Today we’re so pleased to have author Maggie Kavanagh joining us to celebrate the release of her latest novel, Blind Spot, book three in the Stonebridge Mystery series. Enjoy this deleted scene, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win an e-copy of one of the three books in the series, winner’s choice.
Title: Blind Spot
Author: Maggie Kavanagh
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pub date: January 4, 2016
Pages: 206 (print)
Blurb: Living together is bliss for Sam Flynn and Nathan Walker, but things never stay quiet for long in Stonebridge. On the night of Sam’s twenty-ninth birthday, the much-hated mayor of Stonebridge is found dead at his home. Sam suspects foul play, but just as he starts investigating the list of possible culprits, Nathan gets word of a new undercover assignment—one that includes a mysterious, sexy new partner. Though Sam struggles to trust Nathan and control his jealousy during Nathan’s absence, the stress makes a return to the bottle seem not only tempting, but inevitable—especially when Nathan starts avoiding his calls.
Yet Nathan’s fidelity isn’t the only thing on Sam’s mind. A visit from the mayor’s ex-assistant puts Sam in the line of fire, and he’s drawn into a complex web of duplicity spanning back to the night of his parents’ accident. Sam’s journey to uncover the truth about what really happened threatens to unravel long-held beliefs about his parents and puts his relationship with Nathan to the ultimate test.
Guest Blog Post: Thank you to Lisa and The Novel Approach for hosting me on my Blind Spot blog tour! I’m happy to be here and to share an exclusive deleted scene from the first draft of Blind Spot. Originally, the book began with Sam and Nathan’s visit to Nathan’s parent’s house in California, and it was going to take place there. I changed the plot almost entirely in revisions, bringing the characters back to Stonebridge and tying up loose ends from the first two books. So you can see how differently it might have turned out! Without further ado…let’s meet Nathan’s mom.
Sam fiddled with the buttons on his new blazer with sweaty hands. Though Nathan had prepped him for the whole meet-the-parents moment, he couldn’t help being nervous as they pulled up to the front of a white stucco Spanish-colonial style house. Even in midwinter, the lush tropical landscaping made it look like they’d driven straight off the road into a rainforest—broad leafed palms shaded half of the yard and Bougainvillea vines in full bloom seemed to twine everything in vibrant pink and red. There was a fountain too, and as Sam stepped out of the car onto the drive that ran parallel to the house, he thought he caught a glimpse of a pool in the back. Nathan’s folks really were loaded.
Nathan grabbed their suitcases out of the trunk and set them down with a thunk. “It’s going to be okay,” he said. “Stop fidgeting.”
“I’m not fidgeting,” Sam whispered. He looked up at the blue, cloudless sky and took a deep breath, dropping his hands down by his sides. Nathan took one of them and squeezed reassuringly.
Would Nathan’s father be like Robert di Nero and give Sam a lie-detector test? Would Sam accidentally lose the family cat and be forced to plan an elaborate substitution scheme only to be found out and expelled from the house?
But then he remembered that Nathan’s mother was allergic to cats. They’d had to leave their own cat, Shadow, home for the holidays. Sam missed the little white ball of terror.
He realized Nathan was tugging at his hand. “Sam?”
“Right, right. I’m fine.”
They were no longer alone. A woman, slightly older than middle-aged, with jet-black hair and a smooth, pleasant face came forward to greet them. “Hello, son,” she said, extending both of her hands. She kissed Nathan on both cheeks, and then turned to do the same to Sam. “I’m Carmina, but please call me Mina. Welcome to California. Nathan says it’s your first time?” She had the barest trace of an accent, and Sam remembered Nathan saying his mother had grown up in Italy until she’d moved with her parents to America at sixteen. He nodded and smiled.
“Yes. You have a beautiful home. Thank you for having me.”
She looked from him to Nathan, assessing. She didn’t seem to be uncomfortable with his presence, only slightly reserved, but he’d been warned to anticipate her shy nature. Sam couldn’t help noticing her dark eyes were familiar—Nathan’s eyes. “We will have to give you the full tour later. Come inside now. You must be exhausted after your early flight.”
