Friday, August 22, 2014

INKED anthology is LIVE! Read a steamy excerpt




I’m freaking out in all the good ways, can you tell? :D My first foray into self-pubbing is now officially live on Amazon! *happy dance*




HOUSE OF PAYNE is one-third of the INKED Anthology, the first of the HOUSE OF PAYNE trilogy, and one of the hottest books I’ve ever written. *fans self* This was a pleasure to write, and I’m hoping it’ll be just as much a pleasure to read!



Sebastian Payne is the power behind House Of Payne—a self-made millionaire, international celebrity and a leading force in the world of tattoos. Payne could have any woman in the world, but he’s got eyes only for 3D artist Becks Delgado, and he’ll do anything to get her. When he takes her out for a little private dining at an exclusive restaurant I fashioned after The Metropolitan Club in the Willis (Sears) Tower in Chicago, he introduces his lady-love to his version of fine dining…


EXCERPT:
            “The Metro Club.” Becks’s eyes were everywhere as they walked through the brass-accented paneled dining area lit by crystal chandeliers. Breathtaking views of the night-shrouded Chicago skyline glittered beyond the wall-to-wall windows, the city’s lights glowing like a giant’s treasure trove below their perch on the sixty-seventh floor. “I never realized this place was here.”
            “The anarchist in me hates the concept of clubs.  Too elitist and usually filled with people who have no concept of what it is to really work for a living. But I discovered you have to go where business gets done, so I joined up when the House hit the big leagues. And being a member here does have certain perks that come with it.” Through a set of mahogany double doors, they entered a candlelit room no bigger than a large dining room found in any house, with framed black-and-white photos of Chicago monuments on its mellow golden walls. Their hostess seated them next to each other on a tufted leather banquette at a linen-swathed table facing windows that framed views of Millennium Park. Their hostess waited as a sommelier filled fluted glasses with champagne, then closed the doors as they exited. “Perks like private dining, for instance.”
            “Are you kidding me?” Payne watched her eyes grow to the size of saucers. She got halfway out of her seat to look around while the faint melody of piano music filtered in from the front of the restaurant. “Holy crap, this is the only table in the room.” She fell back into her seat and made a chagrined face. “And I just said holy crap out loud, which proves I don’t belong in a setting as refined as this. Are you sure you don’t want to just grab a quick bite at McDonald’s?”
            “Sounds great, but since we’re here now we might as well take advantage.” He edged closer to her until their thighs touched. The simple physical contact sang through him like a miracle. “I’m sure the chef could make you his version of a Big Mac if you asked.”
            “I wouldn’t dare. That dude’s got access to sharp knives.” By degrees her smile faded, and she fiddled with the napkin on her lap. “You know you don’t have to wine and dine me, right?”
            “And you know that I like to do things up right.” Payne caught that fidgeting hand in his even as the doors opened behind them. He brought her fingers to his lips as the starters he’d ordered—prime rib Carpaccio in truffle oil and prosciutto-wrapped grilled asparagus—were served. “I get such a kick out of surprising you that I want to do it all the time, so you might as well get used to it. I’ve only just begun to spoil you.”
            “Spoiling isn’t necessary. You care that I exist.” Her voice was so low he almost missed it as they were left alone once more and he transferred little delicacies to their awaiting plates. “That’s more than enough. That’s everything.”
            “Becks.” Payne struggled with the enormity of the emotions she spawned. With just a handful of words, she moved him to the point of speechlessness while at the same time she brought out every protective instinct he possessed. When she looked at him as if she couldn’t keep her eyes off him, everything that was masculine in his DNA demanded he lock her against him and never let go. “When you say things like that, it makes me want to give you the world.”
            “Meh. I don’t want the world. It’s too messed up.”
            “Tell me what you do want, and I’ll get it for you.” Whatever it was, he’d find a way.
            “You really don’t know?” Her dark eyes lifted to his. “All I want is you.”
            Need slammed him, a crazed desperation that ripped through his system like a runaway train. Savoring the sensation, he reached over for a morsel of food and held it to her lips. “If you’re very good, you’ll get what you want. But I want something in return.”
