I came across a book today by an author that I've enjoyed reading for many years, Christina Skye. She writes a variety of romantic genres, but my favorite are her contemporary romance. They're super steamy, funny and suspenseful, and I recommend them if you haven't read her books before.
But that's not the purpose of this post.
When I saw the book I was reminded of when I actually had the opportunity to meet and have dinner with this author about ten years ago.
Yes, ten years ago.
I've talked before about how my writing journey is not a new one. I've been writing romantic fiction for more than a decade, and I was rejected many, many times before I decided to self-publish and consequently sign a contract with Simon & Schuster. Ten years ago, I was almost five years into the world of writing romance when I attended a signing and reading by Christina Skye at a local Barnes & Noble in Portland, Oregon.
I was THRILLED.
I couldn't wait to have my books signed and to just let her know that I enjoyed her stories. But while I was there, I met up with some of my fellow RWA (Romance Writers of America) members who informed me that Christina would be going to dinner with them after the signing and invited me along.
Holy crap! Like I was gonna pass that up! And then came the gigantic butterflies and shaky hands and tangled tongue. I was so nervous! But so, so excited.
The best part? While we all sat around at one of the ladies' homes and had pizza prepared by her chef husband and chatted it up about books we like and why we like them, Christine was right in the mix with us, telling us about HER favorite books and what she loves in a book boyfriend. We asked so many questions about agents and contracts and publishers, and please remember, this was before the self-publishing revolution and at this time in my life, a major contract with a publishing house was way out of my realm of possibilities.
I soaked up her words. I listened avidly as she shared her experiences, and when the evening came to an end, I hugged her and thanked her profusely for giving us a few hours of her time.
(I wonder where my photo of her and I together went?)
In the madness that is this new life of mine, I guess I forgot what that feels like. Readers seem so nervous when they approach me at signings, or when I offer breakfast out with my street team the morning after an event in most of the cities I visit, and that always seems to funny to me. I'm just me, that silly young girl with the dream of being a writer. I can't imagine why it's so interesting or exciting to pick my brain over beignets in New Orleans, but the reader in me remembers.
It was the same way when my mom and I traveled to Spokane, WA to see Nora Roberts. We sat and listened to her speak and then stood in line for roughly two hours and waited our turn to have Carolina Moon signed by her in 2000. When we finally made it to the front of the line, we were both a little shell-shocked, but my mom said, "We traveled all the way from Montana to meet you."
Nora's jaw dropped and she looked back and forth between us for several seconds and then she smiled widely and said, "Thank you, so much." We chatted about how long we'd been reading her books, what we adore about them, and thanked her for the many, many hours of reading enjoyment she'd given us over the years.
Next year, I plan to take my mom to Boonsboro, MD to stay in Nora's inn and attend a signing in her bookstore. (Shh, don't tell her. It's a surprise.)
But I remember being that reader, waiting in line for hours to meet a writer that I admire. Whose books I'd devoured, some over and over again.
So please, readers of mine, don't think for a second that I don't appreciate you. I am you. And I love you.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Hello, everyone! We are just one month away from the release of TIED WITH ME on March 18th! I can't wait for you all to read Matt and Nic's story! Here is a little excerpt to get you excited:
***All Copyright laws apply to this work, owned by Kristen Proby.
***All Copyright laws apply to this work, owned by Kristen Proby.
“Hey, Nic, can you come here, please?” Leo asks.
My eyes narrow as he crooks his finger at Nic, and she grins and walks over to join the rocker and Meg.
“Can you play this?” Meg asks, holding the paper out to her.
“Uh, this is a bunch of squiggles.” Nic laughs.
“Welcome to my world,” Sam calls out and grins.
“Here, I’ll show you how it’s supposed to sound. We need to hear it with the guitar.” Leo sits at the piano and gestures for Nic to join him and begins to play.
“Why don’t you just play it?” Nic asks nervously.
“Because I need to write.” He grins and shows her how the melody should sound, then sits and listens as Nic picks it up, playing beautifully.
She never stops surprising me.
“She’s good,” Will murmurs.
“I had no idea,” I reply softly.
“So talk while she’s preoccupied.”
I glance at my brother, who’s watching me closely, and then turn my gaze back to the powerhouse of a woman on that piano bench.
“What?” I ask.
“I’ve never, never, seen you with a woman,” Will replies softly.
“That’s an exaggeration, drama queen.”
“High school doesn’t count.”
I shrug. I knew this was coming, and it’ll come again Saturday when I take her with me to Nat’s party.
“I like her.”
“Jesus, you’re stubborn,” Will growls and shoves his hand through his hair.
Nic continues to play the piano, surprising Leo when she changes some notes, telling him that it sounds better like this.
Leo scowls, listens, and then grins.
“You’re right.” Meg nods. “It’s smoother.”
“She’s amazing,” I whisper to Will. “She’s smart and kind. Sexy as fuck.”
“She is pretty hot,” Will agrees with a nod and then laughs when I glare at him. “Dude, I’m perfectly happy with my own hot woman.” His face sobers. “But does she know…”
“She knows,” I confirm. “And we’re good.”
Friday, February 7, 2014
Last week, I promised readers that if the Seahawks won the Super Bowl I'd write a celebratory bonus scene featuring Will and Meg. Well, THE SEAHAWKS WON! So here is that promised scene.
I hope you enjoy it!
“And Seattle wins the Super Bowl!”
God, I’m so fucking proud of him! I’m sitting in the green room of the Today Show, watching Matt Lauer ask my fiancée, and Super Bowl MVP, Will Montgomery a slew of questions on the monitors.
How Will can even find the words to speak at this point is beyond me. I’m ready to drop.
As soon as the game ended, the frenzy began. Interviews, parties, more interviews. The family is all here from Seattle, but they long ago cried uncle and went back to the hotel to sleep.
“Are you exhausted?” an intern asks as she stocks the green room tables with more pastries and juice.
“Yes,” I reply with a grin.
“You followed him all night?”
“Yep.” I watch my man laugh with Matt Lauer and feel my stomach clench. Dear Jesus, he’s hot.
“This season has been one for the record books,” Matt says and glances down at his blue question card. “This was a 13-3 season for you guys, not to mention the first Super Bowl win for your city. What was different about this season?”
“It’s honestly the combination of these players, this coaching staff at this time. Our team works hard, and the coaches push us relentlessly.”
“And so what’s next? Where will you go from here?”
“Well, for the long term, I’ll stay in Seattle for as long as they’ll have me. That’s my home town and my family is there,” Will replies and then a slow smile spreads across that mouth of his as he leans his elbows on the directors chair he’s sitting in. “For the short term, I’m looking forward to taking my fiancée somewhere warm on vacation and celebrating with her.”
“That’s right, you recently became engaged. How does she feel about all of this?”
I bite my lip and hold my breath as Will processes the question.
“Meg is my rock. She keeps my ego in check and grounds me.” He grins again and I can see all the wicked thoughts floating through his head, but he just shrugs and says, “She’s the best.”
“Well congratulations on both the win and your engagement. Thanks for being with us today.” They shake hands and Matt’s face turns to the camera. “We’ll be back in just a moment.”
The camera cuts and just a few moments later, Will marches into the green room, pulls me to my feet and tugs me into his arms. The intern quietly leaves the room, closing the door behind her.
“Can we go back to the hotel now?” I ask as he plants a kiss to the top of my head.
“Yes, that was the end of it.” He leans back and tips my chin up. “You could have gone back hours ago. You didn’t have to stick for the dog and pony show.”
“This is part of it.” I shrug. “Besides, I haven’t seen much of you lately.”
“That’s about to change.”
His agent walks through the door, also having been up all night, consulting his iPad.
“Okay, Will, up next…”
“Fuck that,” Will growls and tucks me next to his side as he faces the man who works tirelessly for him. “I’m done. I haven’t slept in over twenty-four hours, and I played my ass off yesterday. We are going back to the hotel.”
“I just have one more...”
“Tell them I can’t do it,” Will replies. “We’re exhausted, Bob.”
Bob nods and then smiles, shakes Will’s hand vigorously. “I’m proud of you. You played a helluva game, son.”
“Thank you.” Will takes my hand and leads me through the Today Show offices, nodding and stopping to sign autographs along the way, until at last we’re tucked into the limo and heading back to our Manhattan hotel room.
Will sighs, scrubs his hands over his face and leans his head back on the seat. The ride to the hotel is short and quiet. The adrenaline from the big win has worn off, and my man is back.
We move quickly into the elevator, avoiding fans and more paparazzi, and when we’re in our hotel suite, we both deflate, staring at each other in exhaustion.
“How are you, sweetheart?”
His voice is rough as he walks toward me.
“I’m so fucking proud of you, Will.” I swallow and blink back tears that I blame on all the excitement and fatigue. “I never doubted that you’d win. You are so good at what you do.”
He stops a few feet away, watching me quietly, his face sober.
“I love that you love it,” I continue. “I’ll never get tired of watching you play. I’ll never get used to watching you get squished…”
“Tackled,” he interrupts with a smile.
“But seriously, babe.” I close the gap between us and glide my hands up his sculpted chest and into his messy hair. “You were damn amazing yesterday.”
“Thank you,” he whispers and leans his forehead against my own. “Thank you for getting it. And for being patient with me when I put in so many hours training.”
“This is your job, but it’s so much more than that for you.”
He cups my face in his large hands and kisses me long and slow before pulling back and gazing into my eyes.
“I love you so much, Megan.”
“I love you too, football star.”
“I need a shower, food, and to bury myself deep inside you for as long as possible.”
