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…
“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.
Have a wonderful Saturday and don’t forget to check out the following authors with Opening snippets of their own:
My favorite birthday memory was two years ago on my 40th birthday. My parents had invited me out for a family picnic to celebrate the occasion. I expected it to be a small event with my folks, my hubby and kids, and my brother and his family. When we pulled in the driveway, I noticed a gazillion cars parked in my uncle’s cow pasture, which backs up to my parent’s property. I remember saying “What are all those cars doing there?” and my husband saying, “Oh, they must still be hanging around because of the auction.” I literally panicked, thinking my uncle was selling his farm. My husband pulled up behind my parent’s house and there were tons of people there, yelling “Surprise!” The entire time I’m looking at my husband asking “What auction?” Yeah–I’m not real bright! Took at least sixty seconds for the truth to penetrate. The party was absolutely fantastic. My mother found old friends from elementary, middle and high school and she managed to track down my college roommates for the event. It felt like an episode of “This is Your Life.” Greatest night ever.
There’s only room at the top for one person…at a time.
A Black & White Collection story.
Back on American soil for the first time in nine months, Reed Donovan is ready to blow off some steam. The beauty he spots at the local bar not only catches his eye, she snags him by the balls when she announces she’s always fantasized about having sex with a stranger—a fantasy he is more than willing to help come true.
Explosive fireworks over, Francesca rebuffs his invitation to dinner. While the sparks may fly between them physically, she doesn’t believe they could spend more than a few minutes in the same room without arguing. Her suspicions prove correct when Francesca reports for her new position the next morning—and discovers she’s been hired as Reed’s new marketing partner.
When Reed and Francesca immediately begin butting heads about future pitches to prospective clients, Reed proposes a bet. For the next three presentations, they’ll both make a pitch. Whoever wins the campaign also wins a fantasy.
The competition is fierce—and hot. And the hotter it gets, the closer they come to the brink of something they never intended…or expected.
Wicked fantasies anyone? Up for some sex in public, sex with a stranger, sex in an office, sex in a bar, sex with a Dom, and bondage sex? Good. Strap in and hang on.
Available from Samhain Publishing
Yes! Yes that’s right! I’ve got the Smutketeers (who consist of Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin, Lilli Feisty, Crystal Jordan, R.G. Alexander, and Karen Erickson) on my blog today! Y’all just have NO IDEA how thrilled and man, thrilled is not even the word for how I felt when I got the reply email from awesome Smutketeer Eden Bradley herself stating that yes, they would be happy to join in on the Birthday Bash celebration! You could have knocked me over with a feather, I was that blown away. I mean… Wow!
So, anyway, enough of my gushing all about it or someone is gonna have to gag me to keep me from squealing with excitement. I’ll let them play now. We are, however, missing Smutketeer Lilli Feisty 🙁 . She was in deadline Hell and was unable to break away. We do have the newest Smut girl though, Karen Erickson, and I believe we’ll start off with her…
I have a very vivid memory of my eighth birthday – and how sick I was. I was so excited. The party was going to be held at the local roller rink and all my friends were coming. I couldn’t wait! But then I got sick. Like coughing and fever and couldn’t get out of bed sick. What made me feel worse? We had to cancel the party! Oh, there’s a picture my mom has of me sitting there with my cake at the dining room table. I look pitiful and sad. Poor eight year old me!
Now my favorite birthday present? The year I turned thirty, I left for Maui the next day. Can’t beat that right? We were going for a friend’s wedding. And my boyfriend and I were so inspired we went there a year later and got married ourselves!
My favorite, favorite birthday cake is ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. Yummy. I hadn’t had it in years and finally demanded one last year. It was delicious! I think I want one again this year…
So now you ask for a favorite book that I’ve written? Oh goodness, that’s tough. I’m going to have to go with my book Forbidden. It has been my bestseller at Samhain out of all my books there and I really, REALLY loved writing it. Had a hard time letting go of the characters which is rare for me so…something must’ve resonated within me which in turn worked for the readers. Here’s the blurb:
He always wanted what he couldn’t have…
Playing With Fire, Book 1
Forbidden desires, secret needs…that’s not what girls are made of. At least, that’s what Michaela’s past boyfriends told her when she revealed her darkest, dirtiest fantasies. She knows she’s better off without the exes, but she’s lonely—and horny. It doesn’t help that her roommate, Austin, is the most gorgeous man she’s ever laid eyes on. Too bad he’s bisexual…or so he says.
