Monday, 29 June 2015

BLOG TOUR + Giveaway - Icarus Falling by Chris Meyer

Author Bio: 

Christopher Paul Meyer writes noir and nonfiction. He is a former bouncer, comic, soldier, firefighter, actor and prison chaplain.  In addition to Icarus Falling, he has written five screenplays, three of which were optioned and/or commissioned. When not writing, he enjoys Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, improv comedy and political rants delivered in an angry mumble at his reflection in the bathroom mirror.

Author Links - 

Twitter: ChristopherPaulMeyer @TheLoadedPen

Book Genre: Memoir

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services/CreateSpace
Release Date: 12/22/14

Book Description:

The true story of a failed actor, who - still tantalized by the promise of LA - reinvents himself as a nightclub bouncer. Working both downtown and on the Sunset Strip, he is thrust into the bloodstream of LA. Amidst the unending parade of strung-out transients, shimmering miniskirts, enraged gangbangers and unhinged party people, he avenges his history of cowardice, atones for his past infidelities and tries to become something better than another Hollywood casualty.


I followed George up an escalator to a plush mezzanine area with subdued lighting. George took a long minute, studying my resume. I acted like I didn't care. I gazed vacantly at the escalator, watching the parade of bodies step off the moving stairway and veer towards what was labeled the "Rooftop Elevator." There were nine-to-fivers in khakis and Polo shirts. There were packs of Armenians, their gold chains, 8 o'clock shadow and swagger outpacing their blazers and t-shirts. There were Silverlake-type hipsters, with po' boy caps, vintage shirts and tight jeans. There were black dudes in FuBu and meatheads in TapOut. In a city as self-segregated as LA, this seemed to be one of the few spots where you could find all 31 flavors of the city.
George finally looked up from my resume. "Why do you think we're called Guest Relations?"
Because when people come to diddle themselves in a place with overstuffed couches, subdued lighting and models walking the lobby, they don't want to be told what to do. "Because great security starts with caring about your guests."
George nodded. "That's exactly right." He seemed impressed. Hey, I could spit flowery bullshit for hours. Especially if it was going to keep me around this place. "Sorry for keeping you waiting."
"Not a problem." Fake tan, perky tits and nice legs could take the edge off any wait.
"You're very patient." Seemed like George was reading a lot into it. It made me wonder if he'd kept me waiting on purpose. "Is that from being a prison chaplain?" I wasn't surprised he went there. It's the kind of thing that tends to stand out on a resume. "That must have been a hard job."
Yeah, right. I wasn't telling the inmates where to sit, sleep, shower or eat. I wasn't breaking up fights. Now that's a hard job. I only had to talk to men who wanted to talk to me. "It's easy to talk to people at the bottom. It's the ones in the Hamptons that don't wanna listen."
George nodded. I got the feeling this wasn't the typical interview for him. He seemed intrigued. Well, I hoped he seemed intrigued. "You know you may need to get physical here though."
"I got no problem with that."
George was a great listener. He gauged my reactions, read my mannerisms. He kept the questions sparse, letting me fill in the blanks.
Fortunately for George, I love to talk.
Yes, I was looking for as many hours as possible. No, I had no other work commitments. Yeah, I'd played a lot of judo and rugby. No, I wasn’t gonna be some MMA thug. Yes, I was religious. No, I wasn't a Puritan. I had no problem working with people that were high, drunk or naked. I didn’t tell him how much I was actually looking forward to it.
By the end of the interview, George and I had clicked. We had a few things in common. We were both college grads. We were both walk-ons at NCAA Division I teams -- him for Clemson's basketball team, me for William and Mary's football team. I mean, we weren't BFF's spray-painting hearts and our initials on freeway underpasses or anything. But we seemed to understand each other.
George put down his list of questions. "You ever been called a fucking whiteboy?"
Say what?
Or cracker?” George’s voice was low and calm. “What if I called your mom a whore?” His eyes drilled into me. “What if I told you to suck my dick?”
I could see the hypothetical looming behind his poker face, so I didn’t bite.
George smiled. "Be ready. You’re gonna hear all of that. And more. There's a lot of nights you're gonna go home angry." I didn't doubt it. "You're gonna wanna take it out on your girl."
That was an easy fix. "I don't have one."
A bemused smile wafted across his face. "You're gonna wanna keep it that way. Relationships are…" He searched for the right words. "...difficult here." One of the models strutted past us. "You know what I mean?" He smiled knowingly at me.
Being told to stay single? "I'm OK with that."
George extended his hand. "I think you will be." I hoped he was right.
"So, you wanna take a look at the place?"
I wasn't sure if that meant I had the gig or not. But either way, the answer was yes. 

