Friday, May 31, 2013

The Friday Five - Quotes By Writers For Writers


Because you need a kick in the a-double-s. Or maybe you don't, but I found these quotes and I'm inclined to agree with them. Yeah, even though a couple contradict the others, just like me. Sometimes I'm gung-ho, nose to the grindstone with perfection, and sometimes I'm like, okay, who gives a care if it's crap. Crap can be fixed. Just as long you're doing something, right?

Five quotes. Go!



“Writing a book is a blood sport. If it doesn't hurt when you're done, you're probably doing something wrong.” ― Kevis Hendrickson

“...a writer should not so much write as embroider on paper; the work should be painstaking, laborious.” ― Anton Chekhov

“Keep working. Keep trying. Keep believing. You still might not make it, but at least you gave it your best shot. If you don’t have calluses on your soul, this isn’t for you. Take up knitting instead.” ― David Eddings

“Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite:
"Fool!" said my muse to me, "look in thy heart, and write.” ― Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella

“Writers often torture themselves trying to get the words right. Sometimes you must lower your expectations and just finish it.” ― Don Roff

That said, I should really finish the first book in The Heckmasters series, shouldn't I? I need 16k to finish. Piece of cake, right?

Go, be, do and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Author Interview - London Casey

What's your book/current WIP about?
The Boys of DownCrash series is a new adult romance series following the band, DownCrash, and their lives in and out of the band. Each member has some deep seeded demons, and through romance, they face those demons… with plenty of deep drama and real life situations.

What's your next project?
Right now I’m finishing up The Boys of DownCrash series. The third book is due in early July. From there… I’m sort of between two projects. One is a stand alone book and one is another series. Haven’t committed to one just yet.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How much I really love music. When I write, I listen to music… but writing DownCrash, I really got into music. New sounds. New bands. I’ve been buying MP3’s like crazy during this series!

What sparked your interest in writing romance?
The connection between people and how it happens. How some people can just look at each other and know it. How some can be with a person as a friend for 10 years and then wake up and be in love.  It’s so wild… fun… and unpredictable.

Describe your writing in a sentence.
Fast, crisp, and honest.

Do you choose character names or do the characters whisper them in your ears?
They generally come to me. I battled for any name in DownCrash and when I thought of ‘Tripp’… the rest just followed.

Plotter or panster? 
Panster. I sit, I write.

Do you like background noise or do you prefer a quiet space when you write?
MUSIC. Especially with this series. I needed music to keep it going.

What are you currently reading?
The Bet by Rachel van Dyken

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview and how would you answer it?
If you could hang out with one member from DownCrash, who would it be and why?
Wow, what a great question! Lol
One member… hhmmm… I would say… Tatum. He’s tall, he’s cool, he’s got piercings. He plays drums. He’s not afraid of anything. And he could play more than one instrument. Would be pretty cool to hang out with.

People think I'm weird because...
I have to have the perfect song to start writing. Without it, I can’t focus and then can’t write.

About the Book:
The Stronger, Safer Kind
(The Boys of DownCrash #1)

All Scarlett wanted to do was thank the sexy stranger who helped her push away a drunk, grabby college boy at a bar. When that stranger identifies himself as Tripp and then takes the stage as the lead singer and guitarist for rock band, DownCrash, everything in Scarlett's life begins to change.

Her best friend, Andy, confesses his love for her and leaves her with what should be an easy decision to make... yet each time she looks in Andy's eyes, she can't help but face her secret, nightmarish past.

The only thing that makes Scarlett feel better is Tripp... but Tripp isn't just a bad boy rockstar, he's hurt. He's in pain. He tries to hide his pain in a bottle, but Scarlett believes that, perhaps, their secrets can help each other.

Friendship and love is suddenly put to the test, and Scarlett is torn... Will she choose an easy, comfortable, happy life or a life clouded with mixed signals, raw emotion, and intense romance?

Get it at Amazon

Visit London on the web:
Twitter - @london_casey

Monday, May 27, 2013

Greatest Hits - The Best of Have Novel, Will Edit Pt. II


I'm still not here, because, well, today was Memorial Day. Here's another blog from the past, because you probably didn't read it then.

April 9, 2010
Arrgh, Matey

Arrrr, matey. Avast ye landlubbers and whatnot. Polly wants a cracker and some Admiral Nelson’s. Ahoy and blow the man down. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum. That song that creepy kid in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End sang.

Bored with my current life, I’ve decided to forego all the conventional jobs and head straight for the unconventional. Which is a wordy way of saying: I want to be a pirate. Tragically, my piratey accent is more than a little sucky, but I’m sure over time it’ll improve, ye blackhearted dawgs. One year, following the PoTC craze, I went to a Halloween “party” (I used quotations to let you all know it wasn’t a party. It was a terrible, terrible sham of a party where people sat around talking about boring stuff and I wanted to go home) dressed as a pirate. This little girl, who had come back from trick-or-treating, looked at me in my striped pirate skirt, my dark hose with black roses running along the legs, my sword, tri-cornered hat and blingy pirate jewelery and said, “What are you supposed to be?”

Being the mature adult that I am, I answered–voice dripping with sarcasm–”I’m a pirate, what’re you?” And made a face at her. I think she was a witch or something. Nasty little brat. Anyone with half a brain could see pirate. I mean hat? Sword? Pirate clothes? Hello! Maybe it threw her off because I wasn’t wearing an eye patch.

In the early days of my romance novel consumption, I avoided at all costs storylines containing pirates. I thought it would be a bloody bad deal to be stuck at sea, always wet and when not wet, coated with crusty layers of salt. And stinking of fish–ick! Not to mention the possibility of scurvy and shipwrecks and other meaner pirates. Or being marooned with hungry natives. Treasure? Who wants to run around chasing the promise of buried treasure? Geez, you might as well trot around looking for leprechauns and rainbows and pots of gold. How dumb.

I have to admit, I liked the box office flop Cutthroat Island. I can’t find my copy. Husband says it’s hidden under the table supporting the DVD player, but I secretly think he threw it off over the hill so he’d never be forced to watch it again. He groaned when I told him I wanted to see the second PoTC. Pirates? Really? I had to convince him to watch the first one and he had to watch it twice just to fully understand what was going on. Sometimes I think pirates take a little getting used to.

