I'm giving away this handmade Wild Man Mug and fish ornament to one lucky winner. The mug is wheel-thrown and then glazed in a rich brown the color of Alaskan grizzlies. Dishwasher, oven, and microwave safe, the mug holds up to 10 ounces of your favorite beverage. Along with the mug, the winner will receive a handmade fish ornament. Both items are signed by the artist, which happens to be me. Contest rules:
There will be 5 points given for purchasing HOOKED and 1 point for every place you post a review on Amazon
, Barnes & Noble
, and Goodreads
If you also become a Street Team
member you will receive an extra point, giving you a possible total of 9 times your name can be entered to win. For verification, forward your email notification of purchase and review links to email@example.com
or use the email form on the contact page of my website. If you purchase a print copy, send me a picture! I love getting pictures of readers with my books. The farthest away my physical books have traveled, that I know of, is Australia.
Contest ends May 27th, 2013.
And the winners of a digital copy of HOOKED are...
Christine Lacombe, Anima Giraldez, and Jasmine H!
Congratulations for getting HOOKED (I love the puns I'll get to do with this title)!!!
Thank everyone for your questions and comments during this week of The Writing of HOOKED. It has been really fun sharing with you my writing process and more details of the characters of HOOKED.
HOOKED is now available in print and digital formats. You can get your copy at the links below.
I would love it if you would help share the news about HOOKED's release with your friends and family. The best way to sell is book is still word of mouth.
Thank you again and as we say at fish camp, Fish on!
Mug-up is an important part of any fish camp. Sometimes its the only thing that gets us through a fishing period. "Eat, Sleep, Fish" is all we do.
Mug-up is pretty much leftovers thrown together to make a hasty meal, or if we are lucky a sweet dessert. Hobbits would refer to it as the seventh meal. In HOOKED, Grams makes Monster Mug-Up Cookies for an injured Sonya. So it seemed better to share this recipe, instead of another way to cook salmon. Just like Sonya, by week two, we are sick of eating salmon and looking for steak to sink our teeth into. And like Sonya, we aren't going to get any, no ice cream either for that matter. Guess what our first meal back in civilization tends to be?
Note: there is no flour in this recipe, which makes it great for people with gluten allergies. Also the basic recipe is very adaptable for dried fruit, and nuts, or white chocolate chips. I always double the ingredients when I make them so as not to have leftover bags of butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, etc. I just dump in the whole bag. If you do this and don't want to cook them all at once, the cookie dough can be frozen up to two weeks.
Maggie May’s Monster Mug-up Cookies
Guaranteed to keep you crew in a sugar-working high for hours.
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Sugar
1 cube Butter
1 tsp Vanilla
1 ½ cup Peanut Butter - chunky or creamy
1 ½ tsp Baking Soda
4 ½ cups of Oatmeal
¾ cups each of M&M’s, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, Butterscotch Chips, Peanut Butter Chips or double the recipe and add a whole bag of each.
Cream together eggs, sugars, butter, and vanilla. Add peanut butter. Stir in baking soda and oatmeal. Fold in M&M’s, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and peanut butter chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.
Here is a scene where Sonya is recuperating and Grams is baking, and they are talking men.
Grams glanced up from mixing the butter, sugar, and eggs together. "Now you’re thinking of a man. Your fish cop, by chance?" She reached for the jar of chunky peanut butter and spooned some into the bowl.
There was no point in lying to her. The woman could see through a solid steel door. "He’s occupied a bit of my mind lately." More than a
bit, if she were honest.
"He’s a fine looking man. Nice butt. I can see why you’re interested." She scooped four cups of oatmeal into the mix.
"Grandma." Little old grandmas weren’t supposed to check out men’s butts.
"What woman wouldn’t have noticed those tight buns?" Grams laid down the spoon and picked up a pocketknife. She sliced open the many bags of chips, pouring them each into the bowl.
Sonya swallowed. Okay that was it. She wasn’t lying here any longer. She stood up and had to fight a wave of dizziness, results of residue from the pain killers she’d taken last night. Her head throbbed for a moment, but it felt good to move around.
