Under the Covers with Caroline Clemmons

LR: Please welcome Caroline Clemmons to Under the Covers with Lynne. First important question. Silk, satin, cotton, flannel. What is your sheet of choice and why?


CC: High thread count permanent pressed cotton. I love the smooth feel of the cotton against my skin.

LR: Sometimes it’s almost better than silk! Okay, now that we have that out of the way. What snacks would you like? It’s a party, calories don’t count.

CC: Chips, salsa, guacamole, chocolate. Maybe some of Braum’s Bordeaux Cherry Amaretto frozen yogurt. Oops, did I just gain a pound? That’s how easily I gain—just thinking about yummy treats packs it on.

LR: You and me both, but I must say you look ravishing. Let’s play red carpet and tell the readers what you’re wearing.

CC: A nightie. I prefer luxurious satin tricot with satin trim in a knee length with low neck and sleeveless. It will be either blue or lavender.

LR: When playing truth or dare, would you pick truth or dare?

CC: I’m not fond of games and don’t think I’d be playing truth or dare, but if I were it would be truth. That doesn’t mean I’d actually answer truthfully, you know.

LR: Fair enough. : ) What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

CC: The most daring thing I’ve ever done was laugh when I received a bomb threat over the phone. Maybe that was stupid rather than daring. I thought I recognized the voice of the caller, knew he was angry over legislation a group I was in was spearheading, but didn’t think he’d actually carry out the threat. It was all just so surreal and ridiculous, I laughed at the poor man. When I saw him at a meeting a few days later, I stared then smiled at him and he had the grace to blush. I don’t think real bombers blush, do you?

LR: No, I don’t… but you’re more daring than I am! Will you tell us something not very many people know?

CC: I figure the above is something most people don’t know. Other truth, hmm, I drove on Germany’s Autobahn before the speed limit was instituted, but I only went 85, which I believe is now the speed limit. Fast enough for me!

LR: Very cool! Okay, how about some personal questions? What would you consider a romantic date?

CC: You’ll be so disappointed in me, but I like dinner out and then back home to watch a nice movie.

LR: That’s not disappointing. I love dinner and a movie. If you could take a date anywhere in the world, where would it be?

CC: Ireland!

LR: What is your favorite thing to eat?

CC: TexMex any time of day.

LR: What is your favorite color?

CC: A sort of lavender blue I call periwinkle.

LR: I had a bird named Periwinkle. ; ) What is your favorite time of day?

CC: I am so not a morning person, and I like evening best.

LR: You and me both! What is your favorite flower?

CC: A pink rose.

LR: What is your favorite season?

CC: Fall because the weather is nice and we are looking forward to the holidays, and summer’s horrid heat is over.

LR: If you could have any car, which would it be?

CC:Probably a Toyota Highlander hybrid. Or one of the new completely electric cars. Surprised? I drive a Lincoln town car now, which I love and which gets good mileage, but think we need to become more green.

LR: With the price of gas? No not surprised. ;) Who is your favorite actress?

CC: Meryl Streep—the woman can play anyone and do so very well.

LR: What is a movie you could watch over and over?

CC: I love romantic comedies and watch my favorites over and over. Two of my favorites are “Dave” and “French Kiss.” New favorites are “Leap Year” and “Miss Pettigrew Has Her Day.”

LR: What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

CC: Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper

LR: What is your favorite alcoholic drink?

CC: Margarita, blended, especially if served with chips, salsa and/or TexMex food.

LR: Great! I’ll mix up some Margaritas to drink with our chips and salsa! What inspired you to start writing?

CC: I’ve always made up stories, but a journalism teacher inspired me to write. I loved reading, but my mother-in-law inspired me to turn my loves of writing and reading in to a book. My dad had encouraged me early on. My husband has always been very supportive of my writing.

LR: How did your friends/relatives react when you told them you wanted to be a writer?

CC: My family and friends were supportive. I was sorry I’d mentioned I was writing a book to anyone but my husband and daughters. People don’t understand that writers are not like the celebrities that have a book on the stands three weeks after they’ve been in a famous trial (a la O. J. Simpson). An ordinary writer doesn’t write, sell, and have released a book in a few weeks. When I told my mom I’d sold and when my book would be released, she thought I was teasing. She said, “No, really, when will it be out?”

