Tuesday, December 11, 2018

What to get the person who has everything with BA, Sean and Julia


Hey y'all!

We thought long and hard about what to get someone who had everything...

BA decided on this:

Check out this amazing thing!

Sean Michael thought this would work. Clicky!

And I came up with this one.

OMG see it here.

We've got you covered for Christmas, huh? Or maybe you just want books...

XXOO

Julia

Visit our websites:

Sean's is http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com

Julia’s is http://www.juliatalbot.com

BA’s is http://www.batortuga.com

Kiernan's is www.KiernanKelly.com

Evil Plot Bunny: http://www.evilplotbunny.com/

Julia's Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TurtlehatStudio

Facebook:

Sean -- https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites

Julia -- https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor

BA -- https://www.facebook.com/batortuga

Kiernan -- https://www.facebook.com/kiernan.kelly

Friday, December 7, 2018

A Sea Change and a new release by Felice Stevens


I remember when I received the release date from the publisher for my first novel. I was nervous, excited and scared. I was also clueless because back then, in the ancient years of 2014 the way to get  yourself out there on social media was to send your books to bloggers. People didn't run Facebook or Amazon ads, reader groups were pretty much non-existent and there was no KU.

I recall getting my tour set and waiting to see if any blogs would sign up and then what my reviews would be. At that point there were quite a few MM blogs: Joyfully Jay, The Novel Approach, Rainbow Gold Reviews, MM Good Reads, and some whose names I honestly can't remember. But I knew, if I wanted to succeed, the blogs were the way to go. 

Fast forward to 2018 and the publishing world is a different animal. Many publishing houses have closed, reader groups are all the rage, authors spend thousands of dollars on Facebook and Amazon ads and KU dominates in many genres. And sadly we have lost many of our blogs.

This past week The Novel Approach announced it was closing. It saddened me not because they reviewed my books but because I respect Lisa Horan so deeply and all she's given to this community and I'll miss it. Lisa promised she's going to be around so we are holding her to that. TNA was such a quality blog that gave us thoughtful and honest reviews. It is a loss we will truly feel. 

The USA Today Happily Ever After blog also announced it was closing and that was bittersweet for me. I have had one book featured there—One Step Further. Again, it's a blow to romance in general. 

Earlier in the year, Sinfully closed it's doors and that was a huge blow as well. They were a blog I checked daily and truly enjoyed reading their reviews and recommendations.

Other smaller blogs have faded away as well Running a blog is hard work. When I was still exclusively reading Historical Romance, I ran a blog. It had over five thousand followers and it was damn hard. Through it I met the top authors in the genre and became a reviewer for Avon books and an Avon Addict-someone given exclusive reviewing privileges. I always looked at reviewing books as an honor the author or publisher gave to me and took it very seriously. When I saw I could no longer give it the attention it deserved, I shut it down with regret. 

I personally still get a thrill when I see blogs reviewing my books. Am I always happy with the reviews? Of course not. But the purpose of the blog isn't for the author, its for potential readers to see our books and maybe, hopefully pick them up. I remember my scariest moment when Rescued came out was waiting for Joyfully Jay's review. I don't even remember what the review was but I remember a reader telling me she saw it on that blog and decided to give it a try.

So I'm a little sadder that we are losing touch with readers in this fashion. Authors are now required to be social media experts for the most part and self-promote. Yes there are authors who don't have a large social media presence and are hugely successful but that isn't the norm. Readers want to connect with authors. I personally love it but still find myself needing to step away from the merry go round every once in a while as it can get exhausting. Blogs used to fill that void and I'm thankful Joyfully Jay, Love Bytes, Gay Book Reviews and the other LGBTQ blogs are still here to keep the genre informed.

In other news I have a Christmas release—Two Daddies for Christmas is a short story in the Breakfast club universe that also has glimpses of some other favorite characters. It si only 99 cents and answers the burning question: Will Marcus and Tyler ever get married?
Here is the blurb:
Two clueless men.
One determined little girl
A whole circle of friends who've grown tired of waiting.
You are hereby invited to the wedding of the king of New York City nightlife who's finally marrying his prince charming.
Too bad neither of them know it's happening.

