This week I'm writing the final words in Intertwined Hearts, the next installment of the Men of Snowcroft series.
This book is different for me for many reasons.
1. It features a menage triad relationship.
2. It's the longest book I've ever written (it's already over 100k and it's not finished yet.)
3. It's also the first time I've written a book that features a pregnancy...even if it is a surrogate one, so neither of the heroes is the father.
But it does feature 3 main characters that I absolutely adore. And to each of them, May 27th is significant in their stories.
So, here is a sneak peek (totally unedited) into the set-up of Intertwined Hearts (coming late summer/early fall, 2016)...
May 27th...Albuquerque, NM
Leigh Vaughn let herself into her hotel room and flopped onto the bed. She ignored the slinky dress and heels lying askew on the floor. They only served as a reminder at how much she sucked at this whole female thing. She may have been born a girl, but somewhere something had gone haywire in her DNA...or it might just be a result of having grown up surrounded by construction crews. She sighed and ignored the half drunk bottle of red wine and single empty glass beside it.
“Holy crap,” she murmured to herself. That had been the single hottest night in her entire life. And it was so unexpected.
While she’d come to Albuquerque to hook up with someone, after visiting a nightclub last night, she couldn’t stand the thought of having sex with any of the virtual teenagers there. She’d been uncomfortable and out of her element in the dressy clothes. So she’d given up, come back to the hotel, opened her own bottle of wine and gotten comfortable in her normal, holey jeans, work boots, and ratty T-shirt. But then regrets had set in...she couldn’t even get laid like a normal girl. So she’d gone to the store for some rocky road ice cream.
And met David.
Hot damn, he’d been sexy and attentive. And sexy. Just thinking about him had her core tingling, although she should be worn out after the night’s calisthenics in bed with him. And against the door. And then in the shower. And on the floor.
Her only regret...she’d lied to him almost as much as he’d made her orgasm. Her name wasn’t Gretchen. She didn’t work at a local accounting firm. And she wasn’t available for anything else. Which is why she’d snuck out this morning before he awoke.
Because the next year of her life she’d promised to her brother, Jamie. Next month, she’d begin the process of becoming a surrogate for him and his husband, Trevor.
May 27th...Austin, TX
Hudson Richmond walked through the kitchen of his restaurant, Essence, inspecting the after dinner cleanup. As usual, the kitchen was spotless. He had a good crew.
After the drama of firing one of his line cooks, Victor, a few weeks ago the kitchen staff was finding their rhythm again. He couldn’t have his staff coming into work high. And it was just in time since a little birdie had told him that a big-name restaurant reviewer planned to visit his restaurant tomorrow.
He stepped into the storeroom to make sure that everything was in order for the specials he’d planned and spotted a trash bag someone had missed during cleanup. It was filled with packaging trash and plastic and would be fine to wait until tomorrow, but felt like a blemish on his spic and span kitchen. He picked it up to toss in the dumpster on the way out to his car in the back parking lot.
Satisfaction hummed through his veins. His restaurant drained him with the long hours and stressful days, but at times like this, all that effort was worth it. He’d done this himself. Built his dream into a success and it felt damn good.
He turned off all the lights in the restaurant, except the single fixture in the hall that stayed on all the time and unlocked the back door. As he turned back around to lock the door, he heard a shuffling noise behind him.
Before he could turn around, several hands grabbed him. There were multiple men who rushed him. His arms were secured behind him and they shoved him hard against the back door. A starburst of pain exploded across his cheekbone. He didn’t have time to react and fight back.
Another man grabbed his hair and yanked his head back. He saw the glint of a knife and fear clawed down his throat. The man twisted the blade so he knew Hudson could see the light glint off its sharp edge. “Not so tough now, are you, big man?” He knew that voice. It was Victor, the guy he’d fired a few weeks ago. “You’re just a pussy with an overinflated ego. Well, not anymore. Not after tonight.” He yanked Hudson’s head back and rammed it against the hard metal door.
Black encroached the edges of his vision. Punches pummeled his kidneys, while kicks slammed into his legs. He would have crumpled to the ground, but two men continued to hold him up. There had to be at least six of them whaling on him. He moaned and pleaded, but when they began to shred at his clothes, he screamed and fought. Another blow to his head and the world went blessedly dark.
May 27th...Albuquerque, NM
Detective David Warner looked in stunned disbelief as his partner of three years drew his gun on him. “James, what the fuck are you doing?”
The day had started out shitty after waking up alone after one of the most sexually explosive nights of his life. Gretchen had been perfect...the curvy redhead had been so damn fun and sexy in bed. For the first time, he wanted to know more, get lost in her, not just kick her out of his bed after he got his rocks off. But then he’d woken up, and she’d been gone.
Now he stared down the service revolver being held pointed at him by his best friend.
“I’m sorry,” James’ voice broke, “I don’t have any choice. I have to do this or they’ll kill Sara.” Sara was his sixteen-year-old daughter and she’d been getting in trouble for the last couple of years. James had been at his wits end about what to do with her.
“There’s always a choice,” David tried for calm. His best friend wouldn’t really shoot him, would he? “Who are they? What do they want you to do? Come on man, we can figure this out together.”
“It’s too late. I’m in too deep now.” His gun shook. This wasn’t going to end well.
David glanced over to their destination. They’d been sent here to check out a lead. They needed to know where the newest influx of untraceable guns was coming into the city from. It was supposed to be just a normal call to ask a few questions. Although the chance of finding a gun in his face was part of his daily job, David sure hadn’t expected it from his partner and best friend. This was the one guy he’d counted on for years to have his back, no matter what.
“Come on, James, you don’t want to do this.”
“I can’t let you go in there.”
At that moment a gunshot sounded within and a woman started screaming. Out of habit, David went for his gun. It was a testament to how much he trusted his partner, regardless of the gun pointed at him, that he immediately focused on the chaos in the house rather than their situation. Sound exploded as a blaze of blinding pain arced down his thigh.
David gazed down at his right thigh where blood already soaked through his pants to his partner who had tears rolling down his face.
“I’m sorry,” James whispered. “So, so sorry. I had no choice.” Then he turned his gun on himself.
David screamed as he watched his partner blow himself away.
Intertwined Hearts...Men of Snowcroft #3
(m/m/f contemporary romance)
coming Summer/Fall 2016
Three people who’ve given up on love...
After a brutal, late-night attack in his restaurant left Chef Hudson Richmond too traumatized to even enter his restaurant again, he escaped to Snowcroft. Now he’s trying to find a new normal when the reality of his world is a man’s touch makes him sick and his dream has become his nightmare.
Leigh Vaughn lives in a man’s world running Vaughn Construction with her brother, Jamie. She’s tried to be feminine and failed over and over again. Growing up with only her brother, father, and construction crews to guide her, Leigh has no idea what a feminine wile is, much less how to deploy them. But when Jamie and Trevor begin to research finding a surrogate to carry their baby, she knows this is something she can do. Hell, it’s not like those parts are getting used for anything else.
When this small town came looking for a new police chief, David Warner jumped at the chance. After too many years spent working vice in the city, he’s burnt out and jaded. And his love life has been even more depressing than his work life. He’s made one true connection in the last five years, but she disappeared without a trace the next morning.
Three people who have given up on love, may just find a new beginning where they least expect it...in Snowcroft. But love is only supposed to happen in twos. How can they make it work with three intertwined hearts?