“Ladies, I have Win Fairchild with me today. Win is the hero of of my very, very good friend Vonnie Davis’s recently released novella for the Honky Tonk Heart series—Those Violet Eyes. He’s an ex-Marine who cooks part-time at the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk. He’s also started a ranch for children with amputee limbs. An interesting mix, don’t you think?”
“Lost dreams, Jennifer, and what it takes to achieve them. Did you ever read the poet, Langston Hughes? There are a few lines from a poem of his that suits Evie and me. “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up, like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore. And then run?” You see, I’d lost my dream of military life, so I had to refocus to get a new dream. Evie, well, her lost dreams festered like a sore. I guess in a way you could also say our story is also one of healing. She helped me feel again and I gave her courage to focus on her dream deferred.”
I lean toward him. “I have to ask. What’s it like being one of Vonnie’s heroes?”
A slow, sexy badass smile spreads. “Oh, Jen.” His head tilts to the side and hazel eyes regard me. “May I call you Jen, or do you prefer Jennifer? My name is Sherwin, but I much prefer Win.”
Ladies, I can see how Evie was charmed. “Jen is fine.”
“Well, Jen, in the service, you get used to standing in lines. But nothing prepared me for what it was like to stand in line in Vonnie’s mind while she methodically worked her way through all the men clamoring for her attention.” He shakes his head once. “Was damn near impossible to get her attention.”
“What did you do? How did you get her to focus on you?”
“I rode into her bedroom one night…”
“You…you rode into her bedroom?”
“Yup. Yup, I did. Rode my Harley right into her bedroom. Not once, but twice. See the first time, she shot me a scowl, mumbled something about another man being the last thing she needed and then she rolled up against her husband’s back. Gotta tell ya, was glad Calvin had his hearing aids out and couldn’t hear me. He’s a couple inches taller than me. I was especially glad he slept through my crawling in bed with Vonnie…”
“You crawled in bed with your author?”
“Hey, I was desperate. A Marine does whatever it takes to achieve his mission. Semper fi. Besides, I needed her to tell my story. She sat there and listened. ‘Course had I known she’d make that goof, I might have chosen another author.”
“What goof, Win?”
“She wrote that my Humvee exploded after it ran over an IUD in Iraq. An IUD, Jen, one of those birth control devices…” He pinches the bridge of his nose between his thumb and index finger. “Damn woman. What kind of crack was she smokin’?”
I’m laughing so hard by this time. I mean, just his annoyed expression is priceless. “How did you point it out to her?”
“Hunh, can’t tell Vonnie anything. She’s almost as hardheaded as my Evie. It wasn’t until the final galleys came back that she noticed it. Good thing the people at The Wild Rose Press took pity on her and fixed it.” He shakes his head again. “Had to be one strong birth control device to stop a team of Marines, I tell you.”
“Let’s talk about Evie. What did you think the first time you saw her?
That she had the most incredible eyes. They’re violet and magnetic. Pulled at me, you know?
“What was your second thought?”
That she had nine feet of attitude crammed into a petite body. I do love a spirited woman.
“Did you think it was love at first sight?”
For me, yes. I mean she rocked my world, you know? Wait, is that a cliché? Vonnie has a problem with clichés sometimes. But back to Evie, I’d been emotionally numb since the IED explosion that took three of my buddies and part of my leg, but a couple minutes with her and I started feeling traces of emotion again. My Evie is something else.
“What do you like most about her?”
“Hey, what’s not to like? She’s like a tornado in a pair of pink cowgirl boots.”
“How would you describe her?”
“Fierce, spirited, intelligent and funny. She was the first person to make me laugh after Iraq.”
“How would she describe you?”
Another badass smile spreads. “Well, I’ve heard “Neanderthal” tumble from those pretty lips of hers. ‘Don Juan on a Harley’, ‘Macho Marine’, ‘Mr. I-Gotta-Chip-On-My-Shoulder.’ ‘Course that was all in the beginning. Guess you could say we had a rocky start. We were both pretty touchy. As time went on she found out I was a hard working man, self-reliant, caring, passionate. Oh, yeah, with her, most passionate.”
“What made you choose cooking as a profession/career?”
“My respect for Uncle Gus. He owns the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk and was my father figure growing up. Gotta tell you there’s no man I respect more than him. He took over when my dad left us. Uncle Gus kept me on the straight and narrow. I watched him cook a few times at his bar and got the idea I might like to do that, too. So I went to chef’s school. Things were pretty hot in Iraq when I got my chef’s hat so I joined the Marines. They were my first choice with Uncle Gus having served in The Corps back in the day.”
“How do you relax?”
“Evie and I ride horseback over Solace, my ranch. She’s a glorious sight on a horse, I tell you.”
“What is the best piece of advice you ever received?”
“My momma told me the best way to get over your own pain was to immerse yourself into helping others. That’s why I started the ranch to help children with amputee limbs. Helping them gets the focus off me. Hell, I can be damn boring at times.”
“Did Vonnie let you bring an excerpt with you today?”
A blush creeps up his neck. “Yes. And I never read over it until just now. Should have picked one myself. But this one is from the time she came to apologize.”
“What was she apologizing for?”
“Damned if I could remember once I got a look at her. Woman messes with my mind.” His gaze lifts to mine. “And my libido. There’s no one like Evie.”
Evie turned onto the lane leading to his ranch and passed a hand painted sign that read, “Solace—Private Property.”
Half-a-mile later, the ranch house came into view. Her mouth went dry and her stomach did a freefall. Win sat on the porch steps…waiting. He stood; six-foot of muscled male in jeans, torn at one knee, and a snug navy T-shirt. He came down the unpainted porch steps and her body went on full hormonal alert.
When she turned off her car’s motor, Win opened her door. Evie sat staring straight ahead, not sure if her trembling legs could support her if she got out of the car.
When she swiveled in her seat and started to climb out, he extended a hand. She laid her trembling palm on his warm one, stood and saw his gaze take a slow journey from her black stilettos up her legs to her short denim skirt to her black low-cut tank top. Her nipples, evidently remembering his attentions from the last time they were together, puckered into hard points as if to announce they’d come along for the ride, too. When his smoldering gaze finally reached hers, she could have sworn she had a mini-climax. There were most definitely little tremors.
Good Lord, he hasn’t even touched me sexually yet.
His eyes stayed locked on hers while his hand slowly reached out and settled at her waist. Another mini-climax hit and a soft moan escaped. They stood there, not saying a word, gazing into each other’s eyes. Win took one more step until their thighs touched. Her belly did that twitchy thing, stronger this time.
He splayed his fingers in her hair and lightly ran the pads of his thumbs over her lips.
“You’re beautiful.” His voice was soft and sensual like naked skin shifting over black satin.
Very slowly, he lowered his head and covered her lips with his. Soft, moist kisses that caressed her lips. Her hands slid up his muscled chest and around his neck. He angled his head and his gentle kiss turned passionate and hungry. He groaned and pressed her back against her car. When he leaned into her, his erection created a sweet, painful friction. He broke the kiss for a split second and moaned her name against her lips before taking control again.
His tongue delved into her mouth. When it touched hers, her body responded in a strong, powerful, feminine way, as if red and pink fireworks were exploding in her core. And still his mouth assaulted hers as if he couldn’t get enough of her.
Merciful heaven, imagine what he’d be like in bed.
THANK YOU VONNIE and WIN for being here today!!
To learn more about Vonnie Davis and the stories she creates go to: www.vonniedavis.com