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Friday, January 31, 2014

Jaime Rush’s MAGIC POSSESSED Interview & giveaway






1. What is one of your favorite Myths/legends to write about?

I’ve never purposely used a myth as a basis of a story. At the core of most of my stories, though, is the battle between good and evil. At least in romance fiction, good always wins!

2. If you could live back in time, what time period would you choose and why?

I’m not sure I’d want to live in any other time. No air conditioning? Computers? Horrible plagues that decimated entire villages? No, thanks! LOL It would be fun to jump back to earlier times for a visit, even back when dinosaurs roamed. Just a quick peek, experience the place, and then back home!
3. Have you ever come across a song that might fit the theme of one of your books?The one that immediately comes to mind is Garth Brooks’s remake of Kiss’s "Hard Luck Woman." It often finds its way onto my heroine’s playlists, because they’ve usually been through a lot of tough stuff by the time the book begins. Of course, I put them through a lot more during the story! But at the end, they have grown above their baggage and found their happily ever after—both with themselves and their heroes.4. Do you remember what you felt when you had your first kiss?I remember feeling like I was so old, fifteen, and never been kissed! Horrors. I do remember that it felt wondrous, though I couldn’t tell you much about the kiss itself. 5. What was the most creative pick up line you've ever used on someone or someone used on you?A guy once said, "Hey, you dropped something. Your smile." It worked, at least to make me smile. It wasn’t a pickup line, per se, or at least I didn’t go hang out with the guy. He was working at one of the stores on Duval Street in Key West. But it was a good reminder to keep a smile on my face. 6. When writing do you have a playlist of music you like to listen to? What are a couple songs on it?I create multiple playlists for each character, depending on the mood of the scene I’m writing. For example, I have poignant, character, suspense and sexy playlists. For Saxby, my current hero in the book I’m writing now (WILD NIGHTS, Nov 2014), a couple of his "character" songs are: "Show Me What I’m Looking For," by Carolina Liar and "Home," by Marc Broussard.7. What do you do when you think nobody is watching?Stare off into the distance (usually I’m either plotting something or going over my gigantic To-Do list).




They are the Hidden.
Not quite human. Far from normal.
And never, ever safe . . .

TOO HOT TO HANDLE

Her brother was mysteriously murdered with no witnesses, clues-or motives. Yet Violet Castanega knows he won't be the last to die unless she seeks help. But the Hidden's law enforcement won't come to the aid of her rowdy dragon clan, and the only person who will listen to her is one tough cop. Violet has tangled with him before, and it got rough. This time, it's getting hot . . .

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT

Powerful Guard member Kade Kavanaugh has been ordered to take out Violet Castanega. While assassination orders don't come with explanations, his instincts scream that killing the feisty beauty is wrong. Now Kade must put his career, not to mention his life, on the line to save her. But as the passion-and the danger-heat up between Kade and Violet, can they survive the darkest magick of all?

About Jaime Rush: 

Things that go bump in the night have always fascinated Jaime Rush. Sometimes those things are human; other times, not so much. Now she has twisted them all together in the Hidden, a trilogy about humans with the essence of gods who walk the knife's edge between the glamour of Miami and a place filled with dark magick and dangerous beauty. 

Jaime is the author of the Offspring series and also writes under the name Tina Wainscott. She is the bestselling author of eighteen romance novels. She lives in Southwest Florida with her husband, daughter, and cat. 



Social Media:
http://www.christie-craig.com

http://www.facebook.com/ChristieCraigBooks

https://twitter.com/christie_craig

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/736364.Christie_Craig

Buy Links:
http://www.amazon.com/Texas-Hold-Em-Hotter/dp/0446582824/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389370309&sr=8-1&keywords=texas+hold+%27em+christie+craig


http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/texas-hold-em-christie-craig/1115250971?ean=9780446582827

http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780446582827

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/texas-hold-em/id645578762?mt=11

And don't miss the rest of The Hidden series!

DRAGON MINE, A Hidden Novella: Book Prequel #1
One year ago, Ellie made the mistake of a lifetime: she fell in love with a man who is a bitter enemy of her people. A Red Dragon shifter, the handsome Kirin was at once forbidden - and irresistible. Now Ellie's mother has disappeared and everyone believes that Kirin is responsible, including Ellie. His dangerous secret endangers her mother and makes Ellie lose faith in love forever . . .

Summoned home when his own father goes missing, Kirin must track down the very man who cost him his chance at happiness. When he discovers that Ellie's father has vanished as well, Kirin knows that he and Ellie must combine his Dragon power with her magick to find the ones they loved and lost.

But as they feel their old desires flare up again, can their burning passion overcome their past - or the danger that the future holds?

Buy Links:
http://www.amazon.com/Texas-Hold-Em-Hotter/dp/0446582824/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389370309&sr=8-1&keywords=texas+hold+%27em+christie+craighttp://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Awakened-Hidden-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00CO7FNIQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385151304&sr=8-1&keywords=dragon+awakenedhttp://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Rising-Hidden-Novella-ebook/dp/B00DB7RBPQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380296378&sr=8-1&keywords=dragon+rising

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dragon-rising-jaime-rush/1115575695?ean=9781455528004

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/texas-hold-em/id645578762?mt=11https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dragon-awakened/id645574523?mt=11https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dragon-rising/id660379998?mt=11

DRAGON RISING, A Hidden Novella: Book Prequel #2
After her father falls victim to a serial kidnapper, cunning Dragon shifter Lyra Slade is determined to rescue him. When she discovers a clue to his disappearance that leads her to a sexy but aloof stranger, she knows she shouldn't trust him to help her, but she's run out of options.

Archer Grant, a descendant of fallen angels, is reluctant to aid the beautiful dragon because her evidence implicates his own brother . . . But when his brother also goes missing, Archer must work with Lyra to uncover the truth. But even as a supernatural desire grows between angel and dragon, they are hunted by an evil force. Faced with the deadliest of dark magick, can even love save them?

Buy Links:
http://www.amazon.com/Texas-Hold-Em-Hotter/dp/0446582824/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389370309&sr=8-1&keywords=texas+hold+%27em+christie+craighttp://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Awakened-Hidden-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00CO7FNIQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385151304&sr=8-1&keywords=dragon+awakened

B&N

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/texas-hold-em/id645578762?mt=11https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dragon-awakened/id645574523?mt=11iTunes

DRAGON AWAKENED, The Hidden Book #1
Ruby Salazaar wants answers . . . and revenge. Her uncle has just been murdered before her eyes and the name he utters with his final breath - Cyntag - leads Ruby into a world beyond her wildest imaginings. She soon learns that the dark, sexy Cyntag Valeron knows more about her than she does herself.

Ruby changed Cyn's life before she even knew who he was. Now she charges into his life, a beautiful woman full of fire and questions. Cyn knew this day would come, yet he couldn't foresee the danger - and desires - Ruby would bring with her. He can teach her how to harness her newly awakened powers. But there is one force neither of them can control . . .

