Monday, September 30, 2013

Someone to Listen by A.T. Douglas


Bio: After growing up in the Pacific Northwest, A.T. Douglas ventured away from her quiet hometown for the bustle of college in the city of Boston.  Though she studied astronomy and was a science geek at heart, she always had a love for the written word and a story swirling in her head. It wasn't until she became addicted to the Young Adult/New Adult Contemporary Romance genres that she embraced her renewed passion for reading by self-publishing her debut novel, Someone to Listen.  Fueled by coffee and her love of music, she strives to turn daydreams and the realities of life into words the world can read.  Her writing is inspired by personal experiences and memories from her past.  She hopes to inspire others to break the silence and get their stories out into the world.   A.T. Douglas lives in New Hampshire with her husband and son and wishes desperately that there were more hours in the day for family, reading, and writing. Book Synopsis: Abby wanted a fresh start, a new life thousands of miles away from her four difficult years of high school and the rumors that followed her.  As she begins her college experience in Boston, she finds friendship and love she didn’t expect, people who show her that she doesn’t have to be alone.
She is torn between two paths, inexplicably drawn to two completely different guys.  One understands her and reminds her of who she used to be, the broken shadow of a person wandering through life but not truly living.  The other is the key to her future, the guiding hand that she waited for years to pull her out of the darkness and into the light.
When Abby’s newfound happiness and renewed existence are threatened, everything changes.  She can fall back to that dark place within her or fight to save her future.
She faces the same struggle she has all along: getting someone to hear her, finding someone to believe her.
All she ever needed was someone to listen.
Buy Link (exclusively on Amazon): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EH4EPHE

Find out more about A.T. Douglas and follow her at the following social media links
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/a2tdouglas
Twitter: https://twitter.com/a2tdouglas 
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/atdouglas  
Website: http://atdouglas.wordpress.com

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Heaven Sent by Hilary Storm Review




REVIEW:

Wow. Just wow. I loved Eaven and Talons story so much in 'In a Hearbeat' (Rebel Walking #1) I was worried Ivy and Tarons story wouldn't be able to live up to it. I was wrong!

Ivy and Tarons story had me entranced from the beginning. I loved their relationship and the banter between the two. They are so hot together! There are some seriously hot moments between the two that had me fanning myself. 

Taron,oh Taron. I loved that we got to see his softer side rather than just his cocky, mon-whore persona we were introduced to in 'In a Heartbeat'. This new dimension to his personality made him even more swoon worthy than he already was. I fell in love with Ivy and her feisty personality in Rebel Walking #1. I love her 'grab life by the dick and swing from the rafters' attitude. Probably because I wish I had a little Ivy in me sometimes. I laughed a lot through this story and learned some hilarious shot toasts that had me laughing out loud along the way.

There are so many great characters in this story. Let me tell you that all the men are smokin' hot!! (Except for one vial character-I cannot but him in a hotness category because he had my blood boiling and not in a good way.) Aiden, the always loyal cowboy, is such a great character. I hope we get to hear more of his story in the future. You can tell a book is well written when you are desperate for more from secondary characters. 

This book was a one-sitting read for me, I could not put it down!! It has definately made it to my must-read list and will be reread in the future. This book is a 5 star book, make sure you get your hands on it! I cannot wait to see what is next from Hilary Storm! Keep them coming.





Buy Links





Synopsis:

The Rebel Walking Series continues with Taron and Ivy's story, Heaven Sent. The explosive chemistry that these two share ignites a relationship of epic proportions.

He has been dubbed 'the panty stealer', but Taron Walker has his eyes set on the beautiful, full of life, Ivy Adams. Ivy doesn't usually put up with the player type, yet there is something about Taron that has her intrigued. Taron must leave to go on tour with Rebel Walking and Ivy will be left to face serious struggles on her own. Will she reach out to Taron for help, or will she push him away? Can these two find happiness in each other's arms, or will they tear each other's world apart?






Author BIO

Hilary Storm lives with her high school sweetheart and three children in Enid, Oklahoma. She drives her husband crazy talking about book characters everyday like they are real people. She graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University with an MBA in Accounting and has a full time job as an accountant. Her passions include being a mom, writing, reading, photography, music, mocha coffee, and spending time with friends and family. She is the author of the Amazon Best Selling 'Rebel Walking' series. Book one: 'In a Heartbeat' was released June 2013, Book two: 'Heaven Sent' was just released in September 2013.

Social Links:
Facebook
Webpage
Twitter: @hilary_storm



DREAM CAST:

Taron:

Ivy:




Playlist for Heaven Sent by Hilary Storm

It’s Been Awhile – Staind
Better Than Me – Hinder
Cold – Crossfade
Next Contestant – Nickelback
The Reason – Hoobastank
So Cold – Breaking Benjamin
Collide – Howie Day
Sorry – Buckcherry
Bother – Stone Sour
Breakdown – Seether
Stupid Girl – Cold
Addicted – Saving Abel
My Immortal – Evanescence
Here Without You – 3 Doors Down
Wonderwall – Oasis
Behind Blue Eyes – Limp Bizkit
Heartless – Hinder
Apologize – One Republic
With Arms Wide Open – Creed
18 Days – Saving Abel
45 – Shinedown
Fine Again - Seether



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Friday, September 27, 2013

COVER REVEAL: The Perfect Distraction by Melissa Rolka

PD_ElectronicCover   TITLE - The Perfect Distraction (Book #1) AUTHOR - Melissa Rolka GENRE - New Adult EXPECTED RELEASE DATE - October 1, 2013 HOSTED BY - Love Between the Sheets GOODREADShttp://tiny.cc/tv6x3w   BOOK DESCRIPTION -  When Katherine “Kate” leaves for her freshmen year at college, a grounded and stable piece of her is missing.  She pushes away the ghosts of her past, determined to start her college life single, carefree and distracted. 
Throughout high school Kate was reserved and shy, with little experience.  Now, on her own, with little holding her back, Kate is ready to branch out.  She bonds with a tight knit group of friends and even starts casually dating.  What starts out as innocent flirting on the tennis courts slowly turns into a friendship and eventually something more complex.  Reed comes into her life giving her the distraction she craves more than anything; but is she ready to give her heart away so easily?

Things get complicated when Kate’s ex-boyfriend and first love continues to pursue her.  Kyle deeply regrets breaking her heart when he left for college the year before and is now on a mission to reclaim her.  Kyle’s persistence and relentlessness is nothing short of obsessive.  He will stop at nothing to win her back and prove his love.

Kate finds herself torn between her past and the unknown of the future.  Her determination to stay distracted may just be her downfall or the beginning of something new and wonderful.  
 
