I am very excited to have Christy Gissendaner for tea today! Christy is an author and blogger on Love, Lust, and Laptops, and she has kindly stopped by today to talk about her new paranormal novella, Shift Happens. Is that a great title, or what? Christy has even brought us a little something to have with our tea: a scintillating excerpt that somehow manages to make chocolate chip cookies sexy. I know what I'm reading next!
Ladies, Gentlemen, Creatures of the Night: Christy Gissendaner!
What are you drinking?
I nearly spit out my drink when I read this one, Jessica. Would you believe it is tea? Sweet Tea, as a matter of fact. Southern gal, here.
Tell me about your new book!
Shift Happens is the first book in a new series, I Heart Shifters. Each installment will be short, hot, and funny. Book one deals with a plucky nail salon owner and a sexy billionaire. Ellie is determined not to sell her salon to Jackson, despite his astronomical offering price. When the bad guys show up, Ellie and Jackson have to go on the run. It was a ton of fun to write, and I hope readers crack up at Ellie’s antics.
Who are your favorite authors?
Julia Quinn is my all-time favorite author. I adored her Bridgerton series and she’s the author who inspired me to write humorous romance. Ann Gimpel, who also happens to be my crit partner, is another favorite of mine. There are so many it’s hard to name just a few, but Rosanna Leo, Kara Griffin, and Sotia Lazu are some of my faves.
How do you create your characters?
I always put a little bit of me in each character I write. For instance, you’ll find many of my characters are left-handed, redheaded, or green-eyed. You’ll also find some of my personal tastes/dislikes when I create characters. It’s hard for a reader to know which trait is inspired by real life or suited to fit the character, but I always like to leave my stamp on characters.
How do you choose your character names?
Babynames.com. No lie. I have chosen names randomly from baby name websites. Usually I just come up with names, but I have caught myself trying to re-use names. I need to make a list of the “taken” ones…
What is the hardest part of the publishing process?
Finding the time to promote, for sure. I’m still getting used to the “Hey, look at me. I wrote this book. Please buy it.” I hide my writing for so many years, even from my family, that it was hard to finally come out of the closet, so to speak.
Are there any books or movies you’d rewrite if you had the chance?
Most definitely. I’d probably go back and rewrite at least half of my earlier works. That’s good in a way. Means I’m growing as a writer. Unfortunately that also means I have several books available that I sorta wish I could sweep under the rug.
What kind of heroes do you like?
Sigh…one day I’d like to say tortured, tormented, dark, sexy hero. But my real life preferences come shining through and my heroes always end up being the cute, funny, sweet boy next door types.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you do instead?
Writing is still a hobby for me. I do it because it’s fun and I love to see the entire process come together. I work full-time and giving it up to write as a career isn’t in the cards for me right now. Maybe one day in the future, when I’m closer to retirement, but for now I enjoy juggling both “jobs”.
Do you have any tips for blogging?
Do it. Really, that’s all I have. I’m the world’s worst blogger. You’d think as talkative as I am in real life, that I would burn up my blog every day with one topic of another. You’d be wrong. I have to set alarms on my cell phone to remind me to post when it’s my turn on Love, Lust, and Laptops. Even then, I forget half the time.
Shift Happens (I Heart Shifters, Book 1)
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Etopia Press
Ellie Reynolds runs a nail salon that caters to shifters of all varieties. The proverbial shift hits the fan when billionaire mogul Jackson Lawrence walks in the door and offers Ellie two million dollars to sell her shop. Ellie has no intention of selling out, especially to someone who plans to bulldoze her shop to the ground and replace it with a fast food joint. Their battle of wit and will is brought to a sudden halt when Jackson’s enemies appear, throwing them into a fight for their lives.
Jackson believed he'd left violence behind when he resigned his position with the Blood Wolves, a secret shifter military group, but someone wants his company's cyber invention and will stop at nothing to get it. He didn't mean to drag Ellie into his mess, but he’s willing to do anything to protect her and the firewall his friend created...anything except fight his attraction to the outspoken redhead he's suddenly responsible for. Jackson soon learns Ellie is hotter than he first gave her credit for...like dragon hot...and life is about to get a whole lot more interesting.
