Catching Up

It’s Friday! Yay! Of course, the weekends for me are just more of the same as my days of the week so…

I have emailed all the authors that were giving ebook presents with the list of names of their winners that were picked through Random.org. If you are on this list, you should be hearing from the author beside your name within a few days.

They are:

Carol B. – Reveal Me from Cari Quinn
Terri Lee – Entangled Trio from Cat Grant
Patti – Old School from Eve Cassidy
Maria D. – any one available title from Selena Blake
Elaing8 – Bullhandler from Morgan Sierra/Dee Carney
Janeen – Wrapped Around Your Finger from Fallon Blake
Susan C. – His Client from Ava March
Leni – any one available title from Madison Chase
Amanda – any one available title from Mari Freeman
Jolene – any one available erotica title from Cara McKenna
Slav – any one available title from Samantha Kane
Miranda – autographed print copy of From Thirty Days to Forever from Shayla Kersten
Eve – any one available title from Vivian Arend
Donna – any one available title from Eliza Gayle
Nancy G – any one of my available titles
Estella – any one of my available titles
Cindy L. – any one of my available titles

I have been working this week on Forever in Blue Jeans. It’s going slow. If any of you recall, about 3 months ago, the word count was very close to complete, however now if you look to the sidebar you’ll see it’s not anymore. I have deconstructed it. About 3-4 times. I didn’t like it. As I’d said before, I was trying to write a safe book, but that just wasn’t working for me. I ended up hating it. It was work and it wasn’t fun and it wasn’t a story that was working for me as the writer. I have talked endlessly to my dear friend Fallon Blake about it and I know she was ready to throttle me. I took a long break from it and when I came back, I had a new plot. I took the old plots apart, kept a few things, but tossed so much more and it’s being completely re-written now. I don’t think 35,000 is going to be the final word count. It’ll be longer, I’m fairly certain, but how much longer, I’m not sure. Just know that I’m working on it. Blue is going to get her story written if it kills me…

You’ll see I’m also slowly, very slowly working on a number of books over there on the sidebar. Earlier today another couple plots invaded my thoughts and are begging to be put down into words. It would appear that my muse has returned and brought reinforcements. YAY!

Drive Shaft is the second book to follow Stick Shift and it is about Alli, one of Lily’s friends.

Get Lost is a contemporary m/f about a woman that just loses it when pushed too far and retreats into the mountains.

Too Bad is Jackie and Mac’s story from Ink Spots.

Polar Shift is the second book in the Denali Heat Series, and this one is Patrick’s story.

Bound for Pleasure is a BDSM m/f that is the second book in a series y’all haven’t heard of yet from me. It follows one couple from a set-up reunion meeting through different stages and explorations in a relationship. More on that one later. It is a different kind of story for me and one that my mainstream readers may not care for due to the heavier BDSM content.

And as I said, there are others playing around in my head that I will get to as soon as I can, including a loose plan to write a longer story for Thor and Bobby from my free read, Masked.

I hope all of you are doing well and be sure to check in for Snippet Saturday tomorrow. Have a great weekend!

~lissa

Snippet Saturday – Openers

Openers. Lines or scenes. This is our topic today.

Sometimes, I hate the opening of a book, either reading or writing one. I want something that will pull me in with the first word. I want something that won’t map out the entire book for me in just a few lines. I want the tone to be real, to be something someone would do or say, to be different, to be shocking, to be wicked and naughty.

I’ve asked a friend for her opinion of my books and the openings and she picked, as I knew she would, Cracklin’ Rosie. It’s a personal favorite of both hers and mine. We understand Rosie in ways that I guess most don’t…

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.

End snippet

Have a wonderful Saturday and don’t forget to check out the following authors with Opening snippets of their own:

Jody Wallace
Emma Petersen
Leah Braemel
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Selena Blake
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
Lauren Dane
Shelli Stevens
T.J. Michaels

~lissa

Feisty and Hot, Cracklin’ Rosie is Here!

