Thursday, February 25, 2010

Excerpt From Savin' Me!

I'm still not really reading anything (the 5th of the Stephanie Plum novel, every now and then) so I thought I'd do something different and post the opening of my upcoming book, Savin' Me (scheduled to release 3/10/10 from The Wild Rose Press).

I'll post the first half of Chapter 1 this week, and the 2nd half next week. I hope you enjoy it!!

Chapter One

Oh man, not the strawberry…not the strawberry…aw, shit.

Erik Monteague clenched his jaw and steeled his defenses against the impending carnal assault. The laughing guests, jazz band, overflowing food tables—everything at the Sinclair Marketing Group open house—faded into the woodwork as his field of vision narrowed down to ruby lips. And the damn lucky strawberry about to be devoured.

Her pink tongue flicked across full, luscious lips, then scooped a bead of chocolate from the bottom of the large, ripe fruit. She opened her mouth, slowly slid the berry inside and wrapped her lips around it.

God Almighty. “I can’t believe I’m jealous of a piece of fruit,” Erik muttered, as he shifted his stance and stifled a moan.

A familiar chuckle pushed through the haze, and his view once again widened to include the other guests milling about, as well as his best friend, Steve, who seemed to be enjoying himself at Erik’s expense.

“What the hell are you mumbling about?”

Erik flicked a glance in Steve’s direction, noticed his friend had come armed with an extra beer and grinned. The smirk on Steve’s face indicated he knew exactly what Erik found so intriguing and what he’d been mumbling about. Instead of answering the rhetorical question, he asked one of his own. “You drinking both of those, or did you plan to share?”

Steve handed one of the bottles over to Erik. “You looked like you might be overheating.” He tipped his bottle in the direction of Erik’s temptress. “I’ve never seen her before. Who is she?”

Erik stared at Steve for a moment, perplexed. He knew Steve wasn’t asking if she, like them, was a client of SMG’s. Or as was more likely to be the case, if she worked at SMG. Steve wanted to know the personal connection. It was a simple question that shouldn’t have required much thought. But for some reason, Erik didn’t want to answer.

He pinched the bridge of his nose and squeezed his eyes shut, trying to ward off the explosive memories of her and their night together.

Her mouth—warm and slick—wrapped tightly around him…

Her beneath him, bottom lip caught between her teeth in an effort to hold back her screams…her mouth dropping open to gasp for air as she cried out her release…

Him waking, reaching for her and finding himself alone…

He swallowed hard and scrubbed his hand down his face. “I don’t know who she is.” Erik was known for his honest, straightforward manner, but in this case, he decided knowing someone intimately didn’t mean you really knew them.

Steve quirked a pierced eyebrow. “Bullshit.”

At times, having a friend who was closer than a brother was a true blessing. This wasn’t one of them, and Erik cursed the fact that Steve knew him better than anyone. “Sometimes you’re a real pain in the ass.”

Steve’s lopsided grin grew to obnoxious proportions. “Yep.” He took a sip of beer and waited. When Erik didn’t elaborate, he pressed the issue further. “What’s the deal?”

Erik took a long drink of beer, studied the floor and fought the urge to shuffle his feet like a teenager being grilled by a pissed-off parent. He and Steve had been friends since kindergarten, and in their twenty-seven year friendship he hadn’t ever kept anything from Steve.

Until now.

No way would he analyze why he wanted to keep her identity private. Rather than wade into the troubled waters implied by that revelation, he gave Steve a sly grin and said, “My friend, we have shared many things. But whatever I might know about her, I’m keepin’ to myself.”

“Damn.” All traces of amusement dropped from Steve’s face, and he whistled low. “That sounds serious.”

Erik stiffened and bit back a snarl. Instead of letting it out, he nailed his smile in place and said, “It is.” He took a moment to enjoy surfing the shock waves rolling off his friend, then said, “Serious lust. You know—the kind that results in sex that’s mind-altering. Not life-altering.”

As soon as the last words left his mouth, he mentally winced. He’d left an opening big enough to drive a truck through, and, as expected, Steve barreled in. “Dammit, Erik, it’s been ten years. When are you gonna let it go and move on with your life?”

Erik rolled his head in a circle, attempting to loosen the muscles in his neck and shoulders that’d suddenly snapped into tight bands. They’d had this conversation too many times, and he didn’t want to have it again. Not tonight. Not ever. Instead of delving into the past—a past he couldn’t change or forget—he decided to ignore Steve and shifted his attention to something more appealing.

Kat. He chuckled as he considered for the first time the possibility she might have given him a false name. That would certainly explain why, on all of his subsequent trips to Charlotte and multiple attempts to find her, he’d hit nothing but roadblocks.

Funny, but the name fit her so well he found himself hoping she hadn’t lied. Tall and lithe, her movements were fluid and graceful, like those of a cat. And when stroked just right, she damn near purred. He scowled. She’d also crawled under his skin and become a constant source of irritation—kind of like Cat Scratch Fever.

He crossed his arms over his chest, leaned against the wall and studied her. She looked different than she had the night they’d met, and, at first, he’d thought his mind was playing tricks on him. But the more he watched her move through the crowd, mixing and mingling and interacting, the more obvious it became. Even her conservative business suit couldn’t hide her tempting curves or disguise the way her body moved with a natural sensuality.

She still screamed “sex,” and his body still wanted her to the point he ached.

His stomach—and khakis—tightened as more memories of her uninhibited passion assaulted him. Her green eyes, locking gazes with his; her black hair falling across his chest while she rode him to oblivion. He’d almost forgotten all the reasons he avoided commitment and professed true love that night.

It was probably for the best that she’d snuck out on him while he slept. It had prevented him from doing something foolish, like falling for her.

“Hey, Romeo.”

Erik jumped, startled by Steve’s voice. The wicked gleam in his friend’s eye set Erik’s nerves on edge, and his irritation flared. “What?”

"I hate to wake you from your wet dream, but Elise has been watching you watch…whoever she is that you claim you don’t know. And now Elise is headed this way.” He laughed and slapped Erik on the back. “You’re on your own with this one, I’m out.”
Shit. Erik closed his eyes and pulled a long drink from his beer, wishing he had a keg tapped straight to his veins. There wasn’t enough alcohol in the world to make Elise tolerable, and the only reason he tried to be civil was out of respect for their mothers’ friendship.

Elise stopped in front of him, crossed her arms under her large, surgically enhanced breasts and pierced him with an icy look males from every corner of the world recognized. And loathed.

There wasn’t any reason to play games or dally around. Best to get right to the point and be done with her. “What do you want, Elise?”

“Oh, nothing.” She pecked a talon against her cheek. “I couldn’t help but notice your interest in my competition.”

Despite his intentions to stay aloof, Erik felt his eyebrows rise in surprise. How could Elise and Kat possibly be in competition for anything? One was like a Rolls Royce. Compact with overdone curves, high maintenance and pretentious as hell. The other—he flicked a glance to Kat—was like his Harley. Sleek, commanded attention, represented wild abandon, and provided the ride of a life.

“Competition?” he asked, not wanting to encourage further conversation but needing answers Elise seemed capable of providing. Primarily, why was Kat in Riverside?

“Yeah, the new account executive Rusty hired.” She looked at Kat with a truckload of disgust. “She’s from a big agency in Charlotte, and she’s got ninety days to prove she’s better than I am.” She snorted. “As if.” Mumbling more to herself than to him, she said, “I can’t figure out why she’d leave a large agency to come here. Something’s not right about all that.”

Erik suspected he knew why she’d left her old job. Probably for the same reason she’d been in the bar drinking the night they’d met. But no way in hell would he arm Elise with that kind of information. First, he’d never give Elise any kind of ammunition that might be harmful to another. Second, he was quickly realizing he had an inexplicable protective streak where Kat was concerned.

