Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Things Good Girls Don't Do by Codi Gary Blog Tour and Chapter Excerpt


Good girls don't steal. Good girls don't visit sex shops. Good girls don't have one night stands.

For Katie Conners, being a good girl just isn't worth it anymore. It used to mean getting the life you always wanted. But that was before she got dumped and her ex got engaged to his rebound. One evening, after a bad day and one too many mojitos, Katie starts making a list of things a girl like her would never do, not in a million years.

As a tattoo artist with a monster motorcycle, Chase Trepasso isn't the kind of guy you bring home to Mom and Dad. And when he finds Katie's list in a bar, he's more than happy to help her check off a few items. Especially the ones on the naughtier side.

Katie's more than tempted by Chase's offer, as long as they keep things uncomplicated. But as they spend more time together, Katie might just wind up breaking the most important rule of all:
Good girls don't fall in love with bad boys

Author Bio:

CODI GARY has been an obsessive book worm for twenty years and dreamed of writing romance since her first Sweet Valley High book. She writes best with a white mocha in one hand and the sound of female country singers in her ears. She lives in Idaho with her family.

Chapter One
It’s important to always be a nice girl Katie. Otherwise, people won’t want to let their kids play with you.
Katie tried to remember her mother’s childhood advice while organizing the Rock Canyon Independence Day Extravaganza, the annual parade, fair, and fireworks show celebrating the Fourth of July. The only drawback was that she had to work with Mrs. Marcie Andrews. And Mrs. Andrews was trying her patience in a big way.
“I just don’t understand why the tattoo booth is set up next to the kissing booth. Those drill noises are going to be distracting.”
Katie took a breath. Sometimes Mrs. Andrews acted like she was in her eighties instead of her early fifties. She was a dairy farmer’s wife, had four kids, and attended church every Sunday, but even Katie’s mother had called her a “gossiping windbag”, and her mother had rarely spoken ill about anyone. Katie, taking calming breath and channeling her mother’s patience is a virtue mentality, said, “There won’t actually be any real tattoos being done, Mrs. Andrews. It’s going to be henna tattoos. Mr. Trepasso is just handing out his cards and giving people samples of his work.”
Mrs. Andrews harrumphed. “Why Merve rented that space to a tattoo parlor, I’ll never know. It always just seems to draw the wrong element.”
And the two bars in town don’t? Katie didn’t say that though. She just smiled and said, “I’m sure it will be fine.”
Mrs. Andrews seemed to realize that Katie wasn’t going to agree with her and dropped the subject. “Now Katie, I know that the town council appointed you for this job, but I am co-head of this committee and I have more experience with this event since I’m a bit older than you. I just want to make sure you appreciate my advice, and don’t disregard it out of turn. I know how you young people like to think you know everything.”
“Of course, Mrs. Andrews, I completely value and appreciate your help. I am so honored that they picked me to help run things, but I am sure there is a lot I can learn from you.”
That seemed to pacify the older woman and she preened. “Alright then, so your shift for the kissing booth is from three to three thirty and we’ll start the fireworks after the Canyon Queen Pageant. I really don’t know about doing a big fireworks display. It’s a waste of money and so very dangerous.”
Katie wrote some notes in her binder, ignoring the fireworks subject for the sixteenth time, and closed it with a forced smile. “Okay, I think that’s it! We should be set for Thursday.”
Mrs. Andrews frowned a little and worried, “Are you sure there’s nothing else? You have your dress for the Canyon Queen float?”
Of course she had her dress. In a small town like Rock Canyon, everyone knew everyone else’s business and you didn’t mess with town festivities and traditions. At least six people a day asked her stupid questions like “Are you ready to retire your crown?” “Are you excited about riding the float again?” “What’s your dress look like?” “How’s Jimmy doing?”
That last question was enough to make her throw everything her mother ever taught her out the window and unleash the fury on someone. Jimmy Lawrence, her boyfriend of seven years, broke up with her eight months ago. Actually “broke up” was too mild a term. The dirty lily livered jerk had dumped her for a girl six years younger and twice her bra size. She’d tried to just smile and act like it didn’t bother her by participating in the Valentine’s Day singles auction—where she’d ended up spending the Sweethearts Dance with Carl Anderson, a sweet enough guy when he didn’t think his rotten egg farts were hilarious. After that, she’d gone out with a few men from church, but the men of Rock Canyon were just so…
She couldn’t come up with the perfect adjective to sum up the disgusting, irritating, and even boring antics of the six dates she’d had.
