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Friday, February 29, 2008

Another Sneak Peek!

Life has been keeping me kind of busy lately, and I haven't had much time for blogging. But I did promise someone that I'd post an excerpt from Small Town Christmas here, so in keeping with that promise... (Maybe someday I'll get brave enough to post something from one of my works in progress...)


“So you’re divorced.”

“Yep.” Tucker forced himself to sound okay with it. He wasn’t bitter and they struggled to keep things amicable, but it wasn’t the way he’d imagined his girls would grow up. “How about you? Ever been married?”

“Only to my job.”

“Your mother and grandmother tell me you’re really making a name for yourself.” He began to scoop the cooked pumpkin from the shell with a large spoon.

“I like to think so.”

The words hung in the air, the silence that followed them awkward, as though they’d run out of conversation. He finally decided to ask the question foremost on his mind. “So are you seeing anyone?”

“No one special.”

Unable to keep from grinning at that news, he met her gaze as he placed the mashed pumpkin in the colander. “Why not?”

“The last guy I was involved with… well, his definition of ‘separated’ vastly differed from mine.”

He chuckled. “Well, I’m divorced for real. Nothing ‘almost’ or ‘separated’ about it. It was finalized a few months ago.”

“I—I’m sorry, Tucker. Was she from around here?”

New York.” He reached to turn up the heat on the stove. “We met in college. I was impressed that she was from such a big city, she liked that I was a small town boy.”

“But it didn’t work out.”

“Ultimately, we wanted different things.” He picked up his wine glass, hoping a swig would wash down the sudden bitter taste in his mouth.

“Such as?” She stepped past him and took up the spoon, scraping the pumpkin from the other shell as he had. For a moment the warmth of her body, the sweet fragrant smell of her, the sight of her slender feminine hands as she worked stalled all coherent thought.

She looked up at him, brown eyes soft with interest. Oh yes, he remembered that look. He’d always been able to talk easily with Holly, had always had the sense she truly listened.

“Uh…well.” He pulled in a deep breath. “All Kim was focused on was a bigger house, a newer car. Acquiring more stuff.”

“And you don’t like nice things?” She glanced up at him again, then brought her thumb to her mouth to suck off a bit of pumpkin that clung to it. “Eeew, that’s awful.”

“It doesn’t taste very good without the spices.” He took up a kitchen towel to dab off her hand. He did it without thinking, capturing her hand in the towel. Something arced between them – or was it just him?

“I…” she said, her voice sounding hoarse.

He inched closer, unable to keep his gaze from slipping to her lips. “What?”

“I …need my hand back to finish this.”

Small Town Christmas is available in both print and e-format.

Friday, February 22, 2008

At Long Last...Release

I finally have my release date!! I just found out today that The Model Man will be released March 28 in e-format, and in print format on May 28!

(The Orlando pictures bears no significance to the release date... any day is a good day for an Orlando picture, IMHO.)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sneak Preview: The Model Man

Below is an excerpt from my upcoming TWRP release The Model Man.


When Derek tipped her back in his arms and again took her lips, Kelly didn’t resist. Was it the champagne, the unreal feel of this night or had she completely lost her mind?

For a moment, she indulged herself. She tangled her fingers into his silken mane of hair and gave herself up to the ferocity of his kiss.

Somehow they had become entangled, his thigh between hers, her skirt hiked nearly to her hips.

He stiffened suddenly in her arms and pulled back from the kiss. “Did you hear that?”

The only sound she had heard was the blood rushing in her head. “I didn’t hear a thing.”

“Goddammit.” He rolled away from her.

A second later he lunged from the chaise and took off on a run. It was only when he rounded the corner that she saw he was in pursuit of a man with a camera.

From the hotel parking lot came the screeching of tires and moments later, a very frustrated-looking Derek returned. He latched onto her hand, pulled her from the chaise and urged her toward the doors. “Let’s get inside.”

