Monday, April 29, 2013

Guarding the Line ~ Chapter 5

Wow, I was so busy last week, I don't think I saw a single game. Caught the end of yesterday's loss on the radio. The Brave's still have single-digit losses, and for now, still rest at the top of the NL East, but we have a long way to go.

Soft Sounds of Pleasure, compete with new cover art and a few hundred words lighter, should be available on Amazon again by May 1. All other outlets to follow in due time. I sometimes wonder if the people at iTunes read every word before they put something up. Still waiting on a couple of books to go live there. (sigh)

“Why wouldn’t I be?” she replied. “He’s harmless, but irritating. I hate it when guys just think it’s okay to—”  She cut off the sentence, staring at him.
“Touch you without an invitation?” he guessed.  She swallowed hard before nodding.  “Sure, I’d like a beer, thanks.”
He stared at her hungrily as she pulled the tap, lingering over the lush curves of her full breasts, and her waist beneath the form-fitting corset. The pants hugged her ass, showing off more curves he longed to touch.  He’d seen her without the pants, after all, seen her stretched out completely naked except for sinful lace panties. He knew long legs were hidden under that leather and he wanted them wrapped around him.  Stop, he scolded himself.  The last thing she wanted was some other asshole touching her without her consent.
She placed a coaster in front of him before sitting the glass down.
“So, it’s Vee, right? I’m Mike,” he added helpfully. “Thane introduced us.”
“I remember,” she said. “And yes, it’s Vee.”
“What’s that short for?”
He picked up the beer, still looking at her. “So, Verity, what are we doing on this break of yours?  How about a dance?”
She laughed, polishing the expanse of bar to his right. “It’s okay. I was just getting rid of Reno.  I usually hide out in my car. Staff’s not supposed to dance, or mingle with the guests.”
“You always do what you’re supposed to do?  That sounds kind of…lightweight to me.”  Damn, those eyes were fantastic.  He’d always hoped they’d turn out to be real.
She cut him a glance that made his heart stop in his chest. “So, a dance with you is supposedly worth getting fired?”
“Probably not. I don’t claim to be the best dancer in the world.  But, we could go somewhere and you could let me see that tat.”
She darted a look around and put one finger over her lips. “Shh, I haven’t come out about that yet, and I have relatives who work here.  The staff gossips like crazy.  It’s seriously a secret.”
“So, I get to see it, or I rat you out.”
“Blackmail’s not very nice.  I think I’d rather risk getting fired and see how badly you dance.”
“Vee, sorry we forgot about you back here. Go take your break, make it a long one.”
They both looked at the woman who appeared behind the bar.
“Thanks, Angie,” Vee replied. “Where’s Sage?”
“In her office, I think.  Do you need her?”
Vee laughed again, a sound he already loved. She glanced toward him, mischief in her eyes. “No, my customer here wants to dance with me.  I just wanted to know if the coast was clear.” 
“Like she’d fire you.” This new woman gave him an appraising look. “Besides, it’s packed out there. How would she see you in the midst of all that insanity?  Go. Take your time.  I got this.” 
The two women bent their heads over the register. Mike downed the beer before tossing a twenty on the bar.  He waited for her to approach him, and felt his heart start to pound as she rounded the bar and held out her hand. He took it, feeling the adrenaline of attraction speed through his veins.
As soon as they reached the crowded main room, the crush of bodies slowed their progress. She wound her way determinedly toward the center of the big dance floor. Talking was out of the question.  The music vibrated through him. She finally reached the place she wanted to be, smiling seductively before turning and beginning to move in time with the music.  She’d selected a place under one of the club’s spotlights, and she danced as if she knew that was where she belonged.
He could hardly tear his eyes away. He watched her hips move in time with the music.  She wasn’t looking at him.  Her eyes were closed, her head tilted back.  He stopped bothering to pretend he was dancing, only watched her. The crowd pulled back a bit, everyone around them watched her, too.  The way she danced was primal, slightly sinful in her complete lack of self-consciousness.  He saw her glance over her shoulders, caught the taunt in her eyes as she spun around, then moved closer to him, beginning a slow torture.
