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FIRST KISS is now available! Click image for details.

Elaina Lee, author of the uber-amazing (and mega tasty) romantic suspense WRITTEN IN BLOOD, is back with a brand new release, FIRST KISS.  Get your pucker ready, because after you indulge in this lip-smacking intro to the book, you’ll have a chance to win an e-copy of your very own.  Has Friday ever been so fab?

Welcome, Elaina!  It’s great to have you back.  FIRST KISS touches on one of those situations some readers dream of, while others might dread:  running into an old “first.”  Did the idea come from any particular experience in your past, or was it inspired by something else? 

This story was actually based on a writing challenge in a crit group I belonged to.  We had to take a picture, which I can’t remember what it was, and chose ONE line.  The theme was new beginnings.  It happened to be right around New Years, so I thought, how perfect!  The first kiss of the New Year!  And how better to add anxiety to that moment, than for her first kiss to actual be with… her first kiss ever!  😀

That’s a fantastic premise!  And the plot thickens …  do you have any experience with music labels? How much research did you have to do for this aspect of your story?

Absolutely none.  I didn’t actually have to research labels for this, I did have to research her job though, and I watched videos, read manuals and studied job requirements.  🙂

Seriously, could we HAVE better jobs?  Isn’t it awesome how we can dig into our characters like that?  Without revealing too much, what’s your favorite part of the book?  

When she’s running through her old neighborhood and remembers doing it as a teen.  All those old memories come rushing back, how she felt, how she dressed, being with her friends… it was really fun to write.

Aw, man, that’s like hearing an old song- it just all comes rushing back.  I bet those words flew!  Of course, words don’t always cooperate.  Can you give us an outtake of FIRST KISS?  Is there a scene that didn’t make the cut?  What about a plot point you decided to abandon?

Actually no, there weren’t.  The story was so short and wrote pretty tight, that removing anything would have messed up the plot.  Now Written in Blood, my romantic suspense,  that’s a whole different story. *wink*

Oh, yes.  I still think about that one scene.  Seriously … I STILL think about it!  Okay, before I get too carried away in those memories and embarrass myself, LOL, set us up for this excerpt from FIRST KISS.

Michelle has been fighting with herself all night NOT to go to Alexander’s house and make a mistake, but he’s pretty convincing and here has managed to get her to his front door… will he get her upstairs after all?

Oooh, let’s hope he does!  Shall we?

