Monday - Tidbits and musings about current WIPS;
Tuesday & Thursday - Things get pretty Wenchy,
Wednesday - Bucklist of places I've been and want to go!
Friday - In the Hot Seat - authors and publishing industry professionals answering questions.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Special Guest Marie Sexton Stops by on the CRW Blog Tour
A big thank you to the Award Winning author Marie Sexton for including us on her CRW Mystic Month Blog Hop. Marie and I both live in Colorado and don't connect often enough since we live a long drive apart. But it is always fun to catch up when we do connect.
A huge thanks to Lizzie for hosting me today, and to
everybody who’s followed the CRW Mystic Month of May Blog Hop so far. We’re so
happy to have you all with us!
Living in Colorado, there’s a lot about May to love. It’s
warm and bright and absolutely beautiful. The sky is the brightest blue you’ve
ever seen and the air is heavy with the scent of blooming trees. Later in the
summer, it’ll be too hot for me to sit outside, but right now, it’s perfect.
Also, these are the last weeks of the school year, which
means I have to relish my free time while I have it. Starting in June, I’ll
have an eight-year old dogging my steps. :-)
I’d like to share an excerpt from my novel Between Sinners and Saints. This book
won the 2011 CRW Single Title Award of Excellence. I’ll be giving away an ebook
of Between Sinners and Saints to one
First, here’s the blurb:
Levi Binder is a Miami bartender who
cares about only two things: sex and surfing. Ostracized by his Mormon
family for his homosexuality, Levi is determined to live his life his own way,
but everything changes when he meets massage therapist Jaime Marshall.
Jaime is used to being alone.
Haunted by the horrors of his past, his only friend is his faithful dog,
Dolly. He has no idea how to handle somebody as gorgeous and vibrant as
Complete opposites on the surface, Levi
and Jaime both long for something they can only find together. Through
love and the therapeutic power of touch, they’ll find a way to heal each other,
and they’ll learn to live as sinners in a family of saints.
And here’s the excerpt. At this point in the book, Levi and
Jaime are visiting Levi’s large Mormon family for Thanksgiving.
The weather had been unseasonably warm, and that was what
gave Levi the idea.It was a bit
childish, but that was part of its appeal, and he hoped it would allow Jaime to
get a decent night's sleep.He waited
until everybody else had gone to bed.Once the house was silent, he got up. Jacob's son Roy looked up at him
from his spot on the floor.That was
good.It meant Levi didn't have to wake
"Hey champ," Levi whispered to him."Why don't you sleep in the bed
"Don't worry about your dad," Levi told him."I'll tell him it was my idea."
"Will we get in trouble?" Roy asked.
"No trouble," Levi told him."I promise."
Once Roy was climbing into Levi's bed, Levi took the empty
sleeping bag out into the hall.He left
it by the linen closet and crept to the spare bedroom, where Jaime slept. He
was a bit worried about how to wake Jaime up without scaring him to death, but
it turned out to not be an issue.Jaime
was wide awake and staring at the ceiling.
"What's going on?" he whispered to Levi.
he said to Jaime."Follow
In the dark room, he couldn't tell if Jaime was confused or
curious, but he got out of bed.He
watched silently as Levi nudged Carter awake.Carter didn't need any convincing to give up his bag in lieu of the
Levi took Carter's bag and pillow, and handed them to
Jaime.He led Jaime and Dolly down the
hall, grabbing his own sleeping bag on the way. They went down the stairs, and
across the linoleum floor of the kitchen with Dolly's nails clicking softly
behind them, then out the sliding glass door and onto the patio.
"What are you doing?" Jaime asked, but Levi could
hear the smile in his voice."Are
"There's nothing wrong with sleeping outside." He
started around the table on the patio without thinking about it, but then heard
a thump and a muffled curse from Jaime."You okay?"
"I can't see anything."
Levi reached back.His hand landed on Jaime's arm. He was pleased that Jaime didn't try to
pull away.Levi slid his hand down and
gripped Jaime's wrist.He led him around
the first table, and past the giant potted strawberry plant that his mom had
grown every year for as long as he could remember, now withered and brown.Then around the kid-size picnic table, down
the steps and onto the lawn.
The air was cool and comfortable, and the grass felt cold
and prickly against his bare feet. Once they were past the obstacle course of
the patio, he let go of Jaime's wrist, but to his surprise, Jaime grabbed his
hand instead. Levi turned to look at him, wondering at the sudden intimacy, but
in the dark, he couldn't read Jaime's expression at all. He could tell only
that Jaime was looking up at the half-bare branches of trees above them.
