Snippet Saturday – Beginnings

The beginning of a relationship is exciting. It’s scary as hell too. There are all sorts of emotions running through your head and sometimes you even second guess everything that is said or done by either of you.

It’s no different in a romance novel. The hero and heroine go through the same things, the same mixed bag of emotions. They each have their own hurts and vulnerabilities and issues. And while we may not always think so, those things are part of the excitement, too.

Snippet:

Oh God. She was really there, staring at him, and he — bless his gorgeous face — he looked happy to see her. Looking at his smile, she suddenly felt out of her element again and for some reason not quite up to the dress code in her denim knee-length skirt and brown hoodie. Her pink painted toes curled under as she shifted her weight nervously from one foot to the other in the cute, sparkly flip-flops Alli had talked her into wearing. But there wasn’t a dress code, given that he was in faded, threadbare jeans with holes in the knees and one of the back pockets ripped at the seams. His T-shirt was black with a washed-out logo she couldn’t make out, and his sneakers had seen much better days. Still, she felt uncertain about how she looked to him standing there while they stared at each other. What was it about him that drew her and scared her all at the same time? Maybe it was his freshness, his youth, his smile that was flawless and bright and aimed at her.

He stopped in front of her. “You’re here.”

“Yes. I-I hope it’s okay that I just showed up like this without calling first.”

“Yep. I’m glad you’re here. I can stop checking my phone every thirty seconds now.”

Checking his phone? Was he serious? Surely not. “I-I’m sure you have things to do. I just wanted to…” Lily hated that she was stumbling all over herself and couldn’t seem to get a string of words to come out in some semblance of order and make sense. The man had her all tongue-tied and she wished she hadn’t had that particular thought, because she would love to be tongue-tied, naked, and wrapped around him.

Dammit. She really had to stop thinking things like that. If she could just stay focused on the fact that he was so much younger than her, she might actually get out of this awkward mess unscathed.

And he had to stop looking at her like he wanted to devour her.

“I have nothing else that I’m needed for until tomorrow, so that means I’m all yours tonight.”

“Oh.” She likely hadn’t hidden the surprise at his choice of words, because he laughed. All hers? Yeah, right. In what universe was a man like Cam Carter ever going to be “all hers”?

“You like that idea.”

The man was reading her mind again, just as he’d done at the autograph session. She had to learn not to be so transparent. Alli was forever telling her that everything she thought or felt could be seen in her eyes and in the expressions on her face.

“Well, yes, of course. How could I not?” She’d play along, though. How often did an average, ordinary music teacher and orchestra member get this kind of opportunity? “I’d be crazy to not want you all to myself.”

“Great. Because that’s how I want you.” He stepped closer and lifted his hand, then traced the outline of her cheekbone, causing her breath to catch in her throat. “I want you all to myself.”

He was going to kiss her. She knew it because he took off his sunglasses, because the pulse beat in his neck had kicked into high gear, because his lips actually brushed hers. Oh. My. God.

He’s too young. He’s too young. He’s too young.

Her mind rattled off the litany. She promised herself she needed to remember it in the event she got carried away and gave serious consideration to spending any kind of time with him. But all of it flew away in the breeze when she let herself get swept up in the softness of his lips, the insistent tip of his tongue, the feel of his hand sliding into her hair, holding her mouth to his.

It was a brief kiss, just a taste of him, but it was enough to whet her appetite for more. The little devil inside her head laughed. As if she needed her appetite whetted. She had thought of little else in the last six days, and she’d never wrestled with anything more. Should she or shouldn’t she? Should she call or just show up?

More than once, she’d picked up the phone and dialed his number but never let the call go through. What if he hadn’t remembered her by just her name and voice alone? What if he put her off or changed his mind or hadn’t meant for her to take the date and time on the picture seriously?

She’d been so uncertain that Alli had actually followed her to the race shop and waited while she got out of her car and sat down on the bench. As soon as Alli left, Lily had entertained the same notion, but then Cam walked out, and she couldn’t walk away without trying. Trying what, she didn’t know, but there was definitely something between them, some chemistry even she couldn’t deny.

“Just as sweet as I knew you’d be.”