Blurb:

A tool for every job. A belt for every occasion…

Blue Jeans and Hard Hats, Book 2

Food is Rosie’s life, and life is good. She loves it, makes it, serves it in her diner, writes about it in her blog, and she’s happy. At least until a storm puts a rather large tree limb through her roof, and a sex-in-a-tool-belt roofer on top of her cabin.

But that’s not where she wants him. No, she wants him behind her with a strip of leather in his hand. That’s what makes her edgy—vulnerability is not her style. Except the more prickly she gets with him, the more he turns on the charm.

Decker arrives in Blue Ridge, Georgia, with nothing on his mind but a job and some new scenery. His legendary patience is tested from the first moment he meets sharp-tongued Rosie. She’s got hips that sway, non-stop curves and a mouth that needs to be filled with things that are much sweeter than vinegar.

A few singe-worthy kisses, and Decker uncovers passions that will likely earn her every red stripe she’s begging for. And Rosie discovers Decker’s got a hunger burning deep inside to give her anything and everything she needs. Maybe even…forever.

Warning: Between the sheets of this book you’ll find a twist on a decadent southern dessert, sweet rose wine, picnic table sexiness, truck sex, a man who knows how to give a spanking and a woman who knows how to bend over a hot yummy lap.

Mmm. Mmm. Mmm!

I hope y’all enjoy this book. It’s a little longer than Sweet Caroline. It’s a little darker, as some have put it. There’s a little bit of power play going on, but as in all my books, it’s subtle. I like subtle.

Rosie is feisty. Decker is hot. They are firecrackers together.

Did y’all know Neil Diamond is a nominee for the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame?  I think that’s awesome. I grew up listening to him among others and honestly, whodathunk that his songs would inspire the names of a few kinky erotic romance books?

Cracklin’ Rosie, as most of my books are, is very personal to me. There are things in it that I have taken from my life, my childhood, my experiences, my desires, some of my loves. It makes my writing a more personal experience and the investment is greater. Some of those things are my spanking fetish, my love of coffee, my love of food, comfort food in particular and hamburgers especially.

If you’ve seen any of my tweets when I’ve talked about Red Robin, y’all know I love a good burger. And it’s a fond memory for me. I don’t have many when it comes to my step-father, but one of the few good ones for me are his hamburgers. I couldn’t tell you what was in them nor can I reveal the nickname we had for them because it would give away my maiden name. Suffice it to say, a little mustard, a little Heinz 57, some cheese and bread and butter pickles and I was in heaven as a kid. It was a ritual to make those at least once a week and to this day, my friends from high school remember those hamburgers.

What does this have to do with Cracklin’ Rosie? Well, Rosie’s favorite food is a hamburger. And as luck would have it, Decker can make a really good one.

Other foods appearing in this book are: Strawberry/Banana pudding,chicken and dumplings, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, cherry cobbler, a fried egg sandwich, potato salad.

It’s not a foodie book, but man oh man, I pulled some of my favorites and added them in.

There’s also the brief appearance of Buck and Caroline. The use of belts.

And a different way of drinking wine. The wine inspiration for this book is sweet Muscadine wine. My favorite is from the Duplin Winery here in North Carolina. I have 4 bottles in my pantry. Red, Blush (Rose), White. I love them. Rosie talks about a winery in Atlanta and that would be Chateau Elan Winery.

Of course, there’s also coffee in the book.

I know it’s sounding a bit like a foodie book, but she IS the owner of a diner. Food is what she does, morning, noon, and night.

Well, until she meets Decker…

For those of you that have purchased it already, thank you. I hope you enjoy it.

As of this writing, here at 6:46am, Cracklin’ Rosie is sitting at #5 on the MBaM Top Ten List.

It is available from MBaM, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

Tonight at 9pm Eastern (8pm Central), I’ll be doing a chat at Kris Cook’s place. Can I tell y’all how nervous I am? Good, cause, I am nervous, but if any of you have the time or inclination to come by and visit and well, chat, I’d love it!