So. I’ve decided to forego anymore landlubbing. I’m going to set sail and become a feared and renowned Pirate King. I think I’ll stick to the Caribbean and the British West Indies. I shall call my ship the Wandering Rooster ala The Rainbow Serpent, in which the FMC’s father discovers the lost treasure of the El Gallo que Vaga in one of his previous journeys. In the end, I’ll probably end up calling it a lot of other names that will required lots of symbols.

Upsides to the pirate life:
1) I can sail the seas as I please.
2) I can plunder enemy ships and make port to salvage their goods.
3) I can make port and ransake the towns before moving on to salvage previously mentioned goods.
4) Year-round sun tan.
5) Fresh air, beautiful sunrises/sets.
6) Peons to order around.
7) Three words: Walk the plank.
8 ) Awesome clothing and accessories!
9) All the rum I can drink.
10) Every day is like a Disney cruiseline vacation. (Don’t think we’re not including the Midnight Buffet)

Oh, but wait. Downsides to piratism:
1) The wireless connection might be a little ify in some places.
2) They haven’t invented the waterproof netbook.
3) I get seasick.
4) Hurricanes.
5) I don’t like rum. (You don’t like rum?!)
6) Sharks.
7) Shipwrecks.
8 ) No dentists–have you seen some of those pirates’ teeth?
9) Limited showers because of limited fresh water.
10) Cursed treasure.

Well, there’s that idea down the drain. But I think my little dog would look awesome with a bandana and eye an eye patch. Arrrr, fear the Dread Pirate Dog PeeWee! I’ll just have to put on the pirate outfit and swashbuckle around my front yard, I guess. Wait, do you hoist the masts or the sails? Perhaps you rig the mast? Right, this is why I’m a desk jockey.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Greatest Hits - The Best of Have Novel, Will Edit

So no The Friday Five today because I already planned this post in case I had jury duty--which was cancelled. Yay! Instead, here's a post from the past because you probably didn't read it anyway. And if you did, well, you already know I like to tell the same stories over and over and over and... yeah. It mentions TRS, which stood for The Rainbow Serpent, which was the first (super-lame) title for The Treasure Hunter's Lady.

April 27, 2010

Technical difficulties

In more ways than one…

WordPress ate this entry. Blighter.

It was great, too because there was commentary about the guy who won the 200+ million dollar Powerball and why I can never win (it had something to do with God not wanting me to be an evil supervillian–people would think I’m cute and fluffy, but really… well, never mind), and how I realized I made a tragic, fatal, boo-boo in my contest entry with TRS. And this awesome bit about how I wanted to hide beneath a rock sans a long list of animals. It wouldn’t be right to retype all that, it just wouldn’t feel as meaningful to me now.
It was chock full of humor and wittiness (yeah, right). When I asked it to edit, it said I made no spelling errors–a miracle and the first indication something wasn’t right. And then it wouldn’t go back from the proofread and when I tried to save the draft, poof, nothing, gone. Thanks WP, I hate you right now. But really, can you tell this blog is mostly verbal vomit with little-to-no thought going into it?

To summarize:
I’ve probably confunded the judges who’ll read TRS because the obvious choice for TRS’ category was steampunk romance. There’s nothing remotely steampunkish in the first chapter. No mention of airships, brass goggles, clockwork devices or other. Perhaps it leans toward paranormal more than steampunk. Perhaps it’s something weird that invaded my overstimulated brain and wouldn’t leave. Maybe it’s just too weird to classify. I will effectively baffle the judges, who will proceed to recommend I find the nearest trash can, paper shredder and box of matches. Or at least the proper category.

I don’t care what anyone says, I think the guy who won the lottery deserved to win. Sure, maybe he’s really evil and already spending his money on crack and hoes. But more like, he’s an average guy who needed a break and now he can afford to pay his electric and get new teeth. It made me really mad when my co-workers made fun of him for not having front teeth. Hey, we can’t all be beauty queens, all right? I mean, I have my frontsies, but two of my jaw teeth have pretty porcelain coverings because a) I’m vain and b) all that brushing was off set by my love of hard candy. Maybe he has a Pixie Stix fix, huh? It might not be because of meth. And just because he has two or three kids all with different moms doesn’t make him… okay well it makes him careless, but not a bad person. Pobody’s nerfect, geez. When you point a finger at someone else remember there are three more pointing back at you.

Well, that’s all I’ve got. Unless you wanted to hear about the minor amount of success I’m having with C&C, but I’m not mentioning that because I’m pretending like I’m not working on it because I don’t want to acknowledge that it might be moving forward–finally–after all this crap I have with it. Sorry, that was a run-on sentence. Even as it progresses, I’m already having these doubts that the story maybe should’ve started different and then I think, well instead of starting C&C different, why don’t I just do a different story altogether? It’s frustrating. I need to win Powerball so I can sit in my office with all the lights off, become a recluse and plot stories all day long. Hey, mister, can I borrow $100,000?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Author Interview - Karolyn James


What's your book/current WIP about?  Brothers of Rock follows rock band, Chasing Cross, and their lives not just on stage, but off. Each book is stand alone, featuring a member of the band. They’re best read in order because the chronological order follows 1-5. Right now, books 1 and 2 are out – following lead singer, Johnnie, and lead guitarist, Davey. Book 3 is due out the end of June.

What's your next project? Of course, I’ll be finishing the Brothers of Rock series. The response has been SO HUGE so far, we’re talking expanding the series beyond Chasing Cross. I do have another romance series planned but that may get pushed aside for more rockstars!

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? How much I fell in love with the guys from Chasing Cross. I spend so much time with these men… in each book and in plotting the rest of them, I feel like they’re part of me now. I wake up and wonder what Chris would be doing… where Rick is… if Johnnie and Jess are at his cabin… ugh – I’m a total Chasing Cross fan now!

What sparked your interest in writing romance? LOVE. Love, emotion, and life and how they all connect together. We all experience love in our lives – whether it’s a hot summer romance or a forever kind of thing. I love being able to capture that and create stories.

