Sunday, November 17, 2013

Three Days Until "Just That Easy" is released!!

Still haven't had time to re-vamp this blog page, but, upgrade or no upgrade, it's only three days until release! So, that means, time for an excerpt! Since we have storms rolling through I'm making this short and sweet before the power goes out. Here is, Thrill Seekers Book One - Just That Easy!! An Excerpt From: JUST THAT EASY Copyright © ELIZABETH MOORE, 2013 All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc. He leaned forward a little, smiling as if he had a secret to share. “For a trashy, anything-goes sex-book writer, you’re a little skittish, you know that?” Teryn shrugged a nervous little twitch, but couldn’t help smiling back at him. “Yeah, well, I told you I had a pen name, she’s kind of my alter ego.” “Should I ask her out?” He laughed. “Funny. I think you just did.” He cocked his head and curled his lips in that lopsided grin again. “Cool. Can’t wait to meet her.” A long, low whoosh of air escaped her lungs as he winked at her, then turned and walked around to the passenger side. There was no getting around checking out his ass when he turned away from her. Hard and as well formed as the rest of him, the way it tapered down from that wide expanse of muscled back she could just picture feeling all that hard flesh beneath her fingers. Damn, this man’s testosterone must be like some kind of aerosol drug. Getting in, she tried to steady her hands to even start the engine. She considered trying to drag Alexis Wilde out of the closet, but in the pit of her belly she wanted it to just be plain old Teryn Michaels who he found interesting, not her sexy alter ego who pretty much lived only in her head. Smoothing her hair back a little, she tossed off the brief twinge of vanity that gripped her as she realized she wore no makeup and had on an old pair of low-rider jeans with a thin cotton T-shirt. Watching him fold his big physique into the front of her Jeep and set her books in the back, she started the engine, thinking it was a little late to be worrying about if he thought she looked plain without her makeup. “Stick shift. Don’t see that much anymore. Hope you don’t mind I just climbed right in, I don’t know where the hell I’m at around here yet.” “No it’s fine. As for the stick shift, well, it doesn’t make sense to me to drive a Jeep with automatic. I hate it that they mostly make them that way now, pandering bastards.” She laughed. That perfect mouth split into another grin. “Right, because they should only sell to purists like you. Who wants a profit, right?” Challenging, and not brainless. Christ when did his assets stop? “Yeah, yeah. It just sucks when you like something, and all of a sudden it’s like the big thing, and next thing you know every moron on the block is doing it.” “Ahh, you don’t like to follow the crowd.” “No. I don’t. You? You don’t seem like, well, a librarian.” Again with the laugh. It reached through her, slipping down her spine like a warm trickle. “Well I’m not, really. This is just for the summer. I ended up between jobs and I have a big competition coming up soon so I needed something quiet that I could work around my training schedule. I’ve done it part-time at college way back when, and you don’t exactly forget how to alphabetize books, you know? My uncle knows Al, so he hooked me up.” “Okay, that leads to about ten questions. What kind of competition? Where’d you go to college? What the hell did you major in that you could be a librarian? And how does your uncle know Al? Wait, don’t answer that. “ “Yep, you really are a writer.” He sighed, grinned and shook his head. “Sorry, you don’t have to answer all that, my curiosity gets the best of me, and my mouth pretty much does its own thing most of the time.” “Hmmm. Kind of hoping so.” His fingers reached out and gently brushed her cheek just along the corner of her mouth. True to her self-description, her lips parted slightly and she sucked in a small, stuttering breath. His boldness unnerved her. It also sent about a thousand volts of static through her entire body. She shivered, even though it was probably still well over seventy degrees on this warm spring night. Dropping his fingers, he leaned back farther into the seat, watching her. “So, adventure racing. U.S.C., Oceanography and Environmental Science with Literature as a minor. That’s where the librarian comes in. My uncle dated Al. They’re still friends. I like that you’re kind of bold, and scared, all at the same time.” “I don’t, particularly. You aren’t scared of anything much, are you?” “Not really, no. Kind