Lissa’s 40th Birthday Bash!

My birthday is February 22nd. I am turning, as the title and the cupcake say, 40. In honor of this, I am throwing a birthday bash here on the blog throughout the month of February.

This party is for my readers, for readers of other authors, for friends of readers, for anyone we can bring in. At the end of the party, which will be February 28th, any leftover stragglers will have until March 5th at midnight to be entered to win presents. Not prizes, but PRESENTS! Afterall, this is a birthday celebration and what do you get on your birthday but presents. However, I turn the tables here on my blog and instead of getting, I’m giving them…

Are you wondering what some of the presents are? I kinda thought so, so here’s a little list:

Starbuck’s gift card

Amazon gift card

Some miscellaneous things that I’ve been collecting for a few months just for this party…cupcake things, wine things, coffee things…

Some ebooks will be given (mine as well as from some of the authors that will be participating)… I think even a print book or two might be offered up, including autographed copies…

And last but definitely not least, an Amazon Kindle.

I have invited authors and book bloggers to join in this celebration with me. I am so thrilled and so humbled by the wonderful people that agreed and shared a piece of themselves for this. You see, I asked them to share a birthday memory, or present, or cake with us, something that is a part of them. They will also be highlighting one of their own book or one of their favorite books by another author…

During the month, you’ll be seeing:

Cara McKenna
Eve Cassidy
Cari Quinn
NJ Walters
Madison Chase
Kiss and Tell Girls
Vivian Arend
The Blackraven
Selena Illyria
Dee Carney/Morgan Sierra
Shelley Munro
The Smutketeers
Shayla Kersten
Mari Carr
Selena Blake
Diana from The Forbidden Bookshelf
Ava March
Cecile from All I Want and More…
Leila Brown
Christa Paige
Cat Grant
Fallon Blake
Melissa Schroeder
The Gutter Gals

See, we are just going to have ourselves a FANTABULOUS (and yes it is a word…a word I made up, but a word nonetheless) month!

The way this is going to work is as easy as 1…2…

1. You must follow this blog and state it in the comments, once will do…
2. You must comment on ALL the posts.

Officially, the party ends on February 28th, but I know there will be some stragglers that were busy doing other things, so I’m giving an extra few days for people come on by and comment. On March 6th, I will post a blog here stating who has won what, including the Kindle winner. I will even announce it on Twitter and Facebook. Please, when you comment on the posts through February, leave an email address because you will also be contacted by email. If I have no address, I cannot give you a present! And you do want a present, right?

Okay, so, tell your friends, Tweet it, Facebook it, whatever, but spread the word cause we’ll be here all month, gabbing about birthdays!

Any questions? Leave them here in the comments or email me lissa AT lissamatthews DOT com (

Remember, comment on all the posts, leave your email if you want to have a chance to receive presents, AND follow the blog.

I appreciate each and every one of you and this is my birthday gift to you…


Snippet Saturday – Dark Moment

Dark moments? Black moments? Sadness? Despair? Hurt? Anger?

We all have these in our real lives and we seem to love them in our romantic fiction lives too. We want that moment when there are just no answers. Oh sure, in romance we know it’s all going to work out in the end, but, we don’t know anything like that in real life and more often than not, they don’t work out. At least, that was my experience…

I’m picking a scene from Stick Shift. It’s between a secondary character and the heroine, Lily. There’s tension and strife and while both want what’s best for the hero, Cam, no one is really sure it’s all going to work out…least of all, Lily.


Lily walked into the bathroom and was immediately cloaked in steam. The man took longer, hotter showers than any woman she knew. She set a cup of coffee beside the sink. “There’s someone at the door, Cam.”


“I don’t know. The doorbell rang as I was coming upstairs. I didn’t know if I should answer it or not.”

“Yeah, just make sure it isn’t press of any kind. It shouldn’t be, but…I’ll be down in a minute.”


If she didn’t know better, she’d swear their relationship was a scene right out of Relationships, Inc., one of those stupid reality shows she couldn’t stand. They were casual, acting as though they weren’t merely lovers. They talked; they carried on domestic situations with breakfast, reading the paper, making love until noon, talking politics. It was all rather surreal, and she seriously didn’t know what to make of it.

She looked out the peephole, and a relaxed smile crossed her face. “Ronnie. Hi,” she said after opening the door to him.

“Afternoon, Lily. I didn’t expect to see you here.”

Her smile faltered a little at the look on his face, the tensing of his shoulders, the strain of his own smile. No, he hadn’t expected her, and she was suddenly even more uncertain about things. Did he know something she didn’t? “Come on in. Cam said he’d be down in a minute.”


