Confession time – I have never participated in a blog tour before. I’ve always wanted to, but I was so afraid that I would just screw it up that I just never did it.
And then a partner in crime, Jewel E Leonard, wrote this amazing novella. I was lucky enough to be one of her beta readers, and it is such a fun read! So when she said she was doing a blog tour, I decided to get over my fear and I jumped at the chance to help her out.
Tales By Rails starts shortly after Rhea’s divorce from her ex-husband – who was a total tool – has been finalized. Since their house was sold as a part of the divorce agreement, she has no place to go and she isn’t sure what to do with her future. On a whim, she decides to book a train trip to Chicago and on her first day on the train she meets a gorgeous stranger. They start chatting, which soon leads to flirting, and that quickly leads to so much more.
Rhea is probably the first character I’ve ever encountered in an erotic story that is realistic. She may be lost, but she’s not about to let herself be pushed into something she doesn’t want. She’s extremely funny, and her thoughts and her dialogue with the mysterious stranger had me giggling at several points. It was like hearing a story from an old friend over a cup of coffee. The romance is also really steamy, so much so that you might need a cold shower – or two -afterwards.
Here’s a snippet so you can see exactly what I mean (Those who are underage should look away though)…
“I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess that your ex wasn’t the complimentary type.”
Rhea’s hands traveled down to Surfer Boy’s shoulders where she transitioned into a deep tissue massage. He groaned, bracing himself against the seat. She otherwise failed to acknowledge his statement. She preferred to leave Mark out of this.
Unlike last night, Rhea watched what she touched. The way his t-shirt pulled and puckered over his skin. Rhea clenched her jaw, making a conscious effort to keep her arousal at bay. But—as they had both demonstrated previously—blood was apt to flow wherever it damn well pleased. Her core throbbed despite her efforts to repress it; the best she could do was to focus on him with what little concentration she had to spare.
She alternated between deep tissue and Swedish massages, at times doing nothing more than running her hands over his muscles and lamenting that he hadn’t taken off his shirt first.
“Oh you are so good at that,” Surfer Boy murmured. “But . . . my thigh’s really cramped.”
“Oh, sure, sure, I’m on it! Turn back around, then.”
He repositioned himself so that he was sitting in the seat the way its designers intended. Rhea leaned forward and rested her hands on his knees, her v-neck shirt gapping away from her chest. When Surfer Boy inhaled, she saw how his eyes locked onto her exposed skin. “That’s . . . swell,” he breathed.
Her gaze dropped to his crotch: That was swell, too. She smiled. “So which muscle is giving you grief?” Her hands slid up the length of both thighs, stopping so close to his crotch that she could feel the fabric of his shorts straining over his hard-on.
“That one.” Surfer Boy nodded to his left leg.
She slowly assessed his muscle spasm with both hands, her smiling broadening. “You are aware that I can totally tell you’re faking your cramp.”
“How else was I gonna get you to touch me there and still look cool about it?”
“You don’t need to play these games.” Her thumb slid across his zipper. He pushed back from beneath it. “I’m alone in a confined space with you already. You closed the door and the curtains and I didn’t protest either.” Rhea raised her eyebrows pointedly.
Surfer Boy lifted her face by the chin, meeting her gaze. “Kiss me.”
She leaned in, pressing her lips to his; she could swear there was a spark between them, but it was possible that it was just static electricity. Albuquerque—or the air aboard the train, anyway—was dry.
He tilted his head, gliding a hand up the nape of her neck. Rhea sighed. She felt him smile against her lips.
“. . . What?” She asked, pulling back.
“I liked that sound. And I wanna hear you make it again.”
“I’m sure there are plenty of ways to make me sigh. Or . . .” Rhea bit her lip. “To get me to make even better sounds.”
“Is . . . that . . . an invitation?”
Oh just screw me already! She chose a more diplomatic reply, instead: “As a general rule, I don’t touch my clients’ willies.”
“As a general rule?”
“Allow me to translate . . . I’ve never done that.” With a coy little smile, she added, “I also don’t go around kissing strangers. You’re the exception to all those rules, so . . .”
“So.” Surfer Boy brushed back her hair, sliding his hand down her neck to her collarbone. Further down he went until he cupped her left breast through her shirt and squeezed it with restraint.
She moaned, her head tipping back. “Yes.”
“Oh that is a better sound.” Surfer Boy kissed the side of her neck. His kisses turned to sucking and she leaned into him with a deeper moan. She shuddered and sighed.
Rhea was having the inarguable need to be free of her underwear…
Now, for a little bit more about the author (kids, it’s safe to open your eyes again)…
1. My longing for success has always earned me a spot in Slytherin when I take those Hogwarts house sorting quizzes online.
2. My poisons of choice are coffee, cola and chocolate. And Red Vines.
3. I’ve been writing since the early 80s. One of the earliest stories I remember writing was about a runaway. Tales by Rails? About a runaway. Some things never change.
4. I have a neck fetish. I may also have a thing for a finely groomed mustache.
5. I wrote smut in elementary school. It was so dirty that when my parents found it, they wouldn’t allow my older brothers to read it. (I didn’t know a thing about what I was writing.)
6. I have a cock collection. My roosters range from ceramic to wood to metal and they are all over my kitchen. (I’ve seen it in person and it’s totally true ~CO) My husband always tells me to pick up another decoration when he sees them on sale.
7. I’m writing my dearly departed kitty into a novel. She’s going to be a vampire.
8. I love music. The more I listen, the more I write.
9. Like Surfer Boy, I’ve never stepped foot on a plane. I have traveled much of the United States and into Vancouver, British Columbia. I love road trips and train rides! I collect key chains from states I’ve driven through.
10. No matter how hopeless I feel, no matter how likely I am to fail in this endeavor . . . I will keep going. I always do. As long as the stories are there, I’ll write them.