Thank you all so much for being my readers, my support system. Those that read my books, comment on my rambling blogs, chat with me on Twitter and Facebook, send me emails… None of you will ever know how deeply I appreciate you.

Have a wonderful Wednesday and yes, there will be giveaways in the days to come, interviews, release parties, and a title fight between Buck and Decker for who is hottest! Stay tuned for more details!

And, there are only a few more days to participate and enter the Night Owl Romance Full Moon Web Hunt, The Romance Studio Spookapalooza, and The Samhellion Spook-A-Palooza. There are tons of ebooks and prizes being given away. From me, there are ebooks and Amazon gift cards. Just lettin’ y’all know…

Now, on with your day!

~lissa

(my FSU ‘Noles play Thursday night, 10/28 on ESPN)

Miscellaneous

It’s not been a very exciting week. I’ve spent it trying to get back to myself. I’ve been a bit down, a bit muddy in the head, restless, etc… I caught up on some shows I’d DVR’d, watched a few movies, watched hours of cooking shows on Food Network and Cooking Channel, read a little bit, napped, did some writing by hand, made a few lists on some new ideas. I haven’t talked to anyone really and have only tweeted a little.

I don’t know other authors like this. I’m sure there are some, but, none that I know specifically. I go through these periods and usually when I come back on the other side, I’m motivated, inspired, and my writing is better.

I’ve also gotten a few really good reviews this week, but…

Okay, one said the story ended too abruptly without the reader knowing what happens after… Well, honestly, what’s wrong with a little imagination? I don’t write ‘I love you’ endings. I don’t write a lot of complete endings where everything is spelled out. I lose a lot of interest in books after the couple gets together and I even get bored with writing too much after it. I realize this is me and most people want a more complete ending with ‘I love you’ and everything spelled out. I know I need to learn to write it and am working on it. I actually added an epilogue in my seasonal  book, Arrested Holiday. And I’m gonna tell y’all, it was hard for me.

Another review for another book of mine said that the hero and heroine’s involvement, how it began was highly improbably. My issue with this is… yeah, it is highly improbable, but then, 90% of the romance novels, novellas, quickies, etc… that I read are so far beyond probable and possible and realistic that most times I roll my eyes and think ‘yeah right!’ At the same time, this is fiction, this is fantasy and if we can’t venture into dreams come true because of however improbable the idea is…what are we doing?

A lot of my books have down to earth people, real people, plus sized girls, real jobs, not at unlimited amount of money and resources, and only once have I written about someone that might be famous and well-off. I have a few other books about this kind of hero, but, if the average woman can’t fantasize about him, about the actor, the singer, the race car driver, the football player without being reminded of what is improbable, then why create the fairy tale in the first place? I want realistic characters. I want the everyday, independent woman. I even want the everyday, independent man. I do though, want a little bit of fantasy in my books. Not so much that I can’t relate in any way, shape, or form which is what most romance and erotic romance is to me…too much that I can’t relate to, but there’s some out there that are perfect for the real woman. That’s my goal as a writer.

Over last weekend, I found that I had gone down a size. Weight Watcher’s is working for me. Slowly. But it’s working. I’m eating real food, not having to limit carbs or fats or sweets or meat or coffee. This is good for me. I agree with the sentiment that if you don’t have choice, you aren’t likely to keep at it for long. Then again, other people have more will power than me. I am proud of myself however. I am enjoying playing with food again, trying new recipes, tweaking old recipes, having a little Halloween candy, and again, my coffee. Y’all know how I am about my coffee.

Some of my new favorite ingredients are: Light Butter, Turkey Pepperoni, Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedges, Celery, Gingersnaps, Reduced-Fat Sliced Cheese (provolone, swiss, colby-jack), Pesto, Goat Cheese, ground chicken/turkey, Italian Turkey Meatballs, Gourmet Garden Herbs and Spices.

