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All “A’s” When “Grading the Curve”

Today, Nicola Cameron stops by the Spicy Butterfly Garden to introduce us to her latest Evernight Publishing release, Grading the Curve.  I have some familiarity with the characters because Nicola used a short blurb from this story during Evernight’s first Sexy Snippets Facebook party a few months back. It was a hot and sexy blurb back then that Nicola has turned into a hot and sexy novel!  Enjoy Grading the Curve!

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BLURB:

Ellen Ragsdale is a scholarship student who just wants to get her college degree and start her life. Alexander Cord is a widowed English professor who hides his loneliness behind a sardonic facade. School rules have kept them at arm’s length all year long. But on the last night of Ellen’s college career, the two of them risk everything to find out if their mutual attraction is more than a classroom crush.

EXCERPT:

“Did you know that you always blush when you talk to me?” he said quietly. “It’s charming. You look like a medieval maiden receiving her first suitor.”

It felt like someone had painted fire across her skin. She ducked her head, staring dumbly at the hallway’s scarred paint. He couldn’t know. Nobody knew that about her. It wasn’t that obvious.

Was it?

“Interesting.” She could hear the smile in his voice. “I meant it as a compliment, but perhaps I struck closer to the truth than I’d intended.” He moved closer, and she could feel the heat from his whole body now, warming her like an invisible caress. “Are you?”

She swallowed hard. He couldn’t be asking what she thought he was asking. “A-am I—”

“A maiden. A virgin. I believe a popular term is ‘unicorn bait.’” His voice dropped, turning into a soft rumble. “I have to admit, I’m puzzled as to how someone as lovely and intelligent as you could still be virginal.”

Her entire face now felt like it was on fire. She’d gone on the occasional date, usually doubling with Keisha or Dianne, but once the guys found out what her schedule was like they didn’t bother calling again. “Too busy, I guess. Working, studying.”

To her surprise, cool fingers slid under her chin, gently turning her face up. “What a shame,” Cord said, his voice low and soft. “But if it’s of any consolation, men your age do tend to be rather slapdash and impatient when it comes to women. I assure you, you haven’t missed out on much by skipping the undergraduate sexual circus.” The façade of the academic disappeared. Underneath was a man she didn’t know, warm and standing so close to her. “That being said, I wonder … would you be willing to consider me?”

“What—” Her throat clicked, it was so dry. She swallowed and tried again. “What are you saying?”

He tilted his head to the side. “I want to take you to bed, Miss Ragsdale. I want to kiss that pink mouth of yours, undress you ever so slowly, play with those gorgeous breasts and suck your nipples before I caress every inch of your body. I want to bury my tongue between your legs and lap at your clit, and when you’re dripping wet I want to bury my cock in you. I want to see that sweet mouth of yours open and scream my name as I make you come over and over again.” Now she could smell his cologne,
something masculine, woody, and underneath that, the musk of clean male. “Come home with me tonight, Miss Ragsdale. Let me make love to you. I promise you, you won’t regret it.”

BUY LINKS:

 DON’T MISS THE Grading the Curve BOOK TRAILER:

http://youtu.be/C10kXkffe6w

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ABOUT NICOLA CAMERON: 

Nicola Cameron is an expatriate Chicagoan who has lived in England, Canada, Holland, and Sweden, and keeps a confusing amalgamation of languages in her head as a result. Currently located in the clavicle of Texas, she has finally mastered the proper use of “y’all,” much to her Chicago family’s dismay.

Despite a healthy interest in sex since puberty, it wasn’t until 2012 that Nicola decided to try writing about it. As it turned out, the skills she picked up during her SF writing career transferred rather nicely to erotic romance. When not writing, she wrangles cats, smooches her husband, makes dolls of dubious and questionable identity, and thanks almighty Cthulhu that she doesn’t have to work for a major telecommunications company any more (because there’s BDSM, and then there’s just plain torture…).

 

Lea Bronsen’s New Release – My Biggest Fan

Today at the Spicy Butterfly Garden I have the great pleasure of hosting Lea Bronsen and her new Evernight Publishing Romance on the Go, My Biggest Fan.  Since most of us have a thing for bad boys, myself included, I knew I had to pick up Lea’s book.  Shawn is everything us females seek in a bad boy.  He’s in a rock band, for crying out loud!  But one of the things about bad boys is when they fall, they usually fall pretty hard and I think that’s the case because they never expect the fall.  I thoroughly enjoyed My Biggest Fan.  It was a quick and fun read with just enough sexy to keep you warm at night.  I’m sure you all will feel the same.  🙂

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BLURB:

Shawn Torien is a handsome, arrogant bassist with the groove rock band Bloodless. At thirty four, he’s seen everything, been everywhere, and all is handed to him on a silver plate—groupies included. His rock star attitude is questioned when the record company’s young webmistress Samantha joins the band to cover their life on the road.

