martes, 17 de mayo de 2016

:: Release blitz :: The problem with forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER - RWB Banner      
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER - a young adult title about friendship, survival, and finding your voice. This incredible book is available today! Read more about this stunning new novel below and be sure to order your copy today to receive an amazing FREE fan pack while supplies last!


      THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER - cover

About THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes a riveting new story about friendship, survival, and finding your voice.


For some people, silence is a weapon.

For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield.

Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory must make a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.


THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER - Preorder Teaser
Register your preorder of THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER by May 20th to receive a FREE fan pack! Includes inspirational wall art, a colorful poster, and flag-as-you-read stickers. You will also get immediate access to an extended excerpt from the book.JUST FILL OUT THE FORM HERE


Prologue


              Dusty, empty shoe boxes, stacked taller and wider than her slim body, wobbled as she pressed her back against them, tucking her bony knees into her chest.
              Breathe. Just Breathe. Breathe.
              Wedged in the back of the dingy closet, she didn’t dare make a sound as she sucked her lower lip between her teeth. Focusing on forcing every grimy breath into her lungs, she felt tears well in her eyes.
              Oh gosh, she’d made such a big mistake, and Miss Becky was right. She was a bad girl.
              She’d reached for the dirty and stained cookie jar earlier, the one shaped like a teddy bear that hid cookies that tasted funny. She wasn’t supposed to get cookies or any food by herself, but she’d just been so hungry that her tummy hurt, and Miss Becky was sick again, napping on the couch. She hadn’t meant to knock the ashtray off the counter, shattering it into tiny pieces. Some were shaped like icicles that clung to the roof during the winter. Others were no bigger than chips.
              All she’d wanted was a cookie.
              Her slender shoulders jerked at the sound of the all cracking on the other side of the closet. She bit down harder on her lip. A metallic taste burst into her mouth. Tomorrow there would be a hold the size of Mr. Henry’s big hand in the plaster, and Miss Becky would cry and she’d get sick again.
              The soft creak of the closet door was like a crack of thunder to her ears.
              Oh no, no, no…
              He wasn’t supposed to find her in here. This was her safe place whenever Mr. Henry was angry or when he—
              She tensed, eyes peeling wide as a body taller and broader than hers slipped inside and then knelt in front of her. In the dark, she couldn’t make out much of his features, but she knew in her belly and her chest who it was.
              “I’m sorry,” she gasped.
              “I know.” A hand settled on her shoulder, the weight reassuring. He was the only person she felt okay with when he touched her. “I need you to stay in here, ‘kay?”
              Miss Becky had said once that he was only six months older than her six years, but he always seemed so much bigger, older than her, because in her eyes, he took up her entire world.
              She nodded.
              “Don’t come out,” he said, and then he pressed into her hands the redheaded doll she’d dropped in the kitchen after she broke the ashtray and rushed into the closet. Too frightened to retrieve her, she’d left Velvet where she had fallen, and she’d been so upset because the doll had been a gift from him many, many months before. She had no idea how he’d gotten Velvet, but one day he’d simply shown up with her, and she was hers, only hers.
              “You stay in here. No matter what.”
              Holding the doll close, clenched between her knees and chest, she nodded again.
              He shifted, stiffening as an angry shout rattled the walls around them. It was her name that dripped ice down her spine; her name that was shouted so furiously.
              A small whimper parted her lips and she whispered, “I just wanted a cookie.”
              “It’s okay. Remember? I promised I’d keep you safe forever. Just don’t make a sound.” He squeezed her shoulder. “Just stay quiet, and when I…when I get back, I’ll read to you, ‘kay? All about the stupid rabbit.”
              All she could do was nod again, because there had been times when she hadn’t stayed quiet and she’d never forgotten those consequences. But if she stayed quiet, she knew what was coming. He wouldn’t be able to read to her tonight. Tomorrow he would miss school and he wouldn’t be okay even though he would tell her he was.
              He lingered for a moment and then he eased out of the closet. The bedroom door shut with a smack, and she lifted the doll, pressing her tearstained face into it. A button on Velvet’s chest poked at her cheek.
              Don’t make a sound.
              Mr. Henry started to yell.
              Don’t make a sound.
              Footsteps punched down the hall.
              Don’t make a sound.
              Flesh smacked. Something hit the floor, and Miss Becky must have been feeling better, because she was suddenly shouting, but in the closet the only sound that mattered was the fleshy whack that came over and over. She opened her mouth, screaming silently into the doll.
              Don’t make a sound.


    THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER - RWB - Text Teaser    

Praise for THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER:“The intensity between Mouse and Rider is palpably sizzling… romance aficionados [will] lose themselves in Mouse and Rider’s smoldering glances and steamy kisses.” –Kirkus

“Armentrout’s effort to gradually coax her protagonist from her shell via a supportive, loving community succeeds, and readers looking for an inspirational comeback story will find Mallory’s to be satisfying and hopeful” –Publishers Weekly

About Jennifer L. Armentrout

Author Photo--JLA_J. Lynn
    # 1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.   


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lunes, 16 de mayo de 2016

:: Release blitz :: SMUT by Karina Halle


 

  Smut 0 days  

Smut AMAZON - Copy


What happens when the kink between the pages leads to heat between the sheets?


All Blake Crawford wants is to pass his creative writing course, get his university degree and take over his dad’s ailing family business. What Amanda Newland wants is to graduate at the top of her class, as well as finally finish her novel and prove to her family that writing is a respectful career.



What Blake and Amanda don’t want is to be paired up with each other for their final project but that’s exactly what they both get when they’re forced to collaborate on a writing piece. Since Amanda thinks Blake is a pushy asshole (with a panty-melting smirk and British accent) and Blake thinks Amanda has a stick up her ass (though it’s brilliant ass), they fight tooth and nail until they discover they write well together. They also might find each other really attractive, but that’s neither here nor there.

When their writing project turns out to be a success, the two of them decide to start up a secret partnership together using a pen name, infiltrating the self-publishing market in the lucrative genre of erotica. Naturally, with so much heat and passion between the pages, it’s not long before their dirty words become a dirty reality. Sure, they still fight a lot but at least there’s make-up sex now.

But even as they start to fall hard for each other, will their burgeoning relationship survive if their scandalous secret is exposed or are happily-ever-afters just a work of fiction?




Excerpt

She holds my gaze for a moment and something passes over her. Regret, maybe. Then she nods. “Sit down. Let’s work.” 

And so we do. And for the first time in a long time, it’s strained. I’m about to suggest maybe we need the Estonian vodka anyway when she lets out an exasperated sigh over something she’s reading. 

It happens to be something I wrote. 

“What?” I ask, wondering what I did wrong. 

She gives me the the 'are you kidding me?'look. “Okay, I was ignoring it earlier but I think you need to get a grip on some of this shit. This simply does not happen.” 

“Explain, please.” 

“I just think it’s unrealistic for there to be so much talking, let alone the fact that the first time they do it it’s in a public place.” 

“Too much talking?” 

“Yeah.” she scans over the document. “You know, give me your cock, oh you feel so good, harder, harder, you’re so big, fuck me harder big boy.” 

“Have you even had good sex?” I ask incredulously. 

She flinches. “Of course I have. And it’s none of your business.” 

“We’re writing about sex. It’s completely my business. I’m not letting you interject your edits based on your personal experiences about sex because believe me, if the sex is good, you’re moaning my name.” 

She raises her chin. “Maybe all those girls were faking it.” 

Oh, brilliant. 

“Excuse me?” I say, hands pressed against the table, nearly getting out of my chair. “You have no idea. I pride myself in giving a girl as many bloody orgasms as she can handle.” 

“Bloody orgasms don’t sound like fun,” she jokes softly. 

“They can be if you’re into knife play,” I tell her, even though that’s not exactly what I meant. Still, she scrunches up her nose. “Don’t knock it until you try it, but that’s neither here nor there. When you were with Alan, he must have made you come at least a few times.” 

If he didn’t, I feel like finding the guy and showing him a thing or two for wasting four years of her life. 

“Yeah,” she says flatly. 

“And in the middle of that orgasm, didn’t you want to yell a few things?” 

“Sometimes.” 

“And why didn’t you?” She looks at her nails as if they’re suddenly fascinating. “It didn’t seem right. It was…too intimate. I would have felt dumb. He didn’t like any of that stuff.” 

The plot thickens. “Any of what stuff?” 

“Sex that didn’t involve the missionary position or the bed.” 

My mouth drops open. My brain and penis can’t compute this. “I feel so sorry for you.” 

We must remedy this. 

