Party Lines: Teaser 3

We’re one week away from Party Lines‘ release! You get one more excerpt. It’s short but juicy.

His skimmed a hand over her cheek. She didn’t stop him.

“You ruined my day.”

“And doing that made mine.” She set one hand and then the other on his shoulders.

This shouldn’t be. He shouldn’t touch her. He shouldn’t want to touch her more. This was a colossally bad idea.

Moving slowly, Michael leaned down until their lips were millimeters apart. He could taste her from that distance, the wariness and arousal, the hesitation and anticipation. The air moved between them, from his lungs into hers, and back to his, so hyper-charged it hurt. He hurt. Wanting her hurt.

He could cross the space, kiss her and go back to working on dissembling Republicans the next day. Or he could stop this crazy thing before it went too far—

I wonder which one he’ll choose.

You can pre-order Party Lines at AmazonB&NCarinaiBooksKobo, and Google Play or add it to your Goodreads shelves. Reviewers can request it at Netgalley.

Party Lines: Teaser 2

If you celebrate, I hope you had a lovely holiday. We’re only a few days away from the end of the year and only a few weeks away from Party Lines‘ release! Here’s your second teaser:

When Lydia swung by the bar to buy a bottle of water, she almost didn’t stop when she saw a certain Democrat staffer sitting in a corner booth. Almost. But he was so deliciously rumpled and stared at the wall with a forlorn air that she found she couldn’t leave things as she had on that plane on the Des Moines tarmac three weeks earlier.

“Tell me, what’s the difference between whiskey and bourbon?”

She delivered the question leaning against the booth across from him. When he glanced over at her, she could see the moment of recognition. She definitely enjoyed the murderous gleam taking residence in his eyes. It would have shot a lesser woman back on her heels and maybe out of the bar altogether, but Lydia was taking on the Willis family in the morning—she could handle Michael Picetti.

She tilted her head to the side and gave him a pouty smile. Anyone watching would think she was trying to pick him up. She wasn’t, but this was too much fun.

He took a drag from his drink and his frown deepened. After several false starts, he asked, “Why do you care?”

“Oh I don’t. I wanted to see if you pronounced bourbon like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. You look like you would.”

The second she’d sat down next to him on the plane she’d noticed he was good-looking. Tall and slim with dark brown eyes and too-long brown hair he frequently had to sweep out of his eyes. She didn’t as a rule go for hot guys. Okay, so they didn’t go for her, but even if they did, she wasn’t interested. As a group, they were boring—they’d had everything too easy.

Michael had started their acquaintance at a disadvantage and then had dug himself in further with his assumptions about who she was. He’d gone from passively to actively pissing her off, which made this situation so delightful. She was merely returning the favor.

He slammed the glass, containing one or the other liquid, down on the table with a heavy thunk. “I look as if I’d pronounce bourbon like… You’re insane, you know that?”


As a reminder, you can pre-order Party Lines at AmazonB&NCarinaiBooksKobo, and Google Play or add it to your Goodreads shelves. Reviewers can request it at Netgalley.

Also, I meant to give an early copy of this away a few weeks ago, but my giveaway winner chose Private Politics instead. So…leave a comment on this post and I’ll choose a winner on Wednesday, December 31, at midnight. Entrants must be able to accept either a .mobi or .epub. Good luck!

Party Lines: Teaser One

So Party Lines will be out in three weeks. You probably want some teasers, hmm?

It’s very cold here. This seems appropriate.

She played with the scarf hanging around her shoulders. “Because having dinner with a Democrat is partying where you’re from?”

“No.” He reached over and tied the scarf—a ridiculous, lumpy, red thing—firmly around her neck. Keeping a hold on the ends of it to keep her close, he added, “Because I barged in on your meal, asked you to eat with me. And where I’m from, if a man invites a woman to dinner, he pays.”

“You’re bad at that feminism thing.”

Over the course of the evening, he’d eaten, so he was no longer hungry. For a time at least, he’d been warm—though seriously, Iowa, forty-five seconds outside and that was fading. Soon, he’d be back in his room and he’d get some sleep.

But staring down into Lydia Reales’s face, the neon lights from the Applebee’s sign illuminating her eyes and coloring her cheeks, he suddenly felt massively less satisfied.

The moment stuck to them until they completely passed what might be just a friendly touch. Until he couldn’t help but look at her mouth. Until he tugged on her scarf, trying to pull her closer, not to kiss, but just to nestle under his chin for a moment.

She saved them both by not moving. Which was safer. Smarter. The right call.

With an exhale, he released her scarf and stepped back. “Yes, I am.”

He found his rental car and drove back to his hotel room alone.

These two are a lot of fun. You can preorder them at AmazonB&NCarinaiBooksKobo, and Google Play or add them to your Goodreads shelves. Reviewers can request it at Netgalley.

Party Lines: Opening Chapter

If you live in the United States, it’s Election Day, so you should vote. And when you’re done, I have a reward for you: the opening chapter of Party Lines, the final book in The Easy Part series. (Non-Americans can just read the chapter.) Party Lines is smart, sassy, and steamy–and it has the best opening chapter in the series.

I’m nervous about this book. It was hard for me to write and it’s different structurally than the first two. But I love it so much and I want you to love it too.

Warning: this chapter contains very minor spoilers for Special Interests and Private Politics, major banter, and a few adult words.

Continue reading “Party Lines: Opening Chapter”

A Tale of Five Opening Sentences

Until Party Lines (which will be out in January!), I had never written an opening chapter that remained in the final version of the manuscript–and I don’t mean that I made a few minor revisions to the writing. In every manuscript until Party Lines, I had dumped at least one chapter and significantly changed how I introduced the characters and the conflict. I previously shared with you the original opening chapter of Brave in Heart (compared to its actual opening chapter) and I could do the same for Special Interests as well as for my drawer novel.

In the case of Private Politics (which released yesterday! woo-hoo), I ran through five different openings. That’s right: five. There were three entirely different concepts and then, when I’d found the right one, I tweaked it until I got the first paragraph right. The reasons why the first four didn’t appear in the book varied. But let’s catalogue them!

(Warning: there are very minor spoilers for Special Interests in here. There are also references to the premise of Private Politics. If you’ve read the blurb, none of this will surprise you/ruin the book for you, but if you like to experience books without any information whatever about the premise, don’t read this post.)

Continue reading “A Tale of Five Opening Sentences”

Private Politics: Teaser 2

Only two weeks until Private Politics will be out! And today, I’m going to share one of my favorite moments: the epic hug. I’ve teased this before, but it’s a scene that I wrote and thought, “Oh, I like that.” And I’m very critical of my own writing.

The context: Alyse and Liam have a stressful conversation with a third party. Then this happens. There a few bad words.

Continue reading “Private Politics: Teaser 2”