Since she has crushed on Shawn for years, he takes great pleasure in teasing her and pushing her away… until he learns about the woman beneath the surface.

BUY LINKS:

Evernight: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/my-biggest-fan-by-lea-bronsen/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/My-Biggest-Fan-Romance-ebook/dp/B00EODVUXK/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1377067309&sr=8-7&keywords=my+biggest+fan#_

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Biggest-Fan-Romance-ebook/dp/B00EODVUXK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1377300070&sr=8-2&keywords=MY+biggest+fan

All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-mybiggestfan-1269733-149.html

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/my-biggest-fan-mf

AUTHOR BIO:

Lea lives in Europe with her husband and three children. She’s a fan of intense reads, the same way she loves intense sports, music, and rides. She has written adventure, mystery, and action-packed stories from an early age. In addition to the erotic romance short story “My Biggest Fan”, she recently published the crime drama novel “Wild Hearted” and has the thriller sequel “Carnivora”, the erotica novella “Risky Fever”, and a mystery/romance collaboration novel coming soon.

MEET LEA:

http://www.leabronsen.com

http://www.facebook.com/LeaBronsen

https://twitter.com/LeaBronsen

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6966248.Lea_Bronsen

http://www.amazon.com/author/leabronsen

Email: leabronsen@yahoo.com

 

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EXCERPT:

The backstage room is filling with people. Band members, roadies, management, and special guests such as family, media, and a few pre-selected fans. The place buzzes with chatting and chuckling, and I stop in the door to assess. Don’t see any eye-catching hotness yet.

Sweat runs from my head, along my back, and down my abs. My soaked shirt glues to my skin, and I stink of hour-long transpiration. I need a shower, but there’s so much else I want to do first: get a drink, a smoke, and some pussy before the tour bus leaves. None of these are allowed on board. I’m electrical, high. I need to move, and my whole body thirsts to get higher.

Next to a merchandise booth in a corner stands a table with plates of sandwiches and cut fruit, a selection of mineral water bottles, and alcoholic drinks.

“Shawn! Shawn!” Strangers rush me with expectant smiles, probably wanting me to sign CD covers or something.

But I’ve made up my mind. Ignoring them, I stride to the table, grab a can of cold beer and down it in one take. The icy beverage rushes through my throat and refreshes me. The sweaty hairs on my arms rise as if chilly air blew on them. I open another, gulp down the beer, and grab a third.

“Hey, Shawn,” a female says behind me.

I hate being interrupted, but I’ve heard that voice before. Beer in hand, I spin around.

Oh, Samantha from the record company. I don’t know if that pleases or annoys me. She’s cute, though, with long brown tendrils at shoulder-length, and hazel eyes glowing with warm intelligence.

The alcohol makes me a little tipsy; I can’t resist the want to tease her. I give her the can with a grin and proceed to take off my soaked shirt, as if it’s the most natural thing. Damp body heat and the sharp smell of sweat emanate as I lift my arms in the air, struggling to remove the wet fabric, groaning.

Once done, I drop it to the floor and cross my arms, making my well-trained muscles protrude, and scrutinize her reaction. Offering a little male sexiness has worked on most females before.

Flabbergasted is the best word to describe her face. I flash my teeth as her gaze runs over my torso. She can’t possibly be aware of her nostrils’ tiny movements, revealing her inhalation of my scent.

I let a moment pass, then ask, pointing at the can in her hands, “You gonna have that beer?”

“Oh.” She straightens with a deep breath, regains composure, looks at the brand logo on the can, and shakes her head. “No, I don’t drink alcohol at work.”

I like her voice. It’s soft, comforting, reminds me of my mother’s. But when she hands me my drink, the wolf in me wants to play. I cover her hand and tug while taking a step closer, pulling her toward me. She wears a discreet perfume, the scent of prairie flowers, I think. Her cheeks blush as she lifts her chin to meet my eyes, and her pupils grow feverish. She’s holding her breath. With my other hand, I grab her round, firm butt and press her stomach against mine.

All sounds around us vanish; the talking, the laughter. I focus on the girl in my arms. She’s not really my type, but knowing her infatuation, she’ll be an easy fuck. That’s all I need before getting on the bus. Tomorrow, it’ll be someone else.

