The Last Resort
by Ember Leigh
GENRE: Erotic Romance
Rose Delaney is a baby bounty hunter, rescuing children from fugitive ex-spouses. All she wants is to return a recovered child to its mother and get back to her regimented solitary life. But when a snow storm leaves her and baby Emmy stranded, Rose has no choice but to lean on the ruggedly handsome rescuer, who thinks the baby is hers. Holed up in their mountain resort-under-construction and unable to contact Emmy’s mother, Rose's priority is hitting the road—even if Garrett’s erotic touch entices her to ride out the storm. Construction boss Garrett Galo loves his job, but he never imagined a perk like being snowbound during a whiteout with the sassy brunette he just rear-ended. He’s learned to stay away from women who want a family, especially when they come with a kid in tow. When passionate nighttime encounters flare between them, Garrett begins to question what he’d risk to keep Rose. This isn’t the time or the place for romance—but will five days on a mountain make these loners reconsider giving in to love?
Inching the door open further, she poked her head in. Garrett’s body silhouetted against the translucent shower door. The image of his chiseled, naked body seared through her mind. Her mouth went dry.
She crept inside and eased the door shut, body rigid as she watched his shadow move inside the shower. The fogged mirror hid her reflection as the soft mesh shorts slipped to ground, followed by her undies and T-shirt.
Garrett began humming, out of tune, something that sounded suspiciously like a children’s song.
Rose grinned, excitement roiling beneath her skin. This not only was going to happen, it needed to happen. Her heart thumped in her chest as she reached for the shower door.
The door opened a few inches before Garrett’s humming turned into a gasp. He whipped around and pulled aside the shower door, eyes wild.
She grinned up at him, loving the swirls of shock and appreciation in his eyes as he took her in.
“Can I join?”
His mouth hung open a moment, gaze sweeping over her naked body, lighting fires on her skin. He grabbed her around the waist and yanked her inside the shower, slamming the door shut behind her.
The water hit her body in a pleasingly warm rush. He pinned her to the shower wall with his hips. Her breath hitched.
“I don’t even want to ask why you’re naked in my bathroom,” he said, kissing her neck, “and I don’t even care. Fact is, you’re here, and you’re mine now.”
I’ve been practicing yoga for a long dang time—but not nearly as long as I’ve been writing. The two areas dominate my life; they are inherently my primary practices, the things that I come to almost every day as a ritual, meditation, sanity-stoking activity, whatever you want to call it.
I began writing when I was nine, but it sprang from me unprovoked. It was the beast living inside me, one that I had inherited from my ancestors, the fairy-tale disease that gets passed down for generations. Writing spilled from my fingertips, an inspiration unhindered, and “practicing it” was no difficult feat in those early days.
But once I graduated high school and entered college, the natural spring of inspiration started to dry up. I worked less and less on my novels. And then once I hit the work force, my writing stopped entirely.
By contract, yoga was a practice that did not spring naturally from my deep, dark wells. I can’t say if it, too, in some ancestral tomes appears as a fabled inheritance, the inevitable by-product of time and life. But I picked it up out of necessity. A spinal cord surgery that changed my life, rendering me paralyzed for a while, made it very important for me to do something beyond the moderately-useful physical therapy. My mother suggested yoga.
And there began the practice.
As my yoga practice deepened, my writing practice did not. All of my time was spent working, and any free time was spent being grateful for the chance to relax. Yoga was the priority, for my still-healing body, but the raucous urge inside me to WRITE never truly faded. I’ve known since age nine that I was meant to be a writer. Ancestral, fairy-tale diseases stain you like that. So I changed my job, changed my lifestyle, and began to focus more on writing.
When I say ‘focus on writing’, I mean this was a sloooow process. I set goals: publish one novel. And while my work situation allowed me to seriously pursue this goal, I began to see the relationship between the writing and yoga practice, like someone had finally adjusted the picture on a television screen that had been fuzzy for years.
My yoga practice had started at such a feeble, shaky point. But with repeated practice, three days a week at a minimum, I saw myself get stronger throughout months, and then years. Poses that I could achieve one week that had been unreachable to me for months prior. Regaining muscle and strength into areas of my previously-weak legs, making me feel like a champion.
Years passed by like this, and then one day, I realized I could do a headstand. I couldn’t have even done that at my strongest point, pre-surgery.
And then suddenly the cripplingly clear truth crashed down: If I’d ever wondered why my writing wasn’t getting better, why nothing was “happening” in my writing career?
It was because I wasn’t practicing.
Day in. Day out. You have to just DO IT.
Whether it’s yoga, or writing, or ballet, or knitting, or drawing, or painting, or singing, or sculpting. Whatever the form is, the only requirement for achieving it is doing it. Regardless of what the outcome looks like; no matter the result.
I’d sat around in a confused daze after I published my first novel wondering why my God-given talent wasn’t making me famous yet. Well, it was because I wasn’t practicing. Sure, my God-given talent had made me a published author. But not on the level I wanted; not at the quality I wanted. I realized I still had a LOT MORE to learn as an author if I ever hoped to reach the level I knew I could.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
My yoga practice these days looks like something I never could have dreamed of. (For those curious: I practice Ashtanga, the Primary Series). My writing practice does too. I write the equivalent of a novel per month (on a slow month) and the things I’m learning along the way make me look back at my output a year ago and whisper, “Wow”. It’s not a bad thing—it’s a very, very good thing. The same way I look back at my yoga practice a year ago and think, “Wow. Look how far I’ve come.”
There’s a healthy reverence paired with a respectful desire to get even better. And maybe I’m still not even a “good writer”, “good yogi” or “good anything”. But that’s not really the point, either.
The point is in the practice.
Ember Leigh has been writing erotic romance novels since she was far too young. A native of northern Ohio, she currently resides near Lake Erie with her Argentinean husband, where they run an Argentinian-American food truck. In addition to romance novels, Ember also writes travel memoirs and occasionally updates a couple of blogs. In her free time, she practices Ashtanga yoga, hops around the world, and eats lots of vegetables.
BOOK BUY LINKS:
Buy it at The Wild Rose Press: http://wildcatalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-erotic/4944-the-last-resort.html
Ember Leigh will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.