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.
Yesterday, Bethany, my editor with Samhain Publishing, offered yours truly a contract for Cowboy Justin, his girl Ella, and their book, Twisted Up.
The earliest the book will come out is December, thought it may even be January. I’ll let y’all know when I know. I have also turned in the partial of Forever in Blue Jeans, Blue Jeans and Hard Hats, Book 3. We’ll see how she likes what I’ve got so far and if she’s interested.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to say I’ve got anything new coming, but WOOT! I’ve got new stuff coming! I’m still working on the book that I will be self publishing this summer, Trouble In The Making. I will also be turning Masked, my free read, into a longer work (though not by much) and self-publishing it. After I finish Forever in Blue Jeans and Trouble In The Making, I’ll be getting back to work on Drive Shaft (Alli’s book from Stick Shift) and Too Bad (Jackie and Mac’s book from Ink Spots).
I’m working on a lot of stuff so just bear with me. It’s been a lean year for us, I know, but there will be a few things this year and then next year will be full!
Thank you to all my readers that have been so very supportive and unwavering in your loyalty. Thank you to those of you that have sent me wonderful and encouraging emails, even if some threatened me with bodily harm if I didn’t get another book out. Grins… I love all of you more than I can say.(Just imagine the release party we’ll be having for Twisted Up!)
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.”
Our theme today is humor. Mine isn’t downright funny joke-type humor. Mine is more snarky and smartass, etc… humor. My characters are a lot like that as well.
Rosie, most of all. So, she should be the one I share with you today. I love her, she’s a lot like me in so very many ways.
“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?”
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?”
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?”
“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.
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.
Please check out the following blogs and snippets from these fine authors: