Writing Spaces, a Release & a Contest!

My writing space is actually a little corner desk. Though it looks small, I love my special, private, quiet place. Yes–I’m addicted to Harry Potter. Guess that’s obvious by my Mrs. Weasley clock and Hogwarts Express plaque! The little off-white sign says Imagine. I found my comfy writing chair at Pier One. I love it! My laptop sits up on an old thesaurus and dictionary set due to the fact I’m getting old and I was getting a constant stiff neck from sitting with my head held at an odd angle for hours at a go. The coaster on the far right says Synonym: a word used in place of the one you can’t spell! LOL. And before you all get too worried–I cleaned it off for this picture. It’s typically a cluttered pig’s sty!

AND…it was at this very desk where I wrote my latest release, White Knight. Check out my blog to enter my “Shameless Begging” contest. Prize is a RAW totebag filled with goodies.

White Knight releases today at Ellora’s Cave and it is the sequel to Black Jack.

Shea Landon knows this is a bad idea. But when you’re broke, tired and homeless, you do crazy things. She decides to crash in her new place of employment, a fetish club, borrowing the big, comfy bed that’s used as a stage prop. She doesn’t realize she’s not alone…

Travis Knight knows this is a bad idea. As he views his new waitress sneaking around the club after hours, he realizes he should fire her, call the police. Instead, captivated, he watches her on the same security monitors that separate him from the world. Until watching isn’t nearly enough…

Two people—one desperate, one broken, both hopelessly alone. Two people assuaging their needs through spanking and sex games, bondage and taboo fantasy. It’s enough. It has to be—when the biggest secret between them might be a tragedy neither can overcome.

Excerpt:

Pulling out her tips for the night, Shea counted the money. She had a little over two hundred dollars. She sighed with relief, so happy to have money in her hands. It was enough for a room at the fleabag motel—as she liked to call the crummy place she’d been staying—and some food. Unfortunately it was two a.m. and she didn’t like the idea of venturing intoEast Hollywoodso late. While she was desperate for a roof over her head, especially after spending last night dozing in a Laundromat chair, she wasn’t stupid enough to put herself in danger.

She rubbed her eyes wearily, too tired to think. She couldn’t keep trying to exist from day to day. When she’d come toL.A., she’d had a plan, a goal. She looked one last time at the comfortable bed, wishing she could lay her head on the pristine white pillow. Then she stood up and headed back to the bar.

“How you doin’, kid?” Bill asked.

Shea had instantly liked the bartender. He was a gruff-looking man—ex-Marine, according to Emma—in his mid-forties. He was quick to laugh and just as quick to eviscerate rude drunks. As long as patrons behaved at his bar, all was well.

“Fine. I finished cleaning in the theater.”

“Great. The other gals took care of the dance floor area and the bar. I’m just about to finish a few things. You mind checking the bathrooms for me one last time? Make sure there aren’t any drunks curled up in the corner and the lights are off.”

She grinned. “I don’t mind. I’ll do it before I head out.” The back door to the club led to a parking lot. Shea recalled seeing an all-night diner across the street from the lot. Maybe she could have a cup of coffee there, caffeine up and try to figure out her next move. If she could remain awake until daybreak, she could hit the subway with the commuters and head back to the cheap motel to catch a few hours of sleep on the lumpy mattress.

“Oh hey. Here’s your bag.”

She’d asked Bill to stow her duffel behind the bar. She was ashamed to say everything she owned in the world was in that bag. He’d remarked on the size of it when she’d come to work, but mercifully hadn’t questioned her. “See you tomorrow, Shea.”

She took the bag and hitched it onto her arm. “Good night, Bill.”

Walking down the hallway, she heard Bill humming as he worked. She opened the door to the men’s room, peering inside. The place was empty. Switching the lights off, she crossed the hall to the women’s bathroom. It was also deserted.

She recalled the bed on stage…the clean sheets, the soft mattress.

An idea formed. A terribly stupid idea.

Glancing back toward the bar, she noticed Bill had gone to the kitchen. She took a deep breath for courage—then walked into the bathroom and turned off the lights.

The room was plunged into darkness and her heart began to race. Her earlier exhaustion gave way to nervousness and fear. What the hell was she doing?

Feeling her way across the room, she let herself into the stall farthest from the door. Sitting down on the toilet, she waited in silence. Too many minutes later, she heard the sound she’d been dreading and anticipating. She lifted her feet and sat frozen. The back door opened then closed. She heard a lock being thrown into place.

Shea remained where she was for fifteen minutes longer then lowered her feet and stood.

She’d done it. She was locked in the club. Christ, she was insane. She’d just gotten the job and with one foolish, rash act, she’d probably jeopardized it.

Reaching into her bag, she pulled out her mini-flashlight. Switching it on, she pulled off the white blouse and black mini Emma had supplied her with earlier. She didn’t want to wrinkle the material since she’d have to wear it again tomorrow and she certainly didn’t have an iron.

She pulled on a t-shirt and loose sleep shorts, brushed her teeth then left the bathroom, walking toward the stage, grabbing a blanket from the hutch along the way. If she was going to lose her job, she’d at least make it worth her while. When she reached the bed, she slipped off her shoes and lay down. She covered herself with the simple blanket but didn’t dare crawl between the sheets, already feeling guilty for taking advantage of Emma’s kindness. She took out her small travel alarm clock and set it for eleven. She prayed no one found her. Maybe after a good night’s sleep, she’d be smarter, be able to figure out what the hell she should do next. For tonight, she was too tired and the bed was too soft.

Travis watched his new waitress curl up on the bed and fall asleep. He had watched her all night as she’d worked. Emma had stopped by after the show to tell him how impressed she was with the new girl’s waitressing abilities.

He didn’t give a damn about her drink-slinging talents. Travis had been fascinated by her face. She was pretty, but it was the look of determination and—for lack of a better word—hunger that caught his eye. He recognized the exhaustion, the desperation and fear written there. He’d come to know those emotions well. He also felt a definite attraction. That would come as a surprise to Emma, who often accused him of taking the California-girls dream too far. He typically surrounded himself with tall, slim, suntanned blondes. Shea, with her dark hair, pale complexion and curvaceous body, didn’t fit that bill.

He’d watched her walk into the women’s room on one of the security monitors and been surprised when she didn’t come back out. After Bill locked up, he’d waited patiently. She didn’t disappoint him. Travis watched her sneak out with flashlight in hand. He picked up his phone, ready to call the police. However, her attire confused him and he paused. She appeared to be dressed in pajamas.

When she walked to the stage and lay down on the bed, he rose, watching her through the two-way glass. That was when he realized her goal wasn’t robbery, it was rest.

He stood watching her for nearly half an hour. Once he decided the exhausted girl was deeply asleep, he quietly crept down the stairs at the back of the stage. Shedding his shoes at the foot of the staircase, he padded across the stage until he stood next to her. Dim lighting from his open office door illuminated her face.

Shea Landon. Emma had told Travis her name. While he was typically absent from the main parts of the club, there was very little that happened in the place he didn’t know about.

He was curious about the petite woman. Reaching down, he picked up her duffel bag, retrieving the mini-flashlight she’d used earlier. He didn’t feel guilty about searching her stuff. After all, the woman was squatting in his club. Best to make sure she didn’t have a weapon.

Her bag didn’t answer his questions. If anything, it added more. There were several changes of clothing, some toiletries, a wallet and four books—all of them reminding him of the romance novels he’d been reading lately. Who the hell was this woman?

He replaced her things and put the duffel back on the floor. Shea rolled over and curled into a ball, nearly losing her blanket in the process. Travis slowly and carefully pulled the blanket up until it once more covered his sleeping waitress.

He was losing his mind. If he had half a brain, he’d wake her and fire her ass. Shea mumbled something incoherent and he grinned.

“You’re going to be trouble, aren’t you?” he whispered.

She sighed, but didn’t stir.

Fuck it. He wasn’t going to fire her. Where was the fun in that?

He climbed the stairs to his office, shutting the door. Usually he headed to his apartment but he didn’t want to leave Shea alone. Grabbing a blanket from the chair, he laid down on the couch. For the first time in a long time, he actually felt sleepy, his usual insomnia remaining at bay. His last thought before he drifted to sleep was of Shea. He didn’t know who she was, but she’d done something no one had done in a very long time.

Surprised him.

4 Responses to “Writing Spaces, a Release & a Contest!”

  1. Great space!

    Congrats on the release today!!! I CANNOT wait to read it…feels like just yesterday I read Black Jack

    three words Mari to always remember…you know what they are?

    HARRY POTTER RULES!!!!

  2. Regina Ross Says:

    Congrats on your new release !!!

  3. This story sounds great. Definitely going on the TBR list.

  4. I love promoting the authors I love and enjoy! I have both of your books on my gotta have list, and getting ready to read Eastern Ambitions here this weekend when I can selfish and read and love it!
    Wishing you all the best!

    Darcy
    pommawolf @hotmail.com

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