Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday - Another "And Able" Excerpt

Enjoy the excerpt!!!

Collins turned out to be a taciturn man that reminded Claire a lot of Nitro, but surprisingly, his ways did not put Queenie off. She was happy to stay in the hotel suite with him while Brett and Claire went to work out.

Warm-up had a whole new meaning when she had to watch Brett stretching his well developed muscles. Overheated might be a better term. He'd changed into a snug fitting tank top and athletic shorts for the workout. The sheer mass of sculpted perfection on display overwhelmed her senses and it was all she could do to remember to move from one stretching routine to another. His body was simply incredible. She couldn't seem to keep her eyes off its delectably honed contours.

"If you keep looking like that, the workout you get is not going to be on one of these machines." His promise-filled drawl rasped along her nerve endings, taking her body temperature to tropical levels.

She swallowed and forced her gaze to slide away from him. "Sorry."

"Don't be...just be prepared for the consequences."

Her gaze flew back to his and her heart stuttered at the look of naked desire on his face. "We can't do anything. Not with Queenie in the room."

"This is a hotel. We can rent another room."

"You'd rent a second room just so we could..."

Blue sparks of devilment glittered in his eyes. "So we could make love? In a heartbeat. So don't push it. I'm primed and ready."

She looked where he indicated and couldn't stifle a gasp. He was intimidatingly big and she didn't think it was the fit of his shorts that made him look that way.

He smiled at her, his expression full of masculine humor. "Like I said, Sugar, primed and ready."

"Would it be? Making love I mean. How could it be? We don't love each other."

"Call it whatever you want, but when it happens, it's going to blow your image of sex to kingdom come."

The dark promise in his voice made her shiver, but she couldn't help saying, "I think you are being a little ambitious."

"I don't think so. You've made it clear you don't think much of sex. I'm going to show you that it can be every bit as consuming as I've said it can be."

But for how long? She'd given up on the whole sex thing because it hadn't been anywhere near mind blowing, but also because men saw it as something so much less intimate than it was. It required letting someone inside her body...giving part of herself to that person whether they wanted it or not. She didn't know if it was that way for other women. She'd never asked, but it was definitely that way for her.

And she didn't like those consequences one bit.

"Why are you so against marriage?" The question just popped out. She hadn't meant to ask it, wasn't even sure she wanted the answer, but now she'd get it.

He abruptly stood up and moved to the universal weight machine and started adjusting pulleys. "I was engaged once."

She stopped stretching and stared at his back as he settled onto the machine and started doing a reverse butterfly lift. She couldn't believe what she had just heard.

"You were engaged? Mr. No-commitment?"

"It was a long time ago, before I made that rule."

"Is she the reason you won't commit now?" Claire asked.

"You could say that."

Her stomach knotted in a pain that she didn't understand.

Marriage was not on her list of things she most wanted to do before turning sixty either. She'd seen enough relationships break up and couple cause each other untold pain, her parents included, that she'd never wanted to follow that path.

But it still hurt to hear him confirm his lack of desire for a commitment after experiencing the sexual desire he'd sparked in her.

Claire rose to her feet and moved across the room to step onto the glide machine. Next to running, it was her favorite way to exercise. She'd discovered it while living in her first apartment after Fanny died. The complex had had a small workout facility. It had been hard to leave, but with her school schedule, she'd had to cut back her work hours and couldn't afford an apartment on her own. She'd ended up living with Josette and certainly did not regret that.

"What happened?" she asked after adjusting the tension to where she liked it.

Brett did several repetitions on the weight machine and she wasn't sure he was going to answer.

When he did speak, his voice came out low and even, no emotion evident at all. "I met her when I was on a covert ops mission for the Rangers. She was a civilian contact for us, working for the current regime. But she didn't believe in their ideology...she wanted something better, more stable for her country. She was willing to risk her life to see that happen."

He went silent again and Claire wasn't sure if she should say anything or just wait. In the end, she couldn't think of anything to say, so she waited and wondered.

Brett got up and changed his position to do a different muscle group. "I knew I shouldn't get involved with a local, but neither of us could help ourselves. The attraction was instantaneous."

Like it had been with Claire and Brett, but obviously there had been a lot more on his side than a desire for sex with the other woman because they'd ended up engaged.

