Always Cambridge

Always Cambridge
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Monday, 29 July 2013

Dead Man's Hand - Luke Murphy @AuthorLMurphy


Today I have a real treat; former professional hockey player turned mystery crime-thriller suspense author Luke Murphy. A busy man, Luke juggles teaching, tutoring, being the dad to three girls and a budding writing career. But with all that said, he is a man who has his priorities straight. His debut novel Dead Man's Hand is garnering fantastic reviews. Check him out...


What was your favourite book as a child/teenager?

I was always an avid reader. My first books were the Hardy Boys titles, so they are the reason I love mysteries. As an adult, some of my favorite authors are Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly and Greg Iles, so naturally I write what I love to read – mystery/suspense/thriller novels.


Who was the first author or what was the first book you read that introduced you to the genre that you most enjoy writing in?

“Kiss the Girls” by James Patterson was the first adult crime-book I ever read, and I fell in love with the genres. I read a lot of James Patterson in the late 90’s. Probably my favorite crime book to date is “The Poet” by Michael Connelly.


Do you believe in love at first sight? And if so have you ever been so afflicted? Did you do anything about it? (Did you go for it?)

I do and I don’t, or at least I thought I did when I was young. I met a girl in College in 1995 during my freshman year and I was immediately smitten. I chased her for four years (although I had girlfriends during that time, I always thought she was the one and I just had to bide my time) and we finally started dating in 1999. It only lasted about eight months before I graduated and moved on. But at the time, I thought she was the girl of my dreams and I would have changed my plans for her had she asked.


Is there a particular word you overuse or writing technique that your editor(s) ride you about?

Dead Man’s Hand is my debut. I remember when I signed my publishing contract with Imajin Books. The first time my manuscript was sent back by their first editor, this was the specific quote: “Don’t overuse –ly adverbs”. I was told to check throughout the book for –ly words and cut or find a better verb whenever possible.


Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? (Or do you even believe in it?) If so, how were you able to overcome it?

I have never suffered from writers block, or I should say that I have never been affected by it. Since writing is not my full time job (I’m a teacher, tutor, husband and father), it’s more of a hobby for me. If I’m ever sitting at the computer and drawing a blank, I just get up, shut off the computer, and walk away…live to fight another day. If the next day the same thing happens, then I walk away again. For this reason, I never give myself deadlines or WIP challenges.

For me, the most difficult thing about writing has nothing to do with actual writing (ideas, flow, writer`s block, etc.), but it`s finding the time.

Between teaching and tutoring, with three small children at home, finding the time to sit down at a computer and have serious, quality writing time is almost impossible.

But I love my girls and spending quality time with them is a great feeling. I wouldn’t give up my games of ring-around-the-rosie and duck-duck-goose for anything in the world. It just puts writing my next novel a little behind.


If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

Because of my professional hockey career, I’ve been fortunate enough to live all over North America. I think the most fun I had was living in Georgia. Maybe because I’m from a small, rural town in Canada, I just fell in love with the Georgia weather (sunny winters) and southern hospitality. It had a small town feeling in a big city location.


If you could bring one of your own characters to life, who would it be and why?

Without a doubt, Calvin Watters.

A 6’5”, 220 pound African-American Vegas leg-breaker.

Watters faces racial prejudice with calmness similar to that of Walter Mosley’s character Easy Rawlins. But Watters’ past as an athlete and enforcer will remind other readers of (Jack) Reacher of the Lee Childs series. The Stuart Woods novel Choke, about a tennis player who, like Watters, suffered greatly from a dramatic loss that was a failure of his psyche, is also an inspiration for Dead Man’s Hand.

When thinking about creating the main character for my story, I wanted someone “REAL”. Someone readers could relate to. Although it is a work of fiction, my goal was to create a character who readers could make a real connection with.

Physically, keeping in mind Watters’ past as an NCAA football standout and his current occupation as a Vegas debt-collector, I thought “intimidating”, and put together a mix of characteristics that make Watters appear scary (dreadlocks and patchy facial hair), but also able to blend in with those of the social elite. Although he is in astounding physical condition, handsome and well-toned, he does have a physical disability that limits his capabilities.

He’s proud, confident bordering on cocky, mean and tough, but I also gave him a softer side that readers, especially women, will be more comfortable rooting for. After his humiliating downfall he is stuck at the bottom for a while, but trying hard to work his way back up.

