Birthday Celebration Means Gifts For You! #RomanticSuspense #Military

morgan freeman birthday wish

Welcome to my 49th Birthday Celebration! Some folks are freaked out at the prospect of being “this close” to the big Five Oh, but not me. I couldn’t be happier. I happen to be one of those odd ducks who love getting older.

Well…

top of the world birthdaOkay so I don’t like the aches and pains that come with it, but the idea of reaching 50 and beyond doesn’t freak me out one bit. I have been through a lot during this lifetime and I wouldn’t change a thing. All of it has lead me to the place and the person I am today. I’ve had an amazing 23 year career as a veterinarian. I found my soul mate after giving up on ever finding him. I’m living my dream as a published poet and author several times over. I can’t complain!

3D MistletoeTo celebrate this milestone in my life, I want to give away signed copies of my holiday novelette, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe. All you have to do is leave a comment and enter your information in the Rafflecopter. Now, this version of WordPress doesn’t allow the Rafflecopter to be in this same post. All you have to do is click on the link below and it will take you to a separate page to finish your entry.

 

That’s it! The giveaway is only open to those in the US and Canada for the print version. For all others, you can still enter, but the prize will then be for the electronic book version (EPUB or MOBI)

 

Click on the following link to get your entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Thank you all for helping me celebrate!

~Tammy

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Lovers Promise to Always Meet Under the Mistletoe for #ScintillatingSunday #RomanticSuspense

 

Mile High Muses Graphic for Sundays

 

Welcome to this week’s Scintillating Sunday Showcase hosted by the Mile High Muses. This is a weekly blog hop showcasing eight words, sentences or paragraphs the participants find scintillating. The hop is open to all romance and erotic romance authors of all heat levels. There is something for everyone during this fun showcase and this week I thought I’d share the opening paragraphs from the POV of my heroine in Meet Me Under the Mistletoe. A few weeks back I shared the opening 8 paragraphs from the hero.

At the end of the post you can click on the special photo that will take you to the linky list of all the participants. This version of WordPress does not allow me to post the list here so the fun meme is the next best thing.

 

So here’s my eight for this week…

 

mistletoe promise

“Mayday, mayday, mayday. This is the Northern Star. Rogue wave hit disabling the vessel. Engine room taking on water. Sinking fast. All eight are abandoning ship into life rafts. We’ve lost all power. Last known position nearly thirty nautical miles east of St. Matthew. Repeat. Mayday, mayday, mayday. Northern Star is taking on water. Entire crew is heading for life rafts. All in survival suits.”

Her stomach clenched. She knew the wives of five of the fisherman on that boat. Two of them worked with her at the hospital. As one of the few registered nurses on the island, Jolene knew all the local families. Any kind of emergency brought them all together and it looked like today was going to be a doozy. Better get rolling. No point in trying to go back to sleep. Might as well head in and start my shift early.

She tossed the covers back and slowly slid her swollen feet into her fuzzy slippers. There was no way she’d walk barefooted over the freezing hard wood floors this time of year. Although at eight and a half months pregnant, the cold often felt good when they were as swollen as they were at the moment. She stopped her shuffle to the bathroom and slipped her right foot out of the slipper and onto the floor. The chill radiated up from the floor, taking her breath away, and that was before her sole even made contact. She shoved her foot back into the warm slipper and continued on with her morning routine.

The hot water of the shower worked out all the kinks in her back as she ran the washcloth over her ever-expanding belly. “Well, little one. Your daddy is heading out on another day to save lives. Don’t you worry, though. He’ll be here for our kiss under the mistletoe. This same time next year, you’ll be joining us there, but this time you’ll just have to settle for kicking him through my belly.”

In response, she watched as a little foot made its way across her stretched skin and gave her another kick. She smiled as tears rolled down her cheeks. These were the things Steve missed out on when he was underway. It’d taken them nearly ten years to finally get pregnant, and now she had to experience all the little things alone. Keeping a detailed baby journal helped her husband stay in the loop as did their Skype calls, but somehow it wasn’t the same.

Six other times she’d managed to conceive, only to have their excitement dashed a few months later with miscarriages. This pregnancy was the only one nearly to term and so far everything had gone without a hitch—for the baby that is. Jolene suffered from debilitating morning sickness for her entire first trimester leaving her on bed rest for most of it. Two weeks ago her doctor dropped another bomb. She had gestational diabetes. It wasn’t unexpected, but just one more thing to add to the list of issues she had to go through alone.

As the steamy water continued to work on her muscles, she remembered the weekend they conceived their baby. Steve surprised her in the middle of her shift at the hospital with a dozen pale purple roses. He had won the lottery in his unit and gotten an extra two days of liberty. Lucky for her, the other nurses had been more than willing to cover the remainder of her shift.

As soon as they’d made it through the door of their condo, he had tossed her over his shoulder and bolted toward the bedroom. “I’m going to taste every inch of your body until you beg for mercy.”

 

* * * *

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe Blurb

Meet Me Under the MistletoeWhen Steve Sanders became a US Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer nearly twenty years ago, he knew he’d have to put his life on the line with each mission. Unfortunately, only three days before Christmas, Steve has to come face to face with the real possibility he’d break his promise to his wife and not return back to her and their unborn child.