He felt her breasts touch his chest, saw her lean away, only to feel her hip nudge the erection her dance provoked.  He moved with her, but refused to give in to his desire to touch her, mindful of her comment in the bar.  Her hand slipped down his arm, hitting bare skin after skimming over the short sleeve of his t-shirt, tracing an electrifying trail down his arm.  Reaching his hand, her eyes never left his. She brought his fingers to her lips, pressed them to his index finger, just before she flicked her tongue over the rough pad.
He groaned as need throbbed in his cock. With a naughty look, she sunk her teeth into the place her tongue had laved. Shock waves of desire hit his groin. He fought the urge to throw her over his shoulder and find somewhere they could be alone.  He curled his free hand around her waist, underneath her hair, caressing the soft flesh above the low waistband of her pants and slowly drew her body to his.
Time, and even the music, disappeared as she melted against him. They barely moved, yet were never still. Her breath fanned his chest. He inhaled the scent of her hair, and reveled in the way her curves felt, pressed against him. Her head fit neatly just under his chin. Her nails raked the fabric of his shirt, up and over the muscles of his back, then down again.  He groaned again, and tightened his grip on her waist, pressing her less gently into his erection.
He felt her move, looked down to see her face tilted up to his, lost himself in those jewel-like eyes before allowing his gaze to settle on the soft, full lips.  He bent his head to kiss her.  Their lips touched, sending another ripple of need through his veins. Her lips parted, and damn, he wasn't going to miss this opportunity. She’d been seducing him for an hour. Time to give her what she’d been asking for.
And she didn’t simply kiss him back.  Oh, no, her silky tongue drove him to new heights of desire.  She tasted like sweet fruit, felt like wet silk.
He felt her stiffen and start to pull away. He let her go, regret singing in his veins. She turned, but not before giving the front of his shirt a tug. Again, she worked her way through the crush of bodies, but he saw several men look at him with envy. No doubt, they’d watched her dance.  His zipper was probably imprinted on his cock for life. He surreptitiously tried to adjust matters before they got off the dance floor.
She walked straight to the closest bar, signaling him to wait. Slipping behind the glossy black length,  pulled two sleek bottles—also black, everything in this joint was black—out of a cooler with a nod to the bartender.
“Let’s go outside.” She rose on tiptoe and spoke into his ear, placing one of the bottles in his hand.
“Been following you all night.”  More like looking for her all his life. Too bad his dreams never showed him what happened next. Guess that's up to me.
He followed her again. This time, she passed the table where his teammates were seated.  Victor gave him the thumbs up as they walked by. Mike grinned, giving them a cocky wave.
Once through the door, he gazed around, taking in the sight. The center of the glassed-in patio held mostly empty tables, each with a flickering candle at the center.  He saw Vee turn to her left, and realized she was talking to a man dressed in black, who stood behind some sort of podium.  He supposed she was getting them a table.  Looking around while the guy consulted a book in front of him, Mike realized the boundaries of the patio were defined by black curtains about seven feet high, draped from red-lacquered poles, above which he could see the lights of the city.  It was oddly disconcerting, that black fabric. She turned towards him, beckoning him again.
He followed, wondering where the hell she was going. Does she want to push back the curtains and look out at the view? Obsidian was on top floor of a building at the edge of downtown Atlanta. He supposed the view was worth looking at, but the scenery wasn't as interesting as the woman he was following. He glanced at his watch, wondering how much time they had before she had to go back to work. She stopped and pulled back the curtain to reveal piles of red and black cushions in front of small ledge set in front of a massive pane of plate glass. He felt his jaw drop.
He stepped inside. She followed, allowing the heavy curtain to swing closed behind her. She evaded his grasp and shoved aside some of the pillows, revealing an upholstered bench running the length of the counter. No fucking wonder his buddies had been grinning, assuming they knew what was out here. The music was muted, a faint throb in the background, allowing him to hear the sounds of lovemaking coming from the curtained hideaways on either side.

