Music Monday – The Boys Of Fall

Over on the sidebar, there’s a College Football countdown widget. If any of y’all know me, y’all know I love me some college football. I like the NFL too (don’t have a fave team, just certain players I follow), but my heart and soul with football is college ball.

Now, I’m not a huge Kenny Chesney fan, but he had a song, The Boys of Fall that hits me in the gut every time. For most people, you’re still looking at Summer. You’re counting down to when your kids go back to school, but at the same time you’re seeing Summer. Me, I’m itching for Fall. Cool weather, and football.

There are so many sports romances out there too. Hockey, baseball, racing, wrestling, and football. I don’t read many of them myself, but I do love that they’re there for you to read. I love that sports are not just for men anymore, that the female fan base is growing by leaps and bounds.

So, if you’re looking forward to Fall and looking forward to football, there’s a hot new contemporary romance from Selena Blake, Ask For It.

Trevor Wyatt has lusted for journalist JJ Fairchild since before he retired from the NFL. Now she’s back in his life and he’s not going to miss the opportunity to show her just how good they could be together.

Words may be JJ’s tool of trade, but when it comes to the bedroom, words escape her. Trevor’s an excellent teacher and before she knows it, she’s asking for what she wants.

But when outside forces threaten to expose dark secrets from Trevor’s past, can he overcome his suspicions and trust the woman in his bed?

– See more at: Selena-Blake.com

 

 

 

Sunday Speeds and a Reader’s Email

SundaySpeedsThe boys of Nascar were in Richmond, Virginia last night well, it didn’t turn out so hot for my driver. He was shuffled back, caught up in a wreck, had loads of damage. I was pissed. I admit it. I’m passionate about my racing as much as I am about my football.

The NFL Draft was held this weekend too and several of my Seminoles were taken. Actually, many of my Seminoles were taken in the draft. Two of my favorites. German born, defensive end Bjoern Werner was drafted into the Colts, and kicker Dustin Hopkins was drafted into Buffalo where he’ll play with Florida State teammate and quarterback, EJ Manuel.

I love the Draft. It’s like re-living college football from last season all over again. And let me tell you, I’m so ready for football season now! Yet, sadly, we have to go through May, June, July, and most of August before we get there…

So, racing was the pits for my driver this weekend, but the draft was good to my boys in garnet and gold.

The second part of this blog is about an email I found this morning in my inbox from a reader. The title of it was More Than This and I couldn’t help but groan as I opened it. I didn’t want to see another email that wasn’t very kind about this book. I loved these characters and  it’s a hard thing for a writer, at least for me as a writer, for so many people to not only not love but not even like these or other characters I’ve written. I think because I put part of me, or part of people I know into what I write that if the reader/reviewer doesn’t like the character then there’s some part of me they don’t like. I know. It’s kinda convoluted, but there it is…

Needless to say, it was not one of those ‘I was really disappointed in this book and couldn’t connect to these characters at all’ emails. In fact, it was quite the opposite and for that I was grateful. As I read on, she mentioned my post from Author Friday and said I sounded down. I apologize for that, to her and to others who read it. It wasn’t meant that way. Oftentimes, I think the reality of a situation, whether it be my perception of reality or someone else’s, can seem like we’re down. There are also those who don’t like reality, don’t like the truth of what is being observed. If anything my post let out some frustration and allowed me to admit, to myself especially some discouragement.

We all want the accolades, the editors begging us for more, the reviewers loving and gushing over us the way they do other authors and books, the multiple contracts, the best sellers lists, the readers who are out telling everyone they know to go buy our books… But, the reality is, we don’t all get that. The vast majority of us don’t. And with the lovely world of social media, it’s in our faces daily, hourly, by the minute and by the second.

It’s the same with incredibly prolific writers. The desire and wish to tap into that ability, but… We’re not all built that way, we don’t all write that way…

Coming to terms with some of this reality isn’t fun or easy or pretty at all. But as long as it doesn’t keep me or anyone else from doing what we love, which is write, then it’s all good in the end.

I write characters I like. It’s hard to not feel responsible while at the same time hard to not say that if you don’t like them then that’s your problem. Same with the actual books. If you don’t like the way I write, then don’t read it. It’s really quite simple. And yet, as writers, we don’t want to alienate anyone. It’s a catch-22. But I’m not down about it. Discouraged sometimes, yes, as we all are, but not down. I still have stories to write, hundreds of them, and that makes me happy.

Emails like the one I received this morning, emails where the only message is one of encouragement and trying to make someone smile… We could all use a few more of those.

~lissa

In the kitchen with…Lissa

Today’s recipe is boiled peanuts. In the crock-pot. Why? Because it’s game day. Today marks the start of the NCAA 2012 College Football season.

My team doesn’t play tonight or tomorrow night. My team doesn’t play until Saturday night against, well, we won’t discuss it. See, my Florida State Seminoles like to start off the season with a little pre-season play against teams who, we should be able to win over if the mood and gods and tide are on our side. Otherwise… Yeah, again, we just don’t discuss it. My second team, Cincinnati Bearcats, don’t start playing until next Thursday night…

What we do discuss is that it IS game day. It actually is game weekend! There are games from tonight straight through to Monday night. I am stoked. I am excited. I am bouncing up and down in my chair. And be very glad you can’t see that… I have the FSU serving platters out, the cups out, the t-shirts and hats and flag and banners. It’s football, y’all. It’s college football, y’all. It’s college football in the South, y’all. Let’s play.

Boiled peanuts. I can’t go to a college football game without getting a cup of boiled peanuts. They’re sticky from the salt water brine, they’re hot (both in temperature and if you want, taste), they’re a staple in the South, especially in the summer/fall.

I made mine this year in the slow cooker. It took 18 hours. I added water when it needed it. I taste tested the peanuts a few times. But otherwise, I just left them to cook. Awesome!

The following recipe is from the 2006 edition of the Southern Living Slow Cooker Cookbook…

Yield: Makes 18 cups

Cook time: 18 Hours

Prep time: 3 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds raw peanuts, in shell
  • 3/4 to 1 cup salt
  • 12 cups water

Preparation

Combine all ingredients in a 5-or 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 18 hours or until peanuts are soft. Drain peanuts before serving or storing. Store in zip-top plastic bags in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Cajun Boiled Peanuts: Add 1 (3-ounce) package boil-in-bag shrimp and crab boil and 1/3 to 1/2 cup hot sauce (we tested with Frank’s) to slow cooker before cooking.

Freeze It!: Freeze these peanuts in zip-top freezer bags up to 2 months. Reheat them in the microwave before serving.

Note:

Slow-Cooker Size: 5- or 6-quart

Adjust salt to your taste… better to start with less and add more 🙂

Y’all have a great day!

~lissa

Snippet Saturday – Author’s Choice

There’s no theme song for this today’s snippet. You’ll just have to come up with one on your own. The next few weeks are going to find me writing like a mad woman with a September 18th deadline, home schooling starting on September 4th, and College Football starting Thursday, August 30th.

I have got some amazing books planned for all my readers. Promise. Some you’ve been waiting on and some you’ve never heard o, including two that were plotted while I was on road trips this month. But, because I have a holiday book to write in September, I thought perhaps I’d find a snippet from my holiday book a couple of years ago…

Snippet:

She was going home with him. She couldn’t believe it. When was the last time she’d gone home with a man? Or had a man go home with her? Holli wasn’t sure she could remember that far back. She wasn’t quite sure this particular instance counted, but…

It was the second time since she’d been pulled over that she’d been in his squad car. This time, though, she was sitting up front and not in the back behind the cage. In all her thirty-five plus years, she’d never gotten so much as a speeding ticket and had never been arrested. If she wasn’t so bone tired, so damned horny, or feeling so freakin’ gross from not having had a shower in — how many hours had it been? Too many for her to remember without the clock in front of her. She knew there was some humor in this whole situation; she simply felt too much like shit to find it.

