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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Saturday Storyteller Interview: Sandra Nachlinger

What’s your name and where do you come from?
I’m Sandra Nachlinger, and although I’m a native Texan, I currently live near Seattle, Washington, USA. People tell me I have not lost my southern accent.

Tell us a little bit about your new release.
Bluebonnets for Elly is a sweet contemporary romance set in North Texas. By “sweet,” I mean there’s plenty of fooling around between Elly and Derek, but the main event takes place behind closed doors. Elly meets Derek when she leaves big-city Dallas for small-town Shannon Ridge, Texas, to help her grandmother recover from an ankle injury.  She’s also fleeing from a fiancé who betrayed her. Derek has challenges of his own. His wife disappeared many years before, and his life is still affected. After he meets Elly, he’s ready to get on with his life. But is he really free? When Derek’s past threatens and Elly’s ex-fiancé reappears, she must decide—give her former love a second chance or gamble on a man whose history may ruin everything.
I.O.U. SEX is spicier than Elly’s tale. It’s the story of three women, lifelong friends, who search for their high school boyfriends decades after graduation.

Do you have a favourite character from your books? Why are they your favorite?
Although I enjoyed writing about Derek and Elly in Bluebonnets for Elly, my favorite character in that book is Granny Macauley. She is such a hoot! With her homey advice, spicy sense of humor, modern outlook, and obvious love for her granddaughter Elly, I think she adds a lot of warmth and humor to the story.
In I.O.U. Sex, my favorite character is Kiki. Actually, now that I think about it, I like her for the same reasons I like Granny, except Kiki has a smart mouth and likes to cuss. She’s a good and loyal friend to the other two women in the story and has a history of getting them into messes.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
The initial idea for Bluebonnets for Elly came from observing people around my small town. So many of them seem to use those mobility scooters for transportation—tooling down sidewalks, running errands, etc.—and I wondered how that would be. Then I started thinking about what life would be like in a neighborhood for senior citizens. I have a couple of friends who live in mobile home parks for people who are over age 55, so I talked to them. All of that led me to the creation of Granny Macauley, a major character in Bluebonnets for Elly, as well as gave me the setting for much of the book.

Is the stuff you write about from experience or mostly imagination?
The characters I come up with and their situations are completely from my imagination.  After my first book was released, countless people asked my co-author and me if we had looked up our old boyfriends like the characters in the book had. No way! Our inspiration for the story actually came from reading my old high school diary. We laughed until we cried, and we speculated about what our old boyfriends might be doing. And then we wrote I.O.U. SEX.
I’ll admit that although I made up the town of Shannon Ridge, Texas, as my setting for Bluebonnets for Elly, I did base it largely on a small town near the Texas-Oklahoma border. I’ve also known several vivacious older women like Granny Macauley, so she is probably a composite of all of them.

Tell us something that might surprise our readers.
Several years ago I walked halfway across Spain – from León to Santiago – on the Camino de Santiago de Compostelo. I shared the experience with my daughter-in-law and her mother, and we had a great time. I was 59 years old when I made that trek, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat—but I’d have to get in shape again first!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Sandra Nachlinger has been writing one thing or another since childhood. She wrote her first romantic story in elementary school, in pencil on lined paper. The heroine got a kiss as the happy ending. She still has diaries from her school days, one of which inspired I.O.U. SEX, her first book co-written with Sandra Allen.
When not writing, she enjoys quilting, sewing, gardening, photography, travel, and lunching with friends, and like Granny in BLUEBONNETS FOR ELLY she spends as much time as possible with her granddaughter.

     
Reeling from betrayal by her fiancé, Elly Macauley leaves the skyscrapers of Dallas for Shannon Ridge, Texas, volunteering to help her grandmother recover from a broken ankle. She hopes her time in the small town will be the perfect opportunity for both she and Granny to recover from their wounds.
     Landscaper Derek White maintains the grounds of Sunset Acres and looks after the senior citizens as if they were his own grandparents. But the disappearance of his wife eight years earlier has put his life and aspirations on hold. After one kiss from Elly Macauley, he wonders if it’s time to take another chance on love. But how can he explain an ex-wife who ran away? And is he sure he’s a free man?
     When Derek’s past threatens and Elly’s ex-fiancé reappears, she must decide—give her former love a second chance or gamble on a man whose history may ruin everything before it really gets started.




Friday, 30 May 2014

First Chapter Friday - Saved by a Rake by Em Taylor




Rebecca lay still and waited for the sound of the footsteps to fade and disappear—terrified that he may change his mind and return to the bedchamber for more. Her heart thudded, and her laboured breathing caused her throat to ache.

