Boyfriend Tag with Kevin Miller

happy mixed couple at homeI actually bounced out of bed this morning, readers. And I don’t bounce. It takes too much effort and it’s bad for your knees.

This morning though, I am driving to Fort Worth to interview Kevin Miller. He is one of my favorite book boyfriends (of my own creation).

After giving up full-time life on his family’s ranch, he opened his own company and renovates historical buildings across the country. He’s still a cowboy on the weekends, though. I think that is what draws me and his fiancée, Amber Grayson, to him the most.

So I pull up to the modest brick home in Fort Worth all giddy.

Amber, who is always elegant, greets me at the door wearing a pair of black flared legged pants and a dark grey shimmery blouse. Suddenly I’m dumpy in my carefully chosen outfit. But I’m still doing the happy dance in my head.

I get to be alone with Kevin, I sing internally.

“I’m so sorry. Kev hurt his leg on a job site yesterday so he’s not dressed.”

I’m even happier. “That’s fine. How long was he onsite?”

“Three weeks. Well, nineteen days.” (Guess she’s counting)

Amber leads me through the foyer into a dark wood paneled living room and there he is.

Kevin Miller, dark hair curling at his ears, a sparkle in his light brown eyes, and a wide grin over his broad sun-tanned face. I plop down into a chair facing the sofa where his leg is propped up on pillows.

(He’s dressed – cargo shorts and a Green Day T-shirt is dressed in my book.)

“Can I get you something to drink, Vallory?” Amber asks.

I’m forcing up an answer.

Y’all the way in which Kevin is eyeing this woman is bordering on being a bit much.

“I’d like something, Sweetpea. A glass of water, please.”

“Ahh…Vallory?” Amber focuses only on me and I know why. The temperature just rose a zillion degrees. Kevin has that Texas twang that is sexy as all hell.

“Water.” I fumble with my recording equipment while Amber retreats into the kitchen. “Thank you so much for agreeing to talk with me. Did you read any of the previous works? Did you know I spoke with your sister-in-law? And uhm…how do you like the new house?” The damn wires tangle because I’m nervous and trying not to think about whether or not this is the sofa near which the smiling man before me first asked Amber if he could spank her.

“Ms. Vance, how many questions are there?” Kevin leans his head back into the sofa’s arm getting a full view of his wife-to-be bending over to place two glasses of water on the coffee table.

“Just a few.”

“Good, because I have a physical therapy session soon.” He laughs, gliding his hand down Amber’s leg.

“Kevin!” Amber scrambles out of the room. Even though she is dark skinned, I can see the blush in her cheeks. We both know Kevin Miller ain’t talking about rehabilitation exercises.

“Kevin, I thought we’d play the popular ‘boyfriend tag’ with you today and ask some questions about your relationship with Amber Grayson.”

“Shoot.”

“She’s sitting in front of the TV what is on the screen?”

“Amber doesn’t watch a lot of TV. Occasionally, she’ll watch a travel show.”

“You’re out to eat what kind of dressing does she get on her salad?”

“None, this girl is seriously into healthy eating. I tell her good food is part of enjoying life.”

“What size shoe does she wear?”

“I’m not answering that. Are you trying to get me in trouble?”

“Whats her favorite music?”

“Amber likes old school jazz and R&B. I’ll tell you what she hates – hard rock. That’s my favorite.”

“What’s her eye color?”

“She has the most amazing eyes. They are warm and dark and…soothing. I don’t think that’s a color, is it?”

Oh, I think it is.

“What is something you do that she wishes you wouldn’t do?”

“Smoke cigars.”

“What’s her heritage? Where’s she from?”

“Amber is African –American, born in Guam. The majority of her family is in Virginia though her parents live in California. She’s lived everywhere.”

“What is one unique talent she has?”

“I’m not answering that one either, Ms. Vance.”

“What was your thought when you saw Amber for the first time?”

“Hahhh…I’m pleading the fifth on that one as well. Let’s just say, I was attracted to her and wanted to get to know her better. When I did…well, this upcoming wedding was meant to be.”

TheBeginningofForeverAwww, now I feel bad. Evil writer! He’s so cute and so in love.

Amber Grayson, a conservative executive, found true love with fiancé, Kevin Miller. He infused her life with a sense of adventure and challenged her thoughts about appropriate bedroom behavior. After such a steamy affair, Amber was expecting nothing less during their engagement.

Even with the rushed timetable for the wedding combined with the stress of merging their households and finances, Amber is excited to begin a family with the man of her dreams. However, the beginning of forever is more difficult than either of them thought.