"If you’re not going to lie down, at least sit," Grams scolded, adding the package of M&M’s to the bowl. She saved a handful and set them on the table for Sonya.
Sonya sat and began eating the chocolate pieces one by one. Did anything taste better than chocolate? She didn’t think so.
"Sonya, is Garrett being a trooper all that’s keeping you from having a relationship with him?"
"As barriers go, it’s up there." Sonya popped a few more M&M’s, hoping Grams would drop the subject. She wasn’t up to discussing what was between her and Garret.
What's your go-to food when you're hurt or not feeling well?
Meet the women of HOOKED. Full cover jacket for the print copy.
Grams - Margaret "Maggie May" Savonski: Sonya's grandmother is one classy dame. I patterned her after my own grandmother. She can shoot better than anyone at camp and even gives her guns pet names. Using nothing more than a smile, men bend over backward to help her with whatever she needs. My grandmother was my hero, and Grams is that kind of woman for Sonya.
Lana Harte: Daughter to Roland Harte and cousin to Aidan, she is quiet, like a deer caught in headlights. With cheerleader good looks, she captivates Peter. Keeping her nose in a book most of the time, she hopes to go unnoticed.
Davida: Sassy manager of the cannery's general store, Davida knows all the gossip and spreads a good share of it. Fortysomething and on the prowl, she's got her hooks into trooper, Judd Iverson.
Wanda: Doctor at the South Naknek Infirmary, she patches up more fishermen than she'd like with a no-nonsense attitude and brutal bedside manner.
This scene starts with Sonya needing to find out where Garrett is so she can apologize. She goes to the one person who knows everything there is to know in South Naknek, Davida.
There was no sign of him. She was about to give up when she stopped in at the General Store. A place where you could buy a can of bacon and a marine battery all in the same shopping spree.
"Well, if it isn’t the celebrity of the hour," Davida greeted from behind the counter. Davida with her multi-colored spiky hair of golds, reds, and deep browns, and her equally spiky attitude, ran the store much like an army general. She was the one person who knew everything worth knowing. "Let me pour you a cup of coffee and you can fill me in on what I’ve missed."
"Why don’t you first tell me what you’ve heard? Could save time." Sonya took the cup of coffee, though she preferred tea. Tea was considered a sissy drink out here. She wasn’t going to add to the stereotype.
Davida filled her in, taking her time since the store was empty. There wasn’t much she’d missed. "You didn’t actually cork off the Albatross, did you?" At Sonya’s nod, she shook her head and chuckled. "Damn, wished I could have seen that. I like it when bad things happen to Chuck Kendrick. Lord, knows he should be plagued with bad karma, considering all the things he’s done."
"Agreed." Sonya changed the subject before Davida decided to visit the many things suspected of Kendrick. Some of those things were against her own family and too raw for casual conversation. "I’m looking for Garrett Hunt. Have you seen him?"
"The new trooper? That is one delicious-looking man." She closed her eyes and hummed. "Yes, almighty, I wouldn’t mind getting a piece of him this summer."
Sonya didn’t like the image that picture painted. Davida had a reputation for not only knowing the men, but really knowing them.
Has anyone had bacon out of a can, beside me? What is the weirdest canned food you've eaten? Only a few days left to be entered to win a digital copy of HOOKED!
The men are very important in HOOKED as there are many of them and Alaskan men are like no other on the planet. They are a breed apart.
I'll start with Gramps,
Nicholai Savonski. I based Gramps off of my gramps, and here is a picture of him. He was a handsome and enterprising man. Nothing much got him down, and if he couldn't fix a problem he would jerry-rig the hell out of it. I've never met, and probably never will meet, a man who could compete with him. He's biggest quality is how much he loved my grandmother, and believed in marriage. I tried to convey this in Nicholai's character as he's playing matchmaker, wanting to get Sonya married. His motivation is that he wants Sonya to be happy, and he is never happier than when he is spending time with Grams. I get choked up when I read sections of HOOKED because it's like my grandpa is saying those exact lines. He probably did, and I just cataloged them away.
