Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: OUT OF PLAY

For the next few weeks I'm going to share some favorite quotes or teasers from my previously released books for Teaser Tuesday. I miss visiting with some of my favorite characters! I'm starting this week with OUT OF PLAY, the book I cowrote with Jolene Perry. It's available now from Entangled Publishing.

Rock star drummer Bishop Riley doesn't have a drug problem. Celebrities—especially ones suffering from anxiety—just need a little help taking the edge off sometimes. After downing a few too many pills, Bishop wakes up in the hospital facing an intervention. If he wants to stay in the band, he’ll have to detox while under house arrest in Seldon, Alaska.
Hockey player Penny Jones can't imagine a life outside of Seldon. Though she has tons of scholarship offers to all the best schools, the last thing she wants is to leave. Who'll take care of her absentminded gramps? Not her mother, who can’t even be bothered to come home from work, let alone deal with their new tenants next door. Penny’s not interested in dealing with Bishop’s crappy attitude, and Bishop’s too busy sneaking pills to care. Until he starts hanging out with Gramps and begins to see what he’s been missing. If Bishop wants a chance with the fiery girl next door, he’ll have to admit he has a problem and kick it. Too bad addiction is hard to kick…and Bishop’s about to run out of time.

I loved writing this book. It's a blend of funny and serious. Jolene and I laughed so hard while writing it. Bishop is this rich, rockstar totally out of his element in Alaska. And Penny is this tough hockey player that loves giving him crap.

On the other hand, Bishop has some really serious demons he's fighting--an addiction to pills. It was an emotional journey, that's for sure.

Okay, here are some favorite quotes and a few Bishop visuals.

I decided to share a funny teaser instead of a serious one (though if you check out the first chapter sample, it kills me every time). This is the first time Bishop and Penny meet. Remember he is TOTALLY out of his element in Alaska. And he's a rock star who almost OD'd so he's supposed to be in hiding. Oh, and he forgot to buy boots :)

Shoving my hands in my pocket, I move to turn away when I hear, “Hey!”

“Damn,” I mumble under my breath before I start to walk her way. Maybe she can let me know who delivers all the way out here. Chinese sounds bomb.

“What’s up?” I nod my head before looking toward the ground. I’m awesome at disguises.

I hear her chuckle and glance up at her to see her eyes are on my feet. Yeah, I know I’m not wearing the right shoes. She doesn’t have to be cocky about it. “Something funny?”

“No, no.” She tries to play it off, but I can still see the smirk lingering. “Can you help me with something real quick?” she asks, while I’m busy watching her face. Trying to look for any signs that she recognizes who I am.

“Sure.” I shrug, finding the ground again with my eyes. She leads me to a huge toolbox—one of those tall, heavy ones.

“I’m Penny Jones, by the way,” she says over her shoulder. The garage door is open and she’s only wearing a hoodie.

“Bishop Ri—” Oh, shit. I forgot I’m not supposed to use my full name. I look at her as she licks her bright red lips. “Ripe.”

Her forehead wrinkles. “Bishop Ripe?”

Yeah. So I’m an idiot. Who gives a shit? “Problem with that?”

Penny shakes her head, but I can tell she’s fighting another laugh. Not that I wouldn’t be laughing in her situation.

“I need to roll this over to the car, but the wheels are messed up. Sometimes they fall off, so can you stay on the other side just in case?” Her voice is kind of a mix of snark and sweet—the sweet feels like a contrast to her strong, tall build. And somehow, I have a feeling the quiet sweetness is her camouflage. Like she’s a black widow or something and could bite my head off at any second. Or maybe I’m being paranoid because I’m in the land of Ice Road Truckers.

“I’ll push it over for you.” The car’s at the end of the garage, but it’s a slight decline.

“If only one person could do it, I wouldn’t need your help. If you wanna push, let me hold this end steady.” She doesn’t sound pissed, but maybe a little annoyed. She stands in the front like I’m actually going to need her help with this thing. I can be a little annoyed, too.

“It’ll be fine,” I tell her before getting behind it and pushing. Seriously, how many people does it take to push a toolbox?

“Whatever you say.” She stands back and smirks, like she knows a private joke I’m not a part of.

Holding my end I start to walk. The thing slides as easily as it should and I start to wonder if she really just wanted an excuse to talk to me or something.

I keep pushing and walking, when suddenly the front wheels fall off and the thing to comes to a dead stop.

Unfortunately for me, I don’t have super breaks and can’t stop that quickly. My head rams right into the stupid metal box in front of me. “Shit!” I grab my nose, which pulses with pain.

“Oh my God!” The Snow Queen steps toward me, but I hold my other hand up to tell her to stay put. I definitely don’t need the “I told you so” from some Alaskan chick I just met. Especially someone as smug as she seems to be.