It is available at all retailers:
AMAZON
APPLE BOOKS
KOBO
B&N




Thursday, December 6, 2018

Narrator Interview with Nick J. Russo


Happy Thursday to all you beautiful people in the Cafe!  This week we are bringing you an interview with narrator Nick J. Russo: a little "behind the scenes" behind the mic.  Then clear your schedule and check out all the great books he's narrated on Audible.  Enjoy!



FSC: What is your coffee house beverage of choice?

Nick:  Until recently, I would have said pass on the whole place. But I only just discovered the magic that is coffee and I don’t know what I was doing with my life before it. I’m a simple

man - I like it good old fashioned black!

FSC:  Can you talk a little about your professional background? What are some of your favorite projects you've worked on?


Nick:  While I was involved in theater projects throughout school, (and many musical ones during and after), I have no formal education in voice acting. I started about five years ago doing it more as a hobby and it took off from there. Now, it is very much a full time job that I spend most hours of my life doing (and loving!). As far as some of my of favorites, there are too many to list! I really enjoy stories with a lot of emotion. The more times I get to angrily or theatrically argue with myself in the booth, the better.

FSC: 
How did you get started as a narrator?

Nick:  As mentioned before, I started doing it as a side hobby along with my day job. Over the course of the next two years, it grew into its own full time job, and I couldn’t be happier.

FSC:  One thing that surprises many audiobook listeners is how long it takes to create an audiobook. What's the longest day you have spent recording?

Nick:  These days I try to limit my sessions to no more than four hours a day, but there have been times in the past when I’ve done longer sessions. I think the most I’ve spent in the booth for any one session was close to nine hours! What a day that was!

FSC:  How long did your most recent project take you, and how long is the finished book?

Nick:  It takes us on average between 4-5 hours of work for every finished hour of audio. We recently completed a book that was about eight finished hours, (which is pretty average), which clocked in total work on that one around 40-50 hours.

FSC:  When you record, how do you break it up? Do you, for instance, read multiple chapters in one sitting?
Nick:  I’ve got it down to two separate sessions throughout any given work day - a morning one and an evening one. Each session is about two hours long. Depending on the length of the chapters I’m recording, sometimes that gets me through several chapters, sometimes it gets me through just one!


FSC:  How do you decide what kind of tone to take with each new book? What is it like reading different characters' dialogue lines?

Nick:  Tone is heavily dependent on the emotion the author is conveying. If the story is dark or heavy, a light jovial tone would sound very awkward, or vice versa. As long as I’m on the same wavelength as the author, it usually comes pretty naturally. Reading different character’s dialogue is one of my favorite parts! I love switching back and forth between two people in any given conversation.

FSC:  What do you enjoy the most about narrating?


Nick:  There are so many things, but if I had to pick one, I’d say the joy and contentment I’m able to bring others. It’s so satisfying knowing that I’m enhancing already excellent writing with a full blown performance of my author’s works.

FSC:  When can we expect to hear from you with a new book?

Nick:  Check my audible page regularly- it’s always got something new! My most recent release was Christmas Homecoming by the talented LA Witt, but new books from Suzi Hawke, more from LA Witt, Ed Davies, and Alex Miska should be out very soon!

We are certainly excited to hear more from Nick!  You can find that Audible page here, or find him on Facebook. Also, find Nick and other great narrators at Falcon Sound Company.  

Have a great week, and, as always, happy listening!  

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Ask Andrew - Where's Dominic


Dear Andrew

Is Dominic shy or do you two just like to keep him out of the spotlight. It'd be nice to hear more about him and your relationship if he's agreeable. Long term relationships are nice to hear about.

Leandra

Dear Leandra

Dominic trends to be a private person and he isn't social media savvy at all.  I do talk about him sometimes, but he isn't comfortable with a great deal of information about him being included in social media.  He sometimes goes to conferences with me and has done a few videos with me, but mostly he's more than content to stay in the background.

There are times when this frustrates me because I'd like to share more, but I really know that I need to respect his wishes.  Dominic is an amazing man who supports me in so many ways that they're too numerous to mention.  That would be an entire column of its own.

