Cover Reveal: Unrestrained — a duology by Shyla Colt and LaQuette

Title: Unrestrained: A Duology 
Author: Shyla Colt and LaQuette
Genre: Contemp/NA/Erotic Romance
Release Date: August 28, 2015
Power Privilege & Pleasure by LaQuette 
When a need for unrestrained power and control unfurls…chaos usually follows.
Alexis-Jeovonni Tenetti is the most prolific legal mind of her time. She uses her genius to create intricate solutions for the problems her clients often find themselves in. Her mind sees what most can’t, providing her with the ability to initiate and master the manipulative games she’s accustomed to playing. Her ability to outthink everyone else around her has kept her successful and in control of almost every aspect of her life, and the lives of the clients she serves. 
After all, control is necessary to keep things in order. Order is the only thing that keeps chaos away and allows most people to embrace the illusion of freedom. She was all too aware that freedom came at a cost and was often a privilege of those in power. The one time she’d forgotten that fact and relinquished her control had resulted into the living nightmares that chased her even in her waking hours. 
Life had taught her in a very vivid way that there were only two options in her world…control or be controlled. And the latter just wasn’t an option she was willing to entertain.
Sometimes the only way to regain control is to stop playing the game…
Elliot Alan Quillen was raised in big business; he had everything at his 
fingertips until a tragic accident stole the most important thing in the world to him. Deciding the brass ring that had been dangled in front of his face was no longer an incentive for letting others control him, he walks away from everything his privilege has offered him. 
Cast aside by his overbearing family, Alan is left to pick up the tattered pieces of his life and soul alone. He’s resigned himself to feeling nothing but the pain of loss for the rest of his life until his first encounter with his new boss’ lawyer clues him in that he might just be ready for something more.
Arrogant and frustrating, Alan quickly learns to suppress his desire for the lady lawyer and her infuriating mouth. If only he could stop daydreaming about what that mouth would taste like on his tongue, then maybe he could stop the desire that he’s been fighting like hell to bury along with the rest of his emotions.

When secrets from A.J.’s past come spilling out of her tightly sealed closet and bring danger to her door, Alan has to make a choice. Willingly step into another set of manipulative power games, stand by her and forgive her secrets, or let a murderous maniac decimate A.J. and her entire family.
Or will they both realize that her power combined with his privilege could equal the ultimate pleasure?
For the Love of Dixie (Kings of Chaos #3)
by Shyla Colt

After having her heart broken by Echo, Dixie Dunn makes a new life for herself, away from the Kings Of Chaos. Now, she must return in order to get her stubborn father back to fighting shape after a heart attack. She knows she’ll have to face Echo, as he has made it clear over the years that she still belongs to him. But she refuses to give him any chance to crush her heart again. 

Echo, Joel Spencer knows that Dixie hates him, but he also knows she yearns for him. After being forced by his hateful father to practically leave her at the altar when they were teens, he realizes that he has his work cut out for him. One thing is on his side, he knows what she wants and needs. This time, he WILL make her his again, and to hell with whoever gets in his way.
Power Privilege & Pleasure by LaQuette 
“You think this shit is funny?” he asked. “I was ready to close a deal that was going to bring in millions into the company,” he rumbled, the room shaking with the unexpected boom of his voice.

She tilted her head slightly, staring at him, appearing to really see him and his anger for the first time since he’d come barging into her office. She backed her chair away from the table and stood up. Here face settling in to a canvas of hard tight lines accompanied by the ticking of her jaw.

Was that anger?

In all the years they’d been fighting, in all the years they’d kept this seemingly ongoing professional tug of war going between the two of them, she’d never seemed bothered or concerned with his anger. If he was honest, that was the thing that pissed him off the most about her. While he was ready to punch something, she was always the picture of calm, never concerned with the fact that he was ready to break things after being in her presence for more than five minutes.

Finally, after five years of her passive-aggressive bullshit, we’re really going to have an honest argument.

Almost giddy with the fact that he’d seen a glimpse of actual emotion from the woman standing in front of him, he decided to keep pushing for more. He couldn’t really say why it was so important to him, but there was just something about the knowledge that he’d finally been able to make her lose her shit even in the slightest way, that made him feel like this was a win in his column.

“You made me look like a fucking fool,” he bellowed. He inched closer to her, stepping into her personal space. He pressed and pressed until she was backed up against the table. But even though he had her cornered, her shoulders were pulled back in defiance and holding her head up in that stubborn confidence that she kept in place no matter the circumstance.

“If you felt like a fool, it’s probably because you are. You’ve worked for Kenneth for five years now. This is not news to you, Quillen. You know damn well you can’t make a move without Kenneth or my say so. You were foolish for not setting things in proper order before you ever sat down to close that deal and you know it. Don’t try to blame the shit your arrogance got you into on me.”

She was standing there, hands on her hips, chest heaving, eyes wild looking like the perfect mix of anger and sensuality he’d ever seen. Before he could stop himself he looked down at that luscious mouth of hers and his dick jumped with excitement again, filling and thickening and pulling all of the blood flow from his brain.
That’s the only explanation he could think of for the words that fell out of his mouth next.

“You have the sexiest fucking mouth I’ve ever seen,” he growled. “It would look so much prettier stretched around my cock than spewing the venom you insist on spitting.”

He waited for the slap that he knew was coming. If he’d been on the receiving end of a statement like that he’d certainly have been looking to hit someone. But she didn’t hit him, even though she had every right to. Instead, she stepped closer into his space and spread those fuckable lips into the most alluring smile.

“If you think you’re man enough to get me to put my mouth to use like that, Quillen, then make me. Or are you just all talk?”
For the Love of Dixie (Kings of Chaos #3) by Shyla Colt
I press my foot on the gas and open up the engine of my Chevy Camaro. Black Betty growls. I weave through the cars on the highway; hell bent on reaching my hometown. Thoughts of my father swim in my mind. Is he still alive? Will he survive this? 
The years spent pulling all-nighters, partying hard, and taking on too much stress have finally gotten to him. They wheeled him into Mount St. Joseph hospital two hours ago. 

I made the drive from Santa Monica in under an hour, breaking laws and driving with the aggressive skills honed on the busy highways of California. The familiar landscape is nothing more than a blur. I’m going too fast, and my ability to focus is shot. All that matters is reaching San Mateo. I know how their hospital is going to play it. They’ll bust the club’s balls and tell them they can only let in and release information to the next of kin emergency contact. 

Despite the AC blowing from the vents, a fine sheen of sweat coats my body. My father is everything to me. Mother, Father, sister, brother, and extended family. I never knew my mother, and unlike many single fathers in our lifestyle, he never pawned me off on someone else. His philosophy is…we’re in it together. That means it was him and me against the world. 

And then I left. 

Guilt shreds me from the inside like poison tipped claws, releasing toxins into my bloodstream. I hit the brakes and skid into the parking lot, steering the car precariously into an open spot. I fumble with the seatbelt with clumsy fingers and shaky hands. I manage to remove the strap, stumble from the car and take a shaky breath. This wild-eyed, panicked persona won’t win me any points with the Kings, or help him. 

Knock it the fuck off, Dunn. Time to woman up. 

My heels clack against the blacktop as I walk through the rows of cars. I spot a line of parked motorcycles up front. My stomach drops, and I feel as if I’ve started the decent down a large hill. I run out of steam a few feet from the Harleys, faltering at the thought of facing their knowing eyes and censure. Everyone has an opinion about me and the way I handled things. I’m used to the malicious stares peppered in. It’s the silent accusations that kill me. At least I have the Grans. Grandpa and Grandma Dunn had accepted me and loved me with the single-minded-all-consuming-love that only grandparents are capable of. 

As I stare at the double doors, my past rushes up and consumes me. The loneliness, shame, self-loathing, are the bile creeping up the back of my throat. God hates me. I’ve suspected it from the minute I was old enough to realize how fucked up my living situation was. I didn’t let that stop me. I’m a part of Chaos. We don’t bitch and whine. We change what doesn’t work and keep it moving. It doesn’t matter if we’re dying inside. Maybe that’s why so many of us have a wicked vice of going a little mad. All that holding in emotions and pretending to be okay. Never mind the dirt, blood, and secrets that cover each and every one of us. We can pretend it’s a motorcycle club that loves to ride, but in the back of our minds, the reality is always there starring us in the face. It’s a fucked up thing when you see shit on the news and know the people you love caused it. The club has an ugly side and a hefty price tag. 

I didn’t want to pay the toll, so I left. There was no gain for me. Not when I was treated like a pariah. It wasn’t everyone, just a few. It was one too many. I know I shouldn’t’ have let it stop me. Nothing changes the fact that I ought to have been around more for Pops. 

Maybe this is my punishment for being a shitty daughter. 

A month after I broke my rule about mixing with the club, I’ve returned with no immediate exit strategy in sight. I’ve avoided this place like the plague for over ten years, and now I can’t get away. I’d do anything for my father. The man loved me and fought for me from the minute he knew I existed. It wasn’t easy being a single father in the club. When you add the fact that I represented everything some of the patch members were against, its miraculous I came out as well as I did. I think I was drawn to psychology because what I wanted most when I left San Mateo was answers. About myself, about the world I grew up in, and about people who blindly hate. 

I’ve learned a lot over the years, but the one thing I could never figure out was how to come home without feeling like I was compromising myself and undoing all the work I’d done. I grew up in the club, but I never felt like I belonged. It put a strain between me and my father. I regret my choices now, as I pray the cardiac arrest he went into doesn’t steal him from this world. I let it go too long. I knew better. No one understands better than I and my family, how fleeting life can be. My mind goes back to Psycho’s fucked up assassination, because truly that’s what it was. A senseless snuffing out of life. 

I give advice to people all day long, but I’m too chicken shit to face my demons. It’s ironic really. Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t function in a non-dysfunctional manor, become psychologists. Or at least I had. It made me feel like a fraud. Tired of being help captive by the bonds of the past, I square my shoulders like a soldier going into battle, concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. I gave them the finger once and road off into the sunset with a full ride to college and plans for a good life. I won’t revert to the cowardice preteen now. 

With my spine rediscovered, I enter via the double doors with my head held high. The sight of all their cuts boasting the crowned kings makes me queasy. 

“Dixie Rose,” a voice booms. 

I glance up and spot Stone. 

“Where you been, girl? Get your ass over here, so we can find out how your daddy is doing,” Stone says. His voice is husky and his eyes are bloodshot. 

I scurry over. When this man says something, you immediately comply. “I’m sorry, I got here as soon as I could,” I say, glad to have my task clearly labeled. “What happened?” 

“One minute he was fine and the next, he was clutching his chest, and collapsing. His lips started turning blue. We managed to get an aspirin in him. I don’t know how much good it did.” Stone shakes his head. 

“Are the Grans here?” 

“No, they were out at the cabins. They’ll be pulling in soon.” 

I grip Stone’s arm and let him lead me to the nurse’s station. I cannot lose my dad. “He has to be fine, he’s too damn ornery to let this take him out,” I whisper. 

“His next of kin is here,” Stone says to the nurse at the desk. 

“I’d like to see some identification,” the dark haired nurse with the sever bun and dour facial expression says. 

I grit my teeth, used to the disbelief that comes from having dark skin, and a Caucasian father. I dig into the purse hanging at my side, pull out my Driver’s License and glare as she looks from my picture to the information they have on my father. “I see you are his emergency contact. You’re father suffered a cardiac arrest.” She nods her head. “Okay, Ms. Dunn. I’ll call the doctor in to speak with you.”

“No, you need to tell me something, now,” I say. 

“Ma’am, that’s against policy.” She glances over at Stone nervously. 

“No. You don’t look at him. You look at me. I’m the one you need to be worried about right now.” I lean over the desk. “These men are my family. Don’t let this face and these work clothes fool you. I want to know if my father is alive and I’m not going to wait for you to track down the doctor who’ll take his sweet time getting up here to tell me.” 

She clears her throat and shifts in her chair. “He is alive and stabilized, that’s all I can say.” 

“There…was that so hard?” I ask. 

She shakes her head. Her hazel eyes are full of disdain, anger and fear. 

I want to feel bad, but I don’t have it in me. From the minute I walked up, she judged me and gave me shit at the worst possible time. There were things I missed about this life, like getting straight to the point. There was no need for fake niceties. “You get all that, Stone?” I ask. 

“Yeah, I got it, baby girl. Let me go tell the others,” Stone replies. 

The mention of the others thrusts me back into icy waters. A chill rushes down my spine, and I can’t help but follow his journey with my gaze. I scan the crowd, searching for the one person I want to see the most, and the least at the same time. 

Leaning against the wall, he looks like a mythical being. The golden strands of his hair fall around his shoulders, and his muscles flex in his forearms. All he needs is a hammer, and he’d be Thor. 

His bright blue gaze collides with mine, and I’m lost. My heart bangs against my ribs like a prisoner rallying for freedom. Unable to move, I remain rooted like a tree grown up from the white and green tile floor. 
2015 Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award Finalist in Erotic Romance, 2015 Swirl Awards Finalist in Romantic Suspense, LaQuette, a native of Brooklyn, New York, spends her time catering to her three distinct personalities: Wife, Mother, and Educator. 

Writing–her escape from everyday madness–has always been a friend and comforter. She loves writing and devouring romance novels. Although she possesses a graduate degree in English Lit, she’d forego Shakespeare any day to read something hot, lusty, and romantic.

She loves hearing from readers and discussing the crazy characters that are running around in her head causing so much trouble. 

Shyla Colt grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, but has lived a variety of different places thanks to her wanderlust, interesting careers, and marriage to a United States Marine. She’s always loved books and wrote her very first novel at the age of fifteen. She keeps a copy of her first submission letter on her desk for inspiration. 

After a lifetime of traveling, she settled down and knew her time had come to write. Diving into her new career like she does everything else, with enthusiasm, research and a lot of prayers, she had her first book published in June of 2011. As a full-time writer, stay at home mother, and wife, there’s never a dull moment in her household. 

She weaves her tales in spare moments and the evenings with a cup of coffee or tea at her side and the characters in her head for company. A self-professed rebel with a pen. Her goal is to diversify romance as she continues to genre hop, and offer up strong female characters.
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My December Drive: Raising money to donate to Stockholms Stadsmission

ImageNearly everyday when I am on my way to work, I end up chatting with a homeless man named Rune. Rune is an older man who has been homeless for a while. He’s also one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. During the winter, when he’s standing outside Åhléns City selling Situation Stockholm, I make sure he has hot chocolate. If we have extra pairs of gloves at home, I give them to him but he says they keep being stolen by others who are worse of than him. Sometimes he’s not there and then I ask the ladies at Kahl’s Kaffe if they’ve seen him. They also look out for Rune, whose arthritis sometimes prevents him from going out in the elements and selling Situation Stockholm to pay for a shelter.

Meeting Rune everyday also gave me the idea for my December drive. I try to help him as much as I can. I also want to be able to help others. One of the best ways to do this is to support a local organization that helps the homeless and others who are at risk.

So what is my December Drive? All of the profits from December sales of Linger: a short story (a Kindle-only short story) and The Melanie Chronicles (ebook and print version) will be donated to Stockholms Stadsmission at the end of the month. I hope to raise at least 1000 Swedish kronor. To do that, I will need your help.

So please help me reach my goal by purchasing a copy of Linger and The Melanie Chronicles. Clicking on the cover images in my sidebar will take you to where you purchase them. Once you’ve purchased either book, please send me an email. Everyone who helps will be thanked in a special post in January and will receive a free copy of my next publication.

Thanks for your help and thanks so much for reading my blog. 🙂

Stockholmers, buy a Christmas tree and support Stockholms Stadsmission

mission treeI already told you about my mission for the month of December–to donate all the profits from December sales of Linger: a short story and The Melanie Chronicles to Stockholms Stadsmission. Now I’ve found out that those of us in the Stockholm area can buy Christmas trees in Kungsträdgården and help support the mission at the same time. I think this is a great way to support Stockholms Stadsmisison‘s endeavors in helping the homeless, substance abusers, and at-risk women and children.

If you purchase a “typical” Swedish tree, 135 kronor will be donated to Stockholms Stadsmission. If you splurge and get the King Spruce, 185 kronor will go to the mission. Stockholmers can even order their tree online from hemgran.se and have the tree delivered to their door. But then the amount that goes to the mission is 50 or 95 kronor, depending on which type of tree you order.

For more information, click here. Note: this information is in Swedish only but you can use the translate plug-in on the website to see the info in English.

For those of you who don’t live in Sweden, I hope you’ll do something to support your local charities this holiday season. Donate old clothing that’s still in good condition to the Salvation Army or a homeless shelter. Help out at a soup kitchen or food bank. Volunteer at a senior citizen center. Volunteer at your local library and start a story hour for kids or offer to be a homework helper.

Remember the message of this season: It’s better to give than to receive. And giving doesn’t have to cost a dime.

By the way: I’m near done reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer, so later I’ll be posting a review of it and Santa Maybe by Scarlett Bailey, whom I interviewed for the blog last Christmas.

Might be time to check in with Scarlett again and see what she’s got planned for Christmas.

Happy First Advent!

Need a short story to tide you over? Linger is live for Kindle

ImageWhile I’ve been Nanowriming, I haven’t completely neglected all my other in-progress projects. Along with trying to tighten one problem section of Snowbound,I’ve also been revising and editing a short story I started a long time ago called “Linger”. Now “Linger” is available for Kindle for $0.99USD. I know some people will wonder why it’s so cheap (I can imagine some people will think I should give it away. But I felt that it wasn’t fair to charge the same price for one story as I did for the three stories in The Melanie Chronicles. Why only for Kindle? Since it’s only one story and since the majority of people who have purchased The Melanie Chronicles did so for Kindle–Kindle-friendly purchases make up nearly 100% of my sales–I decided to go with Kindle Direct Publishing for “Linger”. I have another short story collection in mind for publication at a later date. “Linger” will be included in that publication, which will be available for all e-reader formats. I’ll keep you posted about the launch date for my new collection of stories. 

So what’s“Linger” about? It’s about an American woman living in Sweden who is haunted by her grief and by the ghost of her husband. 

I’ve tried to fix any formatting kinks. I previewed it with Kindle’s Preview Viewer and it looked fine but please do let me know if there were any hiccups. 

You can purchase “Linger” here

By the way, I finally caught up with Nanowrimo–I am on target now with daily word counts. Yay, me!

Happy reading (and nanowriming)!

More books to give as Christmas presents…

So you’re still searching, still trying to figure out a few more presents? How about these…?

Cover of "Decoded"

For your brother who loves hip hop…

Decoded by Jay-Z should be high on his wish list. It’s a memoir in parts while a book of rhymes, a journal, you name it. I’ve only skimmed it but I think this is definitely something that a bona fide  Jay-Z fan should have on his or her wishlist. I know at least one person who will be finding this under the tree on Christmas Day. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Cover of Bright Young Things

For your teenage cousin who’s tired of Gossip Girl

I remember when the Gossip Girl books first popped up and caused a stir. I read a few of them to see what all the hubbub was about. They were okay, not my fave, but I could see why so many young women were going crazy over them. Still, I remember thinking I wasn’t overly impressed with the books. That said, I was glad that YA fiction had graduated from the Sweet Valley drivel that had populated bookshelves when I was a teen.

Then I was in the US and heard about the Luxe novels by Anna Godbersen. I bought the entire series and loved the mix of bitchiness and history. Sure, the characters could be exceedingly annoying at time but the books were pageturners. Now Anna Godbersen has a new series set during the Jazz Age called Bright Young Things. I haven’t had a chance to read this one yet but it’s got me interested. Could be something I send to my Gossip Girl-loving niece…

Cover of Linger

Cover of Linger

Cover of Shiver

And for your younger sister who needs to find something to fill the hole left behind byTwilight

Now that same niece is a diehard Twilight fan as well. She lvoed the books and the movies and she seems to be firmly in the Team Edward camp. I can’t say I was a big fan of the books but I can get why she and millions of other teen girls fell for Twilight. It’s a love story, it deals with the angst in a way that is accessible. It’s got the whole star-crossed lovers thing going on. Yeah, okay, it’s a drag that he glitters in sunlight and lusts for her blood but hey he’s dreamy. Or at least, that’s how I once heard some girls describe the scenario. But now I think it’s time to introduce my niece to the  Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. I read Shiver and Linger and they are magical. Forever, the final book in the series, is slated for release in July 2011.

Cover of His Insignificant Other

And for all the ladies you know who need a dose of chick lit with a twist…

Well, I already told you once before to read Ernessa Carter’s 32 Candles, so I’ll tell you again. Buy it! You should also discover Karen Siplin and ner novels, Such a Girl, Whisky Road and His Insignificant Other.