Buy Links:
 http://www.amazon.com/Texas-Hold-Em-Hotter/dp/0446582824/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389370309&sr=8-1&keywords=texas+hold+%27em+christie+craig

B&N

http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780446582827

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/texas-hold-em/id645578762?mt=11

ANGEL SEDUCED, The Hidden Book #3
Kye knows that her boyfriend Kasabian is in grave danger, investigating a series of kidnapped children. She knows he's pushing her away for her own safety, but she won't let him face it alone.

Kasabian will risk anything to rescue the children, and he has a bold plan to allow himself to be taken hostage by the kidnapper, Silva. While he tries to reason with Silva, Kye is racing again time to discover where the kidnapper is holding him .

If Kye is reunited with Kasabian, will their combined powers be enough? The fate of the Crescents-and Kye and Kasabian's hearts-hang in the balance.

Pre-Order Links:
http://www.amazon.com/Texas-Hold-Em-Hotter/dp/0446582824/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389370309&sr=8-1&keywords=texas+hold+%27em+christie+craighttp://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Awakened-Hidden-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00CO7FNIQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385151304&sr=8-1&keywords=dragon+awakened

B&N
 
http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780446582827http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781455523221

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/texas-hold-em/id645578762?mt=11https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dragon-awakened/id645574523?mt=11
MAGIC POSSESSED Excerpt

Kade watched Violet Castanega's sassy little ass sashay through the lobby to the entrance. He could tell she wanted to look back at him; she started to but snapped her head straight, pushed the door open, and slammed it shut behind her. Wow, did she look different from the last time he'd seen her.

When he'd arrested Arlo six years ago, someone jumped on his back, wrapping her long legs around his waist and arms over his shoulders. He'd known instantly it was a woman—her breasts crushed against his back had been the first clue. Her shrill voice blasting his ear with, "Let him go!" the second.

He'd reached back to dislodge her and accidentally grabbed her boob. Okay, maybe he'd lingered on that firm and soft and luscious mound of flesh. She'd nailed him in the eye with her elbow. It was only after he'd thrown her off that he realized it was Violet, the once-lanky, scrappy teenager he'd seen during an earlier investigation into Arlo's activities.

Before she could launch another attack, he reminded her that assaulting an officer would result in arrest, and she backed off. She'd been wearing tattered jeans, a muddy tank top and boots, and smelled of earth. A red scarf covered her dark brown hair, but her braid had hung down her back and tendrils of hair had escaped. To his surprise, her untamed self had tugged at the rebellious, wild side he'd had to stuff deep inside. And it still did apparently.

The spark between them was bizarre. Never would he nail a Fringer, doubly so, since they were all Dragons. Not even one with silky hair falling over her shoulders and a long, lean body. He returned to the pit, where several pairs of eyes were on him.

"Did you spank her for giving you that shiner, Kavanaugh?" Treach called out, followed by a chorus of guffaws.

"I think you were a little too distracted and let her get the best of you," Baker said. "You wanted to spank her."

Kade shook his head, learning long ago that to respond was the weaker action. He headed to his office, a tantalizing image of Violet sprawled across his lap while he spanked that lush behind flashing into his mind. That was not helping his hard-on.

His sister, Mia, sidled up next to him. "What was that about?"

"The shiner?" He waved it off. "She was fast, nailed me while I was dealing with her brothers." He wasn't getting into the boob part.

"No wonder you never mentioned who'd given you that black eye. These chauvinistic bastards will never let you live that down." She shot them a derisive glance and lowered her voice. "But that's not what I was talking about. There was an erotic vibe in the way you dealt with her, and ooh, the way the mist in your eyes is swirling now."

He kept all expression from his face, including annoyance at her observation. "I was making sure she didn't cause a scene. Nothing more."

She gave him a skeptical look, which he deserved because he knew exactly what she was talking about. He didn't have an answer for it either, because no way was he attracted to a Castanega. Even a sexy, sassy one. "Take note, little sister. With people like her, you've got to establish dominance immediately. The moment they think they've got the upper hand, they do."

The usual light of admiration returned to her eyes, the way it did whenever he imparted his wisdom to her. "I see that. You didn't let her get away with anything, while she completely got away from me. That's why you're one of the best Vegas in the department."

He loved her admiration, and he didn't. He knew too well how betrayed one felt when the object of your admiration fell and shattered to pieces. She was too young to remember when all the years of their father's sterling service to the Guard exploded in scandal. A woman had made wild accusations about a member of the Concilium, the government entity that oversaw the Hidden and instituted the rules. Somehow their father had gotten involved, emotionally, maybe romantically. Stewart Kavanaugh had helped the woman escape, and both were killed.

Everyone had kept the ugly details from Mia, then age seven. As far as she knew, a crazy woman escaped and attacked their father. Weeks later, their mother had taken her life, unable to deal with the betrayal and scandal. She was a selfish, weak woman who cared more about her reputation than her young daughter.

On top of that, Kade had been demoted to Argus. Some people complained that he'd been fast-tracked to Vega because of his father's influence and that he didn't deserve his position because his reckless behavior made the Guard look bad. Maybe that was true, but they conveniently forgot the thirty years that he was a Vega who closed almost every case. Five years of towing the line, exemplary work, and living by the rules had earned him Vega again. Humiliating, belittling years that changed him from cavalier and edgy to a sterling, model officer.

"Kavanaugh," Ferro called out, leaning out of his office. He saw Mia and added, "Kade." Ferro remained standing once Kade closed the door behind him, looking at the map with the tacks on it. "Take the Castanega woman out."

The words hit Kade like a cold slap, so out of the blue he had to clarify in case he'd misheard. "'Take her out'? You mean kill her?"

"I thought you were beyond needing the terms explained."

Kade bristled. "For barging into your office?"

The corner of Ferro's mouth twitched. "You're questioning the order?"

"It seems extreme, sir."

"It has nothing to do with her conduct here." Ferro lifted the paper she'd brought in. "We've been watching her for a while now. These killings are connected to her, and her act about being concerned is just that." He let the paper drift down to his desk. "Worthless pieces of trash, all of them. A blight on Crescent society."

Those words prickled across Kade's skin. He'd heard them spoken about his father after the debacle.

Ferro continued. "Their skirmishes act as population control, but in the age of the Internet and instant news, they threaten to expose what we are. Eliminating her will serve as a warning to anyone else involved."

The Guard didn't have people killed for less than a good reason. Kade wasn't always privy to the reasons, and frankly, he'd never been concerned about it. Orders were orders. Still, the prospect of whacking Violet sank his stomach. Because he'd felt her body against his? And felt arousal?

Think with your right head, Kavanaugh.

Vegas were akin to Special Ops, called in when the mission was dangerous, tricky, or required a special skill. He had to trust his superior. He would carry out his task as ordered.

