Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday Ramblings: Sometimes I Lead, Sometimes I Follow





I suspect some of you may think this post is about dancing. It`s not although I do enjoy a good spin or two on the dance floor. Nope, this post is about how, every once in a great while, a character in a book will lead you to new places.

This happened to me recently. Now bear with me as I tell this tale because I'm going to be dancing (there is that word again) around a book that is written but not published yet. I do not want to spoil anything nor do I want to give some unscrupulous person a possible in for plagiarizing my work. Call me paranoid but I have seen it all over the past few years, trust me. So we will be vaguely touching on things in this future book and I hope that doesn`t make anyone reading too angry. An author just can`t be too careful anymore.

I can tell you that this book is the second novel in my upcoming Venom Series. It has a unique and compelling leading man, one who, as I started to write and get to know him better, I found myself wildly attracted to him, and his message. Crushing on my leading men is nothing unusual for me, rest assured. I am crazy over every one of them; yes even Victor Kalinski, that big jerk.

While I sighed and swooned over this fascinating man, he began to lead me into a rather spiritual place. Note that I use the word spiritual as opposed to religious. I do not do organized religion. I do like to think that I am a spiritual being. I am open to many new philosophies and ideals. As I wrote and fleshed him out, he began to lead me, slowly and gently yes, but leading the way he most certainly did. This man is a deeply spiritual man as well. He has traveled many a hard road to arrive at his inner peace. He, this fictional man, is quite a warm soul. He is gentle, kind, strong, a little stubborn, creative and quick to love deeply.

As I did more and more research into different prophets and/or shamans, I found one name popping up repeatedly. This name, and the ideology that this man spoke of, seemed to make incredible sense to me. My leading man certainly liked what was being said.  I dug a bit more. I discovered who Don Miguel Ruiz is and what he tells us. I bought his book. I read it. It has opened my eyes in many ways. 

Did it convert me? No. I am still the same person I was before I read The Four Agreements; I am just a less stressed person. Will Toltec shamanism help you gain a better understanding of the events and people in your life? Maybe. Maybe not. I know it has helped me find some inner peace. And I have this wonderfully complex and loving fictional leading man to thank.




 It really is amazing where your characters can lead you if you simply listen to them. 


Saturday, May 30, 2015

What`s the Skinny, Minnie? Updates on Upcoming Releases


I received this lovely note on my blog the other day from a reader--

"Hi!
I really enjoyed "Two Man Advantage" and was wondering if you were planning on writing more hockey mm books or may be even a sequel? Either way thank you for a great read."


For those of you who may be wondering if I have any upcoming gay and/or straight hockey romances the answer is a big YES! Here is what is on the horizon for my hockey releases. We'll start with the M/M novellas--



Long Change is in edits with my publisher as we speak. Shutdown Pair is completed and will be getting a final round of edits from me before I send it to the publisher after Long Change releases.
A sequel for Victor and Dan titled Two Man Advantage 2- Game Misconduct is written and ready for first round edits!Fingers crossed that the publisher wants to give me a contract for it. I suspect these will not be the last gay hockey romances that I pen as I love writing these stories of men who live and love on the ice.


As for my straight hockey romances the release date for Clean Sweep, book #1 of The Venom series is August 17th. I am thrilled to be able to bring the women of The Philadelphia Venom to you! The second book of the series, Twirly Girl, is completed and will be submitted to the publisher after Clean Sweep has launched. I also have two M/F tales ready to be submitted for two different anthology/boxed sets, so keep an eye open for news about those and if the stories are accepted. *fingers crossed*



At the moment I am working on a gay romance that, amazingly enough, does not have anything to do with hockey. It`s a May-December story that is making my muse most happy. We were supposed to be working on something else but, as usual, she won and we started this new tale. Darn muse always wins. You think I would know that by now, huh? 

