Please welcome Jessica! Today we’ll be discussing her new release, Board Stiff, as well as learning QUITE a bit about her. About Jessica: I am a born and raised small town Ohio girl, who moved to the Sunshine State after graduating from college. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in English because I could not imagine doing anything else but reading and writing.
In the journey of life, I also became a wife and a mother of three children. So, life is always an adventure. But the love of writing has never died.
D.C: Hi, Jessica! What’s the name of your new release?
Jess: Board Stiff – Book 1 of the Taking Advantage Series
D.C: Heh. The title is interesting, and very creative! What’s it about?
Jess: Board Stiff is the first book in a three book series called Taking Advantage. I sort of got the idea for John and Elizabeth’s story sitting outside a boardroom waiting to give a presentation. A scene came to me and shortly thereafter, John and Elizabeth’s story came together.
John is a young, independent and strong business man, who doesn’t feel challenged by the women that throw themselves at him. He needs a woman that can carry on a conversation all the while putting him in his place. Now, that would turn him on! And Elizabeth Wright was just the girl to do all that!
D.C: Holy hell, that sounds hot. And I can get his need for um, *coughs* stimulation. ;) I can’t remember how many times I’ve been waiting outside of a courtroom to testify, bored out of my mind, needing some sort of distraction. At least now I’ll have your story to read and get me past the energy-draining hours.
So is there anything you’re working on now?
Jess: I am working on a ton of stuff. It’s quite crazy this year. It seems like once you open the can of worms and get published, you just can’t stop! ;) I am collaborating on two stories with two amazing authors. One is a paranormal-vampire story with Nikki Prince. It’s my first time writing the paranormal genre, so it’s been challenging but fun. The other collaboration is with …. Hmmmm… what was her name again!?!? Oh yeah! None other than DC Stone! (D.C: I’m laughing at this part) And I don’t really want to give away our story, but I have a really, really good feeling about it! J
I’m also working on a sequel to my first book, More Than Friends. The readers requested more of Jeni and Brian, so I want to give it to them.
I’m finishing up the last book in the Taking Advantage series. This series is three books long and follows three men in their 30s and 40s that sit on a board of directors for the same company on a journey through their love lives.
And on the back burner is my Florida cowboy story. I’ve started it, but have gotten involved in a few other things that need to be finished first. But Drew Hayworth will be worth the wait… I promise!
D.C: Holy shit, woman! Where do you find the time to still be a mom, to work? I thought I was busy. *laughs* I get asked this question a lot, and I gotta say, to a new author I know this can be extremely intimidating. Where do you find all the ideas for your stories?
Jess: I say this with all seriousness…. Life gives me the ideas. I carry a small journal in my purse that is filled with ideas. I can be at the grocery store or a restaurant or sitting on the beach or at a concert and an idea or a scene literally pops into my head. Sometimes, it is something I witness. Other times, it is a song or a mood or something someone says to me. I have yet to have to sit down and try to come up with an idea to write on because my journal is full!
D.C: Ah, good point. There’s an app for that, you know. *laughing … again* What is it about writing that you enjoy the most?
Jess: Getting the voices out of my head… seriously! There are times where the characters are having a conversation in my head and it just feels great to get it out and on the computer.
D.C: Ugh, yes, I can understand that all too well. And I can tell you, you’re at the right place for craziness. I’m just saying, in case you’ve missed my front page here. *winks*
I know you and I are working on this right now and learning about one another’s style, but I gotta ask for those who don’t know. Where do you start when it comes to writing?
Jess: I start writing with a scene. It is usually a scene that comes into my head. The characters are usually still sketchy. I may not even know the premise of the whole story, but I have this amazing scene that just won’t let me go. Then everything sort of flows from there!
D.C: I completely understand. It’s really quite shocking how much of a slave we are to scene ideas. What do you like most about being an author?
Jess: Getting feedback on a story. As a writer, you know not everyone is going to love your characters or the story you are telling, but it is amazing when you hear from readers. One of the reasons I write is because I have these stories in my head that I need to get out and to find out that I’ve thoroughly entertained someone with one is a great feeling because I know how I feel when I am entertained by a story. So the best part for me is hearing from the readers!
D.C: I was just telling a friend this. That sometimes you want to rest, but in writing you can’t, because the results can be unforgiving. So instead of going to that party, or getting that extra two hours of sleep, you’re writing, and promoting, and connecting on Facebook and Twitter. But in the end, when that one reader emails you and tells you how much they loved the story, it makes it all worthwhile. The tears, the headache, the hours spent behind the computer.
Alright, so back to this story. What’s your favorite scene from this new release?
Jess: My favorite scene in Board Stiff is when John enters Elizabeth’s office and starts bombarding her with inappropriate questions about her relationship status. Here’s a confident guy that could probably have any woman he wants, but this one has turned him inside out without even trying and he needs to know if anyone stands in his way before he full out pursues her. I love stories where strong men can be brought to their knees by equally strong women.
D.C: *grins* Weren’t we just talking about this the other day? Okay, now for the favorite part. Give me your top three favorite things.
