Just relax Nicky…..

It’s been a while since I have given my latest update on this whole self-publishing experience, so here is a quick re-cap. Editing, editing, editing, and more editing. Oh yeah, did I mention Editing? Work all day, edit at night. Somewhere in the middle of all that though, my graphic designer has completed my cover. I can’t wait to reveal this. It’s fantastic! Oh, and did you know that if you are uploading your cover for an e-book and hard copies, you need two different formats for those because they just won’t look quite right? I’m not a graphic designer, and I cannot begin to understand why this is or how it all this works, I just know it is what it is and One size cover does NOT fit all.

I’ve purchased my ISBNs from Bowker. Speaking of which, listen up, if you are self-publishing it is very important to purchase your own ISBN. Do your research, I did mine. I was also advised to do this. And since you’ll need a different ISBN for each site that you upload and sell your book through, whether it is an e-book or hardcopy, it’s best to buy them in a group of 10. It will save you money in the long run. But again, I repeat…. BUY YOUR OWN ISBN!!!!!!
Okay, moving on from that…….

As it gets closer to my release date I’m getting more excited…..and more stressed out. I need something to help me relax. I need something to help me slow down and just breathe.

“Just relax Nicky. Just breathe…..” Words that I hear daily from a very good friend. In fact, I find myself chanting this quite often throughout my day. Right now I am consumed with trying to get this book through the editing process. After that, I have to figure out how to format it and get it ready for upload and launching. That thought alone makes my heads feel like it’s going to spin off my shoulders and detach from my body. Thank goodness for very dear friends who have experience with this, especially my Editor and author AJ Linn. Those two have been phenomenal and so very supportive. I can’t express my gratitude enough to those two! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

I know this blog was short and sweet, but I have six chapters waiting for me in Google Docs that needs my immediate attention. My editor is busting her bum to get these done for me, I need to catch up! Until next time…

Xx
~N~

That is a lot of Yellow!

Ah Hell, that is a lot of Yellow! That was my first thought I had when I opened up Google docs to start on the first round of edits that Scarlett sent me. I breathed in deeply, let out a heavy sigh, and then repeat. It took a moment for me to get myself unstuck from the ceiling, but once I had, I quickly realized the editing really was not as bad as what I anticipated. Scarlett put my mind at ease once we discussed why there was so much yellow in my manuscript; I kept switching back and forth between past and present tense, sometimes in the same sentence even. This is not something I had noticed, nor do I think I would have if she hadn’t pointed it out to me. But….this is what editors do and I’m telling you right now, never ask me to be one for you because editing is not my cup of tea.

Scarlett and I seem to have a pretty good system going. I shared my manuscript with her, chapter by chapter in Google docs. She goes in, edits a chapter and then renames it when she has done her part; then I know it’s ready for me. I read her suggestions; I make the necessary changes, and rename it to let her know I’m done. Scarlett goes back in to check it over once more and then we agree that it is time to let the proofer do his part. Josh does the same thing; he proofs it, shares it with me, and Scarlett and I look it over and discuss. We are doing this one chapter at a time until we have reached the end. When it’s all done, we will start from the beginning and read through it all again to make sure that we are satisfied with the finished product.

I have a graphic designer who is currently working on my cover. Thank You so much AJ Linn, author of The Gentleman’s Series, for connecting me with Jameson. Jameson is very talented and has presented me with a couple of cover ideas, and working on a couple more.

After the edits began I wrote my epilogue, synopsis, dedication, acknowledgements, note from the author, and table of contents pages. The synopsis was challenging. How do I take 63,000 thousand words and turn them into a couple hundred? Well, I did it. And I’m working on perfecting it, so more to come on that.

I was worried about the epilogue because I have not started writing the second book, so I had no idea what I was going to say. Friday morning though, it hit me, like a brick to the head. I sat down and hammered out an epilogue that I’m pretty excited about. And what I like most about it is that I can branch off of it in a couple of different directions when I start writing Raven’s Undoing.

Scarlett and I talk almost every day discussing the editing of my book. She has had to remind me a few times that, “I am the author, and this is my story. I can tell it how I want to.” Also, that “I do not suck.” (I worried that I sucked when I first saw all the yellow…lol…). And she has also told me numerous times that what I’m going through is a very normal process and all authors have to be edited. That’s what the editors are there for. She is so supportive and encouraging. The more I work with her, my confidence as a writer increases. The editing process really isn’t that bad and I’ve learned some valuable writing tips and so much more….. Especially just how much I hate the color Yellow.

And so it begins…

And so it begins the grueling and tedious process of editing. Okay, so maybe I’m over exaggerating with that statement because so far, it’s really has not been that bad. I officially started this process yesterday, April 5th, and just finished the edits on the 3rd chapter today. Oh, and while I’m talking about editing, I need to take the time to mention to you all just how much I LOVE my editor, Scarlett! This woman is Amazing. Not only is she good at what she does, but she is also very warm and caring and so easy to work with. I can honestly say now that she has become my friend and I’m looking forward to this journey with her.