And he didn’t like it.

“What’s her name?” he asked, pleased to hear he sounded casual and only moderately interested.

“Kat Owens.” Elise shuddered as she returned her attention to Kat. “Appropriate, really—I hate cats. They’re nasty and sneaky.”

As if sensing she were the topic of conversation, Kat began scanning the crowd while continuing to pick at the food on her plate. Her gaze skimmed past Elise and settled on Erik as she took a bite from another strawberry.

Her eyes widened and she froze in place, strawberry stem caught between her finger and thumb, berry half sticking out of her mouth. It would have been humorous, if his nerves weren’t surfing on a razor’s edge of irritation.

And if she weren’t choking.

He’d already started moving in her direction when she grabbed a drink and took a few sips. The coughing stopped and she appeared to be okay, so he forced the tension from his body and relaxed back against the wall.

When she glanced at him again, he wanted to smile. But his overriding thought was, Why’d you run out on me like that? and he knew his expression must be fierce.
Her shoulders sagged as she dropped her gaze to the floor. She slipped her feet into her previously discarded shoes, then briskly moved toward a small group standing nearby.

His gaze snapped to Elise, and he held his breath, waiting for her reaction to Kat’s admittedly odd behavior.

She blinked a couple of times, then turned to face him. Shit. He could see the wheels turning and smell the rubber burning.

“Well, that was…interesting.” She watched him, steady and unblinking. “Do you know her?”

With Steve, he’d found a way to work around the truth to justify his evasion. With Elise, he had no qualms with flat-out lying. “No. Should I?”

Elise narrowed her eyes and studied him. “I don’t know.” He knew she wanted to say more. To ask more. But Elise wasn’t called the Queen of Scheme for nothing. And after years of practice, she knew how to hold her cards close to her disproportionately large chest.

Her nose almost twitched as she sniffed the air, looking for answers and knowing there had to be more to this story than she’d been told. Not even trying to be nonchalant about her devious pursuit, she said, “Well, it’s been fun…and informative, but I’ve got to go. Things to do and all.” She added a little finger wave and said, “Ta-ta,” before heading across the room, no doubt in search of a pot to stir.

Erik rubbed a hand over his eyes. Part of him wanted to yell Hell yeah! at his good fortune. He’d spent thirteen months looking for Kat, and here she was. As beautiful and sexy as she’d been the night they’d met.

But dammit, he’d wanted to find her in Charlotte. With him living at the coast, that put the entire state of North Carolina and a five-hour drive between them, thereby limiting the feasibility of establishing what could be misconstrued a true relationship.

He didn’t do relationships—at least not any which lasted for more than twelve hours. And while he enjoyed more than his fair share of female company, he always made sure there were no misunderstandings about what to expect after those twelve hours were over. That wasn’t to say he wouldn’t sleep with a woman more than once. But he always put enough time between encounters to make sure everyone knew where things stood. And he never spent time thinking about them.

Until Kat.

He hadn’t been able to forget her or let go of hoping to see her again. Now, here she was in his hometown. Looking very much like she belonged and very much like she intended to stay. And that presented a problem. The fire between them burned too hot, and he doubted he’d be able to ignore it now, any more than he’d been able to ignore it thirteen months ago.

So where did that leave him? Avoid her and hope the simmering embers eventually cooled and she became a distant memory? Or work her out of his system by picking up where they’d left off?


One thing he knew for sure. Before he made any decisions about the future, he needed her answer to the question that had driven him nearly insane for the past thirteen months. Why had she walked out on him without so much as a good-bye or a kiss my ass?

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Peace and love,

iPod - high school days

This week's peek at my iPod goes back to my high school days - and a few before. When I first got my iPod there were several songs that I couldn't wait to download. Some of them withstood the test of time and were just as great as I remembered them being. Others...not so much.

Here's a few that were just as great to me!

Donny Iris - "Ah Leah." I had this song on an 8-track and it was stolen out of my car while I was parked at the high school for a football game. A big - HUGE - clue that I was dating the wrong guy should have come at the point where he made a few phone calls, found out who had broken into my car, went to his house and got my 8-track player back and found out where the tapes had all been dumped.

I didn't get the clue. I married him a few years later. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
But you know what, it was worth it because I got Son #1 out of it (who will be 23 on Saturday) so it wasn't all bad! I can't exactly say the same thing for this video. LOL

Speaking of Son #1-he's not a big Elton John fan, but he really likes Tiny Dancer

While I loved Elton John's version of "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" I really, really love his duet of it with George Michael.

Wow...this song takes me back to band class, watching the drummers drum along with it. One drummer in particular always held my rapt attention when he was playing along with this song. LOL Mmmmm....mmmmm...mmmm...

I couldn't embed the link for "Queen's Fat Bottomed Girls," but the link below will take you to it if you want to watch it. It always cracks me up when Kidlet (who is 14) sings along with this song. I keep waiting for the day when he really completely understands what he's singing!

I couldn't find a video for this one either but I love, love, love Ted Nugent's "Free For All"

So how about you, any songs that you loved in high school that you just had to download onto your iPod? Was it as great as you rememebered?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Meet Molly. She's a grey speckled pony who was abandoned by her owners when Hurricane Katrina hit southern Louisiana. She spent weeks on her own before finally being rescued and taken to a farm where abandoned animals were stockpiled.

While there, she was attacked by a pit bull terrier and almost died. Her gnawed right front leg became infected, and her vet went to LSU for help, but LSU was overwhelmed, and this pony was welfare case. You know how that goes.

But after surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly, he changed his mind. He saw how the pony was careful to lie down on different sides so she didn't seem to get sores, and how she allowed people to handle her. She protected her injured leg. She constantly shifted her weight and didn't overload her good leg. She was a smart pony with a serious survival ethic.

Moore agreed to remove her leg below the knee, and a temporary artificial limb was built. Molly walked out of the clinic and her story really begins there.

"This was the right horse and the right owner," Moore insists. Molly happened to be a one-in-a-million patient.

She's tough as nails, but sweet, and she was willing to cope with pain. She made it obvious she understood that she was in trouble. The other important factor, according to Moore , is having a truly committed and compliant owner who is dedicated to providing the daily care required over the lifetime of the horse.

Molly's story turns into a parable for life in Post-Katrina Louisiana. The little pony gained weight, and her mane finally felt a comb. A human prosthesis designer built her a leg..

The prosthetic has given Molly a whole new life, Allison Barca DVM, Molly's regular vet, reports.

And she asks for it. She will put her little limb out, and come to you and let you know that she wants you to put it on. Sometimes she wants you to take it off too. And sometimes, Molly gets away from Barca. 'It can be pretty bad when you can't catch a three-legged horse,' she laughs.

Most important of all, Molly has a job now.. Kay, the rescue farm owner, started taking Molly to shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. Anywhere she thought that people needed hope. Wherever Molly went, she showed people her pluck. She inspired people, and she had a good time doing it.

"It's obvious to me that Molly had a bigger role to play in life, Moore said. She survived the hurricane, she survived a horrible injury, and now she is giving
hope to others."

Barca concluded, "She's not back to normal, but she's going to be better. To me, she could be a symbol for New Orleans itself."

This is Molly's most recent prosthesis. The bottom photo shows the ground surface that she stands on, which has a smiley face embossed in it. Wherever Molly goes, she leaves a smiley hoof print behind..

Have a fantastic day and think of Molly's smiley-face print!

Peace and love,

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mac Vs. PC

I'm not reading anything right now - although I did download Leslie Kelly's Play With Me (I think that's the name) last night. I just haven't had a chance to load it onto my eReader and get started on it yet.