To be continued 5/6. Like the story? You can catch up on Chapters 1-4 here.

Kathleen's on vacation this week, but be sure to check in on Jennifer Simpkins. I have to admit, the Yankees are getting the job done, even with some pretty big holes in their lineup. Dang, I really wanted to yank Jennifer's chain this week...but it's early yet. And I'm the patient sort. :p

Thanks for dropping in! Have a great week.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Taut Silk and Cherry Lip Gloss ~ #SexySnippets

 If you came in search of the Magic Touch Giveaway Blog Hop, click here. I'm still giving away copies of Breaking Glass until April 30th.    

    According to the rules, I can't tease you with snippets from Forceful Negotiations, since it's been published, and I'll bet I don't have seven sentences of the next Carmine Club story, Kink and Ink, written--none I'd put up anyway-- so here's seven from a new interracial story, tentatively titled Rain On Me

She shook the water off the postcard and squinted at the melting words while Ray tried to drag his gaze away from her lips. Behind her head, stiff tines stretched the crimson silk taut. Rain battered the thin membrane, driving nature's rhythm into his blood.
     He found himself watching her eyelids move from side to side. He wanted to run his finger across the tight curls formed by her lashes. She didn't have on any makeup, only the lip gloss. Damn, why was he imagining this young woman wearing nothing but that slick coat of color?

      Be sure to read the sexy snippets from the other participants. Check the links here, or follow on Twitter or FacebookThanks for dropping in. Have a great week!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Hot Man and a Quickie ~ How to Handle a Blackmailer

The hot man:

Congratulations to our resident hot man, John Quinlan. John's been named an official model for Alpha Male Underwear. Meaning...more pics like this! 

If the news isn't enough to make you happy, I'm delighted to announce a new twist on the Saturday quickie, beginning in May. John's agreed to answer one or two quick questions each week. (insert evil laugh). Also beginning next week, I hope to be posting snippets from Kink and Ink, Carmine Club Book 2, which will feature John on the cover.
Stalk John here:

The quickie:
I stuck with the underwear theme for this week's quickie:

(Excerpt from Incidental Contact, Those Devilish De Marcos, Book 3-unedited and subject to deletion)
Closing the door to shut out the cold, she saw Eric,  already feeding wood into the stove in the den. "Mornin'." He grinned. "I see someone's cold."
Her nipples had beaded from the chill in the basement. The idea he might warm them up was appealing, but the proposal stayed on her mind. She waved the bucket. "I was thinking about the migrant camp. Tell me more about it while you make your coffee."
"The camp's just always been there," he answered with a shrug, closing the doors on the stove and striding into the kitchen to grab the canister of grounds. "Every summer when the caravans started driving past the farmhouse on their way up to the camp, I got excited. Everybody on a farm works. Kids included. We never got so much as a dime to help, but in the evenings I didn't want to leave camp." He flashed the grin that always made her wet and needy. "I remember the first time my grandfathers decided I was old enough to stay overnight in one of the bunkhouses. I couldn't sleep, I was so excited. There's a communal kitchen, mostly run by older women who couldn't work in the orchards. Some of the workers played musical instruments, and they'd all sing after dinner. The younger ones sometimes danced."
Amy couldn't help but wonder if that attraction had been due to the fact there were mothers in the camp, women looking after their families. "Why did the peach farm shut down?" she asked, her interest piqued. Grabbing up a section of the newspaper, she began covering the counter while he filled the carafe with water and poured it into the reservoir of his small coffee maker.
Eric filled the reservoir and punched the button. Amy tipped the bucket's contents onto the newsprint. Moving closer, he reached into a bucket for a pine cone, his eyes open wider now.  She gave his bare chest an appreciative glance. Her nipples were warming up, but no less hard.
"My two grandfathers were farmers. Dad was into cars. Rafe's father outlived Nance by maybe five months. With both of 'em gone, my father inherited the land. The garage was making money and Dad was done with farming. He leased the orchards out for a while." His shoulders hitched up and down before laying the pine come on the newsprint, turning it with long fingers that made her think of the way they felt rasping her skin. "A long run of late freezes put a bunch of local peach farmers out of business. The sharecroppers lost their shirts." He frowned, turning away to pull open the door to the freezer. "What about lunch? I've got all the ingredients to make a taco casserole that's pretty good." He set a package of ground beef into the sink. "The camp fascinated me, not growing peaches." He moved to stand beside the coffee pot, glaring at the slow trickle of dark liquid.
Wearing nothing but a pair of snowy boxers, the man was gorgeous. It was Sunday morning. They were alone in cabin in the woods. Amy forgot about projects and her parents. She wanted Eric now, not after he'd had three cups of coffee. "For twenty bucks, I won't tell Lila you know how to cook."
His grin was lopsided when he looked over his shoulder. "Have I ever shown you how I deal with pint-sized blackmailers?" He closed the small distance between them.
Her heart stuttered when his gaze raked her. His eyes seemed to turn more blue.
He wrapped his hand around hers, tugging her down the short hall to his bedroom. Grabbing her around the waist, he tossed her gently onto the bed. His boxers couldn't hide his burgeoning erection, but he surprised her by turning away. Grabbing two of the wrought iron handles to pull open a drawer in a dresser made from pine and decorated with knots the color of rust, he began to toss rolled-up athletic socks over his shoulder. They landed on the tangled sheets, bouncing across the quilt made of multi-colored squares. Amy lay there, enjoying looking at his strong back and thighs. Muscles rippled beneath his dark skin. When the drawer had to be empty, he turned, still holding one pair of socks. Unrolling them, he held her gaze while he knotted them together.
"Oh." Her heartbeat kicked up like a hurricane, but she smiled, thinking of his promise to identify every single thing that turned her on. She'd never been tied up to have sex before, but was game to give it a try.
"Oh, yes." He unrolled another pair, tying them to the first two. "Your inquisitive little mind's getting busy now, wondering what I might do to you when you're all tied up. You might even be getting a little bit wet."
Since he mentioned it, she was. Excitement thrummed in her nipples, streaking toward her clit.
He noticed. "You have the cutest little nipples, did you know that?"