So Katie threw herself into one project after another, and this parade was only the latest. She tried to keep busy at the salon and it helped that Jimmy and his new girlfriend had moved to Twin Falls, so she didn’t have to see them walking around looking happy and in love. If she had to suffer through that torture on a daily basis, she might drive her car into the canyon.
After running the cheating bastard and his little tart over with her 4runner first.
Was she bitter? Well, no one could blame her. She had put her heart and soul into a relationship that went nowhere. All the years she spent grooming Jimmy, supporting Jimmy and someone else got to enjoy the benefits.
Now here she was, listening to Mrs. Andrews go on and on about the marching band when a deep voice interrupted, “Excuse me ladies, I just wanted to hand over my check for my rental booth.”
Katie’s gaze snapped up to meet a pair of steel gray eyes. She could hear the disapproval in Mrs. Andrew’s voice as she drawled, “Mr. Trepasso, we were just talking about you.”
Those amazing eyes didn’t stray from hers as he replied, “Please call me Chase, Mrs. Andrews. I hope you ladies were saying good things about me?”
Katie’s gaze shifted away from his to Mrs. Andrews, who looked like she’d smelled something vile. Katie, afraid the older woman would open her mouth and tell him exactly what she said, smiled, took his check and quickly said, “Thanks Chase, and of course it was good. I was just telling Mrs. Andrews what a wonderful job you did on my friend Stephanie’s rose tattoo. It’s lovely.”
Chase’s handsome face, with his slim nose, sensual mouth and dimpled chin, lit up with a wicked grin. His brown hair was short, spiky and a pair of studs adorned both of his ears. “Then why haven’t you been down to see me, Katie?” He lowered his voice and leaned closer. “I can do something really small and feminine where no one would ever see it.”
Katie fought the urge to fan herself as she heard Mrs. Andrew’s gasp. She remembered the first time she’d seen Chase after he moved to Rock Canyon five months ago. He’d been moving through the crowd at Buck’s Shot Bar, handing out business cards for his parlor. He’d stopped in front of Steph and her, holding out a card to each of them, but when Chase’s hand  had touched Katie’s, it had been electric. Too bad he hadn’t seemed as affected by it as her, moving on to the next group without so much as a backwards glance. She’d been a little disappointed at his dismissal, and when she’d seen him in the crowd at the Valentine’s Day singles auction, she had hoped he might bid on her. It was an idiotic hope though. She went off with Carl, and Chase got into a bidding war with Gregg Phillips over Ryan Ashton. He’d lost out, and since then, she’d seen him out with several women. Not one of them had a reputation for being a “good” girl, unlike Katie, who couldn’t even seem to return a library book late.
It was just as well that he had never looked at her like that. Chase was a heartbreaker, the kind of guy everyone in town disapproved of, but that didn’t mean he didn’t get her blood flowing anytime he came near her. Only last week, he’d joined her best friend Stephanie, her husband Jared, and Katie for a friendly game of pool. When she kept missing shot after shot, he’d taken her aside, bent her over the table and whispered, “Now, what you want to do is…”
She honestly couldn’t remember what else he’d said as he’d folded that tall, muscular frame over hers and she’d felt every breath of his words against her hair, cheek, and neck. Her butt had been cradled perfectly against his jean clad crotch and instinct had screamed at her to wiggle against him, but good girls didn’t do that. It would have been vulgar, and nice girls were never vulgar.
He’d finally backed away from her and she’d told them she needed to leave, that she’d forgotten to feed her cat. She’d figured her crazy attraction to him was just a side effect of her stagnant sex life and just needed to put some distance between them, but the memory of his body flush against hers was something that gave her ideas. Naughty, naked, sweaty ideas.
Katie realized both Chase and Mrs. Andrews were staring at her.
“I’m sorry, I have so much to get done, I guess I spaced out for a minute. I’ll get this to the bank tomorrow, Chase, and thank you for renting a booth.”
He gave that sexy I-know-how-hot-I-am-smile and said, “Sure, Katie, anything to help the town.”
