Thursday, April 2, 2015

{Character Tour} Sound Advice by L.B. Dunbar

Sound Advice
by L.B. Dunbar
Character Tour


“Nana’s Rules to Live By” 

Gentlemen should always open the door for a lady. 

I was busy and I didn’t have time for a vacation, let alone a weekend away. When a frantic phone call from an old neighbor brought me to my grandmother’s summer home, I wasn’t prepared for an extended stay. And I especially wasn’t prepared for the man holding the door open to the radio repair shop who made a lasting first impression. 

In attempts at a relationship, a gentleman should always make the first move. 

Calling Jess Carter’s clenched jaw and denim-colored eyes part of his standoffish manner was an understatement. His brooding exterior bordered on being downright rude. From the moment I bumped into him, quite literally, our lives began to intertwine in a way that made me question what I wanted. 

Children should be seen and not heard. 

Jess had secrets and I was determined to get to the bottom of them. Even he didn’t know the solutions to all his problems, I wanted to help. In doing so, I might have drawn too close to the truth, forcing Jess to risk something he wasn’t sure he could chance again. I had decisions to make for myself and it’s hard to know whose advice to take when so many questions remain unanswered. 

The first novel in the Sensations Collection visits small town romance filled with big hearts. Sweet, sexy, summertime. 

Emily Interviews Jess

Jess Carter sits next to me and twirls a piece of my chestnut colored hair around his fingers. He’s rather affectionate and finds the need to constantly be touching me somehow. I've been assigned to interview him for the northern Michigan magazine I work for as Jess is now becoming a local sensation.

Jess: Why do we have to do this again? You know I’m a private man. I’d like to show you how private right now. 

Emily: (I giggle knowing what he means, but I have work to do and Katie’s asleep so now is the perfect time for this interview.) Let’s start with that, why are you so private? You've had some amazing accomplishments and you should be proud of them.

Jess: Off the record immediately. You know that after my ex-wife did what she did, I had to do what I needed to do for myself and Katie. We've come a long way, though, and that’s because of you. (He leans forward and rubs his nose along my neck which he has a habit of doing. It’s another thing he knows will get to me and I have to uncross and re-cross my legs to settle the ache there).

Emily: Okay…let’s start with first impressions. What did you really think of me when we met?

Jess, as he twirls my hair around his finger and stares at it: Honestly, I thought you were gorgeous, but you looked too put together. Too clean and uptight. I knew you weren’t local, and I didn’t give it another thought. She’s hot, but she’s a not. Is this really a question for the interview? (He asks with a slight clench to his jaw which means he’s concentrating on something).

Emily: It is. I’m trying to show how we've changed so much.

Jess leans in to whisper in my ear: Let’s go upstairs and change. Out of our clothes.
(I giggle, kiss him quickly and become all business again.)

Emily: Okay. So because of your daughter’s silence, you felt the need to bring sound back to life through radio repair. Because of your invention, you've been able to take modern instruments, like ipods, and rig them to antique radios. Can you tell me a little more about your invention?

Jess: Nope. It’s a secret. (He smiles lopsided at me and I know I’m not getting anything more out of him on this subject).

Emily: What about growing up in a small town? How has that impacted your success?

(Jess clenches his jaw for a moment in concentration. I’m distracted by it and I want him to relax so I lean over and press another kiss on his chiseled cheek, trailing several to his mouth.  He takes me over for a moment and I almost forget my purpose, but he pulls back just as quickly and responds.)

Jess: Growing up in a small town gave me a sense of purpose. I wanted to do more, be more. But a small town is also family, albeit noisy at times. My sister, Pam is rather private and Tricia has her troubles. Tom is just a jokester, but he’s my best friend, next to Gavin Scott. We’re a unit and that’s the best thing about small towns. Plus I work for myself and make my own hours, which has its advantage as well. (He smiles deeply, giving me a knowing glance, and I look down at my ring finger, knowing what he’s hinting at).

Emily: Do you have any fears for the future?

Jess: Again off the record. Losing you.

Emily: Aww, Jess, you…

Jess interrupting: Let me explain. You’re the best thing to happen to me. And Katie. And if you hadn't brought that radio into the shop, I might have never met you and had my world turned upside down. I owe everything to you.

(I couldn’t stop myself, I had to climb into his lap and hold him. We had broken some serious barriers and there was a brief time I thought we had lost one another.)

Softly, I spoke: What advice would you give to others who are trying to make a change in life or make something of themselves?

Jess: Don’t be afraid. It’s one of those rules from your nana. Life is short; live in the now. Don’t put things off. You don’t know what you might miss.

(He covered my mouth with his and I was so dizzy when he pulled back I almost forgot the interview. Jess was an amazing kisser and he knew his lips alone could work me up. I blinked to refocus.)

Emily: Tell me about yourself before. As a teenager.

