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Book Feature~ Cursed by Augustina Van Hoven

Cursed

Not everything is beautiful under the light of a silvery full moon. A new evil walks the night in the woods near Dante’s Hallow. Nicholas Harwood and his companions-a druid sorcerer, a witch, his best friend and a few ghosts, race against time to stop this new creature before the body count grows higher. Can they save the town without alerting the local people to the truth about the supernatural?

Excerpt

He was approaching a tight curve in the road where the forest grew thicker on both sides. Brutus stopped and stamped his feet, trying to turn around and head back to English Point. Nick had a hard time controlling the animal. “Easy boy, what is it what you sense?”

            Nick stayed in the saddle. If he dismounted, Brutus might bolt. Something was frightening the horse, something the creature could sense but Nick couldn’t. Brutus acted like this when Nick tried to get him closer to the cemetery than the maple tree. Something was nearby, and standing here in the middle of the road with thick trees and brush on either side was a good way to get ambushed.

He adjusted his grip on the reins and tapped his flanks to signal the animal to run. Brutus obeyed. They raced along, coming quickly to the tight curve. They rounded it, and the horse reared, dumping Nicolas onto the gravel.

Brutus disappeared into the foliage, leaving Nick on the ground. When Nick finally caught his breath and sat up, there, several feet in front of him was a handcart filled with fish and ice and a man stretched out on the ground.

But that wasn’t what nearly stopped Nick’s heart, or what had terrified the horse.

It was the thing that was leaning over the man pulling his heart from his chest—a gigantic black wolf.

Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Cursed-Augustina-Van-Hoven-ebook/dp/B0BD9FTY3Z/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cursed-augustina-van-hoven/1142200851?ean=2940166695857

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id6443377961

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/cursed-220

Books2read: https://books2read.com/u/4Nd9z8

About the author, Augustina Van Hoven

Augustina Van Hoven is a paranormal romance author who lifts the veil on the secrets hidden in the world around us. Whether it’s traveling through a crack in time, interacting with the dead, or meeting the supernatural creatures living among us, her characters find love in unexpected places. What would you do if you actually met a shifter? Or woke up a hundred and fifty years in the past? Or looked into a mirror and found the face staring back at you wasn’t your own? Come and read stories that show you what is possible if you will only believe.

Augustina was born in The Netherlands and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and three cats.   She is an avid reader of romance, science fiction and fantasy.  When she’s not writing she likes to work in her garden or in the winter months, crochet and knit on her knitting machines. 

Website: https://augustinavanhoven.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/augustinavhoven

FaceBook:  https://www.facebook.com/Augustina-Van-Hoven/

Weekend Revelations

After the cluster f*ck of 2020 and 2021, I’ve finally made time to pursue my interests/passions. One thing the pandemic has taught me is the need to do things and enjoy things now. My goals are to reignite my writing career and pursue hobbies I’ve put on the back burner. Well folks this weekend I took more steps in pursuing that path.

I attended a wonderful candle making and perfume making workshop at a lovely place called Scent Workshop. I had a blast, met some interesting folk and made some great things (pictures below). My perfume had a lot of floral notes (… cactus flower, hibiscus, geranium, to name a few) and my candle was an eclectic mix of lemongrass (very strong but one of my fave scents, I learned to use it sparingly, mojito, and dark plum). My interest in developing a niche candle and perfume line was reawakened. I’m currently in deep thought about how to make that happen.

I also read a murder mystery (with a splash of romance) and my taste for those type of stories was renewed… or maybe it was just the author :). Christine Feehan does a mystery right! I’ve always enjoyed her paranormal romance but I was pleasantly surprised by her novel Murder At Sunrise Lake. If you enjoy your murder mystery sprinkled with romance, girl power and friendships… give it a read.

So friends, after my semi-busy weekend I’ll say go ahead and do those things you’re interested in and try something new…. even if it’s just a book that’s not your usual preference. I did and I have no regrets.

Until next time…… Yolanda.

My finished candle. I named it’s scent Summer.

Hello My Name Is.. Giveaway Hop

mynameis

5 Quirky/Interesting Things about Me:

  1. I HATE spiders.
  2.  I love listening to NPR ( to the peril of anyone riding in the car with me).
  3. My favorite book series of all time is Harry Potter (Yes I’m a Potter Head..lol)
  4. I don’t like watermelon. The texture is not appealing.
  5. One of the first romance authors I read as a teenager was Penny Jordan. I still love reading her books.

To enter my giveaway for an e-copy of His Source (which will soon be revamped..so this is a last chance to get it) share a quirky fact about yourself or comment on one of my quirky facts. Winner will be chosen on January 15th.  

His Source WEBSITE USE

His Source

Love is the best revenge…

Devastated after an emotional break-up, Alexis decides to finish her fall semester and leave East Brook College and the town of East Brook forever, certain starting over in a new place will soothe her wounded heart.  Her plans are derailed when her ex-lover returns wanting another chance.  Despite the chemistry between them and their sensual history, should she risk her heart again for a man who told her she wasn’t good enough for him or his tribe?

