Snippet Saturday – it’s not what you think

A Good Man (Fina)
Now here’s one of my favorite scenes from Tangled Past — and Tabatha Scott, who made the graphic above caught the sentiment perfectly…

Tangled Past Excerpt
Copyright © 2011* by Leah Braemel

Once they were trotting down the road, Sarah tugged at Nate’s arm. “Why did you say Bandit’s mine? You bought him from Mr. McLeod. I know what you paid for him. He’s yours.”

“No, he’s yours. Always has been.”

“You can’t just give away something that valuable. And not to me, another man’s wife. What would people think?”

“Aw, hang what others think. I can give you anything I want.” He held up a hand when she started to object. “You’ve been nothing but gracious to me and Jackson, especially considering what you saw that night.”

“So this is about my silence?”

“No!” He gentled his voice. “This is about you being my best friend’s wife. Think of it as a wedding present, if it makes you feel better. Take his stud fees and put them towards whatever you want. That hat you liked, maybe.”

A wedding present. And with the stud fees Bandit could bring, she could afford more than one hat. There had to be some catch. “What do you get out of it?”

“I get the pleasure of seeing a good woman smile.”

Her eyes searched his, deep unfathomable pools that held no judgment, and no expectation of something in return. She leaned closer and pressed a kiss to his cheek. “Then both Jackson and I thank you for your wedding present. You’re a good man, Nathaniel Campbell.”

 

A good man? A good man, Nate told himself,wouldn’t be jealous of his best friend. A good man wouldn’t be picturing turning his head and capturing his best friend’s wife’s mouth and kissing her senseless.

The sun hung low on the horizon by the time they returned to the Circle Star ranch. Jackson waited for them on the front porch. He strode down to meet them, lifting Sarah from the carriage.

Jackson hefted the bundle from the dress shop and tucked it under his arm while escorting Sarah into the house. Nate kept his lids lowered in an attempt to hide how he watched the gentle swing of Sarah’s skirts. It wouldn’t do to be caught ogling another man’s wife.

He hadn’t lied when he said he would have been proud to take his vows as her husband. Though it left him disturbed that he still fantasized about being in bed with Jackson, Sarah had been appearing in those fantasies lately.

Recommended Read: Sinful, sexy, mesmerizing and intoxicating. ~Lady RhyleighAll Romance eBooks Cafe

While the couple disappeared upstairs, Nate headed for the kitchen. He paused at the tiny bouquet of flowers in a cup by Sarah’s chair. Neither of them had missed the tears sparkling in Sarah’s eyes when Jackson had picked a flower the first day they were on the road and handed it to her. Though she’d not said anything, they’d both figured no one had ever given her flowers before. Each day since, Jackson had made it a habit of bringing her a flower home, sometimes delaying their return from the fields to find one.

Maybe that’s why he’d purchased the gloves she’d tried on, and that silly hat with its feather bobbing high in the air. And a heavier cloak—not a fancy one like Eliza had worn, but a serviceable one he knew would keep the wind and the rain away from Sarah. All right,and maybe he’d gone overboard by ordering three dresses special-made, but the fabrics she’d purchased were too plain, too dreary. She needed pretty things.She deserved pretty things.


Forced to marry a man she just met, Sarah McLeod clings to the hope that she’ll finally find the love and acceptance she’s always craved. But her tenuous dreams of a happy life on the frontier are in danger of being dashed by the one thing she can’t change—her husband’s love for another man. With the open frontier closing in around them, is Nate’s suggestion of a permanent threesome their path to happiness? Or will others destroy what they’ve found together?

Carina Press has bundled Texas Tangle and Tangled Past together, and are offering them on sale–for two weeks only–for 99 cents. (The bundle will still be available after July 30th, but it’ll go up to a regular price of $5.99 — minus whatever discounts Amazon and the other vendors give it.) So now’s the time to pick up the bundle and read both sexy menages.

