I would like to welcome Lisa Renee Jones to the blog today. Also, be sure to enter the rafflecopter giveaway below!
Thanks for having me today to talk about The Inside Out Trilogy and the serials releasing that are part of the series.
Inspired by a real journal found in a storage unit during my eight years buying and selling units, the series embraces the dark sensuality of Shades of Grey and the intrigue with storage units that is Storage Wars in one spine tingling series packed with mystery and passion. And now, there is a five part serial connected to the trilogy starting January 28th and beginning with Rebecca’s Lost Journals: The Seduction. The serials tell the story of the journal writer in her POV and they are packed with a whole lot of sexy and a whole lot of clues to what happens in Being Me. They were tricky to write because I don’t use names but I think that is part of the fun. You will get to guess the identity of the people involved. You will also meet Mark, Chris, Ava, Ricco and many more characters from the series as Rebecca meets them for the first time!
They can be read alone but they are perfect for reading after If I Were You and before Being Me. So I thought I’d share some of If I Were You with you today.
How it all started:
One day I was a high school teacher on summer break, leading a relatively uneventful but happy life. Or so I told myself. Later, I’d question that, as I would question pretty much everything I knew about me, my relationships, and my desires. It all began when my neighbor thrust a key to a storage unit at me. She’d bought it to make extra money after watching some storage auction show. Now she was on her way to the airport to elope with a man she barely knew, and she needed me to clear out the unit before the lease expired.
Soon, I was standing inside a small room that held the intimate details of another woman’s life, feeling uncomfortable, as if I was invading her privacy. Why had she let these items so neatly packed, possessions that she clearly cared about deeply, be lost at an auction? Driven to find out by some unnamed force, I began to dig, to discover this woman’s life, and yes, read her journals—-dark, erotic journals that I had no business reading. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I read on obsessively, living out fantasies through her words that I’d never dare experience on my own, compelled by the three men in her life, none of whom had names. I read onward until the last terrifying dark entry left me certain that something had happened to this woman. I had to find her and be sure she was okay.
Before long, I was taking her job for the summer at the art gallery, living her life, and she was nowhere to be found. I was becoming someone I didn’t know. I was becoming her.
The dark, passion it becomes…
Now, I am working at a prestigious gallery, where I have always dreamed of being, and I’ve been delivered to the doorstep of several men, all of which I envision as one I’ve read about in the journal. But there is one man that will call to me, that will awaken me in ways I never believed possible. That man is the ruggedly sexy artist, Chris Merit, who wants to paint me. He is rich and famous, and dark in ways I shouldn’t find intriguing, but I do. I so do. I don’t understand why his dark side appeals to me, but the attraction between us is rich with velvety promises of satisfaction. Chris is dark, and so are his desires, but I cannot turn away. He is damaged beneath his confident good looks and need for control, and in some way, I feel he needs me. I need him.
All I know for certain is that he knows me like I don’t even know me, and he says I know him. Still, I keep asking myself — do I know him? Did he know her, the journal writer, and where is she? And why doesn’t it seem to matter anymore? There is just him and me, and the burn for more.
We stare at each other and our lighthearted mood shifts, the air thickening with the mutual attraction our hot window encounter has done nothing to sate and everything to expand. Sitting here, studying him, I’ve officially confirmed in my mind what I’d thought earlier. While I don’t doubt Chris really is lighthearted and fun, it’s not effortless either. He buries whatever he doesn’t want me to know about. This man is far more than he appears to be on the surface and the glimpses beneath intrigue me.
My gaze drops to his arm, to the red, blue, and yellow of the dragon tattoo. I scoot closer to him, and my leg presses to his, sending an instant charge over my skin.
I swallow hard, and I reach out, letting my fingers caress the dragon design. His muscles flex under my touch and it is incredibly powerful to think I might be affecting him.
Slowly, my gaze lifts to his, and his is hot coals with simmering embers. “It’s very…sexy.” I’m surprised at how easily I say the words. I suck at flirting but there is something different about me with this man.
“I’m glad you think so.”
My palm glides down his forearm and he catches my hand in his, as if he doesn’t want to break the connection. “Why a dragon?”
“It represents power and wealth, two things as a very young man I knew I wanted.”
“And you wanted money and power at such a young age?”
I want to ask why, but it feels too probing. “And now?”
“I have those things and with them comes security.”
I think of how he’d used that power with Mark, about the darker side I’ve seen of him tonight. He does like power, not in the abstract way Mark does, but he owns it in his own right.
“My first paintings were dragons. They’re in my personal collection. I never sold any of them, or even tried.”
“Here?” I ask eagerly. “I’d love to see them.”
“Oh.” Of course. Paris is his true home. I glance at his arm again. “The artist is quite talented.”
My chest tightens. A woman who he let create art on his body, who seems to have inspired him to create some of his own.
Gently, he brushes hair behind my ear, and I barely contain a shiver. “What do you want to know?” he asks.
About her. I want to know about her. “You’ll tell me what you want me to know.”
Surprise flickers in his eyes. “You are never quite what I expect, Sara McMillan.”
“Neither are you.”
His voice softens. “The tattoo artist was someone who got me through a hard time.”
I’m holding my breath, and I don’t know why.
“She’s the past,” he adds. “You’re right now.”
Air trickles slowly from my lips. I think he means this as a good thing but the words ‘right now’ don’t sit well. I have no clue why they bother me or why my stomach has knotted up. Right now is all that matters. I’m thinking too much. I don’t want to think. I climb onto his lap and he shifts to sit with his back against the couch. Boldly, I straddle him, my hands on his shoulders.
“I’m here now. What are you going to do with me?”
For several seconds he sits there. He doesn’t touch me. Tension radiates off of him, seeps into me. He doesn’t react and I begin to feel self-conscious for the first time all night. Suddenly, the fingers of one of his hands curl around my neck and he pulls my mouth near his. “Do you know what happens when you push a Dragon? They burn you alive, baby. You’re playing with fire.”
My fingers curl on his cheek and all self-consciousness is gone, forgotten. “I’m not afraid of whatever you’re talking about. I think you keep warning me away because you’re the one who’s afraid.”
His fingers knot in my hair and I gasp at the unexpected bite of his grip, holding me steady. “Is that all you got?” I demand, shocked at how much I want more. How much I want whatever is beneath his surface. I’m not scared. I’m aroused. I’m ready.
His eyes probe mine, his expression hard, intense. “I thought you were a good little school teacher.”
“You’re corrupting me,” I declare, “and I seem to like it.” I barely issue the challenge before he’s pulling my mouth to his, and he is kissing me with unrestrained, burning passion. I taste the part of him I want to know, the part he’s afraid of, and I burn to know more. Maybe he’s right. Maybe I am playing with fire, but I cannot stop myself. Beyond reason, I will push him until he reveals everything.
For more information, visit Lisa Renee Jones' website.