Thanks for dropping in! Have a great week! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Guarding the Line ~ Chapter 4, cont.

Ah, baseball. The great ego equalizer. After the Braves reeled off a 12-1 start, last week was reality-check time. Atlanta lost four out of five games, but they're  tied with the Rockies for the best record in the majors.

And I've sent Forceful Negotiations off to the proofreader, meaning it will hit the shelves at Amazon and other outlets later this week. I swear, I've birthed kids in less time. It was a challenge to sow the seeds for a variety of future stories while still writing one complete love story.

Since my daughter's pregnancy, we've enjoyed more than one egg roll feast and mother/daughter chat. I asked if she was in favor of gays being allowed to marry. Looking at me like I'd grown gills, she drawled,. "Well, duh. Of course I am. I can hardly wait to watch Gay Divorce Court!"

Guarding the Line, Chapter 4, continued.


Last week, we left Mike and Verity in the VIP bar at Obsidian, when Mike realized he'd been dreaming about this woman for quite some time.
“Your choice, then." She set a shot glass on the bar in front of him. Her gaze appeared to roam his chest before she slowly lifted her eyes to his face. Her smile made his pulse kick up like dust in a whirlwind..
“You choose for me,” he said, smiling back. “Pick what you like and how about I buy you one?”
She didn't hesitate, slapping another shot glass on the bar. The thick blanket of her hair swirled around her when she turned away to select a bottle. She returned, tipping the bottle over the glasses and filling them with slightly amber liquid. He got a look at the label. The lady liked tequila, it seemed. He had to admit, her choice of Petron was an excellent one.
She sat the bottle back in its slot and reached for the shot glass.
“What, no salt, no lime?” 
“Lightweight,” she taunted, but she plopped a salt shaker in front of him with an ease that spoke of much practice, along with a dish of lime wedges. With a smirk, she added a pile of napkins. He couldn't respond, so fixed was he on the sight of her tongue sliding slowly along the skin of her left hand between her thumb and forefinger. He wanted to feel that tongue on his skin, wanted to see those gorgeous eyes darken when he—
With a slight shake of his head, he realized she was waiting for him to follow suit. Making sure to hold her gaze, he licked his own hand and sprinkled salt over the spot, lining up a lime wedge before reaching for his shot glass, more to give himself time to calm down than any other reason. God, those eyes. Mike raised his glass. “What are we drinking to?” he managed to rasp. His tongue felt as uncooperative as a new glove.
“Your turn to choose."
Damn, she wasn't giving him anything to work with. He cast around for something, deciding to remind her of their first meeting. “To Thane, then.”
“To Thane,” she agreed, tossing back the shot.
             She drank as if her glass had been filled with water. He realized belatedly she hadn't bothered with either the salt or the lime. But she held his eyes as he licked the salt from his own skin before raising the glass to his lips. He reached for the lime wedge. Recklessly, he offered the fruit to her. When she bit it, still staring into his eyes, he felt her lips brush his fingers, but he couldn't look away from her face. How many nights had he seen her eyes in his dreams? He hadn't believed real people had eyes the color of amethysts, but here she was, close enough to touch.
            The tequila traced fingers of fire down his throat, but the tiny swipe of her tongue across his thumb started a stronger burn south of his stomach. Regret flooded him as she pulled her head back, leaving the lime in his fingers. Still holding her gaze, he inserted the wedge in his mouth. She turned away, breaking the crazy feeling only the two of them existed in the crowded bar.Tossing the peel onto a napkin, he watched as she began fixing another round of drinks for the waitress who suddenly stood to his right. “When’s last call around here?” he asked.
            The scantily-clad girl gave him a knowing look, and then glanced back at the bartender, who was busily mixing drinks, her back to him. “Ten minutes to four,” she said with a groan.
            Mike glanced at his watch. It was only one-thirty. He suppressed a groan of his own. But she was pretty much a captive behind this bar, and he had nothing better to do than wait, and watch. He settled more comfortably into the tall chair.
