Happy Release to Kristen Ashley!!

 

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley comes a new story in her Chaos series…

 

About ROUGH RIDE:

Rosalie Holloway put it all on the line for the Chaos Motorcycle Club.

Informing to Chaos on their rival club—her man’s club, Bounty—Rosalie knows the stakes. And she pays them when her man, who she was hoping to scare straight, finds out she’s betrayed him and he delivers her to his brothers to mete out their form of justice.

But really, Rosie has long been denying that, as she drifted away from her Bounty, she’s been falling in love with Everett “Snapper” Kavanagh, a Chaos brother. Snap is the biker-boy-next door with the snowy blue eyes, quiet confidence and sweet disposition who was supposed to keep her safe…and fell down on that job.

For Snapper, it’s always been Rosalie, from the first time he saw her at the Chaos Compound. He’s just been waiting for a clear shot. But he didn’t want to get it after his Rosie was left bleeding, beat down and broken by Bounty on a cement warehouse floor.

With Rosalie a casualty of an ongoing war, Snapper has to guide her to trust him, take a shot with him, build a them…

And fold his woman firmly in the family that is Chaos.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon Canada

Download the Free Kindle App

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

My dad had been a biker. He was a nomad when it came to that kind of thing (or, really, any kind of thing). He accepted being tied down by his woman and his daughter only, not anything else. Not a job. Not a mortgage. Not a membership to a club. He hung with a lot of them, including Chaos (in fact, Hammer, sadly now deceased, but one of the founding members of Chaos, had been my father’s best friend).

But he’d never hung with Bounty.

“Don’t like the feel of them,” I’d heard him mutter years ago. “If you’re an outlaw, own the outlaw. If you’re not, own that. You can’t wanna be a Gypsy Joker. You either are or you aren’t. They wanna be. But they aren’t. That shit just ain’t right and it could get dangerous.”

He’d been right.

It got dangerous.

I should have known.

I should have followed my dad.

Mom and me had done it all our lives, job to job, house to house, city to city.

Why I stopped…

Damn.

I knew why I’d stopped.

I’d wanted Shy; Shy, who reminded me of Dad.

And when I couldn’t have him, I’d gone looking.

I’d wanted what my mom had.

I’d wanted that sweetness. That love.

That devotion.

I’d wanted the stability that just seeped down deep into your bones from all that no matter the job changing, the scenery changing, the amount of times you boxed up a house.

Stability had nothing to do with income and locale.

Stability was all in the heart.

 

 

 

 

About Kristen Ashley:

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing’s changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.

 

WEBSITE * FACEBOOK * TWITTER * NEWSLETTER * GOODREADS * PINTEREST * INSTAGRAM

 

If you’re a fan of Urban Fantasy check out DEADLINE by Jennifer Blackstream

 “The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.”

Deadline

(Blood Trails Series, Bk 1)
By Jennifer Blackstream
Blurb: As a witch with a dark past, Shade Renard knows the Otherworld isn’t always successful at policing itself. Humans don’t believe in magic anymore, and their ignorance renders them easy prey. So when an FBI contact hires her to consult on a possible haunting in a missing persons case, Shade seizes the opportunity to see justice done.

Her case takes an unexpected turn when an undead crime lord shows up on her doorstep. A bold thief stole the vampire’s little black book of secrets—and he’ll pay a lot more than an FBI consulting fee to get it back. To collect, Shade will have to confront a rogue sorceress, a vengeful wizard, and a lethally seductive fey, with only her wits, her growing magic, and a sarcastic pixie familiar.

Success means bringing a killer to justice and taking the first step to redemption. Failure means a war between humans and the Otherworld.

No pressure.
Available for purchase at 
Excerpt

 

“Didn’t you say you weren’t drinking soda anymore?”
I popped the top on the can of Coke and took a defiant swig, more than a little satisfied at the squeak of dismay that came from my judgmental familiar as she wavered on her perch atop my head. “I earned this. I killed a eurypterid before breakfast. Two eurypterids. And I almost died. Not to mention, Mrs. Harvesty kept me on the phone for ten minutes talking about that cat.
“I hate cats.” Peasblossom clung to my head like a living barrette. “Nasty beasties, always try to eat me like I’m a flying snack. Barbaric.”
“I love cats. I just don’t want to drop everything because Mrs. Harvesty claims her furry little child is having an emotional crisis.”
“Emotional crisis?”
“The kitten is refusing to come out of his mummy’s boot.” I held a sip of Coke in my mouth for a moment as if I were sampling fine wine.
Peasblossom snickered. “Puss in Boots.”
I snorted, then swore as carbonated soda shot up my nose, burning like fire. Peasblossom careened off my head in a fit of mad giggles as I ran to the stove and the faded blue hand towel hanging there.
“Blood and bones, that burns,” I wheezed, squeezing my eyes shut as I pressed the towel to my nose.
More laughter made me open my eyes in time to watch Peasblossom fly in a semi-drunken bobbing path to land on the counter beside the stove. Tears of mirth glittered in her pink eyes, matching the iridescent sparkles on her insect-like wings. “Serves you right for drinking a second soda.
I glared at her for a few minutes as I waited for the burning to stop. When I’d recovered, I replaced the wet towel with a clean one and deposited the soda-and-snot-spotted cloth in the hamper. “If you’re quite finished, perhaps you could run me through today’s to-do list? I want to make sure I didn’t forget anything.”
Still giggling, Peasblossom flew to the large desk in the dining room and picked up a sheet of notebook paper tucked beside the laptop. “Settle dispute between the hamadryads over who’s the eldest,” she read.
“Done. Once they realized the only way to age a tree is to lop off a piece of it, they were happy to call it a draw.”
“Find out if a goblin ate the Roberts’ dog.”
“No. Sgt. Pepper was hiding under the neighbor’s house again. Mrs. Barns just didn’t want to admit it because she didn’t want to hear Mr. Roberts accuse her of trying to steal his dog for the tenth time. Sgt. Pepper went home when he got hungry.”
Peasblossom peered at me over the top of the list. “Find an office.”
I took a long swig of the soda, avoiding eye contact. “Move it to tomorrow.”
“Again,” Peasblossom said under her breath. She put the paper down and hefted a miniature pen she’d taken from a child’s art kit. Sticking out her tongue in concentration, she made a notation on the to-do list.
Aluminum groaned as I tightened my grip. “I will do it.
“Of course you will. Because you’re going to be a real detective.”
“Private investigator. And yes, I am.”
“Mother Hazel won’t like it.”
I clenched my teeth. No, my mentor wouldn’t like it. I could hear her voice now, telling me to leave the battling to the wizards—witches had more important things to do.
Like play psychiatrist to a cat.
I strode over to the desk, put the can of soda down with a determined thunk, then snatched up a stack of Post-its and a black fine-point marker. Peasblossom watched as I scrawled, “Find an office today,” and underlined today three times. I stuck the reminder to the frame of my computer screen.
“You used a hot-pink Post-it. You must be serious now.”
I ignored her sarcasm. I would find an office tomorrow. It was time.

