Sunday, March 2, 2014

Cup of Sugar Release Week Blitz

Cup of Sugar
© Karla Doyle

Release Date: February 28, 2014
Genre: Hot Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 55,537
Series: Close to Home, Book 1
Price: $2.99

PROMO PRICE: 99¢ between Feb 28-March 7

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/413118  (use coupon code LA39L to get it for 99¢)
Blurb

Nia has one rule—don’t date neighbors. Simple, except the guy next door is single, handsome, and not inclined to close his blinds while naked. When her car dies, Conn takes “being neighborly” to a new level by offering a ride to her long-distance destination. Nia has resisted his looks and charm for months. Surely she can handle a few hours in his truck…

For months, Conn has blatantly put himself on display, hoping his pretty blonde neighbor would tire of secretly watching and come knock on his door for a cup of sugar—or more. No such luck—until an unusual opportunity arises. After a six-hour drive turns into a sweet-and-sexy weekend, Conn wants more than neighborly status with Nia. To get it, he must convince her to break the rule protecting her heart—by putting his on the line.

* * * * *




The following excerpt options are in chronological order from the book.


Short Excerpt 1 (from Chapter One—224 words)

Well, look at that—Nia’s little Chevy, its lights on, but not running. Perfect timing.
Conn pulled into his half of the joined driveway and parked beside her car. For the eight months since she’d moved in next door, the twenty-four feet of asphalt separating their houses had been almost impassable. Whenever he got close to crossing the distance, something or somebody got in the way. Overtime on the jobsite or a time-consuming sideline project he couldn’t afford to pass up. Phone calls from his family that he had to answer. His pissed-off ex dropping by to unleash her rage. Yeah, that last one had particularly sucked.
The times he’d had the opportunity to speak to Nia, she’d blushed throughout their brief, casual conversations, bolting as soon as she had the chance. Polite, neighborly waving seemed to be her preferred method of communication.
But he’d caught her looking his way. Many times. The pretty blonde’s ability to fry his circuits with her stolen glances had had Conn on high alert for months. Hell, he’d purposely put himself on display—doing all kinds of things—hoping she’d get tired of secretly watching and come knocking on his door. She never did.
He wasn’t one for making New Year’s resolutions, but this opportunity called for one. Tonight, he resolved that Nia wouldn’t get away so easily.


Short Excerpt 2 (from Chapter One—276 words)

Conn left the shopping bags in the backseat of his truck and cut between their vehicles. The groceries could wait a few. Spotlights mounted on Nia’s backyard pergola illuminated most of the driveway. She hadn’t started her engine, nor had she gotten out of the car. Intentionally avoiding him? If so, about time he found out why.
He bent and peered through the window, giving a light rap on the glass as he did. “Hey, neighbor.”
Her muffled “hello” was as soft as Conn imagined her skin and hair would be—if she ever let him close enough to find out. Her gloved hands gripped the hell out of the steering wheel. The keys dangled from the ignition. Small clouds formed and dissipated as she breathed the cold air. She darted another glance at him, but didn’t move.
“Everything okay, Nia?”
Her shoulders slumped and a larger puff of fog left her lips. “My car won’t start.”
Chalk this one up as a late Christmas present from the universe. He motioned at the passenger door. She nodded in response, so he opened it, stuck his head and shoulders inside. “I’m at your service. I can jump you or give you a ride.”
She squeaked—actually squeaked—and the frost melted from her expression. Oh, she was still pink in the cheeks, the color just didn’t look cold-weather induced. Maybe this New Year’s Eve wouldn’t completely suck after all.
But he didn’t grin, though it pained him greatly to hold it in. Any sign of wolfishness and she’d bolt again. That much he was pretty damn sure about. No problem. He could take it slow and easy.


Extended Excerpt Three (from Chapter One—777 words)

