Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Buns in the Afterlife -- a Guest Post with Jessi Gage

I have a treat today, blog friends.  Please welcome delightful writer Jessi Gage to talk about fabulous butts and her new book, ROAD RAGE.

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Thank you for hosting me today, Lucy! I love your quirky romances and am so excited to have a guest spot on your blog!

My topic today: How busted is too busted?

We’ve all read (and some of us have written) characters who have been very naughty. But how naughty is too naughty? At what point is a character unredeemable?

In my new release, Road Rage (Lyrical Press), the hero, Derek, is a divorced construction worker with anger management issues who makes a bad decision that ends up hurting someone else. He really messes up. Like really, really messes up. And the consequences are real and harsh and not restricted just to him. 

Why did I write a hero who makes a really, really big mistake? Because I’m insane? Probably. Because I love a good redemption story? Definitely.

Derek is massively imperfect (and so is his heroine, Cami). We’ve all heard the expression “hitting rock bottom.” Some of us may even have visited rock bottom. It’s a sucky place to be. But the beauty of rock bottom is that most of us don’t stay there long. That’s the point, actually. When you hit rock bottom, you’re in a situation that is intolerable. Whether you brought it on yourself with bad decisions or you just found yourself pummeled by circumstances until you felt like the bottom man in the pig pile, one thing about rock bottom is clear: It motivates us to change.

I don’t know if Derek hits rock bottom. I mean, I didn’t write a depressing book by any means, but he definitely reaches a point where he understands that (a) he has caused 95% of the crap in his life, (b) his crap has begun leaking over into the lives of others, and (c) he has to take action to fix his anger problem. And spurring him on to do the right thing is his heroine, Cami, who has her own issues but who also has a heart big enough to forgive an angry idiot.

I hope the presence of realistic consequences and the absence of an “easy fix” makes Derek a character worth reading about. He won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But he does have many redeemable qualities, both in and out of the bedroom. Did I mention he is very hot? No? Well, skip down for an excerpt to glimpse the hotness that is Derek.

So where’s your line in the sand? At what point does a character’s actions make them unredeemable? Is there a point where a character is unredeemable? Do you have a favorite book with a good redemption theme?

Thanks for reading! And thank you, Lucy, for having me!

Read on for the blurb and an excerpt of Road Rage:

Lashing out in anger, construction worker Derek causes an accident on the freeway. His truck escapes unscathed, but he can’t say the same for his conscience. Plagued by nightmares of the wreck, his only comfort comes in the form of nightly visits by a mysterious woman who interrupts his dreams with sensual caresses and words of solace.

Cami has no idea who she is, until she wakes in a hospital bed and learns she’s been comatose due to a car wreck. Her visits with Derek must have been a dream, so why can’t she shake the feeling he was a real man who truly needed her help?

When Derek learns his mystery woman is none other than the driver of the car he cut off and she is fighting for her life, he must decide: Is he man enough to face her and ask forgiveness, or will he run away and avoid the consequences of his anger, yet again?

CONTENT WARNING: Sex with a perfect, imaginary dream girl who really isn’t imaginary

A Lyrical Press Paranormal Romance

Excerpt of Road Rage:

She had to be dead. There were too many checks in the column to keep denying it.

After spending the night on the edge of the man’s mattress, soothing him through his nightmares, she’d found herself back in the fog. Interminable hours later, it still held her prisoner.

She could move her limbs, but had nothing to move against, no foundation, no gravity. She didn’t know whether the person she’d been had believed in heaven or hell, but the fact that this disorienting nothingness clearly wasn’t heaven felt like a betrayal.

“Was I that bad?” she asked the fog. It didn’t answer. “Do you hear me? Anyone? Please!”

Frustration and desperation were her only companions.

“I hate this!” she yelled. The fog swallowed her protest without so much as an echo.

She felt abandoned. Worse than alone. A lonely person at least had a sense of self. She didn’t even have that.

But she’d had the blond man for company, even if just for a night. And she’d had the feeling he’d needed her. Maybe she had some kind of weird commission to comfort people having nightmares, and if she did a good enough job, she could earn her way into heaven. Since that hope stood between her and despair, she clung to it like a lifeline.

Suddenly, the fog thinned. A solid surface came up to meet her feet, and the last of the smoky wisps parted to reveal the man’s room. She was back in her corner.

“Oh, thank God!” She fell to her hands and knees in relief. Being somewhere, anywhere, beat that nothingness. But she had to admit, this room made her feel safe.

As she regained her composure, she noticed the man doing push-ups between the foot of the bed and the dresser, in nothing but a pair of tight, black boxer briefs.

His toes braced on the floor mere inches from her hands. Directly in front of her, his calves and thighs made a long, muscular line to a cotton-hugged rear end. His tanned back flared from a narrow waist to broad, muscular shoulders. Powerful arms bunched deliciously as he pumped the plank of his body up and down. The hair at the nape of his neck curled with perspiration. She had an urge to plant her nose in that moist hair and draw in his scent of Irish Spring soap and summer sunshine.

Virile, masculine flesh filled her vision, and the rhythmic rush of heavy breathing bathed her ears with a sound of life so welcome after the deathly silence of the fog. After hours of sensory deprivation, she greedily feasted her senses.

Before she could think better of it, she extended her hand toward the man’s right foot and stroked a finger down his sole, tracing the arch from heel to ball. His skin was warm and taut, slightly pink, and toughened with every step he’d ever taken. The touch sent a thrill of connection through her while at the same time she cringed back, fearing his response.

He gave no sign he’d felt anything.

Disappointment settled in her belly. Some sort of reaction would have been nice.

She thought about attempting something more insistent, like a pinch, but the man finished his push-ups and got to his feet. He moved out of reach and bent at the waist to stretch his hamstrings. On the one hand, being dead sucked. On the other hand, if she got to drool over buns like that as part of her afterlife, she supposed she could make peace with it.

Buy Links

Jessi Gage’s Bio:

Jessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. In addition to writing paranormal romance, she’s a wife, a mom, an audiologist, a church-goer, a Ford driver, a PC user, and a coffee snob. Her guiding tenet in her writing is that good triumphs over evil, but not before evil gives good one heck of a run for its money. The last time she imagined a world without romance novels, her husband found her crouched in the corner, rocking.


  1. Nice blog Jessi! I like heroes who need redeeming.

    1. Me, too, Lynn. The best part is when they're big enough to accept that they need to change and then do. Maturity is sexy, yo.

  2. Great points, Jessi. Hi, BTW! So I'm in the mind that a cold blooded murderer is unredeemable and not a hero in my eyes. Yes, I read a book with a hero like that. Your Derek sounds yummy, however. :)Good luck with your book.

    1. Calisa, yeah ugh -- murderers, rapists, and abusers don't really equal hero material to me, either.

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