Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Choosing a title for a book is like choosing a name for a baby! Yes / No?? #mgtab

(Originally posted on Authors' Billboard)




Okay, I know I’m taking things a bit too far when I compare a book title with a baby’s name – I’ll confess, it was an attention grabber.


But… trust me; us authors really have to give our book titles a lot of thought.


Remember, we don’t have nine months to change our minds and come up with multi choices. Buy “Name Your Baby” books… scour the internet for just the right one…end up giving in to husband’s demand, LOL.


But we do have to take into consideration what the book is about. What will honestly relate the plot to a potential reader, and… most importantly, that it hasn’t been used by a number of other authors within the last few years.


Now my dilemma is this. I want to put together a three book collection of my own work and have it focus on my books where the main protagonists are feisty women who won’t back down from any man.


Two of the books feature law enforcement officers and the other one is about a Chilean girl who had to make a life in a new country and surmount a lot of obstacles to do so.


Coming up with this idea was easy. Trying to decide on an appropriate title – not so much!


Three-thirty in the morning, I jolted awake with a brilliant solution – “Red-hot Mamas”! I could see the cover in my head: brilliant red, fiery gold for the words, a special font that stood out and, of course, highlighting an eye-catching female.


Happy as a lark, I went to an author’s book launch later in the day and met up with some of my colleagues. Excited about my new project, I told them my brilliant idea. Much to my disappointment, they weren’t as enthused about my title – said mamas would date the book – that it was old-fashioned.


After thinking about what they said, (took me all of 20 seconds), I realized they were right. They next thought that came to mind was that these kick-ass girls needed to have a better introduction. Of course, that led me to brainstorm with the others and these were the favorites.


Red-hot Gals


Red-hot Ladies


Red-hot Divas


Then I got another brilliant notion. Since these were kick-ass girls why couldn’t I just name the book using that as my title? Kick-ass Girls! When I gleefully mentioned it, they all rained on my parade. Said that Amazon probably wouldn’t go for it.


So… as soon as I got home, I looked to see if the word “ass” appeared anywhere on Amazon’s site. And it did! Not only in various places but also in a porno book that had a cover of a…. you got it! A lady’s… ahh derriere.


But… still not 100% sure I’d be allowed, needing to stroke the big guy so he wouldn’t take away my publishing rights ;-), I wrote to Amazon. Sadly, they sent me back a lot of mumbo jumbo, with this one sentence standing out:


Please ensure that your book’s title accurately matches the content of your book.


Okay - Check!


Then they referred me to this page: Content Guidelines


Pornography


We don't accept pornography or offensive depictions of graphic sexual acts. (Oh yeah?)


Offensive Content


What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect. (This sure helps, doesn’t it? :-))


So what I need to know is this: If I go ahead, which of the three titles works the best.


I’m inclined to go with Kick-ass Ladies because of the contrast in the words, but the others liked Kick-ass Gals or Divas.


Help me make up my mind…let me know what you think.


Also, do you feel that word might be offensive in any way to the readers?


Keep in mind, wanting to be realistic to the suspense genre and the way detectives actually would talk, I do use real language inside the book. Therefore, anyone who dislikes swear words, probably doesn’t want to read those books anyway.... just sayin'!





  One of the books I intend to add into this collection is my very first Romantic Suspense called Roll the Dice which is book #2 in the Vegas Series. The first short introductory book is a permanently free book called Partners and can be found here. (See side panel!) All six book in the Vegas Collection, plus the collection itself, is #FREE in Kindle Unlimited.






Monday, June 27, 2016

Summer Lovin' - Book #5 Wounded Heart Series by @JacqBiggar #mgtab











SUMMER LOVIN’
Book 5 of the Wounded Hearts series
by
Jacquie Biggar


Cover Designer: Killion Group
Official genre of book: Contemporary Romance




Mitch Taylor and Rebecca Sorenson share a secret.
Rebecca’s job as secretary of Cascade Elementary, the same school she attended as a child, is rewarding. She has a great group of friends, many of whom are married now. And if sometimes she wished it were her up there in that sparkling white dress…
Except, wait—she did get to wear bridal white. Granted, it was a slinky party dress and the justice of the peace was Elvis in a gold lame jacket, but still, the deed was done.
She’d tied the knot.
Mitch Taylor doesn’t do regrets. It would be a waste of energy bemoaning the mistakes he’d made in his life. The end of his promising football career taught him nothing in life was a guarantee.
Like love.
What were the chances two people from the same po-dunk town in Washington would end up together in a nightclub in Las Vegas? A few too many drinks later, a hasty ceremony performed by the king of rock ‘n’ roll, and they’d been hitched. The night that followed lived on in his dreams, but when he’d woken the next morning she was gone.
Can these two mismatched lovers find a way past their mistakes, or will they keep their lonely hearts forever guarded?


