Five Fun Facts about Hot and Bothered by Kate Meader – Guest Blog and Giveaway

1_27 Hot-and-Bothered-Launch-Day-Blitz[8]

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. One randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter will receive a set of Kate Meader’s Hot in the Kitchen series, including FEEL THE HEAT, ALL FIRED UP, and HOT AND BOTHERED.

Top 5 Fun Facts about HOT AND BOTHERED
1. It’s a Friends to Lovers romance, which after opposites-attract is my favorite trope. The conflict is so delicious. The stakes are high. The possibility of losing your best friend is JUST TOO RISKY. What could go wrong?

2. It starts with my heroine, Jules in labor, her best friend/future hero, Tad holding her hand through the birth—and he’s not the dad.

3. The hero is sex-on-Italian-legs, can cook, and owns a wine bar – ‘nuff said.

4. The heroine is dyslexic, but has come up with great coping strategies to help her read recipes (our hero helps with a cool gift designed especially for her)

5. Readers will learn the proper way to dice an onion without getting all teary-eyed. Keep the tears for the romance!

1_27 Meader_Hot and Bothered_MMA Fire They Can’t Put Out . . .
Although her baby boy keeps her plate full, Jules Kilroy is ready to take her love life off the back burner. Despite a bevy of eligible bachelors, it’s her best friend, Taddeo DeLuca, who is fueling her hormones with a generous serving of his mouth-watering Italian sexiness. But Jules learned her lesson once before when she went in for a kiss, only to have Tad reject her. She’s vowed never to blur the lines again . . .

After a lifetime of excuses and false starts, Tad has finally opened a wine bar, a deal made even sweeter when Jules joins his staff. Lovers come and go, and he’s had his share, but friendships like theirs last forever. Still, ever since he tasted her luscious lips, he can’t stop fantasizing about what could be. Then she joins an online dating site-and the thought of his Jules with another man makes Tad’s blood boil. Even if he gets burned, Tad can’t stop himself from turning up the heat this time.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Tip your chin up—yeah, just like that.” Click. “Now lean forward, lemme see those puppies.”

“Lili,” came the slightly embarrassed reply. Jules.

“Come on, don’t be shy. You have an amazing figure and—oh, perfect. Hold that.” Click.

Tad’s heart thudded insanely fast. He crept a few inches forward until he had cleared the pillar with his gaze. Lili had her back to him, shielding her subject, but he got a very healthy view of shapely legs inadequately covered by something red and soft-looking.

“You know, if you ever felt comfortable enough to go bare, I’d love to photograph you.”

Jules snorted. “I can see Jack’s face now.”

His cousin laughed. “We could insist he put it up in the dining room at Sarriette. He’d be so torn between wanting to encourage my art and being totally skeeved out.”

Girly giggles ensued.

“My wild days are behind me,” Jules said on the downside of a laugh. “You wouldn’t believe some of the shenanigans I got up to back in London.” He heard her breathy sigh of reminiscence and strained to hear what salacious details might follow. This London version of Jules sounded like a woman he’d like to know.

“Oh, yeah? Spill, girl.”

“Well, there was one time I jumped in a fountain and stripped down to my—”

“Hey, cuz,” Lili said to him, a sly smile quirking one corner of her mouth. “How long have you been there?”

He patted the pillar he had just been leaning against/hiding behind like they were great pals. “Just got here.”

Lili’s smile turned slyer. “Didn’t expect you.”

“Do I need an excuse to come see my favorite cousin?” It came out a touch testy.

“Not at all. I just thought you’d be busy stroking your Cabs and Pinots.”

“Only do that on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Should I leave?”

“No, we’re just finishing up.” Lili sat at her iMac and hooked up the camera with a cable.

“All right?” Jules asked, almost shyly, as though they barely knew each other and in a way it felt like he was looking at her anew. The dress she wore was one he hadn’t seen before, a cherry-red, draped affair. One of those wrap-around deals that separated her breasts and flared over her waist. Not especially sexy but…

In that dress, she looked like she should be running the PTA, then going down on her husband in the Subaru in the school parking lot. Thankfully, that was years off because Evan was just an ankle biter… unless she hooked up with some lonely widower who already had school-age kids. Damn, that was a real possibility. He bet those websites were crawling with lonely widower fathers.

He was having problems catching his breath, a hitch that extended to his cock, which suddenly needed breathing room. To be perfectly honest, if Lili wasn’t there, he would be seriously considering unwrapping that dress and exploring the finely curved gift underneath. Jules stared back, probably wondering why he was ogling her like a just-released convict who hadn’t seen a woman during his fifteen and a third in the clink.

“Hey,” he said, finally responding to her greeting of about ten minutes back. He diverted his eyes away from her breasts to a good twelve inches north. Women 101. They preferred when you looked at their faces.

“Getting your photo taken?” he mumbled in a clear case of graduating summa cum laude from the School of the Freaking Obvious. His IQ had just dipped a hundred points.

“Uh huh. For my profile.” She blushed, and that’s when he noticed that she was wearing a lot of eye make-up. The smoky, sexy eyes that you saw on magazine models. She had done something different with her hair, too. It was tousled, fuck-me hair.

“My glamour shot, as Lili calls it,” she said with an eye roll. Can you believe what they’re trying to make me do?

His body clenched and he willed it to relax. Her glamour shot. She may as well have painted a sign: Come All Takers, Get Your Hot Mama Here. Lord knew he was trying to stop staring at her but he couldn’t tear his eyes away from all those damn curves.

“Is something wrong?” she asked.

“No,” he snapped, and then softer, “It’s all good.”

“I’ll just get changed,” she muttered, swaying away to the cover of an ornamental screen in the corner.