Her mind refused to take in what had just happened. It could not be possible.

When silence had reigned for at least five minutes, she dared to draw in a heaving breath. Unfortunately, only her lungs seemed to function. Her limbs were uncooperative and lax, making her feel like a washed-out rag doll.

But she could not simply lie here, waiting for him to come back—or worse still, for some maid to find her.

Willing herself to be strong—to survive—she summoned every ounce of energy and pulled herself into a sitting position before surveying the room. Thick, red velvet drapes framed the window, while maroon walls made the room look austere and disreputable. More red velvet hung from the frame of the four-poster, further darkening the bed, hidden from view in the dark world into which he had forced her.

The shudder that racked her body came from the very centre of her being. If she agreed to his proposal, this would be her bedchamber and she would be countess to the man who had just ravished her.

But she would not agree to marry the man—not after what he had done—not after what he had taken from her. But what if she was with child? Then she would have to marry—and marry him. She wanted to vomit at the mere idea.

A memory came to her unbidden. She was dancing at her come out ball six years previously. A rather dashing young man, Lord John Winchester, had been her partner, and she had flirted and smiled coyly at him as they weaved through the intricate figures of the dance. Her white satin gown, decorated with tiny jewels and lace around the neckline and cuffs, had been her pride and joy—unlike the white muslin day dress she now wore, which would be placed in the fire at the first opportunity.

She had been so full of hope then—excited about what the future held. She could never have imagined it would be this.

Taking a deep breath and swallowing the tears that threatened, she lifted her gown, opened her legs and inspected the damage. A mixture of blood and his white fluid was beginning to dry on her milky skin—stark proof of her ruination.

The memory of the pain as he thrust into her, bursting through her maidenhead and riding her until he grunted and slumped on top of her with a satisfied grin, made her head spin. If fainting were an option at that moment, Rebecca would have succumbed willingly to the blackness.

She pushed her breasts back inside her chemise, stays and gown, ignoring the pain, the teeth marks and the discomfort of not having her undergarments put on properly by her maid. Thank heavens he had not ripped the gown as he’d man-handled her.

An image of Betty, her maid, tutting and grumbling as she took another gown below for mending flashed through her head. If only a ripped dress was her biggest problem now.

She opened her thighs again, grimacing at the stains on her chemise and underskirt and the wetness between her thighs. Struggling onto wobbly feet, she held fast to the mahogany post of the bed. Wooziness engulfed her. As she closed her eyes, trying to centre herself, she became aware of the offensive moisture running down the inside of her leg, no doubt ruining her stockings too.

She staggered through the door that led into the countess’s dressing room and located the entrance to the bathroom. Finding a towel and lifting her skirts, she scrubbed the soft linen up her legs, between her thighs and to her bruised and painful private area. She wanted to rid herself of his scent, his seed and every hideous memory that he had left with her. Self-preservation was more important. She must get out of Newthorpe House and back to the safety of her own home and family.

****

Daniel, Lord Ramsey stood in the hallway and tugged at his cravat. He had told his valet, Jones, not to tie the thing so damned tight. But Jones simply muttered something about not being able to look the other servants in the eye if his master’s cravat came undone at breakfast, and continued to throttle him. Now Daniel wished he had been more insistent.

He had a horrible feeling that he knew what his father wanted and was not going to like it. He enjoyed his life as it was—attending gentlemen’s clubs, racing curricles, visiting his current paramour, hunting when up at Drumbane estate in Scotland—and while he did not mind the responsibility of running an estate, he did not want a wife just yet. His fortieth year would be time enough. He would still be rich—which was the only thing in which most young ladies of the Ton were interested—and he hoped to look more distinguished with a smattering of grey through his thick black hair.

He should not keep his father waiting. The old man was likely to be in an even worse temper if Daniel did not appear promptly. Taking one last deep breath for courage, he nodded to the footman, who opened the door to allow him entry to the library.

The large room was filled with dusty tomes that had not been opened in years, and the desk sat neglected. His father’s steward dealt with most of the estate business. Every year, Daniel tried to get the elderly earl to relinquish the reins and allow him to run certain aspects of the estate. His father would just grunt at the suggestion, and nothing ever changed.

Not that it stopped Daniel from visiting the tenants and taking an interest in the estate when he did visit the family’s principal seat. The steward, knowing that Daniel would eventually be responsible for the land and property, was very accommodating, but Daniel was never given an opportunity to make real decisions.

He had not seen his father, the Earl of Drumbane, for a few days. His rounds of social activities meant that he only slept and ate breakfast at Drumbane House. The rest of the time he visited his clubs, attended social gatherings or spent time with the delectable Dowager Duchess of Wilmslow, a young widowed lady with whom he was intimately acquainted.

