Monthly Archives: October 2012
Please welcome guest author Diana Miller to the blog. Diana is visiting a bunch of blogs today, sharing the latest about her newest release Dangerous Affairs. Diana Miller will be awarding one $25 Amazon gift card to one commenter and to one blog host during her blog tour. Be sure to leave a comment to enter. Increase your chances of winning by going here for a list of other blogs hosting Diana Miller. Leave comments at those sites as well.
Cover Blurb For
by Diana Miller
When soap opera star Abby Langford leaves Los Angeles for her Minnesota hometown, she’s hoping to give her nine-year-old daughter the peaceful childhood she never knew. But instead of tranquility, Abby finds an old knife hidden between the walls of her new house. Then the nightmares start: a blood-soaked victim and a killer’s arm slicing through the air, again and again.
Abby wonders if she’s having the nervous breakdown the tabloids claim she already had, especially when sexy, skeptical police chief Josh Kincaid questions her story. When menacing hate mail arrives, Josh’s professional concern for Abby soon evolves into an intense attraction, and the feeling is mutual. And now Josh wonders if her psychic visions are of crimes past—or a premonition of terrors to come.
To survive, Abby and Josh must uncover the truth and stop a killer . . . before Abby’s worst nightmares come true.
An Excerpt From Dangerous Affairs
By Diana Miller
Abby rolled back the carpet, exposing the stain. “What do you think? Is this blood or just paint?”
Josh squatted beside the stain and studied it for several seconds, scratching it with his fingernail. Then he rolled the carpet back over the stain and stood. “Have you ripped up the carpet in the rest of the bedrooms?”
“I started here. This carpet’s the ugliest,” Abby said. “I also spend a lot of time writing in here.” None of that was a lie.
He nodded slowly. “So yesterday you pulled out a door, vacuumed behind it, and found a knife flecked with what could be blood. Then this morning you decide to rip up the carpet in one bedroom and coincidentally find more blood?”
It did sound a little fantastic, but Abby certainly wasn’t telling him about the dream. “You think I dumped it there myself?”
“Makes it seem more like you’ve got a mystery in your own house, doesn’t it? It looks like paint to me, but I guess it could be real blood. I’m sure it’s easy to buy the stuff in LA.”
She threw up her hands. “Do you honestly think I brought blood out here with me? Just stuck it in a carton with my dishes and had the movers load it up?”
“Or you could have ordered it on the Internet.”
“Or stolen it from the Red Cross. Look, I didn’t pretend to find the knife for publicity, and I didn’t plant this stain for publicity. I told you, I don’t want any more publicity.”
When Josh didn’t respond, Abby massaged her temples and concentrated on taking calming breaths. If she’d been able to hold her tongue the entire six weeks Vanessa Mason had guest starred on Private Affairs, she could do it now. “I was simply trying to do my civic duty by reporting it.”
“Next time don’t bother.”
About Diana Miller
When she was eight, Diana Miller decided she wanted to be Nancy Drew. But no matter how many garbage cans she dug through, conversations she “accidentally” overheard, and attics she searched, she never found a single cryptic letter, hidden staircase, or anything else even remotely mysterious. She worked as a lawyer, a soda jerk, a stay-at-home mom, a hospital admitting clerk, and a conference host before deciding that the best way to inject suspense into her otherwise satisfying life was by writing about it.
Diana is a five-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award and winner of a Golden Heart for Dangerous Affairs—a romantic suspense novel that shows not everyone in her home state is Minnesota Nice. She lives in the Twin Cities with her family.
My website link is dianamillerwriter.com. I have buy buttons for both Amazon and Kindle on my website, but have no idea what you have to do to insert them since my web designer did it. (But you can click here to go to the buy page.)
Visit my Amazon page here
If you’ve hung around author blogs, followed or friended many authors, or followed many blog tours you’ve probably heard at least one author compare writing a book with being pregnant or giving birth. Others compare their books to their children. As an author I can say that writing a book is a bit like pregnancy in that you carry this book around with you for months, sometimes years, then it is finally published and you hold your breath waiting to see whether everyone else thinks it is as great as you do. It’s a bit like waiting to hear the doctor pronounce that the baby is a boy or girl and has all its fingers and toes.
Releasing a book is a bit the same for a publisher. I’ve published numerous books now but the feeling of culmination, as everyone’s effort finally pays off as something real that can enter the real world to be enjoyed by others never really changes. It’s always an exciting time as months or years of work by the author, months of work by me, weeks of work by the copy editor and the cover artist, and weeks of work by my husband who creates the final versions of the books finally pays off in a book that we can put into the hands of our readers.
