I'm thrilled to have the lovely Carlene Love Flores here today to share what inspired her newest release, Stay for Me! You might remember her from my Susceptible to Him release day bash over at FB last week.
She's a sweetheart!!
Thanks so much for stopping by, Carlene!
Hi Lynn! Hi Lynn’s friends! I’m very happy to be here with you today. I’m still recovering from last week’s awesome-sauce release party for Susceptible to Him. Congrats on that, author lady! I’m always in awe of authors who can pull that kind of event together and you did a great job.
When you asked me to share what inspired my new release, Stay for Me, I was excited once again. That’s because it actually came about in a very special way. This past October, my Mom and I went to Las Vegas to honor the life of my step-dad who had passed away. His last request was that people celebrate his life. I never knew this, but Mom shared with me that he had taken her to her first male revue show back in the 70’s. Mom said she couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate his life and do it in his beloved Vegas style than for her to take me to my first show. We saw Chippendales the first night and Australia’s Thunder From Down Under the next. Talk about inspiring! In all seriousness, the shows were wonderful and I could see the hard work that goes into their making. A few of the dancers really stood out and left their mark on me and those men are the basis for the core group of heroes that the These Three Words series books are about. I owe a huge thank you to Mom, and to the man who inspired her heart and love, my step-dad, Cliff. And thank you to you for having me here today. Xoxoxo.
Can he maintain his restraint and help her?
When she hands him his uniform to strip out of, is she handing him her heart? Or is it too tattered to ever belong to him again?
“Are you okay?” she asked as he felt his back move against the wall.
No. In fact, he was ashamed of the slip in control as the thrill of that shot of her breath reminded him. He’d once thought of nothing else besides making love to her and had been pretty damn reckless in going after it as a twenty-one-year-old man. Didn’t matter that they’d been best friends since they were thirteen. In fact, that was what should have stopped him. How much time she and her family had given to improving his home life should have been his reminder not to touch. Not to kiss.
The sudden mind game didn’t stop there.
Tight knots shot up through his gut. Damn, he was not getting aroused, except for damn, he was. It was her eyes and her hair and what she’d been trying to do for him. He pushed down and adjusted the growing and inappropriate bulge so it didn’t bust the overworked zipper of his god-awful, tight pants. As soon as he did that, she finally spoke.
“You’re still in costume.” He watched her chest rise and fall with her deep breath, wondering what exactly it meant.
God, was she responding to him? He’d lie if he didn’t still have the clearest picture of her smile taking over her face when he came off the plane to meet her and her parents. She’d even told him how good he looked in his Army uniform. Haunted by the knowledge of how badly he’d hurt Emma trying to make love that night, he prayed for her sake that he was wrong. And now here he was thinking what? Two years he’d lived up to that vow. There had to be a way to crawl back into the hole he’d dug where feelings for Emma were buried.
Then she did the most dangerous thing of all. She crawled over to the wall where he’d escaped, reached out, and touched his shoulder.
“Didn’t have time to take it off,” he said and came out of his squat to rest on his knees, preparing to get up and leave before he did something stupid.
He could not hurt her again, and he was dangerously close to breaking his vow.
This was about quitting one job and replacing it with another, finances, and upholding secret arrangements with her parents who he loved like his own. Not drudging up the night he’d put everything on the line and asked her to be his, how eager she’d been to say yes, and how he’d screwed it all up. But now he couldn’t ignore the flood of fire as Emma’s brown eyes did their best to lie for her, same as his tried on his behalf.
“Emma, I should go. Gotta clean out my locker.”
Get some fresh air and a pair of pants that aren’t so damn tight.
He vaguely noticed the slight shake to the ends of her hair before she said the words that rocked his world, taking this completely off the playing field he’d been prepared to run around.
She rubbed at the tip of her cute little nose. “I only took this job because I knew if you left without me that night, you’d find a way to stay away for good. For my good. Just like you’re trying to do now. I’m calling bullshit, on all of this. I’ve wanted to be yours since the eighth grade, Sam. You tell me how to quit that. I’m tired of lying.”
Carlene Love Flores is a big fan of the stars (especially Orion), honest music (especially Depeche Mode), and her traveling family (no favorites there-she loves them all). These things inspire her intimate style of romance writing. She feels honored to be a member of Washington DC Romance Writers (WRWDC), RWA San Diego (RWASD), and the Waterworld Mermaids. Carlene currently lives in the San Diego area where she can often be found listening to live music and looking up at the sky on clear nights. If she could touch someone’s heart with her writing the way others have done for her, she’d say truly there never lived a luckier girl.