Undercover Heat – Real or Pretend?

Today, fellow author and friend, Patricia D. Eddy, did an interview with Quinn and Kyra from Undercover Heat, over on her blog. I liked the interview so much, I figured I’d bring it over here to my blog, so you all can read it too.

Enjoy!

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Undercover Heat_CoverOn today’s blog, I decided to feature the hero from Tami Lund’s latest contemporary romance, Undercover Heat. His name is Quinn Daniels, and he’s an FBI agent, based out of the Detroit regional office. He’s had some hard knocks in his life – an abusive father and a mother who never stood up for her son or herself – but according to his boss, Nico, those past experiences have helped shape him into one of the finest agents he’s ever known.

It’s a rare treat to secure an interview with even one FBI agent, so imagine my surprise when Kyra Sanders, another agent currently working out of the Detroit office, shows up by Quinn’s side. “It’s my case we’re working on,” she says with a sideways glance at the handsome man standing next to her.

Quinn had asked me to meet him at a high-end steakhouse, suggesting we could have a drink and appetizers while we talked. Who was I to complain, especially when he insisted on picking up the tab?

“There she is,” Quinn says abruptly, and I swing my head around, wondering whom he’s talking about. “Don’t look,” he chides me. I whip my head back to face him and Kyra, embarrassed by my lack of FBI etiquette.

“What do you expect her to do, when you say something like, ‘There she is’?” Kyra asks him, hands on hips, a glare in her eyes.

“Are you going to be this snippy for the entire case?” Quinn shoots back. “Because living with a bitchy woman is not my idea of a good time. I’ve never lived with any woman, except my mother, but I sure as hell wouldn’t choose to live with one who harps on me all the damn time.”

“It’s a case, Quinn. We’re going undercover. It isn’t real.” Kyra says all of this through clenched teeth, and I have the impression she has had to point it out multiple times already.

“I’m not an idiot. I understand the difference between real and make believe. I—”

“Do you?”

I watch Quinn’s face flush a dull red. “That kiss was for the benefit of our perp,” he says evenly. “And it worked, didn’t it? She came over and talked to us, which is exactly what we wanted.”

“That was not a pretend kiss,” Kyra says, still speaking through clenched teeth. I’m beginning to worry her jaw is going to lock.

“I can’t help it that I’m a great kisser, and that you enjoy my kisses.”

Kyra sputters indignantly for a few moments before saying, “You enjoyed it too.”

Quinn shrugs. “I did. We can pretend kiss anytime you want. We can even pretend sleep together, if you want.”

“How is that going to help us close this case?”

“It won’t. But it’ll help with this case of blue balls I’ve had ever since pretend kissing you.”

“That’s it. I’m out of here.” Kyra turns to leave, but Quinn stops her with a hand on her arm.

“She’s coming over,” he murmurs so low I am not sure I hear him correctly.

“Who?” I ask, finally joining the conversation. This is supposed to be an interview, but I’ve been so busy watching the sparks fly between these two, I’ve completely forgotten to do my job.

“Our perp,” Kyra says. “The reason we are doing this undercover assignment. She’s been running Ponzi schemes for, we believe, ten years, possibly more. I almost nailed her last year in Dallas, but she managed to get away at the eleventh hour.”

“I’m still not convinced she didn’t have inside information,” Quinn says.

The look on Kyra’s face is interesting. She looks as if she is in pain. I want to ask about it, but the pained look shifts into a fake smile, and her gaze is locked on something behind my back. I turn around to see what she is looking at and come face to, er, giant boobs with a woman wearing stiletto heels, a slinky red dress, and a bleached blond bouffant hairdo. I lift my gaze to see her smile, showing off blindingly white teeth between ruby red lips. Her gaze, I notice, is latched onto Quinn. A quick look in Kyra’s direction confirms that she isn’t happy about this. Interesting, given they are supposed to be pretending to be together. Her acting skills are worthy of an Oscar. If she’s acting.

I realize Quinn is introducing me to the boobs, I mean, the woman in red. I shake her hand and say, “Nice to meet you, Ms. Bianca.” She offers me a vague smile and returns her attention to Quinn.

Kyra is so mad I can practically see the steam coming out of her ears. But when Whitney Bianca lifts her hand and cups his bicep, Quinn lifts his own arm and drapes it across Kyra’s shoulders. She immediately tenses – as does Whitney, I notice. Is this some sort of bizarre love triangle? I don’t recall anything in the notes I received about Quinn having a relationship with the perp they are trying to set up so they can arrest her and shut down her Ponzi schemes permanently.