            She took the bite into her mouth and sucked the truffle oil from his finger. The feel of her kitten-soft, velvet tongue against the pad of his finger taunted him without mercy. All too easily he could imagine that sweet little tongue sliding up the length of his dick so clearly, it was as though she’d actually done it.
            Oh, God…
            “You want something from me?” The smile that curled her usually solemn mouth was knowing. Sexy. Destined to snap his will like dry kindling. “Are we bargaining now?”
            “Always.”
            “What is it that you want?”
            “Your panties. Take them off.”
            Static-filled silence exploded between them for a heartbeat, and in that moment he could have sworn he heard her heartbeat. Then, with her eyes never leaving his, she slid out of the banquette and bunched up the folds of her long skirt. The teasing glimpses he got of her legs—pale, slender columns that needed to be wrapped around him—were enough to make his stiffening flesh swell to the point that his briefs felt like they’d grown small enough to cut off all circulation. With a grimace of near pain, he shifted in his seat while drinking in the faint shimmy of her hips. God, she was beautiful. The world could have been ending beyond the windows in front of him, and he still wouldn’t have been able to look away as she glided her hands up her thighs before they disappeared under her skirt.
            “I wish I’d known this was going to be in my immediate future.” The sound of her voice hit all his happy-buttons. Soft and sultry, it was a purr that was as sensually stimulating as a tangible caress.  “I would have worn my royal purple French lace thong. Instead, you get… these.”
            A hint of red dropped to the floor. With uncomplicated grace she stepped out of them and scooped them up. When she folded them design side up and handed them over, the edgy hunger that stalked him lightened with a flash of irresistible humor.
            “Wonder Woman?”
            “Don’t knock the Amazon princess.” Laughter danced in her eyes along with a lush excitement she couldn’t seem to hide, and it had him biting his lip to keep from groaning. This woman getting hot for him was almost too arousing to bear. “That chick rocked. She was my role model as a kid.”
            “A woman who appreciates comic books. How did I ever get so lucky?” As she slid back into her seat, she lifted her skirt out of the way, and he caught a hand above her knee before it could once again be covered. Her skin was a living fantasy of crushed silk and rose petals and all things that belonged in heaven. Soon he’d find out if she was that soft everywhere. “Though I have to admit, I always preferred Marvel to DC.”
            “Are you crazy? Superman and Batman and their multi-layered back stories were better than The X-Men or Spiderman any day of the week.”
            “Hey, now. Those are fighting words right there.” It was insane how delighted he was with her, this nerd-girl in disguise. With his hand sliding up her thigh, he gently bit at her neck and wondered what she’d make of the small images of Venom and Spidey fighting it out within the cityscape tattoo he had across the small of his back. “I think you need to be punished for that.”
            “Ooh. Scary man.” Her breathing was audible as she angled her body toward him for easier access. “Do your worst.”
            The invitation nearly broke him.
            Before another move could be made, the doors behind them opened again. Dirty plates were whisked away to make way for entrees of duck breast with cherry compote and skewers of flame-roasted vegetables. Payne barely saw any of it, glancing up only to inform their server that privacy was what they wanted now. When they were alone once more, the thought of sedately eating a meal with her wearing nothing under her skirt was the one sure way he’d lose his goddamn mind.
            “Becks.” No matter how delicious the aroma was from the dinner they’d been served, all he could smell was her scent. Lust burned in him, all-consuming. It was a fever, and she was his only cure. “Tell me if you’re hungry, and I’ll try like hell to keep my hands off you. But if you’re not…”
            “No.” Her breath trembled as she propped a knee on the seat and slipped a hand to his shoulder for balance. “I’m not hungry… for food.”
            “Excellent. Because the only thing I want to eat right now is you.” With that, he cleared the space on the table in front of him so he could set her ass down on it.

