Weekend Excerpt–RESISTING RISK

pandoraspocks2I am beyond thrilled!  This week, RESISTING RISK, the first book in the Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy, received two more 5-STAR reviews!

The book has been out since December 2015, so I’m always happy when people discover it. Rannigan’s Redemption is a three-novel contemporary erotic romance/law drama.

Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan is great at what he does.  As the high-profile face of the law firm of Murphy, Rannigan, & Metheny, he dazzles juries and charms the press.  He’s also an inveterate player, shunning relationships in favor of shallow trysts with vapid blondes.

Enter smart redhead Maggie Flynn, the recent law school grad Michael hires to join his elite 50th floor team.  She’s been in love with him from the beginning, and she has no illusions about his character.  But she’s seen glimpses of the man he could be.  So for now, she’s content to work alongside him.  What would happen if they ever crossed that line?

For this week’s excerpt, here’s a little teaser from RESISTING RISK.

“Maggie, is the turkey ready?” Casey asked.

Maggie checked the clock and shook her head.  “No way, it has at least another hour, then it has to rest.  We can put in the beans and the stuffing when it comes out.  Nate, how do we reheat the red beans and rice?”

As Nate answered Maggie’s question, Ben wandered over to the window.  The buzzer rang again.  Ben glanced at Maggie in the kitchen.  “Somebody’s buzzing downstairs, Flynn.”

Casey was helping Maggie turn the turkey around in the oven.  “Well can you please buzz them in?  I’m a little busy here.”

Ben pressed the buzzer but made no move to open the apartment door.  About a minute later there was a knock.  The others were engrossed in the football game.  Ben stayed put.  “Somebody’s at the door, Flynn.”

“Oh for God’s sake, I’ll just drop everything and get it myself,” said Maggie, tossing down pot holders in exasperation.

Maggie flung open the door to find Michael standing in the hallway.  He grinned sheepishly.  “Merry Christmas, Mags.”

She blinked, confused.  “Michael, I…I mean, Merry Christmas.  But what…Shouldn’t you be in St. Bart’s?”

“I got snowed in.  My flight was cancelled.  I have a charter later on, but I thought I’d stop by here.  Do you have room for another orphan?”

A slow smile spread across her face.  “Of course, there’s always room.  Come on in.”

Maggie turned to find that everyone in the apartment was watching the two of them.  “Everyone, this is Michael.  Michael, everyone.”

“Hello, Merry Christmas,” he greeted the group.  To Maggie, “I brought wine.  I wasn’t sure…”

“Wine is perfect, thanks,” she told him.  Waving toward the kitchen she said, “Help yourself to something to drink.  We’ve been enjoying the munchies out of your gift basket.  Dinner will probably be another hour or so.”  She smiled at him.  “I’m so glad you’re here.  Shocked, but glad.”

After he dropped his coat and his suitcase in Maggie’s bedroom with the other coats, Michael got a beer for himself and settled in the living room, striking up a conversation with the guys watching football.  Casey sidled up to Maggie in the kitchen.  “You didn’t tell me Mr. Wonderful was coming.”

“I didn’t know Michael was coming.  He’s supposed to be in the Caribbean.  With someone, you understand, nobody goes to the Caribbean alone.”

“Maybe.  But he’s here now.”

Michael relaxed on the couch and looked around appreciatively at all the activity.  Maggie and Casey were in the kitchen along with a couple he didn’t know.  There was an older woman chatting with Nate from the firm.  Several others were watching football.  Everyone seemed happy and at home.

“This is nice,” he commented to Ben.  “It feels like a scene from Rent.”

Ben smirked.  “Viva la vie Boheme!” he raised his beer.

Michael chuckled and raised his beer as well.  “La vie Boheme.”

Dinner was served on three tables pushed together in the middle of the living room.  Plates were filled buffet-style in the kitchen.  Ben insisted that Maggie toast before they ate.

She raised her glass of wine.  “I feel like the luckiest girl.  I’m here celebrating the holiday with my most favorite people in the entire world.  There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.  Merry Christmas!”

After everyone ate as much as they could, the guys agreed to do all the clean-up.  Maggie supervised returning the tables to their proper places then sank onto the sofa, resting her feet on the coffee table.

“What about the dessert, Flynn?” Ben asked when the leftovers were packed up.

“Let’s be informal.  Grab some if you want some.  I want to do presents,” Maggie said.  Michael brought her a fresh glass of wine.  She looked up at him, grinning in appreciation, and patted the space beside her.

“I’ll sit on the floor, I don’t mind,” he said, sliding to a spot beside her feet.

“Now the way this works is, everyone takes a number.  We go in order starting at 1.  Number 1 picks first.  Number 2 can pick a new present or steal from Number 1.  Everybody got it?” Ben asked.  Maggie watched in amusement as some played shyly while others were cut-throat.

“What’s this?” Michael asked quietly.  She looked down to see him holding an ornament from the tree.  It was a small red glass ball held by a green paper cone.  Her name was spelled out in glitter.

“I think I was about six when I made that,” she smiled.  “The Christmas ornaments were some of the few things I took from my dad’s house.”

He grinned.  “I like it.”

When the gifts were over, Maggie had a new hand-crocheted toilet-roll cover.  Michael had a $10 gift card to Starbucks.  “Guess somebody didn’t get the memo,” he quipped so that only Maggie heard, and she giggled softly.

He winked and leaned close.  “Mags, I should be making my way to the airport.”

“Okay,” Maggie sighed.  “I’ll walk you out.”  She got her coat and hat while he said his goodbyes.  “I’ll be right back,” she said to Casey as they headed out of the apartment.  They walked down the stairs without chatting.

Once out on the sidewalk, Michael turned and faced her.  “I had a great time, Mags.  Thanks for inviting me.”  He glanced up.  “We have an audience, by the way.”  He waved at the crowd gathered in Maggie’s front window.

She looked up at them, scowling.  “Come on,” she said, turning right and heading down the sidewalk.  She stopped just around the corner.

Michael smiled.  “Thanks.  I just wanted to say goodbye privately.  I brought you a gift but I didn’t want to give it to you in there.”  He pulled a small flat box from his pocket.  It was light blue, tied with a white ribbon.

Maggie’s eyes widened.  “Sean Michael Rannigan, you did not!”

“How did you know the S stands for Sean?

She shrugged.  “Everyone knows it’s Sean.  I can’t believe you went to Tiffany…”  She stopped and looked up at him, smiling sadly.  “This wasn’t for me.  This is supposed to be for someone else.”

“No, Mags, this is for you,” he said earnestly.  “I mean, to be honest, I went there yesterday looking for something for Jana.”

“What, Toys R Us and GapKids were closed?” Maggie quipped.

“Ah-hah-hah, you’re very funny.  I found a little trinket to give to Jana, but then I turned and saw this.  All I could think was that you should have it.  It’s for you, Mags.”

Curious, Maggie slowly pulled the white ribbon and lifted the lid.  In the box resting on light blue velvet was a delicate silver bracelet.  It had a vintage look to it with large rectangular milky white cabochons alternating with trios of small round diamonds surrounded by platinum filigree.  She looked back up at Michael, eyes wide.

“Those are moonstones,” he said proudly.  “This was in the vintage case.  It was made in 1915.”  He gazed at the bracelet.  “It’s graceful and classy, just like you.”

“I don’t know what to say, Michael.  I’ve never seen anything so beautiful.  Will you help me put it on?”

He lifted the bracelet from the box and as Maggie held out her left hand he fastened it around her wrist.  She held it out and watched it catch the natural light.  As she did, she noticed a tiny platinum tag hanging from the clasp.  Peering closer she saw that it was engraved.  To Maggie, From Michael. 

“See?  I told you it was for you.”  She looked back up at him, eyes shining, and as she did, a gust of wind caught some stray hair, blowing it across her face.  Michael gently moved the errant strands, tucking them behind her ear.  Without planning it at all, he planted a tender kiss on her lips.

He moved back slightly as Maggie looked up at him, eyes shining with desire.  He leaned into her again, the kiss this time all heat and passion.  She brought her left hand up to cradle his right cheek, her desire matching his.  When he stopped kissing her, he pulled her close, tucking her under his chin and they stood like that for a moment.

Finally, he gently set her back from him.  She looked up, the sad glint once again in her eyes.  After all, he was leaving her to go to someone else.  “Merry Christmas, Mags.”

“Merry Christmas, Michael.”

RESISTING RISK is only $.99 and it’s available at this link:
books2read.com/ResistingRisk

RR1 updated

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Weekend Excerpt–FOR SPARROW

pic3I’m so excited to tell you that Dream Dominant Book 3, FOR SPARROW, is finished and currently in edits.  This cover is just a mock-up I made when I first began the project over a year ago.  Erotica author and fellow Wicked Pen Linzi Basset is currently at work creating a hot new cover.  Stay tuned for news of the official cover reveal and for release day.

Set in my hometown of West Palm Beach, FOR SPARROW is about Jessi Crenshaw, recently widowed and mourning the loss of her husband, lover, and Dominant.  But it turns out that her husband Graham had had an inkling that his health was on the decline, and he tapped a temporary replacement for himself.

Enter tall, sexy, and Dominant firefighter/paramedic Judd Farris.  He’s agreed to watch over Jessi, to give her knee time when she needs it, and to give her the boundaries she craves.  But it’s a damn odd arrangement, platonic Dominance and submission.  How long can the keep this up?

So for this weekend’s excerpt, I wanted to give you a little teaser from FOR SPARROW.

They enjoyed dinner on the patio, the sky shifting from the orange and pink Jessi had noticed upstairs to a deep indigo twilight, the stars blinking on over the gentle swells of the ocean.  The teak table was lit with a pair of citronella candles against the odd mosquito, and Judd had built a fire in the pit just off the patio.

Conversation over their grilled mahi dinner and sauvignon blanc centered on their adventures over the past couple of weeks.  The mood was light and happy, and Judd, for one, was glad for Jessi’s company.  Her face lit up as she recounted her surfing attempts and the pair laughed easily.

Buddy devoured his bowl of kibble and promptly passed out again.  Judd and Jessi carried their dishes into the house, quickly restoring order to the kitchen.  Jessi glanced at her watch and decided that she should be leaving soon.

“Do you have to go?” Judd asked, noticing her checking her watch.

“Oh, you know, I should probably head home.”

“We haven’t had dessert yet.”

Jessi chuckled.  “I’m so stuffed from that delicious dinner.  I don’t think I could take another bite.”

“Come on, Jessi, there’s always room for dessert,” he coaxed.  “Wait til you see.”  Judd opened a cabinet, removed a few items, and placed them on the counter.

Watching curiously, Jessi had to laugh.  “Chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows.  S’mores?”

Judd nodded proudly.  “S’mores.  You can’t resist s’mores.  Nobody can.  It’s a known fact.”

Laughing again, Jessi followed Judd back outside.  “I haven’t had s’mores since…  Well, probably not since that time I took the kids camping.”

“Then you’re long overdue.  This stuff is left from when my sister and niece were here.”  He took two steel barbecue skewers, placed two marshmallows on the end of one, and handed it to Jessi.

“One, please.  I just want one marshmallow.”

He grinned, sliding a single marshmallow onto the other skewer, and they traded.  “Lightweight,” he teased.  “Now, let me show you how it’s done.”  He held the marshmallows a distance away from the flames, allowing them to slowly begin to warm.

“Careful there, you might accidentally roast those guys,” Jessi jibed.  She poured more wine for him and for herself.

“Kid if you must,” Judd replied, “but these bad boys are going to be perfection.”

Jessi sipped her wine, watching as the marshmallows began to slowly expand while remaining pristinely white.  “I have a different method,” she commented.

“Oh, you do, do you?”

“Yup.”  She prepared a graham cracker, breaking it into two pieces and placing a square of chocolate on one of them.  “Watch and learn, fire boy.”

Taking her skewer, she fixed him with an arched eyebrow before plunging her marshmallow directly into the flames.  When she pulled it out again, the round white confection was engulfed in blue flame.  Gently, she blew out the fire to reveal a charred marshmallow.

“You burned it,” Judd observed.

“It’s crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside.  Pure perfection.”  She lay the marshmallow on top of the chocolate and used the other graham cracker to slide it off the skewer.

She waved her hand over the top of her dessert with a triumphant flourish.  “Tah-dah!”

By this time, Judd’s marshmallows had tripled in size and were just beginning to turn a toasty golden brown.  “See, this is how you make a s’more.”  Carefully, he carried his marshmallows to the table where Jessi had prepared his graham crackers and chocolate.  He slid the marshmallows off the skewer and pressed the top cracker on, gooey marshmallow running over the sides.

Judd motioned for Jessi to sit, and he perched on the stool at an angle to her, their knees just brushing under the table.  He lifted his s’more and held it out to her.  “To adventure!”

Jessi picked up her own dessert and touched it to Judd’s, laughing lightly.  “Adventure.”

He continued to watch her thoughtfully as she nibbled her s’more.  “Thank you, Jessi, for such a great day.”

In the candlelight, his eyes flickered and Jessi felt the tingle in her belly.  And lower.

“It was fun.  It really was,” she murmured, hoping the dim light hid her blush.

Judd bit into his s’more with gusto, leaving a trail of marshmallow down his chin that dripped onto his shirt.

Jessi giggled happily.  “I knew that was too much for one s’more.”

“It was just the right amount,” Judd returned, sweeping the errant goo off his shirt and licking it off his finger.  “The graham cracker just couldn’t hold all the awesomeness.”

Jessi laughed again, pointing to his chin.

“What?”

“You missed a spot.”

He cocked his head, trying to see his chin.  He aimed his tongue at the corner of his mouth.  “Now?”

She shook her head and slid off her stool.  “I’ll get it.”  Stepping closer, she swiped her finger up his chin, removing most of the white confection.  Without thinking, she popped her finger into her mouth, but she didn’t miss the heat in his eyes.

Impulsively, she leaned forward and lapped at the corner of his mouth.  He tasted of chocolate, marshmallow, salt water, and sin.  A low groan emanated from Judd’s chest.  Jessi leaned back to look him in the face.

“Little one,” he whispered.

Stepping deliberately closer, she straddled his right knee and leaned in again, planting light kisses where the marshmallow had been.

Judd placed his hands on her hips and moved her back a bit.  “Are we crossing this line?”  His voice was soft, hopeful.

Jessi blinked and nodded.  “Yes.  Please.”

He didn’t wait for further permission.  He wasted no time in claiming her lips, devouring them as he pulled her closer, raising his knee to meet the warm needy place between her thighs.

Jessi gave herself over completely to his kiss.  She’d craved it for longer than she was willing to admit to herself.  She’d loved Graham.  But Graham was gone.  And he’d given her permission to move on.  It was time she gave herself permission.

Judd broke off the kiss and stood her back from him, steadying her when she wobbled a bit.  He fixed her with his best Dominant glare.  “You will be kneeling at the foot of my bed in two minutes.  You will be dressed.  I will undress you.”

Jessi immediately bowed her head.  “Yes, Sir.”

Again, FOR SPARROW is still receiving the finishing touches.  As soon as the cover reveal is scheduled, I’ll let you know.

For now, though, I want to invite you to join my fun new Facebook group, Pandora’s Passionista Paradise.  It’s about fun, friends, and hot books.  Today, I even had a little giveaway, just saying…  I’m there everyday, so come and say hello!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/PandorasPassionistas/

Out TODAY From Lilian Roberts!

Don’t you just love a sizzling hot beach read?  I’m thrilled to tell you about a new book out TODAY from sexy romance author Lilian Roberts!

So you’re wondering, what is BURNING PASSION all about?

Lindsey is a stunning young woman full of life, smart, efficient and ambitious, she surrounds herself with quality friends and has gained the respect of coworkers, superiors, and friends.

Her heartbreaking separation from a five-year relationship left a void that someday would need to be filled. But at this point, romance seemed like unsafe territory.

And just about the time she thought she had achieved an impenetrable, relationship-proof fortress, Paul, a virtual friend on Facebook, sweeps her thoughts away and sets her nights on fire. If he is anything like what she had built in her mind, he would be a force to be reckoned. Lindsey is just about to find out…

Intrigued?
Here’s where you can get your hands on a copy of Lillian Roberts’ BURNING PASSION.

Amazon US link: https://goo.gl/zD81wU

Amazon UK link:https://goo.gl/GgMwG7

BOOKS TO READ : https://www.books2read.com/BurningPassion

ITALIAN PLAYBOY is BACK!

The powers that be at Amazon Almighty temporarily took down Holly J. Gill’s new release, ITALIAN PLAYBOY, but now it’s back!

Read the book that Amazon thought was too hot!

 *´¨💕) ITALIAN PLAYBOY IS BACK💕

After Amazon Took It Down

¸.•´¸.•*´¨)¸.•*¨💕)

💕(¸.•´‪ 💕 💕

Title: Italian Playboy

Standalone
Author: Holly J. Gill
Genres: #Romantic #Erotica #BDSM  #adult #language #18+ #HollyJGill #Italianplayboy

Can A Playboy Ever Be Tamed?

 

💕✶ BLURB ✶💕
I’m an arrogant, self-righteous Italian guy who only thinks through one thing… I never see the same woman twice – it’s my rule. I throw the most outrageously wicked and sexy parties for my own satisfaction and relish on women like I do my fine dining. I’m a playboy by day and a playboy by night. They call me the Italian Playboy and I love it! Only, all of that changed one night when a dark haired beauty stepped into one of my sex parties. From the moment I laid eyes on her, I had to have her. But no sooner than my eyes had met her naked body, she was gone. I had to find her. And I wouldn’t stop until I did.

💕✶ EXCERPT ✶💕

“Do you want names?” I asked.

“No.”

I didn’t need to elaborate on that. Although personally I would have liked to have known hers. Just in case her name popped up at further parties.

I spun her around and led her to the French Louis chair where I indicated for her to sit down. She gave me the hungry eyes. I dropped instantly to my knees as she widened her thighs giving me a heart palpitating moment.

“Has anyone ever told you, you have a fucking hot pussy?”

“I have now,” she said, slamming her hand against her incredible mound.

“If I do anything you don’t like, tell me.” I said, gazing at her bare pussy.

“I don’t think you’ll have any worries there.”

I glanced up catching her cheekily smiling and raising her brows. She was going to kill me.

I ran my fingers along her smooth cleft and up to her clit. She jolted when I made contact with the tiny nub. In a motion I shuffled closer, eager to taste more of her dampness and relish. Tongue on her clit, fingers dipped inside her channel, I was ready. I licked from bottom to top followed by a hard succulent, tormenting, suck, longing to tease her to the brim as she wiggled deliriously. I sucked hard on her clit, taking it into my mouth. She cried out and dropped her ass over the edge of the chair.

With my fingers locked inside I wiggled them against her core. Her inner muscles clasped around my digits. I wanted so much with this woman. I wanted my cock deep inside her, hearing her crying out in excitement.

Eager to watch this beauty climax, I plunged my fingers in and out of her faster.

I craved to have her sweet mouth wrapped around my dick sucking me of, cleaning me of my pre-cum. I never expected the night to turn so frigging scorching.

My fingers rammed inside her while I munched and teased her clit, sucking hard. She shuffled her bottom from side to side and moaned sweetly.

I pulled away for air. “God you taste…”

She grabbed the back of my head and pushed my face harder into her pussy, forcing me to keep devouring her. Hell, I wouldn’t stop even if someone was willing to pay millions.

I relished her honeycomb, wanting more, so much more. I craved for her to ride my dick, sink it deep into her hot pussy. She could ride me the night out.

Suddenly her thigh muscles contracted. I knew what was coming. I carried on torturing her clit, playing musical notes, playing our own little song. I fucked her nerve endings. My dick bulged, seeping at the tip.

“Oh princess,” I munched, flicking and circling knowing she was close, so close.

The door to the room swung open.

💕✶  LINKS ✶💕

Amazon UK  http://bit.ly/ItalianlPlayboy2ulo3A8

Amazon US  http://bit.ly/USItalianPlayboy2ulcREo

Itunes   http://bit.ly/ItalianPlayboy2tVoEZ0

Barnes and Noble  http://bit.ly/BarnesandnobleItalian2trJStR

 

✶✶ STALKER LINKS ✶✶

Website ➩http://hollygill.wixsite.com/hollyjgill

Facebook ➩https://www.facebook.com/hollyjgillauthor/

Twitter ➩https://twitter.com/HollyJGill

Instagram ➩https://www.instagram.com/hollyjodygill

Pinterest ➩https://uk.pinterest.com/gill0839/

Goodreads➩https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6860426.Holly_J_Gill

Amazon ➩amzn.to/2nWtAIt

Blogger ➩http://hollyjgill.blogspot.com/

Holly’s FB Group bit.ly/Hollyfbvip2qbFM8E

Holly Fan VIP’s ➩HollyJGillsVIPs

Email➩ holly_gill@btinternet.com

 

 

Cover made by Envy Book Cover Designs

Website: Envy Books Website

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Out TODAY! TEMPERED STEEL SERIES 4-6 by Maggie Adams

I’m so excited to tell you about the new release from fellow Wicked Pen, sexy romance author Maggie Adams!  She’s bundled books 4-6 of her Tempered Steel Series to offer you a deal on books you know you’re going to have to have anyway.

So what’s new since we last left the Coalson’s?

The Coalson family saga continues with only small clues leading to the person responsible for the downfall of the family business and the ever-increasing presence of criminal activity in their small town. They vow to wreak vengeance on those responsible, but unforeseen circumstances may put the brothers and the ones they love in jeopardy.

Brandon and Nick foil an attempt to assassinate a pretty private eye and her sweet sister. Together with Sam and his best SEAL buddies, Jax and Noah, they vow to bring the ringleader to justice and rid their town of the criminals. But nothing goes according to plan, and the men must fight Mother Nature, a murderer, and the local law enforcement. Not to mention that the new secretary, Anna Meeks, is definitely hiding something, and Brandon is determined to uncover her secrets, and the luscious body she’s trying to hide under those ridiculously conservative clothes.


Lucky Coalson’s luck has run out. He’s been accused of murder and it’s up to the Coalsons and the Morgan sisters to find the real killer. Lucky cringes to know that the very woman who threw him in the river is going to be the one to save him from a prison cell. And feisty P. I. Renee Morgan isn’t too happy herself about it because every time she’s near him, her body responds in a very unprofessional manner.

Although Nick Coalson is attracted to the fiery redhead, Rebecca Morgan, her dangerous job makes her off limits, especially as she is almost killed during their investigation. He wants quiet and submissive, not reckless and determined. But her sweet curves and sexy smile are melting his resolve and his heart. When she is kidnapped by a human trafficker, Nick will need the help of an outside source who wants Rebecca for himself. So, who will come out the victor?

 Use this LINK to get your TEMPERED STEEL SERIES 4-6 boxed set.

Haven’t read the first part of this saga?  Not a problem.  You can read the story from the beginning with Whistlin’ Dixie, and meet all brothers and the sexy, strong-willed women that win their hearts. https://goo.gl/j7yUPc

Maggie Adams Rafflecopter USE ME

But you haven’t heard the good news yet.  In honor of the release of TEMPERED STEEL SERIES 4-6, Maggie Adams is having a huge giveaway!

Click this LINK for your chance to WIN!

 

 

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Watch This Space–WICKED HOUSE by Bianca M. Schwarz

For today’s edition of Watch This Space, I want to introduce fellow Wicked Pen, Bianca M. Schwarz.  Bianca was born in Germany, spent her formative years in London and just got her US passport, but she considers herself a world citizen. She lives in Los Angeles because that’s where they make movies and she used to work on them. She writes novels because that’s kind of like making a movie in people’s heads and because she just loves books. Bianca has one son, because that’s all she can handle and she tolerates her husband because, well, she loves him and there is no help for that.
Oh yeah, and there is a cat.

WICKED HOUSE is Bianca M. Schwarz’s steamy new release.  Here’s what it’s about.

On the suggestion of her cousin, Marianne takes a temporary position in Lord Linford’s country home. Being a maid at a house party is not easy, especially one as naughty as this one. Dodging a lusty Lord, and trying her best to stay true to her husband, Marianne takes refuge behind a curtain in the library as an erotic masquerade ball takes place throughout the rest of the  house. Confined there, Marianne regrets not having tasted any of the wicked pleasures all around her. Will she get another chance?

Use this LINK to get your copy of WICKED HOUSE for just $.99!

Weekend Excerpt–Finding Callie

Happy Weekend!  Is it me, or is the summer seeming to fly by?  How can it be August already?  I’m still hard at work on FOR SPARROW, which will be the third book in the Dream Dominant Collection.  Sexy and talented author (and fellow Wicked Pen) Linzi Basset is hard at work on the cover, and she may or may not have another couple of surprises up her sleeve.  Stay tuned here for more new about that.

callie

For this weekend’s excerpt, I’m sharing another snippet from the Teasers tab on my website.  Tentatively titled FINDING CALLIE, this story idea comes from experiences I had some years ago when I had the chance to travel to France and Spain for a couple of weeks.

Here’s the first chapter…

Standing in line at the post office has to be the fourth circle of hell

Callie shifted her weight to her left foot and leaned her hip against the railing around which the line of fellow postal customers snaked.  Look, only three more back-and-forths then it’s my turn, she thought sardonically. 

She frowned to herself.  Whose inner monologue is sardonic?

     “Next,” called the clerk at the second station.  Everyone in line took a step forward clutching their parcels all wrapped in brown paper and packing-taped into infinity, or their very important looking overnight-air envelopes. 
Callie glanced down at the peach square of paper in her hands.  We REdeliver for you! the paper promised.  She shook her head.  She wasn’t waiting for redelivery.
     Another clerk called out and the line shifted again.  A sextet of antique ceiling fans whirled ineffectively over their heads as a bead of sweat trickled down her spine.  She wondered if the air conditioning was out or if the USPS was simply economizing.  Either way, you could tell it was summer in south Florida.
     She made it to the turn-around and felt a bit encouraged.  Not much longer now.  She gazed at the receipt once again, her forefinger lightly tracing the address of the sender.  Sevilla.  She inhaled sharply.  She knew one person in Seville.  She couldn’t imagine what he’d sent in a parcel.
Raised voices interrupted Callie’s thoughts.  She looked up to see a well-dressed middle-aged woman shouting at the clerk at the third station.   
    
     “What do you mean, I have to get in a different line?  I’ve been standing here all day!”
     “Ma’am, I don’t have the form that you need.  Would you like to get in the other line?” the clerk asked patiently.  The man was an older black gentleman with sloping shoulders and an air of resignation.  Callie idly wondered if he’d delivered mail on foot back in the day.
     “Well if you won’t give me the form I guess I’ll have to!” the woman snapped as she vacated the station and toddled off to the the correct line. 
     Callie shook her head.  Why do people have to be such assholes?  She ran into her fair share of them as a teacher but she recalled her college days when she’d worked as a server in a busy restaurant.  People have no idea…
     She found herself suddenly only two people behind the head of the line, and she felt her heart begin to pound.  Finn.  She looked back at the peach scrap of paper.  After all this time.
     In truth she was shocked that he’d sent anything at all.  She’d known him for all of what, fifteen days?  The flush began in the center of her being and flowed up her neck to her cheeks.  Those fifteen days had changed her irrevocably.  She could never go back to the pre-Finn Callie.
     Vaguely she heard a clerk call for the next customer.  “Excuse me, ma’am?” said the guy behind her.  Callie looked up, startled.  “You’re next.”

     She murmured an apology and walked to the vacant station.  The same clerk who’d had the misfortune to deal with the nasty customer surveyed her with gentle eyes.  Callie was determined to be kind, to make up for the woman who’d been so unpleasant.  She smiled broadly.  “Yes, I’m picking up a parcel.”  She presented him with the peach scrap and her driver’s license.

     The man smiled kindly as he took the slip of paper and disappeared into the back.  He reemerged moments later carrying a package about the size and shape of a hardcover book.  Callie’s pulse pounded in her ears.
     “Here you are, ma’am,” he said as he handed her the box.  It was lighter than she’d expected.  Her eyes zeroed in on the return address.  Finn Cooper, 54 Calle Montevideo, Sevilla, Espana. 
     She smiled again and thanked the man, wished him a pleasant day, and walked out into the heat of the summer day.
I hope you liked this little teaser.  FINDING CALLIE joins a long list of stories I’ll eventually get to.   In the meantime, browse my Amazon Author Page for your next steamy read.