I Had A Dream…

Last night, I had a dream about one of my characters, Paul Emerson. He was upset about something and wouldn’t tell me what it was. I can see the setting so clearly, which is odd because I never remember my dreams. I was in his house – the one I’d created for him – and he was being really standoffish. Kind of a jackass. He ended up leaving at one point and then returning with some other guy. It could have been his best friend, AJ Morgan, but I wasn’t paying very close attention. LOL.

When I woke up, I actually remembered the dream. And in my sleep-cluttered mind, I tried to figure out why he’d appeared in my dream. And then I remembered…

But first, let me tell you a bit about this man. He has a very specific role as an arrogant prick in the first book of my series, Unlikely Venture. However, he’d also thrown his Rolex in the ring for a shot to win over Jessica, our heroine. But I’ll let you find out the rest of the story on your own.

Here’s the thing about Paul. He was the very first character I’d ever “created.” When I was plotting Unlikely Venture, I was planning it around Paul. But I ultimately decided he needed something bigger, so he had only a small role in the first book. It was enough to turn most readers into haters, and that panicked the hell out of me because I knew this guy, knew why he was the way he was, and why they needed to give him another chance, why he so desperately deserved redemption.

He’s always been my favorite. Not by a little, either. He’s so alpha, brilliant, an entrepreneur (and you know I’m passionate about entrepreneurship!), and the arrogant prick thing is right on target. His book, Venture Forward, was the hardest one I’ve ever written because I knew I needed to bring him to his knees and kick him while he was down to make his transformation that much more impactful.

Now, that was the long-winded way of telling you about my epiphany – why he was so angry. Earlier that day, I’d confided to The Stiletto Click, my Facebook reader group, that Jeff Torres (current swoony alpha of Hard Time) was nearing that top spot.

Bottom line? I think this dream was a manifestation of guilt. LOL! These guys have some hold on me, huh?

Juicy Scenes That Don’t Make The Cut

Sometimes when I write, the characters speak to me and the story unfolds exactly as planned. But other times, I’ll readily admit I don’t know what the heck I’m doing, and the story goes in a million different directions before I finally reel it back in.

Case in point…Joint Venture.

Did I finally pull it together? YES! And it turned out to be an Amazon bestseller, so YAY! But it was rough going. Here’s only ONE of the deleted scenes from that story. I have another thirty or so pages sitting in a folder…LOL!

“I heard you did real well today in that meeting.” Danny sauntered into Lisa’s office later that night and shut the door. “Your boss was really impressed.”

Her back stiffened. “How was your trip?”

“It would have been better if you were there with me, baby.” With an appraising leer, he inched closer, his hands stroking her bare shoulders. “I’ve missed you. Come back to my place tonight and let me show you how much.”

Shrugging out of his grip, she stood, arms folded. Her voice dripped with disdain. “Now Danny, how would Kendra feel about you taking me home tonight, especially after your romantic anniversary weekend in New York?” Color drained from his face, and she allowed herself a small smile at the shocked expression. “Yeah. I know all about it. You’re a fucking lying bastard. I wouldn’t go to the end of the street with you.”

“You don’t understand…we, um, I told you….it was just to appease her…”

“Sure it was. And I’ll bet you didn’t have sex with her, either. Come to think of it, she probably didn’t even want the diamond bracelet you bought her.” She shook her head. “You actually got me, Danny. I swallowed all of the bullshit you fed.”

“But it’s not…I mean, I told you things aren’t good, and…the only reason we went to New York was to…to…see my lawyer,” he sputtered. “So you and I can be together.”

Slamming her pen on the desk, she jumped out of the chair. “You told me you were divorced! I never would have touched you with a ten-foot pole if I’d known the truth. You turned me into a home wrecker. Do you have any idea how disgusting I feel? That I allowed myself to play a part in breaking up a family? Because I was too naïve and stupid to see the writing on the wall?”

“Lisa, Kendra and I are through. She booked the trip to try and change my mind, but I don’t want her. I want you.”

 “And what about the kids? Do you give a shit about them? Do you even care that this will destroy them? For the rest of their lives, they’ll carry the knowledge with them that their father abandoned his family for another woman. They will never get over that! I will never get over that!”

“Don’t do this, baby. I love you. I need you.”

“You don’t love me. You love you. Now get the fuck out of here and leave me alone.” Rage bubbled in her veins, her fingernails digging deeply into her palms. How could she have been so careless as to get involved without anything more than blind trust guiding her decision? It was so unlike her. And because of that huge oversight, lives would be ruined at her hand.  