Locked in a battle of wills, Amber and Kevin find their commitment to each other and their future tested. Is this the beginning of their lives together or the end?

Available from: Amira Press, Amazon

Don’t forget to check out the video on YouTube: forever

Hump Day Hook – September 4, 2013

It’s time for the Hump Day Hook! A group of authors sharing a small bit of their WIPs or already released works. Click the icon to discover your next great read!

humpdayhook

This week I’m sharing from The Beginning of Forever, a contemporary romance to be released on September 6, 2013 by Amira Press. Where does this scene begin? The hero discovers the truth behind his heroine’s infertility treatments.

TheBeginningofForeverThough it only seemed like a few seconds from the time her eyes closed on a room faintly lit with sunshine, her lids were opening again to a view of Kevin’s firm backside. Dim light from a lone streetlamp streamed through the opened blinds into their bedroom, highlighting the deep contours of his back as he slid a pair of boxers over his trim hips. Thoughts of their morning swirled around her in the wisps of steam curling from his body which scented the air with sandalwood and mint. Would her night end like her morning began?

No, because he was quiet. During arguments about working or anything else Kevin never raised his voice. He was just…quiet. “I want to talk about that treatment.”

“There’s nothing to talk about. The cycle is over and…”

“You weren’t honest with me. That wasn’t the preferred method.”

“It’s the most effective.” She shifted up to sitting position, forcing her eyes to meet his.

“I trusted you to tell me the truth. And you didn’t. So what I read was…debilitating side effects for a forty percent chance at impregnation. And we’re not gonna do that, Amber.”

“This is the best way. I wasn’t completely honest but I thought we wanted a baby.” Her voice pitched louder in sharp contrast to his.

“Don’t turn this into an argument about a hypothetical child.”

“Hypothetical?” She flipped the comforter off her legs and stood up to face him. “Kev…”

“Amber…you’re not gonna die for this.”

“It’s not killing me. I’m fine!” She shouted. “If you don’t want to push over a fucking wastebasket or bring me a glass of water then don’t.”

 “Do you think your tirades are going to scare me? Cause you’re sadly mistaken, Sweetpea.”

She peered directly into his narrowed gaze, daring him to speak. To continue with his rant.

And he did.

Real Life Characters – My Writing Confession

My computer crashed and I’m not writing this weekend. Knowing this, I had planned a weekend of deep cleaning of the house. But a co-worker got me thinking about writing yesterday and I haven’t been able to stop.

We were talking about her upcoming trip to New Orleans and I was recommending hotels.

The thought of standing on a balcony of one of my recommendations with my former mentor flashed in my mind. She was a phenomenal sales woman – dressed to kill, beautiful, smart and possessed with a take no prisoners attitude.

MihaelaSo here’s my confession – my mentor became the basis for Darcey St. Claire of Deja Vu. Looking at the two women side by side would leave you scratching your head. On the surface, they are nothing alike – different races and different world views. But they both have the drive to succeed and they both overcame something pretty bad to get their happily ever after.

While I’m in confessing mode, Amber of In the Moment is also based on a real life person. She is a former manager of mine.

Everyone jumped to attention when this woman came into the room and nobody wanted to be called into her office! She was always elegantly dressed, not a hair out of place but you didn’t normally think pretty when you looked at her just – “Please don’t fire me.”

interracial couple sleepingThen one night, I was attending a going away party for a friend and was seated at the same table with my manager and her husband. My mouth hung open for most of the night. First of all the picture on her desk didn’t do this man justice, he was gorgeous. And he couldn’t keep his hands off of this woman. She squirmed and giggled throughout the night.

She became real to me that night.

When we returned to work on Monday, I wasn’t as nervous around her as I’d once been. She was just doing her job – one that an African-American woman had never held for our hotel chain. And I knew that when she got home, the heels and the suit came off and she snuggled up next to her man.

So y’all I’m not as creative as most. Be careful around me or you just may end up as the heroine of a sensual romance!

 

A Chat with the Wedding Coordinators…

Joining me in my living room tonight are Shae Boles and Heather Miller from The Beginning of Forever, the conclusion of In the Moment. Since I’ve had so much trouble interviewing the story’s heroine in the past, I thought I’d talk to two women who are very close to her, instead. Maybe we can get some interesting tidbits about the couple which Amber would never share.

Vallory Vance: Welcome, ladies. Please tell us a little about yourselves and your relationship with Amber and Kevin.

face in fashionShae Boles: Amber Grayson and I have been best friends since college so…over twenty years. Good Lord. We met in a freshman English Composition class at San Diego State where I was always asking her for a pen and she was always so nice and…gracious to give me one. Soon, I realized that Amber hadn’t joined any of the after class cliques.