Jess: I was wild. People want to point the finger at Debbie, my ex-wife, but I wasn't always faithful either.

I interrupted him: Uhm…I don’t think I should put that in the interview.

Jess: How about you say I was reserved, protective of my family, and hesitant to trust others, but I was simply waiting for you to help me see that I could love someone and have her love me.

(I couldn't stop myself. I straddled him as we sat on the old cushions of the wrought iron furniture on the back porch. His hands rubbed up my thighs and my mind went blank for a moment. I loved this man. I loved his daughter. And I couldn't wait to give him more children.)

Emily: What about the future?

Jess: I have plans for you and I. Plans to grow my business. Tom only sees the repair shop, but I want more.

(He kisses my jaw then nuzzles his nose smoothly along the line to my ear.)

Jess whispers: Interview over?

Emily: I have a few more questions.

Jess: How about if I ask you some questions instead?

(I shrug, knowing it won’t hurt. He isn’t the one writing the article.)

Jess: What was your first impression of me?

Emily: I couldn’t figure you out. You were strikingly handsome in a cool, brooding sort-of way, but you were so standoffish. I seemed to piss you off and I never knew what I did.

Jess snorts softly before commenting: It pissed me off that you got into my head immediately. (He tenderly pushes a piece of hair behind my ear and shifts to pull me closer to his center as I still sit astride his lap). What made you come back here? I mean what changed your mind to return?

Emily: Well as you know I had the assignment to write the story about Nana, but I missed you. And Katie. I just didn’t feel complete without either of you.

(His hands cup my cheeks and his lips are on mine again. He’s a passionate kisser and I let him take the lead. I’m breathless when he tugs my lower lip with his and releases me.)

Emily: One last question, if you could re-write your history what would you change?

(Jess clenches his jaw hard this time and I know he’s thinking seriously about this question.)

Jess: I’d like to say my ex-wife, for what she did to Katie, but in a way, if it hadn't happened, I wouldn't have met you. You wouldn't have pushed your way into our lives. (He’s teasing suddenly and I do literally push his hard chest. He only grips my waist harder and tugs me back to him). In all seriousness, I’m stubborn and I wouldn't have given in if you didn't push.

(I look at his denim colored eyes and I know he means it. He wouldn’t have changed his life without my meddling.)

Emily: You know I’m sorry for what happened to Katie, right?

Jess, his tone firm: It had nothing to do with you.

Emily: But I’m sorry all the same. She shouldn't have had to suffer.

Jess warns: Emily

(I know he wants to drop this subject, so I let it go.)

Emily: Time for bed?

Jess: Now? I’d thought you’d never ask. (He laughs).

The word now is special to us. It means don’t look back and don’t project forward, just take life as it is. Life is short; live it now, my nana would say, and Jess and I planned to do just that.

Sensations Series
Taste Test (Book Two)
 Buy Now: Amazon

Fragrance Free (Book Three)
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Touch Screen (Book Four)
Buy Now: Amazon

Newest Series
The Legend of Arturo King
(Legendary Rock Stars Book One)
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Coming Soon:
The Story of Lansing Lotte
(Legendary Rock Stars Book Two)
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About L.B. Dunbar

I’d like to say I was always a writer. I’d also like to say that I wrote every day of my life since a child. That I took the teaching advice I give my former students because writing every day improves your writing. I’d like to say I have my ten-thousand hours that makes me a proficient writer. But I can’t say any of those things. I did dream of writing the “Great American Novel” until one day a friend said: Why does it have to be great? Why can’t it just be good and tell a story?

As a teenager, I wrote your typical love-angst poetry that did occasionally win me an award and honor me with addressing my senior high school class at our Baccalaureate Mass. I didn't keep a journal because I was too afraid my mom would find it in the mattress where I kept my copy of Judy Blume’s Forever that I wasn't allowed to read as a twelve year old.

I can say that books have been my life. I’m a reader. I loved to read the day I discovered “The Three Bears” as a first grader, and ever since then, the written word has been my friend. Books were an escape for me. An adventure to the unknown. A love affair I’d never know. I could be lost for hours in a book.

So why writing now? I had a story to tell. It haunted me from the moment I decided if I just wrote it down it would go away. But it didn't. Three years after writing the first draft, a sign (yes, I believe in them) told me to fix up that draft and work the process to have it published. That’s what I did. But one story let to another, and another, and another. Then a new idea came into my head and a new story line was created. 

I was accused (that’s the correct word) of having an overactive imagination as a child, as if that was a bad thing. I've also been accused of having the personality of a Jack Russell terrier, full of energy, unable to relax, and always one step ahead. What can I say other than I have stories to tell and I think you’ll like them. If you don’t, that’s okay. We all have our book boyfriends. We all have our favorites. Whatever you do, though, take time for yourself and read a book.

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