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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Behind the story: Lisa Marie Perry and Cheris Hodges take you inside Blissful Summer

  


Two exotic locations. Two couples about to discover the thrill of rekindled passion.

Make You Mine Again by Cheris Hodges

Supermodel Jansen Douglas is living her dream. Now a wedding in Paris is about to reunite her with the high school sweetheart she left behind. But Atlanta CEO Bradley Stephens won't let their stormy past stand in the way of reclaiming his first and only love.

Unraveled by Lisa Marie Perry

Ona Tracy's plans to seduce her high school crush unravel when the reunion trip she books turns out to be an erotic-themed cruise to the Bahamas! Rather than abandon ship, she recruits blond-haired, silver-eyed Riker Ewan to be her hookup, unaware that the hot-bodied ex-marine isn't who he seems to be…

The authors dish on what was the inspiration for these stories:
Lisa Marie Perry:
Q1: How did you come up with your main couples?

I knew from the start that I wanted to write an interracial couple who experience an instant attraction and connection. Ona is African American and Riker is Caucasian. In the past I've written interracial couples whose conflict has zero to do with racial and cultural details, but I wanted to give Ona and Riker a different journey. Ona is a quirky multitalented performer--and a liar. Riker is a Boston-bred ex-Marine and current blue-collar bartender--and also a liar. They end up aboard an erotic-themed cruise, each harboring secret agendas, and when they meet, lust binds them both and doesn't let go until their every vulnerability is exposed and every inhibition released.

Q2: What was the best part about writing your story?

Writing Ona and Riker's lust-at-first-sight romance was by far the best and most fun part of this experience. They are so sexy and dirty together and they do--and say--things that I absolutely would not.

Q3: Pick a favorite scene from your story and give the readers some background on what you did to create it?

Easy--Ona and Riker's first kiss! It's sensual and dramatic and exhilarating--at least to me. ;-) Enjoy.

Q4: How can readers get in contact with you?

I love hearing from readers. Visit me at www.perrytalebooks.com and also on Twitter (@PerryOrdinary).

            Cheris Hodges

Q1: How did you come up with your main couples?
I love to see people who used to be in love discover that they still love each other. So, with Jansen and Bradley, I wanted to bring them together with each one of them thinking they didn’t have a chance. And a hero who thinks he has a chance to steal his one true love from another man is so much fun to create.

Q2: What was the best part about writing your story?
I love Paris. I haven’t been yet, but I’ve done enough research on the city to feel as if I belong there. And Paris was the perfect setting to rekindle romance. So, aside from the romance between Jansen and Bradley, researching Paris was SO MUCH FUN!

Q3: Pick a favorite scene from your story and give the readers some background on what you did to create it?
One of my favorite scenes in Make You Mine Again, has to be when Bradley tries to pretend seeing a picture of Jansen with her “fiance” doesn’t bother him. I tried to think of a certain ex of mine and I hope this would be his reaction when I showed up in a major publication on the arms of a fine famous man. I actually asked him how he would feel about. That clown laughed.

Q4: How can readers get in contact with you?
I’m all over the Internet. Readers can visit my website: www.cherishodges.net, follow me on Twitter @cherishodges, follow my blog: www.cherishodges.blogspot.com and they can also get insight on Blissful Summer at www.blissfulsummerromance.wordpress.com


UNRAVELED
Lisa Marie Perry
excerpt (first kiss)