So, rather than talking books...let's talk computers. I need ya'lls help. My computer is giving me HUGE troubles again and I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and get a new one soon. My kids are constantly proclaiming the greatness of Macs. I have several friends who have switched from PC's to Macs and have been very happy.

But I'm so resistent to change - and the thought of having to buy all new writing software, and new Quicken software, makes me a little nauseous. Plus, the Mac that I looked at the other day is about $600 more than a comparable PC. That makes me feel queezy too! LOL

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Has anyone made the switch?

Liza - glad to know the surgery went well yesterday!!!

I hope it's a great weekend for everyone!!
Peace and love,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

iPod Longevity Award

I have a wide variety of artists/bands on my iPod, but I think the band that earns the Longevity Award is Guns 'N Roses.

Going back to the 80's, with Welcome to the Jungle and Paradise City, up to the current album, Chinese Democracy.

In the late 80's and early 90's I was living in Tucson, AZ. The UofA had an amazing basketball program and a star player named Steve Kerr. He was incredibly talented and could hit 3-point shots like no one else. And every time he did, we all had to take a shot. I'm not sure how it worked out, but this song was always playing on the stereo in the background while we watched the basketball games. Just listening to this song makes me feel woozy and drunk!!

Twice a year, there is a street fair - the 4th Avenue Street Fair - in downtown Tucson. One time, I was walking down the street and found myself face to face with Axel Rose and Slash. I was so dumbfounded all I could do was stand there with my mouth hanging open...looking quite dumb, I'm sure!! LOL

My 23-year-old son is a huge Guns N Roses fan - gee, I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I sang him this song each night...

I was going to post one of the new songs from Chinese Democracy, but opted instead for my favorite G 'N R song...the video is quite depressing but I still like the song...

I have a special request...

Liza is having surgery this morning. I'd like to ask everyone to send her good, healing thoughts and vibes, if you don't mind.

Peace and love,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Redneck Love Poem

We're not too far away from Valentine's Day so I thought I'd share this love poem.

Susie Lee done fell in love,
She planned to marry Joe.
She was so happy 'bout it all,
She told her pappy so.

Pappy told her, "Susie Gal,
You'll have to find another.
I'd just as soon yo' ma don't know,
But Joe is yo' half brother."

So Susie put aside her Joe
And planned to marry Will.
But after telling pappy this,
He said, “There’s trouble still!

You cant marry Will, my gal,
And please don’t tell yo’ mother,
But Will and Joe, and several mo’
I know is yo’ half brother."

But Mama knew and said, "My Child,
Just do what makes yo’ happy.
Marry Will or marry Joe;
You ain’t no kin to pappy."

Happy Hump Day!!
Peace and love,

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

5-Year Old Savannah

This little girl is precious. I'm sure her parents are very proud.

The other day I was thinking about something and I thought so far, so good. Then I immediately smiled thinking about this little girl.

I hope it's a great day for everyone!
Peace and love,

Friday, February 12, 2010

Lost Generation

Once again, I'm not reading anything other than craft books and my own writing for editing. Well, I am reading the 4th book in the Stephanie Plum series, but since I've read it a hundred times it doesn't really count. LOL

But I have a video that I want to share with you and today seemed like a great day. This is one of the coolest things I've ever seen/read. This girl is a genius wordsmith and I'm totally in awe of her ability.

And, of what she had to say.

If you've never seen this, I hope you enjoy it and it touches you the way it does me every time I see it. My 23 year old son thought it was so cool, he set it as his status on Facebook. I'm proud to say, a lot of his friends also shared.

Oh, also...good news! Hubby had his checkup appointment at Duke yesterday and the doctor's exact words were, "Your brain looks great. I'm very pleased." Thank God!!

Have a fantastic weekend!!

Wishing you much peace and love,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sappy iPod Love Songs

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I decided to take a look at my iPod and see what sappy love songs I have. Good grief!! It's almost embarrassing. LOL But I guess, with several thousand songs, I'm bound to have a lot of sappy ones.