Mitch’s gaze zeroed in on her lips and darkened. “You and me—later. I’m tired of waiting. It’s time we settled our past so we can move forward with our lives.” He leaned in and gave her a quick, hard kiss, their breath co-mingling and tasting of the coffee he’d stopped and bought for her.
Rebecca sighed and gave herself up to the moment, though in the back of her mind his words nipped and stung, warning her that it was going to hurt when he left. How did this happen? When did Mitch Taylor become necessary to her happiness?
God. She was in love with him.
Her mouth slackened. Mitch sat back and looked at her quizzically for a moment, then he turned away to help young Jasper, and she tried to pay attention, she really did. But, all the time he was asking Tommy what happened, and running gentle fingers over the injury, and she was smiling and murmuring reassurance, her heart was breaking into a million tiny pieces.






I live in paradise along the west coast of Canada with my family and love reading, writing, and flower gardening. Oh, and I can’t function without coffee! Preferably at the beach with my sweetheart.:)
I write Romantic Suspense with tough, alpha males who know what they want until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them what they really need is love.
I’ve been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoy writing romance novels that end with happy-ever-afters.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Sneak Peek: Chapter One - LAST CHRISTMAS by @JoanReeves #mgtab


I’m in love–with my new story and characters in LAST CHRISTMAS, the novella I’m writing for our LOVE CHRISTMAS Romance Collection.
 

I can’t think of anything more fun than throwing a man and a woman together and proving to them that they are made for each other. Oh, and creating the small towns in my stories is great fun too. In LAST CHRISTMAS, I found Estacado, an old ghost town in the Texas Panhandle that was perfect for my needs. I renamed it New Estacado, a Spanglish combination that made it perfect for the Texas setting.

Then there’s the…oh, wait. Why don’t I just post the first chapter since it’s my turn to give you a sneak peek from my unedited manuscript? I’m excited about LOVE CHRISTMAS, our 2016 Holiday Romance Collection. I hope you enjoy this excerpt because I’m having a blast writing this story.


Last Christmas_1000x1500LAST CHRISTMAS by Joan Reeves © 2016



 
CHAPTER 1

How long did it take for a broken heart to heal? Annabelle Cooper stared at the framed photograph she’d pulled from the packing box. To her dismay, her hand trembled and her chest tightened, making her lungs feel as if all the air in her bedroom had been sucked out into the cold December night.

Her heart pounded so hard she swore she could hear it over the blustering north wind that swept down through the Texas Panhandle and rattled the old-fashioned windows in her grandmother’s Victorian house. Annabelle couldn’t stop herself from lifting the photograph and studying the smiling couple, each wearing a Santa hat. She looked so happy, so…innocent, in the photograph taken last Christmas at her friend Mary Beth’s party.

Innocent? She gave a snort of derision. She hadn’t been innocent. She’d been pathetically dumb. Scorn at her naiveté dampened the pain as Annabelle stared at the photograph. Her eyes stung, but she wouldn’t allow herself to shed another tear over what had been the worst mistake she’d ever made.

Why did it still hurt so much?

Despite all she’d done to banish Rick Lassiter from her mind and her heart, the photograph shattered the illusion that she was over the man who’d swept her off her feet and into a weekend of passion, unlike anything she’d ever experienced. She blinked rapidly. The trouble was she had experienced very little in her twenty-five years. She had been nearly as virginal as a heroine in the Regency romance novels she’d always loved. In all honesty, an urban teen probably had more sexual experience than Annabelle had possessed a year ago.

Even in the photo, Lassiter drew her as no man ever had. His ebony hair was hidden by the Santa hat, but his laughing eyes—so dark they appeared black—drew her gaze even now. His smile compelled a smile in return. Her hands were clasped on his shoulder, but his arms were folded, his chin resting on his hands. She was the one clinging to him. The clinging was not mutual. That should have been her first clue.

“Annabelle?” Her grandmother’s voice warbled up to the second floor.

Annabelle took a deep breath and released it slowly before answering. “Yes, ma’am?”

“Come on down, sugar. The first guests are getting out of their cars.”

“I’ll be right there,” Annabelle called. She imagined her grandmother, the original Annabelle Edna, was peeking through the lace curtains over the front windows like an excited little girl instead of like the white-haired senior citizen she was.

Annabelle looked back at the framed photo she still held. Her hand tightened on the wooden frame until her knuckles whitened. She wanted to fling it against the wall and smash it into a million pieces the way Rick Lassiter had smashed her heart.

“Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance,” she whispered as if they were her mantra. “You are at acceptance. You will not regress,” she vowed in a fierce whisper. She loosened her fingers and let the framed photograph fall to the jewel-toned oriental rug. It landed with a soft thud. Deliberately, Annabelle stepped on the photo and heard glass break.

Okay. Maybe she hadn’t yet graduated from the anger stage of grief.

Not in a rush to join the elderly early arrivals since she saw them just about every day now that she’d moved back to New Estacado, Annabelle lingered over the box. She found a “Playbill” from Houston’s Theater Under the Stars, a ticket stub from the blockbuster movie that had been showing last December, and a menu from her favorite Mexican restaurant. Damn. Everything in the box was a memento of—what? Her love affair?

Mary Beth, her friend and neighbor in the Houston apartment complex, had called it a fling. Mary Beth had lots of flings so she hadn’t understood why Annabelle had been so distraught when Rick had disappeared. When she’d learned that much of what he’d told her were lies, she’d been devastated.

Ah. Realization dawned. Mary Beth had packed all of this rather than consigning the lot to the dumpster as Annabelle had instructed after the April flood had invaded their respective ground-floor apartments and destroyed everything in its smelly, muddy path.

Annabelle had lost her heart in December, and the swollen Cypress Creek had taken most of her possessions—even her little Toyota in the parking lot. Aggravated that she was again obsessing over what had happened with Lassiter, she folded the flaps of the cardboard box closed. Maybe Mary Beth liked dwelling on her old flings, but Annabelle didn’t. She’d left Houston, hoping to leave her mistakes in the past. That’s where a…a reprobate like Lassiter belonged. In the past.

Annabelle snorted. Maybe reprobate was old-fashioned, but she was old-fashioned too even if her strait-laced morality was over-compensation for the apathetic neglect of a mother who was the embodiment of promiscuity.

Reprobate. Scoundrel. No-good waste of skin walking the planet. That’s what Lassiter was. She’d certainly treat him differently if she met him today. She’d recognize him now for what he was. A lying, manipulative scum of the earth man-slut. Annabelle slapped the carton. After the party, she’d toss the photograph and everything in the box into the trash where it belonged.

A quick glance at her reflection in the Queen Anne cheval mirror told her she hadn’t messed up her hair or wrinkled the full skirt of the emerald velvet evening gown. Fortunately, her exterior didn’t reveal the emotions seething within. She looked fine. She practiced a smile, took a deep breath, and left her bedroom, closing the door behind her.

Laughter and holiday greetings floated to her as she started down the steep staircase. The college girl who had been hired to play Christmas carols on the baby grand piano situated in front of the bay window in the living room had begun with a jazzy version of “Jingle Bells.”

Annabelle took the steps carefully , in deference to the black silk evening shoes with four-inch heels. Sexy shoes weren’t necessarily safe on steep stair treads. When she’d been a child, she’d never bothered with the steps when going downstairs. She smiled at the memory of riding the banister from her turret bedroom to the black and white marble tiles of the foyer.

A frigid blast from the front door heralded more guests arriving. Chilled, she stepped onto the polished tiles. The noise level wasn’t uncomfortable. Yet. The pianist segued into “O Holy Night.” People in various styles of holiday dress—some in evening attire, some in cowboy shirts and stiff blue jeans—milled around, propelled inward every few minutes by new arrivals. Waiters, college students home for the holidays, circulated with trays of champagne flutes and platters of finger foods.

Annabelle smiled at her grandmother. Her Namesy. When she’d been a child, she’d heard the word namesake often and had come to think namesake meant her grandmother. Her toddler’s effort to pronounce the word namesake had come out as “Namesy” to the delight of her grandmother who immediately adopted the name as being far more original than any of the other grandmother nicknames.

“I’ll man the door,” she murmured in Namesy’s ear. “Go to the living room and hold court.”

Her grandmother smiled and strolled away as the pianist launched into “Blue Christmas.”

Glad her grandmother had acquiesced so easily, Annabelle assumed the duties of hostess at the door. “Merry Christmas and welcome to the Gazette’s Christmas Open House,” she greeted, taking a minute or two to chat with each guest and direct them to the buffet in the dining room. By the time Vince Sanchez, her late grandfather’s best friend, arrived, Annabelle was convinced that the house couldn’t hold another person. She was beginning to think the velvet might have been a poor choice because she felt overly warm in the crush of the party guests.

“Merry Christmas, Mayor Sanchez, and welcome to the Gazette’s Christmas Open House.” The portly Hispanic man who’d been mayor for as long as she could remember, bellowed a holiday greeting to her and chucked her under the chin as if she were still ten years old.

Annabelle winced. “Is your hearing aid turned on, Mayor?” She pantomimed the question.

He laughed and pulled two small devices out his coat pocket and put one into each ear. “Is that better?” he asked, his voice starting loud and then lowering. He cocked his head and listened. “Hey, Edna did get that kid to play her piano for the party. Nice.”

The pianist did a slow run on the piano keys and then launched into “The First Noel.” Annabelle smiled. “Yes the music is good and so is your volume now.”

The Mayor chucked her under the chin again. “Funny girl. I’ve got a scoop for you, Annie Belly.”

At hearing the name her grandfather always called her, Annabelle’s throat tightened. “And what might that be, Mayor?” she asked, smiling fondly at him and at the memory.

Before he could reply, the door opened again and a blond woman Annabelle’s age rushed in, shutting the door behind her with a bit more force than was needed.

“I swear. I don’t see why Daddy won’t move to Miami, or at least Galveston. These Panhandle winters are too damned cold. It’s already iced over out there. I might as well be on a mountaintop in Montana,” the blonde complained.

Annabelle firmly repressed a sigh. Namesy called Brianna Walker the town’s richest daughter. Annabelle had a different noun to describe the whining party girl. She’d oped Brianna would have had a red carpet in Hollywood to strut or a late dinner at Tavern on the Green in the Big Apple to jet off to. But, no. Apparently, the daughter of one of the richest men in the Texas Panhandle had nothing better to do than bring her pseudo sophistication to Namesy’s Christmas open house.

Annabelle welcomed her the same as she’d done the other guests. She wasn’t surprised when Brianna shrugged out of the full-length mink coat and tossed it to Annabelle. “Take care of this for me, will you, Annabelle? Put it where I can get it when I’m ready to leave,” she ordered. “And be careful with it. You wouldn’t be able to pay for it if you damaged it. I’m in serious need of a drink to warm me up.”

Annabelle bit back a retort and said only, “Sure thing, Brianna. Excuse me, Mayor. I’ll be right back to discuss your scoop.”

Annabelle walked to the right of the front door and opened double doors that led into what had been her grandfather’s domain, the library. She wadded the coat into a rough round shape. “Here you go, Brianna,” she muttered and hurled the coat at the small sofa against the windows. The coat landed halfway between the doors and the sofa. Annabelle nodded. “Coat taken care of.”

The song changed to “Last Christmas.” That had been one of her Annabelle’s favorite Christmas songs. She loved the Wham version and the more recent Taylor Swift version too. Or she had loved it until last Christmas when she’d been foolish enough to give her heart to a man who truly had thrown it away. Lassiter. Was everything about Christmas going to make her think of him? She snagged two glasses of champagne from a passing waiter’s tray and found the mayor who hadn’t moved very far from the front door.

“Here you go, mister Mayor. I know it’s not beer, but you know champagne and eggnog are the only drinks Namesy serves at her Christmas party.”

The Mayor grimaced. “Just hold onto those two glasses. I’ve got someone I want you to meet. You can give him that soda pop with the bubbles.”

Annabelle laughed. “Someone to meet? I already know everyone in the three towns that make up the Gazette’s circulation.”

