Take a Peek Tuesday~Does Age Matter? #amwriting #romance #teaser

picture courtesy of  pixabay,com

Welcome back to Take a Peek Tuesday. Each week I will post a little tease from what I am currently working on. Right now I am doing a self-edit on a story I wrote during NaNo 2015.  I am hoping to release it this summer.  Baseball Bats and Cowboy hats is a contemporary sports/cowboy romance. It is sweet and spicy with a touch of humor.

Remember this is very raw, not having been beta read or edited.

This week I take up where I left off last week but in TJ’s view.

Baseball Bats and Cowboy Hats Copyright 2016

picture courtesy of pixabay.com

I don’t think Annie realized Caleb was in love with her. It was clear as a bell to me. I didn’t plan to kiss her. I guess it was another one of those strange ‘the moment is right’ things. She seemed so sad. So vulnerable. I bet very few people had ever seen this softer side of Annie. I’ve kissed a girl before, but it had never felt this amazing. My body thrummed with excitement. Every muscle, every nerve, yearned for more. I could feel myself shaking with desire. She melted into my arms, her hands slid up cupping my face, fingers entwining in my hair, pulling me in closer. Her lips parted allowing me entrance, giving me control. Control. Damn. Now is not the time. I want her with every fiber of my being, but I have to prove to her that I want more than a quick roll in the hay. I reluctantly pull back gazing into those warm, chocolaty eyes. Her lips are puffy and swollen. My body aches with want. I reach up and brush my finger over her mouth tracing it over her lips, sliding it into the long windblown curls. I expected a slap or at least her running like a frightened rabbit.

“Please don’t apologize.” She whispered.

“I have no intention of apologizing. I’ve done nothing I’m sorry about.”

“I shouldn’t want you so much.” She stepped back, gazing at the floor.

“Why? Because of my race? Afraid your friends will find out about me being from a poor family with a drug lord for an uncle? That I won’t ever amount to anything or be worthy of you?” I can’t believe I’m saying these things. All my fears seem to pour from my mouth. Talk about spoiling a moment.

“Heavens to Betsy, no. If anyone isn’t worthy of anyone, it’s me not being worthy of you. You are the strongest young man I have ever met. Young is the problem. I have a son older than you.”

“Age shouldn’t have any bearing on your feelings. If you feel anything for me at all, it is worth exploring. What’s in your heart is all that matters.” I saw the worry and fear begin to cloud over her eyes, trying to shut off her feelings. I take her face into my hands and kiss her forehead. “I don’t want a one-night stand or even a summer fling. I want you. I knew that from the moment we first met. Mama always told me I would know when the time was right, to not jump in with every girl I date, to wait for that woman. She was right. I felt it in my heart the moment we touched. I can wait until you are ready.” Reluctantly I stepped back. She stood staring at me in shock. “TJ…”

“Don’t. Please. We have the summer to get to know each other. Let’s let time, destiny, fate, whatever you believe in decide our future.”

***

Do you like May/December Romance? What do you think about TJ and his values?

Take a Peek Tuesday~~Annie’s backstory

picture courtesy of pixabay

Welcome back to Take a Peek Tuesday. Each week I will post a little tease from what I am currently working on. Right now I am doing a self-edit on a story I wrote during NaNo 2015.  I am hoping to release it this summer.  Baseball Bats and Cowboy hats is a contemporary sports/cowboy romance. It is sweet and spicy with a touch of humor.

Remember this is very raw, not having been beta read or edited.

This week I take up where I left off last week but in Annie’s view.

Baseball Bats and Cowboy Hats Copyright 2016

picture courtesy of pixabay

Annie

What the hell is with this emotion roller-coaster? I come in madder than hell and end up grabbing one of my young charges in an embrace. I meant to comfort him. Instead, I found myself turned on. This young man is sexy as hell. I don’t want to move Thankfully he is smarter than I am and broke the embrace. I wanted that moment to last forever. I wanted to kiss him. I should feel horrible. He is young enough to be my son. Why don’t I?  Why does being with him feel so right?

“I’m sorry.” He placed a finger to my lips to stop me. Heaven help me. I wanted to taste it.

“Don’t. There is no reason to apologize. I appreciated the comfort more than you will ever know” TJ poured us both another glass of tea. I would rather have a shot of Jack.  Maybe later. I don’t want to drink in front of the boys. It would be a bad influence.

