What if you fly – part 12 with guest author J. R. Richardson

What if you fly – part 12 with guest author J. R. Richardson

what_if by Erin Hanson

Please welcome another guest author for the next installment of our serial story, What If You Fly? As always, if you want to read the entire story, it’s available on Wattpad. 

A loud, unexpected laughter rose up and out of me. “I’m sorry, David. I could have sworn you just said, the Cartel.” The result of nervous energy, no doubt.

Even as I said the word, myself, I knew he must be joking. The David I knew, and loved, had never been synonymous with words like Goodfellas or The Mob. More like . . . exceptional. And extremely easy on the eyes.

Oh. Those eyes. Stop staring into his gaze, Liv. That’s where mistakes and regrets reside.

Clearly what I needed was another drink.

No. Not another drink. Stay away from the drinks.

“Where’s the wine again?” I got up to go find it myself.

“Liv,” David followed. ”This isn’t a joke.”

There it is. The bottle he’d opened just a few minutes ago. “No, of course it isn’t. In fact I was just telling my class today that I had to leave early because I had an assassination to conduct.”

I laughed again as I poured a glass of the . . . Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon? To the very top.

“Expensive taste, David.”

The fact that I was holding such an upscale bottle of wine in my hands didn’t stop me from guzzling that bad boy. Not one bit.

“Liv.” He took the glass from my hand once I finished. Then the bottle. “Forget the wine for Christ’s sake.” He set them down. The expression he wore like a suit of armor told me he was being quite serious. The only problem was that my head couldn’t quite wrap itself around what he was saying.

“It’s not nice to tease, David.” I said it quietly, hoping for confirmation that was the case.

“I wouldn’t tease, Liv. Not about this.”

Between the strain in his voice and sincerity of his words, suddenly, I was having doubts about coming here.

“M . . . maybe we should just call it a day.” As he trapped me in his gaze, the instinct to flee was overwhelming. As though I was back in my dream all over again.

“You can’t just go, Liv. That’s the problem.” His phone buzzed and he checked it.

That’s not a. we’re going to have a nice romantic, maybe make out a little more this evening, kind of look.

“Why not?” Panic struck me, inexplicably. And I’m fairly certain I was shaking a tad.

“Mazzie!” he called out and when she appeared at the top of the stairs, he instructed her calmly. “Code fizzypop.”

Her eyes widened but she nodded, obediently. “Okay, Daddy.”

She disappeared again, quickly, and when David’s eyes met mine this time, there was no crinkle at the edges of them, and no smile on his lips. Only worry and dread.

“We have to go.”

“What? I just-”

“Now.” He grabbed my arm and pulled me along with him to the back of the house.

“David, I don’t like this. What’s happening?” My question went unanswered and when he opened the door from his kitchen to lead me out to his garage, a man fell to the floor, limp . . . and lifeless. His eyes were cold, his stare, blank.

“That’s . . .” I pointed at the thick river of red flowing from the back of the man’s head as hysteria set in. Not joking. He’s not joking.  “Real blood,” I whispered.

Whatever his response was, went unheard, as a strong case of vertigo swirled through my head. Then a flash of white. Then nothing.

Fresh New Look for Flirting With Fire

Hello everyone, Kyra here. Wanted to share the beautiful new cover for FLIRTING WITH FIRE, book 2 in my Hometown Heroes romantic suspense collection. The story takes place in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana. What do you think?

Flirting With FireLook, touch, but don’t fall in love.

Massage therapist Liz Williams lives by one rule: never date a client. A rule she’s never had trouble following until she lays hands on fireman playboy Torrunn MacKay. Trouble is, Liz’s sexy new client is dating her arch-rival at work…and has a strange habit of appearing just before the fire alarm sounds.

Firefighter Torrunn MacKay has got it made: killer job, downtown condo with a view, and hot blonde girlfriend with no more desire to tie the knot than he has. But the surprise attraction he feels toward his new masseuse is threatening to change all that. And what’s with the string of fires that seem to follow her everywhere?

Can Liz mind her table manners and keep Torrunn at arms’ length? Will Torrunn put his commitment fears aside to keep Liz safe? More than hearts will be in jeopardy when the two start Flirting with Fire.

