Dec 4, 2014

{Book Blitz: Q&A + Excerpt + Giveaway} of Hands Off by Candy J. Starr


One hundred days without sex? Is that even possible?
When I got offered an exchange to the Italian art school of my dreams, I nearly cried. I could barely afford college expenses at home let alone in a foreign country but it’d break my heart to knock them back. Then my rich and uptight grandmother called with her offer.
If I stopped screwing around, she'd foot the bill. So I agreed. I figured she didn't really care about my sex life, she just wanted me to keep my partying off the radar.
I was so wrong.
The sexy but annoying Chad moved into my apartment to keep me under surveillance. Why wasn't Chad dying to get into my pants like every other guy I've met? He had secrets and he wanted me to fail.
One hundred days is a helluva long time to avoid temptation – even longer when Chad becomes the temptation.

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Candy J. Starr Bio:

Candy J. Starr used to be a band manager until she realised that the band she managed was so lacking in charisma that they actually sucked the charisma out of any room they played. “Screw you,” she said, leaving them to wallow in obscurity – totally forgetting that they owed her big bucks for video equipment hire.

Candy has filmed and interviewed some big names in the rock business, and a lot of small ones. She’s seen the dirty little secrets that go on in the back rooms of band venues. She’s seen the ugly side of rock and the very pretty one.

But, of course, everything she writes is fiction.

Twitter: @candyjstarr

Excerpt Four

I still wanted to close the distance that had grown between us but I had no ideas on that either. The only thing I knew about Chad was that he went to the gym.
Before I could stop my mouth from talking, the words popped out.
“Hey Chad, I've been thinking about getting in shape. How about I go to the gym with you sometime?”
Surely, he'd say yeah then never, ever mention it again.
“Really? I was thinking of going soon. You could come with me.”
“Well, not tonight obviously. I've been drinking and I don't have any gear.”
“You've had one sip of wine and you don't need anything special. You could wear your Chucks and a pair of tights. There you go. Sorted.”
He'd jumped up, grinning. Well, I'd definitely closed that distance. He was far too enthusiastic.
“This is going to hurt, isn't it?”
He shook his head.
“You'll be fine. We'll take it slow.”
I really needed an excuse to get out of this. Some kind of injury maybe.
“Actually, we should leave it for a few weeks. My ankle hasn't fully recovered yet.”
Perfect. Absolutely perfect. He couldn't deny that.
“We can work around that.”
Damn it. He really wanted to do this and, if it made him happy, how could I refuse? He had a cancer mother. And I'd mocked him for it. It was like I had a lifelong bond now to do whatever made him happy. I couldn't fake my way out of this one.
I went into my room and got changed. I so did not look like a gym bunny. I had paint streaks on every t-shirt I owned. Well, apart from the good ones but I didn't want them getting all sweaty and gross. The only socks I could find weren't a matching pair. The tights, well I rocked them so it wasn't a complete loss.
“You ready?” Chad called. At least getting to see Chad's body in action at the gym would be a definite plus. Except that it wasn't, because I had to stop thinking of Chad as a man.
“Is this going to cost much?”
“Na, I'll get you a guest pass.”
I couldn't talk in the car. I was too nervous.
We walked into the gym and I nearly tripped over just on the step near the door. Not a good sign at all. I would die in that place. It wasn't even one of those nice gyms. The reek of testosterone and man sweat reminded me of just how many days it'd been since my last sex. I didn't need any cardio to get my pulse rate racing. Dodgy music pounded out through the loudspeakers, way too loud for comfort.
Chad set me up on a treadmill at a nice easy walking pace to warm up and took off to do his own thing. Well, I thought it was a nice easy walking pace for the first couple of minutes. Then it got uncomfortable. I'd have turned the speed down on the machine but Chad would know when he came back and, also, I wasn't sure the machine would go any slower. I was so unfit.
After that, he took me around the weight stations. He got me doing lunges.
“You are a total liar, Chad. I hate you!”
“You said this wouldn't hurt.” It hurt. Trust me, it hurt. I knew it would hurt even more the next day. Chad was an evil man.
“You've only done five lunges!” But he said it with that cheeky glint in his eyes. It made the pain worth it to see that again. “Do another five more and you can stop.”
It took all the grit I had in me to do those next five lunges.
“Okay, can we go now?”
“We're just getting started. And it's only the first set.”
God, he made me work out body parts I didn't know I had. All kinds of nasty torture.
“Are we going to do those?” I asked and pointed to a guy working out on the other side of the gym.
“Chin ups? They're a bit advanced...”
“Yeah, but they look so kickass.”
“I guess we could do some modified form.”
We went over to the chin up bar and waited for the guy to finish. He'd taken his shirt off and tucked it in his back pocket. A snake tat spiralled around the muscles of his arms, which flexed each time he raised himself up. A sheen of sweat glistened on his skin. I bit my lip and watched. Shitola, it'd been a long time.
Chad cleared his throat. When the guy moved off, Chad stepped up and showed me what to do. He totally felt threatened by the other guy. He did that guy thing they do when they feel like someone has stepped all over their man turf. Watching him heave his body up and down like that though, I had no complaints.
Well, I had one. He could've taken his shirt off like the other guy had. Damn it. At least he was sleeveless.
“Did you hear a word I said?”
I nodded. Then thought he might make me do the same thing. “Nope, not a word.”
“Come here.”
I walked up and he put his hands each side of my waist. A shudder went through me. A shudder of hot thrills that ran into every nerve ending. I took a deep breath and tried to think of anything except Chad's sweaty body almost touching my back. It was totally the closest I'd been to sex in recent memory.
I reached up and grabbed hold of the bar above me. And the thought went through my head that there was a bar I'd much rather grab. His hands squeezed tighter around me. So firm and sure. He raised me up until my head was level with the bar.
“You are supposed to use your arms too. I'm here to help, not to do all the work.”
“I'm working, I'm working.”
He lowered me down.
“Use your strength this time”
I noticed the difference without Chad helping. I could feel every muscle straining. I groaned and grunted but didn't seem to get any further. I gripped the bar tighter and my grunts became guttural and deep. I didn't even make noises like that during sex.
“I said use your strength.”
“I did. I used all my strength.”
We tried a couple more. I got hotter with each one.
“Well, I won't need to do much else today,” Chad said. “You're much heavier than you look.”
I dusted my hands off and poked my tongue out at him. I was not that heavy.
Then Chad wanted me to do another set of EVERYTHING. The whole idea made me groan. But Chad seemed so happy helping me out and ordering me around. It'd be worth the pain and agony of another set to let him have his fun. I guess I could keep up the suffering.
Every single lunge made me wince with pain. Every time I picked up a barbell, I twinged with agony. Then we got back to the chin up bar.
“Can you do it again?”
My body said no but my libido said yes. I wanted Chad's hands on me again. I wanted to have the length of his body against my back. I wanted to feel the deep breath on my skin as he exerted himself in picking me up.
Sweat beaded on my skin each time I raised myself but I never wanted Chad to let me go. Even if I couldn’t move my arms tomorrow, I’d do this until –
I fell in a heap on the floor. Bastard Chad had let go!
Chad told me to get down on the mats. That sounded dirty but it was just to stretch. I lay on my back and Chad moved in to raise my leg up. He pushed against it with his body, stretching it toward my head. His hands worked my thigh and my calf. I was sure he was doing that on purpose. I tried to catch his eye. It was more than my sex starved body could handle. Then he moved on to the other one. I wanted his hand to move down my inner thigh.
God, I had to get out of this situation. If I had his hands on my body any more, I'd end up jumping him for sure and that was not what this was about.
And I should not be tempting him.
“Hey, I took up all your gym time,” I said, easing myself away from him. “You didn't get to work out.”
Chad sat down beside me, doing some stretches of his own.
“That's okay, it was fun.”
He grinned at me in a way that made my heart flutter.
“Yeah, it was but I’ll be dead in the morning.”
“You can have a rest day before we start up again. You're not bad, for a beginner.”
I smiled at him and some cross beam of our gazes caught, tangled up, so that we ended up just sitting there on those smelly mats looking at each other. The world seemed to bump and spin. I was sure it was just some weird blood pressure thing from all that extreme exercise. I had to look away but I wasn't sure I could.
“I've got to jump in the shower,” I said. I must've looked awful, all red and sweaty-faced.
I made that shower good and cold to watch all the dirty Chad thoughts out of me.


