Cold Nights, Hot Reads Blog Hop!
• 1st Prize: $125 Paypal Cash or Gift Card
• 2nd Prize: $50 Paypal Cash or Gift Card
• 3rd Prize: $35 Paypal Cash or Gift Card
• 4th Prize $20 Gift Certificate for Phaze Books
Hmmm, you say to yourself. I have a ton of books I really need to read, but not a lot of money to spend buying them. I could really use one of those gift cards. How do I go about winning one?
That, gentle reader, is a very good question. I like good questions, especially when I know the answer. All you have to do to win is comment. Not just on my blog, but on every blog in the rafflecoptor below. I’ll include the link at the bottom.
But wait, I cry, there’s more. If you leave a comment on my blog, you will also be entered to win my own special prize: a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to help offset the cost of buying all the really good books you’re about to sample on this blog hop.
Are you ready to start sampling?
Of course you are. Considering the title of the blog hop, I figured something hot and sexy in the midst of very cold weather would be the perfect excerpt to offer. So, this is a scene from Have Paddle, Will Travel. Ettie and Vance are stranded in a small cabin in the middle of nowhere after having been dunked in an icy river. Their clothes are wet and hanging by the stove to drip dry. There is no bed. Instead, they are swaddled together for warmth between two old bearskin rugs.
* * * * *
Snuggling in, she hugged herself tight against him. Outside, the wind buffeted the cabin. Trees were creaking. So was the roof above their heads. Ettie didn’t like storms. Weather was a scary thing. Unstoppable. Violent. She’d once spent a summer visiting her grandparents in Tornado Alley. What was currently happening outside sounded just like what Ettie heard the night the tornado sirens chased them all the way down into her grandfather’s storm cellar. That had been the scariest night of her life. She shuddered. She hated storms.
“Are you all right?”
She jumped a little when Vance’s hand found her shoulder. “Sure, why wouldn’t I be?”
“You’re shaking,” he pointed out.
“It’s cold.” She didn’t even have to lie, at least not about that.
“Yes, it is,” Vance agreed, his fingers lazily circling the ball of her shoulder. He paused to tug the rug a little further up and tucked it in around her chin. His fingers went back to playing with her shoulder. “Hey, here’s a bit of trivia for you. Do you know why they call that stream outside Potato Creek?”
Trying not to like the way his fingers kept playing upon her arm, as if they were lovers lying comfortably together, Ettie shook her head. “No.”
“It dates back to Prohibition. Whiskey peddlers used to live all up and down these roads. One, being an immigrant newly arrived to our fair shores, decided he was going to try his hand at introducing all his liquor-poor American neighbors to juice from the motherland. His preference being vodka, he had a truck of potatoes shipped in. Unfortunately for him, the roads weren’t any better back then than they are today and, whether due to bad weather conditions or profit-driven competitors, the truck overturned, filling the creek with potatoes. People were picking spuds out of the water for miles, and for years afterward, you’d find potato plants growing along the banks. True story.”
Her eyes narrowing, Ettie lifted her head off his shoulder. “You’re pulling my leg.”
He held up three fingers in a Boy Scout salute. “On my honor.”
“Potatoes don’t grow this high in the mountains. It’s too cold!”
“Potatoes like cool growing conditions.”
She threw out one arm, gesturing to the weather. “Not this cool, I guarantee it.”
“Well, but that just goes to show the difference between then and now. Spuds were much tougher back then. These days, they’ve got it too easy. Myself, I blame fast food and the rampant availability of internet porn.”
Ettie couldn’t help it. She laughed, snorted, covered her mouth and laughed even harder. “You are so full of shit.”
“Has anyone ever told you you have the mouth of a sailor?” he asked, but he was smiling when he said it and his fingers were still tracing those lazy circles around and around the crown of her bare shoulder.
“Once or twice,” she admitted, then joked, “Is that a spanking offense?”
“Only if you want it to be,” he countered, effectively stopping her laughter.
The atmosphere in that little cabin went from relaxed to tensely somber in the space of a breath.
“Don’t be silly.” She made herself laugh, but even to her it sounded forced. Too high. Strained, rather than natural. “Why would I want that?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Sometimes people do funny things when they want or need to get spanked.”