"I'll take care of it, sir."


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Thursday, January 30, 2014

BARED by Stacey Kennedy Spotlight & Giveaway

Today we have USA Today Bestselling Author, Stacey Kennedy. She’s an urban fantasy lover at heart, but she also enjoys losing herself in dark and sensual worlds. She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, who gave her a happily-ever-after. Together, they have two small children who can always make her smile, and who will never be allowed to read Mommy’s books. If she’s not plugging away at a new story, you’ll find her camping, curling up with the latest flick, or obsessing over Supernatural, True Blood, Lost Girl, and Sons of Anarchy.

In her newest release, BARED, we are introduced to the wonderfully erotic world of CLUB SIN. Today she’s answering the question that has been asked most by the readers, "What happened to Dmitri and Presley after CLAIMED?"

Isn’t that the big question? Yes, Dmitri’s and Presley story just kind of ended, but there is a very good reason for that. Their love story will continue to play out throughout the CLUB SIN series.


You see, I need to write realistic characters. Not only does it make me relate to them better, but it feels more real to me. Having said that, Presley came out of a long engagement when she met Dmitri. To me, I couldn’t have her jump right into a serious commitment like marriage and not have her bothered by that fact. Presley is a people pleasure—I’m sure we have all met the type. And in truth, I based her character off my best friend.

It made Presley more real for me because I personally know someone just like her. And I know that she would care what other people thought of her. As in, what would her family think if she was with a man for only a short time and said she was getting married—especially without her family ever meeting him?

For anyone who has read CLAIMED, I’m sure you’ll understand that Dmitri would never rush Presley into something that could make her uncomfortable. He’d wait until the time was right and when Presley was settled in her life. Isn’t that what made him so loveable?

So, will there be more of Dmitri and Presley? Oh, yes, there will be. For example, we do see growth in their relationship in BARED. Where in CLAIMED, Presley had never had intercourse in the dungeon, we see that happen in BARED. Where Dmitri guided her gently in CLAIMED, we discover him being a little firmer in BARED where it comes to Presley.

I can also tell you – since I’m in the process of writing the third CLUB SIN book, DESIRED – that we will also begin to understand why Dmitri is waiting to make things official with her.

I can’t say enough how much I love that everyone is wondering about what happened to Dmitri and Presley, but don’t worry I’d never leave you hanging….well, for too long!! Both Presley and Dmitri deserve that happily-ever-after we all want for them!!

~*~

Prepare to be BARED…

"A hot blend of raw sensuality, this is an author to watch!"


~Eden Bradley, author of THE DARK GARDEN and DANGEROUSLY BOUND
 
In a novel that’s perfect for fans of Fifty Shades of Grey, Stacey Kennedy returns to Club Sin with another wicked and wild tale of submission, seduction, and love.
 
At Las Vegas’s exclusive Club Sin, Aidan Knight is the Master, unleashing the erotic yearnings of his submissive lovers. But his dominant fa├žade conceals a devastating loss
—something he instantly recognizes in his personally trained submissive Cora Adams.

Sworn to unearth her secrets, Aidan uses his seductive skills to ignite her wildest desires until Cora yields to the pleasure she can find only with him.
 
Cora came to the BDSM club to act out her sub-and-dom fantasies without ever revealing the heartbreak that haunts her. But Aidan’s masterful touch is bringing her closer to the edge . . . and deeper into a world of control and surrender. He refuses to allow her to submit to any other man
—nor does she want to. It’s a dangerous game they’re playing. For as they give in to passion, they must lay bare their souls for a love that could heal—and free—them both.
 Bared is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.

Buy links:
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Bared-Club-Sin-ebook/dp/B00EMXC022/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379722717&sr=8-1&keywords=bared+stacey


B&N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bared-stacey-kennedy/1116525826?ean=9780804178884

More buying options http://www.randomhouse.com/book/236825/bared-by-stacey-kennedy

 


About the Author:

Website http://www.staceykennedy.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/authorstaceykennedy

Twitter https://twitter.com/" \l "!/Stacey_Kennedy/

Loveswept website http://www.readloveswept.com/



Get CLAIMED with the first book in the Club Sin Series:
"Claimed sucked me in! Stacey Kennedy weaves together the intense BDSM lifestyle with the soft touch of a sweeter, more traditional love story in a novel with an engaging heroine at its heart."—J. Kenner, New York Times bestselling author of Release Me

A novel of erotic discovery and forbidden desire that goes beyond Fifty Shades of Grey.
Presley Flynn is ripe to experience her secret fantasies . . . and Dmitri Pratt wants nothing more than to fulfill them. Once inside the elite Club Sin in Las Vegas, Presley is nervous but excited—and determined to surrender to her every desire. Dmitri is her Master, and his touch is like fire. With each careful, calculated caress, he unleashes her wildest inhibitions, giving her unimagined pleasure.

Presley is different than the other submissives Dmitri has mastered. The BDSM lifestyle is new to her, and so are the games they play at Club Sin. From the start, Presley stirs emotions in Dmitri far beyond the raw purity between a dom and the perfect sub. For the ecstasy they share goes beyond the dungeon, igniting a passion that claims the very depths of the heart.
 

Claimed is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences. 

BUY LINK  


http://www.randomhouse.com/book/229124/claimed-by-stacey-kennedy 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lorelei James BOUND Interview & Giveaway

If you could live back in time, what time period would you choose and why?
Actually I’m too much of a modern convenience-loving girl to live back when there wasn’t heat or TV or grocery stores or antibiotics. I’d like to live in the “Star Trek” universe though—that would be some fun.

Have you ever come across a song that might fit the theme of one of your books?
Funny thing is, I use a lot of song titles for my books, a LOT, so sometimes I take the song titles and turn them in to books. Nice twist, eh? My goal is to someday write a book entitled, “Love in an Elevator.”

Do you remember what you felt when you had your first kiss? First French kiss? 
Yes, I thought it was cool, but a little slobbery. I remember his name but I know I wasn’t his first kiss ‘cause he was a player.

What was the most creative pick up line you've ever used on someone or someone used on you? 
When I was waiting tables during the motorcycle rally and a guy—a biker—(I live 30 miles from Sturgis) said, “You look like my third wife.” I said, “How many times have you been married?” He said, “Twice.”

When writing do you have a playlist of music you like to listen to? What are a couple songs on it? 
I can’t listen to music when I write so…but it really depends on what genre I’m writing what type of music I listen to. When I’m writing a contemporary western I listen to country, when I’m writing a contemporary erotic I listen to a variety from pop to rock. And when I write a mystery I listen to metal.

What do you do when you think nobody is watching?
Sometimes I sneak a hit of bourbon. KIDDING. I’m more of a vodka chick. Also kidding. I guess I…crack my knuckles.

