Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Recap and Looking forward to 2017

Going into 2016, I had big plans of releasing 9 books. 

Well, that didn't happen

Instead, I released 3 books:

3. Joshua

Yes, I agree...I totally failed you all in getting books out for this year, and I apologize for that. 

So what did happen in 2016?

I had two projects go WAY over the projected word equal 100,000 extra words I hadn't planned on for the year. That's equal to three months work. And that's most of the reason why I released so much less than planned

The other reason is that putting out books costs money in editing and covers. Right now, it's costing me WAY more to publish (in the US) than I'm making (although I can maybe see the end to that in the near future...I hope). But as a result, I can only pull so much money out of my household account to support my job. 
**eeks...that's REALLY not the way this is supposed to be working**

But the good news is that there are some really exciting things happening...that I really am not at liberty to talk about yet. Yikes, I know that it's a huge tease, but gah...seriously, you guys there are so many really fabulous things coming around the corner. 

The second half of this year has been crazy...but in the VERY BEST WAY!! I can't wait to share.

This was the year that my books got translated into French. OMG, you guys, this is such a huge thing for me. France! I love it so much. 
I completely slaughter the language (which is why I'm so thrilled to be part of Juno Publishing who handles all my translations), but in all the world, France is one of my all time favorite places. We got to visit there twice when we lived in England and those were absolutely some of my best memories ever...easily top 5 life remembrances. So, yeah, to see my books in French is HUGE to me.
And there are many more books to come with this fantastic publishing company. We just signed contracts for 6 more titles. Yippee!!

Finally, I'm truly finding a rhythm to my writing. I have several different writing "tribes" who help to keep me on track with my goals...each in a different way. But all of them are combining to take me to new heights with where I'm going...and believe me, I am going places in the near future.

And the best thing about that? There are so many truly incredible characters in my head, just waiting for you all to read about them. I can't wait for you all to meet them because they truly rock. OMG, the absolute best thing is falling in love with a new hero...and readers...I have some fantastic ones coming to you soon!

And now I want to get off here and go write...

So, even though 2016 doesn't look that impressive for new releases, it was really successful for writing new words. In 2016, I wrote 420,160 words. That's a heck of a lot of writing. 
Within those words was the completion of 8 books with several more begun.

A lot of those will be releasing in yay!!

So, that leads us to this...
What's coming from Christi Snow in 2017???

This is my tentative release schedule for the upcoming year...

Feb- Found at the Bookstore (Book #2 Found series...m/m)

April - Intertwined Hearts (Book #3 Snowcroft series...m/m/f)

May - Believe in the Wish (m/m standalone)

August - Snowcroft Restoration (Book #4 Snowcroft series...m/m- LAW's book!!!)

October - Smolder (novella #1 paranormal...m/m vampire anthology)

December - Shiver (novella #2 paranormal...m/m shifter)

The good news is that most of these books are already written, so releasing this tentative list isn't even that risky. I just have to get them edited and have my designer rock out some new covers for me.

Also, there are some seriously fun surprises that will probably be revealed throughout the year, hang on to your seats. I know this list looks bleak for my m/f readers, but there is stuff coming for you, too...I promise. 

To close, thank you so much for sticking with me this year. 
2017 is going to be bigger and better than ever. 

But all of it is because of you. 
I have the absolute best readers.

Thank you for a great year.
Let's hope next year is even better!!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday Five from Christi...

Let's be honest...I suck at the whole blogging thing.

we're on the cusp of a new year...
and I'm going to try to do better.

I'm going to try to do a post every Friday. 
And I need you all to hold me accountable. 
If I don't post it...bug me about it. 

I'll admit it. 
I need accountability. 

So...every Friday, I'll try to post a top 5 list.
Top 5 of what?
No idea...hehe.
Just probably my top 5 thoughts of the week. 
It sounds riveting, doesn't it?
No, seriously...I'll be talking books, maybe coffee, and just life in general.