Do you choose character names or do the characters whisper them in your ears? They bring themselves to life. I needed names for Chasing Cross and as fast as I could write, their names came out… Johnnie, Davey, Danny, Chris, and Rick. And I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

Plotter or panster? Oh my, I’m a plotter! I have to be with a series. The band appears in each book and they have a busy life of touring, interviews, special events, so I need to make sure everything if fully organized one book to the next. When I’m writing a stand alone book, I mix between plotter and punster.

Do you like background noise or do you prefer a quiet space when you write? Depends on the mood. In the morning, I need music (and coffee!).  In the early evening, I like the silence of my office. It just pulls me back into the writing.

What are you currently reading? The Chance by Karen Kingsbury and The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice.

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview and how would you answer it? 
Have you ever had a rockstar experience yourself?
My answer… Well, that’s a private question, isn’t it? ;)  Put it this way… I know quite a bit about rockstars, concerts, the backstage area, and touring. How I know… I’ll never confess…

People think I'm weird because... I talk about guys from Chasing Cross like they’re actual humans… I use them in context like I’m going to hang out with them at night. What can I say… I LOVE my job!

About the Books:


***For fans of Nashville the TV show and Bella Andre, the BROTHERS OF ROCK series is dramatic, sexy, romantic,and entertaining. It sizzles!***


With ALL ACCESS, a contemporary romance series begins that explores, life, love, and music. Join the five band members of Chasing Cross as they find that there's more to life beyond the stage.


Jess is caught off guard when a sexy stranger buys her a cup of coffee and asks her to sit with him. He's mysterious, nice, and even though he says the right things at the right time, Jess can sense that there's something hidden about him.
*
As Johnnie sits across from the beautiful woman, he can't believe she doesn't recognize him. Everyone does. It comes with the territory when you're the lead singer of one of the hottest bands in the world, Chasing Cross. With one more show to go before taking a small break in touring, it feels like luck is on Johnnie's side. That is, if he can find a way to tell Jess who he is, without scaring her off.
*
After her best friend begs her to come to a concert, Jess finds herself standing in the middle of a crowd. The lights are off, music begins, and the crowd erupts in cheers. She doesn't know much about the band, but that's all about to change. When the lights come on, Jess can't believe her eyes. The lead singer of the band is the man from the café.
*
Plucked from the crowd during the show, Jess makes her way backstage. The encore may have ended on stage, but the real show is just about to begin. Johnnie's passion quickly turns to romance but the more time he and Jess spend together, the more things get complicated. Johnnie has a big decision to make about himself and the band, testing his loyalty and love for the music, and when Jess's dreams start to come true, she starts to realize that true love exists, but it's not always an easy path to take.

Buy Links: Amazon || Barnes & Noble

The second book in the Brothers of Rock series is BROKEN SOUND, where lead guitarist, Davey, is faced with life changing decisions involving love, family, and as always, music.

Rockstars expect women to show up at their hotel room, but when a woman shows up with an infant and tells Davey he is the father, his world is turned upside down.
*
Anna is a teacher and part-time waitress, desperate to make enough to pay off debts left to her by an ex boyfriend who made her life a living hell. When her boss schedules her for an extra shift, he tells her it's her job to take care of a special guest... lead guitarist of Chasing Cross, Davey. The second Anna meets eyes with Davey, she feels something she's wanted for a long time. But with someone famous? That's impossible. Besides, Davey is there with a date.
*
When Davey returns to the restaurant, sans date, he asks to see Anna. She doesn't understand what he would want with her. He is a man with a big heart, kind eyes, and the true power that only a real rockstar could have. Then Anna learns the truth of Davey's life, from his haunted past to his rocky present. Still, she longs to be part of his future.  But when Anna's own past turns potentially deadly, life and love suddenly collide in a way that could hurt everyone and leave someone dead.

About the Author:
Karolyn James has been published over 100 times, reached bestseller lists on Amazon, and writes in both romance and erotic romance.  Her two newest series are the romance hit, Brothers of Rock, and the erotic romance series, Rock Her Curves. 
 
Twitter:  @KarolynWrites


Monday, May 20, 2013

To My Dog's Great Relief--The End

It's like he's inside my head...
Sometimes that moment comes in the quiet of early morning, sneaking in, soft and fluttery, a feather on a pond that barely causes a ripple. Sometimes it's loud and obnoxious, a marching band at a viewing. And then sometimes, it's just done and there's no crash of thunder, no soft music, just a beginning, a middle, and end.

The Wrong Brother's Bride--finito. It should've been a bigger moment, the marching band, because I spent two or three years thinking I'd probably never write historical fiction again. That's because I'm such a panster, I pretty much pants my whole life. I didn't really stop to think about what was going to happen when I was finished with the Legends & Lovers series. I didn't see another historical romance coming. It blindsided me. In a good way, though.

I started in early April, as you may recall. Just dinking around with it, thinking someday it would get finished, because I was neck-deep in NaNo with The Heckmasters. And then something crazy happened. I got a 5-page critique from an editor who said, if it's finished, send the whole thing. It wasn't finished. It wasn't close to finished. I had intended to finish The Heckmasters are a leisurely pace since I hit my word count goal before April was over. Yeah, um, I'm behind on that because I wrote like a mad man to finish TWBB.

So going into this last weekend, I was still 12k from finishing TWBB. I had this great plan where I would sit in my trusty writing chair with my oh-so-compliant dog, write the last 12k with glorious flare, finish on Sunday, choirs of angels would sing my praises, and pie would rain from the sky. Erm. Didn't quite happen like that.

I sat in my trust chair with a dog that is heartily sick of my computer. He hates it. More than baths, more than that time we took him to the vet and he came home missing a certain part of his anatomy, more than fleas, more than when we go to a store where people might look at him (he's cripplingly shy, just like me. Actually, he's worse). He rolls around, puts his head on my keyboard, put his feet on my chest, sometimes he types before I can stop him. Sometimes it makes sense too. He's typed the following things:

=]
kilo
:(

I'm not even joking. The dog is a genius. Sometimes. He often types gibberish. Maybe it makes sense to him. Also, he's either European, or he's into drugs, if the kilo thing is any indication. The results are still out. But Friday night, my husband stayed up really, really, really late. PeeWee woke me up at 10 am, claiming he needed to use the facilities, so I got up, thought about going back to bed and decided, nah, I'd better get to typing.

