One year ago today, my debut, TAKING CHANCES, was released. *throws confetti and serves cake*
The last 365 days have kind of been a blur. The ups and downs of being an author are pretty relentless. It’s like the train keeps moving and I keep running along with it. I’m exhausted and exhilarated at the same time and I love it.
I’m extremely excited to share that I recently signed my fifth contract with Evernight Publishing. 😀 More on that news just below.
WHERE YOU CAN FIND BOOKS BY S.J. MAYLEE:
Evernight Publishing | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks | BookStrand
In 2013, I published two books. After In the Blind releases in October, I’ll have released three books in 2014. So, what do I see in store for 2015? I’m hoping for at least four new releases. I’m not crossing my fingers, I’m simply going to keep getting my butt in this chair and enjoy the process.
I’m actually getting very close to finishing the next story I’d like to submit. The first in a series I’ve been calling Relentless. It’s about assassins and their sweethearts. It needs just a handful of new scenes. In the coming weeks, I’ll tease you with it on Wednesdays.
Very soon on Sundays, I’ll start sharing little snippets from In the Blind. I have a little bit about this story on my Coming Soon page. Like, Untangle Me and Unravel Me, this story fits in between my Love Projects books. It is the love story of Jane, the head hunter from Unravel Me, and Rob who is Gina’s ex-husband.
If you haven’t read my books yet, Gina is the trouble maker from Taking Chances and actually a little in Taking Courage too. She is also the heroine in the third Love Projects book. Gina is a piece of work. You’ve only seen a little of the trouble she can cause. I can’t wait to get back to her story and finish it up. Her and Marcus have already taken me on a wild ride. I’ll just say that you have no idea who Gina is, but Marcus is starting to learn.
After Gina and Marcus, I’ll finish the second Relentless story. Then, I’ll write Anne and Keller’s story, the forth Love Projects book. Their story blows me away. Talk about love and devotion. Yum. Yum. Yum!
Today is about my very first book birthday. This journey started with Lydia. The shy girl that knew what she wanted and had no idea how to ask for it. She certainly didn’t start out with Janna’s courage. I may not write heroines that have their lives all together or know exactly what to say, but neither do I, lol. I’d like to share with you the first couple of pages from my birthday baby. Next month, I’ll be sharing the whole first chapter at Evernight Publishing’s new blog.
The First Pages of TAKING CHANCES:
Lydia’s boss stared the team down. She squirmed in her seat and worked to contain her fidget. The glower she recognized. Mr. Keller’s fiery gaze swept over every person in the conference room. Praying he would skim right past her, she shrank a smidge in her seat. The transition to their new product management database had bombed. He wanted someone to blame.
The team worked hard, and yet dozens of things had gone wrong, but no one deserved to get chucked under the bus. Politics was never a strong suit for Lydia, and neither was talking in front of a group. Who would enjoy sweating profusely and forgetting all words except ah and um?
The threat of humiliation fired through her, making her eager for a solution. If she could figure out a way to shift the meeting away from the possibility of someone getting fired, she’d relax. An idea rolled about in her head, but not even a drop of courage lingered within her reach.
“Keller, the policies and procedures need strength and substance if we’re going to move forward as a team with our new system.” Jake pushed back from the table.
She needed to add mind-reading to the list of Jake’s gifts. She’d had the exact idea. It wasn’t the first time he offered a solution she’d been contemplating. It often left her with the idea they’d get along well, which was ludicrous. Men like Jake didn’t pay attention to a woman like Lydia. Hesitation was more her style, and it certainly wasn’t Jake’s. As a department director, he made things happen, and along the way he intimidated the heck out of her.
Of course she’d never been alone in a room with Jake, never even had a casual conversation. Fortunately, he never sought her out. Whenever Jake neared, her pulse raced, and naughty ideas filled her mind. Her fascination with him had started on her first day with the company over a year ago.
The sidewalks had been a mess of snow and ice in front of their building that morning. She’d picked style over practicality in shoes and was rewarded with a slip and fall, flat on her butt. Jake had helped her up. He’d placed her purse strap in one hand and held the other while he asked if she was okay. Embarrassment might have flared through her, but his gaze had melted her, and she hadn’t been able to think straight in his presence since.
He made her aware of her body, the way it heated and awakened. It wasn’t the chiseled cheek bones, or his tall lean body that had to be fit as a Navy Seal. Okay, maybe in her fantasies it was heaven to grab onto his thick neck and shoulders. When Jake was around, she either got lost in a fantasy or felt like a teenager worrying about her hair being flat, smudged mascara, or worse things. What if he saw her nipples hardening? Luckily for her they worked in two different departments and didn’t find themselves with the need to talk to each other.
If she could get to know him she wouldn’t suffer so much. Most people had issues, and if she could find his she wouldn’t be so intimidated. She had a long history of finding flaws in people. First with her dad, she had been eight when he left. She led a lonely existence and wore it like an armor, and it stopped her from being let down.
“I think you’re onto something.” Boss man Keller usually agreed with Jake.
Disappointment ticked at her ragged nerves. Once again someone else was getting credit for an idea she couldn’t voice.
For Keller to ever agree with her, she’d have to have the audacity to speak about her own ideas. Until she had the guts to offer her own opinion there would be no recognition, no advancement. Soon it would be time to go back to her familiar little box, a place she usually thought of as comfortable, a place made easy to hold onto her armor.
“I’d like you to head the team on this.” Keller inclined his head toward Jake. “Pick one of the technical writers from this table, lock yourselves in a room, and get it done. I want a report tomorrow, my office, ten o’clock.” He stomped from the room and took another opportunity to sneer at each of them.
The room, without Keller’s presence, grew eerily quiet.
All attention turned to Jake. He towered over them as they waited for the chosen partner to be selected. Whispers bubbled up around her.
A door slammed down the hall, probably Keller letting off some steam. She didn’t want to think about Keller. She desperately wanted to fill her mind with one idea, that she could be the technical writer Jake chose. He could choose her.
She blocked out her surroundings, peeled back her protective layer and allowed herself to feel. She bit her lower lip and sucked it into her mouth. She could be locked in a room with Jake. Her mouth dried, and her heart pounded. She took another look at Jake and drank in his dark features and the muscles she imagined hidden under his blue collared shirt. A fantasy, starring the infamous Jake, filled her imagination.
He sauntered around the table and stopped at her chair. His hand took hold of hers, and he pulled her into his strong arms. Once he settled her bottom on the table, he stepped in between her thighs. As he devoured her mouth in eager kisses, he popped the buttons on her blouse, unclasped her bra, and exposed her. Powerful hands molded her breasts. She let her needy body fall to the table to give him access to every inch of her.
The fantasy was in full swing now. Jake shouted her name. Oh, her name sounded sinful on his lips.
Thanks, Juliana! 🙂
Congratulations. I remember “meeting” you they weekend writing warriors. How awesome to have a year under your belt 🙂
Hi, Michelle! Thank you. It does feel good. I’m proud to still be here and enjoying the ride too. 🙂
Congrats! So glad things are going well for you.
Thanks, Angelica. 🙂 I certainly wouldn’t have made it this far without all your help!
Happy authorversary, SJ!!! 🙂
Thank you, Katherine! 🙂
Congrats SJ! What a fabulous year and many more will come 🙂
Thank you, Anne! I sure hope you’re right. 🙂
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And here’s to many, many more!! ❤