Welcome to our Grand Finale celebrations for
In today's post, we'll talk about the Lucky Moon series, co-written with Mj O'Shea, with three fabulous excerpts, as well as our Q&A with Piper. Of course, all the way at the bottom, is another chance to win one of her books!
The first book in the Lucky Moon series, Moonlight Becomes You:
Eleven years ago, Shane Ventura made the biggest mistake of his life when he caved in to pressure from his record label to kick his best friend, Jesse Seider, out of their band, Luck. To this day, Shane has never wanted anyone more, and all the sex and alcohol in the world can’t fill the void Jesse left behind. Not even the prospect of teaming up with Britain’s hottest band, Moonlight, for a massive world tour can get him out of his funk. Then he meets lead singer Kayden Berlin and falls into instant lust.
Kayden may act like he’s not interested, but Shane knows he feels the spark between them. Yet the harder Shane pushes, the more Kayden pulls away, until one explosive night leaves Shane with a broken heart. That seems to be his lot—lucky at everything but love. Shane still has one lesson left to learn, though: when it comes to love, you can’t always leave things to chance.
Shane was nervous. Nervous, for Christ’s sake. He couldn’t remember the last time he had butterflies in his stomach over anything, let alone simply meeting another band. But it wasn’t really the band Shane worried about. It was Berlin. More specifically, his eyes. Shane had seen those eyes on TV hundreds of times. Sea green and piercing, they made Shane uncomfortable, but he could never be sure if it was a good uncomfortable or bad. That morning, he was leaning toward bad. He was anxious about meeting Berlin, for sure, and found himself wishing he were anywhere else.
Don’t be a fucking idiot. Why are you letting this guy get to you? Luck’s been around nearly twice as long as these losers!
The pep talk didn’t help. Neither did insulting Moonlight in his head. Shane tried to push it down and focus on Nick’s jubilance instead. Even Dre and Will were vibrating, excited to meet the genius in the next room. Shane squeezed at his temples with his thumb and forefinger. Fuck. Here goes nothing. He put on his best “don’t give a shit” face, took a deep breath, and opened the door to their posh London hotel’s conference room.
Groups of people milled about the room: musicians, managers, agents, caterers, lighting and tech guys, and scattered around a few privileged members of the press. Shane didn’t see any of them. Like a scene ripped straight from some cheesy romantic comedy, the whole crowd blurred into insignificance and one perfect person stood out, illuminated by fate or kismet or maybe the gods shining down. In this case it was a well-placed halogen, shining off a crown of icy blond hair and a gorgeous face chiseled out of pale, pale skin. Shane shivered, unable to control his reaction to the man across the room. That was him. It had to be.
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Second in the series, The Luckiest:
Rock star Nick Ventura has finally hit rock bottom. Jealous of his brother’s new love, he overindulges in his usual vices and winds up crashing his car into a department store in a drunken haze. Publicly humiliated and on the verge of jail time, he enters into a court-ordered rehabilitation program.
Nutritionist Luka Novak is flamboyant, effeminate, and the type of gay man bisexual Nick would normally sneer at. But his sunny nature hides a deep hurt caused by an unfaithful ex-boyfriend. As much as Luka knows he should be wary of Nick’s reputation, he’s drawn to Nick despite himself. Their tentative friendship turns into romance, but Luka soon comes to realize Nick’s fear of losing his bad boy reputation means he’ll probably never go public with their relationship.
Nick never needed anyone until Luka came into his life. Now he has to reconcile his carefree past with the future he suddenly wants more than anything. And the first lesson he must learn is how to become the man both he and Luka need him to be, rather than stay the boy he always was. Alone.
Nick slipped into the nutritionist’s office with a mix of relief and absolute dread. While he wasn’t going to be with shrink-o dissecting his love for Shane and feelings of abandonment (because he knew that’s how those assholes would see it), the food guy had the potential to be the biggest nag of them all. Nick clenched his teeth. It had been a shitfest of a first day. He could only imagine every following day was going to get worse.
The man—if you could even call him that—sitting behind the large desk looked more like an overgrown college kid than someone with an actual degree. And he was… well, he was kind of hot. Kind of really hot—floppy blond hair moussed up into a preppy fauxhawk, that really pretty golden skin only true blonds ever have, and from what Nick could tell, a body he’d rather see naked underneath him than behind a desk.
“Um, are you really the nutritionist?” Nick felt awkward. The feeling wasn’t familiar, and he hated it. The guy (Nick refused to call him a man) looked up, and damn, his eyes were all gold and green in the lamplight. Nick’s stomach fluttered, and then when the nutritionist smiled, Nick almost tripped on the smooth linoleum floor.
