Category: Mel


Character Spotlight: May Aiona

I asked May Aiona to come by and talk to you all about her Hawaiian heritage. She’s my first Hawaiian heroine and her brother will be the hero of A Little Harmless Addiction, out this summer.

Aloha! May Aiona here. First off a big Mahalo to Mel and Nikki for letting me come by today. Mel asked me to chat with you about my Hawaiian background. I’m half Hawaiian, and half a lot of other things, lol. My father says I get my blue eyes from my mother’s side, an Irish devil who came over on a ship and never left the islands after he married a local Hawaiian girl. Since Mel has lived in Hawaii, she knows what life on the island is like. Granted, I know from our conversations, it wasn’t exactly her thang, lol. She really hated being cooped up on a little island and well, you all know how she feels about bugs.

Hawaiian culture, or Hawaiiana, is rich in the arts and we have our own unique way of cooking. I’m not sure if I moved to the mainland if I would be able to handle the withdrawls. We like pork…a lot of pork. We like it the traditional way, cook in the ground as described here, or the way Mel cooks it in her home in Virginia. I particularly like it served on pizza like we do at Dupree’s. Mel also likes to tease me about SPAM. In the 40’s, during the war, we had a HUGE warehouse here on the island. This was because the government was afraid there might be a blockade. While we have a lot of fresh fruits and veggies on the islands, we are limited, and we don’t have a lot of cattle ranches, lol. So, to ensure we didn’t go without something, they built a huge warehouse for it. We actually serve it in restaurants, and with eggs in the morning, with a side of rice. Another thing we cook with is macadamia nuts. From cookies and brownies to fish, we use the rich nut to enhace the taste of food. And well, there is poi, but Mel really hates anyone bringing that up, lol.

But there are many other things I love about my home state. Hawaii is a blend of cultures that is very unique. Yes, you have the Hawaiian, but you have many different Asian cultures threaded throughout our tapestry. There is a tight connection to the Catholic church because of the missionaries who came over to help the “savages.” Of course, with travel today, we have so many different races and creeds living on our island. With 850,000 people on Oahu, you can’t help but bump into someone just a little different than you.

Our attitude about life is different. We don’t always understand the rush to get things done. No, we aren’t lazy. As Mel always said, the best movers they had were in Hawaii. We work hard, but we also understand the importance of Ohana, family. You will find many families living in the same home with two or three generations, as I do. Part of the reason is because of the economy. Hawaii is expensive and with little land, housing is extremely expensive. But, we also like to keep our families close by. That is why so many people don’t leave the island. Being on the mainland would be too far away.

That attitude feeds into our other main idea, ain’t your business. We aren’t truly private, but I think most of us don’t care what our neighbors are doing, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone. That isn’t to say we don’t care about our neighbors, but we do understand privacy. And worrying if your next door neighbor is gay. Who cares, really?

Of course, there is the beauty. While Mel is crazy and loves that cold weather, I can’t stand a nighttime low below 60, brrr. Even so, she talks of driving through the mountains on H3(the most expensive highway in the US) and enjoying the ride because of the scenery. Lush green mountains, a rain forest, waterfalls, and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. How can you top that? Mel here- with SNOW, you crazy woman.

For all those reasons, I could never see myself living anywhere else. My heart will always be here on the island, with my Ohana and my ku`uipo(sweetheart) Evan.

A hui hou kakou (until we meet again )

May

May is featured in my newest release, A Little Harmless Obsession.

Best Friend Interview: Micah Ross

With A Little Harmless Obsession coming out next week, I thought I would give you a taste of one of the newest additions to the Harmless series, Micah Ross. Part Native American, over six feet tall, long, straight black hair(down to his butt) and a penchant for being a Dom, I have a feeling that readers are going to want to see more of him. Of course, I am ever ready to accommodate, so his story is coming up in December. But, for right now, I had a few questions about the club he owns with Evan, Rough n Ready, and how they met.