Just the thought of how tired she was and of curling up in a warm bed had her yawning. Would she be sleeping in a bed? Or on the couch? Did he have a second bedroom? Did it matter? She looked over at him. Yeah, it did matter. It would matter a lot more when she was rested and fed.

Then she’d see about feasting on him.

His profile was beautiful. He was beautiful. His face had that guy next door handsomeness that was just over the top, but his eyes were so bright and fun and compelling. He was easy to smile and laugh, open, and very kind.

And she wanted to fuck him. Officer Hunky indeed.

She wanted to be naughty with him. She wanted to get down and dirty with him. She wanted to snuggle into his arms and sleep with him. He was exactly the kind of man she didn’t let herself get involved with, but again, not that many that looked like him had ever been interested in her. He was the good, way-too-good-to-be-true-in-the-long-run kind — she didn’t do short runs very well — so she stayed away from the sexy men that made her blood boil when it was ten below outside.

But just this once. During this season. On her vacation. She wanted to fuck him.

It wasn’t often she met men she wanted to fuck either, but this one — oh hell yes. He wanted her too. That was a shock in and of itself. Just looking at him and knowing what she must look like right then, it was a wonder he even wanted her in the same car. In general, though, he wasn’t usually the kind of man who would want her. He was toned and lean and perfect to look at, and she was curvy — like way, way curvy — a little pudgy in some areas, and truthfully pretty average looking. But she wasn’t going to second-guess or question or bemoan the wonderfully good luck landing her in his lap, so to speak. She —

“Is everything okay?”

She’d been staring. She knew that. She’d been all but drooling while imagining him naked. “Yes.”

“You were yawning and looked kind of dazed.”

Dazed with lust. “I’m pretty tired.”

“I bet. You can shower and sleep when we get to my place. It’s right up the road here.”

He pointed in the direction of “here.” Light snow was falling, but she could still see clearly through the windshield. A river flowed to the right, and small shops and businesses lined the left side of the road. It was a small, quaint town right outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The kind you’d see in a magazine or something in a Norman Rockwell painting.

Up meant up a hill, and then he was turning into a drive that wound around to the back of a rather large, Victorian-style house complete with a wraparound porch. “You live here?”

“I live in one part of the house, yes. It was gutted and renovated some years ago and was divided into four apartments. I live in one of the upstairs ones.”

“It’s beautiful.”

“Yeah. It was once a summer home for a Southern family that would spend, well, the summers up here. When the last descendent passed away and no one came forth to claim it, the city was going to demolish it. Instead a local businessman bought it to use as rental property. And here we are. C’mon. Let’s get you inside.”

He helped her out of the car and grabbed her bags from the trunk. With a hand holding her elbow, he guided her around ice patches and unsafe mounds of snow. The inside of the house was warm, and the smell of gingerbread assaulted her senses. Her stomach rumbled its approval of the aroma. Michael laughed, and she was starving again, still, for something other than food. She was starving for Officer Hunky.

She’d separated him in her mind. Michael was the one caring for her. Officer Hunky was the one inciting her lust and making her want to do naughty things so he’d be forced to “arrest” her.

“Mrs. Collins bakes gingerbread all the time. All year long. Even in the summer. She’s one of those competitive bakers that you see traveling all over the country to participate in recipe contests.”

“Has she ever won?”

He guided her up the stairs to the second-floor landing. “Yes. She’s won a lot, and every time she comes home, she shows off her ribbons or asks me to come down to see her brand-new kitchen equipment.”

Holli chucked him on the chin and winked. “Well, aren’t you a good neighbor?”

“It doesn’t hurt that I’m pretty handy with basic installations either.”

“Oh I’m quite sure it doesn’t.”