Hop Blurb

We’re ringing in the New Year with lots of giveaways! And by sharing some fun and wacky facts about ourselves. There’s a new giveaway at each stop so be sure to visit them all!

mynameis
Click on the image to check out other great blogs and enter to win MORE PRIZES!

 

Magnificent Man Candy Monday

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a Man Candy pic but after watching Creed during the Thanksgiving weekend I got inspired. This Monday’s Magnificent Man Candy is none other than the gorgeous Micheal B. Jordan. He’s a wonderful actor and very easy on the eyes. Enjoy 🙂

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(image from popsugar.com)

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(image from balleralert.com)

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Until next time

Yolanda A.

Updates…..or a long rant…….

It’s been awhile since I’ve written, re-posted or done anything  on my blog site. Mid-2015 to now has been hectic. I’ve moved to a bigger, bustling city and accepted a new job (hopefully the last full-time teaching job I’ll ever have). Life changes are always stressful but coupled with raising a teenager and a seven year old it crosses into chaotic. During this process my writing has suffered, to the point that I haven’t written anything in months. Basically my writing “mojo” went on hiatus and recently just returned.  This experience has reminded me (daily) that teaching is psychologically and emotionally draining (especially when at the middle school level) and parenting along with it kinda left me feeling like a zombie.

One day while sitting at my desk I looked at my calendar and realized it was November. Something inside of me woke up. When I moved I had plans to buckle down and write. With the goal of transitioning to a part-time teaching position (at the elementary level) and the goal of becoming a full-time editor/ writer. I hadn’t made any progress. Realizing it was November 1st and I wasn’t closer to achieving my goals scared me. Let’s face it life is short. I don’t want to wonder in five years, ten years or even twenty years why I didn’t follow through. Coupled with the fact 2015 is almost over and soon it will be 2016 — a fire has been smoldering inside of me.

I think the universe agreed because the next day I received first chapter edits back from a well-known freelance editor. I made a spur of the moment decision back in September to attend a local chapter of RWA and won the free critique. 

Her words were encouraging and she seemed enthusiastic about my work.

So what am I doing now……….

I’ve enrolled in a six week online editing course. I’m actually participating and doing the assignments. I’m working on my manuscripts and am determined to finish both of them (OK at least one) by the end of this year. And I’m reading again. My current book list includes:

A Mad Zombie Party by Gena Showalter

About A Vampire by Lynsay Sands

So I’ll be posting updates weekly on this journey to get shit done.

Until the next time….

Yolanda

Multicultural Romance Blog-A-Thon Presents~ Kim Golden

We have another great author to feature in the Multicultural Romance Blog-A-Thon. Welcome Kim Golden, she also has a giveaway!

Maybe Forever 200 x 300

Maybe Forever Blurb

Note: Maybe Forever is book three in the Maybe… series. It starts with Maybe Baby, in which Laney and Mads meet in a very unconventional way and soon Laney must choose between the safe, comfortable life she’s had with another man in Sweden, or explore the unknown with Mads in Denmark. The story continues with Maybe Tonight, a novella told from Mads’s point of view. We meet Mads just before his first encounter with Laney and then what happens as their meeting changes his life forever.

Is the honeymoon over…?

Now married with two children, Laney and Mads are finding their life together isn’t as simple as it used to be. While Laney struggles with motherhood, Mads is so focused on chasing success that he loses sight of promises he’s made.

Better apart…?

When frustration gets the better of her, Laney takes the kids and goes to the US, hoping to find solace with her aunt Cecily, a former school teacher who now teaches yoga and meditation in Florida.

Can Laney and Mads find their way back to one another…or is it too late?

Excerpt from Maybe Forever by Kim Golden

 “Are you attracted to her?”

He glanced away. I saw the tension building inside of him. Instead of answering me, he began undressing. Was he ever going to answer me?

I didn’t want to cry anymore. I didn’t want to think about Benny or what he might have done with her. I kept telling myself that maybe I was overreacting—maybe there was nothing going on between them, but the telling silence continued to fester. Mads went into our en suite bathroom. As soon as I heard the shower sputter on, I ended up following him. He was already in the shower stall, his back to me as the water streamed down his body. I watched as he rinsed off a day’s worth of sweat…maybe even another woman’s scent…from his skin. But standing there watching him…I hated that I still wanted him. I still wanted him to want me and only me. And I knew that tonight might be the last time I could have him to myself. Maybe it was already too late. I was trembling, still unable to stop this unsettled feeling inside me. And when he finally turned off the shower and reached for his towel, I ran my hands along his hips and pulled him close. He turned and the tight expression on his face nearly sent me away. I steeled myself. He exhaled slowly and leaned into me. He captured my lips with his, kissing me tenderly at first, his lips grazing mine, the tip of his tongue gently urging me to let him in. I squeezed my eyes shut and let my arms tighten around him.  For a little while the rising heat between us was enough to make me forget. I let him peel away my camisole, let him push down my shorts. I kicked them aside. My body was coming alive for him even while my doubts were whispering to me, “This won’t help…”

