Disappearing Act II

If you browse my website, you’ll find that these cover place holders are all over the place. Between all the Ellora’s Cave books, several Loose Id books, and now the Samhain Publishing books, along with new books being written, there are many, many Cover Coming Soon images. More than 18…

I was not planning to have all these books returned to me in such a short amount of time (though to be fair, the Loose Id books are because I opted to not renew the contracts). However, there are more books now NOT available with my name on them than there are available with.

I ask for your patience as I write new books, revise these older titles, and work on coming up with a plan for it all. I had a plan at the beginning of the year. With Samhain closing it’s doors, that plan went out the window as most of my plans do.

The additional books that will be re-released as soon as I can fit them all in and get them re-covered are:

Pink Buttercream Frosting
Sweet Caroline (Blue Jeans and Hard Hats)
Cracklin’ Rosie (Blue Jeans and Hard Hats)
Twisted Up
Malachi’s Word (The Bar Next Door)
Eli’s Promise (The Bar Next Door)
Arctic Shift (Denali Heat)

Abe’s Law (The Bar Next Door) has been started.
Denali Heat #2, #3 have been started as well.
Forever In Blue Jeans (Blue Jeans and Hard Hats) has been written and finished. It was self-published, but I removed it to wait for Sweet Caroline and Cracklin’ Rosie to come available from Samhain (sooner than planned, apparently).

Things are in the works and I’ll keep you updated when titles will be re-published.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

~lissa

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Snippet Saturday – Character Sass

Ah, hell y’all…character sass is our theme for today. This is an easy one. I’m about as full of sass and sarcasm and smart mouthedness (Yes it’s a word! I just made it up. I can do that. I’m a writer!). And if Southerners know anything, it’s how to sass. Whether it be our elders, for which we get the switch taken to us for, or our frenemies, or our boyfriends…no one is safe from sass.

As I was thinking about this post and thinking about my books, well there is one very good sass giver…Rosie. She doesn’t let Decker have a moment of peace from her sharp retorts and back talk. It gets her a behind numbing spankin’, but her mouth is one of the most loveable things about her character.

Snippet:

“Rose!” Decker pulled up alongside her and called out her name through the open window. When she didn’t acknowledge him or his beat up work truck, he called out again. “Rose!”

She finally turned, pulled the bright green earbuds from her ears, and cocked her hip out to the side with her hands on her waist. “The name is Rosie. Not Rose. R. O. S. I. E. Rosie. Now, you try it.”

She gestured toward him, and he grinned. She hated being called Rose. He didn’t think there was a real reason why, but after a few days he’d learned that she wasn’t going to respond to anything with any kind of delicious heat unless he called her Rosie. “Rosie. Better?”

She grinned back. His dick hardened, and his heart melted. He wasn’t sure what it was about the curvy, pint-sized waitress that turned him on, but he couldn’t stop thinking about her, wanting her and damn when the roofing job was done, he was going to figure out her weakness and get her into bed with him.

“Yes, better. What do you want, Decker? I’m on my way to work and don’t want to be late. Besides, you’re blocking traffic.”

Decker laughed and shook his head. There was no traffic in the small town at this ungodly hour of the morning because everyone was either still asleep or having a nice leisurely breakfast down at the diner. “I stopped to see if you’d like a ride to work.”

“It’s only about a half mile down the road. I think I can make it. Thanks. And you’re going in the wrong direction anyway.” She started walking again, summarily dismissing him. He drove up to the next street and turned around. When he pulled up alongside her again, she didn’t wait until he’d shouted her name to look at him. She kept walking though.

The way her peach-colored dress pulled across her hips and ass when she walked did nothing to sway his libido in any direction other than the current where’s-the-nearest-flat-surface one. The bodice hugged her breasts in just the right way, not too tight, not too loose, but dear Lord in heaven she had a beautiful pair. He hadn’t seen them naked yet, but he had a pretty good imagination and it told him that she’d overflow his hands and respond so well to the teasing tip of his tongue.

