Presently, I’m working on KIT AND ROGUE, the sequel to my Rogue – Sons of Dusty Walker book released earlier this year. This is only my second attempt at writing a book about a couple AFTER I’ve given them the ‘happy ever after’ that they deserve. A book has to have conflict, so now I have to go into the well-ordered little world I created and mess things up. How in the heck am I supposed to do that? Well, it’s not easy, I’ll tell you that much – but I’m working on it. A week from today, Saturday the 2nd of October – Randi, Desiree, Jodi and I will have a party announcing the preorder for them, do some cover reveals and give away a butt load of prizes. Traditional stuff. And you all know that I had surgery this week which kicked my butt and my mind has been mush, but I have been working steadily.
In doing my research and plotting and planning for this book, I started thinking about things that could happen in a couple’s first year of marriage to cause trouble. I came up with some – if you can think of things, comment to help me and maybe I’ll use your idea in the book. Send them quickly because this book releases right before Thanksgiving and I’m deep into it now.
You know, it’s hard to write when your brain is trying to play tricks on you. I’ve always been fairly proud of my mind. It has served me well. When I was young and in school, I had a nearly photographic memory. This was before iphones or tablets and the ability to retain information for later was fairly valuable. I was always a smart kid, first in class. When I went to work, the way I stood out in the mundane world of accounting was because of my memory. My bosses didn’t have to remember numbers or details, all they had to do was take me with them to meetings and I could regurgitate almost anything they needed to know. I remember traveling from Beaumont TX to Baton Rouge, Louisiana as the junior accountant on the construction of a nuclear power plant. We flew in a Lear Jet with the president of the company, a man especially hired from France for his knowledge of the nuclear industry. This was a class act guy. He fascinated me with his ability to get up and talk for an hour – and not only entertain but quote facts and figures that were meaningful and correct – with no notes! I aspired to do this. And so I made it my business to know what my bosses needed to know. My direct supervisor would sit me out in the hall in a chair while he went in. When he needed to know something, he would slip out or send someone out to ask me and I would give him the info. Finally the president realized what was going on and came outside to find who was feeding them information. He found me and invited me inside, said that I would speed up the process. So, this ability made me indispensable to a few and helped me advance way beyond the point I wanted to go in the corporate world.
Later, I learned a new use for memory. I was always a ham, acting, singing in bands, getting up in front of a crowd was no big deal for me. During my early adulthood, I was a member of a fraternal organization that my parents had always been active in – masonry and Eastern Star. I wasn’t that crazy about the ritualism but the politics and dynamics of the group fascinated me. The leadership – statewide mostly – were treated as royalty. There was a lot of pomp and circumstance and people rose through the ranks by a mix of talent and popularity. Now, Texas is a big state and these folks who ‘run’ for office are voted on by members of chapters from every city, municipality and tiny hamlet. To become a household name among this group is no easy task. Yet, three or four people would step out and over a period of years would get to know the membership of the state. They did this by traveling, getting invited to speak, working the crowds and becoming ‘known’. It’s a lot like politics. This fascinated me. And I decided that I could do what they did. I quickly realized that I could put my singing and piano playing ability to good use. But the best tool I had was my memory. I quickly became known for my presentations. Not only could I get up and make whatever speech was required (memorial, inspirational, history, honorarium) without notes, but I prided myself in learning everyone’s name beforehand and then as the evening progressed, find a way to make everyone feel special. In other words, I could work a room. And I did so – from Amarillo to Brownsville and from Beaumont to El Paso – I traversed the state back and forth going to every small town that I could get invited to over a period of years. I learned how true the old adage was when I would try to drive across Texas to speak or sing- – The sun has ris’ and the sun has set, and here we is in Texas yet.
Well, I never became Worthy Grand Matron of Texas. The farthest I got was Grand Soloist and Deputy – but I could have. I burned out. Traveling across Texas to sing a couple of songs got old quick. But I took what I learned and went a step farther. I started teaching large groups of women on topics from living a purpose driven life to Jewish history. And I had a good time. I loved to talk, I loved to research and I loved to convey knowledge in an enjoyable way.