Conn bent and peered through the window, giving a light rap on the glass as he did. “Hey, neighbor.”
Her muffled “hello” was as soft as he imagined her skin and hair would be—if she ever let him close enough to find out. Her gloved hands gripped the hell out of the
steering wheel. The keys dangled from the ignition. Small clouds formed and dissipated as she breathed the cold air. She darted another glance at him, but didn’t move.
“Everything okay, Nia?”
Her shoulders slumped and a larger puff of fog left her lips. “My car won’t start.”
Chalk this one up as a late Christmas present from the universe. He motioned at the passenger door. She nodded in response, so he opened it, stuck his head and shoulders inside. “I’m at your service. I can jump you or give you a ride.”
She squeaked—actually squeaked—and the frost melted from her expression. Oh, she was still pink in the cheeks, the color just didn’t look cold-weather induced. Maybe this New Year’s Eve wouldn’t completely suck after all.
But he didn’t grin, though it pained him greatly to hold it in. Any sign of wolfishness and she’d bolt again. That much he was pretty damn sure about. No problem. He could take it slow and easy.
“What happens when you try to start it up?”
“It goes click click click click click.”
Goddamn, she was cute. So much so, the grin almost got away from him. He nodded at the steering column. “Mind giving it a go so I can hear it? Not that I’m doubting the accuracy of your impression.”
“Oh god, of course. Sure.” She mumbled something under her breath while leaning forward to turn the key in the ignition. The Chevy clicked in rapid-fire succession.
“Okay, good enough. You can stop. I’m not a mechanic, but I’d wager it’s your starter. Maybe the solenoid.” A guess he’d already made, based on the operational status of the car’s lights and the adorable-as-hell sound effects she’d made.
“What’s a solenoid? Wait, better question—what are the odds I can get it fixed tonight?”
“Unless you have a mechanically inclined relative or close friend with access to automotive parts and a warm garage, I’d say zero.”
“What if you jump me—will that help?”
It’d help him, hell yes. But he couldn’t say that either. Not to a woman he didn’t know beyond some casual conversation and eight months of ogling from his side of their mutual property line.
“Nope. That only works for a low battery. And yours,” he nodded at the windshield, beyond which her headlights bounced off the fence, “seems to be working just fine.”
“Shit.” She slumped again. A cloud of curly fog rose as she sighed. “Thanks, Conn.”
Since moving in, she’d never called him by name. And man, did it sound good in her sweet voice. If she thought he could close the car door and walk away after hearing that, she could think again.
“Give me ten minutes to toss my stuff in the house, feed Zeus and I’ll give you a lift wherever you need to go.”
She didn’t raise her head, but turned it enough to look at him. A curtain of long, blonde hair obscured half her face. “Why?”
“Why not?”
The eye he could see squinted at him. “Because it’s New Year’s Eve and I’m quite sure you have plans.”
Really now. This could get interesting. “And why would think that?” he asked while sliding onto her passenger seat and closing the door.
That move had her sitting straight. “What are you doing?”
“Being neighborly.”
“Oh my god, just no.” She shot from her seat and out of the car as if her cute little ass was on fire. When he didn’t follow suit, she leaned in and scowled at him. “Are you going to get out?” She rolled her eyes and huffed at his shrug. “Good lord, this is all I need.”
“See, now we’re getting somewhere. Tell me what you need, Nia. A ride to…?”
“I do not need to ride you.” Forget squeaking, this time she shrieked. Then clapped one gloved hand over her mouth, and with the other hand, slammed the driver’s side door.
He choked down the gut-busting laugh that threatened at the base of his throat. But when she reached the door of her house and realized she’d left the keys in the ignition, the dam burst. One loud laugh erupted from his lips. No doubt that was going to get him in serious shit with his neighborette. He’d just have to make it up to her.


Excerpt Four (from Chapter One—601 words)

Conn started the truck and tapped the dashboard near a built-in display screen. “Go ahead and input your parents’ address in the GPS. We don’t have to follow the route it gives us, but it’ll give me a starting point.”
The reality of the moment hit her then, like a hard flick to the middle of the forehead. He truly intended to drive her all the way to her childhood hometown. In a storm. On New Year’s Eve.
“I can’t let you do this, Conn. I was only kidding when I suggested you take me to my parents’ place. I didn’t think—or expect—you to say yes.”
“Glad I could surprise you.”
Oh, he’d definitely done that. “You really don’t want to do this.”
“And why’s that?” Teasing her again. Baiting her into another embarrassing slip of the tongue.
“Numerous reasons.” She turned in her seat, forcing herself to look at him directly. A dangerous thing to do while trying to form coherent, rational sentences. “First of all, I’m sure you had plans tonight. Second, you don’t even know me, not really. And third, only a crazy person would go to Barry’s Bay voluntarily.”
Their houses’ exterior lights provided enough illumination for her to see his smile. He smiled a lot. He had a variety of smiles—that she’d seen, anyway—and all of them were natural, easy and way too appealing. Accepting his offer of transportation had been a major mistake.
His hand shot over to cover hers when she unbuckled her seatbelt. “One—I had no plans tonight, aside from lying on the couch with a bowl of potato chips and the remote. Two—I’d like to get to know you, and this road trip is a good time to start. Three—you’re going to Barry’s Bay voluntarily, and you’re not crazy.”
A laugh bubbled up from her nervous stomach. “You want to get to know me? Then let me set you straight on that one right now. I’m definitely crazy. As in, a couple hours from now, you’ll be wishing you hadn’t knocked on my car window tonight. I’m pretty much the poster child for crazy chicks.” Okay, so that was quite the disclaimer to slap herself with, but coherent and rational had gone up in smoke with their skin-to-skin contact. “So, how about I say goodnight, go in my house and we just go back to the way things were?”
He found the end of her seatbelt and clicked it into place. “Going back never works out.”
“I wouldn’t know. I’m more of a ‘run far, far away’ person.”
“Look at that—not even out of the driveway and I’m already getting to know you.” He tapped the GPS console again, then put the truck in reverse. “And now I’ll tell you something about me. I only do things I want to do, sweetheart.”
The statement could have been a threat. Or a promise. Regardless of his intent, the way he spoke the words, so serious and sexy-like, sent a ripple of awareness all the way to her toes. Of course, the effect of that ripple was strongest at the midpoint. Between her thighs, which she clamped tightly together.
On the street, he switched gears. But he didn’t drive away. Not immediately. He kept his foot on the brake while idling beneath the streetlamp. One hand casually holding the top of the steering wheel, he looked over at her. Another of his smiles slid into place on his handsome face. A very knowing smile.
This was going to be the longest road trip of her life.


