Posts Tagged ‘romance’
It’s a big release week around here. I re-released SLIDING INTO HOME—and along with it, BARING IT ALL.
BARING is a free short story giving a glimpse into the secret life of Jenn’s twin sister, Jess (the exotic dancer).
Sliding into Home
Baring It All
Isn’t “Beauty’s Release” the title of an Anne Rice book? Haven’t read it, but I was in high school when I first heard of it. I remember being intrigued by the mere idea of her Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, written under the pen name A.N. Roquelaure. I’d just read—and fallen in love with—THE VAMPIRE LESTAT, and wanted to read all the Anne Rice books I could get my hands on.
You can imagine that, in small-town Indiana in the late 1980s, the Beauty trilogy wasn’t readily available on the library shelf. I wonder if they have it even now …
Ahem. File that under “jaunt down memory lane.” Funny how the strangest things send you down that road, eh? When I typed in my blog post title, I was off.
Welcome to the My Sexy Saturday in which I get to celebrate the release of BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER. BEAUTY, which went live Thursday, has been many things to me — my first manuscript set somewhere outside the Midwest (in Flagstaff, Ariz), the first one with a baseball player hero, the first (and only) one to final in the Golden Heart (and win the FCRW Beacon).
Yet it’s the second book in my All Is Fair in Love & Baseball series. How’d that happen?
Not only was BEAUTY the second book I sold to Turquoise Morning Press, it fell second in my Arizona Condors timeline. Dave and Mel had already bumped into one another and reconciled by the time Matt meets Meg. In fact, Dave’s experience, which Matt went through alongside him, plays a role in Matt’s reasons for doing some of the things he does to piss Meg off. (DIVA IN THE DUGOUT came out of Matt’s explanation to Meg.)
You know the My Sexy Saturday drill by now, right?
Post 7 paragraphs or 7 sentences or 7 words ONLY. The choice is yours. It can be from a WIP or something you already have published. Your post should be live by 9 am US Pacific Time on Saturday. Put those lucky 7s to work for you!
This scene, from the early chapters, finds Matt kicked out of his hotel room while his brother, super-stylist Stan, cuts Meg’s hard-to-manage hair. Roping his brother into cutting her hair was Matt’s “in” to see her again. While he kills time in the lobby, one of his teammates tries to pick up the hotel restaurant’s hostess. The kid enlists Matt’s help, and Matt realizes she’s a baseball groupie just as Meg and his brother get to the lobby. But Meg doesn’t know he’s a ballplayer, and that’s the way he likes it … so he has to get her out the door before the hostess exposes his identity.
Matt pushed the door open and dragged her through it just as flashes started going off behind them.
Desperate that she not turn around to try to see what—or rather who—someone was attempting to photograph, he wrapped an arm around her waist and bent his head to kiss her.
Her lips were soft. Extremely soft. Beyond that, she tasted like something he couldn’t put his finger on. Slightly salty, but comforting.
As he maneuvered her away from the doors and into the darkness, he deepened the kiss. She responded in kind, and he forgot where he was. Forgot everything except kissing this woman who didn’t want him only for his talent.
Oh, she wanted him all right, but not because he could play baseball. That couldn’t be why; she had no clue.
Spurred by the thought, Matt pushed Meg against the wall. He was about to hike her leg up over his hip to draw her closer when his brother’s voice whispered in his ear.
“Matty, you don’t want people to see you out here like this, do you?”
Beauty and the Ballplayer, available now from Turquoise Morning Press and other e-tailers.
My debut romance, DIVA IN THE DUGOUT, will be up for sale at Turquoise Morning Press this week. To celebrate, this week’s My Sexy Saturday seven are from that story. (Yes, this time I’m using a snippet from the actual book, not something I cut.)
This moment comes at the end of a long, emotionally charged day, the day Dave and his daughter meet for the first time, under mamma Melinda’s watchful—and slightly green—eye. Mel’s having trouble reconciling how enamored Tara is with all things “Daddy,” in part because she, too, is still attracted to the man.
When Tara demands that Dave be the one to put her to bed and read her a bedtime story, Mel can’t resist peeking in. Touched by the sight of father and daughter together at last, her emotions are churning when she sits down on the couch with Dave.