Buy the Bundle:

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Google Play ~ iBooks ~ Kobo

The love scenes sizzle on each and every page. I couldn’t get enough and had to read it twice—okay, three times!”  – Thalia from Joyfully Reviewed


Don’t forget the Summer Reads Blog Hop is still going on. Each blog will feature their favorites and a giveaway so visit them all! Plus there’s a Grand Prize giveaway happening too!

The Tangle books are bundled, and on sale!

box set bundle graphic for 99 cents

Carina Press has bundled Texas Tangle and Tangled Past together, and are offering them on sale–for two weeks only–for 99 cents. (The bundle will still be available after July 30th, but it’ll go up to a regular price of $5.99 — minus whatever discounts Amazon and the other vendors give it.) So now’s the time to pick up the bundle and read both sexy menages.

Buy the Bundle:

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Google Play ~ iBooks ~ Kobo

The love scenes sizzle on each and every page. I couldn’t get enough and had to read it twice—okay, three times!”  – Thalia from Joyfully Reviewed

Two scorching hot western ménages in one package, from author Leah Braemel.


Texas Tangle (Tangled Series, Book One)
Thanks to her cheating ex-husband, all Nikki Kimball has left is a bruised heart, an over-drawn bank account and an empty home. When sex-on-legs Dillon Barnett and his foster-brother Brett Anderson start showing more than just neighborly attention, Nikki is intrigued. Back in high school, the two friends fought a bitter battle to win her heart. Society says Nikki must choose between the two men she loves. Is she strong enough to break all the rules in order to find happiness?

Tangled Past (Tangled Series, Book Two)
Forced to marry a man she just met, Sarah McLeod clings to the hope that she’ll finally find the love and acceptance she’s always craved. But her tenuous dreams of a happy life on the frontier are in danger of being dashed by the one thing she can’t change—her husband’s love for another man. With the open frontier closing in around them, is Nate’s suggestion of a permanent threesome their path to happiness? Or will others destroy what they’ve found together?

For more information about both books, visit their pages: Texas Tangle and Tangled Past.

TangledBundle_3D_600

Snippet Saturday – Tangled Past

Tangled Past Couple First Kiss_July15.

She wasn’t quite sure what let me in meant, but she leaned forward, resting a hand on his shoulder. After quickly wetting her lips, she leaned closer. She didn’t immediately kiss him; instead, she hovered, enjoying his breath on her cheek, and the way his eyes closed, his lashes dark against his sun-ripened skin. The exotic pipe tobacco the man at the next table had been smoking still clung to his clothes, but beneath it, Jackson smelled of the soap he’d used when they’d cleaned up before dinner. And of something else, something warm and spicy.

With a groan, he closed the distance between them and caught her mouth. She gasped when his tongue swept across the seam of her lips. The moment her lips parted, his tongue darted inside, bringing with it a taste of the coffee he’d had. Is that what he’d meant by let him in?

He drew away, his breathing as heavy as hers. “Let’s get you out of the rest of this rig.”

He made short work of the hooks and eyes her fingers had fumbled with when she’d dressed that morning. Her skirt pooled at her feet, joined shortly by the metal rings of her crinoline.

She would have been fine if he hadn’t rested his hands on her hips and drawn her against him. The only thing separating her from the hard length resting against her belly was the thin cotton of her chemise and his trousers. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t stop from stiffening in his arms.

“Don’t you worry. We’re gonna take this real slow tonight. ” He made a soothing sound and returned to just kissing her. Even under such a simple attention, Sarah became aware of sensations rising in her body she’d never felt before. The way the chemise rasped against her nipples. The strange pulses heating her belly. Lower. Of how her body softened, how her breasts grew heavy, how each breath was hard to draw even without the corset confining her.

He stole another gasp from her when his hand cupped her breast, his thumb toying with the nipple the way she’d seen Nate playing with Jackson’s the night before. The tips hardened into buds and he lowered his head over her breast. Never had she imagined the pleasure that poured through her when he captured the peak with his mouth. Heat from the tip through her belly and into the crevice between her thighs. Once again he made that soothing noise, the rumble from his chest accentuating the steady beat of his heart. Then he shifted so she lay on her back, staring up at him. Supporting himself on one elbow, he stared down at her, his eyes dark in the soft light, unfathomable. Callused fingers skimmed over her knee, up her thigh, then inward.

