Spotlight, Character Interview, Excerpt & #Giveaway: ☆Stay☆ by @HilaryWynne

Set against the steamy and sultry world of South Beach, Florida, a modern romance unfolds in Stay.

Alexa is beautiful, independent and hard to resist for serially unattached Julian. Neither one is looking for a relationship, but their palpable chemistry and instant emotional connection is too strong to ignore. For the first time in years, Julian is interested in more than just sex. He wants a relationship with intoxicating Alexa, but it’s not that simple. Not only are Julian and Alexa struggling with the intensity of this new relationship, but they also have to contend with Luke, Alexa’s best friend, whose own love for her leaves him willing to do anything to convince her that Julian is not the man for her. Luke’s determination and Alexa’s secret past threaten to tear Julian and Alexa apart as she struggles to open her heart to love. Julian and Alexa embark upon a roller-coaster ride of emotional and physical passion that both pulls them apart and holds them together. Despite their affinity for each other, Alexa fears that Julian will leave when he learns about her past and Julian is unsure he can love a woman who in so many ways remains a mystery, a woman who keeps threatening to run, a woman who can’t decide if she is going to STAY.

Character Interview with Alexa

Character Interview with Alexa (Lexie) Reed from Stay, the first book in The Alexa Reed Series

Hilary Wynne: Thank you for having us on Dirty Girl. I have a ton of things I want to talk to Alexa about and this is the best way to get her to spill all the details. First off, can I call you Lexie, or would you prefer Alexa? I notice that different people call you different things, and you seem to be a little particular about it. I don’t want to start this interview off on the wrong foot.
Alexa: You can call me Lexie. I am a little particular about people calling me a nickname when they don’t really know me. It’s always bugged me. I think you should know someone a little before you start acting so personal. I feel like we know each other Hilary, so it’s fine if you call me Lexie.

Hilary: I’m happy to hear you feel that way. You don’t let a whole lot of people get close to you. Anyway, Luke calls you Hooka, Marissa calls you Lex most of the time, and Julian has a whole lot of nicknames for you. Which do you prefer?
Alexa: The hooka thing always gets a few eyebrow raises and questions.Luke calls me Hooka because we’re huge True Blood fans and one of the characters on the show – Layfette- uses that nickname. Luke called me it one day and it just stuck. I wouldn’t want anyone else to call me that though, for obvious reasons. (laughing). Marissa calls me whatever she wants, but I guess it’s Lex a lot of the time. As for Julian…well, his terms of endearment are all okay by me. I think I’d rather him call me baby or Corazon if I have my choice.


Hilary: I guess it’s obvious why, but I’d think Alexa or Lexie would be okay too.

Alexa: Lexie is fine. He usually calls me Alexa when he isn’t happy with me. He doesn’t notice, but I do.

Hilary: I’ve seen Julian, and I’ve heard him speak. He has such a sexy accent. I think I would let him call me anything to be honest.

Alexa: Ok, now… he’s mine. (laughing)

Hilary: I know, I know. You’re a lucky girl, Lexie. Julian and a whole closet full of shoes… You did know I was going to bringup the shoes, right?

Alexa: Yep. Everyone always brings up the shoes.

Hilary: Because we’re all jealous! How in the world do you afford all of those shoes?

Alexa: You want to talk about the cost? I thought we were going to talk about what’s in style for the summer or who our favorite designers are, Hilary…

Hilary: I’m not sure we have enough time for that, Lexie. So, how about you just give us novices a few tips on where to shop.

Alexa: Actually, I spend a lot of time looking for great shoes. I shop online for great deals. Shopbop.com and bluefly.com are on my favorites list and the UPS driver knows my house well. And I’m a regular at TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack and places like that. So, I do try to stay in control.

Hilary:  Let’s discuss a few other numbers…as in how many pairs do you own? I swear you’re always wearing a different pair.  

Alexa: I plead the fifth on that one too, Hilary. I’ll just say that I really do need a bigger closet.

Hilary: Like Julian’s?

Alexa: (laughs). Yeah. That would be nice. Talk about a lot of expensive shoes…That man makes my love affair with shoes look like amateur hour.

Hilary: (laughs) A lot of couples bond over common interests. Are shoes your bond?

Alexa: God no. At least I hope not. I mean it’s awesome that he loves shoes and appreciates my obsession with quality footwear, but I’d like to think that we’ve bonded over more than shoes.

Hilary: Care to share your thoughts on what that might be?

Alexa: Hmm. You know I’m not a huge fan of sharing secrets and personal stuff and you’re putting me on the spot with this one. But, if I had to answer that I guess I’d say that we just “get” each other. It’s hard to explain because I don’t always understand it myself.