Jolene Sanders is nearing the end of a difficult pregnancy and looking forward to finally spending their wedding anniversary with her husband. However, her holiday spirits are shattered when a distress call from a sinking fishing vessel calls the Coast Guard into action and puts her husband’s life on the line once again.

Left behind in a life raft during the rescue, Steve’s fate is now at the mercy of the wicked Bering Sea. Will this truly be his last mission, or will a miracle bring him back to meet his wife under the mistletoe?

Available only from Amazon (ebook and print)

Universal Link:  getBook.at/Mistletoe

So there you have it! I hope you had a great time here at this stop. Click on the photo below to go to the list to find your next stop!

Happy Reading!

~Tammy

Muses Hop Next Stop graphic

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What to Do with Extra Military Leave for #ScintillatingSunday #RomanticSuspense

Mile High Muses Graphic for Sundays

 

Yay! I made it back again this week. It was touch and go there for a day or two as my “Evil Day Job” took over and sidelined me from quite a few things on my author to do list. No worries! I’m here and ready to share another eight paragraphs from my new special release Meet Me Under the Mistletoe. 

In cause you’re new to Scintillating Sunday Showcase, let me bring you up to speed. This is a weekly blog hop for erotic romance and romance authors of all heat levels. It’s hosted my the Mile High Muses and they’ve asked all participants to share EIGHT words, sentences, or paragraphs of one of our stories we feel is scintillating. The definition varies and that’s why you’ll see a variety of different posts each week. It’s also a great way to learn about authors new to you, or get sneak peeks at the works in progress of the authors you’re already following.

Okay enough of the yammering. Here’s my eight…

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe“Open your eyes, Jo. I need you to look at me.”

She did as he asked. Her hazel eyes positively glowed in the dim light of the room. Her pupils dilated even further and pulled him in.

This moment he craved every second they’ve been apart from each other. The connection between them deepened beyond physical at that instant and he finally allowed himself to let go completely. His orgasm slammed through his body as he exploded deep inside her. Even though his knees nearly buckled from the intensity of it, he kept pumping into her, filling her with his seed.

He rested his forehead against hers as their breathing slowed and the hot water rained down upon their flushed bodies. “God, I missed you.”

She brushed her hair off her forehead as he placed her down on her feet. She settled her back against his chest, her head under his chin. “I can tell.”

He kissed her forehead and reached for the shampoo. He loved to wash her hair while she clung to his body after sex. Caring for her like this made him feel just a little less guilty for leaving her alone for a month or more at a time.

She reached around and rested both her hands on his thighs as he lathered her hair. “You sure know how to treat a gal. I may just have to marry you one day.”

He chuckled. “You say that every time I come home on leave. Am I away so long you forget we’re already married?”

****

I hope that’s enough to spark your interest in this one. Sassy Vixen Publishing has released it exclusively on Amazon for the next three months only. Next month I’ll have special signed print copies to hand out to readers at the Emerald City Writer’s Convention in Bellevue, WA. I can’t wait to find out what you all think of Jolene and Steve’s love story!

Mistletoe meme

Now for the hopping part! Since I have the WordPress version that doesn’t allow java, I had to come up with a way for you all to find the list of the participants. All you have to do is click on the following graphic and it will take you to the list. Easy peasy! Go on and click away and have fun!

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#OhMy! Monday: *CONTEST ALERT* Sensuous Promo’s Presents – Book Tour for Open World – C.O.V.E.N. by @CaseyMoss_ #RomanticSuspense

Oh My! Mondays Banner For Behind Closed DoorsWelcome to Oh My Monday here at Behind Closed Doors. I’m excited to be a part of another book tour hosted by Sensuous Promotions. Below you’ll find all the details of the new novel by author Casey Moss. Make sure you enter the contest at the end of the post! ~Tammy

 

Casey Moss Book Tour

 

Welcome to Sensuous Promo’s Open World – C.O.V.E.N. Tour.

* WATCH FOR CONTEST BELOW *

BLURB

openworld_CMoss_1600x2400The world has broken out in wars. Las Vegas has been ravaged by chemical warfare and is now home to several clans and creatures.

Welcome to I-D-8 Entertainment’s newest game: Clans of Vegas—Endless Night.

Friends and family have gathered for a crunch time playtest of C.O.V.E.N.. When a horrible thunderstorm hits, everyone’s sucked into the game for real. In the MMORPG, Hope Collins is kidnapped by Buzz and forced to submit to his whims. Her boyfriend, Alden, has to delay his quest of defeating a clan’s prince to save her, but time and circumstance don’t seem to be on his side. Faith Collins is bombarded by strange dreams brought on by Buzz. Her boyfriend, Tavis, learns to dream walk, but can he help break the spell she’s under and save her before she’s lost to him?

C.O.V.E.N. is more than just a game. It’s a whole other world.

 

EXCERPT

Perhaps he’d been under too much stress, had too much caffeine, didn’t have enough sleep or information about the guy. More likely a combination of it all. A hodgepodge of shit and no shovel. He didn’t know how much more of all this he could take.

Shaking off the negativity, Alden rotated his head, listening to his spine crackle and pop. Tension released. The quick adjustment perked him up. He plated the burgers, closed the lid to the grill and exhaled a deep breath. First food, then work, and amongst it all, see if I can figure out Mr. Jenkins’s deal. Making his way toward the small group, the tray of hot meat balanced on one hand, he focused in on Cor, noting his body language and how the people around him responded.

