Elvis, Kismet, and Tunes

Everyone has a story about how they started out. I started like most people. I collected form letter rejections. Then there was a call for submissions. A novella? Easy enough. And I had the germ of an idea that involved a snowstorm and being stranded in Memphis.

Then the King took over. I dreamed up a hotel. I wrote the story. And it was accepted.
Then in an amazing stroke of luck, my editor asked if I had any other stories set there.
I did not. But over a weekend, I built three of the strongest ideas I could. I emailed them, they were accepted and I was up against my very first deadline. That story, Stuck on You, will be out in April.

It really does not get any better than that.
Along the way, I’ve had some real Elvis immersion. I found this great video for Stuck on You. And I watch it now and then because it totally gives me the whole Elvis hot burnin’ thing. I think I was driving home on Thanksgiving and listening to the Elvis channel on XM radio (free on that weekend, yay!) broadcasting directly from Graceland itself and I heard this song. And I cannot get it out of my mind now. I sing with this video (but the photos make me think how rough the 70s were on most people. I was born in the 70s but quickly transitioned to PacMan shirts, two pairs of socks, and high-top Reeboks…the style choices weren’t really that much kinder in the 80s, were they?)
Please enjoy “It’s Your Baby, You Rock It” from Elvis’ country phase. And if this one doesn’t stick with you, try “Stuck on You”. It makes me want to pull my hair and scream and cry and possibly faint. Not really. But if you’d seen me when the New Kids on the Block were hot, you’d believe me.

I’m thinking of putting an excerpt up from the first chapter of Stuck on You on Friday. Come back!

Excerpt 3 from Love Me Tender

Chapter Three

Heartbreak Hotel


LMTWhen he nudged her, Julie stumbled to a stop. If she didn’t get to a bed soon, she’d fall asleep on her feet somewhere, but there was something she was trying to remember, a reason this was a really bad idea. She grabbed his arm to pull him up beside her and then leaned against him as they walked to the elevator. He sighed as he reached over to push the button.

“No staring at my ass,” she said. “It’s been a long day and I don’t have it in me to control all the jiggle and bounce, you know?”

He shook his head as he watched the numbers over the elevator. “If it’s not me staring at your ass, it’s someone else. Does that make it better?”

She yawned widely and rested her forehead on his shoulder. “As long as he keeps his mouth shut about it, it’s better.”

“I stand by my earlier judgment. Never change that ass, okay? If you think you might, call me so I can talk you out of it.”

Julie knew her mouth was hanging open but there was absolutely nothing to say to that. Her teeth clicked as she snapped it shut.

“You know, Luke, I like you, but it’s okay to let the flirting go.”

He wrapped an arm around her to urge her onto the waiting elevator. “Thanks. I appreciate your kindness. I like you too. I like your ass. I wouldn’t mind taking either or both out on a date but you’ve got your reasons.”

She ignored his added, “Wish I knew what they were,” and watched the doors close. Before they shut, she saw the long line at the reception desk and was glad she’d hooked up with a sprinter instead of a distance runner. His speed was going to get her into bed sooner rather than later.

At that thought, she snorted.

He raised an eyebrow and she shook her head. If she made it through this night without losing her mind, it was going to be a damn miracle. When the elevator doors opened, they stepped out on the top floor. It had to be the luxury floor because the carpet and walls were all covered in leopard-skin print. With a sinking feeling, she followed Luke down the hall. When he paused in front of a set of double doors, she took the handle of her suitcase from him and leaned against the wall.

Luke whistled as he stepped inside, and she tried to take a fortifying breath but it whooshed out as she stepped into a room decorated exclusively in white and purple. The walls were white. So was the carpet. The chair and love seat in front of a large television were purple. So were the bedspread, the lamp, the curtains, and even the telephone. The bright neon of the Elvis alarm clock and the movie posters on the walls were nice additions.

As he flipped on the light in the small bathroom beside the door, Luke whistled again. Biting her lip, Julie took a deep breath and peered into the room. It was pink. Every bit of it. Tiles, toilet, sink, shower curtain … all in pink.

“I hate pink!” she moaned as she dropped the handle of her suitcase, which toppled over and landed with a thump. Completely understanding the sentiment, she collapsed against the purple velvet sofa and started to laugh.

You never forget your first: the KISS ME blog tour, y’all!

Here’s the thing…I’m so excited. I just can’t hide it. I’m about to lose control and there’s not much I can do about it, you know? Codi, Jaclyn and I had a great opportunity to write some blog posts for next week.

I don’t know if I’ve told you this but…we have a Valentine’s Day anthology coming out. Yeah, it’ll be on sale on February 5. Surely there’s a link or twelve around here to take you to Amazon or Barnes and Noble (check the Books page. Please? Come on. You know you need a Valentine’s Day bon bon or three).

Here’s the wheres, the whens and the whos. You know the whys.

Books and Kisses – Codi, Feb 4 (MONDAY)
United by Books – Cheryl, Feb 5 (TUESDAY, RELEASE DAY!!!!)
Romanceaholic – Jacyln, Feb 6 (WEDNESDAY)
Ex Libris – Codi, Feb 7 (THURSDAY)
Cocktails and Books – Cheryl, Feb 8 (FRIDAY)
Novel Reflections – Jaclyn, Feb 11 (MONDAY)