Meet Thrand from Ashlynn Pearce’s New Release, FUEL

I was given the privilege of reading Fuel, the latest fun and sexy release by Ashlynn Pearce, and the first in the Dirtslap series. This is a five-star read. But don’t assume I know what I’m talking about. Take a look at this interview with Thrand. He’s a drummer, living in Nashville, initially trying to make a living as a studio drummer, until a friend suggests he should start his own band. That band is called Dirtslap, and they’re freaking amazing. A little country, a little rock, a lot sexy.

Fuel is Thrand and Cassie’s story, and Ashlynn Pearce, the author, managed to catch him during a brief moment of downtime – with the entire band, I might add – and she shared the interview with me. I am, in turn, sharing it with you, because we all deserve to read about a sexy drummer and his obsession with a spirited girl from his past. Take it away, Ashlynn…

~~~

I’d interviewed Cassie a few weeks ago, so now I thought it might be Thrand’s turn. He said I could meet him at his place, because they were going to have band practice.

I’d learned my lesson from Cassie and wasn’t wearing slacks. I’d opted for shorts and a casual top—and since I was in Nashville, short cowboy boots.

I pulled up to the address. Two trucks and two Harleys are parked in the drive.

Great…the entire band is here. I ring the doorbell, my nerves getting the better of me. Sure, I know these guys, (I created them) but still, I have no idea what to expect.

The door is yanked open and the guy’s warm brown eyes sparkle as he flashes me a cocky grin.

“We got a groupie,” he yells to the guys inside.

 Uh, no. Just here to interview Thrand. You must be Ryan.”

“Thrand? Why the hell would you interview him? You should interview me.” He waggles his eyebrows and opens the door wider so I can step inside.

“Cause you’re a punk,” another guy says. “Don’t make us put you in a corner. And she’s interviewing me cause I started this band. Not you.”

 Ryan is cute but Thrand captures my attention. Tall, maybe 6 foot, with intense gray-blue eyes. The short hair, clipped close to his head, and barely there scruff. He’s wearing a tank that exposes the tattooed sleeve on his left arm. Wide shoulders with a clear definition of muscle in his arms, he makes my mouth a little dry. Or maybe wet. “Actually, I’m interviewing you for your story. Not really because of the band. And sorry if I’m late.”

“You’re not late. They’re early. And for my story, huh?” He rubs the back of his neck, looking slightly uncomfortable.

I can’t seem to not stare at the way he moves. Smooth and fluid, it’s a tad nerve-wracking. Then I catch a glimpse of the insanely tall guy leaning against the bar and I lose all track of thought. Looking like he belongs on a metal stage, he wears all black, with a lip ring, gauges, and sports black mussed up spiky hair. He smirks when he catches me staring and I about swallow my tongue when I spot dimples.

“Yeah, I’m Ethan.”

 It’s all his says but that Georgian drawl sends my mind spiraling into the gutter. Or up to heaven. I’m not really sure.

“So what do you want to know?” Thrand asks as he walks over and sits on his drum stool and adjusts a few things.

 It forces my attention back to the task at hand. Except then I notice a guy hunched over a bass, with hair hanging in his face. He doesn’t even look at me. That must be Zak. I clear my throat and focus on Thrand, who’s looking at me expectantly. “Sorry, I didn’t know everyone would be here. So I guess I’ll ask you what I asked Cassie.”

“You interviewed Cas?” His brows draw together and he frowns.

“Yes, I did. She didn’t really have patience for the interview.”

He chuckles. “Cause she doesn’t have any at all.”

“No. She didn’t seem to. First question, what is your idea of perfect happiness?”

Ryan snorts and gyrates his hips as he calls out, “A happy ending. It’s what all guys want.”

Ethan cuffs him on the back of the head. “I don’t think that’s what she meant.”

Heat creeps up my neck as I try to ignore Ryan’s crude remark.

Thrand glares at Ryan then says, “I’d say getting out of Oklahoma. Everything after that is gravy.”

I scribble it down, thinking Cassie said about the same thing. “Your greatest fear?”

The room is eerily quiet and it seems the entire band want to know the answer to that one. Thrand is obviously thinking about it as he leans forward, elbows on his knees.

“Never being able to make music again.” His words are measured, his eyes hooded.

I get the impression he’s not being totally honest here. And Cassie said something similar, except her answer had to do with taking pictures. “What quality do you like best in a woman?”

“Big tits,” Ryan says and jumps up, prancing around the room and acting like he’s cupping boobs.

 I can’t help but laugh as I turn back to Thrand who is just shaking his head with an exasperated look on his face.

“You know there is more in life than tits and beer, right?”

Ryan looks shocked then rolls his eyes.

“One day a girl is going to come along and knock you right on your ass,” Thrand states.

“Naw. Watching it happen to you has been scary enough.”

“He has a point,” Ethan says. “That girl has you running in circles.”

Thrand’s jaw works. “There’s nothing going on there. She’s just a friend.”

“Sure. I’ll believe that when you convince me Santa is real,” Ryan takes a swig of his beer as he falls onto the couch.

I don’t have to ask about who they are talking about. I met Cassie. She’s a whirlwind. 

“You have any other questions?” Thrand asks me and twirls a drumstick in his hand.

“Last one. What do you regard as the lowest depths of misery?”

He instantly pales and his eyes darken. “Lady, that’s a real damn personal question and we have band practice.” 

With that, I’m ushered out the door without a chance to say anything else. I walk slowly to my car as I hear the bang and crash of drums and the riffs of guitar. I’m thinking that didn’t go well at all and I’d wished they’d would have let me stay and watch DirtSlap in action.

~~~

Want more?

FUEL… DirtSlap series

Fuel PromoNook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fuel-ashlynn-pearce/1120913527?ean=2940151682206

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/FUEL-DirtSlap-Book-Ashlynn-Pearce-ebook/dp/B00QYAPUDC/ref=asap_B008F9J94G?ie=UTF8

KOBO: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/fuel-6

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id951159485

 WRECK – out May 2015

Want to know more about the awesome author who wrote Fuel, and provided the above interview? Read on…

Ashlynn Pearce Pic

Once upon a time…You ain’t gonna believe this sh**!

(I always wanted to start a bio like that!) But seriously–scrap that, I’m not serious, but I do love to write. Create characters. Give them hope that there is something better around the corner. It’s my passion. I live and breathe stories. When I’m not arguing with the characters in my head (yes, I do that, you can ask my hubby who thinks I’m nuts btw), I’m taking care of said hubby, my two kids and a melee of furbabies. I’m Okie born and bred and, yes, we get a lot of twisters and, no, there aren’t any teepees around that I’ve seen.

Stop by my website and follow me around to see what I’m up to next!

DirtSlap is coming…ya’ll ready to get a lil dirty, right? 😉

www.AshlynnPearce.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashlynnpearcewriter 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ashlynn_Pearce

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3512149.Ashlynn_Pearce

Amazon Author page: amazon.com/author/ashlynnpearce

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Interview with a Rock Star from Rhythm of Love

Oh yeah, we’re still blogging about Unwrapping Love. I can’t help it. There are 21 different stories, with 21 different adorable couples, and I’ve read every single one. The urge to show them off is strong. Today, we’re going to meet Alex from Rhythm of Love, written by Keisha Page. This story is about a rock star. Yep. I know!

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Strangely enough, for this interview, Alex has asked that I meet him in a library. We’re in Denver, Colorado; me for business, him for personal reasons. I’ve never been here before, and was hoping he’d want to meet in a more touristy locale, but I suppose the reality is, sitting across from a rock star — regardless of where — is pretty freaking cool in my book. Ha – get the pun?

Okay, anyway, let’s get to it. We’re sitting in a secluded corner, on well-worn couches that I presume are meant to give the library a coffee-house feel. Alex leans back against the cushions, one cowboy boot clad foot resting casually on the knee of his other leg. He looks comfortable and sexy as hell. And he’s a rock star. I’ve never interviewed a rock star before. I’m feeling a bit fan girlish right now.

“Are we gonna start?” Alex’s voice intrudes on my errant thoughts.

“Yes. Sorry.” I clear my throat and force my gaze down to the laptop I’ve brought along, so that I can capture this interview for my blog. “Um… How about you tell us about yourself? Do you think you are your author’s muse or the bane of her existence?”

Alex grimaces. “I guess I’ve kind of been the bane of her existence. I haven’t always been easy to talk to, and I want my way all the time.”

I imagine his author is more than happy to give him his way. I know I would. All the damn time. I shake my head. This whole rock star deal is really screwing with my interview skills. “Let’s talk about the readers. What do you think they will like best about you? What won’t they like?”

Alex’s shrugs, very nonchalant. “Well, I’m a rock star. That’s pretty damn cool. That’s probably both the best and the worst things about me. I tend to dislike it when things don’t go my way. I’ve been in jail before, which, again, some people will think is cool, and some people will think is awful.”

Probably, I should not think that is cool, but, well, he’s a rock star. Everything is cool when you’re a rock star. “Are you seeing anyone? Tell us about her.”

To my complete and utter delight, a sweet, sappy grin spreads across his face. It makes him look ten years younger, and causes me to wish I could hide whoever she is in a closet so that I can convince him to smile at me like that. Sigh…

“Leslie and I haven’t been together long–and we had a really rough start. But I’m excited about moving forward from here.”

Because it’s my interview, I decide to have a little naughty fun. Let’s see how much I can get Alex to divulge. “What’s your favorite place to seduce Leslie?”

He rolls his eyes skyward for a few moments, clearly sorting through the ideas in his head. I have a few of my own, if he needs help. In fact, I’m willing to demonstrate with him…

“When my band was on tour in Japan, I got to take a day trip to Kyoto. It’s exotic, and beautiful, and it’s one of my favorite places in the world. I love the idea of taking Leslie there. She hasn’t traveled much, and I want to show her the world.”

That’s so damn sweet. Who knew rock stars had it in them? Although, I suppose if you listen to song lyrics at all, they’re all romantics at heart. This prompts another question. “What do you wish Leslie understood better about you?”

He appears to take this question very seriously. “That I’m not used to being with someone who is strong and independent. I’m used to being leaned on and needed, and sometimes, I’m not sure how to take it that Leslie doesn’t need me the same way.”

Sweet and sincere. Leslie is one lucky chic. “If you could rewrite one scene in the book, what would it be? How would you rewrite it?”

He doesn’t even hesitate before giving his answer. “I would have pushed Leslie against the wall in that dark doorway in Manhattan, and taken her right there. Screw waiting to go back to the hotel. That trip seriously felt like the longest trip I’ve ever made, including flying home after being in Japan.”

My jaw drops to my chest and I stare at him, shocked by his admission, despite the fact that this was exactly the juicy tidbit I wanted to get out of him. He smiles innocently, but when I maintain my shocky demeanor for far too long, his smile twists into a frown. “You okay? I mean, if you don’t want to print that…”

“Oh no,” I assure him, mentally and literally shaking myself out of my stupor. “No. It’s perfect. Really. Just to try to pull my own mind out of the gutter, tell me if your author has ever put you into an embarrassing situation. If she has, how did you handle it?”

I watch as a blush creeps up over his shirt collar. It’s so… cute. “She made me admit that I have a minivan. Seriously, have you ever heard of anything less “rockstarish”? But I do have kids and when I’m not touring or in the studio, I take them to school and gymnastics and soccer just like any other dad.”

The image he implies and the rock star I know from the tabloids clash in my head, and allow me to finally focus on capturing a decent interview for my blog. “Is there anything specific in this book of which you are particularly proud?”

He uncrosses his leg and leans forward, pressing his hands to his knees, and gives an earnest answer. “I’m proud of the ending. I don’t want to give too much away, but it took some work to get me there.”

I’ve read his book, so I know how it ends. Which causes me to swipe away a tear before asking, “Would you like to add anything else?”

He enthusiastically replies, “Just that I can’t wait to see what happens next!”

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What do you think about Alex? Want to read his story? It’s called Rhythm of Love, and it’s part of the Unwrapping Love anthology, which releases on Monday! Here’s the link to buy it. At over 700 pages, it’s well worth the less than five buck price tag.

Keisha Page_Author PIcAnd if you want more from the author, Keisha Page can be stalked on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to join the Writing Wenches’ Release Day Party over on Facebook!

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Join the Hottie Hunt!

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Have you met this Hottie? – Introducing Zak Markel from Remnants (Ghosts of Roseville Book 2) by Betty Bolte

Before I put this Hottie on the hot seat, I should let you know about all the potential side-benefits of reading this post:

STOP GIVEAWAY: I’m giving away an electronic copy of my own book, Dawning of Light, as part of this giveaway hop. To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment here, working in the name of the gorgeous hunk I’m interviewing.

HOTTIE HUNT HOP GIVEAWAY: We’ve got a $10 Gift Card up for grabs. The lucky winner will be announced shortly after the hop’s end. The Rafflecopter at the bottom explains all the fun entry options.

But wait, there’s more!

HOTTIE HUNT $100 HOLIDAY BONANZA: Entries in the Hottie Hunt Hop earns you bonus entries in our Holiday Bonanza. In addition to a $100 Gift Card, there’s a ton of eBooks and other goodies up for grabs. Find out how to enter on our Hottie Hunt Landing Page.

With the admin stuff out of the way, let me scoot a little bit closer to Zak.

Q: Tell us about yourself. Do you consider yourself your author’s muse or bane of her existence?

Zak: That’s easy! My author loves me, so I’d have to say her muse. She can’t help but feature me in the best light possible.

Q: What do you think readers like best about you? Worst?

Zak: The best thing is that I can sing, and can’t wait to serenade Paulette. The worst is probably that I couldn’t find a cure for my brother’s tumors that threatened his eyesight.

Q: Oh, I’m so sorry about your brother. But let’s try to keep this upbeat, so let’s have a little naughty fun. Favorite place to seduce your partner?

Zak: I’m planning a surprise romantic picnic with Paulette for our one month anniversary. I want to share with her a remote wooded site we’ll have to hike to, where it will be private and romantic.

Q: What do you wish Paulette understood about you?

Zak: She just refuses to believe I can be sincere in my adoration of her. I wish she would be more willing to let me shower her with my affection.

Q: You see a dangerous situation unfold—Do you call the authorities, or handle the situation yourself?

Zak: I can handle myself and take care of the situation, no problem. Just because I’m a professor of chemistry doesn’t make me a wimp!

****

 It was a pleasure spending some time alone with Zak, but now he must depart. If you’re curious, Finn from my book Dawning of Light is being interviewed over here. There’s an ebook you can win there as well!

Thanks again for stopping by, and don’t forget to scroll past all the information below to find out how to win a $10 gift card and other prizes.

 ****

Betty Bolte_CoverBook Title: Remnants

What it’s about:

Paulette O’Connell accidentally summons her grandfather’s ghost, and he won’t leave until she discovers why she needs him. Zak Markel’s sole mission is to save his brother’s eyesight, but he gets side-tracked by Paulette. Maybe together, they’ll find just what they need … and more.

Want to buy it?

LSBooks: http://bit.ly/1wBfH1k

Amazon: Paperback: http://amzn.to/1stOLdG

Kindle: http://amzn.to/1wF1Oxd

Barnes and Noble: Paperback: http://bit.ly/1tAjdYI Nook: http://bit.ly/ZTtCTn

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1rKIqeN

 

Here’s a little more detail about the author:

betty-bolte-july-2013Betty Bolté writes both historical and contemporary stories that feature strong, loving women and brave, compassionate men. No matter whether the stories are set in the past or the present, she loves to include a touch of the paranormal. Get to know her at www.bettybolte.com.

Website/Social Media Links:

Website: www.bettybolte.com

Blog: www.bettybolte.com/blog.htm

Newsletter: www.bettybolte.com/newsletter.htm

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorBettyBolte

Twitter: @BettyBolte

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/bettybolte

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/bettybolte9

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/bettybolte

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The Contest and Freebies:

Unfortunately, Rafflecopter and my blog don’t like each other, so you’ll have to make an extra click after you comment. Go here (http://www.taraquan.com/giveaways) to enter both giveaways, where you’ll also find a list of other hotties to discover!

 

If you are unable to comment (technology can be a pain, I know), feel free to email your comment to taraquan@outlook.com (please identify the blog your comment belongs to). We’ll make sure you get credit for the Dedicated Hopper Bonus, don’t worry.

Thanks for joining us today!

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What Happens On The Eve of Love?

I just can’t get enough of the characters from the various books in the Unwrapping Love holiday anthology. Today’s post features another one, and it’s a special treat because this one is … a fellow writer! I’m interviewing Marcus Bunch, a science fiction writer from Seattle, Washington. Marcus has a starring role in Patricia D. Eddy’s new holiday short story, On the Eve of Love.

On the Eve of Love (1)

Tami’s Thoughts: “Hello, Marcus. Thanks for joining us today.”

Marcus Bunch: “Thanks, Tami. It’s kind of strange to be here, though. No one’s really been interested in interviewing me before.”

TT: “I find that hard to believe. You’re a successful author, are you not?”

MB: “I’m a full-time author. I suppose that’s a lot of people’s definition of success. I don’t know that I’ll ever consider myself successful. I think it’s the curse of being an author. You never feel like you’re good enough.”

TT: “But you’ve had some success, yes?”

MB: “My latest book, If Only, has been very successful. In more ways than one.”

Marcus blushes and rubs the back of his neck. He gives a small, private smile.

TT: “Is something amusing?”

MB: “Well, I didn’t intend for this to happen, but that book really spoke to someone. I wrote it when I was in a lot of pain. I didn’t think my mom was going to beat cancer. I was scared, unsure of everything, and writing was the only way I could express those emotions.”

TT: “And that spoke to a fan?”

MB: “Well, yeah. This doctor I met recently—Gwen—she said it helped her make some decisions about her life. Decisions that…well…benefited both of us.”

TT: “Oh, do tell!”

MB: “Well, she didn’t believe in romance. True, epic romance. I believe her exact words were, ‘All those alpha men who sweep the women off their feet and carry them to the bed? All tattoos and abs and kisses that leave you weak in the knees? That doesn’t happen in real life.’ I had to show her that it does happen.”

Handsome man picking up and hugging his girlfriend on white back

TT: “Oh my.”

Marcus puffs out his chest. “Okay, so I’m not your typical alpha man. I mean, I sit on my couch and write for a living. Science fiction, no less. But every woman deserves to feel special and be kissed so thoroughly that they can’t see straight when you’re done. And Gwen gave me the confidence in myself to try.”

Unfortunately, before I could goad Marcus into spilling more detail, Gwen sent a text, and he shot out of his seat so quickly, I barely had a chance to say, “Wait,” before he was gone. So I guess we’ll have to read Unwrapping Love to figure out what he meant by that comment. Well, you will. I already have. Trust me, it’s worth the read. Especially at less than five bucks for the ebook version.

Tempted? You can read more about Marcus and Gwen’s Christmas romance in Unwrapping Love, a Writing Wenches Anthology. Available for preorder now! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P72UUGK

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 Now, let’s give the author a little love…

Patricia D. Eddy can’t stop writing. Not that she’s tried. Her characters won’t let her.

Patricia Eddy_Head ShotShe fuels her writing with copious amounts of caffeine–she lives in Seattle, after all–and rewards herself with good Scotch and red wine.

In between writing, editing, and mentoring other authors, she runs around lakes, reads late into the night, and is terribly addicted to Doctor Who and Sherlock. She has a thing for quirky British men and isn’t ashamed to admit it.

Her quirky-but-not-British husband never gives her grief for working long hours or occasionally talking to herself when she has disagreements with her characters, for which she is very thankful.

Want more? Stalk Patricia at pdeddy.com and facebook.com/pdeddy.author.

If you still want more of Marcus, Gwen, and Patricia, the release party for Unwrapping Love happens over on Facebook on December first. Free stuff, author takeovers, pictures of hot guys… All that and more. Join here. The Writing Wenches are looking forward to partying with you!

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Get Lost in the Everglades with Author Stacy Hoff

Today, it is my pleasure to welcome Stacy Hoff to my blog. Stacy writes contemporary romance, and her first book was released through Soul Mates Publishing on September 17th. She agreed to answer a few questions for me, so that you all could get to know her better.

Tami’s Thoughts: Hello, Stacy. Thank you for subjecting yourself to my Q&A today. Let’s start with the basics. Tell us a little about yourself.

Stacy Hoff: For my “day job,” I’m a lawyer.  I handle contracts, primarily commercial and construction. I’ve been practicing law for almost two decades.

For my “night job,” I’m a wife and mother. I have a busy husband and (if possible) two busier boys (ages twelve and nine). On occasion, I can put dinner on the table before 7:00 PM. I’m apparently an excellent chauffer, as I schlep my kids everywhere. I can always offer my driving services professionally if my “side job” doesn’t work out.

For the above mentioned “side job,” I’m a writer, of course. I fit in my writing somewhere between the hours of 9:00 PM and 6:00 AM. During the weekends, I can also grab some daylight hours, if my kids sleep late. When I write at night, my husband watches a lot of sports on TV – football and baseball seasons are very productive for me. When a game isn’t on, ESPN commentary nicely fills in the gaps. So I’m one of those wives who doesn’t complain when my husband watches sports.

TT: I can relate! Now, tell us one incredibly strange or unique thing about you.

SH: I am an artist. I graduated from the “Fame” school in NYC, back in the eighties. I sketch nudes at a local art gallery, drawing on newsprint paper with a variety of charcoals. Taking figure drawing classes keeps my fingers flexible and my skills fresh.

TT: Okay, that’s certainly unique! And fascinating. How about something more … average? Pets or no pets?

SH: Unfortunately, “Squishy,” our Beta fish died. I think that’s going to be it for a while.

TT: Having a pet is like having another kid, so I get it. How about seasons? Winter or summer?

SH: For me, this is a no brainer. Since I live in New England, and abhor shoveling snow, I’m flat-out going with summer.

TT: I live in the great white north, too, so I get it. We always want what we can’t have (much of), right? How about drinks – red or white?

SH: As far as wine goes, I’m pretty ignorant. Thankfully, at my art classes, they have a variety of wine available to drink away our artistic tension, so whatever they’re servin’ I’m drinkin.’ I should disclose, however, that since my alcohol tolerance level is pathetic, and I obviously won’t drink and drive, I’m limited to having only a few sips during the first half-hour of our two-hour-long class. Better safe than sorry, I always say!

TT: Smart practice. However, if you ever want to learn more about wine, I’m a big fan… Of drinking it, that is. That comment, in my world, is the perfect transition into writing. So let’s talk about your books. What’s your genre of choice?

SH: To date, I’ve been a “blendy” writer, as well as a “pantser.” I have limited free time, so when I write, it’s because I have characters and a story line that really draws me into the manuscript. One thing is for sure, I write romance. But I’ve thrown in (depending on the book) action, adventure, humor, women’s fiction and soap opera drama. I’m extremely grateful to my publisher, Soul Mate Publishing, Inc., for not being afraid to blur genre lines.

TT: I like it. There are so many story lines and concepts that have been done a million times, it’s nice to discover an author who introduces us to something new. Let’s talk inspiration. How did you come up with the idea behind DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES?

SH: For fun, I watch a lot of TV survival shows. The premise for my book, DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES, is of Stephanie Lang, a NYC television exec who is forced to produce a new reality TV show—a cross between “Crocodile Dundee” and “Survivorman.” Shortly after she meets the sexy star of the show, Colin Brandt, she finds out she has to survive out in the Everglades with him.

TT: I am officially intrigued. How many books have you published, and what’s coming out next?

DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES was just released on September 17th.  I do not yet have a release date for my next book, DIARY OF A YOUNG LAWYER, which will also be published by Soul Mate Publishing, Inc. Look for  it on Amazon.com in the next few months!

TT: Sounds like a plan. Now for the really important question: How steamy is DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES?

SH: I’d give DESIRE a “3.” I don’t write erotica (although I have no problem reading it). That said, my heroine’s character arc requires her to become emotionally confident. As a writer, I felt this arc needed to be reflected sexually, resulting in some pretty steamy scenes.

TT: Hey, that works. I think most romance readers fully enjoy reading that particular kind of arc. Is DESIRE part of a series?

SH: If people like DESIRE, I’d love to write a sequel. I’m sure writing it would be as fun as it was the first time.

TT: Okay, let’s have a peek. Do you have a favorite excerpt to share with us today?

SH: How about starting at the beginning…

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Chapter 1

 

“Did I hear you right?” Stephanie Lang sputtered. “You’re saying our next reality TV series is about a modern day ‘Crocodile Dundee’ guy. Only sexier.” Could her job get any more insane? Thankfully, the big fancy desk the Teleworld Broadcasting Company bestowed concealed her shaky hands and white knuckles.

Her boss nodded with enthusiasm.

She cleared her throat, enlarging the gateway for her stuck, strangled words. “I’m having a hard time believing this, Mark. You want croc guy to tackle the Everglades. Alone. For twelve days. No camping or hunting equipment allowed and only a knife to protect himself. That’s what you’re seriously proposing?”

“That’s right. Though we’ll let him use more than a knife.” Mark stopped nodding and let loose a large grin. “He can always use his bare hands.”

Stephanie wanted to use her bare hands, too. Wrapping them tightly around Mark’s neck. Was this guy kidding, or what? Stifling a sigh, she garnered her patience and tried to look at the bright side. Mark was less stuffy than the other executives, which was good. Not afraid to crack a joke. Also good. Not concerned about anybody but himself. Bad. Very bad. And he steamrolled people to get his way. Much, much worse.

She hoped he didn’t steamroll her now, because this idea was plain old crazy. Seriously whack-a-doodle. “Is this show going to be safe to shoot?” she asked tenuously. If she showed too much emotion, she would join the thousands of New Yorkers standing on the unemployment line waving pink slips. Teleworld did not welcome emotional reactions to their business directives.

“Of course it’ll be safe to shoot,” he answered breezily. “We’re not even having our crew film it. Once they set up the cameras, we’re outta there. Of course, while they’re setting them up, there will be some risk. We’ll make sure they’re protected as best as can be reasonably expected.”

Cringing, she tried to ignore the word “reasonably.” Worst. Qualifier. Ever. Before this meeting was over, her whole body would be twitching. “I meant whether this was going to be safe for the guy we’re filming. He’ll be the one left out there, unprotected.”

“Dunno. Luckily, that’s not our problem. The guy’s willing to take the gamble, so I guess it’ll be safe enough. He’d know best how to calculate his player handicap.”

“This isn’t a round of leisurely golf. I don’t want this guy to wind up handicapped at all.” Yep. Barely eight o’clock in the morning and she was right on time for her daily dose of stomach acid.

TT: That was great. I like your writing style. Do you have a website, a social media presence, where your newest fans can stalk you?

SH: Readers should feel free to stalk me on social media as follows:  Facebook   Twitter  www.stacyhoff.com

 

Stacy Hoff Photo TT: Excellent. Do you have any questions for our blog readers?

SH: Yes, I’d love to know what TV shows makes their imagination run wild. I hope they give me their answers in the comment section below!

TT: Thank you for joining us today, Stacy. Now, for the really important stuff: How can we read your book?

SH: People can order through Amazon.com. Thanks for having me, Tami! This was a lot of fun to do!

TT: It was my pleasure, really. Now I’m off to lose myself in the Everglades with a sexy guy named Colin. Alligators don’t bite, do they?

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Interview with Cade, the HOT Alpha from A Shift in the Water

Today on my blog, I have the pleasure of interviewing – and looking at – Cade Bowman, the (*fans self*) super hot pack leader from Patricia Eddy’s newest book, A Shift in the Water. Here, let me show you who I’m interviewing:

ShiftinWaterTeaser

Yeah, that’s Cade. And this is me, stuttering over my sentences as I try to come across as a calm, cool, collected interviewer. It doesn’t help that he’s a genuinely nice guy, too. I hope Mara knows how lucky she could be. Anyway, let’s get to the interview, shall we?

Tami’s Thoughts: Cade, thank you for taking the time to meet with me today.

Cade Bowman: *Smiles adorably.*

TT: Tell us about yourself. Do you consider yourself your author’s muse or the bane of her existence?

CB: I really don’t like all of the attention that being Patricia’s hero in A Shift in the Water has generated. I’m a private person. Before the events in the book, all I wanted to do was lead my pack, make children’s toys and furniture (I’m a woodworker), and keep to myself. Unfortunately, when you spend seven months trapped as a wolf and then meet your mate, life gets…complicated.

TT (thinking in my head, “Mate? Mate? What?” But somehow I manage to keep the interview on track, barely): What do you think readers like best about you?

CB: Well, I’ve been told I’m nice to look at. Don’t laugh. I’m repeating what readers have said, nothing more. Seriously, though, I’m an alpha. I’m protective by nature. This gets me in trouble from time to time because though I trust my pack and my mate implicitly, I want to keep them safe and I’m not afraid to be a bit of an ass to keep them that way. I think that’s the best and worst of me.

TT: I can’t imagine you ever being an ass. (*Giggling like a schoolgirl.*) Anyway, you mentioned a mate. Tell us about her.

CB: I never wanted to be mated. Never thought I would be. But the first time I saw Mara, I knew. It’s not her beauty, though she’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. It’s her. Her strength. She was dying–or thought she was–and she handled it with grace and dignity. And when she realized she wasn’t dying, but that she was an elemental…yeah, she was scared, but deep down, I think she knew. Seeing her accept who she was and who I was…that was sexy as hell.

TT: (*Wishing I was Mara*): Let’s have some naughty fun. (How can I resist when I’m interviewing someone like Cade?) What’s your favorite place to seduce Mara?

CB: Anywhere. Really. We’re newly mated. The call is so strong, especially for an alpha, that lately I seem to be doing a lot of seducing. In the shower, in the kitchen, in the bedroom. If the weather was nicer right now, we’d be outside under the stars naked every night.

shift_ebook

TT: (At this point, I’ve completely lost my train of thought. All I can do is envision Cade, naked under the stars. He literally has to snap his fingers in front of my face for me to bring the world back into focus.)

TT: Sorry. Right. So anyway… What do you wish your mate understood about you?

CB: I wish Mara could understand how much I hated my wolf after being trapped inside him for so long. It was really hard for me to lose half of my identity. First the human side and then the wolf side. We’re one. Each part–wolf and man–exist as part of the whole. When you can’t stand to even think about part of you, it changes you. There were moments it was hard to even breathe, to think, to put one foot in front of the other. It took a long time for her to understand that part of me.

TT: *Sigh* Let’s see … next question … If you could rewrite one scene in the book, which would it be? How would you rewrite it?

CB: Well, can I rewrite the part where Katerina tortured me for seven months? No? I’d like to get rid of that part.

I wish I’d listened to Bill earlier, taken him more seriously. Because at least then, maybe Livie wouldn’t have been injured. Or Peter. Maybe Bill would still be alive. Maybe I wouldn’t spend every night reliving the fire or the starvation or the fear.

I don’t believe in regrets because you can’t change the past. It happened and for better or worse, it made me who I am today. And though I wish almost everything from May until November had changed, the end result was that I found my mate. I wouldn’t give her up for anything.

TT: I’ve read the book, so I completely understand where you are coming from right now. Okay, how about embarrassing situations? Has your author ever put you into an embarrassing situation, and if so, how did you handle it?

CB: Waking up naked in my mate’s bed, unable to speak was pretty embarrassing. So was meeting her friend Jen, wearing nothing but Mara’s purple bathrobe. I wanted Mara. I’m pretty sure I was hard and that bathrobe did not fit well. Luckily Mara stood in front of me. Otherwise that could have ended…very poorly.  

TT: Yeah, I have a visual of that too. Anyway, is there anything in this book of which you are particularly proud?

CB: I’m proud of Mara. She’s so strong. Fearless really. She faced down my entire pack, gained their respect with what she did for me. She didn’t back down when I told her that I was falling for her. She’s amazing. And what she did at the end…well…readers will need to buy the book to find out what happened, but it was life-changing. For everyone.

TT: *More sighing.* Is this guy a heartbreaker or what? Okay, Cade, we’re almost done torturing you. Sorry, bad choice of words. Would you like to add anything else?

CB: If you’re reading this interview, you know that Mara and I mate. That I love her. I hope that knowledge won’t stop you from reading the book. The first chapter is available for sampling on Amazon. I lived through the book, though there were times I didn’t think I would. And I hope that if you like the book, you’ll leave a review. It’s the best way to make sure that Patricia writes the next book in the series. Liam deserves to have his story told.

TT: Just to add to what Cade said, I read his book, and yeah, it’s good. Plus, I really want to read Liam’s story. Okay, Cade, thank you so much for taking the time today. I know this is not your forte, and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you sitting here and letting me look at you – er – interview you about your role in A Shift in the Water. As for you, fair blog reader, if you enjoyed this interview, you’ll really enjoy Patricia’s book. And if you enjoy her books, you’ll surely want to stalk her on social media.

Patricia headshot3

A Shift in the Water can be found at Amazon.com and Patricia’s on social media at:

http://www.twitter.com/patricia_eddy

http://www.facebook.com/pdeddy.author

http://www.pdeddy.com

 Thank you for joining us today. Be sure to stop by next weekend, too. There’s a new post at least once a week, sometimes more. And if you can’t get enough of blogging fun, I also occasionally blog over at the Writing Wenches blog.

###

DAY TWO: A Week of Wands, Fangs, & Wings Paranormal Blog Tour

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Welcome to DAY TWO of

A Week of Wands, Fangs and Wings – A Paranormal Book Blog Tour!

 From August 15-22, we will feature books by EIGHT different authors who write paranormal. What do we mean by paranormal? Well, just as the title implies: wands, fangs, wings and everything in between. Pretty much, if it isn’t real, it might be here. If you enjoy reading all things paranormal, we are about to hand you heaven on a gilded plate. Or, at least, on your e-reader.

What do we have in store for you? Excerpts from cool books. A fun Q&A session with the even-cooler authors who wrote them. A rafflecopter contest in which you could win a total of ELEVEN e-books. Wait, let’s note that again, just for clarification.

Eleven. Books. Free.

 Score! The contest closes Thursday at midnight eastern and the winner will be announced Friday evening, so don’t forget to enter. As if you would. In the meantime, let’s learn about Rachel Medhurst and Misti Murphy, and their featured books, The Deadliners and Raven Falling!

 Let’s talk to Misti Murphy first. She has lived in a fantasy world most of her life, so it’s no surprise she’s ended up writing paranormal books. She also loves Facebook. Speaking of, you can find Misti at ‪https://www.mistimurphy.weebly.com on Facebook: ‪https://www.facebook.com/mistileemurphy and on Twitter @mistileemurphy.

We asked Misti a few get-to-know-you questions, and this is what she had to say:

 Misti Murphy Bio pic1.     Do you like heroines who get rescued, or heroines who do the rescuing? Everyone needs someone to rescue them, having said that I believe in strong heroines who can step up and be the rescuer.

 2.     Morning or Evening? I don’t sleep well so evening is always better for me, and besides everything is better in the dark!

 3.     Favorite book genre? Romance, as long as it has some romance to it I’m happy.

 4.     Sweet or Spicy? Definitely Spicy, no wait, definitely sweet. I’ll take both please.

 5.     Ebook or print? Both have their good points. Ebooks are easier to store. With the amount I read I would be on an episode of Hoarders if it weren’t for ebooks. However, as an author it’s always nice to flip through carefully bound pages.

 Hmm… What sort of book do you think Misti writes? Here’s a taste below of Raven Falling:

 Raven Falling Cover

He handed her two more blades. “I want you to try and hit a moving target.”

“How am I going to do that?” There was nothing here to hit beside the damn trees.

“Aim at me.” Ash was in her face, his big gray eyes solemn as he pressed the blades into her hands.

Raven frowned. “You can’t be serious.”

“Of course I am. I’m going to run and you are going to try and hit me.”

“But what if you get hurt?” she asked, scared she would have to see him bloody, or even dead by the time they were finished. She couldn’t hurt him. He was the only person who knew what she was going through, and she needed him.

“Rae, I’m an Angel remember? I promise you won’t hurt me.” His hands had moved to her shoulders, and he gave them a light squeeze as he tried to assure her everything would be fine.

“I don’t want to.” She shook her head. How could he ask her to do this?

“I know but you have to practice.” He let go of her, running across the clearing, in a zigzagging move, which made it more difficult for her to hit him. He didn’t need to. It was already the hardest thing she had ever had to do.

Raven watched him, as she felt the tears prick her eyes. He looked back at her, encouraging, no demanding she do what he needed her to do.  She fought her own body as she slowly raised her arm and aimed at him, following him across the clearing with her eyes.  Balancing the blade in her hand she concentrated on her target. It was only two blades. She could do this. She let the first one go, flinging it hard, hearing the almost silent whistle as it hurtled toward him. Shutting her eyes, she didn’t see if the blade had reached its intended target. Taking a deep breath she prepared to throw the next.

He was still running across the clearing, she hadn’t managed to hit him. She pulled herself up, straightening her spine and gripped the handle of her final blade tightly. She slowly brought her arm up, visualizing her target, several feet away from where he had been. Pulling her hand back to her ear she pushed all the strength she could muster into her shoulder and hurled the blade, watching as it spun through the air.

She collapsed to the ground her eyes never leaving the blade as it reached its destination at the exact same time he did. She was sure the blade had hit its mark, when she saw him fall to the ground. She sprinted toward him as he pulled himself up onto his knees. The blade lay in the grass next to him, its tip bent flat. She felt the tears gather and she struggled to hold them back, her relief palpable. She sank down into the grass beside him and pressed her palms to her eyes to keep the tears from escaping.

**** 

Now let’s talk to Rachel Medhurst. Rachel grew up in Surrey, England. She writes to prove that no matter where you come from, you can be anything you want to be.

Find Rachel at www.rachelmedhurst.com, on facebook at Rachel Medhurst – Writer and on twitter @rachelmedhurst, and check out her interview below:

 1. Fave paranormal author? That would have to be Kim Harrison, I love the Rachel Morgan Series.

2. If you weren’t a writer, what would you be? A dancer. I love to dance along to most music.

3. Do you already have an actor in mind to play the hero when your book becomes a movie? Who? – Yes, Gerrard Butler would be Danny… and I would love to help him on set.

4. Writing inspiration? Enid Blyton – Her books made me want to write to give hope and happiness to people.

5. Fave Vampire series? Blackdagger brotherhood. I love this series a lot!

 Interesting – and amusing – answers! Let’s check out the excerpt of The Deadliners:

 The Deadliners Front

‘Last time we were here, you bargained with me for an extension of six months.’

Nodding, she ignored the burning muscles in her throat. Her feet were firmly planted and her hands were at her side.

‘And the time before that…?’

‘I got the deadline extended for two years.’ She lowered her slender frame onto the grass and leant her back against the cold wall. His shoulders dropped but he stayed standing as he looked down at her.

‘Two years and six months later, here we are again. Are you satisfied that everything’s been done?’

Her head bent back, her bobbed brown hair brushed her shoulders and her eyes landed on the top floor window directly above her. Shaking her head, she let air rush out of her lungs.

‘I’m sorry, Anna, I can’t give you any more time. I’ll give you this though…the rest of today, to spend here, before you come back.’

Her neck snapped forward, her gaze landing on the red cigarette end.

‘Give Mia six months and I’ll give you a whole day.’

The lit end of the cigarette glowed as he sucked the life from the dying tube. She nodded at him and smiled. The corners of his lips lifted as she stood and turned towards the house.

Making her way inside, Anna glanced into the rooms that she passed. The décor was stuck in the eighties. White walls with peach carpets. Glass cabinets and shiny brass handles.

She could hear the television, but she didn’t follow its sound. Her feet carried her up the stairs and into a bedroom. The walls were black with big white circles on them. A bed in the corner had an Aztec patterned throw over it. Bon Jovi posters littered the ceiling, their yellowing edges curling in on themselves. A collection of paperweights sat on a dressing table, trapped in a time that no longer existed. Anna concentrated her energy as she thrust out her arm, swinging it in an arc. The paperweights leapt into the air and thudded onto the wooden floor.

She heard her coming up the stairs, her light footsteps attacking the carpet. Rushing into the room, the grey-haired woman came to a stop. Her eyes landed on the scattered mess on the floor. She ran her hands over her face and knelt on the wood. There was a carrier bag sitting next to the weights. Looking around the room, the woman let tears roll down her cheeks. Picking up the bag, she slowly lowered each weight into it. When she’d finished packing up the room, the lady lay down on the bed and let the breath escape her lungs. The dust danced in the sunlight that shone in through the window. Anna started to cry as she sat next to the sleeping woman. She smiled and sighed in relief as the lines on the woman’s face relaxed for the first time in twenty years.

‘I’m sorry, Mum, but it’s your deadline and I’ve come to collect you.’

Are you as intrigued as we are? Be sure to enter the rafflecopter contest for a chance to win both books plus nine more, or, if you can’t wait, the links to purchase these books are below:

 The Deadliners: Available in the US: http://www.amazon.com/The-Deadliners-Rachel-Medhurst-ebook/dp/B00K5OKIYE/ref=cm_rdp_product

Available in the UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Deadliners-Rachel-Medhurst-ebook/dp/B00K5OKIYE/ref=cm_rdp_product

Raven Falling: Available here: http://www.amazon.com/Raven-Falling-Shadows-Light-Novel-ebook/dp/B00LRHKUGE/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1407326499&sr=1-1&keywords=Raven+Falling

rafflecopter

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f6defd8610/

 

 

 

 

Smexy, Sweet, Western & Paranormal… My Typical Reading List

I’ve read a few books recently, which I’ve dutifully reviewed on both Goodreads and Amazon, because, hey, I’m a writer, and I understand how important those reviews are. Even as a reader, I understand the importance of reviews. They are more often than not the determining factor in whether I purchase a particular book.

Since I am so aware of the importance of reviews, and I love to support my fellow writers, I decided to blog about those reviews, so that you, too, could read them. And maybe buy one or two (or four).

This is what I read:

1. A delicious, dirty, utterly smexy book with an oh-so-sweet ending.

2. A sweet romance with a surprisingly naughty slant towards the end.

3. A paranormal with fascinating concepts and plenty of intriguing backstory that could be weaved into future books.

4. My first western romance. In fact, it’s been a while since I’ve read anything at all historical.

Yeah, no one can put my reading habits into a perfect little shoebox.

The first was Taint, by @MrsSLJ. I knew nothing at all about this author prior to a few months ago. This read is proof that blog tours work. Oh yeah, and hot covers. And catchy blurbs. “My name is Justice Drake and I’m going to teach you how to f*ck your husbands.” What? That outrageously sexy guy smirking at me from the cover is going to teach me how to get it on with my hubs? Ohh…. how? I mean, my God, I had to read it after that.Taint Cover

I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I only finished it two weeks ago, and I am already giving serious thought to reading it again. I can only think of two other books that had this affect — The final Harry Potter, and the first in @KatieMacAlister‘s dragon series. (Maybe it’s just guys named Drake who do it for me. While there wasn’t a Drake in HP, there was a Draco. Close, right?)

Let me see, what’s the best way to review this one…? It made me laugh out loud, it made my heart ache, and it made me hot. A book that can provoke all those emotions at once? Bring it. You should read this book if you like spicy, if you like seriously alpha males, if you have a soft spot for assholes… who aren’t really assholes. And if you like innocent, imperfect, yet utterly adorable heroines, this is also the book for you. In case you need another six billion opinions on the matter, here’s the Goodreads link.

The next book was Sweet Dreams, by @jsenhaji13. It’s her debut novel, and it’s definitely sweet. But keep reading, because just about the time you think this is one of those closed doors romances, bam, she hits you with the sex scenes. Juicy, graphic sex scenes. Still, it is a very sweet romance, and while you will be annoyed with the hero and heroine for not figuring it out sooner, you will also be so happy for them when they finally do. Because they are just such sweet people, and really should be together.

Sweet Dreams CoverBonus to this book: the author does a wonderful job pulling you into the scenes. We travel with the heroine from a small town in California to the gorgeous countryside in Italy and a few places in between, and I now have such a vivid picture in my head that I am certain I will recognize these places, if I am ever lucky enough to someday visit.

If sweet, gentle romance with a heavy dose of sex (once they finally get around to it!) is your reading taste, try Jennifer Senhaji’s book, Sweet Dreams.

My next read was a paranormal, Raven Falling, by @mistileemurphy. I love a good paranormal read. I love forming pictures in my head of the worlds the author weaves. And many (most?) paranormals  seem to have some sort of twist that I usually don’t see coming. This one had several (although I admit, I guessed one of them!). It keeps you turning the pages all the way to the end, because you just know something big is about to happen… And you will not be disappointed. Just be prepared: It’s a bit of a cliffhanger. BUT, I have it on good authority that the author is diligently working away on the second installment in the series.

Raven Falling Cover

If you like paranormal, and are intrigued by the concepts of heaven and hell (and don’t mind your preconceived notions getting tossed out the window), I suggest reading Misti Murphy’s Raven Falling.

The final book on my completed reading list is a western romance. @HaleyWhitehall recently released Wild and Tender Care, a historical romance about a half-breed doctor and a forced-to-be-reformed madam, who, despite their differences, manage to fall in love. I love books with flawed characters whose flaws just make them stronger as individuals. This book definitely had that aspect.

wildandtendercareIf you enjoy sweet romance, if you enjoy reading about an attractive and adorable hero and a strong heroine, you will enjoy this book. If you like historicals or westerns, even better. Wild and Tender Care can be purchased here.

Well, that was my reading list for the past couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to what I’ll unearth over the next few weeks. Tell me, what are you reading now? Maybe that will be MY next read…

Like this post? You’ll probably love my books, which you can check out by clicking the links at the top of the page. And check back next weekend, when I join a blog tour – A Week of Wands, Fangs & Wings. Each day, I’ll have a new post, featuring paranormal reads from eight different authors. And there’ll be a prize: enter to win a copy of every single book featured on the blog that week. Totally worth checking back next week!

Thank you!

 

Candy Crush – My Book Boyfriend

Candy Crush Nook-150

For today’s blog, I’m going to talk about Candy Crush, a self-published contemporary suspense I released in January 2014. This is one of my favorites, of all the books I’ve written, and I think that is largely due to the hero, Brandon Sarantos.

He’s gorgeous (well, duh), but it’s more than that. I just adore his personality, and even though he has been a bit of a man-whore for most of his life, he really is a good guy. He loves his family unconditionally, despite their meddling into his less-than-acceptable lifestyle. He is loyal to a fault, and he faithfully supports and believes in the small town in which he grew up and continues to live. And somewhere, deep down – way, way deep down – he really does want his own happily ever after, as opposed to the happy-in-the-moment he experiences with each of his conquests.

When Gabriella Hadley walks into his life and initially rebuffs his come on, he finds himself attracted to her for the obvious reasons – she’s hot, she’s beautiful, she’s female – but also for another reason that is entirely foreign to him.

She isn’t attracted to him – or, at least, she does a damn good job of hiding her attraction. Too good. Almost good enough to chip away at Brandon’s overblown ego and confidence.

The best part of this book, I think, is following along as Brandon gradually comes to the realization that what he feels for Gabriella is not just typical lust, but something more, something much deeper, something that just might spell happily ever after.

Below is an excerpt from Candy Crush. It is the scene in which Brandon and Gabriella meet for the first time, from Brandon’s perspective. I think it sums his personality rather succinctly. If you enjoy it, feel free to download from:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Candy-Crush-Tami-Lund-ebook/dp/B00HXKTBAU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400423460&sr=8-1&keywords=tami+lund

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/candy-crush-tami-lund/1118090567?ean=2940045601542

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/399279

And as always, please leave a review!

****

Her hand was dainty and smooth, and he noticed she had perfectly manicured pale pink nails.  She wore three silver stackable rings on the ring finger of her right hand and her left hand was devoid of jewelry.  No wedding ring.

“Are you the new owner of the candy store?” he asked.

“How did you know that?” she asked suspiciously.

“By definition of my title, it’s my job to know these sorts of things.  You aren’t planning to sell drugs are you?”

Gabriella gasped and looked genuinely shocked and he decided the answer was no.  Considering her reaction to the acronym DDA, he felt inclined to ask.

“Just checking,” he said amiably.  “So what’s your name?”

Brandon stuck his hands in his pockets and took his time appraising the new candy store owner, now that he was up close.  From across the street, by the pale blue glow from the new state of the art yet antique in stature lamppost hanging above her head, he determined she had long blond hair that was braided down her back, an average sized chest, small waist and long legs.

Up close, he could see that the hair was professionally colored in a salon.  All those shades of blond couldn’t possibly be natural.  The chest was still average, the waist was tiny and the legs were indeed long.  She wore a fitted white scoop neck shirt under a thin jacket, slim brown pants and tennis shoes.  He bet she looked hot in four-inch heels.  He wondered how long she’d last in this town, and he decided he wanted to sleep with her before she left.

“I’m Gabriella Hadley,” she said.  Her soft voice was as delicate as her hands and had a distinctly southern drawl.

“Nice to meet you, Gabby,” Brandon said, and she corrected him, “Gabriella.”

“How long do you plan to stay in town?” Brandon asked, rocking on his heels and still watching her.  He could tell his scrutiny made her uncomfortable.  He hoped it was because she was attracted to him.

“Well, since I just bought the candy store, I’d say it’s a bit of a permanent arrangement,” Gabriella pointed out.  “Is there something I can help you with, Mr. Sarantos?” she said impatiently.  He watched as a guilty look flittered across her features.  Did she feel guilty for acting impatient?  He was pretty sure he had never in his life met a woman who felt guilty about something so trivial.

“It’s Brandon.  I was still in the office and I saw you pull up, so I figured I’d welcome you to town.”  And I never miss an opportunity to meet a hot blond.  “Where are you from?”

“Thank you for the welcome.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to take a peek inside and then go find something to eat.  I haven’t eaten since noon.”

He noticed she ignored his question, but he let it slide as he tried to come up with ways to keep her talking.  He didn’t usually like it when women talked too much, but he decided that Gabriella could talk to him all day long, with that thick southern drawl.  It was sexy as hell.

“That place hasn’t been opened up in years.  Why don’t I hang around to make sure no raccoons come flying out at you, and then I’ll show you the nearest pizza parlor?”

She looked appalled, although Brandon wasn’t entirely sure if that was due to the prospect of a raccoon flying out at her or having to endure his company for that much longer.  She demurely said thank you, and turned and bent at the waist to retrieve her purse from the floor of the car.  Brandon watched and thoroughly enjoyed the way her cotton pants strained against the roundness of her backside.

She stood up and turned around, realized what he was doing and huffed out a sigh.  She stalked past him, her nose in the air.  The cocker spaniel trotted along beside her and Brandon followed behind, not feeling the least bit guilty for ogling.

Gabriella turned the key in the lock, opened the door and then quickly stepped to the side, presumably just in case a raccoon really did come flying out at her.  The dog trotted inside and Brandon stepped in front of the door and stuck his head inside, his eyes sweeping from side to side, taking it all in.  He glanced back at Gabriella, who had made no move to follow suit.

“Did you know what kind of condition it was in when you bought it?” he asked.

“No,” she admitted.  “I bought it over the internet.  The pictures were definitely old.  All the letters were still on the sign and there were displays in the windows.”

“Brace yourself,” he said as she finally stepped in front of the door and peeked over his shoulder.

 

Now that you know my favorite type of hero… What’s yours? What personality traits cause you to fall in love with your latest book boyfriend?

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