BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND TWITTER BACKGROUNDS »

Monday, October 29, 2012

Super Book Blast: Healing Notes by Maggie Jaimeson



My guest today is Maggie Jaimeson, who is on a blog tour promoting her new release: Healing Notes.

Maggie will be awarding one autographed cover flat to a randomly drawn commenter at each blog stop. In addition, she will award a $25 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) as a grand prize to one randomly selected commenter on this tour, and a $25 gift certificate to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn host. You must leave an email address to be entered into any of the drawings.

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




Healing Notes
by Maggie Jaimeson

BLURB:

Forgiving yourself is the first step, but helping others forgive may be just too hard.

Rachel Cullen grew up in Scotland with a fiddle in her hand from the age of four. She couldn't imagine life as anything but a musician. When her husband brought her to America she was immediately embraced by the Celtic and Bluegrass communities. But after her divorce, Rachel's life is a mess.

A year of trying to prove to herself that she's woman enough for any man, and then a vicious rape while on tour with the band, leaves Rachel reeling. When she meets Noel Kershaw, an English teacher who is poetry in motion, she is definitely attracted. But he has a young child and he's suffering from his own divorce. The last thing Rachel needs in life is more baggage.

First, Rachel must reconcile who she is, what she wants, and how to get there. Maybe then she'll know how to be a part of the family she's always wanted.

Excerpt:

Claire crawled onto a stool on the other side of the island and smiled.  Neither of them talked for several minutes as they listened to the water in the pot heat.

“When I grow up, I’m going to play with Sweetwater Canyon all the time.”

“Are you sure you want to hang out with all us old folks?”

“You’re not all old. Well maybe a little old. But Kat isn’t old.”

Rachel smiled. “That’s true. She’s only seventeen.” And going on twenty-five it seemed sometimes.

“Oh, seventeen? That is old.” Claire put a finger to her lips and furrowed her brow. “How old do I have to be to play in the band all the time?”

“Probably at least eighteen.”

“But, you just said Kat—”

“Kat is different, because her mother plays in the band and can watch her all the time.”

“Well, you can watch me all the time. You can be my mother.”

Rachel gulped.

“Well, can’t you?”

“Can’t she what?” Noel walked in the room and lifted Claire off the chair in a big hug, swinging her around the room. “Can’t she what? She can do anything she wants.”

“See,” Claire leaned forward and looked at Rachel over Noel’s shoulder. “See, even Daddy thinks you can be my mother.”

“Whoa.” Noel set Claire back on the stool. “I’m not sure what I walked in on here.” He sent an accusing glance to Rachel. “You already have a mother, Claire.”

“I know. Not my real mother. My second mother. You know, like my friend, Megan. Her mommy and daddy got divorced and her daddy married a new mommy. So, Megan has two mommies now.  See?  Rachel can be my second mommy. Okay?”


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

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Maggie Jaimeson writes romantic women’s fiction and romantic suspense with a near future twist. She describes herself as a wife, a step-mother, a sister, a daughter, a teacher and an IT administrator. By day she is “geek girl” – helping colleges to keep up with 21st century technology and provide distance learning options for students in rural areas. By night Maggie turns her thoughts to worlds she can control – worlds where bad guys get their comeuppance, women triumph over tragedy, and love can conquer all.

HEALING NOTES is the second book in the Sweetwater Canyon Series of four books.  The final two books will be available in 2013.

Facebook:
Twitter: @maggiejaimeson






Share/Bookmark

Lucy Felthouse: Weekend At Wilderhope Manor




Weekend at Wilderhope Manor by Lucy Felthouse is FREE from 27th – 31st October!

That's right! Lucy Felthouse's lesbian erotic story set over a Halloween weekend is FREE on Amazon UK and US from 27th – 31st October. Make sure to grab your copy, and tell all your friends!

Get it here: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Blurb:

When Stephanie and Jenny go to a Murder Mystery Halloween weekend at Wilderhope Manor, they’re expecting fun and games. But following creaky floorboards, spooky noises and an alarming encounter in the Manor’s grounds, the girls begin to wonder if there’s more to Wilderhope Manor than meets the eye. As they find frequent comfort in one another’s arms – and their bed – will the girls discover what’s causing the bumps in the night, or will they run scared?

Excerpt:

The car trundled up the long driveway, the crunching of gravel beneath tyres the only sound as Stephanie and her girlfriend, Jenny, peered out of the windows at their surroundings.

Even at dusk the tree-lined driveway was impressive with perfectly maintained parkland, spanning for acres on either side of it. As Stephanie steered the Fiesta around a bend in the track, they both gasped. Their destination, Wilderhope Manor, had come into view and it was stunning. The Tudor style property was huge, with no less than three frontages visible from where they were. Chimneys with intricately built patterns jutted into the darkening sky, with tangles of ivy climbing parts of the manor, giving the place an appearance that was both beautiful and foreboding.

