I want to start off by saying thank you to Shari for inviting me and offering me a Spotlight as one of the Featured Authors for Authors After Dark this year. I am super excited about going again and that we’ll be in Savannah is even better. I love Savannah and have spent many weekends and weeks there. Spent my honeymoon there. And my daughter is even named Savannah.
I met Ms. Delighted in New Orleans last year and we were like long lost sisters. We’ve known for a while that we had several things in common and as we sat around and got to know one another, it was definitely confirmed. I am hooked on just how sweet and personable and well, shy she is…exactly like I am. At least on that last bit. 😉
I am one of those introverts… I don’t like large groups or large crowds in small confined spaces where I’m expected to talk to people, especially if they’re complete strangers. I spent a lot of time the first couple of days at AAD Nola holding up walls and hiding in corners. Being on panels and being forced to talk helped more than I could have ever imagined. People would come up to me hours later and comment on something I’d said or tell me that I was funny and they loved hearing my thoughts. I was floored. Someone, me, introvert extraordinaire, made people laugh and they could relate to me in some way? It was heartwarming and I had a blast after that. Ms. Delighted was one of those very people who helped me come out of my shell and I’ll never forget that.
I’ll be on several panels this year as well. As of right now, I’ll be on Contemporary Romance, Reader Responsibility, Short Stories, Romance: Then and Now, and The Muse.
I won’t be on any of the M/M panels this year due to restrictions, but I will find a way to talk about my male/male books and how much I love writing them as I will have a couple of new M/M releases later this year.
Speaking of writing, my primary focus this year is my contemporary M/F erotic romance. I have several titles in the works, submitted, and had one just release just two days ago from Loose Id titled Keep It Together.
And guess what? It’s set in Savannah. 🙂
Keep It Together by Lissa Matthews
Jilted bride? Check. Hangover? Check. Shotgun? Double check. Wayward groom’s half-brother Colt on her porch the next morning, hat in hand, concern in his sexy blue eyes, and apologies on his full kissable lips? Uh… Check?
That was six months ago. Now, with a job she loves, her heart mended and her pride put back together, the last thing Chrissie expects is that same half-brother standing behind her saying he’s got an answer for her. Problem is, she can’t seem to remember what she’d said on that long ago day that would warrant a visit from him.
Colt does, and as the CEO of a cookie company, it’s his job to pay attention to the details.
“Maybe I should have married you instead.”
She’d been right. He was the brother she should have married and all he has to do is convince her of it with a blend of persistence and seduction.
But their first kiss is hotter than the southern Georgia summer and catches him off guard. She’s primed and ready to burn up the sheets and he’s not inclined to say no. Will she believe that he won’t ever leave her? Maybe. If he brings her cookies…
“You’ve given me six months to think about it, and I have an answer for you.”
Chrissie’s head twitched to the side as she finished loading the Browning shotgun. She’d been dreaming about that voice nearly every night for months, and it seemed that it was invading her days now. Probably a sign that she’d finally lost her mind. She lifted the gun, lined up her shot, cocked the hammer, and fired. She was so used to the sound in her ear and the kickback of the butt into her shoulder that it didn’t faze her anymore.
“Nice touch with the wedding dress. New style for this year?”
Chrissie’s gaze darted toward the oak tree. “Well, the day after I saw you, I went to the bridal store, but they wouldn’t take it back, and I didn’t want it anymore. Plus, shooting your brother woulda been against the law. So, I did the next best thing I could think of,” she explained. Which was to hang the dress, rig the hanger with rope, anchor it to the tree, and blow so many holes in the gown, she’d had to go get another box of shells within thirty minutes.
What was left resembled some of her grandmother’s lace doilies.
“Chrissie? Will you look at me? Please?”
Definitely not a good idea. “Nope.” She fired another shot. Even though she didn’t hunt anymore and hadn’t for years, she loved shooting. It was a power she could control. Her mother thought it was a terrible hobby for a girl, but her father had ignored her protests and lavished guns, ammunition, and bows and arrows on his only child.
Chrissie liked the focus it took to hit a target. She liked the definitive sound of cocking a hammer and the pressure applied to pulling a trigger. And whereas shooting had been recreational for her in the past, it had helped her get over Russ. If she imagined Russ when she fired at a tin can or a picture tacked to a hay bale… If she shot her wedding dress all to hell between Christmas and New Year’s, well… At least she was over him and rightly so.
That she could crochet an afghan too? That was just something to do when it was too dark and too late to be making a bunch of noise playing with firearms.
“I don’t want to.” I might jump you and rip your clothes off if I do.
“Fair enough. I can talk to your back. My answer is yes, by the way.”
Something in his tone, the way it softened, lingered on the word “back,” sent shivers down her spine, shivers she chose to ignore.
“I was in Atlanta on business,” he continued, “and thought I’d fly down to Savannah to see how you were doing and give you the answer in person.”
“As you can see, I’m doing fine, and I don’t have the slightest clue what you’re talking about.”
Colt chuckled. The sound carried, even on the heavy summer afternoon air. “So the gun you brought out on the porch when I was here last time wasn’t just for show, huh?”
“I didn’t know you could shoot.”
“Russ said you had some unusual hobbies, but he never elaborated.”
Was he attempting small talk? “Guess he didn’t think it was important.” She tried lining up another shot, but it wasn’t working. Her brain was done concentrating on the gun and the target and kept trying to tell her to turn around and look at the man on her property.
After a few more minutes, she gave up and lowered the gun. With a sigh, she faced him and was immediately grateful for the fence at her back or she’d have stumbled.
Good God, he looked yummy. His hair was a little longer, curling along his collar, and his brilliant blue eyes, the ones that looked at her in her dreams with barely restrained lust, were shielded from her now by a pair of aviator sunglasses. That was probably a good thing. She didn’t want to see those eyes full of mild, friendly concern. That would totally ruin the fantasy life she had with him in the deep, dark recesses of her subconscious, sleepy-time brain.
“Getting there.” He said it with a smile and… Dear heavens. Chrissie almost lost her ability to think. She’d had the same issue when he’d come to see her that morning six months earlier, only now she was feeling unsteady, wobbly even. Holding a loaded gun in that state wasn’t good. She needed to unload the damn thing before she hurt one or both of them.
She lowered her gaze and unhinged the barrel. The remaining bullets popped free of the chamber, and she removed them. “You didn’t have to come down here, you know. You could have called or something.”
“Wouldn’t have felt right. Face-to-face is more personal.”
Personal wasn’t necessarily a good thing under the current circumstances. He was concerned for her, and she was trying to figure out how to strip him out of his nice clothes and have her way with him, ease the tension that had been building up inside her since the first night he’d popped into her dreams. No, personal was likely a bad idea. She was already caught off guard with him showing up.
She still wanted to jump his bones.
She’d been perfectly happy dreaming about him, having an affair in her head with him, getting her jollies in a make-believe bed with him, but in person? Oh, that just made her want him with a desire she wasn’t sure she could keep a lid on. He was potent in that Southern gentleman way with a come-hither Texas smile that beckoned her.
He needed to go back home. Only, he was closer now. She could see the toes of his boots from the corner of her eye. She picked up the bullets and, with shaky hands, stuffed them back into the box. On even shakier legs, she stood and walked a few feet to lay the gun in its case.
“What are you really doing here, Colt?” If she sounded a little antagonistic, well, so be it. Defense mechanisms and all that.
“I told you.”
“Right. To say yes about something and check on me. I’m a little confused, though. What’s the yes for, and what did I give you six months to think about?”
Yeah, unloading the gun had been the smart thing to do. “What are you talking about?”
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