But I wanted him, wanted him to fuck me until I could stop feeling so empty inside. I wanted him to claim me, to make me his again. And as he lifted me, pressed me against the wall and I hooked my legs around him, I opened my eyes again and tried to remember every moment of this. He plunged into me and, once we were joined, a tiny ball of heat flamed inside me. “It’s been too long…” he gasped in my ear. I tried to stay focused; I just wanted to feel how he throbbed inside me, remember each sensation of his chest against mine, his hands gripping my ass, my hips… the damp tile wall pressing into my back…With each thrust, with each moan, I told myself, “Remember this…remember how good it feels…” And I cried out as he touched me, deep inside, rubbing the right spot, sending waves of liquid heat through my veins, and still I wanted more.

 

KimGolden (1)

Author Bio

I grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and spent most of my childhood summers in Smithfield, Virginia. I’m not sure where my love of words comes from, but I’ve loved books since I was a child and I’ve loved writing stories for as long as I can remember.

My parents wanted me to do something practical–be an engineer, a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant. But I always dreamed of doing something completely different. I knew I wanted to be a writer, even if it took a bit of time for me to get to that point.

It led me to spend more time writing stories than studying physics and chemistry in high school. It’s what led me study literature and then work on an MFA in Creative Writing at Virginia Commonwealth University. And when I finished my master’s degree, love led me away from the US and brought me to Sweden.

So what do I write? I write about relationships, about love. I often write about interracial relationships. I like reading stories about people who are different, who see past the differences and fall in love. And those are the stories I also enjoy writing. I write stories for people who know that love comes in many colors.

 Other Books by Me

Maybe Baby (Book 1 in the Maybe… series)

Maybe Tonight (Book 2 in the Maybe… series)

Snowbound

Choose Me: a novella

Linger: a short story

30 Days, 30 Stories (a Wattpad exclusive)

 Social Media Links

Website: http://kim-golden.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SeeKimWrite

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kimigm

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kimigm/

Wattpad: www.wattpad.com/user/KimGolden

GIVEAWAY

I’m giving away signed paperbacks of Maybe Baby and Maybe Forever (which should be ready to send by the end of the month) to the first three people who answer the following questions correctly:
Question 1:
True or false: No city in Denmark is more than 32 miles (or 52 km) from the sea.
Question 2:
Which actor was the inspiration for Mads?
Question 3:
Which actress was the inspiration for Laney?

Multicultural Romance Blog-A-Thon Presents~ Siera London

Yolanda, thank you for hosting me today.

chasingava 

Q & A with Siera London author of CHASING AVA

Tell us what CHASING AVA is about.

I’d love to! Chasing Ava is book one in the Bachelors of Shell Cove series.  It’s a contemporary, multicultural romance set in the beautiful coastal city of Shell Cove, FL.

Ava Walters is an emotionally wounded nurse struggling to mend her shattered life. Logan Masters is a broken man pursuing his future at any cost. They never expected to find redemption in each other’s arms, but one night changes both their lives, and there’s no undoing the chain reaction of their night together.

 Purchase Link: Amazon.

 Cover Blurb

Enter the world of Shell Cove Medical Center

A world of sacrifice, seduction, and sabotage

Where everybody has a secret…

Ava Walters is a pediatric nurse who doesn’t do relationships. An abusive past has left her wounded, but she is determined to pursue her dream of becoming a Navy Nurse. Ava is in the midst of rebuilding her life when, she is targeted by a sexual harasser who wields the power to destroy her dream before it sets sail.

Logan Masters is an ambitious specialty surgeon whose past is riddled with betrayal. His trust in women is conditional–no secrets and no boundaries. When he comes to Ava’s rescue, there is no denying the spark of attraction. Things get complicated when Logan pursues Ava, rather than the arranged relationship that holds the key to his future.

After years of being alone Ava starts to believe that love is possible under Logan’s skillful touch. But Ava is harboring a secret she doesn’t want exposed. Determined to guard her heart, Ava soon discovers Logan is as focused on winning her heart as she is at shielding it.

When secrets and broken alliances threaten to torpedo both their futures, how will they learn to trust each other and chart a new course to everlasting love?

What do you love about her hero?

Logan has the right balance of push and pull in his relationship with Ava. He doesn’t allow her to avoid making difficult decisions. His unwavering devotion to Ava compels her to make choices about her own destiny.

What about your hero makes you mad?

He wants everything… yesterday. Logan is an in your face kind of hero. He looks at life through a black and white lens. You are either with him or against him.

