WIP Wednesday: The Sex That Rockstars Write Songs About

Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

It’s WIP Wednesday, and since my Facebook fans asked so nicely yesterday, today I’m sharing a little snippet from A Disturbing Prospect. I’m elbow deep in edits and every scene makes me so excited for you to meet Cliff and Olivia. I have to confess, Olivia is my favorite character that I’ve written to date. I’m so pleased to introduce you to her!

Olivia

I glance over at Lucy. She’s sitting at the desk, pen in hand, making a grocery list. We have a mini fridge and a microwave, so my expectations are pretty low. “Is that why you never want to get married?”

There’s no answer because the door opens and all six-plus feet of Cliff bursts into the room. His brown eyes are actually smiling, and someone must’ve taken pity on him because his wild beard has been tamed back into a goatee. He instantly earns back twenty hot points.

“I have good news.” His gaze flits from me to Lucy, then back to me.

One of my eyebrows lifts out of habit, but I’m so busy wondering why he’s telling me that I miss whatever good news he wants to share.

“That’s awesome!” Lucy flies across the room and flings herself into his arms.

He wraps her in a bear hug, an amused look on his face. “Isn’t it? You don’t need to go grocery shopping now.”

She relaxes into his embrace. “I know,” she says dreamily. “We can take the train back and eat at my place.”

Clearing my throat, I shake my head. “Uh-uh, we have a deal.”

Stepping back from Cliff, Lucy presses her lips together and gives me a little nod. “Yeah, you’re right. We need to celebrate!” She hugs him again. “I’m so glad you’re coming home,” she says into his chest.

A twinge of jealousy runs through me. I want to be hugging him, celebrating his good news. It’s totally stupid. I don’t know him, and I don’t plan on it. One night is enough for me, and then it’s occasional family gatherings. No hugs or lullabies. I’m going to reintegrate him into society by fucking his brains out, then it’s back to class for me.

“And I’m glad I don’t have to do laundry now.” I toss the bag to the side, then reach for my cigarettes.

“Not so fast,” Lucy says. “It’s still gotta get done. I’m not putting his dirty clothes into my suitcase with my clean clothes.”

Cliff glances back and forth between us. He holds up his hands. They’re huge and square, perfect for massaging naked breasts. Twenty more hot points, which puts him at 110. Off the fucking charts, even with the crusty socks. Fuck me. I think I’m actually going to swoon.

“You don’t have to do that.” He smiles at me—really, for real smiles—and nods toward the bag. “Toss that over. I’ve got it.”

Lucy snorts. Both of us turn toward her. “Dude, you don’t even know how to do laundry.”

He scowls at her. “What do you think I am, a fucking rock? I can figure it out.”

My sister’s lips press together, and I can practically see the laugh throwing itself at her closed mouth, trying to break through. “What if Livvie goes with you? She’s gotta do her own anyway. And mine.” She smiles sweetly at me.

“Tequila,” I remind her.

She nods. “Have fun.”

* * *

The laundromat is empty, thank goodness. It’s going to be embarrassing enough for the guy to have to be taught how to do laundry. I show him how to load the card at the kiosk, then take him over to the machines.

“You just throw everything in,” I explain, reaching for my laundry bag. But I don’t take my own advice. Reaching for everything slowly, I pause every time I get to a lacy little thong, making sure he sees it. “Then,” I bend over slowly, “you swipe your card, set your time . . .” I straighten and pour detergent and fabric softener into their respective compartments, the liquid a slow drizzle.

When I sneak a glance at him, he’s making zero effort to conceal the fact that he’s staring at me. Suddenly it really sinks in that we’re alone. There’s an employee somewhere, probably reading a magazine or watching evening television. Crazy porn-esque thoughts stampede through my head: Cliff shoving me against the machines, his teeth digging into my lower lip as he sucks on it, his knee between my legs.

A whimper escapes my lips.

The heat in his eyes is searing, flames edging toward my skin, threatening to consume me and reduce me to ashes. And I’m not even at all scared. I want it so bad, I’m shaking.

