Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I finished Here Comes Trouble by Donna Kauffman. I enjoyed this book although someone looking for a faster pace may not- there is a LOT of internal narration while the characters think about their past and the present and even worry a little about the future and generally get to know themselves. These characters were interesting so I didn't find it so slow going that I didn't like it, but it does slow the pace. Ms Kauffman does draw out sexual tension, too, with a LONG conversation while they decided whether to do it or not!

I'm now reading Slow Heat by Jill Shalvis. Just entering into this world made me feel all good - a sexy famous baseball player who keeps showing up with phone numbers written on him and I sexy control freak woman, lots of sexual tension and of course, though I've just started it, I sense these characters have more problems than just the one they're trying to solve together by pretending to be boyfriend/girlfriend.  The old fake relationship trope - hey! I just wrote one of those myself!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Distasteful dialogue

I've been really blessed to have had so many great reviews for my books over the past few months - lots of "5"s and so many great comments. But last week I got a couple of reviews that were just okay.

And that's okay. We all know this business is subjective and not everyone will like everything I write. I've heard all the advice from other authors about having a thick skin and ignoring the bad reviews unless you can learn from them.

So normally I wouldn't even comment about them (and just to be clear, these aren't BAD reviews - they were both 3 1/2 stars) but one reviewer did make a comment about my book Irish Sex Fairy that stuck in my head and made me  have another look at my story. She said  "There were a few times during the explicit sex scenes where I found the dialogue slightly distasteful..."

Distasteful?

Distasteful, according to Dictionary.com means "unpleasant, offensive, or causing dislike".

I don't know why that particular word bothers me so much. I fully know that many of my books would definitely be "distasteful" to some people who don't want to read explicit sex scenes or stories about threesomes or BDSM. So I reread every sex scene in Irish Sex Fairy, trying to see where she was coming from, keeping in mind she'd said it was the dialogue that was distasteful. Not the things they were doing. Because yes, they do have sex, and yes it's pretty hot - and yet it wasn't that she found distasteful - it was what they were saying.

But of course, it's subjective...right? Because I don't see any of the dialogue as unpleasant or offensive. Certainly no more offensive there than in any other point in the story. But she did.

I just have to get over it, it's just one more lesson on how everyone sees things differently. But..but..wait! Not everyone likes my stories? Really? Oh my god! And I'm distasteful...no, wait, my dialogue was distasteful, not me...it's hard to separate my writing from myself.  I clearly still have a lot of toughening up to do.

Monday, March 29, 2010

WIPs and Chains


I finished! Power Struggle is done! Once again I’m amazed that I actually completed another book. I’m not sure how many I’ve written, but it’s got to be up near 20 (novels and novellas) and every time, every single time, I have doubts about my ability to do it.

The characters in this story did a few things that surprised me. I had actually thought there was going to be a threesome between hero, heroine and her “play partner” but apparently they didn’t want to do that. Also, heroine blurted out that she’s in love with hero earlier than I expected and in a very unromantic place. She just couldn’t hold it back, I guess.


I’m actually happy with this one. There is usually a point in the writing at which I believe the story is utter crap, which nobody would ever want to read. I don’t think that happened this time. Is this good? Or bad? With usual writerly insecurity, I have to wonder if it’s bad that I don’t hate my own writing, because if I love it - what does that mean?

I was pondering this when Nathan Bransford did a blog post about this very topic and referenced the Dunning-Kruger effect. Wikipedia: “The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it. The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average, much higher than in actuality; by contrast the highly skilled underrate their abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority. This leads to a perverse result where less competent people will rate their own ability higher than more competent people. It also explains why actual competence may weaken self-confidence because competent individuals falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. Thus, the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others."

Usually, I'm in that category where I'm completely thinking I'm inferior, but this time I'm thinking my work is okay. Therefore, if I think what I wrote is good, it’s actually because I’m too incompetent to realize it’s not good.

Writers are apparently basket cases of doubts and insecurities.

