Wild & Wicked Blog 9/9/15 Amanda McIntyre
Amanda McIntyre here, reporting from the Heart of the Heartland! I love this time of year! The changing season—even all the rain, which is indicative of the weather here in the Heartland in early Fall, ushers in cooler temps, brilliant blue sky days, and Mother’s Natures bountiful colors!
One of my favorite “Fall” places in the Midwest is up on the north shore of Lake Superior. The best route, of course, is the two-lane lake shore road that winds close to the shoreline, allowing plenty of places to stop for amazing pictures and quaint little roadside shops and diners.
I used them all in, STRANGER IN PARADISE, my new contemporary romance w/humor/heat/suspense coming out this month exclusively at Amazon.com
A frustrated in more ways than one erotic romance author on deadline, a special agent that needs more than wants this bodyguard gig, add in a crazed stalker, and a cheeky, sex-deprived author’s muse and nothing could be… stranger in paradise. Here’s a sneak peek at Kacey and Zack setting the parameters of their forced arrangement…
“Where do you intend to sleep tonight?” She was quick at changing topics.
“Right here is fine by me. If I could maybe trouble you for a blanket?”
“You’re going to sleep in a chair,” she scoffed.
“I’m open to suggestions.”
Her beautiful eyes widened.
“But you still haven’t answered my question.”
Ignoring him, she snapped off a couple of paper towels and started to clean the pie mess on the floor. “What’s your question?” she asked, scrubbing the tile with great fervor.
He leaned forward in his chair so he’d be able to see her reaction. God, being an ass was difficult work, but the entertainment value was priceless. “How do you research the stuff you write about?” he asked calmly. “I mean, man. Some of the stuff you’ve written made me blush and I thought I knew just about all there was to know.”
Kacey glanced up from her position on all fours, a wad of paper towels and bumbleberry guts in one hand. He clasped his hands over his knees, unable to hide his anticipatory grin.
“Did you really just ask me that?”
He shrugged. “I know. You probably get that a lot.”
“I can’t believe you really asked that.”
“It’s puzzling to me. Here you’re this famous erotica writer–”
“Erotic romance,” she corrected, hauling herself up off the floor.
“Same thing,” he responded.
She opened her mouth and he could hear guns being loaded. He couldn’t resist nudging her a little to see if she was as naive as she appeared. “I mean, look at you. You’re the last woman on earth I’d expect to write the scenes in your books.”
He noticed her fist tightening around the toweling. Juice dripped through her fingers. He smiled. It was all good, clean fun. Better to add a little humor to the situation. Defuse some of the tension. Though admittedly he knew a surefire way of relieving pent-up tension. “Do you have someone else write those scenes? Like one of those ghostwriters? They say a lot of the big authors have them.”
Kacey pressed her lips tightly together. She tossed the towels in the trash, washed her hands, and turned to him, her gaze steady. “Do you think that those who write murder mysteries go out and commit murder?”
“Good point. Probably not.” He waved off her deadly glare. “Look, I’m kidding you. We’re going to be here for a few weeks, so I didn’t think a little humor would be so bad.”
“Yeah, you’re a real funny guy.” She picked up the afghan over the back of the sofa and tossed it at his head. “Goodnight.”
“Did you lock the front door?” he asked.
She glanced at him, then the door. “Yes.”
He looked at her and pulled the blanket over his shoulders, offering her a wicked grin. “Read me a bedtime story?”
“Are you always this annoying?”
He winked. “Part of my charm.”
Yeah, maybe he’d taken the teasing a bit too far, too fast. Maybe she had no sense of humor. It was a defense mechanism for him. It had helped him get through some nightmarish times in his life. He hauled himself out of the chair and followed her to the front door. Clearly, she was more rattled about this stalker than she let on. When she turned toward him, he noticed the dark shadows beneath her gray-blue eyes. “Listen, I should apologize. My comedic timing isn’t always the best.”
“No kidding.” She looked him, then sighed. “And for the record, my name is Kacey.”
“Right. K.C. Winters, I know.”
“No, it’s really Kacey. K.A.C.E.Y.”
Okay, she didn’t acknowledge his apology, but it was all good. “Got it, Kacey. Why don’t you go on upstairs, relax, process everything, and tomorrow we’ll get this all straightened out. Go on, I’ll check everything down here.”
She started to protest, but he placed his finger on her lips to silence her.
Damn. I shouldn’t have done that. “It’s part of my job. I was just trying to lighten you up.”
She stepped around him, quick to distance herself. He knew he could be brash, annoying, and, at times, unthoughtful. But he wasn’t there to be her friend–he was there to protect her. The sooner he got that wedged into his brain, the better.
“Hey, Kacey?” he called out, and she turned to look at him from the stairs. “It’s going to be okay.”
She held his gaze a moment, nodded, and then disappeared upstairs.
Zack blew out a sigh. His memory catapulted to another place, another woman–one who used to give back his teasing. He missed that. Pain squeezed his chest. That seemed a lifetime ago.
He picked up the afghan and settled into the chair, his thoughts of the woman upstairs drifting softly into his dreams.
Not only does poor Kacey have a sex-on-a-stick dry wit detective to contend with, but also her writer’s muse, who is in desperate need of inspiration and frustrated by trying to nudge her protégé’ to sample the sexy goods right in front of her!
From Canal Park to Grand Marais, the scenic drive is a must-see for the nature-lover! Learn more at: http://www.northshorevisitor.com/ And watch for STRANGER IN PARADISE, coming soon to Amazon.com!
What’s you favorite place to visit in the Fall?
Until next time~
Blessings & Cowboy Dreams!