Monday, April 30, 2012

First pages of Sweet Affliction

Sweet Awakenings Book 4 (Navy SEALs Series)

Chapter 1

He dove in the water as bullets sprayed against the waves. Applying pressure to his side, he kicked and tried to achieve more distance than depth between him and the men firing at him. He swam under the boat and to the other side so they wouldn’t have a chance to hit him again. What the fuck had just happened? How had he gone from enjoying a cold beer with a former teammate to watching a trail of blood drip from his forehead and nearly two dozen men carrying an arsenal of weapons boarding the small yacht? He ignored the gut-wrenching realization that his friend of nearly twenty years was dead. The cold stare of shock in Tom’s face as he fell forward told him he was killed instantly. A single shot from a sniper had taken out a man who served his country for over twenty years while managing to live to tell about it.

The whizzing sound of bullets hitting the water was becoming more distant. Despite being hit he was still a strong swimmer. His training had saved his life more than once, and this time proved to be no different. If his bearings were right and he wasn’t disoriented from blood loss, he’d estimate that he was about two miles from shore. If he swam around the south peninsula of the island, that would put him far out of the sights of whomever the hell was shooting at him. It would mean at least a three-mile swim. With blood loss and pain it wasn’t going to be easy, but he’d survived worse than this before so he had no doubts that this time would be no different.

Exhausted and starting to feel light-headed, he tried not to panic. He had to remain focused. One thing he learned was that if he rested to float for even a moment he would tire even more so and never continue on. While he hoped the men firing at him assumed they were successful in their attempts to kill him as well, he couldn’t be too careful. They could be scouring the dark waters with a spotlight looking for any sign of him.

The shore was in his sights now. He kept on, kicking with everything that he had despite the burn in his muscles. If he was able to use his full strength it probably wouldn’t be so strenuous on him, but having to hold his side in an effort to diminish some of the pain left him somewhat handicapped.

When he was so close to the shore his kicks met with more sand than distance he finally rested, allowing the surf to carry him the rest of the way. His mouth filled with sand as his body swept up to the soft beach. He laid there for a moment, breathless and physically spent. The pain from his right side where the bullet hit was radiating to his arm, rendering it useless. It took all his will to use his other arm, the muscles still burning from his several-mile swim. He crawled farther up the beach, not wanting to chance the waves that carried him in to safety pulling him right back out again. There was a small opening against the cliff. It was only a few yards away but seemed to be so much farther.

He crawled to what would be his shelter for the night. Echoes of his BUD/S instructors shouting at him for being a pussy swam in his mind. He was a United States Navy SEAL for Christ’s sake. Well at least for another month until he retired, that is. He was trained to never give up. What would they tell him in training? Take off your girlie panties and swim like a man with your balls swaying free in the water. It was a dumb-ass analogy, but it served the purpose at the time when he’d heard it. He had survived BUD/S training and twenty years in Naval Special Warfare. A measly bullet wound in his right side wouldn’t be the death of him.

Somehow he managed to pull his shirt off. He couldn’t remember a time when he was this tired. Everything he’d ever experienced seemed like a drop in the bucket compared to this.

The events of the past several hours flashed through his head. He arrived in town by small plane to meet up with Tom who had just begun to celebrate his retirement. Living large on the open sea he had called it. They ate some steaks that Tom’s onboard cook had managed to charbroil to near perfection while enjoying a couple of cold Coronas. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. He still had two days on his leave, so the two had planned to fish and do nothing much of anything else.

He shook his head as he replayed the events in his mind. None of it made sense. He was damn good at sensing danger. Hell, they both were. One minute they were laughing about some seƱorita who would hit on Tom every time he went to town, and the next the slow trail of crimson drew a line down his forehead, his eyes wide and surprised as they stared back at him.


Tom had given twenty-two years of his life to the navy. Why the hell did this have to happen a mere two weeks after his retirement? What in God’s name was going on?

Once again, playing everything back through his mind over and over, he kept looking for some sort of a sign. Something he may have missed. Still he could find nothing.

He had only known that type of surprise killing capable of three types of men—military, mercenaries, or the mob. None of those possibilities made any sense. Tom was a decorated war hero. He had saved countless lives in leading men on various missions. The military would have no reason to want him dead, except maybe the Taliban, but these men weren’t Taliban. He couldn’t see their faces behind their grease paint, but they moved much too disciplined to be a part of that sect. That ruled out his possibility of the mob as well. Aside from the cool, calculated methods of killing, they didn’t have the physical skill to move like a trained soldier.