Guest Post: 5 Fun Books I'll Never Forget

In the face of brutal criticism, Mickey Spillane once said “Those bigshot writers could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar.”  I’ve rarely been that guy in the black turtleneck reading James Joyce with a tear in my eye.  More often, I’m mercilessly, ruthlessly in search of a compelling, fun read that I can’t put down.  As a reader, I respect caviar, but I these are the peanuts I just gotta have.  


The Kid Stays in the Picture by Robert Evans.  I read it during the summer before I moved fulltime to Los Angeles.  I didn’t know how prophetic it would become for me.  I was too busy smirking at the one-liners, shaking my head at the stories and developing my own crush on Ali McGraw.  I hated that the book had to end.


Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.  This was a high school assignment that I couldn’t believe I liked.  It’s horrifying, moving and gripping, but you know all that.  My favorite part?  The narrator.  Something about this objective third party finding himself trapped in the story always intrigued me.


Hells Angels: Into the Abyss by Yves Lavigne.  I read this during my acting days while I was on a national tour.  We traveled by bus, crisscrossing the Dakotas, Minnesota, Texas, West Virginia, staying for, at most, two nights in any one place.  Reading about the exploits of the FBI’s first confidential informant in the Hells Angels, while crossing paths with bikers on the highway made the book 3-D for me.  A fascinating character study that I’ve never forgotten.  When the author lives on an isolated farm due to death threats and the protagonist lives in motels and sleeps in the bathtub with a shotgun to avoid retaliation, you know it’s going to be one hell of a ride.  


I, the Jury by Mickey Spillane.  My dad bought this for me, since he had loved reading Mickey Spillane as a kid.  I loved it.  Sure, the characters and plot are almost stereotypical now, but that’s what happens when you set the bar for your time.


Ghost Wars by Steve Coll.  OK, it’s not your average fun, summertime read.  It’s a monstrous 736 pages.  I read it in four days.  I had just landed in LA, I was unemployed and on the verge of homelessness.  Burying myself in a nonfiction account of spy games during the Cold War might have been the most useless thing I could do.  I still did it. 


June 23 - Reviewed at Virtual Hobby Store And Coffee Haus

June 29 - Guest Blogging at Bellevue Book Reviews

July 2 - Guest Blogging at Infinite House Of Books


Friday, 26 June 2015

BLOG TOUR + Giveaway - Untouchable by Elizabeth SaFleur

Author Bio:

Elizabeth SaFleur, an erotic romance author, penned the Elite Doms of Washington series, contemporary tales of dominance, seduction, and love set in our nation’s capital. The first novel, Lovely, was released in January 2015. She’s a member of the Romance Writers Association and avid reader of all fiction genres.

Author Links - 

Bonus Giveaway – Elizabeth has a weekly giveaway on her website here:

We also have 50 bookmarks to giveaway.

Book Genre: Romance
Publisher: Troll River Publications
Release Date: July 3rd, 2015 (pre-order special at $2.99 from the original $4.99)
Buy Link(s):

Book Description:
A powerful man in a powerful world, corporate attorney Carson Drake is the master of the short-term affair and the preemptive strike. His motto, do unto others before done to him, has kept him single and safe.

Public relations executive London Chantelle relishes in her independence and is an unlikely partner. Mistrustful and damaged from her history, London wants nothing to do with men seeking to cage her.

Yet their unexpected encounter at private BDSM club Diabolus offers a delicious opportunity for them both. Mesmerized by London’s spirit, Carson offers her a weekend of sexual, submissive pleasure. London, anticipating she could finally put her unwanted darker, longings to rest, agrees to his proposal.

