Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Small Town Girl in the Big City

Right up front I’m going to say that I love my home state of Iowa. If anyone else wrote this post I might even be offended but it’s one of those things that I can get away with because it’s mine :)

At the moment, my kids, husband and I are vacationing by doing the tourist-thing in Washington D.C. We’re having a great time and while I’ve been here several times before, it’s fun to see it through my kids’ eyes. Almost better than seeing their reactions to the Lincoln monument and the American History Museum is seeing their reactions to the differences between our wonderful small town home in the Midwest and the big city. I thought I might run down the top ten differences between D.C. and Iowa that we’ve encountered. What? You don't think there are differences? Well, read on!

10. Corn and cows. Iowa has a lot of both. The only corn I’ve seen was the corn we had for dinner and the cow was on the side of the ice cream carton at the grocery store. Maybe there are cows and cornfields in D.C. but I haven’t seen any real ones yet.

9. Food vendors on the street. This just doesn’t happen in Iowa. At least not where we are. The closest thing we have is lemonade stands. Yep, little kids sitting in front of their houses and selling cups of lemonade and/or Kool-Aid for 25 cents.

8. How close we are to New York City. NYC is a place my kids are both dying to see and seems like some magical far off place where we live. In less time than it would take for us to drive across the state of Iowa we could go from D.C. to NYC for the day!

7. Culture. I think it goes without saying that the museums and “things to do” in Washington D.C. seem better. And maybe they are. They’re better than a lot of places. But Iowa has its own entertainment and cool stuff. Like Mount Rushmore. No wait, that’s South Dakota. Well, I’ll think of something. (just kidding, we have fun too. Just… different… fun).

6. National Monuments. Okay, this is a given I realize. But come on. These things are awesome.

5. Subways. Yeah, Iowa has the sandwich shop. But the closest “real” subway is 7-8 hours away. In fact, here we barely car pool. (That’s not necessarily a good thing, I realize).

4. Population. There are a lot of people here in D.C. There aren’t this many people where we live. Enough said.

3. Diversity. There are so many cultures, languages and colors here. It’s really a great experience for my kids who are growing up in a town where there are a lot of wonderful things- wide open spaces, clean air, and a non-existent crime rate. However, seeing people in wheelchairs, with seeing eye dogs, speaking a plethora of languages, wearing bindis and turbans is wonderful.

2. High heels and suits. It doesn’t matter if they have to walk a mile or that it’s 95 degrees outside, the people who work in D.C. look good. Especially the women. They’re all in shape from walking all over, they can run on subway platforms in high heels and their hair is apparently impervious to humidity. Iowa women just put pony tails in and are much too practical to run in heels. At least most of us.

1. Family 24/7. We love each other. We’re a happy family. I often wish I had more time with my kids when I’m working. But wow, 24/7 is really a lot for us. We all like our space, we like our alone time and we’re not used to seeing each other this much :)

Anyway, we’re having a fantastic time. We’re learning a lot and we really are enjoying the uninterrupted time together. Washington D.C. is a great place and I love that my kids are enjoying it as much as we’d hoped they would. We’ll be home in a few days, happy to sleep in our own beds (though I have to say, these are fantastic) but with lots of great memories (and several souvenirs!)

This whole trip is leading up to two things… the print release of Just My Type (the third Bradford book) and… um… oh, yeah, my hubby’s birthday! Both happen on Aug 2nd (the first day after vacation is over). So, for fun I’m going to give a gift away to someone! It will include a print copy of Just My Type and some of my hubby’s favorite things! An 80’s compilation CD, popcorn and a koozie to keep your beer (or whatever) cold!

All you have to do is comment here. Anything. Tell me about your favorite vacation. What you love about your own home state. Whatever.
I’ll choose a winner on August 2nd!

For now, I have more sites to see! Erin

Just My Type

Secretly wanting her—no problem. Her not-so-secretly wanting him—big trouble.