My husband just gave me the exciting news that Accidental Affair has been uploaded to Amazon for Kindle. It will be making its way to Barnes & Noble for Nook in a few minutes, and to Smashwords in many other formats a few minutes after that. It usually takes a few hours for the files we turn in to show up for sale at Amazon or Barnes & Noble but they should be there soon.
Accidental Affair is a romantic suspense. The hero, Jack Vaughn is sure his life is over as he tumbles down the wooded hillside onto a deserted two-lane stretch of asphalt. It seems years of work infiltrating a domestic terrorist organization will be ended with a single gunshot. But it’s not over. Not by a long shot.
Laine Wheeler knows better than to stop for strangers on the rural Montana highway near her home, but her conscience won’t allow her to leave an injured man behind.
Though there is an instant attraction Jack knows that beginning a romantic relationship with Laine would be both unfair and unwise, yet the farther they run the harder it gets to ignore the feelings that are surging between them.
Excerpt From Accidental Affair By Leslie McKelvey
An attempted kidnapping?
She gulped and frowned. She glanced at her dog, whose wise, golden eyes were fixed on her. “What do you think, Maverick? Is this a carjacking . . . in the middle of nowhere? And who’d want to kidnap me? My former in-laws?” A short, sharp laugh escaped her. “No, they’re happy enough I left Chicago.” Her gaze was drawn back to the person in the road. “Maybe they want you, Mav.” The dog whimpered.
Her brain worked at warp speed, trying to wrap itself around what she’d just witnessed. No matter which idea she entertained, none presented a reasonable explanation for the body lying in the road. She felt the adrenaline hit her bloodstream and took several deep breaths, then opened the door and stepped out.
“Stay there,” she said to the dog.
Laine took a step and stopped. What was she doing? The side of a deserted highway was no place to be a hero. She looked at the prone figure for a moment, debating with herself. A low, pained moan escaped the person, and the mournful, gravelly sound spurred her. She squared her shoulders. Right place or not, she wasn’t the type to run, and there was no way she was going to just leave an injured person in the middle of the road. She ran around the front of the Rover, looked down at the person for a split second before she knelt at their side. It was a man dressed in camouflage pants and a khaki shirt, and from the stained, disheveled state of his clothes it looked like he’d been rolling in the dirt well before his tumble down the embankment. He lay on his side with his back to her. He wasn’t moving, and the silence hung heavy.
She waited and as each second ticked off her alarm grew. She hesitated and then pressed two fingers into his neck to check for a pulse. It was weak and thready but it was there, and she sighed in relief. Grasping his shoulder, she rolled him onto his back.
Dark red blood stained the upper left side of his chest and Laine drew back, startled. That she had not expected.
It took her a second to compose herself, and she reached for the collar of his shirt to get a look at the wound. Before she could peel back the material, his fingers snaked around her wrist. She jumped and fell onto her backside, her heart nearly exploding from her chest.
“Please.” His grip tightened slightly. “Get the bag and get out of here.” He spoke in a hoarse whisper. “They’re not far behind me.”
Her heart jumped and she glanced toward the tree line, imagining high-powered rifles and the sound of gunshots. “Who?”
“It doesn’t matter. Just get my bag and get it to the FBI.” His grip tightened. “What’s in that bag is more important than me. Get it and go.” He took a ragged breath. “Please.”
A finger of fear traversed her spine, but she shook it off. He had obviously hit his head on the way down the hill, and blood loss was no doubt affecting his mental faculties. “Don’t be ridiculous,” Laine replied, her voice much stronger than she felt. She glanced at the ridge again. “I can’t just leave you here.”
“They’ll kill you,” he croaked. “You have to get the bag and go . . . now!”
Laine paused and that finger of fear scratched again, harder. She looked at his dirty, bearded face, searching for signs of the madness his words hinted at, but all she saw there was pain and weariness. She hesitated a moment, and then frowned and squared her shoulders. “I’m not leaving you on the side of the highway to bleed to death.”
Accidental Affair is available NOW at Smashwords
It’s Monday! If you’re looking for something a bit light and fun to get your week off to a good start you’ve come to the right place. Today’s guest author Daisy Harris has written a light, funny, romp that you’re going to want to hear about. Not only that but Daisy is giving away some goodies and you’ll want to get your name on the list for those. Leave a comment to enter to win a large-size dildo, a scented penis candle, as well as a $20 gift certificate to the winner’s choice of Barnes and Noble or Amazon to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Increase your chances of winning by leaving your questions and comments here – then going over to the Goddess Fish site where you will find a list of other stops on this tour. Be sure to follow Daisy there and leave your questions or comments on those posts as well.