Exchanging the glasses for contact lenses, and trading the sweats for a black mesh bikini top with a bow and matching bottoms, Ona swept up her swim tote and joined Regan.
            “That is not a bikini,” Regan accused. “It’s sheer.”
            “Not completely. The bow hides the nipples and the bottoms are solid at the crotch and booty crack.”
            Scoffing, Regan insisted, “I’m only considering your welfare.”
            “You said that before.”
            “Last night you were on Nicholas’s lap and now you’re going to be lounging around a pool wearing that in front of him? It’s an attention-getter.”
            An attention-getter …  Perfect.
            They’d gotten no farther than halfway down the hall before Cole Stanwyck nudged between them, securing his arms around their waists. “The two hottest women onboard. I would’ve been the king of PAAC if I had the pair of you keeping my arms full. Where are you headed?”
            Ever the composed, cool one, Regan gave her deep gold curls a toss. “Cole, juvenile come-ons don’t affect me.”
            “That hurts, Regan. Stilts, make it up to me.”
            Hesitant to linger in his company, Ona at last said, “We’re going to the lower deck.”
            The walk was uneventful, meaning Cole didn’t try to stick his hand between her legs, as he’d tried to when they were seniors at PAAC. Ona hadn’t realized she was sweating until the three of them arrived at the deck. What further concerned her was that she might’ve panicked had Regan Waltz not been there to protect her in a strange, accidental way.
            “If you’re going to be sitting on anybody’s lap, let it be mine,” Cole said as he escorted Ona and Regan to the doors where two crewmembers stood by to offer assistance. “Nicholas didn’t book you for the entire trip, did he?”
            Regan snapped, “Ona has someone, Cole, and it’s not Nicholas. She has someone else and they’re having plenty of sex. So can you please stop the bullshit?”
            Ona and Cole froze as Regan untangled herself from his hold and started to stalk out on the pool deck ahead of them.
            “Regan, wait,” Ona tried, craning her neck to see the woman through the people cutting across her line of vision.
            Regan paused to accept a rolled cool towel and a bowl of fruit from a row of pool refreshment staff. “The only reason I’m not going to a champagne pool right now is because Rajon asked everyone to show up here,” she hollered to the pair. “I’m only doing this because I respect that man more than I’ll ever respect you, Cole.”
            “Repressed bitch,” he sneered at Regan’s back.
            Ona pushed against him. “Let me go. I will not listen to you call her that.”
            “You don’t like her, and she sure as hell doesn’t like you.”
            “That’s true. I’m not going to deny it. But I didn’t come to this deck to make alliances. I came to catch up with the group. Some of us want this to be a positive experience.”
            Cole snatched his arm from her waist, and because she’d been struggling against him, she stumbled at the abrupt freedom. He made no move to steady her—not that she would’ve let him, anyway. “I’m positive you’ve been experiencing Nicholas Callaghan.”
            “Think what you want,” she said, scanning the deck and finding roughly half of the group.
            “If you’re with somebody, where is he?” Cole persisted.
            Ona felt sweaty again, uncomfortably hot, but a cool towel or fruit or concoctions from the pool deck’s snazzy bar wouldn’t be of any relief. Stress sawed at her nerves, and she wanted to get away. “He’s …”
            “Where, Ona?”
            “He’s—” Ona’s gaze swung across the deck, and he was there. Not a made-up sex man or a man she could have a genuine relationship with, but Riker Ewan. One hand gripped a safety railing, the other held his phone, and taut muscles bulged across his arms and back. A gray T-shirt and athletic shorts today, and his dog tags were out, dangling from a simple silver chain. Sunglasses concealed his eyes, but she recognized him clearly. Her body had sensed his. “He’s there, on the phone.”
            “I don’t believe you.” Cole said it calmly, as though he almost enjoyed cornering her and forcing her to face her own lies. “Admit you lied and I won’t have you embarrass yourself in front of the club.”
            “Not that I owe you any explanation, Cole,” she served back, “but I’m not available and my marine probably won’t appreciate that I’ve had to tell you so many times. You need to leave me alone.”
            For effect, she crossed the deck to Riker and took his phone from his hand. Disconnecting the call, she whispered solemnly, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Riker, but I need your help.”
            A frown immediately creased his face. “It’s yours. What’s wrong?”
            “You told me you’re at my service. If you meant what you said yesterday about pretending to be with me, kiss me.” Ona wrapped an arm around his shoulders, because she would start trembling if she didn’t hold on to something solid. So many men in her life had assumed that just because she was tall, seemed strong, she never needed support. Would Riker give her that?
            “Are you sure about this, Ona?”
            “Kiss me,” she said again. “Make it good. Make it so nothing and no one else on this deck exists.”
            “Put my phone in my pocket,” he said calmly in her ear, his lip moving over the shell. “My hands are going to be on you and I’m not gonna take them off until we’re done here. And he’s going to envy me. He’s going to want to have this chance with you.”
            Ona nodded because it was true, technically. To be further technical, it was Cole who’d envy Riker and who’d want this chance with her. She didn’t know what Nicholas wanted.
            Riker took her in stages. Large hands grasped her hips, preparing her. Eyes that were simultaneously blue as ice and gray as smoke perused her. Beautiful, warm, hungry mouth claimed hers with a sudden force that had her head snapping back and her legs collapsing.
            His teeth captured her lips one at a time, and his tongue tasted her. To have his strength wrapped around her … To have his firm mouth open to hers …
            No one had ever said a kiss could void all sensation but arousal. It was a lesson she had to learn for herself as he held her and grinded. Moving against her like this, he spoke to her, admitted his desire and coaxed her to admit hers.
            It didn’t feel like a first kiss. It was absent of expectation and curiosity and nervousness. There was just addictive pleasure.