She closed the door behind him. “Would you like some coffee? I just made a fresh pot.”


He followed her as they went to the kitchen. She busied herself with coffee mugs and creamer. He simply watched her, watched every move she made. The easy manner from the night before and from all other meetings with him was gone. In its place was tension.

She placed the mug in front of him at the end of the counter, then turned and stared out at the backyard. Well, it would have been a backyard. Instead, though, it was the tee box of the sixteenth hole on a golf course. She actually enjoyed the mornings she’d been at Cam’s, watching group after group tee off. She’d sit out on the deck, or they’d sit out there and talk as though they were any other normal couple and not some unknown woman and a famous, hot, young race car driver.

She had a feeling her surreal reality was about to come to an end.

Ronnie cleared his throat behind her. “How is he today?”

She looked over her shoulder at him. “He’s fine.”

“Any lingering effects from the crash?”

“No, not that I can tell.”

“Has he talked about it at all?”

“He did some last night and a little this morning.” She moved to the sink and placed the midnight-snack dishes in the dishwasher. They’d gotten up around two in the morning for grilled cheese and milk. “What’s wrong, Ronnie?”

“I was worried about him when he didn’t show up in the shop this morning. He usually comes in to look at the car, see what news there is.”


“Lily, look, I like you a lot. We all do. You’ve made that boy smile more than anyone or anything else in a long while.”

“But?” She knew there was a “but.” There had to be. The soft, placating tone of Ronnie’s voice, the grim set of his mouth, the way he wouldn’t really look at her when he talked — there had to be a “but” coming.

“He’s distracted. He’s never distracted. He wasn’t focused last night like he should have been.”

“The wreck wasn’t his fault.”

“No, it wasn’t. It might have been avoided though, if he’d been paying more attention to what was going on on the track rather than asking me how you were doing and if you were enjoying yourself.”

Heat bloomed in her cheeks. She hadn’t heard that on the radio. True, she’d been kind of out of it herself, lost in thought, but she felt sure she’d have remembered or tuned in had she heard her name. “I’m sorry, Ronnie. I didn’t realize.”

“I know you didn’t, and I can’t put this solely on your shoulders. All this time he’s been spending with you makes me think his head isn’t in the right place. He’s running for a championship, and he’s not going to get it if he continues to be distracted.”

“Are you asking me to stop seeing him?” She stopped all her fiddling and faced the weathered and seasoned crew chief. She knew Cam thought of him as a second father, and she would hate to be the cause of any strife between them. She didn’t want to know the answer to the question she hadn’t wanted to ask.

“No. I’m just saying that maybe it would be better for him — and for the team — if you and he didn’t spend quite so much time together.”

“He’s asked me to come to California with him.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea right now, Lily.”

“What don’t you think is a good idea?”

They both turned to see Cam walking into the kitchen, a grin on his face that was aimed right at her. It broke her heart. Dressed in jeans and a T-shirt with bare feet, he looked more like a college student than the one of the top five stock car drivers in the nation. This was one of those times when she seemed to be reaching for stars.

“I was just telling Lily that I don’t think it’s a good idea for her to sit in the stands at the race next weekend. People have seen her with you, and I’m just not sure that sitting with the regular race crowd is safe for her.”

Lily was both grateful and not at Ronnie’s blatant lie. She knew why he’d done it; she just wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do. At the same time, how could either of them tell Cam the truth of what Ronnie had said? He wanted her to distance herself from Cam, and she knew Cam wouldn’t take that well at all.

Cam smoothed her hair in a gentle caress and kissed her. “Why don’t you want to sit on the pit box?”

She hoped her lie was just as convincing. “Alli couldn’t find anyone to buy the tickets, and we don’t want them to go to waste. Candi paid good money for them.”

“Really? I guess I can understand that. I’d rather have you on the pit box, though.”

“I know. Me too.” Was her smile convincing? “Look, I’m sure you two have things to talk about, so I’m going to go out on the deck.”

Cam let her go, his face full of questions, but when she kissed his lips, his smile was back. The French doors were already open, so she closed them behind her after stepping outside. What would Ronnie say to Cam? Would he now tell her lover the truth of what was being discussed before he had walked in?

She took a seat in one of the Adirondack chairs and closed her eyes against the warm spring day and tried not to think about her heart unraveling.

Be sure to visit the following authors today for their Dark Moments snippets:

Leah Braemel
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
Eliza Gayle
TJ Michaels
Lauren Dane
Jody Wallace
Sasha White


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