“Believe it or not, we’ve got a newcomer in town. He just got in today. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised Brianna roped him into bringing her to the party. I guess he’s parking the car since she came in alone.”

Annabelle gave an exaggerated sigh. “The only new male in the Panhandle, and Brianna already has him lassoed. I didn’t even get a shot at him,” she joked.

“You know what they say, sugar.” He shrugged his broad shoulders. “You snooze; you lose.”

“I wasn’t snoozing. I’ve been busy since moving back.”

“Well, you haven’t been to any city council meetings. Your grandmother is still covering those. If you had, you’d have met the new guy because he was at the last two monthly meetings.”

“Right. Like Brianna met him at a city council meeting?”

The Mayor laughed. “I’m pretty sure it would be a sign that they were ice skating in hell if she ever came to a city council meeting. Personally, I think the girl has guy radar that picks up any male within a hundred miles.”

The Mayor’s smile broadened. He waved at someone standing behind her. “Here he is. Annabelle, I want you to meet our new Sheriff.”

“Interim Sheriff,” a husky masculine voice corrected.

That voice short-circuited Annabelle’s brain. She forgot to breathe. The tiny hairs on the back of her neck rose in alarm. Buzzing like that of a million bees filled her ears. She couldn’t turn to see the source of her danger. From the corner of her eye, a man entered her field of vision. Her eyes widened as he stopped in front of her.
 
“Annabelle, this is my score of the century. I’ve got us a guy with actual law enforcement background,” the Mayor prattled. “Say hello to…” The mayor’s voice trailed off. “Annie Belly, are you all right? You look kind of funny.”

Annabelle’s eyes connected with the nearly black eyes of the handsome man in a charcoal gray suit, white shirt, and red-patterned silk tie. She could only stare as she felt every last drop of blood drain from her face. She couldn’t move. Couldn’t speak. Couldn’t think.

“Hello. It’s nice to meet you,” the man said gravely, as if he didn’t know her from Adam.

Fury flowed into the vacuum created by the absence of thought and words. Annabelle murmured, “So nice to meet you too.”

Then she flung the contents of both champagne flutes into Rick Lassiter’s face.
 

The End…For Now


 
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Joan Reeves makes her home in the Lone Star State with her hero, her husband.
They have 4 children who think they are adults and a ghost dog, all the ingredients for a life full of love and warmed by laughter.
Joan lives the philosophy that is the premise of her romance novels: “It’s never too late to live happily ever after.”
 View website


Post Script
You can find all of my romance novels on my Amazon Author Page (also available at most other ebook sellers). In fact, I’d be delighted if you follow me on my Amazon Author Page, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. I’ll happily follow you in return.
Sign up for WordPlay, my email list/newsletter for readers and be the first o hear about new releases and swag bag giveaways. Plus, you get a free book for subscribing! 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Writing sprints – build your word count. This amazing concept works! #mgtab #amwriting





I have to share an experience with you – one that I consider has changed my ability to get more words written each time I sit down to work.

It all started at a six-week boot camp put on by local author, Shannon Mayer. It happened last October until mid-December. Each week she bullied us into doing what she called writing sprints. She’d set the alarm for half an hour and we’d put our heads down and just create. We had no time for editing, or thinking, certainly not when everyone around us was pounding the keys.

Trust me, we all wanted to have enough words on the screen so we wouldn’t feel as if we hadn’t accomplished what the rest could do. Let me tell you, that old challenge routine worked really well.

Amazingly, each week, every one of us managed to get higher word counts during these crazy sprints. We knew it because she’d listed our numbers after each time. We got so good at it, that it just became a matter of us focusing on whatever scene we were working on at the time and… ready – set – go!

I know it worked for me because I managed to write a 65,000 word novel called Sweet Retaliation – one I want to sell to a publisher – and I did so under a deadline from December 4th to December 31st. About killed me – but I don’t believe I could have done that without using my new sprinting skills.

I find now that I can zip off 500-1,000 words easily in 30 minutes if know exactly what the scene will be for that next chapter. It's given me the ability to aim for and easily achieve my 2,000 words a day.

It’s totally awesome!

Try it.

Set your alarm and write. Better your times every day.