A sudden image of the raven-haired beauty lying on her bed that morning, creamy breasts exposed and dark pink lips pouting, warmed the inside of his pantaloons. Had his father not summoned him to this meeting, he would have thrown off his clothes and returned to her bed to tumble the sexy wench again.

The old Earl looked gaunt and pale, and the sight stopped Daniel in his tracks. It was hard to reconcile that the ailing elderly man had once been a young, fit man who had taught him to ride a horse, shoot a pistol and swim. Despite his duties to the tenants, to his station in life and to Daniel’s late mother, the Earl of Drumbane had been a doting father to his two sons and one daughter. Now he lifted his quizzing glass to Daniel and frowned.

“Sit!” he barked out—proving that he may look frail but was no fool. Daniel sat on the armchair on the opposite side of the fireplace from where his father sat. “Now, I am sure you know why I summoned you here.”

“I am sorry, my lord, but I am afraid that I do not.”

“I want to speak to you about your matrimonial state. What age are you now?”

Suppressing a sigh, Daniel looked directly at his father. He was right. His dear papa wanted him to get a damned leg-shackle, an heir and a spare.

“I will be four and thirty years old in May.”

“And you have still not married and set up your nursery?”

“No, my lord.”

“Well it is high time that you did.” The Earl waved a sheaf of folded papers that he had extracted from the side of his chair. “I’m dying, as you well know, and I need to go to my grave with the certainty that at least you are on your way to creating an heir. It is no secret that your brother will spend his life carousing certain notorious gaming hells and will never marry.”

He raised an eyebrow. Yes, he was aware that his younger brother Simon preferred men to women but only now realised that his father was also. Not that he would ever admit it beyond these four walls. Heaven forbid. He had no wish to see Simon languishing in prison for that particular crime.

He understood his father’s point of view and determination to see him married. If Daniel should be killed in a curricle race or die of some fatal malady, the title would be passed first to Simon, who would definitely never have an heir, and then to his cousin Boris, who had even worse morals than Daniel did. By Daniel’s count, Boris had got three maids in the family way and refused to support any of them or their bastards. Having seen the estate accounts, he knew that the Earl of Drumbane financed those children from his own pocket—something Daniel intended to carry on after his father’s death. With wealth and power came responsibility, and he would never see a child starve because his inept cousin would not shoulder his responsibilities, or keep his sword in its sheath.

“I want to see you settled before I die. You are an honourable man, so I have changed my will. You will receive only enough money to keep the estates running and the personal wealth that would have come to you will be inherited by your siblings. You would not starve the tenants of our land. Therefore, in order for you to live in comfort, you must be married before I die.”

“But sir…”

“Before I die, Daniel.” With that, the elder gentleman closed his eyes. Obviously the conversation was now at an end. Daniel sat for a few moments before collecting himself and leaving the room.

His father was right, of course. Daniel would starve before he would allow the tenants to go without. He may have few scruples when it came to bedding beautiful young widows, but he would not see the poor become even more impoverished so he could live the life of a rakehell in London.

He sighed inwardly. There was no point in trying to escape the inevitable. He determined to visit Mrs Wilmslow later that evening and explain he must now apply himself to the task of finding a wife on the marriage mart and could no longer pay her evening visits.

It was a shame. He liked Marie Wilmslow, and she was a generous and exciting lover. He was going to have to content himself with a simpering fair maiden who would be afraid of tangling her newly brushed hair in bed—someone merely doing her duty as his countess.




Thursday, 29 May 2014

Cover Reveal: A Shadow's Kiss and Wedding Belle Blues





Wedding Belle Blues by Mia Epsilon

Anna is planning the perfect wedding, but she doesn't anticipate her future mother-in-law's offer of help' which translates into take over. Her groom-to-be avoids her and insists their growing problems are just 'bridal nerves'. Worst of all, her best friend, Robin, begins to act strange. Everyone around her has his or her own agenda. What's a girl to do when she begins to realize the perfect life she envisioned is all a lie?

Robin has two great loves in his life: his best friend Anna and his motorcycle. Not one to make a scene, he supports Anna in her plan to marry the wrong man and regrets she can't accept his 'dare devil' lifestyle. But when push comes to shove, he's more than willing to make the necessary sacrifice and prove he is the man she needs.

As the wedding date grows closer and plans shift into high gear, Robin and Anna grow closer and not just as friends. Each must decide what the perfect life truly means while trying to negotiate the maze of wedding plans, secrets, and hidden motives. Will someone be left singing the blues?