If anyone has any questions about any of my upcoming releases, be they straight or gay, feel free to ask. Nothing makes an authors day like readers who let us know they're anxious for more books! heart emoticon

Friday, May 29, 2015

Christina OW Book Blast &Author Spotlight



Author Spotlight


Christina OW writes suspense, thrillers, erotica, interracial and multicultural romance books. She is the author of Contemporary, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance books and a poet of currently 3 titles. She loves reading novels that take her on a ride of wild emotions. Books have always been an escape for her, for a few hours she gets to live the lives of characters she grows to cherish and admire. She's always had an active imagination and because of it has lived in her head more than she has been in the outside world. She always imagined scenarios and wondered how they would turn out in the end, and what kind of emotions they would invoke. Thus began her writing career.

1.      What genre(s) do you write? Romance in contemporary, paranormal and fantasy. My characters are IR/MC couples.

2.      What was the hardest part of writing your book? The writing. There is this meme about having voices in your head. For authors we need those voices, those characters, in writing the book because when they go silent, I end up staring at a blank page for hours even days. It’s not fun at all especially when there deadline is looming in the horizon.

3.      Are you a plotter or a pantser? Both. Before I begin a book, I plot it out. How I would like it to begin, the climax, the conflict and finally the ending. But sometimes the book takes a life of it’s on and the only thing that stuck to the plan was the beginning.

4.      How long have you been a writer?  Five years.

5.      How much time did it take from writing your first book to having it published? The first book I ever wrote just got published in January- Fate Reborn. So I would say from the first word written to publication, four and a half years.

6.      What other careers have you had? I have a BA in International Studies and Communications & Media, and a Diploma in Law. I worked at a law firm, and a fashion house while studying. But at the moment, I’m a writer and a fashion designer. This is where the ‘We make plans and God laughs’ joke comes in.

7.      What else would you like readers to know about you or your work? My books are just different social circumstances and how I think I would react to them. For example, a cheating boyfriend? Would I just burst up his stuff or other things on his body his emotionally attached to?

8.      What is your favorite vacation spot? Mombasa, Kenya. It’s beautiful, it’s hot and has the best night life during the holidays. It’s also home, nothing beats that.

9.      Which food could you not live without? Chocolate. I would wither away without chocolate.

10.  If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you travel? Italy. There is just something about Italy that has me drooling over it.

11.  Do you have siblings? What was it like growing up with them? Yes, a twin, and an older sister. Growing up, let’s just say, it was complicated. No one likes to share but people seem to think just because you’re a twin, it’s a given.

12.  Do you have a favorite snacks that you drink when you write? Orange juice, chutney chips and chocolate chip cookies








Book Blurb:
Life had been great these past few weeks. I have a hot boyfriend, got back my dad and my adopted sisters were happy with their significant others. Life was good. That is until I started getting attacked by bouts of pain that would render me unconscious. Something was wrong with me, Ash knew but he wasn’t sharing. Worse than that, Steve in the worst form possible is back to haunt me. And Ash with his hug archaic pride just won’t let it go. Oh, but I haven’t gotten to the worst part yet…hell!

What’s a girl to do to get some long term happiness?

Dukkha Fate Series
- Sweet Romance.
-Sweet Romance
-Interracial, Multicultural, New Adult, Paranormal, Werewolf.
-Hero is Native American, heroine is African American with East African origins.


When a man with an ancient grudge meets and falls in love with the innocent girl who's life was ruined by his vendetta, complicated isn't word enough to describe the situation he finds himself in. His chance with her would be shot to hell if she were to find out his role in her family's death. She would probably take the news that he was 325 year old werewolf much better.

Get the series preview The Beginning FREE https://christinaow.wordpress.com/fate-series/the-begining/
Buy Link

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift card and other giveaways. For multiple entries visit Christina OW’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christina-OW/254729541266869?sk=app_228910107186452



Author Links






Thursday, May 28, 2015

Throwback Thursday Tune



Who has the beat? You? Me? Oh, we got the beat! Yes, we sure do thanks to this snappy Go-Go`s song. I hope you`ve enjoyed our May Month of Girl Groups!




Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tamara Hoffa's Bear Hearts

Please welcome the lovely and talented Tamara Hoffa back! She`s here to chat about her brand new shifter novel, Bear Hearts, which releases today!



Bear Heart – Blurb

Fate brought them together. Lies keep them apart. Love could set them free. All they need is to trust in Bear Hearts.
Fate has dealt bear shifter Martin Kruger and rotten hand. His destined mate, Dr. Elizabeth Montrose, is the enemy and suffers from a fatal illness. He‘s waited over two hundred years for a mate he might never have the chance to claim.
Elizabeth has long ago given up dreams of love, marriage and children. Her life is her research and now that is gone in a puff of smoke, thanks to the bears of Honey Corners. A tiny spark of hope blooms in her heart when the handsome bear tells her they are mates, but will that instinctual bond be enough to overcome all that stands between them?

Bear Hearts- Excerpts

Excerpt 1

Prologue- 1994

Pale and weak, the child lay on the stark white sheets of the big bed that made her look so tiny. The khaki colored U.S. Army ball cap that rested on her head enhanced the sallow tone of her skin, but Lizzy never took that cap off. Daddy gave it to her, and she was Daddy’s girl. He said it would make her strong, like him. She needed to be strong, because she felt so weak.
Her big, brown eyes scanned the room she had been confined to for the last two weeks. Stark white walls, the same boring flower picture, she’d been staring at so long, raindrops slowly sliding down the outside of the always closed window. She was so tired. Tubes in her nose, I.V. in her arm, pain everywhere.
Where were Mommy and Daddy? One of them was usually in the chair by her bed when she woke up. It didn’t matter, she couldn’t keep her eyes open much longer anyway. She’d go back to sleep and they’d be there when she woke up. Well, if she woke up. She heard the doctor’s talking, and she knew the truth; she might die soon.
It wasn’t so bad. If she died she would live with the angels and all the pain would stop. But, Daddy kept saying she had to fight, and mommy would cry…

Excerpt 2 – edited to PG13
His bear was primal, feral, animal. It knew only one thing. They had met their mate. The bear had no qualms or reservations. It didn’t care if she was good or evil. It wanted only to mate, protect and love. Too bad the man couldn’t feel the same way.
How could he feel desire for such a woman? He should want to strangle her with his bare hands not throw her down and mate her until she screamed his name. He was verr├╝ckt, crazy with mating frenzy, that’s all it could be.
He downed the rest of the beer and set the bottle on the table. Anger burned in his gut like hot coals. Lust poured gasoline on the coals and lit the fire. Then grief drizzled down over it all, turning the fire to smoke and ashes.
This was getting him nowhere. He could analyze it until he was blue in the face, but it wouldn’t change the facts. Why did he keep rehashing it? He needed to take a shower and at least try to get a little sleep. He had to face his Sippe in the morning.
Maybe Bern could help him find an answer. His friend and mentor had always helped him in the past, always stood by his side. Maybe there was a way? Who was he kidding? Himself, obviously.
Martin’s shoulders sagged, so weary now he wondered if he could drag himself up the stairs to his bedroom. What was the point in going on? He had nothing left to live for. His dream of a mate and cubs was lost.
Two hundred years of waiting and searching for that perfect soul mate and she turns out to be the enemy. Unsuitable. Unfit. Evil.
A single tear slid from his eye and he viciously wiped it away. Many bears never found their mates and lived out their lives simply enjoying the companionship of willing females. He had a duty to the Sippe. He could do the same.