Now this was his idea of fine dining. 
******

Sound interesting? Find HOUSE OF PAYNE in the INKED anthology, along with Jade C. Jamison’s PUNCTURED, BRUISED, AND BARELY TATTOOED,  and J.M. Walker’s SHATTERED STRINGS. All proceeds go to charity!


Blurb for HOUSE OF PAYNE:

Life is supposedly what you make of it, but that’s crap as far as 3D artist Becks Delgado is concerned. She never wanted her brother to die in a car accident… or to be the one who was behind the wheel. Her external scars are nothing compared to the raw wounds inside, and death seems to be the only way to find peace.

Sebestian Payne took the concept of a tattoo parlor and transformed it into a sophisticated gallery of living art. The House Of Payne now caters to the rich and infamous, has garnered a worldwide following, and is run by Sebastian with an iron fist. He knows Becks is exactly what The House Of Payne needs, but there’s a problem. The accident that changed her life left its mark on him as well, and whether he likes it or not, it’s time to put his House in order.


BUY LINKS

My inspiration for Payne, Micah Truitt. Nice, right? :)


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

INKED anthology proceeds donated to charity!



IT’S OFFICIAL!!! The authors of INKED are proud to announce that ALL proceeds from the book will go to benefit women in need of mastectomy tattoos and tattoos that cover scars. Tattoo artist Madame Lazonga specializes in tattooing women, particularly in beautifying women who have experienced the scars that surviving cancer can leave behind. She had agreed to use the proceeds from the INKED antho for women who would like to have these restorative tattoos but might not be able to afford them. Because our anthology revolves around tattoos and women, we couldn’t think of a better cause.

If you’d like to learn more about Madame Lazonga’s process, drop in on her website and have a look, and don’t forget to pick up a copy of INKED, out 8/25, to support a great cause!

http://www.madamelazongastattoo.com/


Watch this space for buy links for INKED!


 










Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Opening scene from HOUSE OF PAYNE, out 8/25



It’s Teaser Tuesday!  In less than two weeks, the INKED Anthology is scheduled to be released, so I thought it was time to introduce to you… Becks and Payne.  Enjoy this opening scene from my full-length novel, HOUSE OF PAYNE!

