If you caught my blog post last week, then you know I’m sharing old page content and turning it into blog posts so I can revamp other portions of my site to be more condensed and organized.
For the next several days, I’ll be sharing everything Nicki Sosebee!
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In a nutshell: Nicki Sosebee wants her first headline, but she doesn’t want it to read “Reporter found dead.”
Nicki Sosebee has been working low-paying jobs ever since she finished school, but now that she’s older, she wants more. She’s a novice reporter trying to learn the ropes. Just as she’s getting her career goals on track, though, her love life gets worse and worse. Sure, she has no problems picking up good-looking guys for brief flings, but relationships? Out of the question. Maybe it’s because Sean, her gorgeous best friend, just can’t see her as more than a buddy. So when Sean encourages her as she pursues her first headline-producing story, Nicki realizes that her life’s pretty sweet…if only she can live long enough to see tomorrow’s front page.
Trivia: The first Nicki Sosebee book has had four covers total, two of which you will probably never see (well, five if you count the recent redesign to go paperback!). When it first appeared on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, I’d designed a cover that I thought was clever. It was hard to read the title, though, so it was bad news. But it was a notepad and a pencil, meant to look like an order pad for a waitress, and while it looked okay, the legibility of the title made it less than optimal. Many of you have seen the red heart with a bullet hole against a black background, the heart theme that dominated the Nicki books until Innocent Bystander.
My first attempt at a hot guy cover failed. I was still learning Creative Commons usage rules, and I hadn’t realized the photographer had to get the permission of the model. When the photographer informed me the model’s agent passed, I went back to the heart cover. However, the cover I have now is even better. I thought it would be apropos for the first Nicki book to show a little skin, so there’s no question what’s happening between the covers (ahem…so to speak). I had to pay a little for it, but I think he’s well worth it!
Cool facts: Nicki is a much better waitress than I ever was. I waited tables for several years when I was in college working on my bachelor’s degree, and (this’ll surprise you) it was at Pizza Hut. I tried. Believe me, I tried, but I just wasn’t fast enough. I was a much better cook.
How Nicki resembles Jade: OMG! Nicki has a bit of a potty mouth. Well, I f***ing do too. In all seriousness, people in my real life who only know me as a professional have no idea what a sailor mouth I have, and that includes my family (parents, siblings, etc.). One family member (a black sheep like yours truly) and some very close friends know the real Jade can swear with the best of ‘em. I’m guessing, though, that my readers aren’t too surprised…or shocked.
Nicki’s five favorite bands: 1) Korn 2) Lamb of God 3) Slipknot 4) Seether 5) Papa Roach
Favorite song: “Make Me Bad” – Korn Theme song: “Can’t Catch Me” – Lita Ford
Nicki Sosebee: Modern girl who works hard but plays harder. She works for Napoli Pizzeria and is a novice reporter for the Winchester Tribune.
Sean Ramsey: Nicki’s super-hot best friend. He owns his own business, a motorcycle repair shop. He doesn’t trust authority but keeps his finger on local politics.
Jillian Carpenter: One of Nicki’s BFFs, Jillian is married with three children, three very good reasons, Nicki thinks, to avoid marriage altogether.
Jesse Roberts: One of Sean’s friends, a guy who has pursued Nicki off and on for years. However, Nicki’s not interested…yet. Nicki thinks Jesse doesn’t take anything seriously, and that attitude has always turned her off.
Neal Black: Editor of the Winchester Tribune, he’s taken Nicki under his wing to teach her everything he knows about the newspaper business.
Jason Edwards: A criminal bad boy, one whose story Nicki is following. She realizes that, while he might be good looking, a guy like this is nothing but trouble.
Michael Sterne: Jason Edwards’s half-brother.
Kayla: Sean’s current girlfriend who demands a commitment from her boyfriend.
Melissa Jacobs: A woman Nicki wants to interview for a story for the Winchester Tribune. Melissa is Michael Sterne’s girlfriend, and Nicki hopes the woman has information as to his whereabouts.