Peter Savonski: My heroine's baby brother. He's 17 and just graduated from high school and looking at college in the fall. Actually, he seems more concerned with the young woman next door than school. He cares more about the moment than planning for the future, and wishes Sonya would just chill. He's tired of her treating him like a kid.
Aidan Harte: Sonya's ex and fish camp neighbor. He did something stupid and lost her the previous summer. This summer he's determined to get her back.
Earl and Roland Harte aka Cranky and Crafty: Aidan's father and uncle. Old timers with a healthy share of redneck in them. Pranksters, and always looking for a way to make some mischief.
Wes Finley: Crewman for the Savonski's and an adopted member of the family since he tried to steel Gramps car one winter. Instead of calling the police, Gramps dragged Wes into the house and feed him dinner then put him to work shoveling the driveway. Getting his degree in psychology, he's a calming influence, in a crazy place.
Skip Ozhuwan and Judd Iverson: Garrett's fellow Alaska State Troopers. Readers of IMPACT will have met Skip before.
Chuck Kendrick: Captain of the Albatross, he's a beast of a man with no qualms about breaking the law. He's after the most fish, the most money, and to hell with anyone who gets in his way.
I have a few other fun drifters that color the page, but for now here are the men of HOOKED. The following scene has Garrett warning Sonya, and Sonya's crew reaction. Garret is on the Calypso, and Sonya aboard the Double Dippin' hollering across the water at each other.
Garrett's eyes narrowed, and he anchored his hands on his hips. His stance reflected more than ever his position of power. He looked manly and macho, and frustrated as hell. It started private places of hers thawing, and she didn’t want to thaw for him.
"I feel sparks in the air," Gramps commented, his voice easily reaching Sonya. Gramps turned to Wes and Peter. "You feel sparks?"
"Yep," Wes responded with an easy going grin.
Peter glanced around the deck. "Something on fire?"
"Your sister’s about to go up in flames," Wes said, tongue in cheek.
"You ladies through gossiping?" Sonya knew her face was flushed. She just hoped Garrett couldn’t hear the men’s scuttlebutt.
"I’m not trying to tell you how to fish," Garrett said. "But if I have to intervene in another one of your squabbles, I’m going to write you up for harassment."
"Harassment! Squabbles! Listen, fish cop, I haven’t been the one starting things out there."
"You started that last one."
She opened her mouth to argue, and then shut it. He was right. She had started it by laying her net out in front of Kendrick’s, but he’d escalated it. Besides there wasn’t anything illegal about what she’d done. Hell, she’d just been returning the favor as Kendrick had corked her off earlier. "There’s nothing in your rule book that says I can’t cork someone off."
"Don’t make me find a reason to beach you."
"You threatening me?"
"You bet your sweet ass I am."
Sonya’s mouth dropped wide open in shock. How dare he? Who did he think he was? Sweet ass? "I don’t know where you’ve policed before, but it’s cutthroat fishing out here. I’m only trying to fit in."
"Quit trying so hard. You’re going to get yourself killed." With that, Garrett motioned for the captain of the Calypso to move about. She watched him until he was out of range.
"Damn stinking fish cop," she muttered, and then looked to her crew to see how they’d taken the trooper’s warning. They regarded her with a mix of emotions— amusement from Peter, concern from Wes, and then the clincher, Gramps’s solemn look.
"You’re going to have to make nice, Sonya," Gramps said.
"I know it." She wanted to stamp her foot in aggravation, and would have done it, too, if it wouldn’t have undermined her as captain in front of her crew.
Is there a man in your life that you measure everyone up against?
Meet Sonya Savonski, my hell-bent on trouble captain of the Double Dippin'. She's a very strong, independent woman with a huge heart, and there is nothing she wouldn't do for her family. There is much to be admired about Sonya, and yet, her strengths can also be her weaknesses. She too independent, too bull-headed, and sometimes doesn't know when to cut bait. She bumps up against my Alaska State Trooper hard. This woman makes an impression wherever she goes, and not always a good one.