He blinked to get his brain in the groove and made inane chitchat with Lili about the plans for Tony and Frankie’s wedding anniversary party. If his parents had still been here it would have also been their anniversary. The couples had married in a double wedding extravaganza thirty-five years ago. He shoved that to the back of his mind with the rest of the shit he had succeeded in burying.

He was an absolute expert at it by now.

Jules walked out from behind the screen, pulling up the zip of her sweatshirt, but not so fast that he missed the sweet swell of her breasts in something thin and stretchy. Come on!

“Could I see how it came out?” she asked Lili as she set a suit bag over a chair.

“Sure.” His cousin clickity-clicked her screen.

Tad stole another glance at Jules. He couldn’t not look at her. A pearly pink glow had washed her cheeks and she looked so damn fine, he wanted to lick every inch of her. He turned back to the screen and what he saw wasn’t much better.

She looked fucking gorgeous.

Well, she always looked gorgeous, whether she was in baggy sweats or a frayed tee that had seen better days. Even when she looked like she was falling asleep on her feet, she never failed to look amazing to him.

Now she looked amazing to the world.

About the Author: 1_27 KateMeader-author[7]Kate Meader writes contemporary romance that serves up delicious food, sexy heroes, and heroines with a dash of sass. Originally from Ireland, she now makes her home in Chicago, a city made for food, romance, and laughter – and where she met her own sexy hero. When not writing about men who cook and the women who drool over them, she works in an academic library. Visit her website at http://katemeader.com and follow her on Twitter @kittymeader

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Five Favorite Places to Vacation by Rebecca Zanetti – Guest Blog and Giveaway

1_27 zanetti Blind-Faith-Launch-Day-Blitz[19]