“What was that all about?”

He darted a glance over his shoulder. “Just get inside; there are probably more of them.”

“More of who?” She stopped in the shadows cast by the awning hanging over the patio door to peek around him.

“Miz Michaels,” called an unfamiliar voice. “Over here.”

Derek stepped in front of her as a flash went off. “Will you just do what I asked?” Yanking on the doors, he scooted her through.

“Who was that man? How did he know my name?”

He had yet to let go of her arm, and she had to double her steps to match his as they passed party-goers and bar patrons on their way to the elevators.

When he stopped to press the call button, she wrenched her arm from his grasp. “What the hell is going on?”

“You don’t know what that was?”

“Would I be asking if I did? Photographers, obviously. But why would they—” Realization hit. “Paparazzi? You’re their favorite poster boy.”

“That’s putting it mildly.”

The elevator doors slid open, and she entered. “My God, you did it again.”

“Did what?”

“Made it look like we were—is that why you wanted to meet me someplace public?”

“You think I set that up?”

"Yes." She placed a hand to her forehead. Between the kissing, the champagne, and the run through the lobby, she was almost dizzy. “No. I don’t know.”

The car dinged as it reached her floor, and she moved forward. Derek smacked a hand over the “close door” button.

“You’re the one who didn’t trust yourself alone with me.”

“Trust myself?” She squeezed her purse when she would have rather tightened her hands around his arrogant neck.

“We met there to make you more comfortable, remember?”

Trust myself?”

“Sweetheart, the sparks were flying from both sides. If we’d been in a room instead of the patio, we’d be in bed right now.”

“What did—you self-centered, pompous—I can’t even think of a name bad enough to call you!” She slapped his hand away from the elevator button. The doors opened, and she stormed past him, right into a startled Sharon.

“Hey, there you are, Kel.”

Ignoring her friend, she turned and faced Derek. “I was wrong to think you could embody the heroes I create. You aren’t fit to wear Captain Connery’s leather pants!” Turning to Sharon, she said, “You and every other woman on the planet can have him.”

Derek shoved his hands in his pockets, bracing the elevator door open with his shoulder. He watched Kelly until she reached her room, wincing as the door closed behind her with a bang that echoed down the empty hallway.

The redhead turned and gave him a wide-eyed look. “What did you do to her?”

“I kissed her.” He heaved a sigh. “Things sort of went downhill from there.”

She stepped on the elevator and took his arm, giving it a sympathetic pat. “Come on, big guy, lemme buy you a beer.”

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day Musings... Love the one You're With!

With The Model Man hanging out there in production limbo waiting for a release date (and as backed up as the production department at TWRP is, God only knows then that might be!), and the final spit and polish nearly complete on Wild Texas Wind, I’m feeling a little lost. Soon, Raz Colt will be tucked into an envelope and mailed off to New York. And I’ll be left all alone!

I confessed to a close friend and CP the other day that I was having thoughts about “pulling The Model Man from production and rewriting the ending.” LOL. I’ve been reading and re-reading it and obsessing about all the things I think I did wrong. She assured me it was just nerves and that it was high time I shared Derek Calavicci with the rest of the world. I’m not so sure!

I never realized before just how much separation anxiety I feel at the “loss” of my characters. Sure, they’re heading off into new lives—ready to touch new hearts. And will undoubtedly take a beating or two along the way, not everyone is going to love them the way I do. But it feels a little like kicking a baby bird out of its nest. But rather than sit around mourning my loss, I guess I’ll have to create new heroes and learn to love the one I’m with. *G* (This is not to say I don't love my heroines--but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have major crushes on my heroes!)

It’s not like I don’t have “options.” Vying for my attention this Valentine’s Day is a dashing artillery officer, Major Caleb McKenna, CSA. Or dark, mysterious horror novelist, Nick Mulrooney. Or one who has been near and dear to my heart since I began writing Wild Texas Wind, slick snake oil salesman/gambler Kip Cooper. And then there’s Sheriff Mitch Brody, also from Wild Texas, whom my critique partners are begging to see more of. So many heroes… so little time. So why am I still thinking about the ones that got away?

