Today, author ML Nystrom is guesting at my blog. She’s here to talk about her latest series release the Dragon Runners MC, a contemporary romance. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
How I became an Author by ML Nystrom:
For the past thirty years my career has been in the field of band instrument repair technology. That’s a real occupation I which I fix and restore woodwind and brasswind music instruments. I’ve been a performing musician all my life, earned a Masters degree and still play and perform today. My secret dream has been writing.
Since elementary school, I’ve loved putting words on paper. I read copious amounts of books as a child and when I discovered those little Harlequin romance books in high school, I was hooked. I stayed on my path as a musician and a technician, however I still had that dream of writing books. My big epiphany came when I turned fifty. For years, I’ve had a list of somedays. Someday I’ll take that silversmithing course, someday I’ll do that riverboat cruise, someday I’ll write that book, etc. At fifty, I decided it was time for me to turn those somedays into todays.
Mute, Dragon Runners MC became my first book. The story begged to be written as I thought of the entire plot from start to finish during my morning commute to work. It took time and dedication find the hours to write, but Mute finally got out of my head and on paper. My next big dilemma was now that I have a book, what do I do with it? All the publishing research I did, showed me there was a right way and a wrong way to publish. My goal could have been met with a self-publish, but I’m not the kind of person to halfway do things and everything I read about self-publishing, meant a lot more in a field I didn’t know. It is a great way to go if you know the business, not if you’ve never delved into this world. I did more research, asked more questions, talked to more people. I’d seen Hot Tree Publishing in the back of several ebooks and it seemed to be a sign when I saw that company again associated with one of my favorite authors. I took the chance, and submitted my book, full prepared for a nice rejection letter. They offered me a contract instead.
That one book turned into five, and started a spin-off series. I’m still repairing instruments in my own shop now, so my commute is much shorter. I’m also still writing and enjoying every minute. I hope my story of making this dream of mine come true inspires other people to turn some of their somedays into todays.
Series: Dragon Runners MC Book 1
Author: ML Nystrom
Genre: Contemporary MC Romance
“HE LOVES LONG, LOVES HARD, BUT HE DON’T LOVE EASY.”
Blurb: Katrina Vega is set on one thing: finishing college. She’s determined not to let anything or anyone distract her, especially not hot brooding bikers. On her mission to stay focused, she doesn’t expect to be pulled into the fold of a motorcycle club, let alone into the arms of Alec “Mute” Stillwater.
Unable to keep her guard up, Katrina soon discovers that beneath the hard and rough exterior of a family she’s grown to care for, there’s also loyalty and passion she’s envious of. But falling for the club’s enforcer will not only threaten her plans but quite possibly her life.
Mute observed the bar as he always did, drinking coffee, and looking for problems. He already could feel the new help was going to be one. All night he had watched her, slipping through the crowd, deftly avoiding eye contact, staying out of people’s way. She seemed to want to melt into the background, and in some ways that made her the perfect employee. One who would do her job and get things done with no muss or fuss. She didn’t dress to impress, wearing jeans and plain T-shirt, simple sneakers, hair up in one of those stretchy things. It was hard to tell if she wore makeup or not.
When he had first walked into the bar, he’d been angry. Brick had called for a church meeting at the Lair earlier, and all the ranking members and officers had to be present. The older man had shown his frustration, banging the gavel repeatedly to maintain order at the formal meeting. There was bad business going on around town, rumors of drug running, even though the club had gotten out of that shit years ago. Brick and Betsey had worked hard to get the club out of the one-percenter limelight and into legit businesses without feeling the loss of income, but people had long memories when it came to the bad stuff. He’d spent the afternoon searching corners with a club prospect, hanging around, looking for leads. Nothing. It was hard enough to make himself understood, let alone get anyone to communicate with him, and the prospect was either too scared or too stupid to try.
When he’d arrived at the bar tonight, he’d slumped heavily into his spot at the bar and tapped at the new girl for his coffee. She looked at him like she was ready to run out the door. Real pretty eyes, but fuck this shit! His patience was at an end. He stood up and thumped the bar again, knowing his frustration was showing and he was taking it out on an innocent girl. Betsey was there in an instant, talking fast and light, pouring his coffee. The girl settled and went back to work, steadily if uneasily.
Too soft, thought Mute. Pretty girl but too soft for the life. Probably not stick it out. Leave in a week.
Series: Dragon Runners MC Book 2
Author: ML Nystrom
Genre: Contemporary MC Romance
Can the club playboy ever fall in love?
Blurb: Bold and brash, Eva MacAteer has spent her life working in her blue-collar family’s construction business. In doing so, she’s had to fight for her own place away from her overbearing father, as well as for her own identity as a woman. Struggling between her loyalty to her brothers and her desire to strike out to be her own person, Eva knows one thing for certain: getting involved with a womanizer, no matter how hot he may be, is not the path for her.