The weekend proves beyond what either could guess. Carson quickly taps into London’s masochistic streak, and they discover how perfect they could be together. But when a blackmailing co-worker and long-buried secrets threatens their budding relationship, Carson must turn to the secret and powerful BDSM organization, The Tribunal, for help. Yet help always comes with a price, and soon Carson and London are forced to deal with their pasts.


“Control of your submissive goes beyond administering punishments and pleasure,” Carson said. Katie shifted once more. He traced a fingertip across the brunette’s shoulder tattoo. The ink on her flesh read Hurt Me. If only all women came pre-labeled with warning stickers, like this beauty draped over his legs. Perhaps then he’d have understood London’s edginess today a little better. Danger: High Voltage would have suited her.
For the last two hours he’d tried to stop thinking about those legs. Every technique he used only pushed her deep into his mind. And the thought of pushing deep into her.
Katie wiggled across his thighs and reclaimed his attention. He placed his hand over her lower back. “Be still.” He waited. When she finally stopped her attempts to grind into his crotch, he returned his attention to the growing audience for his spanking demo at Club Accendos.
“Settle,” he whispered. Carson willed his usual concentration to rise. After all, he’d agreed to this silly demo.
“Yes, sir.” Her words came out garbled. Katie was a screamer, so he’d gagged her. But he couldn’t enjoy her usual vocal appreciation of his work, thanks to unshakeable thoughts of a certain PR Princess.
He returned his attention to the ass presented. Smack! Smack! Katie’s behind grew more heated under his hand. When he palmed her pinkened butt, she pressed into his lack of an erection. It wasn’t Katie’s fault for his lackluster reaction to her. He’d just been here so many times before.
Katie’s flesh jiggled under three more swats. She fell further over his lap, releasing the last of her own tension and settling into the moment. If only he could do the same.
He slipped the gag from Katie’s mouth and let it clatter the floor. He eased her up and caught her by the arm as she swayed. Her heavy lids told him at least she’d enjoyed their time together.
“Thank you, sweetheart. As you can see, Katie is starting to float. That’s when you need to stop. Check in with your sub often and pay attention to the signs. Any questions?” If there is a God, there’ll be no questions.

Guest Blog Post

Untouchable Blog Tour

Elizabeth SaFleur

When the Day Job Collides With Your Erotic Romance Writing Career

By Elizabeth SaFleur


Working for corporate America provides much writing inspiration. During board meetings, I’ve taken down dialogue for future Dom-y conversations. You haven’t swum in testosterone until you’ve sat through a closed-door meeting comprised of twenty-four CEOs of an undisclosed, conservative industry. They make terrific muses.

Then, there are the press conferences! Nothing provides more fodder for tension like a reporter seeking an “answer,” but who is only getting a “response” from the speaker.

Someday I’ll retire and write full-time. In the meantime, it’s important to remember a few “rules.”

Rule One: Log out of online sites related to your pseudonym, like, say, Google+ where you “follow” people who show nude pictures. At a recent meeting someone told me, “Just bring up google and search for it.” Who cares if my computer display was projected onto an eight by eight screen, right? My first thought? Did I log out of Elizabeth SaFleur’s google account before I arrived? Do I chance it? Thankfully, I had logged out. Now, I never forget.

Rule Two: Don’t get caught speaking your next scene into the digital tape recorder you carry to capture ideas. Someone might overhear. Yes, it happened to me in an office ladies’ room, where I’d run to make said recording. “Who is Carson Drake and why does he want London to bring him a belt instead of a blindfold?” a woman asked me, after I emerged from my stall hiding place. She’d been standing at the sinks the whole time. At least she winked at me.

Rule Three: Do not, ever, ever, ever send an email under your pseudonym’s email address by mistake. Someone can reverse engineer that sucker. If you do, consider yourself “outed,” as I almost was. I sent a client an email under my Elizabeth SaFleur email address. When he asked who was, I feigned innocence. “Oh, it’s just an old account I forgot to disband,” I’d said. Thankfully he didn’t bother to look it up. (I think.)