They were talking, bantering, sort of flirting. They’d had an easy enough rapport behind bars, and it seemed to be translating to the outside world as well. She liked that they could relax and connect, that they could tease each other. She was fairly certain she could keep from throwing herself at him too. At least for a little while longer.

He unlocked the door to his apartment, and she immediately shivered as a cold gust of air hit her.

“Sorry about that,” he said, wrapping an arm around her to usher her inside. He closed the door behind them, then moved to a fireplace in the center of the large wall running the length of the living space.

At least her teeth weren’t chattering. “That’s beautiful. The scrollwork on the mantel, I mean.”

“Yeah it is. When I said the house was gutted, I mean gutted. All except the fireplaces. There are four total, all original to the house. One in each apartment, but there is gas heat as well. I generally don’t have need to use it myself, but with you here, I’ll be happy to turn it on so the bedroom gets warm.”

“It’s okay. I can sleep on the couch.”

“No. You’ll sleep in the bed.”

There was no arguing with that tone of voice. She knew from experience. He’d used the same one with her when she’d tried to argue her way out of being arrested and booked for fraud. Until he’d seen the clerical error on her social security number, he’d given her that implacable, in-charge voice. If she hadn’t been scared and pissed off, she’d have found it incredibly arousing. Kind of like she did now.

Remember Holli, no jumping Officer Hunky.

“Can I shower?”

“Of course. This way.”

His tone was light again, easygoing, and she followed him into the one and only bathroom. “It’ll take a few minutes for the water to heat up, but once it does, be sure to monitor it before you get in or it’ll scald you.”

“Okay. Temper the water.”

“I’ll get some food started.”

He backed out of the room and closed the door behind him. He’d become formal, businesslike, and she wasn’t sure why. Was he nervous? Had he changed his mind about bringing her to his home? Had he changed his mind about wanting her? Should she have attacked him in the closet after all?

end Snippet

Now, while I’m headed out to Trader Joe’s for some food stuffs, y’all can start reading snippets from the following blogs and authors:

Megan Hart:Read in bed!
Leah Braemel
Eliza Gayle
Mandy M Roth
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
HelenKay Dimon
Lauren Dane
Shelli Stevens
Delilah Devlin
Jody Wallace

Have a great Saturday!

~lissa

Good News and Not Gonna Make Ya Happy News…

…which do you want first?

Good news? Okay. Yesterday, my Samhain Publishing editor sent me a contract offer for Blue Jeans and Hard Hats, Book 3, Forever In Blue Jeans. If you’ve followed the series, this is Blue’s book. It’s a longer book, too. Just over 60,000 words. My longest one yet.

Now, for the Not Gonna Make Ya Happy News… I was told by my editor that she put in for it to be a July 2012 release.

*hides from all the things being thrown at me*

If it makes y’all feel any better, I wanted to cry. And honestly, if it weren’t the last book in the series, I’d self-publish it, but I want the books together. I know with the invent and all of ereaders, that all the books would be together at Kindle and Barnes and Noble. However, the other side of that coin is that I want this book to have the same look, feel, and quality treatment as the other books in the series.

I know y’all wanted that book much sooner than a year from now and I know it’s just gonna screw up any sales momentum, but it is what it is right now. At least we know it’s coming.

In that same vein, that same line of positive thinking, here’s a little clip for ya to cheer ya up… give you a bit of bar fight and survival from one of my favorite sports movies, The Replacements

I finished writing a short story for submission to The Cowboy special call from Delilah Devlin and Cleis Press. I’ve always wanted to write for Cleis Press so, cross your fingers!

And now it’s on to other writing…

Twisted Up is in the final stages of editing. Hopefully we’ll have a cover and blurb and be on the Samhain coming soon page, well, soon. I’m also hoping to have a cover soon for Trouble In The Making, my first self-pub book which I’ve been trying to finish. I asked the cover artist about it this morning so…

That’s about all for now. It’s almost football season, y’all. College football season… To celebrate, I’m feelin’ a giveaway comin’ on… I’ll keep y’all posted.

Have a great week!

~lissa

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