So here's Vonnie to tell you in her own words how the plot for this book came into being...
I spend a lot of time on blogs, either writing or reading posts. Experts—whoever they are—tell us the best way to build an audience is to have a hook for our blogs. Like knitting or scrapbooking or running marathons.
Building a following on my blog is something I worry about. I study other blogs to see how those ladies are amassing large numbers of followers. Still, I can’t quite come up with a great hook. Cooking? Nah, too overdone. Traveling? Outside of one or two big trips a year, we don’t do a whole lot. Getting old? There’s a thought…a depressing thought. Ideas pop in and out of my head, sometimes taking surprising turns.
Suppose I had a heroine who blogged? How would she grow her following and why? A vision of a bay window flitted across my mental sky. A young lady sat at a desk, her laptop open as she stared out of her window, watching the happenings in her neighborhood. I realized as she bent her head and tapped the keys that she was blogging about what she saw. Boring stuff, I thought.
Unless she was using her blog for two reasons. To vent about men after a painful divorce and to move ahead in her career. She stopped typing and leaned back, sipping her coffee, and I saw the title of her blog—The Things Men Do. Cute, but would it be cute enough to sustain interest?
Enter a new neighbor. A handsome new neighbor who’s moved into the townhouse next door to my heroine. He’s got lots of female traffic going in and out, which bothers her.
Now we have the opening scene of Santa Wore Leathers…
My new neighbor is a man-whore.
Becca Sinclair peered through the window of her townhouse, her fingertips flying over the keyboard. This new post on her “The Things Men Do” blog, would definitely entertain her twelve hundred followers. Comments would amass and maybe, if she were lucky, she’d increase her audience.
Marshall, her editor at the Clearwater Daily, had dangled the incentive of giving her a weekly column, but only if she secured fifteen hundred followers. Poor schmuck had no idea how determined she was. Or how much women loved reading her comical, often snarky take on the male gender.
With her desk positioned in front of the bay window in her living room, she had a great view of the goings-on in her neighborhood. This secluded vantage point had birthed many well-read posts. She raised her tiny espresso cup to her lips, inhaled its strong aroma as she sipped and read over her first paragraph on the screen.
About an hour ago, a brunette showed up at his front door carrying a box of Krispy Kremes. Just now, a blonde parked her red car behind the silver compact of woman number one. Before woman number two’s stilettos hit the pavement, shirtless man-whore jogged out of his townhouse to greet her, no doubt in an attempt to head her off at the pass. Pardon the cliché, sistahs, but men ARE so cliché, are they not?
Becca’s gaze swept from her monitor to her neighbor and the blonde talking on the sidewalk. Man-whore must lift weights in his sleep to get a build like that. How hard would his muscles feel if she ran her hands over them? Dismissing her thought with an eye roll, she allowed her perusal to continue. Like most Floridians, he had a deep tan which, when combined with his sculptured muscles, presented a very potent male package. If she were one to notice, which she was not.
His hair was dark and straight, brushing his shoulders. When he turned, revealing his chest, there was a very nice treasure trail leading to jeans riding low on his hips. The two people moved and Becca began typing again.
The blonde gushed as she handed him a foil-covered pan. My randy neighbor peeled back the cover, swiped a finger over whatever she’d made and stuck his digit in his mouth. With the pan tucked to his muscled chest like a football, he deigned to give her a hug before she drove off.
By the time he turned and walked to his front door, he’d eaten two pastries from the pan. Evidently he’s a man-whore with a huge appetite.
Becca finished her post and closed her laptop. “Einstein, are you ready for your walk?” Her German shepherd barked once in response and circled her twice. “Get your leash while I put on my shoes.”
Einstein slipped his rope off the doorknob and carried it to her, his head held proudly and his backside wiggling in anticipation of their morning run. Becca tied her sneakers and did a few quick stretches before snapping the leash onto the dog’s collar.
Two miles later they returned to Seashell Lane, jogging toward home in her gulf-side community on the northern fringes of Clearwater, Florida. She loved her neighborhood, a comfortable blend of retirees and small families. Her gaze swept to the townhouse next to hers. At least, until two weeks ago, when her new neighbor with his constant stream of female visitors moved in. The man went through women quicker than her ex-husband.
Just then his door opened, and man-whore stepped out on his small front porch. In a purely feminine reaction, she reached to smooth back her hair. Suddenly, Einstein wrenched his leash from her grip and took off.
“Einstein! Einstein, stop!” She sprinted after her errant dog.
Her neighbor pivoted. Einstein leaped, knocking him back against the door. “Whoa, there big guy!” He accepted the canine kisses and aimed dark eyes at her. “Is he yours? He’s some dog.” His large hands ruffled Einstein’s fur. Firm biceps flexed under her neighbor’s black Harley T-shirt, and the bottom of a wicked tribal tattoo peeked from beneath his right sleeve.
“Yes. I’m sorry he jumped on you. He never takes off like that.” No doubt one dog recognized another.
“Man, I’d love a dog like him. A man’s dog, you know? I’ve got a cat. Not by choice, though. When my sister went off to college, she left Fluffy with me.”
Man-whore aimed a wide smile at her, his perfectly straight teeth a contrast to his tan. A dimple winked. The fact he only had one dimple was the singular flaw on his flawlessly handsome face. Now that she was within five feet of him, she could clearly examine his features. Having watched him through her window from time-to-time, she knew he was tall and muscular. But up close, she realized he had the body of a serious weight lifter. His long, dark brown hair was brushed straight back. The skin crinkled at the corners of espresso-colored eyes when he smiled, which he seemed to do easily and frequently. Yet, it was the vision of him holding a cat named Fluffy that nearly made her smile. Muscle man and putty cat.
“You live next door, don’t you?” He jerked his head toward her home.
She bent to grasp the end of her dog’s leash. “Yes, I do.”
He extended his hand when she straightened. “Dan Wolford.” His dimple flashed again and his smile did all kinds of twitchy things to her insides. “Most people simply call me Wolf.”
I’ll just bet they do.
BLURB: There’s only one thing on Becca Sinclair’s Christmas list this holiday season – her very own column in the local paper. And if she can build a huge blog following, her wish just might come true.
Enter Dan “Wolf” Wolford aka the man-whore next door and the new star of Becca’s popular, post-divorce blog about men. A Navy SEAL turned commander of the Florida Marine Rescue Unit, Wolf’s the very definition of the word alpha – and with an endless rotation of women on his doorstep, this hunk on a Harley has Becca and her female followers all hot and bothered!
All Becca wants for Christmas is her newspaper column, right? But when she finds herself the target of Wolf’s irresistible attentions, her snarky comebacks become less and less convincing and, suddenly, she’s not so sure anymore…
AMAZON ~ http://bit.ly/SantaLeathers
BARNES & NOBLE ~ http://bit.ly/1846Aau
Vonnie Davis likens herself to a French croissant—warm, crusty, wrinkled and flaky—best served with strong coffee. Having read romance since the late sixties, she’s seen a lot of changes in the genre she loves. All of her stories are infused with humor, family connections and lots of sizzle. She lives in southern Virginia with her author husband she met online. Ah, now there’s a romantic story.
Vonnie's website: http://www.vonniedavis.com
Please visit her blog: http://www.vintagevonnie.blogspot.com
She tweet under VonnieWrites, if you care to follow her in the twitterverse.