Stats: Got the Life was offered free on Amazon for about three months in 2012. During that time, it got to #33 Free in Kindle Store-Suspense.
Nicki’s cell phone rang just as she was grabbing her purse and heading toward the door. Even though she hadn’t programmed the number into her phone (yet), she recognized the number as Carlos’s. She was curious and paused inside the doorway to answer it. “Hello?”
“Nicki, I wanted to tell you goodbye.”
“Are you leaving Winchester now?”
“Yes. I’m already a day behind, but thanks to your friend, I can leave today.” He paused. “I plan to call you next time I’m in town.”
Nicki smiled. “I’d expect nothing less.” She inhaled. “Maybe I can catch up on my sleep before you come back.”
She heard him laugh. “I’m in trouble then, because if what we did last night was you tired, I won’t be able to handle you well rested, chica .”
She giggled. “You know what I mean.”
“I do.” She heard the rev of a motorcycle. “Take care of yourself.”
“You too, Carlos.” She hung up the phone, feeling sadder than she would have expected. Of course, Carlos was meant to be one night only and he’d wound up performing an intense encore. Ah, well, he’d been enough fun to take her mind off Sean for a while, and maybe that would be enough to tide her over until she found her next boyfriend. But the poor suckers who played her BFs never stood a chance.
She arrived at Sean’s garage, glad that she’d changed out of the hot suit. It was blazing out again, and even though it was about ten degrees cooler in Sean’s garage, it was still f*cking hot . Sean had Godsmack blaring out of the stereo, so she knew he was in full-on work mode.
She saw him working on a bike in the back of the shop and goddamn . The boy had his shirt off. How the f*ck could she maintain eye contact and have a normal conversation with him if he had his shirt off? As she got closer, she saw that he had a tattoo on his lower back that she’d never seen before. She couldn’t tell what it was and wouldn’t have a chance, because he stood and turned around just as she got closer.
And the sight of his naked chest took her breath away. He was pure, sweet man, through and through, the ideal for Nicki. Sean might have only been three inches taller than Nicki, but height didn’t make the man. Solid, lean muscle, lovingly cared for, with just a little bit of hair on the chest, dark brown nipples, and a six-pack. Mmmm. That was the ticket. And to think she’d actually caressed that hunk of man there before. But she’d blown it, eight long years ago. And she was about to make a total f*cking ass of herself now if she couldn’t concentrate. So she forced her silly licentious grin to become a friendly, warm smile. It was one of the hardest things she’d had to do in a while. “Well, you sure impressed the sh*t out of Carlos today.”
“He should be.” Why did Sean look so…p*ssed? He walked over to the stereo and turned the music down. Probably a good idea, since “Re-Align” was ending and the next song, “I F*cking Hate You,” wouldn’t make the rest of the businesses on the block very happy. As he turned back around, Nicki noticed it for the first time–his bike…his obsession …was gone.
“What the f*ck, Sean? Where’s your bike?”
A puff of air escaped his open lips. “Why do you think Carlos is so godd*mned impressed?”
Nicki felt her eyes widen. “You gave him your bike?”
Sean gritted his teeth. “No. I sold it to him.”
“Why the hell did you do that?”
Sean turned around, walking back to the bike he’d been working on when she’d come in. “He was in a hurry.”
Nicki thought of Carlos holding her in front of her door last night bringing her to sweet orgasm and forced back a grin. “He wasn’t in that big a hurry. Trust me–I would know.”
“That’s what you think.” He picked up a wrench from off the bench beside the bike. “This is his bike here, and it’s got a f*cked up tranny. I had too many other things to do, so I couldn’t get his bike fixed as fast as he wanted.” He paused. “But he paid me my asking price for my bike, so I guess I shouldn’t complain.”