Why did I imagine him as the antagonist? The one in the game I need to destroy?

The storyline he had to double check during the playtest dealt with finding the main boss—the Prince of Clan Caesachapel—and defeating him before the cad could cause harm. He’d intended to assist Hope and her family in creating ‘good’ characters, placing them in the clan he belonged to, and have them run the quests, as well. But with the way he’d been feeling, he almost reconsidered that idea.

openworld_CMoss_1600x2400Thing was he had a job to do. One he aimed to make good on and see through to the end. He’d never been the kind of guy to shirk a duty, and he wasn’t about to start now.

Mr. James Collins, a middle-aged man with graying, strawberry blond hair and ice blue eyes, glanced Den’s way as he approached. James acknowledged him with slight nod, then returned his attention to Cor.

The fact James was only a programmer and not his direct boss—or above him in any authoritative capacity in the organization—pleased Den. The man sure ran hot one moment and cold the next when it came to him. Hope had explained that was one of her father’s personality quirks and not to take it personal.

Some future father-in-law he would turn out to be.

Plastering a smile on his face, he placed the dish of meat on the aluminum table. James and the ladies’ attentions stayed fixed on the gentleman in their midst. Good. No one paid him any mind. More time to assess the situation.

Cor’s intense brown-eyed gaze bored into Hope’s, infiltrating her defenses and working whatever magic the man seemed to possess. Their connection resembled flirting but in a stronger sense. His chest tightened and burned. Mine, his inner voice asserted in a low, rolling growl, reminding him of his in game character’s speech. Alden stepped back before he could choose to put his fist in Cor’s face. His foot crunched on a chip bag that had fallen to the ground.

Hope didn’t flinch, didn’t look away.

Mesmerized. Shit. And not just her. Enthralled by the bean counter, the whole family overlooked him like he didn’t exist.

What the hell is going on?

 

openworld_CMoss_1600x2400

 

~ Buy Links ~

Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/open-world-by-casey-moss/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Open-World-C-O-V-E-N-Casey-Moss-ebook/dp/B00KCE12JW

All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-openworld-1514409-147.html

BookStrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/open-world

 

~ Author Bio ~

Casey Moss delves into the darker aspects of life in her writing, sometimes basing the stories on reality, sometimes on myth. No matter the path, her stories will take you on a journey from the light-hearted paranormal to dark things unspeakable. What waits around the corner? Come explore…

 

~ Author Links ~
Website: http://caseymossbooks.com/

Blog: http://caseymossbooks.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.CaseyMoss

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CaseyMoss_

 

 

 

* CONTEST *

Leave a comment below (with email address) and your name will be thrown into the hat to win 1 – $25 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Winners Choice!

Winner will be chosen on June 20th

#OhMy! Monday: #NewRelease & Interview with Author Amber Lea Easton @MtnMoxieGirl

Oh My! Mondays Banner For Behind Closed Doors

 

Welcome to Behind Closed Doors! I’m thrilled to announce the upcoming release from one of my friends and fellow authors, Amber Lea Easton. On May 22nd, the long awaited full length novel Dancing Barefoot will be available for purchase. This one is the followup to the free read she’s had on her blog for the last several weeks. You won’t want to miss this one! Make sure you get yours the moment it’s released.

Blurb

DancingBarefoot_1FINAL

 

Jessica Moriarty appears to have it all—a successful career as an architect, a loyal group of friends, a gorgeous apartment, and an on-again-off-again affair with Boston’s most eligible bachelor. Behind this “perfect life” façade, Jessica hides the loss she feels over giving up her dream career as an artist, copes with a destructive relationship with her alcoholic mother, and struggles with heartbreak over a lost love.

Jacques Sinclair only needs his cameras, a backpack, and a good pair of walking shoes. A world-renowned photographer, he is a man without boundaries. Despite fame and fortune, he still yearns for the woman who shattered his heart when she vanished from his life five years ago.

A chance meeting brings Jacques and Jessica back together. Reunions aren’t always planned or welcomed, but chemistry has a way of revealing what is denied. Ensnared in a web of sabotage and conspiracy—carefully constructed by people who want to control their lives—Jacques and Jessica struggle to trust each other, break free from the status quo, reclaim their love, and build a life of extraordinary possibility.

 

Interview with the Author

Q: Where did you get the inspiration for the title?

A: While writing this story, I listened to a lot of U2. One of their songs is called ‘Dancing Barefoot’ where they sing of spinning ceaselessly and losing gravity. “Oh God I fell for you” is one of the lyrics. It truly struck a chord within me—no pun intended. In fact, I’ve included the lyrics to the original Patti Smith song on the dedication page of the novel.

 

Q: What are the lyrics to ‘Dancing Barefoot’? Could you share so we get a sense of what inspired you?

A: You betcha! Here are the original lyrics sung by Patti Smith, later redone by U2.

