Melting Jane Release Day!

Yes yes yes! Finally, right!

You may have heard this before. Then again, you may not have. Melting Jane is the original title for the book some of my readers know as Sugar Rush. The contract was up on the book and I decided I wanted to make a few changes, add some word count, a new scene, some extended scenes, give it a new cover, and lower the price.

I’ve always loved this book. Jane is sassy and snarky and hates that the men in her life are always right. Graham is delicious and sweet and determined. It’s one thing when a woman doesn’t want a man and keeps saying No, it’s quite another when she DOES want him and keeps saying No.

If you read Sugar Rush, thank you. If you’re so inclined to re-read it in it’s new packaging, thank you.

If you haven’t ever read about Graham and Jane, and Jane’s friend Edward, I’m hoping you will give it a try.

Blurb:

Graham Hall is a twenty-six year old Texan with the job of his dreams: being a freelance travel writer for a national publication. He’s just finished his latest article about small winter resort destinations in Colorado and has earned some personal down time. With the six month lease not yet up on the small cabin he rented, Graham decides to stick around the area for a while and in the process, finds himself agreeing to a blind date with a feisty, down on her luck in the love department, candy maker named Jane.

After all, what could it hurt?

Jane, completely oblivious to the set up, arrives at Graham’s isolated little valley cabin to deliver a box of her handmade Chocolate Kick truffles. From the moment Graham opens the door, Jane is tongue tied and ticked off. Edward, her business partner and most certainly former best friend, set her up. When she regains her ability to put two coherent words together, plus size, mid-thirties Jane apologizes for intruding and assures Graham that she will take care of the mistake.

What ensues is a series of encounters and confrontations between Jane and Edward, Jane and Graham, and Edward and Graham. At the heart of it all, is Jane’s happiness. Edward wants this for her more than anything. Graham finds himself caught up in her tart tongue and curvy body and isn’t about to call his all too real pursuit a failure, no matter how many times she says no.

With her inability to continue denying herself the man she affectionately refers to as Cowboy Surfer in her head, she gives in and is rewarded with scorching hot sex and a lot of follow-up phone calls after she learns the truth of Graham’s attraction. His persistence leads Jane to believe that life doesn’t have to revolve around chocolate truffles, but rather should revolve around a delicious, well traveled and well built younger man.

Excerpt:

“What about this one?”

This one, was a little black dress that would dance around her knees when she spun this way or that. “No.” He swished the dress back and forth in front of her on the hanger. She crossed her arms and turned her head. She didn’t want to be tempted into the little dress. Kitchen stores were one thing. Clothing was another.

“Why not? It would look darling on you.”

“In case you’ve forgotten or have lost your sight recently, I don’t have a darling figure.”

“I, nor anyone else, would know a thing about your figure since you keep it hidden under every shapeless garment you can find.”

“Yeah, well…”

“Try it on.” He pleaded. “Please.”

“No.”

“For me?”

“No.”

“For him?”

“Him? Him who?” Jane thought for a moment and then understanding dawned on her. “Oh.” She grimaced. “No. Let’s go.” She got up and as soon as she did, Edward sat down in the newly vacated chair. “What are you doing?”

He crossed one leg over the other and looked for all the world like he hadn’t a care or a job. “I’m not going anywhere until you try on the dress.”

“Oh my god, Edward. Fine. You can sit there all day. I’ve got work to get back to.” When Edward didn’t make a move to get up, she threw up her hands and started walking toward the front of the store.

“Jane…”

“Look,” she said, walking back toward Edward. “I love you. You’re the best friend I’ve ever had, but you need to stop.”

“No. I don’t.” And given the look on his face, he believed that. “I want the best for you and I don’t have to stop until I’ve gotten through to you.” He blinked his puppy dog eyes and if they’d been alone in their loft, she’d have growled and stomped her feet. He was annoying, irritating, frustrating, and completely pissing her off. As it was, they were in a store, a high end clothing store, one of Edward’s favorites and she wasn’t comfortable making a scene. She’d wait until they were outside where she could drag him into a side street.

“This is the only one, understand? The only dress I intend to try on.”

Edward grinned. “Yes. That’s the only one I saw that I liked. The rest of their dresses were a little matronly for what you need.”

“What I need?”

“Sexy, but sweet.”