The upside of a comatose husband? You can get a lot done. Assuming you ply the dog with water (but not so much he has to pee all the time. This is important when you can't trust him to stay in the yard without adult supervision), food (especially cookies if you're eating them too), and lots of hugs and kisses so that he's annoyed that you won't leave him alone. Can you believe that plan worked? It totally did. So I was buzzing along, around 8k closer to my finishing goal at approximately 3:30 CST when my husband emerges from the bedroom. Then he wandered off downstairs and I realized he wasn't coming back any time soon, so I kept going. Sitting there, with a dog that finally gave up, tears blurring my vision because the hero was in a bad spot of trouble and oh, lord, how was he ever going to get out of it? Then I hear:

"That movie is on at 6:35."

But... but... 4k to the finish is right around the corner. !#$%#&, okay. The movie? It was The Host. And it was better than I hoped for. I mean, a little cheesy, yes, but really, it was better than the book. It didn't hurt that Max Irons is hot. I can say that, he's only 3 years younger than me.

On the way home, my mind was abuzz with how to get the hero out of trouble. My husband came up with a solution and I was so excited, I actually pushed him. He gave me a dirty look, but it was okay when I told him he was a genius.

So when we got home, my husband was all, "I thought we were going to watch Lincoln?" And I was all, "Argh! He lived, he wrote a really long proclamation, he got shot in the head, what more do you need to know?" But he put it in anyway and told me I could go to the bedroom if it bothered me. I just turned my mp3 player up louder. And then Tommy Lee Jones starts ranting about some stuff and I was all, "God, I'd rather try to decipher Shakespeare than listen to him go on." And we had a discussion about that guy who played Robert Todd Lincoln, because neither of us could think of his name, but he was in some movie about gods (turns out he was in Clash of the Titans and Immortals, in which he played gods both times) and The Three Muskateers. Luke Evans was the name I was trying to think of, but I was totally wrong. It was Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which was actually my first guess, but I didn't want to say it because I was afraid of sounding stupid. It didn't matter if I sounded stupid, because my husband totally thought it was Luke Evans too.

Needless to say, that was really distracting, but I soldiered on. And wrote a freakin' ending, yes I did. But I was still 1k short. Sunday, PW Monster insistently insisted on going out at 7 am, even though we didn't go to bed until 3 am. My tired brain laid awake after, trying to think of a way to solve the 1k problem. Then I fell asleep again, because, uh, I can function on 4 hours of sleep, but the world doesn't like me when I do. I didn't get up again until 1:30. Upon whence my husband insists we'd better get food if we were going to survive the rest of the week.

By the time we got home and I got back to the computer, I still had no idea how to add that 1k. So I added a scene that was missing. That gave me less than a hundred words. And I said, eh, screw it, put it away and finished reading Inferno. That 1k? It'll come during edits. Or it won't. There's a beginning, a middle, and an ending. It's all good. No fanfare, no feather rippling the water. Just a little novel I like to call The Wrong Brother's Bride.

Oh, yeah. And I still have a synopsis to write. Any takers?

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Friday Five - What's On My Playlist

I want you all to be aware that the next couple of weeks, blogging may be sporadic to nonexistant. The judicial system giants have decided they need me to come in for jury duty (or selection. I thought you had to be selected before they could magically sit you on a jury?). They need my eagle-eye for justice, my rabbit-ear for fine details, and my dolphin-like brain for sorting through criminal BS.

*snort*

I can barely remember yesterday. I typed on FB "she's having his brother's brother." I meant baby. I didn't catch the mistake until someone else pointed it out. Do you people really think I should be in charge of deciding the fate of possibly innocent people's lives? Me either.
No-brainer. Get it? The skull is laughing.
You should be too. It has no brai--
ah, never mind.

Anyway, I'm 75% finished with The Wrong Brother's Bride. I have no idea what to give you for The Friday Five, so I decided on a playlist because it's a no-brainer.

So here are my top song picks for TWBB. I also believe that mp3 downloads should be tax deductible because I'm using it to power my brain and for my business, IRS people.

The premise behind TWBB is this (forgive me, I haven't done a real blurb or a synopsis for it yet): The heroine, Loyal is pregnant and engaged to be married when her fiancee is tragically killed in a freak farm accident. She knows she can't manage the farm by herself because it's 1883, and she's a pregnant woman who is now terrified of hay mowers, so she writes to her fiancee's ne'er-do-well brother, August. Thing about August is, oh wait, I already told you about the ne'er-do-well part. Well, that. But he comes at her bidding because he's always loved her. In fact, she's the reason he left, because his mean-ass brother told him that he wasn't good enough for Loyal. In truth, he wasn't. He's had years to redefine himself as the man he wants to be. But when he looks at the farm his brother created from scratch and the woman he's always desired, he's not sure he deserves his good fortune. So he has to deal with the loss of his brother, convince everyone he's not the man he was, and hide his love from Loyal because she's obvious still torn up about his brother. On top of that, she will eventually admit she wasn't sure she wanted to marry his brother, despite his deep love for her. They were very good friends, but she always felt something was missing from their relationship. Ironically, his brother tore them apart just so they could come together. *sniff* It's so beautiful.


You guys were thinking it was a whole list of bluegrass and country songs because it's a historical romance, right? *buzzer noises* Wrong!

1) Stay by Rhianna ft. Mikky Ekko. Okay, when I first heard this song, I thought it was dumb. Obviously this couple has a relationship issue and they need to be apart. But then I started thinking about how love can feel wrong, but be right. The line that says "it's not just something you take, it's given", makes me think about August's unrequited love for Loyal. He offers marriage, telling himself that it's not because of the torch he's carried all those years, but to be a father-figure to his brother's child. As time passes and it looks like maybe Loyal will never give in and love August, (refer to the lines "oh, it's the reason I hold on, oh 'cause I need this hole gone" and "not really sure how I feel about it"), she eventually realizes through a series of crap nobody should have to put up with, that is a different man and he's totally lovable.

2) Broken by Seether ft. Amy Lee. Well... dude wrote it because he had to leave his baby daughter behind to go on tour. Which is sad. I don't know if it's that song sad, but whatever. This song works for TWBB because August left Loyal behind to pursue (a very manly) career in logging. The lines "The worst is over now and we can breathe again / I wanna hold you high, you steal my pain away" signify the sadness Loyal and August feel when they think about his brother. It was sort of gruesome, the way he died and August regrets not being there or mending the rift between them. She regrets not loving him enough, but when she starts to realize she's in love with August, it steals her pain.

