I’d like to introduce you to the female lead character, Kai Malone, a bi-racial firefighter who loves her job. In this brief excerpt, she’s at work, doing her duty of preparing dinner for the station. While she cooks, she has a conversation with her best friend on the job, Lopez. Enjoy!
Working out of Firehouse 19 was a dream come true in more ways than one. Having a Malone stationed at the firehouse for the past thirty years was part of my family’s history. My being the first female firefighter at the station, or even in my family, made it that more special.
Following in the footsteps of my grandfather and uncle had been my dream. My parents, on the other hand, were not happy about it. Neither was my sister. For the longest time, I stood out as being different in my family. I was even taller than most females in my family.
My father was a career postman, my mother a third generation florist. Kelli had chosen to follow in our mother’s footsteps, but branched out to focus on the interior decorator aspect, which went hand in hand with mom’s business.
As a teen, I trained at my mother’s and grandmother’s sides, learning the art of floral design. I was good at it. My mother had dreams of Kelli and me taking over the shop when she retired. So did I.
Until my uncle became a local legend.
Uncle Jeramiah gave his life in an effort to save a family in one of the worst fires in the history of our city. Add the fact that my grandfather was named the first African-American Fire Chief in the state back in the eighties, and well, that sealed the deal for me.
The one thing I was proudest of was not only following in my family’s footsteps, it was doing so while creating a legacy of my own. I was the first African-American-Cambodian female firefighter in the state.
Talk about breaking the stereotypical lines of race and gender.
Earning the badge hadn’t been easy, though. Gaining the respect of the men at the station was even harder.
After five years, most had gotten over their initial fear and discomfort of having a woman on the team because I carried my own. There were still a few who wouldn’t hide their distrust, mainly because no matter how well I performed in the field, I was still a woman. To them, I represented their wives and sisters, the innocent victims we risked our lives to save. I realized long ago there was nothing I could do to change their minds.
So, I did my job in the field and fulfilled my responsibilities at the station. Cooking dinner was part of my rotation duties for this shift.
In the kitchen, I pulled out the ingredients for tonight’s meal: restaurant styled hamburgers, or as I liked to call them, Juicy Lucy’s. It was a name the guys liked to use in inappropriate ways, of course. Nothing thick skin and a good pair of earbuds couldn’t handle.
“How was your weekend, Lopez?”
My friend and confidant at the firehouse joined me in the kitchen and grabbed a can of Coke out of the fridge.
“Had a nice night out with my lady. Dinner and a movie. How about you?”
“I got caught up on sleep then spent Saturday with a house full of kids under three feet tall.”
He laughed. “Sounds like fun.”
I shrugged and grabbed seasoning out of the cabinet. “It wasn’t bad. It was a birthday party for a friend’s son. He turned one.”
“My lady wants one of those.”
I looked up from the skillet I pulled from the cabinet. “A frying pan?”
“No, a kid.” He grimaced.
My brow furrowed. “You said that like a kid is an item to be bought from the store.”
“What can I say?” He popped the lid on his soda. “I think her clock is ticking.”
I emptied the ten-pound tub of ground beef into the mixing bowl and added seasoning. “What about you? Your clock ticking?” The expression on his face made me laugh.
“Men don’t have ticking clocks. We get the urge to sow wild oats. Totally different thing.”
Leave it to Lopez to have an off the wall explanation of things. “How is that different?”
“Women expect sexual encounters to be full of romance and love. You want to walk away satisfied and knocked up. We just want to get off and go to sleep.”
Unable to put my hand over my mouth because my fingers were deep into the ground beef mixture for the patties, I turned my head and put my mouth on my shoulder to keep my outburst from disturbing the guys who watched TV. “Lopez, you are a fool. How does Maria put up with your crazy ass?”
“I could tell you, but then you might get jealous.” He wagged his eyebrows and winked.
I shook my head and went back to forming patties.
“Anyway, what about your clock? Your lady parts looking for a sperm donor? I’ve got a few friends who think a woman that can handle a huge hose is hot. They’d be happy to service you anytime.”
I groaned on the inside. I hated when people asked me that question. The reality of my life was simple when it came to my inability to conceive and carry to term. My issues were my business. I dug into my bag of lies and shared my ‘truth’.
