I love finding out where authors grew up or enjoyed living because I truly think it influences how and what we write. In my case, I was born in the northeast. Although I carry some of that gritty northeastern stuff inside me still (hopelessly genetic), I spent the majority of my life in Corpus Christi.
Yes, it’s sizzling hot and humid. Yes, there’s bugs–big ones. But something about the Gulf of Mexico and Padre Island has stayed with me. Whenever I hear a seagull or take a shower (in Alaska), I smell coconut oil and hear waves pounding the beach. And the memories… Swimming topless and walking barefoot wherever I went, docking a sailboat and walking up a set of stairs to my favorite bar in my bikini, playing volleyball or just hanging out all day/night on the beach, sunsets and thunder storms…
I miss it.
So much so, I chose it as the setting for my new series (The Devil’s Den–Surrender, Seduction, and Sin), evocative stories about exotic dancers/college students finding their place in the world.
What places have influenced your writing?
My covers aren’t ready yet, but here’s an excerpt from the first book, Surrender: A Devil’s Den Novel (releases January 27, 2015)…
I study the girl, she’s visibly upset, but finally looks up and smiles. She looks like she just stepped out of Maxim magazine. Big blue eyes, full lips, and thick curly black hair down the small of her back. I’ve never seen her before. Not at any of the clubs I frequent. I can’t help noticing the shape of her slim thighs through the thin material of her warm ups or her breasts—I look away. Not the right time to ogle.
“Thank you,” she whispers. “Very much.”
She doesn’t need to thank me. I’ll help any woman in distress, old, young, it’s the way I was raised. Texas boys do it right. I smile. “I’m Garrick.”
She eyes me for a long minute and says, “Robyn.” She stands up.
She moves toward me. “I mean it,” she says. “If you weren’t here…”
“It’s nothing.” I feel sorry for her out here all alone. It’s too dark and dangerous for any girl, especially one that looks like her. “Can I take you somewhere?”
“My car is half a mile that way.” She points at the pier.
“Come on.” I’ll stash her in my truck. The fish aren’t biting anyway. “I’ll give you a ride.”
She nods and I walk to the passenger side and open the door for her. “Your chariot.” I gesture for her to climb in.
She does, and I reach around her to start the AC. My arm brushes against hers. Skin on skin. Something sparks, I look down at her. She catches my glance, then quickly averts her eyes. Shy. Yep. She felt it, too. I chuckle and retreat, closing the door. It will only take a few minutes to dismantle my stands and poles. I finish, and throw the gear in the bed of the truck. I join her inside and buckle my seatbelt. She’s quiet, but I watch her follow my lead and buckle up. I nearly drool at the vision that strap makes running diagonally between her breasts. She knows I’m staring. But I look away before she says anything. I’m not an animal, just a red-blooded American boy who loves women. And this one has my full attention at the moment.
Garrick is sitting at the same table we occupied last night. As I approach, he stands. “Good evening.” He grins like an idiot and bows at the waist.
I can’t figure him out. One minute he’s dark and brooding, the next, Mr. Congeniality.
I drop into the thick cushioned chair opposite his. Candlelight casts shadows across his unshaven face. He’s beautiful; imagine Michelangelo perfectly blended Chris Hemsworth and Tom Brady. Very intimidating.
“Are you hungry?” he asks.
“I could eat.” The club serves steaks and salads on the weekends.
He gestures for the waitress. “Two ribeyes, medium rare…” He studies me. “And dinner salads with vinegar and oil.”
“I’m not a big meat eater,” I inform him.
“Something we’ll have to remedy.” He grins.
I don’t know whether I should laugh or resent his sexual innuendo. I don’t mean to be a stick in the mud, but I’m incapable of having a good time tonight.
“What happened little bird?” Garrick reaches across the table and cradles my hand in his.
I know he can read me like a book. I’ve never been able to hide my pain. I can camouflage everything else. “Nothing.” I avert my eyes.
His grasp tightens and I study his hand. It’s the size of a bear paw and calloused. I like holding hands—it’s as intimate as kissing.
“You can tell me anything, Robyn.”
What color are Robyn’s eyes?
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