Thank you for your question and I hope everyone has an amazing holiday season

Hugs and Love
Andrew

Ask Andrew is your chance to ask questions of a gay romance author.  The questions can be about the writing process in general, writing sex scenes, gay men, sex, characters in romance, characters having sex... okay you probably get the picture.    I promise to answer your questions as frankly and with as much humor as I possibly can.

So if you have a question, please send it to andrewgreybooks@comcast.net.  This is different from my usual email so your questions don't get lost.  I will answer one question a week.

Please remember this is meant to be all in fun.  (I was going to say good, clean fun, but who wants that.)    So send me your questions and let's see what mischief we can get into.

Visit Andrew on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/andrewgreybooks  and you can join Andrew's fan group All The Way With Andrew Grey.

Follow him on Twitter:  @andrewgreybooks



Saturday, December 1, 2018

Christmas Story Coming Soon By S.C. Wynne



Good Morning! 

I have a new release coming December 12th. Its an Mpreg Christmas story that I hope you'll enjoy. Here's a sample chapter and blurb to give you a taste! :)

Blurb:
Tyler Sly was born unable to conceive, and when you’re an omega, that’s a problem. When his brother convinces him to join him on a singles tour of the wine country, Tyler grudgingly agrees. But when he gets there, his brother is a no-show.


Ronan Blade is just freshly divorced from his wife of two years, and he’s trying to get back into the dating scene. When he meets Tyler, something clicks inside for him. He’s drawn to the quiet omega and begins to spend all his time with Tyler.

Tyler is equally drawn to Ronan, and soon the two men are inseparable. Once the tour ends, the men decide to keep in contact. By now, Ronan is realizing his feelings toward Tyler are not simply those of a friend.

When Ronan comes clean to Tyler about his true feelings, the two men give in to their physical need. But Tyler doesn’t trust that an alpha who’s only been with women his whole life can suddenly love a man.

It’s no wonder then, that when Ronan’s ex-wife shows up, her appearance sends Tyler into a tail spin of fear and doubt.