1. The Ohio State Buckeyes
2. The sound of the waves crashing to the shore
3. My children laughing
D.C: *laughs* Thank you!
Here’s where you can find Board Stiff. Keep scrolling down to read an excerpt below.
AMAZON - UK
Connect with Jessica here:
“Are you seeing anyone? Sleeping with anyone?” he asked further.
“What?” she said, standing up from her chair. Her face was incapable of hiding her shock at his questions. Her green eyes were wide. Her lips parted. “What sort of questions are these?” John’s stride made short use of the distance between them. He stood directly in front of her, cornering her behind her desk. He looked down into her green eyes. They were gorgeous… she was gorgeous. And he had every intention of claiming her.
“Answer my questions, Elizabeth. Are you seeing anyone?” He watched as her eyes widened even further with shock at his determination to get answers to his questions. Nervousness flittered across her face, but her breath came out in short pants as if his close proximity affected her. He watched as her chest rose and fell with each breath. God, he wanted to feel her body against his. He just knew she would feel perfect against him… in his arms.
“Your questions are inappropriate,” she replied sharply. Despite her body giving her attraction away, she held firm. He liked that. He liked a woman that wasn’t too easy of a catch.
“I agree,” he said, impatiently. “They are inappropriate. I need the answers nonetheless.”
“Why?” she asked. Her gaze scanned his face as if looking for the answer to her question.
“Answer me,” he demanded. His hand reached out and caressed her cheek as if to soothe the harshness of his words.
“You are way out of line, Mr. Dorsey,” Elizabeth said.
“Yes, I know,” he said a little softer this time. His fingers tucked a few strands of her hair behind her ear. His gaze dropped to her bared neck. He had to fight the urge to nuzzle the spot just below her ear. “But I need to know if there are any obstacles to making you mine. Are you seeing anyone?”
“No,” she whispered. “I’m not seeing anyone.” Her lips parted for a moment before she bit down on her lower lip. That was almost his undoing.
“Are you fucking anyone?” he asked. She released her bottom lip and sucked in a breath when he asked that question. Her gaze fell from his eyes to his lips and then to her hands. He placed his fingers under her chin and tilted her head up to meet his gaze again. He wanted to see her eyes when she answered him. There was heat in her gaze, and that thrilled him.
“No, Mr. Dorsey, I’m not fucking anyone at the moment,” she said. Her voice was hard, but he heard the desire in it and that snapped his restraint. His hand weaved into her hair until his palm gripped the back of her head, pulling her into him. His mouth slammed down on hers. Her full lips were soft and pliable, and his tongue flicked out over her lips to taste her. She tasted so sweet…like candy.
Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos
Often when meeting new individuals in the publishing industry, and they find out what my “full-time” job is, I’m asked about a million and one questions to assist in whatever manuscript they may be working, or some sort of project they are hoping to accomplish. This, all in an industry that’s constantly evolving, is a huge example of just how far and how much research many do in order to keep things “real” in their novels.
In case all of this is completely going over your head, my background is in military and law enforcement operations. And basically, to explain what sort of experience I can equate to, I’m often called the Investigative Whisperer. *laughs*
Do I use my knowledge I’ve gained in my job in order to help with what I write? Hell yes, I do. It’s what I’m establishing my brand to be, and with the exception of High Scandal, you’ll always see some sort of marker for those two entities in my work.
That being said, I figured I’d start a snippet and help others out with some of the common questions I’m asked. One of those questions is the art of building suspense. This, I don’t think is related directly to my job (although, it is what I write), but some of the tactics I use within my job can transfer to a piece and help with what I’m trying to accomplish.
There are several factors we’ll hit on in later posts, but the first and foremost thing you should do when trying to build the suspense in your work-in-progress (WIP), is slow…things…down. And no, I don’t mean what I just did with the ellipses.
Slowing things down in your WIP can be shown (key word to remember here) in the details you need to add. Back when I was a part of a writing community, I had some authors who hated the amount of detail I put into my novels, and when critiqued, I was reminded of that. Others, loved it, and happily followed along as they said the details brought in that suspense building. That’s exactly what it’s supposed to do (on top of other things—such as scene setting).
When you slow it down, you draw in all senses of your character. We want to use the senses anyway, but focusing on them all at once really draws the reader to concentrate on exactly what you’re looking for. For example, say Betty Joe is looking for Billy Bob. They just had a fight on the phone before it cut out with a loud scream. She’s pulled up to his house and is approaching the front door.
‘ Everything was too quiet. No birds chirped in the trees, no wind blew, and no sounds came from inside the house. Despite the world seemingly frozen, a chill snaked up Betty Joe’s spine, crawling like a serpent across her skin. She hovered her hand over the brass knob, and fought for courage. “Just grab it and turn,” she whispered with a harsh voice.
Billy Bob’s scream still resonated in her ears, the terror shaking his voice before cut off, a sound she could never replicate. There were octaves a man’s voice should never go, a rule broken today.
She paused, waited, listened again. Fear, a bitter taste like sour milk, rose in her mouth with each passing pulse of her heart. The beat hammered out a song in her throat as she closed her hand over the handle and pushed it open.
