Monday, November 30, 2015

Mondays Require Chocolate

I am not chocolate crazy. I like it, but the dessert words that get me are butter, caramel, and vanilla. I actually hate chocolate milk and chocolate ice cream. Brownies? I don't get them. Dark chocolate? No, thank you, I'll have a lemon instead. It will be tastier. But my daughter loves chocolate. So on Mondays, I always make sure to put a bit of chocolate in her lunch box. She's never said, but I hope that it serves as a pick me up. I may be wasting my time since the day of the week might not matter to her. But it makes me feel better to know that she has something that she loves in her lunch box on a Monday.

So some random news and thoughts (Like the Mondays and chocolate wasn't random enough)....

My plan is to republish my old books next year. This is the reason why I haven't updated the My Books tab. I need new covers for the old books. I'll more than likely pick something with a half naked male. Those are my favorite because they are yummy and it's the type of cover I've always liked. It's so difficult to find a cover model that looks the way I imagined him. I also feel that it gives the reader free range to imagine the hero and heroine the way they like. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

The book I'm currently making the most progress on is going to be called The Makeover. I'm hoping to be finished by January. I may be done before if I don't hit too many snags over the Christmas holiday. (I haven't done any shopping yet!)

I have so many things I want to work on. There are days when I can't type fast enough to get the words down and other days when I can spend an hour agonizing over a sentence. Next year, I'm going to put some serious work into finally getting a Whimsy sequel out. I can't promise it will be finished since it's nowhere near done and I keep changing my mind about the details. I'm tackling Chaldor's story first, but don't worry, Dark will make some appearances.

Oh, before I forget. I do love Russell Stover Pecan Delights. Usually, they're about $8 a box. During the holidays, they're half price. So you'll have to excuse me, because it is Monday and Mondays require chocolate.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Second Promised Excerpt

Haven & Scott will be out tomorrow. I know what you're thinking. Just get to the excerpt, woman! So here it is:

     Haven blinked at Scott’s harsh tone. She’d just walked in the door when he nearly bit her head off. “What has gotten into you?”
     “I’m a patient man and it takes a lot to make me angry. But you’re pushing it.”
     “What are you talking about?” She placed her purse on the sofa and turned to face the irate blond Adonis at her back. She was irritated to note that he was even sexier when he was angry. As she watched, he raked his fingers through his hair. Stubble shaded his square jaw.
     “I’m talking about my wife disappearing for hours on end. You don’t call and when I call you, you don’t answer. You have to admit, if I were doing this to you, you’d be steamed.”
     She sighed and sat down on the sofa. “I’m sorry. You’re right.” And so was Denise. It was time she told him about her decision. She couldn’t go on avoiding him for the next twenty-five days. Patting the cushion next to her, she said, “Please sit. We should talk.”
     Scott sat down. “That’s what I’ve been trying to do since I moved in here. I want this marriage to work.”
     “Well, I don’t think that either of us should have to force ourselves to work on something that we don’t want.”
     He blinked. “You’ve lost me. What is it that we don’t want?”
     She gestured helplessly between the two of them. “You can’t believe this is working?”
     “We’ve just begun.”
     She dried her suddenly sweaty palms on the sides of her skirt. She’d never liked confrontations. Gaze directed at her lap, she explained, “Scott, I know I’m not your type. I saw the pictures of all your old girlfriends. You have your preferences. And that’s fine. But I’m happy with my body the way it is. For you to try to change me is unfair. I’m sorry you’re not attracted to me. At the end of our thirty-day trial period, we can dissolve the marriage. Hopefully, next time they will pair you with someone more to your liking.”
     “Haven, look at me.” He cupped her chin and lifted her face to his. “Don’t tell me what I want and don’t want.” His mouth covered hers. He nipped at her bottom lip and then sucked it lightly. “Believe me, I want you.”
     She gasped as he plunged his tongue into her mouth. Instant lust exploded in her belly causing the peaking of her nipples. Even the tips of her ears tingled. Scott’s fingers slid over her scalp as he tilted her head to the side and deepened the kiss. He wasn’t shy or tentative. His mouth was hot and hungry on hers. His arms closed around her, aligning their upper bodies so that her breasts were flattened against his chest. It didn’t even occur to her passion fogged brain to resist as he pressed her back into the sofa cushions.
     She lost track of time as his mouth slanted over hers again and again. Clutching his shirt, she moaned helplessly as his tongue tangled with hers. It was only when his hands closed over her breasts, his thumbs stroking over her tight nipples that she came back to her senses. The electric pleasure of it was too good and too much too soon. She was in very real danger of giving in to what was most likely a moment of horny weakness on his part. Moaning, she forced an arm between them, breaking the heated lip lock. Scott growled. His full lips were wet and reddened. Holding his smoldering gaze, she shoved at his shoulder until he shifted back and she was able to wriggle her way from beneath him.
     Backing out of his reach on unsteady legs, she cleared her throat. “That can’t happen again.”
     He grimaced, adjusted himself, and straightened up on the couch. “Why not?” His voice was deep and gravelly with arousal.
     Haven wet her lips and dragged her gaze up from the very interesting and substantial bulge at his crotch. “You admitted it had been almost a year since you had sex. You’re horny. I’m not going to give myself to a man whose only requirement is a warm female body. I have too much respect for myself for that.”
     He raked a hand through his hair.  “I’ll admit I’m on edge because it’s been a while. I like sex and I have a healthy sex drive. But I do want to be with you.”
     “Based on what?” Not waiting for a reply, she shook her head. She didn’t want to make him lie to her. At the moment, she suspected he’d say anything to get her naked. “Never mind. It doesn’t matter. This is what we’re going to do. We’re going to get through our probationary period and then we’re going to go our separate ways.”
     Scott stood. Glowering down at her, he asked, “And if I don’t agree?”
     Haven faltered as she stared up at him. “What do you mean?”
     “You’ve come to this decision on your own without including me. Why would I agree?” His eyes flicked over her slowly. A slow smile curved his lips. “And I’m finding myself growing possessive of you. So I’m going to have to disagree. We’re going to stay married.” Leaning over, he whispered in her ear, “And we’re going to consummate this marriage. Soon.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Haven & Scott - An Excerpt

Time is moving so swiftly. I realized this weekend that Haven & Scott will be released Friday and I hadn't posted a single excerpt. For those of you who read Karizma & Devin, please, be patient with me. You'll have read this excerpt already. I'll post another one soon that you haven't read. Since this is close to the beginning, I wanted to post this excerpt first. This is went Haven and Scott first meet and it's one of my favorite parts of this book. 

