Sunday Speeds – Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600

In the world of motor sports, Memorial Day weekend is known as Racing’s Greatest Weekend. Between Formula 1 in Monaco and Indy cars racing in Indianapolis followed by Nascar racing in Charlotte, it’s a race lover’s dream.

Speeds will top 200mph and tempers will flair, cars will crash, memories will be made, winners will be crowned, and the fallen will be remembered.

The 2011 Indianapolis 500 winner will not be present, but he is not forgotten. Dan Wheldon died last year in crash in Las Vegas. I imagine his friends and family will have him in the front of their minds today. I know he’s in mine. I enjoyed watching him race.

In today’s Indy race, I haven’t yet decided who I am going to pull for. My mom has been a life-long Andretti fan, from Mario down to Marco, so I could carry on that tradition, but… I do like Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Will Power, and Ryan Briscoe. More than likely, I’ll be pulling for a good race.

Following the Indy 500, will be the Nascar Coca-Cola 600. Y’all know where my heart is for Nascar racing. I’m pulling for that #18 of Kyle Busch, but unless he can get up front, I’m just not sure… From the Camping World Truck race, to the All-Star Race, to yesterday’s Nationwide race, being up front, in the lead, is key. A fast car that does well on the long runs. If the handling of the car goes away on long green flag racing, then the driver is going to have trouble.

It’s hot outside today and it’s going to get hotter. I’ll be sweltering!

This is what I’m hoping to see at the end of the night…

Y’all know what a huge race fan I am, what my household is… The other drivers being pulled for are Jimmie Johnson #48, Tony Stewart #14, Dave Blaney #36, Dale Earnhardt, Jr #88 (no comment, y’all. he’s my mom’s driver), Bobby Labonte #47 and I’d really like to see Jeff Gordon #24 have a good day. Those I’d like to see spin and exit the race early… Denny Hamlin #11. 😉

There will be a tribute to the military at the 600 as well. It always gives me chills, even in 100 degree heat. I hold the military in very high regard, ever since I wanted to join way back when. This year, Nascar and Charlotte Motor Speedway had it arranged to where tickets could be purchased for members of our armed services so they could attend today’s race. I purchased one of those tickets.

Now, I have work to finish before the green flags drop…

~lissa

Snippet Saturday – Why Can’t We Be Friends

So sorry I’m late with the post. It’s race day here in Charlotte and it was baseball before 9am this morning. I think I’m still trying to wake up. It’s been a very long and tough week here in our household and I’m looking forward to a little relaxed with a hundred thousand or so of my fellow race fans. I’ll be screaming and hollering and generally letting off some steam and stress.

My choice for today’s Snippet Saturday post about making up, is from Melting Jane, which will be out at the end of the month.

Snippet:

Jane handed the purple cookie scoop to Edward and walked out the door to the elevator. When the double doors opened, she took a step inside only to stop in her tracks, one foot in one foot out. Graham. He’d sent her flowers. That had to be it. The schmuck.

She growled softly through her teeth and stepped the rest of the way into the car and pressed the button for the lobby. Thankfully, the elevator didn’t stop for any other residents on the way down. She wasn’t exactly dressed to be seen by anyone she might know. The face that wore no makeup, the jeans that were almost too tight, the faded sweatshirt, and the pink fuzzy slippers did not a pretty picture make. She grinned. She loved owning her own business, working in the privacy of her own place. She could dress however she wanted, especially since Edward usually did all the meet and greets.

The elevator chime dinged when she reached the lobby, and the doors opened, revealing an empty space of gleaming marble, one man sitting behind the security desk, and another leaning against it. Cowboy Surfer. In his hand, he held the most beautiful bouquet of lavender roses she’d ever seen. Shit.

What a goddamn jerk!

His wide eyes connected with hers the moment the words passed through her lips. Oh God. She slapped a hand over her mouth. What was it about him that made her speak what was on her mind when she’d never had the guts to do it before with any man except Edward?

He grinned that infuriating grin that melted every inch of her.

“Terrible language from such a pretty girl.” He tsked, shaking his head. “Might have to consider washing your mouth out with soap… Or something.”