Her eyes opened wide, and she arched into the pillow with a gasp when his fingers slipped beneath the fabric and touched parts no man had ever dared touch.

“Sssh, stop thinkin’ so hard and let yourself feel,” he whispered.

Feel? How did she feel? Scandalous. Wanton.

Beautiful.


Preorder the Tangled Bundle from:

 Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Carina Press ~ Google Play ~ iBooks


Copyright © 2011 by Leah Braemel

If you’ve already read Tangled Past, please help me spread the word as the bundle of both Texas Tangle and Tangled Past is being released, and on sale, starting on Tuesday.

Two, two, two books in one! Bundle that is.

Carina Press has put Texas Tangle and Tangled Past together as a bundle. (Amazon is currently listing it for $3.59–it may show up at a different price in your neck of the woods.)

Preorder it from Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Carina Press ~ Google Play ~ iBooks

To help spread the word, I’m throwing a Facebook party and invited authors Lynda Aicher, Randi Alexander, Marie Carr, Rhonda Lee Carver, Lexxie Couper, Cynthia d’Alba, Marie Harte, Taryn Elliott, Parker Kincade, Jodi Linton, Heather Long, Becky McGraw, Jocie McKade, Cari Quinn, Shelli Stevens, Marie Tuhart, and Beth Williamson to party along with me. They’ll all be dropping in throughout the day and evening to talk about their books and have giveaways.  And of course, I’ll be giving away books and swag too at various times throughout the day.

I’ll be posting the schedule closer to the event, so stay tuned…

Tangled Past

Forced to marry a man she just met, Sarah McLeod clings to the hope that she’ll finally find the love and acceptance she’s always craved. But her tenuous dreams of a happy life on the frontier are in danger of being dashed by the one thing she can’t change—her husband’s love for another man.

Jackson Kellar’s determined to do right by his bride, yet he’s torn between his newfound love for Sarah and his still-burning desire for Nate.

The Romance ReviewRanch owner Nate Campbell loves them both. He hates to see Jackson’s loyalties so divided, and doesn’t want Sarah hurt either. But how can they fix the tangled mess they find themselves in? Nate suggests a possible solution – a permanent threesome.

With the open frontier closing in around them, is Nate’s solution their path to happiness? Or will others destroy what they’ve found together?

NOMINATED AS “BEST EROTIC MENAGE A TROIS OR MORE” OF 2011

Texas Tangle

Thanks to her cheating ex-husband and her thieving brother, all horse breeder Nikki Kimball has left is a bruised heart, an over-drawn bank account and an empty home. When sex-on-legs Dillon Barnett and his brooding foster-brother Brett Anderson start showing more than just neighborly attention, Nikki is intrigued…and a little gun-shy.

Dillon and Brett have a history; back in high school, the two friends fought a bitter battle over Nikki. Now, ten years later, Brett still longs to be the man in Nikki’s life, but he’s determined to stand back and let Dillon win Nikki’s heart.

Society says Nikki must choose between the two men she loves. Is Nikki strong enough to break all the rules in order to find happiness?

What the reviewers said about Texas Tangle:

reviewertoppick2Sexual, sensual, loving, caring, unique.. hot yet caring. It’s adventurous but loving. Shocking truths are shared and others are discovered. This is just a fantastic romance that stretches the boundaries. “Reviewer’s Top Pick”  ~ Terri, Night Owl Romance

For a truly great ménage read, TEXAS TANGLE is the book for you. I couldn’t get enough of it and had to read it twice, okay – three times! ~Talia Ricci, Joyfully Reviewed

…hot and steamy story…Leah Braemel didn’t shy away from all the emotional entanglements that can occur within a menage…well-written, emotional and extremely erotic story. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up! 4.5 Blue Ribbons ~ Cheryl,Romance Junkies

What the reviewers said about Tangled Past:

5 Stars and a Top Pick: Once again Ms Braemel has made her story come to life and taken me along on the journey ~ Terri,Night Owl Romance

…a story not to be missed ~ ChrisNight Owl Romance

…Tangled Past is definitely a keeper. ~MelindaNight Owl Reviews.