Katie tried to keep her head down so he wouldn’t see her bright red cheeks or the dirty thoughts lurking in her eyes. What was wrong with her?
Turning away with a mumbled good-bye, she walked towards the patch of dirt used as a parking lot and shook her head at her own stupidity. It didn’t matter that Chase Trepasso was probably one hell of a good time or that those gray eyes held enough heat to light a bbq. Thinking about him in that way was a really bad idea.
Katie got into her 4runner and headed to her little two bedroom house on Oak Ave. It was affordable, and had plenty of room for her and her big, fat black cat Slinks. She’d bought it seven months ago, after Jimmy had told her he was leaving their little apartment at the edge of town.
Her hands clenched every time she thought of that morning when he’d calmly told her over a stack of waffles and his morning coffee that as much as he cared about her, he had met someone else. Seven years together. Seven years of washing his clothes, and making him birthday cakes. Seven damn years of talk about marriage, kids, and their life together, and he had dumped her as casually as if he’d ask for the syrup. And Katie had sat there, trying not to cry because her mother had always said, “Good girls never make a scene.”
But she’d wanted too. She still did. Every time someone mentioned his name, she pictured slapping his face or busting out the windows on his stupid truck or what he always referred to as his “baby” right in front of him. She must have listened to that Carrie Underwood song “Before He Cheats” a hundred times a day for a month after Jimmy had come by to get his stuff with a few of his buddies. She’d left the apartment while he was there, gone to Steph’s house and balled like a baby. Steph had tried to cheer her, threatening all kinds of castration and venting her own hatred, but nothing had helped. When she’d learned Jimmy had rented an apartment in Twin Falls with Selena—ugh, even her name was better than Katie’s—she hadn’t even been relieved that she wouldn’t be bumping into them. All she could feel was rage that he had said he wasn’t “emotionally mature enough” for marriage with her, while little Miss DD just needed to wiggle her butt and boom! Two months later they were picking out curtains.
That was when she’d decided to buy the house and salon, and even though both had needed quite a bit of work, she’d valued the distraction. She’d spent months updating the house— which had needed all new fixtures and paint—and organizing all of her things the way she liked them. She could put her decorating skills on Pinterest, they were so cookie cutter-esque.
One good thing about Jimmy leaving: no big, muddy work boots mucking up her clean floors. And she definitely had more room for her clothes and her craft corner. Her mother always said, “Idle hands were the devils tools.”
Katie parked her car in the carport and went to the end of her drive to get her mail. She pulled open the little white box decorated with trees and flowers, an impulsive buy from TJ Maxx, but she loved it. Thumbing through the stack of bills, she found a large, white envelope. Flipping it over, she opened the seal and pulled the off white invitation up curiously. When Katie read the names in the perfect, swirly script, she felt like she’d been hit by a bus.
Mr. and Mrs. Harold Lenier
Request the honor of your presence,
To celebrate the marriage of their daughter,
Selena Marie Lenier
Mr. James Thomas Lawrence
How could he? She couldn’t read anymore, her vision was so blurred by angry tears. Seven years and all she had was a couple of necklaces and a pair of emerald earrings. What had Selena done that had gotten her an engagement ring in just a few months? And why would he send her a wedding invitation? To hurt her? There was no reason why he would want to, at least none that she could think of. He had cheated on her, not the other way around and the most she had done was keep his favorite Toby Keith T-shirt before shredding it with a pair of scissors. What man in his right mind would think it was okay to humiliate her all over again by flaunting his happiness?
Katie stuffed the invitation back into the envelope and pulled out her cell phone.
Steph picked up on the second ring. “That low-down, no good, son of a bitch!”
Katie smiled at her best friend’s outrage and said dryly, “I take it you got one too?”
“I don’t know why in the hell he thought either Jared or I would want to go to his wedding. We only tolerated his no good cheating butt because you thought you loved him! I tried to tell you he was shifty! Didn’t I tell you he was shifty?”
Katie rolled her eyes as she unlocked the door. “Yes, I heard shifty several times.”
“Want me to come over? I can bring a bottle of wine and some brownies from The Local Bean. We can get stuffed and wasted. Maybe even look up how to make a voodoo doll.”
Katie dropped the mail down on her table and sighed, “Thanks, but I think I’m just going to have some dinner, take a bath, and pop in a DVD.”