I usually set aside a manuscript for about a month (or longer) to “simmer” and “let the flavors blend” once I’ve finished. But dammit, I want to send this out somewhere! I have apparently totally lost my mind on this one. Dunning-Kruger effect, indeed.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday's sneak peek

What oh what shoould the peek be at today? I've done little snippets of my last two completed manuscripts so I guess this week I'll go back to the third last one (these things just lay around in my hard drive until the publishing industry can catch up with me!). But I don't have a great title for this one! Maybe need to have a naming contest or something. I was thinking about "Letting Go" or "Sweeter Than Wine" or "Crush". If you have a preference, leave a comment!

Here's the unofficial blurb:

After his tragic failure as an FBI hostage negotiator resulted in his sister being killed in a murder-suicide by her boyfriend, Jason Holloway left Los Angeles for a job as Police Chief in quiet Las Colinas, California. Kendall Vioget, co-owner with her brother Kevin of the prestigious Chateau Vioget Winery, has looked after her younger brother and run the winery since the scandalous death of her parents, and in efforts to keep their family out of the media she may have gone overboard in protecting her brother and bailing him out of trouble. She and Jason have met a few times, sharing a mutual attraction and a little flirtation. Now Kendall’s future sister-in-law has gone missing a week before the wedding, and Jason is convinced Kendall’s brother is lying to the police. As Jason oversees the investigation, the attraction between him and Kendall deepens and they discover a shared connection. But when the missing person case becomes a murder investigation, Kendall is caught between trying to protect her brother, her feelings for Jason and trying to do the right thing - for everyone.

She started walking up the next row and he fell in beside her. They strolled between walls of green and gold and purple.


“You must know a lot about wine.”

She shot him a sideways glance. “I suppose.”

“I’m not much of a wine drinker.”

She smiled. “You could learn.”

“I guess.”

“Wine is a celebration of life. The embodiment of the earth. It’s power and elegance and beauty.”

He nodded. “What kind of wine do you make?”

“Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Viognier. These grapes are Pinot Noir. You should come to the tasting room and try some of our wines.”

“Uh…”

“Some time,” she said. “When this is all done.”

“Maybe you could just give me a private tasting.”

She stopped short, blinked at him. She licked her lips, unsure how to respond. Because giving him a private tasting conjured up all kinds of wicked ideas, and her body warmed and her heart sped up again thinking about them. Her skin burned and her body tightened, and the air thickened around them as they looked at each other.

* * *

Jason could have groaned aloud. The attraction he was feeling for Kendall Vioget was growing, even though he knew he couldn’t act on it. Then those words had slipped out.

The passion she’d talked about had lit up her face and sparkled in her dark eyes. The elegance and power she’d spoken of shone in her smile and warmed her voice. Sunlight gleamed on her dark hair as she stood there among the vines, dressed in pair of jeans, a black T-shirt and boots, looking so casual compared to her usual sophisticated skirts, twin sets and pearls, or the elegant dresses he’d seen her in at charity dinners.

And then she’d reached out and cupped from below a hanging bunch of heavy grapes. Maybe he had a dirty mind, but the gesture immediately made him think of her touching him like that, and his dick went hard and his balls tightened. Jesus.

As they looked at each other and heat shimmered around them, he wanted to kiss her. Her mouth looked soft and warm, a passionate mouth that echoed the emotion in her voice moments ago.

Her gaze went to his mouth and with certain, instinctual knowledge, he knew she was thinking about kissing him, too.

He took a step toward her as if pulled by a magnet, their gazed locked on each other. “Kendall.”

He smoothed a strand of hair off her face, lifted his other hand to cradle her face, then let his fingers glide through the silky strands over her scalp, around behind to gently cup her head. Her lips parted. Her throat moved as she swallowed. His body tightened.

Every cell in his body wanted her, wanted to haul her up against him and taste her, even as his brain screamed at him to step away, don’t do this, don’t be an idiot. His hand slid lower, to the back of her neck, his thumb caressed her jaw. Soft. So soft. And she didn’t move away, stood there wide-eyed as if mesmerized.

He couldn’t stop it, felt like he was in a dream and everything that happened was beyond his control, and he bent his head and brushed his mouth over hers. Once. Twice. Then his lips clung to hers and their mouths parted, slowly, in a long, lush kiss.

He rested his forehead against hers, heart thudding painfully in his chest, eyes closed. “Shit.”

She gave a choked little laugh. “Not a flattering reaction,” she whispered.