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. We’ve got a fantastic Rafflecopter tourwide giveaway which includes a grand prize of all three books in the series, plus an ARC of TOTAL SURRENDER, a “Who Shot Jory Dean?” T-shirt and a Blind Faith dog tag.

~~~~~

Thank you to the Long And Short Reviews folks for having me over today to have some fun. I was asked about my top five favorite places to vacation, so here they are:

1. Hawaii: I love the islands, and we usually fly over there when it’s freezing at home. Sitting on the beach and soaking in sun is the way to relax, and I’m also known to write a bit at the pool.

2. Mexico: We take a grown up trip with four other couples every few years to a private home in Mexico on the beach and with an awesome pool. We usually end up with a brutal volleyball tournament, complete with a trophy.

3. Ireland: I love Ireland and always will. My family is Irish, and I feel like I’m coming home when I’m surrounded by all that greenery.

4. Australia: I backpacked around Australia with a friend years ago, before I was married with kids, and I had an amazing time. I’d love to do that again someday.

5. Home: Yeah, I’m one of those folks who like to have a stay-cation at home with comfy jammies and ice-cream. I enjoy a good movie marathon in front of the fire.

This was tons of fun – thanks so much for having me here! Where does everyone else like to vacation?

1_27 Zanetti_Blind Faith_MM[19]A betrayal he couldn’t forget . . .

For Nate Dean, love is a four-letter word. As part of a secret black-ops military unit, he and his brothers were genetically engineered by the government to be ruthless soldiers with an expiration date. They were loyal only to one another . . . until Nate laid eyes on the woman who stole his heart and blew his world apart. Now, years later, his family is still paying the price for his mistake. But as time runs out, there’s only one person who can save his family: the very woman Nate swore he’d never trust again.

A love she couldn’t deny . . .

The moment Audrey Madison spies Nate across a crowded ballroom, she can barely breathe. He’s just as undeniably sexy as she remembers, yet there’s an edge to him now that’s as irresistible as it is dangerous. When he asks for her help, Audrey can’t refuse. But she has secrets of her own–secrets that, if Nate ever discovers them, may cost them both their lives . . .

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Let’s dance.” He turned her toward the dance floor.

She balked. “No.” God. She couldn’t dance with him, couldn’t be touched by him.

“Yes.” His hold slid down to the back of her elbow, and he ushered her toward where the orchestra was playing “I Will Wait for You” by Michel Legrand. The warmth in Nate’s touch flared her nerves to life in an erotic need she’d worked hard to overcome.

“Nate—”

“Shhh.” He tightened his hold and drew her into an impressive erection.

She gasped, her face heating, her sex convulsing. Blinking, she glanced up in confusion to see if he was as affected as she was and stilled at the look in his eyes.

Furious. The man was truly furious. Even with the contacts masking his eyes, his anger shone bright.

She tried to step back and didn’t move. Yeah, she knew she’d hurt him when she’d ended their relationship, but after nearly five years, he shouldn’t still be so mad. He’d had freedom for five years, which was a hell of a lot better than she’d had. She’d had pain and fear and uncertainty. She blinked. “What is wrong with you?”

His impossibly hard jaw somehow hardened even more. “Oh, we’ll discuss that shortly.” Threat lived strongly in the calm words. “For now, we’re going to finish this dance. Then you’ll take the north exit and meet me in my car so we can talk.”

“If I don’t?” she asked quietly, wings fluttering through her abdomen.

His hold tightened imperceptibly. “I know where you live, I know your daily routine in working for Senator Nash, and I know where you go when you need time alone. You can’t hide, you can’t outrun me—and you know it.”

The hairs on the back of her neck rose. “How long have you been watching me?” More importantly, why hadn’t she noticed?

“A week. Long enough to know the two apes toward the doorway are following you, too. What’s up with that?” His hold tightened just enough to show his strength.

She shrugged. “They haven’t made a move, so I’m not worrying about it.” Not true, and by the narrowing of Nate’s eyes, he could still smell a lie a mile away. “The commander is having me followed.”

Nate’s jaw clenched. “Why?”

“Dunno.” They didn’t have time to discuss it. “You should go now.”

“No.” He spun her, easily controlling their movements.

Her leg hitched, and she stumbled against him.

He frowned. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” None of his damn business, that was. “What do you want to talk about?”

His gaze narrowed, and he spun her again. She tripped again. Her damn leg didn’t move that way. She glanced toward the doorway and the two soldiers watching her. They’d straightened to alert stances. Damn it.

“What’s wrong with your leg?” Nate asked, brows furrowing.

Oh, they were so not going into her injuries on the dance floor. “You almost sound like you care.” She threw his words back at him, gratified when his nostrils flared in irritation.

His gaze probed deep, wandering down her neck. He blinked several times, his chest moving with a harsh intake of breath. “I like your dress,” he rumbled, his voice a low whisper.

With his tight hold, she had no doubt the tops of her breasts were visible. “Nathan, don’t—”

“Don’t what?” His gaze rose to her lips. A light of a different sort filtered through his angry eyes. She knew that look. Her body heated and her thighs softened. His erection jumped against her, and she bit down a groan.

“One kiss, Audrey.”

Her eyes widened to let in more light. “No,” she breathed. One of his hands held hers, the other pressed against her back. Thank goodness. He couldn’t grab her and kiss her, no matter how appealing the thought. “Bad idea.”

“I know.” Nate didn’t need hands. His lips met hers so quickly, she never saw him move.

His mouth covered hers with no hesitancy, no question—as if he had every right to go deep. His tongue was savage and demanding, holding nothing back and accepting no evasion. He tasted of loneliness, anger, and lust. Hard, needy, demanding lust.

The men at the door were watching.

But her body didn’t care—instantly igniting instead of pushing away. Her heart thundered in her ears, and she fell into his heat, uncaring of whether or not he caught her. He wrapped around her, his unyielding body holding her upright. He caressed her with his tongue, and she met him thrust for thrust, fierce pleasure lighting her on fire.
She forgot where they were, who they were, everything but the desperate need he created.

He broke the kiss, blatant male hunger crossing his face. His breath panted out even as he moved them in tune with the music.

She softened against him, allowing him to lead so she didn’t collapse. Her mind whirled, and she shook her head to regain reality. “Nathan, what do you want?” The question emerged as a breathless plea she couldn’t mask.

That quickly, all hints of desire slid from his face. His chin hardened. “Want? I want to know what happened to the child you were carrying five years ago when you ripped out my heart. Where’s my baby, Audrey?”

About the Author: 1_27 ZanettiFORGOTTENSINSRebecca[19]New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner – only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She is a member of RWA, has won awards for her works throughout the industry, and has a journalism degree with a poly sci emphasis from Pepperdine University as well as a Juris Doctorate from the University of Idaho.

Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and adventures to weave into her stories. She resides in the wild north with her husband, children, and extended family who inspire her every day-or at the very least give her plenty of characters to write about.

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Enticing Hart by Mae Hancock – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter will receive a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Hart Emile is tired of cruising for guys, living a soulless existence. He needs a change; so when an acquaintance gives him the number of the gay friendly Red Fox Ranch that’s hiring for staff, he heads south.

Oak Redman is eighteen years old and desperate to explore his awakening sexuality. The moment Hart lays eyes on the handsome young rancher he’s smitten. Not only is Oak hot, spirited and very persistent, he is also the ranch boss’s son and strictly off limits. Hart tries to fight his feelings and to respect his boss and the family who quickly become dear to him, but after Oak’s Grandma suggests he gets with Oak he can’t deny himself the most exciting and enticing man he has ever met.

Hart’s not the only man to have noticed how sweet and charming Oak Redman is. A family friend, Steve, is also anxious to have the affections of the young rancher. Can Hart work out Steve’s dark secrets before it’s too late and keep his job, his lover and his life?

Enjoy an excerpt:

The high-pitched choir of songbirds echoed through the forest as Oak and Hart settled on a rug, late in the afternoon. The two of them had found a clearing at the side of the forest that was near enough to the tress to offer shade, but also close to the water where they’d been fishing. They’d no sooner sat down than Hart spotted something on the other side of the riverbank moving in the grass.

“Shh…I just saw something. I think it’s an otter.” Hart absentmindedly put a hand on Oak’s lap to still him. He didn’t know which was more exciting, seeing the otters, or the burning hot palm that touched his thigh. Oak sat rigidly, glancing between the handsome cowboy’s hand and the otter family bounding along through the grass bank.

“Aren’t you going to get your camera?” Hart chivvied him along.

“Oh…yes.” Oak moved slowly, reaching for the black bag and pulling the camera out. He attached the lens calmly and crawled down the small decline toward the stony bank. He beckoned Hart to join him then focused the lens on the otters. He could hear his companion creeping through the grass behind him. Belly down on the mud, Oak steadied the camera as Hart came alongside him, and let out a sigh as he sank down next to Oak to watch.

The female had two pups with her. As their svelte bodies wound through the rocks to the water’s edge, the mother otter glided into the river without so much as a splash, and the two pups followed. Oak lost count of the photos he took, possibly hundreds of shots as they paddled through the murky depths cautiously. Their fur shiny and dark from absorbing water, making their frames sleeker as they gracefully bathed against the flow.

“Can you hear them?” Hart said with a smile that sprang from his lips right through to his big gray eyes.

“Yeah…” Oak whispered.

The otters called to one another with endearing high-pitched squeaks.

“You ever seen them hold hands?” Hart asked, his lips so close to Oak’s ear that he could feel Hart’s breath tickling the skin.

“No, but I’d love to get a picture of it.”

After about fifteen minutes of lying in the grass like a predator, Oak’s pointed his lens to follow the family towards some big flat stones that were warm from the sun. The otters rested on the smooth surface, shaking their fur, and squeaking to each other until eventually all three disappeared through the long grasses.

“Hart.” Oak turned to face his companion on the ground.

“Yes?”

“I just realized I’m getting damp down here,” Oak said, letting out a snort.

“Me too…” A wicked smile came to his dark pink lips that spread out with luscious fullness as he broke into a chuckle.

At that moment elation filled Oak Watching the beautiful man was always a pleasure. The river tickled over rocks, murmuring quietly, and Hart’s lips were so close to Oak’s that he could feel each breath on his skin. Moving closer, Hart’s mouth brushed Oak’s so slightly, that Oak wasn’t even sure they’d actually touched.

With closed eyes, Oak parted his mouth willing the man’s tongue inside. Soft, plump lips pressed against his sending a shudder through his spine. His breath hitched with anticipation. A chaste kiss ended with Hart pulling away and shaking his head.

“You and your wildlife photography are leading me astray, young Mr. Redman.”

“Sorry…” Heat rushed up to Oak’s neck and face. He couldn’t understand why he was blushing. The soft, innocent kiss had been simple enough, but the highly-strung emotions behind it made him hot with every need possible. All of his senses were raw, responsive to the man’s presence. What would Hart’s muscles feel like under the man’s touch? Warm, golden skin would rub easily against his, and the comforting, arousing scent of pine would enhance each sensation further.

Hart stood; the blue T-shirt had ridden upward, exposing his flat stomach and hard abs. He tugged the material down, covering the dark treasure trail leading to his cargo pants, and dusted himself off, shedding grass from his top. Oak stared, then realized he should roll his tongue back in and get to his feet. He followed Hart back to the blanket, and flicked through some of the shots he’d taken of the otters.

“You want a look?”

“Sure.” Hart put hand out and took the camera instead of coming close to Oak but being three feet away still made his skin tingle with expectation. An expectation that would go unfulfilled.

About the Author:I enjoy writing both academic and fiction material. My research interests include focus on people who experience marginalization, both in historical societies and modern. Themes include disability, neurosis, homosexuality, addiction, mental illness, slavery and prostitution. The most important part of my work is creating multi-dimensional, believable characters that are able to build lasting romantic relationships against the odds. I want all my readers to laugh, cry and enjoy the erotic journey towards a happy ending.

Website: http://www.maehancock.com/

Blog: http://maehancockfiction.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter: @Hancockfiction

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008234531718

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Ember’s Center by Jillian Jacobs – Spotlight and Giveaway

1_26 ET_TourBanner_EmbersCenter

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jillian will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC plus a signed paperback copy of Ember’s Center and a Green Moose Productions fridge magnet (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

1_26 Cover_EmbersCenterShe spent her life fighting for middle ground, and now that she’s found it, she’ll fight for her life.

Ember Brooks yearns for an end to the dark chapters of her life—abusive mother, negligent father, teenage trauma, and sibling suicide. Determined to escape her traumatic past, Ember is finally headed for solid ground, gathering strength and balance with the help of her trusted counselor and friend, Xander Kane.

