The Gazillionaire & the Virgin #Giveaway #BDSM

 

Today I have the lovely Lisabet Sarai stopping by with info on her new release, The Gazillionaire & the Virgin. To celebrate her book tour, Lisabet has a couple of giveaways, so read on for a sample of her refreshing role-reversal BDSM romance, and to learn how to be in the running for a $50 gift card or a paperback copy of The Gazillionaire & the Virgin!

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Letting My Characters Lead

By Lisabet Sarai

On the plotter versus pantser dimension, I usually lean more toward plotting. I don’t do really detailed outlines or character sketches before I begin a book, but normally I have a pretty clear idea of the story arc. Often I will create a scene list. In particular, I know how I want the book to end. The process of writing is something like directing a film, as I walk the characters through the scenes, moving them in the direction of the climax and resolution.

The Gazillionaire and the Virgin was different. This was the first novel I’ve written using the Character-driven Random Walk Method. When I began writing, all I had was a title and the two main characters (reflected in the title), Rachel and Theo. I really had no idea what they’d do, other than having sex and falling in love.

I did know this was going to be an erotic romance. In fact, although the book deliberately shreds romance stereotypes, it preserves the essential core of romance, namely, the characters’ journey toward a loving relationship. So I understood there had to be obstacles or conflicts that would stand in the way of the happy ending. At the start, though, I couldn’t have told you the nature of those obstacles. I didn’t plan. I didn’t outline. That’s not like me at all! I simply sat down at my computer, invoked Rachel and Theo, and let them interact. At each point in the plot, the focus character in some sense decided what would happen next.

I’d expected the book would be 20K at most. As I let Rachel and Theo lead me deeper into their story, I discovered I was wrong. They did not want to be rushed. It took four chapters for them to get to their first erotic encounter. The revelation that they shared kinky interests took another four. By the time I reached the book’s climax, the events that tear them apart, I had more or less figured out how they’d reconcile, but I couldn’t make them follow my script. Theo turned out to be far more stubborn than I would have guessed. Fortunately, Rachel’s imagination came to the rescue. Still, every time I sat down to write what I thought would be the final chapter, I’d come to realize there was yet another one needed.

When I finally wrote “The End”, I was seriously relieved. I wasn’t sure Rachel and Theo would ever let me finish their story!

I know a lot of authors always write this way. Some of my writer friends talk about hearing voices in their heads. For me, though, this was a new experience—alternately fulfilling and frustrating. I have to admit that I am really pleased with the result. I hope readers will be, too.

~ ~ ~

This post is part of my Gazillionaire and Virgin blog tour, running from February 1st to 15th. Leave me a comment on this post, including your email address, and I’ll enter you to win a $50 bookstore gift certificate (first prize) or a print copy of the new book (second prize). Visit all the stops for more chances to win. You’ll find the full list here: http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/2016/01/blog-tour.html

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Trust can’t be bought—it has to be earned.

Blurb:

When Silicon Valley entrepreneur Rachel Zelinsky meets reclusive genius Theo Moore, she finds him strangely compelling. Theo is both arrogant and socially awkward, but he has an aura of power that speaks to Rachel’s carefully-hidden submissive side. Disturbed and aroused, she tries to focus on her original objective—a deal to incorporate his Artificial Intelligence software into her company’s popular virtual world. Rachel’s not a woman who lets pleasure interfere with business, but for some reason, she can’t resist Theo’s geeky appeal.

Theo Moore can’t be bought. His past battles with poverty make him deeply suspicious of the billionaire CEO. Still, with her voluptuous curves and brilliant mind, Rachel embodies his ultimate sexual fantasy. Too bad his knowledge about sex derives from

extensive research and a stash of kinky porn rather than real-world experience.

That doesn’t bother Rachel, however. In his bed—in his arms—in his bonds—she discovers the bliss of total surrender. Rachel may be Theo’s first lover, but Theo is Rachel’s first true Master—and the first man to truly touch her heart. It seems that love may harmonize their differing goals and values, until Rachel’s unwitting violation of Theo’s trust threatens to tear them apart forever.

