Monday, January 20, 2014

Forever Young Blog Tour





MASQUERADE by Nyrae Dawn (January 7, 2014; Forever E-Book; 9781455576333; $3.99)
A biker. A tattoo artist. A love to last a lifetime.

Maddox Cross has always had to be tough. When his father went to jail for murder, the teenager took care of his sister and mother. Now on his own and working security at a night club, Maddox wants to become a tattoo artist-a dream that comes closer to reality when he falls for the hottest, most tatted woman he's ever seen. She's wild and beautiful, and Maddox will do anything to be with her.


Bee Malone came to town to open up her new tattoo parlor, Masquerade. Since being kidnapped as a young girl, Bee has had trouble getting close to anyone. But when she meets Maddox, she sees that under his hard biker's body is the sensitive soul of an artist. What starts out as a sizzling one-night stand soon becomes so much more.

Bee wants Maddox to join her tattoo business, but letting him into her life means revealing all her most intimate secrets. And as the past begins to intertwine with her present, Bee fears their love may not be as permanent as their ink . . . 

 Excerpt:


“Did you bring any drawings?” Bee sits at the chair behind a desk.

I hand her a book, but the second I do, I want to snatch it back. It’s always like that showing someone my work, even though I know it’s good. “That’s just one I had with me. I have more at home.”
She doesn’t answer as she starts flipping through the pages. After a couple minutes of watching her study each page, I start to get jittery. Feel like she’s looking inside me instead of at some pages, so to distract myself, I move around the room, taking in pictures of her work and other tattoos on the walls.
She looks at the book for what seems like an hour before speaking. “These are good. They’re different. Your artwork has a unique style that I haven’t seen before.”
I nod.
“Why do you want to be a tattoo artist?” she asks. The question shows me how serious she is about what she does because no one has brought it up before.
The urge to tell her it’s none of her business surges through me, but I want this badly enough to answer. “Because when I’m around it, I feel more like myself than I probably ever have.”
A brief flash of shock shows on her face, but she covers it quickly. “Good. I won’t screw around with someone who’s playing a game. This isn’t something you do to make a quick buck. Not if you’re working with me, at least. Did you get a chance to actually give anyone ink?”
“No. The apprenticeship only lasted three months before he bailed.”
Bee nods. “That’s good. I actually rather you have hardly any experience—that way I don’t have to train bad habits out of you.”
“I’m not a dog.”
“No one said you were. Chill out, Scratch.”
I tense at the name, but before I can really say anything, she starts asking questions again. “Do you lean toward liking only black work or are you into color too?”
Everything I have so far is only black, but as I look at her again, I see a variety of black and colorful work. “Depends. I don’t want to do only one or the other. I love work with shading too. I’ve seen some pieces that are really incredible just because of the shading.”
She nods and I wonder if that was the right answer.
“I’m not saying you don’t, but this is something you have to take seriously. There are a lot of dumb-asses out there who think it’s all fun, but it’s not. Stuff like being clean and safe is even more important than the picture you put into someone’s skin.”
“That’s a given, isn’t it?”
She grins. “You’d think, but it’s not always like that.”
We’re both quiet after that. Bee glances down at my artwork again. “I’m surprised I even let you in here tonight. It’s important that you know that. I don’t take shit from people.”
One look at her and that’s obvious. Part of me didn’t expect her to open the door for me either. “I’m surprised I came, so that makes two of us.” When she looks up at me, I’m not sure how I feel about the way her eyes take me in. Don’t know what I think about the fact that we have shit in common or that her look is familiar to me. I give it myself.
Bee stands, walks around to the front of the desk, and then leans on it. “If we do this, can we keep things from getting awkward?”
My answer comes automatically. “I can if you can. It was one night. We don’t know each other and I’m never with someone more than once anyway.” I’ve shared this strange sort of honesty with her tonight that makes my body overheat. I want all the words back because they’re a part of me and I don’t want anyone to see who I am, but this is it. Saying these things to her is the only way to get what I want.
“Now that you’ve asked your questions and realize this isn’t a game to me, I need to know if we’re doing this or not.”
Silently she walks toward the door and opens it. I hold in the groan, pissed at myself for fucking this up again and even more pissed that she’s in control.
Bee turns toward me, her blond hair messy from sleep, but it’s another thing she doesn’t care about. It doesn’t take away from how sexy she is either.
“We’re doing this. Don’t make me regret it. Now I need to get some sleep and then we’ll talk tomorrow about a schedule.”
I let out the breath trapped in my lungs. Thanks, echoes through my mind, but all that comes out is, “Cool. We’ll talk later.” Then I walk out the door.
Instead of going home, I head to the high school. It’s such a dumb fucking thing to do, but like I’ve done other nights, I jump the fence and head to the football field. Sitting in the middle of it, I let my eyes trace over the whole thing, trying to remember the time this used to be important to me. And trying not to concentrate on the fact that even though I got something I want, something I need, I still want to take out the fucking world because of everything I’ve lost.
 



Bio:
Writing has always been Nyrae Dawn's passion. Nyrae gravitates toward character-driven stories. She loves going on emotional journeys with characters whether it be reading or writing. And yes, she's a total romantic at heart and proud.

Nyrae resides in sunny Southern California with her husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two awesome kids.

When she's not with her family, you can be pretty sure you'll find her with a book in her hand or her laptop and an open document in front of her. Nyrae also writes adult romance under the name Kelley Vitollo.

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THE DESTINY OF VIOLET & LUKE by Jessica Sorensen (January 7, 2014; Forever E-Book; 9781455576524; $2.99)
Luke Price's life has always been about order, control, and acting tough on the outside. For Luke, meaningless relationships are a distraction-a way to tune out the twisted memories of his childhood. He desperately wishes he could forget his past, but it haunts him no matter what he does.
Violet Hayes has had a rough life. When she was young, she was left with no family and the memory of her parents' unsolved murders. She grew up in foster homes, living with irresponsible parents, drugs, and neglect, and trying to fight the painful memories of the night her parents were taken from her. But it's hard to forget when she never got closure-and she can't stop dreaming about what happened that tragic night. To make it through life, she keeps her distance from everyone and never allows herself to feel anything.

Then Violet meets Luke. The two clash instantly, yet they can't seem to stay away from each other. Although they fight it, they both start to open up and feel things they've never felt before. They discover just how similar they are. But they also discover something else: The past always catches up with you . . .

Excerpt:



“Maybe you should go get cleaned up first.” She runs her thumb down the side of my lip and the connection sends uninvited emotions coursing through my body. I have to clench my hands into fists, just to keep myself from grabbing her and crashing her lips against mine. She withdraws her hand and wipes her thumb and her finger together. “You have blood on your face and clothes.”

I shrug, smothering the desire to jerk her hand back to me, rip her clothes off and bend her over the hood out of my truck. “I’m fine with looking like a man who just beat the shit out of someone, but if you’re too embarrassed to be seen with me, you can sit in the truck.”
“ ‘A man who just beat the shit out of someone’?” she muses, stopping at the passenger door of my truck, her hand hovering above the handle of the car door. “Or a guy who just got his ass kicked?”
I can’t tell if she’s toying with me or not, but it’s both irritating me and exciting me in ways I didn’t know were possible. Half the damn time I have no fucking clue whether she’s being serious or not. Being a control freak, this should send me running, yet it’s having the opposite effect when it comes to her.
I decide to give her a taste of her own intense medicine, throw her off a little, regain the upper hand and hopefully scare her away. “Are you saying that I’m not tough?” I position myself in front of her, trying to get her to back up into the truck, but she stays still. “Or that I’m not a man?”
“I’m not saying either,” she says with a fervent look in her eyes that nearly sends me soaring through the roof. The more intense I get the more excited she gets, which makes me want to get even more intense. “Although, I’m guessing that despite that fact, you’re still about to show me that you’re both of those things.”
“Is that what you want me to do?” My voice comes out husky. This isn’t working out how I want, my plan of keeping her away backfiring on me. I take a step forward and then another, until I’m pretty much stepping on her feet. She still doesn’t back up and it frustrates me even more. “For me to show you how tough I am or how much of a man I am?”
She presses her lips together, her gaze unwavering, eyelashes fluttering. “I don’t want anything from you, Luke. I’m just simply saying what’s in my head. And the longer you’re around me, the more you’ll realize this.”
The longer I’m around her? Fuck. I reach a hand around the side of her and grab the door handle of the truck. “So you don’t think I’m tough?” I ask.
“I think you want to show me how tough you are and how much of a man you can be,” she says.
I put my other arm on the other side of her, so she’s pinned between my arms. Most girls in this position would back up into the door, but she stands firm, refusing to let me control her like I desperately want to.
“And how would I show you?” I drop my voice to a husky growl, intentionally this time.
“I’m sure you have your ways,” she replies, her gaze flickering at my mouth as I lean forward and our bodies press together.
It takes every ounce of strength not to seize hold of her hips and gently shove her back. Instead, I lean farther in, our lips inching closer. “I do have my ways…” I lick my lips and feel the sting of the cut. It reminds me of everything I just witnessed; with her, with me. I know if I kiss her it’ll more than likely lead to me jerking the door open and throwing her down on the truck seat, right here in broad daylight. I wouldn’t care who saw us. I never do. I’d just want to get this God damn need to regain control out of me, the need she’s putting in me. But then what would happen after it was all over? Would we go get tacos and come back to my dorm and hang out? Yeah, that doesn’t seem at all possible, but neither does screwing her and then bailing. I’m too far into her and I’m not sure how to get away or if I can get away at this point.
I clench my hands into fists as I fight the urge to shut my eyes and kiss her until she can barely breathe. I feel weak the moment I flip up that handle and start to pull the door open because I’m choosing to feel the vile, pathetic feelings of my past—how I did things I didn’t want to do, how my mother messed with my head, how I had no control over my life. I was a puppet. I was weak. I don’t want to be that person ever again.
I wait for Violet to move out of the way so I can get the door open, but she doesn’t budge and I’m the one who ends up stepping back, losing again. It’s an unsettling place I’ve arrived at and I don’t know what to do with it beside drink myself into a stupor and hammer my fist through anything that gets in my way. My body is actually shaking as my mind craves the burning, blissful taste of alcohol.
“So where are we going to get tacos?” She sidesteps around me and hops in the truck, tucking her skirt in as she brings her legs into the truck.
“You pick,” I say as I shut the door.
She smiles a plain, fake smile, not even giving me the benefit of a real one. “It doesn’t matter to me,” she says as I climb into the cab. Then she kicks her feet up on the dash and flops her head back against the seat, looking as calm as can be.
I have to wonder if she really means it. If nothing matters to her, and if she’s beginning to matter to me.
 



Bio: The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives with her husband and three kids. When she's not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

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