 

About The Author

USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Blackstream is…odd. Putting aside the fact that she writes her own author bio in third person, she also sleeps with a stuffed My Little Pony that her grandmother bought her as a joke for her 23rd birthday, and she enjoys listening to Fraggle Rock soundtracks whether or not her children are in the car.Jennifer doesn’t have spare time, but she makes it a point to spend at least one night a week with her sibling binge-watching whatever show they’re currently plowing through (currently Numbers on Netflix), and she ferociously guards quality time with her son and daughter. She cooks when she has the sanity for it—adding garlic to the recipe whether it calls for it or not—and tries very hard not to let her arachnophobia keep her out of her basement on laundry day.

 

Jennifer’s influences include Terry Pratchett (for wit), Laurell K. Hamilton (for sexual tension), Jim Butcher (for roguish flair), and Kim Harrison (for mythos). She is currently writing the series of her heart and her dreams, the series that has been percolating in her brain for the last decade…Blood Trails. An Urban Fantasy Mystery series that will combine the classic whodunit spirit with a contemporary fantasy setting. Expect mystery, magic, and mayhem, with characters that will make you laugh, cry, and probably stare at the screen with your jaw hanging down to the floor. Well, that’s how they affect Jennifer anyway…
You can find Jennifer at 
Presented By

 

Branded by Fire By Danielle Annett. #Paranormal #Shifters #giveaway

Hi. Are you a fan of Urban Fantasy? Check out BRANDED BY FIRE by Danielle Annett! And be sure to enter to win. : )

Branded by Fire
(Blood & Magic Series, #4)
By Danielle Annett


Blurb:

Aria Naveed can’t decide what’s worse–being mate-bonded to Declan Valkenaar, the Alpha of the Pacific Northwest Pack, or owning up to the fact that she’s developing feelings for him.

Her bond to Declan is the one thing keeping her grounded and preventing her new power from destroying everything and everyone around her.

If Aria doesn’t tread carefully, especially where her heart is concerned, she’ll learn the hard way that if you play with fire, you’ll always get burned.

 

Available for purchase at
Excerpt
“Aria,
you’re being unreasonable.” He took a step forward and reached out for me.
I sidestepped away, then put a hand on my forehead when the room began
spinning.
“Unreasonable?”
I ground it, “You asked men within the Pack to court me. You wanted to tie me
to the Pack so you could use me.” I was practically yelling at him now. Maybe I
wasn’t too tired to fight with him after all. This confrontation had been a
long time coming.
“That
was before …” he trailed off.
“Right,”
I scoffed. “Before you bit me and tied me to you. Before you decided
this little mate bond between us somehow made me your soul mate. Now you care
about me as a person, is that it? But before I was just a tool for you to use
and somehow I should be okay with it? I should be flattered that Declan
Valkenaar, Alpha to the Pacific Northwest Pack, has picked me to be his mate?
Is that what you’re telling me?”
I
blinked hard as tears threatened to spill. Dammit, why did he have such an
effect on me? I rubbed the ache in my chest and turned away from him.
He
didn’t say anything for several long minutes.
I
climbed into my bed and tucked myself under the covers as silent tears spilled
down my cheeks.
The
mattress dipped, and Declan slid into the bed beside me.
“Go
away,” I choked out.
He
wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled my back flush against his chest.
“I’m
a bastard.”
“I
know.”
“And
I don’t deserve you.”
“Glad
you’re finally realizing that.”
I
swiped at the tears on my cheeks and tried to pull away from him, but his grip
was iron tight.
“But
I love you.”
I
sucked in a breath. He—what?
I
froze, suddenly unable to form any coherent thoughts or words.
He
didn’t say anything else, just settled in beside me with his arm wrapped
tightly around my body and his legs now tangled with mine. I listened as his
breathing slowly evened out and realized the exact moment when he fell asleep.

 

Declan
told me he loved me. The bond that connected us flared to life at his words,
and I suddenly realized, I believed him.

 

Blood and Magic Series
About The Author

Danielle Annett is a reader, writer, photographer, and the blogger behind Coffee  and Characters. Born in the SF Bay area, she now resides in Spokane, WA, the  primary location for her Blood & Magic series.

Addicted to coffee at an early age, she spends her restless nights putting pen to paper as she tries to get all of the stories out of her head before the dogs wake up the rest of the house and vye for her attention.

You can learn more about Danielle on her website at www.Danielle-Annett.com or follow her on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDanielleAnnett and on twitter @Danielle_Annett

You can find Danielle at

 

Giveaway

Release Day Blitz: Deadline by Jennifer Blackstream

“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.”
 
Deadline
(Blood Trails Series, Bk 1)
By Jennifer Blackstream
 
Blurb: 
As a witch with a dark past, Shade Renard knows the Otherworld isn’t always successful at policing itself. Humans don’t believe in magic anymore, and their ignorance renders them easy prey. So when an FBI contact hires her to consult on a possible haunting in a missing persons case, Shade seizes the opportunity to see justice done.
Her case takes an unexpected turn when an undead crime lord shows up on her doorstep. A bold thief stole the vampire’s little black book of secrets—and he’ll pay a lot more than an FBI consulting fee to get it back. To collect, Shade will have to confront a rogue sorceress, a vengeful wizard, and a lethally seductive fey, with only her wits, her growing magic, and a sarcastic pixie familiar.
Success means bringing a killer to justice and taking the first step to redemption. Failure means a war between humans and the Otherworld.
No pressure.
Available for purchase at 
Excerpt
My instincts flared as I pulled into my
driveway. The sun had set and it was dark, but the automatic light on my garage
didn
’t
come on. I frowned.
“Did
you disconnect the automatic light?”
Peasblossom curled against my neck, her wet
dress adding to a sudden chill in the air inside the car.
“No.”
Unease rolled down my spine. I murmured a
spell, drawing a few circles in the air.
“Lumen.”
Three glowing balls of
reddish light bloomed to life and hovered before me. I kept one over my head
and sent the other two forward, illuminating my path to the front door. I didn
’t
open the garage door and pull in, but got out while I was still in the
driveway, already preparing another spell as I climbed out of the driver’s
seat.
“Revelare.” My power flowed in a wash of silver toward
the house, probing for any foreign magic.
Nothing.
“Stay
here,” I told Peasblossom. “If I don’t call for you, go to Mother Hazel and
tell her everything that happened today.”
“But
I won’t have anything to tell her unless I stay to see what happens,”
Peasblossom hissed. “I’m not leaving you.”
“This
might be nothing.” I kept my voice as low as possible. “The bulb may have
burned out. Don’t be silly.”
“I’m
not silly and I’m not stupid. You think there’s something bad inside. And a
witch never ignores her gut.”
A lump rose in my throat, and I fought to
swallow around it.
“Please stay out here. I can’t bear the idea of anything
happening to you.”
Peasblossom gave my ear a ferocious hug. “I’ll
stay out here, but only as backup. I will never leave you.”
I waited for her to fly up and off my
shoulder before straightening my spine. This was my house. My village. Whatever
was here, whatever had violated my home, would be sorry. Power rose in my
throat, feeding the spell I
’d readied.
“Shade,
look out!”
I whirled around and spat behind me. The
spell hurtled through the air, and I had a split second to see a dark figure
separate itself from the maple tree beside my driveway. The spell landed in the
grass, the viscous blue fluid of the entanglement spell pooling in the tree
’s
shadow.
“Such
attacks will not be necessary.”
A man spoke from beside me, smooth and
masculine, voice heavy with an accent I hadn
’t heard in a long time.
A very, very long time.
I turned, knowing I’d
never call up another spell fast enough. I raised my hand anyway, needing to
try, to go down fighting. A hand closed around my wrist, tight enough that I
swore I heard my bones creak. I gritted my teeth and stared into the face of my
visitor.
He was dressed in a suit that probably cost
more than my car. Long white-blond hair brushed his shoulders and framed a pale
face with sharp, graceful features. I couldn
’t see what color his eyes
were in this light, but it didn’t matter. I remembered his face.
He went by the name Anton Winters, majority
shareholder of the Winters Group, a company that made the Forbes 500 list look
like a gathering of struggling start-ups. There were whispers he had criminal
connections, that he was former KGB. I knew the truth. And it was scarier.
Anton Winters had once been known by a
different name.
Prince Kirill of Dacia.
A vampire.

