Thursday, December 13, 2018

**RELEASE TOUR** Coyote Lee by Jessie Cooke

Title: Coyote Lee: SKULLS - The Early Years #2
Author: Jessie Cooke
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: October 26, 2018
The night Xander Lee found himself half-drowned, flat on his back and looking up into the blue eyes of his savior, everything changed. Going from lost boy to hardcore biker overnight definitely had its advantages. But could a guy with no social skills and the burden of a guilt he couldn't shed, ever really fit in? Called Coyote by his brothers and friends, he struggled to do his best, but falling in love with his president's old lady might just be his fatal mistake. That mistake would see him banished to another coast, alone, afraid and expected to fail.
With the weight of a soul that ached constantly and an almost nonexistent sense of self, Coyote found enough of a spark inside him to get things started...and from there he would blaze a path that no one saw coming. Not just any man could take one brick and build an empire...but despite his own misgivings, Coyote Lee was no ordinary man. Even life at the top didn't come without a heavy price however. The love/hate relationship he had with the man who gave him a second chance at life, lay at the core of almost everything he did. The secrets he kept to himself for so many years gnawed at his soul. The whiskey he tried to drown the pain with was never enough, and the women and children who loved him would only get a glimpse of who the man inside really was.
Could Coyote ever measure up to the late, great Doc Marshall? Or would he die trying? Take a ride with us through the Central Valley of California and across the all the hearts that Coyote touched in this life and decide for yourself, but hang on tight and be careful what you say and do...because someone is always watching!
* * *
Book 2 in the SKULLS - The Early Years MC Series. 
This is a Standalone Romance Novel but characters from this story, will appear in future books in the series and many have appeared in the previous series of Southside Skulls and Westside Skulls.
No cliffhanger. 
Intended for Mature Readers.
* * *
Skulls - The Early Years MC Series is about members of the MC club, their friends and associates.