EXCERPT -   
 
I don’t even care that there are now three different girls talking to Reed.  I sneak up behind him and tap him on the shoulder.  He turns around and the look of shock and surprise on his face causes me to start giggling.  He turns completely around with his back to the other three girls and gives me a smile that touches his blue eyes.  His squared jaw highlights his smile perfectly.  In this instant of a moment I decide I want to kiss Reed even if it’s just for fun and to forget.“You’re kidding me.  Wow!  I can’t believe you came here.” “I told you we would.  You didn’t think I would do it, did you?” “Honestly, no, but I was hoping.  I never see you out on the weekends anymore, so this is a great surprise.” We stand there for a minute and then he orders me a beer.  I take it, but nurse it.  I’ve had a bit much already and don’t want the spins.  He asks me and Quinn to play a game of pool with him and Matt.  Matt wants to play girls against guys, but Reed says no way that he wants me on his team.  I warn him that I am not that good, but alcohol may help my case.  We play the game and I actually do pretty well.  Reed touches me every chance he gets and is very flirty.  It’s my turn and I have to bend over to make a shot, but to be honest I forget that I have a dress on.  “Shit, Katherine,” he lets out in a bit of gruff tone and walks up behind me to cover me.  I laugh at him.  “Oops, I forgot about my dress.” “You look good enough as it is and now with a dress on.  Jesus, I don’t need to get in a fight.”  He is still pressed behind me as I continue to make my shot.  I miss completely because to be honest I’m completely distracted. “I doubt anyone noticed, but thanks for protecting me.”  He steps back and I turn around.  I decide to be bold and kiss his cheek. “Trust me, you were noticed.”  He moves a piece of hair from my face and the touch sends a chill through me.  “God, you are so beautiful.”  
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - 
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Melissa Rolka grew up in the Chicagoland area all of her childhood and has always had a love of writing. She started by keeping a journal at a young age and then in high school she started writing poetry. A couple poems were published anonymously. Then in college she majored in Philosophy, which required lots and lots of writing. After graduating from Marquette University she traveled west to Los Angeles. There she worked for the Writers Guild of America and found herself submerged in the writers world. She worked on small writings, but never pursued them. On the side she became involved with a small theater group. Eventually she made her way back to the Midwest, where her heart belongs, and worked in business for several years. She found love, got married and has two beautiful children. Being at home has allowed her to keep following her love of reading and writing.The Perfect Distraction is her first full length novel. A second continuation of this story is in the works with hopes for a third. When Melissa is not writing she is caring for, playing with and loving her two kids. In between taking care of her family and writing she almost always has her nose buried in her Kindle.
GIVEAWAY - 
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Thursday, September 26, 2013

COVER REVEAL: Touched By You by T.H. Snyder

Touched By You Cover
Title: Touched By You
Author: T.H. Snyder
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: October 31
SYNOPSIS
Chloe and Derrick have spent most of their lives together as friends and as lovers; they have formed a connection that few couples can make last. This duo is bound by one thing that no one can destroy. They have been touched by one another and no one can take that away.  That is until one of them is forced to make a decision and their lives take on a different path.  Can these two withstand the reality of what lies ahead? Are they able to hold a relationship together with just the mere fact that they may love each other? Is it possible to maintain a bond that no one else has been able to touch? Chloe and Derrick may have the relationship others dream about, but sometimes things do get in the way and it can be impossible to forgive and forget. Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18210722-touched-by-you  
TBY T1
  EXCERPT “My I have this dance?” I ask. “I can’t believe this night Derrick, it’s our song.” “It sure is angel. Come on let’s dance to it.” I walk her over to the small dance floor area and swing her around in my arms. As we dance to our song, Lucky by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat, I envision what it will be like to dance with her to this song on our wedding day. I pull her in closer to me so that I can feel her heart beating against mine. This day has been absolutely perfect and there’s just one more thing I need to do. I pull away from her just enough so that I can look into her eyes again. “You are so beautiful to me Chloe.” I tell her and kiss her lips ever so softly. “I love you so much Derrick. No matter what we’ve been through we always make it work. You make us work. I love you.” She kisses me back but instead of a soft kiss she kisses me fiercely. I feel tears coming down our cheeks and I pull away. “Don’t cry angel. This is all for you. Everything I do is for you so that our future is perfect. Come on we have one last surprise for the night.”   ABOUT THE AUTHOR   TH Snyder          T.H. Snyder is a 33 year old mother of 2. She has been an avid romance and paranormal reader for well over a year and felt it was about time to explore her creative side and write her own book.   AUTHOR SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-t-h-snyder/1391579264389587 Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7152850.T_H_Snyder Twitter: https://twitter.com/thsnyder4 Website: http://www.thsnyder.com/  
Giveaway-image
(25) Touched By You bookmarks with Touch Series Swag bracelets

Monday, September 23, 2013

COVER REVEAL: Bad Land by Jonathan Yanez


Bad Land Cover Reveal

Coming September 2013…


Synopsis:

At only twenty-three Marshall Montgomery is the youngest reporter to have ever worked at his newspaper in Los Angeles county. His life has been his job. But something is about to happen that will force him to confront the painful memory of his sister’s death and open him to a world very much apart from his own.

A young girl has been found dead in Wakan Canyon. A place Marshall will find that has a past filled with violence and bloodshed. Hundreds of years ago Native American’s fought over the land and even today lives are being taken to protect a secret.

Deep within the canyon there is a power that has been hidden by generations of the area’s inhabitants. There is a dark force that has corrupted every single one of its owners since the beginning of time. Now, trying to discover the truth, Marshall finds himself caught in a web of lies, manipulation, secrecy and death.

Goodreads:  www.goodreads.com/book/show/18515556-bad-land

Giveaway:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Jonathan Yanez was born and raised in a Christian household in Oxnard, CA. He was involved in everything from piano and saxophone lessons to swimming and track. Growing up his parents encouraged him to read, and he did - anything he could get his hands on. Soon he developed a fascination with storytelling and characters that would follow him the rest of his life.

Graduating from BIOLA University with his BA in English Literature he never lost his love for writing and creating. He now works part-time as a personal trainer and hopes to one day make the move to writing full-time.

Other than reading and writing, his passion is living life to the fullest. He loves; spending time with his wife and pets, watching movies, participating in mud runs, traveling, going to the gym and pushing his limits in everything. This desire takes him anywhere from skydiving and motorcycle riding, to surfing in Hawaii and various types of martial arts. He has his eyes set next on archery and running with the bulls in Spain.

He is married to the love of his life and resides in Southern California with his husky, Daphne and cat, Helen.


Twitter:  https://www.twitter.com/JonathanAYanez

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/JonathanYanezAuthor

Website and Blog:  http://jonathanyanez.blogspot.com

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/13858613-jonathan-yanez

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Heaven Sent (Rebel Walking#2) by Hilary Storm Blitz Tour


Ok, yes I am stupid excited about this!!! Here's chapter 1!!!!




Heaven Sent
by Hilary Storm

~One~
Ivy

He is everywhere.
In my thoughts.
In my dreams.
In my air.

I’m trying to fight my attraction to Taron, but my heart doesn’t seem to listen to my mind.  I know it’s a disaster waiting to happen if I give in, yet I still keep thinking of the possibilities.

He has a past.  So do I.
He loves to flirt.  So do I.
He will be leaving to go on tour tomorrow.  I won’t.
  