Stud is not one to be tied down to any woman. Fiercely loyal to the club and his single ways, the last thing he expects is to become fascinated by the fiery Eva. He sees his own life reflected in hers and is not quite sure how to handle the connection.
Can two mismatched people find enough common ground to overcome their fears and allow love to grow?
I looked at my watch again and growled. I’d been sitting there waiting for my brothers for over an hour. Fuck this! I downed the last of my beer. I was about to leave when the bar noise got deafeningly louder. The band started playing an old Garth Brooks song about friends in low places. Stud was the front man, singing into a mic, thumping his bass, and winking at the crowd. He was really putting on a show, drawing everyone’s attention and had a bevy of young women dancing, whooping, and shaking in front of him, including the bleached blonde—surprise!
The band was good, and it had been a long time since I got to hear live music. I raised my hand to the bartender for another beer, deciding to stick around for a little longer.
Stud had the crowd eating out of his hand as the band moved from song to song. I watched him work the instrument, stroking the neck lovingly, smiling at the women around him with those Nordic blue eyes. He wore jeans, like 90 percent of the crowd, but topped it with a burgundy Henley that showed off his broad shoulders and gave a hint of how defined his chest and abs were. He wore his leather club cut over that but I expected he’d lose it eventually. Those stage lights were hot and he was probably sweating. He wasn’t muscle-bound huge, but he was definitely built, as my brothers would say, like a brick house.
The band segued into another country tune by Rascal Flatts this time. I sipped at my fresh beer and stared. He really was magnificent. I was far enough into my own head that he caught me watching him. His blue eyes met mine and he gave me that half smile like he knew I’d been admiring him and shared a special secret with only me. He jerked his chin and winked at me. I nearly choked and ended up swallowing more than I wanted.
I gave him a nod back, trying to play it cool. He turned his attention to the bouncing woman in front of him, one with black hair on the top of her head and bright blue from her ears down. I pondered for a bit if that was by design or if she was growing it out.
The band was really good, not just because of the appeal of the Viking front man. The guitarist ran ris like nobody’s business and the drummer was tight in sync with Stud on the bass. All of them had nice voices and when they harmonized together, I bet more than one set of panties melted. Before I knew it, another forty-five minutes had passed and my fucking brothers still hadn’t shown up.
“We’re going to take a short break, ” Stud said into the mic, smiling at the crowd and winking. Damn, he really knew how to work it! Even slightly sweaty from the heat on the stage, he was beautiful. He exited the stage through the back, disappearing to the screams and whoops of the bouncing biker bunnies at the front.
I glanced at my watch again.
Fuck my life, I’m done with this! I got up from the barstool, taking quick inventory of my condition. Three beers and two whisky shots wasn’t much in a hard-drinking Irish family, and I felt okay to drive my truck back to the job site where my tiny house was parked. Still, it was a lot and I needed to break the seal, so I went to find the restrooms.
I made my way through a side room, passing by some other bikers in Dragon Runners cuts shooting pool and playing darts, to a narrow hallway where the restrooms were located. A big bald member was lining up a difficult shot and I waited until he stroked his cue stick before moving around him. The nine ball sank in the side pocket with a click, and he raised his fist over his head with a crow of victory.
“Whoo! Take that, you fucker! Ha! Oops!” He finally noticed me. “’Scuse me, baby.”
He wore a tank under his club cut showing off his bulky arms and brightly colored tattooed sleeves. His head was shaved but his mouth was framed in a dark brown Fu Manchu with a chin duster. Not drop-dead gorgeous like Stud, but still good-looking.
“No problem, big guy. Nice shot by the way, ” I commented, hoping he wouldn’t want to strike up a conversation. I just wanted to pee and get home.
“Thanks, baby.” His brown eyes roamed my plainly clad body from my head to my tooled leather toes. “You want to shoot a game later? I’ll be glad to teach you.”
I smiled and raised my eyebrows devilishly. Maybe I’d take him up on the offer sometime just to see his face when I cleared the table. In building bars for a living, well, let’s just say I knew a thing or two about pool.
“Maybe another night. I’m hitting the head and getting home. Gotta work tomorrow on getting your real bar finished so you can move back in, ” I said, squeezing between him and the wall.
“You’re on the construction crew?” he shouted at my retreating back. Not the first time I’d heard the disbelief that a woman could work a crew.
I reached behind my back and tapped the logo between my shoulders, not bothering to turn around. I hoped he didn’t think I was being rude or disrespectful. I’d heard bikers could get mad about stuff like that, but I really needed to pee.
Series: Dragon Runners MC Book 3
Author: ML Nystrom
Genre: Contemporary MC Romance
How much weight can a man take on his shoulders before he buckles?