 

Dancing Barefoot Song Lyrics (Patti Smith)

She is benediction

She is addicted to thee

She is the root connection

She is connecting with he

Here I go and I don’t know why

I flow so ceaselessly

Could it be he’s taking over me

I’m dancing barefoot

Headin’ for a spin

Some strange music draws me in

It makes me come up like some heroine

She is sublimation

She is the essence of thee

She is concentrating on

He who is chosen by she

Here I go when I don’t know why

I spin so ceaselessly

Could it be he’s taking over me

I’m dancing barefoot

Headin’ for a spin

Some strange music drags me in

Makes me come up like some heroine

She is recreation

She intoxicated by thee

She has the slow sensation that

He is levitating with she

Here I go when I don’t know why

I spin so ceaselessly

‘Til I lose my sense of gravity

I’m dancing barefoot

Heading for a spin

Some strange music draws me in

Makes me come up like some heroine

Oh God I fell for you

Oh God I fell for you

Oh God I fell for you

Oh God I fell for you

Songwriters: Kral, Ivan / Smith, Patti

Q: Why did you feel compelled to write this story?

A: The characters’ struggle with learning to live according to their own truth rather than being bound by others’ expectations resonates with me on a core level. As human beings, it is easy to be caught up in someone else’s life agenda and forget that we are here with our own purpose.  There were times in my life when I became consumed with putting other people’s expectations above my own and that is no way to live.

 

Q: What would you like people to take away from this story?

A: We’re all unique and the status quo doesn’t always serve us well. It’s important to find what makes your heart sing and pursue it even if it’s scary as hell for you to take that leap.

 

Q: As an author, what is your main goal when connecting with a reader?

A: Entertainment. Despite the nature of some of my stories, such as human trafficking in Reckless Endangerment or breaking free of co-dependency/expectation in Dancing Barefoot, my goal is to entertain the reader. When someone tells me they write ‘literary fiction’, I roll my eyes at the pretentiousness of thinking that entertainment genres like romance or suspense are somehow ‘less than.’ I want to entertain, to take the reader into someone else’s world for awhile, and to make them smile when they turn that last page. The greatest compliment I receive from a reader is when they tell me that they didn’t want the book to end. That’s when I know I’ve done my job well.

 

Excerpt from Dancing Barefoot

DancingBarefoot_1FINALHe stalked toward her until her back collided with her easel. His hands gripped the top of the canvas, arms pinned her where she stood. “I haven’t wanted to remember you in a very long time.”

“I suppose not.”

“But I have.”

“Me, too.”

“Are you happy?”

“What do you mean?” She folded her arms across her chest.

“Did you make the right choice? Leaving me? Leaving our life together? Tell me you’re happy and I’ll walk out of your life forever.”

“What does it matter?  I can’t undo it.”

“Why is it a difficult question for you to answer? Why can’t you tell me that you have no regrets? I want to hear it.”

“Of course I have regrets, but so what?  What good does that do us?”

“That’s why I came here tonight, to see…”

“See what? I’ve done what I said I would do.” Pride forced her head high. “I’m up for associate partner at my firm. I’m a good—no, great—architect. We both succeeded without each other. Good for us.”

“You’re lying. You’re not happy.” His hand framed the side of her face, forcing her to look at him. “I see it in your face. It’s like you’ve died. You’re living in the past, which tells me you’re not that thrilled with the present.”

“When did you get so mean?” Too tired to fight, tears blurred her eyes. “Get out. Enough insults for one night. Just go.”

“Why are you still wearing my ring?” His voice was low and powerful in the small room.

“Why do you?”

“My ring.” Dark blond hair covered his left eye when he bent forward, only a breath away from her face. “Why are you wearing it? Does it mean anything to you or do you simply think it’s pretty?”

“Please go.” She flattened her hands against his chest, but wished she hadn’t.  The feel of his hard body beneath her hands liquefied her bones.

He slammed his hand against the canvas, knocking it to the floor behind her.  “You just left. One day we’re living together, talking about creating a future, and then you walked away without ever looking back.”

“I look back in my own way. Often, too often, I need to grow up like you said.” Her lungs deflated like air from a balloon. Breathing ceased.  I needed to come back here to—”

“To be safe? To do the right thing?” He had her backed against the easel. “I thought you would at least stay in touch with me, the man you supposedly loved, the man you said you wanted to marry, the man you said you needed…but you disappeared.”

“You had my address. I didn’t disappear.”

“You let me go without a word. Until today, I hadn’t heard from you in years, yet here you are wearing my ring.”

“I said I was sorry.” Every inch of her quaked with restrained emotion.  “Leave now. Go. Good luck with your exhibit, the workshop, with your life, all of it.  Just get the hell out of my house.”

“Do you know why I brought your address with me? Do you?”

“You wanted to tell me off, right? That’s why you came here, to hurt me.”

“I wanted to show you how much I don’t care.”

“Doesn’t that show me how much you really do care?” She lifted her chin, determined not to cry.

A fraction of an inch separated their bodies. She dragged her gaze over the opened buttons of his shirt, over his neck, over his lips until resting on the deep green of his eyes. Damn, the man rocked the word ‘sexy’.

Boldness replaced caution.

DancingBarefoot_1FINALStanding on tiptoes, she smoothed her hands along the front of his chest.  Touching him again was like coming home from a long, exhausting journey.

He shook his head once as if trying to clear his mind.  Only once.  He stared at her lips.  His hands curled around her forearms, but he didn’t push her away.

“Kiss me,” she whispered against his mouth.

“No,” he whispered as his hands slid up her arms before cupping the back of head.

“I dare you.”

“Never.”

“I know you want to.”

“I don’t.”

“Now who’s the liar?” she asked, her teeth tugging at his lower lip.

