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People have been telling my I’m weird for years, and you know what? They are probably right. But I love weirdness and I certainly have a lot of fun. For intake, the places I get my inspiration for characters.
Up until last year I lived in Texas, in a little Hill Country town called Boerne. In Boerne there is a yummy scrumptious bakery that also has little cafe tables out on the sidewalk. I was waiting for my truck to be serviced one day and decided an outdoor table with a mocha latter and a hot scone from this bakery beat sitting around with grease and oil.
So there I was, reading form my tablet, paying NO attention to anything else as my family will tell you is common for me, when I swung my foot out and …….kicked someone! I looked up, ready to apologize, but my breath got trapped in my throat. There he was, an OMG gorgeous cowboy. Tall, with his Stetson pulled low on his forehead, his rancher jacker, jeans that looked like they’d been made for him and his Western work boots.
Holy ****!!! I said to myself
To him I said, I am so sorry. I should have been paying better attention. And can I please take your picture? (I do that a lot when I see people who inspire me.)
He looked at me strangely and I hoped he was planning to call the cops. I quickly explained to him who I was (of course he’d never heard of Desiree Holt) and have him one of my business cards. I tried to explain whiteout swallowing my tongue that he was the exact image of the hero in a story I was plotting. He started to edge away but then I think he took pity on an old lady.
“Okay,” he said, “but you won’t publish anywhere, right?”
I noted vigorously, pulled out my phone and snapped a few pictures, after which he literally ran down the sidewalk to get away from the crazy lady.
That yummy guy became Cody Alvarez in HE CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR.True story.
And HE CAME UOON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR is now just 99 cents at All Romance eBooks.
Cody Alvarez needed to find a wife by Christmas or he would lose the ranch his uncle left to him. Libby Morris just needed, for once in her life, to feel desired. Sensual. Appealing. Especially after an intense reshaping at a high-end spa. Invited to Christmas Week at the Castillo Lodge in Alaska by Madame Eve of 1Night Stand, Cody and Libby were not given the names of the partners chosen for them. As they were forced to wait until they learned who their one-night stands were, they discovered an incredible spark of chemistry and a connection stronger than either had experienced before. Would spending a very erotic night together ruin their arrangements or give them another option?
“I’m not very good at this,” she said slowly.
He squeezed her hand gently. “At eating dinner?”
She shook her head, still not looking at him. “At…small talk. Dating. Things like this.” Her cheeks felt so hot she thought they must match her lipstick.
“Libby?” Cody’s voice barely penetrated the fog of embarrassment. And he still had hold of her hand. “Libby, look at me.”
Reluctantly she raised her eyes.
“I’m going to order us each another drink and then I’d be interested to find out why someone as beautiful and sexy as you has trouble in a social situation like this. Surely you must be beating the men off with a stick.”
She made herself breath evenly. She might as well tell him. They’d never see each other again and maybe he could give her some moral support. Besides, he made her feel comfortable, something her assigned date night not do.
The waiter cleared their dessert dishes, brought another glass of wine for her and bourbon on the rocks for Cody. He touched his glass to hers.
“To us. Two people enjoying a nice dinner.”
She laughed at that and swallowed some wine.
“Now. Let’s have it. What’s got you skittish as a newborn calf?”
“You’ll laugh at me.”
He smiled. “Darlin’, the last thing I’ll do is laugh. I promise.”
She took another gulp of wine. “Well, they say it’s easier to tell things to a stranger.”
“Oh, but we’re not strangers,” he protested. “Are we? We spent all that time on the plane together, right? But Libby? It’s still all right to talk to me. Tell me.”
She drained her wine glass and held it out. “C-Could I have another drink? Please?”
Cody laughed. “Yes, but then I’m cutting you off. I don’t want anyone to accuse me of getting you drunk and taking advantage of you.”
Her breath caught in her throat. “I…You…”
He signaled for the waiter then picked up her hand again. She wished he’d never drop it. It felt so good and secure.
“Breathe,” he teased gently. “It’s okay. Just relax. If you don’t want to say anything you don’t have to. Really.”
“I’ve been fat and frumpy and boring all my life,” she blurted out then wished she could dive under the table. When he didn’t say anything she made herself look up and saw him staring at her. “What?”
He cleared his throat. “Libby. I have to say that those are three words I would never associate with you.”
The waiter brought their drinks and she paused long enough to sip some of hers. “That’s because you didn’t know me. Even now I have a long ways to go.”
“For what?” He sounded astonished.
“For, you know. To look like everyone else.”
“Why the hell would you want that? You’re perfect the way you are.”
She snorted. “Oh, sure. That’s nice of you to say but you don’t have to be polite. I just spent two months at a spa to get to this point.” He hadn’t stopped staring at her. “That’s why I booked this thing through 1 Night Stand. A woman at the spa told me about them.” Her face heated again. “I wanted an exciting, erotic night like my girl friends talk about. An adventure. You know. Hot sex.”
Oh, god, maybe the floor would just open up and swallow her.
Cody downed his bourbon in two swallows and signaled the waiter for the check.
“Finish your wine. We’re getting out of here.”