(although, I can tell you right now that next week's post will NOT follow that format. It will all be about a recap of 2016...reading, writing, and what 2017 holds in store...)

But for this week, here's the Top 5 list of the week...

My oldest is 21 and it's been a long time since he's been home for more than 24 hours. He's about to go to Air Force boot camp, so right now we have him home for a couple of months. The 9 year old is over the moon. There's 12 years between them, but they're pretty much inseparable right now and it makes me happy every time I sit back and just watch them together.

So, sighs right here...


You all know I'm a reader. 
I have a book review blog and today I'm just going to share my post from there about this book. 

In next week's post, I'll share my top reads of the year, but for now, I'll share my top holiday read this year...
Title: Wrapped Together
Author: Annabeth Albert
My Rating: A+

Genre: Holiday Romance (m/m)
Series: Portland Heat #5
Main Characters: Hollis and  Sawyer
Release Date: December 2016
Publisher:  Lyrical Shine
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
Story Overview:
In the bustling restaurants, shops, and cafés of Portland, Oregon, things really heat up for the hard-working men behind the scenes when the holidays come into town . . .

For a stationery store owner, the holidays are great for business. But for Hollis Alcott, Christmas reminds him of the tragic events of three years past, and the last thing he wants to do is take part in Portland’s over-abundance of festive cheer. But Sawyer Murphy, a hunky gift shop owner whose brother is married to Hollis’s sister, has made it his mission to pluck Hollis out of his holiday blues. And his plan is beginning to work. Wrapped in the warm glow of newfound passion, the former business rivals hit up Portland’s finest holiday traditions—and Hollis’s icy attitude begins to melt like snowflakes on his tongue. But he isn’t sure he can trust anyone with the only gift he has—his heart—without breaking it like an antique ornament. Unless he can find the courage to take a leap with the one lover he never expected . . .

My Review:
I've loved this entire series, but hands down this has been my favorite book in the group. I loved getting to know Hollis and Sawyer and watching their story unfold.

The thing that made it so good was that they've known one another for a long time. They are both twins and grew up being pretty infamous for that. They were always thrown together, but have never had anything in common besides being gay. Sawyer is outgoing and gregarious and not. Hollis is actually pretty much a curmudgeon. He likes things a certain way and prefers his own's just easier that way. But Sawyer sees beyond that facade that Hollis puts up to everyone and has decided that this holiday season he's going to infuse Hollis with some holiday magic and cheer. Hollis is pretty sure that's impossible. So they place a bet...

This entire book is told from Hollis's point of view, and I kind of loved him. He owns a paper shop and is fanatical about his papers, planners, and pens. I loved that so much about him, and I'd really, really love to visit his store. I really enjoyed how opposite the guys are from one another, but they've been thrown together for so long, they pretty much know everything about one another. I loved how Hollis simply can't see this working out between them no matter how good it is now. He knows Sawyer. Sawyer gets enthusiastic about something, but then loses interest when he sees something else shiny. Hollis expects the next shiny thing to come along at any moment, leaving him heartbroken and he's trying so hard not to get attached. But Sawyer is pretty stubborn about making the two of them work. He's waited for this long enough. He's not going to let Hollis say no anymore.

It was all so, so good. I loved it...the romance, the sexy times (that had a touch of BDSM if you need warnings about those things...but it's VERY, very light), and all the paper shop porn (and that was not a real warning...there's no real porn happening here), but the pure adulation for the paper and ink goods hit all those happy office supply obsessive genes that I have (just me?...LOL, I know it's a sickness). But anyway, I digress. The whole tale was simply good. I loved the magical aspects of Christmas and watching Hollis find his way to happy during this holiday season. It hit ALL my happy buttons.

I definitely recommend it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

What I'm writing on right now...

Right now, I'm kind of switching back and forth between two projects. 
ONE is Found at the Bookstore. Yes, this is Ryder and Stig's story. 
I foresee it coming out in February.

The other is a little paranormal/shifter m/m novella I plan to release next Christmas. (You all know I'm a sucker for holiday stories, right?) I always like to write one this time of the year. 

