Tuesday, January 27, 2015

First Look at The Love Gov



Author's Note
The only thing people in S.C. argue about more than football is politics. I've long wanted to write a story set against a political backdrop. After all, dirty politics and dirty sex just go together. When I went to vote this past November, Ben Collins, homegrown Spartanburg boy and self-made man, popped into my head. I knew Ben wanted to run the state in the black and with a clean conscience, but I had no hook. I did have a long history of S.C. governors who've had their sexual peccadilloes made public, from Strom Thurmond to Mark Sanford. 
With those two in mind, I sat down to binge on Scandal on Netflix. Somewhere in the middle of Season 2, I wondered who'd have to get their hands dirty in order for Ben to keep his so clean.

And I had my hook. 



There's nothing partisan about this candidate's sex life....


But now, Ben Collins is running for governor of South Carolina. He's determined to manage the state with a clean conscience and a balance sheet in the black, but his ulterior motive has little to do with politics and everything to do with love. He’s going after the one who got away—Evony Millwood, the woman who just got engaged to his opponent. 

Evony's running, too--from Ben. All the mud Ben's opponents are about to sling is dirt Evony buried with her own hands. Can she keep a lid on her misdeeds or will the brewing storm sweep her into the arms of the man she's loved from afar for years?


•1•


June, 2030

Cigarette smoke made a blue haze throughout the exclusive Columbia men’s club. At the back of the dim room, a man got to his feet. Maybe five-seven, his red hair gleamed despite the lack of light. When I approached, the political advisor’s smile slid across his face like an oil slick. His hazel eyes lost the look that made me want to put my fist through his face, but I left my hand clenched, in case I changed my mind.

“Mr. Collins. So nice to meet you.”

“Thank you for taking the meeting, Mr. Gaines.”

The man didn’t respond, but that might have been due to the fact he was busy kicking me in the ankles under the pretense of settling down to talk. Fucking Napoleon complexes. This is a waste of time. This man was my third choice for a manager, but by the time I’d made up my mind to run, the first two had already signed on with other people.

“What are y’all drinkin’?”

“Bourbon,” I snapped.

Gaines lifted a hand. A waitress scurried to his side. The asshole stared at her thighs, not her face. “Darlin’, we need two fingers of bourbon in two glasses.” He raised his eyes long enough to wink at the poor woman. Something told me he was a bad tipper. Like the fact the twenty-something server barely smiled.

“Let’s get right down to business. I want to run for governor.”

“On the Democratic ticket.”

I despise being interrupted, but fought to keep my tone smooth. “Yes. And I need a campaign manager. When I asked around, your name came up.”

“Of course. Gaines men have put governors in office in this state since the first settlers landed at Charles Town. But it’s been a minute since a Democrat sat in the governor’s seat.”

Oh, right. Rub your blue blood in my face. I nearly asked what fault in his family DNA led them to strive for second place, but the waitress’s return stopped me. The way the young woman flinched suggested Gaines ran his hand down the back of her leg. Disgust burned my throat far more than my big gulp of liquor.

“The Tea Party has ruined the GOP. People are fed up with this ultra-conservative bullshit. I have the backing of some powerful men. I just need someone experienced to guide this campaign.” Ultra-conservatives called this land home, but the winds of change were blowing.

Gaines swirled the amber liquid in his glass. “Let me be blunt, Mr. Collins. You’ve done a helluva job raising your public profile. I mean, restoring the governor’s mansion with your own funds? Getting PBS to film a documentary while you did it? Talking the producers into letting your movie-star ex-husband narrate? Brilliant. But that’s hardly enough to overcome the fact that you were, indeed, married to Jericho James. If you’ll pardon my French, no one in this state will vote for a man who’s sucked a dick.”

You mean no straight man. I clenched my glass so hard, the cut crystal bit into my fingers.

“You’re overlooking one thing, Mr. Gaines. There’s a significant gay constituency here, whether men like you want to admit it or not. They’ll vote for me. When George Millwood’s candidate gets beat in the primary, the black vote will swing to me.”

He kept his eyes on me and smirked. “That’s not going to happen. The black ministers will fall over themselves to condemn an un-Christian lifestyle.”

Don’t throw the glass. My lawyer might not show up to bail me out of jail.

“Besides, I don’t think you can beat Keelan Bonner in the primary.”

Bonner started out as an investigator for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and worked his way into to the top job after a huge scandal a few years back. He stood for law and order in a state that believed in that above all.

And if I didn’t beat anyone else, I’d spend whatever it cost to take down Bonner.

I slid out of the booth. “Sorry to have wasted your time, Mr. Gaines. Thanks for the drink.” Blood pounded in my ears, but I forced a smile. “For the record, a man who’s unemployed might want to hide his shortcomings the next time someone offers him big bucks to do a job.”

I recounted the meeting to my driver on the way home. “Your restraint was remarkable, Ben. I can’t believe I’m not down at the Columbia jail, coughing up bail money. What a jackass.”

