I celebrated an anniversary this week — it’s been 6 years since my first story PRIVATE PROPERTY was published. (For more on that story, visit today’s Pay It Forward Friday post on my blog.) Since my first two books were about bodyguards, one of my street team asked me how I ended up moving from bodyguards to cowboys for my third book, TEXAS TANGLE. I’m not sure there’s really a story there — I’d been raised in the country, beside a horse farm on one side, cattle on the farms across the road. And I loved the cowboys of film and television — that sense of being in touch with the land and with nature. The confidence and no-nonsense attitude and their ‘who cared about fashion’ get-‘er-done attitude. And then Dillon and Brett and Nikki walked into my head and demanded I tell their story…
Dillon positioned the chainsaw in the shade of the barn, where he could watch Nikki working one of her colts. She moved with a grace, yet handled the long line with a confidence borne over years of handling her precious Blues. No one else would know the smile she shot him was a hint of the sensual being she kept carefully hidden from others. She lifted her hand in a wave before returning her focus to the colt.
Just last night, he’d been the focus of her attention on the porch swing. Man, that had been a sweet evening. Lying with her on top of him as the sun set, the breeze keeping them both cool. She’d had her hands all over him. And he’d returned the favor, discovering all her ticklish spots. It had been good to see her laughing. To feel her throaty moan reverberating through his chest when he’d gone down on her.
Even now the fruity scent of her shampoo filled his head, and the skin on his chest tingled everywhere she’d touched. A hint of her strawberry-flavored lip gloss lingered on his tongue from when she’d kissed him earlier.
She called an instruction to the pony, her voice strong and confident. Different from the soft, breathless pleas she’d whispered when he’d woken her that morning. The juxtaposition of strength and softness fascinated him.
“You gonna work on that chainsaw, or you planning on oglin’ me all morning?”
He laughed. “I plan on doin’ both, darlin’. You sure are a prettier sight than the inside of my workshed.”
She stuck her tongue out at him before clicking to the colt, wheeling him in the opposite direction.
But there was a single line late in the manuscript where Dillon’s grandmother mentioned her grandparents’ unusual living arrangement and suddenly three more characters walked into my head and demanded I tell their story. And TANGLED PAST soon came to be.
Nate stared at the water rippling in the ewer on the nightstand. There was no mistaking what was going on in the spare bedroom. Not from the way the bedframe hit the wall or the moans—both Jackson’s and Sarah’s.
Wasn’t it enough he’d gone to sleep last night listening to the two of them knocking boots? He shouldn’t have to wake up to the same sounds this morning.
He shut his eyes, but by shutting out the room, his imagination supplied an image of Jackson—coated in a sheen of sweat, the muscles of his thighs and ass flexing and rippling with strength. Damn, it had been over a month since he’d had Jackson’s hard body covering him, his even harder cock trapped between their bellies.
On the other side of the wall, Jackson said something, his tone dark and commanding. Though distance and lumber prevented him from hearing the actual words, the timbre of Jackson’s voice made Nate groan. He stumbled to the bed, taking the time to undo the belt he’d just buckled, and dropped his trousers before he fell onto the feather mattress. His hand closed around his already primed cock, his mind confused over who he pictured doing this for him. A month ago, it would have been Jackson’s hand. Now it was Sarah’s hand he envisioned clasping him. Nate ran his thumb over the swollen head and tried not to picture the couple on their bed. Which meant that was all he could see.
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And now I’ve told the story of Ben from SLOW RIDE HOME and Jake from NO ACCOUNTING FOR COWBOYS. Their brother Gabe, however, is being downright ornery. Darned stubborn man doesn’t want to talk. (You know how little some of these alpha male cowboys talk most times.) But I’ll tease it out of him. Eventually.
Will I still be writing six years from now? I hope so. I can’t imagine those characters clamoring in my head for me to tell their stories will ever shut up. And if they do…I’ll miss them.