Hello hello hello! My loves you see we have Roxanne St. Claire visiting with us today! It’s Rocki’s birthday! You all know how birthday obsessed I am, so I asked if she’d be willing to come and be a guest, and she said yes! Yay! I don’t really think any introduction is necessary – she’s Roxanne freaking St. Claire!!!
Even better, she’s sharing an exclusive excerpt of her upcoming novella that’s the first in a connected/spinoff series to her Barefoot books! Enough babble from me though – I know you want to see what she has to say.
Happy Birthday to me! I love my birthday, always have, always will. Since it lands on the last day of the month, November is really “birthday month” culminating in the actual day. And falling where it does in the calendar, my special day is part of the season we call “the holidays” — making it part of a generally joyful and exciting time for everyone. Like this year, my birthday is often rolled into a major fun four day weekend, which is cool because Turkey Day is my #1 favorite holiday. It’s all about food and gratitude!
So, I don’t cringe over birthdays, though I’ve had enough of them to know there are probably fewer in my future than there have been in my past. All the more reason to celebrate the event. Not with presents, balloons, or cake (though we’ll get to that!) but by taking a chance to slow down and consider exactly what the birthday means. I like to do a little retrospection and examine the year that’s passed. Did I meet my goals? Did I have surprises? What were the big changes? What do I treasure, what would I rather forget?
After that, I look ahead! How different will the next year be? What milestones are ahead? What challenges and roadblocks will I face, what unexpected blessings will pour down? I usually write a list of goals for the year, and a list of things I’d like to change or improve.
After all that naval-gazing, I am ready for some cake! And presents! And champagne! This year is especially exciting because I’m launching an all new career strategy that’s both thrilling and daunting. Starting in just nine days, the first of six new titles in my Barefoot Bay series will be released. Three novellas in The Billionaires of Barefoot Bay trilogy, followed by three full-length novels in the Barefoot Brides trilogy! I’m publishing all of them through my own company and hoping the only thing readers notice is that they get a LOT more books (six in a year!) more often. Also, for my many, many overseas readers, there will be no more geographic restrictions, all ebooks will be available worldwide on the day of release, all digital versions are DRM-free. YAY! But what’s the same? The sexy heroes, the sassy heroines, the heart-wrenching love stories and the setting — all on the sands of Barefoot Bay!
First up: Secrets on the Sand — a novella released on December 9, the first in The Billionaires of Barefoot Bay series. So here’s a little birthday present for ALBTALBS readers…a never before published excerpt! And, of course, it’s a little bit…tart!
Thanks for celebrating with me, everyone!
(The Billionaires of Barefoot Bay Novella #1) – December, 2013
Zeke Nicholas has turned his mathematical genius skills into a mountain of money. But Zeke sits on that mountain all alone, longing for the one thing money cannot buy: the true love of a lifelong partner. Zeke grew up near Barefoot Bay and is staying at the resort for a week while he’s in town for a family event. Enter Mandy Mitchell…the maid. Except to Zeke, Mandy is much more than that—she was the object of his every teenage fantasy back in the days when she was known as “Mandy the Magnificent” and he had the unflattering high school nickname of “Ezekiel the Geekiel.”
Zeke is no longer a geek — he’s gorgeous. And Mandy doesn’t feel so magnificent since her marriage fell apart and left her up to her eyeballs in debt and despair. One look at Zeke, and she knows he’s exactly the kind of trouble she should avoid. One look at Mandy, and Zeke turns his relentless ability to get what he wants into a full-on seduction. But can Mandy face down the secrets of her past to find a fairy-tale future with Zeke?
Water sluiced down Zeke’s bare chest, dousing his hair, soaking his skin, and plastering the pants that still hung unbuttoned to his body. Mother Nature’s cold shower was doing its job. Sort of.
Around three, he’d awakened, a curvy, sexy, soft, sweet woman in his arms, her breath against his cheek, her sleepy sighs as intoxicating as the port he’d had in Garrett’s library. With each moment, he’d grown hotter, harder, and more desperate to touch her.
