Thanks for having me here today, Sarah. Someone recently asked me how I’d describe myself. I think I’m like a freshly baked French croissant: warm, crusty, wrinkled and flaky. Best served with strong coffee. My writing is often flaky, too. You know how I love to laugh, how I enjoy infusing humor into my stories. The world is too full of sadness, misery and snarky people. I adore kindness and laughter. While my characters aren’t always kind, they do have their humorous moments.
Writing humor isn’t always easy. What strikes me as hilarious might fly right over your head. I have an off-the-wall sense of humor that isn’t shared by everyone and that’s okay. We don’t all want to be alike, do we? I mean, imagine a world full of Vonnie Davis clones. Yikes!
So I have to use a light hand at writing humor. Sometimes, in editing, I tone it down a couple notches. I grew up in the era of slapstick comedy, so some scenes play out in my head like a comedy routine. Take my heroine’s carrying in a large box of ready-to-assemble bookshelves in my Christmas novella, Santa Wore Leathers.
It barely budged. Crap!
Shoving the sleeves of her sweatshirt to her elbows, she put every ounce of strength into the job. She tugged and pulled enough of the carton out of the trunk to allow gravity to upend it onto the street. Then she straightened, shifted her shoulders and used her sleeve to swipe the perspiration from her forehead.
She bent at the knees, put her shoulder to it and lifted the heavy item on an exhale and a loud grunt. Becca staggered under the weight across her shoulder. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. The unmanageable carton weaved her back and forth. For a few seconds, all she could do was stagger.
She made it up the step of the curb to the sidewalk, nearly dropping to her knees with the effort. Thigh muscles quivering with the strain of the weight, she gritted her teeth. “Come on, Becca, you can do this.”
Thank goodness the walkway was only twelve feet long. She tried not to think of the three steps to her porch. Maybe she could drag or push the box up the steps—if she reached them under all this weight.
A loud rumble roared down the street, and her stomach clenched at the familiar sound. Wolf’s Harley eased to the curb.
“Becca! Don’t. I’ll carry that in for you.”
She pivoted to tell him she didn’t need or want his help. The sudden movement threw her load off balance. Arms clasped around the box, she fell backwards and her spine slammed on the hard ground. Air whooshed from her lungs on impact. A loud pop sounded as the box thudded across her face. Pain exploded in her nose and head.
“Becca! My God.” A set of thick male knees pushed into her side. “Here, let me get this off you.” Wolf shoved the box away as if it were no heavier than a bag of tinsel. “Give me a chance to get this helmet off.” Leather rustled and squeaked.
Wet warmth flowed over her lips.
“Oh, sweetheart, looks like your nose is broken.” Strong fingers moved from the bridge of her nose to its tip. The pain made her eyes cross. “Hold on. Let me get my first-aid kit.”
His heat disappeared and running footfalls sounded on his porch. Slowly the spinning stopped, and she blinked to bring the world back into focus. Was her face smashed? She gingerly fingered her forehead, nose and cheeks and grimaced when she pulled back a blood-covered hand.
Einstein was barking like crazy from inside her town house. Bless his canine heart, he knew she needed him.
Wolf settled on his knees beside her again. “Some people bleed more than others when their noses break. Don’t be alarmed.” His voice was calm and authoritative as he snapped on latex gloves. Cool alcohol wipes were gently pressed across her face.
“Ith my noth broken?” My God, was that her voice? Why was she speaking with a lisp?
He shined a light in her eyes. “Good retina response.” Chocolate eyes lowered to within inches of hers, minty breath swept across her face and a lock of dark hair fell across his forehead. The corners of his mouth twitched as if he were trying not to smile. “And, yes, sweetheart, your noth is broken. I’ll do my best to set it so it’s still pretty and straight.”
“Thet it? No!”
Einstein’s barking and whining increased. No doubt he sensed her anxiety.
Wolf gave a nonchalant shrug. “Set might be an extreme word. I’m just going to make sure it’s straight.”
“Are you two at it again?” Mrs. Minelli’s orthopedic shoes came into view. “Oh no! She’s bleeding! Shall I call an ambulance? I can press the button on my senior alert necklace.” She held out a medical medallion strung on a silver chain around her neck. Today, her sweatshirt bore a Christmas tree design with lights that somehow twinkled on and off.