So backing up again to this whole editing process and how it’s happening. Okay, even before that, I wanted to mention that I officially sat down and started writing this book September 28th 2013. I wrote my very last sentence on March 26th. Six months and almost 63,000 thousand words later, Raven’s Innocence was born.

After I finished the last sentence of my book, I felt completely elated! In fact, I jumped up from the computer and did a happy dance. I wanted to run outside and shout to the world, I DID IT! IT’S DONE! Instead though, I stayed inside and chanted that over and over again throughout the house and then let my friends and family know I completed the book. Yaye for me! Pat myself on the back! Woot Woot!!!!

And then reality smacked me in the face, this is only the beginning. My book is far from done. Sitting down and writing the story, that was the easy part. That was the fun part. Developing the characters, especially Raven and Grant, and giving them life and meaning. Watching the story unfold in my head and come alive on paper. I loved every minute of that. And each night I sat down to write a little more, I thought I knew what I wanted to say, but most of the time, once my fingers started dancing across the keyboard, my story would always take off in another direction. I never once made an outline and tried to follow. I sat down and started to write and I let the characters and their lives evolve in my head and blossom a little more each night.

Now comes the hard part of it: Editing, formatting, marketing, publishing, launching, and more marketing. The first three chapters of editing have been smoother than what I expected, but I must give credit to Scarlett for that. She introduced me to Google Docs and I LOVE IT! So easy! I have been uploading my book chapter by chapter then sharing them with her. She goes in, tells me everything I did wrong, and then I go back in and make the corrections. After my part is done, she goes through them again. I also love how we can be looking at them at the same time and use the chat feature to discuss. For anyone who has not ever used Google Docs, please try it. Seriously, it’s totally worth it!

Since I have finished writing the first book, I am missing the writing process. I already have the second part of this series written in my head, and even an idea for the third book. I want to get back to writing, STAT! But that will come in due time. Right now I need to focus on getting this first book ready to publish.

One suggestion Scarlett made to me was to keep a diary and blog about my experience through this publishing process. So here I am, and it keeps me writing something. I’ll do my best to keep everyone updated through this. I just might post a few more unedited excerpts as well. I also have a couple of more ideas to blog about, but I’ll keep those to myself until I’m sure about them. I don’t have an exact date I am aiming for to launch Raven’s Innocence, I have an idea of when I want to, but wanting and it happening are two different things, so mum’s the word until I get closer to that. It will be very soon though!

For now, I’m going to shut down my computer and give my brain a break. I’ve been editing all weekend and now this. I hope that I didn’t sound like I was just rambling on above, but if I did I apologize. I truly am mentally exhausted. Xx

~N~

Ravens Innocence ~ Unedited Excerpt~Run Away?

