Five Alarm Alphas Author – Leah Braemel

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Feeding the Flames ~ Leah Breamel: When chef Tabatha Morgan returns to Barnett Springs, her burning crush on firefighter Zac Buchanan flares back to life. Trouble is, Zac has made a promise to keep his distance from Tabby, so Zac’s best friend and fellow firefighter Quinn decides to help feed the flames of their mutual desire.

I met LeNAFC_200x300ah a few years at the Lori Foster Reader/Author Get Together in Cincinnati. I loved meeting her and sitting and talking with her. She is funny and sweet and determined. If you don’t know her yet, you should get right on that.

Jake Grady loves Bull’s Hollow ranch and all the challenges and hard work it entails. But the past year hasn’t been easy—his father’s good name has been tarnished, and new financial problems are threatening to destroy everything the Gradys have built. Performing live under a stage name has become his escape, a way of blowing off some serious steam.

Accountant Paige Reynolds found Jake’s guitar-playing alter ego intriguing, but her connection with the real Jake sends her attraction into overdrive. When she’s summoned to make order out of the chaotic paper trail at Bull’s Hollow, he sets her world a-rocking—both in bed and out. But Paige has a plan; she’s determined to create her own path for the future, but is soon left scrambling for firmer ground. (more…)

Guest Post – Author Avril Ashton

She is one of my very favorite authors. When I discovered her Brooklyn Sinners series, I was hooked from the first word. SHE is Avril Ashton. We don’t talk a lot and we don’t hang out online together, but she’s become someone I look up to, we email sometimes, and have a deep, abiding NEED for coffee and most all things cake related. She’s no nonsense and she tells it like it is. 

Please welcome her. It’s not the first time she’s been on the blog and it certainly won’t be the last. 

Avril:

These past few months have been filled with newness. Lot of newness. I moved my family to a new state on a whim, a hope and a prayer. Talk about new. Then I published my first self published book. Let’s not discuss that whole never say never ish. I’d always said I wouldn’t do it. So yeah, I’m steady eating crow. *coughs*

I’ve been re-evaluating my career, my process, my everything. I’d always wondered about my style. Like, what is it I’m known for? Can you pick up a book without knowing the author and be able to say yup, that’s an Avril Ashton book? After much thinking, I feel as if you should. At least, I feel as if you should know my brand and what I write, and know that it’s gonna be chock full of certain things, feel me?

I wrote So Far Gone because I wanted something short and not that complicated to take my mind away from the labyrinth of sticky ish that is my Sinners. The story wasn’t all that complex and the angst wasn’t all that deep.

In my mind.

Then I publish the book and I’m getting feedback that the book is all kinds of dark and painful. I had to question myself, like seriously? Is it really that messed up and if it is, how come I didn’t see it? Is my pain/angst threshold so jacked that I can’t even see it? Maybe my brain sorta figured hey, it’s not the Sinners, therefore it can’t be all that bad. An automatic pacifier. Crazy, but hey.

Here’s my thing: You should know by now how my stories run. I’m never going to apologize for what and how my brain translates my stories from my fingers to the page. Everything that’s there is meant to be. If you’re crying it’s because you’re meant to and if you’re all hot and bothered, embrace that, too. Now, you can step away from it, and put me on your “don’t read” list because I broke your heart. That’s sad, but hey, who am I to tell you how to feel?

I only hope to make you feel something, what that is, I have no control over.

It’s only fair that you know what to expect from my books. Let me tick them off my fingers for you. Heartbreak, pain, happiness, and arousal. Not a lot, but I’m pretty sure that about covers the range of human emotion.

I don’t know how to not make you feel something, and if I did, why would I? My goal has always been to make someone feel, to make you experience something, a genuine and valid emotion. There are authors out there who I really envy, because they can write awesomely funny and light-hearted stories that just make you laugh all day long.

That’s not me. You should know this. I don’t do much laughter.

There are authors who I envy who write amazing stories that warms the heart, but never makes you cry. It’s all a steady flow of aww.

That’s not me. You should know this.

I want to wreck you.

There’s a quote I printed out that sits on my computer desk.

“Break their hearts. Then fix it.”

That’s my goal.

