Thursday, July 24, 2014

Excerpt TWO WEEK SEDUCTION by Kathy Lyons

            So most everyone here knows me as Jade Lee. I write steamy, funny regency era historicals. But every once in a while, I just want to cut lose with a fun contemporary with lots of young sweaty sex. I'm not talking 50 Shades or any kink. Just a hero and heroine who are both at a turning point in their lives. And while they're dealing with all the life challenges, they end up discovering love and passion with each other.
            That's where Kathy Lyons comes in. She's my contemporary alter ego who just let's fly in quick, fun, sexy books. Her latest Two Week Seduction is out now in ebook. [insert cover] Buy links and the first chapter can be found here. [Insert link to my webpage] It's gotten great reviews, so buy it now and enjoy!
            And for those who want a little more, here’s an excerpt of a pool game for pretty high stakes.

Two Week Seduction by Kathy Lyons – Excerpt Pool Game

            John grabbed the pool cue and tried to remember how to play. The old guy had wisely stepped back though it had taken a nod from Alea for him to give in. Another time, he’d be grateful for the guy’s level-headed advice. Right now? He was determined to beat Alea’s leather-clad, ginger ale ass.
            She was a good pool player, but she’d learned most of her moves from him. Sure it had been a while since he’d held a cue stick in his hands, but this was one game that came back quickly.
            “Rack ’em,” he ordered.
            “Sure I’ve got enough to stack?” she taunted.
            Was that a crack at his attention to the waitress? He grinned, already seeing the way to win. All he had to do was unsettle her.
            So he let his gaze drop to her breasts. Alea’s were firm, the perfect size, and under his steady gaze, the nipples perked up. “Your rack is just fine,” he said slowly, letting just enough of his lust through to roughen his voice.
            Then he got the pleasure of seeing her blush. Anyone else might have thought it was from the scotch, but now he knew she hadn’t been slamming back booze. That meant her reaction was all for him.
            He grabbed his stick and stroked it. Not obviously. Just enough and at just the right moment. He caught her gaze, slid his thumb slowly down the pole, and then winked. She arched a brow, letting him know with a roll of her eyes that more than one man had tried that on her. But all he had to do was glance at her pert tits to know she wasn’t as blasé as she pretended. And with that thought bolstering his ego, he leaned over and shot.
            Damn, he was rusty. Who screwed up a break? Him. Not a single ball dropped. Worse, he’d just given her about ten easy shots.
            She chuckled as she sauntered around the table, her swagger practically screaming “sucker.” “Looks like your hype is a little overinflated.”
            “Maybe. And maybe I like it slow and thorough.”
            “Sometimes slow is just boring.” Then she set down her stick, leaned over enough to give him a full view of her gorgeous ass, and shot. Perfect. Her ass, not her shot. The ball actually spun a little wide, but it still made it in.
            “Careful,” he said. “Looks like you’re heavy-handed on the stick.”
            “Some guys like it firm,” she said as she moved around the table.
            “And sometimes thrust is powerful enough.”
            She shot him a surprised look. Really? If she thought to trade stick double-entendres, she was far outclassed. He worked on a military base.
            “Let’s just see who comes out on top, shall we?” Then she sank another ball. And another. And another.
            Fuck, this game was going to end much too fast. And while he was still trying to think of some way to throw her, she slipped behind him as she moved around the table. She didn’t exactly rub up against him, but with their overpacked audience, she had no choice but to touch him. And as her arm hit his shoulder and her hip connected with his butt, her scent slid into his soul. Hot woman, slight citrus, and the bizarrest hint of lavender. God knew how he recognized that scent, but he did. And it meant ALEA to him in all caps. His rock-hard dick started to throb. If she touched him again, he might just explode.

            “You’re not going to end up on top,” he said through a clenched jaw. “At least not the first time.”