Lily smiled, unsure what to say. You are just as hot as I remembered, and I want to see how hot you are naked in bed.

“What do you want to do? Dinner? A movie? A concert? A club? Whatever you want to do, we will do.”

“A date?”

“Yes. What did you think this was?”

“I don’t know. I didn’t know you wanted to go out with me. On a date. In public.”

Cam looked at her curiously, his smile faltering, his eyes hooded and unreadable. “Was I being presumptuous in thinking that you might like to?”

“I… No. No, not at all. ”

The light returned to his face and it took her breath away. Again. Damn. The effect the man had on her… Cam Carter wanted her, wanted to spend time with her, go out on a date with her. She wasn’t strong enough to deny him or herself. He was offering her a chance few women ever got. Why not make the most of it?

“Just so we’re clear here, I want more than one date, Lily.”

Well, she wasn’t expecting that. She swallowed hard. “More than one date?”

“Oh yes. A lot more than one.”

“What do you mean?”

Cam smiled at her and bent to kiss her again, short and sweet, just a meeting of lips. “We’ll talk about it later. What do you say we go have dinner? I’m starving, and a steak sounds great.”

“Right. Okay.”

“Do you mind if we take my truck?”

“Truck? You drive a truck?”

“Yeah. What were you thinking I drove?”

“Honestly, I don’t know, maybe a sports car, but a truck never entered my mind.”

“My family lives for trucks.” His grin was megawatt as he slid his sunglasses back on.

“I can drive my own car.”

“I know, but I’d rather us take one car. Like a proper date. Besides, this way I know we’ll get to where we’re going together, and you won’t run on me.”

Lily laughed. “Yes, but you’ll have to bring me back here to pick up my car.”

“I don’t care. Just gives me a little more time with you. C’mon.”

He didn’t give her time to say anything else, because he took her hand and pulled her along behind him. And the view was amazing. Her “good girl” side was admonishing her for staring so blatantly at Cam’s ass, while her “devil girl” side was rooting her on with fist pumps in the air.

The man had a fabulous set of buns in denim, and she wondered if he was a boxers or briefs kinda guy.

“You can find that out for yourself later if you really want to know.”

Oh God. She’d said that out loud? Humiliation stopped her in her tracks, and she covered her face with her free hand. She was so embarrassed. What the hell had gotten into her? She couldn’t look at him, even when he tried lifting her chin with his fingers.

“Oh Cam. I am so sorry. I…”

“Why are you sorry? I’m flattered that you want to know. I am more than flattered.” He waggled his eyebrows at her, and she could barely contain her smile. “I am eager for you to know. I can’t wait for you to find out. So don’t be embarrassed. Besides, I want to know what kind you wear too.”

Oh my.

“Yes, I want you like that. I want to take you out on dates, and I want to take you to bed.”

“I don’t know what to say.” And she didn’t.

“Don’t say anything other than yes. Don’t think anything other than yes.”

Yes. Yes. Yes.

She repeated the word inside her head as he tugged her along behind him again.

End

Visit the following blogs for more Beginnings snippets:

Lauren Dane
Rhian Cahill
Eliza Gayle
Selena Blake
Anne Rainey
Jody Wallace
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
Alison Kent
Delilah Devlin
Shelli Stevens
Shiloh Walker
Leah Braemel
HelenKay Dimon
TJ Michaels

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

~lissa

Author Moments II – Authors Helping Harry

Harry Moseley, the boy who raised over £500,000 for Cancer Research UK, is no longer with us – but his legacy lives on.

“Britain’s Kindest Kid”, Harry was more than a nice kid with a big heart; he was a real life hero. A hero with an inoperable brain tumor who tragically lost his battle with cancer at the much-too-young age of 11.

Harry’s “Help Harry Help Others” campaign continues his fundraising work in hopes that one day soon, there will be a cure for brain tumors. Joining Harry’s quest for research funds are an amazing group of romance writers, along with a wonderful cover artist, who have put together an inspiring anthology to raise money for Cancer
Research UK, in memory of Harry Moseley.

