Next week, April 13th to be specific, my newest release Sensual Sabotage becomes available for download (you can currently purchase the preorder for a discount at Bookstrand.com). This book is my first release in almost a year. A year in which I spent a lot of time growing and expanding in other areas in my life. So it’s not a huge surprise that I feel this book is a real growth for me as a writer as well.
Sensual Sabotage is a divergent for me from some of my other works in several ways. For one, my heroine is probably the least like me (and hopefully the least like my readers) of any heroine I’ve ever written. McKenna is selfish and only out for herself. She’s lived a hard life, with very little kindness, and few that care about her. In some ways she is the most tender hearted and vulnerable character I’ve ever written. She’s also probably the most dishonest character I’ve ever written. With me and herself. She spends a lot of time telling everyone, especially herself, just how touch she is, to cover up for exactly how wounded and vulnerable she actually is.
This story is the start of a new path for me. A start to developing more complex and complicated characters. Exploring more difficult story lines. And above all else it follows into my new goal this year of focusing on enjoying and loving every aspect of the writing process.
As I talked about in my blog last month, the industry is changing, evolving, and with it, us writers have to evolve as well. Though this is scary, I’ve come to realize I can’t change how the industry is changing and how much I like or dislike those changes. But I can change how I feel about it and view it. So from now on I’m just focusing on writing and enjoying writing, and I’m going to let the industry do what it must.
I hope every book I write going forward is as much of a joy to write as this one has been. While McKenna is far from the type of heroine I normally write or relate to, I have really come to love her so much over the journey of this book, and look forward to the future stories she plans to tell me. And her men. Smoking hot. And smart. Double wammy. I can only hope that the readers come to love these complicated flawed characters as much as I do.
To give you all chance to fall in love with the characters just as much as I have, here is a little taste of Sensual Sabotage.
McKenna James came to work for Hamilton and Brewer Associates with only one thing on her mind. And it isn't a long lasting career. She's after a copy of their plans for a waste-less oil refinery that a rival company will pay her six figures to take. But, when Sawyer and Chris catch her in the act, she learns a lot more about her bosses as they handcuff her to a chair and torture the truth out of her.
When Sawyer Hamilton and Chris Brewer stumble upon their receptionist trying to fleece their newest designs, the dominant in both of them comes raging to the surface. They intend to protect what is theirs. No matter what. But when their interrogation turns sexy, they are both in danger of losing more than just their plans. Luckily they both have experience with bound women who have smart mouths.
Can two nerdy doms tame a thief bent on stealing from them? Or will the harlot take their hearts along with their plans?
She grabbed her purse from behind her desk and headed down the hall, toward Sawyer’s and Chris’s offices. It didn’t matter which she entered. They both had what she needed. Access to the secure server.
Stepping to the first door, Chris’s office, she tried the handle. Locked. Not a huge surprise but still inconvenient. She pulled her tools from her purse, selecting the tension wrench from the set and pushing it into the lock. Holding the metal in place, she used the pick to release each of the pins. She closed her eyes, allowing her muscle memory to do all the work. She’d been picking locks since she’d run away from home—if that was what you wanted to call it—and needed a warm place to sleep for the night. This paltry lock was nothing compared to what she’d come in contact with over the years.
Not for the first time, she wondered how there could be something valuable in this office. This building was nothing like the usual places she was hired to break into. No marble tiles, expensive leather furniture, or high-end computers filled out the rooms. Instead, the place reminded her of a down-on-his-luck seventies PI she’d seen on TV as a kid. The carpets were old, covered in stains, and a color that could only be described as faded mold.
Not that it really mattered to her. She didn’t care what she stole or why. All she cared about was retrieving what she was hired to find and collecting her payment. Asking questions about her clients or their motivations for employing her services only got her into trouble.
She stirred up enough of that already. She didn’t need more.
Walking across the room, she rounded the desk. Her instructions were clear, as was the bounty requested. And there was only one place to get it.
She knocked the mouse and the monitor came to life, prompting her for a password. While she’d been offered a lot of trust in the last week she’d worked here, they hadn’t gone so far as to give her all the company passwords. She searched the desktop, looking for any sign of what word to guess. Between the intricate computer system in front of her and the owner’s age, she doubted it was password.
A small, neon pink Post-it hung from the edge of the computer. Vet appointment Thursday 1:30. Chris must have a pet. She looked over at the picture on his desk of a big yellow lab eagerly licking the face of a little girl with big, dark brown eyes the same shade as Chris’s. Her small, chubby arms gripped around the dog’s neck.
McKenna stared at the scene, almost with longing. She could almost hear the little girl’s laughter as she played with the sweet, energetic canine. The Bay Park Bridge filled up the back of the frame. The park was a popular spot to have birthday parties and family events. The perfect place for a dog and little girl to have the best day of their lives.
It was a reality McKenna had never known. A happy, loving family. Picnics filled with lemonade and laughter. Her childhood parties were comprised of swears and thrown beer bottles, if she got a party at all.
Not that she cared about any of that stuff. She’d grown up just fine without it. Now she took care of herself. It had all worked out.
The picture frame was covered with dog bones and, at the bottom, engraved with the word Hugo. Chris loved that dog, probably more than any human. A lightbulb flashed in her mind. He did love that dog. So much that he probably used his dog’s name as a password. It was worth a shot.
She leaned over the keyboard, hunting out each letter. Too short for any logical password, she added the year at the end. Holding her breath, she hit enter and waited for the rejection. The screen flashed for a second then dissolved to the desktop. Another picture of the same dog, this time rolling on his back, looked back at her from the backdrop on the screen.
Wow! That was easy. Too easy. Clearly Chris and Sawyer had no idea how much they needed a good security system. Or how many people wanted what they had. Lucky for her. This might be the easiest job she’d been offered in a while.