The trip to Hawaii was exhausting but worth it. Mild weather, beautiful scenery, and a gorgeous man to interview. What more can a girl ask for? We sat down at one of my favorite areas on the island, Sunset Beach, to talk. We picked the best part of the day, sunset of course, and while we watched the sun sink, I asked my questions

Mel: Thanks for taking the time for seeing me.

He smiles, a flash of white against dark skin. Hard to ignore the power of his beauty.

MICAH: Thank you for wanting to talk to me. I always have time for a woman.

Mel: (laughs) So I have heard. It’s nothing less than what I would expect the owner of Rough n Ready to say. How did you come up with the idea for the club?

MICAH: Evan and I tried to open a club in Las Vegas a few years before moving here. It didn’t work out, but we knew we wanted to open another one. We both practice the life so we wanted to open a safe environment for people to enjoy.

Mel: Why Hawaii?

MICAH: I cam over here looking for a fugitive. I convinced him that it was a good idea. There was nothing like it on the Islands. We had a lot of competition in Vegas, but here, there was nothing like our club. Little competition, gorgeous weather year round, kind of hard to say no to that.

Mel: But expensive.

MICAH: (nods)

Mel: Did you come right away?

MICAH: No. We didn’t have the capital at the time so we had to save it up. I signed up for some more fights. Evan did a lot more work.

Mel: Fights? As in boxing?

MICAH: (smiled) for pansies. I fought in the Ultimate Fighter circuit.

Mel: That couldn’t have been easy.

MICAH: (shrugs) If you want something bad enough, it doesn’t matter.

Mel: What other jobs have you had in the past?

MICAH: Bounty Hunter. (grimaces) I’d rather get the crap beat out of me, but it paid well because I was good at it.

Mel: You didn’t like it?

MICAH: (shakes his head) I didn’t like dealing with the type of person who would jump bail. And because you are going after the bigger money, you usually deal with the bigger scumbag.

Mel: I bet. Switching gears, let’s talk about Evan Chambers, you two have been friends for a really long time. How did you meet?

MICAH: Juvie. We both spent a lot of time there before ending up out on the streets.

I can tell from his expression he would rather not talk about it, so I let it go.

Mel: If there is one thing you could tell us about Evan, what would it be?

MICAH: He isn’t exactly who people think he is. The man comes off as a real ass, but there are things in his past that explain all that. (shrugs) I wouldn’t be his friend if he wasn’t good beneath the jackass exterior. He needs to find a woman who won’t put up with crap off him. May Aiona is just the woman to do it.

Mel: Do you have a special someone in your life?

MICAH: (smiles) Not at the moment, but I am always taking applications.

Mel: Ha! You couldn’t handle me.

MICAH: I have yet to meet a woman that I couldn’t handle.

Mel: Yeah, sure. I’ll just see about that.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Micah Ross’s book is A Little Harmless Lie which will be released this coming December in digital from Samhain Publishing. Make sure you get to know him in A Little Harmless Obsession, coming out NEXT WEEK, Sept 21, from Samhain in digital.  You can preorder it from Amazon and Books on Board right now!

My Life in Movies:

Mel and her oldest are watching Zombieland together and that got me to thinking about what characters I would like to play in different movies. Right off the bat, I thought of Wichita from Zombieland of course. Not because she is the only grown woman in the movie. There is a little bit of me who would love to play Woody Harrelson’s character, Tallahassee. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be the type of person who just didn’t care one whit about what other people think. Of course, that is sort of like my own character so it wouldn’t be too far of a stretch.

But, then, there are characters so different from mine, I would like to see what it would be like to step into someone else’s shoes, someone who is very different from I am. Rose from Titanic comes to mind. She was a bit of a wimp at the beginning of the movie, so not like me. She let her mother push her around and she was marrying a crazy man. Still, she grew during the movie,  and had the nerve to get her own life by the end. Granted, I would have made sure to share my little space with Leo. I don’t get the live my life to the fullest because I had good sex in a car on a boat. I mean, really, who hasn’t had good sex in a car? But I still liked the idea that she made her way in the world without her overbearing mother. But, still, she is a bit wimpy for me.

