In the meantime…

Yesterday was an emotional, topsy-turvy day and if you missed my tweet/Facebook update about it, don’t worry, I’ll talk more about it here soon.

I am in midst of doing self-editing/self-revisions on Forever In Blue Jeans, the 3rd book in the Blue Jeans and Hard Hats series. It’s my longest book at nearly 60K and by the time is is finished and through edits at Samhain (provided they contract it), it’ll likely BE 60K. My plan is to turn it in to my editor this weekend and hopefully we’ll all have an answer on it in the next 4-6 weeks. That would mean, we’d probably be looking at something like an early (if we’re lucky) Springtime release.

My editor did email me yesterday about the edits for Twisted Up and she said she’ll be getting those to me this weekend. So, my focus today and tomorrow is on the revisions of Forever In Blue Jeans, so when edits comes in, I can get started on them.

I need to get writing next week as well on something else… I need to finish Trouble in the Making for self-publishing, Drive Shaft (the follow-up to Stick Shift) because some of you are asking for it, and get to work again on the follow-up to Ink Spots which is the one titled Too Bad (Jackie and Mac’s story). If you have a preference one way or another, let me know.

In the meantime…

~lissa

So close…

…to the end of this book, I can taste it. It and the warm whole wheat chocolate chip cookie bowl I’m devouring as I write this.

This week I’ve done a guest blog and an interview over at Under the Covers Book Blog. They’re celebrating 500 followers and if you haven’t been over there, go take a peek.

Next week I’ll be doing another guest blog, this time over at Shameless Romance Reviews. Again, go take a peek.

I have to thank the women at both of these blogs for inviting me, especially Ann and Dee. For an author that hasn’t put out a book in many months, one tends to get treated a little different  or not at all, so being invited to guest blog has… Well, I’m just happy to have been thought of. I am grateful that my readers have stuck with me, some with great patience, some with not great patience.

The majority of my energy this week has been put into finishing Forever In Blue Jeans, though. And running my son to and from baseball camp. While he’s playing, I’ve been spending the mornings writing in an awesome local, little coffee shop called Summit Coffee. I’m only a few thousand words away from the end and I’m anxious to get there.

I’m not putting out as many books, not finishing as many as I did last year. However, I am writing longer books. Twisted Up is 50+K and once it goes through edits will be added to, I’m sure. Forever In Blue Jeans is slated to be around 55K. In terms of last year, that would be have been the equivalent of 3 or 4 books combined. I’m liking my writing now. I think it’s stronger. And most asked for longer books so once I started writing again, I decided that I would try to make that a goal. I don’t think it’s been a conscious thing though when it’s actually come to the writing. I think it’s just happened and worked out that way.

Anyway, I wanted to take a moment before bed to touch base and say hello, let you know I haven’t forgotten you! I hope all of you are having a great week and staying as cool as possible.

~lissa

Been Writin’ So I’m Sharin’ An Excerpt

What do y’all think about my L? I love it! I love the corsets I use most often, too, but I love this L! I think as people see it more, they’ll associate it with me and that whole recognition and branding thing that I’ve been reading about will maybe take effect. Who knows. We’ll see…

Anyway, I’ve been writing, focusing heavily on the 3rd Blue Jeans and Hard Hats book, Forever In Blue Jeans. It’s been a long, LONG time coming, this book. I know you, my readers, are very anxious for it.

This is Cort and Blue’s story and it’s been interesting to say the least. They have a past that no one knows about prior to this book. I didn’t even know until they told ME they had a past. Talk about being taken for a ride. There are hurt feelings, angry feelings, there’s some angry sex as some issues are worked out.

I thought, though, that I’d share an unedited excerpt with you (unedited in that my editor hasn’t gone through it yet with the hacksaw). It’s not a kinky excerpt. It’s not a hot sexy excerpt. It’s just kind of a fun excerpt. I hope y’all enjoy it!

Excerpt:

Blue watched the man across the island from her. He was turning the plate, this way and that. He even took a good sniff of the cake and scrunched up his nose. She couldn’t blame him. The alcohol was quite strong in it.