of have to be a little insane to do what I do.” “Here we are. What, insane to be a librarian?” She laughed as she jumped out of the Jeep. His laugh followed her, feeling as warm on her skin as the early summer evening. Two steps through the tiny alley parking lot, which happened to be the only alley in town, and they were through the back door. The place looked as if it had the usual small-town Friday evening crowd. A few construction workers who had been there since they got out of work, laughing a little too loud. A few couples eating bar food and having a beer, the expected group of regulars perched on familiar bar stools. Everyone in the place looked Teryn and Grant’s way when they walked in. His arm curled protectively around the small of her back again, inspiring the powerful feeling of belonging right where she was. He leaned closer and whispered near her ear. “We make an entrance, huh?” She glanced up at him. “Guess so. I’ve only been in here a couple of times. I think you make people look, anyway.” Not giving him a chance to counter that one, she pushed into a booth in the back corner closest to them. The waitress appeared out of nowhere to take their order, and obviously to get a better look at him. Thin, fifty-ish, and looking as if she’d been in this bar half her life, she smiled ear to ear. “Hey there, what can I get you all?” Grant raised an eyebrow Teryn’s way, grinning, the perpetual look on his face since she’d laid eyes on him. “I’ll have a Guinness.” He turned his disarming grin at the waitress and she giggled. “Sure, honey. What’ll you have?” The words were aimed at Teryn but the waitress’s eyes never moved from Grant. “Tequila. Whatever good one you have.” “With?” “Nothing. Just the tequila.” “Shot with lemon and salt?” “Just the tequila, double, neat. Can you ask them to rim the glass with salt?” “Sure, honey.” The waitress shook her head as she walked away. “Gotta love livin’ in a small town. Right?” “People are like that everywhere. It’s quiet here though. One of those places it would be good to raise kids I guess. I always seem to be the odd one who doesn’t fit in, small town but I’m single, everything I do gets me that sideways look, can’t even drink beer like everyone else.” “Uh oh, your insecurity is showing, doll.” He reached out, lightly stroking the back of her hand. His fingers were long, large, but not bulky. They looked very capable. Of just about anything. It felt not just sexy, it felt good. Gentle. Fast. “I thought it was since the minute I looked up at you.” Teryn watched him absorb that admission, and his canny choice not to confirm it. “No, not really. You were just, hmm. Cute, I guess.” “Cute. That’s what I want to be, cute.” She leaned back into the cheap vinyl seat, eyeing him. She didn’t move her hand though. “Be whatever you want to be if you don’t like what you are. You don’t answer to anyone, right? You don’t like to follow the crowd, but then worry that I think you’re cute like there’s something wrong with that. Yet here we are. I followed you here like a lost puppy, so what does that tell you?” “That I need to shut up, I’m overthinking again.” Which was exactly right, because he’d just nailed her most hidden desire. To do whatever the hell she wanted without the nagging feeling that it was the wrong thing. The waitress returned with the order, looking at Teryn as if expecting her to say the drink was wrong when she sat down a short tumbler half filled with clear liquid. “Just like that?” “Just like that.” As appeasement, she pulled out an extra five-dollar bill to tip her, surprised when she looked back up that Grant had put more than enough for the drinks and a double tip on the tray. She threw her money and the extra tip on top anyway. The waitress gushed a quick thank-you, hightailing it back to the bar before they changed their minds. “And she doesn’t like to be taken care of.” “You didn’t mention psychiatry in your studies.” “Secondary minor.” Her face blanched and she almost shot tequila from her nose. “That was way, way too easy.” “Fuck you,” she blurted, laughing. A typical retort for her on any other day, it was also totally inappropriate at the moment. True to everything he’d done so far, he turned it around and made it the perfect thing to say. “If I’m really, really lucky.” His voice was low, slow and husky. He meant every word and didn’t hide it. “Okay, seriously. That’s the worst line ever. The only guys who have ever talked to me like that were total sleaze balls, the kind of guy you see cruising the meat-market bar like vultures, or the kind who stalks you. Not a librarian with half a brain. What’s up with that?” He reached toward her, motioning with his finger for her to lean closer. Thinking he wanted to tell her something quietly, she leaned forward expectantly. Instead, his hand slid around to the back of her head, tugging sharply on the elastic band holding her hair in the tight ponytail. The unruly tangle of her hair spilled out. She raked her fingers through it, shoving it back over her shoulder, sure it was a complete mess. “Much, much better. Hair is a metaphor, you know, for who we are. Yours is all bound up into a tight whip, snapping you to attention. All those dark waves tamed and pushed into submission. That’s not the way it should be.” His fingers slid down one long section that had escaped her attempts to push it back over her shoulder. His eyes met hers again. The same warm feeling rushed through her, as if there was nothing she needed to hide from him. The only thing that picked at her nerves was why the hell he managed to make her feel that way with little to no effort at all. “All right, so, look, let’s just take turns and lay out on the table what we’re about, why we are here, whatever comes to your head. Then I won’t have to use any more bad lines on you. Sound good?” Hair as a metaphor didn’t seem like a bad line at the moment looking at his. A thick black Irish mass, just long enough to fall over his forehead a little on the top, curling in an unruly way behind his ears. Talk about your metaphor, his hair also looked as if it said exactly who he was, deceivingly approachable but impossible to tame. “Sure. You first.” He took a deep breath and eyed her for a moment before starting in. “You already know how I got the job. My best friend from college, he has this adventure race team. It’s a huge deal to him to win a really big race for once. Takes a lot of training, lots of traveling to little races on weekends, and the library is a good down time. I’m between real jobs at the moment, so it seemed like a good thing to do while I think out what I want to do next. I needed a break, if you want the truth. I haven’t been in exactly the best of places in my life for a while, and I needed to do something different.” He stopped, eyeing her, and took a long pull on his Guinness. She gave him the I’m-not-bored-yet-keep-going obligatory look. He hadn’t gotten to the good part. Yet. “Been here about a week, been pretty quiet. Then you walked in. Miss lashes, stuttering over your Dominatrix book, throwing out comments with no inhibition and freaking yourself out the whole time you’re doing it. It was cute. Live with it. I’m attracted to you, Teryn. Like I haven’t been to anyone in a long time. I watched those green eyes, checked out your curves when you walked out of the library in front of me and decided there was no way I was letting you out of my sight until you either lied and said you weren’t attracted to me, or until I wake up next to you in the morning. Simple as that.” That was the good part, all right. Teryn sat back, cocked an eyebrow at him, and sorted the dozens of questions in her head. It was good cover for the liquid rush in her belly, the warm, sliding feeling that was taking her shaking thighs into overdrive. He told her everything and nothing, all at once. He was like one of the goddamn characters in her books. Maybe she was having some sort of schizophrenic meltdown and she was really in a mental hospital, thinking all of this was real. Maybe all these people at the other tables were just other patients, eating paste or muttering to themselves. “Well?” He looked amused, watching her stumble over her thoughts and absorb his admission. “Just wondering if you are interested because you know I write about sex, so you assume I’m some kind of kink master in bed.” He was bold, so why not go with it? He rubbed his chin absentmindedly. Her gaze stuck on that dark shadow of evening scruff. It made her want to feel it against her cheek, of course. Odd how the clichĂ© things she wrote in her books were true, sitting here across from Mr. I Just Said I Want To Fuck You. “Actually, I kind of have you pegged for the exact opposite. You’re too skittish to be a bad girl but I can’t exactly call you sweet or innocent. You don’t fit in with the tight-assed crowd, and I think you secretly do want to be bad. Maybe you just haven’t had the chance to do it yet. Except on paper. Can’t blame a guy for hoping he has the key to Pandora’s box, right?” She had to change the subject, him talking about her being a bad girl was sending her into a hundred kinds of hot, everywhere. “You confuse