Now, look at that – my mind took me from making a living with numbers to relating to large groups of women as a teacher and a storyteller. Do you see the direction?
In my small community my reputation was sterling. I was a leader, a speaker – not a preacher – but I filled almost the same role. When something happened, I would be called upon to counsel or memorialize. The only problem was – – – I was bored. I loved what I did – I loved learning and teaching and speaking and singing – but there was more to me than that. I got tired of thinking about debits and credits and assets and liabilities and bible characters….
I had this wild imagination. I was a romantic, I loved love and fantasizing about romantic situations became a preoccupation. I’m a bit ashamed to say, but I went to church a lot and sat through many not so entertaining sermons and to pass the time, I would create these marathon storylines in my head – epic adventures, sexually explicit, with an alpha hero in the male role and me in the female role. Aron McCoy was much more exciting than John the Baptist. Sometimes when it was time for me to play the piano for the invitation, someone would have to elbow me to get up and go to the instrument.
There were other factors involved in my decision to write – but when I did, I had a big collection of fantasies to draw from. Most of my writing has always been internal, detailed storylines housed in my brain that had been lovingly wound and rewound in the dark of night to satisfy my yearning for love and romance. And I’ve had a good time with it – about 50 books worth and hopefully there will be many more.
BUT I’ve found another facet of my mind and memory that isn’t serving me as well.
I am a hypochondriac in many ways. Always have been. I remember as a teenager that I had a crush on this guy who taught my Sunday School class and even though it might not sound like it – he was a true cowboy, never wore anything but jeans, boots and a hat and actually made his living working with saddles and horses and rodeo. But he was cute and a good Bible teacher and I always hung on his every word. Once he was unlucky enough to have an ingrown toenail, I suppose from wearing cowboy boots all the time. Anyway – that morning, he described his pain and the toe in explicit explicit detail and by the time the class was over, my toe was swelled and festered in sympathy – no lie.
His sister also told me in too much detail about her pregnancy and delivery and I credit those images to the fact that I don’t have fifteen kids. Nope. I suffered with her and that was enough.
Now, this tendency to overthink things carried into new avenues. Let me tell you about my first cruise. In fact I’ll be using this story in KIT AND ROGUE so don’t get tired of it. Even though I was raised near the coast and in a swamp, boating is a bit different when the water beneath you is a mile deep.
I don’t like it.
When I decided to take a cruise out of Galveston to Cozumel, Cancun and Jamaica, I had no more than bought my ticket before I began to imagine the worst. You know – icebergs and JAWS. Yea, I realize there are no icebergs in the Caribbean but with global warming… can one really be sure? On top of being a coward, I’m also cheap, so after purchasing the ticket, I went on the cruise despite the fact that I was very nervous of sinking or getting hit by a rogue wave.
The first night, I didn’t sleep – I laid in that bed fully conscious of the fact that I was surrounded by the sea. I barely put my full weight down and I trembled when I thought of trying to get in a life boat and be lowered down the side of the huge ship. Since I don’t like shows, I spent my days in the casino. When I’d pass by the huge windows, I’d tentatively glance out to the beautiful ocean, then tremble when I would see nothing on the horizon but water – nothing. I wanted to go offer my services to the Captain to help with iceberg watch, but I had enough sense to know he wouldn’t take me up on my offer. So, I suffered in silence – counting the days until I could plant my little feet on solid ground again.