Another thing she couldn’t do was believe he was sitting there. Of all the men in the world, this one shows up at her door as Decker and Buck’s electrician friend. He was still just as gorgeous as he’d been that night in Savannah when she’d picked him up in that bar on the river. His hair was a little longer in the front than it had been before, his eyes were still that bottomless dark chocolate brown, and his scruff, which given that it was early still in the day must have been on purpose made him so much sexier than the clean cut, close shaven man she shared beer and sex with. Though, damn, she’d take either version of him any day of the week.

He wore those really nice, but casual work pants, crisply creased down the center of the leg where an iron had been taken to them along with a crisply ironed button down the front blue cotton shirt, the sleeves of which were rolled up his forearms revealing muscles and hair that matched that on top of his head.

But that he was there, in her house, in her kitchen…

He remembered her. She knew that the moment he drove up and spotted her. He remembered that night and he remembered what she’d done. Coward. She’d taken the coward’s way out and left while he was sleeping. She hadn’t wanted to, but after sex with him, talking with him, laughing with him, it really was the only option she had. She didn’t get close to men, didn’t get close to anyone really. She had Rosie and her aunt who’d just passed away. Well, and there was Neil, too, but being his best friend hadn’t been her decision or choice. He just kind of wormed his way in and refused to leave. But Cort… She didn’t know what to do about him now anymore than she knew what to do about him then. She wasn’t the fairy tale believing kind of woman and had never believed in love at first sight until she saw Cort walk up to the bar.

And then she’d left him, snoring softly in that big comfy bed, in that fancy hotel. Of all the sex she’d ever had, that had been one to make her sing. Every time he touched her, her blood boiled and she teetered on the edge of orgasm. Every time he whispered against her skin, she spread wider and lifted higher. Every time he looked at her, she ached all over from her head to her chest to her belly to her pussy to her toes. He was the one and she’d run so far and so fast and damn fate for throwing him back at her.

His fork clinked against the china plate and drew her full attention back to him and the piece of cake. Blue watched him take a bite, then she giggled when he sputtered as the alcohol hit the back of his tongue. She promptly handed him the glass of water she had waiting for him.

“Christ.” He continued to cough and his eyes began to water.

He’d been all proper and business-like with her since he’d arrived except for that little temper tantrum he’d had in his truck when recognition of her must have dawned. He hadn’t been quite so buttoned up when they’d met years ago and she couldn’t help but wonder if it was in part, her fault. She hoped not. She didn’t want to bear that guilt as well as what she already bore from running away at dawn.

He took a few sips of the water then gulped down the entire glass, his movements drawing her out of her thoughts. Again.

“What’s in that thing?” he asked, pointing to the piece of cake with his fork, staring at it as though it might bite him.

In a way, it had, she mused.

“That is vanilla bean bourbon cake, except I didn’t have bourbon. I had to use dark spiced rum. It’s the buttered rum glaze that really gets you, that adds the extra kick. It starts out with the sweetness of the butter, but then hits with the rum.”

“You might want to warn a guy next time.”

Blue took the glass and refilled it. She handed it back to him with a grin. “And miss that reaction? Not on your life.”

For the first time since he’d arrived, he smiled at her. A genuine, open smile and her belly tightened, sending a shockwave down between her thighs. This was not the tight, polite business smile he’d given her on the porch. She’d developed an instant hunger for him in Savannah and seeing him again, here at her home in Blue Ridge, that hunger was back and ravenous. She’d recognized him as soon as he’d recognized her. Her insides had flipped over and her nipples had tightened.

It had taken everything within her to greet him with courtesy and respect rather than with her arms thrown around his neck and her legs hitched around his waist.

She suspected he would have been shocked by it. Looking at him, watching him, the way he carried himself now, the proper, professional questions he asked, the hesitancy before he took the piece of cake from her, she was of the mind that he wouldn’t have welcomes such an overtly sexual greeting. All business and hiding that kind of attraction would be near impossible, though she’d been doing it since he arrived so it was entirely possible he could too. It was in the looks he gave her when he thought she couldn’t see them, however. It was in the way his fingers curled in then stretched out. It was in the way he closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose.

He might be angry with her, hurt by her, even resentful toward her, all of which she would understand, but he wanted her, too. “Do you still drink only dark, imported beers?” she asked softly, figuring she would test the waters of…she had no idea. His eyes widened and he began sputtering again. Blue bit back a smile. She had to admit, catching him off guard was kinda fun.