The Bradfords, Book 3

There’s only one problem with the woman Jason “Mac” Gordon wants: his best friend’s little sister is off limits. Way off limits, and too young and innocent for the likes of him. From past experience, he’s learned to hide his not-so-nice preferences from the nice girls he seems to attract. That definitely includes the woman he’s always thought of as a sister. At least until recently.
Sara Bradford always gets what she wants—which is partly Mac’s fault. After all, he helped spoil her. So she has no intention of taking his no for an answer on anything—least of all his refusal to sleep with her. He thinks she’s too innocent? Fine. She’ll simply get un-innocent and show Mac that she wants him—the good, the bad and the nipple
When Mac’s plan to drive her away works too well, he’s forced to follow her to a tropical paradise, determined to make sure she doesn’t find her wild side with anyone but him. Once she gets a real taste of what he likes, he’s sure everything will go back to normal.
That’s until he discovers a slight kink, er, flaw in his logic…
Product WarningsContains hot sex at the beach, kinky online shopping—and yes, cotton-candy-flavored
body powder does exist.

He was absolutely not going to have sex with Sam’s little sister.

Okay, so some people would say they’d already been pretty intimate. He wasn’t going to promise that wasn’t going to go a little further. It had to in order for him to show her he was way to wild for her. He just wasn’t going to kiss her. Not unless it was absolutely necessary. He wasn’t going to touch her any more than that. At least, he was going to try not to touch her. He definitely wasn’t going to bury himself as deep as he could go, over and over and over.

Yeah, that one he wasn’t going to do.

He turned around a moment later, feeling as in control as he was likely going to get with the knowledge he was going to see every beautiful, naked inch of Sara Bradford before he left that condo.
She hadn’t had much to remove. Just her dress, since he had her thong in his pocket. She still hadn’t listened to him. She was lying on her back, propped up on her elbows, her smooth tanned legs dangling over the edge of the bed, mostly covered. At least as much as she had been since being in St. Croix. He stopped in front of her and looked down at her.

On a bed. Like a wet dream come true.

Even if he hadn’t seen in the cab she wore no bra, there was obviously nothing between her breasts and the thin white satin of her top as the hard points of her nipples were evident.

He’d wanted women. He’d felt heat and passion. He’d never felt burned alive from the inside like he did now. He knew, even as he gazed down at her, once he saw her, saw every inch of flesh on this woman, he would never want another. Ever.

This had the potential of making him a very lonely, sexually frustrated person from here on.

Still he said, “Take it off.”

Her eyes widened. “I’d rather you did it.”

He frowned. She was going to be difficult even now? “Sara, take it off.”

She reached her hand behind her neck and pulled on the end of the tie that held the top up. The material gave and the front slipped down to reveal the smooth peach colored skin of her chest and upper swells of her breasts. Not far enough.

“More,” he said hoarsely.

She grasped the satiny material between her thumb and first finger just above her belly button and tugged. The fabric slipped down, tortuously slow, until her beautiful breasts and hard nipples were fully revealed.

His mouth went dry as if it was the first time he’d seen her. Somehow, this felt different. This was premeditated. This wasn’t a spontaneous painting or an attempt to shock her in a public place. This was a private showing. All for him.

She was tiny all over. She wasn’t more than an A cup and he’d heard her bemoan that fact in the past. Right now, though, she didn’t look upset. About anything. And he sure as hell wasn’t complaining.

“Now what?” A mischievous smile teased the corner of her mouth.

“All the way. Off.” He was already beyond the ability to make full sentences.

She lifted her hips off the mattress. She looked at him expectantly as if waiting for him to pull the skirt down. There was no way he was touching her.

Being by a bed with her was a bad idea.

Watching her undress was a terrible idea.

Thinking about all of the things he wanted to do to her was a horrible idea.

But touching her? Putting his hands on the woman he’d been comparing every other woman to for five years? Running his palms over the curves and silkiness of the woman he’d been depriving himself of, purposefully, for five years?

No way in hell. That would be out of control.

He’d had bad, terrible and horrible ideas before and survived them. He’d always been in control.
“Take it off.”

She wouldn’t leave him alone. If he didn’t do this, do something, she would not leave it alone. He couldn’t take it. He couldn’t take having her flirt and tease and try to seduce him. So he was going for the shock factor to shut her up. At least long enough to get her back to Omaha, dump her back on her siblings and then disappear for a while to get over her. Shouldn’t take more than a decade or two.

She shrugged, like it didn’t matter to her one way or another, and lay back, grabbing some material in her fingers at each hip and tugging it down, shimmying as she did it. The motion caused her breasts to bounce a little.

Mac bit back a soft curse and closed his eyes.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” he said tightly.

“You’re not going to look?”

