The Good Stuff
So, I have some good news and a little something "extra" for you this month. First, the good news: Dear Prudence has now won two book awards: one from Literary Titan (gold "medal"), and the other is the Firebird Book Award (both for contemporary romance). It also received an honorable mention from the Paris Book Festival in the General Fiction category. I'm both excited and humbled by all of it. I'd love for you to grab a copy of the book, maybe leave a review if you like it. We lesser-known authors depend on reviews!
Her Name Was Lola is coming along and I'm super-stoked about it. It's got fairy tales. I'ts got carousels. It's got...wait for it...mermaids (sort of)! It's also got an age gap and professor/student thing going on. There's also enemies-to-lovers, forced proximity, grumpy/sunshine, I'll be putting out excerpts and teasers later on. I can hardly wait to share! Expect the book to become available around DECEMBER 22, 2023.
Meanwhile, here's an excerpt from Dear Prudence, where Shawn and Pru kiss for the first time. I hope you enjoy it! For context, they each have things in their lives that they need to sort out, and know it's a bad idea to be together. The scene takes place in front of Pru's house. She's had a very bad day. Shawn runs into her and has offered her a ride home. Matilda is Pru's service dog.
He got out without turning off the car. She and Matilda followed him to the trunk. “Do you need help bringing these in?” He held up her grocery bags.
“No, but I appreciate the offer.” Pru’s shirt had become untucked from her skirt, and both were rumpled. Like last time, that strong wisteria smell hung in the air. Everywhere he saw or smelled it now, he automatically conjured the image of her, drenched in front of her house. Shawn wasn’t sure if Pru was shaking, but he certainly was.
He took a step forward, and she met him halfway for a hug. Her hair was starting to stick out from the braid, nearly poking up his nose, and he picked up the faint scent of salt from her sweat with the flowers. They each moved to peck each other on the cheek and their mouths landed closer than intended, like falling feathers. They stood stock-still until she lifted her chin by the smallest fraction, a natural, involuntary movement rather than something deliberate.
Please, don’t let this stop.
Pru took the tiniest breath, and he registered her earlier tears layered in Earl Grey tea. He let the bags drop to the ground.
Shawn, you’re a moron.
Her lips were warm on his skin, just a fraction of an inch from the corner of his mouth.
Shut up. I don’t care right now. This has to happen.
He swallowed. Her jaw contained none of the tension he’d noticed earlier today. They swayed as their heads made tiny movements, gliding their closed mouths back and forth like skaters floating across the ice. Her breath pirouetted down to the bottoms of his lungs.
Don’t stop. Don’t think.
Cupping his hand behind her head, they added more pressure against each other’s lips and their mouths parted slightly. The tips of their tongues touched.
After a few seconds, she pulled back. Her brow knitted for a second, but the blue rays in her gray eyes glinted when she bit her lip and smiled at him. She picked up her bags.
“Anytime you need someone, I’m a phone call away,” Shawn half whispered, touching her arm. “I mean it.”
She reached for his hand, and he gave it a quick squeeze. “Okay.” She hurried up the porch steps and waved from her door’s threshold.
After waiting to make sure she was safely inside, Shawn pulled back onto the road. As he began to drive away, he thought he saw her watching him from her window.
He shouldn’t have let that happen. Yet he put his fingers to his lips, as if he could hold the kiss there longer.