Excerpt 3
“More shifter secrets that the lowly human can’t know. I get it.” Liz looked down at her lap. The tiny seed of hope turning to dust and blowing away in the wind. She looked up at Martin and felt such loss. He was a beautiful man. Tall and broad, with dark brown hair closely cropped to his head and deep chocolate eyes she could get lost in for hours. He obviously had great sense of loyalty and honor, traits she appreciated, and she’d seen humor and warmth flash in his eyes, though briefly.
As passionately as he defended his clan, or what was it he called it? Sippe? The fire that flared in his eyes when he was angry, Liz could just imagine that intensity turned into a different kind of passion. Turned into sexual passion, lust, maybe even love. To be the recipient of that would be amazing, but it would never be. Whether his goddess had deemed they were mates or not. Martin would never trust her and they would never be together.
Martin must have seen the change in her mood, he put his dinner aside and moved to sit on the side of the bed and took her in his arms. “Please leibchen, please try to understand.” His eyes pleaded with her. “Give me time. Give us a chance.” Then he kissed her. A real kiss this time. He took her mouth like a starving man, devouring her will to resist and she let him.
If this was all she’d ever have of him, she might as well take what she could get. As his tongue dueled with hers she allowed her hands to explore his upper body, sliding up his hard chest, over his broad shoulders and down his bulging biceps. She couldn’t get enough, wanted more, needed him closer.




Buy Links

Author Bio



My best friend calls me “her Fairy Godmother,” but I feel more like Cinderella. After over twenty-five years of living a typical life, I now live my dreams and I create them too.

Nothing is better than creating a brand new world from a blank piece of paper. Breathing life into characters and watching their stories unfold—I am truly blessed.

I live in on eight acres in middle Tennessee with my husband, my dad, one of my three children, two dogs and three cats.  I am privileged to have two precious grandsons.

When I’m not on my computer or reading my kindle, you’ll usually find me in the kitchen. I love to cook! If I’m not there, I’m on the fields, watching my grandsons’ soccer or baseball games.

It’s never too late to chase your dreams. I’m proof you can catch them, even if arthritis slows you down. Who knows, your own Fairy Godmother may be just a dream away.
Contact Links:
Other books by Tamara
Hers to Bear (Book 1, The Animal in Me series)
Heart of a Soldier
Roping Love
Chasing Love
Fetching Love
A Special Kind of Love



Monday, May 25, 2015

Tuesday Tales - Attitude



Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales.



 Today we have the rest of the chapter for Wind in White Birch and our word prompt is "Attitude. Don`t forget to visit the other talented Tuesday Tales authors. Thanks for stopping by!

Wind In White Birch



            I glanced from the monitor telling me my son`s temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate were normal to my ex. Rhick had just shoved his hand through his golden hair making it even more a mess.

            “Having trouble finding things to talk about with her?” I asked with a trace of humor. Okay, it wasn`t a trace of humor, it was a snort of sarcasm topped with a fluffy dollop of ‘Ha-Ha!’

            “It`s like sitting down to eat with a teenager. The language barrier doesn`t help either,” he exhaled, still spinning his dregs. “Sometimes I wonder if she didn`t marry me just to get into America.”

            It was right on the tip of my tongue. I was good though and did not hit him with the ‘I-Think-I-Mentioned-That-Possibility-When-You-Handed-Me-Divorce-Papers-Asshole!’ The squeak of a passing nurse`s shoes entered our tiny room.

            “I doubt it,” I said hoping to be the better person. “I`m sure she loves you. You look great for forty and it`s not that way with Jonah and me.”

            Rhick looked at me for a long moment. “I`m sorry for being such an ass,” he told me earnestly. “I guess I never knew how much I still cared about you until I saw you on the arm of another man. I`m going to call and let her know how Rhett is." He rose and left me sitting there with my jaw on my chest stunned at his change of attitude.

            After a moment, I got to my feet to pad over to the window. I pushed the slats of the blind aside and looked down on a massive parking lot. Yes, I was looking for Jonah`s truck. I didn`t find it, but that didn`t mean he wasn`t here. He might have had to park in a different lot when he returned.

Letting the vertical blinds slip closed, I checked on my son`s temperature. Mom-hand is always so much more reassuring than any artificial device. Rhett`s forehead was cool. Tension began to slip away. I pecked his cheek, covered him back up, and then stepped out into the hall. Rhick was ensconced in a corner by a bank of pay phones, his cell to his ear. He looked up then gave me a wobbly smile. I raised my cup to him then went out to the waiting room. The only person in sight was a janitor who was running a wet mop over the tiled floor. I stepped around his bright orange collapsible ‘Wet Floor’ sign, getting a dark look for mussing up his mop job.