Their mouths met in a kiss that melted her skin like candle wax, turning them into one being, one entity consumed by desire. To hell with restraint and regret. She needed this, needed him, here and now.

Passion overrode all other thought or senses. Her hands stroked his back, kneading and searching. Every sense was alive with his touch, with his kiss. The need for him was an ache that burned deep. Hot. Necessary. Urgent. Primal

God, she had missed this, missed him.

He ripped her tank top in two and tossed the material aside.  His hands squeezed her breasts while his mouth devoured hers.

She yanked his shirt free from his jeans and shoved it high on his chest, needing his skin against hers more than she’d ever needed anything in life.  Clothes fell away, bread crushed beneath their bodies, wine spilled from an overturned bottle at their feet.

They fell against the easel, knocking the canvas and paint in every direction. A tangle of limbs, they made eye contact for a moment, chests heaving, breathing labored.

“This is wrong,” he muttered against her skin.

“Right. Always right with us.” She sank her fingernails into his shoulders.

“What the lady wants, the lady gets,” he said, a predatory gleam in his eyes.

His hands worked at pushing her yoga pants over her hips while his mouth claimed her breast.

She looped her toes in the waistband of his underwear and yanked them over his thighs.  Her hands sought his erection while her back arched with every stroke of his hands and every lick of his tongue.

He ground himself inside her with the intensity of repressed rage. Her legs wrapped around his hips, holding him as close as possible as he plunged deep inside her.

Sex had never been tame with him, but this was animalistic. This was raw.  Teeth sank into skin. Nails scraped against each other’s bodies. They rolled together, locked as one being. Streaks of yellow and red paint lined their faces, stuck in their hair, no one cared.

Waves of pleasure rolled through her veins like a tsunami until all strength left her body. She laughed, breathless, as her mouth sought his again in a kiss filled with satisfaction and surprise.

“Is this what you meant by a do-over?” He shoved his hands through her hair, palms framing her face, and stared into her eyes. His chest rose and fell against hers.

“Not exactly, but it’ll do,” she whispered, still out of breath, heartbeat slamming like a caged bird’s wings inside her chest.

His mouth sucked on her lower lip, tongue teased hers. “I don’t know what to do with you, Jessica Moriarty.”

“You’ve always known exactly what to do with me, Jacques Sinclair.” She repeated the words they’d always said to one another. She dipped her finger into the wet yellow paint on the canvas beneath his head before smearing it across his chin and over his mouth.

He grabbed her hand, linked his fingers with hers and stared into her eyes. Laughter faded. “This shouldn’t have happened. I lost control, I always lose control around you.”

He rolled away and stared at the ceiling. Then he stood and pulled a piece of cheese from where it had stuck to his shoulder. Without looking at her, he dressed.

Rattled from the sex and his reaction, she stumbled to standing, grabbed the blanket from the sofa and wrapped it around herself. Man, she was on a roll today with fucking up her life.

DancingBarefoot_1FINALHe walked down the stairs without saying a word.

She returned to the kitchen to find him still waiting. She’d hoped he’d gone.

Back against the wall, he finished buttoning his shirt. He hadn’t bothered to wipe the streaks of paint from his face and hair; then again, neither had she. When he lifted his gaze to hers, he looked agonized.

“I didn’t intend on that. I should go,” he said.

“Stay. Don’t go. Maybe we should talk or something.”

She wanted to scream, stomp her foot like a child, fall to her knees …anything to make him stay.

“There is someone else, Jess. Life moved on without you.” His quiet words sliced her heart into a million pieces. “I came here for answers, to understand. I didn’t intend to rip your clothes off. I only wanted to understand why you left me. That’s all.”

“And now you understand?”

“No.” He shook his head, a slight grin curving his lips. “But I accept that I will never understand.”

She rubbed the palm of her hand over her face. Of course he had someone else. She had discarded him like a used napkin.

“You’re serious with this woman? What you said about the different women all the time was just to hurt me, right?”

“Yes to both questions.”

A chasm ripped through the room, creating a space larger than the ocean that had once separated them. She felt the loss of him again, more powerful, more poignant than before.

“I wish it wasn’t like this between us…”

“I’m still the same man you left in Italy. The reasons you left haven’t changed.  I’m a gypsy at heart, never in one place longer than six months or so.” He looked at the matching ring on his finger and blew out a long breath.

“Please leave. Your girlfriend must be wondering what the hell you’re doing.”  She hugged her arms across her chest and tapped her foot against the floor. “Please leave, Jacques.”

“Am I wrong? Are you happy? Tell me I’m wrong about you. Tell me that you love being an architect. Tell me that you honestly don’t regret leaving me.” With every word, his face mirrored the agony she felt. “Tell me that you have no regrets, that you are happy with your life as it is now.”

“My life is damn near perfect.” She forced a smile. “Partnership is in sight, remember? Corner office here I come. I have everything I’ve ever wanted. It’s a fucking love fest.”

“It is time I let this go then.” With a quick movement, he pulled the ring from his finger and laid it on the back of the red chair.

She stared at the ring against the faded fabric. “Please don’t leave it. Like you said, it’s yours.”

“Keep it, throw it away, it no longer matters to me. Be well, bella.” Door open, he hesitated at the threshold and looked around the room before meeting her gaze again.

  1. The word hung in the air as they stared at one another, the language of Italy dancing in her memory and tugging at her heart.

