Sweet, Sexy, Scorching Hop Wk 5/Day 3 Featuring Erin Nicholas

Isn’t the Sweet, Sexy, Scorching hop fun? I am having blast sharing all these delicious authors and their stories with you. My TBR pile has grown enormously. Have you looked at the prizes for this hop recently? $40 grand prizes gift card and so many books! The more you hop the more chances you get to win.

I’d like to welcome Erin Nicholas to The Book Tart. Hi Sweetie! Thank you so much for playing with us. And for the deleted scene from Just Right, the first story in the Bradfords series. *sigh* It’s gone to the top of my TBR stack. Yum! I adore Erin’s website too- her tag line is “Romance should always be this fun.” I totally agree :p

 Oh!I have a few contest going in addition to this one. Click HERE to see them.

  • Our guest yesterday was Vivian Arend, click HERE to see a the spotlight post 🙂 The Guess Who mystery was on My Secret Romance. You can visit Taryn’s blog and read the clue. 🙂 The blogs participating are on the bottom of this post. Click around and find out which of us has Vivian’s “Guess Who” question.

 

Today it’s about Erin Nicholas!

Erin is giving away cotton candy flavored body power and her newest book,

Just My Type, which features this fun stuff!

The Bradfords

click book cover for more info

Just Right (Bradfords, #1)Just Like That (Bradfords, #2)Just My Type (Bradfords, #3)

 

 

 

 

Deleted Scene from Just Right

JUST RIGHT

Copyright © Erin Nicholas 2009

Someone knocked on the door to his hospital room. Mario sighed. He should be exhausted. His mom had been here to put on the show for the cops who had arrived to do a follow—up on the injuries the hospital had been required to report.

Of course, the social workers had come up anyway. Her I’m—the—best—most—concerned—mother—in—the—world act was getting less and less convincing. Probably because she was putting less effort into it. When he was younger, she received financial aid based on being a single mom in school. She was still ‘in school’, but he was almost an adult. When he turned eighteen she wasn’t going to get to claim him anymore. He even gave her money sometimes now. Which was the reason she wanted to keep him under her roof and not some foster parents’ roof as long as she could.

Still, she was his mom and had never hurt him physically, had never told him she hated him or anything, and could be fun to be around when she hadn’t been drinking and was around.

Besides, she’d had nothing to do with his current situation. And he didn’t want to go to all the trouble of moving all of his stuff to a new place for the few months before he could be officially independent.

Anyway, all of those people were long gone and the only person he wanted to see was Sophie, who wasn’t answering her cell phone, couldn’t be found at the Center by the part—time volunteer who answered the office phone, and wasn’t picking up at home.

So, this was probably just a nurse or someone who wanted to suck more blood out of his arm. He closed his eyes and sunk down farther in his bed, pretending to be asleep. It wouldn’t keep them from sticking needles in him, but he could avoid some idle conversation.

There was another knock. Then he heard the door latch click as someone came in. He opened one eye a slit to see if it was the young, hot girl who made the blood—sucking a least a little more pleasant.

He would have laughed if it didn’t hurt so much to even breathe deeply, when Tony and Reuben pushed the door to his room open and peered in.

It was interesting that two teenage boys, that between them had twelve piercings—many of them done at home— eight tattoos and nine victorious fight nights, could look so scared just walking into a hospital room.

“Hey.” Mario worked hard on not grimacing as he pushed himself back up to sitting.

“Hey,” Tony said hesitantly, standing just inside the door, barely giving Rueben room to let the door shut.

Reuben seemed to be having trouble looking at Mario. He knew that other than the IV needle stuck in his arm, there was no external sign that Mario was not completely normal. The sheet covered the incision on his stomach, the incision on his head was in the back, away from Reuben’s line of sight and even the goose— egg and cut on his head from the fight were healing.

“What’s up?” He was glad to see them. Lying around like this for the past three days sucked. He hated being here by himself. Both the Miss Bradfords and Sam had showed up, of course. And other kids from the Center had been by. But he’d wondered where his friends were.

