A Few Of My Favorite Guys
When it comes to writing, developing the characters is easily one of my favorite things. It’s right up there with the storyline…okay, maybe it even beats that. I like the building of relationships and figuring out the quirky details that make them who they are. I love listening to the conversations they have and imagining their thoughts and reactions to things. These characters aren’t just strangers in a book to me, they’re my imaginary friends, the voices in my head and the inhabitants of my day dreams. They are privie to the most intimate parts of me, much like I am to theirs.
Now, you might think that being a woman myself, I prefer to write women, but you’d be wrong. I like writing men. Women are fun, too, but they’re easy. I know women…I get women…Men, not so much. Which is precisely why I enjoy writing male characters as much as I do. In MY world, where I’M in charge, Men make sense to me. I can comprehend how they think and I get how they feel. I UNDERSTAND them. The fact that this is due to my molding them to be exactly who and what I want and need them to be, does not escape me.
Anyway, I thought it was about time to highlight some of the men in my life, so here goes ~
I specifically did not create a lead male character in Country Girls because I wanted to write a story for women about women, that did not involve some sort of romantic happily ever after. It wasn’t easy, especially once I introduced Shawn to the girls. It was all I could do to marry him off quickly to keep him from falling for Eli…and her falling for him in turn. It would have been so natural. Him being the strong and silent type (for the most part…he knows how to stand his ground when necessary) with that abundant amount of patience, while she’s self-destructive and reckless at times and in such desperate need of a safe set of arms to run into…oh right, Eli would never lean on a man like that. Oh well.
So, since I denied myself the guy in Country Girls, I made up for it in Lucky In Love by writing three! There was Gabe – funny, attractive and always flirtatious, but a tad immature. This meant that he was always up for a good time but wasn’t ready to be serious. A great quality to find in a man when you’re not looking for commitment, or too afraid of finding it…
And who wouldn’t love Jason? Handsome and kind. Confident and slightly cocky, but in an utterly adorable way. He could easily be boyfriend material…or best friend material…or both?
Last but certainly not least, there’s Noah.The player/ bad boy and my personal favorite…what can I say, I have the worst taste in men.
After Lucky, I moved on to Blood Bound…not much for romance here, but I did kinda love me some Scott…
My current guy is Lindsay, and while he’s way too young for me (I’m taking a stab at writing YA) he’s still at the top of my list. He’s got a dash of every one of my favorite guys in him. He’s dependable and shows up for those he cares about like Scott. He doesn’t always go out with the classiest of gals like Noah. He’s kind and considerate like Jason. Funny like Gabe. And, he’s even got some of that charming patience that Shawn posseses…all in all, I’d say he could make one girl (or many readers) very happy someday 🙂
Now if only I could meet the men I write…
‘Lucky In Love’ Book Trailer
http://youtu.be/HEsbyczk7oQ lucky in love
Meet Lucky ~
What is your story? My Story is called Lucky in Love. I think the title is sort of a joke on me really, since everyone calls me Lucky but the truth is I have been everything but lucky in love.
Who are you? My name is Lindsay Rose, but ever since I was little everyone has always called me Lucky. It’s a nickname my grandmother Pearl gave me. I guess you could say that I’m the main character of this story.
Are you the hero of your own story? Yes…and no. I like to think that I had enough guts and gumption to take charge and fix what was broken, and in a way I did, but in the end…it was someone else who saved the day.
What is your problem in the story? Where do I begin? I guess it started before this story began. You see, I had my heart broken pretty badly when I was young and dumb and didn’t see it coming. So, in an attempt to keep my heart safe, I kind of built this wall around me…a lovely wall made up of extremely handsome men. Men I adored in many ways but who were all unavailable to me in one way or another. I was good with that. I had all the benefits of having a guy in my life (or three guys) without any risk. It didn’t become a problem until all three of my guys started to move on without me. That’s when I realized that I was alone. That I had been fooling myself into believing that I was getting everything I needed out of these relationships while not getting hurt…because in the end, it crushed me. In more ways than one…
Do you run from conflict? I don’t like to think of it as running away from conflict. More like I’m running towards something that holds more promise of being positive. But, yeah, I run from conflict.
