After reading How Much You Want to Bet? I’ve been dying to interview the two protagonists, Gib and Neil, knowing it would be a giggle. The awesome Melissa Blue has agreed so please give a huge welcome to Gibland Winnfred the Third and Neil Sullivan!
Q: Last week’s pool game—not to mention the red hot kiss you shared—got a few tongues wagging. How do you both feel about that?
Neil: What kiss?
Gib: The one where you moaned and then lost a bet.
Neil: Oh, that old man kiss? Too wet and unasked for? I have no opinion on the matter. He may think it shook the very foundation of my world. I think it's borderline assault.
Gib: Very descriptive for something you can scarcely remember.
Neil: See. I'd say I’d rather kiss a trout and he'd still hear I'd rather kiss him.
Gib smiles: You'd rather kiss me? All you have to do is ask instead of protesting so much.
Q: I’m guessing you stuck to the bet? Dinner and coughing up the dough?
Neil: A Sullivan keeps their word. He took me to some fancy schmancy place. It was nice. And, um, yes. * clears her throat * I paid Gib the money I owed him.
Gib: Do tell how and why you paid me the money, even though I offered to excuse the debt.
Neil: We made another bet.
Gib: And that bet was?
Gib: The bet was that I couldn't kiss better than the trout she so loves to compare me to. Once again, she lost.
Gib: She moaned and pretty much wrapped herself around me. Safe to say, I think she liked it.
Neil: He assumed he won so I let him think so.
Gib: Right. So you let me pin you against your door? And then when you slammed it in my face what I heard wasn't you sliding down to the floor?
Neil: Next question, please.
Q: Did sparks fly?
Neil: Sparks of anger.
Gib: Anger is another way to look at passion. And, Neil can kiss.
* Interviewer's note: Neil blushed. *
Q: Neil, I hear you’re building Gib’s new home. Do you think working so close to him will make you lose focus?
Neil: Absolutely not. I can build his house in my sleep. If he let me get any. He's worse than a parent on their kid's first day of school. He wants me to practically hold his hand and walk him step by step. It's cute, but it's his first real project. I'll admit, he has some talent when it comes to architecture.
Gib: Was that a compliment I heard?
Neil: Yes. Don't let it go to your head. We'll have to redo the specs for your doorways.
Gib: Thank you.
Neil: No thanks necessary. Now, if only you'd get it through that big and thick curly head of yours I don't need a babysitter, all will be fine in my world.
Gib: Specifics again. Do elaborate.
Neil: Just because I notice your hair is curly doesn't mean it's a compliment.
Gib: Yes, so the next time you grip my curly hair when you kiss me I won't take it as a compliment. Duly noted.
* Interviewers note: Neil lets out a long, suffering sigh. *
Q: It’s quite obvious there’s lots of chemistry between the two of you. The air is so thick in here I could cut through it with a knife. Have you never considered another date, maybe seeing where things go?
Neil: No. Never. You couldn't pay me.
Gib: Let's bet on it.
Neil: You have a problem. You bet on everything.
Gib: One of many problems, but this one I enjoy. So, let's make a bet...By the end of this interview I'll have another date.
Neil: Since hell hasn't frozen over yet, I say deal.
Gib tsks: Ms. Sullivan, when will you learn? You haven't even asked how or why.
Neil: The how or why doesn't matter. You won't win. I'm not going to say yes to another date or get tricked into one.
Gib: Know ahead of time, I'll pick you up around eight. Wear that little black dress I love.
Neil: I'm going to so love winning this time.
Q: Chillax guys! *Interviewer sniggers* You both clearly have unresolved issues, but, I’m not going there right now. I wanna know how you got into construction, Neil. And Gib, tell me a little about your designs and what sparked your interest.
Neil: I’m good with my hands. I don’t shy away from a hard day’s work. I know it’s not a traditional job, but I like what I like. And I like building things with my hands.
Gib: Hmm, she likes what she likes and so do I. My interest ebbs and flows. That’s how I tripped up on architecture. Went to school for it and had to drop out to help run my father’s business. Never went back to it.
Neil: What he means to say is it became hard work.
Gib: She’s right, but I’ll go back to it one day.
Gib: As soon as you explain the paint splatters on your jeans. It’s not what you’d use for a house.
Gib: I’ll leave it alone if you agree to go on another date.
Gib: It’s only blackmail if it’s a secret. Is it?
Neil: I’ll go on the date, already.
Gib: But now I want to know. Forget the date. Answer the question.
Neil: We’ll go on the date and that’ll be all the answer you need.
Gib smiles: Deal.
Neil realizes the trap a moment too late: The reason he’s not an architect is because he’s really a con man.
Q: And Neil, from what I heard, if Gib kissed like a fish why the hell were you all over him? And Gibland, why the need to bet all the time? Is it to prove men with manicures can still be macho?
Neil: I’m human. If a man kisses you the way he can, you’d react the same way. But, then I remember what those lips are attached to. A con man.
Gib: I’m not a con man. Although, I’ve been a reporter, stock broker, ran a multi-billion dollar company…I’m well-rounded. And, Neil, don’t be bitter about losing the bet. I always win. But, the interviewer asked about my nails. I don’t have to prove anything. I am very much a man. Matter of fact, you can ask Neil how much of a man I am.
Neil: Well either he’s a man or he had a pool stick in his pocket. But, the manicure is still suspect. I bet he has more hair product than I do.
Gib: Back to my hair again. You can run your fingers through it. I won’t bite. Too hard.
Neil: Keep your mouth and manicured fingers to yourself.
Gib: I will, if you will. But you can’t and you can’t admit it either. It must be hard to deny yourself the simple pleasures of life.
Neil: You’re chasing me last time I checked.
Gib: I am and every now and again you let me catch up and kiss you.
Neil: Lies. All lies.
Gib laughs: Wanna bet?
Neil grins: Prove me wrong now. Without a con.
Gib: Kiss me and if you don’t moan I’ll leave you alone.
Neil: In your dreams Trout Mouth. I’ve agreed to the date and it will end sans kiss.
Gib: Sounds like a bet to me. Deal then?
Neil hesitates: Deal.
* Interviewer note: I’ve got my money on Gib winning. Again. *
In the small community of Whistle Lake Neil Sullivan has managed to stay under the radar. Her past as an artist is almost a dim memory as she becomes just one of the guys working for Whistle Lake Construction. The promise she made to her father to never paint again finally seems attainable, until she forced to deal with Gibland Winnfred the Third. He's charming and rich and irresistible. She, of course, is put in charge of building his home. Day in and day out he begins to stir long and forgotten needs she can't seem to ignore.
There’s more to the rich playboy than meets the eye. One thing remains the same, Gib gets what he wants. And Neil is what he wants. Only under the pain of torture would Neil admit she wants him back.
You can buy a copy at these places:
Cheers Melissa, it's been a ball.