Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Par For The Course excerpt

Giving him just enough rope…to tie her up in knots.

Par for the Course
© 2008 Jenna Bayley-Burke


There’s something wildly enchanting about the columnist who arrives at Ben Cannon’s golf resort. He’s felt this magnetic pull only once before, for a bespectacled brunette back in college. That woman was nothing like this platinum blonde from New York—confident, poised…and hitting on him like crazy. Is she really interested in him, or merely seeking fodder for her Dating Diva column?

Just one wrong move from Ben, one more disappointment, and Jillian will finally be able to stop obsessing about her college crush, leave town, and get on with her life. Except the more rope she gives him to hang himself, the more he ties her up in knots. Every move he makes is the right one, both in bed and out of it.

Shaken to her college-nerd core, Jillian begins to wonder if giving him a taste of love-’em-and-leave-’em is what she wants after all.

Warning: Fore! This title contains explicit sex, and a love story hazardous to your hankie supply. Oh, and exploding toads.

Enjoy the following blog only excerpt for Par for the Course:


Jillian tried to swallow, but her mouth had gone dry as the bottom of a birdcage. She stood barely inside the doorway, every hormone in her body surging. Her brain clouded and her heart thudded unevenly in her ears, as her eyes fixed on him. That dangerous old urge propelled her forward through the crisp air-conditioning of the clubhouse into the pro shop. Why did he affect her like this? Why was it whenever she saw him she lost all self-control?

She forced herself to stop and suck in a cooling breath. It was no more than an unrequited crush, soon to be remedied. Then this all-consuming, sanity-undermining, heart-wrenching need would disappear.

Ben turned, his eyes widening with…what? Interest? Recognition? Arousal? Whatever it was, it washed away Jillian’s resolve, imprisoned her in his glance. Explicit cravings powered through her veins, raising her body temperature. She couldn’t help but stare as his long legs danced across the hardwood floor. Jillian drank in every physical detail about him with insatiable hunger. From the tips of his dusky brown hair to his sun-kissed skin and those blue-black eyes, she memorized every inch of his face.

Before she could cast her gaze lower, she realized he studied her as well. His gaze seemed to stutter between her eyes and lips. Oh God, did he recognize her?

Jillian slammed her eyes shut and rolled her lips inward until she could almost taste the lip-gloss she’d so carefully re-applied before making the final turn into the pro shop. If he recognized her, the plan would never work. His expectations would be the same as they’d been that night, probably more once he realized she’d moved heaven and earth for one more shot with him.

Even with her eyes closed, she couldn’t escape him. His murky masculine scent of soap and grass filled her. Jillian choked on something that felt a whole lot like pride as she wrestled with her self-control and opened her eyes.

Ben was there, close enough to kiss if she’d been wearing heels. How she needed to make love to him. That was the only thing that could break the spell. Reality was the only thing that could force her to realize mind-bending, dreamy, worth-dying-for sex existed only in her imagination.

The adrenaline pulsed through her body, sending her senses into hyper-alert, fight or flight. She’d been running from him for far too long. Time to finally deal with it. Jillian gritted her teeth against the nervous churning of her stomach and looked up at him.

Lost in a trance, her eyes locked with his. Her carefully formulated speech died on her lips. She didn’t dare open her mouth. No telling what she might do to him this time.

“Looking for someone?” His voice was as thick as she remembered, though they’d barely spoken that night seven years ago at the party.

Jillian swallowed hard, catching herself as her gaze dropped to his mouth. Focus, Jilly. You will get to kiss him, later.

“Are you meeting someone, or do you have a lesson scheduled?” His voice lilted at the end. Was he hoping she was looking for him? Jillian shook her head, forcing herself back to reality. Ben Cannon wouldn’t hit on her, no matter how much better she looked. She’d have to seduce him.

“I’m having a lesson today. My first. Ever. With Lauren.” Way to go, Jilly. Babbling is SO attractive. Ben’s lips parted, showcasing neat rows of pearly teeth as he grinned. Like little candies all in a row. Down girl. He is not a steak.

“Jillian Welch, from Mine & Ours magazine?” She could barely nod as his lips formed her name. “I’m Ben Cannon. I’m glad you chose Cannon Meadows for your research. I want to make sure you get the best possible experience here, so I’d like to give your lessons myself. That way I can answer any questions you have about the course and the resort.”

Jillian struggled against her body’s insistence that she run. Don’t panic. You knew you had to see him. That was the plan after all. Just not this soon, not this way. She forced a smile, her jaw twitching at the effort. Calm down. You can do this.

“If you’d rather work with Lauren, I can arrange that.” The outer corners of his eyes drooped slightly. “I thought it might be more productive for your research. I’ve been giving lessons for ten years. I’m great with beginners. I’ll ease you in nice and slow, I promise.”

“It’s not that.” But what was it? Get a hold of yourself, Jilly. No one wants to be seduced by a bumbling idiot. Confident, poised, assertive. That’s what she needed to be. She shook her head as if to switch gears. Superman was just Clark Kent in a cape after all, Zorro a mere mortal without his mask.

Pink Heart Society - Writing Around the Kids

I'm at the PHS today, and I have baby pictures...

Monday, May 26, 2008

I should be sleeping...


Really, I should sleep when the baby sleeps...but today I think I got out the reworking of the Mr. Possibly partial. Which means... I just need to write the new synopsis...maybe do a syno for First Impressions...and hope it all makes a good impression on the new editor!
Send good synopsis thoughts...and sleep my way!
MR. POSSIBLY


8438 / 50000 words. 17% done!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Speaking of Covers...


I now have the final cover for Par For The Course, which comes out July 29th.
It took a while to get the cover right. I hope this shows the flirty tone of the story...it has a golf course backdrop, but only because I read in a women's golfing magazine that the golf course club house was the new singles bar...and then I got to looking at all the cute golf outfits and accessories...and I got to thinking...
It's really about unrequited love and self-confidence and growing up and acceptance...but that really sound much too deep. Maybe it is just about golf. Or exploding toads. Or blowing his horn...whatever gets people to read it :)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cover Me...

The Wild Rose Press is updating the covers of the Rosettes, the short stories that I wrote for them last year. Take a peak at the improved versions ::

FOUND :: Arriving home after a girls night out, Eden's realized she no longer needs to look for love. Love is right there, sleeping in her bed. But does he feel the same? (sensual contemporary)

UNWRITTEN ROMANCE :: Given a second chance at life, Mindy Thomas swallows her fear and decides to tell her boss how she feels about him. Except Jared Salazar misunderstands, thinking she's after a promotion. Mindy uses the interview to ensure Jared understands she wants him, not the position. (sweet contemporary)




TREASURED :: Marianne Phillips lost so much in the war ? her brother, father, mother. the family plantation, and with it her way of life. Even with so much ripped from her, her pride and self-respect remain firmly in tact. When a man who claims to have admired her from afar proposed marriage, can Marianne trust his intentions, or will her pride get in the way? (American Historical, post-Civil War)

...AND in other short story news...I got a contract today for Culinary Magic for Love Stories Magazine :) I have no idea when it will appear, so I'll have to keep y'all posted.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Gracie and the Boys

Someone asked how the boys are doing with the baby...so I'll gush again and then stop with the baby stuff...maybe.










The sibling class we had the boys take at the hospital really paid off! Bayley knew exactly how to hold the baby! So much so, he told Daddy he was holding the baby wrong yesterday and needed to use both hands! Hayden likes to hold her with help and give her kisses...which sadly we've had to put on hold as he's had a stomach bug since we brought her home!


We are much more impressed by her than she is by the rest of us.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Pictures To Follow...

For those wondering where I've been off to, it's not the Bahamas! Gracious Mae arrived on Saturday afternoon. This is my first time online...next time I'll bring pictures!

Friday, May 09, 2008

HORROR SCOPES

Do you read your horoscope? Tarot.com sends me mine every day...I read it about 10% of the time. You know, when I'm in need of a procrastination fix. When they see right on, I get kind of nervous.

Friday, May 9th, 2008 -- As argumentative Mars moves through your 4th House of Security over the next seven weeks, you may have to put more energy into defending your point of view. You could feel as if you are under attack by a trusted friend, even if he or she means no harm. You are more sensitive to the anger of others now, so do your best to gently sidestep unnecessary petty ego conflicts.

Yeah, sadly this IS my life right now. Anyone know how to do the gentle sidestep?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Possibly Drafting...

No baby yet, so I'm working on the partial of Mr. Possibly. Thankfully, think most of the first chapter is salvagable. After that...not so much. But, it will be fun since one of the things I'm doing is cutting out as many people as I can...That will make my plan for the story go faster, getting to the good bits.

MR. POSSIBLY...


2622 / 50000 words. 5% done!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

RITA Reading

What do the RITA nominations mean to you? I'll be honest, I had no idea they existed three years ago. Now, I love hearing who made the cut. Of course, that could be because now I'm crossing my fingers that I know someone...


Anyway...do you pick up a book just because it was nominated? Do you read all the books in one category to see if you can predict who'll win? I'm working my way through two categories, contemporary series and single title. Which have you read?

