Tuesday, May 09, 2006

"California Stars" Morning After


In January 2005, I spent nearly 3 weeks in Italy. It was a glorious, happy three weeks. While there, I learned that Liquid Silver Books had bought my first book New Frontier. I also began the first round of edits on my book California Stars. Almost exactly one year after New Frontier was released, California Stars has been published.

This novel means a lot to me, and I put a great deal of work into it (well, obviously). It started with a simple premise: What if the genders were reversed? That is, what if our hero was a bit awkward with women (even a virgin!) and our heroine was the girl to show him how to get it done? I like toying with concepts and playing around with expectations, and so I really loved this project.

It was also full of a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. The original mauscript required some hefty rewrites, and I honestly had to delve into my characters' lives and take assessment of who they are, and what I wanted to convey.

The result was a novel, that quite frankly, I think is sizzling hot :)

Now, presented for your approval, the blurb.

California Stars is the story of a young man, William, and his first love, Lynne. William is a virgin, and unbelievably shy when it comes to the opposite sex. Lynne comes into his life without warning and promptly changes everything. She's older, beautiful, fun, spontaneous, and above all, the best teacher a young man like William could ever ask for. She shows him things and takes him places he never dreamed of before, and experiences he never dared to hope for. But they both have lives, responsibilities, and familial problems. Can their red-hot lust turn to a genuine love? And will that love be strong enough to face the obstacles of family, school, responsibility, and pain?


And if you're intriqued, here is an excerpt.
She ran her fingers down his arm. “You feel fine to me.”

William caught his breath as she caressed the top of his hand, a surprisingly intimate act. It didn’t stop his head from pounding though, or the noxious roiling of his stomach.

She leaned over, oblivious to his torment. Her lips were soft and tender against his cheek, and her breath warm in his ear. “Let’s go.”

“Where?” he squeaked.

“It’s too crowded here.”

William looked at the single waitress standing by the cash register, waiting for them to pay their check.

“Are you done with your pancakes?”

She pulled back slightly and shoveled the final piece, drenched in strawberry syrup, in her mouth. She gave him a winning, close-mouthed smile as she swallowed the food, and then before he realized what she was up to, she grabbed the back of his head and kissed him hard on the mouth.

He opened his mouth without a second thought, and she tasted like strawberries. Her mouth felt like he always imagined strawberries should taste--sweet and fleshy, bitter and firm, soft, giving, taking. The smell of her filled his nostrils and hit him in the groin, the taste of her chased the sick bile and made him forget that he ever wanted to run.

She broke the kiss and smacked her lips with satisfaction. Everything about her was playful and flirty--from the way she licked her lips to the way her eyes danced over his face. He wanted to kiss her again. He could almost feel the final barrier of his extreme discomfort and modesty crumble beneath her insistent gaze.

While they had been kissing, the waitress came by and put their check on the table. William didn’t even bother looking at the final bill. He just pulled the roll of twenties from his pocket, peeled off two, and dropped them on the table. Lynne took one last swallow from her juice--and William noticed she didn’t leave a trace of lipstick on the glass. He rubbed his mouth with the back of his hand.

William followed her out of the restaurant, watching the swing of her perky little bottom as she walked. Will she let me...? His hands itched to cup each rounded cheek, to feel the firm flesh beneath his palms, to trace the curve with his fingers. Her whole body was perfect really, and with each passing moment, he became engrossed with touching her and caressing her and feeling her body everywhere...

It was funny the way the horrors of the reading could flutter away, forgotten, on the night’s wind, in the face of this overtaking desire. Ten minutes ago he thought he’d like to die, and now he thought he would die if he couldn’t get just a few precious seconds alone with her...

He opened the door for her like a proper gentleman, and she smiled up at him as she slid into the front seat. He slid behind the wheel, but before he could start the car, Lynne grabbed him and kissed him again.

As before, he opened his mouth beneath hers, happily kissing her back. He felt comfortable in the darkness and the nearly empty parking lot. Like when they danced, she had to show him what to do with his hands. He gripped the back of her seat, but she guided his free hand to her body, placing it on her stomach, and then releasing him. It was permission to touch her, permission for which he had never had to ask.

His fingers splayed across her abdomen, happy to feel her warmth through her shirt. He didn’t attempt to get any closer to her. The kiss deepened, and it felt like her hands were everywhere. She ran them down his back, his arms, over his chest, around his neck, through his hair. She wasn’t touching any bare skin yet either, but it felt like her hands were searing his body. He could feel her touch all the way to his bones, and hormones and instinct drowned his conscious thoughts.

He kissed her harder and finally pulled the hem of her shirt up so he could brush against the delicate skin of her stomach. He caressed her ribs and rubbed the broad area of her back. She moaned in response to his touch, and this encouraged and elated him. He felt like he was floating and only she kept him tethered to the Earth with her strong hands on his shoulders and in his hair, and the sound of her breath, and the steady thump of her heart against his chest as he tried to move closer and closer.


For a chance to win you're very own copy of California Stars, just take the time to comment! I look forward to hearing from you :)

13 Comments:

Blogger LSB Author, Darragha Foster said...

Oh, my! Great excerpt. Congrats on your release!

Darragha

9:00 AM  
Blogger LISA WILLIAMS said...

I loved the basis of this story...sounds like it will be both touching and hot.

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't often see the older heroine and inexperienced younger man who needs to be taken in hand...by the hand....er, you know what I mean.

Little Lamb Lost

11:52 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Y. said...

Sounds great!

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Cherie said...

Hot excerpt! Congrats on your release.

12:06 PM  
Blogger snowflake said...

Love the excerpt!

12:27 PM  
Blogger Deborah Chan said...

I think this a great storyline, I liked your excerpt.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Shuck Ying said...

Congrats on the sale of your books, keep them coming!

12:38 PM  
Blogger Meljprincess said...

Enjoyed the excerpt, Pepper. Isn't Italy wonderful? I was there in '84.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Estella said...

WOW! Sounds yummy.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Tamara said...

Nice to hear about the new release , Pepper. It sounds like an interesting read.

3:37 PM  
Blogger ChristyJan said...

Oh...nice excerpt - sounds great

5:18 PM  
Blogger Pamk said...

congrats on your release. Sounds like its going a be a very good story

6:16 PM  

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