He’d stroked her arm, let their feet brush, and listened to the music of a moan she’d never know she’d let out. If he’d touched Mandy, she would have responded. Their bodies were meant for each other, ready for the inevitable.
But the pain in her eyes after their kiss had told him the ice-cold reality that some heartless bastard had slashed her heart. No, he couldn’t do anything that would—
He shuddered as arms wrapped around his waist, stunning him with warmth and invitation.
“What are you doing out here, Ezekiel?”
Her voice was musical, gentle against the distant backdrop of thunder.
“Solving a quadratic equation.”
He felt her laugh. “What a geek.”
“It’s that or break the contract.”
She scraped her fingers over his chest. “You already did. This is not your shirt.”
He put his hand on her arm, recognizing the feel of familiar fabric, already wet from the downpour. “No, but this is.”
“I borrowed. Is that okay under our contract?”
Mandy was in his shirt. The thought shot fire into his groin, taking him back to the state he’d tried for the last twenty minutes to drown. “No,” he said, the roughness in his voice surprising him. “Not okay.”
In one easy move, he pulled her around his body, getting her right in front of him against the railing. She was rain-soaked already, the water battering her hair and pouring down her face. But she looked up at him, undaunted by a little smeared makeup and a storm.
“The rules didn’t say whose clothes we had to wear,” she whispered. “And it was the closest thing to you in that empty bed.”
Her words slayed him, punctuated by a flash of lightning in the distance. The light was just enough to highlight his wet dress shirt flattened against her body, molded to her form, the shape of her breasts visible, the points of her nipples like gumdrops he needed to taste.
Instinctively, he leaned her back so more rain poured over her. She dropped her head and let the water cover her face and slide down her neck and into the shirt.
How had this happened? What lottery had he won? What good deed had he done? What karmic retribution put her in his arms? “Mandy Mitchell.”
She smiled, her back still arched, pressing her against him. “I really never thought I’d be called that again in this life,” she said.
Still holding her with one steady arm, he lost the battle not to touch her hardened nipples. He flattened his hand over the shirt, right over her heart, and slowly, easily, gradually dragged his palm until he cupped her breast.
She gasped softly, straightening, her eyes wide. He braced himself for the word “no” or that look that said sex terrified her. But her expression was soft, her jaw slack, her eyes dark with arousal.
A loud shot of thunder made her startle and suck in a breath, coming closer.
“All those nights, Mandy,” he whispered into her dripping wet hair.
“All what nights?”
He thumbed her nipple, gratified by the hard, relentless point under his fingertip. “All those nights I’d sit in my room and solve equations and make graphs and torture my brain with mathematics…” He unbuttoned the top button, easily able to reach into the shirt and caress her breast.
For a minute, he couldn’t talk, his whole brain flatlined by the perfection of her skin and the slope of her woman’s body.
“But then I would think about you.” His cock underscored the sentiment, growing harder against her belly.
She smiled, either because of the words or what she felt. “What did you think about, Ezekiel?”
“These.” He squeezed her breast. “This.” Soft, sweet, tender woman filled every sense as he brushed her lips with his. “And…” He slid his hand down to the bottom of the shirt, sliding easily between her legs, finding sweet, soft, soaked silk, the sexiness of it jolting him. “Of course, this.”
She moaned as he stroked her panties and found a sweet spot.
“And what did you do?” she asked.
He wanted to laugh at the question, but he wasn’t capable of anything but feeling her buckle a little under his touch. “Not calculus.”
No buy links yet (that I could find) but I hope to come back and update them when they’re up! Cross your fingers I remember. But in the meantime, what’d you think of the excerpt? Do you like the billionaire trend? Have you ever read any of Rocki’s books before? She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and YA!
And everyone remember to wish Rox a very happy birthday! I hope it’s fabulous, with family, friends, lots of food, fun, cake, ice cream, and champagne cocktails!