Y’all no doubt have noticed all the race car pictures. We live down the street and around the corner from most of the NASCAR race shops. These images are from Joe Gibbs Racing, home of Kyle Busch, Denny Hamiln, and Joey Logano. Also down the street we have, Hendrick Motorsports, Ganassi, Rousch Racing, Petty Racing. A few miles up the road, you’d find Kyle Busch Motorsports, Penske Racing, JR Motorsports, Red Bull Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing. In the other direction, up a few miles, would be Richard Childress Racing and Kevin Harvick Incorporated.

Race shops are all over the place here. If you watch Speed TV, they are just down the street and around the corner.

And though I know many of you aren’t fans of NASCAR, it’s a big part of my life because it’s a big part of my son’s interest in life and well, I’m good with sharing it with him, having something to do together, enjoy together. Y’all know how important it is to me to be a part of what makes my kids happy. I can’t imagine NOT wanting to share things with my kids, creating those memories, being able to talk with them. So, from time to time, I’ll post pictures from the race shops. Just indulge me…

We had a great time at the races in Charlotte, and y’all KNOW I was absolutely ticked when Kyle lost. But, it was fun still to be with the crowd and with my family. Drunk people are the most hilarious. There were these 4 women, two of which were so drunk they couldn’t walk without help. The one woman just thought she was the shit and it was so funny. They had tickets and seats somewhere, but they either didn’t know where or didn’t care. They were walking around our section, sitting in whatever 4 empty seats they could find or until someone came and asked them to move. Well, after about an hour of them moving around, stumbling up and down steps, falling into each other, a non-drunk woman there with her kids and husband, went and found the cops. We never saw the 4 women again.

Now, I don’t have any problems with you wanting to drink beer. I do have an issue with how many drunks drive after sporting events, but, what I don’t understand is why pay so much for tickets and drink so much that you have no idea what’s going on? Seriously, why? Aside from the fact that you provide me a great deal of entertainment, but why drink SOOOOO much that you can’t remember your name, the name of your team or driver, or where you parked your car?

Anyway, I don’t really have much else to talk about today, but knew I needed to spend a little time with y’all. I need to see about planning dinner, eating a bit of a snack, go to the store, find the new cupcake and jelly roll pans I need for baking the next couple of weeks (red velvet cupcakes and coca-cola cake) along with the birthday present for my neighbor’s son.

I’ll be posting tomorrow for Snippet Saturday so tune in, though I forgot what the theme is… I’ll have to go look it up. My ‘Noles aren’t playing this weekend, but will be playing Thursday night.

Cracklin’ Rosie comes out Tuesday!!!!

If y’all haven’t joined in the Night Owl Romance web hunt (banner to the right), why not? Go hunt!

I’ll be participating in a hunt starting Sunday as well where I’ll be giving away a copy of Cracklin’ Rosie! You can find more information at Samhellion.com

I’ll be chatting on Wednesday at Kris Cook’s place, doing an interview on Thursday at Drea’s Place, celebrating the release at the Romance Studio on Friday.

In case y’all didn’t know, Jaz’s book, Ink Spots has been contracted by Ellora’s Cave. I’m so very excited by that… Arrested Holiday, which is coming from Loose Id at some point, is in line edits. I’m going to be participating in NaNoWriMo in November.

Lots coming up!

Have a great weekend, y’all!

~lissa

Celebrating With An Excerpt

In light of the fact that my Florida State Seminoles beat the pants off the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday night, I thought we should celebrate with an excerpt from my upcoming Samhain Publishing release, Cracklin’ Rosie.

I know you’re wondering why I feel this victory is worthy of celebration more than any other victory the ‘Noles have had so far this year, but damn y’all… Do you know how LONG we ‘Noles fans have been waiting to beat Miami again? And to beat them GOOD!?!

That’s not to say that we don’t still have a long, long, long, LONG ass way to go to get back to where we have a better than great shot at beating whomever we play, but it’s a step in the right direction. So, every victory is worth some sort of celebratory fanfare.