Make You Mine Again
By Cheris Hodges

 “I messed that up. I guess you’re going to get your happily ever after with that guy. Congratulations, Jansen. But how does he feel knowing you ditched him to find me?”
“I didn’t come to find you. I see you still think the sun doesn’t rise until it hits your ass. You haven’t changed at all, have you?”
“Oh. I’ve changed. And so have you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You’re even more beautiful than I remember.”
A heated blush filled her cheeks, crept down her neck and finally settled between her thighs. “It’s the make up and…”
“No, Jansen, it’s you. You’ve always been gorgeous. Maybe I wasn’t ready to share you with the world. I should’ve been more supportive of what you wanted rather than thinking you should have hidden your light.”
She shot him a blank look. “You wanted everything your way, how did that work out for you?”
“I should probably thank you,” he said.
“Thank me?”
He nodded and took a sip of his drink, trying and failing not to look at her cleavage. “I realized that day that I can’t expect my woman to do everything I want her do. And though I thought the center meant as much to you as it did to me, I shouldn’t have made that assumption for you. I still believe with your brain, you could’ve done something more with your life. You could’ve been on the front line teaching these young girls the value of their lives.”
She wondered if he even realized how saying that three years ago would’ve changed their lives. But right now, he sounded like a pompous jerk. Jansen rolled her eyes. “A little too late,” she said.
“Better late than never. I’m also thankful for your generosity,” he said. “The donations that you make every year help us further our cause of helping families and victims of domestic violence.”
“I loved your parents and what they stood for, I’m glad that I can help their legacy continue.”
“You could’ve done a lot more if you stayed on the staff…”
“You’re really going to start that again?”
“No,” he said as he eased closer to her chair. “I’m going to start this.” He cupped her face in his hands and kissed her slow, deliberate and passionate. He slipped his hands between her thighs and a soft moan escaped her throat. Jansen trembled with anticipation, with longing. Inside, Bradley beamed knowing she still belonged to him. Still clamored for his touch as much as he yearned for her.
Breaking the kiss, he looked into Jansen’s eyes.
“Do you love him?”
“What?” she asked, blinking rapidly.
“Well, do you?”
“Are you serious? You’re jealous of tabloid headlines?”
“No, I’m just wondering what kind of man allows the woman he’s supposed to marry to walk the streets of Paris alone.  If you were my woman, I would never allow that to happen.”
Jansen rose to her feet and glared at him. “Yeah, you’re the same as you’ve always been. Still want to be in control of everything. All men don’t think like you, thank God. Why don’t we just call it a life? There’s nothing else we need to say to one another.”
Bradley stood up and closed the space between them. “There’s plenty to say,” he said. “I’ve never stopped loving you and—” He stroked her arm. “I can feel how much you want me, Jansen. So, forgive me if I don’t celebrate your engagement. And I’m not going to watch you marry a man that you may like, but don’t love.”
“I am…” Bradley silenced her with a kiss that made her knees quiver. His tongue filled her mouth, reminding her that no one could kiss like Bradley, no one could find the way to her soul with a kiss. No one but Bradley. And when he pulled her against his hard body, she felt the throbbing of all of his muscles and melted against him. She wanted to peel her dress off and let him have his way with her. She wanted to go back to the days when she and Bradley woke up entwined in each other’s arms and the previous night’s passion became that morning’s desire.



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