“Uh, no thanks. I can find one on my own. Besides, I’m not sure having kids is the right thing for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my niece and can’t wait for my nephew to be born. I’m the aunt who spoils them and sends them home to momma. But be a full-time mom?” I pointed to the lounge area full of grown men. Some played pool while the others watched CNN. “You guys have been enough work as it is.”
Lopez chuckled. “True. But seriously, Malone, you’re what, thirty-eight and you don’t want to reproduce?” He leaned on the counter and stared at me as if I was an anomaly.
I glared at him. “I’m not thirty-eight, I’m thirty-five and proud of it. I worked too damn hard to get where I am in my career to give it up just yet.” I concentrated on forming a hamburger patty. “Besides, if I got pregnant, do you know what a female firefighter has to do in order to keep her job? Under no circumstances would I be allowed near a fire truck or any equipment for fear that I’d have a miscarriage. The county would look at me like a walking law suit waiting to happen.”
Lopez’s eyebrows knitted together in thought. “You could do community service work. Visit schools and talk about fire safety.”
I smirked. “Actually, I’d be doing office work.” I shuddered at the notion. “No thanks.”
He raised his can. “Ouch.” He drank, and then frowned. “Seriously though, no kids?”
“Lopez, for me to consider having a baby, he’ll have to be one hell of a guy worth putting my job on the back burner. The chances of that happening are slim to none.”
To celebrate the release of the fourth novel in the series, I am giving away a gift basket full of butterfly swag AND autographed paperback copies off all four novels! This is a month long contest, so enter as many times as you’d like to increase your chances to win!
Trevon Campbell’s world changed the moment his ex-girlfriend announced he was a father. Determined to make up for his past mistakes, he gives Trina what she wanted before their breakup, what feels like his soul, which means forgetting the woman he had a one-night stand with, the woman who stole his heart.
Kai Malone doesn’t want to play by her family’s rules. Instead of working for the family business, she became a firefighter. Being a female of multicultural descent, working in a field dominated by men, Kai focuses on her job to ignore the infidelity of her fiancé. Tired of his deceit, she gave in to a one-night stand with a complete stranger, someone she’d never have to see again…or so she thought.
When tragedy strikes, their worlds collide, leaving them no choice but to deal with each other again. It doesn’t take long for them to realize the attraction that brought them together the first time is stronger than ever, forcing Trevon to make the biggest decision of his life.
About the Author:
M.J. Kane stumbled into writing. An avid reader, this once stay at home mom never lost the overactive imagination of an only child. As an adult she made up stories, though never shared them, to keep herself entertained. It wasn’t until surviving a traumatic medical incident in 2006 that she found a reason to let the characters inhabiting her imagination free. Upon the suggestion of her husband, she commandeered his laptop and allowed the characters to take life. It was that, or look over her shoulder for men caring a purple strait jacket. And the rest, as they say, is history.
No longer a television addict, if M.J. isn’t reading a book by one of her favorite authors, she’s battling with her creative muse to balance writing and being a wife and mother. She resides in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia with her high school sweetheart, four wonderful children, and four pit bulls. During the day, MJ is a librarian, in her spare time she is director of a local writer’s group, or online connecting with readers and other authors. Other activities she enjoys include: creating custom floral arrangements, assisting her children in their creative pursuits of music and art, and supporting her husband’s music production business, 3D Sounds.
Ticketing agent Jessamy Taylor has been in a dating slump exacerbated by moving her sickly mother into her home. The truth is she’s never gotten over the quirky Dr. Griffin Sanderson whose Obsessive Compulsive Disorder drives her crazy, despite his excellent bedside manner.
Fly Me to the Moon is a love song covered by many, the most memorable being Frank Sinatra. Griffin whistles this tune incessantly, but that’s just one of the many odd quirks Jessamy Taylor either loves or hates about him. Since their ill-fated love affair two years prior, she’s found no one to replace the good doctor.
A date with a self-absorbed jerk that goes awry for Jessamy somehow ends with her in Griffin’s arms. Will the changes he’s made be enough this time, or will secrets tear them apart?
Kyla rasped, “I-Is that Griffin petting a dog over there?”
Jessamy shielded her eyes with her hand and peered across the cul-de-sac. If she’d seen it first, she might have choked on her lemonade, too. Griffin Sanderson was petting the Fowlers’ dog. “Oh my God, he is!”