He takes a step toward me.

Swallowing hard, I move in. I’ve never been one to let anyone else make the first move. I reach for his shoulders, my lips already parting. I’m wetter than I’ve ever been in my life. This is going to be it, the sex that rockstars write songs about. The kind of sex I can look back on when I’m married with two-point-five kids and I’m covered in baby goo. It’ll be the lay to close my list.

I step forward. He closes the distance between us. Rising up on the balls of my feet, I take aim. He reaches behind me. My eyes flutter as I realize he’s going to lift me up onto one of the tables and take me right here.

A beep sounds.

I open my eyes. Cliff takes a step back and turns away. The washing machine begins to fill, water and soap sluicing around my clothes.

“Thanks for your help,” he says over his shoulder, already setting up his own machine.

Heart thundering in my chest, I make a beeline for the door, a cigarette already between my lips. Stupid, stupid, stupid, my heartbeat punctuates my thoughts.

Learn more about A Disturbing Prospect and add it to your Goodreads shelves here!

Here and Queer: On Writing a Bi Romance Heroine

via Unsplash

*deep breath* There’s something you might not know about me.

I’m queer.

As in, LGBTQIA+. As in, bisexual (but I prefer queer). I’ve blogged about it before, and I’ve been out for years, but it’s not something I talk about often. Even though I’m proud as fuck to be bi—to be me—there’s another part of this story that is painful. Well, a few parts actually:

  • When I tried to come out to family, the first person I told said to me that there’s no such thing.
  • When I came out to my then-boyfriend (who was a complete scumbag anyway), all he could talk about was threesomes.
  • More recently, when discussing my sexuality with someone, they were all “Hold up. You can’t be queer. You married a dude!”

Thankfully, I had a fantastic support system when I came out: a whole bunch of queer people in my high school. We may have all drifted apart, as people tend to do after high school, but I’ll never, ever forget my friends Lisa*, Lacie*, Joy*, Phoebe*, and Starr*, who were all super supportive during the great LGBTQIA+ coming out party. (By the way, I’ve been searching desperately for Phoebe on Facebook, with no luck. I can’t remember her birth name or last name. I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately. I was one of very few people that she shared her name with and told she was trans, and I would love to know how she’s doing, how her story after high school unfolded.) This was before Twitter, so I can appreciate how very lucky I was to have such a support system.

Not many people are so fortunate.

via GIPHY

I’ve been thinking about my sexuality a lot lately. A lot. It’s extremely important to me that I don’t lose that piece of me. That it doesn’t get lost in my heterosexual marriage or these strange, dark times we’re living in.

Being queer is an extremely big part of who I am.

I knew that Krista, the heroine and main character of my work in progress Cruising with the Blues, would be queer. I also knew that she and Perry were meant to be. I’ve struggled so much with this novel, writing tens of thousands of words only to scrap them because I just couldn’t get it right. I think I was trying to do too much with one book: play matchmaker, address a few social issues, wrap up the series… You know, nothing major. 😅

In the very first draft I wrote, Krista was a bi woman struggling with depression. I wrote something like 5,000 words and then tossed it because it just didn’t feel right.

In my second try, Krista was a spoonie like me, only living with Lupus. (My disease is possibly pre-Lupus.) She was also bi. Again, I was trying to squeeze too much into one book. I threw away over 16,000 words, which stung.

With my third shot, I wrote another 6,000 or so words, cutting the mental and chronic illnesses. This time I approached the story from another angle, matchmaking Krista and Perry by using their shared desire to get their band mates into rehab. Once again, though, I was focusing too much on things outside of Krista, rather than on Krista herself. So I scrapped those words, too.

Altogether I’ve thrown out something like 20,000 words. Can you say ouch?

But fourth time’s the charm because this time around, I understand Krista a bit better. I now totally get why she’s so upset with Poppy for ditching their plans to share a cabin during the cruise.

Krista is in love with her best friend.