“Well, I can call down to room service, then we can knock two of those things out in the shower,” I wink up at him, making him laugh. “And then room service should be here.”
“I do love the way you think,” he murmurs. “I’ll start the shower, you make the call.”
“Deal.” I move to back away but he holds me firmly in his arms, rooted to the floor. “Uh, Will, I can’t call from here.”
“I just need one more minute.” I rest my cheek on his chest as he wraps me tightly in his arms, gently rocking me back and forth. “That moment yesterday, when I knew we’d win. When I looked in the guys’ eyes and saw it, knew in my gut that we wouldn’t lose, was one of the most incredible moments in my life.”
His voice is rough as his arms tighten around me. He presses a kiss to my hair and breathes me in.
“But Meg, this, what I have with you, is the best part of my life. It’s better than any win.” He kisses my head again and I feel tears spill down my cheeks. “You are my greatest joy, sweetheart. Thank you for staying with me all night through the craziness. I wasn’t lying when I told Matt you are my anchor.”
I don’t know what to say, so I just hang on to my amazing man and hug him close. After another long minute, Will’s stomach growls, making us both laugh.
“I’d better call in that food order,” I whisper and pull back. When I look up at him, I’m surprised to see tears in his own eyes. He brushes the wetness from my cheeks with his thumbs and presses his lips to mine.
“Love you,” he whispers.
“Love you back, babe.”
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
I'm so excited to show you the new cover for the next book in the With Me In Seattle series, TIED WITH ME!! As you know, this is Matt and Nic's story. Matt has been out strong, quiet cop, not saying too much in the past books, but boy is that about to change!
TIED WITH ME will release on March 18, 2014!
TIED WITH ME will release on March 18, 2014!
Without further ado, here it is!
A man whose lifestyle is so different from her own…
Nic Dalton’s cupcake bakery is thriving. She serves both rock stars and locals alike, content with her growing business. But one adventurous night out with her best friend, Bailey, turns her life upside down. She meets a handsome stranger who makes her skin sizzle and her heart race. Their one night together is explosive and unexpected, but when he has to suddenly leave without taking her phone number, Nic resigns herself to never seeing him again.
…What will it take to trust and submit to his every desire?
Matt Montgomery is one of Seattle’s finest. He works hard, loves and protects his family fiercely, and is loyal almost to a fault.
And he has a penchant for bondage.
Matt enjoys the way a woman looks wrapped up in his ropes, and makes no apologies for his preferences. When he meets Nic at a fetish festival, the small, beautiful woman catches his eye, drawing him to her. His one night with her was everything he’s ever looked for in a partner, but is cut short because of a family emergency. Even before he sees her again weeks later, he knows he’ll never get her out of his system.
And he’ll do whatever it takes to make her his.
“Give in to this, Nic. Let me prove to you that I will be one of the best decisions you ever make.” –Matt Montgomery
And the excerpt:
I grin and offer her a fresh bottle of water, which she accepts, unscrews the cap and takes a sip.
Fuck, she has beautiful lips. Lips that look amazing wrapped around the head of my cock.
“It’s not a crime to belong to a gym,” I reply.
“Do you own it?” I ask with a grin.
She laughs and shakes her head. “No.”
“It’s not far from my apartment, and it’s convenient to work, too, so here I am.”
She nods and glances down, not sure what to say next.
“The cake was delicious today,” I comment casually, giving her the opportunity to talk about her work.
“Oh, good!” She grins and joins me as I walk toward the smoothie bar, pull out a chair for her to drop into at one of the tiny two-person tables and sit opposite her. “I’m glad you enjoyed it.”
“You do good work. Leo and Sam are always talking about your cupcakes.”
“Leo and Sam keep me in business, I swear.” She laughs, sending electricity down my spine. “They’re very good customers.”
I nod, watching her.
“I like your shorter hair,” I murmur and reach out to brush the ends with my finger, enjoying the softness.
“Most men like long hair,” she replies softly.
“I like long hair, too. You look beautiful in both.”
She frowns and glances away from me.
“Why did you cut your hair, Nic?”
She shrugs and won’t meet my gaze. “It was time for a change.”
“Try again,” I reply.
She turns her eyes to mine and squares her shoulders, firms her chin. “It was time for a change.”
That’s a lie.
I cross my arms over my naked chest and drag my finger over my lip, watching her squirm.
She isn’t a good liar.
She sighs, relieved, before I continue.
She scowls at me, making me laugh. “Friends don’t lie to each other, little one. The sooner you remember that, the better.”
“You’ve known me for three minutes, Matt. Don’t assume you know all there is to know about me.”
“You know what they say about assuming,” I murmur with a grin.
“Well, you are an ass,” she replies and then giggles.
I lean in and rest my mouth next to her ear. “This ass would love to smack your pretty little ass until it glows,” I whisper so only she can hear.