Caro…” she whispered.

Without another look back, he closed the door behind him.

She listened to the fall of his footsteps on the stairs, the outside door opening and closing, and folded his ring into her palm. She pressed the closed fist against lips still swollen from his kiss. Silent tears streaked her face.

“What have I done?” Back against the door, she slid to the floor. The question she asked had no answer. Even she didn’t know if she meant the past or the present; conflicting emotions meshed together in her brain like the various paint streaks staining her skin.

 

Author Bio:

SantaMonicaAmber Lea Easton is a multi-published fiction and nonfiction author. Smart is sexy, according to Easton, which is why she writes about strong female characters who have their flaws and challenges but ultimately persevere. She currently has six contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels out in the world: Kiss Me Slowly, Riptide, Reckless Endangerment, Anonymity, In Between, and Dancing Barefoot. Her memoir, Free Fall, is dedicated to suicide prevention, awareness, and helping others navigate the dark journey of grief.

In addition, Easton works as an editor, freelance journalist, and professional speaker. She speaks on subjects ranging from writing to widowhood. Some of her videos on romance writing have appeared on the international Writers & Authors television network. Current radio appearances are linked via her author website, http://www.amberleaeaston.com.

Easton currently lives with her two teenagers in the Colorado Rocky Mountains where she gives thanks daily for the gorgeous view outside her window. She finds inspiration from traveling, the people she meets, nature and life’s twists and turns. At the end of the day, as long as she’s writing, she considers herself simply to be “a lucky lady liv’n the dream.”

Easton also publishes under the name Dakota Skye who has one paranormal erotic romance, Blurred Lines, currently available and another, Deadly Decadence, due out in the fall of 2014

 

UPDATE!!! We have buy links for Dancing Barefoot

Amazon: myBook.to/DB

 All Romance eBooks: http://goo.gl/Hd8eTg

Smashwords: http://goo.gl/g56oj0

#TantalizingTuesday: Sensuous Promo’s Presents – Book Tour for Give Me Shelter by Alexis D. Craig @Dispatchvampire

Tantilizing Tuesdays

 

Welcome to Tantalizing Tuesdays here at Behind Closed Doors. Today I’ve turned over the blog to Sensuous Promo’s and another fabulous book tour. This time we welcome author Alexis D. Craig. We’re the fifth stop on her tour and we’ve been given several excerpts to choose from to titillate and tantalize. So grab your favorite beverage and a comfy seat on the cushions all around and enjoy! ~Tammy

 

Give Me Shelter Book Tour Graphic

 

 

Welcome to Sensuous Promo’s Give Me Shelter Book Tour.

 

* WATCH FOR CONTEST BELOW *

 

Give Me Shelter Book CoverGive Me Shelter By Alexis D. Craig 

Inspector Eli Miller’s unspoken feelings for his partner, Bex, color his whole life. When his past comes calling, will it be the push he needs to seek a future with her?

Inspector Rebecca ‘Bex’ Mulcahy has lived long enough to know that love is a street con at best, and a dangerous distraction at worst. Any feelings she has for her partner Eli definitely fall into the latter category. Will her dedication to her job keep her from finding a possible future with Eli?Their latest case is protecting Violet Burrell, a young woman with scars on her soul stretching back to birth, who inadvertently witnesses a shockingly brutal murder at the hands of a sadist. Violet is determined to testify in court. Her strength and courage impress Eli and Bex, who will protect her at all costs.

But it is Violet’s beauty and spirit that entrances Junior Inspector Atticus Randall. Atticus is also assigned to protect Violet, and while he knows he should ignore his growing feelings for her, he just can’t stop himself from falling for the brave beauty.

 

Excerpt 

“Violet’s a pretty name.” An inane statement, but he knew he was out of his depth attempting to tackle a subject so daunting as the life of Violet Burrell.

She shrugged and flipped the end of a pigtail over her shoulder. “It is what it is. Your parents really named you Atticus? They not like you or something?”

He snorted a laugh and put the spoon back into his ice cream. “They like to read.”

“To Kill a Mockingbird, I know.” She smiled shyly. “It’s a good name. Strong, valiant.”

The heat of the summer air had nothing on him. He saw her grin, and he felt his ears burn from a blush. “So what’s the verdict?” He gestured towards her rapidly diminishing sundae.

“I think I want to eat this for the rest of my life,” she said as she dipped her spoon into the plastic cup to fish out a peanut covered in hot fudge.

“That good, huh?” He watched her close her eyes and sigh as she licked the spoon, and he had to loosen his tie. The way she was enjoying her ice cream reminded him that his wasn’t going to stay frozen forever. He dipped his spoon into the plastic cup and then brought it to his mouth.

“Damn near better than sex.”

At her words, he found himself gulping down a large mouthful of ice cream, much more than he meant to, swallowing it quickly. “Oh hell! Ice cream headache!” The sharp spike of pain that it brought was quick and excruciating, but it served its purpose driving all thoughts of pursuing that line of questioning from his mind. As the throbbing ache receded, he noticed her hand on the back of his neck, trying to help by rubbing and massaging from the base of his skull to his shoulders. So much for virtuous thoughts. Nodding to show her that he was okay now, he reached in front of her and snagged her mysterious old green book from beside her purse as she returned to her ice cream Nirvana.

