Friday, January 6, 2012

Taken Blog Tour With Author L.M. Pruitt

I love this author! I met her when she first released her Jude Magdalyn novel series and fell HARD for not just her writing style but characters. I was excited to see her start developing new book for different series, and TAKEN is one of them. L.M. doesn't pull an punches ~ she grabs hold of you, drags you in and doesn't let go until it's over. This book kept me guessing, and Jack definitely caught my attention *winks* Loved how SASSY Frankie was and as my stop of the tour, I get to share an excerpt!! Read. Enjoy. Grab yourself a copy!

~ Book Excerpt ~

Every good detective/noir story needs a stakeout scene. Of course, in New York you're just as likely to be staking out a night club as you are a seedy house on the outskirts of town. But really, given the choice between spending the evening in a car with flat soda or spending the night in a bar with plush seating and top shelf tequila, where would you rather be? Yeah, I'd make the same choice.
Low Places was Ugly Willie’s after an Extreme Makeover. Better lighting, better d├ęcor, better bathrooms, better drinks, better people. The only things not better were the prices and the lines.
“We’re never getting inside.” Jack studied the line, tapped his fingers on the dashboard. Glancing at the clock, he shook his head.“Should have gotten here sooner.”
“They’ve only been open an hour. The only people in line are tourists and wannabes.” Wetting a finger, I smoothed my eyebrows, checked my makeup in the visor mirror. “She’s fine. You can hear her loud and clear, right?”
“Yeah. She already shook off three guys. Her accent’s so thick you could spread it like butter.”
“She’ll lose the accent, if she stays here long enough.”
Jack reached out, taking my hand in his. Running his thumb over my knuckles absent-mindedly, he replied, “You never did.”
“I didn’t want to.” On impulse, I lifted our hands and pressed a kiss to his fingers. Shock flashed over his face, reminding me of his words yesterday. “You ready to get this show on the road?”
I waited for him to come around and open the door, something he insisted on doing regardless of the place. His hand steadied me as I rose from the low seat, gaining my balance on the heels. Tucking a stray hair behind my ear, he kissed my forehead. “The sooner we finish this, the sooner we can get home.”
“Thinking about Casey Lynn in red lace?” The dress rode high on my thighs but I didn’t fix the hemline. Not yet. The doormen here were notoriously difficult. Any leverage we had would be worth using.
“You’re not?” We walked past the line, ignoring the whining and shouts to get to the back. Jack’s hand, planted firmly in the small of my back, flexed once before simply lying flat. “I hate this shit.”
“You hate a lot of things. Good thing I tend to hate the same shit.” Halting in front of the large mass of ugly, I looked up. And up. And up. “Christ Jesus, you’re tall.”
“You’re short. What’s it to ya?” The muscle leaned down some, face scrunched in a scowl. “Line’s that way.”
“We noticed.” Jack tilted his head, eyes narrowing before going wide. “Damn. I don’t believe it.”
“What?” I looked back and forth between Jack and the doorman. “I miss something?”
“Amazing. Frankie, this is Jamal Hendrickson, former point guard for the New York Knicks.” Jack stuck his hand out, laughing. “Damn, ain’t that something.”
Jamal smiled, straight teeth blindingly white in his dark face, before gripping Jack’s hand in what had to be a killer grip.“Usually takes people a few minutes.”
“Man, I followed you from the draft until they let you go. Stupid ass mistake.” Jack shook his head. “How’s the knee?”
“Has good days, has bad days. My brother-in-law owns this place, so I work the door now and then.” Jamal patted his left knee, and for the first time I noticed the leg brace. “Gives me something to do besides physical therapy.”
“Yeah, physical therapy can be a real bitch. Remember when I took that round on the Carlton case, Frankie?” Jack glanced at me for confirmation, waited for my nod. I remembered. Sometimes I woke up in a cold sweat because I remembered. “Bastard got me in the shoulder. Missed the bone and all, but had to go through PT for eight weeks.”
“Ten. It was ten weeks.” Both men turned to stare at me. “NFL playoffs.”
