Want my books before anyone else! Click below to make that happen! 🙂
Why, I’ll be in Katy, Texas with the amazing and hilariously delightful Christie Craig, on September 1st, signing books and instigating shenanigans!
Click HERE to go to the Facebook link for the event at Katy Budget Books, and I hope to see you there!
Did you hear me squealing a few weeks ago? You must have. My dogs hid under the bed.
LUCKY CHARMED, book 2 in the Charmed in Texas series and Sully and Carmen’s second chance love story, was named a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® awards!! This is like the Oscars of the romance writing community, with a big dress up fancy ceremony at the National conference in July.
So exciting!! Go, LUCKY CHARMED!!!
In case you haven’t checked it out yet and want to see what all the fuss is about, click HERE to go to the book page and catch up on Carmen and Sully! 🙂
IT’S HERE!! And Happy Birthday to meeeeeee!!! 🙂
BEFORE AND EVER SINCE is now available! I get lots of questions asking me what it’s about.
Basically, the main character, Emily Lockwood has alot on her plate. She is successful in her own right, with a solid real estate career, but has a headstrong daughter, a mother who marches to her own drummer, and an ex-husband who needs sex therapy. Enter into this picture a house with an agenda, and the return of her first love, rocking a tool belt and a paintbrush and dark eyes full of secrets, and Emily just flat out has things to get through and get over. I call them the “Emily Lockwood Life Lessons”.
We can all learn things from Emily. 🙂
Life Lesson #5 from Emily in BEFORE AND EVER SINCE…
THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS AN INNOCENT KISS WHEN IT’S WITH A NOT-SO-INNOCENT MAN.
…an excerpt from the book…
Ben took a deep breath and rubbed his face and then his hair, making it stick up in little spikes. “Me and you? I have no desire to go backwards and reopen old wounds. I’d rather focus on now.”
I was about to ask what old wounds he had to draw on regarding me, when he lifted my chin and kissed my lips. Even through my shock, I felt the energy ripple between us, and his breathing quicken.
“Starting with there.”
He turned and walked out, leaving me to stand there like a goon, just as Bernie and my mother walked in. My mom turned to glance behind her after she looked at me—probably because I looked like I’d been shot and dragged through the mud with all my crying.
“You okay?” she asked.
“He really just did that,” I mumbled.
“Just did what?” Aunt Bernie asked as she came in and looked around. “Girl, you still have a lot to do in here.”
“Yeah,” I said, annoyed that they had horned in on my moment. I shook my head free of the fog that accompanied Ben’s lips, and then got annoyed again that there was even fog. Or a moment. “Um—yeah,” I repeated, looking around. “Still a lot to do.”
I grabbed a box from the closet and left the room, leaving them behind me. I’d just start loading up my car with crap and then I wouldn’t have to come back every day. Although that was a joke since I knew I would.
I got increasingly irate at his audacity as I lugged an unfortunately heavy box down the stairs. I put it down to open the door, and then cursed my remote for not opening my trunk.
“Need some help?” Ben called from the garage.
I pinned the box against the car with my body and ignored him as I opened it with the key.
“Hey,” he said, walking up, a folded sheet of plastic under his arm.
“I’ve got it,” I said.
“Oh, I see that,” he said, laughter in his voice.
I got the box in the trunk and whirled around. “Where do you get off just kissing me like that?”
His eyes widened in humorous surprise. “Was it hideous?”
He knew it wasn’t. He knew it had curled my toes.
“You don’t want to face anything heavy,” I said. “Answer any tough questions, just skip off into the future—”
“I’m pretty sure I never mentioned skipping.”
“Like I’m supposed to trust you now,” I continued, ignoring him. “And then you lay that kiss on me.”
He laughed, which just lit me up more. “I didn’t tackle you, Em.”
“How would you feel if I just walked up and—did this.” Before I knew it, I had his face in my hands and my mouth was on his. What was intended to be aggressive immediately turned soft. Searching.
Shaking, I let go and stepped back, not knowing what the hell I was doing. His eyes were heavy and his breathing was fast.
