Grab your mistletoe and pucker up!
Welcome to the Mistletoe Hop, a fabulous sampling of authors sharing short excerpts from their work and answering the question of whether they've been…
NAUGHTY OR NICE
Readers: Please enjoy the steamy snippets and consider picking up the full book by clicking on the buy link. Enter by leaving a comment for a chance to receive a free copy.
Have I been naughty or nice?
Honestly? I'm all about the balance.
So, the answer to the question is… Both!
Seriously, it costs nothing to be nice and, hey, showing kindness feels good. Whether giving one of my daughter's fellow golfers a lift to practice so their parents don't have to leave work early or providing supplies to a local animal shelter or food pantry, being generous with my time or giving to a cause near to my heart refills my emotional piggy bank.
Even small gestures have big impact.
Then again, being naughty—which never equates to being mean—can be so much fun. Sharing an innuendo-filled joke to make someone smile—or snort soda out their nose—is a hoot. Picking the perfect gag gift for siblings before they get yours… totally cool. Letting loose and straying from the tried and true gives life a little oomph and boosts my horizons.
Which pays off in huge ways.
Being naughty and nice might confuse the jolly, fat man, but it makes for some great romance. When writing as ML Skye, I tend to focus on science fiction or speculative romance, imagining a future where couples have the same issues of contemporary times, but find love in a different galaxy or on another planet. They also celebrate the season, albeit in a slightly different way.
Combining some naughty sexual tension with a nice dose of holiday cheer is what I love to do. I have two holiday releases with this terrific combination.
Spirit's Bright Star, features a duo who have to go undercover to bring in a wanted criminal and their alter egos are the design team for the huge holiday display on a space station. Courtney and Gib have very different upbringings and some of their traditions helped shape who they are. In Courtney's case, letting go of the not so wonderful customs could free her to pursue a terrific new path with Gib.
Midwinter Crises has a former couple in peril who have to work together to thwart a madman holding their city hostage. Jess is a sharpshooter who can't get distracted by reminiscing about her recent breakup with Murph. Murph is a consummate negotiator who can't afford to lose focus, but remember their last holiday season together makes it hard. The crisis kicks up feelings neither wants to examine, but also puts their differences into perspective.
I had so much fun writing the books and I'm giving a digital copy of your choice away for this blog hop.
Excerpts for both books are below. Please enjoy!
Spirit's Bright Star
Book Tagline: On Space Station Gamma, Courtney and Gib discover love while working undercover during the holiday season.
Courtney Caine paced back and forth in the small interview room of Outpost Five, Space Station Gamma's security hub. The ass chewing she'd just received still burned and the man who caused it offered zero help. And the new assignment to fix their screw up sucked balls.
She stopped and whirled around. "Dammit, Gib, how the hell can we pull this whole 'get the station ready for every damned holiday ever' thing McCall wants?" Warren, the head of security, had to be out of his mind.
No, more like pissed off and looking to make two of his undercover agents pay the price.
Her fellow ass-chewee, Gib Gallagher, tilted his handsome head to one side and pondered her question. Courtney wished the guy didn't look good enough to eat. Tall, built, and rough around the edges, the exact type she tended to go for. And a prime candidate for the security forces, which put him out of her reach. She avoided workplace relationships like the Tanthiac plague—who needed the awkward vibes after it inevitably ended?
Gib snapped his fingers. "I've got it. We could arrive under the guise of a brilliant omnisexual designer with his overworked and harried assistant in tow."
She frowned. "You couldn't pass for an omnisexual. No way."
Gib scoffed. "I'll have you know if a hot dude or smokin' alien asked me for sex, I'd totally consider it."
And if she asked? Yeah, he'd absolutely entertain the idea. Alas, she would never broach the topic.
Couldn't. Even if she wanted to.
Courtney rolled her eyes. "Really? What kind of guy would you be attracted to?"
He answered. "Someone buff, tough, and rough. Oh… and tall. Maybe with dark hair." He waggled his eyebrows.
She snorted. "You moron, you just described yourself. That's not omnisexual. Hell, I don't think there's a name for wanting to screw yourself." She shook her head. "I don't even want to know what kind of alien you'd be into. Probably a thick-skinned, scaly Scathian,"
He wrinkled his nose. "No way. Their scales would chafe too badly and the slime green coloring kinda skeeves me out. Now the blue-toned Caprisians are another story—wait… you think I’m buff?" He waited a beat. "Of course you do. That's how we landed in this mess in the first place."
Damn. The. Man. She would not take full responsibility.
She crossed her arms over her chest. "Uh uh. You're not laying the blame on me. How do you figure it's my fault?"
He smirked. "You shouldn't have been checking out my ass. We wouldn't have lost Beno if you were focused on the job." His brow arched, daring her to counter.
Book Blurb: Courtney Caine and Gib Gallagher incur the head of security's wrath. The top man for Space Station Gamma punishes his two best shadow operatives by putting them in charge of all the decorations for the upcoming holiday season, and they have to pull off creating the glitz and glamor without blowing their covers.
Midwinter Crises: Capital City Seasons Book One
Book Tagline: When a madman wants to blow up the city during the Midwinter holiday, it's just another day on the job for Ben and Jess.
Where no one knew anyone's name… especially during the Midwinter holidays.
Everyone went about their self-prescribed traditions—too busy to care about anything more than spending money and finding the next 'perfect' item so it could be crossed off a way too long list.
But somehow, not even the sheer volume of credits exchanged from Discovery Day to Midwinter's Eve managed to quell the number of embittered and downtrodden who picked this time of year to go off the deep end or make a stand for their cause.
And someone had to deal with them… diffuse the situation, garner a peaceful outcome. If not, things could get very ugly.
The 'someone' people called? Ben Murphy. A top negotiator, his proven ability and track record made him the go-to person when wanting to avoid bloodshed.
Because why would anyone want that to go along with their holiday cheer?
A lone man held the city hostage, his metaphorical fist ready to destroy the main power grid. A person might wonder how he'd managed to position himself to do it. That would, no doubt, be addressed in the slew of after action reports turned in once the crisis had been averted. Heads would roll. Jobs would be lost. And none of those issues mattered now that the guy had taken control of the central power facility.
What did matter?
Hopefully quick, painless, and peaceful. No one wanted to watch the city grind to a screeching halt during the most profitable quarter of the year. Not that Murph cared much about that aspect, especially when the joy of the season usually got lost in the shuffle of the crowds.
In fact, the holiday cheer being piped through the sound system of his private transport grated on Murph's last nerve. He tuned it out and focused on the view from the window, looking out over the expanse of Capital City. As of now, everything remained bright, shiny and lit up… and Murph loved the sight.
He should… he'd grown up with it. He might not have seen much of it lately—his self-imposed exile from the city and Jessa Muldoon prevented it—but he would always appreciate the sight.
For better or worse, Ben Murphy had come home.
Book Blurb: Mixing the holidays with a guy who wants to blow up the city is just another day on the job for Ben Murphy and Jessa Muldoon.
Capital City teems with tourists, shoppers, and anyone else who can cram their way into the limits for the Midwinter celebration. The entire holiday will go to hell in a hand basket if Ben can't negotiate a peaceful resolution with the man holding the city hostage. If he fails, sharpshooter Jess will step in and take the guy out.
Not exactly the post-breakup reunion scenario Ben has in mind for seeing Jess… but he'll take it. He let work split them up once, now it has a chance to bring them together. Ben will take the opportunity and run with it.
Please leave a comment for your entry and share whether you top the naughty or nice list and which holiday themed book strikes your fancy.
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