“Don’t they have like a gazillion germs or something? And what happened to his glasses?”
“Actually, some would argue that dogs are cleaner than humans. And Griffin got contacts.”
“Finally. You know, Jess, he’s looking kind of good, today. You might want to tap that again since he’s had a makeover and all.”
Jessamy waved her off. “I couldn’t possibly.”
“Why not? The guy I see over there looks infinitely tappable.” Kyla set her drink on the table and folded her arms.
Jessamy sipped her lemonade. “He may look tappable today, but you didn’t have to experience what I did with him as his girlfriend for two years. I should’ve called it quits after our Christmas trip to the Poconos, but I had fallen for him, and like so many misinformed women in history before me, I thought I could change him.”
“You’d think you two would’ve been great together, twin OCD and all. And I thought you said the trip to the Poconos was perfect.” Kyla said, air-quoting the word perfect.
“Everything was perfect up until that trip. We had so much in common. We both loved science fiction. We were both G.R.R. Martin geeks who watched the Game of Thrones show together and nitpicked how the show differed from the books. And even though I had the books on my kindle, he gifted me the hardbacks as a three-month anniversary present.” Jessamy smiled at the memory.
“I remember. You two were enough to make regular folks gag.”
“And you and Carter don’t—with your copious PDA?”
Kyla laughed. “But at least we don’t get all aroused over an episode of The Big Bang Theory.”
“Carter likes that show.”
“Not more than he likes me, though.” Kyla actually twirled her hair.
“Is he coming today?”
“Yeah, after he does his Saturday morning nine holes with his boss. Ugh!”
“Good, we’re going to need all the people we can get to eat up all this food.” Jessamy eyed the tables balefully.
“Look!” Kyla said. “Griffin’s holding the Fowlers’ baby. Now doesn’t that make your ovaries want to explode?”
Jessamy turned her head slowly, knowing the sight would slay her. Griffin never held babies. She took it all in as if in slow motion. Mark was holding their toddler in place as Jenny was cleaning up the sticky Popsicle he was covered in, while Griffin was holding the four-month old. He cradled her a bit nervously at first, then he seemed to get his baby-holding legs under him and finally began to smile and talk to her.
Jessamy and Kyla could hear her baby giggle from where they stood. “Aww!” They said in tandem.
Bev Elle the author of sweet and spicy, contemporary romance. A lover of books–many already written, and those she harbors in her very active imagination. Writing is a passion she’s had for many years, but was unable to act upon. Until now. Bev Elle is the mother of three human children and two canines. She is also the lover of one husband 🙂 When Bev isn’t writing in her spare time after work, she is thinking of doing so.
Makenna Lewis cringes at the mention of the word commitment. She doesn’t want or need a relationship,but she does like sex (who doesn’t?). That explains Noah, Sean, and Zander, her three ‘friends with benefits’.
They know the score, they know they’re not
the only one, and each of them provide her with a different physical
need that she craves and enjoys.
Until a late night
encounter with the delicious Daniel Winters turns her preconceived
notion of no-commitment completely on its head.
finds herself feeling things she vowed never to feel again, and when
Daniel pushes for more than she’s willing to give, she falters.
What do you do when something that you’ve
known to be so wrong in the past feels so damn right?
If you’re Mac, you run and hide.
But is Daniel the type
of man who takes no for an answer?
– There is absolutely no cheating in this book. However, this book
does contain descriptive and super hot sex scenes that will make you
blush and leave you hot and bothered. Make sure you have you husband,
partner, boyfriend or significant other nearby when reading, or else
batteries. Lots and lots of batteries*
Now she wants her turn.
Despite a run of bad dates with Mr. Wrong, Mr. Boring, Mr. Bad Breath, Mr.
Grabby Hands, and even Mr. Say I Love You After One Date To Get Into
Your Pants, Kate McGuinness is more determined than ever to find the one.
Having tried everything else, she turns to the internet in a last ditch
attempt to find her elusive prince.
But Kate doesn’t want an everyday, run of the mill love.
She wants the kind of love that makes your heart skip a beat. The kind of
love that makes you dance in the rain and bottle up the sunset. The
once in a lifetime kind of love that authors write
Could a certain police officer in training, who has come to her rescue in
the past, be the one to swoop in and save her heart?
What if the love Kate desperately seeks has been in front of her the whole time?
She just needs to open her eyes to see it…
This book contains a hot as hell stripper with a penchant for public
sex and exhibitionism who may or may not succeed in bringing out the
inner firecracker in all of us. Oh, and don’t forget the batteries.*
Zealand. Avid reader, television watcher, and facebooker.
doing communications and business consulting as well as studying
accounting full time. Addicted to energy drinks, chocolate, cronuts, Vampire Diaries and pickles with mustard.
Other Books by BJ Harvey
As is characteristic of her style, Traci L. Slatton begins Cold Light in much the same manner as Fallen–in the bosom of in medias res (Latin, in the midst of things). She begins just as the Roman poet Horace and Jack Lynch advises, in the heart of the story without preamble. The story also parallels Fallen because this time Emma’s eldest daughter, Beth, rather than her youngest, Mandy, is in danger. In fact, Beth is kidnapped by raiders and taken on horseback to places unknown as the book opens. Ergo, life in this post-apocalyptic increasingly dystopian society goes from bad to worse for Emma.
Fallen ended with Emma leaving Arthur, the man whom she had come to know as the other part of her soul, behind as her husband, Haywood, retrieved her and Mandy by Airplane via Canada. The family had been separated when the mists, the noxious gases created by a military experiment gone bad, consumed much of the technology, machines and modes of transportation made possible by the industrial revolution and the technological boom of Silicon Valley, leaving Emma and Mandy stranded in the Parisian countryside.
The world as they had come to know it had ceased to exist with many of the creature comforts they had come to enjoy now gone forever. And now, having her daughter kidnapped in the dead of winter, Emma and Haywood haggle over who will take on the daunting task of going to rescue her. After gathering intel and being told that the city they now call home won’t go in search of their taken residents, Emma and Haywood decide they can spare only one of them to take the dangerous journey through sub-zero weather to rescue Beth from none other than a man by whom Emma suffered being kidnapped herself.
As Emma walks through treacherous weather, she is stalked by a large cat, helped by some, and betrayed by others on the way to her destination. At the last outpost she comes to before she plans to attempt the rescue of her daughter, Emma encounters old friends and an extremely determined lover who have no intentions of allowing her to continue her journey alone. Yet, she does not want them to risk their lives to save her child. Will Emma brave this rescue attempt on her own and succeed, or will love truly demand everything of her in this gripping Book 2 of the After Trilogy, Cold Light?
If you’d read Fallen, there is no way you can forgo Cold Light. I read this immediately after reading Fallen, but am just now getting to review. However, don’t let that lead you to believe that this book isn’t as stellar as the first. In fact, this book is more action-packed and the stakes have gone even higher than Emma and her family just avoiding the mists that can consume them. This is a do-or-die, life-and-death story that leaves you guessing at every turn–How is Emma going to get out of these newest pickles? Read Cold Light and find out.
This is a dystopian romance for the mature set, (Hunger Games and/or Divergent on steroids). Don’t ignore this wonderful series.
I give Cold Light Five out of Five Stars!
ABOUT TRACI L. SLATTON:
Traci L. Slatton is a graduate of Yale and Columbia, where she taught freshman composition. She lives in Manhattan, though her love for Renaissance Italy inspired her historical novel Immortal [Bantam Dell], which is currently in film pre-production and reached bestseller status in Italy, Russia and Brazil. Also the author of The Botticelli Affair and the After trilogy (Fallen, Cold Light and Far Shore [forthcoming late spring 2013]), Slatton has published The Art of Life, a photo essay about figurative sculpture; a book of poetry; as well as a non-fiction title on science and spirituality, Piercing Time & Space. Her forthcoming novel, The Mission, is a meaty historical saga set during World War II.
Friends, Readers, and Lovers of Keisha Beale and Tristan White! Hear me for my cause, and be silent that you may hear. Believe me for mine honor that there will be a Book 2 of the Ghetto Girl Romance Quadrilogy!
Albeit late as hell, the book is coming. Well, you know Brutus’s speech didn’t take this trajectory when he presented it in Act 3, Scene 2 of Julius Caesar after taking part in Caesar’s murder (I was that geek who totally paid attention in high school Literature). Also, contrary to popular opinion, I’m not trying to kill you all by making you wait so long. In the words of the famous anonymous person who said it the first time: Life happens! And it happened to me in an abundance–which gives new meaning to the phenomenon called Murphy’s Law.
In preparation for the momentous occasion of the release of the second book in the tetralogy, I am doing what many veteran authors have advised me to do, and I just haven’t gotten around to it. I am making an attempt to build a mailing list, because you know and I know, you all don’t come to my blog everyday (not even I do that–unless I’m writing a new blog entry). Also, you don’t stalk me on Facebook, or Twitter, so when Exit Strategy debuts, you might not hear for days. I don’t want you to be that person who doesn’t hear about the new release of the book until weeks later, so it would behoove you, if you want to get a notification the minute the book drops, to join my mailing list.
I know, I know–you think I’m going to spam you with a crapload of unimportant things that you’d just as soon not be privy to. Well, I’m here to tell you, that won’t be the case. In fact, I promise, I won’t even use the mailing list unless I have a release, or some other really pertinent stuff you want to hear, like what the next two book covers will look like, or a guesstimate as to when the next two books (and mine or my alter ego’s future books) will be published. These are the tidbits of information that “try men’s souls,” so I promise, that is the only time you will hear from me if you join my mailing list.
Now, I have Mail Chimp, but I haven’t figure out how to use it yet, but you can bet, once I do, I’ll be incorporating that into sending my infrequent missives to you. So, be one of the avante garde readers of L.V. Lewis’s brand of kink and join my mailing list so you can get up-to-the-minute, real-time information on the release of Exit Strategy. If you are still exited to read the completion of Keisha and Tristan’s story, you will be glad you did this. Trust me.
So, ladies (and brave gentlemen), please sign up for my newsletter here:
(Maybe I’ll figure out how to put the widget on my website/blog soon.)
Lily is a thirty-two year old single woman who owns Wedding Dreams. She spends her days planning weddings for other people. She is a realist, and knows that marriage is not in the cards for her.Drew Hamilton is a thirty-six year old lawyer who has no desire to have a wife or family. But, he is plagued by his desire to grant his mother’s only wish.When Drew meets Lily at a wedding, he thinks he has a solution to both of their problems. If only Lily sees it the same way.
inspired by photos of shirtless men on the internet, hot actors in steamy scenes, and her own fantasies. A lover of wine and Bailey’s Irish Cream, Savannah enjoys spending time with friends and reading steamy novels.
Only Her Heart
By Olivia Linden
Holding the pieces of her drama riddled life, Jade decides to leave her disappointments in the past and move on. When her aunt opens up about a family secret, she realizes that everyone else seems to do what they please. Well, now so will she. Building life from the ground up isn’t easy, but with the right friends, she creates the life of her once forgotten dreams.
At the crux of an intense love tug-o-war, one question she must answer is which man will play the lead role? Will Julian, the ‘bad boy’ who mysteriously walks back into her life manage to win her heart? Will she find forgiveness and a happy ending with John, Mr. “almost perfect’? Maybe there is someone new on the horizon that she can start fresh with. Life is never simple for Jade, but when she listens to her heart, she begins to open doors to a whole new world.
With new friends, and new exciting adventures, Jade is growing into a woman that she is proud of. The real question she needs to figure out is? What does she want her life to become?
Next to me, John was visibly tense and his phone kept buzzing repeatedly until he placed it on silent. My stomach was so twisted that I could barely eat any of the succulent baked chicken or scalloped potatoes Aunt V had prepared. The forced and awkward conversations didn’t help either. I felt my chest tighten like all the air was being sucked out of the room. I had to get away from this circus. Startling everyone in the room, I shoved away from the table, the legs of my chair scraping loudly against the wood floors.
“I’m sorry,” I squeaked out. “I just…need some…air.” I stormed out towards the back patio, leaning up against the wall as I struggled to breath. It was weird because my mind was telling me there was no rational reason why I couldn’t breath, but my body felt like it was defective in the act of doing it. Sitting at the table, I felt like someone had put me in a coffin.
John came storming out the door a few moments later. He looked around frantically until he found me.
“Jade? What’s wrong?” He waited for an answer and when I remained pressed close to the wall, gulping in air, he moved closer.
“Jade?” He examined my stance, taking in my clenched fists and heaving chest. I shook my head, trying to communicate without words that I wanted to be left alone. Knowing John, that wasn’t happening. Concern flashed through his eyes as watched, waiting for me to snap out of whatever was happening to me. Then he gingerly gripped my shoulders and maneuvered me to a chair.
“Sit here,” he directed me. “Now, put your head between your legs. That’s it. Take deep breaths.”
The ringing in my ears lessened, and eventually I was breathing normal. I raised my head, immediately looking away from his sympathetic gaze, and then leaned back covering my face with my hands.
“Thank you,” I spoke between my fingers. John squatted down, resting one hand on my knees, and moving my hands away with the other.
“Was that a panic attack?”
“I guess, I don’t know.”
“Has it happened before?”
“John, don’t worry. It’s not a big deal.” I tried to push his hand away, but he refused to move.
“It’s not a big deal, that you just freaked out in front of your family? You scared us in there.”
Feeling much better, I sprang up out of my chair causing John to jump up quickly.
“Well, I didn’t really plan it John! Sorry, but I was more concerned with breathing than my dinner table manners.”
“Jade, talk to me. Please?”
“Not here. Not tonight.”
“When? I’ve tried to wait you out but, this is too much.”
“John!” I hadn’t meant to yell, but I couldn’t deal with him. His pleading was starting to break me down and I couldn’t deal. We just stared at each other until he blew out a deep breath, and ran his fingers through his hair. I loved when he did that.
Olivia Linden Bio:
Olivia Linden, a native New Yorker, was raised between Queens and San Antonio, TX. Currently living in Florida with her 10 year-old son, she decided it was time to follow her dreams of becoming a full time author. Her creative itch began when her elementary school principal posted one of her stories in the halls of her school. She was only seven at the time, but old enough to understand how integral writing would be to her future. From that moment on, reading and writing became her two greatest passions.
Olivia is a newbie to the industry, but she hasn’t stopped writing since she found her literary voice all those years ago. Jaded Hearts, her first published novel, mixes her big personality, with a sexy yet humorous tone. It is her philosophy that laughter is essential to making it through even the toughest situations.
Book website: http://jadedhearts.wix.com/tjhc#!bio/c1ktj
Jaded Hearts: http://youtu.be/iHsiPPaW8PM
Only Her Heart: http://youtu.be/eRB7fD11GRk
Human connection? Who needs it?
Ever since she can remember, wealthy but weary Saige Armstrong has felt different from her peers in Pechimu, New Jersey. With only one good friend to her name, she has navigated the complicated halls of high school and is now faced with the timeless question: Now what?
Fox Harrington, a fun-loving, socially charismatic graffiti artist uses his passions to color his world how he wants it. He knows exactly where his life is headed. That is, until he meets Saige.
A summer project links the two together, making a tentative friendship bloom into romance, but despite their affection for each other, fundamental beliefs and ways of thinking threaten to destroy all they have built.
“These moments in life are the best there are. They’re heavy with emotion, messy with the what-ifs, and frightening with the unknowns.”
Based in the American Midwest, N.K. Smith is a Technical Writer for a Fortune 100 company. The author of the Old Wounds Series, Ghosts of Our Pasts, and My Only, she is a mother of two who finds the time to write very early in the morning when the rest of the world is still fast asleep.
An avid lover of history, art, music, books, and people, she is interested in telling stories that speak to the human condition.
Sneak Peek Sunday with Kahlen Aymes!
There are a lot of exciting things happening for The Remembrance Trilogy!
The narrators are recording AUDIO BOOKS for Audible and iTunes. I’m so excited! It sounds fantastic and I can’t wait for you to hear it.
Copyright – 2012-2013 – Kahlen Aymes
Also, Ryan and Julia are going to FRANCE! The Future of Our Past will publish there in October of 2013!
What’s NEXT? … Alexander Avery and Angeline Hemming are my next super sexy, smokin’ hot power couple! They’re headed your way in my next series: After Dark!! These two are HOT, HOT, HOT type A personalities who’s battle of wills in and out of bed will melt hearts and panties. 🙂
As always… I love and adore you! Let me know what you think of Ryan’s sexy voice!