I was at the dentist today and read an article about Jake Woods. And he was on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert!
I hope my readers in the states are looking forward to a long weekend! It’s overcast here in Albuquerque, which I love, and I’m sipping some iced coffee with toffee nut at Michael Thomas Coffee Roasters. It’s the first Friday of the month, and I’m very tempted to head over for Fractal Fridays at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History as featured in Veteran Hearts. Do you think I’d meet someone like Kyle?
For something short with several sex scenes, please read Veteran Hearts:
To her surprise, he turned off the truck and killed the lights. Maybe he was coming in after all. He turned sideways to look at her and said, “I’d love to come in, but that might be too fast for me. I know in the book we read they hit the bed after the first hello, but even after two months of knowing you, it’s hard for me to get closer.”
He had his hand on the console between them, and she placed hers on top. “You could just come in for dinner. I swear I won’t molest you.”
His gaze softened though it was hard to see in the shadows. “Maybe I’ll just walk you up to the door, old fashioned like.”
“I’d like that.”
She withdrew her hand, sorry he wouldn’t be staying but still feeling like they’d taken a big step in their relationship. When she stepped out of the truck, he was already out and around, ready to take her hand as she stepped down. Her soul thrilled when he laced his fingers between hers after he closed the door.
She opened the tall wooden gate and smiled at the gurgling of the fountain in the corner of her patio. She’d have to turn it off soon before the first freeze, but she was glad it was on tonight.
“Nice courtyard,” he said as he entered.
She shut the gate, cutting off the view of the rest of the neighborhood. She’d forgotten to turn the porch light on when she left, which allowed the moonlight to cast a romantic glow.
When they arrived at the door, she turned and faced him, not knowing if he wanted to stay and talk or if he’d leave right away. She had a wrought-iron bench over to the side by the fountain and a table with two chairs on the other side. It’d be more comfortable inside.
She realized he was staring at her with a mix of affection and regret on his face. It made her want to stand on her toes to kiss him, but she was sure she’d scare him away if she tried that.
Much to her astonishment, he slipped his hand beneath the hair on the back of her neck, leaned down and brushed his lips against hers.
Goosebumps erupted all over her body. She’d imagined the first kiss so many times that she couldn’t believe it was better than all her scenarios.
He pulled back just enough to speak. “I’m sorry I’m so crazy. I really like you, and it scares the shit out of me—not the liking part but the possibility of losing you in the future. I lost a lot of friends at war.”
It was weird to feel relief at his statement, but at least now she knew what was wrong. Before it’d been a vague generalization of being a veteran. Now she knew something of the cause.
All Romance: Free for the Weekend https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-veteranhearts-2064021-149.html
Amazon: $1.99 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017Y6RG3Q
Barnes and Noble: $1.99 http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/veteran-hearts-evelyn-aster/1122952967?ean=2940152466577
Or if you’d like a full novel with an involved plot and several sex scenes, please read Thankful Hearts:
She broke the silence and asked, “Did you miss home while you were away, or did you try not to think about it?”
He looked at her profile as she stared out at the city. It was probably an innocent question to her, but it brought up all of his theories and fears about PTSD that he hadn’t talked to anyone about. He wasn’t planning on talking about it ever, but his words betrayed him.
“I thought about home every damn day. I wanted to keep in mind what I was fighting for to distance myself from the violence I was a part of. Soldiers come home and blow up when they hear people complaining at the mall about a dress that doesn’t fit or the fucking barista misspelling their name on a cup of coffee, but that’s why we’re fighting. So someone’s misspelled name is the worst part of their fucking day. I didn’t want to come home and be mad about it.”
Her breath hitched, and in one smooth move, she placed her hand behind his neck and pulled him in for a kiss. At first he stood still, unable to register what was happening. But her lips warmed his and brought movement to his body. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her right up against his chest. Their lips parted, and she slipped her tongue inside his mouth. He loved her assertiveness—he didn’t have to guess what she wanted. But then he tensed. She might discover his gun.