I stared out the window at the downtown buildings, wishing I had the guts to order him to head for Melrose Heights.

“Listen to me, Ben. You will be governor of this state. You’re not giving up. Find someone else to run your campaign. You deserve to sit in the governor’s chair.”

Nicholas was a sweet kid. “What about Bonner? Why wouldn’t you vote for him?”

“It doesn’t matter how many people vote for Bonner. He can’t win because he won’t pull a single white majority district. And Ben, thanks to centuries of gerrymandering, they’re all white majority districts.” Nick struck the wheel with a closed fist.

Bonner would become the first African-American on the ballot for governor of South Carolina. An historic moment, to be sure. I could hardly wait to wreck it.

A few miles flashed by.

“We headed home, boss man?” Nicholas asked.

I growled. “Stop for cigarettes.”

Nick tut-tutted, but he got me a pack of Marlboro Reds and a lighter. “You know, they say smoking will be eradicated in another generation. Think about your lungs, chief.”

I ripped the cellophane off the pack and made a mental note to look for a reason to let him go.




•2•
“Dessert, darling?” Keelan patted his lips with the linen napkin.

I shook my head. “No. I want a piece of cheesecake in the worst way, but it’s not worth the added miles on my morning jog.”

“Your father called. He’s going to join us for coffee, if that’s all right with you.”

I couldn’t drink coffee this time of night. Keelan knew that, but I nodded. I’d have to endure more endless campaign talk, but with any luck, Kee would break things off at a decent hour. I had an early class the next day. 

Keelan stood when my father wound his way toward us through the close-set restaurant tables. “George, so nice of you to join us.”

“Honored to be asked, Keelan.” Dad bent to kiss my cheek before the men shook hands. “Evony. You’re looking beautiful tonight.”

Because Kee had made it sound like Dad asked to come, and not the other way around, my bullshit meter revved into high gear.

Dad took a seat, but to my surprise, he didn’t lead with his favorite topic, Keelan’s campaign for governor. In fact, he didn’t say a word.

Keelan cleared his throat. “You know I’m an old-fashioned man, Evony.”

Was he looking to win a prize for understatement of the year? I loved the man, but… Gotta put my tough week aside. He’s really trying. The campaign had already put stress on our relationship. I worked long hours, hoping for tenure at the University of South Carolina. We just couldn’t seem to make time for each other. This dinner was the first time I’d seen the man in days. We aren’t kids. Time spent apart isn’t going to kill us.

Keelan reached into his jacket. Dad folded his hands on top of the linen tablecloth, leaning forward slightly. My gut clenched as I looked from one man to the other.

“Mr. Millwood, you’ve been my closest friend and advisor for years. I respect you more than any man I know. So, I’m sweating bullets here, but I’d like your permission to ask for your daughter’s hand in marriage.”

For fuck’s sake. I’m nearly forty-two. There’s old fashioned and then there’s archaic.

My father beamed. “Took you long enough, son. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather see Evony settle down with, Keelan.”

Kee pulled his hand free. I stared at the box, admiring the robin’s egg blue. The crisp black logo sent my pulse racing. “Evony, I love you, darling. Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?” He placed the box in my shaking hands.

Aware that conversation had ceased at the tables around us, I managed to lift the lid and pry the black velvet ring box free. Lifting the lid, I gasped.

The oval-cut solitaire threw off rainbows from the candle in the table center. I tugged the white metal setting free, unable to resist a peek at the inside of the band. The bold ‘950’ stamped beside the elegant Tiffany maker’s mark told me the lacy fretwork around the stone was platinum.

I raised my eyes to Keelan’s. He’ll make a good husband. He’s solid. Dependable. He loves me. “Yes.”

Polite clapping broke out. My father’s laugh seemed a bit too loud. Keelan took the diamond from the box. I extended my left hand. He slid the ring on my finger, holding onto my hand. Leaning over, he pressed a kiss to my lips.

Pulling back, he stared into my eyes. “I’m going to put you in the governor’s mansion as First Lady, Evony, if it’s the last thing I ever do.”

“Hrmph.” My father only cleared his throat before he delivered bad news. I wanted to admire my diamond, but turned my attention to him. “Ben Collins asked Perry Gaines to handle his election campaign. He’s planning to run against you for the Democratic nomination.”

Oh, shit. He can’t do that. The press will go digging. Daddy will go digging. Ben has no idea what he's walking into.

Thanks to me.

Want more? Click here




Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My Panties...They are a' Bunchin'


If you can handle the dust in here, grab a chair, because I'm about to rant.

About an hour ago, I was perusing my Facebook feed, searching for the post from my local news channel about the prediction of freezing rain. (Don't judge, I'm Southern.We don't DO ice.) I spied a post by a fellow author about reviews. My friend didn't write it, she shared another's blog post. So...I clicked, hoping to find the post I reckon I'm gonna have to write. Because this one was more of the same.

I'll link the blog post here, but I'm also going to post a screen shot of this author's "Wish List" for reviewers. Because...edits, they happen. <grin>

After some preliminary words, she gets right down to it: "Don't knock my work! I'm a new author, go pick on someone who's been doing this a while."