As a teenager, she lost her parents and sister in the sinking of the Mystic--instilling in her a fear of the water--and leaving her to raise her little brother, Peter. She's had a lot of help from her grandparents, but she's been more mother to Peter than sister.
This summer, her grandfather has turned the fishing operation over to her, and she has stepped up in a big way, buying a drift boat and fishing both types of gear. She knows she's bound to upset a few fishermen, which is something she's good at. But someone is willing to make sure she's off the water for good, or drowned in it.
When she meets Garrett, sparks fly. There is no way anything can happen between them. Not with him being a fish cop and her a fisherman. She's under the microscope, and any credibility she's attained will be shot to hell if she's seen cavorting with the enemy.
These two were magic to write. Their dialogue wrote itself. It was like they were using me as a medium to tell their story. Some of the things Sonya said had my finger hovering over the delete key. The majority of what she said, stayed. I just couldn't sensor this woman or tone her down. To date, she is the strongest woman I've ever written. I can't wait for you to meet her.
Here is a sample of how she thinks. Garrett has boarded her boat to warn her just as a fishing period is about to start.
"You have a problem onboard," Garrett said.
"Yeah, I’m looking at it."
The Albatross puttered by, and Chuck Kendrick yelled across the open water, "Yo, Double D, better treat that trooper right. Show him your titties, and he might be kind enough to let you off with a warning."
She sent Chuck the finger, a message the dimwit would understand, and then caught Garrett’s narrowed look.
"Not afraid of making enemies, are you?" he said, with a cocked brow.
"Just speaking to Chuck in the language he understands." She
didn’t need to explain herself to him and resented the feeling to do exactly that. She tried to hand him a copy of her permit and fishing licenses for everyone onboard.
"What’s this for?" he asked.
"Trying to speed up the process." She flapped the papers at him again. "Come on, I’ve got fish to catch, and there has to be someone else you could be harassing."
"I’m not here to check that your paperwork’s in order." His eyes snapped with temper. "You’ve pissed some people off, Sonya."
"That’s nothing new. I piss people off all the time."
"I don’t doubt it." He leaned into her, and she caught a whiff of that spicy mix of man and power. She didn’t like it. It took a moment to clear her head.
"Are you listening to me?" he asked, advancing a step.
"Yeah." She waved her hands in front of her as though to scare off a pesky bug. "Say what you gotta say, and then get the hell off my boat."
Here is the juicy bit that I promised yesterday. My husband and I have a freebie--someone that we can sleep with if they ever showed up at the door and said, "Take me." Mine is Daniel Craig, his is Sandra Bullock. Chances are very good this will never happened. So I figured I'd get our freebies together, and these two didn't disappoint. In fact, they rocked the boat!
Any juicy bits like that between you and your significant other?
Men. I just love men, and men who protect, serve, and wear a uniform make me melt. Garrett Hunt is such a man, and he is going to tie my heroine into knots. A former SEAL, he's been to Hell and returned with souvenirs, and is one of my Alaska Wildlife Troopers. You get three troopers in this book. At least three main troopers.
There is something so arresting about a fish cop. I should be shot for saying this, and my brother would be the first to pull the trigger. I seem to be the only fisherman in Bristol Bay who doesn't mind when troopers board us. They are all so powerful, and wild, and wearing blue and gold while the rest of us are in orange raingear. They are just plane HOT. And loaded for bear.
We first met Garret in EDGE. He was Mel's friend with benefits until Cache came onto the scene. Needing some space from Homer, he arrives in South Naknek to help police the fishing during Bristol Bay's record salmon run. He's after adventure, getting back to nature, and distraction from his life in Homer. Boy, does he get all three.
