Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Take You To Another World Contest Day #2: Karen Erickson

As I've mentioned on this blog before, I met Karen at my very first RWA conference when neither of us knew anyone. We'd both just decided to give romance writing a try and thought we'd try out this whole critique partner thing. Well, here we are a few years later-- and I couldn't be more thrilled. Karen is a wonderful writer, a terrific person and a great person, so help me welcome her to Love Musings! Today, she's giving away a copy of her January book, Tangled and talking about Under my Umbrella, which comes out today :)
Rain, rain, go away. That’s Jenna’s mantra as she suffers through yet another rain-soaked walk home from work. At least the tight butt of the guy walking in front of her offers some distraction. When he turns around and asks to share her umbrella, she realizes his front view is as smokin’ as the back. What better way to get up close and personal with the object of her ogling?

Brett noticed his hot little neighbor weeks ago, but until now hadn’t worked up the nerve—or found the opportunity—to approach her. Too many hours at the fire station has left him longing for something more out of life. Like the company of a sweet, sexy woman. Maybe, if he’s lucky, kindling a relationship.

Jenna surprises herself again when she offers to let him dry off in her apartment. One minute he’s toweling off his hair, the next their chemistry explodes in the hottest sex either of them have ever experienced. And suddenly they’re both wondering if he’s the match to her tinder, or if it’s too much, too fast…
Brett stood the moment he saw Jenna enter the restaurant, taking a few short steps to reach her since he waited in the lobby. He took her hands, unable to stop from planting a soft kiss to her upturned lips, and she smiled when they parted.
“Glad to see you too, stranger,” she murmured.
The area was packed with people waiting for a table since the restaurant had been open only a few short months and seemed popular. One of his buddies at the station had told him about the place, raved on how good the food was. A steakhouse that also specialized in seafood, he figured it covered a broad range to satisfy both himself and Jenna.
“You look…” His voice trailed off as he eyed her up and down. Her hair was loose, silky brown waves tumbled just past her shoulders, and she wore some sort of clingy black dress that did amazing things to her already bangin’ body.
“I look what?” she teased, her hazel eyes sparkling. She curled her arm around his, and he led her over to lean against the wall together while they waited.
“Beautiful.” Hot, sexy and completely fuckable.
But Brett didn’t want this to be just about sex. He liked this woman. Wanted to see if they could take this further.
“Thank you.” Pleasure lit her eyes, and he had the sudden urge to take her out of here. Take her back to his place or hers, strip that sexy dress from her body and touch her. Lick her. Bury himself inside her.
“Have you eaten here before?” Maybe if they talked about food it would distract him. Distract him from her delicious scent, the brownish pink color of her lipstick—the sultry glow in her eyes.
“No, but I’ve heard it’s good.” Her gaze dropped to his mouth, lingered there and he wanted to growl.
“Stop looking at me like that,” he admonished, his entire body tense. His cock throbbed beneath the fly of his jeans.
It was going to be a long night.
“Look at you like what?” Her expression was pure innocence though he spotted the mischief in her eyes.
“Like you want to kiss me,” he whispered close to her ear. A big mistake considering he could inhale her delicious scent, felt the silky soft brush of her hair against his cheek.
“I do want to kiss you,” she whispered back, her hand touching him, resting lightly against his chest. “I want to do a lot of things to you.”
Ah, God. He wasn’t hungry anymore, at least not for food. He wanted to get out of here. Couldn’t stand the thought of making small talk and pretending to have an appetite during what would end up being a two hour dinner.
More like two hours of torture. A torture he didn’t want to put himself through.
“You’re going to drive me crazy,” he admitted.
Her smile grew. “Then my plan is working.”
“You came here tonight with a plan?”
“Well, not really but just looking at you makes me wanna do…naughty things. To you,” she confessed.
That was it. He couldn’t take it anymore. Hooking his arm tighter around hers he started for the door, taking her with him. “Let’s go.”
“Wait a minute. You don’t want to have dinner?” She sounded truly shocked.
“Not with you looking at me like that and saying those things. Hell no. My apartment isn’t too far from here. Wanna come over?”
“Brett!” She stopped just in front of the doorway, and he stopped as well, wondering at her behavior. “We should at least have dinner first.”
He shrugged. “We’ll order a pizza after.”
She cocked a brow. “After what?”
“You know what.” He waggled his brows in return.
“You’re bad.” She gave a light slap to his shirtfront.
“And you like it.”
“You know it.” Jenna grinned.
“So is that a yes?” He was eager, ready for her to come to his place. His original plan to wine and dine her, get to know her fell by the wayside.
All he could think about was Jenna. Naked and in his arms, lips pliant, her body open and ready for him.
He shuddered in anticipation.
“Yes.” She leaned into him, pressed her soft, curvy body against his and he slid an arm around her shoulders, hauling her close. “I should say no. I should play hard to get.”
“Thank God you’re not,” he muttered as he steered her toward where he parked his freshly fixed pickup.
Jenna glanced up at him, a worried look on her pretty face. “Am I too easy?”
“Hell, no,” he growled. He didn’t want her thinking he found her easy, a quick lay—a woman he could care less about.
Damn it, he liked her. He was going about this all wrong showing it since well, he was treating her like a sex object but he couldn’t help himself. The attraction, the sexual heat between them was too strong to deny.
“I don’t like playing games,” he said after a pause as he led them into a city parking lot. “I’d rather we be honest with each other than you playing coy and me chasing after you. If you want me, you tell me.”
“I want you,” she admitted, her voice low.
Question of the Day: What do you like to do on rainy days? I love curling up on the couch with a good book and a cup of tea and watching as the rain coats my window. Leave a comment for a chance to win Tangled, Karen's January book.


