Snippet Saturday – Be My Baby

snippetsaturdayIt’s the third Saturday of the current college football season and so far so good…

Before anyone kicks off today, I’ll be working hard on edits and revisions of Slide Down On Me, but before we get there, Snippet Saturday comes first.

Be My Baby. Remember that song? Brings to mind Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swazye and his death still breaks my heart. It was a great movie and one I should watch again soon.

Until then, I must find a snippet for you to read…

troubleinthemaking200

Johnny groaned. ”Ask.”

”This has trouble with a capital T written all over it.”

”What does?” He looked genuinely confused by her statement, but how could he not see it? She saw it plain as day.

”You. Me.” She waved a hand between them. ”This.”

”I don’t understand.”

”Then think about it for a second, okay? You live this larger than life, life. You’re a rock star and you should live whatever life you want. But I’m a small-time writer in Orlando. I live a quiet life. Full, but quiet.”

”You’re just…” Johnny shook his head and started pacing. Back and forth at the end of the bed. He finally stopped and turned to face her, hands on his hips, pants riding low, tattoos beautiful and full of color in the late afternoon sun coming off the water through the window. ”You want me to move to Orlando? I’ll put my house up first thing. You want to live apart for a while? I’ll rent a place close to you and we can have regular date nights. I won’t—“

”Johnny—“ She started to interrupt him, to stop him, but he kept talking.

”Even wear leather anymore,” he finished.

”Don’t even joke about that,” she said, serious as she’d ever been about anything. The leather was… He knew how much she loved him in leather. For him to use it against her, well, that was just wrong. ”I appreciate the gestures you’re willing to make.”

”Gestures? These aren’t gestures, Liz. These are changing my life thoughts and words and moves. I want you in my day-to-day life. Any way I can get you there. You’ve been with me through everything, thick and thin, for the last five years. I found you again. Don’t you get that? You were one of my closest friends in school, and for the last five years you’ve been my best friend. I can be me with you and there aren’t many people I can say that about. I don’t have to pretend when I’m with you. I don’t have to put on a face for the camera. I don’t have to do anything other than be me, and underneath the rock star image, I am a man. A very simple man who wants love and wants to give it.”

”You are anything but a simple man, Johnny Trouble,” she stated with deep affection and tears that were threatening to clog her throat. His words were what dreams were made of. ”And you always could write a love song,” she complimented.

”I am simple. At the heart of me, you know I am. I want you, Liz. I’m done touring. I’m not done writing, but I’m done touring. I spent the first twenty years of my adult life living out my childhood dreams. I want to spend the next twenty years living out my adult dreams, which, my love, very much include you.”

”Oh.” Beyond that, she was at a loss for words. She didn’t know what else to say. He seemed to have covered everything, and while a part of her still had concerns and would likely always have concerns to some extent, Johnny never said anything that he didn’t mean. Especially to her.

”Oh? Really, that’s all you have to say? Oh?” He laughed a little. ”I want to wake up with you, every day. In our bed, in a home that we share. I want it all, Liz.”

”You’ve had it all, Johnny.” One last feeble attempt at reason. That was all she had the resolve for. Here was a man who she’d known for most of her life, had shared deep desires with, had given her heart to years ago. He was famous, had done things which made him infamous and had always been there when she needed him, just as she had done when he needed her.

In this room, far from everything he knew, and even far away from what she knew now, everything seemed possible when he put it all out there in plain words.

”Then call me greedy, because I want more,” he added. ”I want a whole hell of a lot more. With you. Ask.”

”Will you come back? Please? As soon as you can? As soon as you’re finished? Will you come back? Will you stay?” The words rushed through her lips and filled the space between where she sat in the middle of the bed to the end where he’d come to a complete stop. The shirt in his hand was forgotten, dropped on the floor, and he was on his knees on the mattress, leaning toward her with earnest, ice-colored eyes.

Buy Links: Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks

Now, there are several blogs for you to check out on other blogs. Afterward, if you watch college football, best of luck to your teams… If you don’t, why not? LOL…

Lauren Dane
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
McKenna Jeffries
Shiloh Walker
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Myla Jackson
TJ Michaels
Leah Braemel

~lissa

Snippet Saturday – Can’t Fight This Feeling (Friends to Lovers)

snippetsaturdayFriends to lovers.

This is one of those snippets that won’t be too difficult to come up with. I have a few books with the friends to lovers theme.

Different types of friends create different types of lovers. Sometimes it’s easy and just falls right into place. Sometimes it takes a little more work to make the transition.

friends to lovers

 

Thoughts of Johnny, the sole reason for her being in a swanky hotel, kept creeping in. Why had she thought this was a good idea again? Why had she felt so compelled to ask him, of all men, to fulfill her fantasies? You know why. Liz sighed. The secret naughty girl voice inside her head shouldn’t be allowed to talk until coffee was flowing through her veins. Her angelic good girl voice had no energy to mount a defense yet.

When the doors to the elevator opened, the aroma of freshly brewed heaven hit her before she crossed the threshold and she inhaled deeply. A sign outside the elevator pointed her in the direction of Bar Espresso and she made a beeline for it.

The first thing she noticed as she crossed the threshold was the menu. It stretched four panels long. One for coffees and teas, one for hot espresso drinks, one for cold and one for pastries. She scanned the espresso drinks. What would they think if she ordered one of each?

‘Hello, Liz.”

“Oh dear God,” she whispered under her breath as the voice rippled over her. He was early. He wasn’t supposed to arrive until late tonight or maybe even tomorrow. It was meant to be a Friday to Monday weekend. What was he already doing here?

The deep chuckle from behind told her she hadn’t spoken quietly enough. “No, and I didn’t expect you to refer to me as God quite yet.”

Johnny Trouble. She knew that voice almost as well as she knew her own. His nearness, his gravelly rumble, was nearly as potent for her as the coffee she couldn’t live without.

Everything in her line of sight faded and centered on this one location. It was only the two of them in the universe as far as her mind and body were concerned. They’d spoken just last night right before she’d drifted off to sleep. She’d told him she wanted to back out, that it was a bad idea. He’d told her she was lying, and while she hated to admit it, he’d been right. She’d initiated this, she’d arranged this and no matter how scared she was, she intended to go through with it.

What he hadn’t told her was that he was arriving early.

But he was here in the hotel now, standing behind her with one specific purpose in mind and she was quaking in her flip-flops.

She’d lost her ever lovin’ mind.

“Liz.” The tone of voice was impatient. “Turn around and look at me.”

She shook her head, mute. She couldn’t look at him, couldn’t talk to him. This was crazy. She needed to get her coffee and get the hell out until she was more fortified to handle him.

The air around her shifted and crackled. He was closer, within inches of being pressed to her back. His breath fanned her ear and breezed through the loose strands of hair at her nape. Heat rolled off him and seeped through her thin, worn shirt.

“Turn around, Liz.” He spoke softer, and directly against her skin now.

He was teasing her, taunting her, and it was exactly what she needed, wanted. Only, she wanted so much more too. She just had to get her mind to communicate with the rest of her.

“Really? You’re not going to turn around and look at me?”

What was she afraid of? She’d done the hard part. Well, not the hard hard part, but she’d asked him to give her a long, fantasy weekend and he’d said yes. He wasn’t nervous, or at least he didn’t appear to be, so what was her issue? It was an easy answer. She was the wallflower. It had been her Achilles’ heel all her life. In the safe haven of her home, of her little neighborhood, she was open and comfortable with her life. He represented the opposite of all that, and though it scared her, when she was with him, she couldn’t help but be drawn to it.

“I get it,” he said, coming to stand beside her now. “You’re taken aback by my celebrity, aren’t you? It’s finally hit you just how famous I am.” Johnny sighed dramatically and Liz couldn’t stop herself from looking at him. He didn’t turn his head to meet her gaze, but there was a little smirk on his lips that, as she stared at it, started to ease the nervousness coursing through her. “I knew it would catch up to you sooner or later. I know I’m quite the catch for women. I mean, look at me? I’m the quintessential over-the-hill rock star who still wears leather, has long hair and thinks he’s smokin’ hot. Chicks still dig me, baby.”

Liz laughed and nudged him with her shoulder. The familiarity of their long-standing friendship settled in the small space between them. He was as much a smartass now as he’d ever been. He knew his celebrity didn’t matter to her. She was proud of him, proud to know him as a person, as an imperfect, but gorgeous man. She was proud to have known him before he’d ever struck it rich with a hit song, and he knew how hard something like this weekend was for someone so quiet, how out of character it was for her to make the first move. Her inability to turn around and face him was not for any reason other than fear, a little anxiety and a whole lot of discomfort with the immediate situation. She didn’t like being this way sometimes, but more often than not, the homebody in her kicked in and she stayed rooted to what she knew. “Thank you,” she said softly.

“There’s nothing to thank me for.”

“There is. You’re helping an old friend step outside herself for a while.” She’d spent a great deal of time living her personal life vicariously through other people, the characters from her books and, Johnny. He was well traveled and he never failed to entertain and amuse her with some of his stories, the antics of his band, the daring things their fans would do just to be able to touch their coattails.

It was high time she did some real life living of her own.

“True… In a way,” he added softly.

“What do you mean, in a way?”

 

So, now it’s time for you to visit the following blogs for more friends to lovers snippets…

Lauren Dane
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
McKenna Jeffries
Shiloh Walker
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Myla Jackson
Shelli Stevens
Jody Wallace

~lissa

Music Monday

LissaLogoYellow_reasonably_smallIt’s been a long weekend, y’all. San Antonio was awesome. I definitely want to go back, rent a car, and drive around. It was green and lush and beautiful. It was busy and vibrant and completely not what I was expecting but exactly what I’d hoped for. I’m feeling inspired and curious and ready to get back to work on the Lone Star Sweets series…

But before that… I’ve always had musical inspiration on all my writing, even the pieces that are stuffed in the back of cabinets and drawers and file boxes. Most know that Keep It Together came from Miranda Lambert’s Mama’s Broken Heart. Twisted Up came by way of a SheDAISY song, 360 Degrees of You.

The song Famous In A Small Town is what hit me as a great theme for my short story, Small Town Famous…

Twisted Up might have come from a line in the SheDAISY song, but Justin (the real Justin) loved Sugarland and so as I wrote the book, those two groups played the entire time.

I love music and it keeps me sane, keeps me feeling young even. One of the reviews I glanced at for Trouble In The Making commented that Liz and Johnny talked/acted younger at times than their ages and yes, they probably did. I don’t talk for my age either. Not always. I feel old a lot of times, but certain music makes me feel different, years younger and maybe that translates into my books. A lot of the musicians I loved when I was in my teens are in their 50’s and 60’s and they act, talk, play younger now than when they were 20 years younger.

In our 40’s we’re still insecure, still emotionally unsettled, still uncertain, still trying to find our way. When the younger set is our age, they’ll be the same… Hell, there are many 18-19 year olds who act like they’re still 10, so…

Music and laughter help us feel younger, act younger, even play younger, especially when we get around people who are younger or who we knew in our younger days… I definitely don’t want my characters, who are in their mid-30’s-early 40’s to come across as old and stodgy 😉

Before I go, I think I like this song. This girl… damn, I wish I had her body, but LOVE the title, Giddy On Up..

Y’all have a great Monday. I have work to do…

~lissa

Snippet Saturday – Author’s Choice

snippetsaturdayAuthor’s Choice. My favorite.

You know what else it is? It’s race day. Nascar Nationwide Series racing. I’ll be headed to Charlotte Motor Speedway here in a little bit to cheer on the No. 54 of Kyle Busch. I’ll have my Monster Energy and I’ll be screaming like a nut case. So, before I go, I’ll leave you a little snippet from Trouble In The Making…

troubleinthemaking200

”Hi,” she said around a yawn. ”I… Is that…? Do I smell…?” Liz sat up and sniffed. ”Pancakes?” Her eyes scanned the room until they found the brown paper sack that contained overflowing Styrofoam containers. ”Oh my God.” She pointed, then looked at Johnny. ”Are those from…?”

Johnny inclined his head. ”Yeah.”

”But how did you get them here? That restaurant is in San Marco and we’re in St. Augustine.”

”I’m famous,” he said with a straight face and a shrug. He used his fame for many things and most of them had been self-serving in the past, but this, for her, it was one of the most selfless things he’d used it for.

”And you bought me pancakes using your fame?”

”I did.” He got up, stalked slowly to the end of the bed, took Liz’s face in his hands and kissed her. Gentle at first, his calloused, guitar-playing hands caressed her smooth skin, then sifted through her sleep tangled hair to hold her lips to his and deepen the kiss. She moved to wrap her arms around him and he stepped back, laughing at her confused pout. He tapped her on the end of the nose and reached around for the boxes of breakfast. Or rather, lunch now.

He sat on the side of the bed, pulled the first container from the bag and opened it. Her eyes widened when she got a peek inside. Four buttermilk pancakes filled with blackberries were topped with blackberry compote and two plastic-capped cups of maple syrup rested on the side.

”I can’t believe you did this for me.”

”Not just for you, sweetheart. I was a little hungry myself. You’re not the only one who worked up an appetite. You are, however, the only one who took a little snooze.” He punctuated his statements by dipping his finger into the blackberry compote and painting her lips with it. She parted them and took his finger on her tongue, licking the sticky, fruity syrup off. She followed that move with the one of licking the same sticky, fruity syrup off her lips after he removed his finger.

She was teasing him. She was wrapped in the hotel room’s duvet, her body well sexed, her eyes still slightly dreamy, though more now so from the gesture of having had her favorite pancakes delivered from an hour away and still moderately warm at that, and she was teasing him. With her tongue. By licking her lips.

”You’re a naughty girl, Liz. You deserve to be punished.”

”No. No I don’t.”

Johnny chuckled and unwrapped his silverware. The second call he’d made had been to the front desk to let them know he’d need two sets of utensils sent up and set outside the room. Sure enough, it had been sitting on a tray beside the door when he walked the delivery guy back out the door. He handed hers over. ”You do. You’re being a tease. You deliberately teased me with the way you licked your lips and sucked on my finger. Oh yes, darling, you do deserve to be punished.”

”What about the way you teased me? Or… What about the way you used your fame for pancakes. Is this part of your wooing plan? Pancakes? With blackberries?”

The banter. He’d missed it. They were always, above all things, very good friends and something, some part of that, got lost in the translation of growing up and moving on. He wouldn’t trade her friendship for anything, but he wanted more.

”I can’t believe you bought pancakes for us.”

Johnny looked over at her. ”We’ve got to eat, baby.”

”That’s not the point.”

”I know.” And he did. She’d been married just as he had. They’d talked about it over the years and how both had fallen apart. Sparks started and died out. Life moved on. A forkful of pancakes were halfway to Liz’s mouth when she started sniffing at the air. “I smell bacon.”

Johnny laughed and guided the mess on her fork into her mouth before it made a huge mess on the bed and on her. “Good Lord, woman.”

“Are you hiding it?” she asked after she swallowed the bite of pancakes.

“Why would I hide it? You’d sell me out for coffee and bacon. I’d have to be stupid to hide either from you.”

“You’re right, I would. So hand it over.” All Johnny did was smile at her and cut into his own pancakes. Just as he took a bite, she poked him. “Hey.”

“You have definitely not mellowed with age.”

Liz grinned, her teeth purple from the blackberries. Johnny should have been put off by the sight, but he wasn’t. He was charmed and turned on by it. “Are you surprised?”

He produced a wax paper package of bacon from the bag. ”Not in the least,” he replied and offered her the bacon she’d so delicately asked for.

“Mmmm. Delicious.”

Of course, now I want pancakes. Don’t y’all want pancakes? Damn. So, while I head out for breakfast before heading to the track, you should take a gander at the snippets from the following authors and their blogs…

Myla Jackson
Lauren Dane
Leah Braemel
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Jody Wallace
McKenna Jeffries
Shiloh Walker
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
Lissa Matthews
Felicity Heaton

Snippet Saturday – Her Man

snippetsaturdaySometimes first impressions are the ones that stick with us. Sometimes our first impressions can change over time based on future actions.

I’m definitely one for first impressions and I admit I can be wrong from time to time as well, but generally, my gut is right.

Of course, there’s always the first impression that has everything to do with looks rather than gut instinct about personality. And a lot of times in romance, that’s what is noticed first. Looks. How he looks in jeans or a suit or uniform. How he looks naked. His eyes. His hair. Whether he has tattoos or not. Clean cut or rugged.

Sometimes looks can be deceiving. Sometimes not…

troubleinthemaking200

”Really? You’re not going to turn around and look at me?”

What was she afraid of? She’d done the hard part. Well, not the hard hard part, but she’d asked him to give her a long, fantasy weekend and he’d said yes. He wasn’t nervous, or at least he didn’t appear to be, so what was her issue? It was an easy answer. She was the wallflower. It had been her Achilles’ heel all her life. In the safe haven of her home, of her little neighborhood, she was open and comfortable with her life. He represented the opposite of all that, and though it scared her, when she was with him, she couldn’t help but be drawn to it.

”I get it,” he said, coming to stand beside her now. ”You’re taken aback by my celebrity, aren’t you? It’s finally hit you just how famous I am.” Johnny sighed dramatically and Liz couldn’t stop herself from looking at him. He didn’t turn his head to meet her gaze, but there was a little smirk on his lips that, as she stared at it, started to ease the nervousness coursing through her. ”I knew it would catch up to you sooner or later. I know I’m quite the catch for women. I mean, look at me? I’m the quintessential over-the-hill rock star who still wears leather, has long hair and thinks he’s smokin’ hot. Chicks still dig me, baby.”

Liz laughed and nudged him with her shoulder. The familiarity of their long-standing friendship settled in the small space between them. He was as much a smartass now as he’d ever been.. He knew his celebrity didn’t matter to her. She was proud of him, proud to know him as a person, as an imperfect, but gorgeous man. She was proud to have known him before he’d ever struck it rich with a hit song, and he knew how hard something like this weekend was for someone so quiet, how out of character it was for her to make the first move. Her inability to turn around and face him was not for any reason other than fear, a little anxiety and a whole lot of discomfort with the immediate situation. She didn’t like being this way sometimes, but more often than not, the homebody in her kicked in and she stayed rooted to what she knew. ”Thank you,” she said softly.

”There’s nothing to thank me for.”

”There is. You’re helping an old friend step outside herself for a while.” She’d spent a great deal of time living her personal life vicariously through other people, the characters from her books and, Johnny. He was well traveled and he never failed to entertain and amuse her with some of his stories, the antics of his band, the daring things their fans would do just to be able to touch their coattails.

It was high time she did some real life living of her own.

”True… In a way,” he added softly.

”What do you mean, in a way?” For the moment, she’d forgotten her nervousness. She couldn’t tell if he was still teasing her or if he was just being cryptic and trying to keep her on her toes.

”I don’t have completely selfless motives in having said yes to this.”

Liz scoffed. ”Well, of course you don’t. I’m sure if we actually go through with it that you’ll at least…you know, benefit from it.” She couldn’t make herself say that he’d come, that he’d get sexual pleasure, but he knew that was what she meant. Right?

”Benefit? Really? Is that what they’re calling it these days?”

”Oh shut up.”

Johnny grinned and pinned her with a look for the space of a heartbeat, then lowered his ice-blue eyes. It wasn’t as dark blue a shade as the blue ice found in glaciers, but it was stunning just the same. His gaze roamed her body, from her purple-painted toes to her messy pony-tailed head. ”I like the just-out-of-bed look, Liz.”

She smiled, self consciousness prickling her skin, and she stuffed down hard on the urge to fidget. ”You’ve never seen me just out of bed. For all you know, this could be my everyday look now.”

”True. Though I’ve never seen you like this, I know it’s not how you usually go out in public.” He lowered his head. “Doesn’t mean I haven’t wanted to see your just-out-of-bed look for years.” The words were whispered against the side of her neck and she shivered. The man was hell on her nervous system.

He waggled his eyebrows when she chanced a glance at him and his wicked laugh echoed off the walls of the nearly empty room when he stood straight again. ”I’ll be at the table over there.” He pointed to the farthest corner of the coffee bar. ”Come join me.”

”I really need to get back to my room and…” And what? Doing him was all she had planned.

”C’mon, now. I don’t bite. No need to stay so shy with me.”

She slanted him a look. ”You don’t bite? Really? That’s not the magazines said,” she quipped. “And my shyness is harder to shake than you might think.”

”I know it is. Especially now, but we’re going to work on that.”

”Good luck with that. It’s not as though I go around asking men to meet me for…for… You know.” She dropped her voice to barely a whisper so as not to be overheard, even though there wasn’t anyone within earshot to hear their conversation. The counter was still several feet ahead and given the noise of the espresso machines, they could’ve shouted and it would have been difficult for anyone to catch on to what they were saying.

He appeared to contemplate her meaning, but in the end, shook his head. ”No, I don’t think I do know. You’re going to have to be more specific.”

Were her eyes as wide as she thought they must be? Was her mouth hanging open as she feared it likely was? ”You do too know, Johnny.”

”Still… Just to be sure, I think you need to spell it out for me. I don’t want to be here under false pretenses. However, hearing my name on your lips like that might just have been worth the trip.”

”You can’t be serious?” How red were her cheeks? And a glance at his face told her he was completely serious. ”I…I can’t say it. Not here.”

”You can say it anywhere, Liz. Since we’re here, though, it’s as good a place as any. Besides, you said it at dinner the a few weeks ago.”

”That was different,” she hissed. If he was trying to rattle her, he was doing a damn good job of it.

”Nah. It wasn’t. It only took you through the salad course to get the question out, but you know how it is. I’m older now, I’ve been playing music for years at decibels that are off the charts. There’s that man thing too. We don’t listen all that well the first time around.”

”You’re impossible.”

”Oh baby girl, you haven’t seen me naked yet. I promise you, it’s quite possible.” He leaned down close and nipped at her ear with his gorgeous, full and kissable and definitively wicked lips. ”I’ll let you off the hook this one time. All bets are off after this. Get your coffee and come sit with me. That’s not a request or a suggestion.”

He stayed next to her, staring at her until she turned her head and met his gaze. There was no humor or challenge in his eyes. Liz nodded slowly and watched as he stood to his full height. He towered over her. His long blond hair hung loose across his shoulders and back, the scruff of dark-blond beard made him look rough around the edges and the icy blue of his eyes held her frozen in place, melting everything deep down inside her.

”Johnny Trouble,” she breathed. ”You do live up to your name.” She turned away and his low chuckle reverberated down her spine when he disappeared to the table he’d indicated a few minutes ago. She took the steps forward to the counter, resisting the urge to follow him with her eyes. Resistance proved futile. Her attention was riveted to the sway of the hem of his leather duster.

”Ma’am?”

Heat flooded her cheeks as she met the impatient look of the barista. ”S-sorry.”

”What can I get you?”

Liz surveyed the menu again. What was it she’d settled on before? ”Dark-chocolate mocha with caramel drizzle, please.”

”Whip?”

”Yes, please.” She was on vacation. She could splurge on the extra calories for the weekend, especially considering the exercise she was planning to get. The laid kind of exercise. There. She said it. In her head, but it was a start. She was there, in a ritzy hotel, to get laid. By a rock star.

”Would you like an extra shot of espresso?”

”You have no idea how much I’d like one,” she said, a little too enthusiastically to her own ears.

Liz paid the bill, gave her name, and against her better judgment, made her way to Johnny’s table. His smile was gentle,, non-threatening and he motioned for her to sit. If it had been any of his other smiles, she’d have probably turned tail, flipped out of her flops and run away.

The thing about Johnny’s smiles were that as long as you looked at his mouth, they were just smiles. The real meanings behind them were conveyed in the way his eyes would shift and change with his moods and with who happened to be in front of him.

He was always an open book, but there was always more to him when it came to certain people. Some got the friendly smile, some got the tolerant but you’re an asshole one, some got the get-the-hell-away-from-me one

He was an enigma and she’d spent four years in high school watching him, staring at him, studying him, lusting after him. Here, more than twenty years after graduation, she was still just as taken with him.

~

Now, on this chilly (at least here in North Carolina) Saturday morning, grab something warm to drink and visit the following blogs for more snippets…

Myla Jackson
Lauren Dane
Leah Braemel
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Jody Wallace
McKenna Jeffries
Shiloh Walker
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Felicity Heaton
TJ Michaels

Have a fantastic day!

~lissa