She glares at me. “It’s not like I didn’t want to do it. I did. And he did try it. Most of it. But it always went back to the same old.” 

I knew it. She’s a nerd on the streets and a freak in the sheets. 

“I don’t mean to brag,” I tell her in all seriousness. “But you do realize that I could give you an orgasm in thirty seconds.” 

Her eyes widen. I can’t tell if she’s horrified or intrigued. “I don’t believe you and I don’t want you to try.” 

She’s not getting it. I frown, trying to explain. “If you’re having good sex and it’s with someone you’re comfortable with, you won’t worry about holding back. You’ll cry out all the nonsense you want, you’ll make noises like a pig and scream like you’re on fire because you truly can’t have a good orgasm unless you’re letting go on all accounts.” I lean back in my chair and study her, running my fingers along my jaw. “I would venture that every time you came with your ex, you were only experiencing half of what you should have been. How is it with your vibrators?” 

I expect her to tell me to fuck off, that I’m getting too personal but to my surprise she gives me a small smile. “It’s better. But I do have a roommate with exceptionally good hearing.” She clears her throat. “Anyway, so I guess I’m wrong. The heroine can make all the noise she wants.” 

“And have first time sex in public.” 

“I don’t know…” 

“Believe me, when you finally get a chance to fuck, you don’t care where it is. That’s why I always have a condom in my pocket. And the more public the sex, the sneakier you have to be, the hotter it is.” 

“But in the book you would never get caught.” 

“You don’t always get caught in real life too.” 

I can see she wants to ask me where I’ve done it but she loses her nerve. “Okay.” She looks back to the document. “I accept defeat.” 

But I don’t want her to. I want to prove to her I’m right and not have her take my word. 

Is there a non-creepy way to show her just how amazing good sex can feel? I’m thinking not. 

Or…maybe there is.

  smutrteaser1      


Halle Headshot
Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Racing the Sun, Sins & Needles and over 25 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books. Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK. Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more. 

jueves, 12 de mayo de 2016

:: Cover reveal :: Playboy Pilot by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward

PLAYBOY PILOT
(A standalone novel)
A Contemporary Romance novel

New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Authors
Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland 




Playboy Pilot releases on September 19th!


iBooks exclusive pre-order:
http://apple.co/1rGw4LB

Paperback pre-order: http://amzn.to/23I1Wez

Add Playboy Pilot to your TBR list on Goodreads! 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29533192-playboy-pilot

Sign up for Penelope & Vi’s mailing list now and be the first one notified of releases! http://eepurl.com/brAPo9



Cover designer: Letitia Hasser, r.b.a designs
Model: Sahib Faber
Photographer: Greg Vaughan

Blurb


From the New York Times bestselling authors of Stuck-Up Suit and Cocky Bastard, comes a sexy new standalone novel.

Money or love? Which would you choose? 

You probably just answered the question in your head thinking it's an easy decision.

For me, it's not. Did I mention it's a lot of money? A hell of a lot.

I needed to go far away to think it through.

As I embarked on an impulsive trip, I hit a detour when I met sexy Carter in the airport lounge. We struck up a heated conversation.

Then, he left.

I thought I'd never see him again.

But fate had other plans.

Surprise! He was the pilot of my flight.

The bigger surprise was the adventure that followed after the plane landed.

Carter was dangerous and always on the move.

Even though our connection was magnetic, I knew it was only temporary.

He would give me tickets, and I would follow him around the world to exotic places.

A bevvy of flight attendant exes and rumors about Carter's reputation were never far behind.

I didn't know what to believe.

But I was addicted. Nothing else mattered anymore. And I was going to get hurt. Because a part of me wanted to be the one to finally ground the playboy pilot.

At the very least, he was taking me on a thrilling ride.

All good things must come to an end, right?

Except our ending was one I didn't see coming.


  

About the Author


Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn't change for the world. She is an attorney and a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, & USA Today Best Selling author.  Over the last three years, eleven of her titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestseller lists and four on the New York Times Bestseller lists.  



Penelope Ward


Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 11-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 9-year-old boy, both of whom are the lights of her life. Penelope, her husband and kids reside in Rhode Island. She is the author of RoomHate and Stepbrother Dearest, which hit #2 and #3 on the New York Times bestseller list respectively. Other works include the New York Times bestseller Cocky Bastard (co-written with Vi Keeland), Sins of Sevin, My Skylar, Jake Undone, Jake Understood and Gemini.  
       



lunes, 9 de mayo de 2016

:: Release blitz :: Dear heart, I hate you by J. Sterling

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New York Times Bestselling author J. Sterling brings readers a tantalizing tale of love and redemption in her newest contemporary romance DEAR HEART, I HATE YOU. Be sure to check out the snippet below, enter the giveaway, and grab your copy of this amazing book today!