A Shadow's Kiss by Kirsten S. Blacketer

Madeline Campbell has been whisked away from her uncle's barony to be reunited with her family in the Scottish Highlands. Her happy reunion quickly sours when she realizes her father intends to present as a bride to the winner of the Highland Tournament. With no one to turn to for comfort or guidance, Madeline chooses to do her duty to her clan as well as her father and marry the winner.

An English knight has no place on Scottish soil, but Alexander must complete the mission with which he was tasked.  Find Madeline and ensure her safety. When he finds her, he must decide between his honorable duty and his love for Madeline. 

No one can deny their attraction and their desire for one another, but when it sparks jealousy in the other clansmen, they have no alternative but to run. Secrets emerge from the shadows of the past and threaten to tear their happiness apart. How can one choose between their duty and their heart?


Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The Dreams and Nightmares Anthology Blog Hop

Welcome to the Dreams and Nightmares Anthology Blog Hop! We are celebrating the release of our anthology with fabulous gifts for you. Each author featured in the anthology is giving away a copy of one of their books. But that’s not all. The Grand Prize is a signed print copy of The Dreams and Nightmares Anthology!

Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win and hop along to the next blog for more chances to win!


Blurb

Dreams and nightmares are like twilight; that misty place between fantasy and reality.

When your mind takes you on an adventure you didn’t sign up for and you become someone or something else, it can be delectable, terrifying, or both.

Dreaming of that sexy bad boy who seems out of reach? Be careful what you wish for, sometimes dreams really do come true. If you have the time, we have the past life to seduce you. Whether your fantasy is a lustful mermaid, an irresistible incubus, a vampiric predator, or an insatiable ghost hold on tight. You are on the most erotic ride of your life.

When your desires blend so thoroughly with the truth that you don’t know the difference, that’s when romance is but a dream.





Adderley’s Bride
By
Danita Minnis

Sofie is a singer, baker and a serious planner. When she finds her rocker boyfriend up against the wall in a vocal booth with a back-up singer, her five-year plan for a home and family is dubbed over like a bad music track.

Gray, a lusty ghost who acts like she is his long-dead fiancée invades her dreams and works her body over, night and after night. It isn’t long before Sofie’s plans include her beguiling lover, a ghost man with a plan of his own; be with me. Nice plan if you call that living…



Excerpt

He came up behind her at the island as she was kneading dough for the beignets.
The spacious kitchen should have been cold in the middle of the night but the hard body against her back enveloped her in warmth. She curled into him. At five-foot-four, her head only reached his chest. His pecs were a firm pillow.
In the seductive veil of the dream, her peripheral vision blurred so that she felt more than she saw. The only light on in the kitchen was the overhead light which pulsed above them. A thought teased her consciousness that maybe it was not the overhead light at all, but something more.
“Ah, Sweet Sofie.” He shifted until he was nestled between her legs. “I am drawn to you like a moth to a flame.” His arms came over her and as he helped her knead the dough, his shaft slid in and out between her legs.
She sighed her pleasure and leaned her head against his chest. Watching his big hands over hers with flecks of the flour and sugar mixture coating the hair on his knuckles was an erotic vision of teamwork. She wondered how those hands would feel as they kneaded her flesh.
Their hands worked in time to the rhythm of his slide, in and out. Their fingers clenched onto the mound of dough as he pushed forward, and released as he slid out from between her thighs. Their heavy breathing was the only sound as they clenched and released, clenched and released…
A lazy heat flared between her legs, warming her to the core and making her hips rock back and forth. Her legs were giving way and she spread them wider to stay upright. She stopped kneading the dough to lean over and hold onto the island.
He grabbed her hair, wrapping it around his hand so that she had to lean her head back against him. “Don’t stop,” his gentle scolding tickled her ear. “I have not had a decent beignet
since I arrived in these United States.” He released her hair and pressed closer. She was now trapped between the island and his lean hips. “I’ll hold you up.” His low chuckle was a hot vibration between her thighs.

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Saturday, 24 May 2014

Saturday Storyteller Interview: Paige Tyler

Please welcome Paige to our blog today!
What’s your name and where do you come from?
My name is Paige Tyler, and I was born and raised in New Jersey, then after getting married, hubby and I moved all over—South Korea, Louisiana, Atlanta, and Washington State. Now, we call the Florida coast home.