Oh, no. Not again.



Let's take them one by one, shall we? Because I sure as hell don't want anyone thinking this author speaks for me.

1. If you think my work deserves a 3-star review, by all means, write and post it. That's your opinion and you're entitled to it. As a writer, I'm a big fan of a little thing we Americans like to call the First Amendment. If there's a kernel of validity in your remarks, I assure you I will find it and hug it to my heart, because I understand that a calm sea never did a strong sailor make. If I didn't move the Earth for you, let me know. (pun intended) Tell other readers. I lack motivation anyway. (That's not sarcasm, that's a fact, Jack.) Don't 'discuss it with me first'. Unless you want to. Then, I'll be glad to talk about anything you like. Because YOUR OPINIONS MATTER TO ME. I'm grateful that, out of the bajillion titles that went up online this year, you took the time to read mine.

2. If you want to review a book I wrote that you didn't finish, by all means, do it! Again, not sarcasm. Because I will work my ass off to figure out where I lost you, so I NEVER DO THAT AGAIN. I write to be read. I write for the money. Believe me, I know the market's glutted, particularly in contemporary erotic romance. My work has to shine to gather a readership. Every time you quit I get motivated. But I gotta know you quit, so for God's sake, leave that review on a DNF title I wrote. Please. I treasure those, because I'm a professional writer. I have crit partners and beta readers and editors and sometimes, I still come up short. It's not your job to help me improve, but your unvarnished opinion does help me.

3. I guess since the Author (sic) writes, we can overlook the fact that she can't count from one to six, consecutively. Artists. We don't always get teh maths. But I won't stoop to make fun of her. She was clearly.. in a snit rushing to publish and failed to proofread. Typos happen.

4. (This is my personal fave, and the one that fired me up enough to blow the dust off my blog.) Did she just say she sits back and makes herself feel better by criticizing the grammar and punctuation and general typing skill of a non-writing professional?

I think she did. I think the remark is petty, for openers. A reviewer doesn't have to turn in the perfect piece to give an opinion. It's a situation not unlike  the one former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart found himself in when he had to resort to describing pornography as "I know it when I see it." Many many readers know bad writing when they see it, but (WARNING: Pro Tip Ahead), baby they ain't the one purporting to be a  professional writer.

Please, please, never hold back from writing a review of one of my titles because you fear snark or rebuttal from me. It will not be forthcoming. I have never, and will never, ask my fans, friends, or fellow writers to vote down a bad review. I promise to put my big girl panties on and dig for the gem of wisdom you offer when you knock my story. I honor all opinions. If I didn't get you on board this time, you bet your ass, I'll, bring my damn A-game next time...if you let me know I missed the mark.

5. Wanna give my titles 1-stars 'just because you can'? Do it. I have several, and wouldn't dare presume they'll be my last. Take a second to look over those 1-star reviews I linked you to. Please, see that those reviews have not been replied to by me or by anyone  I asked to respond, (and I ain't got time for no sock-puppet bullsh*t), or voted down. Because I accept that the forum is for readers. Customers. If I want unconditional love, I'll buy a Golden retriever. I'd rather have your respect and I accept that in order to get that, I need to give it.

In fact....

I ONLY read one-and-two-star reviews these days. It's funny how those reviews give me confidence that all of the reviews for a title didn't come from a street team or some dude with an ad on Fiverr. Yeah, we're all jaded now. So those dings? Honey, they're what I like to call street creds. You've been bloodied in the pursuit of your craft. Now, shut up the whining and get back on the horse or get out of the way. It's a crowded playing field. I'd rather spend my limited time and money on a book that has well-rounded reviews, those that run the gamut, because, hey, guess what? I'm a reader first, and I'm intelligent to boot, so I'll figure out if they were deserved or not, just by reading them. To suggest I can't..well, let us just say, this isn't the first time I felt insulted by your little wish list.

6. (sigh) I grow weary of repeating myself. Reviews are for the reader by the reader. Anything personally gain from your review to help me in the pursuit of my craft is all gravy, baby. Write on. Don't you dare let one more entitled whiner make you think twice before you leave a review. Whatever you want to address, go for it.

We need more truth in reviews, not less. But I guess I must address the 'trolls'. I believe those who leave retaliatory 1-star reviews say a helluva lot more about themselves than they ever could about my work. If I earned that 1-star, in your mind, feel free to tell others in your review. Your opinion is respected, wanted, and I'll be grateful. No matter how many stars you dazzle it up with.

I would much, much rather hear what I did wrong than lukewarm praise because you think you owe me some certain number of stars, since you recognize that it "takes guts just to write a book." That's crap. You know what it takes to write a book? A gadget that throws letters on a page and a way to upload the result to Amazon.

Where the guts come in is in learning to take criticism, to be a professional in public at all times, to not bully reviewers who review for the pure love of reading and sharing with other readers, and to not act like an entitled little diva because you managed to get from "Once upon a time" to "The End."