Rule Four: When taking skype calls form clients, turn your computer away from your “inspiration board” that is covered in hot men—most of them semi-nude. I’ve never forgotten to do this—at least not since one client spent an entire conversation squinting into his camera as if trying to focus on “something” in the background. Perhaps he was looking at this?


Rule Five: Remember who you are. At some point you’ll answer to your pseudonym name as easily as your own. In fact, you might introduce yourself as that name as I once did in a meeting. Oops. I simply corrected my introduction and laughed, saying, “I’m working so hard for you, I’ve forgotten my own name.” That statement earned a return chuckle—and a puzzled look. Oh, well.



June 14 - Introduction at VBT Café Blog

June 18 - Interviewed at CA Milson, Author

June 19 - Spotlight at Inner Workings Of A Female Mind

June 25 - Interviewed at BB's Book Reviews

Thursday, 25 June 2015

BLOG TOUR - In The Land Of Shiva by Jim O'Hara

Author Bio:

Born in Milwaukee, WI, at age 18 O’Hara joined the Catholic order of Brothers who taught at his high school. As a Brother for almost 30 years, O’Hara taught math at both the secondary and college levels, and in his late ‘30s volunteered to travel to India to establish a branch of his religious order there. After seven years in India and Nepal, he returned to the States, left the Brothers, and became a massage therapist and massage instructor. In addition to doing bodywork, he has also become a certified dream worker. He makes his home in Berkeley, CA. His time in India and Nepal took him from immersion in religion to a place “beyond religion.”

Author Links -

Book Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Leandros Publishing
Release Date: June 10, 2014

Buy Link(s)

Book Description
When Brother Jim leaves his comfortable life teaching in Catholic high schools and travels to India, he finds himself unprepared for the challenges he faces.

His assigned task is to start his religious order in that country, but as he immerses himself in a land of unfamiliar customs and ancient religious traditions, he soon discovers that his mission has become deeply personal. Brother Jim questions not only all his vows, but his deepest beliefs.
As he travels across India and encounters holy men, thieves, rabid monkeys, and genuinely good-hearted people of all backgrounds, he realizes that the religion of his upbringing is but one of many paths to spirituality, and a sometimes oppressive one at that. On the eve of celebrating twenty-five years as a brother, Jim must decide what he truly holds as important and how he wants to live the rest of his life.

India and Nepal, with all their clamor, fascination, and surprises, come alive on every page in this unusual memoir set in the ‘80s.


Chapter: Monkey Business
Context: Bro Jim has been bitten by a monkey at a train station in South India.
“Your wound has become seriously infected. This is why you have a fever.” The emergency room doctor stood over me and explained the situation bluntly. “I shall admit you immediately and begin a course of antibiotics. We don’t want you to lose your leg.”
Lose my leg? My heart pounded painfully in my chest. Was the infection that bad? Had gangrene set in? I looked at the doctor and lone nurse that attended him. If the infection was serious, shouldn’t there be a whole team of physicians and nurses hovering nearby holding trays of bandages and clamps and antibiotics and narcotics? Where was everybody?
For the next several days I lay restlessly in my bed at St. John’s, a teaching hospital reputed to be the best in town. In the mornings, a doctor led a group of interns on their daily rounds, discussing each patient’s condition. The training was conducted in English, and since most patients didn’t understand that language, doctors and interns felt free to make candid remarks in front of the patient. Each morning I was the nine o’clock lesson.
“I want everybody to touch the red area near Mr. James’s wound,” Dr. Gopal said to his interns. “You see how hard the tissue is? That means that the antibiotics are not working. Perhaps we shall try some other sulfa drug.”
Perhaps? He’s saying it might be a good idea to try something else?
The interns poked, without protective gloves, on the back of my thigh.
“Excuse me,” I said, turning to look directly at Dr. Gopal. “From now on, I want to be informed personally about my progress. And I want to know your plan for treatment of possible rabies. Nobody has mentioned that yet.”
“Rabies?” Dr. Gopal glanced toward me, surprised that a patient should have questions. “I doubt that will be a problem. We are not certain the monkey bit you. The wound may be from his claw.” He turned away. “Now students, continue the rounds on your own and leave your reports in my office. Good day.”
Three interns remained behind and plied me with questions, but not about my well-being.
“Is it true that doctors are the richest people in America?”
“Do you know a hospital that is needing more doctors?”
“I hear that only wealthy people can obtain hospital care in the United States. Is it correct?”
I responded to their questions in short sentences, trying not to tire myself out any more than the fever already had. My leg had begun throbbing again with an added feeling of sharp pain. I was convinced the monkey had left several teeth in my leg. And my anxiety was rising—I could not stop thinking about rabies.
 “If you don’t mind,” said a young intern named Sanjay, “I shall return to speak with you this afternoon. We are completely bored because there is hardly anybody in the hospital.” Sanjay explained why. The movie Coma had come to town two weeks earlier, and people were staying out of the hospital for fear that their organs might be stolen.