 

About The Author

USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Blackstream is…odd. Putting aside the fact that she writes her own author bio in third person, she also sleeps with a stuffed My Little Pony that her grandmother bought her as a joke for her 23rd birthday, and she enjoys listening to Fraggle Rock soundtracks whether or not her children are in the car.Jennifer doesn’t have spare time, but she makes it a point to spend at least one night a week with her sibling binge-watching whatever show they’re currently plowing through (currently Numbers on Netflix), and she ferociously guards quality time with her son and daughter. She cooks when she has the sanity for it—adding garlic to the recipe whether it calls for it or not—and tries very hard not to let her arachnophobia keep her out of her basement on laundry day.

 

Jennifer’s influences include Terry Pratchett (for wit), Laurell K. Hamilton (for sexual tension), Jim Butcher (for roguish flair), and Kim Harrison (for mythos). She is currently writing the series of her heart and her dreams, the series that has been percolating in her brain for the last decade…Blood Trails. An Urban Fantasy Mystery series that will combine the classic whodunit spirit with a contemporary fantasy setting. Expect mystery, magic, and mayhem, with characters that will make you laugh, cry, and probably stare at the screen with your jaw hanging down to the floor. Well, that’s how they affect Jennifer anyway…
You can find Jennifer at 
Presented By

 

Sample Book from Tara Lain — It’s yours! #freedownload

Hi and happiest holidays! I want to remind you that you can get a hefty sample of 7 of my titles for FREE. All you have to do is download HERE.  You’ll find a big chunk of my most popular book, Knight of Ocean Avenue, some paranormal fun in The Pack or the Panther and Spell Cat, fantasy romance in Sinders and Ash, some sexy alpha football players in Outing the Quarterback, and, of course, the first book in the super popular Balls series, Volley Balls. Plus, there’s a lovely nibble of Cowboys Don’t Come Out, which is both a cowboy romance and a holiday story.

Have the most joyous holiday and we’ll talk soon! : )

Holiday Reads from Tara Lain! #holidays #cowboys #SnowBalls

Tis the season for holiday reads!  

Did you know that Be Bad, For Goodness Sake and Misletowed are both 99 Cents! If you’re a member of the KU program, Misletowed is included!

Be Bad, For Goodness Sake is a M/F and Misletowed is MM, MF, MMF!

Do you like cowboys? Cowboys Don’t Come Out is also considered a holiday read!

My latest release Snow Balls arrived just in time for this year’s holiday season!

 

Do you like reading holiday stories? What are some of your favorites?

 

 

 

New Release! “Snow Balls” by Tara Lain. Blog Tour #Prize

Is it always wrong to pretend to be Mr. Right?

Hi and welcome to the re-release of one of my favorite novellas, Snow Balls. This book has been called charming, sweet, and very funny, as well as romantic. I hope you enjoy it. and be sure to enter to win the Amazon GC on Rafflecopter. Hugs — Tara

Snow Balls
(Balls to the Wall Series, #4)
By Tara Lain

Blurb:

JJ LaRousse looks like a quarterback but acts like a queen. He’s trying to be proud of who he is—until a robbery at the famous Laguna Winter Fantasy brings JJ face-to-face with tough cop Ryan Star. JJ hears Ryan likes manly men, so he drops his voice an octave, colors his pink hair, and tries to pass as a football fan.

Ryan Star may be tough, but he keeps his sexuality to himself at work. He learned in New York that being a gay cop can be deadly. His attraction to JJ threatens his secret, but he’s finding it hard to back away from a guy who’s so totally his type. Then, during a ski trip and a confrontation with JJ’s biggest nemesis, all the façades come crashing down. In the aftermath, can Ryan love JJ for who he really is? More importantly, can JJ?

 

Available to purchase at

 

Excerpts
The cop beamed at him. “Good job, JJ. Now what else can you
remember?”
Oh my, how he loved pleasing the nice detective. “Santa was
wearing a phony beard, but he had black stubble on his cheek above it. He had
on sunglasses. Cheap ones. Prada knockoffs you might get on the street in Santa
Ana.” Okay, maybe too much information. “Uh, he was wearing some padding, but I
think he probably had some fat of his own. The elf was skinny. And”—he closed
his eyes and pulled up the picture again—“he had weird eyes.”
“How weird?”
“Kind of pale and a little scary-looking.”
“Could they have been contacts?”
“Doubt it.” He closed his eyes again. Oh, he loved that
scent. He opened them. “I couldn’t see the elf’s hair because he wore a full
wig, but I’ll bet it was red.”
Star frowned. “Why do you think that?”
“He had those freckles that some redheads have. Might be.”
“Is there anything else?”
JJ nodded. Could he think of twenty more things to keep the
good detective here? “The bigger man spoke to me, and he had an accent of some
kind.”
“What kind?”
JJ screwed up his nose. “Hmm. It was a little like Southern,
but… I know, I think it was like Boston or New England or something. Sort of
flat-sounding.”
“Was the voice deep?”
JJ breathed out slowly. “Not as deep as yours.”
Star’s blue eyes flashed up at him.
“Uh, I mean you have a low voice. The Santa’s voice was
higher and nasally.”
“Do you think you would recognize it again?”
“Possibly.”
Star asked him a few more questions about what the robbers
had said and where they seemed to be going. He flipped the notebook closed.
“You’ve been extremely helpful. Thank you for your time.”
JJ tried to keep his voice low. “Anytime.”
Star looked back at him for a moment. “I may have a few more
questions. Is there somewhere I can reach you?”
Oh, be still my heart. JJ recited his cell number, and Star
wrote it in his notebook—on a separate page. Oh my.
“So, you a Trojan?”
“What?” JJ swallowed.
Star pointed at his head. “USC.”
“Oh, uh, no. Just a, uh, fan.”
That blazing smile again. “You like football.” It wasn’t a
question, thank God.
“I’ve been known to watch a game.” JJ held his breath.
The appraising blue eyes stared into his. “Thanks again for
your great help.”
“My pleasure.” Or at least his cock’s pleasure.
Detective Ryan Star walked away toward a group of uniformed
officers gathered at the booth across from JJ’s. The cop’s jeans clung to lean,
muscled thighs, and the tweed sports jacket had an obligatory feel, like maybe
it wasn’t something he wore in his free time. It wasn’t something he should
wear at all. That man needed a dresser. JJ sighed. Fat effing chance it would
be him.
JJ went back to the display, trying hard to look manly while
positioning dolls on a snow scene. He glanced up and caught his breath. Star
was staring at him. JJ wanted to fan himself so bad. Man up.
He stared down at the doll in his hands. Why the hell was he
trying to impress this guy? The detective was scary and his job was violent,
two things JJ hated. But there was that second while he was questioning JJ when
Star had looked embarrassed that he’d forgotten to show his credentials. Was
that a hint of the vulnerable man underneath? Naw, he probably just felt
uncomfortable around a creampuff like JJ.