EXCERPT:
            “Excuse me… Becks?”
Becks Delgado turned from her study of the slush-covered streets of Chicago’s bustling downtown area known as the Loop. Beyond the reception area’s floor-to-ceiling windows, traffic moved at a snail’s pace, the occasional impatient honking of a horn all but muted by the thick insulated glass. God, she hated this part of town.  Hated. And it wasn’t because the traffic in the financial district was usually enough to make even a saint wish for more middle fingers. This part of town represented death to her, in every sense of the word. Her little brother’s life had come to an abrupt end only a couple blocks from where she now stood, along with life as she’d known it.
But she’d had to come. And she wouldn’t leave until she had her pound of flesh.
 “Yes?”
The rockabilly brunette manning the reception desk smiled while flicking scarlet-tipped fingers expertly over the surface of a tablet. “You’re in luck. Payne will see you now. Right up the stairs and through the double doors.”
The tension inside Becks ratcheted up another notch, but she nodded her thanks and headed out of the elegant lobby of House Of Payne, Chicago’s premiere tattoo studio. Though calling it a studio was a little like calling Marilyn Monroe an attractive woman.
            House Of Payne was unique in the world of ink, and it wasn’t shy about letting everyone know it. The difference was noticeable right from the moment a client entered the building. Unlike other tattoo studios, there were no tattoo stencils tacked up on walls or kept in disorganized, well-used portfolios. Instead, state-of-the-art touchscreens embedded into the V-shaped reception counter provided instant access to the House’s countless exclusive designs.
            Clearly, only the best of the best was accepted here.
            The retro-hipster atmosphere most studios adopted was also nowhere to be found. Fashioned after upscale art galleries, House Of Payne prided itself on paying homage to the glory and beauty of art. The only difference was that this particular gallery worshipped living art, and the human body was perceived as an ever-changing canvas just begging to be decorated.
            No one could overlook the gallery-like bones of the showroom beyond the open reception area. Black marble flooring, modular white walls, brilliant spotlighting and mobile floor displays of stacked flatscreen TVs that matrixed together into a complete image—all of it was a backdrop for showcasing unique artwork.
In the center of the showroom was the true gem of the House, a 3D holographic image beamed onto a large transparent film suspended over a gilded circular plinth. As a 3D artist herself and an admirer of the “Pepper’s ghost” effect, Becks knew just how much it had cost to make that holographic image happen. But that wasn’t why she kept glancing back to that display. The 3D image, a puzzle piece falling from a human heart and turning black with death while exposing the demons within the organ… it was hers. The quiet agony it represented was known only to her, and those demons within her heart were still there. That missing piece of heart—that missing piece of her—had let the demons out when it had died.
            There was no way she’d allow that sacred part of her to be drawn onto every poser who came here just because they thought it looked cool.
            Following the brunette’s directions, Becks zipped up a glass brick staircase to the second floor where the tattoo artists did their work. Each work station was discreetly housed within its own private cubicle of frosted glass, with the subtle logo of the House Of Payne embedded into the glass itself. The trippy strains of Pink Floyd whispered overhead as she pushed through the closed double doors without knocking. So what if the man inside didn’t approve of her manners? She wasn’t there to be polite. She was there to kick the ass of arguably the most powerful man in the tattoo industry. Knocking his head against a wall was the only kind of knocking she had in mind.
            “Ah, the one and only Rebecca Delgado has finally graced House Of Payne with her presence. Gotta say, Becks, it took you long enough.”
            She slammed to a halt, irrationally pissed off now that the rug had pulled out from under her. Damn it, she’d been the one who had wanted to do the pulling. With a vexed frown, she regarded the man lounging back against a massive glass and steel executive desk, his arms and ankles crossed as if he’d been waiting for her his whole life. From the polished brown leather lace-up boots to the tailored trousers, button-down dress shirt and shocking red suspenders, he looked like he’d just strolled off a fashion shoot. He was her definition of eye-candy, and if he hadn’t just rattled her cage so thoroughly, she would no doubt be in danger of having to wipe the drool off her chin.
            Took you long enough…?
            Sebastian Payne, or Payne, was as well-known in Chicago as Oprah or Jordan. From Hollywood’s A-Listers to European royalty, from music moguls to the gladiators of the athletic world—they all came to Payne for ink. His fame began years earlier when he posted a session online with the client’s consent. The client in question had once been a super-sweet, cavity-inducing child star before vanishing when she’d grown out of her adorable lisping phase. She’d chosen to celebrate her twenty-first birthday at Payne’s then-tiny parlor by getting a tattoo across her ass that read “Fuck It Hard.”
            Clearly, the saccharine-sweet kid was all grown up and itching to prove it.
            Payne had been more than willing to help her scratch that itch. With the camera rolling, he’d taken the tat up on its suggestion and had given that young woman what appeared to be the wildest, screaming-for-God ride of her life. She was now making a name for herself in the adult entertainment industry with a website that pulled down an estimated seven figures annually.
Payne had become a living legend.
            It probably didn’t hurt that he was so gorgeous he didn’t seem real. With mussed tobacco brown hair, heavy-lidded hazel eyes that suggested he’d just rolled out of an overcrowded bed and a crooked smile full of sin, Becks had hatched her share of fantasies about him. So had every other woman in Chicagoland.
            But that was before he’d stooped to pirating artwork off the internet like a goddamn hack.
            “My, my. How remarkable you are.” She gave herself a mental pat on the back for her calm tone. No one would have guessed she’d spent the entire trip on the L envisioning ways of torturing him. Almost nothing could shake her out of the cocoon of numbness she’d been in for the past four years, but her art was an exception. If anyone dared to screw with it, she’d make them regret the day they were born. “You’re capable of looking me right in the eye as if you’re unaware that you’re nothing more than a common piece of shit. I’m impressed with your testicular fortitude.”
            His cocky smile dropped. She picked it up and returned it in spades.
            “Common, huh?” She’d thought those heavy-lidded eyes couldn’t get any sexier. Then he narrowed them and showed her how wrong she could be. “Even when I didn’t have a pot to piss in, I’ve never been common in my life.”
            “Pirating artwork off the internet and claiming it as your own is as common as they come.”
            “True… if that was the reality of the situation.” He reached back behind him for a tablet identical to the brunette’s downstairs and danced his fingers across its surface. “There. Look familiar?”
            The last thing Becks wanted to do was take the tablet. But a superior smirk was doing its damnedest to seep into his expression, so she had no choice. A second later she clenched her jaw so her teeth wouldn’t drop all over the carpet at the sight of a familiar invoice.
            Shit.
*****

