Thanks so much to Anna for having me on her book blog today! She asked me to talk about some of my favorite things about writing, so I thought I’d make a list, top ten style:
1. Working in your bathrobe and slippers.
2. The commute
3. Making your own hours
4. Eavesdropping on people in restaurants
5. Making your characters say things you, as a polite person, would never say
6. Reading your POV character’s mind
7. Making your characters do crazy things
8. Making nasty people from real life into fictional villains, then killing them.
9. Writing a happy ending
10. Having fans appreciate your work
11. Getting your next contract
Okay, technically, that’s 11 things, but I love my job too much to choose only 10! I’m really excited about my latest book Flirting Under a Full Moon (book 1 in the Flirting with Fangs Series), hitting stores this month! You can check out a trailer for the series here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-cQ28uIYoU&feature=youtu.be , and I thought I’d leave you with an excerpt, from Chapter One:
Over the din of clinking ice and lively conversation, the entire bar heard waitress Brandee Hanson wail, “Dumped in a text message? Really?”
Suddenly the place quieted. Heat crept up her neck, and she dropped her BlackBerry into her apron pocket. She was about to slink off to the ladies’ room when Sadie Maven, the owner’s eccentric aunt, waved her over to the booth she regularly occupied.
“Have a seat, dear. Let me do a quick reading for you—on the house.” Sadie was already shuffling her tarot cards.
Brandee slumped onto the opposite bench and set down her tray.
“I had a premonition about you just now.” Sadie winked. “It might make you feel better.”
Brandee sighed. “I’m all for feeling better. Just don’t talk about my love life. I’ve sworn off men.”
“Since just now.”
Sadie spread the cards across the table. “Pick one.”
Brandee pulled one card from the middle and turned it over. On it was a picture of a couple entwined in a passionate embrace, and the text beneath proclaimed: The Lovers.
“Ah. I was right. You’ll meet your true love soon. In fact, he could be the next man to walk through that door.” Psychic Sadie nodded toward Boston Uncommon’s Charles Street entrance.
Brandee gazed at the door expectantly. It swung open and a tall, blond, broad-shouldered hunk of a man breezed in.
Oh no. It couldn’t be. “One-Night Nick? Are you kidding me?” She burst out laughing.
Sadie shrugged one shoulder. “You never know…”
Brandee picked up her tray and returned to work, still chuckling and shaking her head.
“What put that smile on your face, beautiful? Besides seeing me, of course.” Nick Wolfensen grabbed a stool and sat on it backward. Even with the stool’s height, his big feet hit the floor. His powerful thighs bulged under his blue jeans. That wasn’t the only bulge she thought she saw.
Brandee knew her regulars and Nick was a good tipper. She’d play nice, even though Sadie’s omen sat uncomfortably in the back of her mind. “Just something Sadie said. I think I’ve served her one too many White Russians.”
“Well, you haven’t served me at all, girl. I’m parched.”
“What can I get you?”
“Whatever Sam Adams you have on tap.”
“Coming right up.”
Usually Angie would get Nick’s beer, but the bartender looked engrossed in a conversation. Brandee lifted the part of the bar that flipped up and strode in. “It must be your evening off. You’re not in uniform, and you’re ordering a brew.”
Nick frowned. “Yeah, kind of.”
His set jaw and the twitch in his cheek told her she shouldn’t pursue the subject. She simply grabbed a frosted mug and held it at an angle under the tap like Angie had shown her. It created less froth and made room for more beer. When she set it in front of him, his cocky smile returned.
“Ah, you’re a good girl. I’d sing ‘Brandy’ but you’ve probably heard it a few thousand times.”
“Yeah, thanks for not doing that.” Brandee played the song in her head, and when the words pointed out what a good wife she would be, she scurried away, mumbling, “Well, I gotta get back to work.”
She grabbed a clean rag and wiped down a table that didn’t need it. Over her shoulder she caught Nick unabashedly admiring her rear end. She quickly moved on to another empty table and made sure she was facing him. As soon as she bent over to reach the surface, her V-neck dipped. Now he was gazing at her cleavage like he might drool. She bolted upright.
Oh, my Fruity Pebbles. Why can’t he turn around?
Nick rose, left his beer on the bar, and strolled over to her. He leaned down so he could whisper in her ear.
She tried to look casual. “When what?”
“When are you going to let me show you the time of your life?”
She smiled, thinking what that might entail, but quickly schooled her expression. “I’m not that kind of girl.”
He tried to look innocent, but she knew it was an act. Players like Nick scared her. Not that it stopped her from fantasizing about him. Handsome, charming, intelligent, and dangerous. Whether she had just been dumped or not, he wasn’t the kind of guy she needed right now—or maybe ever.
Nick backed up a step. “What are you talking about?”
Brandee rested a hand on her hip and tried to look uncompromising. “I know your reputation. They don’t call you ‘One-Night Nick’ for nothing.”