LR: Or they wonder when you’re going to buy the Mercedes. ; ) What is the best piece of advice on writing you’ve ever received?

CC: Don’t give up! I like to quote Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never give up.” I also like Calvin Coolidge’s quote about perseverance: “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded Genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and Determination alone are omnipotent.”

LR: Very good advice. What kind of goals to you set for yourself when writing? Word count? Page count?

CC: Generally, I set page goals rather than word count goals. If I’m on a deadline, I divide the page numbers I need by the time I have left to write so I know how many pages a day I need to complete to reach the deadline and have time to edit. If I’m on my own time, I like to do five or more pages a day. Life usually interferes, however, so some days I exceed the goal while others I don’t get anything written.

LR: Do you listen to music while you write?

CC: Yes, I listen to classical music when I write, usually Mozart. I like Don Campbell’s Mozart Effect theory. Listening to classical music while I write really does stimulate my creativity and help the rhythm of my typing.

LR: Do you have a favorite song? The favorite depends on my mood. It might be Rascal Flatt’s “Movin’ On” or one by Carole King, Ella Fitzgerald, Rod Stewart, Sting, or Mary Chapin Carpenter. Yes, I am a moody person.



LR: Where were you when you heard your first book was contracted. What did you do?

CC: I was in the kitchen. I could hardly wait to tell my husband.

LR: Tell us about your newest release.

CC: THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE is a western historical set in 1885 Texas. In it, horse breeder and rancher Dallas McClintock saves Cenora Rose O’Neill from kidnappers and is shot by them before he kills them. He’s taken to Cenora’s family to have his wounds tended and is trapped into marrying her by her wily father, Sean O’Neill. Not only that, but Dallas inherits Cenora’s eccentric family and the additional crises they create.

LR: Sounds interesting! Do you have anything in the works?

CC: I always have something else in the works! LOL I’m working on a time travel romance with one critique group and a cozy mystery with another critique group.

LR: Do you write full time or part time?

CC: I write full time when—as I said above—life doesn’t interfere.

LR: Who is your favorite character in your novels?

CC: My favorite characters are always the latest ones. However, I have to say Dallas McClintock from THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE is closest to a hero I would want, which means closest to my husband’s traits—honor, loyalty, stability, handsome, tall, loving. Can you tell I’m happily married?

LR: If you could have lunch with one writer, who would it be?

CC: Probably Nora Roberts. She inspired me to write, and I believe she has inspired thousands. Also, I know she’s done some really kind things without taking credit for them or making a big deal out of her good works. She is a consistently prolific writer.

LR: She has inspired many! What is your favorite part of being a romance writer?

CC: I get to work at home in my old clothes, no makeup, and create worlds. I get to be a goddess and bring characters to life. I travel to different time periods and live vicariously through the people in my head and never have to leave home. What could be better?

LR: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

CC: If I had lots of cash (how would that feel?) I would spend spring around Austin TX, summer in Estes Park, Colorado, winter where I live now, and spend fall in Ireland.

LR: Fall in Ireland sounds wonderful! Where can we find you?

Website http://www.carolineclemmons.com/

Blog http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com/ with regular appearances on http://sweetheartsofthewest.blogspot.com/, http://seducedbyhistory.blogspot.com/, and http://www.blogger.com/goog_1887866637

Twitter @CarolinClemmons, Facebook, Goodreads and others

You can find Caroline's books here.


Blurb:

Cenora Rose O’Neill knows her father somehow arranged the trap for Dallas, but she agrees to wed handsome stranger. She’d do anything to protect her family, and she wants to save herself from the bully Tom Williams. A fine settled man like Dallas will rid himself of her soon enough, but at least she and her family will be safely away from Tom Williams.



Texas rancher Dallas McClintock has no plans to wed for several years. Right now, he’s trying to establish himself as a successful horse breeder. Severely wounded rescuing Cenora from kidnappers, Dallas is taken to her family’s wagon to be tended. He is trapped into marrying Cenora, but he is not a man who goes back on his word. His wife has a silly superstition for everything, but passion-filled nights with her make up for everything—even when her eccentric family drives him to distraction.