Prologue
Texas 2002
“What’s that you’ve got there?” The social worker had gotten the call early that morning. She had been doing this for almost twenty years, and these calls still rattled her to her very core. She recently moved from California to Texas, somehow hoping that things wouldn’t be so dark there. She’d seen things that she had to suppress and they only came out now in her nightmares. Texas wasn’t any different; at least that’s what her first call of the day today was about to teach her. She sat on the dirty couch next to the little boy. If the cop who called her hadn’t told her he was a boy, she wouldn’t have been able to tell. He had his head bowed and tons of matted, dark hair hanging down over his face. It looked like his hair had been braided at one time, but they were dreads now. She wasn’t sure if that was intended or not. “Hey, the officer told me your name is Adan. I’m Trinity.” She held out her hand, close to where she knew he could see it under all that hair, but he remained focused on what he was holding in his lap. “Can I see this?” She touched it and suddenly the mute, still little boy became like a wild animal. He clutched the leather bundle to his chest and scooted back on the couch, peering out at her through an opening in his hair. Trinity gasped when she saw his face. She hadn’t meant to...but his skin was so dark, and so was his hair, yet staring out at her were the bluest pair of eyes she’d ever seen. “Adan...” she said, again.
“Adam!” The sound that came out of the small boy’s mouth startled her at first.
“I’m sorry, I thought it was Adan...”
His blue eyes cut toward the bedroom. The woman that had been there was gone. Trinity had watched them load the black bag that bore her body into the ambulance when she first got here. The first light of morning was just showing over the horizon then, but now the sun was climbing and Texas was waking up. She looked at the little boy sadly. Her compassion for human beings had drawn her to this job, but her empathy might well destroy her someday. “She called me that,” he said. “I don’t want to be called that anymore. My name is Adam. Adam Marshall.”
“Marshall?” she asked, confused.
The little boy slowly opened up his arms to reveal the vest that he was holding so tightly. It had a big, round patch on the back that said, “Southside Skulls, Boston Chapter.” He turned it over and Trinity saw what was stitched on the front of it. “Doc Marshall, Prez.” Well, maybe at least this poor little baby with eyes like sapphires wouldn’t spend the rest of his life alone...
* * *
Boston
Spring 2002
Coyote sat on the edge of the bed, staring at the wall. He’d been staring at the same spot for fifteen minutes. The door to the bathroom opened and Colleen stepped out. Coyote shifted his focus and his eyes roamed his wife’s sexy body. “Is it bad that I’m horny again?” They had made love the night before—it had been passionate and heated—then again that morning when they woke up, but considering what day it was, it had been slower...sweeter. Colleen could always sense his moods and she always knew when he needed her.
She laughed at that and picked his tie up off the dresser. Standing in front of him, she draped it over his neck and moved his long, thick hair so she could slip it underneath. “We don’t have time.”
“Let’s not go,” he said, while she worked on the tie. He lifted his arms and put them on her hips. She had wide, sexy hips. He loved them.
Colleen smiled down at him softly and said, “If I thought you meant that, I’d stay right here with you. But I know you wouldn’t let them lay him to rest without you being there.”
Coyote sighed. “I fucking hate this. We’ve been to way too many funerals lately. I hate funerals. But this one...fuck, babe, this one is the worst.”
She stopped fooling with his tie and bent down so she could press her lips to his forehead. “I know, love. It’s always hard to say goodbye...but when it was so unexpected...”
Coyote chuckled and said, “I honestly believed he would live forever.”
Colleen sat next to him on the bed and took his hand. “He will,” she said. She ran her free hand down his back, over the patch on the kutte he was wearing with his button-down shirt and tie. “Because of this,” she said, and then she moved her hand around front and put it against his chest, over his heart. “And this,” she said. “Because of men like you, who will carry on his legacy. He’ll live forever, baby, and so will you.”
Coyote chuckled again, mostly to fight back the tears that were pressing hard, trying to get out. “I’ll never leave a legacy like he did.”
