March 22, 2014

Excerpts, Meg & Matt

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LynnSexySaturday_buttonIsn’t “Beauty’s Release” the title of an Anne Rice book? Haven’t read it, but I was in high school when I first heard of it. I remember being intrigued by the mere idea of her Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, written under the pen name A.N. Roquelaure. I’d just read—and fallen in love with—THE VAMPIRE LESTAT, and wanted to read all the Anne Rice books I could get my hands on.

You can imagine that, in small-town Indiana in the late 1980s, the Beauty trilogy wasn’t readily available on the library shelf. I wonder if they have it even now …

Ahem. File that under “jaunt down memory lane.” Funny how the strangest things send you down that road, eh? When I typed in my blog post title, I was off.

Beauty and the Ballplayer | Arlene HittleWelcome to the My Sexy Saturday in which I get to celebrate the release of BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER. BEAUTY, which went live Thursday, has been many things to me — my first manuscript set somewhere outside the Midwest (in Flagstaff, Ariz), the first one with a baseball player hero, the first (and only) one to final in the Golden Heart (and win the FCRW Beacon).

Yet it’s the second book in my All Is Fair in Love & Baseball series. How’d that happen?

Not only was BEAUTY the second book I sold to Turquoise Morning Press, it fell second in my Arizona Condors timeline. Dave and Mel had already bumped into one another and reconciled by the time Matt meets Meg. In fact, Dave’s experience, which Matt went through alongside him, plays a role in Matt’s reasons for doing some of the things he does to piss Meg off. (DIVA IN THE DUGOUT came out of Matt’s explanation to Meg.)

You know the My Sexy Saturday drill by now, right?

Post 7 paragraphs or 7 sentences or 7 words ONLY. The choice is yours. It can be from a WIP or something you already have published. Your post should be live by 9 am US Pacific Time on Saturday. Put those lucky 7s to work for you!

This scene, from the early chapters, finds Matt kicked out of his hotel room while his brother, super-stylist Stan, cuts Meg’s hard-to-manage hair. Roping his brother into cutting her hair was Matt’s “in” to see her again. While he kills time in the lobby, one of his teammates tries to pick up the hotel restaurant’s hostess. The kid enlists Matt’s help, and Matt realizes she’s a baseball groupie just as Meg and his brother get to the lobby. But Meg doesn’t know he’s a ballplayer, and that’s the way he likes it … so he has to get her out the door before the hostess exposes his identity.

****

Matt pushed the door open and dragged her through it just as flashes started going off behind them.

Desperate that she not turn around to try to see what—or rather who—someone was attempting to photograph, he wrapped an arm around her waist and bent his head to kiss her.

Her lips were soft. Extremely soft. Beyond that, she tasted like something he couldn’t put his finger on. Slightly salty, but comforting.

As he maneuvered her away from the doors and into the darkness, he deepened the kiss. She responded in kind, and he forgot where he was. Forgot everything except kissing this woman who didn’t want him only for his talent.

Oh, she wanted him all right, but not because he could play baseball. That couldn’t be why; she had no clue.

Spurred by the thought, Matt pushed Meg against the wall. He was about to hike her leg up over his hip to draw her closer when his brother’s voice whispered in his ear.

“Matty, you don’t want people to see you out here like this, do you?”

Beauty and the Ballplayer, available now from Turquoise Morning Press and other e-tailers.

 

March 20, 2014

Meg & Matt

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Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 11.44.39 AMWhen BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER finaled in the RWA® Golden Heart contest in 2011, I was floating way beyond Cloud Nine.

Beauty and the Ballplayer | Arlene HittleNow, my manuscript is a full-fledged book, released today by Turquoise Morning Press, and I find myself back on Cloud Nineteen … maybe even Cloud Twenty-Nine. Y’all already know numbers are not my strong suit. (That’s why I chose to work with words for a living instead of earning the big bucks as an engineer.)

The short blurb: After finding herself alone and pregnant at the advanced age of thirty-two, Meg Malone plans to avoid men — until Condors catcher Matt Thatcher throws her plan a curve.

You can find BEAUTY at the Turquoise Morning Press bookstore, as well as at Amazon, Smashwords and All Romance Ebooks.

If your favorite e-tailer isn’t on the list yet, check back. It should be available at IBooks, B&N, Kobo, Diesle, library and subscription channels within the next week or two.

March 17, 2014

about

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There are so many blog hops in cyberspace that the Easter bunny would collapse, exhausted, if he tried to hit them all.

Heck, I’m exhausting myself, and I’ve only done a couple. The latest one I signed on for has questions mighty similar to the last one, although I didn’t realize it when I volunteered. For the sake of not putting y’all to sleep, I’ll try to answer them differently this time.