“Thanks, Mrs. Minelli, but I’ve got it covered. I’ll stop the bleeding and carry her inside.”
“What happened?” The elderly woman tapped his side with her cane. “Did you belt her’ cause she wouldn’t get frisky with you?”
Wolf’s hands stilled and he exhaled an audible sigh fluttering the hair at Becca’s temple. His tension was palpable. Under his breath, he muttered, “God, just give me some frickin’ patience here.” Then he aimed his thousand watt smile at the older lady and told her what had happened.
“Well, okay then. I was just going to hitch a ride with Mrs. Bernstein to water aerobics. We broads need to keep our girlish figures. Becca, darlin’, I’ll check in on you tomorrow.”
“Thank you.” Her words trailed after the tottering old woman, her cane tapping as she meandered down the sidewalk.
Wolf’s fingertips firmly pressed into her nose and more stars exploded behind her eyes.
“Don’t touch my broken noth.” She batted away his hands.
“Do you want to be called ‘witch’s beak’ for the rest of your life?”
“Witheth beak? Ith it that bad?” What would her coworkers at the paper think? Still, did this yay-hoo know what he was doing? “If my noth needth thet, I want a profethenal to thet it.”
He tore open a paper packet and removed two gauze cylinders. “I had advanced corpsman training in the Navy before I was recommended for the SEALs. Believe me, I’ve handled worse than a broken nose.”
Wolf shoved the gauze up her nostrils.
More fireworks exploded in her head.
“Ow! You big thithead. You hurt me on purpoth.” Her one hand tightened in a fist. If he hurt her again, she was going to belt him.
Those brown eyes of his held humor. “Thithead? We hardly know each other well enough for such intimacies.” He smiled and tilted his head. “Although, I am getting pretty familiar with your taste in underwear. Einstein left a pair of purple thongs beside my ladder the day I fell off and leopard print thongs at my back door yesterday.”
“Oh, no,” she groaned. She’d never had trouble with her dog running off until this man moved in next door. She could see why a woman might chase after Wolf—an enticing blend of macho, good looks and an unexpected measure of gentleness—but why was her dog so damned attracted to him? And just why was her dog so suddenly set on stealing her underwear?
“What did you do with my thongs? You never brought them back.”
“Tied them to the handle grips of my Harley.” He jerked his thumb over his shoulder.
“You what!” She would kill him.
His head leaned back as deep laughter erupted. “Don’t get riled, sweetheart.” His eyes bore humor and something akin to affection.
That damn box must have broken my mind.
“Thop calling me ‘threatheart.’”
“Can't.” His fingers were more gentle on her face now. “It's part of my plan. Maybe if I keep calling you sweetheart, you'll start getting sweet on me.”
“Cold day in hell, buthter.”
BLURB FOR SANTA WORE LEATHERS:
There’s only one thing on Becca Sinclair’s Christmas list this holiday season – her very own column in the local paper. And if she can build a huge blog following, her wish just might come true.
Enter Dan “Wolf” Wolford aka the man-whore next door and the new star of Becca’s popular, post-divorce blog about men. A Navy SEAL turned commander of the Florida Marine Rescue Unit, Wolf’s the very definition of the word alpha – and with an endless rotation of women on his doorstep, this hunk on a Harley has Becca and her female followers all hot and bothered!
All Becca wants for Christmas is her newspaper column, right? But when she finds herself the target of Wolf’s irresistible attentions, her snarky comebacks become less and less convincing and, suddenly, she’s not so sure anymore…
AMAZON ~ http://bit.ly/SantaLeathers
BARNES and NOBLE ~ http://bit.ly/1846Aau
Please visit me at my blog: http://www.vintagevonnie.blogspot.com
Or follow me on Facebook: Vonnie Davis.
I tweet under @VonnieWrites, if you care to follow me in the twitterverse.
Psst, Sarah here. Before you go I thought I would share with you one more photo Vonnie sent me. This one is how she imagines Wolf, hero of SANTA WORE LEATHERS, to look. And because I', all about sharing...well, here he is. You're welcome. ;)