What was your favorite childhood book? 
The “Little House” books—hey, I’m a South Dakota girl, so Laura Ingalls Wilder is one of my peeps. Oh, and Nancy Drew. She had a cool car, a college boyfriend, great friends and a penchant for trouble.

What is your favorite addition to chocolate?
Oreos and peanut butter M&Ms. My mouth loves them, but my hips, thighs and behind are currently protesting that love affair.

What does your husband/significant other say about your writing erotic stories? What about your family and/or do they read your books? 
My husband is very proud of me and takes the “you MUST be a very lucky man” ribbing in stride. My daughters read my mysteries (I write those under the name Lori Armstrong) and my 21 year old has read a few of the erotics. They are very proud of me and the older daughters tell me their friends are big fans, which is fun. My parents are also supportive, but again, erotic isn’t their thing—although they do read the mysteries. What also amuses me is many of my parent’s friends read my erotic books and they keep telling my parents to read them!

Besides your own, what is one of your favorite series to keep up with? 
“In Death” series by J.D. Robb, anything by Kresley Cole, J.R. Ward.

What do you think you would be doing if you weren't writing? 
I’d probably be working in the family firearms business—no lie.

Do you have any hobbies or activities you enjoy doing?
For years every bit of free time has been soaked up by kid’s activities (music, dance, jujitsu). With only one daughter left at home, if I’m not working, I’m usually at her cheerleading events (she is a competitive and varsity side line cheerleader) like basketball games or at orchestra events. I love going to the rodeo and I’m a HUGE fan of mixed martial arts. I watch umm….a few, okay A LOT of matches on Spike TV.

What is something you do to de-stress? 
Read. I’ve been doing yoga off and on for almost 20 years.

We all know about muses...what do you think inspires you to allow your creative juices flowing? 
It’s usually not just one thing. I never wait for the muse to inspire me to work. It’s much better to get to work and find that inspiration to keep going in the work itself. When the story unfolds in a way I hadn’t planned—that’s very inspiring to me.

Lorelei James is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Blacktop Cowboys and Rough Riders series as well as the steamy new Mastered series.  She lives in the Black Hills of western South Dakota with her family.  Visit her online at www.loreleijames.com, www.facebook.com/lorelei-james, and www.twitter.com/loreleijames.

Buy Links:
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Bound-Mastered-Series-Lorelei-James/dp/0451467302/ref=tmm_pap_title_0&tag=theblaserocaf-20

B&N - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bound-lorelei-james/1116247715?ean=9780451467300
Books-A-Million - http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Bound/Lorelei-James/9780451467300?id=5908362454132


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Monday, January 27, 2014

Maya Banks' LETTING GO Interview, Review & Giveaway

Interview

Have you ever come across a song that might fit the theme of one of your books?
Hmm I have from time to time but then it slips my memory and I don’t hang on to it if that makes sense lol. I love the song Titanium and have found that it fits the theme of a lot of my books.

When writing do you have a playlist of music you like to listen to? What are a couple songs on it?
I’m not a music listener when I’m writing. I prefer it to be quiet with as few distractions as possible and if I listen to music I’ll end up singing along and then the writing goes out the window, lol.

What do you do when you think nobody is watching?
I honestly can’t answer this one! I’m a pretty reserved person and my fear would be that someone WAS watching so I’m careful never to put myself in a potentially embarrassing situation.

What does your husband/significant other say about your writing erotic stories? What about your family and/or do they read your books?
My husband is extremely supportive of WHATEVER I write. Some of my family reads my non-erotic series, like the KGI series, but even if they don’t READ some of my books, they’re all very proud and very supportive of me.

What is one of your favorite series to keep up with?
I try to keep up with Christine Feehan and Lisa Marie Rice because I love their stories and I also adore Kresley Cole’s IAD series!

What do you think you would be doing if you weren't writing?
I don’t even want to contemplate having a “regular” job. I can’t imagine NOT being able to write so I try NOT to play the what if game because it makes me crazy, lol.

Do you have any hobbies or activities you enjoy doing?
We love to travel. We also love to hunt and fish as a family and my husband and I enjoy taking a few trips to Vegas each year just to relax have fun and play poker or just goof off.

We all know about muses...what do you think inspires you to allow your creative juices flowing?
I AM my own muse. I don’t really believe in writer’s block nor do I believe in sitting around and “waiting” for my muse to kick in. If I’m not writing it’s for one of two reasons. Either I’m slacking and being lazy OR there’s something wrong with the story and I veered off the path at some point. Once I figure out WHERE I went wrong and fix it then the story flows much better and faster.


Maya Banks is a #1 New York Times bestselling author whose chart toppers have included erotic romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and Scottish historical romance.  She lives in the South with her husband, three children and a variety of pets. Visit her online at www.mayabanks.com, www.facebook.com/AuthorMayaBanks, and twitter.com/maya_banks.


Josslyn found her soul mate, after losing him she never thought she'd find love like that again. Dominance is now what she is craving, something she was needing that her husband could not give her. Trying to push away the loneliness she gores to an exclusive club that caters to people who enjoy the same things in life she fantasizes about. She could not believe her eyes when she runs into the one many that for the longest time comforted her since the day she lost her husband...his own best friend.

Dash was stuck in the worst possible situation for many years...he was in love with his best friend's wife but never once acted on it, not wanting to betray that friendship. He stood by her, offering Joss support and comfort while working past her grief. Waiting for the one day she would want more with him.

He finds her at the exclusive club dedicated to the darkest edges of desire, and is beyond mad when he feels she has no idea what she's trying to get herself into. Josslyn explains in depth what is it she is looking for, her need for dominance. Dash is now determined more than ever to be the only man to show her. He is going to be the only man to touch, cherish and love her...the only man she will ever submit to.

Review

I could not put this book down, and can honestly say I enjoyed it more than many others that have touched this lifestyle. This is something that touches close to home with me, and since it is my personal life I wont go into detail but I will say this...this series is going to be so close to show the light on how the dominance lifestyle really is. Maya Banks hit everything a great story should have like a great set of characters, story line, drama, sex and so much more. The characters and story touch you deeply, excite you and made you want more. 

With this being a trilogy I can only hope this gets hotter and there is more dominance involved. 

Dash is my new fictional boyfriend and would love to have a man like him in my world. 


If you liked 50 Shades of Grey, you would beyond love this book and hopefully this trilogy. 

Giveaway
Berkley will provide one trade paperback copy of LETTING GO to a winner in the U.S.