“Can I ask you something personal?” he asks, his caramel brown eyes met mine. I hope I am not drooling.

“Yeah go ahead.” I don’t know why I felt so comfortable talking to this young man. And yes, now suddenly I see him as a man. I lay in my bed every night wallowing in self-pity over losing Steve when this young man has lost his father, a brother, and his mother.  From what I gather, he has an uncle that tried to get him to be a part of a gang, yet he has pulled away and somehow managed to go to college on his own. I feel so small in his presence.

“Is there something between you and Caleb?”

I nearly swallow an ice-cube.

“That’s not easy to answer. We go way back. Caleb and my husband Steve were best friends. Both played ball were in FFA and rode horses in the local rodeos. Every girl in school fawned over them.

My dad owned a ranch. He housed animals for the local rodeo teams. He also raised horses and bulls to rent out or sell. He had an arena for the locals to train in and my uncle the co-owner was one of the best trainers around. Caleb and Steve would come over to train and practice. I sat and watched them, helped brush down their horses afterward. Caleb caught my eyes first with his sandy golden hair and crooked bad-boy smile. He always winked at me from the ring. Steve was more laid back, though not a bit less physically handsome. I had a crush on them both for as long as I could remember.  When I started high school, the two handsome cowboys took me under their wings. Steve, Caleb, Vicki, and I became inseparable.

To make a long story short, I married Steve, got pregnant with my first son right off the bat. Steve bought this place for me, knowing I dreamed of having a farm.  We couldn’t afford anything as big as dad’s, or a lot of horses, so I settled on the hobby farm.” I stopped to take a drink of my tea to wash down the knot forming in my throat. I don’t want to cry.

“Where is your husband? We haven’t met him yet.”

Electricity shoots through me as his warm hand covers mine.

“He died when Christopher, my youngest, was eight. Eleven years, and I still miss him. Some days I am sad, other days I am angry at him for leaving me with two kids and a farm to care for all alone.”

“I’m sorry. I had no idea.” He invaded my personal space once again.  Strong hands, running up and down my arms soothing me.

“I guess I should have told you guys I was a widow. It just didn’t occur to me.”

***

So what do you think about Annie? Can you relate to her? Is she likable enough? What do you think she needs to improve her character?

Take a peek Tuesday

 This week I am going to share another snippet from my current WIP. I am nearly done with this read through making notes and getting ready for fixing it to send to my beta. Remember it is very rough yet and still going through rewrites and edits.  I am skipping down to a heartfelt story from TJ grabs a tissue.

Baseball Bats and Cowboy Hats Copyright 2016

TJ

I had barely dozed off when the door slammed open in the back of the house.  I jumped up not knowing what to expect. Grabbing a baseball bat  I slowly slink to the back. Peering in the mudroom door, I saw Annie throwing her boots into the pile like a bowling ball. Boots and shoes flew every which direction. She continued to kick and curse under her breath.  I suppressed my giggle as she bent to pick up the boots then suddenly tossed them again. She was like a mini tornado kicking, twirling, cursing. And the team calls me Taz? Finally, she dropped to the bench and panted breathlessly.

I slipped into the kitchen and started loudly opening cabinets, getting a glass, opening the fridge. Trying to make enough noise she would hear someone was in the next room. My plan was to bring her to me, hoping she didn’t take off out the back door.

My plan worked. In a few minutes, a slightly more composed Annie walked into the kitchen.

“Hi. I didn’t expect you back so soon. I was just getting a glass of tea.  Do you want  one?” I asked.

“No.Thanks.” She said through clenched teeth.

Her face was still flushed from her beating up the boots in the mudroom.  She clenched and unclenched her fists as she watched me.  I wasn’t sure if I should ask her what was wrong or not.

“How long have you been in the kitchen?” She asked warily.

“I just walked in. Why?” I lied.

Then she spied the ball-bat I had leaned on the workstation.

“Someone left their bat out. I guess I need to address this tomorrow.” She walked toward the bat.

“It’s mine. I’m sorry. I thought I might go out and practice some swings.” I lied again. Now I backed myself into a corner and will have to go out and practice. My shoulder twinged at the thought of more work.

“You have worked enough for one day. Chores this morning, your workout, plus your practice. You can practice your batting tomorrow.” She took the bat and placed it back into the small closet designated for our equipment.

Suddenly she turned to me her eyes glossy. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to sound bossy. I have this bad habit that I get a little protective over people I care about.”