She wanted to ask about the ‘or something’, but decided against it. If she got any closer… “I’d like to see you try. What are you doing here, Graham?”

“The phone calls weren’t really getting me results, so I decided to take a more direct approach and stop by.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Don’t you want your flowers? If so, you’ll have to come a little closer.”

Yes. “No.”

“You’re lying again. Definitely going to have to wash your mouth out.”

“I’m not.” Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Sam watching their exchange with rapt interest. Lovely. It would be all over the building by morning that mousy Jane was turning down flowers from the Hunk of the Month. “Please, Graham. I don’t know what else to say. You don’t take no for an answer very well.”

“Thank you is usually appropriate when someone brings you a gift.” He held the roses out to her, totally ignoring her previous statements.

“Thank you.”

“Come and get them.”

Oh hell no. “Why don’t you leave them down here? They’ll brighten up the lobby.”

“The lobby is bright enough and Sam here doesn’t look like a lavender rose kinda guy. Come get them, Jane. You know want to.”

She started to deny it. She even bit her tongue to keep from saying anything in the affirmative, but she knew she wouldn’t be walking away from roses. Or from him.

When was the last time anyone gave her roses? Well, other than Edward on her birthday and at Thanksgiving, sometimes on Valentine’s Day.

But none from any man she’d ever been involved with. Until Graham.

Concentrating, she put one foot in front of the other and walked the twenty-three steps toward him, stopping just beyond his reach. She held out her hand for the roses, hoping against everything that told her otherwise, that he would be kind and just give her the flowers.

No such luck. Damn.

It was her last thought before he grabbed her hand and pulled her against him, his lips crashing down on her traitorous and willing ones.

The kiss was just long enough to knock her off balance but too short to satisfy the hunger raging through her blood. He lifted his head, and his tongue snaked out to lick his lips. “Mmm mmm mmm. I’ve missed kissing you, Jane.”

It was on the tip of her tongue to yet again deny, deny, deny, but she figured there was no time like the present to turn over a new leaf and admit the truth for once. “Me too,” she whispered.

Graham’s look of surprise would have made her laugh had the moment of revelation not been such a serious one. She took the bouquet from his hand and lifted it up to her nose, burying her face in the soft petals and inhaling the sweet fragrance.

“How did you find lavender roses in February?”

“Let’s just say I know people.”

She didn’t want to know what people he knew that would be able to find lavender roses in the dead of winter. In Colorado. “Would you like to come upstairs?” The words flew out of her mouth before she had a second to think about them.

He smiled. She loved his smile. The crinkle of lines at his eyes, the dimples in his cheeks… He really was gorgeous, and she hoped like hell she wasn’t making a huge mistake.

“I actually came to take you to dinner.”

“Really? You were coming to ask me out on a date?”

“Yes. You said no on the phone, so I figured I might have a better shot in person. Especially with flowers. If you still said no, I was going to resort to simply telling you I was taking you to dinner and if that didn’t work, I was going to have to get naked and torment you until you either said yes or we ordered in.”

She couldn’t believe he’d said he’d get naked in front of Sam. That little tidbit would definitely be all over the building by morning. She needed to get him somewhere a little more private. “Oh, I uh…I would need to change, so, you should come up and we can finish talking about it.”

“I’m going to take that as a yes for dinner.” Graham winked and snagged her hand, dragging her toward the elevators. “Love the fuzzy slippers, by the way.”

The doors closed, and Jane was being ravished before the elevator car began to move. Graham’s hands were at her hips, sliding around to her ass and pulling her up into his body. His eyes never left hers and though his mouth was mere inches from kissing her, he never did. He just stared at her with lust, bright and hot in his eyes.

“Graham?”

“Want you, Jane. Hellish week and all of it has been your fault.”

His voice was like gravel, but his lips were soft as they caressed her temples, and his denim-covered cock thrust against the juncture of her thighs.

She was once again in awe. His cocky confidence was shaken and he wanted her. Nothing about him in that moment said fake or wrong. Everything screamed right to her.