How do your friends see you? I hope they see me as someone they can depend on. Someone they can confide in and trust. I think I’m probably perceived as being a tad serious, but my friends know that I like to let loose and have fun, too.
How does the author see you? As a reflection…or maybe a memory of her younger self. A younger self who had the chance to make different decisions.
Do you have any distinguishing marks? I have a birthmark under my left thigh that looks like a chocolate chip cookie.
Do you have any special strengths? Patience. I can be incredibly patient.
Do you have any special skills? You mean like can I wiggle my ears or juggle grapefruits? No. The best I have to offer in that department is the fact that I can slice up a watermelon better and faster than anyone I know. That only comes in handy once or twice a year though at a BarBQ.
Did anything newsworthy happen on the day you were born? I’m not sure it would be considered newsworthy, but I was born on my grandmother’s birthday. The family had planned this big surprise party for her, but instead she showed up to an empty house because my mother went into labor right before and everyone took off to the hospital…since they had been so busy keeping everything from her they forgot to let her know about the change in plans.
One last question, what is your most closely guarded secret? I have two…one I keep because I don’t think anyone else would understand…and the other because I’m not ready to admit it to myself…and I’m not going to tell you either one because I’ll ruin the book if I do 😉
Lucky In Love ~ Speed Dating
Today I thought I would share an excerpt from my second novel ‘Lucky In Love’. This particular section was taken from Chapter 4 entitled – Speed Dating.
It was later that same night, and there we were about to attend the dreaded speed dating event. Much to Tara’s dissatisfaction I had done very little to prepare for the evening regarding my looks. In fact, I had come straight from work in an attempt to avoid any further questioning by Gabe or Noah. As it was, I had done what little I could to bring my modest day time teacher look up to date night standards, and even I was aware that I wasn’t quite up to par. After a failed effort at letting my hair down, I quickly reverted back to the pony tail when I realized there would be nothing I could do to get the dreaded pony tail kink out without a brush and blow-dryer. My make-up consisted of little more than eye liner and Chap Stick, although in my defense, I really didn’t own much else. As I looked down towards my feet and caught a last minute glimpse of my outfit, I was half shocked that Tara had even allowed me to come. While I had remembered to stuff a spare shirt into my bag that morning, I had not had the foresight to bring a matching bra. Therefore, I was now wearing a strappy black top (very sexy by my standards) with a bright yellow bra strap poking through. Below the shirt, were the same black pants I had worn to work along with the black flats I wore nearly every day. Initially, I had thought the ensemble would look cute, but now, standing out in front of that bar and assessing what was essentially my competition, I realized that I was sorely mistaken. It wasn’t cute so much as it was plain, and truthfully, almost frumpy. The pants I was wearing were likely two sizes too big, which I had bought that way intentionally for work thinking more about the comfort and less about the style aspect. For some reason, I remembered my flats to be the perfect shoes, completely interchangeable with any look. Alas, that was not the case. They were sad looking as they nearly disappeared under my baggy pants and after closer examination in desperate need of some polish.
Nevertheless, there I was. Along with Tara and Jason, who in their eased perfection, made me look even worse. Looking at them and their wildly more appropriate attire, I silently vowed to make time for a shopping day in the near future….
…The three of us headed over to the bar. The bartender gave us a once over and even though his glance only rested on me for half a second, I instantly had a flash of the thoughts that must have been going through his mind. Having spent many years on that side of the counter, I was all too familiar with the skills one develops in regard to reading people and relationships. No doubt he saw Jason and Tara looking all pretty and perfect and then saw me and determined that they were a couple and I was their frumpy, single friend they were desperately trying to unload at this speed dating event. Oh, if only he knew the truth. Fact was, that at the end of the night, Jason would be going home with me, just like he did every night. I realized of course that it meant nothing, but knowing that one simple fact, still gave me a small sense of satisfaction.
Once we each had a drink in our hand, we finally dared to inch our way toward the speed dating room, which was filling up at a rapid pace. I looked around the room daring to hope for a mere moment, but quickly squashed those feelings when I realized that most of the men there would not be of interest. The second most satisfying moment that night, was realizing that my people reading skills were still just as keen as they had been back in my beer slinging days.
