Connie L. Smith spends far too much time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and will be forever sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. When she isn’t reading or writing, there’s a good chance she’s goofing off with her amazing, wonderful, incredible, fabulous nieces and nephew, or listening to music that is severely outdated. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either) and likes to snap photos. Oh, and she likes apples a whole big bunch.
Music is a pretty big deal for me. I grew up surrounded by all kinds of music, and it was a means of camaraderie in a lot of ways for my family. My mom has this awesome floor-model record player, and there have been quite a few times when multiple members of the family would sit around and listen to records. (I’m under 30! I promise!) I tend to connect life and songs on occasion, so it only seems fitting that my newest release, Emblazed, has its own soundtrack. This isn’t what I listened to while writing or editing the book, but a dozen songs that I think fit with the flow of the story. Here’s hoping you recognize – and enjoy – a few of them.
But before we’re done, here’s an excerpt from Emblazed:
AJ sensed him there, standing wordlessly some feet in the distance, just like she always recognized his presence when he lingered near. She absorbed the comfort and happiness he brought her – not that she’d admit that out loud – before sighing and speaking. “It’s called making a bed, Julius. It’s pretty commonplace.”
He didn’t push away from the doorframe, instead leaning further against it while he continued to observe her. “Sweetheart, nothing’s commonplace when you do it.”
Hearing the grin and affection in his voice, she smiled, peeking at him over her shoulder. “Is that a compliment or an insult?”
He gazed upward to stare at the ceiling with a thoughtful expression, then returned his attention to her, his shrug carefree. “Both.”
She smirked. “Sweet talker.”
“Odd ball.” He finally moved from the threshold, unhurriedly advancing toward her. “You know, most people make their beds in the morning. Not ten o’clock at night.”
She snorted. “Yeah. I’m gonna make my bed as soon as I roll out of it at six AM. I wouldn’t be making it now if I didn’t have to wrestle the sheet back on four times a night.” Finally setting her pillow in its position, she turned to him with an unashamed grin.
He chuckled, his adoration plain, and brushed a lock of hair from her face. “You’re one of a kind, you know that?”
“Compliment or insult?” she teased again.
“Compliment.” He smiled, cupping her cheek. “Definitely a compliment.”
“Sweet talker,” she repeated, standing on her tiptoes to press a kiss to his lips. Wrapping her arms around his neck, his circling her waist, she dove into the moment, reveling in the wonderful sensations only Julius incited. Safety. Warmth. Passion. So many more she couldn’t quite put a name to, the combination too heady and consuming to adequately decipher. It was simply a Julius effect, and its wonder had no equal in her life. Gradually breaking away, she knowingly lifted an eyebrow. “You didn’t come here just to make fun of me over my bed-making habits.”
“Maybe I came up here just to kiss you.”
“If that were the case, dear Julius, you wouldn’t have waited until I kissed you.”
Narrowing his eyes, he barely restrained his smirk at her forwardness and how well she’d grown to understand him in their time together. “You have a point.” He stepped back from her embrace, grasping her hand in his. “Come on. We have a mission.”
“A mission?” Her brow furrowed, though she made no move to retrieve her palm from his, following him in confusion as he neared the hallway. “At ten o’clock at night?”
“I believe we already covered the time in this conversation, AJ.” He made a clucking noise with his tongue, shaking his head in mock disappointment. “You really need to keep up with matters a bit more.”
She glared at the back of his head, lips thinning despite her vexing boyfriend’s inability to see her from his location. Realizing the futility of her frustrated efforts, she clenched the fingers he clutched, smiling in accomplishment at his grunt of discomfort. “Yeah, we covered it, but in household chore way. Not in a mission way. What could we possibly have to do this late at night?”
He sent her an amused glance – one she deemed condescending, particularly after the physical hint of her annoyance – while tugging her through the doorway. “You do realize it isn’t ten o’clock everywhere, right?”