First excerpt plus more!

February 12, 2015

And I’m back! M.D. Grimm here promoting “Hearts and Minds,” my Valentine’s Day themed sequel to “Healing Minds” in my The Shifters series. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6031

 

Josh and Xavier have been working so hard they haven’t really had time for a “honeymoon.” I really like these guys—they are so motivated and duty-oriented. In my humble opinion, they are probably one of the best couples I’ve penned. While I love every single one of my characters and enjoy all the couples, Josh and Xavier probably had the most evolution. The first draft of “Healing Minds” was utter crap, to be honest. I didn’t know where I was heading or what I was trying to say. My beta at the time agreed with me. But then I rewrote it from page one and all the puzzle pieces were finally assembled. I heard their voices, I sensed their struggles, and when I finally got them together, I was over the moon.

 

And now we have “Hearts and Minds” which is centered around Valentine’s Day, but the book is truly about compromise and working together as a team. Because of their busyness, Xavier and Josh haven’t really had much time alone together, to indulge in one another (sad, right?). That has led to a few unsaid conflicts that arise in this story. They both have strong personalities, have been trained in combat (though Xavier’s was far more intense), and both believe they are right all the time (and that never ends well).

 

So for those of you who love Xavier and Josh as much as I do, consider this story a Valentine’s Day present from me to you. J

 

And here’s an excerpt!

 

 

Xavier had to walk around to the back of the house to find Josh, who was standing with a blueprint, shouting at the workers on the roof. There seemed to be a disagreement happening, and Xavier found it incredibly cute how Josh’s face was becoming as red as his hair and his blue eyes were bright with frustration. He was bundled against the low 40s temperature, and Xavier found it hard to think of anything but keeping Josh nice and warm under their blankets.

Xavier walked over to catch Josh say, “…where you guys are sitting is where the new addition is going to go. I keep telling you that. That’s what the blueprint says.”

“If you put it here, the plumbing’s going to be a disaster,” countered an older man, who Xavier knew to be a fellow wolf shifter. He looked as exasperated as Josh. “That blueprint is wrong, or ya ain’t looking at it right, boy.”

Josh scowled.

“Let me see.” Xavier snatched the blueprint from Josh.

“Xavier—”

Clearing his throat, Xavier saw the problem and turned the blueprint right-side up. He handed it back to Josh and tried not to laugh, but it was a hard struggle. Josh looked down at the paper, his face reddening further. He grumbled something before sucking in a large breath and looking back up at the roof workers.

“Carry on, boys, we found out the problem.”

The workers glanced at each other. The older wolf shifter shook his head and mumbled something Xavier thought sounded like “Pups.”

Xavier turned his attention to Josh. “Morning, love.”

Josh rolled up the blueprint and gave him a smile. “Morning. Guess I still need a few lessons in ‘Building Remodeling 101.’”

Xavier chuckled. Then he cupped Josh’s face and kissed him soundly. Josh attempted to pull back for a split second before he melted against Xavier. Making a growly purr deep in his throat, Xavier wrapped his arms around Josh. He deepened the kiss, his tongue taking possession of Josh’s mouth, one hand curling around the back of Josh’s head. In response, Josh gripped his shoulders, a sweet moan coming from him.

Xavier reluctantly pulled back a moment later and was happy to see that Josh’s eyes were slightly blurry. He didn’t care that they were getting looks and snickers. He craved this man like a drug. Everything between them still felt fresh and new.

“Now it is a very good morning,” Xavier said.

Josh grinned. “Definitely.”

Xavier shifted his mouth close to Josh’s ear. “But it would have been a great morning if you’d stayed in bed.”

“I… well, there’s so much to do. I had to get an early start—”

Xavier kept his arms tightly around Josh’s waist, knowing a ramble about to start when he heard it. His redhead had a tendency to talk and talk… and talk. “You’ve been getting an early start for a couple of weeks now. There will always be so much to do. I need my mate.”

Josh sighed and pulled back slightly. Their eyes met. Xavier enjoyed the look of him, and he had a special adoration for the freckles that spread across his nose and cheeks. Xavier happened to know they covered Josh’s entire body.

“Sorry, X. You need your sleep. I don’t want to disturb you in the morning.”

