, high energy five year old son who is currently obsessed with How to Train Your Dragon. And that's cool, because she trains her own little dragon every single day. For escape, she flits around on social media, so come say hi!
Some recipes from today's Roast:
Yankee Doodle Macaroni CasseroleWhat You'll Need:
1 (8-ounce) package elbow macaroni
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 (2-ounce) jar chopped pimientos, drained
4 slices white bread, cut into small pieces
1 cup milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
What To Do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
2. Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain, rinse, and drain again.
3. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients; mix well. Add macaroni and mix until well combined then spoon mixture into prepared baking dish.
4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until center is set.
Read more at http://www.mrfood.com/Casseroles/Yankee-Doodle-Macaroni-Casserole-719#Y2E9Mm2LRhqx3QwZ.99
What You'll Need:
1 (18.25-ounce) package butter-flavored yellow cake mix
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened, divided
1 cup water
1 (1-ounce) bottle red food color
1 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon milk
What To Do:
Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Coat two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, with an electric beater on medium speed, beat cake mix, cocoa, 1/2 cup butter, the water, and eggs until well combined. Add food color and beat until well combined. Pour batter into prepared cake pans.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool 15 minutes then invert onto wire rack to cool completely. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice each cake in half horizontally, making a total of 4 cake layers.
In a medium bowl, with an electric beater on medium speed, beat confectioners' sugar, cream cheese, milk, and remaining 1/4 cup butter until well combined and smooth.
Place 1 cake layer cut-side down on a serving platter and top with 1/4 of the frosting, spreading just to the edge. Repeat 3 more times with remaining cake layers and frosting, ending with frosting on top and leaving sides unfrosted. Serve, or cover loosely and chill until ready to serve.
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