Anna Zabo’s newest release, Outside the Lines, is one you’re definitely not going to want to miss. This queer poly romance is the latest in the Bluewater Bay universe, and it’s out now!
So check out the book below, plus an exclusive excerpt involving pining, sexual tension, and… very small trees? And leave a comment on this post to enter for your chance to win a gift card (details at the bottom)!!
Outside the Lines, by Anna Zabo
A Bluewater Bay Novel
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: December 18, 2017
Miniature artist Ian Meyers has one week to rebuild his damaged set. Needing help, he goes to End o’ Earth, the local comic and gaming shop. Owner Simon Derry pushes all of Ian’s buttons, and he also has steady hands and the skills Ian needs.
Before they can even grab a beer, Ian meets Lydia Derry, Simon’s wife. If Ian had any interest in women, he’d suggest a threesome, but then Simon explains that he and Lydia are polyamorous, and if Ian wants Simon, neither of them will complain. If anything, Lydia encourages the relationship.
Ian’s all in, and it’s fantastic working with Simon to piece together his set and then take each other apart at night. His friendship with Lydia grows too. The only problem is, the more time he spends with Simon, the more he wants everything Simon already has with Lydia: A house. A cat. A commitment. So Ian runs, and shatters the trust he has with them both—right when they need him the most. Piecing their relationships back together might prove harder than a smashed set.
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I felt like some kind of weird thief or secret agent creeping around dumpsters and trash cans in the alley behind Main Street to find the back door to End o’ Earth. Luckily for me, it was well-marked. They all were, actually. I guess that made sense for deliveries. Or weird miniature artists coming to work on models at eight thirty in the morning.
I had two cups of coffee from Stomping Grounds in my hand—coffee with cream for me and a latte with a touch of cinnamon for Lydia. It was her favorite. Or so the barista at the shop had said when I asked.
“You know, she’s married,” she’d said.
My chuckle had likely been as dark as black coffee. “Yeah, I know. The Derrys are doing me a favor. I figured coffee wouldn’t hurt.” And Lydia was totally not the Derry I was after. Had been after.
Here I was at Lydia’s door. I pressed the bell and waited. A few moments later, the door swung open, and she poked her head out. “Hi, Ian! You’re here.”
“Yup, as promised.” I handed the coffee to her. “I’m told you’ll enjoy this.”
She pushed the door open wider and ushered me in. “You didn’t have to get me coffee.”
Her smile was bright and charming, and sent warmth into my soul. “Yeah, I did. You have no idea how much you’re helping me, letting me borrow Simon.” We walked down a small corridor past what was probably her studio, given all the art I spied inside.
“Don’t worry about it. I don’t mind.” Lydia took a sip of her coffee. “And Simon likes to be borrowed.”
I tried not to spew mine out through my nose. Does he? No, no. I was reading a little too much into that. We reached the main part of the shop and Lydia pointed the way to where Simon and I had been working before—though I’d guessed the direction. We’d come out behind the counter and I had excellent spatial memory. Had to. Kind of came with the territory.
“I suppose I’ll get to work.”
“Holler if you need anything.” She swallowed another mouthful of coffee and practically purred in pleasure before heading into the back.
Same little flutter in my soul. Yeah, the coffee had been a hit. I’d have bought Simon one too, but by the time he came in, it would have been cold. Simon hated cold coffee. The barista told me that too. “Even in the summer, he likes it blazing hot.” I had no idea what I’d do with that tidbit of information.
Nothing. I’d do nothing at all because I wouldn’t be doing anything with Simon, other than working on my set in his shop.
I needed to get my head out of my ass. After another gulp of my coffee, I took stock of what needed to be done today, and started working. Some time passed and I was deep into gluing the bark Simon had pieced back together onto the tree supports when I heard the murmur of his voice at the front of the shop. Lydia’s too. A zip of conflicting emotions went through me: Lust, jealousy, warmth, joy. I liked the Derrys. Both of them.
What a fucking hell that was.
I focused on the model and maneuvered another piece of bark into position while I listened to the soft fall of shoes on the carpet.
When I straightened, Simon spoke. “Hey.” He was clearly a bundle of nerves, bright-faced and excited.
All my buttons got pressed again and I fought to shut that shit down. As adorable as he was—Simon was Lydia’s. And she was his. They were so fucking lucky. That was enough of a rock lodged in my stomach to quell desire. “Hey. You free, or . . .”
“For the next fifteen or so, until it’s time to open. After that, it’ll be catch as catch can until Dexy comes in at two.” He scratched the back of his head. “Is there anything I can work on that I can pick up and put down?”
There was. I had Simon find the bag that held the other sculpted pieces I’d made. The altar, rocks, all the details, and asked him to inspect them for chips or missing paint. “Any piece that doesn’t look like that”—I pointed to the photos of both my undamaged set and the life-sized one—“needs to look like that.”
“So, repair and repaint?” Simon peered at the photos.
“You up for the work?”
His grin took my breath away. “Dude, you have no idea.” His smile became more serious. “I’m so glad you walked through that door.”
His expression—I knew that twist of lips and frown. The longing, the need. Maybe it was sexual or artistic. Didn’t matter. Sent blood to my cheeks . . . and lower. “Me too.” It came out too deep, but it was true. Simon was like fresh air. I wanted to breathe in as much of him as I could, while I could. And like clean, crisp air, I hadn’t known I’d needed him until I experienced his presence.
Except, of course, I couldn’t have him. Not in all the ways I wanted. “If you want help . . .”
“I’ll let you know.” He spoke quietly, and for a moment, it looked as if he’d say something else, but he furrowed his brows, and bent to study the photos instead.
I went back to putting bark onto trees.
Anna Zabo writes contemporary and paranormal romance for all colors of the rainbow. They live and work in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which isn’t nearly as boring as most people think.
Anna grew up in the wilds of suburban Philadelphia before returning to their ancestral homelands in Western Pennsylvania. As a child they were heartily disappointed to discover that they couldn’t grow up to be what they wanted (a boy, a cat, a dragon), so they settled on being themself whenever possible, which may be a combination of a boy, a cat, and a dragon. Or perhaps a girl, a knight, and a writer. Depends on whom you ask. They do have a penchant for colorful ties and may be hording a small collection of cufflinks.They can be easily plied with coffee.
Anna has an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, where they fell in with a roving band of romance writers and never looked back. They also have a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.
To celebrate the release of Outside the Lines, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 23, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!