They shared a look I could only interpret as something along the lines of Women. Jamal clapped Jack on the shoulder, giving his hand an extra squeeze. “You guys go on in. Tell Stick I sent you, he’ll hook you up.”
After another moment of male bonding, Jamal stepped back, holding the door open. More shouting and groaning from the line, along with a few obscene gestures. Jamal turned back around, snarled. “Shut up!”
“He’s a scary man.” I waited until the doors closed behind us to share my opinion. Jack laughed, waving off the coat check girl.
“The Knicks will be kicking themselves come next season. That kid they drafted played great on the college level, but doesn’t have the stamina for the big leagues.”
“I didn’t know Tim Tebow played basketball.” Tucking my clutch under my arm, I stopped on the landing, doing a slow scan of the room. Jack elbowed me and I rolled my eyes, fighting the urge to smile. “What? He cried. Cried. There’s no crying in football.”
“I thought the quote was about baseball.” Doing his own scan, Jack turned me in the direction of the bar, nudging people aside. “This place is packed.”
“The Upper East Side’s version of slumming.” I elbowed a razor thin girl out of the way, ignored her indignant gasp. “Hence the attempts at theme wear.”
“Kids.” We finally made the bar. Jack leaned over and glanced up and down before snagging the first bartender he saw. “Where’s Stick?”
“Who’s asking?”
“The guy Jamal told to ask.” Jack eyed the kid, dressed all in black like every other bartender in New York. “That you?”
“Nah, I’ll get him for you, though.” He scurried off and I leaned against the glossy bar, trying to locate Casey Lynn. After a moment, I found her at the far end of the bar, laughing and flirting with a couple of kids who’d probably used a fake ID to get inside. A single drink sat in front of her, the liquid an inch from the top.
Satisfied she wouldn’t throw herself at one of the idiots around her, I turned back just in time to hear Jack ask about table service. The man on the other side of the bar, Stick if his name matched his looks, whistled for one of the cocktail servers before exchanging a man goodbye with Jack. The girl, who weighed a hundred pounds if you threw her in a lake fully clothed, started pushing through the crowd and we followed in her wake.
“Table service? That wasn’t in the budget.”
“Live a little, Frankie. Besides, you don’t want to stand there with those people bumping into you any more than I do.” The noise level dropped a few hundred decibels when we sank into the booth tucked into one of a dozen or so alcoves. Jack draped his arm over the back, fingers teasing my hair. “And we can neck over here without anyone noticing.”
Snorting, I leaned back, crossing my legs. Jack’s eyes followed the movement of my hemline. “And there’s the added benefit that nobody can eye you if you’re sitting down.”
“Try and stay focused a little longer.”
“I am. Our job is to be the touchy-feely, slightly perverted, older couple who like to pick up young girls in bars.” His other hand slid up my thigh, flirting with the lace edge of my dress. “I’m getting into character.”
“Stop.” The order didn’t hold any water since I couldn’t keep a straight face. “The twig is coming back.”
The girl sat a bottle of San Matias Carmessi on the table, dropping a bowl of limes and two shot glasses down. Before either of us could say thanks, she’d turned and pushed her way back into the mass of people. I picked the bottle up, turning it over in my hands. “Good stuff.”
“All part of the image. Don’t worry, I brought my charge card.” Jack poured two shots, squeezing lime into one. “To us.”
Absurdly touched, I clinked my glass against his, tipping it back. The liquor slid down smooth and easy, with only the slightest of burns. Laying my purse on the booth next to me, I turned toward Jack and lay my knee over his. “You’re in a mood tonight.”
“In a few of them. And yeah, one of them is getting you and Casey Lynn home.” Taking the glass away, setting the pair of them on the table, he cradled my face in his hands. His thumbs rubbed over my cheekbones, pressed into my cheeks. “I may love you, and you may love me, but neither one of us is dead and buried.”
“Amen to that.” Leaning in, I pressed my mouth to his, tasting tequila and lime, but tasting Jack over both. Sighing, his tongue sliding over mine. I moved closer, almost straddling him. He chuckled, eased me back.
“No, Frankie. I said I call the shots. This is going to take a long time.”
For the next hour, he teased me, kept me on the edge of my seat mentally and physically. He knew when to touch, when not to touch. When to lean over and kiss me until I could hear the roar of my heartbeat with every breath. And shot after shot of tequila.
“You’re trying to get me drunk.” I blinked, surprised at the slur I heard in my voice. Jack laughed and nipped my earlobe with his teeth.
“No. I am getting you drunk.” He leaned closer, running his tongue over the space behind my ear, laughing again when I shuddered.“You’re so much more responsive when you’re lit.” His fingers gripped my chin, turning my face to take my mouth in a bruising kiss. “I want you begging before the night is over.”
Desire shot through me, stopped my breath for a moment. And then reality intruded. “I need to use the restroom.”
Giving me a quick peck, Jack drew back, running his hand down my arm. “Hurry back. And Frankie.” I paused in my slide out of the booth. “No cheating.”
I pushed through the crowd, denser than before. Casey Lynn was still sitting at the bar. A single man sat next to her and the two looked deep in conversation. He didn’t match the photo of Chad, so I didn’t stop and check on her.
The lines were long, par for any women’s restroom. I ignored the bathroom attendant and the girls doing lines in the corner. Both were Manhattan staples. When I took my turn, I shook my head over the ostentatiousness of the stall. “It’s a bathroom, for Christ’s sake.”
I washed my hands and took a moment to study myself in the mirror. The flush on my cheeks could have been from any number of things, including the heat and the alcohol. Doing a quick turn, checking to make sure everything was in place, I fluffed my hair.
“Kitty? Kitty Bodine?” The voice behind me had the sharp twang of backwoods Kentucky, the slight rasp coming from a life breathing coal mine dust. “As I live and breathe, it is you. I swear, it’s been over ten years.”
I gripped the edges of the sink, forcing myself to count to ten. When I glanced in the mirror, whatever color I’d had on my cheeks drained away. The woman behind me was three inches taller, forty pounds heavier, and ten years older. None of which mattered when she stared at me so intently.
“You are Kitty Bodine. Aren’t you?”
~ Book Blurb ~
Cheating spouse? Stolen jewelry? Missing person?
Call Frances--Frankie--Post. A private detective with a trick of two up her sleeve and a few skeletons of her own. What starts out as a simple missing person's case dumps Frankie and her lover Jack right in the crosshairs of a dangerous human trafficking organization. With lives on the line, bad blood and old wounds finally see the light of day. And Frankie and Jack are forced to realize: The past always catches up with you. Always
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~ About the Author ~
L.M. Pruitt has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember. A native of Florida with a love of New Orleans, she has the uncanny ability to find humor in most things and would probably kill a plastic plant. Titles written include New Moon Rising, Shades of Gray, the first novel in the Jude Magdalyn series, as well as Hole in the Wall, a Jude Magdalyn short. She is currently at work on Taken. She makes her home in Florida with one two cats—one smart, the other an idiot.

Connect with her at: Personal Blog:
Facebook: L.M. Pruitt
Twitter: lmpruitt


For one lucky winner - an ecopy of TAKEN!
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Joanne said...

Sounds like a great book. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway and blog tour.


divavixenqueen said...

The excerpt was great.
And the characters sound very interesting

L.M. Pruitt said...

Thanks so much for having me, Bels! I have to say, Taken was so much fun to write, almost entirely because of Frankie and Jack, who were a total handful. Especially Frankie, who loved reading Broken Promises (wink, wink). Happy reading!

L.M. Pruitt

57267704-cab9-11e0-b438-000bcdcb2996 said...

Sounds great and if Belinda likes must be good

Tore said...

I would love to read this book. It sounds very good. Please enter me in contest.

Anne said...

Taken sounds great. L.M. is a new to me author, I'll have to look up the first series.

BK Walker said...

This book sounds amazing! Is on my TBR either way and I wish you much success in the future L.M. :)