E-mail a friend, set up a challenge and go for it…   


Sunday, June 19, 2016

99¢ ~ Oh yeah!! This is a real deal... TWO HEARTS IN WINTER by @DonnaFaz #mgtab




Save 75% for a VERY limited time!
June 16th - 21st Only


Ocean City Boardwalk Series, Book 2

Loss and betrayal have caused Heather Phillips to give up on love. She’s thrown herself into running The Lonely Loon, her Bed and Breakfast located on the boardwalk of Ocean City, Maryland. The “off season” in this tourist town is usually a time of rest and reflection for her; however, DB Atwell, a famous author, arrives at The Loon for the winter to finish his long-overdue novel. Daniel, too, has faced grief, and tragedy continues to haunt him. Once Heather and Daniel meet, their lives will never be the same.

Reminiscent of Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks and culminating in a happily-ever-after similar to the great Nora Roberts, Two Hearts in Winter is a story about learning to let go of the past, about realizing that, though hardship affects us, it need not define us, and about coming to understand and truly believe that beauty is sometimes covered in scars. The human heart has an amazing ability to forgive, to heal, and to hope, especially when touched by love.


US Kindle        UK Kindle



Kobo 



Available at regular price:

Paperback 

Other titles in the Ocean City Boardwalk Series:


An Almost Perfect Christmas, a spin-off novella

Meet my friend, Donna Fasano: 

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR DONNA FASANO is a three-time winner of the HOLT Medallion, a CataRomance Reviewers Choice Award winner for Best Single Title, a Desert Rose Golden Quill Award finalist, a Golden Heart finalist, and a two-time winner of Best Romance of the Year given by BigAl's Books & Pals Review Blog. Her books have sold nearly 4 million copies worldwide and have been published in two dozen languages. Her books have made the Kindle Top 100 Paid List numerous times, climbing as high as #5. View website

Friday, June 17, 2016

Chapter One excerpt – 2016 Love Christmas Collection – Santa Baby – by Taylor Lee #mgtab



**** I’ve decided to give you all a little treat each Friday from now on.

You see, 20 of our girls from the Authors’ Billboard are working to produce brand new novellas for a fabulous box collection for 2016 called Love, Christmas to be released in Oct. We’ve decided that each story will be titled by a favorite Christmas carol. And to tickle everyone’s curiosity, we’ve been posting Chapter One excerpts from each of the books for the last while on The Authors’ Billboard blog.



Today I got to thinking; those blurbs have been enjoyed thoroughly by those followers, so why not introduce the same chapters to my own friends here on Believe.

Therefore, today we have USA Today, best-selling author, Taylor Lee, with her story called Santa Baby.