Still reeling from the death of her brother, Ember finds solace when Manchester Marauders center, Owen Killion goes on the offensive and barrels into her life. Both on the football field and off, Owen is sure-footed and confident. With his domineering presence and reliable nature, he alters her game-plan. But for a girl continually left on the sidelines, can she leave her heart on the line?

When Ember is the victim of increasingly dangerous incidents, and Xander changes the course of their relationship, once more her life spirals out of control.

Ember trusts Owen to guard their love, but when someone else is calling the shots, can they reach the end zone or will they fumble?

Enjoy this exclusive excerpt:

Xander stretched his neck from side to side, limbering up for the hour-long class that would teach him nothing new. Real-life dramas were the true classrooms. From the first, Ember’s story drew him. Psychology textbooks scripted her life on every page. Her chapters lay titled in bold black font: abusive mother, negligent father, unhealthy lifestyle, teenage trauma, and sibling suicide.

He’d met Ember during her sophomore year of college, when she’d worked behind a fast-food counter. Teased and taunted by drunken customers about her weight…and yet, she never batted an eye. Right then, he knew she was the one.

After a few more nights of observation, he introduced himself and worked past her initial misgivings. Delving into her life story and helping her overcome her issues ranked him smarter and wiser than his peers. Ember was the perfect test subject. He watched other students waste time on recreational pursuits, but he allotted time with Ember, honing his knowledge, digging deeper into her psyche.

And now, the time spent grooming her had come to fruition. His patience and guidance would lead to their mutually beneficial future together. Carefully planned construction was necessary in the next phase of Ember’s development—love.

He alone held the hammer.

About the Author: In the spring of 2013, Jillian Jacobs changed her career path and became a romance writer. After reading for years, she figured writing a romance would be quick and easy. Nope! With the guidance of the Indiana Romance Writers of America chapter, she’s learned there are many “rules” to writing a proper romance. Being re-schooled has been an interesting journey, and she hopes the best trails are yet to be traveled.

Water’s Threshold, the first in Jillian’s Elementals series, was a finalist in Chicago-North’s 2014 Fire and Ice contest in the Women’s Fiction category.

Jillian is a: Tea Guzzler, Polish Pottery Hoarder, and lover of all things Moose.

The genres she writes under are: Paranormal and Contemporary with suspenseful elements.

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For Keeps by Rachel Lacey – Guest Blog and Giveaway

1_26 lacey For-Keeps-Blog-Tour

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. Enter the Rafflecopter below to win a collection of books by Rachel Lacey.

Top 5 Best Things about being a writer

1. I get to work in my pajamas with a glass of wine :)

2. The moment when you write “The End.” You just wrote a book! It’s one of the greatest feelings in the world. It gets me every time.

3. I can’t NOT write. I always have, and I always will, and now I get paid to do it. That’s pretty great!

4. The writing community, and the romance writing community in particular, is SO amazing. I’ve made so many great friends and learned so much from fellow romance authors.

5. On a serious note, being able to stay home with my son while still working is really the icing on the cake for me. I feel incredibly fortunate.

 

1_26 Lacey_For Keeps_MMA SUMMER FLING . . . OR SOMETHING MORE?

Merry Atwater would do just about anything to save her dog rescue – even if it means working with the most stubborn man on the planet. It’s hard to avoid the sparks that fly with TJ Jameson, the ruggedly sexy cowboy in charge of the children’s camp where she’s just taken an animal therapy job. But commitment is not Merry’s style, and TJ clearly wants more than just a roll in the hay. TJ Jameson isn’t looking for anything complicated-just a peaceful life on his family’s ranch with a wife and kids. “No-strings” Merry Atwater doesn’t fit that bill, no matter how irresistible she is. But when he sees how Merry gets through to his autistic nephew and the other kids at Camp Blue Sky, TJ’s a goner. If he doesn’t give in to the now, he might just lose his shot at forever . . .

Enjoy an excerpt:

His expression heated until his eyes practically burned her.

She nibbled her bottom lip. “I should, uh, I should go.”

“It’s late,” he said, his voice like gravel. It tickled all her sweet spots.

She stared at his hands, those big calloused fingers. Damn, but she wanted to feel them on her skin. Like, now.

“Really late.” She took a step, but her feet accidentally carried her toward T.J., not the door.

He sucked in an audible breath, his eyes scorching hers. “I thought you were going.”

“So did I.” But fuck it. If she was going to be in his house in the middle of the night in her underwear, she might as well give him a kiss goodnight.

She’d never been known for her self-control, after all.

He watched her, not moving a muscle, as if he’d become rooted to the floor.

She put her palms on his biceps and pressed her lips to his. Just a quick kiss to test the waters, because they did have to work together for the next month.

His scent wrapped around her, filled her lungs, and stole her sanity. She lingered for a moment, her lips on his, so soft, so warm. Just enough to make her want more. So much more.

Her body pulsed with it.

She was about to pull back and tell him goodnight when his arms slid around her waist, securing her against the firm column of his body, and oh God, she was a goner.

“What was that?” he whispered against her lips.

She slid her hands up to encircle his neck. “A goodnight kiss.”

“And why would you do something like that?” His voice vibrated through her.

“Because I wanted to.” Their bodies were pressed together, and though he hadn’t kissed her back, he wanted to. She felt the evidence pressed against her belly.

“Bad idea,” he growled, his lips still touching hers, teasing, tempting.

“Oh, yeah?” She could hardly breathe. Every nerve tingled with awareness, desperate for his touch, his kiss. More. More of everything.

Her heart throbbed in her chest.

T.J.’s eyes smoldered into hers, his pupils blown with lust. His body vibrated with tension, his arms like steel bands around her. “Yeah.”

“Then send me home.” She wiggled in his arms, pressing into his erection, tempting him, willing him to kiss her back. Just for tonight.

She needed to be kissed. She needed to feel.

And he could make her…

His lips crushed hers, taking her so suddenly, so thoroughly, that she didn’t have time to draw a breath. She heard herself groan, felt the desire inside her explode into something so completely out of control it almost frightened her.

Her back slammed into the wall, and her legs wrapped around his waist. His tongue plunged into her mouth, gliding against hers in a rhythm so perfect she shuddered in his arms. He lifted her hips, grinding himself against her until her eyes rolled back in her head, and…

Holy shit, holy shit.

She must have lost her mind. Her body burned, quaked, shook for him, and he felt so fucking good. He tasted like sin, sweet and sexy, like leather and cowboy boots, and…

Holy shit.

She needed more. She needed everything. She needed him buried deep inside her, groaning her name as he drove her over the edge, as he came inside her, and…

Holy shit.

This was completely out of control.