     Haven had a craving for salt, steak, and chocolate and not necessarily in that order. She chose to focus on that rather than the fact that she was minutes away from meeting her husband. To call her nervous would be an understatement. She’d barely been able to sleep last night. She’d skipped breakfast this morning because her stomach was tied in knots. So now she was nervous and starving. She hoped she could hold her food down.
     The restaurant he’d chosen was one she’d never tried. She’d walked by it a few times. She immediately liked the interior. The walls were white. Plants hung from the ceiling. Large windows and adequate lighting made the dining room bright and cheery. It wasn’t romantic, but she’d prefer it to eating in a dark restaurant. 
     A hostess greeted her and when Haven gave her name, she smiled brightly and led her to a table. Haven took a deep breath. Despite her friends’ advice, she’d refrained from performing an internet search on her husband. With a quick glance down at her dress, she dried her sweaty palms on the black skirt. The bodice was lower than she would have liked. Denise had come over while she was dressing and had insisted she show a little skin. 
     Well, she’d be showing plenty of skin soon enough, she thought with a small bit of anticipation. This man was supposed to be her soul mate, the man of her dreams. She didn’t see any point in waiting to become intimate with him. It would be the end of a two year long dry spell for her. She liked sex. Loved it in fact, but she was discriminate about who she chose to share her body with. It had been two years since she’d met anyone who she considered worthy of the honor. She’d rather be alone than with some of the jerks she’d met. 
     As they approached, a tall white man with longish strawberry blond curls stood. She was 5’7” and she estimated him to be a few inches above six feet. He wore a weathered gray t-shirt and casual slacks. Not only did he need a haircut, he needed a shave. He’d certainly gone to no pains with his appearance. And he was still the most attractive man she’d ever seen. His bone structure was amazing. His broad shoulders and firm biceps stretched the cotton of his shirt. “Haven?” He smiled and extended his hand for her to shake.
     Two things had her breath catching. One was his voice. It was deep and smooth. She could listen to him all day. The other was his smile. His teeth were straight and brilliantly clean, but it was his dimples that gave her pause. It didn’t seem fair that genetics should have been so kind to one person. 
     “You are Haven?”
     “Um…yes.” She took his hand. His palm was large and it engulfed hers entirely. “And you’re Scott.”
     “Yes.” He held her chair out for her. He settled in the seat across from her, his blue eyes flicking over her. They paused momentarily on her cleavage before coming back up. She gave him points for being a gentleman. Her breasts were large but that was no excuse for ogling. His irises were an intense and lovely blue. “You’re even more beautiful in person.”
     Her brows rose. “Thank you. You researched me.”
     “I wouldn’t say that. I just wanted to know what you looked like. Didn’t you do the same?”
     She shook her head. “I wanted to be surprised.” A waiter brought them water and salads. “We didn’t order anything,” she protested.
     “I took the liberty of ordering for us. I didn’t want to have to wait. I thought we could go for a walk after if we have time. My apartment is near here. If you like it, we could stay there for our probation period.”
     “Um, okay,” she said, tamping down a spark of irritation. He was trying to be considerate. There would be time enough to inform him that ordering someone else’s meal unless asked to was an asshole move. She picked up a fork. “Want to enlighten me as to what you ordered?”
     “Just this.” He dug into his salad.
     Her dreams of steak, salt and chocolate would have to wait. The salad was the type that she hated. It had everything in it but the kitchen sink. There were olives, cherry tomatoes, onions, nuts, berries and sprigs of who knew what. How the hell did one fork a nut anyway? And there was no dressing. After a few bites, she put her fork down and sipped her water. “So what do you do for a living?”
     “Well, um, I used to model. But now I’m a co-owner of a gym and I own this restaurant.”
     “Really? I love the d├ęcor.” Good thing she hadn’t said anything derogatory about the salad. That he was a former model wasn’t a surprise to her. But he seemed embarrassed so she didn’t pursue that topic.
     “Verdant Fields is relatively new. We specialize in natural, organic foods. There’s a garden out back. You should try our smoothies.”
     She hated smoothies. She had teeth. Why would she want to drink her food? “I’m sure I will some time.”
     “I can get you one to go before we leave.” 
     His smile was so friendly that she nodded. Really, those damn dimples were too much. And he had full, pink lips which appeared impossibly soft in comparison to the rough stubble that surrounded them. She dragged her gaze away from his mouth and stared down at her salad. “Well, um, I’m a website designer. I work from home. Um, after we visit your apartment, we should visit my house.”
     “That sounds good. So that sounds like a rather sedentary job. What kinds of activities do you like?”
     She shrugged. “When I have the time I like to hike.”
