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Monday, December 30, 2013

A Naughty New Year with Megan Hart and Giveaway

A Naughty New Year - Megan Hart

I was born and then I lived awhile. Then I did some stuff and other things. Now, I mostly write books. Some of them use a lot of bad words, but most of the other words are okay.

I can’t live without music, the internet, the ocean or Coke Zero. I can’t stand the feeling of corduroy or velvet, and modern art leaves me cold. I write a little bit of everything from horror to romance, and I don’t answer to the name “Meg.”

Places to find Megan:

Naked on New Year’s

Hello, everyone! The scene below takes place in my novel, Naked, a semi-sequel to Tempted. Olivia’s been invited to an ex-lover’s New Year’s Eve party, and while it seemed like a good idea at the time, she quickly discovers she’s not quite as ready for the night as she’d thought. Hope you like it!

***

The rule of the gifts was that they had to be small. Handmade, or inexpensive. Nothing too fancy, and everyone was to bring an extra to pass out in a grab bag exchange. I got a great new pair of soft driving gloves, a more-than-fair exchange for the gas station gift card I’d tucked into the basket of goodies to be passed around. There were personal gifts, too, obviously, and I made out well there, too, but better for me was watching the faces of Teddy and Patrick as they opened the gift I’d brought for them both.

“Liv, this is…amazing.” Teddy stroked the sleek mahogany frame. “Beautiful. Really.”

“When did you take this?” Patrick asked softly.

“Over the summer.” We’d gone to a local park to have a picnic dinner and listen to a band play on the riverfront. I’d captured the two of them sitting with the river behind them, their gazes locked and mouths almost touching. Getting ready to kiss.

They hadn’t noticed me in that moment and behind the shield of my camera I’d convinced myself I hadn’t felt like a third wheel. Now I couldn’t help remembering that I had. Beside me, Sean shifted until his thigh nudged mine again. Behind me, I felt the warmth of his arm snake along the back of the couch. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

Alex was watching me.

I forced myself to look at Patrick. “I hope you like it.”

“Love it,” he said. “Look, Teddy, it will go right there.”

As they talked about the perfect place to hang the picture, Sean’s fingertip whispered along the back of my neck. I shivered. Sean leaned close to whisper in my ear.

“Cold?”

I turned, just a little, away. “A little.”

“Maybe you need a sweater or something.”

As other gifts were opened, the room rang with laughter. Patrick certainly wasn’t looking at us. In the past there had been many times when everything around me disappeared but for the sound of Patrick’s voice, or the sight of his face. Almost the same voice murmured next to me, now. Almost the same eyes looked at me.

There was still a moment when it could have gone a different way. If Sean hadn’t shifted again to press his thigh to mine in a move more blatantly sexual than Patrick had ever made on me, or if I’d come with a date the way I’d planned…or if it hadn’t been New Year’s Eve and I hadn’t still been in love with the one man I would never have.

“Actually, I’m going to grab something to drink. I’ll be right back.”

“Want me to come with you?” Sean smiled an easy, quirking smile that would’ve charmed me senseless if it hadn’t been almost identical to his brother’s.

“No. I’ll be right back.” My hard-edged smile must’ve put him off, finally, because I escaped to the kitchen without a tag-along.

I didn’t want a drink, really. I needed some fresh air to clear my head. I was absolutely not going to give in the glums, not tonight, not ever. Not again. I was fine.

I was fine until I shrugged into my coat and found the small, wrapped package in my pocket. I’d meant to give it to Patrick some time when we were alone, not in front of the group. I’d bought him a button featuring the stabbity knife from his favorite cartoon, Kuwaii Not. He’d gotten me hooked on the quirky, sick-sense-of-humor artwork, and it was one thing we still shared that he didn’t with anyone else. I’d wrapped it in non-denominational paper and scribbled his name across it. I’d wanted to make sure, so fucking sure, he knew how casual and careless a present it had been. An afterthought. Not important.

But feeling it there, the button’s round edge through the cheap paper, I knew I was the only one who’d have ever thought it was important, or meaningful.

By the time I got out the back door and down the porch steps, I was crying. My vision blurred. Tears froze on my cheeks. They burned, and I stumbled. I drew in a hitching, labored breath that seared my lungs. I made it all the way down the path and past the detached garage before I burst into raw, hateful sobs. I stopped, a hand on the bare wood, to swipe at my eyes.