They say a guy can never be too hung. Well, Harold Jacobs doesn’t know who they are, but they’re wrong. Socially awkward for as long as he can remember, Harold feels his enormous package is just one more thing to be embarrassed about. Especially once hunky and popular
Owen McKenzie notices it in the showers.
Owen knows he’s bi, but he keeps that secret close to his chest. He likes Harold, and wants to help him shed his dorky image and maybe even find a boyfriend. Still, Owen can’t stop obsessing about Harold’s equipment. And much as he doesn’t want to flip-flop on his sexuality, Owen does want to test-drive what Harold has between his legs.
Their friendship erupts into full-blown lust. But can Owen accept the loss of his golden child status and be Harold’s boyfriend? And can Harold outgrow his insecurity in time to keep the man he loves?
My Interview With Daisy Harris
Q: Please tell us a bit about yourself – when did you first know you wanted to write – what was your journey to publication like – do you have a spouse or significant other – kids? Pets? Where in the world do you live? Where did you grow up? What real life events and experiences fuel your writing?
I was born in Miami, grew up in New York, and for the last fifteen years I’ve lived in Seattle. You could say I’m an urban mutt. I’ve lived all over but always in the city. Here in Seattle we have lots of boats, and rain, and coffee shops. It’s a perfect environment for someone who likes to spend all day inside reading and writing.
I have two kids, a dog and a guinea pig. Oh yeah, and a husband, but he’s out of town for work about sixty percent of the time. So I’m more likely to see him on Twitter or Facebook than around the house most days.
Though I first wanted to be a novelist when I was in fifth grade, I never tried my hand at writing fiction until I was…thirty six? I can’t remember, exactly. I only know I turn forty in January, and I will have been published for 2 years. So, I guess I started writing when I was thirty-seven, since I wrote for about six months before I sold my first book.
And yeah—six months is not long! But I was a technical/medical/science writer for about seven years before that. I wrote and/or edited for a living for ages before I decided to write anything creative, so my voice and use of language was pretty down pat.
As for experiences that fuel my writing… Well, as I said, I’ve always lived in or near cities. So my characters tend to be international, multicultural and open-minded. My background has some conservative elements, considering I was raised Catholic, but my family always prided itself in being cosmopolitan. Oh, and my parents were baby boomers. So…yeah. Nothing really shocks them.
Finally, I live in about the most liberal place on the planet. I’ve moved a bunch of times within Seattle and always had at least one couple on the block, or in the apartment complex, that were gay. My kids go to school with kids with two mommies or two daddies. My ten year old proudly informed us the other day that her school’s Principal is gay.
Liberal bubble? I live in it. But that’s okay, because I like it here.
Q: Please tell us a bit about My Fair Dork.
My Fair Dork is a story about a nerd with a giant penis.
It’s a simple premise, and one I had SO MUCH fun writing. Harold, my nerd, is discovered in the shower by his handsome freshman hall-mate, Owen. Owen is everything Harold’s not—confident, athletic, popular. But he takes a liking to Harold and decides to help Harold change his image, to make his clothed appearance match his…well, his unclothed potential.
If you love 80’s movies like Teen Wolf, Weird Science, and Can’t Buy Me Love, you will die over this story. It’s the same concept, with a decidedly over-sized twist.
Q: My Fair Dork is part of the Men of Holsum College Series. In fact, it’s book 8 in the series. Can you tell us about the overall series…maybe tell us a bit about the first seven books, this book , and what’s still ahead for the series?
Men of Holsum College is a series set in a mythical liberal arts school in Vermont. The first book was College Boys, which was about a “straight” guy and a gay guy who lived next door to each other on either side of a very thin wall.
Each of the books explored themes of self-acceptance, troubles with friends, growing up, and sexual discovery. I love writing virgin heroes, and awkward not-quite-confident guys. So Holsum College was a great chance for me to write coming of age stories, again and again.
As for the series…I’m taking a break from Holsum College for a while to work on a longer book. I’m not 100% sure that My Fair Dork will be the last book, but it probably will.
My Fair Dork was the culmination of a lot of things in the series. It’s all innocence and fun and awkwardness, and honestly, I feel like it’s my strongest work to date. I adore My Fair Dork, and I feel like it’s great to end Holsum College on a high note.