CONTENT WARNING: Beware of darkened rooms, delicious firefighters, and desperate pyromaniacs.

Available in Digital and Print

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

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Honorary Chick RHENNA MORGAN

RhennaWe’re having a special KickAss Friday by hosting one of our KAC besties as an Honorary Chick. Please welcome Rhenna Morgan. If you follow us at all, you might’ve seen Rhenna on the KickAss Cam at the RT Convention in May. Love and adore Rhenna. So here’s a little about her then she’ll take it away with our Q&A.

Rhenna Morgan writes for the same reason she reads—to escape reality.

Yes, her life rocks—two beautiful little girls, a great husband, a steady job, and the kind of friends that would take you out back if you hurt her. But, like most women, she’s got obligations stacked tight from dusk to dawn. So, when the world gets her down, she slips into something…less realistic.

Romance is a must. So is a steamy romp (or four). Nothing thrills her more than the fantasy of new, exciting worlds, strong, intuitive men, and the sigh of, “Oh if only that could happen to me.”

So, if you’re picking up one of her books, expect portals into alternate realms and men who’ll fight to keep the women they want. Romantic escape for the women who need it.

What are the top three mistakes authors make in writing and/or submitting their work?

  1. Okay, so try not to laugh/gap/choke on this first one, but you gotta read the instructions. Seriously. You’d be astounded how many folks who want to write for a living don’t take the time to read the instructions given by a publisher or agent before they submit. The same goes for entering contests. If you’re disqualified for failure to follow the rules, then you never get a chance to win a spot in front of that coveted agent or editor.Those “rules” are there for a reason. They need to know if you’ll be able to follow their guidelines when the editing process comes around.
  1. Thinking you don’t have anymore to learn. We’ve always got room to grow. If I really settle in and listen to what’s being shared with me—by my editor, my critique partners, or my readers—then my writing will continue to strengthen.
  1. Rushing to the finish line. Yes, the day your first book goes live ranks right up there with your first car, your first child, and amazing sex. (Did I say that out loud?) However! Even great sex requires certain preparation. Get critique partners and beta readers. Get an editor. Listen when they give you feedback and make your book the best it can be before you send it off for submission and/or publish.

Now for some fun! Rapid Fire Questions:

Oh, goodie! A lightning round! I hope the prize is handsome. Somewhere between Jason Momoa and David Gandy works for me.<Snicker>

Favorite Things:

Dessert, my new Camaro (named Cherry by the 8 year old), and the horde of book boyfriends on my physical and electronic bookshelves.

Pet Peeves:

Passive aggressive types, people who knock the romance genre, and anyone who says, “I’ve been meaning to write a book…”

Addictions:

Um, dessert. Definitely, books. Books are a biggie, for sure. So is wine (but not in a bad way). I’ve also got this weird thing for cases for my electronics and have more pairs of cheapy bookstore readers than I can count. Oh, did I mention dessert?

Kick Ass Superpower:

Okay, so I couldn’t decide if this was my real life superpower, or my “I wish” superpower. Since I can’t admit my real life superpower in a public forum (or without being blotto on wine), I’ll go with “I wish” superpower—Flying. Yep. Pretty much all of the powers my characters from The Eden Series have came straight from my dreams, the most prominent of which was the ability to fly. Of course, I’d still drive my Camaro just for kicks. 🙂

Your best book boyfriend:

Wow. Okay, I had to whip out the electronic book shelves and do some SERIOUS eanie-meanie-miney-mo. And just so you know, this is causing me serious angst. GEEZ! I’m a Libra, people!!!

  • For the night: – Vishous from Lover Unbound by JR Ward.
  • For a dirty weekend:Aleksandr “The Siberian” Sevastyan from Kresley Cole’s The Professional. (Hey, you said dirty. He’s dirty.)
  • To have and to hold: Oh. My. God. I can’t believe you’re going to tie me down to just one!!! Okay..if I must…DaxLahn from Kristen Ashley’s The Golden Dynasty.

Thank you, Rhenna! And to share just a teeny bit more about Ms. Fabulous Morgan, here’s a peek into her fantastic new release, WHAT JANIE WANTS.

what janie wants

EXCERPT: Told in Zade’s Point of View:

The steady swish as Janie rubbed lotion into her legs sounded next to him. A coconut scent carried right behind it. “You said you’re a photographer, right?”