I figure that most of you could care less about my ‘Noles winning, but for those of you that are looking forward to the release of Cracklin’ Rosie, I thought it would be a good gift from me to you! I have to say, as well, that I appreciate the way you, my friends and readers, indulge me with my college football, my NASCAR races, my coffee, my baking, my everything. And as much as I cherish my FSU wins, I cherish all of you.

So, let me find a sexy part of Rosie’s book for y’all…

Excerpt:

Dinner wasn’t cold. Not many things were worse than cold chicken and dumplings. The company on the other side of the table wasn’t cold either. The looks he sent her were nothing short of sizzling, and she couldn’t keep from squirming in her seat.

Maybe she needed to sit on her hands again.

She really shouldn’t balk at things like that with him anymore. She knew he’d win. He knew he’d win. She liked when he told her to do something for her own good, and she was getting used to it in bits and pieces.

“What are you thinking?”

“Wondering why you didn’t order dessert first.” It wasn’t what she was thinking but he didn’t need to know that.

“Liar.”

Okay so maybe he did know. He seemed to know everything she was thinking and wanting and needing at any given time, and she couldn’t figure out how he did it. “I was thinking you win.”

There. She said it. He wouldn’t drop it. He’d probe and prod and order it out of her, but at least she’d said it. Admitting it was the hard part, right? Only then can you hope to move forward.

“What do I win?”

“Whatever you want. Me.”

“Yes, I do want you. Though I wasn’t aware you thought this was a game to be won or lost.”

“I’m not sure what this is, Decker. All I know is that you win. You’re right. Always right.”

He lifted his hand to get Betsy’s attention. “It’s not about being right, Rosie.”

It didn’t help matters that the older woman was so sweet on Decker. Since he’d arrived in town, Betsy had been after her and after her to make a move on him before someone else did. Betsy didn’t know Rosie’s proclivities and at the time, Rosie hadn’t known Decker would understand them. Thankfully, she hadn’t had to really tell him about them. He’d sort of figured them out on his own.

How was she to stop herself from looking at the man’s jeans and belts when he looked so damn hot wearing them? He sure knew how to wield a belt too. Was that only this afternoon? Or rather yesterday afternoon as it was now after midnight? Still… It seemed so long ago, yet she felt it as she sat there in the booth, had felt it when he’d told her to sit on her hands. There were marks, there’d be bruises, and she’d love them. She always loved the marks after the harder spankings.

“Then what’s it about?”

“It’s about you accepting yourself and not hiding anymore. It’s about letting someone in. It’s about not having to go to Atlanta to get what you need just because you’re afraid to find it closer to home.”

“Did you ev—”

“What can I get you, darlin’?”

Betsy was pouring on the charm and honestly, Rosie couldn’t blame her. Decker might look a little rough and tumble around the edges, but… Well, he was rough and tumble, more than around the edges too. He was also a very nice man, a good man.

“Do you have any more of that cherry cobbler?”

“Actually, I have one rather large bit left. You want some ice cream on it?”

“Maybe on the side?”

“You got it.” She looked over at Rosie’s plate then back up into Rosie’s face. “Something wrong with your food?”

“What? No, I just guess I wasn’t as hungry as I thought.”

“Uh-huh. Well, no dessert for you until you eat some more of it.”

Decker laughed while Rosie sat there with her mouth hanging open. Had Betsy, the hired help, told the owner and a paying customer that she couldn’t have dessert until she finished her dinner? “I can’t believe you just said that.”

“Well, believe it.” Betsy turned on her heel and headed back to the counter where the desserts were kept.

“I guess you should eat some more. I was going to feed you some ice cream but I don’t think Betsy will let me. She’d probably yank the spoon from my hand if I tried.”

