May 7, 2013

Contemporary: River City Series @ayersbooks #RLFblog


Thanks, Kayelle, for inviting me to be on your blog. I love visiting with new readers. For those of you who don't know me, I write River City novels. They aren't exactly a series, more like a collection. A series is supposed to be read in order, but the glue to my stories is the city itself so they stand alone. They are about young urbanites who live, work, and play in River City. Each one is trying to make the city a little better by volunteering or doing other things within the community.

I love writing these stories. Every one is unique. And if you put everyone into a room, you'll find a few are tight friends and some barely know each other. It's not unisual for old friends to show up in other stories. And if you do read them in order, it's fun. Spoiler: No, Dallas is not pregnant, yet.

When I started writing romance novels I started with Mac and Amanda. That book became Wanting. Amanda had been sexually abused as a child. She's repressed the painful memories and built a barrier to protect herself from ever being hurt again. Mac might want her, but it's going to take every bit of his strength to win her over while handling the demons of her past as they surface.

The second River City novel A New Beginning is Rick and Dallas' story. At eighteen Dallas finds herself kicked out of her home. With no place to go she turns to the one person that she knows who will take her in. Eleven years between them, suddenly Rick is coping with a brilliant but funky teen. She destroys his budget and his sterling reputation. He gives her the opportunity to grow up while fostering her artistic ability. But when Rick is charged with what amounts to kidnapping charges, there's more at stake than his reputation.

A Challenge is the third River City novel. It's Ari and Tate's story. Tate is an athlete and she falls hard for the handsome Ari. She accepts a job in River City to be near Ari, but the job doesn't go exactly as planned. When she discovers she's pregnant, she's got bigger problems.

The fourth River City is Forever. Letitzia has been burned by so many men that she doesn't want to become involved with another man. But Jeffery Lister, MD has fallen in love with her. She builds skyscrapers. He delivers babies. He's always assumed that one day he'd settle down and have a family, but he doesn't have time for them. Can two people with very busy jobs ever have time for more than a casual relationship?

Gerald and Katie's story is A Son. Certain that the child is not his, Katie's boyfriend kicks her out when she announces that she's pregnant. Katie's dreams of a happily-ever-after have been destroyed. Overweight and pregnant, she only wants to be healthy for the sake of her baby. Gerald offers to be her gym partner, but he's fallen in love with her. She doesn't want him tangled in her web. She'd determined to raise her child on her own and protect her son from the prejudice that still exists towards mixed-race children.

Coming later this month is the sixth River City novel, A Child's Heart. At eighteen, Trent graduated from high school, married, and took a job to support his pregnant wife. But when his wife went into labor, he suddenly became a widower with a newborn. The baby has the same heart defect as his mother and needs surgery. Four years later, little Shawn is scheduled for a delicate, experimental heart surgery. Trent's mom has made sure her son has been a good father, but when Cassie walks into Trent's life, everything changes. Cassie is older, has her PhD, and is the city's museum curator. To her, nothing is impossible. She's fallen in love with little Shawn and his daddy.

I love writing these romances because they are romances, but they are more slice of life stories. That means I include the life along with the romance. It's more realistic. We all know how hectic life can get and that impacts the love-life. But our daily lives is a major part of who we are. Strip that away and it's just another romance.

My River City novels do have a bit of heat to them. That heat level fluctuates by the characters. Some couples are more open and others are very restrained. In today's world, most people are not jumping in bed on the first date or even the third. They let those feeling build as they get to know one another. I'm never erotic, but I don't shut the bedroom door. Sex is a normal part of a loving relationship.

Here's a little sneak preview of A Child's Heart. That first kiss is always special and Cassie wasn't prepared for this one. Her intent was to give Shawn a few books.


Cassie gazed at Trent standing there in his work uniform. His name was written in an oval under the embroidered company name. "What exactly does River City Manufacturing manufacture?"
"Countertops. We measure, custom cut, and install counters for both commercial and home use."
"Oh. What do you do?"
"Everything. Mostly, I handle the computer and oversee the shop. It's a rather involved process. The measurements are dropped into the computer, which then runs the saws that cut the counters."
She followed him through the tiny house to the modern kitchen. "Cute kitchen."
"Thanks. My mom loves it. I tore out what existed a few years ago. I made the cabinets from scratch and the countertops are leftovers from a large job the company did awhile back."
He nodded, opened a cabinet, and withdrew two glasses. "I've got a small woodshop in the backyard."
"I'm impressed. You do beautiful work."
"Thanks." He handed her a glass of iced tea.
She put the two books on the counter and accepted the glass. Her fingers touched his, sending a spark though her body. Gazing into his face, she smiled. A golden blonde lock fell across his forehead, and she noticed slight dimples when he returned the smile. Broad shoulders filled his shirt, and golden hair covered his forearms. Desire filled her as she stared at the man with gray-blue eyes.
He returned the stare and she found herself lured to him. Golden brown eyelashes framed his penetrating gaze, taking a sip of the sweet liquid only enhanced the burning inside her. His fingers wrapped around the glass and removed it from her clutch as his mouth covered hers.
Sweet, probing kisses caused her to close her eyes, as she was drawn to him by the magnificent sensation that streamed through her body. Her hands found his shoulders, as his arms locked her into his embrace. Her hips swayed against the soft bulge in his pants. His hand on the small of her back pulled her tight to him. The room vanished, all that was left were two bodies pressed together.
His tongue danced with hers as her pelvis rode his hardening length. Her breasts burned as she clawed at the fabric covering his shoulders. It was primal, and she lost herself in the ancient ritual. Heat flowed through her until it peaked, causing a groan to escape her throat. Her lips unlocked from his, and she buried her face into his chest. The course material was permeated with the pungent smell of perspiration and oil. Inhaling deeply, it was nauseating, exciting, and very masculine. Reality hit, sending a jolt through her system. She let go of him and turned away. "I'm so sorry. I can't believe I just did that."
His hands grabbed her shoulders and pulled her back to him. "I'm not sure exactly what happened, but it was terrific." His breath flowed over her face as he spoke. "I should be apologizing to you. I've never spontaneously kissed someone before." His voice was deep and raspy. "I've heard it said that you can tell a lot from a first kiss, and that was one hell of a first kiss."
"I'm so embarrassed."
"Why? It was awesome." He pulled her tight to his body.
Her gaze locked with his as his lips once again touched hers. Her knees weakened and her body trembled. Wanting to flee, she found herself riveted in place. His tongue found hers. Heat coursed through her as the room began to swim. A cloud enveloped her until there was nothing.