I watch Whitney while Quinn nuzzles Kyra’s hair. Kyra tries to push him away, and Whitney looks as if she wants to grab Kyra by the hair, give her cement shoes, and toss her into the nearest body of water. I wonder if it is not that she and Quinn have a relationship as much as she wants there to be one. Which is funny to me, because it sure seems like Quinn and Kyra have something going on. Undercover or not, this couple gives off some serious heat.

Whitney Bianca makes an excuse and leaves, and Kyra and Quinn wait for less than five minutes and follow her. I am left standing in the lobby of the restaurant, no notes and no interview in hand. The only thing I am certain of is that if someone asked me to place a bet on whether or not Kyra and Quinn are pretending to be attracted to each other, I would win that wager. Hands down.

****

Tami Lund Headshot 2014Tami Lund, the author of Undercover Heat, as well as several other books, likes to live, love, and laugh, and does her best to ensure the characters in her books do the same. After they’ve overcome a few seemingly insurmountable obstacles first, of course.

Want to read Undercover Heat, or another one of Tami’s books? They are all listed here: http://www.amazon.com/Tami-Lund/e/B00AXJH5MY/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

She loves to be stalked via social media, such as the sites below:

Website: http://tamilund.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTamiLund

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TamiLundAuthor

TSU: https://www.tsu.co/TamiLundAuthor

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/TamiLundAuthor/

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Undercover Heat – Character Background – Release Day

It’s release day for Undercover Heat, the second in my Tough Love series. This series focuses on men and women in “tough” careers who sometimes need a little help finding (and believing in) happily ever after.

Undercover Heat_CoverIn Undercover Heat, two FBI agents are assigned to an undercover assignment, posing as husband and wife. Going in, neither has any expectations aside from solving the case. It doesn’t take long for those expectations to turn carnal, and soon they are fighting an ever-increasing attraction, in order to close their case.

In honor of the release of this steamy read, I got to sit down with a fellow reader and talk about the two main characters in this book, Kyra Sanders and Quinn Daniels. Below is the interview, which gives you a little history on Quinn and Kyra’s personalities.

Reader: Thank you, Tami, for visiting. And congratulations on the new release!

Me: Thank you! I’m super excited. I fell in love with Quinn and Kyra as I wrote their story, and I think I fell even more in love after my editor got ahold of them. There are two very powerful personalities in this book, which makes for good writing and (hopefully) even better reading.

Reader: Two powerful personalities, I like that. Okay, tell us about Quinn first.

Me: Besides the fact he’s super sexy (duh!), he’s a little bit of an anti-hero. Quinn’s parents had him young – straight out of high school, actually. When his mother realized she was pregnant, his father did the right thing and married her. Except it wasn’t really the right thing. Lawrence Daniels, you’ll learn in the book, is not exactly the best husband or father figure. In fact, he’s a career criminal who likes to beat up on his wife and verbally abuse his son every chance he gets.

Growing up in that environment, Quinn could have gone either way – follow in dear ole’ dad’s footsteps or rebel against everything he ever stood for. Lucky for us, he opted for choice number two. He worked his ass off and was accepted into the FBI. He’s one of their strongest agents, mostly because he views the world in black and white, or good and bad. There is no gray area for Quinn Daniels. If you break the law, you should be punished, period.

He has a lot of internal angst, though, as a result of his upbringing. He doesn’t have many friends, he avoids relationships at almost all costs, and when he isn’t on the job, he tends to hit the bottle pretty hard, so as to avoid dealing with his demons. Oh, and he volunteers weekly at a church located in his old neighborhood, because the priest there helped him out a lot when he was a kid. But he doesn’t tell anyone he does it, and he gets pretty ticked off when Kyra finds out.

Reader: Doesn’t sound like he’s exactly primed to find love.

Me (laughs): Not really. But it usually happens when you’re least expecting it, right?

Reader: True, true. All right, tell us about Kyra. What makes her special enough to butt heads with Quinn?

Me: Kyra comes from an unpolluted background. Her parents have been married – happily – for thirty-five years. They both have successful careers outside the home, and they have always encouraged Kyra to follow her dreams. A fascination with Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys (yeah, I know they were before her time, but they’re classics!) led to a love of Julie Garwood’s Buchanan-Renard series, which ultimately led Kyra down the path to FBI field agent.