    DEAR HEART, I HATE YOU - cover
About DEAR HEART, I HATE YOU:I didn’t plan on him.Or for him.Or anything that had to do with Cal Donovan from Boston.Meeting him had been a complete and utter surprise, taking me one hundred percent off guard. I met new people every single day in my line of work and none of them affected me. Wasn’t that the way of things though? You could meet a thousand people and they’d all mean nothing to you. But then you’d meet that one and they suddenly meant everything.
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  DEAR HEART, I HATE YOU - RWB Teaser 2


EXCERPT 

JULES POV


I didn’t plan on him. Or for him.

Or anything that had to do with Cal Donovan from Boston.

Meeting him was a surprise, taking me one hundred percent completely off-guard. I met new people every day in my line of work, and none of them affected me. Wasn’t that the way of things, though? You could meet a thousand people and none of them would mean anything to you, but then you’d meet one, and suddenly they meant everything.

I was a self-professed workaholic, so everyone in my life knew I didn’t date. It wasn’t entirely intentional on my part; I just didn’t make men a priority at this point in my life. But that wasn’t to say that if I met someone who intrigued me, I wouldn’t give it a shot. Because I absolutely would. But therein lay the rub—very few guys sparked my interest and managed to hold it.

And that was perfectly fine with me. Work came first, and I wasn’t about to apologize for that or feel bad about it. Not even to my ex-boyfriend Brandon, when he broke up with me over two years ago because I spent too much time at the office, and he felt I should have been focusing at least a smidgeon of my time and attention on him.

He had played the role of the supportive boyfriend at first, telling me how proud he was of my ambition and accomplishments. But all the while, his resentment secretly brewed until it exploded from him one night as we sat in his living room. To say I’d been taken off-guard and shocked by his anger would be an understatement. I had no idea he’d grown so spiteful.

Brandon hadn’t been entirely wrong in his frustrations, but even his leaving didn’t make me want to change my priorities. All I’d felt when he was breaking up with me, delivering a speech he’d clearly practiced more than once, was a sense of relief. My heart leaped at the idea of focusing on my career without taking anyone else’s desires or feelings into consideration. Oh, the freedom I looked forward to experiencing and the complete absence of guilt.

Yes, that might sound harsh, but I wanted to build a name for myself in the high-end real estate market, and I couldn’t do that by dividing my time. Or maybe I could have. The point was that I didn’t want to, and Brandon reminded me of that.

Besides, when did making yourself your number one priority become such a horrible thing? Men focused on their careers all the time, and that was completely acceptable. But not for a woman; not for me. I learned fairly quickly after the Brandon breakup that men didn’t like being second on a woman’s priority list. And they seemed to be intimidated by a motivated female, calling me things like hard to handle, challenging, anddifficult.

The end result was that being single seemed to work best for me, and I had no plans to change my relationship status anytime soon.

Then I met Cal.

And he fucking ruined everything.

About J. Sterling


J Sterling - headshot
I got fired from my last job. It's true. I know you're sitting there thinking, "Jenn, how could anyone in their right mind fire someone like you?" And I'd love to give you a good reason, but the truth is that sometimes being all sorts of awesome isn't fun for other people. They don't always tend to like it. lol So I picked my pride off the floor, bought a laptop and started writing my first book. And you know what I realized? Writing stories that meant something to me was a million times better than working my ass off for someone who didn't really care about anything other than the bottom line. My soul has never felt more satisfied. My heart has never been more full. I've never worked so hard in my life, but I love every second of it. I truly do. It is SO worth it. All of it. Every moment. The journey it took to get to this point- I wouldn't change a thing.      



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viernes, 6 de mayo de 2016

:: Excerpt Reveal :: The Spiral Down by Aly Martinez



Chapter One
Henry


Rain fell from the sky in sheets. It’d only been drizzling when I’d boarded my private jet not even a half hour earlier.  Now, I could barely see the airport outside my window.

“No, babe, it’s not a big deal. I just would have liked to see you while I was in town. It’s been a while. That’s all,” I said, shifting the phone to my other hand.