We lay there in his bed, Grant on his back, me cradled in his arms on my side. I’m tracing the branches of his tattoo with my fingers, over his abs, up his chest, admiring the detail of the artwork and thinking just how breathtakingly beautiful it is, he is, all of him. He watches my fingers move across his body and I’m wondering what he is thinking right now. I feel exhilarated, yet exhausted. I think that was the best sex I have ever had in my entire life thus far. I grin while replaying it over again in my head.
“You have a beautiful smile, you know that?” Grant interrupts my thoughts. I stop tracing his tattoo with my fingers and I look up at him still smiling. He leans in and kisses me, but it’s soft and delicate, not powerful and possessing like it has been up until now. I like it.
“Thank You.” I break away and sit up, wondering what time it is. Grant watches me with his turquoise eyes while I peak around him to look at the clock by his bedside table. It’s almost 9 o’clock. Time is slipping away quickly. I wonder if Kat has text me yet to make sure I’m still okay. I wonder how her night with Ethan is going.
“Are you okay?” He asks.
“Yeah, I’m good.” I smile. “I didn’t realize it was getting so late.”
“It’s only 9 o’clock. The night is still young. We’re just getting started.” He has a sexy smirk on his face again. Just getting started? I don’t know that I can handle another round of that so soon. I let out a light-hearted giggle and slump back down into his arms. “Just getting started?” I repeat.
He laughs. “Why, was that too much for you to handle?” I can hear the smirking in his question.
“No, not at all. It was quite invigorating actually. Might have been the best sex I have ever had even.” I give him a teasingly look.
“Might have been?” His tantalizing stare is causing the blushing heat to rise in my cheeks again. “Well sweetheart, it looks like next time, I’m going to make sure that it is the best sex you’ve ever had. When I’m done with you, there will be no maybe about it.” Oh my.
“Looking forward to it.” I say teasingly.
“Are you?” He smirks but I just grin and nod my head. Grant’s face transforms from sweet to devious and I see a shift in his expression and thoughts. “Raven, be careful what you wish for.” Huh? I give him a questioning look. He takes his fingers and brushes a curl away from my face and tucks it behind my ear.
“I think I know what I want.” I’m trying to get him to explain his comment further. He lets out a heavy sigh, raises up, and peers down onto me. He cups my face in his hand and I notice his expression is hardened; it almost looks dark.
“Raven, I’m not sure that you do.”
I frown at him totally confused. “What do you mean?” I ask.
“You don’t really know me. Not like you think that you do.” Where is this coming from? “I don’t know if you really want to.” He holds my stare, waiting for me to say something but I don’t know what to say; talk about a change in mood. Jeesh.
“Why would you say that? I don’t understand.” I’m searching his hardened stare for a sign of emotion but can’t I detect what he might be thinking. “Grant, what is it? Why would I not want to know you?” I push his hand back and sit up next to him. I’m not understanding how we went from sexual bliss to dark and depressing here.
Grant doesn’t take his eyes off me, and suddenly I am aware of how naked and exposed I am and I feel very uncomfortable. I pull the comforter up and cover myself. Grant lays back, puts his hands behind his head, closes his eyes, and lets out a heavy sigh.
“I really like you Raven.”
“I really like you too. I thought we covered all that. So what is this about?” I’m feeling annoyed right now. I’m try not to let the hostility come through my voice but I’m not doing a very good job of it. He opens his eyes and tilts his head up and looks at me, but this time his expression has softened again.
“You know what, it’s nothing. Forget I said I anything.” Oh hell no. What? My eyes widen and I give him a ‘What the hell’ look. He reaches over and takes hold of hand, while still laying beside me. He knows I’m not going to just let this go that easily. “There’s a lot we don’t know about each other. There’s a lot you don’t know about me. And I think if you got to know the real me, you might run away scared.” Didn’t see that one coming.
“Run away scared? Why would think such a thing? So far, I like what I see, for the most part.”
“For the most part?” He raises an eyebrow at me.
“Well, you’ve had your moments the past couple of weeks, but that’s totally understandable, considering-“ I shut my mouth. Not going there. “Look Grant, when I first met you, I thought you were one of the kindest, most down to earth guys I have ever met. Not to mention sexy as hell.” He cracks a smile when I say that. “And I know we’ve had our challenges lately, but you’ve done nothing to make me want to run away scared. I don’t know why you think that I would, unless you turned out to be a total psycho or something; but I wish you would let me decide all that for myself.” Now I sound like I’m pouting.
Grant sits back up and wraps his strong sexy arms around me, pulling me into a warm tight hug. “Okay Raven, if you say so.”
“What do you mean?” I whisper.
“I mean, I’ll let you decide for yourself.” I feel his grip on me tighten as he hugs me harder. Then he cups the back of my head with one of his hands and in a dark whisper he says, “But you might lose your innocence in the process.”