He broke off the kiss and said, “That wasn’t a line. It’s really how I feel.”
She smiled and said, “I know. Was I overly appreciative of your philosophy?” She drew her hands off his neck and tried to step back, but he held her fast.
“No, I just don’t want you to think I’m full of shit.” His face burned when he spoke. He didn’t know why it was so important what she thought of him. He hadn’t been considering her as a girlfriend; at least he didn’t think he had.
All Romance: On Sale for the weekend at $1.99. https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thankfulhearts-1921896-149.html
I’m truly honored. This is a first for me!
Here are a couple of behind the scenes statistics from my business meeting over the weekend:
- Thankful Hearts is my number one selling book ever!
2. Veteran Hearts is my most downloaded book ever. Even though it was free for a limited time, it eeked out the win over The Beautician and the Billionaire Episode One with over 1000 downloads!
If you haven’t read them yet, I hope you do! The stories are still relevant even outside of the holidays they center around.
It’s a gorgeous Saturday here in Albuquerque with blue skies for miles. Tons of leaves finally fell from my trees last night, but it’s warm this afternoon. I hope your day is as beautiful even as we mourn for France around the world.
I’d like to share the beginning of Veteran Hearts. This story takes place in between Masked Hearts and Thankful Hearts, but it’s a complete stand-alone filled with a lot of sex for such a short story. Enjoy!
1| Ginger Tea Latte with Extra Foam
Jessica sat at a round table by the window of the Holiday Cafe. She gripped her Ginger Tea Latte with extra foam in one hand and her tablet in the other. Outside, a car with bright headlights drove through the parking lot, but she was looking for a truck.
Kyle would arrive at any second.
Her hand tightened on the cup. Maybe she’d scared him away. Maybe her not so subtle hint about where she wanted the relationship to go had been too much.
A planet shown brightly against the blue twilight sky, calming her nerves as she stared at it. She loved turning the clock back so night fell earlier. For the first time, she felt as if autumn had actually arrived. When Kyle showed up, it’d be the perfect evening—if he showed up. Of course, he would, wouldn’t he?
For fuck’s sake, they were grown adults, she could recommend that kind of book if she wanted to.
She turned her gaze back to the book on her tablet, but her mind remained on Kyle and the desire to move their relationship forward—way forward.
The first time he’d walked into the cafe on a Monday night, she’d caught her breath. He had thick coffee colored hair she wished she could brush her fingers through and even darker eyes that turned her insides soft as the foam on her latte. He’d worn a forest colored t-shirt tucked in—very unusual for men in Albuquerque. But it was his voice that really pushed her desire over the edge: deep and smooth as milk chocolate.
She startled and looked up when she actually heard his voice speak the words she’d heard for the first time two months ago: “Hey, Chloe. A Ginger Tea Latte with extra foam.”
Jessica smiled when he turned around and nodded to her with his eyes crinkling in a grin. He was even the same age as her: thirty-five.
When he turned back to Chloe, the barista, Jessica checked out his perfect ass in his snug jeans. So many times she’d wanted to run her hands down to his butt while giving him a long kiss. She took a deep breath and steadied herself by checking the time on her tablet: 6:00 pm. Right on the dot as usual.
Chloe chatted with him as she rung up his order. After he’d paid, he walked right to her table instead of waiting for the drink.
He moved with confident strides that said he was a man in control. But when he talked, he was always soft spoken—a contrast. The first night they’d met, they’d had a great conversation about books and decided to meet again the next week. They’d agreed to read and discuss The Martian, which she’d hoped to turn into a movie date, but it’d never happened. At least he’d promised to meet her the next Monday for another book and then the next Monday and the next for two months now.
Kyle sat down, his face changing to the color of the Red Planet.
Jessica gave an impish grin, set her tablet down and wrapped both hands around her cup.
Kyle said, “That wasn’t romance. That was porn.”
Jessica gave a mock gasp and flipped a strand of long blond hair behind her shoulder. “I can’t believe you said that. Porn has no emotions. This couple had a deep connection.”
