Sunday, October 4, 2015

More Than One Night (Heroes of the Night book #1) by Nicole Leiren - Blog Tour, Excerpt, Author Interview & Giveaway

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More Than One Night 
Heroes of the Night book #1
Nicole Leiren

The Few. The Strong. The Brave.
Melodie Alexander, a children's librarian, prefers to live life between the pages of a book. But when the death of her best friend prompts her to step out of her comfort zone, she finds herself directly in the path of self-proclaimed bad boy, Daniel Bresland.

Daniel knew how to be a solider. Life after war? Not as easy. He served his country in Afghanistan, both in the military and as a private contractor, but fighting the war came at high personal cost. Now he's determined to keep his relationships "casual" in order to protect his heart and prevent anyone from getting too close.

A chance encounter between Melodie and Daniel on a flight to Dallas proves that opposites really do attract. But when scars from the past threaten their new relationship almost before it starts, Daniel must decide if he can risk opening his heart again to convince Melodie he wants more than one night.

* * *

If you love men in uniform and believe the night belongs to lovers, then The Heroes of the Night series is perfect for you! Stories of military heroes, sexy and flawed, and the women they love. 

Daniel paced the length of the telephone cord in his room as he waited for her to answer the phone. After several, heart-stopping rings, he heard the warm, soothing tones of her voice. "Hello."

"Hey, Melodie, it's Daniel."

"What? How did you find me?"

I've got skills. Not wanting her to think he was a stalker, he chuckled. "I wish I could take credit for being a super sleuth, but you introduced yourself to me on the plane, which provided your first and last name. When you ran away last night, it wasn't hard to figure out where you were staying. I also know you didn't get a rental car at the airport, which narrowed the options to the hotel on the same property as the bar as your home away from home."

There was a significant pause. "Sounds like stalking to me, and I didn't run away. What do you want?"

No, you stumbled, desperate to get away from me. "To prove I'm not a total jerk—"

"Not a total jerk. More like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One I really like and want to get to know more, the other…"

"The other is a jerk." No sense denying the truth.

Her smile almost came through the phone. "I was going to say arrogant jerk, but we'll leave it at jerk."

Go time. Damn, this woman intrigued him as no one else had. "Let me prove I'm more Jekyll than Hyde. Have dinner with me tonight."

Another pause. This woman could be responsible for giving him a heart attack at a young age.

"You have one more chance to prove it to me. If Mr. Hyde so much as shows his face tonight, our date with history will never happen."

"You won't be sorry, Melodie. I'll pick you up at five."

He cut the connection, not wanting to give the arrogant jerk part of his personality a chance to say something that would make her change her mind. He rubbed the back of his neck in an effort to ease the tension. Her parting words last night rang in his ears. He hoped he found what he was looking for soon too. He wasn't sure how much more his wounded heart could withstand, and all of the Band-Aids he'd been using to mask the pain were no longer working.


Daniel spotted her before she saw him. God, she was beautiful. Black pants and a dark green sweater. Though not a romantic, he'd heard enough woman-talk to know the color would make her eyes sparkle like jewels in the moonlight.

Maybe a little romantic. Must be the librarian. "Hey, Beautiful."

Her face lit up even as she shook her head, a subtle denial again of his compliment. Regardless, her smile sent a lightning bolt straight to his groin. He wanted this woman—badly.

"Hey, yourself."

Wanting to show he was capable of being a gentleman, he extended his arm to escort her away from the sprawling complex comprising the grounds of her hotel. "Milady," he smiled.

"Are you playing the role of my knight in shining armor tonight?" She laughed as she slipped her hand in the crook of his arm.

"I can make tonight a fairy tale for you, if that's what you want. Although, I may not be as smooth and gallant as the heroes in your books, but I'll do my damnedest to show you a good time."

A look of—was it guilt?—crossed her face. "There's a reason they call it fiction. Life never works out as perfectly as it does in the books."

He opened the door of the Mustang convertible for her and tried not to focus on her long legs or the strappy black sandals showing off sexy, red toenails. "Is that why you read them?"

Quickly closing the door, he strutted around the front of the car. Might as well give her a look at one of my best assets. Sliding in beside her, he brought the engine to life. Something about powerful engines appealed to him. Fast. Dangerous. Loud. Similar to the way he'd lived his life—until recently. He missed his motorcycle back home. Images of Melodie in black leather, straddling his cherry red Ducati, did absolutely nothing to ease the fire burning behind the zipper of his Levis.