“I told you to let me help. Are you okay?” She’s cocking her head to each side like she’s trying to look around my hand. There isn’t nearly enough concern in her voice considering I probably just broke my nose. Our publicist is going to freak if Don’s stunt ruins his promo photos for our next tour.

“I’m fine.” Then I feel something running down my wrist. Nice. I’m bleeding. I ran into a toolbox, broke my nose, and now it’s not only bleeding but I look like I’m crying in front of the Snow Queen. I should have packed a few more pills. I had no idea there would be so much stress up here.

“Tilt your head back and come inside. I’ll get you cleaned up.” Still no worry. Like this is no big deal and people break their noses in her garage all the time. But then she glances back and I think there might be a little concern in her eyes.

Part of me wants to tell her I’m not going anywhere with her, but it’s cold and my nose hurts so I follow her out of the garage, around the front of the house and through an unpainted metal door. When we walk inside, the only light comes from a small window lighting up racks of helmets and black duffel bags of who knows what. Snow gear hangs from a bar on the wall and almost every other surface. The floors and wall are wooden, and there are about five refrigerators down here. That’s strange as hell.

Maybe it’s where they keep the bodies.

Fucking Don and his need to get me up here—he’ll be sorry when I end up in pieces in someone’s freezer in a crazy house in Alaska.

I pause when my eye catches the back corner of this big open space. It looks like there’s an old trailer stuck inside the house. A trailer. Inside the house. Definitely crazy people.

She jogs up the open wooden stairs, and once again, I follow. The stairs stop in the kitchen, which is really just half the upstairs with a huge-ass picnic table in the middle of it and windows all along the front. I can see Gary is still outside, that same grin on his face. God, they talk more than teenage girls.

My eyes are still watering, but this is the craziest house I’ve ever been in. I blink a few times. The other half of this floor is full of old couches, an ancient TV, and has a few dead animals on the wall. It’s creepy. I need to get my ass back to California.

“Sit,” she tells me, and I find myself plopping onto the bench, resting my weight against the table. I drop my head back and she gives me a towel. “Pinch it.”

“I know what I’m doing.” The last bloody nose I got was when I got in a fight my freshman year. I pinch my nose like she says anyway, though, and look at the wood ceiling. Maybe I should tell these people it’s possible to make houses in something other than wood.

“I’ll be right back,” she says.

I wish I had stayed in the cabin and let the walls close in on me. She stops close when she comes back, and something like vanilla mixed with oil and gasoline drifts around me.

“This might suck a bit at first.” She chuckles before cramming something up one of my nostrils.

“What the fuck?” I yell, pushing forward.

She doesn’t even flinch or apologize or anything. “I know it sounds crazy, but all the hockey players use tampons for bloody noses. They’re the most in-demand item in the first aid kit.”

“So you help with the team or something?” I’m trying to be nice here, but it’s a struggle.

She frowns and shoves something up my other nostril, harder than the first.

Wait. “Tampons?”

“Feel better?” She gives me a fake smile that tells me she knows damn well I don’t feel better and that I did something to piss her off.

“Yeah, incredible. You’ve got an awesome bedside manner. Thinking about being a doctor?”

She looks like she wants to punch me, which is kind of funny and strangely hot.

“Absolutely. Everyone likes doing stuff they’re good at, right?” She gives me a small smile like she’s having fun with me, not mocking me. Yeah right.

I don’t know how to react to this and, honestly, I’m done playing games with her. My feet are soaking wet and cold, I’m covered in blood, my nose aches. Oh, and I have feminine products shoved up my nostrils. “Listen, thanks for...”

Breaking my nose? Actually, I’m not sure I have anything to thank her for. I stand up. It feels like the bleeding is completely stopped, I might admit it could be the tampons, which are coming out the second I leave this place. Now all I want is something good to eat and the lumpy cabin mattress.

Not that I’ve been sleeping or anything. Long days and longer nights when my eyes won’t stay closed and my brain feels like it does on stage.

“I’m going to head back. Do you have the number for any delivery places?”

The smirk is back. “Delivery? Didn’t anyone tell you, you’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto?” Then she does it. She laughs and even though it might be kind of funny, it pisses me off. She must be able to tell because she says, “I’m sorry. I’m not laughing at you. I swear.”

“Nice. Thanks for the hospitality, Snow Queen.”

I still hear her giggling as I walk away and head down the stairs. I’m going back to my stupid cabin, and taking some ibuprofen because of my broken nose. Hopefully along the way, I’ll forget I ever saw this chick. I’m just about to close the door when I hear. “Catch ya later, Bishop Ripe.”

Did I mention I fucking hate Alaska?

OUT OF PLAY is available now!


Barnes and Noble

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1 comment:

  1. You two created a really engaging character. Love the images, Bishop rocks.


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