I grew up in the south. When you say “Sizzling Summer Nights” I automatically think of lightening bugs floating over the grass, the sound of cicadas singing in the trees, homemade ice cream churning on the porch, and humidity that could make an open package of saltine crackers soggy in less than an hour.
What can I say… We gotz it good around here!
But if that isn’t hot enough for you, we’ve got a line up of authors who will make your laptop or ebook reader smolder. Just click on the hop banner and follow the hop from start to finish. Not only will you meet some great authors but you may even win some fabulous prizes.
The big prize will be a 7″ Kindle Fire HD (16GB with Special Offers!). In addition, most of the authors in the hop will be giving away prizes such as books, gift cards, swag and so on. But you’ll have to watch – some authors will be drawing their own winners and may have requirements about how to enter. But others – like me – will let the hop sponsor handle the drawing.
Winners will be drawn in the after-hop chat at 7PM Eastern on Sunday the 3rd. So be sure you check back!
All you have to do to get registered is click on the hop banner and visit the other sites in the hop. Once you’ve visited 10 sites, you’ll be automatically entered. The more sites you visit, the more entries you’ll receive and the greater your chances of winning! I will be giving away an electronic copy of Risky Business (and a swag package). AND just to sweeten the deal – if your name is drawn and you’ve friended me on Facebook, I’ll also send you a copy of one of my short stories (Cherie’s Silk or Working It All Out) and one of my beaded book cover purse charms.
Now… about my latest book Loss of Control:
Jeanie’s lousy boss has sent her on yet another business trip. At least this one has a bonus—she gets to work with “Steve the Stud”, the office hottie who makes all the women weak-kneed, for the whole week. When she finds him to be smart and fun as well, she has no clue how she’ll finish the trip while staying professional.
Steve got burned the last time he dated a coworker and has vowed to never put himself in that position again, no matter how much he can’t stop thinking about Jeanie and her freckles. When Jeanie finds evidence of fraud, Steve works more closely with her than he imagined. It’ll take all his control to maintain his promise while Jeanie struggles with an ethical dilemma.
A Blush® contemporary romance from Ellora’s Cave.
And an excerpt:
For the fifth time in less than two months, Jeanie Madison found herself sitting hip to hip with about fifty strangers in a crowded airport terminal. Her cell phone rested between her shoulder and ear and she made appropriate “I’m listening” noises.
“Girl, you are crazy for going on another one of those trips,” Trish Stratford ranted at the other end of the conversation.
It was the umpteenth time Trish had told Jeanie the same thing in the last month, so Jeanie held her tongue, knowing it would do no good to interrupt her tirade. Being a best friend meant she had a right and a duty to say something when her friend was screwing up.
“You know you’re doing Frampton’s job for him! And he’s getting paid twice what you make.”
“I know, Trish. I know. But just think about the experience that I—”
“Experience! Who gives a crap about experience when you’re struggling to make your car payment each month? That no-good boss of yours is driving a company car and leaving early every day while you work your butt off.”
“I can put all of this on my résumé. Then I’ll have the satisfaction of telling him to stuff it when I find another job,” Jeanie said.
“Uh huh. You’re way too nice to do that.”
“No, I’m not. I could quit.” She wasn’t sure who she was trying to convince, herself or Trish.
“You’ll give that slimeball two weeks notice and just tell him you’ve found another opportunity with growth potential. You know you won’t tell him off the way he needs. You’re too nice.”
Jeanie pushed a piece of paper that was lying on the floor with the toe of her shoe. “You’re right. I won’t. But I like to think about doing it.”
“Yeah, well. You need to do more than think about it,” Trish grumbled.
“I know,” Jeanie sighed into the phone.
“Attention all passengers. Flight 2498 to Chicago with continuing service to Indianapolis will begin boarding in just a few minutes. Standby passengers should check in at the desk.”
As soon as the announcement came on the overhead speaker, Jeanie grabbed her purse and the paperback she was planning to read on the plane. “Hey, I better run. I need to grab some coffee before we board. I’ll call you later.”
“Okay. Call me immediately if you come across anything interesting on this trip.”
Jeanie laughed at Trish’s emphasis on the N in the word “interesting” that hinted at her desire for something more exciting than a normal workday. “I will. And don’t forget about GT. You know he gets in a snit if he doesn’t get his loving during the week. And the brat isn’t picky about who he gets it from.”
“I’ll make sure that overindulged cat of yours is taken care of.”
Jeanie disconnected their call then gathered her things to head to the café. She stopped when a deep, somewhat familiar voice floated through the raised newspaper across the aisle.
“Most men would get in a snit without their weekly loving.”
Unsure if the disembodied voice was directed at her, Jeanie tried to peer over the newspaper to see who it was. One corner of the paper folded down to reveal the face of one of the auditors from the company Jeanie worked for. He was the “cute one” all the girls talked about. She racked her brain, trying to think of his name. Steve something.
Relieved she sort of knew who was speaking, Jeanie said, “Well, yes, I would think so.” She slid her purse strap over one shoulder and stood. “But GT is especially demanding,” she added with a lift of her chin, surprising herself with her audacity.
Steve’s gaze scanned her from head to toe. “I see.”
She willed herself to not blush or squirm under his scrutiny but her pale skin immediately registered the slightest change in body temperature. The quick but appreciative light in Steve’s eye made her even warmer. She prayed her ears weren’t turning bright red or, if they were, that her hair would hide that fact. Looking like a sunburned radish wasn’t what she was going for now that she’d finally met “Steve the Stud”.
“The Stud” folded the paper and laid it across his lap. “I didn’t mean to eavesdrop on your conversation but I couldn’t help but overhear that last part.” He pulled on one earlobe. “It sounded a little odd to ask someone else to, uh… Well…”
Jeanie stifled the laughter bubbling up from seeing Steve uncomfortable with his own line of questioning. All because of a cat. Although Steve wouldn’t know GT was a gray tabby. Whatever. That fact made the thought even funnier.
“I suppose that did sound a little strange.” Jeanie smirked, not worrying if she sounded like a doofus. “By the way, what is your name? We’ve been passing each other a lot this month but I’ve never stopped to ask.”
“You’re right. We never have met officially.” He stood and offered his hand in greeting. “Steve Waltman. Audit.”
Jeanie shook his hand and looked into the bluest eyes she’d ever seen. That had to be one of the reasons the girls in the office were all smitten with him. Not only did he fill out his jacket nicely but the sandy-blond hair and blue eyes were a traditionally lethal combination. And so far he seemed to be a nice guy, with a sense of humor to boot.
If she wasn’t careful she could be in serious trouble.
“Jeanie Madison. I’m in Accounts Payable,” she said, letting her hand linger in his a little longer than usual.
“Jeanie. It’s nice to put a name to a face. We have been coming and going at the same time these days. Where are you off to this morning?”
“Indianapolis. What about you?”
“Same.” Steve tucked his folded newspaper under his arm. “You going in for the transition?”
“Yeah. You too?”
“Afraid so. Looks as if we’ll be hanging out together this week.”
A little flutter started somewhere deep in Jeanie’s belly. She wasn’t sure if it was from hunger or nervousness at the thought of being in the same location, probably even the same hotel, as Mr. Hottie for a whole week.
“Guess so.” Erotic images of Steve and herself in a hotel room triggered another burst of heat through her body. A little distance might be best before her cheeks burst into flame. “I was just going to get coffee.” As a second thought she added, “I’ll make you a deal. If you’ll watch my bag and save my seat, I’ll grab some for you too.”
Steve checked his watch. “That would be great. Black coffee with a couple of creamers and a sweetener.”
He reached for his wallet but Jeanie waved him away from it. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll get it.” She pushed her suitcase up against her vacated seat then turned to make her escape.
“Thanks. I’ll buy next time.”
“All right,” she tossed over her shoulder as she picked her way through the somewhat crowded aisle.
It was just a short walk to the café but it gave her time to settle the butterflies in her stomach. However it wasn’t long enough to halt the naughty thoughts rolling around in her head. As she waited in line she watched the girl behind the counter decorate the top of someone’s drink with a mound of whipped cream and a swirl of chocolate.
In Jeanie’s mind that mound of whipped cream belonged on Steve’s bare chest.
Or perhaps lower.
With a cherry on top.
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