  1. Karen is another new to me author! Great blurb, sounds like a great book!!

    On rainy days I also love to curl up with a good book or maybe sleep in. I also love to bake.....not sure why! :)

  2. The best part about a rainy day is curling up with a good book. It's the best part of ANY day.
    But a thuderstorm is better! We used to live in a third floor apartment. I remember sitting at the window, blinds wide open, lights off and watching the thunderstorm rolling in. It was fascinating and a little scary watching and waiting for each lighting strike. They are so amazing! Some days I try to play with aperture on my SLR camera and take a good picture of the lighting. They are a little scary because looking out the window, there is nothing standing in the way of me and the darkening sky except the glass pane. the crack of thunder sounds like it's rumbling thru the apartment.

  3. Wow, Karen--hot Summer readin' : )

    I have a really soft old cotton quilt that I like to spread on the couch and settle down on a rainy day. I have my books, my coffee, and my cats...and all is right with my world : )

  4. Rainy days are great for reading, love to be sitting on my enclosed porch with my favorite beverage. Love the sound of the rain while reading, I think its comforting!

  5. On a rainy day, I prefer to stay indoors. I don't care what I'm doing as long as it's not out in the rain! Reading's good, as are lounging, napping, hot beverages etc.

    (Yay, I can comment! Thanks TW!)

  6. Well either watching a good movie or reading a good book would be my choice. For Having friends visit if they can.

  7. I love ordering takeout and watching chick flicks with my mom. Its a day to be lazy and not feel guilty about it because its the weathers fault not ours.

  8. I actually like rainy days, so I'll do just about anything -- but I do prefer to be inside when it's raining. I like to be someplace where I can hear the rain hitting the roof, and if I can be curled up with a good book it's even better.


  9. I like to watch movies on a rainy day. Karen's book sounds good.

  10. Yeah, I'm similar in what I like to do when it's raining. Make some hot tea, read, and listen to the sound of the rain. It's relaxing until the lightning and hail starts.

  11. On a rainy day - providing I am not at work - I love to just stay home and listen to it rain. If I had it my way. Sometimes we are out shopping... So sitting in the store waiting for it to stop is what we do, lol. Or at work, which 99% of the time.. I can watch it from the sliver of the front door I can see....

    Thanks again for the contest!
    Please count me in!

  12. Hey everyone! I'll play along. :) On rainy days I like to curl up with a blanket and read or watch TV. Just relax and be thankful I'm not outside in the rain! LOL

    On a summer rainy day though sometimes it's fun to be out in it - unless there's thunder and lightning. Then I stay inside. :)

  13. I have a comfy couch I lie on with an old blanket and two pillows behind my head, a cup of tea on the coffee table and a good book.