Blurb: Blue’s life is in shambles.
He has to fight off his MC brotherhood on a drug problem threatening his town, balance his time as a father while dealing with a vicious custody battle with his ex, and somehow manage the huge load of responsibilities of his job. All the while, he is fighting his attraction to the quiet shopkeeper who lives just across the street from him. The last thing he wants is to take her down with him.
Psalm’s life is uneventful.
Finally healed after the heartache of losing her husband, kind-souled Psalm throws herself into her store and rescuing dogs. Her crush on Blue can be traced back to high school so many years ago, and even after being widowed, she still carries a torch for him. From the sidelines, she aches for Blue and his children. With her caring nature, she reaches out to him, over and over again, even when he pushes her away. Is Psalm’s heart strong enough to take on this broken man and heal him?
“Good morning, Deputy.”
“Mornin’, Psalm. Thought I said last night you can call me Blue.”
I took a sip of the delicious brew and let it roll across my tongue. Pam was a coffee master!
“I think since you’re in uniform, I should probably call you Deputy. I wouldn’t want anyone to get the idea I get preferential treatment.”
Blue took a sip from his own cup and one corner of his mouth raised. “I’ll still ticket you if you mess up, Psalm, but maybe you’ll pay with somethin’ besides money.”
My insides quivered at his reply and I was at a loss for words until he opened his mouth again.
“I may charge you soap bars and those bath things. Christmas is comin’ and I know Mama likes bubble baths.”
I smiled and dropped my eyes to the floor.
“Mind if I ask you something personal?”
His question had me looking up again.
“How come your parents named you Psalm? I remember you were the only one in high school with that name. It’s nice, but it ain’t common.”
I smiled. “I don’t mind answering. Mom wanted a Bible name and shuffled through a bunch of them. Esther, Hannah, Naomi, Mary, lots of them but couldn’t choose. When she went into labor with me, she was reading in the book of Psalms and decided it was a sign that was what she was supposed to name me.”
He drank more coffee and nodded. “Makes sense to me. Unique and pretty-sounding. Suits you.”
The heat of a blush crept across my face and I dropped my eyes again, making an acknowledging hmm sound.
“You got stuff to ship?”
I nodded while taking another healthy swig of my drink. “Every day. Now that I have the website, I get a lot of online business. It’s a pain, but it’s a nice problem to have.”
He grunted, tilted his head, and swallowed the last of his coffee. I watched his throat work with fascination.
“Let’s get to it then.”
Series: Dragon Runners MC Book 4
Author: ML Nystrom
Genre: Contemporary MC Romance
Blurb: Intimidating and living by a strong code of ethics, Table’s integrity is unwavering, as is his ironclad will when it comes to safeguarding those he cares about. He’s the man to guard your back, shelter you in time of need, and be the shield.
Just don’t ever lie to him.
Table’s life is turned upside down when he unexpectedly discovers he’s a dad. Trying to navigate his life as a single father to a baby girl, he takes a break from his Dragon Runners MC brothers, moving to the family farm.
When Table meets nomadic Lori, who trades work on the farm for rent, he’s as intrigued as he is wary. She’s a woman who wears her attitude like armor. And despite her fierce independence, Table can see the fear dancing in the shadows of her eyes. It’s enough to make him look that little bit closer.
With the support of his MC brothers, Table not only is reminded that family is more than blood, but that some women are just worth fighting for.
The bald biker from the previous night answered the knock. He was tall, broad, and shirtless, showing off an incredibly colorful array of intricate tattoos on his defined arms and chest. The details were astounding. I forced myself to look up at his face and not at the gold loops decorating his dark nipples. The color of his hair, if he ever let it grow in, would be a dark, deep brown going by the neatly groomed Fu Manchu mustache and chin duster that framed his mouth. There was a touch of gray, indicating some maturity. He was big all over, his stomach and shoulders showing clear and precise delineations that could only come from a lot of physical work. Power exuded from every pore, and I found it both intriguing and intimidating. I should have been scared, but I wasn’t.
Because he had a tiny baby dressed in pale pink cradled in the crook of his hard bicep.
He held her close, curling her securely into his body, protecting her. How could anyone be scared of a hard, strong man who was cradling a baby like she was the most precious person in his world?
It was enough for me to relax. Right?
His deep brown eyes regarded me silently, and I held up the basket.
“I have the eggs.” My voice came out croaky as my dry tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth.
His mouth split into a grin that showed off the whitest teeth I’d ever seen. I could see his natural charm, the kind that was irresistible. One look at that devastating smile and women would be lining up. My lower stomach tingled as I remembered him burying his head between the woman’s legs and her reaction.
He turned his head and yelled back in the house, “Yo, Nanny! Your tenant’s here with the eggs!”
“Imma comin’!” I heard faintly from the interior.