This time, fellow Arizonan Connie Cockrell asked me to join in the fun. I met Connie through the online Power Writing Hour group, and she’s been an unfailing source of support ever since.

What am I working on?

Perhaps a better question is “What am I NOT working on?” These days, I feel as if I never slow down. I’m in the middle of promo for my March Turquoise Morning Press release, BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER (coming this week—eep), and I’m gearing up for a blog tour for my April TMP release, SLIDING INTO HOME.

I also recently received feedback from my editor on BLIND DATE BRIDE, the first of my “Reality (TV) Bites” stories. I plan to release it independently in June.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Ack. Not sure this question can be answered differently. If so, my frazzled brain is unable to make the leap. Instead, let me refer you to this blog hop post.

Why do I write what I do?

Like Huey Lewis, I believe in the power of love. (A few months ago, I waxed poetic about the power of love and laughter while trying to get feedback on new business card designs.) I enjoy knowing that, no matter how much crap they have to go through to get to it, there’s a happy ending for each of my characters.

Finally, how does my writing process work?

I think I’ve said it before, but I’m a definite pantser. Because I work evenings, I tend to write in the early afternoon, before work. I hit Starbucks by noon or 1 p.m. at the latest, but sometimes as early as 11 a.m. if I wake up sooner. I write better at the Bux than I do at my house (fewer distractions in the form of slobbery dogs and demanding cats).

Next up on the list:

Laurie A. Green is a three-time RWA® Golden Heart® finalist and science fiction romance enthusiast who founded the SFR Brigade community of writers, which now totals over 300 members. Her extended family includes her husband, David, four dogs, three cats and several horses, all who reside on a ranch in beautiful New Mexico. When she’s not writing, networking, or searching out the perfect cup of Starbucks, she’s usually busy exercising her left brain as a military budget director. She blogs at http://www.spacefreighters.blogspot.com.

Debra Jess is Connecticut Yankee transplanted to Central Florida, Debra Jess writes science fiction romance, urban fantasy, and superheroes. She began writing in 2006, combining her love of fairy tales and Star Wars to craft original stories of ordinary people in extraordinary adventures and fantastical creatures in out-of-this world escapades. She blogs at http://debrajess.com.

Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance novels that split the difference between sexy and sweet, taking the traditional idea of boy-meets-girl and infusing it with a sassy magic all her own. She believes in fiery yet flawed characters destined for a crash-course in falling in love– usually the hard way– and injects her trademark humor as well as poignant touches into her writing to create her stories. She doesn’t have a blog, so she’ll be guest posting right here next week. Her website is http://www.kimberlykincaid.com.

March 16, 2014

Musings

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For some folks, St. Patrick’s Day is an excuse to get drunk on green beer and eat corned beef and cabbage without guilt.

Now, I like a hearty meal of corned beef and cabbage as much as anyone, but I don’t do beer — green or otherwise. Like Meg, the heroine in BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER, I prefer the taste of mixed drinks.

St. Patrick’s Day reminds me of my visit to Ireland. In 1992, my sophomore year of college, I spent spring semester studying at Harlaxton College. We had classes Monday-Thursday, with Fridays reserved for either class field trips or the start of long traveling weekends. Spring Break offered two trips: Paris for the first half and then Ireland.

Our Irish tour took us to many of the country’s popular tourist spots. In a movie theater in Dublin, a friend and I took in “The Commitments.” (The rest of the group opted to watch Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves in “Point Break,” but Amy and I decided it made more sense to watch a movie about an Irish band.)

Another of our stops was at Blarney Castle in County Cork.

Blarney Castle Blarney Castle

Naturally, while I was there, I had to kiss the Blarney Stone. Who could pass up the opportunity to touch lips to the same stone kissed by heads of state, Hollywood hotties and millions of others?

Legend has it that kissing said stone imbues the kisser with the power of persuasion … the gift of gab, if you will.

Even then I knew I wanted to be a writer, and I’d been practicing so long I doubted I needed help in the persuasive writing department. Still, if kissing a stone would give me extra polish, I didn’t want to squander the chance.

When I saw what was involved in the kissing, I almost chickened out. It’s not as simple as leaning into a wall and puckering up. Oh no. The stone isn’t that easy to get to. You have lie on your back and grip iron handrails, levering yourself over the edge of the wall. A castle employee holds you by the waist to make sure you don’t fall.

I thought I had a picture of myself kissing the stone. I remember it well, down to the maroon paisley shirt and brown fanny pack I wore (1992, remember?). However, when I looked in my photo albums, I couldn’t find it. You can see pictures of others doing the deed at Wikipedia.

Photo or no, I’ll certainly never forget that kiss. It may well be the most frightening and exhilarating smack of my life.