This morning, I have a spotlight for Pocket Star-E Nights’ digital releases. If you like the excerpts, enter to win a digital copy of each release!
TRY ME ON FOR SIZE by STEPHANIE HAEFNER
A sexy, laugh-out-loud love story about a woman trying to save her failing lingerie business with a new product—“personal massagers” made to the specs of the spokesman of her choice! But when she falls for the first model she meets, how can she prove she’s his perfect fit?
With their business in trouble, Mia and Bryn must pull out all the stops to save their shop. Things get sticky when Mia, owner of Classy ‘n’ Sassy Lingerie, has to go on five blind “dates” to find the right model for the big marketing plan that will save the store. But they aren’t your ordinary blind dates. Mia has to test out the “goods” to find the perfect spokespenis—the model for Classy ‘n’ Sassy’s newest line of lifelike dildos.
Not realizing Mia is on a mission, Oliver Christensen approaches her in a bar and Mia mistakes him for model #1. Oliver decides to play along. But just how far is he willing to take this charade in order to get closer to Mia? And what happens if Mia’s Blind Date #1 turns out to be The One?
“We need a new product,” Bryn said, finally adding to the conversation. “Something different.”
“Different how? Like shapers or something? Those are all the rage.”
“No. I mean really different.” Bryn stood. “We built this business by catering to two kinds of women and their significant others. The ones who like simple and classic bras and panties, and the ones who want something sexier, edgier. We have something to spark the interest of every lover, no matter what his or her tastes are, from beige cotton to red lace. But what about the women who don’t have a man? Or don’t want one?”
“Uh, you kinda lost me,” Mia said.
“Look, I no longer have a husband. And at this point in my life, I honestly have no desire to replace him. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss a certain part of his anatomy every so often, if you know what I mean. Without giving all the dirty details, I have, on occasion, partaken in some . . . selfpleasuring. And so far it hasn’t been all that orgasmic. It’s hard as hell ordering things online. The products are never how they’re described. And it’s not like people love going to their local porn shop. So why don’t we give our customers the opportunity to shop for these beloved intimate accessories in a friendly, comfortable environment?”’
“You want to sell vibrators?” Penny asked.
“Well, yes. And other things. But I only want to carry products we know are good.”
“You volunteering to test them out before stocking them?” Mia asked.
“Why not? Our customers have always come to us for quality products and solid advice. That’s what sets us apart! And for this new venture, I want our customers to trust us in helping them satisfy this . . . need.”
Penny jumped in with her thoughts. “We can throw a launch party for the line. Keeping it classy, of course, and show women it’s okay to own these types of things.”
The wheels in Mia’s head began spinning, too. They needed something big if they were going to survive. A line of tried-and-true toys wasn’t enough. They had to offer their customers something exclusive.
“We need something special. Something women can’t get everywhere else.”
Mia remembered an ad she’d seen in the back of a lingerie catalog. A do-it-yourself dildo mold. Any woman could make a rubber replica of her man’s junk to use when he was away.
“How about selling those custom dildo-making kits? Couples can take them home and make it together.”
“That’s good. I think you’re on the right track.” Bryn’s brow furrowed as she walked to the window. “But how many women out there are like me and don’t have a model at home to mold?”
“So, maybe we can find guys to mold. Like have a catalogue of penises or something?”
Bryn spun around, smile wide, eyes all glittery like the new bra-and-panty sets that came in the week before. “No. Just one penis. One guy to be our signature penis. A spokespenis!”
“Oh, I like it!” Penny said. “He can make appearances at the store. Women can buy his replica and get his autograph.”
“Yes. Exactly! A hot guy women can meet and have a face to take home with the toy. They can chat with him, flirt, take pictures.”
“I don’t know,” Mia said, needing to add her thoughts to the conversation. “Is this really what we want for the store? I don’t want to change the reputation we’ve built. We shouldn’t cheapen it, ya know?”
Bryn shook her head. “No. I think women will love it. And if you ask me, it’s time for a change. We need something big if we’re gonna survive. Yeah, it’s a risk, but anything we do now is a risk, including sticking to the same formula we’ve used for eight years.”
She had a point. “Okay. It’s worth a shot. But if we’re gonna do this, we do it right. And by that I mean interviewing legitimate models. I don’t want some random guy who’ll get off on having his penis cloned.”