“Oh, I’d say it was deep. The book spent several pages telling how deep into her he was.”
Jessica snorted and stared down at her lap. Heat flared in her face. She didn’t know if she was more embarrassed by his comment or the snort. But there was no turning back now. Two months of enjoying Kyle’s company over Ginger Tea Lattes with extra foam and without sex was too long.
She jutted her chin out and said, “That’s what you get for making me read that hard sci-fi book last week.”
“You’re a scientist. I thought you liked sci-fi.”
“Not hard sci-fi. I don’t need to read detail after detail about some solar array. That’s my real life.”
“So I guess your real life doesn’t involve sex at every angle you can possibly think of.” He stared straight into her eyes as he spoke with his voice barely above a whisper.
She stole herself against the intensity of his dark eyes and forced out her reply. “My life hasn’t involved sex of any sort for far too long.”
He leaned forward and slid his hands across the table as if he would encircle her hands around the cup. Her skin tingled in anticipation of his touch. She’d been waiting for this for two months. She should’ve suggested a smut book sooner.
But Chloe walked up dressed in combat boots, camo pants and a green t-shirt that said Holiday Cafe.
Kyle withdrew as she set a teacup with a light froth on top in front of him.
She said, “One Ginger Tea Latte with extra foam.” She turned to Jessica and asked, “Are you ready for another?”
Damn it. She was ready for a long-awaited sign of affection from Kyle. “Uh, no not yet.” She couldn’t believe Chloe had walked up right then. Chloe knew she was frustrated with how slow the relationship was moving. Surely she’d seen that he was just about to hold her hands.
Kyle leaned back in his chair. One hand took the handle of his teacup, and he lifted it up to take a sip.
Chloe slapped a flier on the table with an American flag in the background and text saying something about a special coffee. “I hope the two of you can come to our Veterans Day Coffee. It’s next Monday so you won’t have to change the day you meet or anything. Troy Sandoval’s baking all the pastries, and I know he’d love to see you, Kyle.”
Kyle stared at the flyer with the teacup halfway to his mouth. Something akin to anger glinted in his eyes. Jessica had hoped he’d ask her to the Poetry Slam the cafe had hosted for Halloween, but he’d only commented that poetry wasn’t his thing. By the look in his eye, maybe he was anti-war too.
Jessica realized the silence had gone on too long. “Uh, thanks. I’m sure I’ll be here for it,” she said.
“Great,” said Chloe with a smile as if nothing was wrong. She turned on her heel and strode back to the counter.
Kyle set his cup down and put a hand on top of the flyer. Jessica watched as he slowly curled his fingers together, crumpling the paper.
“Is something wrong?” asked Jessica.
He stopped, midway to a fist, appearing distraught.
Compassion swelled inside Jessica, making her do what she’d been too timid to do for two months.
She reached out and put her hand on top of his.
Her whole body glowed like a candle at the first contact. He relaxed his hand beneath hers until it was flat once again along with the paper.
“Sorry,” he said, staring at her hand on top of his. “We were having a good time and the reminder was unexpected.”
“I’m a veteran. I like to forget that I am.”
Find it at these retailers!
And be sure to enter the Giveaway for a free Kindle Fire!
I’m still on the list, and I moved up a little bit! To celebrate, I’m keeping Thankful Hearts on sale for $1.00 through Thanksgiving! AND as a bonus I discounted Masked Hearts down to $1.00 as well! Tell your friends the Holiday Cafe is serving handcrafted discounts at All Romance!
In other great news, Love Serially reviewed Thankful Hearts! Here’s a taste:
Evelyn Aster has clearly spent some time researching and thinking about soldiers returning from home. In fact, her opening notes thank a veteran for reading the novel, which I think is awesome. This is not an easy romance. It bounces back and forth, much the way I imagine the thoughts and emotions of a veteran suffering from PTSD.
Be sure to read the whole review!
Thankful Hearts is with my editor for 2nd/3rd round edits. It’s also with a veteran from the Iraq War to make sure Hudson is a reasonable portrayal of someone with PTSD. Continue reading