Outside the night was brutal. I hugged myself with one arm then drew a shaky sip of coffee over my lips. It was terribly cold here under the porte cochere.  I felt like a fool who had spent far too much time reading stupid romance novels. I should have known that Jonah wouldn`t be waiting here for me like some hero from a historical love story. This is real life. Men don`t act like fictional men do. If they did the romance novel industry would cease to exist.

Real men got really mad, hurt, and confused. They acted like hotheads. They yelled, shouted, and divorced their wives to leap on some bimbo that they hope will keep them young. They left you alone with a sick son to sulk. Maybe Jonah wasn`t quite as mature as I had thought he was. Perhaps Rhick was right about the age gaps being too wide. I needed a man that stayed with me when it got rough, not one that went off into the night in a cloud of bruised ego. I spun around and slammed back inside. I stopped to use a nearby ladies room and  freshened up the best I could then returned to my son`s room, smiling a false smile for the young man who was now awake, hungry, and ready to go do the fun stuff we had planned to do with Jonah. I smiled wider and started making excuses.



Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey

*~*~*

Click on the link below to return to the Tuesday Tales main blog for more great reads from the talented authors of Tuesday Tales.


See you next week!



Monday Author/Book Spotlight - Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese`s Midsummer



Please welcome Erin and Racheline back to our little literary cupboard under the stairs. They`re here to fill us in on their wonderful M/M romance, Midsummer! 



Blurb:

John Lyonel, a long-time theater professional and teacher, heads to Virginia to play Oberon in the Theater in the Woods’s production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, intending to focus on his work. John is recovering from the tragic loss of his family and needs a break. The last thing he expects is to become captivated by Michael Hilliard, the professional actor playing Puck, especially since John has never been attracted to men, let alone one so much younger.

They rush headlong into an affair which falls apart dramatically over secrets that John and Michael are keeping from each other. A steep learning curve, the gossipy cast of the show, and the sometimes sinister magic of the woods conspire to keep them apart. But stage lights and stars might work their magic and help them define a new future.


Bio:

Erin McRae is a queer writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. She has a master’s degree in International Affairs from American University, and delights in applying her knowledge of international relations theory to her fiction and screen-based projects, because conflict drives narrative.

Racheline Maltese lives a big life from a small space. She flies planes, sails boats, and rides horses, but as a native New Yorker, has no idea how to drive a car. A long-time entertainment and media industry professional, she lives in Brooklyn with her partner and their two cats.

Together, they are co-authors of the gay romance series Love in Los Angeles, set in the film and television industry -- Starling (September 10, 2014), Doves (January 21, 2015), and Phoenix (June 10, 2015) -- from Torquere Press. Their gay romance novella series Love’s Labours, set in the theater world -- Midsummer (May 2015), and Twelfth Night (Fall 2015), is from Dreamspinner Press. They also have a story in Best Gay Romance 2015 from Cleis Press and edited by Felice Picano. You can find them on the web at http://www.Avian30.com.


Buy links:






Connect with Erin & Racheline online:

Racheline’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/racheline_m


Excerpt:

Costume fittings and dress rehearsals means that John finally gets to see Michael costumed as Puck. The human characters are dressed contemporarily, in suits and cocktail dresses that become increasingly disheveled as the show goes on. The fairies, though, are dressed in greens and browns with crowns of strange wildness -- thistles, cornsilk, and Queen Ann’s lace. Michael as Puck looks deeply inhuman, covered in leaves as if dragged in from the wooded grounds. For their first dress rehearsal, it takes all of John’s considerable experience and willpower to actually focus on the play and not Michael. As taken as Oberon is meant to be with Puck, he should actually be able to remember and deliver his lines.

“Whose idea was this?” he asks Michael afterward, catching him before he can change. Michael blinks at him with eyes done up in silver and green. John wants to devour him.