Here's a tiny sneak peek....

Yummy, right?
And yes, it's a male/male romance. A follow-up to a novella releasing in Sept/Oct...and then this one will release in Nov/Dec timeframe.

Once upon a time (before I became a writer), I was a professional papercrafter. I wrote articles for magazines and did work for craft companies (mainly stamp companies). Since I started spending all my time in front of my computer writing, my crafting had fallen by the wayside. Well, this past summer, I got the itch to create again and started playing with my planner. 

(Yes, I'm one of those girls...take me to an office supply store and you'll see me again when I'm significantly more broke.)

But I digress.

Now, my morning begins with me sitting at my crafting desk for one hour (and only one hour because any longer than that and the Little will be late to school). I spend that time decorating my planner page for the day (i.e. this is my version of adult coloring). 

Most weeks in my top 5, I'll share my favorite planner page from the last week. For this week, this is my favorite. 

BTW, you can see all my planner pages each day on my Instagram feed.

Happy holidays, everyone! 
I hope you are staying warm by the fire and someone as scrumptious of Santa up there keeping you warm as you read some great romance. 

I'll be back next week with 2016 recaps and news for 2017!!

Monday, December 19, 2016

These titles rarely go on sale...

These books rarely go on sale...

Do you like holiday stories?

They're my favorite. As a result, I have several of them in my backlist and for this week only, all of them are going on sale for only $.99!

(m/f romantic suspense)
It’s been six months…

Six months since Jake Madsen let Chris Robertson die.

Six months since the passion between Jake and Cassie, Chris’ sister, stepped over the line.

But now Cassie’s being stalked and it’s time for Jake to swallow his guilt, grief, and lust so he can save her life, even if it’s a life without him. He owes it to his dead friend and he owes it to Cassie. He’s fallen in love with her, but she doesn’t have to know that for him to keep her safe.
Universal Buy Link
(m/m contemporary romance)

All he wants for Christmas…
It’s time for Mark Cummins to come out of the closet. He’s ready, but he’s never been topped. Asking Madame Eve for the one-night stand of his fantasies, he hopes she can grant his Christmas wish.

He’s a less-than-merry gentleman…
Jason Wieland’s life partner died in a horrific hate crime two years before and he hasn’t taken a lover since. He knows it’s time, and he reaches out to the 1Night Stand dating service to find the right man to light up his holiday. But when masculine, sexy, and extremely straight Mark shows up, he doesn’t know what to do.

Is this 1Night Stand a cruel joke or has Madame Eve truly worked Christmas magic?
ARE Buy Link (lower price should be coming soon)
I know that this has been an off year for me for releases, but that means 2017 is going to be HUGE!!

Watch my website for information about what's coming soon from me and I'll also be doing a post about my top reads of 2016.

And I don't say it enough, but
to each and every one of you. Your support and love for my books makes my job one of the best things about my life.

I love you all and hope that the end of 2016 is fabulous for you. 
(m/m contemporary romance)

His entire life, Tommy Garrett has dealt with self-doubts. He thought he’d conquered the majority of them until a chance meeting with an author brought his illiteracy to the forefront...again. Growing up with un-diagnosed dyslexia has left Tommy barely able to read, but books are his Nirvana. Now he spends his life creating art dedicated to the love of those “untouchable” items.
Robert McIntyre, Mac, is a best-selling, highly celebrated author. But his point of view has become a little bit too narrow...until Tommy opens his eyes. That chance meeting has changed everything about his world. He has no idea how to find the beautiful man he met, and offended, at the library book sale. But when he does, Tommy’s life is in crisis-mode. It’s the holidays and Mac can’t just standby when Tommy needs help, whether Tommy wants it or not. 
Two artistic men. One shared passion for books.
Universal Buy Link
(m/f light romantic suspense)


December is the time for romance, twinkling lights, and roaring fires in the fireplace. It’s also time for the annual Holiday Fantasy Lingerie show. This year, the show has a masculine twist with the introduction of male models who were once soldiers.

