Hi, Leah and Leah’s fans! It’s always nice to come visit here, so thanks for letting me stop by!
My family and I just returned from our summer vacation. This year we decided we wanted our kids to see the Washington D.C. area, so we headed east for a week. And it was a great trip. We saw all the major sites, learned a lot and spent uninterrupted time together as a family.
But while I’m always happy to get away from the “day job” it’s nearly impossible for me to turn off the writer part of me. I love to people watch, eavesdrop on conversations, and basically observe everything around me. This is where ideas and characters come from, this is where settings and plot points emerge. Maybe not today or tomorrow but sometime something I saw or heard or did in Washington D.C. will make it into a book. It’s inevitable.
During this trip I knew I was going to be blogging at a few places (like here!) so I was on the lookout for some good material for a post. And I was amazed to find themes all around me. That’s why I love writing. The real world touches the fictitious world all the time. And vice versa.
Our trip to D.C. was smooth—no missed flights, no lost luggage, no crabby kids. Everything was great. We were excited. We were happy.
Then we got to the car rental counter.
We were number twelve in line. Twelve. And the lady three in front of us had been there for thirty minutes already. Now I know I’m from a small town and all but I travel quite a bit for both business and pleasure and I’ve never seen a car rental line like this. There was one woman working the counter. One. She wasn’t going to win any speed awards—or Miss Congeniality—but she was trying. And everyone in line was truly trying to be patient. Which was nice to see. Mostly we were annoyed that the company wasn’t sending her more help, but we all understood it wasn’t her fault.
But then something neat happened. In our moment of terrible suffering (insert sarcastic tone here) we found ourselves bonding with the others who were similarly afflicted. We all started chatting. Sure at first it was complaining, but then we started talking about where we were all from, where we were going, how we were never going to rent from this company again. You know, that kind of stuff.
People passed out gum, shared stories and cheered (seriously) when someone would move to the counter and actually finally get a car. We even voted to send the cute twenty-something-girl upstairs to talk to the manager. (By the way, it worked. He came down personally to help. Being cute and twenty-something definitely has its perks).
As the line progressed we said goodbye and good luck to our temporary friends. Our ten-year-old son was amazed by this. We explained that adversity can breed camaraderie (then we explained what adversity and camaraderie are).
Going through something, even something unpleasant, does bond people in an interesting way. It’s a reminder that we’re not alone. Suffering with someone else (on even minor levels) makes it more bearable.
I think that’s one reason people read and it’s definitely one of the reasons I write. It’s a shared experience and you feel bonded by coming through the story—with the characters, the author and other readers. It’s why reader groups and book clubs are popular. It’s why authors love hearing from readers. Knowing that you’ve had that shared experience can be powerful.
Every good story has characters that face and overcome some adversity. Whether they’re being stalked by a serial killer, trying to find a hidden treasure, or just trying to figure out how to make it to happily ever after, there’s something they have to face to get there. Being there, watching them overcome, makes it satisfying in the end. And sharing that reading experience can make it even more satisfying.
So, do you talk books with others? Online, in person or with just a friend? Have you ever let your favorite author know that her books made you smile or laugh or cry or look at something differently? If not, think about it. Think about how much more fun that rental car line was when we all decided to share the experience.
Erin Nicholas is the author of sexy contemporary romances for Samhain publishing. Her stories have been described as toe-curling, enchanting, steamy and fun. She loves to write about reluctant heroes, flawed heroines, sex with food and happily ever afters. She does not like to write dark moments, synopses or bios. You can find Erin on the web at www.ErinNicholas.com, www.ninenaughtynovelists.blogspot.com, or her reader group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ErinNicholas/ (where she does giveaways and fun stuff!). She’s also on Twitter (http://twitter.com/ErinNicholas) and even on Facebook (when necessary).
Erin’s latest release is the print release of Just My Type, the third book in the Bradford series.
Just My Type
Secretly wanting her—no problem. Her not-so-secretly wanting him—big trouble.
The Bradfords, Book 3
There’s only one problem with the woman Jason “Mac” Gordon wants: his best friend’s little sister is off limits. Way off limits, and too young and innocent for the likes of him. From past experience, he’s learned to hide his not-so-nice preferences from the nice girls he seems to attract. That definitely includes the woman he’s always thought of as a sister. At least until recently.
Sara Bradford always gets what she wants—which is partly Mac’s fault. After all, he helped spoil her. So she has no intention of taking his no for an answer on anything—least of all his refusal to sleep with her. He thinks she’s too innocent? Fine. She’ll simply get un-innocent and show Mac that she wants him—the good, the bad and the nipple clamps.
When Mac’s plan to drive her away works too well, he’s forced to follow her to a tropical paradise, determined to make sure she doesn’t find her wild side with anyone but him. Once she gets a real taste of what he likes, he’s sure everything will go back to normal.
That’s until he discovers a slight kink, er, flaw in his logic…
Contains hot sex at the beach, kinky online shopping—and yes, cotton-candy-flavored body powder does exist.
Mac settled down into his chair and pushed the chair next to him out for her. “Want me to stay over and answer the phone until Tuesday?”
She swiveled on her chair seat to look at him, gauging the motivation behind the offer. She knew he didn’t mean it like that. He’d slept on her couch before.
“Yes,” she said simply.
“I will,” he told her lifting his glass. “But you have to buy Twinkies.”
Mac’s favorite food. Normally, she would roll her eyes and joke about his propensity for junk food. But she was in a mood tonight. She leaned over and put her hand on his hard, flat stomach.
“How do you keep these so tight with all those Twinkies?” She rubbed her hand back and forth over the warm, white linen of his shirt.
Mac seemed to freeze. And stop breathing. His eyes were locked on hers and she felt a current zing between them. She’d never touched him like that. They’d held hands, even hugged before and she’d touched his arms, back, shoulder, even face once, but never his chest, or stomach, or lower.
“Sara?” His voice was definitely hoarse.
“Move your hand.”
She slid it downward and Mac shot back, tipping his chair onto its back legs and throwing him off balance enough that he stumbled to his feet, knocking the chair over.
“Hell, Sara!” he swore. Straightening to his full height and glaring down at her he demanded. “What the hell was that?”
She blinked at him, trying for innocence. “You said…”
“I didn’t mean that!” he snapped.
“Well, why not? I certainly wouldn’t mind doing it.”
He gaped at her and she almost laughed. She’d never seen Mac flabbergasted like this.
“You wouldn’t mind doing what exactly?”
Maybe he thought—or hoped—she was talking about something else. She had to make this clear.
“Putting my hand on your…”
“Okay,” he interrupted, throwing up his hands. “Enough. You’re obviously drunk.”
Instead of looking up and arguing his statement, Sara’s eyes found the object of conversation almost right in front of her. And he looked interested in what she was proposing.
Mac had an erection. Right there. Front and center. Unmistakable.
“You sure you’re not interested?” She looked directly at the tent in his pants.
He quickly righted the chair, sat and dropped his napkin in his lap. “Knock it off.”
“What? You’re telling me you’ve never thought of it? Ever?”
“Of having your hand down my pants at your brother’s wedding? No, I can honestly say I haven’t.” He wouldn’t look at her.
“So when have you thought about having my hand down your pants?”
He opened his mouth, shut it again, shifted in his chair, frowned. “Stop it.”
She scooted her chair closer. “Mac, honestly. Have you ever thought of us together?”
“Sure. We’re together all the time at Sam’s, at the Center and the hospital.” He still wasn’t making eye contact.
Sara touched his knee and he nearly jumped out of his chair again. She smiled. She was no dummy. She had a Master’s degree in psychology and was a licensed Social Worker in Nebraska. She studied people. She’d watched the two people she knew best—her sister Jessica and her brother Sam— fall in love with their spouses. She’d seen the effect that intense attraction had on people and how they acted until they admitted the attraction and did something about it.
“I’m talking about naked, you and me.”
“Of course not,” he answered quickly. Too quickly. He was scowling again. “You’re a kid, like a sister to me.”
He was lying. He had to be lying. Before she could think it out any further and potentially chicken out, Sara slid from her chair to Mac’s lap, cupped the back of his head in both hands and kissed him with all she had.
More about Just My Type can be found on Erin’s website: www.ErinNicholas.com