Cover Reveal & Preorder
Title: Because Beards
Genre: Anthology, Romance
Cover Design: Jessica Hildreth
Photographer: Wander Aguiar
Cover Model: Jacob Rodney
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Happy #CoverReveal for the Because Beards Anthology!
Be it a little scruff or a full-length beard, there’s nothing more attractive than a man with a well-groomed face. Masculine. Powerful. Sexy. Devoted. Lose yourself in this tantalizing collection of original short stories by your favorite romance authors in support of a great cause. Hipster CEO, bartender, best friend, baseball player—just to name a few—these men all have one thing in common: they’re bearded for your pleasure and deliver one hell of a happy ever after.
All proceeds from this anthology will be donated to The Movember Foundation, an organization that supports charities in the research and treatment of prostate and testicular cancer as well as other men’s health initiatives.
Written By: Alexis Alvarez, Faith Andrews, M. Andrews, Jeannine Colette, Hayley Faiman, Angelita Gill, Ace Gray, Ruthie Henrick, Scott Hildreth, Evie Lauren, Jerica MacMillan, R.C. Martin, Emmanuelle de Maupassant, Leslie McAdam, Maria Monroe, Adrienne Perry, J. Quist, Renee Rose, Kacey Shea, Martha Sweeney, and Tom Sweeney.
Excerpt One: No Joke By: Kacey Shea
He leans forward, resting his elbows and forearms on the counter so our faces are inches apart. I’m trying to be pissed here, but with him this close I get distracted studying the way the blue in his eyes catches the dim light.
“People watching,” he murmurs, his tone a seductive allure.
“Huh?” I’m still lost in those eyes and don’t remember exactly what we’re discussing.
“The way you watch people. It’s something a writer does. Finds entertainment and joy in the mundane of life. It’s beautiful, really.”
“I never thought of it that way.”
“So, what is it that you write?” His voice is back to a casual pitch and I relax.
“Ah . . . I knew with that mouth you’d have to have a naughty side. What kind of romance? Fifty Shades or the Fabio-grandma type stuff?”
I roll my eyes. “You do realize there’s so much more to it than that?” A little laugh escapes my lips and his gaze drops to my mouth. I feel the need to lick the parched skin.
Fuck. I’m so screwed.
“Only if you want to be,” he says and his eyes blaze with the same heat I feel all over my skin.
“You said, ‘Fuck, I’m so screwed,’ and not gonna lie. I’d like to help you with that.”
Excerpt Two: The Beard Made Me Do It
By: Scott Hildreth
I grabbed my purse, turned toward the bathroom, and began to walk away. Carefully placing each foot in front of the other, and at least attempting to look sophisticated, I intentionally walked past the bearded wonder positioned between me and the restroom.
As I walked by, I glanced over my shoulder.
I would have sworn our eyes met.
Maybe it was because I wanted them to.
Either way, he was the most handsome man I had ever seen.
After relieving myself of the afternoon’s alcohol, I stood at the sink and stared blankly into the mirror. Mentally preparing to talk to the magnificent stranger, I was convinced I had what it took – short of a little courage – to impress him.
I turned toward the door, inhaled a breath of bravery, and pulled it open.
Standing on the other side of the door stood the bearded wonder. Wearing a shitty little smirk, it appeared he knew I was coming. Although I had many things planned to say, and many more I wanted to say, I executed none of my plans.
Instead, I stepped to the side, gazed at him with wide eyes, and muttered a half-hearted apology as I passed. “Sorry,” I squeaked.
His hand gripped my shoulder lightly.
My legs began to shake. I turned around.
“You’re single, adventurous, and have no problem keeping a secret,” he said flatly. I couldn’t help but notice that his teeth seemed as white as the winter snow, but it was his beard that commanded my attention.
I stared back at it – and him – in disbelief.
His eyes narrowed slightly. “Am I right?”
My eyes were still fixed on his beard. I nodded. “Uh huh.”
He reached for my hand, turned toward the back door, and paused. “You’re going to come with me.”