What had he been thinking?

 

He’d been known to watch a football game? Not in this life.

 

The announcer’s voice sounded, and they both faced front.
The teams were going to come in now, JJ was pretty sure.
The guys in blue-and-white started to run onto the field. Oh
my, the way those narrow butts looked in the tight pants was positively
appetizing.
Ryan leaned over. “Who do you like? Any favorites?”
Okay, JJ was prepared. He took a deep breath. “Rivers, of
course. He’s a great leader. Bound to make it to 5000 yards this year.” Oh
sweet god of boys who like to sew, what did any of that mean?
Ryan nodded. “Amen. What about Gates?”
JJ sipped his beer to sort through his memory banks. “Best
tight end to ever play the game.” He held his breath.
“You said it.”
Whew. JJ stared at the field. “Of course,
quite a few of those guys look like tight ends.”
Ryan looked at him with his mouth open and then started to
laugh. “Yeah. You got that right.”
The coin toss. The kickoff. Wow. That ball went all the way to the end, and a guy caught it. Cool. They all went farther down the
field. Yep, just like Jerry had said. The guy in the center—the quarterback,
probably—threw the ball. It soared through the air and some lean player caught
it and started running like a son of a bitch. Holy shit. Two guys slammed him to the ground. That looked painful.
JJ resisted the urge to close his eyes. He’d seen football on TV, of course.
His dad had loved it. But JJ’d never paid much attention. In these good seats,
the game was in his face.
Somebody came out and measured the field. A lot of people,
including Ryan, moaned. He leaned over to JJ. “That was close.”
“Yeah.” Close to getting killed?
The players got back into lines. JJ could hear the cute one,
the quarterback, calling out numbers. Some big guy in the front line moved. A yellow
cloth flew through the air.
JJ whispered, “Offside.”
Ryan glanced over at him and smiled.
The announcer’s voice rang out, “Flag on the play. Offside.”
Holy shit. He’d gotten it right. Thank God for
Jerry.
The whole crew of men moved and then got back in their line.
A bunch of stuff happened at once, and JJ couldn’t follow it until everyone on
their side leaped up so he did too. The announcer called “first down,” but it
sure looked like about a hundred guys went down getting there.
Ryan leaned over. “I didn’t think they could make that one,
after the foul.”
“Me too.” What?
Good Lord, pretending was hard.
The whole line reassembled. The cutie stepped back and threw
the ball a long way. The lean, fast guy ran out and caught the thing, which was
clearly a miracle. He headed down the field like a jackrabbit with a pack of
bulldogs on his heels. Shit, one bulldog came out of nowhere and tackled the
rabbit, and then five other guys piled on. Whistles and yells sounded from
their side and cheers from the other.
Then a groan and the crowd got quieter as the bulldogs
pulled off and left the rabbit lying there in a heap. He didn’t get up. Oh no. JJ grabbed Ryan’s arm. “He’s
hurt.”
“Yeah. Looks like it. Shame. He’s a great wide receiver.”
Receiver, hell. He was a gorgeous, fast-as-lightning black
kid who had just got beaten to a pulp in a stupid game. JJ wanted to jump up
and scream.
A stretcher was carried onto the field. Some guy put a
collar around the player’s neck, and then they picked him up and put him on the
stretcher. Hell, they didn’t look nearly careful enough. The crowd murmured and
shifted. JJ looked around. They were uncomfortable with his being hurt, but it
didn’t seem like they felt sorry for the player, exactly. It was more like they
wanted to get on with cheering, and this moment of required sympathy was an
imposition.
He looked at Ryan and found those blue eyes gazing at him.
JJ’s hand was still locked on Ryan’s forearm. He loosened his fingers. “Sorry.”
“You okay?”
“He just looks hurt bad.”
“Yeah. But they take a lot of precautions, so he may be up
and ready to walk and run by the end of the day.”
“And he may not.”
“Yeah.”
The game continued, but JJ couldn’t stop thinking about the
player who got hurt. He jumped up when Ryan did and cheered in the right
places, but the game had lost its luster. The fun all came from Ryan being next
to him. Having the man so close sent JJ’s dick into a constant state of
anticipation. Lean to the left, lean to
the right, stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight.
Just like the
cheerleaders at halftime—who could have used a costume redesign, by the way.

 

The Balls to the Wall Series
Volley Balls
Bk #1
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Fire Balls 
Bk #2
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Beach Balls
Bk #3
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FAST Balls
Bk #5
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High Balls
Bk #6
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Prefer paperback?
The first and second book are now available in paperback! 
About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

 

You can find Tara at Lain

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Presented By

 

Big Backlist Weekend with Charlotte Casey & Tara Lain – 2 Giveaways!

Hi everyone!
Welcome to Big Backlist Weekend! This is a special event I post every month or so where I ask a wonderful author to come and join me in giving away a copy of an ebook from their backlist.

My guest today is Charlotte Casey! Charlotte is giving away a copy of Chance, the first book in the Rusted and Reckless series!

Since Charlotte’s CHANCE is about a rock star, I thought I’d giveaway another type of star…… Prince of the Playhouse!

Here’s your chance to win one or the other of our books. Just enter on the Rafflecopter below and watch for Big Backlist Weekend with special guests every month.

Chance (Rusted and Reckless #1)
One night. One moment. One chance.

Buried in obligation, Aveline Michaels is in over her head, caring for her bed-ridden mother, taking college courses, and working her ass off to make ends meet. When she finally agrees to let loose and take one night off from her duties, everything changes.

College student, Greer McQueen knows meeting Aveline face-to-face is exactly what he wants. After all, he’s wanted her since the day they met in his online class. But when she learns that he’s “the” Greer McQueen, bassist for Rusted & Reckless, her all-time favorite band, everything changes.

Aveline can’t possibly give up on her responsibilities to be somebody’s groupie. And there’s no chance Greer will give up on her.​

Available for purchase at
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Excerpt

CHANCE
Rusted & Reckless Book One
2017 © Charlotte Casey ~ All Rights Reserved

Chapter One“She’s here.”

“Who?” Jason asked as he mopped off his face with a towel. The kilted drummer sweat more than anyone else he knew. He worked harder too. Greer was fit, he had to be in this business, but he wasn’t Jason Keefer fit. Every practice, sound check and show was a full workout for the man.

Greer finished off his bottle of water and grabbed another. They only had another minute before having to get back on stage. “University girl.”

“Holy shit! Here. Like, right now?” His best friend and drummer of Rusted and Reckless looked out the side of the stage, actually expecting to see her in the horde of thousands of people with no knowledge of what she looked like. Then again, neither did he. “Why is she not backstage right now? I need to meet this girl.”

That was the problem, wasn’t it? Greer was bassist of a country band that had finally hit it big. They were double platinum country artists halfway through their first headlining tour across the country. His passion was all for music but he also loved to learn. Had he not gotten into music, he would have been an academic type collecting degrees like they were Pokémon cards. It’s why he was enrolled online for an English degree right now. Greer had three bachelors degrees and two masters

that he would probably never use. That didn’t bother him at all. It was the process that he loved. The start of a new semester was like Christmas. None of the guys understood it but they didn’t rag on him about it either. They all had their obsessions and this was his.