     He grinned. “I like that, too. I also like to ride bikes and I work out at the gym. I’ll set you up with a free gym membership and we can go together.”
     “That might be fun,” she readily agreed. She hated going to the gym or working out alone. It was boring and she never seemed to be able to establish a routine. 
     He glanced at her plate. His own was empty. “Are you finished?” he asked with a frown.
     She shrugged. “I guess I wasn’t that hungry.” She hoped they didn’t regularly serve undressed salads here or this restaurant wouldn’t last long. Not knowing how well Scott took constructive criticism, she kept her mouth shut. 
     He waved over a waiter and ordered a smoothie for her. Minutes later the waiter returned with a clear container filled with sewage green liquid. Haven eyed it with skepticism. It didn’t smell much better than it looked, but she tried to smile as she took a small sip through the straw. She was raised to be polite, but her new husband was sorely testing her. 
     Unfortunately, the smoothie tasted like raw vegetables. She didn’t hate vegetables, but she liked them better cooked and with some sort of seasoning. “What’s in this?”
     “Broccoli, a little apple and orange to make it sweeter, and some secret ingredients.”
     “Mm,” she said around a second sip and then had to fight the urge to spit it back out. She would have guessed broccoli and a bit of dirt. She wondered if he would notice if she left it on their table. Leaning over to pick her purse off the floor she began to plot project smoothie abandonment.
     He stood and held out his hand to her. “Don’t forget your smoothie,” he said as she joined him. So she was forced to pick it up though she’d definitely had more than enough. Though she didn’t have a sensitive stomach, she thought if she had much more of the drink she was likely to hurl from the gritty texture and overly assertive flavor. She took his hand and he escorted her out of the restaurant. It was a warm summer day. As they walked, several women gave him a second glance. One woman stared so hard that she lost her footing and stumbled on the sidewalk. If Scott noticed, he didn’t give any visible reaction. She supposed he must be used to this sort of behavior. 
     He scanned his print to gain entrance into his building. He also had to scan his palm to get into his apartment. “I guess this is the type of security I’m missing by having a house.” She could have a scanner installed. Instead, she chose to use the antiqued lock and key method.  
     “Make yourself at home. Feel free to look around. Excuse me while I use the bathroom.”
     Even his ass was nice, she noticed as he walked away. Not flat, but instead a nice curve. With a sigh, she crossed to the large windows opposite the door to check out the view. The streets below practically thrummed with activity, but none of the sounds penetrated his apartment. The walls were exposed brick. High, white ceilings and light from the windows kept the place from being dark and depressing. His sofa and chairs were white, also. 
     She cast a quick glance at his kitchen. The appliances and countertops were stainless steel. The bedroom area was separated by a large black and white screen with a painting of flowers on it. He’d shifted it to the side and he’d made his bed this morning. The bedding was black and white with red decorative pillows on top. 
     On a glass shelf next to the window, he had a few books. But mostly, the shelves were filled with framed photos. These drew her like a magnet attracted metal. She expected to see some glamour shots of Scott, perhaps some from his modeling days. Instead they were pictures of him surfing, hiking, canoeing, and biking. Haven frowned as she took in the photos. He was with a different woman in each one. Not one of the women looked like her. Their coloring differed. He dated blonds and brunettes and a few women of different ethnicities. Each of them possessed slim twig-like figures. Not one of them could be above a size two. 
     If these were his previous girlfriends…he couldn’t possibly be attracted to her. She would never be that skinny and didn’t even desire to be so. At her smallest in high school she’d worn a size eight. Now she wore a fourteen and could occasionally squeeze into a size twelve. 
     Haven reviewed their lunch. He’d researched her on the internet. And then he ordered her a salad with no dressing, spoke of giving her a free gym membership, and gave her the garbage can smoothie. With a glare at the smoothie, she set the cup down on his desk. Evidently, he’d seen her picture and placed a plan into action to make her over into his ideal woman.
     And she’d thought he was being a gentleman by not ogling her. But that wasn’t it at all. He was probably disgusted by her overabundant curves. Her face heated with embarrassment and anger. 
     “So what do you think?” He seemed nervous, his gaze shifting from her to the shelf at her back.
     Haven turned to him slowly, no longer impressed with his pretty outside. She had to spend thirty days with this ass. There was no getting around that, but she wouldn’t live here where he’d no doubt had a parade of women pass through. And she wouldn’t have sex with him. She missed sex, but not enough to demean herself by sleeping with a man who didn’t want her as she was. For thirty days, she would be forced to be his wife, but the sooner she saw the last of him the better.