“Fuck!” I cried when I saw I was not alone. “Where’d you come from?”

Alex, bundled against the weather, stood beneath the eves. He’d been leaning but straightened now. In one hand he held a cigarette that wasn’t lit.

“I went around the front of the house. Olivia? Are you all right?”

“Do I look like I’m all right?” I’m sure I meant to answer him calmly, but the words shot out of me, riding the backs of more sobs. I pounded the garage wall. “No! I am not all right!”

I covered my face and sobbed into my gloves. The noises in my throat became like that of rusted gears, grinding against each other until the whole machine broke down and stopped. I became aware of a firm hand on my shoulder and then an even firmer chest against my cheek. I hadn’t realized he was so tall until my head fit just beneath Alex’s chin. His coat smelled good. The hand not holding the cigarette stroked down my back.

I’m all for equality of the sexes and everything, but I bet there are few women out there who’d have been able to resist the allure of the comfort Alex offered. Strong arms, manly chest. I didn’t want words or advice. I didn’t even really want to tell him what had happened, I only wanted to stop feeling so bad. When I finally drew away, my sobs had stopped but I didn’t feel any better.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year my ass.” Alex put the cigarette between his lips. “Holiday time is shitsville.”

I tucked my hands into my pockets. “Yeah.”

He nodded. That was it. No explanation. No further assurances.

I looked him over. The streetlamp made his eyes seem darker, his skin paler. I watched him lip the end of the cigarette, then take it out of his mouth and draw in a breath of frigid air.

“Are you smoking that? Or not?”

“Not,” he said. “I quit.”

“So what the hell are you d-doing out here?” I said around chattering teeth. “It’s freaking freezing.”

“Ah…old habits. You know when you smoke you always have an excuse to duck out of a place when you want to.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.” I scrubbed at my face, not just to wipe away tears but to get some warmth circulating. “I should’ve gone out with that guy I met at the coffee shop. He wanted to take me to some package deal at the Hotel Hershey. Dinner and big band dancing. I’m sure there would have been plenty of chocolate, and a guy to kiss at midnight. Do you know how many years it’s been since I had a date to kiss at midnight?”

“Can’t have been that many.”

My laugh sounded faintly of the same grinding gears my sobs had been. “Too many. And not because I haven’t had offers!”

“I wouldn’t have assumed that.”

Surreal. All of this. The night, the conversation. The man in front of me lipped his cigarette again, then let it dangle from the corner of his mouth.

“I didn’t have a formal dress, but that’s not why I didn’t go.”

Alex watched me with a faint smile for my babbling.

“Go ahead and ask me why I passed up a night at the Hotel Hershey to come here, instead.”

“Oh, I know why,” Alex said.

My shoulders slumped. I blinked my sore and swollen eyes. “You do?”

“You love him,” Alex said.

If anything should’ve made me cry that night, it was those three words, said as simply and matter-of-factly as that. Maybe I was cried out by then, dehydrated. Frozen. All I could manage was the shake of my head and a sigh that blew out my breath in a long plume.

The crack of fireworks came from down the street. A church bell tolled. Tears welled up again and clogged my throat.

“Dammit,” I whispered. “It’s midnight.”

“Happy New Year,” Alex said.

Then he tossed aside the cigarette, pulled me into his arms and kissed me.



No strings. No regrets. And no going back.

I didn't think he wanted me. And I wasn't about to get involved with him, not after what I'd heard. Sure, Alex Kennedy was tall, dark and unbearably hot, but I've been burned before. When I solicited him to model for my erotic photography book, I didn't expect such a heated, passionate photo session. And now that we've crossed that line, our bodies aren't the only things that have been exposed.

But I can't give my heart to a man who's so…unconventional. His last sexual relationship was with a married couple. It's enough that my ex-fiancé preferred men, I can't take that chance again no matter how much my body thrives on Alex's touch. I can't risk it, but I can't resist it, either.

Alex can be very convincing when he wants something.

And he wants me.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound |

Check out the Alex Kennedy series:
Click for info.


 Check out what's up for grabs.

Up For Grabs:
  • 1 Book of Choice

To Enter: 
  • Please leave a comment or question for Megan.
  • Book of choice limited to whatever author has on hand at time of winning.
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter form.

**Don't forget to enter the grand prize giveaway!


Good Luck! 