He has weaknesses and he has made poor choices. He has regrets, but Watters has the opportunity to redeem himself. Not everyone gets a second chance in life, and he realizes how fortunate he is.

Calvin Watters is definitely worth rooting for.


What are you reading right now?

Blood Memory by Greg Iles. He’s one of my faves.


When you read, do you prefer a stand-alone or a series?

I don’t think I have a preference. I’ve read series books that I’ve loved and I’ve also read stand-alones that were great. So I seriously don’t have a preference. But it is fun to find a character that you make a connection with and are able to follow him/her through multiple adventures.


If you were to do a reality show, which one would it be?

I HATE reality shows. My wife enjoys them and I will sit beside her and aggravate her, yelling obscenities at the TV at how unbelievably brutal they are. I call them un-reality TV shows and I think they are a waste of time and an insult to the intelligence of the American people.


What is the craziest, most exciting, or most dangerous thing you’ve ever done?

I’m not exactly a risk-taker or danger hunter. But when my wife and I first started dating and I wanted to impress her, we went white water rafting without an actual tour guide. I put on a pretty good front at being the tough, brave man and made it through. But there were times when I felt like we were going over, and I was grabbing the side ropes for dear life.


Name a celebrity, athlete, musician, etc. you’d most like to get naughty with.

My wife and I actually used to have a list of celebs that we would give each other a “pass” for (like we were ever going to meet them), but those names probably aren’t relevant anymore. I think today, I would have to say that Natalie Portman is tops on my list. She is beautiful and I find her extremely sexy.


What is your favourite way to promote or connect with fans?

I know that the ebook and technology era has taken over the publishing industry, but I still love my book signings. I love meeting people face to face, making that personal connection and receiving their feedback. With social media, I’d have to say the Twitter has been my number one source for meeting new people and spreading the word on my writing.


Favourite movie?

For Love of the Game. My wife and I were on a Kevin Costner kick back in the early 2000’s, hence our pug named “Costner”.


Dream Vacation?

Hawaii. I have never been anywhere for a vacation and my first time will be my sister-in-law’s wedding in Punta Cana in 2015. But I think my dream vacation would be in Hawaii. 


Dream Car?

Porsche – Boxter S 


Favourite Ice Cream Flavour?

Heavenly Hash


What can readers look forward to next?

I would love to write another book. Right now, I have a full time job (teaching), a part-time tutoring job, and three small children (all girls, YIKES!!). I`m too busy playing ring-around-the-rosie and duck-duck-goose to write. I don`t have much time to write, but when I get a chance, I do all I can. It could take some time, but eventually I would love to write a series of novels, featuring Calvin Watters. But I will not limit my novels to Calvin Watters, as I would like to write a different series of novels, all in the crime-thriller genres. I’m currently working on a new crime novel, but my wife and I just had our third child, so the process has been stalled and is going quite slowly.


Please tell us about your newest release and the inspiration behind it.

Dead Man’s Hand is an International bestselling crime-thriller set in the seedy, underbelly of Las Vegas.

What happens when the deck is stacked against you…

From NFL rising-star prospect to wanted fugitive, Calvin Watters is a sadistic African-American Las Vegas debt-collector framed by a murderer who, like the Vegas Police, finds him to be the perfect fall-guy.

…and the cards don't fall your way?

When the brutal slaying of a prominent casino owner is followed by the murder of a well-known bookie, Detective Dale Dayton is thrown into the middle of a highly political case and leads the largest homicide investigation in Vegas in the last twelve years.

What if you're dealt a Dead Man's Hand?

Against his superiors and better judgment, Dayton is willing to give Calvin one last chance. To redeem himself, Calvin must prove his innocence by finding the real killer, while avoiding the LVMPD, as well as protect the woman he loves from a professional assassin hired to silence them.

As for inspirations, I never thought much about writing when I was growing up.
But I was always an avid reader, which I owe to my mother. She was a librarian, and although I lost her when I was young, I will always remember a stack on Danielle Steele books on her bedside table, and a lot of books lying around the house at my disposal.

My first chapter books were the Hardy Boys titles, so they are the reason I love mysteries. As an adult, some of my favorite authors are Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly and Greg Iles, so naturally I write what I love to read – mystery/suspense novels. DEAD MAN`S HAND has been compared to James Patterson books, which to me is an honour. Maybe in style (short chapters, a quick read), as I have read many of his books.

Plot: I get my ideas from stories I hear about, whether through reading (newspapers, magazines, etc.), what I hear (radio) or what I see (TV, movies, internet, etc.). The plot is completely fictional. I wouldn`t say that one thing or person influences my writing, but a variety of my life experiences all have led to my passion in the written word. There is not a single moment in time when this idea came to be, but circumstances over the years that led to this story: my hockey injuries, frequent visits to Las Vegas, my love of football, crime books and movies. Dead Man’s Hand became real from mixing these events, taking advantage of experts in their field, and adding my wild imagination. The internet also provides a wealth of information, available at our fingertips with a click of the mouse.

Setting: I usually set my stories in cities I`ve visited and fell in love with. Las Vegas was the perfect backdrop for this story, glitz and glamour as well as an untapped underground.

Characters: I have never been involved in a homicide investigation, LOL. Although I am not a 6’5”, 220 pound African-American, I’ve used much of my athletic background when creating my protagonist Calvin Watters. Watters past as an athlete, and his emotional rollercoaster brought on by injuries were drawn from my experiences. His mother died of cancer when he was young, as mine was. There are certainly elements of myself in Calvin, but overall, this is a work of fiction. I did not base the characters or plot on any real people or events. Any familiarities are strictly coincidence.

Prologue

At exactly 6:15 p.m. on a Sunday, Calvin Watters parked his rusted Ford Taurus across the street from a vacant house. Climbing out, he put on a pair of sunglasses and scanned the neighborhood for any movement or potential hazards.

He moved to the back of the car and opened the dented trunk. It creaked in the still night as it slowly swung up. He pulled out a worn black leather case and slid it under his vest. Then he closed the trunk and headed for the door.

He'd been using the rundown house in the red-light district of Las Vegas as his workshop for three years. It suited his purpose. No interruptions, no inquisitive neighbors. Even the local police avoided the area.

He checked the perimeter again. At six-five and 220 pounds, a black man like him just didn't go unnoticed in Las Vegas.

The street was silent as he approached the house. Weeds sprang from cracks in the sidewalk and shattered liquor bottles blocked the entrance. The barred windows were broken and the screen door had been ripped off its hinges. His sense of smell no longer reacted to the stench of urine and vomit.

Calvin surveyed the area one last time. Extreme caution was one of the reasons he had succeeded in the business for so long. His habits had kept him alive.

His arms were tattooed and gold chains dangled lazily around his thick, muscular neck as he trudged his way up the walk.

Even though he was the best in the business and had once enjoyed the adrenaline rush that came with the trade, the next part of the job now made his skin crawl. He didn’t know if he could last on the job long enough to save enough to get away. That uncertainty made his life even harder.

He unlocked the door, stepped inside and shut it behind him. Heading for the basement, he took a narrow set of wooden stairs that creaked as he descended into darkness. His dreadlocks scraped cobwebs along the rough ceiling. He flicked the switch and a low-watt bulb cast dim light.

The tiny room had almost no furniture. The bare concrete floor was dirty and stained with dried blood. In the middle of the room, a lone wooden chair—double nailed to the floor—was occupied.

"Hello, James," Calvin said, his face expressionless.

James Pierce stared at him through bulging, fear-filled eyes.

"Sorry about the bump on the head, but I couldn't have you conscious when I moved you here."

When Calvin removed the case from his vest, he saw Pierce's pant leg moisten.

"I’m sure you’re wondering why your shoes and socks are off and your pant legs rolled up. We’ll get to that."

He laid the case on a small table, strategically placed next to the chair. "There's only one way out," he said, snapping open the lid. He knew his hostage saw one thing when he looked at him—professionally trained brutality.

He checked his watch. Pierce had been there for four hours. The waiting and anticipation alone were more than most men could handle. They often begged for their lives. It was a very effective method.

He stared at Pierce for a long moment and then turned away, his stomach churning.

Get a grip, Calvin! Hurry up and get it over with before you change your mind.
And lose the reputation he'd spent three years building.

He ripped the duct tape from the man's mouth and pulled out the old rag. "Time for me to collect."

Pierce gasped, breathing in air greedily. "Please, Calvin. I beg you. Don't do this."

"You're a degenerate gambler, James. Your expensive hobby and inability to pay has put you here. You knew the rules. They were laid out well in advance."

"No! Please…"

Calvin tried to block out the man's cries. A sudden dizziness overwhelmed him and he grabbed the chair to steady himself. Finish the job. "You know how this works." He stared at Pierce.

"I promise I'll pay. Just give me one more day. Please."

"You knew the rules. You've already had an extra week, James. You're lucky Mr. Pitt is a forgiving man, more forgiving than I am and is counting that week as only one day late. But if you aren't in his office tomorrow morning with all the money, you'll be seeing me again. Every late day will count as two. And I won't be so nice next time."

"I'll pay." Pierce sobbed.

Calvin heaved a sigh. "Relax. It'll all be over soon."

He leaned over the table and for effect, took his time in opening the leather case and removing the tools of his trade. "One day, one joint."

This was when most of them broke down all the way. And Pierce didn't disappoint him. A scream boiled from the man's belly and erupted like a relentless siren.

Calvin ignored Pierce as best he could. There were 206 bones in the human skeleton. A pro had trained him to use them all.

"Hammer or pipe cutter?"

"God, no!"

"Hammer or pipe cutter?" He threw a punch at Pierce's jaw, sending bloody spit into the air.

"Hammer!" Pierce screamed.

"Finger or toe?"

Pierce squeezed his eyes shut. "Toe."

Calvin stuffed the dirty rag back into the man's mouth. He turned and pressed play on the radio resting on the table, turning the volume up a few notches, careful not to bring attention to the house. The pounding, vibrating beat from Metallica not only drowned out his prey's moans of pain, but the sound took him back to his glory days. He removed a ball-peen hammer from the pouch and moved in on his quarry’s bare feet.

"Toe it is then." 

He got down on one knee and lifted the hammer above his head.
  

Author: Luke Murphy

Title: Dead Man’s Hand

Genre: Crime-thriller, suspense, mystery, police procedural

Publisher: Imajin Books

Release Date: October 20, 2012

Buy Link: http://ow.ly/hd4Xv

Author Website: www.authorlukemurphy.com


Saturday, 27 July 2013

You Found Me #MySexySaturday

This Week My Sexy Saturday belongs to Rose and Niall from my historical romance You Found Me

Blurb: 

Injured, lost and alone, what more could a girl ask for than to be rescued by a roguish Scottish Laird and a proper English Duke?
 

Marcus Sunderland, reared in England, groomed from birth to be the Duke of Carlton, is everything a proper English gentleman should be. Unwaveringly loyal to his liege and childhood playmate Queen Elnor, devoted to his people and his country.
 

Laird Niall Lummisden of Clan Logan in Lomond, Scotland, is everything a roguish Scottish Laird should be. Dedicated to his clan. Friendly, easygoing, born with confident swagger, he is the complete antithesis to his English half-brother Marcus.
 

As the brothers travel to a royal engagement they discover a woman left for dead in the road, beaten beyond recognition. It is decreed by his Queen that Marcus must take the stranger back to his estate to recover from her injuries. The unidentified woman not only survives the vicious attack but, as she begins to heal and communicate, struggling to recall her life before they found her, both men are intrigued and attracted to her.
 

The Duke and the Laird have survived a lifetime of cultural and political
differences, but can the brothers survive her?


Excerpt:

That day she could not seem to keep her eyes from straying to Niall. It was like looking at him with new eyes.

She sat outside watching him chop wood. Her new plaid was so warm she sat surrounded by snow to watch him. The way Niall had wrapped it around left enough material to fashion a hood, but she found herself so overheated that she pushed it from her head. She wondered if it was the plaid or watching him work that was keeping her so warm.

Niall swung his axe and captured her attention again. The muscles in his shoulders bunched and strained against the thin layer of his shirt as he brought the axe down. He stopped to wipe his brow, working up a sweat even in the cold, his breath coming out in white clouds. He leaned the axe against the stump and proceeded to remove his shirt.

In all the months they had been together she had never seen him without his shirt. She knew he was well built by the feel of him, but now, with nothing to obscure the view, Rose drank him in.

Niall took the axe back into his hands, planting his well-muscled legs wide. He swung the blade in one graceful, powerful motion, his biceps bulging and straining as the blade hurtled toward the stump, sending pieces of bark flying.

Niall took a deep breath as he wound up for another blow, his thick powerful chest flexing as the veins in his neck corded with exertion, his abdomen rippling as he moved.
 

Rose noticed and followed the fading tan line around his waistband that disappeared into his snug-fitting trews. Her mouth went dry as she continued to watch him work.




I hope you enjoyed this steamy snippet from You Found Me. Continue hopping and sample excerpts from the fantastic authors in the list below.
Have a Sexy Saturday!


Saturday, 20 July 2013

The Devil Take You #MySexySaturday

This week My Sexy Saturday belongs to Gard Marschand and Braelynn Galbraith and an excerpt from my second historical romance with MuseItUp Publishing, The Devil Take You. 
(and again, for the sake of continuity, the excerpt contains more than 7 paragraphs—but only a couple)

Blurb:

Scotland—1307—During the Scottish Wars of Independence

Gard Marschand will stop at nothing in his pursuit to regain what is lost. Concealing his true identity, he will associate with his enemies, kill his own countrymen, even sell his soul to the devil if all else fails. He will lie, cheat, steal, rape and siege his way across two countries gaining power and reputation in his malevolent wake. His determination all consuming, until King Edward commands Gard to lay siege on Ross-shire holding, where Braelynn Galbraith obliterates his single-minded purpose.

Braelynn Galbraith wants peace for her beloved Scotland, marriage to her childhood sweetheart, Callum, and a house full of children. In that order. But evil incarnate in the form of Gard Marschand, turns her life inside out and destroys all hope of a decent marriage.


Can Gard abandon his deep-seated need of revenge for a love that might just save his soul, or will he succumb to the demons that hound him and surrender to the devil within?

Excerpt: Gard gives Brae a lesson in wielding a dirk for her own protection—especially against him

Brae wrapped her hand around the handle of the dirk aiming for his throat, pausing as she felt resistance from his skin. It was his turn to still.

“Very good,” he murmured wickedly. His dark eyes glittered as he looked up at her from her exposed breasts. She watched as they rose and fell very near his full lips. If she’d gained the upper hand, why did she still feel like he had all the power?

“Are ya willin’ ta use it, Brae? Will ya end my life ta save yer own?” His obsidian orbs glittered with eagerness.

“Ya arena threatenin’ me life.”

“But I am threatenin’ yor person. Ya wouldna survive this, Braelynn. Ye are too delicate ta come back from someone invadin’ yor body wit’ force.”

“Ye have already done evrathin’ but ta me.”

“Tha’s it, be angry. Use yor anger. Draw strength from it.” His eyes glittered again, the black shining like onyx and she knew he was up to something else. He kept his eyes on hers. With his tongue he slowly licked her nipple. Her lips parted as the fear left her and that strange tingle only he could create began again. The nerve endings in her breasts now somehow connected much lower, where his hardness pressed against her firmly. She should be outraged, scandalized by his actions. But the sensations unleashed, unexpectedly good, left her wanting more.

“Stop me, Brae,” he whispered, his warm breath spreading chills over her. To her utter shame her nipple hardened. The tip of his tongue circled it, slow and gentle, his eyes never leaving hers. “Caisg mi,” he repeated before his lips closed around the nub. His eyes closed as he groaned, shifting his body between her legs. If he honestly wanted her to stop him, he should not speak to her in Gaelic for it only added to his draw for her. She dropped the dirk shifting her fingers into his hair. Her body relaxed under him. God forgive her, she didn’t want to stop him.

He laved her flesh, his hand coming to rest on her other breast, as he continued to rock against her. Brae closed her eyes as she let the sensation take her away.



I hope you enjoyed this little taste of The Devil Take You. Continue hopping and sample excerpts from the fantastic authors in the list below.

Have a Sexy Saturday!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Not Choosing is Still a Choice @authordora

Today my guest struggles with the same dilemma I do. Genres. 

But to solve the problem this talented author writes under several different pseudonyms preventing reader genre confusion. 

Please Welcome S. Dora / R.A. Padmos / Ella Laurance... 

Not choosing is still a choice

In real life I’m not exactly what you would call an adventurous woman. My world is small, and I prefer it that way. My hunger for the new and exciting has always been near to non-existent. Does it surprise anyone that I’ve been with the same woman since 1981? I thought not.

So why don’t I, as a writer, pick a genre and stick to it? Just to be on the safe side, you know. It’s simple, really. Allow me to explain. A character pops up in my head, because with me it always starts with a character. That character wants something, has a conflict that needs taking care of, something good or bad happens, anything to get the story going.

But, what does it matter if the main character is a Dutch jobless father of four during the Great Depression, discovering he’s in love with another man, or a billionaire’s wife wanting a sex-filled weekend with her husband and her husband’s personal assistant?

Does anyone seriously think that once I’ve written a sex, sex and more sex m/f/m story, I can’t possibly have the brains or talent to write a psychological study of a man almost frozen in fear and self-hatred? Or looking at it from the other direction, that once I’ve written a serious historically novel about a gay man, by definition I lost all appetite for writing about an independent straight woman with an outspoken taste in sex?

That once I’ve written a novel about a professional football (soccer) player and his lover living with the life changing consequences of anti-gay violence, I can’t write a novella about a single man having lots of kinky sex with a sweet m/m couple and nothing bad happens to any of them? 

As a writer, do I have to choose between BDSM and vanilla? Between male and female? Between straight and gay? Between psychological depth and one-handed-reading? Between well-researched history and silly fun? Between cheap smut and kind of, sort of, almost literature?

If characters look promising, I’ll give their story a chance, no matter if he’s a reluctant Dominant or she’s a freethinking lover of art and men. As for my other considerations…  what other considerations? 

I understand books need to be sold and thus readers need to be able to find out what’s what, and for that reason I use three different names. R.A. Padmos is for my more serious m/m work, S. Dora for my m/m romantic erotica and Ella Laurance for my m/f romantic erotica.  It hopefully prevents confused and disappointed readers, although I have discovered it creates some problems all of their own. (Try doing promotion for three writers, especially when you’re all three, and all three of you are equally introverted)
If you’re curious about my work, you can find links on my blogs:

S. Dora  http://sdora.wordpress.com/
R.A. Padmos  http://rapadmos.wordpress.com/  

(To purchase any of these books, click on the book image)

Saturday, 13 July 2013

A Sexy Snip from 'Now We're Even' #MySexySaturday


This Week My Sexy Saturday belongs to college students Callie Read and Hainsey Bennett from my latest release with eXtasy Books, Now We're Even; A Contemporary BDSM Ertoic Romance (with a warning of Dubious Consent)

Blurb:

Callie takes Don't Get Mad, Get Even to a whole new level

College students Callie Read and Haines Bennett rub each other the wrong way. And that’s the way they like it. But there’s an undercurrent of sexual interest that has their mutual friends betting that it’s only a matter of time before they’re doing it the right way.

But after a typical Friday night partying at the local campus pub, Hainsey takes is upon himself to teach Callie a much needed lesson about teasing the wrong guy. For her own good, of course.

But tying her up while she’s passed out, he takes things a little too far.

The next weekend Callie retaliates, getting even and giving Hainsey some overdue instruction of his own. The proverbial tit for tat.

Can they bury the hatchet and call it even or have they effectively ruined an already precarious relationship with their raunchy one-upmanship?

Excerpt:

Callie woke up, her body burning with need. Illogically, her first thought was of Hainsey. She quickly pushed that aside and turned her brain to Brad. But holy shit, he must have taken a wicked anatomy class in lecture hall this week because he had learned some amazing new techniques. Shirt pulled up, Callie could never remember being this close to orgasm by a guy just pleasuring her breasts before.

Shifting under his weight, wanting to increase the scrumptious heaviness and nearness, she opened her legs as much as she could, then gasped when his rock hard cock settled against her ravenous heat.

The sensation made her moan. She arched into it. “So close,” she murmured, panting, rocking her hips. Brad growled and thrust a little harder while continuing the scrumptious assault on her breasts.

“You want more, Callie?”

“Yes,” she whimpered.

Callie tried to move, needing to get her hands on him. She wanted to take hold of his head and direct him just so, but for some reason she couldn’t budge her arms.

When she opened her eyes and looked around, she wasn’t even sure where she was. This wasn’t Brad’s place or her own. Her immediate thought was freeing her hands so she could move. Turning her head to the side, she realised her wrists were bound by bright white sheets tied around unfamiliar iron bedposts.

Thrashing now, in absolute panic, she cried out in fear. Where the fuck was she, and who the hell was making her burn? Belatedly she looked down to the dark head and the owner of the magic mouth.

“Hainsey!” she screeched in outrage.


 eXtasy Books     Amazon US      Amazon UK     Amazon Canada

I hope you enjoyed this little taste of Now We’re Even. Be sure to visit the fantastic author’s in the list below for more...
Have a Sexy Saturday!


Thursday, 11 July 2013

Welcome C.A. Szarek Author of Collision Force

Please welcome fellow Total-E-Bound author C.A. Szarek who has kindly submitted to an author interview and is sharing a steamy excerpt from her best-selling novel Collision Force Book One in the Crossing Forces series...

C.A. Szarek Author

What was your favourite book as a child/teenager?

I’ve always been an avid reader, so I can’t quite pick just one. I read a lot of fantasy when I was a kid, and I still enjoy it immensely. So, I can pick a favorite author from that time. Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series. I *still* love it to this day and am so glad her son is carrying it on.
  
Who was the first author or what was the first book you read that introduced you to the genre that you most enjoy writing in?

Well, Anne McCaffrey. Fantasy is my first love, and comes easiest for me. But I love romantic suspense and anything police as well. I think I will write any story that occurs to me. 

Do you believe in love at first sight? And if so have you ever been so afflicted? Did you do anything about it? (Did you go for it?)

I’m afraid this is going to sound silly coming from a romance author, but no I don’t believe in love at first sight. Lust, definitely.  And I think that *zinger* moment is necessary in life and books, but its lust, not love. Sure fun to read about, though.

Maybe I would feel differently if it’d happened to me.

Is there a particular word you overuse or writing technique that your editor(s) ride you about?

*laughs* Independent body movements (i.e. “his arms shot around her…) And Dangling Modifiers *facepalm* definitely hard to break from.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? (Or do you even believe in it?) If so, how were you able to overcome it?
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

Yes, I struggle with this sometimes, I am sure every writer does. When you stare at the cursor and it just blinks at you and the words will not come. I hate that. But I usually go over a previous scene and I can usually get back into the flow of things. But I have been stumped for weeks at a time and nothing is more frustrating that that.
  
If you could bring one of your own characters to life, who would it be and why?

Oh, this one is fun! Ummm, Cole Lucas, the FBI hero of Collision Force, hands down. Ummm….cuz he’s HOT. Read it, and you will feel the same way. Promise.

What are you reading right now?

“Vampires Gone Wild” an anthology with stories by Kerrelyn Sparks, Pamela Palmer, Amanda Arista and Kim Falconer. I am loving it.
  
When you read, do you prefer a stand-alone or a series?

I will read anything that looks good, but I love series. LOVE to see characters I love in more than one story, even if they’re not front-and-center in more than one book.

If you were to do a reality show, which one would it be?

Oh, I love to watch it but I would never want to be on it. Unless they made a writer one. Hehehe, would be boring, watching a buncha writers sitting around typing. But, I would so watch it. Or be on it. They could give book contracts as prizes! I am loving this idea. J
  
What is the craziest, most exciting, or most dangerous thing you’ve ever done?

I am a boring writer nerd/computer geek. Two feet on the ground for the most part, so I don’t really have an answer for this one.
  
Name a celebrity, athlete, musician, etc. you’d most like to get naughty with.

Chris O’Donnell. He’s had my heart since I was like 13.
   
What is your favourite way to promote or connect with fans?

I love facebook chats and groups for fan interaction. It’s fun to hear feeback from real readers for answer questions. It blows me away that people love my characters as much as I do.

Favourite movie?

I am addicted to movies and TV so I can’t really pick one. If it looks good, I will watch it.
  
Dream Vacation?

Scotland AND Japan. Someday!
  
Dream Car?

Dodge Challenger and/or 1965 Ford Mustang convertible.

Favourite Ice Cream Flavour?

Chocolate
 
What can readers look forward to next?

Book 2 of my fantasy romance series, Love’s Call (to release late 2013 or early 2014 from Gypsy Shadow Publishing) and book 2 of Crossing Forces, Chance Collision. Also I am working on a few other things, wolf shifters!
  
Please tell us about your newest release.

Collision Force is about a cocky FBI agent, Cole who is forced to work with a female police detective, Andi MacLaren in small town Texas when he follows a human trafficker that got away from him in New York. They don’t like each other much, so the sexual tension is high, and they were fun to write.


Author: C.A. Szarek

Title: Collision Force 

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Total-E-Bound

Release Date: 7/1/13


Author Website: www.caszarek.com

Author Blog: www.caszarekwriter.blogspot.com

Blurb:

Bad boy FBI agent and feisty widowed police detective collide pursuing a human trafficker in small town Texas on their way to true love.

Bad boy, married to his job FBI agent Cole Lucas always gets his man. So when the unthinkable happens and one gets away, Cole grits his teeth and hunts human trafficker Carlo Maldonado all the way to Antioch, Texas, where he collides with Detective Andi MacLaren.

Cole doesn’t do small towns and doesn’t get involved with women he works with, but Andi tempts him in ways he doesn’t want to acknowledge.

Two murders, her partner shot and leading the investigation on her own, the last thing Andi needs is a cocky FBI agent who sees her as no more than a tagalong.

Widow and single mother Andi is used to being on her own. When Cole gets stuck without a place to stay, crashing on her couch puts them in dangerous territory.

Attraction and passion bring Andi to a place she’d left behind when her husband died. Her three-year-old son quickly wiggles his way into Cole’s heart, and he starts contemplating things—family, love—that he’d never planned for himself.

Can being forced to work together make them stronger or will their differences jeopardise their case and their hearts?

Reader Advisory: This book contains references to human trafficking and scenes of kidnap.
 
Excerpt:
“Goodnight, Cole.” Obviously, she didn’t want to talk to him about anything, let alone his overdue apology.
“So, that’s it? Youre not going to accept my apology?”
“Not tonight. I’m tired, and we have a long day tomorrow.” She turned to go.
“Andi, wait.” Why was he calling her back? He could respect that she was still upset with him—she had every right to be. Hed gone a bit overboard with some of the things hed said.
Keeping Cass phone call from her had been unnecessary from the start. He hadnt needed to carry it on in the car after theyd left the warehouse. Itd only served to get her so pissed off at him shed barely uttered a word all day. So much for getting somewhere on the case.
Andi glanced over her shoulder and Cole grabbed her wrist. He yanked her into his arms and covered her mouth with his.
He hadnt intended to kiss her but as her soft, warm lips caressed his, Cole couldnt have changed his mind even if hed wanted to. Her curves hit his chest with enough impact that should have jarred him back into his head, but he was lost and overheated immediately. He wrapped her in a tight embrace and kissed her harder.
She fought him, but his mouth was demanding over hers, and Andi opened for him, melting against him, surrendering to him. She slipped her arms around his neck and Cole bit back a groan. Her taste, sweeter than hed imagined, was like ripe berries. He needed more.
Andi whimpered against his mouth, her tongue dancing with his. His cock stood at attention, straining against his zipper. He moaned as her body melded to his, breasts to chest, hips to hips. Cole had to have her.
As he walked them back towards the couch, she pushed hard against his chest, breaking the kiss and shoving him away from her. They both panted hard.
“Don’t…dont ever do that…again,” she stammered, the gorgeous swell of her breasts lifting and pulling her shirt taut as her chest heaved. He could see peaked nipples. His erection throbbed and he struggled for coherent thought.
Cole dragged his gaze to her face. Blue eyes wide, cheeks rosy, freckles noticeable, her lips swollen from his. Though shed been appealing before, how she stood before him now blew that out of the water. She was gorgeous.
He needed to say something. Anything. Apologise? He wasnt sorry in the least. Speechless just about covered it.
She trembled and rubbed her arm. It took all he was made of not to pull her back to him and kiss her again.
There was no chance to answer. Andi turned on her heel and fled down the hall, slipping into the room farthest away from the living room. She didnt even pause to look at him as she slammed the door.
He winced. What the hell should he make of what had happened? He stared down the hallway for a moment, his heart pounding. Never in his life, not even when he was a teenager, had one kiss stirred him to the point that Andis had. Then shed run from him. His body shook with unfulfilled need.
Cole couldnt blame her, really. No way should he have given in to the urge to kiss her. But he had the sinking suspicion he would have to do it againand more. He wouldnt be able not to. And hell, shed kissed him back.
The voice of reason chided that he didnt get involved with women he worked with, but his cock certainly disagreed. He ignored them both and dragged his hand over his face. The morning would bring complications.
       Cole sighed and glanced at the couch. It looked comfortable, but would he be able to sleep?

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Author Bio: 

 C.A. Szarek is an author of fantasy, paranormal, romantic suspense and the occasional YA. Sword’s Call (King’s Riders Book One) AVAILABLE NOW from Gypsy Shadow Publishing! Collision Force (Crossing Forces Book One) AVAILABLE NOW from Total-E-Bound Publishing!

C.A. is originally from Ohio, but got to Texas as soon as she could. She is married and has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. She works with kids when she’s not writing.
She’s always wanted to be a writer and is overjoyed to share her stories with the world.

Thanks for stopping C.A.