Oh My Shelves welcomes Lilah Suzanne, author of Burning Tracks to the blog for a short interview and she shares an excerpt with us. Check out the giveaway at the end of the post!
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OMS: Tell us something about your character’s friends.
LS: Gwen has historically had a tough time with friends. She’s a lot to take sometimes, with all the raunchy jokes and chronic foot-in-mouth disease. She’s been pretty career and relationship focused, which doesn’t help. So she keeps in touch with a few college friends and even fewer high school friends, and is pretty friendly with some of her styling clients, but her closest friend is Nico. What Nico has discovered along the way is that once you look past the dirty jokes and constant blurting (and that braying laugh, sheesh) is that Gwen is fiercely loyal and incredibly loving and he couldn’t ask for a better friend. And her laugh is pretty amazing once you get used to it.
LS: Gwen’s wife Flora is one of those people who shows love through cooking meals, so anything Flora makes is at the top of the list. Gwen also loves big salads and lots of produce, she doesn’t just choke it down because it’s good for her like Nico, or to maintain a rockin’ six-pack like Grady (or Clementine.)
OMS: What activity does your character absolutely hate?
LS: Phone calls with her mother. Gwen tries to not take it personally, but when every other sentence sound like criticism, it’s hard to take. Flora says it’s how Gwen’s mother shows love, but it’s difficult to remember that.
OMS: What other author’s book do you think your character would be good in?
LS: I’d put her in one of those absurd 1950s lesbian pulp novels. I think that would amuse her. But with a happy ending, of course.
OMS: What’s your favorite decade and why?
LS: I’m fascinated by the period of time when the end of prohibition and the Great Depression overlap, late twenties to early thirties or so, but only in a romantic sense. I certainly wouldn’t want to have lived then instead!
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“There’s a reason you two aren’t allowed to hang out alone.” Arms crossed, one impeccable eyebrow raised, lips twisted, hair artfully tousled, and dressed to the nines: Alexander Wang black-on-black tropical-printed board shorts, a slim fit black-and-white chino and matching black lapel jacket, black boots, and a black and white scarf to tie it all together. “Nico,” Gwen says.
“Nico?” Grady is up in a flash. “You came?”
Nico’s face softens into his Grady look. “Of course I came. Did you really think you were getting rid of me that easily?” Grady comes closer, and Nico brushes a spiraled lock of hair from his face. “I’m sorry it took me so long. There were storms over Dallas, and I got stuck on the tarmac with a dead phone. I barely made my connection, and the clusterfuck of morons known as the United gate at JFK could not get its shit together, and I may be banned outright from Charlotte-Douglas International, can you believe they flag you as a security risk and hold you in a room with no phone signal or Wi-Fi just for threatening one person with shoving that goddam intercom up their—” He opens his arms for Grady; his look of annoyance slips away the moment they touch. “Anyway, I’m here.”
Grady sighs, crowds into Nico’s space, and tucks himself into Nico’s body. Much better, a perfect fit. “God, I love you.”
“I love you, too.” Nico sinks one hand into his hair, strokes the nape of his neck with other, breathes him in, and closes his eyes. “I’m so sorry. About the apartment and taking off and not being here yesterday, I tried to so hard to make it because I know how difficult it is for you. You shouldn’t have been alone.”
Still ensnared in the sheets and duvet and barely awake, Gwen presses her hands to her cheeks and awws. “You guys,” she coos.
Grady lifts his head from Nico’s neck to smile at Gwen. “I wasn’t alone, though.”
“Mmm” Nico says. “And how much trouble did she get you into?”
“None,” Gwen says, defensive. Here she kept Grady safe and sound, searched all over Nashville and Las Vegas while he was off burying himself in work and what thanks does she get? None.
But then Grady smirks and says, “Kind of a lot.”
“Grady.” Gwen throws a pillow at him. “You’re such a tattletale, gosh.”
He bends to whisper something in Nico’s ear, and Gwen doesn’t miss the way his lips drag and linger on the shell of it, or the way Nico’s breath catches and his eyes roll back. When Nico lifts Grady’s shirt and traces around the tattoos with reverent fingers, Gwen takes that as her cue to extricate herself from the bed, put on some pants and a bra, and go fetch her luggage.
“‘Kay you guys have fun and make sure to change the sheets when you’re finished.”
“Wait.” Nico tugs Grady’s shirt down. Then he goes to the case he always has nearby. “You have trouble of your own, Gwen. Thought you might want to know about this.”
Gwen catches the magazine and folded-up papers he tosses her way: screen grabs from a few entertainment websites printed out in black and white.
Is This Clementine Campbell’s Girlfriend? Our source says, “It wouldn’t surprise me.”
Clementine and Gal Pal Definitely More Than Pals Sunning On Vegas Pool Deck.
Our exclusive source and close confidant of both says: Clementine’s married girlfriend “would cheat for sure. She was always touching her. There’s been an energy between them from the very beginning.”
There are pictures: her rubbing sunscreen on Clementine’s bare back, which looks far steamier in a fuzzy long-range picture than it actually was; a picture of them from the back at the store in the Venetian with their hands clasped and Clementine curled in close and her lips on Gwen’s cheek; and most damning of all, grinding together at the VIP club at the Bellagio just last night.
“I don’t—” Frantic and confused, she flaps the magazine and printouts in the air. “What is this? This isn’t— Nico, I didn’t, I swear.”
Nico holds both hands up. “Hey, I am well aware of the slander of tabloids. I get it.” He gives her a sympathetic look. “I’m just not sure Flora is going to.”
Burning Tracks by Lilah Suzanne
Series: Spotlight, Book Two
Release Date: August 11, 2016
Pages: 224 • Cover Artist: Victoria S.
Published By: Interlude Press
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In the sequel to Broken Records, Gwen Pasternak has it all: a job she loves as a celebrity stylist and a beautiful wife, Flora. But as her excitement in working with country music superstar Clementine Campbell grows, Gwen second-guesses her quiet domestic bliss. Meanwhile, her business partner, Nico Takahashi and his partner, reformed bad-boy musician Grady Dawson, face uncertainties of their own.
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