Blog Post

Why write a memoir if I’m not famous? Will anyone read it?

You write a memoir primarily for yourself. Unless you indeed are a celebrity or can write a chilling account of a famous disaster that you survived. Then you are writing for the public and for that fat advance check you received from one of the Big Five.

I had no intention of writing a memoir when I began to put on paper the stories that eventually became In The Land Of Shiva – A Memoir. The seven years that I had spent in India and Nepal seemed the most colorful of my life and I did not want to forget those striking Asian images or minor adventures I had experienced.

So I happily recorded whatever I could call up from the recesses of my mind or what was preserved in my letters and photos. I say “happily” until the day a writing coach told me what was missing. Me. How had those years affected my life on a deep level? Sure, the story of being bitten by a monkey and cared for in an Indian hospital was interesting, but what happened to my outlook on life as a result of that?  How did trekking to the Tibetan border change anything for me? And if it didn’t cause some shift in me then it didn’t belong in the book. I took to heart what the writing coach said and found the real me behind the stories.

So, to more fully answer the question, we write a memoir for the opportunity it gives us to examine our life and make sense of its seemingly disparate pieces. And if we don’t consciously know the “arc” of our life or of a given period of time, it will present itself to us in the totality of the written word—if we have been honest. To paraphrase Tobias Wolff, a person’s real life is nothing but the sum total of the small stories experienced over years and years, given meaning and integration through soulful reflection.

And if you want your memoir to be widely read, you need two key things: an “angle” and serious marketing.

You may not have been raised by wolves or an Auntie Mame guardian, but what is unusual in your life, or at least in part of your life? “An African Childhood” is the subtitle of one person’s memoir, quite successful in part because it has an angle. Yours might be growing up in a bilingual household, or teaching a number of years in an inner city school. Find your angle.

Marketing – that is another story for another day.

James O’Hara


Saturday, 20 June 2015

Review - The Hybrid by Venus Morales


Summary from Goodreads
The Ari is the hybrid daughter of a god, not to just any god, but to the almighty god of war, Ares. She is the one and only of her kind, half goddess and half phoenacian (phoenix & vampire). Ares raised his daughter in secrecy until her 18th birthday, when he is forced to return to Olympus and Ari choses not follow after her father and decides to venture out into the mortal realm.
Alaris the prince of the underworld is determined to have Ari, slowly luring her into his web away from Julius arms. Confused and conflicted by her unexpected emotions for two men. Her dark essences take advantage of her state and torments her, pushing her closer to the edge of darkness.

As Ari return's to the bayou to her late mother's coven to regain her crown. Little does she know she is fighting for more than just the crown, she is fighting for her life. She is fighting against her inner darkness that is trying to consume her and an unknown enemy that is trying to kill her. Ari has 7 days to prepare for her trials, 7 days to fight for her life, and if she survives she still has to fulfil the prophecy that has been foretold long before her birth.

Ari doesn't know what to do, she doesn't know who she can trust, when she can't even trust herself. Ari is forced to do the one thing she must do to survive; by forge herself into the weapon she was born to be

What wouldn't you do to save those you love? How much of yourself are you willing to sacrifice to save the mortal realm, the heavens and Olympus?