“Surprise!” everyone yelled! ‘
Now, mind you, that may not be the best passage and is very off the cuff, but for the most part, you see the suspense that is being built and a big way, that’s done through showing the senses, giving your details. In other words, refer back to Show and Tell when trying to achieve the build-up.
How much fun would Betty Joe of been if she simply got out of her car, stormed up the steps, and opened the door? Well, hell, I’m sure she’d surprise the hell out of a reader with the size of her balls after a scream like what Billie Bob did, but then again, you’re trying to build that suspense, right?
Thanks for hopping on by! We're having a hell of a time including excerpts that sizzle from our books. I've included one from my paranormal romance, Feral Craving. Bari had fought against his desire for far too long ... and his lust exploded. When you're done reading, make sure to follow the directions for your chance to win! Enjoy!
(Copyright, 2013, D.C. Stone)
Shock and pure, unadulterated lust pooled deep in his gut. Bari sucked in a sharp breath at the first press of her lips and shook with the amount of force it was taking to hold him back as she paused and waited for his reaction. Fuck—this was all he dreamed of for years but now felt unsure of how much to push. His mind pinged off about a dozen warning bells. Watching her response carefully, he brushed his lips on Mackenzie’s, tempting, enticing her to part her lips, and she did. His tongue darted out, licking the seam of her lips slowly, tasting her. He heard Mackenzie’s breath catch, felt her lips part on a sigh and took advantage, plunging his tongue deep inside her mouth. Her taste assailed him, gripped him, and entranced him to continue. He kept the kiss slow and cautious, not wanting to push her, and gave in to the temptation she offered: a sweet sip of Mackenzie Walters.
His tongue guided over hers, caressed and curled around it. He leaned in to her, pulling his hand from the mug, and palmed her face, deepening the kiss, unable to get enough of her. Something primitive took over. Something deep inside craved her more than should be possible. He was a drowning man in a sea full of water. So damn thirsty.
Mackenzie moaned, and Bari swallowed it with his mouth, answered with a low growl. His hands left her face, guided down the length of her neck before rolling across her shoulders and down her back. He wanted to mold her, wanted to trace and learn every curve, every dip of her body with his hands before retracing it all with his mouth. He wanted so much, yet not enough, to give and take, to conquer and plunge.
Dropping his hands to her slender waist, he curved them over her enticing rear and squeezed her body tight to his as he rose from the stool he was sitting on at the center island. His cock strained in his pants, begging to be set free.
His hips rolled, the action intentionally slow, and as another groan escaped her, he caught it with his mouth. Lifting up, he palmed her rear and turned, setting her on the counter as he stepped between her legs. She tasted of heaven and home, of apple and spices, of the sea and sky; so many different flavors, all identified to that of his Mackenzie. His muscles coiled tight, his need hammering nails in the coffin of his restraint.
Mackenzie broke her mouth from his with a gasp, and she groaned as his mouth trailed down her neck, nipping and suckling. The sound was as sweet as sugar would be on his tongue.
“Bari, don’t hold back.”
An answering growl, a labored groan. Bari’s hands hooked under her thighs and pulled her closer as he bent her body back on the counter. She wrapped her legs around his waist and curled her body to his like someone hanging on for their life. His mouth came back up to hers, and as he captured her lips, he heard a tortured sigh.
“Mackenzie.” The sigh came from him.
Dishes clattered as he swiped them across the counter. Bari hovered above Mackenzie, his hands roaming with frantic movements before he dipped his hand beneath her shirt to seek skin. Under his palm she was so damn soft, like velvet, so warm to his touch. Warmth he yearned for on a cold night. He wanted to brand and possess her. The surge of it shocked him. Bari pulled back and stared down at her. Heavy-lidded eyes stared up at him, unblinking and heavy with anticipation. His hand paused just under the swell of her breast, and his fingers moved back and forth in a teasing caress, just barely brushing the sensitive skin.
“Mackenzie, I’m not going to be able to stop until you tell me to. You understand?” His voice sounded thick, guttural.
She answered by raising her head and pulling him down to her seeking lips. Heat pooled low in his stomach as his hips rolled against hers, eliciting a gasp as he rubbed right against her sex. His hand brushed under her bra, wrapped around her breast. She felt like heaven, silk, sweet temptation. Mackenzie moaned into his mouth and pressed her hips up to meet his in a primal movement as old as time, mimicking the movements of his tongue in her mouth with her body.
*winks* That's all we have for now. Interested in reading more? Make sure you check out Feral Craving here or here. For your chance to win, make sure you click on the picture above which will direct you for your chance to win any of the following prizes. I'd love to hear what you think happens next. Post below and we'll chat!
You could win......
Grand Prize #1
An iPAD MINI
(Alternate prize for international winner)
Grand Prize #2
$50 Amazon/B&N Gift Card
+ Several Surprise Digital Books
Fabulous Swag Pack #1
+ $10 Amazon/B&N GC
+ Several surprise digital books
(US ONLY for Swag)
Fabulous Swag Pack #2
+ $10 Amazon/B&N GC
+ Several surprise digital books
(US ONLY for Swag)