He smiled, didn’t move. “You know what I meant.”

“I know.”

They stood like that for a long moment, his nose resting beside hers, breathing the same air, still holding the nape of her neck. He could smell the exotic scent of her – something spicy and delicious, like amber and vanilla, warm from the sun. Her full breasts rose and fell, slightly and quickly. The leaves rustled around them as a faint breeze stirred them.

“You’re going to hate me,” he said in a low voice.

She drew back and looked up into his eyes. “Because you finally kissed me?”

“No. Because we need Kevin to come in for a polygraph test.”

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Finished a great book - Release by Beth Kery. My goodness, this was hot and a great story too. Had a few little quibbles at the end with some things that didn't totally work but very minor. I liked it and already have another Beth Kery book loaded onto my reader!

But first - I'm reading Here Comes Trouble by Donna Kauffman. Donna has been a favorite author for years and I'm excited to read this latest from her. So far I am in love with Brett - dear lord he is sexy and I'm intrigued by the older woman/younger man issue since I just wrote one of those!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Editing

So part of the whole writing process is editing. This goes along with making the sale and being published. Editor sends you edits. Tells you when they must be done by. In the last few weeks I've worked on edits for both my upcoming books - Conference Call and Lost and Found. I love editors who catch those stupid mistakes - like in Lost and Found I had my heroine living in basement - but duh, there are no basements in houses in Santa Barbara. My husband lived there for a few years and I feel I know it pretty well, but oops! Good catch. Or just today - I mentioned they moved "five steps to the bed" but hell, they were sitting on the bed and just stood up. How'd they get five steps away? Oops!

I remember my first book sold and the goofy things my editor found, like she was undoing his buttons of his shirt but he was actually wearing a T-shirt earlier, and then there are the embarrassing things like Brazilians and whether someone had uh...hair...in the previous scene and my favorite editor comment "Is this anal or vaginal?" Blushing furiously while commenting in "track changes" in Word is getting to be normal for me.

Those catches are important but even more important to me is when my editor suggests a change that makes the story even stronger. In my book Rigger, my editor (former editor, sob! Suz, why did you have to go?!) suggested some very important changes about Alek's past that made the ending of the story so much better.

I'm so lucky to have worked with some awesome editors from whom I've learned so much and I hope that I don't make the same mistakes over and over again! (Though some little things do slip by me!)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sneak peak at Sweet Deal

This is my last completed manuscript which is now with my agent (eek) - here's a little excerpt:

Jake woke up in the softest, sweetest smelling cocoon of bliss, a warm feminine body cuddled in to his, and for a few long, delicious moments he thought he was still dreaming, still asleep. He let himself enjoy the sensations, soft breasts pressed against his forearm, hair that smelled like peaches and pears, and silky sheets swathed around both of them.
And then realized what he’d done. It wasn’t a dream. He’d spent the night with Shelby.
Fuck. What had he been thinking? He barely knew this girl, but he could tell she was definitely not the kind of girl he usually hooked up with. She was not a player, despite her sex-kitten looks. She was soft and sweet and smart and she deserved a helluva lot better than him. He was supposed to be helping her, for Chrissakes, not fucking her! What was wrong with him?
She stirred against him, soft curves and warm skin, and he resisted the urge to bolt out of bed and make a run for it.
She snuggled in closer, made a funny soft sound as she breathed in. She was still asleep. His chest tightened at the way she nestled against him, all intimate and trusting. Shit.
The events of the previous evening started playing through his mind. Andrew and Gianna. Jesus. How had he not known that’s who her boss was? She’d never mentioned she worked at Gold Shield, he was sure of it. If she had, he might have twigged to what was going on. So he’d shown up there like a clueless idiot.
But again remembering Andrew’s face when he’d seen them together sent a wash of satisfaction through him and his mouth twitched, lying there in bed. Served the son of a bitch right, and not just for what he was trying to do to Shelby, but for what he’d done to him.
All those painful humiliating memories came tumbling back. He’d lost so much and he was still pissed about it, even after all this time. His jaw clenched and his arms tightened around Shelby’s small body, making her shift and murmur against him. He forced himself to relax, but anger pulsed inside him, building up. He narrowed his eyes, staring across the dim bedroom, the sun lightening a strip of window around the edge of the blind.
Hell. He shouldn’t even think of them. That was such ancient history. He was over it. At least, he’d thought he was over it. He hadn’t thought about either Gianna or Andrew for a while. Seeing them again, though, together, had brought it all back.
Shelby moved again in his arms, stretching her legs out, sliding them over and between his. Christ, she was sexy. His cock swelled. How could he help it? She was right there, naked, in his arms, in a bed. “Mmm.” She made a little purring noise, buried her face in the side of his neck. He felt her draw in a breath, as if she was smelling him. Maybe she was. He liked smelling her. He smiled and slid a hand up into her hair. He tugged the soft strands so he could see her face and their eyes met.
With a small starburst of light and heat.
“Hi.” Her voice was a whisper, and when he saw the uncertainty in her eyes he had the strangest urge to make it go away. Hell, he wasn’t the kind of guy to stick around the morning after. But how could he leave with her looking all soft and vulnerable like that?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'm in love with this guy!