She had pretty, blemish free skin, save for the few freckles dotting her nose and cheeks. She walked to work every day, too, and had strong-looking legs. She wasn’t thin, slender or skinny. She had too many curves for that, which suited him just fine. He didn’t go for the rail thin, magazine-size women. Never had and it was too bad that L.A. was all about skinny and bikini and boy hips. He didn’t go for the centerfold type either. He’d always been partial to real women that took care of themselves but weren’t afraid to indulge in real food and that had a little extra flesh. It marked up so well to his spankings, floggings, whippings. They could take a real good fucking, too, and he wasn’t afraid he’d break them in half. Oh yeah, Miss Rosie was perfect for him. He just had to convince her of that.

“Why are you following me? Aren’t you supposed to be working on my house?”

She was still walking but had looked in his direction as she spoke. “I’m not following you. I’m walking you to work. Sort of.”

“Cute. You don’t have to. I can make it there on my own.”

“I know, but I wanted to. What’s wrong with that? Ever hear of something called chivalry? Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?”

“No, why?”

Was that a blush he saw coloring her cheeks? “You seem a little grumpy.”

“Oh. Well, I’m not grumpy. I just don’t like to talk in the mornings.”

“You’re in the wrong line of work then, aren’t you? Don’t you have to talk to people?”

“That’s different. I prefer not talking to anyone on my way to work.”

“Kind of like your alone time? Gearing up for the day ahead?”

“Exactly.” Her face brightened in the early morning sun. “That’s exactly what it’s like. Thanks for understanding. Now, go away.”

“Afraid I can’t do that. We’re too close to the diner, and I’m suddenly famished. I need a good breakfast before I start my day. As they say, breakfast is the most important meal.”

She stopped then, and he put on the brakes. He was a little surprised when she pulled open the door and climbed up into the cab of the truck. She slammed the door and stared straight ahead with her arms crossed over her chest. “Fine. Take me to work so I can get you some food and then you can get me a roof.”

Decker grinned again. Hell, he’d been grinning since he woke up and realized the hard-on he was sporting was all because of her. Then, he spotted her walking this morning and knew he was in danger of that grin being a permanent fixture on his face He couldn’t remember another woman with that effect on him. Ever.

Rosie was special.

When Buck, one of his best friends, contacted him about a roofing job and new business opportunity, Decker had packed his gear, grabbed the keys to his truck and headed out. He didn’t stay in one place very long, liked travel, liked seeing different parts of the country and Buck’s call had come at just the right time.

During the last storm, a branch had dropped from a tree outside Rosie’s little cabin and straight through the roof into the kitchen, leaving a large gaping hole.

He was replacing the old shingled roof with a beautiful red metal one. The red would stand out against the green mountain countryside the cabin was nestled in. Surrounded by trees, the dark worn wood would take on a whole new life with the red.

“I think I know what the problem is,” he said quietly.

“What the problem is with what?”

“You.”

She turned her head sharply in his direction. Dark auburn tendrils of hair framed her face while the rest was pulled back in a ponytail that hung against the top of her dress collar. He rarely saw her without her hair up or pulled back, but then he rarely saw her anywhere other than the diner.

He’d been in town for two weeks and had taken to her like a fish to water. He was hooked and wasn’t afraid to admit it.

“Me? What the hell are you talking about?”

“The problem is that you want me. You’re trying to deny it, trying to fight it. It’s making you really grumpy.”

She dipped her head, looked up at him from under her lashes and over the bronze metal frame of her glasses. “I want you?”

“Yes.”

“If I wanted you, shouldn’t it make me happy rather than grumpy?”

Decker shook his head and pulled into the diner drive, parking in a spot directly in front of the door. He shifted in his seat to look at her, hooking his arm over the steering wheel. “Not if you don’t want to want me. Which, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t. I mean, I’m rather amazing.”