“How would you—what would you do?” I asked weakly, though I managed to keep my head up as I turned to walk away.
I felt his hand on my arm as he spun me back around and backed me against the car. His hands came up to my face and his mouth and body landed against mine at the same time. All the air left me as I expected something fiery and got soft and deliciously slow instead. When he dove deeper, I defied all my own defenses and pulled him in, winding my arms around him. Just when I began to lose myself in his kiss, he stopped and backed away slowly.
His fingers trailed down my cheeks as he met my eyes with an expression so full of heat it could have self-ignited.
“Probably something like that,” he breathed, sounding a little ragged.
* * *
…because what better birthday present than a hot kiss excerpt? 🙂
Stay with me on my Facebook page today, for more teasers and more Hot Tool Guys inspired by Ben! 🙂
One more day!
BEFORE AND EVER SINCE is almost here!
Check out Life Lesson #4 from Emily in BEFORE AND EVER SINCE…
#4 – PAINT IS HOT.
…an excerpt from the book…
I went out through the garage, where Ben was leaned over a five gallon bucket of paint, stirring it with a flat piece of wood. Next to him on a makeshift table, were two other small cans of paint with little wooden stir sticks poking out.
“Why do you do that?” I asked.
“What?” he responded, not looking up.
“Bait him like that,” I said, picking my way carefully around the random tools and pieces of discarded wood on the floor. “Is it on purpose, or does he just bring out the twelve year old in you?”
I felt, rather than saw the smile. “Little of both, probably.”
“Why?” I repeated as I got closer, my three-inch heels playing hell with all the power cords.
“Because he’s the same condescending asshole now that he was then.”
I was about to tell him that I agreed with him and he didn’t need to bait Kevin anymore. But then I remembered that there wouldn’t be a reason anyway since he’d left me and made all those petty arguments between them go away. The thoughts jumped over each other, distracting me long enough to step on a block of wood that turned under my foot.
“Oh–shi–” I exclaimed as I lurched sideways and the spike of my heel snapped off.
My left hand flailed out for support, met with one of the little stir sticks instead, and flipped it out of the can and across Ben’s face. The paint splattered across his left cheek and nose, and slung streaks into my hair as I continued my sideways direction right into his arms.
“Whoa!” he said, as I landed hard against him. “Are you okay?”
I gasped and then looked up just inches from his face, suddenly recalling the last time I was held so tightly against his body. I even was acutely aware of where his hands were and one of them was fairly south. Not that that had been by his choice. But then the sight of the paint across his face and in his eyebrows broke the moment and I clamped my lips shut as the laughter shook me.
“I’m–” I laughed again, trying to stop. “I’m so sorry.”
He let go with one hand to wipe a blob off his nose, and while I tried to stem the funny that just kept bubbling up in me, he smeared it along my cheek.
“Oh!” I said laughing. “Not cool!”
I looked down at my clothes as he set me back on my feet, but he didn’t back up for more space. Instead he picked a dripping clump of paint from my hair and smiled slowly, while we were still so close I could feel him breathe. His expression was playful and achingly reminiscent of the old days.
“Now you look really good,” he said, slowly backing up. He pushed a piece of hair from my face, the unexpected brush of his fingers against my temple causing me to catch my breath. His eyes met mine as I did that, and showed a flicker of something old.
“You were about to get paint in your eyes,” he said softly.
* * *
Are you enjoying the lessons? 🙂 Let’s see what Emily has to teach us today.
Emily Life Lesson #3… Assuming your ex has gotten smarter in your absence is a fail.
“So, what’s up?” I asked after a pause. “I don’t know if Cass has done anything with that paperwork, if that’s what you’re wondering.”
He shook his head minimally, still looking at the pictures, and the little warning bells went off in my head. Kevin was nothing, if not opinionated and in your face. For him to come to my house and then not come look me in the eye—told me it wasn’t going to be his normal rant.
I decided to abandon my dinner for the moment, and pour myself a glass of wine. I poured two on instinct, and offered him one as I sat at the table.
“You aren’t going to eat?” he asked, glancing back at the stove as he sat down.