Here's a few older ones that maybe you've forgotten (or never heard, if it's a genre you don't listen to). And, a more current one from Keith Urban.

I know I've already talked about Rick Springfield, but this song, INSIDE SYLVIA, is absolutely the sexiest song I've ever heard. It's soft, romantic, sweet...everything a touching sappy love song should be. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that Rick is singing it. LOL

I can't embed the video, but this link should take you to Madonna's CRAZY FOR YOU. I wonder if she looks back on these videos, at all the lace and bracelets, and cringes.

Whitesnake's IS THIS LOVE

My obsession with Australians continues through present day. I've been known to do some crazy things where Keith Urban is concerned. For example, my son gave me a huge, over-life-sized poster that had Keith's face on it. I took the picture that was hanging on the wall above our bed down, and replaced it with Keith. LOL The look on hubby's face when he walked into the bedroom, and the entire wall was covered with Keith's face, was priceless.

For Christmas, my friend Tammy gave me a Keith Urban concert T-shirt with a big red bow on it. She said, "If there's one thing I know you'd love to have under your tree wrapped in a red bow (and nothing else) it's Keith Urban!"

I would love to have 30 minutes to sit down and talk with him. Tammy rolls her eyes and says, "Talk. Right." But I really would. I've never met the man, I've had him fly right over my head in concert, low enough that the guy behind me was able to grab his boot, but I've learned a lot from him. I know that sounds strange, and there's no way to explain it. But I have.

This song is so incredibly sweet and, regardless of the way I talk, I wouldn't trade my husband for Keith, even if I had the option. This song applies to my husband, as much as it does to Nicole.

A few of the other love songs that came up on my iPod in the past hour are:

Once In a Lifetime - Keith Urban
You're the One that I Want - Olivia Newton John/John Travolta from Grease
Romeo and Juliet - Dire Straits
Stay - Little Big Town
Stay (I Missed You) - Lisa Loeb
Shameless - Garth Brooks
Red Stroke - Garth Brooks
You Were Meant For Me - Jewel
Against All Odds - Phil Collins

Any of those ring a bell for you and make you say, "Oh, I remember that song!"

I hope it's a great day for everyone!!
Peace and much love,

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hump Day Humor...

OK...Finally got it!!! Shewww....

I saw this over the weekend and laughed until I had tears in my eyes. We figured it would run during the Superbowl, but if it did, I didn't see it. It has been making the rounds via e-mail, so you may have seen it that way. Even if you have, hopefully it'll still bring a little humor to your Wednesday!!

Happy Hump Day!

Peace and love,

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Food For Thought...

"Beware of the thoughts you keep, because everything in reality manifests from the mind."

Justin Palmer
Second Year College Student

This is a complex way of saying....Thoughts equal things!!

I hope it's a fantastic day for everyone!

Peace and love,

Friday, February 5, 2010

What I'm Reading...

Well, I'm still reading book #3 in the Stephanie Plum series, but other than that, Nada. I'm really trying to focus on my writing, which means less time spent reading. I allow myself a little reading time in the evenings, IF I've met my writing goals.

LOL...the fact that I've been reading this book for a while now, tells you I'm doing very good at meeting those goals. But that's okay, I'm chipping away at them.

On a high note - the Bud Shootout - the first race (although it's a non-points race) of the new NASCAR season is Saturday night! Woo-hoo!! It's been a long 2 1/2 months without my racin'!!

I hope it's a fantastic weekend for everyone!!
Much peace and love,

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Food For Thought...

"Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitudes toward life. The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it."

Charles Swindoll
Pastor and Author

I have been working really hard on this for the past month. My husband has commented on how much happier I seem, and I feel happier. Less stressed and grumpy. It's nice to have him recognize (and reinforce) what I've been noticing myself.

I hope it's a great day for everyone!
Peace and love,