3) Almost Home by Jono Manson. Seriously, this is one of my favorite songs. It was on the soundtrack of The Postman, which is one of my favorite movies (the ultimate in the hero's journey trope). The line "You say I got no right to feel what I feel when I look into your eyes" sums up August's inability to tell Loyal how he feels. His brother knew and didn't think August had to right to feel that way. Nothing like a family feud where one brother walks away the loser.

4) Make You Feel My Love by Adele. When you put it like that, it sort of sounds like a Taylor Swift song. You will feel my love. You belong to me. I will tie you up in my basement forever until you love me. But it's not. First featured on Hope Floats and sung by Garth Brooks, it's since been seen on When In Rome. This is the part that just screams August! "I know you haven't made your mind up yet / But I would never do you wrong. / I've known it from the moment that we met, / No doubt in my mind where you belong." There's a scene where Loyal talks about how mean August was as a boy and he says, "Little boys always torture little girls they think are pretty.”

5) Distance by Christina Perry. Okay, if I haven't made August sound lovesick enough, here's another sappy song about someone who can't tell the person they love that they love them. "So I'll make sure to keep my distance. / Say I love you when you're not listening." and "Call it anything but love." make this a good example for how they tiptoe around the fact that they're married, but they're both too guilty to be in love at first.

Almost Home and Make You Feel My Love were also choices for The Turncoat's Temptress playlist, along with Taylor Swift ft. Civil Wars' Safe and Sound. Ah, music. Tell me about your playlists. What songs should I be listening to?

Now, go, be, do, kids. Have a great weekend and fear not if you don't see me much next week because I'm snoozing through jury duty, er, playing judge and jury to a bunch of allegedly guilty people. (I wouldn't have to be apathetic if you didn't have to break the law. For shame.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Guest Post & Giveaway - Kristen Beairsto


Changing Tastes

Thank you so much for having me!!

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed my tastes in the kinds of romance stories/heroes/ heroines I like have changed. As an older teenager and in my early twenties, I gravitated towards historical romances featuring younger heroines that were close to my own age at the time. Now, in my early thirties and married, I tend to gravitate towards stories that feature older women and second chance romances. My current taste in stories comes out strong in my most recent release, Going After the Heart, which focuses on a struggling marriage where my heroine,

Lizzy, fights to save it.

Along with the change in the types of stories I’ve come to prefer, I’ve also found my taste in the appearance of the hero has changed. Now, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a good hero any time. J But when I was younger, I wasn’t fond of reading about medieval heroes that had long hair and would skip over any descriptions that involved said hair. (My hair was short at the time and I viewed any guy who had hair longer than mine as unattractive, thus explaining why my husband’s clean cut Navy look appealed at the time. ;) ) Now I find myself leaning towards the opposite direction I once did.

What about you? Have your story preferences changed? What about the types of heroes and heroines you like?

About the Book:

Going After the Heart

by Kristen Beairsto
Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self/Indie
Release Date: December 18, 2012
Heat Level: Steamy
Length: 234 pages

Buy Links

Amazon || B&N || Kobo || CreateSpace || Smashwords

Lizzy Bergstrum thought she finally reached a point in her life when she could honestly say she had it all. A thriving writing career. A wonderful daughter. And a marriage to the love of her life. But looks can apparently be deceiving because her husband just walked out on her and their eight year old

Gavin Bergstrum can’t handle the direction his life has taken. Not only did he get laid off from his job, but his wife seems to barely remember he exists. Convinced he’s tried his best to change things, he begins to wrestle with the possibility of divorce. But he can’t think straight in the same house as Lizzy. Hating to leave his daughter, but needing time to think and come to terms with what he feels he needs to do, Gavin decides to return to his small home town in Oregon and stay at his family ranch with his father and brothers.

In shock, Lizzy gives Gavin his space. But as time passes and he doesn’t say a word about their marriage, Lizzy decides it’s past time she takes matters into her own hands. Without a word, she follows Gavin to Oregon.

Now facing a daughter who blames her for everything, an irritated husband, and a small town that feeds on the drama, Lizzy finds herself trying to figure out how to convince Gavin to give her another chance, teach her daughter it takes two to make a successful marriage, and overcome her own insecurities – all without compromising who she is.

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

Excerpt:

Startled, Lizzy shot up into a sitting position. She discovered Gavin standing on the other side of the glass door. Belatedly, she recognized the relief at the fact he now stood fully clothed in jeans and a T-shirt. Yes, wouldn’t do to be thinking about sex with the man at the moment.

She glanced at the alarm clock on the nightstand behind her. Ten minutes to midnight. Pushing herself up off the bed, she made her way over to the door and opened it.

“How the heck did you get up here?” Lizzy demanded without preamble.

This master bedroom lay on the second floor and the porch through which the slider led out to was a wraparound porch without access to the lower level.

Pushing past her inside the room without waiting for an invitation, “The old oak in the back is easy to climb and has a branch hanging low to step over to the porch railing.”

Lizzy gaped at him, crossing her arms and not bothering to close the door. He would not be staying long if she had anything to do about it.

After striding into the room a couple of yards, he turned to face her. “What?”

“Using the front door never occurred to you?” She shook her head in disbelief.

Crossing his arms, his gaze narrowed. “I didn’t want Sky to know I was here.” He glanced over at the closed bedroom door. Before she realized his intention, he strode over to it and flipped the lock.

“What are you doing?” she demanded, irritation rising easily at his high handedness and her exhaustion.

He turned back to her with a determined expression. “I already said, I don’t want Sky to know I’m here.”

Rolling her eyes, a frustrated sigh slipped out. “What do you want, Gavin?” What’s so important it couldn’t wait until tomorrow?”

Crossing his arms again, he moved closer to her, she assumed so as to not risk Sky hearing their voices. “Why are you here, Lizzy? I talked to you and Sky yesterday and neither of you mentioned anything about coming here.”

Snorting, “You didn’t talk to me yesterday. You asked me to pass the phone to Sky before I even finished saying hello when I picked up the receiver. And Sky never said anything because she didn’t know anything about it until I woke her up this morning.”