Katie could hear exasperation in Steph’s voice. “Katie, you cannot sit at home all the time and mope. You need to go out, have fun. Get your mind off Jimmy the Jerk-off! Maybe even meet someone new.”
Katie choked. “I don’t think I’m ready for anyone new yet. Still getting over the old one, and pretty sure I’m not going to meet anyone new in Rock Canyon.”
“So maybe you’ll meet the right one. Maybe you’ve been so blinded by Jimmy and his deceitful charm that you haven’t noticed him.” Steph suggested.
Maybe the right one doesn’t exist. “Maybe, but I doubt it. It’s a good thing you met Jared in Kindergarten, otherwise you’d be fishing in the same slim pickins-pool as the rest of us.”
Steph and Jared had known each other their whole lives, started dating freshman year of High School and married right after graduation. They’d gone to college together and were the epitome of what Katie wanted. Her better half. Her soul mate.
Instead she’d gotten Jimmy and now, she didn’t even have him anymore.
“Hey, if I was single, I would be making waves in that pool, let me tell you! Your problem is that you’re such a good girl, you just try to please everyone. Name one thing you’ve done wrong. One person you’ve pissed off besides me or your mother.”
“As much as I’d love to play let’s-make-Katie-feel-worse-on-the-third-crappiest-day-of-her-life, I’m going to go. Maybe drown myself in a bathtub.” Katie said, emotionally drained.
“Shut up, you will not. Seriously, if you’re feeling that bad I’ll be there in five.”
Katie took a deep breath, and counted to ten. She adored Steph, but she hovered sometimes. What Steph needed was a couple of kids to worry about, and maybe she wouldn’t be such a mother hen.
“I’m just kidding! I love you, but I just want to be alone.” Katie said, as she opened up her bare cupboard to reveal a lonely can of green beans and a box of cake mix.
“Okay, okay, but you know I love you right? I just like to give you a hard time. After all, someone’s got to shake up that goody-goody thing you’ve got going on.”
“Good night,” Katie said.
“Night! And don’t…”
Katie hung up the phone without waiting for Steph to finish but she already knew what she was going to say. Don’t mope.
“I don’t mope.” She muttered to herself as she searched through her fridge for anything edible.  There was something green and fuzzy growing on the fajitas from three days ago. Ick.
She grabbed her note pad off the counter, a pen from her pink poodle mug, and started a grocery list. She hated having to go out again this late, especially after being on her feet all day at the salon and then dealing with Mrs. Andrews, but she was starving and the occasion called for alcohol. Quite a bit of alcohol.
Suddenly, a better idea struck her. Dropping the pad on the counter, she grabbed her purse and headed back out to drown her sorrows in mojitos and fries at Buck’s Shot Bar. Drinking alone at a bar on a Monday was better than grocery shopping. The grocery story held sympathetic looks and well-meaning advice. At least at Buck’s she’d be left alone to dwell on her future of twelve cats and spinsterhood.

Chase Trepasso had thought a city of 19,000 people was small but the culture shock of Rock Canyon’s barely 4,000 citizens was crazy. It was like Mayberry married the NRA and they had a baby: that would be Rock Canyon. He’d laughed the first time he’d walked into the liquor store and saw that you could buy a gun with your beer.
Moving here had been on a whim. He’d been looking to sell his tattoo parlor in Elko, Nevada and relocate, so grabbing his map, he’d started searching. When his finger had fallen on Rock Canyon, he’d checked out the real estate and town, figuring a little small town charm was just what he needed. That first month of getting everything set up had been hectic, but it was worth it for the peace. Now, he was able to work on the next issue of Destructo Boy, the comic book series he’d started when he was eighteen, which was due to his editor later that month.
It was a benefit and a curse, that peace.
He’d spent a lot of time at the parlor, or at one of the local haunts, Buck’s Shot Bar, networking and making a few friends, but he was finding it hard to break into a new town. Especially one as close knit as Rock Canyon.
Yep, same narrow minded older generation, same tough college kids wanting something “cool” on their bicep, and the same women looking for a man to take care of them.