Excerpt Three: How To Kill a Lady Boner
By: Ace Gray
I was bent over the pool table, about ready to sink the eight ball, when a pair of skinny jeans came into view. The legs those pants wrapped around were muscular, and the man was obviously tall. What was even better was that they barely contained what made a man a real man. I couldn’t help but smirk and shoot the ball right at, well, his balls.
“Nice one.” A smooth, rich voice traveled down my spine and made my skin goosebump. I was incredibly glad I’d worn a V-neck that put my cleavage on display. I tried to shimmy the well-worn fabric down as I stood up.
My face fell. Of course, a beard waited for me. One of the big ones you could easily confuse with a grizzly bear vagina.
On second look, The Beard waited for me. I scrunched my face up and bent back down to fish for pool balls so I could re-rack and move on. I kept my head down and my hands busy despite the full weight of his stare.
“Can I play?” he purred at me, literally purred like a jungle cat or something. I arched my eyebrows and looked up at him from underneath my lashes at the ridiculous sound.
“I’m playing with my friend. You can have winner if she doesn’t care.” My eyes dropped back to the table as I spoke.
“Deal.” There was a hint of laughter in his voice and it had me pursing my lips as I stood.
It only took a quick scan of the room to see Mandy had disappeared from my side. She was halfway across the bar, standing next to her brother and some bearded dude.
Her hand rested on his pec as she threw her head back and laughed a little too loud. I’d been abandoned in favor of facial hair. Rough, haggard, stringy, wiry pubic hair. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes.
“Looks like you’re up,” I said begrudgingly.
“Don’t sound so disappointed. I’m decent enough.” His voice was laced with humor again.
“I’m sure you are.”
I shook my head and turned to pick up my pool cue. The Beard kept watching me, his eyes had a way of boring into the back of my skull that I felt resonate through me. When I turned around, he was chalking the end of a cue stick with long fingers and self-assured ease, while his eyes stayed fixed on me. He obviously hunted women like prey and, considering his face looked like something straight out of the year 1880, I wasn’t surprised. I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes again.
When he quirked his eyebrow up and stepped confidently toward me, I settled for shaking my head instead.
“My name’s Graham by the way. Graham Foster.”
He held out his hand and I eyed it like he’d extended a rabid weasel.
“I know who you are.” The very idea that he had probably run his hand through his beard kept mine in place. He probably grabbed his balls then stroked his chin and that made my stomach turn.
I bent back down and his crotch was in view again. His big, bulging, about to break free of his denim crotch. Apparently, my snatch was more alive than I’d originally thought. Even the hint of a giant salami made my knees falter. I shook my head and blew out a deep breath before I took a shot. The balls hit against each other with a crisp clack and then shot across the table.
“Are you a Seattle Sounders fan or something?” His laugh was still peeking out through his voice.
“Nah. I prefer Euro Leagues, actually, but the Timbers do just fine for an evening of entertainment.” I pocketed another stripe then shrugged.
“An evening of entertainment? Wow.” He laughed and it was husky, warm, almost like a blanket you could cuddle into during a Pacific Northwest winter. I wanted to lose myself in that laugh. “That’s all you see when you watch me? I’m like an old episode of Friends or something?”
“I was always partial to Sex and the City or Gossip Girl, but yeah, essentially.”
I nailed two balls in before missing. Only then did I stand and meet his gaze.
“You always this hard on a guy trying to buy you a drink?” He watched me plop onto a stool before bending over to work the solids.
I was treated to the perfect ass-shelf again and everything below my belly button clenched.
He hit in two balls, each shot making his muscles ripple beneath his perfectly fitting clothes before missing a third. He’d made his way over toward my perch for the botched shot and, when he stood, we were almost pressed against each other. He turned, putting his chiseled chest smack in front of me. I sucked in a deep breath in spite of myself.
“I have a drink,” I stammered.
He wordlessly pulled it from my hand and slugged it back.
Excerpt Four: Fortune Favors the Beard
By: Alexis Alvarez
I got you a present.” I smile at him and bounce on my toes.
“Oh, you did?” His voice goes low and husky. “Can I unwrap it right now?” He undoes the top button of my blouse and flicks the material aside. “Can I guess what it is?” He drops a kiss onto my neck, letting his lips linger.
