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Excerpt! Strangers on a Train…

Sorry, long post, but on February 4, the paperback antho Strangers on a Train is releasing from Samhain! Myself (as Meg Maguire), Ruthie Knox, Serena Bell, Samantha Hunter, and Donna Cummings all wrote themed novellas for the collection, and we’re sharing an excerpt a day, starting today! This first one happens to be from my story, Thank You for Riding, set in the super-sexy Boston subway in the dead of winter. The story contains some pretty epic dry-humping, if I may say so myself, though this snippet’s rated G. Enjoy!

From Thank You for Riding by Meg Maguire

Copyright © 2012 Meg Maguire
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

Caitlin took stock, looking for a bright side. She was trapped in a subway corridor with the cutest, most charming man she’d had the pleasure of getting asked out by in months. Life could be worse. Unless she lost a toe to frostbite. That might not be the best way to kick off a would-be courtship.

“This thing starts running around five,” she said. “Even if we can’t reach anyone, neither of us will drop dead in three and a half hours, not of cold or hunger or thirst, right?”

“Nah, we won’t.” Mark shook his head a bit too energetically, faking calm.

“You’re not claustrophobic, are you?”

“No, no. Just…” He made a dramatic shuddering noise. “Feels weird. Being locked in. I’ve gotten so used to being the lone adult in a room or a bus full of kids, the one who fixes stuff. Just frustrated.”

“Understandable. This ever happen at the Y?”

“Nope. No practice in this particular crisis.” He studied her in the scant light and smiled. “Better it’s you and me here, and not me and fifteen under-rested, over-sugared adolescents, like the time I was on a bus that broke down in Western Mass.”

Just him and her? Better indeed. “Sounds very Lord of the Flies.”

He laughed. “Nearly.”

“What’d you do?”

“Games, fun. Distraction. Trick the kids into thinking it was a sleepover.”

“I wish I’d brought pajamas,” Caitlin said. And slippers, and a nice fluffy robe.

“If we’re stuck here until the morning, we should set up camp closest to the platform. Maybe they keep the station heated through the night.”

“We can only hope. Less breezy, anyhow.”

They wandered back to the revolving gate, and Caitlin sat on the floor as demurely as could be expected in her tiny dress—not that Mark would be able to see much if she accidentally flashed him, not in this paltry light. She slipped off her shoes and set them beside her with a sigh, flexing her toes.

“Funny how getting dumped at a holiday party suddenly isn’t the worst thing that’s happened to me today,” she teased herself.

“Careful. Crappy stuff’s supposed to come in threes.”

“Oh, right. I wonder what’s next?”

“Guess we’ll just have to wait and find out.”

On the positive side, at least she didn’t need to pee. And though she didn’t know Mark well at all, she did have a crush on him, and if someone had forced her to choose a person to be trapped in this corridor with all night, his was the name she’d have blurted.

Mark stretched his legs out in front of him. “So. You like it so far? Our first date?”

She smiled, glad he was finding the humor in things again. “I would have preferred that coffee, I must admit.”

“You okay? Cold?”

She nodded. “Yeah, pretty cold.”

He unzipped his coat.

“No, don’t do that.”

He ignored her, slipping it from his shoulders. He draped it over her lap, and she tucked the edges under her legs and feet, happy for the soft fleece lining…though she wasn’t exactly cozy. The brick floor was turning her butt to stone, and the breeze still reached them, sucked from the street down into the station, off through the tunnels bound for other stops.

“Still think you can make it three or four hours?”

She nodded. “Yeah, I can.”

“Lemme know if your feet go numb or anything. You want my socks?” He reached for his shoes.

“No, no.” She tucked his jacket more tightly under her heels. “I’ll be okay.”

“Gloves?” He was already pulling them off, so it wasn’t a question.

She slipped them on, liking how they’d been prewarmed by him, and how small her hands felt inside them. Mark slid his own hands into the front pocket of his Dingoes sweatshirt after flipping up its hood and cinching it around his face. His very handsome face.

“Thank you,” Caitlin said, her voice sounding strange and disembodied in the dark weirdness of the space.

“Least I can do, after talking your ear off and getting us stranded down here.”

She shrugged. “I’d been willing you to ask me out with telepathy, so really it’s my fault. You were just doing my bidding.”

He laughed softly, and she wished she could see his grin better. That’d warm her up.

“Why didn’t you just ask me out yourself?”

“Well, I might’ve, except I’d already admitted I got dumped in the last few hours. That might quite rightly give a guy pause.”

“Ah. What does it say about me that I asked you out anyhow?” Mark asked, a smile lingering in his voice.

“That you like ’em desperate and vulnerable.”

Another laugh, a proper one. “Wow. I’m a scoundrel.”

“Nah. You’re cute.”

He turned to meet her eyes, raising a brow. “Oh?”

She nodded. “I thought you were cute at the Red Cross, with your scaredy needle-face and your library book and your reading glasses. And the fact that you were donating your platelets in the middle of a weekday.” And your shapely, shapely arm.

“How did you know I wasn’t unemployed, just there for the free snacks?”

“I knew. The way you squeezed that stress ball…” She sighed for wistful effect.

“Oh?”

“Oh, yes. Women can’t resist a man with strong squeezing hands. Tells us you must be great at, oh, I don’t know…making juice. Opening jars. Crushing beer cans.”

“Women really go for that, huh?”

She shrugged. “Maybe that’s my own perversion, after spending seventy hours a week surrounded by guys who speak in financial code.”

* * *

You can order Strangers on a Train from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Tune in tomorrow for the next excerpt!

Strangers on a Train, the blog tour!

The Strangers on a Train blog tour kicks off tomorrow! This new series from Samhain is comprised of steamy contemporary romantic novellas by me (writing as Meg Maguire), Serena Bell, Samantha Hunter, Donna Cummings, and Ruthie Knox—all on the theme of, well, strangers meeting on trains!

Here are our scheduled stops, including which book and author are representin’ for the day—which also tells you which story you can enter to win by commenting on that post. “All the authors” means you can enter to win a complete set!

March 25, Bookaholic Anon, all the authors
March 26, The Raunch Dilettante, Thank You for Riding by Meg Maguire
March 27, Blogging by Liza, Big Boy by Ruthie Knox
March 28, Love to Read for Fun, Ticket Home by Serena Bell
March 29, Intrepid Reader, Back on Track by Donna Cummings
April 1, Kindles and Wine, Big Boy

April 2, RELEASE DAY! We’ll be at four different locations, giving away full sets of the books. Serena Bell will be at Romance@Random, Ruthie Knox will be at FictionVixen, Meg Maguire will be at Smexybooks, and the whole gang will be over at HEA USA Today.

April 3, Brunette Librarian, Tight Quarters by Samantha Hunter
April 4, Delighted Reader, Ticket Home
April 5, Ex Libris, all the authors
April 8, Confessions of an Opinionated Book Geek, Big Boy
April 9, Feeling Fictional, Ticket Home
April 10, Romance Around the Corner, Thank You for Riding
April 11, Book Crack, all the authors
April 12, Romantic Book Affairs, all the authors
April 15, Harlequin Junkie, Tight Quarters
April 16, Shh Mom’s Reading, Back on Track
April 17, Dee’s Book Blog, Ticket Home
April 18, Totally Booked, Tight Quarters
April 19, Romance Reader at Heart, Back on Track
April 22, Talk Supe, Back on Track

Hope you can join us! And if you’re interested, here are some buy links for the series!

Order from Amazon
Order from Barnes & Noble
Order from Samhain (currently 30% off!)
Add on Goodreads

Author copies!!

All aboard the blog train!

Cover reveal! Kick-ass contest!

In April, Samhain will be releasing the five romantic novellas in their Strangers on a Train series, by myself (as Meg Maguire), Samantha Hunter, Donna Cummings, Ruthie Knox, and Serena Bell.

For a chance to win a set of all five stories, well before they release to general public, simply reblog this post or leave a comment by 11:59pm ET on Friday. Winners will be selected this weekend.

Here’s the blurb for my story, Thank You for Riding, set in the oh-so romantic bowels of the Boston subway system:

The last train of the night might just be the start of something good.

Stung ego or not, Caitlin’s relieved her fizzling relationship is over, even if she’s just been unceremoniously dumped between the copier and a dead ficus tree. At least she has an excuse to ditch the lousy office Christmas party in time to catch the last subway home…to her cat, and early-onset spinsterhood.

Instead of a lonely, chilly ride, she gets an unexpected holiday treat in the form of a nearly familiar face—a handsome stranger she encountered last week at the blood drive.

At the end of the line, neither can seem to let their chance meeting end—until their extended flirtation finds them facing the prospect of spending a frigid winter night locked in an unheated subway station. And they wonder if keeping each other warm is merely a delightful form of rebound therapy…or a memorable first of many more dates to come.

Warning: Contains dorky, harmless flirtation that heats up into some spicy, third-base action.

The next stop on this train is Ruthie Knox’s blog! Check out the details on her story, Big Boy, and comment there, too, to up your chances of winning!

Other links:

Preorder on Amazon

Preorder on B&N

Add on Goodreads

View entire series on Goodreads

O hai, Making Him Sweat has a cover! And I can has hand-wraps!! Looking good, Mercer.

Out late February from Harlequin Blaze.

Woot! Special delivery!

Woo hoo! January Blaze cover reveal! For more book info, poke here.

Six Sentence Sunday #27

Hey, fellow Sixers! Here are six sentences from my freshly finished novella Thank You For Riding. It’s for an anthology project I’m working on with some friends, on the theme of “strangers on a train.” The hero and heroine are trapped in a subway station, and rounding second base.

Her happily wandering mind was drawn back to the present as she felt something else wander—his hand drifting up her ribs, thumb glancing the side of her breast. It moved so slowly, she knew he was welcoming a protest or correction. He’d just have to keep waiting. Mark was the sexiest, nicest man she’d met in ages. He could grab her boob if he wanted. Have at it, handsome.

Thanks for stopping by! Don’t forget to go check out all the other Six Sentence Sunday excerpts this week.

The Reluctant Nude is out in paperback!

My debut romance and Golden Heart® finalist book, The Reluctant Nude, is now available in paperback! You can snag it direct from Samhain, on Amazon, or through your favorite online retailer and select brick-and-mortar bookstores. Here be the blurb:

Chipping away at her resistance, one touch at a time…
 
Fallon Frost’s late foster mother had done so much to heal the wounds of her damaged childhood. So when a lecherous developer plans to bulldoze her old home to make room for a strip mall, the practical, ordered life Fallon has built for herself is threatened.
 
Then he makes a twisted proposal. He’ll leave the land alone if she poses nude for a sculpture that’ll end up in his collection. Seeing no other choice, she heads for Nova Scotia—only to find something totally unexpected. A sexy, hot-blooded, infuriating sculptor.
 
Guarded, sexually detached Fallon is a challenge Max Emery can’t wait to tackle. Yet with each tap of his chisel, he uncovers a woman who rekindles a dream he thought lost. Home, family…love. And the closer he gets to her core, the harder it becomes to accept that he’s carving her naked body for another man’s eyes.
 
As progress on the sculpture almost grinds to a halt, their fragile fantasy world collapses under the weight of reality. Threatening Fallon’s one chance to save her foster mother’s land…and any chance she and Max have to find love.

Head here for more info, including an excerpt.

Six Sentence Sunday #26

Hey, fellow Sixers! Here are six sentences from a nearly-done novella, for an anthology project I’m working on with some friends, on the theme of “strangers on a train.” The hero and heroine of my story, Thank You For Riding, are already cursorily acquainted, and they’ve run into one another on the last subway train of the evening. The heroine just got dumped, and is finding the hero’s friendly flirtations a welcome ego-boost.

She studied his five o’clock shadow, thinking idly how nice he’d look with shaving cream all over his face—that open face with its easy smile, temporarily stern to keep from getting nicked…chest bare, towel knotted at his waist, the squeak of his palm across the glass as he cleared the fog from the mirror…

Here, let me help you with that…and how do you like your eggs, by the way? Call in sick to work and have sex with you all day? Oh Mark, I really mustn’t…but I will. Paint my front hall wearing nothing but your mangy work pants, you say? Excuse me while I orgasm.

Thanks for stopping by! Don’t forget to go check out all the other Six Sentence Sunday excerpts this week.