Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: MAVERICK (Cat Star Legacy) by Cheryl Brooks

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MAVERICK (Cat Star Legacy) by Cheryl Brooks

Publication Date: September 4, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction Romance

Synopsis

E96F8D6B-DD2D-4DD0-8682-7B89A3A58EBEZetithians are back. And they’re hotter than ever…

Having the Zetithian feline gene gives Larry Tshevnoe awesome beauty, fearsome strength, sensuality and sexual prowess unmatched by any other males in the universe. But it can make the quest for true love…complicated.

Enter childhood friend and fellow Zetithian Althea Banadänsk. Her empathic powers make her the only one who can show Larry what he truly desires, and she’ll do anything to help…even if that means hiding her desperate craving for him.

But when a distress call sends them off course—and into danger—they find more than their hearts are at stake. Now it’s up to them to become the champions of truth and justice throughout the galaxy…or risk losing it all.

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Excerpt

“You have got to be kidding me.”

Larry was prepared for Althea’s reaction. After all, that was pretty much what everyone said when they first laid eyes on his ship. “Don’t worry. She’s got it where it counts.”

“Uh-huh,” she drawled. “Sure she does.”

“Come on now, Al. You know Mom wouldn’t let me fly around in a no-good ship. In fact, she’s the one who found it for me.”

Jack had also taken it to the same Delfian mechanic who’d outfitted the Jolly Roger, which could outfly damn near any ship in the quadrant—a distinction Jack was not only very proud of, but went to great lengths to maintain and seldom missed an opportunity to demonstrate. Larry’s vessel, being smaller with less room to accommodate the supercharged stardrive components, came in a close second.

“Hmm…” Althea studied the exterior, her gaze ultimately landing on the name painted above the main hatch. “The Three Stooges? Seriously? I mean, I get the reference, but what kind of a name is that for a ship?”

Larry had heard that comment before too. “Did that before Moe and Curly decided they wanted ships of their own. Never got around to changing it, especially since I’d already had it registered. I tend to refer to it as the Stooge, but I’m probably the only one who does.”

He stepped up to the hatch and keyed open the palm lock, then waited while two sections of the battered hull slid up like a pair of gull’s wings. “I’d thought of calling it the DeLorean, but that name was already taken. Guess Mom isn’t the only ship’s captain with a fondness for antiques.”

This time, Althea didn’t even rise to the bait, which had Larry more than a little concerned. He’d always been able to make her laugh. Something was different. Something even a Zetithian with the occasional prescient vision couldn’t figure out.

His concern was short-lived, however, because the other oddity of his starship chose to put in an appearance.

“Mother of the gods,” Althea whispered. “You might have warned me.”

To her credit, she hadn’t screamed, which was what most people did when they met his Scorillian navigator—or sidekick as Brak preferred to be called, a preference he seldom failed to mention.

After a quick glance over his shoulder to make sure the coast was clear, Larry beckoned to his partner. “Hey, Brak. C’mon out and meet Althea.”

With a wave of his fluffy antennae, Brak minced down the gangplank, holding out a barbed appendage as he approached. “I am pleased to meet you, Althea. I’ve heard so much about you.”

Althea chose to tap the joint above Brak’s terminal pincer rather than shaking hands with the huge insect, a move that Larry considered to be quite prudent. “Nice to meet you, Brak. I haven’t heard one damn thing about you.”

Brak’s antennae flattened as he rotated a bulbous eye toward Larry while keeping the other eye aimed at Althea. “There are times when I believe him to be ashamed of me.”

“Not ashamed,” Larry said. “Just careful. If the Baradans had known you were on board, they might not have let us land.”

Brak thrust his mandibles forward in a gesture Larry had only recently identified as a pout. If Althea could read Scorillians—and Larry honestly wasn’t sure she could—having her along for the ride would go a long way toward deciphering his shipmate’s moods. Although some of Brak’s emotions were probably best left in the dark.

“You know I am not a carrier of the plague,” Brak whined. “Why does this unjust stigma persist?”

Larry shrugged. “I can’t help you, Brak. Maybe if it was called something other than the Scorillian plague, you might be able to escape the connection, but it isn’t, so I guess you’re stuck with it.”

“So annoying.” Brak nibbled the tip of his pincer like a nervous Nellie biting her fingernails. “Particularly since we Scorillians have so many other redeeming qualities.”

“Yeah. So I’ve heard.”

Brak displayed his annoyance with the usual crunching of his mandibles. “I’ll be in my quarters if I’m needed.” With a flutter of his translucent green wings, Brak did a quick about-face and retreated up the gangplank.

