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!
Oh…one last thing. I talked in this original page about this Nicki book having three covers. There is actually now a fourth cover. 🙂
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Nicki’s love life might suck, but her sex life is great. The only way both could be spectacular would be if her best friend Sean would look at her as more than just a friend. Nicki knows she’s stuck in the friend zone, so she focuses her energies on her job. She’s becoming a better reporter every day, so when her editor asks her to interview a local politician, Nicki is thrilled. But when the politician’s secretary ends up dead, it’s anybody’s guess as to who did it. Nicki has a few ideas, though, and finds herself in deep trouble as she pokes her nose where she thinks it belongs.
Trivia: Dead is one of the fastest books I’ve ever written. I wrote it in August 2011. I had a couple weeks off from teaching and I was on a roll. I just cranked it out and, even though I had to conduct a lot of research, the words just flowed. Scarier yet, I was also writing articles for a now-defunct website at the time as well, writing about one a day. The words and story were just right there, so easy to access!
Dead has had three covers. The first was a picture of a cell phone with the title texted in. The second was the hearts cover, and the final cover is what you see now. Again, a cell phone, but a much better picture!
Cool facts: Only about two-thirds of the readers who buy Got the Life come back for more Nicki, but once they read Dead, they’re usually hooked!
How Nicki resembles Jade: Okay, this might be stretching it, but I took a News Writing class my freshman year in college. I realized I was not a reporter and I changed my major. I also took a Creative Writing class the next semester. 🙂
Sean’s five favorite bands:
3) Avenged Sevenfold
4) Rage Against the Machine
5) System of a Down
Favorite song: “Cryin’ Like a Bitch” – Godsmack
Theme song: “Now or Never” – Godsmack
Nicki Sosebee: A modern girl who works hard and plays even harder.
Sean Ramsey: Nicki’s drool-inducing best friend who keeps Nicki in the friend zone.
Jesse Roberts: Sean’s friend who’s pursued Nicki over the years. He’s finally on Nicki’s radar, and she thinks he might be worth a second look.
Jillian Carpenter: One of Nicki’s BFFs, Jillian’s life reminds Nicki exactly why she wants to stay single and childless.
Brandy King: One of Nicki’s BFFs, Brandy pulls no punches when she tells Nicki the girl’s got to get over Sean and move on. And Brandy might be a newlywed, but she still likes to hear all about Nicki’s sexual pursuits.
Commissioner Jeffrey Cannon: A slick politician who happens to be Nicki’s current target.
Sara Carmichael: Someone Nicki used to know in high school, Sara now works for the county commissioners.
Neal Black: Nicki’s editor at the Winchester Tribune.
Detective Nathan Wright: A policeman who sometimes helps Nicki…and sometimes doesn’t.
She was at the back of the hotel, about halfway around, passing by the service entrance to the hotel. It was an open area with a shed and a delivery bay. There was also what Nicki imagined was the location for employee breaks, an enclosed area with a wooden fence and a roof.
She kept walking when she heard, “Nicki!” She looked back toward the building to see Jesse sitting on a crate up against the brick wall, away from the entrance. He was smoking a cigarette. Typical rebel Jesse, though…he was nowhere near the designated break area. Nicki felt confident that the Sedgwick would not approve of guests seeing their employees smoking or even taking a break from serving their spoiled, pandered-to visitors.
“Hey, Jesse. Glad to see I’m not the only one taking a break.” She walked over to where he sat.
“It’s crazy, huh?” He took a drag off his cigarette. Nicki moved to the wall and leaned her back up against it beside him. “Hey, do you wanna sit here?”
She shook her head. “No. I’ve been sitting for a while now, and I needed to move a little. Thanks, though.”
“So, did you get any good info for a story?”
God, wouldn’t it be nice to tell him what she was thinking…that someone murdered Sara and she had two solid suspects–Cannon and his volunteer coordinator Colby Sears. But she didn’t dare say a word. “Yeah, a newsflash.” She stood up straight and held her hands out in front of her, her fingers bent as though grasping something, then she spread her hands apart, indicating a headline, and she did her best dramatic news anchor voice. “Nicki Sosebee dies of boredom while politicians and well-to-do talk incessantly about themselves.” Jesse laughed, a puff of smoke spewing from his mouth. Nicki smiled. “Guess there’s a reason my editor writes the headlines.”
“Hey, I’d read that story.”
Nicki leaned back against the warm brick wall, and they were silent for a few moments. Then she pointed to the west. “That’s the evening star, isn’t it? Guess I better make a wish.”
“You know it’s really Venus, right?”
Nicki nodded. “Yeah, I’m pretty sure I learned that back in school and just forgot.”
“So what are you gonna wish for anyway?” He threw the spent cigarette butt to the concrete and stomped on it, rotating his foot back and forth over it.