Because that ain't all the job requires. It takes poise and the ability to accept that once you put yourself out there as a public figure, you give up the right to whine.

Wanna quit? Do it. I'd rather a hundred of writers who whine about their reviews would quit, than watch one more talented author give up because she couldn't find readers willing to leave her reviews, good, bad, or indifferent BECAUSE OF ALL THE BLOG POSTS AND DRAMA AROUND LESS-THAN-PERFECT REVIEWS ON THE PART OF AUTHORS. Those are the folks my heart hurts for. They might find it hard to keep asking, which is so not the same as "I'm ungrateful and entitled and.... and...I'm new so cut me a break," which is what I got from this piece.

As for book bloggers, you're the sugar in my tea, ladies. Don't think for one second that we're all like this chick. I know you get hammered by requests. If you pick my title to review and you want me to name my next-born after you, just ask. You got it. Write your review any way you like. I'll be grateful.

To the author of the original post, never let anyone tell you your writing doesn't move people. I mean, you moved me to write my first blog post in months. So that's something.


/end rant/


Monday, January 12, 2015






Book Title: Flawed and Damaged
Author: Emily Krat
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 22 July, 2014



Two people haunted by their past…
The collision of two damaged hearts…
Meet Elizabeth Williams. She is at the airport on an important work assignment. If everything goes smoothly, after three years of hard work, she’ll get a promotion and a much-needed raise. Elizabeth is putting her life back on track after it was ripped out from under her feet four years ago when she lost her parents along with all her dreams. Standing here, she believes her life is going to change for the better any moment now. Nothing can go wrong, right?
Meet Ryan Price. He came to Moscow on business. Right now, Ryan is standing at the airport looking at a ‘present’ from his brother, judging by the sign a beautiful young woman is holding. Damn his brother for not cancelling this arrangement as Ryan asked.
Miscommunications and misunderstandings and a love story begins.
There will be a scary flight, lovely breakfasts, long evening conversations, sharing a secret or two, discovering one another, a lot of laughter, tender moments and some tears, a fight and, of course, the I-am-ready-for-the-end-of-the-world kiss.
Somewhere along the way, they won’t be able to fight their feelings any longer.
For the first time in his life, Ryan will experience a different shade of lust. And for the first time in her life, Elizabeth will have to trust despite all of the times she has been hurt.
Will these two wounded lost souls find love, peace and comfort in each other or will they just break each other more? Is it a train wreck of a love story or a happily ever after?



“Ryan, I love you.” He looks confused, but relief is evident in his eyes, so I continue. “It was wrong of me to tell you about my feelings like I did yesterday. I was being a coward. I’m glad you shared all this with me. I won’t run, Ryan.”
“But, I don’t understand. How can you love me? Even after I told you about what I’ve done … How can you love someone so … horrible?” he says bitterly.
“You are not horrible, Ryan. I know it. I feel it.”
“How?” The desperation in his voice squeezes my chest.
I stare into the deep green pools that are his eyes and wonder how I can show him what I see.
“In here,” I point to my heart, “I believe my heart. And from what you told me, I can tell that you had no family except Mark. You were a kid at thirteen who didn’t want to lose his brother, you were a young man who sacrificed his own freedom for someone he loved the most. Now you are a big business mogul who may be harsh toward his employees, but puts them first even when seeking revenge. It’s an honor for me to love someone as devoted as you.”
“Liz, I’ve lied – ” I interrupt him.
“We are people, Ryan. We all make mistakes. You think I’m so pure? I wanted to use David to stay in Seattle. I agreed to marry someone for my own selfish reasons. Then I came to Russia and spent more than six months making my Granny’s life a living hell. She lost her only daughter. I never once thought about her feelings. She was old, she needed my care, and all I did was sulk for my old life. Even with you, how do you know I’m not using you? Maybe I just like this sense of fulfillment I feel with you that overwhelms the loneliness I've felt for so long. I am not a saint, Ryan. I also did awful things.”
Ryan contemplates my words for several minutes. Then says quietly, “I lied to you.”
I sigh. Now I don’t like the direction this conversation is taking. “You already told me that you didn’t need an assistant. There’s more?”
“I read your journal.” 
The blood drains from my face.
“You what?” My voice trembles.
“When we were in Nice – the night you got drunk with Mark – I saw your notebook and I read it.”
“I … I …” No words come out of my mouth because I don’t have any. I can’t believe he did it. I wrote my sacred thoughts there, poured some raw feelings on those pages. They were never meant for anyone’s eyes other than mine.
“I’m sorry I did it. I was at a loss, I couldn’t understand what I was feeling for you.”
“So you read my journal to understand yourself? Ryan, it’s private. I poured my soul there. How could you do this?” I may be screaming now, but I don’t care. Some boundaries can’t be crossed.
“That’s who I am, Elizabeth. I don’t care about people’s privacy.”
“I’m so mad at you right now. I don’t even know what to say. Is that all?”
“No.”
Oh God!
“Tell me.” He almost looks scared. That’s when I know there are so many more lies he doesn’t want to tell me about. “Now, Ryan. You are going to tell me every damn thing. You owe me this.”










