With: Liz Flaherty
Congratulations to "Bn100", the winner in Liz's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize!
It’s funny how some things change as you get older. Not all things are funny, of course—memory, hearing, joints, anyone?—but things in writing. In stories.
In my early days of reading and writing romance, not only did I need a Happily Ever After (which I still do), I needed it to be in the four-bedroom, two-bath house with a picket fence and a cat on the porch. And kids. Because that was, for the most part, my life. And I liked it. I liked it a lot.
Then I got older. My heroines did, too, and I met up with Women’s Fiction and had to concede that there was a new love in my reading life. I couldn’t get enough of reading about women whose stories were told differently. They fell in love and lived happily ever after, but their journeys were about much more than that. Their heartaches were about more than unrequited love. They were taking care of elderly parents, trying to raise teenagers without going completely mad, hoping to have more money than month at least sometimes.
Were they all this way? No. But a lot of them were, and suddenly there were heroines I could identify with. My friend Nan Reinhardt laughs at me because I’m exhausted and bored by reading about rich people, but the truth is—just like when I wanted that happy ending to have the house, fence, cat, and kids—I want to put myself in the heroine’s place.
Even when I write and read Women’s Fiction, though, it always crosses over to romance. They are, actually, the same thing to me.
Enter Carol, who is a beautician. She owns her own shop, the Clip Joint, in Peacock, Tennessee. She’s not rich, tiny, or beautiful. But she’s a wonderful friend. A loving daughter. A generous person. Her life isn’t what she intended or even hoped for, but it’s good.
And then one day in the cemetery, Steven Elliot rides in front of her old Pontiac on a bicycle, and that life is changed forever.
When Steven Elliott accidentally rides his bike into Carol Whitney's car at the cemetery, the summer takes on new and exciting possibilities. Long friendship wends its way into something deeper when their hearts get involved. Feelings neither of them had expected to experience again enrich their days and nights. But what happens when the long summer ends? When Carol wants a family and commitment and a future, Steven isn't so sure. He's had his heart broken before—can he risk it again?
Retired from the post office and married to Duane for…a really long time, USA Today bestselling author Liz Flaherty has had a heart-shaped adult life, populated with kids and grands and wonderful friends. She admits she can be boring, but hopes her curiosity about everyone and everything around her keeps her from it. She likes traveling and quilting and reading. And she loves writing.
Steven’s voice came from behind the screen door. “Evenin’, Ms. Carol. To what do we owe the pleasure?”
The sound of his voice slipped warm and inviting into her consciousness, rippling up her spine and creating all kinds of sensations in her stomach. And below. What was she doing? Oh, Lord, what in the hell was she doing?
“I don’t know,” she said. “Do you want to go for a ride?”
He stepped outside, still dressed in the shorts he wore all the time. But no shirt. Holy geezy Pete, no shirt. Other women could say what they liked about hairless, shaved bodies, salivating over shiny, silky male skin, but Carol had never joined the movement. The gold-tipped hair on Steven’s chest, arrowing down his belly toward the low waistband of his shorts made her…well, salivate.
Moonlight washed the porch, glinting off his hair and the light in his dark eyes. He’d taken the band off his ponytail so the dark blond mane fell messy and straight nearly to his shoulders.
That hair. He should cut it. A forty-year-old man with hippie hair…oh, holy, holy geezy Pete again, he looked wonderful. He should never cut it. Just keep the ends trimmed the way he always had.
She started to lean against the wall of the house—her balance was off, her knees weak. Her heartbeat was crazed, too, bouncing all over the damn place. But Steven caught her before she could shift her questionable stance, his arm circling her waist.
“A ride?” he said, the soft southern drawl barely above a whisper. “Y’think?”
And then this mouth was on hers, his hands everywhere at once in a way that should have seemed rushed and rowdy but was simply exciting instead. “I meant,” she said, drawing away just enough to speak, “in the Mustang.”
His hands slipped up her arms to tunnel into her hair—she was glad she’d left it down—and his lips took hers again. What was that word that kept cropping up in the books she read in the summertime, the ones she really enjoyed that were never on college reading lists? Plundering. That was it. She’d never really liked the word, but now, with Steven Elliot’s lips and tongue doing leisurely, erotic things to her, she liked it. Oh, yes, she liked it a lot.
“Oh, is that what you meant?” He smiled down into her face. “Maybe we could do that later.”
Liz is giving away a download of One More Summer and a goody bag from Carol’s Clip Joint.
Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST November 5th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. US residents only.