"We fell in love and I asked her to marry me. She agreed, but said we had to wait until after the mission."

"She put the good of her country above her personal happiness," Claire said.

"Yes. It was one of the things I really admired about her. She was from a wealthy family who had prospered under the regime she was so dedicated to bringing down. She was a visionary who saw beyond her own comfort."

"I bet she was a good contact to have, considering her position in society."

"She was." He went silent again, switching to another lifting set. Then he said, "Things went FUBAR just when we thought we would complete the mission. We were ordered to pull out.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday - "Men In Uniform" Contest

Contest Info:
"Men In Uniform" Romance Novel Contest with NAL Publishing editor, Becky
Vinter

::::Contest Rules:::
Entry Deadline: entries will be accepted January 3, 2009 -- February 28,
2009
Entry Length: 1000 word excerpt (computer count). Entries over 1000 words
will be disqualified.

This is a novel length (80k - 100k) contest. Entry length of the excerpt is
1000 words (computer count). Entries over 1000 words will be disqualified.
Excerpt can be any part of the story as long as it follows the above theme.
Excerpt must be from a new, not yet published, manuscript.

Heat Level: Steamy!

::::Contest Prizes::::
Top 10 entries will be read by NAL editor, Becky Vinter
Entry with the most reader votes will be named "Reader's Choice"

Becky Vinter will pick one entry to be named "Editor's Choice"

For more information see our website
http://www.manicreaders.com/index.cfm?disp=authorContest

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

And Able - Excerpt

As Promised... Enjoy
Also, be sure to post your thoughts on this weeks discussion question (yesterday's post)


"Excerpt"

"Claire," Josette yelled from the other room.

"That’s my cue to go."

"Good luck."

"Aren’t you coming to watch?"

"No."

"Marriage isn’t a disease, you know. You can’t catch it being in the same room as Josette and Nitro."

He smiled a little. "It’s a good thing since I was at the wedding."

"You really are clinging to your freedom, aren’t you?"

"I’m not ready to settle down, no."

She shrugged. Marriage wasn't her idea of life happily ever after either, but his single status was almost a religion for Hotwire. "Thanks again...for getting me my locket back."

"Hey, no big deal."

Wolf had told her that Hotwire had spent precious extra minutes searching the offices of the terrorist group they brought down the month before, risking his very life to get her necklace back. Hotwire was hero material for sure...she however, was no princess and she didn't believe in fairytales anyway.

"It is to me," was all she said and then she turned and walked away, her hand rising of its own volition so her fingertips could press the swollen contours of her lips.

***

Hotwire watched Claire walk away and damn near went after her when she touched her mouth as if holding onto their kiss. He hadn’t been this turned on in...hell, he wasn’t sure he’d ever been this turned on.

Claire did nothing to entice him and he spent every second in her company wanting to strip her naked.

If the near debilitating desire wasn’t enough, he actually enjoyed her company. He’d once told Nitro that he and Claire had nothing in common. And in some ways that was true. The woman was a vegetarian and a pacifist. Not exactly best buddy material for a former mercenary.

But she was also smart and understood computers with the same intrinsic ability as he did. She shared his passion for new technology as well. He’d never met another woman like her.

She didn’t dress to her best advantage. He’d never seen her wearing makeup before today, but her lack of artifice didn’t make her any less feminine to him. He felt more male hormones rampage through him in her company than he did surrounded by a gaggle of his mother’s southern belle protégés.

But something about Claire held him back from acting on what those male hormones wanted him to do. Her ready confirmation that she was not the kind of woman to enjoy a no-commitment affair was only part of it. Even if she would accept those terms, he had a feeling that sex with her would be more than mind-numbing physical pleasure.

For all her lack of feminine wiles, Claire Sharp was a dangerous woman. She was so damn different from those Southern belles his mama was so fond of. Any woman he knew from back home would accept whatever he chose to give her with a sweet smile and an attitude that said she was doing him a favor letting him give it to her.

Claire wasn't like that. At all. She said she refused to accept charity, but he didn't consider helping a friend charity.

Heck, it had taken some major fast-talking on Josie’s part to get Claire to keep using the laptop he’d given her when she learned she wasn’t getting hers back. The FBI had confiscated it as evidence the month before. Hotwire hadn’t been surprised by the fed’s action, which was why he’d made sure her grandmother’s locket was off the premises when the FBI moved in on the bad guys.

She was his friend, even if maybe she didn’t see herself that way.

There weren’t many people he put in that category and it irritated him she didn’t consider herself one of them. He didn’t get it, but there were a lot of things about Claire that mystified him and would continue to do so.

Because time spent in her company trying to figure her out was hazardous...both to his libido and his peace of mind.

***






Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Updates & Discussion

Good Morning Everyone,

It's another rainy day in Portland and all is well in the Lucy Office. Plenty of email, stacks of papers, running around, and three computer monitors to look at! As we walk through fall and approach winter, the mood begins to change! The colors that had once bloomed in front of us now begin to fade in front of us. People get ready for the holidays and the colder weather (depending on where you live in the world). I guess what I'm trying to say is - take time to enjoy the life and special moments we are given. I was driving down the street a couple days ago on HWY 217 when I saw a flipped car. At the time only the tow truck was present and it was obvious that the accident had been present long before I passed by. Do you ever find yourself wondering, what if that was you in that car. Half the time I say - It will never be me! Luckily and sometimes unfortunately, we get reminded that this can indeed happen to us. Spend a few moments today to appreciate what you have and appreciate those around you.

I do have one question that has been on my mind since the my trip from Colorado. Does anybody have any fears about Flying on an Airplane? If so what helps you cope with that fear and what kind of advice can you give others?

This should be a fun and interesting discussion! I look forward to hearing about your feelings on this issue!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cesar Mesa - Guest Blog

César Mesa’s friendship has been a very special gift to me, and in the two years I’ve known him, I’ve had the pleasure of watching his first CD arrive to enchant everyone who hears his fabulous, romantic voice. There is a special passion to some singers, and they translate that into every word and note they sing… César is one of those special people. When I asked if he would allow me to interview him for Lucy’s blog, so you could all meet him, and experience the beauty of his music, he was gracious enough to say yes, so without further babble, ladies and gentlemen, the incredible César Mesa…

Hello Denysé, First at all, excuse my delay, I have been busy for this time. Thank you very much for your patience. My English is very bad but I’ll try my best.

D: Have you been singing your whole life, and was it always the dream that you wanted to pursue?

CM: I remember myself singing all time since I was a child but at the age of 14, I had to stay away from it due to many reasons: my father's passing, the work at my family's business and school. Otherwise now I know that makes me happy.... to sing.

D: Your music is so breath-taking, filled with romance and passion - was this a commercial choice you made or is it a reflection of your personal affinity for the passion of the music?

CM: Of course, is not a commercial choice, I love the music and I’m very romantic, I think that my music and voice is just a reflection/projection of myself, when I sing, to share my feelings is the most important for me.

D: What goals have you set for yourself in terms of your musical career? Where would you like to be in five years, musically?

CM: I’m just beginning my musical career as a singer, but I want to grow up musically and go as far as possible, there are no goals for me now.

D: For those of us who have the pleasure of experiencing your voice and your passionate commitment to the quality and beauty of your work, the experience is thrilling. What do you feel makes the connection between you and your audience so special? Clearly, you are handsome and charismatic, and superbly talented, but my honest feeling is that you speak to the hearts and souls of the romantic in all of us, and that creates an incredible bond of love that spans language and countries.

CM: I believe above all, in the most important thing in our lives – LOVE. When I sing, I feel love, there is no language for this universal feeling. I sing always from my heart and I like to think that this makes the connection between my audience and me. I can feel this beautiful connection everyday when I read all their kind messages. This is the most beautiful gift for me, they make me feel really happy.

D: César, if there is anything at all you'd like to tell the readers and listeners, what would you like them to know about you or your work?.

CM: OK, now my producer and great friend Rogelio and me are working composing new original songs for my second independent album. We are searching for support for an international projection, otherwise we will keep working hard every day.

Thank you very much for listening - to sing is nothing if nobody is listening.

Excuse my English please. Thank you very much Denysé for your time, you are really a very special woman.

Hugs,

César

To hear César’s incredible music, visit is websites. His first CD is available for purchase, too!!

Official Website: http://www.cesarmesa.com

Official MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/cesarmesa

Cesar Mesa - Youtube Video

Giveaway Winners!!!

I spent an hour or so yesterday at the Denver International Airport going through all of the answers. Here are the results...

one6ylady - you have won one of Lucy's Books and a Christmas surprise. China sounds like a blast and I'm sure your kids would have an amazing experience!

flchen1 - you have won "And Able" and some other special goodies from Lucy Monroe. I actually did go to Golden and we drove up this huge mountain, the foothills is what they were called I think! We drove by the Coors Brewery and took a nice walk through Golden. One of the most amazing places I've seen. Those mountain are majestic to say the least! So are the homes!

Cheri2628 - Actually, no one guessed the correct answer. Last week before I had updated my logo, if you looked real close at all the graphics on the home page you would see the outline of a face. However, I updated my logo yesterday and Cheri was the first one to actually tell me exactly what the graphic meaning was. You have won "And Able" and it's bookplate signed by Lucy!

If you have won any of these prizes - Please send me an email at lucymonroe.promo@gmail.com with the subject line GIVEAWAY WINNER!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Another Day to GIVEAWAY!!!

I'm back ladies and gents to offer some more creativity and fun! As well as provide you with a mind tingling excerpt. Today I'll be giving away a Lucy Book and a Christmas item (that's the real surprise!)

In order to win this fabulous prize, you must provide me with some of your own knowledge! Tell me in 200 words or less - If you had the chance to do something extraordinary (you define this) with someone. What would you do and who would you do it with! Be creative and realistic (within reason). Not too hard, right?

As for some updates! Same-Same around the Lucy Office. Except, I leave tomorrow morning at 5am (I HATE WAKING UP EARLY!!!) to go to Denver, Colorado. As an extra bonus to the creative question, if you can tell me a great place to visit with-in 40 miles of Denver - I'll even throw in an extra special surprise. Keep in mind that I'm looking for something slightly unique and with a few requirements. This place must be beautiful, spunky,(I'm not even sure what that means, but it sounds about right!) and upbeat. I'll give you an example of a place that would fit these requirements - Boulder, Colorado. Name some others and that bonus prize is as good as yours!

Last but not least - There is indeed one more chance to win something amazing. Go to my website (www.onetruthandre.com) and if you can tell me what hidden shape is in the graphics first, I'll throw in a book, and its bookplate (Both signed by Lucy!) I'll pick winner(s) on Monday at noon central time.

Enjoy the excerpt...

She gasped and turned pink. "Brett!"

"It's all right, sugar. Our friends understand."

Her gaze skidded to Nitro and Josie and his followed. Neither were paying Hotwire and Claire the least attention.

Josie's hand was on her husband's arm and his attention was zeroed in with 100% focus on her. "You look beautiful, sweetheart."

Hotwire recognized that tone as one he used often with Claire. It was the I want to get you away from here and strip you naked voice.

Josie preened, former hardened mercenary nowhere in evidence. "Thank you, Daniel. I don't suppose you want to dance?" She turned to the others. "He taught me on our honeymoon."

She sounded very proud of herself.

Nitro didn't need any further urging, but took his wife onto the ballroom floor and pulled her into his arms without so much as an attempt to use a formal dance hold. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what kind of dancing that couple did best.

"What about you, Lise?" Wolf asked. "You feel like dancing?"

"Maybe once," she said with a smile, but turned to look at Hotwire. "I really enjoyed talking to your parents. Your father has so many interesting stories."

Wolf laughed. "You better watch out, or he's going to end up in a book."

Hotwire winked at Lise. "Don't you worry, Lise, darlin'. Daddy wouldn't mind that at all."

Wolf scowled at the darlin' and Lise said, "He looks so much like you. I felt like I knew him right away."

"There isn't much resemblance when we open our mouths," Hotwire scoffed.

"You don't think so? I'm not so sure. I caught myself feeling like I was talking to you several times."

"I know what you mean," Claire said, turning within the circle of his arms to face the other woman. "If there wasn't the age difference, they could be mistaken for twins."

Hotwire just shook his head.

Wolf tugged Lise out onto the dance floor before she could say anything else.

Hotwire pulled Claire back around to face him. Looking at her close-up made him feel sucker punched again.

She wasn't looking at him though; her focus was on something across the room. His parents? "Do you want to go wish Mama a happy birthday?"

"No. Well, I mean...yes, but not right this second. I need to talk to you about something." But her gaze was still on his parents across the room.

"You look exquisite tonight, Claire."

That got her attention and she smiled at him, albeit distractedly. "I think we established you liked me in this dress at Josette's wedding."

"Is that why you wore it? For me?"

"What do you think?" she asked in a breathy, warm voice that went straight to his groin.

"I think it's going to kill me to stay at the party long enough not to offend Mama."

Claire patted his chest in what he was sure she thought was a comforting manner, but all it did was turn him on further. "You're strong enough to survive an assignment in a jungle infested with predators, both men and animals. You can handle a few hours of unrequited lust."

"You sure about that?"

"Positive. And if you get exhausted from the effort, I believe I know just how to revive you."

"You're teasin' me at your peril, woman."

She laughed, the seductive sound an aphrodisiac of unequaled potency. Then she grew serious. "Listening to Lise made me remember something I believe could be important."

"About Lester's case?"

"Yes."

"What is it?"

"A couple of days before Lester died, Queenie and I were talking about him. She was worried his mind was slipping further into dementia, but I wasn't sure I saw it. I mean he definitely had his bouts of senility driven dialogue, but that had been going on for a long time. Only something he had done very recently had really worried her."

"What was it?"

"There was a group of politicians who came to Belmont Manor. They were on a committee charged with assessing the living and care options in Oregon for the elderly."

"So?"

"Well, Lester pulled one of the men aside and started talking to him. He called him by the wrong name and really made a pill of himself, according to Queenie. One of the orderlies had to coax him back to his room. It was odd, because as a general rule, Lester refused to speak to people he didn't know and a lot of people he did."

"But he acted like he thought he knew this guy?"

"Yes. Which is what worried Queenie so much. She said the politician didn't know Lester from Adam. Not only that, but even though the politician is only in his forties, Lester talked like the guy was one of his clients from his days as Arwan. Queenie was sure it meant that Lester was moving into total senility."

"And you don't?" It sounded like dementia to him.

"No. Think about it Brett. If someone who had known your father as a younger man, but hadn't seen him since, ran into you, they might mistake you for him at first. Our brain plays tricks on us like that and even though you are so much younger, their first reaction wouldn't be to take that into account. Neither was Lester's and because he was going senile, he was convinced he was speaking to a man he had met many years before."

"So far, none of those politicians have any known links to any of Arwan's hits."

"No, but one of them shares the last name of a client Arwan turned down. It was in the late eighties and Lester had all but retired. I don't know how the man contacted him, but Arwan refused the job."

Hotwire said a word that his mother would have washed his mouth out for, remembering exactly what Claire was talking about. "You're right. We dismissed the possible link as unlikely to generate a real suspect."

"Because Arwan turned down the job."

"But he kept a record of it being offered and even if the politician didn't know about the kill book, he saw Lester as a threat because Lester had remembered meeting the man's father and was just senile enough to say something."

Claire's big brown eyes were filled with regret. "He signed his own death warrant when he unwittingly greeted a man from the past."

"Most civs wouldn't want the fact their father had tried to hire a hit man to come out, but a politician would be doubly vulnerable. Heck, you were even worried about my sister being adversely impacted by your past."

"Exactly. And what if his dad followed through with hiring the hit? Just because Arwan turned him down doesn't mean that he gave up on the idea of getting rid of someone who was in his way. For all we know, he took care of the job himself."

"There was a farmer standing in the way of land development in a small town in Eastern Oregon and the client wanted him disposed of," Hotwire said, remembering what he'd read in the kill book.

"That town isn't so small anymore and I bet that land development had a lot to do with it. The state representative probably built his political base on his father's success revitalizing that area."

"We're doing a lot of speculating here."

"It wouldn't be hard to check any of this out."

"No, it wouldn't. But it will have to wait until after the party." His family would never forgive him otherwise and the politician wasn't going anywhere. "Now, sugar, I want to dance."

"I don't know how."

"Just hold on to me and sway to the music."

"I can do that."

And she did...beautifully. The feel of her in his arms paid hell on his good intentions and it took all of his self-discipline to break away from her when the music moved into a slightly faster rhythm.

That didn't stop him from dancing with her again and again throughout the festivities. He was either a glutton for punishment, or hopelessly addicted.