Still, there was no turning back, so we each went and took a seat at one of the many tables set up in what was now looking to be a rather small space for the amount of people who had shown up. The host of the evening was a woman in her mid-twenties. She was way too young and perky to be hosting this event and I had to work hard at resisting the urge to toss my cocktail napkin at her just so I wouldn’t have to see her bright, toothy smile as she welcomed us with great enthusiasm to what I could only describe as “dating hell”.
“Ladies and gentlemen! Welcome.Before we begin, let me go over the rules with you. The ladies will remain seated while the gentlemen rotate from table to table. Each date will last five minutes and you’ll know the time is up, when we ring the bell. Let’s begin!Enjoy and good luck!”
And so it began. With one eye closed, I nervously waited to see who would take his seat across from me. When I saw him, I instinctively wanted to shut the other eye, too, but I didn’t. He was medium height and medium build, and in all likelihood, not bad looking. However, the blue velvet jacket he was wearing over a rather pink shirt made it hard to look at anything else. Except for maybe the hair, which had highlights and was greased back so slickly that the candlelight around the room was dancing around on the top of his head like a million twinkly little stars. My first thought was of Noah and how I would have to tell him about this. The second thought was that I could NEVER tell him about this! Regardless of the reaction I was having internally, I tried to maintain a welcoming face as the guy sat down and proceeded to make his first move.
“Hi.I’m Ron and I just wanted to ask you if it hurt when you fell from heaven, because you look like an Angel.” He grinned and I caught sight of a flashy gold tooth right there in the front. It was all I could do to keep from tackling the perky hostess who had so falsely promised a successful venture into the land of love. Since that wasn’t an option, and love was clearly out of the running, I opted for entertaining myself. One way or another I was going to have a good time.
“Hi Ron, I’m Nancy. And yes, it hurt like hell.” I threw in a Brooklyn accent. Just sort of seemed right for a girl like Nancy to be from the Bronx. Ron hadn’t been prepared for this.
“Oh…” he nervously laughed. “Well, so…so what do you do, Nancy?”
“Ron, I spend most of my day chopping off balls.” I was on a roll now.
“You what?” The color began to fade from his face.
“I’m a vet, Ron. That’s just part of the job.” It was just too easy.
“Oh, of course…So, do you like what you do?” It was a little late for a comeback, but Ron gave it a try anyway.
“Who wouldn’t?” I grinned, secretly hoping a piece of olive from my martini had somehow wedged itself in between my teeth, so that Ron might have experienced the same horror I had when he had grinned at me. Just then the bell rang.
“Nice meeting you, Ron!” I called after him, as he scurried away from my table and on to the next girl. I silently said a quick prayer for her, whoever she may have been and then braced myself for the next date.
This time, he was so utterly unsightly, it was almost endearing, but just almost. The fact of the matter was that what was most likely to blame for his unsightliness was a lacking sense of hygiene. His hair was untrimmed and oily; causing what appeared to be severe adult acne on his forehead where his hair seemed to be permanently plastered do to the excess body oils. If he had acne anywhere else on his face, I couldn’t tell because his scraggly unkempt beard covered the majority of it. Upon closer inspection, I detected what appeared to be leftovers from a turkey sandwich stuck in the matted hair below his chin, which I desperately hoped, were from a recent meal, but the general appearance of this guy suggested otherwise. His shirt was stained and smelled as though it had been retrieved from under a pair of used gym socks and I let out a small sigh of relief, knowing that I would never have to look too closely at his pants, as they were hidden by the small table we were both seated at. As he looked up at me and prepared to initiate the conversation, an onslaught of dialects and sarcastic comments came rushing through my mind. This guy was going to get it good.
“Hi, my name is Tony. I’d shake your hand, but my hands sweat when I get nervous.” He shrugged his shoulders apologetically and gave me a surprisingly confident smile, as though that would make his lack of cleanliness acceptable.
“Hi, Tony. I’m Georgia.” I opted for the Deep South this time. Then, just as sweet as pie, I continued, “And don’t worry about it, my butt cheeks do the same thing when I’m nervous.And let me tell you Tony, I am really nervous right now!” I sat back and watched as the look of horror and immense discomfort spread across his face. Hey, fair is fair….
