So First up! In the last week of August, I should have Be My Hero (Pick and Eva's story) ready for the world.
I felt bad about always bugging the same people to beta read, so I sought out a whole new group of people this time around, and their wonderful comments made me think I could actually have it edited and whipped into some kind of shape by my release date!
It's with an editor now, and I should (fingers crossed) have it ready for reviewers in mid-August...hopefully. So hey! If there are any reviewers out there who'll want a copy, you can let me know, and I'll put you on the list to send out an ARC when they're ready!
The editor said my blurb is a hot mess, so that will obvious change, but...it's all I have at the moment, sorry, ergo here's a small clue as to what Be My Hero is about!
My life is an absolute mess. Single, nineteen, seven-months pregnant and living off the good graces of my cousin, I have no promising prospects for the future, no life skills in which to further myself. Plus I’m in the midst of a complete attitude overhaul, or at least I’m trying on that score. The last thing I should be thinking about is men. I’m done with that species. For good. Or at least I was until Pick exploded into my life.
For ten years, I have been dreaming about this girl. I know how she smells, how it feels to hold her in my arms, how she tastes when I kiss her. The problem is I’ve never actually met her. I don’t even know her name. I know that makes no sense, and you probably wouldn’t believe me, even if I told you the whole story. But she’s the one, and I’ve been waiting for her. It’s just my brand of luck that my soul mate would walk into the bar where I work on the very day I get married...to someone else.
They come from polar opposite backgrounds, and yet the connection they share draws them together too tightly to matter. Nothing can keep them apart...except maybe a three-month-old boy whose very life depends on them keeping their hands off each other. And so, their love becomes forbidden.
And here's a raw, unedited excerpt.
BE MY HERO TEASER
(warning : contains some explicit language)
“We’re only a block from the club. I’ll just drop you off at the front door, head to the drug store, pop over to Dawn and Sarah’s, and then come back to pick you up on my way home.”
She’d have to do a lot of driving out of her way to come back for me, but I knew she always felt a sense of urgency to hop right to whenever Mason’s mom needed something from her. So I kept silent.
“Okay.” Tucking Pick’s shirt into my purse, I bobbed my head as she slowed to a stop at the curb.
“And remember.” Reese sent me a wink and a grin. “It’s totally okay if you want to rip all those clothes off that tattooed piece of man candy and just...lick him. You’re pregnant. Your hormones are all out of control. It’s not your fault.”
I rolled my eyes, my pregnant hormones stirring at the visual my best friend had just painted in my head. “Thanks so much for your permission.” Opening the door, I added, “But listening to my hormones is kind of how I got into this situation in the first place. So, I think I’ll pass.”
“But Mason actually likes this guy. He says Pick is his favorite coworker...not only because he’s a hell of a worker, but because of the way he treats women. I guess the man knows how to make each and every one of them feel special.”
Staring at her, I tried to ignore the disappointment that bit me in the ass. So he treated all woman well, huh? I knew that was supposed to be a good thing. I mean, it was a good thing. But it also meant he hadn’t singled me out. I hadn’t been special at all, just another nameless, faceless female he felt the urge to pamper.
Shaking my head, I told myself it didn’t matter. I was staying away from all men, anyway. Focusing on nothing but babies over here.
But inside, it still hurt. I’d probably meant nothing at all to a guy I hadn’t been able to stop thinking about for two weeks straight.
With a shake of my head, I shook off my disappointment and blew Reese a kiss. “Bye, sweetie. Give Sarah this kiss for me, ‘kay?”
As Reese pulled away, I turned and looked up at the bright neon lights of the Forbidden Nightclub. They had ten more minutes until opening, so I hurried forward and knocked on the glass of the front door until the guy who’s name I’d never learned appeared on the other side, peering out at me.
I pulled Mason’s shirt out of my purse and waved it like some kind of peace offering until he unlocked the door and opened it.
“Hi,” I said, sending him an uncertain smile. “You’re Gamble, right?”
“Quinn,” he corrected.
Score. Got his name. “Quinn,” I repeated. “Right. Hey, I don’t know if you remember me. I’m Mason’s cousin, Eva.” Or I would be soon. “I’m here to deliver a shirt.”
“For Pick?” he asked, opening the door wide for me.
“Yep.” I stepped inside, holding my breath for that first moment I’d get to see him again. “For Pick.”
But I didn’t spot Pick anywhere. Aside from Quinn, only Mason and Ten filled the large, quiet club. I started for Mason, who was doing something behind the bar with his back to me.