            She brought the waitress a tray filled with frothy drinks. The girl ambled off with a sigh. The bartender picked up the bottle and poured him another shot. Before he could speak, she walked away again, this time to take orders from a large group that had just settled themselves at the opposite end of the long bar. A guy appeared behind the long slab of black marble, jockeying a keg on a pair of hand trucks. 
            “Did you go to Milwaukee for that?” she demanded.
“Sorry, Vee, its nuts out there. I been trying to get here for an hour.” The guy knelt to manhandle the keg into place.
Vee. What kind of nickname is that? Violet? 
When he finished the chore, the guy stood and pulled the tap until the amber liquid ran in a clear, steady stream. “There ya go, Vee. I’ll get somebody over here so you can have a break.  I guess I forgot that, too, huh?”
“I guess you did,” she agreed. “But its okay. I've been so busy, I forgot I needed one.”
The guy seemed reluctant to leave, Mike noticed. “Sorry, sweetheart, I’ll buy you breakfast to make up for neglecting you.”
Damn it, Mike thought as he listened to their exchange. He felt something lurch in his chest.
“No thanks, Remo. I have something to do after I get off.”
Mike watched through narrowed eyes. The guy with the keg smoothed a strand of her hair off her shoulder, taking the opportunity to let his hand drift a lot closer to her breast than Mike liked. She took a step back. “Aw, Vee, don’t be like that, girl. We both know you got nothing going on at five in the morning. Come on, let me buy you breakfast.” The offending hand moved closer to the dip in the top of her tight corset.
She slapped his hand. “I said, no thanks.” He dropped his hand, but it grazed her hip. half-rising, Mike knew that touch was no accident. She flinched, but her eyes flashed.
Mike watched the asshole grin at her, anger tightening his gut. He recognized the look in the guy’s eyes. It was probably the same look he wore, pure lust. He understood somehow, too, this wasn't the first time the guy had tried to touch her. She’d made it plain enough she didn't want the asshole's hands on her. He could see her dislike in the stiffness of her spine.
“Don’t you have something to do?” she snapped at the guy. “Like find somebody to relieve me, remember?”
The guy took tow steps, but turned back for one more try. “See you on your break, then.”
“Sorry, Reno. I have a better offer,” she spat, tilting her head.
Mike realized she meant him. He couldn’t resist a triumphant grin. The guy glared at him across the bar before striding away.
“Idiot,” she muttered, approaching Mike once more. “You still want that beer?”
“Are you okay?” he asked, wanting to comfort her. Somehow.
“Why wouldn't I be? He’s harmless, but irritating. I hate when guys just think it’s okay to—”  

To be continued on 4/29

Come with me to check in with the other Baseball Babes,
 Jennifer Simpkins and Kathleen Grieve. Oh, and I'm giving away copies of Breaking Glass, the lead-in story to Forceful Negotiations, for leaving a comment on this post and joining my Facebook author page until the 30th. Who knows? I might have to give away a few copies of Forceful Negotiations later this week on Facebook, too. Have a great week!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sexy Snippets ~ Is a Virgin Masterminding Carmine Club?

Happy Sunday. these seven are from Forceful Negotiations, in a scene between two secondary characters who will no doubt get their own story very soon. 

Being alone with him made her nervous, Zach knew. He caught her staring at him all the time, but when he flirted with her the least bit, she blushed and high-tailed it to the closest exit. The woman studies sex, for fuck’s sake. Her contradictory behavior made him suspicious. Willa was the face and driving personality behind the club, but Zach was almost certain Jane was the club’s architect. If a virgin was in charge, making decisions based on only what she read in her textbooks, he wanted to know now, so he could talk Willa into stopping the auctions before anyone got hurt. A career spent defending accused criminals taught him everyone was hiding something.

Read sexy snippets from the other participants. Check the links here, or follow on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks for dropping in. Have a great week! 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Magic Touch Giveaway Hop

Hello, and welcome to my stop on the Magic Touch Giveaway Hop.

I confess, I always wanted a magic wand. Car trouble? Poof! On the road again. Noisy neighbor? Shazaam! Duct tape applied. Evil mother-in-law? Kapow! Now your father-in-law has a pet frog and he owes you big time.