“Hey, that’s not yours,” she said around a mouthful, gesturing with her spoon. But, she made no move to retrieve it from him, so he felt comfortable perusing while she continued to savor her snack.

He opened the book at the place she’d marked, reading about a games keeper comforting the lady of the house, in a chicken coop, that led to so much more than mere physical release in graphic and frankly gripping detail. That was definitely not what he’d expected, and the fact that she’d been reading this book all this time did things to his already heated blood that made his mouth run dry and his ears start to ring.

“So . . . ?”

Her voice, smokier than before, startled him out of the words on the page. Her purple eyes were darker than he remembered, and he found himself lost for a moment before he caught himself. “It’s ah . . . definitely colorful.” He pushed the closed book back over to sit next to her purse, her bookmark still in place.

Vi smiled self-consciously. “It’s the language. It paints this picture like a smudged old photograph, beautiful and still kind of dirty.”

And that about described the thoughts he was having at that moment. “I could definitely see that.”

 

Buy Links

Connect with Alexis D. Craig online:

Website: http://alexisdcraig.net/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dispatchvampire

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alexis-D-Craig-Author/147234841955791

 

* CONTEST *

Leave a comment below (with email address) and your name will be thrown into the hat to win:

1st Prize – $15 gift card to Bookstrand (where you can buy Alexis’ book!)

2nd Prize – eBook copy of Give Me Shelter

Every stop on this tour is eligible for the same contest.

You may enter by leaving a comment and email address on every stop.

That’s up to 12 entries!!!

 

Winner to be drawn on April 2nd

Behind Closed Doors With @MtnMoxieGirl Amber Lea Easton’s Reckless Endangerment #romance #suspense #ASMSG

 

Throwback Thursday layers

 

 

Welcome to Behind Closed Doors! Today is Throwback Thursday and I have a very special treat for you all today. My friend, fellow Siren author and fabulous editor of the Muses anthology is here today to talk about her romantic suspense novel Reckless Endangerment. Technically this one was released in April 2013 so it is a “throwback.” I thought it would be fun to dip back into catalog for today’s post. I’ll just let her take the reigns. Sit back and enjoy!

~Tammy

 

Behind Closed Doors…I love the name of this blog. What really goes on behind closed doors? Do we really know someone from their appearance and social persona, even if we regularly associate with them? Image is just that, a snapshot of who we are.

In my novel, Reckless Endangerment, Hope Shane appears to the world—and even to those closest to her—to be a badass reporter who needs no one and has more ambition in her little finger than most do in their entire bodies. But she’s more than that. She’s a woman who wants to fight for her marriage, who mourns the loss of too many friends she’s seen killed in a warzone, and who wishes people could see beyond the public persona.

Can you relate to that? Have you ever felt like you were living up to a standard that was exhausting to maintain? Maybe you’re not perfect, but guess what? No one really is. It’s easy to judge by appearances but it’s rarely accurate.

Michael Cedars is decorated war hero who has an image in his mind of who he is supposed to be in life, but all of that is erased when war wounds leave him partially paralyzed. The difference between his new reality and his expectations of himself as a man push him toward the edge. The very image he’d projected to the world no longer serves him and he doesn’t like his options. Yet everyone in his life is tugging at him to do this, be that, look ahead…and all he wants to do is give up.

Everyone struggles. People all have their challenges, but life moves forward sometimes at a faster pace than we can handle. So we plaster on the smile, live up to the image we choose to project, while we figure out exactly who we are and what we’re going to do about it. Fight, surrender, adapt, or mourn? Often it’s all of the above all done behind closed doors.

 

Blurb of Reckless Endangerment:

PassionHeroes come in many forms–soldiers who fall and rise and ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Sometimes heroes fall and take the ones they love down with them. Colonel Michael Cedars and reporter Hope Shane fell in love in a war zone, but then the world blew up, and splintered their lives in two.

Michael Cedars returns home from Afghanistan wounded and unsure where he fits in this ‘new normal’ of civilian life. Unsure if he’ll walk again, he questions his abilities as a man, husband, and father. Accustomed to giving orders, he’s thrown into a world where he doesn’t know the rules anymore and no one is respecting the officer in the room.

Hope isn’t one who gives up easily—not on her marriage and not on the innocent victims of a human trafficking ring she’s investigating. As the danger of her story intensifies, she struggles with her own post-traumatic stress disorder and a husband who resists her love.

Danger intensifies as Hope searches for truth and justice. Everyone she loves is at risk. Will her reckless pursuit of the human trafficking ring jeopardize their lives?

Michael knows she needs him, but doubts his ability to be the hero she still believes him to be. Is he still the man she married or has he become a liability that could get her killed?

 

Excerpt:

“You’re a selfish bastard.”  She shoved her hands through her hair and counted silently to twenty.  “Say what you want, I don’t care because I’d rather fight with you than mourn you. I’d rather you hate me than feel nothing.”

“I do hate you.”

Blowing a strand of hair from her face, she grabbed the ouzo bottle, opened it and slammed cabinet doors looking for a glass.

“I know you’re lying,” she said.

“Get the hell out of here,” he yelled.

“Where are your goddamn glasses?” she asked between clenched teeth.

“How would I know?  I’ve been here less than six hours.”

“Who needs a glass, right?”  She took a long swig of the liquor. The alcohol burned her throat but felt damn good. She took another swig before meeting his gaze.

