Sabrina licked her crimson lips, adjusted the low V of her scarlet satin blouse a bit lower, the black mini a bit higher. She admired the toned cut of her thigh muscles and the creamy swell of her breasts in the glass as she pushed through the double doors of the county library on ice-pick, black-patent stilettos. She could do this. If her heart was beating a bit too fast and her breathing was a bit, well, breathy, that would just help set the stage.
Mr. I’m-Too-Shy-To-Ask-You-Out was going to get a Valentine’s Day surprise like no other.
Genre: Contempory Erotic Romance
* * * * *
FUN FIRST FACTS ABOUT CHANTILLY
Who was your first love? Oooh, that's actually a tough question. My very first love was a sweet, chubby little boy whose name I no longer remember, but my mother has him circled on my Tiny Tot's (basically preschool) class picture. I was three. I experienced a short dry spell in my love life after that, but the role of personal hero was next filled by the charismatic Jimmy Alvarez in kindergarten. He wooed me with rings from the gumball machine at a local pizza parlor and Avon lipstick samples he liberated from his mother's vanity table.
I was, in a word, crazy about him.
My mother would say I was boy crazy, period. She's probably right. I spent a fair amount of time in school ignoring math lessons in favor of selecting my next victim. I mean boyfriend. I always paid attention during story hour, however.
In all that time, and through all those boyfriends, I was pretty lucky. There were only two young men who truly broke my heart. My first serious boyfriend, Mike M., in high school, and a "much older" guy—by four years! It seemed like a lot bigger difference when I was nineteen—who promised to love me forever, named Jeff. He left me—on Christmas Day—for his ex-girlfriend, a woman who had rammed his car with hers when he broke up with her the first time.
I have to thank that nameless crazy girl, though, because she cleared the way for me to meet the real love of my life, my husband, Mark, who has been by my side for more than twenty years.
What was the first romance you ever read? The first romance I ever read was The Proud Breed, by Celeste de Blasis, which, if you've never read it, is an epic tale—probably more women's fiction than straight romance, now that I think about it—which follows the heroine, Tessa, throughout her entire life from the day she turns sixteen.
The book is around a thousand pages and quite spicy, romantically. I was twelve and visiting my grandparents at their vacation cabin outside a tiny little town in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. After the first three or four days, I was bored out of my mind. I'm sure I was driving everyone crazy, the way only a bored twelve-year-old can. I'd already shaved the neighbor's golden retriever—without their permission—to free her of mats she'd gotten from swimming in the lake. Poor Maggie. She looked like she'd lost a fight with a lawn mower wielded by a maniacal chimpanzee.
Out of desperation, my grandma thrust The Proud Breed at me and firmly told me to, "Read!" All she remembered about the book was that it was a history of California. She thought it would be educational. Oh, boy, was she ever right about that! I stuck my nose in that book and didn't surface again for days, though every once in a while my mother or grandmother would want to know why I was blushing and giggling.
I was captivated by the first sentence and all the way to the end, through all the ups and downs of Tessa's life with her husband and lover, Gavin, of the dark hair and deep blue eyes. Is it any wonder that particular masculine combination is still my favorite? Lucky for my husband!
To this day, The Proud Breed remains one of my all-time favorite books, and has been read and reread many, many times.
Tell me about your very first kiss? Since I started kissing boys—quite enthusiastically—at a very, very young age, I'll fast-forward to a slightly more age-appropriate answer. My first French kiss lesson, when I was fourteen. His name was Chad, and while he didn't have dark hair—it was, in fact, a very beautiful and pale rocker-dude flowing blond—he did have dark, soulful blue eyes.
We were hanging out at a mutual friend's house, a whole bunch of us, and as usual I was the only girl. Aside from being boy crazy for boyfriends, I mostly preferred the company of boys all around, even just as friends. But I'd had my eye on Chad for something more than mere friendship for a little while, and he'd been giving me the eye right back.
Somehow the topic of kissing came up. When I admitted I'd never had a French kiss, Chad grabbed me by the hand and hauled me outside into the bright sunshine where, in the shade of an ancient oak tree, he pulled me around to face him. He placed his hands ever so gently on my cheeks, and very, very slowly leaned in. He pressed his lips to mine, soft and sweet, and kissed me exquisitely, for what felt like eons. I put my hands on his waist and held on, because my world was already spinning.
Then he pulled back slightly and whispered, "Open your mouth."
The words alone sent a zing straight down my fourteen-year-old spine, but when he touched his tongue to mine, I quaked all over. Such sensations!
We didn't date for very long, but I'll never forget that first "grownup" kiss. I'll always be grateful I had such a wonderful, tender teacher.
MORE ABOUT CHANTILLY:
Chantilly White was born and raised in southern California, an only child who spent her days acting out favorite scenes from beloved fairytales and reading everything she could get her hands on. Childhood favorites were soon followed by romance novels from Celeste de Blasis, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey, Jude Deveraux, Nora Roberts and many others.
Always a storyteller, Chantilly holds a degree in Creative Writing/English Literature from the University of California at Riverside. Now living in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three kids and three crazy cats, she is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and several local and online chapters. She serves as Membership Chair for the Evergreen RWA Chapter in Everett, Washington.
Chantilly writes romance in a variety of subgenres. She is currently trying her hand at shorter works, and spicing them up quite a lot. She's finding the results. . . stimulating, and hopes her readers will happily agree.
Pearls of Passion and Pearls of Wisdom, both short stories, are available now. Her third title, Pearls of Pleasure, a novella, will be available mid-September, 2012, to be followed in short order by Remember Me and Captivated. Look for them on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and anywhere e-books are sold.