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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Rockin' the Heart Blog Tour


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gracen is a hopeless daydreamer masquerading as a “normal” person in southern society.  When not writing, she’s a full-time basketball/football/guitar mom for her two sons and a devoted wife to her real-life hero-husband. She’s addicted to writing, paranormal romance novels, movies, Alabama football and coffee…addictions are not necessarily in order of priority. She’s convinced coffee is nectar from the gods and blending coffee and writing together generates the perfect creative merger. Many of her creative worlds are spawned from coffee highs. To learn more about Gracen and her writing or to leave her a comment, visit her at the following sites:

Website: http://www.gracen-miller.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gracen.miller

BLURB:

If music nourishes the soul…

Loved by millions, but shunned by blood, Heath “Fang” Fangor has led his band, Hot Wired, to the top while others have fallen by the wayside. He devoted his life to music, and from that devotion harvested a new family—his band mates and fans.

A man can desire nothing else…or can he?

Living in the shadow of her brother’s fame sucks! Sam Collins is desperate to have what she wants—a simple and uncomplicated life. She’s no stranger to scandals and how they work. Now that she’s inadvertently dragged Fang into the center of her latest gossip, could the scandal she created in her quest for freedom have gone too far?

Amid stardom the heart stages a new melody…

Fang has more fame and fortune than he will ever need, but none of that matters if he can’t have the woman of his dreams. Years have been wasted waiting for the right moment to approach the woman his heart desires above all others. There’s just one major problem...she’s his best friend’s sister. To have her, he will have to risk it all.

One that might be responsible for Rockin the Heart!
BUY LINKS
Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Rockin-Heart-Wired-Gracen-Miller-ebook/dp/B00HXOF6S2/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1390192603&sr=8-10&keywords=gracen+miller

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rockin-the-heart-gracen-miller/1118090943?ean=2940148298076

EXCERPT:

Chapter One

Heath was a rock star god. The tight lines fanning outward from his silver eyes classified him as a pissed off rock star god.
“Wanna tell me what you did this time to get the platinum treatment?” He indicated the jail cell, while ramming his fingers through his shaggy, jet-black hair.
Preferring to shrink into the shadows and avoid a confrontation with him, Sam took a deep breath and rose from the bench. She stepped away from the metal seat to draw closer to the bars dividing them.
She’d expected her brother, Jason—Jase—to ride to her rescue. Like always. Her foundation. Predictable. Dependable. Rattled by her sibling’s abandonment, she ogled the skull on Heath’s shirt, mortification overwhelming her.
If Heath was Jase’s replacement, then he’d been serious when he said ‘don’t call me the next time you’re arrested.’ She’d assumed he yelled that in anger. She was surprised he’d bothered to offer aid at all.
Gut hollow at her brother’s desertion, she cleared the ache out of her throat and asked, “Can’t you just bail me out and we’ll forget this ever happened?”
Knowing he wouldn’t go for that suggestion, Sam swallowed hard and shuffled her feet. Disappointing Jase was one thing, but letting Heath down was an entirely different matter. She’d crushed on the man since her tenth birthday when he’d given her a heart-shaped jewelry box. Didn’t matter he’d been too old for her at a mature fourteen. That infatuation hadn’t waned with age either, but only grown stronger. Not that he showed her a stitch of interest. To him, she was nothing more complicated than a kid sister.
His digits curled around one of the bars. The tattoo lettering on his left knuckles fit his current disposition—ired. On the other hand the letters H-O-T-W graced his knuckles. If read together, they spelled out the name of his band: Hot Wired.
“Not this time, Samantha.”
She cringed. The only time he broke out her full name was when he was upset or disappointed with her.
“You been drinking?”
“You know I haven’t.” Just shy of twenty-one, in her world getting liquor wasn’t an issue. Neither was alcohol her preferred drug of choice.
“Drugs?”
She rolled her eyes, the question too stupid to warrant a response.
“This type of publicity is bad news for the band.” She’d heard that one before. None of her recklessness damaged Hot Wired’s career. Not that she sought to hinder their mega stardom. She wasn’t that selfish, she just struggled with controlling her impulses on occasion.
Therapy failed to help. Yelling spawned further rebellion.
Living under the umbrella of the band’s fame grew tiresome. Her life should be her own, to live however she pleased. Weary of the media hounding her, she craved going back to a time when nobody knew her name. A normal life like when she’d been a kid.
She’d grown up on daydreams of the band making it to the big times. They won the lottery of recording deals, while Sam discovered stardom came at a high price. Along with that knowledge came the freebie of all lessons…fantasies were often better than reality. The last time she’d visited the mall without a trail of vipers eager to report her purchases she’d been fifteen.
Sheesh!
Was it too much to ask to have a date the world didn’t scrutinize? Even the loss of her virginity made headline news. That act should’ve come with the expectation of privacy. Thanks to the tabloids, Jase almost burst a blood vessel over that exploitation.
Once she’d picked her nose in public on purpose because a rag-reporter stalked her. Scratched her butt on another occasion. Gave them something to write. Those were the photographs and articles that gave her incentive to laugh.
“The only reason they’re not pressing charges is because of Jase.”
“Thanks for the reminder.” Along with it came the reminder that her brother sent Heath instead of coming himself.
Despite the news-hounds, she got out of a lot of shit thanks to her brother’s identity. This incident would be all over the rags and Internet before morning.
‘Hot Wired’s drummer’s sister is at it again!’ They’d go on to paint her wild and immoral comportment.
Have at it you fucks. Can’t hurt me any more than you already have, but what about the band?
Distance from Hot Wired would aid all of them. She’d get her peace of mind back, and they’d be devoid of the rebel-rouser in their group.
She’d mentioned changing her last name and moving back to their Southern roots in the small Alabama town where she’d been born. Jase had gone bat-shit crazy at the suggestion and went on and on about how their parents would be rolling over in their grave at her abandoning the family name. 
The name-change idea had been discarded. Swept under the rug like a dust bunny never to be spoken of again.
Torn between two worlds, Sam was suffocating. Living with someone she couldn’t have in a world where she didn’t belong.


Where you can stalk me—not really!—but I do love to meet and interact with readers:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gracen.miller
Website: http://www.gracen-miller.com
Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/665218190162750/
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Gracen-Miller/112564408814796
Blog: http://gracen-miller.blogspot.com
Twitter: @GracenMiller

Buy Links (Note: Rockin’ the Heart releases January 23rd):

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/gracen-miller?store=allproducts&keyword=gracen+miller

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Gracen-Miller/e/B005012CAU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1389376831&sr=8-2

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Forever Young Blog Tour



A biker. A tattoo artist. A love to last a lifetime.
Maddox Cross has always had to be tough. When his father went to jail for murder, the teenager took care of his sister and mother. Now on his own and working security at a night club, Maddox wants to become a tattoo artist-a dream that comes closer to reality when he falls for the hottest, most tatted woman he's ever seen. She's wild and beautiful, and Maddox will do anything to be with her.

Bee Malone came to town to open up her new tattoo parlor, Masquerade. Since being kidnapped as a young girl, Bee has had trouble getting close to anyone. But when she meets Maddox, she sees that under his hard biker's body is the sensitive soul of an artist. What starts out as a sizzling one-night stand soon becomes so much more.