How about your heroine?

Ava is a passionate and loving woman, but she can’t see these qualities in herself. She doesn’t realize how accomplished, she is, in spite of her hurtful past.

What’s a quote from your hero that surprised you?

Logan’s actions surprised me when Ava came into his life. He surrenders to the fact that he loves her and it’s so out of character for him to surrender anything. He surprises her with a two-carat diamond heart pendant. Logan’s words to Ava:

“It’s my heart, Ava. I’m giving my heart to you because I’m yours.”

The whole scene blew my mind.

Any place we can find you in person or on the net this month or next?

Join me at the Charles E. Beatley Central Library in Alexandria, VA on June 30, 2015 at 7 pm. I’ll be discussing Novel Writing Basics for aspiring authors.

Also, I’ll be at the Romance Writers of America conference in New York City, July 22-25, 2015. Please say hello if you see me. I promise not to nip at you.

 GIVEAWAY ALERT

Subscribe to my mailing list May 28-31 for a chance to win a 2015 swag bag (5 BAGS AVAILABLE) http://www.sieralondon.com

 Siera

About Siera

Siera London, a former naval officer, is a writer of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. A native Floridian, her love of coastal towns and bustling cities shines through in her sassy and sexy storytelling. Currently, she resides in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband and a color patch tabby that has free reign of the house. She is a member of Romance Writers of America.

How can readers connect with you online?

I love to hear from readers. You can chat with me on Facebook and Twitter.

E-mail me at: sieralondonwrites@gmail.com

Like me on Facebook: https://facebook.com/authorsieralondon

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/siera_london

 

 

Multicultural Romance Blog-A-Thon Presents~ Shaniel Watson

shaniel
 Book Blurb
Who knew falling in love with my best friend had the potential to single-handedly destroy my entire family? 
For as long as I could remember I’ve been in love with sexy, lawyer extraordinaire Nicholas Alexander. We always had a certain chemistry growing up. Especially after we shared one passionate, forbidden, perfect kiss as teenagers. For years I hoped he could look past my overprotective brothers and our age difference, so we could be more than friends, I was wrong. Four years ago I left New York and my heart behind. Now I’m back to stake a claim on the only man I’ve ever loved. But unbeknownst to me, things are way more complicated than I could imagine when I learn he’s engaged, to my sister.
Will the love and desire I feel for the one man I’ve ever truly wanted to destroy me? Am I willing to risk it all, for a chance at everlasting love? 
Catherine Reed is the one woman I couldn’t have but the one I always wanted. She was my best friend’s baby sister, which means she was definitely off limits to me and anyone else if I had my way. Not even having a merry-go-round of beautiful girls could stop me from wanting her. Watching her leave was hard, but I knew giving in to what I wanted back then would ruin her…us. All I’ve ever wanted was for her to be happy and to see her beautiful smile.
I haven’t gotten to where I am by always doing what’s right. She’s Back. I want Her. I have every intention of making her Mine.
Author Bio
Shaniel Watson lives in New York and is a full-time working mother of two beautiful little girls. She enjoys going to amusement parks and eating ice cream on warm summer days with her kids. You can find her reading or writing with her headphones on, music at full blast, on lunch breaks at her day job, on weekends, and late into the night while everyone else is sleeping.
Buy link
Social media links
Starting May 25 to May 31Imperfections will be on sale on Amazon for $0.99

Multicultural Romance Blog-A-Thon Presents Rachael Slate

Today we’re featuring the wonderful Rachael Slate. She’s also doing a giveaway!

trancing the tiger

Book Information: 

 Title: Trancing the Tiger: A Chinese Zodiac Romance

Release Date: February 17th, 2015

Delve into a world steeped in tradition and superstition…

After her parents become infected with the Red Death, Lucy Yeoh flees to Malaysia seeking answers. Everything in this closed-off section of the world is paradise—from the lush tropical climate to her sexy new neighbor, Sheng…who just might be delusional. He claims the Plague God unleashed the Red Death and only a circle of Chinese Zodiac spirit animals can cleanse the Earth. Even more, he insists she’s one of them: the Rabbit. Long furry ears and fluffy bunny tail included.

He’ll show her how to fight to save the world…

As the Chosen of the Tiger, the burden of restoring balance to the world has fallen onto Li Sheng’s shoulders. When he discovers that the ally he’s long awaited, the Dragon, is actually just the Rabbit, Sheng is quick to dismiss Lucy. If only she’d stay dismissed. Lucy’s Rabbit refuses to cooperate, undermining the authority of his Tiger at every turn…and seducing him to the limits of his darkest desires. He’s not supposed to want her. Not when he needs the spirit circle complete and she’s their weakest link.