Special thanks to Megan Hart for sponsoring this giveaway.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

54 comments :

  1. Wow. Now that was a great introduction into the series~ For me at least. And I had to read all the blurbs and excerpts of all your stories over at Amazon and at your page. Amazing!

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  2. Poor Olivia! I wonder who Alex is and how that kiss was? Looking forward to reading more!

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  3. What's next? you have 3 books (1.5 counted) so far any more with Olivia?

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    1. Olivia is only in Naked. Alex is in Tempted and Everything Changes. I don't have plans for either character at the moment, but that's not to say they won't show up again!

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  4. Thanks for the giveaway! What's your favorite holiday to write about and why?

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    1. Hmmm. I don't have a favorite holiday to write about. I love Halloween and creepy things, does that count? :)

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  5. Thanks for the post and the scene from Naked. I have not read this book yet but have it on my tbr list. The books that I have read of yours (eg. Broken, Dirty,...) are so beautiful and emotional and stay with me for a long time. You must feel every emotion you put your character through, how do you move from one story to the next?

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    1. oops, sorry I hit publish too soon :p
      If I am lucky enough to win may I please have a copy of Tear You Apart?
      Thanks for the chance to win! =D

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    2. THank you so much! How I move from one story to the next...well, most of the time by the time I'm finished with the book, I'm ready to move on. I've lived with the characters for months at that point. A few linger, and if they do, they usually end up in another story, somewhere.

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  6. This was a wonderful excerpt.I already want to know more about the characters. Do the characters lead you or do you develop them prior to beginning work on your novel? michelle_willms at yahoo dot com

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    1. A little of each. Sometimes I know exactly who they are before I start writing, but usually I "learn" them as I go.

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  7. wow!!! What an awesome excerpt! Definitely caught my attention :) Thanks for sharing and congrats to Megan on the new release!

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  8. The synopsis and excerpt were amazing. Megan Hart is a new author to me, but I have discovered her work and was blown away. Megan is going to be one of my top authors to read. Thank you for your intro to Megan Hart and the chance to enter this giveaway.

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  9. I haven't started this series yet. I am really intrigued after reading this post.

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    1. hooray! :) (Tempted comes first, but you could read Naked stand alone if you want.)

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  10. The book looks really good.
    Did you have a great Christmas? What was your favorite thing you did this year?

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    1. thank you! I don't celebrate Christmas, but I did have a great holiday season, thanks for asking. :) My favorite thing I did this would have to be the World Horror Con in New Orleans back in the spring. It was my first visit. So much fun!

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  11. Oh wow! That sounds really good and considering I haven't read any books from Megan yet, I'm adding this to my list. Now I need to go check out her other books. Thanks for the giveaway

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  12. I loved the short story, eager to see what happens next. Your books are so wonderful, emotional, sexy and sweet. I can't wait to read more of them. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  13. I am ready to read a good book during the long, cold winter months.

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  14. HI Megan, I have not read one of your books in a bit. I need to change that.

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  15. What are your plans next in writing?

    Barrie

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    1. this year, I have several projects planned. So I'll be working on more erotic fiction, and hope to get some horror written, too!

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  16. do you plan on writing with Lauren Dane again? love you both

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  17. This xtory promising great story, must check out this one.
    Thanks for sharing :)
    Happy New Year 2014!!

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  18. This sounds like a very emotional story. I'll have to check it out.

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  19. It's been too long since I've read one of your books. I must fix that soon!

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  20. Sounds like an amazing read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

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  21. I would love to read this book,sounds very good :)

    Thanks for sharing and amazing opportunity :)

    Happy New Year Megan! :))

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    Replies
    1. Happy New Year! (or as we say around here, happy nude year. LOL)

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  22. Alex's stories sound interesting. Added all 3 to my TBR.

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  23. I love Megan Hart!! I have LOTS of her paperbacks, they were all amazing!! Can't wait to check out some new ones!!

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  24. I haven't read any of your books yet, but I loved the excerpt and want to read more!

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  25. Awesome intro! Love the excerpt and now I'll have to look for your books!

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  26. What a great excerpt! I can't wait to read the story. Thanks for the giveaway and Happy New Year!

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  27. Well that was a different leadup to New Years lol

    This looks great! Thanks for the giveaway

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  28. Amazing excerpt!!! Gonna have to add this to my list!

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