Monthly Archives: December 2014

New Year’s Blog Hop

1-origin_6550714623Or maybe that should be Blog Hope because this is all about what I hope to accomplish for the year 2015. Well, let me belly right up to the bar and say I have been in an absolute writerly funk for at least two months now, probably more. The only words I’ve put to computer screen as of late have been random and scrappable as I attempt to find one of my WIPs I’m actually interested in writing. I even started a brand new one or three. Likely so I can scrap them.

As a writer, I suck moose balls lately.

For 2015, I firmly intend to suck less moose balls. Intention is half the battle. Getting my kids back in school is another sliver of the pie. Pulling my head out of my ass and staying away from the interwebs is another necessity.

I love the word interwebs, by the way. Sounds like something my grandma would say.

I intend to self publish the book I’ve been (ssssllllllooooooooowwwwwllllllllyyyyyyyy) editing. I plan to do some research into the American Revolution and plot out a historical romantic gay mystery that will probably be completely unsellable because it will be a historical romantic gay mystery. It will also be tough to write for the same reasons. I plan to finish my NaNoWriMo novella, which shouldn’t be as hard as I’m making it out to be because I love these characters and have had it outlined, well, since November. And then it will be on (like Donkey Kong) to the fourth book in my Shooting Stars series. I plan to write an MM contemporary romance with an ultra-odious character I want to make people fall in love with by the end. I firmly intend to map out a post-apocalyptic series I’m chewing on and write the first book. I plan to remind myself that sometimes writing really is a job, and I need to knuckle down at the rough patches because the fun stuff will come shortly thereafter, and then I can cut the flab. Basically, I intended to stop being a bon-bon-eating, whiskey-swilling, porn-watching waste of space and churn out some damn words this year.

Amen.

So, what kinds of books are you hoping to see in 2015? Do tell!

Check out the other hoppers to read what they plan for 2015:

Happy 2015, all!


Scorching Book Reviews Christmas Blog Hop #giveaway

bannerxmas copy

 

 

Well, it’s truly upon us, now. Personally, I’m hoping to sit back and relax this week with a glass (or twelve) of egg nog (or something), and revel in being completely done. No more pressure. No more lists. And, God willing, no more kids throwing up. Aim high, I always say.

For this festive hop, we’re supposed to share what we hope Santa brings us from the book world this year.

Me? I’d love for the fat man to bring me a swift kick in the ass. Unconventional, I know, but I’ve been an absolute authorly slug lately and I could really use a hot poker to spur me on. Also (do I get two wishes? I’ve been good…ish), I’m excited to see if Santa brings me some cover art. My little sister is working on something for me and I’d love to have a peek at what she’s got cooking so we can discuss it over the holiday. Brainstorm, and all that. Look at pretty pictures, and what not. Get jazzed to do this thing I have up my sleeve.

Yeah, so that’s it. I’ve preordered/currently have a number of books on my Kindle I’m looking forward to, including (but not limited to, ah cha-cha cha) The Gentleman and the Lamplighter by Summer Devon, Prosperity (Numero Uno) by Alexis Hall, Wave Goodbye to Charlie by Eric Arvin, Bad Influence and Bad Behavior by K.A. Mitchell, Vanessa North’s The Lonely Drop, and a holiday straighty, The Duke’s Match Girl by Lila DiPasqua. Oh, crap! I have Beneath the Stain on there, too (Amy Lane). Oh, the joys and dangers of spontaneous clicking. I need to get reading for 2015. Santa, bring me extra hours in the day, dude!

wavegoodbye

 

Anyway, I’m giving away a book for this hop! Up for grabs is an e-copy of Hard Act to Follow (Shooting Stars 3). Just drop a comment and let me know what your holiday wish is. If you’ve already read Hard Act, don’t worry, we’ll find a suitable alternative if you win. I’m not a total Grinch, you know.

Don’t forget to click below to see what other fun presents are up for the winning.

I wish you a fantastic holiday and 2015! 🙂

-Kimber

 


Houston Havens’ Exposed Ecstasy #bookblast

Today I have Houston Havens visiting with a quick peek at her latest release, Exposed Ecstasy, the third book in her Psychic Menage series.