Kyra was lucky enough to be assigned to the regional office in her hometown, Dallas. She threw herself into her work with gusto, and was eventually assigned to a huge Ponzi scheme case that could have been the pinnacle of her career. Meanwhile, she had struck up a relationship with a fellow agent, even though her director frowned upon interoffice affairs. But Kyra thought the relationship was serious, that they would eventually get married and have babies and live happily ever after – like her parents. Except Keith, her boyfriend at the time, cheated on her. To make it worse, he cheated with the perp Kyra was trying to nab. And his cheating ultimately allowed the perp to get away.

Eventually, Kyra gets reassigned to the Detroit office – where Quinn works – because she refuses to give up closing that particular case. In fact, it’s that case that leads she and Quinn to end up working undercover as husband and wife. Except by this point, Kyra has lost all faith in happily ever after, and Quinn, of course, never believed in it at all. So you can imagine the resistance when they start feeling an attraction to one another.

Reader: These two sound like an unlikely couple. And yet, hope springs eternal, right?

Me: My goal in all of my books is to figure out a way for the hero and heroine to find their happily ever after. With everything I put them through, they deserve it.

Reader: One more question, before I let you go to celebrate your release day. What’s your favorite scene in the book?

Me (gnawing on lower lip): What an impossibly hard question. My mind instantly hops to the final scene in the book, but that’s because I’m a sucker for happily ever after, and I adore Quinn and Kyra’s HEA. But I’d rather readers read the book before we discuss the ending. So let’s see…. This is really hard. Okay, the one I keep coming back to is when Quinn finds out Kyra has been hiding something about the case, and he confronts her, and she gets angry – at herself and him. She storms out of the room and heads down to the basement, where they’ve set up a home gym of sorts. The scene that follows was so fun to write… and so steamy to read. Just thinking about it now makes me want to fan myself. When Kyra and Quinn finally succumb, they certainly do it in style.

Reader: Wow. I know I’m curious! If you are too, I’d better give you a few buy links:

Crimson Romance: http://www.crimsonromance.com/contemporary-romance-novels/undercover-heat/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Undercover-Heat-Tough-Love-Tami-ebook/dp/B00R6TPT90

Google eBooks: https://books.google.com/books?id=smHhBQAAQBAJ&pg=PT1&lpg=PT1&dq=buy+undercover+heat+by+tami+lund&source=bl&ots=AjMsly9rqR&sig=cathISxD41Pj-F2DMd8DkB9SHCs&hl=en&sa=X&ei=-LC5VNuFENP8yQTJkoCQDQ&ved=0CEkQ6AEwBw

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/undercover-heat-tami-lund/1120945425?ean=9781440588914

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/undercover-heat-1

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-undercoverheat-1711668-152.html

Oh yeah, and there’s a Rafflecopter giveaway! Three prizes:

* The entire collection of The Resort series (5 e-books)

* $20 gift card to Amazon

* Candy Crush e-book

Enter here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c48fa52711/?

Thank you, dear readers, for stopping by today. If you have any questions, ask in the comments below, and I’ll give you an answer as quickly as I can. And don’t forget to charge that e-reader, so you can start Undercover Heat — today! 

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Tease Me with some Undercover Heat

It’s excerpt time! Since Undercover Heat releases one week from today, I thought you might like a little tease. Give you a sample of what you’ll be unable to put down next week. In the below scene, Kyra and Quinn have just moved into the house they will be sharing as part of an undercover FBI operation. They are pretending to be husband and wife in an effort to bring down a woman who has been running Ponzi schemes for years. The two agents aren’t particularly excited about sharing a house and a case, as you can see from the below interaction.

Enjoy, and remember, Undercover Heat releases on January 19th! You can add it to your Goodreads TBR here, or you can pre-order it here.

Undercover Heat_Cover

“Oh look, there’s our neighbor. Wave, honey.” He plastered a fake smile on his face and wrapped one arm around her shoulders as he waved with his other hand.

A woman stood on the deck in the yard directly behind them, holding a glass of red wine in one hand. She had bleached blond hair styled into a sort of bouffant and wore a red suit with a short, tightly fitted skirt and red stiletto heels. She waved back but made no move to walk across the yard to greet them.

“That the perp who’s been stealing hard-earned dollars from Dallas’s upper echelon? The queen of Ponzi schemes?”

“Yes. And from Detroit’s elite now, it would seem,” Kyra said. She was distracted by the feel of his arm around her shoulders; she didn’t trust Quinn not to hit on her again. “Why are you hugging me?”

“We’re married. Newlyweds. Don’t newlyweds like to hug each other?”

“I suppose,” she grumbled. “Listen, we need to establish some ground rules.”

“Ground rules?”

“Yes. Between us.”

“We need to establish ground rules?”

Was he making fun of her? She wasn’t sure, but she persisted anyway.

“This case, these living arrangements, it’s just the job. Do you understand what I mean?”

Quinn twisted his head and cocked one dark eyebrow. “Aren’t you worried our neighbor can hear you?”

“No. She’s, like, fifty yards away. I’m serious, Quinn. Do you understand what I mean?”

“I’m not sure what you mean specifically, but if you are trying to explain that this is just a case and we are going to be playing house for hopefully a very short period of time, I’m pretty sure I get it.”

“Good. I’m glad we’re on the same page. After Friday night, I admit I was a little worried.” She laughed nervously.

“What happened Friday night?”

“You don’t remember?”

He shrugged. “Saturday morning, I woke up with a woman in my bed and I don’t even remember how she got there.”

Great. He took my advice. For some reason, it irritated her.

“Okay, forget it, then.”

“Not a problem,” Quinn responded, and then he said, “Let’s see if we can get her to come over and say hi.” Before she could ask how he intended to do that, Quinn used the arm around her shoulder to pull her close. He twisted his body so they were suddenly face to face, and then with a lazy, teasing grin, he dipped his head, closed his eyes, and kissed her.

Kyra was so shocked at his behavior, she immediately put her hands against his shoulders and tried to shove him away.

“This isn’t very newlywed-ish of you, baby,” he mumbled against her lips.

She twisted her head to the side. “Stop it,” she said, her voice coming out almost like a hiss.

He stopped trying to kiss her, but he did not release her from his grip. “I’m not much of an expert on the subject, but I’m pretty sure newlyweds like to kiss.”

“They do, but that doesn’t mean you and I have to do it.”

“Aren’t we newlyweds?”

“We’re pretending, you asshole.”

“She’s coming.”

“What?” Kyra gave a small yelp and twisted in Quinn’s arms to watch the neighbor—her case—pick her way across the lawn in $200 heels.

“She’s coming over here because we were kissing?” she said in disbelief.

“Curiosity, I’m sure. Maybe she’s into threesomes.”

Kyra punched his arm.

“Ow,” he complained as he rubbed the offending spot. “Shit, that hurt.”

