Please help me welcome Mira Lynn Kelly to the blog today 🙂 I love her guest post and think you will too! She’s also offering a fabulous giveaway to celebrate her release Truth or Dare…so don’t forget to enter at the end of the post 🙂
Take it away Mira…
THREE THINGS about TRUTH OR DARE (A Dare to Love Novel) by Mira Lyn Kelly
Hi everyone! Okay, so I was sitting at my computer, deep into the screen staring as I fretted over fresh and fun blog ideas for my September 16 release, TRUTH OR DARE, when my BWB (Best Writing Buddy), suggested a “Just the facts, ma’am” style post to introduce you to me, my new book, and my dishy, dishy characters.
Sweet!! She always has the best ideas. And I’m super excited about this release soOOOoooooo… Here it is.
Three things about my heroine, Maggie Lawson…
1) Her thoughts on dating: Talk about a headache she didn’t need. Not when her life was pretty well perfect just the way it was. Stable. Secure. On track. Built on a rock-solid foundation of friendships that “completed” her in ways no romance could.
2) Background music: “STRONGER” by Kelly Clarkson.
3) Forecast for her future: Expect turbulent times ahead, beginning with the sour-patch stud moving in upstairs.
Three things about my hero, Tyler Wells…
1) Unavailable for romance due to prior commitments.
2) Enjoys: Running, trash talk, and rescuing his downstairs neighbor from dates gone awry.
3) Super power: Able to make bowling sexy in a single frame.
Okay, so how about an excerpt?
Crossing to the sideboard in front of the window, she set the tray down. Arranged the remaining cookies as a prickly awareness chased up her spine, alerting her to the close proximity of the unwelcome one. The infiltrator.
“Those cookies look pretty good, Apartment Two.”
Damn straight they do. “Mmph.”
She turned where she stood, using her body as a shield as she faced the antagonistic jerk who’d been her best bickermate since the day he moved in, in June. Hands stuffed in the front pockets of his faded blues, those broad shoulders hunched forward in a way that somehow made them look even bigger than when he stood straight, he ducked his head and shot her with a look from beneath some seriously thick lashes, flashing what she regretfully had to admit was a pretty spectacular smile at her. And sure enough, it even came with a dimple accompaniment.
She’d bet that smile had gotten Apartment Three a lot of things he shouldn’t have had.
Her cookies weren’t going to be one of them.
“Don’t even think about it.”
“Come on, Two. You’re not a grudge holder.” He stepped closer, dropping his voice to a midnight whisper. “Let me have one.”
Maggie studied the nails of her right hand. “As it happens, Three, I am a grudge holder. I’m also a scorekeeper. And a gloating, ungracious winner. Just so there’s no misunderstanding.”
He rubbed an open hand over his mouth and jaw, those calculating eyes shifting between her and the cookies.
“Sizing up my raisins? Trying to decide if they’re worth the work?”
“Hell, it was like the soundtrack to a porno in here the way all these guys were grunting and groaning over them. They’re worth it. Eye on the prize is all.”
He could bite her prize. “I wouldn’t get my hopes up.”
Another assessing look, this one holding long enough it caused a sort of nervous stir in her belly. Not helping his cookie plight at all.
“Don’t you think it’s time we called a truce, Maggie? We’re neighbors.” Another step, and he was working the bare edge of her personal space. Crowding her with his eyes and words and a body that really ought to have an additional eighteen inches of distance between it and hers. Only rather than stepping back, Tyler pushed the violation further. Bracing one hand on the table beside her, he leaned closer so there was no choice but to look up, up—oh God—into that waiting, I’ve-got-a-reason-to-be-cocky smile directed down at her. Their eyes met and her thoughts scattered, because this close . . . with that kind of spicy, masculine scent coming off him . . .
He drew a long breath and let it out in a slow stream of air that ruffled the loose curls around her ear and sent a wave of goose bumps rolling across the surface of her skin. Made her fingers tighten around the edge of the sideboard behind her.
“We should be more neighborly, Maggie.”
From somewhere deep in the recesses of her barely working mind, she recognized . . . this was a move. A contrived, deliberate play.
And Apartment Three was whipping it out for her.
“Come on, one cookie.”
Okay, for her cookie. Not a chance.
Maggie palmed the center of his chest, ready to give him a push, when she stopped. Blinked. Her eyes going to that point of contact between them where a low-level charge seemed to be humming beneath her fingertips, radiating up her arm.
What was this?
She looked at Tyler. Found his gray eyes staring back at her, his focus dropping to her mouth, drawing her awareness to her lips and the air moving between them.
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In a deliciously sexy twist on the classic game, USA Today bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly proves that when playing truth or dare—always choose dare.