Bee wants Maddox to join her tattoo business, but letting him into her life means revealing all her most intimate secrets. And as the past begins to intertwine with her present, Bee fears their love may not be as permanent as their ink . . . 
EXCERPT: 
“Did you bring any drawings?” Bee sits at the chair behind a desk.
I hand her a book, but the second I do, I want to snatch it back. It’s always like that showing someone my work, even though I know it’s good. “That’s just one I had with me. I have more at home.”
She doesn’t answer as she starts flipping through the pages. After a couple minutes of watching her study each page, I start to get jittery. Feel like she’s looking inside me instead of at some pages, so to distract myself, I move around the room, taking in pictures of her work and other tattoos on the walls.
She looks at the book for what seems like an hour before speaking. “These are good. They’re different. Your artwork has a unique style that I haven’t seen before.”
I nod.
“Why do you want to be a tattoo artist?” she asks. The question shows me how serious she is about what she does because no one has brought it up before.
The urge to tell her it’s none of her business surges through me, but I want this badly enough to answer. “Because when I’m around it, I feel more like myself than I probably ever have.”
A brief flash of shock shows on her face, but she covers it quickly. “Good. I won’t screw around with someone who’s playing a game. This isn’t something you do to make a quick buck. Not if you’re working with me, at least. Did you get a chance to actually give anyone ink?”
“No. The apprenticeship only lasted three months before he bailed.”
Bee nods. “That’s good. I actually rather you have hardly any experience—that way I don’t have to train bad habits out of you.”
“I’m not a dog.”
“No one said you were. Chill out, Scratch.”
I tense at the name, but before I can really say anything, she starts asking questions again. “Do you lean toward liking only black work or are you into color too?”
Everything I have so far is only black, but as I look at her again, I see a variety of black and colorful work. “Depends. I don’t want to do only one or the other. I love work with shading too. I’ve seen some pieces that are really incredible just because of the shading.”
She nods and I wonder if that was the right answer.
“I’m not saying you don’t, but this is something you have to take seriously. There are a lot of dumb-asses out there who think it’s all fun, but it’s not. Stuff like being clean and safe is even more important than the picture you put into someone’s skin.”
“That’s a given, isn’t it?”
She grins. “You’d think, but it’s not always like that.”
We’re both quiet after that. Bee glances down at my artwork again. “I’m surprised I even let you in here tonight. It’s important that you know that. I don’t take shit from people.”
One look at her and that’s obvious. Part of me didn’t expect her to open the door for me either. “I’m surprised I came, so that makes two of us.” When she looks up at me, I’m not sure how I feel about the way her eyes take me in. Don’t know what I think about the fact that we have shit in common or that her look is familiar to me. I give it myself.
Bee stands, walks around to the front of the desk, and then leans on it. “If we do this, can we keep things from getting awkward?”
My answer comes automatically. “I can if you can. It was one night. We don’t know each other and I’m never with someone more than once anyway.” I’ve shared this strange sort of honesty with her tonight that makes my body overheat. I want all the words back because they’re a part of me and I don’t want anyone to see who I am, but this is it. Saying these things to her is the only way to get what I want.
“Now that you’ve asked your questions and realize this isn’t a game to me, I need to know if we’re doing this or not.”
Silently she walks toward the door and opens it. I hold in the groan, pissed at myself for fucking this up again and even more pissed that she’s in control.
Bee turns toward me, her blond hair messy from sleep, but it’s another thing she doesn’t care about. It doesn’t take away from how sexy she is either.
“We’re doing this. Don’t make me regret it. Now I need to get some sleep and then we’ll talk tomorrow about a schedule.”
I let out the breath trapped in my lungs. Thanks, echoes through my mind, but all that comes out is, “Cool. We’ll talk later.” Then I walk out the door.
Instead of going home, I head to the high school. It’s such a dumb fucking thing to do, but like I’ve done other nights, I jump the fence and head to the football field. Sitting in the middle of it, I let my eyes trace over the whole thing, trying to remember the time this used to be important to me. And trying not to concentrate on the fact that even though I got something I want, something I need, I still want to take out the fucking world because of everything I’ve lost.

Bio: 

Writing has always been Nyrae Dawn's passion. Nyrae gravitates toward character-driven stories. She loves going on emotional journeys with characters whether it be reading or writing. And yes, she's a total romantic at heart and proud.

Nyrae resides in sunny Southern California with her husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two awesome kids.

When she's not with her family, you can be pretty sure you'll find her with a book in her hand or her laptop and an open document in front of her. Nyrae also writes adult romance under the name Kelley Vitollo.
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Luke Price's life has always been about order, control, and acting tough on the outside. For Luke, meaningless relationships are a distraction-a way to tune out the twisted memories of his childhood. He desperately wishes he could forget his past, but it haunts him no matter what he does.
Violet Hayes has had a rough life. When she was young, she was left with no family and the memory of her parents' unsolved murders. She grew up in foster homes, living with irresponsible parents, drugs, and neglect, and trying to fight the painful memories of the night her parents were taken from her. But it's hard to forget when she never got closure-and she can't stop dreaming about what happened that tragic night. To make it through life, she keeps her distance from everyone and never allows herself to feel anything.

Then Violet meets Luke. The two clash instantly, yet they can't seem to stay away from each other. Although they fight it, they both start to open up and feel things they've never felt before. They discover just how similar they are. But they also discover something else: The past always catches up with you . . .