What about Peter Gibbons in Office Space? This is a guy who gives up on his corporate job and doesn’t work. Still he gets a promotion out of the deal, lol.

One character that comes to mind is Wanda in A Fish Called Wanda. I mean, really, who wouldn’t want to be a woman so full of herself, lol. She had one lover helping her steal jewels and another defending him in court. In the end, she leaves one at the hands of the man he tormented and gets the guy we want her to end up with. All the while, she not is not only sexy and strong, she is the smartest one of the bunch. I think that is what I like about her the most.

So, tell me, who would you love to play and why?Answer by 8pm eastern tomorrow and I will throw your name in the hat for a download of A Little Harmless Obsession. Just make sure you don’t tell Mel, because I haven’t cleared it with her, lol

Anna’s story is in A Little Harmless Sex and she is featured in the free story, A Little Harmless Fling.

So, what character would you like to play?

Characters Can Tick You Off

I know it is normally out of character, pun intended, to just chat about our characters, but I thought I would today. I have been working on my next Harmless book, and I thought a few characters would be the first Harmelss menage story. Sadly, on my way home from THE HAPPY PLACE, I heard two songs. One was Colbie Caillat’s I Never Told You. Right there, I knew whatever story was coming to me would be a reunion story. And I realized that it was a reunion story about Devon, a character who has popped up in the present Harmless story. I thought he would be the second guy of a menage. Then, his heroine came screaming to me in Sara Evan’s new release, A Little Bit Stronger. I knew then that these two had a history and I can imagine just what it was. Devon is one of those standup guys and I have a feeling that he walked away to “save her,” but doesn’t tell her anything else. Yeah, that is going to go over so well when she runs into him again.

It pissed me off. Honestly, I was grumpy for about half an hour afterward. I wanted Devon to be part of a Jess/Zeke menage, but there is one thing I have learned through my years of writing is not to force things. I need to go with the flow of writing, what feels right, and as aggravating as it is, I am going to let it happen the way they want it to happen. I might be pissy about it for the next few days…months, but I know now that Devon’s story is one of sacrifice.

Characters have a mind of their own. Granted, it took me a few years to understand that. Being the Capricorn that I am, I like to control. I like everyone to march to my drummer, and you better do it the way I tell you! So, writing really departs from my normal control issues. It took me a few years to realize I have to allow things to happen. If you do not understand how the Capricorn mind works, that is a HUGE step. Ask my husband. As a military wife, I rarely have control over anything, so I drive him crazy over the small things I can control. But, I digress…

When I finally let my characters talk to me, allow them to lead me to where they want to go, my writing grew. I am a character driven writer. I think that you can have the best plot in the world, but it is boring as hell if the characters are boring.  Just my humble opinion. Now, do I let them have control over the plot? Hell, no. What do you take me for, a CANCER? Lord, no. But I do allow their personalities to come through. So, here is my first mini interview with Devon King.

~~~~~~~~~~

Devon King is a man with a lot to be thankful for. He is the creator of Strike Force One, the top selling computer game of 2008, and his newest release, King’s Dominion, is slated for release next spring. The presales are beating every record set before him which has will increase his wealth. With his diverse holdings, no one is quite sure how much he is worth, but it reaches into the billions. He is a gorgeous one, with dark hair, sharp blue eyes and a muscular build. At six foot, he is an imposing figure. He shows very little emotion other than cynical amusement.

ME: So, I understand you used to be in the CIA.

DEVON: Classified.

:::I roll my eyes:::

Me: I was thinking you would be part of my story of Jess and Zeke.

::: One dark eyebrow raises:::

Devon: Not that I wouldn’t join in the fun…

:::I sigh:::

Me: And just what are you holding out for? I mean, you like Jess, that much is obvious and she is definitely into you and computer games. Hell, she is turned on by the fact that you hacked into the FBI database.

:::his lip curls up on one side and I feel the power of it all the way to my toes:::

Devon: Yeah? Well, still not for me.

Me: Then who is for you?

:::Devon’s eyes flicker with regret. But it is gone in the next instant.:::

Devon: Not everyone has a soulmate.

:::With that, he leaves me and totally pisses me off:::

~~~

So, you can see we are going to have a bumpy road together<G>.  But, I just wanted to give you a glimpse into the life I lead with my PITA characters.