Xavier raised an eyebrow. It was sweet how naïve Josh was sometimes.

“Josh, I always want you. Wake me up whenever. I’ll just sleep after.”

Josh let out a short laugh, his bright blue eyes sparkling. “Okay, got that.”

He pulled away, and Xavier let him. If he kept holding Josh, he might be tempted to drag him into the house and take him on the floor. His wolf didn’t think that was a bad idea.

Josh lifted the blueprint again. He tilted it one way and then the other, then covered one eye, then just sighed and shook his head. “I give up. I’m no good at this.” He shoved the print into Xavier’s hands. “Could you monitor them for me? I have a patient in ten minutes.”

“You need to stop booking them so early in the morning.”

Josh shrugged, smiling. “I have to book them whenever I can or else I’d never see them. We have to make ourselves available, remember?”

“Yeah, but we also need some time for just us, right?”

“Of course!” Josh jumped up and kissed Xavier quickly. Then he was gone, striding away. “I’ll see you later!”

It was incredibly annoying that Josh seemed so fucking immune to the lust bubbling inside Xavier. Kissing and blowjobs had been the extent of their lovemaking for too long, and Xavier was itching for more. He really wanted to be inside Josh again. More than anything, he wanted intimacy; he wanted time alone with his mate, no interruptions, no pressures, no duties.

Grumbling, he looked at the print and attempted to keep his mind busy by bossing around the workers.

 

 

Who is your favorite couple in “The Shifters” series? I refuse to have a favorite couple because that feels like I’m playing favorites with my children. I love all of them and am mighty proud with how each one turned out.

 

I shall be back!

 

-M.D. Grimm

Hearts and Minds release party

February 12, 2015

Hello and welcome! M.D. Grimm here, ready to chat with you lovely people. Today the DSP blog is mine, and I’m promoting my newest release “Hearts and Minds.” http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6031

 

Hearts and Mind-seqel

 

This story resides in my Shifters series universe and is a sequel to “Healing Minds” (book 5). As a reminder, the couple in that story was Josh (Agency aide) and Xavier (psychologically damaged wolf shifter).

 

In “Hearts and Minds” we visit them nearly a year later, and they are working on their clinic that will eventually house shifters who were once prisoners of the evil Knights.

Here’s the blurb:

 

With the construction for their shifter rehabilitation clinic in Haven underway, Xavier and Josh couldn’t be happier, professionally. But their busy lives leave them little alone time. It’s putting a strain on their relationship, and they still haven’t had anything close to a honeymoon. Josh realizes Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and sees an opportunity he can’t let get away. But never having observed the holiday before, he has no idea what Xavier might want. All Xavier knows is that Josh wants to celebrate, but he has no clue how. Before either of them makes a concrete decision, a bear shifter attacks Haven and tramples their romantic plans.

 

What is your favorite shape-shifter? Mine’s a dragon (If I’m going to dream, I’m going to dream big!)

 

I’ll be back with more info and excerpts, so stay tuned!

 

May dragons guard your dreams,

M.D.

MOVING ALONG – KEN BACHTOLD – ALL BY MYSELF

February 2, 2015

Lordy! I just realized I mispelled the names of BOTH Ariel Tachna and Marie Sexton! I can only blame the heady throws of composing posts to the great people who responded to me. We actually had back and forth conversations! The best. More personal. I’m so grateful to all of you because this is my first blog, although All By Myself XvNkGpic7Skp is my third novel to be published by Dreamspinner! I feel so lucky and without the ongoing help of Hayley Petersen (sainthood is in order) I doubt this blogging would have happened at all! Did anyone else have trouble at first with blogging?

The past becomes the present

January 16, 2015

Hello, I’m Elizabeth Noble and my time on this blog, discussing A Barlow Lens, my latest release is about up. Dreamspinner Press is offering a 25%off coupon code good from now until Monday. The code is Noble0116 (case sensitive). Everyone commenting is eligible to win a free eBook copy of A Barlow Lens. I’ll announce the winner Sunday evening.

In the present day part of the book Val and Wyatt use a number of sources to look back into the past and solve a decades old mystery. I had to really think about how someone now would investigate a murder that took place about 90 years prior. Val and Wyatt had to get pretty crafty when digging up their facts. They used a few resources, old photographs, a museum and drawings from a school girl from the time.