He met Aveline in a few of his classes. Last year they had enrolled in almost all the same courses. Her face just kept popping up in class lists and discussions. Having noticed the same thing, she had emailed him asking if he was stalking her. Greer was done for right then and there.

They were both from North Carolina but she was from the coast while he considered the mountains his home. She was sweet and intelligent, always proofing papers for him and yelling at him for his comma misplacements. (She was for the oxford comma and he was against.) They got into arguments that could last days over punctuation. Greer called her all the time, her voice was like candy, all sweet and innocent. He enjoyed the hell out of it, especially when she laughed. Aveline was a known giggler and he felt their conversation was not over until he heard it at least once.

He’d been crushing on this girl for months but had never told her the truth about him. He never told anyone in his classes who he was and what he really did. He was there to learn, not to get special treatment and fangirled on. It’s why he took online classes and not classes

at the university campus. Well, that and his tour schedule.

Greer had talked to Aveline that afternoon and when she said she was going to the Rusted and Reckless concert, he stammered. It had been his chance to tell her, his chance to meet her and he chickened out. Greer told her to enjoy herself and hung up like the pussy he was.

“I didn’t tell her.”

Jason rolled his eyes. “Of course you didn’t, buddy.” Jason, Rory and Nix were the man sluts of the group. They enjoyed the groupies that hung around while Greer was his socially awkward self. He lost all lust for a woman when she could barely even converse without trying to touch him. Brains were what attracted Greer, brains and wit. Sawyer, their guitarist and stand in singer, wasn’t into groupies like the others either. He was a romantic and would fall too hard and fast for a woman. He learned the hard way that their groupies would say anything to get into bed with him and that he couldn’t believe a word of it.

Their break over, Greer and Jason stepped back onto the stage, the lights like hundreds of small suns blaring down on them. He loved it, loved the crowd singing and dancing along with them. Loved the oppressive heat from the lights and the thumping of the amps. He loved

his callused fingers and aching feet. Greer truly loved his life. He worked hard for that spot on the stage. They all had.

Sawyer stepped up to the mic and adjusted his guitar. He looked over his shoulder first at Greer and then back to Jason. Rory clapped him on the back as he walked passed to his corner of the stage across from Greer. They were adjusting to this new dynamic between them. Three months before their singer and Sawyer’s brother, Phoenix, had disappeared. He was a heroin addict and as much as they wanted to believe he was in rehab somewhere, odds were he was shooting up in a dingy hotel room in a nameless city. Nix’s disappearance had rocked them all but none more that Sawyer. They wanted to cancel the tour but their contract wouldn’t allow that. So here they were, making due.

Sawyer had stepped up to sing but he wouldn’t give up the guitar. They called in favors from other bands, borrowed players from the opening band when needed, but it was just a temporary fix. Soon they were going to have to make some tough decisions. Things that he really didn’t need to be thinking about right now.

“Ya’ll got your refills?” Sawyer asked the crowd. The stadium erupted. Greer couldn’t help keep the smile off his face. Country fans were the best. They knew how to drink, have fun and dance their hearts out.

“Now, I think it’s time for-“

“Any of you English majors out there?” Jason interrupted from behind his drum kit.

Fuck. No.

Both Greer and Sawyer looked back at the drum kit where Jason was lazily spinning a drumstick between his fingers. He had a devious smile that Greer knew well, too well. That smile had gotten him in so much trouble over the years.

“Any online English majors from Penn State University?”

Aveline fluffed her limp hair. It had rained while they were waiting in the queue to enter the concert. Rob, her cousin and gay man extraordinaire, bought the tickets for her birthday and she was determined to have a good time, even if she looked like an air dried, drowned rat. This was her first night out in almost nine months. If she wasn’t working one of her two jobs, Aveline was taking care of her mother or studying. She’d sacrificed her social life for real life. It wasn’t like she had a choice in the matter. Her mother’s health was priority number one, after the car crash two years prior left her brain damaged. Aveline also had to earn an income to pay for the medical bills

that incurred a never ending stream of threats from collection agencies. Tonight was probably the only night that she would be free to be a twenty-four-year old.

Aveline tried to salvage what she could of her makeup in the crowded bathroom mirror. She smudged her finger under her eyes catching some of the eyeliner and mascara that had run in the rain. There was not much helping the rest of her. Then again, everyone looked like hell but no one else seemed to care.

She left the bathroom and Rob immediately grabbed he arm and started pulling her the opposite direction of their seats.

“They are looking for you!”

“Who?” she asked as she stumbled behind him. He was a tall lanky man of thirty and her best friend. Rob helped take care of her mother alongside the nurse that came daily. It wasn’t an easy road she traveled but she had company and that made it manageable. Rob was a huge country music fan and had gotten her into it a few years ago. Aveline enjoyed the easy going melodies and lyrics that spoke to her. He had introduced her to the genre via Rusted and Reckless. They crossed the line between country and rock and it was hard to distinguish what genre they were. They were her gateway band into the world of country and held a special place in her heart.

“The band!” he yelled in a laugh.

“What?” He wasn’t making any sense. She tried to pull her arm free but his grip was strong. He steered her towards a security guard. “Rob, what do you mean the band is looking for me? Rob?”

She’s never seen a grin so big on his face. “They asked if anyone went to Penn State and was an English major. That’s you sweetie.”

“Me and a ton of other people.”

“Come on.”

Rob tugged her forward again and right into the security guard’s personal space bubble. “This is the girl,” he said confidently. “This is the one the band is looking for.”

The guard didn’t even give them a glance. “Move along.”

He was beginning to worry her. Aveline wasn’t sure what had gotten into her cousin. “Let’s just go. Are you feeling ok? Maybe we should just leave.”

They were close enough to the stage at this point that she could hear the band talking. The second set was about to start. If they wanted to make it back to their seats they needed to leave.

“Jason! Knock it off and let’s get back to giving these people the music they came to hear.” The crowd laughed at the bassist’s obvious discomfort but that wasn’t what

stopped her. Aveline turned toward the stage and gaped. She knew that voice, had talked to it just a few hours earlier.

“Greer?”

Rob jostled her. “See! She is the girl!”

Security looked at her long and hard and then pulled out his phone. A moment later he asked, “Are you Aveline Michaels?”

“Yes,” she answered dumbfounded as Rob jumped around like a four year old going to Disney World. How the hell did he know her name? “What’s going on?”

“This way.” He waved them through the barrier and took them backstage. It was a flurry of activity back there and no one looked twice at them. Aveline just kept moving forward. This, whatever this was, moved much too quickly for her brain to process.

“What is going on?” she asked Rob again who was pushing her faster, with a hand on her lower back.

“I told you. The band is looking for you. Let me see you.” He pulled her to a stop and turned her. After a quick once over he gave her the okay. “You look sexy hot. Less nerd and more sex panther. He’d going to drool all over you.”

Doubtful. Very doubtful.

Aveline had just seen her reflection and sexy hot was nowhere to be seen in that mirror. Rob turned her again and they

continued their path through the maze of the stadium.

“Greer, I’ve got some good news for you,” Sawyer said on stage.

“Oh fuck,” the familiar voice groaned and the crowd laughed.

