Aug 31, 2014

The Power of Disillusionment – by MFRW Feature Author of the Month Lloyd A. Meeker






 For years, I had a quote pinned up on the wall of my work-place cubicle attributed to congressional historian Daniel J Boorstin: “The greatest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance, but rather the illusion of knowledge."


I'd like to share with you something of my enthusiasm for disillusionment – the loss of illusion. Discovery is an essential part of any plot, from clues in a murder mystery, to trust (misplaced, real or withheld) in a romance, geographic exploration in an adventure, or finding inner strength in the Hero’s Journey. While the need for discovery is always present in our stories, the context for the discovery is infinitely changeable.


Perhaps the most important variable is the protagonist’s own attitude toward discovery. That could be the beginning of his character arc: he may be certain he doesn’t need to change, or that he is as self-sufficient as his reputation says he is. He may be convinced a situation is hopeless. He may believe he is not worthy of love. This is where the story gets really interesting! How the hero handles that discovery is a crucial revelation of his character. What is he really made of? What he does when a cherished illusion is dispelled will show it in spades.


The classic example is an altruistic young person who, full of optimism and naïveté approaches the world of commerce as if everyone were as honest as she is. That person soon finds out that altruism, if it is to be a kind influence in a person's life must be tempered with realistic caution.


While I rhapsodize about the profound value of cognitive dissonance, I don’t enjoy the pain and sadness (or embarrassment!) I can feel when a cherished belief proves to be false. I believe emotional pain is probably the worst teacher of reality – certainly the harshest. The problem is that so often it’s the only teacher left to us because we’ve rejected kinder, less cataclysmic ones. We can be so damn stubborn or blind about what we’re certain is true – the illusion of knowledge.


In the case of Shepherd Bucknam, the protagonist in my new novel The Companion, disillusionment is a great but pain-inducing ally, in two particular instances. When the story begins, he doesn’t see any need for him to change. Privately, he carries a bitter disrespect for his dead alcoholic mother, believing that she didn’t really love him. He is also afraid that a recurring nightmare foretells his violent death.


In both these matters he discovers that what he thinks is true is not true at all, and the shock of discovery opens him to new experience and real growth as a human being. What happens next? Well, you’ll have to read the story to find out!


And I sincerely hope you do… :D




 


Blurb for The Companion


Shepherd Bucknam hasn’t had a lover in more than a decade, and doesn’t need one. As a Daka, he coaches men in the sacred art and mystery of sexual ecstasy all the time, and he loves his work. It’s his calling. In fact, he’s perfectly content—except for the terrors of his recurring nightmare, and the ominous blood-red birthmarks on his neck. He’s convinced that together they foretell his early and violent death.

When Shepherd’s young protégé is murdered, LAPD Detective Marco Fidanza gets the case. The two men are worlds apart: Marco has fought hard for everything he’s accomplished, in sharp contrast to the apparent ease of Shepherd’s inherited wealth—but their mutual attraction is too hot for either of them to ignore.


Shepherd swears he’ll help find his protégé’s killer but Marco warns him to stay out of it. When an influential politician is implicated, the police investigation grinds to a halt. Shepherd hires his own investigator. Marco calls it dangerous meddling.


As their volatile relationship deepens, Shepherd discovers his nightmares might not relate to the future, but to the deadly legacy of a past life—a life he may have to revisit before he can fully live and love in this one.








Buy Links, Social Media:


At Dreamspinner:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5243


On Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Companion-Lloyd-Meeker-ebook/dp/B00M28O24S/



www.lloydmeeker.com

https://twitter.com/LloydAMeeker

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/MBe1gp

https://www.facebook.com/lloyd.meeker







In this excerpt, Shepherd is a suspect in the murder of his friend and protégé Steven Lewis. Detective Marco Fidanza, who is soon to be Shepherd’s lover, has called Shepherd to the police station for more questioning.




I DIDN’T see any visitor parking at the police station, so I took a meter on the street and reported to the desk. Five minutes later, Fidanza appeared and steered me to what could only be an interrogation room. Two chairs and a metal table with a welded bracket in the middle—for restraints, I guessed. Not even a wastebasket. That was it. The air smelled of pine disinfectant, but I didn’t want to think of why the place might have needed disinfecting.

He pointed to a chair. “Have a seat.” He put a recorder on the table and sat across from me. He spoke in a brusque monotone into the recorder: date, time, people present, case number, murder of Steven Lewis.

Using the same voice, he read me my rights and asked if I understood them. I said yes, and my attorney was waiting for my call if needed.

He studied the open file in front of him as if he hadn’t heard what I’d said or its warning. But then I’d threatened to call my lawyer yesterday. He probably heard that all the time.

“You say you were a friend of the deceased.” He sounded nonchalant, even bored. Even without Juergen’s warning, he didn’t fool me for a second.

“Yes, I was.”

“How close a friend?”

“I was his mentor. We were intimate friends.”

“Physically intimate?”

“Certainly. Once a month, sometimes more often. For his lesson.”

Fidanza looked up, and his lip curled. “A lesson in sex.”

I shook my head. “A lesson in sexual intimacy.”

“Come on, Bucknam. You’re saying he didn’t know how to do it?”

“Can you sing Happy Birthday, Detective?” I smiled. “I’ll bet you can.”

He scowled. “On the right occasion. What’s that got to do with this?”

“Dmitri Hvorostovsky can sing happy birthday too. Even though he sings the same notes you do, I think you’d agree it’s a very different song when he sings it.”

I leaned forward on the table and stared into Marco Fidanza’s glare. “Most men know the melody of sex and can stumble through it, pretty much in tune. I teach them how to sing their sexual intimacy like Hvorostovsky sings opera. At least as far as they can go, and as far as I can take them.”

The air crackled between us. I could tell I’d gotten to him, and it was clear he didn’t like being bested on his own turf. A small ragged vein on his temple pulsed, and his lips pressed to a thin line. I sat back in my chair.

“Very clever,” he grumbled. “So you were teaching Lewis to sing sexual opera.”

I nodded. “He was incredibly gifted—a natural—but still dangerously naïve.” I fought a lump in my throat. “We were working on that too.”

“Yes, I’m sure you’re not naïve in the least, Mr. Bucknam.” He was good. I folded my arms and replied with silence. “Did you introduce him to customers?”


“Yes, a few. He had no trouble finding his own, though.”

He drew some rectangles in a corner of his notepad. “Did you get a cut of that action?”

“No. He offered, I refused.”

“His car had no loan. Was that your doing?”

“Everyone in LA needs a reliable car, Detective. We agreed it would be a loan.”

“What about him using your, ah, studio?” “What about it?”
“Did he pay you for its use?”

“Detective, you seem fixated on money issues. That may make sense in other investigations, but it doesn’t in this one. We didn’t have any money issues. I would have covered all his costs without a thought, if he’d let me.”

He looked up, searching my face for something. “But he didn’t.”

“He was a free spirit. He didn’t like being fenced in.”

Fidanza nodded. “Were you trying to fence him in?”

“Not deliberately. And he had no trouble telling me when he felt like I was.”

He went back to his doodling. “How did you stay in touch?”

“Phone mostly. Sometimes a text.”


“What did you do together besides your, um, opera lessons?”