Recommended Read: Sinful, sexy, mesmerizing and intoxicating. ~Lady RhyleighAll Romance eBooks Cafe

…a story that will take the reader on an emotional roller coaster… not be difficult to literally enter into this story and be deeply touched by their joys and disappointments. ~ Judith,Book Binge

My Five Year Birthday

Private PropertyI can’t believe Private Property was published five years ago today. It was my first published novella, and the first story of my beloved Hauberk series.

Now here I am with ten stories published, and two more to come out later this year. (For those wondering about some of the print books in the picture below, Texas Tangle is the only one I never got print copies for — and the ones for Tangled Past and Red Hot Holiday are extremely limited since Carina Press printed them specifically for a contest entry and aren’t available for sale. My hope is one day they’ll make them available as print-on-demand books. But for now, they look nice on my shelf.)
my-books-2013

If someone had told me that within a few years I’d earn more than I ever had, even when I was teaching, I think I would have told them they were full of it. I’m not sure I would have believed the stats I’ve collected — the number of months PRIVATE PROPERTY stayed on Amazon’s top 100 Best Seller’s list, and how it was still there  21 months later, or that it would have been downloaded almost eighty thousand times. I’ve been blessed to be up on that board numerous times since. In addition to reaching those lofty high numbers on Amazon, TEXAS TANGLE even reached #1 on Kobo’s Best Sellers list . (Not bestselling contemporary romance-western, or bestselling romance even. Best Selling. Top of the heap.)

For a brand new author, seeing her name sandwiched between big names like Debbie Macomber and Nora Roberts, or above Stephanie Meyer or Stephen King or James Patterson was both thrilling and terrifying.

With each contract I’ve been offered since, I still squee, but now there’s a lot more relief, and even some panic. Because with each contract, and each new release, I’m more and more aware of expectations both of my own and my publishers’ as well as my readers.

While I’ve fallen in love with each of my heroes, and some of my secondary characters too,  PRIVATE PROPERTY introduced Sam Watson, who to this day is the character my fans remark about the most. Sam set the bar high, and with each book I hope that my readers will fall in love with that hero as much as they love Sam. Though it looks like Dillon and Brett of TEXAS TANGLE are giving Sam a run for his money…(Good thing I didn’t kill off Brett the way I’d originally planned, huh?) And now I’m falling in love with the Grady boys.

I have so many plot bunnies for future stories — Scott deserves his own story in the Hauberk series so that’ll be up next. I still get requests for more books in the Barnett Springs world, and I have some ideas for Griffin and his friends. I’ve discovered that perhaps Logan from Slow Ride Home deserves redemption, along with far too many other “ooh shiny!” ideas that are constantly hounding me.

There have been highs and lows since that first contract. The industry has changed with the acceptance of digital books both through epublishers like Samhain and Carina, and the exciting acceptance of authors self-publishing that puts so much power back in the author’s hands. And of course with a renewal of interest in erotic romance. Those changes have created challenges because every time you think you’ve got something figured out, the industry changes on you and you start all over again and what worked when you were promoting your last book doesn’t work with the next one. Social media has exploded so now we have to maintain presences on Twitter and Facebook and Google+ and Pinterest. All time sucks when we’d rather be writing, but necessary to keep our names out there with the public.

We’ve seen lots of scandals from the #Amazonfail where authors of erotic romances and LGBT stories saw their books pulled from the search engines. We’ve seen plagiarism scandals, and scandals of authors admitting they purchased 5 star reviews so those reviews on Amazon aren’t meaning as much to anyone but Amazon who uses their numbers to determine how many people actually see your book in that all important “People who bought this, also bought…” bar.