Chapter One

Tyler
“What the hell do you mean you’re not coming?” I hissed into my cell, trying not to look as shocked as I felt. “I thought this trip was about brotherly bonding. Did you forget?”
His rough exhale came across the line. “I know. I know. I’m sorry. But there’s no way I can ride on a bus for hours and not puke, dude. It’s not happening.”
“So, let me get this straight; you guilted me into coming on this trip, and now you’re bailing?” I asked through gritted teeth.
“I can’t help it. I’m sick.”
“Unbelievable.” I shivered against the chill morning air, wishing I’d never even entertained the idea of this trip. Why had I listened to him? I should have known he’d pull something like this.
“How bad can it be? You get to visit Golden Valley and drink wine. You love wine.”
I sucked in a breath, trying to control my anxiety. “Yeah, and I can drink all the wine I want at home. I don’t need to hang out for seven days with a bunch of strangers to drink some vino.”
“Look, they’ll love you.”
“And you know this how?”
“Everyone loves you.” He laughed.
I wasn’t sure where he got that idea. “I’m going to murder you the next time I see you.” I met the eyes of a pretty female omega, and when she waved, I forced a stiff smile. So far everyone I’d made eye contact with seemed perfectly nice, but that wasn’t really the point. I had no interest in spending the next week with people I didn’t know. I loathed things like this, and had only agreed because Steve had badgered me relentlessly to join him.
“Look, you’ll fit in just fine.”
“I’m still going to kill you.”
“I’m sure they’re all super nice.”
I glanced at the group of twenty something men and women milling near the door of the tour bus. The omegas were in one circle and the alphas in another. Both groups were eying each other, but not interacting yet. “I have a ton of shit I should be doing, but instead, I’m standing here freezing my ass off with a bunch of people I don’t know.”
“Look, Bro, I’m really sorry.”
“You don’t sound sincere.”
He laughed gruffly. “I didn’t plan this.”
“I wouldn’t put it past you.” I scowled. “Why didn’t you call me sooner?” Trying to leave now would be awkward as hell. “If you’d just called me twenty minutes ago I could have just not shown up and no one would have even noticed.”
“I called as soon as I woke up.”
“Yeah, well, maybe you shouldn’t have gone out drinking the night before this trip.”
Another long sigh came over the phone. “I know. But it’s too late now.”
“I can’t believe this is happening.” I squeezed my fingers around my cell.
“Just relax and have fun.”
“Sure. No problem.”
“What’s the worst that can happen? You might have to talk to someone and make a friend?”
“Friends are overrated.”
He snorted. “You’re the most antisocial person I know. Why do you think I dragged you on this trip with me?”
“You mean the fucking trip you’re not on?” I grumbled.
“Now don’t be bitter.”
“Oh, I am bitter. This is complete bullshit.” I glanced around, stress bubbling in my gut when the bus engine roared to life. “Maybe I can slip away and no one will notice.”
“What?” Steve yelped. “No. Don’t do that.”
“Why the heck not?” I watched people climbing into the bus, laughing and buzzing with excitement. They looked so happy to be going on this trip. Me? I would have preferred a dentist appointment. At least a root canal would be quicker.
“Come on man, look, I fucked up and now I’m not well enough to travel. But the trip will still be good for you. You need to socialize with people more. All you do is hang out with dogs all day. That’s not healthy.”
“Says the man who is bailing on me because he soaked his liver in booze all night.”
He sighed. “I’m sure you’ll have a great time. Maybe you’ll even meet someone.”
I pulled my brows tight. “I’m not looking for anyone.”
“Sure. I know. But it’s a whole group of single people around your age. The possibility to meet someone is there.”
A feeling of dread washed over me. “Wait a second… how do you know everyone is single?” As the silence stretched, anger sparked inside me. “God damn it, Steve. You fucking set me up?”
He gave a nervous laugh. “Not exactly. I planned on coming too.”
I closed my eyes, attempting to keep my voice even. “But you knew all along this was a singles thing, and you purposely didn’t tell me?”
“Maybe.”
“Jesus, Steve. Why would you do this to me?”
“Because you never go anywhere or do anything. You’re going to die alone dude. I had to do something to get you out among the living.”
“My social life is none of your business.”
“You’re my baby brother. I need to look out for you.”
“No. You don’t.”
I opened my eyes, noticing the bus driver poking his head out of the doors and looking straight at me.
“Time to head out,” he called to me congenially.
I held up a finger, smiling weakly. “Give me one sec.”
He waved and went back in the bus.
“Just go on the trip and try to enjoy yourself.” Steve sounded uneasy.
“You and I both know that no alpha will be interested in me. Not long term.”
He sighed. “Not all alphas want kids.”
I winced. “Bullshit. And even if they don’t want them, they still have them. It’s expected. You know that as well as me.” Time was running out, and as I spoke, I stepped toward the doors of the bus. I had two choices; get on the damn bus, or ask the driver to grab my bag, and I could skulk away to my car.
“Fine, so don’t go expecting true love, but you can still get laid.”
“Yet another thing I could do without going on this trip,” I snapped.
“Give it a shot. What could it hurt? You’re already there now. Just get on the bus and try to be open minded.” He sighed. “Come on, Ty, do it.”
Fuck,” I growled. “I literally hate you right now.” I hung up on my brother, and shoved my phone in my pocket. I strode to the doors of the bus, and stepped up the steep stairs.
The driver smiled at me. “Welcome aboard,” he said cheerfully. He was an attractive alpha; honey blond hair and warm brown eyes.
“Thanks.” I hung onto the metal pole in the aisle, my palms sweaty against the cool aluminum.
“Thought maybe you were having second thoughts about joining us.”
I didn’t respond. I just shrugged and faced the row of seats in front of me. Christmas music came from the speakers, and there was silver and gold tinsel draped above the windows, dotted with small red bows. The omegas and alphas were still separated into groups, I assumed that would eventually change as everyone loosened up. The pretty female omega who’d smiled at me earlier met my gaze with a wink. Feeling self-conscious, I made my way toward her seat because she seemed so amiable. She patted the seat next to her as I approached, and I sat beside her with a feeling of relief. I was thankful to have someone to sit with. Climbing on the big vehicle brought back the anxiety of riding the school bus in the mornings as a kid, dreading no one would want me to sit with them.
The girl I’d sat next to held out her hand. “I’m Bree Fitzgerald.”
“Tyler Sly.” We shook, and I settled into the plush brown leather upholstery. At least this was a nice bus. There was plenty of leg room, and I’d even noticed it had a bathroom on board. I met the drivers gaze in the rear view mirror, and looked quickly away. He was cute, but I wasn’t ready to start flirting with anyone.
Bree shifted to face me. “Are you as nervous as me?”
“I hate this kind of thing.”
“God, me too.”
“So why are we here?” I laughed gruffly.
She sighed. “I guess everyone wants to find love, right?”
I grimaced. “What are the odds of that happening in seven days?”
“Yeah, I know. But sitting at home wouldn’t improve my odds.” She smiled again. “So here I am.”
I smiled politely. A love connection was most likely not waiting for me on this trip. But I wasn’t about to dump my sad history of reproductive issues on her the second we met. She didn’t need to know that I had no trouble attracting alphas; it was keeping them around long term that was the challenge. Maybe if we got to know each other better, I’d share a little about my fertility struggles with her. However, for now we were merely seat companions, and whether I could have kids or not wasn’t her problem.
As the driver revved the sputtering engine, I tensed, feeling a sense of panic. If I jumped up right this second, I could still get off the bus. Instead I sat where I was, my stomach in knots and my mouth dry. Maybe I stayed in my seat because a part of me knew Steve was right; I did need to try and get out and meet people. I’d probably never find an alpha to settle down with, but I could still have some fun occasionally. I needed to tap into the carefree side of myself that had been missing for years. I hadn’t always been so antisocial, but did I even remember how to just relax and have fun?
Glancing around at my fellow travelers, I attempted to stamp down my uneasiness. I’d do my best to be open to whatever possibilities came my way, and if nobody interesting was along for the ride, I’d simply enjoy lots of good wine.