Finding Your True Self in The Most Suprising Places-Cynthia Myers

Harmless #2

 

If you could time travel three years back and find Cynthia Myers, you would not recognize her. I was a woman who did everything just right. Had the right friends, went the right schools, dated the right men. But, the odd thing was, for me, everything felt…wrong. No one else seemed to recognize it. They went along as if nothing were amiss. And, I did too. I was raised a good Southern girl. Do as your told, make your family proud, don’t make waves. Well, at least in my family. Later, I found out that a good Southern girl stands up for herself. But, I didn’t. I was even engaged to be married to a man I didn’t love and really couldn’t stand to have touch me. Max didn’t gross me out or anything. It was just that in bed we were not compatible. I felt nothing. 

I am sure you are thinking that should have told me something. You didn’t know my life. I had spent most my life feeling numb to the world, and the two men I had sex with did nothing for me. My mother was very conservative and any sexual talk was not to be had. In fact, I would worry about asking her because I really didn’t want to hear the phrase, “just lie back and pretend to enjoy it.” ICK. Anyway, it wasn’t until I broke it off with Max that I started to feel something. First, was fear. My father was downright furious. My daddy is scary when he is mad. He didn’t see my marriage as a love match, but more of a business transaction. Even saying that now makes me feel icky. I started to feel as if I were being prostituted out for the good of the family. As if I were in the Middle Ages or something. 

My one act of defiance cost me Max. Thank God. He and Anna finally admitted their feelings to each other and I was off the hook. And, thanks to my second act of defiance, going to their wedding, I met the man who would change my life. 

Chris Dupree was the best man and a tall drink of sweetness. He was gorgeous, had one of the great Nawlins’ accents, and he didn’t live in the area. I had never had a one night stand in my life. Of course, it turned into happily ever after for me, so I am glad I took the chance. One thing I found interesting that night was for the first time in my life, I enjoyed sex. Really enjoyed sex. And it was because I took charge. It took me awhile to figure it out, and for Chris to teach me just why I needed it. I started to take risks in my own life after that night. I moved out of my parents’ house. Well, okay, my father kicked me out, but still. I got my first real job working for Anna as a baker, got a birthday tattoo (thank you Anna for going with me) and then I took a leap. I moved to Hawaii, to Chris. Six months before that, I would have told you that you were crazy if you suggested all these things would happen. 

While I think being sheltered by your family can sometimes be a good thing, it can also be oppressive. If you don’t allow your child to be themselves and be happy with who that is, you run the risk of hurting your child. If I hadn’t found my true self, I wouldn’t have been able to fall in love with Chris. I wasn’t confident enough, didn’t love myself and who I was enough, to love another person. Thanks to Chris, my acts of defiance, and one night of harmless pleasure, I found my way to  my true self. 

Cynthia and Chris’ story is A Little Harmless Pleasure, now out in digital and print from Samhain publishing. They are also featured in my free short story, A Little Harmless Kalikimaka.

Marlow Smith Campbell: Learning to Think For Yourself

Today, we have a blog from the heroine of my first ever contracted book, The Hired Hand: Marlow Smith Campbell. Be sure to check out my blog from yesterday where we talk about dares and if you would take one. Free book up for grabs.