I close my eyes and sigh, enjoying the feel of his mouth and his hands on my body. “Of course. You get three tries.”
“Oh, I do? Just three?” He opens another button and cups my breast through the bra. “Here’s one.” He reaches back to squeeze my ass. “Two.” Then he strokes the front of my skirt right at the apex of my thighs, a touch that melts me even through the fabric. “And three. How about these three?”
“Good choices,” I murmur, grabbing both of his ass cheeks through his jeans. I’ll never get tired of his ass – so hard and sexy. “But there’s something else, too.”
“Something else? Really?” He bites my earlobe and I squeak out.
“A real thing! A present.”
“Oh, this is as real as it gets,” he argues and smacks my ass once.
I yelp. “Something in a box.”
“I want the box,” he agrees, and laughs, rubbing more insistently.
I push his hand back. “First you can open this, though. Then you can have my…box. You’re gross.”
“You love it.” He’s arrogant and confident and he’s right. I do love it. But I really want to give him his present.
I grab a gift bag from the counter and thrust it at him. “Here. You can open it now.”
“For me?” His face lights up, eager, like a kid at Christmas, and he grabs out the fluffed up tissue paper and tosses it to the floor. “I still have no idea why you women put this crap in here.” But he’s pawing through it to get to the prize. “What it is?” He pulls out the small black velvet box and shakes it. “I hope it’s a jeweled butt plug that I get to put into your ass.”
“Stop! It’s not that. If I get you that, you’re not going to find it in a box. I’ll surprise you by wearing it to bed one night.”
His hands freeze on the bag. “Really?” I’ve never heard a more interested voice.
About Leslie McAdams
Bestselling author Leslie McAdam writes about the men you fantasize about. Her first published novel, The Sun, and the Moon, won a 2015 Watty, which is the world’s largest online writing competition. She lives in a drafty old farmhouse on a small orange tree farm in Southern California with her husband and two children.
Join her active Facebook fan group, Southwinds Coffee, for near-constant man candy and giveaways: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthwindsCoffee/
Follow her everywhere!
About Alexis Alvarez
Alexis Alvarez is an author, photographer, and digital designer who loves writing steamy romances. Her female heroines are always strong, intelligent women who fall for the sexiest guy around...and get the happy-ever-after ending of their dreams.
You can usually find Alexis hanging out with her family or her sisters, who are also romance writers, at their website, Graffiti Fiction. The three of them love to drink wine together and laugh like hyenas while making dirty jokes and inappropriate comments. Their mom is very proud.
Alexis loves meeting new people on Facebook, so please come on by and say hello. Thanks and happy reading!
Amazon Author Page:
Facebook Author Page:
About Kacey Shea
Kacey Shea is a mom of three, wife, and indie author who resides in sunny Arizona. She enjoys reading and writing romance novels as much as her son loves unicorns, which is a lot.
She has an unhealthy obsession with firefighters. It could be the pants. It could be the fire. It's just hot and on occasion, she has been known to include them, without their knowledge, in her selfies outside the grocery store. Kacey’s contemporary romance novels are a mix of humor and heat, all the while weaving a story that brings readers joy and keeps them guessing every turn of the page!
About Angelita Gill
Angelita is the author of fun, sexy contemporary romance, where the heroes tend to drop sexual innuendo, and the heroines have all the real power.
When she’s not torturing them to their happily-ever-after, Angelita loves volunteering for the arts, spending time with her own alpha hero and dancing with her friends while she tries not to spill her wine. Sign up for her newsletter here.
About Ace Gray
Ace Gray is a self-proclaimed troublemaker and connoisseur of both the good life and fairy tales. After a life-long love affair with books, she undertook writing the novel she wanted to read, which culminated in her first release STRICTLY BUSINESS than the remainder of the MIXING BUSINESS WITH PLEASURE SERIES and now the TWISTED FAIRY TALE series. Often she is referred to as the creator of adult Highlights and the Oprah of D. Insert winky face emoji here…
When she’s not writing, she owns her own business teaching Pilates and slings brews at Deschutes Brewery. She loves rainy days, shellac manicures, coffee shops and bourbon—all of which are bountiful in her adopted home of Portland, OR where she runs amok with her chef husband and two huskies.