“Holy shit.” The words came from T.J.’s lips, not her own, as he tore his mouth from hers and speared her with his gaze. He panted for breath, his body coiled against hers, so hard, so ready. She felt every inch of him still pressed between her legs, right where her body burned hottest for him. “What the hell was that?”

She laughed. “If you don’t know, then you’re more out of practice than I am.”

About the Author:1_26 Rachel Lacey
Rachel Lacey lives in North Carolina, with her husband, son, and their own rescued pup. She volunteers her spare time with Carolina Boxer Rescue and truly has a passion for helping our furry friends. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America as well as her local Heart of Carolina RWA chapter.

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How to Handle Negative Criticism by Christine Rains – Guest Blog and Giveaway



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Christine will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to one randomly selected winner during the tour via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

HOW TO HANDLE NEGATIVE CRITICISM
By Christine Rains

It’s going to happen sooner or later. One of your critique partners is going to say something is wrong about your manuscript or you get your first bad review. Negative criticism can make your whole world crumble around you.

So what do you do?

Cry, scream, eat a pint of ice cream, drown yourself in a Star Wars marathon, vow never to write again, and cry some more.

And while those are perfectly normal responses, they aren’t going to help you when you receive your next bad review. Here are five tips on how to handle negative criticism and not let it devour your soul.

1. Remember that not everyone is going to like what you write. People’s tastes are different. It’s just a fact of life. Move on and find someone who does share your vision.

2. Learn to tell constructive criticism from negative criticism. Take a step back and try to see what the person is saying. It might be something that needs improvement. Or it could just be that random jerk that left the bad review to be mean. If you can tell the difference and filter out the jerks, you’ll be much happier for it.

3. Develop a thick skin. Yes, I know you hear this a lot, but it’s a vital survival skill for writers. If you can remember the first two tips, you’re already on the right path. No matter how much it feels that way, criticism of your work isn’t personal.

4. Improve your own critiquing skills. Wait, you say? How does that help? Critiquing is a skill. The more you learn about how to be objective and constructive, the better you can handle being critiqued yourself.

5. If you do receive negative criticism, don’t engage the critic. A lot of writers don’t read reviews at all. That’s how they survive this rough journey. Delete those awful emails, ignore the one star reviews, and get rid of that discouraging critique partner.

Unfortunately negative criticism is part of a writer’s life, but you can overcome it. Don’t let it stop you.

Dice and Debauchery, Book 1

A weekend away at a convention is exactly what overworked student Morgan needs. Dressed as her character from her favorite online game, Morgan is braced—seriously, could her corset be tighter?—to meet the other players. As Lady Gyrfalcon, she’s ready for everything—except her intense attraction to Dean. A clandestine meeting in the hallway of the hotel and Morgan’s corset is looser but now she can’t breathe for entirely different reasons.

Utterly charmed, Morgan decides to roll the dice and indulge in a fantasy-worthy weekend of sexy roleplaying, scorching sex and life-altering orgasms. Still, through it all Morgan is too smart to believe the chemistry constantly stripping her of costumes and control can last more than the length of the convention. But if she wants to keep a relationship so intense she thought it only existed in fiction, she’s going to have to let go of her cool-headed logic and allow herself to fall far and fast for the perfect guy.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Stomping out of the bathroom, I froze upon seeing Russell standing in the alcove between the drinking fountains across from me. Dressed as Snidely Whiplash, he had the perfect sneer for the character.

“Come to kidnap me and tie me to the train tracks?” I folded my arms and stepped out of the way of a group of girls going into the bathroom.

“Don’t tempt me. It would save us all a lot of trouble.” Russell’s sharp and bitter tone carried a phantom slap.

I hesitated, weighing the situation. He obviously didn’t like me, but why? I hadn’t felt such hate when we first met, no matter that we were playing enemies. Did something so horrible happen between him and Emily, he was taking it out on me? But why did it feel more personal than that?

“Okay.” I took in a deep, slow breath and let it out. “Clearly you wanted to talk to me since you’re waiting here. What did you want to say?”

“End this thing between you and Dean now. Today at least. Don’t drag it out. You’ll only cause more damage if you do.”

Not what I expected in the least. What did he have against me and Dean? Did he not think I was good enough for his cousin?

“What’s between Dean and I is our own business.” There. A mature and reasonable reply. I wasn’t going to resort to growling back at him.

“And what is between you, hm?” Russell raised his comical eyebrows. It looked silly and somehow foreboding. “Girlfriend and boyfriend? Or just a con fling?”

About the Author:

Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood but make her a great Jeopardy player. As an avid gamer, she’s either going on adventures with her son or rolling dice with friends. Christine is a proud member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. She has several short stories and novellas published. Loose Corset is the first book of her geeky and hilarious Dice & Debauchery series.

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Great & Unfortunate Desires by Gina Danna – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Gina will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Victorian England c. 1870

Operating as a British spy, Tristan St.James, the new Marquis of Wrenworth, barely escapes Afghanistan with his life in the spring of 1869. He plans to seek vengeance against the traitor who exposed him and for the agent he’s forced to kill. Returning to England, as a lord, he must marry. Haunted by guilt from the horrors of war, he avoids love at all costs, but finds himself drawn to the only woman who is disinterested in him.

Lady Evelyn Hurstine has waited over two years for the return of her love, a man who left for war in the East. But during that time, she suffered a brutal assault, resulting in a child and fear of any man touching her except for the man she once knew. The pursuit by the marquis scares her but her excuses against his proposal dwindle.

Their marriage strengthens into love until she discovers her husband isn’t the safety she believed but the one who killed the man she once loved. Caught in a world of intrigue and mayhem, Tristan must prove his love to her before the traitor destroys them both.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“I shall talk to him shortly.”

Evelyn raised her brows, eyeing over his shoulder. “Shortly may be now, my lord.”