Alas, I have no power over frogs, transmissions, or duct tape. The closest I'll ever get to magical powers is writing about them. I decided to write about the magic contained in a certain set of golden, lust-inducing arrows in my (mildly) paranormal/contemporary erotic romance series, Carmine Club. Some of the characters get a little help from Eros, the Greek god of love, The first story, Forceful Negotiations, is due to be released April 25.

Meanwhile, allow me to wave my not-so-magical wand and make everyone who joins my blog or Facebook author page into a winner! Simply join either the blog or my Facebook page, then leave me a comment telling me which format you'd prefer (.mobi, .epub, or .pdf available) and your e-mail address. I'd be delighted to send you a copy of the lead-in story to the series, Breaking Glass, where we first meet Eros. No drawing, no waiting, no checking back to see who the winner is. Easy as abracadabra!

(excerpt from Forceful Negotiations. All rights reserved.)

Drunk on the luscious perfume of lust, Eros danced down the aisle between the males and the gorgeous women offering themselves as slaves to desire. Tears of joy rolled down his cheeks.  Pumping his fist, he turned in a circle, tearing his gaze away from the females to look up. He wished he had his wings so he could hover beside the ornate cornice molding and see everything. This beautiful room seemed a fit temple to worship the pleasures of the flesh. Wiggling his butt, he leaned over to smile into the upturned face of one lovely maiden, admiring the soft curve of her belly and the way her nipples thrust forward.

Kicking his heels together, he made his way along the row of carts, pausing before each woman to inhale deeply. Desire was such an intoxicating scent. How beautiful they were, each breath making their breasts dance to tempt the males, each soft moan inflaming the men’s desires.

He and Willa were going to get along just fine, he was sure. When the humans were sated and sleeping, he’d pick out his abode. He could scarcely believe his luck. He wouldn’t need his bow. These humans were primed and ready. His head began to spin. Eros could drink for days and only get his tongue wet, but a good gust of lust made him drunker than a sailor on shore leave.

He worked his way down the row, shaking his hips in glee, stopping to smooth a curl here, or run his thumb across a lower lip there. He reached the last cart, giving Teague Tillis an admiring once-over. Peter had sent him to help a friend of hers find his way back to his true love not long ago. An accidental brush of his wings against the artist that day had told Eros what she desired and he hadn’t forgotten the experience. He would’ve traded a precious arrow for just a single feather to slip between her thighs or along her cheek, so he might feel what she felt at this moment. Leaning close enough to kiss her lips, he whispered, “They all look strong and virile, my dear. And you’ve never looked more beautiful.”

Selling herself for desire’s sake seemed noble and brave to Eros.

If you're a glutton for my brand of magic, I'm writing a novel on the blog, with a new chapter posted weekly, on Mondays  Not a bad way to put off the reality of your workweek for just a few minutes longer. You can read the intro and first four chapters here.  The story is based on my belief there should be a downside to having magical powers, to make up to the universe for circumventing the natural order of things. In Guarding the Line, every time magic is used by the race known as the adorii, an unsuspecting human pays the price. 

As part of the Magic Touch Hop, we are giving away envelopes of swag to the first 100 participants who sign up. No requirements other than filling out the form you can find via this link. Each envelope will be different and filled with random goodies.

Click the Linky image blow, and presto! You'll be taken to the list of participating blogs, where in addition to the swag giveaway, you have a chance to win on 52 different blogs . Now, that's magical :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Hot Man and a Quickie ~ Failure to Satisfy the Fantasy? Carmine Club Has a Plan for That.

The Hot Man: 
Romance cover model John Quinlan generously shared a couple of shots
from his bare-it-all photo shoot.
You just wanna reach out and pat that butt, dont'cha?
You can find John in the following places:

This week's excerpt  comes from Forceful Negotiations, which I'm pleased to say should be released on Monday. 