Jane rolled her eyes. “Oh please.” She slipped into the dressing room and hung the light and flirty dress on the wall hook. With long chiffon sleeves, a sweetheart neckline, and a nipped in waist, it was sweet looking. The flippy skirt coupled with slits in the sleeves to reveal skin, gave it the sexy look. It was an understated sexy, but with the right heels… Damn. He had her. The meddling man had her and he knew it. “I hate you.”

“I know.”

“I mean it, Edward,” she said, tugging her sweatshirt off over her head. She rocked her hips from side to side to get her jeans down. She huffed and sat on the little bench to pull her snow boots off. “I really hate you for this,” she reminded him.

“Let me see, then we can decide how much you hate me.”

“A lot.” But the dress slid down over her body like it had been made just for her. The side zipper ate up the distance to the top without her having to suck in her stomach, clench her butt, pray, or offer her soul. The lining hugged her curves with ease and the chiffon flowed. It was such a simple dress but it was perfect.

She stepped out of the little cubicle and Edward’s mouth dropped. That was a good sign. That was the best sign. He loved it on her and his gloating look hadn’t set in yet. She was thankful for that small miracle.

“Wow. I don’t know what to say.” He stood and came toward her. “I haven’t seen you in anything like this in so long. If I were a straight man…”

“Lucky for me, you’re not.” They stood in front of the three-way mirror, both of them staring at her from all sides. She realized she looked very nice. Well, as nice as she could without make up, her hair in a messy pony tail, and her one leopard print pink and black sock and her one neon green and black zebra stripe sock. If she’d known he wanted to do more than grab coffee and a pastry…

“I love it, Jane.” He was giddy with excitement, and practically bouncing up and down. “We should buy it.”

“No. No Edward, we shouldn’t. It’ll just sit in the closet and — ”

“No arguments. We’re getting the dress. Now, go take it off.”

“Edward.” Her tone should have been enough for him to let it go and realize it was a lost cause, that she wouldn’t be buying the dress, but he elected not to hear the slight inflectional change.

She huffed her way back into the dressing room and carefully removed the dress. “Aren’t you supposed to be looking for something for yourself to wear for your new guy?” There was no answer from Edward and when she had finished putting her clothes back on, went looking for him. He stood by the register, waiting.

“Will that be all?” the clerk asked her. Jane was quick to hand the dress over and nodded.

“Yes.”

“No.”

“No?”

“No, we’ll take these, too.” Edward placed a knee high pair of black boots on the counter. They were beautiful, elegant. Lace up the front, a short curved heel. She loved them immediately.

“Edward, really,” she whispered heatedly, ignoring the curious glance from the young woman behind the counter.

“These will be all.”

“Wonderful.”

Jane knew when she was beat. She walked away, all the way out the door, letting Edward do what he did best. Have his way.

The air was crisp, cold, tolerable. She liked the dry air, was happy there was no wind and that it wasn’t snowing. “Well, this has been a huge success.”

Jane turned to Edward as he joined her on the sidewalk. “What has?”

“Shopping.”

“Ah yes.” She started walking. “Where are your purchases for your man?”

“Oh I got them the other day.”

“Meaning this was all a ploy again, a set up.”

“I didn’t set you up with anyone other than me. I thought a morning out would be a nice change.”

“I don’t like that you’ve taken to lying to me.”

“If you liked the truth, I wouldn’t have to.”

Melting Jane is now available from Amazon | Barnes and Noble | All Romance eBooks | Smashwords

Have a great day!

~lissa

Author Friday

It’s been a busy writing week here at Casa Matthews. Actually, more like a busy revising week. Melting Jane is coming along really nice and I’m enjoying revisiting Cowboy Surfer Graham and candy maker Jane. I’ve been able to clean up their story a bit (don’t worry, it is still very naughty in the smex department), but removing extra words, making the writing tighter, adding a little more to their tale.

That is, I think, one of the great advantages to self-publishing…giving older stories new life and allowing them to find a new audience.

Look for Melting Jane near the end of the month… Even the blurb has gotten an update.

And in case you MISSED the cover…

Blurb:

Graham Hall is a twenty-six year old Texan with the job of his dreams: being a freelance travel writer for a national publication. He’s just finished his latest article and has earned some personal down time. With the six month lease not yet up on the small cabin in the Colorado Rockies, he decides to stick around the area for a while and in the process, finds himself agreeing to a blind date with a feisty, down on her luck in the love department, candy maker named Jane.