On the way to the elevator, a stiff breeze blew through the parking garage. Michelle wrapped her arms around her waist, trying to stave off the cold. Why hadn’t she brought a wrap or coat? Because then she’d have had one more stop to make before reaching freedom at the party.
“Here,” Alexander said, shrugging off his jacket. “You’re wearing next-to-nothing.”
Michelle wasn’t going to disagree. Accepting the jacket, she tried not to make a show of inhaling the faint scent clinging to the fabric. The heat of his body still filled the inside, instantly warming her. “I didn’t take you for the gentlemanly type.”
He winked, his hand slid back into hers. “Well, only extreme situations such as freezing to death bring it out in me I’m afraid.”
Confusion filled her at his kindness. She knew better than to believe he cared or looked for anything more than a night with her. Truth of the matter was Michelle didn’t want to spend New Year’s evening alone either. They stepped onto the elevator, the stench of urine and cigarette smoke strong. Luckily, the ride was short and non-panic inducing.
The doors opened. Sweet outside air filled the small area, and Michelle released her held breath. Out on the sidewalk they turned left. Alexander jogged across the street, holding her hand tightly as she attempted to keep up in heels. He slowed when they reached the corner and pulled her closer into his side.
“You had some questions?” she asked. “That is the reason I’m walking with you.”
They stopped before a six-story brick building, smaller than the two surrounding the structure. He leaned down, his mouth brushed against her cheek to her ear. Michelle closed her eyes. The subtle tones of his cologne filled her head. The soft, fluttering touch of his lips to her ear sent a quiver through her stomach. Far too long had passed since she’d felt the rush of excitement, the anticipation of a lover’s embrace.
“Are you sure that’s the only reason?” he whispered. The warmth of his breath sent shivers dancing across her skin. “Come up with me, I have something I want to show you.”
Michelle tried to keep the haze of desire he so expertly weaved from clouding her judgment. The effort was a losing battle. “Just like you needed to talk to me? I should really—”
His lips covered hers, gentle, undemanding. For a second time that night, she found herself caught off guard. To her anxiety or pleasure though, he didn’t pull away. His hand left hers, trailing up the jacket sleeve to her neck. He eased his cool fingers along the sensitive flesh, his mouth opening. Michelle’s stomach leapt. The wet, firm tip of his tongue traced the length of her bottom lip. Slowly she opened her mouth, almost jumping out of her skin when his tongue slid along hers.
In unhurried, toying strokes, he kissed her. The street faded away. Michelle comprehended nothing but Alexander and the intoxicating, dangerous kiss he gave her. He pulled away, and she leaned forward for a brief second, not registering the broken spell.
“Come upstairs,” he whispered against her mouth, kissing her briefly again.
“Okay,” she sighed out.
Willpower, what the hell was that? Michelle wondered, stumbling up the stairs. Oh yeah, her self-discipline was sorely lacking.With a roll of her eyes, she followed him into the dim foyer. Too late now, she’d already walked into the devil’s lair. The mahogany wood floor, stairs and dark painted walls gave the small entry to the elevator and stairs a foreboding air. Alexander didn’t use the elevator; instead he walked the stairs. Michelle pressed her hand to her stomach in an attempt to quell her nervousness. She’d never been tense before a promising night, why should she care now?
The answer was stupidly clear, she’d never been promised a night with a man like Alexander Trent. Three steps ahead of her, Michelle attempted to convince herself he was no different than any other man. Sure, some, well okay, a lot of people knew him and thousands of women would kill to be exactly where she was at that moment.
Yet, what she felt for Alexander went beyond his fame, beyond the way he made her feel with just the stroke of a few keys. She was doing this to prove she hadn’t held every kiss to an impossibly high standard because none had compared to her first. To prove finally, her fantasies had no foundation to live on anymore. These were the reasons she followed him. With saddened admission, she knew she was probably going to fail in her quest. So far, the man was everything she’d expected and more. Damn it!
All right, she figured, the situation could be salvaged. Like every other male, once he walked through the door, and knew himself to be victorious, he’d start slobbering all over her and drag her straight to the bedroom. The normal behavior would put Alexander down with the rest of the assholes she’d managed to fall in step with. Perfect. With a secret smile, she waited behind him at his front door.

Want the rest of the story?  Check out the blurb, then leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of your own!

A kiss can change everything…

A passionate night turns into something unexpected, a chance at happiness. Until a cynical mistake and costly lie shatter everything.

When Michelle Seaborne is assigned Alexander Trent at the music label she works for, she knows she’s in for a rough time. Fifteen years ago, Alexander was her first kiss. The moment, and his handsome face, have haunted Michelle’s dreams ever since. Of course, he doesn’t remember her. So, if she plays her cards carefully, he won’t, and they can move on with the project, her heart unscathed. What she doesn’t count on is a sensuous night in his arms, and the hope for something more. Any beliefs for a relationship are dashed when Alexander hands her a box, a thank you for a night, and a goodbye.

A man can only make so many mistakes, and Alexander is ready to stop making them. At least, that’s what he keeps telling himself. An unexpected passion filled night changes everything, and unsure of the future he can give, he does the only thing he knows how. He ends anything before it can begin. Something about Michelle pulls at his memory though. Despite her assurance they’ve never met, Alexander can’t help but wonder, how does he know her? As doubts about Michelle’s words grow, so do his feelings towards her. Only now, how does he redeem himself?