So, I guess since Melissa decided to goof off in Maine for a week, she has me writing this blog, lol. I am only joking. I recognize a hard working woman as I am one myself. For years I was my father’s right hand at our grocery store chain in Texas. You would have not known it by my father’s behavior. Don’t get me wrong, I love my father. When I was a child, I spent hours with him at the store, and I looked up to him. He was a self-made man, one that started with nothing. He built his grocery chain with a lot of hard work, but he is also a man from another era. He never saw me as someone who could take over the chain when he retired. He’s not a man who doesn’t believe women deserve the same pay as men. In fact, he had female managers for some of his stores long before other chains. But, when it came to me, he just could not see me taking over the chain. And part of it was my fault.

For so many years, I didn’t think for myself. I did all the school activities my parents picked out for me, went to the university they wanted me to, and even married a man they picked. I think my marriage falling apart was the first big ripple and the first time I thought for myself. I know. Sad, isn’t it. I was in my twenties and I made my first really big life decision. Then, when Joey left me in Dallas with nothing but a dress that was too short and barely anything else, I came face to face with my second big life decision. Truthfully, I didn’t know it at the time. I mean, what person would say going to fire a giggolo was a life decision? Only a whakadoodle, I’m sure. But, if I hadn’t gone, I wouldn’t have met Liam. While Liam wasn’t the giggolo, I did spend the night with him. It wasn’t until he showed up in Abilene in his real job as a business consultant that I really started making those decisions for myself.

Liam wasn’t a man I would normally date. He was…is a flirt. He probably lost count of the number if women he’s been to bed with. No…knowing Liam, he probably kept some kind of record, lol. But, seriously, he was a bit of a manwhore. He liked women. No. He loved women, still does. But, it was when he came back into my life and we fell in love, that I really started to realize I wasn’t thinking for myself. I would have never dated a man like Liam if it had not been for Joey’s birthday gift. Not because I didn’t find him attractive. I did, right off the bat. No, this was because I knew what my parents would think. Well, and the fact that my one real relationship was with a man who couldn’t stand to be in bed with  me. Well, it was mostly mutual as we were best friends who grew up together…but that is another story for another day.

So, you have one repressed woman who always does what her folks expect of her and one flirt who will not take no for an answer and what do you get? Love. Fall head over your heels into a vat of lust kind of love. And it was because of that, I started thinking for myself. I realized that I could never do what my father wanted and I needed a new start. And that started me on the wonderful like I have now with Liam and Heath and Joey running our new company. It would have never happened if I hadn’t finally gotten the nerve to think for myself.

Living with voices in your head

Hey, everyone! My name is Shana Adams Carlyle and I am from the future. Ha! I have always wanted to say that. Melissa wanted me to come on by and tell you how it feels to have voices in my head. She claims she goes through the same thing, but with characters. Not sure I believe her.  Anyway, I am telepathic. I can hear what people are thinking. Until recently, I did not use the abilities, so I am still a little rusty. I guess you need a little back story to understand.

Years ago, some crazy man tried to take over the world by using anyone with paranormal abilities. He wanted to create a perfect state where he was in control. Crazy bastard. Because of that, so many of our kind were hauled in and put into detention. They wanted to be sure we couldn’t use our abilities in nefarious ways. David, my brother, and I were sheilded by my folks. They taught us how NOT to listen to our sixth sense. Anyone with our abilities was rounded up and taken to detention. People were never seen after that. So, we learned to adapt, not use our abilities, until…both of us fell in love.

For me, I had no idea. Granted, hearing my live-by-the-rule-book boss fantasize about you in a meeting, is not the most pleasant way to find out my abilities had surfaced again. First, being a room filled with men and hearing those thoughts while I was giving a presentation was a bit disconcerting. I didn’t know who was thinking about me that way and well…some of the guys were just a bit creepy. I mean, one or two of them were old enough to be my grandfather. Years of making sure I never let anyone outside the family know about my abilities was the only thing that saved me. But, then, when I started to hear his voice when we were alone, so I knew it was him.