Copyright ©2014 –ND White

Ravens Innocence ~ Unedited Excerpt ~ ‘Dessert’ Mmmm

The ride back to Grant’s place was too quick, yet not long enough. We didn’t talk to each other. Instead Grant had turned on the radio and I sent Kat a text telling her that I hoped she was having a good time with Ethan and that my evening was going great but I was not sure when I would be back at the apartment. I noticed Grant giving me a couple of quick sideways glances but each time I would catch him looking at me, he would divert his eyes back to the road quickly but then a sly grin would creep across his face as well. I would pretend not to think anymore of his sideways glances and continue to watch the Pine trees flying by under the star lit sky, as I stared out the window.
Truth is though, on the inside, I was freaking out. Our conversation at dinner did not go at all the way I expected. The way Grant looked at me with his turquoise eyes, like he wanted to devour me right there at the table, and apparently that is still on his agenda for the evening. The way he called me sweetheart; in a deep sexy purr. That was a first, and it’s something I look forward to hearing again.
And he wants to savor me for dessert? I’m not opposed to the idea at all, believe me, I’ve been fantasizing about having his body wrapped up in mine since I the night I met him, but now that it’s finally about to happen, I am about to crawl out of my skin with anxiety. I haven’t been with anyone for so long, not sexually speaking anyway. I have never been promiscuous. The few people I have had sex with, were people that I were in serious relationships with and grew to love. I may come across as flirty and sexually driven, but I am not licentious. I don’t like having my heart toyed with, not to mention all the dangers that come with having multiple sexual partners.
Hearing Grant tell me that he really liked me does put my mind at ease just a little. I really like him too. In the short time we’ve known each other. I think there might be real potential there for us. I’m trying to ease into this hopeful, yet cautious. Right now I am feeling all kinds of mixed emotions.
My thoughts are interrupted when Grant slows down and turns onto the road that leads to his house. Anxiety levels returning, pretty high too. Someone is going to need to un-stick me from the ceiling. He senses my anxiety and reaches over and places a hand on my leg. I look over at him and he winks at me, I smile in return.
I feel my heart starting to beat a little faster as I see Grant’s vastly exquisite home come into view. Grant slowly makes his way up the driveway and then parks his Touareg. Without saying anything he gets out and walks around and opens my door for me.
“You really don’t have to do that.” I’m just trying to find a way to break the ice.
“I know that. But being a gentleman never goes out of style.” Grant takes my hand and helps me step out down out of the vehicle. I shiver as the bitter cold wind wraps around us. “I guess I should have pulled into the garage. Let’s get you inside.” Grant keeps an arm wrapped around me as we walk up to the front door.
When we get inside he takes my coat and purse from me and puts them away. Then he gets his fireplace going and offers me a drink. I’m still feeling the effects of the wine from dinner so I ask for water, although some more wine might help relax me again, but I don’t want to make myself sick. I sit down on the sofa and Grant brings me a glass of water and has added a lemon slice to it.
“Thank You. Oh, you added lemon.” I say sweetly as I take the glass from him. I hate lemon. Especially germ infested lemon slices floating in my water. I thought I told him that before. He probably just forgot, but I’m not drinking that. I don’t want to sour his mood by reminding him of how disgusted I am when I see lemon slices floating in people’s glasses of water, so I painfully take the glass and put it to my lips and pretend to take a sip of it. Grant sits down on the opposite end of the sofa from me. I set my glass down on the end table beside me. When I turn back to look at Grant I see that he has a very seductive look on his face. I can’t help but blush, yet again.
“Blushing already Raven? We haven’t even got started yet.” Oh my, what does he mean by that? I feel my face heating up more and I know I have to be crimson red right now.
“What did you have in mind?” I ask, as if I don’t already know. I think I’m trying to buy time. I feel my heart about to beat out of my chest. I should forget stalling and just let him take me right here, right now.
“If I recall, we were waiting to have dessert once we got here.” Grant starts to inch towards me. “And we’re here now.” He’s still moving closer, passion starting to burn in his eyes. “And I am ready for dessert.” Without hesitation Grant’s mouth comes crashing down on mine. I am astonished by dominance as he wraps one arm underneath my back and starts to push me down onto the sofa while he runs his other hand through my silky curls. He is kissing me with such force, I am almost gasping for my next breath.
He starts to move his hand out of my hair and down the front of my chest. He moves his hand under my shirt and I feel it searching for the clasp on my bra. Panic sets in and I suddenly need for him to get off of me and give me some space. I break away from his kiss, breathing heavily. “Please Grant. Stop. Stop now. Please.” He quickly sits up with a perplexed look on his face.
“What’s wrong? Did I hurt you?” He helps pull me upright into a sitting position with a look of worry on his face.
“No. No you didn’t hurt me. I just…” What is wrong with me? I’ve been waiting for this moment.
“You just what?” He asks me.
“I don’t really know.” I pout. “I just panicked I guess. I don’t know why. I think it’s because I…” Oh for shit’s sake spit it out.
“You what Raven?” He looks at me sincerely. “You can tell me anything you know.”
I look away embarrassed. I should not have interrupted what was happening between us. Grant takes his hand and gently places it under my chin and tilts my face back to meet his stare. He is waiting for me to answer him, searching my eyes for a glimpse of what is hiding behind them. “Why did you panic?” He whispers.
I take a hold of his hand and bring it down to my lap but I don’t look away from him. “I haven’t been with anyone for such a long time Grant.”
“And?” he encourages.
I just shrug my shoulders and give him a pouty look. I don’t have an answer for him really. What am I afraid of exactly, rejection? That’s absurd. We wouldn’t be here now if there was any chance of rejection; he would have already been long gone by now. Maybe it’s because it has been so long and I’m afraid of disappointing him. I want this to be perfect. But what is perfect when it comes to sex?
“Raven, relax. What matters to me is this, you and me. Right here. Right now. Nothing else.” Once again, it’s as if he has read my mind. I breathe a sigh of relief and I bite my lip out of pure embarrassment.
“I’m so sorry.” I let out a nervous laugh. “Leave it to me to take an incredible moment and instantly kill it.”