‘The Rules Of Saturday Brunch’
Here’s one of my favorite chapters ~
Chapter 6 The Rules Of Saturday Brunch
Now that Saturday morning had rolled around, everyone’s focus had shifted to one thing and one thing alone, our weekly Saturday morning brunch. It had started one Saturday many years ago as a result of depression and excess energy, combined with the intense burning desire to stuff my face and suffocate my sorrows. At the time, I had ended a relationship that in truth had been ending longer than it had been good, and it was all I could do to stay busy to keep from falling apart. At the end of that very unhealthy relationship, the thing that had finally broken the camel’s back as well as my heart, had been finding out that he had been seeing someone else for the greater part of our relationship. Back then, Jason, Noah and I had already been living together for quite some time, but Gabe had just recently joined our little family. Not knowing that my sudden urge to cook had merely been the manifestation of heartache and a desperate need for sugar and distraction, he had come to expect a feast on every Saturday that followed. Given that I had plenty of hurt to spare, I was happy to oblige until it became so routine that we all not only expected it, but actually looked forward to it. These days, we treat Saturday Brunch with the highest regard as a time for us to come together once a week and catch up and be reminded that in the end what mattered was family, and a family we were.
As Noah strolled through the living room that morning in his sweat pants and T-shirt, he gave his standard nod in the direction of the urn as he went past.“Morning Pearl.”
Moments later he joined us in the kitchen. Jason, Gabe and I had already been busy for over an hour and the fruits of our labor were now deliciously displayed all over our kitchen table. On this particular Saturday, we had prepared scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, Belgian waffles with strawberry topping, bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon, fresh fruit with a yogurt dip and extra-large and extra gooey cinnamon rolls. I could hardly wait to start eating. Neither could anybody else.
“Man, I love Saturday brunch!” Noah declared as he assessed the banquet we had prepared. He reached his arm around my back and gave me a kiss on the top of my head. “Anything I can do to help?”He asked, knowing full well that we had already finished.
“Nope, we are pretty much done I think.” I pointed at the mess behind us and then back over to the bountiful spread on the table. Noah grinned with satisfaction as he pulled out a chair and had a seat. Jason had a seat next to him.
“How do you always manage to time it like that?”
Noah smirked and shrugged his shoulders. “It’s an inner clock thing.”
As Gabe sat down on the chair in the corner, I reached into the fridge for one last thing, the freshly, squeezed orange juice. Couldn’t very well begin without that. Then, I took my seat opposite Jason and nodded at the guys. “Alright boys, let’s eat.”
What followed was a rather long period of silence, as we all piled food onto our plates and began gorging ourselves on the feast that lay before us. Once we overcame the initial hunger, we were able to slow down and make time for some conversation.
“So what’s everybody doing today?”Gabe asked in between bites of his third Belgian waffle.
Jason looked up from his smoked salmon and said, “I’m spending the day with Tara.” He had a smile from ear to ear. It made me happy just seeing it.
“Really? That’s so nice.” Jason hadn’t had the best of luck with women, in spite of the fact that he was an outstanding catch, and I knew that he would be in good hands with Tara.
“Tara is the teacher, right?” Noah hadn’t even looked, but at least he was making an effort to participate.
“Uh-huh.” Jason nodded, still smiling.
“They high-jacked Lucky’s car Thursday night.” I went to kick Gabe under the table, but missed and hit the leg of his chair instead, causing him to look at me as though my actions had been completely unwarranted.
Naturally, Noah’s curiosity had been peaked. “Who did?”
“Jason and Tara.” Gabe continued right on with his story. Thankfully, he didn’t get very far. As I looked up from my plate to shoot a dirty look at Gabe, my gaze got caught on something rather unexpected in the living room. I shifted my eyes over to Noah who was sitting beside me. “Um, Noah…did you forget something?” I pointed my finger past him and towards the doorway into the adjoining room. When Noah turned his head to see what I was pointing at, he seemed even more surprised than I had been by the sight of a rather scantily clad woman who looked quite lost as she stood there holding on to the back of the couch as if it could offer her some sort of support in her time of need.