I glance at the KISS patches on her chest. Gene Simmons once declared we’re all in this business for sex, and whoever says he does it for the music is lying. Besides, the girls beg to be screwed senseless by celebrities, so they can brag to their friends. Shawn in Bloodless slept with me! Squee!

Maybe she thinks I’m going to kiss her, but I’m not. Call me crazy, but there’s a little romantic in me saving that for a special girlfriend—if such a thing is in the cards for a guy like me. Instead, I move my hands to her denim jacket and start unbuttoning it from the top.

“You seem to need a little help with that,” I joke.

Damn, we’re so close, and her feminine heat makes my blood boil. I picture bringing her to a dark corner behind the stage curtain and having her hands on my cock. I suggestively push my hardness against her warm thighs.

She frowns and takes a step back.

No? What is it? My beer breath? I withdraw as well. Too fucking bad.

Eyes shimmering, she opens her mouth, but I turn and grab a new can. I mean, who the hell do you think you are to turn me down like that?

I gulp the whole drink, release a solid burp, and take what must be the fifth can before leaving.

Carlene Love Flores Is “The Boss”

It is with great pleasure and great honor that I get to interview Carlene Love Flores for the Spicy Butterfly Garden.  Carlene has a new Evernight Publishing Romance on the Go release, The Boss, and it is fabulous.  I can say that because I read it.  It has romance.  It has sweet and tender love.  It has steamy and spicy sex.  And it has a rock star turned military as a hero, who sweeps in on his best friend’s younger sister.  And Carlene wrote it beautifully.

Weclome Carlene.  Can you give us the title and genre of your book and a quick 50 word or less tagline. 

This is a contemporary, May-December, Romance on the Go (short story) with Evernight and it’s called The Boss.

Nick declares he’s leaving his singing career to enlist in the army. And the sexy yet stubborn man insists on a never before private meeting in Cherie’s hotel room before he heads out. When Cherie discovers he’s acting on promises made to her brother who died in combat, she can’t stand letting Nick go without showing him one last night of extraordinary pleasure.

 

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 Do you have an interesting and fun fact about your book and/or its characters.  I always find there is something in every story that makes it unique.

Interesting: I wrote The Boss in about two weeks in response to an anthology call, something I’d never done before.  The story was rejected for that call but I was asked to re-submit it to the Romance on the Go line. I did so happily and the rest is history!  – I’m glad you resubmitted it.  It is a beautiful and entertaining story.  Sometimes a door closing in one situation is a door opening in another.  Seems the rejection to the anthology still worked out to your benefit.  Congratulations!

Funny: My critique partner can’t stand that I use the endearment “Sweet One” in the story so I of course drive her crazy now, calling her that whenever I get the chance! – I enjoyed the “sweet one” endearment.  It’s not always easy to find a cute nickname that fits the characters.  Once you get to know Cherie and Nick, sweet one seems to work perfectly.

As an author myself, I find one of the hardest parts to completing a story is coming up with a title that captures the true essence of the story.  How do you come up with the title to your stories?

Knock on wood, so far I’ve been very lucky to have had editors who like the titles I come up with. Usually the title will come to me when I’m thinking about one of the main characters and what they symbolize to me. That’s how I ended up with Sidewalk Flower (because I see Trista as this beautiful person who grew up through the hard walk of life) The Boss was the same thing.  Here we have Nick who literally is Cherie’s boss but it also symbolizes him taking his fate into his own hands when he makes the decision to give up music and become a soldier.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?

Dianna Love once suggested framing your short story around two people who have history but left off with unfinished business the last time they met. I used to be so intimidated to write a short story because I had no idea how I was going to introduce two people and then tell their story with a limited amount of words.  Giving them a history that you can briefly allude to solves that problem so that you can get right into the meat of their conflict/story and not leave the reader feeling like they’ve missed something.

That is great advice, Carlene!  Writing a short story is not easy to do because you do have to develop the characters and plot in much fewer words.  I think short stories are a rare talent.  Not everyone can do it with success.  I’d say Dianna Love’s advice definitely benefitted you because “The Boss” is wonderful.

What has been your most rewarding experience since becoming a published author?

Earlier this year, the hero from my first book, Sidewalk Flower, was voted by my publisher’s readers as their favorite book boyfriend.  My “trophy” was a coffee mug that reads “Lucky Mason, Evernight’s Favorite Book Boyfriend 2013.” It may as well be an Oscar and a Grammy all rolled into one. To have people fall in love like that with one of my characters is the ultimate reward. Now whenever I hold giveaways for my readers, I always pull the winning name out of my “Lucky” cup.