She’s also got a thing for Perry.

There have been two times in my life when I was in love with two people at the same time. It doesn’t seem fair that the heart can be so conflicted, but it happens. It’s a painful experience, something that you can’t just turn off—just like Krista’s and my sexuality.

While I’m still incorporating other elements into SOF4—getting Krista and Perry together, wrapping up the series, getting Jett and Max help—I’m focusing more on bisexuality and the stigma from all sides.

How non-queer people just don’t get how you can have feelings for and be attracted to both the opposite and the same gender.

How queer people often exclude bisexual people, writing us off as “confused” or “looking for attention.”

How you just don’t feel like you fit in with either the straight or gay world sometimes, or all the time.

This kind of erasure—from two opposite parts of your life—can be heartbreaking and confusing, to say the least.

By exploring Krista’s feelings for both Perry and Poppy, I’m hoping to give other bi people a safe haven where they can find characters they relate to. There are so few books out there with bi characters, and the few that do usually have them in same-sex relationships. I’m writing the book that I’ve desperately needed for years, damn it.

I wonder all the time if I’ll someday regret marrying a man. I love my husband with all of my heart, and I’m happily monogamous. Making the choice to be in a heterosexual relationship despite my still-very-much-alive attraction to the same sex is conflicting enough, without other people saying things like “But you’re married. You can’t be queer!”

To which I reply, “The hell I can’t!”

I’m over 6,000 words into Cruising with the Blues now. It’s both painfully and proudly #ownvoices—written based on my own experiences as a marginalized person.

(Side note: I feel kind of weird using the word “marginalized,” but I also feel that it’s important to call it like you see it. A lot of my bi friends have purposely assimilated into heterosexuality, because even though gay people are for the most part accepted by our culture, our society just doesn’t understand or accept bi people. And trans people, and ace people, and… *neverending sigh*)

The first 5,000 words came slowly, but now that I’ve realized where Krista is coming from, man am I on a roll.

Letting her shoulders relax, she melted back into the music. Perry moved with her, letting her set the pace and tone. His hands never wandered—even though she desperately wanted them to—and he kept a respectable distance between them. Still, he was close enough that she could feel the heat radiating off his body.

And something else.

Something like desire.

Or maybe she was just projecting.

via GIPHY

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.

#TeaserTuesday: Exactly Why We Should

teaser_playingforyou_01_06212016“That’s exactly why we should be together,” he insisted, his voice low, caressing her. “There’s something between us, Jett.” Lifting an eyebrow, his eyes bore into her, heat pouring out of them.

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#TeaserTuesday: The Worst One

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“I thought you were one of the good ones,” she said, “but it turns out I was wrong. You’re the worst one of them all.”

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Savannah’s forever has a secret that could destroy them—and the band.

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#TeaserTuesday: Far Too Much Damage

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She touched her lips, debating whether their relationship was even salvageable. She had done far too much damage. They both had.

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Savannah’s forever has a secret that could destroy them—and the band.

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#TeaserTuesday: Rejected

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She had no business submitting her work to any gallery. Nowhere near professional level, she would only be disappointed when she was rejected—or when she didn’t hear back from the gallery at all.

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Update, June 3rd: The South of Forever series is back! Shop all retailers here, or use the sexy widgets below to one-click your way to steamy musical heaven.

#TeaserTuesday: Mess Things Up

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It was nice that Jett believed in her, but if she couldn’t deliver, she might really mess things up for Max. The last thing she wanted to do was lose his respect.

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Update, June 3rd: The South of Forever series is back! Shop all retailers here, or use the sexy widgets below to one-click your way to steamy musical heaven.

Teaser Tuesday: Standing in the Doorway

Teaser #3: Savannah's Song (South of Forever, Book 2), by Elizabeth Barone

Standing in the doorway, Savannah watched as her boyfriend winked at the other woman.

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Update, June 3rd: The South of Forever series is back! Shop all retailers here, or use the sexy widgets below to one-click your way to steamy musical heaven.