Excerpt:

It won’t go away. All through the day—every day—need gnaws at my spirit. Whether I’m reading my email, meeting with my board of directors, preparing a presentation, closing a deal to acquire a promising start-up, discussing deployment of the next release with my engineering managers, I can’t shake the sense that something critical is missing. In yoga class, the aching knot just above my solar plexus doesn’t unwind, no matter how deeply I breathe. Driving to work, I have to force myself to pay attention. Otherwise, I drift off into recollections of my time with Theo—what he did, what he said, how I responded.

I miss him, miss him dreadfully, though it’s been only four days since we were last together. We’ve Skyped every night since the weekend, but somehow that only makes the hunger worse. When I see him there on my screen, grainy and over-exposed, all I want is to touch him—to brush the unruly hair off his forehead, to stroke his cheek, to trace the line of his plump, sensitive lips with my thumb. To offer up my own mouth for him to claim it, tear off my blouse and press my tits against his solid chest, sink to my knees and beg him to take me.

I’d be more than willing to strip and perform for him, to act out whatever lewd actions he ordered, but he refuses to become involved in any sort of phone or cyber-sex. “Everyone’s listening in,” he asserts. “The government. The neighbors. What you and I do should be private.” So we chat about safe topics—our work, what we’ve been reading, where we should go for dinner next weekend. All the while, lust burns in those bright eyes of his. I know what he’s thinking. I’m thinking the same thing.

I’m not expecting him to call Thursday afternoon. The trill of my phone interrupts me as I’m giving Diane instructions for tomorrow. Still, the sound of his voice kindles a warm joy in the pit of my stomach as well as a wetness between my legs.

“Hello. Rachel?”

“Hi, Theo. What’s up?”

“I want you to come early tomorrow. Around noon.”

“I—um—I really can’t. I’ve got an all-day meeting up in San Francisco, some investors from India.”

“Cancel it.”

“What? I can’t do that. These guys have come half-way around the world to talk to me about a franchise deal. Think of the potential profit! More than a billion people, a soaring GDP, and Internet growth that’s doubling every year…”

It’s the wrong thing to say. I realize this the moment the statement’s out of my mouth.

“So you care more about money than about me.” Not a whining complaint, but a dry statement of the facts, at least as Theo sees them.

“No, of course not, but I can’t put my personal life above my business…”

“You should.” I can picture his face, the stubborn set of his jaw as he retreats, distancing himself from me. “But never mind. Of course you’re too busy. I should have expected that.”

“Wait! Wait, don’t hang up, Theo.” I struggle to keep him engaged. “What’s so important about tomorrow noon?”

“I want you to meet my sister. Ellen. She’s free for lunch tomorrow.”

“Can’t we do it Saturday?”

“She’s flying to Jamaica for a two week vacation with her partner Saturday morning.”

“What about when she gets back?”

“She doesn’t want to leave without talking to you. She says she’s worried about me, worried about our relationship. She’s afraid you’ll hurt me, break my heart.”

I’d never hurt you, I almost say, then understand I’m doing so at that very moment. And it feels horrible, like a knife twisting in my gut.

—————–

Links (Print coming soon!)

Amazon US

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B76B95K/

Amazon UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01B76B95K/

Barnes & Noble

All Romance

Kobo

Goodreads

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About Lisabet

LISABET SARAI occasionally tackles other genres, but BDSM will always be her first love. Every one of her nine novels includes some element of power exchange, while her D/s short stories range from mildly kinky to intensely perverse.

You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website, along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance, she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads and finally, on Twitter.

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#Writing: How to Spot a Passive Clause

Since I am still churning away with edits on Balancing Act (and also writing some new stuff–yippee for new stuff!), I thought I’d do a little post on something I am not even remotely an expert on, and pass(ive) it off as a tutorial. Seriously, I suck big passive cojones, so this is to help me as much as anyone else. Here goes…in three, two…

Wow, this is such a great #teachingblog. I should totally #followit.

…one.

Anyway, the passive voice is one of those writing devils we tend to hear a ton about. It’s a stylistic “error” (for lack of a better word), rather than a grammatical one. Often, the problem with passivity (which, BTW, has not a thing to do with past tense, or tense at all), is it often reduces clarity in writing. Additionally, it can make the author read like a rhetoric-spouting politician. Let’s just look at an example:

The bill to tax individual producers of wind and solar energy was passed in Oklahoma.