Do you miss your characters after you finish their stories? Or is it "done and over with" and you move on without a backward glance?

PS be sure to stop back tomorrow. For my regular Friday blog, I’ll be posting a sneak peek scene from The Model Man!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tuesday Ten

I'm blogging with my Scandalous friends today over at the Scandalous Victorians blog site. Mosey on over and set a spell, pard!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Hitting the Slopes

I can’t believe it’s Friday already! This has been one of those weeks that has kept me so busy, I’ve barely had time to think about what day it is. Sadly, it’s been work busy, rather than writing, but I’ve had a lot of time to plot and plan, printed out some scenes from the last time I did write—I like to read those over in the car while I’m waiting for the boys to get out of school. So I haven’t been completely out of touch with writing.

Yesterday, with a migraine bubbling at the surface, undoubtedly caused from all work and no play, I took time out for play. Four inches of snow fell yesterday morning after a previous day of freezing rain. You can’t ask for better sledding conditions than that!

So after school, I took the boys sledding. (There are great hills right behind the school, lucky kids!). We were only out half an hour, but just listening to their belly laughs and giggles, watching their cheeks turn from pink to bright red and feeling their excitement… I think I might have actually relaxed for a few minutes! Nothing like a good wintry day to recharge your battery.

I wish I had pictures to share, but I haven’t figured out yet how to get them from my phone to my computer! (I’m not necessarily gadget challenged, it’s just that technology seems to move faster than I can learn these days!)

How do you wile away the winter days? Do you get out there and enjoy it—or huddle up inside and dream about spring?

Friday, February 1, 2008

Friday Five: The Freedom to Roam

This week has been a busy one and it’s been hard to find actual writing time. Since I hate to be out of touch with my characters or my WIP for any length of time, when this happens I often find myself pondering scenes and plot twists and turns while doing other things. Here for my Friday Five are five things that busy my hands and free up my mind, allowing it to roam to distant times and places.

  1. Driving. I’ve heard this from a lot of my writer friends. Something about driving invariably finds us focusing on our works in process—when you consider how high the RWA membership is… that’ s a lot of distracted writers out there on the road!
  2. Hanging laundry. Sounds old fashioned, I know, but I’m a laundry-hanger from way back. I lost track of it for a few years, but a fight between my dryer and my bank account a year or so back (the dryer needed a new part; the bank account needed funds) had me stringing up clothesline. Aside from the fact that I simply enjoy the task of hanging laundry, I love the way my mind gets to wander while I’m doing it.
  3. Taking a shower. Maybe it’s the sound of the water rushing over my head, drowning out all the background noise that relaxes me, but this is another great way to really free up my muse. (Strangely, soaking in the bathtub doesn’t seem to work the same way. Instead, I end up focusing on how bad my tile needs scrubbing!)
  4. Washing dishes. This is not a task I do often. But on occasion things need to be washed by hand. Not sure what it is with water, but the feel of the warm water, the smell of soapy bubbles and the cool rinse water—my mind escapes from the usual day to day thoughts and heads for my characters.
  5. Sleeping. Not sound asleep, but that lovely twilight between not yet awake and no longer sleeping. For some reason this is the time when even the most confounding writers block can be resolved and that “backed in a corner” feeling gets turned around. I try not to do this while waiting to fall asleep, however. One too many times I have cost myself several hours of sleep when that “Eureka!” sensation hits and I’ve been unable to keep from jotting notes or rushing back to the computer.

What tasks throughout your day leaves your mind free to focus on writing?

The Struggle is Real Week 8: When Life Hits Back

  It’s been nearly two weeks since my last post. Did anyone notice I was missing?   But I have good news/bad news.   The good news. I wr...