Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hot Awards, Hot Nights, Hot Military Guys

We have a saying in Texas, it goes something like this: Damn it's hot in August and this year it seems hotter than usual at least for my Marines!

During Authors After Dark 2014, the readers showed some love for the Always a Marine series. As many of you know this is a series near and dear to my heart. I love my guys (and gals) who serve, and rooting for them to find a happily ever after.



These are stories that stick with me! With over 22 releases in the series itself and more to come, please let me just say thank you for coming on this journey with me and hold onto your hats, because yes, the Marines are coming!


Contemporary Short Story of the Year: Marine with Benefits

Marine with Benefits


GLBT Short Story of the Year: A Marine Affair

A Marine Affair


Single Author Anthology of the Year: Always a Marine

Always a Marine

Oorah!


Don't miss the most recent release:

Her Marine Bodyguard

And if you'd like to catch Brody and Shannon's first meeting, Her Marine is a part of a wonderful new box set from Decadent Publishing: 21 Sizzling Nights! 

Including Her Marine!



Saturday, August 9, 2014

Long Time, No See

Hello there! It's been a while. I seem to have this nasty habit. If I don't write my blog post the *second* it occurs to me, I forget it and I forget all about it. I'd like to blame it on old age, but it's been a problem for way too long. I think I keep 3M in Post-It Notes profit. There's even a bright green one taped to my computer monitor, as I type, that says "blog post."

This month, I thought I'd do something a little different. I thought I'd post an excerpt from my WIP, as of now untitled, but goes by the unofficial title of "Truck's Story." I know, isn't that just so original?!

Truck is an officer in the United States Air Force. He flies on the AC-130 Specter Gunship as a Combat System's officer. He and his crew mates are temporarily grounded, they hope, so Truck decides to spend some time on his other passion, enjoying the subs at Chain of Command, a local BDSM club. But before he can do that, he meets Genevieve, a worker with an NGO based in Africa. She's come back to state-side to raise holy hell with the military brass, but before she can do that, she meets Truck, a man who brings out every sub instinct she has.




A beam of sunlight poked at Genevieve’s brain, pricking at her to wake up. Her non-tortured eyelid fluttered with the effort to open and failed. With a loud groan, she rolled to her other side in an attempt to dodge the sun streaming into her room and the drum banging in her head. The blue of her sheets appeared before her eyes as she finally managed to pry her lids open.
Blue sheets? What the hell? My sheets are ivory.
Where the hell was she? What the hell happened last night?
The kettle drum banging in her brain amplified as she tried to recall the events of the previous evening.
The last thing she remembered was Timothy wanting to take her to the local BDSM club. She had only planned on meeting the guy, no jumping right into a scene. She remembered asking him to call her a cab so she could go home. Obviously, that hadn’t happened. Instead of waking up in her own room, she woke up here. Wherever here happened to be.
Note to self: Don’t let Heidi introduce you to a prospective Dom ever again.
A terrifying thought popped into her mind. She swallowed hard against a wave of nausea. Dear God in Heaven, had she left the bar with Timothy? Genevieve lifted up the comforter and peered underneath. The breath she didn’t realize she was holding whooshed out. At least she was still dressed, wherever the hell she spent the night. If she had gone home with the jerk, she hadn’t slept with him.
Pushing herself to a sitting position gave her a better angle to survey her surroundings. It did nothing for her head. The stark room divulged nothing. The bare walls and uncluttered dresser top revealed nothing about her host. Strike that. She’d bet her last grant award this room, this place, belonged to a man. Sure, the comforter, sheets, and curtains of blue made it a relatively safe bet. But the lack of anything personal, hell, anything at all, sealed the deal.
Tugging her legs free of the tangled bed linens, Genevieve inched her feet to the floor. She’d never figure out what happened last night if she stayed in the bed. She tugged at her dress, untwisting it from around her waist.
Eww. The image staring back at her looked like, well, she didn’t have any words to describe her hair or her smeared make up. With only her fingers to make herself into something resembling a female human, she fixed herself up as much as possible. Once she’d repaired her wild ponytail and her mascara-smudged eyes, she was as ready as she’d ever be.
Drawing a deep breath, Genevieve rose from the bed and shuffled to the door. She pulled on the door knob and found herself at the end of a short hall. With moving ahead being the only non-cowardly option, she marched to the end and wobbled as she stopped short.
Holy mother of God.
The hall opened into a large living room and kitchen separated by a low bar. And standing behind that barrier stood the most handsome man she’d ever seen. Not to mention the largest. He worked at something on the counter, allowing her to oogle to her lust’s content. His short dark hair neatly cropped his head. Chiseled cheekbones and a strong chin finished off his face, covered by a five o’clock shadow. His shoulders looked so broad; his T-shirt clung to his wide chest and narrow waist. The muscles in his biceps flexed with whatever activity on which he focused. What she wouldn’t give to see if his abs looked as good as the rest of him.
What the hell was wrong with her? She stood in the apartment of a complete stranger and instead of figuring out where she was, she drooled over the man. She drew in a deep breath, preparing to step into the living room.