Tristan turned. Barreling down the lawn, creating a wake in in his path, Evelyn’s father stormed toward them. Not far behind him was Huntington and his son. Tristan gauged their pace and the distance. He had a few seconds and could hear Evelyn’s foot tapping against the grass. Frankly, he was surprised she hadn’t crossed her arms in anger or left him. With every second, her behavior and decision to stay put only made him more interested in her. Damn! Her dowry and position made her exactly what he needed his English bride to be like, with a ramrod backbone and a defiance of societal rules. As Evelyn’s father got closer, there was only one thing Tristan could think of to ensure she become his. In one swift move, he turned, pulled her close, bent her backward, and pressed his cheek to hers. She gasped.

“Considering the situation, you need me as much as I need you. We are the perfect match,” he whispered, smiling and gesturing as if to kiss her.

They both knew in that moment she became his forever. The compromising position between two single people in a public setting was shocking to the ton.

Tristan heard the grass crunching under the footsteps of the Baron and his party. He didn’t look in their direction but eased back from Evelyn, watching her reaction. Suppressed fury blazed in her eyes, and her body was rigid.

“Naught, naught, naught,” he murmured. “To slap me would be appropriate but would serve you no purpose.”

Despite the fire in her gaze, she relaxed a little within his arms. “But it would give me satisfaction nevertheless,” she whispered defiantly, although she didn’t move.

About the Author:

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Gina Danna has spent the better part of her life reading. History has been her love and she spent numerous hours devouring historical romance stories, dreaming of writing one of her own. Years later, after receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, writing academic research papers and writing for museum programs and events, she finally found the time to write her own stories of historical romantic fiction.

Now, under the supervision of her three dogs and three cats, she writes amid a library of research books, with her only true break away is to spend time with her other life long dream – her Arabian horse – with him, her muse can play.


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Load the Dice by Moriah Gemel – Spotlight and Giveaway

VBT_LoadTheDice_Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Moriah will be awarding a $25 Interlude Press GC to a randomly drawn commenter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. This book was first available online as an episodic, serialized novel—it is now available in its entirety!

MediaKit_BookCover_LoadTheDiceEric left the BDSM scene years ago because he couldn’t find the right partner, opting instead to meet men in quiet coffee shops and piano bars. But when his friend invites him to a posh hook-up party, he meets first time sub Jamie, who he convinces to detail his sexual fantasies during a passionate night together.

The pair soon embark on a relationship that introduces Jamie to the BDSM scene, and plays out his fantasies one by one. But as they approach the final fantasy, will Eric be able to walk away?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Are you willing to submit to me, Jamie?”

Jamie visibly shivers, his mouth dropping open a little bit at Eric’s tone. He’s shifting into Dominant mode now, drawing his body up taller, wider, lifting his chin and letting the power he keeps in reserve flow through him. He’s not holding back now—he’s completely in charge, and he wants to make sure Jamie can feel it, even if he can’t see a thing.

“Yes,” Jamie whispers, with barely a breath.

“And do you understand that if at any time you don’t feel safe, if you feel we’re not acting sanely, or if you stop consenting, that you have every right to stop play?” It’s the core tenant of BDSM. SSC: Safe, Sane, and Consensual. If play isn’t all of those things, it’s not okay unless expressly agreed upon ahead of time—and that’s crossing into hardcore territory that isn’t for beginners. It’s best if they stick to the basics for now.

Jamie nods his head and agrees again, faintly and barely coherent. But it’s enough.

“Good.” Eric leans down and kisses him, light and teasing, barely brushing their lips. Jamie whimpers and opens his mouth in invitation, but Eric doesn’t take it.

“You have to earn that, Jamie,” he says, pulling back. Jamie breathes in shakily, and Eric hums, pleased. “Don’t worry, it’s your first time. We’ll go easy.” Eric steps back, pushing the box out of the way with his foot. “I want you on your knees.”

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_LoadTheDice
Moriah Gemel has developed a dedicated following for her realistic, sexually-charged stories over twelve years in online fan communities. Passionate about a realistic depiction of BDSM, her goal is to both entertain and educate readers about the BDSM community.

She is married and has a young son.

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The Marine’s E-Mail Order Bride by Cora Seton – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Cora will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

If Gunnery Sergeant Zane Hall wants to save his family’s ranch, he’ll need to fix up the buildings, stock the spread with cattle—and find a wife. The first two are easy with the help of his brothers, but getting hitched is proving more difficult. When he meets mountaineer Kenna North through an online ad, she seems like the perfect fit—at least in her e-mails. She wants the same thing he does: a temporary marriage to secure an inheritance. But when Zane meets Kenna, she’s nothing like he expects, and Zane finds himself changing his priorities, fast.

If Storm Willow wants to save her family’s seaside cottage, she’ll have to keep her boss happy—which means taking Kenna’s place and marrying Zane when Kenna is detained out of the country. As long as Storm acts her part, no one will know that she’s an imposter. But when she falls for the handsome Marine, Storm begins to wonder if holding onto the cottage is worth giving up on love.

Can a fake marriage lead to real happiness? Or is disaster just a heartbeat away?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Kenna, can I ask you a question?” Zane stopped outside the door to her room.

“Of course.” No matter where Storm’s gaze rested, the Marine was fascinating, from his direct gaze, to the curve of his smile to the hollow at the base of his throat.

“When you realized what you had to do to get your inheritance, what did you feel?”

Storm searched for an answer. Kenna had been furious, of course, but she couldn’t say that to Zane, not when the way he was looking at her told her he too was struggling against a current of desire.

“You know what I felt?” he went on when she didn’t reply, and his deep, warm voice touched off a new wave of want within her. “Relief. I wanted to marry anyway, but I was beginning to think I was the only one in the world who felt that way. The guys in my unit acted like marriage was a death sentence. Even the women I met seemed to think that.” He shrugged. “You’d think no one believed in marriage anymore. I do, though. I’ve always known exactly what I want. To get my family’s ranch back, to fall in love with a beautiful woman, and to start a family with her. When I heard Heloise’s conditions for inheriting the ranch, I thought, ‘Well, now I’ve got an excuse for going out and getting a wife.’” He laughed, but it was a bitter sound. “I’ve never told anyone that.” He looked away and the brim of his hat hid his face from view for a moment. When he turned back toward her his gaze was direct and searching. “What about you? Have you ever wanted something like that?”