Always an avid reader who consumes whole books in a single day, Emily Krat is ecstatic to now be on the other side of the page. For her writing stories and developing ideas for novels is a true passion and a dream come true. Emily is a chocolate junkie, “Grey’s Anatomy” fan, and admirer of good music. She loves summer rains, warm blankets on cold winter nights, as well as traveling, sleeping in late, watching TV shows, cooking, and baking. When she’s not writing or rewriting, she loves spending time with family and friends.

Find Emily at:






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Monday, December 22, 2014

New Release from Jennifer Simpkins ~ Headfirst into Home (Guess who helped pick the title?)

Guess who helped pick the title? Yes, me!

Headfirst into Home
By: Jennifer Simpkins

Blurb:
Coming off of a divorce, Rachel Young’s focus is on moving forward and making a life for her and her daughter. When ex-baseball hottie, Ty Robinson, waltzes back into her life, tempting her with his kisses, forming a bond with her daughter, and making promises for their future, she willingly gives him her heart.

Ty has harbored a deep desire for small town beauty, Rachel, for the past ten years. Fate dropped her in his path when they were teenagers, leading to one magical night. Following an injury, he has come home, determined to prove to Rachel he is home for good.

After a life changing phone call, Ty is faced with taking another opportunity at playing the game he’s always loved and the woman and child that have stolen his heart. In the end, is he capable of giving Rachel what she needs—a sense of home and most importantly, honesty?

Excerpt:
With all the laughter and cracking of the billiard balls, Rachel was amazed she’d even heard the bell ding above the entrance door, either announcing or saying good-bye to a customer. People were coming in, while others were making it an early night and heading home. This was one of those rare nights where she didn’t have to be home at a certain time. Her mom responsibilities were put on hold for the next twelve hours. Her daughter was safe and happy, and Rachel was set on having a good time.
She saw him first.
If she was smart she would’ve sank down in the booth, trying to make herself unnoticeable or give him the hint she still wasn’t interested in talking. It was the same way she treated him after…well, after the night that changed her life. She was still on the fence as to if that change was a good thing…or a very bad thing.
Turns out she wasn’t smart. At least not when sinfully, sexy Ty Robinson stood just feet away from where she sat. Smart and Ty never had gone hand in hand with her. He clouded her judgment—always had. She sat up straight, almost announcing herself to him, begging him to waltz in her direction.
His warm gaze locked on her instantly. Was he surprised to see her? She couldn’t tell. But from what she could tell by his wide grin, flashing pearly whites, he didn’t look unpleasant at the sight of her. That was a good sign.
“Mmm…” God, did she just sigh out loud. No, it wasn’t fair he still could turn her brain to mush. How was that even possible?
“What’s that?” Morgan asked, her eyes narrowed. “What’s wrong with you? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
No, it wasn’t a ghost, not by a long shot. She would have been a lot safer if the man standing just feet away from her, looking like the hottest thing ever to grace The Eight Ball, was paranormal. A fitted gray T-shirt stretched over a formed chest, revealing muscular—but not overwhelming—tanned arms. Was it possible he’d grown taller since the last time she’d seen him? He had to be at least six feet plus inches. Long legs filled the luckiest faded pair of blue jeans. And here she thought seeing him on television, under the blazing sun, perspiration forming above his brow, and with an intense expression as he sized up his opponent in the batter’s box was enough to get her juices flowing. Watching his baseball games were entertaining, but didn’t come close to seeing him up close.
Rachel couldn’t will herself to look away. “I can’t believe he’s back. Why is he here?” Ty’s sister, Stacey, one of her best friends, never said anything about her twin brother coming back to town. At least not to Rachel, she didn’t. Could it have been Stacey didn’t even know? “I wonder if Stacey has seen him yet.” Another thought came to mind. It was enough to turn her attention back on Morgan. “How do I look?”
“You look like you always do. Why is who back? And what does it have to do with Stacey? I’m sorry, Rach, but you’re not making a lick of sense.”
Rachel fiddled with the paper napkin under her glass of wine, too afraid to look up again. “Ty. Ty Robinson just walked in.”
Before Rachel could tell her friend not to make it obvious they were talking about him by whipping her head around, Morgan was already turned completely around in the booth, eyes fixated on Ty. “Oh. My. God. It’s really him, isn’t it?”
Isn’t that what she had just said? “Morgan,” Rachel said through clenched teeth. “He’s looking right at us. Can you please turn your ass back around? Geez!”
“What do you think this means?” Morgan asked, once again facing forward. “I think he retired the end of last season. I think I heard it was some kind of arm injury. Do you think he’s back for good?”
Opening Day, something she only knew because it was considered a holiday in Lincoln Springs, was a little over three weeks ago. And since he was in Lincoln Springs and not playing under the big lights, it was safe to say the rumors of Ty retiring after only playing six years in the Major Leagues was true.
“I’m not sure what it all means.”
“Well, it’s not like he hasn’t been back in the past ten years. He used to visit once a year.”
This time felt different. In the past ten years Rachel had only seen glimpses of Ty around town when he would come to visit his family. She had stayed away, never even offering a hello to him, because of her marriage to James. As far as she knew he hadn’t been in town in the last three years.
The already loud bar got even louder as everyone figured out the biggest thing to come out of Lincoln Springs had returned. A lot of hellos were given, a lot more slaps on the back…and of course women appeared out of every corner like cockroaches, swarming around him.
Rachel casually sipped her wine, peeking over the rim of the glass to catch another eyeful of an all grown-up Ty Robinson. In the past couple years she’d caught a few of his games. Because he played on the West Coast, the games were always on late. Sometimes after she’d put Brooklyn to bed and had a few minutes to sit back and relax, she would turn on a California Wolverines game. She wasn’t always sure what exactly was happening on the ball field, but…God, the things that man could do to her. She didn’t have to understand all the ins and outs of baseball to appreciate the sight of him in a pair of uniform pants.
Leisurely walking through the crowd of people, shaking hands with guys he’d grown up with, smiling at all the pretty girls who fluttered their eyelashes at him, Rachel watched him make his way toward the booth she and Morgan shared.
“Don’t look,” Rachel said. She felt it was important to remind Morgan of that right off the bat. What was up with her and baseball terms tonight? “He’s coming over here.”