Taking his suitcase from Nathan, Sam followed mother and son up the side stairs and into a brightly painted, modern kitchen. She instructed them to leave their things and ushered them further into the heart of the house. The living room was decorated in an early twentieth century style, with vintage light fixtures and a blindingly white arched ceiling. Everything was tasteful and obviously expensive. Sam sat next to Nathan on one of two leather couches while Mina explained Nathan’s father was at his club playing tennis.
“He’ll be home later,” she said, sitting down on the opposite sofa. “I’m sorry he wasn’t here to greet you, but he’s serious about getting his exercise.” She turned her gaze on Nathan. “You know how he is.”
“Yes, I do.” Nathan rolled his eyes. “Where’s Louise?”
“She’s taken a few days off for her family. It’s Christmas, after all. I figured we could manage without her.”
As Nathan and his mother continued to chat, Sam continued his subtle exploration of the room and helped himself to some refreshments laid out on the small table dividing the two sofas. There were several paintings hanging in the room that looked to be done by actual artists. Most of the furniture was mission-style antique. Of course Nathan’s father only wanted the best in his house.
He watched the interaction between Mina and Nathan with even more curiosity. There was a politeness to the conversation Sam didn’t normally expect between close family members, but it was obvious Mina loved Nathan very much. Her dark eyes glowed with happiness whenever he spoke, and she watched his movements earnestly, pleased when he took some food for himself and commented on how good it was.
“Those are a sort of Spanish pepper,” she explained to Sam. “I’ve mixed up a little goat cheese and herbs for the filling.”
“They’re great,” Sam said. He flushed when Nathan put his arm around his shoulders and urged him closer on the couch, a proprietary gesture his mother couldn’t fail to notice.
“I told Sam you were a wonderful cook. He’s been looking forward to this week. Neither of us can do much in the kitchen.” Obviously Nathan wanted him to feel more comfortable. Sam tried to relax into the embrace, but he couldn’t quite manage it, not knowing how open Mina would be to public displays.
“I’ve always told you it’s a disgrace for a man not to be able to cook for himself. I’ll give you some easy recipes while you’re here.” She nodded and took another bite, then brushed off her hands. “That reminds me. I have something to check on in the kitchen. Would you excuse me for one moment, Sam?” She gave them another pleasant smile as she stood and left them alone together.
“That’s my mother’s way of giving us some time to ourselves.” Nathan sighed and leaned back against the couch, drawing Sam with him. Without the audience, Sam relaxed against Nathan, glad for the respite after a long day of travel. There was a picture of Nathan’s parents on their wedding day on the side table—both of them had been criminally attractive. Nathan’s father was a tall man with conventional, chiseled features, but Nathan had obviously gotten his dark good looks from his mother.
“She’s not going to ask us anything?” Sam didn’t know what he’d expected—perhaps some questions about how they’d met at least. But Mina seemed content to let the matter stand.
“My mother considers it rude to ask personal questions until she knows someone well. But she likes you. I can tell.” Nathan nuzzled Sam’s earlobe and pressed a kiss to the side of his neck. Sam fought a shiver thinking back to the intense scene they’d done the previous evening. Knowing they wouldn’t be able to play during the weeklong visit, Nathan had bound him to the bed and worked him over until he was deep inside his own mind, floating with only the sound of Nathan’s voice and the feel of his mouth, hands, and cock to keep him tethered. Afterwards he’d been so sated and exhausted he’d barely been able to get up in the morning to make the flight. And his ass was a little sore too, from where Nathan had spanked him with the palm of his hand. He shifted on the couch to make himself more comfortable.
“Are you all right?” Nathan asked, eyebrows furrowing. He was always like this the day after a scene—hovering like a mother hen.
“I’m fine. Seriously. Just a little sore.” Sam took Nathan’s hand and laced their fingers together. He’d gotten used to Nathan’s concern and knew Nathan needed reassurance as well—reassurance that Sam enjoyed the kinky aspects of their sex life, and that he was telling Nathan the truth. “I asked for it, you know. And it was fun.” Probably not the best thing to do on the day before a long flight, but he actually liked the gentle reminder of the ache.
“All right. But I have some Ibuprofen if you—
“Already took some. I’m good. Better than good. In fact, I was thinking I definitely want to do that again.”
“Really.” Sam arched an eyebrow. “Don’t tell me you didn’t like it?”