See you next week!
S.C.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Our Thanks



We are so thankful for so many things, this year in particular. Happy, happy Thanksgiving to everyone who is celebrating the holiday, and a day of blessings to be thankful for to our friends who aren't. 
Gratitude to all of you today and every day. Thank you!


Find Falcon Sound Company on Facebook or at www.falconsoundcompany.com

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Re-release of Memories Follow By S.C. Wynne


Good morning!

I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving. I literally can't believe it's almost Christmas! Why does time fly so quickly? I remember time going much slower when I was just a kid. Although, I must say, I do love the holidays. I love the colder weather and rain. I really, really hope we get some rain this winter. I live in California, and we need it.

I re-released Memories Follow last week. This is the story I wrote for Felice Steven's Kindle World launch. I borrowed her characters Rafe and Alex from One Step Further for my story. I loved writing in her world. It was a wonderful experience.

I thought I'd let you have a taste of the story. The book price will go up Monday November 19th, so if you're interested, grab it while it's on sale.

Blurb:

Scottie Kinland works as the Kennel Manager for the Paws For Care veterinary clinic. Spending his days with animals is the only way he can feel safe. He has first-hand knowledge of how cold and calculating humans can be. How could he ever forget? He wears the scars on his face and his heart.Lance Franklin likes to play the field. Still reeling from a lying cheating fiancĂ©e, he’s plowing through men like aspirin; only the pain of betrayal still stings. When he takes his mom’s dog in to the Paws For Care clinic, he’s immediately drawn to the quiet loner Scottie. But Scottie wants nothing to do with Lance.Lance persists and he manages to forge a fragile relationship with Scottie. But just as both men begin to believe perhaps fate has something beautiful in store for them; the past collides with their future in a shocking way.

Excerpt:


I’d been nervous enough about taking over the front desk for Patty without that good-looking guy coming in and getting me all rattled. Jesus, I was sweating like a pig, and he kept staring at me which only made me fumble around even more.
When the phone rang I pounced on it, grateful for anything that would distract me from the guy holding the little Chihuahua mix. I focused on booking appointments and greeting patients until Dr. Hazelton buzzed me to let me know he was ready for the next patient.
I called the next person’s name and led them to the office door. When I opened it, Dr. Hazelton was standing near the examination table. “Thank you, Scottie.” His voice was warm. I would always be grateful to him for taking a chance on hiring me to manage his kennel.
“No problem.” I dropped my gaze and stood aside for the customer to pass.
“Patty has you on the front desk again?”
I grimaced. “Yeah.”
“I’m sure you’ll do fine.”
I grunted and closed the door and returned to my seat at the front counter. When I glanced up, that dark-haired guy was watching me again. I touched my scar self-consciously, wondering if that was why he couldn’t stop looking at me. I felt ugly and conspicuous when I met his gaze again because he was really good-looking. I’d noticed that the second he walked into the clinic. He had a nice body and glossy chestnut hair that brushed his collar. His eyes were a honey brown that had made my pulse speed up whenever he held my gaze.
It had been a long time since a guy had made me feel interested sexually. I’d almost forgotten what it felt like to have my cock warm and hard between my legs. But something about that guy got to me. I had little doubt he was only staring at me because I was acting so odd. I’d barely been able to get a word out when I’d signed him in. I was well aware I’d been less than charming to him. It hadn’t been intentional. My antisocial behavior rarely was. But he’d still been nice and polite to me. It had been kind of sweet the way he’d tried to reassure me I was handling the front desk well. We both had to know he was full of shit.
The clinic was busy today, and I couldn’t wait for my hour on the desk to be over. Patty had said it would be good for me to run the front while she was gone. She was always trying to help me get out of my shell. I didn’t have the heart to tell her it wasn’t just that I was shy. I had a real reason for not trusting mankind. It was best I stuck to my dogs. They loved me and I loved them. We understood one another in a way humans rarely could.
My heart began to bang in my chest when the dark-haired guy stood and approached me. “Can I help you?” I was annoyed when my voice wobbled.
He twisted his lips. “I can see you guys are super busy today. Do you think maybe I should rebook and come back another time?”
I looked down at the big appointment book. “You’re next.”
He glanced at the clock over my head. “It’s just that I have to get to work by five thirty and it’s four forty-five now.”
“Well, it’s your choice.”
He sighed. “I guess I’d better. Pinky’s only here for a checkup. It’s not like she has a disease or anything.”
I looked at the dog, noting her bright eyes and wet nose. “She looks healthy to me.” He smiled and my stomach did a somersault at his sexy dimples. “Not that I’m a doctor.”
He put his hand on the appointment book. “Is it okay if I make a different appointment, then?”
His fingers were tanned and long. I couldn’t help but wonder what they’d feel like on my skin. I shook myself, embarrassed at my stupid reaction to him. Jesus, I was acting like I’d never met a nice-looking guy before. “Do what you want.” My tone was way snippier than I intended.
He pulled his hand away and gave a short laugh. “Okay. Can you book me another appointment for this week, maybe earlier in the day so I can get to work on time?”
“Sure.” I searched the register and found a few openings. “Two o’clock Thursday?”
“Sounds good.” He smiled at me again.
“What’s your name?” I felt my face warm. “Never mind. I’ll just put your mom’s name again.”
“Either. My name’s Lance by the way.” He held out his hand.
My heart banged against my ribs as I stared at his hand. I wanted to touch him. I wanted to feel his smooth flesh against mine so much it was ridiculous. But I was afraid my hand would be sweaty. In fact I knew my hand would be sweaty since I felt like I was having a panic attack.
He surprised me when he leaned closer and took my hand. A spark traveled up my arm straight to my chest. He grinned. “You’re cute.”
I just stared at him, embarrassed that my crotch was bulging and grateful for the counter that hid that fact.
He still held my hand, and he swept his thumb over my tingling skin. “Will you be here next time I come in?”
I shook my head. “God, I hope not.”
He frowned. “That’s not very flattering.”