There’s a reason Austin hasn’t been with a woman in a long time. The only one he wants is Michaela. He’s fought his attraction for months, waiting for a sign, desperate to show her she’s everything he wants in a lover. One illicit kiss leads to an explosive night of sex that leaves her wanting more—yet afraid. But Austin is a patient man, more than willing to tear down her boundaries piece by piece. Exposing her to pleasures she’s never known.
Trust leads her to whisper her most deeply held fantasy. One that rouses a new emotion Austin didn’t expect: jealousy. Possessiveness. He’s the only man he wants in her life. And he’ll do whatever it takes to prove it…
Available from Samhain Publishing
Happy Birthday, Lissa and thanks so much for having us on your blog! I’m a February baby too so yay for us! 🙂
Visit Karen at www.karenerickson.com
A very happy birthday to Lissa, and thanks so much for having the Smutketeers over to your place to celebrate! Let’s see, one incredibly memorable birthday–and not in a good way–happened a few years ago. I was in Texas with family (California girl here), and my cousins and their husbands dragged me out to a bowling alley to celebrate. I suck at bowling, but because I suck so badly, it’s kind of fun to revel in my badness. Like, so bad, I could have those inflatable bumpers and still not hit any pins. Anyway, we’re there, the guys are drinking pitchers of beer, the girls are wolfing down greasy bowling alley food, and we’re having a great time. Then, there was some mix-up with a custom bowling ball, and the guys at the next lane are freaking out, and a bar fight ensues. In a bowling alley. On my birthday. In Texas. At the time, I was really upset. Now, it’s funny to remember my 5’2 cousin trying to hold back her 6’3 drunk Texan husband. Oy.
The way I like to spend my birthday is laid back with my favorite people around me. In December, I hit the big 3-0, and my best friend and her mom made me the most awesome present ever–homemade cupcakes. I am obsessed with cupcakes. There’s a cupcakery down the street from my work, and if I walked by to often, I’d be as big as a house. So I try to stay away. But for my birthday? Oh, it’s on. They made me lemon cake and vanilla frosting from scratching. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Best. Birthday. (Cup)Cake. Ever.
Lissa wanted our favorite book, and mine is always the most recent one that came out, so every one of them gets their time in the sun to bask in my adoration. But my book adoration is a fickle thing, so at the moment, my favorite (which will change as soon as the next story releases1) is STOLEN PASSIONS, which kicks off the “Forbidden Passions” series I wrote with Loribelle Hunt (she did books 2 & 4, I did 1 & 3). Here’s a blurb so you can see a little more about my current darling…
Lyra Marcus tries to avoid her werewolf family’s political entanglements. Instead, she heals the wounds of the never-ending border skirmishes between lycans and wereleopards. It’s a bitter irony that she’s about to die in that war.
When she awakens after an attack, the horror of her situation dawns. She’s a wounded werewolf in the middle of wereleopard territory. And standing over her is a son of its most powerful family, Zander Leonidas. Her fate may be a swift and bloody end, but she intends to go down fighting.
Zander has no plan to fight the little she-wolf who’s landed at his Refuge Resort, a place where shifter species are free to be what they are—except wolves, of course. Yet Lyra fits him in a way she shouldn’t, and the urge to mark her as his mate is irresistible. A match like theirs, though, would rock the foundations of their world.
He intends to find out who left Lyra for dead on Leonidas land. And keep her safe from whoever wants to finish the job—not to mention the werewolf alpha who wants his niece back at any cost…
Available from Samhain Publishing
Visit Crystal at www.crystaljordan.com
Hmmm. The best birthday gift I’ve ever had? A part of me wants to say cable television, because until we had a gazillion channels for cooking and ghost hunting and housewives fighting over who got the first Botox injection–television on my birthday was all Elvis, all the time (we share a birthday). I can’t tell you how many times I watched Blue Hawaii or Kissing Cousins…but I can tell you it never got old *snark*
I suppose I would have to say that my favorite birthday present goes along with my favorite way to spend my birthday lately…singing via karaoke, open mic or Singstar. Also making friends and family who usually swear they never sing (forgetting all the times they had a bit too much to drink and climbed on a table to lead the room in a rousing rendition of ABBA’s ode to Fernando) perform in front of strangers or just a small group of friends. Though they all gripe and moan and drag their feet, by the end of the night I’m prying the microphone from their fingers. And I love it. Its not about the songs or how good anyone is. Its about having a blast. And sometimes laughing at your sister’s macho boyfriend singing I’m Just a Girl.