* * * *

Buy link:


Bio:

Jennifer has always been an avid reader, but it wasn't until she became a stay-at-home mom did she start to read romance. Her passion of reading romance turned into another passion she had as a child—writing. One late night of writing about sexy heroes and strong-willed heroines turned into two nights, until seven months later she had written her first novel.

She lives in a small, North Carolina town with her supportive husband (whose dream is to be on the cover of one of her books), a beautiful daughter, and two dogs who can’t seem to get along. If she's not writing you can find her reading, hanging out with her family, or cheering on the New York Yankees.



Other Books by Jennifer:

Moving On
Trusting Patience (Patience #3)
Loving Patience (Patience #2)
Forgiving Patience (Patience #1)

Connect with Jennifer:






Monday, November 24, 2014

Pre-Release Blitz ~ The Sweetest Taboo (IR/erotic/BDSM)





All About Harper Miller

Harper Miller is a thirty-something native New Yorker. She’s traveled the world and lived in a variety of places but always finds her way back to the Big Apple.


A lackluster love life leaves time to explore new interests, for Harper it is writing. The Sweetest Taboo is her debut novel. In her mind the perfect Alpha male possesses intellect, humor, and a kinky streak that rivals the size of California.

When she isn’t writing, Harper utilizes her graduate degree in the field of medical research. She enjoys fitness-related activities, drinking copious amounts of wine, and going on bad dates.

I write because book boyfriends are AWESOME! #singleindieauthorproblems

You can also send me a friend request on Facebook. I love befriending fans! 




Synopsis

New York City, Late Summer 2009


Like many single women who reside in the city that never sleeps, Micah
Foster has had numerous encounters with undesirable men that make her
want to renounce love. Just when she’s
on the verge of calling it quits in her quest to find love and a
sustainable relationship with a Dominant man, her friend Kisa requests
her company for a girl’s night out at Spanxxx, a local fetish club. Both
Kisa and Micah are seasoned submissive players in the BDSM lifestyle.
Micah has been involved in the scene since her early twenties, but she
has yet to meet a Dominant she meshes with and takes seriously. Now, at
age thirty, she continues to search for a connection that repeatedly
eludes her. Under duress, she crosses paths with Dominant Rick Thomas.
Unusual and dire circumstances bring the pair together, and he’s exactly
what Micah has been searching for.

The Sweetest Taboo is aptly
titled. It’s an unconventional erotic love story that provides a
different perspective of a relationship involving D/s and BDSM. The
reader will follow Micah and Rick’s journey from beginning to end.
You’ll laugh, you'll be turned on, and most of all, you’ll find yourself
cheering for their love.

*Disclaimer* If rough sex, an
interracial pairing (Black woman/White man), D/s, and BDSM are of no
interest to you, you should bypass this story. Intended for a mature and
kinky audience. Recommended for adults 18+.





 Random fun facts about Harper

1. I enjoy porn. *bow chica wow wow*
2. I was a professional Dominatrix for a spell. They say write what you know!

3. I'm a pop culture junkie! You'll see a few pop culture references in
my novel. I'm full of useless pop culture information and was once a
semi-finalist on Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my favorite show of all time! #teamAngel
5. My favorite movies are: Purple Rain, Desperately Seeking Susan, A Fish Called Wanda, and The Crow
6. I still watch cartoons. Jem and the Holograms is my favorite. It's truly, truly, truly outrageous.