So I invited her out for lunch and learned that she’d lived in Europe for most of her teenage years and was learning to adjust to American life outside of a military base. If there is one thing I can tell you about Amber it’s that she’s in a constant state of adjusting.

As for me, I’m a pediatric nurse. I’m single with a fantastic credit score…looking for same!

Anyway, I’m glad I have a larger role in this novella since I’m a big part of Amber’s life. I’m only mentioned twice in the first book and not at all in either of the two flash fiction pieces… (clears throat and sips from a margarita).

Author’s aside: In the Moment is a short story and you can’t have everything.

MihaelaHeather Miller: And I’m Heather Faye Jones Miller from Loganville, GA. That’s a little town outside of Atlanta. Oh and that’s Faye with an ‘e’. (She leans over to the recorder.)

Anyway, I’m Kevin Miller’s sister-in-law. I’ve been married to his brother, Keith, for twelve years. Now I was only mentioned in the first book once, so you did a little better than me on that one, hon.

(Heather pats Shae’s knee and prattles on.)

I was in the Christmas flash. I just love saying that – Christmas flash…I can just picture myself in a red, crushed velvet robe with the feathery, white trim…and Keith and…damn. (Heather gulps down a swallow of her margarita before continuing.)

I can give you any background story, you…

VV: Well, I have a list of questions already…

HM: All right, honey, go ahead.

VV: (I always wonder about what ‘the meeting-of-the-parents’ is like for an interracial couple.) Heather, let’s start with you. Was the Miller Family surprised to meet Amber for the first time?

HM: Well now, Kevin never mentioned that Amber was black. He just gave orders about what we could cook and couldn’t cook during her first visit to the ranch. That’s just the way Kevin is…kinda tells you what you’re supposed to do and that’s it.

But I wasn’t surprised. I knew a little something his mother didn’t.

Suddenly, the loquacious Heather was silent sipping from her margarita while Shae and I waited.

Shae couldn’t wait as long as I.

SB: Like what?

HM: Since you asked…I was a dancer at this club that Keith and Kevin used to go to in Atlanta and all the hostesses knew that if Kevin made the reservation, then the hostess assigned to their table was going to have dark skin and long hair.

At the time I worked there, Kevin’s favorite was this cute little Filipino gal. What was her name? Tangie? Tangerine? Tangiers. Hell I can’t remember.

And well if Keith made the reservation, any blonde would do. Till he met me.

SB: Just what kind of dancing are you talking about? (Shae’s eyes bloom to the size of saucers.)

HM: I’m classically trained – ballet, tap and jazz. Though I was never very good on the pole…lap dances at the club could net me a thousand dollars a night. (Heather gives us both the universal ‘say-something’ look.)

Me? I got nothing except – Ummm and damn and ummm again. I channel Anderson Cooper and get back on track.

VV: Shae same question. Was your circle of friends surprised to meet Kevin?

Shae claps her hand in front of her. I’m sure she like me is still thinking about Heather and what exactly is involved in a lap dance that could be worth a thousand dollars.

SB: Okay, I’m being honest. We were a little thrown off.

Amber told me about this guy she was seeing. He owned a renovation company. I’m thinking he’s like her other boyfriends.

Mind you, I’m not talking about race because my girl has no preference but she likes a well-tailored suit and Italian shoes on a man. So when Kevin showed up at a get-together at my house in a pair of non-designer jeans and working cowboy boots…let’s just say there was some buzz among the friends.

Not to mention the fact that he grabbed her ass like three times during the night…that I could see…and she didn’t go off! Yeah, we were surprised.

HM: He does touch her a lot. I think they need to be locked in a room together for three or four days and get this out of their system!

SB: I don’t think my girl could survive!

HM: (Heather squeals, stomping her feet.) She is wound a little tight isn’t she?

VV: Okay, ladies back to the questions. (With the amount of alcohol these two are consuming, I worry they’ll pass out before we get through my list.)  Shae, as one of the wedding coordinators, is Amber a bride from hell?

SB: Oh no, she’s got other things to concentrate on…her mother, her job…She’s probably the easiest bride in the world. I show her something.  She crosses it off her list and it’s done.

HM: Same with me. Amber only needs to cross the task off her list and she’s good.

portrait of a beautiful dark-skinned woman in a white dressVV: One of my favorite things about the wedding is the dress. Can you give us a hint about what the dress looks like?

SB: It’s flattering and…

HM: Even though Kevin would have had a coronary, I think she should have gone for something more daring. I mean, Amber’s got the T & A women pay for.

Whoa…Does Heather have a filter? Or has my hubby has made the drinks too strong?

Shae falls back onto the sofa in a fit of laughing tears while Heather giggle-snorts through another sip of the margarita.

I let them laugh for a few minutes and then bring them back around to the interview.

VV: Did you ladies have a chance to read The Beginning of Forever?

With that question, they both straighten and exchange a glance.

HM: Not all of it. There were things…

SB: That were for them…things they wouldn’t want us…

HM: Just…things for them.

Their quick turn from playful tipsiness into abject seriousness surprises me.

What was so private that it couldn’t be shared with best friends and family?

Like the Vallory Vance Author Facebook Page and give your opinion for a chance to win a $10.00 Amazon or Barnes & Noble e-gift card on September 6, 2013.

Wanna a hint? View the trailer on Youtube at http://youtu.be/-LhtuGJCEpU

June 2013 Update – Editing and Retooling

This update thing isn’t working as well as I’d hoped, but I’ll try to remember to do this every month. Can’t promise a date!

Originally, I wanted to complete four long works this year – The three books in the Rose Gold Collection and the completion of Amber and Kevin’s story. 

Thankfully, I got June’s update in and here’s what’s going on…

The completion of Amber and Kevin’s story, The Beginning of Forever, was contracted by Amira Press.  I have to say that this was my toughest editing process to date and I feel like it helped me as a writer even though I cried through most of it! Still in the finalizing stages –  final edits and a release date. I can’t say too much but here’s the blurb and a sneak peek at the cover:

VV_The Beginning of Forever_bannerAmber Grayson, a conservative executive, found true love with fiancé, Kevin Miller. He infused her life with a sense of adventure and challenged her thoughts about appropriate bedroom behavior. After such a steamy affair, Amber was expecting nothing less during their engagement.

Even with the rushed timetable for the wedding combined with the stress of merging their households and finances, Amber is excited to begin a family with the man of her dreams. However, the beginning of forever is more difficult than either Amber or Kevin thought.

Locked in a battle of wills, Amber and Kevin find their commitment to each other and their future tested. Is this the beginning of their lives together or the end?

IIA blog button2A Twist of Fate – A poem I wrote, The Pearl,  was accepted into the Twist of Fate anthology. This collection of poems and short stories by indie authors from around the globe will benefit those who suffered losses during the 2013 tornadoes that ravaged Oklahoma. As a survivor of Hurricane Katrina, I’m well aware that help is needed beyond those first few days. I’m so proud to be a part of this effort. I’ll get you the the links to the work when they are available.

A Loving Affair – The next installment in the Rose Gold Collection is begging to be written. So I’m off to write a leisurely pace.

Happy Reading ~Val

Who Are You When I’m Not Looking?

The conclusinon of Amber and Kevin’s story has been contracted by Amira Press! I’m so excited to be able to present the finale of this couple’s tale with you.

I asked Kevin what he thought his story’s theme song should be.

His answer: Who Are You When I’m Not Looking as sung by Blake Shelton.

And when it feels just right

Are you thinking of me?

Enjoy!

Hump Day Hook ~ Amber and Kevin

humpdayhookWelcome to the Hump Day Hook! This is a weekly blog hop in which authors give you a peek at their work. To check out the other authors participating in this event, click here. You may just discover your next read!

This week, I’m sharing from my WIP (still untitled, but I have two ideas so far). This story involves two of my favorite characters, Amber Grayson and Kevin Miller. Amber and Kevin met in the novella, In the Moment. Kevin proposed in A Miller Tradition, a free read on Goodreads.

And here we are – pre-married life with the future in-laws spending the night.

I’d love to know what you feel about the characters from this snippet.

71011-20130209Willing blood flow into his flaccid member, he tried to concentrate on her fingers working over his skin. He flexed his hips off the bed, curled his lips back against his teeth. Sex, sex, sex, he repeated in his head and forced himself into the twist of her hand with a grunt.

The comments from dinner didn’t matter. He didn’t give two shits about them…except…except he did.

“Why do you always have to remind your mother about my degree? I’m not an architect.”

Her hand stopped mid-glide. “But you do have a degree…”

“I operate a renovation company. That’s construction. Is there something wrong with that?” His voice rose above the whisper in which they’d been speaking.

“Shh….I never said that.” The waistband of his boxers snapped against his stomach with the hasty removal of her hand.

“Don’t shhh me in my own damn house.”

“It’s my house too. Shh…shh…shh…”

The groan of the futon’s springs didn’t seem to bother her as she jumped to her feet. “Have fun jerking off, alone.” The door creaked closed behind her, catching on the old carpet and ruining her attempt at a slam.