Today I am so pleased to welcome Edie Danford to Joyfully Jay. Edie has come to talk to us about her latest release, Tru Smoke (Ember Peak #1). She has also brought along an exclusive excerpt and a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Edie a big welcome!
Neckties. If you think about what they actually are, they’re kind of weird, right?
Long, thin strips of fabric designed to be knotted in a certain way and to dangle at a certain length from around a collar.
They don’t do much.
And yet they carry a lot of meaning. Convey a lot of messages. Tell us about the wearer’s mood, personality, taste, the event they’re attending, maybe even their income or background.
A tie embroidered with tiny mallards has a much different vibe than a tie embellished with Deadhead symbols. Fire-engine red emits a different vibe from cool icy-blue. Skinny from wide. And stripes from florals. Or nubby fabric from shiny silk.
The act of putting on a tie and taking it off can have meaning, too—meaning beyond the simple act of dressing or undressing. There’s that notion of putting on armor. Or kowtowing to society’s expectations.
And then there’s the whole business of taking off a tie—or have someone take it off for you.
So why all the deep thoughts about neckwear?
Well, a bunch of these random tie thoughts were running through my mind when I wrote the following scene in Tru Smoke. There’s something about watching a sexy, confident guy put on clothes–a guy who can take that strip of silk and turn it into a symbol of…sex and confidence!
A lot of the time, though, Tru—the character in this scene—doesn’t wear ties. He’s actually more comfortable in a T-shirt, jeans, and a cowboy hat. (And, okay, I admit there are many scenes in the book where he doesn’t wear anything at all.)
I’d love it if you’d tell me in the comments what you think is the sexiest accessory for a character to put on or take off—or boring accessory if you’d prefer!—and I’ll pick a random commenter to win a $10 Amazon gift card. (I checked and there are many ties on offer at Amazon for under ten bucks, but if it were me, I’d buy a book or three about sexy tie-wearing dudes.)
I hope you enjoy this excerpt from Tru Smoke! For more on upcoming books in the new Ember Peak series, visit me at www.ediedanford.com.
As I stood next to Tru and looked at a collection of eight-zillion-dollar ties to go with his eight-zillion-dollar suit, he was pretending like nothing big was about to go down. And I was indulging him.
“This one,” I said, holding up a lavender paisley to the steel-gray wool of his lapel. I smiled up at him. He was only a couple inches taller than my five-eleven, but right now I was barefoot and he had on a pair of gleaming oxfords. The V-shape of his body—long legs, narrow hips, broad shoulders—was highlighted by the sleek suit, his damp hair gleamed like gold, and he smelled so frickin’ delicious my mouth was watering.
Being here with him like this was so good…better than Christmas, better than my birthday, better than my first ride on my first horse.
How could he possibly think I’d ever settle for six days of him? Six days didn’t even equal a half-second when it came to forever. And I was gonna keep Truitt Larkin until the stars fell from the sky.
He scowled down at the tie and grunted. “If you say so.”
Pressing a kiss to his cheek, I draped the tie over his collar. “I do. It will look great with your gorgeous eyes.”
His gaze on my face sent warmth down my body as I began to maneuver his collar. His thumb brushed the upper crest of my cheek just beneath my eye. “This here is what’s gorgeous,” he murmured. “True blue.” I felt him draw a long, silent breath. “Let me do this,” he said, taking the silk from my hands and turning away to face the full-length mirror.
The sight of him all buttoned up in prime businesswear inspired all kinds of kinky images. The fact that I was mostly naked as I stood next to him added fuel to the fantasy. If it weren’t for the stiffness in his shoulders and arms as he made swift work of his tie, if it weren’t for the misty-cool look in his eyes and the craggy cast of his mouth, I’d take the tie from him and get started on acting out a few of those fantasies.
I held back a sigh. I might be dreamer and I might be an optimist and I could maybe qualify as a sex-addled happy-freak when it came to Tru, but I wasn’t a total idiot. Now was not the time to ask him to put that zillion-dollar tie to better use.
He’d begun the process of pushing me away.
He’d told me it would happen, told me again and again that this week we’d been spending together was a one-time thing. I hadn’t believed him then, and I wasn’t going believe him now.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire… Tired cliché or true story? Jones Hudson can’t wait to touch Tru and find out.
Growing up in Ember Peak, Colorado, Jones nurtured dreams as big as the Rockies. Why else would a flat-broke college student believe he has a shot with Truitt Larkin, the billionaire CEO of Larkin Corp? And, sure, Tru might own Ember Peak Ranch—the fab, five-thousand-acre spread where Jones is just the son of a ranch employee—but that doesn’t mean a future with Tru is doomed, does it?
Because Jones has finally, finally convinced Tru to break his chiseled-in-rock no-sex-ever policy, and he’s sure smoke will never shroud Tru’s silver-flame eyes again.
But fire burns out and dreams crash. And when Tru douses all Jones’s hopes, Jones leaves Ember Peak—and a big chunk of his heart—for good.
Tru knows he’s responsible for deep-sixing his valued friendship with Jones. Indulging his attraction to the younger man was selfish and destructive—something he’ll always regret. When Jones returns to Ember Peak for a family wedding, Tru wants a chance to heal their friendship and give back to Jones the comfort of coming home. But sparks fly the moment they reunite, and they scramble to contain the wildfire passion that’s burned them both before. A flicker of hope glows brightly, but they’ll need all their courage to see their way toward love.
Although her extended family hails from the Rockies, the Plains, and the Midwest, Edie has spent the last eleven years in her Green Mountain home. She seeks romance wherever and whenever possible.
Edie has brought a $10 Amazon gift card to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Tuesday, November 8th at 11:59 pm EST.
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