Joshua Scott Brown has made quite a name for himself as a male fitness model since he got out of the Air Force. But nothing prepares him for the media circus that occurs after he catches one of the female lingerie models during the live show, preventing her from a ten foot fall. Now the lingerie company wants to turn that media coverage into holiday profit by pairing him up romantically with the model. Unfortunately, he only has eyes for Autumn Layne, the publicist who keeps pushing him into another woman’s arms.

The third in a new series of novellas inspired by Shauna Kruse’s photography and her beautiful male models.

The Male Model Chronicles.
Universal Buy Link

Friday, November 18, 2016

JOSHUA is available TODAY!

The final installment for the Male Model Chronicles series released today.

Book details:
Title: Joshua
Series: Male Model Chronicles #3
Genre: contemporary romance with light suspense elements (m/f)
Word Count: 56,000 words
Release date: November 18, 2016

Story Overview:
December is the time for romance, twinkling lights, and roaring fires in the fireplace. It’s also time for the annual Holiday Fantasy Lingerie show. This year, the show has a masculine twist with the introduction of male models who were once soldiers. 

Joshua Scott Brown has made quite a name for himself as a male fitness model since he got out of the Air Force. But nothing prepares him for the media circus that occurs after he catches one of the female lingerie models during the live show, preventing her from a ten-foot fall. Now the lingerie company wants to turn that media coverage into holiday profit by pairing him up romantically with the model. Unfortunately, he only has eyes for Autumn Layne, the publicist who keeps pushing him into another woman’s arms.

The final book in the series of novels inspired by Shauna Kruse’s photography and her beautiful male models. 
The Male Model Chronicles.

