January 29, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Hope #18

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week. I used: “Make yourself at home”.


Hope #18

The next two hours went by so slowly, I wondered whether time had stopped. Since we couldn't go out, I sat on the sofa, Shane cuddled on my lap. He fell asleep almost immediately. I still couldn't believe the things I’d found out. I wasn't even one hundred percent sure I did believe everything, it was just too fantastic.
Mostly, however, I simply dug my fingers deep into Shane's thick fur and prayed for Marisa to be quick and help me to get my Shane back.
Shane woke up when the gravel on the driveway crunched. He leaped from my lap and whizzed toward the front door, barking. I followed him, my gut clenching. I barely remembered Marisa, and most of what I remembered of her wasn't shedding a good light on her. Come to think of it, Shane had never spoken highly about his family. I'd always assumed a rift, maybe because Shane was gay. It happened—as I could attest to myself.
My two brothers avoided eye contact like the plague, and my father pretended I was straight. Only my mother was sane, and the same as always. I shook myself out of this reverie and opened the door to Marisa.
She spared a tiny smile for me, then bent down to grab Shane by the nape of his neck. He emitted a strangled yip but Marisa ignored it. She said, “May I come inside?”
She didn't wait for an answer, rather stepped inside without a second glance at me. I bit out, “Make yourself at home.”
She muttered something under her breath while I closed the door with a resounding bang. Shane's yips changed into snarls, which sounded dangerous even though he was only a puppy.
I hurried after them and almost bumped into her because she stood in front of the coffee table, reading the last words spelled out there.
Very creative,” she murmured in an approving tone.
Shane barked. She smiled at him before she cradled him in a more comfortable position in her arms. He gazed at me, his dark eyes twinkling. He looked so relaxed, so at ease, that it boggled my mind.
Um, would you like to take a seat?” I asked. What the hell was the etiquette if one wanted to speak to another person to beg said person to perform the impossible?
Marisa sat down and, for the first time, I inspected her thoroughly. She seemed to be in her late fifties—which meant nothing since I couldn't gauge ages at all—with dark, shoulder-length hair. Ordinary was the first word that came to mind when I observed her. She was one of those people you'd forget right away.
I cleared my throat because Marisa just stared at Shane and stroked his belly. I'd have expected him to stay away from her but no, he rested on his back on her lap, all fours stretched away to give her full access to his belly.
Marisa cast me a glance and smiled. “I used to pet him for hours when he was smaller. Shane always liked that, especially when he was upset.”
I thought you two didn't get along,” I said. Seconds later, I winced. “I'm not sure I should've said that.”
To my surprise, Marisa laughed. “You're correct. We didn't get along very well, but that doesn't mean it was always like that. Shane is a free spirit and not very fond of traditions or doing things the way traditions dictate.”
Shane thumped his tail once, then rolled over onto his belly. He climbed off her lap and ambled over to me. I reached out to scratch him behind his ears and was rewarded with a blissed-out expression on his face.
Marisa, I just want him back in his human form,” I said.
That's what you think now. You might change your mind after you get the full picture. Actually, I'm certain you'll change your mind. Why didn't Shane tell you anything before if he didn't think you'd run off?” she asked.
Unease settled deep inside my stomach and I squirmed on the sofa, glancing nervously at Shane. Still, I said, “Tell me.”


TBC




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January 28, 2014

Lex Chase: Pawn Takes Rook -- Conventional Love

Please help me welcome Lex Chase back again on the blog!