Excerpt Five (from Chapter Two—469 words)

Nia leaned forward, as close as possible to the windshield, watching Conn inside the motel office. He and a short, older man who was likely the owner had shared a brief conversation. That made sense. Rather than return to the truck, though, Conn pulled his wallet from his jeans. Handed the man a card, then signed something.
That could only mean one thing. She scanned the front of the small building. Four doors, one of which led to the office. Maybe there were more around the back. Plus, this
place was in the middle of nowhere—to the best of her knowledge, anyway—so there ought to be plenty of vacant units. Nothing to worry about.
“Hey.” Conn closed the truck door and brushed the snow from his hair. “What do you want first, the good news or the bad?”
“Always lead with the bad, it makes the good look that much better.”
“All right. Apparently, we’ve gone southeast, rather than north, adding about an hour to our drive—in good weather.”
“Which we don’t have.”
“Not at the moment. In fact, the motel owner said they’re predicting another six inches to come overnight.”
She couldn’t help it, a giggle bubbled up and slipped through her lips. “Sorry. It just struck me as, um…” Another giggle escaped, and Conn’s eyebrows rose. “Another six inches to come overnight…under other circumstances, a girl would be excited to hear that prediction.” Oh god, had she really said that? To the one man she absolutely could not have sex with, while they were parked in front of a motel? Shit, shit, shit.
The damage was done. Conn’s mouth curved into a lethally sexy smile. “Guess I know another interesting fact about you now.”
Heat flared in her cheeks. “And what’s that?”
“You have a dirty mind.”
Whether she confirmed or denied, she’d be in trouble.
Conn didn’t put her through the embarrassment of answering. The torture of leaning across the console area, invading her space with his manly scent and intoxicating pheromones—that he did. He was so close. Close enough to kiss her. Or tickle her ear with his warm breath as he said, “Personally, I predict seven to eight solid inches tonight.”
Oh. Dear. God.
He eased back, grinning as he killed the engine. “The good news is, we chanced upon the only motel in a hundred-kilometer radius before we ran out of gas or landed in a ditch. And it had a vacancy.”
“A vacancy?”
“Yeah, one room left.” As if cued, the red “Vacancy” sign in the office window flickered to black. He held up a plastic fob with a single key dangling from its ring. “And it’s all ours.”
She forced a smile while donning her coat. Sharing a motel room with Conn was definitely not good news.

* * * * *
Other excerpts of varying lengths are available upon request. Email : karla@karladoyle.com



Carrie's Review:

I loved this book! Nia was very endearing and Conn made a perfect match for her. Their developing relationship was great, and overall the book was fantastic. Definitely a recommended read. It's a extremely sweet romance.








About Karla:

Karla grew up in a small town on the shore of Lake Erie. She trained and worked in the fashion industry, designing and making everything from swimwear to dog collars for most of her adult life. Karla has since traded her needle and thread for a word processor, and now spends her time writing sexy romances. When she's not writing, she loves spending time with family, friends and her pets, as well as reading and hitting the gym.


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‘Cup of Sugar’ Links
Website http://www.karladoyle.com/books/cup-of-sugar/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20626922-cup-of-sugar
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