Beautiful Scars…print release!

If you like my contemporary stuff, I’ve got a print release for ya… it’s already out in ebook, released last year, but it’s available in print this month. Beautiful Scars “Finally,” he muttered. From the corner of his eye, he saw Chaili slip him an amused glance, the lush curve of her mouth canting up. Damn it, that mouth. He’d noticed her mouth before…how could he not, but he was having a damned hard time keeping himself from staring at it nonstop tonight.

It was slicked with something that stained it with a sinful shade of red and all he wanted to do was cup her face in his hands and taste that mouth. Normally, he’d be inclined to do just that.

Except this was Chaili. He remembered the last time he’d tried that sort of thing with a friend. It had gotten all fucked up. Not that Chaili would ever do anything like that, but even aside from that, he didn’t think it was a good idea to screw up a friendship just because he’d suddenly realized she was a gorgeous woman.

Well, no. He’d always known that. And there’d been a time when he’d actually wanted to spend more time with this gorgeous woman. But it hadn’t been doable and when he’d been back in town, she’d already been involved with Tim… Shit.

“Are you okay?” Chaili asked softly.

“Stupid party,” he said, shrugging his shoulders and pretending his problems rested solely on a dislike he knew she was familiar with. He’d never been much for socializing, a fact she knew well.

Chaili laughed softly, tipping her head back to the sky. Moonlight shone down on her, gilding the hollows and curves of her face, her neck. Fuck, she was beautiful. She’d been pretty in high school, but now… She looked over at him, a faint smile still on her lips.

“You know, if you hate this so much, why go?”

“I’m supposed to.” He shrugged. Spying a bench just ahead, he kept walking, still holding her hand. He didn’t feel any desire to break that contact, either. As long as she didn’t seem to mind.

“Well, Mom sometimes told me I was supposed to clean my plate, eat my lima beans and all that nasty stuff. I did it, but that doesn’t mean it was good for me.”

Chuckling, he sat down on the bench, straddling it so that he’d be able to look at her without craning his neck around. “Well, sometimes this life is toxic, I think. My manager thinks it’s a good idea to do this shit, but I mostly came because I know the guy throwing it, because it’s a good cause and all. Caleb is…well…a friend. If it wasn’t him, I would have ignored it.” He shrugged it off, then focused on her. He was pretty damn certain he hadn’t talked to Chaili for more than five minutes without Shera being around in years. And even then, Chaili was usually working. There were emails and sometimes he’d get to thinking of her and call, but the calls were sporadic and email, well, it just wasn’t the same. “I don’t see you much anymore.”

“Well, it would be rather hard.” She crossed her legs.

Marc managed not to stare at the long, sleek length for more than a second. Yes, it’s rather hard, he thought absently. Getting harder by the seco—

He was ogling his sister’s best friend. His friend. Chaili was his friend too. She’d been his friend for a damn long time. And it didn’t matter, because his cock didn’t care that this was a friend. Didn’t care that he had this thing about fucking friends—that hadn’t gone over well, right?

“After all, you kind of trot all over the world for about five months out of the year and when you’re not trotting, you’re holed up in New York working on another album. Once in a blue moon, you dash down here, but well…” She ended with a shrug. “Kind of hard for us to talk much or see each other when you’re never in Chicago.”

He tore his gaze away from her, staring off toward the house, blindly focused on the little lights in the trees. “I’ve been busy,” he said gruffly. I’ve been hiding.

“Oh, I know. I’m proud of you.” She tugged her hand, a subtle request that he let go, but he wasn’t too inclined to listen to subtle. After a second, she stopped and he glanced over at her just in time to see her reaching up with her free hand. She stilled for the briefest moment and then continued, brushing his hair back from his face. “I always knew you’d make it, you know. You were so determined to do it, and you did.”

He let go of the hand he’d been holding to catch her wrist, turning his face into her palm. The scent of her, something light and soft, had taunted him all night and he wanted to find the source of it, see if she’d dabbed it on her neck or between her breasts…it was just the slightest bit stronger on her wrist and he wanted to open his mouth, rake his teeth along her skin…

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And there is a giveaway/blog tour on this one, too.

Wicked Readings by Tawania 1/7/2014
Fab Fantasy Fiction 1/8/2014
The Reading Addict 1/9/2014
Reviews by Crystal 1/13/2014
That’s What I’m Talking About 1/14/2014
Ripe For Reader 1/15/2014
Viviana, Enchantress of Books 1/16/2014
Queen of the Night Reviews 1/16/2014
Book Loving Pixie 1/17/2014
Smile Somebody Loves You 1/20/2014
Salacious Reads 1/20/2014
Harlie’s Books 1/21/2014

There’s something about this book that stayed with me. The story~ Chaili~and other things. Namely, things like perceived beauty, physical flaws and how we accept those flaws in others. The cover artist and I had to do several go arounds to get this one right, and in the end, I was the one who selected the image. She fit, in my head, the image of the heroine. For reasons that I won’t go into (you’ll have to read the book to understand), we had to be very specific about the female model and how she was depicted on the cover. Complicate it more by the fact that the book is an erotic romance….yeah. It was hard. Anyway, I found this image and both of them worked. I mean, perfectly. Right around the time the book came out, somebody had made a comment about the heroine’s image…basically that she looked anorexic. (She’s not, but…) She was lean. She’d done running, both track and long-distance running in school and a number of people who are really into that level of fitness won’t have a lot of extra body mass on them.

In her twenties, though…something pretty hard smacked Chaili across the head, and it left behind physical marks–physical as in…a woman who had been lean but healthy had to fight just to eat. During the course of the book, she was getting back to her healthier state, but that time in her life, from a few years earlier had left it’s mark.

I guess that’s part of why the comments stuck…it wasn’t even that they were criticizing the cover. Most of the comments were that the cover was pretty, it’s just the woman..wasn’t. Nor was this just one or two comments. It came up on a couple of different blogs.

I had people email after reading that they’d seen comments and once they read Chaili’s story, they got it. The cover, the title, the model…they all made sense.

I think what bothers is me is how some just called the woman’s physical appearance ‘gross’ and ‘unsexy’ it is to be that skinny.

As I’ve mentioned, Chaili’s weight~and more importantly, her health and life~ had been an issue. It affected her body image and how she saw herself. Her own way of seeing herself was pretty much screwed up.

Comments slanted toward how unsexy a skinny woman is have always rubbed me wrong. I mean, I’m overweight and I get irritated when people say a plus-sized woman ~sized 16~ can’t be sexy. So is it really fair to say that a very slim woman isn’t sexy either?

Now I don’t think it’s cool the way Hollywood and society are constantly pushing the airbrushed, photoshopped, hollow-cheeked so-called image of ‘beauty’ at us. But if a woman seems/is healthy…and the model on the cover does look to be…the full version is here, then isn’t that more important than whether she’s a perfect size six, or hour-glassed or looking like Marilyn Monroe? The woman is slim, but she has muscle tone. She’s just lean-as the heroine of my story is. Life had left some harsh marks on her, but she’s learning to accept who is.

Sexy…goes deeper than just the skin. Beauty goes deeper than just the skin. Which is kinda what Beautiful Scars is about…I mean… that’s what the title refers to.