  14. I love to curl up in my big red chair and read or catch up on housework (yuck).

  15. I like curling up under a quilt and reading a good book.

  16. Great excerpt and a fantastic story, Karen. I read it last night and loved it.

    Rainy days make me want to settle in with a good book, and hopefully a quiet house. I might even purr a bit. LOL


  17. Rainy days are perfect for baking! I love any excuse to get dirty in the kitchen.


  18. I like to sleep in on rainy days, all cuddled up in my warm blankets. Then when I actually have to get up, a hot drink and a good book.

  19. In the summer, I like to sit on the porch and read as long as it's not blowing towards me. If not that, I sit in my bedroom, read and listen to the rain.

  20. I hope this comment shows up. My computer is being stupid again…

    I haven’t read anything by Karen but I LOVED the excerpt. I just added “Under My Umbrella” and “Scandalous” to by TBR piles. The cover is way hot too!

    On a rainy day, I love to curl up with a good book and read. Actually anything other than clean ;0)

  21. Great excerpt Karen,
    I think I have read one of your books for a review when I was doing them for RJ's or mybookcravings. I can't remember which one I'll have to check my disc of saved reviews and see if you are in there somewhere.


  22. As long as it's not in the middle of January, I like to throw on my rain boots and coat and take my dog for a long walk in the woods. It's really peaceful then, and sometimes you can catch glimpses of animals that you usually don't see.

  23. I love to sit around and watch movies. It's the only time i don't feel lazy doing so. ^^

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  25. I love to laze around in bed, reading a good book, then maybe take a nap all the while listening to the rain on the tin roof.

  26. On rainy days, I stay in and catch up on my Netflix or I try to tackle a chore I've been putting off, like sorting out old items for good will.

    I want to read this book!

  27. On rainy days, I love to read, nap, read, and nap some more. It's a perfect day!

  28. My favorite rainy day activity is definitely curling up with a book and something warm to drink--maybe some decadent hot cocoa, with a dollop of whipped cream :)

  29. I love to curl up in my favorite chair, my down throw, a favorite book, sipping a cup of chai tea. My chair is right in front of my huge bay window, and I love watching the rain.

  30. I love reading curled up in bed with the drapes pushed aside so that I can watch the rain occasionally. :-)


  31. Speaking of, it is raining at my house now. I like to take a nap or read, or both but these are both as my children allow me to.

    Great excerpt, the book definitely sounds like something I need to get.

  32. I usually clean the house and do laundry. If that's done I'll read after cooking some kind of dessert.

  33. I'm a little ashamed to say this, but I don't really read on rainy days. I usually hang and watch tv, while listening to the rain outside my window.

    I also like to watch from the living room, it helps me to reflect on things. I sometimes get my best story ideas when it's raining.

  34. Smokin' excerpt, Karen. On rainy days I like to go outside for a walk with my sweetie, then return for a hot drink and maybe a movie or a book. I like walking in the rain, as long as it's not too heavy. If there's thunder and lightning I stay inside.

  35. I like to stay in and watch TV or a movie on DVD.

  36. I also love to curl up with a good book and read when it is raining.

  37. I love to be curl in bed reading and listening to the pit pat of the rain against my window.

  38. Rainy days usually find me on the couch watching TV or reading a book. If it's in the winter, add a steaming mug of hot cocoa on the end table. For summer the drink of choice is either chocolate milk or virgin Pina Colada.

  39. Hum, what i usually do, i love to be curl in the couch, with good book, Brownie and a glass of milk :)

  40. I love curling up with a good book and some comfort snacks when it is raining out in the summer-in the winter it's hot chocolate and a good book.

  41. I love rainy days. Most times I will go outside especially at night and hope to see some lightning. I can stand under the awning of the roof and not get wet while watch mother nature let loose.


  42. Looks like we all have a common theme going on with rainy days! Gotta love it. :)

  43. Really enjoy rainy days. I usually sleep in and read as much as I can on days like that. I also enjoy watching storms especially if they are interesting. I'm from Missouri, so we get a lot of opportunities for some pretty great storm watching.

  44. I like to read on a rainy day .i like to read on a sunny day i like to read all the time ok some times i like to blog on the computer.


  45. Love reading and napping on a rainy day. Living in the Pacific Northwest I get lots of opportunity to indulge.