Chapter One

He was one lucky bastard.
As Joshua Scott Brown walked into the dressing room area behind the stage, he tried not to look as overwhelmed as he felt. Jesus. There were half naked, gorgeous women everywhere.
Half-dressed models...check.
Utter chaos...check.
Anyone who looked like they were in charge...negative.
Joshua had no idea where he needed to be for this rehearsal, and he didn’t see any of the other guys, either. His instructions had been to report backstage. This was backstage, but there didn’t appear to be anyone in control of the chaos.
He glanced down at his phone to see if there was any other information in the email to help. Nada.
A man rushed by him with a rack of tiny garments flying behind him. Women chattered and hollered at one another across the big, open space. Makeup and hair techs appeared harried as they tried to get the models to sit or stand still at each of the makeup tables set randomly throughout the space. There were no screens or privacy of any sort as the models changed and were fitted.
Okay, time for plan B. One of these models had to know where he was supposed to go. He approached one who smiled and was holding an animated conversation with the fitter standing beside her. She whipped off her bra, and he froze.
Oh, good God.
Those were nipples.
Right there.
Not that he had a problem with nipples as a general rule. But shit, give a guy some warning. He veered to the right and searched faces for anyone who might be helpful, making sure to keep his eyes at shoulder level or above.
There in the corner, a girl gave him a shy smile as someone screwed around with her hair. Finally, a friendly face. But as he got closer…wow.  Underneath all that makeup, this girl couldn’t be more than fourteen or fifteen. Was it legal to have her parading around in underwear? Wasn’t she too young to even have breasts?
And how pathetic that she was the only one who noticed him.
Suck it up, Joshua.
He was starting to sound like one of the high school kids on his football team.
“Hey, sorry to bother you,” he said to the young girl. “But do you have any idea where I’m supposed to go?”
She stared at him, her smile wavering a little bit as she shrugged. “No English.” Her accent was thick, something European maybe. It was hard to tell.
The male hairdresser rolled his eyes but then cast a long, interest-filled gaze across Joshua’s bare chest. Suddenly, Joshua felt the need to wrap his arms around his naked skin.
The hairdresser smirked as if he could read Joshua’s mind but then gave him a disapproving headshake. “You won’t get anywhere with this one, dude. She’s underage and has a momma bear hovering. You’re just lucky right now that momma is off in search of coffee, so you might want to scamper away before you get clawed.”
“No, no, no. I’m not trying to hit on her.” Jesus. “I just don’t know where to go.”
“Who are you?” The hairdresser looked him up and down again like he was trying to decide if Joshua was something he’d scraped off the bottom of his shoe or something he wanted to lick like a lollipop.
“My name is Joshua Scott Brown. I’m supposed to walk the runway with the models as an escort.”
“Oh of the military dudes, right?”
Joshua nodded.
“You need to find Autumn Layne. She’s handling the military guys, but good luck with that.” He scanned the room full of Amazons. “She never, ever stays in one place, and it’s utter chaos back here today. Maybe try back by the makeup area.” He waved a hand toward the opposite corner of the room.
Joshua headed in what felt like the right direction, but who the fuck knew? This place needed signs hanging from the ceiling like a grocery store. Makeup here. Bras here. Panties here. Clueless dudes here. Never had he ever thought he would feel so uncomfortable seeing so many scantily clad, female bodies. What had he gotten himself into here?
When Shauna Kruse had called him to let him know that one of her contacts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area needed models with military backgrounds for the Holiday Fantasy Lingerie Show put on by Pandora’s Fantasy, he had jumped at the opportunity. Hell, this was every guy’s wet dream, but the reality of it overwhelmed him. While it was a huge opportunity...damn, there was a lot of naked skin back here. They’d told him to arrive in jeans and combat boots only, and he felt overdressed.
A small, middle-aged, balding, be-speckled man wearing a headset rushed up to him and grabbed his arm. “Joshua?” he asked with a squint.
Joshua nodded.
The little man turned, pulling Joshua behind him like a recalcitrant child. “I found him,” he said into the tiny microphone at his mouth. “We’re headed your way. Start putting them into their pairings. He’ll be there in fifteen seconds.”
“Sorry...” Joshua began to apologize for getting lost, even if he really had no idea how he was supposed to know where to go. They entered through a hidden doorway, and the man shushed him.
Around twenty men dressed the same as him—no shirt, well-worn jeans, and combat boots—surrounded a redheaded woman. She stood above the group, so she must have been standing on some sort of pedestal. Black-framed glasses perched on her nose, and she wore a headset like the man who’d brought him in. Her deep, dusky voice rang out over the guys who stood quietly, listening to her.
Her skin appeared translucent because it was so pale, but that probably had something to do with the vibrant red of her hair. Shoulder length and choppy, the shockingly bright color couldn’t be natural. Her lips were dusty pale pink and completely natural with maybe just a hint of some sort of lip-gloss. As he watched her speak, the tip of her tongue caressed the front of her white teeth...teasing him. He had to hold in a groan.
For the first time today, Joshua had an issue with an erection, something that made no sense after the gauntlet of sexy, half-dressed models he’d just walked through. Wow, she was fantastic. Did she have a boyfriend, or would she be open for applicants? He pondered the idea and liked it. A lot.
But she was talking, and it was probably information he needed. Maybe he should pay attention.
Autumn Layne stood within inches of twenty of the most perfect, masculine chests known to creation and tried to remember her job. It probably wasn’t to reach out and touch, and she had to ball her hand into a fist to keep from doing exactly that. She glanced down at her iPad. Assignments. Right. 
She cleared her throat and fidgeted on top of the box someone had placed there so the escorts could all see her. At five foot eight, she wasn’t exactly short, but not a single one of these guys was less than six foot tall—a requirement for them to have even gotten the job in the first place so they didn’t look dwarfed by the statuesque lingerie models—and most of them were several inches taller than that.
“Okay, guys,” she hollered. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. I have your model assignments right here.” She shook a bag that held the specially made dog tags before reaching in and removing one. “First up, we have Monique.”
Referring to her assignments list, she located the name of the guy partnered with her. “Where’s....” She squinted at her iPad. Could that be someone’s real name? “Where’s Bodie?”
She looked up to find a blond, surfer dude rushing over to her, overjoyed with his assignment.
“I got Monique?” he gasped in surprise, his wide grin showing off deep dimples. “Dude, that’s so righteous.” He reached forward and snatched the tags out of her hand and then began to exchange high fives with the guys around him.
Autumn raised an eyebrow. Had they pulled this guy straight out of a cheesy eighties surfer movie? He hadn’t even been alive then. One of the themes for the Lingerie Extravaganza was beach party, so she was pretty sure he’d been hired specifically for that set. But he still had to function and get through the other three themes. It would be interesting to see how the director harnessed him in those.
But that was not the part of the show she had to worry about. Thank God.
She pulled another tag. “Bianca.” This model was listed right at the top, so her list search didn’t take long. “Joshua, come on up.”
This guy had been standing in the back, so it took a moment for him to work through the bodies. She started sorting through the next assignment when he got to her. Without looking up, she thrust the dog tag toward him, ready to call out her next set of names.
But instead of taking the tag, he grabbed hold of her hand. Tingles rushed up her arm, and she glanced up in alarm to meet the most gorgeous, chocolate-brown eyes. Rich. Decadent. She suddenly felt like she’d been dipped into the most luscious, sinful, melted pool of dark chocolate. Her breath caught.
“You know I already have a set of these, right?” His voice sounded deep, hypnotic, but what he said didn’t make any sense.
“Wh...what?” She took a deep breath and tried to regain control here. Her heart rate kicked up.
Good grief. Was she having a heart attack? Why was her arm continuing to tingle where he held her?
“The dog tags,” he said with a wink and a nod at the metal clasped in both their hands. “I can wear my own.”
“Oh, yeah. No.” She shook her head, both to reiterate her point and to get her brain to function again. “These were made especially for the show.”
He examined the engraving and scowled for a moment before looking at her with a raised eyebrow.
She winced internally. Yeah, that wouldn’t go over so well with some guys. Each dog tag was specially made for its model. For Joshua, that meant his said, Property of Bianca.
“Listen,” she leaned into him. “There’s a reason for it. A lot of people record the live broadcast of the show. From what I understand, the real dog tags have personal information on them that someone could zoom in on and see. We’re doing this to protect you. Besides, have you seen Bianca? Most guys would be thrilled to wear something that said they belonged to her. Don’t make too big a thing of this.”
“Right,” he said slowly and then finally let go of her hand.
She felt the loss immediately, but the tingles subsided so that was a good thing, right? At least she wasn’t in imminent danger of keeling over dead in the middle of all these gorgeous men. Talk about an embarrassing epitaph. Death by testosterone.
She shook off the disconcerting exchange and refocused on her job...getting all the military guys assigned to their models so they could go through the afternoon run-through of the show. They only had two more days before the live show, and that wasn’t much time to get these guys up to speed. Everything had to go perfectly for this show. Madeline had put her in charge and she counted on her for the company. If Autumn managed to pull this off, maybe Madeline would take promoting her seriously.
Joshua followed yet another intern down a dark, cluttered hallway filled with miscellaneous props as she led him to his model, Bianca. They’d spent the last hour listening to the drone of how this would work for the next two days.
