So close…

…to the end of this book, I can taste it. It and the warm whole wheat chocolate chip cookie bowl I’m devouring as I write this.

This week I’ve done a guest blog and an interview over at Under the Covers Book Blog. They’re celebrating 500 followers and if you haven’t been over there, go take a peek.

Next week I’ll be doing another guest blog, this time over at Shameless Romance Reviews. Again, go take a peek.

I have to thank the women at both of these blogs for inviting me, especially Ann and Dee. For an author that hasn’t put out a book in many months, one tends to get treated a little different  or not at all, so being invited to guest blog has… Well, I’m just happy to have been thought of. I am grateful that my readers have stuck with me, some with great patience, some with not great patience.

The majority of my energy this week has been put into finishing Forever In Blue Jeans, though. And running my son to and from baseball camp. While he’s playing, I’ve been spending the mornings writing in an awesome local, little coffee shop called Summit Coffee. I’m only a few thousand words away from the end and I’m anxious to get there.

I’m not putting out as many books, not finishing as many as I did last year. However, I am writing longer books. Twisted Up is 50+K and once it goes through edits will be added to, I’m sure. Forever In Blue Jeans is slated to be around 55K. In terms of last year, that would be have been the equivalent of 3 or 4 books combined. I’m liking my writing now. I think it’s stronger. And most asked for longer books so once I started writing again, I decided that I would try to make that a goal. I don’t think it’s been a conscious thing though when it’s actually come to the writing. I think it’s just happened and worked out that way.

Anyway, I wanted to take a moment before bed to touch base and say hello, let you know I haven’t forgotten you! I hope all of you are having a great week and staying as cool as possible.

~lissa

Favorite Tumblr Posts From Recent Days

I’m doing this kind of post today, a picture one because, well, it’s fairly easy and not taxing my brain. Most of my cells today are focused on Forever In Blue Jeans as I am in the final turn. I’ve come around the last bend and can see the checkered flag at the finish line. I will be pouring a lot of my time this week into getting this book done. I did think though that I should leave y’all with some images of things that have been inspiring me lately…

Oh and for those of you that missed the announcement on Twitter and Facebook, I did, infact, get one of these…

I love it. I really do. Did I need it? No. But I did want one. I got a coupon in the mail from Best Buy and bought it with that. Getting some $$ of it was, well, easier to swallow. I do enjoy it a lot. The coffee is not as strong as I am used to making, so the caffeine jolt isn’t very big for me in one cup. A cup of French press coffee has a serious punch to the system that drip coffee, no matter how it drips, can come close to. I do find myself a victim of the convenience and drink more than I should now in one day. I’m chalking that up to new and need to get my money’s worth out of it. At the same time, when I was using my French press regularly, it was one 12oz cup a day. Now with the Keurig it’s more like 2 7oz cups a day. Either way, no matter how I’m trying to justify it, I do love it and am grateful to all those that participated in my blog about it a couple of weeks ago. One thing I’ve discovered, is that it would be fun to have  K-cup swap. Each person is going to like different flavors and varieties. I will use the Keurig more for flavored coffees than regular. I have bought the Cinnamon Roll, the Kahlua, and the Espresso Blend (used this one to make an iced caramel macchiato. Not as potent as from an espresso machine, but it did work well.) But, again, I can see a swap working out well for a group of people. Might have to see how one can make this into a blog thing…grin.

Hope all of you have a great week.

~lissa

Teasin’ Ya Tuesday

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.”

Have a great day, y’all!

~lissa

The Lines of a WIP

As y’all know, I’ve been writing. And as you know, I usually always have more than one book being written at a time. Usually when I get close to the end of one, I’ll concentrate on it solely until it’s finished. Or sometimes I’ll even work on one a lot until I get to a place where I’m not sure how to continue and I’ll work on another book until I figure the first one out.

I’m still working on Cowboy Justin and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I thought today that I’d shared with y’all some lines from my current Works In Progress. You can see on the sidebar over there that there are quite a few of them. So, let’s get started, shall we?

From:

Twisted Up (Cowboy Justin and his girl, Ella)

She never saw him lift the jug and hold the bottom in his palm. She never saw it coming at all until the water hit her, soaking her face, her hair, the tee shirt she wore.

She sputtered and he laughed.

“Wha—Justin …”

“I told you to stop that.”

She wiped water from her face and he helped by slicking her hair back, just as he had his own. “I can’t help it if you’re so good looking. Go get ugly or something and I won’t gawk.”

He pressed a kiss to her soaking wet head and turned her so they could walk back to the house with his arm around her and tried to keep from looking down at her nipples, which were at present trying to poke holes in the shirt she wore. “I don’t want to get ugly. I like you gawking at me, but I have other plans for us for today that don’t include a mud bath.”

Too Bad (Jackie and Mac)

“Why do you do this, Jax?”

She loved his little nickname of Jax for her. He was the only one that called her anything other than Jackie and she loved it. She’d never tell him that though. He made her feel… Hell, she wasn’t sure what he made her feel. Which was a completely lie. She knew exactly how he made her feel, what he made her feel.

“I’m not doing anything.”

She just wished he would stop treating her special and start treating her like he treated everyone else. She wished he would stop looking at her with that all knowing little smile and that twinkle in his eyes. He wanted her. He knew she knew it. She wanted him. He knew she knew he knew that too.

“Bullshit.”

“What do you want me to say, Mac? Great, I’m glad you’ve decided we should finally fuck and get it over with?”

Drive Shaft (Alli and Jason)

“Not bothering me. How about you, Jake? Are you bothered that Alli stopped by?”

“Nope, not a bit.”

Jake had come to stand beside Cam against the side of the car and suspicion started to set in. She looked back and forth between the two men. What the hell was going on? “Okay, well, on that strange note, I’m gonna be going now. I’ll call Grant from the car to find out why he sent me over here.”

Alli turned around and put one foot in front of the other, continuing to look over her shoulder. Both men were staring after her, the oddest looks on their faces.

“You’re here for me.”

That was a voice she hadn’t heard before and she stopped in her tracks. Alli spun on her heel and looked beyond Cam and Jake to the office doorway. “I’m here for you?” Which was fine with her given the yumminess of him. He was young, shaggy blond beneath his cowboy hat, long and lean in dark jeans and cowboy boots. A tee shirt stretched across his chest, but not too tightly. There was a little scruff on his face. And he was young. Damn good looking from across the room, but young. Too young.

Had she told herself enough times that he was young? The way her belly did funny little swirly-do’s she didn’t think she had. Not near enough.

“Yes, ma’am.” He winked. “Me.”

Alli groaned and the sound echoed around the cavernous room. Oh dear God, he called her ma’am. With a wink. Yep. Way too young. “I don’t understand.” But she was afraid she did. She just needed some clarification.

Hot Yummy took a few steps toward her and those swirly-do’s in her belly picked up speed. If they kept it up, they were going to end up as a full blown twister.

“Grant set us up. A blind date.”

Forever In Blue Jeans (Blue and Cort)

“Shit.” Shit. Shit. Shit. Cort couldn’t stop the word from repeating itself inside his head. He took a deep breath and opened his eyes again. He looked up through the windshield, hoping the woman’s face and hair and body were different than the face and hair and body of the one he’d first glimpsed when he pulled up in front of the large house. It wasn’t. She wasn’t. All of it was the same, every last inch of every last feature he could see. “Shit.”

Did she recognize him? He hoped not. On the other hand, he hoped like hell she not only recognized but remembered in great detail every moment from that one night, every moment up until the time she left while he was still blissfully, ignorantly snoring.

Shit.

He made a big production in the cab of his truck and was pretty sure he looked like a raving lunatic tossing notepads and pieces of paper up, down, and across the seat, but he really didn’t give a fuck. Especially not in front of her.

When he finally did get out of the truck and proceeded to slam the door behind him to make a point, if only to himself, his boot slipped and he nearly fell on his ass in the wet red clay that was synonymous with the South. He gripped the door handle and held on for all he was worth, pulling himself up, rigid and locking his knees until he regained his balance.

“Careful there,” she called from the porch. “The rain we had last night hasn’t dried out yet and that is some slick stuff you’re stepping in.”

Yeah, no shit. Instead of actually saying those words, he simply slid her a look that had she been closer, would have spoken for him. Another deep breath. A clenching of his jaw until it hurt. An almost painful grip on the door handle…

Slowly, Cort put one foot in front of the other and walked away from his truck. He kicked off what mud he could when he got to the small gravel lined walk that led to the steps. She was waiting at the top for him, looking like she hadn’t a care in the world and could wait all day for him. Too bad she hadn’t waited for him to roll over and wake up all those years ago in that Savannah hotel room.

Get Lost (Annabeth and Billy)

Annabeth peered inside the coffee container one last time just to be certain she hadn’t just imagined the contents were all gone. Nope. Not imagined. Actually gone. Every last ground bean was gone.

With a calm she still couldn’t seem to muster up on the inside, she set the canister back down on the counter and stalked through the bedroom into the master bathroom she shared with Dave. She whipped open the shower curtain.

“Babe, what the hell?”

“Did you drink the last of the coffee?”

Dave pulled the curtain closed. “I was going to go get some after my shower.”

Annabeth yanked the curtain open again. “But you did drink it? The last of it? Dave, there was enough in there for both of us for this morning. And you drank it all.”

“Shit, Beth will you stop doing that. You’re letting all the steam out.”

“Unfuckingbelievable. First my mother calls all night long even when I told her not to, and now I wake up to no coffee in the house. You know I can’t do anything without my morning coffee. You know this. Why would you drink it all?”

Before he could say anything in response, she stomped out of the bathroom and over to the dresser for a pair of socks. Once she had those on, she forced her feet into her slippers and pulled on a sweatshirt over her pajama top. She should be warm enough to go down to the Starbuck’s on the corner. It might have snowed last night but she should be okay to get there and back before she froze.

Grabbing a beanie hat off the hook by the front door, she let herself out. The elevators looked promising but at the last minute she decided the stairs would be the better way to go. The running down of three flights would heat her up inside and keep her warm. And if she power walked from the downstairs door to the corner, she might not even feel the cold at all.

She pushed the stairwell door open and took the stairs at a decidedly moderate clip. Her slippers weren’t the best running shoes around. A small bit of heat started to flow through her blood by the time she got to the door that lead outside. She took a deep breath and pushed it open, swearing like a sailor as the cold wind hit her smack in the face.

Well, if that wasn’t enough to wake her up…

No matter. Nothing was going to deter her from her destination. Starbucks. Coffee. Caffeine. More important than the blood flowing through her veins at that moment.

Annabeth dodged piles of snow and stepped into foot holes where others had trod before. She was almost there. Almost… just a few feet more… just… “What the fucking hell?”

Dumbfounded she stared at the sign that in big black letters read “Due to a water main break, we are CLOSED”.

The growl and scream that came out of her throat startled those passing around her but had no effect on her at all. She didn’t care that she was making scene and losing her mind there on the sidewalk. The meltdown had been coming for a while. She’d been feeling it for months. The knots in the back of her neck and the tightness in her shoulders. The need for more and more caffeine. The long walks around downtown that she’d started taking more frequently to get away from people demanding, bitching, whining. She was due to explode and here in front of the Starbuck’s with a broken water main was where she did it.

Trouble In The Making (Johnny and Liz)

He leaned down toward her and brushed his lips against her ear lobe. “Naughty girl. Your mind is in the gutter.”

She shook her head and her hair brushed over his face. He did laugh then. She was exactly as he remembered her. Shy yes but beneath it, wanton, wild, sexy as the day is long. He’d been such a fool to turn her away. He wouldn’t be making that mistake again.

“I just thought… With what you said… People are watching, Johnny.”

“Let them watch, Liz.”

“I don’t—”

“You do.” He lifted his head and looked down at her. He always had towered above her and he’d always felt protective of her. The people that milled around them, that waved and pointed, that stopped to say hi, that were figments from a past that he could care less about meant nothing. Sure, they’d been friends for four years during school, shared classes, had parties and proms, shared a lot of memories that he’d always have and remember, but they meant nothing in the grand scheme of his life now.

“Say the word, Liz. We’ll stay or go.”

“You’d do that for me?”

Johnny nodded. “I would. If you want to stay, we’ll stay all night. If you want to go, we’ll leave right now.”

“Will we have to come back tomorrow to the brunch and the other activities?”

She had that anxious look in her eyes again and again the thought flashed through his head about how she would survive being on the road and surrounded by people with him, but he pushed it aside. He’d bring that up later. “No, not if you don’t want to.”

“Then I’d like to go and not come back.”

“You know what I’m going to do with you instead, right?”

End

Okay well… Guess I should get back to work, yes? Are you tempted at all? Are you feeling the slightest bit of teasing? Even just a little hint of it?

~lissa

Catching Up

It’s Friday! Yay! Of course, the weekends for me are just more of the same as my days of the week so…

I have emailed all the authors that were giving ebook presents with the list of names of their winners that were picked through Random.org. If you are on this list, you should be hearing from the author beside your name within a few days.

They are:

Carol B. – Reveal Me from Cari Quinn
Terri Lee – Entangled Trio from Cat Grant
Patti – Old School from Eve Cassidy
Maria D. – any one available title from Selena Blake
Elaing8 – Bullhandler from Morgan Sierra/Dee Carney
Janeen – Wrapped Around Your Finger from Fallon Blake
Susan C. – His Client from Ava March
Leni – any one available title from Madison Chase
Amanda – any one available title from Mari Freeman
Jolene – any one available erotica title from Cara McKenna
Slav – any one available title from Samantha Kane
Miranda – autographed print copy of From Thirty Days to Forever from Shayla Kersten
Eve – any one available title from Vivian Arend
Donna – any one available title from Eliza Gayle
Nancy G – any one of my available titles
Estella – any one of my available titles
Cindy L. – any one of my available titles

I have been working this week on Forever in Blue Jeans. It’s going slow. If any of you recall, about 3 months ago, the word count was very close to complete, however now if you look to the sidebar you’ll see it’s not anymore. I have deconstructed it. About 3-4 times. I didn’t like it. As I’d said before, I was trying to write a safe book, but that just wasn’t working for me. I ended up hating it. It was work and it wasn’t fun and it wasn’t a story that was working for me as the writer. I have talked endlessly to my dear friend Fallon Blake about it and I know she was ready to throttle me. I took a long break from it and when I came back, I had a new plot. I took the old plots apart, kept a few things, but tossed so much more and it’s being completely re-written now. I don’t think 35,000 is going to be the final word count. It’ll be longer, I’m fairly certain, but how much longer, I’m not sure. Just know that I’m working on it. Blue is going to get her story written if it kills me…

You’ll see I’m also slowly, very slowly working on a number of books over there on the sidebar. Earlier today another couple plots invaded my thoughts and are begging to be put down into words. It would appear that my muse has returned and brought reinforcements. YAY!

Drive Shaft is the second book to follow Stick Shift and it is about Alli, one of Lily’s friends.

Get Lost is a contemporary m/f about a woman that just loses it when pushed too far and retreats into the mountains.

Too Bad is Jackie and Mac’s story from Ink Spots.

Polar Shift is the second book in the Denali Heat Series, and this one is Patrick’s story.

Bound for Pleasure is a BDSM m/f that is the second book in a series y’all haven’t heard of yet from me. It follows one couple from a set-up reunion meeting through different stages and explorations in a relationship. More on that one later. It is a different kind of story for me and one that my mainstream readers may not care for due to the heavier BDSM content.

And as I said, there are others playing around in my head that I will get to as soon as I can, including a loose plan to write a longer story for Thor and Bobby from my free read, Masked.

I hope all of you are doing well and be sure to check in for Snippet Saturday tomorrow. Have a great weekend!

~lissa

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