Pawn Takes Rook: Conventional Love Blog Tour
Hello, everyone! I’m Lex Chase, thank you for joining me on the Pawn Takes Rook: Conventional Love blog tour. I'm here with Chris T. Kat and her fluffy menagerie! Conventional Love brings the Checkmate trilogy to it's grand finale, where Rook and Garth face their ultimate challenge and their toughest choice. I'm doing a retrospective tour of the series. I’m sharing behind the scenes goodies, inspirations, and the pure insanity of my first year as an author. And like all super awesome superhero merch, I’m giving out trading cards drawn by yours truly. Make sure you check them all out in the tour! Confession Time: The world came very close to never meeting Rook and Garth. Axis City, and it's inhabitants, almost never saw the light of day. I'm not talking about it was nearly rejected or had been rejected previously. I'm talking about I came very close to never submitting it. I had been rejected by Dreamspinner twice before I made the cut. Pawn Takes Rook actually came about from the Men of Steel anthology. When I saw it posted, I was like I got this. Who doesn't know superheroes better than I do? (Seriously. I studied them academically at the Savannah College of Art and Design.) So Pawn Takes Rook got written. And the Men of Steel anthology came and went. And Pawn Takes Rook wasn't in it. I didn't send it until a year later. I didn't even look at it until a year after I wrote it. I didn't know what I had at the time. I was in this weird place of trying to figure out who I was as a writer, considering at the time all of my effort had been sunk into rewriting a version of my upcoming novel Chasing Sunrise. The novel is very dark, and very serious. Not at all light and fluffy of Pawn Takes Rook I was learning about Author Image, and Author Presentation, and all those fiddly promo bits. Even how to dress. I'm serious. There's stuff about that too. And I was so into rawr I write Paranormal/Urban Fantasy. RAWR. I have to be this way. And here I had this very odd little story about superheroes and pop culture and it was funny and RAWR Lex Chase isn't supposed to be funny! She's supposed to be aloof! Mysterious! Dangerous! RAWR!!!11111!!!!1!1! Guys. Can we be real? I don't have an aloof, mysterious, or dangerous bone in my body (but dude have you seen me cook. I can wield a chef knife like a serial killer.) There is so much of me in Checkmate it's astounding. I'm ubergeeky, sarcastic, can't get through every hour of the day without making some kind of pop culture reference. Once I had to explain that horrible song What Does The Fox Say to my Mom and my brother was laughing so hard he was pissing himself. Kinda had to be there. But it was a great moment. Don't click the YouTube link. Save yourself. It basically took a lot of 'Aw, fuck it. I'll figure this Author Image Thing out later. *clicks send*' and here we are. And here Rook, Garth and all of Axis City are. I'd be absolutely lying if there wasn't more to it than that. Like pep talks, kicks in the teeth, and fretting and freaking and a lot of it just accepting myself that this is all going to be okay. So, on that fateful day on November 4th, the contract for Pawn Takes Rook came. And it was a call to action of 'Saddle up, Bessie. Because here we go!' (And honestly I was looking for an excuse to use this song. Because. Really. Aaaaaahmakesmesohappy!)



ConventionalLove300Genre: M/M Urban Fantasy, Superheroes, Sci-Fi, Humor Series: Checkmate, Book #3 Length: Novella 41,000 Published: Jan 1, 2014 Publisher: Dreamspinner Press ISBN: 9781627984218 Blurb: Sequel to Cashing the Reality Check Checkmate: Book Three Three years ago, superhero Memphis Rook saved Hogarth Dawson’s life, and now the two can’t imagine being apart. Sort of. By day, they’re a loving couple. By night, they’re the superhero duo Checkmate. Since that’s too much time in each other’s personal space, Rook and Garth decide they need friends outside of each other. Garth finds friendship with a D&D group comprised of the social misfits Chad—who has crammed himself so far in the closet he might never find the door again, Jackson—who’s so mysophobic he’s afraid of his own germs, and El Jefe—who has all the social grace of a brick. With an epic dose of peer pressure, the group urges Garth to go to Tolkicon, the biggest comic convention in Axis City. When the supervillain league the Coalition of Calamity appears and takes the convention hostage, as the only real superheroes around, it’s up to Garth and Rook to save the day. With Rook as one of the hostages, Garth knows it's time to nut up or shut up about being a hero.

Pawn Takes Rook Trading Card!
Geeky Watchful Guardian - Lex Chase
And it's time for Trading Card #14! Go baby go baby GO! (Miss a card? See the previous ones at: Gay List Book Reviews | Lily Velden | Release Party at the Dreamspinner Press Facebook Page | Tali Spencer | House Millar | Tricia Kristufek | Tempeste O’ Riley | Epically Romantic | The Novel Approach | Charlie Cochet | Tara Lain | CJ Elliott | Jaime Samms | Mrs. Condit Reads Books | Anne Barwell | Dawn K. Johnson) [caption id="attachment_1006" align="aligncenter" width="403"] Geeky Watchful Guardian - Lex Chase[/caption]