Tell us a bit about your latest release.
I’d love to! The X-OPS Series centers around the Department of Covert Operations, a super-secret organization within the Department of Homeland Security. They get impossible missions done by pairing the very best soldiers, law enforcement officers, and spies together with shifters—humans that possess special animal attributes because of what's locked in their DNA. Think of it as pairing one of them with one of us.
In the first book, HER PERFECT MATE, the heroine is a feline shifter named Ivy Halliwell. The DCO teams her up with yet another soldier—and she isn't thrilled. With good reason. Her previous partners hated her because she was different, and she figures this new guy will be the same. But Captain Landon Donovan is Special Forces, so he's used to impossible situations and takes them in stride. He’s also hot and hunky, and smells absolutely delicious.
HER PERFECT MATE is a paranormal shifter story that blends romance, action, suspense, and military elements into one exciting package that will keep you up all night reading—I promise.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Chicken. Yeah, I said it. I get my inspiration from chicken. PF Chang’s Spicy Chicken, to be precise. Whenever my hubby and I (he’s my able-bodied assistant) are about to start a new writing project, we run down to our nearest PF Chang’s and order our favorite meal (with brown rice). Then we sit there and brainstorm ideas for an hour or two. It never fails—if we’re stuck, chicken unsticks us. Not really sure if it’s the chicken or the spicy coating—could even be the rice I guess. Regardless, we come away completely full of ideas, then run home to get them down on paper before we forget them. It’s practically down to the point where we schedule runs to the restaurant to coincide with our publisher’s deadlines.

How do you go about creating the perfect "Swoon" worthy man?
It’s not too hard. I just imagine the kind of man that I swoon over. He has to be big and strong (six-pack abs never hurt), capable and confident (not arrogant), cool under pressure, alpha (without being an a**hole), and strong when the situation dictates (but gentle with his woman).
While it sounds like I’m describing an impossibly perfect man, the one area that I haven’t mentioned is that the swoon worthy man needs to have his faults and his vulnerabilities. Maybe it plays into a woman’s need to nurture, but those faults are what makes an otherwise perfect man approachable, sexy, and lovable.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
If I couldn’t write (which would be horrible), I’d want a job where I take care of animals. Maybe a rescue shelter or a zoo. When I look into the face of a cute, cuddly animal—and just about every animal falls into this category (except bugs…eeek!)—I see a person looking back. And not just any person, but one who needs my help.

Do you have a favourite character from your books? Why are they your favourite?

That’s a really tough one. It’s like asking a mother which of their children is their favorite. But I guess, for the sake of the question, I’d say that right now at least, my favorite character is Ivy Halliwell. She’s the heroine in HER PERFECT MATE. She’s a little different than a lot of the other people around her, and because of that, she’s been looked down on, disrespected, and mistreated. But she’s strong in body, mind, and soul, and she keeps getting up no matter how many times she gets knocked down. When she finally gets partnered up with the right person, the world (at least the covert part of it anyway) gets to see what they’ve been missing.

What do you do to unwind and relax?
Because I spend so much time sitting around writing, I like to get up and move some for my relaxation.  We do yoga and P90X, and try to get in a long run once or twice a week. I love going out with my hubby and our fur baby and doing a couple miles. The rhythmic slap of my shoes on the pavement, the beat of a favorite song on my pod, and the little fur baby keeping an eye out for squirrels and rabbits is the ultimate relaxation.   

What’s your greatest weakness?
As a writer, I have a serious time giving myself permission to write crap. Most people would say that must be a good thing, but for a writer, it isn’t.
There’s a basic rule for writers—you can’t edit a blank piece of paper. The theory goes that if you get words down, even if they’re not perfect, then at least you have something to work with. Maybe the words you write will prompt you with a new idea, or a new direction. Maybe you’ll realize that some of the stuff isn’t as bad as you thought. Heck, maybe the words will tell you the most awful truth—that the scene you’re contemplating sucks.
But I have a hard time writing crap. I guess I’m a perfectionist. I’ll go over a sentence or paragraph ten times, trying to make it just right. Or I’ll spend forever looking for that one “perfect” word.
Of course, when I find that perfect word or combination of words it’s beautiful. By sometimes I wish I could just do that “thousand words in an hour” or “ten-thousand words in weekend” thing you’re always hearing about. But that’s just not me, I suppose.

Is the stuff you write about from experience or mostly imagination?
Well, since I’ve written about cat shifters jumping off a balcony five floors up, a woman falling in love with a part-time zombie, and multiple-partner erotic scenes involving Goldilocks and three bear shifters, I have to admit that most of my writing comes from my imagination.
But that being said, there’s a little bit of me (and my hubby) in every book I write. Life experiences are what come together to give a writer their distinctive voice. The places we’ve travelled, the things we’ve seen, the wonderful people we’ve been fortunate enough to meet along the way, the experiences we’ve had all shows up in my stories somehow.   

