Hello! Welcome to January 24! I’m so excited to be sharing this very special day with the Smutketeers! What’s the big deal about January 24, you ask?”
Did you know that on this day:
Ray Stevens (Oh yes, they call him the Streak!), Neil Diamond (Sweet Caroline—bumbumbum), John Belushi and Mary Lou Retton all share a birthday.
In 1848, James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter’s Mill in northern California, leading to the gold rush of ’49.
In 1935, Krueger Brewing Company placed the first canned beer on sale inRichmond, Virginia (And this is why Virginia is for Lovers! LOL).
In 1957, Elvis Presley recorded “Teddy Bear.”
In 1989, Ted Bundy, the confessed serial killer, was put to death in Florida’s electric chair.
In 1995, the prosecution gave its opening statement at the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
In 2005, iTunes reached 250 million songs sold. (I should know because my kids probably bought half of that number).
AND in 2012, Because You Love Me released! Woot! Woot! Toss the confetti! Pop open the champagne!
Because You Love Me is the long overdue sequel to Because of You. I knew way back in 2009, I wanted to write stories for the other James brothers, but way led on to way and it took me awhile to make it back. This book tells the story of the twins, Matt and Mark, and it’s got a bit of everything—cowboys, suspense, ménage lovin’, a shoot-out and family fun. By the way, history will not be repeating itself on the long wait between stories. I recently submitted the third and final story in the trilogy, Because It’s True, to my editor. It’s a short story and my very first attempt at an m/m romance.
Safety in numbers? Depends on what you mean by safe…
Bridget Wilder’s life is shot to hell—literally—when she witnesses the murder of her best friend, Lyle. Protective custody? What a joke. Time after time, someone has leaked her whereabouts, forcing her to run from one safe house to the next.
Tired of cold, lonely beds and living in fear, Bridget convinces her guardian cop she’s safer off the grid, following Lyle’s trail of clues to a missing flash drive that could put the killer behind bars.
It doesn’t take twins Mark and Matt James long to figure out two things. Bridget’s not only in trouble, she is trouble—they both want her. When things get a little hot and heavy one night, though, they’re stunned to discover that they don’t mind sharing. And she loves being shared.
Between the James brothers’ hot, hard bodies, Bridget finally feels safe—and loved. When a hit man tracks her down, the last thing she wants is for them to place those bodies between her and danger. But those cowboys have other ideas. Like keeping her alive long enough to convince her she belongs with them. Forever.
Warning: Scary times ahead! An evil judge, a car chase, a hit man and more! Luckily, the rough times are soothed by lots and lots of ménage sex with two, red-hot alpha cowboys.
Excerpt from Because You Love Me
Walking into the hallway, she locked the door to her room and descended the wide staircase. Glancing in several of the B&B’s common rooms for Todd or Steven, the hotel proprietors, Bridget took a few minutes to study the beautifully restored old home. When they’d arrived yesterday afternoon, Rodney had hustled her to their room immediately, sequestering her there while he checked out the property and secured food for their dinner. It felt good to be free.
She was about to cross the foyer to check the other side of the house when the front door opened. Her new habit of hide first, ask questions later emerged and she panicked, trying to dodge back the way she’d come. In her haste to escape, her foot caught on the edge of the Oriental rug, and she took a hard tumble.
Four boot-covered feet appeared before her. She felt strong hands on either side reaching down to help her up.
“Sorry,” she said, keeping her head down. It was foolish to think anyone in this small, middle-of-nowhere town would know who she was, but Rodney had taught her well in the art of making herself as invisible as possible. She fought to suppress her trembling hands. Her heart was racing a mile a minute. God, why did she have to be frightened of her own shadow? She hated living like this, feeling this way.
“You okay, miss?”
All of Rodney’s tutoring went out the window as her nipples pebbled and a slight shiver of arousal wove its way through her body. She lifted her face to see the owner of that deep, sexy-as-hell voice. Identical faces etched with concern greeted her.
She opened her mouth to speak, but no sound emerged. Standing before her were twin Greek gods, kings of the western frontier, complete with rugged, dimpled cheeks, blue eyes that—honest to God—twinkled, and shaggy, made-for-running-her-fingers-through dark brown hair only partially concealed by cowboy hats.
