Thursday, July 4, 2013

Sizzling Summer Blog Hop

It's here!!! Yay!

Keeping with the theme of the hop, I've decided to give you all an excerpt from Losing Me, Finding You by C.M. Stunich!  I absolutely LOVE this book and nearly wet myself when CM announced that she was writing a sequel!  Squeee!  Of all of the numerous books I have read, this is my number one, favorite book.  Ever.  Seriously.  Anytime someone asks for book recommendations, the first book I suggest is this one.

Here is Chapter 1 from Losing Me, Finding You by C.M. Stunich

I wake to a dull roar that quickly becomes deafening. The sound rattles the windows in my bedroom and sends my father into a raging fury about those darn criminals which I can only assume refers to the motorcycle gangs that have been rolling into town lately for the antique bike show. My father does this every year, says these things every year. I should really move out.

“Amy,” my mother says, opening my door the same way she has every day since I started kindergarten. “Time to get up. We're meeting your aunt over at the church to plan the potluck on Saturday.” I smile and nod, hold my tongue and refuse to tell her that a potluck plans itself. People bring dishes; other people eat them. There isn't much to figure out.

“Thanks, Mom,” I say and blow her a kiss as she backs away and resigns herself to listening to my father complain. What he conveniently forgets is that those 'criminals' make up a pretty hefty portion of our town's summer economy. Without them, I don't think many of the shops downtown would still be in business. I sigh and stand up as another wave of noise approaches from the direction of the highway. Moved by my curiosity, I stand by the window and part the drapes so I can catch a glimpse of the men and women who are so far outside my realm of being that they might as well be aliens. They wear leather and have piercings and tattoos. The open road is their home and mine, mine is this three bedroom, two bath prison which is perfectly nice but so stifling that sometimes, it makes me sick.

I watch the wave of bikers drive by and press my fingertips to the shaking glass.

“Take me with you,” I whisper as they fly by and disappear around the corner. I imagine what it would feel like to just run away with them, try something new, something different. I shake my head and turn away. It's not going to happen, not for me. Girls like me don't wrap their arms around men in leather, straddle massive hunks of metal that my mom refers to solely as death traps, drive to cities we've never been. Girls like me put on their yellow camisoles, their white sweaters and their below the knee skirts. We grab our purses, slather on some clear lip gloss and sit in the passenger seat while our mother talks about the nice boy who just moved to town with his parents. Poor guy, I think as I imagine his fate. He may as well have the words 'fresh meat' tattooed on his forehead like one of those biker boys. The girls from my church are going to be all over him. After all, in a town of five thousand people, it's not as if we have many choices. I should go to college, I think as my mom continues to talk in the background. Maybe somewhere far, far away. I sigh and smile at my mother who's patting my knee. Like I said, me, coward. Period.

“I'm so glad you're here!” my aunt says as she comes out the front doors of the church in an outfit disturbingly similar to mine. “We have a serious problem.” She sighs and makes the sign of the cross which bothers my mom because we're not Catholic. My aunt loves church functions, church rummage sales and church gossip, but I don't think she really likes church in and of itself. I bet she'd be hard pressed to even remember Jesus' role in the whole of things. I'm not judging her, but I just think she's shallow and as see-through as a piece of glass. I'm like that, too, I think, but I wish I wasn't. I wish I had some substance.

I tune out my aunt and turn slightly, so I can see the main thoroughfare of the town down the hill from us. It's absolutely packed with people, humming with this wild energy that makes the hairs on my arms stand on end. I've never been to the motorcycle show which seems strange since I've lived here my whole life. My father, however, has always forbidden me to go. This year, even though I'm twenty-one years old, isn't any different. I really should put my foot down and let him know that I'm an adult and can make my own choices, thank you very much, but I haven't felt passionate enough about anything to take a stand.

When my mom and aunt start to move inside, I follow them and sit at the table with the other lunching ladies while they plan the same potluck we have every month, the one that doesn't really need any planning. Of course, under the table I have the greatest treat of all, one that doesn't involve church or yellow sweaters or cheese casseroles. Under the table, my book boyfriend is sucking on my toes.