He glared down at the dog tags on his chest. He wondered if they came with a leash, too. Never had he felt they fit their name more than they did at this little dog and pony show. What he had been thinking by accepting this gig? He could be in the field house right now, shooting the shit with the guys while they focused on their off-season weight training.
He took a deep breath. Most guys would kill to be in his place working with supermodels for the next two days. It was a once in a lifetime chance. He just needed to relax and try to enjoy the experience. What was it they said? Don’t sweat the small stuff. The dog tags hanging on his chest were definitely one of the little things he should just let roll off his back.  
They came to a door, and Joshua tilted his head. He hadn’t really been paying that close of attention, but he thought all the models were out in the huge bowl of chaos that he’d already traipsed through a couple of times. But this door said Bianca Phillips on the outside of it. He wondered how she garnered her own private dressing room.
The intern knocked.
“Come in,” floated through the door.
The intern opened it, and Joshua looked inside.
Oh, hell. Now he understood. Standing before him was her. He may not have known her name, but hot damn, he knew that face and body...and had jacked off to her image more than a few times.
Heat suffused his face. Hell, every single straight guy in America had probably done the same. She’d been on the swimsuit cover four years, and she was the face of Pandora’s Fantasy. She was the reason most guys bought the expensive lingerie. They wanted their girls to look just like her in those tiny little scraps of lace.
Right now, her long black hair cascaded down the back of her short, silky robe in the signature lavender color of Pandora’s Fantasy. He met those crystal blue, clear eyes in the mirror, and she smiled at him. But she was talking to someone else in the room and nodding, so he didn’t interrupt. It wasn’t every day a guy got to meet his walking fantasy. He was okay with just looking.
But then the other person in the room brushed by him with a whispered, “You’re drooling.” Then she snorted.
His gaze swung and he met the vibrant, humor-filled, turquoise blue eyes of Autumn Layne. Damn, how had he missed she was the other person in the room? He’d wanted to ask her out, but even he knew it was bad form to be caught ogling another girl, even if that other girl was a supermodel.
Autumn winked and left the room.
“Wait,” he called and followed her. He had to give it a try.
Autumn turned and tilted her head. The light caught the mischief in her bright eyes. “Yes?”
“Can I get your number?”
“Seriously?” She waved a hand at the open door. “I just saw the way you were looking at her. This is your chance. Don’t shoot so far below your abilities.” Her gaze dropped to his chest. “You’d make a beautiful couple,” she said with a tiny frown, before turning and rushing off down the hall. “Be backstage in twenty minutes,” she called out to him.
Joshua shut his eyes. He’d really blown that, hadn’t he?
“I think you need to up your game,” said a husky, friendly voice from behind him.
He turned, and Bianca stood leaning against the doorframe, smirking at him.
He rubbed a hand across his face. “Well, this is humiliating. Can we start over? Hi, I’m Joshua.” He stepped forward and offered his hand to shake.
She smiled. “Bianca, but no need to start over with me. It’s her you have to worry about, especially if you want a date. I’m assuming you’re my military guy?” At his nod, she stepped back from the doorway and waved her hand at him. “Come on in, and we can talk. We still have a few minutes before we have to head backstage.”
He entered the dressing room again, and this time, he focused on something more than the gorgeous model standing there. The sleek, modern room held a low-slung, grey wool couch, a Lucite makeup table, mirror, and chair, and a bright orange club chair. Small mahogany tables sat at each end of the couch, with a couple of paperbacks piled on them.  The walls featured vintage movie posters from the forties and fifties. It was much nicer than Joshua would have ever expected.
“I like this,” he said.
“Thanks. It’s nice to have a place to get away from the noise out there. It’s one of the perks of being with Pandora from the beginning, back when she worked out of the studio in her family garage.”
“I didn’t realize that. You’re friends with Pandora? The Pandora?”
Bianca chuckled. “Yes, we grew up together in Houston. When she moved the business to Dallas, I came with her.”
“I had no idea.”
She shrugged. “It’s not that big a deal. I’m more interested in you. Military...current or former?”
“Former. I got out of the Air Force three years ago. Now I’m a high school football conditioning coach at Pemberton High.” He rubbed along the back of his neck. “And I also do the modeling sometimes.”
“Nice,” she said. “Have you ever done runway work before?”
“No, this is a first for me.”
“Awesome.” Her smile looked way too wide at this news. But then she raised both her eyebrows the way girls did when they looked at newborn babies...all soft and dewy-eyed. “I have a virgin. So sweet,” she cooed in a false, high-pitched voice.
He choked on his breath.
“Don’t worry, Joshua.” She thumped him on the back. “I’ll be gentle with you.”

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