7. I wrote The Sweetest Taboo because I wanted to see an Alpha hero
that wasn't a douche! A lot of tales involving BDSM tend to make the
hero hard nosed and unlikeable. Rick Thomas completely tosses that
ideology aside. He's physically attractive, sensitive, direct, and he's
looking for the perfect sub.
8. I went to Catholic school most of my life hehe. The bad girl was always waiting to come out.
9. I hate rollercoasters.

10. I loveeeee to read and I've missed reading these past few months.
My favorite authors are Zadie Smith, Toni Morrison, Octavia Butler, Tess
Gerritsen, and Nicci French.




Excerpt:

“Afternoon.” I shoved My
hands down into the pockets of My lab coat before I did something
unprofessional. “Are you all ready to go?”


she nodded. “Yes, Dr. Thomas. The nurse brought my discharge papers a
few hours ago. i was just packing my stuff before heading out, but i’m
glad You stopped by. i wanted to thank You for Your help.

“i
can’t tell You how humbled i am by Your act of kindness. You saved my
life, and i will be forever grateful,” she said as her eyes darted
around the room, looking everywhere but at Me. she shoved a sweater into
her bag with less care than she took with her other clothing.

her words were sincere, but for whatever reason, I must have made her
nervous, although I wasn’t sure why. she gathered the plastic bag and
her purse before quickly brushing past Me and exiting the room.

This was not how I envisioned things going. I increased My pace and
caught up with micah at the nurse’s station. It was all or nothing; I
only had a few moments to make an impression.

“ms. foster? micah?” I called out. I composed Myself as I approached her.

she slowed her pace, bid farewell to the nurses, then turned in My
direction. I jumped at the opportunity, unable to wait a moment longer.
“ms. foster, I was hoping to speak with you before you left. Once you
signed the discharge papers, the doctor-patient relationship ended. That
means I’m no longer your treating physician and you’re no longer My
patient. With that said, I have a question I’d like to ask. Please hear
Me out. Don’t take this the wrong way . . .”

her facial expression was unreadable, so I continued.

“I’m not trying to be a creep, but I would regret letting you leave
today without at least giving this a fair shot. I sincerely apologize if
you feel this is inappropriate or too forward, but ms. foster, I’d love
your company for a drink or dinner . . . whichever you’d prefer. Will
you allow Me to take you out?”

Waiting for her answer seemed to
take an eternity. she didn't look at My face; instead her gaze landed
somewhere around the name embroidered on the left breast pocket of My
lab coat. her lower lip found its way between her teeth as she stared,
apparently deep in thought. In what seemed to be a delayed reaction, she
gawked up at My face, clearly surprised by My question.

Was
she put off by the entire idea or just caught off guard by My request?
Either way, her answer would let Me know which way she was leaning. I
just hoped to God she wasn’t leaning toward no.

she finally provided Me a small reprieve. “You want to take me out?”

“Yes.”

“Like on a date?”

“Yes,” I replied again.

“i’m sorry, Dr. Thomas, but i don’t date,” she said, dismissing Me as she continued toward the elevators.

Oh, she was going to make this interesting. her flippant attitude
bothered the hell out of Me, but I was going to see this through. I
quickly followed in an attempt to catch her before the elevator doors
opened and she walked out of My life.

Coming to select e-book retailers on 11/27 Thanksgiving Day!

Bio:

Harper Miller is a thirty-something native New Yorker. She’s traveled
the world and lived in a variety of places but always finds her way back
to the Big Apple.

A lackluster love life leaves time to
explore new interests, for Harper it is writing. The Sweetest Taboo is
her debut novel. In her mind the perfect Alpha male possesses intellect,
humor, and a kinky streak that rivals the size of California.

When she isn’t writing, Harper utilizes her graduate degree in the field
of medical research. She enjoys fitness-related activities, drinking
copious amounts of wine, and going on bad dates.








 Where to find Harper 




Goodreads author profile: http://www.goodreads.com/authorharpmill




Pre-Order Sweetest Taboo Today!















Friday, November 21, 2014

$5 Amazon Gift Card & 43 other prizes! Cranberries n' Spice Blog Hop




Sometimes, you have to lose something to appreciate what you have. That's the situation my heroine finds herself in in my recent release, TuDawgs. Melody "Nicey" Alexander has lost everything, thanks to her affair with the lieutenant governor, but she's about to find out that what she has left is more than enough. The story is an erotic romp through a carnival, a tale about a bad girl and a carnie, and how to find your way back home. 

I'm giving away a $5 Amazon gift card and  (1) ebook copy of TuDawgs. 


We soon reached the double-length booth. Cheap glassware glittered under hot lights. Glasses, baking dishes, clear plates, coffee cups, and ash trays were stacked so the easy-to-land tosses would net something small or garish. The more desirable items perched on rotating platforms. Squinting, I studied the wares.

The booth attendant approached. I handed over eight quarters and got back twenty-five dimes. “Uh, you miscounted.” I handed five coins back, raising my voice to be heard over the guy calling bingo in the next tent.

