LIGHTNING, my first 1Night Stand story for Decadent Publishing, had recently been accepted. The heroine of LIGHTNING, Lily Night, had two sisters. The hero, Campbell Jones, had a brother. The Jones brothers' had business acquaintances with potential for stories fo their own. My editor, Valerie Mann, pointed that out to me. I thought, hey, why not?
I submitted THUNDER a couple of weeks later. The 1Night Stands were incredible fun to write. Especially after I had been bogged down for awhile in longer manuscripts, many still uncompleted and/or homeless. And, thrilling for me, you just filled out the Decadent Publishing submission form and attached the full manuscript. No hideous querying letters. No quagmire synopses. And, writing them was a whole lot of fun!
THUNDER takes place on the Fourth of July and there are plenty of fireworks between Sean and Veronica. Enjoy the excerpt!
And don't forget to check out yesterday's blog, too. If you leave a comment there, you'll be eligible for my giveaway!
“How’d you get this number, princess?” Sean Jones growled into his phone. He nearly knocked the irritating instrument off the nightstand.
The naked supermodel lying next to him in bed murmured her annoyance and rolled over, presenting him with her back.
The woman on the other end of his private line was going to be the frickin’ death of him. Literally, figuratively, every which way there was.
“I advised your office I had an emergency.” The plummy, aristocratic Veronica Hardwicke crooned in his ear. “I need you out here at once, Mr. Jones.”
Of course, she did. Probably to fire up her outdoor barbecue, hang a picture, open a jar of pickles or something equally trivial. The rich but needy young widow knew he ran whenever she summoned him. He couldn’t help himself. It was as if he’d been ensorcelled.
Despite all her brittle grandeur and hauteur, she personally brought lemonade and little sandwiches and cookies to his construction crews. And the uncertain, vulnerable way he caught her nibbling on her lower lip, wrapping a strand of dark hair around her finger or tugging on one delicate earlobe made him want to wrap her in his comforting embrace.
Not that he studied her that intently.
The woman drove him stark, staring nuts. But he had a demented need to protect her. From what, he didn’t know. Jesus. He was on New York Magazine’s Most Eligible Bachelor list, for fuck’s sake. Youngest, Wealthiest, Most Influential Real Estate Developer—but let Veronica Hardwicke crook her little finger and he danced to her tune.
Despite the fact she was a certified pain in the ass, and he’d been sexually satisfied by the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model in his bed only moments before, his cock twitched, instantly aroused, at the mere sound of Veronica’s voice. Her breathy purr did bad, bad things to him.
Hell. The entire Veronica package did bad, bad things to him. No denying the woman was one smokin’ hot babe. A loony babe. But a damn fine babe nonetheless.
He pictured the exotic tilt of her eyes, greener than the well-tended lawn at the Belmont Estate that By Jones was gutting and renovating for her, the ripe, red mouth he’d often imagined sucking his engorged dick. The juicy peach of an ass he dreamed of plowing, the awesome tits she barely bothered to conceal when he was around, and the splash of silky, midnight hair he badly wanted to feel caressing his bare chest.
Witchy woman. What was it about her? The ass, tits, eyes, mouth, and hair. The much-photographed piece of arm candy currently gracing his bed seemed a pale imitation of womanhood by comparison. He refused to admit he’d recently found it harder to perform unless he was picturing Veronica’s seductive face unguarded in the throes of orgasmic ecstasy, or fantasizing about her lush body, shuddering in his arms in climax, screaming his name in her release.
Hell. Maybe “Shallow Sex Hound” should be stamped on his forehead, like his brother thought. He made allowances for Campbell, though. The eldest Jones brother walked around in a blissful haze lately. After finding true love, he wanted everyone around him to be just as insanely, cuckoo-for-cocoa-puffs delirious…. Sean didn’t envy him. Not even remotely.
Well, maybe a little.
I’m happy the way I am.
He squelched the words “hollow” and “empty” before they could fully form in his head and silenced the competing devils perched on his shoulders. He pretended the grind of staying out with a different model or starlet every night was not beginning to take a toll. He was twenty-seven years old. In his partying prime. But sometimes he felt like forty-seven.
And since the crazy woman in Sleepy Hollow had inserted herself into his life…. “It’s a holiday weekend, Mrs. Hardwicke.” He glanced at the cover girl curled beside him. “I’ve got plans.”
Plans that included lolling around in bed with Erica all weekend. Maybe whipped cream. Or chocolate sauce. The A/C cranked high in his luxury Manhattan condo to block out the brutal summer rays. Maybe afterward taking in a little of the Independence Day fireworks display from his floor-to-ceiling windows and balcony overlooking New York Harbor.
The thought of ditching his current squeeze and battling Fourth of July traffic and the sweltering temperature to drive up to Westchester so that the ditzy broad calling the shots on the renovation project could request changes yet again to the old mansion in Sleepy Hollow, did not sit at all well with him. She’d already made him yank out four bathrooms three times.