This excerpt is from their first night home on Dallas’s ranch after their marriage several weeks before. Everyone else in the house has turned in and now it’s their turn:

Dallas tugged Cenora behind him as he raced up the stairs.

“You’re fair dragging me, man. Show a care o’ me leg bones, will you?”

“I have plans for those lovely, long leg bones,” he promised, but slowed his stride.

“Thank you,” she said, fanning her face with her fingers. Then she tugged on his hand. “Saints preserve us, right now all me thoughts of legs are of winding me own around you.”

“How can you expect me to walk slow when you talk like that?” He blew out the candle and scooped her up.

She nestled against him and her sigh fanned her sweet breath against his neck as he hurried to their room.

When they were inside he kicked the door shut behind them and set her on the bed. He closed the curtains and lit the bedside lamp. Soft light played across her perfect features.

“At last we have privacy without cracks the next morning about our creaking wagon.”

“And tonight when we sleep ‘twill be in a bed that fits yourself with room for me as well.”

“That’s the best part, Cenora, you’ll be beside me.”

He meant it and the thought hit him hard. He’d been plenty mad at their forced union. Still was, in fact, no matter how much he enjoyed their couplings. Considering himself a loner, he hated having a crowd around. But he hadn’t realized how comforting sharing his life with a woman might be.

The right woman, that is. Dang, he hoped Cenora was the right one. Like it or not, and whether or not those vows were legally binding, he was honor bound stuck with her now. It looked as if he had her family as well.

“I didn’t know to bring me night clothes,” she said with a coquettish glance and slid off the bed to meet him.

After he kicked off his boots and socks, he caught her hands in his. “You won’t need a thing.”

She giggled again and he pulled her to him. His blood boiled when she returned his kiss. He’d been horny as Xavier’s goat since the first minute he thought of Cenora in his bed. No longer a shy miss, she met his tongue with her own. When he thought his head would explode from the skyrockets her mouth ignited, he broke the kiss.

Her rose scent filled him and he thought he would never tire of it. She fumbled with his shirt buttons then pushed it from his shoulders.

“Yours is a very broad chest.”

Her fingers skimmed across him and his need for her magnified. When she traced the whorls of his nipple he thought his knees might give way. He stilled her hand.

“There’s something I want from you, have wanted since we met.”

Fear sprang into her widened emerald eyes and she paled. Dang, he cursed himself for frightening her and her for not trusting him.

Her voice trembled. “Wh--What would you be asking?”

“Dance for me.” He knew it sounded crazy, but he’d imagined this for days.

She looked askance. “Here? But ‘tis your bedroom, and not a note ‘o music playing.”

“Our bedroom, and you can sing or hear the music in your head to keep time.”

“But—“

“Please? Not for coins or where others can see, but only for me.”

A slow smile spread across her face and she cocked her head to one side. “Aye, I see now. If ‘tis for your pleasure, then ‘twill be mine.”

After she took off her shoes and stockings, she spun away. But not in the regimented dance he’d seen when other women accompanied her. This time she took the red scarf from her waist and used it as an instrument meant to entice a man.

Her man.

Him.

She twirled as if to a measured rhythm only she heard. Her green skirt and white petticoats billowed out to reveal long, perfect legs. Legs he wanted around him. She slid the scarf in imitation of a caress along her slender arms. Then she moved the red silk along her body.

Dang, he was hot as a gunslinger’s pistol and just as hard. His manhood strained against his britches until he thought he’d pop through the fabric. He loosened the buttons and stepped from his clothes, never taking his gaze from her. Reaching behind him, he turned back the bed and sat on the sheet.

Before his heat warmed the cool fabric, she pulled him to the middle of the room and circled around him. He pivoted, naked as a newborn, and watched her every move. Dipping, fluttering, and arching her lithe frame, she lured him with each sinuous flow of her body.

Flush with the throbbing pulsating through him, he pictured himself plunging into her again and again as she wound around him. Her erotic gyrations set his already heated blood at a boil, but he stood mesmerized by her and the dance.

