Hi everyone! Today we have badass author Jessica Scott visiting with us! She’s got a great sense of humor. And as you see, we learned a little bit about each other while setting up this post. (I will throw the gauntlet, and she will pick it up. I like that.)
Hamsters & Dishwashers
Thanks to Lime for being gracious enough to invite me here today! When we were chatting about what I should write about, she mentioned off hand that I should talk about whatever I wanted, except, you know, maybe dryer lint.
Well, you know me and my tendency to put my foot in it. I asked for a topic b/c well, otherwise, she’d get my hamsters…and the gauntlet was thrown. Could I write about hamsters and dryer lint and not make it suck.
Not sure about the suckage (which is entirely mine) but here goes nothing.
So if you follow my blog you know that I have a hamster named Fluffy that likes to escape. A lot. Like every other week the little rat is running around my house somewhere causing me a major heart attack about maybe this time, my – her – luck is going to run out and there will be scarred children for life in my home.
So far, we’re going on a little over a year and she’s holding strong. One of these days though. Fluffy is a fun distraction though because as I was writing my last book, I realized I’d written her into Laura & Trent’s book. The hamsters were never planned on in the story, they just happened. And they actually happened really well because not only does Fluffy serve a purpose in my life (random acts of chaos) but she served a story purpose too.
So what about the rules about separating life from your fiction? Obviously, I’m not going to put a real person in my books. That would be unethical at best, possibly a civil violation at worst. BUT what about experiences? In the same story, Laura is a military spouse who is home while her husband is deployed and she has to either fix the dishwasher or call a repair man. I wanted a way to show how the deployed husband doesn’t realize sometimes all the things the spouse back home has to face and so I used my experience of actually tearing apart my dishwasher to show Laura’s challenges.
I don’t think that breaks the rules. If anything, I’m able to land an air of authenticity about the hamster escapes and the frustration of trying to fix the dishwasher.
Then again, I’ve got rules issues and well, it should come as no surprise that Claire, my heroine in Until There Was You has rules issues, too. I’m excited to share an exclusive excerpt from Evan & Claire’s story. It’s probably my favorite scene in the whole book, where Evan tells Claire he loves her. And no, it doesn’t give away any spoilers just b/c its the I Love You moment. At least I hope it doesn’t.
After you read it, tell me, do you like realism in your books? Or do you prefer not to know what your authors have done for research?
He plays by the rules, she’s not afraid to break them. Now these two strong-willed Army captains will prove that opposites attract . . .
A by-the-book captain with a West Point background, Captain Evan Loehr refuses to mix business with pleasure–except for an unguarded instance years ago when he succumbed to the deep sensuality of redheaded beauty Claire Montoya. From that moment on, though, Evan has been at odds with her, through two deployments to Iraq and back again. But when he is asked to train a team prepping for combat alongside Claire, battle-worn Evan is in for the fight of his life.
Strong, gutsy, and loyal, Captain Claire Montoya has worked hard to earn the rank on her chest. In Evan, Claire sees a rigid officer who puts the rules before everything else–including his people. When the mission forces them together, Claire soon discovers that there is more to Evan than meets the eye. He’s more than the rank on his chest; he’s a man with dark secrets and deep longings. For all their differences, Evan and Claire share two crucial passions: their country and each other.
Claire’s body was tense as a det cord beneath his touch. She was beauty and sensual energy bound together in one woman who could send him into the darkest rage or draw him into the fiercest passion.
Her thighs clenched against his forearms but he kept stroking that impossibly soft skin between the edge of her thigh and her intimate heat. He’d dreamed of her like this.
He barely restrained the urge to tear her panties off, instead dragging them slowly down her thighs. “Oh my God.”
His mouth went dry. She was completely bare except for the tiniest stripe of the deepest copper red at the very center of her.
He looked up at her. She smiled sheepishly. “Surprise,” she said weakly.
“Oh, you’ve got to explain this,” he said when he could speak. He nuzzled the soft skin of her inner thigh, kissing her gently, then blowing on the moist skin. “Later.”
And when he tasted her, long and slow and smooth, Claire’s entire body tightened. He stroked her with his tongue, teasing her until her body was tight beneath him.
Her orgasm was beautiful against his lips. She trembled beneath his mouth, her cries pure balm to his ragged soul. He didn’t stop stroking her until she was tight and tense once more.
Only then did he crawl up her body, teasing her with his thumb. He was darkly aroused by the sight of his dog tags resting between her breasts.
She tried to turn like she always did. He gripped her hands, threading his fingers through hers and dragging her arms over her head. “Don’t.” He brushed his lips against her cheek. “Trust me, Claire?”
She turned her face away from his, closing her eyes. He released one hand to cradle her cheek in his palm. Please don’t turn away. But he didn’t say the words. Reality had crawled into bed with them and Evan wanted to kick the bastard out into the cold.
He kissed her sweetly, coaxing. Soothing. Doing everything in his power to relax her, to keep her from turning away and shutting him out. “Claire.”
He whispered her name, his lips near her ear. “Look at me.”
She didn’t open her eyes.
“Claire. Please look at me.” His words were ragged, his voice shredded, his control shattered.
Finally. Finally she met his gaze. Iridescent shards of emotion glinted back at him. Releasing her hands, he cradled her face in both palms. Her fingers clenched his as her thighs wrapped around his hips and urged him home.
“I love you,” he whispered, holding her gaze as he pushed deep inside her.
She tried to turn her face away. Closed her eyes so she wouldn’t have to meet his gaze. He gently urged her chin back.
He slid fully inside her again, a slow, deliberate stroke. “I love you.”
She gasped quietly as he sank fully inside her and she closed her eyes, arching and opening for him.
* * *
His breath was hot on her ear, his words a whisper against her skin. Everything rioted inside her, violent fear mixed with insecurity. This wasn’t supposed to have happened. She wasn’t supposed to care about this man. Not like this. She was a good friend. A good soldier. A terrible lover.
“Look at me,” he whispered again, not moving inside her, denying her the release she needed.
She rolled her hips, digging her fingers into his skin and urging him to move. He refused and she opened her eyes, looking into the depths of Evan’s own dark need. Her breath caught in her throat, desire welling up from deep, deep within her.
She met his gaze and he moved inside her, bringing her pleasure toward an intense, unreached peak.
“I love you,” he murmured against her mouth and she captured his words inside her.
“Evan—” Her breath caught as he gripped both her hands in his so he could cradle her cheek with his other hand.
He kissed her then, as he drove them both closer to the edge of no turning back. The abyss spiraled wide and inviting, urging her to take the leap, to embrace everything he offered.
She shattered, her name on his lips the last thing she heard as she tumbled into the chaos.
BIO: Jessica Scott is a career army officer, mother of two daughters, three cats, three dogs and two escape-artists hamsters, wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She has commanded two companies, served in Germany, Korea, Fort Hood and Iraq, and been lucky not to get fired. She is a terrible cook and an even worse housekeeper, but she’s a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon. Somehow, her children are pretty well adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.