Just like an astronomer uses a telescope and special lens as tools to exploring the night sky, Val and Wyatt used a number tools as well. What they discovered was how the lives of a street cop, a teacher and a gangster collided in 1927. The lives of Tom and Philip intertwined with Val and Wyatt’s years after their deaths.

Every life is a circle.

 

Excerpt:

After coffee and breakfast, Val looked much better and Wyatt definitely felt much better.

“Kevin destroyed all our evidence. How are we going to find out what happened?” Val asked. They sat at the table, and he was finishing a second cup of coffee. “From what we learned so far, I’m having a hard time believing it was Tom who started that fire. I want the end of the story.”

“I agree. That article you read, the one written by one of the surviving students, you said she disputed Tom being at fault,” Wyatt said.

“Yeah.” Val put his coffee cup down with a soft clunk. “Think she’s still alive?”

“I suppose it’s possible. If not, maybe we can track down a relative who might be able to shed some light on things.” He stood up, taking his phone. “I have to call Lily. We were supposed to meet her yesterday, and I want to make sure she’s all right and let her know we’re okay.”

It took them some serious searching, putting both training and skills to good use. Wyatt had years of experience researching and ferreting out useful bits of data from the most mundane sources. He was constantly impressed and surprised by Val’s ingenuity and downright creativity when it came to hunting facts and people on the internet. Val found sites and resources Wyatt would never have thought existed, let alone gone to while trying to locate someone.

They ended up spending a day at the police museum and city hall searching records, even enlisting Lily’s aide. She was able to aim them at documents kept at the museum and a local university containing a great deal about the woman who’d written the article as well as other pieces that had appeared in newspapers over the years. The woman had mounted a campaign to bring the story of what really happened to light, but it never seemed to happen.

It took considerable effort on all their parts, but finally there was a solid trail to be followed. While it didn’t lead to the little girl who grew into the woman who’d written the article, they did have a clear picture of who she was.

“Molly and her brother Dennis, who was three years older, survived the school fire,” Val said, reading Wyatt the notes and timeline they’d put together. “Molly was really an amazing woman. She grew up and married a Tony Petite a few years before we got into World War Two. He was in the Navy and stationed in Hawaii. They not only lived through Pearl Harbor, but she also survived the 1946 tsunami. He wasn’t in Hawaii at that time.”

“That is one lucky woman. She lives through a fire that killed more than survived, the bombing of a naval base, and a tsunami.” Wyatt settled in a chair. He’d bought some large pads of paper with adhesive strips on the back and watched as Val stuck them to the wall, making lists and drawing arrows from one thing to the next.

 

I have a number of old photos sitting in several boxes. Some of them are more than a century old and I love looking at them. Each one tells a story. Do you have any photographs or documents that give you clues into the lives of people living in the past?

1927 and Now

January 16, 2015

I’m Elizabeth Noble and I’ve confiscated the Dreamspinner Blog to talk about my latest release A Barlow Lens.

The story this book tells takes place in two separate, but interconnected timelines. The story begins in the present with Val and Wyatt, two men preparing for their wedding. When Wyatt is asked to consult on a cold-case murder, he and Val get a look back at what life was like for another gay couple Tom and Philip. The majority of the story takes place in Cleveland, Ohio which looked a lot like this in 1927.

 

RexallDrug1960_72

 

This is part of the neighborhood Tom and Philip lived in. This business and building no longer exist today. The neighborhood I’ve used while telling the story is the same one I live in now. It was also the neighborhood where my grandparents spent much of their youth. While A Barlow Lens isn’t a historical novel, I have tried to make the sections written in that time line as accurate as possible. One of the characters in the book, a small time gangster named Archie is loosely based on stories my grandfather told me about one of his older brothers.

Tom and Philip read the Cleveland Press newspaper and back then it looked a lot like this.

firrst

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you like novels that give you a little bit of history but aren’t necessarily historical novels or are you a purist?

Don’t forget Dreamspinner is offering a 25% off coupon code for all my books now through Monday. The code is Noble0116 (case sensitive).