“Oh sweetheart, no need to apologize.” Sweetheart. I am swooning. “You haven’t killed anything. Maybe squeezed a little life out of it, but not completely killed it.” He smirks and I roll my eyes and giggle at his comment. “Raven, we don’t have to do this tonight if you don’t want to.”
“But I do.” I quickly respond. Grant’s eyes widen with surprise.
“Are you sure? I don’t want you doing anything you’re not comfortable with.” He starts stroking my hand with his thumb. He is being so considerate of my feelings right now.
“Trust me Grant, I don’t do anything I don’t want to do.” I flash him a sexy smile. “And right now, all I want to do, is you.” I hold his stare with a daring look.
Grant pulls his hand from mine and starts to get up off of the couch. “What are you doing?” I ask, instantly worried that I said something wrong.
“I think I’m going to take my dessert to the bedroom and devour it there.” He smirks with a wickedly devilish grin as he reaches down and pulls me up off the sofa. Butterflies are erupting deep inside me. I can’t believe we are going to do this, finally. I am so nervous. It is taking all I’ve got to move one foot in front of the other to follow him up the luxury grand staircase that leads up to the bedrooms. I’ve not been in Grant’s bedroom yet, I’ve had no reason to be before now.
Once we reach the door to Grant’s bedroom he stops before going in and turns to me. “Are you sure about this Raven? Because it’s not too late to change your mind.” What an odd thing to say, however it also excites me. I shake my head and blush, it’s all I can muster right now. Grant opens his bedroom door and pulls me inside.
His bedroom is huge. I think that me and Kat’s apartment could easily fit in this room. Well, close anyway. I divert my attention to his king size bed and the slate gray duvet set that is neatly made. I am impressed that he keeps his bedroom so tidy. It looks as if no one uses this room. In fact, from what I have seen, he keeps his whole house uncluttered and very clean; not your typical bachelor pad that comes to mind.
I don’t have much time to really take in the bedroom before Grant is standing behind me, arms wrapped around my waist, and he is lightly kissing the back of my neck. He’s not wasting any time, and I’m okay with that. I let out a low purring sounds. God that feels so good. Grant starts to tug at my sweater and I feel him leaving a trail of kisses from my neck down to my shoulder.
“I think it’s time that you lose this sweater.” He whispers this in my ear, which causes goose bumps to erupt across my skin. Just when I think that he is going to take it off of me himself, he steps in front of me and says “Take your clothes off.” I see desire burning in his eyes. I hesitate and look away from him, letting my insecurities take over and Grant senses this immediately. “Look at me Raven.” He commands. “You have nothing to be ashamed of. I think that you are beautiful. I want to watch you undress yourself slowly, so that I can take you all in, inch by inch.” He pauses and I see a shift in his stare. “It will be like unwrapping a present, that I have long waited to get my hands on, and play with.”
My whole body has to be the color of my red sweater right now. Wow, I can’t believe he just said that. I feel my cheeks flushing hot and the desire to have him ripping my sweater off and throwing me on his bed is burning through me. I swallow and take a deep breath. I’m telling myself I can do this. This gorgeous man wants to see me naked, all of me. He wants this. I want this.
I take a couple of steps back away from him and I slowly lift my sweater up over my head and toss it to the side. Grant gives me a pleasing look and nods his head signaling for me to continue. I reach down and unzip each one of my boots, but then Grant bends down and slowly pulls each one off of me very carefully insuring that I do not lose my balance. I nervously undo my jeans and slowly push them down around my ankles. Grant, still bent down, carefully pulls each leg of my jeans off of me and tosses them next to my sweater. Then he stands up and backs away from me and catches his breath as he takes me all in. I’m still wearing my sheer bra and panties, which leaves nothing to the imagination.
“God you are beautiful.” Grant is looking at me like I am the most beautiful thing he has ever seen, and this makes me feel blissful, to have him look at me and see such admiration in his eyes. I smile at him and without thinking wrap my arms around my waist in an attempt to cover myself. Grant steps towards me, takes hold of my wrists, and pulls my arms away from my stomach. “Don’t do that”.
“Do what?” I ask innocently.
“Cover yourself up. What did I just say to you?” He demands.
I look away from him embarrassed.
“Look at me Raven.” He is being awful pushy. I turn back to meet his stare. “What did I say to you? And do not make me ask you again.” What?
I stutter, “that I’m beautiful.”
“You don’t say it like you believe it Raven.” Because I don’t. His eyes are piercing. I lightly shrug my shoulders and force a weak smile. “Well then, I guess I’m going to have to convince you of it.” And how does he plan on doing that? Without letting go of my wrists, Grant starts backing me up until I feel the bed at the backs of my legs. I am so nervous I feel as if my legs might just give out on me at any moment. Grant lets go of my wrists and then pulls his own sweater up over his head and drops it on the floor. Then he gives me a sly sexy grin and takes a step back and starts unbuttoning the shirt he had on underneath. My knees are growing weak at the anticipation of seeing his beautiful naked body, but I don’t move from where I am standing.
When Grant lets his button down shirt fall behind him, I gasp in surprise at the beautiful artwork splaying across his lean and chiseled body. I had no idea that Grant had a tattoo, especially one of this magnitude and artistry. It’s of an old oak tree, and the base of the tree sits on his right side somewhere below his waistline, that I can see. The trunk of the tree comes up his side, and the branches are reaching out and wrapping themselves up around his torso and then his pectoral muscles and peak on top of his shoulder. The lines, the shading of blacks and grays, the detail, it’s all so extraordinary. I stand there and admire the artwork as he unbuttons his pants, not taking his eyes off of me once. He bends down to remove his pants from his legs and I see that the oak tree also wraps around to his back as well and continues upwards. It is one of the most magnificent tattoos I have ever seen.
Grant stands back up, only still in his boxers and slowly steps towards me. His eyes are burning with passion and I am trying to catch my breath, feeling anticipation and desire burning deep within me. He stops and presses his body against mine. He reaches one arm around my back and pulls me in close, and with his other hand he places his fingers on my cheek gently glides them down to my bottom lip, then down my chin, then he traces a line down my neck and my head falls back as his fingers keep going until they finally touch ………