“Hmm,” she said, “we’ll see. Now stand up and let me do your tie.” Colleen was his biggest fan. Coyote had never been overly confident. His childhood was shit and his early adult years hadn’t been much better. Meeting Doc Marshall had changed his life in so many ways. Who would have thought that falling in love with the man’s wife would have pushed him into the greatest opportunity of his life? Doc banished him to California and for a hot minute, Coyote thought that was it for him. But somewhere he found the resolve he needed to get things started out there...and somehow, things had taken off like one of the wildfires that burn every year in the foothills above the valley that he now called home. He’d met Colleen, and they’d had a son. His son was grown now...and he was a fine young man. Coyote had made so many mistakes along the way, though. He had secrets, even from his wife, that ate away at him daily. He made decisions that ended lives. He walked around in his kutte that said “Coyote, Prez, Westside Skulls” on it, like he owned it. But sometimes deep down in his gut, he felt like he was still faking it. “There,” Colleen said, finally getting the tie all tied up. Coyote pushed the knot up and had to take a deep breath to fill his lungs. He hated wearing the fucking things, but if anyone ever commanded enough respect to deserve one worn at his funeral...it was the man he was going to say goodbye to today.
“Alright,” he said, reluctantly, “I guess we should do this.” They walked out of the room and down the stairs hand in hand. The ranch had changed a lot over the years, but it always did Coyote’s heart good to see the pictures on the wall of the great room when he reached the landing. They had been added to, but none had ever been deleted. He knew there was a lot of talk about taking Hawk’s picture down. The Skulls had been searching for him for three years, but so far, not a trace. One could only hope that the man who betrayed his best friend, and the man they all loved and respected, was dead in a ditch somewhere south of the border.
Coyote’s eyes landed on the very first photograph in line on the wall. It was in black and white, but if you looked closely enough, you could still see that his eyes were unlike anyone else’s.
“Hey, Coyote.” Coyote turned toward the voice and had to quickly correct himself. Doc Marshall’s eyes were looking at him, but not from Doc’s face.
“Dax, I’m sorry I missed you last night, we got in late. You remember Colleen?” Dax Marshall was almost the spitting image of his father...but Coyote could see Dallas there, especially in his smile. His heart still ached when he thought about her. He’d never stopped loving her. He felt guilty about that for a lot of years. But one thing he had learned was that there were different kinds of love, and different levels of it. His love for Dallas had been on a level all its own.
“Of course,” Dax said, taking Colleen’s hand first. “Thank you for coming.” He shook Coyote’s hand then and Coyote, not caring what anyone thought, pulled the boy in for a hug. He knew that an almost twenty-two-year-old Dax would object to being called a boy. But Coyote could vividly remember the day he drove his mother to the hospital to give birth to him. It seemed like only yesterday. Dax stiffened slightly, but he hugged Coyote back. Coyote let him go and said:
“I’m sorry. This is just...surreal, I guess.”
Dax nodded. “Yeah, it is for all of us. The SUVs are outside and ready to go, if y’all want to catch a ride. Otherwise, you can ride out with those of us who are riding.” Coyote looked at the mass of bodies behind Dax. He doubted that a single man who had ridden with the one they were going to bury would dare step into an SUV on a day like today. He looked at Colleen and with her powers of perception, she smiled and said:
“I’ll ride in one of the SUVs and see you there.”
Coyote smiled and kissed her cheek. He looked back up at Dax as she left and said, “You have no idea how much I loved him.”
Dax smiled and said, “You loved him enough that although you wanted his old lady, you never did anything about that. He banished you to the middle of nowhere and you loved him so much that you built an empire...in his name. You loved him so much that you drove my mother to the hospital the day she gave birth to me. I think if I shook this building and all the men who loved and were loyal to my father fell out...you would be on top.”
One of the tears Coyote had been holding back slid out of his eye and began to roll slowly down his cheek. He brought his hand up to wipe it away and he said, “Fuck, Dax...what are we going to do without him?”
Dax looked around the room again, letting his eyes linger on the photos on the wall, and said, “He’ll always be there for men like you and me, Coyote. Any time we want to give up, or we want to settle, he’ll be there, mentally kicking our ass. Anytime I think I’ve just had it...that I’m done…I picture his face when I was five years old and he made me slide down a water slide. I was terrified, but to this day I can’t remember a better feeling than facing that fear and watching the pride on his face as I did. That’s what Doc Marshall was all about. Fears exist...we have to face them, if not for ourselves, then for him and all he did for us. We better get going.”
Coyote nodded. He followed Dax and the crowd of bikers out the door of the Skulls clubhouse. They all stood on ceremony as Dax climbed on the back of Doc’s Harley for one last ride. After the memorial service, it would be retired to the meeting room and another part of Doc Marshall would live forever, in infamy.

Chapter One
New York
July 1975
Sweat, and the smoke of dozens of cigarettes and just as many joints, hung like a sticky fog in the air as Coyote was led down the empty stone hallway toward the room where the fight would take place. His fights were always in a different warehouse and he was picked up at his dumpy little apartment in the Bronx and driven to wherever it would take place by one of Slinko’s men. Sometimes the drive took hours and sometimes only minutes. Coyote was always disoriented when he got wherever they were going, no matter how long it took, thanks to the blindfold they handed to him to put on each time before they left his driveway. You might think, instead of common thugs, that they were the fucking CIA.
Not that he really felt like he had any right to throw stones. Coyote had worked for Slinko now for almost a year. He was one of Slinko’s fighters, a lost kid he “found” on the streets, moved into a crappy apartment, and took ownership of. Coyote and the other fighters might as well have been machines for all Slinko cared. They ate what Slinko’s guys told them to eat. They worked out three hours a day at a gym that took over an hour to get to and back from each day...and come Saturday night, they fought...and they’d better fucking win. Coyote didn’t have any family, and Slinko made sure that all of his fighters stayed way too busy, tired, and isolated to have friends. All that mattered to Slinko in the end was that they won. He had invested a ton of money in them...or so he liked to say when he showed up with a “lecture”...or more like a threat…on a Saturday night. He expected a return for his investment and he only got that if they beat some other guy to a bloody pulp. Coyote had been the star of dozens of Slinko’s fights, and he hadn’t lost yet. He wasn’t sure what would happen if he did. Slinko never came right out and told him. But he wasn’t stupid. He could see that the men who lost their fights never showed back up for another. If Coyote worked for anyone but Slinko he might just think they’d been fired...once they healed, of course. But the truth he knew in his soul was that winning was saving his life.
Still, that wasn’t why he won. Coyote’s “life” consisted of Slinko’s orders and Slinko’s fights. He didn’t have family, he hadn’t been with a woman since he left California almost two years before...and as far as he knew, he had nothing to look forward to. Every so often he would have a dream, mostly at night while he was asleep and the ugliness around him was invisible. He would dream that he was a “real” fighter. He dreamed that he trained in a real gym with a real trainer and come Saturday night, his pick of music was played overhead while he bounced on his toes down the long hallway that would lead to thousands of adoring fans and the brightly lit, well-padded cage in the center of it all.
There was no cage where Coyote fought...just a circle made of bricks. He stood on cement in the center of that circle with his opponent, while the bloodthirsty onlookers made bets on who would still be standing when it was all over. At least the surface encouraged him to stay on his feet. His head had hit the floor so many times that he wasn’t sure his brain could take another concussion. He learned how to fall and he learned how to deal with the pain. It was his life...for what it was worth.
Slinko did pay them when they won...a little. The apartment he so “kindly” allowed Coyote to use had been completely unfurnished. He used his winnings to buy some furniture, dishes, and his most valuable possession...a console television set. It wasn’t one of those newfangled color TVs and there was no antenna on the building...so the picture was fuzzy most of the time and it only got two channels. But the voices of people that weren’t yelling at him…to hit someone, hurt someone, draw blood, or kick ass...soothed his aching soul. He watched things like The Brady Bunch and Leave It to Beaver and tried to imagine how different his life may have been if he’d been raised by Mike and Carol Brady, or Ward and June Cleaver...instead of his parents, God rest their souls.
It didn’t matter what he imagined, however. He knew what his reality was. Tonight, Slinko had met him in a small room in the back of the warehouse, and he’d told him that the opponent he was about to go up against would be his toughest yet. Slinko was being extra nice. He told Coyote that he had put him instead of one of the other guys up against Viper  because he was the “best” and Slinko knew he could do this. He told him that he’d get a big bonus if he won this one...enough to buy a color television and a new antenna. At the end of Slinko’s long spiel, he had told Coyote to be sure and let him know if he didn’t think he was up to winning tonight. He had a lot of money riding on the fight, and if need be, Coyote could be “replaced.” Coyote knew what that meant. In his mind, anyway, it meant that he would be on his way to that seat in hell he was sure the devil had reserved for him, and Slinko’s life would go on...sans a few hundred thousand dollars, and down another fighter.
“I got this,” was all Coyote had said. Now as he walked toward the circle and got a glimpse of “Viper,” death almost sounded more inviting. He took his place on the other side of the circle and quickly, without pulling his head all the way up, he took stock of who was in the room. Coyote was not an educated man, by any means. But he wasn’t stupid, either. He did have one ace in the hole, just in case an opportunity to use it ever presented itself. Coyote had an almost photographic memory. He remembered every face he ever saw, and if there was a name to be put to it, he would remember that as well. These illegal fights that took place in the midst of an empty warehouse in the center of nowhere and under the cover of night were not a poor man’s paradise. Only rich men came here to play. These men were important men in the community. They were doctors and lawyers, cops and politicians. Most of them were married with children...but it was rare that the woman draped over their arm wore a wedding ring or went by the name of “Mommy.”
For those who came alone, Slinko offered a second service...just as lucrative for him as the first one. Slinko didn’t just pimp out fighters. He had a collection of women “robots” as well. Some of them looked way too young to Coyote...but he was barely in a position to speak up for himself, much less anyone else. But he watched and listened, and somewhere deep down inside he hoped that someday he’d have cause to use all that knowledge he’d gained. Slinko offered him a “girl” once as a bonus for winning a fight. Coyote turned down the offer, cursing himself the whole time. He’d only been with one woman in his life, and that was some older woman who gave him a ride on his way out East. He didn’t know what to do with a girl his own age, and he was scared to death that she’d tell Slinko if he did it wrong.
This night wasn’t much different than any other as far as Coyote could tell. The warehouse was packed, and noisy. Coyote was fighting in the second match of the night. The first one had been quick. Coyote wasn’t allowed to watch the other fights; he only knew when they were over and how they went, if the winner came back to the fighter’s room...or the loser hadn’t shown up before they came to call him out. He focused his attention back across the circle on his opponent, Viper. Viper looked like the kind of guy that grown men would cross the street to keep from passing. His neck, chest, and arms were covered in black and white and faded green tattoos that looked like they might have been carefully crafted in prison. Coyote was six-foot-two and this guy had to be at least two inches taller than that. Coyote was told by the “trainer”…the guy who escorted the fighters in and...if they could walk...out of the circle, that he weighed in at three-fifty pounds. He was wearing shorts and nothing else, and as far as Coyote could tell by looking at him, none of the three-fifty was fat. He was bouncing up and down on the balls of his bare feet and nothing was moving. He had scars on his face, a lot of them, and his nose looked like it had been broken more than once. The swastika tattooed on his bare scalp drew the picture together. Coyote knew how to fight, and he was good at it. He did it to survive, but it didn’t normally give him joy. He focused on the swastika now, however, and thought about looking at it on the ground when he took this racist son of a bitch to the floor, and it did feel good.
When the buzzer rang he tried to block out the cheers and jeers echoing off the walls and ceiling around him, and he focused on the giant in front of him. There were no referees, no real rules...the people just wanted to see a fight, preferably a long one, with lots of blood. With both eyes on Viper, waiting for him to make the first move, Coyote cracked his knuckles and his neck and cautiously moved forward until he was close enough to Viper that the other man took a swing. Viper swung hard, but Coyote dodged it, coming up with an uppercut to the other man’s chin. Viper barely flinched, but as soon as Coyote was upright, the man threw another punch...this time his right fist connected with the side of Coyote’s head. His fist felt like steel, and it hurt like a motherfucker, but Coyote didn’t go down. He shook off the ringing in his ears quickly enough to dodge the next blow and this time threw a punch at Viper’s ribs. He hit hard and fast and he heard something snap and Viper wince. He almost hoped that he’d cracked one and punctured a lung, so the fight could be over. No such luck, though. Viper managed to keep moving while he fought through the pain and caught his breath, and then he lunged toward Coyote and started throwing punches one right after the other. Coyote bobbed and weaved and managed to dodge a few of them...but it was a relentless barrage of left, right, left, right, head, shoulders, ribs, head...Viper was trying to wear him down...and doing a pretty good job of it so far.
Coyote’s body was screaming in pain. Viper was in close, using Coyote’s face like a speed bag. He couldn’t hear anything and it was getting hard to see thanks to the blood and sweat in his eyes. He had never wanted to go down so early in a fight before, but this guy was a killer, and if he was going to die anyway, he wondered if he shouldn’t just get it over with. About that time he either saw Slinko or imagined he did, out of the corner of his eye, and the idea of Viper winning wasn’t half as repugnant as the idea of Slinko getting to finish him off if Viper didn’t. Viper wasn’t good with his feet, but Coyote hadn’t been able to get his arms up past the other man’s bulk and he was pushed to the edge of the circle already. So, with all the strength he could muster, he spun his aching body around, lifted his leg, and let his foot connect with Viper’s neck. The big guy stumbled a few feet back. He didn’t fall, but it gave Coyote the room he needed to attack. He didn’t know where the burst of energy came from, but it propelled him forward and he began to pound every part of Viper’s rigid body that he could reach until he heard the sound of the buzzer, calling an end to the first round.
During the small break, the men were allowed to use a wet towel and a dry one to wipe the blood off their faces and bodies and get a drink of water. If anything was bleeding too profusely, one of the “trainers” would try and patch it up, to get them through the next round. Apparently, none of Coyote’s injuries qualified. He mopped the sweat and blood off his face and chest, drank the thermos of cold water, and while he waited for the next buzzer, once again, he soaked up the faces in the crowd.
Without any other fanfare, the buzzer sounded again and Coyote and Viper met in the middle. Viper didn’t waste any time, landing a right jab smack on Coyote’s nose. The pain radiated up through his sinuses and into his ears. It pissed him off...not at Viper, but at himself. Getting hit dead in the face like that was a rookie mistake. But the beating he had already taken made his reflexes slow and his judgment cloudy. That’s why, when he saw Viper rearing back to kick him...he made a fatal mistake. Coyote let his reflexes take over from his good sense, and he turned about ten degrees to the left and ducked his head. Viper’s right foot didn’t hit the target it was looking for. Instead, it sunk into the small of Coyote’s back, right over the top of one of his kidneys. Coyote heard himself scream, right before they turned out all the lights.
* * *
The next thing Coyote remembered was waking up with a pounding headache. Or maybe he wasn’t awake. He felt like he was floating, and then he realized he was suffocating. His head was pounding because his body had no oxygen...he couldn’t breathe. He opened his mouth and only when he sucked in air and got water instead, did he realize that he was drowning.
His body went into survival mode and his arms began to flail, looking for something to grab onto. The water was freezing but the cold at least made him too numb to concentrate on the pain. He needed to take a breath...if he didn’t, his lungs were going to explode. He opened his eyes as much as he could. It was dark, and dirty. He was probably in the Hudson River and if that was the case, fighting was a moot point, but he didn’t know how to not fight...he’d been doing it his entire life. Something kept drawing him toward the bottom of his dark, watery grave, but he fought toward the surface until one of his hands felt the cool air of the night. He sank again, but fought his way up, and then again, and the third time out just as he started his decent...probably for the final time…he felt a big, strong, cold hand clamp down around one of his wrists and then his body being hauled up out of the water, just as if he were no heavier than air.
Coughing, sputtering, choking, and trying to remember how to breathe, he looked up into a pair of eyes so blue that they shone in the night like a cat. Coyote said the first thing that came to his mind...
“God?”
“Close,” the man sporting the blue eyes said with a laugh. “Damned close.”

 

Jessie Cooke writes hot romance novels about tough guys, bad boys, bikers, fighters and lovers and the women of strong character who tame them.
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**RELEASE BLITZ** Untrainable by Jamie Schlosser




Title: Untrainable
Author: Jamie Schlosser
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: December 13, 2018



Blurb

It doesn’t take much to become the laughing stock of reality television. Just ask Theodore “Theo-Dog” Legend. Once you’ve pissed on a fire hydrant in front of the paparazzi, no one ever lets you forget it.

Hadley Holiday is on her way to being America’s sweetheart, thanks to her dog training routine on a national talent show. Although she didn’t win first prize, she snagged Theo’s attention and he’ll do just about anything to make her his—even if it means being the butt of everyone’s joke once again.

Hadley wants a career in showbiz. Theo needs to get rid of that doggone nickname—pun intended. Pairing the two together on a new show sounds like a disaster waiting to happen... or it could be the best thing that’s ever happened to them.







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AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited




Excerpt

“Okay. Change of plans—pie first, cleaning later. I get weepy when I’m hanky.”

“Hanky?” Theo followed me to the kitchen.

“It’s a portmanteau.” Walking over to the table, I removed the foil from the dish. Steam billowed up, carrying the heavenly scent of apples and cinnamon with it.

“I’m sorry, a what?” Sounding utterly confused, Theo went over to a small white coffee maker next to the sink and punched a button. It sputtered for a few seconds before the aroma filled the room.

He grabbed two mismatching mugs from the cabinet. Setting them down, he leaned back against the counter while he waited for me to explain.

“Blending two words to make one,” I said. “Hungry and cranky equals hanky.”

“Isn’t the term ‘hangry?’”

“No, I don’t think that fits. I don’t get mad,” I clarified. “Just irritable.”

“It’s kinda like my nickname, huh? Putting Theodore and dog together.”

“Yeah, kind of like that.” I grimaced because he obviously wasn’t a fan of the combination. “I’m sure whoever came up with that thought they were being very clever.”

“They probably got promoted.”

“Probably.”

“Well, I’m feeling mighty humpy myself.” When he said the word ‘humpy’, I could’ve sworn I saw his pelvis do a slight thrust.

I almost fell over. “Excuse me?”

He sent me a grin that did funny things to my stomach. “Portmanteau. Hungry and grumpy. Humpy.”

That was inappropriate but also correct. I couldn’t knock him for coming up with his own word, even if it did draw my attention to his groin.

I tried to force myself to look away from his lower half, but it was really difficult.

Because now that I wasn’t scrutinizing his living quarters, my thoughts went elsewhere: straight to the gutter.

The gray fabric of his pants stretched over his crotch, and he probably wasn’t wearing underwear because I could see a very distinct outline of his dick.

I didn’t mean to stare at it, but it was just right there. Out in the open. And alarmingly large. It was like spotting a rare animal in the wild. The thing practically needed its own Australian accented voiceover.

Inexperienced as I was when it came to actual sex, I wasn’t completely innocent. I knew what a semi-erect penis looked like. The length of it rested against his thigh and the definition of the thick head was impressive.

I swallowed hard.

“Hey.” Theo’s voice startled me, and my eyes snapped up to his.

My cheeks were on fire. I’d been caught, and I wanted nothing more than to sink under the table and hide.

“Hi,” I squeaked, lowering myself into the chair.

“Let’s just blame the rough start to the day on low blood sugar. Deal?”

Well, that wasn’t what I’d expected him to say, but it was a lot better than him calling me out for eye-balling his junk.

“Deal,” I responded. Then for my own benefit, I added the reminder, “I’m looking forward to being coworkers and friends.”

His left eyebrow arched on the word ‘friends.’

Dang it. Maybe he did see me checking him out after all.

For the sake of my sanity, I really hoped he was planning to wear jeans for the show. And maybe some underwear with crotch-confining support. Like a girdle, but for penises.






Author Bio


Jamie Schlosser grew up on a farm in Illinois surrounded by cornfields. Although she no longer lives in the country, her dream is to return to rural living someday. As a stay-at-home mom, she spends most of her days running back and forth between her two wonderful kids and her laptop. She loves her family, iced coffee, and happily-ever-afters.


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**RELEASE BLITZ** Falling Hard by Simone Elise & H. Zebell

Title: Falling Hard
Series: Monsters of Mayhem
Authors: Simone Elise and H. Zebell
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: December 13, 2018
A story told by cousins. Both wanted nothing more than to leave the MC in their past—until both fell hard and fast for men who breathed everything they were scared of.
Emmie
I didn’t know what love was, but I knew what I felt, and it was something I had never experienced before. My stomach twisted with nerves, scaring me but exciting me at the same time. How could I feel anything for him? Was it possible a man like him could love me for who I was?
As soon as I met him, I knew our story wouldn’t have a happy ending.
Libby
As soon as my eyes locked with his, I could see a future with him, but I knew it would be tainted because he would never truly want what I wanted. After living with my father on the back of a Harley my entire life, I wanted stability, Could this man offer me that? He rode out every day at sunset to a new destination, never staying put. He didn’t answer to anyone, nor did he have a place to call home. Living up to his road name of Ghost, he began to haunt me in ways I was secretly enjoying.
If you are looking for a love story to pull on every heartstring, then this story is for you.
This is not your typical fairy tale. You won’t read another series like it, guaranteed.

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**RELEASE BLITZ** Selfish For Love by A.D. McCammon

Title: Selfish for Love
Series: In This Moment Novel
Author: A.D. McCammon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 13, 2018
“When it comes to love, even wrong can be right.”
The dependable Catelyn Shea plays by the rules. A natural people pleaser—the perfect daughter, sister, friend, and girlfriend—she always places everyone’s needs above her own. 
Until Lawrence.
Love has a way of making us forget ourselves, and Catelyn is willing to risk the consequences to share one forbidden night with her first love. 
Lawrence Grier was never supposed to fall in love with Catelyn, and he’s spent years trying to let her go. When a tragedy brings her back into his life, all those buried feelings resurface, and this time, he’s refusing to hold back—no matter the cost.
As secrets begin to emerge, Catelyn finds herself questioning how big of a toll she’s prepared to pay—especially when it could mean disappointing the people closest to her. 
Can she put her own happiness above everyone else and be selfish for love?
PROLOGUE
Lightning strikes across the murky night sky, illuminating the dark interior of my car. My spine straightens against the seat as I wait for the thunder, counting the seconds as they pass. One. Two. Three. Four. The loud boom sounds overhead, and I inhale a sharp breath, as if I hadn’t been anticipating it. The truth is, it’s not the storm brewing outside that has me on edge. It merely reflects the chaos inside my head.
My erratic heart beats wildly in my chest as I pull my eyes away from the building I’ve been parked in front of for the past hour—waiting and watching for him. I lean up to check my reflection in the rearview mirror, my hand trembling as I try again to wipe away the black smudges under my eyes. There’s no use. I look as wrecked as I feel. I collapse into the seat, leaning back into the head rest as I close my tired eyes. 
This is not how I expected my day to end. When I agreed to go to Steven’s for dinner tonight, I was certain he was going to propose. He must have been planning to, at least at some point. There wouldn’t have been a ring otherwise. Only, instead of getting down on one knee and slipping that diamond on my finger, he ended things. Not that I blame him; he was right to do it. 
After I accidentally confessed what I’d done, how I’d betrayed his love and trust, there was a look of shock and confusion on his face. Realizing my exposed secret had nothing to do with his decision for breaking things off, I lashed out, accusing him of things I knew he’d never do. I was the one who had done something unforgiveable—not Steven.
And if that hadn’t been awful enough, I left Steven’s and went straight to my best friend’s house. When she opened her door, I unleashed all my shame, fear, and sorrow onto her. It was like I couldn’t control the words coming out of my mouth—like it was someone else standing there saying those horrible things. Through it all, Lori remained calm and collected. But I saw the hurt in her eyes. I don’t see how she can ever forgive me. I know I’ll never be able to forgive myself. 
In a matter of hours, my entire life crumbled at my feet—and I’m the only one to blame. I’ve been selfish, stupid, and reckless. Even now, even after I’ve managed to alienate myself from two of the people I care for most in this world, I’m still making poor choices. I should be trying to fix things—to make them right. Instead, I’m here, for him. 
My breath is ragged as I draw it in, and it does nothing to ease the tightness in my chest. Another loud rumble in the sky causes my head to shoot up and eyes to pop open, landing back on the building just as he exits through the front door. 
An icy panic runs through my veins as he works to lock up the shop, and I realize I still have no clue what I’m going to say or why I’m even here. When it comes to him, all thinking and common sense seem to go out the window. My mind and body respond on an odd impulsive instinct to be near him. It’s that driving force giving me the courage to get out of my car. 
Lawrence Grier knocked my world off its axis when I met him twenty years ago, and he managed to do it again when he walked back into it a few weeks ago. He was the catalyst to my imploding life. 
Still unaware of my presence, he heads toward the parking lot, and I hold my breath as I shut the driver’s side door. When his eyes finally land on me, his steps hesitate before he begins taking quick, angry strides in my direction. My stomach drops. 
By the time he comes to a stop in front of me, my mouth is dry and my brain empty. His teal eyes lock on mine as he folds his arms. 
“What are you doing here, Cat?” His words are clipped, his voice strained. 
He isn’t happy to see me. It hurts, but I can’t say I blame him. The last time we saw each other, I hadn’t been kind. It felt like I was drowning and he was the thing pulling me under. I realize now how wrong I’d been.
I bite into my lip to keep my tears at bay. “I’m not sure.”
His nostrils flare as he sucks in an agitated breath. His eyes leave mine, falling to the ground, and he shakes his head. “It’s been a long day, and I’m pretty sure we said everything that needed to be said the last time we spoke.”
He couldn’t be more wrong about that. Everything I said to him that day was a lie. It was all so terrifying. How I feel about him, the things I’d done, and all the ways my life would change if I faced any of it. Like a coward, I’d chosen the safe path and hurt him in the process. 
When he lifts his head, the weariness behind his eyes has been replaced with fury. His hard glare locks on mine again, awaiting my response, but words fail me. I shift on my feet as I tuck my hair behind my ear, and his eyes narrow as they flicker over to my left hand.
He snarls, his expression a mixture of disgust and condescension. “Still no ring I see.”
Sighing, I shake my head. “There was a ring, but I walked away without it.”
His back straightens, his lashes fluttering as confusion washes over his features. He scratches his head and runs his palm over his face before taking a step toward me, leaving only a sliver of space between us. 
“What does that mean? Are you saying you aren’t going to marry him?” This time, there’s a seductive hopefulness in his tone.
Nodding, I swallow the lump in my throat. “It’s over.”
“No,” he breathes. “Please don’t do that. Don’t dance around the facts. I need you to be clear. Did you break things off, or did he?”
My stomach knots, and I duck my head as my eyes fill with tears, then stuff my hands in the back pockets of my jeans. “He did.”
His dark laughter echoes through the nearly empty parking lot, and I cringe as I look up at him. He cups his head in his hands, making a circle as he spins away from me, then back. His stare is cold as his hands fall back to his sides. 
“So, what? You thought you could come here and change your mind? Now that he doesn’t want you, I can have you. Is that it?”
My eyes widen as I pull in a quick, sharp breath. His words feel like a physical blow—one I know I deserve. “Of course not. It’s not like that.” His jaw ticks, his narrowed eyes unblinking as I take a deep breath to calm my quivering chin. “I know you probably hate me after the things I said, but I didn’t mean them. I was just…I couldn’t…” my voice breaks as thunder cracks above us, forcing me to give up my search for the right words. A shiver rocks through my body as a gust of wind blows around me, and I wrap myself in a hug as I hiccup a sob.
A tear rolls down my face, and he lets out a defeated sigh. My breath stills when he reaches up to brush it away with the pad of his thumb. His hand lingers at my jawline, and he dips his head, as if he’s going to kiss me. He stops just short of touching his lips to mine, looking as if it pains him to do so. 
“Damn it, Cat. Why did you come here? What do you want?”
“I don’t know.” It’s a lie. I know—I’ve known all along. But I’ve always been too afraid to admit it. I still can’t. Not even now. 
He loosens a sorrowed breath that brushes across my lips, his eyes closing as he rests his forehead against mine. I remain frozen, fighting the urge to embrace him while relishing in his touch. He pulls away, taking a step back as he removes his hand. When he finds my gaze again, my heart sinks with dread. 
“I fell in love with you even when I knew I shouldn’t. I continued to be in love with you even when I tried not to. Even after years apart. Even now, I love you. But I can’t stick around while you figure out what you want, hoping it’s me.”
“I’m here now, doesn’t that count for anything?”
He sighs, shaking his head. “You were going to marry a man out of some sense of obligation. For all I know, you’re only here now because it’s what I want. You need to figure out what you want—to think about your own happiness for once. I can’t do this with you until you know for sure. I don’t want to spend my life wondering if you’re with me because it’s really what you want, or if you’re simply trying to right a wrong.”
Tears stream down my face as he begins to back away, and I adamantly shake my head. I know what he needs to hear, what I need to say, but all I can manage is a simple plea. “Please don’t go.” 
He freezes, as if reconsidering, his head shaking as he fights internally with himself. Rubbing the back of his neck, his cheeks puff as he blows out a long breath. When he shoves his hands into the front pocket of his hoodie, he lifts his eyes, looking through me instead of at me. 
“Goodbye, Cat.”
With that, he turns on his heel and jogs away. Then, as if on cue, the sky opens, releasing a pounding rain. Perfect.
Amber McCammon is a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and avid reader who also happens to write contemporary romance/women’s fiction. She currently has three self-published novels: In This Moment, Crushed, and In the Gray. Selfish for Love, releasing December 13th, will be the fourth novel in her standalone series. 
Amber lives in Tennessee, born and raised, though she recently left her heart in the PNW. She’s a Ravenclaw, fall is her favorite season, and she believes that music is food for the soul.
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