Favorite Book of mine? That is hard. I have to say that, right now, its still Possess Me. Rousseau, Ben Adair and Bone Daddy. Put them in New Orleans and you have got one gloriously happy RG 😉
Publisher: Berkley Heat
In the Big Easy, there’s a legend women long for: a sexual voodoo spirit who can fulfill their darkest fantasies. And in these three steaming-hot novellas, he helps three New Orleans couples achieve the ultimate satisfaction…
In Release Me, Allegra heads down to New Orleans to heal her wounds, but she never expects to lose her heart to such a quiet, troubled man as Rousseau. She’s even less prepared for the scorching, sexual spirit within him-and what he can do to her…
In Reclaim Me, Ben has loved Michelle as long as he can remember. But his beautiful artist has a way of running away from life-and what the pair could be. Leave it to the infamous spirit to help Ben prove to Michelle where she belongs: in his embrace…
In Redeem Me, it’s All Saints’ Day, the one day the voodoo spirit can walk the world in the flesh. When he bumps into Bethany, she might just be the reincarnation of a girl he once loved. Passion ignites, but can the couple overcome past mistakes and have a real chance at love?
Available from Amazon.com
Visit R.G. at www.rgalexander.com
The best birthday gift I’ve ever had was from my boyfriend. As some of you may know from reading our Smutketeers blog or from one of our chats, I’m a bit obsessed with tattoos and have several. For my birthday last year he paid for some new tattoo work for me. I love tattoos, but also, because each of mine means something to me, this was a really special gift. I love that he accepts this part of me. J
My favorite way to spend my birthday is just with him and my friends. I don’t need to do anything crazy—just dinner out. I guess I like to eat-lol! And I have awesome friends, so we always have a great time. My second choice would be to go to Disneyland. Okay-this might be my first, but we already do that every year for Valentine’s Day, so asking to go again in September might be too much. Or hmm…maybe not…The last time we went we found this toy sword that makes an awesome pervertible, so another trip may be in order!
So-Lissa has asked us to pick our favorite book to post here, which is kinda like asking someone to pick their favorite child, but I’m going to choose BLOODSONG. It’s Book Two in my Midnight Playground series—vampires and BDSM and romance—what more could I ask for? The next in the series, THE TURNING KISS, will be out in March, which I’m very excited about, and I’m currently working on Book Four, EVERSONG, so my darling, dirty vampires are on my mind! Here’s a little taste:
An ancient vampire, an ancient grief…a love that makes his blood sing…
Midnight Playground, Book 2
Aleron is ancient, powerful, immortal…a vampire who idles away his time playing at his favorite haunt, Midnight Playground. His favorite toys: beautiful young men. His game: BDSM, experiencing through the minds of his partners the sensations he can no longer quite feel himself.
The one thing he has vowed to avoid at all costs is love, especially for a woman. In a hundred years he has never been tempted to break that vow—until a lovely mortal woman enters his dungeon to watch him play. And his blood hums the ancient song of long-forgotten desire.
Raised in the Indian slums of London, exotic dancer Meeraj enters Midnight Playground a woman with nothing left to lose, numb to all but the most extreme forms of stimulation. As she watches Aleron’s blood play, she knows only his razor-sharp skills will satisfy. And she catches an odd mental glimpse of the grief that shadows his heart.
From their first touch, they are caught up in a whirlwind of exquisite agony that releases their emotions from the weight of the past. Exposing them to risks they’ve both fought to avoid. Love…and loss.
Available from Samhain Publishing
Happy Birthday, Lissa! May all your fondest wishes come true!
Eden Bradley aka Eve Berlin
Visit Eden at edenbradley.com
(Lissa is now jumping up and down and squealing with delight… I had the Smutketeers on my blog! Happy Valentine’s Day to ME! Oh, well, and to YOU the readers!)
Visit the Smutketeers at Smutketeers.com
I reached a birthday milestone in December last year. Hubby and I planned to go away for a few days, and I was looking forward to the break. On the morning of our departure, my husband woke me at seven. “Go and read your email,” he said. I didn’t understand why I needed to get up so early but I hadn’t packed and thought I’d start on that. When I walked into the office I found a flash drive and a note. The note said, Shelley Munro—your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to insert this flash drive.
I, of course, was curious. I opened the file on the flash drive and a movie started playing. Our holiday destination wasn’t the one I thought. My husband had booked a cruise and I hadn’t suspected a thing. The ship traveled around New Zealand, sailed across the Tasman Sea to Hobart and Eden and ended in Sydney. Did I want to go? Hell, yeah!