“Oh, shit.” Noah dropped his fork in his plate and quickly pushed his chair back from the table to get up. He hurried over to the girl who was still glued to the couch, silently staring into the kitchen. “Good morning, Babe.I’m sorry, did we wake you?” He almost sounded concerned. It was the last of their conversation we were able to hear as they lowered their voices and talked amongst themselves while we were only a few feet away. While a stranger at brunch was certainly unexpected, the sight of a nearly naked girl wandering around the house in search of Noah, was not. Therefore, the three of us remaining at the table returned to our meal without much hesitation.
“You ever notice how he calls every girl ‘Babe’?” Jason pointed out while popping a large strawberry into his mouth.
I snorted. “It’s ‘cause he can’t be bothered to remember any of their names.”
“So the girls think it’s a term of endearment…” Gabe chimed in.
“But, really there’s nothing endearing about it, in fact, it’s really quite offensive! I don’t know where he finds these girls…” I was shaking my head without even noticing. Being disgusted by Noah’s interactions with women had become almost second nature to me.
Just then, Noah approached the table again. He was about to say something when Jason cut him off. “Don’t even think about it, man! I couldn’t invite Tara, you definitely can’t invite Bambi over there.” Having already struck out once, Noah turned to look at me.
“Sorry, rules are rules.” I put my hands up as though there was simply nothing I could do. Going for broke, Noah pleadingly turned to Gabe, but he wanted no part of it.
“I know you are not going to ask me to let a stranger in on Saturday brunch! This is family time!” He looked almost hurt by the fact that Noah would even make such an outrageous request.
Without saying a word, Noah spun back around and left the kitchen. The three of us watched from the doorway as he escorted his date back up the stairs. Assuming that he would be spending the morning with her, we resumed our meal once more.
Moments later, a still half-naked, but now extremely pissed looking “Bambi”, came stomping back down the stairs carrying the rest of her clothes in her arms. She huffed and puffed the whole way to the door, before making a dramatic exit by slamming it loudly behind her. Shortly after she left, Noah came strolling back into the kitchen and returned to his seat at the table without saying so much as a single word. All we could do was stare at him in complete and utter disbelief.
“What? You guys said she couldn’t stay.” He was already shoving another fork full of eggs into his mouth.
“Yeah, but didn’t it occur to you to maybe NOT stay with her?! You could have taken her to breakfast or something.” I couldn’t believe him! This was ridiculous behavior even for him. But Noah just looked at me with a feigned look of shock across his face.
“And miss Saturday brunch? No way!Besides you heard Gabe, this is family time. And am I not a member of this family?!”
Gabe pounded his fist on the table in agreement, “Absolutely!”
Before I had a chance to reprimand Noah any further, I was interrupted by the quiet humming coming from a cell phone. Immediately everyone began to look around for the source of the vibration. It didn’t take Jason long to find it, as he reached behind my glass of O.J. and held up my phone for everyone to see.
“Two things. One, if you are going to hide a phone at the table turn it on silent not vibrate and two, don’t hide it behind a CLEAR glass.” Now, I was the one being scolded.
“I’m so sorry guys, but I have to take this.” I knew I was committing a major sin against Brunch, but I had been hoping this call would come for nearly two days, and now that it had, I wasn’t about to let it go to voice mail.
“Hey it’s Family Time!” Gabe was clearly not happy about my decision to interrupt what had already been a fairly tumultuous meal.
“What happened to the rules??” Naturally, Noah had to give me a hard time, too.
“Oh come on, rules were made to be broken!” Before any of them had a chance to say anything else, I ran for the patio door and rushed outside to take my call.
Gabe was still shaking his head. “You think that’s the guy from Thursday night?” He was looking over at Jason.
“She must really like him.” Gabe was beginning to soften again.
“Yeah, I think so.” Jason agreed. Then he noticed Noah’s silence. “ Hey Noah, what’s with you? You’re being too quiet.”
Noah looked up from his plate with a mischievous gleam in his eyes. When he spoke, he lowered his voice to be sure the conversation would only be audible right there at the table where they sat.“I saw her naked.”
