Feb 14, 2016

Sunday Smooch with Amy Andrews

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from  Amy Andrews but first 

... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Lyn M!!

Can you please contact sue (dot) mackay56 (at) yahoo  (dot) com to receive your prize. 

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Numbered.


What would you do differently if your days were…NUMBERED??

Mathematician and many-time Loser in Love Poppy Devine believes in being prepared. So when she discovers she has breast cancer, all she has to do is dust off the carefully numbered bucket list she prepared years before with her best friend Julia.
There are only two problems:  Quentin, a gorgeous younger man with rock-star ambitions, wasn’t on her list. And take-a-risk Julia, has suddenly come over all disapproving.
Together with Poppy’s hippy mother Scarlet, the three form an unlikely alliance to help Poppy realise her goals. Sky diving, swimming with sharks, cooking classes in Tuscany, visiting an orphanage in India are all part of the journey. Along the way, Poppy is forced to confront her best friend’s grief, her fraught relationship with her mother, and the fact that she really might be using her last available time on earth to make the most imperfect match of her life.
But Poppy comes to learn that when your days are numbered there’s no such thing as perfect and love really is all you need.

Amy says - Just a bit of a warning before you read on....Numbered isn't the typical romance you're probably used to from me. For a start I co-authored it with my sister Ros and secondly, it's more women's fiction. Don't worry, there's a large romantic subplot so, you know....there's kissing and stuff but its an emotional ride which might not be everyone's cup of tea. The scene below is one I wrote and comes with a language warning.

Set up - 
Poppy has just been told that there's nothing more medically they can do for her. Julia has dashed off to find Quentin who is practising with his band in a local church hall. When she gets there, Quentin has already left to go to Poppy and the practise session has broken up. But Spike the drummer is still there.....

Are you okay?’ he asked again.

‘No.’ Julia wasn’t sure why she’d answered. She didn’t want Spike to know her stuff. She didn’t want his pity or his brashness.

‘What can I do?’

Rage, sharp and molten, rose in her again. Do? As if he could do anything. What, just because he thought he was god’s gift to the universe he thought he could also cure cancer? ’Cause that’s what she needed.

Cocky bastard.

She didn’t mean to laugh. And even if she had she certainly wouldn’t have meant for it to sound quite so maniacal. ‘Nothing.’

‘I lost my muvver to breast cancer,’ he said. ‘I was twelve.’

Julia recoiled at the news, a spurt of hot tears scalding the back of her eyes. The thought was horrifying. She couldn’t bear thinking about him at twelve, all gangly and pubescent, losing his anchor. She couldn’t bear the thought of any of it.

She just didn’t want to think.

Her brain ached from the thinking.

‘Can you play?’ she asked, not really conscious of where she was going with it. ‘Loud?’

He shrugged those magnificent shoulders and the dragon danced. ‘How loud?’

Really loud. Loud enough that I can’t hear myself think.’

He looked at her for a few beats, then, without saying a word, he sat down on his stool and started to play.

The first notes hit her as she’d hoped they would. They thudded into her chest hard enough that she wished she was wearing Kevlar, and reverberated through her cerebral cortex with enough oomph to disrupt her clashing thoughts. For long minutes she stood there, eyes shut, and absorbed the crash and boom. She let it shake through her thighs, throb through her belly and vibrate through her grey matter.

She looked around the rickety old hall and found a stash of folding chairs. She grabbed one and sat in the middle of the empty space and let the noise consume her, tapping her cherryslingback shoe to the beat.

Tears came and she let them fall like rain. She watched him watch her as they fell and she didn’t care. Her brain was full of rage and bass meshing together into one blinding blast that left no room for anything else. The beat was intense, angry almost, and Julia revelled in it. Revelled in its vigour and its gutwrenching emotion.

Anger. Her old friend.

She felt good suddenly. Good to have the noise in every cell of her being, to have no room for anything other than the furious beat.

Julia didn’t know how long it went on. All she knew was that at some stage Spike shut his eyes and went to another plain. She wasn’t sure then who he was playing for. Her? Ten? Poppy? His mother maybe? But he sure was working up a sweat. She could see him perspiring from a good ten metres away. He flicked his head to the beat and the sun slanting through the high window behind him caught the droplets as they sprayed
from his hair. There was a dewy sheen to his smooth pecs and she could see moisture gathering in the hollow at the base of his throat.

Her nostrils flared as the salty aroma of fresh sweat wafted towards her. It filled her head and swirled with the earthy masculine beat, pulling at her, potent and real, and she wondered how that hollow would taste.

Suddenly something more than the beat filled her head. Suddenly Spike filled her head.
And that just made her madder.

She stood, angry and repulsed that she could be thinking of sweaty drummers when Poppy, her best friend, was dying. The chair fell back with a clatter and he opened his eyes. His gaze pierced her to the spot. He looked at her like he knew.


A small smile passed over his mouth before he tossed his head again and his eyes drifted shut and Julia felt her blood pressure skyrocket.

How freaking dare he? Did his cockiness know no bounds?

She stalked up to the stage, taking the stairs two at a time until she was standing in front of him, breathing erratically. The noise was deafening up here, hitting her in the chest like grenade blasts, the cacophony feeding her fury.