He’d tried to avoid those types by going out with a few bad girls, or as bad as they got in a town like this, but all of them had been the same. Girls who drank too much, dressed a little wild, and were up for anything. But in the end, they’d all wanted the one thing he had no desire to give. Commitment. He just didn’t seem to have it in him. He couldn’t even believe he’d actually bought a house in Rock Canyon. He’d always rented, but something about the old farm house had spoken to him. Still, just because he was thinking about settling for a while, didn’t mean he wanted to settle down. Especially not with any of the girls he’d dated so far.
Chase tried to stop thinking about his love life and take his pool shot, but then Katie Connors walked into Buck’s Shot Bar, her honey blond hair curling over the shoulders of her red short sleeved top.
She smiled at Grant Henderson, the bartender, and said something to him before moving on to one of the booths. Katie was put together real nice: just enough up top to balance out her bottom half, and with hair so thick and long he couldn’t help imagining what it would feel like to have his hands buried in it.
The first time he’d met her, he’d been very attracted to her, but he knew her type: good girls who always wanted to experiment by dating a guy like him, a guy they thought was crazy or trouble. He avoided girls like her for a reason, and so after handing her his card, he’d moved on.
Not for very long though. In a small town like Rock Canyon, it was hard to avoid someone and Chase found himself bumping into Katie everywhere. At the grocery store, the gas station, the coffee shop and especially at Buck’s. When he’d joined Katie for a game of pool with her friends Steph and Jared, he had made excuses that no one else was playing, but when she’d missed her shot, he’d been an idiot and offered to show her how to make it. The smell of her hair and the way her butt had fit back against him had given him an hour-long stiffy and an even longer conversation in his head on why getting involved with Katie Connors was a really bad idea.
Despite his resolve to ignore her, he’d caught himself studying her today when he’d dropped his check off. The way she bit her lip when she’d obviously had something to say to the cranky old hag Mrs. Andrews, but held it back, even when she was irritated. He’d seen her do it before with others, and wondered why she kept it in.  She was never obvious with her annoyance, but it was there, just a slight tightening in her smile. He wondered why she held so much back. Was it just because she wanted everyone to like her? Because they did. People in Rock Canyon might walk all over her, but they held Katie Connors up as all that was goodness and kind.
He’d bet his Chopper though that Katie might be all cool sweetness on the outside, but she was a firecracker on the inside.
And boy, had he fantasized about Katie Connors letting that sharp tongue loose and maybe using it on him. In some real fun ways.
She sat down out of his view and he took his pool shot, wondering why he was so fascinated by a small town hair dresser who bottled up her emotions like a shaken soda pop.
Cause she’s out of your league, and that makes it all the more interesting. You always want what you can’t have.
When the game ended, Chase headed back up to the bar and noticed her doodling on a napkin while she munched on some chili cheese fries. Something about the way her eyebrows knit together made him want to read what was on that scrap of paper. Something told him it wouldn’t be her grocery list. He leaned over the bar and asked Grant, “Hey, what’s Katie drinking?”
“Sorry dude, but there’s no way in hell you’re making it with Katie Connors.” Grant said.
“Maybe I just want to talk.” Chase offered.
Grant snorted and made a clear drink with a lime wedge and some leaves, before handing it to him. “Uh huh. Well whatever floats your boat dude, but if I was buying Katie a drink, it wouldn’t be because I was looking for conversation.”
“Thanks man.” Chase said, taking the glass. “Can I get a beer too?”
Grant handed him the beer. “Good luck. You’re gonna need it.”

The mojito had not improved Katie’s mood. She shoved another chili fry in her mouth and thought of how bleak her life looked. It wasn’t like Rock Canyon was swimming with eligible men who had a steady income and nice manners. Her mother had always put a lot of stock in a man with manners, and Jimmy had always been polite and friendly to her mother. She had never said an unkind word against him except that he was charming. Her mother’s tone had been less than complimentary when she’d said it and looking back, she had probably been trying to tell her something. Even Ted Bundy had been charming.
She doodled on her napkin, her thoughts dwelling on her mother. Her strong, capable mother, who had raised her by herself after her dad had left when she was two. As far as she knew, they had never divorced and her mother had never considered remarrying. She’d seemed fine alone, holding onto her manners and morals like a security blanket.
She wondered what her mother would say about everything that had been happening the last few years. When she’d lost her to breast cancer three years ago, Katie had felt broken and lost. Her mother had been her rock. Her cheerleader. Her conscience.