BLURB:

HOUSE OF PAYNE – Stacy Gail

Life is supposedly what you make of it, but that’s crap as far as 3D artist Becks Delgado is concerned. She never wanted her brother to die in a car accident… or to be the one who was behind the wheel. Her external scars are nothing compared to the raw wounds inside, and death seems to be the only way to find peace.

Sebastian Payne took the concept of a tattoo parlor and transformed it into a sophisticated gallery of living art. The House Of Payne now caters to the rich and infamous, has garnered a worldwide following, and is run by Sebastian with an iron fist. He knows Becks is exactly what The House Of Payne needs, but there’s a problem. The accident that changed her life left its mark on him as well, and whether he likes it or not, it’s time to put his House in order.

*****


Don’t forget to put INKED on your Goodreads TBR list today!

Obligatory tattooed eye candy. You're welcome. ;)






Monday, August 4, 2014

ONE HOT SECOND is live!


Chandler and Parker’s story is finally here with the release of the 3rd book in the Bitterthorn,Texas series, ONE HOT SECOND—YESSSSSSS! 

It’s been a long haul getting their story from my brain to the page. Research ate up a lot of time, but it was worth it! Chandler and Parker’s story has that sense of realism while still being sexy as hell. 

Another thing that hung up ONE HOT SECOND was, of all things, the cover art. I love the close-up of the characters kissing on the cover, and I’ve gotten great feedback on it.  But… that’s not how it originally looked.

My publisher, Carina Press, sends these detailed “art fact sheets” for authors to fill out. The more detailed you are when you fill out your art fact sheet, the better the cover artist is going to understand the theme, feel, mood and characters involved. Aside from describing my characters and sending my entire Pinterest storyboard to them, I wrote down no less than four times that it was in Texas, summer, scorching sunshine, and set during a heat wave.  

What I got back was… this:





Yes. That is a blanket. They're sharing a blanket.

Maybe that’s a scorching summer heat wave where the artist comes from...?

Remember, though—all Carina covers come from the Harlequin art department, which means they do thousands of book covers every year. Naturally there’s going to be a crossed wire every now and again. It’s up to the author (read: ME) to catch these boo-boos before the covers get finalized.

Unfortunately, I was, err, distracted when I got the first draft for OHS.

Picture it. I’m at Adult Nationals, rinkside with my competitive skaters, and I hear I've got mail. I even remember what was going on at the time—a double salchow was going screwy and my skater had just hit her knee—so I’m leaning over the boards, going, “Your knee is fine, I don’t see any swelling.” Chime sounds. Glance at tablet.  “Go on and do a flying camel and see how the landing feels.”  Pick up tablet, glance at cover art. Redheaded woman. Dark-haired man. Kissing. Perfect.  “…five. Six. Seven… you need to hold that flying camel for EIGHT ROTATIONS.  EIGHT, DO YOU HEAR ME???”

So, um…. 

I never saw the blanket. 

Until now, I’ve been too embarrassed about my major eff-up to talk about it, but there it is. I NEVER SAW THE BLANKET.  Dear God, somebody get me bifocals.  Or a new brain. Probably both. Yeah, I could really use both.