“It can wait, what’s going on?”
He met my eyes and chuckled. “Is something going on with you and Landry?”
My whole body relaxed. “Jesus, Kevin, is that what you came over to ask me?”
“No, I’m just wondering.”
“Well, quit,” I said, getting back up to revisit dinner.
“Sherry wants to get married,” he blurted out.
I looked back at him, at the genuine worry and anxiety in his face, and sat back down.
“O—kay. I’m guessing you don’t?”
He toyed with his glass. “I should. I mean, yeah, I guess I do. I just—”
“You’ve been together long enough to know.”
“I know,” he said, pushing back his chair and rubbing at his eyes. For the first time, I noticed the perfection was waning. There were the little lines around his eyes, and some gray in his eyebrows. “And in that respect, I do.” He blew out a breath. “She’s perfect for me. We have a great relationship.”
“You have a great relationship?” I leaned across the table toward him. “You sound like you’re describing a dog. Or a car. Or an insurance agent. Do you love her?”
He met my eyes. “I loved you.”
That backed me up a good foot. I sat up and blinked at him. “Wh—What—”
“I loved you with all I had, Emily. Since junior high, I was in love with you. And look what I did with that. I still had to screw it up. I couldn’t be happy with what I had, I still needed what I didn’t have.”
I didn’t want to go down that road. I scooped my hair up and tried to look patient, but reminders of what the whole town knew my husband was doing behind my back was not my idea of memory lane.
“So you’re saying you might do it again?”
He scoffed and looked away. “I’ve already done it again. And again. That’s my point.”
I dropped my hair and stared at him. “Seriously?”
“I do love her, Em. She’s amazing.” He got up and pushed his chair in, lining it up with the others. “But clearly, that’s not enough to keep me faithful. Should I let her marry into that?”
I wanted to shake him. “No!” I got up and left my chair out on purpose. “Kevin, grow the hell up. You’re not special. Everybody has temptations—hell, I could have had three different flings while we were married, but I never gave it a second thought. I made the choice. You have that ability too. Get help if you need to, or let her go.” I walked up to him and put my finger on his chest. “But if you love Sherry like you say you do, be a man. Don’t fuck her over.”
He narrowed his eyes. “Who could you have had flings with?”
I turned around and headed back to my cooling dinner. “Really? That’s all you heard?”
He followed me. “I’m sorry.”
I looked at him, annoyed. “For what?”
“Cheating on you. Messing things up.”
His voice was soft. Sincere. Probably for the first time in all the apologies he’d made.
“I know,” I said, and then looked back down at my chicken that wasn’t looking so good. “Things happen as they’re supposed to, Kevin. Maybe Sherry’s the one for you.”
“Maybe.” He started to leave, then turned around. “Thanks for talking to me.” He shrugged. “I didn’t have anybody else.”
I gave him a small smile. “Any time.”
“So is Landry the one for you?”
I closed my eyes. “Bye, Kevin.”
He chuckled, and left. But I knew he’d registered the fact that I hadn’t said no.
You gotta love Kevin. 🙂
Okay, so what did you think of yesterday’s lesson? Ever had that happen to you? Lord knows I have. And what did you think of our first Hot Tool Guy? 🙂 Suddenly have a project that needs fixing? LOL
Now to hear from BEFORE AND EVER SINCE’s Emily on Lesson number 2…
Emily Life Lesson #2… The most likely time to be found is when you’re trying to hide.
“Where are you?” Cassidy asked.
“The grocery store.”
“Again? Didn’t you just go there?”
I cursed my bad lying. “Oh, I forgot a few things.” I pushed my cart faster, wanting to get done and get home. “So, anyway, that’s fine if you want to do th—” I choked back the last word as I rounded an aisle into the produce, and there stood Ben. Fondling peaches.
“What’s the matter?” Cassidy asked.
“Nothing,” I said under my breath into the phone, jumping backward and tugging my cart with me.
I dead-ended at the meat section, thinking I could stay there, then had a panicked thought that he was a man and would probably buy meat.
