Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Lady Jane's Salon Reading at Madame X

So...first off, a HUGE thank you to those who came to see me do my first reading of my work in NYC last night! It was gross out and you still made it, so thank you so very very much! Here are a few of them (missing from the pic are Emily, Erin, and Stacey). From L to R: Alexis, Lauren, Taylor, Larissa, and Sam.

For those of you who missed it, I ended up reading last and I can say, with much joy in my heart....that I didn't trip on the stairs of the stage either going up or coming to me, that's a huge win! ;)

But seriously, the reading went well, and I got a lot of positive feedback not just on my past theatrical training (which comes in wickedly handy when doing something like this) but on the characters and the premise of the book. I only got to read from my Contemporary Romance, Duality of Surrender, which isn't available to purchase (so don't go thinking, "wait, when did that come out?"). It is, however been requested by a publisher and I will send them the full manuscript in the next two weeks.

Now, before I paste that piece here for you folks who missed the event, I think you should see what Madame X's looks like...

Yes...this brothel looking place, full of red lights, red furniture, red lamps and everything, is just the upstairs loft at Madame X's and that stage in the far back is where we stood, with REALLY white lights on us, and a backdrop that said Lady Jane's Salon. Now, with how dark skinned I am (yes...that is sarcasm), you can imagine how I look in these bright lights.  You can't...oh, by all you go:

Well, maybe I don't seem too pale here, but that's only because my friend, Leanna Rene Hieber, is more pale than I... LOL! :)  In this pic, I'm telling the audience a bit about what I write and what they're about to hear while she lowers the mic for me...cause it was at my forehead. HA!

Anyway, I told them how I usually write YA Urban Fantasy (motioning to my five books on the coffee table in the audience) and then explained to them what I told you at the top of this blog about the romance novel.

Once at the mic...I put on my reading glasses to make sure I didn't have any issues...

...and told them that I was reading a scene where Topher Matthews (the most talked about British actor out ATM) and Courtney Behrent (an up and coming American author) are stuck in an elevator together, and just survived the elevator falling 10 floors and are stuck, waiting for to hear back from security on if they can find someone to get them out.

I chose to flip this story about. Many romance novels, the woman falls for the man and has to grow to love her. In DoS, Topher knows he is infatuated with her. It is Courtney who is hesitant of him. In the scene I read she's...well, she's rather pissed off at him, with good reason. you go...the section I read to them, minus the great voice I gave Mac (obviously), the elevator repair guy (...just know it was a bit Brooklyn...):


“Oiy! Pick up!” A voice on the phone yelled out, interrupting them.

Topher lifted the dangling receiver and held it in a way where both he and Courtney could hear. “Hello?”

“Is this Topher Matthews?”

“It is. Who is this?”

“Hey! My name’s Mac. I work on the elevators for a lot of the buildings around here. Lucky for you, I was having lunch next door. So, the good news is the elevator is sturdy as a rock. You'll not be fallin’.”

“That is good news,” Topher replied.

“The bad news is that she's sturdy and stuck like a rock. We're going to need a bit more time since you’re between floors. Once we ease ya up or down we can pry the doors open for you and your lady.”

“I'm not his―” Courtney attempted to say, but Topher cut her off.

“How long do you think it will take?”

“Fifteen minutes, give or take. Thirty, tops. So just hang in up there and we'll be in touch. Oh, and I'm supposed to tell you to leave the phone off the hook. So, you know, they can hear if you need help or something.”

“Fine. Not a problem,” Topher said.

“Good. Next time you hear my voice, it should be through the door. See ya soon.”

“God willing.”

“I'm good at what I do, Mr. Matthews. Just you and your lady hang tight.”

“I'm not his lady!” Courtney yelled out.

“He's gone,” Topher told her, letting the receiver hang down again.

“Ugh. Well, at least we can move around.” Courtney stepped away from him into the center of the car. “So, since we have fifteen minutes at least, why don't you answer my question?”

He leaned against the elevator wall. “Which was?”

“Did you stage the run in last night?”

“Yes,” he replied. “Because I wanted  to―”

Courtney didn’t care about his why. “Including the reporter and camera?”

“Yes, but let me explain―”

“You son of a bitch. How dare you play with my life like it's a damn theatrical production!? You had no right! Last night or on that damn morning show, where you not only embarrassed me, but my family as well!” She turned to face him. “Not to mention, some fan of yours made it a point of making a scene in a public place to tell me how ugly I was. Oh, and that you must have just felt sorry for me. Ha!”

Topher stepped toward her, “Courtney…”

“Don't,” she ordered him, backing away.

Topher didn’t comply, and soon was close enough that her hands pressed against his chest. She noted that they shook as much as her insides, primarily because she couldn't hold the rolling emotions back anymore. Tears from last night and a month ago sprung into her eyes. Courtney looked at the ceiling in an attempt to blink them away, but a few escaped, upsetting her further.

“You have no right to talk badly about me! My poor father was in the ICU and you were trashing me! Why!?” She shoved him and he let her. “What does it do for you? I don't understand! Make me understand!”

Topher stepped quickly, cupping her face with his hand, and moving into her space before she could stop him. With only a quick, ardent look, his mouth crushed down on hers. Lips that were hot and hungry, desperate and captivating, possessed her in a way she'd never felt before.

The kiss deepened and Topher's long fingers slid into her hair at the nape of her neck, grabbing on while his other hand slid down the curve of her to nestle into the small of her back. Pulling her into him, he moved them until her back hit he wall.

Courtney’s hand slid from his chest, to wrap around the back of his neck. He tasted of oranges and black tea with a hint of cinnamon and smelled like cologne from the gods, causing her to heart to speed up and a purr to vibrate deep in her throat. Hearing this, Topher paused long enough to intake air before ravaging her mouth again, molding his body to hers, and exuding a moan of pleasure. She could feel every muscle of his tighten and release as he devoured her, lips moving to travel along her jaw to her neck before coming back to tug at her bottom lip with his teeth.

“Topher...” she whispered against his mouth before he could begin again.

“Shhh...don’t...” he rested his forehead on hers, as they both attempted to catch their breath, his thumb lightly dragging along her jaw line. After a moment, his lips gently brushed hers before saying, “I'm sorry.”

“Sorry?” she asked, needing clarification.

“I'm sorry I'm such a pratt.”


He pulled back to look at her, his eyes more green now than blue. “I'm sorry I hurt you. I never intended for that to happen. That's what I was coming to your room to say. I wasn't able to sleep last night. In fact, I've not slept well since I found out about your father. You've been on my mind since the night we met and I am sorry for ruining your life. I sometimes forget to think of how things I say will be received, and dear god, stop me from blathering on, please?”

To do so, she put her lips on his, the kiss soft and brief, only lingering on departure when she replaced her lips with a finger to keep him from speaking. “Thank you for the apology.”

“Why do I hear a 'but' coming?” he mumbled behind her finger.

She took her hand away. “But…kissing me and saying you're sorry doesn't fix this.”

“I know. I didn't think it would. I just happen to find you fascinating and you are downright beautiful when you’re angry. Not that you're not beautiful when you're not upset, it’s just―”

“Wow, for a man who deals with people for a living, you do ramble on.”

He huffed out a laugh. “Brad says that all the time. I trip over myself mostly when I'm nervous.”

“Why would I, of all people, make you nervous?”

His gaze traveled over her hair and face like the hands of an attentive lover before his eyes held hers. “I don't know, but you do, and I want to find out why. Don't I make you nervous?”

“You make me angry.”

Now he laughed outright. “Well, that's something.”

“You are a strange man, Mr. Matthews, a very strange man indeed.”

“Hello in there!” Came a loud voice from somewhere outside the elevator doors. "Mr. Matthews, are you and your lady still breathing in there?”

“Yes, sir, we are.”

Courtney hit his arm. “Not. Your. Lady.”

“We'll see about that,” he said, a lopsided grin lighting up his face. “Are you going to get us out of here, Mac?”

“I am. In about two minutes, you'll feel the elevator move inch by inch. Don't fret that out. Just sit down and hang tight.”

“Yes, sir!” Topher yelled out, finally leaning away from her. “Come on, let's sit.”

Courtney slid down the wall until her butt rested on the floor, which was probably best, since her legs felt like jello. Topher sat next to her, his shoulder pressed against hers.

Unsure what to say, she opted for his injury. “Let me see your eyebrow.”

He turned to her. “Has it stopped bleeding?”

“Not totally. I think you’ll need stitch tape.”

“Well, that’s better than actual stitches.”

A sound like a gong went off and Courtney sheepishly grinned. “That’d be my phone.” Pulling it out, she entered in her passcode and saw a text from Nicole asking if she was all right and how social media was blowing up with news of how she and Topher Matthews were trapped in an elevator at Dragon*Con.

Another text came through right behind it, and Courtney said, “Nicole says Gwen wants to know if they should cancel the brunch and come over here.” She texted back, telling Nicole not to cancel and that they’d be out shortly. Hitting send, she said, “How did social media get this all ready?”

“Probably a hotel worker. You just can’t trust underpaid workers these days,” he joked.

She rolled her eyes at him as the next text came in. However, this one she didn’t plan to read aloud.

“Tell her I’d be delighted to come with you to brunch,” he said, obviously reading over her shoulder.

Pulling her phone away from his gaze, Courtney texted back a made up excuse why he couldn’t, just as the elevator inched upward. Quickly she added that they were now moving and she’d see them all soon. Hitting send, she placed the cell in her pocket just as the elevator took a fast dip down.

Unsure who reached for who first, she grasped Topher's hand, weaving her fingers between his, their palms pressed firmly together.

“We get out of here alive, I'm coming to brunch,” he said.

“Over my dead body.” She thought about that comment. “I should rephrase.”

“And you call yourself a writer.”

Courtney laughed. “Shut up.”
-----  -----  -----  -----  ----- ----- -----  -----

Hope you enjoyed that! If so, cross fingers, pray, chant, or whatever you do for good luck, in hopes that the publisher who is interested in me and it, buys it!

I very much enjoyed reading from the another huge thank you to Hope Tarr and Leanna for having me! Stay tuned for tomorrow's post...where I'll put up he piece I didn't get to read; a section from Chapter 11 of Identity, Book 5 of the WINDFIRE saga!

Have a good night! Stay warm and dry, New Yorkers! It's gross outside!


Tamsin :)

Please note, I wore the blue ribbon for Paul Butterfield last night, since this book is dedicated to him. This great pin was made by Bob Hanna for each of us when we were in town for our reunion, shortly after Paul passed away. Thanks, Bob! I like having this to wear from time to time in Paul's honor! *hugs*

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