Category Archives: excerpt

A Treat for Halloween: An Outtake

Today is your last chance to enter to win an e-copy of my romantic suspense, Whirlwind. All you have to do is leave a comment on any of my posts from 10/28-10/31 and you’re entered! Whether you win or not, here’s a little treat – a little outtake/prequel of the story. And don’t forget to check out the other authors and giveaways on the Romance Girls Gone Goblin Halloween Hop.

Click HERE for a peek at the blurb on the back of the book.

What’s your favorite Halloween story? Do you like spooky or silly?

An Outtake from Whirlwind

Email email email

Image by RambergMediaImages via Flickr

This outtake takes place the Halloween before main characters Melissa Williams and Jason McAlister meet in person. Melissa and Jason got to know each other online first. After a couple formal emails, they fell into a comfortable, if not lewd, conversation.

Here’s Jason’s side of the conversation regarding Halloween.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

I checked my watch. We’d been studying for a couple hours. While I enjoyed organic chemistry, I’d had enough.

“I think I’m done,” I announced and closed my book. “You?”

At the desk next to me, my study partner, Greg Lawson, slowly turned toward me. His slate gray eyes didn’t stray from the page in front of him until the last second. “Damn, you’re fast, Jason. I have one more chapter. Just a few more minutes.”

“No problem.” I stretched. My arms were tight—it’d been a couple days since I’d had a chance to swim. Tomorrow, I promised myself. I should be able to fit in some laps between class and the party.

Making sure Greg had gone back to reading, I pushed my book away and opened my laptop. I had email. A thrill made my fingers tingle…and a guilty twinge settled in my gut.

It’s just email. It’s not like you’re cheating. Besides, it might not even be her.

It’d been a while since I’d heard from Melissa. Her midterms had to coming up—just like mine were—and I figured she must be busy. My email buddy for almost a month, Melissa Williams had kept me in stitches with her naughty humor. If she weren’t two thousand miles away in California, I’d be in big trouble.

Greg flipped a page, causing me to jump. I should’ve closed the laptop, but instead I angled it away from him. The last thing I needed was for him to find out about Melissa.

I clicked on the email icon. Two new messages had arrived, one from my brother, Mitch, and the other from Melissa. Her subject line made me snicker: Dress Up

“I can’t get through this if you’re laughing. Take it in the other room,” Greg said.

“I’ll shut up.” I pressed my lips together. My girlfriend was in the next room, so that was out of the question.

I repeated the mantra I’d adopted when our conversation had gone from business to social. This girl, Melissa, was nothing to me. Just a screen full of words. I’d never seen her, never would see her. And yet, those words—her light, witty, laughing words—were the highlight of my day. But if my girlfriend found out, I’d have to stop. All fun aside, I wouldn’t risk my relationship with her, no matter how much I liked my phantom Melissa.

But that didn’t mean I had to give her up just yet. Skipping Mitch, I clicked on Melissa’s name.

This email, like most from her, started without a salutation.

Sooooo, are you looking forward to playing dress up tomorrow?

I quickly covered my snort with a cough.

It’s taken me a while to come up with a good Halloween costume this year. But I think I’ve got it now. It’s a little dirty, so I don’t know if I should show it to you.

Do you have plans for Halloween, or is it too cold in Michigan to go Trick-or-Treating?

The thought of finally seeing Melissa sent all kinds of conflicting feelings through me. I wondered for the tenth time if she had a boyfriend. Was she hiding my emails just like I was hiding hers? Something in me said no. She was best friends with my brother, and he hadn’t said anything about her dating. He hadn’t said anything about her at all since he found out I was talking to her. Selfish bastard.

I hit REPLY.

Dirty, huh? I paused. Melissa loved words, which probably meant she wasn’t going as a French maid. I’d be happy to clean you up. You’d like my costume. It’s got a sports theme, sort of. Your favorite—hockey. The worn goalie mask I’d used for a costume for the past three years hung on the wall above me. The Halloween movies had made my holidays easy. Mitch had always teased me that going as myself was cheating.

Without thinking, I continued typing.

I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

We’d never talked about sharing photos before. Something inside me told me it was a bad idea, not because seeing Melissa would ruin her mystique, but because it might do just the opposite.

I erased the last line.

Unlike the kids, I don’t have to brave the cold for candy. We’re having a party here. It’ll be nice and warm.

I thought about attaching photo of my costume, but decided that was just another way to invite her to send a picture. Instead I pressed SEND.

Greg slammed his book shut. “Finally. I wish I had your memory. You’ve got it so easy.”

I closed my laptop. “Not as easy as you think.”

* * *

Two days later, I was convinced Melissa was gone. She hadn’t replied to my last email, and since Mitch was knee-deep in midterms, I assumed she was too. I knew it was for the better, but I missed her sexy teases.

I wished I had something like midterms to distract me, but they were another week away. I still checked my inbox way too many times a day. This afternoon I was in class, trying to take notes, but kept my eye the corner of the screen, watching for the NEW MAIL icon to appear.

When it did, I switched windows. Next to me, Greg continued to type. I’d get the notes from him later.

Unfortunately—or not?—the message was from Mitch.

Look, I went as you this year.

Beneath the words was a photo of about fifteen people. In the center stood Mitch, hands on hips and red cape billowing. Across his bright blue chest were the letters SA.

The caption had been added by someone else. It was a list of names, including “Smart-Ass-Man Mitch.” The bastard. But it was another name that caught my eye.

Tight-End Melissa

I scanned the photo again. On the left was a girl with pompoms and long dark hair, but after counting the names, I realized she was Beth somebody. Next to her was someone in a mud-covered green football uniform, complete with shoulder pads and helmet. Melissa.

“It’s a little dirty,” she’d said.

I tried to zoom in on the helmet, to get a glimpse of the girl inside, but only got blurry gray squares.

It’s for the best. You know what you need to do.

I clicked DELETE, and the photo disappeared.

“Happy Halloween, Melissa,” I whispered. “Goodbye.”

Don’t worry, Jason and Melissa get together in a big way in Whirlwind. And if you’ve already read the book, you’ll be seeing more of Jason, Melissa, Mitch, and even Greg in book 2, tentatively titled Quicksand, coming next year, I hope.

Happy Halloween, and Happy Monday!

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Time for Some Summer Lovin’!

The Summer Lovin’ Anthologies are now available! Click on the banner to get yours – they’ll only be available until September 30th. But enough of that – how about an excerpt from my contribution?  From the short paranormal romance, Concessions, meet Lindsey and her beau, Clyde (AKA Devon):

Shoving the extra ketchup under the counter, I went back to my catalog. Snowmen, fir trees, and angels—three things you can’t find in Vegas, no matter what time of year it is. “Happy Ho-Ho-Holidays” one T-shirt read…now that’s more like it. Candy, the prostitute who worked the corner across the street, would enjoy that.

“I like that one better.” A black fingernail tapped the picture below.

“HOLY ****!” I screamed, sending soda cups and lids flying.

“Sorry. A little jumpy today, Lindsey?”

My vision pulsed red as my heart scrambled to flood my system with adrenaline. “Damn it, Clyde, as if your looks aren’t enough to give me a coronary.” The one thing I couldn’t figure out was why the customers we did get dressed like the living dead. I thought they were supposed to haunt the night, not the afternoon.

“I can’t help it you never hear me coming. I guess I should get a bell for my collar.” He ran a long, pale finger along the edge of his spiked neckwear. Clyde took the Goth look to a new extreme, his sharpened canines sparkling in the neon glow as he graced me with a rare smile.

“Then the mice’ll be safe.” Sighing, I stooped down and collected the now-trashed cups.

Stomping his combat boots loudly on the thin carpet, Clyde came around the counter. While I fumbled with the paper and plastic, he deftly stacked the lids like they’d just come out of the box. He started to set them by the soda machine, but I stopped him.

“We have to toss those. Health code, you know.”

“Oh, right. Sorry again. Jack won’t be mad, will he?” One of the few regulars, Clyde came in every day, watching the same movies over and over. I’d never asked him about that—I probably didn’t want to know.

“Nah. Don’t worry about it. **** happens.” I dumped the last load into the trash and punched the intercom behind me. “Jack, keep an eye on the counter. I have to go get some more cups, okay?”

The figure in the glass booth across the lobby threw a hand in the air.

“Can I help you carry something?” Clyde asked.

I did a double take. “Sure.”

He followed me silently to the stairs.

“Are you okay, Clyde?” I thought his vocabulary was limited to “Hot Tamales” and “thank you.”

“I’m fine, why?”

I opened the door at the top, walked past the projectors feeding the two lonely screens, and invited him into the dark storeroom with my finger on my lips. As door the closed, I flicked on the bare light bulb and squinted at him.

“You’ve never talked to me before. What’s up?”

His midnight eyes were traced in heavy matching liner. Black pearls in a velvet purse. Straight, jet-black bangs fell across his forehead, begging to be brushed aside to reveal his meticulously groomed ebony eyebrows. His hair was the only thing that wasn’t characteristic of the death-loving crowd. No spikes or vibrant colors interrupted the soft wave that framed his stark features and ended in an unbroken line at his chin.

The caverns in his cheeks became dimples as another smile creased his equally black lips. “Honestly? I talk to you every day, Lindsey.”

His eyes held mine, paralyzing me. His pupils seemed to open like umbrellas, enveloping me in night.

“You do not,” I breathed, unable to blink but seeing nothing.

“Yes, I do.” His husky voice wafted over me like fog. “Every day. Remember?”

I swayed in his arms, lost in his gaze.

“Remember,” he repeated—no, commanded.

In the darkness his word became smoke, swirling around me, beckoning me. Every day…remember…

What do you think? To read more, you’ll need to pick up a copy of the Summer Lovin’ Anthology: Heat Wave. Read the romance, Save the Ta-tas!

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Contemporary vs. Paranormal Romance on Supernatural Snark

Supernatural Snark is today’s stop on the Whirlwind Blog Tour. We’re discussing the construction of contemporary and paranormal romances – come and check it out! Of course, there’s a copy of Whirlwind to be won!

CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION AND ENTER TO WIN

Only a few more stops (and a few more giveaways) remain on the tour! Tomorrow’s stop is My Love Affair With Books. And don’t forget the LIVE CHAT this Saturday, moderated by our host, Missie of The Unread Reader.

Previous Blog Tour stops (Many giveaways are still open):

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Thank You to Coffee Time Romance

Coffee Thoughts BlogMy day at Coffee Time Romance has been fun, and I want to thank AzGaye for moderating today’s Book Brew!  We’ve talked about all different things, and you can find all my posts HERE.

You still have a few more minutes to post a comment to any of the posts on CTR to be entered to win an autographed copy of Whirlwind, as well as one of several other prizes.  Thanks for chatting, and don’t miss this last excerpt from Whirlwind over on CRT.

 

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I’ll be Blogging on Coffee Time on Monday

Coffee Thoughts BlogJoin me on Monday over on Coffee Time Romance’s blog for the February Book Brew.  As part of their Valentine’s Day celebrations, I’ll be chatting about all things love and romance with readers and authors and giving away one autographed copy of Whirlwind to one lucky commenter. To enter, comment on my posts over on Coffee Time’s blog.

I’ll also be posting a couple of excerpts from Whirlwind, so please stop by and join the fun!

 

The details:

Coffee Thoughts February Book Brew
http://coffeetimeromance/coffeethoughts

February 7th, 12 Noon to 8pm EST

One commenter on Coffee Time will win an autographed copy of Whirlwind!

Come chat with me! Remember, you must comment on Coffee Time’s blog on Monday to be entered in the giveaway.

 

 

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