My husband had arranged a few special tours during the cruise. We went dolphin watching and on my actual birthday, we did a wine tour. He made me a special movie showing my progress from baby to present day and gave me a bracelet. We had a ball, arriving home a few days before the family descended on us for Christmas. Even the weather was perfect. Best birthday ever!
Happy birthday, Lissa. I hope your birthday is as much fun as mine.
The Bottom Line by Shelley Munro
Spicing up her sex life sounds exciting…until the fantasy hits the fan.
When Maggie Drummond buys an erotic romance novel by mistake, she gets more than an unexpected eyeful. She gets an introduction to a world that arouses her to a fever pitch: Spanking.
Her boyfriend isn’t interested in pushing his vanilla-flavored sexual boundaries. Then there’s Connor Grey, who haunts her fantasies like a magical genie. As a source of masculine advice for her and her female friends, he’s off limits. The only safe place to explore her fetish is her anonymous blog.
The recent changes in Maggie don’t escape Connor’s notice. Now that her boyfriend has dropped her, he can finally—carefully—make his move. Given his family history, laying a hand on any woman, even in fun, is a line he’s reluctant to cross. But for Maggie? Anything the lady wants.
As Maggie gives in to the temptation to let Connor add some sin to her life, she finds herself juggling lies, half-truths, friendship and sensual delights. Her job is in jeopardy—and she’s falling in love. Exploring her fantasy is one thing, but she’s beginning to question if indulging her own pleasure is worth the cost to everyone around her. Especially Connor…
Available from Samhain Publishing
On my 40th birthday I wasn’t expecting great things. No surprise party, no big gifts. See, my husband had accepted a job in the Yukon, and he’d already moved north a couple months earlier to begin, leaving me with the kidlets to pack, sell the house—you know, the fun stuff.
Well, he was having a blast as well. Not only starting a new job, but he had to find a house for us, which he did in a most timely fashion. Everything was finally packed, the new house ready for our arrival…
Hubby flew back to meet us, we loaded ourselves into the truck and headed out. We took nearly a week to do the 2000Km / 1300 mile trip, and landed in Whitehorse on my birthday.
And couldn’t get into the house. There was a passcode lock on the garage that he knew the combination to. It had worked before he left Whitehorse. So there we sat, in the driveway of our new home. March 2nd, snow piled as high as the roof of our truck.
No way into the house.
Turns out there was an oops in the electric bookings—and someone had accidentally shut off the power, meaning of course the electrical passcode lock wouldn’t work. A locksmith, and a few phone calls to the power company later, I got the biggest birthday gift I’ve ever received.
Happy Birthday, Lissa. I hope yours is at least as memorable, if not as exciting. 😀
My February release from Samhain, TURN IT UP, also starts with a birthday story. Tasha has just finished tying one on a little too hard—her last hurrah before planning on getting pregnant. She hadn’t intended to let Maxwell know her plans, but somehow the information snuck out. One too many can do that to you—
I invite you to take a peek- first chapter is up on my website, and in honour of Lissa’s birthday, I’m going to give away a copy of book 1 in the series. I’ll let Lissa decide who gets the present of a copy of your choice of ebook format of TURN T ON.
TURN IT UP
FEBRUARY 8, 2011
She wants it. He’s got it…and a whole lot more
Turner Twins, Book Two
Maxwell Turner considers his stubborn and resourceful attitude a plus. After all, it usually gets him what he wants—except for Natasha Bellingham. The long-time family friend may be ten years older than he, but so what? He’s plenty old enough to know they belong together. Now all he has to do is convince her.
Over the past few years Natasha’s love life has degenerated into a series of bad clichés. Her biological clock is ticking—loudly. As a proven architect with her own house-design company, she’s financially ready for a baby. Who says she needs a permanent man in her life for that? She just needs a “donation”.
When Max discovers Natasha’s future plans include artificial insemination, he’s outraged. She wants to get pregnant? No problem. He’s more than willing to volunteer—no turkey basters involved .
But there’s one non-negotiable clause: He wants forever. And he intends to do everything in his power—fair and unfair—to make it happen.
Warning: This title contains one younger man ready, aimed and hell bent on giving one woman everything she wants. Includes interludes against the wall, in a Jacuzzi, on a car hood and even—shockingly enough—on a bed or two. Oh, and about that porch swing? Yup…
Available from Samhain Publishing
Read an Excerpt
Romance, Hot and Wild