If she’d lived a hundred years ago, she would have felt compelled to fucking swoon. Instead, her twenty-first-century sensibilities took over and she simply muttered, “Holy double wow.”
Both men grinned widely at her ridiculous comment. “I take it that means you’re not hurt, darlin’.”
Her pussy clenched at his term of endearment. Could there be anything hotter than a gorgeous cowboy calling her darlin’ with that slight country twang? Briefly she imagined him—hell, who was she fooling, them—whispering it to her while they lay together naked in bed.
She cleared her throat and forced herself to stop staring—and drooling—like a love-struck teenage girl. “I’m fine. Clumsy and embarrassed, but otherwise unscathed.”
The hot cowboy on her left chuckled. “Unscathed, huh? Pretty talk. Where are you from?”
“New York,” she confided before her brain engaged to scream a warning. Jesus. Rodney should have locked her in the room. She was going to blow their cover in under thirty seconds, and all because of a couple good-looking men. Stupidity due to horniness was not something her cop friend would forgive easily.
“City girl,” the other cowboy said, though his tone indicated interest more than disdain.
She nodded, determined to keep her mouth shut before any more little tidbits—like the fact she was hiding out from a corrupt judge—fell from her desperate-to-taste-the-cowboys lips.
“I take it you’re one of the guests staying here?” her hot cowboy number one asked.
She paused, decided the question was harmless and nodded once more.
“So what brings a city girl to our neck of the woods?” This question was posed by hot cowboy number two.
She and Rodney had sketched out a rough explanation for their visit with the intention of refining it this morning. Now, it appeared she would have to fly by the seat of her pants. “I’m here with my half-brother.” Shit, five words in and she was already straying from the script. She and Rodney had agreed to pose as a couple, but for some reason, she didn’t want these two men to think she was in a relationship.
That thought led to a major internal eye-roll.
Right, Bridget, like you have so much time to try to hook up with a cowboy—or two.
“Vacation or business?”
“Vacation,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to try my hand at being a cowgirl.” Where the fuck had that come from? She’d never considered such a thing in her life until laying eyes on these two Wonders of the Western World.
“Well, now. If you need some help with that, Matt and I are pretty good teachers.”
Matt. Cowboy number one had a name.
“You teach a lot of cowgirls the ropes, do you?” she asked with a lilt in her voice. Christ, could her flirting be any more obvious? Why not post a sign on her forehead that said, Hasn’t been laid in a year.
Matt’s smile grew, his dimples deepening. A girl could fall into those bottomless caverns on his chiseled face and never be found again. She could think of worse places to get lost. “My brothers and I own the ranch next door. We train horses, give riding lessons. Stuff like that. We’d be more than happy to help you give that cowgirl lifestyle a whirl if you’re interested. We’ll even supply the rope if that’s what you fancy.”
Beer or girly drink with an umbrella? Beer all the way. See my excitement about the beer in a can historical fact above.
Vanilla or chocolate? Chocolate. No contest.
Boxers, briefs or commando? Commando. I haven’t worn underwear in a decade. Oh wait…you meant on men, right? Same answer.
Steak or sushi? Steak. I like my meat hot.
Elegant fop or rough-edged rogue? Um hello, rogue! Has anyone ever chosen the fop???
Vampire or werewolf? Vampire—Team Edward all the way!
Soft, sensual make out session or throw you up against the wall? Up. Against. The. Wall. Oh, and harder please.
Summer or winter? Summer—I’m a teacher. Oh wait, winter—snow days. I want both.
City girl or country girl? Country! Their music is a helluva lot easier to dance to! Cotton-eyed Joe anyone?
Dog person or cat person? Um…neither. Can I just be a people person?
Cinderella or Snow White? Mulan! That chick kicks ass. Saved Prince Charming AND China. Just sayin’.
Las Vegas luxury hotel or quaint Wine Country Inn vacation? Wine? Did you say wine? Yes, please. Don’t bother dirtying a glass. I’ll just have the bottle.
Now, how about a contest? It’s a simple one. Because You Love Me is part of a series. Check out Mari’s books on her website, then come back here and leave a comment on which series you’d most like to read. Two commenters will win book one in the series of their choice!