All I Have Excerpt #2

One more weeks until farmers run rampant in the streets of romance! Or something like that ;).

From now until June 1st the authors of the box set are holding a giveaway. Entering gives you the chance to win one of four copies of the box set. CLICK HERE for details on how to enter.

There’s an early review of ALL I HAVE up at Goodreads. Love how well this captured the book.

Now for another excerpt:

Outraged was a good look for her. Her cheeks got a little pink and her full lips made a sexy little O.

For Chrissake. Sexy and Mia did not belong in the same sentence, even if she was.

“Keep telling yourself that, darlin’.” Dell touched her hand. Just the lightest brush of fingertip to wrist. She jerked it back so quickly her drink shook and barely avoided toppling over.

He’d blame it on the beer, except he’d had all of one. Maybe he’d just blame it on her antagonistic attitude. He had always liked to bother people. Good-naturedly, of course. Besides, if he flirted a little over the top, maybe he’d get her scurrying off and then he could stop feeling conflicted about being attracted to her.

She popped up out of her seat. “I have to go to the bathroom.” Her entire face was beet-red as she turned to walk past his chair.

Dell chuckled. “Same old Mia.” The outside appearance might change, but deep down she still was awkward and geeky. Thank God.

She whirled around. “Wanna dance?”

He choked on his drink, sputtered and coughed as it burned down the wrong pipe. “What?” he croaked.

She smiled sweetly. Way too sweetly. “I said, wanna dance?”

Sweet baby Jesus, what on earth was Mia Pruitt up to?

Buy Links:

(Amazon) (BN) (iBooks) (Kobo) (Harlequin) (Goodreads)

All I Have Excerpt #1

TWO WEEKS until the HarlequinE Contemporary box set will release including my rival farmer romance ALL I HAVE. Here’s an excerpt!

 

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Excerpt

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This morning, though, she was concentrating on selling the pants off Dell Wainwright. Not literally or anything. But, well, now that she thought of it…

Nope. Not going there.

Mia smiled brightly at a couple and their twin toddlers. “Good morning. Welcome to our Pruitt Farms stand. Do you see anything you like?”

She chatted with the mother about what kind of fertilizers they used and if they were certified organic. In the end, the twins each took a coloring sheet and crayons, and Mia sold one of everything.

She also made sure to tell them about the face painting next weekend and they promised to return.

Take that, Magic Mike.

“Dell keeps looking at you,” Cara stage whispered in her ear as Mia filled a bag with greens.

Mia refused to look over her shoulder. “So?”

“So? I don’t mean he’s looking at you like oh, he happened to look over here. I mean, he’s jaw-dropped looking at you. Like, damn that girl is fine looking at you.”

She waved Cara off, placed the new bag onto the table. As another family passed their booth, she greeted, chatted and focused on her job. Once they were gone, she couldn’t take the curiosity any longer.

She lifted her eyes over the aisle to Dell’s table. There he was in all his shirtless glory, flirting with an older lady. Totally not looking at her.

Except when he handed the woman a bag of broccoli, his gaze met hers across the aisle. Something in her stomach flipped uncomfortably, and a warm sensation zinged down to her toes. Mia quickly looked down at her table, all too aware she was probably beet-red from her shoulders to the roots of her hair.

From that point on, she promised herself not to look at Dell, and not to replay that weird moment his eyes had locked on hers and she’d felt something. Just from a look.

Nope. Not thinking about it.

She made it through the rest of the morning, pleased to see they’d sold more than last week. Some of that might have had to do with more people coming as the season went on, and that it wasn’t raining today like it had been last week, but still, progress was progress.

“Uh-oh, here comes trouble,” Cara said under her breath.

Mia looked up as Dell sauntered to their table.

She focused on packing up the leftovers. When he leaned his forearms on her table and ducked under the awning, she was only momentarily mesmerized by the fine blond hair on his tanned, muscular forearms.

So not fair.

“That’s quite a getup,” he said, none too pleasantly.

She would not blush. She would not blush. She would not blush. She stood to her full height, chin up to add a few inches. Fisting her hands on her hips, she managed her best intimidating glare, even if her cheeks were probably pink as she looked down at his hunched-over frame. “What getup?”

