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…

            “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?”
            “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!


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.


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

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