Hey everyone! Today I’m showcasing my LA Love Lessons trilogy, which I just re-released this past month, along with a new book, Going To The Chapel, which is a sequel to the first book in the trilogy, Waiting For The Big One.
Let’s start at the beginning, with an excerpt from Waiting For The Big One. Not only is this the first book in the trilogy, it was also my first non-paranormal romance, as well as the first book I’d written in first person. Yeah, lot of firsts there. lol! It’s also my shortest, and most published book. They say three times the charm, right?
One girl, two guys and a quest for ultimate satisfaction.
Aspiring actress Gabby Browne refuses to consider her best friend, and personal trainer, Derek Novello for the role of soul mate fearing sex will ruin their beautiful friendship.
When she meets Zach, she’s convinced that he could be The One. Too bad Derek isn’t willing to share—leaving Gabby forced to choose between two sexy co-stars.
An early morning earthquake provides Gabby with the impetus she needs to stop waiting for the stars to align and finally cast her leading man.
* * * * *
We walked down to the corner. There’s a sidewalk cafe there that’s always being mentioned in the Trades, but it’s almost never crowded on Sundays. I ordered a veggie wrap and iced tapioca tea. Derek had a soy burger, a side of yam sticks and some insanely healthy organic juice drink, Kombucha and carrot juice, I think. We started out talking about our movie then the conversation wandered off-track, like it always seemed to do. Next thing I knew, we were back to discussing friendship and sex.
“Come on, Derek, everybody knows it,” I found myself saying once more. Frankly, it was a position I was getting tired of having to defend. “As soon as you add sex, friendship goes right out the window.”
Derek shook his head. “Everybody? Who’s that?”
“It’s like in When Harry Met Sally,” I told him, but of course he disagreed.
“Gabe, I keep telling you. You’re missing the whole point of that film. Billy Crystal was wrong. She was right, he was wrong. You’re a feminist, you should love that.”
I pushed aside my plate and picked up my tea. “What about you? How many women friends do you have that you haven’t slept with?”
“Besides you? None.”
Which was just what I thought he’d say. “There you go. And if you and I had sex we would no longer be friends, either.” It sucked, but that’s the way it was.
Derek sighed. “There’s something wrong with that logic. One of these days I’m going to figure out a way to prove it to you.”
“Go right ahead,” I told him, feeling somewhat pouty. There was only one way for either of us to prove our position, and that was to try it and see. That was so not gonna happen. Scorpios make great friends and horrible enemies. They hold everyone they know to the same impossible standards they hold for themselves. Derek and Bobby used to be real close, but as soon as Derek found out he’d been cheating on me, he cut Bobby loose.
I did not want to be cut loose too.
They’ll tell you Pisces are chameleons, wishy-washy, overly amenable. But you have to have a pretty sturdy backbone to live your whole life like…well, like a fish out of water. I can be as determined as a Taurus when I have to be.
“What now?” I snapped, suddenly aware of the way Derek was watching me. It was…weird.
He shook his head. “That drink of yours. I’m surprised they haven’t had to shut this place down yet.”
I popped the straw out of my mouth. “What are you talking about? What’s wrong with my drink?”
That sexy half-smile was back as he said, “Wrong? Not a thing. It’s the way you’re toying with it. It’s obscene.”
Now, for a Scorpio, obscene is always a good thing. Of course, for a Scorpio, butterflies can be obscene. They taste with their feet, you know. Butterflies, that is. But don’t let me get started on feet.
A good actress never passes up a chance to practice, especially not when she’s got a captive and appreciative audience. It took all of a second for me to find my motivation.
“Hmm,” I murmured, as I fitted my lips around the thick straw. If Derek really wanted to see obscene, I was happy to oblige. My fingers lovingly caressed the length of the straw as I slowly sucked first one, then another of the tapioca balls into my mouth. “Mmm.” I licked my lips, put my head back, and swallowed, smiling in sheer bliss. “Mm, mm, mm.”
I know I said it was a bad idea to tease a Scorpio, but there are times when a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Derek’s espresso-colored eyes were looking distinctly glazed as I sighed dreamily and parted my lips to take the straw in my mouth again. “Did you say something, Der?”
“Can we get back to discussing the movie now?” he croaked.
I paused, mouth open, and ran my tongue across my bottom lip. My eyelashes fanned my cheeks. “Of course, we can. We can do whatever you want.”
That wasn’t really a joke. Like all the best performances, it held a kernel of truth. With Scorpios, you can either do what they want, or you can hide ‘til they’re gone.
“Right.” Derek rolled his eyes. “Nice one, Gabe.”
Derek’s the only one who’s ever called me Gabe. It started shortly after we met. He said that since we were going to be friends, he was going to call me Gabe. Gabby, he said, was a girl’s name. And he already had a girlfriend.
“You’re wasting your time with the dog walking job,” Derek told me now. “You could be making tons more money charging people to watch you eat.”
I smiled, feeling smug. “I’ll keep it in mind. Now, I thought you wanted to talk about the screenplay?”
Like I said, it was an intriguing idea he’d come up with. A modern-day Rapunzel, trapped by her pre-conceived ideas about love, and the man who was trying to reach her. There was just one problem–
“She’s a modern woman, Derek. She wouldn’t just wait for love to come to her. She’d go out and find it.”
“Like you’re doing, you mean? You say you want love, too, but I don’t see you going for it.”
“That’s different. I’m a Pisces. A fish. I go with the flow. It’s not that I’m waiting, it’s more like…like I’m trying to swim with the tide, instead of against it.”
“That’s bullshit. And if you think that’s true, you’re lying to yourself.”
Fish don’t like to be forced to defend ourselves. We really hate to be pinned down. We’d rather turn and swim away. Or, at least, change the subject. “Well, if I am, it’s your fault. I’ve asked you to teach me some of those Tantric Yoga techniques but you refused to help. So, what am I supposed to do?”
Derek leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms. “I didn’t refuse. I said I’d be happy to teach you.”
“You said you could only teach me hands-on.” And we both knew what that meant.
Derek shrugged. “That’s the only way to learn some things.” He looked at me for a moment and then said, “You know, you’re never gonna find what you’re looking for unless you’re willing to risk something to get it. It’s like that Matchbox 20 song. You gotta give it up to get off sometimes. You can’t let your fear about what might happen hold you back. Love isn’t gonna just drop into your lap without any effort on your part.”
“Maybe it is, and maybe it’s not,” I told him as I got to my feet. “It wouldn’t be the first time something like that happened, you know. Fate works in mysterious ways.”
“I thought that was God?” he asked, looking faintly surprised. “Are you leaving?”
“Fate. God. Same difference.” I planted a kiss on his cheek. “And, yes. I am. I have to go. Thank you for lunch.”
Derek sighed. “You’re running away.”
What I was not doing was arguing. “As you wish,” I replied, knowing he’d get the reference to The Princess Bride, hoping it would soften the blow.
I left the restaurant and headed toward my car. I could feel him staring at my ass the whole way and I put a little more sway in my hips because of it, which was no more than he deserved.
* * * * *
Waiting For The Big One can be found at all the usual vendors:
It’s also available as an audiobook!