Happy Tuesday readers.
To round out March on a high note,
I have author Joyce Holmes and her new book,
Dare to Risk All.
Welcome Joyce, it's wonderful to meet you. Tell me three words that describe yourself starting with A, B, and C.
What are your three favorite things?
Are you self- published or with a publishing company (if so, which one?)?
I’m fortunate to be published with two publishers, Sweet Cravings Publishing and The Wild Rose Press.
Is there a process you stick to, or do you just write as it hits you?
I fall somewhere in between. Usually I come up with a character or two, and a basic premise, then see where it goes from there. As for my writing process, I always edit as I go along. Each day, before I start writing fresh, I read what I’ve written the day before and do some light edits. Sometimes when I hit a roadblock, I go back and read/edit from the beginning and that either helps get me back into the story or it points out where I headed in the wrong direction.
How much is your character like you?
I certainly don’t have Tessa’s marketing smarts, but we do share several traits, now that I think about it. We’re both diligent and have been under-appreciated at work. We don’t put a lot of stock in our appearance, and we’re both short, although that’s where the similarities in our looks end. We love animals and our dogs are a big part of our family. We believe in happy-ever-after.
When not writing, what can you be found doing?
My hubby and I love to travel as much as we can, and I’m an avid picture taker, which I probably over-share on my blog. We also like to get out into nature, hiking, biking, and our newest sport - kayaking. I’d really love to spend more time with my family, but my three boys have all scattered across this vast country so I don’t see them nearly as much as I want to.
When writing, which do you prefer to write with, computer or paper and pen?
I make lots of notes with pen and paper, but the actual writing is done on my laptop.
Tessa Caldwell’s carefully structured world is thrown into chaos when the handsome stranger she had an uncharacteristic fling with reappears in her life. Ben not only gets the promotion she thought was hers, but is also intent on resuming their physical relationship. Although Tessa’s rational mind insists on a professional association, both her heart and her traitorous body have other ideas. Can her sensible nature possibly win against such temptation?
Memories of the petite blonde with large, blue eyes have haunted Ben Dunham for months. When he transfers to her branch, he anticipates picking up where they left off. Reality doesn’t match memory when the cool and collected lady wants no part of him. If he intends to pursue Tessa, he has to earn her trust. The problem is, Ben carries a dark and dangerous secret. How does he get Tessa to trust him when he can’t trust himself?
“Morning, Tessa,” Ben and Travis chorused as she came down the hallway toward them the next morning.
She had arrived at least twenty minutes early, so why was Ben already at work? Sharing small talk and coffee with Travis in the hall outside their office. Brownnoser. And he’d effectively stolen the advantage of being the first to settle into the new office.
Ben’s gaze moved coolly, shamelessly, over her body in a deliberately appreciative manner. His sensuous mouth curved into a smile that made her legs go rubbery and had her wishing she’d chosen a pantsuit instead of the curve-clinging wool dress.
Not that she had any actual curves worth clinging to.
“Morning.” She smiled pleasantly at Travis first, then nodded briefly in Ben’s direction and turned her back on him, hoping he wouldn’t follow her into the office.
He did. And he closed the door behind him.
She went to her desk, using it as a barrier between them to help cope with his presence. Her temper tended to subside as quickly as it flared, and yesterday’s outburst already shamed her. After careful consideration, she realized she’d behaved unreasonably toward Ben. Because he was right—he had offered to stop before they’d made love, and she had been the one to convince him otherwise.
Despite not feeling very logical right now, common sense told her she shared in the responsibility for what had happened between them. She needed to put aside her personal feelings and concentrate on work. Because there was no room for personal feelings at the office. Not irritation, or resentment, and definitely not regret or any residual and unwanted desire.
She’d never be oblivious to the attraction of Ben’s sea-deep green eyes and flashing smile, but as far as she was concerned, that would be the extent of it. What had happened on the cruise was attributable to the circumstances, the romantic setting. Nothing more. Trying to continue with that type of behavior here at the workplace would be a recipe for disaster, or at the very least, she’d run the risk of losing her job. She’d always managed to keep her career goals clearly in sight. Now should be no different.
Ben shrugged out of his suit jacket and hung it across the back of his desk chair. He paced restlessly around the room, then moved to the window and stood in front of it with his hands in his pants pockets. Tessa surreptitiously watched his every move, enjoying and appreciating his casual grace and masculine beauty. As she grew aware of the direction her thoughts had headed, she irritably stopped herself and focused on her desktop instead. The photo of her and Lauren lay face down in the middle of her desk, and she placed it in its usual spot at the far left corner.
“The fellow who moved your desk and filing cabinet said something about hooking up your computer later this morning.”
“That’ll be fine,” Tessa muttered as she reached out and nudged the picture frame a fraction of an inch to the right.
Ben crossed the room to the computer table. From where she sat, Tessa caught a whiff of a sensuous blend of spice and citrus as he passed her desk. She swallowed. Hard.
“I take it this was Ed Hardy’s computer and now it’s for my use?” he asked after a moment.
“I guess,” Tessa agreed. Needing to concentrate on something other than how sexy Ben smelled, she dug in her drawer for her appointment book to see what she had on her schedule for the day. Morris wanted her to clean up any outstanding work by the end of the week, leaving her free to focus on new accounts with Ben. She had been developing some ideas to pitch for spec work, which were almost in the final stages and wouldn’t take long to finish once her computer was back up and running.
Ben walked over to her desk, folded both arms across his chest and gazed down at her. “Ya know, this polite stranger thing is getting pretty old.” When she looked up, he braced his arms on the edge of the desk and leaned in. “Are we talking to one another or what?”
Tessa dropped the book and flattened into her chair. That now familiar breathless feeling constricted her throat. His stance, his closeness, gave her an exhilarated, restless sensation. Her body reacted to the message she read in his eyes, little jolts of desire mingling with spurts of resentment. The treacherous way her body responded to him embarrassed her, and if she read his smug expression correctly, he knew exactly what effect he had on her.
No matter what or how she actually felt, her pride demanded that she prove this impertinent man wrong.
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