He stood, motioned a hand up and down her front. “That.”

“What?”

He did the motion again. “That.”

Mia cocked her head, folded her arms under her breasts. When Dell looked at the sky she nearly giggled. “I never pegged you for the modest type. What with the stripping and all.”

He scowled down at her and it took a little extra effort to suck in a breath.

“I do not strip,” he said through gritted teeth. He leaned closer and, by God, her heart nearly leaped out of her chest. But she stood her ground. Standing her ground felt really good.

“I see what you’re trying to do here.”

“And what’s that?” Her voice wasn’t even breathless. Go her.

He held up his hand to do the gesture again, but stopped midway. His baffled look turned steely and grave. “I’ve got too much to lose to let you beat me. A nice ass and breasts aren’t going to suddenly win you a bunch of customers. If you haven’t noticed, most of the markets’ customers are families and women, not single guys looking for a hot girl to hit on.”

Oh, she was so not flattered that he’d said she had a nice ass and breasts. Or insinuated she was the hot girl. She was not at all pleased he’d noticed. In fact, it was totally demeaning.

She’d work on her outrage later.

(Amazon) (BN) (iBooks) (Kobo) (Harlequin)

Flight Delay Excerpt #2

One week until FLIGHT DELAY releases! I am so not ready for it to be May, but here’s another excerpt.

He scooted his chair a little closer. This time when he touched her, he took her hand in his, his fingertips brushing across the top of her hand before curling around until her hand was trapped in both of his.

She wasn’t sure if it was because this was her unrequited love of forever or if it was because it had been such a long time since anyone had touched her with that kind of…promise, but she felt it everywhere. A warmth, a buzzing flowing through her body. A shot of pure arousal. At least a little on purpose on his part.

“You look beautiful tonight.” He said it with such earnestness, his hazel eyes holding her gaze steady. She couldn’t have doubted him if he was a compulsive liar.

“Thanks,” she replied, unable to care that her voice was breathy and unsteady.

“Not that you don’t any other time. You always do.” He frowned, dragging his thumbs along the bumps of her knuckles. “But I like your hair down like this.” This time he looked down at their joined hands. “Or up. Doesn’t matter.” He dropped her hand and let out a mirthless laugh. “Christ, shut me up.”

It was, by far, the cutest thing she’d ever seen. The fact he could be sitting there nervously complimenting her after everything. God, it was enough to make her believe in miracles. “Flirting skills a little rusty, huh?”

He shook his head, leaning back in the folding chair. “Rusty implies I was once any good at this kind of thing, which I wasn’t. I think the only flirting I’ve ever done is when I was fourteen and Sue came up to me and told me to walk her home from school and I said yes.”

“You haven’t honed your skills post-divorce?” Which was about as smooth as his compliments. A completely see-through attempt at finding out if he’d been involved with anyone since leaving California.

“I’ve been pretty busy honing my parenting and business-owning skills. There hasn’t been a lot of time or opportunity for honing anything else. Especially in a town the size of a postage stamp.” He took his plastic cup, which she knew now held soda instead of beer. Because of her. It was embarrassing and sweet and awkward and kind all rolled up into one big thing she didn’t want to think about right now.

“Have you…been honing?”

She bit her lip to keep from grinning. “Ah, no, I’ve been pretty busy scraping my way up from rock bottom.”

(Samhain) (Amazon) (BN) (iBooks) (Kobo)

 

Flight Delay Excerpt #1

FlightDelay72lgSo FLIGHT DELAY releases in TWO weeks. This has probably been the release that’s snuck up on me the most. It’s been done for a while, and I’ve been working on so much other stuff.

Still, I am so excited about it. I had originally planned for Em’s story to come second in the FLIGHT series, we do see a lot of Em in FLIGHT RISK after all, but Lawson and Katie’s story was so clear in my head. And it’s a story I’m so proud of. It’s a lot about family and forgiveness–of others, of ourselves. It’s about building something good out of a lot of bad somethings. Those are my favorite stories to tell.

If you haven’t read FLIGHT RISK, you don’t need to to follow along. All the books in this series stand alone.

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite scenes from the book, and there are pre-order links at the bottom if you’re so inclined!

EXCERPT:

But when she opened the fridge, the first thing that caught her eye was a case of beer. It was open. Before she’d registered the action, a can was cold in her palm, her fingers gripped around it tight enough she could feel the slight give of aluminum.

Someone entered, and Katie winced when Lawson’s voice interrupted the silence.

“A little early for a beer, don’t you think?”

Katie stared hard at the blue and silver of the can, remembered her conclusion from a few days ago. Let it go. Admit everything. “Never too early for an alcoholic.” The words were shaky, not nearly as unaffected as she’d hoped. “A recovering one anyway,” she added lamely. What did recovering matter to him?

The silence throbbed with tension and…fear? Something. Something dark and painful.

God, just one sip would numb some of that.

And ruin everything she was trying to regain.

Though he didn’t speak, the sound of footsteps moved closer. His forearm came into view and he took the beer without production.

When she convinced herself to look at him, he was pulling the carton of beer out of the fridge. He dropped her can in it and stepped back into the dining area, resting the case on the bright red counter.

Unable to stay upright any longer, Katie moved into the dining area and took a seat at one of the old, scarred tables.

He studied her face and she tried to read his mind. Tried to figure out what he was thinking. There’d been a time she’d been able to read his expressions, but she couldn’t read this one.

Not horror or disgust or disappointment. It was more blank than anything. Katie looked at her hands.

“You were drunk when you did those interviews?”

The question wasn’t what she expected. That he’d automatically connect her alcoholism to the pain she’d caused him was a shock. Oh, if only that was the only reason. “A lot of them. That’s not an excuse, though.”

“You don’t have to tell me that.” The pause all but echoed in the big empty room. “But I guess it explains some things.”

As Katie was working up the courage to look up from the table, to say something—anything—to change the subject, Law placed a can in front of her. This time, it wasn’t a beer.

“What’s this?” The red and silver can seemed foreign. Him offering something to her, even more so.

“A Coke. You like Coke.”

“I do.” She looked up at him, bowled over by such a simple gesture, but… After everything she’d done to him, a pop was like a freaking bar of gold. “Lawson.”

“I have to get back.” He grabbed the case of beer off the counter and marched out of the Canteen without another word.

——

Preorder Links! (In order of price from cheapest to most expensive!)

(Samhain) (Amazon) (BN) (iBooks)

Hey, Hey, I’m on Facebook!

I’ve decided to start posting excerpts of my books (both available and soon-to-be-released) on my Facebook page every Monday. So, if you haven’t already, come over and like my author page: www.facebook.com/AuthorNicoleHelm

I’ve finally emerged from edit-palooza and that means I’m back to writing! At least for the time being. I’m waiting to hear back on a couple proposals and working on the third Flight book (Em’s story) while I wait.

Also, TOO CLOSE TO RESIST is starting to pop up places like GoodReads and Amazon. The blurb, cover, etc will come within next few months, but for now, I am there! And I am so excited about that. This book.

Anyway, I’ll be taking it easy through the rest of the year, which means I won’t be blogging again until 2014! Have a happy continuing holidays, everyone, and a very happy new year!

Happy Flight Risk release day!

Flight Risk has released! Yay! Confetti! Fireworks! Airplane rides for everyone!

I’ve talked ad naseum about this book, and I’m sure I could keep doing so, but I’ll keep it short and sweet today. The long awaited release day! We’ve got buy links, guest post links, and excerpts at the end.

If you read Flight Risk I’d love to hear from you! Facebook, Twitter, email, leaving a review–it’s all good.

Here’s where you can buy:

(Amazon)

(Barnes & Noble)

(Samhain Website)

(Kobo)

(iBooks)

Here’s where you can read previous excerpts: (Cubs joke) (Fabio) (Tattoos)

Here’s where you can read a guest post I did about the evolution of Flight Risk

And here’s where you can read a new excerpt. (Warning: penis joke ahead!)

Excerpt

Trevor took a deep breath and framed Callie’s face with his hands. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

She was confused for a moment and then she tried to look down, but he couldn’t let it be that easy. She deserved more, and she had to see it not just hear it. “Believe me when I say there is a part of me that would like nothing better than to finish what we started.”