That was it.

A trained soldier. These men moved like military, but something was off. A military force, even Special Forces for any country, would’ve been identifiable to him in one way or another, but they weren’t. These men were former military. Mercenaries, no doubt.

The question was, why would mercenaries be after Tom? His friend had led a clean, by-the-book military career, only killing when it was required and the only means necessary. Tom never stepped on toes or used anyone to his advantage. Everyone on the teams looked up to and respected him.

Those conclusions left him with only one possibility. These were foreign mercenaries, sent from another country to shut Tom up. Why would anyone want or need a former Navy SEAL dead when he was no longer a threat to them?

Something wasn’t adding up, and he was becoming more and more tired. The blood loss was taking its toll. He needed to get medical attention, get the bullet removed and get stitched up. He was surprised he hadn’t gone into shock yet. Adrenaline had no doubt kept him going. Pushing up with his one good arm he tried to steady himself to stand. He was nearly on his feet when he collapsed from fatigue. If he just closed his eyes for a few minutes then maybe it would reenergize him. At least he hoped it would. He knew if he stayed here any longer he would either die of blood loss or those men would find him to finish the job.

It was his last thought before he saw the barrel of a gun pointing down at him and his eyes closed.

Friday, April 27, 2012


First let me say thank you to Nicole for having me today, especially on short notice. My name is AJ and I write within the M/M genre, mostly. The majority of my writings are M/M themed but I do have one short story out that is M/F. I love to read all types of genre be it M/M, M/F, paranormal, contemporary, historical, action/adventure, I could go on and on. And the same goes for my writings. I love to write about anything that pops into my head. I don’t put stipulations on what I write the only thing I consider a must when I plot out a story is that my characters find that happy ever after.

My current release is titled Set Me On Fire is a M/M romance that revolves around two firefighters falling in love. But with any great love there is always struggles and difference to overcome, right? So I had to have my main characters suffer through some drama along the way to reaching their happy ever after. Which is always fun!

Thanks again to Nicole and to everyone who stopped by!


Kelly Lynch wanted to become a firefighter to help people, but with his accident prone nature his boss, Nate Anderson, thinks he’s an utter fool. Kelly never planned to fall for Nate but now that he has, he realizes loving is easy; understanding and compromise are hard.

Nate has been attracted to Kelly since his first day at the station house. Watching the younger man day in and day out is frustrating. Kelly’s latest stunt almost got him killed and Nate fears losing the man of his dreams.

Will Nate’s demanding ways cause the embers of their love to die out? Or will Kelly prove he has what it takes to be with Nate, at work and in the bedroom?

