Snippet Saturday – Feeding the Flames


Feeding the Flames
Part of the Five Alarm Alpha boxed set, coming November 7th

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© 2014 Leah Braemel

“You’re pretty bossy considering I’m your boss.” Not that she begrudged Shannon for calling her on her shit. Tabatha lined up the six to-go paper cups in a line and began filling them. “Sorry, I’m distracted today.”

Shannon snorted. “Yeah, I saw you talking with Mr. Hot Shot over there. Make my day and tell me you grew a set and finally asked him out.”

FiveAlarmAlpha_final_400x667It had taken less than two days    after her return to Barnett Springs for Shannon to call Tabatha on her Zac obsession. Tabatha sighed. “I don’t have to. He’s not interested in me.”

“Come on, girl. I’m tired of your excuses about needing to get the diner up and running, and or how you need to get settled first. The diner’s doin’ fine, and from what I saw of your apartment, there’s not a box left to be unpacked. So it’s time for you to get off your ass, march yourself over there, and take the stud by the horn.” She eyed Zac. “Or with that man, by the long horn.”

“Cut me some slack will you? Zac pretty much came right out and said he’s not interested in me.”

“Oh hon. Are you sure you didn’t just misinterpret what he said?”

“I don’t see any other interpretation for him arranging for me to go on a date with another guy, do you?”

Shannon stared at her, her mouth open. “Are you fuckin’ kidding me?”

“Unfortunately no.” She pulled the tickets from the apron’s pocket and shoved them in Shannon’s face. “Get this—he gave me these tickets and told me I should ask Quinn out because Quinn’s been sweet on me but too shy to ask me out himself. Can you believe it? Like Quinn has ever not said exactly what he thought. ”

“Oh, hon. Why didn’t you take ’em and shove them in his coffee?”

She’d wanted to, though his coffee mug wouldn’t have been her first choice of insertion site. “Believe me, I was tempted.”

“So instead you asked Quinn, just like a good little girl, didn’t you?”

“I like Quinn.” Even though he was only three years older than her, he’d been like a big brother. Sliding over to give her a seat on the bus when no one else would—sometimes being the last one picked up on a bus route sucked. Then there was the time a senior with an entitlement issue had flicked his lighter in an attempt to set her hair on fire because she had turned him down for a date; it had been Quinn leading the charge to teach that asshat a lesson. Except, like Zac, he hadn’t shown anything but a protective big brother side to her all these years. “Besides, I couldn’t have afforded the tickets myself and we’ll have a good time.”

Plus she would have eaten dirt to see the Dirt Road Graduates again. While she’d thrown that comment about Jake Grady in to tweak Zac’s tail, it wasn’t far from the truth. Pity he’d gone and married an accountant. Or manager. Or whatever she was.

“So go out with him. It’s just one date.” Shannon glanced over at the duo. “A girl could do worse. Or are you trying to tell me you’re not thinking of what it would be like to have him on top of you in bed at the end of the night?”

It hadn’t been Quinn she’d been picturing in her bed all these nights. “It’s not like I need a guy in my life right now. I mean, you’re right. Both about the diner being in shape and my apartment too.” Not that she’d brought much back home with her to unpack. “I’m happy. I don’t need a man in my life.”

Especially one who wasn’t interested in her. She’d spent the past five years in one of those relationships and she’d vowed never again. The next guy she hooked up with would have to rock her world. Preferably starting by leaving dents in the plaster behind her headboard.

“Of course you don’t, hon.” As Tabatha filled the last cup, Shannon added cream or sugar as needed, and snapped a lid on it. “But guys do have their good points. Of course, it’s usually between their legs, and those points are usually only good for about five minutes, until they change direction from north to south, but sometimes it’s nice to have the real thing instead of a B.O.B.” Shannon cast a quick glance over her shoulder at Quinn and Zac, who were digging through their wallets to pay the ticket. “And honey, as much as I love Dave, I’d take either of those men in a heartbeat if they asked me to join ’em. Hell, I’d take ’em both at the same time if they asked.” She chuckled. “I wouldn’t mind seeing their hoses in action.”

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On Birthdays, uncluttering and unplugging

I’m over at the Contemporary Romance Cafe today, talking about what I did last week. And what I didn’t do.



Also, one of my favorite bloggers/reviewers, Shayna Renee, is celebrating her birthday on her blog by giving away signed paperbacks, including a copy of my Private Deceptions.  Stop by her blog to wish her a Happy Birthday, and enter the contest. (There are lots of other paperbacks to be won too)

Shayna Renee


And if you’re on Facebook, (or you can leave a comment for her here) don’t forget to wish my friend and street team leader Tabatha a happy birthday too!


Happy Thanksgiving, Canada


Yup, it’s Thanksgiving Day up here in Canada. So I’m taking the day off, chilling out as dinner cooks. Okay, so since I’m the only carnivore I spared the turkey above from the oven. But there’ll still be cornbread and stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie for dessert. All of which I am thankful for.

Snippet Saturday


I’ve been so buried by deadlines that I’ve let my blog slide — so now the worst of my deadlines are done, (though I still have plenty of books left to write) I’ve decided to revive Snippet Saturday.
So how about a sneak peek into Feeding the Flames, which releases in less than four weeks…

Feeding the Flames

part of the Five Alarm Alphas bundle

© 2014 Leah Braemel

She tugged on his collar and stepped backward, leading him to the back of the diner. After pausing to flip off the remaining lights, she resumed their trek toward the stairs to the upstairs apartment. Well, she’d intended to. They’d made it as far as her office when Zac banded her wrists with one hand, dragged them above her head and pressed her against wall with his body. With her trapped, he captured her mouth.

Even her most erotic fantasy hadn’t prepared her for his kiss.

Her eyes drifted closed so she could concentrate on the pure sensation. From the hardness of his chest pressing against her, holding her in place, and his breath on her skin, to the soft prickle of his stubble on her cheek. That he was showing a side of himself she’d never seen before was just as erotic. She’d seen him playful before, but there was an intensity to him, as if carefully stoked embers had ignited.

His long fingers slipped to the back of her neck. A quick tug and her apron sagged to her waist. Cool air from overhead brushed bare skin as he unbuttoned her shirt. The heat of his touch as he pushed the fabric over her shoulders caused her nipples to harden into tight buds.

He released his grip on her wrists and shoved her bra beneath her breasts, the fabric rasping over her sensitive nipples. She lost herself in how his eyes were now nearly black with desire.

His groan rumbled through her chest. “Do you have any idea how long I’ve wanted to see these?”

As long she’d wanted him to touch them?

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Five Alarm Alpha quote card