Sean knelt over again and began loosening a bolt on the bike, his back to her again. Nicki’s eyes started to drift to the new tattoo just above his waistband when it hit her. Sean wanted Carlos gone. That was the only explanation she could find. She stormed over to stand on the other side of the bike. “No, Sean, that’s what you want me to think. But you wanted him out of here.”
He stopped working the wrench but he didn’t look up. “What the hell makes you think that?”
“You just decided–as a supposed ‘convenience’–to let Carlos buy the bike you’ve been working on for three years?”
Sean stood, dropping the wrench back on the bench. He looked angry. He was wiping his hands on a rag and then his eyes locked on hers. “What the f*ck are you doing hanging with that guy, Nicki?”
She felt her blood grow warm. “What’s wrong with him?”
Sean walked around the bike and got closer. “Jesus. Seriously? He’s in a gang, Nicki, a big one out of New Mexico. Do you really want to be involved in that kind of thing?”
She huffed. “He didn’t act like a gang member.”
Sean smiled and shook his head as he continued closing the gap between them. “What exactly does a gang member act like?”
She took a deep breath. He was getting too close, too close for her to concentrate. She could smell him…Sean always smelled like sandalwood and–well, Sean–and he was more potent today than usual. Maybe it was the thin sheen of sweat on his chest that also made his pecs look so f*cking gorgeous? She gulped. Sh*t. She had no idea what to say. “Not like Carlos.” Sean chuckled, stopping about a foot away from her. Enough at least so that Nicki could get her bearings. “Why do you care anyway?”
His eyes stayed on hers. “Because you’re my friend, Nicki, and I know what these guys do.” Then his eyes dropped to her lips.
She intended to call his bluff.
“Bullsh*t. You wouldn’t just give your bike away for that. You know I can take care of myself.”
His voice was low. “You’re right.” His eyes locked on hers again as he placed his hands on both sides of her face, drawing her into a kiss. Nicki thought her heart had stopped beating until she felt it thudding against her chest, as though she were a rabbit being chased by a fox. Her hands cupped his pecs, and she felt the damp warm sweat, felt the hard muscle respond to her hands. Tasting Sean and smelling him up close made the effects of the venti caramel macchiato this morning seem like drinking mother’s milk. God, he tasted good.
The kiss ended and Sean pulled back. Nicki’s eyes stayed closed, her hands now touching only air. She couldn’t catch her breath, and she didn’t want the moment to end. She heard Sean say, “Sh*t. That didn’t happen.”
Nicki’s eyes popped open. She was speechless. “Uh, yeah, I think it did.” She had a pair of dripping wet panties to prove it.
Sean’s face was stone. “No, it didn’t.”
Nicki’s tongue played with a molar on the left side of her mouth. She was getting ready to speak, trying to think up a good retort, when she heard a click click at the other end of the garage. Sean looked in Nicki’s eyes again, sending her some coded message, something she couldn’t quite register, and then his eyes darted back to his visitor. Then Nicki figured it out.
She turned around for confirmation and saw Kayla, wearing tight jeans and a yellow halter top, her tiny B-cup failing to fill its form. Kayla’s long red hair bounced as she clicked toward Sean, extending a brown paper bag. “Lunch.”
Sean smiled at her. “Thanks, babe.”
Nicki tried not to puke. Sean’s arms wrapped around Kayla’s waist as Kayla’s arms wound around his neck. Nicki saw Kayla’s white thong string above her jeans, accenting her tramp stamp. God, Kayla was such a stereotype. Nicki couldn’t figure out what Sean saw in the girl. But she was nice enough, more than she could say about some of the women Sean had dated in the past. Kayla turned around, long enough that Nicki had wiped the disgusted look off her face. “Hi, Nicki.”
“Hey, Kayla. How’ve you been?” Did you taste my lips on your boyfriend? Oh, that was cruel, even for Nicki. Thank goodness she didn’t say it out loud. Nicki made sure to leave just as Sean was biting into the sandwich. There was no way they could resume their conversation now. It would just have to wait.