“Good.”

~~~

Want more? You can get it on January 19th! Not too much longer to wait… I promise – it will be worth it!

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Hey – if you’re already madly in love with my books, consider joining my Street Team. They’re called Tami’s Tarts, and it’s a super cool group of readers/friends. Here’s the signup form.

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…

 DesireintheEverglades1800

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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Guest Author – TD Hassett Debuts the Third Book in a HOT Rock and Roll Series

Today’s guest is rock-n-roll romance author, TD Hassett. If you haven’t done so yet, take a look at the books she has up on Goodreads. Who doesn’t love a sexy, sweet romance about rock-n-roll gods? I know I do!

Today, TD tells us about her latest release, Darling’s Desire, and she gives us a few teasers from the book, including a seriously steamy scene between Darling and rock star, Ross Daniels. Oh, and don’t forget to leave the answer to her question in the comments below!

 

TT: Hi there! And your name is…?

TD Hassett and yes, the T is for Tiffany.

 

TT: Give us a little insight into the person behind the books.

TDPhoto

 

I am sure this won’t surprise anyone but I love to read and will happily devour 2-4 books a week. My Kindle requires charging quite often!

I love to cook but am not very good at it. I keep on trying though – one of these days I might serve up something that the dog will eat.  You know you have kitchen issues when a golden retriever turns down your homemade pancakes. I have two children who think I am fabulous on some days and evil on others. Both threatened to run away to New York City before the age of five. I like to think having a creative mom will give them something to talk about in therapy down the road. I just celebrated thirteen years of marriage last May and am pretty certain that the majority of wedding guests on both sides of the aisle are shocked that we lasted. Some days, so am I.

 

TT: In which genre do you write?

Contemporary Romance (with erotic and suspenseful elements).

LSB Cover Art Template for PhotoShop

TT: How many books have you published?

I have three books published and hope to get two more out by the end of the year.

 

TT: Tell us about the latest release.

My most recent release Darling’s Desire is my favorite because it has lots of suspense and lots of passion.

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Here is the blurb:

Darling Roberts is going back to the lake house her mother disappeared from thirteen years ago. She needs to decide to stay or sell. The locals believe the place cursed, but her best friend thinks it would be a blast to spend the weekend there before heading to Europe. BFF Madison is determined to set Darling up, even if that means dragging a recently widowed rock-and-roll drummer to the scene of a murder.

Ross Daniels has a secret. He can’t stand the pitying looks well-wishers have given him since his wife’s accidental death. The European leg of the Becket tour can’t come soon enough. A weekend stay at a mutual friend’s lake house seems like a decent way to kill a couple of days before hopping a plane, at least until he spends some time with temptation herself.

Passions ignite and Ross feels his heart beginning to beat again. Darling isn’t who he thought she was, and he can’t get enough of her sweet soul and lush curves. Darling is determined to take charge of her life, and the lake house is just the place to begin. Ross is a scrumptious distraction, but she knows she has to keep things in perspective. Why would a world-famous drummer want to hang out with her in a small town even the locals want her run out of?

 

TT: How steamy is it?

I give my most recent release a score of 3 on the steam meter and posted a paragraph for flavor below.

In a quick and incredibly coordinated move, he had her panties off, and she was lying on her back on the wonderfully oversized couch. He was over her, like a predator waiting to make a meal out of her; she shivered in anticipation. He bent his head to leave a trail of kisses down her throat, across her collarbone, landing on her nipple. He licked and sucked one while sliding his thumb gently over the other. It was a special sort of torture that sent even more moisture pooling between her thighs. Her body clenched her inner muscles in anticipation. He pulled and twisted her throbbing nipple, looking into her eyes and balancing his weight on an elbow. She mewled in frustration. She wanted just a little bit more. She stroked her hands up and down his back, dipping her greedy hands into the waist of his jeans and giving a gentle tug.

“Are you in a hurry, baby?”

The endearment sounded so sexy coming from his lips. She whimpered a bit and rubbed herself against him.

 

TT: Yum! Is this part of a series? If so, tell us about the series (no spoilers!).

This book is the third in my Love and Music series but they can be read in any order. The series follows members of the rock band Becket as they transition from tour schedules to studio time.  Each of these sexy alpha men wind up falling in love and lust when they least expect it.

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TT: I love it! I bet I’m not the only one out there with fantasies of taming a rock star. So tell us, do you have a favorite excerpt you want to share here? 

Darling’s Desire – When the hero and heroine first meet

 

Excerpt:

 

The champagne was flowing, and Darling was feeling a happy buzz hit her. At least until she noticed the two men approaching from down the street. She recognized Madison’s husband, Link, and the drummer from Becket in an instant. Link would be easy to chat with, but John Ross was another story. It was just so sad; his wife had died in a boating accident and he was in deep mourning. She never knew what to say to people who’d experienced such a loss. After all, she’d lost her mom when she was only nine years old, and nobody had ever said anything that helped her.