 Buy at Amazon | Buy at Barnes & Noble | ITunes | Kobo | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Google Books 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Longest Night

A little over a year and a half ago, I was writing for fun, looking for work, and wondering how to break into the writing world. It was November, 2012, the middle of NaNoWriMo, and I was determined to be a winner. And then I got the most wonderful, unexpected Tweet ever. Sourcebooks wanted to me to turn one of my stories into a novel.
Fast-forward through the most wonderful twenty months of my life. I got to watch my story grow up into The Longest Night — a book I’m proud to share, with cover I’d love to frame and hang on the wall. Even better, I finished my second book, The Deepest Night, set in the same world as the first, with equally awesome cover art.
Want to know the funny thing? I’m actually not a big romance reader. I love sci-fi, fantasy, and Cold War and espionage thrillers. I enjoy paranormal romance for the paranormal, rather than the romance.
So maybe that’s what makes The Longest Night different. It’s not love or even lust at first sight. Instead, it’s the story of two people who go from strangers to friends, building trust and intimacy in a slow burn that turns into a long-lasting foundation for their love.
Ian and Cecily aren’t your typical hero and heroine, either.  Ian Fairchild is a smart, sexy criminal attorney — more Sherlock Holmes than the Terminator. He spends his days in the courtroom and his nights in bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. He’s a city boy, perfectly suited for life in Manhattan... and not at all for spending even a couple of days with Cecily Knight, much less a couple of months.
Cecily’s the one who’s built a life in a cabin in the middle of the Canadian wilderness. She hunts her own food, chops her own firewood, and flies her own small plane whenever she needs to go to town for groceries. For fun, she uses an old manual typewriter to write children’s fantasy novels.
At first glance, you’d think they’re not suited for each other at all. Cecily’s not a rich, glamorous city girl with an executive job by day and invitations to all the best parties, and Ian’s not a tough, self-sufficient survivalist. But love goes deeper than that surface impression. Cecily and Ian are both strong, resilient, and intelligent.
To complicate matters, Ian’s fighting an addiction to painkillers after a car crash, and Cecily’s PTSD has driven her to live in isolation for the last seven years. But while it’s a long road for both of them to heal, if they can learn to trust one another, they won’t have to walk that road alone.

Photo by Stephanie Cole
Kara Braden makes her debut in modern romance with a story of love in isolation. She believes that engaging, romantic fantasy can be found everywhere in the world, even in the most unlikely places. With the support of her wonderful husband, cats, and dogs, she writes from her home office outside Phoenix, Arizona, where she spends her time hiding from the sunlight and heat.
Available for purchase now:

Author Website:
Twitter: @KaraBraden

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

On the Road to RWA

This year, for the first time, I'm attending the national Romance Writers of America conference.

But I'm not going to talk today about how excited I am to meet my editors and agent in person (for the first time ever!). Or how many authors I'll be fangirling over. Or the workshops, or the chance to talk with author friends, or the books galore.

Nope, today I'm just going to talk about getting there.

I live in the Midwest, but not near any travel hubs. So flying can take quite a while, especially since I can make flights get canceled with my mere presence. (It's a gift.) But with relatives at each coast and to the far north and south, travel is a necessity. I just prefer to go by car when I can.

So I'm road-tripping to RWA--today, actually. I've scheduled this post ahead of time, because when you read it, I'll be cutting my way southward to San Antonio. I'm bringing music, snacks, and--courtesy of my library--a few audiobooks. My hope is that the travel will become part of the conference itself: a chance to recharge, to think about the books I love to read and write.

Last week, I asked the good people of my Facebook page to share some of their essentials for a road trip. Their answers included the practical (a GPS or printed directions, an emergency kit), the fun (music and snacks), and the leisurely (pillows and books for those who aren't driving). 

Now I'm wondering, what do you think? What would you most like to bring on a road trip--and where would you like to go? Since I'm traveling today, I might not be able to see your answers right away, but I'll check in as soon as I can!

*     *     *

Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest, where she is working on her next book. 
Twitter: @TheresaRomain

Monday, July 21, 2014

Favourite Scenes...

Feeling like death warmed up today and in bed with the flu, so in lieu of the post I had planned, here's one of my favourite scenes from Forged By Desire (available September 2014).

Here's the blurb:

Captain Garrett Reed of the Nighthawk guard has a deadly mission: capture a steel-jawed monster preying on women. He hates to put his partner, Perry, in jeopardy, but she’s the best bait he has. Little does he realize, he’s about to be caught in his own trap.

Perry has been half in love with Garrett for years, but this is not exactly the best time to start a relationship—especially when their investigation leads them directly into the clutches of the madman she thought she’d escaped...

“I knew you grew up somewhere in the East End, but Bethnal?”
“Why not?” Garrett challenged.
Perry tugged on his coat. “With all your cologne, fancy waistcoats, and polished boots, who would ever expect it?”
“People see what you present to them. I learned that early enough. I was sixteen when I found the Nighthawks,” he replied. “My grandmother was a weaver with a bit of book-learning; enough to teach me some words. I used to mimic her finer speech as a lad, and when her and me mam died I became one of the swell mob. When you’re born on the streets, you soon realize the only way out is up. And the only way to stay up is get rid of any trace of where you were born.” Like his speech. He often silently repeated the things blue blood lords or merchants said, trying them out for himself. It was rare that he slipped up these days, usually only when he was angry.
“That was almost frightening, the way you started dropping your ‘g’s’. You sounded fit to join one of the slum gangs.”
“Aye, well when I was first infected, I actually considered it. The Devil of Whitechapel and his gang are the only ones  who dare defy the Echelon. He’s got a certain swagger a street lad tends to admire.” And Garrett had been full of anger then; at the man who’d cut his mother’s throat and stolen her purse; at the Echelon; and most especially the Prince Consort, whose crushing taxes had forced his mother to disreputable work.
“What happened?”
“I tried to pick Lynch’s pocket instead,” Garrett admitted with a wince at the half-remembered thrashing he’d received from the Guild Master. “He made an impression. So I followed him home and sat outside the Guild for a week. Lynch finally took me in. Anything to stop me from freezing to death on his stoop.” The smile on his face slipped slowly.
Perry saw it. “I’ve never asked,” she said hurriedly. “How you were infected?”
“Three months before I dipped Lynch’s pocket, I may have had a slight altercation with a set of young blue blood lads. Practically dripping lace, they were, which in my neck of town, is worth a fortune. I ended up with three fat coin purses, a handkerchief or two, a pair of broken ribs, slash across my face, black eye and a split lip.”
“And the craving virus, I presume.”
“A somewhat unwanted side effect. Obviously one of them was bleeding - and so was I.”
“You seem to have acquired somewhat of a nasty habit in your youth,” she said dryly.
“I’m completely reformed.” He slid a hand over the small of her back as he helped her around a semi-frozen puddle. Even through the smooth leather of her coat and corset he could feel the muscles working along her spine. What would it be like to run his hands all over her body? She wasn’t soft like most women - except in those places deemed desirable by a man - and the thought intrigued him. Strong, sleek limbs, meant to wrap around a man’s hips...
“You wouldn’t know what reformed meant.” Perry shot him a smoky look that burned right through him.
Garrett’s fingers danced over her waist, a smile lighting his lips. He liked her like this; warm and teasing. For a moment he managed to slip beneath the careful guard she held in place and see within. And she was letting him touch her, which was a secret delight he’d never have thought he’d own. How had he not been aware of this side of her?
Perhaps because she didn’t want you to see...
“True,” he said, holding up her coin purse.
Perry’s hand shot to her hip. “How did you...?”
He tossed her the coin purse and she snatched it out of the air. “I was a fingersmith, a good one too. Only man as ever caught me was Lynch.”
A trio of objects slipped from his sleeve and he juggled them in front of her. Perry’s jaw dropped lower as she snatched a small gold lump out of mid-air. “That’s my ring!” She grabbed again. “And my pocket watch.” The moment she saw the last object he held in his hands, the color washed out of her cheeks. “Give that back!”
He caught a glimpse of a small round coin with a falcon’s head stamped on it, like one of the sigils the Echelon used. Fist closing around it, he held his arm high. “What’s wrong? Something personal?”
She grabbed his arm and spun him directly into the wall of an alleyway, yanking his elbow up behind his back. A knee dug into the back of his, rendering him incapable of moving. Not that he wanted to. Perry’s entire body pressed against his, her breath in his ear. “Give it back.”
She dug his fingers open but the object was gone. Snatching at his other hand, she opened it too and snarled in frustration. “Where did you put it?”
One last sleight of the hand as she’d manhandled him. “You’re a Nighthawk,” he replied, swallowing tightly as he lowered his arm and pressed his fingertips against the rough brick. “Why don’t you find it?”
I dare you.
The silence practically blistered his ears. Then one of her thighs wedged between his and spread his legs. The shock of it stirred hot fingers of need through him and Garrett turned his face to the side as she ran her slender fingers up his flanks. They darted into his pockets, coming away empty. Rough hands, jerking against his hips. Up his sides.
“You’re enjoying this,” she growled, her hands growing reckless with frustration.
“Of course I am. A man’d pay more than five quid to get a touch up like this elsewhere.”
He sensed the moment she realized what she was doing. One palm curled over his hip lightly, the pressure almost negligent. The sudden pounding of her heartbeat echoed in his ears. Tension vibrated through him and she felt it, he knew. How could she not? Every muscle in his body was locked steel, tight with desire.
Damn you. Do it.
The pressure of her hand against his hip increased, a languid touch that almost became a stroke.
As if something had been decided.
Garrett almost lost his breath, his brain slowing to a crawl as everything inside him went molten. There was a tremor in his fingers, echoing through his whole body.
“You’ll owe me more than five quid then,” Perry replied, in a voice that had turned to liquid smoke.

