25 October 2014

Cover Reveal: Leaving Amarillo

Check out the rather striking cover reveal for:

LEAVING AMARILLO 
by Caisey Quinn



Some promises are made to be broken...
Music is my everything.
After my parents died when I was a kid, moving into my grandparents’ ramshackle house on a dirt road in Amarillo seemed like a nightmare. Until I stumbled upon my grandfather’s shed full of instruments. My soul lives between the strings of Oz, my secondhand fiddle, and it soars when I play.
In Houston, I'm a typical college student on my way to becoming a classically trained violinist headed straight for the orchestra pit. But on the road with my band, Leaving Amarillo, I'm free.
 We have one shot to make it, and I have one shot to live the life I was meant to. Leaving Amarillo got into Austin Music Fest and everything is riding on this next week. This is our moment.
There’s only one problem. I have a secret...One that could destroy everyone I care about.
His name is Gavin Garrison and he's our drummer. He's also my brother's best friend, the one who promised he'd never lay a hand on me. He’s the one person I can’t have, and yet he’s the only one I want.
One week.
One hotel room.
I don't know if I can do this.
I just know that I have to.

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Excerpt:

For a long time I knew he only saw me as Dallas’s little sister. I used to have frizzy hair and knobby knees and a chest as flat as both boys. But somewhere along the way, I changed. I’m having a hard time convincing myself that he really sees me for who I am now. Maybe he still sees knobby knees, frizzy hair, and freckles on my shoulders.
His eyes narrow and he shakes his head. No. “Don’t. Don’t do that to me. I just told you. You know why.”
I frown involuntarily while swallowing the knot of emotion that’s rising steadily in my throat. “How could I possibly know? You treat me like we’re related most of the time. You put your hands on random waitresses right in front of me. You sleep with anything that moves. Except me. I tell you how I feel and you can’t get rid of me fast enough.”
Suddenly Gavin is a burning man, coming toward me with angry gleaming eyes. He steps into the room, forcing me back against the wall. The door slams heavily behind him, and he braces his arms on either side of my head. I’ve only seen him this worked up when playing his drums. My heart morphs into a hummingbird inside my ribcage. It’s trapped and wants to escape. Desperately.
His words come out with force that would shove me backward if there were anywhere for me to go. “As flattering as your honest opinion of me is, how about you just tell me what the hell you want from me so we can both get on with our lives. You want to hold hands and go steady, Bluebird? Because I gotta say, you’re not as smart as I thought you were if you’re looking for that from me.”
I jerk my chin upward, faking a confidence I don’t have but refusing to let him intimidate me. “Did you sleep with that waitress? I want to know.”
He snorts out a harsh humorless laugh. “No you don’t.”
“I do. Tell me the truth.” I look up into his eyes, praying the answer is no. Something about that specific waitress is really bothering me. Maybe because I saw their initial flirtation or maybe because of what she said to me in the ladies room. I don’t know. I’m well aware of the fact that he’s been with countless women, but somehow this one feels different. More personal. Because this time, he knew how I felt and if he slept with her anyways, then he actively chose her over me. “Please,” I add to my already pathetic plea.
He releases me from my forearm prison and throws both of his hands into his hair. I inhale a much-needed breath and relax just a little. Until he slams a palm against the wall. I flinch, only because it startled me, but I can see in his wounded expression that he believes he scared me. As if I could ever be afraid of him.
“No, okay? No I didn’t sleep with her. There, you happy now?”
“Well you’re obviously not. If you were going to be so upset about it, why didn’t you just go ahead and do her?”
“You gotta be fucking kidding me,” he says, raising his voice a few decibels shy of shouting. “Which is it? You want me to have screwed her or not?”
I’m all wound up, like the toys from my childhood. The ones with the knobs you turn and turn, winding so tight the spinny thing breaks and falls off. I’m confused and hurt and angry and turned the hell on in a way I can’t even process. The combination is more than I can handle rationally. I take a page from his broody book and let my palm smack the wall behind me. It stings so I clench it shut. The pain distracts me and I blurt out the truth.
“No, I don’t want you to have screwed her. I don’t want you to screw anyone!”
His reaction is wide-eyed shock and disbelief. “Anyone? Christ, you want me to be celibate? Do you hate me or something?”
Licking my lips, I take several deep breaths in an attempt to calm down. It almost works. “I want you,” I begin slowly before taking another deep breath. “To not engage in foreplay in front of my face.”
He opens his mouth to respond—most likely to deny that he did that tonight—but I place my trembling fingers against his lips, firmly breaking our ten-year unspoken no-touching rule. I’d like to take a moment to enjoy the soft, full, sensuously masculine mouth of his, but there isn’t time. I need to focus all cylinders of my brain on what I’m trying to say.
“I told you how I feel, what I want. And I get it. You don’t feel the same way. Or you won’t act on your feelings. But that doesn’t mean I can switch mine right off for your convenience. And it doesn’t mean that I’m not jealous, not hurt, and that I don’t hate, hate, being in the presence of any woman who is going to have you in a way that I never will.”
I’m breathing hard, tasting his anxiety and frustration in the air between us. Removing my fingers from his mouth and placing them on mine, I watch him go to war with himself.
He neck loosens, allowing his head to fall forward. Remaining completely still while he inhales the length of my neck, I swallow hard.
“Tell me I’ll never have you that way. Tell me to move on and let this go,” I whisper, needing to hear him say it and terrified that he actually will in equal measure.
“You’re my best friend. Growing up, you were my safe place,” he tells me on a ragged breath that seems to pull the life completely out of both of us. “I don’t want to ruin you, Bluebird.”



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24 October 2014

Flirting With Fire - Author Spotlight

Flirting With Fire
by Kyra Jacobs




Look, touch, but don’t fall in love.

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

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

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

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


Amazon * Amazon UK

Special Guest Post from Kyra Jacobs:

Thank you so much for having me over to your blog today, Zili! I’m here to spread the word about my recent romantic suspense release, Flirting With Fire. While it can be read as a standalone novel, it is also the second book in my Hometown Heroes collection. The entire series is based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and many of the locations mentioned in the book either exist or are loosely based on actual places. So today I thought I’d share with you 10 random facts about the book and its setting. Here goes!

1. Fort Wayne, Indiana is an actual city and my hometown. It’s named after General “Mad” Anthony Wayne, who helped build and defend a fort built around 1794 at the confluence of our three rivers: the St. Marys, the St Joseph, and the Maumee.



2. Liz Williams, FWF’s heroine, grew up in a small town south and west of Fort Wayne. And while Autumn Lake, Indiana is not an actual town, it is very loosely based on the town of Roanoke, Indiana, where I, too, spent my younger years.

3. Torrunn MacKay, FWF’s hero, works at Fire Station One, located at the northeast corner of Main St. and Spy Run Avenue.

4. The ball diamond referenced many times in the book, and the backdrop to Liz’s new apartment complex, is actually Parkview (not Glenview) Field. It serves as home to the Fort Wayne Tincaps, a minor league class A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. Our beautiful stadium was just voted the #1 Minor League Baseball stadium experience in 2014 by Stadium Journey magazine.



5. The Irish pub mentioned several times in FWF is actually named J K O’Donnell’s and is a popular downtown hangout.



6. The Chinese restaurant also mentioned in FWF is actually the Double Dragon Restaurant, and sits beside an alley where a key arson in the story took place.



7. This is the aforementioned alley. (Hint: the fire that happens here in the book just might land poor Liz in a nearby hospital…)



8. Here’s a view of Liz’s apartment building, as seen from the ball diamond. I’ve always thought if I had been young and single (and kid-free) when the stadium opened, I would have jumped at the chance to rent one of these apartments.



9. The Lakeside Park Rose Garden is known as one of the largest rose collections in the state. It’s also located near where Nate Steele and Jessica Hartley live, and just might be the location for their upcoming wedding in Book 3 of the series…



10. Last but not least, the home mentioned at the end of the book was formerly owned by my stepmother, who has been an avid supporter of my writing. My father helped renovate that beautiful old home from top to bottom, inside and out. It wasn’t until after the book came out that I discovered he had proposed to her in the same location as a proposal in FWF took place. Like father, like daughter, it seems. ;-)

So there you have it—ten random facts about Flirting With Fire and its story settings. To learn more about the story itself, read on for a blurb and excerpt from the book. 


Excerpt:


“I had nothing to do with this.”
Torrunn watched me pace back and forth across the interrogation room, his look grim. “Nobody’s saying you did.”
“Then why did I get hauled down here? I should be back at the spa—I’ve got a regular at three o’clock who’s going to be pissed.”
“Relax, Liz,” he said from his seat at the room’s lone table. “They’re just going to ask you a few simple questions. See if you saw anything. And you heard Xavier—he’s covering your appointment.”
“He shouldn’t have to. Me, having to come down here? It’s going to kill any trust I’ve built up at the spa, and it’s not fair. I didn’t set the stupid dumpster on fire. Heck, I’m scared of fires. I hide inside every Fourth of July for fear of getting hit by falling bottle rockets.” I stopped pacing and ran a hand through my hair. “You believe me,” I asked, spinning to face him. “Don’t you?”
He smoothed an amused grin from his face and nodded. “Yes, I do. Though, you were a little flustered when you got into the massage room.”
I snorted. “Not because of anything going on outside.”
“Oh?” Torrunn leaned forward in his seat, eyes bright with interest. “What could possibly have had you so frazzled?”
Why had I been all worked up as I raced into the building? Was it really because I was running late, or because of who was waiting for me on the table…?



Author Spotlight:


Kyra Jacobs is an extroverted introvert who writes of love and mystery in the Midwest. When this Hoosier native is not pounding out scenes for her next book, she's likely outside, elbow-deep in snapdragons or spending quality time with her sports-loving family. Kyra also loves golf, Guitar Hero, and thinking through plot twists while out on a good run. Be sure to stop by her website www.KyraJacobs.wordpress.com for links to connect with her on social media. Kyra lives in northern Indiana with her husband and two children.


   



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