He shook his head. He couldn’t. Not right now. Maybe ever.

Buy it now


daydrmzzz said...

So happy to see another new book :)
My favorite vacation was my trip to Samoa with my hubby. It's the most beautiful place I've every been. Snorkeling, massage, beach trips, market places, no phone/internet/ or TV, just the two of us it was great. Hope you enjoy your trip xoxo drive safely.

Meg Benjamin said...

Loved DC when I was there last summer. But oh man the heat and humidity! That's the major difference between DC and Denver, I'd say. Oh and the lack of mountains on DC's part, of course.

kog said...

Great excerpt. I'm adding that to my TBR list!

I like DC too - we saw so much, walked so much. The only downside was that I felt like I needed a vacation from my vacation afterwards!

My fav vacation was a last-minute getaway hubby & I took pre-kids to Grenada. The resort was gorgeous and scuba diving fantastic.

Erin Nicholas said...

Thanks Dawn and kog! Sounds like you've both had a great vacation! Yes, Meg, I prefer Colorado's *lack* of humidity too. Holy crap! We used to avoid these places in summer before our kids had to worry about missing school. Ugh.

Meg Benjamin said...

Erin, while I think of it, you should check to see if they're still doing the military band concerts on the capitol steps at night. Really a great experience (check the capitol Web site for details).

Jane said...

I've been to Hawaii a couple of times and it's definitely my favorite vacation destination. The Big Island is so beautiful and we even attended a luau. NY is my home state and the city especially has something for everyone. The food and museums are things I love most about NY.

PG Forte said...

DC is gorgeous in the springtime when the tulips and dogwood and cherry blossoms are all in bloom.

Summertime, OTOH, is just what you'd expect for a city built on top of a swamp: Pretty damn hellish.

Christine A. Collier said...

Hi Erin,

Great post! I'm native to Southern CA and I've never really been to the East coast aside from one trip to the Disney World (that between you and I, wasn't worth the money). It's amazing how my husband and I live in the land of tourism (Los Angeles) and we constantly have the same conversation about how there's "nothing to do." You put us to shame. I think we born-n-raised Californians grow up around so much hussle and bustle we become numb to it. Maybe we should come to Iowa. Corn and cows are two things I've never seen (except for what's on my plate) and I wouldn't mind seeing a hot cowboy or two. You have those in Iowa, right? lol

Erin Nicholas said...

PG, that was almost exactly my dad's quote when I bitched about the heat ("you know it was built on a swamp right?")
Christine, we have more hot farmers than cowboys but if all you need is denim, boots and a truck-- then we've got lots! *G* It is funny isn't it, how we overlook what's in our backyard? Iowa definitely has it's own unique charm. There's a lot to be said for good corn and cows! :)

Kim Brooks said...

I grew up in a small town about 45 minutes from D.C.(maybe an hour depending on your speed and traffic). I think all but one field trip growing up was in D.C. I think I know Air and Space like the back of my hand. I live just south of Richmond now. But if you have the time, get on I66 West. Once you get passed Manasas, you will see some beautiful country. You will see more horses than cows, but they're out there. If you continue toward Front Royal, you will pass Paris, Va. That's just good for a picture by the sign! But in Front Royal (first exit) you will find the start of the Skyline Drive. Talk about beautiful! You won't find any cows, but you might see a bear or two. And tons of deer. The story goes that not so long ago you could see the Washington Monument from the Drive with the naked eye. I was never able to see it, but they say that is because of pollution. There is also Skyline Caverns. Not as big as the more famous ones, but still beautiful. There is a great place for pizza in Front Royal too. It's called The Melting Pot! Closer to you, the Chesapeake Bay Seafood House. You have to love seafood to go - it's all-you-can-eat.

And you have the Field of Dreams!

Kim Brooks said...

Oh, I almost forgot...

There is a great male strip club just across the border into Maryland. It's called The Hanger Club. ;)

Erin Nicholas said...

Yes, we have Field of Dreams! :) And Bridges of Madison County! And I did finallly see some corn-- growing in a little plot in front of the Dept of Agriculture buildings! ha!

Erin Nicholas said...

Christine, you're the winner of the prize pack for commenting! I'm going to e-mail you too. Just contact me at!

Christine A. Collier said...

Woo hoo! I just got your email and replied back. I'm so excited!