Hilary: And there is the vagueness and dodging we have come to expect from you, Lexie. I get it; you aren’t a big emotional sharer. I’ll respect that…for now. 

Alexa: Thanks, Hilary. Thanks for respecting my privacy…for now. It’s not like anyone else does. Everyone always wants to know what I’m thinking. It’s crazy, the stuff that goes through my mind sometimes.
Hilary: We’re all just trying to get to know you better, Lexie.

Alexa: (shrugs) I don’t think I’m particularly interesting or complicated. I’m just a normal girl who is working, living my life and doing the best I can not to screw it all up. I am lucky to have such great friends, and an amazing man to share my life with. And, the shoes make me happy too. I can’t leave out the shoes.

Hilary: (looks at her watch). It seems we’re out of time for now, Lexie.  I look forward to getting to know you, Julian, and the rest of your friends better in the future. I appreciate you taking the time to sit down with me and open up a little about what’s going on in your world. I’m glad to hear things are going well with you and Julian.
Alexa: Thanks for talking with me Hilary and thanks for having me on. I’m always happy to talk shoes.
Hilary: STAY in touch, Lexie, we are all excited to see where your story is heading.

Alexa: Absolutely, Hilary. Have a great night. 
“Opened or closed?” He’s referring to the blinds on the windows.
“Open.” I want to see him in the moonlight.
I’m scared to say anything else, and I sense Julian is as well. Our usual conversations are filled with teasing and sarcastic banter. Those words don’t fit this setting. 
The air is thick with our need for each other. Julian walks up behind me and gently turns me around so I’m facing him and moves me closer to a solid wall. I’m thankful he doesn’t press me against the glass. I look up at him and see his eyes are filled with desire. The sheer intensity of his stare makes me take a small step backward, and I feel the wall behind me. 
This isn’t the first time Julian has towered over me in this position, and my mind races back to the night in the hallway at the club. His presence makes me feel protected, and once again I’m amazed by the different feelings he inspires in me. Julian places one of his hands above my head on the wall, bracing himself over me. His other hand starts to work on the button on my pants. We’re just staring at each other, lost in each other’s eyes and barely touching. 
I’m in awe of his restraint. I’m fighting everything I have inside me not to reach out and touch him. Something in his eyes tells me he needs to be in charge and that he needs me to understand and respect his dominant nature. I’m dying for his lips to be on mine. They’re still swollen from our earlier make-out session, and I’ve been aching for him to kiss me since we walked out of the elevator. I tilt my head further up to meet his and lick my lower lip as an invitation.
“Mmm, Alexa,” he murmurs as he bends down and softly runs his tongue between my slightly parted lips. He stops there and pulls back, never taking his eyes off mine. That isn’t exactly what I had in mind, and the ache in my body intensifies.
Once he has the button on my pants undone and the zipper pulled down, he slips his hand in and lets his fingers graze lightly over the silk of my panties. We moan simultaneously. I feel a rush of heat fan out from between my legs, up through my stomach and into my aching breasts. My nipples are so hard they actually hurt. I know he can instantly feel how wet he has made me.
He’s barely touching me, and I’m trembling. I feel his touch everywhere. As sexually intense as things have already been between us, it was nothing compared to what I’m feeling now. I feel consumed by my need for him. It’s too intense. I’m falling apart in front of this man, and I don’t want him to see it. I feel completely naked even though I’m still fully clothed. I try to avert my eyes.
“Please, baby, look at me. The want and need in your eyes drives me crazy. I know you can see what you’re doing to me. Por favor, mírame a los ojos.” He’s begging me not to look away. How does he always know the perfect thing to say?

Have you ever woken up one day and said, “Today’s the day I’m going to do (insert thing here)?” Well, I did, and the result is my first novel, Stay. I always thought of myself as a decent writer, and then a trip down memory lane through my ninth grade book of poetry confirmed it. I realize that I have always had a romantic side and a way with words. With support from my husband and kids (and an unspoken agreement to leave me alone for a few hours every night), I embarked on this incredible writing journey.

I’m originally from sunny Southern California and spent my summers in South Florida. I attended college at FSU and received my Masters in New Mexico. I finally settled in the Washington, DC area. My happy place has always been anywhere near the water.

When I’m not writing, I help run a business with my husband, watch an inordinate amount of sports (my kids play something 365 days a year), indulge my competitive spirit on the tennis court, and spend time with my awesome family and friends.

I am an avid reader, but find my characters feel neglected when I hang out with other author’s characters for too long. When I do read, historical fiction is my favorite genre. I love traveling and experiencing different cultures, places, and times.

I feel so blessed that my love of books inspired me to finally do something that I forgot I had always dreamed about doing.

My someday has arrived!

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