That made two details she’d remembered about him. Either she had an exceptional memory, or Ms. McAlister had given him a thought or two since yesterday. “Yep.”

“So, how could they screw that up?”

Well, this would be interesting. He sat up, planted his feet in the sand, and rested his elbows on his knees. “Because I had a specialty business. One that catered to women. One I busted my balls to make sure came across as tasteful and made them feel good about themselves.”

“What kind of specialty?”

He smiled, poised to catch her reaction as if he had his camera. “Boudoir shots.”

Janie’s hand froze mid forearm and she snapped her head around so hard, a strand of auburn hair tumbled over one eye. “Boudoir?”

“Nothing trashy,” he said. “All tasteful and meant to draw out a woman’s beauty. Usually with the help of their partner or husband.”

She licked her lip and started back up with the lotion, moving up to her shoulders in slower, deeper strokes. Shifting to face front, she focused on her toes and acted like they were chatting up the weather. In a tone a notch lower, she said, “And they screwed it up how?”

“You familiar with Glamour Shots?”

Her sharp laugh rang out across the cove and ricocheted back to them. Her easy smile stretched ear-to-ear, all the awkwardness of seconds ago obliterated. “Oh, Lord. Please tell me they didn’t gaudy up something good?”

“Double gaudy. Cheesy corsets, stilettos, and Photoshop. Everything that flies in the face of what I wanted to give them.”

“Give who?”

“Women.”

Janie’s gaze locked with his and, for a second, he wondered if she was holding her breath. She rolled her lips inward the way women did when trying to smooth out their lipstick, twisted as though looking for something behind her, and flicked the bottle’s top closed.

Her back. She couldn’t reach her back with the lotion. The cut of the swimsuit was low and her barely tanned skin was on display. Talk about divine intervention.

He stood and tugged the bottle from her grip. “Scoot up.”

“Huh?”

“Scoot up.”

Warily, she studied him.

He straddled the lounger behind her and sat.

“What are you doing?”

He squeezed out enough lotion to make damned sure he’d have to rub for a while. “Helping you with your sunscreen.”

“You can’t do that.”

“Why not? Would you rather burn?”

Janie twisted. “But it’s not appropri—”

His hands connected on either side of her spine and her shoulders snapped back. “Easy,” he murmured, curling his thumbs and kneading the back of her neck. “Just relax.”

Bit by bit, her muscles unclenched and her breathing grew choppy.

God, what was it about this woman? Touching her felt like more than just physical contact. There was a foundation to it. A soul-deep connection and communication that made every other intimate moment he’d had with other women seem cheap in comparison.

She let her head fall forward, and a few loose tendrils fell forward with it. A moan of satisfaction vibrated beneath his palm.

Slow and easy, he worked the lotion into her smooth skin. Relaxed movements meant to sooth and entice. He nudged her shoulder straps a little wider apart, and dipped his fingertips under them. “When’s the last time someone touched you, Janie?”

The pool noise faded to nothing, but the soft, peaceful pattern of wind, waves, and birds seemed to thicken and amplify.

A tiny shiver shook her. “A long time.”

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FIND RHENNA:

http://rhennamorgan.com

https://www.facebook.com/RhennaMorgan

https://twitter.com/rhennamorgan (@RhennaMorgan)

http://www.pinterest.com/rhennamorgan/

https://www.goodreads.com/Rhenna

https://plus.google.com/+RhennaMorgan

http://rhennamorgan.tumblr.com

http://amazon.com/author/rhennamorgan

https://instagram.com/rhennamorgan/

Fun, Sexy Friday

Fun, Sexy Friday

YAY! It’s my turn to do Fun Guy Friday, and I’m going to switch it up a bit today. Friend and fellow author, the incredibly talented Rhenna Morgan has just released a contemporary romance called What Janie Wants. And what Janie wants in this book is a smoking hot younger man called Zade. Let me use this slot to introduce you to Zade. Health Warning: He’s a panty melter.

WJW-Teaser2

Such a nice boy.

WJW-Teaser5

And so very considerate.

WJW-Teaser10

Umm, I got nothing here.

WJW-Teaser11

Lucky, lucky Janie.

And this is what Rhenna calls research. I asked her for her inspiration for Zade and got this.

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And this…

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And because she’s thorough, Rhenna sent me this as well.

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And to demonstrate her commitment to research, she also had this…

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I’d like to send a heartfelt thanks to Rhenna for inspiring us all this morning.

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Honorary Chick CORA CARMACK

cora carmackToday, we’re thrilled to have the lovely Cora Carmack as our Honorary KickAss Chick. Cora definitely kicks ASS. She is a multi-published NYT and USA Today bestselling author with her three series–Losing It, Rusk University, and the Muse series. I had the great fortune to meet Cora at the RT Convention book fair last month, and let me just say she is gracious and wonderful in person, even after a long, exhausting week “conferencing” with other book nerds like me. Without further ado, let’s hear what Cora has to say.

What are the top three mistakes authors make in writing and/or submitting their work?

1. Submitting before you’re ready. Finish a book can feel awesome! And there’s this rush of excitement that makes you want to send it out now, now, now! But you know what’s not awesome? Getting rejections. Burning opportunities with awesome agents or publishers because you’ve submitted something that’s not as strong as you can make it.

2. Lack of research— this is a killer both in the writing stage and submitting. There are no shortcuts in writing or publishing. Do the research. Make your work as accurate as you can. And when it comes to submitting— research the agents and publishers. Not just for their likes and submission preferences, but also research whether or not they’re legit. Whether they can really advance your career. I had an ineffective agent at one point in my career, and I wasted a lot of time with her. Now, I have an amazing agent, and I can’t even begin to describe how much better she makes me and the things she’s done for my career. (Suzie Townsend for those interested).

3. As a writer, I’m huge on characters. Your main character should have an objective, a motivation, something they want so desperately that it drives all their actions. And that want, should directly influence the plot of your book. In fact, it should be inseparable. If the plot of your book could play out the same way regardless of what character you drop into the story, then it’s not ready yet. Your character is just a cog in the wheel, a pawn in a story that plays out with or without them. When they should be the central component, the crank that makes the whole mechanism work.

Now for some fun! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite Things: My cat, Katniss. Reeses peanut butter cups. Reading. Tequila. These are a few of my favorite things! 🙂

Pet Peeves: DRAMA. I’m pretty laid back, and let most things just roll off me. I can’t stand the kind of people who have to make everything into a big deal. Who has the time or patience for that?

Addictions: Netflix, Harry Potter, audiobooks, salt (seriously. My blood is probably going to dry up in my veins), traveling, cats, foreign accents, Gordon Ramsay, Twitter, running for my life from Shia LaBeouf (Actual Cannibal Shia LaBeouf). (God, I’m so weird. Sorry I’m not sorry).

Kick Ass Superpower: I can make anything awkward. Is that kick ass? Or sort of unfortunate? OR BOTH?

Your best book boyfriend:

  • For the night: Will from Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren
  • For a dirty weekend: Nate from Samantha Young’s Before Jamaica Lane
  • To have and to hold: Brigan from Fire by Kristin Cashore or Aiden from Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Covenant series

Thank you so much for sharing some awesome advice and your quirky Rapid Fire answers. Loved them! Cora, we share MANY addictions. It’s almost time for my annual, summer HP marathon. Thanks, again. You totally KICK ASS! And readers, don’t forget to check out Cora’s newest release, ALL PLAYED OUT!

FIND CORA:

WEBSITE           AMAZON           GOODREADS           FACEBOOK            TWITTER

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What if You fly – Part 11 with guest author Jami Denise

What if You fly – Part 11 with guest author Jami Denise

Today we have another guest author taking the story and twisting it her way. Please welcome the amazing Jami Denise.

what_if by Erin Hanson

I jackknifed off the bed, startled and panting.

“Just a dream. Holy crap.”

With my hand over my heart, I closed my eyes and tried to gather my wits. Normally, I wasn’t a big drinker, but after the episode earlier that evening, I’d been a basket case. Confused and agitated, I’d spent the remainder of my evening alone with a bottle of five dollar wine and a box of stale donuts.

It was all too real. The light, the way David looked at me as I slipped through the night and away into nothing locked into my mind like an anchor. A dream like that had to be due to the freaking wine.

Who dreams about aliens for crying out loud?

A deep breath and a few scrubs over my eyes and I stumbled out of bed and in search of coffee and aspirin.

“I’m never drinking again,” I grumbled to myself.

Dinner had been interesting—if not completely awkward. I wasn’t sure what he was up to, but he was pushing his agenda fairly hard. There was something off about him, however. He seemed agitated and nervous, looking over his shoulder and tapping his fingers against the table.

Other than that, he’d been charming and fun, but the more time I spent with him, the more I realized he hadn’t changed much. That hurt. Stuffing away feelings for so many years left me bitter and jaded and after an hour with him and Mazie, my padding fell away just enough to invite the memories.

When I reached the kitchen, I went straight for the coffee maker and shoveled a few spoonfuls into the filter and filled the tank with water. I didn’t even want to think about it anymore—at least not until I was full of caffeine.

Work was about the last place I wanted to be, but at the very least, I’d be too busy to think about David and the fact that I’d agreed to have dinner with him again. Alone.

Twelve hours later, I pulled up in front of David’s house, worse for the wear after a long day of dealing with children and nursing a hell of a headache. So many times I’d considered cancelling, but a part of me was curious to find out what he wanted to talk about.

He’d been elusive when I asked straight out what was going on, but after the dream and the strange hints he’d dropped at the diner, I was ready to find out what the hell was going on. Not only that, I wanted to finally get our past out of the way once and for all. I was sick of living in my self-imposed limbo. Closure was the only way I’d ever be free of David Ray.

Mazie met me at the door, smiling as wide and bright as the horizon and wearing the cutest little green dress I’d ever seen.

I had to admit—I adored Mazie. Hard not to. There was something special about her, and it outweighed the heaviness in my heart that came with her father. When David came back to town and I found out about Mazie, I admit—I was resentful. How could I not be? She was part of a future I had no part in, a future I thought would be mine.

Her tiny ringlets were pulled into one high ponytail at the crown of her head and I’d never seen a child more adorable in my life.

“Mazie, don’t you look pretty. That’s a very fancy dress.”

Smiling, she held the corners of her skirt and swayed back and forth. “It’s only for special occasions. Daddy said I could dress up since you were coming to dinner.”

Her smile was contagious and when her father walked up behind her, looking like he’d just stepped out of a photo shoot for some high priced cologne, I nearly lost my footing.

Would I ever get used to how attractive he was? Probably not, but I had to keep my distance, and hold on to my composure. Nothing could happen between us, for many reasons. The more I reminded myself, the more I wanted to say to hell with it all.

“Liv, glad you came.”

The corners of his eyes crinkled when he smile, which I loved. Truth was, men really had it easy. The older they got, the most handsome they became, and he was no exception. My gaze traveled over him, and once again my eyes were drawn to the way his shirt fit across his shoulders like silk on glass.

“Dinner is almost ready. Drink?”

I nodded and handed him my coat. “Yes, please.”

What I didn’t say was that a little hair of the dog paired with some liquid courage was exactly what I needed. The way he smiled at me told me he knew exactly what I was thinking.

When I drove up to his house, I was shocked. He’d obviously done very well for himself. No surprise there. He’d always been driven, even at a very young age. I’d always had the impression that his father had a lot to do with his ambitions, however.

After fixing me a drink, he sat next to me on the sofa while Mazie went up to her room with her Nanny.

“David, what’s going on?”

He ran his hand through his hair and stared down at the glass in his hand. He looked pensive, irritated. Tired.

“Liv, we’re in danger.”

I barked out a laugh. “What are you talking about? You’re freaking me out. After all these years, you owe me an explanation.”

He sighed and looked up at me, frowning. “When I left, it was to save your life. I thought I could keep you safe, but they know.”

This was nuts. He was acting like a lunatic, talking in circles. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“You. They know about you, Liv.”

The cup crashed to the floor as I stood and put my hands on my hips. “Who knows, and what do they know? You’re talking in riddles.”

“You’re my weakness, and they know it. They’ll use you to get to me.”

“Who?” I yelled.

The look on his face turned my blood to ice and I froze.

“The Cartel.”

Check out the full story on WATTPAD.