Before we get to the fun stuff this week, last month’s winner was Joanne B! Joanne won a copy of Tempted by a Cowboy! Joanne, send your address and preferred format (print with bonus goodies or epub) to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Okay! Back to the silliness! I have a book out, but first let me tell you what I did this weekend! There’s a steampunk festival in Hannibal, MO, called the Big River Steampunk Festival. My family and I are kind of casual steampunkers, but I do like getting dressed up.
We went last year–which was the first year of the festival–and neither us nor the festival really knew what we were doing. This year, however, the festival was GREAT. They had more vendors and more activites–a circus sideshow (creepy), vaudeville show (SO MUCH FUN), burlesque (oh, how I wanted to go to the burlesque show–but I had a 10 yr old with me!). We had a great time.
Plus, this year, we also knew what we were doing. I went as Big Red, Wolf Hunter. My husband was a bounty hunter. My favorite moment was when I was standing in line for the nerf dueling (yes it’s a thing) and a little girl who couldn’t have been more than 6 was behind me (neither she nor her family were in costume). She said, “Who are you?” And I replied, “I’m Big Red.” She wrinkled her brow, not quite getting it, and said, “Because you look a little bit like Little Red Riding Hood.” And I said, “I was. But then I grew up and I got tired of being scared of monsters so I started fighting them.” I held up my basket (which had the fur collar off an old coat in it) and said, “This is the last wolf I caught. He doesn’t scare me anymore!”
The look on her face was PRICELESS. She’d never considered that fairy tales could grow up. And then, sadly, I went down in a blaze of glory in the nerf dueling, so I turned to her and said, “You’ve got to win this one for us girls! You can do it!” and we high-fived. Girl Power! Her mom was laughing through the whole thing. Frankly, considering how much kind of scary black makeup I had on, I’m surprised I didn’t terrify her or her little brother. But fun was had by all! They’re going to have the festival every Labor Day weekend so I hope you check it out next year! I’m already planning changes to my costume (and also praying that, FOR ONCE, it isn’t 93+ degrees out. I sweat through my corset!)
In book news, I have a new release–His Son, Her Secret! It’s already spent a few days as the #1 Desire at Amazon this week–I’m so excited that readers are connecting with it!
His Son, Her Secret is the 4th story in the Beaumont Heirs series and it features Byron, the older of the Beaumont Twins (his twin, Frances, gets her book next month). We last saw Byron in A Beaumont Christmas Wedding, asking about the daughter of his family’s mortal enemy, Leon Harper. It turns out there was *quite* a history there!
Here’s the blurb:
Their families tore them apart. Can their baby bring them back together?
For more than a year, Byron Beaumont has tried to get over Leona Harper. Not even living overseas could erase the memory of their affair…or her betrayal. Her family has been out to destroy his for decades, and despite Byron trusting her, making love to her, Leona kept her identity hidden. Now that Byron is back—as her new employer—he wants answers.
But what he gets is another surprise. Leona has given birth to his son. He’ll do what it takes to care for his family, even if it means spending days—and nights—wanting the one woman he can’t have…
And because I save all the best stuff for you guys, here’s a super-steamy, super-exclusive excerpt!
“It’s not the same,” she said and he heard the concern in her tone. “Everything changed. I’m not the same girl you remember.”
“I know.” He snagged the waistband of her pants. “You’re better. You’re a woman now.” With that, he pulled.
Her pants peeled right off her legs and then she was in nothing but a pair of white cotton panties. Keeping one hand on her breast, he moved down. He pushed her legs apart and lowered himself onto her. He pulled the panties aside and kissed her on her sex. “Not so different,” he murmured. He inhaled her scent deeply and everything he’d tried to forget for a year came crashing back on him. “Oh, babe,” he said before he licked her.
Leona’s body shook at his touch as she moaned. Her legs tried to close around him but he used his free hand to hold her open as he worked on her body. “Yeah, that’s it,” he whispered against her skin as her back arched. “You’re so beautiful.”
“Need…more,” she ground out through clenched teeth.
“All you had to do was ask.” He released his hold on her breast and trailed his hand over her stomach until he got both hands into the elastic waistband of her panties. He pulled them down and Leona kicked free.
She was completely open to him now. She held her hands over her stomach but he pried them away. There, permanently etched into her skin, were pale pink lines that hadn’t been there before.
“Byron,” she said in a trembling voice, as if she were waiting for pain to hit.
“Beautiful,” he murmured as he kissed the stretch marks. She’d brought his son into this world with her body and he wanted to show her just how much he appreciated that.
So, even though he was about to bust out of his jeans, he took the time to kiss all of her stretch marks before moving lower a second time. He pressed his mouth against her again. This time, he didn’t do tender or gentle. This time, he was hell-bent on bringing her right up to the edge and then pushing her over. He looped his arms around her legs and pulled her up so he had a better angle.
She tangled her fingers into his hair, pulling it loose from the low ponytail. “Oh, Byron,” she gasped quietly.
“You still need more?”
“Please,” she got out in a high voice filled with need. “, Byron.”
He couldn’t help but grin. “ is how much I missed you,” he murmured as he slipped a finger inside of her. She moaned in pleasure as he stroked her and licked her and kissed her.
“Yes,” she whispered. She let go of his hair and pulled his face up so she could look him in the eye. “More. Need .”
“This?” he asked, slipping a second finger into her. “Is this what you want?”
Her mouth dropped open again, but she shook her head no.
“Tell me what you want, Leona. I need to hear the words.” He didn’t know why, but he did. No misunderstandings this time—just the truth between them. The truth he’d never been able to deny.
“I want you—all of you,” she whispered. “Make love to me, Byron. .”
He hopped off the bed to shuck his jeans. He had a condom in his wallet. He dug around until he found it, which took a few minutes because Leona had leaned forward and pressed her lips to his tip. He groaned in the small space between the pleasure of her mouth on his erection and the pain of needing to hold back his climax. “Babe, please.”
As she lifted her eyes to look at him, her other hand cupped him. Too much—she was too much. “Babe,” he said in warning. He didn’t want to lose it before he’d shown her how good it could still be between them and he didn’t know how much time they had before the baby awoke or her sister came back. “Let me do this for you.”
With his last bit of self-control, he pushed her away—at least, far enough away that he could roll the condom on. Then he climbed back onto the bed, back between her legs, and lowered himself to her. “You still like it like this?” he asked as he tucked her knees under his arms and pinned her to the bed.
“I think so. I’ll let you know.” Then she licked his lips and he couldn’t hold back any longer.
He fit himself against her and plunged into her body. She was so wet and ready for him, as though she’d been waiting for just this moment, too. He buried himself in her and kissed her and thought, .
WHEW! His Son, Her Secret is out now and available at these fine retailers:
If you’ve read the book, would you consider leaving an honest review? It helps us so much!
So! This week’s contest question is for a three-book set of The Bolton Brothers–Straddling the Line, Bringing Home the Bachelor and Expecting a Bolton Baby! All you have to do to be entered to win is leave a comment telling me if you’d steampunk and what your steampunk persona would be. Winner to be revealed next month!