“I, ah… I…” He drank half the glass of water. When he put it down, he glanced over at her, then away. “No.” The word came out sounding like a croak. It was cute. He took another long drink of the water and when he’d collected himself, he raised his gaze to her, solid and sure. “I haven’t had one of those since that night.”

“So, what do you drink now?” Inane, dumb conversation to be having and by the look on his face, he thought the same thing, but she wanted to… She didn’t know what she wanted right then. She just knew she had to try and get beyond that outward mask of his.

“Domestic swill.”

“Why?”

“I couldn’t stomach the other anymore.”

His gaze hadn’t dropped from hers and she wondered if he was also saying he couldn’t stomach her. The idea of that hurt far more than she was willing or wanting or daring to admit. “I see.” She took his plate and put it in the sink.” Is working on my house going to be a problem for you?”

“Not for me, no. I can’t speak for you.” Blue didn’t believe in beating around the bush, especially one she intended to jump right on into. She was crazy, she knew it. Crazy about him, crazy to try and push him into admitting he still felt it. Lucky for her, she was Southern and crazy ran in even the best of Southern families. Crazy was often not only invited down to dinner, but expected to head the table.

She covered the glass pedestal cake plate and gently pushed it to the side, then offered up a smile. “I don’t have a problem with it, Cort.” She turned on her flip-flopped heel and walked out the back door toward the carriage house she occupied.

“I’m here to visit my friends and consider working on your house, though perhaps I need to reconsider the latter,” he uttered from behind her.

He’d followed her out of the house. The passion and desire still sizzled between them. The circumstances were a bit different and quite a few years had passed, but the sparks were there, if not a little rusty and frayed. “You want the job and it’s yours.” Statement, not question.

“You can’t know that I do.”

At the front door of the house and with her hand on the knob, she looked over at him. “You’re still here, aren’t you?” He didn’t like being read and he didn’t like someone else being able to predict him. She could see that in his eyes, in his defiant stance. Too bad so sad. He was just going to have to get over it. “Besides there are things I remember about that night aside from the sex.”

She stepped out of her flops and walked into the bright living room of her home. The walls were painted a pretty yellow, nothing too orange, nothing too white. It was a rich warm color, but bright enough to make one feel happy, cheerful. He followed her in and all the breath whooshed out of him. For a moment, she stood with her back to him, giving him some time to take it all in.

end excerpt

Have a good day!

~lissa

Teasin’ Ya Tuesday

So, one of my readers, Lynda, emailed me and asked if I was no longer doing Snippet Saturday. Well, for the month of May, I’m not. Most of you that have been with me for a while know how utterly busy May is for me. You know my mother comes to visit for two weeks (whereupon there is a lot of drinking done by me), both my of my kids celebrate birthdays in May, there are two weekends of NASCAR racing that I MUST attend so… It’s a hectic month for me and I needed to take a break from Snippet Saturday.

Which brings up another point. I don’t blog near as often as I should. Even if it’s just Man Candy, I know I need to put something up for y’all.

I also know how much y’all are wanting new books to come out. I’m wanting new books to come out. For those of you that do not know yet, I have turned in Twisted Up, my cowboy book, to my Samhain Publishing editor. She said it would take her a few weeks to read and respond. If, by chance, she doesn’t like it or want it, I’m not yet sure where I will send it or even if I will send it. I am looking into self-publishing some books and I’ll tell you why…

If Samhain likes my book and wants to contract it, we are looking at probably the end of the year before it could come out. That’s a long time. They may tell me it can’t come out until next year… Which, I have to say, I would likely do something else with it.

Any Loose Id book I turn in will likely not be out until the end of the year or next year, as well. And those books wouldn’t hit Amazon or Barnes and Noble for MONTHS after.

Ellora’s Cave, a little brighter picture there with releases, but the distribution prices KILL me.

I love my publishers, but I have to take it all into consideration. I know that my loyal readers and fans will buy my books no matter where I publish and I can’t thank y’all enough for that. Believe me, y’all mean as much to me and my books mean to you. Of course, none of this means that I’m not working on the next race car book, or the next book following Ink Spots. I am working hard on all sorts of books.