Here is an excerpt from the 1927 portion of the story:

 

TOM MANNING stopped just inside the heavy, wooden door and stomped the snow from his boots. He shrugged out of his overcoat and waited for his eyes to adjust to the lower lighting. A shiver worked its way down his spine. There was a fire, the room was warm, but it still took his body a few minutes to acclimate to the temperature without his coat. He turned to the right where one of the large coatracks stood next to the door and added his coat to the ones already there. Taking his hat off, he shook snow from the fabric and wiped one hand over his hair. He gave his head a little shake to clear off any excess snowflakes.

 

A radio in one corner provided music. Despite its scratchy reception, there were a few couples swaying on the dance floor. Tom had become a regular in this particular juice joint, even though it was far enough from his small apartment in the West Park section of Cleveland that it took planning and a little time to get there. That was just fine by Tom. It made the Canary, this joint’s name, safer. Most cops wouldn’t bother coming this far north and west, and if they did, there’d be plenty of warning. At least Tom hoped so.

 

The first few times he’d come there, he had worried about who might see him. Then he realized that if someone saw him, they’d come to the Canary for the same reason. This particular speakeasy catered to a select and secretive group of men and women.

 

Tom slid onto a stool and smiled when the bartender sashayed over with a plate of sandwiches thick with meat and cheese on freshly baked bread.

 

“We got a new shipment in this week. Care to give it a try, honey?” The bartender, Billy, flipped a towel over his shoulder and put his hand over Tom’s for an instant. He tipped his head at a table on the other side of the room. “He’s been asking after you. I’ll get you two of what he’s having.”

 

“Appreciate it,” Tom said. He twisted on the stool to get a better look at the man at the table. The man had dark hair and was built like a bull. His big hands cradled the glass of bootleg, and that sent a spark coursing right through Tom to his balls. Beefy hands that handled a glass gently. What would they do to Tom’s flesh?

 

Thanks to Billy and his need to be in everyone’s business, Tom might just find out.

Every life is a circle

January 16, 2015

Hi there. I’m Elizabeth Noble and I’m here today to celebrate my latest release: A Barlow Lens

Dreamspinner Press is offering a coupon code beginning today and good until Monday for 25% off all my books! The code is Noble0116 (case sensitive).

logo

 

 

A Barlow Lens is the second book in the Circles series. Run for the Roses kicked the series off. When I wrote Run for the Roses I intended it to be a standalone story. It sort of ended on a tiny cliff hanger, but the story itself was wrapped up. Then somewhere along the way between submitting and release I had an idea for a series. So, Circles was born. The series tagline is ‘every life is a circle’ and that is also an underlying theme of the series. Each book introduces one or two of the main characters featured in the next book in the series. All the stories in Circles are a mystery. Sometimes there is murder, sometimes not, but one of the MCs is involved in law enforcement. Will the books eventually circle back to earlier characters? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually happens.

A Barlow Lens takes its title from a piece of equipment used in an astronomical telescope, the Barlow lens. When one takes a peek into a telescope and views the stars you are actually looking back in time. Starlight travels vast distances over many, many years. The light we see in the sky tonight may have started its journey hundreds or thousands of years ago. We are seeing something that happened long ago.

_hps_2xb1_2

There is no way that is not the most coolest thing ever!

What does this little bit of metal and glass have to do with a murder mystery? Good question.

The plot of A Barlow Lens takes place in two separate timelines. The modern day characters, Wyatt and Val, find themselves involved in solving a cold-case murder that happened eighty years prior. They look back at the lives of another gay couple, Tom and Philip, living in a completely different social atmosphere in order to solve the mystery. During the investigation the story of two lovers from the past comes to light. That story, like starlight, traveled a long way through time before being seen and told.

In keeping with the theme of the series during the investigation Wyatt’s past comes back in unexpected and sometimes dangerous ways. A Barlow Lens is a look back that sheds light on the present for Wyatt and Val, proving every life is a circle.

Anyone answering any of the questions in any of my posts today will be entered into a contest to win a free eBook copy of A Barlow Lens, simply make sure I have your email. I will leave this contest open until Sunday evening.

What branch of law enforcement  should I write about in the future?

Welcome to A Barlow Lens release party!