She’ll show him a love worth fighting the world to save…

Sheng’s enemies draw closer, and not everyone wants Lucy alive. Together, they’ll have to navigate a treacherous world where a line between duty and their hearts has been drawn between them. They must either sacrifice one, or find a way to surrender to both.

 Buy Links: Free on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1sUUIYa

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/18PtvNr

B&N: http://bit.ly/16QkSRS

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About the Rachael 

rachael

 Bio:

Rachael Slate resides on the West Coast of Canada with her husband and two children—or as she likes to call them, her own little blended world. One of the best parts about sharing in her husband’s Chinese-Malaysian culture is definitely the food—and the awesome celebrations!

Rachael writes stories that blend the lines between mythology, reality, and fantasy. In her worlds, you’ll encounter strong, sexy alpha males and the capable women who challenge them. And always, scorching hot romance.

To find out more about Rachael Slate, visit her website at http://www.rachaelslate.com or sign up for her newsletter to learn about upcoming releases at http://rachaelslate.com/Register/Maillist.

Rachael would love to hear from you. You can email her at rachaelslate@outlook.com or find her on social media here:

 Author Links

 Website: http://www.rachaelslate.com

 Newsletter: http://rachaelslate.com/Register/Maillist

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachaelSlateAuthor

 Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RachaelsRushHour/

 Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachaelSlate

 Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rachael-Slate/e/B00S49W9MQ/

 Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/RachaelSlate

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24361900-trancing-the-tiger

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rachaelslate/

 Tsu: https://www.tsu.co/RachaelSlate

 Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RachaelSlate

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vjU3LanfP0

Giveaway Info

Rachael will randomly pick commenters to receive e-copies of her books (winner’s choice, Book 1 or Book 1.5—coming in early May).

Multicultural Romance Blog-A-Thon Presents Chloe Blaque

Today we’re featuring the lovely Chloe Blaque. She’s discussing being multicultural, the beauty of multicultural romance stories and who (or what) she’s still holding out for. She’s also doing a giveaway!

 ChloeBlack

 In My Multicultural World

Write what you know. It was my mentor’s advice. Before I knew it I was penning strong heroes and heroines of different cultures, races, and creeds. I was writing multicultural relationships before I knew it was a separate genre.  My characters fell in love and fought for love-the quintessential romantic theme that every romance loving Caucasian, non-Caucasian, and Vampire can relate to.  Multicultural or not, the concept is universal.

Every relationship I have ever been in has been multicultural.  I’m biracial. African-American Irish-American to be exact.  If my life were a novel, I’d be the caramel colored princess of New York City. And although I don’t ride horses on a Texas Ranch or have long flowing red hair that blows in Scottish winds, I have had a romance or two or…several.  Black, White, European, Latin, Asian (I’m still hoping for the Vampire), I have done my share to unite the nations.  And I can say with conviction that Caucasians and Vampires aren’t the only people having sex.

Don’t get me wrong, I grew up reading southern cowboys, Scottish lords, and the English Royal court. The heroines were young, ivory skinned virgins. The heroes were strong, wealthy, and white. I devoured those books, even as I found my own world getting more and more colorful. I fell for a southern black guy who dumped me for an Italian girl. My Puerto Rican ex-boyfriend first kicked it to me in Spanish (I had no idea what he was saying, but it sounded really good).  The mother of my Filipino ex-boyfriend loved to curse under her breath in Tagalog.  And I dated an English white guy who endured racial slurs just for walking me down the street. These were my mini romances. We were attracted to each other’s differences and found unexpected similarities.

In my new release, DOING LONDON, Josie, is a feisty New York-born Puerto Rican with a secret X-rated past. She transplants herself in London and attracts Marco, an Italian celebrity soccer player. They are from two different worlds. Josie grew up without a stable home while Marco had strong familial bonds. Marco has steadfast spiritual beliefs while Josie might set a church on fire just by walking over the threshold. You may question if they have anything in common.  Oh, they do. They have passion, sensuality, and…well you’ll just have to read the book to find out.

I frown when I hear that Caucasian readers can’t relate to multicultural romance. Great storytelling transcends color.  Throw in a culture clash, a foreign landscape, and people of different races and I’m drooling.  The diversity of the characters are exciting, the countries exhilarating, and the cultures can be oh so sexy.  I want you whispered in your ear in a foreign language is hot!

My stories are inspired by the diverse people I see on the street every day; successful men and women of varied backgrounds who search endlessly for love and happiness. People from all over the world are falling in love all over the world. Shouldn’t we write about it?

Chloe

CHLOE BLAQUE writes non-fiction culture pieces by day and multicultural erotic romance by night. Her debut novel SURVIVAL OF THE FIERCEST was released by Loose-Id in 2014. Chloe travels a lot.  Is slightly addicted to wine and coffee. And still plays video games for rainy day fun. She hopes to move to Paris one day. For now, she lives in New York City.