"I suppose."

Her softly spoken words dragged him reluctantly out of the fantasy and back to reality. "You suppose what?"

Dark eyebrows creased on her face, adding to the charm of her confusion. "You asked me if I read books because they worked out better than real life. I was answering."

He shifted the car smoothly into gear. "Real life definitely bites sometimes, doesn't it?"

"Definitely." The innocent statement prompted the faraway look on her face again.

Damn, he needed to understand what was going on inside that beautiful head of hers. He didn't want to screw things up before they even started. And, God help him, for once—he didn't want to screw things up. Time to unleash the full gentleman on her.

"All right. Try this compliment on for size. I've never met someone, librarian or otherwise, with eyes as beautiful as yours. They would give emeralds a run for their money in a contest for stunning."

As he hoped, the subject of his compliment, those dazzling eyes, focused on him and, thank God above, they were at a stoplight, so he could return the intensity of her gaze. She offered a slight nod. "Your compliment would give any romance book hero a run for his money."

"Score one for Doctor Jekyll."

Her laughter filled the air, and he couldn't help but smile too. He sent an urgent message to his lower half. The agenda for tonight was different. No bag 'em and tag 'em on this outing. No, the objective for tonight consisted of more laughter and smiles from the beautiful woman sitting next to him. While the head below his belt absorbed the mandate, the one resting above his shoulders realized he wanted more than one night with this woman…definitely more.

"Jekyll–one. Hyde–zero. So far so good. Five minutes down, hours to go." Melodie teased.

Hours to go…Daniel liked the sound of a long night ahead of him. "So, for my next impressive move, I've selected Mi Casa as our dinner choice. You like Mexican food, right?"

"Does Taco Bell count?"

He grinned but cut her a quick look. "We're talking authentic Mexican here. If you're still craving one of those Dorito tacos after dinner, I'll run thru the drive-thru on the way back to your hotel."

"I'm willing to try." She looked out the window, squinting into the bright sun. "Seems a shame to have a convertible in this unrelenting heat. You wouldn't get to put the top down very often, I bet."

His overactive imagination promptly offered up images of Melodie's hair blowing freely in the wind, her expression smiling and uninhibited. He stopped the fantasy short of imagining her spread out on the hood, crying out his name in pleasure. Yeah, he might as well invite Mr. Hyde in for dinner if those illicit thoughts were allowed free rein. "If we take our time at dinner, the sun will set, and the temperature will drop to a bearable level. Then we can put the top down on the way home if you want."

A beautiful mix of happiness, excitement and shyness filled out her complexion. "I'd like that. Thank you."

Score two for Dr. Jekyll…at least one and a half.

A few minutes later, Daniel turned in to the parking lot. A brown building with the name of the restaurant in bold red letters sat prominently in the middle of the lot.

Melodie surveyed the exterior, unique décor of the restaurant. Chalk drawings of different scenes, including guitar players with sombreros, children playing soccer in the streets with brightly colored shirts, and the bold red, white, and green of the Mexican flag. Each drawing offering a colorful panorama of a slice of life in Mexico. "How extraordinary."

Daniel opened her door and extended his hand to help her up. Either accidently or on purpose, he pulled a little too hard, causing her to fall onto him again, reminiscent of their encounter on the airplane. This time, though, his arm circled her waist and steadied her soft frame against his. "I'd say we should stop meeting like this, but I kinda like it."

"You don't hear me complaining, do you?" Her softness pressed into his body, searing everywhere they touched with a heat stronger than the Texas sun at noon. This woman had no idea the affect she had on red-blooded males.

This red-blooded male in particular.

"Me neither, but we should probably get inside before they give away our reservations and," he let his hand slip a little lower until the small of her back rested under his palm, "before you tempt Mr. Hyde out of the dark corner I've relegated him to as punishment for misbehaving yesterday."

She stepped away, giving them both some space. "Good idea." She kissed him gently on the cheek. Leaving her hand in his, she pulled him toward the door.

He followed, like a lamb to the slaughter, knowing without a doubt his life would never be the same after spending time with this enchanting woman.

Nicole is a debut author with her contemporary romance series, Heroes of the Night. She has been an avid reader and lover of books from a very young age. Starting with Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew, and The V.I. Warshawski novels, her love for mysteries grew and expanded to include romance and suspense. A Midwest girl, born and raised, her stories capture the love and laughter in her real world heroes and heroines.

