Literary Lagniappe

Bloopers, bonus features, and behind the scenes views from all your favorite romances

Taking Chances by SJ Maylee


Thank you, Lisa and Emily for having me on Literary Lagniappe. It’s a pleasure to be here and talk about my debut, TAKING CHANCES. It’s the first in the Love Projects series and each story in the series takes place in the same office.

At one point in TAKING CHANCES, Jake wonders how he got so lucky to pick Lydia for the project. Well, I’m about to tell you in this never before shared bonus.

Jake’s good friend and boss is Keller and he has a talent for seeing things in your blind spot. If not for Keller, Jake might have picked a different Technical Writer that Monday morning. It certainly was not a coincidence Keller took Jake out for lunch the day before and found ways to mention Lydia half a dozen times.

Keller witnessed their connection on Lydia’s first day of work over a year ago. Keller may refuse to be a matchmaker, but he’s not above giving you a little nudge when he’s tired of waiting. In Jake’s case, that’s really all that was needed to start the domino effect. Keller’s infamous nudges will be seen in all the Love Project stories. In the epilogue for TAKING CHANCES, you’ll get hints regarding the three stories to come. They are each written to standalone, but readers of the series will find all kinds of overlap. I can’t wait to share them all with you.

In the short excerpt below, you’ll find out what happens once Lydia realizes Jake could choose her for the project and what she says when he does. I hope you enjoy my little teaser.

GIVEAWAY: In Literary Lagniappe tradition, I’m giving something away. One lucky commenter will receive an e-copy of TAKING CHANCES. In your comment, tell us if you’ve ever been a matchmaker. Contest ends October 17th at 11:59PM EDT. 


Taking ChancesLydia’s father walked away from her when she was eight. She’s struggled to not let him affect her, but fears she wasn’t loveable enough to make him stay. Jake wants to love one woman, but after scaring the last woman he met outside of the club, he doubts he has the right. She protects her heart by sticking with her fantasies, and he lives by a set of rules that excludes women who choose a vanilla lifestyle.

The two will be kept in a conference room working together until their special project is complete. If Lydia and Jake hold tight to their bland lives, they’ll always yearn for love that is out of reach. But together they can find common ground, passion, and a reason to take chances. Once they discover the grand possibilities of the love they desire, they find themselves in the very place they tried never to be again, facing unguaranteed love.


Bonus logo by SJ small


He could choose her.

She blocked out her surroundings, peeled back her protective layer and allowed herself to feel. She bit her lower lip and sucked it into her mouth. She could be locked in a room with Jake. Her mouth dried, and her heart pounded. She took another look at Jake and drank in his dark features and the muscles she imagined hidden under his blue collared shirt. A fantasy, starring the infamous Jake, filled her imagination.

He sauntered around the table and stopped at her chair. His hand took hold of hers, and he pulled her into his strong arms. Once he settled her bottom on the table, he stepped in between her thighs. As he devoured her mouth in eager kisses, he popped the buttons on her blouse, unclasped her bra, and exposed her. Powerful hands molded her breasts. She let her needy body fall to the table to give him access to every inch of her.


The fantasy was in full swing now. Jake shouted her name. Oh, her name sounded sinful on his lips.

“Lydia!” someone shouted.

Something pushed her elbow, and it fell awkwardly from the table, releasing her from her inner thoughts. Everyone at the table stared her way.

“Thanks for rejoining us. Clear your calendar, and meet me back here in a half hour.” Jake locked his gaze with hers.

“Yes, Sir … I mean, okay, I’ll be here.”

She couldn’t handle his powerful expression and dropped her stare to the table. It was too intense, him standing there like an unyielding statue. Had she said something wrong? Before an idea could enter her mind, he stormed from the room. The rest of her department followed him like nothing tremendous happened. Just like that, they went on with their day, talking about lunch plans and other mundane things. Lydia, on the other hand, couldn’t move.

It had been a split second, but his eyes had narrowed in on her and dimmed to a shade darker than black. It was intimidating, but she desperately wanted to see it again.



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???????????????????????????????S.J. Maylee fell in love with storytelling at a young age and with it came a deep-seated desire for everyone to find their happily ever after. She’s finding the happy endings for her characters one steamy story at a time.

When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her caring for her garden, laughing with her two young sons, or dancing to her husband’s music. She’s a PMP (Project Management Professional), Nia instructor, and coffee addict.

As a writer she has a tendency to break hearts, but she always glues them back together.



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Author: emilycale

Erotic romance writer. Runs on caffeine and wine. Don't feed after midnight.

6 thoughts on “Taking Chances by SJ Maylee

  1. I’ve never been the matchmaker, but my husband was LOL! One of his fellow consultants was bemoaning the lack of available Catholic men… while at the same time, one of his boyhood friends was bemoaning the inability to meet a nice Catholic girl… so even though one lived in Ohio, and one lived in Florida… we had the gal from Florida come visit for a weekend & they went out… and that’s all it took. They now live in Florida, have 3 kids & are happily married – and yes, hubby was Best Man at their wedding LOL!

  2. I actually know a professional – very expensive – high-end matchmaker. She has some great stories, but maybe not as good as this one! Thanks so much for hanging out with us today, S.J.!

  3. Good excerpt. I love the sounds of this book. No, I have never been a matchmaker.

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