Q: One of the heroes in My Fair Dork is particularly well endowed and feels socially awkward because of this. Where did the idea to have a “too well endowed” hero come from?
I watch a lot of gay-themes TV and movies, and one of my favorite shows is One Girl Five Gays. It’s a talk show in which a hostess interviews a group of young gay men in a 20 Questions style. In one episode a really sweet and endearing, and slightly nerdy, guy mentioned that his dong was too big. And the second I saw him blush and cover his face, I was like, “That is the Best. Story idea. Ever.”
Nerd. Giant penis. The conflict is right there. And when you think about it, all great tales are about a hero learning to use his tool/weapon. Luke Skywalker had to learn to use a light saber (and in order to do this he had to use The Force.) Harry Potter was chosen by a particularly problematic wand.
In Teen Wolf, Michael J. Fox was initially scared of his power to turn into a werewolf. And in How to Train Your Dragon…
Actually, I haven’t even seen that movie, but it’s right there in the name. How to Train Your Dragon. BOOM.
All these stories are about a hero harnessing and channeling his power. Why not cut out the metaphor and make it about a hero and his penis?
Q: You write male-male romance. What is it you like most about this genre?
I like that the characters come to the story with an equal amount of power. In a male-female romance, you always have an inherent power differential. And a lot of M/F romance amps that differential even higher, making the male uber, uber, uber powerful, and the heroine totally helpless.
But in male-male romance, both characters have the ability to hold the same social status. Power can be exchanged in both directions and I can let the characters tell me how they want to distribute power between them, rather than having it pre-destined by a set of societal rules.
Q: You write about men. What is it you like most about men…the real variety and the ones you write about? How much overlap do you think there is between real men and the fictional ones you write about?
I like tall, skinny geeks. I write about tall, skinny geeks. Not always, but often enough that my readers know I have a bit of a thing for nerds.
To be honest, I think the guys I write about are fairly realistic. A lot of my readers have commented on how my Holsum College characters seem like guys they may have known in college. In real life, I’ve never much gone for untouchable, over-confident, alpha-hole types. So I don’t write about those much.
My fictional heroes are general young, though. Way younger than it would be appropriate for a woman my age to date. So, there’s that.
Q: Was there one particular scene that was your favorite in My Fair Dork? Please tell us about that scene. What happens in the scene? Why is it an important scene in the book?
I love the opening scenes, because they really illustrate Howard’s awkwardness. I love physicality in writing (which is, of course, why I write erotic romance.) But it was so much fun to describe how it felt to move, and walk and talk when you are uncomfortable in your skin.
I also loved the flip-side of that scene, when Harold walks into the cafeteria post make-over and Owen’s jaw drops. That bit was less technically awesome, in terms of my experience writing it, but it fed that part of me that adores 80’s high school movies.
Who can resist that part of the movie when the ugly duckling turns into a beautiful swan?
Q: Most writers know a lot of things about their characters that never make it into the book. What can you tell us about your characters that didn’t make it into the book?
Oh gosh, this is hard because I’m on to writing a new book now and I’m immersed in my new characters. Unfortunately, I’m not one to hold on to my brainstorming notes.
The one thing that stands out the most is Harold’s upbringing. I mentioned his parents’ divorce in the story, and how he never saw his dad. But there was a lot more in my thinking about Harold than I put in the story.
His mother really hated his father and that effected how Harold felt about his own masculinity. I hinted about this in the story, but never really got into it, because My Fair Dork is a lighthearted romantic comedy, and I didn’t want to dwell on sad things in Harold’s past.
Q: What can you tell us about your book that isn’t in the blurb?
That it’s freakin’ awesome!
Q: What has been the hardest scene you’ve ever written and why?
Oh, gosh. I’m not sure. Probably something from Player and the Prude (Men of Holsum College 4). My hero, Matt, came from a very conservative, religious background, and that was hard for me to channel as I wrote him. I tried to think of how it would feel to have grown up afraid of sex, and torn over my sexual desires. It was very hard. In the end, a lot of readers loved Matt. But he was tough to write.
Q: What aspect of writing do you find the most difficult?
It’s always a challenge for me to manage my energy levels. Some people push, push, push, but I’m the kind of person who can easily switch into overdrive while I’m working on a project, and burn myself out. I drafted My Fair Dork in 12 days, in a fit of deadline-induced obsession while my kids went to sleepaway camp.
And it was fun while it was going on, like being high on some kind of speed. But when it was over, I crashed hard. It was the end of the summer and I hadn’t seen my husband in ages… I was exhausted.
