Romance cover model John Quinlan looks so hot in this pic, I think I'm gonna write him into an episode of Carmine Club. I already have a title for it: Come to Bed. (chuckle) Maybe we can all drop by his Facebook fan page and ask if he'd prefer to be in an episode exploring the female fantasy of being with two men at once, or if the idea of being dominated by a woman floats his boat? (He'll kill me if you do!) But I'm inspired, not to mention feeling some serious brand loyalty for Tommy Hilfiger at the moment.
Contact links for John. He loves to hear from his fans. I wonder how many e-mails start with : "Oh my god, you're so hot I wanna rub ice all over you?"
(unedited excerpt from Carmine Club no. 01, Forceful Negotiations)
Pleased to say this story went off to Tammy Parks for editing yesterday, so I might be able to announce a launch date soon. You can tell from poking around on my blog, I'm still obsessing over the cover, but Tammy's offered me a Gimp intervention. She plans to install a zapper on my keyboard if I open the file again to edit it. I kinda hope her tekkie skills aren't as highly developed as her editing skill. :/
The seductive scent of java and the knowledge Joseph Gilante would be camped out in her workroom made Teague hurry down the hall and into the room at the back of her shop. Joseph was the type of man to wipe his damn feet.
Or not. An empty creamer container whizzed past her nose when she stepped through the door, hitting the edge of the tall metal trash can beside her work table and careening away. Skidding across the linoleum, the plastic bottle left a trail of white liquid in its wake. Jerking backwards, she forgot about her wet shoes. Joseph's dark eyes registered guilt when she glared at him and snapped. "If that's the last of the creamer, then thank you for making me a cup of coffee."
He flashed incredibly white teeth. Teague was convinced the man had a crush on his dentist. "Well, hello, Miss McBitchy Tits." Joe's deep voice rumbled in the quiet room. "Did the doctor choke on the cloud of dust he had to wade through to check your girlie parts, or is the poor fella okay?"
There were times having a gay man for a best friend was a pain in the ass. Though he cultivated the blue-collar look of a carpenter, with his worn jeans and shaggy dark waves, he abhorred manual labor. The muscles straining his sleeves came from long gym workouts, not lifting bricks and boards. Shoving the hood off her hair, Teague stalked across the workroom. His broad shoulders shook with amusement, causing coffee to slosh from the Styrofoam cup. Teague smiled grimly when the hot liquid ran down the front of his shirt. Grabbing a napkin, he dabbed at the stain, muttering curses.
She narrowed her gaze. "McBitchy tits? Seriously? First you drink all my creamer, then you have the nerve to call me Miss McBitchy Tits? Did you hear the joke about the self-fulfilling prophecy?"
Abandoning the effort to clean his white sweatshirt, Joe tossed the wadded towel on the counter. Raising the cup, he pursed his lips and blew across the steaming surface. Mischief danced in his eyes, despite his effort to look wounded. Teague plucked the cup from between his large fingers and steeled herself for what he might say next.
"When have I ever not replaced the creamer? Fresh bottle, in the fridge. And your mail's on the table under the newspaper. Not one customer came in while you were gone. And why didn't you get the doc to oil your parts? I hear somethin' squeakin'."
Flushing, Teague snapped, "Some redneck over compensatin' with tires three sizes too big for his pickup relocated a puddle onto my shoes." Turning her back on him to shove aside the newspaper littering her worktable, she sipped the hot liquid. Sorting through the stack of envelopes and colorful fliers, she spied Declan Corporation's logo—the one beginning to pop up on sold signs plastered to buildings in the blocks behind theirs. Teague slammed the cup on the table and snatched up a red pen Joe had used to circle some real estate listings. She wrote the same message across the front of the envelope in a slashing handwriting. Return to sender, addressee unknown. These Declan folks were hard of learnin', her grandfather would've said.
Joseph's large hands squeezed her shoulders and his warm breath ruffled her hair. "Sweetheart, they know you live in this building. That's not fooling anyone."
Squeezing her eyes shut against the sting of tears, Teague couldn't help the note of accusation in her tone. "You're goin' to sell out, aren’t you, Joe?"
"It's called turnin' a profit, little bit. They agree to my figures and I'm gone. Sell this damn building, Teague. Buy something smaller. Hell, have a real artist's studio built. Jorge didn't leave you this place to tie you down. He left it to you to give you wings."
Teague had no intention of selling her building to Declan Corporation. They could build their fancy new headquarters around her for all she cared. Joe bought and sold commercial property the way she bought and sold gold, but this was home. She tried to picture her workroom devoid of his big body. More than the space felt empty.
Thanks for droppin' by. Have a great week!