Storm barely trusted herself to answer. Kenna would say no—she’d never wanted a husband or a family.

But Storm wasn’t Kenna.

“Yes. I’ve always wanted to marry, too. My parents were so happy together and it’s been so hard on my mom since…” She caught herself just in time, realizing she was getting her story crossed with Kenna’s. “I’ve always wanted to marry. I want…” What did she want? “I want a partner in life. Someone I can depend on. Someone I can celebrate with when things go well. I want us each to have our separate passions, but I want us to have plenty that we do together, too. Does that make sense?”

“That makes perfect sense. Kenna, I—”

“Call me Storm,” she said on impulse. “All my friends do.” Each time he said Kenna’s name it felt like a slap to the face. She didn’t want to remember Zane was her boss’s pretend fiancé, not hers. She didn’t want to think about Kenna at all.

“Storm,” he said slowly. “I like that. It suits you better than Kenna. Storm, I feel like you and I—” He broke off, turned away, and surveyed the parking lot beneath them. “Never mind.”

About the Author:

Cora Seton loves cowboys, country life, gardening, bike-riding, and lazing around with a good book. Mother of four, wife to a computer programmer/eco-farmer, she ditched her California lifestyle nine years ago and moved to a remote logging town in northwestern British Columbia.

Like the characters in her novels, Cora enjoys old-fashioned pursuits and modern technology, spending mornings transforming a neglected one-acre lot into a paradise of orchards, berry bushes and market gardens, and afternoons writing the latest Chance Creek romance novel. Visit www.coraseton.com to read about new releases, contests and other cool events!

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The Rebel of Copper Creek by R.C. Ryan – Giveaway

1_21 Rebel-Blog-Tour

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. Ten ramdonly drawn winners tour-wide via Rafflecopter will receive a print copy of The Rebel of Copper Creek.

We asked Ms. Ryan to share with us the top 5 places she liked to write. Here’s what she told us:

Sorry. I write in only one place. My office. On my computer.

But if I could write while traveling, I’d love to write:

On a beach in the South Seas

On a mountain resort in a ski chalet

In a café in Paris

On a catamaran on the waters off Australia

In an apartment in Rome

1_21 Ryan_The Rebel of Copper Creek_mm
A love worth fighting for . . .

The last thing widow Juliet Grayson needs is a man in her life. Between caring for her two young sons and maintaining her husband’s ranch, her hands are more than full. Then she meets Griff Warren. With his quiet strength and his easy way with her boys, she’s tempted to trust him. But if there’s anything she’s learned, it’s that love only leads to heartbreak. Former Marine Griff Warren never thought he’d settle down. Rebellious and proud, he’s always been on his own . . . until the father he never knew he had died, leaving him with land that is his legacy and brothers to share the load. He doesn’t need more than that. But Juliet touches something deep inside him-and he wants nothing more than to protect her and her sons. Now if only he can convince her to take a second chance at true love.

Enjoy an excerpt:

She opened a second door to reveal a bathroom fit for a queen, with a tub and shower big enough for an army, a lovely oval sink and mirror, and all of it done in shades of white marble.

She turned to him with a look of alarm. “Oh, Griff. I don’t belong here.”

He merely smiled. “Neither do I. But I won’t tell if you don’t.” His smile grew. “I say we just kick back and enjoy all this until they discover we’re frauds.”

She tried to laugh, but it came out in a sigh.

Before she could say more he touched a finger to her lips. Just a touch, but they both looked stunned at his boldness.

He lowered his hand and took a step back. “I’d better say goodnight and get out of here.”

“Wait.” She caught his hand and held it tightly. “Just stay a minute more. I’m feeling overwhelmed.”

His smile was quick and charming. “I’m feeling overwhelmed myself. But it’s not the room, it’s the woman in it.”

“Don’t joke, Griff.”

His smile disappeared. “It’s no joke. And if I don’t leave you right now, I just might not make it out of here.”

He got as far as the door before turning to look at her. That was his downfall. In quick strides he crossed the room and grabbed her in a fierce embrace.

“I almost made it.” The words were whispered against her temple as he began brushing hot, wet kisses down the side of her face until she turned her head slightly and his lips found hers. “I know you told me you don’t like this.” His voice was a rough growl of desperation.

“That’s what I said. But right this minute I can’t tell you that, Griff.” She clung to him. “I need you hold me, just for a minute.”

“If I stay for a minute, it could turn into hours. I may not be able to leave at all. In fact, it’s already too late. I know what touching you does to me.”

And then he took the kiss deep, nearly devouring her.

Her body was crushed against him, her heartbeat wildly matching his. The feel of her ragged breath, her pounding pulse, added more fuel to the fire that raged through him.

“Wait, Griff. I need a minute…”

Her words barely penetrated the fog that seemed to have taken over his control.

Instead of doing as she asked, he backed her across the room until they were stopped by the press of the wall against her back. They barely noticed the bump of their bodies as they continued the kiss until they were nearly crawling inside each other’s skin.

He was so hot he could barely catch a breath. Lifting his head, he breathed deeply before lowering his face to hers. “I could stay the night. I could…”

She lifted a hand to his mouth. “Wait. Stop. I need to think.”

“I can’t think. My brain…” He sucked in air, hoping to clear his mind.

“We can’t do this.” She put a hand to his chest.

“I know. I know.” He caught her hand in his. “I’ll go.”

As he started to turn away she lifted herself on tip toe to brush his mouth with hers. “I don’t want you to, but I know I need to send you away.”

He half-turned back to her. “I don’t have to…”

“Yes. No.” She breathed deeply. “Yes. Go.”

His hands closed around her shoulders. “Was that no? Or go?”

She looked up at the same moment he looked down. They bumped noses, then both burst into laughter.

They laughed so hard they clung together, shaking and laughing.

He pressed his forehead to hers and managed another shaky breath. “Okay. At least I know we’re both crazy.” He held her a little away and stared deeply into her eyes before giving a groan. “I’m going now. Just…” He backed away. “…don’t touch me or I won’t make it.”

She stayed where she was, watching as he backed across the room. Straightening his shoulders he turned and opened the door. He stepped out and pulled it firmly shut behind him.

About the Author: 1_21 R.C. Ryan
New York Times bestselling author R.C. Ryan has written more than ninety novels, both contemporary and historical. Quite an accomplishment for someone who, after her fifth child started school, gave herself the gift of an hour a day to follow her dream to become a writer. In a career spanning more than twenty years, Ms. Ryan has given dozens of radio, television, and print interviews across the country and Canada, and has been quoted in such diverse publications as the Wall Street Journal and Cosmopolitan. She has also appeared on CNN News, and Good Morning America. R.C. Ryan is a pseudonym of New York Times bestselling author Ruth Ryan Langan.

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