Now I’m trying to write something full length, in other words twice as long as My Fair Dork, and I’m struggling very hard to pace myself. I know I CAN write 5000 words a day, but I stop myself at 4000. I take breaks to brainstorm, revise, and outline. I can’t write every story in a blind fit of inspiration.
My kids would end up eating pizza every night. And that would be bad.
Q: What kind of writing do you find the most fun?
All of it! But I love it most when I make myself laugh.
Q: Where on the spectrum from sweet to erotic does your book fit? What do you see as the dividing lines between sweet, sensual and erotic?
If we’re talking My Fair Dork—It’s extremely sweet AND extremely erotic.
I dislike the sweet/sensual/erotic breakdown because I don’t think it fits my books. A reviewer once called my stories, “sweet, funny, and definitely sexy” and I think that sums them up perfectly. My sex scenes are graphic, but my characters are nice. Whatever BDSM I slip into is always pretty light.
Basically, I write nice guys having hot sex.
Now for some just for fun:
Q: On Pinterest are you a A.) Hoarder in disguise (you collect images of everything you like) B.) Minimalist (you only collect images that fit in with some project – my next book – a home remodeling project – etc) C.) you’re not on Pinterest.
Q: On Twitter are you A.) The life of the party engaging with my friends and followers B.) Mostly a promoter – I use Twitter primarily to promote my books C.) Mostly a lurker. I follow a lot of people looking for useful information – some of which finds its way into my books.
Q: Did you read 50 Shades of Grey? Love it? Hate it? Somewhere in between?
Didn’t read. I’m not much into M/F BDSM anymore. I used to love it, but it’s just not my thing anymore.
Q: What was the last book you read that you really loved – enough that you’d recommend it to someone else?
Oh, there are a few. But one I thought was brilliant actually was Jumbo by Todd Young, which was about a boy in high school who was extremely uncomfortable about his very small penis. It was also another place where I sort of got the idea for My Fair Dork.
For what it’s worth, Jumbo is free for Amazon Prime members.
Q: If you could go backwards or forwards in time and have dinner with anyone in history who would it be and why?
I’d probably have dinner alone. With a book.
Q: Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Introvert. Mostly. Unless I’m at a conference or on twitter, and then I’m an extrovert.
Q: Describe your ideal romantic getaway?
Somewhere without children.
Q: If you were to be stranded on a desert island with one of your characters which character and why?
That’s a tough one, because all my favorite characters are gay.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers about yourself, your books, your characters?
Nope. I think that covers it.
An Excerpt From My Fair Dork
“I was born in England. But I moved here when I was nine.” It had been too late to change Harold’s name to something more normal. But his mom seemed to think the move had been a good idea. She hated her ex-husband, Harold’s dad. And, apparently, she hadn’t been happy until there was an entire ocean between them.
“Wow. So you’re foreign? You don’t have an accent.” Owen sounded impressed, or maybe hopeful. Like Harold would pull out a smooth, James Bond burr and a tuxedo to match.
“I spoke with one when I first moved. But…” He shrugged. All the kids had made fun of how he talked when he started fourth grade. They thought he sounded posh. Some even said, “gay”. Harold didn’t know how an entire country—and all its former colonies—could be gay based on an accent. How would they make little baby Brits?
Of course, maybe the gay thing had bothered him more because at that age, he’d already realized he was.
“Too bad. Girls love a guy with an accent.”
Harold coughed, spraying a couple droplets of tea across his scone. He cleared his throat, trying to recover. “Don’t think we have to worry much about that.”
Owen paused his assault on his eggs and looked up. His blue bell eyes were wide and confused. “What? Why?”
It felt surprisingly good to know something Owen didn’t. But it was silly, really. Harold figured everyone knew. “I’m gay.”
“Oh.” Owen did a double take, and raked his eyes over Harold’s clothes once again.
Harold guessed that Owen had to re-arrange his opinion of Harold’s clothes now that he had to match them up with a different sexual preference.
“Wow. It’s worse than I thought.” Owen stabbed a sausage and bit off half.
“What?” Harold looked down at his shirt, wondering if he’d managed to spatter tea on himself during his sputtering. No. It was clean.
“Aren’t gay guys supposed to be all stylish and hip?” Owen smiled as he said it—making it sound like he was flirting, or at least teasing.
Harold frowned. “Of course. And we all have lisps, and tiny dogs we spoil.”
Owen’s forehead creased in the middle, as if he wasn’t sure whether Harold was joking. “Nah.” He ate the other half of his sausage, and then picked up another. “I know that’s not true.”