Copyright ©2014 –ND White

Ravens Innocence ~ Unedited Excerpt ~ ‘Sweetheart’

I don’t notice the waiter as he approaches with his arms full until he clears his throat to catch our attention. I quickly pull my hand away from Grant’s, but reluctantly. The waiter sets the entrees down on the table, offers us more wine, and then quickly leaves the table knowing he had interrupted some sort of moment between Grant and I.
“That was fast.” I mutter. Grant nods his head agreeing with me. I watch as he unwraps his silverware from the cloth napkin and then drapes the napkin in lap. I am replaying his words in my head, ‘I like you too Raven’. Thinking about them makes me blush all over again.
“What are you thinking that is making you blush?” Grant asks me with a sexy smirk on his face. I look away and unwrap my silverware and place my napkin in my lap as well. I’m trying to keep myself distracted but I feel my cheeks burning up as he doesn’t take his eyes off me. “Why must I always ask you something twice before you’ll answer me?” He says.
“Because you already know the answer, but I think you take great pleasure in watching me squirm.” I really think he does. He knows exactly why I’m blushing.
“Oh sweetheart, I have not even begun to make you squirm.”
I nearly drop my fork and then knock over my wine glass while trying to keep it from falling on the floor. Grant chuckles at me. He really is enjoying this way too much. I am so easily embarrassed and flustered, especially by him. This just re-iterates how much I do like him and the effect he has on me.
“If you must know, and I’m sure you do already, but I was blushing thinking about how you said that you do like me. I am relieved to hear that.”
“Relieved?” he asks.
“Yes, relieved. I wasn’t sure if we were on the same page or not. I didn’t know where this was going.” I’m still not sure if I’m clear on where this is headed. “Where is this going Grant?” I might as well ask.
Grant puts down his fork and leans in towards me, his turquoise eyes blazing a fiery blue. His voice is low to where only I can hear what he is saying. “First we eat. Then we’ll go back to my place, and I will show you exactly where this is going.”
I swallow. That’s all I can do is swallow, as my cheeks light up again. I feel a burning ache in my belly. He doesn’t take his eyes off me and I can’t take mine off him. I have suddenly lost my appetite for food. Check Please!
Grant leans back up away from me, picks his fork back up and smirks. “Your tortellini won’t eat itself Raven. And the sooner you start eating it, the sooner we get back to my place; and then we’ll have dessert.” And with that he takes a bite without taking his eyes off of me.

Copyright ©2014 –ND White

Ravens Innocence ~ Unedited Excerpt

My mind is racing. Did he just say that? Did I hear him right? I feel a flutter through my chest and I know I’m blushing. I wonder if the people we are passing see me blushing too. I am practically stumbling over my own feet trying to keep up. If Grant didn’t have a hold of my hand, I surely would lose him in this crowd.
The cold wind smacks me in the face as soon as we escape through a set of doors out of the arena. I welcome the bite though because I was feeling very warm and flushed from the crowd of people and from Grant’s sexual innuendo. Grant continues to hold onto my hand as we briskly walk towards his vehicle.
Grant opens my door for me and I get in, without looking at him. He closes my door and rushes to the driver’s side. Once he is in, I still avoid eye contact with him. I can feel my cheeks burning red and I’m trying so hard to not let a big grin break free. I look out my window and pretend to be focusing on the cars in the parking lot. Grant gets the car started and the heat going and then I feel him looking at me, waiting for me to say something. I keep staring out the window wishing he would say something.
“Raven.”
“Huh?” I respond still looking out my window, cheeks burning.
“Why won’t you look at me?” I can hear the smile in his voice. He knows that what he said inside is making me blush. I say nothing but I am grinning ear to ear now. My breath is fogging up the window and I wonder if he can see my reflection smiling in the glass.
“Well, I guess we can just sit here then until you talk to me.” I know he’s still looking at me with that gorgeous smile of his. I really could just sit here and stare out the window all evening and not say another word, to make a point, but I know how ridiculous that sounds. I slowly turn my body towards him in the seat, still grinning.
“Why so red in the face?” He teasingly asks. Arse. He knows why. I look down at my fidgety fingers while my cheeks blush even hotter. He sighs real heavy. “I didn’t think a small statement like that would you get you this hot and bothered.”
My eyes flash back up to meet his. “I’m not hot and bothered.” I try to play it off best I can.
“You’re not? Really? Because your beautiful blushing cheeks show otherwise.”
I squirm in my seat. Damn blushing cheeks, gives it away every time. I can keep a poker face but I can’t control the heat. “I’m fine. It’s just that your comment in there took me by surprise is all. You’ve not said anything like that to me before.” My eyes dart away again.
“I haven’t?” He asks aloud. I look back at him and he looks like he is surprised by that. I return the same look of surprise back at him. “Of course not.” He answers his own question and then his face starts to soften as reaches over and takes both my hands in his. What is he doing? I just sit there with a blank look on my face.
“I have had an appetite for you from the moment I laid my eyes on you.” Grant’s tone is serious and his eyes now look like they are burning with desire as he says this to me. Of course the heat is spreading through my cheeks again from this revelation. I sit there unsure of what to say next. I know what I’m thinking, what’s taking so long! But I dare not say that out loud. I know he is waiting for me to give him some sort of reaction. My mouth opens to speak, but nothing comes out, so I shut it again.
“Cat got your tongue, Raven?” He smirks. God I love how he says my name. I feel a burning deep in my belly that is trying to radiate up and ignite my cheeks even more. I swallow and take a deep breath.
“I didn’t know you felt that way about me.” That’s all I can say right now. At least it’s an honest statement.
“Well, I do.” He says. “You’re beautiful Raven. And I can see there is more to you than just a pretty face.” This makes me smile. “And,” he continues, “I don’t know why I have not told you this before now, but I honestly can’t wait to show you just how big my appetite is. I. Want. To. Eat. You. Up.”
My jaw drops open as my eyes widen. Well now, I was not expecting that. Not here, not now. I don’t have much time to think because Grant quickly closes the space between us, cups my face in his hands and starts to kiss me; and I let him. I’m too stunned to do anything else.
Copyright2014 – ND White