Heat filled my cheeks yet again. “I mean I don’t like working the front desk.”
“Ahhh.” A flirty gleam entered his brown eyes. “That’s okay, then.”
I pulled my hand from his and stammered, “You’re all set. Two o’clock on Thursday.”
“Trying to get rid of me?” His full lips curved in a smile.
“No.” I was certain he was aware of how much he affected me, and it was getting painful trying to act normal. Normal-ish.
“I’m just teasing.” He twisted his lips. “So I’m all set for Thursday at two?”
 “Yes. I guess we’ll see you then,” I said quietly. “I mean… I probably won’t because I’m usually out back.” I swallowed. “Anyway…” God, had I always been this lame around other guys?
He gave me another one of his sexy grins. “Maybe Thursday I’ll come out back and say hi.”
I opened my mouth to speak just as there was a loud growl and one of the dogs behind him lunged for another smaller dog. The owner of the bigger dog was taken completely off guard. She was a thin, frail-looking woman who didn’t have a prayer of holding the huge Rottweiler back from the smaller yellow Lab. Without thinking, I raced around the counter and got between the two dogs.
The bigger dog had the lab by the throat, but he hadn’t really latched on very well. With my heart pounding, I grabbed his jaws and tried to pull them open. “No! Let go.” My voice broke as anger got the best of me. “Let go, now.” The lab yelped, sounding panicked and scared, and the Rottweiler pushed against me, trying to get a better grip on the Lab. I elbowed his muscled chest and strained to open his mouth. “Stop,” I yelled.
Miraculously the Rottweiler suddenly obeyed and sat back on his haunches still growling but eying me warily. I breathed hard as I wedged between them completely, shielding the Lab with my body. “You’re okay, boy.” I stroked his head, and he whined and pushed his face into my chest.
I was surprised and relieved to discover Lance had moved to help restrain the bigger dog. His hand was latched on to the dog’s collar, keeping Pinky safely tucked on his other side. “I’ve got him.” His jaw was tight as he held the huge animal.
I spoke to the owner of the Lab. “Follow me. Let’s get him somewhere safe so he can calm down.”
The examining room door was flung open and Dr. Hazelton raced into the room. “What’s going on?”
Still panting after my tussle with the dogs, I tried to get the words out. “Rottweiler attacked the Lab. I broke it up.”
His eyes dropped to the Lab. “Is he hurt?”
I shook my head. “Don’t think so. There’s no blood.”
“Thank goodness for that.” He stood back as I led the Lab into one of the examination rooms. He followed and stroked the Lab’s head. “You’re a good boy.”
I met Dr. Hazelton’s gaze. “Is it okay if he stays in here until his turn? He’s shaking.”
“Of course. I’ll see him next so we can get him home ASAP.” The doctor narrowed his gaze and then said, “You need to be careful getting between two dogs in a fight.”
“I had to do something.”
His brown gaze was admiring. “I know. I just don’t want you getting hurt. You did a good job, Scottie.”
“Thanks.” I flushed at the praise.
He patted my shoulder. “That was enough excitement for one day.”
“Yeah.”
He left me and returned to his other patient, and I lifted the dog onto the examination table. The poor Lab was still trembling and uneasy.
“Thank you so much,” the owner of the Lab said. She was an older woman with white hair and steely blue eyes. “I thought Robbie was toast. I didn’t know what to do.”
“That woman has no business with a big dog like that,” I muttered, stroking the soft fur of the Lab and feeling his neck for any broken skin.
“You were very brave,” the Lab’s owner said softly. “I don’t know how to thank you.”
I grimaced. “I didn’t do anything anyone else wouldn’t do.”
She laughed gruffly. “You were the only one who jumped between them.” She frowned. “I was too frozen with terror.”
“Me too.”
When Lance spoke behind me, I twitched uneasily and faced him. “I didn’t know you were here.”
“I wanted to see if the dog was okay.”
My pulse spiked as I met his pretty brown eyes. “Thanks for your help.”
“Of course. But I didn’t do much.”
“You did more than you know.” The skinny owner of the Rottweiler had been like a paper doll on the end of the leash. I’d felt much better once Lance had stepped in.
I checked over the Lab thoroughly, making sure he wasn’t hurt. The dog was nervous, but he seemed unharmed. I patted his fluffy head. “Poor thing. You were just sitting there minding your own business, weren’t you, boy?” The dog licked my face and I chuckled. “Awww. I like you too.”
Patty opened the door of the room and peeked in. “Everything okay?” She bit her lip. “I mean other than the dog fight in the waiting room.”
“Sorry.” I held my hands stiffly at my sides. I was embarrassed that a dog fight had broken out on my watch.