Pawn Takes Rook: Conventional Love Excerpt
I feel like I know all there is to know about him… but everything I know about him, I Googled. I spied on my own boyfriend. I Internet-stalked him. He’s never told me a thing about himself. Like his supposed long line of conquests. His—how did Chad put it?—love ’em and leave ’em string of lovers. Rook doesn’t even have a little black book. When we met, he had the clothes on his back—and those were tattered rags. Where’s his harem now, if he couldn’t even go to them when the Power Alliance booted him out? Yeah. I’m kind of not buying this story of Rook the Lothario. As if right on cue, my phone buzzed on the dressing table and I shambled to get to it at a reasonable pace. I unlocked the screen and found a text from Chad. I know money is tight for you, so my girlfriend sprang for tickets for you and Rook. She really can’t wait to see you guys! it read. I smacked my forehead. “The con. Tolkicon. I forgot.” I pressed the corner of the phone between my eyes and willed the text to the screen. You can stop pretending it’s a girl. Thanks for the tix. Can’t wait to meat grind. My phone buzzed a second later. Meat grind! Chad texted. Whoa, Hogarth! One step at a time! I gawked at my phone, squinting at my previous message. Oh. My. God. I pressed the phone between my eyes again. Sorry! I texted. Not thinking clear enough for txts. Rook and I had a long night. The phone immediately buzzed and I grumbled. Why can’t anyone just call these days? Oh my stars and garters! Man, H! Chad texted, a little too excited from what I could tell. You’re a effin’ stud! I rolled the phone over in my wrist, casually reading the message. I snorted. “Yeah-huh.” And there it was. I was a bitter old bottom who just wanted these new up-and-coming man-loving punks off my lawn. My phone buzzed again. “Oh my God, what!” I growled and checked the text messages from Chad. Will forward you the email confirmation for the tix, the con gets going at 4. Meet us at the Spire. I blinked. Wait. The world is telling me I have to go somewhere? Now? In the next—I checked my phone—three hours. How did I sleep until one? I never sleep until one. Did I hit my head and get a concussion during our naked shenanigans? I willed the text onto the screen. Fine. Be there soon. What’s the lucky not-a-girl’s name? The phone buzzed Chad’s reply. Darren! He says he’s good friends with u guys! My heart stopped when I read the secret identity of Captain Chivalry. My ex-boyfriend. Rook’s former leader in the Power Alliance. Not to mention the man who tried to kill me. And he bought Rook and I tickets to Tolkicon. Ever get the feeling something is so horribly wrong that you just blindly look the other way because the truth is so completely preposterous? Yeah. Story of my life right there! But there’s no looking the other way where Captain Chivalry’s concerned. You want to believe the best about people. You want to see superheroes are above the influence. That they are the people every man, woman, and child aspires to be. You want to believe with every fiber of your being he’s the optimal role model for the next generation and is appropriate for every possible product placement from singing toothbrushes to Chia pets. Chivalry is none of those things. He’s not even chivalrous anymore. If anyone taught me anything about love and respect, that’s Rook, and right now we’re feeling each other out and each other up with deadly Checkmate sex. It can’t be so bad. It can’t possibly be so bad. It’s only Chivalry. Among a crowd of thousands. There’s security. There would be no way he’d pull something. No way! I texted Chad in reply. Can’t wait to meet him. Available from:

Giveaway Prompt:
Did you ever have something you were told you couldn't do and did it anyway? Did you let it go? (Y'seewhatIdidthar? ;D)

Lex ChaseAbout the Author: [caption id="attachment_718" align="alignleft" width="300"] Lex Chase[/caption] Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” She knew then she wanted to make the world a little more interesting. Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure, epic love—and depending on how she feels that day—Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes if you’re going to going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love. Lex is a pop culture diva and her DVR is constantly backlogged. She wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind. She is incredibly sentimental, to the point that she gets choked up at holiday commercials. But like the lovers driven to extreme measures to get home for the holidays, Lex believes everyone deserves a happy ending. Lex also has a knack for sarcasm, never takes herself seriously, and has been nicknamed “The Next Alan Moore” by her friends for all the pain and suffering she inflicts on her characters. She is a Damned Yankee hailing from the frozen backwoods of Maine residing in the ’burbs of Northwest Florida where it could be 80F and she’d be a popsicle. She is grateful and humbled for all the readers. She knows very well she wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them and welcomes feedback. You can find her on those Facebook and Twitter things at: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LXChase Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lex_Chase Find her blog at http://lexchase.com or drop her an e-mail at lex.a.chase@gmail.com.

PTR_Giveaway
1 winner will receive eBook copies of the full Checkmate trilogy
(Pawn Takes Rook, Cashing the Reality Check, and Conventional Love)
2 winners will receive an eBook copy of Conventional Love
Drawing is open to US and International readers.
Facebook Chat will have it's own prizes!
Such as:
All 20 Checkmate printed trading cards! Including the 4 special mystery cards! Free books! Or a 25 USD Visa Gift Card!

To Enter
Just leave a comment on any of the blog posts along the tour, along with a contact email address. If you would still like to enter the contest but don't wish to leave your email address in the comment, you can also enter by emailing lex.a.chase@gmail.com.
Winners will be chosen at random and posted on Lex’s blog at Lex Chase on Wednesday, February 5th, and on Lex's Facebook page. Winners will then be notified via email.
Contest ends
Tuesday, February 4th at midnight, Eastern Time.

Pawn Takes Rook: Conventional Love Tour stops: 1/1 - Gay List Book Reviews[Collect Mystery Card #1] 1/3 - Lily Velden [Collect Trading Card #1] 1/5 - Release Party at the Dreamspinner Press Facebook Page [Collect Trading Card #2 and Win Bonus Goodies] 1/7 - Tali Spencer [Collect Trading Card #3] 1/8 - House Millar [Collect Trading Card #4] 1/9 - Tricia Kristufek [Collect Mystery Card #2] 1/10 - Tempeste O’ Riley [Collect Trading Card #5] 1/12 - Epically Romantic [Collect Trading Card #6] 1/15 - The Novel Approach [Collect Trading Card #7] 1/16 - Charlie Cochet [Collect Trading Card #8] 1/17 - Tara Lain [Collect Trading Card #9] 1/18 - CJ Elliott [Collect Trading Card #10] 1/20 - Jaime Samms [Collect Trading Card #11] 1/22 - Mrs. Condit Reads Books [Collect Mystery Card #3] 1/24 - Anne Barwell [Collect Trading Card #12] 1/26 - Dawn K. Johnson [Collect Trading Card #13] 1/28 - Chris T. Kat [Collect Trading Card #14] 1/30 - Skylar M. Cates [Collect Trading Card #15] 1/31 - Cate Ashwood [Collect Trading Card #16] 2/3 - Joyfully Jay [Collect Mystery Card #4]

January 27, 2014

Goddess Fish Promotions: Shaunna Wolf -- Life Flight


LIFE FLIGHT
by Shaunna Wolf

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BLURB:

Malachi Blackfeather has spent twenty years in the Army. Two of those years as a Vietnam POW. Now that he's out, all he wants is some peace and quiet to figure out what to do with the rest of his life. Between the flashbacks, and an over interest in sex that is now being called sex addiction, finding his path isn't easy.

Kat is trying to escape an abusive marriage. Her soon to be ex is a master at manipulating the system, and her family thinks she should stay with him, "because no other man will want her". She's looking for escape in any form she can get it.

When they meet, sparks fly. Trapped by a blizzard, can two damaged people, who think there is no chance of love in the world for them, find each other, and survive an unforeseen circumstance that puts both of them in danger?

Mystery, romance, and danger, fill this novel, with a story that will draw you in and not let go.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt:

We stared at each other until Johnny cleared his throat. The back of her hand went down the side of my face. She put the back of her hand to her face. Frowned, and then moved back to her place on the floor. What had that meant?

The trooper cracked a beer. Began telling us about a nudist house party he’d broken up. Kat laughed, stroked his ego with her voice. But her gaze kept coming back to me, I’d look back and she’d shift her attention away, then I’d catch her again. Did she want me out of the room? Did her soul’s demon want this new prospect? Did she even see it as a demon? As something that had taken the place of real feelings and human emotions--to the point they had to be borrowed and stolen from others?

My third beer and the room felt like the outdoors. Wind whistled over the glass. I pulled the other blankets out of the closet. Zipped my coat. Johnny zipped his and pulled gloves on. Stood up. At least not drunk.

Going to my car,” he told us, “Y’all welcome to come sit in the warmth.”

Mine's got a full tank as well. Gets too bad, we can sit in it.” I grasped his hand, glad I’d gone back for this man. “Thanks.”

Smoke, before we’re in for the night?”

I stepped outside with him. The air felt as if it would shatter. Amazingly, the lights were on over in the restaurant. The sound of a diesel engine running echoed over the parking lot. Johnny laughed.

Guess I know where I’m heading, find me a booth, and get some shut eye.”

Not a bad idea. At least warm--and hot food. He lit his Winston, I lit a Camel. We stood that way, two men, each scarred in his own way by a shared experience that we hadn’t even realized was one. And Kat scarred by something, something before her marriage.

That little woman,” Johnny said. “Ain’t none my business. But everyone said she’s a free spirit--born after her time, shoulda been her age in the 60’s.” His blue-eyed gaze flashed to me, then away. “Take the right kinda man to make that kinda woman into a wife, but if you got any smarts, you’ll give it a shot. The way you look at her, and the way she looks back, yeah, the way of things brought you together for a reason.” He dropped the butt in the snow and took sure steps across the ice covered parking lot.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Facebook Author’s Page: http://www.facebook.com/srhowen1

Blog: Critters at the Keyboard http://srhowen1.blogspot.com/

Author Web page: http://ww.srhowen.com








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One randomly chosen commenter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Three randomly chosen hosts will each receive a $25 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Please use the rafflecopter link below.



Follow the tour and comment to increase your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

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January 26, 2014

Sunday Snippet #13 -- The Wolf and His Diva

This week's Sunday Snippet is from my upcoming release The Wolf and His Diva.