Sign up for the wild and crazy newsletter here:
Please follow Ace on social media at:
About Scott Hildreth
Born In San Diego California, Scott now calls Naples, Florida home. Residing along the gulf of Mexico with his wife and children, he somehow finds twelve hours a day to work on his writing. A hybrid author who has published more than two-dozen romance and erotica novels, his three book Mafia Made series through Harlequin is due to start release with the first book in summer 2016.
Scott has spent his entire life pushing boundaries, and his writing is no exception. His books are steamy, however, they always include an HEA, and have no cheating, no sex outside the relationship, and no OW OM drama.
Addicted to riding his Harley-Davidson, tattoos, and drinking coffee, he can generally be found in a tattoo shop, on his Harley, or in a local coffee house when not writing.
Loyal to the fans and faithful followers who allowed him to make writing a full-time career, Scott communicates with his followers on Facebook almost daily. He encourages his readers to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook “OFFICIAL”: www.facebook.com/ScottDHildreth
About J. Quist
Whether growing up with five sisters in a small midwestern town (population 700), cleaning campground restrooms (yes, totally gross), teaching patients to walk again (awesome career), J. Quist is always surrounded by interesting people. Where there are people, there are stories. So many stories to tell.
Some of her favorite things include Duran Duran, iced tea, all sports, books, musicals, soccer boys, and neuroanatomy. Oh, and tacos. Don’t forget the tacos.
J. Quist lives in the concrete desert metropolis of Phoenix with her husband and three daughters. You can find her on the sidelines of her kids’ soccer games, working with special needs children as physical therapist, reading all the books and cheering for her beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers and Liverpool Football Club.
About Faith Andrews
Faith Andrews is living out her dream right outside the greatest city in the world, New York City. Happily married to her high school sweetheart, she is the mother of two beautiful and wild daughters, and a furry Yorkie son named Rocco Giovanni.
When she’s not tapping her toes to a Mumford & Sons tune or busy being a dance mom, her nose is stuck in a book or she’s sitting behind the laptop, creating her next swoon worthy book boyfriend. Coffee addict, lover of wine and cheese, and a sucker for concerts and Netflix, Faith believes in love at first sight and happily ever after.
About Renee Rose
USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR RENEE ROSE is a naughty wordsmith who writes BDSM and spanking romance novels. Named Eroticon USA’s Next Top Erotic Author in 2013, she has also won The Romance Reviews Best Historical Romance, and Spanking Romance Reviews’ Best Historical, Best Erotic, Best Ageplay and favorite author.
She's hit #1 on Amazon in the Erotic Paranormal, Western, and Sci-fi categories and is a contributor to Write Sex Right and Romance Beat. She also pens BDSM stories under the name Darling Adams.
To receive free copies of her books Theirs to Punish, Her Billionaire Boss, The Alpha’s Punishment and Disobedience at the Dressmaker’s, sign up for her newsletter here.
About Martha Sweeney
Martha Sweeney is an Amazon Best-Selling author for her Just Breathe trilogy and her writing has just begun. She plans on writing in a variety of genres other than just romance, some of which will overlap into mystery, suspense, and science fiction, and has already released a book-themed coloring book entitled “Bookish.”
Martha has been creative since she was little, always drawing, coloring or making crafts. When her adult life kicked in, her creative outlet disappeared until she discovered Adobe Creative Suite products. Now, Martha is a self-taught graphic and website designer, works with her husband on their business, and writes into the wee hours of the night.
She lives in sunny California and has recently begun to enjoy reading in the past few years, unlike in high school or college which has sparked her new creative avenue of writing.
About Maria Monroe
Hi! I’m Maria Monroe, contemporary romance author. I’m honored to be part of this anthology, which benefits such an important cause.
I hope you enjoyed Tessa and Ben’s adventure participating in the Wife Carrying Competition (which is actually a real thing)! Tessa’s friend Jessica is the star of my book The Rescue, which takes place in the same fictional town of Deerfield, ME, as this story does. And my novel Julian & Lia is about an innocent freshman at Maine University at Deerfield (MUD), who meets sexy college senior Julian.