Ravens Innocence ~ Unedited Excerpt

I gasp as I am quickly rounding a corner and Grant steps out and grabs my arm and pulls me back around the side of the wall. “Oh my gosh Grant, you scared the hell out of me.”
“Sorry. I could tell you weren’t going to see me so I grabbed you before you got away. I didn’t mean to scare you.” He apologizes.
I’m breathing hard as I look up into his turquoise eyes. “I’m okay. It’s okay.” I mutter. “I was coming to find because I wanted to ask you if –“
“We could just get the hell out of here?” He finishes for me.
“You don’t mind? I mean, I know it’s a waste of tickets but we can’t even talk to each other in there.”
“Are you kidding me? That’s the last place I want to be. I hate this.” He motions his hands towards the crowds of people walking past us.
I give him a puzzled look.
“What’s wrong?” He asks me.
“I thought you loved hockey.” I say.
He returns the puzzled look and pauses for a moment. “I do. I love hockey.” Grant runs his hands through his hair and breathes a heavy sigh. “I just don’t like all these people. It’s too crowded and the noise has given me a headache.” He stands in front of me and puts his arms on my shoulders and gives me a playful smirk. “Besides, with all this commotion going on around us, I’m too distracted to do this.” And with that, he leans in and gently starts to kiss me. What a pleasant surprise this is. I feel myself starting to lean back a little far and almost fall backwards out of his grip when he quickly grabs my arms and smiles.
“Going somewhere?” He asks.
I swallow and feel my face heating up. I let out a nervous laugh. “Sorry, I was slipping.”
“I’m glad I was here to catch you.” His eyes are locked with mine.
“You’re the reason I almost fell.” I whisper, unable to break my eyes from his stare.
“And you’re the reason I’m so distracted.” He is so close to my face that I feel every breath he takes ripple down my neck. I am so weak in the knees right now. I want him to take me out of here, away from this place, to somewhere private, and let me distract him some more.
Grant slowly pulls away from me. I want to gravitate towards him but I don’t move. “Let’s get out of here.” He says.
“Where are we going?”
“I suddenly have an appetite. And it’s not for food.” He grabs my hand and starts to lead
me through the building towards the nearest exit.
Copyright2014-ND White