me. So, why the hell are you wandering around like a college kid, at what? Couple of years shy of thirty? Shouldn’t you have the plan all going, some kind of job with a big institute studying global warming, wife and one-point-four kids on the way?” “Thirty-one, actually. Do I look like I follow the crowd?” “Right. No. You look, and talk, as if you are extremely smart. Very thoughtful. Okay, not as if you are, you are. You make really straight-out, almost obnoxious comments, but you don’t come off as an asshole when you do it, you get away with it. Yet, it seems deliberate.” “So now who’s the psych doctor? Okay, you, it’s your turn. You’re avoiding.” His fingers moved up her hand to her wrist and he slid them around it. He rubbed a tiny circle just over the pulse at the base of her hand with his fingers. She couldn’t take her eyes off it. “Fine. I had a plan. So far, my part of it is going really well. I moved here because of someone else. Who is probably on wife two and mistress number who-the-hell-knows-by-now. I liked the town so I stayed. I write, I love it, I get to travel a bit, free to choose what I do and when. People don’t always know how to take me. I talk too much, I get nervous and giggle. My whole life was kind of a mess from the start, I mean very start, and I’m not going there. Met my fiancĂ© in college, made a plan to do the whole white-picket-fence thing, live the nice little color-inside-the-lines life, but then it all just fell apart. Once I started writing the stuff I do, I found out I was good at it. Really good at it. Now it’s like trying to refold the map once you’ve opened it and got it all twisted up, it’s just never going back the way it was. Mostly I’m boring, really. I kind of thought I was going to live like Mrs. Cleaver and discovered somewhere along the way I’m more like Morticia Addams in a soccer mom’s body. There, how’s that? You got the whole package in one breath.” Why couldn’t she give smart, short answers, then shut the hell up? Jesus, Teryn, give your whole fucked-up life history in one rambling sentence, why don’t you. “Honest. I like that, you don’t hold anything back, even for all those nerves. And you don’t have a soccer mom’s body. Not even close and you know it. Why the hell would you want the white picket fence and all that bullshit? You left out the part about why you’re here. I mean, right here, right now. With me.” His eyes looked directly into hers, locking her gaze. His fingers kept up the slow, lazy circle on the warm skin of her wrist. He licked his lips again. May as well throw it out there. “Because, you just don’t seem real to me.” “I’m real. What do you want?” “I have no idea. None at all.” That was a lie, and she was pretty sure he knew it. “What do you want?” “You.” Back to that confrontational honesty. The word was like a vise clamping down on her belly. She wriggled in her seat. “So, we’re talking just get up, head out, go at it? That’s it?” Dear god, as brutal as it sounded, that’s exactly what she wanted to do. “It sounds a lot better in my head.” He laughed. “Okay, I like you. I think you are interesting, and I really do want to get to know you better, but right now my head is blocked by the idea of you naked. Why sit here and deny we’re both thinking it? I know we’re supposed to talk all night, get to know each other, avoid sex because it’s not the politically correct thing to do. I think it’s ignorant to pretend we don’t have chemistry going on here. Physical chemistry exists, Teryn. It’s fast, it’s intense, and you know we have it. Should we pretend we don’t really want to just forget the rules and dive into each other, like I know damn well we can?” “Right. Hey, how ya doin’? Want to fuck? Sweet, see you round!” The retort was tough, but her guts were coming unglued. His hand felt warm on her wrist, almost possessive. “Why not? Except for the see-you-around part. What I mean, is, why avoid the elephant in the room? I say let’s just go for the total intimacy, make the connection complete and see what happens. Get past that first distracting rush of lust and see what comes from there. Why not try to have it all? With any luck, we can spend as much time together as we can stand, doing whatever we decide we want to do. Talk, read to each other, have sex, hell, go bowling, who knows.” “You are so much weirder than I am.” She couldn’t help the giggle. “I’m glad you think so. Can I make a suggestion?” “Shoot.” “Maybe you want to climb out of your safe little box and decide to live life.” “That’s it? I’m not sure what you mean. Other than you want sex, but we’ve covered