Her flaming hair streamed around her in a fiery cloud. She looped the scarf over his head and the red silk left a tingling trail across his shoulders and down his right arm. Then she threaded it around her own shoulders and sawed it while she shrugged first one shoulder up and then the other one. Fabric of her blouse pulled taut against her full breasts and pushed the peaked nipples into view.

Dang, he couldn’t take much more of this or he’d explode like fireworks on the Fourth of July. On and on she whirled and kicked, first coming near to brush against him, then moving back with a captivating smile. Teasing him with the piece of silk as she pulled it across his body, she seared him with her touch and made him part of her beguiling ritual.

When he could stand it no longer, he said, “Come here, let’s dance together in bed.” To his ears, his voice rasped hoarse with the need that burned inside him.

She approached slowly, seductively, with fluid grace. As she moved, she drew off her remaining clothes. Twining the scarf around his wrists, she pulled his arms high until she slid under them, imprisoning him and herself in their circle.

“Now we are truly bound together,” she said, her voice breathy from her exotic dance.

“Am I your prisoner, then?” he asked, amused at her tempting play even as her touch fueled his need.

“Yes, and I am yours.” She met his gaze, but her jewel eyes held uncertainty. “Did I please you then, or was I too forward with meself?”

“You are beautiful and graceful and your dance was even more special than I’d hoped.”

She breathed a big sigh. “Then you approve and will be taking me to bed now?”

“I suppose I must do as you say, since I’m your prisoner.” He nibbled at her neck and she released the scarf binding him. The silk fell from his skin as her arms slid around his shoulders.

Their lips met and he delved his tongue to sample her nectar. She responded with fervor. He rejoiced that if he must be tied to this woman, at least she shared his apparently boundless passion. He pulled her with him across the bed, then scooted her until she lay cushioned in the center of the thick mattress.

“Finally, I can see and taste all of you.”

“I’m hoping ‘tis all right for us to act so heathen.”

He lay propped on an elbow beside her, content for a moment to look his fill of her. “It isn’t heathen for a husband and wife to enjoy one another. Doesn’t it feel right?”

In the golden lamplight, her skin gleamed like ivory.

“Aye, it feels more than right. It’s as if being with you is where I was meant to be.”

He smoothed her auburn hair across the pillow. It looked even more glorious there than he had dreamed. Desire darkened her emerald eyes and the pink of exertion tinged her cheeks.

“No woman will ever be more beautiful than you are right now.”

“If you think that then we’re well matched, for never lived a more handsome man than you are.”

He took her graceful hand in his and brought it to his lips. After he pressed a kiss to her palm, he suckled each fingertip.

She pulled away and put her hands under her. “You’ll be driving me mad with wanting. Hurry.”

He smiled down at her and shook his head. “Nope. I’ve thought about this night since we wed. Reckon we might not get much sleep, for I intend to take my time.”

“But ‘tis torture waiting.” She reached for his manhood.

He twisted away. “Let me give you something to think about, then.” Starting with her beautiful eyes, he rained kisses on her face, her neck, and her shoulders. He cradled one of her ample breasts while his mouth suckled the other.

She moaned and clutched him to her.

In spite of his throbbing need, he restrained his own urgency and slowly trailed kisses down her ribs, her stomach, to her mound of curls. He slid a finger inside her moist heat.

“Now, Dallas, now. I can’t wait another second.”

Desire won and he stretched himself over her. “Nor can I,” he said and slid into her. “Let’s begin our own dance.”







6 comments:

Kat Duncan said...

Thanks for sharing the funny, interesting interview and the fantastic excerpt!

Vonnie Davis said...

Loved the interview and loved, loved the excerpt. Made my ol' heartbeat ratchen up a notch! ;-)

Lynne Roberts said...

Thank you so much for stopping by Kat and Vonnie! I agree. The excerpt is fantastic!!!!

flchen1 said...

Thanks for the interview--Caroline's writing is new to me, but GREAT excerpt! Woot!

Caroline Clemmons said...

Thanks for stopping by. I love sharing with readers!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Caroline,
Nice interview. Pink roses, I love all roses, but the blood red ones are my favourite.
I have already read the book, but still enjoyed the exerpt.One can never get enough of a good thing.

Cheers

Margaret