At present, I am working on a short book titled Trouble In The Making. It is a reunion story about a guy I went to high school with. Again, this I am considering for self-publishing. I will be able to control things myself and get it out in a relatively short amount of time. After which, I am going to be, hopefully, working on the third Blue Jeans book about Blue and Cort.

I am sorry that I had to take a break from writing a while back. Writing is something I love and adore, but it was not loving and adoring me back. I needed to step away and let it work itself out. Now that I am writing again, I am loving it more than ever and I have grown as a writer. However, I know taking that little break has cost me place and position and calendar dates and likely some readers.

The writing is better, more fulfilling, easier to manage now. I have enlisted the help of some friends for advice and just general venting when it’s needed. These women have been invaluable to me.

And I told Lynda that I would post a snippet from Twisted Up for you and so I shall. Below. What I need you to remember is that it is unedited, unproofed, and any issues you find will be taken care of in edits. So, please don’t hold it against me…

Twisted Up snippet:

Ella rolled over and spied the rather large cup of coffee. As she looked at it from her position on the bed and then inched up closer on her belly, she realized it wasn’t a cup at all, but a soup bowl with a handle. She wondered for a moment if it would be considered ‘Texas size’?

“What a sweet, wonderful man,” she intoned aloud to the empty room.

Sitting up, she propped a pillow against the solid wood headboard and reached for the coffee. From her current angle, the bowl wasn’t much smaller than the tray it sat on. There were two shot glasses of creamer and a spoon as well. She couldn’t have been more touched and the sudden emotion that clogged her throat and made her chest ache …

She blinked her eyes rapidly, swearing she had something in them before actually picking up the cup and one of the shot glasses. Emptying one, she swirled the cream through the coffee and tasted, screwing up her face at the still too strong flavor and emptied the second shot glass of cream.

Yes, a bowl, giant cup, huge mug required four full ounces of cream instead of just two. She took a sip and let the caffeine and sugar do their magic on her still tired and not quite awake system. As she became more aware of things, the silence in the house being the biggest thing. Where was he?

Being that his bedroom was a loft, no sound came from downstairs. It didn’t surprise her that nothing had awoken her while she slept being as tired and worn out as she was. She also had to take into account that her limbs had been like jell-o after sex and orgasms. She felt the aches now though.

However, the silence was beginning to make her nervous. She didn’t know why exactly. She was used to being alone and it had never bothered her before, but for some reason, maybe because she was in a house that wasn’t her own, she didn’t have that same peace that solitude usually brought in its wake.

She slid her leg over to the side of the bed he’d slept on and it was cold as ice. He must have been up for a few hours and looking around, she didn’t see a clock anywhere, but she did see her purse sitting in a ladder back chair in the corner. Her suit case sat against the loft railing. She’d bet her laptop bag was somewhere around, too and if she looked on the floor beside the bed … Yep, her bunny slippers sat there, waiting for her feet to slide on in.

That thing was back in her eyes again making her blink rapidly to get it out.

She lay in his bed, drinking the coffee he’d made for her, feeling the aches in her body and the light ache in her neck where he’d held her down. It felt like a bruise and she’d be curious to see if there was one, but she doubted it. He didn’t squeeze hard enough but the slight tenderness when she touched where his thumb had been … She smiled.

God, she loved the way he pinned her down, held her. It was possession of her.

They’d toyed with some light control play over the months of meeting. He’d tied her up, but so loosely she could get out with little more than a twist of her wrist. He’d spanked her a bit, enough for it to sting, not enough for it to mark. But the kiss before she’d left the room the last time to head home had been tender and rough by turns, possessive and freeing, too. He’d pushed her up against the hotel room door and gripped her throat in his hand, pressing his body so hard into her that it had lifted her up on her toes.

She’d felt his hold on her all the way home that day and every day since. She had no idea what she was doing here with him now, what pipedream she might be living or buying into. Sure, they’d gotten along well and they had a sexual chemistry that defied anything in her previous experience, before and including her ex.

