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Seeing Double

As a kid, I went to school with a lot of twins. Back then, I didn’t realize how unusual it was. Looking back, there must have been something in the water. We had every kind of twins from fraternal twin sisters (one redhead, one brunette) to boy/girl twins to idehttp://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-twins-taking-photo-image9103336ntical girls.

The fraternal twins acted primarily like brothers and sisters who just happened to be born on the same day. The identical twins, though, had closer bonds. They were inseparable outside of class and always seemed to be on each others’ wavelengths. There were so many things about them that were alike, but as their friend, I could always tell them apart. All it took was a glance or the sound of a voice.

As we rose in grade levels, we just kept adding sets of twins. There were two more sets of identical girls, another boy/girl set (who did not get along at all), and a set of triplets  (one boy and two girls who looked identical). I was around them all a lot, and I thought it was just so cool. I guess even back then I was an observer of human nature.

It was many years later when I came up with the concept for my Triple X series about identical triplets reuniting and finding the men that they love. I wasn’t consciously thinking of my old classmates, yet I know my childhood experience helped me flesh out the characters. I knew firsthand the connection that Lexie, Maxie, and Roxie should have.  More importantly, I knew how they should be different. Identical siblings can be close, but they’re not interchangeable. They’re individuals with their own interests and personalities. They just happen to be part of a very close, matched set.  That’s why I gave each of my triplets her own book. Each sister had a different story to tell, yet as a set, they made up an even stronger trilogy.

So are any of you a twin or triplet? Do you agree that identical siblings have a unique, almost psychic bond? Or is that just make-believe?

They say there are no original ideas, but…

I stumbled across a television series this weekend called Orphan Black and ended up binge-watching all of Season 1.  The show airs on BBC America, and it’s – in a word – fantastic.  The show starts with a woman running into a look-alike at the train station. Just as the main character, Sarah, realizes she’s looking at herself, the other woman jumps in front of a train. Sarah steals the woman’s purse and impulsively takes over her life.  This leads to other doppelgangers!

As I was watching the show and becoming more and more engrossed, I kept having this vague sense of deja vu.  It wasn’t long before I realized that Orphan Black had a ton of similarities to my Triple X series. (duh!) When Sarah and Beth met, it was like Lexie and Roxie meeting for the first time. (Although neither of them jumped in front of a train!)  Then there was a scene where Alison, another look-alike, pretends to be Sarah.  It was similar to the scene from Maxie where the identical triplets pose as one another at the magic show. Then there’s the scene where Sarah jumps the bones of this impossibly hot guy. It’s a page right out of Roxie’s book where… Oh yeah, you haven’t read that yet.  😉

Anyway, in the television series the women look alike, but their styles are very different.  I’m not just talking about hair and clothes.  They have different lifestyles and priorities, but at the heart of it, they’re one unit.  They care about each other, and they’re all working together to get to the bottom of their mystery.  (Well, except for maybe Helena.  She’s nuts.)  Does any of that sound familiar?  Once again, it was my Triple X trilogy.

They say that there are no original ideas left anymore, and maybe the similarities between the television show and the books are an example of that.  Yet I still think there are countless ways to make ideas unique.  Orphan Black and my books might start out with the same basic premise — how would identical women react to one another and how could their lives intertwine?  After that, though, the ideas spiral off to very different quarters — and that’s what makes things exciting. Maybe we have to start out at the same place, but I think there are a gazillion original ideas left to be found.  How could there not be?

So I can’t wait to watch Season 2 of Orphan Black, and I hope you’re just as excited to read Roxie’s story.  It will be here soon.  Just one more week!

 

 

Excerpt from ROXIE

An Excerpt From: ROXIE
Triple X, Book 3

© Copyright KIMBERLY DEAN, 2014

Roxie’s heels clomped across the hardwood floor until she stood directly between the two of them. Thrusting out her empty coffee cup, she looked at him sternly. “Don’t try to charm my sisters.”

“I’m not trying, baby, I am charming.” He let one eyebrow lift, but freshened her cup anyway.

“They have boyfriends.”

Their gazes met in silent challenge, but there was something more in her eyes . . . a kind of fear . . .

Billy paused. He knew her well. To some, she might seem tough and rowdy, but there was an insecure side to her, too. Every foster care kid had one.

“I know which one is you, Roxie,” he said, for her ears only. He wouldn’t play on that fear, no matter what happened between them. “I’m not looking to upgrade.”

Her gaze dropped to her cup of coffee, but instead of drinking it, she ran her finger around the lip of the cup.

“Believe me, I know which one runs on high octane fuel,” he said softly.

That round-and-round motion hitched, and her gaze lifted. Her eyes were big and brown, and he saw how her pupils dilated. Desire set inside him like a racer wanting the checkered flag. That little romp last night hadn’t been nearly enough to keep him going. He’d been running on fumes for too long.

And last night had been different. It had just been . . . more.

In the wee hours of the darkness, she hadn’t been able to keep her emotions locked down so tight. The sex between them had always been hot, but the way they’d touched only hours ago? It had been more like in the beginning, when the need to connect had been overpowering.

“Want to go back upstairs and wake each other up properly?” he asked.

Her fingers tightened around her mug, and her teeth sunk into her lower lip. She leaned forward over the bar. She had him poised, holding his breath, but then she pulled back with her long hair swinging. “I can’t.”

She took a deep breath, and his gaze dropped to the clingy top she wore.

“You can. You really can.”

She glanced over her shoulder. Seeing they were being watched, she flicked a finger at the donut box, opening it. “I can’t leave my sisters,” she said as she plucked out a chocolate treat.