What is your writing process? Do you write from beginning to end or do you skip around?
I’m definitely a chronological writer. One time (and I stress the one LOL) I tried writing out of order. Never again. I had timeline issues, holes in the plot…the list of problems goes on and on J So, after that first and only attempt, I decided logical progression was the best way to ease the chaos of the characters in my mind.

Are there certain scenes that are harder/easier for you to write?
In the first book in the series, More Than One Night, the relationship between the heroine and her mother is strained and not healthy. Because I’ve always had such a great relationship with my mom, it was challenging for me to write a parent who wasn’t supportive and tended to only find fault in her daughter.  I know there are parents out there like that, I consider myself very fortunate to have been blessed with amazing and supportive parents from the very beginning. Because of that, those scenes were especially difficult.

What are you working on now? What is your next project?  
I’m currently working on book 2 in the Heroes of the Night series, “Remember The Night”  which is due out next spring. Once that’s turned in to my agent to review, I’m going to be taking a final pass at a suspense with romantic elements story that I wrote and get it ready for my publisher to take a look at as well :)

What is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process?
In the writing portion, it’s when the characters and plot are set in my mind and the fingers are just flying over the keyboard in an effort to translate the story playing out in my head to the blank page in front of me. Seeing it “come to life” is a wonderful feeling.

With publishing, it’s hard to narrow down my favorite part. I think it’s tied between the moment when the publisher says “YES!” and you feel the exhilaration and validation of your work and when the first reviews start coming in and the readers are enjoying the story you’ve shared. It certainly warms this author’s heart!

What is your least favorite part of the writing/publishing process?
Honestly, the hurry up and wait part. We have deadlines and often have to move very quickly to meet those dates provided by agents/editors/publishers, but then once you turn something in—you just have to wait until someone gets back to you.  As patience is a virtue I’m still working on developing (though, it’s gotten MUCH better since this all started), I find that to be the hardest part.

Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life? 
That’s a great question and I scrolled through several actresses who are now around my age. Since physical likeness isn’t really a possibility LOL, I would say personality wise, Debra  Messing or Angie Harmon. They are both strong, independent women with a soft side, sarcasm and a great sense of humor. That captures a large portion of my personality traits!

Do you love or hate roller coasters? If love, which is your favorite? If hate, why?
LOVE!!  Truthfully, it’s been so long since I’ve had the chance to be on one, I don’t think I can pick a favorite, but any of them that go upside down I adore. It’s a great stress reliever to laugh/scream as you’re being twisted and turned all manner of ways as you move at a high speed. Yeah, I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie!

What is your dream vacation?
I love Hawaii during whale watching season. There’s something awe inspiring about sitting on the beach and watching whales play right where the water turns deep. The ocean is one of my favorite places in the world and the whales, sunset and overall beauty of Hawaii is just icing on the vacation cake :)

Deep dish OR thin crust?
Let the record reflect that I will eat either.  However, having said that, if given a choice, my preference is Chicago deep dish pizza from Giordano’s!

Night owl OR early bird?
Without question, a night owl. I get my second wind about ten in the evening and don’t usually go to sleep until close to 1 in the morning.  I’d stay up later, but the alarm clock is unrelenting. I can’t think of too many things, I’d choose to get up early for!  :)

Call OR text?
Both serve very useful purposes. I love sending a text to a family member or friend just to tell them I’m thinking of them and hope they have a great day. Nothing replaces good old fashioned conversation though. There’s a time and place for both and I try to be very cognizant of that and use them appropriately.

Pepsi OR Coke?
LOL!  I’ll drink either (diet versions of them).  My mother, however, is a Coke woman.  My favorite diet drink is a tie between Diet Mt Dew and Diet Dr Pepper.  Coke Zero comes in a very close third.

Boxers OR briefs?

I literally laughed out loud when I read this question. I’m assuming it means do I prefer my men in boxers or briefs… Well, I prefer their clothing to be as “brief” as possible but if they need to be one or the other, I’d have to choose briefs (for obvious reasons *grin*)

Thanks for having me today and for asking some  GREAT questions!

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  1. Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Jen! I hope everyone enjoys Daniel and Melodie's story!


  2. Thank you for informing me about this wonderful book.