Teaser Tuesday: The Anti-Cinderella (One Week Out)

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The Anti-Cinderella releases one week from today!

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Nicky turned over my hand and as I watched, my pulse quickening, he pressed his lips into my palm. “I’m honored that I was your first.”

I swallowed over the lump rising in my throat. “You were a hard act to follow. Pity poor Steve Callway, who had to be my second. He didn’t stand a chance.”

“Steve, huh?” Nicky snorted. “Sounds like a loser.”

“No, he was nice,” I protested. “But I was fifteen and not that interested. He took me by surprise, and I hauled off and hit him. So you definitely got the better response when it came to kissing me.”

Nicky tossed back his head, laughing. “You punched a boy who kissed you? Why?”

“Like I said. I was surprised. He didn’t ask me first.” I lifted a shoulder. “The next time, he knew. He asked, and I didn’t hit. It was a much more satisfying experience for both of us.”

“Ky?” He played with my fingers, his touch on the sensitive skin between them making me shiver. “If I kiss you, will you slug me?”

I was very still, almost afraid to move. “You’d have to take your chances and find out, I guess.”

“The first time . . . I didn’t ask permission, did I? But you didn’t hit me the way you did, uh, Steve.”

“No, you didn’t.” I gave the barest shake of my head. “And I didn’t.”

“When I kiss you again, Ky . . . and I plan to do that . . . I won’t ask. I’ll take you by surprise.” A crooked smile curved his mouth. “And I bet you won’t punch me.”

“You’re willing to take that risk?” I smirked. “I’d watch out. I have a mean right hook. Just think how mortifying it would be to have to explain to the press why you have a black eye.”

His gaze never leaving my face, Nicky moved across the space that separated us until he was looming over me, one arm braced on either side.

“I’ll take my chances.” Lowering himself just slightly, he touched his lips to my forehead. “When the time is right—and it’s not going to be tonight, so you can relax—but at the right time, you won’t even think about swinging at me.” He smiled, but his eyes were filled with intense heat. “You won’t be able to think about anything but me. I promise you that.”

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Teaser Tuesday! THE ANTI-CINDERELLA is coming in 2 Weeks!

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The Anti-Cinderella releases TWO weeks from today! And the preorder is wide today–which means you can preorder everywhere. 

I think this calls for a celebratory teaser excerpt! Are you ready  . . . to get royal?

~~~***~~~

When Nicky stopped the car and switched off the lights, I added, “Do you want to come in? Shelby’s home, but I’m sure she’d be, uh, accommodating, too.”

After the briefest hesitation, he shook his head. “I want to, but I’m not going to. Not tonight. My flight leaves very early in the morning, and we have to drive back to Bangor tonight. As much as I’d like to meet your Shelby, it’ll have to wait until next time.”

“She’d probably have a heart attack if you came walking in with me.” I giggled. “She knew I was going out tonight, but I didn’t tell her about you. Not at all.”

Nicky regarded me with surprise. “You never told her you knew me? About our epic first kiss? I’m hurt, Ky. I thought girls shared all those deep, dark secrets with their best friends.”

“They do, and I did, but I never said who it was. I always referred to you as Nicky, the boy next-door in the summers. I never let it slip that your other grandmother is the head of the British Commonwealth.”

“Hmm. I think I like the idea of being Nicky, the boy next door.” He unbuckled his seat belt and turned to face me. “Come here, girl next door, and let me kiss you one more time—for now. Let me give you something to remember until the next time I can kiss you.”

We didn’t have much space to maneuver in the small front seat with the console between us, but I managed to get up on my knees and face Nicky, who tugged me forward until we were face-to-face. When he kissed me this time, it was with a new sense of urgency and a ton of restrained desire.

“If I wasn’t getting on a flight tomorrow, I’d take you inside, and I do what I’ve wanted to do all night.” He trailed his lips over my jaw and down my neck.

“What’s that?” My voice sounded drugged and sluggish.

“I’d find out what you have on beneath that teasing skirt. It’s just short enough to make me think that if you bent far enough, I might get a tempting peek of what I want to see.” He sucked gently at the hollow in my throat where my pulse thrummed erratically. “And of what I’m dying to touch.”

“Would you?” I laughed softly. “If you weren’t leaving tomorrow, I’d peel off this shirt of yours and lay beneath you, just to see the muscles in your arms when you brace yourself over me.”

“Ughhhh.” Nicky closed his eyes, banging his head into the back of the seat. “Damn the office that made my travel arrangements. I wish they’d built in a few more days. And a few more nights.”

Framing Nicky’s face in my two hands, I smiled into his gorgeous blue eyes. “Next time, right? This isn’t all the time we have. There’s going to be a next time.”

He sighed deeply, his answering grin huge. “Yes. Yes, in fact, there will be. I’m going to make that a priority as soon as I’m home and settled. But hearing you say it—knowing you believe it—that’s enough for now. That makes me very happy, Ky.”

I ducked my head, shy now all of a sudden. “Believing it isn’t easy—but I believe in you, Nicky. Don’t make me sorry about that, okay?”

He gazed down at me, all humor gone now. “I won’t. You can trust me, Kyra. I promise.”

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Place Your Bets! When will the royal baby be born?

 

The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting baby #3 any day now. Hopes that the newest royal would make his or her appearance on the Queen’s 92nd birthday were dashed yesterday when the day came and went with no hospital visits . . . so all bets are still ON!

Comment below with your prediction for:

–Date of birth

–Sex of baby (Prince or Princess!)

–Name of baby

This contest will ONLY go on until all the details have been announced, so hurry up and enter now! The commenter who comes the closest to being accurate (date of birth is first priority, others are tie-breakers) wins a $10 iBooks or Amazon gift card.

And while you’re waiting . . . jump over and preorder THE ANTI-CINDERELLA, my upcoming release that features an unlikely American woman in a romance with a H O T British prince. Yum!!

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What is a Patreon, and Why Do I have One?

Last month, I had lunch with a good friend who is an author, too–she lives in New England, so we don’t get to see each other as much as I’d like. She was just returning from the San Francisco Uncon, and she had a lot to share with me.

One of the suggestions she had for me, personally, was to consider starting a Patreon page. Since I didn’t know much about it, I did some investigation. You might know that centuries ago, in Venice and Rome and other settings of classical art and literature, rich patrons would sponsor artists who otherwise might not have been able to survive on what they were earning through their art. This was a wonderful way for the patrons to be part of the creative process, even if they themselves weren’t gifted to create in a particular way.

Patreon operates under the same principle. For those of us who struggle to make ends meet on the money earned by our art, it’s a constant battle between creating and worry. Patreon allows us to offer incentives to supporters who will agree to pledge a certain monthly amount.

And so . . . I have a Patreon page. It’s brand new, having just launched on April 1st. I hope you’ll check it out; I’m pretty excited about the concept. My hope is that I can garner enough support to give me a little breathing room during those months when sales flounder or when I need to beef up my advertisement a bit (read: advertise at ALL).

I didn’t do this lightly. Newsflash: I HATE asking people for money. Hate it. Truth to tell, if I could live without food, a home and internet, I’d write my books and give them away. But I can’t live without those things, nor can my family. So I’m swallowing a shit-load of pride and asking people who CAN afford it to consider supporting the arts and the artist.

I am fully aware that artists are not the only people who struggle with a month that is longer than our paychecks or bank accounts allow. So I don’t expect everyone to jump onto this bandwagon. But I would love it if people who can’t support could SHARE so that perhaps others might consider joining.

I’ve modeled the levels of support on the basis of romance, so there’s First Love ($3), Going Steady ($5), Time for a Ring ($25), Wedding Bells ($50), Golden Anniversary ($100), Always and Forever ($500). Each level has its own set of rewards.

Please DO jump over there and look at the page . . . and consider supporting and/or sharing. Both are appreciated.

Support the Arts Here!

 

Teaser Tuesday: JUST ROLL WITH IT

Every year, I release a book on my birthday. It’s my gift to me, a reminder that I’m so blessed to be in this business, to have the freedom to write and publish.

This year, my birthday release book is JUST ROLL WITH IT. This is the fourth book in the Perfect Dish Romances, and it’s been a while since book #3 came out (at the end of 2013). Since that time, I’ve had readers emailing and messaging me about when we’d get Amanda and Vincent’s story.

Well, here it is.

Sometimes, the best-laid plans don’t work out the way you expect.

When law school student Amanda Simmons shows up at her friends’ engagement party, she’s not expecting to indulge in a wild one-night stand with the bride’s older brother. On the other hand, Vincent DiMartino is smart, sexy—and safe. He doesn’t want more than a quick hook-up, either. 

Or so she thinks. 

Vincent isn’t interested in long-term, and he has no desire for a serious relationship. His job as a pastry chef in his family’s restaurant demands all of his time and attention. His night with Amanda is supposed to be just that—one night. But he doesn’t bargain for how much he enjoys her sense of humor, her intelligence and her sass . . . not to mention her unrepentant sensuality. 

Now that he realizes he wants more than just her body, can Vincent persuade Amanda to take a chance on him? Will she risk her heart on the man who was only supposed to be a fling? 

Sometimes plans go awry. And sometimes, you just have to roll with it.

Enjoy this sneak peek and preorder JUST ROLL WITH IT so you’ll have it by April 7th!

***

I’d been surprised at how much fun Vincent could be—and fun was something that had been missing from my life for a long time. As we’d anticipated, time together was hard to find. Both of our lives were insanely busy, between his demanding hours at the restaurant and my classes and job at the law firm. We were two driven people, and we lived an hour and a half from each other. This situation was not optimal, to say the least.

For the first few weeks after the wedding, I’d been a little anxious, worrying that he’d have regrets about us. I spent many a long evening, expecting him to call to tell me he’d changed his mind. But it didn’t happen.

What did happen was more shocking. He texted me—not all the time, but at least once a day, and often enough that I knew he was thinking of me. It was sweet, and each time I saw his name, my heart sped up a little in anticipation.

That was dangerous, and I tried not to think about it too deeply.

The holidays had also played a part in keeping us apart at first. The week after Ava and Liam’s wedding had been Christmas, which I’d spent at home with my parents at my childhood home in central New Jersey, outside Trenton, while Vincent was with his family in South Jersey. He’d texted me in the morning to say merry Christmas, and that night, when I was in bed, he’d called.

“I didn’t get you a Christmas gift.” Vincent opened, as he so often did, with no preamble or lead-in.

I gave a half snort. “Okay. Well, don’t feel bad. I didn’t get you one either. Full disclosure: I figured I could shop the after Christmas sales, since I don’t know when we’ll be together to celebrate.”

“Yeah, well, the thing is . . . I don’t need anything, and I have no fucking clue what I’d buy for you that would mean a damn to you. But I had an idea. Let’s start a new tradition, just you and me. Instead of gifts, let’s exchange holiday orgasms.”

I laughed until I couldn’t breathe. “Oh, Vincent. Only you. All right, so just how are we going to make this happen? Is this another IOU? I think I might be getting in over my head here on what I owe you.”

“No, I think the thing about the holiday orgasm is that it has to happen on the actual holiday. Since we’re not in the same zip code right now, we’ll have to improvise. How do you feel about phone sex?”

My cheeks were warm, which was ridiculous, because no one else was in the room or on the line; only Vincent could hear me. “I haven’t thought about it much one way or the other. If you want the truth, I’ve never done it. Phone sex, I mean.” I paused. “Or holiday orgasms, either.”

“For real? God, baby, sometimes I think you’ve been way too sheltered. Time for us to take care of that.”

“Vincent.” I felt a thrill of wickedness, alarm with a little trepidation. “I’m at home. At my parents’ house, I mean. In my bedroom from when I was a kid.”

“Uh huh. And?”

“What if someone hears me?”

He chuckled softly. “Just keep your voice down. And if you feel like you’re going to scream out my name in ecstasy, grab a pillow to put over your mouth.”

“Vincent . . .”

“Amanda,” he teased. “Come on. I miss you. If I can’t be with you today, this is the next best thing.”

“Okay.” I sighed. “Fine. So how do we begin? Do I just start moaning? Oooooh, Vincent, do me, baby. That’s it . . . right there.”

“We’re having phone sex, not shooting a low-budget porno.” I could practically hear him shaking his head at me. “First things first. What are you wearing?”

I glanced down. “My Christmas pajamas, of course. They’re red, with little Santa kittens all over them.”

“Cute. Take a picture for me?”

I only hesitated a minute. “Hold on.” Lifting up the phone, I swiped for the camera and turned it on selfie mode before I made a face, sticking out my tongue and crossing my eyes. Giggling a little, I hit send.

I heard Vincent’s answering laugh. “Yeah, those are adorable. So are you. But if you’re going to stick that tongue out, I’m going to make you put it to good use.”

“Oh, really? Tell me more.” I snuggled down.

“I plan to do just that. First, though, I need you to unbutton those PJ’s. Doesn’t have to be all the way—just enough that you can get to those sweet tits of yours.”

“You really have a thing for boobs, don’t you?” I remarked as I unbuttoned my top.

“I have a thing for your boobs,” he countered. “They’re pretty damn perfect, babe. Now, are you ready?”

***

Are YOU ready? You can be, if you preorder JUST ROLL WITH IT right now!

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