Good lord. Harold closed his eyes and pinched his lips together to stop himself from laughing. Owen was so…he didn’t even know how to describe it. It was an optimistic innocence Harold had heard about but never seen in real life. Maybe it was a Midwestern thing.
“This guy I knew from the football team, Tank, he’s gay. And he isn’t like that at all.” Owen thought about it for a moment, staring past Harold’s shoulder to look off into space. “Though I could see him with a dog.”
Harold wasn’t sure whether he was being serious or joking. But since Owen was so earnest most of the time, he guessed Tank guy was the kind to pamper a Chihuahua.
About Daisy Harris
Birkenstock-wearing glamour girl and mother of two by immaculate conception, Daisy Harris still isn’t sure if she writes erotica. Her romances start out innocently enough. However, her characters behave like complete sluts. Much to Miss Harris’s dismay the sex tends to get completely out of hand.
She writes about fantastical creatures and about young men getting their freak on, and she’s never missed an episode of The Walking Dead
Book buy link:
Please welcome today’s guest author Hayden Braeburn who is here to chat with us. She’ll be giving away a copy of DANCE WITH ME, and pdf copy of FIGHT FOR ME, her newest release which will be out on November 6. To enter the contest leave a question or a comment for Hayden in the comments section.
Coming November 6 to an ereader near you! FIGHT FOR ME, second in The Everetts of Tyler series finds Cassidy Everett caring for and shuttling around her brother’s hero, Dylan Black.
Cassidy Everett planned on nursing her brother’s protector back to health and moving on, but when an old foe resurfaces, her plans change. Quickly.
Dylan Black may have been shot saving Mason Everett’s life, but that doesn’t mean he can’t protect his own–-and Cassidy is his whether or not she wants to admit it. His injuries don’t matter; all that matters is keeping his Cassie safe.
When the threats towards Cassidy turn lethal, will the fight to survive bring Cassidy and Dylan together or tear them apart?
Excerpt from Chapter 1:
Cassidy Everett rounded the corner just as Dylan Black came down the hall, his bandaged chest bare, his hair wet from a shower. Dammit, she had to get him into some clothes—she was getting entirely too used to a half-dressed man in her house. She had the fleeting thought of licking him all over before she pushed it aside and chose a more suitable greeting. She was supposed to be taking care of him, helping him heal, getting him back on his feet, not waking up in sweaty sheets after hot and heavy dreams revolving around his long, muscled body. She shook her head, sending her ponytail swishing behind her, and pasted on a smile. “Morning. How are you feeling today?” There, that sounded reasonable.
“Besides the fact that I can barely take care of myself, I’m fine,” he said, sweeping his left arm down towards shorts that chose that moment to slip.
Oh lord. His shorts were barely hanging on, and she was torn between helping him by pulling them up or helping herself by pulling them down. She gave herself a mental kick. Get a hold of yourself, Everett. She swallowed and took a step toward him, one hand out, hoping her blatant hunger wasn’t telegraphed on her face. Dylan caught the runaway shorts with his left hand, but not before revealing enough for her heart to speed, thumping loudly in her ears.
His golden eyes heated as he held on the waistband. “Can you help?”
She bit her lip as she contemplated just pulling his shorts down and having her wicked way with him. The fire in his eyes told her he knew exactly what she was thinking. With trembling fingers, Cassidy tied his drawstring, yet couldn’t bring herself to tear her hands away from his body.
She watched him harden and lengthen beneath the red fabric and barely resisted the urge to run her hands over his hardness. Wow. She should step away. Run away. Anything. Instead of heeding the warning bells in her head, she skimmed her hands up his washboard abs to his hard chest. How could he look so amazing in a sling and plastic covered gauze? She knew she should step back, she knew he’d been shot in the back and shoulder less than a week ago, but she stepped forward instead, scooting closer until her hard nipples were against his bandaged torso, separated by only the thin cotton of her shirt. Aching to be closer to him, she shifted to encircle his neck with her arms. He was so tall, she still had to tilt her head to look into his molten gold eyes, the heat of his body burning her through her clothes. She shouldn’t be here like this, shouldn’t do what she was going to do anyway. She shut her conscience off. She would only kiss him once, and then she would worry and feel guilty tomorrow.