Madison continued talking about her son as Darling watched the men get nearer. Link put his finger to his lips, indicating that she should not say anything about his impending arrival. She almost nodded in response but stopped the action at the expression on his bandmate’s face. John Ross looked irritated. As if he was scowling at the whole world. His stride was stiff, and he appeared as if he hadn’t shaved in days. His longish light brown hair was stuffed under a cowboy hat, and he wore faded jeans and a black T-shirt, even in this heat. Even dressed sloppily he was taking-her-breath-away gorgeous. She was just noting his black boot tips when the men stopped behind Madison’s chair.

Link bent to place a kiss on Madison’s lips and brushed his fingers against her cheek. She jumped in her seat and flushed red in the face before swatting at his hand. Link laughed gently at his wife before coming around to Darling’s side of the table and chastely kissing her cheek. “You two ladies look up to no good. What have you been plotting?” Link asked, walking over to stand behind one of the empty chairs.

“I’m always on good behavior. It’s your wife you have to watch out for. She gets these ideas in her head.” She glanced over to see Madison welcoming Link’s friend, whom she wasn’t sure if she’d ever been introduced to before. Link and Madison had so many friends it was hard to keep track. She knew John Ross from pictures and videos but didn’t think they’d ever really met. Most of the time she and Madison did stuff, just the two of them, but she’d met some of Link’s friends and bandmates at the wedding and a smaller group at their son’s first birthday party.

“That wife of mine does have a wicked mind.” Link leaned over and tapped his friend. “Hey, Junior, meet one of Madison’s closest and oldest friends, Darling Roberts. Darling, meet Junior.” Link pulled out his chair and sat gracefully. His friend looked her up and down as if he was studying her. She wished he’d just ignore her altogether. Good-looking men made her nervous.

He pulled his chair out and sat watching her for a moment before finally saying, “Hey there, Darlin’, I’m John Ross. Ross to friends,” in a deep drawl.

She nodded her head feeling inordinately shy. She wasn’t sure, but from what few words the man spoke, he seemed to be straight out of the south. He took his hat off, exposing dirty-blond hair that was a bit too long. He was tan, so the outdoors was no stranger to him, and his eyes might’ve been blue or a very deep green; she didn’t want to get caught looking long enough to figure it out.

“Don’t mind him, Darling. He scowls at everyone but is a total pussycat.” Madison pointed at John Ross before adding, “Be nice, this is my BFF.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he answered and let out a mock purr that sent Link to laughing and slapping his hand on the small table, rattling the glassware. Darling began to count the wrought-iron rungs of the courtyard fence, feeling a bit out of her element now that the party had expanded.

“So, Darling is going to be staying at her late grandmother’s house for the summer and watching Beauty Belle for us there. It’s a big house built right on the water and surrounded by, like, acres of marsh and forest. Darling hasn’t been back to the house since she was a kid, so I got to thinking”—Madison paused, smiling brightly before continuing—“we have to practically drive past the lake on our way to Boston, and I thought it might be fun to go with her and check out the place. We could spend a couple of nights, soak up some sun, and be off to London. I could help Darling and Beauty Belle settle in while you take Will to the beach and all. What do you think? Link?”

“I don’t know, baby. I told Junior Ass here that he could ride up with us to Boston.”

“Oh, that’s fine. He can stay with us too. It’s a big house.” Madison looked at each of the men in turn, waiting for a response. Darling kept her mouth shut, amazed by Madison’s audacity.

Link found his voice first. “Sure, honey, if you want to we could stop by for a couple of nights.” He motioned the waiter over and ordered a couple of beers.

Darling waited with bated breath to see how her friend would proceed. She really should spend more time watching Madison to learn from the master. How did she just get him to agree without raising any suspicions? She was going to tell them the whole deal, right?

“I knew you’d think this was a good idea. You see, Darling inherited the house when her grandmother passed, over a year and a half ago or something like that, and has been meaning to check it out. She’s just a little nervous after so many years away from the family homestead, and well, that little incident that happened a week or so back was a nuisance. But I saw some pictures, and the house is really pretty and right in a quaint New England town.” Madison sipped her drink and picked at the salmon in front of her.

Darling had to hand it to her; she did have a way of avoiding the pesky details and focusing on the positive of any situation. The waiter arrived with beers for the guys and whisked away an empty appetizer plate.

“What do you mean by a little incident?” John Ross asked in a deceptively soft voice.

Darling attempted to answer. “A late tropical storm struck late last fall, flooding the dock, and there was a blizzard over the winter that caused some additional damage to the dock and one of the house’s decks. The house is still usable, and I contacted a company to begin repairs, but—”

Madison cut her off midsentence. “But the house is fine, and it would be an adventure.” She smiled at the seated men and pushed a plate of fruit and cheese toward them.

Ross picked up a few grapes, popped them in his mouth, and waited.

“Is anyone else wondering about this incident that has yet to have its curtains pulled open?” Obviously John Ross was a man of few words; he got right to the point. It was clear he was not one to fall for Madison’s ploys. How unusual.

“Well, there is a little more to it.” Darling attempted once again to explain, only to have Madison interrupt.

“Oh, stop. Just pour me another glass of champagne.” Madison tilted her glass to Link, who obliged, deftly pulling the bottle from the ice bucket. “Darling, you always focus on those little pesky details. It really is a lovely house, and we could use some time sitting on a beach.” She winked.

John Ross looked at her, an eyebrow raised in question. She took her time looking into his eyes; they were green and intense. She was beginning to squirm under his scrutiny. His looks could melt frozen chocolate.

He dropped his square jaw, keeping his eyes level with hers. “I’m thinking whatever you girls are leaving out is more than a few pesky details, so why don’t you, Darling, or whatever your name really is, fill us in on the meat and potatoes of the deal.” He swigged from his beer without breaking eye contact with her. Perhaps he had experience interrogating prisoners or something, because even Madison didn’t try to stop her from speaking this time. She knew she couldn’t follow the lead her friend had set. She needed them to know the whole story.

“I haven’t been to my grandmother’s lake house since the day my mom disappeared thirteen years ago. She was grabbed from the house, her car found abandoned in town, and eventually presumed dead. After that my father and I never went back there and instead summered on Cape Cod. Too many memories, I guess.” The story poured out of her in a just-the-facts manner. She’d had to explain the events to so many people over the years she’d become detached from the details. “My grandmother stayed, living in the house until she passed away. The house has been empty since, as I wasn’t sure what to do about the property. Then, I got a call from my aunt who lives in town and owns a real estate agency advising that I should just put it on the market. I was all set to do that, but with one of the deck pillars dropped and the end of the dock submerged in the lake, I needed some repairs. I wound up calling a local restoration company, and they sent a contractor to assess and repair the damage.”

Madison was opening her mouth to interrupt, but John Ross held his hand up and Link smirked, probably amused that someone could get his wife to hold her tongue.

Darling sipped her drink and went on. “Well, the handyman must’ve had an accident or something because his body was found up at the top of the driveway with a flathead screwdriver in his rib cage—it punctured the poor man’s lung. It was hard for the police to tell much because apparently some coyotes or bobcats got to the body, tore it up, and dragged it toward the street. He was found a few days later by a jogger.” She shrugged her shoulders and waited for her friend’s reactions.

Link just stared at her, perhaps trying to take in what he’d just heard. John Ross was less circumspect. “Holy fuck.”

Madison was done keeping quiet. “Oh please, Darling, you make it all sound more dramatic than it is. The repairman probably just fell down while holding some hand tools, and everyone knows that scavengers will mess with anything they can get.”

John Ross fixed his gaze right on her. “So you’re saying you and Madison want us to go spend a couple of nights at an isolated lake house, surrounded by dangerous animals, and where there may have already been at least two murders? Am I getting it all? Because I thought I was in a band, not guest-starring in a damn Scooby Doo episode. I’m not too gung ho about hopping in the mystery machine and looking to unmask old man Withers.” He slapped his beer onto the table. “Damn, little girl, you must be out of your tree. You ladies should go spend the weekend at the spa or something while the house gets cleaned out and sold for whatever some crackpot will pay. Place is probably haunted to boot.” He punctuated his comments by tipping the beer bottle toward her in emphasis.

John Ross’ comments set her teeth on edge. There had been a streak of bad luck at the house recently, but it wasn’t cursed. She might not have gone there for years, but it used to be a special place where her family spent every summer until her mom vanished. She’d loved to swim in the lake and take out the sailboat with her dad. She was ready to face the memories again and certainly didn’t need some rock-and-roll drummer giving her attitude about what she should be doing with her inheritance. She picked up her champagne flute and tipped it in a toast toward John Ross and asked, “So basically you’re scared, is that it?”

“I’m not scared of ghosts, if that’s what you mean. I just don’t want to go settle in there only to have you girls get all spooked in the middle of the night and start carrying on the way women do once the sun goes down. Not that it would be my problem ’cause I’ll be at the Four Seasons in Boston by tomorrow night.” He winked at her before shaking his near-empty beer at Link.

“Sounds good to me; they have a lobby with a grand piano at the Four,” Link kicked in.

“You know what, Darling, I think both these boys are a little rattled about your house. Maybe I should just come with you for the weekend and meet up with them in Boston on Sunday night?” Madison offered with a knowing smile.

Link signaled the waiter to bring two more beers to the table. “Now hold on, honey. I’m not letting you out of my sight for a whole weekend. Junior can find something to do if he’s spooked, but I’m in.”

“Who said I was spooked or rattled? I’m just thinking about you girls. I’m fine with hanging with the group. Besides you guys are driving me up to Boston. I don’t want to leave my baby at airport parking for two months. She’s getting garaged and wiped down with a diaper every day until I get back.” The waiter dropped the beers off for the guys, and John Ross took a healthy sip.

“So it’s all settled, then.” Madison smiled wide. “See, Darling, I told you I had good ideas. We’ll drive up in the Rover on Friday night and meet you. This is going to be so much fun!” Madison clapped her hands together with glee.

“Just one question before we all pack our bags for this little adventure. How exactly did your grandma pass?” John Ross asked, and all eyes at the table pivoted to look her way.

“She fell off the third-floor balcony.”

 

TT: Wait – that’s it? You’re leaving us hanging? Luckily, there’s a link to purchase the book below. But before you go….TD, how can fans stalk you?

I would love to talk to new fans via social media. They can reach me on twitter at tdhassettauthor.twitter or at my facebook fan page

 

TT: And a little more about the author herself…

