Guest Janice Maynard + An Exclusive Excerpt of Twins on the Way
Y’all I’ve read Janice Maynard’s books (or novellas) since at least 2006… possibly earlier – with those Brava anthologies. Remember those? So I’m very pleased to welcome her to ALBTALBS as a guest today! 🙂 Everyone please give her a warm welcome, as she’s a first time guest! \o/
Thanks for letting me hang out with you today! I’m always happy to talk with fellow book lovers.
When I was thinking about what to chat about, it occurred to me to wonder how many of you care where a book takes place? For me, it definitely makes a difference. There are certain settings that (as a reader) I find more appealing than others. And when I am writing a book, it’s really important. My characters tend to make themselves at home in very specific places.
I’m always more comfortable using settings I’ve actually visited. But sometimes, that’s not possible. Let me give you an example… it took me a very long time to sell my first book. It was a pretty traditional romance set in Antigua. My husband and I had vacationed there for an anniversary trip. During our time on Antigua, we took a puddle jumper plane to the nearby island of Montserrat and hiked down into a dormant volcano…pretty cool.
Fast forward a few years until the time Kensington Publishing bought that book. Unfortunately for me, in the interim, the volcano on Montserrat exploded, obliterating large parts of the island. Jokingly, I suggested to my new editor that maybe no one would notice.
Of course, I had to change that section of the book…and pretty quickly. I tried to convince my hubby that I needed to make a spontaneous trip to the Caribbean, but he wasn’t buying it. So I did some research the old-fashioned way and changed all the Montserrat parts to the island of St. Kitts. Hopefully, I did a decent job. As far as I know, no one protested.
In Twins On the Way, Gavin and Cassidy meet in Las Vegas. My husband and I have been there twice, both times on the way to somewhere else. But we did take in a few of the sights. Although we’re not really gamblers, we had fun on the nickel slot machines, and we also saw a couple of shows.
I was intrigued by the desert city of Vegas. It’s brash and beautiful and impossible to ignore. I had a lot of fun setting a book amidst the neon and pageantry that’s like nowhere else on earth.
I’d love to find out what settings you all enjoy. Big city? Small town? Fictional communities? Please weigh in! And we’ll choose one lucky commenter to win a prize. I’m giving away a copy of two of my erotic romances, Play With Me and Mating Game. Good luck, and I’m looking forward to hearing from you…
She’s pregnant on his doorstep in this novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Janice Maynard
Workaholic Cassidy Corelli was a virgin…until her one night with Gavin Kavanagh. Now the daughter of a Vegas mogul has two little problems—the twins she’s carrying! When her father disowns her, she’s left with only one place to go—back to Gavin.
But the millionaire’s been burned before. He wants a paternity test. Until then, he’s determined to keep this woman out of his bed—for his own good. But once he’s enjoyed a perfect passion, can a starving man deny himself one more taste?
Cassidy shivered inwardly. Gavin Kavanagh was a man, not a boy. He’d rescued her from what he thought was a dangerous situation, not pausing to consider the consequences. Though she was more than capable of taking care of herself, Gavin’s masculine assurance triggered all sorts of non-PC feminine emotions.
He was a beautiful man. Tall and broad…exuding confidence. The combination made her damp in places she’d rather not ponder. His streaky brownish-blond hair was short and spiky, not expertly styled, but like a man who didn’t care to fool with anything he considered a waste of time.
His gray eyes with the hint of blue were cool and distant at the moment. “Which is it?” The question was rife with masculine demand.
“Grumpy, grumpy, grumpy.” She wanted more time to think about this, but if she let the moment pass, she would never see him again. She was tired of being her father’s good little girl. Everyone expected her to live like a nun. And she had. But why? Her whole life was about work, work, work, and earning the love that should be a gift.
She’d been edgy and stressed for weeks now, arguing with her brother and going head-to-head with her father. Perhaps if she’d had a mother, she could have talked frankly about the fact that she felt like the world’s oldest virgin. About her choice to wait for the right man. And the fact that she’d never even met a guy who honestly tempted her.
Being raised in Vegas had exposed her to a whole lot of mature situations that gave her an insight into all kinds of adult behavior. But it also took some of the bloom off the rose when it came to romance. She was probably holding out for a fantasy that didn’t even exist except in books and movies.
She took a deep breath, feeling a funny spin in the pit of her stomach. To hell with her status as the firstborn who never strayed from the straight and narrow. She could blame Gavin for her sexual epiphany, but truthfully, this moment had been coming for a long time. She’d been saving herself for some unknown white knight, but surprisingly, the tarnished armor of a gruff, no-nonsense, make-my-day kind of guy punched all her buttons.
Though it took a measure of courage and nonchalance she wasn’t sure she could pull off, she went to him and perched on his lap, curling one arm around his neck. “You could kiss me. It might help me make up my mind.”
A firm hand gripped her hip. He smelled amazing. Woodsy cologne and warm male skin. She wanted things from him. Wild things. Wicked things. And that was saying a lot for a girl who had grown up in sin city.