Does that mean she cares about me? I want to jump for joy and shout Yes! But I compose myself.  Don’t  want her to think I am a lunatic.

I stepped close placing my hands on her shoulders. “It’s nice to have someone looking out for my wellbeing. It’s been a while.” I pull out one of the stools at the workstation for Annie. She looks at it a moment then hops up. I pour her a glass of tea even though she said she didn’t want it, top mine off and joined her.

“Don’t you hear from your mom? I am sure she worries about you.” She picks up the glass swirling the caramel colored liquid around before taking a long drink. I figured she would be thirsty after her little outburst in the mudroom.

I swallow back that knot that rises every time I think of mom or my family.

“Mama passed away a few months after I started college.  She hadn’t been right since Papa’s death.  I think she hung in there for me, but once I was out on my own, she let go. I wasn’t even there. She died alone. She didn’t answer the phone when I called. I called my aunt that lived across town from us. I waited and waited for her to call me back.  She called back a couple of hours later and told me mom was in bed sleeping with the angels.  She had a heart problem I didn’t know anything about, and that night she left me to join Papa and Enrico. The Dr said she went peacefully.”

“I am so sorry TJ. You have had such a rough life for such a young man.” She slides off the chair, pulls me up and wraps her arms around me.

I suddenly found myself in heaven. It smells like flowers, leather, and horses. Exactly how I would want it. She is only a few inches shorter than I am. We fit perfectly. I felt a warm tear on my shoulder. I lifted her face, brushing the tears with my thumbs. Her skin is silky smooth.

“Don’t cry for me, Annie. Mama always said ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’”

“You must be Ironman or the Hulk already.” She whispered. Her breath whispered across my lips. My mouth began to water. I must channel this superhuman strength she thinks I have. Parts of me certainly felt like iron. I shift my hips back a little. I don’t want her to get freaked out over my reaction to her,  Yet I don’t want to break the hold she has on me. I could stand here in her arms forever.  I run my hand through her hair. My body thrums with need. Now is not the time. One last stroke of her cheek and feel of her hair and I channel that inner strength and gently move away.

“Would you more tea?” I grab both glasses, turning my back to her. Then it hits me. The reason I sat up waiting for her.

“Wait what are you doing back so soon? I thought you had a date with Caleb?”

That’s one way to break a mood. But I wanted to know why she was back so early and madder than a hornet.

***

So what do you think of TJ? Is he totally swoon worthy? Do you like Older women younger men romance?

Take a Peek Tuesday~Who wouldn’t want a hot cowboy best friend?

Welcome back to Take a Peek Tuesday.  This week I would like to introduce Caleb, Annie’s best friend. Who wouldn’t want a cowboy for a best friend? But is a friend all Caleb thinks Annie is?

Remember this is still rough and hasn’t been edited.

Baseball Bats and Cowboy Hats  Copyright 2016

Annie

Seeing Caleb was quite a surprise. Several evenings a week we take out the horses. I’ll cook dinner, or he will take me out. No, we aren’t dating. He is my best friend in the world. Well, him and Vicki.  The three of us spend most weekends together after finishing our morning chores.

I told him the boys would be arriving today, and we wouldn’t be able to ride or go out tonight. I guess he is going to spend some alone time with Loverboy.

He greets me with our usual embrace. His rigid muscles alert me to the fact that he isn’t happy. I was expecting a confrontation with him. Just not today.

“Hey, Caleb.” I pull back from his hug. “Bad day at work?” I ask. Knowing the reason he is upset.

“Not a great one Annie. You know how I feel about you taking on these men. It’s not right for a single woman to have six single, young men in her home.”

‘What do you mean not right? We went over and over this when I decided to become a hostess.” I can’t understand why he is so against it. I appreciate how much he looks out for me, but sometimes he seems to forget we are only friends. Plus, capable of making my own decisions. His controlling nature is one reason we could never be more than friends.

“Not only does it look bad for you to be out here alone with six strange young men but it may not be safe. You know nothing about them.”

“Caleb, they are not ex-cons on parole. For that matter, they are only kids. Most of them the same age as David or Christopher. They are college boys trying to better themselves, on baseball scholarships and hoping to get picked in drafts. Having a home nearby is necessary for them. I also need some help out here. The place is starting to fall apart, and I can’t do some of the things.”

“I told you I would hire some construction people and get your house and barn fixed for you.”

