EskieMama Reads is excited to be part of the
sponsored by Jo & Isa Love Books
please help us welcome Debra Doxer to her
temporary home this week!
Welcome Debra, hope you enjoy your stay
with the EskieMama Reads family, we are so glad &
excited to have you!
Day 1 of Foster An Author
we are spotlighting Debra's
Enter below for chance to win signed copy of Breaking Skin
from Debra & hop over to our Facebook Page for a chance to
win a signed copy of Play of Light!
Dancing is like magic. It makes me disappear.
When I dance I’m not a sister or a daughter, not a lover or a friend. I exist in the moment, onstage, where I turn pain into art and pretend the illusion is real. My past is an abomination and my future is unwritten, but my present is pure, fluid, and focused. I’m content, or at least I think I am, until the night I meet a man who makes me want more.
He’s broken, just like me, but in different ways. He’s older and nothing like the men I’m used to. Compared to him, they’re all boys, immature and insipid, while he’s a force of nature, confident and virile. Virile is a word I’ve never used before, and I only use it now because he embodies it so completely.
At first, he fights the attraction between us almost as hard as I do. But when words like destiny and soulmate whisper through my thoughts, how can I ignore them? He can have any girl he wants, but he looks at me as if I’m the girl he’s waited for his whole life. How can I tell him I’m not that girl?
I wish I were enough for him, wish I were whole. But beneath my facade, I’ve been falling to pieces for a long time, and I don’t know if I’m strong enough to resist the downward momentum.
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Q & A with Debra about Breaking Skin!
What initially inspired you to write Breaking Skin?
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is what initially inspired me. That’s the traumatic brain condition athletes can suffer from after experiencing repeated head trauma. I saw a Nova program about it and I live right near the largest research center for CTE. I knew I wanted to create a character who was dealing with it.
Tell us little about the characters in Breaking Skin.
The main female character, Nikki, comes from a painful family situation but is working to overcome it and achieve her dream of becoming a professional dancer when she meets Cole, a retired hockey player dealing with CTE. They’re both high achievers dealing with personal pain who find solace in each other.
What was the hardest part of writing Breaking Skin?
It’s an extremely emotional story and I needed the feelings to be real. I wanted readers to laugh and cry with the characters, and I’m thrilled when readers tell me they teared up because then I know I achieved my goal.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I love to write that first scene when the main characters meet each other. That’s also my favorite part to read in other people’s stories. It’s the point when chemistry sparks and all the potential for a great love story pours from the page.
Is there a message in Breaking Skin that you hope readers will grasp?
Yes. There’s an underlying theme of hope. No matter how terrible your past may have been, your future can be so much better if you don’t give up hope.
Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers about this book/series?
I always fall in love with my characters and it’s my goal to make readers care about them just as much. With nothing more than words on a page, I’m taking your hand and leading you into a world of my own creation. When you don’t want to leave that world, it’s the best feeling for me as a writer.
Now an exciting excerpt from Breaking Skin!
“I spy some potential at two o’clock. What do you think of him?” Deedee asks, pointing toward a round table in the back corner of the room.
It’s occupied by a series of muscle-bound guys, a few of whom look like they fought in MMA matches before they got here, and lost. I spot a black eye on one of them, and another has a swollen cheek. A handful of girls are with them too, showing a lot of skin, laughing a little too loudly.
I roll my eyes. “Which one? The guy with the shaved head showing off his biceps?” I lower my voice an octave. “Dude, call a plumber, because my pipes are about to burst.”
She snorts. “I’m talking about the one who doesn’t have a half-naked girl on his lap. The one with the deep blue eyes.”
My brows lift at her description. Deedee is hardly a romantic, and it’s much too dark in here to see the color of anyone’s eyes. Curious, I scan the table more carefully, looking for those eyes, and stop short when I find them.
I rest my elbow on the bar and take a nice long look. If I’ve got the right one, Deedee has excellent taste. Blue Eyes sits directly beneath one of the recessed lights in the ceiling, making it appear as if there’s a spotlight on him. But she’s wrong about his eye color. It’s not deep blue, more like sky blue, a startling shade of light blue and a sharp contrast to the dark brows that arch above them. As I think that, I realize the eyes in question are staring right back at me.
Abruptly, I avert my gaze to the empty shot glass in my hand, embarrassed at being caught. My heart beats a little faster at the jolt that ran through me when our gazes connected. It was oddly unnerving.
I smile to myself, confounded by my reaction. He’s not the most attractive guy I’ve ever seen. He’s too rough, too hard-edged. His friends all exude a rowdy, larger-than-life impression, but there’s something different about him. Something quiet and steely that makes me want to look again and maybe do more than look, even though I don’t dare. Guys like him don’t go for girls like me, especially since the only skin I’m showing is on my face and hands. No cleavage on display here. No cleavage, period.
“He’s looking at you, Nikki. Go over there and talk to him before some tramp beats you to it.” Deedee eyes me expectantly.
Is he really still looking at me? I wouldn’t know because I refuse to glance in his direction.
“Are you kidding? I’m not going over there.”
“Because I’ve been humiliated enough today.”
She stares down her nose at me. “How can someone who looks like you have so little confidence?”
I roll my eyes, even though that was sort of a compliment. “It’s not about confidence. He’s not my type.”
Deedee snorts. “Right. Tall, dark, and handsome isn’t your type.”
She’s got a point. He’s every girl’s type, but that doesn’t mean I have the balls to march over there and talk to him.
“He’s sitting down,” I say. “How do you know he’s tall?”
She grins slyly. “Not anymore. He just stood up, and I think he’s coming over here.”
My eyes widen in panic. I turn to see that Blue Eyes has indeed unfolded his long body from the chair and is standing to his full intimidating height. My stomach dips as he walks in our direction, his long legs eating up the distance, and I go still as sudden paralysis takes hold. For a moment, I hope he’s aiming for Deedee or Katy. The next moment I take it back, because look at him. Who am I kidding?
When he stops in front of me, my speculation ends but the panic remains and mixes with something more pleasant. How many girls did he walk past to get to me?
I look up at his strong, angular face and realize the span of his shoulders is so wide, it blocks out my view of the rest of the bar. I also notice that his nose is slightly crooked and a thin scar slashes through one of his dark eyebrows.
He doesn’t say a word at first. He only smiles in a slow, sexy way that makes my heart skip erratically.
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