She watched him, utterly mesmerised by the show. His biceps flexing. His forearms straining as he belted the drums like he was possessed, like he was playing for his soul, the tattooed letters on his fingers and the sticks a blur of movement.  He was someplace else. Totally in the moment. And she wanted that. She wanted to be someplace else, too. In his moment.

Far the hell away from hers.

Julia moved closer until she was standing beside him. Close enough to touch him. Close enough to see him breathing hard at what was obviously quite a physical workout. To see the wink of his diamond stud and the sweat on his chest. To see that damn popped button.

And he didn’t smell like beer nuts and hair gel now. He smelled like rock-and-freaking-roll.

He stopped abruptly and his eyes flashed open, capturing hers. For long seconds neither of them did or said anything and only the wild tempo of their breathing broke the deafening silence.

Then she was lifting her skirt. Straddling him. Sliding her hands onto the bare smoothness of his shoulders up into his hair, twisting her fingers brutally into the shaggy locks.

He kissed her then. Not tentative. Not polite. This was no first-kiss kiss. It was demanding. Dirty. And it went on and on. Deep, open-mouthed, head-twisting, tonguefucking,rock’n’roll kissing.

Many people out there like to read what I call "tragic" books. I've never really gotten that myself. Tragedy is all around so I dont really want to read about it. But, I would move out of my comfort zone if it was an author I knew and loved.

What about you? Do you have a hard and fast rule about certain content regardless of who has written it? What are you personal hot buttons that will cause you to avoid a book like the plague? And have you ever set that aside because you trusted the author?

I'm giving away a paperback copy of Numbered (its one of those big suckers too!!) - openly internationally - to one person who joins in the conversation in the comments. Can't wait to hear what y'all have to say.

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and another smooch from will be posted!

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver


  1. Hi Amy

    I am crying reading this part I have heard so many great things about this story I really need and want to read it and I know that I will be on an emotional roller coaster of a ride where I will be smiling laughing and crying my eyes out :)

    As for the question although the majority of what I read is romance I do read stories that will make me cry as well with tragedy but I have to be in the right frame of mind to read them.

    Huge congrats to you and Ros on the release of this one it is on my must have list :)

    Have Fun

    Oh and Happy Valentines Day Everyone I am off to the Romance Reader lunch :)

    1. Thanks so much Helen! Happy Valentines Day to you too. Have a great lunch.

  2. Amy. that is a beautiful scene. It blew me away. Gotta read it.
    No hard and fast rules on content except after reading two (and not being able to finish one because it was too hard)books involving dementia I will never read another one. I can't cope with it after watching my mother-in-law deal with it.

    1. Thanks Sue.
      Understandable how hard it would be to read about dementia.
      Hugs xx

  3. A wonderful read through thank you.

    I don't always need or expect a HEA. The stories that come with some hard truths are often the ones that grab hold of me and won't let go. I will read most things as long as the writing style pleases me.

    1. Thanks Mary.
      You sound much more forgiving than me :-)

  4. Amy, this is a beautiful, beautiful scene. You had me all ready to reach for a tissue and then the mood changed! So HOT! I adore Julia and Spike! Congratulations to you and Roz! Off to add this book to my must buy list!

  5. This looks amazing, Amy. Thanks for tackling such an issue in a positive way.

  6. Ooh, Amy! Ooh...have to go and buy it now.

    I can't say I feel much enthusiasm for reading a story from the point of view of a psychotic murderer...mind you, I did read Nabokov's LOLITA and thought it amazing (and that's told from the mind of a pedophile). So never say never, I suppose. I have to admit that I feel cheated if a book is advertised as a romance and then doesn't have a happy ending. Will read stories that end sadly and/or tragically, but I just like to be prepared for them.

    1. Thanks Michelle!
      I used to read quite a bit of psychological/crime thrillers but now I have so little time to read I can do without the mind f@*k....
      I think you're right, a "romance" has to have a happy or uplifting ending.
      Strangely enough I think Numbered does have an uplifting ending....but I'll let you judge for yourself ;-)

  7. Hello Amy, very nice this extract. I do not love to read books that speak of tragedies, I like to read to process a bit 'from everyday problems so I prefer a beautiful romantic love story, which can also make me cry (and many times I cry). But if the author of the book is one of my favorites so I can read it.

    1. Hi and thank you :-)
      Good to know you'll go outside your comfort zone for a trusted author!

  8. Numbered is already on my reading list - but as many of us say too many books, not enough time.
    Looking forward to reading it.

    Sue - I'll email you - finding time seems to be a problem for me right now - on 11.40-8.15 shifts this week so more tired than usual and don't want to screw up my address.

  9. I don't mind crying reading a romance novel but I have to have a HEA in them too ! Yeah life has a lot of bad stuff that happens and I understand you not wanting to read it in your
    Books but that is life. Crap happens . You deal. In real life I had over 100 strokes in 2014. Spent weeks in icu and had to relearn to walk and talk. Through it all hubby was there we are 24 years this year. Crap happened but we are still on the happily ever after with stuff thrown in. You deal.