This is my latest cover! Conference Call will be out April 2 with Ellora's Cave. Isn't the guy in the cover gorgeous? Since the Olympics and my small crush on speedskater Charles Hamelin (he's taken, see this post) I'm finding guys with this look attractive. DEFINITELY going to be my next hero. Picture below is Charles (on the left) his brother Francois on the right.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I did finish Nauti Deceptions by Lora Leigh last week, and managed to finish another book - Lead Me On by Victoria Dahl. I really enjoyed this book! Do I sound surprised? For some reason, knowing it's considered a contemporary romance published by HQN, I thought it was going to be a sweet romance - but no! It was quite steamy! I loved the little role reversal and it was a great story too, with a wounded heroine. Almost got a little teary at the end when she...never mind, no spoilers. A great read!

And just last night I started Release by Beth Kery - already loving it!

Monday, March 15, 2010

WIPs and Chains

Earlier this week, I got distracted from my WIP. It’s been a while since I finished “Sweet Deal” and I got a sudden urge to submit it somewhere. Spent the last couple of days editing and polishing and writing the synopsis and the query blurby thing. It’s not what I consider erotic – no whips and chains or threesomes. Of course, there are hot scenes in it but the sexual journey is not the main journey in this story. I think I know what I want to do, but I decided to check with my goddess agent Laura Bradford for her advice. She said to send it to her - so I did! Geez, I still feel sick every time I submit something.

While I wait to hear back from her, back to my WIP. This story is still moving along nicely and I must say I reached my "climax" (Why can't I type that without getting dirty thoughts?) at the exact page count I planned. However, this crisis scene is going to kill me. I need a good night of insomnia to figure out what's gotta happen here. I did write some today on it, but it's going veeeerrrrry slowly...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

SPRING FLING at Ellora's Cave today

Ellora's Cave Chat

If you're not a member, come join! Today starting at noon EST Ellora's Cave authors are chatting, sharing excerpts and giving away prizes!

Raelene Gorlinsky is talking about things like:

We Want to Hear From You

How You Can Hear From Us

Special Products/Programs (free reads, audio books, pricing)

New and Upcoming!

RomantiCon

EC 10th Anniversary (BOGO, Special Editions, RomantiCon)

Calling All Aspiring Erotica Authors

And other informative interviews about audio books, etc.

I'll be there giving away a copy of RIGGER and chatting, anwering any questions you may have for me! Come on have some spring fling reading fun!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Release day!

But not for me!
My critique partner Nara Malone's debut romance The Tiger's Tale is out today with Ellora's Cave!





Never quite fitting in, Marie has always struggled with her identity. Adam has shown her just how sensual she can be, but despite this awakening she still doesn’t feel complete. That’s because she’s not. Orphaned at birth and raised by humans, practical Marie has no idea of her dual heritage as tiger and woman, or the role she must play to save her species.

When Adam discovers that his alluring girlfriend is not only a Pantherian tiger but carries unique genetic traits that could save their species, he asks Ean to join them as the third partner in the traditional Pantherian mating triad. With the future of the species at stake, the sexy shifters have only one week to convince her that not only is she a tiger, but she must mate with both men to save the Pantherians from extinction.