He was instantly attracted. And that attraction instantly pissed him off.
“Yes, sweetie, I’m really the nutritionist. Have a seat. I’ll be with you in a second.”
Oh no no no.
“Did you fill out Dr. Miller’s questionnaire?” His voice was gentle. Soft.
It annoyed the hell out of Nick. This whole experience was annoying him in more ways than he could count. Nick started to think about calling his lawyer to see if there was a different deal he could make to avoid doing time. Hell, maybe even jail would be better.
Nick grumbled a “yes” and flopped down into the chair opposite… Luka Novak, Licensed Nutritionist, the desk plaque read. Luka Novak. Fitting. Cute. Irritating.
“So is this going to take forever? Because, you know, I’ve had enough of this shit for one day.”
All he got in return was an understanding smile. “I’ll try not to drag it out, hon.”
“Hmmm?” Big hazel eyes peered up at Nick over whatever it was Luka had been looking at.
“My name is Nick. Not ‘hon,’ not ‘sweetie.’ Nick.”
“Of course.” Luka Novak, licensed nutritionist, smiled at Nick, his face full of sunshine and sugary sweetness. Nick wasn’t fooled for a second. He wondered if he’d get more time in the slammer if he happened to punch a hospital employee.
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And the third novel, Moonstruck:
Surya Patel is the drummer for the massively popular band, Moonlight. When his label suggests a collaboration with Luck, the band Moonlight toured with the year before, he should be all for it. Except he slept with Luck’s manager during the tour and then bolted in the dead of night. He’s regretted leaving ever since, but he knows being around Em will only lead to disaster. Unfortunately for Surya, the person the label sends to sweet-talk him into the collaboration is none other than Emmanuel himself.
Emmanuel Cortez has spent months trying to forget the hottest night of his life—the night he slept with Surya. It’s been a year, but not even the death of his beloved grandmother and the subsequent family drama could keep the memories away. Now his job is to convince Surya to collaborate with Luck, and he has to be professional. But a day spent together leads to another passionate night. This time Surya is the one to wake up alone.
It only takes Em’s departure for Surya to realize he’s had a change of heart. The heat between him and Em burns too brightly to be let go. Surya isn’t satisfied with just one night anymore. He wants forever.
Em’s gaze lifted and connected with his. It was heavy lidded, and Surya knew Em couldn’t possibly be sober, but it was inviting too. Bloody hell. They’d always flirted a bit but nothing so blatant. Nothing even close.
Surya stood and walked closer. He was drawn to Em’s skin, the promise of heat, the desire on Em’s face. Em leaned over, kissed Jesse’s cheek, and looked back at Surya before tipping his head toward the exit. Surya nodded.
Surya didn’t have to think very hard. His body was already moving. He found Em waiting by the elevators. Em didn’t say anything, simply pressed the button to call one down. The time spent waiting was tense. Surya didn’t know what to say. Should he admit he knew exactly why they were standing there? It seemed like if they did acknowledge it, the spell would be broken and they’d have to stop. Best not to say anything aloud.
The elevator came, and they both stepped on.
“Sur—” Em began as the doors closed, but Surya cut him off. He didn’t want to talk about it. He just wanted….
Surya cupped his hand around Em’s neck and pulled. Em came willingly. The kiss was gorgeous and spine shivering—Em’s lips pillowy soft and tropical tasting. Why the hell had they waited so long for something this amazing? Surya didn’t want to stop, but they were still in public. He had to stop.
“What were you drinking?” Surya asked with a smile when they pulled apart. “It tastes good.”
Em giggled and laid his forehead right on Surya’s collarbone. “Not sure. Jesse got it for me.”
Surya was momentarily startled at hearing Jesse’s name said aloud. At the beginning, he’d had to constantly remind himself to call Jesse “Kayden” in public. He wasn’t surprised that Em knew Jesse’s real name, though. They had gotten so close over the last few months. It made sense Jesse would want Em to know.
“Whatever it is, I like it,” Surya said. “Sweet like fruit.” He did like it, and more than just the drink. Whatever Em had drunk that night had changed him. His natural flirtatiousness had lost its sharp edge and gone all warm and soft and pliant.
“I am sweet and fruity,” Em joked. His head lolled on Surya’s shoulder.
Surya smiled and brought a hand up to cup the back of Em’s head again. “You’re lovely.”
Em looked up. “You want me, don’t you? Just to be clear.”
Images flashed through Surya’s head, fast and hot. Pictures of him and Em naked, locked together, Spanish heat gleaming on their skin. Fuck, yes he wanted Em. Had for a lot longer than he’d ever want to admit.
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Also available are three novellas/vignettes/companion pieces
from the same universe
which you can download for free on Goodreads:
Our Q&A with Piper:
Hi, all! Piper Vaughn here. Since this is the final week of my Author of the Month posts, I just wanted to again thank everyone at My Fiction Nook, especially Sandra, for the invitation to be featured this month. It was an honor to be here, and I had a lot of fun preparing the blog posts and answering the questions. I hope you guys enjoyed learning a little bit more about me too!
- What inspires you? What gets you writing?
I can be inspired by almost anything, truly. A song, a line in another book, a conversation I overhear or have with a friend, a movie, a TV show. Really, it’s life that inspires me! There’s an idea I’m developing that started from walks I took with my husband around our suburban neighborhood. There are ideas everywhere, if you keep your mind open to them.
- What's your writing process? Seat of your pants, lots of sticky notes, complex spreadsheets?
I tend to be an outliner. I’ll either do it in a notebook or on my whiteboard or in a Word doc (sometimes a combination of all those things). I do use sticky notes too, and I usually make a Pinterest board or picture folder with character/location inspiration, and more often than not, I’ll make a playlist of songs that remind me of the story or the characters or a specific feeling. The only time I’m a pantser is when I’m writing very short stories or flash fics.
- Which character from your books is your favorite, and why?
I’d have to say Nick Ventura from The Luckiest, though he makes appearances in all 3 books in the Lucky Moon universe. He’s loud, he’s crass, he’s not PC, but he can be fiercely loyal, and when he fell for Luka, he fell so hard the poor guy didn’t know what to do with himself. Sometimes he screws up, and I know for readers, it seems to be a love him or hate him type of thing, but both MJ and I adore Nick, and I find myself thinking of him fairly regularly. After him, it’s probably a tie between Avery from the Portland Pack Chronicles and Dusty from the One Thing books.
- Which character is your least favorite, and why?
Wow, that’s a tough one. Um. If we’re talking main characters only and not secondaries, I’d probably have to say Cooper from An Oral Fixation, which is a freebie I wrote a few years back. Not that I dislike him in any way – he’d just be the lowest on the totem pole if I ranked them all.
- If you could go back into one of your books and change one thing, what would that be? And why?
Another difficult one. Hmm. I’d probably go back and change the fight between Castor and Blake near the end of Hook, Line, & Sinker. I think I had Blake take a lot of the blame for their argument when it should have been more 50/50. They both did things that led to that explosion, but I feel like Blake took more than his share of the guilt, and that’s something I’d probably revise if I could. I did see a few reviewers who took issue with Cas’s behavior at that point in the book, and upon reflection, I can definitely see their point of view.
- What's next for you? What amazing book are you working on?
I’m in the middle of a really awful case of writer’s block, but I am working on things. Next up is another story in the Heartsville universe, which I created with four other fab authors – Jayden Brooks, Cate Ashwood, J.H. Knight, and Nico Jaye.
If all goes well, we’d like to release another round of stories in late June, just in time for Pride weekend here in the Chicagoland area (the fictional town of Heartsville is a suburb of the city). As with the first round of Heartsville stories, you can expect light, sweet, and sexy. We wanted these stories to be go-to stories for readers looking to smile or be cheered up. We in the Heartsville crew love reading those stories ourselves, and there are days when we all crave those happy, sunshine books. :)
- Anything else you'd like to share with your readers (optional).
I’d like to thank them for sticking by me. My releases don’t come out on a consistent basis. I’ve tried to write on a schedule, but it’s been a rough few years, and it just never worked out. Since I’m a mood writer just as much as I am a mood reader, there are certain books I haven’t been able to complete quite yet, and I know some readers have been waiting a while for those stories. I just wanted to thank everyone who’s sent me messages of support or who is patiently waiting to grab them once I get them done. Just know I haven’t forgotten and the books remain in my “to be written” queue. Hopefully it’ll be sooner rather than later. ;)
Thanks for allowing us to feature you all month, Piper. We had a lot of fun!!
More about Piper Vaughn:
Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two-thousand-book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.
Thanks for joining us again today as we celebrate this fabulous author. We hope that you found a few new books to add to your TBR and would love to see you again next month for our May featured author posts.
Until then, happy reading!