Daniel Craig was perfect inspiration for Garrett Hunt. I wanted someone who was more interesting than handsome. I tend to be attracted to men who are weathered, rugged, survivalist types. Garrett is strong, smart, and a surfer. Yep, that's right, his wild side is out there to be ridiculed. Come on, surfing in Alaska? You either have to be a thrill seeker or a few salmon short of a fry. I was after adding in, not only a feud between fishermen, but the troopers trying to keep everyone alive and adhering to the laws of the state. I have a very strong heroine in HOOKED and I needed a man who could be her equal. Garrett is her match. She can't push him around, and he can't resist taking her bait.
Here is the scene when Garrett and Sonya first meet at the dirt runway in South Naknek.
Sonya moaned and moseyed over to Gramps and Peter. For some reason, her grandpa had decided she needed to get married. She was only twenty-nine for heaven’s sake. There was plenty of time for that nonsense, but Gramps was bull-headed, so she went to be paraded in front of another “potential.”
“Sonya, I’d like you to meet Garrett…uh…what’s your last name?”
Great. He was so desperate to get her hitched that he wasn’t bothering to screen the men anymore. For all they knew, this man could have murdered a string of women.
Peter turned his head to the side and snickered.
“Hunt,” the stranger supplied. “Name’s Garrett Hunt.” He reached out a hand for her to shake. “It’s nice to meet you, Sonya.”
Yeah, yeah, blah, blah, she wanted to say, but then her attention caught on his ice-blue eyes. Eyes that color shouldn’t project heat. Somehow she found her hand happily engaged in his. It wasn’t just his eyes that gave off heat. A slight smile crooked his lips.
“Same,” she said, “to meet you, that is.” She gave Garrett Hunt a second look. The man wasn’t handsome…more interesting. Tough, muscled, and weathered. He looked like he could hold his own in any situation. Anywhere. Anytime. Chiseled jaw, sharp cheekbones, spiky military haircut, with a scar by his left temple. The only thing soft about him was his lips.
Dang, she did not need this kind of distraction this summer.
“Well, how do you like that?” Gramps commented with a hum, breaking Sonya out of her trance and reminding her of where she was. Gramps slapped Garrett on the back. “How about you join us for dinner tomorrow night? Red Fox Camp is about five miles down the beach. Can’t miss it. We should be ready for company by then, don’t ya think, Sonya?”
“Uh…sure.” Even though she wanted to tell her grandpa to keep his busybody nose out of her business, she couldn’t.
Garrett gave her that crooked smile again. It was quite sexy on him. “I’d like that.”
“Hunt!” the pilot of the plane hollered, walking toward them carrying a surfboard. “You have any idea how hard this was to stuff into my plane?”
“Thanks, Harry,” Garrett said, taking ownership of the board. “I appreciate you making the room.”
“You owe me a drink for it,” Harry said. "I plan on collecting as soon as I get that swarm of fishermen flown over
“You got it,” Garrett said.
Harry waved them goodbye and boarded the plane for the return hop to King Salmon. The fishermen were all coming in now that the fishing season would be opening in a few days. In that amount of time, the population went from around a hundred to thousands.
“What are you going to do with that?” Peter asked, eyeing the surfboard.
“Catch a wave,” Garret said.
The man was a nut. Gramps had to stop introducing her to just anyone. She looked at her grandfather and was glad to see that even his brows had risen in question.
“Why?” Peter asked.
Yeah, why, Sonya thought.
“For the thrill of it,” Garrett said with a grin.
“Nobody gets in that ocean for fun.” Sonya shivered. The memory of the last time she’d been forced into that deadly ocean sliced through her like the cutting edge of an arctic wind. The freezing water, the screaming, and then the terrifying silence followed by death.
I'm going to share with you a secret (I'll share another, juicier, one tomorrow regarding Daniel Craig). I have a life-size cardboard cutout of Daniel Craig in my bedroom, which my husband quietly tolerates.
Tell me who your favorite crushes are and some of the "wild" things you have done in regards to them, or comment to be entered to win one of the three digital copies of HOOKED that I will be giving away.