And then it was her turn to smile. Talk about a revelation.

End Snippet

I have to finish gathering snacks and programming scanners for the race tonight, so y’all should take some time to read through the following awesome snippets:

Megan Hart:Read in bed!
Rhian Cahill
Eliza Gayle
Jody Wallace
Mandy M Roth
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
HelenKay Dimon
Shiloh Walker
Lauren Dane

~lissa

Late Racing Post

I wrote this post Sunday night and told y’all I’d be writing one every week about the race. I spent the better part of the day updating the Books page of my website and was late getting started on the race (thank goodness for the DVR). I shuffled some things around. Some covers went to the top, some to the bottom, but most all of them were grouped or regrouped differently. Much like the race in Phoenix over the weekend.

It’s all about strategy for these guys. Short track racing. New surface. Different tire. Different fuel cells this year. It’s not just about the new cars and new paint schemes, though I’ll admit, looking at all the bright, shiny new designs is really cool. My son and I buy several new die-cast cars a year. I can’t even begin to tell you how many he has. Hundreds. Me, I have 7. But I seem to keep adding more… It’s a fun little thing we share.

The #18 finished in 6th. He led quite a few laps. The #47 (Bobby Labonte, my other driver) finished 16th. This was really a good effort for him and I’m proud of the comeback he’s been making the last couple of years. This was the second race of the Nascar season, but after all the hype and drama of Daytona and speedweeks, it’s now time to get down to business. It’s all about the points, leading laps, winning races, figuring out those ever important strategies of fuel mileage, when to pit and when to stay out, when to hang back and when to make a charge toward the front.

These guys and their crew chiefs are always thinking, always trying to find the edge, always trying to figure out how to make the best of what they’ve got, how and when to take the time to change things up, tweak things, add here, or take away there. It’s not all that uncommon for authors to do that too. Or anyone really. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I like sports. There’s thinking involved, there’s trying to one up and man up and do better. There’s always someone with that winning strategy that can pull it out in the end and make us all wonder just how in the Hell they did it. I know most people don’t see the appeal, especially with racing. It’s not just about them going around in a circle turning left all the time. It’s the scuffles on the track. It’s the tempers. It’s the wrecks. It’s the strategy in the pits. It’s the arguments. It’s the paint schemes. It’s the rivalries. It’s the thinking involved. It’s who hit who at the wrong time in the wrong spot (and it’s Danica Patrick having a temper tantrum and telling her teammate to give her plenty of room…). It’s intense at times. It’s fun.

Denny Hamlin and the #11 Fed Ex Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota won the race in Phoenix on Sunday. Congratulations to them. Though, that #29 there behind him, did his damnedest to catch up and win. He just didn’t have enough fuel left. See, again, strategy…

(photo courtesy of ESPN Radio 104.5FM)

Next, it’s on to Las Vegas. Kyle Busch and his brother, Kurt are from Vegas. Maybe I’ll get lucky and one of them will win!

Y’all have a great day!

~lissa

UGH! No Racing Today! Now What?

The Great American Race has been postponed due to weather. Torrential downpours. Crap.

I was looking forward to the race today. I had everything all planned out. Had my Sunday to-d0 list all written out (yes, I have different to-do lists for each day of the week) and afterward, I was going to settle in on the couch with my Kyle Busch hat and cup and hoodie for a few hours of beatin’ and bangin’ three wide, four wide,  a lot of someone’s in the wall racin’…

Never fear though, the race is tomorrow at noon. I’ll need to make sure my Monday to-do list is complete by then…

Now well, with the Sunday to-do list nearly finished, I can sit and read. It’s not like I don’t have a lot of that to do. And I’ve just done some baking (brownie whoppie pies) and have a nice bottle of Trader Joe’s Moscato wine chilling in the fridge… On the Kindle, I have a book titled Duck by Kim Dare. So far, I’m enthralled and I’m only in the first couple of pages. On the Nook, I have a book by T. A. Chase titled Duncan’s World.

The race will be fun to watch. It will be crazy to watch. And, I’m one of the very few women who could care less about there being a woman named Danica in the starting line-up.

I myself have never been to the Daytona 500. I’ve been to other races in Daytona, but never that one. The sheer size of the Daytona International Speedway is amazing and impressive. It’s awe inspiring. The roar, the energy, the way the stands shake as the cars thunder past. The site of where so many victories and some devastating tragedies have taken place, take your breath away.

I can’t wait to go to the 500 one day, to take my son… I have a feeling once won’t ever be enough.

So, about that wine I mentioned… Yeah, I’m gonna go have a glass and gear up for tomorrow.

Have a good night, y’all!

~lissa

 

Budweiser Shootout 2012 and a Giveway!

Last night was the 2012 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. It was fast and, well it was a bit furious. The last few years, NASCAR racing at Daytona and Talladega has been less than stellar. Two car tandem drafts were kinda boring. There was no big wreck. There was no excitement. But, NASCAR has changed things around, again, and the boys are back to needing to think and drive in pack mentality.

Last night’s race was a lesson leading up to the Daytona 500 next Sunday. There will be wrecks. A lot of them. We have to hope for the best, that no one gets hurt, that one loses their life. We have to hope all drivers walk away after the race and after a wreck, just as Jeff Gordon did in the Shootout when he flipped over multiple times, when Kevin Harvick’s car was on fire, when several drivers ended up slammed into the wall.

But there will be wrecks. There will be tempers. There will sparks flying. And it’ll be a hell of race to watch.

This is me. This is how I was dressed yesterday. The important part was the hat. It was sent to me by my brother for Christmas, along with a limited edition Toyota t-shit from one of Kyle’s biggest wins. I didn’t wear that one. I’ll put it on next weekend. But, I sent this to picture to my brother and if any of you know anything about the last year for me, my half-brother has come into my life after 32 years apart. We share a lot of similar things and one of them happens to be racing. We can talk racing. We laugh about it. We discuss heatedly about it.

Last night we texted throughout the race. It was incredibly fun. We seemed to have the same opinions about almost everything. Our sense of humor is identical in most cases. So, yesterday, I took this for him and sent. Upon receipt, he took one of him and his new hat…

This was also my first piece of camo gear…grins

Kyle Busch, won the Budweiser Shootout for 2012. I couldn’t be more thrilled. He’s got a lot of haters, and well, that’s fine. Hate him. It just motivates him and his fans. Me included.

There were inches separating Kyle and Tony Stewart when they came across the Start/Finish Line. There were cheers and there were boos when Kyle got out and stood on the window cut-out of his car and took his signature victory bow for the crowd.

Now during races, I scream at the drivers, at NASCAR, at the television. I get as amped about it as I do college football. The adrenaline rush is amazing… The way the yelling relieves stress is too. Grins…

Once the race was over and I was so stoked that I couldn’t sit my ass down, I decided that in honor of this win by Kyle, I needed to have a giveway. Besides, it is my birthday this week and what better way to start off the celebration than this! Damn, I wish I’d been there!

As for what I’m going to give away?

1 copy of any of my backlist or 1 copy of my upcoming release, Forever In Blue Jeans (due out Wednesday 2/22/2012) and $10 in eBook Bucks from All Romance eBooks. (International)

1 Personalized Bag of M/M’s (your choice of color) with the #18 on them because well, that was the winning car number and winning car sponsor from the Budweiser Shootout. (US only)

What do you have to do to win? Leave me a comment here on my blog telling me your favorite color M&M. If you don’t like M&M’s…well, then tell me what your favorite candy is. Please remember to leave your email address along with your comment.

I’m not requiring you to follow my blog or my Facebook Fan Page, or sign up for my newsletter, but if you’d like to do any or all of those, that would be awesome.

So, congratulations to Kyle Busch and the #18 team and Joe Gibbs Racing on their victory last night and best of luck to all 43 drivers who will start the Daytona 500 on February 26, 2012.

I’ll choose a winner from the comments by 6pm EST on Monday, the 20th and post them on the blog.

Have a great Sunday!

~lissa

(Images, other than myself, obtained from Nascar.com)