Weekend Excerpt–A New Cover for LOST & BOUND

LOST & BOUND is the second book in the Dream Dominant Collection.  When the talented and sexy Linzi Basset created the cover of FOR SPARROW, Dream Dominant 3, I knew I needed to ask her to revamp all the Dream Dominant covers.  And I’m so happy I did.

In LOST & BOUND, Hollywood bad girl Shasta Pyke is sent to cool her heels for a few weeks in the wilderness of northern Ontario after she has a run-in with the law.  That’s where she meets Dominant mountain man Blake Walker, who is none too impressed by the bratty actress, who is the sole guest at his family’s remote lodge.  But as he spends more time with her, he begins to wonder if she might be the baby girl his Daddy Dom soul has been looking for.

Lost & Bound new cover 2

Here’s a little teaser…

When the power went out, Blake wasn’t surprised in the least.  If anything, he was surprised it had lasted as long as it had.  This was undoubtedly the worst storm so far in what had been a very dry summer.  Angry lightning streaked across the dark sky, with thunder booming almost instantaneously.  For microseconds, the flashes illuminated the entire lake like mid-day.

He slid open the sheer drapes that shrouded the glass doors overlooking the lake and settled in, book in one hand, a second bottle of Lebatt Blue in the other.  Leaning back, he rested his feet on the battered leather ottoman, content for the moment to watch the storm’s fury.

His eyes moved to the dark shape in the middle of the lake.  He knew from experience that a wild storm like this one was a dicey proposition in the tiny island cabin.  For one thing, because it was situated on the crest of the island, the wind howled mercilessly around the structure.  And being on the highest point, with thirty-foot pines towering over it, the cabin was a natural lightning rod.  The thunder would be deafening.

He wondered how Shasta was faring.  As he watched, another jagged bolt etched a path across the sky.  He chuckled lightly, picturing her, eyes wide, with the covers pulled up over her head.

               I should check on her first thing in the morning.

Eventually, he lit the oil lamp beside him and began to read.  Bear paced anxiously back and forth in front of the huge window.  He’d never been a fan of storms, not since he’d been a pup.  Suddenly the dog stopped pacing and whimpered softly.

“What’s wrong, boy?  You’re okay, it’s just a summer storm.”

Bear whimpered again and woofed softly.  Frowning, Blake set down the book and stood beside the dog, looking out into the stormy night.  “What is it?  Is something out there?”

Then he saw it.  A tiny point of light between him and the island.  It bounced and tossed as it…

Blake shook his head.  “No way.  No way is she in a boat in the middle of this storm.”

In the next instant, lightning flashed and he saw her clearly, Shasta, huddled against the wind and rain, steering the tiny skiff toward the lodge’s dock.  She was battling against the ferocious gusts of wind and white-capped waves on the lake that threatened to capsize the boat.

“Son of a bitch!” Blake growled.  “No more sense than a…”  He threw on his boots and shrugged into his rain slicker, pausing to don his headlamp before pulling up the hood.  “Son of a bitch!”

He kept his eyes on Shasta as he stalked out to the dock, crossing to the end to wait for her.  When she was close enough, he held out an old wooden oar and she grasped the end of it, allowing him to pull her the rest of the way to the side of the dock.  Blake reached down to cut the motor and grasped her by the upper arms, pulling her out of the boat.

She stood in front of him, eyes wide with terror, and she was soaked to the skin, not having bothered with a rain coat.  He shouted above the storm.  “God-dammit, Shasta, what the hell were you thinking?”

She just blinked up at him, shaking either from fear or cold, or both.  “Come on, let’s get you inside.”  He easily scooped her up in his arms and she buried herself against his chest.

Blake was shaking too, but it was from anger.  She’d recklessly endangered herself.  If he hadn’t seen her, if the boat had swamped…  It was beyond his comprehension.  He carried her straight into his cabin, kicking the door closed behind them.  He set her down in the kitchen and stepped back.

“Explain yourself.”  He crossed his arms and watched her expectantly.

Shasta stood shaking, her red hair plastered to her head, her soaked white camisole completely sheer, her pink pajamas clinging to her legs.  She crossed her arms, too, but the gesture was self-protective rather than angry.  It only served to push up her breasts, punctuated by hard-tipped nipples, made harder by being cold and wet.  He worked to ignore them, trying to understand what she’d been thinking.

“Well?”

“I…” she stammered, “I was so scared.”  She was shivering constantly now, and a trickle of blood ran down the side of her face.

Blake lifted her chin gently.  “What happened?  Why are you bleeding?”

Her head shook slightly.  “I don’t…” her teeth chattered, “I don’t know.”

Peering closely, he saw a cut at the hairline above her right temple.  Swiping the hair back, he spied a sliver of glass and carefully removed it.  “Come with me,” he commanded.

She followed him through the living room as he picked up the oil lamp and carried it into the bathroom, where he lifted her up and sat her on the counter.  The cut on her head had begun bleeding in earnest when the glass had been removed.  Blake used a gauze pad to apply direct pressure on the cut.  Shasta sniffled softly as tears ran down her face.

“What’s wrong?” he growled.

“You called me Shasta,” she sobbed.

He snorted.  “What you did was a very ‘Shasta’ thing to do.  That’s the least of your worries right now.  Hold this.”  He moved her hand to hold the gauze in place and he reached around to turn on the faucet in the bathtub.

She sat shivering, watching the tub fill with hot water.  Clouds of steam filled the room.  He left for a moment, returning with a flannel shirt of dark red plaid, which he hung on a hook on the back of the door.  Next he turned off the water.

“Let me see how it’s doing,” he murmured, carefully peering under the gauze.  The bleeding had slowed.  He took a bandage from the medicine cabinet and applied it over the cut.  Shasta was still shaking like a leaf.

“You’re almost hypothermic.  I want you in the tub.  Strip.”

Shasta blinked up at him.

“Don’t make me tell you twice.”  His voice was quietly intense as he lifted her off the counter and stood her in the middle of the floor.

Shakily, she pulled the camisole over her head, dropping it to the floor.  Blake watched unblinkingly, a hard expression on his face.  She hooked her thumbs into the top of her pants and slid them, panties and all, down her legs.  She nearly tripped stepping out of them, and Blake reached to steady her.

Naked, she stood trembling as he devoured her with his eyes, starting with her perfect round tits and their tight pink points, her narrow waist and the flair of her hips, the bare cleft at the junction where her legs met.  After all, she’d been on display on the dock, surely she wasn’t shy now.  He knew he was being an ass and he didn’t care.  Anger still thrummed through his veins.

“Get in the tub.  I’ll set a timer for fifteen minutes.  After that, the water will cool off too much to help.”  He disappeared, returning moments later with a kitchen timer which he set on the bathroom counter.

“Why aren’t you in the tub?  Was I unclear in some way?” he snapped.

Shasta touched the wall for stability as she dipped one foot into the tub.  “It’s hot.”

“It’s supposed to be hot.  We have to warm you up.”  He watched her step in with the other foot and ease herself down.  She looked like a drowned rat, peering up at him all wide-eyed.

“When the timer goes off, get out and dry yourself.  You can put this on,” he indicated the flannel shirt he’d hung on the door.  “You will go into the bedroom and sit on the edge of my bed.  You will wait until I come back.  Is that clear?”

Shasta nodded silently.

“I said sit.  You will not lie down, you will not get into the bed.  You will sit.  If you’re cold, there’s a blanket you can use to wrap around yourself.  Do you understand?”

Again, she nodded.  A look of annoyance crossed his face, and then passed.  He nodded sharply.  “I’ll be back.”  He closed the bathroom door behind him and she heard him speak to Bear.  “Stay here, boy, keep an eye on her.  I need to think.”

LOST & BOUND FULL CS fixed

LOST & BOUND is on sale at your favorite online bookseller,
and it’s also available in paperback.
books2read.com/LostandBound

 

Weekend Excerpt–LUKE & BELLA

LUKE & BELLA KINDLE

LUKE & BELLA is the story of two professional television journalists who are thrown together to produce a new travel program.

Bella, an experienced reporter and news anchor, is thrilled at the prospect of the job of a lifetime–traveling the world and creating great television.

Luke’s more jaded.  World-weary, he’s coaxed out of premature retirement by the promise of complete creative control over the project.  Well, shared control with the host of the show, a redhead with “nice gams,” according to his old friend and executive producer, Charlie.

Traveling to exciting cities, staying in luxurious hotels, it’s no wonder they fall in love.  But it all happened so fast.  Luke realizes he hasn’t been completely honest with Bella.  He’s Dominant.  And he thinks she’d be the perfect submissive.  If he tells her now, he could lose her forever.  Or, he could risk everything on the chance that they could have it all.

LUKE & BELLA, the first book in the Dream Dominant Collection, holds a special place in my heart–it was the first book I ever published.  When I had a cover done for my latest book, FOR SPARROW, Dream Dominant Book 3, I decided LUKE & BELLA needed a brand new cover, too.  Both were designed by the fabulous and talented Linzi Basset, a brilliant erotic romance writer.

So I’m celebrating the new cover with this excerpt from LUKE & BELLA.

Luke ordered a light dinner of tapas delivered to the suite along with a bottle of local wine.  Bella wore a fluffy white bathrobe.  He’d put on faded jeans and a grey t-shirt.  She smiled lazily at him across the table, a woman sated.  He poured them both some wine and they nibbled on the baked feta and tomatoes, olives, and fresh fruits and breads.

Bella sighed and said, “I was thinking…”

“Uh-oh,” Luke laughed.

She gave him a wry smile.  “Seriously!  I was thinking about that really nice evening you planned for us in Edinburgh.”

“Yeah, you liked that, did you?” he asked, grinning.

“Um, yeah!  Wine, music, flowers, an amazing dinner, mind-blowing sex…what’s not to like?” she said.  “But, I was thinking that I should plan an evening.  You know, it’s my turn.”

“No, I don’t think that’s necessary,” he replied slowly.

“Not necessary?” she laughed.  “I’m not saying I feel obligated, just that I’d like to return the favor, so to speak.”

Luke waited a moment, considering his response.  The timing’s a little sooner than you planned, Cowboy, he thought.  Play it safe or risk losing her?  Decision made, he took the risk.  “The thing is, I’m not a fan of surprises.  I’m something of a…dominant…kind of guy.  I like making the plans,” he said evenly.

Bella looked at him, brow furrowed.  “You’re a ‘dominant kind of guy’?  As in, Dominant/submissive ‘dominant’?” she laughed lightly.

“Well, yes,” he said, looking at her directly.

Bella blinked.  “You’re kidding, right?” she asked incredulously.

Luke shook his head.  “No, not kidding.”

Her eyes went wide and her mouth hung open slightly.  “I don’t understand.  What does that mean that you do?”

He shrugged.  “Whatever makes me and my partner happy.  Blindfolds, restraints, spanking, safe words.  When we play a scene, she is mine, completely surrendered to me.  And I protect and care for her.”

When she didn’t reply, he continued, “It’s not a big deal.  I like to be in charge when it comes to romance, to sex.  I like to be the protector, to take care of my woman.  And,” he added softly, “if it doesn’t blow your mind too much, I think you are the perfect submissive.”

She shook her head slowly, eyes wide with disbelief.  “You are SO barking up the wrong tree.  I am anything but submissive.  I need to be in control.”

“I’ve noticed,” he said quietly.  “But you’re not good at it.  I said before that you try to control things by putting them into neat little categories, boxes.  When that doesn’t work, you shut down.  Imagine not having to control.  Not having to think or worry.  Just letting go and allowing someone else to be in control for a while.”

“I don’t even know what you’re talking about,” Bella whispered.  “You have lost your mind!”

“I understand your reservations.  Between your father and your ex, you’ve never had a man in your life that you could completely trust,” he said gently.

Bella felt as though she’d been gut-punched.  His words rang in her ears and she knew they were true.

“I am that man, Bella.  Do you trust me?  You can completely let go.  It will be the most freeing experience of your life,” he stated with quiet confidence, looking at her steadily, hoping to reassure her.

She shook her head again.  “I’m falling in…” it came out as a sob, “and now I realize I don’t even know you!”

She abruptly left the table and went into the bedroom, emerging a few minutes later completely dressed in jeans and a white tank top.  On her face was the hard, closed expression he’d seen that night in Amsterdam.  “I’m going out for a while,” she told him firmly.

“Bella, I wish you wouldn’t go alone.  It could be dangerous,” he worried.

She waved him off and walked out the door, closing it behind her.

“Shit!” Luke exhaled deeply, and he ran his fingers through his hair, wondering if he’d made a mistake, if he’d lost her.

Luke & Bella new cover 1

Not only does LUKE & BELLA have a beautiful new cover, I redid the interior as well, using one of the new themes on Draft2Digital, so it has a fresh new look inside, too.  Be sure and check it out.  New paperbacks will be available soon…

You can get your copy at books2read.com/LukeAndBella.

Two More Days!

You still have two more days to get your hands on FOR SPARROW for the pre-order special of 99¢!  Have you seen the book trailer yet?

FOR SPARROW is just 99¢ through release day, October 3!
books2read.com/ForSparrow

Behind the Book: The Setting of FOR SPARROW: Next Stop, Jupiter

This is it!  The last weekend before the launch of FOR SPARROW, on Oct.3!

The third book in the Dream Dominant Collection is set in Palm Beach County, Florida, my home for over 25 years.  In this series of posts, I’m taking you on a tour of some of my favorite places.  This week, we’re going to the gorgeous beach-side town of Jupiter, the location of several scenes in the book.

The first place Judd and Jessi visit together is my favorite bar on the planet (okay, I have about five of those), Square Grouper.  It’s a casual, outdoor tiki bar on the Jupiter Inlet, across from the Jupiter Lighthouse.  It’s the place to go if you want to completely decompress and let your stress melt away.

A stone’s throw from Square Grouper, in fact you park in the same lot, are the two locations from this week’s excerpt, Guanabanas and Blueline Surf & Paddle.

Guanabanas is another outdoor tiki place, more restaurant than bar, but they serve a mean Cat 5 hurricane.  The food is Florida fresh, and there’s always a crowd.  It’s on a strip of land between A1A and the Loxahatchee River, and the river views are utterly tranquil.  There are docks, and some folks arrive in their boats.  It’s also a great place for stand-up paddle boarding, and you can put in right there at the restaurant.

Directly across A1A is the Blueline Surf & Paddle Company.  They sell surfing and paddle boarding equipment, but you can also rent from them and get lessons.  You walk across the street and put in at the Loxahatchee River.  Notice the paddle boarders directly in front of Guanabanas.

As Jessi’s Dominant, it’s Judd’s position to push her beyond her comfort zone.  In this scene, he does just that.

Here’s an excerpt from FOR SPARROW…

Back inside the house, Judd washed up in the kitchen sink.  Jessi handed him a dish towel to dry his hands.  He eyed the old dishwasher, then looked to Jessi.

“I don’t really feel like messing with a dishwasher today, do you?”

Jessi’s eyes widened.  “Oh, well, no, of course not.  I’m sure you have plenty to do.  Don’t worry about it at all,” she said quickly.

Judd shook his head.  “It’s a beautiful day.  Why spend it inside?”  He stood straight, hands on his hips.  “How do you feel about stand up paddle boarding?”

She worked her mouth for a moment, frowning.  “I don’t guess I’m opposed to it, as an activity, you know.  I’m sure people enjoy it.  Live and let live,” she giggled nervously.

“I mean,” he cupped her elbow gently, “how do you feel about going?  With me.  Today.”

“Oh, I don’t know, Judd.  I’m kind of the queen of klutz.”  Jessi’s face turned bright pink.  “I don’t know if I’d be any good at it.”

Judd’s eyes narrowed slightly.  “Not sure I like my little one putting herself down.  Besides, there’s nothing to be ‘good at,’ you just…stand and paddle.”  He pantomimed for her.

He saw the reluctance in her face and gave his best reassuring smile, eyes sparkling.  “Come on, Jessi, it’ll be fun.”

Slowly, her smile spread to match his.  “Okay.  Let’s do it.”  She went upstairs and quickly changed into her swim suit and beach cover up.

On the way to the surf shop, Judd stopped by his place to pick up his paddleboard and gear.  He let them both into the townhouse and Jessi waited as he bounded up to the second level.

“It won’t take me a second to load my stuff into the truck,” he called from upstairs.  Jessi clutched her hands together anxiously as she surveyed Judd’s living room.  Everything was neat and tidy.  She didn’t know why that surprised her.

You just think about the stereotypical ‘bachelor pad,’ she supposed.

Crossing the room, she saw that the view from the sliding glass doors was breathtaking.  She imagined what it would be to wake up with a view of the ocean every morning.

“Almost ready,” Judd said, returning downstairs wearing aqua board shorts, a white t-shirt, and a Marlins ball cap.  A pair of black Oakley sunglasses hung around his neck from a black strap.

He held up a small black cube.  “I want to try out my new GoPro while we’re out there today,” he grinned.

Five minutes later, they were on their way north, heading for Blueline Surf and Paddle on A1A.  They rented gear for Jessi and declined the offer of a lesson.  “I’ve got it, man,” Judd smiled to the clerk.

Jessi was surprised to find that they were going to put into the river right next to Guanabanas, a local outdoor dining hotspot just across the street from the surf shop.  “Afterwards, I’ll buy you a cocktail,” Judd promised.

After a brief orientation, Judd helped Jessi onto the board and gently pushed her out into the Loxahatchee River.  “Am I supposed to wear the life jacket?” Jessi called back to him, indicating the ocean blue PFD currently resting on the nose of her board.

“Can you swim?”

“Of course!” she returned.

“Then you don’t have to wear it.  But you do have to have it with you, it’s the law.”

Judd smiled as he watched her wobble slightly.  She looked hot in what was actually a modest blue tankini, her auburn hair clipped up and off her neck, the red highlights gleaming in the sunlight.  He could only imagine Jessi in a bikini.  Did imagine it.  Then tried to think of something else, before she noticed his arousal.

Sighing deeply, he clipped the GoPro to the bill of his cap and paddled quickly to catch up with her.

When their hour was up, they returned Jessi’s gear to the shop, and put Judd’s things back in the truck.  With Jessi’s white beach dress back in place, they wandered into Guanabanas and found a small high-top table in the bar area.  A lone guitarist was playing Jason Mraz covers on the tiki stage.

Jessi ordered a Cat 5 hurricane while Judd opted for a local brew, and they chose a few appetizers.  After the server left, Judd pressed the button on the GoPro.  “So, Jessi, what do you think of paddle boarding?”

Her grin was stunning.  “I loved it!  It was so much fun, and way easier than I ever thought.”

He leaned into her and held the camera at arm’s length.  “Well, you had a kick-ass teacher, so…”  They both laughed into the camera.

SPIN Pandora (1)

You still have time to get FOR SPARROW at the pre-order price of 99¢.
After launch day, it goes back to its regular $2.99.
books2read.com/ForSparrow

Behind the Book–The Setting of FOR SPARROW: First Stop–Howley’s

FOR SPARROW, my new contemporary erotic romance, and the third book of the Dream Dominant Collection, is set in my home, Palm Beach County, Florida.  For this Behind the Book series, I want to take you on a tour of some of my favorite local places, places I love so much, I had my characters go there.

The first stop on our tour is a funky diner called Howley’s.  Their catch phrase is on the sign: Cooked in sight…must be right.  I love Howley’s for a lot of reasons.

Built in 1950, it’s a nostalgic throwback to a simpler time.  The business was purchased in 2004 by a group who appreciated what Howley’s was, and they lovingly restored its iconic terrazzo floors and tin ceilings.  The furnishings are retro, from the long counter to the awesome mid-century tables.

I love the staff at Howley’s, too.  They’re all young, and rather gender-fluid, with lots of piercings and tattoos.  A nose ring seems to be standard equipment.  And they’re all super nice.

The food is fantastic as well.  The last time I was there, I enjoyed a mimosa over a delicious breakfast.

Unsurprisingly, they’re very arts-positive at Howley’s.  The paintings displayed on the walls are for sale.  But my favorite artwork is the mural on the outside, done by local artist Amanda Valdes.  Check her out if you’re interested.  When I’m rich and famous, I’m going to commission her to paint the huge blank wall in my kitchen.

As I thought about my story line, I wanted just the right place to serve as the backdrop for where Judd might have spent time with Jessi’s husband, Graham.  Howley’s seemed like the perfect place for the two men to get together for coffee once in a while.

Here’s a little sample of FOR SPARROW.

“Does being a paramedic keep you safer than being a firefighter?”  Her brow furrowed with worry.

Judd smiled.  “I suppose.  I don’t run into many burning buildings anymore.  We wait for the guys to bring victims out of the fires.  And we respond to heart attacks, injuries, car accidents, that kind of thing.”

He watched Jessi’s eyes widen.  “No,” he shook his head.  “I didn’t get the call for Graham’s accident.  I was off that day.”

“How did you know…“

“Jessi, your eyes show everything you’re thinking,” he said gently.  “It’s the damnedest thing I ever saw.”

Jessi immediately looked down at her plate, concerned about what else her eyes might give away.  Judd went back to eating and she picked at her burger some more.  Looking back up, she spoke again.  “How did you know Graham?”

Judd looked back up at Jessi, swallowed his bite of burger, and cleared his throat.  “I followed his blog for quite a while.”  Jessi blinked, trying to make the leap from following a blog to being friends.

He sighed, wiping his mouth and setting down his napkin.  “I told you my marriage ended because we wanted different things in life.  As things started going south, I realized that one problem was that both of us wanted to be in control.  And it didn’t work.  There was no yin to the yang, you know?”

Jessi nodded, frowning.

“I started looking online for anything that could help, some kind of advice to help me save my marriage.  The more I looked, the more I realized that in my core self, I’m Dominant.”

Judd paused to let that sink in.  Jessi was listening raptly.  “I found a few websites about being Dominant, you know the kind of thing, ‘do this’, ‘don’t do that’.  When I started going out again after the divorce, I tried some things, some really stupid things.  I made a few dates through FetLife and they were disastrous.”  He shook his head, half smiling.  “Graham’s writing was a revelation.  I thought, here’s a guy who knows what it is to be Dominant, to lead a submissive in the right way.”

She still didn’t say anything so he pushed on.  “I became something of a stalker,” he laughed, “reading every article, digging through his archives…  I commented on his posts and asked questions, and he was always nice, he always took the time to answer me.”  Judd took a break, nibbling on a handful of fries.  Jessi sipped her beer and waited.

“When I realized he was local, I worked up the nerve to ask him to meet me for coffee, and he agreed.  We met at Howley’s, and we talked for hours.”

“Howley’s,” Jessi repeated.

Judd grinned wryly.  “Cooked in sight…”

“Must be right,” she finished, smiling sadly.

He nodded.  “We met about once a month after that.  He was my mentor, but he was also my friend.”

Sparrow graphic Linz

FOR SPARROW launches October 3, but for a limited time you can
reserve your copy for the pre-order rate of 99¢.
After launch day, the price goes up.

books2read.com/ForSparrow

Weekend Excerpt–FOR SPARROW: Meet the Villain

Sparrow graphic Linz

FOR SPARROW, Dream Dominant Book 3, comes out October 3.  It’s the story of Jessi Crenshaw, whose husband Graham dies unexpectedly, leaving her mourning the loss of her husband, lover, friend, and Dominant.

As it turns out, Graham had an inkling that his health was in decline, and he made provisions for Jessi.  He tapped his friend and protege in the Lifestyle, firefighter paramedic Judd Farris, to step in as Jessi’s surrogate Dom, at least until she gets back on her feet.

They move forward in a platonic D/s relationship, but soon find it hard to resist their mutual attraction.  Unknown to them, however, is the fact that danger is heading in their direction.

FOR SPARROW marks the first time I’ve ever written a proper villain as a character.  Today, meet Gary Wayne Gentry.

Man holding gun with silencer over white

Gary Wayne Gentry is a nondescript little man with dreams of being someone important.  He’s the guy who’s always on the outside, looking in.

He yearns to do a job that requires a uniform, but he was unceremoniously drummed out of the army for attacking a fellow recruit.  And after they see the results of his personality inventory, he can’t land a job with either the police or fire department.

Tired of not being noticed, he embarks on a violent cross-country tour, targeting first responders along the way.  He’ll show them.

Here’s an all-new excerpt featuring the villain of the story.

Gary Wayne Gentry stood watching as firefighters fought to extinguish the blaze in Parson’s Hardware on the main street of Baker City, Oregon.  He was merely one in a crowd of lookie-loos that had gathered on the opposite side of the street, a guy so nondescript that no one would ever remark on the short, balding man with a slight paunch.  No one would even notice him.  Which used to bother Gary.

Used to.  But he’d learned that being unnoticeable could be an asset.

He watched as the supervisor barked out orders to the firefighters on the ground.  Hoses were deployed, plans were followed.  Soon enough, thick black smoke turned white.  Which meant the fire was out, there were merely a few hot spots that merited attention.

He knew this because Gary had always wanted to be a firefighter.  Or a cop.  Or a soldier.  Some damn thing with a uniform.

He’d actually been in the Army for a short time.  Until he’d been involved in an altercation with a fellow recruit.  It hadn’t been his fault.  Gary Wayne Gentry didn’t take shit off of anybody.  The cry baby had had his jaw wired shut for a few weeks, and everybody lost their mother-effing minds.  To keep the bureaucratic wheels running smoothly, they’ve given him a General discharge, and Gary was adrift once again.

He’d tried the police and the firefighters, and gotten damn close, too.  It was always when they saw the results of his personality inventory that they said, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Watching the Baker City FD roll up their hoses and gather their other equipment, Gary snorted.  Always so GD superior, like their shit don’t stink.  Probably effing volunteer, sum’bitches.

He had a uniform, mind you.  Like that was hard to get.  There was a uniform store on every corner in America.  Sometimes he’d dress up and go to a bar.  It was usually enough to get a few free drinks.  Gary would spin some yarn about the fires he’d put out, and the people he’d saved.  That only lasted so long before people got tired of listening.

Firefighters probably got a lot of pussy, too.  Only so far, the fake uniform hadn’t yielded much of that.

And the problem with small towns was, although he was reasonably anonymous, people would notice a man with a gun.  That much he was positive about.  A crowd that small, someone would definitely notice if he tried to pick off a firefighter or two.

Which was a pain in the ass, because that was the whole point of starting the fire anyway.  What, did you think Gary Wayne Gentry was just a firebug, one of those pathetic bastards who got their rocks off watching fire?  Please.  The fire was simply a means to an end.

He used to listen to scanners and try to show up at fires and car accidents and such.  But who has time for that, really?  When you set the fire, you know exactly when and where they’re going to show up, it’s not rocket science.

Anyway, clearly, Baker City, Oregon was way too small for him to be able to indulge in his favorite sport.  But then, you live and you learn, don’t you?  He’d worked his way up the west coast with a moderate degree of success.  Los Angeles and San Francisco had been goldmines for his little pastime.  So crowded, so full of crazies.  When the odd firefighter here or there, and one cop, he was proud to say, ended up shot at emergency calls, the authorities always blamed gang violence or some such nonsense.  Sometimes he wondered if he should be offended, gangs getting the credit for his work.  But he wasn’t ready to stop, so the better for him if he remained unnoticed.

If someone, his mother for instance, bothered to ask him, “Gary, why do you do these things?” he knew exactly what he’d say.

Because they think they’re better than me, that’s why.  Because they think I’m not good enough, that’s why.  G.D. mother-effers.  I’m smarter than all of them.

As the last of the onlookers left the scene, Gary decided that remaining unseen was the best plan, so he mosied on back to his beige Chevy Impala and drove away slowly.  There was one thing he was sure of.  He sure as shit couldn’t go any further west.  He laughed, imagining himself driving into the Pacific Ocean.  So, east it was.

Heading off into the dark night, he considered his choice of hobbies.  It was unorthodox, maybe.  But it wasn’t his fault, not really.  His name was Gary Wayne Gentry.  Seriously, his mother should have known better.

SPARROW - OPTIMUS

FOR SPARROW is available at the special pre-order price of 99¢.
After launch day, October 3, it will return to the regular price of $2.99.
Reserve your copy today at books2read.com/ForSparrow.

Great Deal on an AMAZING Book!

This is one of those ‘don’t miss’ opportunities!  Steamy erotic romance author Lilah E. Noir is offering her book, THE BRAT WITH THE PHOENIX TATTOO, for just 99¢ from September 15-20 only.  On the other hand, it’s always free with Kindle Unlimited.

This dark, BDSM romance is suspenseful and HOT!  Here’s the blurb.

Sage was the bad girl, the tease with short skirt and body made for sin.
Paul believed in logic and order until she turned the tables on him.
It’s a hot summer night in the city.
He’s no longer the boy she seduced in high school.
It’s time for payback and he has all the tools to make her break.
She’ll know what it’s like to be pushed too far.
Can he resist her? Who will win the ultimate battle of wills?

I read this book last year.  Now, it has an awesome new cover.  Here’s my original review.

on September 24, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Paul is a man set on revenge. More specifically, he’s obsessed with the idea of doling out payback to Sage Phoenix, the girl who took his V-card back in high school and left him humiliated. When he happens to spy her working in her own tattoo shop, he sets his plan in motion. But there are unforeseen complications; nothing is ever that simple.

The Brat with the Phoenix Tattoo is the first book in a new series by Lilah E. Noir. It’s sexy as hell and completely intriguing–can’t wait for the next one! Highly recommended!

So where can you get your copy of
THE BRAT WITH THE PHOENIX TATTOO
for just 99¢?

Just use this LINK.