He puffed out his chest and tilted his head in profile like the kings of old he’d seen painted in portraits. The next thing he heard was the slamming of the truck door for the second time that morning. Rosie stood on the ground, scowling and trying to fight a laugh. Her lips were quivering, and her beautiful eyes were crinkled at the corners. He drove her crazy and he liked it, was proud of it, but after two weeks of her fighting the heat and attraction between them, the time had come to make some forward progress.

“Well, let me put your mind at ease before you hurt yourself preening like a peacock. I do want you. I want you so much I can’t sleep at night because when I do manage a little of it, I dream about you. It’s driving me nuts. You,” she pointed a finger at him, “are driving me nuts.”

He sat there stunned and speechless, nothing coherent forming in his mind beyond the admission that she wanted him. Her words played over and over in his head as he stared at her, mute.

“I’m going inside now. When you’ve gotten your wits about you again, come on in and I’ll get you some food so you can go work on my house and get the hell out of my life. Okay?”

She turned on her heel and walked up the concrete steps, flung open the glass door, and went through, out of sight. She wanted him. She’d said so and even though he’d already known it, her admitting it…well there were no sweeter words at the moment.

She said she dreamed about him too.

Holy shit.

Of course, then she’d said she wanted him out of her life. No way, no how. Not after that confession, no matter how grudgingly given. She was stuck with his happy ass now.

He pulled the keys from the ignition and got out of the truck. She thought she was going to get rid of him. Decker laughed. She hadn’t seen the glint in her own eyes. She hadn’t seen the way she looked at him, the way she let her gaze wander over him every time they saw one another. She would see it though. He’d make sure of it.

* * *

The bell chimed above the door and out of the corner of her eye, Rosie saw the bane of her existence walk through. Though bane was a really harsh word and not at all accurate. He was more or less every bit of her fantasy life. He took a seat at the far end of the counter, straddling the barstool, and all she could think about was straddling him. She didn’t want to serve him breakfast and coffee. She wanted to serve him herself, on a platter, in a bed or in the bed of his truck. She didn’t care where or when or how…she just wanted him.

And she didn’t know how to handle it. She hid behind her snark and sarcasm because it kept her safe, kept the locals and those just passing through at a distance unable to see the naughty secret she hid. They all knew her as sweet, part girl part tomboy Rosie with the ex-hippie mother that had fallen in love with the most eligible bachelor in town at the time. Rosie hadn’t grown up to be a shy or timid woman. In her line of work, she couldn’t be. She wasn’t uncertain about herself either. She just liked to keep her personal life…personal.

She’d lived in this little town all her life, loved it, didn’t want to live anywhere else. She met interesting people every day, learned a lot from the tourists, and essentially that’s what Decker wasa tourist. He was there for a short period of time and for a specific reasonto put a roof on her house. He was there as a favor, with a purpose, and wasn’t going to be hanging around after the job was done. She couldn’t want him. It was a dumb idea to want him, but damn… From the first minute she saw him, she’d wanted him. Completely, totally.

He sparked the kind of want and need and hunger and desire that was flat out too close to what she craved and what she tried so hard to hide from everyone that had known her since she was knee-high. Only one other person knew her secret longings because they’d grown up together, were best friends, and had accepted the differences in one another.

Though, it was a good bet that her new friend, Caroline had figured it out, too. She and her boyfriend, Buck, had moved to Blue Ridge about a few months ago during the summer and the two women had hit it off immediately.

A few times when Rosie had gone to hang out with Caroline at the woman’s cabin, little things had captured her attention—the wooden paddle left on the end table, the riding crop on the coffee table, the strips of leather on the end of a counter. But it was the ball gag that had really piqued her interest and made her ask questions.

Caroline never shied away from them and never blushed when talking about it. Rosie didn’t try to hide her curiosity, but she thought she’d at least hidden her hunger and envy at what Caroline and Buck had.