Nicki pondered, staring at Venus’s steady glow. She stood up and took a few steps forward. “I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it.”
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Jesse look over at her. “You look really pretty tonight.”
There was something about the way he said it. It was so sincere, so sweet, and so unlike anything she’d ever thought about or expected from Jesse in the past. Jesse was the kind of guy who never seemed to take himself, his life, or anyone else seriously. He pushed the boundaries, not to make a statement but to be a pain in the ass. He contradicted people just to get a rise out of them. Nicki had always gotten along with Jesse (in short doses) but had never thought about him as more than just Sean’s friend. In high school, he had been dogged in his pursuit of Nicki, even though she’d had a steady boyfriend. He’d flirted with her off and on since, but Nicki suspected Sean had put a stop to it, affirming to his male friend that Nicki was not interested. And she hadn’t been. A couple of weeks ago, she’d thought some of pursuing him just to see how Sean would react, but she’d just as quickly dropped the idea, because that would involve actually spending time with Jesse, and she hadn’t thought she could stand spending more than fifteen minutes at a time with the guy. Now, though, after bonding in a weird way, feeling like the only two middle class people there at this event, and then his tender observation when she least expected it… She and Jesse would never be boyfriend / girlfriend material, but–for the first time ever–she could imagine spending a little more time with him. She pulled her gaze off of Venus and turned to face him.
He looked serious, more serious than she’d ever seen him. He had a small smile that looked almost innocent. “That’s a really sweet thing to say.” Nicki explored his eyes and took just two steps, and those steps placed her right in front of him. Her gaze dropped from his eyes to his lips, and she placed her hands on either side of his face, her palms against his cheeks, and she kissed him. Jesse parted his lips as his hands held her at the waist.
It had been years since Nicki had kissed a smoker, and she’d forgotten about the initial nasty taste. But then she could taste Jesse underneath, and he wasn’t bad. Something about the cigarettes–maybe the nicotine?–made her lips tingle when it rubbed off on them. Jesse might have been a clown most of the time, but his kissing was serious–confident, strong, and firm–and Nicki was surprised at how much she enjoyed it.
It lasted longer than it should have. Much longer, and Nicki would have asked him to stop by her place after he got off of work.
Instead, they acted like adults. The uptight diners inside would have been proud of their restraint. When Nicki opened her eyes, she saw Jesse Roberts in a whole new light. And she had no idea what to say. Her arms were still around his neck and his remained around her waist. She managed to say, “I guess I should probably get back in there.”
Jesse inhaled, and for the first time ever, he not only looked cute (which Nicki had never denied), he looked sexy. His voice was hoarse. “Yeah, me too, before I get my ass chewed.” But he couldn’t let it go, could he? He kissed her one more time, and she felt that telltale sign in her panties assuring her that he did turn her on. But she didn’t know that she was quite ready for him. She did wonder what something like that would do to Sean…and since Sean was her ideal man, she didn’t want to destroy what little chance they had. She couldn’t just let her hormones rule her every action, no matter how titillating Jesse had become in just a matter of minutes.
And then there was the matter of the icy blonde she’d seen him with earlier in the week. She hadn’t even thought about that when she’d kissed him. “Oh, uh, sorry. I overstepped my bounds. I forgot you were dating someone.”
Jesse’s brows tightened and then he raised his right eyebrow. “Dating someone?” His face relaxed and he said, “Oh. You mean Fiona?”
It was Nicki’s turn to look confused. “Who’s Fiona?”
“Tall blonde…you know, at the nightclub, you had that hoity-toity older dude on your arm.”
Nicki chuckled. “Oh, yeah.”
“I’m not dating her. Her sister wanted to meet Sean, and I was her gateway.” F*ck. Of course. Why did that not surprise Nicki? As though Jesse could read her mind, he kissed her again, and her thoughts of Sean floated off as though on the flutter of a butterfly’s wings.
She could feel her blood surging through her veins, as Jesse’s last kiss managed to amp up her desire. But now was not the right time. She moved her hands to his chest, hoping that stance would give her the will to resist, but there was no need. He said, “Do you want me to walk you back inside?”
It wasn’t that dark yet. Maybe, though, it was because he was also feeling whatever she was, and it felt confusing and too new. “No, that’s okay. Thanks, though.”
He nodded. “Okay.” He let her go and she backed up a couple of steps, trying to break the electrical circuit that seemed to keep her bound to him. She walked a few more steps back and brought her hand up in a wave. Even though it was darker out now, it was still light enough that he could see her. He waved back and she smiled, then turned on her heel to finish walking around the building.
She’d only walked a couple of steps when Jesse said, “Hey…can I call you sometime?”
Nicki stopped and smiled. She turned her head half a turn and said, “Yeah, I think I’d like that.”