Hi friends!! I … well Jackie Barboasa aka M.A. Parker has a sale to tell you about! An anthology that is only 99¢ – Do It Again: A We Write Our Own Books Anthology – with a number of your favorite or soon to be favorite authors! 😉
One of my favorite themes in romance is the triumph of hope over experience. Whether that comes by way of a second chance with an ex or characters who’ve been burned before learning to love again, I’m there for it. There’s nothing more terrifying than risking your heart when you know exactly how vulnerable that makes you.
I suspect that one of the reasons I’m so drawn to this theme is that it’s very much like the process of writing and publishing a new book. Every time, it feels like starting over from scratch. And in my case, it’s maybe a little more like starting over from scratch than for other authors because I took a nearly five-year publishing hiatus and then, like the overly optimistic fool I am, thought it would also be a good time to launch a new pen name.
All of this is a roundabout way of explaining why I wound up writing Semi-Tough Luck, one of the five novellas in Do It Again. The theme of starting over and second chances really appealed to me, as did the opportunity to be part of an anthology that includes other great authors that I also count as good friends. And this week (through next Monday, December 9), the anthology is on sale for 99 cents, so this is a great time to pick up a copy if you love this theme as much as I and my fellow authors do.
Who else is in the anthology, you ask? In addition to my story, we have stories by Kate Davies, Jayce Ellis, Tara Kennedy, and Sabrina Sol.
Sabrina’s entry, Never Really Over, is set in her Hotel Arroyo series and features a pair of exes who’ve been separated by many years but are reunited at the wedding of their siblings. Like everything Sabrina writes, it’s both sweet and spicy.
The Wedding Fling, by Kate Davies, is also set at a wedding, but instead of exes, we get a sibling’s best friend story. Gia has had a crush on Randy for years and Randy is surprised to find himself attracted to his best friend’s little sister. Neither is in the market for a relationship, so they agree on a one-night fling and…well, this is a romance.
Jayce Ellis’s story, Reverence, is both a homecoming story and a second chance romance featuring heroes who’ve been apart for twenty-five years. It’s heartfelt and hot, and I know you’re going to love it.
In Tara Kennedy’s Repeated Burn, we have a heroine who’s been burned one too many times by people who claim to love her and a hero who’s up to the task of helping her trust again.
Finally, there’s my M.A. Parker novella (Semi-Tough Luck), and I have to tell you, I enjoyed writing this one. Sylvia is a long-haul truck driver whose rig—as well as her purse, ID, credit cards, etc.—is stolen from a truck stop in Nebraska. She winds up hitching a ride home with Ivan, the younger brother of the local sheriff. And they wind up having to share a motel room. With one bed. I think you know this trope, Romancelandia! Here’s a little excerpt from the “pivotal” scene:
My fingers twitch. My balls tighten. My dick presses uncomfortably against my zipper. If I get in that bed with her—that teeny, tiny bed—I’ll be responsible for my actions and I’m not sure I can guarantee they’ll be the best actions.
But she’s right that going back to Casper would put a big dent in our schedule.
I cast a dubious glance around the room, which is proportional to the bed. Between the dresser against the wall at the foot of the bed and a tiny café table with two chairs underneath the window that looks out to the parking lot, there’s barely enough room to walk around the bed to get to the bathroom. It’s going to be a tight squeeze, but I can manage it.
I toss the room key on the top of the dresser. “I’ll get some extra blankets.”
Sylvia uncovers her eyes and blinks at me. “Wh—?” she begins, and then comprehension dawns. Propping herself up on one elbow, she shakes her head at me. “Oh, no. You’re not sleeping on the floor. You’re the driver. You need your rest.”
Well, in that case, chivalry be damned. “Then you can be the one to sleep on the floor.” I turn away, ready to head to the motel office to put in my request.
“Uh, about that…” There’s a little tremor in her voice.
“Yeah?” I look back over my shoulder.
She’s biting her lip and her cheeks are flushed. She looks supremely kissable. Supremely fuckable.
Damn, the attraction was bad enough when she was just an unexpectedly sexy woman my brother brought home from work. It’s ten times worse now that I’ve spent a solid twelve hours in her company. I mean, let’s be honest, I’ve had sex with women I’ve spent less than half that amount of time with and found less than half as wonderful. If we’d met under any other circumstances, I’d have made my move long ago…and then moved on if she made it clear she wasn’t interested.
But moving on isn’t an option. Not for three more days.
“Close the door.” She delivers the command in a husky tone that vibrates over my skin like a touch.
I do, then lean against it. As if it might be smeared in some kind of magical glue that’ll keep me from launching myself at her.
“So.” She expels a heavy breath and inhales deeply. I can’t keep myself from noticing what this action does to her chest. She may be wearing a T-shirt with a neckline that doesn’t reveal so much as an inch of cleavage, but that doesn’t particularly matter to my lust-addled brain. “I was thinking maybe we should kiss.”
You know you want to know what happens next. Even though you kinda know what happens next.
P.S. I know some readers really don’t like first person present tense. If this excerpt isn’t your cuppa because of that, know that all the other novellas are third-person past tense stories. I’m the outlier here!