“At least I’m honest about it. I never lead girls on by saying, ‘I’ll call you,’ then leave them to wonder why I didn’t. A lot of guys do. I treat a woman to an awesome night she’ll never forget. I’m just not interested in getting tied down right now.”
She lowered her voice. “Look, I’m not saying I want to get married either. But casual sex isn’t my style.”
He feigned shock, then boomed in his baritone, “Who said anything about sex? Of course if that’s what you want, I’d be happy to oblige.”
“Oh, my Playboy penthouse… Lower your voice, dammit.”
She glanced around, but people seemed to have lost interest in her. They continued their own conversations or preoccupation with the football game. Thank you, Tom Brady.
“What’s your penthouse got to do with anything?”
She chuckled. “I don’t live in a penthouse. I live over the bar. That’s just something I do when I’m shocked. Instead of saying, “Oh my God—I substitute some other word or words for God.”
“Are you religious? Don’t want to take the lord’s name in vain or something?”
“Heck no. It’s just way overused. I don’t want to wear it out.” She faced Sadie, who she knew took an interest in all the waitresses’ love lives. Sadie shuffled her tarot cards with a knowing smile on her face.
He chuckled. “I’m not going to lie to you, Brandee. I think you’re sexy as hell, and redheads are my weakness, but if you can’t allow yourself a night of fun without some damn commitment…”
She sighed. “It’s not like that.”
“Then what is it?”
She couldn’t put her feelings into words. Sure she’d like to have a good time, but was one night worth the trouble and expense of getting a full body wax, a mani-pedi, and buying a new outfit? She needed her tips to pay for her photography supplies. A night with the handsome cop would probably steal her breath away, but she didn’t want to risk losing her heart too.
He waved and walked away. “Forget it.”
By the time he had retaken his stool and started watching the game, Brandee regretted her hesitancy. Damn it all, Nick was hot. His blond hair was growing out just enough to curl around his ears, and his sapphire blue eyes were impossible to ignore. A suspect wouldn’t stand a chance against that intense stare. Hell. She didn’t stand a chance when he looked at her with those gorgeous eyes.
Still, “No casual sex, no matter how tempting the guy might be” was a good policy. She did want to fall in love and get married someday. Even a protected one-night stand could result in a life-altering “accident.”
And if that happened, it would not be with a playboy like Nick Wolfensen. A man who only dated to have a night of fun with a different woman each time must be extremely superficial. How satisfying could that be? What would make someone do that? Had he been hurt so badly he didn’t want to risk it again? She couldn’t think of any other reason.
Sadie caught her attention and held up her empty glass, calling for another.
Oh my pickled herring… that woman can put them away. But her nephew owned the bar and he’d told the staff to keep her happy. Not only did Anthony seem genuinely fond of his aunt, but she was good for business. To sit at her booth and have a tarot card reading, the patron had to meet the one-drink minimum.
When Brandee delivered Sadie’s fourth White Russian, the fortune-teller said, “You know, my Dmitri was like that once.”
She smirked. “You should know better than to feign innocence with a psychic.”
Brandee rolled her eyes. “Fine. So, you had a commitment-phobic boyfriend.”
Sadie shuffled the cards again. “It wasn’t that as much as he wanted to be free when the right woman came along. He really didn’t like the idea of hurting anyone.” She flipped over a card. “I think your Nick is doing the same thing.”
“First of all, he’s not my Nick.”
Sadie pushed the card across the table toward her. “If you say so.”
Brandee glanced at the card, then stared more closely. It was the same one. A man and a woman entwined in a passionate embrace. The Lovers.
Oh, my heartbreak… I’m toast.
© Ashlyn Chase, Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2013
FLIRTING UNDER A FULL MOON
BY ASHLYN CHASE – IN STORES APRIL 2013
Never Cry Werewolf…
Brandee has been dumped in every way possible, but by text is the last straw. That's it—she's officially done with men. Unfortunately, she's just been told her "soul mate" is the drool-worthy hottie all her friends call One-Night Nick.
Nick has been searching for true love for one hundred years. After all, werewolves mate for life, and he does not want to mess this up. As soon as he kisses Brandee, he knows she's the one. But how will he convince a woman who knows nothing of paranormals that she's about to be bound to a werewolf forever?
“A wonderful start to a very lighthearted series...” —Night Owl Reviews, 4.5 Stars, Reviewer Top Pick
To Purchase Flirting Under a Full Moon:Sourcebooks
A multi-published, award winning author Ashlyn Chase specializes in characters who reinvent themselves, having reinvented herself numerous times. She has worked as a psychiatric nurse, and for the Red Cross, and has a degree in behavioral sciences. She lives with her true-life hero husband in beautiful New Hampshire. The next book in the Flirting with Fangs Series, How to Date a Dragon, will be in stores in September 2013. For more information, please visit http://www.ashlynchase.com/, her Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/
AuthorAshlynChase, and on Twitter
GIVEAWAYThanks to Sourcebooks I have a copy of Flirting Under a Full Moon to giveaway. To enter leave a comment along with an email address. Open to U.S. & Canada. The winner will be announced on April 23rd. Good Luck!