“No. We’ll have a strict screening process, including references, drug testing . . . STD testing.”
“Yep. All that.” Mia made some notes on her pad. Whoa. Back up. “STD testing? Why would we need that?”
“Well, like I said. We need to test the toys before we sell them. And I’m not going to mold random penises that aren’t any good.”
“How are we gonna test that?”
Mia knew that glint in Bryn’s eyes. And she was not going to like the answer.
“By using it before it’s molded.”
No. No, she couldn’t mean that.
“Someone needs to have sex with the models to make sure their member is adequate.”
“Why? Can’t we tell that just by looking at it?”
“No. Different girths and lengths have different feels. You can’t know how it will feel by just looking, or even touching them with your hand. Only a real live vagina can get the data we need to do this right. We need someone who can do this objectively and make an informed decision. And
since Penny is married and Grant can’t do it, that only leaves . . .”
Bryn eyed Mia, the mischievous grin back.
“Oh, no. What about you, Miss Sassy? You’re the one who said the penises need to be tested.”
“I can test the already-made toys. I can’t test the models.”
“Sure you can.”
The smile faded from Bryn’s face. “You know I’m not ready.”
“Well, I am not having sex with random strangers.”
“They wouldn’t be random. They’d be thoroughly screened. I can call legitimate modeling agencies and tell them what we’re looking for. We’ll send them for full health screenings. We’ll select guys for the final round and then you’ll have sex with them. But not real sex. Just test it out and see how it feels from different angles. Make sure it’s thick enough, long enough. Not bent or anything funky.”
“Are we seriously having this conversation?”
Penny sat there, giggling. “I think it’s brilliant.”
“No. I’m not doing it. End of discussion. There has to be another way.”
But it wasn’t the end of the discussion. And there wasn’t another way that would get them the exact data they needed.
This venture couldn’t fail. It had to be done without error.
Link continuing the excerpt to XOXOAfterDark:
LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES by VICTORIA VAN TIEM
In this irresistible romantic romp, movie fanatic Kensington Shaw is thrown into love—Hollywood-style—when her gorgeous ex presents a series of big screen challenges to win back her heart.
What girl wouldn’t want to experience the Pretty Woman shopping scene? It’s number two on the list. Or, try the lift from Dirty Dancing? It’s number five. One list, ten romantic movie moments, and a handful of shenanigans later, Kenzi has to wonder…should she marry the man her family loves, or risk everything for a love like the movies?
With a fresh cup of coffee, I’m back at my desk just as Clive’s door opens. Bradley and Shane both emerge. With my back ramrod straight, I open a new document and tap away at the keys like I’m deep in a major idea storm and can’t keep up with the flow.
They’re walking over here. Without looking up, I type the same sentence again, and then ad lib. Idea storm and can’t keep up with the flow. Tons of ideas. Lots of ideas—
Shane’s standing right in front of my desk. “Good morning, Kensington.” His floppy dark hair is pushed back off his face and a hint of growth now covers his jaw. His lips are curved slightly and my gaze falls to them.
“Hi, hon,” Bradley says, striding up beside him before I can respond. He looks polished and handsome in the light-blue shirt I bought for his last birthday.
I peer over my laptop screen and smile brightly at him, ignoring Shane. “Morning, what’s on the agenda today?” I keep typing random sentences, because I’m much too busy to stop. I type, much too busy to stop.
“I thought we could brainstorm during an outing. Maybe hash out the list,” Shane says to the side of my head because I’m still smiling at Bradley. My fiancé. Who’s still upset with me.
I pause and do my best to look apologetic. “Oh, it’s Wednesday. Bradley and I have a standing lunch date.” There. I looked at him.
Bradley rocks back on his heels. “Oh, yeah, sorry, can’t. Tonya and I are meeting with the Indianapolis Symphony about a new print initiative.” His eyes narrow. “Is that a new dress?”
I can feel my face warm. “What? No, you’ve seen this before.” He actually has. I furrow my brows in a you-don’t-know-what-you’re-talking-about look.
“Sorry ’bout lunch, but I may be able to score symphony tickets from today’s meeting.”
“Great,” I say and smile even brighter at Bradley. It’s megawatt and directed only at him. I love the symphony. It’s an excuse to get dressed up and the theater’s absolutely beautiful. It also doesn’t hurt that he said that in front of Shane. See? We’re happy. In fact, I’m beaming.
Bradley taps my desk and smiles. “I do like that dress. You look gorgeous.” He nods to Shane. No smile. “Bennett.” He turns and walks toward his office.
Yay, Bradley. I’m so wearing something silky for him this weekend. I look back at my computer screen and keep ignoring Shane in case Bradley—yup, he just looked back. I smile. Having Shane here is bothering him. I just need to not aggravate the situation and stay focused on what’s at stake: job, bonus, wedding, and family . . . in other words, everything.
Shane’s still standing here.
“So, what time are you free?” He moves to my side of the desk and peers down at the screen.
What is he doing? I try to bring up the Microsoft Office calendar again, but I already closed out. I can’t just close the laptop. It’ll appear like I’m hiding something.
My chat window pops up. It’s Ellie. Can Shane see the screen? I can’t tell. The back of my neck warms as I glance at the message.
ELLIE-BELL: Has your ex Mr. Britain seen you in that dress yet? Did his jaw drop?
I turn quickly, to distract him. “How ’bout noon? I’m sure that’ll work.” My voice is shaky, trying to play it off.
“Actually, I have a late lunch over at the mall. Can you meet me there around four? Front entrance?”
“Sure. Oh, um, would you mind if we met in front of Fossie’s? I have to grab a baby gift off the registry for my sister-in-law, so I could meet you after . . . ?”
“It’s Fossie’s at four then.” Shane turns to leave but then looks back, his gaze skimming the length of my dress. “For the record, I, ah, prefer your overalls. But I can see why Bradley likes that dress.” A sly smile twists on his lips.
Without another word he turns on his heels, leaving me to slowly bleed out from embarrassment. I drop my head in my hands. Ugh . . . this dress. So much for confident, together, and ready for business.
Approaching the registry kiosk, I type in Ren’s name and wait for the printout. I haven’t even thought of registering yet. With my luck, when it’s time for a wedding shower, Mom will want to have Ren’s big baby shower. My stomach wrenches and sours.
I’m watching the machine slowly spit out Ren’s list: mahogany crib and dresser set, glider chair for the nursery, all-terrain jogging stroller . . . there’s nothing under four hundred dollars. What is she thinking?
When I look up, I spot Shane in the main aisle walking in my direction. Wait, he’s early. I dodge a woman who’s pushing a stroller with one hand and holding on to a toddler with the other. The little girl has adorable blond curls and rounded cheeks. She waves at me with a chubby hand and I can’t help smiling.
My expression drops as I near Shane. “Hi, you’re early. You said four, right?” I point back toward the direction I came. “I, um, haven’t even started yet.”
Shane looks at his watch. “Oh, so I am. Not a problem.” He motions toward the department and begins walking. “When’s your sister-in-law due?”
“Oh, um, not until spring.” I match his stride. So he’s coming with me? “I guess my engagement dinner is now an engagement slash early baby shower with the family, so we’re giving our gifts now.” My words spill out with an unintentionally wounded tone.
Shane looks puzzled. “Wait, I thought you said your mom had everything planned? Why would they change it all of a sudden?”
My cheeks warm. I forgot I told him. “Um, I must’ve gotten it wrong. The phone disconnected, and I guess, well . . .” I look away and say under my breath, “Ya know, I assumed.”
“Some things never change.” Shane huffs and shakes his head, then looks around. “I’ll, ah, be right back.”
There’s a warm glow in my chest from his words. Shane’s spent time with my family and gets how it is for me. He always took my side.
At this point, I think my family should just forget about the engagement dinner. We can make the get-together about Ren. The whole thing feels like an obligation, anyway. Like I’m an inconvenience imposing on Ren’s special day. Not quite good enough to merit my own.
My attention falls on a display table with little baby booties. They’re knitted to imitate miniature fashion boots. As I run my fingers over the texture, a goofy grin fixes on my face. They’re so stinkin’ cute. When I glance up, I find Shane watching me from across the display.
“They’re just so tiny.” My nose wrinkles. “Can you imagine the little feet, and the itty-bitty toes that would fit in these?”
“I can imagine a lot of things.”
My whole body stiffens. An unexpected tsunami of displaced emotion detonates without warning, washing over me in an instant. I look away. Anywhere. The booties. My hands. His.
Wait. “Why do you have scanner guns?”
Link continuing the excerpt to XOXO After Dark:
US residents only, please