Welcome to the annual SCP Contemporary Blog Hop! You've arrived at Kenzie's Place, the home of the unpredictable ramblings of Kenzie Michaels, who currently has sexy aliens telling her their stories! First of all, to continue the tour, click here for more authors who remembered to get their posts up by midnight last night! Yes, I'm late to the party....
Did you know I have TWO contemporary romances with SCP?
Appetite For Desire was published back in July 2011 and follows the antics of Courtney Bright, who discovers the sexy man who picked her up the night before in a bar is not only the son of one of the more affluent customers at the country club where she works, but she's also fond of his young children. Yes, Dustin is divorced. Courtney ends up being his father's personal chef when she has to fill in at the last minute, and sets off a chain of events which prompt Dustin to investigate his father's finances. She also champions Dustin's young daughter against some unkind pre-teens during a birthday party.
Here's the scene where they meet again after their first night together.
She tried one of the apples and spit it out into a napkin.
“Are you ill or do you just not like the taste of your own cooking?” an amused voice said.
Courtney whirled around. Nancy had chided her several times for tasting the food. Now she’d been caught red-handed.
“I was just seeing if I’d learned to like baked apples yet.” Just act brave… “Dustin?”
“Courtney?” Dustin’s eyes were wide. “I just came in to thank you for sending more food out and to let you know how much we enjoyed it. Looks as if you’ve enjoyed it as well.” He indicated the chicken carcass, the leftover sauce in the measuring cup, the remnants of the rice and vegetables, and raised an eyebrow at her.
Trying to stay calm, she went for the direct approach. “I don’t serve anything I wouldn’t eat myself. Except, of course, for the dishes I don’t personally like.”
“Does this happen often? Not liking certain foods, I mean?” He leaned against the counter and crossed his arms.
She met his gaze squarely. “Not often. Then I just trust other people’s judgment.” She felt her knees shake and told herself it had nothing to do with his golden brown eyes.
Tyler chose that moment to return with an armful of dirty plates. “Oh, excuse me, sir. We’re just about finished.”
“That’s fine. Just paying my compliments to the chef.” He turned and exited the room.
Courtney sagged against the stove. Tyler looked bewildered. “What did I miss, Court?”
“Nothing. He just caught me spitting out a piece of apple.” Courtney shook her head and helped Tyler scrape the leftovers into the trash. “I just hope he doesn’t report me.”
“He shouldn’t. He was out there joking with his kids. And Mr. James was impressed with the fact you sent out seconds,” Tyler opened the dishwasher.
“If that wasn’t Mr. James, then who was that?” Courtney wondered.
Tyler shrugged. “The son? The younger kids called him ’Dad’ and Mr. James ‘Grandpa’, so it has to be his son.”
Courtney sighed. “At least it wasn’t anyone I recognized from the club. Maybe I won’t get in trouble.”
If you've ever wondered where writers get their ideas, Wild At Heart has got to be the strangest inspiration story I've ever had. I was driving down the street to visit my MIL when a news blurb about prison reform caught my ears. Suddenly a strange voice in my brain said, "That's me! Write my story. I'm trying to prove to my hometown I've changed, but no one will believe me."
I had to silence him, since it would be at least an hour until I returned home, so he continued to bug me until I had the time to write. Once I began writing, though, it took a strange turn. Instead of just being a sweet story about a man released from prison reconnecting with an ex-girlfriend, two more characters entered the story. Half the book ended up being set in Estes Park, Colorado, and the entire plot is more about how the lives of four people are forever changed over the course of six days. I hope you enjoy it; Brad and Emma's antics in Colorado have spawned a sequel, which I'm still attempting to write (aliens took over my brain in November, lol!). Steve and Angie's story is a reunion, and overcoming fear.
Steve and Angie:
“You don’t have to be scared of me, baby,” he cajoled, shoving his hands back in his hip pockets. “You’re all I’ve ever thought about the entire time. What we had and what I threw away…”
Angie found her voice and her anger at the same time. “We had a good friendship and I trusted you,” she said, her voice getting firmer as she spoke. “You broke into my home.…you tried to steal the TV, for god’s sake! Not to mention my stereo.” She slapped her hands on the counter. “Do you know how hard it was for me to sleep after that? I can’t even sleep now, unless I know every single door and window is locked tight. You took away my security, my self-respect….and you think you just made a mistake?” She moved around from behind the counter and rounded on him. Smack! She balled her fist and punched him in the face. Shaking her stinging knuckles, she slapped him across the other cheek with the opposite hand, and poked a finger in his chest, not even noticing he was stepping backwards.
“How dare you come into my shop, my business, and spout your prison counselor’s platitudes,” she said hotly. “I am over you, Steve. Get that? Over! So get out of here and leave me the hell alone.” By this time, they’d reached the door, with Steve blindly reaching for the doorknob, rubbing his sore face. “Angie, honey…”
“I am not yours anymore, now get out.” Angie gave him a push which sent him sprawling through the doorway just as he managed to open it.
“You haven’t seen the last of me,” he thundered back at her. “I try to make amends, but no; you won’t listen, as usual!” He threw her one last angry look and rubbed his jaw again before stomping down the sidewalk.
Angie slammed the door so hard the bell above the door fell off, narrowly missing her head. She sagged against the door frame and stuffed her fist in her mouth, sinking to the floor as she gave into the tears. She sat there for several minutes, shaking so violently her feet tapped on the bare floor. Gradually, the tears ceased, and the realization of what she’d done gave her courage again. She hadn’t run from him. She’d actually thrown him out of her store…. Laughter welled up inside of her as she remembered him practically cart wheeling out the door. Drying her cheeks with her shirttail, she slowly got to her feet and poured herself a cup of coffee to drive the sudden chill from her body. Curling her hands around the Styrofoam cup for warmth, she was struck by another thought. What if he brought charges against her? He’d already filed a complaint against the café…
“Too late to worry about that now.”
Brad and Emma:
“Brad! Just the person I was looking for,” Gavin called. “This is Frank’s niece, Emma. Em, this is the financial wizard I was telling you about.”
Brad smiled warily at her as he slid onto the stool next to her at the counter, placing his sack of presents on the floor. “I wouldn’t call myself a wizard, but I can certainly help with anything needed.”
“You!” Emma’s bloodshot eyes narrowed. “Are you snooping around my family’s business? We’re not about to knuckle under to pressure; I’ll fight with everything I have to hang onto the place.”
“Emma! Relax,” Gavin restrained the girl as she swiveled, preparing to launch herself out of her seat. “What’s gotten into you?”
Brad sat back, hands raised.
“He came into the shop, asking questions.” Emma blew out her breath. “And now he waltzes in here and you expect me to just turn everything over to him? Let me go, Gavin.”
“You’ve jumped to conclusions again, girl.” Gavin swung her around and hugged her to his broad chest. “All I said was to let a pair of fresh eyes look at the books and see if he can spot where Ethan’s getting the money.”
“You mean losing it,” came a muffled sob.
Again, I apologize for being late with this post. See anything you like? Leave me a comment with your email addy and answer this question: What food was Courtney sampling in the kitchen? I'll throw all names in the hat and pick a winner for a free download of either book. Let me know if you prefer Kindle, Nook, or PDF.
Have a nice weekend!