“I should toss you out on your butt,” he muttered. “You’re a menace to the male sex.”
“Really?” Could he be telling the truth?
“You’re playing a dangerous game.”
The suspicion in his hard eyes was perhaps warranted, but it stung. “Don’t be that way,” she said. Putting a hand to his stubbly cheek, she smiled wistfully. “I’ll go if you want me to. But I’d really like to stay.”
He made her wait a miserably long time. Maybe thirty seconds. Or more. She actually felt the moment she won the standoff. Though she was technically on top, Gavin took control right out of the gate. One big hand settled in the curls at the back of her head, pulling her down until his lips could reach hers.
“Gavin…” She had no idea what she meant to say. When his mouth settled over hers, her brain short-circuited. He was a great kisser. World-class. On a scale of one to ten, a thirteen. The only unlucky thing about that number was that they were both fully dressed.
He took his time, drawing attention to the fact that her experience was limited at best. Unapologetic, he slid his tongue into her mouth, mimicking the act they both wanted.
When she was starved for oxygen, he pulled back, his heavy-lidded gaze searching hers. “I don’t know why you’re here,” he said gruffly, with perhaps the slightest note of accusation in his voice.
“I can leave.” It would probably be best if she did. What had started as a personal declaration of independence suddenly seemed far more serious.
“Do you do this often?”
The insinuation infuriated her. “No,” she snapped. “How about you?”
He grinned. “Never. Maybe we’re experiencing Vegas madness. I’ve heard about it.”
“I wouldn’t know,” she sniffed. “I’m a native.”
“And I’m a novice.”
“You’re not a novice anything,” she said dryly. “But I could show you the sights if you’re interested.”
“I fly home tomorrow.”
“We have tonight.” She was skating a fine line between taking what she wanted and being totally reckless. But after four years of college and two years of grad school without a break, she wanted to know how it felt to be a woman. In every way.
He toyed with the neckline of her dress. The feel of his slightly rough fingertips on her bare skin made her nipples pebble. “The only sights I’m interested in at the moment are in this room.”
The words were flat. Unadorned with emotion. The blaze in his eyes more than made up for it. So much so that she almost chickened out. To him, she had been a damsel in distress. He had acted honorably, protecting her from a perceived enemy. Only a man with high moral standards did that … right?
She’d always been a good judge of character. It was a necessary skill growing up in Vegas, particularly when your family had a lot of money. Every gut instinct she possessed told her that Gavin Kavanagh was one of the good guys. He was leaving in the morning. Was there any point in starting something that would never amount to anything more?
Playing by the rules was a first-child burden. Good grades, never breaking curfew, always trying to satisfy the parental units. Tonight she was damned if she was going to miss out on something incredible because she was too afraid to take a walk on the wild side.
“I’d like to take a shower.” The follow-up didn’t need to be spelled out.
“May I join you?”
So polite. But it wasn’t really a question. She swallowed hard. “I suppose.”
He shifted her out of his lap onto her feet. Her legs felt like overcooked pasta and her heartbeat was none too steady.
“I like your hair.” He ruffled his hand through it, mussing the style.
Every time she thought she had him pinned down, he surprised her. Men in general had little patience when it came to sexual gratification. At least the ones she knew. Gavin, on the other hand, possessed remarkable restraint.
“Thank you,” she said.
“Don’t get shy now.” He chuckled, taking her hand and leading her across the thick carpet that made her toes curl.
The bathroom was palatial and decadent. She spared a glance for the hot tub, but Gavin shook his head. “Later.”
He turned the faucet control in the glass enclosure. Triple showerheads sprouted streams of water. “Last chance.”
They were both still fully clothed except for her shoes. Though he might not like it, she knew she could turn around and leave the suite. He wouldn’t chase after her. Her confidence wavered. Was she really about to get stark naked with a handsome stranger in his opulent shower stall?
She spared a glance in the mirror, hardly recognizing the woman who stood there. “Do you have any wine?”
“Needing a bit of Dutch courage, are we?”
“Don’t make fun of me,” she said. “You’re an intimidating man.”
“Which is why you insisted on coming to my room and throwing yourself at me.”
Hot color swept from her throat to her hairline. From where he was standing, it must have seemed that way. How could she explain that he had dazzled her without even trying? “You’ll be disappointed if you think I’m a pro.”
“I thought we already established that you’re not a pro.”
“That’s not what I mean. I haven’t done this kind of thing.”
“Sex? Or seduction?”
“I have not seduced you,” she said primly, secretly charmed that he thought she could.
He nodded briefly, his firm lips curved in a sensual smile. “I’ll admit to being predisposed. You’re a very appealing woman.”
. Thanks for visiting with us today, Janice! And congratulations on your newest release! 🙂 And remember! Janice has prizes up for grabs! Remember to tell her what your favorite type of setting is to throw your hat into the ring! You might get Play With Meand Mating Game!