Those feelings, those desires, those pleasures were things her life had been missing since she’d married and she hadn’t realized it, hadn’t realized exactly what she was missing, what her mind and her gut had been trying to tell her before she walked down the aisle …

Justin had shown her, had opened her eyes. First through words, then through actions. She’d hadn’t ever imagined she could have a life with him, and she still didn’t know if it was possible. There were questions and obstacles and their ages and …. How much did all that baggage matter? He knew her shit, all of it. She knew his too, or at least most of it. And she knew if she brought up the age difference to him, he’d tan her hide until she couldn’t sit.

They’d never discussed the … she had to count it out on her fingers, the ones not holding the coffee … ten or eleven year gap between their birthdays, but it hadn’t bothered her before and she couldn’t think of a reason for it to bother her now, other than maybe because she was in his bed, all the way in Dallas because he’d gone to get her and bring her back.

And that he’d gone to Birmingham for her …. He’d been right though. She wouldn’t answer him with more than general statements. She wouldn’t talk to him about personal stuff anymore. She kept putting him off about how she was really feeling, what she was really thinking and their friendship, their relationship was worth more than that. He’d always allowed her and encouraged her to talk about anything and she’d shut him out. The only choices he’d had was to either let her be or show up on her doorstep.

But she’d never thought he’d actually take the latter option. It wasn’t like she’d said ‘put up or shut up’. No, she hadn’t said anything at all and in his mind, she was worth trying to salvage something.

No guy had ever come after her, ever chased her, ever thrown her over his shoulder like a caveman. No guy had ever brought her coffee in bed.

“Damn,” she whispered.

She flipped back the sheet and slid her feet into her slippers before setting the coffee down on the tray. She felt a little nervous walking across the loft naked, but that was the only way to get to the bathroom and then her suitcase. Besides, if anyone walked into the house that wasn’t Justin, well, they’d sure get an eyeful.

Once some necessities were taken care of, she got dressed in one of only two sets of casual clothes she packed. One set consisted of a pair of brown slacks, a pair of bronze sandals, and a creamy white camisole with a short sleeved matching, light weight sweater with pearl buttons. The other set was a pair of yoga pants and top for her daily sessions of yoga and pilates. Beyond that, she didn’t pack for anything other than work or sleep.

She had no idea what to do, what to put on to go looking for him, but standing there naked looking down into her suitcase wasn’t helping. Making up her mind to don the brown pants and white sweater outfit, she quickly went back to the bathroom for a shower before getting dressed. She wrapped her towel dried hair up in a pony tail and brushed her teeth, debating on whether a little make-up was called for or not.

“Gonna have to get you some boots for around here. Can’t have you walking in sandals and heels all the time.”

She yelped and her hand flew to the flesh over her heart. She hadn’t heard him coming, hadn’t heard … Her gaze immediately began to take him in. Damn, he looked good all dirty and sweaty in faded jeans that looked about worn through in all the right places and a dark blue t-shirt with faded writing on the front. A tan cowboy hat was plastered to his head and his brown boots were scuffed with dirt and scrapes and well worn. He was every inch a cowboy. “What about bunny slippers?”

“Nah, we’ll save those. You like to wear those when we fuck.”

His outright crudeness should have probably shocked her, but it didn’t. “Yeah okay. Plus, don’t want to get them dirty.”

“No more than they already are after last night. Probably made the poor bunnies blush.”

“Eh.” She shrugged. “They’re bunnies. They’re used to such things.”

He grabbed her by the waist and hauled her up against his sweaty, dirty body. “They better not have seen any action before us last night.”

Have a great day, y’all!

~lissa

The End … Sorta

YAY!!!!

*throws confetti, releases balloons, etc…, etc…*

Okay, so for those of you that follow my writing, you know I’ve struggled for months now with it. I’ve even gone to some very awesome authors for advice, tips, venting, crying, begging, etc… for help. I’ve gotten some. I’ve tossed some. I’ve found something that works for me because honestly, what I was doing before, wasn’t working this time.

As of the writing of this blog at 10:09PM on Wednesday night, I have finished writing Twisted Up. Sorta.

What does sorta mean? Well … It means I still have the following things to do to it:

1. write an epilogue

2. write the scene in the middle with the rope, spanking, and Hitachi wand

3. revise portions of the plot

Those things should be taken care of tomorrow and Friday, but the important thing here is, is that it’s FINISHED. Sorta.

~lissa

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