For those who attended RWA in San Antonio in July, you know how hellishly hot it gets in South Texas. And yes, ONE HOT SECOND takes place just thirty miles south of San Antonio, in the fictional town of Bitterthorn. In the summer. During a heat wave.  I totally should have seen the blanket.  I KNOW.

But I didn't.  I didn't see it because I didn't give the cover art the attention it deserved. I am officially a naughty author.

Ultimately Kingo Ng, a brilliant (and patient!) guy who handled the cover art issue, made it all work and he deserves a medal. Mistakes will happen, and it’s up to the author—whose business is writing and whose books are her products—to make sure everything is as perfect as can be.  This mistake was totally on me.

I have learned my lesson. :)

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, there is no blanket in ONE HOT SECOND.  If there were a blanket, Chandler and Parker would just have super-hot, extra-sweaty sex on top of it, but that would be pretty much it. ;)


Blurb:

Parker Radclyffe is up against a wall. Thorne Mansion, the mysterious Italianate castle she's come to Texas to restore, isn't the problem. No matter how intriguing the relic is, it's merely an ember compared to the blazing magnetism of its owner, Chandler Thorne.


When his family mansion burned down, Chandler had to watch over a hundred years of proud history go up in smoke. After more than a year, he finally has everything in place to rebuild, including a renowned conservation architect to oversee the restoration. But when he lays eyes on Parker he realizes he's gotten more than he paid for. Maybe more than he can handle.


Parker is a military brat who never sits still long enough to get burned. Chandler is her opposite, a man with deep roots and deeper family secrets. It won't be easy to find the common ground it takes to build a home together, but Chandler is a Thorne in every sense. He plans to stick with Parker until she sees that love is more than worth the risk.

64,000 words

BUY LINKS:
 *****


Don’t forget ONE HOT SECOND’s blog tour starts TODAY. Click the link for deets!




Saturday, August 2, 2014

ONE HOT SECOND -- First Kiss

ONE HOT SECOND releases this Monday! I'm so freaking excited!


 Finally I get to share the hottest—both literally and figuratively—story to date in the Bitterthorn, Texas series. Chandler Thorne and Parker Radclyffe strike sizzling sparks off each other from the get-go, and their first kiss is downright incendiary.  Don’t believe me?  Allow me to prove it by sharing Chandler’s and Parker’s very first kiss…

Excerpt from ONE HOT SECOND:

When he returned with several disks, she lifted the heavy fall of hair off her neck and fanned a hand at the overheated flesh there. “I told you Texas was hot.”
“It’s not Texas.” Good grief. Did she actually say it out loud?
“It’s not?”
“No.”
He set the disks on a table beside her. The sound seemed loud in the sudden stillness as he moved close enough to brush against her. It could have been an accident, but they both knew it wasn’t. He’d invaded her space and wanted to see what she’d do about it. “Then what is it, Parker? Tell me what’s got you so…hot.”
He knew, the bastard. “I’m hot because…”
Chandler lowered his head and inhaled. Breathing her in. Though he wasn’t touching her, somehow it was the most intimate thing she’d ever experienced.
“Because?”
“I’m hot because of you.” With a rashness that had always gone hand-in-hand with the rest of her mercurial personality, she made her gaze slam into his with the vaguely mad hope that it would melt him just as he melted her. “Satisfied?”
“Nope.” Then he smiled, and the hunger in it was enough to make her breath back up in her throat. “But I’m hoping I will be. Eventually.”
“Damn.” She shuddered, and it made his smile widen. “When it comes to flirting, you don’t take any prisoners, do you?”
“Flirting’s for indecisive suckers who may or may not know what they want.” She was so absorbed in watching his bow-perfect lips form the words, she almost missed his move behind her. That was why she jumped when he took the mass of hair she held off her neck. “I don’t know if it’s right or wrong to say it—and right now I don’t give a damn, either way—but when I look at you, Parker, I know exactly what I want.”
She opened her mouth to say something—she had no idea what—when air danced over her skin. The sensation was so cool and unexpected, goose bumps broke out as he blew on her hot skin. Her pulse skyrocketed while her knees threatened to liquefy. Yet all he was doing was blowing a soft, cool current of air over her too-hot flesh. If he touched her…
Touch me. God, please touch me…
His mouth brushed against the sensitive skin of her exposed nape. In an instant, her ability to speak vanished like it had never been. Somehow that single, feather-soft caress ignited her nerves with invisible fire. Her eyes fluttered closed, an unconscious move to more fully revel in the tactile delight of his touch. The feel of it was so unexpected and sweet she couldn’t stop her breath from catching, and that one sound of unmistakable arousal all but screamed in the room’s stillness. His whispered huff of laughter tickled along her skin even as he let her hair slowly cascade through his fingers.
“What’s the matter, Parker? Too much for you?”
The teasing tone almost buried the challenge in the words, and it was a challenge she couldn’t pass up. With her system still sizzling, she turned to face him, only to be caught by the devouring hunger in his eyes. She’d been fooled by his tone into thinking this was just for fun, but there was nothing playful about how he watched her. He was focused on her with an intensity that had the power to shut out everything in the world but him. She lifted her mouth to his, overwhelmed by that absolute attention, and let herself fall into him.
If she had thought a faint little kiss along her nape could ignite a fire, the erotic friction of his mouth against hers was downright nuclear. Every instinct she possessed told her she wasn’t alone in that sensation; she felt more than heard his breath catch in a disturbance she understood all too well as he pulled her so close their bodies fused from chest to knee. The difference in height and contours thrilled her, unleashing a fluttery excitement to effervesce through her veins. Their combined body heat was so deliriously molten it made the temperature outside seem downright temperate.
A perfect match, an absolute fit. There was no other way to describe Chandler’s mouth on hers. She’d thought she’d understood basic physical perfection in how separate parts could form a whole; she’d seen breathtaking examples of it in architecture, from the stone monuments of the Mayans to the dry-stone walls in West Ireland. Hell, even the weirdness of a glass pyramid in the middle of the frigging Nevada desert had a kind of Bizarro-World rightness to it.
But Chandler’s kiss opened her eyes to a new reality. It was possible to believe, if only for a moment, that two separate pieces were capable of truly becoming one. She didn’t care that they were strangers. Nor did it bother her that she would eventually put Bitterthorn in the rearview mirror, whereas he had roots buried so deeply in this town it called him back, no matter how far away he roamed. Differences were irrelevant. All that mattered was that fate had crossed their paths to give them this delicious gift of rightness. If anything, her wanderer’s existence had taught her to enjoy whatever came her way while it lasted. Relationships, friendships, even places she’d once called home—were like shooting stars to her. If she could find happiness in the time that they were in her life, then she considered herself lucky for having experienced it at all.
Parker wasn’t sure who took the kiss deeper by opening their lips. All she knew was that they were in a freefall of heady bliss, and she ached to push the limits without applying any brakes. Her pulse shook her as his tongue toyed with hers, the fingers he’d threaded through her hair tightening to pull her more fully into the kiss. A euphoric weightlessness drugged her senses as their tongues danced in an act so much like sex, the cleft between her thighs pulsed with a sweetly agonizing heat. A fractured moan whispered from her mouth and into his as the tension in her most intimate place coiled in anticipation of something more. Something greater.
She wanted him. Strangers or not, client or not, she wanted him with an ardent hunger that made everything else fade.
And yet, they were only kissing.
But there had never been a first kiss like this in her life. She doubted there’d been one like this since kissing had been invented. There was no hesitation, no uncertainty. It was straight-up mouth-to-mouth sex without a hint of apology in sight. She didn’t want to apologize for something so pure. If there was such a thing as magical chemistry, she was only too happy to give herself over to it while she had the chance, and be all the more thankful for having found it. She could only hope he felt the same.
His taste lingered on her tongue as they at last broke apart. By degrees she became aware of faint sounds from the street outside, the raggedness of his breathing that matched her own, and that long, invitingly blank worktable behind him. All too well she could picture putting that blank surface to good use. She’d push him back until his ass—an ass she suspected was just as firm as the front of him had felt as she’d plastered her body against his—bucked up against it. She’d coax him to sprawl back on it like a sacrifice waiting for her to do her worst. And what she wanted to do was nothing short of ravishment. She didn’t know what else to call the fierce desire to rip the shirt off his body so she could find out if he looked as solidly built as he’d felt.
Wow. Since when had she become the kind of woman who wanted to rip men out of their clothes?