“Probably.” And with that, she picked up a piece of chicken and a dumpling loaded with gravy and ate it. The chicken was tender and the dumpling was the perfect consistency. In the diner they made the rolled dumplings and not the biscuit dumplings which she usually preferred. The customers however, loved these and she’d grown to like them.

“Did I ever what?”

“Huh?” She paused with another forkful of her dinner halfway to her mouth.

“Before Betsy came over, you started to ask did I ever. Did I ever what? What else were you going to say?”

“Oh. Did you ever stop to consider that there wasn’t anyone local for me to get involved with that would understand what I liked? I mean, it’s not like I go around town advertising it and I didn’t stop to ask anyone if they were into it either.”

“You got me there. It’s not something one would normally bring up in conversation over say, dinner. Except for me, of course.”

Rosie smiled. She couldn’t help it. “Of course.”

“But did you ever try? To find someone local?”

“No. I hadn’t.”

Decker nodded. “Not that you have to worry about it anymore.”

“Why do you say that?”

“’Cause, you’ve got me now, and I know your secrets.”

Again, Betsy chose just that moment to come by their table and drop off Decker’s order of cobbler and vanilla ice cream. Rosie had to admit it did look amazingly good.

Decker picked up the spoon and scooped some ice cream onto it and held it out to her. “Open up.”

She did so without hesitation and the vanilla bean ice cream melted on her tongue the second she closed her mouth around it. It was so sweet, so full of vanilla flavor, so rich with cream. Though overall, chocolate ice cream was her favorite, the vanilla that the diner kept on hand was the resident favorite, even for her.

Decker fed her ice cream and cobbler until the dish was empty. He used the spoon to wipe drips from her chin that she was sure he let happen on purpose. Except the last one. The last one, a mix of melted vanilla cream and cherry goodness, he leaned across the table and got with his tongue. She tensed, braced for the stares she knew were coming their way, but the second his tongue touched the dimple in her chin and licked straight up to her lips, she melted as much as the ice cream had and didn’t care about anyone else.

Her lips parted of their own accord, and her brain didn’t protest. But he didn’t take the offer. He didn’t kiss her, just sat back in his seat and lifted his hand, signaling that he was ready for the check. His gaze never left hers, and she couldn’t have looked away from him if the diner had blown up all around them. He held her captive with nothing more than his gaze and the still-wet trail left from his tongue. She wanted him. Right here, right now and she didn’t give a damn who saw it, who knew it.

The best and worst part of that…he knew exactly how she was feeling. She could see it in his stare, in the small smile on his lips, in the flush of red in his cheeks. He wanted her too and it was taking everything he had not to take her on the table. Or, maybe he’d come over to her side of the booth, lay her back and fuck her on the worn, soft vinyl.

In her mind it didn’t matter that both of them were wearing clothes. She squeezed her thighs together and as it always did, it just made the need worse. Her nipples pressed against the bra and ached, begging with every breath to be let out, to be touched, to be pinched and pulled and sucked. Betsy came by and laid the check on the table and Rosie barely managed a cursory glance in the older woman’s direction.

Decker took out his wallet. “Rosie, why don’t you go on out to the truck. I’ll be there in a minute.”

She nodded and slid out of the booth without having to be told twice. The lust was such that she felt as though she were in a trance, seeing herself walking out of the diner and climbing up into the cab of his truck. His scent surrounded her, and it only made her pussy throb and pulse. Her hands rubbed against her jeans then curled into fists. When he opened the driver’s side door and slid in behind the wheel, she turned her head and watched through hooded lashes.

“Want it?”

His voice was low, scratchy, heavy with the same raw desire that was weighing her down, tugging her under. “Yes.”

“Get those jeans ready to come down then.”

*Lissa sets out cups of ice water for everyone in case they got a little warm while reading…*

So, what’d y’all think? Okay?

I am looking forward to this release. It’ll be a busy week for me, that week, starting October 26th, what with an interview, a chat, a release party at The Romance Studio. Hope y’all will join me…

For now though, have a good Monday!

~lissa

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