Tell us something that might surprise our readers.
Well, I mentioned that I run for relaxation, right? Well, some readers might be surprised to know that sometimes I take those relaxing runs to the next level. I’ve completed probably about a hundred 5k running events, twenty or thirty 10k’s, four half marathons, and three marathons. In January, hubby and completed our first Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World—a 5k one day, a 10k the next, a half marathon the next, and a full marathon the next. Needless to say, I was very “relaxed” after that. In fact, I think I slept like a rock.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
He's a High-Octane Special Ops Pro

When Special Forces Captain Landon Donovan is chosen for an assignment with the Department of Covert Operations, he's stunned to find his new partner is a beautiful woman who looks like she couldn't hurt a fly, never mind take down a terrorist.

She's No Kitten

Ivy Halliwell isn't your average covert op. She's a feline shifter, and more dangerous than she looks. Her feline DNA means she can literally bring out the claws when things get dicey. She's worked with a string of hotheaded military guys who've underestimated her special skills in the past. But when she's partnered with special agent Donovan, a man sexy enough to make any girl purr, things begin to heat up. He doesn't think she's a freak-and he's smokin' hot. Soon they're facing a threat even greater than anyone imagines...and an animal magnetism impossible to ignore.

Excerpt:
Landon expected Todd and Kendra to take him to another conference room, so he was surprised when they led him into what looked like a workout room. Mats covered the floor and a heavy bag hung from a hook in one corner. Weights and workout equipment filled a good portion of the room. A woman was seated cross-legged in the center of it, her eyes closed, her hands loosely resting on her knees. At their entrance, she gracefully uncurled herself from the floor and got to her feet.

She was wearing a pair of black workout pants like his ex-girlfriend used to wear when she went to yoga class, and a form-fitting tank top. He couldn’t help but notice her curvy, athletic body, expressive dark eyes, and full lips. With little makeup and her long, dark hair pulled up in a ponytail, she looked like the girl next door. Only more exotic than any girl he’d ever lived next door to, that was for sure.

He didn’t care how tired and irritated he was, this was a woman he definitely wouldn’t mind stopping to appreciate. Hopefully, one of his new training officers would introduce them before she left to give them the room.

“Landon, meet Ivy Halliwell, your new partner,” Kendra said. “Ivy, Captain Landon Donovan, Special Forces.”

They were going to have to pick his jaw up off the floor because Landon was damn sure that’s where it was after hearing that announcement. No way this walking wet dream was his partner. She looked like she couldn’t hurt a fly, much less do any kind of covert ops. They had to be messing with him.

Amazon | B&N | ARe:


Paige Tyler is a USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy, romantic fiction. She and her very own military hero (also known as her husband) live on the beautiful Florida coast with their adorable fur baby (also known as their dog). Paige graduated with a degree in education, but decided to pursue her passion and write books about hunky alpha males and the kickbutt heroines who fall in love with them.
She is represented by Bob Mecoy.

Author Links:


Friday, 23 May 2014

First Chapter Friday by C.E. Black


September 13th ~ Present Day


“Gabe!” I screamed to the ceiling before landing ungracefully on his hard chest.
Our sweat covered bodies stuck together as we both breathed hard. Our hearts beat erratically, and I found just enough energy to smile tiredly against the soft dark hairs tickling my cheek.
Large hands slid up and down my back before rubbing over my hair, pulling the sweaty strands off my face.
“You’re gonna kill me, woman.”
I giggled, and using his shoulders for balance, I sat up just enough to look down at my husband, pushing his hands away in the process. His short dark hair was messy, sticking up on all sides. His brown eyes were still hooded, though more from being sated and tired than from the desire that had consumed us an hour before.
The dark stubble that covered his rugged jaw looked sexy, and I had an instant recollection of the rough hairs abrading the sensitive skin on my inner thighs. My insides clenched at the memory, causing a groan to spill from Gabe’s throat.
“Kara,” he moaned as his hands gripped my hips.
“Sorry,” I said, biting on my bottom lip and trying to hide the grin that fought its way onto my face.
His dark eyes narrowed as he studied my expression. “No, you’re not.”
Lowering my body, I brought my lips closer to his and whispered, “No, I’m not.”
Gabe’s tongue poked out to wet his dry lips, and I took advantage by darting forward and sucking his tongue into my mouth. I released him only to nibble on his bottom lip before our mouths fused.
Our lips moved together as our tongues danced. His taste was intoxicating, manly, with a hint of the beer we sampled at lunch. I didn’t care for any of the beers we tasted, but mixed with his unique flavor, I couldn’t get enough.
We groaned together as my hips started moving, lifting up and rotating, before sliding back down his flaccid cock.
Gabe’s hands gripped my hips and my nails dug into his chest as I disengaged myself from his mouth.
“Babe,” he groaned. “The mind is willing, but the body is tired.” I pouted playfully, and he chuckled. “Damn, woman! You’re gonna kill me.”
“You already said that, and besides, what a way to go. Right?”
“Right, but I could have sworn you wanted to go on that walking tour tonight.” His fingers tweaked my nipples as he raised an eyebrow. “I guess not.”
I moaned before reluctantly lifting myself off my husband. “You guessed wrong. What time is it?” I asked as I stood from the bed.
“We only have half an hour before we need to leave. As it is we’ll have to skip dinner until afterwards.”
“Fine with me. Staying in has definitely been worth it,” I said, sending him a wink as I headed for the shower.
So far, our little vacation had been perfect. We had played the tourist, walking everywhere, hitting the main attractions of the historic town, and eating at the best restaurants. Our hotel was to die for, elegant without being snobbish. It was comfortable, and that’s what was most important.
There were times I wanted to stay in the whole day and make love to my wonderful husband, and we had, only leaving to grab lunch,  but there was so much to see and do. I didn’t want to miss a thing.
We’d been there for four days, celebrating our seven year anniversary,  and only had one more day left before returning home. Our last tour was suppose to be a good one. We signed up for a haunted tour in one of the oldest graveyards in Charleston. I loved the creepy and scary side of the aged city and really didn’t want to miss it.
I stepped into the all glass shower and started the water. I soaped up my hair, closed my eyes, and relished the stream of warm water running over my shoulders and back. A groan had my head turning to see Gabe staring openly at me.
The coolest part about the hotel room was the shower. The seamless, glass enclosure hid nothing. It had been a tad uncomfortable at first, but I soon realized it had its advantages.
Gabe stood in the bathroom doorway, watching as I finished rinsing my hair. He didn’t hide his growing arousal, which only heightened mine all the more. I licked my lips seductively, earning another groan from my fine husband.
“I don’t know how this is possible,” he mumbled, glancing down at his hardening member. “You have been insatiable, Kara. I’m not sure I can keep up with you.”
“Aw, sure you can, honey. Or you can die trying, “ I laughed.
He chuckled as he walked towards me. “I don’t know what’s gotten into you lately, but I love it.”
“Well, I am thirty-two. You know what they say about women in their thirties. We hit our sexual prime. But what sucks for you is that men hit their sexual peak at eighteen.”
Gabe opened the glass door and stepped inside. “Hmm, is that right?” I nodded, biting my lip as my fingers found his stiff cock. It pulsed in my palm, and I squeezed tightly, sliding my hand up and down, loving the silky texture.
Leaning down, Gabe’s breath tickled my neck. His voice, deep and seductive, whispered across my skin, causing goose bumps to spread across my slick flesh.
“I don’t think it sucks for me, but I do think you will.” His hands lifted, brushing lightly across my hardened nipples just before placing them on my shoulders, encouraging me to my knees.
My eyes connected with his dark and intense gaze as I happily complied. My teasing smile was his only warning before I made sure to drive him completely mad and make us very, very late.

~*~

My head rested against Gabe’s chest as I snuggled against him. His arm wrapped around my waist as we stood in the middle of the old cemetery, listening to the tour guide tell us about a “true” ghost story. Though the guide was getting into his story, I wasn’t  paying much attention. I was too busy looking around. I couldn’t wait for him to give us the go ahead to explore.
It was nine o’clock at night, so plenty dark to give off that sinister vibe, but I wasn’t afraid. I was fascinated. Large trees with reaching limbs loomed above us casting shadows throughout the grounds, and the old chipped tombstones called out for me to get a closer look.
Gabe squeezed my shoulder gently, bringing my attention back to our guide. The short, balding man talked animatedly, his hands moved around erratically as he finished up his ghostly tale and began explaining the do’s and dont’s. Respect the graves, don’t take anything... Yada, yada, yada.
I zoned out and took the time to look over the others in our group. There were six couples, including us, and as I glanced around I couldn’t help but notice the heated looks a few of the women sent Gabe’s way.
I couldn’t blame them, he was a piece of work. At six feet, seven inches and arm muscles as big as my thighs, the man was well built, in all departments. Still, I snuggled closer.  A show of ownership the women couldn’t miss.
“Okay, so now you can take a look around. Just remember to follow the rules and take a lot of pictures. I bet you’ll see some orbs.”
Gabe and I started walking off, stopping to look at the beautiful statues and elaborate vaults.  A sad concrete casket with a statue of a baby on top had my eyes stinging with unshed tears. It was sweet that someone would take the time to do something like that for their little one.
 As Gabe took a few photos, I slipped away and began walking towards the back of the cemetery. No one else had gone back there, so it was quiet and dark. Crickets fell silent as I walked by before starting up again when I passed.
A noise to my left had my head turning in that direction. Of course, there was nothing there that I could see, but I began walking that way, noticing an impressive tombstone near the fence. It was larger than some of the others in that part of the cemetery, and I wondered if it was someone important.
It was tall with ornate scrolls carved at the top. The surface of the stone looked rough around the sides, though the face was smooth, no longer shiny, due to its age.
I knelt down pointing my flashlight at the inscription. A crack went down the middle from top to bottom, and for some unknown reason the sight saddened me. I shook my head at such nonsense. According to the date chiseled into the stone, it was fairly old, so I shouldn’t have been surprised to see some deterioration.
I moved closer, making sure not to step where the body would be laying underground. The thought of standing on top of someone gave me a little chill, and even though I knew they would never know, I felt it would be disrespectful.
Pointing the flashlight, I leaned closer and read the inscription.