Dipping my finger into the empty glass that had once been the home of gin and tonic number three, I stared at the melting ice as I stirred it in a circle.

Her raspy, sleep-filled voice no longer sounded anything like that of the little girl I’d met when she was only five. But, after sixteen years, Robin Clark no longer resembled that child, either.

 “I swear I thought the shower was next weekend. I got my dates mixed up. I’m so sorry,” she lied. She did that a lot.

“Don’t worry about it. It’s cool,” I said, pretending to believe her.  I did that a lot.

And it killed us both a little more every time I did.

“I love you, Cookie,” she whispered.

I wasn’t sure if that was a lie or not anymore.

But I knew one thing was true. “I love you too, kid.”

We sat in silence for several seconds, neither of us willing to hang up. However, neither of us knew what else to say.  A million words hung between us, but none of them would solve anything. God knows I’d said them all over the last five years. Still, she’d never heard any of them. Not really.

With my heart physically aching, I swallowed hard and bit the bullet. “Listen, I’m about to take off. I’ll be in L.A. for a show next week. Why don’t you come and we’ll hang out for a few days?” It was an honest invitation.

I didn’t receive an honest response.

“I’ll be there!”

“I’ll have Carter set it up. I’ll come by tomorrow afternoon and give you the details. I can’t stay long, but maybe a quick dinner or something.”

“Perfect.”

We didn’t linger with drawn-out goodbyes. A few seconds later, my phone was off and I was once again gazing out at the pouring rain, wishing I were anywhere but on a plane.

Carter, my head of security, settled in the seat beside me and opened the latest issue of Sports Illustrated magazine.

My stomach clenched when the plane jerked as we backed away from the gate.

“Tell Levee I love her, okay?” I said to Carter without dragging my eyes off the terminal disappearing in the distance.

“Here we go,” he mumbled, closing his magazine and turning his attention my way.  

“Can you do me a huge favor? If I don’t survive, make sure it’s open casket and I’m wearing—”

“Blue. It makes your eyes pop,” he finished for me.

“Right, but—”

“But your eyes will be closed, so you should wear green instead. It looks better with your complexion.”

“Yes, but—”

“But your complexion will be ashy since you’re dead and all. So let’s just go with a sleek, black suit. It’s timeless.” He arched an incredulous eyebrow.

Lifting my glass in the air, I rattled the ice at Susan, my personal flight attendant. She was busy buckling herself in for takeoff, but she flashed me a warm, motherly smile in acknowledgement that she had seen me.

“So maybe we’ve had this conversation before,” I told Carter.

He rolled his eyes. “Every time we fly.”

I huffed but didn’t bother explaining. He knew exactly how terrified of flying I was. He’d been there the day it’d all begun.

You would have thought that, after having traveled the globe for years, a simple two-hour flight wouldn’t have been a problem. My racing heart and sweating palms argued otherwise.

In the eight years since my career had taken off, I’d gone from a somewhat-popular YouTube personality to the king of the music industry when Levee and I’d released our self-produced debut album, Dichotomy. Filled with half of her tracks and half of mine, it had soared to the top of the charts. There hadn’t been a radio station in the country not playing our music. In a matter of weeks, our careers had exploded, which had forced the whole world to take notice.

The following years had been a whirlwind. Grammys, record deals, fame, fortune, security. I could have retired six months after I’d started and never wanted for anything again. Well, that’s not totally true. The one thing I really wanted could never be bought.

I wasn’t even sure it could be earned.

It was something so rare that I feared it didn’t actually exist.

Love. Unconditional. Unwavering. Eternal. Love.

I gave that to exactly two people in my life.

I only received it in return from one.

I’d been born a gay man. There had never been a moment in my life when I’d been remotely sexually attracted to women. If I had been, I would have married Levee Williams the second I’d laid eyes on her. Because I’d known, just that fast, that she was going to be the best thing that ever happened to me.

And she had been.

Riding the state’s dime to college, I’d branched out on my own at eighteen, armed with nothing more than a guitar and a headful of mediocre lyrics.

In a lot of ways, alone felt better.

In most, it felt worse.

Luckily, within weeks of starting my new adventure, I met Levee at a local bar on amateur night.  She wouldn’t admit it, but she’d been attempting to hit on me when she’d first strutted over after her set. I understood how she’d misinterpreted my intense stare while she’d performed. But, when her kind, brown eyes lit as our gazes met, I knew, straight or gay, I needed to meet that woman. That night, over beers and more laughs than I had ever experienced, we bonded over music. Less than two weeks later, I moved in with her. Part of my heart bound to hers in a way I had never felt before. With no parents, no siblings, not even a foster mother who’d taken a liking to me, I’d spent most of my life searching for the sense of belonging she gave me only minutes after we’d met.

I fiercely loved that crazy woman. And it amplified as the years passed when I realized the feeling was mutual.

Levee was more than my best friend. Outside of Robin, she was the only family I’d ever had.

Which really meant she was the only true family I’d ever had.

I’d heard that God wasn’t exactly stoked about homosexuality, but come on. What kind of a masochist sends a gay man his soul mate with boobs and a vagina?

Especially considering she was now married to Sam Rivers and six months pregnant with his baby girl.

I’d tried dating over the years, but the few men I’d found interesting had found me temporary. I was good for a night of fulfilling their secret fantasies. But that’s where it ended. I guess that’s what I got for having a thing for straight men. I couldn’t stop myself though. It wasn’t the sex. As a celebrity, I had plenty of men vying for my attention. Ass was easy to come by. But the high that came from being with a straight man, knowing he was going against his own genetic coding just for one night with me, made every minute of the pain worth it. 

Those forbidden encounters were a drug.

And I was a junkie.

The hunt of finding that perfect blend of brute masculinity and subtle curiosity.

The chase of teasing and taunting, ramping them up until they were unable to get my clothes off fast enough.

The victory as they finally broke, giving in to the one desire they had never considered before they’d landed in my crosshairs.

That was the high.

But it was always followed by the crash.

Including the inevitable spiral down when they realized what they had done.

Some freaked, slinging insults and threats at me as if I had somehow magically cast a spell and charmed their dick into my mouth. Some wore their shame on their faces, gathering their clothes and rushing from the room without a backward glance. Some felt the high too and came back for seconds, desperate for more.

But they all left, one way or another.

Always.

Once I’d accepted that those encounters were nothing more than a fix, it’d stopped gutting me when they walked away.

While I’d had my fair share of partners, I was far from a whore. I didn’t launch my expert skills of seduction on any straight man who crossed my path. That would have been a wasted effort. I was good; don’t doubt that. But men didn’t just fall naked into my bed, begging for me to take their bodies in ways they would never forget. At least, not the men I wanted. It took patience and dedication to achieve my high.

I spent two years working my way into a certain NFL quarterback’s bedroom.

Worth every single second.

Or so I’d told myself as I’d felt another piece of my soul break away when he’d dismissed me from his life the very next day. 

Maybe I was a whore after all.

But I’d tried the relationship thing and it just didn’t work.

I’d given my heart to a man once. He’d given it back a month later.

I was devastated when he left. I was ruined when, two months later, I watched him marry a woman I knew he didn’t love.

No. That’s not true. It was me he didn’t love.

That was a common theme in my life and exactly why I was so successful as a singer-songwriter. It was hard to be all “woe is me” with millions of adoring fans acting as if you were a god who’d returned to Earth.

While Levee struggled with the weight of her fame, I flourished under the spotlight. I was alive on stage. And, with no one waiting for me at home, I’d devoted years to touring. The roar of the crowd fueled my happiness to the point I feared the day when I would have to settle down.

And, right then, I was white-knuckle gripping the armrest as the jet accelerated down the runway before lifting into the sky.

“Shit. Shit. Shit,” I mumbled as my stomach dropped when the landing gear loudly locked into place. 

“You’re fine,” Carter said absently.

I was absolutely not fine.

“I’m gonna puke,” I groaned.

His eyes never lifted from the pages of his magazine as he shook a vomit bag open and passed it my way.

“Thanks,” I replied, disingenuous.

“No problem. Now, take a deep breath and try to relax. We’ll be there in no time.”

As the plane leveled out, so did my stomach.

Blowing out a loud breath, I dropped my head back against the headrest. “We should’ve taken the bus.”

“There wasn’t time for the bus. Your ass is supposed to be on stage in four hours. What we shouldn’t have done is drive to San Francisco in the first place.”

“We’ve been over this. I wasn’t missing her baby shower.”

He grumbled, adjusting in his seat. “I think Levee and Sam would’ve understood.”

I narrowed my eyes and turned to glare at him. “Don’t even start with me. They would have understood perfectly. But that doesn’t change the fact that I wanted to be there.”

My tour had been scheduled over a year in advance. Tickets had sold out in less than five minutes. But none of that had mattered when I’d found out that Sam’s mom was planning a baby shower for Levee. I had very few priorities in life. However, being there for her was always one of them.

Susan approached my seat. “Can I get you another drink, Mr. Alexander?”

“Thank God. Yes!” I lifted my glass in her direction.

“No problem.” Her eyes nervously shifted to Carter. “A word?”

Carter unbuckled his seat belt and moved past me. They huddled together behind the small bar in the front, but my focus was on the mini bottle of gin she was emptying in my glass. I was well aware that I needed to slow down. Drunk on stage wasn’t exactly a novelty in my business, but slurring my words and stumbling over lyrics was a deal breaker for me.

Just as I was about to tell her to hold off on the drink, the plane suddenly jerked and my nerves skyrocketed all over again. I sucked in a sharp breath, and both sets of their concerned eyes jumped to mine.

Yep. I can sober up later.

Snapping my fingers, I ordered, “Drink.”

Susan smiled compassionately before shooting an impatient glare at Carter. I would have cared what they were whispering about if I hadn’t been about to pull an Incredible Hulk and peel out of my own skin.

“I’ll tell him,” Carter relented with a sigh, tagging the drink from her hand and then moving in my direction.

With shaking hands, I took the glass and tipped it back for a sip, relishing in the distracting burn in my chest.

“Tell me what?” I asked, settling the glass in a cup holder.

He motioned his chin at my drink. “Why don’t you finish that first?”

The clear liquid sloshed as the plane suddenly banked to the left.

“Excellent idea,” I said. 

Carter’s gaze once again lifted to Susan’s in a silent conversation.

Her lips thinned.

Throwing the rest of my drink back, I bounced my attention back and forth between the two of them. Susan looked downright nervous, and Carter appeared more than a little annoyed.

“Okay, what the hell is going on with you two?” I demanded.

“The pilot is having some chest pains,” he announced.

Suddenly, there wasn’t enough gin in the world.

Fighting to make my seat belt tighter, I gasped, “Did he pass out? Are we going down?”

Carter’s expression remained impassive.

“Of course not!” Susan cut in.

Her reassurance did little to comfort me, because whatever magical mechanism kept the cabin pressurized suddenly failed. If the pain in my lungs was any indication, there was absolutely no oxygen left on that plane. We were all going to die.

Carter’s heavy paw landed on my back, pushing my torso down so my head was between my knees.

“Calm down and breathe. We aren’t going down. The copilot is taking us back to San Francisco. We’ll be on the ground in no time.”

The vise on my lungs didn’t loosen.

Still hunched over, I nodded, having heard his words but finding no relief in them.

Susan kneeled beside me. “It’s okay, Henry. Co-captain Baez is an amazing pilot. You won’t even know the difference.” She rubbed my back.

Embarrassment mingled with the worthlessness I felt in that moment. But I was helpless to reel it in. My body was out of control. I was left as nothing more than a marionette being held captive by my fear.

Reaching out, I gripped Carter’s thigh desperately searching for a way to ground myself.

The man was a beast. At six-five and well over three hundred pounds, with short, black hair and nearly black eyes, he looked every bit of the scary bodyguard I’d hired him to be. There wasn’t anything soft or gentle about him. However, he’d been with me for almost a decade. He knew how I worked, even if he didn’t like it.

He patted my hand, and then I heard the crinkle of his magazine opening.

“You’ll be fine,” he said.

I wasn’t sure he was right.



Henry Alexander's story will arrive on May 17th
 in The Spiral Down by Aly Martinez!  

Add this M/M Romance  to your TBR list on Goodreads!
http://bit.ly/1OrgYS4

RELEASE DATE: May 17th




Blurb

I was afraid to fly.
He made me soar.

After years of climbing the ladder of success in the music industry, I finally had everything I could want. 
Yet I still found myself wandering through life alone.

Captain Evan Roth was the one man I never saw coming. 
Tall, dark, mysterious… Straight. 

We were both damaged beyond repair and searching for something so elusive we weren’t sure it even existed.

But, when two broken souls collide in midair, falling is a given.

I just never expected to crave the spiral down.


About the Author

Aly Martinez

Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.
After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.