This party's far from over! As we kick off day number two in our weeklong blog hop and birthday bash to celebrate the first birthday of Evernight Publishing, there's more to share and another chance to win.
Before we talk any more about my titles, let's focus on a new book by talented author Avery Flynn - Up A Dry Creek!
Claire Layton expects the usual busy Saturday night at Harvest Bistro to be killer on her stilletto shod feet. She never imagines there’d be an actual murderer on the loose at her restaurant in rural Dry Creek, Nebraska. But when she discovers a customer dead in a dumpster, the killer demands she find the victim’s phone and flash drive or face fatal consequenses.
Jake Warrick, a cocky and mind-numbingly hot private investigator, becomes Claire’s unlikely ally in the search. Jake just wants to solve the case and get out of this hick town, but the diminutive and curvaceous Claire turns his plan upside down as they uncover a more complex crime than they ever imagined. The two bicker and banter like Tracy and Hepburn caught in a whirlwind of intense sexual attraction as they try to find the killer before it’s too late
Up a Dry Creek
By Avery Flynn
Excerpt (Option One)
Jake looked up and caught her staring at him. In an instant, lust burned in his slate blue eyes. Claire’s nerves again cautioned of trouble ahead. But this time, a flash of warmth singed her skin. A throbbing grew between her legs as he stalked toward her, but she didn’t feel like prey. No. For her body, this was a mutual hunt. She wanted to slide her hands through his short, dark hair. Run her tongue across his washboard abs. Trail her fingers down his powerful back and over his hard ass. She couldn’t help it. She couldn’t explain it. She just wanted him. Badly.
The thought jarred her out of her fantasy. He was aggressive and obnoxious. She’d had enough of that type of man with her cheating ex-boyfriend, Brett. The next man in her bed wouldn’t be some alpha male. He’d be caring, understanding and mellow. But man, she was woman enough to admit it would be a plus if he had Jake’s Apollo-worthy bod.
Ugh, stop thinking about tying him to a bed!
She tried to ignore the need barreling through her body and dug her nails into her palms. The sharp pain distracted her from her impure thoughts. She breathed easier. Jutting her chin upwards, she put on her best superior expression, hoping it hid her desire.
“Here’s one of the extra Harvest shirts. It’s all we have.”
She held out the dark crimson T-shirt with the black Harvest logo. It hung from her fingertips into midair. Neither she nor Jake moved. The shirt dangled in front of him like a red flag waved at a bull. The upward curl of his lip said he liked a challenge. A shiver slid down her spine.
When he took the shirt, their fingers brushed and a frisson of awareness shot up her arm. She jerked her hand back.
Jake wriggled his fingers, shook his head and pulled on the T-shirt. Watching the movement of his muscles as they bunched and stretched sucked her into fantasyland again. She forgot her annoyance and imagined wrapping her arms around his broad shoulders as he pushed her naked body against a wall. He’d set a slow and steady rhythm as she enveloped him.
A small groan escaped before she could stop the sound. The quirk of Jake’s eyebrows forced her back to the present. Not that the view disappointed. The size large T-shirt fit tight across his broad shoulders. Against her better judgment, she regretted seeing his unyielding abs hidden away under soft cotton.
“I have to tell you, it’s one of the more direct ways a woman has worked it so that I had to take off my shirt.” He bent his head down toward her. “I didn’t realize you country girls were so forward. Now, I don’t mind you getting me wet, but next time, just ask.”
Biting her lip, she fought the urge, again, to kick him in the shin. God, he was irritating. And enticing. And yummy to look at. And… oh God, this man erased all thoughts except those that involved him naked on her bed.
She flashed him an insincere smile and batted her eyelashes, hoping he wouldn’t notice how her nipples had hardened. As if she’d said the words out loud, his gaze locked in on that exact part of her anatomy. Damn. They actually got harder.
She crossed her arms in front of her breasts. “Oh, I think once was enough. You know us country girls just aren’t used to your big city ways.”
“I could teach you about all things big.” His wicked grin promised she’d learn a lot.
Electricity sparked between them, sank into her skin and settled low in her belly. “I’m sure you’d like to, but I’m not looking for a teacher.”
That silenced him. He dragged his gaze from her toes to her eyes in slow motion. His hot perusal burned her skin as it traveled up her body, lingering on her breasts before stopping at her lips. A wolfish leer lit his face.
“I’m more than willing to be a student, if that’s what you’d prefer,” his voice rumbled.
Suzie squeaked and slapped her hand over her mouth. Fire burned Claire’s face as another flush spread up her body. God, she hated her lack of control. Time to end this conversation before she ripped off his shirt and had her wicked way with him.
“Don’t worry about bringing back the shirt. Think of it as Dry Creek’s goodbye gift to you.” She waved her fingers in a dismissive goodbye. “Have a safe drive back to Denver.”
“But, I’m not going anywhere.”
How did she know that was coming? And why did the buzzing sensation in her stomach intensify? Annoyed with him and herself, she shot him a black look. “Well, we are in a bar and you know the saying; you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.”
“Are you asking me to go home with you?” There was that smirk again.
Her body screamed yes, but her mouth stayed silent. She leveled her best drop dead look at him. Nothing happened. She’d used ‘The Look’ to make late delivery men and handsy dates shake in the knees. It had never failed her. Until now.
The charged silence lasted another beat or two before Chris broke it. “So what is it you want to know?”
Jake’s gaze hardened and never strayed from Claire. “I want to know how Kendall’s body ended up in the dumpster.
Next stop on Avery's Up A Dry Creek Tour is here:
Congrats to the first winner - Elaine. An email was sent your way!
Here's some more back story for my Love Covenant series:
When I started to write Love Tattoo, I had just a few images in my mind. One was the notion that long distance over the road truck driving would be an excellent occupation for a vampire, an idea that occurred to me very late one night when I noticed that most of the other vehicles on the road were big rigs. Since most rigs have their own sleeper compartments, it seemed ideal – a vamp could pull over to sleep away the daylight hours anywhere.
Since I write romance, I knew that a vampire character would be nothing without a love interest and before long, the muse handed me a smart mouthed, sassy, but often sweet Texas gal named Cara Riley. Cara hails from the little town of Rusk in the East Texas piney woods, a place that I like enough to return again and again. There’s also an old personal and partially family connection to that part of the Lone Star State. As Cara began to develop in my head, the idea of just who this vampire would be began to swirl from vague thoughts into one man, Will Brennan.
Before long, I wrote that first scene where they meet at a lonely rest area along I-40 and Will seemed to spring from my imagination into creation. Will is Irish, a major part of my own heritage and something that I like in a male hero. He’s dark as both night and sin, perfect for a vampire but he’s sweet too. He exudes charm and sensuality while quoting Shakespeare and the occasional other poet and when he hears Cara – did I mention she’s a singer by trade – singing, she captures both his attention and his heart.
When it came to setting, Memphis came to mind because I adore Memphis. It’s one of my favorite cities on earth because it has a unique personality. Memphis is also a place where a lot happens at night, again ideal for a vampire and his companion. I couldn’t think of a better location to prowl and play than Memphis so that’s where Will lives and that’s where they go to get better acquainted.
When I finished Love Tattoo, submitted it, received a contract, and went through edits, I thought that the story was complete, a sweet and sensual tale about two people falling in love and dealing with the paranormal element. I was wrong. Just after we completed the final edits, my Evernight Publishing editor, Caitlin Ray, suggested that there might be other tales for Cara to tell. At first I thought “no way” but it didn’t take long for me to spin another story about this couple that continued the story. It soon became the start of my Love Covenant series. Love Scars followed and taught Cara a lesson that happily ever after doesn’t come easy, not even for the undead. In book two, she and Will must face Sallie Hawkins, the English vampire who changed Will from a simple highway into a sexy vampire. Since Sallie’s out for blood, things get ugly and even deadly. But Sallie reveals one important fact – she also made Will’s favorite brother, Seamus, into a vampire and so he still exists.
Love Knots begins as Will and Cara pick up the shattered pieces of their life and then go out to see if they can’t find Will’s younger brother. Their cross country trek serves to deepen their relationship and in the end, they find what they seek. The only question is whether or not Seamus is a vampire with a heart or if he’s gone rogue.
There will be three more books – I was just offered a contract for book four, Love Shadows. Now that Seamus is part of the family, Will and Cara drift between Memphis and Branson where Seamus has a theater. Cara gets on stage and loves singing but she attracts unwanted attention from a very wicked vampire, Henri. His long history is ugly and there doesn’t seem to be a good way to lose him. The last two books will be Love Echoes and Love Legacy.
Today's question is where in Ireland did Will and Seamus call home when they were still mortal - winner will receive a PDF of any of the Love Covenant books now available. Just be sure to leave a comment with name and e-mail!
Come back tomorrow for more - on Tuesday I'm part of Tuesday Tales and we'll share a long excerpt!