Sawyer came into view first, he had his arm draped over top of Greer’s shoulders. “She’s on her way up to the stage. You look a bit nervous.”

“I’m going to kill you both.”

Sawyer laughed and slapped the brim of Greer’s hat down. He caught Aveline and Rob standing on the wings. The security guard had left them at some point to return to his post. Rob was vibrating beside her. He was a huge fan of the band and she knew he was beyond excited to be this close to them.

“There she is!” Sawyer yelled excitedly and ran over to her.

Rob, being the helpful cousin he was, pushed her forward onto the stage, but Sawyer was there to steady her. “Aveline, how are you darlin’?” He put his arm over her shoulders like he had done with Greer. She tried to look over at him but Sawyer angled her away and toward the audience.

“I’m good.” She tried not to look at the people. Aveline knew how big the stadium was because just a minute earlier she had been one of them.

“Just good?”

She decided to look at the man talking to her, which was almost worse. Sawyer was every girl’s country dream. Soft t-shirt, worn jeans that actually had dirt on them, boots that were well broken in. Sawyer’s soft blonde hair was no nonsense and hung where it dried. He hid his eyes behind a pair of dark aviator glasses but his smile was devastating enough that she didn’t need to add his eyes to the mix. Sawyer was already the sexiest man she had ever touched.

“Um…yeah. I’ll be better once I know what’s going on.”

“Do you go to Penn State University?”

Easy question, easy answer. “Yes.”

“And are you an English major?”

“Yes. Well, literature actually.”

Sawyer turned his head away from her to where Greer was standing. “Is this her?”

“Sounds like her.” As annoyed as he had sounded earlier, there was a smile in his voice now. Aveline stood on her tip toes to look over Sawyer’s shoulder and saw Greer for the first time up close. There was no way that was the literature major who she accused of stalking her. Both his arms were covered in tattoos, monochromatic designs wove like ivy down his arms. His fiery orange bass hung off his shoulder and she couldn’t help but think about the body he was hiding behind it. Like Sawyer, Greer wore a t-shirt but no cowboy boots for him. He had on sandals and looked

like he just woke up, put on a well-worn favorite baseball hat and walked on stage. She knew Greer to be twenty-seven but he had a face that would get him carded at the liquor stores for at least another ten years.

“Holy shit,” Aveline cursed softly. The crowd began to laugh but she didn’t hear them. All she could do was look at Greer. Was this really her crush? The man who entertained her to no end?

“We are going to continue on with the show so why don’t you and your…” Sawyer looked to the wing where Rob was all but drooling with jealousy. “Uh oh…someone has a boyfriend.” The low moaning “Ohhhhhh” came from the crowd.

Aveline swallowed and shook her head. She looked between Sawyer and Greer trying to explain. “No…he’s not…” but the mic wasn’t on her. No one could hear that Rob was her cousin, her very gay cousin. Sawyer walked her off stage but Aveline kept trying to look at Greer and explain. He wouldn’t look at her. Wouldn’t even glance in her direction.

“Sawyer…it’s not…we’re not…” She grabbed his hand before he could leave.

“It’s alright darlin’,” he said in his slow draw that calmed her immediately. “Stay here. We’ll hang after the show.” Aveline nodded and dropped the hand she had on his arm.

“Sorry.”

“Just hang here. No place better to watch a concert than backstage.”

“Sawwwyeeer!” Rory’s sing song voice sounded from the stage.

He left and flicked off the guitarist as he walked back on stage. “We ready to get this party back on track?”

Aveline and Rob did have the best seat in the house. It was a truly amazing experience. The blinding lights, the heart pumping sound and the incredible view was something she would never forget. Unfortunately, she didn’t enjoy one moment of it. All she could do was watch Greer avoid her from the other side of the stage and play.

Her heart thudded when the final notes were played and the goodbyes were made. Aveline ran her fingers through her knotty head of hair. First time meeting Greer and she looked like she just woke up with a bad case of bed head. Figures. Even her clothes were still wet from the earlier rain. Sexy hot, Rob had called her. Right, because the squishing of water in her soaked boots and the blister on her heel that made her limp was sooo hot. The circumstances could not be worse.

Oh wait, he also thought that Rob was her boyfriend.

So yeah, it could be worse.

It was worse.

Aveline had been in more classes than she could count with Greer. It was on their second

semester together that she had emailed him. It had started out as a friendly “Hello, I really admired your short story,” but turned into “Are you stalking me?” She had no idea why she asked that but he had found it funny. They had hit it off. She knew she could always ask him for creative advice, since he was full of it and he could always come to her for technical help. He joked that Aveline was an honorary member of the Grammar Police. Last Christmas, Greer had gotten her a badge and everything.

Never once in her time talking to Greer had he let on that he was anything more than a guy from Canton, North Carolina. He might have mentioned playing some instrument at some point but very casually. This was so not casual. This was mega.

The guys of Rusted and Reckless were smiling as they walked off stage. It had been a good show, a great show. Even without Nix, the singer, it had been amazing. Greer looked up and saw her still waiting in the spot where Sawyer had left her. She lifted her hand and gave a hesitant wave like a complete idiot.

Why the hell was she waving?

Jesus.

Why was she still waving?

Rob seemed to sense her distress and pushed her hand down. Greer looked to where Rob’s hand laid on her skin and scowled. Shit. She was messing this all up.

Jason stepped around Greer who had slowed his pace and came over to them. “Hello, University Girl,” he stated with a smile. “May I escort you two to the green room?”

Aveline looked around his sweaty broad shoulders to where Greer had just been but he was gone. Aveline sighed. This really wasn’t how she had planned their first meet and greet. Jason moved in her way again so all she saw were the lines of his very defined chest. Slowly, because she wanted to remember this man as he was before her now for those night she needed a little imagination, she lifted her eyes up from his kilt to his abs, to his pecks, to the sweat beading on his shoulders and neck, and finally up to a face that knew and enjoyed the visual lick she had just given his body.

“Sure.” She cleared her throat. “I’m Aveline, by the way, and this is Rob, my cousin.”

Jason’s grin spread wide across his face. “Cousin. That is good to know. Very good. Nice to meet both of you.”

With a hand on her lower back he steered them through the maze backstage to a room marked Rusted and Reckless. “Why don’t you guys head in there and make yourselves comfortable. I’m going to shower and then I’ll be back to entertain and amaze. The other guys should be around in a few minutes.”

“Ok,” Aveline said with nerves jittering. She’d finally meet Greer. How often had she dreamt of this moment? How many times had

she been talking to him and could picture just how this meeting would go? Jason swung open the door and ushered them inside.

It was like no after party she ever expected, mainly because there was no one there save a few radio people milling about. Weren’t these things supposed to be all sex, drugs and alcohol? Rob looked just as bewildered beside her. Her last birthday party had more entertainment than this, and she had spent it alone with a tub of ice cream and a new subscription to Netflix.

“So Greer McQueen is actually your Greer from school?” Rob asked putting his back to the small group of people.

Aveline nodded. “I guess so.”

“Damn.”

“That about sums it up.”

