Release Week Blitz: Lauren Layne’s STEAL ME!

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It’s release week for Lauren Layne’s Steal Me, and I have a Q&A, excerpt, and giveaway to share with you! Sit back, relax, and enjoy…

Release Week Blitz: Lauren Layne’s STEAL ME!Steal Me by Lauren Layne
Series: New York's Finest #2
Published by Grand Central Publishing on November 24th 2015
ISBN: 9781455561216
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Goodreads

Being a cop might be in Anthony Moretti's blood, but protecting and serving the city of New York has always been more than just the family business. If that means his love life stays locked up, well then that's just another sacrifice made in the line of duty. That is, until he sets eyes on the gorgeous new waitress at The Darby Diner and suddenly Anthony's morning coffee is leaving him a whole lot more hot and bothered than usual.

Though waitressing at The Darby isn't exactly Maggie Walker's dream job, it pays the bills and gives her time to work on her novel. Now if only she could stop fantasizing about gorgeous Anthony Moretti every time he sits down at her table, she'd really be in great shape. But when he needs her help identifying a criminal threatening The Darby-and Maggie recognizes her ex-husband-she fears her fresh start might be a pipe dream. Faster than a New York minute, Maggie and Anthony find themselves in one perilous pursuit that only gets hotter with each and every rule-breaking kiss.

Purchase at IndieBound | Amazon | The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

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A Q&A with Lauren

Do you have any favorite book boyfriends of your own?

I have a ridiculous crush on Clark from Alice Clayton’s Screwdrivered. Or are you asking of my own books? In which case I’d have to say Vincent Moretti and Mitchell Forbes 🙂

What are five books on your night stand/bookshelf?

Other than a handful of cookbooks, I actually don’t have any books in the house. I’m Kindle all the way 🙂 But currently on my reading/TBR list are Jessica Lemmon’s “Bad Boy for Christmas,” Lisa Kleypas’s “Cold-Hearted Rake,” Kate Meader’s “Playing With Fire,” a biography on John D Rockefeller, and Mindy Kaling’s latest memoir.

What’s your favorite quote or scene from your book?

Favorite scene from Steal Me, is when Maggie and Anthony are bickering outside in the rain, and the sexual tension is some of the best I’ve ever written, if I do say so myself!

If your couple’s relationship had a theme song, what would it be?

I listened to Before It Breaks by Brandi Carlisle on repeat while writing this one! I couldn’t even tell you what the song’s about, and don’t ask me about the lyrics, but the tone/mood of the song felt just right.

Tell us about the cover process. Is this what you had in mind?

Covers are mostly up to the publisher. We authors can submit general direction, and we do get to throw in our two cents on whatever they come up with. New York’s Finest is the first and only series of mine that had a cover-shoot (as opposed to using stock photos), and my favorite part was getting the behind-the-scene pics of the hot guys! I’ll confess the covers are a bit different than my usual brand. They’re grittier and a bit more intense. But I’m confident readers will still find trademark Lauren Layne banter inside 🙂

If your book was being made into a movie, who would you include in your dream cast?

I always pictured Jennifer Garner as Maggie, and Sasha Roiz as Anthony, which is probably going to get me into all sorts of trouble since the actor’s not Italian, nor does he even look Italian. But ever since I saw him play Police Captain Renard on the TV show Grimm, I knew I wanted to base a character on his gruff, alpha persona. (hence, why Anthony Moretti’s rank is a … Captain! A subtle homage to the inspiration)

Where do you find inspiration for you writing? Do you use real people/places as a foundation?

Actors and movie/tv characters certainly play a part sometimes, but never people from my “real life.” That just gets too weird. As far as places, most of my books are set in NYC, and the city is really a character all of its own. Even the streets seem to have a personality that make their way into my books! That said, I don’t think that’s something I ever would have taken on if I hadn’t lived there when I first started my writing career. New York is one of those places that is really easy to get wrong.

Do you have any hobbies or activities that you enjoy outside of writing?

Does happy hour count? J Mostly I’m a home-body. I truly love my job, so writing is my favorite way to spend my time. When I need a break, I’m often grabbing a drink with my husband, playing with my spoiled dog, or out for a run when I feel like I’ve spent way too much time sitting.

Would the 10 year-old version of yourself kick your butt or praise you for what you’ve accomplished in life?

Oh man … my 10-year old self was pretty meek. If anything I wish I could go back and kick HER butt, tell her to be a bit more confident in who she was, tell her that being bookish is COOL, being tall is AWESOME, and that her life is going to be JUST FINE even though she can’t play a single sport for the life of her. But to answer the question … I think she’d be proud, but not surprised. Back then, 10 year old Lauren was pretty sure she was going to be an author. It was early adulthood Lauren that lost the vision!

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Read an Excerpt from Steal Me:

Something shifted then. The balance of power. And this time it was in Maggie’s favor.

For as long as she’d known Anthony Moretti, she’d been trying to measure up. Trying not to embarrass herself, trying not to spill on him, embarrassed by her small apartment, embarrassed by her family, even her dog …

But something was shifting

This time, Maggie understood that maybe his life wasn’t any easier than hers. That he had his own demons to fight.

Only … he wasn’t fighting. He was giving up.

She felt an unfamiliar spark of anger.

She could sympathize about what had happened with his ex-girlfriend certainly, but did that really excuse the fact that he was letting external circumstances to dictate his life?

The fact was, he was being a coward. By shutting himself off from risk, he was also shutting out the chance for something more.

“I can’t do complicated,” he said when the silence stretched on.

Maggie nodded. Pursed her lips. Picked up her beer and took one less sip before setting it back on the counter.

She started to move past him towards the front door. Stopped when their shoulders were even, although she didn’t glance at up at him. “That’s too bad. Because this is one time when ‘complicated’ would have been really good.”

Her hand was on the doorknob before he stopped her, pulling her around so hard she slammed up against his chest.

His fingers were rough as they plunged into her hair, but she welcomed the slight pull. Welcomed even more the possessive pull of his lips on her when he claimed her mouth, sinking his tongue into the depths of her mouth without preamble or apology.

Maggie’s fingers were equally greedy as she held onto his hair, her mouth moving restlessly against his. Anthony tilted his head to bring take the kiss even deeper and Maggie moaned.

This is what kissing was supposed to be like.

He pulled back, just slightly, his breath hot and heavy against her face. “Say you want this.”

Her own breath was ragged. “I already told you that.”

His lips found the underside of her jaw. “Say it again.”

Maggie closed her eyes. “I want this.”

I want you.

Anthony lifted her then, as though it were nothing. Just wrapped his arms around her, and swooped her up, southern belle style.

“A girl could swoon with moves like this,” she said, lifting her face up so her lips could nuzzle his neck.

He growled. “I hope a girl will do a lot more than that when I’m done with her.”

Anthony kicked open his bedroom door, and she had the vague sense of a Spartan room, a perfectly made bed, a small dresser, not the tiniest bit of clutter before he set her on the bed.

Maggie started to scoot back to make room from him, but his hand found her knee, stopping her. “I’m in charge.”

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Giveaway!

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About Lauren Layne

A long-time romance reader, Lauren Layne thinks the only thing better than reading about happy endings is writing them. She now pursues a full-time career in Happily Ever After, a job she’s naturally suited for after marrying her high school sweetheart.

A bit of a nomad, Lauren’s lived everywhere from Orange County to Manhattan, and currently lives in the Seattle-area. Her hobbies include coffee by day, wine by night, and lots of writing in between. She’s also a total website nerd and insists you check out laurenlayne.com!