“I want you like I've never wanted anyone else,” Adam says to me as he kisses the arch of my foot and starts to move his way up my leg, ever so slowly, teasing my skin with his teeth, tasting my thighs with the hot heat of his mouth until he comes to my –

“Amy?” my mother says, waving her hand in front of my face. I look up and see seven curious expressions staring back at me.

“Hmm?” I close the book around my hand, determined to dive back in as soon as the setting permits; it's the only way I'll stay sane. The rest of the day isn't exactly looking up as we have plans to help my cousin try on wedding dresses. My mother wanted to wait until the motorcycle show was over, but Jodie's having a shotgun wedding (don't tell anyone outside the family, please) and she needs a dress like yesterday. The wedding is in two weeks after all, and there isn't much time left. My bridesmaid dress is going to be fuchsia. I know it is. I just know it.

“Can you make your caramel sticky buns for Saturday? The ones with the pecans?” Oh. Yes. Sticky buns. Maybe I can steal a few for myself, put them in my room and get ready for my hot date with Micah, the book boyfriend I haven't met yet but am absolutely thrilled to climb into bed with.

“Of course,” I say with a smile as I tuck my chestnut hair behind my ear. It's the same color as the tabletop we're all sitting around. That's kind of depressing. The ladies go back to discussing the tablecloth colors and the chair arrangements in the dining room while I duck my head and reopen my book.

“Fuck me, Adam,” I say as I turn over and put my ass in the air for his viewing pleasure. “Fuck me until the cows come home.”

I snort with laughter and once again manage to draw attention to myself.

“Are you laughing at a book?” my mother asks, like that's so strange. I know she reads romance novels, too. She hides them from my dad under the sink in the bathroom and takes extra long showers so she can finish them. I shake my head and clear my throat.

“No, I just had a little something in my throat.” I gesture vaguely around the area of my neck and try to keep smiling. I manage to divert their attention and make it out the door and into the car without further incident.

“I doubt we're going to be able to find a parking space,” my mom says with a sigh as we wind down the road back into town, my aunt trailing too close behind us. “I may have to drop you off at the door so Jodie knows we're here. You know how moody your cousin's been lately.” Yeah, I think, because she's like three months pregnant. I smile and try not to think about Adam's deliciously sexy body. I'm almost finished with him, so I brought along an extra. Daniel's ready and waiting inside my purse for me to finish these last few chapters.

“Okay, Mom,” I say with a cheerful smile that quickly turns into an open mouthed gawp as we hit the first traffic light downtown and find ourselves in a sea of colorful characters that make little beads of sweat appear between my mother's eyebrows. “It's okay,” I tell her before she starts to hyperventilate. “They're just people.” My mother scoffs.

“Godless people,” she says, and I don't correct her. There's no point. Some guy with a pentagram tattoo just walked by and much as I know that could mean anything, my mom thinks it's the sign of the Antichrist. “Do you have your pepper spray in your purse?” I took it out to accommodate Daniel, but I nod and tell her that yes, I do. I need an e-reader, I think as I imagine carrying thousands of books around in my hand. My father refuses to buy one for me, saying that digital devices like that are portals to hell in and of themselves. He let me have a computer, but he unplugs the Wi-Fi at night. I should really move out. “Go straight inside and don't talk to anyone.”

“Okay, Mom.”

“And please don't let Jodie try on anything that you know isn't going to fit. You know how moody she's been lately.”

“Okay, Mom.”

My mother pulls up to the curb and lets me out into the throng of people. I can see that she doesn't want to leave me there, but that she's more afraid of Jodie's wrath than she is of the motorcycle fanatics. I'd have to agree with that one. I start towards the front door of the bridal shop and then just stop. My mom isn't looking; Jodie doesn't know I'm here yet. Now's my chance to look around, just take a peek at the motorcycles. It won't take long; after all there's a whole row of them parked at the end of this block, just behind the red signs and yellow tape banning cars from this stretch of road. I glance over my shoulder to make sure that Mom's completed her U-turn and start down the sidewalk.

It's pretty obvious that I don't fit in here which is a strange feeling. I'm your typical, middle-class, all-American white girl with blue eyes and pale brown hair, but I'm the one that's drawing stares and raised eyebrows. Something about that is exciting to me, makes me hold my head high and strut like I'm something special. Instead of blending into the crowd, I'm standing out. Fantastic.

