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About the author:
Anne Conley lives in a small town in East Texas, not unlike Serendipity, with her husband, two kids and numerous goats. She brazenly stole her pseudonym from her great-grandmother, a true pioneer woman who raised seven kids alone: churning butter, plucking chickens, knitting clothes, and putting coal oil on every visible wound.
What inspired you to write your book?
This is the first book I’ve written, and wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. The characters had been making noise inside my head for a year or more, before I told my husband I wanted to try to write a book. He surprised me by saying, “Go for it. I’ve always known you should do something like that.” So I did. The book was initially four times longer, and titled “Hunkalicious,” complete with six ghosts, a vengeful ex-boyfriend, and spiteful waitress. After shedding the excess, it became a novella. I’m pleased with how it turned out.
Here is a short sample from the book:
“Hang on. I got you.”
Enormous arms wrapped around her body, under her armpits, and lifted her out of the hole. She looked up at her savior. And up, and up…until her eyes met the caramel-colored eyes of…Adonis. He pulled her back out of the hole, tripping over her beloved pipe, and tugged her down with him as they ended up a tangled pile of limbs in the weedy yard.
She had no idea who this magnificent specimen of a man was, but he was her hero, having just saved her from a horrifying death. Well, possibly. If she hadn’t died, she certainly would have been extremely uncomfortable for who knows how long.
“What happened?” His melted caramelly eyes oozed concern, as they looked down from his body’s perch atop Claire’s body. Ohmygosh. He’s on top of me. His mouth turned down at the corners, and his hands were still wrapped around her rib cage. She couldn’t answer, her heart was beating too hard. She couldn’t really say why, if it was because of her brush with certain death, or because she had the most gorgeous man on the planet on top of her. He smelled good, earthy, like grass and man.
Her breath caught as she looked into that face of his, and the next thing she knew, she was crying like a baby. She hated crying, and the fact that she was doing it in front of this stranger made her cry even more, much to her own mortification. He climbed off and pulled her into a sitting position next to him. He cradled her head against his concrete chest making shooshing noises, begging her not to cry. What is it about men and crying women? I just almost died. Although, hearing his heart pound in his chest was calming her down quite a bit.
“I didn’t realize I was (hic) walking over that (hic) plywood, and I f-f-fell in.”
“Well, you’re okay now. It’s okay.” His broad hand rubbed up and down her spine in a comforting gesture. It made a warm mushy feeling spread out from the center of her chest down to her thighs. “I have some plywood in my garage. I’ll bring you some and put it over that well until you can have someone fill it in with concrete.” His hand still rubbing her back. Her body still warm and mushy. His smell still manly, grassy goodness.
Claire looked up at him, their faces were inches away from each other. His eyes looked straight into hers, then his gaze traveled to her lips. Seemingly jealous of the attention that her lips were getting, Claire’s tongue snaked out to moisten the top one. As if recognizing the desire that seemed to be radiating from her pores, he spread his lips slightly and inhaled sharply. She could smell his toothpaste. His hand cradled her face, and he used his thumb to wipe a tear off her cheek. Then he rubbed his thumb down her jaw line.
“I have plywood…” Claire was having a hard time breathing with this stranger so close to her. Wait a minute… “Who are you?” Claire suddenly realized the compromising position she was in, pressed up next to a complete stranger who was caressing her face.
“My name is Max. I live next door.” His eyes were still locked on her mouth. “What’s your name?”
“C-Claire.” She sniffed, tears still managing to squeeze out of her eyes.
“Shhhh. Claire. It’s okay.” His thumb touched her bottom lip. As if there was an alien entity inside Claire that craved a little Max-snack, her lips opened and took his thumb into her mouth. Then sucked.
Max’s entire body stiffened, his eyes popped open, and his mouth emitted a small exhalation of toothpaste-scented air, as Claire sucked on his thumb. As her tongue made little swirly motions around it, his eyes actually darken from gooey caramel, to a melted chocolate color. She closed her eyes and tasted the salty flavor of her tears mixed with his sweat, and then she gasped and spit out his thumb, absolutely mortified at herself for doing it in the first place. What sort of horny sex-demon has possessed me? She jumped up off the ground and started wiping dirt off her shorts.