“Get in here. You look like wusses standing around by the door,” Mario ordered.

Tony gave him a sheepish grin and ambled forward, his hands in the front pockets of his jeans. As he got closer, he took in the IV pole, the bag of fluid and the long tube from the bag to his arm. “I can’t believe that asshole,” Tony said with disgust. “What a pussy. He couldn’t beat you without…” He stopped and swallowed hard.

“A baseball bat,” Mario filled in. He knew rumors were probably flying and God knew what Drake and his guys were saying.

Tony flinched but nodded. So he’d heard it right: when Mario had shown up for fight night like it was supposed to be, it had only been Drake and his three buddies. And the baseball bat.

Drake’s buddies hadn’t helped. That was one thing Mario was thankful for.

But none of it mattered now. He wasn’t pressing charges or anything. It was over. Not that he trusted Drake and he certainly hadn’t been looking to get attacked like that, but he probably should have been. But there would be no more than this. Now Drake would walk away and for that Mario would take ten more beatings.

Reuben looked ill when Mario turned his attention to him. “What’s with you man?” Mario finally demanded of his big, unusually quiet friend. “You got a problem?”

Reuben shook his head.

Reuben had never seen a doctor after a fight even though one of his fingers was crooked from being broken and he had at least two scars that would have definitely been stitched if someone had seen him. Did he think Mario was weak, laying here?

He’d show him differently. Mario swung his legs over the edge of the bed and pushed himself up to sitting.

“You got something to say?” he asked once he was upright.

The big black guy finally looked Mario square in the eye. “I’m sorry.”

Mario stared at him. He had to swallow the words he’d been about to say, challenging Reuben to a fight to show he could hold his own even in a hospital gown.

“What the hell are you talking about?”

Click for more »

Reuben drew up to his full six feet and three inches. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there. Sorry I didn’t have your back.”

Mario didn’t know what to say. Which was good because his throat was suddenly very tight.

“Me, too,” Tony said. “I’d like too kick some ass for you.”

Mario shook his head. “They set it up for me to be alone. If it hadn’t been there, it would have been somewhere else. Sometime.”

He felt dizzy, but he didn’t dare show that to his friends. They felt bad enough.

“She’s worth it,” he said.

“Sophie or the baby?” Tony asked. It was common knowledge that the baby was going to be a girl named Grace.

“Both,” Mario said. He took as deep a breath as he dared. Though sitting up was fine once he was there. Now the baby could come. Everything was settled. Sophie and Grace were all his. “Hey, get that pole,” Mario said to Tony, gesturing toward his IV pole on the other side of the bed. “I need a soda bad.” And he needed to show his friends that he was okay.

Maybe that would help with his lightheadedness. He’d been without caffeine for awhile now.

Mario pushed up off the edge of the bed, firmly gripping the bed railing and trying to seem like he wasn’t firmly gripping the bed railing. He wasn’t exactly steady, but it was okay. He couldn’t jog down the hall, but he could shuffle.

“Wow, man, you can’t go up there like that,” Tony exclaimed from behind him.

Belatedly, Mario felt the draft across his naked butt. “Quit looking at my stuff.” He pulled the hospital grown together in back.

Tony just laughed. “Hard to miss, man.” He came around the end of the bed rolling the IV pole. “I’m sure Sophie won’t be complainin’, but I don’t know about her mom.” Tony headed toward the door.

Mario followed behind, like a dog on a leash, the length of the plastic IV tubing limiting how far away he could let Tony get. “What do you mean?”

“I mean that I don’t think Sophie’s mom wants to see your naked ass when you’re visiting her daughter.”

Tony kept walking, but Mario stopped and grabbed the IV tubing before it could pull the needle from his arm. Tony came up short as the IV pole started to tip. He caught it and frowned at Mario. “What the hell?”

“Sophie’s here?”

“Well, that’s why we came to get you. We told you…” Tony trailed off as he realized they hadn’t.

Mario felt like the floor had just tilted. He braced his hand on the wall. “Is she… are they … is Sophie… and the baby…okay?” But of course she wasn’t. She was in the hospital. Probably scared. And he was two floors away.

The floor righted itself, his stomach unclenched, his throat opened up and his caffeine deficit ceased to matter.

“Get my pants.” He lifted his hand, ripped the tape off of the back where the IV needle was and then pulled the needle out. He barely felt the sting. IV fluid ran out of the tube onto the floor. But his brain refused to focus on anything except the thought that he had to get to Sophie. She wasn’t going to do this without him. His daughter was not coming into this world without him.

“We’ll take the stairs,” he said to Reuben, starting for the door. He jogged the twenty feet down the hall. His head spun as he yanked the door to the stairwell open and a dull pain throbbed to life over his right temple. Stress, worry, the urge to take four steps at once all the way to the sixth floor all combined he was sure.

“The elevator’s here,” Reuben called, holding the sliding door open.

Mario pressed a hand against his abdominal incision that felt like a hot knife was slitting it open again and had to admit that taking the elevator made a lot more sense.

“Here! Pants!” Tony arrived breathless and tossed the navy blue running pants to Mario as he changed directions and lunged for the elevator.

It was late enough that no one was in the elevator to see him strip off the hospital gown and pull on the pants as they ascended. Not that he would have cared. He was bare—chested and barefoot, but he’d be there. He didn’t think Sophie would mind. She was going to be distracted anyway. If anyone else cared, tough shit.

That was his family up there and nothing could keep him away from them.

“How could you not tell me right away?” he asked his friend, rubbing the back of his hand against the leg of his pants. The stinging where the needle had been was getting stronger.

They didn’t answer and he looked up to find Reuben staring, his face white, at the large bandage across his stomach. Mario glanced down. There was blood seeping through.

Mario glanced at Tony. He was trying to avoid looking at the bandage.

“You looked like hell. I got distracted by feeling guilty,” Tony said grimly. Then he lifted his eyes to Mario’s. “And I had to concentrate on not puking when I saw your bare ass.”

“Bite me,” Mario muttered. But he smiled as the elevator stopped on the sixth floor.

Reuben and Tony would get over what had happened. His stomach would heal, the bandage would come off and they would realize no permanent damage had been done.

He was about to be a dad and he knew he could count on Tony and Reuben to think his baby daughter was beautiful. He could hardly stay mad at them for forgetting to tell him Sophie was in labor. They cheated on algebra tests and thought fart jokes were funny, but they’d do anything for Grace the minute she was born simply because Mario said she was his.

Besides, they’d prop his sorry ass up at Sophie’s bedside if he needed them to. Which he would if things didn’t stop spinning pretty damned soon.

_______________________________________________________________

Erin NicholasErin Nicholas

I’ve been reading romance since my mom first let me into her book cupboard when I was about fourteen.  LaVyrle Spencer, Julie Garwood, Debbie Macomber… they took my ‘happily ever after’ ideas from animated princesses to real people in the real world.

I’ve been writing romance almost as long.  Many a family car trip was spent with my head bent over a spiral notebook in the back seat.  I’ll confess that my very first attempts at fiction were fantasy and paranormals, influenced by my father’s love of the Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and the original Alice in Wonderland. If Harry Potter had been around, I’m sure he would have been on the bedtime story shelf as well.

But it wasn’t long until I started writing about true love and that’s where I’ve been ever since.

I’m so thrilled to be able to share these stories with you!  I hope that they make you smile, sigh, maybe even choke up a little.  Most of all, I hope that they help you believe in magical things like first kisses, the spark of passion, and the power of true love.

I’d love to hear from you!  Please write me at Erin (at) ErinNicholas.com

Website Click HERE

 

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4 Replies to “Sweet, Sexy, Scorching Hop Wk 5/Day 3 Featuring Erin Nicholas”

  1. I have all the books in The Bradford series by Erin Nicholas and need to find time to read them. Once I start the series, I’m sure I’m not gonna want to stop lol 🙂

    bookfan0747@aol,com

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