I pause next to a big, blue bike with metal that shimmers like the lake in summer, reflects the early afternoon sunshine into my face and makes me squint. I bend down to read the sign.

“You like Road Kings, beautiful?” a voice says from behind me, and I spin around to find a man standing far too close to my behind. My ass, I correct myself. You're an adult; you can say it.

“Um.” My eyes are looking directly at a black T-shirt stretched over a wide chest, and I have to tilt my chin up to find the face of the man with the most amazing body ever. Oh. My. God. He looks just like my book boyfriend! “I, uh, it's pretty,” I say which makes Mr. Motorcycle laugh.

“Pretty?” he says with some sort of Southern accent that I can't place. “I've never heard 'em described like that, but I guess you're right. She's one, hot fucking bitch.”

“E-excuse me?” I say, floored by this man's language, and his fall of sandy blonde hair, his dark brown eyes that are even now sweeping my body like I'm one of the bikes for sale. He licks his lips and steps even closer to me. “S-she?” Mr. Motorcycle laughs again and I jump. I can't help myself. I've never been so close to a man, let alone one with a sleeve of tattoos and muscles that are slick and moist from the hot sun overhead.

“Can't very well be a he, right? The only thing I'm willing to ride cross country is a she.” He winks at me, but I can't respond, not with him standing so close to me. My throat has just closed up and my mouth is dry.

“Um, okay,” I say and my voice comes out in a whisper. The man, who has the most beautifully chiseled face I have ever seen, reaches out and brushes his fingers across my arm, making me shiver.

“If you like this baby, I could show you mine,” he says and I have to blink several times before I can respond.

“Yours?”

“My ride, beautiful. You want to come see?”

“I … ” I see my mom come around the corner at the end of the block and reflexively reach out my hand for Mr. Motorcycle's massive bicep. My fingers curl around his hard flesh and my whole body goes up in flames. Oh. My romance novels suddenly make a whole lot more sense. My skin feels hot and flushed, like it could conduct electricity. I look up into his face and see that he's looking at me like he's the predator and I'm the prey. “I … I have to go,” I say as I step around him and start back down the block at an even quicker pace than I came.

“Hold up there,” says the man with the dark eyes and the skulls on his upper arm. He grabs my wrist and spins me around. “You in town for the show?” he asks, as I clutch my purse against my chest and try not to pass out. It's awfully hot out here, and my pulse is thumping in my neck like a live thing.

“I live here,” I whisper and he releases me with a wicked, nasty smile that gives me all sorts of strange feelings in my gut. “Why?”

“Well,” he says with a glance over my shoulder. “I thought you might want to grab a drink or something?”

“Um.” I steal a glance down the block and see that while my mom is gone, my aunt is staring at me like I'm possessed. Uh oh. “I have to go.” I start to turn away, but he reaches out and grabs me by the arm, firm but not rough. I shiver.

“Come on, beautiful,” he says. “Tell me your name.”

“Amy,” I say quietly, too quietly. “Amy Cross.”

“Austin,” he says, and that's it. “Now, Amy, I'm not letting you go until you promise to meet me back here tonight for a drink.” I look into this man's dark eyes and feel like I'm falling and burning up at the same time. Two beautiful, beautiful ways to die.

My aunt is coming towards us now, and I can see that she's digging around in her purse. She's probably got her pepper spray in hand. Or a cross. I have to get out of here.

“I … ” Austin does not look like the kind of man that likes to hear the word no. “Okay,” I say and he releases me with a smile.

“Yeah? Alright, maybe six?” I nod, just to get away from him, never intending on holding up my end of this one-sided bargain. “See you then, pretty girl.”

I turn away and run all the way back to the bridal shop.

Coming Soon!

While you're waiting, go check out Losing Me, Finding You on Amazon!


Check out these other titles by C.M. Stunich

Now, I'm sure you're wondering how to win one of these amazing prizes?

Comment on this page and hop to each stop on the list below and comment to win. REMEMBER, you must leave your email address in your comment for it to be counted as a valid entry. Each blog you visit raises your chances of winning!

If you follow the Romance Troupe Blog by email. TELL US! We will put your name in the hat an extra time!!!

Good Luck and Happy Hopping!

Up for Grabs




Grand Prize #1


An iPAD MINI

(US ONLY)

(Alternate prize for international winner)







OR

Grand Prize #2

$50 Amazon/B&N Gift Card

+ Several Surprise Digital Books





Fabulous Swag Pack #1

+ $10 Amazon/B&N GC

+ Several surprise digital books

(US ONLY for Swag)












Fabulous Swag Pack #2

+ $10 Amazon/B&N GC

+ Several surprise digital books

(US ONLY for Swag)







Follow all Hop announcements via
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and on Twitter using hashtag
#SizzlingHop

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Winners will be chosen using Random.org
A winning blog will be chosen via random.org for each prize and then another number will be drawn to determine the winning commenter. Only comments with email addresses will be considered valid entries for the prizes. This process will be repeated for all prizes. The Romance Troupe will not retain any contributions past the date of the event. All monies collected will be distributed as prizes for the event.




67 comments:

  1. Thanks for participating in the hop! Great excerpt!

    AmethystDaydreams at zoho dot com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for participating and loved the excerpt!
    jennirv4967 at gmail dot com

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  3. Love the cover, thanks for the contest. Happy 4th!
    wandad1961@yahoo.com

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  4. an awesome excerpt!

    susanmplatt AT Hotmail DOT com

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  5. Sounds hot, I'm in!

    dreammie_angel at yahoo dot com

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  6. THAT is a fun, fun excerpt. I love that she's a big romance reader and the contrast with this big, beautiful biker dude is priceless.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the amazing excerpt & giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com
    GFC: BookAttict

    ReplyDelete
  8. Happy 4th of July! Have a Sizzling Summer!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Happy 4th of July. Loved the excerpt and the cover is so hot!
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Happy 4th, thanks for the contest! Enjoyed the excerpt.

    parisfan_ca@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love the excerpt ...and its great your part of the hop.. Happy 4th!!! and have a safe one. vals_hemi at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nice cover and excerpt.
    Happy 4th.
    bidelia78@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've had this book on my TBRs for a week or two now. I really enjoyed reading the excerpt from it. Thank you for the post & being part of this hop!

    JessieL62 AT comcast DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  14. HOT cover Thanks for being in the Hop mrscrabbyfan@gmail.com

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  15. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway!
    verusbognar (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you! Loved the excerpt! It was incredible! I'll have to read more soon! victoriaembers at gmail dot com

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  17. The excerpt was great. Now I want to read more.

    Aimee.therault@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Ooh! Sexy :-) Happy 4th and thanks for joining the hop!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great excerpt! Happy fourth and thanks for being part of the hop!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great excerpt!! Thanks for sharing!

    jennyrlowery(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Happy 4th of July everyone!! What an awesome give-away -- thanks I would love an iPad mini! theresa.esterline@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Happy 4th! Thanks for the great giveaway!

    Froggy
    froggarita@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. DESIREE HOLT IS MY FAVORITE. THANKS FOR THE HOP!

    lindarb49@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Renee Rose

    Great stop! Happy 4th.

    itlnbrt dot att dot net

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love the book covers!! Very dark and sexy! One of my favorite sizzling authors is J.R. Ward!! When she wrote the scenes between Blay and Qhuinn in Lover at Last, I was actually blushing!! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!

    ehaney578 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have a lot of favorite sizzling authors, Sherrilyn Kenyon, J.R. Ward, Gena Showalter , Larissa Ione I could go on and on LOL.

    Rafflecopter Name Dawna Newman

    vampiremistress2010(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks for the giveaway. I actually read so many books from tons of different authors throughout the year that I do not have a favorite sizzling one.
    sbfugate@bellsouth.net

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks for sharing! Great cover

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

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  29. my favorite sizzling authors are Richelle Mead and Larissa Ione! I love the way they write & their story building is really convincing. Once I got to start reading the first book in the series, I couldn't put it down till I reach the last book lol and they're able to write different kind of characters who also interesting to read.
    By the way, thank you for hosting this giveaway dear ;)
    This book will be added to my tbr list *yay!*
    -ANJANI (PRINCESSGYU@GMAIL.COM)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Great excerpt. I hope the girl in the book jumps on his bike to escape.

    petula.winmill@gmail

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  31. Emma Holly or Eve Langlais, they both write unbelievably über hot stories.