That, right there, is some passive spin-doctor shit. It almost sounds like everyone in Oklahoma gave it the thumbs up, huh? Do you know how you can tell this is passive? Add by someone/something to the end.

A bill was passed by sneaky freaking legislatures whose pockets are lined by big business.

Look at me doubling down on the passive clauses!

Who is doing the acting here? It’s the legislatures (and big business). Let’s rewrite this in a more active way:

The sneaky legislatures passed a bill to screw small-time producers of green energy.

Now, it should be noted that neither sentence is grammatically incorrect. Maybe if politicians wanted to make it seem that some vague non-entity passed the bill–it’s not the government’s fault, mind you, it just happened–they would phrase it the first way. Which they do. Passivity is the politician’s playground.

Let’s take another example I like to use when trying to determine if a passive construct is preferable to an active (and it’s all entirely subjective, of course).

Barrack Obama was voted the 44th President.

I add the by at the end and see, yup, it’s passive. But should I reword this?

U.S. citizens voted Barrack Obama the 44th President.

Did I really want U.S. citizens to be my subject? Are they the most important thing about that sentence (ignoring the obvious exchange concerning for the people, by the people, blah, blah, bah)? The argument could easily be made that the subject should be the President and making the voters our subject detracts from the entire point of the statement. Again, it’s stylistically ambiguous.

Let’s take another example and see if you can tell whether it’s active or passive, shall we?

She was running from the garbage truck.

What do you think? It’s got that was, which tends to give people the heebie-jeebies, but it’s not a passive clause. She is the subject. Was (past tense of to be) is a helper for the verb running and the entire thing is written in past progressive (or continuous) tense. If you try the by trick is doesn’t add up. No one else is doing the running for her.

She was run over (by the garbage truck) is something entirely different and is entirely passive. The garbage truck is doing the acting. Of course, if she is my friend, I tend to think she ought to be the subject of the sentence even though the garbage truck was acting upon her. Bad enough she got hit, but now she’s not even the subject of her own story. Insult to injury, I say.

How about another?

The basement had been filled with exercise equipment.

Let’s see…there’s that had been, which is often a red flag. But watch out–to be (in any form) is not always passive. Try the by at the end:

The basement had been filled with exercise equipment by the homeowner.

That settles it. It’s passive. Well, fuck that–let’s fix it.

The homeowner had filled the basement with exercise equipment.

But what if you don’t know who put all that shit in the basement? What if Richard Simmons showed up with a crew of big burly guys and flipped someone’s basement for his new exercise reality TV show?

~Don’t go looking for it. I just made that up. Hey, it could happen.~

If you don’t know who did it, you may decide to leave it passive: The basement was filled with instruments of torture. Oh, but making it active, with the torture equipment front and center, is even better: Instruments of torture filled the basement, covering every square inch in enough wall-to-wall hell to make Ferdinand II of Aragon turn over in his dusty grave.

Okay. Last one.

I had been masturbating when the UPS man delivered a package to my front door.

Oooo, there’s that had been trying to screw with our heads. The sentence gets a little wordy after that, further mucking up the water. Let’s scrap the UPS man to make it easier to identify the conjugated to be as passive or not. Don’t forget to test with a by.

I had been masturbating by… Wait. What?

Hmm. Unless someone else was masturbating me (sigh) I submit that this sentence is perfectly active. I am the subject. Unfortunately, I was masturbating myself (no thanks to the UPS man–he only made the sentence of past perfect progressive/continuous tense because I was actively masturbating when he rang the doorbell and interrupted me). Jerk.

I should really get some curtains for the front door sidelight panels.

Okay, that’s all the writing dissection I’m doing for today. If you’d like to quiz yourself, here’s a handy link. Until next time, when I tackle subject verb agreement. Or not. Maybe sentence fragments. Or I could go on and on about comma splices, they really are a pain in the ass.

Kisses & Cooties,

Kimber

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This will be sent to your inbox (by me!) if you sign up for my un-spammy newsletter. Free, yo!

 

 

 

 


Keeping it Real #amwriting

So, I’m finally nearing the end of my self-edit for Balancing Act. I know I’m suuuuuuper slow, but I like to fool myself into thinking that means it will be better than if I was suuuuuper fast. Right? Here’s to hoping.