I couldn’t help but laugh. “Not very much.” Then I wanted to cry. The truth was that we hadn’t done anywhere near enough together. We could have done so much more.

“He loved his independence, as I said. We’d eat together once a week, maybe twice. Occasionally, we’d attend a wine tasting or some other event. One weekend, we went to a gay rodeo in Palm Springs. He loved that.”

He glanced at the papers in front of him. “So part of your, ah, mentorship included cosigning his lease and holding a key to his apartment.”

“Yes. He’d arrived in LA with nothing. No credit, almost no cash reserves. Sometimes, he was sleeping in dangerous places. He needed a place of his own. I wanted him to stay safe.”

“Right,” he said, his voice cold and dry. “That worked out well for him, didn’t it?”

“How—” I gasped, blindsided by the deliberate cruelty. “I suppose you say that to the children of every officer killed in the line of duty. You must be a real hit at police funerals.”

“I thought that might get a reaction from you.” He looked up, smug. “I was right.”

“Brilliant. You get a reaction by hitting someone with a sledgehammer. Such sophistication. Such finesse.”

My heart hammered against my ribs as I leaned forward, hating that he’d found where I hurt most. “Maybe I could have done more to protect him. I wish I had. But if you think I didn’t want the best for Stef, you are wrong, Detective. Very, very wrong.”

He shrugged, unrepentant. The door opened and a heavy-set Hispanic man, probably early fifties, with a tired, fleshy face and a soft middle came in, half dragging a chair. He parked it facing the table, sat, and sighed as if his feet had hurt all day and he’d just discovered the solution.

Fidanza cocked his head at him. “This is my partner, Detective Tomás Alvarez. He’s here to make me behave.” He picked up the recorder and turned it off before stuffing it in his pocket.

I smiled tightly at Alvarez, still stinging. “You’ve arrived too late for that, I’m afraid.”

He lifted his shoulders an inch, clearly used to the failure. “I do what I can.” He looked at his partner. “Malena called. Nicki’s over, and the little one is sick. If I want to eat, I’ve got to buy stuff at the store on the way home. I want to eat.”

“You go ahead. Mr. Bucknam and I have one more task,” Fidanza said as he closed the file and stood. He stared down at me, and I could tell he was watching for something. “I need you to identify the body, down at the Coroner’s Office. You can ride with me, if you like.”

Sweat pricked along my neck. I didn’t want to see Stef’s body. Then I surprised myself. Yes, actually I did. I wanted to say good-bye. We both deserved that. What if I got sick again? Then I got sick, it didn’t matter. I wasn’t going to try to get out of it. That’s probably what Fidanza was hoping for.

There was no way I was going to ride in his car, though. He would just try to nail me again to see how I squirmed. I shook my head. “Give me the address. I’ll meet you there.”

Aug 28, 2014

#Thursday13 Facts About #MFRWauthor Linda Bond @AuthorLindaBond

MFRW Author Linda Bond  is an Emmy award winning journalist by day and an author of romantic adventures by night.  She’s also the mother of five, four athletes and an adopted son from Cuba. She has a passion for world travel, classic movies, and alpha males. Linda currently lives in Florida, where the sun always shines and the day begins with endless possibilities. You can become a Bond girl and share in her continuing adventures at www.lindabond.com.

Today, for Thursday 13, Linda shares 13 things you might not know about her...

13 FUN FACTS FROM LINDA BOND
• I have two stepdaughters, one adopted son from Cuba, and two biological daughters, so I’ve been blessed to know motherhood in many different ways.
• I’m afraid to fly, yet accepted a ride in a U.S. Air Force Thunderbird – which travels twice
the speed of sound. I’m still afraid to fly.
• I love ketchup but hate tomatoes.
• I love late afternoon thunderstorms in Florida, the big boomers, where the thunder and lightning shakes the house.
• I named my bulldog, Sanford, after Sanford Stadium at the University of Georgia, where I spent four years performing as a majorette with the University of Georgia Redcoat Marching Band.
• I was Ms Greenville, South Carolina 1985 – while using my stepfather’s name Linda Yokum.
• My favorite movies are Gone with the Wind, Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice. Oh, love The Notebook, too.
• My favorite music is 80’s hair band rock and roll. In fact, I run to Guns – n – Roses and Bon Jovi most mornings.
• My guilty pleasure is watching reality TV. (Any of the housewives shows – please don’t’ tell anyone)
• I love dark chocolate and full‐bodied red wine.
• I’ve worked in television news, at the same TV station, with the same wonderful folks, for more than 20 years.
• I survived a fight with breast cancer, and it changed the way I enjoy my life.
• I write because I can’t stop. It’s been a life long addiction.
She recently released Alive at 5, a Mainstream Suspense, with Entangled in July.

BOOK BLURB
TV news reporter Samantha Steele is one panic attack away from losing her job. Future on the line, she sets up an easy feature story – following her mentor on an exhilarating adventure vacation.       When her mentor dies while skydiving, Samantha suspects he was murdered, and her investigative instincts lead her to gorgeous thrill-seeker Zack Hunter.

Zack is an undercover police officer investigating his uncle’s death through the same adventure vacation. Zack doesn't want Samantha investigating alongside him. The emotionally wounded loner is afraid of being responsible for a partner again, especially a journalist whose goal is to splash evidence all over the evening news.

But the striking reporter’s persistence is quite a turn-on, and Zack’s overpowering desire makes it harder for him to push her away. When the killer turns his attention to Zack, Samantha could be the only one who can save him, forcing the anxiety-riddled correspondent to finally face her greatest fear.

Meet Sam Steele and Zack Hunter.

A reporter on edge. 
A reckless, undercover police officer on a very personal mission. 
A high-octane, adrenaline rush of a journey to find a murderer begins.
Will they live to be Alive at 5?


What Reviewers Are Saying...
"Oh my gosh! I just finished proof reading this book for Entangled and I am blown away. I can't remember the last time I held my breath in fear while reading a book! THIS book is great! I read a lot of books and I very rarely leave reviews but this one calls for it. Linda Bond has written a page turner in romantic suspense. Alive at Five has everything: romance, suspense, action, alpha hero and a strong female lead! I think release is set for July 14th. I just had to sing its praises as soon as I finished reading! You have to read this one!"
- Sherry Willingham – copy editor and reviewer - Posted on Goodreads

Aug 26, 2014

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: The River Leith @LetaBlake #MFRWauthor

MFRW Author Leta Blake self-published The River Leith, a GLBT Contemporary Romance on May 13, 2014.

Memory is everything.

After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith Wenz wakes to discover his most recent memories are three years out of date. Struggling to face his new reality, Leith must cope with painful revelations about his family. His brother is there to support him, but it’s the unfamiliar face of Zach, a man introduced as his best friend, that provides the calm he craves. Until Zach’s presence begins to stir up feelings Leith can’t explain.

For Zach, being forgotten by his lover is excruciating. He carefully hides the truth from Leith to protect them both from additional pain. His bottled-up turmoil finds release through vlogging, where he confesses his fears and grief to the faceless Internet. But after Leith begins to open up to him, Zach's choices may come back to haunt him.

Ultimately, Leith must ask his heart the questions memory can no longer answer. If memory is everything. Can love survive when the memory of it is gone?

Amazon Buy Link  |  Smashwords Buy Link  |  Barnes & Noble Buy Link  |  iTunes Buy Link

What Reviewers Are Saying...
"Leta Blake is fast becoming one of the most exciting new voices in the romance genre." - I'm With Geek Reviews

"Raw, beautiful, lyrical, painful, sensual, hopeful. This author gets inside all of it and then lays it open, exposed, for us. The writing. The dialogue. The characters. The love. They're all here. I recommend this to everyone." - Prism Book Alliance

Excerpt
Memory, as it turned out, was both everything and nothing. It had no substance, no form, no weight, and no color. It was described, in technical terms, as deposits of proteins within cells of the brain. However, these were words that at their heart were as mysterious and ultimately magical as any other metaphor used in an attempt to understand the concept: memory as a storehouse or set of books—a way to keep track of life’s checks and balances; or memory as meaning—a mode of life, and a way of being.
Leith knew now that all these metaphors and all these words boiled down to one thing: memory is the sum of us, the total, and if it is divided, then we are lost.
There were other people in the occupational therapy ward, and Leith studied them with a mixture of horror and envy. There was the droopy, sagging stroke victim Jan Troxell, who could tell anyone the weather report from that morning, but couldn’t remember anything else—not her daughter’s name, not her age, and not her favorite color.
There was David Mueller, for whom every day began as April 12, 2006, until he found out again, and again, and again that he had suffered a brain injury and couldn’t make any more memories.
In some ways these people repulsed Leith, leaving him breathless with terror and disgust at how close he’d come to joining their ranks. People who were shells of the beings they were before, empty and unable to give anything back to the world except for the memory that once they were more, and that they never would be again.
But in other equally scary ways, Leith watched these people with envy. They were free, utterly rudderless in a thrashing ocean, but still free. Their options had been removed from them, and they were at the mercy of the elements and the grace of people’s kindness. But they weren’t tied down to memories of who they were, of what and who they’d loved, the things they’d once dreamed, and the things they’d valued.
Leith was not free. He knew who he was, give or take the last three years of his life. It had been almost two weeks since he’d come out of the coma. The illegal blow to the back of his head during the New York Amateur Boxing Championship match had cost his opponent his career, but it had cost Leith a hell of a lot more than that.
His last memory was learning that he would soon be released from prison. In his sparse, clean cell, he’d sat on a bunk and composed a letter to Arthur asking if it would be all right to start over in Brooklyn instead of going home to New Jersey and their father.
Leith had no memory of finishing that letter. No memory of a bus trip from the jail in Florida to Arthur’s apartment in Manhattan. No memory of meeting a girl named Naomi on the ski slopes of Vermont. No memory of his father’s death and no memory of mourning by his dad’s grave. Leith only knew of these things because he’d been told. And he still didn’t know how to believe them.
About Leta Blake
While Leta Blake would love to tell you that writing transports her to worlds of magic and wonder and then safely returns her to a home of sparkling cleanliness and carefully folded laundry, the reality is a bit different. Instead, piles of laundry and forgotten appointments haunt her life, but the joy of writing and the thrill of finishing a book make the everyday chaos all worth it.

Leta’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively, but her passion has always been in writing, and she most enjoys crafting romance stories that she would like to read. At her home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.
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Aug 22, 2014

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Hearts In Ruin @JCConwayWriter #MFRWauthor

MFRW Author J. C. Conway released Hearts In Ruin, a Mainstream Contemporary Romantic Suspense, with Liquid Silver Books on May 4, 2014.

Andrea’s career-making “sure thing” archeological dig has just been transferred to her super-hot colleague Daniel, whose questionable ideas could sink both their careers. But what if he’s right? When the site is threatened, Andrea must choose: run, and save her career, or stand with Daniel against crushing odds. Passion, lies and betrayal clash in the wake of a plot to destroy an ancient truth

Buy Links
amazon  |  liquid silver books  |  barnes and noble  |  kobo  |  all romance ebooks

What Reviewers Say...

Hearts in Ruin is a delightful romantic romp through an archaeological dig. The author has successfully melded a serious story with a wry sense of humor that keeps it a light and happy romance. Use of details about how a dig comes about and is managed entertain and move us through the plot to become an integral part of the story. I look forward to J.C. Conway's next book.
Amazon Customer Review, Elsa Bayly

This ""sweet"" level romance has academia politics and a realistic view of the challenges involved with an archaeologic dig. There are many conflicts and entanglements to keep the reader guessing. The hero is a lovable and sexy beta hero and the first kiss scene is the best I've ever read. The heroine is bold, self-confident and competent, and I want to be just like her.
Amazon Customer Review, S. Humphreys

Excerpt
With most of her team set, Andrea approached the sadly underused keg bucket under the pergola at the side of the yard. She slowed her pace only slightly to give Kirby Johnson the chance to reach it first—and therefore the chance to fill her cup for her.
“Hey, Andrea.” Kirby lifted the tap.
“God, who invited you?” She thrust her cup forward.
He took the cup and shrugged. “They didn't warn me you'd be here. I would've gone bowling.”
“Very sophisticated of you,” she said. “Where's Donna?”
Kirby carefully minimized the foam head. “Um…shopping.”
“Her dime or yours?”
Kirby smirked. “I'm as dimeless as you.”
“Technically.” Andrea took the cup. Kirby didn't have his own money. But his parents were loaded.
Andrea liked Kirby—as a friend. Shacking up junior year was a mistake. He was still a boy. And the breakup?—Well, she learned how whiney and annoying boys could be that semester. But that was four years ago. Kirby was with Donna now, who was much better for him. Thank God. The kid was growing up.
Kirby peered over Andrea's left shoulder, “Hello, Dr. Fuchs.”
Dr. Fuchs?
Andrea knew everyone at Horvath Levy College. Who was Dr. Fuchs?
A calm, male voice responded, “Kirby, right? Everything coming together okay?”
“Uh…yeah, sure.”
Andrea turned. Wow. Dr. Fuchs was definitely a newcomer. He was about her age. Tan, outdoorsy skin, a sinewy rock-climbing frame, sandy hair a little looser than the local style. His intense, blue-gray eyes landed on her.
Now she regretted dressing hastily. Safari pants, faded tank top, hair pulled into a quick bunch—no style, no class. She broke her stare, wrestling for composure.
“Doctor…Fuchs?” She extended a hand and squinted inquiringly. “I'm—”
“Andrea Hollister,” he said with an easy half smile. His grip was…just right.
And he knows me?
“I've been looking forward to meeting you.”
“Um—”
This was just too much. Something was up. And Kirby knew this fellow. She sliced her subtlest I'll-kill-you-later dagger at Kirby, whose expression telegraphed feigned confusion and an it's-not-my-fault plea. Then the bastard slinked away, leaving Andrea face-to-face with Dr. Fuchs, alone at the keg.
“I'm afraid I don't—”
“First, call me Daniel.” He reached for a cup.
“Okay,” she said. She detected the scent of Professor Dougherty's greenhouse on him. A small scar on his chin added an extra layer of ruggedness.
He cleared his throat. “Frank Dougherty asked me to oversee this summer's dig. I think we'll be working together.”
She blinked.
The dig?…My dig?
About the Author
J. C. Conway is a romance, science fiction, and fantasy author, writing novels and short stories for adults, young adults, and teens. He is a grand prize winner of the Yosemite Romance Writers Smooch contest. His writing passion began with a grade-school assignment to write anything he liked, which, at the time, included dinosaurs, robots, army heroes, and alien invaders. He's added tense internal conflict and emotional dilemmas since then.
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Amazon  |  Google+

Aug 21, 2014

A Short & Sweet Interview @VickiBatman #MFRWauthor

MFRW Author Vicki Batman talks about her latest book. 
Like some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything gal” at a financial services firm--the list is endless.

Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories to TRUE LOVE, TRUE ROMANCE, TRUE CONFESSIONS, NOBLE ROMANCE PUBLISHING, LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, MUSEITUP PUBLISHING, and THE WILD ROSE PRESS. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010.

Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??"

What if... we ask her a few questions?

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
So much so, my men are afraid anything they say or do will show up.

What kind of research do you do for a book?
It depends. So far, the funniest has been about plumbing.

When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
I wished for a long time I could write mysteries like Dick Francis. It took me many years before I did so.

Tell us about your latest book. What motivated the story? Where did the idea come from?
Bug Stuff…and other stories follows my other two shortie collections, Man Theory and Little Birdie Who. I'd submitted them to a popular magazine, but they were turned down. A few had nice notations included. The stories weren't bad, just not what they were interested in acquiring because they'd already had something or wanted something specific. I couldn't let them languish; so I decided to indie pub them.

Do you feel humor is important in fiction and why?
I do. For me, writing humor in my stories comes naturally. And it is more real life (at least, with the people who surround me).

What is your writing routine once you start a book?
An idea goes Bing! And I take off, usually in dialogue with a smattering of the other stuff as it pops in my head. My first draft is very, very rough. I read over and over and edit and edit to get it perfect for my critique partners. When I get my critique back, I'd hoped all would be good to go, but alas, it never it. So I work and work it again. Then one day, I let go…

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
Sounds crazy but I always workout. Every single day. I do needlepoint and chill in front of the TV with Handsome.

How can readers find you?
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  Author Central
Vicki also writes for Plotting Princesses!

Temporarily Employed, romantic comedy cozy mystery

Release Date: October 17, 2014
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Word Count: 75,000 words

Blurb: New Job. New Love. And Murder.

Hattie Cook's dream job is down the toilet and her new SUV violated. Desperate for cash to cover the basic necessities of rent and food, she takes a temporary job at Buy Rite insurance company where she uncovers an embezzling scam tied to the death of a former employee--the very one she replaced. The last thing she wants is to clash with By-the-Book Detective Wellborn, no matter how much he makes her heart pound.

Allan Charles Wellborn has secretly adored Hattie all his life.  He evolved from a pocket protector-wearing geek to a handsome police detective.  When the police determine there's more to the death of a former Buy Rite employee, he steps in to lead the investigation. Overly dedicated, always perfect, he puts his job first, even if doing so ultimately hurts the one he loves.

Can the killer be found before Hattie's time is up?

Book Excerpt:
“Yuck.”
Pretty much covered the whole freakin’ day.
A blinding red-white, red-white strobe, reflected in my brand new Wrangler’s rearview mirror, seized my attention. The police. I tossed my hands skyward, ready to surrender. I shouldn’t have been too surprised. Like I'd commented this a.m. to my roommate, Jenny, “Today, anything’s possible.”
My Bad Day checklist included:
- Crappy job interview, one which might have provided desperately needed income.
- Wore gut-busting panty hose on a hot day which had now worked past my waist and strangled my diaphragm.
- A barely blowing air conditioner indicated something had malfunctioned in my new, fun car.
I stole another glance in the mirror, and with great reluctance, flipped the right turn indicator. My vehicle coasted to a stop on the shoulder of Boston Avenue in my hometown of Sommerville, a nice suburb located between two large cities. Four lanes of cars and trucks zipped by as I sat there where every single one of my family, friends, friends’ friends, and their friends—including Rat Fink Suzanne—would see a police vehicle positioned right behind mine. Gleefully, drivers would chant the “Ha-ha, got you, not me” ditty.
How embarrassing.
After killing the engine, I flopped back in the seat. Shooting the morons the finger was an idea. Nah. I'm too exhausted to care.
A litany of:  "No, not hiring." "Just filled the position." "You're over qualified." "You're under qualified…" tornadoed through my head. Coupled with the intense job search through various outlets like the internet and completing numerous online employment applications, no wonder my body had been depleted of all life force.
Not even a breeze blew to take the edge off the unbearable summertime heat. Tangled wild trees and dry scrubby bushes banked the roadside. The grass had taken on a scorched look. Rolling down the driver’s window, I surveyed my surroundings. Nothing great. Nothing new.
I stole a glance in the side mirror at the policeman who strode purposefully along the shoulder. The gravel crunched under his boots. He looked huge, probably because his uniform, which appeared to be bulked with a bullet-proof vest, made him resemble a buffed-up superhero in size. Exceedingly intimidating.
Sigh. When things went wrong, they were really wrong.
As I viewed him drawing closer, my heart pounded harder. Awkward circumstances usually brought out the worst in me like shyness, ineptness, and uh...more shyness, hang-ups I carried from childhood. Back in the dark ages, I’d deliberately steered clear of embarrassing situations by developing the best self-protection— avoidance. Over time, I’d adapted to embarrassment, but every now and then, some unusual situation would spring out, and like a stealthy cat, those old prickly feelings crept back inside me.
The policeman stopped by the driver’s side, his head slanted to better peer inside.
Up close and exceptionally personal, I saw his sunglasses with dark lenses which shielded his eyes.
“Ma’am, I’m Officer Wellborn. I need to see your driver's license and proof of insurance—”
Something unknown possessed me. I bulldozed in and snapped in an overly loud voice, “What do you want? Why did you pull me over?”
His body stiffened like a package of frozen chocolate chip cookie dough.
Oops. My brows shot skyward as my hand quickly smothered my mouth. Had I really done that? Had I really hollered at a policeman, a very big no-no? Now, he'll surely ticket me.
“Shouting at me could result in disorderly conduct charges,” he said.
Golly. His stern tone intimidated me. Maybe babbling and apologizing profusely will make amends. “I’m so sorry. I’m not normally rude. Mom would give me her little talk on Being Polite to Other People if she’d heard me. I’m really, really sorry.”
A quick glance told me he'd tilted his head in an attentive manner which indicated he appeared to be listening to my explanation with professional interest. I said, “I’ve had an appalling, hideous, horribly dreadful day.”
“I know.”
His flat statement struck me momentarily dumb. How the hell would he know?  He didn’t know me. He hadn’t followed me around all freakin' day and seen what I’d gone through. Perhaps, everyone said these things when they were pulled over, and his “I know” reply was the stock answer.
Maybe a so-so explanation would cover my ass.

Aug 19, 2014

A Short & Sweet Interview with #MFRWauthor @JamiGrayAuthor

A Short & Sweet Interview with Jami Gray
Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams.  Her latest release, SHADOW’S MOON (5/14) was a Golden Claddaugh Finalist, and the first in her newest series, HUNTED BY THE PAST, hits shelves in July 2014. She is surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and a male lab, who masquerades as a floor rug as she plays with the voices in her head.

Here, she answers some fun questions for readers...
If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
COLORADO, no doubt about it. I love the mountains. Unfortunately my other half prefers Maui, lots of sun and sand.  We're still flipping coins to figure out where we'll eventually land.

If you were a tool, what would people use you to do?
Umm, hammer? At least to those who claim to know me. Something about being relentlessly stubborn--I call it goal oriented.

What song would best describe your life?
Ain't No Rest For The Wicked by Cage the Elephant. It's self explanatory.

What is your secret guilty pleasure?
No laughing out there...when things get stressed, I have comfort reads instead of comfort food. Although food works too. My favorite is Christine Feehan's Dark series or her Ghostwalker series. I'm all about independence and partnerships in a relationship, but something about those uber alpha males just works for me.

City life or country life?
See answer 1--country life, so long as a Starbucks is nearby for necessary caffeine intake.

Ebook or paperback?
Once upon a time I was solidly in paperback. Then I got the gift of a Kindle Fire. Now, I tend to lean towards ebooks because they don't weigh my purse down as much, but I keep all my favs in hard or paperback.

If you were on a reality show, what one would it be?
Worst Cooks in America--yeah, can't cook to save my life and I don't think even a celebrity chef could save my results. (Although my Knight is reading this over my shoulder and said, ""You're not that bad, love. Close, but not that bad."" Ringing endorsement if I ever heard one.)

Jami Gray newest release is Shadow's Moon (Bk 3 of the Kyn Kronicles), a Paranormal Romance, with Black Opal Books.

Even a wild heart can be broken…

A blonde, a brunette and a monster walk into a bar and all hell breaks loose.

Tracker, Xander Cade, confronts an enraged Shifter in a crowded human nightclub, fraying the thin secrecy shielding the supernatural community from public scrutiny. Danger stalks the pack and she must protect her alpha and mate, Warrick Vidis, even if he doesn’t want it.

If they don’t find a way to trust each other and accept their rare bond they risk losing everything-their pack, their friends and each other.

Buy Links
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Black Opal Books  |  Smashwords  |   ARe  |  iTunes

Reviewers Say It All...
In Shadow’s Moon by Jami Gray, Xander Cade is the tracker for her werewolf pack in the Pacific Northwest. She is mated to the pack al- pha, but isn’t sure that she wants to be and hasn’t fully accepted the mating bond. As tracker for the pack, she is charged with discovering who is threatening both the pack and the alpha, a job that puts her own life in equal danger. I think Shadow’s Moon is an excellent addi- tion to the Kyn Kronicles series. It is nice to get reacquainted with old friends and meet new ones. Gray is really coming into her own. The book is very well written and the plot strong. I couldn’t put it down once I picked it up. It held my interest from beginning to end. – Taylor Jones, Reviewer (www.BlackOpalBooks.com)

Shadow’s Moon by Jami Gray is a fine addition to her popular Kyn Kronicles series. This book, unlike the first two, focuses on Xander Cade, rather than on Raine and Gavin. It’s nice to get an in depth view into characters like Xander and Warrick, both of whom we have met in the two previous books. Shadow’s Moon is riveting. I was caught up in it from the very first word, and I simply could not put it down. I read right through to the end, finishing at 4 in the morning. I can’t wait for the next one in the series. Gray has turned into a first class author of paranormal thrillers. – Regan Murphy, Reviewer

Aug 17, 2014

#MFRWauthor BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Splintered Lies @Karen_Lopp

MFRW Author Karen Lopp released Splintered Lies, a Mainstream Suspense, with SilverTree Publishing on May 18, 2014.


Detective Rissa Marten sacrificed her only chance for a normal life to put a drug lord behind bars. Now, her life in the shadows has to be brought to life to save the man she has secretly loved for years. With a price on her head can she risk letting him know?

Detective Jerah Qassem has built his career as an undercover agent in the dangerous world of drug cartels. But when a ghost from his past is resurrected can he overcome his bitterness in time to save her life?

She has secrets. He wants answers.


Excerpt
Jerah Qassem had never been more grateful for his years of undercover training than at this moment. Fingers tight around the tumbler to stop the tremors, he watched the apparition glide up to the bar, and wondered if someone had laced his drink with a hallucinogen. Mary was dead. He had nightmares or wet dreams about her most nights for the last eight years.
It wasn’t only the woman’s face that had his insides swirling like a hurricane. It was the way she moved. Long, smooth strides, shoulders straight and eyes darting around like a caged cat. Mary had always been casting looks over her shoulder as if she expected someone to jump out and chase her. But those legs were just as toned and shapely as Mary’s had been. She had been athletic and grabbed every chance she could to romp around the beach. Even the hair was the exact same color of ripened wheat and bounced just below her shoulders. Just like Mary had worn it.
Chills erupted all over his body and cold fingers caressed the nape of his neck. Unable to blink, Jerah stared at the ghost of Mary. The girl he had sent to her death in a fit of anger. The girl he had fallen in love with, yet had been too proud and ambitious to acknowledge until she was gone. Forever.
Jerah closed his eyes against the jarring memory of two firemen holding him back from the charred remains of the building he had sent Mary into as three body bags were carried out. A shudder rattled down his spine. He had relived that day too often. When he glanced back at the bar, the woman had taken a seat and smiled at the bartender. Jerah knew that smile. The same smile that once had almost melted his resolve to not get involved. He had had a career to build. Mary had stirred up thoughts of forever and love, things he hadn’t been ready for. The temptation had been great. But somehow, he persevered and tossed away the best thing that had ever happened to him.
Air exploded from his chest and Jerah shook his head. He did not believe in ghosts. Prickles sprang up his legs as if his blood had decided to flow again. He tugged his leaden body from the chair and stalked to the bar. “Give me a shot of Wild Turkey.” Needing the fortification, he gulped down the amber liquid. Fire burned down his throat. Nope, he wasn’t dreaming. Hands braced on the edge of the bar, he turned to the woman at his side.
About Karen Lopp
Stories have always been a part of my life, from books to tales passed down from my ancestors that brought history to life. Danger, struggles and the will power to overcome are all found in the rich legacy of my family tree. Inspiration from their lives inspired me to write what I love. Branching out to contemporary suspense has been another dream come true. I hope my stories bring you entertainment and inspiration.
I love history of all times and places. And my second but equal love of suspense fills my books.

Aug 16, 2014

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Christmas Wishes, Valentine Kisses @ChantillyWhite #MFRWauthor

MFRW Author Chantilly White published Christmas Wishes, Valentine Kisses: Unwrapped & Cupid's Mistake In One Volume, a Mainstream Contemporary Romance, with Snap Dragon Press on May 14, 2014.


BOOK ONE: UNWRAPPED
His to unwrap. His to keep. Derrick Fox only wants one gift beneath his Christmas tree--his best friend, Mia Patterson. Clueless Mia thinks he's only interested in a friends-with-benefits deal. Even worse, she thinks that's all she wants, too.

BOOK TWO: CUPID'S MISTAKE
He's looking for stability. She wants a good time. Will Cupid's arrow find its mark this Valentine's Day, or will their pairing prove to be Cupid's biggest mistake? Unwrapped: Mia hopes super-sexy best friend Derrick will agree to be her first. He hopes she'll lose her heart. Cupid's Mistake: Party-girl Allison and super-serious Ben meet through a dating service. Will Cupid's arrow hit its mark or will they be Cupid's biggest mistake?
AMAZON  |  B&N  |  APPLE  |  ARe  |  SMASHWORDS

Reviewers' Thoughts
"Unwrapped is a story of true friendship, true passion, and true love. What unfolds is a tale to touch your heart." -Lori Lyn, Author

"Cupid's Mistake is. . . a fast-paced read. . . the perfect light romance. . ." -Amy Brantley, A Girl And Her Kindle

Trailer for Cupid's Mistake, Book Two in Christmas Wishes, Valentine Kisses: http://youtu.be/qHVJi3qHph0

Excerpt
After eight years of friendship, this was it—the last time some other guy was going to get in Derrick's way, the last time a suave, posturing jackass was going to hurt Mia. She'd been hurt enough, and whether she realized it or not, he loved her. He was ready to prove it.

""Everyone said I'd feel better when I lost the weight."" Mia swiped at the mascara running down her face, smearing it into mini-Rorschach-style blotches, before selecting another cherry. ""But I don't. Everything hurts. I was happier when I was fat.""

""You were never fat, Mia."" Derrick controlled the surge of fury with effort, a muscle going in his jaw. If he could get his hands on Barry-fricking-Anderson right now. . . Goddamned metro-sexual sleaze bag.

""Never."" Allison pulled Mia's head to her shoulder, stroking Mia's long brown hair. It shone in a waving mass down her back, the same glossy shade as the candy Mia stuffed defiantly in her mouth.

Allison, a true redhead with pale skin lightly freckled from the sun, exchanged a glance with Derrick. The look in her big blue eyes mirrored his urge to commit acts of violence against the creep who'd done this to their best friend.

Newly svelte and newly single—again—Mia leaned against Allison wearing an ancient peach-colored t-shirt three sizes too large and enormous ratty grey sweatpants, her bare feet tucked beneath her legs. The sweats cinched at the waist by an unraveling drawstring, cut off at the knees and used to belong to Derrick.

Damned if he'd ever looked as good in them as Mia did, though.
He pretended exasperation every time she snagged another piece of his clothing—an activity she'd made a regular habit of since their freshman year at UC Irvine—but secretly he liked seeing her in his castoffs. There was something unspeakably intimate about her wrapping herself up in a shirt he'd worn.

Now, four years out of college, she'd managed to sneak at least half his wardrobe into her own closet.

Derrick kept his attention on the conversation, but his fingers itched to run through Mia's silky hair. Her dark strands tangled with Allison's rioting bronze curls, a chocolate and caramel river glinting in the sunlight beaming through the windows. Mia's lightly tanned skin sported bright red splotches brought on by the crying jag.

Beautiful as Mia was, she'd never been a pretty-princess kind of crier. If he got the chance, he'd make Barry pay for every splotch.

""You're beautiful and funny and sexy,"" Allison was saying, her tone firm. ""Any guy would be lucky to have you.""

""Then why didn't he want me?"" Mia's whimper effectively killed the sensual vibes running beneath Derrick's skin and resurrected the anger.

""Because Barry's a jerk."" Derrick snapped the words like bones breaking under a heavy fist. And he wanted to hit something. Or someone. Barry.

He'd kill Barry.

""He's an idiot,"" said Allison.

Mia buried her face in her hands. ""I practically threw myself at him.""

""He's an idiot and a jerk, and he doesn't deserve you."" Derrick made his voice particularly harsh to emphasize his point, while Mia's tears scored trails of acid across his heart. He cracked his knuckles.

He'd enjoy killing Barry.

About Chantilly White
Chantilly was raised in southern California, an only child who spent her days acting out favorite scenes from beloved fairytales, writing her own fantasies—including her first two-hundred-page novel at the age of eight—and reading everything she could get her hands on. Childhood favorites were soon followed by romance novels full of adventure, seduction, and desire, which heavily influenced her beliefs about life and love.

Always a storyteller, Chantilly holds a degree in Creative Writing and English Literature from the University of California, Riverside. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three kids and three unruly cats.

website  |  blog  |  facebook  |  goodreads  |  twitter  |  pinterest

Aug 15, 2014

Featured Author of the Month - Lloyd Meeker Shares His Book

August Feature Author photo AugustFeatureAuthor_zps87467c93.jpg


Connect with Lloyd at
"Email: lam@lloydmeeker.com
Website: http://lloydmeeker.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lloyd.meeker
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LloydAMeeker"





Dreapmspinner Press - 220 pages
Genre: Mystical romance with strong murder mystery elements
Heat level: some explicit on-page sex, not erotica
Release date: July 23, 2014





Blurb:
Shepherd Bucknam hasn’t had a lover in more than a decade, and doesn’t need one. As a Daka, he coaches men in the sacred art and mystery of sexual ecstasy all the time, and he loves his work. It’s his calling. In fact, he’s perfectly content—except for the terrors of his recurring nightmare, and the ominous blood-red birthmarks on his neck. He’s convinced that together they foretell his early and violent death.
When Shepherd’s young protégé is murdered, LAPD Detective Marco Fidanza gets the case. The two men are worlds apart: Marco has fought hard for everything he’s accomplished, in sharp contrast to the apparent ease of Shepherd’s inherited wealth—but their mutual attraction is too hot for either of them to ignore.
Shepherd swears he’ll help find his protégé’s killer but Marco warns him to stay out of it. When an influential politician is implicated, the police investigation grinds to a halt. Shepherd hires his own investigator. Marco calls it dangerous meddling.
As their volatile relationship deepens, Shepherd discovers his nightmares might not relate to the future, but to the deadly legacy of a past life—a life he may have to revisit before he can fully live and love in this one.






Excerpt:



"Fidanza gave me a mirthless smile. “I know exactly who was in your little hideaway this morning.”
“So why were you there? Why are you here? You need to tell me what’s going on.”
“No, I don’t.”
I felt a power dance begin, and my adrenaline jumped. Power play between men was so sexy. I softened my voice to a dangerous murmur. “Do I need to call my lawyer, Detective? He’s very good, and not at all afraid to take on bullies. He’ll represent Camilla, if need be.”
He must have heard the promise of battle, because he looked up from his notebook. His nose had been broken, and a scar cut a pale ditch through his left eyebrow. It was damn sexy. If he wasn’t going to answer my questions, I’d start a different conversation with him. His mouth opened, but I cut him off.
“Do you enjoy sex, Detective?”
He snorted. “Not with prostitutes.”
I ignored the deliberate insult. “You’d be amazed at how many men don’t enjoy sex, don’t know how. Mostly, men love orgasm, and it doesn’t matter much what they do to get one.”
“Is that so?” Fidanza looked amused.
I got the uneasy feeling he might be playing me, but I pushed on. “In my experience, yes. Real sex is a mystical journey that few men explore, let alone become skilled at—probably because they never learned what sex is, never had anyone actually lead them into the real wonder. That’s what I do. I’m a Daka. I coach men in sexual ecstasy.”




Buy link Digital:
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5243
Buy link Print:
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5244




Offering to Give-away
3 digital copies of The Companion in Kindle, epub or pdf
leave a comment for a chance to win.



Aug 14, 2014

Their Temporary Sub on #Thursday13 @MardiMaxwellRom #MFRWauthor

Mardi Maxwell shares 13 sentences from her new book, Their Temporary Sub, an Erotic Contemporary Romance with Siren Publishing.

13 Sentences from Their Temporary Sub
1.“I expect you in the playroom at nine,” Luc said before unwrapping her arms and legs from around him then setting her on her bare feet away from him.
2. “I think I hate both of you,” Cassie said, her voice stunned.
3. Logan looked at him and chuckled. “Good one, bro. See you do have a sense of humor.”
4.""Don’t ever underestimate them, Cassie. If Luc and Logan decide they want you nothing will stop them.”
5. “They’re certainly, uh,” Cassie blushed, then stammered, “a team.""
6. “We’ve heard Luc and Logan play this sort of copycat game. One of them does something and the other one has to copy it.”
7. “Speak for yourself,” Logan said. “I’m playing with her every chance she’ll let me. You can join us or not.”
8. Luc slid his finger beneath her chin and lifted her face to his. “Don’t try playing your games with me, Cassie. I’m immune. Now, let go.”
9. Cassie groaned with embarrassment and shoved her dress down. “You two are really good at dressing a girl. You’ve had a lot of practice apparently.”
10. “I don’t want to go,” Cassie said.  It’s not safe.
11. “Yeah, and everybody’s been tiptoeing around her and look where that’s gotten them—nowhere,” Luc said. “You’ve got to get tough before she ends up dead.”
12. Logan lifted Cassie’s hand to his mouth and ran her fingers over his lips. “I promise we will never do anything you don’t want.”
13. Luc lifted her foot and kissed her slender ankle.

“We will never do anything that will not give you pleasure,” he looked up at her, “eventually.”

Blurb
Eight years ago, Cassie Edwards was kidnapped by three men and held hostage for three days. When she was released, one of her kidnappers warned her that anyone she told would be killed. She’s protected the people she loves by staying away from them. Just when she believed she was safe she was attacked by two men at her apartment and someone has begun following her. Thanks to her Marine father’s training she’s managed to stay one step ahead of her pursuers.

Twin Doms, Luc and Logan Ramsey, operate Club Mystique, the BDSM club they co-own with their brothers. When they meet Cassie Edwards, Logan decides he wants her and he pursues her. Luc suspects she’s keeping secrets and he refuses to get involved with her. Cassie’s tempted by Logan and intrigued by Luc. Now, she has to decide if she can be their temporary sub without endangering them.

Catching Cassie Edwards was the easy part for twin Doms, Luc and Logan Ramsey. Keeping her will be the hard part because the men hunting her want her dead. When Luc and Logan discover she’s in danger they move her into their home to protect her. Can Cassie be their temporary sub without endangering them?

BUY LINKS

Reviews Say It All...
Diana: Love, love, love Mardi Maxwell!! I had been waiting on this book and definitely was not disappointed. Mardi drew me in with this trio in the the previous book ""Jackson's Sub"" and she took me on a great ride with this book. Not many authors can make me feel the emotions of the characters and Mardi had me laughing and crying throughout the book.

Connie: Loved it! The storyline with Cassie, Logan & Luc was a hot & emotional Doms/Sub theme that included uncovering something tragic from Cassie's past. Found myself wanting to smack Logan & Luc when they didn't trust Cassie. But at the same time found myself wanting to paddle Cassie's behind for forgiving them to quick. (A little groveling never hurt anyone. LOL!) I continue to love this family & their interaction with each other. The subs mischief makes me smile & laugh. Another great book by Mardi Maxwell. Can't wait for Zane's story.

Aug 12, 2014

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: The Noblest Vengeance @NeilPlakcy #MFRWauthor

MFRW Author Neil S. Plakcy released The Noblest Vengeance (Have Body Will Guard #6),
a GLBT Romance, with Loose Id on May 13, 2014.

The Noblest Vengeance weaves together the heritage of Sephardic Jews and the tensions in modern-day Turkey with a sexy, fast-paced romance that tests the relationship of bodyguards Aidan Greene and Liam McCullough.

Does the threat they face come from a hidden secret tied to the Nazi invasion of the Greek town of Ioannina, a center of Sephardic culture? Or has it arisen because of plans to develop one of the last open spaces in Istanbul, Gezi Park?

The real danger to their relationship, however, may come from their very different ideas about family connections. Can their love withstand assassins with a deadly secret to keep hidden, a trip back home to New Jersey – and Liam’s foul-mouthed mother?

Excerpt
Aidan Greene was so engrossed in the pictures on the laptop screen that he didn’t even notice his partner come up behind him. “What are you looking at?” Liam asked, looking over his shoulder. Their small mixed-breed dog, Hayam, hopped up from her place beside Aidan’s foot and snuffled hello to her other daddy.
“Pictures of my cousin’s son’s bar mitzvah.” Aidan pointed at the screen. “That’s my Aunt Sophia, my cousin Ellen, and her husband Gary.”
“Facebook,” Liam said, noting the heading on the screen. “For people with too much time on their hands.”
It was an argument they had been having for a while. Since they had moved to Nice, where they had regular, fast Internet service, Aidan had begun connecting with old friends and family online, mostly through Facebook. After nearly two years away from the United States he was feeling a bit nostalgic for his old life.
“It’s not a waste of time,” Aidan protested. With his parents both dead, all he had left were a mix of aunts, uncles, and cousins. When he lived in Philadelphia for a dozen years after college, he saw family often. Reading their online profiles and seeing their pictures made him realize that it had been a long time since he’d seen any of them in the flesh.
It made him sad to keep missing family events—an uncle’s funeral, the birth and bris of a cousin’s son, and so many other small rituals.
“All that social media stuff is for losers,” Liam said.
“So your sister Jeanne is a loser?” Aidan asked. “She’s on Facebook. Did you know that her dog died last week? And your other sister, Franny? She’s been posting videos of your nephew’s softball games on YouTube. Not to mention Joey Sheridan—he’s got a Pinterest page with photos of his workouts.”
“Why are you looking at my family and friends?” Liam demanded. “What they do is none of your business.”
“Excuse me?” Aidan said. “Joey’s not my friend too? You ever asked him that?” Joey was an old friend of Liam’s, still a SEAL. He had visited them when they lived in Tunis and contrary to Liam’s expectations been fine to discover that his old buddy was romantically involved with another man. “And your family has nothing to do with me?”
“My family doesn’t even know you exist. And I’d like to keep it that way.”
Aidan stood up from the computer and confronted him. “Why? Do I embarrass you? Am I too gay?”
Hayam scurried toward the bedroom, her toenails clicking on the tile floor. “You are when you act like a drama queen,” Liam said. “My personal life is my own.”
Aidan shook his head. “You really are clueless, you know that? I am your personal life. I cook your meals and do your laundry and suck your dick. It doesn’t get more personal than that, pal.” Aidan pushed his palm against his partner’s chest. Liam was wearing a cotton T-shirt, and through the fabric Aidan could feel the warmth of his partner’s skin, the sinewy muscle beneath it.
Liam grabbed his wrist and turned it—enough to immobilize Aidan, not to hurt him. But Aidan knew that grip and how to rotate his arm so that his elbow bounced against Liam’s six-pack, startling him enough to release it.
Then they were wrestling in the middle of the living room, knocking aside chairs and the coffee table, each of them struggling to master the other. Aidan knew he was doomed to lose; Liam was so much bigger than he was, more muscular, with years of SEAL training. But for the past two years he had been exercising and learning the moves Liam used.
Anger was always a good workout tool for them. The adrenaline coursing through Aidan’s veins made him stronger and more agile. And he wasn’t above playing dirty, either. He reached up under Liam’s T-shirt, caught one of his partner’s nipple rings in his fingers, and twisted.
Liam yelped and pressed his stiff dick against Aidan’s thigh. Liam knew Aidan’s weakness—he was a horn dog, ready for sex after a single touch. And Liam was quite willing to exploit that. As Aidan wiggled to escape, Liam leaned down and kissed him hard, and Aidan gave up, melting into his touch.
With one meaty hand, Liam reached around and slapped Aidan’s butt, hard. “That’ll teach you,” he growled when he broke the kiss. “Don’t fuck around with me.”
“Seems like that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Aidan said, panting slightly. “Fucking around.” He reached down and stroked Liam’s dick through his silky gym shorts.
Liam released his grip on Aidan and stepped back. “No, just teaching you a lesson,” he said. “Now come on, we’ve got to get ready. We have a client today, remember?”
“Liam,” Aidan said, dragging the name out. “You’re not going to leave me here like this, are you?” He pointed down to where his dick pressed against his own shorts. He could feel a wet spot growing on his boxers.
“I’m going to take a shower,” Liam said. He pulled his T-shirt up over his head, exposing his bulging chest and improbably narrow waist. Then he dropped his shorts to the floor, leaving him clad only in his white jockstrap. His dick, stiff as well, pushed the pouch forward. “You can stay here. Or you can join me.”
He pushed the jockstrap down, and his dick pronged out. He stepped nimbly out of the waistband and raised it to twirl on one finger.
“I’m right behind you,” Aidan said.
About Neil S. Plakcy
Neil Plakcy is the author of the Have Body, Will Guard adventure romance series:  Three Wrong Turns in the Desert, Dancing with the Tide, Teach Me Tonight, Olives for the Stranger, Under the Waterfall and The Noblest Vengeance, published by Loose Id.

WEBSITE:    www.mahubooks.com
BLOG:          http://mahubooks.blogspot.com
AMAZON:   http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001JP4EL6
FACEBOOK:     https://www.facebook.com/neil.plakcy
GOODREADS:   http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/126217.Neil_Plakcy
PINTEREST:       http://pinterest.com/neilplakcy/boards/
TWITTER:           https://twitter.com/NeilPlakcy

Aug 11, 2014

QUICK & QUIRKY Chat with #MFRWauthor @VictoriaPinder

Today, we have a QUICK & QUIRKY chat with Victoria Pinder. 
Victoria grew up in Irish Catholic Boston before moving to the Miami sun. She always wrote stories to entertain herself or calm down. But her parents are practical minded people demanding a job, and Victoria spent too many years living other people’s dreams, but when she sat down to see what skill she had that matched what she enjoyed doing, writing became so obvious.

Here's what Victoria had to say when we asked her a few questions...       

If money were not an object, where would you most like to live? 
I just asked my fiance (husband to be this month) and he answered 'right here in Miami.' I am sharing because when asked why, it's because our families are here. And I do hate winters, a lot. When a Stark reminds us that 'winter is coming' I shiver from memories. So okay, we just made a deal with this question. We'll stay here in Miami, but move to the nice section of town. And we travel, a lot. 

If you were stranded on a tropical island, who would it be with? 
Well the fiance/almost husband better be there, and he would age like Clark Gable or Cary Grant, all dignified. Actually there is an old movie of Cary Grant stuck on an island running from the Nazis. Father Goose is the name. But let's leave the random children at home. (Says the one who wrote a book about chaperoning students and falling in love on the job.)

Tell us about the scariest thing that ever happened to you. 
I was a preteen brat with the junior rangers program. The national park service took us on a camping trip in Acadia national Park. My mother was a chaperone. Ranger Billy Bob and my mom are trailing in the back. Mom is slow, so I left my friends and trailed back to be with her. We then became slower and lost the crew. We had no flashlight and we were mountain climbing. Mom, Ranger Billy Bob and I were now lost and night was fast approaching. We stuck together and soon Ranger Billy Bob let a tree branch hit his head, blinding him. We stuck closer together and reached a bridge made of a tree. It was an old bridge, but we decided to go across to get down the mountain. Ranger Billy Bob went first, holding the rails. I went second and mom went last. I made it across and turned around. Then my mother fell on the bridge and would have fallen to her death if she hadn't grabbed onto the rails and her butt fell onto a rock underneath. We pulled her back up. Down the mountain, I remember hearing drums and strange thoughts about indians and someone chopping my head off came over me and made me run overtime. I found out later that a relative of mine did get scalped at night. We finally made it down the mountain, but there is no way I'm ever camping again. Not without a Marriott.

What’s your most embarrassing moment? 
Long question. The day I met sitting President Bill Clinton. As a high school brat, here I was one of eighteen teenagers about to meet the President of the United States. A nun who worked for the mayor of Boston lectured us on how we cannot bring up Monica Lewinsky or Paula Jones. So as a bratty teen, I raised my hand then asked, 'Can I ask about Ginnifer Flowers?' Another student hit me off the back of the head and I turned around. There was Bill Clinton. And the entire room full of the press was there for the entire thing. (Clinton never said a word and asked me about college and voting.)

If you were on a reality show, what one would it be? 
I keep having nightmares of becoming Bridezilla. I stopped speaking to my sister for a year after her wedding , and it's not okay. I more fear that my wedding in June will be like the worst wedding in 4 weddings and my wish somehow is that David Tutera will show up and just take care of the whole thing. Is that enough? Weddings are a lot of work.

Which would you choose, city life or country life? 

I've only known city life. I'd like to experience country life for a year as a test, but I have a feeling I'd be a city girl. I like options.

Victoria's most recent release is Chaperoning Paris, a Contemporary Romance, with SoulMate Publishing on June 11, 2014.

Gigi Dumont never forgot how she walked away from the only man she ever loved.
She’s a teacher who has led her students to the finals of an international French competition to be help in Paris. The night before the trip, the Principal tries to cancel the trip before he, in turn, loses his job to her high school boyfriend, Sean Collins.

Sean Collins has survived cancer, a divorce , and Gigi having aborted their child back in high school. He assumed he’d hate her, if they ever crossed paths again. But he discovers she’s exactly what he wants.

When Gigi and Sean are stuck together for a week in Paris, Gigi feels she has lost all her control. How can she survive her attraction to Sean? The man’s sexier now than he was back in the day, and once upon a time, he’d had her heart. She finds herself falling for him, even knowing forever is impossible.

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