Image courtesy of [James Barker] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Paytime! Billy squalled.
George jerked his head around, but before he could do anything, Billy had already tackled him to the ground. He oomphed but played along, relieved Billy obviously wasn’t too put out by the prospect of snow shoveling.
They tussled in the snow, enjoying their time together. When Billy’s playful bites became too much for George, he shook him off easily.
It’s not fair that you always win! Billy complained.
But I’m the big bad red fox!
Uh, big bad red fox? You got something wrong there. Isn’t it the big bad wolf?
George growled in response and shifted into his other animal form—a large, dark-gray wolf. It always amused him to see Billy’s reaction—a surprised yelp and a jump backward.

January 24, 2014

Goddess Fish Promotions: Teresa D'Amario -- Visions of Fire & Ice



Visions of Fire & Ice
by Teresa D’Amario

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Trapped on a planet not their own, the Petiri spend their lives hiding the natural gifts that set them apart from the world. They live long and unfulfilled lives, unable to find their soul mates on this backward planet known as Earth. That is until the night Ramose comes face to face with Tamara, a woman whose gifts rival his own. Determined to find why this human is in possession of an ancient magical Petiri relic, he arranges a meeting.

But Tamara, embittered from past events, is wary despite lifelong dreams of Ramose and a sure knowledge he is her soul mate. Before long the couple find themselves ensnared in a battle that has raged for millennia in Egypt’s desert. Set, Egyptian God of Chaos, is determined to take his just due: the throne of Osiris.

The only way to stop him is for Ramose to put his trust in Tamara, but first must gain the same from her. The ensuing sensual relationship is filled with romance, lust and love. Their relationship is tested by an unnatural evil. Will her powers over fire, combined with his ice be enough to win the day? Or will the ancient gods and goddesses of Egypt destroy more than just their love?



.
Excerpt:

Tamara stopped with the key halfway in the lock on her door and whirled around. “What did you say?”

You heard me,” he said.

A twinge of frustrated anger sparked inside her. She didn’t tolerate her younger brother ordering her around, and she surely wasn’t going to tolerate anyone else to either. She raised a finger and pointed it at his chest. “Oh, no, we aren’t even going down this path. Let me stop you right there.” Her finger poked at hard as rock muscles, and his eyes widened, this time in surprise. “I’ve raised three sisters and a brother. Nobody tells me what to do. I make my own decisions, buster. If you think for an instant I’ll let some overgrown child tell me to stay away from the playground bully, you’ve got another thing coming.”

His brow raised, and his oh so heavenly full lips quirked into a smile. “Overgrown child?”

You know what I mean.” Tamara’s stomach twisted inside. She really hadn’t meant to come on so strong, but, then, she hadn’t expected the sudden humor in his eyes either. That smile did something to her insides, making her muscles quiver like Jell-O.

He softened, leaning toward her, his face so close.

Until now, she’d disregarded how much like her dream man he looked. Well, she’d tried to ignore it. Just like she’d tried not to notice how arousing that small tattoo on his cheek was. But, then, he offered her his crooked half smile, and strange things happened inside her. Damn, he’s sexy.

Is that how you see me?” He rested one arm on the doorframe, leaning toward her. Despite the casual pose, he reeked of masculine strength. Power rolled over her, pulling her ever closer to his heat, feathering across her body like wings.

The tingle along her skin, so light and so warm, was like magick. Or was it her imagination? But when his breath whispered across her face, his masculine scent drove all inquisitive thoughts from her mind. Her eyes fluttered, though she fought to keep them open.

His scent was hard, edgy, and oh so male. It took all she had to not lean forward and inhale like some drug addict.

Any other time, someone so tall and imposing leaning over her like this would set off all kinds of alarms in her head. Yet, with Ramose, she didn’t feel uncomfortable. Was that because of the dream? If so, she was headed for a big disappointment, because there was no way this man was the same one.

She would not let him kiss her. That was so not happening on her first night in Egypt.

Was it?

He waited, with that crooked half smile, his head cocked to one side.

What?” she finally asked, realizing she’d forgotten his question.

Like an overgrown child?” His eyes darkened, and the edge of purple energy flashed along the perimeter of his body.

Tamara’s breath hitched, her lips curving into a smile. She’d bet if he could see her aura, it’d be more than edged with purple. Aw, hell, maybe it was going to happen. What was the harm in a simple kiss? “Aren’t all men overgrown children?”

What was she doing? Her voice didn’t even sound like hers. Instead, it sounded like some come-hither sex goddess or something. She bit her lip, but, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t look away.

He chuckled, his gaze never leaving hers. “I have not been called a child for many, many years, Tamara.” His soft, dark curls brushed her cheek, and he dipped his head, drawing closer.

The sound of his laughter did strange things inside her, and her knees trembled. She leaned back against her door. She really should unlock it, go inside, get on the phone, and yell at Julie. But, right this instant, all she could think about was the powerful man leaning over her, his masculine scent teasing her senses.