When you aren’t used to hearing the voices, it is a bit disconcerting. Thankfully, Marcus didn’t know I could hear him at first. He definitely would have turned me in. Not that he’s a bad guy, but Marcus plays by the rules…at least until we got together. But, I am digressing. I had not heard voices in my head since I was a child, so being almost thirty, it threw me for a loop. Conversation is going on on around you, but there is that inner conversation everyone is thinking. It is as if there were several conversations going on, and it almost drove me crazy. But now that I have the ability back, I don’t want to give it up. Marcus worked hard to allow our kind to be able to work with the government to help thwart some evil dudes, but we are still not accepted. So, for the most part, I use my abilities to work. I don’t let others know. And well…that allows me to hear their thoughts without them knowing, ha! I am kind of devious like that.  And just for my nosey neighbor…yes, we really DO make that much noise when making love. Get a life.

I have come to appreciate my abilities because they allow me to help my husband at work. We both work in security for the government and being able to hear what people are thinking is a huge advantage. I’m just glad I am not like my brother David who FEELS eveything. UGH, that would be horrible IMHO.

Off to work right now. Marcus is standing next to my computer and giving me dirty looks as he glances at his watch. The man is never late for anything!

You can read all about Shana, David and Letty in the anthology Telepathic Cravings from WCP TORRID.

Mila’s Theme Song

Today, I asked Mila to let us know all about her favorite kind of music from the 20th and  21st century and why she had to pick the song she did for her theme song.

Mel

Hiya! Mel asked me to come on over and talk to you. Since Hunter and I are back on Earth, and I had the time, I thought it was a freaking fantastic idea.

Now, I tend to like the power music. See, I have this thing for guns…and big ships…and big men-that’s where Hunter comes in. I don’t exactly know where it came from, but for some reason, I go crazy over machinery. I am not the kind of woman who goes all all goey over a diamond. I mean, what good is a diamond unless you can trade it for some good hardware. A girl can never go wrong with too many guns or a really well decked out ship.

Back to the music. When Mel started writing me, I let her know I am not your typical pretty rich girl. Oh, I am pretty…that I will own up to. But, give me a good gun fight any day over a cocktail party and I am a happy girl. What in the seventh layer of hell would I need to go to parties for?

So, when I popped into Mel’s head, I made sure she understood I didn’t need some crazy romantic tunes to be my theme song. What courier needs that?  I wanted something that showed just what an ace fighter I am. And that is where Eminem came in. His Lose Yourself is definitely my song. Mel wasn’t too happy because, well, the woman gets migraines, and listening to the song while I let her write about me, gave her some pain. But there is nothing like the driving beat to get the blood pumping. Every one of my action scenes were written to the song or I just would not let it happen. Believe me, Mel called me a few names because of it…some of them I will not repeat here.

Oh, and Hunter wanted me to let you know his theme song, or the one that I hear all the time when I see him, is Holding Out For a Hero. If you know Hunter, you would understand. It is the song that both Mel and I hear whenever we see him. Of course, he isn’t too thrilled with the 1980’s goofy video, but sometimes, as Mel likes to say, you just have to suck it up. He did say he would like to see me in the white dress she wears but I told him to dream on. How can a girl run in that stupid thing?

Thanks for letting me post, Mel and Nikki, and here is a video with my song. It’s edited, which Mel knows I don’t like. I mean if you can’t cuss when someone is trying to kill you, when can you? But, she felt it was best just in case we have some sensitive readers. Just be sure to avoid my book if you are, because one thing I like next to a firefight and my Hunter is a good string of cussing.

Mila and Hunter can be found in my book Hunting Mila, which is in digital and print from Ellora’s Cave. If you want to watch their trailer, check it out!

Character Interview: Joey, Heath and Grant

I met with Joey Vernon, my heroine from Hands On Training, right here in my own backyard at a local favorite, Five Guys. It was supposed to be an interview with her, but you will see that it didn’t end up that way.

Joey is movie star gorgeous. Almost six feet tall, long curling blonde hair and one of those types of faces that never takes a bad picture. Over some of the best burgers ever, fries and sodas, we chatted about her men and her life.

MEL: Joey, thanks for meeting me. I take it you are in town for a vacation.

JOEY: In a way. Grant came into town for his father’s sixty-fifth birthday.

MEL: Right. Grant is former Senator Benson’s son. Will you be attending?

JOEY: Lord, no. I do not even want to think what would happen if Heath and I showed up there. But, I have never been to DC so the guys thought we should come for the week.

MEL: Does it bother you that Grant’s family won’t accept your relationship?

JOEY: No, not really. they are not truly that close, but Grant’s mother really wanted him here, and he could not bring himself to say no to her. And, I don’t begrudge him that.

MEL: Do you have any other problems with your families?

She smiles and I hear something clatter behind me. I glance back over my shoulder to find a young man who ran into a chair while apparently staring at her. He flushes and hurries away.

JOEY: No. My parents are both gone. The only relationship I have with my extended family is through business. Heath’s family has been wonderful. Heath and Liam, his brother, are super close, so I am happy that they don’t have a problem with it. It would be doubly hard since they own a company together. His parents have completely accepted our relationship as it is. I have only been told by his mother she wants some grandbabies, and soon. Marlow and Liam are expecting their first, but apparently that is not enough for her.

MEL: So, is that something you want soon?

JOEY: No, not really. I do want children, but I just took over my family business. It is stressful and with our relationship being so new, I want to wait. I want to spend time with my guys all by myself.

The moment she says that, the doors woosh open and I watch as both of her lovers walk in. Heath is a big man, built like a linebacker, brown hair, deep hazel eyes. He is easily 6’4″ -6’5″. He makes me think of his namesake Heathcliff. Very brooding, and definitely dangerous.  His companion isn’t as brooding, but he is definitely dangerous…especially to a woman’s libido. As tall as Heath, Grand is leaner, like a swimmer, with dark blonde hair and a goatee. You can see the humor in his blue eyes.

As they stride through the restaurant, they definitely gain attention. Seeing just one of them would attract stares, but both of them walking side by side definitely draws the female eye.

JOEY: without turning around.  Let me guess. They just showed up.

MEL: I laugh. Yeah, they did.

 She shoots them an evil look over her shoulder but they ignore her as they take the two empty chairs at the table. Heath eases into the chair on her right and Grant turns the second chair around and straddles it. The smile he offers her is filled with sensuality but apparently, she is not ready to be nice. She frowns at them and crosses her arms beneath her breasts.

JOEY: This is my interview. What are you two doing here?

HEATH: We got done with what we were supposed to do.

JOEY: What you were supposed to do is leave me alone.

GRANT: Yeah. We’re done with that.

She rolls her eyes. Grabbing her drink she stands and leaves me alone with them while she gets more to drink.

MEL: Have you all eaten?

Heath smiles.

HEATH: No, we haven’t. Hey, Grant, why not get me a regular hamburger, jalapenos, cheddar cheese and onions.

Grant scowls, but still gets up to order. But Heath’s eyes narrow over my shoulder and I glance back to see Grant has slipped his arm around Joey pulling her back against him as he whispers in her ear. I can hear her giggle over the din of customers. With a quick kiss, she pushes him away and heads back to the table. She is flushed and smiling.

HEATH: What was that about?

JOEY: Tell ya later. So, Melissa, do  you have any other questions?

MEL: You two work together. How do you handle that?

Joey chuckles.

HEATH: It isn’t that easy all the time. Joey has a mouth on her–

JOEY: Hey!

HEATH: You know you do, darlin’. He leans over and gives her a quick kiss. One of the things I love about you. Turns back to me. But it is a balancing act. We have agreed that any work related discussions remain at the office though. No need to rehash the day at home.

Grant rejoins us with two drinks, giving one to Heath then settling back into his chair.

MEL: You run your own restaurant and you are considered an upcoming star chef in Texas.

Grant snorts.

GRANT: Up and coming. I’m already there, hun.

I laugh.

MEL: But, with your hours, it must be hard to gain some time together. I take it you are open late.

He nods.

GRANT: When I first opened the restaurant in Dallas, it was hard. I had to work a lot of hours to get it going, but I’ve been able to ease back and let other people take over. I want to open a few more.

MEL: Same type of restaurant, Tex Mex fusion? Where at?

GRANT: Yeah. I was scouting locations here, but not sure I am ready to pay the price. And I think I want to keep it in Texas. If I branch out to other areas, I want to really change the menu around. Fit the area’s cuisine. I’ll probably open one in Ft Worth, and then maybe one in San Antonio or Houston. I prefer San Antonio if I can get it on the Riverwalk.

MEL: I was talking to Joey about family, and she mentioned that Heath’s mom wants some grandbabies. How are you all with that? Will you know who will be the father?

GRANT: I would be happy to have babies right now. But, as Joey and Heath have pointed out, we are really just in our first year together. Throwing a baby into the mix would be great but might add undue stress. I don’t think any of us care who the father is. As long as the baby is healthy, we are all happy.

Number 443 is called over the speaker.

GRANT: Your turn.

HEATH mumbles something under his breath but goes to retrieve their food.  He returns with it and both men don’t hesitate to dig in.

MEL: Not your usual fare.

Heath smiles and my pulse scrambles. Damn, the man is dangerous.

GRANT: No. But there is something to be said about peanut fries and a good hamburger. Not a lot of places can make them like this anymore.

HEATH: Damn right they don’t. We’ve been wanting to try Five Guys since Joey mentioned she’d stopped by one in San Antonio last year.

MEL: So, what are your plans for the next year?

GRANT: I am working on a cookbook. It’s already contracted, and has a due date, so I need to get that done. We are also looking for a place to live half way in between our jobs.

HEATH: Joey and I have a few things on the docket at work. And, well, she just took over for Vernon Industries, so that is taking a bit of her time.

She snorts.

JOEY: I am making Heath handle most of that and he has been really sweet about it. The house is the first thing. We need a bigger place and Grant’s. I like it, but it is out of the way.

MEL: Well, thanks a lot for taking the time to talk to me.

Joey smiles.

JOEY: Anytime.

I grab my root beer and head out the door, but I hear a giggle and look back over my should. Grant scooted closer to her and is now nuzzling her neck. Heath is watching them with a smile on his lips. It is easy to see the desire and love in his eyes. With a sigh of envy, I head out the door and back to my writing dungeon.

Friends Found in Floods (from Kieralyn Beckett)

You know what men say about women not needing to know other women to become fast friends? We go to the bathroom in groups and all of that? Well, there’s some truth to it. I mean, if we go to the bathroom in groups it’s to talk about the men we’re with, the men we want to be with or the woman who treated us like shit five minutes earlier, but that’s not the point here. Anyway, it wasn’t long ago Ian and I went on a short vacation, what was supposed to be a quiet weekend getaway at a secluded resort. One thing’s for sure, it was secluded. Anyway, it was on this trip we came to know Heath, Grant and Joey (Josephina, but she doesn’t like to be called that.)

I’ve always admired strong women, and Joey certainly is one. Of course she would have to be to handle Grant and Heath. I adored all of them, and these guys make me smile even when they don’t mean to. Heath is all serious and mean, at least when people are looking. Grant seems to have a great time ribbing him. And Joey, well she has a way with them both.

Lucky woman, and lucky you because the three have allowed Melissa to tell their story. 🙂

Joey and Heath are stuck working together for a week in Florida. Not only will they be in each other’s presence more time than either of them would like, and when Heath’s old friend Grant shows up, things really get out of control. Too close for comfort, and too much temptation to resist, the three of them agree to a one-week affair. None of them wants entanglements, especially Joey who learned firsthand how to survive without help.

With each kiss, each touch, the three of them grow closer. By the time they return to Dallas, they aren’t ready to let go. Will the three of them be torn apart by fear, or will they risk their hearts to find happiness together?

PUBLISHER: WHISKEY CREEK PRESS TORRID
DIGITAL ISBN: 978-1-59374-310-9
PRINT ISBN:978-1-60313-192-6