BURN, by Dawn Altieri: New Release Excerpt, Guest Post, and Giveaway!

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Introducing BURN, a hot romance in more ways than one,

by author Dawn Altieri!

Meet Dawn Altieri:

A lifelong resident of northern New Jersey, Dawn Altieri has been scribbling stories practically since birth. After reaching a milestone birthday (she won’t say which one), she figured it was about time she took a shot at writing professionally.

With an overactive imagination and a slightly twisted mind, she enjoys reading dark and dangerous tales almost as much as writing them. When she’s not curled up on the sofa with her laptop, her latest story, a box of chocolates and a cup of tea (or a glass of wine, depending on the time of day), she can be found volunteering in the world of animal rescue. She shares her home with her husband and daughter, and a menagerie of rescued fur-babies.

Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

About BURN:

Chloe Addison is on the verge of a promising career in real estate development until an explosion destroys her first major project and casts suspicion on her in an arson investigation. Her career is suddenly at risk—and possibly her life.

Firefighter Ryan Monroe wants a spot on the arson team, and getting close to Chloe might be the best way to solve his first investigation. Despite a painful past of his own, Ryan has dedicated himself to saving people, and when he realizes Chloe is in danger, she’s no exception. He just might be the perfect guy to rescue her, but their attraction could bring them both down in flames.

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Excerpt:

Losing Chloe was not an option.

Ryan ignored Jeremy’s calls as he approached the warehouse. Ignored the chief’s voice over the transmitter clipped to his shoulder. He wasn’t supposed to enter a fire scene without instructions from the chief. Wasn’t supposed to break off on his own to go inside. He also wasn’t supposed to fall in love with someone he’d just met.

But he had.

He had to find her, get her to safety and make things right between them. She was the best thing that had ever happened to him, and there was no way he was going to lose her now.

The enormous main stockroom was heavily engulfed. Several of the higher windows had already blown out in the explosion, and flames and smoke billowed through the shattered remains to escape. Flames and smoke that could have already killed Chloe.

He couldn’t think like that. He’d been trained not to, to focus on the task at hand and not be distracted by his emotions. But all his training seemed to be flying out the window like those flames. He raised his Halligan tool and smashed the lower window.

“Monroe,” Chief Flanagan shouted over the transmitter again, “I order you not to enter the structure until Truck Company has completed roof operations. Do you read me? Do not advance!”

He swung the tool again with relentless determination. She could be trapped somewhere with the fire dancing closer each second, could be fighting to break free as the flames licked at her porcelain skin and left it singed with permanent scars like the ones that haunted him every day. Soon the smoke would strangle her, making the sting of her last breaths tortuously painful. And the heat. God, the heat…

He had to find her, had to reach her before it all happened. He knocked the last shards of glass from the window frame as Jeremy caught up to him.

Jeremy’s crushing hold on his shoulder halted his movements. “Roger that, Chief. I got him.” Jeremy turned Ryan to face him, staring him straight in the eye. “Not yet,” he warned, refusing to let Ryan go. “Listen to me. I know you want to tear in there and get her, and we will. But you need to calm down and do this right or you’re gonna get us all killed, you understand me? I’ll throw you the fuck out of here if I have to.”

Ryan glared at Jeremy, tempted to punch the living shit out of him to escape his grip. But Jeremy was right. The chief was right. He had to wait. If he ran in before the truckies had vented the roof and drawn the fire in the opposite direction, he’d jeopardize not only Chloe’s life, but his own life, and the lives of the crew, and he could kiss his career goodbye. Yet it was only a matter of time before the fire reached her, the building collapsed further, or the smoke-filled whatever room she was in and she ran out of air.

“Fuck!” He doubled over with his hands on his knees. How the hell was this happening again?

Fifteen Fun Facts:

A Guest Post by Dawn Altieri

  1. BURN is my first novel. Unless you count that baby kidnapper story I started writing in junior high and never finished. Or that rock-star girlfriend tale I wove in high school. Or the one I never finished writing during college, about the mom haunted by the infant daughter she lost. Or the story of the detective who falls for the victim of a crime he’s trying to solve. Or… Okay, BURN is probably my sixteenth or seventeenth novel, but who’s counting?
  2. During college, I was a DJ at Seton Hall University’s heavy metal radio station, WSOU in New Jersey. A good friend nick-named my late-night shift “The Dawn of the Dead Show.”
  3. Chloe Addison, the heroine of BURN, was named after my friend Nancy’s cat.
  4. I’ve had jobs in retail, food service, child care, advertising, graphic design and the printing industry. None of those positions hold a candle to being a writer.
  5. In my head, the part of BURN’s Ryan Monroe is played by Charlie Hunnam. His understudy is Justin Hartley from “This is Us.”
  6. I’ve had seven cats and three dogs in my lifetime, though not all at once. People close to me—who know my love for animals—are often shocked at how low that number is.
  7. I’ve had a girl crush on Jennifer Aniston ever since the first episode of Friends. Maybe it’s the hair, maybe it’s the string of romantic comedies, maybe it’s because she’s been married to not one but two of the hottest men in Hollywood. I don’t know. I just love her.
  8. Also in my head, the part of BURN’s Lieutenant Jeremy Hurst is played by David Gandy. I know, I know… Jeremy’s younger than David, Jeremy’s more arrogant than David, Jeremy does not speak with a British accent. But wouldn’t Gandy look great in nothing but a pair of bunker pants and suspenders???
  9. I did a lot of online research regarding arson techniques while I was writing BURN. I may very well be on some sort of FBI watch list.
  10. I am an extreme introvert. But then again, aren’t all writers?
  11. I could live on chocolate alone. Especially dark chocolate. With raspberries.
  12. While I was writing Burn, I often found myself with Ellie Goulding’s song “Burn” stuck in my head. Like, really often.
  13. I can name almost any classic rock or heavy metal song in less than ten seconds.
  14. I’ll be writing Jeremy’s story next. Or maybe Zack’s. No, Jeremy’s. You’ll just have to wait and see.
  15. I have so many story ideas in my head, I’m not sure what to write first. And that’s a good problem to have!

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His Family of Convenience, by Amy Ayers: Blog Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway!

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Blog Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway!

His Family of Convenience

Meet Amy Ayers:

Amy Ayers remembers writing her first fiction as an introspective tween in rainy Portland, Oregon. She took a break from writing to move with her family to the desert of Phoenix, Arizona. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Women’s Studies which lends itself to writing strong, opinionated heroines. She has worked as an Editor, a Job-Skills Trainer, and as an Executive Assistant. She even spent a college semester writing articles for the Tombstone Epitaph in the town ‘too tough to die’. She currently divides her time between her writing, her family (including one husband, four boys and two dogs), and her daily commute to work. A life-long lover of literature, she began writing her own contemporary romance in earnest in 2014 and is thrilled to be published with Entangled. She hopes to win the lottery someday so that she can devote all of her time to writing; until then, she writes when she can.

Connect:  Twitter | Goodreads

About His Family of Convenience:

 

Senna Callas’s one-night stand with her alpha asshole boss, Marco Medina, was supposed to mark the end of her internship and their ridiculous attraction. After being unreachable and ignoring Senna for a year, Marco sweeps back into the country and summons her to his office, revealing he knows her secret…the secret created during their explosive night together.

Marco is determined to be there for the son he’s just discovered he has, but when it comes to being with Senna, his choices aren’t his own. His meddling family expects him, the firstborn son, to follow through with the arranged marriage set up when he was a child. And Senna has no plans on being his mistress and still resents how her attempts to contact Marco were ignored. The only thing going right between them is the attraction that burns no matter the complicated situation they’re in.

Marco would do anything to protect his family, anything except decide between the legacy he was born into and the young family he’s just found…

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Guest Post:

I asked Amy to tell readers about what inspires her to write, and how she was inspired to write His Family of Convenience.

I’ve always loved writing.  My college degree is in journalism and I have lots of experience with technical writing or really any fact based writing and that process is fairly smooth.  But fiction writing is another beast entirely. Part of this adventure of trying to switch from technical writing to fiction writing has been about finding a process that works, and that was much harder than I thought it would be (in fact, I’m still working on it!)

I’m a very visual person.  If I can see it, touch it, imagine it, I can usually write about it – factually at least.  The ball is heavy.  The product costs $10. Turn the wrench clockwise to tighten the screw.  Those are all facts and can be expressed with little or any embellishment.

But fiction writing is all about the embellishment.  It’s about placing your reader vicariously into the story so they get lost in the sights, sounds, smells and become emotionally involved in the hero’s journey.  That’s why we read fiction, to be transported. We pay our money and ride the ride and if we’re not lost in the writer’s words we feel gypped.

My fiction writing typically starts with images, something striking that I can’t forget.  For this story it started when I wrote the opening scene as a writing exercise with a group of romance authors. One person set the rules: the scene couldn’t be longer than 1000 words and had to include the words tango, flame and spice.  Flame and spice are still in there, by the way, but I lost tango in the edits.

Those words began to roll around in my mind and images of a college-type dive bar began to form.  Not just any bar, but a tequila bar with sombreros on the walls and tiki torches scattered around for light. Dark, sticky floors.  Beachside but not a particularly safe beach.  Then it became, “OK, why would my heroine be working here?  How would she know my hero? Would she be happy to see him if he wandered in?”  Why is probably the most helpful word in my author toolbox because the more you ask it, the better you get to know your characters.  And once you know them, you know why they can’t be together.  And that is what makes a great romance.  Two characters that absolutely can’t be together, but they find a way.

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EXCERPT:

“He’s not just your son, or even our son. He’s part of a lineage, a birthright that demands certain behavior. Any Medina heir should be raised knowing our place in the world and the responsibility we have to the men, women, and children of Barcelona and Girona.”

Senna watched as Max tried valiantly to detach the probably solid gold links from the cuffs of what was certainly a custom shirt.

“That’s an incredible amount of pressure to put on yourself…and on a baby.”

His voice hardened again. “Max is a Medina. He’s the firstborn of a firstborn. He will fulfill his duties. That’s the way it’s been done for centuries.”

“It sounds like a prison sentence. What if he wants to be a doctor or a rock star or something?”

Marco’s laugh was harsh. “Firstborn sons don’t get to have dreams, princesa.”

She glanced at Max playing happily in his father’s lap, his big, expressive brown eyes taking in all the shiny newness that was Marco. So precious and innocent. Then the doubt hit her like a vicious punch. What have I sentenced him to?

“It’s not all bad, Senna. I love what I do, and I think I’m pretty good at it.”

“Yes, but if you had a choice, would this have been it?”

“I don’t know. Probably. I mean, I think every little boy has dreams of growing up and fighting fires or flying fighter jets.” His smile was thin.

She sighed. “I wanted to train dolphins at SeaWorld. So I get it. Plans change. Life happens.”

“For a Medina the plan is set. And it’s an honor and a privilege. Max will grow to see that one day.”

“Just like you have?”\

“Yes.” His answer was firm, resolute.

He finally stood up to face her, but he didn’t relinquish the baby. His features were fixed and stony. His eyes flashed with fire, his words tumbled out low and foreboding.

“Senna, I want Max to meet his family in Girona.”

“Okay. I’m sure we can arrange something.”

“I want to take him to Spain with me. Today.”

She stood to face him, panic consuming her.

“You can’t just take him, Marco. We can work out some sort of agreement, but he doesn’t go anywhere without me.”

“Fine, Senna. In that case, let me tell you what is going to happen.”

This should be good.

Love Sexy Office Shenanigans? Get Bossed, by Sloane Howell!

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BOSSED

by

SLOANE HOWELL

Bossed is now available on all major platforms…

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ABOUT BOSSED

He’s the boss. But she’s ready to take charge.

In this provocative and sexy* office romance, a cheeky new hire tempts a hotshot sports agent to mix business with pleasure.

Jenny:

Job interviews are a bitch under the best of circumstances, but when your potential boss is the world’s biggest prick, that’s when you should simply walk away. It’s just that I need this job so badly—and I’m mesmerized by Ethan Mason’s piercing gaze. Men like him aren’t supposed to exist in real life. But under the tailored suits and GQ looks, Ethan simmers with barely restrained ambition. And no matter how hard I work to fight the attraction, I’m going to get burned.

Ethan:

You don’t become a top agent without learning how to close deals. I always get what—or who—I want, by staying cool and in command. Then Jenny Jackson walks into my office with her lush curves and “screw you” attitude and blows away my intentions of keeping things professional. All I can think about is exploring the perfect body hidden beneath those conservative clothes or shutting her saucy mouth with one hot kiss. Jenny’s worth breaking the rules over—if I can convince her to break the rules for me.


*By sexy, we mean sexy. Like, 18+ sexy. Sinfully, deliciously sexy.

EXCERPT

When I turned back to the cart, a suit and tie slammed into me, knocking my bag to the ground. I stumbled around in a momentary daze, trying to process what had just occurred.

“Oh my God. I’m so sorry. Please excuse me.” I crouched down and quickly gathered all the papers that had spilled out of my bag and shoved them back in. Finally, I turned my head to meet a perfectly creased pair of black slacks, then lifted my gaze up to his face. The guy had to be mid-to-late twenties. He glared down at me with a pair of warm brown eyes, holding his phone to his ear. His hair was dark and combed back like the models who graced the covers of GQ or Style. His lips curled into a devilish smile as my face flushed with heat at the sight of such a handsome man. It was like seeing a lion on the Discovery Channel, only live and in the flesh. Predatory men like him weren’t supposed to actually exist in day-to-day life.

His brows pinched together and he scoffed, “You’re excused.”

I was at fault. I knew this. Standing in the middle of a busy sidewalk and staring out into the park was just asking for trouble. But something about his cocky attitude and the way he spoke to me crept under my skin in the worst possible way. Pulling myself to my feet, I propped my hands on my hips and glared at the back of his jacket as he started to walk away. “Excuse me?”
He froze in his tracks as I eyed him from head to toe. His suit hugged him perfectly, as if it were specifically tailored to every dimension of what I imagined was the body of a Greek god. But being attractive wasn’t an excuse for being a dick, no matter how fast my heart sped up when he turned around, and his gorgeous eyes found mine again.“Hang on a moment,” he said to whoever was on the other end of the phone.
He took a few steps that seemed to last an eternity as he neared me. “Sorry. I thought I’d said you were excused already.” He paused for a quick moment, then his eyes widened.

“Oh, my. You’re deaf.”


He held out his hands and flawlessly signed, You’re excused. I knew because I’d minored in ASL in college.


Before thinking, I signed back, You’re a fucking prick, coupled with a smile that matched my sentiment.


He stared at me like I was an alien for another brief moment, before raking his gaze up and down my body. I clenched my fists at the shiver it sent crawling up my spine, and the heat it sent between my thighs.


“Well, aren’t you a clever one? Never would’ve guessed you had an attitude, judging by that outfit.” He smirked.


I folded my arms across my chest and stared lasers into his eyes. The same eyes that sent nerves skittering through my body. “Well, aren’t you—”


His hand shot out and his index finger was against my lips. “Shh.” He slid his finger down my mouth slowly before pulling it away and pointing to his phone.

“Important phone call.”


He stared out at the park as my chest rose and fell in huge waves. My face heated to an alarming degree.


“Yeah, well don’t let them fuck up my sandwich this time. I want the condiments on the side. They get the bread all soggy.” He cupped his hand over the phone and whispered, “So sorry. This will only be a second. Then we can get back to”—he waggled his index finger back and forth between the two of us—“this little thing we have going on here.”


I should bite his damn finger off. Or lick it. What the hell, Jenny?


“Yeah, see that it’s right before you bring it back to the office. Bye.” He tapped the screen on his phone and shoved it into his jacket pocket, then grinned at me. “Are we finished here?”


“I bet you hear that a lot from the ladies.” I tapped my foot on the ground. He picked the wrong woman to be an asshole to. I didn’t care how expensive his Armani whatever suit cost, being a jerk wasn’t acceptable. Who did he think he was?


“It’s usually more like, ‘I want you to finish here.’ ” He pointed at my chest and smiled a toothy grin.


I remained unmoved by his misogynistic sarcasm. His smile widened.


“No?” He drew out the syllable. “Here?” He canted his head sideways and pointed at my mouth, then chuckled. “What’s wrong? You can dish it out but can’t take it?”


I sighed and gave him an obviously fake laugh. “Oh, I can take it. I just prefer an entree. Not an appetizer.” I shot a glance to his crotch.


He leaned down next to me, his breath warm in my ear. “I can assure you, there’s plenty to eat down there.” He rose back up and examined me once more, as people made their way around us. “And it looks like you’ve been starving yourself for a while. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have important things to do.”

MEET SLOANE HOWELL: A GUEST POST


That’s right. I’m a guy.”


Thank you for having me on your blog and letting me tell your readers a little about myself. My name is Sloane Howell. Wait, that’s not true. I have a normal guy’s name but that’s irrelevant. Fact is, I’m a normal married guy with a kid and two dogs and an asshole cat.


People ask me all the time how I started writing romance. I think people are curious about an average everyday guy writing the genre. Obviously, it was so I could get thousands of followers on social media and make millions of dollars. Why else would a dude write romance? It certainly wasn’t to get in touch with my feelings or some other pussy reason like that. It wasn’t to make my writing well-rounded. Only a good writer would have a goal like that. Money and fame is the way to go, always. Facebook likes is how you should always measure your success.


Hah! Sorry, I joke a lot. I’ll punish myself accordingly.


There were a lot of reasons and I never expected it to be half as successful as I’ve been. I figured I could bring something different to the table writing from a man’s POV. When I wrote the first story of my Panty Whisperer series I didn’t know if my wife would divorce me when she read it or drag me to the bedroom. I’m still married so you can do the math. Apparently, it worked for readers too because I’m still around and my fans seem to enjoy my writing style.


It’s funny, because when I started researching the genre in the beginning, well, I won’t lie, I kind of expected stories that were written directly for women with these ridiculous expectations of how a man would act from a female’s point of view. A big feels fest with some unrealistic cheesiness.


I was pleasantly surprised, because the stories I dove into were anything but that. They were dirty, raunchy, hilarious, and I was hooked. I had to write something and there’s something about the disconnect when you’re just sitting in front of a keyboard that just lets you not hold back.


The naughtier the story, the more people liked it. Hair pulling (which I maintain is the answer to world peace), ass slapping, you name it, the more the merrier. Make the hero throw the heroine over his shoulder like a caveman and I’d get twenty messages immediately asking for more. There’s nothing an author loves more than having people chasing you down for more stories.


So, like any sane person, I kept writing them and kept trying to get better. The fact is that erotic romance can affect a reader the way other genres just can’t. It’s like my buddy from my sci fi days E.J. Robinson said (I’m paraphrasing), ‘You can read a murder mystery and you won’t go out and try to solve crimes. But when you read an erotic romance you can damn sure grab your significant other annnd go get busy in the sheets.’


Love and hate are the two strongest emotions in the world, so I try to slam a reader with both whenever I get the chance. Because I wouldn’t be doing my job if I wasn’t trying to push those buttons. I hope you’ll check out BOSSED (3/28/17) and SCORED (8/22/17) – and let me know if I achieved my goal.

Check out my blog and join my newsletter at: www.sloanehowell.com
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Thanks so much for having me! 😊

 

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