January Releases Unite!

My friends Courtney Milan and Victoria Dahl, who are both hella-talented authors, also have books coming out in January. Because no one remembers poor, outcast January books in the post-holiday hangover haze, we decided to do a little united promo! All day tomorrow, we'll be Tweeting questions about these blog posts, where we're each featuring the others' books. If you're the first person to answer a question that I tweet about either of the following excerpts, you'll get a copy of SCOUNDREL'S KISS. (Signed copies to anyone in the continental US. Everyone else, I'll ship anywhere the Book Depository delivers to.)

That simple! Who knows how many copies we'll offer through the day, so stay sharp!

If you aren't already following us on Twitter, you can do so by clicking these links: Carrie, Courtney, Victoria.

Here's the first, from Courtney's superb debut PROOF BY SEDUCTION:

She is his last chance for a future of happiness...
Jenny Keeble has never let her humble upbringing stop her. She's made her way in the world as a fortune teller, one who convinces her clients her predictions are correct by telling them what they most want to hear. Business is good… until she meets her match in the form of Gareth Carhart, the Marquess of Blakely, a scientist and sworn bachelor.

He just doesn't know it yet...
Broodingly handsome Gareth is appalled to discover his cousin has fallen under the spell of "Madame Esmerelda," and he vows to prove her a fraud. But his unexpected attraction to the fiery enchantress defies logic. Jenny disrupts every facet of Gareth's calculated plan— until he can’t decide whether to ruin her or claim her for his own. Now, as they engage in a passionate battle of wills, two lonely souls must choose between everything they know...and the boundless possibilities of love.

"Do you know how I can tell you're a fraud?" he croaked.

She gazed up at him.

"Because you're wrong. You're completely wrong."

He fumbled in his mind for his prepared speech. Science is about answers. It raises us above those who do not question.

But before he could start, Gareth made a colossal mistake: He looked into Madame Esmerelda's eyes. He'd thought she was black-eyed as a gypsy. But from eighteen inches away, with the candle so close to her face, he realized her eyes were in fact a very dark blue.

With that simple observation, the blood drained from his brain. Gareth's structured defense of scientific thinking washed from his head. Instead, he took a step toward her. He let the veil drop from his eyes, let her see the inferno raging inside him.

She sucked in air. "Why do you say I'm wrong?" Her voice quavered on the last word.

"I'm not an automaton." The words came from some vital place deep inside him--his solar plexus, perhaps, rather than his uncooperative brain.

Gareth took another step closer. She continued to hold his gaze, as incapable of looking away as he. The white vapor of her breath swirled in the cold night air. Its cadence kept time with the rise and fall of her chest. He could taste every one of her exhalations, sweetness coalescing against his mouth.

It was an act of self-preservation to reach out and pinch the candle flame. To stop the flow of sensual images before they seared themselves permanently into his flesh. The wick sizzled and the light died between his wet fingers. Her eyes disappeared into the navy darkness of nighttime.

It didn't help. He could still smell her. He could taste the honey of her breath on the tip of his tongue. And the distant street lamp cast enough illumination for him to see when she licked her lips. Heat seared him.

"I'm not made of wood." Gareth reached out again. This time, his hand grazed the warm flesh of her cheek. And still the silly woman didn't jerk away. She didn't even flinch when he tilted her chin up. Instead, her lips parted in soft, subtle invitation.

The thought of her mouth against his snuffed what little guttering intellect remained to him. Her flesh seemed to sizzle beneath his fingertips. He lowered his head until her lips were a tantalizing inch from his.

"Most of all," Gareth said, his voice husky, "I'll be damned if I let you call me dispassionate."


And this is from Victoria's third contemporary release, LEAD ME ON.

The wrong man just might be her perfect fit...

Primal attraction is a big red flag to prim and proper office manager, Jane Morgan. After a rough childhood with a mother who liked her men in prison jumpsuit orange, Jane changed her name, her look and her taste for bad boys. So why is she lusting for William Chase with his tattoo-covered biceps, steel-toed boots and unadulterated sex appeal? The man blows things up for a living!

She gives herself one explosive, fantasy-filled night with Chase. The next day, it's back to plain Jane and safe men. But when her beloved brother becomes a murder suspect, and her lawyer ex-boyfriend won't help, Jane turns to Chase. And she discovers a man who's been around the block knows a thing or two about uncovering all kinds of truths.

When Chase grabbed her hand, she realized it was the first time they'd touched. She also realized that his skin sent flashes of electricity sizzling along her nerves. His hand was hot and big and rough around the edges.

He felt like a man. Her weak knees shivered.

He led her out of the crowded bar and across the street to his truck. When they reached the passenger door, Chase stopped and turned to face her with serious eyes.

"This isn't something weird is it?"

"What?" The tipsiness she'd been comforting herself with made it hard to figure out his strange question.

"I don't look like your dead husband or anything, do I?"

"What are you talking about?"

He watched her, his fingers sliding more deeply between hers. "You said you've never done this before."

"I haven't." Not recently anyway.

His eyes narrowed to glittering slits as his gaze dropped to her lips.

Before she could think what to say, Chase dipped his head and pressed his lips to hers. She wasn't ready for it. Strange, considering she'd propositioned him just a few minutes before. But she wasn't expecting the taste of him right at the moment, his lips brushing over hers.

His mouth was nothing like his hands. His mouth touched her softly, a gentle pressure, testing her, feeling her out. When her shock wore off, Jane finally responded. She parted her lips a little, pressing into him, and Chase took the hint.

A shock of warmth against her bottom lip revealed itself to be his tongue, touching briefly before drawing away.

"Mm," she sighed, angling her head in encouragement. He tasted her again, teasing her until she followed his tongue with her own.

Oh, my. His work-roughened hand slipped around the back of her neck as he pulled her closer. Chase kissed her deeper, deeper, until Jane found herself clutching his T-shirt and hanging on tight. His tongue thrust slowly. There was going to be no jack-rabbit action in this man's bed. This was a careful, controlled assault.

The shivering in her knees climbed higher, shaking through her thighs. As if sensing his work was done, Chase brushed his lips over hers one last time before pulling away.

"Well," he murmured. "Ready to go?"

Jane nodded. "Definitely."

The truck beeped, the locks popped open, and Chase reached for the door handle. "After you, Miss Jane."

She flushed a bit at the reminder of who she was to him, but that didn't stop her from climbing up and snapping the seatbelt into place. This was a bad idea, but Jane wasn't really a good girl and she never had been. She'd been faking it for ten years without a slip. Ten long years.

Frankly, it was a miracle she'd lasted.


Be sure to check out Courtney's blog and Victoria's blog to find what excerpts of SCOUNDREL'S KISS they'll be tweeting about. Good luck!

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