I went out looking for contest prizes that would tie in with my upcoming book, Courting Danger. I thought it would be easy to find something fun. There had to be red lipstick or nail polish that had a name of “Dangerous”. Or a perfume. I thought I remembered seeing commercials for “dangerous eyes” mascara, but it was nowhere on the shelves. Maybe there was a board game called Danger? No. The answer is no. It suddenly occurred to me that marketers must be afraid to use the word, so I had to turn it around and go with a “safe” theme. That’s why I chose a solar-powered emergency radio as the prize for my newsletter giveaway contest. My reaction to all this? What scaredy cats! My book is called COURTING DANGER. And guess what? It releases close to Halloween, the most dangerous night of the year. Bwahahaha. Bring it on!
Courting Danger, coming October 29
Too soon, they were in Luxxor’s parking lot. Rielle saw her SUV, grey and unassuming, waiting for her. Mel got out of the car and rounded it to get her door.
His hand was warm and callused as it took hers once again to help her to her feet. Her dress flared out, tangling amongst their legs, but she simply laughed.
She smiled up at him. ‘Thank you. It really has been the best night of my life.’
They were standing at the verge of the streetlight’s luminosity. It barely reached them, but she saw his blue eyes spark.
‘There’s just one thing that would make it better,’ he said, his voice low.
He gave her a moment, a split second to process and decide. And then he moved in.
His head dipped, and his lips covered hers. Those raging hormones inside Rielle leaped. It wasn’t a polite first kiss or even a kiss that sought a reaction. It was the full-blooded, mind-blowing kiss of a man who knew how to touch a woman.
And wanted to.
He didn’t overpower, and he didn’t push. He simply wrapped his strong arms around her and pulled her close. Closer than they’d been on the dance floor. Their bodies were flush. Her breasts were plumped hard against his chest, and his hips burrowed into the notch between her legs. One of his hands slid under her hair, and he cupped the back of her neck as his mouth . . .
There was no other way to describe it. He made love to her mouth in a slow, deep kiss that shot to hell all her preconceived notions of intimacy.
The ache inside her began to pulse. It was hungry, needy, demanding.
A Scintillating Excerpt from Courting Danger
But she’d already trusted him enough not to have Security remove him. Enough to agree to go out with him. Enough to strip down and change in a room right next to him. These were no little things.
She pulled her hair aside. “Could you zip me up?”
His breath was warm against her bare spine. “I can do that.”
Rielle closed her eyes. She hadn’t wanted him to know she wasn’t wearing a bra. She hadn’t even wanted him guessing, but she hadn’t been able to devise another way around the problem.
He stepped up close, and she felt his size. She began trembling again and her muscles tensed. He caught the tab of the zipper and tugged the flaps of material together to cover her. His touch between her shoulder blades was warm and confident, but that was as far as he went. He pulled up on the tab, and the bodice closed snugly around her.
She cast a quick glance down. Her breasts weren’t bulging out of the neckline, but they did fill out the dress. It fit her like a glove, even if her nipples were perking up and stiffening – but that had nothing to do with her clothes.
She couldn’t ignore how solid he felt behind her. Next to him, she felt delicate and defenseless. If she stepped back, she’d tuck right under his chin.
Her eyelids popped open, and she stepped forward. She was not defenseless. She quickly let her hair drop back into place. “Thank you.”
Click on any cover image below to find scintillating excerpts from other authors.
I’m so happy. All the content editing has been completed on Courting Danger and it’s off to the copy editor. Soon, it will be real book.
Just for fun, I’m sharing my flash cards for both Courting Innocence and Courting Danger. This is a technique I’ve developed to help me organize my thoughts and (knock on wood) prevent writer’s block. Courting Innocence is on the left. You can see that some of the cards were labeled “no” and weren’t used. When I’m writing the cards, I start by creating a card for each idea. Most of the time, it’s a plot point. Sometimes it’s a point about the characters. The idea is to brainstorm as much as possible. Those rejected cards were trails the story could have taken, but were rejected. Think of them as the road not taken.
Courting Danger has a more intricate story line, and I started with fewer flash cards. The brain just wasn’t storming. For that story, I had to spend more time figuring out cards to insert to carry the plot from Point A to Point B. In the end, it needed more cards and more detail than the other book. But it made it to the end, and the editor just approved it. Yay! You’ll see the end result soon.
Congratulations to Diana for winning the Lenox Opal Innocence vase set giveaway!
I’ve also collected the results of the survey. I just find these things so interesting. Here is a breakdown of how you responded:
Poll: When do you post an online review of a book?
38% – All of the above (except never)
27% – When I love it
14% – I never post reviews.
12% – When it causes an emotional reaction (love or hate)
5% – When the book is original or different
3% – When my opinion differs from all the other reviews already posted.
1% – When I hate it.
Series are fun to write, and readers love them, but writers need to have a plan. There are so many things to consider. Are you creating a world and exploring how people live inside it? Is there an over-riding story arc that carries throughout the series? Do characters appear in multiple books? Can each book stand alone?
Book 1 needs to set the stage. Characters are introduced and the series premise is set. There’s a lot to cover in Book 1, and you want readers to get hooked on the whole series. But how do you keep that interest going in Book 2 and avoid the dreaded sophomore slump?
Courting Innocence is the second book in my Courting series about Luxxor Limited, a high-end escort service. The first book, Courting Trouble, told the story of Sienna, a young woman who joins Luxxor to pay her bills, but ends up falling for the man she’s escorting. To keep things interesting, for Courting Innocence, I chose a storyline that came from the exact opposite direction. The heroine, Erin, is naive and doesn’t know the score. She’s not coming to Luxxor as an escort, but as an unknowing client. Sienna and Jason, the hero and heroine from Book 1, appear as supporting characters. It was a blast to continue their relationship. I also gave hints about relationships that will appear in future books to make the whole series cohesive. I’m really happy with the result, and Courting Innocence has been getting great reviews.
How do you like your series? Do you like visits from old characters? What do you like to see in connected books to keep you interested in reading?
Rielle Sands ventured too close to the fire once and got burned. Now when it comes to men, she’s vowed to play it safe. But then a dashing, mysterious man shows up at Luxxor Limited after hours, the agency she manages, needing an escort.
Darien Scott isn’t what he appears to be. Beneath the sexy smile and wicked charm, he’s hiding secrets. Yet the sizzling chemistry between him and Rielle is real. He tries to stay away, but his attraction to her keeps pulling him back. When he discovers that he’s not the only one haunted by danger, he changes tactics. To protect Rielle, he may need to stay close. Super close. Exclusive Luxxor contract close.
The reward is more than worth the risk.