Thursday, December 11, 2014

BLOG TOUR STOP: Taken By Story by Tamara Mataya

Leilani’s plan was simple: Return for her father’s wedding, house sit for the happy couple while they went on their honeymoon, then get the hell outta dodge. She’d thought the worst thing would be returning to the town she grew up in (and despised). She was wrong.

A flash flood hits the small town, stranding firefighter, Ryan, and a few strangers at the local bar. Worst of all, Leilani, his old high school rival – and last night’s scorching one-night-stand – is one of the people stuck in the bar. With waters rising, they need to stick together and wait for rescue.

The power grid’s knocked out, and cell phones aren’t working. When the others panic and leave, Leilani and Ryan are left alone in the dark. Fortunately, words aren’t necessary to keep the former rivals warm. But when they’re forced to leave the refuge of each other's arms, they must navigate the flood-ravaged town in order to find safe shelter.
The rising waters brought them together, but rising tempers might tear them apart.

TAKEN BY STORM is inspired by true events.

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She’d spent a good three minutes salivating over his body before she saw his face and realized she knew who he was. Ryan Benton. Two years her senior, his class was one of the wildest to tear through Silver Springs High. They’d banned hazing the year after because the seniors had been so brutal.

Leilani hadn’t been back to this drawn-out yawn of a town since graduation day six years ago. She’d thought nothing could make her return, but her dad managed to guilt her into coming for his wedding to his girlfriend, a lovely woman Leilani adored. It wasn’t the wedding she objected to—it was the location. She even offered, to no avail, to fly everyone to a beach somewhere—an option that looked better by the raindrop. It had been pouring off and on for the past four days, and the heavy rain had forced them to move the ceremony and picnic dinner from Phillip Street Park to the hotel.

The picnic dinner had been switched to a table of refreshments at the dance. Leilani was glad no one would stare at her sitting alone at the wedding party table, wondering why she didn’t have a date. Dad and her new stepmom had left half an hour ago, needing to make the flight Leilani and her older brother Kyle had gifted to the happy couple for their honeymoon. Kyle had made it for the ceremony but had to return to the station—a couple of the other firefighters had caught a vicious stomach bug going around. Leilani was alone.

Was Ryan alone? Was the high school hero trolling her dad’s wedding for skank? He’d always been a big guy, but rangy, not built like he was now. He’d been the hottest jerk in school, and she’d done her best to ignore him. Not easy when she’d had to cheer for him at every football game, and was in the same social circle. Worse, he’d basically followed her around, stealing her thunder in everything from debate team to talent night.
She’d joined the school paper so she could write articles. The next week he’d come to school bragging about how one of his short stories had been published in a real magazine. The glossy evidence came a couple months later in April’s issue. Asshole. At least he’d been older and she wasn’t forced to suffer his presence for her whole high school experience.

Maybe he wasn’t as hot as he used to be. Some people aged horribly. She did a subtle eye sweep of the room, finding him at the bar. His long limbs and shaggy brown hair were pretty much the same as in high school. His back was to her, but the exact deep blue shade of his eyes was seared into her mind. He turned to the older man next to him and they smiled as they talked about something. Damn it. He was good looking. His nose was slightly too big, but matched the rest of his strong features and only made him look masculine and sexy.
Of course, it would be him. Treacherous subconscious must have known. The way he moved captured her attention right away—everything about him screamed man. He was tall, built, muscular, and hot. But Ryan Benton was off-limits. Completely.


I should ask what the hell he’s doing here. He traced patterns in the condensation on his pint glass, and she imagined those strong, cool, damp fingertips on her skin. She licked her lips before noticing his gaze locked on hers in the reflection of the mirror behind the bar. Shit! She ducked through the closest door, heart pounding, and realized she was in the hallway leading to the washrooms. She pushed open the ladies' door, headed for the sink, and trickled cool water over her wrists, hoping to cool the fever racing beneath her skin.

Her family had moved to Silver Springs halfway through Leilani’s freshman year. The town was tiny, and multicultural diversity non-existent. She’d met Ryan and his friends her first day when they swarmed her table in the cafeteria.

About the Author
Tamara Mataya is currently a librarian; she lurked there for so long recommending books to patrons and shushing people, that she suspects they only hired her so it would be less creepy. Now she’s armed with a name tag, and a thin veneer of credibility. She’s also a musician with synaesthesia – which isn't an issue until someone plays a wrong note, which makes her want to squirm inside out. It makes for a good live show.

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