Welcome to our third week of celebrations for the supremely talented
In today's post, we'll talk about Sinners and Saints, and Roped In, Marie's upcoming release, plus take a look at some pictures Marie has shared from her recent anniversary trip to accompany her personal story. And of course, all the way at the bottom, there'll be another chance to win!
First up, Between Sinners And Saints:
Levi Binder is a Miami bartender who cares about only two things: sex and surfing. Ostracized by his Mormon family for his homosexuality, Levi is determined to live his life his own way, but everything changes when he meets massage therapist Jaime Marshall.
Jaime is used to being alone. Haunted by the horrors of his past, his only friend is his faithful dog, Dolly. He has no idea how to handle somebody as gorgeous and vibrant as Levi.
Complete opposites on the surface, Levi and Jaime both long for something that they can only find together. Through love and the therapeutic power of touch, they’ll find a way to heal each other, and they’ll learn to live as sinners in a family of saints.
This title was previously published by Amber Allure. It has been re-edited, but the content is unchanged.
“You’re not the first person to think so.”
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Coming June 20th, co-written with L.A. Witt, Roped In:
Graham and his roping partner, Jackson, have been friends since they were boys. They've ruled the rodeo scene for ten years running, but lately, Graham’s heart isn’t in the game. He’s tired of the bruises, the cowboy mentality, and the animal rights activists who picket every event. He's also tired of being in love with Jackson, and nothing’s been the same between them since their disastrous drunken encounter the year before.
Then Graham has a run-in with one of the rodeo protesters, and everything changes. Kaz is young, idealistic, and sexy as hell. But he's also a know-it-all, animal-loving vegan, bent on saving the world one cow at a time. They have next to nothing in common, but Graham can't stop thinking about what might happen if they can stop butting heads long enough to give it a try. Unfortunately, no matter how attracted Graham is to other men, he always panics and runs when the clothes start to come off. But Kaz has an idea for getting Graham past his nerves and into bed.
All they need is a bit of rope.
(Note: This is a re-edited second edition of a previously published title.)
The pieces fell together, and halfway between the barn and the house, I stopped in my tracks.
Kaz stopped too, turning to me.
I searched his eyes. “Kaz, why are we here?”
He furrowed his brow. “Because you wanted to show me—”
“This was your idea.” If my heart beat any faster, I might keel over at his feet. “And right before you suggested it, you said you shouldn’t do anything so the guys in the bar knew I was, uh, one of your kind.”
When he was put on the spot like that, I expected him to fidget and blush, but I should’ve known better. He grinned. It was that same half-nervous, half-wicked grin he’d used on me in the parking lot, and it had the same effect. Apparently my heart could beat faster without killing me.
And damn him, he stepped closer, the toe of his sneaker brushing my boot. “I figured maybe you’d be more comfortable away from all of them.”
“You were the one who was uncomfortable.”
“Then how is this about me being more—”
He grabbed my neck, pulled me down to his level, and kissed me.
He fucking kissed me.
One second we were facing off and playing verbal games, and the next . . .
I didn’t know this guy from Adam, but I sank into that kiss like I’d been waiting for it all damned night. Hell, maybe I had.
He’d taken the lead, and he kept it, staying up on his toes so he was almost to my height. He gave me a few seconds to get used to the fact that our lips were touching before he wrapped his other arm around me, held me against him, and pushed my lips apart with his tongue. I let him in and tasted lemonade. His features were finer than any other man I’d ever kissed. Sharp, bold, roughened by the dusting of stubble as I slid my hand across his jaw.
His body was slight, but there was nothing fragile or delicate about him. Under all those skater clothes, he felt like he was all lean, fit muscle, and it made my head spin. I suddenly wanted to see it. To know what he looked like naked. I wanted to take him back to the house, get him out of these clothes, and find out—
Find out what it’s like to be in bed with a man?
My stomach flipped. That was the part where everything always went to hell. Where my nerves always got the best of me, some alarm blaring in the back of my brain, and a night that started with a hot kiss ended in tepid, awkward excuses before one of us made our escape.
Kaz broke the kiss and eased himself back to his normal height, though he didn’t let go of my neck. “What’s wrong?”
“I’m . . .” Absolutely one-hundred-percent positive this will end in disappointment. “I wasn’t expecting that.”
“Good.” Another grin. “That was the idea.” He came back up and kissed me again.
God, his kiss felt good. I wanted to believe this time could be different, but I already felt those nerves coiling in the pit of my stomach. I pulled away. Not out of his arms, but away from the kiss. “I don’t know how . . .” Hell, I didn’t even know how to finish that sentence, let alone the rest.
“Do you always get spooked like this? Or is it because of me?”
I laughed nervously. Maybe I should have been embarrassed, but there was something about his no-nonsense attitude that told me it was okay to be honest. “It’s not you.”
He didn’t let me go, though. If anything, his grip on me tightened. “Interesting.” He reached down to brush my erection through my jeans. The tiniest touch, but it took my breath away. “Seems like you’re into it, though.”
“I am.” And it was strange what a relief it was to finally say that out loud. “I just never know what to do. Or how to do it. Or if I should.” I paused, heat rushing into my cheeks. “And I usually freak out. Kill the mood and bolt before we get too far. I kind of . . . panic.”
He nodded as if he understood. “I could fix that, you know,” he murmured against my lips.
“Remember when I offered to tie you up like one of your calves?”
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Hello, everybody! I'm Marie Sexton, and I'm here today to share some pictures from a recent vacation and some (possibly simplistic, but well-intended) wisdom about marriage. See, May 22nd was my 20th wedding anniversary. (And we were together for almost four years before we married, so almost 24 years total.) It's hard to believe it's been that long. Hubby and I celebrated by taking an eleven-day, kid-free vacation. We flew to Seattle, rented a convertible, and drove (very slowly, with many stops along the way) to San Francisco.
I don't think any relationship is perfect, and mine is no exception, but for the most part, we've done pretty well together. We rarely fight. My brother-in-law often says, with great awe in his voice, "You guys seem to still like each other, too!" Yes, hubby and I are still friends. If I had to choose one person to spend the rest of my life on a deserted island with, I'd still choose him, mostly because he drives me crazy less than every other person on the planet. Maybe that doesn't sound all that romantic, but after 20+ years, it feels pretty remarkable.
We had several people ask us during our trip what our secret was. While I won't claim to be a relationship expert, or to have any earth-shattering advice, I will share a few things hubby and I have learned along the way. (And we'll scatter in some pictures from our recent trip to keep it interesting.)
- Don't sweat the small stuff: Does my husband do things that make me want to scream? Of course he does. He leaves his dirty clothes everywhere. He chomps his gum. He has some pretty atrocious table manners (I can't even look at him while we eat). And I'm 100% positive I do things that drive him crazy too. What are they? I'm not sure, but I'd guess buying too many shoes and books are on the list. But here's the thing: none of these things are worth fighting over. Not. One. (Admittedly, if I spent more on shoes and books than we could afford, that might be different, but I don't.) Too often, I think couples use these little things to pick fights, when really, gum-chomping and book-buying aren't worth the heartache. (And let's be honest here: there's no such thing as too many books.)
- Money is hard. Kids are too.: Money and parenting issues suck, no two ways about it, but they're problems that are best handled as a team. Sit down (when nobody is angry) and talk it out (keeping rule #2 firmly in mind). Don't start blaming. Start by admitting your own errors first, and he'll probably 'fess up about his pretty quickly too. Formulate a plan of attack TOGETHER. Then stick to it.
- Recognize your own triggers: I get hangry. He gets stubborn over stupid shit. (The biggest fight we ever had was because I wanted to buy him new underwear, and he claimed the ones with several holes were still "good enough.") We've learned to just throw up our hands and walk away. I stuff some food into my piehole. He contemplates his resistance. Thirty minutes later, we both sort of chuckle and go, "Man, that was stupid, wasn't it?"
- Play together: Make sure it's something you both actually enjoy. One of you forcing the other to sit through something they hate doesn't count. And if you're one of those couples who always fight in the car, for goodness sake, don't take a road trip!
- Don't sweat the small stuff: It's important enough to say two or three times – those little things just aren't worth fighting over. You asked him to buy milk on the way home, and he bought whole instead of 2%. He unloaded the dishwasher, but put half the stuff in the wrong place. (He asked me to shovel the walk, and I pretended I'd temporarily lost my hearing.) Rather than being annoyed that he did something "wrong," take a second to acknowledge what he did RIGHT. (His intentions really were good!) (And he knew I wouldn't shovel the sidewalk.)
TLDR: Life is too short to spend being angry, and nobody's perfect. Cut each other some slack.
So, there it is – my advice for a happy life partnership. I'm sure it doesn't apply to everybody, but it's kept us happy (and mostly sane) for more than twenty years. Do you have anything you'd like to add? Please share in the comments!
More about Marie:
Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.
Marie also writes dark dystopian erotic fantasy under the name A.M. Sexton.
Thanks for joining us again today. Come back next week for Winter Oranges and Trailer Trash, with two excerpts each, plus our Q&A with Marie. And of course another chance to win!
Until then, happy reading!!