I hope you like surprises because . . .
Born into a prestigious and powerful political family, Venom captain Alicia Avery learned at a young age that appearances were everything. Alicia has now been molded into the perfect young woman; her only transgressions against the dictates of her parents to date being her dogged determination to play hockey and a rather radical new haircut. That was before Alicia met Dale Christie, a highly principled and deeply spiritual street performer who is raising his daughter, Wren Song, alone.
Now Alicia is finally opening her mind and heart to the knowledge that there is more to life than monetary success and ambitious goals. As her soul awakens, so does her desire for a man her parents - and society - would deem horrendously wrong for her. Can the Venom captain learn to walk a new path of serenity through life? Or will the pacifist and the hockey player be torn apart by a world that judges a person by the size of their bank account versus the light of their soul?
Does that cover make you want some sexy hockey times or what?! I think it is super sensual and sultry. The cover designer for Gone Writing Publishing has created a stunning look for the Venom, using the team colors of red and black to perfection!
I generally make a much larger production of letting folks know in advance about cover reveals, but I just could not sit on this gorgeous cover any longer. For those fans of my M/F erotic hockey romances, this is the long-awaited second book in the Venom series. The Venom are a professional women's team who share the city of Brotherly Love with the Wildcats. Talk about your hot hockey romance cup overflowing! Two pro teams in the same city? I. Love. It.
I also adore how old favorites from the 'Cats can drop in for cameos. But don't think that the Venom are weak spin-offs. They're not. Each woman's book is a strong part of a huge hockey world. In Twirly Girl, we get to know the Venom captain, Alicia Avery, much better. We see what drives her, how she handles the stress of wearing the "C", and what her reactions are to meeting a man who will show her that there is more to life than monetary success. Dale Christie is the complete opposite of our Venom captain, a street performer who has found his spiritual center as he struggles to raise a daughter with Down's Syndrome alone.
I've nicknamed this book "The Pacifist and the Hockey Player" and I think that fits Alicia and Dale rather well. Over the next several weeks, as we build up to release day on March 2, I'll be sharing snippets, insights, play-lists, and excerpts. If you're interested in knowing all the news about all my upcoming releases, sign up for my newsletter! It's brand new and will be chocked full of news, games, trivia, hot hockey players, and some personal content. You can find the link to the sign-up form way up at the top of the right hand column. Look for the 'A slice from the ice' picture and click to follow!
If you'd like to join us for more Venom goodness, check out the event page for the Twirly Girl Release Party over on Facebook. The event is hosted by Author Classifieds so you know it's top-notch, and the list of authors coming to help celebrate is nothing short of amazing! There are writers from various romance genres so readers are sure to find something for every taste.
Twirly Girl Facebook Release Party
As an added treat, here's a small unedited excerpt from Twirly Girl. Thank you as always for all your support. Skate hard and love deeply!
What did one wear to a goat farm? I pushed aside cashmere sweaters, silk blouses, designer slacks and cocktail dresses. Not one single pair of bib overalls did I find hanging in the senator`s daughters wardrobe closet.
"Plan B," I muttered to myself. Since I also did not own any tie-dyed Grateful Dead t-shirts or billowy peasant dresses, I pulled on jeans and a plain blue sweatshirt. After wiggling into my clothes, I padded back into the bathroom. The steam from my morning shower had evaporated. I leaned over the sink to get a good look at myself. Since I had cut my hair, all that needed was fingers drawn through it. I loved it. I should have shorn off my locks years ago. It was so freeing. Now to decide about make-up. Normally I would apply a full regime when meeting a man for a date. Was touring a love child`s goat farm considered a date? Nothing was ever simple with Dale. I tipped my head to the left then to the right. The mirror showed me a young woman with a nice complexion sporting pink cheeks. Thinking of Dale had put the color into my face. I patted my rosy cheeks, smiled, and then decided to go mascara-only. This was a farm, so I had to assume they prided themselves on going back to nature and all that falderal.
I left the bathroom and sat on the end of the bed to lace up a pair of hiking boots that I had found buried amid the shoes in my closet. My phone started ringing. Thinking it might be Dale calling I grabbed the cell off the nightstand. It was my mother. I stared at the phone resting in my hand until the call went to voicemail. My mother`s picture disappeared after her message had been left. I returned the phone to the table and continued tying my boots as my mind spun wheelies. I had never before not picked up when one of my parents had called. Man, I was getting to be all sorts of rebellious. The next thing you knew I'd be switching political parties and sleeping with bearded singing liberals. A hot flare of desire came to life between my legs. I sucked in a weak breath, closed my eyes, and counted to ten. That helped until I emerged from my car, looked around the abandoned Houseman parking lot, and then snuck around to the front of the main gate to find Dale.
As soon as his sight touched me that flare of desire turned into an inferno of need. My breasts grew tight and tender. I returned his smile and then forced myself to slip through the knot of people listening to him play. I only caught a few notes before the song concluded. People clapped and threw change into his guitar case. A few folks placed bills on the well-worn gingham material lining the case. I clapped as I walked towards him. He straightened from his bow.
"May you walk a blessed path," he called to the crowd then lifted his guitar over his head. "Mine will be a sunny one despite the clouds above, for this winsome lass has gifted me with her presence for the day."Everyone looked at me. I wanted to slide into the storm drain. Several people made vague comments. I nodded at them as my cheeks burned. When the crowd had dispersed, I folded my arms over my chest. Dale, the peaceful fool, merely smiled at my show of anger. "Are you mad that I told those fine people that you were spending the day with me?"
"No," I said a bit too quickly. "I mean, of course not. It's just, well, okay yes maybe I was a little worried. If anyone recognized me word would get back to my father." God, I sounded like such a stupid little girl. "Not that I care what he thinks about what I do."
"What are we doing that would be so terrible for your father to hear?" he asked before crouching down to gather his donations then lay his six-string in the case. I stared at the top of his head while trying to come up with a reply. He glanced up while snapping the case shut. "The hardest part of the journey is that first step onto your own path."
"I'm on my own path," I informed him. A newspaper truck stalled on the road. With a curse from the driver and a loud backfire, the vehicle then moved along. My gaze raced over the hundreds of cars creeping past. "I play hockey for a living, don`t I?"
"That you do," he said as rose from his crouch.
"Then you can`t tell me that my foot isn`t on my own path."
"So it is. Shall we get walking? We need to make the train station in fifteen minutes."
"You don`t believe me," I said as we headed off at a brisk pace.
"Is what I believe or don`t believe that important?" he inquired. We hustled across the street amid a crush of people. It was only after we had crossed that we could talk to each other once again.
"No, it`s not important what you or anyone thinks." There. Put that in your chakra pipe and smoke it, Mr. Know-It-All. I peeked over at him. He wore a bemused smile. It was quite a kissable smile on that sensual mouth. "Why do you think I'm lying? I don`t give two shits what people think. I might just kiss you right here in front of the Philadelphia Inquisitor building to show you how many shits I do not give."
Dale stopped cold, glanced skyward at the glittering mirrored building that held Philly`s largest daily paper, and then looked at me.
"Alicia, you don`t have to prove anything to me," he said then shook some brown curls from his face. "Kiss me if you want to feel my mouth on yours. Don`t kiss me to make a point."
I stepped closer. His dark eyes narrowed just a bit. My sight darted down to his mouth then back to his eyes. A wild November wind whistled around the newspaper building. It ripped at his ugly scarf. I grabbed the fluttering scarf and pulled him that single step closer . . .