"Hi, welcome back. Feeling any better?" Trent asked.
Cassie looked up at the man kneeling beside her. "What happened?"
"You fainted. I was about to call 9-1-1. You've been out for a few minutes." She started to sit up, but he gently pushed her back down. "You're not going anywhere. Take a couple of deep breaths."
"I'm fine."
He ran a finger across her cheek as he stared into her crystal blue pools. "You remind me of a china doll, perfectly beautiful."
"Please, let me get up."
"Slowly." He offered her his hand.
Making her sit at the kitchen table, he brought her the glass of iced tea and then pulled out a chair across from her. As he sat, a grin split his face and erupted into a chuckle. "I've kissed many a woman in my life, but I've never had that effect on one."
"I'm sorry, I have no idea what came over me."
"There you go apologizing again for something that requires none."
"I've never been that lost in a kiss, and I've never fainted before in my life. No, that's not right. I fainted one time after I gave blood when I was still in college."
"Gave blood on an empty stomach?"
"Bet you've got a empty stomach now."
She shook her head, as if trying to clear it. "Maybe. I ate a banana at some point today."
"That's it?"
"Ah, I think so. I skipped breakfast and drank a pot of coffee at work."
"You're not leaving here until you've eaten something nutritious and filling." He opened the refrigerator, put a generous helping of pot roast in a bowl, and stuck it in the microwave. When the microwave beeped, he handed her the bowl and a fork. "I'll be right back."
Her taste buds savored the delicious beef and potatoes. She devoured it with lightning speed. It had been years since she had a home-cooked meal. Memories of her family flooded her mind. The beautiful, old, stone house on the outskirts of Boston, her mom and dad, Emily Zoot making dinner for the family, and several noisy brothers teasing her. Now she was sitting in Trent's tiny kitchen, scraping the bowl with her fork to get every precious drop of gravy.
"Looks like you're ready for a piece of apple pie."
"It was delicious, but I'm not sure I have room for pie." She gazed at Trent, now freshly showered and wearing a tee shirt and jeans. Her heart sighed.
"Make room."
Her heart had plenty of room for him, but she wasn't sure her stomach could handle more.
River City Novels 

Previous Books

Wanting (A River City Novel)
A New Beginning (A River City Novel)
A Challenge (A River City Novel)
Forever (A River City Novel)
A Son (A River City Novel)
A Fine Line (a novella) *
Mariners Cove (a novella)
Ask Me Again (a novella)
A Skeleton at Her Door (a novella)
A Snowy Christmas in Wyoming (a novella) *
A Cowboy's Kiss in Wyoming (a novella) *
A Love Song in Wyoming (a novella) *

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  1. Glad to have you here today, E. :)

    1. This has been so much fun. I've really enjoyed it. Thank you for having me.

  2. I always love to read your stuff, E! And I like the idea of different stories with the city setting as the glue, rather than a series. Thanks for sharing, Meredith

    1. Hi, Meridith. so happy to see you here. I hope to be writing these River City books for another twenty years. There will always be young people growing up in or moving to River City. I'm thrilled that you love my books. Thank you so much for stopping by.

  3. I like the same city stories too. The town is as much a character as the people are. Good job.

    1. Thank you, Jane for stopping by. Yes, the town/city is a character and River City has become very real to me. I actually had to create a map to keep it all straight.

  4. I love the idea of a bunch of stories all happening in the same place. Seeing little cross-overs tucked here and there are like finding treasure. :) Nice work E. Best luck.


    1. Waving a big hello to Rose. I'm so glad you stopped by. Being able to reuse characters and places, as needed, is fun for the readers. I hope all my readers enjoy River City. Just like any city, it has it's good points and it's bad ones, but it makes it all very realistic. Thanks.

  5. River City is a wonderful collection of heart-felt stories. Don't miss them!

    1. Thank you, Michele, for stopping by. And thank you for your kind words. I'm so glad you've enjoyed them.


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