“Nah, you’re good,” the young man assured me, darting a look at Carnie from under raised brows. He curled my fingers over the coins. “Keep ‘em. Call it a customer loyalty bonus.”

Carnie snorted and glared at the teenager. “Yeah, right.” Was he jealous? The kid couldn’t be twenty.

I spied a red casserole dish with a clear glass lid. There were several more scattered throughout the display, in various sizes. I pointed to one about three inches square, atop of one of the rotating stands. The small ones would be the hardest to win, since it’d be easier for the dime to slide off the miniscule surface. The dishes were perfect to hold leftovers when my mother cooked for one—after I found a way to move out.

“Aim for those.” I pointed.

Carnie huffed. “You say that like my mama doesn’t need new drinking glasses.”

His aggrieved look made me burst out laughing. He was easy to be around. God, did I ever need someone easy to be around.

“Okay, but if I stick this dime, you’re kissing me.” He waved the coin under my nose.

“And if you miss?”

“I kiss you.”

I threw my dime. “You must know a lot of dumb women.” The coin skidded across the bottom of the upended dish and fell off the other side.

The attendant yelled, “Winner! Winner!” He reached into the display and turned, sitting a striped tea glass in front of me. I slid the tumbler in front of Carnie.

“Looks like you’re not going home to mama empty-handed after all.” I took aim again, breathing deep and trying to calm down, so I could take a little off my throw. The dime struck the same spot as before and began to skid. I grabbed Carnie’s arm, jumping up and down. “Stop. C’mon, stop!”

The leading edge hung over the side, but the coin stayed on the dish.

“We got us another winner!” the young carnival worker cried. He lifted the tablecloth and grabbed an identical dish from a big box underneath. After popping the lid on top, he placed my prize on the railing in front of me.

“I think you’re a ringer,” Carnie said, poking me in the rib. “Tell the truth. You throw dimes for a living.”
“No, but I used to rake them in.” He raised a brow and I regretted bring up the topic. No sense getting depressed. “I’m two for two… and you?” I faked a grin, overwhelmed by a surge of longing for my former position as fundraising director for a children’s charity.

He dragged his dime along the side of his jaw. Think about that nice, square jaw. Not Deuce Tattersall or the job he cost me.

“For the record, I prefer intelligent women.” Carnie’s coin struck the side of the dish I’d hit. He laughed when the dime bounced off and landed on the white table covering. “Looks like you get a kiss.”

Why not? I lifted my chin as he moved close. His body blocked out the hustle and bustle around us. The rock and roll rhythm blaring from the nearby rides pounded through me. He moved one hand to the small of my back, pulling me against him. But he took his sweet time lowering his head.

There’s a place between being manhandled and being handled by a man that turns my will to water. Carnie made himself at home in that spot.

He didn’t try to take more than I offered. No tongue forced itself into my mouth. His lips were firm, yet soft. I enjoyed the way his hands felt on my body. His warmth was welcome in the crisp, evening air. This is nice.

When Carnie raised his head, he stared into my eyes for a long moment, then leaned in again. This time, he brushed his lips back and forth over mine. The soft friction generated a tingle that lingered on my lips long after he pulled away and sailed his dime through the air.

Very nice. I couldn’t keep staring, so I looked for an easier dish to aim for. His coin struck the side of the dish but ricocheted onto the ground. “Oh, look. You get another kiss.”

He turned toward me. My heart skipped a beat when his lips touched mine. I expected another chaste kiss, but he teased his way inside my mouth. I forgot about the stupid dishes. I forgot my vow to give up bad boys. I forgot I was only with him to piss Molly off. All I could think was how good he tasted and how damn well he kissed.

 Stroke for stroke, I responded eagerly, exploring him and letting him explore me. I slid my hands underneath the denim jacket, enjoying the way his muscles felt against my palms.

“Hey, Brass. You gonna pitch a dime or pitch a tent?” The young attendant snickered.

What kind of name is Brass? Insider joke, no doubt about his balls. Nobody named their kid Brass. I decided to stick with Carnie.

Carnie broke away with a growl. Wordlessly, he tossed his entire handful of dimes over his shoulder and put his hand at the small of my back again, pulling me closer. Pressed to his chest, my nipples began to throb. The sensation echoed between my thighs.

“Damn, brother. You trying to break me?” Glass clinked behind us when the attendant moved his winnings to the wide rail at Carnie’s back. Paper rattled, but I was lost in the man.

“Hey, lady. Isn’t this you?”

I broke away and stared in horror at the crumpled newspaper the young man held up. My face stared back, schooled into the mask I wore walking into the Columbia FBI office with my hands locked into steel cuffs.
The bold headline screamed. Lt. Governor’s Mistress Set Free in Children’s Charity Scam Case.

Set free. Not “exonerated,” but set free, like little elves worked some magical spell to conceal my guilt. No one conceals guilt from the FBI. Those bastards ripped my life apart until they knew which brand of tampons I prefer. No, their investigation was more intense than that. They knew which coupons I’d clipped for those tampons were expired. 
 ~*~*~*~
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