“Is that how you’re dealing with your guilt?  Drinking it away?” he asked.

She held the bottle out toward him.  “Want a taste?”

He looked at her through narrowed eyes, muscle working overtime in his jaw.

“C’mon, babe, look at it this way…maybe a taste will kill you,” she said.

For the first time since entering the room, a flicker of humor shot through his eyes.  With a shrug, he grabbed the bottle and drank without breaking eye contact.

“I’m still alive,” he said.

“Sorry to disappoint you…again.”  Needing to touch him, she reached for the scar that zigzagged across his forehead.

He flinched away from her touch.

“You need to leave. You don’t owe me anything,” he said without looking at her face.

She caught her lower lip between her teeth and studied his bent head before answering.  “This isn’t about owing you anything.”

He met her gaze then, annoyance flashing in the brown depths.  But there was something else there, too…pain so intense she took a step back.

“What is wrong with you?” he asked. “Just because I’m in this chair doesn’t mean that you can bully me.”

Passion“Am I bullying you?” She grinned at the idea of bullying him.  He’d always been the badass Marine with more arrogance than necessary.  Her independence clashed with his attitude more often than not, but that had been a good thing.  Maybe—just maybe—he’d missed it.  “I brought you fast food and alcohol.  We even had a fight.  I think you like that I’m here.  I’m livening things up.  You looked pretty bored when I walked in.”

He grabbed her hand before she could snag another fry.  He squeezed her fingers so hard she thought her bones would snap.  “Look at me.  I’m not the man you married.  I’m not even a Marine anymore.  Look at me.”

She only saw the man she loved who stared back with desperation in his eyes. She saw his hair thicker and longer than she’d ever seen it before and liked it. She saw his teeth sink into his lower lip and wanted them sinking into her skin. She only saw Michael.

“You’re still the sexiest man on the planet,” she said.

“You’re delusional.”  He dropped her hand as if the mere touch of her skin sickened him.

“Maybe I am.”

“What are you getting out of this?”

“A headache.”

“I can’t. I’m changed.  We’ll never be able to be like we were.”  He looked at his legs.  “Not like how you remember me anyway. I’m different now.”

“So am I.  We’re all different.”

“It’s more than that and you know it.  You and me…sex…there will be…expectations.”

“I see, so I should pretend you don’t exist because you feel awkward about sex? You must not think much of me, Colonel.”  She bit out his rank between clenched teeth.

“When I see you that’s what I want, are you satisfied now?  Right now I would like to throw you up against that counter, rip those jeans from you and fuck you.  I remember how we were together.  That’s what I want.  I can’t do that.  Do you hear me?  I can’t have what I want and seeing you is torture for me.  I can’t have you.”

Silence quaked in the room.

She put both of her hands on his knees, conscious that he couldn’t feel her touch. “You keep talking about what you’ve lost, but you haven’t lost me.  Don’t you see that?  You may not be a Marine anymore and you may not be able to walk anymore, but you have me.  I love you.  I need you.  Can’t that be enough? And you have your son. What about him? He needs you, too.  You haven’t lost him.”

“I wish you hadn’t come here.”

“Too bad, I’m here. Deal with it.”  She moved onto his lap and moved her hands over his shoulders. “What’s the problem?”

“Stop this,” he whispered.

“You want me to kiss you. You want to kiss me back.”  She could see it in his eyes, the need, the desire, the question.  “Is that what you want, Michael?”

“What would that prove?”

“Does it have to prove something?  Can’t a kiss be a kiss?”

“No.”

“Typical man.”  She leaned within a fraction of his lips.  “Don’t you remember high school?  Don’t you remember when a kiss meant everything?”

In a sudden move, he grabbed the back of her head and ground his lips against hers.  She knew the intensity was meant to shock her so she matched it with her own.  She sat on his lap and plunged her tongue into the recesses of his mouth until he moaned.  His free hand squeezed her breast through the thin material of her blouse but, instead of hurting, it ignited her blood.

The Michael she knew still lived inside this man.  She felt him in the warmth of his mouth, the strength of his hands on her body, the restrained power of his touch.

She couldn’t stop touching him, hands moved through his hair, over his face, along his shoulders. Alive. Here. She fought back a Hallelujah.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://getBook.at/REALEaston

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/Z4F3qj

All Romance Ebooks: http://goo.gl/d7RRSt

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/14lTKrb

 

Contact information:

http://www.amberleaeaston.com,

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmberLeaEaston

and Twitter http://www.twitter.com/MtnMoxieGirl

 

Author Bio:

SantaMonicaAmber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of both nonfiction and fiction. She spent years working in journalism and advertising with a brief detour into the financial sector. She has three published romantic suspense novels—”Kiss Me Slowly”, “Riptide”, and “Reckless Endangerment”—and a contemporary romance novella, “Anonymity.” Her memoir about surviving the suicide of loved one, “Free Fall”, published in September 2013.

Easton is also an editor and professional speaker. Links to radio interviews can be located on her website, http://amberleaeaston.com, and her videos about romance writing have been showcased internationally on the Writers and Authors television network.

Easton currently lives with her two teenagers in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. She gives thanks daily for the view outside her window and healthy children. As long as she’s writing, she considers herself to be simply “a lucky lady liv’n the dream.”