I have to give an obnoxiously loud shout out and virtual air kisses to Joss Radillo today, for hosting Tristan’s coming out party as part of her 100,000 blog visits celebration! If Joss hadn’t reached out to me to to participate in her special occasion, I may never have written this character study or admitted to this beautiful face (Lee Williams) haunting the entire writing of my new serial novel, Catchpenny.
Introducing Tristan Jameson, the boy that steals Meg Shannon’s heart in Catchpenny! Part One was just released July 1st, and it’s called Wicked Lover. Get the ebook for $0.99 on Amazon HERE. Also available in paperback.
When I first began writing Catchpenny, I had just seen a mini-series called the Forsyte Saga on Netflix. The Welsh actor pictured here, Lee Williams, made such an impression on me that his is the face I’ve always pictured for Tristan throughout the whole writing process of Catchpenny. The mini-series was actually released in 2002, and Lee Williams is now 41-years-old, so he wouldn’t actually play Tristan today. Tristan is 17, just turning 18 in the book. But, here’s a good idea of how hot he’ll be as he matures…
Watch a clip of Lee Williams in film HERE.
And here’s a closer look at Lee/Tristan’s “Mentholyptus” blue eyes, which Meg often mentions in Catchpenny…
A Short Synopsis of Catchpenny, Part One: Wicked Lover
Have you ever wondered about that girl at the edge of the crowd? The one who has dark, bushy hair that hides her eyes while she’s reading, but tight shirts that don’t even try to hide the size of her breasts? You’ve heard the rumors, you know the rude nicknames, and you wonder what she really does when she’s not in school. She never comes to parties and she lives in a neighborhood where nice girls never venture. Everyone tries to ignore her…but there is something about her that’s impossible to ignore. Especially for the star quarterback, apparently. Because he just asked her to the Homecoming dance, after dumping the head cheerleader.
Catchpenny tells the story from the eyes of “that girl,” and Wicked Lover is just the beginning of this coming of age serial novel. The small town minds of Shirley County have underestimated Meg Shannon for too long. She’s even more fun than she is trouble…but maybe she has finally met her match.
Who is Tristan Jameson?
Tristan is, of course, the quarterback mentioned in the synopsis. He has played by the rules all his life and he’s over it. Meg is fun, honest, and real, in a way that most of the friends in his crowd are not. At first, he seemed to have asked Meg to the dance on a whim, but as the story develops we realize he’s had his eye on her from afar, for a long time. He thinks she’s the most interesting girl in school—it just took him a while to work up the nerve to breach the social barriers that he’s been cocooned in for so long. As he gets to know Meg throughout the course of the evening, she continually surprises him. He’s fascinated and his feelings deepen more than either of them were prepared for. She’s an enigma to him, and he’s ready to take some risks, too.
An Excerpt from Wicked Lover
A narrow column of rock jutted up from the valley, separated from the main cliff by about two feet. We had always called it the exclamation point (or just “the point” for short) when I was a kid, because that’s exactly what it looked like. It was the first and smallest of the buttes, as the valley below met the canyons, and the mountains on either side squeezed the land into a bottleneck, with violent rapids rushing below. The point was wide enough for a couple people to sit on, maybe four people to stand on carefully. I hopped out onto the column of stone, my bare toes gripping the stone when I landed, steady and sure. I’d done it a million times. I focused on the moon; it looked as big as a planet about to crash right into the earth. A yellow sphere of Swiss cheese, in planetary proportions.
“The wolves will be out in force tonight,” I said, then threw my head back in a long howl. A prompt response echoed in the distance, the owner of which was more likely a hound dog hunting with his master than a roaming wolf. I laughed and looked back to see my date turning green behind me. “Don’t worry, I’ve got good balance—my mom says I’ve always been a mountain goat.”
He shook his head, sizing me up from the rear. “More like a mountain lion. Please come back, though.”
He held out his hand, obviously closer to the rim than he was comfortable with, but I ignored it. I turned back to the moon. “It’s not full yet.”
“Looks pretty full to me.”
“No, it’s still waxing. It’ll be full tomorrow.”