“Who said I needed to get spanked?” She laughed again. She also squirmed, and afterward, she could have kicked herself for not making it look more like a shiver from the cold. She had to be careful. Regardless of their current circumstance, even though he was being particularly charming and vulnerable, and even somewhat likeable, none of this changed anything. He was still a horn dog and she still didn’t like him.
“I’m just making conversation. Nobody said you needed anything.”
“That’s because I don’t.” She cleared her throat. “Nobody needs that sort of thing. Why would they? It’s ridiculous.”
“I don’t think it’s ridiculous.” His fingers ceased their circling and began instead to trace light lines up and down from her shoulder to her elbow. “I don’t think for a woman to know she needs the occasional or even regular spanking is ridiculous at all.”
“That’s because you’re Have Paddle, Will Travel,” she muttered, struggling to pull her old, familiar shroud of disgruntlement in around her. For some reason, it didn’t fit anywhere near as comfortably as it used to. That’s what lying naked with a man could do to a girl. Despite the circumstances, it was hard to separate years of carefully maintained dislike from the physical closeness. And the smell. God, he smelled good. She just wanted to press her nose to his skin and inhale.
“I beg your pardon?” His fingers on her arm had stilled and he had craned his neck to see her better in the dim firelight. “What did you just call me?”
She lifted her chin out from his side. “Have Paddle, Will Travel. Everyone calls you that. You’re like the Fuller Brush Man only with cooler implements…or so they tell me. You didn’t know?”
“Is this ‘they’ as in friends and neighbors around the community, or is this ‘they’ as in the people quoted in your newspaper?”
“What’s the difference?”
He scoffed. “Well, one represents real people, and the other is made up entirely out of your imagination. Who do I have to thank for such an interesting moniker?”
Cheeks beginning to heat, she tucked her chin back up against him. “If forced to be honest…”
“Honesty is the best policy.” He sounded amused. That helped make the confession come out easier.
“It’s probably about fifty-fifty.”
His chest under her cheek bounced when he chuckled, then he drew in a deep breath. It sounded a lot like a sigh. “Ettie honey, now I’m saying it. You need spanking. Lots and lots of spanking. Bare bottom. Legs pinned.” His tone deepened, turning damn-near seductive. “Hands clasped behind your back to keep you from interfering until I’m done—either that or a really good kiss.”
And just like that, suddenly all Ettie could think about was how naked she was, and how naked he was, and how they were cuddled up together between two bearskin rugs…in a remote cabin…in the middle of nowhere…with a blizzard raging outside and a fire dying inside. Up until this moment, Ettie had been able to partition the uncomfortable particulars off in her mind. This was a desperate situation, after all. Everybody knew how desperate situations often led to people doing crazy things. Like crawling naked into bed with one’s nearest and dearest enemy just to keep warm through a bitterly cold night. Nothing seemed cold right now, though. Not any part of her pressed up against all the parts of him, including that one part that she’d tried so hard not to look at. He was warming up. The shrinkage was reversing. Vance wasn’t a eunuch anymore.
“Don’t say that,” she said, trying to pretend she couldn’t feel him—the thump of his heart beneath her hand, all that lean muscle that travelled down his side, and the sinewy stretch of his leg where it pressed against hers.
“Which part?” he asked. “The spanking, or the kissing?”
“What could possibly be sick about spanking or kissing?”
Her nipples were as taut and tight as mountain peaks. He had to know it, too. They were poking right into his ribs. “Any part of either if you’re involved in it.”
Vance chuckled, a low throaty sound that travelled up her spine like the Devil’s own fingertips. “In that case, baby, I’m not just sick. I’m the most twisted son of a bitch you’ll ever love to hate.”
* * * * *
When a freak snow storm threatens to cut off the already remote community of Corbin’s Bend from the rest of the world, the residents scramble to get enough emergency supplies from neighboring towns before the mountain roads are closed. It’s sheer luck of the draw that force Ettie and Vance into the same car together. The only problem is, they can’t stand one another. She’s a submissive who hasn’t been spanked in four very long years (four years, seven months, thirteen days…not that she was counting). He’s the resident paddle and strap maker, a man known to answer the call of needy submissives everywhere. In his workshop at home, Vance has every implement he’d ever need to win a war like this. In a car in the middle of nowhere with the storm of the century bearing down upon them…who will win this particular battle was anybody’s guess.
Now that you’ve read mine, don’t forget to comment and Click here to check out what the other very talented authors have offered on their blogs. And don’t forget to click on this link and enter for these prizes as well. 🙂