#BookGiveaway & Guest Post with AJ NuestRowena’s Key by AJ Nuest
Series: The Golden Key Chronicles #1
Published by Harper Impulse UK on November 7, 2013
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon

The key would unlock his future and the safety of his kingdom, but he never imagined the sorceress would unlock his heart…

Antiques restorer, Rowena Lindstrom, finds herself the owner of an ancestral armoire containing a hidden key and a magic mirror leading to another realm. But the handsome warrior prince waiting on the other side is truly the final straw. This must be an elaborate joke, right?

As she struggles to discover the truth, Rowena learns Prince Caedmon Austiere needs the key to save his kingdom. In the end, she cannot deny him anything. Including her heart.

Word Junkie by AJ Nuest

I am a word junkie. No big deal. As far as afflictions go, my addiction is pretty harmless. I have several friends who share my disorder, belong to a few support groups that function under guise of “writers’ groups,” and have even compiled a list of favorite words with my ten year-old daughter—evidently an addiction to words is part of the gene pool.

However, there are times I feel my obsession goes a little beyond the “norm.” Let me try to put it into perspective by using an example we can all relate to…

You’re out on a Saturday afternoon shopping at the mall with your family. Passing by one of the various shoe stores, you catch sight of a pair of gorgeous, soft-green, Italian stilettos. They are sparkly…calling your name…but unfortunately are well outside your price range.

You pick them up for a closer look. They are well-made and only one pair in your size remains on the shelf. In a moment of impulse, you take them to the register and add them to your already smoldering, over-loaded credit card.

There is no real reason to buy the shoes. You don’t need them. They match nothing in your closet and it’s been approximately fifteen years since a pair of stilettos has been anywhere near your feet. They don’t even come close to practicality (Where do you plan on wearing these shoes? Wal-Mart?), but they make you happy and are just so darn pretty, you cannot resist.

One of two things happen: You either take them home, display them on your dresser, pick them up often and admire the quality and craftsmanship. Perhaps you imagine wearing the shoes for a night out on the town…someplace besides the all-u-can-eat buffet…and live vicariously through visuals of the glamorous life those beautiful shoes emulate.

OR you keep them in your car and spend the next six months searching for just the right outfit. You take the shoes into every store you enter (including Dollar General) and hold them in the natural light, calling the sales associate over to see if she might have anything that would match the color.

Such is my obsession with words.

Case in point, two weeks ago I was helping my son with his 8th Grade Geography lesson when I stumbled across a word I had never seen before. The world screeched to a halt. I wrote the word down, raced to my laptop and immediately Googled the definition.

Quite naturally, my son grew confused. “What’s the matter, mom?” were his next words, followed by an uncomfortable chuckle.

After learning the correct usage of said word, a thin sheen of sweat broke out all over my body. I had to use it. I needed to use it. This word was just too perfect, to pretty for me to ignore.

Maybe I could craft story for this word. I could write something, yeah, a novella or short story. Or perhaps I could jot the word in my notebook for safekeeping, adding it to all the others I’d collected until the perfect opportunity came along.

Or…WAIT! I pulled up my WIP and scrolled through the document, eyes scanning, fingers shaking until, thankfully, I found the ideal spot. I clicked in the word, hit file save and sat back from the screen. Whew! That was a narrowly escaped disaster.

When I looked up from my laptop, my son was staring at me, his face blank, pencil poised above his worksheet. He shook his head. “There is seriously something wrong with you.”

I smiled. “I know.”

Didn’t matter what he thought. I was happy. I had secured that word for all eternity. And then a few days passed before I began to wonder. Am I the only word junkie who does this? What about you? How does your obsession with words manifest?

If you’re interested in reading more of my words, Kelly has agreed to let me host a give-away. One lucky commenter will be eligible to receive a copy of Rowena’s Key, Book One in The Golden Key Chronicles. Huzzah!

Many thanks to Kelly for hosting me today!

AJBook_Photo2008_web (3)


I am a multi-published, award-winning author who lives in the middle of a cornfield in NW Indiana. My loving husband, two beautiful children and a bevy of spoiled pets have agreed to stay and, in exchange for three rations per day and laundry service, tolerate my lunacy. While I spend most days happily ensconced in crafting romance across a multitude of genres, an underground coup has been percolating. The dogs just informed me the cat is secretly vying for dictatorship.


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This scene is taken from when Rowena and Caedmon first meet, each of them standing on opposites of what she believes to be a computer monitor…


What was with this guy, with his sable, shoulder-length hair and closely trimmed beard? His white shirt was best described as puffy, with ballooning sleeves and wide, ruffled cuffs. The front hung open, exposing the muscled contours of his beveled chest, the roughly stitched tails skimming the thighs of his fitted, leather…breeches?

Oh, God. She chuckled and shook her head. He had to be one of Ollie’s theater friends. Bravo for his stunning portrayal of a swashbuckling swashbuckler. Too bad that also meant he was gay.

He lifted the sword in both hands and turned a broad shoulder toward the mirror, the taut planes of his stomach easing in and out with each controlled breath. A trail of dark hair arrowed down inside the waistband of his pants, where his perfectly cupped manhood bulged for her inspection. Oh yes, too bad indeed.

“If you scheme to divert me with your alluring attire and guileless stare, I’ll have you know an abundance of courtesans await my nightly dalliance. I am not so easily swayed.”

Rowena inched a slow perusal of the delectable landscape back up to his face. His dark eyes glittered in the candlelight, and she mirrored his arched eyebrow. “Oh, really?”

Perhaps she’d pegged him wrong. Wouldn’t that be a treat?

She glanced down at her gauzy nightgown, the flickering fire doing little to cover her rosy nipples, pert in the chilly air. But he invaded her space with this theatrical exploit of his. What else did he expect her to be wearing, showing up like this in the middle of the night?

“You’d better be careful.” She wagged a finger at him. “Or I’m apt to get busy with some serious despoiling all up in here.”

“Enough, Sorceress!” He lunged forward, the blade of his sword slicing the air when he aimed the silver pommel straight at the screen. “Let us be done with this trickery. Name your demands before I smash the glass and ensnare your bewitching guise for an eternity.”

A low laugh tickled the back of her throat. Talk about living a role. Sheesh, take the drama down a notch. She stepped close and ran a hand around the edge of the frame. The signal had to be streaming live, what with his ability to interact with her, but there wasn’t a wire or a microphone, heck, not even a screw in sight.

She stood back and crossed her arms, shifting her weight onto one hip. Okay, she would bite, as long as Ollie promised this whole escapade wouldn’t end up on YouTube.

“Fine. You’re extremely gorgeous and very talented. Seriously, you’ve got the whole English accent down perfect. And while I appreciate all the work that went into this little program, it’s about two in morning and I have to get up early for work. Tell Ollie I said good show, props to the production crew and I’m nominating the wardrobe guy for an Oscar.”

There. That should call the evening a wrap. She grabbed the edge of the door and swung it closed.

“You wear Rowena’s Key.”

She froze…and then tentatively eased the door back open.


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