Tomorrow at Melissa Lopez’s FB page, there will be a giveaway party. It will last from 11am until 10pm. I will be featured at 3:00pm.
Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1246570818752209/
Happy last Friday in February, everyone! I hope you made it through. February always feels like a struggle to me– I actually have a friend who, every year at February, journals about her days, determines whether she or February won at the end of each day, and then tallies up the score at the end of the month to see whether she triumphed over February, or vice versa. The score is always very close.
This week’s featured writer is Jenna Ives, who writes these amazing, sexy, and yet really thoughtful and speculative futuristic romance tales. Jenna’s stories are vividly imagined, and perfect for escaping February for a few days–but they’re also contemplative, touching on questions about human nature and society. Whether you like your reading to be a bit more cerebral, or whether you just want to get caught up in a compelling plot, Jenna’s work has something for you.
Today, Jenna has graciously sent us the first chapter of her newest book, In the Court of Love and Loss. A brief summary of the book:
Kyrie is the Mistress of Justice on Sirene, able to judge a person’s guilt or innocence with a mere touch. She is invaluable to the planet’s dictatorial leader, Galen, but Kyrie is dying. Abandoned as a child by her people, the Ouri, when they mysteriously fled Sirene, she’s grown up among the planet’s “other” race. Now, at age twenty-five, she must find an Ourian to mate with or die.
Proteus is sent back to Sirene to rescue a child accidentally left behind when he and all the Ouri fled the threat of uprising. But through a trick of time, what he finds instead on his return is an Ourian woman he is forbidden by law to mate with, even if it means saving her life. And when Galen forces Proteus to sexually satisfy Kyrie, Proteus uses every trick at his disposal to keep her alive, all while plotting their escape.
Galen and Proteus are desperate to save Kyrie for very different reasons–but they both know the fate of the planet depends on her survival.
As always, a brief excerpt from the chapter follows, as well as a link to the entire chapter on Jenna’s website. If you’re interested in reading the whole book, visit Jenna Ives’ universal book link. From there, you can purchase In the Court of Love and Loss wherever you prefer to buy books.
In the Court of Love and Loss by Jenna Ives
Excerpt from Chapter 1
She was dying.
Kyrie knew it as surely as she knew the twin moons of Aio and Rosea would chase each other across the sky tonight as they did every night in their endless, flirtatious lovers’ game. Always just tantalizingly out of reach of each other, never touching, but never giving up the delicious pursuit.
And she would watch tonight, jealous, as she did every night, from her pale, cool, moonlit balcony.
Ah, love. Even the moons of her home world had lovers. But there was no one to love her.
Because she was the only one of her kind.
The Knower. The Seer. The law-giver. The justice-dispenser.
Revered—or was it feared?—above all women on Sirene. Worshipped for her ability to see into the heart and mind and pronounce guilt or innocence.
Adored, but alone.
Idolized, but isolated.
And like a common energy cell wearing down, she could feel her talents and abilities being used up. There was no one to sustain her, support her, rejuvenate her.
No one to love her.
And so it would all end here. With her.
And if she was right, it would be soon.
Read the whole chapter on Jenna’s website.
Hello, all! I hope you’re surviving February, the shortest longest month. I know it’s been a while since I gave you a First Chapter Friday–I’ve spent the last few weeks buried in February, and celebrating the release of my newest book. Chinese Morning, the last book in my Dragons Schooled series, just came out! If you haven’t already, you should go check it out.
This entry isn’t about me, though. It is to share with you the latest effort from Wynter S.K. The Mood for Trouble is compelling. It’s full of suspense and punchy dialogue, and has an atmosphere that feels very film noir-inspired. I was drawn into the world of Agents Moreno and Harper from the very first sentence. Definitely one of the hottest first meetings between characters I’ve read in a long time.
Here’s how Wynter describes her own book:
It takes a special blend of insanity and courage to answer the call to become a United States federal agent. CIA officer Charlotte “Chase” Moreno is equal parts crazy and brave, which, when combined properly, creates one kick-ass, dead-shot, often reckless spy.
Chase and sexy, roughneck DEA Special Agent Jonathan Harper are forced to work together to bring down an international drug and weapons syndicate, and there’s one problem: they can’t stand each other. But when he comes to her rescue on their first mission together, it’s impossible for either of them to deny their growing feelings, or the heat that’s boiling just beneath the surface between them. But one sizzling, unforgettable night between them in Sin City might have just changed the tide–forever.
Right now (and I mean RIGHT NOW), Wynter is running a contest. If you like her Facebook page, you will be entered to win a Kindle copy of The Mood for Trouble. Wynter will choose a winner this coming Monday, so be sure to get liking–fast.
All righty, then. Enough from me. As always, I present you with a small passage from the book. If you like it (although in this case, I would like to stress that giving you a tiny passage cannot do this chapter justice), I’ll give you the link to Wynter’s website, as well as other places you can reach her. That said, on with the show!
I loitered near a roulette table, breathing in the tropical-scented air of the casino as I cased the room. Movement along the far wall caught my eye, and my head swiveled like a cat locking onto prey. He strolled along the edge of the casino by the wall, wearing the shit out of an expensive and beautifully tailored pale gray suit, a sky-blue button-down underneath the jacket. No tie, top two buttons undone—playing every bit the part of the ritzy tourist with money to blow and debauchery on the brain.
Happy Friday, lovelies. This week’s First Chapter Friday selection pings so many of my personal turn-ons, it isn’t even funny: BDSM goodness, amazing alternative world-building, and the most delicious tension between the two protagonists. It is Maon: Marshal of Tallav, and it is by the formidable Cailin Briste.
Just get a glimpse of that super hot cover art– I just can’t even. And here is how Cailin Briste describes what you’ll get inside:
Maon Keefe has always been told he’s doomed to fail as a husband. He decides never to marry, instead focusing on living life as a player and becoming a capable marshal of Tallav. When he is shot and the most-wanted criminal he’s escorting escapes, he fears that his career, his one success in life, is doomed. Assigned to ferret out the cause of missing shipments for a VIP aristocrat, he meets Selina Shirley, CEO of the House of Shirley. He finds himself inexplicably attracted to her despite her frumpy appearance. When he meets a hooded and masked, scorching hot Domme, Lasair, at his friend’s BDSM club, he’s torn between the two women. Both fire his imagination and call to his submissive nature. Either might be the woman to change him into successful husband material.
Selina Shirley organizes her life like she organizes her business, taking control of all aspects of each. She’s concluded that she must marry to get an heir and that her future husband must be totally submissive. Mentored by the sector’s most famous sadist, she learns what it takes to be a proper Domme. Then, hidden behind a hood and mask, as Lasair, she meets Maon and her instant attraction to his full submission at the BDSM club leads her to break her own rules and become involved with him. But he’s also the marshal assigned to investigate thefts at her company. When his broad streak of protective alpha male comes into play, it’s obvious he’s not a 24/7 submissive. To stick to her plan to marry the perfect husband, she must ignore her heart and dump Maon.
If you would like to read the entire chapter of Maon: Marshal of Tallav, simply click on the passage from the chapter below. And if you want to read the whole book, you can find it at the following sites:
Maon: Marshal of Tallav – Chapter 1
Space travel held no appeal for Selina. The CEO of the sector’s leading fashion house, she’d accepted it as the necessity it was, but she’d be glad to get her feet on solid ground again. Her nose alone told her she wasn’t there yet. The air filtration system on the Beta Tau station did a better job than most at removing the metallic tang of C-trol, the fuel ships ran on in hyperspace that permeated all space stations. A harsh aftertaste still clung in silvered wisps to the more mundane odors of fried foods and roasting meats that tempted travelers to part with credits before heading down world or returning to space. No, she wasn’t there yet.
The strap of the portfolio slung over her shoulder slipped. A nudge and it was back in place. A trio of vacationers passed her, their excitement palpable in the pitch and volume of their voices. They hadn’t noticed Selina, but who would? Hidden inside the drab, shapeless dress that constituted her armor against amorous attentions, she was perfectly content to be overlooked. No one would credit the truth. She was on her way to the Whip Hand to meet the owner and notorious sadist Randolph Meryon. The drawings she carried in her portfolio were the first installment of a trade she’d made. He would become her mentor while she explored sexual domination, and she would design exclusive apparel for his staff.
It is a busy, busy time out here in Emilyland. The last book in my Dragons Schooled Series, Chinese Morning, should be coming out literally any day now. I’m buried up to my eyeballs in a completely new novel, and preparing for a move that is going to uproot and shake up my life in a number of profound ways. I’m not fully ready to talk about that change, but someday, friends. Someday.
All of which is to say: I really, super identify with the protagonist of Brothers in Blue: Max by Jeanne St. James. Amanda begins the book with her life in upheaval: leaving Miami, the city she loves, to take care of Greg, a half-brother she never met. Jeanne does such an amazing job here of capturing the kind of emotional toll sudden life changes can make. I can’t wait to see how the rest of Brothers in Blue: Max unfolds, and it feels healing to root for Amanda as I work through the next steps in my own life.
Enough about me, though. This is how Jeanne describes her own book:
Big city party-girl Amanda Barber has been spoiled most of her life. But life for Amanda suddenly becomes a major challenge: adapting to small town life, dealing with her handicapped brother and constantly butting heads with a frustrating local cop.
As a police officer and former Marine, “responsibility” is Max Bryson’s middle name. Never having been in a serious relationship, he has no plans for being in one in the near future. He likes being his own man. And even if he were interested in a serious relationship, he certainly wouldn’t choose it to be with someone so immature and irresponsible as Amanda. But no matter how hard he tries, he can’t get sexy Amanda out of his head or his heart. Watching her mature in front of his eyes, his protectiveness towards her only strengthens.
Bossy and possessive aren’t the only words Amanda uses to describe this frustrating cop. She can’t deny just looking at the man makes her tremble. But she’s done with having anyone control her and this man isn’t going to be any different. Or is he?
You can buy Brothers in Blue: Max on the Loose Id website, Amazon, iBooks, Google Books, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. And if you click on the excerpt below, you can read the entire first chapter of Jeanne’s book on her own website.
For forty-five minutes the little red rental sat in the parking lot. Amanda Barber remained frozen in the driver’s seat. She stared through the windshield at the brick building in front of her. The car’s engine was off, the keys still hanging in the ignition. It wouldn’t take much for her to reach out, turn them, and go back the way she had come.
I absolutely love this chapter that Megan Slayer has sent to me for this week’s First Chapter Friday. It is so very different from anything that I write, but it’s so beautiful. The way Megan captures the atmosphere of suburban life as a single gay dad, the moments Bobby shares with his kids, the quiet dignity of the whole piece– I’m head over heels for this chapter, and can’t wait to read the whole book and see how the romance develops.
The book from which the chapter comes is Together in Cedarwood. This chapter revolves around Bobby Gagnon, a single father of two children who returns to his hometown after coming out of the closet, divorcing his wife, and experiencing some as-yet-mysterious emotional fallout after a couple failed relationships with men. As I mentioned above, I love watching Bobby interact with his kids. I find myself rooting for Bobby as a father, and for his little family, and I love how Megan constructs a compelling romance that still has space for the moments of everyday family life. But, of course, the family is not the whole story here. This is how Megan describes the plot of this book:
Bobby Gagnon came back to town in the hopes of starting over. He’s got his kids and his accounting business, but he wants more. One look at the hot guy sharing the running trail with him is enough to stoke Bobby’s fire. He wants to hook up with the sexy runner, but he doesn’t even know the guy’s name. Will the man even want to be with a single father?
Remy Bard never considered himself a kid person or parent material. He’s happy with his job at the Cedarwood Tribune, but it’s not enough. Something’s always been missing in his life. He keeps seeing the same guy at the park– tall, dark, handsome and hot as hell in those running shorts. Although he’s shy, Remy isn’t about to let this guy get away without at least one night together.
These opposites certainly attract, but will their differences be enough to keep them apart or will they find a way to come together in Cedarwood?
As always, I’ve given you a small excerpt from Megan’s chapter below. If you like it, you can click through to Megan’s website, where she’s graciously shared the entire chapter. If you REALLY like it, you can buy Together in Cedarwood at the Loose Id website, or wherever Ebooks are sold.
Bobby headed off in the direction of the trails. He liked to start at the north end and work his way back around the serpentine track. The sound of the crushed limestone under his shoes lulled him. He could get lost in his thoughts during his runs and preferred things that way. As he rounded through the woods, he noticed a pair of runners coming toward him.
A woman and a man. He didn’t mind sharing the track with others, but liked the solitary qualities. He wasn’t one for talking while he worked out.
The pair hustled up to him, and he made eye contact with the guy. A shiver ran the length of his spine and he could’ve sworn he’d been hit by lightning. He’d never felt so off balance in his life.
The man smiled and nodded but didn’t stop running. The woman seemed to look right through him.
To read the entire chapter, go to Megan’s website.
First First Chapter Friday of the year! (Try saying that five times fast.) Seriously, though, happy 2017 to all, and I hope this week’s first chapter makes your new year even happier.
This week’s incredibly hot selection comes from Roxanne D. Howard, who has gifted us with the first chapter of Overboard, book 3 from her Costa Mesa series. A little more about that book, as told to me by Roxanne herself:
At the end of their romantic holiday getaway, Piper is one loved-up woman, and she can’t get enough of the sizzling passion she’s found with Jack after all they’ve been through. The two lovers board Jack’s yacht and leave the idyllic hamlet of Catalina Island, California to head home for New Year’s Eve, and it seems nothing could be more perfect… until the day turns on a dime, and the waters rise. When Jack receives a radio distress call from an old friend out on the open ocean, their initial efforts to free a trapped, massive blue whale soon becomes a dangerous struggle for life or death when Jack risks everything to save it.
It’s a New Year’s Eve fraught with harrowing danger, narrow escapes, daring rescue missions, and heart-pounding passion. During their countless obstacles, Piper secretly discovers something shocking slipped into Jack’s coat pocket one time after they make love, and it threatens to change everything and rock the foundation of all they’ve built together. With the weight of the knowledge pressing down upon her, can their love survive? This New Year’s Eve, get ready for some fireworks, because it’s all going Overboard.
And now, without further adieu, I give you… an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Overboard. At the end of the excerpt, you can find a link to the whole chapter. (Do not read this at work. Trust me. If the text on the page doesn’t give your true pastime away, your glazed-over eyes surely will.) You can also find out where else to catch Roxanne and her amazing, amazing work online. Happy reading:
They’d made love once this morning when they awoke, but they were alone out here on the open sea. Her time in Catalina with Jack had taught her that if she asserted herself and showed him what she wanted, he gave it back to her tenfold. And right now, she was ready for it.
Read the whole chapter here.
Happy Friday, friends! This is such an exciting and frustrating time of year for so many of us: on the one hand, so many fantastic new books are coming out. On the other, many of us have presents and holiday gatherings to prepare for, and it’s hard to find the time and money to enjoy the new crop of books. If you’re feeling a little bit frazzled by the end of the year, I hope this First Chapter Friday series provides gives you permission to spend just a little bit of free time pursuing your own pleasures. And when the holiday rush is over, I hope you get a chance to spend some more thorough time with these books.
This week’s First Chapter Friday comes courtesy of Kryssie Fortune. Like me, she just had a new book come out. Sex, Scandal, and the Sheriff is unbelievably hot. If you are, indeed, in the midst of holiday preparations, I hereby give you permission to sit in your favorite chair of your favorite room, lock your door, and tell all your loved ones to back off for a bit while you take care of yourself first. You can buy Sex, Scandal, and the Sheriff at the Loose Id website. Alternatively, Kryssie is hosting a promo at the moment. If you comment on this post, or about this post on any of Kryssie’s or my social media, you can enter to win a copy of any of Kryssie’s books– your choice.
A little bit more about Sex, Scandal, and the Sheriff, the second book in Kryssie’s Heroes of Westhorpe Ridge series, just to prepare your palate:
Jasmine Stewart (Jazz to her friends) falls for the blond stranger when he spanks and seduces her at a Washington soiree. Later, when she discovers her flatmate is trying to draw her into a spy ring, she goes to the authorities. The ensuing publicity costs her her job, her security, and her future. Starting over in Westhorpe Ridge is her only option.
Sean Matthews, former SEAL and Westhorpe Ridge’s sheriff, can’t forget the woman he spanked when he visited Washington, but he thinks she’s a spy. When she turns up in Westhorpe Ridge, he tries everything to make her leave town. Despite their misunderstandings, though, they can’t keep their hands off each other.
As New Year’s Eve looms, the spy ring resurfaces. Jazz will need all of Sean’s SEAL prowess to survive. But because his wounded leg cost him his speed in the water, will it be enough?
All right, enough with the delays. Let’s get to the chapter! I’ll post the opening paragraphs below, and if you like, you can click on the link at the end to download the entire chapter(!) from Kryssie’s website.
* * *
Jasmine Stewart, Jazz to her friends, stood back and watched couples pair off. The room with its crystal chandelier and beautifully laid-out buffet was everything she’d expect from a high-class Washington soiree, not that she’d ever attended one before. The ladies in their long evening dresses and slightly overdone makeup looked like they’d stepped off a film set. Maybe it was the fancy up-do the hairdresser had twisted her hair into, but Jazz’s head hurt. The men, supposedly the capital city’s movers and shakers, stalked the room like sexual predators.
That last glass of champagne had been so bitter she couldn’t finish it, but it had set her libido blazing. Not usually jealous, she wanted to thrust the women aside and fight for her man. Any man would do. This sexual hunger wasn’t her, but right now she craved a hard, masculine body to grind her pussy against as she stripped off his clothes. Once she’d freed his cock, he’d pump it inside her until she came so many times she begged him to stop. If the musky smell of sex percolating through the room meant anything, the women here had gone into collective heat. Jazz’s breasts ached, and her pussy dampened with need. If she didn’t come soon, she’d explode…
* * *
If (like me) you find it totally unbearable to stop there, download the entire chapter from Kryssie’s website. Happy reading!
Happy Winter and Assorted Holidays to all my readers! I know I’ve been a little tight-lipped about my own work lately, but it’s just because we’re in that calm moment before excitement comes bursting out. Right now, I’m prepping for the release of the next book in the Dragons Schooled series, and in the very beginning stages of a completely new and different writing project. All shall be revealed soon, I assure you.
In the meantime, though, it’s time for another edition of First Chapter Fridays. This week’s episode comes from the incomparable Lex Valentine, who has been gracious enough to share a chapter from her novel The Pixie Prince. Hold on to your mattresses, folks, because Lex is about to take you for the ride of your life.
About The Pixie Prince:
Max LeFevre, known to his fans as Max Fever, is on the hunt for a new mattress. Becoming the Pixie Prince means Max has inherited big gold wings that he must keep hidden. But the wings, and his sudden, unexpected sensitivities, have made it impossible for Max to sleep. His mattress leaves him bruised and that’s a bad thing for a guy who makes his living modeling designer underwear. So when the waiter at Max’s favorite restaurant tells him he knows about a special mattress, Max can’t resist trying it.
Bliss Wilde never expected to meet Max in her own club. The fact that he’s there to try out her mattress doesn’t matter. Watching the big golden pixie roll around on her bed sets her libido on fire. When Max turns up later that night, unable to sleep, Bliss invites him to her bed. During the sexual romp that ensues, Bliss and Max discover they are mates. But they both know people for whom bonding has gone wrong, making them cautious about the process. Still, their desire for each other rages high and with Max getting a new mattress, he figures maybe he should break it in with a bonding.
“That would be the weirdest thing ever, Maxie. Our waiter solving your sleep issue.” Alexa wheezed as she tried to stop laughing.
Taking a deep breath to push the laughter down, Max shook his head and reached for his drink. “I don’t care who solves it, as long as it gets solved.”
“I just don’t get why it’s so important.” Alexa rubbed her finger down the stem of the glass.
Max couldn’t explain it to her in a public place so he made light of the situation. “It’s important because I never get to be on the bottom.”
Alexa choked on her drink. “Max, you’re not even seeing anyone.”
He gave her an arch look. “If I meet someone today, I don’t get to be on the bottom.”
She rolled her eyes and groaned. “You’re incorrigible,” she muttered.”
For the entire chapter, go to Lex’s website.
For the entire book, go here to buy from the vendor of your choice.
Happy First Chapter Friday!