that.” She cocked her head at him, fiddling with her glass again. He laughed. “That’s pretty much it, yeah. What I mean is, life isn’t some kind of pre-determined little script that says you have to choose a role and stick to it. Like your little picket fence. Life is something you live and you can’t plan for it sometimes, hell, most of the time. That’s what I want to do, see what’s out here in the world. Find what fits into my life that’s missing, just live and see where I end up. Like here, right now. With you.” The intensity of his words felt as if she were facing down the entire Roman army, lined up in front of her, waiting for her answer. Defend, or conquer? Deflect. “I do travel, I mean, I don’t just sit in my house and dream up things. I go out and see life.” “But do you live it? Do you try new things? When is the last time you took a chance and did something new?” “Today.” “Before me.” “No comment.” “That’s what I thought.” His eyes penetrated hers and she just couldn’t help but be a bit persuaded. This was the biggest, yet flat out straight ploy anyone had ever taken to get her into bed. Which in itself felt like a compliment. The contrast of him telling her straight out, without guilt, what he wanted, against his natural obvious charm and appeal, made her head spin. In a not so bad way. “You figured out all this after an hour, and one drink.” He grinned with satisfaction. “If you’re observant, and we both are, it’s not that hard. I don’t know everything about you but I know everything I need to know to tell you I’m curious, you excite me, and I want more. Lots more. It really can be that easy, you just have to let it be. I’ll show you. What do you say?” She’d already given in to the fact that there was no way she could get up and walk away from him. No one had ever laid out that he wanted her, point blank, and felt confident that saying it didn’t rate him an asshole. Authority never had appealed to her, but he wasn’t telling her what she was going to do, he asked. Teasing her with the knowledge that he knew damn well she wanted to. His sharp awareness of every little thing going on between them felt so intense. Highly personal but not intrusive. Had he been focused on just himself, she’d have sensed it, and it would have changed everything. But he wasn’t. He focused on her, with an intensity that felt as if he actually cared, that she mattered. She could almost see him watching, learning with every word that came out of her mouth. He was a contrast of totally assured and self-possessed, mildly confrontational, but easygoing and down-to-earth all at the same time. No mistake, she wanted more of him. Like he said, lots more. “What are you going to show me?” Her voice came out nearly a whisper. He shifted on the seat, leaning closer to her. “First, I’m going to take you home with me. I’m going to make you some really, really good chocolate cappuccino, because you are going to need the caffeine, and chocolate is just plain sexy. Then I’m going to do things to you that are going to make you so glad Al left me in the library to go have a little fling with Derrin, that you won’t even believe it.” His words were like a long, spiraling dart, descending slowly, so slowly, down the center of her belly, right between her legs. Her thighs tensed together, a quiver running through them. God she was sitting in a bar getting wet just from some guy talking to her. She blocked, to cover her quickly melting reserve. “Pretty confident, aren’t we?” Confident my ass, the man is fearless! “And you are going to discover that you can do things to me that’ll probably have me screaming your name to the neighbors.” This time the shudder passed all the way through her, the vision of them connected head to toe, his tanned face contorted with ecstasy. “You’re assuming quite a bit about me.” He gave a shrug and the now familiar grin, clearly her lack of affirmation didn’t dissuade him. “I have faith.” “In what?” “You, for one. Tell me you have no idea how to make a man wild, Teryn—even if you haven’t had the chance to do it—and I’ll tell you that you are lying to my face. Tell me you don’t want to, and I’ll get up and leave right now. I’ll still know you’re lying, but I’ll do it, just tell me.” He sat back and just looked at her expectantly. “This is kind of nuts.” “There you go, now you’re starting to get it. Come on, we can walk from here.” He stood, holding out his hand, looking at her as if he had every expectation she was going to jump right up and follow him out of the bar. How could she not?

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