The baby squirmed in his arm and let out a little grunt. He jostled the pink bundle and made shushing noises at her. “Ch-ch-ch almost there, baby girl. Almost there.”
He looked at me and smiled again. “Bottle’s not quite ready and she can get impatient. Name’s Table.”
Table? Strange name for a girl, but the last year had been a strange one for me in a lot of ways. “Never knew a little girl named for a piece of furniture.”
If I hadn’t been holding the heavy egg basket with both hands, I would have slapped one over my mouth. I didn’t want to anger my landlady and that probably should extend to her grandson.
He seemed to take my faux pas in stride and laughed, those beautiful teeth flashing again.
“Nah, my name’s Table.”
“Nice to meet you, Table. I’m, uh, Lori.”
His smile got bigger and he nodded at the fussing baby. “This is my little girl, Angel. Come on in to the kitchen. Nanny’s gonna have food ready soon and I’ll bet money she’s got a full plate with your name on it.”
I entered the house like I was stepping back in time. The furniture was old, antiques you’d see in a museum-type house, but the pieces were still being used regularly and looked well cared for. I caught a faint scent of bacon grease in the air and heard the pop and sizzle of cooking meat. The kitchen contrasted with the antique look of the furniture. It was huge, with stainless steel modern appliances. Martha was shuffling around the stove, wearing another bright floral top, this time with blue denim capris. Her wiry gray hair stuck out and curled up into an odd-looking crown around her head.
Series: Dragon Runners MC Book 5
Author: ML Nystrom
Genre: Contemporary MC Romance
Blurb: In the beginning, there was one determined man and one strong woman. In their struggles, they created a dynasty.
Brick had one mission since he was a boy: become a Dragon Runner. The motorcycle club meant everything to him. Blood and bone from his brothers paid the Dragon’s dues time and time again. And watching it split apart was more than he could handle.
Then he met Betsey.
An unwanted daughter born into abuse, Betsy lived her life beatdown under a rigid thumb, never allowed to be herself. Her one goal was to leave her abusive family and be free. She fought on the losing end of that fight.
Then she met Brick.
A tentative knock followed by the wooden classroom door opening caught his attention. Mr. Atwood, the school principal, entered, followed by a new girl. A wave ran through the room as every student sat up straight to get a look at the newcomer. She wore a mud-colored dress that did little to hide an impressive chest and rounded hips. Her plain brown hair was pulled back into a long ponytail, and she hunched into herself as she met the twenty pairs of eyes fixed on her.
“We have a new student, Betsey Fullerton. She and her family just moved here from Mineral Springs, and her father is the head minister at First Methodist Church. Let’s everyone welcome Betsey and help her learn her way around.”
Several “Hi, Betseys” popped up from multiple students, but Deuce’s comment rang out over them all.
“Damn, look at the size of them titties. Betcha can shelve books on them things.”
The room went silent. The principal turned beet red but said nothing. Blackjack’s reputation was well known, and no one wanted to anger either him or any of the other Dragon Runners.
But Betsey was new. She didn’t know the town or the motorcycle club that many of them feared. Her blue eyes lasered to the back of the room and landed on Brick’s. The zap from that look held him in place and burned through to his toes. She wasn’t scared. She wasn’t confused. She understood exactly what was uttered and why. Her expression was one of… of… contempt.
Betsey’s gaze moved to Deuce, who was laughing at his own joke. She straightened up to her above-average height, and her perfect hourglass figure became clearer even in the ugly dress. Her breasts were full and larger than most other girls of the same age. The dress nipped in sharply at the waist and flared out over her curvy hips. Brick had overheard more than one conversation from girls talking about the right skirts, the right shoes, or the right hairstyle. Betsey stood out proudly and with no apology for her less-than-fashionable appearance. She cocked a hip to the side, crossed her arms under her breasts, lifting and displaying them even more, and stared down at the laughing cocky boy with the shiner on his eye.
Brick lost his breath at the picture she presented. He reached over and popped his friend in the back of his head. “Shut up, dumbass.”
“What the fuck, asshole? I’m just messin’.”
“Mess with someone else. That girl is gonna be mine someday.”
ML Nystrom had stories in her head since she was a child. All sorts of stories of fantasy, romance, mystery and anything else that captured her interest. A voracious reader, she’s spent many hours devouring books; therefore, she found it only fitting she should write a few herself!
ML has spent most of her life as a performing musician and band instrument repair technician, but that doesn’t mean she’s pigeon-holed into one mold. She’s been a university professor, belly dancer, craftsperson, soap maker, singer, rock band artist, jewelry maker, lifeguard, swim coach, and whatever else she felt like exploring. As one of her students said to her once, “Life’s too short to ignore the opportunities.” She has no intention of ever stopping… so welcome to her story world. She hopes you enjoy it!
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