Hi peeps, we have C.C. Bridges stopping by for a visit today with her upcoming release Love in the Time of Hurricanes, we have a fantastic guest post from C.C., a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~
Love in the Time of Hurricanes
The night Nick Henderson storms into Martelli’s Pizzeria, he’s just looking for something to eat. Along with dinner, he finds Lou Martelli—pizza cook extraordinaire and Jersey Shore native. Nick is renting a Shore house for the winter while taking classes at the local community college as he devises a way to escape the accounting major his father chose for him.
When Lou offers to show Nick around, heat flares between them as they realize they have more in common than domineering families. But it’s not all fun and games on the boardwalk. Hurricane Sandy blows ashore, changing the place Nick was starting to think of as home. His peace is shattered, and it will take everything he has to keep his relationship with Lou from being torn apart by the storm brewing around them.
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
Almost everyone from New Jersey has a Jersey Shore story. I don’t mean the reality show. I’m talking about the 140 or so miles of Jersey coast, consisting of beaches, boardwalk, and sleepy small towns. Ask almost anyone, and they’ll have a story…
“My grandmother had a house at Seaside…”
“We used to drive down to Wildwood every summer.”
For me, it was Seaside Heights. As a kid my family rented a sandy motel room for a week, and we ended the days full of salt and sand, peeling from sunburns, and spending our quarters at the arcade. We ate chocolate dipped ice cream cones and peanut butter sandwiches on the beach.
One of my earliest memories is being on the beach with my family – and it was an extended event, with aunts and uncles and grandparents – when a huge, unexpected wave rushed through, sending all of our things flying. Umbrellas, coolers, and towels all taken by the sea. I remember running away from the ocean, while the adults went grabbing for what they could carry.
When I wrote Love in the Time of Hurricanes, I wanted to capture that sense of magic, that memory of childhood that sneaks up on your when you aren’t thinking about it. Perhaps the smell of the ocean brings it all back.
Nick, the narrator of this story, finds all that and more, discovering what the Shore is like in the fall, when the tourists go away, and there’s nothing left but the beach. He finds his own bit of magic.
Our knees knocked together under the table, and he smiled at me, but this time he looked almost dangerous.
“I’d like to take you for a ride.”
“What?” I spat out the orange juice I’d hastily drunk and coughed into a napkin. There went any bit of suave I might have had left.
“On my bike,” Lou clarified, but with the way his eyes sparkled, he knew exactly what he had done. “Let’s leave your car here, and I’ll give you a tour. It’s a perfect day to open up down the highway.”
“Do you have an extra helmet?” Much as his invitation intrigued me, I didn’t want to risk my brain if we wiped out. I was kinda fond of it.
“Of course. It’s my sister’s, but she has a big head. I’m pretty sure it will fit you.”
“I won’t tell her you said that.” I laughed, then sobered and gave him my best sultry look. “All right. Take me for a ride.”
We split the check with only a little grumbling from Lou, who wanted to cover the whole thing. As nice as the gesture was, I had my pride.
The bike felt massive between my legs, and when Lou started the engine, the vibrations flowed through me, setting my skin on fire.
He yelled, “Hold on,” and I barely heard him. But I’d already slid my hands around his waist.
He could have meant hold on to the bike, but at that point, I thought I’d figured out what dance we were doing. Slow burn for now, but when this fire finally lit, it would make an explosion.
Lou guided the bike back onto Route 37 and headed toward the bridge. The wind buffeted us with such force it felt like being caught in a tunnel. He weaved between cars—showing off a little—and opened up as we crossed the span, surrounded on either side by water.
It was fucking incredible.
CC Bridges is a mild-mannered librarian by day, but by night she writes about worlds of adventure and romance. When she’s not busy solving puzzles in an escape room, she can be found diving into comics or binge-watching superhero movies. She writes surrounded by books, spare computing equipment, a fluffy dog, and a long-suffering husband in the state of New Jersey. In 2011, she won a Rainbow Award for best gay sci-fi/futuristic novel.
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