HOOKED is set on the wildest part of Alaska. The southwest side of Alaska above the Aleutian Chain, and as Sonya observes, "This is not the tourist friendly part of Alaska."
Bristol Bay is a place you survive. Many people don't. They are taken by the swift moving tides, frigid waters, weather, wildlife, or unsavory characters.
There are more returning sockeye (red) salmon to Bristol Bay than any other part of the world. The area goes from a few hundred people to thousands for one month a year as everyone tries to catch their fortunes in a very limited area and time span. It's rugged, untamed, and deadly.
The Double Dippin' cruising on plane.
Sonya is captain of the Double Dippin', a 32 foot bow picker. This is a different type of boat as the majority of drifters fish from stern pickers (see picture below).
Here is the actual picture of our family drift boat that I patterned Sonya's after. I even kept the name as she is fishing two types of gear like we do.
The following pictures are of the Naknek River and her drift fleet. As luck would have it all these pictures were taken on a fairly nice day, which is few and far between. You can see how close the fishermen and their gear are and how this creates a very dangerous situation.
--the prequel to HOOKED--I crash-landed the plane Skip and Wren were flying in on the banks between South Naknek and Egegik. Those of you who have read IMPACT will recognize Skip as he is one of my Alaska State Troopers policing the fishing alongside Garrett.
Here is how Garrett describes his surroundings, once Sonya travels out of his sights and he can focus on his something besides her.
Garrett pursed his lips and whistled under his breath as Sonya Savonski swaggered away from him, easily toting a duffel bag over her very capable shoulders. She wore a ball cap with a ponytail of dark hair hanging out the back. It seemed to tease him as it bounced side to side in time to her step. She was garbed in faded jeans, and a t-shirt with a picture of a king salmon. The words, “Size Does Matter” blazed in red lettering across her ample breasts.
Now there was a woman. Full mouth, full breasts, full hips. The trifecta. He’d never been able to resist that sexy combination. She must have sensed his scrutiny for she glanced back over her shoulder. He smiled. She frowned. He smiled wider. This summer was showing some promise.
Sonya sidled up to her four-wheeler, and Peter jumped on behind her. Nikolai had commandeered the other ATV for him and his wife. In a cloud of dust, they took off rumbling down the dirt road.
Garrett was definitely showing up for dinner.
Waiting for his own ride to manifest, he took a moment to look around. South Naknek didn’t have the postcard beauty of the Kenai Peninsula that he’d flown out of that morning, but it had a rough and ready appeal. An appeal that fit his mood as of late. He could use some getting back to nature and there wasn’t anything but nature at present. He’d spent too much time indoors, riding a desk, and needed some space around him. Nothing but space here. The only building next to the dirt-packed runway was a six-by-eight shack with a broken window and a doorway with no door. Someone with a sense of humor had painted a sign on the shed that read, “South Naknek International Airport.”
There wasn’t a tree to block the wind or the view. Bright green tundra with the bloom of summer ended in silt cliffs that broke the ocean as she tumbled her destructive way to shore. Industry dotted the coastline in the form of canneries to help process the catch of the “Red Salmon Capital of the World.”
South Naknek International Airport
A few points of interest:
1. Katmai National Park, with the largest gathering of brown bears in the world, is just fifty miles up river of South Naknek. As a result, we have a LOT of bears to deal with every summer. They're after catching fish too.
2. Many of the Deadliest Catch boats tender fish for us during the season. To name a few, the Northwestern, Cornia Marie, Kodiak, Marverk, and my favorite, the Time Bandit. I have met Andy and Jonathan Hillstrand, and have sailed aboard the Time Bandit during a hell of a storm where I spent most of it throwing up. I gave the Time Bandit a little cameo in HOOKED.
3. The Pebble Mine
--with the largest known gold deposits in the world--is located between two major river systems that flow into Bristol Bay (the Kvichak and Nushagak) and threatens the watershed of the last wild fishery in the world. You might want to take a minute and click on the link to see the potential damage this mine could do to the fragile eco-system of Bristol Bay.