EXCERPT: 
“Maybe you should go get cleaned up first.” She runs her thumb down the side of my lip and the connection sends uninvited emotions coursing through my body. I have to clench my hands into fists, just to keep myself from grabbing her and crashing her lips against mine. She withdraws her hand and wipes her thumb and her finger together. “You have blood on your face and clothes.”
I shrug, smothering the desire to jerk her hand back to me, rip her clothes off and bend her over the hood out of my truck. “I’m fine with looking like a man who just beat the shit out of someone, but if you’re too embarrassed to be seen with me, you can sit in the truck.”
“ ‘A man who just beat the shit out of someone’?” she muses, stopping at the passenger door of my truck, her hand hovering above the handle of the car door. “Or a guy who just got his ass kicked?”
I can’t tell if she’s toying with me or not, but it’s both irritating me and exciting me in ways I didn’t know were possible. Half the damn time I have no fucking clue whether she’s being serious or not. Being a control freak, this should send me running, yet it’s having the opposite effect when it comes to her.
I decide to give her a taste of her own intense medicine, throw her off a little, regain the upper hand and hopefully scare her away. “Are you saying that I’m not tough?” I position myself in front of her, trying to get her to back up into the truck, but she stays still. “Or that I’m not a man?”
“I’m not saying either,” she says with a fervent look in her eyes that nearly sends me soaring through the roof. The more intense I get the more excited she gets, which makes me want to get even more intense. “Although, I’m guessing that despite that fact, you’re still about to show me that you’re both of those things.”
“Is that what you want me to do?” My voice comes out husky. This isn’t working out how I want, my plan of keeping her away backfiring on me. I take a step forward and then another, until I’m pretty much stepping on her feet. She still doesn’t back up and it frustrates me even more. “For me to show you how tough I am or how much of a man I am?”
She presses her lips together, her gaze unwavering, eyelashes fluttering. “I don’t want anything from you, Luke. I’m just simply saying what’s in my head. And the longer you’re around me, the more you’ll realize this.”
The longer I’m around her? Fuck. I reach a hand around the side of her and grab the door handle of the truck. “So you don’t think I’m tough?” I ask.
“I think you want to show me how tough you are and how much of a man you can be,” she says.
I put my other arm on the other side of her, so she’s pinned between my arms. Most girls in this position would back up into the door, but she stands firm, refusing to let me control her like I desperately want to.
“And how would I show you?” I drop my voice to a husky growl, intentionally this time.
“I’m sure you have your ways,” she replies, her gaze flickering at my mouth as I lean forward and our bodies press together.
It takes every ounce of strength not to seize hold of her hips and gently shove her back. Instead, I lean farther in, our lips inching closer. “I do have my ways…” I lick my lips and feel the sting of the cut. It reminds me of everything I just witnessed; with her, with me. I know if I kiss her it’ll more than likely lead to me jerking the door open and throwing her down on the truck seat, right here in broad daylight. I wouldn’t care who saw us. I never do. I’d just want to get this God damn need to regain control out of me, the need she’s putting in me. But then what would happen after it was all over? Would we go get tacos and come back to my dorm and hang out? Yeah, that doesn’t seem at all possible, but neither does screwing her and then bailing. I’m too far into her and I’m not sure how to get away or if I can get away at this point.
I clench my hands into fists as I fight the urge to shut my eyes and kiss her until she can barely breathe. I feel weak the moment I flip up that handle and start to pull the door open because I’m choosing to feel the vile, pathetic feelings of my past—how I did things I didn’t want to do, how my mother messed with my head, how I had no control over my life. I was a puppet. I was weak. I don’t want to be that person ever again.
I wait for Violet to move out of the way so I can get the door open, but she doesn’t budge and I’m the one who ends up stepping back, losing again. It’s an unsettling place I’ve arrived at and I don’t know what to do with it beside drink myself into a stupor and hammer my fist through anything that gets in my way. My body is actually shaking as my mind craves the burning, blissful taste of alcohol.
“So where are we going to get tacos?” She sidesteps around me and hops in the truck, tucking her skirt in as she brings her legs into the truck.
“You pick,” I say as I shut the door.
She smiles a plain, fake smile, not even giving me the benefit of a real one. “It doesn’t matter to me,” she says as I climb into the cab. Then she kicks her feet up on the dash and flops her head back against the seat, looking as calm as can be.
I have to wonder if she really means it. If nothing matters to her, and if she’s beginning to matter to me.

Bio:
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives with her husband and three kids. When she's not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

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THE TRUTH WILL SET THEM FREE
Brayelle Bates has always been a force of nature. Even as a child, Bray's wild and carefree spirit intimidated everyone around her. The only person who's ever truly understood her is her best friend, Elias Kline. Though every fiber of her being wants to stay with Elias forever, Bray can't bear the thought of him discovering her agonizing history. She's done everything she can to keep him at arm's length, including moving away. But their undying bond was too strong a pull to deny, and Bray couldn't survive without him. Now she's back home with Elias, and things have never felt more right-until one night changes everything. 
Elias vowed never to be separated from Bray again. So when she decides to flee in a desperate attempt to escape her fate, Elias knows he must go with her. As the two try to make the most of their circumstance, taking up with a reckless group of new friends, Elias soon realizes there's a darkness driving Bray he can't ignore. Now in order to save her, he'll have to convince Bray to accept the consequences of their reality-even if it means losing her.

EXCERPT
When I made my way back to the top, I found Bray wasn’t sitting near the edge of the ridge where I had left her I moved farther out into the clearing with our blankets draped over one shoulder.
“Bray?” I said, looking around.
I brushed it off for a second, thinking she was probably just taking a piss behind a tree somewhere, and I set our blankets on the ground.
But then I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I walked quickly toward the edge and looked over. My heart started to bang against my rib cage. I peered down as far as my sight could penetrate the darkness, but took a step back upon realizing that if she had fallen there was no way I’d be able to see from way up here.
She had to be somewhere around close by. She had to be.
“Bray?” I called out again. “Where the hell did you go?”
Still no answer.
Panic set in quickly. I stood there as still and as quiet as I could for several long seconds in case she was coming through the woods, but I heard nothing. I arranged both hands around my mouth and shouted, “BRAY!” and my voice echoed through the wide-open space. But still nothing. I felt sick to my stomach. She wouldn’t have left like that way out here. And if she did, I would’ve seen her on the path coming down as I was making my way back up.
I ran toward the tree line, searching for any sign of her, for another path she might have taken. I refused to believe that she had fallen off the edge.
Just as I noticed another path through the woods that seemed to head south and I started to go toward it, I heard footfalls in the leaves. I didn’t wait to see if it was her, I ran blindly straight into the woods. A skinny branch slapped me across the forehead on my way, but I didn’t stop.
Bray and I nearly crashed into each other.
“Shit, baby! Where the hell did you go? Scared the hell out of me!” I started to pull her into a hug, but something about her was off and I stopped. She didn’t respond or even raise her head to look at me.
“Are you all right?”
I took her hands into mine. Hers were shaking. Her whole body was shaking.
I cupped her face in my palms and raised her head so that she’d look at me. She was crying, and something in her eyes…I couldn’t place it, but it haunted me. I wondered if she even knew I was standing right in front of her. Her hair was messy, with pieces of leaves stuck within a mass of strands. Dirt was smeared across her left cheek. She looked like she’d been in a fight.
I touched her split lip, where a thin line of blood glistened near the corner. “Bray, you’re scaring me. What happened to you?” I shook her gently and then more aggressively when she still didn’t respond. “What happened? Talk to me!”
Her lips trembled and more tears seeped from the corners of her eyes. And then as if a floodgate had been opened, she started screaming through her tears, “It was my fault! Elias! Oh my God!”
“What happened?” I roared, scared for her and for myself, my heart about to burst through my chest.

Bio:

J.A. Redmerski, New York TimesUSA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children, two cats and a Maltese. She is a lover of television and books that push boundaries and is a huge fan of AMC's The Walking Dead.

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Things Paige Morrison will never understand about Mirabelle, Florida:
Why wearing red shoes makes a girl a harlot
Why a shop would ever sell something called "buck urine"
Why everywhere she goes, she runs into sexy-and infuriating-Brendan King

After losing her job, her apartment, and her boyfriend, Paige has no choice but to leave Philadelphia and move in with her retired parents. For an artsy outsider like Paige, finding her place in the tightly knit town isn't easy-until she meets Brendan, the hot mechanic who's interested in much more than Paige's car. In no time at all, Brendan helps Paige find a new job, new friends, and a happiness she wasn't sure she'd ever feel again. With Brendan by her side, Paige finally feels like she can call Mirabelle home. But when a new bombshell drops, will the couple survive, or will their love come undone?
EXCERPT: 
When Brendan pulled into the shade of the park he saw Paige sitting on top of a picnic table. She was staring down at the screen of her camera, biting the corner of her lip. She looked up at the tree and then back down to her camera, shaking her head. Brendan pushed his sunglasses to the top of his head, grabbed his loot, and got out of his truck. When he slammed the door shut she looked over at him. She turned her camera off and shoved it into a bag that was on the table.
“Hey,” she said, standing up and brushing the back of her orange dress down before she started walked toward him. 
“Hi,” he said, walking past her and sitting down on top of the picnic table. 
“What are you doing?” she asked, spinning around and looking at him. “My Jeep’s over there.” 
“Yes,” he said, grabbing a Coke and popping the top. “But lunch is over here.” 
“I thought you were going to change my flat,” she said, frowning. 
“I am, after I eat lunch. Care to join me?” he asked, patting the empty space next to him. 
“You’re serious?” 
“Paige, it’s almost one o’clock, so I’m going to eat. You can either stand there and watch me, or you can split this Cajun turkey sandwich that my grandmother made,” he said, taking the sandwich out of the bag. 
She shook her head and smiled. 
“You, Brendan King, are a whole mess of trouble,” she said, walking over to the bench and sitting down next to him. 
“Good choice,” he said, taking his half out of the bag and handing her the other half. “What are you doing out here?” he asked, taking a bite of his sandwich. 
“Taking pictures.” 
“For?” 
“The tribute program that Mr. Adams wants to start using during the memorial services. He wants to use local pictures instead of the stock pictures that are already in the program.” 
“That sounds like it’s right up your alley.” 
“It is actually,” she said, reaching for the other can of soda and popping the top.  
“Don’t sound so surprised.” 
“Why? That I could actually fit in around here? It does surprise me.” 
“Why?” 
“I’m not used to this whole small-town thing, where everybody knows everybody and their business.” 
“Yeah, that’s one of the things about small towns that sucks,” he said, opening a bag of chips and holding it out for her. 
“You can say that again,” she said, reaching for a chip. “Why don’t you have oil stains on your hands? I thought all mechanics had oil stains.” 
“I wear gloves,” he said, grabbing a few chips for himself and popping them into his mouth. 
“Right.” She glanced down and frowned, reaching out for his arm. 
“The tree,” she whispered, grabbing his elbow and pushing up the sleeve of his shirt. 
Her soft, delicate fingers lightly traced the lines of his tattoo. It took only one simple touch from her for him to completely lose his mind again. 
“I knew I’d seen it somewhere.” She looked up to the oak tree in front of them and then back down to his arm. “Why do you have that tree tattooed on your arm?” she asked, looking up at him. 
She must have seen the heated look in his eyes because she let go of him and started blushing. 
“Sorry, I just … yesterday when I’d been looking at your tattoo, it just sort of fascinated me, and … and it’s that tree,” she said, pointing to the tree in front of them.
“It is.” He cleared his throat and finished his sandwich. He grabbed an orange from the bag on the table and started peeling it. “My mom loved that tree,” he said, looking up at it for a second. “She would bring me and Grace here all the time.” 
“Loved?” Paige asked. 
“She died,” he said, turning to look at her. “Twelve years ago from breast cancer.” 
“Oh God, Brendan. I’m so sorry.” 
“I am too. She was a great woman. Grams still can’t talk about her without losing it.” 
“Wait, your mom was Lula Mae and Oliver’s daughter?” she asked, confused. 
“Yeah,” he said, looking over at her. “I know a little bit about being the center of town talk too. My dad walked out on us before I was born, and Grace’s dad, well, no one knows who Grace’s dad is. My mom wouldn’t tell anybody. That was a source of gossip for years,” he said, handing her half of the peeled orange. 
The orange was still cold from being in the refrigerator. Brendan stuck a slice in his mouth, the juice bursting across his tongue. Paige sat next to him in silence, eating her half. 
“How do you do it?” she asked, looking at him. 
“Do what?” 
“Accept stuff like that? Move on? I lost my job, my apartment, and my boyfriend all within a span of two months and I thought that everything was falling down around me. But you? God, Brendan, you had a girlfriend run off with another man, your dad abandoned you, and your mom she …” Paige trailed off. She looked down at her empty hands shaking her head. “You make my problems look trivial.” 
“Paige,” he said, edging closer to her and pressing his thigh against hers.
She looked at him, her hair falling in her eyes. He reached out and pushed it behind her ear, letting his fingers trail down to her chin. 
“That stuff happened over a long span of time, and I’ve had years to deal with it. You had to deal with a lot over a very short amount of time, and it didn’t happen so long ago. It isn’t trivial,” he said, rubbing his thumb across her jaw. “One day, you’ll wake up and it won’t hurt as bad. You’ll be able to move on.” 
“I think I had that breakthrough a week ago,” she whispered, her eyes dipping to his mouth before they came back up to his eyes. 
“Really?” He smiled, moving in closer. “And what was the catalyst for that development?” he asked, moving his hand to the back of her head, his fingers tunneling in her hair. 
“A cracked radiator,” she said, putting her palms on his chest. 
He brought her mouth to his. She parted her lips and when his tongue touched hers he lost himself. She tasted like oranges, like the sweetest freaking oranges that he’d ever eaten. He wrapped his free arm around her back, pulling her into his chest as he slanted his mouth over hers, deepening the kiss. One of her hands was in his hair, her nails racking the back of his head. 
Brendan pulled back and looked at her, both of them breathing hard. He was still holding her face in one of his hands as he ran his thumb across her lower lip. 
“That was …” He couldn’t even find the words to describe exactly what it was. 
“Yeah.” She looked at him, dazed as she fisted her hand tighter in his shirt and pulled him back to her. And then they were off again and neither of them had any desire to come back up for air for a long time.
Bio:

Shannon Richard grew up in the Florida Panhandle as the baby sister of two overly protective but loving brothers. She was raised by a more than somewhat eccentric mother, a self-proclaimed vocabularist who showed her how to get lost in a book and a father who passed on his love for coffee and really loud music. She graduated from Florida State University with a BA in English Literature and still lives in Tallahassee where she battles everyday life with writing, reading, and a rant every once in a while. Okay, so the rants might happen on a regular basis. She's still waiting for her Southern, scruffy, Mr. Darcy, and in the meantime writes love stories to indulge her overactive imagination. Oh, and she's a pretty big fan of the whimsy.
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