Though Nathan was more interested in the bondage and Dominance aspects of the BDSM lifestyle, he’d dabbled in pain play during his undercover work for the FBI, and Sam had recently admitted his curiosity.
“I liked it.” Nathan’s eyes darkened. “Your ass looks amazing covered in my handprints.”
“Shut up. If I get a boner in your mother’s living room, I’ll never forgive you.” Nathan chuckled and kissed Sam on the lips. Whoops. Too late.
They spent another hour catching up, and then Mina let Nathan take Sam upstairs to show him the room they’d be sharing for their stay. His jaw dropped when he saw the huge four-poster bed and soft down comforter—it was screaming for a long night of raunchy sex.
The room itself was decorated with hand sewn red and gold tapestries, and French-paned glass doors opened up to an outside terrace with an incredible view of the mountains and canyon below. Sam pushed the doors open, surprised to find the breeze chilly and fresh. He wrapped his arms around his torso and leaned down to see the garden and pool. Nice landscaping. Must cost a pretty penny, he thought to himself. He was glad he’d listened to Nathan and packed several sweaters along with the T-shirts he’d stuffed haphazardly into his bag.
“What do you think?” Nathan approached from behind and rested his hands on Sam’s shoulders.
“It’s a pretty awesome setup, not gonna lie. But where’s all your embarrassing childhood memorabilia?” He glanced back at the room, which seemed like it had been recently redecorated. He wanted to see the shrine to Nathan—the pile of trophies, report cards, and badly made school projects no parent could resist keeping even years after their children left the nest. In fact, he hadn’t realized until now how much he was counting on it.
“Hmm. Probably up in the attic? We can ask my mother, if you really, really want.”
“Oh, I want. I won’t rest until I see those swim team pictures.” It had taken Nathan ages to finally admit he’d been on the team as a teenager.
“I was sixteen, you perv.”
“So? You’re not sixteen now.” In fact, in just a little over a month, Nathan would be thirty-seven, though he’d basically forbidden Sam from mentioning it.
Nathan hugged Sam and dragged him to one of the padded lounge chairs. They arranged themselves so Nathan was in back with Sam between his legs, looking up at the late afternoon sky. Nathan ran his hands absently over Sam’s stomach, rucking up his shirt. He traced his fingers over Sam’s abs and dipped low, teasing the skin at the edge of his jeans. Gooseflesh rose on Sam’s skin, a combination of the cool breeze and Nathan’s tickling.
“I think you’re trying to get me worked up again,” said Sam.
“Maybe I am.”
“But . . .”
Nathan’s hands slid lower and cupped Sam’s burgeoning erection through his jeans. The hardness against Sam’s lower back was plenty evidence Nathan was similarly affected. Sam groaned quietly, rocking his pelvis forward and then back, loving the feel of Nathan behind him.
“I want to play a game.”
“Oh?” Sam was breathless, hardly able to think of anything but Nathan’s insistent hand. “What kind of game?”
“This. For the rest of the week, neither of us gets to come—no jerking off in the shower, no fooling around at night. But I’m going to work you up a little here and there, get you ready for when we go home.”
“Yeah? Do I get to work you up too?”
“Don’t you feel that?” Nathan whispered, pulling Sam back against his erection. “As soon as we get home, I want you to go straight to the couch and take off your jeans. Spread your ass for me.” His husky voice hitched on the last word. “I’m going to fuck you so hard you won’t remember your name.”
Author Bio: Maggie Kavanagh writes gay romances that explore flawed, human characters finding love. She went to graduate school for English literature and reads and writes voraciously, whenever she can get a moment alone. You can find her in the wee morning hours typing away with coffee at hand and cat in lap, happily embodying the romance writer cliché.
While she focuses mainly on contemporary romance, don’t be surprised if a historical or supernatural tale slips into the mix, as she’s always eager to discover different genres. More fiction is forthcoming soon, so stay tuned!
Join Maggie during her Blind Spot Blog Tour at the following stops:
Carly’s Book Reviews—Wednesday, January 6
Prism Book Alliance—Thursday, January 7
The Novel Approach—Monday, January 11
Sinfully MM Book Reviews—Tuesday, January 12
MM Good Book Reviews—Thursday, January 14
Pride Promotions is also hosting a giveaway for the chance to win all 3 books in the series, signed by Maggie! Ends January 11. Enter here.