Sense.

Yep, she needed to find some because every bit of common sense had scattered about the time he’d leaned against the doorjamb. “Maybe it’s time someone reminded you of who you are.”

He laughed again, the sound low in his throat. He brushed aside a stray hair teasing her cheek. She swallowed hard when he let his hand trail down her shoulder to her arm bracelet. His eyes sparked, and, for an instant, she thought she saw anger flicker in his aura, but it disappeared before she could be sure.

Tomorrow, then,” he said. He leaned forward, and she thought he would kiss her now. She longed for his lips to touch hers, but he merely whispered in her ear. “Nine in the morning. Be ready.”

He turned and moved down the hall.

Tamara was tempted to watch him until he reached the elevator, but that would be just wrong. What the hell? It’s a vacation. She peered down the hall one more time.

Oooh, bad idea. His trousers clung to his butt, cupping each cheek as delicately as a woman’s hands.

With heat burning in her cheeks, Tamara jerked back to her door, twisted the key, and charged inside, slamming the door between them.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Born in Atlanta, the daughter of an Army Soldier during the early stages of the Viet Nam war, I spent my childhood traveling from state to state, finally ending up overseas in Germany where I graduated high school six months early.

My writing career however began as a young Airman in the Air Force, writing monthly articles for the weekly base paper. The articles ranged from climatological data to full center fold articles on the destructive forces of hurricanes. As I increased in rank, my writing changed to more technological instruction, including such works as WSR-88D Doppler Radar Data Interpretation Guide for North Carolina Stations, and Station Operating Procedures.

But my early writing wasn’t limited only to the technological side. I’ve written multiple dog training and behavior articles for canine websites such as Sonora Canine Freestyle, and also the Ask Blackjack column, a fun training column in the voice of my labrador retriever, then a young pup.

My first book, SheWolf, won 2nd place for Best First book in RWA’s PFF&P Prism awards.

I’m married to a wonderful man named Doug, who is also retired Air Force. We live in North Carolina with our two dogs.

Links:




Buy Link:



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Teresa will award a $50 Amazon or BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter. 
 


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January 22, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Hope #17

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week. I used a blow-dryer.


Hope #17


It took Marisa and I several minutes of stuttered words and stammered condolences before she breathed out noisily and asked, “What did you want to know?”
I opened my mouth but no words came forth. In the background, a blow-dryer awakened to life with a roar. Cringing, I drew back. Marisa yelled at someone to close the bathroom door and while the blow-dryer kept rumbling on, it was muted.
What did you just say?”
I didn't inform her that I'd been as silent as a mouse. Instead, I cleared my throat, and blurted, “Shane isn't dead.”
Marisa sucked in air, which sounded somewhat like a deflating balloon. I could tell she was picking her words carefully, when she said, “Gil, I know you're grieving and—”
No! Well, yes, of course, I did,” I interrupted her. “Just listen to me, okay? He said to call you and you'd understand. Well, he didn't actually call but shove game pieces around but I understood his words, so...”
I ran out of steam. After pinching the bridge of my nose, I stared down at Shane, who wagged his tail and barked.
Is that... is that a dog there with you?” Marisa asked.
Yes, um, no. That's actually Shane and he isn't a dog, he's a puppy. A German Shepherd puppy, I believe, although I'm no expert at this. He's got really big ears,” I rambled on.
Shane stepped onto my right foot and rose up on his hindpaws. He pushed his forepaws against my thigh and barked again.
Oh my God!” Marisa exclaimed.
I didn't think God had much to do with the chaos that had become my life. “Please, Marisa, I know you didn't get along all that well, but he said you'd understand. Do you know a way for him to be a human again?”
Did she even believe me? Or would she call an ambulance right now? Although, she couldn't do that since she was still on the phone with me.
A harsh laugh erupted from her throat, startling me. “I knew this would happen. I told him it would happen. That his enemies would exploit his desire to stay here and have a steady relationship.”
His enemies?” I echoed. “Where else would he have stayed? And what's so bad about a steady relationship? He didn't seem to have a lot of stable relationships.”
No. No, he didn't. No one in our family has a lot of stable relationships. It comes with the territory.”
Confused, I rubbed my neck. The itch to start pacing grew by the second but I couldn't do anything, what with Shane sitting on my foot. I hunkered down to scratch him behind the ears. He wiggled between my legs and leaned against me.
I have no idea what you're talking about. I only want to know how to get Shane back into his human form.”
He can't go back!” Marisa shouted.
The blood in my veins froze and I gasped. I tightened my hold on Shane's left ear until he yipped and tried to pull away from my hand. I let go and he studied me from those dark eyes, which seemed to see so much more than what was obvious.
Marisa, please. Since you're not telling me to get stuffed or to see a psychiatrist, you believe me. You know something I don't, and that is how to get the real Shane back. I need him back, okay? He's here. He's alive. He's just in the wrong body.”
He might be safer in this form,” Marisa said.
Safer from what?” I asked with a hint of exasperation. I hated riddles—always had. I doubted that fact would change any time soon.
It's a long story.”
Why don't you give me the short version? I'd like the ultra-short version because I only want to know how to get him back!” I shouted.
Give me your address.”
Huh? “What?”
Give me your address—I don't have it——and I'll come to your place. I need to see Shane anyway,” she said, in a somewhat defeated tone.
For a moment, I felt guilt. The moment was short because I didn't get why she couldn't give me a simple answer to a simple question. I rattled off our address.
It'll take me about two hours to get to your place. I'm going to get dressed. Don't go anywhere with him until I'm there,” Marisa said. The line went dead.