But we’ve also seen success stories in self-publishing, like authors like Marie Force and Bella Andre taking books that legacy publishers had rejected and self-publishing them with tremendous success. And they led the way for other authors who were unhappy with their publishers or had stories they thought the public might want to read but legacy publishers rejected. They’ve given a control over our rights, and our edits and cover art and even marketing (not that most authors I know like that side of it, we’d rather just write) back to the author.

It doesn’t mean legacy publishing will disappear. Authors will continue to sign with those big 5 publishers, especially if they want their books to be stocked on shelves in B&N, or even Walmart and Costco. When people wonder why I still sign with a legacy publisher like Harlequin and their Carina Press, I tell them about how much they can give me, not only their marketing knowledge, but they give me far more exposure in the market than I can get myself.

When the mantra of the reader today is “when’s your next book out? I have wait THAT long?” puts a pressure on authors to produce 3 – 5 books a year, where back in 2007 when I first started looking at publication, most authors were producing 1 book a year, it takes some of the pressure off me. Because creating that cover art, even if I have to hire someone to do it, writing the back cover copy, determining how to best market a book, and hiring an editor, all take time. Lots and lots of time. Time I’d rather spend writing. And yes, I now have to decide what the long term cost may be, considering the legacy publishers will give me a lower royalty rate than I’d get self-publishing, but at least that’s my choice now. And I totally see self-publishing more books in the future, as well as working again with Samhain and Carina. But again, it’s my choice. And having that power over my own destiny is exciting. And scary as hell.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a blast from the past, and my excitement by reposting my announcement of Private Property’s sale. Because that’s a day I’ll never forget… it was a real Sally Field moment. She liked it. She really liked it. Something I’d written…something a few years before would have stayed on my hard drive unseen by anyone else.

SQUEEEE

The short story:

My erotic romance, Private Property, is going to be published by Samhain!

The long version:

Just over a month ago, Guitar Hero tapped me on the shoulder as I was sitting at my computer and said “I’m figuring that with your headphones on you couldn’t hear the thunder.” (It’s rather ironic because it’s thundering even as I type this post.) You see, on that day, I turned off my desktop computer and spent the next 90 minutes reading before I decided it was safe to boot up my computer again. One of the first programs to load is the gmail notifier program. And while the icons are still slowly forming on my screen, this tiny blue box pops up that lists the emails that have arrived since I last checked. A message from the Toronto Romance Writers, something from Marley, and … a message from Angela James of Samhain.

Oh. My. God.

You see, I’d subbed Private Property to her back in April, and on June 1st, she’d asked for a full. And now here was her decision. Either yes, or as I’d convinced myself – that dreaded ‘thank you for submitting, but we’ve decided…’ Well, you know – that polite way of saying “No” that we (okay, I) automatically interpret as meaning “You suck!” (Yeah, yeah, I know it doesn’t mean that, but I’m working on my self confidence.)

As I cursed Windows for loading so slowly, that little tiny part of me kept my fingers crossed, hoping against hope … as well as cursing the thunderstorm – why oh why did it have to choose RIGHT THEN to come through? Didn’t it know I was anxiously awaiting that email? The next few minutes were sheer AGONY! Finally both Windows and Firefox loaded, and I logged into gmail and clicked on Angela’s message. And there I read “I loved it and would be happy to offer a contract.“

I’m not sure I made that sound out loud, but I sure felt like making it. I immediately started doing what Gizmo Guy calls “The Price is Right Bounce.” You ever watched the contestants as they jump up and down and all around the stage like lunatics? That was me.

I ran downstairs and told the boys who gave me high fives all around. I then phoned Becky Burkheart – the lady who told me years back to take my writing seriously and get myself to a writing group. *hangs head in shame that I didn’t phone Gizmo Guy first* By the time I got off the phone with Sue and phoned Gizmo Guy, I was hyperventilating. It was so bad that it took me three tries to get out the words “I sold” before GG could understand me.

So here’s to another five years, and the years beyond that. Hang on, it’s going to be a wild ride.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.