After all, what could it hurt?

Jane, completely oblivious to the set up, arrives at Graham’s isolated little valley cabin to deliver a box of her handmade Chocolate Kick truffles. From the moment Graham opens the door, Jane is tongue tied and ticked off. Edward, her business partner and most certainly former best friend, has set her up. When she regains her ability to put two coherent words together, plus size, mid-thirties Jane apologizes for intruding and assures Graham that she will take care of the mistake.

What ensues is a series of encounters and confrontations between Jane and Edward, Jane and Graham, and Edward and Graham. At the heart of it all, is Jane’s happiness. Edward wants this for her more than anything. Graham finds himself caught up in her tart tongue and curvy body and isn’t about to call his all too real pursuit a failure, no matter how many times she says no.

With her inability to continue denying herself the man she affectionately refers to as Cowboy Surfer in her head, she gives in and is rewarded with scorching hot sex and a lot of follow-up phone calls after she learns the truth of Graham’s attraction. His persistence leads Jane to believe that life doesn’t have to revolve around chocolate truffles, but rather should revolve around a delicious, well traveled and well built younger man.

Even I want to read the book! Grins…

Today, however, I am not working on Melting Jane. I am instead doing a little challenge, self imposed, but a challenge nonetheless… a Book In A Day! There are little challenges like this that take place, usually it’s a Book In A Weekend, or a Book In A Week. Mine is a short story, 8-10K, so doing it in a day isn’t going to be the problem. No, the problem will come Saturday when I’m unable to string two words together and have them make any kind of sense. My wee little brain will be fried.

The title for this book is Eli’s Promise, and it’s the second book in my Bar Next Door series, which will be coming out with Samhain Publishing sometime in the near future.

So, I need to get started. Y’all have a great day!

~lissa

Author Friday and New Cover Reveal!

Howdy y’all! Miss me? Grins…

A reader/reviewer/friend sent me a message asking me if I’d consider doing a post on my process for a book from beginning to end. I was thrilled to be asked, honored even… I’ve been thinking about it for a few weeks and it’s been a hard to figure out, honestly.

(Beware, this is going to be a long post, so please sit back, grab a glass of something good, and settle in to read…)

I don’t write my books in quite the same way each time. I’m not sure if this is normal or not, but it’s evident that I don’t go about the different books the same.

When a story flows for me, I can sit down and write for hours on end. When it’s not flowing, it’s like pulling teeth. I love what I do, but the reality is that sometimes it’s the biggest bitch.

One thing I’ve always done and needed to do, is work on multiple projects at one time. When one isn’t working in one moment, another one is. I can sometimes and do sometimes, work on two or three projects in the same day. I take breaks in between, but it actually is easier to keep them all going than it is just working on one at a time. And part of this thinking is because I have ideas, lots and lots of ideas. Most writers do. We talk about plot bunnies and they often hop up on the desk as we’re in the middle of trying to be dedicated to one project, dedicated to getting it done.

Some are able to put the new ideas aside in their head, others need to take a few notes to get it out and keep their mind from being cluttered, and still there are others who have to plot and start working on it before they can go back to what they were originally working on. This is me.

Of late though, my processes are slightly changing. I’ve started working on synopses long before I start writing now. I write with a timer, always. I have little rituals… Coffee. (Y’all are shocked, I know) Sometimes music, sometimes Law and Order playing in the background (white noise which I love). Baking or cooking. If I’m lucky, the phones won’t ring either. I have to write before I do most anything else. If I have errands to run or appointments, writing won’t get done at all. I cannot, no matter how many times I try, write in the afternoons or at night, if I haven’t started my day off writing. It’s the weirdest thing, but it is what works.

Book ideas come easy to me. Book writing, does not. Even when the words are flowing, it doesn’t mean it’s any kind of easy. I get stuck and I have to back off, work on something else. But I’m always thinking of the books I’m writing. I change them as I’m writing them, too, or if it’s something small that I don’t think will bug me, I’ll make a note and go back to it later.

I’m also learning to write rough drafts and fill in on the read through. This has helped me a lot. I don’t outline, but as I said, I do write synopses first most of the time now and if it’s a book I’ll be writing at a later time, the synopsis will likely be changed a bit here and there to accommodate how the thoughts have changed with time.

My process is changing, evolving and that’s one thing with writing and with almost anything…you have to be open to changing the way you do something. I don’t like change. It scares me. But, in my writing, it’s been a slow enough process that I don’t even realize it until I start thinking about it. And another thing… I said I write with a timer all the time. I do. 20 minutes. I’ve talked about this before. For some 30 minutes works, and for some an hour at a time works. For me, 20 minutes. Usually two 20 minute sessions in an hour yields close to 1100-1300 words for me. It could produce more, but when I write, the majority of words don’t get tossed out. I don’t cut large sections. I try to make the words I write the first time be the best words they can be. However, I do often ADD a lot during revisions and edits.

I used to want to write 10000 words a day like other authors I know, but it’s not something I can do. Most I can write in a day is 7000-8000 words a day and that’s if there’s nothing else going on at all. So most days, it’s 2500-4000 words a day. I’m very happy with that. It gets the job done and in the end, that’s what needs to happen.

There is no right way or wrong way to do this job. We each have our own craziness we go through to write our books. We each have ideas and we try to work through them as best we can. Some authors are uber organized, some are always in the midst of chaos. I am a little of both. I write from beginning to end. I revise from beginning to end and proof from end to beginning. I catch a lot this way.

The things I need when going through the book writing process:

an idea
my paper calendar
coffee
white noise (shows/movies I know by heart or music)
a synopsis
my white board with it’s 4 columns… Bright, Shiny New Ideas, Works in Progress, Completed Works, Self-Publish
specific pencils (I’m strange… mechanical pencils, color coordinated with something in the story)
a timer for accountability
a lot of books to read (fiction, not craft books)
time to bake or cook because those thing fuel my creativity (for you, it might and likely will be something different)
my gray, threadbare #18 Kyle Busch hoodie
Evernote (evernote.com)
Dropbox (dropbox.com)

When a book is done, I take a break for a day or so before starting something new but I keep working on other projects I had been working on. Everyone’s process is different and I think that’s what makes writing so fun and so interesting. We all write these books that people love and we all go about it so differently. We need different things when we write. We seek out different atmospheres when we write.

I also write from time to time with several other authors…writing sprints in the mornings online. It helps me get into the groove of writing and gets me into the chair at a specific time most days.

I’m always happy to answer questions, to help out when other authors or readers have questions. I don’t always write on what my readers want me to write on when they want me to write on it. I have to wait until the characters start talking to me. I can’t force them. I’ve tried. And even then, it’s not always the story the readers were looking for. But I can only write the way the characters want their story told. They have as much control over my stories as I do, often times, more control than I do.

I appreciate Crystal wanting to know and allowing me to think about this.

Now, about the cover I promised you… Melting Jane. You knew the book previously as Sugar Rush. It is being re-released by me, hopefully in May. I’ve been revising it and adding new scenes, and overall am loving these characters all over again. I hope you will too…

Melting Jane:

Graham Hall is a twenty-six year old Texan with the job of his dreams: being a freelance travel writer for a national publication. He’s just finished his latest article about small winter resort destinations in Colorado and has earned some personal down time. With the six month lease not yet up on the small cabin he rented, Graham decides to stick around the area for a while and in the process, finds himself agreeing to a blind date with a feisty, down on her luck in the love department, candy maker named Jane.

After all, what could it hurt?

Jane, completely oblivious to the set up, arrives at Graham’s isolated little valley cabin to deliver a box of her handmade Chocolate Kick truffles. From the moment Graham opens the door, Jane is tongue tied and ticked off. Edward, her business partner and most certainly former best friend, set her up. When she regains her ability to put two coherent words together, plus size, mid-thirties Jane apologizes for intruding and assures Graham that she will take care of the mistake.

What ensues is a series of encounters and confrontations between Jane and Edward, Jane and Graham, and Edward and Graham. At the heart of it all, is Jane’s happiness. Edward wants this for her more than anything. Graham finds himself caught up in her tart tongue and curvy body and isn’t about to call his all too real pursuit a failure, no matter how many times she says no.

With her inability to continue denying herself the man she affectionately refers to as Cowboy Surfer in her head, she gives in and is rewarded with scorching hot sex and a lot of follow-up phone calls after she learns the truth of Graham’s attraction. His persistence leads Jane to believe that life doesn’t have to revolve around chocolate truffles, but rather should revolve around a delicious, well traveled and well built younger man.

Have a good evening, y’all!

~lissa

Snippet Saturday – Author’s Choice

Author’s Choice.

Usually I have to think about what I’m going to post, but today? Not so much. I just had a new release this week and that’s what my choice is…

Forever In Blue Jeans, Book 3 in my Blue Jeans and Hard Hats series came out this week. Or rather, I put it out this week. It’s my longest book to date which compared to most, isn’t that long at all, but I put a lot into this one and I love it. I hope the readers who’ve bought it, who’ve been waiting for it, love it, too.

Snippet:

“Haven’t you perfected that damn recipe yet?” Cort asked just before tilting the beer bottle up and taking a long swallow. It was good to be with Decker and Buck again. It was good to be with the women who had stolen his friends’ hearts and weren’t looking to latch onto his. It was good to be away from Blue. Good God, it was good to be away from her. She had him all twisted up in knots, and that just wasn’t going to work for him. He was done obsessing about her.

The more he thought about it, the more he agreed with his first assessment of her. She was everything he wanted, at least the outside of her was. The image of her tight, curvy body, her expressive, soulful eyes, her hair that simply begged to be pulled, her tattoos… Shit. None of his lovers had ever had tattoos, and he wanted to see each and every one Blue had, up close and personal. He wanted to trace them with his fingers, with his tongue, cover them in his come and smear it into them.

But he couldn’t. He didn’t need to be wanting her anymore. The sparks might still be there between them, but all these years later, what she did and with whom was none of his business. He didn’t care.

Right? Right.

“Yet?”

Cort looked over at Rosie, who’d asked, then nodded. “He’s been working on that recipe for more years than I’ve known him.”

“It’s the best burger I’ve ever had so whatever he’s perfected, I know what he can do if he ever gets tired of roofing.”

A bark of laughter sounded from the direction of the grill. “I’ll happily take up the grill duties at the diner, but you know my conditions.”

A look passed between the two lovers and Cort knew he had to ask. “What conditions?”

“New uniforms,” they both answered at the same time.

On second thought, maybe he shouldn’t have asked. “Something wrong with the current ones?”

“They keep her too covered up.”

Rosie glowered at Decker, but Cort caught the glimmer in her eyes. They had a special chemistry. Cort couldn’t deny the twist of envy filling his gut. He wanted to ignore it, but he couldn’t do that either. He wanted what they shared.

Eventually.

At some point.

But not with Blue.

And if he chose to ignore the voice in his head screaming that he was a liar, well, that was his prerogative.

“I can’t go around naked, Decker.”

“I didn’t say you had to be naked.”

“Shorts showing my ass and halter tops are close enough.”

“I didn’t say you had to wear shorts that showed your ass.”

“No, you said I should serve breakfast in my bra and panties.”

“You need to do a better job of listening to me, woman. I said when you’re in the kitchen with me, you should only be in your bra and panties.” Decker winked, and Rosie stuck her tongue out at him.

“There’s an open… Oh never mind. We’re not changing uniforms.”

“Then I’m not going to work for you.”

The back-and-forth banter was quite telling for Cort. His buddy had it bad. He’d noticed the same thing about Buck and Caroline the night before. How his friends had gotten so damn lucky, he’d never know. He wouldn’t deny his happiness for them, though. He couldn’t think of two men more deserving for that kind of love.

“Good.”

“Great.”

“Fine.”

“Fine.” Rosie stood and went inside with Decker’s gaze attached to her every move. It was few minutes before he turned his attention back to the task at hand.

The silence that ensued made Cort uncomfortable. He didn’t like being left with his own thoughts for too long. He got crazy notions about settling down and opting for a steady, long-term relationship with just one woman and the wouldn’t-it-be-nice scenarios. Nope. Nothing good ever came from those kinds of thoughts. He was better off if his mind or hands or preferably both were occupied with either eating, working, or working on eating a woman.

That particular train of thought led straight to mental images of Blue stretched out on a bed, a waist cincher wrapped tight around her middle, the curves of her hips and thighs framed to absolute perfection, and his mouth buried between her legs, his tongue inside her, and her moans filling the empty spaces around them.

Shit.

He couldn’t, shouldn’t, and refused to continue thinking about her in those terms. Again. Still. His time with her was over. They had one night and not even a whole night at that, but it was done, over with. She was a client now. He was going to re-wire her rambling plantation house and then, with any real luck, he’d only see her rarely afterward.

“Cort?”

“Hmm?”

Decker laughed. “You drifted.”

Shit. He had to stop doing that. “Yeah well, it’s been a long day.”

“I’d have thought the time zone difference wouldn’t be affecting you.”

“It’s not.”

“Jet lag should be gone,” Decker went on as though Cort hadn’t said anything.

“I don’t get jet lag.”

“Uh-huh. Did you sleep okay last night? It’s different than sleeping in hotels or in cities. It’s so quiet out here. Took a while for me to get used to it.

“Yeah, slept fine. I don’t mind the quiet.”

“Wanna talk about it, then? Whatever it is?”

“What the hell are we? A couple of women? No, I don’t want to talk about it because there’s nothing to talk about.”

“Did you uh… Did you see the pictures?” Decker whispered from across the deck.

Cort snorted and shook his head. Just like a teenager to ask about the dirty pictures. Only Decker wasn’t a teenage boy anymore. Perv. “Yes. And no, I’m not going to tell you anything about them except to say they weren’t at all what I was expecting.” He got up and took two steps before the voice stopped him in his tracks.

“Not leaving on my account, I hope?”

Blue. And…him. The guy from the porch. The guy with his arm around Blue’s waist, holding her so tight against his body, holding her with such ease and familiarity that Cort wanted to punch him right in the nose and mess up his handsome face.

“Hey, Blue,” Decker said from behind Cort’s still-as-the-night body. “Rosie said you might be coming.”

“Hey there. Yes, Rosie strong-armed me into making cake.” Blue was still staring at Cort even as she spoke to the other man. “And I had to bring the plans for the house to Cort. I forgot to give them to him earlier.”

“Hi, Decker, I’m Neil, Blue’s uh…friend. I don’t usually miss a barbecue, and when I heard about your skills with a grill, I was intrigued.”

“Hey, man, Any friend of Blue’s is always welcome. So Rosie’s told you guys she only wants me for my meat, huh?”

Blue finally broke eye contact to look at Decker. She winked at him over Cort’s shoulder and laughed. “You could say that.” Decker’s bark of laughter was her reward, and the smile that lit up her face… Damn. Cort knew he’d been in trouble the second he’d laid eyes on her, but seeing her smile just now, hearing her sexy, Southern twang, seeing her body in a flowing skirt and denim jacket, with her long, black wavy hair all unruly and wild, he couldn’t think about anything else except getting her naked.

And that just pissed him the fuck off.

He was supposed to be over her, not still wanting her, not still getting hard at the thought of her. But it was more than just the thought of her now; she was here, in front of him, living and breathing. Either way he looked at it, he was screwed.

End snippet

Please take some time and read through the snippets from the authors below… I am going to make some lunch and settle in to watch some Daytona racing.

Eliza Gayle
Rhian Cahill
Anne Rainey
Jody Wallace
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Alison Kent
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Shiloh Walker
TJ Michaels
Shelli Stevens
Zoë Archer
Leah Braemel

Have a great Saturday, y’all!

~lissa

Revealed and More…

So, a couple of readers have suggested that there needs to be another story about Thor and Bobby, an HEA. Have you read it? Are you planning to read it? What do you think? What do you want?

It’s up to you.

Do you want another one? Do you want to know how things progress, end up?

Let me know. Email me. Leave a comment here, on Twitter, on Facebook, heck even on Goodreads. If enough of you want it, I’m happy to write it. I love them, Thor and Bobby. I know you love them, too.

It’s been a fun little series to write, something new for me to explore. There are other m/m books in my mind, up on my whiteboard, in Evernote. I wanted to know if anyone would like them, of course, as I said, there were other factors by the names of Kendra and Samantha nudging me, urging me to write m/m. I’ve loved it.

So, let me know… If you’d like more from Thor and Bobby…

And what should the title be?

~lissa