“Shit,” I said under my breath, forgetting Cassidy was still chattering.
She stopped. “What?”
“Oh nothing, baby, I just—can’t find the sea salt.”
I darted across the end caps till I found what was sure to be a safe aisle, and jumped in there with the tampons and sanitary pads. And then flattened myself as best I could to all the pink packaging, just in case he tended to look down each aisle. We said our goodbyes and I strongly considered stalking the registers from afar to make sure he left. Then again, if I’d just hurried up I would have been gone by then.
As if on cue, he passed my aisle, slowly pushing his cart as he studied a piece of paper in his hand. I stopped and froze in place, holding my breath, not blinking or breathing till he passed. Then I ran for the registers like the chicken shit I was, not caring that I’d only grabbed four of my thirty-something needed items. They’d be there tomorrow.
I quick-scanned the registers for the fastest choice, and picked one with an elderly man with only a pack of toilet paper and a box of candy under his arm. I’d be out of there in minutes, as compared to all the other lines sporting three and four people each, with mountains overflowing their carts.
I did a little shuffle move, waiting for my turn, looking behind me every five seconds. Why the hell was I so paranoid? Why was I hiding in my grocery store, in my town? He should be hiding from me. And no sooner had that thought crossed my brain, when he rounded the corner, and I ducked.
Pretending to closely inspect the latest celebrity gossip on the rack, I silently begged the checker to hurry the hell up.
“Price check on four!” she called into a microphone, holding up the box of candy.
“It’s five-ninety-nine,” the elderly man said.
“I have to check sir,” the pink-cheeked checker said, pulling out a reference card to prove it.
Great. I picked a newbie with anal retention.
“I actually saw it too, and it was five-ninety-five,” I said, nodding from my bent over stance.
The girl looked at me with giant eyes. “He said five-ninety-nine.”
I blinked. “That’s what I said.”
“No, you said five-ninety-five,” the man said.
“That’s why we check it,” the girl said, nodding.
“For four pennies? Seriously?” I said. I really actually kind of hissed it. “Don’t y’all scan everything now, anyway?”
The girl scowled at me. “The scanners are down,” she said.
The man just kind of shrugged, and I gave him a weary look. Of course the old man didn’t care. All he had planned for the day was to sit on the toilet and eat chocolate caramels.
Finally, a greasy-haired stock boy ambled up, holding a hand out for the box. The old man looked almost physically pained to watch it leave with the boy, as if he’d taken great measures to select that very box and didn’t trust the boy not to switch it.
I was still very much bent over, when legs stopped behind me. Somehow I knew who they belonged to before I ever looked up.
“You okay?” Ben asked, not sounding particularly sincere.
I slowly lowered my stoop to a crouch, pretending fascination with a tabloid.
“I’m fine, how are you?” I asked, hoping I sounded as uninterested as he did.
He reached over me and plucked the tabloid out of the rack, giving off an aroma of warm soap when he did so.
“The end of the world, huh?” he read off the headline. “Nostradamus’s prediction keep you up at night?”
I saw the humor in his eyes, but I refused to play.
“Lots of things keep me up at night.”
Who’s been there? *raising my hand*
Stay tuned to Facebook again today for the next Hot Tool Guy of the Day!
Today, we see the very first Life Lesson from Emily in BEFORE AND EVER SINCE!
This is the first of five great life lessons you’ll learn from Emily’s experiences in BEFORE AND EVER SINCE, with a great excerpt to back it up… 🙂 You see, Emily Lockwood has alot on her plate. She is successful in her own right, with a solid real estate career, but has a headstrong daughter, a mother who marches to her own drummer, and an ex-husband who needs sex therapy. Enter into this picture a house with an agenda, and the return of her first love, rocking a tool belt and a paintbrush and dark eyes full of secrets, and Emily just flat out has things to get through and get over. I call them the “Emily Lockwood Life Lessons”. 🙂
Emily Life Lesson #1… Never assume it’s safe to drop by Mom’s house looking like Swamp Girl.
Oh no. No, no, no, no. Goosebumps ran the length of my body and back again. Ben Landry. As I stared into that face, I felt the old hurt I thought I’d forgotten seep through my bones right down through my feet, rooting me to the floor.
“You’re back,” I said, hearing the words and how my voice suddenly went all croaky and hating how stupid that was.
But I was painfully aware that I had only thrown on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt, and otherwise still looked like I’d just crawled out of bed. Additionally, after twenty-one years, I was looking at probably the only person on the planet that ever really knew me. And could turn my life upside down.
“Yes I am,” he said, his voice quiet.
“Mr. Landry,” my mother said from behind me as she moved me over from where I’d dropped anchor in the doorway. “Come on in.”
“Just Ben, ma’am,” he said, shaking her hand and then gesturing toward where I stood with my heart slamming against my ribs. His dark eyes warmed with memory. My stomach threatened to send me back my four cups of coffee as I recalled the last time I’d seen him.
“Emily and I are old friends.”
Ben was the boy that put snakes in the teacher’s lounge and snuck into the girls’ bathroom. That popped all the girls’ training bras and spent at least two days each week in detention. That wore an old black jacket with chains on it when he rode his bike, so he’d look like a bad ass. He was the boy that lured me under my house when we were seven for my first kiss, and into a closet in the eighth grade for another one. He was the mysterious, dangerous looking dark-eyed guy in high school who could part a room like The Red Sea when he entered it, who always sat with his back to the wall and never let his guard down. Except with me.
“I don’t remember seeing you around here,” Mom said.
Ben grinned, an endearing expression that transformed him back into the twenty-one year old I’d last seen him as. Time may have dulled some of the edges, but it worked for him, God help me.
“Well, I’m sure we met at some point,” he said, smoothly moving the conversation on as his eyes slowly took in the walls and beams and ceiling. It was as if he were already seeing the possibilities. “So, tell me what your ideas are for this place.”
He followed her as she talked about the paneling that needed to go, the ceiling that needed sheetrock, the insulation that was probably rotten, and the gaping cracks around the windows. Just for starters.
Fortunately for me, it gave me the opportunity I needed to release the breath I’d been holding and suck in a few more.
“Jesus Christ, Ben Landry,” I muttered under my breath on a sprint to the bathroom. What I saw when I got there made me want to hurl. My hair was still straight on one side, kinked up and tangled on the other, and a zit waved from one pale cheek. “Shit.”
I dug in Mom’s drawers for a brush and a ponytail band, and managed to find an old cover-up stick for the zit. I couldn’t find any powder or mascara or blush, but at least I’d moved up a notch from scary to just plain unappealing. I couldn’t remember if I’d put on deodorant, but I saw a bottle of cologne and spritzed my neck.
“Oh God!” I groaned.
It smelled like old woman. Not old woman like my mom, because she was fairly young at heart and active. Old like the women with the beehive hairdos and the stripe of blue eye shadow reaching to their eyebrows.
I found a box of wet wipes under the sink, and attacked my neck with one, but I was pretty sure the smell was still there along with the aroma of aloe.
“Damn it, just shoot me now,” I said to my reflection.
Well, come back tomorrow for Lesson #2!
Also, check out my Facebook page later today for the Hot Tool Guy of the Day, courtesy of sexy carpenter Ben. 😉
Thus starts the pre-launch week of craziness! 🙂
And five very important life lessons via Emily Lockwood of BEFORE AND EVER SINCE… Below are all five lessons you’ll learn between now and March 14th, and each one will come with its own very pertinent exclusive excerpt from the book.
Sit back and enjoy! And follow me on Facebook to get the daily “Hot Tool Guy of the Day”, courtesy of sexy carpenter Ben from BEFORE AND EVER SINCE. Those will be worth the wait.
…just because. 🙂
EMILY LOCKWOOD’S LIFE LESSONS…
#1 Never assume it’s safe to drop by Mom’s house looking like Swamp Girl.
#2 The most likely time to be found is when you’re trying to hide.
#3 Assuming your ex has gotten smarter in your absence is a fail.
#4 Paint can be hot.
#5 There’s no such thing as an innocent kiss when it’s with a not-so-innocent man.