TBC

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January 21, 2014

Guest post & Contest

Today I'm guest posting at Crystal's Many Reviewers. I tried to answer the question "If I could be any paranormal/supernatural creature, what would I be and why?" 

Stop by for a chance to win an e-book from my backlist!

January 19, 2014

Sunday Snippet #12 -- Sacrifices (Jeff Woods Mystery #2)

This week's Sunday Snippet is from  Sacrifices, the second Jeff Woods Mystery, due out in April/May from Dreamspinner Press.

 
Mine to protect.
Mine to love.
These were the words I had thought so fiercely about half a year ago. I meant them then. I still do. Even though life has changed in the last months.
Expelling a breath, I did my best to lie still in Alex’s small bed.
Can’t sleep anymore?”
So much for me acting all considerate. “This bed isn’t made for two grown men. I’m not sure it’s even built for one grown man.”
What about two grown men and a little boy?”
That’s a recipe for disaster.”
Alex chuckled. I loved that sound—carefree and happy. I pressed a kiss on his neck, then rubbed my nose behind his ear. Alex tried to suppress a gasp as a heavy shiver rolled through him.
Don’t,” he whispered.
I’m kissing your neck, what’s so bad about that?”
I’ll have a massive boner in about thirty seconds, and we can’t do anything about it. And that’s really bad.”
So I can’t even give you an innocent kiss?” I tsked.

January 15, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Hope #16

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week. I used this prompt: "Can things get any worse?"


Hope #16


Here I was, sitting with a puppy who was supposed to be Shane, cradling him in my arms after accusing him of leaving me alone.
Can things get any worse?” I asked. Shane gazed at me, his head slightly tilted to the left side. One of his ears was perked and the other one flopped, which caused me to smile despite the guilt nagging at me.
I didn't mean it like that. It's just... not a good feeling, letting my anger get the better of me.” I shrugged and stared at nothing in particular until I couldn't stand it anymore. When I looked back at Shane, he swiped his tongue over my hand, then gave it a sharp nip.
Ow! You don't have to go all animalistic. I'm glad you're here. No, that's not the right word. I'm... I'm... well, I don't know what I'm feeling exactly at the moment but I'm sure it's more than simple happiness. I missed you so much.” I whispered the last sentence. I tapped his nose when he barked and wiggled. He got the gist and quieted down immediately. “Even if you could never become human again, I'd never let you go again.”
Shane bounded to his feet, climbed up my chest and licked my face. I laughed and did my best to keep him from toppling, or ripping my shirt open with his claws.
I wouldn't,” I repeated when Shane pressed his head on my shoulder, somehow similar to how he'd done it before his death—or what had seemed like his death—and I cupped the back of it. A shiver ran through my body at the familiarity of the gesture. Sure, I'd rather have Shane in his human form, but anything was better than to be without him at all.
We spent some time cuddled together like this, then I rose with him in my arms and walked back to the table with the tiles. “Didn't you want me to call someone?”
Shane thumped his tail once and, after I set him down on the table, he spelled MARISA. I drew a blank.
“Marisa?” I asked. “Is that a person? A shop? A... something? You have to help me because this means nothing to me.”
He plunked down on the table, expelling a long-drawn breath. When I raised my hands in a show of surrender, he growled, got up again, and shoved pieces aside with more force than necessary.
“I take it I'm slow on the uptake?” I said because anything was better than standing around, feeling awkward. Shane made a sound that could've been another growl, or maybe an annoyed huff, but he didn't look around. Instead he brought some letters in a new order.
AUNT, it read. Aunt? Oh! “Your aunt Marisa? The one you don't like talking to?”
Shane knocked his tail once on the table and gazed at me expectantly.
Uh, am I supposed to call her?” When he affirmed my suggestion, I asked, “What am I supposed to tell her? Did you know Shane isn't dead? He's still alive but he can't talk to you because at the moment he's a German Shepherd puppy?”
Shane barked and showed me yes with his tail. I blinked at him. “For real?”
He slumped down on the table with all four limbs stretched away from him and gazed at me with an expression I remembered. I put my hands on my hips and scowled at him. “Hey, go easy on me here, okay? I'll get the phone and call her.”
On my way to the phone I muttered, “We'll see how it goes. I hope she doesn't call an ambulance. Normal people would. I would if it was someone else telling me their dead lover reappeared as a dog. Geez, I can't believe I'm doing this.”
Shane jumped around me as I dug for the registry in one of the kitchen drawers. It took me about ten minutes to find Marisa's number since I couldn't recall her last name at all. With trembling fingers, I punched in her number and flinched when she picked up after the second ring.
It was now or never. “Hello Marisa, this is Gil, Shane's boyfriend. I need to talk to you.”