She left him feeling hungry as she walked back to the table, hips swaying.

Billy didn’t know if the growl that came out of him originated in his throat or in his belly. Following her lead, he grabbed a bear claw.

At least she hadn’t been running away this morning; she’d been running to something.

He looked over all the pretty dark heads.

Something important.

 

Bonus excerpt from Maxie

 An Excerpt From:  MAXIE

© Copyright KIMBERLY DEAN, 2013

Published by Samhain Publishing

 

He watched her closely. “People all over town are talking, you know. Not only about them, but about us.”

Her hair tumbled forward over her shoulder as her chin dipped. “I know. Becky was asking questions.”

Zac took a step closer to her. The noise and chaos of the crowd drifted away until it was just the two of them. The falls weren’t that far away. The crash of the water against the rocks was a low rumble, and a fine mist of cool water hung in the air.

“I’m not sure what to tell them,” he admitted.

“I don’t know either. I didn’t expect… I just wanted you to go to dinner with us.”

But things had gone way beyond that.

He waited, but she’d gone quiet on him again. It made him uneasy. Had they gone too fast for her? He’d thought she’d been with him last night, but did she have regrets now? “I don’t mind giving them something to talk about as long as I know what’s really going on.”

But he didn’t know what was happening between them. Not really. At least not on her side.

Her gaze shied away from him towards the water rumbling down the hill. She was back to that reserved girl who stuck to the sidelines, away from all the noise and action. She looked so bashful and vulnerable, totally opposite of the role she’d just played.

He ran his finger over her cheek. “Things have been kind of crazy the past two days, haven’t they?”

She nodded, and her gaze went to their joined hands. She touched the bandage on her finger. “We’ve been doing crazy things on the spur of the moment, haven’t we?”

“I’d say. Skinny-dipping. Multiple Maxies.” Crashing after climaxing…

That pretty brown gaze locked with his. “You’re making me forget to be a timid sort.”

Zac wasn’t sure what that meant, but she stepped towards him. Her hands settled at his waist. He looked down sharply, but then she was pressing up against him and lifting her mouth to his.

Timid sort, his ass. The inhale he took was sharp and deep. It burned in his lungs when she kissed him. Slow and sexy, her lips glided over his. The act was so sensual, he forgot to exhale. He was afraid to move, afraid to do anything that would make her stop. He wasn’t sure what was going on inside her head, but he wasn’t going to do anything to discourage or distract her.

Because this felt real.

Keeping the kisses long and drawn out, she lifted her shoulder and curled into him. Her hands slid under his T-shirt, and her palms pressed flat against his flesh.

Zac caught her bare waist. Her skin was like velvet, and he wanted to kick himself for not touching her more last night.

As it was, his heart was pounding hard against his rib cage. They’d both been playing parts over the past few days, but right now it was just the two of them, and he’d never felt anything so erotic as her hands on him. Her touch slid higher, hiking up his T-shirt. Her fingers were small and feminine against his chest, but her fingertip trailed fire as she traced his abs down to his belly.

Holy. Hell.

“Maxie,” he hissed. Cupping the back of her head, he deepened the kiss. He held her tightly, and it was a good thing he did, because his knees went a little wobbly when she drew across the lines of his six-pack.

His lungs worked like bellows. She seemed entranced by what she was doing, but she wasn’t hurrying. Everything was slow and soft. Rich and pleasurable.

Mind-blowing.

Her finger dipped into his belly button, and his brain nearly exploded.

“It’s okay,” a voice said from nearby. “We’ll find her.”

They both flinched when they heard Lexie.

“I think I saw her go around this corner.”

Maxie sprang back, but Zac refused to let go of her. His hand was still fisted in her hair, and he pulled her back to him. Her eyes flared, and those hands that had been so inquisitive spread wide over his stomach. She didn’t push him away, but she bounced on her toes.

She didn’t want people to catch them together.

“Son of a—” Zac swore. They weren’t done with this. That had not been for show.

MAXIE releases today!

Maxie, Book 2 in the Triple X series, is now available at online bookstores everywhere.

Maxie72webMAXIE
Triple X, Book 2

Genre:  Contemporary romance
Release:  August 20, 2013
ISBN 9781619217331

It’s just pretend…but nobody wants to stop.

Maxie’s quiet, predictable routine is shattered when she steps outside her flower shop and almost runs into two women. It’s not the near collision that’s startling. It’s the strangers’ faces. It’s like looking in a mirror times two, and it sends her into a dead faint.

Sheriff Zac Ford sees three identical copies of the woman who’s caused him more sleepless nights than he can count, and it stops him in his tracks. Maxie’s buckling knees snap him out of his trance, and he catches her before she hits the cement.

Two sisters she never knew she had? Maxie can’t deal with this turmoil, not on her own. She needs a shield, a rock. For the first time in her life, she takes a wild leap of faith.

When Maxie calls him her boyfriend, Zac has no trouble playing along. It’ll give him time to figure out what these “sisters” want. Soon, though, for-show kisses get hotter and playacting touches grow bold. And Maxie must choose to stay in her safe little world, or grab life by the horns.

Maxie excerpt

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Win a print copy of LEXIE

Lexie72lgI received my author copies of LEXIE today.  They’re so pretty!  Book 1 of the Triple X series doesn’t go on sale until September 3, but I’ll be having a contest for subscribers to my newsletter.  Win, and you’ll get a signed copy.  Sign up for the newsletter here.  More information will be coming in the edition I plan to send out (on or about) June 30.