January 16, 2015

1813614  Hello. I’m Elizabeth Noble and welcome to the virtual release party of my latest novel, A Barlow Lens. Please visit the Circles website to stay up to date on the entire series.

Before I forget, because I always forget, Dreamspinner Press has offered a coupon code: Noble0116 (case sensitive).  It’s good for 25% off all my books beginning today, Friday, and expires on Monday.

To start the festivities here is the blurb and a bit of an excerpt from the book.

 

Blurb:

While planning a future with his partner, Val, Wyatt’s past refuses to be forgotten. Wyatt’s old friend asks him to look into the mysterious death of her uncle in a fire back in 1927, when men were silent, tough, and did not love other men—except when they did. Working with Val, Wyatt digs up clues uncovering the truth behind the tragic school fire and the one responsible. The story of Tom and Philip slowly reveals itself, and Wyatt and Val realize nothing is as simple as they originally believed. As their trail heats up, an old enemy of Wyatt’s decides he’s waited long enough for revenge. If Wyatt can’t tie everything together, history might repeat itself.

 

 

Excerpt:

Once they were back at their hotel, Wyatt ushered Val into their room, not bothering with the light. They were high enough up there was no need to close the drapes, and light from the city cast a soft glow over them.

As Val unbuttoned his suit jacket, Wyatt stepped up behind him, placing his palms on Val’s shoulders, then rubbing lightly up and down his arms a few times. “Let me give you a hand.” Wyatt eased the jacket off and kissed the side of Val’s neck, nudging his head to the side as he did so. A low moan rumbled out of Val’s chest. Wyatt dropped the jacket on a chair and slipped his hands under Val’s shirt, caressing Val’s skin with his fingertips.

When he reached Val’s tightening nipples, he rubbed small circles until Val’s hips jerked. Val shuddered and pulled in a quick, shaky breath, making Wyatt smile. Val’s tie and shirt joined his jacket. Wyatt ran his hands over Val’s torso before returning them to Val’s shoulders. He lightly traced the scars on Val’s shoulder with first his finger, then his tongue.

Val’s surgery to repair the damage done in the course of stopping some seriously dangerous people who had been trying to force jockeys to throw races, had left several scars. They weren’t red, raised, and angry anymore. Val never complained about them hurting, but the marks were still puckered and darker than the surrounding skin.

“You know,” Val whispered between dragging in a breath and panting it out again. “That first time we went out to dinner, I was so worried you’d think I was some uncouth, country hick because I don’t know about wine and art. And that I was too young to bother with.”

“Hmm, do you know what I worried about when I was thirty?” Wyatt scraped his teeth across Val’s shoulder blades.

“N-no. What?”

“Getting a sweet piece of hot ass,” Wyatt said in a low voice.

Val laughed. “Well, you’re sort of slow. Took you long enough. Worth the wait?”

“Oh, hell, yes.” Wyatt maneuvered Val to the bed.

There is an age difference between Val and Wyatt. What’s your preference, couples that are closer or farther apart in age? Any personal experiences to share?

 

 

Get to Know K.C. Wells

January 6, 2015

Do any of your characters haunt you and if so, why?

I really don’t think any of my characters haunt me. Sean’s predicament in Learning to Love: Final Exam, now, that’s another matter. I cried writing those scenes. Even now when I read the scene before he goes in for surgery, I tear up.  What comes across is how scared he is – and how much he loves his husband Michael.

Please give us the inside scoop on your upcoming release, A Bond of Three.

This was one of my first ideas for a book, back in 2012, only it wouldn’t leave me alone. Having said that, the novel changed direction when I got to the chapter introducing Prince Sorran. He was….different. And when I got my head around that, I suddenly had a very different plan for the story.

I met with author Chris Quinton in the summer of 2012, when she came to visit the Isle of Wight where I live. I outlined the story for her. She listened intently, and when I’d finished, she looked me in the eye and said, “you have to write that book.” Whoa.

I admit to being a little nervous. So far I’ve written either contemporary or BDSM. This was A, an MMM story, B, a fantasy and C with an added dash of paranormal for good measure – yeah, nothing liked anything I’d written to date. When I first started sending chapters to my betas, I was getting the same response….

