Hello readers! First off, I want to thank the ladies at Bookish Temptations for asking me to do a guest post. I’m honored to be a part of celebrating their two-year anniversary! I’m currently hip-deep in working on the last book of the Evan Arden Series, and thought a little sneak preview of the upcoming book was in order! In addition, I’ll be giving away copies of the first two books – Otherwise Alone and Otherwise Occupied – to a lucky winner to help celebrate the anniversary!
For those who haven’t read the previous books, I’m going to go out on a limb and say you should be. If you like to get inside the head of a rough-and-tumble, broken, Alpha-Male badass character, these stories are definitely for you! It’s got romance, crime, intrigue, an intelligent and somewhat sociopathic main character, and some good, hot smut!
Evan Arden first appears in Otherwise Alone. He’s been exiled to the Arizona desert for screwing up a job for his crime-lord boss in Chicago, and currently living a life of serious boredom – just him, his trusty Barrett sniper rifle, and his Great Pyrenees dog, Odin. While hanging out there, fate would bring him a visitor he doesn’t expect – Lia Antonio.
Let’s just say, they hit it off pretty well in a hot, fast and furious kind of way. The thing is, Evan’s got a nasty background from being a Marine overseas and a job that matches his history. He doesn’t want Lia wrapped up in his crime-filled lifestyle. In this short story, you get your first glimpse into Evan’s head and his motivations.
On to Otherwise Occupied…
Back in Chicago, Evan does his best to forget the woman he met in Arizona by throwing himself into his work as a hit man and into the arms of a local hooker, Bridgett. Though she has the ability to calm his body and let him get a little reprieve from the nightmares brought on from his tour of duty in the Gulf War, she can’t completely soothe his soul. Thing go from bad to worse as you get to watch the impact of PTSD from inside the head of the suffering soldier.
As a side story within Evan’s world, there is also Uncockblockable – the tale of Nick Wolfe, the illegitimate son of Evan’s mob-boss. He’s quite the party guy and ladies man up until he meets a woman who actually says no to him. It’s short, fun read, but you also get a bit more information about Chicago’s underworld and Evan Arden from another point of view. A portion of the proceeds from this book go to a good cause, so please check it out!
In Otherwise Unharmed, Evan gets wrapped up in an even bigger mess, with the added bonus of having to keep Lia safe from the warring crime-lords of Chicago’s dirty underbelly. He makes a deal to get himself out of captivity, but the deal may prove to be more difficult to execute than expected. On top of it all, he continues to fight his demons of the past. It seems everyone is against him – even the man who once called him “son” – and he’s doing everything in his power to try to stay out of the crosshairs.
Here’s a little taste of what’s in store for Evan in the final story of the series. Fair warning – if you haven’t read the previous books, there are definitely some serious spoilers in here!
“How long has it been since you’ve slept?”
I shrugged and shook my head. I had no idea.
“I can’t sleep by myself,” I said. “It’s been…a while.”
“By yourself?” Lia asked. “But you can sleep if someone is with you?”
Whirling nausea swirled in my stomach. I hadn’t meant to say anything about it at all, and now she was likely to press for a better answer. What would I even tell her? I do my best sleeping after a little anal with a hooker? Oh, by the way, I might have shot her when the mood struck me.
How about a nice night on the town?
“I guess,” I said quietly. My heartbeat pounded in my temples as I started to sweat due to the energy it was taking not to tell her what happened.
Lia’s fingers trailed slowly over the side of my face.
“If I was with you, would you be able to sleep?”
The feeling that came over me at the very idea could have easily knocked me to the floor if I hadn’t already been secured to the metal chair. My fingers tightened on her thigh as the reality of the situation hit me.
If I had just held out another day – maybe even another hour – I could be sleeping with her right now. I could be in my bed with Lia in my arms and Odin making disgusting saliva trails on my arm when I overslept.
I’d fucked it all up.
“So fucked up…”
“I know,” she said with a rush of air from her lungs. “It’s as fucked up as anything ever has been.”
“It’s worse,” I responded. I squeezed my eyes shut and considered biting down on my tongue.
There’s a rush of blood into my throat just after a sharp blow to my chin causes me to bite down on my tongue. For a moment I think I’m choking on my own blood, but once I manage to swallow, I can breathe again. My tongue throbs in my mouth…
As my thoughts were interrupted, my lungs started screaming at me to fill them up with some air before I passed out face-first on the table. I tried to inhale but couldn’t and started to panic.
The blood in my mouth mixes with the sand as I’m thrown back to the ground, and for a moment I am choking on it…
“Evan, stay with me.”
“Calm, baby.” Her fingers traced the edge of my jaw. “Just listen to my voice, and take a slow breath.”
I wanted to listen to her badly enough that I forced my diaphragm to flex and pull air into my lungs in a sharp gasp.
“It’s okay.” Lia’s voice pulled me from the panic the same way it had managed to pull me from the memory. “It’s all right, Evan… You’re all right.”
With nearly violent effort, I inhaled again. The act itself nearly made me fall out of the chair. I wondered if it was the restraints or Lia’s touch that was keeping me from landing on the floor. After a few more tries and a lot of focus on her skin against mine, I managed to start breathing normally again.
“Where did you go?” Lia’s fingers continued to run from my temple to my chin.
“Back there,” I responded. I swallowed past the growing tightness in my throat before continuing. “When they first tried to put me in the hole, I’d struggle. It was stupid – there were too many of them to fight.”
“But you kept trying.”
“For a while.” I nodded. “Eventually, I figured out there wasn’t any point. Once I didn’t respond that way anymore to whatever they were doing, they’d try to come up with other ways to get a reaction out of me.”
“Shit,” Lia whispered as her arms tensed. “You were there a long time, too.”
I could only nod. Squeezing my eyes shut, I tried to keep the memories shoved to the back of my mind, but I was really too tired for such an act of will. They were going to be back – with force. My hands began to shake uncontrollably, and I gripped Lia’s thigh a little harder.
“Evan, it will be all right.” Her voice echoed around the small room. “We’ll figure it out. I’ll help you figure it out.”
I laughed. It was hollow and without humor.
“Figure it out,” I repeated sarcastically. “I shot up my neighborhood park. I’m going to prison. I should go to prison.”
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little teaser! The first three stories are all available on Amazon today. Just check out my author’s page! http://www.amazon.com/Shay-Savage/e/B00AP83E7S/
Otherwise Unharmed will be available on Amazon in December, 2013!
Congratulations to Bookish Temptations on its two year anniversary!
To enter the giveaway just leave a comment.
Giveaway will run through October 24th
Winner will be chosen by Random.org
**No purchase necessary**