Come back Saturday to start lesson #1…. It’s worth your time!
That’s right, BEFORE AND EVER SINCE is having its turn at the rerelease plate, hitting ereaders on March 14th! My birthday!! (yayyyyy!) I adore these characters so much with their push-pull awkward/sexy/fumbling/falling into each other second chance romance moments. And as if that wasn’t enough stress for Emily, her mom’s house keeps sending her on little trips into the past. Because, yanno… that’s normal. LOL!
Super fun to write, and I’m loving rereading it for quotes! I’ll be sharing some of “Emily’s Life Lessons” excerpts here over the next few days before release day, so keep an eye on it!
THE REASON IS YOU is back and ready to slide into your ereader today! (Squee!!) That’s right, Dani and Jason and that incredibly hot ghost, Alex are back to heat up your ereader on Tuesday, Feb 27th, with a sexy new cover and a snazzy new digital price of just $3.99!
Click here to order!
To celebrate the return of the digital version of THE REASON IS YOU, I’m giving away a Kindle Fire AND a $25 Amazon gift card to feed it with to one lucky winner! 🙂
All you have to do to win is either hop over to my Facebook fan page HERE and look for my giveaway post to comment, or comment below on this post! Extra points if you tell me a funny ghost story. 🙂 Have fun and good luck!
THE REASON IS YOU is back! (Squee!!)
That’s right, Dani and Jason and that incredibly hot ghost, Alex are back to heat up your ereader on Tuesday, Feb 27th, with a sexy new cover and a snazzy new digital price of just $3.99!
If you’ve never read it, only have it in print, or heck, just want to buy the hot new version—here’s your chance! Preorder links are below!
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2EX42Wi
ONCE A CHARMER is live and ready for you to devour Bash and Allie’s story!
By day, Allie Greene stays busy with her family diner, and keeping tabs on her teenage daughter. What’s really exhausting Allie, however, are the nights. Not that she minds Bash Anderson unbuttoning her naughty desires—if only in her dreams. But what was he doing there at all? He’s her best friend, and a father figure to her girl. Talk about awkward. Talk about OMG-heat-and-fireworks that are flipping fifteen years of normal upside down. And now, when Allie needs him as a friend more than ever, logic doesn’t stand a chance against his lips and irresistible deep-blue eyes . . .
Sure, Bash has fantasized about Allie, but there’s no way he’d act on it. She and her daughter are the closest thing to family he’s ever known. With the exception of one drunken moment fifteen years ago, he and Allie have stayed on this side of the line—until that impulsive kiss of hers knocked him on his butt. That’s just one hurdle. Not only does Allie need Bash’s help to save her diner, but his apiary is in trouble, too. To stir the pot further, they’ve been roped into vying for the town’s Honey King and Queen contest—a sweet event that’s making them closer than ever. Something’s bound to come undone. Bash just hopes it’s not the friendship he’s worked so hard to hold on to.
Do you have it yet? 🙂 Click here to get it!
If you preordered it, it’s sitting in your ereader right now all fat and happy and ready to be opened! If you haven’t yet, here are the links you can find it! I love this book, this town, and these characters so much, and I hope you will love them as much as I do. 🙂 Enjoy, and please drop me a line at email@example.com and let me know what you think when you’re done!
A CHARMED LITTLE LIE….the first book in my brand spanking new Charmed in Texas series…is out today! Finally, I can share Nick and Lanie with you, and I’m SO over the moon about that. I love these two so much, they have become favorites in my heart, so much so, that in the next two books, they keep showing up. 🙂 Hint…hint…
Click here to go to the book page for A CHARMED LITTLE LIE, read the cover blurb….click “buy”…. just sayin… 😉
Are you on Facebook? If so, I’m having a release party there this afternoon/evening…come play with us! Click here for party page!
Love y’all and thank you for letting me do what I do!
Fake it till you make it… that’s what Lanie and Nick are doing.
Preorder what Library Journal calls a “fun-filled adventure”!
A Charmed Little Lie, available April 18th! Preorder here!