“I don’t like fantasy.”

“I don’t like ménage.”

“Hell, woman, give me MORE!!!!”

I sent an advance copy to a friend who doesn’t normally ‘do’ ménage – three guesses what her response was? LOL

So yes, I am awaiting the response from my readers with mixed feelings.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

HA! My close friends would say, “But she’s always writing!!!!” Er, I read, I love watching movies, I knit, I used to paint, but writing is far more satisfying. But there’s always my notebook not far away – I’ve learnt by now to keep it close. Ideas come ALL the time! But yes, it’s true that if I were writing more, I’d be a happy bunny.

What’s one of your guilty pleasure?

OOOH….Snuggling up with a good book, usually one that I know really well – the Deviations series by Chris Owen, ANY of the Jarhead series by Sean Michael,  the Jock Dorm series by Bobby Michaels, (One of the first MM series I ever read and I still love them)

Then there’s my other guilty pleasure… and nope, you’re hearing NOTHING about that one! ;-)

_____________________________

Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. Wells always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way.

K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, where the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….

K.C. now writes full time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.

K.C. can be reached via e-mail, on Facebook, or through comments at the K.C. Wells website. K.C. loves to hear from readers.

Sweet Fire Release Party – Sarah and Shannen Brady Part 6

January 3, 2015

SweetFire_headerbanner

riverfront park

 

Sarah here, ONE MORE TIME!

Check out Riverfront Park in the daylight.  Nice, huh?  This is where Aaron and Ramón like to go running. Hot, sweaty, beautiful men, pretty flowers. Perfect.

OK, that was totally random, though I really love that run-through-the-park scene.

If you’ve enjoyed your jaunt through Spokane with the boys and would like to see more, feel free to check out the other stops on our blog tour. Here they are:

January 2 (I know, that was yesterday but you can still check it out.) Interview with J. Scott Coatsworth at www.queerscifi.com

January 4 Visit with Tracy St. John, Queen of Kalqorians at Wicked Words, www.tracystjohn.blogspot.com (Sexiest aliens ever! I own every book.)

January 5 Guest blog with Tara Lain, creator of the Harker Pack series, among other amazing books http://taralain.com.

January 6 Guest blog with Dreamspinner author Anne Barwell at Drops of Ink http://anne-barwell.livejournal.com.

January 7 Guest spot with Tempeste O’Riley, (wait a minute while I go all fangirl over her Designs of Desire series. Sweet and kinky-hot at the same time. Awesome. OK, we can go on now.) http://tempesteoriley.com/blog/

January 12 Guest spot with Elizabeth Noble on Emotion in Motion http://www.elizabeth-noble.com

If you want to know more about our weird and wonderful publishing journey or our books, both out and in progress, feel free to check out our own web site www.sbradybooks.com, like us on Facebook at SBradyBooks or follow us on Twitter @sbradybooks.

It’s been a long day of Book Release Excitement but it’s time to wrap it up. The prize winner will be contacted tomorrow. Thanks so much to Dreamspinner Press for letting us have the blog today. Thanks to Tricia, our senior editor, and all the other editors who helped knock Sweet Fire into shape to publish, and to Paul and Haley and Rose and Naomi and all the rest of the Dreamspinner team. We couldn’t have done this without your help. Andrew Grey, because we love your books, we forgive you for making off with our original title. If we had to lose it, it’s an honor to lose it to you. (The working title of this book was Fire and Water and now we know why DSP made us change it.)

I hope everyone enjoyed this peek into Sweet Fire. We’ll leave you with my favorite scene out of everything I’ve ever written, where Ramón takes Aaron to his favorite bear bar and we find out Ramón’s not so uptight after all.  Good night everybody and thanks for stopping by.

 

Excerpt:

Ramón set a pair of tall green glasses on the table and slid onto the stool at right angles to his own chair, facing the dance floor.

“So you come here now and then, do you?”

Ramón’s cheek twitched. “Maybe a little more often than that.” He scanned the room and nodded at yet another person waving at him. “Most of the gay contingent of the county’s cops, firefighters, and EMTs come here. The band has a regular gig here too. They’re pretty good.”