Here we go again. Caleb is smothering me with his help.  I can’t seem to get it through his thick skull that I need to do this on my own.  He isn’t my husband. My husband is no longer here.

“ I told you I don’t want that. I can’t pay you back.” Sometimes I wonder if I should break our friendship so that he might move on with his life. I’m too selfish for that. I need Caleb. Only not the way he wants me to need him.

“I never said anything about payback. I promised Steve I would take care of you and the boys.” The sadness in his voice almost makes me change my mind. Almost.I look towards the barn. The thought of the young man inside makes me wonder if he is right. Maybe this is a big mistake. I can feel the change in the air.

“I am not a kid Caleb. I need to take care of this myself. This arrangement is a win-win for the boys and me. What are you doing here this early anyhow?” As if I had to ask.

“I always come out on Friday for our ride. And date.” He added. The seductive smile on his handsome face could melt steel off a locomotive. That must mean I’m stronger than a train engine.

“Caleb we aren’t dating. And I told you I couldn’t ride tonight.” I contemplate grabbing my egg basket I sat on his truck and making a run for it.

 

“I don’t see why not. These men are old enough to take care of themselves.” He leans back against his shiny, navy blue pickup, long, slim legs encased in tight designer jeans cross over his boots.

I am not a train engine. I give in. Partially.

“Perhaps it would be good for you to join us and meet the boys tonight. I’m planning a get to know each other session.”

“They are not boys Annie; They are not your sons or foster kids. They’re grown men. You need to get that through that thick, cute skull of yours.”

Exhaling in exasperation, he pushes himself upright. “Fine, I will join you.” Clenching his jaw and rubbing the back of his neck he concedes.

“I’m on my way in to clean up and put dinner on the table. It will be half an hour or so if you want to visit Loverboy.” Then I realize my mistake. TJ is in the barn, and with Caleb’s death glare when they met I can see issues already.

~~

What do ya think?  Do you think Caleb may be trouble?

 

Take a Peek Tuesday~Boy Meets Girl #amwriting #romance #sports

Hi Y’all! Would you like to take a peek at what I’m working on now?  This week I’m sharing a snippet from my current work in progress Baseball Bats and Cowboy Hats, a M/F contemporary sport/cowboy romance. I have just started rereading self-editing and making notes so I can start the next draft. That one I plan to finish by April to get to my Beta reader if not sooner. I have posted bits of this before, so I will be skipping around. Don’t forget this hasn’t been edited yet, but should be a little better than the last draft. LOL

I am doing this a bit different. I will post a paragraph or so in each view since I write in first person split views.

Baseball Bats and Cowboy Hats  copyright2016

Chapter One

Annie

Then the last one bounded from behind the vehicle with two duffles and a  bag of sports equipment.  His strong biceps are bulging under the weight, yet he trotted over to us, a bundle of energy packed into a tight pair of jeans a shirt stretch tight around his muscular frame and a cowboy hat on his head. He dropped the bags with the others; bounds back over to us shakes Rick’s hand then takes mine into both of his holding them securely.  (Work in the pink here  with the blue having Simon trailing behind him shyly?)

“It sure is kind of you to let us stay here in your lovely home. Coach didn’t tell us our hostess is such a beauty” He( who is he?) lifts my hands up to his full lips and lightly brushes them with a kiss. “Oh, I’m TJ.”

“Down Casanova. Get your butt over there with the others. You’re here to play baseball not charm all the women you meet!”  Rick rolls his eyes as he playfully punches TJ on the arm.I stood there mesmerized by the cutest boy–young man I’ve ever seen in years. Broad shoulders, big brown eyes and wild curly hair that’s a little too long. His handsome face in need of a shave. He would be my dream man–if he were 20 years older.

TJ

I helped Simon gather our stuff then jogged up to Coach and the hostess.Why did the heck Simon park so far from the house? Then I saw the others tossing the ball and figured he didn’t want to chance one through his window or a dent. The way we pitch a ball can do some damage.

Excitement overtook me as I took her small, fragile looking hand in mine.

Hot damn no ring! How on earth could a woman this gorgeous be single? I guess she could have a boyfriend, but all is fair in love and war.

“TJ join the others while we finish our business.” Coach glares at me.

He turns his head back and begins talking with Annie.  A sweet name for a lovely woman.  The coach focuses his attention back to her, lightly touching her arm as he speaks gently. I wonder if they are an item?

What do you think? Do you like the first person split view? What about Annie and TJ?

 

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