She frowned. “I’m not blaming you, silly. You were the hero in the room.”
Scowling, I said, “No. Not even close.”
“You’re my hero.” Lance had a big grin on his face.
My heart fluttered and I shoved away those sappy feelings. The guy was way out of my league. I was stupid for even talking to him. I met Patty’s gaze. “Can I get off the desk now?”
She nodded with a sigh. “Yes. Run away back to your animal pals.”
I started to leave, and Lance grabbed my arm. “Hey, mind if I come out back?”
“What?” I frowned. “Why?”
He twisted his lips. “Um…” He brightened as if an idea had come to him. “Well, if anything ever happens to Pinky and she has to spend the night here, I want to know what the facilities are like.”
I squinted at him. “Are you just making that up?”
Patty laughed and addressed the Lab’s owner. “Mrs. Brown, I need you to sign a few papers about the incident with that other dog. Can you follow me?” She guided the other woman out of the room with a little smile on her face.
Lance waited until they were gone, and then he asked, “Is it against the rules to give a customer a tour of the facilities?”
“No. But I thought you had to hurry off for work?”
Smiling coyly, Lance said, “I have some time.”
I didn’t like how nervous he made me. I preferred to be left alone in my little bubble. I felt safer that way. I didn’t want to know him better. I didn’t want to know anyone better.
“M… maybe another time.” I took a step back from him.
His mouth turned down at the corners, but he pressed closer to me. I caught a whiff of his spicy cologne and my body responded again, my crotch warming. His gaze fell to my mouth and he licked his lips. He was so close I was self-conscious about my scar. I put my hand over my jaw and swallowed uneasily.
“Do I make you nervous, Scottie?” His voice was husky.
I wasn’t the type of person who picked up guys or got picked up while out shopping or running errands. I knew a lot of people thought nothing of meeting people that way, but that wasn’t my style. And I definitely didn’t pick up guys at my work. Not to mention how mystified I was that anyone like him would be bothering with a guy like me. Even before I’d turned into an antisocial weirdo, Lance probably would have been out of my league. It was obvious the guy had money. His clothing was all designer labels, while I was wearing the same ratty jeans I’d owned for years. Was he just messing with me? The idea of that made me pissed. I hated fake people who toyed with others’ emotions. I hated them with a passion.
Apparently unaware of my inner turmoil, Lance winked and said, “Come on, take me out back.”
I sucked in a big breath and said, “No.”
He frowned. “Why not?”
“You don’t really want a tour.”
He grinned. “Sure I do.”
I kept my hand over my scar, feeling inadequate and grumpy. “I’m working.”
“Aren’t you ever spontaneous?”
“No.” Not anymore.
He pouted his lips. “You’re no fun.”
“I’m not here to have fun. I’m here to work.”
He leaned closer. “All work and no play makes Scottie a dull boy.”
That annoyed me even more. Did the guy have no boundaries? I needed this job. It didn’t matter how good-looking he was, making out with customers in the back would get me fired. I wasn’t about to fuck things up at work because this guy got his jollies flirting with the help. “What exactly do you think is gonna happen here?”
He laughed. “I don’t know. Maybe we can go out back and see how good of a kisser you are? Or maybe I can get your number and we can have a little casual fun one night.”
“Oh really?”
“Sure.” He frowned. “Did I read the signals wrong? Are you straight?”
“No.” I was mortified I’d apparently been giving off signals of some kind. “But that’s not the point.”
“What is the point, then?”
I felt like my face was on fire. “We just met.”
“Even better.”
“Seriously?”
“Sure. Why not? You’re cute.”
Irritation flushed up my neck. The more he talked, the more I realized what a shallow jerk he was. Did guys usually just roll over and stick their asses in the air for this routine? As anger rolled through me, I turned and lifted the Lab to the ground. His owner would be back in a minute, but I didn’t want him falling off the table when I left the room.
“So what do ya say? I can see you’re kind of shy. Can I at least get your number?” Lance’s voice was velvety and coaxing.
I faced him and I could feel the veins bulging in my neck as I spoke. “No way.”
He looked completely floored. His eyes widened and he laughed. “Why not?” He touched my arm softly. “I can tell you’re attracted to me.”
I pulled my arm away and glared at him. “I don’t know what kind of stupid game you’re playing. But I’m not interested.” I turned around and left the examination room, shaking with anger.



Hope you enjoyed that snippet! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving if you celebrate the holiday, and stay safe! :)

S.C.