My review
*I received an eBook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
When I read the blurb of this book I became excited. The concept was really good. But when I started reading it, I didn't like it at all. I strongly disliked the main character, Ari. She's obnoxious, and thinks she can do everything. There were so many other things I didn't like about her. And I hate how she called Julius angelboy.

After reading a bit, the book became irritating for me. And I was happy when the book ended. The only reason I didn't give this book one star, was because of the elements of Greek mythology.


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Cover Reveal - Will Choose by Laura Catherine

COVER REVEAL - Will Choose (Djinn #1) by Laura Catherine

Will Choose by Laura Catherine
(Djinn #1.5)
Publication date: July 27th 2015
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

Will loves Kyra, but he know he can never be with her. He is Guardjinn and she is Djinn. Their love is forbidden.
He has a duty to his people. Will is a palace guard and after the Blooders attacked he is needed more than ever.
Will knows he should stay away from Kyra, but then why does he keep ending up at her house, watching her from a distance?
A choice is coming.
What will Will choose?
Love or duty?

Laura Catherine is Young Adult author focusing on Paranormal Romance, Dystopia, and Fantasy.

She writes stories full of action, secrets, and magic. She loves creating worlds where anything is possible and everyone has a story to tell. She has an over-active imagination, spends a lot of her time daydreaming, and wishes pokemon were real so she would have one.

Laura Catherine lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Author Links

Monday, 15 June 2015

Review - Daisy and the Front Man (Backstage Pass #3) by Rebekah L. Purdy


Summary from Goodreads
Hell hath no fury like a fangirl scorned…

When Daisy Morris finds out she’s spending the summer with her dad, bodyguard for Seconds to Juliet—the hottest boy band around—she knows it couldn't be more perfect. But not because she’s a fan. Oh, no. Because ever since front man Trevin Jacobs completely humiliated her by standing her up for homecoming, Daisy is out for a little revenge. Yup, Trevin Jacobs is goin' down...

When one of his bandmates bets Trevin he can't make Daisy—the gorgeous but surprisingly ice-cold daughter of their bodyguard—fall in love with him, it’s a bet he can’t resist. Sure, Daisy won’t give him the time of day for reasons he can't understand, and her dad’s hell-bent against his little girl spending time with a superstar. But the terms are set, and Trevin is determined to make Daisy fall…hard.

But every front man should know never to trust a girl with a pretty face…

This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, sexual situations, and seriously hot boys. It may cause swoony daydreams involving a certain super-cute front man.

My review
*I received a free eBook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, thanks to Entangled Publishing and Netgalley.*

I really liked ‘Daisy and the Front Man’ and give it 4 stars. It’s a YA contemporary romance. It was a cute and fun story. It is well-written and fast-paced. You can easily read it in one go. The book has some really interesting moments and even though the plot is predictable, you still want to know how everything plays out.

I loved all the characters in this book, Miles being my favourite. He is really funny. I totally loved him. The moments between Daisy and Trevin are sweet and quite realistic. They both had other motives for dating each other, but despite that they fell in love. Ryder, Will and Nate are also awesome. The book has a happy end, which makes the book even better. And I love that.

I am also looking forward to read the other two books in the ‘The Backstage Pass’ series.

So if you like light, cheesy love stories, this book is perfect for you.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Book Blitz + Giveaway - Secret of Sevens by Lynn Lindquist

Secret of the Sevens
Release Date: 06/2015
Flux Publishing

Summary from Goodreads
Everyone at Singer, a boarding school for underprivileged kids, knows the urban legend of the Society of Seven. Decades ago, the original members of the secret guild for elite students murdered the school's founder and then perished in the fire they lit to hide the evidence. Or so the story goes.

Talan Michaels doesn't care about Singer's past. He's too focused on his future and the fact that he'll be homeless after he graduates in May. To take his mind off it, he accepts a mysterious invitation to join a group calling itself the Sevens. 

He expects pranks, parties, and perks. Instead, he finds himself neck-deep in a conspiracy involving secret passages and cryptic riddles about the school's history. Even worse, he's now tangled in web of lies someone will kill to keep hidden.

“At the end of the day, it’s Talan and his endearing combination of bravado and vulnerability, coupled with the crackling chemistry he shares with Laney, that will keep readers turning the pages. A satisfying read for secret-society fanatics and romantics alike.” – Kirkus Reviews

Buy Links:

I wrap an arm around her shoulder. “I didn’t say anything about dropping out. It’ll be fine. I’ll be careful. I promise.” Without thinking, I bundle her close and kiss her forehead.
The second I do it, I’m paralyzed. Laney and I don’t have the kind of friendship where we hug or kiss. Hell, we don’t even touch when we pass the salt at dinner. My arms tense like wood around her back, and I hold my breath waiting for her reaction. I’m a mannequin trapped in a pose while my brain scrambles to come up with a joke I can crack when she pushes me away.
Only she never does. 
She nestles inside my arms instead. It’s obvious she’s lost in thought about something, but she still seems pretty damn comfortable.
And so am I. 
I’m not used to girls touching me. Well, not like this anyway. I’m blown away by how different this feels. Lying here all peaceful, with uptight Delaney Shanahan all soft and cuddly, snuggling me like a body pillow.
I allow myself to exhale. My hand rests on the center of her back, rising and falling with her even, steady breaths. Her body forms to mine, and I catch a whiff of that lavender stuff again. She lies in a daze with her hand resting over a scar on my chest.
“Stay right there,” I say, sitting up. “I’m cold. I’m just gonna grab a shirt real quick.”
“No.” She nudges me back against the pillow, trapping my eyes with hers. “I’ve seen them before,” she whispers. “They don’t bother me.”
She lowers her head to my chest again and rides her finger over the raised scar that sits over my heart. I reach for her fingers, but she gently nudges my hand aside. “It looks like an S,” she says.
“It is. For Superman.”
She laughs softly and traces over the scar again. “How did you get this, Talan?”
I stumble over my words. “I... I’ve told you. On a playground when I was little.”
“No,” she says quietly, without looking at me. “How did you really get it?”
I’d push her away, but it feels too good, like I’ve been starving for her touch. Her fingers glide warm and tender over my bare skin. That ticklish “S” is totally screwing with me. My nerve endings are whipped into a frenzy. I try to think of something besides her, but it’s too late. My body is painfully aware that I’m lying half-dressed and alone in my bed with Laney, her hands running over my bare chest and her warm curves molded to mine behind a locked door.
Maybe I should try that kiss again, only this time…
Laney jerks her head up.
“Please tell me it was you that just said my name,” I whisper.
Terror colors her cheeks as she slowly shakes her head from side to side.
“Talan? Are you in there with Laney?”  It’s Mom Shanahan.
Laney jumps up and yanks me off the bed so hard that I land on the floor with a thud. 
“Yes, we’re in here!” Laney yells a little too enthusiastically. “You can come in Mom. We’re not doing anything.” 
Mom jiggles the knob, but the door won’t open. “Why is this door locked?” she shouts.
“Oh fug!” Laney trips over my backpack in her rush to open it.
She reaches it about the same time I notice that the map and Sevens’ note are still spread out on my bed. I dive across the mattress, scrambling to bury the papers under my bedspread before Mom sees them.
When her mother walks in, I’m sprawled bare-chested across my bed, sweating profusely and trying to smooth out my tangled sheets and crumpled comforter. Laney stands next to the doorway, gnawing nervously on her thumbnail. Her hair is mussed and her face is redder than a sunburn.
I’m not sure what it looks like we were doing, but from the expression on Mom’s face, she isn’t giving us the benefit of the doubt anymore. 
Ah shit.

About the Author
Lynn Lindquist lives in a suburb of Chicago with two overly-social sons and a mutt named Slugger who wisely hides under the bed most days. The hordes of teenagers that regularly frequent her house (think Panama City Beach during spring break) provide fodder for her young adult novels and growing anxiety disorder. Ever since her sons broke the Guinness Record for Largest-Rager-Thrown-While-a-Parent-Was-Out-for-the-Night, she enjoys spending her free time at home entertaining friends, cooking, reading, and writing. Thankfully, her favorite things in life are her sons, words, and kids, so she wouldn’t have it any other way.  She is represented by Katherine Boyle at Veritas Literary Agency.   

Author Links
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