“Lisa, I—“

Her heart thudded against her ribcage. Stupid, stupid, stupid! She’d made plenty of mistakes in the romance department, but Danny was her worst one. “Leave. Now.”

A dark expression shadowed Danny’s face as he backed away from the desk. His head dropped as he slinked out of the office.

She collapsed into her chair. Her head throbbed as she recalled the exchange with his secretary. Weekend in New York. Anniversary. Romance. Flowers. Champagne. The divorce was a total fabrication. Not that she had any serious intentions with him; their affair was strictly physical, at least for her. But the thought of breaking up a family made bile rise in her throat. All those years of struggling to make ends meet, watching her mom pick up the pieces after her dad walked out, hearing her mother cry herself to sleep because there wasn’t enough money to pay the rent…he was a callous, self-centered bastard who only thought about himself, and Danny was no different.

5 Stars For MJ Fields!!!!

So, I was on the treadmill this morning reading 27 Truths by the fabulous MJ Fields and I’m FLOVING IT. Then, I get to about 85%, and it rips me apart. I really didn’t see it coming. I was literally a hot steamy mess…sobbing, sweating, panting…thankfully I was alone in the gym. Girlfriend, you really hit it out of the park. Ava’s story was so poignant, so beautiful, so heart wrenching. It touched me on so many levels and I think you are one hell of a talent.
 
Thanks for the catharsis. I needed a good cry. <3
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Synopsis:
Once upon a time, Luke Lane loved a little, stubborn, delusional girl, and that little girl was me. My fairytale happy ever after always included my black-haired, blue-eyed, knight in shining armor, and that knight was Luke Lane. Then I grew up and convinced myself that it wasn’t a fairytale after all. It was Fate.

I twisted Fate to make her story come to life, but Fate fought back, and now I am looking at a man I still love, but he doesn’t feel the same. I have to walk away. Not just for me, but for him. And not for the version of him who broke my heart, but for the version who was truly a knight in shining armor to the little girl I was, so many fairy tales ago.

<3 <3 <3

Happy Release Day! “Life Rewritten” By Andrea Johnston

Title: Life Rewritten
Author: Andrea Johnston
Release Date: Aug 20, 2015
Find on Goodreads

I never thought that, at 40, this would be my life. Mourning the loss of the man I vowed to love for life was hard enough. Online dating, starting a business, and falling in love was never the plan.
Victoria Bennett has been blessed with a loving husband, a wonderful son and amazing friends. Always the organized planner, Victoria was thrown life’s curve ball when she found herself a widow and single mom before 40. After mourning the loss of her husband and rejoining her friends and family in her once simple life, Victoria finds herself venturing into the world of online dating with little success.
After hanging up her keyboard and focusing on new experiences and hobbies, Victoria is as surprised as everyone else when her favorite pastime leads to a new career and passion for life. When a friendship turns to romance, her life is once again thrown for a loop. Like everything new in her life she takes on the relationship with gusto, and a series of mishaps. 
Victoria soon learns that sometimes the life you’ve planned isn’t the life you lead. It is still your life, just your life rewritten.

Everyone manages to keep me distracted and on task for a solid thirty minutes. With how I’ve been feeling, that is quite the success for them. When the doorbell rings I’m a little taken aback. It is far too early for the guests and if they are already arriving, what am I going to feed them? Lunch at 10:30 in the morning? I guess, but I could go for those baked goods and Sara isn’t here and … just answer the door. Relax. I head to the door feeling as nervous as I did the day I took my driver’s license test. It’s like a swarm of butterflies has taken up residence in my stomach while a dragon flaps its wings next to them. Basically, I want to throw up.
What lies before me is a shock. All six-foot something of him, swirly blue eyes, and dressed like a gift from the hunk heavens … Dillon.
“Mornin’,” he says with that toothpaste-commercial smile. Oh boy.
“Hi. Uh, what are you doing here? What’s all that?” I say, pointing at the bags of what appear to be groceries he is holding. Groceries? Has word gotten back to him that I am not exactly Rachael Ray in the kitchen? We’ve been spending afternoons together working on my plan and I suppose becoming friends, yet none of this has come up. We don’t really get too personal, just talking about movies, my love of books, baking, and our town.
“Goodies for your guests. Well, not quite, but the ingredients to create them,” he replies with a simple shrug and a move into the house.
I step aside and hear Justin chuckle and whisper, “Close your mouth, Mom, it’s just groceries.” Justin gives Dillon the “what’s up” nod as he’s heading to the kitchen.
“Ello, ladies. Beautiful mornin’, isn’t it?” Dillon says as he starts emptying his bags. He wasn’t kidding, he even brought his own measuring cups. Just because I choose to eat culinary treats created by others doesn’t mean I don’t have the means to create my own. I have measuring cups, for goodness sake. Of course mine are from Target and hot pink, but that is neither here nor there.
Anna kicks my shin while I hear Charlotte giggle. Apparently I’m still standing there with my mouth open. Classy. “Hello, Dillon, it is a lovely morning. Isn’t it, Victoria?” Anna asks as I give her the evil eye and pull up a chair. Not one to be deterred by my so-called evil eye, Anna continues, “So, Dillon, what brings you by?”
“Well, I knew Sara was supposed to bring the treats for today and to be honest I couldn’t see her here. She has referred to reading as ‘so, like weird and scary.’ Plus, I feel compelled to see this first day through. Plus, I wanted to be here to help Victoria with Pages and Quiet if she needed it.”
He says all of this without a single misstep as he moves with ease about my kitchen. I’m sure my kitchen appreciates his presence. Dillon begins pouring ingredients into a bowl, never once pausing to squat down and check his measurements. Show off.
“What better way to get people to relax than the smell of freshly baked muffins? Don’t you agree, ladies?”
Oh sweet baby jeebus. He’s going to bake. In my kitchen. He could only be sexier if he mopped the floors after. Get it together, girl, he’s just a guy. Barely a friend and definitely not interested in a forty-year-old single mom with a fondness for spending her nights with a pint of ice cream and book.
“Well, don’t let us stop you. We’ll just be right over here watching the show,” Anna coyly replies.
A show is putting it mildly. The three of us sit there like we are watching the creation of a new civilization. He’s a master with a whisk. How is he not getting stuff all over him? I have to shower, spray down the kitchen, and still don’t get everything clean after I make some break ‘n bake cookies. And is it normal to find forearms sexy? There’s a hint of a tattoo above his shirt sleeve. And Charlotte has already whispered how he must obviously work out to have that chest. I’m ignoring her assessment. I couldn’t care less if he’s just blessed, I could watch this show all day.
“Victoria?” I hear my name but I’m so focused on those arms it takes yet another kick to the shin before I look up, thoroughly embarrassed when I realize Dillon has been talking to me.
“Sorry. I just spaced out for a sec. What was that?” Please don’t ask me anything that requires me to leave the room. I don’t want to miss any of this.
“I was asking if you wanted to come over here and help me. That way you’ll be honest with your guests when you say you made muffins.” Swoon. I’m swooning. And apparently, so is Charlotte because she lets out the sigh I am holding in. Suddenly I hear hysterical laughter coming from the doorway. Justin. He’s lucky I love him.
“Justin, really? Is it really that funny?” I ask as I stand and face him with the best Mom face I can manage.
“Mom, it really is. I don’t think Dillon has any idea what he’s asking and I think I’ll go outside and play with Tilly just to keep her safe,” he says as he grabs an apple and heads out the back door.
“Don’t mind him, come over here and help me. Nothing will feel sweeter than proving him wrong,” Dillon says with a big grin.
I want nothing more for Dillon to be right. I grab my apron off the hook and tie it as I make my way to his side. He looks at my apron and lets out a chuckle as he shakes his head. I look down and can instantly feel the blush creep up my neck to my cheeks. “Wine Not” is displayed directly across my chest. I love this apron and really, “wine not”.
Over the next thirty minutes Dillon patiently tries to help me melt chocolate. I don’t care what anyone says, anyone can catch a pot of chocolate on fire. Dillon ushers us out of the kitchen so he can finish just as the first guests arrive.

Andrea Johnston spent her childhood with her nose in a book and a pen to paper. An avid people watcher, her mind is full of stories that yearn to be told.  A fan of angsty romance with a happy ending, super sexy erotica and a good mystery, Andrea can always be found with her Kindle nearby fully charged.
Andrea lives in Idaho with her family and two dogs.  When she isn’t spending time with her partner in crime aka her husband, she can be found binge watching all things Bravo and enjoying a cocktail. Nothing makes her happier than the laughter of her children, a good book, her feet in the water, and cocktail in hand all at the same time.

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