Remember to comment to be entered to win one of three digital copies of HOOKED on release day.
On May 13th, HOOKED will be released! As with EDGE, I will be doing a week of blogging introducing you to the writing of HOOKED and giving away three digital copies to three lucky commenters.
The premise for HOOKED came easy. I was told, write what you know. Fishing has been a part of my life, well...for most of it. Growing up, my summers were spent commercial fishing either on Kodiak Island or in South Naknek, Alaska. There was a time I hated any mention of fish camp. It's fishy, wet, cold, isolated, and wild. As a child it was wondrous, as a teenager, hell. But as an adult, I fell in love with the adventure.
Therefore, it was natural for me to set a romantic suspense with fishing as the backdrop. What better conflict than to have a hero who was an Alaska State Trooper and a hell-bent on trouble drift boat captain as my heroine. Talk about sparks. Commercial fishing in Bristol Bay is like no other enterprise in the world. It's referred to combat fishing and that is a very adapt description. It's dangerous, deadly, and exciting as all get out.
There are two types of gill net fishing, drift and set. Usually the fishermen fish only one type of gear. My family set netted...until 2005. Then we threw in with drifters and did both types of fishing. As you can imagine, this caused some contention between the drifters and set netters. Tempers fly easily between fishermen...and people die.
Now, you're probably wondering how in the world could fishing be romantic? Suspenseful thriller, easy, but romance? You'll have to trust me. The romance between Garrett and Sonya rocks the boat.
Here is a scene one the first day of fishing and the first time Garrett demands to board Sonya's boat.
Boats churned up the gray, silt waters, and engines rumbled. Diesel fumes permeated the air, while seagulls squawked like hecklers overhead. Sonya wasn’t the only one needing to catch a lot of fish. For some fishermen, this was their only livelihood.
The juggling of constantly moving her boat, watching out for the other boats, and gauging the strong tide flooding the river took every bit of Sonya’s attention. She barely had any left to keep an eye out for the troopers.
They were everywhere, like gnats.
Planes and helicopters flew above. The Calypso, and high performance RHIBs—rigid-hulled inflatable boats, or what Sonya referred to as sharks—patrolled the water. Planters were stationed on shore. All were outfitted with high powered cameras and binoculars, watching and waiting for the slightest mistake.
Garrett was out there somewhere.
Sonya locked the door on that thought and mentally tossed the key overboard. She had enough to concentrate on. She didn’t need another distraction, and Garrett had already distracted her too much. It seemed in her experience that most fishermen were written up by the troopers for a loss of concentration. Something got away from them. There were the few cutthroats looking for any opportunity to bend the law to their advantage. After all, fishing was all about advantage. The best vantage point, the best fishing hole, the best boat, and the best crew.
“Heads up,” Gramps said. “We have fish cops twenty feet off the stern.”
Sonya glanced behind them. Sure enough there was the Calypso, a former drift boat the state used to “blend in” with the other fishermen. Any fisherman with any fish sense knew the Calypso for what she was.
A spy vessel.
“Looks like they want to board us,” Gramps said.
Peter pointed at the Calypso. “Do you see that?”
“Yes.” She nodded. They hadn’t done anything. Hell, they didn’t even have their net in the water. She glanced at the instrument panel and noticed the time. They didn’t have time for this. “Wes, Peter, prepare to get the net in the water.”
The Calypso angled alongside them. She heard Garrett’s voice clearly as he yelled from the deck of the trooper’s boat. “Double Dippin’, prepare to be boarded.”
Damn it all to hell. If this had something to do with last night, Garrett was out of line. With no choice, Sonya did as the law ordered. A rope flew over the side of her boat and Wes caught it, securing the boats together. Garrett leaped over, looking lethal in his dark blue uniform, trooper hat, and sunglasses. He glanced around the deck, nodded toward Wes and Peter, then zeroed in on her up in the pilot house.
"I need to talk to you."
Oh no, he did not. "I’m busy here. You realize that we’re about to drop our net."
He whipped off his sunglasses, his piercing eyes hard as ice. "Not before we speak. Don’t make me give you a safety inspection."
Double hell! He could hold them up indefinitely if she didn’t cooperate. "Gramps, hold her steady."
"Give him hell, Sonya. We need to get fishing."
"Plan to." Sonya slid down the rail of the stairs and stomped her way on deck toward Garrett. "What do you want?"
"You have a problem onboard."
"Yeah, I’m looking at it."
Feel free to ask anything. Over the next seven days, I will be picking three lucky commenters who will receive a free digital copy of HOOKED on it's release day, May 13th.
So let the questions and comments begin.
I'm a sucker for the first kiss. Two people sharing breath, a little of their souls, as their lips meet for the first time. That zing, rushing of blood, increasing of heart rate, and waves of dizziness as everything inside you wakes up.
One of my favorite things as an author is writing that first kiss. It says a lot on how the relationship will progress between the characters. Is it going to be sweet and innocent like a flower opening to the first warming rays of a spring sun? Or hot and fiery like chemicals combusting into a raging inferno. What if it's cold and calculating like an ice storm? Will the man take the lead or the woman? Who has the most to lose? How does the kiss either move the relationship forward or set it back? These questions are like candy to a writer like me.
Usually I have seen the kiss in my head before I have written a word. But not always. A lot of my books are like mixed up scenes in a movie that have yet to be edited. My work is to write them down, before I forget them, and somehow make sense of them. And once in a while, in the case of my upcoming release, HOOKED, the characters go completely off script and do their own thing regardless on how I try to corral them.
Here's a preview of Sonya and Garrett's first kiss in HOOKED coming May13th.
Sonya handed the goods to Garrett and then thought, what the hell. "Why don’t we get this out of the way?" With his hands occupied, she captured his face between hers, and kissed him.
Damn, his lips were as soft as they looked. It was the last coherent thought she had.
Garrett growled and yanked her flush against his chest. She heard the crunch of graham crackers beneath their feet and didn’t care. All she cared about was getting closer to him, which was probably physically impossible unless they lost some clothes. But she was willing to give it a go.
They broke apart as suddenly as they’d come together as though simultaneously realizing where the kiss was headed. It wasn’t the right time. Definitely not the right place.
"That was better than I thought it would be," she said, her voice huskier than she’d like, and for a moment she didn’t recognize it as her own.
"That’s an understatement." Garrett leaned back against the counter, breathing deep. "Maybe it was a fluke." He seemed to be talking to himself more than to her, as if trying to convince himself that what had just happened hadn’t really meant anything. She was all for agreeing with his argument. She didn’t want that kiss to mean anything either.
"Want to try it again?" she found herself asking. "You know—" she shrugged "—rule out the fluke factor?"
His eyes burned into hers, and he pushed himself away from the counter. She swallowed. He was big and imposing as he stepped toward her. Their bodies came into contact as his hands framed her face, diving deep into her hair and forcing her head back. He lowered his mouth until their breaths mixed, mated.
He paused, just before taking her mouth. "If I kiss you again, we won’t be leaving this cabin until after I get you naked."
You'll have to wait to read what happens between Sonya and Garrett. Until then, here is a little something. This is a music video of "Kiss the Girl" using the movie French Kiss, one of my favorites. There are two great kisses in this movie. The first kiss is on the train while Meg Ryan is sleeping. Kevin Kline's character is trying to retrieve something he hide in her backpack, and smuggling it into France. This kiss changes Kevin Kline's character. It's pivotal to this movie as her kiss wakes him up. Funny, that it all happens while she is dreaming. The last kiss shows so much emotion that it makes my heart swell in my chest every time I see it. I usually replay this kiss over and over at the end of the movie. The way that he fists his hands in the back of her dress says so much more than words can ever say. It's romantic, desperate, and shows up how very much he loves this woman. Brilliant. If you haven't seen this movie, it's a great romantic comedy with an amazing soundtrack.
What are some of your favorite book or movie kisses?