“Do you like it?” Michael asks, more distant and coy than usual, sliding his hands up John’s chest which, like his own, is bare.

All John can do is groan when Michael looks up at him from under his lashes. He stands on his tiptoes to kiss John briefly, and then vanishes. When he reappears he’s Michael again, in t-shirt and shorts, but John can’t forget the image of him transformed.



Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunday Ramblings - Chore Time!



Yep, it`s chore time! Get your old jeans on, your Muck boots and a good pair of gloves and join me as I share morning chores on the Hillside Farm.


I have a set pattern and generally don`t deviate from it. Just call me Monk! I go left to right with the rows of coops starting with the ducks. The quackers get a serving of whole corn every morning. I also fill up a large sled/pool that they share with the geese daily.



Then we let the geese out of their coop and give them some corn as well. All birds are shut in at night to help protect them from predators. I have lost a few birds to nighttime marauders, but the biggest killer of my fowl are red-tailed hawks. *shakes fist at hawks*




Onward to the chicken coop! The chooks are released to scratch and dig. I usually toss them some corn and any scraps from the kitchen. They LOVE cantaloupe rinds and seeds.



Last but not least are the rabbits! I water, fill food dishes and hay mangers for the bunnies. Look how the baby bunnies have grown! 



And that wraps up my morning routine in fair weather and foul. We're weaning our last Jersey calf, Bruce, so I don`t have to bottle feed him now. I'm not complaining either! It`s a lot of work having a small farm but we just love it. I hope you enjoyed doing chores with me!

If there is anything about hobby farming that you would like to see, just leave me a note down in the comments section.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Jennifer LaBelle`s Broken Survivor & Giveaway!



Broken Survivor
by
Jennifer Labelle


Holly Hewitt is a survivor…
After witnessing her mother’s murder, Holly was returned to her abusive father. Resorting to drugs and alcohol, she ends up landing herself in foster care, where she is separated from her sister and utterly alone.
Zander Harrison is the light to her darkness…
Zander is young, athletic, and carefree, with the support of a loving family. But when Holly is placed in foster care withhis brother’s in-laws, she turns his world upside down.
He’s driven to protect her, and to show her the past has made her strong, life is worth living, and love is worth fighting for. If only he can convince her to trust him and stop resisting their mutua lattraction.
But sometimes even love isn’t enough to heal a shattered soul.
And all the hard work in the world can’t save…
A broken survivor.
AUTHOR BIO
Jennifer Labelle resides in Canada with herhusband and three beautiful children. After her third child she became a stayat home mom. In her busy household Jennifer likes to spend her down timeengrossed in the stories that she creates. She is an active reader of romance,mystery and anything paranormal. With an education in Addictions work she'sdecided to take a less stressful approach in life and hopes that you enjoy, asshe shares some of her imagination with all of you.

AUTHORLINKS

Excerpt
Pink and orange hues filled the sky with awarm beauty while the sun set. Holly wrapped her arms around herself and liftedher face toward the sky to soak in the last few moments of the sun before thechill of the night descended upon them. This was definitely not going to be aneasy talk to get through. She just hoped they’d both be okay when it wasdone.  Zander stepped up behind her, andshe felt the heat of his body before he wrapped his arms around her frombehind. The way she was drawn to him made her wonder if he had a magnetic pull,and it kind of scared her a little bit. Holly tried to enjoy the view as theywere silent for a few moments.
“As much as I hate to let go, I think maybe weshould sit so we can finally talk,” Zander said.
 Shehesitated a moment before taking his hand while they walked back to his houseand sat beside each other on the patio. Thisis it.
“First, I want to clear up earlier,” Zandersaid. “She was just a friend, nothing more. She has only ever been a friend.”He lifted their linked hands and kissed the top of hers.
“This isn’t any of my business, but does sherealize that? I got the impression there was much more than a friendshipthere.” Holly held her breath and didn’t exhale until after he answered her.
“Not for a really long time, and we were nevera couple.” His posture slumped. “Before today, I hadn’t heard from her inmonths. She just showed up out of the blue, but I swear nothing happened.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Holly shiftedto face him. “So you and she were friends with benefits a while ago. I have toadmit I didn’t like seeing you with her, but I don’t have any right to be mad.We’re taking things slow, remember?”
“That’s just the thing. I want to be with you,Hol. As in, I’d be staking my claim. You’d be my girlfriend, exclusive.”
“I’m actually kind of glad you said that. I’verecently figured out that I’m not made for casual.” She bit her lip nervously.“I don’t even care about your friend anymore because I sort of have some hugenews, which throws going slow out the window anyway. That is, if you don’tfreak out and feel like you want nothing to do with me after this.”
“Okay, now you’re making me nervous,” he jokednervously and playfully nudged her with his shoulder. “What’s up?”
“You probably should be.” Holly smiled weaklyand then exhaled long and hard. “I didn’t want a relationship when you cameinto the picture, and I didn’t want to care for someone so much. But then thereyou were all sweet, caring, and persistent and screwed up my original plans. Solet’s get that out there.” She smiled and leaned into him. Her head lay on hisshoulder and she looked up at him needing to be close. “That’s the best part bythe way because I’m glad I’ve let you in. I care for you a lot. I’ve messed up,though. We both have. Do you remember the night at my sister’s?”
“How could I forget?” His eyes lit up and shesnorted.
“It was a good night, huh?” She licked herlips just thinking about it. “Well, I haven’t been feeling like myself lately,so Lauren decided to take me to get a checkup…”
“O-okay, you were sick and…?” Zander’s browsscrunched together in confusion, but as if he sensed her discomfort, he gaveher a quick reprieve to pull herself together before she had to spit out thebig news. He captured her mouth. His soft, plump lips caressed hers, then hemoved to nip and suck on her bottom lip. His tongue coaxed her mouth openfarther, and she tasted his mutual arousal as he probed the slit of her mouthwith his tongue. One of her hands fisted in his shirt and held him closer,while the other massaged his nape and into his hair. They both moaned in theheat of the moment, and she could feel his chest rise and fall more rapidlybefore he pulled away.
“God, I’ve missed this,” he said. “You getsick again and I’m coming over with some chicken soup and taking care of you.
“That sounds amazing.” She smirked. “I’vemissed you too.” Holly shifted so that she was facing him now and rested herforehead against his while they caught their breath.
“Don’t go home yet. Call Lauren and let’srecreate that night.” He wiggled his eyebrows up and down.
“You are such a goofball. As tempting as thatsounds, I need to finish what I was saying before you distract me too much.”She gave him a quick peck on the lips and leaned back.
“But the distraction is so good. I can’t helpmyself.” He lifted a sexy, dark eyebrow in question. “Can we fool around a bitwhile you talk? I’m a great multitasker.”
“I’ll tell you what, if after I tell youeverything I need to, you still want to fool around or more, then yes, we’ll goinside your place and I’ll make it worth your while.” She wiggled her browsback at him and smiled as she caressed the side of his face. I just hope I don’t ruin things first.
“Deal.”
“Lauren might not be too happy if she findsout the truth.”
“Really?” He looked at her in shock. “I findthat hard to believe after her and Shelby practically pushed us together.” Hesmiled and kissed the back of her hand. “Remind me to thank them for that oneday.”
 “Ireally hope you still feel that way after you hear what I have to say.”
“Quit stalling and just tell me already.”
“So you know I haven’t been feeling welllately, but what you don’t know is why she’s been on my case. She had someconcerns that drove her to take me to the doctor in the first place.” Sheleaned way back in her chair and closed her eyes.
“Is she still hung up about the newapartment?”
“In a way, I guess, but right now what’sbothering her is her assumption that I might be pregnant.” She peeked in hisdirection to gauge his reaction.
He stiffened a bit on the seat next to her andsat straighter. “Wait, what?”

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