Anyway, I’ve been stalled on plans for the next book for a long time now. I’ve got an idea of what will happen–I know Andy’s story fairly well, but this entire time I’ve been dreading writing it because I think it will be hard. Like, really hard. I haven’t been able to plan a love story, because all I can see is darkness. I couldn’t visualize the happy times amid all the issues. Until a few days ago, when I finally got a solid mental picture of my other MC and it all clicked.

I know it will still be hard.

Image courtesy of kangshutters at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of kangshutters at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Andy has baggage, so this book can’t be a walk in the park. I mean, even with that fancy wheeled luggage, he can’t drag it behind him for a stroll around the grounds– not without sore arms and a twinge in his back. Not without mud puddles and dive-bombing pigeons, stray baseballs and rude joggers throwing monkey wrenches at every turn. Hell, I’d just stay home with all my baggage and save myself the trouble.

But it MUST be a walk in the park! It’s a romance, dammit! That’s what I do! No matter how tough my characters have it (and they MUST have it tough, because they are meant to be real–they’re real in my head and I need them real in my readers’ hearts and the only way for that to work is for my guys to bleed), they still deserve the rainbows and cooing doves and ice cream sundaes.

Well, I figured it out (safe for me to say from the only outlining stage). Life isn’t sunshine and roses for any of us, but if we have someone who loves us unconditionally, who wants to make every moment sunbeams and park walks and flowers, well, it will be. Eventually. Certainly some of the time. And hauling all that baggage is easier with an extra set of arms (especially an extremely diesel set of tattooed arms–yes, I’m getting excited about this character. Suffice it to say, I’m having good times on Pinterest fleshing this guy out).

Anyway, all those rough spots will only make the good times better, the rainbows brighter, and the romance sweeter. At least, that’s what I’m banking on.

-Kimber

 

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Want a free story? Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter! No spam, ever, just new release news once in a blue moon.

 

 


How About a #Freebie?

I realized this morning I wasn’t going to do a Wednesday post this week because it’s already Thursday. Doh! That MLK day really screwed with my head. I’ve been wonky all week (more wonky than usual, I should say).

The newsletter signup and freebie are a go, after much agony from Calibre for some reason I still haven’t figured out. So, make my pain worthwhile and use this link to sign up for your free e-copy of “The Ferryman Cometh.”

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I won’t spam you, I swear on all that is good and holy. I’ll only send the rare newsletter to let you know when I have something new coming out. Promise. Realistically, I can barely make myself blog, so that should give you an accurate sense of how often I’ll compose newsletters.

Okay, I’ve spent entirely too long in front of a computer today. I’m going to go pour a glass of wine and make some freakin’ meatloaf so kids can tell me it’s yucky in an hour because that’s the kind of day it’s been.

XOXO,

Kimber

 

 

 


What’s Up Wednesday

Hey, all! It occurred to me on Monday that I should come up with a clever little name for one day of the week and blog religiously on that day. What’s Up Wednesday fit the bill, but it was Monday, so damn. Luckily I’m uber-slow and got hung up on a billion other tasks. I blinked and it’s Wednesday!  Like magic, baby!

As an aside, I did a search for What’s Up Wednesday and found this YA author had a weekly hop with the title a few years back. Seems to be defunct, but I’ll give her full credit, especially since she has some swell blog post ideas I’ll probably borrow at some point.

So, what have I been up to? Seems a legit topic to begin. For one, I’ve been working on starting a newsletter and polishing up a short story I plan to dangle in front of your clicking fingers to make you sign up, so get ready for that. It’s the only way to get your hands on my tale, “The Ferryman Cometh,” a dark paranormal erotic MMM, so a tad off my beaten path with that extra M. ;-) I’ll let you know when that’s ready to e-ship, likely by next Wednesday if not sooner.

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I’m self-editing “Balancing Act” right this second. I’m about 2/3 done and then I’ll get it to beta readers. It’s a tough edit because I am striving to keep it just under 40,000 words so it doesn’t jump to the next price point with my publisher. At the moment, I have maybe 300 words of wiggle room, so I’m essentially fucked, but still gonna give it my all. The problem is, when I’m writing dialog fast, I often omit the tags and then come in later and add a bit of meat to make it clear who’s speaking. Hopefully I won’t hit any major rough patches in the home stretch that will require, well, more words. :P

Okay, that’s it for now. Stay tuned for more newsletter info coming shortly, and more general blogging on Wednesday. Heck, maybe I’ll go do some crunches while I’m on my self-improvement kick.
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-Kimber

 

 

 


Huge #Ebook #Giveaway

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Fellow Liquid Silver author Layna Pimentel cooked up a massive month-long giveaway to celebrate the relaunch of her newsletter. The grand prize is a flash drive with 40 romance e-books of all sub-genres (including my Crossed Hearts). You could be reading for free well into 2016!

Jump on the Rafflecopter link to be in the running:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

By the way, I hope everyone had a phenomenal holiday, and that 2016 will be your best year yet. Sorry I’ve been a shit blogger/writer lately. I make no promises or resolutions, but I’ll see if I can get my crap together once these hobbits climb back on the big yellow angel of mercy. Balancing Act is done and in the editing stage. I’ll put the pedal to the metal in the next few weeks, and try to get that out to my pub and off my plate. <3

Peace,

Kimber

 

 


Guest Post: Hard Act To Follow by K. Vale (Shooting Stars Book 3)

I’m over at Molly Lolly’s today with a letter from Kyrie Li to himself of five years ago. Confused yet?

Molly Lolly

Blurb:
Kyrie is an actor with a physical aversion to telling lies, a one-eyed cat, and horrible taste in men. His ex-brother-in-law and best friend, Greg, harbors a secret crush he can’t shake. After denying his feelings for Kyrie for too long, Greg finally gives in to desire one drunken night. Come the morning, the facts get twisted. Kyrie pretends he doesn’t remember a thing—a lie that eats him alive—and Greg can’t stop thinking about how he screwed up the best thing in his life.

Before they can clear the air, Kyrie follows his dreams to New York City, but could he also be running away?

A mistake from Kyrie’s past detonates their silence, and Greg is forced to confront the man he loves. Is their new truth strong enough to support a relationship, or are they doomed to crumble under old fears? Their friendship could evolve into something a…

View original post 1,198 more words


ThanksGiving Back Blog Hop

Happy Thanksgiving week!

I’m so excited to be involved in a blog hop that is near and dear to my heart–the Coming Together ThanksGiving Back Hop. A number of romance/erotica authors who have stories featured in Coming Together anthologies are posting this week. We’ve got e-book giveaways and a grand prize, so be sure to follow along and read all about it!

Coming Together is a small publisher dedicated to helping various charitable organizations via sales of erotic anthologies. From Doctors Without Borders to Autism Speaks to the American Red Cross–and so many other human, animal, and environmental nonprofits–the list of charities Coming Together supports is huge and humbling. 100% of all proceeds go to charity, which means that the lovely editors, authors, and artists who band together to create each book donate their time and talents to help make the world a little bit better.

I’m thrilled to be included in three Coming Together anthologies, and writing this post makes me anxious to send head honcho Alessia Brio more short stories because CT is such a worthwhile organization.

In the Trenches

Today, I’m spotlighting Coming Together: In the Trenches. This military-themed collection of erotica and erotic romance benefits Protect Our Defenders. In the wake of France’s recent devastation, and so many countless and senseless other acts of global aggression by terrorist groups, supporting those who fight to keep us safe is absolutely essential.

Coming Together

Amazon

Smashwords

All Romance

Createspace

 

Here’s a bit from my included story, Comando Especial:

Blurb: Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Rojas commands Navy SEAL-trained soldiers in a special anti-narcotics division of the Colombian military, facing deadly enemies on a regular basis. But when Alex’s ex-girlfriend is kidnapped by a ruthless drug lord, the usual high-octane mission becomes personal. If Alex and Luz get out of the dangerous situation alive, Alex doesn’t plan to let Luz walk away a second time.

————

Excerpt:

Luz couldn’t fake indifference any longer. She sobbed loudly as a knock came from outside the wooden dormitory.

“Don Jamie,” a voice called from the door. “Our second sub is in need of repair on the forward ballast. The men are working on it, but our departure will be delayed.”

“Fuck! I paid those bastardos over a million for that boat!”

Ramirez turned from Luz, his anger focused on the bearer of bad news. He pulled open the door, knife ready.

“No!” The man shouted as he stumbled forward, his hands held awkwardly behind his back. Ramirez, fueled by anger, only reacted. His blade slammed up into the man’s gut and cut his scream short. The dying man gurgled and dropped to his knees.

And then Luz saw the dark form behind him. The man, in military fatigues with a camouflage-painted face, materialized like a specter from the inky night. He sprang forward, lithe as a cat despite his bulk. Over the twitching body on the ground, he locked arms with Ramirez.

Luz used her feet to scoot her chair backward as the two men grappled.

Ramirez was a strong man. He was vain, and spent hours each day lifting weights. He had bragged to Luz on more than one occasion, saying the men would not respect a weak leader. He was certainly feared by the people he commanded, and was bigger than nearly all of them.

The soldier seized Ramirez’s knife hand at the wrist. Luz swallowed hard as granite biceps fought for control. The blade flashed above the man’s painted face, but the soldier’s familiar dark eyes were pinned on her.

“Alexander?” Luz whispered the name. The man heaved upward, displacing the knife as his left arm hooked around to land a bone-crunching punch to Ramirez’s cheek.

————

Please help support the ultimate in erotic altruism. Coming Together’s adorable tag line is: Doing good while being bad. They can’t do good without the support of amazing readers. I hope you’ll check out their $2.99 and under offerings. Maybe you’ll find something that blows your hair back and be a little bad for a great cause, huh?

For my giveaway, I’m offering a copy of either my MM novel Crossed Hearts, or my MF sci-fi, Star Catcher. Comment for a chance to win my prize as well as the grand prize, and don’t forget to hop along and check out everyone else’s posts and giveaways!

 

 

Sunday 22 November

 

http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/2015/11/sunday-snog-for-good-mm-201.html

 

http://leighwantsfood.blogspot.com/2015/11/coming-together-giving-back-hop.html

 

Monday 23 November

 

http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/2015/11/giving-it-away.html
http://delilahnight.com/2015/11/23/giving-back-blog-hop/

 

http://paidbytheweird.blogspot.com/2015/11/coming-together-thanksgiving-giving-back.html
http://wp.me/p1EqZm-Vt

 

Tuesday 24 November

 

http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/2015/11/funny-brutal-tender.html

 

Wednesday 25 November

 

http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/2015/11/erotic-visions-for-brave.html

 

Thursday 26 November

 

http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/2015/11/bloody-good-erotica.html

 

http://annabetherotica.com/

 

Friday 27 November

http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/2015/11/release-day-for-another-coming-together.html

 

Saturday 28 November

 

http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/2015/11/where-no-man-has-gone-before.html

 


Flesh Market by Kate Lowell

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Blurb:

Special Agent Leo Gale is up a creek. A year and a half of deep cover is about to go up in flames. He needs help – something, someone to salvage the operation and save the lives of untold numbers of trafficked teenagers.

But he wasn’t expecting the partner they sent, or his own gut-punch of a response to the man.

Julian worked hard for that FBI Honors Internship. It was supposed to be a foot in the door. He’d never expected it to catapult him into the middle of a major undercover operation. Yet here he is, sleeping on a filthy mattress and using every trick in the book to avoid torture–and worse. He’s never felt so scared, or so alive, in his entire life, and he’s not sure if it’s the danger, or Leo, that’s making his heart race.

There’s no time to think about it, though. The operation is heating up, and Leo and Julian are running out of time and options. As choices become more difficult, they must find a way to take the traffickers down, or risk becoming just another set of organs for sale.

Excerpt:

Leo stopped at the smoothie bar in the mall’s food court and ordered a green tea with acai and raspberries. He’d just turned thirty-seven, and according to his mother, it was time to start loading up on antioxidants. Head off those destructive free radicals before they got the better of him.
He didn’t care that she thought he was taking her advice—he liked smoothies, even if they didn’t quite fit in with the tough-guy image.

The teenager behind the counter popped a plastic top onto the cup and poked a straw through into the olive-green slurry inside. “Here you go,” she said cheerfully and slid it across the counter.

“Thanks.” He sipped, and stuffed a dollar into her tip cup.

She smiled even more brightly. “Thank you!”

Leo took his cup of mixed yogurt and water-soluble vitamins and wandered down the mall toward the lotto booth. Off to one side, a thin man with lank ashy-blond hair put down the dress shoe he was examining far too closely and drifted along in Leo’s wake. There was another as well that Leo was aware of, his usual tail, but that man was behind him now and out of his peripheral vision.

It used to be that just one would follow him on his trips to the mall or the bookie’s, but today there was a second one.

There was only one logical explanation. Leo hated to believe it, but there was no other choice—he’d screwed up, and now his bosses were suspicious of him. Not his real bosses at the FBI, but his fake bosses in this sex-trafficking ring he had infiltrated.

Leo stepped into line at the lotto booth and waited with feigned patience, sipping on his smoothie as he glanced around to locate his tails.
One of them browsed the shelves of a small store that sold knickknacks and did custom engraving. It took Leo a moment to track down the blond man, but he eventually found him standing at the cash register of the specialty candy store, holding a small brown paper bag. Leo kept an eye on both of them. When there’d only been one, he hadn’t let it bother him. He’d been nearly a year establishing the identity he wore now. The bureau had called in a lot of favors to build his cover. Criminals, federal agents, and police officers had all been involved in some fashion or other. The blinds and double-blinds almost had him convinced that he was Dale Leon. The history of Dale Leon, ex-cop and bully, was rock solid.
They’d learned their lesson after losing the first two agents.

Kate’s Page at Loose Id

Kate’s Amazon Author Page

Where to find the author:
Facebook
Twitter
Website: www.katelowell.com
Goodreads 

Bio:

Kate lives on the east coast of Canada, in an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. She has one horse now, who still has medical issues, and three cats, all of which still have mental issues. She still refuses to get a dog, because who knows what would be wrong with it?

Kate loves to read and write. She also likes playing with computers and is going back to school to do a programming degree, just for giggles. Or the opportunity to take over the world. (Oh, who are we kidding? Think of all the work that would mean.) She also likes pictures of pretty men and keeps many of them on her computer. (The pictures, not the men.) She would dearly love a cabana boy to mow her lawn and maybe rub her shoulders after a long day of making men fall in love with each other, then cackling evilly and raining frustration and danger on them.

Kate is giving away books she was inspired by during the creation of Flesh Market! Join the Rafflecopter for a chance to win!

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#BlackFriday Comes Early!

Crossed HeartsOne heart’s been broken. The other is secondhand.

My book, Crossed Hearts, is on sale for 99 cents during a limited time Black Friday event! That’s right, 212 pages of sweet romance, hot lovin’, and feels, feels, feels. It’s a bargain at twice the price. If you haven’t yet picked up Crossed Hearts, now is your chance to read Kory and Will’s story for mere pennies.

No one even likes pennies!

Okay, enough of my sales pitch, but, seriously, you should totally buy it.

Here’s an excerpt for ya:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When Kory stepped out of the shower, Will was gone. Kory opened the door and poked his head out into the early-evening humidity. No car. His eyes stung—had to be the neon orange of the drooping sun—and, shoulders hunched, he made for the kitchen to put together a shitty meal for one, made all the shittier by this rejection.

Probably for the best. Did you really think you could start a platonic relationship with an adorable gay guy?

Sure, Will played the stern authoritarian pretty damn well, but something about him seemed vulnerable and enticingly sweet at the same time. Maybe it was the odd expression that flashed across his face when Kory let his flirtatious nature win out. He couldn’t identify the vibe he got, couldn’t even say for certain it was real, but whatever those hopeful sparks followed by tiny frowns were, they called to Kory’s most basic instincts.

A guy who helps everyone else, but never has his own needs met. That Kory was the last man in the world who could add anything of value to Will’s life was irony at its best. Because he wanted to be the guy to do it, and he recognized that same yearning in his own eyes when he looked in the mirror. In his own heart now when it squeezed at the realization he’d misinterpreted Will’s cordial demeanor for something more—that he’d put himself out there and gotten turned down in the rudest possible way.

Not even a freakin’ note—

A scrap of paper on the pitted Formica countertop, right next to a pile of bills, caught his attention. He held his breath as he picked it up.

Ran home to change into comfy clothes. I’ll grab something better than mac & cheese. See you in a few.
-Will

Hot relief flooded him, tempering the ache of rejection with muscle-melting anticipation. Grinning, Kory rummaged through the fridge and stood with a shriveled apple. He cut the bruises off with a steak knife before demolishing it in a matter of seconds. Then he grabbed his sketchbook, a hard graphite pencil and a softer one for shading, and sat on the couch to wait for his new friend to show.

The loud rumble of the AC lulled him into a meditative state as he scratched the drawing of an emaciated apple core. He was putting the final touches on it and scrawling the word hungry in box letters at the bottom when a knock sounded on the door.

The bag in Will’s hand smelled amazing, but Will himself looked more than appetizing in dark jeans and a gray short-sleeved shirt that revealed toned arms lightly dusted with dark hair.

“Are you comfy now?”

Will frowned. “What?”

“Your note. I half expected you’d be wearing pajamas.” Kory waved him in, grabbing the grocery bag from Will’s hands. “What do we have here?”

“Umm, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and coleslaw. It was fast. Sorry it’s not the healthiest.” Will frowned as if he’d done something wrong.

“Are you kidding? You show up with Thanksgiving dinner and you’re apologizing? I could kiss you right now for saving me from powdered cheese and noodles.” Will pursed his lips, but it looked more like displeasure than invitation. Crap. I’m never gonna say the right thing. Friends, Kory. Friends. “Hey, my dead, starved body won’t be on your ambulance run in the next few days, especially if you leave the leftovers.” Kory pulled Will over the threshold before he could escape, and waved him toward the couch. “Did you get a chance to select tonight’s feature film before you left?”

Will scanned the apartment and then gave Kory a questioning look.

“The sweet rack of VHS over there. Someone was giving them away. Can you believe it? And I picked up a VCR at the Salvation Army for two bucks.”

Will burst out laughing. “I brought some tapes to the dump about five or six years ago. Wish I’d saved them for you.”

“Fucker.” Kory snorted, stuck between elation at Will’s contagious smile and his own embarrassment. “Go check out the selection. You don’t like anything you see, you can leave. Without your bird and taters.”

He walked toward the kitchen to scrape together plates and silverware, and hoped Will could handle his humor. If not…well, there were certain things he couldn’t glaze over and get past. No funny bone was one. Bad kisser was the other major offense he would never be able to overlook. If he had to choose which was worse—frog-tongue kisser or stick-in-the-mud humor—he was incapable of pointing out the greater evil. They both sucked at the root canal level.

Will expelled a relieved whistle as he examined the collection.

“What’s up?”

“For some reason I was afraid this would be a rack of porn.”

“What?” The potato fork spun from Kory’s fingers and landed on the counter with a clatter and a miniature explosion of spuds.

“Eh, just my ex-boyfriend’s idea of a movie night, I guess.” Will glanced up, his cheeks red. “The only VHS he held onto were old porno flicks. Not that I think you would…and probably not even the same…” He trailed off and turned back toward the tape spines, running a hand through his hair.
Kory coughed. “Never watch it, myself.” That’d be like taking work home. Besides, he inevitably hated the way he looked on screen, or the way he delivered some cheesy line. At the end of the day, being on a shoot for hours was way more porn than he wanted to see.

“Wow.” Will turned back with a cautious smile and still-pink cheeks.

“Not a porn fan and you have this? I’m starting to think I’m being punked.” He held up Labyrinth.

Part of Kory felt like a liar. Another part of him argued it was a harmless omission, a white lie even, given that sweet, wistful look on Will’s face. Kory wasn’t the same person anymore. What Will didn’t know wouldn’t hurt either of them. Kory could feel him out and maybe confess later, not scare Will away at the starting line. That Will didn’t watch porn made it perfect—made Will perfect. Here was someone without any preconceived biases about who Kory was or wasn’t. And more than anything he wanted to be liked for who he truly was, even if he was still stumbling his way through Kory Vansant 101 in many ways.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

There you have it.

Actually, here you have it:

Amazon

All Romance

Smashwords

 

XOXO,

Kimber

 

 


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