Ravens Innocence ~ Unedited Excerpt Chapter 5

I turn the engine off and take a deep breath. I am so worked up over this. I should have called my Aunt Hope and talked to her on my drive here. Besides Kat, Hope has been my rock since my mother passed away. She has become a friend, a confident, and a mother figure to me. She is one of the most level headed, honest, and realistic people that I know. And when I feel like life is spiraling out of control, she always knows what to say to slow me back down and bring me back to earth. I had been so caught up in the unfortunate turn of events these past few days that I haven’t even had time to call her and fill her in on anything. She doesn’t even know what happened with Grant’s brother and how Grant treated me. I wouldn’t have had enough time to fill her in any way I guess. Note to self, call Aunt Hope tomorrow after work and get her up to speed on my life.
I startle when my cell phone rings. I dig it out of my purse, it’s Grant. “Well, how long do you plan on sitting in my drive-way?” Grant asks before I even have time to say hello. I look to my left and I see his silhouette peeking at me out of the big picture window next to his front door.
“Oh, sorry. I was just thinking about something. I’m coming.” I respond as I slide out of my jeep and start up the walk-way to his front porch. I hit the end button on my phone and drop it back in my purse as I approach the house.
“About me, I hope.” Grant is standing in the entry way already holding the door open when I step up onto the porch. Our eyes lock and I stop walking, maybe even breathing, and just look at him. His beautiful lips are just slightly turned up in what I would call a devilish grin, and his turquoise eyes look as if they are staring right through me. He is wearing a dark gray t-shirt, jeans, and a pair of tennis shoes. He even makes casual look so damn sexy. Was he this sexy before he left town? I get that breathless feeling I did the first time I laid eyes on him.
“Whatever it is that you have on your mind has rendered you speechless I see.”
I let out a nervous laugh. “I was just thinking how gorgeous you are and how much I have missed you.” I step forward and get ready to wrap my arms around him for a much needed hug when he shoves his hands into his pockets and steps aside. I nearly fall in through the front door from being completely caught off guard by his rejection.
“Alrighty then. Come on in.” Grant says. He just stands there looking at me and his devilish grin has been replaced by a cold distant look I don’t recognize.
“Okay—” What the hell! I am shouting in my head. I don’t even know how to react to what he just did. I haven’t seen him for two weeks and this is the reaction that I get when I try to hug him! This is so not what I expected.
I stand there and hold his gaze until he finally uncomfortably shifts and clears his throat. “I don’t—” he pauses. “ I don’t know why I just did that.”
“Maybe I should go.” I turn around to leave and he grabs my arm.
“No. Stay. I’m sorry.” Grant starts to stumble on his words. “I don’t know what I was thinking. I didn’t mean to step away when you tried to hug me. You just—” He stops and I can see that he is searching for the right words to finish what he is saying.
“I just what, Grant?” The hurt is very apparent in my voice.
“You just caught me off guard, you know. I didn’t expect you…”
“To hug you?” I interrupt him and I am almost shouting when I do. “Really Grant? Since when am I not allowed to touch you! Especially when I haven’t seen you for two weeks. Especially after what happened with your brother! Especially since I thought I was your—” I can’t even finish the sentence. I am choking back the sobs now. I can’t believe I haven’t been here for five whole minutes and this is happening. What is this any way! What is happening here exactly!
Grant lets go of my arm and runs his hands through his hair. “You’re my what?” he asks.
I stare at him in disbelief that he just asked me that. Maybe I have completely misread the last few weeks we have spent together. No, we haven’t officially said that we are boyfriend and girlfriend, but we’re also not in high school either. Do people even really say that to each other at our age? Hey, will you be my girlfriend? How ridiculously cheesy does that sound?
“Apparently I’m not what I thought I was.” I say through gritted teeth. I turn once again and walk out the front door and head down the steps of the front porch. I am angry and I am hurt and I feel like a complete fool. I am also so confused by what just happened. I need to get out of here and away from him before I cry in front of this Jerk.
“Raven, stop. We need to talk about this.” Grant calls after me. I ignore him and keep walking towards my jeep. I hear him coming after me and I pick up my own pace. Just as I grab the door handle Grant grabs my arm, whips me around, and pins me to the jeep. “I said Stop, Raven.”
Grant is leaning into me with all of his weight so that I can’t move. His face is just inches from mine. His jaw is locked tight and his eyes are so dark that I can’t even see his pupils. I am completely stunned by his behavior and quite honestly, I’m just a little bit scared right now too; but I refuse to let him see that.
“Grant, you are squashing me. Please. Back. Off.” I try to push him back but he doesn’t budge. I can’t move him either. Just when I feel the anxiety starting to rise deep within me, I feel his body relax and he steps away from me, but only far enough back for me to breathe.
“Thank You.” I let out a heavy sigh. “What the hell was that all about? Have you lost your mind?” I am no longer feeling the need to sob. Now I am just pissed off.
“I’m quite sane right now if you really need to know. “
“I’m seriously doubting that right now.” I glare at him.
Grant looks at me with cold dark eyes and then I see the corners of his mouth turn up before he lets out a wickedly sexy laugh. There is nothing about this that I find funny right now, and I am fighting the urge to slap him senseless.
“I’m glad that you find this so funny because there is not one thing about any of this that is funny!” I snap at him. I’ve had enough of this shit and I’m done. I turn to open my door and he slams his hand down on it so hard I jump. Now, I’m really ready to let him have it. I whip around to tear into him and he grabs my face with both hands and brings his mouth down onto mine before I have time to even think about what he is doing. He forces his tongue into mouth and weaves his hands into my hair and kisses me like he needs this to breathe.
He stops for a second and looks into my eyes like he’s searching for confirmation from me to keep going or to stop, but my head is spinning with uncertainty right now and I don’t even know what I want. I’m just trying to breathe. He brings his mouth back onto mine a second time and presses into me until I fall back into the side of my jeep. He kisses me deep and hard. His tongue is tasting mine.
He continues to kiss me until he starts to taste the salt from tears that have sprung loose and are streaming down my cheeks. Damn it, I was not going to let him see me like this, but I am so overwhelmed by hurt, anger, and confusion, that crying is the only release that I have right now.
He pulls back. “Why are you crying Raven?” He sounds so profound when he asks me this. He reaches his hand up and caresses my cheek as if he is wiping away my tears. I close my eyes and continue to let my tears fall…… Copyright 2014 ND White