Scorillians might have other attributes, but Brak’s ability to navigate a ship was Larry’s particular favorite. Brak claimed he could plot a course through a black hole and come out less than ten meters from his intended target on the other side. While that was an obvious exaggeration, he’d certainly never been lost—at least not to Larry’s knowledge.

Larry’s own expertise was in deep space communications, and he was amassing a fair fortune by upgrading outdated comsystems. Since most manufacturers would rather replace a system than upgrade it, he was able to save his clients a considerable amount of money, and his popularity had grown along with his bank account. He didn’t even have to advertise. Word of mouth got him all the work he could handle.

He’d been doing the same type of work even as a teenager aboard his parents’ ship, and while he could have set up shop somewhere, he wasn’t one to sit around and wait. So, like the tinkers in days of old, he traveled to wherever his services were needed, which was how he’d met Celeste.

If he’d met her on the street in Rhylos’s brothel district, where sex pheromones were continuously pumped into the air, he would’ve discounted the attraction entirely. But they’d met when he’d stopped off at the orphanage to visit Onca and Kim. Since there were no airborne pheromones inside the Palace, the only enticement was Celeste’s own personal scent, which was alluring, if somewhat baffling.

She was pretty too. Lush, curvy figure. Long, softly curling blond hair. Sparkling green eyes. Captivating smile. Yeah. She was very attractive, not to mention intelligent, witty, and charming. He just couldn’t decide whether he loved her. Perhaps he was wrong to go running off to find Althea—after all, hardly anyone consulted an empath before choosing a mate—but since he’d known Althea all his life, he saw no reason not to make use of her abilities. The truth was, with everything he’d seen and heard about how much trouble the sexual prowess of Zetithian males could cause, he didn’t trust himself. Or Celeste.

“He is kinda moody,” Larry whispered as Brak disappeared through the hatch. “Think you can handle that?”

Althea slung her oversized duffel bag over her shoulder and started up the gangplank. “I’m sure we’ll get along fine as long as I don’t have to share a bunk with him.”

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Buy Links
Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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Giveaway

3 Copies of MAVERICK

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Cheryl Brooks is a former critical care nurse who resides in rural Indiana with her husband, two sons, two horses, four cats, and one dog. Her Cat Star Chronicles series was first published by Sourcebooks Casablanca in 2008, and includes Slave, Warrior, Rogue, Outcast, Fugitive, Hero, Virgin, Stud, Wildcat, and Rebel. Her Cowboy Heaven series includes the Cowboy Delight novella and two novels, Cowboy Heaven and Must Love Cowboys. Self-published works include Sex, Love, and a Purple Bikini, Midnight in Reno, The Soul Survivors Trilogy: Echoes From the Deep, Dreams From the Deep, and Justice From the Deep, and the Unlikely Lovers series: Unbridled, Uninhibited, Undeniable, and Unrivaled. Maverick is the first book in her new Cat Star Legacy series. Look for Mystic in January 2019. She has also published If You Could Read My Mind writing as Samantha R. Michaels. As a member of The Sextet, she has written eight erotic novellas published by Siren/Bookstrand. Her other interests include cooking, gardening, singing, and guitar playing. Cheryl is a member of RWA and IRWA. 

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Spotlight, Guest Post & Giveaway: Must Love Cowboys (Cowboy Heaven, Book 2) by Cheryl Brooks

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Must Love Cowboys (Cowboy Heaven, Book 2) by Cheryl Brooks

Release Date: April 5, 2016

Genre: Contemporary Western Romance

Synopsis

imageSO MANY COWBOYS…

Shy computer specialist, dog lover, and amateur chef Tina Hayes has a thing for firefighters, but when she travels to the Circle Bar K ranch on family business, the ranch’s cowboys have no trouble persuading her to stay on as their cook. Especially not when she learns that brooding Wyatt McCabe—a man who makes her heart gallop like no one else can—is also a former firefighter.

HOW DOES SHE KNOW HE’S THE ONE?

Wyatt’s sizzling embraces leave Tina breathless. But being surrounded by a passel of smokin’ hot ranch hands can be complicated. With so many cowboys courting Tina all at once, Wyatt must prove to Tina that she belongs with him.

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Author Guest Post

Cheryl’s Tip for Dating a Cowboy

Since we can safely assume that most of you aren’t the type to be at home on the range, here’s a city girl’s tip on the fine art of dating a cowboy:

Not all cowboy hats are made by Stetson. At your earliest opportunity, check the sweatband of his hat for the size and brand so you’ll know what to get him for Christmas, although you really can’t go wrong with a Stetson. That being said, you might do better to get him a shirt. Cowboy hats are a little like bras; some things, you just have to choose for yourself.

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Excerpt

“Uh, Tina,” Wyatt began. “Listen, what you said about a massage… That actually sounded pretty good.” He paused, seeming reluctant to admit he needed help and even more reluctant to ask for it. “Think you could…?”
I stared at the bowl of pie dough. I didn’t need to invent a reason why I couldn’t stop what I was doing and rub his sore shoulder for him. But at the same time, I had this itch to get my hands on something other than dough.
And some itches must be scratched.
“Sure. Just let me wash my hands.” I put a plate over the bowl to keep the dough from drying out, then washed and dried my hands. When I turned toward Wyatt, my worst fears were realized.
He’d taken off his shirt and stood facing me, the broad expanse of his muscular chest, lightly dusted with dark, curly hair, fully exposed. “Where do you want me?”
Right here. Right now.
Heat sliced through my pelvis, stealing moisture from my mouth to send it gushing from my core. My attempt to swallow failed utterly. “There at the table is fine.”
He would probably smell bad after being on the road all night and most of the day. Bad smells usually put me off immediately. I figured I was safe. But when I moved closer, he smelled fine. Not freshly showered, perhaps, but nice. “Do you have any ointment to put on it?”
“There’s probably something around here somewhere, but for now, just use a little olive oil.”
I was hard-pressed not to laugh out loud. Getting my hands on a hot, studly cowboy might make my temperature soar, but by the time I’d smeared him with olive oil, he would smell like a salad.
Not sexy at all.
Unfortunately, after dribbling oil on his back and placing my hands on his shoulders, I was forced to revise that assessment. Wyatt would’ve been sexy even if he’d smelled like a barn. And salads, on the whole, were quite tasty.
I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to block out the image of the powerful-looking muscles in his back and shoulders, but I couldn’t hide them from my hands. His hair, although relatively short, curled at the nape. Using the excuse of massaging his neck, I touched it. For some peculiar reason, that affected me even more than touching his skin had done—the gesture was more intimate, somehow.
Eventually, I found the sore spots in his upper back and shoulder and kneaded them hard. Wyatt’s groans and sighs were like candy, enticing me to keep going until I’d thoroughly massaged every muscle in his body. Twice.
After a glance at the clock proved I’d been at it for about twenty minutes, I figured it was time to quit or I was bound to do something really stupid—especially since he was getting to me on a level no real man ever had. Surely twenty minutes was enough. Then again, he wasn’t asking me to stop. If anything, I got the distinct impression he wanted me to keep going forever.
But I had work to do, a pie to bake, and chickens to roast. “H-how’s that?” My voice was hoarse and hesitant, no doubt due to the parched state of my mouth.
Despite his long, shuddering exhale, his throat sounded tight when he spoke. “Good—um, better. Much better. Thank you.”
I took a step back as he got to his feet. “Glad I could help.”
Rather than staring at the floor like I normally did, I made the mistake of tilting my head back and making eye contact. His gaze held mine for a long moment. Once again, what went on behind those enigmatic eyes was anyone’s guess. He certainly wasn’t giving me any clues.
A flick of his brow signaled the end of the interlude. “Well then. I guess I’ll leave you to it.” He slung his shirt over his shoulder. “I might lie down for a bit before dinner.”
All I could do was nod. I waited until his retreating footsteps died away before letting out the breath I was well aware I’d been holding.
I would get used to him eventually.
Yeah, right. Maybe by the time my car was packed and I was two hundred miles down the road.
Men had always made me nervous, but when it came to getting under my skin, Wyatt McCabe took first prize. Closing my eyes, I breathed deeply for a few moments before resuming my task. I still had a lot to do in the next two hours. Letting Wyatt freak me out wouldn’t help get it done.

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Buy Links
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1XgNRmn
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/22Larad
Apple: http://apple.co/1VNE7RX
BAM: http://bit.ly/1WOG8Mc
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1MHd43v
!ndigo: http://bit.ly/1Mq9HmH
Indie Bound: http://bit.ly/1LNe9fd

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Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

imageCheryl Brooks is a former critical care nurse turned romance writer. Her Cat Star Chronicles series includes Slave, Warrior, Rogue, Outcast, Fugitive, Hero, Virgin, Stud, Wildcat, and Rebel. She is a member of RWA and IRWA and lives with her husband and sons near Bloomfield, Indiana.

Connect with Cheryl
Website: http://www.cherylbrooksonline.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cheryl.brooks.963
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CherylCatMaster
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/752898.Cheryl_Brooks

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