Welcome to this week’s My Sexy Saturday blog hop. The theme, “A Long, Sexy Time,” is designed to spotlight love that has been around for a while:

“… It’s all about those who have loved another for a long time. This love could have started when they were kids, when they were dating or even from afar.”

That pretty much leaves my couples out. They tend to meet and experience love  — or hate — at first sight, and then overcome whatever obstacles are in their path to happily ever after. Dave and Melinda from DIVA IN THE DUGOUT are the closest I have to a couple who’s known each other for a while … and that’s only if you count a one-night stand, nearly five years ago, as knowing one another.

In this scene, Dave and Mel are trying to get along for their daughter’s sake. He’s just landed in Amarillo so he can meet Mel’s parents — something she’d denied him years earlier by not telling him she was pregnant. Keeping Tara a secret was a decision she had what she thought were good reasons for, but is now starting to regret.

Enjoy!

***

Diva in the Dugout by Arlene HittleMel bounced from foot to foot in the arrivals area of the Amarillo airport Wednesday afternoon. The steady flow of travelers slowed to a trickle before Dave strolled through the gate.

Damn, he looked fine. He walked tall and proud, his shoulders impossibly broad in a burgundy suit jacket. He carried a duffel the same color as his coat—his team colors.

When, for once, her smile didn’t feel forced, Mel realized she was glad to see him. “Welcome back, Muscles.”

He studied her for a moment before dropping his bag at his feet. Then he stepped up and folded her into a hug. His arms circled her waist, pressing her tightly against his flat stomach and broad chest. Her nerve endings started to sing, especially the bits of her rubbing all that hard muscle. Mmm.

“You feel even better than you look.” The thought popped out of Mel’s mouth before she could stop it. Her cheeks burned, and she could only hope the words were too muffled by his jacket for him to hear.

No such luck. His chest shook with laughter. “If I’d expected such a friendly greeting, I’d have come back sooner.”

Mel flattened her palms against his shoulders and he let her go. What the hell had she been thinking, falling into his arms like that? Just because he was trying to build a relationship with Tara didn’t mean he wanted one with her. After what she’d done, she was probably the last person he’d consider getting romantic with.

DIVA IN THE DUGOUT, the first book in my All Is Fair in Love & Baseball series, can be found at Turquoise Morning PressSmashwordsAll Romance EbooksAmazonBarnes & NobleKobo and iTunes.

P.S  If you liked this snippet, my friend Lizzie Shane is giving away a copy of DIVA on her Facebook page this weekend. She’ll draw a winner Monday morning. Click here to enter.

March 30, 2015

Musings

No comments

If the title “Manic Monday” doesn’t have you tapping your toes and humming a certain Bangles hit, you must not be my age. I remember lying on the floor in my room, listening to that song repeatedly as I tried to write down all the lyrics. Of course, in sixth grade, I didn’t understand half of what I was hearing.

The song is especially apt since things have been crazy lately in the land of romance. Last Thursday was the big day: RWA announced RITA and Golden Heart finalists.

I didn’t earn a nomination — you can’t be nominated if you don’t enter — but I was thrilled for the chance to cheer my friends’  successes. Not just one but FOUR gals from my Golden Heart class of 2011, the Starcatchers, received RITA nominations, and at least one finaled in the GH. Two friends from another writers’ group I belong to, the LaLaLas, got Golden Heart nods.

Special congratulations to Starcatchers Anna Richland (His Road Home, Carina Press), Kimberly Kincaid (Pushing the Line, self-published), Tracy Brogan (The Best Medicine, Amazon Montlake) and Caitie Quinn (Worth the Fall, self-published); and to Starcatcher Arlene McFarlane (Murder, Curlers and Cream, romantic suspense) and LaLaLas Caroline Bradley (Indulge My Fantasy, a finalist in the GH’s new erotic romance category) and Kristal Hollis (Howlin Hearts, paranormal GH finalist).

I recognize lots of other names on the lists, and consider some of them my friends, such as Ruby Slippered Sister Amy Liz Talley, who finaled with her Harlequin Superromance The Sweetest September.

Good luck in New York, ladies. Wish I had the time off and the cash to join you!

In an attempt to beef up my blog, I’m planning to make Manic Monday a regular feature. I envision it including updates of what’s happening in my writing life — upcoming appearances, new projects, etc.

I’m also launching a Writer Wednesday feature, in which I’ll introduce other writers. I figure it’ll be easier to blog more regularly if I don’t always talk about me, myself and I. First up is fellow Turquoise Morning Press author Jennifer Anderson on April 15.

April 15? The dreaded tax day … and I have yet to do my taxes. I see a future of long hours cuddled up with TurboTax. Ugh.

Another regular feature on the blog will be the Friday Five — a quick list post of 5 things I’m loving this week … or find interesting, or … gee, I don’t know. Whatever the list is, there’ll be five things on it. I also plan to keep doing the “My Sexy Saturday” blog hop a couple of times a month.

What’s happening in my writing life right now?

— Turquoise Morning Press released Breaking All the Rules March 19. It’s the story of a by-the-book health care administrator forced by a new state law to hire a Klingon interpreter. The only applicant for the job is a devil-may-care guy with the appetite of a 14-year-old boy and a disturbing habit of flouting every rule imaginable. Get all the details on my Novels page.

Just Right, part of TMP’s “and they lived happily ever after” set, comes out April 7. In this fairytale remaining of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” Goldilocks is Hollywood starlet Callista Gold, who flees to an Arizona mountain town to escape when hackers leak nude photos of her to the tabloids. The three bears are construction workers named Behr, whom Callie hires to renovate the cottage she’s bought, sight unseen.

It’s available for preorder now — the first of my books to be on preorder, so that’s exciting. Links to each bookseller are on my Novels page.

Preorder Just Right | Arlene Hittle

— On April 10-12, I’m taking part in the Goodreads Author Cyber Convention.

Author Cyber Convention - Banner Image

Click the banner to visit the fairgrounds. My “booth” is here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2223533-let-the-games-begin-arlene-hittle-s-contemporary-romantic-comedy.

I’ve promised to give away a $5 Amazon gift card to a new newsletter subscriber … so get on it. My newsletter comes out even less often than I update my blog, so you don’t have to worry about it cluttering up your inbox too often.

— In July, I’ll be signing books at the first-ever Payson Book Festival. The event is set for Saturday, July 25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Gila Community College, located at 201 N. Mud Springs Road, Payson, Arizona. I’m sharing a table with my friend Susan Haught, who writes beautiful, lyrical stories. Her tagline: “Love is Ageless and has the power to change lives — one step, one touch, one kiss at a time.”

The festival wants print books, so I’m limited to selling Diva in the Dugout, Blind Date Bride and Home for the Holidays.

That’s it for this week.

LynnSexySaturday_bannerSince dialogue is my favorite, this week’s My Sexy Saturday theme is right up my alley! I’ll share a snippet from my new release, BREAKING ALL THE RULES.

In this scene, Van and Allyson are having dinner together for the first time. (She won’t call it a date because he works for her.) They’ve been drinking, and the alcohol loosens her tongue to the point that she tells him her deep, dark secret: She’s still carrying her v-card, thanks to an overprotective father who scared off any potential boyfriends.

Happy reading!

***

Breaking all the Rules | Arlene HittleA rueful smile replaced the challenge that had flashed in her eyes a moment ago. “I didn’t go out much in college, either. Being dateless all through high school, I was still pretty socially inept. I stayed in most of the time, studied hard and graduated in three years.”

Van absorbed the information, which gave him a new perspective. Maybe Allyson was stuffy and uptight because social situations were uncomfortable for her.

Before he could probe the topic any further, the waitress arrived with their dinners. When the woman slid their plates in front of them, Allyson eyed his dinner with more interest than her own.

He playfully shook his finger at her. “Ah-ah-ah, Ms. Red Meat on Tuesdays. You missed your chance.”

She gave him another pretty pout. At the same time, beneath the table, she squeezed his knee. “I sure hope not.”

Van reached for their margarita so fast that he knocked over his almost-empty glass of water on the way. Water dribbled across the table toward Ally’s boring-looking chicken and veggies, but he needed a drink more than he needed to save her meal. He polished off the rest of the drink in one gulp.

Thus fortified, he was prepared to respond. “I might be willing to renegotiate.”

Find BREAKING ALL THE RULES at Turquoise Morning PressAmazonBarnes & NobleKoboiBooksSmashwords and All Romance eBooks.

Just Contemporary RomanceI’m over at Just Contemporary Romance today, talking about my favorite Star Trek Captain.

Since I’ve been writing baseball-playing heroes, it’s been fun to geek out a little with Donovan Marshall, the Klingon-speaking hero of BREAKING ALL THE RULES. In my searches, I discovered this fun T-shirt from Star Trek Shop. It features the Top 10 Reasons Why Kirk is better than Picard:

Kirk or Picard? In case you can’t read it:

10. One word: Hair!

9. Kirk would personally throw Wesley off the bridge

8. Kirk would never sing to children in a crisis

7. Kirk wasn’t shy about taking his shirt off

6. Kirk can beat a Klingon bare-handed

5. Three words: Flying leg kick

4. Kirk doesn’t let the doctor tell him what to do

3. If Kirk finds a strange, spinning probe, he blows it up

2. Kirk never drinks tea, ever (Not sure that’s a selling point …)

1. Kirk can beat a Vulcan at chess

Join me over at Just Contemporary Romance to discuss YOUR favorite Star Trek captain. Mine may not be who you think!