Friday, July 06, 2007

Kate’s 25th party, guest blogger #12 – Jill Shalvis

I'm delighted to introduce today's guest: Jill Shalvis.

I first read Jill’s books when she wrote for Temptation, and I loved them – they were funny, the dialogue was the kind I wished I’d written, and her characters had warmth. And did I mention that they were sexy? There’s a certain ice-cream scene… Ahem. Pause to fan self. Anyway, Jill’s doing pretty well in mainstream now as well as writing for Harlequin. (Better still, I get to buy her mainstream novels when they come out - I don't have to wait a year for the UK release.) And I love her blog – it’s my daily fix. Especially when there’s a bear story (or one about spiders – just go and read because you’ll be in hysterics. Laughing with her, I should add, rather than at her, because Jill is one of the best comedy writers around: there’s nothing forced and there’s great warmth there rather than snarkiness). Jill and I share a love of dogs and gorgeous men (and, um, chocolate), and I’ve been trying to convince her about writing to classical music. So of course I wanted her as a guest blogger to help me celebrate.

But you know what I said on Tuesday about losing my reputation for being organised? Here’s another case in point. Sure, Kate, I’d love to be part of it, said Jill. When do you want me to do it? So I told her. And she shrieked. Apart from having a screaming deadline, she was off to the RWA conference (where she’s been nominated for a Rita and I’d love her to win it!). And of course it’s school holidays now in the US. (Anyone here who’s a writer with school-age children knows what that means. Bye, bye, work schedule.) So she didn’t have time to write me a blog… but she’s generously offered to do a giveaway to help me celebrate my 25th book and let me post an excerpt from her latest, Smart and Sexy. Thank you, Jill!

Smart and Sexy – excerpt, © Jill Shalvis

“I have to get there quickly. Like yesterday quickly.”
“As in hijack-a-pilot quickly?”
“I didn’t hijack you,” she said with a primness that made him want to laugh — if there’d been anything remotely funny about this situation. “You were going anyway,” she said in the same old refrain.
He slid her a long glance.
She broke eye contact again.
“Okay,” he said, deciding to bite. “So what is this ’something’ you have to get quickly?”
She put her nose to the window. “Are we almost there?”
“Done talking, are we?” he asked dryly.
She didn’t answer.
Yeah, apparently, she was done talking. She’d definitely omitted plenty, leaving out a whole bunch of her story, including how the hell she’d gotten herself roughed up and by whom.
Not his problem, he reminded himself, even if just looking at her invoked Superman tendencies. He was going to Mammoth for some desperately needed R&R.
And a ski bunny.
Nothing else, including saving damsels in distress.
With that thought, he began landing preparations. He reduced power and lowered the flaps, controlling the nose, maintaining altitude, but in yet another unwelcome turn of events, the landing gear didn’t lower.
Unbelievable. He flicked the switch again, prepared to adjust the trim at the drag to stabilize the nose again, but nope, the landing gear definitely did not lower. “Shit.”
“What is it?” she asked.
He looked into her lovely, terrified face. How to tell her they might be coming in for a landing on their belly? “Come here.”
“Why?” asked his suspicious little hijacker.
There was no sugar-coating the insanity. “We have a little problem.”
“That’s an oxymoron when you’re in the air.”
He let out a mirthless laugh. “Yeah. Listen, the landing gear didn’t lower.”
Her mouth fell open.
“I need you to fly the plane while I go crank it down manually.” Crank, kick . . . whatever it took. The color drained completely out of her face. “Ohmigod. Without the landing gear, we can’t land. Right?”
“Sure we can, we just do it on our belly. Not nearly as smooth though, trust me.”
She swallowed hard. “That’s nowhere close to a little problem.”
“Compared to falling out of the sky, it is. Get over here, Princess.”
“Can you really fix it?”
“Yeah. I’ve seen a guy do it once or twice.”
“I’m kidding! Yes, I can fix it. If you get over here.”
The plane shuddered. More turbulence. Perfect. “Now, goddamnit.” To help her along, he snagged a fistful of the front of her sweatshirt and yanked. With a gasp, she flew toward him, and something slid out of her front pocket, clattering on the floor.
A large, fat pen.
A pen that probably, if shoved up against him, would feel like a gun. He stared down at the thing until it rolled beneath the seat.
“You’re kidding me.”
The truth was written all over her face. “I–”
“You’re kidding me.” He couldn’t believe it, didn’t want to believe it. “A pen? You held me up with a pen?”

GIVEAWAY: Your choice of one of Jill’s backlist (see (If the winner could have a couple of alternative choices, that’d be really helpful!)

QUESTION: One of the things I love about Jill is that despite the fact she has, um, arachnophobia, she still tells great scary (and funny) stories on her blog. So the question is: tell us about what scares you...


juliemt said...

Clowns - They absolutely petrify me! Don't ask me why as I can't explain it, but they just terrify me.

Anonymous said...

Failure. I sit here at the PC (after reading blogs and what not) and i try to write; but half the time I wonder if I'm gonna be good enough, and then I get worried that I won't do it--so I don't.

Of course, my fear of failure extends to other facets of life as well.

Kate Hardy said...

Julie - I know a few others who feel that way, too.

Dominic - the only way you're going to find out is to try. And if you don't make it first time, you'll learn something that will help you improve and make it stronger. Try to think of it in a different light and you'll have more confidence. Hugs.

My fear... as of this week, definitely dentists :o(

CrystalG said...

I have many fears. I am afraid of snakes, bees, and other flying insects. I am also afraid of heights and deep water. It is a miracle I come out of my house. LOL :)

Liz Fielding said...

Stairs that creak in the night. I'd never, ever go into the attic to check out the strange noises if I was on my own. Even though I know it's a starling...


Donna Alward said...

Ants. Eels. Anything that might attach itself to my appendages while swimming.

Which is why I swim in freshwater but not so much in the ocean. LOL

cas2ajs said...

Pet birds . . . my brother set his cockatiel on my shoulder once to show me there was nothing to be scared of . . . I was frozen, could not move, could not blink, until he removed it.


Shirley said...

Oh my! How long have you got?

Dentists, obviously. Bats really freak me out. Mice - even dead ones. Heights (I always think I'm going to jump). Cows. Having a blood test.

I'm with Julie, too. As a child, I went to the circus where a clown on stilts bent over and tried to say hello. I screamed and screamed and, despite the passing of several decades, the memory still haunts me.

Basically, I'm a nervous wreck. :o)

Virginia said...

I think we all have a slight fear of failure because no one is totally sure of themself. I guess my biggest fear is snakes. I don't like them at all. I was raised in the country and there was always a snake around somewhere, but I just don't want them around me.

Lis said...

My biggest fear is heights/rails. I won't go near them. Even at malls I always walk a good 5 feet away from them in the upper levels.

Maureen said...

Thunderstorms, I hate them and we've been having a lot of them lately.

Kimberly said...

My biggest fear is falling. I am not afraid of heights-but if I am high up and there are no railings? I am terrified. I went to Mexico over winter break and climbed the temples/pyramids and freaked out the whole way up. My friend was amazing and crawled up the stairs with me. lol

JOYE said...

I am afraid of heights and snakes