To break you down. Sounds kinda horrific? It’s not. The worlds I build, the men I introduce you to aren’t the sunshiny kind, why would my books convey that? The subject matter is never soft or light-hearted, why would you expect that from me?

Loving each other isn’t easy in any of my books, why would you expect sunshine and roses and kumbaya?

I love romance. I love sex. I love angst and conflict and happily ever after. I give all of that to you. In my way. Don’t expect me to be someone I’m not, to write something that isn’t me.

Picking up one of my books ensures that you will go through it. You will run the gamut. I go through it, don’t for a second think that I don’t. I’m there on the frontlines, hurting before anyone else does. Don’t for a second think I’m writing my books just for the shock value, angst for angst sake.

But reading one of my books means that you understand, this is how I do things. It’s my way. Not for the faint of heart. If you’re looking for sweet and uneventful, my books are as far from it as you can get. They’re not the safe, sigh-worthy kind.

They’re the snot-crying, heartbreaking kind.

It’s for some. Not for all.

And you know what? I’m fine with that.

 

so-far-goneSO FAR GONE

Avril Ashton

 One night? Feels like three years…

Jacob Donnelly wants something new. Something different. Which is why he’s got a one-way ticket to New York and his bags packed. One last night out to the bar finds him in a sexy stranger’s bed, giving in to an explosive chemistry Jacob had been searching for, but never found. Until now. It’s too bad he’s leaving town, although once he finds out his one night stand’s true identity, Jacob can’t get away fast enough.

Cash Warner made a mistake. It doesn’t matter that he’d never felt anything like the fire generated between him and Jacob. He doesn’t plan to ever see his one-night hookup ever again. Except he does. When the reality of what they’d done fully sets in, Jacob flees, leaving Cash struggling with how to deal with the bitter taste of betrayal he can’t escape. Because even with Jacob gone for years, Cash can’t stop wanting more of that one night. Fate conspires against them once again, bringing Jacob home after tragedy strikes, and they’ll find it near impossible to keep their distance despite being committed to other people.

 

EXCERPT

Time fell away and he became lost in the sight of the man he watched. Something about this Cash perked his body right up, made his blood sing. Tonight of all nights. The feeling was bittersweet. He’d never had a reaction to another man quite like this.

“Hey there.”

Jacob jerked his head up and almost gasped. Cash sank into the chair opposite him, dark gaze intent.

“Uh…”

“You been looking at me.”

That wasn’t a question. “I—” Jacob licked his lips.

“You.” The word mocked Jacob, but Cash’s gaze was searching.

“Yes.” Jacob cleared his throat. “I’ve been watching you.”

“You looking for something in particular?” Cash lifted a dark eyebrow and Jacob stared at him, trying to gather his thoughts. Cash didn’t break the gaze, he held Jacob tightly to him as surely as if they were locked in an embrace.

“Yes,” Jacob said slowly. “I was looking for something, but I…I think I may have found it.”

Cash blinked then, heat blazing in his eyes. He nodded once, but didn’t move otherwise. “I’m Cash.”

“Cash.” Jacob spoke his name for the first time testing it out. He liked it. “Jacob. I’m Jacob.”

“Jacob.” Cash smiled and Jacob shivered. “You should go to the men’s room, Jacob.”

His brain wasn’t working properly, wasn’t getting enough oxygen or something because for a second there, Jacob felt bewildered. Lost. He couldn’t process the words Cash spoke. He stared and Cash stared back, waiting…waiting…

“Oh.” He jerked backward then jumped to his feet. Cash’s gaze dropped to Jacob’s crotch. He followed the gaze then cursed.

“Shit.” He was hard. Clearly.

Cash’s lips quirked. “Bathroom?”

Jacob inhaled. “Yes.” One last gaze into Cash’s eyes and Jacob went. He walked to the bathroom on unsteady legs, palms sweaty, fists opening and closing as he tried to grasp and identify what it was he was feeling. He didn’t understand it.

Links

Amazon: http://bit.ly/amZ1Sfg

All Romance: http://bit.ly/SFG01sh

B&N: http://bit.ly/1qRJwWv

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/swSFG1

AuthorPicBIO

A Caribbean transplant, Avril now lives in Stone Mountain, GA., with a tolerant spousal equivalent. Together they raise an eccentric daughter who loves reading and school (not so much school anymore). Avril’s earliest memories of reading revolve around discussing the plot points of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys with an equally book-minded mother.

Always in love with the written word, Avril finally decided to do the writing in August of ’09 and never looked back. Spicy love scenes, delicious heroes, and wicked women burn up the pages of Avril’s stories, but there’ll always be a happy ending; Av remains a believer of love in all its forms.

Addicted to cake, the ID Channel and the UFC, Avril writes Erotic and GLBT Romance for Ellora’s CaveEvernight PublishingeXtasy BooksSecret Cravings Publishing and Total-e-Bound.

 

Visit: http://www.avrilashton.com

Friend me on: http://facebook.com/writeravrilashton

http://www.twitter.com/#!/AvrilAsh

Author Friday – Cover Reveals, Blurbs, Release Dates

LissaLogoYellow_reasonably_small There are new releases coming up, starting on October 22nd. Three new stories, the second in a series, and one re-release.

There are release dates on all except the re-release and Slide Down On Me. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be updating the website and giving you more information on my new series, Lone Star Sweets. (If you are so inclined, there is a Lone Star Sweets series page on Facebook that I’d love for you to Like)

I do have blurbs and covers for you, some of which you’ve seen, one or two that maybe you haven’t yet… Either way, here you go, in order of release…

 

 

Love and Tattoos, October 22nd…

Love&Tattoos_wlogo_200x300_300dpiA few years ago, Brax traded in his suit and law degree for part ownership in Love and Tattoos and he hasn’t looked back. Inked from head to toe, business smarts, and an affinity for loud music and hard sex, he’s got life right where he wants it.

Until the girl he can’t stop craving comes home.

Annie is lost and unsure how to find her way again. The corporate advertising firm she buttoned up her carefree personality for laid her off six months ago. Now her art is less than inspired, her sex life is nearly dead and buried, and the one thing worth having in the midst of her discontent is off limits.

One afternoon, Brax’s cockiness dares her to believe he knows her better than she knows herself and when he promises he can help her find what’s been missing, she reluctantly agrees to his little game. The challenge he lays out comes with a few strings, the suggestion of stripping, and the temptation of ink… But, they’ve never really been that close. How could she possibly lose?

 

The Cupcake Cowboy, Lone Star Sweets Book 1, November 19th…

CupcakeCowboy200x300Dear Readers,

My name is Jackson Dawson and I am The Cupcake Cowboy. I own and operate a cupcake truck in downtown San Antonio, Texas.

Born and raised on a cattle ranch a few miles outside San Antonio, I can rope, tie, ride, drive, and wrangle with the best of ‘em. It’s what my father does and what his father did before him. It’s what I was supposed to do too, only… I didn’t want it.
One thing you should know up front, is that I’m more stubborn than a mule and when I get something in my head, I don’t let go until I get it done.

You see, when I realized my little sister had a way off the ranch by way of making people happy with our grandma’s sticky buns, well, I figured I could learn a thing or two about food myself. I liked eating and I knew my way around cooking meals so, how hard could baking be?

I soon found out.

I wasn’t cut out for sticky buns. In fact, I was a downright disaster at it. Sam suggested I go to culinary school, see what I might be good at. Turns out it was cakes and cupcakes.
Culinary school is also where I met Cass. She was my Introduction to Pastry Arts instructor and honestly, I wouldn’t have cared what she taught so long as I got to be around her. I was head over heels the second she smiled. Her enthusiasm was a sight to behold and it drew me in like a moth to a flame.

You’ll like her. Cass is a good woman, smart as a whip, knows what she’s talking about, and I didn’t want to listen. Remember? More stubborn than a mule…

And that’s where this book, begins…

Our story will hit the presses November 19th.

Jackson

 

Eli’s Promise, The Bar Next Door Book 2, December 31st…

ElisPromise72webTime and distance have a way of sneaking up on feelings thought long buried.

The Bar Next Door, Book 2

Five years ago, Eli held the hand of his dying lover and made a promise he never intended to keep. Find someone new to love? Be happy? Fat chance. Eli’s happiness died that day. He’s doing well to put one foot in front of the other, much less risk his heart again.

The only thorn in his side is Asa, part-time waiter at The Bar Next Door, who can’t seem to take a hint.

After years of carrying more responsibility on his broad, cowboy shoulders than most people twice his age, Asa knows what he wants when he sees it. Eli. Shadows haunt the gorgeous older bartender, who also happens to be one of Asa’s bosses, but Asa doesn’t care about potential complications. He only wants to banish Eli’s ghosts—and bring Eli back to life.

Persistence, a little impatience, and Asa’s very wicked mouth go to work on Eli’s grumpy, prickly defenses. But Asa may have to block the door to love with his foot—or his heart—before Eli slams it in his face.

Warning: Beware of stubborn cowboys, sticky bar floors and hot sexy showers, eavesdropping cooks and well-meaning friends, Irish whiskey, and a young man who doesn’t understand the word no.

Pre-order Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

 

Slide Down On Me, Release Date Unknown…

slidedownonme_msrSmall town mechanic and tattooed, bad boy Travis keeps his profile low, his needs satisfied outside the city limits, and his business running smoothly. He doesn’t cause trouble and he certainly doesn’t want any, only fallen from grace heiress Arabella Drake owes him money for work on her car. Due to her current circumstances, she can’t come up with the cash needed to pay for repairs.

Their situation requires a creative solution and while Bella desires respectability from her former wild child ways, Travis desires something very different. He offers a proposal, one that will, if not pay for the transmission and labor on her car, satisfy his long held wish to have Bella Drake naked, writhing, and sliding down on every inch of him.

In the new year, you can expect to see the following books:

The Sticky Cowgirl, Lone Star Sweets, Book 2 – January 2014
Exposed, Masked 4 – February 2014
The Tattooed Barista, Lone Star Sweets, Book 3 – March/April 201
Arrested Holiday will be re-released as soon as it becomes available to me from Loose Id. I will keep you updated.

So, if you’re a fan of my work, you have things to look forward to…

~lissa

Snippet Saturday – Belong To The City

snippetsaturdayI’m back y’all! Did ya miss me? 😉 I’m sure ya did.

Today’s snippet is about the big city. I don’t write much about the big city. Most of my books take place in small towns but I have a few that feature bigger places.

I’ll think I’ll use something newer… There’s talk of the city if not the city featured itself…

Batter Up

Middle of the fifth inning and his Phillies were down. Michael smacked at the steering wheel and let a string of curses fly from betweenLS_BatterUp_coverlg clenched teeth. She was going to be impossible if the Braves won this game. They’d already won the first two in the series this week, but if they won this last one? “Fuck.”

He pulled into a parking spot. The walk to Turner Field would take him to at least the end of the inning, but he would be there, with her. Living down south with the woman he’d arrested on a clerical error, the woman who, even though she was a lifelong Braves fan, had turned out to be the love of his life…

Atlanta was so different than his small Pennsylvania hometown. Okay so maybe different wasn’t exactly the right word. It was a whole other universe. From the sheer number of events, crowds of people, lines of traffic, and crime. It was a wonder he could find his way from home to work and back again as it was. And the food? He couldn’t even wrap his head around the food. A heart attack couldn’t be too far away given the sauced and cheesed and smothered southern dishes his girlfriend’s mother was fond of making for them every Sunday.

He wouldn’t trade any of it, though. The few days he and Holli had spent holed up in his apartment that Christmas a couple of years ago had been eye-opening for him. The connection, the ease, the sex. He smiled. The sex with Holli had been anything but boring that week. He liked hard, fun, even kinky sex, and Holli was definitely his match in that.

At the gate of the stadium he handed his ticket over. He made his way down the steps from the pavilion and saw the back of her head. Well, the back of her ball cap. Her brown waves were pulled back in a ponytail. Even without seeing more than her head and the top of her shoulders, he knew she’d be decked out all the way down to her toes in Braves gear.

He looked down at himself and grimaced. No wonder the Phillies were losing. He didn’t have a stitch of supportive clothing on. Midstep he turned and headed to the nearest gift shop. They didn’t have a big selection of anything Phillies, but there were a few caps to choose from. He plucked one from the hook and at the register found a small bat that brought a smile to his face and dirty thoughts to his mind. It was roughly twelve inches, and maybe the circumference of a quarter at the end.

Without a second of hesitation, he grabbed the bat by the grip and laid it down with his hat. The cashier smirked, and Michael grinned. “Mixed relationship,” he offered.

“I hope she’s not the Phillies fan.”

“Why’s that?”

“With as bad as they’ve been playing this series, if she’s the fan, you’re gonna be in the dog house until they win a game.”

Michael laughed. “You’ve got a point. Good thing I’m the Philly.” He paid for his items, ripped the tag off the cap and tossed it in the trash, then fit the cap on his head.

He jogged back down the steps, then slid into the seat next to Holli. She didn’t look at him, just took his hand and smiled with a small tilt of the corner of her mouth. “You really think that hat is gonna help?”

Michael squeezed her fingers. “It can’t hurt.”

“This is why when you get dressed on game-day morning, you put on your gear.”

“I know.” It was a superstition she had. If she wasn’t dressed in a Braves shirt, Braves socks, and Braves cap the day of a game, no matter where they were playing, they had a better than average chance of losing than if she was wearing it all.

He couldn’t fault her thinking. After all, he hadn’t worn any Phillies stuff since they’d come to town to play this three-game series, and they’d lost every game and not gracefully. “Maybe I should ask Santa for some Phillies boxers or something this year. At least I can wear them to work and not be mobbed. I can’t walk into the station with a Phillies tie or shirt visible to all.”

“You could always switch teams.”

“I’m going to ignore you said that.”

“Just a suggestion.” She lifted their joined hands and kissed the back of his. “I wasn’t sure you were going to make it.”

Michael shifted to get comfortable in the small confines of the stadium seats and glanced out over the field. Middle of the top of the sixth, the Phillies were up to bat and centerfield was so close, Michael felt as though he could reach out and run his fingers through the grass. He couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Thursday night. “Traffic sucks here. Even with the light flashing on the dashboard.”

“You put the light on?”

“Of course. The Phillies are in town.”

“And this is police business?”

“If I find someone to arrest, yes.”

“Been there, done that,” she muttered, but loud enough for him to hear, and he laughed.

“Yes you have. So, what’s been going on? I caught some of it on the radio, but when the announcers are biased, it kind of takes some of the fun out of it.”

“Yeah, that’s what takes away the fun. Whatever you have to tell yourself to feel better.”

Her sarcasm wasn’t lost on him, and he nudged her shoulder. “Shut up.”

“Fat chance. As you can see, the Phillies are really what sucks in this town. Third game in the series, and y’all can’t get a batter on base.”

“They were waiting for me to show up. They knew I couldn’t be here for the first two games, and they were waiting for me to be here before they turned it on.” Two could play the smartass game.

“Oh. Well, by all means, work your magic then, Officer, but be forewarned, my Braves are still going to kick your butts all the way back to Pennsylvania.”

Much as he loved his team, she was likely going to be right. “Just watch the game.”

“Oh come on now. You’re not a sore loser, are you?” Her sarcasm was not lost on him, and she knew it.

“You know better than that. You should just keep your eye on the ball. I don’t need any further comments from the peanut gallery.”

“Or what?”

“Or seventh-inning stretch, I’ll give you something to be sore about.”

Buy Link: Loose Id

For more Big City snippets, visit the following blogs:

Lauren Dane
Shelli Stevens
Leah Braemel
Jody Wallace
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Mandy M. Roth
McKenna Jeffries
Shiloh Walker
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
TJ Michaels
Myla Jackson

Have a great weekend, y’all!

~lissa

Snippet Saturday – Try A Little Tenderness

snippetsaturdayAfter the events this week in both Boston and Texas, we all need a little tenderness. With the events in the world in general, tenderness is something every man, woman, child, and animal could use. A hug, a kind word, a smile… It’s not too much and it’s not hard.

In my contemporary erotic romance, Keep It Together, our hero Colt, offers tender concern for Chrissie after she’s been left at the altar…

LM_KeepItTogether_coverlg

The sunshine streaming in through the windows seemed a little out of place to Chrissie’s way of thinking. It should be dark and overcast with thunder rumbling in the distance. That would fit her mood better than birds chirping and clear skies and bright sunlight.

There shouldn’t be someone knocking on the door either. It was only fuck-you-o’clock in the morning. Didn’t whoever it was know she’d been jilted at the altar? ’Cause her whole damn hometown of Pembroke, Georgia, a mere thirty miles to the west of Savannah, had been invited and had been there to witness her humiliation when her groom decided not to show up.

She fumbled with the locks, and for good scare-the-shit-out-of-her-unwanted-guest measure, grabbed up her brand-new rifle, and threw open the front door. She barely stopped it from banging against the wall and shattering the leaded glass front. “Damn it’s cold out here,” she muttered, shielding her eyes from the early morning light.

“Good morning, Chrissie.”

Her visitor was in shadow, and she had to move to the left a little to get a better look at him, though she’d have known that voice anywhere. It was deep and warm, smooth like molasses. The first time she heard it, and each time after, her brain had latched on and committed it to memory. It flowed and caressed and wrapped her in comfort.

Colt Fisher was the last person she’d expected to show up at her door. And that little thrill spreading through her at the fact that he was there? It was inappropriate, and for the moment, she was going to chalk it up to the whiskey still affecting her. “Colt? Do you know what time it is? What the hell are you doing here? How’d you know where to find me? I’m mad at you.”

He nodded. There wasn’t a hint of his usual easy smile on his way-too-perfect lips, and she felt bad about her outburst. She— Wait. Too perfect lips? Why was she looking at his lips anyway? That little thrill was growing.

“Yeah. I do know what time it is, and I apologize for waking you so early. I‘m on my way to the airport and… Well, I was concerned for you. I dropped by your parents’ house in Pembroke last night to talk to you, and they said you’d come back here to Savannah. I didn’t even know you lived here. It was important to me to see you and make sure you were all right. When you left the church yesterday, you looked…I don’t know, brittle I guess. And yes, I know you’re mad at me. You have every right to be.”

What the hell was she supposed to say to that? “My place is a bit far from the airport,” she remarked, touched that he would go out of his way like that for her. They had almost been family, and standing there on her porch, she realized they hadn’t known each other as well as they should have for the commitment she’d almost made to his brother.

And now Colt was being agreeable and kind and sweet and she was being a pill. She lowered the rifle to rest against her hip, and smiled a little at the way his gaze followed the move. “Don’t worry. I’m not planning to shoot you.”

Colt nodded and his blue eyes once again met hers. “I suppose you were thinking I might be Russ.”

“I won’t say it didn’t cross my mind.”

He nodded again. “When Russ didn’t show up at my hotel Friday night for the bachelor party and didn’t return my calls…” He shook his head and turned the cowboy hat he held by the brim in a circle between his fingers. “I honestly thought he was just out with guys from his law firm and blowing off what he thought would have been a boring way to spend his last night as a single man. I figured he’d show up yesterday morning at his place with a hangover, and that’d be it. I never imagined he wouldn’t show up at all. I am so sorry.”

Chrissie was stunned at the apology. Colt was a nice man and obviously cared deeply for the people in his life, even those on the edges and those he never need see again. “Crap,” she groaned and stomped her foot. “How am I supposed to stay mad at you now? You just ruined it with kindness.” She sneered for a split second and gave a huge sigh. “Apology accepted, but honestly, it’s not your place to apologize for your brother.” She didn’t like seeing him feeling bad for something that was not at all his fault.

“All part of my charm, I suppose. If it’s all the same to you though, I’d rather you not be mad at me because Russ was stupid.”

end Snippet

I don’t generally add buy links to snippets, but with this being a new release and all… It is available at Amazon, All Romance eBooks, and Loose Id

Now, after you procure yourself a copy of the book 😉 please take a few minutes and read through the following blogs for more tenderness snippets:

Shelli Stevens
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
McKenna Jeffries
Shiloh Walker
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
TJ Michaels
Lissa Matthews
Myla Jackson
Lauren Dane
Jody Wallace
Leah Braemel
Mandy M. Roth
Felicity Heaton

~lissa