Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Welcome back to IMHO, everyone! I’ve had a nice little break over the last couple of weeks, but it’s time to get back to our monthly themed contests and spotlighting authors you should know.
We’re kicking off the month of August by celebrating our theme, “This Kiss, This Kiss.” Each guest author this month is putting her own spin on that theme. As you know, all of our guests will put a signed copy of one of their releases in our tote bag for one lucky winner to take home. Included in that bag will be a copy of my critically acclaimed latest release, The Promise, an outside-the-box historical romance set in Northern Italy featuring a mercenary and the Spanish beauty whose love proves deadly to the men who fall for her. Also included as one of our goodies is a vintage-style handbag featuring our kissing theme (I’ll get a picture up on the blog soon). Plus, the tote bag for carrying your booty (I’m talking about the books, of course) is a funky, Indian-style glittery thang that will make you smile every time you see it.
So, let’s not waste any more time!
Our first guest, Kimberly Frost, claims she was unaware of copyright laws as a child and regularly pilfered famous characters for her stories. Taking fan fiction to new extremes, she once turned Han Solo into an NFL quarterback who married a supermodel. Would-be Witch, her debut fantasy novel that combines humor, romance, and mystery, was released in February 2009. The second book in the Southern Witch series, Barely Bewitched , will hit the shelves September 1st, 2009. (Don'cha just love those covers?) And Kimberly has recently announced she’s accepted an offer for a third book in the Southern Witch series, tentatively titled Halfway Hexed! Unfortunately, neither Han Solo nor any supermodels appear in the series, but she hopes the characters she created from scratch will entertain readers anyway. Kimberly will put a copy of her debut novel, Would-Be Witch, in the tote bag for us this month.
IMHO: Welcome, Kimberly! So, you’ve decided to illustrate our theme by sharing your heroine’s first kiss with us, right?
KF: That’s right, TJ. I’ve heard it said that a story is like an iceberg. What appears in the novel is the tip, but the author knows everything below the surface, too.
Over time, Tammy Jo Trask (from my Southern Witch series) has confided plenty that hasn’t appeared in the published books. Here’s a taste…
* * *
I wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend until I turned fourteen. Momma had made that real clear. But when the cutest boy in class shares your apple slices at lunch and declares that if he had any secrets, you’d be the only one he told them to, you might be inclined to bend a rule by a year or two…or even seven.
Zach Sutton loved heights, dirt bikes, and football. I thought the dimple in his left cheek when he smiled was so adorable I wanted to put it under my pillow at night.
When he said I should be his girlfriend, I told him that I wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend yet.
“But if you could have one? Would it be me or someone else?”
I blushed ten shades of pink and nodded. “You.”
“Well,” he said with a shrug. “That’s done, and we’ll keep it a secret.” Then, he added, “We won’t kiss ‘til we’re both eight.”
The day before my birthday, Zach said I should sleep in my clothes so I’d be ready to sneak out when he knocked on my window at midnight. Since I’d never stayed up past eleven, it was already an adventure.
The night was hot and smelled like honeysuckle. I sat on the handlebars of his bike as he pedaled us down empty roads to Corsic Creek, where he’d stashed a present under the bridge.
“George says on your girl’s birthday you give her flowers,” Zach said, referring to his older brother who seemed to know an awful lot about an awful lot. Of course, George was twelve, so there you go.
“But you’ve got a lot of flowers around your house already, so here.” Zach held the box out.
I unwrapped it and, inside, found a pink-and-black helmet. Not the kind for a bicycle. The cool kind with a visor, for riding on motorcycles.
“I’ve got that bigger dirt bike now. There’re some good trails to Old Town. If you want, I’ll take you with me when I go.”
I nodded, my smile as wide as it could get.
“You know, George said that when you give your girl a present, she’ll give you a kiss.” His denim blue eyes searched my face. “And we’re both eight now.”
My heart fluttered like bird’s wings. Then I put my fingertips on Zach’s jaw, so I wouldn’t lose my place when I closed my eyes.
His lips were soft, and they tasted like Root Beer. Pressing mine against them was as good as letting Hershey’s chocolate melt on my tongue. I stepped back, taking a slow breath.
“Did you like it?” I whispered.
Zach smiled. “George says there’s nothing better than football. Guess he ain’t always right.”
That was when I decided that if Zach Sutton asked me to marry him, I’d say yes.
* * *
IMHO: Kimberly, I think if he’d asked me to marry him when I was eight, I might have said yes, too! (Don’t tell my hubby I said that!) Thanks for that wonderful glimpse into Tammy Jo’s first kiss.
Okay, IMHO readers, for a chance to win a copy of Would-Be Witch and all the other wonderful books in this month’s tote bag, plus the vintage-style handbag, leave a comment and tell Kimberly about your first kiss. (You can check out my contest rules here.)