By tomorrow all my kids will be home and we'll burrow in for the festivities. Not doing a big deal here. Every year, I have a Christmas Eve spread for my small family. We munch on goodies, visit, and listen to Christmas music. Of course, I always beg the hubster to put on my favorite Johnnie Mathis CD. Sometimes we'll find a good holiday movie or two so I'm hoping, somewhere, White Christmas is showing. That's my all time favorite holiday flick. Of course, the kids will almost always opt for National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and I won't complain because I love that one too. Anyway, on Christmas Day I'll fix a nice dinner and later we'll open gifts. Like many of you, I'm sure, I love the giving better than the getting.
As you know, it's been crazy for me with releases lately. That's a GOOD THING. Edge of Nowhere (Book 4:High Plains Shifters) came out last week at EC and today I'm featured in Flavors of Ecstasy IV. Every year, Ellora's Cave does four caveman anthologies and I'm fortunate to be among the wonderful authors in the final edition of the year. This collection comes out in both print and e-book today. My story is a hot little contemporary called Hotter Than Hell. Here's a blurb and excerpt of the book. Hope ya'll like it!
Ellie Grant hasn’t had the best luck with men, unless you count her friendship with Sam Dare—a friendship on the cusp of change as the sexy fireman challenges her to a weekend of no-holds-barred, hotter-than-hell sex.
Sam had spent plenty of restless nights aching for Ellie and he’s grown tired of waiting for her to notice the attraction. As a firefighter, he knows a little something about heat and, as far as he’s concerned, Ellie is the only woman who can make him burn.
An Excerpt From: HOTTER THAN HELL
Copyright © REGINA CARLYSLE, 2009
Just then his doorbell rang and he opened the door to see Ellie standing there looking as cute as hell and as mad as a hornet.
She sighed and stuck out her bottom lip. “Got another one of those?”
He held up his bottle. “A beer? Sure. But I thought you hated this stuff.”
Ellie marched past him, tossed the luggage that passed for a purse on an overstuffed chair and marched to the kitchen. “I do, but if that’s all you’ve got, I’ll take it. I’m that desperate.” She peered into the fridge, giving him a more than healthy look at her mighty fine ass then she turned. “God! Don’t you ever eat? Sam, you don’t have enough food in here to feed a mouse. Where’s the whiskey?”
As usual, she gave him little time to answer. She was a woman who was in constant motion. “Whiskey? That bad?” Sam reached into a cupboard and pulled down a bottle of his finest bourbon and reached for a squat bar glass. “So where’s Shithead?”
He dropped a couple of ice cubes into the glass then smiled when she launched herself at him with a groan. “Why don’t I listen to you, Sam? You told me. You said Scott was a jerk and I didn’t listen.”
God, she smelled great. He’d known she was going to a nightclub tonight but there wasn’t a whiff of anything stronger than the classy-smelling perfume she always wore. He wrapped his arms around her curvy body as she buried her nose against his bare chest. Sam sank his face in her wavy hair and just breathed her in. “Ah, I’m sorry, sweetheart. What happened?”
She looked up, embarrassment sharp in her soft gray eyes. “Got dumped. He walked out on me at the club. Just left me there. Now Sam, don’t go getting all pissed off. I know that look. I mean it.”
Sam fought down the urge to hunt the bastard down and smash his perfectly capped teeth down his throat. “Okay. All right. I’m listening.” Reluctantly, he released her to pour a splash of whiskey over the cubes in her glass. “Come on. Tell Dr. Sam all about it.”
He put the glass in her hand and looped an arm over her shoulder before leading her back into the living room. Once she was settled on the couch, he turned off the television.
“Hey! You don’t have to do that. You were watching that before I showed up,” she protested. “Come on, Sam, don’t let me ruin your plans.”
Sam turned and smiled, then walked over to the stereo to turn on some tunes. Sexy, smoky jazz filled the room. “Game was boring. You, however, are as fascinating as hell.” Facing her, he caught the look of dejection on her face along with something else, something that surprised him and made his heart thump hard. Her pretty eyes were focused on his bare chest. Her tongue brushed along her bottom lip and his cock instantly rose at the temptation she presented. Tonight she was wearing a short little bit of nothing skirt in a soft pink color and a matching tiny tee. She looked like a fluffy bite of cotton candy. Soft and completely edible.
Finally she switched her attention to the glass in her hand and took a tentative sip.
Mm. Interesting. Maybe he wasn’t the only one who had dirty dreams these days. He was sick to death of all this friendship stuff. Making a quick decision, he sat beside her on the couch and plucked the glass from her hand to set it on the coffee table.
“Wait. I’ll give it back. Let’s just get more comfortable.”
“I’m fine. Really.”
He shook his head. “Nope. Uh-uh. You look like a woman who needs some cuddlin’.” He waggled his eyebrows at her. “Come on. Let me be your teddy bear.”
Ellie laughed, then gasped when he plucked her up and settled her across his lap. She stiffened a little, no doubt noting his hard-on poking her delicious ass. But then she settled back in his arms and quietly watched him as he put the glass of false courage back in her hand. “Here, sweetheart. Take another sip and tell me all about it.”
As the story unraveled, he got pissed all over again but the guy was history now so he reined in his anger and concentrated on her. Tough work considering the way her soft, delicious body was snuggled up against him.
She sniffed a little then knuckled a tear from her cheek. He wished she wouldn’t cry. Damn woman broke his heart.
“So, um, guess I blew it.”
“Fuck that! He blew it if he couldn’t realize what a good woman you are.”
“What does being a good woman have to do with anything? God!” She rolled her eyes and gave him a scathing look. “I’ve seen the sex kittens who’ve tromped in and out of here over the past two years and don’t tell me you guys are playing cards or something. Or having funner-than-fun missionary sex. Those women didn’t look like the missionary type to me. Remember the hunk calendar that charity put out last year, Mr. April? Hot Hunks of the Dallas Fire Department? Jeez. Our street looked like a parking lot after that one. All those women showing up wearing nothing but big red bows and smiles. What in the hell would you know about anything?”
“I know a whole lot actually.”
Ellie snorted and he had to laugh. Once again he took the glass and set it aside. She went very still when he looked straight into her eyes and cupped her cheek in his hand. “Let me show you.”
“Shh. Don’t you know I’m dying to kiss you?”