Accepting the Fall: Out Now!

Accepting-the-Fall-iBooksBuy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Length: 61,000 words
Blurb
Confronting the past is never easy.

Cole Whitaker is happy. He has the job and boyfriend he always wanted. His heart’s in no danger of being broken, and he can’t ask for more from life. As a kindergarten teacher, he sees it all; however, one troublesome student has him reaching out to the parent, wanting to help. There’s something about Savanah that tugs at his heartstrings.

He never expected her father.

Zander Brooks hasn’t had an easy life, and he’s made some mistakes. Freshly retired from the military and working as a firefighter, Zander thought he’d left Cole in the rearview mirror. He’s not expecting him to appear in St. Petersburg, Florida, of all places, teaching his daughter’s kindergarten class. Suddenly, his biggest mistake is being shoved in his face.

This is Zander’s chance to close a door he’d never fully shut, but time with his former flame might change his mind.

 

Snippet Saturday

At the end of the day, when the children had fled the room in favor of waiting for their parents to pick them up or catching the bus, Savanah still sat at her desk. She didn’t look as if she planned on moving anytime soon. Her pointy chin was propped up by her palm, and every few seconds she sighed loudly.

Cole gingerly sat himself in the chair at the desk beside hers. His legs wouldn’t fit under, so he had to twist sideways. Savanah’s workbook was still open on her desk, and her pencil was beneath her chair. He rolled it closer with his foot and bent to retrieve it. “Is something wrong, Savanah?” She didn’t thank him for returning the pencil to the groove in the desk.

“No.” She kicked her foot into the leg of the chair and nudged her pencil off the desk at the same time.

Cole was starting to sAccepting-the-Fall-iBooksuspect Savanah’s favorite word was no. He left the pencil for now. “How come you’re not at parent pick-up?”

She dropped her chin to the desk hard, causing Cole to wince. It couldn’t have felt good, even if she didn’t so much as blink in discomfort. “Daddy’s coming in,” she said, the words mumbled as she barely moved her lips.

It took Cole a minute to parse that and the sullen expression on her face. “To talk to me?”

Savanah rolled her eyes. “Duh.”

“That’s not how you speak to adults,” he said calmly. Explaining to her that her father was supposed to call and schedule a conference ahead of time wouldn’t change anything, so he didn’t bother. At least he’d finally get to meet and chat with the man responsible for Savanah. “It’s very rude.”

“But adults do it.” She twisted a strand of her black hair around her finger, cutting off circulation and changing the pigment. When she released it, the color came rushing back.

“Your dad tells people ‘duh?’”

She shook her head, dragging her chin over the desk and sending her workbook to join the pencil on the floor. “Mommy did. She liked to yell.”

Cole’s chest did the thing where it felt like it was shrinking, squeezing him too tight. He opened his mouth, not sure exactly what he’d say but knowing he should say something, when someone knocked on the open door. Savanah swiveled to look, resignation flittering across her features. She didn’t appear at all excited. Cole didn’t know what he expected Savanah’s father to look like. He didn’t really have an image in mind as he stood, turning to face the entry.

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Snippet Saturday: Marc’s the Spot

November 2014

For two months, Lucas had been looking forward to this game. They were in Arizona, playing against the Hares, and he had a hot date—win or lose—with the Hares’ red panda goalie, Marc. For someone he’d never taken the time to notice before, he was noticing him now. Couldn’t stop thinking about him, in fact. Lucas had an itch, and no matter who he scratched it with, it wasn’t as good as Marc scratching it.

“I’d like to do this again.”

That was what Marc had said to him after they won Worlds. It was obvious neither of them knew what “this” was, but Lucas wasn’t about to argue. He wasn’t going to fight the undeniable chemistry between them. He’d been around long enough to know he should take what he could get, while he could get it.

And Marc, with his big amber eyes and his twin dimples framing the sexiest mouth Lucas had ever seen, was more than willing to give. Hell, it wasn’t like he got nothing from Lucas either. He could still perfectly picture the look on Marc’s face when he came, his plump, blowjob-swollen lips parted, his cheeks flushed dark, the color spreading to the tips of his ears, down his neck, the way his pupils dilated, black swallowing amber.

It was an image he’d used to get off more than a couple of times since that night.

He’d like to see it again. And again. And again…

He shook his head and pushed all that to the back of his mind. First and foremost, he had a game to get ready for. Everything else came later. Second on the list of his priorities. The first of which was to win.