“One black T-shirt,” I announced, making him jump and whirl around. “Freshly cleaned and folded.”
When I lifted it, he scowled at the article of clothing before glancing behind me. “Where’s Reese?”
“Change of plans.” I seated myself at the bar and spotted a bowl of beer nuts. I tapped my fingers along the countertop for a few seconds, trying to resist temptation, before I just couldn’t handle it any longer, and I reached out. “Your mom called.” My next words were muffled as I chewed. “Ree Ree had to do a pharmacy store run for Sarah. So she dropped me off and will be back once all that’s out of the way.”
Worry leapt onto his face. “What’s wrong with Sarah?”
I shrugged. “Fever. Or something. I’m not sure.”
Completely dismissing me, he yanked up his cell phone and started dialing. As he was busy calling Reese, Ten plopped onto the stool beside me.
Hitching his chin my way, he wiggled his eyebrows. “So, you going to breastfeed that kid once it pops out?”
When his gaze fell to my swollen, milk-filled boobs, I sighed. I’d dealt with this exact kind of immature moron way too much in my life. Shifting closer toward him, I gave him a flirty smile. “Why, yes. Yes, I am.” Touching his arm, I fluttered my lashes. “Hey, do you think you could watch me do it sometime, tell me if it looks right, because...” I lifted my fingers to bite one fingernail. “I’m just so new at it, I don’t know how to make anyone suck on my tits.”
He nodded, dumbly, his mouth falling open. “Hell, yeah, I could watch. You serious, honey?”
“God, no, I’m not serious, you loser.” Shoving him hard in the arm, I pushed him off the bar stool he was sitting on. “Get a life and stop hitting on pregnant woman. Gah!”
After tripping over his own legs, he landed on his ass, hard. With a mouthful of muttered curses, he scrambled upright and dusted floor grime off the back of his jeans as he scowled. “Jesus, I was just asking. All you had to do was say no.”
“No,” I said, eyeing him with some serious warning.
He lifted his hands and backed away, “Fine. Whatever. Your loss, milk tits.”
When he turned away, Pick finally appeared, striding out of the back hall and running a harassed hand through his damp hair as if something had upset him. A sizzling wave of energy passed through me. I popped off the bar stool so fast I made myself dizzy.
“Hi,” I rushed out the breathless greeting.
He lurched to a stop and jerked his head my way. As he stared without responding, I grew extra nervous. “I...you...here. Shirt.”
Oh, my God. What the hell had I just said?
His eyebrows crinkled with confusion as he looked down at the shirt I was thrusting at him. When he looked up again, I blew out a breath. “Mason called,” I finally said with some decorum, even though my cheeks were burning up with embarrassment.
I couldn’t believe I was acting like such a ditz. I was Eva Mercer, the queen of cool and collected, unaffected and always hard-to-get. I was supposed to have goddamn attitude here. If I’d just thrown myself at Pick’s feet and begged take me, I’m yours, I don’t think I could feel any more pathetic than I did now.
“He said you needed a shirt and asked if we could run one of his down to you,” I added more calmly. “So...voila! Here you go. Cleaned it myself, just today.”
He didn’t take the shirt. Frowning, he asked, “Mason called you? Wait, you do his laundry?”
I wasn’t expecting such questions, and I was a little thrown off by the accusation in his voice.
Blinking and sputtering, it took me a moment to answer. “Well...yeah, I do their laundry. If I’m going to live with them and sponge off them, the least I can do is wash their clothes. And it wasn’t like he called me, exactly. He called Reese and asked her. But she’s...otherwise occupied at the moment, and I was just sitting around on the couch, you know, waiting for my baby to be born. So, I volunteered.”
He began to smile as if pleased to hear I’d actually wanted to come fetch him a shirt. But then another frown marred his brow. He shook his head. “Wait. You live with Mason?”
“What?” My eyes grew big as I blurted. “No. Not at all. I live with Reese...who...lives with Mason.” When he lifted an eyebrow, I bit my lip. “So, okay, technically, I guess we reside under the same roof. And eat in the same kitchen, and share one miniscule little bathroom, but...I don’t live with Mason. Nothing like that.” When I gave a nervous little laugh, he burst out smiling.
God, I loved his smile. I loved how it made his eyes light up and how his stretched lips made the rings in them shift and move. I just felt so full whenever he looked happy like this.
“Well, thanks for clearing that up. And thanks for the shirt.”
He reached out and wrapped his fingers around a portion of cloth. But I wasn’t so ready to give up this moment. When he tried to slip it out of my hand, I didn’t exactly let him take it. We found ourselves both holding onto the same item, neither of us letting go, playing a seriously hot game of tug-of-war.
“You’re welcome,” I said, noticing how the drenched shirt he was wearing now clung to his torso. And, wow, who knew someone so slim could have such a defined chest? And was the an outline of a nipple ring I saw through that wet cloth? Oh holy hosanna, the boy had a pierced nipple. Kill me now.
And that's all I'm going to show you about that!
So a week or two after Be My Hero comes out, Loving Lies will make it's big appearance. I saw a peek of the cover. It matches Fighting Fate pretty well (which is the first book in this series). Can't wait to show it to you. Until then, though, here's a a blurb and excerpt for that!
LOVING LIES BLURB :
Tess Simpson absolutely cannot handle seeing anyone suffer. When she volunteers to work as a candy striper after the Granton University school shooting, she is only supposed to coax the amnesiac in room 312 to eat his supper. Yeah right. After learning no one’s come to visit him since he woke from a coma and can’t remember who he is, Tess needs to make him feel loved, ASAP. Telling him she’s his girlfriend isn’t part of her plan, but that’s exactly what blurts from her mouth.
Except one little lie made from the purest of intensions can still rattle the hardest of hearts.
LOVING LIES TEASER
(warning : contains some explicit language)
Covering her mouth, Tess hurried down the hall and veered blindly around the first turn she came to, only to get rammed in the gut by an empty cart.
She didn’t even feel the pain in her abdomen. She closed her eyes and moaned. “I’m sorry.” Lifting her hand in apology to the cart pusher, she whirled away to run in the opposite direction.
But Bailey’s voice has her screeching to a halt and spinning back. “Tess?” From the other side of the cart, her best friend blinked at her as if she’d lost her mind. “What the hell? Are you okay? Did someone hurt you?”
Like a balloon deflating of air, all the pent up misery and guilt rushed from her system. “No.” Tess charged toward Bailey and grabbed her arm. “We need to go. Right now.”
“Wha—” Bailey stumbled along behind her. “What happened? Oh, shit. You didn’t kill the poor bastard in three-twelve, did you?”
“No. But I’m going to have a panic attack if we don’t find an exit soon.” When she hurried them around another corner, she whimpered. “Where the hell are all the elevators in this freaking building?”
“Good Lord.” Bailey let out a huff, grabbed Tess’s hand and led her the other way until they exited the hall and those magical silver doors came into view.
Beyond grateful, Tess rushed to them and started jabbing buttons. She didn’t speak until the doors opened and she and her best friend were safely sealed inside alone. When the floor began to drop, making everything in her stomach dip as well, she wrapped an arm around her waist and turned to Bailey.
“I think I just made the worst mistake of my life.”
Bailey blinked. “Well? What happened?”
Tess sucked in air, so much that she became lightheaded. “I...I...I felt so bad for him. No one had come to visit him, he’d been shot three times, and he’d just come out of a coma. A coma, Bailey, a freaking coma. And now he has amnesia. He was so alone and afraid and upset. And his eyes. Oh, my God. His eyes seemed to hold all the pain in the world. I just couldn’t...he needed to know someone cared, so I...so I told him...”
“You told him what?”
With a wince, Tess buried her face in her hands and peeked between the gap in her fingers. “I told him I was his girlfriend.”
Bailey’s jaw dropped. “You did what? Holy shit, Tess! Why would you say that?”
“I just told you why!”
“But his girlfriend? Why would you go that route? Couldn’t you have just said you two shared a class together or something?”
Tess began to wring her hands. “That was the original plan, but I...I froze. He was just...he was so hot. Like...an eleven, hot. Like mouth-wateringly gorgeously hot.”
“Oh.” Bailey rolled her eyes. “Jesus, what is it about a guy with a pretty face that brings out your stupid gene?”
“I don’t know,” Tess wailed, gripping her hair. “But I wish it’d just go away and quit afflicting me because it’s going to get me into deep trouble one of these days.”
“You mean, like it just did.”
Tess dropped her hands to scowl. “You’re not helping.”
Right now, I'm working on Book four and five and possibly six of the Forbidden Men series, along with book three of the Granton University series, as well as a new standalone Young Adult romance.
And that's about all I have to report today. Hope you have a good one!