She didn’t know who moved first, but his mouth was on hers, the kiss hot and hungry, and she never wanted to stop. She sank into his lips, the hard wall of his chest pressing against her, the beating of his heart vibrating in her own chest. It could have been minutes or hours they kissed in the hallway, but somewhere her brain clicked on. She had to stop before she mounted a battered man. She pushed away from him, her hormones screaming at her as she did. “Um… Wow.” Understatement of the year, Everett.
“I could kiss you all day,” he told her, his breath ragged.
“I had to stop.” Her cheeks heated, and she ran her tongue over her bottom lip. “Otherwise, I’d hurt you.”
“I’m a big boy.”
She couldn’t resist. She ran her hand over the impressive bulge in his shorts. “Yes, yes you are,” she agreed, her voice thick and raspy to her own ears. What had she done? Quickly, she pulled her hand away, clenching her fingers into a fist. She shouldn’t touch him. She turned to face the wall. Maybe if she couldn’t see him, she could tamp down the lust gripping her. She took a deep breath, held it for a moment before letting it out slowly. “I really, really want to do all kinds of things to you I shouldn’t.” She sighed. “For so many reasons.”
He turned her around with his left hand to silence her with another kiss, shorter but no less passionate. “I’m sure we can find a way.” He kissed her again then, stroking her with his tongue. “If you want.”
Oh, did she want. She was practically dripping on the floor, but wanting a man with such intensity was foreign to her. Coupled with the circumstances, she couldn’t risk it. This was a man unafraid to die in the defense of others, a hero many times over. This was a man who could break down her walls, and no matter how tempting he was, she refused to open herself up for that. He was only here until he was able to take care of himself, and then he would disappear. She straightened. “I just don’t want to hurt you.” She stepped from his embrace, wrapped her arms around her midsection. “I don’t do casual sex.”
He crossed to her, tipped her chin up with his left hand. “What made you think I was lookin’ for casual?”
“I…You…” C’mon, Everett, you’re a flippin’ attorney. “I’d hurt you,” she finally said.
“Physically or emotionally?”
She blew out a breath. “Yes.”
Dylan narrowed his eyes as he studied her, and she felt as if he could see straight through her. What did he see? They stood still for long beats, her heart pounding in her ears until he finally said, “Okay then.” He took a step back, putting space between them but not letting her go. “Who hurt you, Cassie?”
Dammit, those eyes saw all. She pulled from his grasp. “It doesn’t matter now.”
“It will,” he promised quietly.
He ran his gaze down her pajama-clad form, the bulge in his shorts making itself known yet again. She was wearing a tiny white top held up by thin straps and a pair of green plaid boxer shorts. She knew he could have her out of her clothes in ten seconds flat, even with one arm immobilized, but he didn’t make a move toward her. She couldn’t decide if she was relieved or disappointed, so she decided instead to ignore it. “We have to get ready for court,” she said over her shoulder as she fled toward her own bathroom.
Dylan stared at the suit he’d had Cassidy pick up from his house. How the hell was he supposed to dress? He could barely pull on a pair of shorts. He was used to taking care of himself no matter his injuries, but dressing for court involved buttons. Sucking up his pride, he hollered, “Cassidy!”
She was at the door quickly, her own navy blue suit in place, the ruffled white shirt beneath her jacket accentuating already impressive curves. He wondered what she wore under the tailored suit. Lace? Satin? He stopped himself. She was convinced she would hurt him, and he had already pushed his luck this morning. He shook his head to clear the images that had run through it. He may never get the taste of her off his mind, but if she wanted to pretend they didn’t want to devour each other every time they were in the same room, that was her prerogative.
She glanced around the room, her delicate brows drawn together. “Do you need help?” she asked quietly.
Since he was still standing there in the same shorts she had tied less than hour ago, he almost laughed at her question. Of course he needed help, otherwise she wouldn’t be staring at him and he wouldn’t still be half-naked. “You could say that. I can do zippers, it’s just buttons and ties that don’t work one-handed.”
Her lips compressed into a line and he could almost see her thoughts. She was afraid to touch him and combust again, but he couldn’t testify in red basketball shorts, bandages, and a sling either. She pinched the bridge of her nose, the battle in her head clearly visible. When she dropped her hand from her face, she let out a heavy breath, and he wondered which side had won. “What do you need me to do?”
He avoided that land mine of an offer, instead asking, “If you could unbutton the pants and shirt for—” he cut himself off when he realized he needed a pair of boxers instead of the shorts they’d struggled with earlier. “Shit. I need underwear first.” Those dark eyes of hers widened as she unconsciously licked her lips and he hid a smile. If the thought of him without underwear could do that… No. He wouldn’t push her.
“I’ll just,” she started, her gaze bouncing around the room. “I’ll let you attend to that, and I’ll be back in a minute.” She turned so quickly she almost fell on her way out his door. He bit back a grimace. The next few weeks would be torture, but he had nothing but time. Cassidy Everett wasn’t a weekend special. She was different, and he was a patient man.
About Hayden Braeburn :
A Virginia native, Hayden Braeburn now finds herself among the bluegrass and rolling hills of Kentucky. Married to her own (former) Marine, and mother to two incredible children, she toils at a day job she actually loves, writing whenever she has a free minute. Admittedly, that makes for a long time between chapters of her serial, SPEEDING (and she really hates to admit how long it takes to write a book) but she sincerely hopes her pieces are worth the wait.
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Please welcome Starla Kaye back to the blog. She’s here to share a bit of the fun she’s having this Halloween with you. You’ll want to join in the fun of the blog hops, check out new releases, and leave a comment here for a chance to win a great prize.
Normally Christmas is my favorite and busiest time of year. But this year I’m seriously into Halloween blog hopping and having fun. I’d like to share some of my “fun” with you as well.
October 24-November 1: Wicked After Dark Blog Hop, hosted by Close Encounters with the Night Kind & Natasha Blackthorne. There will be a number of authors involved with all kinds of giveaways. I’ll be giving away to one lucky winner a copy of the Scary Spanks anthology from Blushing Books, with my story “The Warlock’s Rebellious Daughter” and a sexy little “Romance 2Nite” door hanger pillow from Eden Fantasys.
October 28-October 31: Spank or Treat 2012 Halloween Contest with 12 participating authors: Alice Dark, Anastasia Vitsky, Cara Bristol, Celeste Jones, Claire Collinsgrove, Constance Masters, Emma K. Gardner, Patty Devlin, Renee Rose, Rollin, Sue Lyndon, and me (Starla Kaye). Each of us is sharing a Halloween short story that you can read by going from blog to blog. If you answer a question at each blog, you might win a prize at some of the authors’ sites. And if you leave a comment at each of them and go to Ana’s blog to sign up for possibly winning one of the 3 grand prizes. Plus there are some chances to win FREE books. I will be giving away to 6 lucky winners ebook copies of Forever His and to one lucky winner a fun little “naughty” or “nice” mask from Eden Fantasys. For more details about this contest go to http://bit.ly/T5Ve34
SCARY SPANKS: The Warlock’s Rebellious Daughter
Zoey Zalton is ready to get married and vows to choose her future husband from the men she and her sisters invite to a Halloween party. A party their father has forbidden and that she intends to have anyway. She is not his youngest, most spoiled daughter for nothing. Besides she has a plan, a plan behind the husband-finding plan her father is against. She has long had her heart set on her father’s vampire friend, Marcus. And she will get her way.
Marcus is a powerful, usually intimidating vampire, a long-time friend to Zander and his family. More like an uncle, even another father to Zander’s spirited daughters. At least that is what he keeps trying to tell himself now that he has to fight a growing attraction to the youngest daughter, Zoey. He’s too old for her. He has a dark soul, many fear him. The brat doesn’t care about any of that. She laughs at his fierce scowls, teases him, flirts outrageously with him, and keeps insisting that he come to her ridiculous party. What she needs is her pretty little butt burned! And he is the vampire to do it. But touching her might be more than he can bear…
Genre: Mixture of contemporary paranormal, historical, erotic romances
Forever His by Skylar Faye (aka Starla Kaye)
Teri Pennington is a faery shape-shifter on the run from her family and duties she doesn’t want. She is weary of her current job as a photographer and ready for a change when she gets stranded in the middle of Kansas and meets her reluctant white knight. He wants to help her for the night and send her on her way the next day. But she isn’t that easy to get rid of…not when she’s attracted to the handsome, gruff, secretive cowboy. Yet she can’t stay with him for long and risk exposing her secret, something he could never understand.
Seth Stevenson is an alpha werewolf without a pack, struggling to live a somewhat normal life as a rancher and keep his secret. He’s been successful, until a delicate woman so wrong for him suddenly crashes into his life. His protective instincts and his strong desire for her bring danger to his life. He can’t afford to fall in love with her and risk her learning what he really is. But how can he let go of the one woman he’s met that accepts the dominant side of him?
Genre: Contemporary, paranormal, erotic romance
CONTEST: Leave a comment about a favorite Halloween memory for a chance to win a memo pad and a cup coaster. One lucky winner will be chosen October 27th.
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