Jake Cullen, Cully as he was known to his teammates, shouldered him, knocking Lucas lightly into the boards. “Spaced out, much?” he asked. “I said your name three times. You missed my spin-o-rama.”

Lucas grinned, mentally shrugging off everything that wasn’t here and now related. “Got bored watching you is all,” he said. He laughed and skated away before Cully could retaliate. The wolf shifter had been working hard on his fancy moves, and the best the team could figure was he was trying to impress someone. Wolves got weird when they were looking for mates.

They were in the middle of game-day practice, trying to get a feel for the foreign rink. They hadn’t played there since last season, and every time seemed different. Probably because the guys on the Hares tended to always be a new mix. Marc, Chandler Kipling, Chris Wentz… those guys were steady for the Hares, but they were a team looking to make it to the playoffs. They’d been trading players a lot, bringing in new blood and trying to acquire veterans with a good reputation. Not that the Aces didn’t do that. All hockey teams did. The sigh of relief that swept through the league when the trade deadline hit was audible worldwide. It was the one thing Lucas hated about the game. And since he was a solitary shifter, he couldn’t imagine how his more pack-oriented teammates felt. He’d had several friends end up on the opposite side of the country thanks to a trade, and it never got easier.

James Bordeaux, a fellow defenseman and the one Lucas was most often paired with, hooked Lucas’s stick from his hands, sending it clattering to the ice as he passed. He tended to be frisky on game days, energy level ramping up. He drove Lucas crazy. But maybe that was because his inner jaguar knew he’d be eating James’s meerkat form in the wild. He doubted it, though. James was the team chirper, constantly egging on anyone that came within hearing range. Knowing better than to encourage him, Lucas picked up his stick and got in line to practice his one-timers.

Practice ended following a few rounds of scrimmaging, and then, once they were cleaned up, they all got on the bus and returned to the hotel for pregame naps—every hockey player’s favorite part of the day. Several of the more pack-oriented shifters filed into the same room, planning on switching forms and conking out together. Lucas’s roommate, Ryan Williams, was a fellow cat shifter. A clouded leopard to be precise.

Neither of them had any desire to cuddle before a game.

They went to their separate beds, Lucas shifting and Ryan stretching out in human form, and they didn’t stir till their obnoxious, loud-as-all-hell alarms started screaming at them. Lucas always felt like a trick was being played on him, and he’d only been asleep for five minutes or so. He wouldn’t put it past his teammates to pull that kind of thing.

Yawning, he arched his back, lazily flicking his tail in the air behind him. He always managed a better stretch in his animal form, all his muscles bunching and flexing in a graceful movement.

Ryan turned off their alarms. “You got a text, bro,” he said sleepily, mouth stretching around the words. “From a Marc.” Lucas swung around in time to see him double take, confusion spreading across his face. “Marc, like Marc Lacroix? The goalie for the Hares? Since when are you two pals?”

Lucas shifted midleap from the bed, landing lightly on two feet instead of four. He held his hand out for the phone. “We played together at Worlds. He’s a nice guy.” Ryan had been there for a short time, but the US team had been disqualified early on. By Team Canada, of course. Marc had shut down a couple of attempts by Ryan.

Pale green eyes gazed at him skeptically, but Ryan handed it over. “Look at you being all friendly and shit,” he said.

Lucas rolled his. “Go get dressed. I don’t want you hogging the bathroom when I need it.”

“Yes, Dad,” snarked Ryan, adding a salute to the words to set the tone. He brought his knees up obnoxiously high as he marched toward the bathroom.

From years of experience, Lucas knew to ignore him. It was a recurring theme with many members of his team. He waited till the bathroom door had been shut to read Marc’s message. Normally I’d say good game, but I want you to lose tonight. So I guess I’m going to wish you a mediocre game.

Unable to hold it back, Lucas smiled and giggled. Which, he never giggled. If anyone caught him doing so, it would ruin his image as the tough guy. He couldn’t have that happening. He didn’t know what it was about Marc that charmed him this way, set him off-balance. He felt twice as ridiculous when it took him ten minutes to come up with a response. Especially when the only thing he could think of was a lame Hope you have a mediocre game too, loser.

Yeah, Lucas knew what he was doing…not.

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Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2nRmbJM
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2nJhZ27
Loose ID: http://bit.ly/2mngpT7
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2nBnkrQ

Marc’s the Spot

MarksTheSpotMarcus “Marc” Lacroix, a red panda shifter, knows who Lucas Grayson is, and up until playing with him during the world cup of hockey, didn’t much care for him. But when he finds out the jaguar shifter with the hot body has a personality to match, he’s a bit blown away. A night of celebration leads the two of them to the bedroom, and they discover that one night might not be enough to finish this thing between them.
Passion grows to love and more than a little kink, and the two make things work despite the obstacles standing in their way. Lucas plays for the Aces and Marc for the Hares, the distance and crazy schedules of a pro-hockey player keeping them apart. Lucas discovers it’s harder to let go of things than he’d thought. When ill-fate strikes, Lucas spirals and Marc has to try and hold them together. It’s one match Marc doesn’t know if he’ll win.

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2nRmbJM
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2nJhZ27
Loose ID: http://bit.ly/2mngpT7
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2nBnkrQ

 

 

 

Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde / Publisher: Loose ID / Length: 62k

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Enter to win a hockey charm necklace from Etsy: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6e97c42a5/

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. (1)

 

 

Sneak Peak Saturday

Marc’s the Spot is the sequel to my anthology short To Arizona, which released last summer. Marc’s the Spot will become available at Loose ID on Tuesday, the 21st of March. To celebrate sharing the cover, I thought it would be fun to share a sneak peak of the novel itself. Enjoy!

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Marc lived in a good-sized block house surrounded by land and no other homes. It was an earthy taupe and had wide bay windows in the front. There was a three-car garage beside the house, and a basketball pole sat on the side of the driveway. The yard was well kept, probably by a lawn service.

Lucas felt ten years younger than he was, showing up at a guy’s house for a hookup. Sneaking behind their teammates’ backs. Not that he’d done this kind of thing ten years ago, because he hadn’t. It’s a little late to be getting so adventurous. He scoffed at himself. He was thinking about things too much.

A sleek black Dodge Charger pulled into the drive as Lucas reached the front door. It parked in the garage nearest the house, and a minute later Marc was walking toward him. His auburn hair was tousled, bouncing as he moved. He still wore his game-day suit. It was a stylish blue three-piece affair, and Lucas’s gaze went right to the gray waistcoat.

The only thing hotter than a waistcoat was suspenders.

Lucas licked his lips and propped himself against the side of the entranceway, waiting.

“Hey,” said Marc as he drew close, voice on the breathy side. His cheeks were already flushed. He stuffed his hands in his pockets, pulled them out, ruffled his hair, and cracked his knuckles. Lucas grinned at the show of nerves, and Marc finally huffed, ducking his head to hide his smile. He moved around Lucas and unlocked the door. “C’mon in. You want water or anything?”

“So polite.” Lucas crowded him against the foyer wall once Marc had locked the door behind them, and then slotted a thigh between Marc’s legs. Marc wrapped his arms around Lucas’s neck, lips parting to release a low gasp.

He nipped at Lucas’s jawline. “There was something we didn’t do last time,” said Marc between sucking kisses to Lucas’s neck. He trapped Lucas’s earlobe between his teeth and gently tugged. Marc rocked his hips in small, aborted movements, dragging the bulge in his pants along the muscled cord of Lucas’s thigh.

It took Lucas a minute to find his words. “Yeah, and what was that?”

Marc played with his hair, running his fingers through it and massaging Lucas’s scalp. It made his eyes go heavy-lidded in pleasure, and his chest rumbled with an animalistic purr, his inner cat preening under the attention just as much as the man.

“Making out,” said Marc, mouth now on Lucas’s cheekbone, pressing barely there kisses.

Lucas thought he heard him wrong. “What?”

Marc bit at Lucas’s bottom lip teasingly. “I want to go lay in bed and make out. Is that okay? I like kissing, and we didn’t really do it at all last time.” He undulated his body against Lucas, hips arching forward. “I’ve been thinking about your mouth since that night.”

He wasn’t alone in those thoughts, though Lucas had been thinking of Marc’s mouth on a much lower body part. He could roll with this. Kissing was something he normally left for relationships, most of his hookups not needing or wanting such intimacy, but then again, he wasn’t normally sleeping with someone ten years younger. He remembered kissing a lot of people when he was in his twenties.

It hadn’t yet lost its spark.

Wrapping his hands around the back of Marc’s thighs, Lucas lifted him, smirking when Marc gasped, legs instinctively going around Lucas’s waist. Marc giggled, his breaths making Lucas’s hair flutter. “Put me down. You’re going to hurt yourself,” said Marc, running his hands over Lucas’s back, exploring his muscles through his thin shirt. “How’re you going to explain throwing your back out to your trainer?”

Lucas growled and ducked his head to bite the join of Marc’s shoulder and neck sharply. “I’m in no danger of throwing my back out,” he assured Marc. Marc wasn’t a lightweight by any means, and Lucas probably couldn’t do this for long, but still. He laved his tongue over the imprint of his teeth. “Now where’s your bedroom?”

Bookmarks and…?

I’ve been wanting to create swag for my readers that I can afford to make and distribute. So far I’ve come up with bookmarks (I’m considering printing, laminating, and mailing them). These can be customized with a readers favorite quote from a particular book or a quote could be chosen randomly. Above is a sample of how they’d be styled. As far as giveaway prizes go, I know this isn’t the fanciest thing, but is it something anyone would be interested in? And does anyone have any ideas for other affordable swag?

Checking it Twice – Release Day!

CheckingItTwiceFS_v1.jpgCloseted professional hockey player Eric Belanger is falling hard for an out-and-proud male model. He’s unable to resist Dorian’s charm and pushing personal boundaries he never thought he’d cross. But Dorian is the kind of guy who deserves someone who isn’t afraid to be himself. Eric’s fears about what coming out will do to his career clash with the future he hopes to build with Dorian. He knows he’ll eventually have to make a choice.

Dorian Carlisle knows better than to date a man who wants to keep him a secret, but there’s something about Eric he can’t ignore. So he’ll take the risk, and it’ll be all right, because this isn’t a forever romance. He’s happy to live in the moment. But somehow, at some point, feelings sneak up on him and he’s not okay anymore. At a breaking point, Dorian must also make a decision. Their time together will either be the start of something wonderful or nothing more than a happy memory.

Cover by Reese Dante / 75k words / Contemporary, sports / 3rd in the Carlisles Series

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Somehow Dorian’s name got tossed into the ring for a winter clothing line spread in some sports magazine, and now he’s on a set in downtown New York City with five big, hulking hockey players. A few of whom are pretty damn hot, and the majority of whom aren’t American. He can admit he’s a sucker for an accent, and it’s a little distracting.

Jackson, his brother, flicks his nose. He stops staring at the tall European guy who’s talking to the tall French Canadian, who has his shirt off and an abdomen that Dorian would pay to be able to lick. He scrunches his face up at his brother, mimicking the judgey look being thrown his way. He can’t believe Jackson took this job. Isn’t it bad enough that he has to work with Denver—his twin—more often than not?

“What was that for?” he asks, gaze already trying to return to the guys. He can’t help it. He’s innately wired to appreciate beautiful things.

“I’m trying to do your makeup, and you’re making it difficult. Stop looking at the toys you can’t touch and look at me.” Jackson grabs his chin and tilts his head just so, wielding eyeliner in his other hand like it’s a weapon.

Dorian pouts, sticking his bottom lip way out. “You don’t know. I could touch them.” In my dreams.

Jackson gives him a stern look, which is ridiculous since he’s a year younger. Dorian should be the one giving the parental stare-downs. “Hands to yourself. Professional athletes are never a good idea. Now open your eyes wide and don’t blink.”

It takes a lot of self-control to not sneak glances at the hockey players while they get dressed and their makeup gets done. And well, he just doesn’t have that control. So he manages a peek or two. The whole process is a lot of clothes coming on and off, muscles flexing, watching stylists run their hands through gorgeous hair. It’s like being in a candy shop and getting told you can’t have anything. So not fair.

Dorian can list on the fingers of one hand the things he knows about sports, and all of it mostly has to do with what the balls look like and the overall purpose of them: score goals. It’s not that he’s not interested—well, okay, he is—but he just doesn’t have the attention span for it. He’s done jobs with plenty of athletes, both male and female, and their sports sound interesting enough when they talk to him about them. It just doesn’t translate to him watching it.

His lack of interest isn’t normally a problem, but athletes are a peculiar lot, and sometimes that makes working with them difficult. They have a hard time understanding the shoot isn’t about them. It’s about the photographer’s vision. The designer’s vision. It’s about serving a purpose. And then there are the times where it’s like they’re speaking a whole other language.

Like now.

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