“Damn it, Lizzy, I told you I’d come home after my head cleared some. You had no right to come here,”
he ground out.

“And how was I supposed to know how long that would be? It’s been three months. Three months. What the hell was I supposed to tell Sky about when her father would be coming home? You haven’t said one word to me in three months other than can I talk to Sky? I have no idea what’s going on with you, Gavin, so what choice did I really have than to come here,” she tossed back at him, the anger from the last couple of months rising in her.

Gavin’s scowl turned lethal. “Are you thinking you can come here and make everything magically better?”

At her wit’s end, Lizzy squeezed her eyes closed and pinched the bridge of her nose with her thumb and finger. It was a toss up between who got to her more, her daughter or her husband. Tired of all of it, Lizzy decided to not hold back. Not that anyone would accuse her of holding back in the last five minutes, she thought sarcastically.

“You know what, Gavin, you lost the right to know what I was thinking the minute you decided it was better to walk out the door rather than try to take two minutes to just talk to me,” she told him evenly, too tired to hide the weariness that came out in the words.

Opening her eyes, she refused to feel guilty about the satisfaction she felt in seeing she stunned him with the statement.

“Go back to your father’s house, Gavin. You’re not really interested in talking to me, only trying to blame me for ruining your solitude. If you’re really interested in finding out why I came here, come talk to me when you’ve calmed down and are actually interested in listening to what I’m saying.”

With that, she went into the bathroom on the other side of the room, calmly closing the door behind her. Gavin didn’t make any sounds in the other room, but when she came out, he was gone.


About the Author:
In between her to-be-read pile and trying to bring the characters in her head alive, Kristen spends as much time as she can with family and friends. Much to her husband’s dismay, she enjoys collecting purses, shoes, and jewelry. During those rare times she’s not working at her day job, rushing her daughters somewhere, watching movies with her husband, and trying to meet a deadline, she can usually be found energetically cheering for one of her favorite New York sports teams.

As with just about every other writer on the planet, Kristen grew up an avid reader. She started with young adult before she technically hit the age range and moved on to sci-fi classics by Isaac Asimov and
Ray Bradbury. At fifteen, her best friend gave her a book she just had to read! The book was Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts.

Always a sucker for a happy ending, she was a goner and fell in love with the romance genre. Having started writing novel length stories at the age of eleven, Kristen’s stories all took a romantic turn from that point on.

Connect with Kristen Beairsto
Website: http://www.KristenBeairsto.com
Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/AuthorKristenBeairsto
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/AuthorKBeairsto
Goodreads: http://www.Goodreads.com/KBeairsto


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Monday, May 13, 2013

I'll Make the Most of it Now, So When I'm Really Crippled, it'll be Worth it

I think I was 19 or 20 when I was first sought medical advice about the pinching pains in my left wrist. It had been going on since I was about 16, off and on, usually worse during the summer and winter. That made sense, because I was a ride operator at a theme park and there was a lot of button pushing during the summers and a lot of typing for classes during the fall and winter.

I was more than a little surprised when the coroner (I'm not even joking) slash doctor at my alma mater told me, yep, I had chronic tendinitis and guess what, wait till it spreads to your right wrist, because it almost always does. Damn that correct coroner/doctor. I ice, I heat, I once got a hand massage, I wrap, I brace, I self-medicate, but there's no long-term relief. It's spread to my left elbow on two occasions, usually when I'm marathon writing. The first time was bad, the second time not as rough.

It feels like someone jabbed a bunch of springy young twigs or uncooked spaghetti noodles inside my joints while I wasn't looking. It's hard to get my fingers to cooperate and hit the keys they're supposed to. So if you see gobbledy-gook instead of real words, that's why. Also, my brain isn't functioning on all levels. I keep forgetting words I really need to use to make actual conversation. I have a lot of conversations where I just trail off because I have no idea which word I'm supposed to use.

I'm fine, really. I'm just overusing my body right now. You know why? Here's why: I'm 20k from finishing my historical romance novel, The Wrong Brother's Bride. I'm 17k from finishing The Heckmasters - Wystan. As you know, I finished the second draft of The Siren's Sentinel in January and wrote the final what, 5 or 6k on The Convict & the Cattleman in January too. I've got a lot of writing done this year.

The pain is just creativity surging through my body.

Here's a look at a screen shot of my word count chart for the year.


I only flubbed one month, when I was just trying to meet the monthly count to stay on track for writing 200k. I didn't care at that point whether I hit 200k or not. Really, I don't care if I do. It wasn't something I set out to do. I just decided I needed to get some projects going.

I promised SS this fall, but I really want to get The Heckmasters out first. I may push SS back until spring. It has some areas that need a lot of TLC I don't want to focus on right now. Mostly I was writing TWBB to see if I still had a historical in me, but then I got a request for the full which wasn't anywhere close to finished, so now I'm writing like a woman possessed.

I'm already trying to figure out what my next step is. I should be working in ideas for another historical if I'm going to keep writing them. I have very solid ideas for The Heckmasters - Eban, and they are great, if I do say so myself.

Unfortunately because of all this writing, I'm getting zero editing done. I'm getting almost no marketing done either. I feel really uninspired when it comes to marketing anyway. By Saint Booger, I'm terrible at it. However, I did line up a blog barrage for The Turncoat's Temptress today and tomorrow. Check it out and enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card by clicking here.

Here's my pretty little banner. Liz at CBLS always
does a great job on them.
In the meantime, I have novels to finish, people. Stayed tuned to my FB & G+ pages for snippets and excerpts. Because you crave them. Yes, you do. Also, encourage your friends to buy my book, because I'm a terrible marketeer. Although I do like that word.

Happy Monday (as if)!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Guest Post- Sharon C. Cooper



One of my all time favorite songs from back in the late 70’s is Reunited, by the R & B singing duo, Peaches and Herb. Even at a young age the love song touched me, making me believe in happily-ever-afters and second chances. With that said, when I first started reading romance novels, it didn’t come as a surprise to me that I gravitated to the ones that had a reunited theme or where a couple in love was given a second chance. It’s also the reason why my first book series is entitled: the Reunited Series
.
Below you’ll find the description and an excerpt from my latest release, Rendezvous with Danger, book 2 of the Reunited Series. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose someone I love more than life, in a brutal attack, only to have them show up on my doorstep three years later without a good reason for their absence. Well, that’s exactly what happens to former U.S Special Operative Quinn Hamilton.