Presently, the driveway opened out into a gravelled area, which as far as Stephanie could tell, doubled as a car park for the weekend. Stephanie manoeuvred into a spot between two vehicles and killed the engine. As she turned to Jenny, she jumped, startled. Her girlfriend had leaned in close, making a scary face with her hands mimicking claws.

“Are you ready to be scared out of your wits, young lady?” Jenny rasped, wiggling her eyebrows and fingers theatrically.

Stephanie shoved her playfully, laughing. “Come on, you silly cow. It’s a murder mystery weekend, not a monster hunt. There will be no ghosts, ghouls or vampires involved.”

Stephanie got out of the car and closed the door. She’d already popped open the boot and started unloading their bags before Jenny appeared alongside her, pouting petulantly.

“But it’s Halloween tomorrow,” Jenny insisted. “Anything could happen. The veil between the living and dead will be at its thinnest, and this place is meant to be swarming with ghosts.”

“If you say so, sweetheart,” she replied, rolling her eyes. She was used to Jenny’s crazy beliefs by now. “Grab your bags and let’s get inside. It’s cold. You got the tickets?”

Jenny nodded, brandishing her handbag in response. Jenny picked up her overnight bag as Stephanie slammed the boot lid before locking the car, then followed her toward the grand entrance to Wilderhope Manor.

* * *
A little while later, they were installed in their room. They’d each been handed a “Welcome Pack” by the staff member who had attended to them at Reception, which consisted of their itinerary and instructions for the weekend.

As they unpacked, she voiced one of the thoughts that had run through her head. “Have you ever noticed how places never bat an eye at two girls sharing a room, and yet, if it’s two guys, they automatically assume they’re gay?”

“They’ll soon change their tune when they see your outfit for tonight!” Jenny replied, grinning cheekily at her. “It screams ‘lesbian’ with every stitch!”

“Whatever do you mean, you saucy wench? Someone with girl parts dressing as a distinguished gentleman does not a lesbian make.”

“True, but I wonder what it’ll do to you? Perhaps it’ll work in reverse and turn you straight!”

Get it here: Amazon UK | Amazon US

*****

Lucy is a graduate of the University of Derby, where she studied Creative Writing. During her first year, she was dared to write an erotic story - so she did. It went down a storm and she's never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Constable and Robinson, Decadent Publishing, Ellora's Cave, Evernight Publishing, House of Erotica, Ravenous Romance, Resplendence Publishing, Sweetmeats Press and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour, Seducing the Myth, Smut by the Sea and Smut in the City. 
Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9


Share/Bookmark

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Silvia Violet: Wolf Caller



Please welcome my guest Silvia Violet who's sharing an excerpt from her new release--Wolf Caller.

Hi Silvia. Tell us how you created the world of Wolf Caller.

Building the world of Wolf Caller was fun for me, because I got to bring in elements from many different subgenres that I enjoy - Regency, steampunk, paranormal, and fantasy. The world of Wolf Caller is in essence an alternate Regency where scientific discoveries that weren’t yet made at that time and the existence of magic have set the world on a different course. Werewolves are known to have existed in the past, but most people believe they are extinct. Instead, many of them are working for the governments of Europe as secret agents. Witches are known to exist and are shunned, not necessarily burned at the stake but certainly not allowed to move in polite society. The dress and social customs or the wealthier citizens of Europe are similar to how they were in the early 1800s.

As often happens with my world-building, I initially saw the characters interacting as if they were in a movie in my head. I knew they weren’t in the present or in the future, but their world was not precisely that of Jane Austen. I first asked myself what types of sentient beings existed in this world that do not exist in ours and what rules they have to live by. Next I began to develop their modes of dress, their social customs and the interaction between humans and supernatural creatures. Then I worked out the technology. How does it work and why? How is it used? How has it made their world different from ours? This is one of my favorite parts of the writing process.

I hope you enjoy this excerpt from Wolf Caller….

Wolf Caller by Silvia Violet is available at Amazon:


Blurb:

As their world draws closer to war, the future of Albion is in the hands of a werewolf pack who must protect the country’s most carefully guarded secret, a new magically-generated power source. Rumors about the mysterious Lord Derek Valmont abound, but no one in Albion’s Upper Circles knows the whole truth. Valmont is not only a werewolf, he’s also an operative for the Office of Clandestine Affairs.

Captivated -- literally -- by the hauntingly beautiful, Serena, Valmont is furious that he can’t break the hold she has over him in wolf form. When she flees their encounter he drinks in her lingering scent, determined to find her again -- on his own terms. But before he convinces her to use her powers to aid his pack and his government, he’ll take her to his bed and prove he’s the one in control.