Here's an excerpt:

A soft knock at the door made her wish she could burrow under her warm blanket and hide in the dark with Lilly. It would be Adam. The blue face of the alarm clock marked the time as 5:00 a.m. No one else would call at this hour.

She tossed the blanket aside. Chill bumps sprang up on her arms. A white tank top and white lace panties were more clothes than he preferred her wearing and might as well be nothing in the morning chill. She scooped the bunny up and carried her cradled just below her breasts, flipping on the light with her free hand.

She opened the door to stare into the cosmic swirl of Ean’s eyes. Her stomach responded with an excited flutter. He leaned against the doorframe.

It was freezing outside yet he wore jeans and a blue flannel shirt with the sleeves rolled up. She was thinking he should have a jacket and then recalled just how hot his skin felt pressed against hers. Maybe it was better to keep him as cool as possible.

“You should at least ask who it is.” He stepped in and past her before she could overcome her surprise and find words to send him away. “Why isn’t there a peephole in that door?”

She shivered and shut the door. “I’m not yours to worry over, Ean.”

It came out sounding crankier than she intended. He whirled, his lips pursed briefly, but he let the rudeness go without comment.

He had a notebook, a thick, brown document-sized envelope and a fat manila folder tucked under one arm. Seeing her attention go there, he deposited his bundle on the coffee table. He fished in his pocket and added a flash drive to the stack.

“Homework for you, Marie. I’m sorry about the early hour but time is critical and we can’t keep wasting it.” He turned around, taking in her one room efficiency in a half-turn.

Marie flinched inwardly, aware of the couch still folded out as her bed, the tangled blankets and sheets. They would still be warm from her body.

Ean looked back to her, his eyes wide, shock evident. “Why do you live here instead of Adam’s house?”

She lifted one shoulder and looked away. “I like my space.”

“You like your space?” Ean did another turn. “What space?”

In her arms the bunny scrabbled furiously. Marie hugged her tighter.

“Okay, I don’t want to intrude on his space.” She twisted away from Ean and carried Lilly to her box in the corner. “Go home, Ean. I’m not in the mood for this and it’s too early for whatever that is.” She jabbed a finger toward the papers teetering in an unruly stack.

Ean dropped onto her bed, elbows on knees, fingertips steepled, his chin resting on the tips of his thumbs, contemplating.

“This doesn’t make sense, Marie.”

Marie fussed with Lilly, picking cedar chips from her food dish. She didn’t answer, she couldn’t answer. She could feel the quiver of emotion just there in her throat. One word would give it all away.

He moved so softly she didn’t know he was there until she felt his warmth behind her, his arms gently encircling her, his breath against her face. He nudged back her hair. Anticipation sent a shiver through her. He covered the side of her face with a wet, sloppy lick.

The effect was like a dousing with ice water. She jumped up so fast they banged heads and she backed away from him, rubbing hers. “What is wrong with you?”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it.” He looked embarrassed.

“Look, Ean, this thing with you and Adam isn’t going to work. Just go home, okay?”

He moved toward her again and she kept retreating, swiping at the wet spot on her cheek with the back of her hand.

“Why can’t it work? I know you like me.” He backed her against the refrigerator. “And I know you like being licked.”

That comment started a tingling in the lips of her pussy. A wet trickle dampened her panties. She ducked, bracing for another sloppy lick, but he simply kissed the top of her head.

She tried pushing at his chest and wound up thinking about how broad it was, a sprinkling of red gold hair across it. He had big firm nipples. She ran her tongue over her teeth, remembering the rubbery feeling of a nipple against it, rolling the hard nub between her teeth when they clamped down.

This had to stop!

She pushed him harder and he leaned back, looking down at her with a warm, I-want-you look. She cleared her throat.

“You’ll understand why this can’t work when you’re a little older.”

The barb didn’t work. The tip of his index finger slid along her collarbone. “Your nipples get hard when I lick you.”

She looked down at the two dark circles rising to hard peaks under her thin shirt. He scooped her up in his arms then and headed for the bed. Heat radiated through his cotton shirt. Her knees hooked over one strong muscled arm while his other curved around her shoulders. The need to press her face into his neck and breathe in his scent was nearly overwhelming. She had to bite down on her tongue to resist tasting, right there where his Adam’s apple bobbed.

“Now see, this is exactly what I mean. Put me down, Ean. Carrying me without my permission is immature.” She’d meant to sound stern. It came out wobbling and breathy.

He snorted. He did put her down on the futon and sank to his knees beside it. He had that odd look in his eyes again.

“If you lick me I will cut your tongue out!”

He licked his lips instead and glanced around, “We’re getting off track here.”

There was another knock at the door.

“Adam,” Ean said, even as she thought it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Well, this is embarrassing, but I'm still reading Nauti Deceptions by Lora Leigh. I just haven't had time to read a lot in the last week I guess. Or it's a really long book. Sometimes it's hard to tell with an ebook.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Love at the Olympics

I loved watching the Olympics - the athletes are so inspiring with their talent and dedication, some of them with incredible "back stories". But I'm a romance author and the story that really caught my interest is the love story between Canadian speedskaters Charles Hamelin and Marianne St. Gelais.

When Marianne won her silver medal in the 500M short track, tears came to my eyes when I saw the passionate hug she exchanged with Charles after she won. Then Marianne won another silver medal, while Charles failed to qualify in the 1500M race. Cameras showed Marianne wiping tears as she watched that race.

Then Charles raced in the 500 m - watch this video of Marianne watching and cheering him on to a gold medal. I love this! Watch right to the end, your heart will love it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

WIPs and Chains and Read an Ebook Week

Welcome to Read an Ebook week! There are all kinds of events happening on the internet this week. Today I’m at I Do Not Want to Wait I Want the Book Now. Tomorrow at Nine Naughty Novelists it’s our Party on the 9th and we’re celebrating St Patrick’s day (a bit early) and giving away a couple of Irish themed books – one of them is mine, you can probably guess which!

Tuesday night I’ll be at the Samhain café with the 9NN for a little while and we’ll be back Friday evening for a 2 hour 9NN bash with more prizes.

I’m also blogging lots this week here, also at The Bradford Bunch, and 9NN celebrating my critique partner Nara Malone's first release (yes, an ebook) and she has lots of information about ebooks and readers and an awesome contest going on to celebrate Read an Ebook week and her new release!

So... the work in progress...my new story is coming along great! Though I am thrown off my usual pacing strategy because I’m writing this story directly into a publisher’s template. The pages have a lot more words than I’m used to so I’m having to judge the length of my scenes and chapters differently. I actually had to get out a calculator and figure things out and let me just say, math and I are not good friends. I like words much better than numbers. But I think I’ve got it figured out, it’s just different.

Anyway, this story is a bit of a challenge because of my main male character. I’m not sharing details about him just yet but it’s a challenge to show his true character when he doesn’t even realize it himself. There’s a lot of learning and growing in this story, for both my main characters and I love that.

I’m still really liking the story even at that critical one-third mark where I usually start to hate it!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sneak peak

For Friday reading, here's a sneak peak at my work in progress tentatively titled "Power Struggle":

