Writing is a process. Some books seem to come easy and write themselves, while others take a bit of work—writing and re-writing. Sometimes I feel like dancing for joy when I do a readthrough, and other times I want to pull my hair out when it just doesn't seem to work, but regardless, I love what I do, and I love to give my readers a little something special. So this is the place to take a first look at my current works in progress.
Please note, any sneak peeks posted here will be a first draft, unedited look of what I'm working on. Some scenes might not make the final cut. The snippets might have errors. The final published work could be changed in full or in part.
Current Sneak Peak at Batter Up, Baby
Contemporary Romance, Sports Theme, Humor
(C) Copyright 2021 by D.L. Lane. All Rights Reserved Worldwide
Glancing at the time on the microwave, I put the last baked good into the container, wondering how I got myself into these things, yet, all the while knowing.
“Please, please, oh please,” Katie had pled the evening before, her cute little lisp and big, brown, puppy-dog eyes doing what they always did—strumming my too tender heartstrings. “Can you make them all pretty with sparkles on top? Please, auntie, Tor-Tor?”
It was that last please with the pout of her bow lips that did me in. I really didn’t have the time to tackle this bake sale project for my besties baby girl on such short notice, a notice which required one-hundred goodies be taken to her kindergarten class by eight-thirty on a Friday morning. Yeah, I know, I was crazy and probably should have gone to the shop to bake them, but I stayed home and tackled the project. And since Swayze (my BFFs mother had a thing for the Dirty Dancing actor, hence the name) was a single mom who worked two full-time jobs to my one, I’d caved. “All right, Katie-bug.”
Squealing with glee, she’d clapped and bounced away like a five-year-old bunny on crack singing “Yaa-a-a-ay!”
Closing the lid, attempting to ignore the state of my kitchen, which looked as if a whirlwind had swirled through—pans tossed everywhere, mixers out, and a sink full of bowls and multiple utensils—my countertops won first prize in the mess-fest. They glittered in the light with an abundance of over-sprinkle spray. I sighed. There was no denying the obvious. It would take me a while to put the space back in order, but doing that would have to wait. Not only did I have a delivery to make, but I also needed to come back home, jump in the shower, get ready, and head to the bakery. My only saving grace? I worked with my mother, so shuffling in late would earn me an eye roll and her hand on hip, but I could live with that.
Lifting my shoulder to brush away the tickle on my jaw, not taking the time to capture the straggling strands of fluttering hair there, I started to hustle. I had thirty minutes to make it from my quiet cul-de-sac to Katie’s bustling school with several boxes of pink-frosted, shimmering cupcakes, and I hadn’t the time to, at the very least, change out of my fuzzy blue Uggs into proper shoes. The thing was, on a good day, it took at least twenty-five minutes to commute!
Translation, I was in trouble, and I didn’t need a mirror to know I must look like an unkempt bag lady in my yoga pants and slouchy off the shoulder sweatshirt. Not to mention, my face was makeup-free, and my long, ash-blonde hair had been quickly tossed up into a messy blob more than a bun on top of my head. But there wasn’t anything I could do about the sadsack condition I was in. The plain ugly truth of the matter was simple. Regardless of my bad imitation of the happy homemaker, Betty Crocker craptastic appearance, I had to go.
Taking two boxes (I would need to come back for the others), I headed for the front door, doing a balancing act to get it open, and then stepped out onto my tiny front porch. At least the rain stopped, and the sun was shining—one positive in my book.
Kicking the rolled-up newspaper out of my way, I took the few stairs to the sidewalk, made it to the passenger door of my Kia, somehow pried it open, and was placing the containers on the seat when the rumble of a bike hooked my attention. Straightening, my head whipped to the right, and I noticed a bulky Harley Davidson with gleaming chrome rolling to a stop in my driveway.
To say I was both stunned and confused would be an understatement. Not only was this a subdued suburb, but why would an unfamiliar person be at my place at this hour?
Complete and utter shock, and okay, I’ll admit, pinpricks of fear poked my spine when it became clear I wasn’t having a sugar-induced hallucination from all the frosting I’d inhaled for breakfast earlier.
“Good morning.” I hoped my voice sounded chipper and friendly, not frightened, and jittery.
Like a cowboy getting off a steel horse, the man with dark stubble dismounted the beast, focused on me. Stunned, I let my attention fall to chunky, buckled biker boots, lifting my gaze to travel up worn jeans that did nothing to hide the strength in his thighs, a black leather jacket, shades, and a red bandana around his head.
Complete confidence radiated from him as he swaggered my way, stopping across from me much closer than a total stranger should. “Morning.”
“May I help you?”
He took off his sunglasses and pierced me with the most amazingly unique eyes I’d ever seen. The actual color was hard to process—silver, light-blue-ice, his iris’s ringed in black. They reminded me of rare, polished gemstones. “You can, darlin’.” His voice was soft but raspy, and though I tended to think of bikers as scary, he wasn’t hard to look at. Oh, heck no. This man was the type of handsome that pulled you in and made you want to stay awhile—gawking.