Q. Where did you get the idea for Hands Off! The 100 Day Agreement?
A. I really liked the idea of having a main character, a female character, who is a total party girl. Lucy likes sex and she’s confident in her own sexuality.  So putting her in a situation where she wants it but can’t have it, sets lots of sparks flying.  
Of course, it doesn’t help that she has some major temptation put in her way.  Chad was a great hero to write. He’s so laid back and non-responsive to Lucy’s shenanigans.
After writing about bad boys, I wanted to have a hero is still an alpha male type but is a nice guy too – even if Lucy doesn’t seem him like that to start with.
Q. How is Hands Off different from your other books?
A. For starters, it’s a stand-alone novel rather than a series (although Lucy’s friend, Jayne, is crying out to have her own story told). There is none of the cliff-hanger endings that people love to hate.
Lucy is an art school student and her studies and creativity feature in Hands Off.  I started my academic life studying fine arts before doing a complete 180 and changing to Business Studies, and I found the art school environment is much crazier than most college facilities.
Q. How is Hands Off the same as your other series?
A. I hadn’t even realised this until I finished writing Hands Off but I tend to write characters that have money issues. Those issues can put them into situations that challenge them and open them up to possibilities that they’d never dreamed of.
Like the Bad Boy Rock Star series, Hands Off is about opposites attracting.
Q. What was your favourite scene to write?
A. There is a scene early in the book where Lucy wants to escape from Chad’s surveillance.  With her friend, Jayne, they make a break for it but end up having to waddle around the college car park to escape detection. That was really fun to write.
Q. What was the hardest scene to write?
Without giving away any spoilers, there was a scene where Lucy had to do something awful. She does it for the right reasons but it was still very hard to write.  It’s difficult, emotionally, to put your characters in devastating situations.
Q. What do you do when you are not writing?
A. Napping – I love naps. And drinking coffee, which I guess is counterproductive to napping. We have a beagle so I spend a lot of time playing games with her. Recently I have been creating obstacle courses around the house for her. It means the house is constantly in disarray but it’s so much fun.
I don’t watch much TV but I have a few shows I’m addicted to – Teen Wolf, Supernatural, Hannibal. I also love travelling.
I also waste far too much time looking at pictures of baby animals on Pinterest.

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