“You want me to get his order?”

Rosie glanced at Decker who was staring at her. Evidently, Caroline had picked up on Rosie wanting more than to live vicariously through her and Buck, too. She shifted her gaze back to Betsy, her partner at the counter this morning. “No, I’ll get to him. Eventually.”

Problem wasn’t her getting to him. Problem was him getting to her. And the longer he remained in Blue Ridge, the more he got to her. She’d just admitted to wanting him, just told him she couldn’t sleep because of him. She shouldn’t be admitting things like that. She knew deep down it wasn’t going to deter him, either. Hell no, it was only to make him more determined.

“You sure? I don’t mind. Thinkin’ I might like to get more than his order.”

Rosie would be irritated if it was anyone else, but Betsy was pushing sixty-five. She winked at the other waitress. “Go for it then, Bets. He might be into cougars.”

Betsy laughed. “You bad girl. That man is young enough to be my son. Sadly, I don’t think he comes in here to see me. I believe he’s only got eyes for you.”

Yes, Rosie knew that to be true. He did. And it sucked. He was still staring at her, too, smiling. She didn’t know his friend Buck all that well, but at the moment, she wanted to kill him for asking Decker to come and work on her house. Which in turn would lead to her wanting to kill Caroline because Rosie had no doubt the other woman had mentioned it to Buck. Yeah, mass murder all around.

“He’s a good one.”

Rosie snorted. “How do you know that?”

“I can just tell. You know, my Bert proposed to me three days after we met. The heart knows.”

“So your heart knows that the roofer is what? A good man?”

“Yes. But more importantly, your heart knows it, too.”

“Things don’t happen like that anymore, Bets.”

“Oh, girl, please. The heart is the same. The feelings are the same. The details may be different, but in the end the heart knows. He’s one of the good ones. He’s one of the few worthy ones. Now, are you gonna go get his order or…?

“I’m going. I’m going. You drive a hard bargain. You know that?”

“That’s my job. You’re the granddaughter I never had. Now scoot and stop giving that young man such a hard time.”

Rosie stuck her tongue out at the grandmother she never had and made her way to the other end of the counter. It just wasn’t as easy as Betsy made it sound. Rosie wished it were, but… She shook her head and glared at Decker. “You want the usual? To go?”

“Nope. I’m not in a hurry this morning.”

Of course not. “Well, we’re pretty busy, so how about I get it all bagged up for you anyway and you can give up your seat for another customer. That would be the gentlemanly thing to do.”

“You’re not being very hospitable, Rosie. Might have to talk to your manager.”

It’s not that she didn’t want him around. It’s that she wanted him around too much. It threw her off her game. She didn’t know how to handle a man’s interest like his. Hell, she didn’t know how to handle her own interest in him. She was thirty-seven years old and had never come across a man as potent as him—straight sun-streaked brown hair to his collar, black-rimmed glasses with skulls on the frames, dark chocolate eyes, and tattoos. He had tattoos up and down his back. She’d seen him once without his shirt and stared and drooled like a damn fool. He was gorgeous. At least to her. Most people in town gave him a wide berth until he smiled at them. Then they warmed up, shaking his hand, talking to him, making him feel welcome and at home in their little community. She didn’t want him feeling at home here. She wanted him to go home, back to wherever he came from.

And speaking of that damned smile of his. It was very disarming and melted every woman, even ones older than Betsy, into a puddle. He had eyes for only one woman though.

Why couldn’t he have been one of those overweight, beer-bellied, crack-showing blue-collar guys? It would have made life lately so much easier.

“I am the manager.”

Then there was the megawatt grin. His teeth were pearly white in his tan face, straight and beautiful. Could teeth be beautiful?

“Well, isn’t that fortunate for you? Not to mention, I never said I was anything close to a gentleman.”