January 13, 2014

Goddess Fish Promotions: A.M. Griffin -- Dangerously Hers & Guest post



Dangerously Hers
by A.M. Griffin

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Loving Dangerously, Book Three Jess hates aliens. After the invasion that destroyed Earth, the extraterrestrial bastards sold her to a brothel as a sex slave. She may have escaped but the old memories and fears still linger in the dark corners of her mind. Supposedly Sonis is just the place for her—somewhere safe, where she can heal and start fresh. She’s almost hopeful…until she meets Rasha, her new boss.

Rasha, Captain of the Sonis Royal Guard, is a warrior through and through. He’s huge, sinfully sexy and could have any woman on Sonis—but the woman he wants is Jess. He’s very much an alien and Jess knows she should hate him or at least be wary, but whenever he’s around, she loses control. She tells herself it’s only sex—amazing, mind-blowing sex like nothing else she’s ever experienced—but there’s something about Rasha that shakes her soul. The feel of his skin against hers, the look in his eyes as he touches her—they make her want to believe it’s possible to find love and begin again.

A Romantica® science fiction erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave




Excerpt:

He inhaled sharply. “I can smell you.” Then he let his gaze drop to crotch.

Her hands instinctively dropped to shield herself.

She gasped as he dropped to his knees. “What are you doing?”

He wrapped his arms around her and cradled her ass. Her mouth dropped open as he nuzzled his nose between her thighs. “I can take care of this…you.”

She dug her nails into his shoulder blades. Should she push him away or keep him where he was?

He made a sound so animalistic. So hot and sexy that it made her pussy respond in ways she didn’t want it to.

That’s it.” He sniffed into her.

His fingers worked in unison to massage her ass, all the while pulling her onto his face. She tried to stand her ground even when she rocked to her toes.

He looked up to her with eyes smoldering with heat. “Can I do it Jess?”

She blinked, trying to remember his question. “Do…do what?”

Lick you until you until you come.”

Oh God.

Her knees buckled.

I want to taste you. I want to bury my face in your pussy. I want to…to…” Growling, he bit her.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


A. M. Griffin is a wife who rarely cooks, mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies.



Find Me Here







Join me on Triberr! http://triberr.com/AMGriffin

Buy Links:




 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Hello! *waves*

I’m so happy to be here today and thank you for helping me celebrate Dangerously Hers, the newest release in my Loving Dangerously Series! Dangerously Mine, my first science fiction erotic romance was released a year ago. I never dreamed of becoming an author, let alone one with three books under her belt. 
 
In Dangerously Mine, is the beginning of the end —sort of. It’s the end of Earth as we know it and the beginning of a new life for the humans that were taken away and transported to different galaxies and worlds. My heroine in Dangerously Mine also makes a cameo in the follow-up books. As a reader I like to see how the hero’s and heroines of previous books have fared since “The End”.
Dangerously Yours is about loving again and moving forward. Kane and Sa’Mya both have some growing up to do and luckily for us we get to see how it’s all played out in the small confines of a space ship.

Dangerously Hers is a tale of belonging and acceptance. If you’ve read Dangerously Mine and Dangerously Yours then you’ll recognize the two main characters in Dangerously Hers. Rasha, the Captain of the Royal Guards and Jess the head strong space pirate are paired together as a start of a new relationship—a business relationship. While Rasha is sure of his feelings and intentions, Jess needs a little more coaxing. I can't wait for the readers to delve into my world again.

My goal with this series is to create a world of characters that readers will love as much as I do. Happy reading!


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A.M. Griffin will be awarding a Grand Prize of a handmade bookmark, signed cover flat, pens, flash drive, keylight key chain, a Loving Dangerously t-shirt, a signed copy of Fondled and Gobbled and a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. (US ONLY)

Plus, a runner's up prize of a $20 Amazon GC will be awarded to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.



 Follow the tour and comment to increase your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: