Wednesday, January 28, 2015

#WhatIWroteWednesday ~ Melinda Dozier!

Hi, everyone! Time for another edition of What I Wrote Wednesday, and this time I'm inviting awesome contemporary romance author Melinda Dozier to share. First up, we'll read a snippet from her work in progress and then keep going because Melinda is sharing an excerpt from her new release, Time Out, Valentine!

Here we go! Melinda's WIP teaser from French Connection:

“So, where are you taking me?” Haley stared out across the highway and at the city as it came into view.

Beautiful Paris! How she’d longed to visit again. Suddenly, her tiredness evaporated and excitement reared its head. She sat up and her eyes captured it all in. Though they were still on a highway with nothing much around, she could feel Paris in her veins. The closer they got, the stronger her heart beat̶ the pulse banging against her chest. The blue highway signs with French directions, the different-styled cars from Peugeot to Fiat, the antique buildings peeking around a tree every now and then. All so lovely.

“Café Condesa. Camille said it was your favorite spot last time you were here.” Luc turned down the hard rock music that played on his radio. Nothing like a French man ̶ a sexy, quiet one at that ̶ listening to Guns N’Roses. Then her attention swayed back to the man who picked her up.

Haley had to speak loudly over the noise, even though he turned down the music. “It’s still around?”
He chuckled, a deep throaty laugh that had her heart roaring to life again. Ever since he tapped her on the shoulder, her heart beat fast, her hands sweated bullets, and she found herself stumbling on her words and her feet. She didn’t know what was up with that, but she didn’t allow herself to dwell on her body's reactions. She was in Paris!

“Paris is full of history, in case you’ve forgotten. Café Condesa has been around for several decades.”

Apparently, there was a lot she’d forgotten. Starting with the man sitting beside her, his big strong fingers holding the wheel. He’d grown at least a foot and his once lean body had developed muscles. Toned. Hard.

And now for a sneak peek into Time Out, Valentine: 

Grant sipped his beer and surveyed the room around them—anywhere but at the siren next to him, with her fancy drink, an umbrella hanging off the side. Overhead lights strobed the room, gleaming in all directions. The DJ announced a new song and a new crowd rushed to the dance floor, leaving them more alone in the back of the room. Thank God.

It was stifling hot. He tugged his collar from his neck and rolled the sleeves of his white button-up. His glasses slid down his nose, forcing him to take them off and put them in his shirt pocket.

Luckily in that part of the room, the music wasn’t so loud that they had to scream to converse. He only raised his voice a fraction to ask her the question he’d been wondering since they set foot in the place. “So, you think this is romantic enough for a Valentine's date?"

She batted her long lashes in his direction and smirked. “There’s low lights.”

“Yeah and loud music, people all around.” To help prove his point, someone bumped him in the back, pushing him closer to Lexi. His hand circled her waist and rested on her hip.

She sipped the drink, moving the umbrella with her other hand, then licked her lips. “It’sthe place to be. All trendy couples find their way here.” She cocked her head. “What would make it more romantic? Kissing?”

A slow smile formed and he faced her. Not a bad idea. “Actually, yeah.” He placed his bottle on the
table behind them, cracked his knuckles and stretched his neck.

She laughed nervously, putting her weight on another sexy as hell foot. “What? You’re gonna kiss me? For real?”

“We need romance.” He grabbed her cup and put it next to his bottle. His gaze dropped to her mouth.

“You kissing me won’t—”


He placed his thumb on her lips. “Shhh. Stop talking so we can be romantic.”

Buy the Book:  Amazon  Kobo  The Wild Rose Press  Goodreads

Book Blurb:

Lexi’s life is one big dump. Or so she thinks. To keep her mind off her latest breakup, she stays busy with work. It’s no big deal, since writing for Time Out Portland Magazine is a blast…except for the one small snag – Grant Reeds. Grant, a shy but sexy computer geek, is new to Time Out, working as the Networking Director for the online magazine. Even though Lexi thinks he doesn’t notice her, he sure as hell does. The owners have a plan for their upcoming Valentine’s Special, pairing up the two to explore romantic date ideas around the city. Soon, Lexi and Grant learn that the old adage, “Opposites Attract,” can ring true.

All About Melinda:

Melinda is a multi-published contemporary romance author with books from Crimson Romance, Swoon Romance and The Wild Rose Press represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency. She lives in Guatemala, Central America with her husband/college sweetheart who brings "mucho amor" to her life. Melinda enjoys being the queen of her household and dreams of being pampered fully by her three boys once they are grown. Melinda's guilty pleasures include reality t.v., traveling, blogging and playing Zynga games.


Sign up for Melinda’s newsletter HERE.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

#WhatIWroteWednesday: Kristina's New WIP

Hi, all! I'm back with another edition of What I Wrote Wednesday and this time I'm sharing a bit from my current WIP, which will hopefully become SuperRomance #2 shortly, and then I'm sharing a snippet from What a Texas Girl Needs (cover right over there on the left) at the bottom of the post. Here we go with the WIP:

Jaime hit the speaker button on her phone and put it on the counter so she could finish getting ready while Maureen told her what an idiot she'd been to kiss Emmett. Not that she needed Maureen's input, she'd spent half the night reliving the kiss and the other half reminding herself why it was important to never do that again. 
"How was it?"
"What do you mean how was it?"
"I mean I saw him out walking last night and his hair is the same unruly black and his skin is just beginning to tan and I'm pretty sure he could rock a pole with the guys from Magic Mike. So how was it?"
This was not the way this conversation was supposed to go. Steady, married Maureen was supposed to be on the No Kissing Strange Men side of the argument not the He's Kissable Enough for Hollywood side of it. Especially when he was.
Not that Jaime had kissed anyone from Hollywood, but she'd had her share of first and second and last kisses. Usually they didn't leave her so winded. 
"It was a kiss." She would not kiss and tell. It was too juvenile.
"Soft lips? Did he so that tasting thing or was it full-on onslaught?"
"Are we adults here or have we reverted back to senior year?"
"I'm a married woman of course we've reverted. Living vicariously through my friends is how I make it through PTA meetings and dinners with the in-laws."
"You and Cindy have the best in-law relationship I've ever scene."
"And I love Clancy to the moon and back, but I'm still alive and Emmett is so the hot guy on the construction calendar." She was quiet for a moment. "And if you're not talking that means it was of the better-than-good kiss category."

And now for a peek into my second Texas book, What A Texas Girl Needs:

“I’ll take the bill, Vern,” she said, holding out her hand. It was about time she started paying her own way. One tank of gas wouldn’t exactly repay the family, but it was a start. Added bonus, paying her own bills might help overhaul the character she’d found so seriously lacking in the last few months.

“It’s easier for ol’ Mitch to keep his records if I just add it to the ranch total.”

“I’m not a ranch employee. This isn’t a ranch vehicle. I’ll take the bill.” Vanessa couldn’t remember ever paying for a tank of gas here. Come to think of it, unless she was trying to impress someone, she had rarely paid for anything to this point in her life.

Vern handed her the receipt. Fifty bucks? Holy crap, how much did gas cost? Stupid question, Van, obviously it costs fifty dollars. She reached into her bag for her credit card and then remembered that was part and parcel of the Witte upbringing. Paying with Grandfather’s credit card? Not character building. She pawed through the baby blue Coach bag but only came up with two twenties and some loose change.

Damn.

“Just charge it to the ranch, Vern.” Mat Barnes’s voice echoed under the station’s overhang, chilling Vanessa. “The Double Diamond will cover it.” We always cover her bills, his tone implied.

Vanessa squeezed her eyes closed and swallowed. Her fingers closed over another bill. Please let it be a twenty. Or a ten. She opened her eyes.

Three twenties. Triumph!

“I’ve got it Mr. Barnes, thank you,” she said, chilling her voice as she handed the cash to Vern. He looked from Mat to Vanessa, obviously confused over what was going on between them. Vanessa held his gaze for a moment. Vern took the cash and hurried inside.

“I think we’re past the ‘Mr. Barnes’ stage, don’t you?” Mat watched her from beneath the tipped-low brim on his cowboy hat, his coal-black eyes boring straight to her soul. Yes, they were past the Mr. or Miss stage, technically, but not calling him Mat helped her keep her distance.

The way her heart raced at the mere sight of him she desperately needed that space.

She looked away, crossing her arms over her chest. Her gaze caught on the frayed edge of his jeans—which were worn in all the right places, she noted—and today’s tee, tight across his shoulders, read, ‘Chicks Dig Scars’ over his well-muscled chest.

Who was she kidding? Calling him Mr. Barnes didn’t keep her from noticing just how delectable Mat was. Nothing could do that. Not in broad daylight. Certainly not the twinkling fairy lights during Kathleen’s wedding reception.

“I don’t think a night spent in my grandfather’s hayloft makes us best buddies,” she said, hoping against hope he would just leave her alone.

“Ahh, but what we did in that hayloft is another matter.” He lounged against the side of her Porsche as if he might stay there forever.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

#WhatIWroteWednesday - Gemma Brocato

Hiya, gang! I'm starting a new meme here on the blog for 2015 - it's called What I Wrote Wednesday. It's an on-going thing that a lot of writers take part in (you can follow the hashtags on Twitter and Facebook). Today I'm trading places with Gemma Brocato; you'll read here teaser here and you can check out mine on Gemma's site here.

So, here we go! Gemma's teaser is from her WIP Running From Romeo (unedited):

The Set-Up: Ana McLean runs a busy event and marketing firm, Corporate Images. When we first see her, she's at a launch event her firm has been hired for. Unfortunately, she's been forced to work with an untried caterer and is paying the price for it.

The sound of an escalating argument rose over the cocktail party noise and energy when the kitchen door swung open and a uniformed waiter bearing a tray of petite-fours ran out.

Ana McLean paused as she noticed something else that ticked her off. One of the temporary employees staffing the registration table handed a program and gift bag to a new arrival. The man had worn jeans, and holy crap—hiking boots to a formal event. The invitation expressly indicated black tie. And even though the man’s behind looked exceptional in his jeans, it wasn’t the formal attire the evening required.

The stranger accepted the program and declined the gift bag. His eyes collided with Ana’s as he scanned the room, as if looking for someone. He regarded her appraisingly, giving her a quick perusal, his eyes moving over her form like a pair of hands over velvet.  Returning his gaze to her face, he gave her a quick wink.

Ana sucked in a quick breath and quietly verbalized her immediate thought, “Cheeky bastard.
Apparently the stranger was gifted with the ability to read lips. He threw back his head in a laugh, exposing his bare throat.  He’d almost be sexy, if he weren’t such a Neanderthal. 

A third crash blasted out from the kitchen, accompanied by more head craning in that direction. Ana groaned again and dismissed the haughty stranger from her thoughts, hurrying in the direction of the noise.

Isn't that fab? I can't wait to read more of this! Here's another teaser from Gemma, this time from book 3 of her Five Senses series, Exposed to Passion, which is out now from Lyrical Press/Kensington:

Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Kensington Books/Lyrical Press, Inc
Date of Publication: October 20, 2014
eISBN-13: 978-1-61650-616-2
eISBN-10: 1-61650-616-4
ASIN:
Number of pages: 329
Word Count: approx. 85,000
Cover Artist: Renee Rocco
Available in Digital and Print Formats

Book Description:
They walked through the shadows individually. Will they emerge into the light together?
Leading a vagabond life as a curator for a traveling photography exhibit translates to a lot of bad days for Rikki Salerno. But her trouble doubles when a careless high school student shoves her into a marsh. Being rescued by teacher Sam Kerrigan should have made things better, but Rikki’s inability to confess her true identity casts a shadow over their budding affair.
When Sam refuses an overly aggressive parent’s marriage proposal, she’s determined to ruin him. Not only does she doctor photos to make it look like Sam’s behaved inappropriately in front of students, she hacks the foundation website to reveal Rikki’s true identity. Faster than the blink of a shutter, Rikki’s focus changes from pursuing her full-color future to the black and white necessity of clearing Sam’s name.

Excerpt: 
“Holy cow! Consider me seduced.” She didn’t recognize her own voice. Desire rasped through it, whispery and thick at the same time. Allowing her finger to slip from the steamy confines of his mouth, he pressed a kiss to her palm, then released his hold. She curled her hand into a fist around the kiss he’d left, hoping to hold onto the heat and lingering sensation.

 “Oh, Jesus. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have kissed you like that. It was too fast, wasn’t it? I mean, we only just met…but I thought, I mean, you seemed to want…and you didn’t say no. Christ, I’m so sorry.” Sam’s tone rattled with a misplaced apology. “I have no excuse. I’m a horndog.”

He eased her away from his chest and helped her to sit up, then pushed himself upright and scooted a respectful distance from her.

The apology in his tone and the loss of his body heat hit her like a cold slap. His words stung. He regretted kissing her. The tingly pulses zipping from her fingertip to her heart did nothing to tamp down the hurt. She hadn’t wanted him to stop. Normally the queen of snarky retorts, words failed her now.

Buy the Book: Amazon   Barnes & Noble   iBooks  KOBO  Kensington


About Gemma Brocato: 

Gemma's favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a 'round tuit,' and a slip of paper from a fortune cookie proclaiming her a lover of words; some day she'd write a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss, even the rejections addressed to 'Dear Author' were gratifying.

After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy. Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue a vocation as a romance author.

Find Gemma on Social Media:  Website  Facebook  Twitter  Goodreads  Wattpad    Google+