T.D. Hassett grew up reading the romance greats—Jackie Collins, Julie Garwood, and Judith McNaught. She was certain that life should be like a romance novel, with lots of passion, some incredible adventures, and a guaranteed happily ever after. She attended college in New England, earning a B.A. in History and an M.S. in Clinical Psychology before changing her mind again and studying education. Currently Ms. Hassett lives in Connecticut with her very patient husband and two young children. Her rambunctious family shares their home with three crazy cats and a darling golden retriever named Delilah. Her eccentric relatives and their quest to make her feel like the only normal nut in the family tree inspire her writing.

Visit her at http://tdhassett.wordpress.com  — She loves to hear from readers!

 

TT: Thanks for being our guest, today, TD. Now it’s your turn. What one question do want to ask our readers? Readers – leave your reply in the comments below!

How many books do all of you read in a month and are they all in the same genre?

 

TT: Excellent question. I can’t wait to read the answers! Finally, the most important question of them all: How can we read your books?? 

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Darling’s Desire (Love and Music Book 3) – Kindle editio…

Darling’s Desire (Love and Music Book 3) – Kindle edition by T.D. Hasssett. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
Preview by Yahoo

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. If you purchase the author’s books, please consider leaving a review when you are done. Most important … Enjoy the read!

This Writer Learns to Let Go

I have learned a great deal since I made the decision that this writing gig was actually, truly meant to be my career. As much as I have already learned, so I know there is much, much more.

One thing I am in the process of learning is to let go. What do

es that mean, precisely? It means, even though I may love the characters and the plot, that does not mean everyone else will. Especially if I can’t seem to finish the damn book so that I can even offer it up to my publisher for consideration.

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One of my publishers has purchased the first book in a new series I’ve titled the Tough Love series. The first book, which is scheduled for release on June 30, is about an FBI agent who has no interest in finding love, but discovers that he doesn’t always get what he wants. Or maybe he does, and just didn’t know he wanted it in the first place.

The book – and the series – starts at a wedding, specifically at the hero’s FBI partner’s wedding. A couple years ago, when I first started writing this series, that wasn’t where it was supposed to start. In fact, it didn’t even start with Jack and Kennedy’s story at all. It started with Cullen and Sabrina’s story – the couple tying the knot in the beginning of Naked Truth. So what happened?

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I loved Cullen and Sabrina’s story. I still do. I love the way they interacted, the obvious sexual tension between them, which they both refused to acknowledge. I love Cullen’s personality most of all, the way he pushed Sabrina away and then got pissed off at himself for doing it, and he was such a lousy communicator that Sabrina kept thinking he was angry at her. There is one particular scene in their book, where they are hiding out in a stall in a men’s public restroom and thanks to Sabrina’s stiletto heels, they end up stumbling into one another’s arms and, well…

That scene alone was probably the reason I held onto that book for as long as I did. Even after I wrote Jack and Kennedy’s story, finished it, edited it and edited it again. And again. I still kept insisting Cullen and Sabrina’s story should be the beginning of the series.

Despite that one particular scene, I found myself falling more and more for Jack and Kennedy’s story. Their story had been seamless, had been so easy to write. The words just tumbled onto the pages, the climax had been right, straight from the beginning. The ending was perfect. The hook sucked you in from the first page. It was ready to go.

So why wasn’t I offering it up to publishers? Because Cullen and Sabrina’s story was supposed to be first, and it wasn’t done. Every time I went back to it, I found something that didn’t quite work. The build up, the climax, the bad guys … one thing or another caused issues and I knew it wasn’t ready. So therefore, neither was Jack and Kennedy’s story.

Then, one day back in February, I read a recently published author’s story about how she’d presented the first two books in a new series to her publisher. They’d rejected the first book but wanted to sign the second. She took the deal.

Shortly thereafter, I was perusing Amazon and came across a book that was being marketed as a prequel. There were several books in the series already available, and the very beginning was just coming out, a novella, designed to provide a little backstory to the series.

And then I came across an invitation to a Twitter pitch party. I had already had some success with a blog pitch party and a couple of RWA contests. I had several manuscripts that, in my opinion, were ready to go. I was in the fourth year of my five-year plan to get published. I decided I would participate in the pitch party. I just had to decide which book to pitch.

So I sifted through the various Word documents saved on my computer, read the first few pages of each, determined which grabbed my attention and held it – and which were done, edited, ready to go. Cullen’s story, as much as I loved he and Sabrina, was not ready.

But Jack’s was.

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So I pitched it. And Crimson Romance liked it. Offered me a contract. Are releasing it on June 30. The first in the Tough Love series, even though it isn’t, not really. But that’s okay, because once the series is wildly successful, I’ll just go back and dust off Cullen and Sabrina’s story and then I’ll offer it up as a prequel.

And then we’ll all find our happily ever after.

Like this blog post? I bet you’ll like my books. You can purchase them through the buy link above. And if you do, please leave a review on whatever website through which you purchased them. Thank you!

Candy Crush – My Book Boyfriend

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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!

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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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