“Who?Living room girl? Yeah, we all saw her naked.” Jason wasn’t seeing the significance of his statement.
“No, not her. Well, yeah, but no that’s not who I mean. I saw Lucky naked.” He had raised his voice a little towards the end and was now looking over towards the patio to make sure I was still way out of earshot.
Jason looked at him curiously, “When?”
“This morning. She must have thought I was still sleeping or something ’cause she was in her room changing and she left the door cracked.”He was grinning so broadly, he looked as though he might break into an uncontrollable giggle at any moment.
“Did you see her tattoo?” Gabe asked probingly.
Noah looked across the table at him. “No.”
Gabe smirked and shook his head. “Then, you didn’t seen her naked.”
“What’s the tattoo? Where is it?Wait, you’ve seen her naked?” Noah hadn’t expected this sudden turn in the conversation.
“Uh-huh.I see her naked all the time. We share a bathroom.” Gabe casually poked a piece of sausage with his fork and shoved it into his mouth.
“And what? That means you shower together?!” Noah was getting agitated.
Gabe just waved his hand at him and calmly said, “Don’t be jealous, it’s not an attractive look on you.”
Then Noah turned his focus on Jason, “What about you? Have you seen her naked, too?”
“Are you going to hit me if I say yes?”Jason pretended to duck behind the maple syrup.
“Are you kidding me?” Exasperated, Noah reached for his glass and began chugging his juice like it was vodka.
“Calm down. We hit some nude beaches together when we went to Europe. All of Spain saw her naked.” If Jason had meant for this information to ease Noah’s sudden onset of frustration, it didn’t work.
“Well, that’s just great. So, what you’re saying is that you, Gabe and Spain have seen her naked. And I’m the only one who hasn’t. You know the part that really kills me is the tattoo. Just tell me where it is. It’s crazy hot right?”
Right then, the back door opened and I came back inside. I happily waltzed back to my chair and sat back down. Looking around the table as though nothing had happened I asked, “So, what did I miss?”
“Never mind that, who was on the phone? Was it lover boy from Thursday night?” Jason wasn’t going to let me off that easily.
“Maybe.” I knew there was no point in hiding it any longer.
“Ok, but if you guys go out again, this time try to work in a ride home. You shouldn’t be the kind of girl that hangs around Main Street after midnight.”Gabe had been shaking his fork back and forth at me throughout his entire speech.
“Definitely securing a ride home ahead of time. Of course, I kind of thought I had that covered last time, too. Is something wrong, Noah? Why are you staring at me?” I looked at him with his eyes locked on me as though I was hiding a golden egg in my pants.
“Oh, he’s just trying to picture you naked, “ Jason replied very matter of factly.
“Ew, stop it you, perve!” I instantly slid my chair further away from his, while he began to try and explain away his staring and Jason’s comment.
“I was not picturing you naked.” He leaned back in his chair. Realizing that he couldn’t undo the damage that had been done, he shifted gears. “Anyway, I gotta go, I could really use a shower. Unless of course, you’d like to join me?”
I scowled at him with disgust. “Yeah, I’m going to go with, no.”
Noah nodded his head as he stood up. “You’re right, probably wouldn’t be a good idea.” Then he took his plate and dropped it in the sink, before making his way past us and out of the kitchen.
As brunch was coming to an end, Jason, Gabe and I began the dreaded clean-up process, Noah had so conveniently avoided. After clearing all the plates and putting away the leftovers, I stood before the mounting trash can and decided there was simply no way we would be able to fit anything else in it. So, I bravely tackled the trash and dragged the extremely, heavy bag outside to the garage.
After I left the kitchen, Jason turned to Gabe who was busy loading the dishwasher.
“So…Lucky doesn’t have a tattoo.”
Gabe grinned. “Yeah, I know.”
Jason laughed and walked back over to the stove to grab the last of the pans. “You’re not right dude. He is going to do nothing, but try to see that tattoo now.”
“Yeah, I know.” Gabe couldn’t help feeling satisfied with himself. Sure, he felt a little bad about involving me, but getting one over on Noah would be worth it.
When I came back in to the kitchen, both guys managed to wipe the smiles off their faces before I could see and I was never the wiser.