Anniversary Shenanigans: Author Visit & Giveaway - Cari Z.

Cari Z. is in da (club)houzz today with her magical words. Are you ready to be amaZ.ed? <--clever, huh?

You Know Me Better Than My Name
Cari Z.

As soon as two of Krylov’s men walked through the door of my apartment, I knew I had won.
It didn’t look that way on the surface, but I could feel it, triumph thrumming through my body and making it hard to keep a smile off my face. I felt it in the way the men who came to get me hesitated at the door, the way they never quite managed to point their guns at me. I felt it in how one man’s hand hovered over a shirt thrown across the back of my chair, ready to offer me that courtesy even though he had no reason to. I felt it in the way they handcuffed me, waiting for me to put my own hands into position, their skin never quite touching mine as the metal rings slid closed.

It was cold outside, the wind bitter enough to freeze you solid like every winter in Moscow, but the car I was taken to was still warm. The only time one of Krylov’s enforcers dared to lay a hand on me was to protect my head as I slipped into the backseat, leaving me leaning comfortably against the heated leather despite the position of my hands. No one spoke on the drive over, but I didn’t need to hear their words to know what they were thinking. They had been polite. They had been gentle. The rest was up to Krylov, which meant that within another hour I would either be strung up from a hook in a meat locker missing half of my limbs, or I would be in his bed, giving him what no one else in his life could. They had laid their bets, these men. They had bet on me. 

Smart guys.

The walk into Krylov’s nightclub took a little longer than the walk from my own apartment to the car, and I was shivering by the time I got inside. It didn’t matter. I wouldn’t have taken a jacket from anyone now if they’d filled its pockets with diamonds. I looked exactly how I wanted to.

We skipped the main floor and walked around the mezzanine level, back to Krylov’s office. People moved automatically out of our path, bodies mindlessly twisting to the beat but brains still recognizing the need to cede the way. It wasn’t the men with guns; you didn’t come to this club without expecting the army that kept this place as much a castle as a club, its ramparts well defended against incursions. They moved for me. How much of it was Krylov’s reputation and how much was my own presence? I didn’t care. It didn’t matter, when I was the one to benefit.

Two guards waited outside Krylov’s office, stoic, silent men who did their job and got out of the way as my escorts led me inside. 

He wasn’t alone. Men like Krylov were never alone if they could help it; they fed on the admiration of others, soaking up the attention like the modern, blood-soaked aristocrats they were. When he saw me, though, his eyes went wide, and his mouth went silent. And I had him. Victory was a sweet rush that warmed me better than a bottle of the finest vodka.


They did as he said, his cutthroat clique, men and women any sane person would go out of their way to avoid. Instead they avoided me, skirting me on either side as they left the darkened room. It was just me and Krylov now. I smiled, and watched his eyes go from ice blue to black in the space of seconds.

He swallowed. “I know who you really are,” he said hoarsely, but there was no anger left in his voice, all of it burned away with the first flare of desire.

I pressed my advantage, walking over to him and sitting on the edge of his desk, right across from his chair. I liked being higher than him, liked being able to wrap my feet around his armrests and pull him in closer to me. “You know,” I murmured, bending down toward him. He leaned into me like I had wrapped my hand around his heart and pulled. I pressed the tip of my nose, still a little chilled from the arctic weather outside, to his temple. “But do you care?”

His sudden kiss, a desperate clash of lips and teeth and sharpening, never-ending want, was all the answer I needed.

I don't know about you guys but I'd like more of this story. Be sure to let Cari know what you thought in the comments!

Author Bio:

Cari Z. is a Colorado girl who loves snow and sunshine. She has a wonderful relationship with her husband, a complex relationship with the characters in her head and a sadomasochistic relationship with her exercise routine. She feels like Halloween should happen every month, which is why you get this picture of her, and hopes that you enjoy reading what she's put out there as much as she enjoyed writing it in the first place.



To enter to win a ebook of anything from Cari Z.'s backlist, please leave a comment with some means of contacting you (e.g. email, Twitter handle, link to Goodreads account, etc.)

The giveaway is open until 10 PM PST November 27, 2015. Shortly thereafter, we will contact a winner whom we will select using a highly scientific "names in a hat" method (or, you know, an internet randomizer). Please respond to the winning notification within 48 hrs or we will choose another winner.


  1. I've enjoyed a few of Cari Z short stories - she reaaly gets to the heart of the matter quickly!
    So many questions coming put of this one - all the who, how, what, where, why - when is the only one really missing!

    1. Forgot email again!
      Littlesuze at

  2. Another one added to the petition. The meat hook idea is appealing if they put up a fight to get out of writing the rest of their stories

  3. Want. More. Definitely.

  4. Definitely need more of that!!!

  5. I re-read it twice, can I get this story.

    I like this.

  6. The knowledge Cari's writing this story makes me ridiculously happy, however long I have to wait to read it :-)

  7. That was so good! Want more please!!

  8. Ooooh! I do need to know what happens afterwards...


  9. More please! Thank you for the chance!


  10. Fantastic! More for my list!!
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  11. More, please?


  12. What an intriguing excerpt! I definitely want to know more. Thank you!!


  13. I love it! I need more please!

  14. Great excerpt, would love to read more.
    annmarief115 at gmail dot com

  15. Loved the short.

    waxapplelover (at) gmail (dot) com

  16. Angela:

    Wow, this has me intrigued, i want more LOL
    Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway chance


  17. Loved the excerpt and I'd love to read more :) Thanks for the giveaway.

  18. Oh lovely Cari ;) Write more, please. Soon I'll be done with graduate school, and you know I'll be drooling all over you for new projects to read LOL. You rock, as always.

  19. But I don't know who he is!!! And I want to. Seriously.
    Great job Cari.


  20. The giveaway is over! Congrats Tamika! There are plenty of open & planned giveaways for the rest of our anniversary month! :D