Welcome back to Hell Squad!
It is time for another berserker to take the fall, and we have handsome, inked former biker, Ash Connors, and a certain tech geek, gamer heroine coming up.
I am also SO THRILLED to be able to unveil a new piece of custom Hell Squad artwork by artist MyCKs. This art was commissioned by Hell Squad super fan Karen A. and features Hell Squad’s Claudia and Shaw. It is *so* great!
To celebrate Ash’s cover reveal I have a giveaway of a print and trading cards of the Claudia and Shaw artwork. Scroll right down to the bottom to enter.
Hell Squad: Ash
Release Date: October 3rd
Cover art by the awesome Melody Simmons
Excerpt from Hell Squad: Hemi featuring Ash
Ash Connors carried the bag of alien data cubes down the corridor leading to the tech lab.
Most people would be heading to the dining room for dinner, but he knew one of the geeks would still be in the lab, tinkering with something or hunched over a comp screen. He was in desperate need of a shower. He was still in his armor and covered in alien fluid, sweat, and blood, but he wanted to deliver these cubes first.
God, he was tired. He was weary down to his bones. Most days, it felt like they were always fighting. Ash had never been averse to wading into a fight—when he’d been a kid raised by a rough biker dad, when he’d been Levi’s second-in-command of the Iron Kings, or as a berserker fighting invading aliens.
But right now, tired, aching, and smelling like alien shit, it was hard to remember why he was fighting.
He kicked open the door. A woman jerked in her chair and spun around, blonde curls bobbing.
“Sorry,” he grunted.
Her gaze slid over him, her eyes widening. “Uh…hi.”
He lifted his chin and moved over to a long bench. He upended the bag and cubes dropped down onto the surface.
“Watch out!” The blonde rushed over, nudging him out of the way. “This is delicate equipment here. And you shouldn’t be tossing the cubes around. You might break them.”
Her snarky tone was somewhere between scolding teacher and pissed-off woman. Ash looked down at the top of her head. He couldn’t remember the last time a woman had told him off.
Usually, they got all breathy and fluttered their eyelashes. Or they were fellow soldiers talking in no-nonsense words.
The woman righted the cubes with small hands. She was pretty short compared to him.
“Thought you’d want these right away,” he said.
She glanced up at him with annoyed, clear blue eyes. Then she clearly realized her nose was an inch from his blood-splattered armor, and she backed up a step.
She was cute. Ash had always had a thing for cute.
“Thanks,” she mumbled reluctantly. “Where did you find them?”
“In an underground creeper breeding ground we just blew sky-high.”
Those eyes widened again. But there was no fear or shock, just intelligence and interest. “Wow.” She picked up one of the cubes, turning it over.
And then it was like he didn’t exist. She stared at the cube, and then snatched up another one. It looked like she’d forgotten he was even in the room.
Ash wasn’t used to that, either. He knew he was attractive. Ever since he’d hit puberty, the opposite sex had been interested, starting with a much older cheerleader who’d divested him of his virginity. He was used to women showing him attention.
But this little tech geek seemed oblivious, and he didn’t like that. He moved closer, crowding into her space, and instantly he smelled her. Fresh, clean woman, with a hint of something that made him think of a bunch of sunny flowers.
“We’ll see what we can get off them.” She went still and scowled at him. “You’re too close.”
“I’m not touching you.”
“That’s not the point.” She shot daggers at him. “It’s good manners not to invade someone’s personal space.”
He smiled at her. “Manners aren’t really my thing.”
Her gaze dropped to his lips and she blinked. Then she slid sideways between Ash and the bench to reach her comp. She clicked the data cube into a small cradle.
Information flickered up on the screen. She leaned forward. “Cool. My raptor isn’t that great, but this looks like creeper info. Noah and the others will love this.”
Yep, she’d forgotten he was there again. Luckily, Ash had a pretty healthy ego. He let his gaze slide down her figure. She was wearing a long, flannel shirt over jeans, which made it hard to tell much about what she looked like underneath. But as she leaned over, the shirt hiked up enough for him to note a curvy little ass encased in denim.
He watched as her slim fingers flew across the keyboard and tapped on the screen.
“It has some heavy-duty encryption on parts of the data.” She muttered under her breath. “You can’t keep me out…gotcha!” She stepped back and wiggled her hips in a little victory dance. Then she realized he was still there, and stiffened.
He smiled. Her face was flushed, satisfaction sparkling in her eyes.
“Oh,” she said. “Are you still here?”
He folded his arms over his chest. “Yep.”
Her gaze skated over his arms. He and the rest of his squad rarely wore armor on their arms. She lingered on his tattoos for a long moment, before jerking her attention back to the comp screen.
His cute little geek was noticing him now.
She cleared her throat and touched a key. The alien information disappeared. An image from a computer game blinked onto the screen. A squad of armored soldiers appeared to be fighting their way through monsters.
“You play Pre-Emptive Strike?” he asked.
“A lot of people in the base do.” She hunched her shoulders. “Is this where you ridicule me, and all the other nerds?”
She eyed him warily. “I’m sure a badass soldier like you doesn’t play war games.”
Ash raised a hand and pointed to the carbine on his shoulder. “I’ve got the real thing.”
She swallowed, and he watched her slim throat work. “Right.”
He leaned down and lowered his voice. “But you’d be surprised what games a badass soldier like me enjoys playing.”
She stared at him, her lips parting.
He smiled at her. Yep, she was cute as hell. He watched her gaze slide down to his lips. “Good night, Marin.”
Now her gaze jerked up to his. “You know my name?”
Ash smiled again and turned. As he headed out of the tech lab, he didn’t feel so tired anymore. Apparently, teasing Marin Mitchell was more energizing than a hot shower and a beer.
Hell Squad Claudia and Shaw Art Reveal
A huge thank you to reader Karen A. for making this happen! I can’t wait to frame my original of the painting.
Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2
I just had to mention this! The animals in my books (especially Hell Squad) tend to have very big fangs and not be particularly friendly, but here is an awesome sci-fi romance collection with some very interesting pets.
I’ve already pre-ordered mine. There are some amazing authors in here.
Claudia and Shaw Artwork Giveaway
***Congratulations to the winners (who have all been emailed) – Natasha H won the print and the trading card winners: Melissa S, Debbie P-E, Terry Z, Nancy C and KJ V-H!***
To celebrate the cover reveal of Ash, I’m giving away a 8×10 print of Claudia and Shaw (one winner), and 5 trading cards (five winners).
Please note: artwork is custom ordered from the artist and may take several weeks for delivery. Open internationally and closes on Sunday 24th Sept. Winners notified by email by 28th Sept.
You DO NOT have to use every option below to enter. Just select the one(s) you prefer to do.