Hope you enjoyed! If you want to read more, keep an eye out for Forged By Desire, which is available in September 2014.

Bec McMaster

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mia's Winner!

from Mia Marlowe...

Thank you to everyone who left a comment on my July 12th post about goals. I love hearing what's on YOUR bucket list!

Congratulations to Carin!

She'll be receiving an ARC of my upcoming Once Upon a Plaid! I know it's a cliche, but this book really is the "story of my heart." It was inspired by my sister who served as a gestational surrogate for a childless couple. It made me start thinking about how a couple in 16th century Scotland might deal with an empty cradle. The result is William and Katherine's love story and how they find each other again.

It hits the stores in October, but you can reserve your copy now. Click here for pre-order links!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Way more than Sixteen Candles

So, it's my birthday week. Technically, my birthday was on Monday, the 14th, but this has turned into a week-long celebration, and I'm totally fine with that. :)

I turned 31 this year. So far, it sucks a lot less than turning 30 did. A lot of my friends claim that they feel more comfortable and happy with themselves and their lives in their 30s, but personally, my 30th birthday threw me into a big ol' pit of depression. I think it was just the realization that in 30 years on this earth I hadn't accomplished anything I thought I needed to. I don't have kids, I don't have a college degree, and my day job is still the one I was working during summers in high school. I felt like a failure for a long time during my 30th year.

But, now at 31, I've realized some things. Despite not finishing college, I'm becoming a successful author. Within the next two years, I should be able to safely transition to writing full-time. Not many people, college grads or no, can say that. And I don't have kids yet, because infertility is a heartless a**hole, but we're working our way toward IVF treatments. I love my coworkers, and even though I don't make a lot of money in my day job, for the most part it pays the bills. And even though I was super depressed and feeling worthless, last year I got a new agent, wrote my heinie off, got new deals with three publishers that I'm super excited about, and generally gave my writing career the shot in the arm that it needed.

Life is a big ball of what-you-make-it. And I think, now that the dreaded specter of 30 has passed, that I can make it a whole lot more fun than it was previously. So here's to 31 candles. I think that extra one has a lot of potential. :)

I'm an optimistic hermit with lots of geek tendencies. You can internet-stalk me here. :) Don't forget, I'm two people! 

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