August 2016

2016-olympics

Is it hot in here, or is it just…them?

For me, August has always been about family. Backyard barbecues. Road trips. And this year was no different. Only this August was also about the Olympics.

The Olympic athletes you see depicted above are undeniably hot. Hot as in nice to look at, sure, but more than that. Hot as in on fire. Doing what they have trained for most of their lives to do and doing it well. Breaking records, pushing themselves to the outer edges of their limits, pitting themselves against the very best – their peers. And themselves.

Kinda makes you want to work that much harder on whatever it is that you do, doesn’t it? So inspiring. So hot.

Speaking of hot, there is another steamy giveaway coming up on August 26th at Just Romantic Suspense, an incredible book review blog for all you romance readers who like the sweet stuff with side of shivers.

I feel very fortunate to have scored a guest blog spot there amongst award-winning writers like Cate Beauman and Debra Webb, and on the one month anniversary of the release of Dance with Me, no less. Be sure to check out my guest blog post tomorrow for a chance to win a copy of Dance with Me and a $10 Starbucks gift card.

In more hot news, Please, the first book in The Insatiable Need Trilogy, has been selected as a finalist in the Las Vegas chapter of RWA’s I Heart Indie contest! Of course, just like those Olympic athletes, I would love to walk away with the top prize. But also like them, I consider it an honor and a privilege to even have been chosen to compete.

If you haven’t read it yet, here’s an exclusive excerpt to tempt you:

When Elizabeth awoke the next morning, the first fingers of dawn were creeping across the city. She must have forgotten to close the drapes, she realized, lifting her head from her pillow. She was lying on her stomach, the pages of the Times squashed beneath one bent knee. Her mouth tasted toxic.

She heard a soft rustling noise and realized she was not alone. Her heart surging in a primordial panic response, rolling over she saw Sebastian sitting in a chair in the corner of the room, his legs stretched out in front of him, crossed at the ankle. He was wearing a black tracksuit and running shoes.

“Good morning,” he said, stretching.

Elizabeth slumped back down on the bed and peered at him from behind a tangle of hair. “What are you doing here?” she groaned. “How did you get in?” As she said it, she remembered the key card. He must have taken it with him.

He stood up, taking the thin rectangle of plastic out of his jacket pocket, running the edge of it slowly up her exposed calf. She reached for it, but he slipped it back into his jacket pocket.

“I think you should ask reception for another one,” he said. “I want to keep this one. As a souvenir.”

“Look, Sebastian …” Elizabeth started, wrapping her robe more tightly around her as she wiggled her way to a seated position.

“Wait.” Sebastian sat down beside her on the bed. Elizabeth was glad she couldn’t see herself in the mirror. Even though she was going to tell Sebastian once and for all that she was not interested, some small vain part of her still wanted him to want her. She edged away from him, partially to avoid being distracted by his proximity and partially to keep him out of the range of her morning breath.

“Elizabeth, I’m sorry.” Sebastian hung his head, toying with the zipper on his jacket. “About last night, I mean.”

Elizabeth stared at him. She had been expecting another attempt at seduction, not an apology.

“I guess I read you all wrong. I thought you wanted me the way I want you.” He bit his lower lip and looked up at her through his lashes. Elizabeth did want him. She ached with want. She tried to remember the lists she’d made, but the way his pecs strained against the fabric of his t-shirt seemed to short-circuit her brain.

He stood up suddenly and walked to the window, rubbing his hands over his crew cut in exasperation.

“It’s just …” he said, his back to her. “Have you ever met someone and felt that they could look into your eyes and see your soul? That they could see all the dark and twisted parts and not only accept them but maybe even love them?”

“Um,” Elizabeth said.

Sebastian turned around. He was back-lit and Elizabeth couldn’t see the expression on his face.

“That’s how I felt when I met you. Before I met you, even. When I read your book. When I saw your picture.”

“Wow. You got all of that from the jacket shot? I should have paid the photographer more,” Elizabeth joked. Sebastian didn’t laugh. Standing up, she caught a glimpse of her reflection in the mirror and groaned inwardly. Her hair looked like a haystack.

“Sebastian,” she said, making sure to keep her distance. “I can’t deny that I’m attracted to you. What woman wouldn’t be? But I’m married. Doesn’t that mean anything to you?”

Sebastian looked at her blankly.

“I guess not,” she said.

“Do you love him?” he asked.

“Uh, sure,” she answered, not even convincing herself. She had once, she knew. And she probably would again. She and Steve were just going through a rough patch right now and letting Sebastian seduce her wouldn’t do anything to help that.

Sebastian laughed. “Right.”

Elizabeth sighed. Sebastian moved closer to her but didn’t try to touch her.

“Look,” Sebastian said, his expression sincere. “I booked a flight back to LA. It leaves at midnight. Spend the day with me. Let me show you my New York. Then, if you still want me to leave, I’m on that plane.”

“I don’t know,” Elizabeth said, feeling her heart beat faster with his proximity.

“I’ll be on my best behavior,” Sebastian grinned. “I promise not to touch you unless you want me to.” Elizabeth opened her mouth to protest, but Sebastian held a hand up to her lips, almost but not quite touching them. “I mean unless you say it.”

“Unless I beg you?” Elizabeth arched an eyebrow, smiling, expecting him to laugh. He didn’t. His face was serious, his dark eyes searing into her.

“That’s right,” he said. “Unless you beg me.”