Friday, March 23, 2012

@TarynElliottFic Release Day!

Congratulations to mue03, who was randomly selected to win a copy of UNCROSS YOUR HEART in the electronic format of her choice. Mue, Taryn pinged you on Facebook, or you can post your email address here, and she'll get with you to arrange for delivery of the book!

For everyone else, UNCROSS YOUR HEART's buy link is HERE

Next month, we'll talk to Taryn about her next release ASHES AND WINE, and have a giveaway which will include not only a copy of her book, but a $10 gift certificate to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

And (as promised) here's the exclusive excerpt we promised yesterday. 1600 words of YUM.

~ Hath


She loaded the page she’d been working on for the whole day and snarled. It looked like a two-year-old’s scrawl on a chalkboard instead of the charming teacher forum she’d envisioned.

Disgusted with herself, she jammed her glasses up the bridge of her nose and brought up her Rated by Randy email. She’d been neglecting her blog, using up her pre-written articles instead of taking the time to write new ones. She had twenty comments waiting for approval in her email and only a few of them were spam. It wasn’t like she had enough to do or anything, but this was her little pet project.

Feeling a set of eyes over her shoulder, she toggled her windows. There were too many prying eyes to do any work on her blog.

“Max, go make some calls or,” she turned to him with eyes wide, “work.” She turned back to her screen. “Stop hovering.”

Max passed his magnifying loupe from hand to hand. “Why won’t you tell me about your date with Nate the Knockout?”

“Because there isn’t going to be a second date, so what does it matter?”

He sat on the corner of her desk. “There has to be a reason why there’s not going to be another. Did he have bad breath?” He frowned. “I sat right in front of him, minty fresh.” He gripped her shoulders, turning her toward him. “Sucky kisser?”

She sighed, resolving herself to the idea that he just wasn’t going to let it go. Max had been quizzing her all damn day. “He’s a really nice guy, but we just have nothing in common.”

“Who cares? He’s delicious, sweet and built like a swimmer on steroids, woman!” Max leaned in and stared into her eyes. She stared back. Suddenly he smiled. “Oh, he got to you.” He hopped off her desk. “You don’t want to go out with him again because little—well, not so little actually—Mr. FedEx made your hormones dance the cha-cha.”

“Max.”

“No, it’s all right. Just because you’ve got a man interested in you that puts half the men in North Beach to shame, that’s fine.” He turned to Ryleigh with a wide and knowing grin. “The man has shoulders that make gay men weep for the other side, mind you.”

Ryleigh propped her chin on her hand and sighed dramatically, as she was supposed to. His attention back on Miranda, Max gave her a pained look. “Honestly, Miranda. What’s holding you back? And if you answer me with a snide comment I’m going to make you swallow this loupe.”

She sighed. “It’s not all about looks, Max.”

“No, but it’s a damn fine place to start.”

“I agree,” Ryleigh called out, rounding her desk. “If you don’t want him, can I take a crack at him?”

Miranda turned to face her. “Have at it,” she said through clenched teeth. She didn’t want him. Who was she to stop Ryleigh from going out with him? She took in her assistant’s sparkly dumbbell stud in her eyebrow today and her compact little body that would probably enjoy climbing all over him. Nate and his broad shoulders and ropy arms, his crooked smile and that shaggy dark hair that made her fingers itch. Ryleigh would look perfect with him.

Max smirked. “I think she’s going to scratch your eyes out.”

Ryleigh leaned against his shoulder. “I think you might be right.” She cleared her throat as Miranda gave her a bland look. “But that’s okay, I am quite happy with the four men I’m juggling right now. Five isn’t my lucky number.”

“Four?” Miranda couldn’t stop herself from asking. God, just the thought of one man in her life part time was horrifying. Even when she’d been a party girl, she’d been happy with the hook-ups, not keeping track of a damn harem. “How on earth do you find the time?”

Ryleigh shrugged and shoved her binder into her bag. “Jason likes to go to lunch with me on Tuesdays and Fridays.” She flipped out her thumb, then her first finger. “David likes dinner on Sundays with my parents so they think I’m finally settling down.” Her pretty face split into a huge smile. “We usually end up having sex in my parents’ neighbor’s driveway on the way out.”

Max’s jaw dropped as he slumped onto the corner of his own desk for a change. “Ryleigh! I called you a trollop in jest, but you so are.” He grinned and held up his hand for a high five.

Ryleigh slapped his hand. “David doesn’t want anything other than great food and sex, it’s perfect. I think I might be dumping Jeremy tonight. Two J names isn’t a good idea when you’re juggling. Then there’s Adam on every other Wednesday and Thursday. He needs two nights to be fulfilled.”

Miranda slammed her hands over her ears. “God, Ryleigh.” It wasn’t that she was disturbed by her actions…it was the memories it invoked. She’d once been just like Ryleigh. She had a man for every night of the week and sometimes two in one night. She just hadn’t kept track of the names and didn’t usually go for repeat performances.

And it was amazing. You could sleep through the night because you had an orgasm, you prude.

“Sorry.” Ryleigh laughed. She slung her bag over her shoulder. “I’m heading out. I’ll have the numbers for you tomorrow morning on the Shelby account so you can make the callback.”

“Thanks, Ryleigh. Have fun,” Miranda said with a shake of her head.

Leo rose from his desk. “I’m heading home too. I have a client meeting across town first thing tomorrow, so I won’t be in until late morning.” He waved his BlackBerry. “Text me if something crazy happens.” He leaned down on his way back. “Take a chance, Miranda. It’s good for you.”

“You too?”

Leo laughed and scooped up his suit jacket on the way out. “I’m always telling you to take the big bet, Miranda. I just don’t have it in me to beat my head into a wall like Max.”

“The big bet doesn’t include the fact that you don’t go out with a woman more than once?”

Leo looked over his shoulder. Thick, honey-blond hair was swept back in a perfect cut except one stubborn lock that fell forward. His perfect blue eyes crinkled in the corners. “I’ve already won, where’s the chase?” He waved. “See you tomorrow.”

Miranda leaned back in her chair. “So, that means it’s time for you to scoot too, Max.”

He crossed his Italian loafer-clad foot over one ankle. “You can’t live your life afraid to move forward, love.” Instead of saying more, he simply cocked his head and looked into her eyes. Sighing, he stood. “Think about it, okay?”

“I know what I’m doing, Max.”

He lifted his laptop case. “You don’t have a clue what you’re doing, besides drowning in this company and growing roots into that terminal.”

She read his body language, the disappointment. “Max—”

“Forget it, Miranda. If you want to spend the rest of your life alone here, with those monitors as your only company, then that’s what you’re going to do. No matter how much I wish I could force you to get out there, in the end it’s up to you.”

“Dammit!” Stella whimpered under her desk and coiled into a ball. Miranda chased after him, but he was already down the hallway. The elevator opened and Max stood face-to-face with Nate. “Hell.”

The contrast between the two men was not so much in their general looks. They were both dark-haired, both arresting in their way. Where Max was shorter, more elegant both in posture and a simple refined grace, Nate was a little rough around the edges, proud and powerful. He was back in his jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt, his jeans half jammed into the tops of scarred leather boots as if he’d dressed quickly. His dark hair was slicked back, leaving his eyes unframed save for his heavy, dark brows.

Max looked up at Nate, then to Miranda. Without saying a word, he stepped into the elevator. Conscious of the fact that she was standing in the middle of the corridor, she headed back into her office.

“Miranda!”

She stood in her doorway, looking at her desk with the three large monitors filled with images and code. She felt his heat at her back. “I don’t want to be my terminal.”

“What?”

She turned around, searching his gray eyes. Confusion and awareness buzzed between them. “I—” She stepped forward, but he must have understood her impatience and frustration because his mouth was on hers even before she could utter a request.

She gripped his shoulders, her toes already off the floor as he palmed her lower back, the loose cotton of her shirt bunching at her hips. His other hand buried itself in her hair as he angled her mouth for a deeper kiss.

There wasn’t any sweetness in his hold. She’d expected gentleness, maybe a little uncertainty, not this. He consumed her, drawing her tongue into his mouth to twine and tangle with his. She held on, digging into the dense muscles of his shoulders as he liquefied her brain. He tasted like freedom and the Bay.

She’d done carnal, she’d done dangerous, and somehow his taste was a mix of the before and something more. Unknown and frighteningly close to addicting, she let his flavor coil inside her, pushing sensible Miranda down into the sand.

Where she belongs.

His fingertips found skin at the base of her spine, just above the soft yoga pants she wore. She moaned into his mouth. “Touch me, Nathan. I need you to touch me, Nate.”

1 comments:

mue03 March 23, 2012 at 1:52 PM  

OMG! Thank you, I'm so exited! It's the first time I've won something.
I'm a regular reader of your blog it's awesome. I know I'm not comment-person but just you know I love your blog and most of the FFs out there :-)
Thanks again
Steffi


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