Story Excerpt

"God, I swear if you get me out of this mess I promise to listen and follow orders for the rest of my life, or at least make the effort to try," Kelly prayed aloud as he crawled, belly down, across the dirty floor. He was doing his best to see through the smoke-filled room but still couldn't find where he'd entered.
Kelly scooted a little more, using touch more than sight to navigate his way through the smoky haze and chunks of debris. He had separated from the team of men he'd come into the burning building with. A choice he now regretted immensely.
He had made a stupid move, but he could have sworn he'd heard someone cry out for help. A completely bonehead move to run off without telling anyone. One of the first things they taught you when you became a firefighter, never leave your team, or at least partner with someone else, but never go off on your own.
But no, he thought he knew better and wanted to be the hero and save the poor individual stuck in this fire pit. Now he was starting to wonder if he'd just imagined he heard the cry for help.
"I'm so fucked." Kelly rested his helmet-covered head on the ground and then proceeded to bang his head on the hard floor. It was useless, he was trapped.
Kelly sat up at the sound of someone yelling his name. What direction had the voice come from? He couldn't tell. The sound was so faint compared to all the hissing and crackling noises of the fire in full blaze all around him.
"God damn it, Lynch, where are you?"
He heard the shout again, only louder. Kelly felt his way around the floor until he came face to face with a boot. He started to look up when large, glove-covered hands grabbed the back of his jacket.
"What do you think you were doing, you dumb shit? You're lucky we noticed you missing."
Kelly could tell by the size of the man dragging him out of the entryway that it was Luke Parsons, one of the biggest guys in the house. He may be a big beefy guy, but he was super nice, and Kelly couldn't have been more grateful Luke found him and not the lieutenant of their station house.
"I'm sorry but I thought I heard someone call out for help." Kelly grabbed at Parsons' hand, still attached to Kelly's jacket, dragging him along. "Please, Luke, I know I heard someone," he pleaded as he tried to pull himself free of Luke's hold.
The fire raged through an abandoned building in the East Bottoms of downtown Kansas City. While the only people in this building were more than likely homeless, they were still people who needed to be saved.
"Are you sure, kid?" Kelly nodded enthusiastically. "Okay then let's see what we can find. We don't have much time; this building is going up faster than a hay bale."
As Kelly followed Luke back into the room, the sound of a faint cry grabbed both their attention. Luke pushed Kelly behind him as he made his way toward the small whimpering sounds. As they got closer, Kelly saw the slight frame of a man huddled in the corner. Luke bent down and snatched the man up in his arms.
Luke looked to Kelly. "Lead the way. Follow the way we just came and you'll see the crew in the hallway."
Kelly navigated through the smoke and falling ceiling tiles toward the exit. As he reached the doorway the hall was empty. He turned back to Luke. "They're not here." Panic started to eat away at his composure.
"Shit," Luke shouted. "Here, kid, take my radio and let the guys know we're coming out with another man in tow. They need to have paramedics ready for this guy."
"You know the way out?" Luke nodded as Kelly took the offered radio and lifted his face shield. "This is Lynch and Parsons. We got a survivor and we're coming out."
"Copy that, son. Make your way out fast. We just got the order to clear the building and let it burn. Move your asses now."
He looked back to Luke. "You get that?"
"Yep. Head out the door and the stairs are on the right. We need to go up one flight then a little ways down we’ll come to a set of double doors and that will take us outside." Kelly watched as Luke hefted the man higher on his shoulder. “Start moving.”
Kelly nodded his understanding and made his way toward freedom. Times like this he questioned why he wanted to be a firefighter. No one in his family was one, so it wasn't about carrying on a legacy or some shit.
As he pushed the door open with his shoulder, he was greeted by sunlight streaking through the smoky clouds rolling off the burning building. He looked back toward Luke, the man he was carrying appeared passed out over his shoulder. That was why Kelly had chosen this profession. He wanted to make a difference. Have a job he could be proud of.
"Over here."
Kelly and Luke walked right over to the ambulance and deposited the man with the paramedics. They then made their way over to the engine where the rest of the crew stood watching the fire burn. Kelly flipped up his face mask and removed his helmet. Then he took off his jacket, tucked the heavy material under his arm, and stared up at the building. If Luke hadn't found him, Kelly would be one crispy critter right about now.
"What the fuck were you thinking?"
Someone grabbed Kelly by the shoulders and threw him up against the side of the truck, causing him to bump the back of his head hard against the metal door. When his vision cleared he saw Nate Anderson, lieutenant of station house sixteen, standing right in front of him with the attitude Kelly had hoped to avoid.
"Hey, Nate, back the fuck up." Luke pushed himself between him and Nate. "If it wasn't for Kelly, that man over there would be dead."
Nate took a step back and looked toward the ambulance where the man was being triaged. Kelly could see the vein pulsing at Nate's temple. He wasn't happy and Kelly knew he would be hearing all about that unhappiness later.
Nate looked back at him over Luke's shoulder. "You and I will talk about this back at the station house." Nate pointed a finger at him and then walked away.
He was so screwed. Every time he made a mistake Nate made sure to tell him how and why he screwed up. Granted, it was Nate's job to go over the mistakes they made so they could learn from their errors, but his lectures were becoming a broken record. Kelly wasn't looking forward to this discussion.

Adult Excerpt

The younger man leaned forward to nibble at his ear. Goosebumps ran over his arms making the hair stand up. Warm moist heat tickled his ear when Kelly spoke. "It's not teasing when you plan on making good on the offer."
He pulled back to look at Kelly. "Why don't we eat before our pizza gets cold? Then take a walk along the water and just talk." Nate removed Kelly's hand from his crotch and placed it on the table. All the sexual promises for later were fine and dandy but he wanted to make it clear he desired more than just a quick roll in the hay.
"Okay." Kelly turned away but not before Nate saw the scrunched-up look of confusion on his face.
They ate in silence. When they finished they picked up their trash and threw it in the garbage can. The sun set and the sky darkened to twilight. As they made their way toward the trail, Nate grabbed Kelly's hand and held it loosely as they walked the river's edge. He felt Kelly jump at the contact. Nate ran his thumb over Kelly's knuckles to soothe him. He wanted to get to know Kelly on a more intimate level so Kelly would see him as more than his boss and more than an easy lay.
"So, Kelly, tell me why you wanted to be a firefighter?" Nate thought it best to start off with the easy questions first.
"Good question. I guess you could say I stumbled upon it when I was in college. I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life." Kelly continued walking but kept his gaze lowered to the cement path they were walking on.
"One afternoon as I left the library and headed back to my dorm, there was this huge crowd standing around outside my building. As I got closer I saw the dorm next to mine was on fire. Then I heard the sirens of the fire engines." Kelly stopped walking to look him in the eye. "I stood out there and watched as they saved some of the students trapped inside then got the fire under control. Watching the firemen work together as a team had to be one the most amazing things I had ever seen."
A look of wonderment crossed the younger man's face and Nate had to grin. He knew the feeling of utter awe at watching and wanting to be the one helping save the people in the building. And then the need to be the one to put out the fire tearing the building apart. Yeah, he knew the feeling all too well. Fighting fires ran in his blood. All the men on his father's side of the family had been firefighters and now he and his brother carried on the family tradition.
"Well that and all the gorgeous firemen standing around. Hot as hell."
The thought of Kelly thinking any other man or men were attractive left a bitter taste in his mouth. He went to pull Kelly closer but the man dropped his hand and took off running down the trail.
"I know that look. You so want to ream my ass right now," Kelly yelled over his shoulder as he ran. "You're going to have to catch me first."
Nate dug his heels in and started running all out. His little firefighter liked to play with fire. Well this was one time an all-consuming fire was just fine. What he felt for Kelly burned him alive on the inside and he wanted to set Kelly ablaze with the same need.
Kelly's shorter legs carried him faster than Nate thought possible but before long he caught up to him. In one quick move he grabbed Kelly around the waist and took him off his feet. He swung him around until they faced each other. Kelly breathed hard from exertion and laughing. The gleam in his eyes and the sweat running down his temple from his hair crushed any of Nate's thoughts of going slow.
Nate wrapped his arms around Kelly's waist. Pulled together chest to chest Nate lowered his mouth and bit at the supple bottom lip of Kelly's mouth. Kelly moaned so loudly he scared a few birds out of a nearby tree.
Without thinking Nate ran his hands down Kelly's back until he grabbed the firm globes of his ass. He picked Kelly up off his feet and walked him backwards off the trail to give them the privacy to be intimate without fear of being interrupted. Kelly's fingers dug into his shoulders as he pushed him up against a tree.
Nate lowered Kelly's feet back to the ground and smashed their lips together. Kelly parted his lips when Nate forced his tongue against the crease, coaxing and prodding until Kelly's tongue came out to play.
Kelly gave as well as he got but Nate wanted total control. He lowered his hands to the waist at the back of Kelly's shorts. The shorts were baggy enough to allow him to slide one hand down the back. He pushed past Kelly's boxers and cupped his bare ass cheek with his hand. The skin was slightly sweaty from the humid heat and their hard run a few minutes earlier. Nate wanted to lick and taste the salty skin until the younger man begged to be fucked.
The kiss went on and on, not rushed or forced. The more Nate rubbed at the hard, muscled ass, the more Kelly relaxed. Seeing his opportunity, he pulled at Kelly's cheeks until his hole was exposed to Nate's questing digit. He gently caressed the tiny pucker, feeling the rippled skin twitch against his finger.
Kelly pulled away to look up at him. "Do it."

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sweet Affliction - Sweet Awakenings 4 (Navy SEALs Series)


This title is offered at a 15% discount. Offer ends midnight CST, May 8th.


[Siren Classic: Erotic Contemporary Romance, HEA]

After spending years serving his country as a Navy SEAL, Commander Nick Slater is ready for retirement. Mercenaries hired to kill him ambush him, and his plans take a drastic turn.

AJ Harwood is facing one of the most difficult times of her life. A chance encounter with Nick Slater is the last thing she wants, yet she is thrust into his world and trapped in its surroundings.

AJ is Nick's only hope as he tries to find out who is out to kill him. With each passing day, more secrets are uncovered, and the reason behind the attack is revealed. Nick joins forces with his former teammates to find the person behind the high-priced hit put on all of their heads. As precious time ticks away, Nick and AJ are faced with the possibility that after finding each other, they may lose everything in an instant.

A Siren Erotic Romance

 * 10% of the author royalties on this book will benefit nonprofit organizations dedicated to providing educational assistance and support grants to families of wounded and fallen United States Navy SEALs

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Zoey Marcel's Fleeing Temptation

Thank you so much for having me, Nicole! I’m very excited about my new book, Fleeing Temptation (Temptation, Wyoming 2). This book is Hilary, the witch’s story and it was a lot of fun to write.