He hadn’t, but she knew he was. He opened doors for little old ladies. He shook hands with little old men. He smiled, made small talk with people, and she knew he’d give his last dollar to anyone that might need it. He had that bad-boy look yes, but he was a gentleman through and through. It sucked. Why couldn’t he be a jerk? “Seriously, Decker, what can I get you? We are busy, and I just…I don’t like you.”

“So you were lying out at the truck?”

“No I wasn’t lying. I don’t lie.” At least not to anyone but herself. “I said I wanted you. I said nothing at all about liking you.”

end Snippet

Please enjoy sassy snippets from the following awesome authors:

Megan Hart:Read in bed!
Rhian Cahill
Jody Wallace
Eliza Gayle
Mandy M Roth
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Lauren Dane
Leah Braemel
Shiloh Walker
TJ Michaels
Zoë Archer

Have a great weekend, y’all!

~lissa

Snippet Saturday – Friends

Friends. They are a valuable part of our lives. Some are here for the long haul, some for only short bursts. Some are good friends. Some are not. Some we think are true, yet there are those in all our lives who prove false.

I think we all are different people to the different friends we have. We are closer to a handful than to the majority, or sometimes it’s even the other way around. There are friends we lose that we wish to have back and those we need to let go of.

At the present time, I can count on one hand those who I consider true and meaningful, there for me no matter what. Those are the ones we should cling to when we feel alone in the world. The ones there through thick and thin, good and bad. They know our faults and love us anyway. They know who they are and I am thankful for them.

My snippet today is from the Blue Jeans and Hard Hats series. I will be releasing the 3rd book in February and though the individual books center around the women and their men, the thing that brings them all together is the friendship between Buck, Decker, and Cort.

Snippet:

“Haven’t you perfected that damn recipe yet?” Cort asked just before tilting the beer bottle up and taking a long swallow. It was good to be with Decker and Buck again. It was good to be with the women that had stolen his friends’ hearts and weren’t looking to latch onto his. It was good to be away from Blue. Good God, it was good to be away from her. She had him all twisted up in knots, and that just wasn’t going to work for him. He was done obsessing about her.

The more he thought about it, the more he agreed with his first assessment of her. She was everything he wanted, at least the outside of her was. The image of her tight, curvy body, her expressive, soulful eyes, her hair that simply begged to be pulled, her tattoos… Shit. None of his lovers had ever had tattoos, and he wanted to see each and every one Blue had, up close and personal. He wanted to trace them with his fingers, with his tongue, cover them in his come and smear it into them.

But he couldn’t. He didn’t need to be wanting her. The sparks might still be there between them, but all these years later, what she did and with whom was none of his business. He didn’t care.

Right? Right.

“Yet?”

Cort looked over at Rosie, who’d asked, and nodded. “He’s been working on that recipe for more years than I’ve known him.”

“It’s the best burger I’ve ever had so whatever he’s perfected, I know what he can do if he ever gets tired of roofing.”

A bark of laughter sounded from the direction of the grill. “I’ll happily take up the grill duties at the diner, but you know my conditions.”

A look passed between the two lovers and Cort knew he had to ask. “What conditions?”

“New uniforms,” they both answered at the same time.

Maybe he shouldn’t have asked. “Something wrong with the current ones?”

“They keep her too covered up.”

Rosie glowered at Decker, but Cort caught the glimmer in her eyes. They had a special chemistry. Cort couldn’t deny the twist of envy filling his gut. He wanted to ignore it, but he couldn’t do that either. He wanted that, what they shared.

Eventually.

At some point.

But not with Blue.

And if he chose to ignore the voice in his head screaming that he was a liar, well, that was his prerogative.

“I can’t go around naked, Decker.”

“I didn’t say you had to be naked.”

“Daisy Dukes and halter tops are close enough.”

“I didn’t say you had to wear Daisy Dukes.”

“No, you said I should serve breakfast in my bras and panties.”

“No. I said when you’re in the kitchen with me, you should only been in your bra and panties.” Decker winked and Rosie stuck her tongue out at him.

