Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Blog Tour: Sweetest Mistake by Amy Olle

Title: Sweetest Mistake
Author: Amy Olle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: A Nolan Brothers Novel, Book 2
Release Date: April 16, 2016
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When these two opposites attract, mistakes will be made. Lots of mistakes. Big, long, hard mistakes. Over and over, and over again…

When Emily Cole’s suitcase explodes on a crowded airport baggage claim in her new hometown, sexy cop Luke Nolan is the first to pick up her most intimate items, including her 7.5-inch, 20-speed, hot pink battery-operated-boyfriend!

In town to run the Winslow Inn on the picturesque island in Lake Michigan, Emily is determined to put her bed-and-breakfast in the small town's spotlight—while also keeping herself well out of it. But her sexy nemesis is bent on getting her into trouble, and when her impulsive retaliation to his teasing lands her in the local jail, Emily is ready to shove her tormentor into the lake… or the nearest bed.

Luke has one job—to keep the quiet, sleepy island town quiet and sleepy. No drama. No surprises. No tragedies. Never again. But the strawberry-blonde with the porn star mouth and interesting luggage turns his life upside down from the moment she sets foot on the island, and what began as a distraction from his memories of That Day, quickly turns into something more. Trouble is, Luke doesn’t want more with Emily—she’s not his type. She’s the opposite of his type. Until his brother Noah’s wedding, when bridesmaid Emily shows up with a sexy new look and their sweet tease escalates to a scorching hot hook-up that makes him forget why he was resisting the shy stutterer in the first place.

Getting involved with her would be a huge mistake, though it just might turn out to be the sweetest mistake of his life.

Amy Olle
Interviewed by Hot Tree Promotions

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I studied psychology in college, obtaining both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the field, and now work in higher education. I met my husband in college and we’ve been inseparable ever since. We have a young son together, live in a fixer upper (which we’re almost done “fixing”), and live for the weekends when we get to stay home in our PJs and write and play and do projects around the house.

What inspired you to write your first book?
After I finished the long slog of writing my graduate thesis, I wanted to read something more entertaining. I picked up Outlander and discovered the genius of romance novels. I spent several years devouring romance novels in every subgenre and soon had become that stereotypical budding writer with my head full of elaborate daydreams and snippets of stories. In high school, my best friend and I would write short stories and share them, but I’d given that up while studying in college. Then one day it all came together and I knew I had to try writing a romance novel. Just a pure, simple wish to write a book. And so very naïve!

How did you come up with the title of Sweetest Mistake?
The characters came up with this one for me! It’s a line in the book that I feel captures the central struggle in the hero and heroine’s relationship. Of course, neither of them wants to fall in love with the other, but they are drawn to each other and keep making choices that pull them closer together, even despite their own wishes.

Describe one of your main character in five words.
Loyal, protective, playful, wounded, and freaking hot.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing Sweetest Mistake?
I’ve learned a lot about how self-doubt and negativity impact creativity and productivity.

Have you ever done anything strange or weird in the name of research?
My internet search history could get me in a lot of trouble. For Sweetest Mistake, for example, I found myself googling an awful lot about the pornographic film industry.

How long does it take you to write a book?
I work full-time and have a young, high-energy kid, so much longer than I’d like! From first draft to a finished, edited product, it’s taking me 6-8 months right now.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
From Chapter One of Sweetest Mistake:

Emily Cole’s entire life, when tightly folded and stuffed, fit into two suitcases and one overburdened carry-on bag. 

A buzz of activity swirled around Cherry Capital Airport’s Baggage Claim B, where Emily waited to retrieve her luggage. The four-hour flight from Tucson to Traverse City, Michigan, had been blessedly uneventful, but Emily was eager to collect her belongings and make the hour-long drive in time to catch the last ferry out to Thief Island. 

She pulled her cell phone from her purse and scrolled through her e-mail, searching for her car rental reservation. 

Lost in her task, Emily was only dimly aware of the ripple of unease that ran through the small cluster of travelers until, over the whine of the baggage carousel, a smattering of nervous laughter pierced her concentration. 

Her head came up, and a sympathetic groan eased from her. Heaps of clothing littered the baggage conveyor belt and the shredded remains of a black suitcase lay among the carnage, as if a grizzly bear had mauled it. An array of dark cotton yoga pants and crumpled T-shirts inched by. A pair of dingy socks. A lone sneaker— 

The air sucked from Emily’s lungs. 

That was her canvas sneaker amidst the black and gray loungewear. A caretaker’s wardrobe. 

Her wardrobe. She spotted her plastic-handled hairbrush, teeming with the bright strands of her strawberry-blonde hair, and the red plastic case that held her bite splint. 

Emily’s legs turned to pillars of cement and affixed to the hard concrete floor. A pair of shabby panties she should’ve replaced months ago paraded along before the watchful gazes of her fellow travelers. 

It was all there. Her entire life. For anyone—for everyone—to see. 

With a horrified moan, she squeezed her eyes shut. 

Including her seven-and-a-half inch, twenty-speed, hot pink vibrator. 

A woman detached from the crowd and crept forward. She plucked a brown leather bag off the carousel and melted away again into the crush of bodies. Bolstered by her act of courage, a white-haired man in neatly pressed slacks and a crisp dress shirt stepped up to the turnstile. He lifted a black suitcase and, giving the luggage a little jiggle, shook loose one of Emily’s serviceable white bras, which had snagged on the bag’s zipper. 

Emily bit back a whimper. She stayed rooted to the spot while her life rolled along the winding carousel, watching helplessly as, one by one, suitcases disappeared along with their people. 

When only a few pieces of luggage remained on the conveyor belt, Emily snuck a glance left and right. The baggage claim area absent of prying eyes, she scrambled toward the massacre on wobbly legs. 

Her heart thrashed against her ribs as she scooped up an armful of clothing. She dumped the load on the ground at her feet and turned back for another armload. Her course set, she snatched up clothing and objects with frantic urgency. 

A hum of noise pierced the fog of panic surrounding her. She shot a glance over her shoulder, only to witness a fresh horde of people spilling through the gate and into the baggage claim area. She wrenched back around and, swallowing a sob of frustration, grabbed blindly at the scattered remains of her pathetic little life. 

Her fingers brushed over the silky silicone vibrator, but it slipped through her grasp. She pitched forward, stretching to snag BOB before he slipped behind the black rubber flaps and back into the bowels of the airport. 

A large, tanned hand clamped around the hot pink shaft. 

For a split second, she stared at that hand, and then she lifted her gaze. 

Heavily lashed bright green eyes ensnared her. 

She reared back. Oh, shit. 

His full, pouty mouth pushed up at one corner. 


She recognized Luke Nolan immediately. Hard to forget the most beautiful man she’d ever seen in real life. Words log-jammed somewhere in the circuits between her brain and mouth while she gaped in horror at his perfect face. 

The sharp, sculpted lines of his nose and jaw stood in defiance to the plump softness of his lips and the smooth, rounded planes of his high cheekbones. His richly dark hair and bronzed skin acted like a canvas that only intensified the brightness of his deep-set emerald eyes. 

He pointed at something over her shoulder. “You might want to grab those.” 

Emily whirled. A gasp tore from her as she lunged to snatch a bra and trio of panties off the belt before they disappeared behind the rubber curtain flaps. 

With a broad sweep of his arms, he scooped her shredded suitcase with the last of her belongings from the carousel. Stooping low, he rescued the heap off the cement floor and hauled it, along with her mangled luggage, to an isolated corner of the terminal. 

She wrestled her still-intact suitcase off the belt and scurried after him just as the throng of travelers descended on the baggage claim. 

He straightened. “Is that everything?” 

“I th-th-th-think so.” She winced at the stammer. 

She’d worked hard to overcome the embarrassing speech impediment, but sometimes when she was flustered or frustrated it reappeared, leaving her to turn over words and clauses like an engine that wouldn’t start. 

If Luke noticed, he pretended not to. “Is someone picking you up?” 

She sagged against the wall and pushed a puff of air through her lips, lifting a strand of hair off her forehead that’d escaped her ponytail. “I r-rented a car.” 

She felt his eyes on her like a caress. “Do you take cream?” 

Emily blinked at him. “Wh-what?” 

“With your coffee?” His smile turned mischievous. “We’re doing this all out of order, I admit, but now that I’ve fondled your panties, I think it’s expected that I at least buy you a cup of coffee.” 

She frowned. 

“I’ll take that as a no.” He appeared unfazed by her rejection. “How about your name then?” 

Her frown twisted into a scowl. Either he didn’t recognize her, or he didn’t remember her. For someone who’d spent her life trying to stay invisible, that should make her happy. 

It should, but it didn’t. 

She dropped to her knees and began tidying the upheaval of her life. 

He cleared his throat. “Let me help you get all this to your car.” 

Emily shook her head. “I c-can m-m-m-manage—” She stopped when the spasm hit, and swallowed painfully. Her hand shot to the necklace around her neck. 

She’d worn the silver chain with the small amethyst pendant for as long as she could remember, using it as a sort of talisman to calm herself when the stutter took over. 

“Go on.” He crouched beside her. “I’ll watch your things.” 

His gentle tone stabbed a pang of longing into her heart, but she pushed to her feet and set off in search of the car rental counter. She wanted to leave the airport well behind her more than she didn’t want to accept his help. 

In the tiny five-gate airport, she quickly located the desk and secured her reservation. When she steered the royal-blue sedan up to the terminal, she spotted Luke waiting at the curb, her suitcases perched at his feet, and rolled to a stop in front of him. 

She pulled the trunk release latch the car rental clerk had pointed out to her and climbed from the car. Luke met her at the back, and when she propped open the trunk, he plunked her undamaged suitcase inside. He returned to the curb to attack the wreckage. 

She grew a little lost in watching him struggle to cram the bulk of her suitcase and clothing into the compact trunk space. His soft green T-shirt hugged the muscles of his back and biceps and the sunlight picked out threads of rich auburn hiding amidst the strands of his dark hair. 

With a grunt and one last hard shove, the bundle dropped into the vehicle. He slammed the trunk shut and patted the roof. “All set.” 

“Th-th-thank you.” The tips of her fingers brushed across the solid pendant. 

His gaze tracked her hand. “You’re welcome,” he said softly. 

Her heart jumped into her throat as she scurried round to the driver-side door. 

On the curb, he leaned a shoulder against a large structural column and pulled a cell phone from his hip pocket. He bent his head over the device. 

She wavered. “Do you, uh, need a ride?” 

Over the roof of the car, his green gaze landed on her face and the force of it knocked her back a step. 

“I’m sure I’m out of your way, but thanks for the offer.” 

“Aren’t y-you h-h-headed to the island?” 

Confusion clouded his well-formed features. The lines between his brows deepened and she imagined he struggled to place her among the multitude of women whose panties he’d no doubt fondled. 

Struggling to recall her, or worried he might? 

Suddenly, his features cleared as recognition struck. 

A practiced smile teased up the corners of his mouth. “I didn’t recognize you without the pub lighting.” 

At his naked relief, she frowned. “Do you w-want a ride or not?” 

“Are you here visiting your cousin?” He pushed the cell phone into the front pocket of his worn jeans and straightened away from the column. “’Cause I’m pretty sure she’s still out of the country with my brother.” 

“I’m not visiting. I’m m-moving to the island.” Saying the words out loud, a jumble of emotions whipped through Emily. Excitement and fear. 

Mostly fear. 

No, not fear. Anticipation? 

Whatever. It didn’t matter. It was a change, and more than anything, Emily needed something in her life to change. Any change would do, as long as it amounted to a life different from the one she’d been living the past nine years. 

The playfulness vanished from his face like mist burning off with the morning sun. All the softness disappeared, replaced by a hard glare. “I didn’t know you enjoyed our little oasis so much. Not many people find island life to their tastes.” 

She’d only visited Thief Island twice before deciding to make the permanent move. Sweeping views of sand and sea, rolling hills, and a quaint downtown were all she recalled. 

It was vastly different from the desert of Tucson. Nearly the exact opposite, in fact, which was fine by her. Preferred even. Maybe the foreign environment would distract her from the painful memories she’d hoped to leave behind in the desert. 

She lifted her shoulders. “What’s not to like?” 

His eyes narrowed to dangerous slits. “Have you spent any time here in winter?” 

“I have.” It’d been unseasonably warm when she’d visited last December, but she didn’t share that tidbit with him. 

“When the lake ices over, the ferry can’t run. No one can come to or leave the island for days, even weeks, at a time.” 

“It’s too late to talk me out of it.” She yanked open the car door. “I bought Mina’s house.” 

His expression turned incredulous. “Why did you do that?” 

Her scowl deepened, and not only because she didn’t have a ready answer. 

She had a lot of almost answers, though none she wished to voice for Luke Nolan’s examination. Answers such as because her cousin, Mina, one of the few family members Emily had left in the world, had lived in that house and lived on the island still. Or because last year, the most excruciatingly difficult year of Emily’s life, she’d buried her mom on that island. 

No, she didn’t wish to share those answers with him, especially considering her most compelling answer amounted to “why not?” She didn’t have anywhere else to go. 

She settled on the facts instead. “I’m opening a bed-and-breakfast.” 

He studied her for one heartbeat, two. “We don’t get a lot of tourists.” 

Her throat constricted around a rush of unspoken words. She focused on her breathing. “I’m h-hoping to ch-change that.” 

His inscrutable expression suffered a crack and she glimpsed some fleeting emotion. Though gone too quickly for her to identify, it appeared suspiciously like panic. 

Just then, a sleek black Chrysler rolled to a stop behind Emily’s sedan. 

The woman at the steering wheel had honey-blonde hair and oversized sunglasses. She lifted her hand and wiggled her fingers at Luke, jostling the gold bangles stacked on her wrist, before she stepped from the luxury car with the ease of a long-legged gazelle. Her red dress barely gained mid-thigh, and its stretchy fabric clung to her shapely figure in all the places men seemed to find most interesting. 

Luke bent to retrieve his backpack and slung the bag over his shoulder as she bounded onto the curb. His hand slipped to her waist when she kissed his cheek with her red-painted lips. 

They were perfection made manifest. 

Emily shoved her hands into the pocket of her drab gray sweatshirt while Luke guided the woman to the passenger side and pulled open the car door. The woman slid into the vehicle and he closed the door behind her before rounding the car. 

His hand on the driver-side door handle, he lifted his head. “You okay? Do you want to follow us?” 

Emily shook her head. “I’m okay.” She pointed at the sedan’s interior. “GPS.” 

With a fluid motion, he slid behind the wheel of the gorgeous woman’s car. 

Emily ducked into the shelter of the rental car and hauled the door shut. She slunk down in her seat. Not until the Chrysler eased past her side window and disappeared among the congested traffic did she release the breath she’d been holding. 

For the first time since she decided to move across the country, unease prickled. She’d made the move, in part, because she envisioned living out her life in relative peace and quiet in the isolated small town. Now she wondered if that’d be possible with Luke Nolan prowling the streets. 

A thought struck. Dread swept through her and she bounded from the vehicle, leaving the car door wide open in her haste. 

In the trunk, she plunged through the mound of her clothing and toiletries. Frantic, her horror rose to the back of her throat as a whine of dismay. 

BOB was missing.

Do you have any writing rituals?
I have to squeeze in writing whenever and wherever I can, so I haven’t really developed any elaborate rituals – I scribble in notebooks and write in small chunks of time in the evenings and on weekends. However, I use Diet Coke, M&M’s and music to help me power through. I’m a music lover and I create a playlist as I write a book that helps keep me in tune with the story through all months of disruptions and distractions.

What book are you reading now?
My TBR pile is ginormous! I’ve been wanting to read My One and Only by Kristan Higgins for, like, forever. I'm gonna do it, too!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
My debut novel, Beautiful Ruin, was released in December 2015, and as a new author, I was terrified. But thank god for romance readers! By and large, they have been so positive and encouraging and I’ve been blown away by their kindness and willingness to reach out to me with their big, full hearts. So that’s a really long way of saying, thank you!

Random Questions:

What’s in your fridge right now?
Well, this should be embarrassing.

- A half-empty box of wine
- Cheese. Lots of cheese (shredded, chunk, cream. There’s Colby, Monterrey Jack, sharp cheddar, Parmesan, feta) because cheese really does make everything better
- A gallon of milk, a half gallon of chocolate milk
- A container of worms that my boys feed to the turtle J

What song do you sing at the top of your voice every time you hear it?
Butch Walker’s cover of You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift.

Where did you last go on holiday?
New Orleans, Louisiana. I love NOLA!

If feral aliens attacked your house and they were zapping your home with their Über super bombs, what five items would you save?
1. The people in the house! I’m not leaving without my kiddo and hubby.
2. My laptop with the most current version of my WIP, which is not saved offsite at the moment.
3. My external hard drive with all of my family pictures and a crap-ton of genealogy research
4. My phone
5. My purse (who wants to replace all those credit cards, etc.? This assumes the aliens haven’t taken over and my driver’s license/credit cards aren’t completely worthless, of course. J)

 99 cent SALE!!! 

Beautiful Ruin
Book 1
Amy Olle writes sexy contemporary romances filled with hope, heart, and humor. Her debut novel, Beautiful Ruin, is the first book in the Nolan Brothers series about five Irish-born brothers sent as children to live with family on a remote island in northern Michigan. She is delighted to put her Psychology degrees to good use writing romance.

Amy lives in Michigan with her long-suffering husband, brilliant son, and (female) turtle named George.

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Cover Reveal: Caught by Cupid by Jennifer Rose

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Caught by Cupid
Jennifer Rose
Cover Reveal: 04.26.16
Caught by Cupid Cover
Cover Design: Sprinkles On Top Studios
Caught by Cupid Full Cover (2)
Emerald Frazier, a feisty redhead from a small town, in the middle of nowhere, newly unemployed with no prospects and a head full of dreams, heads off on a journey with only one destination in mind…
New York City
The one place in the entire world, where Emerald would give her right arm to live, suddenly becomes the one place in the entire world, where her life takes a catastrophic tumble.
While visiting her best Paris, an unexpected accident places Emerald in the offices of Cupid Publishing, where she finds herself mistakenly appointed as the personal assistant to the owner and Chief Executive Officer, Derek Cupid.
Its hate at first sight, as Emerald and Derek quite literally collide into each other’s worlds. Derek is short-tempered, brash, impatient, and still one of the most attractive men Emerald has ever had the displeasure of meeting.
When Derek sets a proposal on the table, one Emerald would be a fool to refuse, she questions if it’s possible to pull off, while trapped in close quarters, surrounded by strangers and lying through her teeth. If by some miracle, Emerald wasn’t struck by lightning or swallowed up into a hole for agreeing to deceive the world, would she manage to survive Derek Cupid?
Was it possible to fall for someone you despise?
Jennifer Rose lives the glamorous life in Canada working as a part-time office clerk/manager. A mother of three grown boys, she decided to give up cleaning, cooking and day to day household chores in favor of sitting with a favorite beverage, be it coffee or wine and her trusty laptop, after a friend and author convinced her that she had what it took to write romance novels, so she took a creative writing course and finally started writing.
Jennifer Rose Street Team Page
Naughty Little Bookshelf
Instagram: @jenniferrose62
Twitter: @JenniferRose62

Blog Tour: The Manny by Susan Ward

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The Manny

The Locked & Loaded Series is a spinoff of the Amazon Bestselling Sand & Fog Series. Six Bodyguards telling their own stories and keeping it real. Each book is a standalone and can be read in any order.
I never understood when people said someday you would love someone enough to want it all. All? I didn’t even know what they meant by “all.” I’d spent most of my life in the military in the Special Forces and, since taking that career-ending bullet in Kandahar, as personal security for the most famous rock star on the planet. My life worked for me. I didn’t need more and I sure as hell didn’t need to have the heterosexual fantasy.
Straight life for a gay man?
Married instead of lovers?
Physical fidelity in addition to emotional fidelity?
Hell no. I was living life full-throttle in every man’s dream—in the center of a sexual orgy that spanned the globe, without limits or judgment. Why would any man want to change that?
But the minute I saw him, it all changed. I knew he was the one for me. The one the term all was invented for.
I never expected to fall so completely for a one-night stand. I thought this kind of love was something I was incapable of feeling, but then Leland Jensen was not my usual type of hookup. He was my age when I’d always been careful to stick with partners too young to hold my interest. He was smart and humorous. And he was my match in bed.
That he wasn’t like my other sexual partners should have warned me away that first night. Instead, it drew me to him like a moth to a flame. And there was no way to escape my desire for Leland since he was my employer.
I didn’t want a job guarding a child.
I didn’t want to fall in love with her father.
I did both.

The Manny Teaser

Chapter One
“Graham Carson”
I stood against the far side of the elevator, posture erect and with my muscled arms crossed at my chest in a universally understood command to stay the fuck away as we chugged floor by floor down from the penthouse to my room seven levels below.
I needed some quiet time to have any hope of closing out the last thirty-six hours of this contract semicoherent. There wasn’t much work left. A party. Hopefully a hookup for my private after-party. The flight home with my employer and his family. Then downtime in California with my longtime lover, Zac, until my next assignment.
Final day of the tour. Fuck, it had been one hell of a twelve-hour shift, but it shouldn’t have surprised me because the chaos of the past four months surpassed anything I’d come to know on the road with the British hard rock band Blackpoll or any other band I’d worked security for.
Being a bodyguard wasn’t all fun. It was grueling hours of long work, no matter what you read in those chick-lit romance novels—it definitely wasn’t all fun this road trip—and even acknowledging that, I felt surprisingly melancholy knowing this was the last tour I’d ever work for Alan Manzone. He’d been my employer for seven years, we were good friends, and I genuinely liked the man.
A stellar human being.
A thrill a second to be around.
Wild. Impulsive. Flamboyant. Brilliant and sexy as hell on stage—no man had a right to be that sexy when he sang—and twice as alluring in his downtime during those brief moments when he was really him. A sincerely kind man, intelligent, elegant, and dick-hardeningly handsome.
Regrettably, immovably heterosexual. Married with children. Still, Alan was my favorite fantasy more nights than I’d ever admit. Well, on those nights I couldn’t get something young and hot, eager to indulge my real-life fantasies.
Oh, and let me clear up another misconception—probably read in a supermarket paperback as well—being on a rock tour wasn’t just a heterosexual guy’s wet dream. It was a fucking gay paradise 24/7. Especially for a guy like me.
What? Was I not supposed to say that? I worked hard for this body. Ten years in the military Special Forces. Two hours every morning three hundred sixty-five days a year in the gym keeping myself lethal and combat fit. I was not just for show, sweetheart. I could pump one into you in more ways than one.
I was thirty-six and unattached and free to prowl—when I wasn’t home in California with my lover—though there hadn’t been much prowling this final leg of the tour.
Those kids see and watch everything.
I felt the beginnings of a headache, and pressed hard with two fingers on my right temple.
Jesus Christ. Who would have thought Alan’s final farewell to the road would have ended in a rattle and not a bang?
I sure as hell didn’t. I thought the partying would be off the hook this final leg, but it’d been more like Romper Room instead of a swingers’ private club.
I guess the saying was true regardless of who the man was: kids change everything. That thought immediately brought to mind another saying I’d heard more than once this tour: British rockers never die; they become fathers and fade away.
And that’s pretty much what we’d done the final leg of this final tour. Slowly faded away. No parties. No craziness. No wildness—hell, I could count on the digits of a single hand my hookups across the last four months hopping the globe—the ending of an era, an epic two-year world tour, the finale of the reign of the ultimate rock god, Alan Manzone, coming to a close with a rattle not a bang.
I started to laugh, in spite of the fact that was pretty corny, a lousy pun at best, and certainly less clever than I would have managed if I wasn’t practically sleeping on my feet. Shit, those children can kick my butt some days. Still, it was kind of funny. Life changed unpredictably for all men at times.
My head throbbed more incessantly and the light was making my eyes hurt even though it was muted in that Muzak ambience way and I hadn’t taken off my shades.
Jesus Christ, I’m exhausted and ready to be off the road for a while. Why is it taking fucking forever to get to my floor?
“What’s so funny?”
Behind my sunglasses, I shifted my gaze to find the new hire standing against the far wall. Oh crap. I’d forgotten the cherry was in the elevator with me. What the hell is his name? I hadn’t said a single word to him since he joined the tour last month.
And damn it, had I just laughed out loud?
Had he taken that as an invitation to speak to me?
I shrugged and ignored the question, since my arms were crossed which everyone on tour except Skyler Mathews—I remembered out of nowhere—knew was my code for don’t fucking speak to me.
“Long shift?” he asked.
Christ, he’s talking again. “Twelve hours. No longer than any other while on tour.”
He exhaled slowly as though he’d been nervous as hell until I’d answered him, and then he smiled. It occurred to me that I shouldn’t be such a hardnose with the guy. The tour was over tomorrow. There was always a chance I’d have to work with him in the future. He was a new member of the security team, one I hadn’t bothered to get to know, and it had been almost painful to watch the weeks of him struggling to fit in.
I was chiding myself to lighten up when he spoke again. “This tour wasn’t anything like I expected when I got hired on. I’m glad it’s over. Glad I won’t be working for Alan a second time. Every shift my team was up, I’m the one he dumps the kids on. Left me seven hours alone with the twins yesterday while he was doing a sound check. I don’t know where he gets off thinking he has a right to make me take care of his sons or that that fits my job description. Are all the celebrities we work for going to be like him? I felt more like a nanny with a gun than a bodyguard this tour.”
Oh no, he didn’t.
Had Skyler just bashed Alan to me? No wonder none of the security guys liked him. Fuck, where had Jared found this putz? I made a mental note to talk to my boss at Black Star Security about the company’s hiring practices since the term “scraping the bottom of the barrel” wasn’t that far off of the mark for this guy and, shit, a weak link endangered the entire team, not to mention the people we protected.
My gaze ran him slowly, taking note of his positive attributes. He was somewhere around twenty-five and he had a pretty nice package, there was no denying that. Tall, lean, cut physique and pretty-guy blond hair complementing bright blue eyes set off by that tan of his. Most of our clients liked their bodyguards to be attractive men. It made them look good having hot men standing beside them in the tabloid glossies. But they also wanted a skill set, and instinct told me Skyler didn’t have the background we normally held out for.
Military training? No fucking way. I’d bet my last dollar this guy had spent every day of his life in civvies and had gone to an Ivy League university. It made it all the more baffling that he didn’t manage better during his off-shift hours with the crew. Attractive, educated college men usually had better people skills.
He’d been like a duck out of water with the guys from day one. No social skills at all, and judging by the last two minutes, no conversational skills either.
This poor loser didn’t fit in anywhere and was always skulking around watching me, almost like he wanted me to take him under my wing, maybe hoping to get the team to back off on the shit they’d been giving him. And yes, I’d heard the shit and ignored it, just like I’d noticed his silent calls for help tossed my way.
Wrong plan, Sherlock, because here every man has to sink or swim on his own, and the faster this guy sank was just fine with me because Mathews didn’t know the first fucking thing about professional security.
Why the fuck had Jared hired him? And why the fuck did the newbie decide now to speak to me, pretty much sealing the deal that I couldn’t ignore him for another day?
The tic in my cheek started to twitch. I lifted my chin and squared my shoulders. “First rule, expect nothing and be prepared for anything. The personal security profession is a serious business regardless of the client or the task. You’re here to do a job. Nothing more. Nothing less. I don’t really give a fuck what you’re glad about. And if you want to keep your job you won’t ever talk shit about Alan to me. Or doesn’t that NDA you signed mean anything to you? Talk crap about Alan again and I will personally kick your ass back to wherever you came from. Are we clear, Mathews?”
There was a heavy silence between us as Mathews turned ten shades of red as though he was about to lose his shit. Oh yeah, asshole, you picked the wrong day to talk to me and definitely the wrong subject to lead with, since fuck, was that baby vomit on my lapel again?
“Hey, I didn’t mean anything against Alan,” Mathews said quickly. “I’m just tired of the guys giving me shit for always being the one on kid patrol. It must bug you, too, war hero and all, Alan demoting you the final leg of the tour to baby duty. First you get stuck 24/7 guarding his teenage daughter, and now the other girl and the baby. It must piss you off, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and everything. I’m not squat here so maybe I should shut up and not complain about me, but you’re a living legend. I don’t care who Alan Manzone is, he shouldn’t disrespect and dump on you that way.”
Yep, keep digging.
I’d had about all I could take of Skyler Mathews in this one and only dose of him, and in spite of the fact that he was worried and rapidly ass-kissing—rather well, I might add, because really, who doesn’t like being reminded they’re a decorated war hero—neither my temper nor my want to stomp on this jerk-off lessened.
The elevator did that bounce it does before stopping, and a ding followed before the doors opened. Saved by the bell. I stepped out into the hallway.
“Are we fucking cool, man?”
Oh fuck. I might have continued onto my room leaving matters as they were if he hadn’t said that. And damn, I felt those fucking eyes locked on me.
I turned slowly, extending an arm to keep the metal doors open between us. I slowly lowered my sunglasses on my nose so we would be eye to eye, hopefully negating any possibility of him misreading this.
“Cool?” I repeated, my eyes never leaving his. “We are the farthest thing there is from fucking cool. You don’t know shit about people and you know even less about what working security is all about. Duty. Loyalty. Serving and protecting. Those aren’t words we toss around in a classroom for dramatic affect. They mean something here.”
I paused, since I wasn’t sure if it was my words or my tone that caused his eyes to widen and his breaths to turn into shallow pants.
“Do you think any man here would disrespect me?” I continued, since it was obvious Mathews wasn’t going to find his voice anytime soon. “Do you have any idea how many ways I could kill you if I wanted to right now?”
I waited imperatively and Mathews finally managed to shake his head. I lost his eye contact with that. Yep, you better be terrified, asshole. He made such a pathetic image I should have probably left then. But I just wasn’t that guy. Not when someone threw down a thoroughly fucked-up theory about me or impugned the people I cared about.
I made another half step toward him into the elevator and he eased backward as if he wanted to disappear into the wall.
“You are the only person ever to disrespect me the seven years I’ve worked for Alan,” I pointed out succinctly. “Do you have shit for brains, a death wish, or are you clueless? There is no greater responsibility this tour than providing security for those children. That Alan trusts me with all of them is not only an enormous compliment, but a responsibility I assume wholeheartedly. That teenage girl, those boys, the little girl and the baby are the number one security issues on this tour. The safety of each one of them more important than anyone else we protect here. Completely vulnerable, soft targets worth over a billion, each and every one of them. The most vulnerable and important people we are protecting and you, you worthless jerk, think Alan is disrespecting me by entrusting me with their safety. You don’t know shit about anything.”
We squared off with our eyes as I waited for him to respond to the tongue-lashing.
“I’m sorry,” he said in a barely discernable whisper. “I guess I’ve got a lot to learn about the security business.”
My brows hitched up. “You think? Where the fuck did Jared find you? And don’t lie. I know it wasn’t the military.”
For some reason that question made the burn on his face turn from blood red to something almost like a flush of embarrassment.
“You going to tell me or not, Mathews?”
He lifted his gaze back to mine, that time, sheepishly. “I’m his cousin. I dropped out of law school and Jared hooked me up with the job here.”
For a half second, I didn’t know whether to groan, laugh, or cry bingo. It was a hard fight not to give in to any reaction. Shit, Mathews had no business working security on mine or any other detail. There was nothing funny about any of this and no reason to gloat over having been right in my assessment of him.
“Have you ever fired a weapon at a live target before?” I asked.
Mathews grew even more uncomfortable. “No. Jared said stick close to you. You’d teach me what I needed to know.”
He did, did he?
My temper spiked, unable to believe my fucking ears, and it suddenly was crystal clear why the newbie kept trying to cozy up with me from afar. Fucking Jared was going to hear a thing or two from me once I’d finished with his cousin. How the hell could he have sent out such an inexperienced bodyguard and not given me the heads-up?
Fuck you, Jared. Your ass is mine when I hit LA.
“It’s a good thing this tour is over,” I said. “One thing for sure, you are never going out on a contract with me again. Learn how to do your job or find a different line of work, will you?”
Nervously, he raked a hand through his hair. “Hey, I’m sorry. I just needed the check.”
I shoved my glasses back up on my nose. “This isn’t the kind of gig you do for money and it sure as hell isn’t a place for on-the-job training.”
I stepped back. It was time to let him go.
The door started to close, then Matthews’s arm blocked it and he held it open as he took a slow step toward me.
“You off shift now?” he asked tentatively.
Oh shit.
A part of me warned that if I answered this the wrong way I’d have him latched onto me for the remainder of the night, but he was staring at me with those blue eyes, obviously hoping to figure out a way to set things right between us.
“I’m off until 1100 tomorrow,” I admitted reluctantly. “I fly back to California with Alan and the family.”
His eyes widened hopefully. “Can I buy you a drink?” As if he sensed my dismissal of the offer even before I voiced it, he added quickly. “I…just thought…you know…maybe—”
He broke off and his gaze grew heated and more intent. I studied him for a moment—oh fuck—those eyes weren’t staring at me with let’s get a drink and be friends; they were staring at me with let’s go to bed until morning.
Jesus. H. Christ.
Both Jared and God had been fucking with me this trip. How the hell had I missed that the newbie was gay? Gay, hungry, into me, and making the first move.
A potent elixir for the too much denied of late needs of my dick. Crap, instinct warned this guy had a lot to learn about a lot of things.
I let the line of my lips soften just a little. “I’m doing four hours of shut-eye, then the rooftop wrap party. I should be back in my room at 0200. If I haven’t got anything going, we might see about that drink then.”
Before he could speak, I turned and headed for my hotel room.
Yep, I could feel him watching.
I had my after-party lined up if I wanted him.
Four hours sleep?
Hell, it might be wise to do seven.
I waved my key card across the reader and opened the door. Fuck, it had been a hell of a tour and I was for sure more exhausted than I had thought before the elevator incident. Laughing in disbelief, I shook my head as I moved around my suite. Mathews had been trying to hit on me for weeks and somehow I’d missed the signals.
Motherfucking Jared. He was an asshole to send his fucking gay cousin with no skills to me to deal with.
Frowning, I removed my shoulder holster and then the backup piece strapped to my leg. I dumped the contents of my pockets on the coffee table before I sank down on a sofa, unbuttoning my shirt.
How the fuck could I have missed that Skyler Mathews was gay? Sure, I hadn’t spent much time with him since he joined the tour. I hadn’t wanted to. Which was strange since I always made it a point to spend time with the new guys on the crew.
Kids: they are the ruin of even gay men.
I stretched back onto the couch.
But I wasn’t going to let the kids get in the way tonight.
I had the next eighteen hours off the clock to fill any way I wanted. A night of possibilities, and hopefully, a few Trojans as well.

The Manny Teaser 2

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About the Author
Susan Ward is a #1 Amazon bestselling author in LGBT Erotica, #2 Amazon bestselling author in the Rock genre, and an Amazon bestselling author in Erotica Humorous, Coming-of-age, Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Women’s Fiction, and Romance Sagas.
She is a native of Santa Barbara, California, where she currently lives in a house on the side of a mountain, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Her hometown is the inspiration for the Parker Saga which includes the Half Shell Series, Affair without End Series, the Sand & Fog Series, and the soon to be released Locked & Loaded Series.
She attended the University of California Santa Barbara and earned a degree in Business Administration from California State University Sacramento. She works as a Government Relations Consultant, focusing on issues of air quality and global warming. The mother of grown daughters, she lives a quiet life with her husband and her dog, Emma. She can be found most often walking at Hendry’s Beach, where she writes most of her storylines in her head while watching Emma play in the surf. She has 16 romance releases available on Amazon and all her books are free in Kindle Unlimited.
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Blog Tour: Dirty Bastard by Emily Minton & Shelley Springfield

Title: Dirty Bastard
Series: Grim Bastards MC
Authors: Emily Minton & Shelley Springfield
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: April 25, 2016
Cover Artist: Cover Me Darling
She's a biker chick with an edge.

Daughter of an MC president, Trix Slade is used to living on the wild side, but nothing prepares her for being kidnapped by the Grim Bastards MC. Hellbent on getting back home, Trix will do anything to get away from her captors--anything. There’s only one problem, Boz is as sexy as he is wild-- a tempting combination for a woman like Trix.

He's a bastard with a soul.

The Bastards’ president, Boz Creed, wants to bring Trix’s father down and knows the best way to get to him is by using his precious daughter. Determined to get the revenge he seeks, Boz is willing to do anything to get what he wants--anything. There’s only one problem, Trix is as sexy as she is stubborn--a deadly combination for a man like Boz.

Can love between two rival clubs survive without someone taking the ultimate fall?

His hand slowly moves down, pushing my hair back.  Then, he slides his fingers through my long locks, before grabbing the back of my neck.  There is something about his touch that is different this time.  It’s gentle but also electrifying, sending a zap of pure energy through my body.  It’s also possesive, as if he is marking me as his own. I want to be his, more than I’ve ever wanted anything in the world.
Grabbing my hand, he asks, “Are you sure about this?”
“Yeah,” I mumble, fear creeping into my voice.
As much as I want him, my mind is running in overdrive. Being a virgin, and the daughter of an MC President, I have very little experience with this shit.  Other than a few kisses from high school boys brave enough to risk my father’s wrath, I’m completely naïve about this stuff.  Well, as naïve as a girl that grew up in a biker clubhouse can be. I’ve always wanted Boz, even dreamed that he would be my first, maybe only.  But now that it’s about to happen, my ass is freaking out in a major way.
“Don’t be nervous.  Nothing will happen that you don’t want to,” he says, reading my mood.
He then takes my hand and leads me into the treeline behind the clubhouse.  With each step we take, the sounds of the party grow more faint. The only light is the shining of the moon, making it seem as if we are in a world of our own.  We walk in silence for a few minutes, until we come to a clearing just beside a creek. It’s a place I know well.
He takes the blanket from me, and as he spreads it out on the ground, he says, “No one should bother us here.”
My eyes stare at the moonlight reflecting off the water and ask, “How did you know this place was here?”
“Your dad showed it to me a while back.  The fucker made me go fishing with him,” Boz says, surprising the shit out of me.
This spot has always been special to me; it reminds me of Mom.  We lost her to breast cancer, not long after I met Boz for the first time.  Losing her nearly killed Dad and me both.  Being here brings back a ton of wonderful memories of her and our family.  It’s where my mom taught me to swim, where we would have tea parties and talk about girly crap.  It’s also a place my dad would take us, just to get away from the club for a few minutes.  He said it was our spot, a place for our family to be together.  The last time Dad brought me here was the day after Mom’s funeral.  We sat by the creek, and I cried in his arms until I fell asleep.
“I know it’s no fancy bed, but I always liked it out here,” Boz says as he sits down and pulls me down beside him.  “I hope you’re okay being out here.”
The sound of crickets chirping reaches my ears as a huge smile spreads across my face. I’m more than okay; I’m absolutely estatic.  I have the man of my dreams by my side, and we are in the most beautiful place God ever created.  How could it get any better?
I look up at him and, with all honesty, say, “I think it’s perfect.”
He raises his hand and runs his thumb along my cheek. “Good.  A woman like you deserves perfection.”
I know he’s running a game on me.  I can tell that these are lines he’s used a million times before.  Still, it doesn’t matter.  He is saying everything I need to hear, everything I’ve ever dreamed he would say. I want more, more of him.
He then leans down and places his lips on mine, igniting a fire deep inside me. A nearly silent whimper escapes me, allowing his tongue to sneak inside.  His lips are aggressive and fierce, his tongue gliding against mine as he devours me.  It goes on and on, before he finally pulls back and leans his forehead against mine.
“You taste fucking amazing,” he says with a groan.
Not guarding my words, I tell him, “I will remember that kiss for the rest of my life. I will never forget the way your tongue feels when it’s wrapped around mine.”
He lifts his head just a little and simply stares at me for a second, as if he can’t beleive what I just said.  Finally, his lips come back to mine.  He slowly pushes me backwards, until I am laying flat on the blanket, and continues to kiss me as his body comes down on mine.    We kiss for a few minutes, our hands all over each other.  Touching and caressing, we get as close as we can to each other with our clothes still on.
Finally, he starts to lift my shirt.  As soon as his hand touches my stomach, I go wild.  Sitting up, I pull off my shirt. I do the same to him, trying to jerk his shirt off.
“Slow down, darlin’,” he says, slipping off his cut and tossing it on the edge of the blanket.
He then pulls off his shirt, giving me my first glimpse of his ink-covered chest.   I reach out to touch the massive Grim Bastard tat, but he stops me, going in for another kiss.  At the same time, he reaches up and rubs his hand along the seam of my bra, barely touching my breast.
Slipping a finger inside the cup, he whispers, “So fucking beautiful.”
He reaches around and unsnaps it, allowing my bra to drop to the ground.  “Oh yeah, more beautiful than I ever imagined.”
His lips meet mine again, stealing my breath away.  His hand caresses my breast as he takes my puckered nipple in between his fingers and squeezes, before giving it a twist.  My pussy convulses with anticipation of what’s to come.  I am soaking wet with desire. Unable to stop myself, I rub my thighs together just to get a little friction.
He tightens his fingers on my nipple and says, “Fuck, darlin’, you’re gonna have to quit doing that. I can feel the heat coming off of that sweet little pussy everytime you move.  My dick is already so damn hard, it’s about to bust out of my pants.”
“I want you.”  I reach down and rub my hand over his jean-covered cock.
At first contact, fear starts to fill me again.  He’s hard as hell and so fucking huge.  I may have never touched a dick before, but I’ve seen my fair share around the clubhouse.  None have been this big. The thought of him trying to fit in my body is as terrifying as it is exciting.
My hand works up and down his length, squeezing tight each time I come to the tip.  With each squeeze, he lets out a grunt.  The sound is driving me insane with need.  He pulls back enough to unbutton my jeans.  He slides them down, taking my panties with them.  As soon as they join my other clothes, he comes back down on me.  
As his tongue invades my mouth once again, a moan of pure pleasure escapes me.  As if he knows what I need, his hand slides between my legs, tweaking my clit.  Instinctively, I lift my hips to meet his searching fingers.  I need his cock to be inside me.
When he finally rubs his fingers in between my folds, he mumbles, “Fuck, Trix.  Your pussy is soaking wet.  I can’t wait to feel it wrapped around my dick.”
“Please,” I beg, not quite sure what I am asking for.
One of his fingers enters me, curling up to touch the bundle of nerves hidden deep inside. It feels so damn good I almost come from the pressure alone.  As he slides his finger in and out, he uses his thumb to rub small circles over my clit.  Unable to hold back a minute more, I let out a long moan.
I grab onto both of his shoulders and pull him toward me, needing his lips on mine.  As his tongue enters my mouth again, he pushes another finger inside, stretching me to my limits.  My hips keep moving against his hand, until fireworks explode in my body.
As my pussy convulses around his fingers, he groans.  “Your pussy is so fucking tight.  I’m afraid I’m going to hurt you.”
Placing my lips on his, I say, “I need you inside me now.”
He kisses me one more time before getting up to unbutton his jeans.  “I’d like nothing more, darlin’.”
After he gets his pants unsnapped and the zipper down, he kicks off his boots.  Just as he starts to push his jeans down, the sound of someone walking through the woods hits my ear.  “Boz, brother, get your ass back to the club house.”
Boz stops, zips his pants back. “What the fuck?” Reaching over for his tee, he hands it to me.  “Put that on, darlin’.”
“Who is that?” I ask, covering myself up as quickly as possible.
He just shakes his head, before walking to the edge of the clearing and shouting, “What the hell do you need, Round?”
I hear heavy footfalls hitting the ground, just before an older man steps into the clearing.  He doesn’t even bother to look at me as he says, “It’s your dad.”
“What the fuck did he do now?” Boz asks, walking back to the blanket and shoving his boots back on.  “You do know I’m not his keeper, right?”
The older man doesn’t answer, just turns around and starts back to the clubhouse.  Over his shoulder he says, “Hurry the fuck up.  He’s hurt bad.”
Leaving me without a word, Boz takes off at a run.  I jump up, pull on my jeans and head after him, not even bothering with the rest of our stuff.  As soon as I step into the clubhouse, I see Boz in my dad’s face.
When I get close enough, I hear Boz talking in a menacing whisper.  “Who the fuck shot him?”
It’s at that moment, I see Boz’s dad lying on the floor, his vacant eyes staring at the ceiling.  His chest is covered in blood, and there is no doubt in my mind that he has drawn his last breath.  Unable to hold it back, my stomach revolts.  Leaning forward, I heave today’s lunch onto the floor. One of the old ladies comes over and grabs my shoulders, pulling me into her arms.  She leads me out of the room, away from the dead body.
Just as we step outside, I hear Boz shout,  “I asked you a fucking question.  Who shot my father?”
“I don’t know,” Dad says with a shake of his head.  “He’s been running his mouth all damn night, putting his hands on the old ladies.  You know this shit was bound to happen sooner or later.”

That’s the last I hear before I am jerked outside.  Peeking at Boz just before the door closes, I see his eyes on me.  From the look on his face, I can tell that any chance we had is gone.
USA Today Bestselling author, Emily Minton is a Kentucky native. She is proud to call the Bluegrass State home. She claims she bleeds blue–Wildcat Blue! She has been married to her husband, David, for over twenty years. They share two wonderful children.
Emily loves to read and has more books on her kindle than most people could read in a lifetime, but she intends to read every single one. She has published nine books, but there are many more are floating around in her head. She hopes to get them all on paper before long. She loves sharing her dreams with her readers.

Shelley was born and raised in Kentucky and doesn't see herself leaving the bluegrass state anytime soon. Shelley and her husband have been together for sixteen years, and they share three beautiful daughters and one handsome son.Although Grim Bastards is her first published novel, she has been a fan of romance reads for many, many years. Shelley loves all sorts of genres of romance but Contemporary, New Adult, and Romantic Comedy are her all-time favorites.