“Want to bet?” He stuck his hand out further, daring me to accept a shake on it.
“Okay. I know I’m right.”
The instant my hand made contact with his, his grip turned to iron and he yanked me towards himself, off the point and across the chasm. I crashed into his chest and he moved backwards with me—solid, not stumbling. His arms wrapped around my shoulders like steel girders, his body immovable and his face unflinching.
“You’re dangerous,” he mumbled, eyes blazing.
I tried to say, “You should talk,” but I’d somehow lost my voice.
“Away from the sheer drop.”
“Okay.” I nodded, glad to finally produce a sound with my startled vocal chords. I let him thread his fingers through mine, and he led me back to the car.
In the safety of the limo, he lounged back onto the seat, his eyes smoldering as he watched me. I settled myself opposite, arranging the beads of my cocktail dress and fluffing my curls, not really sure what had just occurred between us. Maybe he was angry with me; he sure looked it. I said, as innocently as I could manage, “Are you afraid of heights?”
“Afraid of having to dive off a cliff to catch you, maybe.”
I snorted. “Right.”
“Reckless,” he sighed, shaking his head.
“Sorry? You’re not like any girl I’ve ever met, Meg. It’s a lot to take in, but there’s no reason to be sorry.”
I fumbled with my beads a little more, unsure of how to proceed. I felt the car start to roll and I looked up in reaction, to see a door in the ceiling just over Tristan’s head. I had an idea. “Hey, we can get a perfect view of the moon from in here. That’s a sunroof, right?”
He looked above his head and his expression cooled. “Actually, I’ve been wanting to try that ever since I first got in.”
“You mean…ejector seat?” I met his spreading grin and he nodded, then reached over to push a button by his armrest. The window in the ceiling slid open and Tristan grabbed my hand, pulling me over to crouch with him on the seat below the skylight.
“Ejector seat!” we yelled together, springing up through the open roof, him laughing and me cheering like a five-year-old. The sky spread over us like velvet lavender, a blanket of winking stars around the glowing lunar orb. It felt so close I wanted to reach up and touch it—moments like that are the closest I ever get to church.
We watched the sky together in silence. I slid my eyes in Tristan’s direction and saw his own closed, his face content. The air was getting cooler, twilight fading into night, and I shivered as Barney picked up speed. My hair started to whip around my face and I grabbed as much of it as I could in one hand to save the ringlets, gripping the roof with the other. I wondered if my “frizz eliminator” would hold up to such abuse, and I squeezed eyelids shut against the wind and frenzy of escaping curls. Strong fingers encircled my wrist, pulling it down and trapping it behind my waist. My eyes snapped open and found him so close I could feel the tickle of his cheek against mine. My hair whirled around us like a tornado.
His voice was deep and urgent in my ear. “Don’t put your hair back.”
“It’ll be an afro in a minute.”
“I like it wild. I like you wild.”
I turned a fraction and my lips brushed against his. His eyes watched my mouth. “Kiss me, Tristan.”
He cupped my face with his hands, so large and warm I felt my cool cheeks blaze instantly, but so gentle he was barely touching me. He looked at me and hesitated, holding my gaze as if he were about to say something first, his face close enough I swear I could feel a spark between our lips. I couldn’t wait another second. I found the heat of his mouth and slid my hands inside his jacket and around his waist. He answered me, caution forgotten along with the moon. Was that him who moaned in relief or me? I couldn’t tell, melted together as we were. As one.
Both our knees gave way and I felt myself collapsing onto the seat below, then toppling to the floor. His arms were around my shoulders and under my thighs, catching our fall in an expert roll. He landed on top, hovering over me and devouring my neck while I locked my ankles around his back. His lips were as soft as his body was hard, and I felt an electric zing at every point where we connected. All thoughts of preserving my pristine Homecoming costume faded into the smell of his skin, the taste of his mouth, and the hills and valleys of his body. I blended into the texture of him.
And look for this scene, a favorite of another awesome book blogger, Romorror Fan Girl, who awarded Wicked Lover 5 Stars:
Check it out, please do. HERE.