“There’s an open… Oh never mind. We’re not changing uniforms.”

“Then I’m not going to work for you.”

The back-and-forth banter was quite telling for Cort. His buddy Decker had it bad. He’d noticed the same thing about Buck and Caroline the night before. How his friends had gotten so damn lucky, he’d never know. He wouldn’t deny his happiness for them, though. He couldn’t think of two men more deserving of that kind of love.

“Good.”

“Great.”

“Fine.”

“Fine.” Rosie stood and went inside with Decker’s gaze following her every move. It was few minutes before he turned his attention back to the task at hand.

The silence that ensued made Cort feel uncomfortable. He didn’t like being left with his own thoughts for too long. He got crazy notions about settling down and opting for a steady, long-term relationship with just one woman and the wouldn’t-it-be-nice scenarios. Nope. Nothing good ever came from those kinds of thoughts. He was better off if his mind or hands or preferably both were occupied with either eating, working, or working on eating a woman.

That particular train of thought led straight to mental images of Blue stretched out on a bed, a waist cincher wrapped tight around her middle, the curves of her hips and thighs framed to absolute perfection, and his mouth…

Shit.

He couldn’t be, shouldn’t be, refused to continue thinking about her in those terms. Again. Still. His time with her was over. They had one night and not even a whole night at that, but it was done, over with. She was a client, now. He was going to re-wire her rambling plantation house and then, with any real luck, he’d only see her rarely afterward.

“Cort?”

“Hmm?”

Decker laughed. “You drifted.”

Shit. Again. “Yeah well, it’s been a long day.”

“I’d have thought the time zone difference wouldn’t be affecting you.”

“It’s not.”

“Jet lag should be gone,” Decker went on as though Cort hadn’t said anything.

“I don’t get jet lag.”

“Uh-huh. Did you sleep okay last night? It’s different than sleeping in hotels or in cities. It’s so quiet out here. Took a while for me to get used to it.

“Yeah, slept fine. I don’t mind the quiet.”

“Wanna talk about it, then? Whatever it is?”

“What the hell are we? A couple of women? No, I don’t want to talk about it because there’s nothing to talk about.”

“Did you uh… Did you see the pictures?” Decker whispered from across the deck.

Cort shook his head. Just like a teenager to ask about the dirty pictures. Only Decker wasn’t a teenage boy anymore. Perv. “Yes. And no, I’m not going to tell you anything about them except to say they weren’t at all what I was expecting.” He got up and took two steps before the voice stopped him in his tracks.

“Not leaving on my account, I hope?”

Blue. And…him. The guy from the porch. The guy with his arm around Blue’s waist, holding her so tight against his body, holding her with such ease and familiarity that Cort wanted to punch him right in the nose and mess up his handsome face.

“Hey Blue,” Decker said from behind Cort’s still-as-the-night body. “Rosie said you might be coming.”

“Hey there. Yes, Rosie strong-armed me into making cake.” Blue was still staring at Cort even as she spoke to the other man.

“Hi, Decker, I’m Neil, Blue’s uh…friend. I don’t usually miss a barbecue, and when I heard about your skills with a grill, I was intrigued.”

“Hey man, any friend of Blue’s is always welcome. So Rosie’s told you guys she only wants me for my meat?”

Blue finally broke eye contact to look at Decker. She winked at him over Cort’s shoulder and laughed. “You could say that.” Decker’s bark of laughter was her reward and the smile that lit up her face… Damn.

End snippet

Please enjoy snippets from the following authors:

Megan Hart — Read in bed!
Eliza Gayle
Rhian Cahill
Anne Rainey
Jody Wallace
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
Alison Kent
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Leah Braemel
Shelli Stevens
Shiloh Walker
TJ Michaels
Zoë Archer
Lacey Savage

Have a great weekend and tell your friends how much they mean to you.

~lissa