William S. Scott
Died November 1, 1883
Aged 28 years

Nothing else was written, and I suddenly wanted to know more. Did he have a family, a wife, children? Who were his parents, and how did he die?
I slowly lifted my arm that wasn’t holding the flashlight. Something told me I probably shouldn’t be touching anything, but the incessant need for a connection wouldn’t leave.
Cold, rough stone met my warm fingertips, but nothing else happened. I chuckled to myself. What did I think would happen... A rumble of thunder or maybe a ghostly apparition?
Something tickled my cheek, probably a bug, and I used my shoulder to brush it away just as a tingle ran up my spine. My breathing stilled as I listened closely. The crickets had stopped chirping, and the night became eerily silent.
A shadow moved, catching my eye, and I turned sharply. Rows and rows of headstones stood silent and dark as my gaze searched for movement.
“What are you doing, Kara?”
I gasped, pulling my hand away from the tombstone, and turned with shocked eyes to see Gabe standing behind me. We both chuckled as I stood up.
“I didn’t think these places scared you.”
“They don’t, but sneaking up behind me is different.”
“Hey, I didn’t sneak. I made plenty of noise walking over here. You were zoned out. What were you doing, anyway?”
“Just checking out this tombstone,” I shrugged.
“Well, you broke a rule,” he said seriously.
“I did?” I looked around, wondering what I did wrong. I hadn’t stolen anything and I didn’t think I had messed up a grave.
“No touching the gravestones.”
“Oh.” I sucked a breath between my teeth. “Shit! I hope no one saw,” I whispered.
Gabe smiled, breaking the seriousness of the conversation. “Don’t worry, everyone’s gathering to leave, and your secret’s safe with me. Let’s just hope there are no consequences.”
My eyebrows furrowed. “What do you mean?”
“You weren’t listening to the tour guide, were you?” He gave me knowing look. He knew my attention span was pretty short. I couldn’t help it.
“Guilty. So what are these consequences you were talking about?”
Gabe smirked. “You’ll see.”
Rolling my eyes, I threaded my arm through his as we began walking back toward the group. “Whatever, you can’t scare me. Let’s get out of here. Are you ready to eat?”
Nodding, he said, “Yep, and I’m pretty sure this tour is about over with. Let’s head back towards the car. I saw plenty of restaurants on the way here.”
Once the guide said his farewells the group split, heading off in different directions. Gabe and I cut through a dark alleyway. The cobblestone path was narrow, and we passed a few rod iron gates with cars parked behind them. I idly wondered how it was possible for the cars to get down there.
The hairs on the back of my neck rose, and a strong sense of being followed overtook me. I whipped my head around. The alley was empty, and only a few people walked past the entrance. My eyes scanned every shadow and nook, but I didn’t see anything. I looked forward, my eyes narrowed with confusion.
“What is it?” Gabe asked, looking behind us for a brief second before glancing at me. I shook my head, and we continued on, though the feeling didn’t abate.
I wasn’t scared, not with Gabe with me. He was scarier than anything out there. Well, except for a gun, but I wasn’t too worried about that. From what I was told, it was a pretty safe city.
Finally turning onto the  main street, I breathed a silent sigh of relief as we joined the massive crowd of tourists.
Whatever the feeling was, it had gone by the time we reached the restaurant, and I began to relax, brushing the experience off as just a side effect of taking a ghost tour. I refused to let anything so silly ruin the last night of our vacation. I wanted to enjoy every last second, and as I reached under the table to tease my husband, I did exactly that.

~*~