“I bet they are, but the next time you say you’ve been somewhere a few times, I’ll have to assume you’re full of shit.”

Ramón grinned at him and raised his glass in a toast just as the sound system roared to life. The bass player plucked out an opening riff that had Ramón jerking his head around to stare at him, then dropping his face into his hand. Concerned, Aaron put a hand to his shoulder. What the hell? He didn’t understand what was going on until the bass player stopped and the lead singer stepped up to the mike.

“Looks like we have some old friends in the crowd tonight!” The man’s voice was deep and smoke-raspy, and he was looking right at their table. Ramón looked up and shook his head, clearly telling the man no way.

Del Rio!” The massive drummer had a massive voice, and the chant was quickly picked up, first by the band and Ramón’s loud friends at the bar, then by the rest of the patrons.

Rio! Rio! Rio!” Ramón pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes for a minute while Aaron stared incredulously. It was obvious as soon as they walked in that Ramón was well known here, but he certainly never expected anything like this.

It quickly became clear that the noise wasn’t going to stop until the man did whatever the hell it was they wanted. Ramón slid off his chair and touched Aaron’s cheek with an apologetic smile, then turned and walked quickly to the stage, while the chant turned into a roar of whistles and cheers. Merciful gods! Aaron watched in stunned amazement as Ramón, solid, serious Ramón set one hand on the edge of the stage and vaulted onto it. He stood with his back to the room for a long moment, plucking in what Aaron assumed was a nervous tic at the buttons at the cuffs and the front of his shirt.

Shocked as he was to see his quiet lover leap onto the stage, he was still unprepared for what came next. The oldies bass riff came again, and Ramón turned quickly around, ripping off his shirt at the same time. The dark cotton shirt drifted to the stage floor, leaving Ramón in a thin wifebeater tank that gleamed whitely against his beautiful copper-brown skin. Aaron tried to swallow with his suddenly dry throat and gulped at his sticky drink.

Somehow the smooth baritone voice was the least shocking part of this whole incredible experience. As a soulful rendition of “Stand By Me” rolled over him, Ramón held his eyes, and the rest of the room faded completely away.

The first verse and the chorus came to him from the stage, and then, miraculously, unbelievably, it got even better. On the second verse, as the rest of the band started a smooth vocal backup, Ramón took the small headset that the lead handed him and started down the stage stairs. His eyes never left Aaron’s as he prowled down the steps and skirted the dance floor toward their small table.

The second chorus came, intense and soulful, and Ramón’s hand slid down Aaron’s throat and chest, taking all the air out of his lungs in the process. He struggled to breathe as the instrumental break gave Ramón an opportunity to lean in and run his mouth butterfly light along Aaron’s jaw and over the sensitive spot under his ear. The tiny headset mike his lover wore picked up a faint echo of two pounding heartbeats that blended seamlessly with the heavy bass line. By the time he pulled away, it was all Aaron could do to let him go, watching with his heart in his throat, tears in his eyes, and all the blood in his body in his jeans. The final chorus brought Ramón back up to the stage, moving back up the stairs with that panther-like grace that kept the eye of every man in the room riveted to his magnificent body.

The song ended, and the crowd went wild. Aaron hardly heard any of it as he sat frozen in his chair, gripping his hideous green glass with one hand and pressing the other to his chest, trying to get his rioting pulse under control. An erratic flame danced wildly in the glass candleholder. Suddenly Ramón was there, sweeping him out of his seat and into his arms to a fresh surge of whistles and cheers from the crowd. The band started a new song, without Ramón this time, and the two of them moved effortlessly together on the dance floor. As the space filled up with grinding, gyrating men, Ramón’s mouth came down over his, and Aaron knew, without a doubt, that the happily-ever-after he’d been waiting for all his life was right here in his arms.

 

Sweet Fire Release Party – Sarah and Shannen Brady Part 5

January 3, 2015

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Hello again! Shannen here. I wanted to talk about the number one thing I get asked about at conferences, meetings, and speaking engagements: writing romance with my mother.

When I go to author events, the question is inevitable. “You write WHAT? With your MOM?” It’s usually accompanied by a face that looks something like this:

eek face

 

Yup. I write romance with my mom, and I understand why so many people think it’s odd. Most people don’t want to think of their mom and sex in the same sentence, let alone collaborate on steamy stories.