Serena may not be able to control the man as she does the wolf, but she's got an agenda of her own. Her sights are set on both Valmont and his second in command.


Excerpt:

Serena couldn’t sleep. She’d spent the last several hours tossing and turning, drifting in and out of vivid dreams about her grandmother. Most of the jumbled images were real memories, but they seemed too strange to be real. Resigned to wakefulness, Serena rose and pulled her hooded cloak from the wardrobe. She caressed the lush red velvet before swinging it over her shoulders. Never had she touched a softer fabric.

Her grandmother had made the cloak herself, just before she died. Nonna had instructed Serena’s aunt to give it to her when she turned twenty-one. The first time she'd worn it, she found a note from Nonna in one of the deep pockets. Her grandmother instructed her to wear the cloak on every possible occasion, because it would show her a path to an alternate future.

Serena didn’t know what sort of alternate future one might find while walking in the dark, but the crisp, early spring air called to her despite the hour. She slipped on her half boots and buttoned the cloak over her nightgown. Then she tip-toed down the stairs and opened the doors leading onto the side porch of her cousin’s country house.

Her cousin and his wife would worry if they realized she’d left the house at night, but it was unlikely that anyone would wake and detect her absence. The wind whipped her cloak, making it float around her as she hurried down the stone steps and across the well-manicured lawn. When she reached the edge of the woods, an owl called sharply as if warning her not to venture forward, but her odd dreams had put her in a reckless mood. When else would she get a chance to stroll in the woods with a full moon lighting her way?

She walked along the trail that would ultimately take her to the neighboring estate, a house her cousin had warned her not to visit. Serena had never met the owner, Lord Derek Valmont, but she’d heard plenty of rumors about his exploits.

He had disappeared from Albion City the year before. No one, not even his father, the well-respected Marquis of Longtemps, knew where he’d gone. When he returned months later, Valmont gave no explanation for his absence. Now his only contact with the Upper Circles lay in luring young women back to his estate and seducing them. By all accounts, he was wickedly handsome and so skilled in bed that a woman would willingly trade her reputation for a night with him. Serena had to admit the thought of being seduced by him sounded tantalizing rather than threatening, which might explain why she’d unconsciously headed in the direction of his estate.

A loud whir interrupted the sounds of the forest. Serena looked up and saw a dirigible moving rapidly past, probably another military training expedition. War with Toulousia was looking like more of a certainty. Albion’s army had been training like mad, trying to get a handle on every new technology they could. Rumors had circulated in Serena’s circles that yet another new fuel source had been discovered, but all details were being kept top secret.

When Serena looked back down, an enormous black wolf stood in front of her. Her breath caught, more in surprise than fear. She knew instinctively that she could talk to wolves the same way she could talk to dogs. She held out her hand as she would for an unfamiliar dog to catch her scent. Come.

The wolf’s eyes widened. It leaned away from her as if trying to resist her call. No dog had ever done that before.

Come. I won’t hurt you.

Who are you? The wolf asked.

Serena jumped. Had she imagined the response?

My name is Serena.

Leave. The wolf backed a step away. She could read anger and fear in his stance.
What was going on? She’d kept her abilities hidden all her life. Nonna was the only other witch who’d come out to her. Her mother knew what she was, but they never spoke of it. Serena knew little of her power except that she had the ability to call dogs to her, to calm them, and to heal them if they were injured.

Her friends simply thought she had a special affinity for animals. No one suspected that magic was involved, but Serena knew differently. She felt something come alive inside her when she used her power. Nonna had hinted that she had more abilities, but she’d died before Serena had learned how to use them.

Come. She called the wolf again, determined to see what level of power she truly had.

The animal snarled, but he took a step closer to her.

Come to me. She held out her hand and drew from the place inside herself where the magic rose, sending out every ounce of compulsion she could raise.

The wolf took two more steps toward her. His eyes glowed with anger. You will regret this.

Serena shivered. But what could he do? She was the one in control. Having never felt any resistance from the dogs she’d worked with, she’d never known how alluring such power could be.

Come now. She shouted the words in her mind and the wolf crawled forward, resisting every step. She reached out and stroked his head. Instead of snarling as she anticipated, he leaned into her touch, rubbing his head against her. His fur was even softer than her cloak.

After petting him for several seconds, she stood, suddenly ashamed of having forced her will on this beautiful animal.

You may go.

I will find you and have my turn.

Serena’s heart pounded. What was that supposed to mean?

The wolf turned and raced away.



Learn more about Silvia Violet at her website: http://silviaviolet.com/


Share/Bookmark

Saturday, October 27, 2012

N.R. Walker: Three's Company



Three’s Company
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

ISBN: 9781614957706
Pages: 268 pp.
Word Count: 54052

Blurb:
After news that he's gay spreads though his homophobic hometown, leaving his restaurant in trouble, Wilson Curtis goes to Key West alone. He meets Simon and Adam, and is soon invited into their bed for some vacation fun.
Once isn't enough, and they get to know each other in and out of the bedroom. Ten days is all it takes to change their lives. When Wil's vacation time is up, none of them are ready to say good-bye. They'll have to conquer misunderstandings, miscommunication, and the judgment of friends and foes alike who don't understand their relationship, but these three know that what they have is worth fighting for.



Congrats on your new release! Tell us about Three’s Company:
The original idea for this story came from a friend of mine, Brenda (who the novel is dedicated to) who sent me pic after pic of sexy beach/sun-kissed boys until I agreed to write it.  Originally, the concept started as some pretty cabana boys who lived a free life with little to no responsibility. Being a couple, they worked at a resort together, surfed together and partied together, and the third man was going to be a worn-out doctor or some other similar professional looking for something he didn’t know he was missing.

But that’s not how this story ended up. At all.

There are some similarities to the original concept, and the basis is the same (existing couple introduce a third man into their relationship) but that’s about where the original plot outline similarities end. In Three’s Company, Wilson Curtis travels to Key West by himself to escape a not-so-pleasant life back home. His business is in tatters, he’s suddenly single and the entire town has snubbed him.  He meets Adam and Simon, who work at the hotel he’s staying at, and they invite him into their bed.

What starts out as a one night stand, soon becomes a holiday fling and like all my stories, there is a light on angst, heavy on love, kind of sweetness.  There seems to be more sex than I remember writing... and truthfully, not much happens outside of these three boys. There’s no major external drama, it’s mostly about these three men and how they adjust to being a threesome than some huge twisted plot.

Who was the inspiration for the characters?
Wilson Curtis is a small-town with a certain naivety that makes him adorable. I pictured Luke McFarlane for Wil.

Adam Preston is the always smiling, always happy, swimmer/surfer. He’s charming, and it’s impossible not to like him.  I pictured Simon Baker for Adam.

Simon Stanford is the serious, business minded one. He’s smart, independent and oh-so lovely.  I pictured a short-haired, clean-shaven Jared Leto for Simon.

Is writing m/m/m complicated?
No more complicated than standard m/m. Sure, there’s more body parts, and getting the physical locations of said body parts during sex scenes can be tricky, but I think I’ve watched enough “research” to get it right. *winks*   There is of course an additional main character, and trying to get each character in equal proportions was a little tricky, particularly because I favored Simon ;) but making sure they each had enough dialogue and depth of character, as opposed to a standard secondary character, but I’d say no more than usual. 
I did find the men themselves were enough of a story without having a too-complicated plot; their back-stories, and how they dealt with the realization they needed to be a threesome as opposed to a couple, was enough to put on these poor boys. LOL

What’s next from N.R. Walker?
My next release is a novel length drama titled Blind Faith, and it comes out late January 2013 with Silver. I’ve written its sequel, which I’m hoping to sub soon.  I’m also participating in NaNo this year and my aim is to complete the majority of the sequel to Point of No Return. I also have some free-reads I’m getting ready to post with Silver Publishing in the next few weeks and I can divulge more info on that when I know more.


Contact Details:
Email - nrwalker2103@gmail.com
Facebook - N.r. Walker
Facebook fan page - N.R.WalkerAuthor
Twitter - @NR_Walker
Goodreads - N.R. Walker




Share/Bookmark

S.A. McAuley: An Immovable Solitude



Happy Release Day to S.A. McAuley who's sharing an excerpt from her new  book with Silver Publishing - An Immovable Solitude. Enjoy!

Title: An Immovable Solitude
Author Name: S.A. McAuley
Release Date: October 27, 2012

Author Links: Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/authorsamcauley
Twitter – @AuthorSAMcAuley
Email – authorsamcauley (at) gmail.com

Bio: Sam sleeps little, reads a lot. Happiest in a foreign country. Twitchy when not mentally in motion. Send her a picture and a song and she’s bound to write a story about it. And yes, that’s an invitation.

Chapter One

The boat pitched from side to side as the deckhands struggled to lower the rattling cage against the hull. The sky was a cloudless indigo blue, and the stars were beginning to blink out in rings as sunrise pushed past the horizon. The air was unseasonably warm, which lowered the chances of this being a productive trip, but I wasn't going to complain. I loved summers in the Cape.
The waters of Van Dyks Bay were generally erratic, consistent in their inconsistency, and there were days I wanted to ignore the weather and wave report and just chance it, setting sail for Dyer Island without planning for what to expect. But this was our boat, our company, and we had a reputation that ensured us a steady stream of tourists.
"Oy! Hash! We need help securing the lines out here, hey?"
Abraham's voice called to me from the stern, where he and two of the deckhands pulled at ropes used to fasten the cage to the side of the boat. The waves were too strong for divers to climb in just yet, but the wind was slowly dying and soon the pitch of the boat would turn to a slow, hypnotic roll. I left the tiny wheelhouse and helped them tie off lines, relishing the salt spray that hit each time the boat bottomed out on a wave.
We struggled to secure the cage, and Abraham switched to Afrikaans as we worked. It was my second language, but the mother tongue for most of our crew, and when things became tense, as they did now, the tourists wouldn't understand one word we said to each other. The cage finally settled into the grooves worn into the hull from countless trips, and we fastened it tightly. Behind us, the divers talked nervously with each other, surveying the bay with suspicion, fear, excitement, or a mix of all three. They were already clad in thick wetsuits, masks hung around their necks or gripped tightly in fists. Abraham tugged at the ropes, checking them before turning to me and nodding.
"Let's give it another ten," I replied to the question he hadn't asked. "I'd like it to be a bit calmer."
I stopped to chat up the group of divers on my way to the wheelhouse. We had ten on board today, a full charter. As usual, it was a mix of nationalities and ages: six women and four men on an escorted tour of South Africa. The women today were especially flirtatious, and like any smart captain looking to see his business grow, I took the time to talk with each of them before moving on. Kerry liked to tease me I enjoyed this part of my job a little too much.
I wore my usual blue and silver board shorts hung low on my hips, with feet and chest bare. I leant down to speak intimately to the women, my smile flashing, my laugh genuine. My blond hair, just a touch on the long side, fell into my eyes and one of the ladies looked as if she wanted to push it back. I never discouraged it if they tried. I gave my excuses, begging off with the list of duties I had to complete. I pointed at Abraham and told them my boss made me work too hard. Abraham grinned and shook his head; he'd seen this too many times. Yet he still laughed, because both of us knew who the boss really was even though at twenty-seven, I didn't look old enough to have my own company.
More importantly Abraham knew I wasn't interested in any of them. No matter how free, easy, or beautiful they were. I had a gorgeous man, my partner in every sense of the word, waiting for me back at our shop.
Nothing about me proclaimed my sexuality; I'd never been loud about being gay. Most days, it was the least of what defined me. But I'd never hidden it either. For some, my choice to live with my sexual orientation as secondary, like every straight person had the pleasure of doing, was unsettling. So they made assumptions when it would've been easier to ask. But for most, especially the tourists, I was little more than eye candy. Someone pleasant-looking to flirt with when away from home.
The nervous anticipation of the divers relaxed as the winds died and the waves settled the boat into a gentle sway. The sun crested over the mountains to the east, chasing the rest of the stars away. Abraham gave his standard greeting and instructions before the first divers dropped into the cage. The energy of the tourists was palpable, pulling smiles from the tired crew.
We'd all been up for hours already, prepping the boat and supplies, and performing equipment checks. This moment―when Abraham, with a twitch of his lips, asked the inevitable question, "Who wants to go first?"―was my second favourite part of the workday. Nervous laughter skittered between the tourists, and Dominick, our videographer, circled them, capturing their reactions for a personalised DVD we would sell to them after the trip. Today, it was an American who stepped forwards, a goofy grin plastered across his face. He immediately put the rest of the tourists at ease as he joked about who would get his wife if he didn't make it out.
I leant against the helm and pulled out my cell. A green light blinked at the corner and I flipped it open to read the text.
Howzit?
I chuckled. Three years after his arrival in South Africa and Kerry still hadn't mastered the basic slang. He'd attempted it enough times that I knew he was asking how the charter was going, but the actual meaning of what he'd asked was "how are you?"
Lekker was my one-word reply: Excellent. We both spent so much time dealing with tourists that we usually had to curb the use of slang. But when it was just the two of us, jokes about the differences between his Irish English and my South African English were common.
I heard gasps and a scattering of loud curses and knew the first great white had been sighted. I peeked out of the wheelhouse to where the deckhands were tossing a fish head into the water. They dragged it back to the boat, drawing the shark closer to the cage. My cell pinged.
I can't drag my ass out of bed.
He was lying. I'd heard his footsteps on the wood floors, walking from the bedroom into the shower, as I'd left early this morning. He would be in the shop now, hunched over his desk, coffee cup in hand, his black hair most likely dishevelled from running his fingers through it while he reconciled the monthly accounts. His work today wouldn't be complicated, he was too organised for that, but it would be tedious and that drove Kerry mad. He needed to be constantly entertained, and I favoured the days I spent discovering new ways to keep him occupied and interested.
It's right where I want it, hey? I texted back.
The tourist group was all smiles now, enthralled with the gigantic beast cutting lazily through the water around them. Selling the DVDs was going to be easy today. Abraham and the deckhands had the divers taken care of, the water had calmed to a leisurely roll, and the heat from the sun was tempered by a gentle breeze from the south. Newborn seal pups barked from the island off our bow. It was the birth of these young that had attracted the great whites back to Dyer Island and Van Dyks Bay despite the warmer waters, driving larger tourist groups our way to the point where we'd added a second boat and hoped to receive government approval for a third next year.
If you don't want your books to balance this month, Erik Hash was his response.
He was using my full name. Not a good sign. I typed back Frustrated already?
He replied before I could look up I'd rather be on the boat.
I let out a low whistle. If he wanted to be on the boat more than in the shop, that meant he was more than frustrated. Kerry hated the sharks as much as I loved them. I'd met him three years ago when he'd walked onto my uncle's boat with his sister, Kelle, in tow, and I knew then I would do anything to have him. It took me one day to get him into my bed, but almost a year before I knew he loved me as much as I loved him. Kerry and Kelle were only supposed to stay in the Cape for a week, and then move on to Durban, over to Johannesburg, and eventually into Botswana. After our first night together, Kerry decided not to leave Van Dyks Bay and Kelle reluctantly stayed on.
Worry lines creased my forehead as I tried to formulate a response. Kerry had been more distant than usual the last couple of days. I didn't expect him to be overtly emotional anytime; it just wasn't him. He was reserved, calm, and introverted, the opposite of me, but lately he'd been more withdrawn than usual. I knew he was joking when he said he would rather be on the boat, but I read the underlying annoyance in that statement and I doubted it had anything to do with reconciling the finances. Kerry was working through something and I couldn't shake the feeling that it was bigger than he was letting on.
A collective gasp came from outside the wheelhouse and I grinned, an old joy filling me with each satisfied shriek that erupted from the deck, pulling my thoughts away from Kerry. I felt the boat pitch as the thundering footsteps of the divers followed the shark from aft to stern. It was rare I made a trip out near Dyer Island without spotting one of the apex predators, but my excitement never waned, and my admiration for their ancient power and beauty never faltered. I was seven years old again each time I connected with the black eyes of these stunning creatures.
What was I doing sequestering myself in the wheelhouse? There was nothing I could do for Kerry until the charter was done. We were on the sharks. I threw my cell into my hoodie hung by the door, and stepped out onto the deck. There were two divers in the cage, three standing where it was anchored next to the boat, and two on the bow. Feet shuffled above my head on the second level of the boat where the rest of the divers were chatting happily as they clicked off pictures.
Abraham sidled up next to me, put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed affectionately. His bone-white teeth stood out against the deep blackness of his skin and a jovial smile told me it was a good sighting. The silver streaks he'd developed in his hair over the last two years made him even more handsome.
"How big?"
"Almost four metres," Abraham said, pointing at the shark on the aft side. "There's a three metre juvenile creeping around as well."
We made our way behind the cage, where a deckhand tossed chum into the water, bribing the sharks to stay with our boat. There were two other companies doing the same bait and view routine with their own tourists so we had to keep the sharks occupied or risk losing them to one of the boats that sat a respectable distance away. I peered into the water as I saw the large shadow draw closer. I slid my polarised glasses over my eyes to block out the glare of sun on the waves and felt my breath hitch when the larger one came into view.
The sides of the shark were scarred from the number of mating seasons it had been through, the twisted patchwork of white a testament to its age. It cut gracefully through the water past the cage, ignoring the divers in the cage that were pushing as far back against the metal as possible, and yet it was obvious the shark was aware of everything happening around it. It had decided we weren't a threat long before it showed up alongside the boat. These creatures were cunning, intelligent, and ancient. I knew the black of their eyes almost as well as the green of Kerry's.
The deckhand pulling the fish yanked it closer to the cage and the water surged as the juvenile crashed towards the floating fish head. The divers next to the cage jumped back with a cry of surprise, while the deckhands, Abraham, and I laughed until we were nearly crying. We'd seen the shadow underneath the water as the smaller one moved in. I put my arms around the shoulders of two of the divers at the side of the boat. The petite wife of the American man pulled me closer. Her wetsuit was soaked since she'd just exited the cage.
"You see that bro over there with the video camera?" I pointed them towards Dominick so he could get a good shot of their faces after the surprise. "He's much more dangerous than the juvenile softie out there."
Dominick winked, and they twittered and blushed.
"See, I told you. Sharks are incredibly evolved predators, but you shouldn't fear them. They are shy, deliberate hunters and will rarely attack except when hunting. They will never attack the cage. Dom, on the other hand, you need to watch those teeth."
Before I could slip my arms from around their shoulders, the American woman looked at me in amazement. Her teeth chattered. "I don't know whether to be frightened or amazed. You really love them don't you? The sharks?"
"I do. There is more to be amazed of than frightened of. Listen to Abraham. He'll sell you."
I excused myself and left my co-captain to do his work. While my brain was filled with all kinds of arcane and useless trivia about sharks and their appearances on TV and in movies, Abraham had been a part of my uncle's research crew for years and could answer the important questions about shark biology and habits. Turning this part over to him was also carefully choreographed after our years of working together. I had a tendency to spout off about the evil that was TV's Shark Week if given half a chance. Okay, any chance. But it also gave me time to do what I really loved to do, which was watch the sharks.
I sat in the stern with the deckhands and cut up chum. It was the perfect vantage point to watch the juvenile great white stay a deferential distance from the larger shark, which only circled back once the divers had calmed down and a fresh bucket of blood was dumped into the water. I watched the shark until I felt an itch to check on Kerry.
Back in the wheelhouse, I pulled out my cell and texted Okay?
I stared at the phone, waiting for a reply. I could picture him trying to think how to respond, of typing something and then erasing it. I closed my eyes and paid attention to the rolling of the waves beneath the boat, letting them rock me. The sun pouring through the wheelhouse window on to my shoulders and face, warm salt air filtering in through the open windows, and the rhythmic sound of the waves against the hull helped calm my worry over Kerry. I don't know how long I stood there, mesmerised and half asleep, before my cell pinged again.
Just need more coffee. And your ass back in bed.
Only a couple more hours and I would be happy to oblige him on the second part. Because getting off the boat and coming home to Kerry, even after three years, was still my favourite part of the day.





Share/Bookmark

Friday, October 26, 2012

It's a Halloween Spooktacular!


Today I'm at Romance Book Junkies sharing my photos from Halloween past. Check them out and leave a comment for a chance to win an ebook.

http://www.romancebookjunkies.com/2012/10/spooktacular-day-26-spooky-interview.html

Have a great weekend!


Share/Bookmark

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blog Tour: OMAR by Craig Thompson




Share/Bookmark

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cover Reveal: Hiding His Wolf



Happy Hump Day Everyone! I just sent Siren the final edits for Hiding His Wolf. Here's a peek at the cover and story line. It's due for release next month.

Synopsis:

Half breed Were-wolf, Levi York hides his shifter identity while he works as a bouncer at Hot Rods, a leather club that features slave auctions. When Noah Levy goes on the block, the wolf-shifter recognizes the human as his missing friend. He tracks the buyer, Simon Black, and initiates sex to get close to Noah. Guilt-ridden, Levi tries to justify his very real attraction to the man who owns his friend, but he can't reconcile his feelings. There's definitely chemistry between them but Simon is the adversary who stands between him and Noah.

Levi is right to be wary. Simon is hiding his real identity. He's a Federal Agent and he's using Noah as Were-wolf bait. But Simon is having second thoughts. He never expected to fall for the prey—and the bait. Now, he's determined to help both men—but first he has to convince Levi to trust him.


Share/Bookmark

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Super Book Blast: Paradise Hops by Liz Crowe



Today's guest is Liz Crowe who is here as part of her Super Book Blast.
Enjoy the excerpt from her new release, Paradise Hops, and don't forget to leave a comment.

Liz will be awarding a "swag pack" from her brewery, the Wolverine State Brewing Co including 2 tee shirts, a pint glass, a hat and a certificate for a free growler fill plus $15 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment for a better chance of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  



BLURB:   
A brutal attack left Lori Brockton convinced she was damaged goods. By the time she emerges from hiding two years later, ready to run her family's famous brewery, she's determined to be independent--never rely on anyone ever again. Nearly a year of working in every corner of Brockton Brewing Company, from warehouse to pub, front office to kitchen, teaches her all she needs to know about the business. 

Then, she comes face-to-face with masculine perfection in a suit and her world is rocked in more ways than one. Garret Hunter is the new Brockton business manager who takes one look at the beautiful, sad young woman and his entire existence coalesces around winning her heart. 

But standing between Garrett and what he believes is his true love, is a six-feet six-inch blond-haired bad boy brewer.

Eli Buchannan is a craft beer rock star, recently hired by Brockton to drag the company into the 21st century. He brings innovation and attitude plus a prima donna ladies man reputation.  But he's sworn off anything resembling commitment, personal or professional, after getting burned at his last job on both fronts. 

Garret Hunter is “The Perfect Man” -- handsome, successful, stable, eager to settle down. Eli Buchannan... is not.  Compelling, smoking hot, creative and elusive, he represents everything Lori Brockton should avoid.  But just as she makes a difficult choice, a drastic life-changing shift occurs, and nothing is ever the same again.



Excerpt: 

Lori wrestled open the back brewery door, ears already ringing from the curses that echoed through the large, brightly lit room. The brewery boys, and three second brewers stood in a line, like they were in a marine barracks all looking as nervous as mice observed by a very hungry cat.

“And who the fuck,” boomed a voice, “might you be? No one told me there was a girl brewer in this place.”