Chapter 1


Zach took a hefty swallow of Makers Mark draining his glass. Plunking the empty schooner on the table top he reached for the bottle and poured himself a healthy portion. Not waiting for his buddies’ certain approval, he refilled Danny’s and Mark’s glasses with the amber liquid and raised his tumbler in a mock salute.
“Here’s to what, men, our fourth, or, is it our fifth Christmas, celebrating at the Xpose? Damn, I never thought anything could be worse than canned Christmas music everywhere from Walmart to the barber shop.” He shook his head and pointed with his chin at the stage. “But two nearly naked faux reindeer pretending to have sex to the beat of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer? Damn, that’s over the top even for the Xpose!”
When his buddies roared in agreement, Zach tried to remember when he’d been amused, hell, even a little intrigued at the Xpose’s Christmas decorations. Leave it to Lecherous Lenny, as he and his men had named the proprietor of the sleazy strip joint, to create the scene in front of them. Who else would decorate his fake Christmas trees with gargantuan silver and gold phalluses? Not to mention every kind of sex toy the most perverted imbiber of kink could imagine. Zach admitted that once he’d even been amused by the plastic breasts decorating the trees. In an apparent imitation of Rudolph’s nose, they were topped with pointed red nipples that blinked on and off.
Zach took another slug of the potent whiskey welcoming the harsh burn in his throat. With a heartfelt sigh he acknowledged that the garish sex-saturated displays were no longer funny, they were sad. Watching the women gyrating on the stage he shook his head. He knew that their glassy eyes and occasional stumbles confirmed that they’d deadened their bleak lives with the plentiful crystal Lenny provided to keep his girls in line. Disheartening as the women were, the ugly hoots of the drunken men egging them on, was sickening. Zach was about to finish his drink and call it a night when the girl-on-girl reindeer tableau came to a merciful end.
As he rose to his feet and was about to slap down a bill, another song hit the PA system. Instead of a cheerful, inappropriate children’s tune, it was Eartha Kitt’s taunting tribute to materialism, Santa Baby. But it wasn’t the saucy lyrics that made Zach change his mind about leaving. Rather it was the long-limbed dancer sauntering across the stage toward the brass pole in the center of the stage.
Deciding that leaving was premature, Zach allowed himself to sink back in his chair and appreciate what was an anomaly at the Xpose: A stripper who knew how to dance. Zach marveled that the woman not only moved her beautiful body in the expected, provocative fashion but she did it with a sinuous grace that snagged his breath.
Danny’s appreciative whistle and muttered expletive confirmed that Zach wasn’t the only one agog at the apparition before them. “Wow! I haven’t seen that little piece before. Don’t tell me Lenny the Lecher is adding quality to his lineup. Fuckin’ A, that babe looks more like a beauty pageant contestant than a stripper.” He added with a hearty laugh as the music throbbed, “Bet she’d win the talent portion if not the whole damn crown.”
Gratified that his cohort was as flummoxed as he was, Zach tried to figure out what was different about the dark haired woman working her way to the pole. Like all the other strippers, she was wearing Lenny’s sexy de rigour Christmas attire. A tight red low-cut halter captured her full breasts and skimpy boy shorts cupped her curvy ass. The red velvet stocking cap with the sassy white fuzzy ball on the end perched on the shiny curtain of curly black hair streaming over her slim shoulders and back. But unlike the other women, who looked sleazy not sexy, the new dancer almost looked proper. More like one of Santa’s prettiest elves, not a woman who was about to shed her clothes for the voracious men who were screaming at her to “take it off”.
The girl-next-door morphed enticingly when the dancer responded to the crowd’s lewd demands. With a flick of her fingers she allowed the straining halter to fall to the floor. Bodacious breasts topped with sparkling rhinestone pasties revealed a tantalizing glimpse of rosy nipples that stole Zach’s breath. The gasps from his hardened teammates confirmed he wasn’t the only one stunned by her lush body. He almost didn’t want her to lose the boy shorts, not wanting to share more of the erotic vision with the leering men. He was glad that the City fathers had decreed that no matter how loudly the crowd insisted, the remaining G-string would stay in place.
Zach watched in amazement as the stripper-turned-erotic-gymnast skillfully used the shiny pole to display her stunning athleticism as well as her beautiful body. She shimmied up and down the pole twirling from one gravity defying move to another. When she landed a flying breathtaking leap and stood once more upright on the floor, Zach captured her gaze. The look in her eyes when she met his open appraisal surprised him. It wasn’t only the sudden shyness that flickered across her face. Rather it was the fact that her expression changed dramatically. If he was any judge of women who shed their clothes for a living, and Zach most certainly was, he recognized her startled wide-eyed expression. He’d seen it far too many times in his line of work. It was fear, pure and simple. Seeming to realize that her mask had slipped, the accomplished performer quickly recovered her poise. She turned back to the chanting crowd and showered them with a cheeky grin. Tossing her head she shook her booty eliciting a thunderous roar from the appreciative audience. Then with an impudent wave she turned and literally dashed from the stage.


Meet Taylor Lee:



USA Today Best Selling author Taylor Lee writes Suspenseful Mystery Thrillers – with a heavy dose of Sexy to Sizzling HOT Romance.


In the less than four years that she has been writing, Taylor has written more than thirty books. Her seven series track her Special Operatives, Covert Agents, Cops, Firefighters and other iconic heroes and heroines, through the harrowing situations that make up their lives. From human trafficking rings to corrupt politicians, Taylor investigates the underbelly of society and the criminals who flourish there.


Taylor says: “From the residue in my personal blender of mixed races, cultures and world views, my characters emerge. It comforts me to know that while evil slinks in the shadows, the “good guys” of the world sniff it out – and snuff it out.


My characters are arrogant alpha males and the feisty women who bring them to their knees – and vice versa… They fight hard, love hard and don’t mince words. They are dangerous men and women in dangerous times. Love, passion and ridding the world of evil? What’s not to like?”