About The Author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Charlotte Casey, has roots in country that go back to singing Achy Breaky Heart in her car seat at the top of her lungs. She finds nothing sweeter and nothing more desirable than a southern man with drawl. A romantic at heart, Charlotte couldn’t imagine reading or writing anything that doesn’t revolve around romance. Her stories may be fiction but her characters will leap from the pages and pull you into their world.​ ​

You can connect with Charlotte at
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Prince of the Playhouse
(Love in Laguna Series, Bk #3)
By Tara Lain

Blurb: 

Driven by his desire to become a successful fashion designer and concerned with hiding his questionable past, Ru Maitland has let obsession with action movie star Gray Anson on the big screen replace his social life. Then obsession and reality collide when Ru is asked to design fashion costumes for a special performance of Hamlet at the Playhouse in Laguna starring none other than Gray Anson. Gray turns out to be a compelling mix of shy and brash and, despite a high profile engagement to a female socialite, the signals Gray sends Ru have his libido doing the salsa.

Gray Anson has what most people only dream of—great wealth, huge fame, a job he loves. For that, he’s given up any semblance of privacy and the right to say no to the thousands of people who depend on him and the millions who love him. He sees everything he’s ever wanted just outside the bubble of his life, but how can he make the compromises needed to embrace it? When Ru’s shady past crashes into Gray’s paparazzi-haunted present, both men have to learn that sometimes the only acceptable compromise is the truth.

Available for purchase at
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Excerpt

 Food arrived. Ru had ordered the salmon, one of his faves, and Gray copied him. Merle had gone for Rick’s famous fish sandwich, as had most of the others. As the waiter placed the plates in front of Ru and Gray, Gray’s napkin dropped to the floor between his legs. He scooted back, spread his knees so he could reach between them, and managed to press the full length of his hard-muscled thigh against Ru’s. Perfect paralysis. Don’t move, don’t speak, don’t make him aware of what he’s done. Shocks of heat streaked into Ru’s balls, and he enjoyed the boil.Gray snagged the napkin, scooted his chair back in, and—didn’t move his leg. From knee to hip, his long limb rested fully against Ru’s. Didn’t he notice? Was being pressed against another man normal for him? Maybe an action-star thing?

Forget about food, conversation, breathing. Don’t miss a moment.

Artie started talking to Gray about some entertainment industry thing. Gray ate heartily. Nothing abnormal or extraordinary going on in his universe. Ru pushed his salmon on the plate and gazed into near space, every ounce of his consciousness living in his tingling flesh.

“Ru?”

Ru’s glance flicked up to find Merle staring at him. “Sorry?”

“Boy, you were a million miles away. Designing costumes?”

“Oh yes.” He liked Merle. He didn’t want to wish the guy would shut up so he could listen to the sound of his balls expanding.

Merle lowered his voice. “I wondered if you’d like to get that drink we didn’t quite get to have later?”

Gray shifted and pressed his knee harder. Ru sucked wind. “Oh!”

Merle cocked his head. “Is that an unexpected invitation?” He grinned. “I did everything except hire a billboard.”

“Oh no. Sorry. I, uh, have so much to do—”

“It’s not really late. We could go over to the Ocean Bar for a little while, and then you can get home to your designs.”

“I—”

Gray turned abruptly to Ru. “Did you talk with Artie about your great design concepts for the Hamlet character?”

“Oh no, not yet.”

Artie grinned. “I’m all ears.”

Ru glanced at a deflated-looking Merle but launched into an explanation of his glamorized gangster costume. The more he talked, the more excited he got. “It immediately sets Hamlet apart from his family and everyone else. He has other allegiances, a different take on the world. When he says ‘to be or not to be,’ he’s not just depressed and melancholy. He’s seriously considering his options, and they’re violent.”

Gray started beating out a rap rhythm on the edge of the table. “To be or not to be. Yeah, to be or not to be. That’s the question in front of me.”

The others laughed, and Merle joined in.

Ru nodded. “Horatio would have some of the same gang colors as Hamlet, but we can see that he’s being sucked in by the man.”

Artie clapped. “Brilliant idea, Ru.”

“But remember, this will be fashion, not costume, so it will suggest the look but not be slavish.”

“Can’t wait to see it.”

Beverly nodded and sipped more wine. “Amajing. Ruj’s amajing.”

Ru sat back and smiled. Even while he’d been rapping, Gray had never moved his leg. If anything, he’d pressed it harder against Ru. Jesus, he wanted to pull Gray to his feet and press more than their legs together.

Penelope leaned forward and looked toward Ru. “I agree, you’re amazing.”

He nodded. “Why, thank you, lovely lady.” It made him feel a little squirmy to think he was lusting after this woman’s boyfriend, but maybe she and Gray had some kind of agreement?

She put a hand on Gray’s arm. “I think I should ask him.”

Gray frowned. “No, not now.”

“No better time. Ru, I’m soon going to be looking for a designer for my wedding gown, and I’d like to invite you to submit a concept. It’s not right away. I know you’re working on a collection, but I wanted to tell you, so you can keep my needs in mind.”

Ru didn’t move. Even his heart must have quit. He couldn’t hear it beating over the rushing in his ears.

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Timing! The question many are asking – too soon? #Totreeornottotree?

With every day that passes, we seem to have time fly by even faster. It was August and Halloween decorations were up and available for purchase. By September, some stores began carrying Christmas decorations! Fast forward and we’re just a few days away from Thanksgiving and the stores now have huge sales on all things Fall and an explosion of glitter everywhere with Christmas decor. Oh and radio stations are beginning to play Christmas music.

Many LOVE this time of year and are all excited about the decorations and being able to put their Christmas tree up. Others feel that we are skipping over Thanksgiving and not taking the time to enjoy the moment.

I’ve seen many posts on social media of people asking… is it too soon to put up the Christmas tree? I know that some have traditions that include putting up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. Others may wait until Dec. 1st.

My holiday tradition focuses on that Thanksgiving weekend time, but this year i’m even earlier and have my Christmas decorations up the week before Thanksgiving. The reason? Our family is celebrating my father-in-law’s 95th birthday on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, so my honey and i decided to put all the decorations up so the whole family can enjoy them. Since the tree is huge, we have to save the day after Thanksgiving for buying a tree and decorating it, so, the Santas and reindeer and candles all had to go up early.

In my childhood, Christmas was huge! My mother loved the holiday and started decorating weeks before. She particularly adored her Christmas windows, spending hours painting the big picture window at the front of our house. When i was really small, we lived in Austria and at Christmas we not only met Saint Nicholas, but also Krampus, a fearsome creature who gave switches and coal to bad little children!

So, what about you? Is it too soon for the putting up the Christmas Tree? What are your  holiday traditions?

 

Now on Audio! FOOL OF MAIN BEACH!!

 

 So excited to share that FOOL OF MAIN BEACH is now available in audiobook!!

 

It’s narrated by the awesome K.C. Kelly, who has narrated all the previous books in the series!

Listen to a sample of the Audiobook below and share your thoughts in the comments!

Available for purchase at

Audible

 

  The unlikeliest of lovers. The sweetest of loves.


Fool of Main Beach
(Love of Laguna Series, Bk #5)
by Tara Lain

Blurb:
Merle Justice wants to reach for the stars, but it’s tough to get respect when playing a teenybopper vampire on TV. Then he meets a famous director anxious to give him all he thinks he wants—and maybe a bit more. Everything’s looking up until a life-threatening encounter with some homophobes on Main Beach puts Merle face-to-face with a Sasquatch-sized hero in a pink puffer coat.