“Author Moments II” is a collection of essays written by these talented writers. From the New York Times bestselling lists to the writer who is just beginning their quest, you will find this anthology filled with generous writing advice and anecdotes.

It won’t matter where you are on your road to publication or even in your life journey, Author Moments II will fill you with love, laughter and a renewed hope that all things are possible when you care enough to come together and make a difference.
Like real life hero, Harry Moseley.

The Authors Helping Harry invite you to pitch in with them to help find a cure simply by purchasing a copy of this wonderful anthology.

*As a bonus, each author has included an excerpt from one of their current, or upcoming, releases.

Smashwords

Amazon

Please purchase a copy of this book. It’s for a wonderful cause!

~lissa

Snippet Saturday – Winter

Winter is our theme for today. It’s appropriate even if in some parts of the country it doesn’t feel like Winter at all.

Do you like Winter? I do. Hot cocoa with marshmallows. Chili. Snuggled under blankets with a good book. Sometimes snow.

I’ve decided today’s snippet is going to come from Arrested Holiday. That’s appropriate, too, given that it takes place at Christmas, in the northeast, in the snow and ice, and they have hot cocoa with amazing homemade marshmallows.

Snippet:

“Have you ever played in the snow?”

“Not really, not this kind of snow.”

“Well, put these on, and let’s go. You’ve been cooped up inside for days, and some time outside will do you good.”

Holli took the boots from him and sat down to put them on. “It’s cold out.”

“I know.”

“Taking me outside to play in the snow isn’t going to violate my house arrest agreement?” she asked as he was walking into the bedroom and she was tugging the sweatshirt on over her head. Layering clothes had never been her favorite thing about winter, but at least it kept her warm. She reached up inside the arms and pulled the sleeves of the long-sleeved T-shirts down and smoothed everything into place as best she could. Everything she wore was black. She had to look like a charred marshmallow.

“No more than what was going on before in the bed and no more than the attraction between us.”

He was pulling on a sweater over a long-sleeved T-shirt as he walked back into the living room. The sweater being pulled over his head ruffled his hair, and the casual intimacy of the moment struck something deep inside her. Spending time with him alone, playing, laughing, talking as though they were friends, involved…it wasn’t a good idea. She was going to fall for him, and it was going to be more than his good looks and his kindness that wormed its way under her skin. “Maybe you should have taken me to a hotel and had someone else guard me.”

He tweaked her nose as he passed her to get some boots sitting by the door. “No. Trust me; there’s no one better for the job than me.”

“I’m not going to run.”

“That’s not what I mean. C’mon. Put some of that lotion on your face and let’s go.”

He was like a kid, and his excitement was contagious. Holli quickly put the moisturizer on and set the tube on the counter before letting him help her into her jacket. He shoved a baseball cap on her head and ushered her out into the cold hallway. She shivered.

“Oh damn. Here.” He handed her a pair of gloves he pulled from his pants pocket. “I forgot to give these to you. Mrs. Collins said you could hold on to them until you leave.”

“Nice of her.” Holli quickly put them on, and though it wasn’t immediate or scalding warmth, they were wonderful against the bite of the wind as they stepped outside. “These her boots too?”

“Yep.”

The snow was even more blinding outside and even more beautiful. She stood there, looking up, letting it fall on her face. “This is real snow. We don’t get this in Atlanta.”

“What do you get?”

“It’s not powder. It’s wet and icy, but this is…this is delicate, and there are actual snowflakes.”

“We get the icy stuff too, but we’ve gotten a lot more powder this year than normal.”

Holli walked a little farther out into the small backyard but stopped short when a ball of snow hit her square in the chest. “Hey!” Michael’s smile was all innocence. She didn’t buy it for a second. “Weren’t you ever taught not to hit girls?”

“Yes, but snowball fights don’t count.”

“How do they not count?” He was already rolling another ball between his hands, his eyes trained on her. “Oh I see. You’re not gonna play fair.”

“I always play fair.”

“Right.”

“Unless…”

He drew back his arm, his fingers… Wait. Were those his knuckles on top of the snowball? She squinted and tried her best to focus, to see clearly. Was he going to…? Oh hell no. He was going to send a knuckleball her way? Two could play that game. One of the greatest knuckleball pitchers of all time played for the Atlanta Braves, and Officer “Pretty Boy” Hunky wasn’t about to show her up. “Unless what?”

