Sneak Peek: Santa, Bring My Baby Back EXCERPT

Blog tour, Stop 5…EXCERPT! (I think. It’s early and it’s not posted yet so…could be a surprise!)

And the Giveway…did you enter yet? Click and add your favorite Elvis song for a chance to win. The clock is running down. I’ll pick and announce a winner tomorrow!

And now…an excerpt from the last Rock’n’Rolla Hotel book, Santa, Bring My Baby Back, coming December: weddings, Christmas, bloodhounds, and more weddings.(SO wish I could show the cover. I loved the cover of Stuck on You the way a starving woman loves a dessert buffet. There was great rejoicing when I saw it. But this last book…I haven’t even seen the final cover. The rough images made me sniffle happy tears. More good to come later, I guess.)

Charlie’s been stood up. He’s ready to perform his duty, marrying a happy bride and groom, even though he’d rather be just about anywhere else. But they didn’t show.

Excerpt

When his stomach growled again, Charlie hit the door to the lobby with a stiff arm, determined to get back on his own schedule. He needed to learn he couldn’t control other people. Maybe the world would work better if he could, but no one had elected him supreme leader. He wasn’t even a county mayor anymore. Now he was just Charlie. And he wasn’t responsible for the world.

He took four determined steps toward the glass doors that led out to the hotel’s pool area. The lobby of the new building was quiet as only the chapel was complete. The new spa was next on the list and then the meeting rooms on the second floor. The dark lobby made it easy to see the line of light under one of the dressing room doors off to the side.

Charlie mentally cursed again. Something about that light told him this was going to be more trouble than a man who hadn’t eaten in over four hours should attempt. If he was lucky, the groom was behind the door and he’d be a guy who could handle being left at the altar with manly stoicism. Charlie would have his lunch. Life would go on for both of them.

If he was really lucky? That light would be nothing but the symbol of the unlucky bride or groom who’d already done the math and cleared out while forgetting to flip the light switch. Wasteful? Maybe, but he’d take a little waste in order to get his schedule back and meat loaf sandwich in his hand.

After two perfunctory knocks, Charlie turned the knob and shoved open the door.

When his eyes met the bride’s in the mirror’s reflection, he froze on the spot and forgot just exactly what he thought he might say to the inconsiderate bride or groom if he ever found either of them.

Because she was beautiful with shiny dark hair and bright red lips. When she turned to face him, something sparkled like diamonds in her hair and he was tempted to look for seven small miners. But he couldn’t tear his eyes away from her.

“Aw, crap, he ain’t comin’, is he?” A small frown wrinkled the pale skin of her brow and something about Snow White’s east Tennessee twang set everything back in motion.

That was a damn good thing. Fairy-tale references would get his man card revoked. No amount of sawdust in his hair or worn flannel would save him.

He reached up to run his hand through his hair but hit crunchy product and decided to rub his neck like that was what he’d intended all along. “I was hoping that you could tell me. Don’t you know what happened to your groom?”

And then it gets really crazy cool, like that dream you never thought would happen

All my life I’ve wanted to be a writer. When people would ask me what I wanted to do, that was my answer. When people asked my family about what I did, they’d always tack on “But she wants to write.” For a few years now, I’ve been writing, entering local contests, and winning. The winning is the key. There’s no way I’d keep going without something to prop me up. Because writing is hard. Or maybe I just mean being disciplined about anything is hard for me. But I’ve made little steps, like sending in a Valentine’s Day novella to Avon Impulse in response to a call. Since I have multiple rejections stacked up, I really didn’t expect to be included. But then I was (exclamation mark times a billion goes right here). I thought that call was going to be the most exciting writing thing to happen to me in 2012. I love the story because it makes me laugh. Read the back cover copy here. Please. Go ahead. I’ll wait. You know you want to. February 5, 2013.

And I settled in my desk chair, determined to strike while the iron was at the very least warming up. I was going to NaNoWriMo my way to another submission. I have about 30,000 words written. Then on Friday, I got an email asking if I had any more ideas for a follow-up to Love Me Tender. At that point, no. None. Nada. But it didn’t take long and I had three and I loved them all so I sent them all on Monday. The characters were so clear and I’m starting to think this hotel I dreamed up is a real place. I have been under the influence of cold medicine lately. And Monday afternoon, I had an email saying they liked them and how soon could I have the first one.

Three more books with Avon Impulse.

Four stories total including the novella in 2013.

Now all I have to do is write them.

So far the panic and the exultation and the fear and the enthusiasm have all been bubbling inside because I’m pretty sure it hasn’t sunk in. But I just read a piece of paper spelling out estimated deadlines. I think it’s real. So here we go.

Step 1: build a chart. I don’t know why. Probably the fear of failure makes any way to procrastinate look attractive. But I have one. And November 30 is my deadline, not Avon’s. First drafts don’t need to go anywhere but under the pile of the second draft in my world. Plus, I’m totally going to cheat and start a day early. My game, my rules, right? RIGHT? Don’t judge. I like Excel. And clip art. Clearly.

This is going to go quickly but I’ll put up an update soon.

When you least expect it…

I’ve been writing all my life but I’ve been trying to get someone else to call me a writer get published now for four years. I’ve been a “serious” writer for three months, although I don’t know how serious I can be given the amount of time I spend improving my brain with reality television. Research. That’s what it is. But then, when I least expected, I sent something off…an answer for a call for Valentine’s Day submissions that I wrote in two weeks (right before the deadline because I like a lot of stress and pressure motivation) and I GOT A CALL FROM A REAL LIVE EDITOR ALL THE WAY UP IN NEW. YORK. CITY. Woo. Hoo!! Now I’m anxiously awaiting edits which I will rejoice in. And a cover. And holy moly who knows what else. Right now, it’s titled It’s Now or Never. And it’s funny, cross my heart.

This call came just in the nick of time. I had reached the “all is lost, there is no hope, despair, agony on me” stage of waiting. (It really doesn’t take that long, you know?)

Welcome to my website. I think this is going to be fun.