He was there for me when I thought I lost my best friend.  The title ‘best friend’ doesn’t really do what we have justice.  Eaven is my sister.  We may come from different blood, but in all aspects that count we are family.  A couple of months ago Eaven was kidnapped and driven into the river by her boyfriend’s ex.  Taron never left my side the entire time we were searching for her or when she was recovering in the hospital.  He has been to my apartment to check on me daily since Eaven has been staying with Talon to recover.
Don’t get me wrong.  He has continuously made advances toward me since we found out Eaven was going to be ok.  He flirts non-stop, but I’m a girl who likes all of that attention.  I just don’t want to share my attention with other girls.
I have to decide if I can handle sharing him before I give myself to him completely.  After all he is the lead singer in the band ‘Rebel Walking’.  They are going to be gone more on tour now.  This will be their second time to go on tour with main stream bands.  They were such a huge success the first time, they were chosen to be the opening band at every single one of ‘Beckoning Reality’s‘ concerts.  I heard all of the details from Taron when he called to check on me while he was away on the first tour.
I’ve managed to fight him off until this point, but I’m sure since he leaves in the morning, he will be trying extra hard tonight to get me to cave.
Smitty has kicked off a celebration to send the band off in style.  It looks like everyone has shown up to see the band one last time.  This place is packed.
Eaven and I went shopping for new outfits this week.  She wants to look exceptional tonight since she is sending her fiancĂ© off for four weeks.  She is just recently engaged to Talon and they are perfect for each other.  I am so excited that she found someone who makes her happy and treats her right.  He just happens to look identical to the guy that I am fighting myself to not like.  Talon and Taron Walker are identical twins.  The story of the two sisters falling in love with twin bad boys is one that never comes true.

I look over and see Taron at the band’s reserved table talking to his twin.  My eyes shift to his broad shoulders and the dark, tight shirt that doesn’t leave much to the imagination.  I’ve been in his arms a few times and I know that his chest and stomach are sculpted and just as defined as the shirt makes it appear.  He has dark hair, almost black.  He wears it messy so that it looks like he just got out of bed.  The look really works for him.  I know that he does put effort into his hair because I have been stuck waiting on him to get ready.
He jumps up to pester his older brother Holden and I begin to appreciate the view of his ass in those jeans.  His jeans hang just right, just the way I love to see.  I’ve never let him know that I appreciate how he looks.  He would never let me live it down if I did.
Eaven leaves me to make her way to Talon.  I see Taron begin to search the room as soon as he sees her arrive.  He spots me and starts to look me up and down.  His eyes never leave me as he stalks across the room.
“Poison Ivy!  It is such a pleasure to see you out for the kill tonight.”  He takes his index finger and runs it down my chest and into the valley of my cleavage causing my shirt to lower.  He stops just before he exposes me.
“Do you want to lose that finger?”  I really want him to continue, but I would never tell him that.
“I would love for you to take my entire finger.”  He removes his digit from my chest and I know his meaning behind his reply.  He has never been shy about his sexual desire with me.
“In your dreams.”  I turn away from him to begin my walk to the table.  He stops me after only a few steps.  He grabs my hips and holds me against him.  I can feel him invading my space again.  He is consuming all of my senses.  He leans down to whisper in my ear.
“Yea that pretty much sums it up.”
My body heats up as his breath blows past my ear.  The sensation sends a shiver through my body and heat straight to my core.  He holds me so close that I can feel how much he wants me as it presses into my backside.
“When are you going to quit playing hard to get?  You know we will be hot together.  You know you want what only I can give you.”  He begins to sway back and forth with the music.
I want what he is offering me so much.  I want to let go and ride the roller coaster that is Taron.  I know there will be ups and downs.  I just don’t know if I can hang on until the end and exit the ride safely.  I don’t know if he will break my heart.
Usually I don’t let myself get attached to a guy.  We have fun and then say our goodbyes.  Taron managed to work his way into my life in a way that we are so beyond a simple affair without strings.  I just don’t know if he is capable of what I want.
I want him.  All of him.  To myself.  No sharing.

“I don’t want to share,” I say through the lump in my throat.
“I don’t have any intentions of sharing you.”  He flips me around to face him.  He guides my arms over his shoulders and slowly drags his hands back down my arms, down my sides, and then around my waist.  He flattens both of his hands out on my butt cheeks and presses me further into him.  We continue to sway with the music.
I look into his eyes.  I can see desire.  I can see the same heat that I feel.  I decide to give in.  I pull him down to meet my lips.  He doesn’t waste any time joining my tongue.  I know he is a great kisser.  We have already established the hot chemistry between us once before.  He continues to press himself into me and the pressure makes me crave more of him.
“Spend the night with me.”  He is begging me through the tone of his voice.
I bow my head in thought and he kisses my forehead.  He uses his large hands to guide my head back up to look at him.  He closes his eyes as he nears me and begins to softly kiss my lips.  This gentle side of him is my undoing.
“My place isn’t as crowded.  I’m pretty sure you won’t want your brothers to hear what I have planned for you.”  I nibble on his bottom lip as I pull away from his lips.
“Fuuuuccckk Me.”  He has a huge smile on his face.

“I have to sing a few songs and then you are mine.”  He holds me tight until the rest of the band has taken the stage.  When Talon and Luke start to play, he finally releases me.  “Don’t go anywhere.  I want to watch you while I am on stage.”
I stay exactly where he leaves me.  I enjoy the songs so much more this time.  It seems like he is singing them directly to me.  His eyes are intense and he never really looks anywhere but at me.  The crowd is still going wild trying to get his attention.  Panties and bras are thrown up at him, but he never averts his attention away from me.
I feel someone up against my back and I turn to see who is standing this close to me.  It’s Dylan.  His job relocated him a couple of months back.  We went out a couple of times, but we weren’t exclusive.
“Hey Dylan.”  I smile at him and place my hand on his arm stepping sideways just a little to give myself some room.
“Ivy.  How is my girl?”  The way he just said my girl irritates me.  He grips my arm very tightly and I yank it from his grip.  What the hell is his problem?
“I am not anyone’s girl.”
Aiden is next to me in a matter of seconds.  Aiden and I have been friends since we met.  In the beginning he wanted to be more than friends.  I think he finally realized that my feelings for Taron are much deeper than I let on and he backed off.  He started dating another girl, but we still talk daily.  We sometimes meet for dinner or drinks when he has time.  He is pure country.  He is pure country cowboy with a perfect gentleman demeanor.
“Get your hands off of Ivy.”  Aiden is in Dylan’s face the instant he can be.
“You got a problem, cowboy?”  Dylan pushes Aiden back.
“Lay a hand on a girl and you are the one with a big problem.  It will be the last time you use your hands.”  Aiden is dead serious with his threat.  “Let’s take this outside.”  The cowboys surround Dylan.
Taron busts through the crowd that has surrounded us.  He slams into Dylan’s chest with the rage of a fighter.  His force slams Dylan to the ground.  Taron has his arm pressing into Dylan’s throat causing him to gasp for air.
“You touch her again, motherfucker, and I will personally make sure that you never live to see tomorrow.”  It takes four guys to pull Taron off of Dylan.  The cowboys escort Dylan out of the bar and Taron is outraged.
“What the fuck!”  He begins to yell in anger.
“Chill out brother.”  Talon attempts to calm his twin down.
“What did he say to you?  Why is he grabbing you like that?  Why is cowboy saving the fucking day?”  He is full of questions that I don’t know the answer to.
“He just grabbed my arm tightly and asked how his girl was doing.  I told him that I am not anyone’s girl and then Aiden was there.  Calm down, please.”  I’m starting to feel the stress of him being this angry.  My childhood was spent with different men beating on my mother every day.  They used to talk to her and look at her like he is talking to me right now.  I don’t think he would ever hit me, but his rage is causing old memories to surface that I am not ready to deal with right now.
“Aiden saves the motherfucking day.  Doesn’t he?”  He is angry with me.  Why is he so pissed at me?
“Aiden is just a friend.  What is your problem?”  I grab him by the collar of his t-shirt and pull his face to mine.  “Jealous much?”
“No one should be touching you like that.”
“I agree and it has been handled.  Please don’t ruin tonight for us.”  I beg him as I hold him an inch from my face trying to get him to focus on me.  He finally calms down just as Smitty shows up to see what is going on.  I’m thankful that Smitty loves these guys.  I’m positive that all of our asses would have been tossed if they weren’t the band that fills this bar every time they schedule.       
“I’m done tonight.  The show is over.”  Taron begins to yell at everyone that is surrounding us.  The DJ starts to play some music and the crowd finally moves away.
“I’m ready to break out of here.”  He looks frustrated as he looks at me over his shoulder.  He has a hold of my hand and our arms are extended between us since I haven’t moved.  I see Eaven looking at us with a smile on her face.
I decide to walk in her direction and Taron follows staying attached to my hand.  “We’re going to head out.”  She knows what we’re leaving to do.  She knows me better than I know myself sometimes.  She leans over to hug me and manages to whisper in my ear so that Taron can’t hear.
“Be careful my friend.”  Then she leans into a hug with him.  She whispers something in his ear that I can’t hear.

Taron
“Hurt her, and I will kill you.”  Eaven’s threat is heard loud and clear.  I have witnessed the bond that these two share, and I know they will always protect each other.  My future sister-in-law is a feisty survivor and I don’t plan to cross her.  She has proven that she will fight for those she loves.

It takes entirely too long to exit the club.  People are everywhere and every time I turn around some girl from one of my past hookups is lingering in my view waiting for the opportunity to ‘meet’ up with me.  I know Ivy can sense what these girls are after because she gets defensive before we get out the door.
“Jealous much?”  I decide the best way to approach this is to be playful and throw her words right back at her.
“Um…. No.  Like I have always said, if you want ‘cock rot’ feel free to play the field, just don’t expect me to hang around.”  She is extremely sassy with that fucking mouth of hers.  It is what I love and hate so much about her equally.  She is a breath of fresh air compared to all of the groupies that I am flooded with constantly.
I have been holding out for Ivy since we started spending so much time together after Eaven’s accident.  “There’s no ‘cock rot’ here.  My dick may fall off from lack of use lately, but I know that I’m clean.  I always wrap it and I get tested regularly.”
I have to protect myself from the lot lizards of the concert scene.  They will agree with everything I say or want to do.  It’s like they are spineless females that expect me to give them a great fuck and then they know the drill.  They head out.  I may hit four girls in the same night if I start at the club.
I haven’t had any interest in any of them lately.  Been there, fucked that.
There is a sexy brunette that has had all of my attention.  I love a challenge.  She acts like she isn’t interested in me, but I know that if she has a taste, she will love it.  I can’t wait to see if that sassy mouth is just as feisty in the bedroom.  If it is, I may not be able to stand it.


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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Author Spotlight: Katt Sterling author of Burning Infinity out October 30th!



Meet new and upcoming author Katt Sterling. We are gearing up for the release of her debut novel Burning Infinity out October 30th.  Since we are so excited about the release of Burning Infinity I thought this would be a great time to get to know who Katt Sterling is.




Title of your work:

My first novel is titled Burning Infinity and has an expected release date for October 30.

Where are you from?

Born and raised in Ontario, Canada.

What genre do you write, why?

Burning Infinity is part of the New Adult genre. I’ve always had a special fondness for young adult fiction. There’s something about the innocence of first love that’s always tugged on my heartstrings. But YA is very “clean” and as much as I love it, I like my steamy scenes too. When I discovered New Adult I was in heaven. It had that bit of maturity I craved coupled with the once in a lifetime innocence often found in YA. NA didn’t just tug on my heartstrings…some of the books I’ve read ripped into my chest, yanked out my heart and stomped all over it. 
I had numerous book hangovers and when I finally came out of them bleary-eyed and slightly panicked I needed therapy, I knew I wanted to be part of this magical world.


What got you started writing?

I’m a sensitive person and I always saw writing as a way to unleash my inner turmoil. It was my happy place. If I had a falling out with a friend because she wouldn’t let me wear the purple dress when we played dress up, I’d go home and write myself a new best friend who always gave me first pick. When all of my friends had dates on a Friday night and I was sitting at home alone, watching reruns of Friends, I’d make up a story with the most romantic hero I could think of (I’ll let you judge how pathetic this is, ha). Writing has always been a huge part of how I coped with life and I always did it for myself. I don’t think I ever actually made the decision to sit down and write in order to achieve a certain goal. It’s simply always been an extension of me.


What made you decide to start publishing your work?

Book blogs. Seriously. The idea of putting out my own work was a dream that floated around in my mind for years but was easily pushed aside. It just didn’t seem like a dream that could come true for a girl like me.  
I’ve always been an avid reader and when I realized there are other people out there who fall in love with fictional characters and talk about them like they’re real, I knew I wanted to join their world. So I started following book blogs. The more blogs I followed, the more attainable my dream to be an author became. I was reading all of these interviews by bloggers who asked authors the questions I’d want to ask. I was reading reviews by readers who shared my thoughts. It made the reading world seem so…real. 
Then one day I was reading an author interview and I thought, you know what? I really want to do this. I want to see my name on a blog somewhere, someday. So I reached out and grabbed onto that dream in the hopes that it wouldn’t be able to float away anymore.


Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite book?

I knew you were going to ask this and so I’ve spent days trying to think of an answer! I can’t. Every time I think I’ve finally come up with one, I remember another author/book and change my mind. I can’t choose. Especially since I love to read so many different genres. But a few of my current favorite authors are Abbi Glines (I’ve read every single book she’s released), JR Ward, Tammara Webber, JK Rowling (I bow down to her) and Jodi Picoult. 
As for my favorite books….Real, Fallen Too Far, every single book by Kristen Ashley, Beautiful Disaster, Lover Eternal, Harry Potter…the list is endless.


What is your writing style? Do you follow an outline? Or do you just sit down and let the story unfold organically?

I like to just sit down and let the story unfold organically. Like I said before, I always wrote when I wanted my life to be a little different. Usually there’s a specific incident or experience in my real life that has me firing up my laptop and delving into my book life. That means I tend to be emotional when I write, so it’s easiest to just let it unfold. 


Do you ever get inspired by someone you know (or yourself) and write them into a character?

All the time. I think I put a little of myself into every character. It may be a characteristic from years ago and it may be a very tiny one, but it’s in there.

What do you want everyone to know about Burning Infinity?
Burning Infinity centers around nineteen year old Isabella, who has grown up in an abusive home. She’s kept the extent of the abuse a secret from her friends and because of how hard she has worked to hide this darker part of her identity, she’s lost sight of who she really is. She meets twenty-five year old Cole Sampson who introduces her to a gentle touch she’s never known before. As Isabella struggles to accept what Cole is offering, the secrets of his life are exposed and she’s left wondering if sometimes the people we love are only meant to be in our lives for a limited time.


Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

My favorite character is actually one who isn’t even in the story that much. But her name is Rebecca and I adore her. I see so many of my own friends in her that in my opinion, she’s impossible not to love.


Do you have a least favorite character?

Yes. One character was harder to write than the others. I’d beg and plead for them to do what I wanted, but they’d decided on their own path and wouldn’t listen to me. I’ll let you read the book and decide who you think it is.


If you could change one thing about Burning Infinity what would it be and why?

I think it would have been nice to have multiple POV’s. I would have loved getting inside the heads of certain characters to better understand what they were thinking when they said this or did that. But Burning Infinity is more about Isabella’s journey and how she grows, so it’s only told from her POV.


Anything else you like to tell us?

Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. You…I…I don’t even have words. <3

How can people find you?
I love connecting with readers. You don’t have to talk to me about my book…just come fangirl with me over other books!



Links:           Facebook             Twitter              Goodreads


***Keep a look out for an announcement 
on how you can be a part of a followup interview 
with Katt Sterling after the Burning Infinity release!***




       

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Finding Home by Ann Vaughn Chapter 1 sneak peek!





Chapter One


            Sarah Sauter wondered not for the first time, why she didn’t have more friends her own age.  As she sat at a table with her co-workers on their lunch break, she found herself struggling to pay attention to their conversations.  It was hard.  Each woman at the table was old enough to be her mother.  Granted, Terry, who sat next to her, would have had to have been eighteen at the time of her birth, but still, it wasn’t out of the ordinary. The other two ladies, Bernice and Ester both had children her age and older.  Sadly, though, this was Sarah’s life.  She’d worked with these three ladies for nearly ten years, since she was sixteen years old.  She was their honorary daughter, the ladies her own Guardian Angels ever since her parents died when she was barely out ofhigh school. 
            Ester was currently relaying a tale about the antics of her grandchildren.  Sarah tried to listen but her mind just wasn’t in it.  Their waitress stopped by to refill drinks, and it was while looking up at her that the man sitting in the booth just behind Ester and Bernice caught Sarah’s attention.  The first thing she noticed about him was his eyes.  They were really indescribable.  At first glance they appeared amber, but when she looked away and looked back, they were deeper,more like melted chocolate...and they were locked on her.  The face that went with them was rugged, but as he was wearing a very nice dark suit and tie, it was also refined.
            “Girl, that guy is seriously checking you out,” Terry said in a low tone.
            Ester and Bernice immediately stopped talking, glancing around.
            “What guy?”Bernice asked, her voice carrying slightly.
            Sarah groaned and turned her attention back to her friends.
            “No, he wasn’t,” she told Terry, trying to diffuse the situation.
            “Oh, yes he was...or, is, I should say,” Terry amended. “He’s yummy, you should go introduce yourself.”
            At that Sarah laughed.  “Oh, please!  He is so far out of my league it isn’t even funny.”
            “He doesn’t seem to think so.”
            Sarah shook her head.  “Just look at him, Terry.  He is yummy. That suit he’s wearing costs more than my entire wardrobe.  There is no way a man like him would have even the slightest interest in a Data Entry Clerk at Sunday’s Gifts.”
            “There you go, putting yourself down again,” Ester said, shaking her head.
            “Sarah Sauter, you are just as pretty as all these college girls around here,” Bernice scolded her, “now you stop putting yourself down.”
            Sarah gave her friends a weak smile, even as she saw the man in question pay his bill and then stand, shrug into his suit jacket and walk past their table.
            “Was that the guy?” Bernice asked.
            Terry nodded.  “Wasn’t he gorgeous?”
            “Honey, the backside looked even better,” Bernice said.
            “Y’all are so bad,” Sarah laughed, shaking her head. “We’d better get our checks, it’s about that time.”
            Bernice flagged the waitress down as they all gathered their purses.
            “We’d like our checks, please,” Terry said when the waitress approached.
            She smiled brightly at them.  “Your checks have all already been paid.”
            The women exchanged shocked glances.  “What?”
            The waitress nodded.  “Yes.  By the gentleman who just left,” she dug her receipt book out from her apron pocket. “A Mr. Colton Harris.”
            Sarah then experienced something she never wanted to experience ever again as long as she lived; three women old enough to be her mother squealing like a group of junior high girls.  She shook her head at them and after they left their waitress a tip, they all filed out and into her SUV.
            Back at work, Sarah groaned when the latest batch of vendor orders was deposited on her desk.  It was at least three inches thick; she definitely knew what she would be doing for the rest of the day.  It was for the best, she supposed; if she were busy then she wouldn’t be able to daydream about the absolutely gorgeous Mr. Colton Harris.
            It was nearly 4:30 when she finally was able to find a good stopping point in the orders and come up for a breath of air. She realized by looking at the clock that she’d gotten so engrossed in keying in the orders that she’d totally missed her afternoon break.  Deciding she at least needed to get up and stretch her legs, she stood and stretched her back.
            “Hey, Terry, I missed my break you wanna...” she began but stopped when she rounded the corner of her cube and saw that Terry wasn’t in hers.  She looked around and realized no one was at their desks.  She’d been so busy she hadn’t even noticed everyone leaving. Just as she was going to walk off and look for them her phone buzzed.
            “Sarah?” Ester’s voice sounded through her phone.
            “Yes?”
            “Could you come up front for a minute?”
            “Yeah, sure, be there in a sec.”
            As she left her section and made her way up to the front she noticed several other people were missing from their desks...and when she rounded the corner to the reception area where Ester worked, she saw all of them gathered around Ester’s desk, and all looking expectantly at her.
            “What?” Sarah asked, her steps faltering.  It was a bit daunting to be confronted by a wall of her co-workers, and even her boss.
            The group sort of parted in the middle, revealing a beautiful vase of white roses on the bar of Ester’s reception desk.
            “These were just delivered for you,” Ester said, smiling.
            Sarah was taken aback.  Who in the world could have sent roses to her?
            “For me?”
            Bernice pulled the card.  “Unless there is another Sarah Sauter at Sunday’s Gifts we don’t know about.  Shall I read the card?”
            Sarah reached for it.  “No, no, I can read it.  I just can’t imagine who...” her voice trailed off when she saw the definitely masculine handwriting on the card.
            “Well?” Barbara, her boss prompted.  “Don’t keep us in suspense.  Who are they from?”
            Sarah cleared her throat and glanced quickly to Terry, Bernice and Ester.  “It says: For Sarah, I hope you enjoyed your lunch today.  Sincerely, Colt Harris.”
            An audible gasp sounded from her three lunch companions.
            “Who is Colt Harris?” Barbara asked.
            While Bernice relayed the story, Sarah re-read the card, noticing he’d included his email address and phone number. 
            “Oh wow,”Barbara said, “you must have made quite an impression.”
            Sarah looked up from the card.  “But how did he know my name and where I work?”
            “He must have been listening to our conversation,” Terry surmised.  “You said something about Sunday’s Gifts and there at the end, Bernice called you by your full name.”
            It was unbelievable.  Things like this just didn’t happen to Sarah.  Not outside ofher dreams, anyway...and roses!  She’d never had flowers delivered to her.  As if in a daze, she gathered the vase and without speaking to anyone, carried it back to her cube.  The smell of the freshcut stems was intoxicating.  And they were absolutely gorgeous. 
            She sat ather desk and placed his handwritten card before her.  He had neat penmanship.  It was clearly legible, unlike that of most of the men she worked with.  Before she lost her nerve, she pulled up her personal email account and opened a blank email, entering his address from the card.
                        Dear Mr. Harris:
                                    Thank you so much for lunch today.  The roses are
                        absolutely beautiful.  Thank you.
                        Sincerely,
                        Sarah Sauter
            She read it through a couple of times.  It was light and breezy, nothing major.  Just what shewas wanting.  Before she could lose her nerve, she hit send, then sat back and released the breath she hadn’t realizedshe’d been holding.  For a moment, shesat staring at the screen, then shook herself and began clearing her desk in preparation to leave for the day.  Terry walked back in and just as she was about to speak to her, her inbox chimed.
            Hands shaking, Sarah turned back to her computer and clicked on her inbox, seeing that he’d already replied!
            Dear Sarah:
            I’m glad you enjoyed lunch.  You certainly brightened mine.  I’m sure the roses are nowhere near    as beautiful as you.
            I’d like to spend some time with you.  Would you meet me for dinner? 
            Eagerly awaiting your answer,
                        Colt
            “Oh, my gosh!” Sarah gasped.
            “What is it?” Terry asked, coming around to check on her.
            Sarah picked up the card, handing it to Terry.
            “He included his email address, so I sent him an email thanking him for lunch and for the roses.  Look what he replied!”
            Terry leaned over to read the email.
            “Oh, wow, Sarah!!  How exciting!  Tell him you’ll go.”
            Sarah bit her lip.  “I don’t know, Terry, I mean...I know nothing about this guy.  He could be Ted Bundy for all we know!”
            Terry shook her head.  “Sarah, come on.  You haven’t had a date in, what, a year? And the last one you went out with was a real loser.  Take a chance.  Say you’ll meet him.  If you want, Lloyd and I can arrange to be at the same place, just in case.”
            “I don’t know...he’s seen you.  If you were to show up at the same place as us, it would look funny, don’t you think?”
            “Well, yeah, probably...but come on, Sarah. Take a chance.”
            Sarah took a deep breath then nodded.  She hit reply and after an encouraging pat on the shoulder from Terry, she started typing.
            Dear Colt:
            I would love to have dinner with you.  Where would you like to meet and what time?
            Awaiting your reply,
                        Sarah
            Sarah released her breath and turned to face Terry. 
            “OK, well, I guess we’ll...” Her inbox chimed.
            “That was fast,” Terry said.
            Sarah opened his reply.
            Sarah:
            How soon can you leave?
                        Colt
            She glanced at the clock then hit reply.
            Colt:
            I can leave now.
                        Sarah
            She waited a total of forty-eight seconds before his reply came back.
            Meet meat Diamondback’s downtown in 20 minutes.
            “Oooo, Diamondback’s,” Terry said, her tone indicating she was impressed.  Diamondback’s was one of Waco’s exclusive restaurants.
            Sarah looked up at Terry.  “I’ve never eaten there.”
            “It’s a steakhouse.  Very posh.  You’ll love it.  And honey, don’t be paranoid about what to order.  If you’re unsure, ask him to order for you.”
            Sarah nodded.  Terry knew her so well.
            “OK, here goes.”
                        See you there. ~ Sarah
            She shut her computer down and gathered her purse and phone. 
            “Do I look all right?” she asked Terry nervously.
            “You look lovely.  Don’t forget your roses...and call or text me as soon as you get home!!!”
            “Yes,ma’am,” she replied, pulling her keys from her purse.  “OK. I’m really going to do this.”
            “Yes, you are and you will have a good time.  Just relax and be yourself.”
            Sarah nodded and gave Terry a quick hug before leaving.  She googled the address for Diamondbacks and plugged it into her GPS.  It was roughly fifteen minutes away, depending on traffic, so she took a moment to touch up her lipstick and fluff her hair in the vanity mirror on her visor. 
            She had no idea what a man as handsome and obviously successful looking as him would want with a girl like her, but for once in her life, she decided to take a chance and not over-analyze anything.  It was only dinner, and the man did pay for hers and three other people’s lunches just to break the ice with her.  She felt she owed him dinner in person at least.
            When she pulled into the parking lot, she saw that he was seated on a bench just outside the restaurant.  He still wore his suit jacket but he’d removed his tie and opened his collar.  He looked absolutely stunning with the setting sun picking up the bronze highlights in his hair.
            “This is crazy,” she murmured as she grabbed her purse and exited her truck.  As if the movement from the door caught his eye, Colt stood, a lazy smile touching his lips as she approached.  Good gravy, he was even better looking than she remembered!
            “Sarah Sauter,” he said, his voice deep and rich, melting over her like honey.  He took her hand in his and raised it to his lips, kissing her knuckles and sending her heart soaring.  “Thank you for agreeing to meet me.”
            “Thank you, for lunch and the beautiful roses, and the invitation,” she replied, smiling up at him.  It was a thrill to her to be smiling up at him; at five feet ten inches tall, she rarely looked up at a man, but she guessed his height to be around six four, if not six five, so she was definitely looking up into his face.
            “You’re even lovelier up close than you were across the way,” he complimented her.  She blushed, but before she could speak, he tucked her hand into the crook of his arm. “Shall we?”
            “Please,”she replied.
            He opened the door for her and shifted his hand to the small of her back to lead her in.  It took a moment for her eyes to adjust from the setting sunlight to the low light of the restaurant but what she saw was a pleasant surprise. Diamondbacks was built in an old warehouse.  The exposed brick and ductwork and polished hardwood floors gave it a posh but rustic feel. Soft music played and tables were spaced far enough apart that diners wouldn’t feel they were sitting right on top of one another.
            “Hi, Mr. Harris,” the hostess beamed as they stepped up. “You’re table is ready.  Right this way,”
            “Thank you, Jennifer,” he replied.
            Sarah noted that Jennifer was not much younger than her, most likely a Baylor student.  They followed her to a secluded corner table, Sarah vividly aware of Colt’s hand on the small of her back through the thin fabric of her off white dress.  He held her chair for her and to her surprise, seated himself in the chair next to her rather than across from her.
            “Brian will be your server, he’ll be by in just a bit. Enjoy your meal,” Jennifer said, leaving them.
            “This place is nice,” Sarah said, glancing around, “I’ve never been here before.”
            Colt nodded.  “It’s one of the first places I came to when I moved here.”
            “Not a native Wacoan?”
            He smiled,dimples flashing in his stubbled cheeks.
            “No, ma’am.  Military brat.  My sister and I were born in Germany.  We’ve lived all over.”
            “Whatbrought you here?”
            “My sister’s husband passed away suddenly three years ago.  I moved here to help her with my two nieces.  Claire, my sister, went to Baylor, met her husband there. He is from Waco and opened his own business, so when they got married, she stayed here. The girls had just lost their dad and she didn’t want to uproot them after such a big loss, so I came to them.”
            The waiter came with glasses of water.  Colt took the dilemma out of her hands when he asked if she would like him to order for them both.  She smiled and asked him to please do, thankful she wouldn’t have to worry about what to get.  He ordered steaks, only pausing to ask how she’d like hers prepared, then asked for a bottle of wine to be brought from his wine locker, which totally blew her mind. He had his own wine locker at a restaurant?  She didn’t tell him that she rarely drank alcohol, deciding she’d sip her wine and try for once to just go with the flow.
            “I think it’s great that you were able to come be with your sister.  Where did you move from?”
            “Fort Benning, Georgia.  I was in the Army.”
            “Really?  Kept on with the family tradition?”
            He chuckled, “Yeah, was one of those no-brainer things.  Took the tests, went through the training, became a Ranger.”
            She felt her eyes bulge.  “A Ranger?  That’s pretty impressive.”
            He shrugged.  “I was basically a footsoldier.”
            “But still...you’d have to be pretty good at what you did to end up in the Special Forces.”
            “Or just be extremely stubborn and refuse to fail,” he said with a wink.
            “What do youdo here?”
            “Little bit of this and that.  Contract work designing computer systems for local companies. I teach a computer course at the community college every other semester, help with Claire’s company.  Occasionally take contract jobs with some former colleagues who run a private securities firm. Just enough to keep me busy, but that will allow me enough flexibility so I can help with the girls...although, I’m not needed as much these days...Claire got married again...my best friend from the Rangers, actually.  He came for a visit, took one look at Claire and the rest is history.”
            “Will you be going back to the Army, then?” she asked. It would be nice to know if he had one foot out the door before anything went any further, if it even was going any further than this dinner.
            “No, no.  My Service career is over.  Civilian life suits me, and I’d miss my girls too much.  That’s pretty much me in a nutshell,” he said, nodding to the waiter when he offered to pour the wine for them.  “What about you?  I confess to listening in to your conversation at lunch, that’s how I knew your name and where you worked.”
            She smiled.  “Yes, I gathered that.  And again, thank you for the roses.  I’ve never had flowers delivered to me.  It was nice.”
            “Never?” he asked, clearly taken back by her admission.
            She shook her head.  “Today was the first time.”
            “You must have dated some pretty thoughtless guys.”
            That had her laughing.  “No, just non-existentones.  I don’t really date much.”
            “And why is that?  Not that I mind.  It’s my good fortune to find you unattached and available.”
            She felt her cheeks heat and knew her face was probably ten shades of red by now.  Her eyes were drawn to his warm brown eyes and for a moment, all she could do was gaze into them.
            “Well, I’m not exactly the social butterfly type. The only men I work with are all married, most old enough to be my father.  I’m also one of the youngest people in the company.  Two are younger than me but both married with kids, so we don’t exactly have a lot in common.”
            “What do you do on the weekends?”
            She sipped her wine, finding it surprisingly delicious, which was a first for her.  She had never tasted a wine she liked before.
            “I read, occasionally babysit my neighbor’s son, and during baseball season I go to allof his games.  Once or twice a season we make it to Dallas to a Rangers game, and catch Baylor’s home games when he doesn’t have a game.”
            His smile broadened.  “You like baseball?”
            “I love baseball.  The Rangers are my favorite American League team, but my heart lies with the Braves.”
            He clasped his hands over his heart, raising them up and down like a beating heart.  “Just say you’ll marry me now,” he teased.  “The Braves are my team, too.”
            Sarah laughed, feeling her heart do a backflip. “What do you know?  Kindred spirits.”
            “How did a Texas girl end up being a Braves fan?”
            She shrugged one shoulder.  “My dad was a Braves fan.”
            “Was?”
            “I lost my parents when I was eighteen.”
            “I’m so sorry,” he said, his voice somber.
            She looked up from her salad and offered a soft smile. “Thank you.  They were never ableto have kids.  They tried for years and it just wasn’t meant to be.  They adopted me when I was three months old when they were in their mid fifties.  It took them that long to save up the money needed for all the legal fees.  Daddy had a weak heart.  He died two weeks after my high school graduation.  Mama was devastated.  Her health began to decline rapidly after he passed.  I lost her just six months later.  Cancer took her.  They had no close family.  They were both an only child and their parents long gone.  So, I’ve been alone ever since.”
            “What about your birth family?  Have you ever tried to locate them?” 
            She shook her head.  “I know that my birth motherwas only fifteen when she had me.  She lived in Wyoming, I believe.  Mama and Daddy never really talked much about it.  I’ve always known I was adopted.  They never pretended otherwise, but any time when I was little, if I asked about it, they’d just say I was their special Angel from God and that was it.  It wasn’t until Mama got sick that she gave me the box that held all the paperwork from the adoption.  I’ve never opened it.  They were my parents; they were all I needed.”
            He nodded ,accepting what she said.  When their food arrived, they were quiet for a few moments while they ate, and Sarah was surprised to realize it wasn’t an awkward silence, but an amiable one.  She was exceedingly at ease with him, which totally baffled her.  Usually, she was a tongue-tied mess around guys.  Not so with him.  Colt was relaxed and easy to talk to, and oh, so beautiful.  She studied his profile as he spoke to Brian the waiter and thought she could easily stare at him all day and not get bored.
            “So, tell me, what is it you do at Sunday’s Gifts?” he asked when he’d finished eating.
            “Well, my official title is Field Rep Liason.  I also hold the title of International Accounts Liason and House Accounts Liason,” she said, her tone dripping with sarcasm.
            “Impressive,” he chuckled, obviously picking up on her sarcastic note.
            “Isn’t it, though?” she laughed.  “Basically, I am a glorified Data Entry Clerk.  The Liason titles just sound better,” she said with a wink.
            “So, you sit at the computer and what?  Key in orders all day?”
            “You got it.  It’s pretty dull, routine work.  I get to talk to our International clients when they call in an order, and that’s a lot of fun.  My Australian accounts like to hear my accent.  As do my Irish accounts.  And of course, I love hearing theirs, and getting little snippets of what their day is like.  But I usually only talk with them every six weeks or so.  Most orders are faxed or emailed in.  Then I just have to key them into our system.”
            “How long have you been working there?”
            “Since I was sixteen.  The owners, Julie and Mark, were really good to me when I went through all that with losing my parents.  The job is low stress and lowpay, but it keeps the bills paid so I stay with it.  Unfortunately, though, they are getting ready to implement a system where the field reps and other accounts key their orders directly into our system, which would in effect, eliminate my job.”
            His eyes darkened as he narrowed them.  “Would yoube laid off?”
            “I don’t know.  They’ve assured me that I won’t lose my job, but I don’t know what else in the company I could do.  All other positions are filled.”
            “Surely they would find some way to keep you on. You’ve proven to be a loyal employee, given them how many years on the job?”
            “Ten as of last month.”
            He was quiet a moment.  Sarah felt a subtle change in the air around him and met his gaze over her now nearly empty wineglass.  No telling what he was thinking about her, the little orphan who still worked for the first place that hired her.  He grew up in the military and enlisted himself.  He’d lived all over the world.  She’d only been out of the state of Texas twice in her whole life; once to Louisiana and once to Oklahoma.  Again she wondered, what a man like him could possibly see in someone like her.
            “The lobby’s getting crowded,” he noted once Brian delivered their check.  “We should probably clear out.”
            She nodded and stood once he’d settled the bill.  He again led her through the restaurant to the front door with his hand on the small of her back.  The sun had set while they were dining, leaving a fresh, Spring chill to the air.  She shivered as they stepped outside, drawing her arms close and rubbing her palms over them.
            “A bit crisp out,” he said, turning to face her.
            “A bit,”she agreed.
            Colt glanced to his right and nodded toward Waco’s historic suspension bridge. 
            “Walk with me?” he asked, removing his jacket and draping it over her shoulders. 
            A chill spread through Sarah that had nothing to do with the night air and everything to do with his warm jacket and his scent enveloping her.  He offered her his arm and after only a slight hesitation, she placed her hand on his biceps and allowed him to lead the way.
            “This bridge is a real jewel,” he said as they approached it.
            Sarah nodded.  “It’s a focal point of the community.  It was once a toll bridge and part of the Chisholm Trail.  Now, it’s just a footbridge.  People take family pictures here, weddings have been performed on it.  The Waco fireworks display is here every year.  It says Waco as much as Baylor University does.”
            “When Claire came to college here, I came here for the 4th of July.  We were walking on the bridge after the fireworks ended and it was swaying under the weight of so many people.  She got scared and to this day has not set foot on it again.”
            Sarah laughed.  “It is an eerie feeling when there are a lot of people on it.  When I was in high school, the city used to put on Laser Light shows off the side of the Hilton building.  They were really neat.  But, like everything else, the novelty of it wore off.  The city wasn’tmaking an effort at that time to keep the riverwalk policed and crime was a problem.  Mama and Daddy used to love to come watch the show, though.  We came every Friday during the summers they did them.”
            “I think part of the reason why Claire wanted to stay here after her husband died, was because she wanted her kids to have a sense of community.  We moved around so much, she just didn’t want that for her kids.”
            “What school do her kids attend?”
            “Midway.”
            “Big school.  I went to Connally.”
            “Smaller school,” he said, “good football team.”
            She nodded.  “They used to have a good baseball team...but those days are long gone.”
            A gentle breeze blew her hair into her face.  She reached up to push it out of the way but he beat her to it.  For a moment, Sarah thought as cliched as it was, that time stood still.  She was looking up into his warm brown eyes under the soft glow of the bridge lights and he was looking down at her and making a million butterflies take flight inher stomach.
            “When Ilooked up from my phone today and saw you across the tables,” he started, still holding a lock of her hair between his thumb and forefinger, lightly stroking it, “it was like...one of those scenes you see in a movie, where everything else in the world just disappears.  The sun was shining in thru the window and hit your hair and time stood still.  And then you laughed.  I thought it was the best laugh I’d ever heard.”
            She ducked her head a moment, feeling her cheeks heat, then looked back up at him. 
            “I had that feeling...you know, that you get when you know someone is watching you?  I looked up and met your eyes...and my heart stuttered, and my breath caught.”
            He stroked a finger lightly down her cheek, sending a shiver through her. 
            “Pretty much the same reaction I had to seeing you. I couldn’t quite tell what color your eyes were.  I thought green at first, then I looked againand they seemed almost turquoise.  Now, I see flecks of gold...they are just...beautiful.”
            “Colt,” she said softly, just before he leaned down and brushed his lips over hers.   He pulled back and studied her for a moment, then cupped the nape of her neck in his hand to pull her closer and kiss her more deeply.  Sarah rested her hands on his chest, feeling his strong heartbeat under her palm.  It had been so long since she’d last been this close to another person, much less kissed. She felt her knees growing weak, especially when he captured her lower lip between his, running his tongue along and sucking it in like a ripe cherry. 
            When he pulled back, he rested his forehead against hers, his breathing not quite as steady as it had been before. 
            “What are your plans for tomorrow?” he asked softly. “I have a busy morning and early afternoon, but I’m free after that.  I’d like to see you again.”
            “Um...I am going to my neighbor’s son’s baseball games. He has two pool play games, at ten and noon.  I’m free after that.”
            He smiled.  “Baseball...how old is he?”
            “Twelve.”
            “What team does he play for?”
            “The Storm.”
            “I should be free by two-thirty.  Can I see you tomorrow?”
            “I’d like that.”
            He took his phone out and pulled up a new contacts page. “Put your number in.  I’ll call you when I’m done.”
            She did, then sent a text from his phone to hers so she would have his number.  She gave his phone back to him and quickly saved him into her phone.  He again tucked a lock of her hair behind her ear when the soft wind blew it across herface.
            “I have to warn you...I text...a lot.  Habit I got into with Claire when I was in the Army. I text more than I call.”
            Sarah laughed.  “Then we will get along just fine.  I’m the same way.  I hate talking on the phone but I can text with the best of them.”
            “God, I love your laugh,” he said, raising her hand to his lips to kiss her knuckles.
            Sarah studied him a moment, shaking her head in amazement. “Are you for real?  I mean, seriously, you aren’t part of a practical joke on me or something, are you?”she asked, laughing. 
            He laughed, too, squeezing her hand.  “I assure you, I’m not.  Is it so hard to believe, that someone could be attracted to you? You’re beautiful.”
            She closed her eyes as a chill spread through her at his words.
            “OK, now I know I’m dreaming.  I’m going to wake up with my dog sitting on my stomach ready to be let out for the day.”
            “You have a dog?” he asked, and she could tell by his tone that it pleased him that she did.
            “I have the best dog ever.”
            He chuckled, tucking her under his arm as he led her back across the bridge. 
            “What kind of dog?”
            “A Border Collie.  She’s two years old and she is amazing.  The smartest dog, ever!”
            “A baseball fan and a dog lover.  I struck gold today,” he laughed.
            “Do you have a dog?”
            “I have a chocolate lab.  Scout.”
            “Hunting dog?”
            “The best.”
            “Dogs and baseball…we may be kindred spirits after all,” she said.
            “Thank you for coming out with me tonight, Sarah,” he said when they stopped beside herSUV. 
            “Thank you for lunch and for my roses, and for dinner,” she replied.
            He tucked a lock of her hair behind her ear then let his fingertips lightly skim along her cheek to her chin, tipping her face up as he lowered his head to once again touch his lips to hers.
            “Goodnight, Sarah,” he whispered against her lips.
            “Goodnight, Colt,” she answered.
            He kissed her once more then stepped back so she could get into her truck. He waved to her as she started the engine then walked away. How she ever made it home, Sarah had no clue, her hands were shaking so badly.  Nothing like today had ever remotely happened to her.  Several times, she reached up to touch her fingertips to her lips, still feeling his against hers. 
            When she got home, she let Izzy outside, pulling her phone from her purse as she headed to her bedroom to change.  To her surprise and delight, she had a text message from Colt.
            Hey, pretty girl…let me know when you’ve gotten home.  Want to make sure you arrived safely.
            Her eyes widened.  How sweet was that?  Taking a deep breath, she typed her reply.
            You’ll be happy to know, I am home safe and sound.  
            As soon as the “Read” message appeared on her text, she saw that he was in the process of replying.  Excitement bubbled in her as she placed her phone on her dresser and began to strip out of her work clothes.  She decided to soak in her tub so pulled on her robe and picked her phone up while she walked back to her door to let Izzy back inside. Her phone chimed and she smiled as she opened his text.
            Good to know.  I had no idea when I woke up this morning that this would be such a significant day. That when I went to lunch today, I would look up and literally feel the earth move and time stand still.  Pretty sappy, huh?
            Sarah gasped.  Was this guy for real?  Guys didn’t say things like that…did they?
            I think I like sappy!
            Then be prepared, fair warning!  I have a twin sister, sappy runs in my veins!
            He was a twin?  Granted, a fraternal twin but…wow. 
            You didn’t mention that Claire is your twin.
            Didn’t I?  I take for granted sometimes that everyone knows.  Claire is younger than me by ten minutes. 
            No wonder you are close.  I envy you. Must be nice to have a sibling, someone who will always be close to you.  Being an only child stinks, let me tell you, especially when you lose both your parents.
            Her heart melted when she read his next words:
            I don’t have a large family, but what I have, I would love to share with you as we get to know each other better.
            Tears pooled in her eyes.  How could someone she just met touch her so deeply?
            Thank you, that would be very sweet of you.
            You’d be surprised what I would do to make you smile.
            Her breath caught and she thought it wise to move on from that subject, afraid of baring too much of her heart too soon.
            I should let you go, I’m sure you have a nearly start to your day in the morning. Thank you again for lunch and dinner.
            I look forward to seeing you tomorrow, Sarah.  Until then, sweet dreams.
            Good night, Colt.