She wondered if her mother had ever gotten tired of being good, tired of doing the right thing. If Katie could do anything she wanted without repercussions…
She put the pen to her napkin and started making a list of the things she had always wanted to try or had always been told she shouldn’t do.
One. Get purple streaks in my hair.
When she was sixteen, she’d wanted to dye her hair purple. Her mother had told her no: that it was vulgar and a fad.
She bit the end of the pen and remembered the night after graduation, when she’d gone with all of her friends to Twin Falls and everyone had gotten a tattoo but her because she was terrified her mom would see it.
Two. Get a tattoo.
In ninth grade, when her friend Tammy Richards had stolen a pair of cheap sunglasses from Hall’s Market, and been caught, her mother had told her she couldn’t hang out with Tammy anymore. Katie had tried to explain that Tammy had only taken the glasses because she and Steph had dared her to, but her mother hadn’t relented.
Three. Steal something.
On and on the list went, her mother’s voice ringing in her head with “Ladies don’t do this” or “Good girls don’t do that.” She had to unfold the napkin just to make more room.
“You looked like you could use another.”
Katie’s head snapped up from her list and she covered the napkin quickly. “Hi Chase. What are you doing here?”
Stupid question. Why else did someone go to a bar? To drink.
He slid into the seat across from her and passed her the mojito. “Shop’s closed Mondays. Didn’t feel like hanging out at home.”
“Oh. Well, thanks for the drink, but I probably shouldn’t. Probably need to head out soon so I can get up early. You know what they say about worms and birds.” She could tell she sounded a like she was rambling, but she couldn’t help it. It happened when she got nervous.
“So, you have to be up early which begs the question... What brings you here?” He asked.
“I didn’t have any food in my house and didn’t feel like grocery shopping.” She tried to act casual, but the way his eyes kept shifting towards her hand was making her heart pound with anxiety.
“So you chose to come to a bar on a Monday night?” He said, his dark brow arched.
“They have great chili fries and I was in the mood for something greasy and really bad for me.” She said defensively.
He nodded toward her hand with a grin that was nothing short of evil. “What were you writing? You looked like you were thinking really hard.”
“Just my…to do list. I have a lot of things to do for the Extravaganza. I was trying to remember everything, but this mojito’s really getting to me. Besides, my handwriting is so messy, I can’t even read what I wrote anyway.” She swallowed and let out a nervous giggle.
“Huh. Well, if you’re feeling a little tipsy, I could finish writing it for you.”
She watched his hand creep towards her list and yelped in terror. “No thanks! I think I’ll just save it for tomorrow, you know, go after it with a clear head.”
She started to slide the napkin closer to her but quick as a snake, Chase pulled the napkin out from under her hand. Panic rose up, tightening her throat, and she cried hoarsely, “No!”
But Chase had already brought it under his nose and those teasing eyes shifted as he scanned the first line. “Number One. Get purple streaks in my hair.”
She wanted to die. She wanted to curl up in a ball and die a slow, horrible death. Grabbing her purse, she threw some bills down for Grant before bolting for the door. She couldn’t just sit there and listen to him read off each idiotic idea that had come into her head after one mojito.
Note to self. Next time you decide to make a crazy list of things you want to try someday, do it at home.

Chase was too startled by Katie’s abrupt departure to stop her. He hadn’t meant to upset her; he’d only been playing around.  He looked over the list again, and could see why she was so spooked. A surprised smile spread across his face as he read:
One. Get purple streaks in my hair.
Two. Get a tattoo.
Three. Steal something.
Four. Say the first thing that comes to mind.
Five. Go Skinny Dipping
Six. Go to a sex shop.
Seven. Try Handcuffs
Eight. Tell Jimmy exactly what I think of him.
Nine. Drink and flirt too much.
Ten. Have a one night stand.
Chase folded up the list and put it in his pocket. Who would have thought little Miss Play by the Rules would make such a naughty list?
Smiling as he left the bar, he decided that first thing tomorrow, he would call K.C.’s Salon and get an appointment with her. This was the perfect chance to satisfy his curiosity, and get over his crazy attraction to the uptight blond.
If the only way he could get her undivided attention, and pitch his master plan to help her complete any and all items on her list, was to get a thirty dollar haircut, then so be it. Besides, he couldn’t wait to see prim-and-proper Katie Conners get a little hot under her collar.