Buy it: Exclusively at Amazon.
Publisher: Amaris Publishing LLC
Publication date: February 28, 2013

Blurb:
Alandra Pargas, ex-CIA counter-intelligence officer, plans to wreak vengeance on the people who tried to kill her. A little rendezvous with danger is not what scares her, though. It’s seeing the tall, dark, and dangerously sexy man she vowed to love forever that has her running for cover.

Former U.S. Special Operative, Quinn Hamilton, left the world of covert operations after the love of his life died in his arms during a black op. Three years later, he still loses sleep wondering if maybe he could have done something more to save her – until Alandra shows up on his doorstep. With her lies and betrayal, he wants nothing to do with her, yet, his heart won’t cooperate. It’s not until unknown enemies come after her that he must decide if he can leave the past behind and protect the woman he’ll always love. Will they survive this last mission and rekindle the love and passion they once shared?

Excerpt:


Rendezvous with Danger - Excerpt
Quinn continued to stare. The intensity in his midnight dark eyes scrutinized every inch of her.
I don’t even know what to say to you,” he finally spoke just above a whisper, his voice laced with anguish. Alandra looked at him, unsure of how to respond, but didn’t have to say anything when he continued. “A part of me wants to wrap you in my arms and love on you so fierce that you’ll never want to leave me again, but then there’s the other part of me. The part that is mad as hell that my wife has been alive all this time, working in the city that I live in, and has never tried to contact me. That part of me wants nothing more than for you to get your ass out of my house and stay the hell out of my life…for good.”
Alandra reared back, stunned by the bitterness of his words. But what had she expected - to be welcomed with opened arms? Maybe not, but she had hoped they could at least talk. Yet, if she was honest with herself, she knew his unforgiving heart would rear its wicked head. He was the most committed, determined and trusted man to those he loved, but merciless toward his enemies. And right now she wasn’t sure how Quinn saw her.
Quinn released a long ragged sigh and leaned against a nearby wall, his muscular arms folded across his chest. “Do you have any idea what I’ve been through these last few years, thinking you were dead? Thinking I’d never be able to touch you, hold you, or make love to you? Hell, I watched you die, Alandra, in my arms! You have any idea what that feels like? To watch the one woman you loved more than life get gunned down.”
His voice broke, but he held his gaze steady, maintaining his usual tough-guy composure, and Alandra’s heart crumbled. She blinked rapidly to keep tears from falling. He had always been so hard, tough, and strong willed. It had been too easy for her to forget he was just a man. She drew in a deep breath as she walked toward him.
Quinn, I’m sorry, but I lost too. I’ve missed you so much, and staying away was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. So many times I wanted to call you, but I couldn’t. It wasn’t safe.”
He pushed slowly away from the wall and approached her with concern in his eyes. “What do you mean it wasn’t safe?” He reached out to touch her, but dropped his arm.
Disappointment crept in when he took a step back as if she were toxic, as if touching her would somehow weaken him. Alandra swallowed hard and decided it was probably for the best. Had he pulled her into his arms, there was no telling what would happen. Besides, that wasn’t why she had come. Three years ago someone tried to kill her, and now she was determined to find out who and why, but she needed Quinn’s help.
She sighed, anxious about getting him to understand. “Quinn, I’m in the midst of something big and you’re going to blow my cover if you keep coming to the hospi—”
Are you kidding me?” he yelled. His angry eyes pierced her soul deeper than any knife ever could. “This three year disappearance is connected to some goddamn op?”
She stepped to him and placed her hands on his chest in hopes of calming him down. “No. No, you don’t understand. It’s just that—”
I can’t believe this shit!” He jerked away from her and raised his fist as if he were going to punch through the wall.
Let me explain,” Alandra grabbed his arm.
He turned abruptly. “Explain? Hell, you’ve had three damn years to explain.”
But I couldn’t. I—”
Yeah, you could have,” he said in a hoarse whisper. He held her face in his large hands, his lips inches from hers. Her pulse quickened. “Lan, baby, there is nothing I wouldn’t have done for you including give my life. I mean absolutely nothing. And you knew that, so don’t tell me you didn’t have a choice.”

Want to find out what happens next? Get your copy today! 


About the author:

Best-selling author, Sharon C. Cooper, lives in Atlanta with her husband and enjoys reading, writing, and rainy days. She writes sweet and contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense.

Sharon is a Pro member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), board member and member of Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), and a member of the Page a Day Writers Group. To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit www.sharoncooper.net

Follow her on Twitter, find her on Facebook, or on Goodreads.

 

See all of Sharon's stops HERE.

Monday, May 6, 2013

About That Snow

I was not even kidding you guys. It was ridiculous. It started sleeting about 12 AM Friday and when I tried to go to work around 7:30, the roads were so slick, I had to turn around and go home. I almost died. Okay, I probably didn't, but I did slide the car off the road. I went back to bed after watching the news and when I got up. This had happened.


I made a snowball and promptly threw
it at the dog. Because I don't have kids,
that's why. If I did, they'd take the dog out.
Also, the dog can't retaliate.
Yeah, that's snow. On the 3rd of May. Which is just wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. May 3rd, you're supposed to be wearing flip flops and shorts and whining about how hot it is. Or maybe enjoying the very rare nice weather. Not dressing in coats and wearing socks for crying out loud. I'm pretty sure I had my gloves on at one point. I was wearing a hoodie and a coat that day. It was lovely. Not.

And this is what I looked like at Lambert's Cafe the next day. Yeah. Wearing a coat. On the 4th of May. My husband refused. He said, "It's May, I'm not wearing a %$#& coat." I did that last year. And it actually worked then. This year, Mother Nature is definitely messing with us.


On the writing front, I'm now 43% finished with my historical romance. I worked hard over the weekend to get more done on that. I also managed another thousand words on The Heckmasters, which has been slightly abandoned since I'm working hard on that HR. It's okay, I'm making progress and any progress is good, right? Sure it is. I promise there will be a new book for you to read, eventually, someday.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Friday Five - It's All About Snow

I know, right? Snow? In May? Well, that's what the weathermen are hollering. What new devilry is this? I mean, I think up north and out west that's a thing, but not in SW Missouri. It just isn't. Not since 1944 and well, that year was whack anyway*. (* Author claims no actual knowledge of whether the year was whack. Author's opinion is purely speculation.)