Sometimes shift happens when you least expect it.
She groaned as the familiar heat filled the place between her thighs. She needed something to take her mind off Jackson.
Milk. That’s what she needed. A nice, cool glass of milk.
Well, what she really needed was her vibrator, but it was at home, tucked safely away in her drawer under a bundle of handmade scarves that she’d bought and never worn.
Ellie slid out of bed and tugged the hem of the too-short nightgown. She’d picked out a size eight when she was more like a twelve, so Jackson wouldn’t know her true clothing dimensions. When he’d gone to pay for the items she’d chosen, he’d merely lifted an eyebrow but wisely chosen not to say anything. Could she help it if she’d been born with a fondness for sweets? Blame Nana’s genes, not her own lack of will.
Speaking of sweets, cookies would be nice too. She wondered if Jackson had any in the cabinets. He seemed to keep the Montevallo home stocked with foodstuffs since they hadn’t had to stop for groceries.
A few minutes later, with chocolate chip cookies clutched in both hands and a mug of milk hooked around her thumbs, she crept back down the hall toward her room. She bent her head to take a bite of a cookie and lost her grip on the drink. She cursed when the mug fell out of her hands. The milk spilled across her toes and the ceramic shattered when it hit the wooden planks.
“Ellie!” Jackson jerked his bedroom door open and appeared in the doorway, disheveled and entirely too yummy. He wore nothing but boxers and oh geez, he had a six-pack. A perfectly lickable six-pack that made her mouth and sex water. She hoped she wouldn’t drool, although it was a distinct possibility.
“I’m sorry for waking you.”
Jackson ran a hand over his shorn hair. “Fuck. I thought they’d found us.”
“Nope, just the cookie monster.” She held up the cookies in her hands and grimaced. How embarrassing. “Want one?”
He came forward until their toes touched. Hers, milky and chilled. His, warm and dry. She wanted to feel her feet wrapped around his beneath the covers. She wanted to feel everything of his beneath the covers, actually.
His thumb brushed the corner of her lips. “Chocolate,” he explained right before he licked his finger.
Damn her knees. Useless joints that they were. “Umm.”
And damn her larynx for not working properly.
His gaze dropped and she suddenly realized she was in the too-short, too-tight nightgown. Her boobs stretched the cotton material and she didn’t need to look down to know she was nipping. If she turned around, he could probably tell she wasn’t wearing panties. She’d never been so self-conscious before, but never had she been in the presence of a hot-ass canine shifter who was practically naked.
Jackson’s expression turned predatory. His cheeks seemed to hollow out, becoming more pronounced, and his nostrils flared as if he’d caught a whiff of something. Perhaps it was her. The quick shower she’d taken had been hours before. Then again, no panties. Perhaps he smelled her scent. She clamped her thighs tight together and prayed he didn’t laugh. The situation was embarrassing enough without suffering unrequited lust.
“Ellie.” He spoke her name again, but it was low-pitched and soft.
Oh God. She wanted to eat the cookies in his bed. But later. Much, much later. “Yeah?”
“I owe you something.” He slid a hand around her waist and cupped the upper swell of her butt. His fingers spread out in a proprietary manner, as if he was sure of his welcome. “I wanted to wait until all this shit was over, but you’re killing me. I can’t hold out any longer.”
Neither could she. She went up on tiptoe and puckered her lips. He stared at her as he traced the seam of her lips with his index fingers. “I think you misunderstand the type of kiss I want from you.”
About the Author
Christy Gissendaner is a paranormal and contemporary romance author who believes laughter and love should go hand in hand.
Christy lives in Alabama with her husband and three sons. She’s always hard at work on her next novel, but in her spare time she loves blackjack, karaoke, and anything resembling a vacation!
To find out more, please visit http://christygissendaner.webs.com