After her one attempt at commitment ends with the discovery that her fiancé already has a wife and kid, Maggie Lawson vows that the only people she’ll love ’til death do they part will be her friends. Unfortunately that means Maggie letting her bestie rope her into a year-long dating dare: score a new date each month or pay a penalty. Seems doable—until Maggie’s date stands her up, leaving only one option: the sexy stud who just moved in upstairs. The problem? He and Maggie can’t stop fighting—and that’s just the beginning.
His name is Tyler Daniels and the last thing he needs is his neighbor distracting him with her girl-next-door smile and sharp tongue. Tyler’s in Chicago for one reason: to woo back his selfish ex in order to reclaim the child he once thought was his—and that means keeping Maggie out of his bed. A tall order, since Maggie has become a bigger temptation than he ever expected to face. But before they can even consider leaving the past behind, Maggie and Tyler must accept a brand-new dare: real, forever love.
“He actually called you ‘Apartment Two’?” Ava Meyers, Maggie’s best friend and fellow abstainer in all things “relationship,” shook her head, her mahogany shag catching in the light breeze and blowing around her face. They were settled in on their favorite bench with the usual Sunday assortment of accumulated mail, magazines, electronic devices, and what remained of the cookies. “Like you didn’t merit an identity beyond the female occupying space beneath him.”
Maggie scrolled through the headlines, too deep into her snit to commit to any one bit of news. “Ford says he’s in marketing. Freelance. And he’s from New York I think, renting month to month, so maybe we’ll luck out and he’ll be gone by September.”
“Month to month? Weird. Why?”
“Your brother. You ask.”
Ava let out an indelicate snort. Ford was . . . distracted. That they’d even gotten this much information was a minor miracle.
Picking through the cookies, she added, “I love it that he thought you were putting a move on him, though.”
“I know. Because that’s so me,” Maggie snickered. “Scoping out the meat market twenty-four–seven.”
Talk about a headache she didn’t need. Not when at twenty-seven, her life was pretty well perfect just the way it was. Stable. Secure. On track. Built on a rock-solid foundation of priorities any guidance counselor would swoon over. Maggie had completed her education, had savings and a financial plan, a solid job managing The Shrone Gallery, and her boss’s cosmic blessing to buy into the business as a partner, hopefully within the next year, and eventually buy her out. Add to that, the friendships that “completed” her in ways no romance could . . . and she was good.
The whole ever-after business? She didn’t have time for it.
Correction. She had plenty of time. It was the inclination that was lacking.
Maggie tipped her face to the sky, basking in the warmth of June’s sunshine and her contentment with the lot that life had given her. Sure, there’d been dues to pay. There always were. But it was because of those rough patches that she was able to fully appreciate this tranquil little corner of Platonia she’d carved out for herself. Where her circle of friends reigned supreme and the forecast always called for good times. Constancy, support, and reliability.
Chance of romantic strife or bitter betrayal raining on their parade? Zero.
Yeah, Maggie was satisfied with her life exactly the way it was. Period.
“So, hey,” Ava drawled from beside her. “Obviously, Apartment Three was a total weenis, and I’m not talking about him. But do you ever look around and . . . you know . . . wonder?”
“Hmm . . . About what?” How to reduce her carbon footprint? Whether the new Italian place was as good as everyone was saying? If her buyer for the Stovitz oil was serious about a second piece? If she’d be able to get Hedda to sit still—and not in a meditative state—long enough to discuss a timetable for their plans? If her parents would finally relax and believe she was capable of taking care of herself?
Ava squinted, her mouth turning down in distaste. “That.”
Maggie followed her friend’s gaze to the red-checked cliché-in-action nestled into a shady corner of Wicker Park. And blinked. Twice.
“The couple?” she wheezed. “You aren’t serious?”
Then after a thought, let out a laugh, because, no way.
Ava didn’t date any more than Maggie did—which meant only under the most dire of circumstances. And unless Maggie had missed significantly more than she’d realized this morning, these were not them.
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure I am. I think maybe it’s time I stopped shutting down every guy who asks me out and start, I don’t know, opening myself up to the possibilities.”
Eyes cranking around a beat before her head, Maggie gasped. “Wha—?”
This wasn’t happening. It couldn’t be. Except that sour look of disgusted resignation on Ava’s face as she frowned across at the picnic set for two told Maggie . . . it was happening.
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USA Today bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly grew up in the Chicago area and earned her degree in Fine Arts from Loyola University. She met the love of her life while studying abroad in Rome, Italy, only to discover he’d been living right around the corner from her back home. Having spent her twenties working and playing in the Windy City, she’s now settled with her husband in rural Minnesota, where their four beautiful children provide an excess of action and entertainment. When she isn’t reading, writing, or running to keep up with the kids, she loves watching movies, blabbing with the girls, and cooking with her husband and friends.
*Loveswept is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a $25 eGift Card of Winner’s Choice Bookseller and Loveswept Tote and Mug*