Holli dropped down, shed her gloves for the time it took to mold the snow into the right size ball. Her fingers were so numb and cold she could hardly feel what she was doing, but it was going to be well worth it. She pinched off little bits of snow until she had the perfect size pile of powder sitting in her palm. “Unless what, Hunky?”

Carefully she laid the mock baseball down, then picked up the gloves again, making sure to pick a few pieces of fuzz off. After slipping her fingers back inside the blessed semiwarmth, she scooped up the snow baseball, packed the fuzz from the gloves into it so that it could be seen clearly, and took her stance.

“Unless it’s something I really want.”

He looked for all the world like he was waiting patiently, but she knew better. He was in competition mode, just like she was, and there was no patiently waiting about either of them.

“And then?”

“And then I stop at nothing until I get it.”

End Snippet

Be sure to check out snippets from the following authors:

Lauren Dane
Rhian Cahill
Eliza Gayle
Selena Blake
Anne Rainey
Jody Wallace
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
Alison Kent
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Shelli Stevens
Shiloh Walker
TJ Michaels

Have a wonderful weekend.

~lissa

A little note…

Hey y’all! Happy week before Christmas. I hope you’re all prepared and ready for Santa. Me? Not even close.

Twisted Up comes out on Tuesday and I had some things planned for it, however my weekend has been derailed. There’s been a death in my husband’s family and we are headed deep into south Georgia today. I won’t be back until late Sunday or sometime Monday. I will be able to check for messages and a few things, but I won’t have the time to spend on things like I’d planned. So, we may have to do the new release celebrating next week, and of course the week after.

Snippet Saturday is tomorrow and that post has been set up in advance.

I hope y’all have a nice weekend and hug those you love. Life is short.

~lissa

Snippet Saturday – Family

Today’s snippet is to be about family. Family is on my mind a lot this time of year. Though actually, family is always on my mind. More so this year than most any other. I’ve gained new family and at times feel as though I have lost other family.

I don’t write a lot about family in my books, but there are a few that have mention or the characterization of family. For today’s snippet, I have chosen to pull out Arctic Shift. The hero Carson, has three brother and the heroine Ruby has a sister she’s very close to. I have always wanted a close relationship with my sister but we are such different people, live such different lives… I miss her a great deal and haven’t done the best job at trying to maintain the relationship, however, just as in Arctic Shift, I would travel to the ends of the Earth and far outside my comfort zone to help her if she needed it.

Now, I know readers are waiting on the next one, so, maybe going through it again will spark something in me to think about the second one…

Artic ShiftSnippet:

“Are you really okay with this, Mel? Living up here, working from here? Being married to a shifter? I mean… What did you tell your friends? What are you going to tell Mom and Dad?” Ruby and Melanie sat on the couch in Carson’s living room, the same couch she and he had… The heat crept up again. Damn. She was turning into a regular old slut. Inwardly she smiled. If it meant sex with him wherever and whenever, being a slut was okay with her.

Luckily, Melanie hadn’t been looking at Ruby or there’d have been some explaining for Ruby to do about the color in her cheeks.

“Yes, I am really okay with this. Ruby, it was love at first sight for me when I met James. I can’t explain it and I never fought it. Not like I had with other men. Whereas I always wanted my independence with most of my boyfriends and lovers, one look at James and I wanted him all the time, every moment I was awake. I have to say though, I’m very surprised that you are fighting it with Carson.”

Ruby nodded. “So am I. I’m the believer in the family, and you’re the scientist. Of the two of us, you should be the one having issues, not me.” So then, why did she have issues? They weren’t as prevalent right now as they had been before last night. Something shifted, gave way, opened up during sex with Carson and where before she was concerned with logistics and how it would work, now it didn’t seem as important. Yet, she was clinging to it for all she was worth.

“What exactly is it you have a problem with?”

“Being isolated.”

Melanie nodded. “I understand why that would bother you. I’m used to being off in remote regions sometimes, out in the middle of the ocean others, but you’re used to being surrounded by people, the city, culture. This would seem a little daunting.”