Exposed Ecstasy (Psychic Menage #3) by Houston Havens

 

Blurb:

Daughter of the Dirt Dweller’s ruler; Tessla Reto attempts to escape the Underworld after the mysterious disappearance of her best friend. She knows her untimely death is also near if her father, Landen Reto discovers her part in forming the rebels to fight against him. The two men sent to help her get away are killed and she’s rescued by a handsome stranger…or is she?

Faerydae returns to Earth in search of an inner peace his soul can’t find after the death of his friend Chandra Lamar. Instead, he finds himself in an unplanned rescue of a woman that stirs everything he’s fought a lifetime to deny. Can Faerydae stay focused on his goal to expose his past and true Fae bloodline, or will destiny play her hand?

Shomar’s uncomplicated world is tossed asunder when his best friend, Faerydae, shows up with a stray puppy and a woman who steals the heart of his soul the moment he looks at her. Only to discover Faerydae and the woman claim they can’t stand each other, yet his intuition tells him otherwise. Will Shomar be able to win the woman of his dreams or will Faerydae always have her heart?

Will Tessla find her freedom? Will Faerydae keep his, or will Shomar succeed in his plan to expose them to their hidden ecstasy?

 

Amazon – http://bit.ly/ExposedEcstasyAmazon

ARehttp://bit.ly/ExposedEcstasyARe

Kobo – http://bit.ly/ExposedEcstasyKobo

 

Bio:

Houston Havens retired from a successful modeling career and an adventurous jet-set lifestyle to set the world on fire with her erotic romance books. A tenacious Irish lass, she strives to entertain with seductive stories created from her decadent imagination and traces of a provocative lifestyle she may or may not admit to.

Her interest in the paranormal, fascination with quantum science, passion with myths, and the lure of her mysterious Celtic Irish-Druid bloodlines are combined with generally unknown truths, strange facts, and questionable fiction. Her novels reflect a mix of the past, present, and future, with sexy blends of futuristic science fiction, paranormal fantasy, western romance, and always love everlasting. An author of six romances, a seven book erotic romance series and numerous articles in literary magazines.

Stop by for a visit and leave a comment at http://houstonhavens.wordpress.com

 

Links:

Website: http://houstonhavensauthor.wix.com/houstonhavens

 

Blog: http://houstonhavens.wordpress.com

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HoustonHavens

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/HoustonHavens

 

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104340584560714468515/posts

 

Tumblr: http://houstonhavens.tumblr.com

 

Booklikes: http://authorhoustonhavens.booklikes.com

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/24819699-houston-havens

 

Newsletter signup:

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Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/houstonhavens/

 

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuOpU6OsngnhTac_JvTLItQ

 

 

 


Claimed by Love by Skye Jones #Excerpt & Character Interview

 

claimedbyloveBlurb: Kayley Edwards has spent the last four years closing herself off after a vicious attack by her lover left her scarred and terrified. After fleeing her native Alaska, she ran the length of the country and began a new life in Miami far from her family and friends.

When her cousin and his friends decide to vacation nearby, he invites her to join them, saying he has important news. Determined not to let fear rule her life, Kayley agrees to meet with them, only to have her world turned upside down. His friends include the two gorgeous men who’ve haunted her dreams for months, kindling her desire, and challenging her to take a chance on love.

Pack alpha, Luke Johnson, has sensed Kayley in his visions for years. He and his mate, Sean Wallace, know she is meant to be theirs. But how will she react when she finds out the world they inhabit is one she never dreamed existed? As passions collide, Sean finds himself acting as a bridge between his strong willed alpha and a skittish Kayley. But can they break through Kayley’s defenses and convince her to join their family?

Just as it seems the three may have a future together, a ghost from Sean’s past strikes at the heart of their happiness. They must fight for everything they hold dear to win their chance at love.

 

And here’s a short interview with Luke, courtesy of Skye Jones

You had visions of your mates for years. What was that like?

Reassuring but also difficult. I could see them but never fully connect – they were always just out of reach. I sensed them, saw them, heard them, but couldn’t reach out to them and make contact.

If you weren’t a bounty hunting werewolf, what would you be?

(Sighs) We aren’t werewolves, we are wolf shifters. It’s not that hard to grasp. And I wouldn’t want to be anything else.