2008 RITA for Contemporary Series Romance Finalists

Sleeping Partner by Kelly Hunter Modern Extra/Sexy Sensation

Always a Bridesmaid by Kristin Hardy Silhouette Special Edition

Fall From Grace by Kristi Gold Everlasting Love

Make-Believe Mom by Elaine Grant Harlequin Superromance

Night Mischief by Nina Bruhns Silhouette Nocturne

Snowbound by Janice Kay Johnson Harlequin Superromance

The Mile High Club by Heidi Rice (available as The Millionaire's Blackmail Bargain (Harlequin Presents))Modern Extra

The Tycoon's Princess Bride by Natasha Oakley Harlequin Presents


Contemporary Single Title Romance Finalists


Tangled Up In You by Rachel Gibson

Blame It On Cupid by Jennifer Greene

Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins

Sexiest Man Alive by Diana Holquist

She's No Angel by Leslie Kelly

Tempt Me Tonight by Toni Blake

The Sleeping Beauty Proposal by Sarah Strohmeyer

Coming Undone by Susan Andersen

Monday, May 05, 2008

Review Collecting

A new review for Her Cinderella Complex popped up from eCataRomance. I've been so blessed that everyone loves it as I do. My mom is actually downstairs reading it right now...



Saturday, May 03, 2008

Ding Dong, the Draft is Done!

FIRST IMPRESSIONS rough draft

51898 / 50000 words. 104% done!

I wondered if I'd ever finish...now I have the weekend to rewrite the partial of Possibly. Then it's on to editing Impressions...and let me tell you, it needs it! I'd usually work about being 2K over my word budget, but this thing likely has a scene or three that can be tossed completely.

OH...and for those on baby watch. Nothing yet...but my mom who came up to help me? She broke her ankle and is stuck on my couch!

HORROR SCOPE

Get this! Today's Tarot.com version is Responsibilities are heaped on you and you must keep yourself on the straight and narrow path. If you can channel your imagination into the required form of communication, you should be able to relax in just a few days. But not yet. Your boss might move up a deadline on you. Or you may have to rearrange your calendar or alter your travel plans. Try to be flexible, whatever is the reason.

Um WOW. I have a mother who can't walk on my couch, a baby who could be here at any moment and I am trying to rewrite a partial. If I get a note from my editor asking for it pronto I will cue the Twilight Zone music!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Trish came back...to blog tag me?

I am not sure what Trish Wylie is up to...she disappears and throws me off my writing challenge, and shows back up to tag me with random things...

She has an evil plan to take over the world, that Trish.

OK...so here's the cheez.

Tagging Rules:

  1. Link to the person who tagged you. (That Trish)
  2. Post the rules on your blog.
  3. Write six random things about yourself.
  4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
  5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.
  6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

And now, six random things:

I hate bad breath with a bizarre passion. Everyone gets bad breath, but I'm the girl who will offer you a lifesaver. Take it when I do. And please, if I'm having a vulture mouth moment, give me one!

Headaches scare me more than labor. Other people find this odd. But headaches in me can last for days, while you have a baby and that is that.

I wish my husband would not adjust the seat in the minivan. Every Monday morning I have to change the headrest, seatbelt, mirrors, seatback...and really, who has time on Monday morning when the kids are already running late for school?

I have piles. Oh, and I like to say things that can be taken two ways if one of the ways is funny. But back to my piles. If I don't have time to deal with something, I'll put it in a pile. Until the piles have piles and I am forced to sort them because they have spilled onto the floor.

Cleaning up is no longer my bag. I was a neat freak pre-kids. It lasted a bit through Boy1. But with Boy 2 it really drifted away. Since I developed sciatica with this babe, cleaning does not happen for me. I come by it genetically.

Bubbles are the best thing. Enough said.

OK....Now I have to do some tagging of my own...if you're reading this, you're tagged!

FIRST IMPRESSIONS...watch for the update...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Hung Up On High Concept

So I thought First Impressions was like Pride & Prejudice, hence the title...but now that I am winding it up I think it is more like Gone With the Wind without the war...my characters are just not as well mannered as Elizabeth & Darcy. Though my heroine isn't as self-serving as Scarlet. Hmmm. Maybe it's somewhere between Pride & Prejudice and Gone With the Wind? More Elizabeth & Rhett I think...

Yes, I should be writing.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS...

50004 / 50000 words. 100% done!

...so I am ALMOST done. Have to get them to finish (ahem) and then wake up and talk. Then I should be good to set it aside and fix the partial of Possibly. It's at the point where I don't want to let them go and have 3 more scenes in my head that could happen after. They do not move the story forward, pure indulgence. So...I should finish up tomorrow...