How exciting!  I’m going to have to add that book to my TBR pile!  I really enjoyed your writing style in the “The Boss” so I look forward to your other books.

What book (or books) are you reading now? 

I just finished Love, Technically by Lynne Silver. The tagline on the front reads “He’s geeky and he knows it.” I wasn’t sure how Lynne was going to make it a sexy read but she did and I am now in love with the hero, Sark.  Definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a smart yet sexy read.

I’m always looking for new book suggestions and new authors.  I will check it out.

Favorites of all Time:

Favorite Number?  11:16 (This is my birthdate and I randomly see it nearly every day.)

Favorite Food? San Diego rolled tacos, nobody does them better than my hometown.

Favorite Song? “Why I’m Feeling Blue” unreleased as of yet by Casey James.

Favorite Movie? “Grease” – Me too!  Me too!  One of the best movies… EVER!

Favorite place on Earth? A concert. – That is an awesome answer.  My husband and I are huge music people.  We enjoy all genres of music, but nothing is better than watching and listening to music live!

Favorite memory? When my son was born, the sheet was pulled up so I couldn’t see him but the look on his daddy’s face said it all. – Children change us forever.  There is something about being a mommy that cannot be explained but is certainly understood amongst us!  🙂

Before you go, can you please provide us with a tantalizing snippet from your book?  

Absolutely! And before I go, thank you so much for inviting me here today. It means a lot. Here’s a bit from The Boss. 🙂

Lock by thick, shiny, cocoa brown lock, Cherie snipped large chunks of his hair until it was short enough that it wouldn’t snag in the clippers. She set the cut sections on the counter and stretched one out, pulling until the wave was straight. “Hey Boss, you’ve got about seven inches here. You should see about donating it.”

“That’s a good idea, sweet one, but it’s not long enough,” he said, not looking her way, she assumed because he was avoiding the mirror behind her. He didn’t look bad. Just different.

Cherie tried not to stare at his piercing eyes or his full lips, but she couldn’t help it. They were fascinating. When she forced her eyes away, they just betrayed her and latched on to his neck. It was thick and smooth except for the vein running up the side. A chill chattered her teeth and cooled her tongue as she gazed at how beautiful, thick, and smooth he was, even without all the hair. A sly little devil of curiosity made her wonder if he was that beautiful everywhere else. But of course he was. He had to be. Women lost their minds over him for a reason, didn’t they?

“You’ve looked into donating it already, haven’t you?” she asked, admiration and surprise growing in her heart.

He just nodded and gave her a half smile, like he’d rather not talk about it. But he didn’t look very happy. Man, she’d done a job on his poor hair. He was gonna be pissed if he saw this middle stage of the makeover. She turned on the unfamiliar clippers, making them hum and buzz in her clammy hand, sad to see his hair gone but anxious at how much hotter and dangerous-looking he’d already become.

Standing meagerly at his side, suddenly aware her heart was pounding, Cherie made herself hold the back of his head firmly in her hand. Warm puffs of his breath so close teased through her thin top, and she hoped he didn’t see what she felt. Her nipples hardened and ached to be his. She expected to breathe in a whiff of his usual freshly showered and soapy scent, but a wash of sweat and salt left her even more intrigued. She had to focus. With her free hand, she shaved a strip and then another until he looked like the typical new recruit.

By the time she was done, it was too much. She handed him the mirror while she looked away.

“Wow,” he said low and cool.

“I’m sorry.”

“No, don’t be. You did a good job. I like it.”

Her shoulders began to shake.

“Hey, really, you did good.”

Cherie sat down on the edge of the tub, still gripping the clippers that had warmed her hands, ignoring the tiny dark hairs dusting the floor, her fingers, their clothes.

“I didn’t realize how much you’d remind me of him like this.”

They stared into the mirror together for a few seconds while Nick ran his hands over his new ‘do. Well, she’d done the requested deed. His silence must mean he was politely waiting for her to get a clue and leave him be so he could clean up and be on his way. This was apparently his last night of freedom for a while. Who was she to delay the company he probably had waiting up in his suite?

“Well, I guess that’s it. Take care of yourself, Nick. Keep in touch.”

“Do you really think I’m ready to let you go yet?” he asked her.

“Um, yes, I did.”

“Well, you are wrong, sweet one.”

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 Buy Links:

Evernight

Amazon

ARe

Bookstrand

Where to Find Carlene:

http://carlenelove.com/

http://www.evernightpublishing.com/carlene-love-flores/

https://www.facebook.com/carlene.l.flores

https://twitter.com/cloveflores

http://waterworldmermaids.com/