What’s the best thing about Sean?

All of him. Everything. I wouldn’t change one thing about him.

How did you feel when you first met Kayley?

Possessive. I wanted her. Same as with Sean. She was meant to be mine. Things aren’t simple though, and I had to hold back.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working?

To shift and go for a long run in wolf form. I love being outside with the elements. Alaska is the best place to run free!

Thanks for dropping by, Luke.

 

Excerpt:

One of the things Sean loved most about Luke was how he never treated him like a subordinate, even though he technically was, both at work and in their relationship. Well, he was if you followed traditional wolf shifter rules of alpha’s first, mates second. Many packs ran their affairs that way and thought nothing of it. Sean had lived that life once before and never wanted it again. Luke always kept Sean in the loop and genuinely seemed to value his input. There were many times he’d changed course after taking Sean’s advice.

“Let’s get cleaned up and go find her.” Sean stroked a finger down Luke’s arm.

“Maybe we should give her some space?” Luke said.

“She told me last night she loves cooking, why don’t I get her to help me out in the kitchen?” Sean said. “That way she doesn’t have to talk about it, or sit with everyone, but she’s still part of the group, still included.”

“Sounds like a plan.” Luke turned his head to drop a single kiss in Sean’s palm.

Sean reached down and undid Luke’s shoes, taking them off before pulling his pants down. By the time he got to drag the T-shirt over his head, Luke’s dick started showing renewed interest in proceedings, already half hard.

“You’re insatiable. A veritable animal.”

“I am an animal and so are you. Wanna make wild monkey love in the shower?” Luke grinned.

“Nah. I hear monkey love is overrated. Wolf love on the other hand…”

Sean gave a mock howl of outrage as Luke pulled him up and swatted his behind, following him into the shower.

 

Buy at Amazon: http://amzn.to/13vkRSm

And Liquid Silver Books: http://www.lsbooks.com/pre-order-coming-soon-romance-books-c322.php

Author Bio: Skye Jones is an erotic romance author who loves a sexy, tortured hero. Her first story was about a talking hobby horse, but she’s moved on since then. Now she likes to write about that moment when lust and love meet head on.

Chat with her on: Twitter – @skyejromance

Or visit her blog: http://skyejonesromanceblog.wordpress.com/about-skye-jones/

 


Saving Sultan by Jennah Scott: Character Interview & #Giveaway

Today I have author Jennah Scott stopping by with her newest release, Saving Sultan. She brought along her boys for an interview, gave us a fun excerpt, and even has a giveaway, so read on!

 

Saving Sultan BeyondFairytales_SavingSultan_JennahScott_300x450

by Jennah Scott

Blurb:

 

Dillon Sultan never imagined he might some day lose Sultan Ranch. He’s got one month to find the money needed to keep bank from taking his family’s land. One month to find a miracle.

Liam Callahan hasn’t talked to his best friend since the night they kissed six years ago. Now he’s got a chance to make things right and catch the man of his dreams. But first, he has to help Dillon figure out a way to keep Sultan Ranch.

But when Dillon’s family is betrayed, and he learns that Liam hasn’t been totally honest with him, will he lose everything that matters most?

 

Saving Sultan

Beyond Fairytales

Amazon | Decadent | Kobo | Barnes and Noble | All Romance Ebooks

Character Interview:

Dillon: Thank you, Kimber, for letting us take over for the day. Jennah said we could answer questions she asked, or choose for each other. Liam figured choosing for each other was more fun. So here we go…

Liam: Always so serious. Just to lighten the mood a bit…Dillon, on what occasion do you lie?

Dillon: I never tell a lie. *coughs* Okay, maybe I do when you ask if I like whatever tie you’ve picked out for the day. Seriously, man, I’m a rancher. Could care less what the hell your tie looks like.

Liam: One of these days I’m going to help you out with fashion sense. Won’t even make you wear suit pants. Jeans will work. 

Dillon: My turn. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Liam: Nothing like giving me a question I have to tread lightly with. *laughs* That’s easy, my horse is the greatest love of my life. *laughs harder* And maybe you are too.

Dillon: See who gets to sleep on the couch tonight. 

Liam: You talk a lot of talk.  Who is your hero of fiction?

Dillon: Ummm. Let’s go with Doc Holliday. “I’m your huckleberry.” is too much of a classic not to like the man.

Liam: Predictable.

Dillon: Really? And you’re so original I suppose?

Liam: I’m not the cowboy quoting Doc Holliday.

Dillon: Whatever. We should probably get a move on this before Kimber kicks us out of here.  What is it that you most dislike?

Liam: Liars. No need to go into more. Let’s just leave it at that.

Dillon: I second that dislike for sure. Lying. Manipulating. Sons of bitches. Can do without those bastards. 

Liam: K. Last question. Where would you most like to live?

Dillon: Easy. Right here on Sultan Ranch. Was born here, plan to die here. 

Liam: True answer. Still predictable. *laughs*

Dillon: Fine. Pretty boy. Your final question. Which talent would you most like to have?

Liam: Any talent? Hmm. I’d like to learn how to play the fiddle.

Dillon: The fiddle. Yeah, I got nothing for that.

Liam: Good! Because it’s time for us to get back to work. Thanks again for letting us stop by! Hope everyone checks out Saving Sultan! 

 

About the Author:

Born and raised in Texas, Jennah is a transplant to Missouri long enough ago she should probably consider that her hometown. But she will forever be a Texan. She loves to write any story that will make a reader smile, laugh, and maybe even cry (although you won’t ever hear her admit that she cries). Whether the next story she writes is contemporary, urban fantasy, LGBT, or whatever other crazy idea she comes up with, there will always be love and romance in the midst of trials and turmoil.

 

Contact Details:

 

Website: www.jennahscott.com 

Email: Jennah.scott01@gmail.com

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

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Jennah_scott

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/JennahScott 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/jennahscott 

 

Excerpt:

Liam moved around the corner of the truck and lifted himself onto the tailgate. His friend set his hand on Dillon’s shoulder and squeezed. He turned to Liam and paused.

“You okay, man?” Dillon asked. Liam’s eyes were dark, his lips pulled tight. Dillon wasn’t sure if he was angry or sad. Could have been the beer.

“Yeah. Just thinking. We start a new chapter of our lives tomorrow. Part of me wishes this one wasn’t done.”

He reached for Liam’s cup. “I think you should call it a night. The beer’s messing with your head. Making you talk like a chick.”

Liam didn’t acknowledge him. He stayed quiet for a few more minutes. “Is there anything you wanted to do before we graduated, but didn’t? Like a high school bucket list.”

“Seriously?”

Liam nodded.

What the hell had come over his friend? “I’m eighteen. I could give a fuck less about a bucket list. We’ve got all the time in the world to do shit. Look at it this way”—Dillon finished his beer, tossed the cup in the back of the truck, and reached for Liam’s glass—“start new right now. Something you want to do? Do it.”

The next thing that happened would forever be burned in Dillon’s memory.

Liam jumped to the ground and stumbled. Dillon grabbed his friend’s shoulders to keep him from face-planting into the grass. Liam turned around so they were face-to-face.

“You’re right,” Liam whispered, then kissed him.

—————–

Amazon or All Romance Gift Card Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Review: Glitterland by Alexis Hall

Fist of all, screw you for judging me for not reading this sooner.

For one thing, I don’t get a ton of reading time what with [insert list of bullshit here, long enough to make your eyes cross], my e-reader is bowing under the strain of mega-book-bytes, and I…don’t really have a good excuse. I read Sand and Ruin and Gold a few months back and knew afterward I’d stashed a bit of treasure (pirate treasure, in hindsight) on my Kindle with Glitterland. Call me a dork, but I was saving it for something special.

Well, the other night I got a hankering for a chick flick. That’s like my love affair with liverwurst. Once a year I want it. After that, it repulses me for a good long while. I told my hubs we should find a movie, we joked about how he likes certain RomComs (Notting Hill and The Holiday, to be precise) more than is attractive and how he watches the same ones an embarrassing amount of times–basically whenever they happen to be on. We went scrolling through the HBO On Demand offerings, were disappointed, as usual, and settled on Seeking A Friend for the End of the World. It was ho-hum, and I’m afraid even my slight girl crush on Keira Knightly and my affinity for apocalyptic tales wasn’t enough to scratch that itch.

So, one night later (BTW, the blips of chapters sprinkled throughout this book to show time lapses and the waning mental status of Ash were exceptionally done) I was still looking for love in all the wrong places. Actually, I’d started Glitterland that morning and was reading it like the end of the world was, in fact, upon us, and no, I didn’t want to spend my last few hours playing a family game of Monopoly or sitting around the Festivus pole and airing the grievances (although that would be next on my list), but I was going to read this fucking book before the meteor hit.

Now, my hubs had asked me earlier what the hell I was reading all day (as I balanced my book on one knee while threading new elastic through a Christmas pageant skirt so the Virgin Mary won’t flash the congregation next week). I said Glitterland without further explanation, and continued to read for the entire day. It’s hard to get away with that crap when you have, you know, stuff and kids and a house that would be better served by burning than cleaning, so I was wondering how I would manage to continue reading while sitting next to my old man in front of the TV later for our nightly “date.”

Cue Notting Hill and The Holiday on simultaneously for the guy who loves flipping channels during commercials. They are, probably, my oddball husband’s two favorite chick flicks, and the irony of our conversation the night before, paired with the Notting Hill references in Glitterland made for the perfect reading storm. For the record, both are totally acceptable films. In fact, I do enjoy Notting Hill with its quirky supporting cast (I just don’t want to watch it every time it happens to be on. Now, The Departed or The Usual Suspects, yes. Notting Hill and The Holiday? No. Actually, I’m not sure why he likes The Holiday. Even my heavy duty girl crush on Kate Winslet doesn’t make me want to watch that repeatedly. I’d say twice and I’m good until I’m dead. Contagion? Hell, yes. Bad Teacher? You know it.)

So, my guy got to watch his blubber mush movies, and I got to finish Glitterland. I did a valiant job of discretely swiping away my tears, and then when the ending got to be too much, I took my Kindle to the bathroom so I could cry louder and still maintain my tougher-than-thou facade.

It was beautifully written, needless to say. Heart wrenching, and though the conflict was predictable, it didn’t matter in the slightest. It’s an odd combination to feel physically aroused and poignantly sad at the same time. It’s also addictive, and my favorite sort of book.

Yes, Glitterland. I’d read you like I watch The Departed: again and again, and love you every time.


Paranormally Yours Boxed Set Release

Well, would you look at this? I know a lot of the ladies in this box set can write some excellent steamy romance. If you’re looking for some Auld Lang Sexy wrapped up in a big beefy box this season, Paranormally Yours could be the golden ticket.

 

Seven of today’s hottest paranormal authors come together to bring you a boxed set guaranteed to keep you warm on a cold winter’s night. Do shifters make you howl? Or do you prefer the bite of a vampire? Perhaps the controlling hand of a demi-god is more your style. Paranormally Yours has a story—or seven—to set your pulse racing.

 

PYebook_flat

The Reluctant Gift by Sotia Lazu

Salina has earned her one-year vacation on Earth, damn it! She’s been an exemplary sentinel for her pack, and saved all the universes.

Too bad she hasn’t been very effective at kicking Aherin to the curb. She had one little lapse in judgement—sleeping with the annoyingly persistent vampire—and now he just won’t leave.

As if that wasn’t enough, her holiday plans are spoiled, her world is turned upside down, and she’s going to miss out on a yummy family dinner, all because she’s kidnapped on Christmas Eve.

By Santa.

Dreaming of a Wolf by Sofia Grey

Alun was Olivia’s first, and he was supposed to be her forever. After a tragic accident steals him away, Olivia wonders how she can ever be whole again.

When he starts talking to her in her dreams, she has to ask herself: is she going mad with grief, or is there still a chance for their forever?

Red Dawn by Ann Gimpel

Llyr is a whale shifter with a big problem. The seas are dying, poisoned by heavy metal contamination and barrels of trash. In a bold and desperate move, he and his mate Galatea, the Sea Witch, hatch up magic to allow him to spend as long as he needs to on Earth.

Masquerading as a marine biologist, Llyr signs on with a firm whose mission is to save the oceans. When his boss turns out to have malevolent underpinnings, Llyr returns to the sea for answers. With death lurking behind every corner, he and Galatea find themselves boxed into an impossible situation.

Courting Mortality by Loralie Hall

Eli’s spent eternity thwarting the same family curse that granted his brother, Loki, ever-lasting fame. Eli kind of got screwed in that one. His plan to stay single and detached has worked for several millennia. And then he meets Marley. She’s making him abandon all his resolutions, except the one that never lets him forget the curse. Falling for her means her death, and he won’t let that happen.

For Heaven’s Cakes by Diane Saxon

Twelve years of living in Ireland smoothed Beau’s rough edges, and hard work as a construction worker made him a wealthy man. The call of his pack is stronger than he can resist though, and he isn’t averse to returning to show his small home town in America what he’s made of himself.

Uncaged by Christy Gissendaner

Mixed breed vampire shifter, Gabe Moncrief, has made a name for himself in the Cage, an arena where only the strong survive. He’s training for the fight of his life–and vengeance–when Rain Pettis appears. As an Elemental – a supernatural being descended from Zeus himself – she holds the key to his future in the Cage.

As much as she loves her brothers, Rain needs to break away from their overwhelming influence to become her own person. Gabe is the only shifter capable of standing up to them. But when Rain learns a secret that tests her loyalty to her family, she has a decision to make. Does she risk it all for love? And can she bear watching Gabe endanger his life within the Cage?

What he doesn’t anticipate is meeting the local pharmacist’s daughter – in his wolf form. By day, he renovates the pharmacy, and tries to cajole the lush assistant into having dinner with him. By night he watches Catherine bake her fantastic creations and blossom through her art.

Sleeping on her bed each night in his wolf form isn’t exactly ideal, but how does he tell her the wolf she’s come to love, is the man she lusts over?

Pursuing Grace by Anita Cox

Though Grace McGovern just graduated college, she’s restless, has no idea what to do with her life and to top it off, she finds herself single and unsatisfied with relationships in general.

Roman intends to claim Grace and make her his mate and part of his pack. He’s searched for her for five years and now she’s within his longing grasp, apart from one minor problem. She has no idea she’s a wolf.

As Grace tries to identify and cope with her inner wolf, she also needs to figure out the unprecedented and undeniable pull Roman has on her. Could he finally offer her the fulfilling relationship for which she’s been yearning?

 

Buy Paranormally Yours on: 

Amazon

All Romance

Barnes & Noble

 


It’s My Birthday and I’ll Waste Time if I Want To!

Time if I want to. Time if I want to.

Editing? Nope.

Writing? Fuck no.

Making a brand new logo after sushi lunch with my bestie? You better believe it, baby!

original-logos-2014-Dec-3968-2464407

Isn’t it adorable? Sciency, phallicy, and hearty, all in one. Perfect!

Yeah, I need an intervention…

-Kimber


Hitting Black Ice by Heloise West #excerpt

The lovely Heloise West has a book coming out tomorrow! I was lucky enough to beta read Hitting Black Ice a while back, and I can confirm that this is a fun, action-packed love story you won’t want to miss.

Heloise is visiting a number of blogs with excerpts from her release. Today she’s giving us Chapter 1, Part 2. To check out the previous excerpt, head over to Skye Jones’ blog.

heloisewest_hittingblackice

Blurb:

Violence spills into the local ER, catching Hunter and Shawn in the crossfire. In the aftermath, buried passion explodes, pulling them into a hot encounter that leaves both men wanting more. Each man has good reason to keep his distance, but when the past catches up with Shawn, they must run for their lives.

At least they’re running together….

 

 

Chapter One/Part Two

 

When the tide of emotion and memory finally washed through him and left him able to speak again, he said, “I’m not suffering here.” He kept much of the darkness at bay with whiskey and anonymous sex. Who needed Prozac with a warm, muscled body in the bed?

“Stagnating,” Marisa said.

“Maintaining.” It had been a far prettier day in May, almost nine months ago now, when he’d walked out of the ER in Boston to Jerry waiting for him in the parking lot with a gun.

“Ask him out on a date. An old-fashioned date where, at the end of the night, you kiss him good night.”

“No!”

“Don’t get angry.” She patted his hand.

He whipped it away. “Too late.”

Marisa sighed. “I’ll make it up to you. Toni, Anna, and I are going to Twisters tonight. I’ll buy you a drink.”

Hunter gathered up his tray. He liked the ER crowd. They always had fun when they got together off work hours, and he agreed to meet her at Twisters before hitting the clubs.

When his shift was over early that morning, he went back to his apartment and crawled into bed as the day glowed behind the blackout curtains. The end of the week had left him exhausted, and his sleep was blessedly dreamless.

* * * * *

 

On Monday, a little after seven in the morning, Hunter stood in the open ambulance bay as the cold wind between the buildings whipped bits of paper trash and new snow around. A hard blast slapped at his head and pushed a flap of hair into his eyes.

“Should shave my hair off,” Hunter said to Marisa.

His friend was smoking a cigarette despite constant harping from Hunter to stop. She smoked only one or two a day, she said, escaping her husband and kids to step out into their backyard to light up or, like now, at the end of her shift.

“Don’t you dare.” Marisa exhaled a final plume of smoke mixed with the pale steam of her breath. She dropped the butt and ground it out beneath her thick-soled shoe, then picked it up and flicked it unerringly into the bin at the hospital entrance with a smile. They weren’t supposed to smoke on hospital grounds, but it was too dangerous to go off campus and into the neighborhood.

A man pushed through the doors of the ER.

“Here’s our Shawn,” Marisa said in a low voice.

“He’s not ours,” Hunter said blithely. “He’s someone else’s.”

“You didn’t!”

“I did, after you left. He turned me down and told me he was with someone.”

Shawn had dressed for the February weather in a gray hoodie under a black denim jacket and a Red Sox cap. He had a long, loping stride and stood about an inch taller than Hunter. He tipped his face up from under the bill of the cap, caught Hunter’s eye, and smiled.

“The hell he is,” Marisa muttered.

“Hey.” Hunter smiled back because he couldn’t help it. He’d avoided Shawn most of the night shift and planned on going back to an earlier dinner time for the rest of his life. Yet he missed seeing Shawn. The hookup he’d taken to his bed last Friday night and who’d spent the weekend hadn’t made him feel like this. They’d had some laughs, yet Hunter had been relieved when the guy left. Hunter’s heart skipped a beat when Shawn stopped and said hello to Marisa, then turned to him. Something fizzy and sweet bubbled in his veins, tingling under his skin. His heart stopped its aching as if a morphine drip were in that smile.

“You’re angry at me?” Shawn’s pale brows shot up into his forehead.

“Not at all.”

His blue eyes kindled with relief. “You didn’t have dinner break at your usual time.”

“No, I didn’t. I—” Hunter turned to Marisa, but she only smiled, I told you so in her eyes. He made himself look back at Shawn. “I’ll be there tomorrow.”

Shawn’s smile widened. “Okay, good.” He looked up at the sky and the gathering clouds. “Feels like spring will never get here. February must be the longest month of the year.”

“Aren’t you cold? You don’t have a winter jacket?” Marisa scolded.

“Nah, I’m fine.”

Hunter and Marisa watched Shawn walk down K Street. He put his hand on top of his cap to keep the wind from taking it and pushed the other hand into his pocket. As he turned at the corner and out of sight, he left Hunter with the impression he was lonely and cold.

“Chuck’s late. He’s usually waiting for you,” Hunter commented.

Hunter didn’t like to leave until Marisa’s husband arrived with their two small girls to pick her up. She opened her mouth to answer, but three gunshots blasted out into the low hum of traffic.

“Shit,” Hunter said. The shots had come from the same direction Shawn had gone.

 

* * * * *

 

The next installment for Chapter One of “Hitting Black Ice” will be on December 2, 2014 on Kate Lowell’s blog, for the Tuesday Tickle.

Here:  http://thebluntinstrument.wordpress.com/

 

Thanks for having us here today, Kimber! 😀

You’re most welcome, Hel!

 

You can buy “Hitting Black Ice” on December 2, 2014 here:

http://www.loose-id.com/hitting-black-ice.html

 

Happy reading!

Love, Heloise West

 

You can find me here:

velvetpanic2@wordpress.com

http://heloisewest.tumblr.com/

https://www.facebook.com/heloise.west.1

heloisewest @ gmail dot com

 


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