When it was his turn, Cam leaned forward to peer into the opening before releasing his marker. The box stood about six inches tall, but there seemed to be a floor at the halfway point. When Stephens, who was last on the right, added his ball, Willa capped the box and reached for the crank. Three times she turned the cast iron handle, then paused. Feet scuffed impatiently against the white-enameled boards under their feet. “Good luck, gentlemen. Should the winner require a second or third, please make your selections from the men around you. And of course,”—Willa stared directly at Cam—“in the unlikely event the winner fails to satisfy the fantasy, the remaining five will drop their markers again.”
Cam glanced right and left at the faces of his competition, wondering what the hell the woman meant by a second or third? Then the answer hit him. Some of these women want to be with more than one man at a time. Like there was a snowball’s chance in hell he’d fuck a woman with Jordan Stephens? Even worse, what if he failed to satisfy the fantasy? This group would know immediately. How long before every man here knew? He felt a rivulet of sweat trickle down the side of his face. Cam began to hope his ball didn't drop. Not knowing what fantasy he might have to provide seemed diabolical.
            Jesus jumped-up pretty boy Christ. Did he know the first damn thing about women, or did Willa just cater to freaks? 

Thanks for dropping in! Have a great week.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Guarding the Line ~ Chapter 4

Big week. The Braves swept the Nationals and are still firmly perched atop the NL East. I have re-edited Wildly Inappropriate and the story will be available again by the end of the week. daughter's having a girl!

Six days later, Verity Alexander studied her reflection in her vanity mirror. The tattoo had been worth every penny, she decided.  Things were looking up all the way around. Her editor had salivated over the outline and first three chapters of the new story. And, she’d found the ring. Not that the ring was necessarily a good thing. She was still trying to get a reading on that. Her crystals had remained stubbornly mute, as had the gazing ball. She hoped the problem was on her end. a lack of use. With the Watchers in her home, she hadn’t been willing to open her mind to her gift often. The less the Triscaro knew about her, the better.
The sound of the phone interrupted her musing. She grabbed for the phone with one hand and a hand mirror with the other, still studying the tattoo. “Hello?”
“Vee, it’s Sage. I need a favor, please, please, please. You know I wouldn’t ask if I wasn’t desperate.”
“You want me to bartend tonight?” Vee guessed. Sage wouldn’t be begging otherwise.
“That damn Garrity. You were right about him, I caught him stealing last night and fired his ass, but I can’t find another bartender and get them trained overnight. I need you for a week, maybe more because Avery’s in Jamaica. Please, Vee,” Sage wheedled. 
Verity felt the same tangle of feelings she always had toward Sage. Love and exasperation. “I’ll help you, but I’m not splitting my tips.”
“No problem, I’ll kick in your percentage. Be here by nine? The door code’s changed.  7776. Gate code is still the same.”
Vee repeated the number that unlocked the employee entrance door. “For a minute there, I thought you were going patriotic.”
She swallowed her sigh. Sage lived in the moment. And, she’d never been forced to attend school with humans and learn American History the way Verity had until she’d turned twelve. “See you at nine.”
 “I’ll get somebody to prep your bar.” Verity disconnected the call before Sage guilted her into coming in earlier to slice up fruit.

Vee stood in the staff locker room, trying to untangle the strings of jet beads dangling from the hair comb in her hand.  Sage insisted that female staff wear one of two approved hair ornaments, and Vee wasn’t about to use the roaring twenties style headband with feathers.  She could just imagine pieces of the stringy black-dyed ostrich feather landing in someone’s drink as she worked. When the final two strands of beads came loose, she gave her hips a little shake in celebration.
She brushed her hair away from her face, and caught the two strands above each ear, securing them behind her head with the comb, letting the rest fall free down her back.
Glancing at her watch, she realized she needed to get to her post. She gave herself a final once-over in the mirror, turning to look over her shoulder as best she could. The sign on the mirror reminded her to wash her hands. Out of habit, she tucked the small tin of healing ointment into her front pocket before slamming the locker closed, though the ointment had worked so well she doubted she’d need it tonight. The tattoo hadn’t itched the way Thane assured her it would.
Time to go to work.  The VIP bar opened at nine. She prayed someone had actually been assigned to do the prep.
She entered the quiet room and quickly went to work, logging into the computerized register. She occupied herself by setting up the bar back the way she liked it, and checking to be sure every surface sparkled as customers started drifting in. 
Soon, she was busy, too busy to notice when her sister appeared behind the bar.
“Vee, you saved my life.”
Again, Vee thought silently, giving Sage a quick hug. “Don’t mention it. The tips have been fantastic. Don’t you have better things to do than supervise me?  And,”—she shoved her sister aside playfully—“you’re in my way. Oh, and ask somebody to haul up a new keg of Budweiser, would you? I was ashamed to sell the last beer I tried to pour; it was almost pure foam, so I’ve been giving the guy free Bud Light.” She nodded in the direction of the customer who wanted that brand.
Few things annoyed Sage more than her staff giving away profits, Verity knew, hiding her grin. “You could’ve paged somebody,” her half-sister grumbled.
“Like I have time to figure out that complicated intercom system?” Vee plunked the six glasses onto a tray. Brushing past Sage, she delivered the order to the group of eight seated at the long bar.
Customers piled into the bar and Vee once again lost herself in the simple task of filling drink orders, keeping the long bar as sparkling as possible, and washing up glasses. The music seemed to grow louder, if  possible, but she found herself enjoying the band, going so far as to dance a bit as she poured shot after shot of alcohol into glasses, and crafted the elaborate drinks Obsidian featured.
Stacking her tray full of ornate drinks, she spun and felt her elbow connect with the heavy gallon jar of maraschino cherries. A full-blooded adorii could have used her powers to slide the fruit to safety. All Verity could do was clutch the tray of drinks and watch the sticky mess explode. Cherries bounced and rolled everywhere at her feet and the juice splashed everything from her shoes to her elbows. Tips had been good, but not when she deducted the cost of her leather pants. Dammit.