Dave’s grin flickered on in full force, and something else melted inside her. “Renewing our acquaintance.”
There had to be something wrong with that idea, but Mel suddenly couldn’t think what. She leaned into him, her lips parted, already begging for a kiss.
His lips settled over hers and his tongue swept into her mouth. Her senses swirled with the touch of his tongue until she barely noticed he was repositioning her onto his lap.
Mel’s body remembered. Her nipples puckered and her panties grew damp in response to the erection nudging through two layers of denim. Dave deepened the kiss. His hands settled on her hips, bringing the most intimate part of her more firmly in contact with him.
Caught up in old memories and new sensations, she didn’t object when he eased her back against the arm of the couch and started fumbling with the button on her shorts. She wasn’t thinking of Tara, just upstairs, or the fact that Luanne would arrive any minute.
She wanted—no, needed—this. Sex. With Muscles. She hadn’t had intimate relations with anyone since…since a disastrous reunion attempt with Bud when Tara was nine months old.
DIVA IN THE DUGOUT, out this week!
I remember plowing through the stacks of Harlequin and Silhouette books Mom would bring home from the library, secured with a rubber band. (Apparently, the library thought bundles were more appealing.) My couch potato self spent many a lazy Saturday devouring two or three category-length titles in one sitting.
As I got older, the romance reading continued. With each book I finished, so did the conviction that I needed to be writing romance. I’d close a book and think, “I could write that. I could write something better than that.”
Ah, the overconfidence of the uneducated. Turns out that writing one — a good one, at least — is much harder than it looked.
But once I started trying, I never looked back. I moved from Indiana to Arizona in 1999, and in 2001 won a radio station’s “dinner with a romance writer” contest. That’s when I met Rita Rainville, then a member of NARWA. I started attending the group’s meetings, joined RWA and discovered just how much I had to learn about writing romance.
Finally, in 2011, I snagged the coveted title of Golden Heart finalist … a sure sign I was mastering the craft. I was on the verge of the big payoff — publication. Still, it eluded me until this year.
Nowadays, it seems that I spend most of my free time writing romance instead of reading it. Whenever I get a few minutes not consumed by the dreaded day job, I feel the need to devote it to writing.
But August is National Read-A-Romance Month, not Write-A-Romance Month. That begs the question: “Why do I read romance?”
When I started reading them in middle school, I most likely read as a way to pass time. There’s not much to do in rural Indiana. I’m sure I also read for the sex ed. So much more fun — and informative — than health class. (Am I the only one who wondered what the guys were learning when they were sent to another room while we girls watched the same damn menstruation movie three years running?)
Of course, I could have passed time reading any kind of book. And did. I read a lot of Stephen King as a high school freshman. Then, my sophomore year, I discovered Anne Rice and devoured everything of hers I could get my hands on.
Still, I kept going back to romance. Those are the stories that draw me in and leave me satisfied. I’m not happy unless the characters get the ending they deserve. That’s one thing that drove me crazy when I read Gone Girl. The book was a real page-turner, but no one got what was coming to them in that book. (Link takes you to my weight-loss blog.)
Romance offers that happy ending. It allows the characters the happily-ever-after ending they need. I’d much rather see folks I’ve come to know and love get what they deserve.
Kristan Higgins, one of my favorite writers, put it much more succinctly in her post Monday. We read romance for the hope.
Most people in life don’t transform, don’t have a clearly delineated character arc that blossoms in the space of a few weeks or months as the outer goal is accomplished. That’s what makes a romance novel so gratifying, and uplifting…and hopeful. They did it. They’re our role models, and it doesn’t matter if they’re fictional, so long as they walk the walk of someone who was stuck, and afraid to try something different, and risked it all for love…and triumphed.
Do yourself a favor and read her entire post. It’s excellent — and just another reason to love Kristan.
I still remember the few minutes we chatted in the elevator at RWA Nationals in NYC in 2011. Me, a nervous first-time conference attendee, wearing my GH finalist ribbon and completely overwhelmed by the whole experience. Her, lovely and gracious and …
Okay, I mostly remember that we were staying on the same floor. I told her I loved her books. We commiserated over how the experts said rom-com is dead and declared we actually wrote funny contemporary romance … or something like that.
Long live the funny contemporary! And long live romance. May it continue to offer everything readers need.