Tom Henry defies description. As unsophisticated and simple as an angel, he walks through life content with who he is and asking for very little except to care for his sister, Lily, and the dogs he loves. Then he meets Merle, the embodiment of dreams he barely knows he has. Merle knows the people who hold his future in their hands might love Tom—but they’ll never understand Merle and Tom together. Tom knows it too. With lives this far apart, who’s really the fool of Main Beach?

Available for purchase at

            

 

Also available in paperback


Excerpts

Tom sat on the side of the double bed that
Merle kept for company. “This is nice.”
“I’ll have a better place when my house is
done. The bathroom is across the hall. The towels are clean. I’ll see if I have
an extra toothbrush.”
Tom looked up with those big eyes. “Thank you
for saving me.”
“I’m just glad you called.”
“I didn’t know who else to call. I was
thinking maybe Billy if I couldn’t get you.” He looked at his hands folded in
his lap. “I figured you’d be with Renee.”
“No. We left right after you did, and I came
here.”
Tom glanced up quickly and then back down.
Merle swallowed a little too loudly. “I might
have some pajama bottoms that will fit you, but they’ll be way too short.”
“That’s okay. I’ll wear my undies.”
“So, uh, sleep well.” He turned and
practically raced to his own room before his nobility faded.
Tom stared at his hands some more. Merle sure did want to go back to sleep. I
must have bothered him.
But I’m still
happy he came to get me. I didn’t want to fuck Aaron or even suck his cock like
he said.
Tom stood and walked to the bathroom across
the hall. He glanced toward the other door just a little way away. That’s where Merle is. Light still
showed under the door. Not asleep yet.
No toothbrush. Merle forgot. But Tom found some toothpaste in a drawer and put
some on his finger and slid it around. After rinsing, he peed, washed his hands
and face, and went back into the bedroom, stripped to his boxer briefs, and
hung his jeans and shirt and jacket on hangers in the closet.
He pulled back the covers and found nice
white sheets, then crawled in and flipped off the light beside the bed. Wonder if Merle’s asleep? I hope the boys
are okay and don’t miss me too much.
He almost never left them overnight.
Mrs. A. wouldn’t like it if he did it very much. The boys wouldn’t like it
either.
He sighed and stretched his hands behind his
head. I shouldn’t have said I’d go
dancing with Aaron. Why did I do that?
He followed the patterns of headlights
streaking across the wall through a gap in the curtains. I like to dance. His lips compressed in a line. I wanted to dance, but not with Aaron. I
wanted to dance with Merle.
He smiled. I
got to and it was rad. Merle’s the best dancer ever.
Oh
boy
. He shook his head. I really like Merle. I never
should’ve said I’d go with Aaron when I wanted to go with Merle. That was dumb.
And not very nice.
He blew out his breath in a long stream and felt it
tickle his chest. But Merle didn’t ask
me.
Flipping to his side, he stroked the soft
sheets. But maybe Merle wants me to ask
him.
When I called him, he came right
away like—like nobody ever has. What would he do if I just told him?

 

Tom tiptoed up the stairs carrying the two big boxes. He’d
knocked, but no answer. Mist met him at the top step, giving him a little hop.
He nodded at her, patted her with one hand, then carried the pizza quietly to
the kitchen. Merle was sound asleep. Boy, he must be tired. Maybe I should put the pizza in plastic bags
and carry Merle to bed?
“Don’t even think about eating all that pizza by yourself.” Merle
laughed behind him, and it made his whole body feel warm to hear it.
He turned. “I think me and Mist can do it. She gets one and I get
the other.”
Merle stood, and he looked yummier than the pizza. “Can dogs eat
pizza?”
“Nope. It’s bad for them. But they do it anyway sometimes.”
Merle nodded. “I guess we’re all like that, aren’t we?”
“Eat pizza?”
He shook his head. “No. We like to do stuff that’s bad for us.”
Merle wiped a hand over his face.
The words made his ears feel tingly like they wouldn’t stop
repeating. Tom swallowed. Yeah, Merle
thinks I’m bad for him. People would make fun of him for having me around
. I bother him for sex when he should be
making friends with people like Renee. Important people.
He turned so Merle
couldn’t see his face.
I
forgot how much this hurts.
Tom grabbed the plates and set them in front of two stools by the
island. “This is a good place to eat, and it’s easy to clean up.”
Merle touched his back. It made him jump. “I really love the way
you worked out the feeding station for Mist. How did you ever think of it?”
He tried to smile. “That’s what I’d do if I lived here. I thought
Mist would like it.” He looked up. “I just made it for her. The boys ate on the
floor. They didn’t mind.”
“Where are the boys?” Merle opened the refrigerator. “Oh good. You
want beer?”
“Yes. In the sewing room.”
“What?” Merle looked up really fast.
“The boys are in the sewing room at Mrs. A.’s and yes, please, I’d
like a beer.”
Merle opened the bottles and put one in front of each place; then
he dished salad onto the plates. “How come you left the boys there? Will Lily
watch them for you?”
Tom got the forks. “No, I’ll take them out when I go home.”
“Oh.” Merle looked really surprised. “I thought you were staying
here.”
His heart leaped so high it tickled his throat. “Oh, I—”
Merle frowned. “Sorry. I don’t mean to take advantage of you. I’m
sure you want to be in your own place.”
Tom stared at the pizza. It didn’t look quite so good as it did
before. “I don’t have a place, Merle.”
“What do you mean? Aren’t you staying with Mrs. Allison anymore?”
“Lily lives in my room now. I just stay in the sewing room with
the boys.” He didn’t want to feel bad about that. He liked having Lily stay,
but he didn’t have anything that was his.
“You can stay here.”
He nodded and pushed the slice of pizza on his plate. “Yes. Thank
you. I’ll bring the boys back Monday night and look after Mist and watch the
place.”
“Oh.” Merle looked unhappy. He took a bite of his pizza and chewed
slowly. “I was thinking you might want to stay tonight.” He looked up. “You
know, go get the boys first.”
Something strange happened in Tom’s chest. Like growing and
shrinking at the same time. It hurt, almost. Words came out before he could
stop them. “That’s okay, Merle. Thank you. But you need to have fun in your
house. I better go be with Lily since I haven’t been with her too much and she
probably gets lonely too.” He stood before he could even stop himself. “If you
don’t mind, I’ll take some of this great pizza to Lily because she really loves
it. You know that.” He rushed over to the drawer where he’d put the plastic
bags, got one, and stuffed it full of pizza slices. Merle stared at him really
funny. “You have a good sleep, and I’ll come back Monday and stay for as long
as you need me to, okay? I’m really glad you like your house. That makes me
happier than anything.” He waved and hurried toward the steps. “Bye, Merle.”
Just like that, he was down the steps and out the door and into
his truck with the warm pizza kind of squished in his hand. The front door of
the house opened, so he backed out really fast and gunned it up the street
before he could see Merle and change his mind.
He made it all the way to the Pacific Coast Highway before the
first sob made him bite his lip. Why did
I do that? Why? I wanted to stay with Merle so bad.
He drove straight down the highway in the right lane so he didn’t
have to pass or go too fast ’cause he couldn’t see so good. He hooked his
shoulder to wipe the wet from his jaw where it was about to drip.
Why?

 

Because
it hurts so much worse when it’s over.

 

Love in Laguna Series
Bk #1

 

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