So today I'm talking five things about snow. Here ya go:



1) Chionophobia is a fear of snow. I don't have a fear of snow, I have an out right loathing for it.

2) 12% of Earth's land mass is covered in ice and snow.

3) Graupel is a type of snow that passes through a cloud with supercooled water. The water clings to the snowflake and makes lumpy little snowballs.

4) It's a myth that Eskimos have over 100 words for snow.

5) According to  the Guinness Book of World Records the largest snowflake recorded was 38 cm wide and 20 cm thick. It was found in Montana in 1887.


I would tell you to go, be, do, but as it's rainy and snowy, stay, snuggle, sleep.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Author Interview & Giveaway with Samantha Holt




What's your book/current WIP about?

Essentially exploring how a relationship can develop with communication difficulties. My hero Jake rescues Isabel, only to find that she can’t hear or speak. It’s set in Northumbria in the 14th Century, when times were pretty tough in the borderlands so things don’t run smoothly.

Care to share your favorite line(s) from your story?

I’ve quoted this a few times, but every time I read it, I fall in love with Jake all over again!

“What would you have me say?” He faced her abruptly. “That I cannot stay, for how can I watch you wed my brother when I would wish to have you for myself? That it tears at my heart just to think of you in the arms of another man? Or that I…I regret every harsh word I ever spoke to you? I shall never meet another lass as fine as you.”

What's your next project?

I am just finishing up my first ever fantasy romance and then I will be tackling book 3 of The Borderland Legacy. Book 2 has been contracted and I am waiting anxiously for a release date.

Describe your writing in a sentence.

Exciting, innately English, sensual and romantic to its core.

Do you choose character names or do the characters whisper them in your ears?

I have a list of historically accurate medieval names that I scour until I find something I like. It can be tough as a huge amount of the population was called John, Richard or Henry so finding something different is tough.

Plotter or panster?

Pantser. Which goes completely against the grain. I’m naturally an organizer in my daily life but it seems when writing, all the rules go out of the window.

Do you like background noise or do you prefer a quiet space when you write?

I have to have music on. I can write with kids playing in the background but it depends how into my writing I am. If I’m struggling then silence or a bit of rock music works better.

What are you currently reading?

Tango in Paradise by Elysa Hendricks. I’ve only just started it but I really enjoy her books.

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview and how would you answer it?

How did you make your millions, Samantha Holt? (Obviously I haven’t been asked it yet as it hasn’t happened, but I can hope!) And I would answer, “With hard work, sacrifice and a sexy imagination.”

People think I'm weird because...

I like to eat pasta coated in Marmite (I think the US equivalent is Vegemite?). It’s seriously delicious but everyone I know thinks it’s bizarre.

About the Book:

Borderland Bride (The Borderland Legacy)
by Samantha Holt
Historical Romance
Publisher: Jupiter Gardens Press
Release Date: March 21, 2013
Heat Level: Steamy
Word Count: 50,000









Buy Links
Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00C825F1W
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/borderland-bride-samantha-holt
Jupiter Gardens Press: http://jupitergardenspress.com/shop/borderlands-bride-the-borderland-legacy-book-1/


Blurb:
These are the borderlands, lass. We make our own rules here.

In the wilderness of 14th century Northumbria, Lady Isabel discovers just how dangerous the borderlands can be. With the loss of her voice and her hearing, there is little hope left for her. But when a brooding knight rescues her, she vows never to become a victim again and buries the secrets of her past in the hope that those hunting her will never find her in the borderlands.

Jake is astonished to come across the beautiful Isabel, near to death, on his brother’s lands. Bringing her back to his brother’s home, he finds himself longing for something more from the courageous woman, something that he thought he would never want again. Isabel works her way into his scarred heart and opens Jake up to loving once more. But will Isabel’s secrets destroy their bond? And with his charismatic brother, Dominic, charming her, does he even stand a chance?

Samantha resides in Warwickshire, England with her twin girls and occasionally her husband, who works abroad. She admits that his long absences often help get the creative juices flowing. She's a romance addict and has been devouring all kinds of romance for as long as she can remember.

A huge history buff, Samantha likes to blend her love of the past with her love of romance and create thrilling and passionate tales set to medieval backdrops. She thinks there's nothing sexier than a rugged warrior and a feisty maiden falling head over heels for each other.

Website: http://www.samanthaholt.org.uk/
Blog: http://samanthaholtauthor.blogspot.co.uk/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/romanticfiction



Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/ or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.


As soon as his name left her lips, Isabel could not fail to detect the darkening of his eyes. Her skin tingled as elation turned to lust and she glanced down at her bare body, the heat of the water doing little to stop the shudder that coursed through her.

“Say it again,” he murmured as a hand came up to cup at her cheek.

“What?” she breathed.

“Say my name.”

His thumb pushed across her damp face and her lips parted as her heart pounded faster.

“Jake.”

He groaned and pulled himself up so he could lean across her. His lips joined with hers in a rush of movement and her breath caught at the sudden heat of his mouth upon hers. Intuitively falling into a motion that was both so familiar yet so excitingly new, she kissed him with enthusiasm, enjoying the way his breathing stilted as their passion increased.

His tongue swept inside her mouth, searching for hers, and Isabel entwined her wet fingers around his neck, forcing him closer. His tunic dipped under the water and brushed across her breasts but he paid little heed, instead bringing his other hand up to support her head, his fingers digging under her damp braid.

As the kiss deepened, they both moaned and her hair loosened while his fingers delved through it, sending it tumbling over the edge of the tub. A splash resounded through the room as his hand left her cheek and dove under the water to grab at her body. Jake’s fingers curled around her ribs, drawing her closer to him and she let out a gasp.

Jake’s hand froze briefly but Isabel drew a hand from his neck and placed it over his, pinning his hand in place. He relaxed and dragged his lips across her cheek to her ear.

“What are you doing to me, lass?” he whispered.

She quivered as his breath grazed over her ear and his hand continued to massage at her bare skin under the water.

“No more than you are doing to me.”

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