“I can?” I asked, completely thrown for a loop. “Really?”
Yes, I just stood there, staring at him, dumbfounded, not only by his presence in my driveway but how drool-worthy he was with that dark stubble shadowing his masculine jaw.
One side of his mouth lifted, and I’m pretty sure I had to mentally tell myself to take a breath as heat overtook my cheeks. Not only was I affected by the guy, but I felt stupid. I had asked if I could help, so why was his response that I could, surprising?
“Really, Sparkles,” he assured.
I regained my motor movements, my eyebrows shooting up into my hairline. “Sparkles?”
Slowly, he came into my personal bubble, and I suppose the rational thing to do would have been to step back, but for some bizarro reason, I didn’t move. Instead, my heartbeat kicked up as he reached out and swiped his fingertips along my cheekbone as soft as a whisper. I transformed into a statue. Straight up Frozen. Though, oddly, flames streaked across the spot where he’d caressed my flesh.
All right. What was going on? It was like I’d stumbled into some cheesy movie moment or something and all my brain cells exploded—pop, pop, pop. Because in real life, I never burned when a man touched me. Ever.
“Yeah, Babe.” He brought his fingers where I could see them.
Closing my eyes, I shook my head, mortification bombarding me. Those manly fingertips of his had been glittering in the light with pink sugar-sprinkles from the cupcakes I’d made, and he’d wiped them from my face. Aaah!
“Look at me, Sweetheart.”
Wishing I could somehow disappear in a poof of smoke and float away, I finally did what he asked, locking my gaze with his hypnotic one. “I need you to focus, yeah?”
I nodded, biting the inside of my cheek.
“That house down there with the for sale by owner sign?” He turned, pointing, and like a freaking moron, I craned my neck to see as if I didn’t know what he was talking about or hadn’t seen the place a million times before. “Do you know anything about it because the number they have listed is no longer in service?”
Beautiful biker dude brought his attention back to me.
“Do you think you might tell me? I’m interested in the place.”
“Uh…” I licked my dry lips, his gaze dropping to watch the movement, then lifted once more, those eyes fastening on mine as he cocked a dark brow.
Was it like the surface of the sun, sweat-inducing hot, or was that just me?
“I’m sorry,” I said, trying to gain my bearings and stop acting like a complete basket case. “I do know the owners. But I don’t know about their phone number.”
His mouth curved up. “A name would be a great start. Do you have one?”
“Um…well”—I shifted from foot to foot—“I’m not sure I should be giving out their personal information to a stranger.”
“Think I’m a serial killer?”
“I hope not,” I squeaked.
He chuckled. “Cross my heart and hope to die.” The man gestured the sign of an X over his chest. “I’m not the dangerous type.”
I was doing okay, er…semi-okay, until he hit me with a smile that packed some serious mega-wattage—brilliant white teeth gleaming.
Feeling as if I needed to sit, I slumped, but there wasn’t a closed car door there, but open space, making me stumble and grab on to his jacket, gaining a fist-full of leather.
“Whoa.” He latched onto my arms, stopping my descent. “You all right?”
“Mm-hm…” I righted myself and swiped escapee tendrils of hair from my face. “I’m good.”
“Sure.” I attempted to smile, but I fear it was more of a cray-cray twisting of my lips as if I’d morphed into Cruella de Vil. Wow, I need to stop watching cartoons with Katie.
“Well,” he said, in a sly, teasing tone. “I’ve had gorgeous women fall over themselves to get to me, darlin’, but not tumble on their backsides. So maybe I am dangerous.”
Clearing my throat and forcing my features into neutrality, I said, “Look. I’m running late, and I’m sorry, but I need to finish up and take off.”
I inched along the side of my car, his curious gaze following me before I closed the gaping passenger door with a thwack, then hurried around the back and up the other side of my vehicle, headed for my porch.
“About that house?” he called.
“Can’t help you,” I returned without stopping.
Scurrying up my stairs, I swallowed the cotton-sized lump in my throat, then went in my front door, resting my back against the wood once I closed it behind me. Blowing out a relieved breath, I glanced down and noticed the front of my pink-frosting-smudged torso. It looked like a preschooler had used my shirt as a towel to wipe off their pink-painted hands, oh, I don’t know, a few dozen times.
Great! As if you need to appear any more ridiculous.
The distinct taccato, taccato, tacatto of his bike rumbled to life, making me flip around and peek out the peephole.
All I wanted to do was get to Katie-bug’s school, drop off the treats, and get on with my functioning on two-hours of sleep day—not look like I stepped out of a festive fart, questioned in my driveway at un-caffeinated o’clock about my once-upon-a-time neighbors. And of course, said questions came from a smoking-hot guy who not only knew it but joked about being dangerous because silly me acted as if I were mentally challenged and forgot how to stand.
I mean, seriously, was a nice, unharried, unbelievably good-looking but cocky, biker-free day too much to ask for? I didn’t think so. But hey, that’s what I get for thinking.
Copyright (c) 2019-2021 D.L. LANE All Rights Reserved Worldwide