“I’m hungry. Let’s get something to eat.”
She shifted in her seat to face him. “I didn’t think food was what you had in mind. If I’d known that, we could have left half an hour ago.”
Everything inside him eased and softened and he couldn’t help the broad grin that pulled his mouth. He wanted to grab her and hug her. “It wasn’t what I had in mind,” he admitted. “But I’m trying to slow down here.”
She nodded. “Okay. Where should we go?”
“Mickey D’s. Where else is there?”
“What!” She sputtered a laugh. “In your tux and this dress, we’re going to McDonald’s?”
He grinned. “You bet. I’m craving a Big Mac.”
Shaking her head, she leaned back in her seat. “Okay. Sure.”
Uncaring of the looks they attracted, they ordered at the counter then he carried the tray to a table in the back corner of the restaurant. The smell of the burgers and fries filled his head and tempted him. He handed Tori her hamburger and Diet Coke and then opened the box of his own burger. “Yum,” he said. “I’m addicted to these.”
“Big Macs? Or any kind of burger?”
“Pretty much any kind.” He took a big bite.
“You know it’s not really that healthy. You’re a doctor, for heaven’s sake.”
He smiled as he chewed and swallowed. “I know. Don’t do as I do, do as I say.”
She laughed and shook her head, picking up a French fry. “Okay.”
They talked as they ate, about all kinds of things – families, work, school, living in Santa Barbara. Talking to her was easy and fun and he wanted to know everything about her. By the time they left the fast-food restaurant he felt more in control of himself, a little less like throwing her over his shoulder like a cave man and carrying her back to her place to have his way with her. The thought made him grin.
“What’s so funny?”
He turned to her beside the car having unlocked the door for her. “Me.”
She nodded, lips quirked. “It’s good to laugh at yourself.”
“Yeah. I’m a laugh a minute for myself. Seriously.”
Her expression warmed and heat exploded between them again. He bent his head and kissed her, unable to stop himself. Soft and sweet, her mouth opened for his and heat poured through him, coalescing in his groin, hard and hot. Jesus! He loved her mouth. Loved the softness of her tongue. Loved the graze of her teeth. Loved the way she kissed him back.
“I’m going to take you home now,” he whispered against her mouth, fighting for breath. “And I’m not coming in with you. But I am going to call you. And we are going to go out.”
“Another fabulous dinner date?”
Laughter sprang up inside him as he moved away from her, every nerve ending in his body on fire. Christ, never mind laughing at himself, she made him laugh and he loved it. “Maybe I’ll spring for pizza.”
She laid a hand on his cheek. “That sounds great.”
*****
When Tori was alone in her house, she hopped slowly into her living room and dropped onto her couch. She stared across the room, sitting in the dark, the lights of the city spread below her window out to the blackness of the ocean.
She touched her fingertips to her mouth, where Dev had kissed her.
Dev. His name was Dev. Dev Fillmore. A doctor.
A man.
Why had she made that crack about him being a baby? It had annoyed him, and she’d hated herself for that, and plus, he was so far from a baby, or even a boy, it was ridiculous.
She leaned back into the softness of the couch and closed her eyes, remembering the smell of his skin, a sexy male scent mingled with spicy sandalwood and sage, remembering the roughness of his face against hers, the faint abrasion of his whiskers another reminder of his masculinity, his maturity. Remembering the strength in his hands, the width of his shoulders, the power of his gaze when he’d looked into her eyes and threatened to carry her out of there.
Remembering how she’d melted, how her panties had literally grown wet, how she’d ached between her thighs, how…she’d wanted him to carry her out of there.
Dear god, she’d wanted him to carry her out of there.
She knew her own weaknesses, her own triggers and hot buttons and Dev had been pushing them all evening. Wow.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Before I talk about what I'm reading (and almost not reading!) let me invite you to come by Leah Braemel's blog today where I am talking about my latest fun way to procrastinate!

After a run-in with the Sony store the other night (the books I wanted were only available in the U.S.!! What's up with that??) I headed on over to All Romance eBooks to make my purchases and ran into some technical difficulties. It was just me being a big techie loser. All is fine and I have a big list of books to be read.

I was too busy watching Olympics to read much (or write much!) but now they're over and I'm feeling the post-Olympic let down and ready to read.

Reading now: Nauti Deceptions by Lora Leigh. A good solid hot Lora Leigh story.

Monday, March 1, 2010

WIPs and Chains

Well I sure didn't get much writing done this weekend with all the Olympic excitement. Now they're over, life can get back to normal although I'm going to be in serious Olylmpics withdrawal.

I hada look at my half finished Ponzi story. It’s actually more than half done and once again I think – surely I can finish this? But then, I don’t know where it came from but a brand new idea popped into my head. It has a BDSM theme. When I started mapping out my story and my characters, it became incredibly clear and exciting and this is the story I have to work on next.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have contractual obligations that you have to fulfill. Like, you have to write two romantic suspense books over the next year. What would I do? Could I handle that? What if the ideas dry up and there’s just nothing there? What would it be like to have a deadline? I’ve never really had to deal with that and I consider myself a fast and prolific writer, and I’ve never really had much trouble staying motivated. In fact I feel pretty much driven to write. All the time. But what if the pressure made me seize up and not be able to meet the deadline? Maybe some day I’ll experience that For now I’ll just keep writing.