"Here?" Levi asked. "Or do you want to see
Jaime's voice was soft and hopeful. "Sky."
"Good choice."Still holding his Jaime's hand, Levi led him toward the open side of the
back yard, away from the swing set that had been there since he was a boy.There were a lot of tall trees in the back
yard, but he knew there was a spot near the back of the yard that would afford
them a clear view through the branches.
He stopped when he got there and spread out his bag, and
Jaime followed suit, and they climbed into them.It reminded Levi of a hundred different times
he had done this as a kid, with one of his brothers or sisters.Sometimes with all of them.Dolly lay down on Jaime's other side, and
Levi looked up past the trees at a tiny patch of sky.They couldn't see many stars, but a silver
sliver of moon floated above them.
Jaime sighed, sounding content."This was a good idea."
thought so, too."
"I haven't slept outside since..."His words trailed away as he thought about
it."Since the summer before my
senior year of high school."The
way he said it was odd.Sad, and yet,
with a hint of fondness.
Levi turned toward him, propping his head up on his elbow so
he could look at him, although it was too dark to read his expression.He could see just enough to know that Jaime
was staring up at the moon.It was so
rare for Jaime to volunteer information about his past.He waited, wondering if he would have to prod
him to get him to say more, but after a minute, Jaime started talking again.
"It was a lot like this, actually," he said."My friend Craig knew I had
nightmares.Sometimes he'd invite me
over and we'd sleep in his back yard."Jaime stayed on his back, but turned his face toward him, and Levi
resisted the urge to lean closer in an attempt to read his expression."Did you ever read Christine?"
The apparent change of subject surprised him."By Stephen King?No."
"I read that book when I was sixteen, and I always felt
like I was Arnie and he was Dennis.I
was the loser and he was the popular kid who somehow ended up being my
friend."He looked back up at the
night sky."He lived around the
block from me, so I'd see him a lot in the summer.He had a lot of friends though, and
girlfriends.Once school started, I'd
kind of fade away."
"That's shitty," Levi said.
In the low light, Levi could barely see Jaime's shrug."Not really.It wasn't that he was an asshole or
anything.He had a life.And I didn't.But he was the best friend I had back then."He stopped for a minute, and then said,
quieter, "Especially that year.Sleeping in his back yard is the only thing about Cleveland I've ever
The way he said it sparked a twinge of jealousy in
Levi."You were in love with
"I guess I was.I didn't really think of it in those terms at the time, but yeah.I used to live for those nights."
"So what happened?"
"Same thing that happens to everybody at that age.We graduated, and he went to OSU and I came
"And that's it?" Levi asked.
"That's it."He turned toward Levi again."I haven't seen him since."
"I'm so sorry, Jaime."He knew as soon as the words were out if his
mouth that he shouldn't have said them.
"For what?" Jaime asked in surprise.
For not being there. For not meeting you sooner. For not
protecting you all those years ago. But of course, he couldn't say any of
Jaime watched him silently.Now that his eyes had adjusted to the dark, Levi could barely make out
the features of his pale face--his strong jaw, and soft lips.His eyes were lost in shadows.And suddenly, Levi wanted him so much, it
took his breath away.He'd grown used to
being close to Jaime, even sleeping in the same bed without letting his
feelings get the best of him.But now,
lying in the moonlight in his parents' back yard, he felt he couldn't stand to
wait another minute.He ached for
They were in separate bags, with less than a foot of space
between them.He imagined leaning across
that gap.He imagined kissing Jaime,
claiming the softness of his lips, stealing his breath.He imagined feeling Jaime's arms around his
neck, and he felt his body respond.
He wanted to kiss Jaime's neck, to whisper in his ear.The bags would be between them.Was it possible that would give Jaime the
barrier he needed to feel safe?Even as
he thought it, Levi knew he wanted more.He wanted to unzip Jaime's bag and slip his hands inside.He wanted to feel Jaime's skin against his
fingertips.He wanted to slide his hand
under his waistband, to cup his soft, round ass in his hands, to pull his slim
body tight against him.He wanted to
hear Jaime gasp, to make him squirm, to hear him moan. He wanted to slide down
his body, to suck him deep into his mouth, to feel Jaime's fingers clench in
his hair.He wanted to make him come
He had to try.He had
to risk it.He reached out, moving his
hand slowly across the grass toward Jaime. He wanted to touch Jaime's hair, and
run his fingertip down his cheek.If
that didn't scare him away, it would be easy to lean closer.His heart pounded in his chest as he
anticipated feeling Jaime's lips against his.
Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about
anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In
particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her
husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two
cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her
sanity. She loves them anyway.