I love connecting with readers. Please feel free to contact me!
About Adrienne Perry
Adrienne Perry writes contemporary erotic romance with plenty of heat and humor. When she’s not writing fiction, she is a professional science writer and in her spare time, she likes to warp young minds (but only those of her own children and sometimes her nieces and nephew).
For more information about Adrienne and her two real-life sisters, who also write romance novels visit http://graffitifiction.com.
About Jeannine Colette
Jeannine Colette is the author of the Abandon Collection, a series of standalone novels featuring dynamic heroines who have to abandon their reality in order to discover themselves . . . and love along the way.
A graduate of Wagner College and the New York Film Academy, Jeannine went on to become a Segment Producer for television shows on CBS and NBC. She left the television industry to focus on her children and pursue a full-time writing career. She lives in New York with her husband, the two tiny people she adores more than life itself, and a rescue pup named Wrigley.
About R.C. Martin
R.C. Martin is a dreamer of stories and a writer of words. Forever a Colorado girl at heart, the Rocky Mountains is where her characters come to life and their journeys begin. For more from R.C. Martin, be sure to visit her social media pages!
About Hayley Faiman
Hayley Faiman is an only child, born in California. She currently resides in Texas with her husband, of twelve years, their two boys, and a chocolate lab named Optimus Prime.
About Ruthie Henrick
Ruthie’s an Arizona girl, married to her high school sweetheart and mama to three grown sons. She writes contemporary romance with heroes who make you swoon, yet might live right next door. She’s a true romance junkie and a lifetime avid reader who spent far too much time shushing the voices in her head—until the day she sat down at her keyboard to see what all those voices had to say.
She's a big fan of coffee and easy to cook meals, and she loves country music. It's generally the soundtrack to whatever she has going on. At work, doing housework, in the car—the music is always on. Except when she writes—that she does in silence.
Ruthie loves chatting with other readers, sharing her favorite books and authors, and discovering those new to her. Go by and hang out with her on any of her social media!
Amazon Author Page:
About Jerica MacMillan
Jerica MacMillan is a lifelong reader and lover of romance. Nothing beats escaping into a book and watching people fall in love, overcome obstacles, and find their happily ever after. She is the author of six books in two series: Players of Marycliff University and The Rebound Series. She was named a semifinalist in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write 2015 contest.
Jerica is living her happily ever after in North Idaho with her husband and two children. She spends her days building with blocks, admiring preschooler artwork, and writing while her baby naps in the sling. Sign up to join her Book Club at www.JericaMacMillan.com and get a free book! you can hang out with her in her closed reader group on Facebook—Jerica MacMillan’s Book Junkies.
About Evie Lauren
Evie Lauren resides near the beautiful mountains of Arizona, but was born and raised in Florida and is a beach girl at heart. She writes young adult fiction under the pen name R.S. Reed. While her passion has always been her young adult series, L.I.A., romance at any age is a story that she loves to tell, and the characters from her short story Hometown Prince have quickly become two of her favorites.
Thank you for the support and the love, and for taking time to spend a few minutes in Hannah and Rhett’s little corner of the world. To keep up to date on all of her new projects, check out her website, and follow the links on that page for her social media.
About M. Andrews
M. Andrews resides in the suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two daughters. She is a self-proclaimed cupcake hound and coffee addict who loves to write sticky sweet erotic romance. M is the author of the Gambling on Love Series and the Sticky Sweet Series.
About Tom Sweeney
Wanting to expand his creativity and storytelling skills beyond music, Thomas has now added being an indie author to his repertoire. He’s already working on two new stories, one of which is a continuation of his first novel, “The Harem.”
Thomas has read a lot of great and inspiring books over the years. From training and experience in this wonderful thing we call life, he was inspired to become an author.
About Emmanuelle de Maupassant
Emmanuelle de Maupassant lives with her husband (maker of tea and fruit cake) and her hairy pudding terrier (connoisseur of squeaky toys and bacon treats).