*****

Blurb:

Parker Radclyffe is up against a wall. Thorne Mansion, the mysterious Italianate castle she's come to Texas to restore, isn't the problem. No matter how intriguing the relic is, it's merely an ember compared to the blazing magnetism of its owner, Chandler Thorne.

When his family mansion burned down, Chandler had to watch over a hundred years of proud history go up in smoke. After more than a year, he finally has everything in place to rebuild, including a renowned conservation architect to oversee the restoration. But when he lays eyes on Parker he realizes he's gotten more than he paid for. Maybe more than he can handle.

Parker is a military brat who never sits still long enough to get burned. Chandler is her opposite, a man with deep roots and deeper family secrets. It won't be easy to find the common ground it takes to build a home together, but Chandler is a Thorne in every sense. He plans to stick with Parker until she sees that love is more than worth the risk.
64,000 words



BUY LINKS:


 *****


Also, don’t forget ONE HOT SECOND’s blog tour starting Monday. Click for deets!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

IF I STAY, by Tamara Morgan, is on sale NOW!



Hey, you! Yeah, you, the good-looking one who's awesome enough to drop into this blog. :D  Guess what? My Carina Press/Samhain buddy, Tamara Morgan just found out she's got a huge sale coming up--woohoo!

IF I STAY is on sale from today until August 6th for only ninety-nine pennies, y'all.  That's it.  Less than a freakin' buck.  In other words...



$0.99!!!!!!


It's a deal so good it'll make you slap your mama and do the hula.

Question is, why now? IF I STAY is the first book in Tamara's new "Upstairs, Downstairs"-style contemporary romance series, Montgomery Manor, published by Carina.  The second installment, WHEN I FALL, is out August 11th, so it's time to celebrate its imminent release by getting you lovely readers caught up!  IF I STAY will only be on sale for a super-short time, so don't miss out on getting the first book in this fabulous series!



Buy Links:




Monday, July 28, 2014

Blog Tour Schedule for ONE HOT SECOND





A WEEK FROM TODAY IS THE RELEASE OF ONE HOT SECOND!!!!

Yeah, I’m a little excited about it, heh. ^_^  And I’m looking forward to the blog tour as well, hosted by Debra at Book Enthusiast Promotions! (Side note: Debra drinks awesomesauce every morning with her Wheaties, I'm absolutely sure of it.) I’m giving away a $25 Amazon GC, a $10 Amazon GC and a complete ebook set of the Bitterthorn series from Carina Press. The more you follow along the blog tour, the more chances you have to enter. :) Here’s the schedule:

August 4

August 5

August 6

August 7

August 8

August 11

August 12

August 13

August 14

August 15

See you on the bloggy trail! :D




Blurb for ONE HOT SECOND:
Parker Radclyffe is up against a wall. Thorne Mansion, the mysterious Italianate castle she's come to Texas to restore, isn't the problem. No matter how intriguing the relic is, it's merely an ember compared to the blazing magnetism of its owner, Chandler Thorne.

When his family mansion burned down, Chandler had to watch over a hundred years of proud history go up in smoke. After more than a year, he finally has everything in place to rebuild, including a renowned conservation architect to oversee the restoration. But when he lays eyes on Parker he realizes he's gotten more than he paid for. Maybe more than he can handle.

Parker is a military brat who never sits still long enough to get burned. Chandler is her opposite, a man with deep roots and deeper family secrets. It won't be easy to find the common ground it takes to build a home together, but Chandler is a Thorne in every sense. He plans to stick with Parker until she sees that love is more than worth the risk.



BUY LINKS: