Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Teaser Tuesday 1/31/12 - Noah!

Set up: Noah's first time fighting while his "friend" Roni is ringside... Jack is the older owner of the gym. Gio and Abel are Noah's good friends and also boxers.   

The night of the fight came faster than Noah expected. It would take place right there in the gym against another nobody like himself. They weren’t even charging, so they had a good-sized crowd. Abel said it wouldn’t be much of a competition. His opponent was really new to the boxing scene, and this was one of his first fights. However, Abel said it was good conditioning for bigger stuff, and Noah had bigger stuff coming.

Gio did a last-minute check of Noah’s gloves while Abel applied more Vaseline to Noah’s face. Jack stood on the side of the ring, giving him last-minute advice. “Don’t get overconfident out there. This guy is new, but that might work to his advantage. He probably knows way more about you than you do about him. If he’s smart, he did his homework. As soon as you catch your groove, get on him and end it as fast as possible.” Noah listened, all the while watching as Roni turned around in her seat, striking up a conversation with the guy sitting behind her. She now sat facing backwards from the front row. “Are you listening to me?”

Noah forced his eyes away from the guy talking to Roni and brought his attention back to Jack, nodding. “Don’t take this fight lightly, Noah. The last thing you want is to take it for granted that you got this and get hurt again.”

“I won’t.” Noah promised.

Gio tapped his gloves. “You’re good,” he said then jumped out of the ring as the ref gave them a one-minute warning.

Abel finished up with the Vaseline then looked at him very seriously. “Keep your head in the fight. You hear me? I’ve never seen you fight with this kind of distraction out there.” His head gestured in Roni’s direction, but he never took his eyes off Noah. “You need to focus, or it’s gonna cost you. Just use that left jab of yours, and you should be good. Only thing this guy has is speed.”

The warning bell rang, and Abel jumped out of the ring. Noah stood up, glancing in Roni’s direction. She was facing the ring now, but the guy was still leaning forward, talking to her from behind. Focus, damn it.

The ref rattled off the last-second reminders about the rules and what not to do. They touched gloves, the bell rung, and they were off. Abel was right. The guy was fast. Getting in that left jab wasn’t going to be too easy, but it certainly wasn’t impossible. The added adrenaline from knowing there was a dude a little too interested in Roni in the audience might actually work to his advantage. 
Another glance in that direction made him want to punch someone out, and he landed a hard one on his opponent’s jaw, making him stumble back, but he stayed on his feet.

“There you go!” Abel yelled from his ringside seat.

“You got this, Noah.” Gio yelled.

Noah jumped around the ring, trying hard to focus on the fight. He landed a few more body shots before the bell rang ending the first round. Gio and Abel were immediately in the ring. Abel counted down from ten before letting him sit down then toweled him down and applied more Vaseline while Gio gave him water. “Why you slowing it down?” Abel asked. “You could’ve ended this in the first round. He almost went down with that first jab.”

Noah’s eyes were on Roni again as she turned around to talk to that same guy. Abel patted Noah on the chin twice. The second time harder than the first. “Focus!” He pointed his two fingers at his eyes. “I need you right here right now. Don’t blow this, Noah. This should be a piece of cake for you. This guy should’ve gone down already.”

Noah nodded as the bell rang again, and Abel and Gio jumped out of the ring. Abel banged his fist on the ring floor. “Let’s do this now!”

Roni was facing the ring again, but the idiot behind her still leaned forward and whispered something in her ear. The jab to his temple came out of nowhere. Noah stumbled to the side, seeing stars. “God damn it, Noah!” Abel yelled.

After shaking it off and feeling a sudden adrenaline rush, Noah moved in fast, landing a left hook to his opponent’s nose and then another one to his jaw. Just like that, the guy went down. The ref rushed in between them and started the countdown. Everyone was on their feet now, including Roni. She’d worn her hair down; the curls he now loved fell softly down past her shoulders. She looked beautiful.
Their eyes met and he smiled at her. She smiled back but still wrung her hands nervously. She’d admitted to being really nervous about seeing him fight on their way there. His eyes then traveled to behind Roni where the guy stood clapping and also smiling, only now Noah wasn’t smiling. His eyes locked on the guy. He gave him that look reserved exclusively for the ring when he stared his opponent down just before his fights, letting them know they were going down. Noah could only hope that the sudden disappearance of the guy’s smile meant he got the message loud and clear. He glanced at Roni again, softening his expression back to a smile before the ref lifted his arm, declaring him winner by knockout.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

First peek of new series 5th Street - And first Teasers!

I promised a sneak peek of my upcoming book. I'll have an entire page dedicated to the 5th Street series posted soon. For now I'll give you a little bit about what you can expect. 5th Street is the name of a boxing gym in East Los Angeles. The guys who work out there have several things in common: they're all trying to stay out of trouble by taking out their frustrations in the ring, they're all aspiring to be the next big thing out of East LA since De La Hoya. And oh yeah, they're all sexy as hell. And while they can all hold their own against the toughest opponents in the ring none of them are ready to meet their real match outside the ring. What to expect? Lots of sexy & intense page-turning drama. First up? 

Meet Noah.
Coming to an ereader near you in early 2012!
Add to your GoodReads shelf now!  

Teaser/Excerpt #1 
Leaning back into the office, he asked, “Is it the two guys by the punching bags?”
“No,” Jack said, stepping out and standing next to him. “That’s who you’ll be training.” He pointed at the two women he’d seen when he walked in.
Suddenly, Noah knew why the guys had been laughing. He turned back to Jack, wondering if this was a joke. Jack lifted a shoulder. “They’re here to be trained. So go train them.”

“Here he comes.” Nellie said, spreading her feet apart and reaching for the floor with her hands. “So what do you think of our trainer?”

Veronica looked up at her from where she was bending. “Huh?”

“Talk about sexy!” Nellie whispered as he neared.

“Nellie, he’s a kid.”

Half way to them, Noah dropped the mats and went back. Nellie and Veronica watched him from behind. His muscle shirt left nothing to the imagination. There wasn’t a muscle on him you couldn’t see or make out. And he had a lot of them. Typical trainer looking guy. Not an ounce of fat on him and whole lot of huge everything. 

“Oh, C’mon where’s your sense of escapism? I’m a married woman and I’m enjoying the view. Who cares if he’s young. Nothing wrong with fantasizing—besides how many kids have you seen with a body like that? He’s gotta be at least twenty-three, twenty-four.”

“Twenty-four? No way.” Veronica said, bending over again. “You’re just saying that because he’s so big. But he has a baby face.”

“One of the strongest jaws I’ve ever seen on a baby.” Nellie giggled. “And did you get a load of those lips? Umm umm. Talk about suckable lips.”

Veronica had to giggle now, too. “Will you stop? The guy can’t be more than twenty-one and I’m being generous.” She’d been around students enough when she worked at the college to be able to guess their age fairly accurately.

“Let’s ask him.”

“No!” Veronica stood up. “Don’t you dare.”

Nellie laughed. “Why not?”

“Because it’s none of our business. You better not.”

Nellie shook her head, her face still full of humor. “All right, all right. You’re no fun anymore. The old Roni would’ve already been flirting with him.”

Veronica rolled her eyes going down for one more stretch. “Yeah, well the old me didn’t weigh a hundred and sixty-seven freakin’ pounds!” She groaned disgusted in herself. How could she let herself go like this? She’d gained more than the forty pounds she thought she had.

Nellie was right about one thing. She’d almost forgotten what a flirt she could be. But she was wrong about the other. There was no way she’d ever think about going out with someone so much younger than her. It was hard enough to find a mature guy her age, she most certainly not taking her chances on the younger ones.

Teaser/Excerpt #3 Set up. Veronica has just learned she dropped another six pounds in two weeks of working out with her sexy trainer. After he starts to get personal about her life she changes the subject and finally works up the nerve to ask him out for a drink only to be shocked by his revelation. We're in Noah's POV here.:

She tilted her head. “I’d rather not now, but I wouldn’t mind going out for a celebratory drink if you’re up for it.”

“I don’t—”

“Okay before the lecture.” She he held her hand up, smiling. “Alcohol is not a part of my diet, but I’ve been really good about keeping it to only one or two glasses of wine a week since I started working out. And tonight would be the night. I haven’t had any all week.”

Had she really asked him to go for a drink with her? She’d grown on him in two weeks, and he’d never seen her out of her sweats, ponytail and no makeup. He knew so little about her except she was more determined than most girls her size to try and whip back into shape. And she was smart. That he definitely picked up on. “I’m not twenty-one.”

For the second time that night, her jaw fell open, only this time it didn’t feel good. “You’re not?”

“It’s not like I’ve never drank.” Hell him and the guys had been drinking for years. “I just can’t legally go into a bar and drink…yet.”

Her eyes were still big with and overly concerned. “How old are you?”

He knew she couldn’t be more than twenty-one or twenty-two. He towered over her and at times she seemed so small and delicate next to his six-foot two stature he felt her so young. “I’ll be twenty soon,” he said with confidence.

“Oh my God.” Her absolutely horrified reaction was not what he was expecting. “I’m so sorry. I had no—”

He had to laugh. “What? I’m legal!”

“I know,” she said, hurrying her step toward the exit of the gym. “I had no idea. I apologize.”

“Again, for what?”

“I just didn’t know.”

“So I’m not twenty-one. How old are you? Twenty-one, twenty-two?”

She glanced at him, her eyes still lit with bewilderment. Since she wasn’t slowing down, he took a step in front of her to make her stop. “How old are you?”

She hesitated for moment before answering turning away then finally looked back at him lifting an eyebrow. “I’m twenty-eight, Noah.”

It came as a surprise. She didn’t look it but by the way she was acting you’d think she was forty. “Alright so you’re twenty-eight. You don’t look it.” She didn’t. Not at all, especially now that she’d lost a few pounds. She tried to walk around him but he moved with her. “Don’t get all weird on me, Veronica. If there’s one thing I’ve learned my whole life, time and age are but an illusion.” The crease that suddenly made an appearance between here eyes again made him smile. “I’ll be twenty in a week, by the way. You lost eleven pounds in two weeks because of me—your nineteen year-old trainer.”

She stared at him for a moment the crease disappeared with her forced smile. “I know. And you’ll never know how much I appreciate it. I’ll see you Monday, okay?”

She walked around him and was almost out the door, but he had to ask. “Why never?”

Glancing back, she took a moment to answer. “I mean, I’ll just never be able to thank you enough.”  She shrugged before waving at him and walked out the door.      
         Noah showered at the gym before leaving, thinking about Veronica the entire time—twenty-eight. She’d never mentioned a husband or boyfriend for that matter. But then their conversations had never gotten that personal. Now that she knew just how old he really was, he got the feeling they never would. In a weird way that bothered him. Maybe he’d just make sure things didn’t change. After all, he meant it when he said it. Age was just an illusion.