Friday, August 1, 2014

A New Santini is Up for Preorder

I know that many of you loved The Santinis and I had a lot of emails telling me they wanted MORE, MORE, AND MORE! And I said, no, after Joey and Papa, I was done.

Then a funny thing happened...

I was writing Touch Me and a Santini popped up. I hadn't even thought about the other branches of the Santini family tree, but Dante didn't care. He just barged into it and I now have at least five more books to write. I am sure there will be more to follow.

These will not be novellas like the others, but more than twice the size of the other books.

A SANTINI IN LOVE
NOVEMBER 4, 2014
Amazon: US | UK | CA | AU | DE | FR | IT | ES | MXJP
ARe | Kobo
I cannot do preorders at Barnes and Noble.
Santini Book 6
She was the last woman standing.
Madison Baker was born and bred to be a Marine. When a roadside bomb ends her first deployment—not to mention her career—she is left to pick up the pieces of what is left of her life. She’s returned to Oceanside to regroup and move on. It doesn’t mean she’s ready for a relationship, even if a particular Santini has different plans.
Love happens when you least expect it.
When he first met Madison back at the Academy, Dante Santini was sure the woman was put on the earth to irritate him. She’s prickly and mouthy. She always thinks she’s right. Worse—she almost always is. She hasn’t really changed over the years. One disagreement ends up with them lip locked and very nearly falling into bed, Dante discovers he might need to rethink his first impression.
When Madison is convinced she witnesses a murder, the only person who believes her is Dante. Together, they sift through the meager evidence, trying to unearth the secrets someone is trying to hide. Neither one of them expecting it would draw them closer—or that a killer is hell bent on making sure those secrets stay buried.

Friday, July 25, 2014

SEAL's Promise - Meet S.O. TJ Talbot

I'm participating in an incredible anthology, Hot Alpha SEALs, with 12 talented ladies. Doing a box set is all about timing, great writing, getting along and playing nice, communication and no Divas. I think we've been fortunate to score nearly a 10 in every category.

I like doing these because of more than just the fact that it keeps getting my name out there so new readers can discover me, I do it because it gives me hard deadlines I have to shoot for, and gives me material to start a full length book from. Every novella, except one, I've converted to a full length novel.

I've heard of SEAL wives who are widowed, and what happens to them after their man is killed while serving our country. What often follows is that the community closes ranks, and it is highly likely that she will marry another SEAL. I had the opportunity to speak with a proud former SEAL father, whose son married one of the widows from the Redwings mission, one of the men who perished in Lone Survivor. So, my story is loosely based on things that have or could have happened.

I added an extra twist in this story to have her be 6 months pregnant when she gets the news. Now she has to deal with the loss of her husband and be careful about the baby. And then I couldn't resist and made the hero of the story another SEAL her husband served with, his best friend, and a man she's always disliked. But boys will be boys, and the unthinkable happens and T.J. is forced to promise to his dying Team buddy he'll watch over Shannon and their unborn child, even though Shannon has made no small thing about hating him.

Hard to show the range of emotions in a short story, only 20,000 words. The sex scene is between a pregnant, grieving widow and a young SEAL who has grown quickly to love her. I will be expanding it this fall into a full length novel. But judging from the comments and emails I've been getting, apparently I've hit the mark. It is the book I'm the most proud of.

So here's an excerpt that shows the tension between the best man and the groom. The best man will be the hero. The groom is about to have a disaster of a wedding, including passing out. In the end, the bride merely tolerates her wedding and wants to quickly move on with her plans for a HEA, until fate steps in, and brings her what she never believed she could have.

Yup, I'm in love with these two characters, and I hope you love them too. Shannon is the bride. Cindy is the maid of honor. Frankie is the groom, T.J. is the best man.

EXCERPT, SEAL's Promise:     ****SEAL Language Alert****

Four other SEALs were in the wedding party, and he had to admit they’d make a wedding portrait which would look good on the cover of any bridal magazine, except for their dark glasses. Only Frankie, the groom, posed without shades. Shannon had wanted them all without the shades, but T.J. smiled at her and put his back on in open defiance, and the others followed his lead.
She’d flounced off in a huff, a flurry of white organza and chiffon, and her perfume that made him sneeze. He’d watched that hellcat streak she had, angled his head to the side and watched her march off to some mythical place brides hide when they go crazy. Lovely, though. Even he had to admit that.
Frankie was white as a sheet as they gathered. “I wanna pray first,” he’d said to his best buddies. Tyler was there, of course, and Kyle, Ollie and Rory were as well. But T.J. was Frankie’s best friend, and that meant he had to be best man.
“Fuckin’ going to need a lot more than fuckin’ prayin’. Gonna need a miracle, Frankie. Shannon’s had the evil eye on me all morning…yesterday, too, and that means I don’t think you’re getting any tonight, not that you haven’t—”
“Fuck sake, T.J. It’s my fuckin’ wedding and has nothing to do with how my bride looks at you. Get that fuckin’ thought out of your head.”
“I was just sayin’—”
“Not what you’re sayin’ I have a problem with. It’s what you’re thinking.” Frankie was so nervous he was seeing conspiracies behind every plant, guest and bouquet.
“Just be glad we didn’t send you to Alaska,” Tyler said, making it worse. Last year one of the young recruits had gotten time off from BUD/S to get married—a request which was almost never granted, and then the boys thought it necessary to save him from that quickie wedding in Las Vegas, and so got him stinking drunk and put him on a plane to Alaska so he missed his own wedding. They incurred extra wet and sandy for that one, and had the toilets cleaned so many times you could eat out of them.
This had worried Shannon, and her mother even more. Mrs. “I Want Moore” was one of the hottest women T.J. had ever seen, all toned and a marathon runner in her fifties. He had never before had fantasies about the mother of the bride. Mrs. Moore was twenty-five years his senior, but he knew she could clean his clock. He’d enjoy chasing her around a few places.
Turning to face Frankie again, he felt a tad sheepish about his lusty thoughts. He wiped his mind clean and decided to concentrate harder on Frankie’s day. His buddy was so crazy in love with Shannon, he needed extra protection to keep him from stepping out in front of traffic, or bumping into caterers, which he’d already managed to do several times today.
“Come on, Frankie. Lighten up.” T.J. slapped his cheeks to redden them up. “You need to stop looking like a dead man if you’re really gonna do this.”
“Yup. I’m doing this,” Frankie said to the auditorium full of people, the organ music now swelling up to the rafters. “I’m fuckin’ doing this.”
T.J. had a hunch he was looking for his courage and had come up short. He glanced down the hallway. Cindy was leaning against the wall right outside the bride’s dressing room, keeping sentry, but also giving him the long vacant look he knew only too well. He unabashedly scanned her entire body and let her see he couldn’t wait to get her naked.
She abruptly turned after blushing.

Perfect.
I WILL BE GIVING AWAY 10 KINDLE COPIES OF THIS ANTHOLOGY TO COMMENTERS, BUT YOU MUST MAKE A COMMENT TO WIN. GOOD LUCK!

Sharon’s NYT and USA Today bestselling novels are almost-erotic Navy SEAL stories of the SEAL Brotherhood. Her characters follow a spicy road to redemption through passion and true love. This series continues with books 7, SEAL Of My Heart, releasing in July 2014, and book 8 scheduled in the fall of 2014. All of her SEAL Brotherhood Series are available in audio book. She has maintained an Amazon top 100 author status in Romantic Suspense for since the end of 2012.

Sharon lives in Sonoma County, California, with her husband and two Dobermans. A lifelong organic gardener, when she’s not writing, she’s getting verra verra dirty in the mud, or wandering Farmer’s Markets looking for new Heirloom varieties of vegetables and flowers.

Sharon Hamilton
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Read an All New NIGHT WITH A SEAL Excerpt from Cat Johnson

NIGHT WITH A SEAL (HOT SEALS, BOOK 1)
by NY Times Bestselling Author Cat Johnson
Ten years in the Navy taught SEAL Jon Rudnick one thing—he’s not afraid to risk life and limb for his country. But when navigating military red tape begins to present more challenges than the enemy it makes Jon question his future. So does Alison Cressly, the one woman he can’t get out of his head.

CHAPTER 1 EXCERPT 
The glare of the sun bounced off the hood as Jon steered his truck to the curb and parallel parked in front of his buddy’s place. Cutting the engine, he evaluated the house through the dark lenses of his sunglasses. It was nice for a rental. He’d definitely lived in worse. They all had.
He stepped out of the air-conditioned cab of the vehicle and pocketed the keys. It was hot outside, but not unbearable considering it was summer in Virginia. He’d take sunny and high eighties any day rather than the hundred-and-twenty degrees Fahrenheit that would be waiting for him in Afghanistan.
Jon moved around to open the passenger door and grab the cold eighteen-pack from the floor. It was going to be a good day. He had cold beer, good friends and Rick had promised them some tasty barbecue.
Best of all, he was actually stateside for a holiday. It was only Fourth of July—not one of the big days like Thanksgiving or Christmas, both of which he’d spent deployed last year—but it was a federal holiday so officially it counted.
He made his way up the short path to the front door and, case of beer in his hands, hit the doorbell with his elbow.
It was a nice change, walking up to a door in daylight and ringing the bell rather than creeping through the dark wearing night vision goggles and blowing the lock. It was the little things such as being able to approach a door and not have to dodge automatic gunfire that a man grew to appreciate after a decade of combat deployments.
The door swung wide and all six-foot-five of Rick Mann’s hulking frame filled the opening. Built like a linebacker, Rick always had made Jon—whose six-foot-two-inch frame was lean muscle rather than bulk—feel small.
“Dude, good to see you.” Jon held the beer with his left arm and clasped right hands with his former teammate.
“You too. I never thought I’d say this, but I actually miss seeing that smartass face of yours all hours of the day and night.” Rick grinned and stepped back to let Jon inside the front door of the house. “Come on in. The party’s going to be around back on the deck.”
As Rick led the way through the house, Jon glanced around him. It wasn’t huge, but it was neat and comfortable. A big flat-screen TV hung on one wall of the living room. Just past the living room furniture was an island lined with stools and a decent sized kitchen with appliances that looked to be fairly new.
Except for an overabundance of floral throw pillows covering the sectional sofa and the room’s two upholstered chairs—a clear sign Rick lived with a female—a man could be very happy kicking back here.
Jon tipped up his chin and called a greeting to Rick’s sister Darci in the kitchen. With a phone pressed to her ear, she smiled and wiggled her fingers in a wave.
“Nice digs,” Jon said as he skirted around a dining table and chair on his way to the sliding glass doors.
Rick let out a huff. “Thanks.”
He’d sounded less than enthusiastic and as Rick glanced over his shoulder, Jon saw his scowl. “What’s the face for? I meant it.”
Rick made a face again. “You know this is Darci’s place.”
“Yeah. So?” Jon asked. “It’s still nice.”
“I just never thought I’d be living with family at this point in my life. Moving in with my little sister is barely a step up from moving back home with my parents.”
“Hey, it’s not a big deal.” Jon shrugged. “You only got out a couple of months ago. And it didn’t make sense to buy your own place while you were active duty.”
Rick’s brow rose. “You bought yours.”
“Yup.” Jon nodded. “And I’m there less than half the months of the year, but even so, the bills still keep coming every damn month, so who’s the smart one here? You are.”
It had made sense for Rick to live in the bachelor quarters on base for the months their squad was stateside, and then just move his stuff into storage for the months they were deployed. It would be logical for Jon to do the same, except that he rarely did what was logical.
Besides, Jon liked coming home to a turnkey condo that was all his. It was far better than being at the mercy of base housing, which had left more than a few guys without a room after returning home from deployment. Real nice welcome home, that.
Team members without family in the area usually crashed on Jon’s sofa until a room became available for them. Sometimes it took a few days, sometimes a couple of weeks, but Jon didn’t mind the company. At this point, he and the guys spent so much time together he was more comfortable being with them than apart.
“I guess.” Rick continued to look miserable as he yanked open the sliding glass door leading onto the back deck.
Rick was obviously experiencing the grass-is-always-greener syndrome. Jon had seen it before. Guys who were in the military dreamed about getting out, while at the same time guys who’d gotten out lamented about how much better things were when they’d been in.
SEALs were no different than any regular Joe in that respect.
“I’ve got a cooler full of ice in the shade under the tree. You can put the beer in there.” Rick tipped his head toward the cooler and then reached to raise the cover on a stainless steel barbecue grill. “I gotta check the ribs real quick.”
“Sounds good.”
Ribs. That explained the tantalizing scent he’d smelled wafting from the closed grill when they’d stepped outside. Jon sniffed the meat-laden air as he made his way down the steps and across the lawn.
The yard was nice. Small enough to be easy to keep up, but private thanks to a fence and some well-placed landscaping. So far, Jon saw nothing for Rick to be complaining about. Living here, Rick should be a lot happier than he appeared to be. But to each his own.
Kneeling in the grass, Jon paused while tearing open the cardboard case. He breathed in the scent of freshly mowed lawn that hit him now that he was away from the smoke of the grill.
Never mind taking time to smell the roses, after spending so much time in the desert even just the sight of a patch of lush green grass could stop Jon in his tracks. He ran his hands over the shorn blades and felt them tickle his palm. It might be one of the last opportunities he’d have to appreciate things like backyard grass.
The squad couldn’t tell anyone the exact timing, but barring any last minute changes Jon’s unit would be heading back to the sandbox next week to spend the remainder of the year in the war zone.
Summer in Afghanistan sucked. But then again, so did winter . . . and the rainy season . . . and fighting season.
Jon had to think that Rick didn’t know how good he had it.
Catching himself in a grass-is-always-greener moment, he focused back on his task—stowing the beer in the ice. When he got to the last couple of bottles, he closed the lid and carried two longnecks back to the deck. He handed one to Rick, trying not to let his mouth water at the scent of the meat grilling just feet away.

Read the rest of NIGHT WITH A SEAL in the HOT ALPHA SEALS 99 CENT MILITARY ROMANCE MEGASET

NOTE: NIGHT WITH A SEAL is debuting as an eBook exclusively in the 99 cent Hot Alpha SEALs Megaset on July 22. It will be available for purchase as an individual eBook (independent of the bundle) in late August and also as a Trade Paperback!

PREORDER NOW AT:


Look for SAVED BY A SEAL (HOT SEALS, BOOK 2) releasing Sep16.

SUPPORT OUR THUNDERCLAP CAMPAIGN HERE