Yes, daunting. Looking out the large floor to ceiling windows of Carson’s living room, the mountains in the distance, the trees surrounding the cabin, the vast sky stretching as far as the eye could see, daunting was a very good word for it.

She was often lost in her own mind, a private person, an introvert, however she was quite at home in a crowded apartment building with people living just on the other side of the walls.

“Is quiet your only issue?”

Melanie’s words brought Ruby’s attention back to their conversation. Was it? Each time she thought about it, she came up with nothing else. Surely there was some other thing keeping her on the fence, something much more substantial than the fact that it was quieter in Alaska than it was in Chicago. “Well, I don’t know Carson all that well. I mean, I’ve known him for what, four days? Or is it five? See I can’t even tell you what day it is. I’m so turned around up here.”

Melanie laughed and hugged her. Ruby clasped her sister tightly, glad to have her solid and strong and familiar there with her. Mel pulled back but held on to Ruby’s hands. “I know. It’s fast. It hits you right between the eyes and doesn’t let go. These men are like magnets and once one of them sets his sights on the woman he is meant to be with, there’s nothing to be done about it. In his mind, the die has been cast and there’s no out. You feel the same pull I did with James, Ruby. You feel the same pull Carson does.”

“His is different than mine.”

“No, Ruby, it’s not. Not really. He feels it in his blood, coursing through him. You feel it in your gut, in your heart. It’s a part of both of you.”

“His is… I don’t know.” Ruby shook her head, failing at finding the right words she was searching her brain for.

“Okay, let me ask it this way. When you first met him, what did you think? What did you feel?”

Hot. Hard. Sexy. “Well, he was naked in my hotel bed.” Melanie laughed and so did Ruby. “I felt safe, no panic, no fear. I thought he was gorgeous, the most beautiful and striking man I’d ever seen.”

“And you trusted him, yes?”

Ruby nodded. She had. Immediately and without question. Thinking back on it now, it seemed rather stupid. He was a perfect stranger, the emphasis on the perfect part because he’d never really felt like a stranger. She should have been scared, full of panic, but it wasn’t until sometime later that the absence of those feelings actually dawned on her.

“He’s your own hero, Ruby. Your own Prince Charming. This is your fairy tale, and he’s his own legend, just like the rest of the men in his family. They are living legends.”

“And no one can ever know about them.”

“No,” Melanie shook her head. “No one can ever know about them, at least not what makes them so very special.”

“You still didn’t answer me about mom and dad. What are you gonna tell them? Hell, I don’t even know what to tell them. ‘Hey, Mom, Dad, Mel and I have shacked up with a couple of ice bear shifters’.”

Melanie laughed. “Yeah, I’m not sure the parental units are going to understand, but you know them, they live their own lives in their own little world. The farm has always been everything to them.”

“True.”

“Look, Ruby, I have a confession to make. I didn’t call or answer your calls because…because I needed you to come find me. I needed you to see them for yourself. I needed you to meet Carson.”

“Why?”

“I saw the way he looked at the pictures of you I had. It was the same way James looked at me the day I met him.  It was an all-knowing look, and I knew that you were the one. The way he would go completely still when he heard your voice on my voicemail saying that you were coming to find me. He got this intense look in his eyes. James said it was the animal kicking in, the need for his mate.”

“But bears don’t really have mates. Not for life anyway. The males don’t even stick around.”

“These hybrid bears do. Fiercely loyal and possessive, protective. They were humans first, but the need and animalistic urge to mate… Once it kicks in, it’s there for good. Besides, Carson’s a catch.”

Ruby couldn’t argue with that, but she wanted to know why Melanie thought so. “Why?”

“Oh don’t pretend you don’t know why. Honey, the man can cook.”

End snippet

Have a great weekend, y’all! And enjoy the snippets from the following authors:

Lauren Dane
Rhian Cahill
Eliza Gayle
Selena Blake
Anne Rainey
Jody Wallace
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
Vivian Arend
Alison Kent
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Shelli Stevens
Shiloh Walker
Leah Braemel
Louisa Edwards
TJ Michaels

~lissa

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