As a reflex, Lori looked around, seeking out the girl who’d pissed off the faceless angry voice that must belong to Eli Buchanan their new master brewer. She’d been instrumental in convincing her father to hire the guy. He was a brewing celebrity, a genius, temperamental and prone to quit perfectly good breweries if the mood suited him. He was exactly what Brockton needed. They had to to get past their staid, complacent attitude in a rapidly changing craft beer environment.

“Yeah, I’m talking to you. The one who showed up fifteen minutes late for my morning staff meeting.” She flushed, frowning at the line of men, many of whom had worked for her father for years as they shuffled their feet and wouldn’t meet her eyes.  “Who the hell are you, and why are you on my brewery floor?”

She cleared her throat, squared her shoulders and channeled the anger building in her chest. “I’m Lori. Lori Brockton. This is the first day of my brewery rotation.” She hated how thin her voice sounded.

“Your brewery rotation eh?” She stepped back at the vision that emerged from between towering stainless steel fermentation vessels.  “What is this? Brewing Day Camp? I’m supposed to babysit the Brockton kids?” He glared at her, making her blink in the glare of his bright, steely blue gaze. Eli Buchanan was larger than life. At least six foot five, with long blonde hair held back by a small piece of leather. Clad in light blue jeans and a Brockton Brewing grey t-shirt, the span of his shoulders and definition of his torso forced an exhale from Lori’s lips. He kept quiet as her eyes took him in, from rubber boot clad feet to the light red hair covering his jaw. “Well? See anything you like?”

“Uh, no, I mean, it’s not camp. I mean, you are…I’m…” she stuttered, then stopped. The man stood stock still, glaring as if challenging her. She stood up straighter. “I’m here for the next six months to learn this part of the business. You know, so I can be your boss someday.” The man frowned at her. She frowned back.

Then he tilted his head back and laughed, stepped into her personal space and smacked her ass so hard she yelped. “I look forward to that day girl Brockton. Yes, I do.” A couple of the men started forward as if to protect her but she waved them back. This asshole had another thing coming if he thought she’d be intimidated by him. As much as she might have been at one point, something about him was as non-threatening as Garrett, but in a different way—a much more spine-tingling way.

The following ten hours of back breaking work nearly made her throw in the towel. But after an hour scraping out the last of a twenty barrel’s worth of wet, heavy spent mash—the leftover grains from a batch of beer made on their smaller system, she felt sore as hell, but invigorated. The smells, sounds and sights of this place, the heartbeat of the entire operation, the reason all three hundred of her father’s employees came to work every day, this she loved.

“Brockton!” An angry voice behind her made her jump and turn. Wet, sticky malt grains dripped from her face where she’d accidently splashed some onto herself as she cleaned out the large vessel. She swiped at them, smearing even more of the mess across her cheeks. Without warning, Eli wiped her face with a clean white towel, his touch surprisingly tender, lingering longer than necessary. But his frown stayed stuck in place.  She stepped away from him even though her body reacted, compelling her to move closer.

“Some guy in a tie is looking for you,” he jerked a thumb over his shoulder but didn’t move. Lori had no experience with hypnosis, but she’d swear at that moment he’d done it to her. They locked eyes, then the sound of harder heeled shoes on the concrete floor forced her look past him. Garrett’s bright smile was familiar, yet strange in the highly charged environment. 

“I’m actually here to see you, Eli.” Garrett stuck out a hand and the other man looked at it, glancing over to Lori then back over before gripping it without a smile. “Glad to have you on board.”

Eli took his hand back, and swiped at it with the towel he’d used on her face. If he noticed the rude gesture, Garrett didn’t indicate it in the slightest. Impressed, Lori moved a step closer to him and glared at the tall, blonde man.

Eli shot her an unfathomable look, but spoke to Garrett. “Sorry, but no suits in the brewery. Wouldn’t want to get you messy.” He walked away, waving over his shoulder. “Glad to be on board, boss, thanks.” The sarcasm dripped from his words like venom. Garrett turned to her, his handsome face calm, as if the odd exchange with the rude employee had never happened.
 
Check out these ARC reviews for Paradise Hops:
 

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Microbrewery owner, best-selling author, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great Midwest, in a major college town.  Years of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as an ex-pat trailing spouse, plus making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry), has prepped her for life as erotic romance author. 

When she isn't sweating inventory and sales figures for the brewery, she can be found writing, editing or sweating promotional efforts for her latest publications. 

Her groundbreaking romance subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” has gained thousands of fans and followers who are interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”)

Her beer blog a2beerwench.com is nationally recognized for its insider yet outsider views on the craft beer industry. Her books are set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch and in high-powered real estate offices.  Don’t ask her for anything “like” a Budweiser or risk painful injury.


Share/Bookmark