Well, it went from bad to worse. Sometimes what I most dread comes true. One night, about halfway through my seven day journey, I was lying in my little stateroom on my bed in the dark listening to the engine when…the ship lurched. Now, this was a Carnival Cruise ship with a 4000 guest capacity – ships this size are not supposed to lurch! Well, I levitated in my bed – my body rising some three feet in the air before I turned vertical and my feet found the floor. I knew it – I knew it – there was no other explanation. We’d hit an iceberg somewhere off the coast of Mexico. Well, there was commotion outside and I supposed that people were finding their ways to the deck where the life boats were kept and I did not intend to go down with the ship so I dressed as quickly as I could and left my cabin. People were milling around and asking questions and despite my certain knowledge of our maritime disaster, I hesitated to say something and create panic. I heard questions, “What happened?” “What’s going on?” “Why is the ship stopping?” I started to say – Stopping – we’re SINKING – but I didn’t. Imagine my surprise when the Captain’s voice came over the loud speaker, calling for calm. “Nothing is wrong with the ship.” Yea, right. “We are stopping to come to the aid of another vessel.”
“What?” I stopped in my tracks, turned and headed to a window. I had avoided looking, afraid I’d see a white mountain lurking in the tropical waters, melting but causing havoc as it disappeared. Instead, imagine my surprise when I got to a point where I could see a small boat below. An officer approached me, no doubt he could detect my superior ability to evaluate the obvious. “Everything will be all right, ma’am. We passed by a boat load of Cuban immigrants whose boat is dead in the water. We’re required by maritime law to come to their aid.”
I nodded slowly. “Right.” I had felt the lurch. Of course, I knew a ship this big couldn’t be stopped on a dime and maybe – just maybe- the vibrations I felt were the ocean liner putting on its brakes rather than the hull being ripped asunder by jagged deadly ice.
Okay. Yea, I have an imagination. – – I made it through the cruise and lived to write another day. And my story continues… as I told some of you a few days ago, I have been having trouble with my vision. I sat around and worried myself that the world was dimming or that I had diabetes. Well, this time my imagination was spot on – I go to the doctor on the 2nd and find out the verdict, type 1 or type 2. And all of this came about because of another problem. It all started earlier in September. I went out to a neat place to eat called Mimi’s Café and then went for a walk at the Arbor Street Mall over on Mopac. Not long after I came home, I began to feel funny. Since I had eaten Brussel sprouts, I decided they had made me sick. As the day progressed, so did my pain – until I had convinced myself I had food poisoning. But it wasn’t the usual – I just hurt, and hurt. And hurt. After about 28 hours of agony, I was finally dragged to the emergency room and diagnosed – not with food poisoning – but a bowel obstruction brought on by two hernias. I had emergency surgery and now here I sit with a drain pump, staples and test results that say I am diabetic.
Now, it could be worse – I’m in no real pain, mostly because the site of my surgery is also the same area where I had previous problems with gall stones and cysts. Two previous surgeries have cut most of the nerve endings so any pain I’ve having is all in my mind…. Which we all know is bad for me – ha!
And so is a lot of other stuff. My imagination has run away with me. At night, in the dark, is the worst times. I imagine infection. The doctor used mesh to repair me and I keep featuring pain from that. I imagine never having a muffin again or my standing up and all my innards falling out the hole – – now, all of this sounds silly – but when I’m alone and my mind is working overtime, all of these things take on gargantuan proportions. When I went into the ER, before I knew what was wrong – my pain was so great that they said my blood pressure was through the roof. My normal rate of 80/50 was now 212/165 – hypertensive level. But when they gave me something for the pain and told me the plan, it went back down to my too low normal. But the other night, when I started imagining all that was wrong or could go wrong, my chest was tight and I was shaking with nerves – – all because of my overactive imagination. My mind.
What was once my friend has become my enemy.
It’s been a half month – almost – and I haven’t written much to speak of. I try to get back in the right frame of mind – to fantasize, plot and plan romance novels instead of imagining my own demise. Not much luck yet…but I have been working on Kit and Rogue.
Here’s a sneak peek into chapter one – while you read this – I’ll go take more drugs and maybe this blog will make more sense next month.
Kit knew that look well.
When Rogue Walker put his mind to wanting her, all Kit could do was hold on for dear life. He did things to her with just a heated glance that no other man could hope to do with their whole body and soul. She could feel herself flushing, her skin peppered with frissons of excitement. The little rascally tingles seemed to concentrate in the tips of her breasts, then surging south to settle in the aching place between her thighs.
“Come here, Kit-Kat.”
Sweet Merciful Heavens. With the raising of a strong hand and the crook of a finger, he put wings on her heels and she floated toward him. “What’s up, Walker?” she whispered under her breath.
Her question caused him to chuckle. Taking her hand he placed it over his rising erection. “This. Every time I see you, I get hard as hell.”
A laugh of pure delight slipped past her lips. “Good thing, since I’m so in love with you I could just fly.” She closed her hand around the finger he had pointed at her and gave it a little tug. “I might have to let you seduce me.”
“Am I gonna have to seduce you?” Rogue laughed. God, he was happy. His life was finally beginning to make sense. The lone wolf wasn’t alone anymore. He had a beautiful woman and she was having his baby.
Lifting a delicate eyebrow at his question, Kit raised her hands and began to push tiny shell buttons through small buttonholes. When his gaze dropped to her fingers and he licked his lips, her nipples peaked and throbbed with every heartbeat. Lord, the man was potent. And he was hers! “It won’t take much. I’m pretty taken with you.”
“Ah, well good thing.” Rogue made a grab at her, pulling her close.
Kit squealed, going into his arms with very little protest – until she remembered. “Wait, wait, if we’re gonna have sex I gotta do something.”
Rogue was mystified, but he let her go while she flitted around like a firefly, looking under the bed. When she pulled out a glass jar and a bag of pinto beans, he frowned. “What on earth are you doing, sweetheart?” She sat cross legged on the floor, her heart-shaped bottom clad only in a pale pink pair of panties was a speedbump for his eyes.
As she fished out a bean and added it to a growing pile in the bottom of the jar, Kit grinned at him. “Haven’t you ever heard the old story? If you put a bean in a jar for every time you make love in the first year of marriage, and take one out every time you make love in the years after, that you’ll never empty the jar – no matter how long you stay together.”
Rogue frowned. “That sounds horrible. What a load of hogwash.” He snapped his fingers. “Why we’d empty that damn jar in the second year no problem. I’m a sexy stud!”
“Yes, you are, and yes, that’s why I’m keeping up with it. I don’t want us to be like everyone else.” With a smile, she held up the jar and shook it.
“But we’re not married,” he mused. “Yet.” Rogue didn’t say the last part out loud, he had a plan.
Kit pooched her lips out. “Do you want to wait until we’re married to make love?”
The thought brought a major throb of protest to his cock. “Hell, no.” He reached out and removed the jar from her hands. “Why don’t we put this to one side and get down to business?” Setting the glass container on the dresser, he began to unbuckle his belt.
The sight of her hunky heartthrob disrobing brought Kit to her feet. “It’s broad daylight outside.”
Rogue glanced at the field of Kansas wildflowers outside his fiance’s bedroom window. “Yep, sure is. Do you wanna wait?”
“Are you kidding?” She was starving for his touch, anxious for the pleasure only he could give her. Even though they’d had their share of ups and downs, Kit had always compared every man to Rogue Walker and all had come up far short. “I need you now. I already put the bean in.”
“Well, in that case.” He moved one step nearer, settled the fingers of one hand on her hip and pulled her warm body flush to his. “We have no choice, do we?”
“None.” An overpowering need for him swamped her senses. Sliding an arm around his neck, she raised her head so his lips could connect with hers.
Sizzle. The heat was on.
His hold tightened further as his mouth slid from hers to brush against the sensitive skin of her throat. Instant sensation skated across her nerve endings, a hunger began to grow. Would she ever get enough of Rogue Walker?
Not in this lifetime.
As his sensual male lips caressed the pulse point at the base of her throat, Kit felt her heart hammer against her chest. “I got a favor to ask you,” she asked as her questing fingers pushed his black vest from shoulders wide enough to cast a protective shadow. Curiosity narrowed his gaze and a sexy muscle next to his lips began to jump.
“Got a request, baby girl? Your wish is my command.”
Looking up into his whiskey eyes, she could sense his power. Her fascination for him was growing. But that was a good thing. Right? Rogue had asked her to marry him. They were about to embark on a new life together. “Yea, I have a request.”
Anticipation whipped through his senses like a summer storm. “Name it.” An avalanche of heat swept up his thighs. His body reacting to hers was no surprise. From the moment he’d had the wisdom to really see her, Rogue hadn’t really been able to see anyone else. His stupidity had separated them, but fate had been kind and brought them back together. And now – here they were. When she gazed up at him through those thick, long lashes, he all but melted. Rogue didn’t think that was a manly thing to admit, so he kept the information to himself. “Don’t keep me in suspense, you’re killing me.”
The smirk he gave her tugged those incredible lips into a sexy smile which made her knees go weak. The man was irresistible. “Well, you know how I love roping.”
Rogue felt his heart jump as she helped him off with his shirt, planting a small kiss over his heart. “You were a champion, no doubt about it darlin’.”
“You were good competition.” Feeling bold, she placed a hand in the middle of his broad chest and applied a little pressure.
Normally he wasn’t a man who could be pushed around, but Rogue was no fool. The mischievous glint in his vixen’s eyes was intoxicating. “At the moment I feel more like cooperating than competing.”
Nibbling on her lower lip, Kit reached to one side, keeping her hand on his pecs. Opening a drawer, she pulled out her stash, items she’d collected for just such a purpose. A handful of silky sashes. Throwing them over her shoulder, she whipped one out. “Put your wrists together.” Rogue started to put his hands behind his back. “No, in front.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Her tempting gaze snared him. Doing as she asked, he presented his hands and she proceeded to wind a length of silk around them. “I don’t get to touch?”
“In good time,” Kit promised. With the bounty before her, she looked her lips and went to her knees. “Let’s get you naked. I’m glad you took your boots off at the front door.”
“Hey, sometimes it pays to be a gentleman. After walking in your pasture with all those horses, I didn’t want to track anything unwanted in the house.” Tugging at his jeans, Kit pulled them off his feet as he stepped out of them. “Now what?”
Kit grinned. The big ridge of his cock was apparent beneath the thin cotton. “I do love to play with you.” Taking his gasp as a sign of approval, she lowered her head and fit her lips over the smooth material, mouthing the steel flesh, using her teeth to tease and tantalize. Closing her eyes, she just enjoyed herself, moving down to take the swell of balls in her mouth, then up to tongue the large flared head.
Rogue could’ve easily broken the bonds that bound him, but he had no desire to free himself from the sweet ties this woman wrapped around him. Instead, he snared the long tresses of her hair between his fingers, massaging her scalp, letting her know how much he liked what she was doing to him. “Sweet Jesus.”
Feeling his thighs clench beneath her fingertips, Kit knew it was time to take this pleasurable task a step further. “On the bed, on your back.”
Rogue was half-blind with anticipation. He needed no prodding. Within moment he was stretched out on the bed and his luscious bride-to-be had his hands over his head and was tying it to the central post of the headboard. “I’m at your mercy, Kit.”
Her fingers curled around the hard muscles of his shoulders as she settled herself atop his big body. Making love to Rogue was the stuff of fairytales. “I’ll be gentle,” she whispered as she got busy kissing his face, his throat, his chest.
“Don’t you dare.” He could feel Kit smile against his skin as she ran her lips over his collarbone, her hot little tongue darting out to taste him. “Take off your shirt, I wanna see your tits.” This request caused her giggle.
“You are a breast man, aren’t you, Walker?”
“I’m your man,” he growled as she sat up and pulled off the thin pink shirt. Rogue’s eyes were glued to her womanly shape, twin mounds of femininity – round, firm, high and topped with suckable red nipples that he knew tasted like candy. “Perfect, kiss me, then let me suck.” He felt happiness surge through him when she pressed plump pink lips to his and drank deeply. The woman could fuckin’ kiss. It never got old and it never would, no matter how many damn pinto beans they went through.