Mike Reardon entered the VIP bar, hoping to find a spot quieter than the crowed main room. The music thrummed painfully in his temples and he wished like hell he hadn’t agreed to come out with his teammates. All he wanted was a quiet place to have a beer and lick his wounds. His run of inexplicable errors was killing him. He needed something to change his luck. Victor and Paulo insisted what he needed was to get laid, so they’d dragged him here. Not that he was in the mood for talking, much less trying to pick up a woman. All evening, his teammates talked about nothing but baseball, a topic he was sick of at the moment.
All the tables in the  room were full, but the long bar itself was empty. He didn’t see a bartender as he slid into a seat. Suddenly, a head popped up, followed by the rest of a delicious female form. Her back was to him, but Mike stared in disbelief at the reflection of the woman’s face in the mirror behind the bar. She looked like the woman he’d seen at Thane’s, the gorgeous, nearly-nude woman, getting an enormous tattoo. She wore a long-sleeved shirt so he couldn’t be sure. The bar was too dim to tell if the eyes were the same unusual color as those belonging to the girl stretched out in Thane’s chair.
She suddenly fired a towel at the sink, grabbed a new one, shoved it under running water, wrung it out, and disappeared once more.
His headache receded. He relaxed in his seat, patiently waiting for her to surface.
The blonde head popped up a few moments later, her back still to him. He couldn’t take his eyes off her reflection in the mirror. Suddenly, she whirled.
“Sorry, I didn’t realize you were waiting. What would you like?”
You. “Bud draft, please.”
She chuckled, but she swiped at her pants, eyes still lowered. Fine by him, he’d just watch while she fussed with the tight black leather pants. But he wanted a look at her eyes.
“That keg is empty. I’ve been waiting on a replacement all night. But,” she continued, leaning forward and lowering her voice and finally raising her eyes to his face, “the good news is, I’m giving away shots out of spite for being ignored.  Interested?”
Oh, he was interested, all right. Those eyes were definitely lavender. The view down the snug top was definitely interesting. “Sure, that sounds fine.” Mike forced the words past a suddenly-dry throat. She didn’t recognize him, apparently. And he was having trouble talking. Maybe because he’d seen her before, and not just at Thane’s. It hadn’t hit him until after he’d left the tattoo parlor, but he’d actually been seeing this face for a long time.

Come with me now to see what the other Baseball Babes, Jennifer Simpkins and Kathleen Grieve have in store for us today. Feel free to post anti-Yankee sentiments on Jennifer's blog post--she'll totally understand :D

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sexy Snippets ~ Handcuffed to...What?

Welcome to Sexy consecutive sentences from a work in progress. I've selected seven from my next release, Forceful Negotiations. Teague Tillis has accepted her friend's invitation to join Carmine Club, but she's stunned to learn from Willa Seachrist, the club's owner, the extent of what she's agreed to do:

"We want them feeling manly and confident; competitive. Think of the auction as sexual theater, designed to provoke those feelings.”
Teague thought Willa’s near-whisper a ploy to be sure the woman had her attention. She resented the tactic even as she strained to make out every word. “We need their testosterone pumping. The auction sets that up nicely. You’ll strip and be handcuffed to one of our luggage carts.”

Read sexy snippets from the other participants. Check the links here, or follow on Twitter or Facebook.

I'm delighted to have found a replacement or Six Sentence Sunday, so look for me to be a regular participant. Have a great week!