I think what sets us apart is a few things. One, my utter lack of filter. You know that shut-up filter you have in the front of your brain that keeps you from saying awkward, personal or embarrassing things? Yeah, I don’t really have one of those. At least, not with my mom. For as long as I can remember, we’ve talked about everything without much awkwardness. Two, I think the fact that I exist is proof that my mother isn’t exactly a stranger to sexy-time. My mom isn’t easily rattled. Not much embarrasses her, so I’d have to come up with something pretty kinky in order to give her pause.

The biggest thing is just that we write what we like to read. And we both like to read romances. Did the first few sex scenes have us tying ourselves in knots? Yes. Do I still sometimes feel the need to say “ew” in her presence? I’m working on it. Neither of us are willing to give up writing cool books in order to save ourselves from a little discomfort – and that discomfort has dissipated pretty quickly.

P.S. Most people like sex. And that’s a good thing.

 

So…does anyone else have a mom who wouldn’t wash your mouth out with soap if you wrote a hot romance novel for her to edit?  Anyone have adult offspring who wouldn’t run away screaming?  We can’t be the only weird family out there. OK, maybe we are. (Opportunity to win a prize here.)

 

Here’s another peek into our story.  Ramón has a nightmare, re-living his run-in with Homeland Security….

“Mr. Del Rio, you don’t seem to understand the position you’re in. You have no power here. Since you haven’t been arrested, there are no records of you being taken into custody. You’re nothing, and as far as the US government is concerned, you were never here.”

Ramón’s blood surged with anger and fear.

“You bastard! You have no right to hold me without charge. I’m an American citizen, and I know my rights. I don’t have to say jack shit to you, and I want a lawyer, right the fuck now!”

The agent reached into his jacket, and fabric tore as he yanked out a leather billfold. He slapped it hard onto the table between them. Ramón recoiled as spit flew from the man’s mouth.

“This gives me the right, asshole! In case you’re too stupid to read it, it says Homeland Security. This says I can do any damn thing I want to you, and no lawyer will ever know you exist. Terrorists, both foreign and domestic, have taken away your precious rights.”

Ramón’s bowels turned to ice, and he stared in horror at the gleaming gold badge and laminated card. Sweet Jesus Christ, Alex. What have you gotten me into?

The man straightened, returning his ID to his pocket and combing his fingers through oily black hair. The other agent didn’t move. His interrogator moved silently around behind Ramón’s back. Chained to the table as he was, he couldn’t turn and keep an eye his tormenter. His scalp prickled at the feeling of the man leaning in close to whisper in his ear.

“Where is she, Del? Can I call you Del? That’s what your friends at the hospital call you, right? That’s what your partner calls you? Del? Just tell us where Alexandra is, and you’ll walk on out of here right now. Tell us about the cop at the hospital.” The man ran a soft hand down the back of Ramón’s neck, and he couldn’t suppress the shiver of revulsion that rolled through him. The voice continued in that reasonable tone.

“By now your family must be wondering where you are. We wouldn’t want your sister to worry, now would we?”

Fuck, fuck, fuck! Ramón twisted in the chair, trying to get out from under that petting hand. “You leave my sister out of this, you son of a bitch. She doesn’t know anything. She’s never even met Alex.”

“Well, I hope that’s true, Del. In that case, she has nothing to worry about. Except, of course, about whatever happened to her little brother. It’d be too bad if she never knew, don’t you think, Agent Smith?”

The blond behemoth stirred for the first time in hours. He pushed himself off the wall with a grunt and crossed the room to stand behind Ramón. Shit. Ramón tensed his muscles and kept his eyes glued to the scratched steel tabletop. There was no way in hell he would betray Alex to these freaks. In three years of working together, her Healing Gift had saved countless lives. She was a good person, no matter what these bastards said, and she was a good friend. And Tyler Kincaid was a good cop. Ramón tried to push his memory of the two of them out of his mind. He’d tell these sons of bitches nothing. Sooner or later they’d get tired of asking and figure out that he didn’t know where she was anyway. He’d never talk.

Eventually they did get tired of asking. He never did talk. But he did scream.