Go to Chloe’s Website at www.chloeblaque.com

Email Chloe at Lovechloeblaque@gmail.com

Visit Chloe’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/chloeblaque

Tweet Chloe at www.twitter.com/chloeblaque

Pin Chloe at www.pinterest.com/chloeblaque

 DOING LONDON Blurb

Do You Like Doing it…?

It’s been five years since Josie Vasquez moved to London, changed her name, and left her X-rated L.A. life behind. She has it together now, thanks to two rules: stay out of trouble and don’t shag celebrities. Easy—until she meets Marco. Sinfully handsome and always in the tabloids, footballer Marco Verazi can have any woman he wants, and the sexy Italian wants Josie. Josie knows she should stay away, but he stirs a desire in her that she’s never felt before.

Marco doesn’t know about Josie’s past, or that her job selling goods on the “telly” for home shopping network QTV isn’t her first time on camera. Although Josie is tempted to break her rules and see what Marco has to offer, she knows they can’t be together—not unless she is willing to reveal a secret that could ruin her new life…and his.

 Buy DOING LONDON here:

Loose-Id: http://www.loose-id.com/doing-london.html

All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-doinglondon-1764764-149.html

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1NKes75

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/doing-london

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1Hkwrxg

iBooks: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9781623008543

 Excerpt:

http://www.loose-id.com/doing-london.html#product_tabs_Excert

Dark eyes were forgotten as I stepped off the QTV elevators with a smile and a wave for Jessica, our receptionist. “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday…” I practiced my lingual exercises as I hurried to my dressing room, saying them over as I stashed my bag and picked up the program sheet that lay on the desk. Today’s segment was a “magic” dress—a piece of fabric that could be tied and worn 100 different ways.

I was reviewing the product notes when my program manager flew in. “Thank God you’re here,” she said, practically breathless. A crumpled piece of fabric dangled from her hands. “Magic my arse.” She held up what I assumed was the dress. “No one can get this thing to tie and stay on the models. And before you say anything, yes, you have to wear one too.”

“Good morning, Margot,” I said.

Her graying dark hair was frazzled. This woman needed to calm down. This wasn’t an emergency. Try having sex in a pirate outfit on a sinking barge. That’s an emergency.

I dug in my bag and pulled out a roll of fashion tape. “Here, try this on the models. Now, where is mine so I can practice tying?”

“They are on the display table outside the studio. Take your pick of colors. There is a lovely red color, or a hot-pink one…”

“No pink,” I shot back.

I walked back into the dressing room with a royal-blue rectangle of fabric dangling from my hand. I ducked behind the changing screen and stripped down to my bra and panties, and then I frowned at the dress instructions. Sketches instead of written directions were on the tag. A few of the dress looks were easy, if you wanted to look like you were on the beach, but for—I checked the price—eighty pounds? Bugger off, as Ruby would say. The dress should tie itself for that amount. Now this thing really needed to look good.

I wrapped myself in the fabric and came out from behind the screen. The look I chose was the knee-length strapless bandage dress, where each strip of fabric was wrapped horizontally one on top of the other—like a mummy.

“Well?” I posed.

Margot’s long face scrunched. “It’s not too bad. The camera will hide most of the folds. Turn around.”

I turned.

“Yeah, those ties aren’t pretty. Make sure you don’t turn around on camera.”

“Okay. Let’s pin the ties and tape me into this thing.”

Thirty minutes later, I was pinned and taped and smiling wide for the camera under the studio lights. Behind me, five models wearing different colors and styles posed as I held my mic up to the designer of the “Magic” dress, a small Indian woman who demonstrated how to take two of the dresses and make a two-piece top and skirt.

“Whoa. You look stunning, Nina,” I said into the mic. “Isn’t that fantastic, ladies?” The studio audience nodded and gave a few bored claps. Whatever. They were only there to see Quinn Charles, QTV’s reigning star and number-one douche. Quinn had been the face of QTV for over thirty years and was the only one with celebrity guests during his segment.

Yesterday, Daniel Craig showed up to plug his next James Bond movie and endorse the limited-edition line of 007 Omega timepieces. The whole studio went apeshit when Daniel walked in. I, however, had locked myself in the bathroom. I’d met 007 years ago at a random afterparty in Vegas. We’d had a moment. He probably wouldn’t recognize me, but still.

“Well, Nina, I’m told you have a surprise for our viewers today.”

“Yes, I do.” Nina pulled out an array of printed georgette scarves and displayed them over her chubby arm. “A gift with purchase.”

“What?” My eyebrows went up in fake surprise. “A dress you can wear 100 different ways and a matching scarf for just 120 pounds? Doesn’t get any better than that.”

The weak applause said otherwise.

“Here, let me give you this one,” Nina said, smiling for the audience. The floral pattern reminded me of my grandmother’s bathroom wallpaper. Abuela loved roses. I leaned forward, striking a pose for the camera close up.

And then snap.

My pins came undone and a furious unraveling began down my back. Frozen, I searched for Margot, who was frowning at me. Then her eyes widened when a piece of fabric dropped and dangled at my waist. She gave me the cut signal.

“Let’s take a look at the models one more time. Don’t they look lovely?” I said with a smile.

Another hand signal from the pit came up, and I was off camera, but my mic was still live. Holding the loosening top of my dress, I started to backpedal off the stage. A confused Nina began to stutter.

“Nina, why don’t you tell our viewers again about the quality and the versatility of this fabric.”

Tossing my mic to a PA, I turned and ran offstage, my arms like vise grips over my front as the bandages gaped and slid down, showing the skin of my stomach and hips through the slits. I heard my name and was vaguely aware that Margot was running after me in the dark studio.

Then thwack. I ran into someone.

I heard a grunt followed by a quick, “Mi dispiace.” I’m sorry. And a hard chest covered in white was inches from my nose. I looked up. Oh God. Dark eyes with one raised slashing eyebrow were looking quizzically at me.

“The café,” I said, stunned.

“The breasts,” he whispered.

What? I snapped my head down and was relieved to see that my boobs were still covered, but just barely. I skirted around the Italian stallion’s big body, toward my dressing room.

“I mean the cakes,” I heard him shout after me, but I bolted into the dressing room and slammed the door.

What the hell was he doing here? It didn’t matter; I had to get it together. I ran to the mirror. My dress had unraveled even more to reveal my torso and the top of my panties. Amazing, on the first day of my promotion.

Reaching behind my back, I tried to wrestle the fabric back into place, but it was too stretched out to stay. Fuck my life.

Margot barreled through the door, took one look at me, and started laughing hysterically.

“Um… This isn’t funny,” I said to her reflection.

With a sigh, she sat down at the desk, stripped off her mic, and slapped down her program notes. “Dear God, I haven’t laughed like that in ages.” She doubled over with more giggles, and I shifted to stare at her, deadpan and sulking.

“If you are finished getting your rocks off, you can help me rewrap this stupid thing.”

“Don’t bother,” she said after another giggle. “We cut the segment short. Those hideous things sold out in the first 30 minutes.”

“Really? Good thing we don’t take returns.” I gave Margot the full frontal view of my shredded dress. Margot laughed again, and I joined her. “When Nina pulled out those scarves, I thought I was going to lose it.” I tugged off the blue bandages and stood in my strapless bra and panties. “And where do you find these studio audiences. They are like bumps on logs.”

“That’s them excited, darling. We’re British.”

“Hand me my skirt and top, please?”

“Fuck me, look at the body on you: toned and tight as a drum. What’s your secret?”

About %50,000 worth of plastic surgery. “You know, I work out.” I shrugged and stepped behind the changing screen, thinking of how to change the subject. Now that I was fully dressed in sewn clothes and I hadn’t fully botched my first afternoon slot, my mind wandered to other things. “So isn’t that Marco Verazi, the Italian footballer, out there?”

“Gorgeous, isn’t he?”

Yes. “I suppose…if you…ya know…like that sort. Is he starting a line of footballs or something?”

“Think he has those already. This is a line of cleats for the Kick Cancer organization. They organize football tournaments for kids with cancer and survivors to help raise money.”

I was impressed, and my eyebrows shot up. “Hot, famous, and socially conscious? Unheard of.”

“Yeah, after thirty years of marriage, I’d just be happy with hot.” Margot smirked. She handed me another set of program notes. “Quinn is gearing up for the next slot with the cleats, and then you are up with a fashion jewelry segment. Let’s keep the wardrobe malfunctions to a minimum.”

We were interrupted by a knock on the door. I answered it and, speak of the devil, Quinn stood in his designer suit looking orange and waxy. His fake tanner and stage makeup clashed as usual. I stood almost five-eight in my heels and looked down slightly on his five-six stature.

“Hey, Quinn.” I didn’t invite him in. He only ever talked to me to boast or gloat.

“Just checking in. Heard you had a little hiccup on stage.”

My gaze shifted to Fiona, Quinn’s program manager, standing off to the side. Tall and dark-blonde, she was pretty but mousy and constantly had that clipboard hugged to her chest. Like always, her eyes were searching the floor.

“I just wanted to make sure I didn’t need to clean anything up. Give a pep talk to the audience, that type of thing.”

“Eat me, Quinn.”

“Gladly, luv. But you know I’m taken,” Quinn said too loud. He threw me a sneer and strolled off.

Margot scoffed. I rolled my eyes.

Quinn, at fifty something, which he claimed was forty something, was still under the impression that no one knew he was gay—like Miami roller-skating in hot pants gay. I had worked with so many gay male costars playing straight that I’d spotted him immediately. Quinn’s beard was some twenty-year-old bikini model who I assumed was being paid to play along. I couldn’t figure out if he was keeping silent for himself, for the network, or both.

Before I closed the door, Marco stepped into my field of vision and grinned. “So, you don’t work at the café?”

Those dark eyes were so close that my brain skipped.

“No.” I gulped. My fingers itched to skim over the tattoos on his arms. Without the counter in between us, I could tell that his upper body was cut to perfection. I expected his lower body was even more powerful. My skin heated and my heart thumped, a sensation I hadn’t felt in literally years—attraction. No directors, no grips, no script, just pure sexual magnetism between a man and a woman.

“I like your cakes,” he said. I wondered if he was being cheeky, the word “cakes” a euphemism for butt cheeks in the States.

“Grazie,” I said, trying to keep my gaze from roaming all over his body. His smile was dazzling.

“You spoke Italian at the café. It’s pretty good.”

“It’s probably because of my Spanish.”

“Ahhhh. But you’re American, si?” he said as his gaze searched my face.

“Yes. Puerto Rican, actually,” I said, gripping the door a little harder. He filled the doorway, blocking out everything else but him.

A production assistant shouted for Marco. They were starting his segment. He whipped his head toward the PA and then turned back to me, his eyes intense. “I will see you later, yes?”

See him later? The audacity of this guy. To assume that just because he was a celebrity, and smoking hot, that I would sleep with him. And he’s engaged.

“I’m not interested,” I said firmly. All I needed was a whiff of a scandal, and boom. Life over.

His brow furrowed. “In the kids or me?”

Kids? What kids?

The PA called for him again, and he leaned toward me. His cologne smelled amazing. “I will see you tonight,” Marco said and walked off.

Um…no, he wouldn’t. I slammed the door.

“Are you daft?” Margot shouted.

I jumped, forgetting for a second that anyone else was there.

She went on. “The hottest man I have ever seen wants to have at you, and you say no?”

My mind raced with what to say. Excuse. I needed an excuse other than being a former porn star and avoiding celebrities and the publicity they bring.

“He’s not that hot,” I said with an unconvincing shrug.

Margot shook her head, and after a long pause, she sighed and closed her eyes. Then her gaze snapped up. “Joey, I’ve been meaning to tell you… I know… I know about you.”

There was seriousness in her voice that made my body freeze. I looked at her from the corner of my eye, and she nodded. “Yeah. I know. And it’s okay. Really. You don’t need to hide it.”

She knows. She knows. She knows. Blood pumped in my ears. “How? I mean… I didn’t tell anyone.”

“Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? You never date, you never talk about men, and at Jessica’s hen party, you practically turned down every guy that came up to you.”

Last year, Margot had organized an office bachelorette party for our receptionist at the divey pub down the street. To be fair, every guy who came up to me was about sixty years old.

“But… Who else knows?”

“Everyone I expect.”

Everyone? Honestly, I almost passed out. I took in a huge breath, but once I let it out, I realized that this was a good thing. If everyone knew, then I didn’t have anything to worry about. “You know, I’m so relieved,” I said, letting my shoulders slump a bit. I’d had no idea how tense I was, but the fact that I didn’t have to hide anymore made me feel almost giddy. I could be myself, and it was okay. “Why didn’t you ever tell me you knew?”

“Well, what was I going to say? ‘Hey love, I know you like girls.’”

“Wait. Whaaat?”

“Yeah, if you weren’t a lesbian, and I said that, it would have been very embarrassing. So I just waited until the right time to talk about it.”

Unbelievable. I punched a hand on my cocked hip. “Margot, I’m not a lesbian.” I’d definitely had my share of on-camera one-on-ones, but that was it. Girls weren’t my thing.

I chuckled at the utter disbelief on Margot’s face. I swear she blinked for a full minute. Then she spoke. “Are you sure? I’ve seen you looking at me.”

I frowned, trying to figure out what the hell Margot was talking about. “What the hell are you—”

“I’m married,” Margot continued, her face breaking. Now she was just fucking with me. “And he’s an ugly bastard, but I love ’im.”

“You’re a nutter, Margot. I’m not a lesbian. And I don’t want you.”

Margot’s neck jerked back. “Then what were you so relieved about?”

“Um…I just… I haven’t dated a guy in a long time. I’ve been…hurt. It feels good to talk about it. Ya know, helps to get over it.” There, that sounded plausible.

Margot nodded slowly, as if what I was saying made sense. “Then ease back in with mister Italian sausage.”

“Yeah. No,” I said, turning slowly toward the desk to avoid any more comments. Quickly, I grabbed her program notes and waved them in the air. “I need time to study this.”

Margot shrugged and loped toward the door, turning to me before she was fully outside. “I’m a great shag, you know.” She winked.

I chuckled and rolled my eyes. “There is no doubt in my mind.”

Margot gave me a curt nod and closed the door behind her.

I stared blankly at the notes, wondering if I was going to be able to pull off this secret forever.

Copyright © Chloe Blaque

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