“Yeah, that part is called your dick.” When he didn’t even crack a smile, she shrugged a little, tried to wriggle away. “Jeez. It was a joke.”

“I don’t want to joke. I want to be honest. I want to…” God, he wanted to kiss her again. To feel the soft expanse of her skin. He wanted to take her clothes off slowly and…

Trevor closed his eyes, tried to erase the images careening through his mind. “I want to explain because I don’t want things to be weird between us again.” He reopened his eyes. “You mean too much to me for us to go down this road. Because, bottom line, I’m leaving.”

She wiggled again, but he held firm and she stilled. “I get it, Trevor. Really.” Her eyes refused to meet his.

“That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t say this.” He waited and waited until she finally met his gaze again. “I don’t want to be the one that hurts you. Maybe that’s egotistical of me to think I could, but I don’t want to be the one who walks away and leaves you hurting. I’ll have to walk away, Callie. You know that.”

“Yes, I know.” Her voice was soft and it caused him to gentle his hold, to brush the pads of his thumbs across her jaw.

“Don’t,” she said, a slight crack to her voice, and that hint of vulnerability was the only thing that had him dropping his hands.

She took a step away from him and wrapped her arms around herself. Like magic, she pulled herself together, hiding all the little chinks in her armor, all those pockets of vulnerability, and suddenly she was Callie standing in front of him. Strong, invincible, in charge, and he wobbled in her shadow.

“Now, brace yourself, Trevor, because I’m going to be really honest here.” She tried to smile to lighten the mood, but it didn’t reach her eyes. It didn’t reach anything. “You could hurt me.”
She let that hang in the air for a minute, her eyes holding his, her hands clutching her arms as if that was her grip on strength.

“Callie.”

“So, you’re right. We can’t do this because I’m starting to think I’m finally getting to a point where I can heal. Finally getting to a point where I want to. I think that means letting myself have a real relationship if the right guy comes along.”

Something clutched in his heart, but was immediately gutted by her next words.

“You’re not the right guy, Trevor.”

He should nod and accept that, but he couldn’t. He had to know it wasn’t that simple. “Because I’m leaving.”

She stepped toward him and traced his hairline with her finger before she met his eyes again. “Because I’m Pilot’s Point.” She dropped her hand. “And you’re not.” Flat. Final. Sure. He wished he could feel any of those things, mostly sure.

He took her hand in his, squeezed. “Is it pathetic we’re letting addresses keep us from doing this?”
She shook her head almost vehemently. “No. They aren’t just addresses. You’re FBI through and through, and without AIF, I’m nothing. It’s more to us than just. It’s who we are.”

He swallowed and when she pulled her hand away, he let it fall, let the connection end. For the first time in his whole life, he wished he could be Pilot’s Point. He wished he could stay.

Flight Risk eARC contest

Gosh, I’m great with titles, aren’t I?

Anyway, Flight Risk will release in just over three weeks, and I already warned you August was going to be alll about this book.

In fact, if you pre-order from the Samhain store right now (and up until release day, I believe) it’s only $3.85 (instead of the usual $5.50)!

To celebrate the so-close-I-can-taste-it release of this book I love so much, I’ll give away one eARC at the end of the week. All you have to do to enter is follow the following two easy steps:

1. Follow me on Twitter (@nicoleThelm), Facebook, or subscribe to the blog. (You don’t have to do all three, just one)

2. Leave a comment telling me which you did/do and the email & doc preference you would like me to send the ARC to should you win.

On Sunday 8/11 at 6pm CST, I will randomly choose one winner and send them the ARC.

To whet your whistle, here’s another excerpt:

Trevor leaned against the fence a few feet away from her. “Why? You enjoying the view?” He waggled his eyebrows.

Callie rolled her eyes, hoping she could rationalize the pink on her cheeks being from the heat of the day. “Please. You’d need a few more muscles and some tattoos to affect me.” He really didn’t, but she would never admit that to him. Let him think she had a thing for muscle-bound bad boys instead of lean, rangy good guys.

“Who says I don’t have any tattoos?”

Callie narrowed her eyes, studied him. Her pulse jumped. “You don’t have any tattoos.”

“Just because I don’t have any above the waist doesn’t mean I don’t have one.” He cocked his head, grinned.

Something strange and unnerving clutched in Callie’s gut, but she ignored it and matched his grin with a skeptical smile. “All right. Prove it.”

Trevor began to unbuckle his belt and Callie thought her heart was going to jump right out of her chest, but then he stopped. “Okay, you got me. No tattoo.”

Callie realized her mouth was hanging open. She quickly snapped it shut.

“What about you?”

“What about me?” she asked, really wishing she had a drink of water at this point. Her throat was so dry she couldn’t swallow and she was having trouble settling on a coherent thought. Damn heat.

“Any tattoos?”

“You’ll never know.” She got a weird and uncomfortable feeling that Trevor was flirting with her. Which was crazy. The heat was messing with her brain. Obviously.

Summer is the Cruelest Season

Okay, so the title is a little overdramatic, but as soon as mid-July rolls around, I feel like I’ve lost that tenuous grasp on order and with-it-edness. For me, July-September and November-January are those three month intervals of what feels like insanity.

How is it almost August? How have I not heard back on a million things I thought I would have heard back on by now? How have I run out of contacts, not cleaned the bathroom in too long to mention, and have a book releasing in a month?

But, yay, I have a book releasing in a month! Gird your loins because August is going to be alllll about Flight Risk.

Make sure you’re following me on Twitter (@NicoleTHelm) as I’ll be having a few eARC giveaways. If you’re a blogger who’d want to host me for guest posts/giveaways/reviews email me at NicoleTHelm@gmail.com. And if you’re just interested in hearing more about this book, make sure you’ve subscribed to the blog (you can do it in the sidebar).

To whet your appetite for a little Flight Risk action, here’s a very brief excerpt:

———

And that’s where Em was—sitting on the bench with her nose pressed against the glass. She looked back at Callie and grinned, her gaze quickly returning to the window. “Come look.”

Callie crossed the cluttered office to the big window. Em pointed to the grass runway below. The riding lawn mower was parked and next to it stood Trevor.

Shirtless.

“Um.” Like Em, Callie’s eyes were immediately transfixed. He was using his T-shirt to wipe the sweat off his forehead, and the motion caused muscles to move and bunch under sweat-slicked skin. He could use some sun, but other than that Trevor was pretty much flawless.

“So far this is the best part of Trevor being a volunteer.” Em practically giggled.

“How long have you been watching him?” Though the question held some accusation, Callie wasn’t walking away from the window either. In fact, she was pressed against the glass almost as close as Em was.

“Just a few minutes.” Em waved a hand briefly in Callie’s line of sight, but Callie’s gaze didn’t falter.

“Not creepy at all, Emerson.” Sarcasm dripped from the words, yet she was doing the same thing. She should look away now. Step back from the window. And she would.

In a few minutes.

“Callie. Seriously.” Em pointed toward the window, her gaze never leaving Trevor. “Look. At. That.”

Couldn’t stop if she wanted to. It wasn’t that Trevor was super hot or something. Okay, maybe he was, but she was a woman and any woman with a beating heart would want to watch that. Any woman would feel a certain amount of lust over flat, hard abs and strong, powerful shoulders. Didn’t mean a woman had to act on it. She was just having a normal reaction.

Except that reaction was being caused by her best friend. A guy she was determined not to think about naked. Anymore. Mustering all her strength, Callie pushed away from the window and headed for the door.

“Where are you going?”

When Callie looked over her shoulder, Em’s nose was still pressed to the glass. Callie grunted in disgust. “To tell Fabio down there to put a Goddamn shirt on.”

Excerpt Monday!

I have a few things occupying my brain right now, which means trying to write a blog post didn’t work out. So, I’ll leave you with an excerpt instead.

This is an (unedited, could-still-be-changed) excerpt from my first Samhain release, Flight Risk, which will come out late this summer. I want to be like a mother and love all my books equally, but there’s something a little extra special about this book for me. And I got a little peek at my cover today, so it seems fitting.

Also, baseball is less than a month away, so I had to include a baseball joke. (Sorry Cubs fans).

***
“I’m sorry, Cal,” Trevor muttered, and his hand rested on her knee. “This must hit a little close to home.”

Callie shrugged. “Been a long time.” The memories would fade, some of the pain would too. Alcohol would help hurry the process along. The liquid scorched its way down her throat, the familiar heat curling in her stomach.

“It’s not about me today. It’s about Shelby. And you.” She covered his hand with hers, and then carefully removed it from her knee. She took another sip, a little longer this time.

“I don’t want to think about me,” he muttered, leaning into the back of the couch. “Tell me about AIF.”

From one depressing subject to another. Callie thought of the fly-in, the annual gathering of members of Antiques in Flight. AIF made the majority of its money for the year at the fly-in. Antique enthusiasts flew or drove out to the airport and spent five days camping, eating, enjoying each other’s planes, checking out the museum and library.

Last year, most people had attended to memorialize Gramps, but the donations had dropped significantly because there had been so many problems. This year, everything had to run smoothly. They were counting on those donations to make it through.

Callie opened her mouth to deflect the topic, but the truth tumbled out. “Em and I are holding on by a thread. If we don’t recover from last year’s disaster of a fly-in, we’ll lose it all.” She hadn’t meant to be bleak about it. Whenever she was around her half-sister, she did her best to maintain a positive attitude, but in her head the fly-in in six months would either make or break Antiques in Flight.

If Callie lost AIF along with everything else, she didn’t think she’d make it.

Callie took another deep drink, willing the liquor to kick in. “Let’s talk about something really stupid,” she suggested before Trevor started to try and comfort her. He was the kind of guy who would off comfort to someone else after his own mother’s funeral. She was the type of woman who brought booze and bad news.

“I think the Cubs have a chance to go all the way this year.”

“Yeah. Right, this is really going to be their year.” It was good to laugh. It had been a while since she’d had someone to laugh with.

Two Weeks in the Books

Seven-Night Stand has been available for two weeks now, and it has been a crazy few weeks.

This week will start my blog tour. Interviews, posts about my favorite reality TV shows, and Nate and Vivvy even make an appearance and interview each other. There will also be opportunities to win the book or a $10 gift card, depending on the stop. I’ll be posting individual links on my FB and Twitter as they go up and once the entire blog tour is up on the Entangled site, I’ll post the link in the News column.

I’ve started receiving reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, book blogs, etc. All very surreal and something I’m still trying to wrap my head around. Strangers are reading my books! Crazy!

Meanwhile, lucky me, I get to spend more time with the Harringtons as I work on revisions for Harrington Airfield #2 and start plotting out #3. If you want a little visual peek at Risky Return and yet-to-be-titled/written #3, check out the Harrington Pinterest board.

Speaking of Book #2 and its hero, Ryan. Here’s a little excerpt from Seven-Night Stand showing a little love between brothers. 🙂

—————————-

“Is that how you got a beautiful woman interested in you? She’s crazy and it impedes her judgment? Christ, she doesn’t react to anything.”

“Yeah, maybe we need a little bit of that around here. Besides, she’s higher-class than any of the women who put up with you for brief periods of time.”

Ry snorted. “KC has plenty of high-class women interested in me. Women who aren’t looking to slum it with the likes of you.” The slum comment hit a little close to home, but what did he expect from Ryan? Not much. To Ryan, Nate’s life was a slum.

“Maybe, but none like Vivvy.”

Ryan shook his head and slapped Nate on the back. “You got it bad.”

Yeah, he did. Three days with this woman and he was all kinds of wrapped up in her. What kind of moron did that make him? The biggest.

“What are you going to do when she goes back to LA? I hope you don’t have any idiotic ideas about that woman staying. Cool as a cucumber—she does not belong here.”

“I’m not an idiot. Of course she doesn’t belong here.” She was all flash and smartphones and clacking around broken concrete and grass on high heels. Nothing about her image jibed with Harrington. Or even him.

Except somehow she worked with him. Something about the calm and cool way she didn’t react to all the drama. Nate puffed out an irritated breath. He was an idiot.

“You’re not going to agree to this insanity no matter how stupid you get over her. I won’t let you.”

“Screw off, Ry.” Nate focused on the plane, and for the next two hours he and Ryan didn’t talk. They worked side by side. As always, the years slipped away, the arguments faded. When they worked together on a plane, they were brothers. More than that, they were two of the same mold.