    blueshedevil32(at)gmail(dot)com
    TRT email subscriber

    ReplyDelete
  32. Great excerpt. Thanks for the chance. :)

    imsocool(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Probably Eve Langlais. Thanks for the giveaway!
    botezatu_paula at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  34. That's too hard man. I'll go with Emme Rollins cuz Dear Rockstar is still fresh in my head and I'm still in love with Dale. :)
    heather1974 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Those are some impressive torso covers.
    Liza2write@yahoo.com

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  36. Oh there is so many... I have a lot of favorites... I love Kallyspo Masters, Lorelei James, Skye Warren, Krystal Shannan, J.M Madden, Ranae Rose, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Sylvia Day, and many many more :)

    j.m.platt83@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hot excerpt and hot hero. I love hot men on bikes.
    BrookeCarson6@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. I don't think I've ever heard of any of the authors in this hop. All new to me like shiny presents! My favorite sensual writer is Kim Knox.

    Thanks for hopping!
    AnnaM.
    doxisrcool at aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Great Excerpt! Can't wait to read it!

    staceyprice(AT)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm reading Darking Sentinels (book 1) and now my fav is Dariel Raye! ;-)

    Renata S
    alifeamongbooks [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  41. J.R. Ward. I love the Blackdagger Brotherhood.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  42. Losing Me, Finding You by C.M. Stunich sounds like a great book. Thank you for the first chapter post. I need to get myself a copy. It sounds great and I need to know what happens next!

    I do indeed follow the Romance Troupe Blog by email and one sizzling author I like a lot is Emma Holly but I can't recall the names of many off hand, so I need to find more to love! Suggestions are always welcome as I love new authors!!

    Thanks for the chance to enter the giveaway and happy summer one and all :D

    Shelly H
    booski24@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  43. Great excerpt...wow, I gotta have this book!!

    I have so many spicy favorite authors...Kalypso Masters, Kallysten, Cari Quinn, Qwillia Rain, etc.

    books4me67 at ymail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Great excerpt, adding to my TBR list.
    I do follow the Romance Troupe Blog by email.

    holcalhoun@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  45. I will have to check this book out.

    dorthyn @ hotmail . com

    ReplyDelete
  46. I am getting some great books to read as I wait for kids during camp. Not a bad way to spend the summer.

    My favorite sizzling authors to read are Bianca Sommerland, Lorelei James, and so many more.
    Mel
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  47. I have MANY and you can see them all from visiting my goodreads page (http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5152859-beckey)...

    Email following the Troupe

    BeckeyWhiteATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thank you so much for doing this!! I have so many favorite sizzling authors it's hard to choose!! I'd say if I can on;y pick one it would be J.R. Ward!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Choose a favorite author!! That is crazy lol there is to many amazing authors to limit it down to one ;) Would it be okay if I just named the author of my very first romance book??
    Alexndra Hawkins

    Thank you for being part of the hop
    savannahm1987@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  50. Let the parade of sizzling authors begin...LOL: Lora Leigh, Nalini Singh, Lori Foster, Lia Davis, and so many,many more...

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  51. Old favorite is Johanna Lindsey others on the new list.

    brbalways(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  52. Thanks for the giveaway megd82@hotmail.com!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Loved the excerpt! Romance reader and biker, sounds like quite a match!

    dancingcelt at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  54. Thanks for participating in the hop.
    wpogrant@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hi! I love the excerpt! Sounds awesome! Cant wait to read more! Thank you for the fun hop and giveaway! :)
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hot excerpt and equally hot book covers!

    booklover1335 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  57. Sounds great

    s2s2 at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  58. Thanks for the excerpt and the chance to win!
    Sounds like a great read!!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  59. Stacey Kennedy!
    Thanks so much for the opportunity!
    farmaki(at)live(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  60. I follow the Romance Troup Blog by email
    farmaki(@)live(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  61. Looks like a great read...thank you for the giveaway. ......:)

    ReplyDelete
  62. Thanks for the chance to win! bigmak207 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  63. I LOVED that excerpt!! This is going to the top of my list! ;)
    Thank you for sharing.
    trb0917 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  64. thanks for the contest!
    vjgeisler@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  65. Awesome post! bookedandloadedATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  66. Just added this book to my list.
    onegooddoggie@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete

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